Tag: weight loss

Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go – Days 5 & 6

Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go – Days 5 & 6

too much coffeeI’m completely blown away by how much energy I have in such a short amount of time. At times I don’t think my body knows what to do with it, as I often feel keyed up (for lack of better expression) or HOT! I think I’m past the hot flash stage, but maybe I woke my hormones up.  That might not be all bad!

Yesterday,  the keyed up thing did not feel good unless I was doing something; felt more like one might feel when you drink too much coffee. I couldn’t stop talking, or thinking, or writing, or doing…and I just wanted to chill! Poor Scott wanted to put a sock in my mouth — and to think I used to be quiet! My massage therapist told me on Saturday that she could feel so much energy coming from my head that it was clear my brain was working overtime! We didn’t stop talking through the whole thing, so the massage was no help in that regard.

It occurred to me that the last three years I have been largely shut down. The first year after the accident I pretty much just sat in a chair. I didn’t go anywhere or do anything besides a little writing and such. I almost never left the house except for rehab or doctor’s appointments. The second year was only slightly better. I did go more places, albeit reluctantly, and move my body some. The third year I have been on a roller coaster of feeling good and crashing. I walked almost every day, unless I was in the valley. So perhaps, and I’m waiting for Crystal’s input, I’m firing up the engines and need to move! 🙂

I’ve accomplished more in the past week than I’ve accomplished in the last month. My brain is clearer, my focus is better and believe it or not, I’m doing better with the limited food choices.

I’m going to end this and go put up some info on what I’m doing. I’ve appreciated all the support I’ve been receiving.  I wasn’t even looking for it when I began this blog. I just needed to help process the whole thing as I went and to help me find perspective. It has been such a bonus to talk to all of you and to exchange thoughts and experiences. Thank you! You’ve made it easier. DS

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6

Day #7 – The Body Mind Spirit Connection

 

The Morning After the Night Before – Day #2

The Morning After the Night Before – Day #2

Tiffanie At White Sands by Woodie Duncan
Tiffanie At White Sands by Woodie Duncan

Nobody should have to drink swamp water first thing in the morning. I just have to get that off my chest. Even if it tastes sorta okay, really that’s a stretch, I feel more like a frog than a human being. It just isn’t natural! Give me spinach and lettuce  if you have to, but icky green water? No thanks!

I made it through Day #1. My only cheat was coffee with a splash of fat-free half and half. I started Day #2 the same, so now that my confession is complete here’s what I’m discovering.

It was both easy and hard. Easier than I expected, hard because it took work, focus and argh discipline. When I went to bed, after a cup of home-made vegetable beef soup and two Tylenol, I thought there’s no way in hell I can keep this up. I have to admit, however, I was proud of myself…a little.

The most valuable tool that I used throughout the day was something I’ve been practicing for some time: mindfulness, staying in the moment. When my mind wanted to jump ahead to dreading my next meal, or lack thereof, I brought it back to the moment. Just now. Be here. When you are here, you can’t wallow in self-pity or despair over what could have been or  might never be. I will, can, and do drink the swamp water  in this moment. That’s it. That’s my only thought, and then it’s done, and I can go back to writing.

I have an intellectual awareness that food = comfort, and have paid lip service to how it’s impacted my life, but yesterday, I began to explore the connection in a deeper, more personal way. First, there is almost nothing on this diet that offers me comfort, except for the sweet potato that I had at 3:00.

Comfort is an illusive thing and often, it is not even clear what need we are trying to meet. Yesterday, I realized that I have a powerful need for security. It’s stronger now perhaps  than it was in the past, as I have come to  a place where I have almost none of the typical types of security, such as a steady job, certain income or a husband with same. I do not have the external structures I once had, such as kids to raise, parents to care for, or again a job outside of the home.

Over the last several years since the accident I unconsciously created a meal regimen that offered me structure, security and comfort all in one. I found healthy foods that I enjoyed for breakfast and lunch and that’s what I ate…every day. Eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, fruit/yogurt/nuts for lunch. Dinner was whatever my husband fixed, and as I’m not a fan of dinner, it was simply a meal at a structured time that filled my stomach.  I moved on with enjoyment, however, to a cup or two of decaf coffee with flavored cream and later a bowl of cereal and/or a low-fat fudge pop. All of this comfort food, albeit healthy to some extent,  is not on my food list now.

The absence of the opportunity to find structure, security and comfort at meal time and beyond is forcing me to look at new ways to fill this need. Interestingly enough, today I was eager to write down my foods, take my supplements and write this blog. Ah, structure, of a different sort. Security can be found in participating in planned, creative or functional tasks. It’s only the beginning.

I had very dark, vivid and ominous dreams. It must be my “rebellious liver”! I’m always amazed at the creativity of the psyche. If I could have recorded my dream, it would have made an awesome horror flick. Where does all that stuff come from???

Before I end I have to say a word about my husband, Scott. I would not be honest if I did not say that we have had our difficulties during our thirty-two years of marriage, so those of you who are single, please don’t assume as I did when I was single that it is an easier or better life, because it is not. It is different. It presents its own opportunities for growth or avoidance of growth. Single or coupled, in the end we must always face ourselves. Perhaps being single offers one a better opportunity for an authentic life as one is forced more readily to face oneself,  but I digress.

Scott has supported me in every endeavor I have ever decided to undertake. He never questions my choices, criticizes my madness, or stands in the way of my valiant attempts to be me. In fact, he almost always jumps right in and participates in whatever way he can. When I opened Baby’s Best, my used baby furniture store, and I was 7 months pregnant, he was right there beside me,  hauling furniture, putting up shelves, and keeping an eye on our then three-year old son. When I said, “Let’s move to Virginia”, he rented and packed the truck while I sold the house. When I said, “Let’s buy a fixer upper”, he was right there, knocking down walls, laying flooring, and installing appliances while

Breakfast Day #2

I painted and painted and painted. When I decided to sell jeans on eBay, he bought and assembled shelving and helped me turn one of our spare bedrooms into a warehouse. That’s just the short list. Now, as I attempt to modify my health, he is right there with me, unceremoniously preparing meals for me like the one in the picture (my breakfast). After a hard day of work he made a luscious meal of salmon and veggies and a pot of soup. Already, on Day #2 I can see how instrumental he is, and will continue to be in my  success with this program. Thank you, friend and soul mate. You’re the best.

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6 – Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go

Day #7 – The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection

I’m A Coward – Day #1

I’m A Coward – Day #1

scared-catI may as well admit it right up front. When push comes to shove I’d much prefer to hide under the covers. The evidence is right here on this blog that I started in January. It’s now March. So much for “manifesting me”! Here’s what happened.

I wrote the poem, posted my first quote and was somehow, immediately and without a care in the world (ha!) swept away by my new quote site. My creative genius friend caught wind of what I was doing and between the two of us, spinning in the ever-widening circles of our imaginations, created a tempest in a teapot!

Now, I’m back here, two months later, taking another stab at “manifesting me”. I am beginning a new project on a new day. That one is over there somewhere doing it’s thing and I will continue to work away on it, but….is it me? No, not really. In fact, it’s an extreme example of what I swore off when I started this blog…curating! You see, in my soul I’m a coward. Afraid to be me. Afraid to live an authentic life. I much prefer to hide under the cover of other people’s brilliance. Here, I will not do that.

Today is another new beginning. Another attempt to stick my head out of my hiding place and pull from inside of me what lies hidden there. I am taking another step in my healing and wholeness project, that began in earnest after my car accident. Today, I am embarking upon the healing of the body piece.  It begins with a 14 day “cleanse”.

How I hate all of this modern-day crap! Seriously. Not that the idea of ridding my body of all the icky stuff that shouldn’t be there, and I can tell by looking in the mirror that there’s an awful lot of it, it’s just  that the idea of anything radical involving my body has me shaking in my boots. I’ve had far too many experiences with radical physical change and suffering in my life to think that it could ever be good. I like things to remain in some sort of status quo, even if not perfect. Sadly, my intellect disagrees.

As I sat in Crystal’s office yesterday, passively nodding and shaking my head as she knowingly described the state of my “Rebellious Liver” (among other things) and spelled out every gory detail of her proposed Wellness Strategy for me, I thought I was game. After all I felt like bloody hell. It was time to take this step.

I’ve done a ton of psycho/spiritual work, but apart from chiropractic adjustments and massage, the body part of the mind/body/soul connection is clearly still out in left field.  I know it’s time.  I left her office with two bags of supplements and a notebook of information, schedules, protocols and fill-in the blank daily record sheets. I was ready to begin, not the least bit excited about the prospect, but determined to put one foot in front of the other. When I left her office I was more focused on when and how I’d fit in my last ice cream binge. I would start tomorrow.

Well, today is tomorrow. I did have my hot fudge sundae after my hamburger and french fries dinner last night, but I can’t say I enjoyed it. After last week’s mega stressors (husband’s car accident, nature’s tree pruning) my body has fallen back into full-blown PTSD mode. Which means that my digestion has pretty much stopped. Not a good feeling. I worked hard to convince myself that I was enjoying my last splurge in a gallant effort to motivate and prepare myself for today.

When I woke up this morning, however,  everything in me said, NO! Can’t do it. Don’t want to do it. The only structure I have in my life right now is my morning coffee, my fruit and yogurt for lunch and my after dinner decaf with flavored cream. She wants me to give up ALL OF IT! “Hell no” were the only two words that played in my mind throughout the early morning hours before I was quite awake.

When Scott met me at the bathroom door with a steaming hot cup of coffee at daybreak, I grabbed it. (Sorry, Crystal!)  I sipped and savored it  with much more enjoyment than usual. As I did, I began to formulate a plan. I’d follow some of the protocol. I’d work up to it, a little bit at a time. That makes much more sense! After all it can’t be good to shock the system with all that healthy stuff all at once! My body might shut down entirely! It wouldn’t know what to do!

photo (24)I put off breakfast as long as possible. I changed my routine and walked Rowdy first. When I returned I put the water on to boil for a soft-boiled egg. This morning it would be minus the toast and plus the gacky green stuff mixed with water. Okay, I’ll see if I can get through the breakfast menu.

I ate the egg first, sprinkled with a little salt. This was food I recognized and understood. My stomach needed a layer of normalcy before I put all the “natural stuff” in it. Once consumed I knew it was time. I blocked as many of my senses as I could (mentally at least) and mixed up the green stuff. (The manufacturers have the nerve to label the container “PERFECT FOOD”! Certainly not my idea of perfect food…and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t God’s notion when he created our lovely green earth and all its frozen yogurt shops.)

I took a deep breath of courage and did my very best to bypass all of my senses as I swallowed and guzzled as much of it as I could, as fast as I could, before my body knew what hit it. Good? Hell, no! Disgusting? eh, manageable. I’m two-thirds of the way through the concoction as we speak, and I’ve taken all of my prescribed supplements. So far I’m still standing. But, that was just breakfast! Oi!

This insanity is designed to give me energy, to help my body cope with the effects of PTSD and too many years of stress, and basically just to feel better.  I’m pretty sure I can’t keep going on the way I was.  So here goes. Hopefully I’ll be back again tomorrow with an update.

Dorothy Sander 3/12/14

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6 – Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go

Day #7 – The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection

JILL DAVIS ~ Speaker & Life Coach

JILL DAVIS ~ Speaker & Life Coach

Jill Packard works with women to help them retain their identity as they go through the daily challenges of life. She enables women to see more clearly who they were intended to be. As a Personality Trainer she helps others to understand “what makes them tick” to better understand themselves and build better relationships with those around them.

She is a provocative and empowering speaker and coach. For over 15 years she has worked with women helping them identify and fulfill their dreams. Using her own life challenges as the mother of four, military wife, divorce survivor and owner of a successful business, she is able to create belief in others. She understands the difficulties women encounter, both in the world and within themselves. Her energy and determination are an inspiration and her highly developed intuition allows her to touch a nerve in everyone she encounters.

Trained in Personality Principles and Coaching Strategies, Jill continues to make her own dreams come true as she harnesses her unique skills and reaches out to other women. She encourages, inspires, and guides them toward their own fulfillment.

How to Avoid Sabotaging your Weight Loss Efforts

How to Avoid Sabotaging your Weight Loss Efforts

American women of all ages are obsessed with their bodies and how they look.   I doubt there is one woman alive that has not been on at least one diet in their lives and most have been on hundreds by the time they reach fifty. The women of our generation are facing the consequences of a diet obsessed lifetime by still carrying extra weight and they are finding it increasingly difficult to lose weight with each attempt.

There is a reason for this. Dieting, in the end, just makes us fatter. Our inability to lose weight has nothing to do with a lack of will power or self-discipline either. We’ve been beating ourselves up for non-existent reasons when we fail time and time again to reach our weight loss ambitions. Here is why.

When we diet, especially on very restrictive diet plans, our brain believes we are being faced with starvation. As a result, it tells our body to slow down its metabolism. Our brain is really worried that we’re in big trouble and so it releases chemicals to tell us to eat more and store up fat because danger is ahead. It doesn’t matter whether we’re actually starving or not. All our brain has to do is think we’re starving and our body reacts.  In other words, if we are thinking and feeling “deprivation” our weight loss efforts will be sabotaged by our body’s response.

The restrictive, dieting mentality creates a situation called “famine brain”.  The more we become anxious and worried about losing weight and dieting, the more our brain tells our body not to lose weight. Those of us who have been on many, many diets and are still overweight are people who, more than likely, actually have extraordinary willpower and self-discipline. We’ve worked so hard at losing weight that we’ve actually unknowingly caused ourselves to gain and hold on to excess weight. The good news is that you can rid yourself of “famine brain” and succeed at your weight loss efforts. You just have to do it differently than you ever imagined.

In order to break the habit of thought that creates famine brain we must eliminate all thoughts that make us feel restricted and limited. We must tell ourselves every day that we will have enough to eat and assure our fear-focused brain that there is no reason to be afraid of starvation.  By stepping back mentally from the place of fear, our famine brain begins to relax and weight loss once again becomes possible.

For a detailed, step-by-step guide to unplugging your

famine brain read The Four Day Win by Martha Beck.

Making Peace with Your Inner Drill Sergeant

Making Peace with Your Inner Drill Sergeant

Aging abundantly is easier and more enjoyable to do when we are able to leave a bit of our physical abundance behind (no pun intended!). But as we age, losing weight and getting healthy is more difficult than ever. Our metabolism works against us, our muscles lose strength and tone ~ physical activity is harder and the results less encouraging. It’s simply the aging process, our changing hormones, and perhaps more than a few years of living a less than healthy lifestyle. This in no way means we should give up on our attempts to be and live healthier. It just means we have to do things differently and adjust our expectations.

As we age, we need to leave the past behind (there I go again!) in many ways. When it comes to our physical selves, our mental picture of our ideal body, like all ideals that involve perfection, probably was and never will be attainable.  It’s time to let it go and get on with what is really important in our lives.

Fortunately, our years of l experience have taught us a great deal about ourselves and the realities of life and we can bring all of that wisdom to bear on our efforts to take better care of ourselves. The damage that has been done is done. But, we still have today and hopefully tomorrow.

I’m not going to talk about diet plans or exercise regimes. There are already plenty of people more qualified than I am who have put thought, effort and research into developing good, solid healthy eating and exercise plans. The only thing I’m going to say here is that the bottom line to weight loss and health is and always has been ~ eat less and move more. Without even counting calories, you will make a difference in your overall health if you simply eat less than you are currently eating and move more.

The real difficulty we have in losing weight is not the plan we choose, it’s what is going on inside of our heads. Women have been at war with their bodies for decades and it’s time we stopped. Nothing good can come of such a battle. The typical pattern of the “yo-yo” dieter is the common diet experience among women of all ages and is the precise reason why the majority of women over fifty are at least marginally overweight. It’s not just a psychological issue but a physiological one as well. When we diet by submitting to the part of ourselves that is disciplined and controlled we think we’re doing the right thing and for a while we lose weight. For a time we pay attention to the voice in our heads that says more or less, “I’ve had enough of your lazy, slothful ways! Shape up!” And we do, for a while, maybe even a long while. But this part of our psyche is not all of who we are even if we let it rule for a while. It is a part of our brain than truly wants to help us but it lacks compassion and has a lot of trouble having fun.  Sooner or later our “wild child” takes over ~ she will not be denied as she is a part of us too! She too has our best interest at heart and knows if we are to be happy and healthy we cannot live entirely under the command of our Nazi general.

There is scientific research that has shown that at the basis of this “wild child”, the one that binges, sneaks food, refuses to exercise and generally wreaks havoc on all of our attempts to shape up, is actually a self-preservation instinct. Our “wild child” is terrified that under the rule of the Nazi general we will starve to death and the scarcity button is triggered in our brain. It is much like the fight or flight instinct induced by fear. Our wild child compels us to eat and is looking out for our best interests in her own way. The “wild child” does not want us to starve to death but she does not care about our health. She is concerned with life and death issues.

The important thing to realize here is that there is more to weight loss and health than will power and self-control. In fact, if you are overweight and have been on a life time of yo-yo diets, chances are you have an incredibly strong will power.  But the stronger the will power, or the rule of your Nazi general, the more rebellious your wild child may be when she lets loose.

Recognizing these two very important aspects of your diet and exercise brain is the first step to paving the way to a new approach to health and weight loss that is sustainable. More on that in my next post.

The Four Day Win by Martha Beck is worth reading.