Category Archives: Healthy Me – Yay!

Cape Cod Nature Trails

2016 came and went with quite a bit of mixed emotions.  Another year older, another year of supposed wisdom. Yet, I find that with everything that happened in 2016, I still had a sense of helplessness and odd mix of anxiety about what this year held. Another year older and yet i don’t know that I have much to show for myself.  Another year of opportunity lies ahead and I plan on reaching again. If I don’t, then next year I will have even less to show for myself.

One goal for 2017 is to get out more.  Living on Cape Cod provides so many opportunities to get out into Nature. Some even believe walking in the woods is as good as getting therapy.  Everyone knows about the pristine beaches, but there are also many acres of preserved woods and trails all over Cape Cod that are free to the public.

We started the day after Christmas and have been off discovering trails we know and trails we have never even heard of.  It’s been fun exploring the beauty of the Cape in a new way. The woods have been relaxing and a personal experience, yet sharing the walks with family has been nice too because we are able to share in the beauty of the place we call home.

hiking_trail_sign_sticker

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Filed under Exercise, Family, Family Activities, Healthy Me - Yay!

Under Pressure?

There are times when I realize that my self-induced state of procrastination is the cause of my anxiety when it comes to completing projects.  In 2014, I really am trying to approach life with less anxiety.  I have seen some people say that they are choosing a word to visualize and focus on for the year.  Normally, I would view this as some kind of new age mumbo-jumbo that may or may not work.  However, this year, I’m trying to cast aside my cynicism and open my mind to something new because clearly, my cynicism isn’t exactly working out so well for me.

My word is:

happy

Whatever “happy” means, that’s what I’m aiming for.  There are lots of meanings for happy and how it applies to life.  I could just have a happy day.  I could have a happy accident.  I could just try to find happiness in every situation.  Happy.

Where does that leave my procrastination?  Where does that leave my last minute pressure of making something perfect in a less than perfect amount of time?

I think that it leaves my procrastination being tossed out the window.  I used to tell myself that I only worked best under pressure.  Working at the front desk of a busy Cape Cod hotel, I was constantly under some kind of pressure during the summer months, coincidentally my favorite months of work.  There were complaints, room moves, last minute tours…all things that required me think fast, perform quickly, and get nothing wrong.  The pressure pushed me to perform at my personal best.  At least that’s what I thought.

If I’m trying to focus on Happy, doesn’t that mean I should be trying to eliminate stress that I can control?  My brain says “Duh, stress is ridiculous!”; my heart says “But, I like the pressure. It’s a big thrill to see how well I can do in the eleventh hour.”  Well, my heart might not really like the pressure because the pressure can sometimes cause high blood pressure which could ultimately kill me.  If I’m dead, then any goals I may have planned are pretty much null and void.  It’s just that I have become used to that kind of pressure.  I have convinced myself that it’s the only way that I can get things done.

Silly as it may seem, I must get over that mentality.  I have to take one step at a time.  Plan a little, not excessively, to complete goals and not leave them to the last minute and expect to have the results that I really want.  So while I may feel I work best under some kind of pressure, I have to accept that it does not make me happy.  Since happy is my word this year, I have to try to obtain that word and stay focused.  Procrastination – I’m sorry, you are no longer welcome to the party known as my life.

This post is part of the January 2014 NaBloPoMo.  This month’s theme is “Pressure.”  Today’s prompt was “Do you work well under pressure?”

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Eating Cupcakes While Watching the Biggest Loser?

The Biggest Loser is inspirational, a little unrealistic, but inspirational nonetheless.  Watching this show, I’m reminded, for the umpteenth time, as to why I haven’t completely given up on Weight Watchers.  I may have been moving a snail’s pace, but I haven’t given up 100%.

Watching these people stand up on national television and bear it all to help inspire others is pretty amazing.  And yet, here I sit, enjoying a chocolate cupcake.

Yep.  A chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting and fall colored jimmies.  It was good.

By Kat Kellner [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Kat Kellner [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I probably should have been doing squats or lunges.

Sometimes, I think I need Jillian or Bob to yell at me to keep my fat butt in motion.  But then I realize, that they can yell at me all they want.  If I don’t fix what is broken, it won’t matter one bit.  The broken parts will always be broken.  It’s hard work.  Having done some form of this hard work my whole life (since I was 8), I get tired of it.  It’s what’s wrong right now. I’m tired of having to weigh and measure every single bite. I’m tired of having to write everything down.  I’m tired of having to wake up thinking about it.  It wears you down.  Even if I get to a point where I’m at a healthy weight, I will still have to track, weigh, measure.  Constant vigilance.

It’s sometimes discouraging.  But, then I think about being six feet under and not being able to see the Daughter hit some of life’s major milestones…that’s even more discouraging.

It’s a constant struggle. I know that I cannot give up, but on the other hand, I have never been able to fully imagine myself at the finish line.  Either way, I’m not giving up. Time to pony up and put the cupcake down.

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Filed under Emotional Health, My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But Names will Make Me Fat

I read this article today from NPR, “Hating On Fat People Just Makes Them Fatter.”  It’s interesting because here we are in 2013 and it’s one of the first time a study like this has been done.  I am a little amazed by that fact but, given the state of America today compared to even 20 years ago, I suppose it’s not that shocking.

eating cinnarolls

The study observed over 6,000 people who had been discriminated for whatever reason.  Four years later, they followed up with those people and found that those who had cited weight as their discrimination factor were still obese and possibly even heavier than they had been before.  While I’d like to think America is over being racist and discriminatory, I know that it’s not.  Look in the department stores.  See if you can find the “Women’s” sizes.   If you can, how small is the section compared to the rest of the store?  Then compare the prices…

I remember having times in my life where people would tell me that no one would want me if I kept gaining weight.  Mind you I was around 13, 14, 15 when those things were said.  It makes an impact to hear words like that come from someone who thinks they are “trying” to help you.  I remember feeling like I wasn’t good enough then so what was the point?

If only that were as deep as it went...

If only that were as deep as it went…

The worst part about it all was trying to understand that what was being said was being said out of love.  I remember on time, for a birthday in middle school, I had a friend come and stay with me at my Nana’s and she made a comment along the lines that it was too bad I wasn’t thin and pretty like my friend.  It was her weird way of trying to encourage me to work on my weight.  Needless to say, that was the last time that friend did anything with me.  I wonder sometimes if I reacted badly after that comment – it’s quite possible.

I am fascinated that people needed a study to realize that these types of “motivators” are really detrimental to people who are struggling with obesity.  Some people think it’s as simple as “Just don’t eat it.”  Sadly, for some of us, it’s not that simple.

The worst part is when you are working on it, because there is no quick solution that instantly transforms your body, people don’t always know you are working on it.  People just let their mouths flap, despite the fact that you are going to your doctor every three months for check-ins and you go to your weekly weight watchers meeting.  They don’t see it.  They just see the fat person that they assume is lazy.

As I work toward my goals, I have to not get angry at those comments.  I have to let go of the hurt that was caused by those “helpful” comments.  I have to just move forward and keep working toward a better me, no matter what names are thrown my way.

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Filed under Emotional Health, Exercise, Healthy Me - Yay!, My Relationship with Food

Suck it Scale!

It is Thursday. Date night with the scale. I was apprehensive about it because I was afraid that I would have a gain after the previous night out with the husband. I made a rookie move and ordered fried clams! the night before weigh in. Of course that only added to my nerves.

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I faced the scale though and I was victorious!

Loss/Gain: -1.2
Lbs to next 5 lb goal: 3.8

 

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The Scale and Her Numbers

Since February of 2012, my health hasn’t been so great.  Two operations later, I’m finally ready to get back to my weight loss goals.  That also means that I’ll probably be posting a little more about my journey.  I feel like calling it a journey is cliché.  I mean, yes, it’s a mental journey in a manner of speaking but I’m not really going anywhere.  According to dictionary.com, I fall more closely to the 4th definition of journey: passage or progress from one stage to another: the journey to success.  I guess that works.

more than a day

Tonight was my weigh in at my trusty Weight Watchers meeting.  It was ugly. I’m fairly confident it was ugly for a few reasons.

1) I usually stop eating and drinking around 2 pm on weigh in day.  Today, however, I was drinking and grazing right up until 4pm.  My meeting is at 5:30.

2) It has been ridiculously humid which means any kind of moisture is staying in my body.

3) I purposely wore jean shorts, knowing that today was the baseline.

4) I have been horribly lying to myself in my tracker.

I could continue along on all the wrong things I have done and all the things I should be doing, but honestly, what would be the point?  I know what I did and it’s time to make the changes I need to make before the clothing situation gets any more depressing.

I am sorry if these kinds of posts annoy you.  Skip them if you want.  I just sometimes feel that there is some kind of extra accountability in posting this experience to anyone who is willing enough to read it.   Also, you will understand if there is a sudden tone shift in my posts…those will be the days I’m working on removing one of the not so good foods, like sugar and eventually diet coke, from my diet.  I promise to not make you want to go insane but, I will probably check-in weekly with updates ( because in my mind, you all want me to succeed!) and maybe a recipe or two as I get back to whole foods and clean eating.

It’s time to get healthier!

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Birthday Traditions

Today, June 11, would have been my aunt’s 60th birthday.  It might explain the pouring rain today.  She must have been camping somewhere in heaven.  I’d like to imagine that at 60 she would have been just as active as she had been 10 years ago.  Camping with Girl Scouts, traveling, and just doing what she loved doing.

I thought about her a lot today to be honest with you.  I thought about how we would always celebrate the June birthdays (my Aunt, my Mom, and I all had our birthdays in that order too) on a Sunday in June at my Aunt’s and Nana’s house.  I thought about how much the Daughter would have had fun at one of those little family gatherings.  I thought about how they were just nice days together, laughing, talking, genuinely enjoying each other.

The tradition has morphed a little since she passed.  We do a little more than just go to my Mom’s house and have lunch and cake.  We go and do something: bowling, 5 Wits at Patriot’s Place, Dave & Busters, and other fun times. It’s nice because it keeps me and the three brothers, and my sister-in-laws (The Husband’s sister often comes with her Boyfriend which is nice) close.  We have fun.  We laugh.  We still keep that sense of family – something that is so very important to me.

Mom's Birthday Fun 2012

Mom’s Birthday Fun 2012

In addition to that tradition, I have my own personal tradition that I have started since the passing of my aunt.  She lost her battle to cervical cancer on January 12, 2010.  Now, twice a year, on that date in January and on her birthday, I like to remind people to take care of themselves.

If you haven’t made your annual doctor appointments, call and make them.  If you need to have your annual pap test, schedule it.  If you need to have your annual physical, schedule it.  Get your blood work looked at. Get screened for skin cancer.  Get your prostate checked.  Don’t lose the best defense you have – EARLY DETECTION!

gynecologic cancer

My aunt discovered her cancer too late, as often is the case with gynecological cancers.  Trust me – after my own freakish cyst managed to grow to the size of a grapefruit, unbeknownst to me, in less than six months – think about what it could have been if it had been undetected!  Gynecologic cancers are tricky because so many women write them off as cramping or as bloating from something they ate.  In my case, I thought it was just because I was overweight and it was just one more reminder to focus on Weight Watchers.  Scarily enough, no…it wasn’t.  Men often do the same thing.

GYN_symptoms_matrix

Know your body.  Know what’s normal for you.  When something is not up to your normal standard, talk to your doctor.  Ask questions.  Doctors are not scary mean people.  They are there to keep you healthy.  They like patients to take an active role in their healthcare.  Before my surgery, I went in with a list of written questions just because there were so many unknown factors.  The doctor thought that was wise and she took the time to answer every single one and then some!

So, dear readers, in honor of my Aunt, take the time to take care of yourself.  Your loved ones don’t want to say good bye too soon.  They want to celebrate your 60th birthday with you.  They want you to be around to laugh with them, talk with them, and maybe play laser tag at the next family birthday get together!

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Filed under Cancer Awareness, Family Activities, NaBloPoMo

A Week of Recovery

It has been seven whole days since I posted last.  A lot has happened over the past week or so.  A lot that has been rattling around in my head.  That means it’s time to purge and guess what dear reader, you are the lucky ones who will be able to maybe see some sense in my chaos…

1)  Losing an ovary and a fallopian tube is strange.  I feel the space.  Maybe it’s phantom pains but I know it’s not there and I know that it feels different than my left side.  I have photos but will spare you all the images that show the dermoid and the paratubal cysts that had been growing.  It’s weird.  I suppose it’s good that I don’t need both.  Just weird…

I could always get this to replace that emptiness I feel...hahaha!

I could always get this to replace that emptiness I feel…hahaha!

2) Reading is wonderful.  I have had a lot of time during this week of recovery.  I have done A LOT of reading.  Reading for work about SEO practices, Social Media Marketing techniques, books for my own pleasure, magazines, flipboard articles…lots and lots of reading.  I had a preview of what my life will be like when I am old and cannot work.  I will read and never be bored.

3)  NaBloPoMo for May was another bust.  I had hoped it would keep me focused but the hormonal imbalance mentioned before made writing kind of a mess.  I was crying at the drop of a hat, kind of like just after I had given birth…weird…but not good for writing blog posts.  They would have been all over the map, kind of like this one, but more sappy and more whiney.

4) Memorial Day is here.  It’s the offical start of summer.  God grant me the patience to not kill the tourists who cannot drive the rotary.

be a traveler not a tourist

On a more serious note, Thank you to those who have fought and sacrificed to give me the chance to be a traveler and enjoy our country and all the freedoms that come with living here.

5) Weight loss better get easier now that I am done feeling like crap.  Once I am cleared for exercise, it’s on like Donkey Kong.  And yes, I just went there.

So, there we have it.  I am going to attempt to write out the rest of May’s NaBloPoMo and continue to write.  I am signing up for June because now it really is a personal challenge to finish one entire month.  I am determined.  I do not foresee any health issues (knock on wood) that will prevent me from being able to stay lucid enough to get in every day!

Summer – Bring. It. On.

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Outside the Zone

I am a creature of habit. That may be a giant understatement. I really find my groove and stick in it because it is safe. Safe is good. Safe is known. Safe let’s me breathe more easily. Safe is no way to live life.

I grew up in a town that didn’t have a high school because it was just that small when I was a student there. That meant for high school we were sent to the next town. Our small group of 75 kids, the same 75 kids that had been together since kindergarten, were now going to be merged with about 300 other kids. The week before my freshman year, I was so nervous I was sick every night. I didn’t know the teachers. I didn’t have an older sibling to tell me about the three cafeterias. I didn’t know and I didn’t like not knowing. It was a good thing for me because I was forced out of my small pond. I was uncomfortable but I know I had some amazing times with some amazing people. College was more of the same.

Now I find myself a mother. Talk about being out of your comfort zone. Someone is now my responsibility. Scary. I hope I don’t make her neurotic like I have recently become. Though I like to think I am neurotic with some good cause.

This past Friday, I had surgery to remove three pretty big cysts as well as the parts they were growing on. My comfort zone has been completely dissolved. I realize that this bubble I thought I had created as my comfort zone was really more my scared zone. I go there when I am terrified, not when I am happy. When I am there, I am stifled, stymied by the thoughts that fill my head. I retreat into myself and slowly drive myself insane with the negative things.

With this surgery, I am in uncharted water. I don’t quite know what is in store. I don’t know. Even this recovery is just plain weird. I am forced to be aware of my body and pay attention to everything to make sure I heal correctly. I am well away from my comfort zone. My comfort zone would have had me hiding in my room pretending that I didn’t need surgery; the pain I had been feeling in my hip was nothing. My comfort zone would have killed me.

Realizing this, I know that after I recover, I have a new goal. Well, not so much a new goal as an old goal renewed. I need to focus on my health. I need to live a healthy lifestyle. I need to live. In my mind, living is riding the zip line across the river in New Hampshire, biking across Cape Cod, maybe even trying to set up a local amateur tennis tournament for cervical and ovarian cancer research. I need to get out more and make a change. I need to always live outside my comfort zone. Because when I am in my comfort zone, I am not living.

This post was written as part of the May NaBloPoMo. The theme this month is comfort. Today’s prompt was “How much do you push yourself to leave your comfort zone?”

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Music for the Mood

Music is one of those forces that can bring me off the ledge. I call it a force because it truly moves me. I know that whatever emotion I am feeling, there is a song that will help me calm down, cry it out, or come to some kind of empowered feeling over whatever may be troubling me.

I don't think I've ever listened to music like this...

I don’t think I’ve ever listened to music like this…

To pick just one song is difficult because, for me, it really depends on the mood.

If I am feeling upset or maybe angry, Tori Amos can usually do the trick with most anything off of the Little Earthquakes cd.  I think it’s because that particular album is so raw and open. She pours her soul into every song and to this day, it does something to me.  I can get in my good cry, shake my fists at the ghosts in my head, and move on.

On those perfect summer days, the days where the sky is a perfect blue and the sunroof and all the windows are rolled down, I find I need something happy and moving, even if it means I might risk a speeding ticket.  Dave Matthews Band (Two Step, Dancing Nancies, Warehouse), O.A.R. (Crazy Game of Poker, Dareh Meyod, Hey Girl, Love and Memories), U2 (Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby) are all songs and albums that can make me just want to drive until I run out of gas just because I can.

driving music

The blur I see when I drive listening to music that makes me happy.

Music is powerful.  Don’t ever underestimate it!

This post is part of the May NaBloPoMo.  The theme for the month is Comfort.  Today’s prompt is “What song do you play to bring yourself comfort?”  Tired…that’s why this post is so short…tired…

What songs comfort you?

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