Health: Feb 2019 Adjusting My Sails

DisclaimerThis blog is solely for my own benefit.  That I post my goals, accomplishments and failures publicly on my blog is because I want to hold myself to a greater accountability.  If seeing my failures and accomplishments help you in your quest for good health, it makes my writing this all the more special.  If my words bore you, cause you to feel the need to judge or ridicule, or makes you ask why I am writing this in the first place – then just move along without unnecessary comment.  Dimming someone else’s light will not make your light any brighter.

When I was a very young girl, I stayed with my Grandparents in Eccles, WV a considerable amount of time.  There were not a lot of kids my age there who I could play with.  There was a young boy, close to my age, who also visited his Grandparents.  Most importantly about this boy: he had access to horses.  I may have ridden quite extensively, against the wishes of my Mawmaw (and without her knowledge).  I tried extra hard to be careful so I could continue my escapades.  On more than one occasion I might have fallen off the horse.  To ride a horse bareback is not as easy as the movies portray it to be.  On one of those falls I landed flat on my back and knocked the air out of my lungs good and proper.  It took a few minutes for me to gather myself into composure, struggling to take that first gasp of air, doing a mental check list of limb movements to ensure nothing was broken, trying not to cry because only whimpy girls cried, thanking God that it did not kill me outright, and learning from that experience to keep from injuring myself during the next experience.  I thought of that fall this morning as I was planning out my end-of-the-month health update.

Historically, February is my hardest month for both physical and mental wellbeing.  I have a hard time in the winter months with the blues.  I have never been diagnosed with Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) but I am sure I have some variant of the problem.  My motivation is almost nonexistent.  I find myself in a mental slump.  Depressed.  I used to keep a bottle of suntan lotion in my work desk for more difficult days.  I would take it out, put a little into the palm of my hand and then apply the lotion to my hands and arms so every time I moved for the rest of the day, I was able to catch a daydream of summer and sunshine.  It is usually in February that I realize I have already broken most of my New Year’s resolutions and the feeling of being deflated and defeatism sink in.  I thought of all of this also this morning.  The “I could have done better” thoughts.  Then I realized, that is not a horrible thing.  To think I could have done better, because I could have.  The thing that I have to overcome is the feeling of being defeated/deflated.  To learn from this experience to keep from injuring myself during the next experience.  This time around, I am realizing that I just need to adjust my sails.

Through my updates below, I will note how I did not accomplish some goals through a variety of reasons/excuses.  I know that if I have to make an excuse for “failing” at a goal, maybe that goal was not right for me at this time.  I am also one to look for the silver linings.  So, if I failed a goal, maybe there was another habit I realized/reinforced that made up the difference.  Because one goal was not met, does not mean the whole journey is lost.  Not every month will include 100% self-participation and/or accomplishments.  What would I ever learn if that was the case?

*****

Physical

Feb Progress: I continued yoga throughout February. I am thankful that Jen is very patient with me.  I began taking classes in the studio on Thursdays.  I can feel myself growing stronger.  By including one-on-one sessions, I have been able to learn the moves (even though I am still working on proper execution).  A barrier I once had was my hearing impairment.  Taking larger yoga classes, there were times when I could not see/hear the instructor and it led to frustrated feelings of not performing at 100% due to lack of knowledge or hearing commands.  I bought a book on yoga (per my Feb goal) so I can understand what the moves are called and see the word in my head as the command is made.  That might not make sense but I am a word-driven individual.  If I cannot “see” it in my mind or I don’t know how to spell/pronounce it, it can be a barrier for me.  I feel that with a greater understanding of the language that accompanies yoga, I can become more proficient.

I can feel a greater sense of flexibility.  While driving home from my session or class, I feel “good”.  As simple as that sounds, it is still a direction toward contentment.  I went to the chiropractor (Feb goal) and had a poor experience.  I felt that the adjustment was approached in a weird/unfamiliar pattern.  I also feel I did not trust the person who was doing the adjustment and might have tensed up.  For almost two weeks after my back was sore in the area treated (it had not been sore prior to the adjustment).  I decided to hold off on “regular” appointments.  I am considering acupuncture.  I will research availability and coverage through insurance.  I had a Thai massage/yoga session.  I believe that these sessions are better than the chiropractor as the adjustments felt are made in a gentler fashion.

February, already being a short month, saw another obstacle: I had a flare up of diverticulitis. On the 25th I ended up in the emergency room.  They prescribed the necessary meds and I did not go into work the next day.  Two days later I felt as if I had a hangover from the anti-nausea meds they gave me.  By today (Thursday) I felt more myself and have an elevated level of energy.

During January, I lost 5.6 pounds.  I lost an additional 3.8 in February for a total of 9.4 since January 1st.  Not huge losses, I know.  There were some bounces in there.  But these are losses, all the same.  To reach my first goal weight, I need to lose an additional 17.2 pounds.  I will adjust and change my goal when I reach that.  I am in no hurry and am trying to be healthy in my approach.

Things to think about: I chose to not do a “before” photo.  However, I have a photo from December I will be using for personal reference.  I think that it is sometimes hard for me to realize progress because I cannot “see” it.  A visual aid will be useful.  Not sure if I will ever make those public.  But not everything is for public consumption.

March goals

  • The one February goal not met was home workouts.  My obstacle to achieve that goal is cleaning the basement after a recent room addition.  There is a ton of sawdust everywhere (including on my equipment).  The main March goal is to have the basement tidied up and home workouts to begin.  I did get in a workout at the gym in Huntington.  As the skydive season picks up and Husband and I begin to spend more time there, I will be incorporating more gym time into my weekly routine.
  • There is a rail-trail in Gallipolis which is easily accessible and paved.  I want to first hike the trail and then to bike it.  I want to make sure to incorporate bike rides into my weekly routines.  I am not great at foul weather fitness.  This will be an obstacle to overcome.
  • Research potential camping trips that include the availability of hiking, biking or kayaking.

Physical Areas Needing Improvement:

  • Flexibility, Balance and Strength
  • Tone without unrealistic expectations
  • Incorporate more physical activities in my weekly schedule

Physical obstacles:

  • Body Image Issues
  • Time Management
  • Lack Of Resources
  • Sustainability

*****

Nutrition:

Feb Progress: In January I incorporated eating a daily breakfast into my routine.  The reasoning behind this is twofold.  First, my doctor advised on having the larger portion of my caloric intake occur first thing in the morning.  This was discussed as a way to improve my A1C (blood glucose) numbers.  Secondly, I find that I comfort/boredom eat at my desk with fair regularity.  By having a well balanced breakfast, it will help stave off those snacking urges.  I continued through February with this habit and am happy to say that I have cut out at-work snacking.  I will need to work on after work snacking in the future.

I decided to not try the Whole30 in mid-February, as previously planned.  I decided to reduce/cut out a number of things however.  Dairy was the easiest of these things.  Bread was not very difficult because we do not have bread in the house.  However, while eating out, bread seems to always be on the table.  I love bread so it proves to be hard some times. Processed sugar is the most difficult thing to adjust.  I have decided to “reduce” at this point (with success).  The cutting out might be further into my journey or maybe not at all.  I have substituted fruit for sweets I normally eat at work.

I need to send my friend, Pam, a thank you note for a metal water bottle she gave me last year.  I have finally started to use it and have made it a point to drink one bottle between each of my three pre-noon cups of coffee.  I get one additional bottle in before the end of the work day.  I then use it at home continuously.  It has been a great help.  I have not performed well with tracking the intake, but I can promise you it has been increased dramatically.  I will be buying a couple more similar bottles so I have one for work, home, travel and a spare. It is an added bonus that my plastic use is reduced considerably by this.

With the diverticulitis flare up: once I was able to eat without feeling like I would die, I found myself somewhat comfort eating.  Not a lot (because I removed most of my go-to foods from my reach).  But enough to feel slovenly.  I need to be better prepared and have more healthy options on hand.  I am proud of Husband who has been opting for healthier treats in his lunch box.  Another problematic item with the diverticulitis: doctors are NOW saying that there is no particular food that causes the issue to flare up, it just happens.  Previously patients were told to avoid nuts, seeds, corn and other hard to digest foods.  In February I started eating nuts again.  The day of the flare up I had eaten a number of cashews.  Maybe they were the cause of my gastric distress, maybe not.  I can tell you that I will probably be less inclined to ever eat cashews again.

I was 50/50 on the goal of monitoring my blood glucose levels.  I took samples 17 times through February.  The average reading over those 17 tests is 141.  I know that as I lose weight and continue to eat healthy, that will improve.  It is nonetheless disheartening.  Now that I have a benchmark average, I will be able to see the progress and setbacks with greater clarity.

Things to think about: I need to work on prepping veggies for both time management and ease of task.  It was a hit or miss thing in February for me.  That needs improvement.  I need to research some sustainable life hacks.

In my January blog I noted: Need to read more re: diverticulosis and doctors now saying that you can eat nuts and corn.  Am I willing to risk the pain? – I am no longer willing to risk the pain.

March Goal:

  • Clean out the freezer in the garage / meal prep and monthly meal planning
  • Keep a food diary – it will help better understand blood glucose levels and help with nutrition goals
  • More regularity in daily testing of blood glucose (AM and PM)

Nutritional Areas Needing Improvement:

  • Borderline Type 2 Diabetic
  • Comfort foods taken to the extreme
  • Wider range of healthy recipes

My nutritional obstacles:

  • Time Management
  • Lack of resources
  • Sustainability

*****

Mental Wellbeing:

Feb Progress:  I finished reading A Lion Among Men and by the end of the day today I will have finished the fourth (and LONGEST) of the Wicked series, Out of Oz. I may stray away from listening to multi-book series for a while.  I believe switching up what I am listening to will be beneficial in completing books in a quicker fashion.

If I can get it together properly, I hope to have a pedicure on my way home this evening.  I had hoped to do more self care of this nature. Get into a regular routine of haircuts and mani/pedicures.

I only mediated at the end of yoga sessions in February.  I have downloaded meditation guides from Amazon and still did not find my way to meditate.  I also did not reach out to Jen’s recommendation.

I believe in the notion that clutter and depression go hand-n-hand.  February saw a total clean, reorganize and introduction of pieces into my personal office/library.  It has returned to being my sanctuary.

Things to think about: I need to find a new vision doctor. My day-to-day reading computers (and personal reading) is hampered by the continued blurry vision issue.

March Goals:

  • Speak with Jen’s recommendation to see what services he offers
  • Plan things that improve my self confidence
  • Plan a weekly self care item – including maybe weekly flowers for the house
  • Actually meditate
  • Try to increase picture taking opportunities

Areas Needing Improvement:

  • Anxiety / Depression
  • Follow Through
  • Sparking Joy

My Obstacles:

  • Body Image Issues
  • Time Management
  • Lack Of Resources Sustainability

*****

February thoughts: I had some great successes and a few adjustments to my course of actions. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain course when you do not see IMMEDIATE results.  Patience was never a strong suit with me.  I am happy with where I am.  (one. step. at. a. time.) I look forward to the new goals I am setting.  I cannot wait for warmer weather and more outdoor activities.

I hope you are doing well with your health journey.  I am here for you, if ever you need a sounding board.

See you in March with another update!

For now, here are some February photos….

    

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