Sharing my experience; striving for my goal. This journey to a healthier me is about enjoying my grandchildren to the fullest, travelling along the less-beaten path in countries around the world and, someday, rocking beside a cozy fire with a smile on my face knowing I made the world a better place by actively connecting with it every day.
Sunday, 5 August 2012
Words with Wings
"Thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become character, and
character becomes destiny."
Hey, I lost a 10 pound chin!
I am sitting here knowing there is a message in my heart that I need to share. I have re-read my blog and it hits me that there have been many, many times I would have quit my efforts to become healthier if it had not been for this blog and my original committment to never give up - to change my story one action at a time. This positioning of my will to change has given me the motivation to keep on trekking no matter what the results and absorb the lessons to be learned along the way.
Eight lessons I have learned (so far!):
A journey to any destination is enhanced by the people who
share it with you along the way.I have
a life right now I only dreamt of years ago - shared with a wonderful man who
is my best friend, greatest supporter and wise guru.He cheers from the sidelines, cooks according
to my current eating style and offers support and wisdom along the way.I have also connected with three amazing
women - my sisters - and soaked in their wisdom, encouragement and love.AND, I have friends who cheer me on -
period!No advice or comments other than
the sharing of their own journey - their story - and that has reverberated with
me throughout these seven months.
I have discovered that the journey
consists of small steps toward health - not weight loss.It is about accessing the help I needed to
improve my health in every aspect.A
year ago I took the first steps before my big committment in January.I sought out the medical attention I needed for
my sleep apnea.I addressed my potential
food allergies or sensitivities and embarked on an elimination diet that
resulted in a 24 lb weight loss (which was not the focus) in six weeks - rapid
weight loss which has stayed off because it was a huge change to my eating - a
change from a lifetime of overdosing on sugar and other highly refined carbs as
well as over indulgence in grains.Only
4 lb returned after I went off the elimination diet but applied what I had learned
and kept my sugar and grain consumption under control.At no point was I starving myself - I ate
healthy amounts of normal food throughout.The weight lost was a lot of fluid I was retaining and some fat, of course.It was the loss of a recent weight gain as
well and brought me down to my usual HIGH weight.
I learned a lot about myself as I
endured a knee injury (torn meniscus) early in my journey in January and it was
not just about how I ate!I made the
decision not to isolate but to reach out for the help (it took me a few months
to come to this conclusion but I did eventually get there).I needed.I accepted: my partner's offer to drive me to work and many, many other
loving deeds when I was at my worst; my youngest sister's wisdom to walk me
through some stretching in my recovery and to embrace the beauty of the world
around me even if it was cool and damp; my oldest sister's suggestion that I
try using stabilizer poles to help with my walking; and, once again, to seek
medical help for recovery through physio and, yes, drugs.
I discovered an inner strength that surfaced when I was temporarily disabled
during my knee injury - an overwhelming desire to recover my mobility and
strength.My knee injury was the
catalyst to force me to face my sedentary life style full on.Once I lost the ability to walk without pain,
recovering and strengthening my body to protect myself from future injury
became a driving force to get moving.Small steps, to be sure, but I continue to increase my walking using
stabilizer poles - first to prevent further injury but now because they
increase my work out by adding movement to my arms and upper body.
My guiding quote at the top of my
blog was incorporated at the beginning - before I even learned this wisdom in
my heart.Knowledge in your head is
really still just in your head.Absorbing it into your heart or inner being is true learning.Sometimes that takes a challenging event or a
loving friend's sharing or reading a book at the right time.One of my "ah ha moments" about
change came after I started Weight Watchers and discovered that the nights I
didn't walk I often ate at 10 or 11 or midnight - crazy eating that was very
hard to control.I realized then that
the walking at night was more than just exercise - it was a change to my usual
pattern of TV, computers or more TV.It
was a time outside in the sun or rain, walking and talking with a loving
partner and sharing life, plans, thoughts and ideas.These flowed naturally when we started moving
without the distraction of a screen - TV or monitor.Also, a fifteen minute stretch out on a
convenient bench on our campus or a short walk in a park contributed immensely
to my mood and energy throughout that hard stretch at work between 2 and 4 PM!
I originally focused my journey on finding out what foods made me feel good -
yes, really!I discovered through my
elimination diet that grains/sugar made me feel sluggish with accompanying
brain fog and allergic reactions which affected my eyes in particular.By eliminating these my brain and eyes
cleared.I recognized that I could eat
grains - even wheat - in small doses but cannot incorporate them in large
quantities without affecting my eyes or brain fog.Overdoing and I was very quickly back where I
started.I started to substitute some of
the usual grain choices with quinoa and immediately felt better.No one told me this - it was through research
online, similiar family issues including a granddaughter with celiac and a
daughter with a newly identified wheat allergy.I just know through my experimentation that I feel so much better when I
don't eat grains too often.I also
started to take a good quality multivitamin from Melaleuca and an Omega 3
supplement plus some chondroitin for my joints (also Melaleuca).
Join a Community
Three weeks ago, I joined Weight
Watchers online - AGAIN!I believe I had
a lot to learn before I could committ to a weight loss program of any kind -
especially one I have played around with for years.I knew that to continue this journey I needed
to lose the weight somehow and it couldn't happen in isolation.My search led me to Weight Watchers.Two of my sisters have also committed to this
healthy program and are slowly losing the weight we "daughters of a baker"
have struggled with over the years.Plain and simple - it works!The
new Points Plus program reduces the portion size while cunningly motivating you
to choose your foods wisely.While I
continue to control my grain consumption, the weight watchers program provides
me with a teaching mechanism to develop better eating habits, ideas for
continuing activity in some way through the seasons and a community of online
peers to send an encouraging word or high five when it is most needed.I am not alone!
This one is key to my continuing on this path as it affects all others.Having embraced the "never give up"
attitude of a winner I find myself much more open to letting life in.When you are living life carefully with a
shell around you to protect you from your fears and from feeling, you shut out
so much of life and what constitutes living.Although I was starting to learn this four years ago, it was when I made
the decision to live authentically that the miracle started to happen.I opened up some windows on my life that had
been kept closed for year - places in my being that I was not willing to share
with others.My views, opinons, beliefs,
values -all were open as I became who I am openly and with excitement.That feeling grew and soon I was saying yes
to more and reaping wisdom, energy and joy in return.Of course this can all be explained by
psychology and science but for me it is, and will remain, a personal experience
with no explanation required.I laugh
more, I cry more, I live more.I spend
less time pretending I am perfect and more time exposing my mistakes so others
maybe can learn from them - or at least, learn that being imperfect is alway
more joyful than pretending to be perfect!I play and tease, my eyes sparkle and I feel that ripple effect - you
know, when there is a feeling inside that builds and rises to your throat and
then erupts into a smile or a laugh.When you look at a grandchild digging in the sand or a grown daughter
embracing a life of travel and openness - all brings joy.When a tomato ripens in your garden and is
graces your pizza that night, you enjoy.When the warmth of the sun seeps into your body, you enjoy.When a sister calls and shares a little of
herself, you enjoy.When your partners
turns to you and takes your arm as you stumble, you enjoy.
journey continues and another five months exist on this blog.