Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Saga Continued

Okay, the story has been told. The good, bad, the whole thing. I'm done with it. Yes, I've had adversity. Yes, I've had setbacks that were out of my control. Yes, I've had difficulty, grief and depression. But this is a new day and it's going to be a good one.

What Holli said in her comment is true. It was also something I wanted to touch bases on while I am on this subject. What did the physical therapist say about me when I was seeing her for the back pain? Because I was in such good shape, my progress was easier going. The more out of shape I become, the worse my disk deterioration and pain will become.

Similar things have been said to me by my allergist in the past. A fit person often has less trouble with their asthma than an unfit person. Facts are facts.

So, I'm taking inventory of my life, and here it is:

As far as my physical body goes, I am not dwelling on sizes, but I am taking in to consideration facts. I wear a size 16 petite jean right now. I wear an XL shirt in women's. I am about 40 pounds over the ideal for my height/age/bone structure. My weight is pretty evenly distributed. I am not heavier below my waist or above my waist. I gain weight all over. People have told me I carry my weight well, but that's not a statement I am happy about. Carrying extra weight is not wise for me, given the history of diabetes that is prevelant in my dad's side of the family.

According to recent measurements, I have lost an inch in height. I no longer measure in at 5'4" tall.

My blood pressure is good, as always. It has never been elevated, no matter how stressful my life has been. I thank God for that, because I have some hereditary factors that aren't in my favor. My insulin levels are normal, my heart rate is normal, and my cholesterol is slightly elevated, but not enough to be on medication. In fact, the doctor just checks it once a year. I am a non smoker, always have been, and I don't consume alcohol in excess.

I have a lot going for me, despite a family history of heart disease, diabetes and depression. I am on three daily medications: one low dose depression med, one otc prilosec, one otc non-drowsy allergy pill. I take a one a day vitamin and a skin, hair and nail vitamin.

My strengths include a great nearby support team, including friends Bipsy (at work) and Sandy (up the street), who are trying to get fit as well- and my not so nearby support, including blogger and non blogger pals. My friends talk to me, listen to me and inspire me, and I hope I do the same for them.

Prayer is a strength for me, writing is a strength, and music is a strength. I tend to be an optimist, and I am extremely tenacious when I put my mind to something. Every day when I wake up, I think, "Things could get better today. Things could work out." Even when I'm down and depressed, that thought pops in my mind first thing. I also laugh a lot. I find life ironic and funny... I enjoy comedies, I love to read cartoons and witty stuff. I think laughing is extremely theraputic. I love my animals because they crack me up. I love to cheer people up by being goofy. I think those are strengths.

The conference room at work is a strength. It is roomy enough to work out in, with a t.v., dvd/vcr combo and room to tuck away small hand weights and our stash of walking dvds.

Another strength is that my grandmother always pushed me to eat slowly, and as a result, I've never been able to eat quickly. That training stuck with me. Also, while I've seen people that can eat a whole box of oreos all at once, I've never been able to do that, as about the fifth cookie I feel sicker than a dog. I am a grazer. I snack little bits of this and that all day. That can be a strength, as long as I am aware of what all I'm taking in when I do that.

Rob is a strength to me, though his great cooking has been a weakness of mine in the past. I'm factoring that in to my life. Another weakness of mine is a love of sweets, particularly cake and donuts. I actually refuse, even when I'm not thinking healthy, to eat more than one donut at a sitting, because I get physically ill from the sugar. Especially if I eat it on an empty stomach.

Another weakness is my schedule, which I've covered. 8-5 M-F...9 hour days....45 hours a week, sitting. I must combat this by purposely getting up and moving more. I do have to get up and move for my back's sake, but doing so more frequently is a must. We've covered my health issues, which I consider a weakness, but ones I refuse to succumb to.

So, that's my life inventory. The past behind me, the current facts as they are, and now for the plan.

I have started what I am calling: THE NOTEBOOK.

It is a cute three subject notebook with some pockets in the front, tab dividers and an elastic band to keep it closed when not in use. I bought it for about $4 here at my local Walmart. Here's what it looks like:

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I've divided the notebook in to three sections. The first one is: emotions/inspirations. In this section I take a page to record what's going on in my day. How's work? Any home stress? What good stuff is going on? What is praiseworthy? In this section there is a pocket. In it I put little notes of inspirations....something someone said or did to inspire me. Something someone neicy's blog post yesterday. There's that and something I wrote down that Sandy shared with me...which I will share later. Whatever is going on, I write down a brief summary.

The second section is the one I hate and because I hate it I KNOW I need to do it. It is called food/nutrition. In this section I record everything I eat or drink. I've been real good in the past about "accidently on purpose" forgetting what I've eaten. Recording what I drink helps me see if I am staying hydrated. I never drink enough otherwise. This can impact my energy levels immensely. I keep around me plenty of healthy snacks so if I get hungry, I will have a good option to reach for. The vending machine's call won't be nearly as loud this way.

I am keeping an eye on my caloric intake. but I am not being unfair to myself. If I chose to eat an unhealthy item, I am also choosing to write it down. There is no way I want to write down, "Big Mac, 600 calories, large fry 600 calories." No way. So, this section is making me answer to myself.

Finally, I have the workout/moving section of the book. How many minutes did I walk or strength train? I have a web based pedometer that helps me calculate my calorie burn and mph walked, etc. For strength training I go to to figure out what I should record.

By utilizing all three sections, I hope I am going to learn a great deal about myself. If I am having a bad day, how is this impacting my urge to eat? If I work out, how does that impact my mood? Do I feel a renewed sense of energy? How am I letting the moods of others effect my day? Does a certain food I'm eating seem to provide me with additional energy or take away from it?

I feel good about THE NOTEBOOK plan. :) Again, it makes me answer to ME, and makes me think. Everything we see around us started with a thought. Where I am today has a great deal to do with how I think. Would I live in the country house right now if I hadn't first THOUGHT about wanting to live there? Nope. Would I have this job if I hadn't first THOUGHT about taking a chance at a new career? Nope. Same with my life, my health. My body will not change, my life will not change until I focus my thoughts on becoming the best I can be. I can do this!

I am only weighing myself once a month. Why? Because I am not looking at this NOTEBOOK as a short term goal. It is a life change. Once a month won't discourage me...nor will it encourage me to rely on the scale as motivation. I am not thinking about buying new clothes as a reward. Sure, I will enjoy buying jeans in a smaller size at some point. However, my reward is to truly be in control of my health, living stronger, and living smarter.

Thanks for letting me share this new thinking pattern with you! I'll be relying on you for inspiring thoughts that I find on your blogs on a regular basis! I know YOUR words are going to find their way to my inspiration envelope soon! Thank you in advance for that! ;)

Have a great day!


pat said...

Great idea.

Holli said...

That is so fabulous! And you are on the EXACT right track. When we write down everything we eat, what time we ate and why we ate it is huge! I did that for a while and realized about 2:30 I got bored and I went in search for food. Now I have an apple everyday at 2:30. Even if I'm hungry at 1:45 I tell myself just a few more minutes and you get to eat. It's been working great for me. You can do it. I also find that now that I have my MP3 player... I work out harder and stronger than before. Music is a huge help!
Good luck and I'm rooting for you!

Elliemarie said...

YOu said the critical words-the notebook is not a short term goal. You are totally on the right track with looking at this as a long-term lifestyle change. It's so easy to fall into bad habits so I applaud you for coming up with a realistic, well-thought out plan to develop good habits. You should be so proud of yourself!