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A New Beginning…

I suppose it’s apropos that this blog posting be called “A New Beginning…” given that this blog’s name is of a relating nature called “Journey to a New Life.” I started this blog for one purpose – to share my daily…no, hourly…struggle with losing weight and getting healthy.

Now, I could spend an inordinate amount of time and blog space just writing about how poorly I’ve done with that “journey” and I’ve harped on those past failures before. But for this particular blog posting, I’m not going to talk specifically about my weightloss – or lack thereof – nor my failures to do so to date either.

What I am going to write about is a different journey of a sorts, but one that will eventually come back around to my weightloss journey.

At my age, I’m more than half way through my life. It’s a scary thought for me, really. I’ve shared little of this fear with very few people – I think only one actually. See, I can watch death on tv or in a movie and it doesn’t necessarily affect me that much. Likely because regardless of how well the actors perform, I still know it’s make-believe; I am still aware they are acting.

But there have been times – thankfully not that many – where my mind has drifted to death – mine, in particular. And it’s a deep thinking I’m talking about, not just a stray thought of getting old and eventually dying. It’s that moment when my mind goes incredibly deep into it and I physically feel fear. Fear of dying. I can’t even begin to describe it. I don’t have panic attacks, despite my anxiety-filled life. I don’t get so caught up in my worries that I ever feel this…fear. But it’s there, and my thinking of my own mortality scares me.

But I digress…

I bring this up because, as I’ve stated in past postings, up till now, no matter how badly things have gotten for me because of my weight, nothing has been incentive enough to keep going on getting healthy. I invariably fall back in the laziness; resorting back to the bad habits. It’s been a rough 6 months with this and that, culminating with the loss of my girl Ginny, and now continuing with other things.

So I am about to reach a precipice in my life, and it’s not one that is a surprise. Yet despite planning for this for some time, I’m still finding myself filled with trepidation. You see, after living in the United States for nearly 20 years now, I’m moving back home to Canada. It’s been a long time coming – longer than I originally had anticipated – but the time has come. In two weeks, I will be back living in my homeland.

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And while I’m happy that I’ll be back to where I have always considered to be “home”, and happy to be back with my mom, my family and all my long-time friends, I’m also terrified.

I’ve had a lot of people giving me advice on this lately. They mean well, I know they do. And while I know that they are right – I’ll get through this as I do with everything else – and it’ll be better to finally be “home”, I’m not sure how many truly understand how significant this actually is in my life. A couple have suggested that it’s not a big deal, after all, Canada is my country and I’m moving back to my  family and friends. And I can see their point. But they’d be wrong.

This is a major life change. I did it when I moved here albeit the circumstances are different now. I left the only home I’d ever known, my mother, step-father, my large crazy but loving family and my closest friends whom are as much family to me as those related by blood. I left a job I’d been at for nearly 10 years, and I left everything and everyone I knew.

Now again, I could dwell on the past and talk about what a mistake it was to marry the man I did – the one who eventually cheated on me and then left me for another woman. But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to, even in jest, be reminded of what a mistake that was. It’s not funny. Even if I joke about it sometimes, if you know me, you know it’s my mechanism for dealing with a bad decision. And it was MY decision. No one regrets that decision more than me, believe me, but I don’t want to dwell on that mistake. We’ve all done them, so I’m not sure why I need to be reminded of it as if that one thing defines who I am. It doesn’t. It never had. It never will. Going through that taught me – about me. It taught me that I’m stronger than I ever thought, and it taught me that no matter how well you think you know someone, you never truly do. But it also taught me that some people just don’t deserve to be in my life; they don’t deserve my love. And that’s their fucking loss.

Again, I digress…

Once again I find myself leaving a job I’ve been at for nearly 20 years, living in a town that is familiar for me. I’ve been living on my own since my divorce; I’ve got a certain level of comfort here. But I’m lonely. I don’t have many friends here, despite my sunny personality – oh come on! I know you just rolled your eyes at that!

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But it’s a major deal to not only leave a long-time job, spend months going through 20 years worth of things to decide what to keep or not…to all the things I need to do before I move and after. There’s no checklist in your life for this. It just is. It’s been up to me to nearly single-handedly do everything, save for some help from some friends on yard sales and importing my car back home (which is so appreciated!!). I physically am not always able to do all the physical things required to do this. Nor was I prepared for just how MUCH stuff there is to do.

And for how much more emotional, and how much crying I’d be doing these past few months.

So while I appreciate the pep-talks and people’s unwavering believe in my abilities to get through this, I have had moments where I wasn’t sure I could. I’ve been stressed, overwhelmed with it all, and just completely ill at ease for months. Rarely does a day go by now that I don’t have a headache or a stomach ache. But I get through. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I know I’ll get there. But I really don’t want to hear the obvious stated to me over and over again. It wears on me. First, because I’m not stupid, despite things I’ve said or did to the contrary. Stating the obvious to me implies I am stupid. Second, I, more than anyone, am well aware of what I need to do and how much time I have left to do it. It doesn’t make me feel better to be reminded of this. I have enough pressure put on me – by me – that I don’t need others adding to it. Well meaning, sure…but please… just stop.

What’s waiting for me on the other side is what else that’s so scary. Sure, family and friends will be there. I’ll have a place to live, be reunited with my boy Finnegan, and I’ll still have a job for 3 months while I get more “settled”. But the unknown of what I’ll do after that is really what scares me. My hometown is not well-to-do with the job market – in fact, it’s probably one of the worse in Canada. That’s what happens when a city is nearly reliant on one industry for so long – the auto industry.

My job that I have – it’s very unique and specific. It’s not likely I will find one in my hometown like it. And where do I start? At the bottom again? The idea doesn’t appeal to me at all. Not that I have any problems with the work or people who do the work – legitimate hard work no matter what kind is admirable. But it’s not for me. I need to be stimulated. My mind needs more to do than things I did 20 or 30 years ago when I was first starting out.

So I don’t know what I’m going to be doing. The idea of taking a job just for the sake of having a job doesn’t appeal to me either. Nor is being in a job I absolutely hate. But alas…just like everyone else, I have bills to pay. I will have to pay rent, or a mortgage, feed my cat, pay my car insurance etc. I am not the type of person who can be carefree and not know when their next check will come – but good on you if you are – because that takes some courage. So what do I want to do?

Again, I can hear some of you saying things like “A job is a job” or “No one likes their job” or “At least you have a job”. This shit…this is obvious. I’m well aware of it. I know all about this. But that doesn’t meant that I have to accept the status quo.

I really want to write. But until I actually do something about finishing my book and doing the others, which I’ve had to put aside while I get ready for this move – as I said above, I still have to support myself.

And therein lies the rub – the scary part – a new beginning for me. At this time in my life, I’m doing an about-face and basically starting over. Does anyone really think this is easy?

Having been so preoccupied with all of this, I haven’t even been trying to lose weight. And it shows. But the worse is that my summer fun of water weight gain is hitting full up. It’s actually disgusting how the heat/humidity affects me so badly. Others think that it’s not hot when it’s 80 or 90. To me, it renders me virtually catatonic. I have cankles. My fingers are swollen and sore. And I’m just a big bloated beach ball. Even the slightest exertion for me in this weather and I feel like my lungs are filled with water. This has also hindered me in my preparation for packing/moving. But I’m storming through. Whether I get done in time or not is another matter.

I have 12 days.

12 fucking days. See…I know how much time I have. Or how little time I have actually. Not a math person but this I’ve got.

But I do hope that once I’m finally settled back home, and no longer having so much else on my “plate” that not only will I get back to finishing Kiwi Kiss but also with the help of my mom, she and I can work together to actually have decent meals at home and have the weight start coming off.

It helps that she has air-conditioning. 🙂

So that’s my life right now in a nutshell. Okay…not really a nutshell. Remember…Dani doesn’t do succinct. But you get the gist.

Dani = crazy busy

It’s like my hamsters all had babies and the wheel is over-flowing. Bad analogy but you get the picture.

The next time I write I’ll be Canadian soil. Thanks to everyone who’s stuck with me through everything until now. The new journey is about to begin…and I promise you…

It won’t be boring.

Love and blessings to all,

Dani

 

Stressed – spelled backwards is desserts.

We all have stressful days. Some might even have stressful weeks, months or years. I don’t really know anyone who is stress free. But I believe that, like mourning, everyone deals with stress in different ways.

Some might be passive; hiding their stress until they erupt like Vesuvius. Some might be aggressive; letting out their frustrations with a hair-trigger and quick response. And as with most everything, there are those who are in between.

While I don’t consider myself to be an angry person, when I am angry, it can flash, but I think I’ve learned to not allow it to 1) define me; 2) let it take me over and hold onto it for too long, and 3) mostly important, I do whatever I can to never hurt someone in anger. And with stress, I tend to push it down; pretend it doesn’t exist and try to humor my way out of it.

After all, they say laughter is the best medicine, right?

No matter how stressed I get, I do try to deal with it. Not always in the most productive ways, but at least I try. But note that I said “try”.

I often joke that if I was any sort of a drinker, with all the stress, I’d be falling down drunk all the time. Thank goodness I’m not. So how do I deal with stress? That’s a good question. And sometimes I feel like I really don’t have any idea how to deal with it.

If you’ve been reading the postings in this blog lately, you’ll recognize a pattern. When I named one recent blog “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing”…I shit you not, I wasn’t kidding. So like with what seems like everything in my life, I don’t have a good answer for what I do to deal with stress. Most times, it seems, I just get to the point of frustration and end up crying it out. Which I hate. I absolutely hate crying about anything – good or bad. It tends to make me feel physically worse. So I’m not one for “crying it out” – at least as a remedy for myself.

So, I did some research to find out what “others” recommend for relieving stress. Some made me giggle. Some made me roll my eyes. A couple even had me picturing myself looking like a rolly-polly Buddha, as I attempt to find my “calm”.

I wish I could say I was inspired. I can’t say I wasn’t; but I’m still not sure. I have been wishing I could do yoga over the past couple of years. Hell, I even have a mat. Mind you, it’s still rolled up and hasn’t been removed from the cardboard that it holding it rolled up. But good intentions…

I’m not really made for yoga. Again, I wish I was. I have friends who swear by it. And I admit I had to look up what “hot yoga” was, but the end result is that I’m really just not very yoga-like in body right now, even if my mind is.

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As with most everything else in my life, I’m not very disciplined. I often wonder how I even made it this far in life with such a hap-hazard way of living, but here I am…all the hamsters spinning on their wheels in my mind, trying to get to the finish. Here’s hoping my finish isn’t for a long time.

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But I digress…

Discipline. Err…no…Self-discipline: the correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement.

It’s really mind-boggling how much self-discipline can be, and should be, applied to so many facets of my life. From weight-loss, to house-cleaning, to exercise, to dealing with anxiety, stress and frustration. I wish I could say that I’ve mastered it in at least one thing in my life, but I’d be lying. So, no big pearls of wisdom from me (again. sorry!) on how to be more self-disciplined, but I will offer some things that can be done to deal with stress and anxiety that others have suggested, and some of which I will try to do for myself.

First…here’s a chart to help:

50 Ways To Cope With Stress

But for me…these:

  1. When you feel the stress/anxiety or frustration building, step out of the situation and take deep breaths…and count to 10. Repeat several times until you can recognize you are calmer.
  2. Realize you’re not perfect so stop expecting yourself to be (and others). Do what you can and be happy with the results. Try.
  3. Exercise is a great way to deal with stress. Even if you do 10 minutes more movement a day, it will have a great effect on your well-being. But certainly, try to get at least 30 minutes a day.
  4. Eat healthy and get enough sleep. Filling yourself with junk is only going to make you feel like junk. And if you’re tired from lack of sleep, you’ll only feel that much more worse. If you’re able, try taking a short nap during the day when you’re feeling a bit more tired than usual.

And the two biggest ones that I have to deal with (besides all of the above) are being positive and putting the things that stress me out into perspective.

I’ll start with the perspective one first. As I can be sometimes – big shocker I know – a bit over-dramatic or in many cases, over-think a situation. I easily jump to conclusions, thinking about the “what-ifs” and just add even more stress and anxiety to myself. I am a huge “feeler”. I live on emotions – good or bad – and I can quite easily send my own into a tizzy faster than you can say, “But-” I’ve talked before about the emotional roller-coaster and I’m one of its regular riders. I wish I could say that I’ll change but I’m not sure how or even if, so I deal with it as it comes. And often not very well.

So it comes down to asking myself, “does this really matter?”  Is what I’m stressing about that big of a deal? Did I make it out to be a bigger deal than it really is? In the grand scheme of things, will this matter in an hour, tomorrow or next year? Most times, the answer is, of course, “no”. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that something stressed me. It’s just a matter of understanding that if it’s not as important as I made it out to be, I need to let it go (and quickly)…because life is too short to dwell in shit that doesn’t matter. Right?

And then there’s being “positive”. I’ve been trying to do this for so long. Invariably, it doesn’t last. I get sucked into the “pity party for one” vortex (by myself) and the next thing I know, I’m Chicken Little and the sky is falling. I hate that I can’t just be positive all the time. I know people that really seem to be. And I do hope that they really, truly are and that they aren’t “faking” it. And I really hate that I forget just how blessed I am. Too often I forget and need to be reminded. Nothing is wrong with that, per se, but I think people who are genuinely more positive more often, are the happiest.

When I said I live on emotions, I also meant that I take things personally. I don’t like when people don’t like me. I want people to love me. I want people to want to be my friend. So I take it personally when they don’t. Yet at the same time, while I know I shouldn’t live to please anyone but myself, I’m not wired that way. I tend to care more for others than myself.

And I’ve been told before that this is wrong. Yet, that’s what I am. That’s what I do. I spend a lot of time trying to help people I care about in different ways. I don’t always do it as often as I wish and sometimes that makes me feel guilty, and often, selfish. Which I know is absurd, but alas…we’re talking about me here.

So, for example, my birthday was recently. Without sounding egotistical, I did expect to see some Happy Birthday wishes on my Facebook. And I did. And I want to say before anything else, I was grateful for each and every one of them because it meant that those people took the time out of their busy/hectic/stressful/happy lives to send me their best wishes. While it might have only taken them 10 seconds to do so – I appreciated it more than they could know. Then there were those who wrote me longer messages, and those were so appreciated as well.

But the “feelings” part of me…as ridiculous as this might sound, was disappointed somewhat that some people – some “friends” – didn’t say anything. No acknowledgement at all. Yet, I know they were on Facebook because I saw their posts, their comments to others’ posts etc. And I felt a little hurt. Then I felt foolish for feeling that way.

I don’t have friends because I expect something from them. And I do try to do my best to give some attention to everyone, but in all honestly, more so to those I feel closer to. And yet, just as when I lost my beautiful Ginny last month, or announced I was moving back home to Canada…my birthday passing with none of those three somewhat life-changing events being recognized by some, it felt…hurtful.

On top of that, many who did send me best wishes…some were from people that I’ve only just met (and most not yet in person), and they were more than kind. In some cases, those people acknowledged all three of those life events, yet as I said, there were some that I expected to hear from (or hoped) and got nothing. After the loss of Ginny and that happened, I told my therapist that I guess I have to realize that some people might be more selfish than others.

Now I’m sure there are many reasons they didn’t “say” anything. Maybe they didn’t see the many posts from others about my birthday, or Ginny passing, because they have many Facebook friends. Or maybe, just maybe, they don’t consider me to be a friend at the same level of friend that I do of them. I considered this and realized that if that’s the case, there’s nothing I can do about it and I have to accept it and move on.

So, one of the many things I need to learn, which adds in my stress levels, is that not everyone is going to see my worth. I have difficulty with this for myself, but I stress as much as I can to others that I care about, how much they are worth. To me. And to others. And maybe my expectations of others is too high. Or maybe because of my self-esteem issues that I feel this need to have as many people like me as I possibly can because it’s the only way I can feel worthy.

But how can I expect others to see my worth, if I don’t see it in myself?

And that there is the rub.

I posted this today on Facebook with the caption “Man, I wish I could just let it go. Not sure why it’s so important that I even care. But I do.”

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And I do care. Probably far too much. About everything. About wanting to be liked, loved, admired, and seen as a great person. And some people will never see that in me; never feel that about me. And I have to learn to accept that. And to not care.

The absolute funniest (ie: ridiculous) part about that is that I am well loved by a very close knit group of people that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, and I’m eternally grateful for each and everyone one of them…but my own feelings about myself won’t allowed me to say “that’s all you need” so I get emotional when someone might not like or love me back.

I’m suddenly hearing Barbra Streisand’s “Feelings” in my head. Grief. I’m losing it! I don’t even LIKE that song!

Till next time…

Blessings and love to all.

Dani

 

 

 

 

 

How crazy can one life be?

It’s been about six weeks since I last posted my tirade about not knowing what the hell I’m doing. All I can tell you is that I still don’t, but I’m more comfortable with that knowledge than I was six weeks ago.

This is the post I had started prior to the last one. But alas, you know how the saying by Samuel Johnson goes…”Hell is paved with good intentions.” In this case, no matter how often I wish to post, it just doesn’t seem to happen. And lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been a bit in Hell anyway. So, the quoted reference to Hell is quite apropos.

As I tend to do, I always start these posts with one specific topic in mind. If you’ve read any of my posts before, you know that I don’t always follow that topic very strictly. Be it the crazy roaming hamsters in my head, or that I just stumble upon a more pertinent subject, I really do try to stick to one topic.

This post is intended to be about getting back on the horse, so to speak. That is, when you feel you’ve failed or have been unable to continue with your journey and lost your way. Fall off the wagon. Fall off the horse. Whatever idiom you want to use – I know you know what I mean.

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It’s not even to say that I’ve fallen off the wagon. I liken it to merely dangling over the side, where occasionally my ass hits a railroad tie. So there I am, holding on, bouncing around and unable to get a grip.

Yep, that about sums up my life of late. I wish I could say that I was only talking about my weight loss journey but I’d be lying. So aside from the wagon adventures, my life of late has been something akin to trying to thread a needle, while diving out of an airplane without a parachute, all the while trying to sing Puccini’s Nessun Dorma aria in key (which would never happen).

Normally my excuses for not writing as often are lack of a subject, lack of enthusiasm or general forgetfulness. Pick one. Pick them all. But I believe that for the first time since I started this blog that my “excuses” are actually more valid than those in the past. So, I’ll briefly (haha!) explain what they are before moving onto the actual subject of this posting: getting back on the horse.

So, those who know me personally have found out that I recently announced my intention to move back to my hometown in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. I’ve been living in the US since 1998 when I married an American. I won’t get into that any more, but I’ve been alone now for 10 years and am without my mom, family and my longtime friends – many of whom have been friends of mine since elementary school and/or high school. Once the decision was made, I had to start the logistics of when to move back, what to take back with me or not, what to do with those things that I’m not taking, and what is all involved with moving back to your homeland. One would think that it wouldn’t be that hard; one would be incorrect.

Okay maybe “hard” isn’t the correct word. Let’s say, confusing. At least to those of us who already have a head full of hamsters who are working overtime. I nearly broke down in a panic attack a month or so ago when I checked on what I need to do about moving back, including getting my car over there. Thankfully a longtime friend who works in the customs brokerage business has been a Godsend to me (thank you Susan!) – helping me with paperwork, what to do and when. I am honestly not sure if I could have gotten this far without her help. It probably wasn’t that hard but I was already feeling overwhelmed (re: my previous post).

On top of preparing to move – going through nearly 20 years worth of stuff by myself to see what I’m keeping and what I’m not – and only being able to do so when I could actually find the energy and my feet weren’t revolting. So, for what most people could probably do in a weekend, it has taken me months. While I’m not moving back until July, I need to have a yard sale to get rid of nearly everything so I have had to push myself to get through everything to be ready for that as well. Thankfully I have a friend who is going to help me with that as well.

Add to the pressures I’ve felt to finish my book with the fear that if I didn’t keep working on it, I would let it lapse once again and that terrified me so I’ve been plugging away at it when I can, knowing I still had so much more to do.

Then in mid-April, my beautiful kitty Ginny who had been dealing with diabetes for 6 months, fell ill and I had to make the hard decision to let her go. I didn’t want her to suffer any more – she was having seizures more often and it broke my heart to let her go.

Ginny:

Lastly, my job. I won’t get into the details but I have given my notice and my job has now been posted for candidates. While it’s my choice to quit my job and move back home, it is a bittersweet time for me since I’ve been with this university for nearly 20 years.

So, it’s been a rather emotional 2017 for me (on top, of course, many other things going on in my life and the world, but those were the highlights). This is, for the most part, why I feel partially off the wagon. All the overwhelming feelings I’ve had with everything that I was going through, the idea of trying to also be more strict with my weightloss felt like it would be just too much.

Now maybe that’s another excuse, but if you’ve ever gone through several things at once, you know that you’re not in the right frame of mind to concentrate on everything. I felt as if I was being pulled in a hundred different directions and so I made the choice to go a bit lax on the weightloss. With that, I also made the choice to not berate myself for my decision – no matter the result.

I haven’t stepped on a scale in some time. Mostly because right now, the damn scale is covered in stuff for the yard sale – as is most everything in my apartment – but I do intend to step on it tomorrow or Monday. Regardless of the results, I’m going to try to be more conscious of what I’m putting in my mouth from now on, but I still have two months of mega-crazyiness to get through so all I can do is try and not freak out while doing so.

If only it was this easy:

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Now having just had another birthday, it’s another year filled with some regrets but also some blessings. I do hope to check back sooner rather than later, but I do hope you’ll understand if I don’t. Till then…

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Love and blessings to all.

Dani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know what the hell I’m doing…

This actually isn’t the posting that I started a week ago and didn’t get back to finish and post. But I feel that this post should take precedence over the other right now.

The title says it all. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

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Maybe before it seemed like I knew, or I actually maybe I did know…or more likely, I was delusional enough to think I knew what I was doing, but I’m come to the conclusion that I really have no idea. Not one bit. Not a single iota.

And I’m frustrated as all fuck.

For people who have weight issues, the struggle with trying to lose it can be overwhelming, daunting, frustrating, maddening and sometimes…all of those things at the same time. It’s also confusing. Unless someone is going to strictly eat just, for example, salad all the time (which apparently eating the same things all the time – even though they are healthy things – ISN’T healthy (!) – trying to figure out what is good for you to eat versus what isn’t, isn’t always that easy.  Add legumes to your salad, they say. What the fuck is a legume? Eat oatmeal in the morning with some berries – this is very good for you. Unless you eat the wrong kind of oatmeal. What’s that now? Did you know that prepackaged instant oatmeal, even if organic and contains NO sugars or flavoring – is something you shouldn’t eat?? The why’s can make you nuts. I know they do to me!

Throw in things such as physical impediments such as my nerve-damaged feet, lack of mobility and over all exhaustion, it can make losing weight even harder.

I know some people are thinking that if it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth doing. Or that if it was easy, everyone could do it. All valid thoughts. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that despite our good intentions, and our willingness to try, what we want to happen isn’t necessarily what does happen.

I stumbled upon a video on YouTube that was shot over a year ago of an actor friend who was doing an interview against bullying (you’ll find the post I wrote about that video in the archives). In the interview, this friend mentioned me – and this blog. He went on to say how brave it was to do this, and for me to decide that I needed to save myself. My life. And you know what hit me as I watched him say those words:

That I’ve wasted a year.

I am no better with my health now than I was at that time; maybe I’m even worse. So I’ve lost nothing but more precious time. And I’m a year older. And sure, I haven’t given up and I keep trying. But at some point, my body – my life – is just going to say “Time’s Up”. I will run out of time.

But I’m not saying all of this to whine about how hard it is to lose weight. Okay, maybe a little. It really wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t bitching about something, right? But it’s also about just how overwhelming it can feel. How helpless. Despite knowing what I have to do, why can’t I just do it? For fuck’s sake…why!? And I don’t have the answers. I can’t find the answers. Even talking to my therapist, I’ve not gotten any answers as to why I can’t just do it. Even when it severely affects every fucking thing I do – or limits what I can do – it’s never enough to just be able to do it.

I can’t follow a diet plan for very long. I can’t record my food for a full day. I can’t eat well for an entire day. And even if I manage a day, or two…it doesn’t last. Invariably, I mess up. And sure, I get back up and try again. And again. And again. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’m tired. Mentally and physical. But mostly I’m tired that I’m not getting anywhere.

So that would suggest I’m not trying hard enough. And you can bet your behind I’m not. No ifs, ands or but(t)s about it.

But the entire point to this post – yes, I know…all that yammering and I still haven’t even gotten to the point!…where I’m going with this post is now let’s add in yet another thing to make my trying to lose weight even harder.

Diabetes.

Up until a few months ago, I’d been doing twice-daily injections of Byetta which is NOT an insulin – it’s only to help regulate my sugar and keep my A1C in check. On top of that, I take Metformin daily. But I got into a period last year that I got lazy about taking my meds. I admit that it was a colossal brain fart and quite stupid but as with everything else I do, I messed up and now I’m paying the price. A doctor visit a few months ago showed my A1C which was at 6.8 the last time I was there about a year ago, skyrocketing to 11.3. So she put me on insulin. Oh yay!

First she told me that I need to get my daily glucose testing to under 150. To start with 15 units of insulin – injected at night before bed – and testing my blood levels in the AM before I eat breakfast. I was to increase the dosage by 5 every 4 days until it got steady before 150. The only problem is that it rarely went below 150. The first reading after starting it, my reading was 278. Gradually over the next 14 days it went down to 161. But still too high. From then it fluctuated up and down as I continued to up the dosage as instructed. Finally after a month I managed to keep it under 200 but still would have days of up in the 180s.

I finally contacted my doctor again and said that I was now as injected 70 units (remember I started at 15) and did she really expect me to keep going up by 5 every 4 days because at some point I would be injecting an entire pen of insulin each night. Now keep in mind that all during this time I still couldn’t figure out what I was doing right or wrong. The levels seem completely random. It was frustrating and mind boggling. Talking with a few diabetics, NONE of them had any idea why their own went up or down – it all seemed random to them as well. Not to mention that my doctor then said, hey, keep it under 180 but 140 would be best. What? Make up your mind!

The doctor then said she was switching my insulin. It’s supposed to 1) be less in volume even at the same dosage and 2) spread out the insulin slower throughout the day/night. I don’t know if it’s strong or not. I do know that I did my first injection this past Saturday night (I will say that the pen used for this insulin made injecting 70 units much smoother ie: less blood) and since then my sugars levels have been ridiculous high. Including 287 this morning. I haven’t been that high since I started with insulin!

Clearly I need help with figuring this all out but again…it’s so frustrating, overwhelming and I feel completely helpless. Not to mention a lot stupid.

So that entire oatmeal thing I mentioned…oatmeal has a lot of good-for-you things. In fact, when I was working with Maria, she wanted me to eat it most mornings (though not the instant stuff). Oatmeal regulates blood sugar, is high in fiber so it’s good for filling you up and taking care of your tummy. And it may help reduce the level of insulin needed to be injected. But it’s got a lot of carbs. But apparently it has a lot of good carbs – it has what they call a low glycemic index. BUT, what you have with your oatmeal obviously matters. Just as piling your salad with a bunch of crap that isn’t good for you, putting stuff in your oatmeal isn’t either. I normally use a small banana or some blueberries which are supposed to be good. But then there’s the oatmeal itself. Apparently instant oatmeal = bad. You’re supposed to cook it on the stove – which is inconvenient (sure, say lazy if that is what you’re thinking) for me to be before I go to work (I barely can get out of bed to get to work on time, let alone be up early enough to sit and eat a cooked breakfast!). So I went out of my way to buy the organic, vegan, no sugar or salt added, whole grain hot oatmeal instant packages. It’s just rolled oats. That’s it. No additives. No nothing. No flavor! And now I’m hearing that it’s not good for me.

Holy fucking hell!

So all of this up and down, and all over…oatmeal. Just fucking oatmeal. Can I eat it or can’t I? So imagine then, trying to not only eat healthier to lose weight, but trying to do so by not eating too much of this or that – just say no to high carbs, high sugar, high fat, high calories – and then add in trying to eat in a way that your healthy eating doesn’t mess up your glucose as well. Or knowing if what you’re eating, while high in carbs, isn’t actually bad for you because it’s the “good carbs”??

Like I said…

Frustrating as ALL FUCK.

So while I obviously can’t throw in the towel and say “fuck it” or I could actually die from this, I feel like the added pressures of trying to know what to eat that won’t mess up my sugars, on top of trying to figure out how to eat healthy and lose weight…

There are a million books out there all claiming to be able to help someone like me know what to eat or not eat. It’s like when I was a teenager and trying to figure out which maxipad I should use, trying to find information that will help me, not overwhelm me, seems to be nearly impossible. As someone who has done a lot of research on self-publishing on Amazon, and am in a lot of writing groups, I see people put out books left and right – in only a few weeks no less – on every subject under the sun. So it makes me a bit gun-shy to just go into Amazon, search for a diabetic and dieting book, and feel confident the person who authored it even knows what the bloody hell they are talking about. Even a book by the world-renowned Mayo Clinic has reviews where their high-carb recipes are questioned as “are they really healthy for a diabetic?”.

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Am I overthinking this? Probably. I do that often enough. But I don’t know how not to either. I remember how crazy it was to just try to follow a meal plan like the USDA Food Pyramid.

So yeah…

I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

My frustration level this morning has me on Defcon Level 4 “Orange”. Near tears and felling heavy in the chest (among other places). So excuse me while I go look at videos of puppies and kitties so calm myself.

Dani

 

Screw You 2016. Welcome 2017.

Last year I posted several posts during this time of year about not over-eating, dealing with the stresses and blues of the holiday season, and how not to be one of the January People (go to the Archives for December 2015 for a refresher or if you’re a new reader – check them out).

Typical of this time of the year, most people start thinking about what they can  change about themselves in the New Year. In the past, I was always guilty of making New Year’s Resolutions. I was also guilty of never keeping them. Then, the entire guilt and self-deprecating talk came out. Over the past several years, I vowed to not make any resolutions because frankly, while the concept is:  New Year – New You…what I’ve come to realize is that there isn’t and shouldn’t be a set date for when to start making your life better. Whether it be to get healthier by losing weight, getting through an addiction, or even just to become a better person over all – whatever the reason – why do we feel we have to wait until a new year to do so?

Why not simply start now? Right now. Not later today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. And certainly not on January 1st.

Right now.

Because of my physical limitations, particularly the nerve damage in my feet, and just the fact that I struggle with the simplest of physical tasks, it has been very difficult for me to many things. One thing I’ve been pushing myself to do is to just do as much as I can, even if that means taking breaks. I’ve been trying to downsize everything in my apartment – get rid of stuff I no longer need, use or want. It’s been a chore for sure. It’s amazing how much junk you can accumulate over the years and not even realize it.

So I’ve been pushing myself to sort/organize my things. And when I take a break, to not decide that’s enough for the day and just veg on my ass the rest of the day and night. No, I’ve been talking myself into getting up and going to do “one more thing” and lately it’s been working well.

Of course, that it’s only 60 degrees in my apartment helps. But as I’ve said before, the cooler it is, the more alive I feel. So as long as my feet cooperate, I’ve been able to get more physical things done of late. And it feels great. I’m proud of myself for – for lack of a better work – talking myself into getting up and doing something.

So back to the title of this post. 2016 has sucked. From what I’ve heard from many people, it has sucked for them as well. My family lost several of its members earlier in 2016 all within a short period of time. For me, work has become more stressful and something that I’ve struggled to just get out of bed and deal with. And, as you know, the summer this year was horrible for me physically to the point where I often wondered if I wasn’t dying. There’s been other things here and there as well. So yes, 2016 sucked and I’m hoping/praying 2017 will be better.

But 2016 had some good moments too, so I can’t just complain about it.

I got back into writing my book and it’s nearly done. While I had intended (and hoped) to have it done by Christmas, working full-time and just so much else going on, I unfortunately didn’t get it done. The last thing I want to do, especially for my first book, it to put out a rushed, inferior quality product, so I’m not going to rush to get it done before the end of the year. It will happen, when it happens, though I am aiming for before Valentine’s Day. We’ll see…

I also met some amazing people this year – some have become good friends, and other friends I’ve had for some time I’ve gotten closer to. I have been blessed with having so many wonderful, caring people in my life. They’re the type of people you want in your corner no matter what; those who won’t leave you when it gets rough.

Last year, some friends did a unique thing for the new year. They called it a Shine Jar. Recently another friend posted a similar suggestion for the New Year. The idea is that you write down one thing every day in 2017 and put it in the jar – something that was good. Maybe you got a compliment. Maybe something made you laugh. It doesn’t matter. Just put something good that happened on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. Then on New Year’s Eve 2017 open the jar and read everything you put in it. Reflect back on the year with all of the good things that happened; it tells you that no matter how awful you think 2017 was, perhaps it wasn’t as bad as you thought. Concentrate on the good of the year and not the negative.

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I’m going to do this because with all of the bad in the world – the ugliness that weighs heavy on my heart – I want to celebrate the good things that happen to me.

So that’s my only New Year’s Resolution:

A 2017 Happiness Jar. 

The rest…the get healthy, lose weight thing…well I’m not waiting. It starts now.

Love and blessings to all. Whatever you celebrate this holiday season, I wish you and your family much love and joy, peace and safety – and all the best for a wonderful and amazing 2017!

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Dani

 

 

 

How “atomic” are you?

Caveat: I probably should have explicated this before. I am not a doctor. I am not even that knowledgeable in most things. I know what my personal experiences are and I do tend to research most things outside my purview, but in nearly every case, what I write on this blogs are my personal thoughts, suggestions and ideas. They are in no way meant to be a diagnosis for anything. If needed, please seek professional help for whatever ails you. 

In my last post I talked about mood swings, in particular, my mood swings. I also stated that I didn’t really understand what the causes of said mood swings were, but with all the research I’ve done pretty much everything I’ve read said that it’s not necessarily one thing. Nor is it necessarily an exterior cause; that it could be hormonal.

The bottom line is that there are many underlying reasons for mood swings. Both men and woman get them. More often than not, if it’s hormonal, it affects women more so then men. But it happens to pretty much everyone.

It’s when it happens all the time or are so severe that there is far more going on than the “standard” run-of-the-mill moodiness. I don’t believe that I fall into sweet-baby-Jesus-get-out-of-her-way category. My moods swing, sure, but based on everything I’ve read – I’m just normal.

Well, about that I’m normal.

Some of the causes of mood swings and grumpiness (and obviously some are not applicable to men), some of which would be considered more severe than others, and require medications, or some other method of control are:

  1. Stress
  2. PMS
  3. Perimenopause and Menopause
  4. Hypothyroidism
  5. Depression
  6. Being bipolar
  7. Lack of sleep / limited sleep
  8. Drugs and alcohol
  9. Caffeine and sugar

But after all of that, it could just be that you’re having a bad day. Maybe nothing has gone right since you climbed out of bed and stepped on the furball your loving kitty left for you to find. Maybe the weather is miserable and it’s reflective of your mood (for example, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)). Maybe your boss wasn’t impressed with your project or you got into an argument with your significant other.

The important part is to determine if your mood swings and grumpiness is a condition to which you need alternative support or if you’re just hitting a rough patch. If it’s the former, than I can’t stress enough to talk to your doctor and get to the bottom of it. As we all know, some of those causes I listed above are not only severe, but dangerous – to you, your state of mind and your health.

If you’re just hitting a rough patch, try to get through it by looking at the bigger picture. I forget to do this sometimes and all my woes become ridiculously well…ridiculous. Where later I look back and wonder what the hell I was freaking out about. Sure, at the time, everything seems ginormous and doomsicle (there’s a new word for you Dr. S 🙂 ) but once time passes, you realize that not only was it perhaps not as bad as you thought, but also that in the grand scheme of things, did it really matter and did you just waste x amount of time you have left on this planet worrying about that.

I think we’re all guilty of this, sure. Some more than others. As a person who isn’t usually an optimist, it is hard to not picture this in my head every time something goes wrong:

doomsday

Admittedly, I over-react often. There are even times I think to myself that I must be tripping to be over-reacting to some of things I do. It’s a SMH moment, for sure.

And the answer to some of the causes listed above are obvious. Get more sleep. Address and deal with your stress. Lay off the booze (and drugs!). Short of taking drugs for menopause or menstruation issues, there isn’t much women can do about what happens to their bodies hormonally because well, we’re women. Of course, some are easier than others. I, for one, am very stressed at my job. And I tend to bounce between an “oh shit I am so far behind I am going to die” mood to a “fuck this shit and the camel you rode in on”. Some days it doesn’t bother me that I’m behind, especially when I remember that I’ve been behind pretty much since 1998.

1998.

Other times, I stress because I feel like I’m not earning my pay and I feel like I’m a bad worker. Realistically, I know that there isn’t much I can do about being behind. No amount of organization (and I’m told I’m very organized) is going to fix that I am short-staffed and have been for five years with no hope of hiring anyone to help (other than Kimmy from her hire in 2014. Hi Kimmy!). I also realize then that I am working very hard and doing everything I can, but I’m not Superwoman.

And how goofy would this body look in that outfit??!

And after it’s all been said and done, the best things to do for mood swings:

  1. Drink plenty of water (add lemon if you want; it’s good for you too). I think this
  2. Do cardio exercise at least 30 minutes on most days. This increases your endorphines (your “happy” chemicals) and while you might be sore and tired (especially if you’re as out of shape as I am) but you’ll likely find yourself feeling better. Not just because you exercised but you stimulated your “happies”.
  3. Try to look for the positive whenever and wherever you can.
  4. Trying helping someone else with their problems/issues. By concentrating on them, you’re not only helping them but you’ll feel good about it as well.
  5. Take up a hobby. Or two. But for goodness sake, try not to pull a “Dani” and never finish them. But then again, you know what? If you don’t, I guess that’s perfectly okay too. I really shouldn’t be anyone’s measure of anything. 🙂 I’m just really quite easily bored (see posts on the hamsters) and tend to change up what interests me faster than most people change socks. It’s a sign of intelligence I’ve heart. *snort*
  6. Eat better. Even if you are one of those fortunate people (and I don’t know many) who can eat just about anything and not gain weight, what you put into your body affects it – and not just your weight. I am learning this every day. So even if you don’t need to lose weight, treat your body better and you’ll likely see your mood change. Junk food, fast-food, greasy type of foods including sugary soda/pop mess with your blood sugar levels and can cause moodiness. And alcohol is basically a depressant and can affect your sleep, which in turns can make you moody for the lack of.

And if after all of this, you still hit a rough grumpy patch, go with it. Don’t fret about it. Don’t stress about it. Deal with it in whatever works for you and move on. You’re human and it happens to everyone. And if you can (or are) one of those people who are perpetually happy even in some rough times, more power to you folks. That’s awesome!

Or…be a dog…

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Blessings for health, happiness and beating those moody blues into the dirt.

Keep on keeping on.

Love,

Dani

 

 

 

Need to clear the “Fuzzies”

I really need to figure out a way to clear all the fog up in my head. This is not something that is new; I haven’t only just started having “brain farts” so to speak.  For those that have known me for a long time, you know that I’ve had a “bad” memory (only on selective things it seems) since I was a kid. Unfortunately I can’t choose what to remember (blog posting, birthdays vs. ex-husband, appointments etc) so it’s often quite random. On top of that I’m easily distracted.

At times, my memory “lapse” is more like a colossal brain fart.

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Given the definition of “lapse” is: a temporary failure of concentration, memory, or judgment, the biggest failure with using that word is that sometimes it’s not temporary. Sometimes, it’s just gone.

It’s expected as you grow older, of course, that you will forget things from your past, particularly your childhood. I remember only a few things from when I was a kid. Only family photos “remind” me of something from way back then. Yet there are some things that are just as vivid today as they were back then.

My problem is that I’m to the point where I’m not exactly sure those things actually happened or if they are simply part of my over-active imagination. Or maybe I dreamed it or maybe it was a far-fetched story I told and now have no idea whether it happened or not. Or that I am remembering the incident but not completely accurately. I just can’t tell.

At my job, where I’m now in my 18th year, I can remember details about cases from 10 or 15 years ago, yet sometimes I can’t remember what I was working on yesterday. I have to remind myself to remember to bring things to work, or what to buy at the store. And that’s ONLY if I remember to bring the list, or actually that I have a list in my purse. Don’t even get me started on how many times that I have left my phone on my desk at work, only to have to go back to get it. It’s so many times that several people in my office have started to mockingly “remind” me to not forget my phone.

I sometimes get very frustrated or pissed off at myself because I can easily forget something very quickly after. Like putting down an item to grab it when I’m finished doing something else and I immediately forget to pick that item back up mere minutes later.

Too many hamsters; not enough wheels.

bdeI8N0 That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

As a kid my mom would send me to the nearby neighborhood variety store which was a merely trek through the alleyway the next block over and around the corner. By the time I got to the store, I couldn’t remember if I was supposed to get a pack of cigarettes, a quart of milk or a loaf of bread. So guess what I did?  Yep…I bought one of each. That way I was sure to get what my mom really wanted.

Ingenious, aren’t I?

Funny yet. I’m pretty sure that happened. But I’m not really sure. Did I really do that or did I once exaggerate this story and now it’s just the one that I have in my head as a “memory”?

It’s actually a way in which I could potentially drive myself insane.

My point to all this drivel is that while my memory hasn’t always been stellar, I’m convinced that some of the fog is related to a combination of many things:

  • the stress I feel at work
  • the worries I’m facing with my weight and health issues
  • the worries about when I move back home and adjusting to live back there and finding a job past 50 in a city that has the worse – WORSE – unemployment rate in all of Canada. Yes, that’s not a typo. It says ALL.
  • the worries of spending the rest of my life alone. That is, later in life, not having anyone to take care of me or help me. I haven’t any children (not that that means anything in some cases). I can potentially be more alone than I am now.

Just in general: I am a worry-wort. Because of the stresses I have (and who doesn’t) along with my worries, it compounds all that I have running through my head and in no way helps with the fuzzies. I think it makes them worse.

I have been working on dealing with stresses in my life and I’ve done better; to let go of some of the worries but I can’t get rid of all of them. I feel like doing so that it means that I’m irresponsible or uncaring, and that’s not the case. I’ve met people who go through their lives without a worry or care in the World – I was married to one – and that made me nuts because I don’t like the unknowns. Those that I can control to some extent, I need to. I just do. But the complacency of the seemingly Laissezfaire attitude is not for me.

Maybe it’s because I come to expect bad things to happen and I’m never disappointed so I need to have some preparation. I went through many years of dealing with debt because of someone else’s “don’t give a shit” attitude and all that did was stress me out. Them: they’re sleeping well at night and not concerned at all for the pain, suffering and heartache that they put me through. To me, when your inactions affect others and you don’t care – that makes you an asshole – not a care-free, don’t-let-my-worries-get-to-me sort of person. There is a difference.

So I worry. Less so now. But still do. And that stresses me out too.

I get it. I need more meditation. Yoga (incidentally I typed Yoda here by accident first – I do love Star Wars). Less stress.

My work doesn’t really allow for less stress. I’m over-worked in quantity even though I have an amazing helper, but I’m still over-worked nonetheless. So I get upset, stressed, pissed off, weepy and in some cases, explosive, where I just want to…well you get the picture.

And I do try to not let it get to me, but every one in a while, the enormity of the work-load, how far behind I actually am and how little time I have to do things just stands up, slaps me in the face and says:

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So I dry my tears of frustration and move on. But as my painting buddy Kimmy says, she and most people only see the top part of the iceberg – that is – the 10% that is above the surface. And it’s that 90% that people really should fear. Because you can’t see it and you never know when it’s going to surface – ass over head.

 

So I need to get my funny-animal-captions-ohm on because the workload is not going to go away anytime soon.

So I need to clear the fuzzies as much as I can. Who has a dust-buster?

Peace and blessings to all.

Dani