On the Right Track

My daughter has been working on eating healthier, losing weight, and getting fit. I would love to also, but up to now have only half jumped on the wagon. But with the rest of my life falling nicely into place, I have decided that it is time to really kick it into high gear. Since we moved, I have been way more active than I’ve been in years. I have accomplished more than I did in 7 years at my old place. I went from sitting in front of the computer almost every waking moment to moving and doing. We started taking walks, I rode a bike for the first time in over 5 years, I mowed a lawn (which I hadn’t done since I was a teen). We are walking, doing, moving, and shaking. But that isn’t enough. I’ve got to get organized with it. I’ve got to start taking stock of what I am eating, drinking, and doing. It’s time to get on the right track.

So, today, for the first time in er…. a long time? I stepped on a scale. The good news is – I haven’t gained any weight in 7 years. That’s a relief. But, the fact is – I haven’t lost any weight in 7 years. Sigh. I turned 45 a month or so ago. I’m very obese, I smoke, and I eat wrong – all the time. Now, I am sure that many people don’t believe me when I say I don’t over eat. When someone is morbidly obese (can you believe they call it that???) people look at them like they are sneaking in the closet to stuff Big Macs into their face, or sneaking out in the middle of the night for donuts. The truth is – I don’t. I don’t eat a ton of junk. But, I don’t eat as healthy as I can. My diet usually consists of a ton of coffee, with cream and sugar, and maybe one meal a day. Usually whatever I make for the family. Now, granted – it’s usually a big meal. But it’s the only meal I eat. There are so many people who say if you reduce your calories – you will lose weight. Wellll, yes and no. I don’t even eat 1800 calories a day. But, what I do eat is in one lump. My metabolism is crap, my exercise is crap, and my habits are crap. So, truth is – I don’t eat fast food, I don’t eat candy, cake, donuts, etc. But I also don’t eat in ways that kick my metabolism into gear. I don’t exercise enough. And I don’t pay attention to my health.

So, you may ask yourself what I am doing about it. I’m so glad you asked that question. I’ve got a plan. I’ve gone techie. I’ve got a smart phone (love this thing), I’ve got a computer, and I’m armed with a scale in the kitchen. When looking at fitness, I learned a cool thing from my daughter – there’s an app for that lol. I’m including links to the sites, which will show you the apps too, that I’m going to be tracking myself with. We’ve worked out an awesome schedule that I am really excited about. It goes something like this –

Monday – 30 minutes biking

Tuesday – 30 minutes walking

Wednesday – 30 minutes biking

Thursday – 30 minutes walking

Friday – 30 minutes biking

Saturday – 30 minutes walking

Sunday – rest

Now, that’s not the only things I’m going to be doing, and I’ll be sure to keep a log of all my activities. I want to lose 2 pounds a week. One of the sites/apps allows me to log everything I eat into it. I want to make healthier choices in my foods, but more importantly – I want to eat more than once a day. I want to stick to at least 3 meals a day, with at least one healthy snack somewhere in there. A biggie for me is going to be my drinking problem. Wait, wait, wait. It’s not what you think. I’m not a closet alcoholic. My problem is sugary drinks – soda, coffee with tons of cream and sugar, kool aid, etc. I need to make healthier drink choices. I’m not against water. In fact, I do pretty good with my water intake already. But, it’s more than just drinking enough water, it’s cutting out all the bad drinks too. So, making healthier choices is going to involve breaking a lot of bad habits and replacing them with good ones. Also keeping an eye on portion control. I am amazed at how many people have no clue what that is. In America especially, we have been told for so long to super size it, we have no idea what a healthy portion of anything is. Bigger is better, right? No. A healthy meal is not even close to the portions we are served in most restaurants. We are over served everywhere we go. Including in our own kitchens.

While I’m not intending to become a health food freak (no insult to anyone intended!). I just want to make better choices in my life and make changes I can live with. Because dieting, at least for me, does not work. Sacrificing things I love in favor of bean sprouts and tofu are not my idea of a way of life I can live with. I can, however, put back that second slice of bread for a healthier choice. I can switch sugary coffee for flavored water. I can take less potatoes and more veggies. That’s the kinds of choices I want to make. But most importantly – I can move. I can shake it and bake it outside. I can get my groove on and take the weight off. But more importantly, for anyone who has followed this blog at all, I can rejoin life. I can step out into the sun and start living. Onward and upward.

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Getting It Together

While there were many changes that have taken place in the last few months, as I said in my last post, there is still much to be done. It took us over 7 years to get to the point we were in, I can’t expect for it to all be fixed in a month. The first thing we did when we moved was go through our million pounds of laundry. Think I’m kidding? We must have had more than 40 large trash bags full of clothes. And there is only three of us. So, the sorting of the laundry was a huge task, which brought us down to about 7 outfits each. Minus our dress clothes. I have gotten it down to what I can handle in one week. Whoohoo – boy did it feel good to dump all that laundry. I honestly thought in our old apartment we were going to get lost under all those clothes and no one would find us.

Next we had boxes to sort. Some got unpacked, some were getting stored in the sheds, and some were going up to the attic to be stored. Most of them are gone now too. I think we have all the furniture where we want it, and while the last boxes have been sitting for awhile, I am going to get to them soon. We are having a birthday party for my youngest in a couple weeks – the house WILL be ready. So, may have to kick it into high gear. But, just today we got rid of a huge old couch that my daughter replaced, a broken recliner, about 20 boxes of stuff that had to go, and several bags of trash. Two dump runs later and we are hundreds of pounds lighter. I am loving this idea of use it or lose it. If we haven’t used it, we need to lose it. Hubby is unthrilled. For those of you new to my blog – several posts back I mentioned hubby is a hoarder. All of these changes have nearly sent him over the deep end. He has our bedroom – that’s the room I gave him.  I told him I want the side of the bed closest to the door – and a path to get into bed. I have a tiny table where I put my fan, my books, my phone, and my glasses. The rest of the room is piled as deep as he wants it with his stuff. At night, anything that has fallen onto my side of the bed gets shoved over and I sleep the best sleep I’ve gotten in years.

As for my health? Well, it’s going well, but it’s a long road back. A lot of the pain I was in from all those years of night shift, sleep deprivation, inactivity, poor eating, and everything else is gone. There are still issues. I still need to lose weight, I still need to see a doctor… but it is getting better. There are times when I push a little too hard, lift too much, or go too much. I pay for it the next day. But, slow and steady has been pretty good. We walk the dogs in the evening after dinner most nights. I have started biking again and have ridden a few times. We have gone lots of places. Most of my headaches are gone. I am sleeping wonderfully. So I must be doing something right.

But the biggest thing is – I feel like I’ve joined life again. I know that during my 7 years on midnight shift I stopped liking people in general. My life online was way more important than my life offline. But, now, I am loving meeting new people, trying new things, and accomplishing so much. Sometimes I miss being online as much. Although as a freelance writing online, I do spend a lot of my days on the computer. But Facebook has become a once or twice a week thing. My own site that I co-founded has even been patient with me, as I only stop by for a bit most mornings before I’m off and writing. But to be honest, while I miss my online friends a lot, I have a lot of living to catch up on – 7 years worth. And I’m ready for it. I’m ready for whatever life wants to throw my way.

Onward and Upward

When I stared this blog so long ago, I had made a list of goals I wanted to achieve. Those goals were at that point very important in my life. And though I struggled to make changes, many of them remained real issues over the year. It was when I realized that nothing was going to change by making little changes that things really started to happen. When the lease was up on our apartment, we were in financial difficulties already, and the rent on that horrible place was going up. I had been looking for a new job that would fit our lives for over 2 years. I looked over the next year and saw more of the same thing – a horrible apartment, a midnight shift job, no sleep, stress, fighting, problems, constantly trying to put out financial fires instead of getting ahead. I honestly think that if something hadn’t changed right then, it would have been drastically different. I think my marriage may have ended, my health would have continued to deteriorate, we may have become homeless, we may have lost our vehicle, and even worse things that I can’t imagine. So, the decision to throw the cards up in the air and make a drastic change seemed reasonable.

When my daughter got married last year, her and her husband ended up in a beautiful house about an hour and a half away. I tried to go up and visit for weekends at least once a month. The house was awesome, spending time with my daughter was awesome, and I really enjoyed getting away. Unfortunately, her marriage was not so awesome. Her and her husband decided to separate and divorce. He moved back to his home state. So my daughter was alone with her two dogs in that great house. We tossed about the idea that we should move in with her. It would benefit both of us. Granted, it would mean some big changes. But that’s what I was looking for, right? So the move was made, and big changes happened. Here it is, a little over a month later, and we are settling in. I have been working as a freelance writer online, hubby is still looking for a job, but has a lot of good stuff going on in the ways of opportunities for training, schooling, and other help – so a good thing. My youngest for the first time has a yard, a pool, a place to ride his bike, two dogs to play with, room to breath and run and grow. But, does this mean I have reached the end of my road? Hell no. Of course not. A life without goals to me only means you wander lost. A road without a destination. So, the best thing to do? Update the goal list. Here is my original list of goals –

Focus on me – ongoing
Get organized – ongoing
 Organize Apartment – completed
 Get more sleep – completed
 Find new job – completed
 Improve relationships – completed
 Reduce stress – completed
 Stop smoking – working on it
 Improve health – ongoing, but much, much better
 Be more creative – actually part of my job now!
 Get involved in spiritual work – changed goal
 Go back to school – getting closer
 Find more friends – much more social
 Reduce computer time – goal changed
Wow, it feels so good to be able to mark so many of those completed. After struggling with some of them, I didn’t see how anything was ever going to get any better. And now, a bit over a year later – so many of them completed. But, as I said, life is about goals. So onward and upward. I am going to update my goals page, add the new goals, maybe change some goals, but definitely working towards them. This truly is a new year – and I am a new me.

To Be Continued…..

Greetings friends and family. For those of you who have followed me from the old blog site, thank you for joining me here. For those of you who are just seeing this blog for the first time – welcome. I hope to continue to blog about  the changes in my life. For the past year, or a little over a year, I tried making little changes, and things were not really going anywhere. Boy did that change fast, quick, and in a hurry. I finally decided that enough was enough. I quit my job, moved to another town, started a new life with my family. My husband, youngest son, and I moved in with my adult daughter in her house. I am now freelance writing, spending time trying to rebuild my physical and mental health, and coming back to center. The difference is amazing.

The endless pattern of no sleep, feeling like crap, beating myself up over not being able to do enough ended almost immediately. I was worried that it would take time to go from an erratic horrible sleep schedule was actually really easy. I started going to bed between 10pm and 11pm every night. I started waking up between 6am and 7am every morning. I felt refreshed and rested. I felt amazing. I started eating regular meals, made up of healthier foods that energized me. But more amazing is the mental change. I now feel like I can accomplish anything I want to. My daughter is an amazing person who cheers me on as I support her in all she does. We are cheerleaders for each other as we make changes in our lives. I’m not sure when she grew up and got so smart, but she is incredible. My youngest son who had spent almost his entire life in an apartment wasn’t sure at first how to play outside. But with a huge fenced in backyard, two dogs, a new swimming pool, room to ride his bike, and new friends – he is adjusting wonderfully. I would like to say my hubby, who hates change of any kind, was doing as well. But at least I can say he is adjusting. He hates starting over and while he hated where we were, he hesitates to say anything good about where we are now. But I have come to realize that this is just the way he is. In time, he will adjust too. But most of all, I can deal with it now. I can deal with anything now.

We take walks, we exercise now, we move, we breath, we eat, we laugh, we talk, we live. I have no idea what is ahead for us – but I can say that I am welcoming it with open arms. Even my middle son said he was amazed at the difference. He commented on how alert I was, how I didn’t fall asleep in my chair anymore, how happy and smiling I was. He’s right – I am a new me. But, dear readers, never fear – I am not done. This blog, and I, have a long ways to go. I’m not there yet. I will continue to blog as I continue to change. But, at least now I can say I’m really on my way. Onward and Upward.