101 Days til Bliss

Life is just bizarre at times. This past week has been a whirlwind of emotions as a family member passed away. At 97 no one can say they didn’t see it coming but the drama of it all still takes it’s toll.

In a lot of ways, the whole process was healing to me. Being able to be there as he let go was something a few years ago would have terrified me. Now I just realized that the process had started & accepted it for what it was. The death rattle didn’t scare me, just made me wish there was something I could do to prevent the pain & confusion. Thankfully although all I could do is talk with him & hold his hand, hospice was there to assist with the pain & anxiety. Not sure how people pass without them & their gifts but again I am grateful for all they do & amazed that people do this daily yet stay so positive and caring.

The good-bye itself carried a lot of emotion. I believe that you never turn your back on family & that blood binds, but at times that is tested for sure. He & I didn’t agree on a lot of things, but he cared for my father when he was young & tried to be there for us all. Listening to so many rave about him at his funeral almost made me forget the bad times. I am thankful that there are so many who do remember him fondly & that I could hear the good things he did in his life. His time on earth truly has impacted many people in a lot of ways which is an achievement for sure. He fought hard to make it to 100, but in the end it was time for him to go on.

Now it is time for us to move on. Getting hugs at the end of the days from my nephew and seeing his smile reminded me that there is hope for a better tomorrow. Just have to make it so.

Which got me thinking- why abandon this blog? Because it reminds me of the tough times? Nah. Those are the times that made me strong enough to be who I am today. Scars and all.

So time to revamp & renew. Change this into something that once again makes me feel at peace with life. Happy to be me. Thus the new look.

Hopefully the changes will be good ones. Time will tell.  All we can do is the best we can & find something to always look forward to. See the glimmer of hope.

For me today that spark is knowing that in 101 days I will be in Disney World with the cutest kid I know as one of the happiest aunts alive.

That and that there is always a snuggle waiting patiently by my side.

Pugs lives are just hard sometimes.

Pugs lives are just hard sometimes.

 

 

 

Be the Bison

The past couple of days have been a real bitch. In a lot of ways I just want to break down and cry and do the dramatic why me shit. But I won’t. Wouldn’t get me anywhere but where I am so why bother?

Sometimes you have to be the bison.

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Huh? a Bison? Yes. The all american bison. Or as some call them buffalo.

See the bison have this quirk that makes them pretty bad ass. I know they already look that way & with their size & natural weaponry they can do some real damage. Add in their herding number that back each other up & you have a real death wise messing with them. Still to watch them, they seem naturally to be calm creatures who just want to relax in the sun enjoying a good meal then stroll along to whatever is next in their life.  They enjoy being together and aren’t afraid to run full speed or stroll barely at a snail’s pace. Awesome enough right there, but then comes the quirk.  When the storms come and most animals hide away to make it through letting the storm pass, bison go into the storm. They face it & walk into it.  They know that the storm passes quicker when you are going in the opposite direction.

Smart beast.

Yes I have a major crush on bison. Just want to hang out with them & maybe snuggle a little.

Bison in snowstorm, Yellowstone NP

For me, the storm seems to keep being my health. Just when I feel like I have this whole blood sugar thing down & actually have learned to drink the unsweet tea (even without stevia most times!), something else comes along to knock me off my feet.

I have developed habit of walking that I am loving. This past week I joined a friend to walk just over 6 miles on Monday, then again another 6 miles Wednesday & had plans to walk at least 4 miles Thursday. All day Thursday I just felt off. Made it through my internship hours and even go in a little shopping where I found some new sneakers marked down to $25! Got home changed clothes to go walk & just didn’t feel right. One of the things that had been bothering me all day had been a soreness in my chest. Like I had pulled a muscle just under my breast. Not sure doing what but I just brushed it off as maybe I slept stretch out wrong or lifted something weird. I have learned to love sore muscles because it means they are working & hopefully getting better at what they are doing. This one just was painful. Deep breathing made it worse. I had no energy all day which made sense because I had barely slept and as much as I hate admitting this hardly eaten. Just didn’t feel like eating & had been busy. Had a cup of coffee & a big B vitamin to help keep me moving. So much so that I felt like I could feel my pulse. Couldn’t shake the off feeling, so I thought just take your blood pressure – see that it is completely normal then go work out. You will feel better.

Only it didn’t give me any comfort. I have been regularly taking readings since the physical in September when she said I was pre-hypertensive and needed to get the blood pressure down. Common with type 2 diabetics. I knew my numbers were high, but the past few months of healthy eating, working out & losing weight they had dropped down.  A typical reading for me is around 118/78. When I did the check Thursday, I got 187/110! Which is NOT GOOD & completely explained the feeling the pulse.

With anxiety attacks I get a burst of higher numbers & I know that is pretty normal, but I wasn’t anxious at all. If anything I was excited to be going out (was a beautiful warm day) but not THAT excited.  Seeing numbers higher than I had ever seen made me scared.

Since my heart rate didn’t need to be raised at all, I canceled my plans & the girls went on without me.

Then the stress hit. I emergency called my sister who used to do cardiac rehab to see if this was anything to worry about. She was actually working at her hospital at the time and walked me through several symptoms. Made me feel better than she wasn’t extremely concerned. Basically I had 2 options, run to the hospital now or see if relaxing a bit could get it down. The second option sounded a lot more affordable to me & since I didn’t have pain in my arm or even a sharp throbbing one in my chest or really any other symptom we went with door number 2. Which thankfully worked. I got the numbers dropping and started to calm down.

After about 2 hours, the readings were normal again but I was exhausted.

Luckily I hadn’t planned to work yesterday, so I was able to rest all day other than a quick trip in to see the doc. I needed the rest.

Now I am keeping a more regular log & tracking several times daily.  Fun, fun, fun.

Hopefully that was just a weird, one time fluke, but I am scared.  Especially of working out. Wednesday I had plans of registering for my next couple of 5ks & even to try to increase the pace & miles each week. Now I am just terrified that I am going to do something and make my blood vessel or heart explode! I know our bodies are adaptive and exercise is probably the best prescription for this. I just don’t trust myself. My body is once again my enemy.

As the song goes LET THE STORM RAGE ON…  I am a fighter. I’m scared but I am turning to face the storm. Like the bison I will WALK head first and hope that this works to get me through to better days.

I have come too far to stop & in a lot of ways I feel healthier than ever. Still don’t have much energy, but in time hopefully that too will come. I am going further than I have thought I would & the distance of the 5k which used to seem so huge, is now less than the normal walk. I’m proud of what I have achieved & am not ready to quit.

So into the storm I walk.

Giving my body a couple more rest days & going to pick up a heart rate monitor to better gauge how hard I am pushing myself just to be safe, but I am going to get back into adding up those miles. Maybe not the fastest, but I will be the bison!

Just 98 Workouts To Go – #WorkItOut100

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The last couple of weeks I have watched the Panthers games with friends of a friend.  Started simple enough. Watched with him one week got invited to his friends to watch the next. Then with another set last week. Each time I had a blast and ended up meeting some great people and enjoying some delicious food. While I did a mad dash on the way to snag a bag of chip and some sort of dip to take at the last minute. (Hint: Cheese balls are surprisingly a hit because… well when is the last time you had one? Great childhood memories get brought up with these it seems!) In an effort to make sure I had something lower carb & natural, I took some grapes last time but overall I felt a little like I was being a slacker in the pile of homemade goodness. Still when you get a last minute, hey let’s go watch here… you don’t have time to plan ahead. This week I tried to get proactive.

So back to running to get a quick bag of cheese balls or something at the store! Second thought cheese sticks might be extra fun & a lot healthier. Will think of something or who knows. May just skip it all and hang out at a bar with another set of friends entirely.

Made a batch of sausage cheese balls last night. They taste like shit. See I got smart and found some turkey sausage which is healthier and makes these an option for me since I don’t eat pork and haven’t since the mid-90s. Problem is turkey sausage is a rarity it seems. While there are a variety of choices for pork sausage, turkey you are lucky to even find. So I add spices to kick it up flavorwise. Usually. Last night I was tired and forgot. So when I taste tested one I found it to taste bland. Not what I want to take to hang out with people I barely know.

On to the next test. I will find something that I can take that is healthier and tastier than a bag of chips. Something I can actually eat. Chips just don’t do much for me & are typically horrible carbwise (thus not so great on my blood sugar levels). All part of learning to deal I guess. Just adapt and make it work.

Which also applies to working it. Just adapt & make it work.

Needed a boost to push me to get excited about it all again. Thankfully just a few clicks online & there it is!

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The #WorkItOut100 Challenge!

The basic deal – work out 100 Days in a row. I need goals to reach for & some comisery, I mean others to inspire me towards that goal.  Amanda & Laura challenged themselves to work out 100 days straight & it worked so well they are motivating others to join them. Count me in!  I’m on day three today & looking forward to crossing in another block on my tally sheet. They provide inspiration and motivation all over – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & even Pinterest, but you can learn all the details at their site, Work It Out 100. A workout can be anything that gets you up & moving so don’t feel like you have to run a half marathon each day. Just do what works for you & pushes you to grow and build the habits.

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So are you in? All it takes is starting & keeping the commitment to yourself. Use the hashtag #WorkItOut100 to join in the fun. You know I will be.

But first today is GAME DAY!  Panthers are up in Green Bay.  They KEEP POUNDING & so shall I!  CHEERS!

Remember When…

I used to post?

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Lately life has just been moving too fast & honestly I don’t even know what to think much less what to share. In the past posting has been therapeutic and helped to relieve my worries. A release. I can openly share my struggle with watching Mom get sick and pass away. Share my grief & even my own mental fights with PTSD, depression and anxiety. I can openly talk about the eating disorder I dealt with in high school and how food and the weight became a comfy afterwards. Seeing the way pounds helped give Mom a little longer towards the end only validated that the extra I wore wasn’t the worst thing in life. Sure I might not be a model but health is more important than vanity.  For some reason talking about everything going on physically now, just is harder.

Then came the type 2 diagnosis. I cleaned up my diet and my body responded.

The push to drop pounds was simply to improve the numbers medically but the focus was on eating right and giving  my body the nutrition it needs. The weight loss was a side effect of that shift.

In some ways it felt great to value myself by eating healthy, fresh foods & I didn’t miss the convenience stuff I grew up (& gained it all) on.  I didn’t have a goal weight or look so this isn’t like before. I don’t avoid eating and nothing if off limits. Occasionally I eat foods I know aren’t ideal (yesterday was a pumpkin spice donut breakfast kind of day!) and I don’t feel guilt doing so. I do feel the effects afterwards and the calories I still keep in check so using them in “worthless” food means making up the difference during the rest of the day which can be challenging.

At the start I looked forward to making meals. Right now, I am less than enthusiastic. The quick, pick up stuff does seem to have a draw, but it doesn’t have the same flavor or feel right anymore. Working (although only a 20 hour internship) along with classes and juggling somewhat of a social life does make a time crunch & I’m worried what going back to a full time work week will do. Hopefully this is just a temporary hurdle. Something I can figure out how to get past. Still is it so much to ask that there be a few options outside my house that are quick and healthy? Don’t even mention salads, because iceberg is not food. Give me spinach or spring green… something with some flavor & color. Crunch is optional.

The upside: the numbers look a lot better last time I check with my doctor and ….drum roll because for me this is HUMONGOUS… I can actually test my blood when needed now without feeling faint. Well a majority of the time. Sure sometimes it still takes me 3 test strips to get what I need, but I am getting there. The girl who passed out so often at the doc’s office that she knew to position me on the bed with the feet up anytime she needed to use needles, draws her own blood.  (Go on laugh, but I am still damn proud of this!)

So all good right?

Sort of. Weird thing is that although I see the numbers change, I don’t see it. I know the scale keeps going down. The tape measure gets closer and closer on each body part & the clothes have had to be replaced. Still when I look in the mirror – same girl as always. I’m trying to see it but honestly it isn’t as drastic as some people are acting like it is. Felt slightly bad when my doc got so excited and celebratory of the weight loss and I just kind of thought whatever. Isn’t that big of a deal. Attitude is everything so fake it till you make it. It all feels bizarre. Hopefully my mind will catch up. Right now it just feels too survival mode still.

Spend a bit of time shopping which does feel better than it used to.  Clothes fit better. This part is both fun and dangerous. Plus I STILL need to purge the closet of the old stuff.

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yes, it bores me to death too.

SEE why I haven’t posted much? This is the stuff that consumes my mind lately. Not humor. Not men. Just wondering how to deal & if it is healthy or not. Dullsville.

Still there is football. For a few hours each week my mind shuts down and I focus on the field. Which feels amazing! (Even if there was a tie of all things! At least we didn’t have to resort to twisting ankles to get there.)

So hopefully soon I will have more to share. Miss writing, but then again I am still writing a lot – just more in the line of legal memos & research notes. Wish I could share some of the insanity that I see in the files I am working with, but… just can’t. Let’s just say that personal injury law is nothing like I imagined it to be. I have yet to see anyone who is looking for an easy paycheck. Everyone just wants to pay off their bills. Also I look at cars completely differently after reading so many accident reports! First couple of weeks I honestly was a tad scared to drive anywhere. Seems like the person who causes the accident usually gets off easier than the one(s) being hit! So while I trust my skills, I don’t anyone else’s! I really was disappointed when the public defender’s office canceled the internships this semester & it only helped that I wasn’t the only one to lose the placement (so don’t take it personal). Meeting the amazing staff & learning about personal injury law has been better than I could have imagined. I know my time is limited at the firm, but I’m not sure I could have asked for more of an internship! Also less scared that this isn’t where I should be. Doubt is gone.

HIGH FIVE

HIGH FIVE

OH!!!!  & did I mention I passed my exam to be a NOTARY!?!?

Passed with a HUNDRED! Time to pay the fee, send the ap, order the stamp & take the oath. Then it is official. Who would have thought it? Yes that does deserve the high five from the seriously fuking cute baby panda.

One step closer.

Long journey ahead, but I do have the cutest shoes!

 

Just keep sparkling

 

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Some days just SPARKLE right from the start.

After a trying weekend, I woke today (from a FULL night of sleep without any hard dreams) to find Baxter snuggled up so cozy, the air felt just a bit softer & the scale forgave me for a decadent birthday. Hit another milestone this morning & feel like dancing around. Hearing my Dad is going to take me “shopping for clothes that don’t fall off”me this weekend for my birthday is one of the best gifts ever. Not just because he is right, but more because he has noticed & clothes shopping was always more of Mom’s deal.

Tough birthday for sure without her. Not celebrating really til this coming weekend when I can make it in to see the family. Spent the day just low key. Enjoyed watching a storm roll in on the beach. Shopped a little without buying a single thing. I did take a day off of counting calories & carbs and ended up “treating” myself to a trip through what used to be a favorite drive thru. Of course there are reasons I don’t do that anymore & of course my body reminded me. Yesterday I felt awful. No energy and just felt sick all day.  Thankfully my bloodwork was done Thursday before I went nuts so it shouldn’t effect my A1c or any of the test readings. Still a bit nervous to meet with the doc again this week to go over everything. I REALLY don’t want to have to start doing injections ever! I know I could clean up the diet a little more but not without really being the weirdo & I already feel like there are times I am tip toeing around ED territory again. Reminding myself this restricting is for good not evil & at some point when I reach a healthy weight, it will change.

Moments I don’t feel like I am sure of myself & what I am doing. So many changes this year. Trying to figure out the internship & change from thinking criminal law to civil. Hard to imagine that this is the last semester. What next? I’m scared that the 9-5 will bring me back to a world of stress I can’t handle. Hopefully without the added pressure of worrying about Mom’s illness & actually caring again about what I am doing, it will be easier to balance. It is strange to have life flip some times. Especially when the comfort clothes don’t even fit the same, the comfort foods are off limits & the ones you would call to get the reminder of who you are, you aren’t able to reach. All part of the adjustment I guess. Time for new comforts. Thankfully some are still around like friends, the family that are here, pets & Panthers football (even if last night’s game wasn’t the birthday wish come true!).

2 favorites of mine - Marilyn & Nikon

2 favorites of mine – Marilyn & Nikon

It is very strange to know that now I am older than an idol ever got to be.

Physically I can truly say I am better off than last year. Well aside from the diabetic stuff. Weight wise anyway. Not where I expected to be by this age, but just have to trust everything works out as it should & keep going.

Which with temperatures like these… how can you not enjoy the moments?

PLUS only 224 days til I will once again be in the happiest place on earth & just like I did when I was celebrating single digit birthdays, knowing this makes me ridiculously happy!

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the 10 Day YOU Challenge: 7 & the DietBet results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10-Day-You-Challenge

 

7 WANTS:

( will skip the obvious stuff like true love, world peace, cure for cancer, perfect health for all & stick to the materialistic stuff. Also great job & dream home on the beach are pretty much assumed right along side ability to swim like a mermaid & communicate with all species! Rest assured when I dream, I dream bigger than a list of 7 so I will limit it to items that can actually be purchased.)

7. This jeep. Love the color and quite frankly I am dying to get something with 4 wheel drive to get out to the North End areas of the beach to go camping & just relax in general. Sure I go to all the other beaches, but I want to be able to drive there too.

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ok pink or purple also would be awesome… black is good too.  Maybe I need to think more on this. But of the fun!

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6. Panthers jersey…. & of course a primo seat with season tickets.

5. Aviary greenhouse combo. Something where beautiful tropical plants can grow & a place where the parrots can get out & enjoy being “outside” but safely.  My own lil paradise.

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4. My own dance studio. Some space to just move around and work out. Barre, mirrored wall to check form when needed, pole & of course a great sound system & a weight bench over in a corner. Would be bliss. I miss the stretching involved in ballet dancing, the release of getting into the music & the strength that came from learning various pole moves.

3. New dish set that magically clean themselves after use. Too much to ask for? They don’t already make those? Why not?

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Ok so I guess just a fun new set of salad plates to have fun with would work too.

2. A boat.  No not just any boat, I want one I can enjoy & travel a bit on. Some space below to sleep.

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Like a ticket to the world. Plus imagine the adventures & the views!

1. All my memories.  Well organized. I wish we had organized all the photos we have taken over the years & made more notes along the way. Noted who was who & what date they were taken, where… all the details we forget. Hoping to start something better than just the old tote full of envelopes or the old peel and stick photo albums, although they are certainly a start. Wild how much work it can be all at once but if we just had done it along the way. No time like the present.

I could dream all day & actually have been thinking about this post several days. So much to desire in life, but also hit me how much I already have. I’m grateful for everything and that at times I have more than enough and am able to share. But oh what fun to dream!

Everything starts with a dream & thankfully I have happy news to report: I won my DietBet!

Baxter was happy too!

Baxter was happy too!

Not sure what the amount won will be, but I lost 14 lbs instead of the 8 lbs that was required. That in itself makes me a winner.  Will find out more after everyone’s outcomes have been verified & they determine how many people won. I have been verified so I am in! There were 1,10 people last I checked so that is a lot of people to verify!  & yes that means a pot of $25,250 to split up.

Hopefully the big payoff will be with improved medical tests when I return to the doctor. Either way I am celebrating with feeling great (& maybe buying myself something non-food). Need to dream more.

On the search for a new bet to place. Certainly can reinvest in myself, because I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

No sugar coating it – Tea time

As if I wasn’t missing it enough, I woke to find today is National Iced Tea Day. Which of course I read as National Sweet Tea Day because there just isn’t any comparison and I still have that mindset. Maybe one day I will forget about it but living in the South just doesn’t make it the easiest. Here tea is sweet. If you dare to specifically order unsweet tea you immediately get asked what sweetener packet you want (Sweet & low, equal, etc) because how could anyone drink tea without a kick of sweetness? (even my spell check doesn’t recognize “unsweet”!)  So yeah the one thing I have cut out (I didn’t drink soda that much before so not even counting that) is the one thing that seems to consistently tempt or taunt me. All a test of my dedication I guess.

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I may be sweet but when it comes to taking care of me, I can be a beast. I’m worth it. Besides when it comes down to it, it really is just flavored water anyway right?

Still. The temptations lurk everywhere.

But the rewards also seem to be appearing. I’ve lost several pounds which didn’t hurt & I dare say I am starting to have a bit more energy back. Could be the change in meds but I have to think that the clean eating has a lot to do with it. I know calories have been reduced (have you tried to eat the same number of calories as a fast food meal in veggies & fruit? it would not be comfortable at all) but also the vitamins are increased and it just seems to feel better.

Still catch myself at times wondering if all this focus on counting grams of sugar & calories, etc is really healthy but I know I will get used to it & at some point I will know what is acceptable & what isn’t. It will come more naturally. Had to laugh at myself when I spilled coffee down my shirt & my first thought wasn’t “Shit” but “Wonder how many calories that was?”. I may be a tad obsessive right now. BUT I know this is for my best & I will not let it get back into dangerous territory. There have been days where I know I haven’t eaten enough & I add food. So it isn’t all about reducing. Focus is on quality and restriction of the parts that are not good for me. Feels good. Strange to do some of the same things that I did in self hate years ago but this time in self love. I don’t even know how to describe how that makes me feel.

Really grateful for so much right now. Second chances & turning bad habits into good ones, in so many ways.

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