Tishspiration Tuesday| Taking Action

Tishspiration Tuesday| Taking Action

This will not be my typical Tishspiration Tuesday post.

My friend and I in our masks
My friend and I in our masks Photo by Matty Watson

At least, not at the beginning. I have left my blog to be quiet for far too long again, and many, many things have happened. This will not be a short, pleasant read. I feel from the depths of my very soul that it is my duty to write this story, and I pray that it leaves my mind through my fingertips in the way I intend it to. To help. To start the necessary conversations we need to be having in our homes and with the human population. In case you are reading this in the future, and not in the present time, here are a few of the things I am referring to.

  • Corona Virus or COVID-19 the Worldwide Pandemic
  • Self Isolation or Self Quarantine
  • Essential Frontline Medical workers went to war with COVID-19
  • Essential workers became an everyday term for extraordinary people doing their jobs
  • Stock markets crashing
  • A brief drop in the price of gas
  • Deferrals on payments of things like mortgages and car loans
  • Recession
  • Working from home became mandatory
  • Unemployment Rates Skyrocket
  • Mental Illness Crisis
  • Governments struggle to grasp the enormity of shutting down the world as we knew it
  • Government handouts to help people cope in the midst of all of the above
  • Murder Hornets
  • #BlackLivesMatter

If you are needing to learn any more information about any of these topics, feel free to Google them. Make sure you search for 2020. Looking back on things, it seems like we had no warnings at all. We are here, in the midst of it, praying for things to get better. For some it has. For others, the pain goes too deep to feel like it could ever be okay again.

I listed #BlackLivesMatter last above, intentionally.

It is a movement that has come and gone numerous times, before many of us were even born, and will continue to be something that plagues us, as a different kind of pandemic, until we find the cure. I have listed it last, but please do not think that means I am listing it in a place of least importance. I am not. It is there because this is when it has affected me in 2020. This very week, not in the previous weeks and months. I may not have the list in exact chronological order because I am going from memory. Today is fresh in my mind. The last several weeks have been a blur of adjustment and trying to learn when to pay attention, and when to tune the daily news out.

Like many people around the world, I have done my best to adapt to the world I am living in today.

I don’t leave the house at the drop of a hat anymore. I plan trips to the grocery store twice a month and have limited my time outside of my home to a walk around the neighbourhood. Alone, with my music. I nod and say hello to my neighbours as we walk 2 metres or six feet apart from each other, go home, shut my door, and go about entertaining myself and keeping busy.

I have been successfully able to adapt to my husband suddenly having to work from home. We get along well; I am one of the lucky ones. Another reality is that since we are all in isolation is that violence behind closed doors is at an all time high.

I want to choose my words carefully as I write.

There is a whole lot of hurt, pain, grief, anger, rioting, and violence happening in the world this week. It has escalated past the boiling point, and can no longer be ignored. People are dying every day from the pandemic virus that is sweeping across the planet. They expect it to come in waves, and the people of our planet are struggling to cope with the losses of so many people. It does not discriminate, it just attacks.

It is the people, the people who are guilty of discrimination and targeting minorities that has finally boiled over like it has in the past. #BlackLivesMatter has been a movement under this name since hashtags became popular, but only now do I fully understand what it really means.

Sign at the rally. White Silence is Violence
Sign at the rally. White Silence is Violence

I am a white woman. So white that I almost glow in the dark.

I have led a sheltered life, which means that I have been living a life of white privilege.It doesn’t mean I am rich, or famous or haven’t had struggles in my life. It means I have not had to live in the fear of persecution, violence or death simply because of the colour of my skin.

Throughout my adult life, I continue to do my best to educate myself. I, too, was guilty of proclaiming that #AllLivesMatter, before I really knew what either term meant. I believe in equality and justice for all. Saying #BlackLivesMatter does NOT mean I am disregarding the rest of humanity. It means that this group of people, People Of Colour or POC, which is what I think is the politically correct term for the demographic, are in danger. (If this is incorrect, I am certain that it will be pointed out, and if so, I will edit after publishing).

I watch television shows. I watch for entertainment, for exposure to things I would never experience, and to learn. As a student of the internet, I constantly sign up for challenges and webinars. As a network marketer, working with social media as my virtual customer base, I have allowed many people to interact with me. Some I know, some I have met only online.

I do my best to treat everyone as equals.

I am certain that I have failed in this, more than once, because I am not perfect. To be human is to err. It is inevitable that I will say or do something that will cause someone to have hurt feelings. It is not intentional, ever. I sometimes blunder into places I should never try to go. Maybe you are thinking I am doing this as you are reading this post. I encourage you to keep reading until the end before passing judgment.

Today I attended a rally. It was the first time I have ever gone to a protest. It was peaceful and I am eternally grateful that it was.

For a few minutes this morning, I debated attending the march. I know that there have been murders and shootings in my city, just like in all cities and even smaller places all around the world. I thought, what if something bad happens? What if I get hurt? What if I get arrested? If you know me, the chances of me being arrested are slim to none, but with escalated emotions and the possibility of a mob mentality running hand in hand with protesting and rioting, it would not be completely impossible. I debated this for an hour or more, searching within to find the right answer. I already knew what it would be, but I had to say it out loud, to make it real.

If I let fear take over, then I will not overcome what so many POC face every time they leave their homes.

I would be saying the words, but not taking action. This year, with all the chaos happening around me, I drew my line in the sand. It was time to be present in something that matters to me. Because I believe in equality, I must stand up against inequality. I must take courage against my fears, and step forth to take a stand for something I believe in.

So, I told my husband, that I was going to go. The rally would be during his workday, and he would not be able to join me. I had errands to run while I was out, but I wanted him to know what I was doing, and where I was going. Just in case. COVID-19 does not discriminate, and neither do bullets. He thought I was being silly when I said I loved him before leaving, but he also took the time to watch the video which set me in action. We talked about George Floyd and the uprisings, and he had a hard time watching the unnecessary, unjustified murder of a black man by four policemen.

Whether or not he broke the law, he didn’t deserve to die that way.

Now he will not have his day in court, here on earth, like so many other victims of racism and injustice. Bearing witness to that video recording stirred something inside of me. I try to keep things positive and light as much as I can, but it is not possible after seeing what happened.

The first thing I do when I am troubled is to pray.

I started watching for ways to learn how I could help. If you do your own research, you will find there are many organizations accepting donations for various charities centered around the cause. I made the decision to show up, to be present, and to listen while participating.

After fighting with a parking meter, I made my way up the street where the #BlackLivesMatter March would start. They began before I got there, with the crowd in silence, taking a knee, or kneeling on the grounds of our City Hall. Some people held their arms in the air, others, like me, held a hand over their heart. When I got close enough, I paused and waited for this to conclude before taking out my camera. I did not bring a sign, rather I chose to bring my camera with the full intention of writing this when I got home. I wanted to be present and to bear witness.

My friend & I at the March
My friend & I at the March

You have no idea how happy I was when one of my best friends appeared. Even if I had to be there alone, because of the location of the march, and the time of day it was happening, I felt that I would be okay. It was being held in the middle of the day, downtown, on the same walking path of the Pride Parade. I looked it up online and decided I could handle the distance of the march. Having a friend there eased my anxiety, a bit.

The irony of my poor physical condition combined with wearing a face mask and needing to stop for my asthma inhaler is not lost on me.

I did not want to fall behind, I wanted to keep up with the people around me. Until that point, I pushed myself, until I realized that I was having difficulty breathing. I was able to stop long enough to take two puffs of my inhaler and could breathe easier right away. I was able to continue in the march.

George Floyd was not given the ability to breathe when three police officers knelt on top of him. He suffocated under the weight of their knees on his body. I am only aware of this because it was the start of the riots in Minneapolis, and spreading to other cities in the United States of America. The irony of the name of a country so divided on so many levels is something I am also very aware of, even if it is only occurring to me as I type. It happens all over the world, even here. Racism, hatred, segregation, violence, and murder. All over the world, right under our noses.

So much hate, violence, and murder are often overlooked because it happens so often, people grow immune to it.

Turning a blind eye to injustice is no better than rioting and looting because of it. My eyes are open. I do not know what tomorrow brings, but I am trying to do better. My purpose on earth is to bring more good into the world, every day, more than yesterday. I do admit that it is difficult on days like today, but I am doing the best I can, which is all any of us can do. Not our worst, our best.

Every. Single. Day.

I showed up and I marched with the crowd. (I did wear my face mask, bring hand sanitizer, and a bottle of water from home. The COVID-19 concerns are still very real). I yelled, I chanted the rally cries and I listened to the speeches when we got back to the city hall. It was a peaceful rally, and I don’t know how many people were there, but I do know that the organizers were thrilled with the show of support by the turnout.

One last thought before I press that publish button.

Underneath it all, in our very core, beats a heart in every living human being. Our hearts are all the same colour, as is the blood pumping in our veins. We can do better. I am trying. I hope that you will try too. Once we grow accustomed to what it means to try, then we must do better. It is not a choice anymore, it is a requirement of being human.

Don’t let the darkness of those who do wrong overtake the light. We win when we stand together, to support each other. It is something I have learned in the writing community. When we support each other, we rise together. It is time to reach out your hand to whoever needs the help. Before things get worse. If we do nothing at all, we are no better than the oppressors. Have difficult conversations. Ask awkward questions, sensitively. Find out how to help those in need. Dig as deep as you have to for your empathy. It is in there, you just have to find it. When you do, you will realize, like I do, that this is what is important, and by speaking up and speaking out, we can change the world. One conversation at a time.

  • The crowd at the rally before the March
  • People are gathering
  • Looking at the crowd
  • The crowd is gathered at City Hall
  • Starting the march
  • Marching toward the street
  • Marching around a car in the street
  • People and signs
  • Midway through the march
  • Following the crowd
  • Traffic is halted for the protest
  • Turning a corner on the 2 block route in downtown Fredericton
  • Back to City Hall for the speeches
  • My friend and I at the end of the rally

#BlackLivesMatter

Tishspiration Tuesday| Taking Action

Tishspiration Tuesday | Don’t Let Yourself Fall Between The Cracks

It has been too long since I have written in this category. It is Tuesday, right? With everything that is happening in the world right now, I felt the need to write a new blog post. The Tishspiration posts will be on my new website when it is ready.

I was a little disgruntled this morning while I listened to the local radio station. It seems that while I decided not to listen to Prime Minister Trudeau’s daily news briefing (it is a little surreal to even write that bit) he talked about trying to help more people who were falling through the cracks of the current emergency benefits program the Canadian Government is putting into place.

Great, man. Way to steal my thunder. I had this title since last week, thank you very much.

As I contemplated the idea of choosing another title, I decided to keep it. It is timely and relevant. More than I thought it was when I first began working on the concept for this post.

The Canadian Government is helping people.

They are working hard to help Canadians maneuver through the world which is very different than it was only three weeks ago. Three weeks. Has it only been three weeks since we were all told to stay home? It seems like longer to me. Maybe that is because I have spent more than a year at home, working on building my own businesses.

I had unemployment insurance until November of 2019. The government, because of many years of being a part of the workforce in Canada, offers this while people are in between jobs. I was an employee, of several different companies for most of my adult life. I am not lazy, but I have been selective in which jobs I have applied for since the pogey (unemployment insurance) ran out. When things started happening three weeks ago, our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, started holding daily press conferences on his front lawn. He said we would all be okay, and that the government was working on emergency benefits to help Canadians weather this storm called COVID-19.

I had hope. He said people who were self employed would be able to apply for this benefit, to help cover the bills while our businesses were unable to run normally at this time. I thought things were going to get better for me, at least for a short period of time.

I do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

In my business, in the last 12 months, I did not earn the minimum of $5,000, needed to qualify. While I do not expect a free ride through this crisis, I was led to believe that there was hope for me. Although I am not surprised that the Representatives of The House Of Commons added stipulations to what the Prime Minister was offering to help Canadians, I am disappointed.

I am not alone. There are people in this country who also do not qualify for what is being offered. Thankfully, my husband is still able to work at his full-time job from home, and able to continue working at his part-time job, outside of our home. I am not able to look for employment outside of our home at this time. I am a person with a chronic disease and therefore considered immunocompromised. To stay healthy, I need to stay home, and to be honest, I haven’t gotten any calls for interviews in the last month.

We made the decision to take advantage of the offers available to us while we weather this out. Deferrals do not help us in the long term, but they do help us right now, and like many other Canadians, we will take all the help we can get.

Where is the Tishspiration in this article?

It is here. With me. I am also writing to tell people to not sit quietly in anticipation of the worst possible outcome. I am my own best advocate, and you are your own best advocate. Speak up. Do so with intelligence. If you whine and complain, nobody will listen. If you look for one thing to be grateful for every day, share it. Give others hope.

Follow the guidelines, but if you, like me do not qualify, don’t apply for the benefit. It wastes your time, and it takes time and energy away from people who qualify for it. Tying up the system for no good reason doesn’t help you or anyone else.

Be considerate.

I know things are wild out there. People are yelling at people about the safe distance and who should or should not be out and about. Remember that they are not intending to be ignorant, they, like you, are scared of what is happening, because they, like you, have no control over things they normally would have control over. Like going to work and getting a paycheck. Going to the mall. Seeing their friends and family.

Get creative. I know, a lot of people do not think that they have any creativity in them. We all do, to varying degrees. Ask for help if you need it, but don’t just give up when technology decides to be uncooperative. I haven’t told my husband, yet, but I am considering painting the link for this website on my living room window, to see if I can generate more followers, but even more importantly, more book sales. I wanted to paint a picture, and I think I will incorporate it into a white, fluffy cloud, so it can be easily read from the street, and snapped in a picture on a cellphone by the people in my neighbourhood who, like me, are walking more as it is something we can still do.

If you have ever considered working from home, the time is now!

Stick with me for a moment. People are at home. They need things. Network Marketing has the answer for the needs of many people, worldwide, right now. You can support someone you know by purchasing the products they sell, and they will be delivered to your door, to avoid leaving the house to get the things you need. I am currently offering makeup and books for sale, and I do make jewellery. Jewellery designing has taken a back seat for now. It is more of a hobby than a business, and I am okay with it as it is. My supplies will be there when I am ready to play with beads again, or if there is an order I need to create.

The only way I have available to me right now to earn an income is through my online businesses. I am working very hard to grow my entrepreneurial dreams, and it is a way for me to lay a plank across the path to hold myself up, to keep me from falling through the cracks. What I do isn’t going to be what everyone else should do, but I want to encourage you to be open to what your friends and family are offering, and even a stranger might have the opportunity that will help you stay on top of the path. Do your own research, like I did, before taking the leap, and jump in with both feet when you find something that you could see yourself promoting as something you love. Whatever that is for you!

To the Extroverts and to people who suffer with mental illness:

This is not an ideal situation for anyone who falls into these two categories. If you are a people person, call a friend, every day. Schedule a video chat with your family. Write a letter to someone you love. When is the last time you got a letter in the mail? It is something that ALWAYS puts a smile on my face, to open the mailbox to find something there that is from someone I know, and someone I want to get mail from.

To anyone who is suffering from mental illness, my heart goes out to you. Things were hard before COVID-19, and they are likely to get worse before they will get better. I want you to know that someone out there cares about you, even if that someone is only me, a stranger trying to spread a little hope into the world. Please reach out if you need help to get through the next second, minute, hour or day. You are not alone, the world is struggling with you. The world may not have the same struggles that you do, but we are all struggling in our own way right now.

One last thing.

Things will get better. It can and it will. It has to because every roller coaster has its ups and downs. We are in a down right now, but we will be going up, maybe even stronger than we ever have before, if we just keep on working on the things we can control, and not getting lost in the fear of what might be. Focus on what will be, and make it a reality.

Please don’t ever give up hope. It is all we have to hold on to in times like this. I am going to grab on and pull myself up out of the cracks I am falling into, and when I am on solid ground, I will reach out to see who I can help up to stand beside me.

When we support each other, we rise together. I believe this with my whole heart and soul.

#TishspirationTuesday

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 80 | Three Surprising  Weeks

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 80 | Three Surprising Weeks

This week I am going to catch you up on the last three surprising weeks I have had. To start, we will go back in time to Monday, a few weeks ago.

As a person with diabetes, I need to see specialists from time to time to properly manage the disease and to take care of myself. Three weeks ago, I had an appointment with the ophthalmologist. It happens every three to six months, and it is to make sure there are no signs of diabetes progression in my eyes. I have been going to these appointments for a few years, now.

When I went into the room this time, there was a change.

I needed laser surgery in my right eye. It is to treat a protein leak in the back of the eye. A few flashes of green light and I was on my way. My husband was scheduled to pick me up after the appointment. When he arrived, I was on a bench near the door. I had my sunglasses on, and my hood pulled down over my eyes. I kept peeking up to look for him. He told me I looked pale after I got into the car.

After I told him that I had the treatment for the first time, he understood my reaction. This concerned me because my eye felt like there was sand in it. I was in mild shock because it happened so fast and without a lot of information.

I did not ask enough questions at the appointment. That was my fault. The doctor didn’t ask me if I had any, which was their bad. When something catches me off guard, it scares me. I acted like I was fine, but I wasn’t.

The next day I called the office.

The ophthalmologist called me back and answered all of my questions. I felt much better after we spoke on the phone. The following day they called again and asked if I could go back to the hospital, where the clinic is, to get a second look at my, to make sure everything was okay.

In the meantime, the doctor prescribed an ointment for my eye, as a precaution. It is fine, and the issue only lasted for about two days. I also have another hydrating gel to use when my eyes get dry, now. Although I feel like the doctor was taking very good care of my eyes, and did the follow up after I asked, I did not feel like they took good care of me on the day of the appointment. However, they are not the only ones to blame, as I am my own best advocate, and I should have asked more questions before leaving the clinic that day.

On Wednesday, in that same week, I was back at the treadmill for the medical study I signed up for. It started with another surprise. I was really not feeling it, but I had to do it to keep participating. They hooked me up to the machine that measures my oxygen, for a reassessment. It was only for the first five minutes of the walk, so it wasn’t too bad, but it caught me off guard. The good news is that the reassessment told them I was using oxygen better, and that I was going to have a lower threshold for my heart rate when on the treadmill. The next morning, I was told to bump it up. I almost called the person working with me a liar.

In week 6, I had my lung test.

It took about an hour. It was determined that I do not have asthma. I was previously diagnosed with environmental asthma. I do wheeze sometimes when I am exercising. When I asked if I should continue taking the Ventolin puffer during the study, I was advised to try without it, and use it if I need to.

The very next day, I had a milder attack. I didn’t use the inhaler before the treadmill, but I needed to after I was done, like the other time. Thankfully, it was not as bad of an attack, and I recovered much quicker. The next day, I woke up feeling ill. I was experiencing a blood sugar low. The exercise was finally making my body need less insulin, again. This is not a pleasant feeling, but it is good news. My body is responding to the increase in my activity.

I took that day off.

When someone misses a day, the minutes need to be made up. The last surprise I was given in week 6 was on the scale. I am finally losing weight. It thrilled me to see the change on the scale.

When we got to this week, week seven, things changed, but not just for me. For the whole world. I was on the treadmill on Monday, and then the study was postponed. They had increased the cleaning, and we were to wash our hands before and after the workouts, but it wasn’t enough. As I write, the world is holding its breath as we try to navigate through the most stressful staycation we have ever experienced.

I was really having a hard time on Monday after the news came out about the study being postponed. You see, I am willing to walk on the treadmill for science, and to help other people, but I was not convinced I would be willing to do it for my own health. I reached out to a friend through a chat.

I am so glad I did.

We have decided to become activity accountability buddies for each other, and I have walked 3 days this week. I share pics after my walks on the days since the study was postponed. I have not walked much yesterday or today, but I know I need to, and I know someone is counting on me to do it.

In accordance with the current guidelines, I am able to go out for fresh air and go for a walk. I am walking outside, around my mini home park. It is about 2km/lap, and I am walking for 2 laps right now. I was walking for 30 minutes on the treadmill. It takes me an hour a lap outside. As I turn on the treadmill tunes in my Spotify account, which is downloaded to work with no wi-fi, I go. I am not pushing myself, but I am using my tricks to get my heart rate up. I guess you will have to wait until next week to read all about what that means. For now, I am grateful for the support of my friend, and for those who are encouraging me on social media.

If you won’t do what you need to do for yourself, do it for someone else until you feel like you want to do it for yourself. Ask for help. Get the people who want to see you do well involved.

One last thing. I am changing the words in my head. Instead of saying:

I am strong; I am capable.

I changed these words to:

I can and I will.

I am walking with a purpose.

#TrustYourGut

Makeup Monday | More Than Just A Pretty Face

Makeup Monday | More Than Just A Pretty Face

Hello Beautiful Friends! This week I want to write a little about the business side of makeup. I started selling as an independent presenter. What does that mean? It means that I am able to order makeup from Younique for myself, and for my customers. This means a little more than just that, to me, though.

What it means is that I am learning what it feels like to have an actual makeup application technique, and I can practice. This is good because there are occasions when I want to put my best look forward, for interviews, and at other times when I want to look good for social events. It had been so long since I had tried to put on makeup that my skills were a bit rusty, but over time, I am gaining confidence in my abilities.

I can and will earn a commission for makeup sales. Building a team will also help me to reach my goals. We can grow the business together and have fun while doing it. I have sponsored a new presenter, and she loves the products as I do! It is so great to find a friend to share the love of these products with!

Skin Care is essential

Did you know that the state of your skin affects your makeup application? I didn’t. I have seen changes in my skin, and in my makeup looks after applying makeup. If I use the exfoliating mask, it helps to let the makeup application be smoother. If I follow my new routine, my skin is more hydrated. Skin is the largest organ on your body, so it deserves a little TLC whenever you can fit it in.

I am learning all of the time, the different techniques and products which will help me to look better with my makeup on. I look beautiful without makeup, which is my normal look. But something happens after I put makeup on. I feel like I look better, more confident. There is no price tag on this feeling, it is priceless.

Having the tools to work with makes things even better. Whether it is makeup brushes or skin cleansing products, having the right tools for the task at hand makes it more enjoyable, because you can attempt the look on a Youtube video, and have a chance to nail it for real.

Makeup is changing my life.

I am making new friends and expanding my network. The potential for earnings is lucrative, but feeling good about myself and what I look like is just as important to me. I think of it as a creative expression of how I want others to see me. If I need a day off, I take it, and I let people know that I need to rest. I need to keep working hard, though, because I can use the commission to pay my bills, and that is extremely important to me.

When it starts to become a reliable source of income for me (when not if) I will feel like it is okay to spend more time writing, because there is an income to support my household while I am writing. It is a wonderful revenue stream, and it brings me such joy to know that I am working towards my long term goals.

For now, I am aiming for pink status. It is a pay raise status, and it comes with a breakdown of 92 mascara sales per month. It might seem like a lofty goal, but I am going to apply myself to get there. I am training in groups to learn how to run my makeup business better, and it will pay off. Consistency is the key, just like it is with writing. It will come, as long as I keep showing up.

One final thought…

Have you ever found yourself wandering in your local drug store or a department store after going in for one thing, and finding deals in things you didn’t plan to buy? You just went in for milk and there was such a great deal on this lipstick… and the money you spent supported a chain store and a large company, right? Consider this, if you will. Planning your makeup purchases with an independent consultant like myself allows you to have one on one customer service, tailored to your specific needs, and supports someone who will be a trusted friend for life. Who do you want to support when you buy makeup? I made my choice, and I encourage you to give this some thought. Why support strangers when you can help your friend by buying the same products you are already buying elsewhere?

As always, I am only a message away. Stay beautiful, friends! #makeuphappens

#MakeupMonday

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 80 | Three Surprising  Weeks

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 79 | Medical Study Progress Report

In Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 79 | Medical Study Progress Report I am going to review how the first month of the medical study went. If you missed it, you can find it here. I did the testing for the study in January. The study started 4 weeks ago. I have had some things happen which I will write about, but please understand, I am also participating with the blessings of my doctor. It wasn’t required, but my doctor is aware of it, and yesterday, she told me how proud she was of me for taking this step. She also said that she wished more people would do more to be proactive in their own health care.

Yes, you read that correctly. I saw my doctor yesterday.

When you start any new physical activity, it is always the right thing to do. I saw her before I started, and I saw her again yesterday to discuss something that happened this past week. Before I get into this, I want to review my thoughts on the whole month. I will get back to the reason for the doctor’s appointment and the result of it in a bit.

I agree with her statements. It is a lot for me to just show up. Let’s explore this in more detail.

To understand how hard this is for me, you need to know that I weigh over 300 lbs. 318.9 as of this morning if you want to get specific. I have not seen a huge weight loss in one month of the study. This is not the most encouraging thing to think about at the moment, but I KNOW I NEED TO DO THIS. If I keep showing up, I might just save my own life.

There is no payment for this study.

It is completely voluntary. They are measuring the effects on people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes (which if we are being honest, doesn’t exist) who exercise. They are checking my body muscle and fat density, taking oxygen measurements, and my blood sugars. The study will compare the H1AC (the 3-month average) blood sugar levels while it is happening. I signed up for 7 months. What was I thinking?

I know it will help me with my own health issues. However, if you have been reading these blogs all along, you know that I have issues with showing up for myself and have been wavering since I stopped going to Zumba class twice a week. It is a decision I made for my own reasons, and I love Zumba. I have tried it at home a bit this year, and I will continue whenever that mythical energy is here to stay. I have seen improvements in my energy levels, but they aren’t consistent, yet.

No, really, what was I thinking?

I was thinking that I need to move on purpose this year. I needed a reason to do something. Some days I feel strong, and others I can barely manage to keep the heart rate up to where they need it to be for the study.

They make us wear heart monitors every day. It can pinpoint if something happens, and most of the time they tell me I need to pick it up a bit. Which sucks. I did sign up for it, and I am doing my best to show up and do what they need me to do. It is not a leisurely stroll on the treadmill I am taking.

In the first week, I had to walk for 80 minutes.

We broke it down to 20 minutes a day for 4 days. I got to have Wednesday off, as a rest day. Did I ever need that rest day! I was so happy to be able to sleep in. Being unemployed for over a year has affected my sleeping habits, I had been in the pattern of staying up too late and sleeping in every morning. I am not excited about being on a treadmill at 8 am 4 or 5 days a week, but I am still showing up.

The schedule is flexible, so if I should happen to get a job, they will accommodate a different schedule if I need it. I picked 8 am so that I would be able to drive my husband to work, and then hit the treadmill, on weeks when he needs the car. He shares driving with a co-worker, so every 2 weeks he drives, and if I want the car, I have to be in the car to take it from his work and pick them up after work.

The one issue I had in the first week was sore calves. Did they ever express their unhappiness out loud to me in that first week. The first day was the worst for the calves. I wear compression stockings, and they help improve circulation in my calves. They did not like the change in my routine, at all. I kept going, and I got through the first week okay.

Setting My Own Goals

In week 2, I walked for 100 minutes, so the daily minutes increased to 25 minutes a day. I still had Wednesday off, and I started testing my body to see what worked to get my heart rate up. I also took the time to create a list on Spotify, called Treadmill Tunes. It is great on shuffle, and today I almost laughed out loud when this played in my ears…Mustard! There are 311 songs on that list… I have a hard time narrowing it down, okay? I haven’t heard all of the songs in a month. Variety helps me to stay motivated and change my pace to, “Bump it up!” as they keep telling me when my heart rate is too low for their study.

Sometimes I skip through a few songs to find the beat I need for that moment, but shuffle usually does a good job.

By the start of week 3, my calves weren’t the issue I had on my mind. My nerve pain in my right thigh sometimes kicks in. It is related to my hip flexors, and I have had this issue for years. All I can do is stretch it and work through the pain. I know it won’t last forever, and I have to push through it. By the end of week 2, I was using my Zumba stretches after walking on the treadmill, to make sure I didn’t get sore after going home.

My goals are to increase the intensity when I can, and keep the heart rate up high enough so I am not having to bump it up every day. I am working on this; I have good days and bad days.

There was a new concern in week 3.

I performed a very entertaining Bambi on Ice routine, where I slipped but managed to recover and stay on my feet. My hip flexor muscles on the left side were pulled as a result, and I was very concerned about how it would affect my time on the treadmill. I take painkillers when it is sore, and try to rest. It is worse after sitting in my computer chair for long amounts of time. It doesn’t hurt on the treadmill, which I was a relief.

Week 3 time increased to 120 minutes. I was walking for 30 minutes, four days a week. Dealing with the issues above, and starting to challenge myself with increasing the incline for longer times every day. I play with the speed, as I move with my whole body for some songs, and for parts of songs on a lower speed so I can get my groove on without face-planting.

It hasn’t happened yet but on a treadmill, the fear is real.

On Friday, last week, I noticed that my left knee was trying to bend the wrong way. I pay attention to my body because I need to know how to manage all the curveballs it throws at me. I checked with a friend who works in the fitness industry, and she advised me to take things easy on the weekend, which I was already planning to do; and to pay attention to what was happening. Later that day I felt like my hip was going to go out, and my knee did its funky thing shortly after this. I was cautious all weekend and rested as much as I could.

As the weekend progressed, week 4 was approaching.

I worried about week 4. This past week added 30 minutes to my walk time, which means I am now walking for 30 minutes, 5 days a week, for a total of 150 minutes a week. The good news is, there are no more time increases for me to worry about. The difficulty comes when I am needing to bump it up.

On Monday, I paid close attention to my knee, and my hip, both on the left side. The right side has eased off, and I don’t have the nerve pain every day, or for very long when it happens, now. I realized that my left knee is over-compensating for the hip muscles. This means I was able to correct it before things got worse, and I am feeling stronger by the end of week 4.

I started wearing my knee brace to walk, to support the knee, and it is helping. I only wear it on the treadmill, and I think just even knowing I have it on helps a lot. Monday and Tuesday were tough.

For me, it is all a head game.

I need to talk myself through it every day. Getting up, showing up, pushing through and relaxing when they tell me I can cool down. It’s my favourite part, actually, because I am done for the day. Whatever gets me through it.

I watch the timer. I watch the heart rate. It can be affected by the other people in the room, so I can’t trust the heart rate, but it gives me a general idea if I am working hard enough or not, most of the time. I tell myself, only so many more minutes to cool down, or I had the incline to 3.0 for a whole minute longer than I did yesterday. Woo-hoo! I have to be my own cheerleader, constantly.

On Wednesday, I fell apart.

I pushed real hard on Wednesday. Keeping the incline at 3.0 as long as I could and held it at 2.5 for another record-beating time. I was feeling like I was going to be able to keep pushing for week 4.

And then, it happened. My left hip made a twinge. This one little smidge of pain unravelled me.

I started to panic. I thought I would have to quit the study. My biggest fear is injuring myself and having to quit. If this happens, I would be letting myself down. I faltered and was told to bump it up.

When I bump it up, I can also bump it down when I arrive at the correct heart rate, as long as it doesn’t drop. I play with the speed and the incline while I am working out, as needed. I bumped it way down after I got to where I needed, and the panic running through my veins kept the heart rate high enough to not have to increase it any further at that moment.

Exercise-Induced Asthma is something I have been diagnosed with.

I have carried a Ventolin puffer around with me for years. I have wheezed when I push myself, and to allow me to complete the walks every day without needing to stop, I decided to take 2 puffs, preventatively before getting on the treadmill in the first week. It is helping me to breathe better while working out.

Wednesday was no different, I took 2 puffs before getting on the treadmill. Due to scheduling conflicts, it was a 4 pm walk that afternoon. I had coffee in my system when normally I just have water and my protein shake before the workout. My protein shake is made by mixing a scoop of chocolate protein powder into my unsweetened cashew with vanilla milk. I drink it before I leave the house if I am just driving myself, or in the car if Roy is driving himself to work.

The time of day was off, and my mental game was off. I had a complete panic attack by the time I stepped off the treadmill. What made it worse was I COULD NOT BREATHE! I went to the chair to rest, like I always do, and found my puffer.

Usually, I will sit after the walk and drink my water, do my stretches and head home.

On Wednesday, I had to get into my head and play hardball. It was very hard to talk myself down from the panic attack. It was so scary; I thought they would need to call 911 and rush me to the hospital. Not for the panic attack, but because I could not catch my breath.

When I took the puffer, it was just like you see others do with bad asthma. Inhaling the puff was loud, and it was hard to hold my breath while holding the medicine in my lungs. Breathe it in, count for 10, exhale. I had to do this twice, and all the while, I could not breathe.

Once I got the puffer into me, I worked on calming myself down. It took about 45 minutes before I felt good enough to go home. I did not stretch, and I forgot my hoodie. I was not feeling like myself at all, and when I change a routine, I am more likely to forget things.

Thursday morning, I talked about what happened with the students who are recording the data from the study. I was a little upset, still, and it helped to talk about it. I made an appointment to see my doctor as soon as I got home.

One good thing about a blizzard is that you can get a cancellation appointment easily.

The doctor’s office is not far from where I live, so I went to see her. She is sending me for tests on my lungs but agrees with me that the main issue was the panic attack. Fast forward to Friday.

I did it for a month, successfully! I am proud of myself. Today, I realized at about 8 minutes in that I forgot to take the puffer. It was okay, although it was a little harder for me to keep my heart rate up today. It does make a difference, and it does help, but I can do it without the puffer. I will have to skip it on the day of the appointment, and now I know what to expect.

#TrustYourGut

Makeup Monday | Taking The Mask Off

Makeup Monday | Taking The Mask Off

Have you ever heard people saying that women hide behind their makeup like it is a mask? I remember in high school a guy said you shouldn’t wear makeup because then you will look like her. (I might have been influenced by this statement.) When I think back, I was listening to a friend talk badly about another friend. As a teenager, I did not understand what was actually happening as I experienced being a part of this conversation.

The balance of a light touch versus being heavy-handed can be very noticeable.

As an adult, I might have a thing or two to say to that guy who was expressing his opinion. For starters, he was wrong to make fun of someone for their makeup application. If he didn’t like how our classmate looked, he didn’t have to share his opinion. Secondly, the person he was being so critical of was indeed a friend of mine, and I remember that she was kind to me. I don’t know if either one of them will read this blog post, so to minimize any further damage that could be caused by remembering this conversation, I am purposefully keeping this part vague. It was about 30 years ago, and I am sure we have all grown up to be better people than we were as teenagers.

For instance, I have broadened my own thoughts exponentially since those days. I stand up to bullies; I defend myself, and I will speak up to be heard. Speaking my mind has given me confidence in my own intelligence. It has also allowed me to explore things as my sense of humour, and my writing. I am very grateful to the experiences which have led me to the person I am today.

Is Putting On Your Face Hiding Yourself Behind A Mask?

Not in my opinion. There are times and situations when this does apply, but not on the average person or day. If you are using face paint, for example, as an actor or for Halloween, it can be considered a mask.

The other way this happens is when you use a skin treatment, called a face mask. I never used them often over the years, but I am now using one or two on a weekly basis now. Why the change?

If you want your makeup to look flawless, then you need not only a good foundation in place to wear it on, but a good skincare routine to make sure it looks natural. Growing up three decades ago, I didn’t have a skincare routine. Maybe this friend of mine had been taught to apply makeup by a friend or a relative, or even worse, maybe there was nobody to teach her so she taught herself how to apply it. These days we can use Google or Youtube to learn how to do anything, but 30 years ago, we did not have these options. We had TV and magazines. Times have changed, and so have the styles. I have older habits in my own application which I am learning don’t work today. I am using new to me products and having fun while I am doing it.

Skincare is important.

This is a brightening mask. I wore it before the Oscars a few weeks ago. I am holding my applicator which I used to apply the mask to my skin.

The brightening mask is new to me, and really cool. You apply it, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then you peel it off! I have done a live video with it, but only peeling it off once. I am improving my skills with makeup, but it takes time and practice.

Peeling the mask to reveal my brighter skin underneath.

I pair this mask alternately with an exfoliating mask. My next mask purchase will be the hydrating mask. I look forward to trying it out.

The afterglow

Adventures with makeup can be a lot of fun. I do enjoy creating different looks on different days. I am also fielding questions about products, and I have even found some instructional videos for friends to help them in their adventures.

Makeup can enhance your natural beauty. When you take the time to learn about different products and techniques, you can grow in your own confidence. Learning what different brushes are for and how to use them is also something new for me. Keeping the makeup brushes clean is important, and I have gathered quite a collection. Once a week is recommended for cleaning makeup brushes, and in between cleanings I use a kleenex to remove the product from the brush bristles.

Having fun with makeup puts a smile on my face

You can follow my adventures with makeup on Facebook at Always Beautiful with Tish MacWebber and if you want to see more behind the scenes you can request to join the Tish MacWebber Always Beautiful Friends Group. It is linked to the business page. Whatever you prefer, I am only a message away. #makeuphappens

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 80 | Three Surprising  Weeks

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 78 | What Is Your Relationship Status With Food?

I have written before about emotional eating. I do it, and I am trying to change my relationship with food. It is not easy to change, but I am working on it, and I am making progress. Little by little, I am making changes and seeing results. Not too long ago, I wasn’t aware of how much I let food rule my world.

Living with type 2 diabetes; food is something that I can obsess about. It is easy to go for a quick and easy meal or snack when I tell myself I am stopping my blood sugars from dropping. Without testing, it is very hard to know whether the blood sugars are high or low. I know what to watch for, but it doesn’t mean that I can always tell.

I am working on taking my health more seriously this year. Since I have been testing my blood sugars more frequently, they are finally getting back to normal ranges. I am paying more attention, and my efforts are paying off. If I am going to do this, I need to remember to take my medications. It is good to be able to write that I am back on track with this.

On Being Kind To Myself

Choosing to prioritize my own health care IS being kind to myself. Making poor choices or slacking off is not. I saw the result of that over the holidays, and it was not pretty. Implementing changes like keeping track of taking my medicine or checking my sugars is a huge accomplishment.

In the fall, I bought myself some new clothes. Two new dresses, one casual and one for a special occasion. As I was in need of new dressier boots, I found a new pair and a new pair of casual shoes too. I don’t go shopping for clothes frequently, and there are times I go out and come home with nothing. When I find good sales on clothes or footwear, I usually get what I can; when the odds are in my favour.

Making a pointed effort to not go out and buy clothing regularly is telling myself that I am not worth the effort of going to shop for myself. While I can’t afford to buy new clothes every month, I should make an effort when I am in need.

How About My Dance More Goal?

I did Zumba at home 2 times last week. I have fallen behind on cleaning at home. Sometimes I switch it in when I need to get some cleaning done in place of the dancing. Recently I worked on switching the makeup area in my master suite by moving two storage shelving options around.

Dancing is the goal, but I needed to adapt it a bit to allow for any movement that is being done on purpose. Running errands, window shopping, even doing laundry and putting it away (not my favourite thing to do) is moving on purpose. Any activity is an extra activity for me now.

Being aware of the need to be more active means nothing if I am not actually making changes. It is not easy. Neither is shoveling snow, but it is necessary for the winter where I live. I also count it as an activity.

How Do I Stay Motivated?

One thing I learned a while ago when I was feeling bad about the state of my house is that if I watched the shows on TLC about Hoarders, it can inspire me to do more cleaning in my home. I am a packrat, not a hoarder. I can purge and throw things out or donate them. It isn’t always easy, but it can be done. I do need to be in the mood to tackle cleaning my home, and watching this show helps. It shows how bad things can get if you do not clean your home and consequently, it does make me feel like cleaning around here more frequently.

Some other shows I have been watching lately are My 600 Pound Life, and another one called The 1000 Pound Sisters. I am watching to learn how to help myself, with the same thought process behind it. I don’t want my weight to ever be that high. Watching the show is how I can learn about what not to do. The doctors on these shows have to be tough, and the people who are looking for the surgery have to commit to their health before they will get approved. I see their struggles, and I recognize some of the traits I have in common with the people on the show.

Emotional eating is a problem I admit to having.

Not in the same way the people on the show do, though. I have seen some really bad habits. Eating take out and going to more than one restaurant in a row, just ordering food, eating in the car, and going to the next drive-thru is something I have never done. Not for full meals. If I want things from different places to make up a meal, maybe, but this is a rarity for me.

One thing which really stood out to me is that more than one person relates their food to be their only friend. Not only does it make me sad to think that there are people out there who genuinely feel this way,l but it is something I have never had to deal with. I eat my feelings, but I do not rely on food to comfort me the way a friend would. It is not the same for me.

The good news is that some of those people succeed. It gives me hope that when I get serious with myself, I can make the changes needed to be healthier.

#TrustYourGut

Makeup Monday | Know Where To Draw The Line

Makeup Monday | Know Where To Draw The Line

I have been working on my makeup business lately. It is a lot of fun! Learning how to use the makeup I have to create new looks is something I really enjoy. People are being very kind as I share my selfies online. Consequently, I like to think I am getting better all of the time, and practicing is how I learn.

I also started watching Youtube tutorials. Some just for fun and others to learn. Still, others go into my saved list so I can try to recreate the look in them. One of my friends asked for help with her eye makeup, and I found some videos for her, too. It will be great to see if they help her to get the look she wants.

One of my looks featured red lipstick.

I am not going to lie, I had it in my previous stash. When I started in this business, I had makeup from other sources. The Scottish half of me won’t let me just toss them out…while the French half of me will be okay with that as soon as each item is replaced with products from the company I am working with.

The reason I mention the red lipstick is that I recently posted a graphic on my social media with my red lips. Someone commented that it was a nice colour for me, but they are not brave enough to wear a red shade on their lips. Hence, I am writing this post.

This is the graphic I am referring to. Red lips are ICONIC in the Entertainment Industry.

This is not the only shade of red lipstick that I own.

It is the one which looks best on me, of my 2 choices. In the cover photo, I have set out the looks for today. In my shower, I washed my face and gave it an exfoliating mask treatment. I am also working on different methods of washing and conditioning my hair to naturally enhance my curls. I am liking the results so far.

When I was ready to start my makeup for this blog, first, I used the Younique Uplift Serum under my eyes, on the bridge of my nose, on my forehead, and anywhere else I see wrinkles or fine lines. After the serum dries, which does not take very long, I apply moisturizer. Next is the Touch Glorious Face Primer, seen in the cover picture at the top of the blog. My final step to prepare for this look was to draw a line with Moodstruck Precision Pencil Eyeliner in the colour Perfect, from my forehead to under my chin.

Draw The Line
My line drawing skills are a little off centre.

This idea started with me thinking about the two lipsticks, and also about me wanting to show the wrong shade of foundation for me and explain why it is wrong.

I chose the two samples seen above. Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation in Cashmere is not the correct colour for me. To be honest; neither is Lace, but it is the closest one I had available in my samples from the presenter kit. I decided to match the wrong foundation colour with the wrong red lipstick.

Cashmere on my left side.
Cashmere Liquid Foundation Sample on my left side.

I did not blend it at all.

I am just playing around, not creating a look I would ever wear for any other purpose. Blending would have helped it to be more even on my skin, but it would not look natural on me at all. If my skin was tanned, there might be a better chance of me pulling it off, but you can easily see it is not a natural match for my skin tone.

For the right side of my face, I added the Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation sample in Lace. It is a better match than the Cashmere, but not as good as Organza for me. I am out of Organza Samples.

For the purpose of this demo, I am not going all out on my makeup. You can clearly see that the foundation does cover my skin imperfections, to even them out. Next, I put on the two different shades of lipstick. One on the left is more orange-based, and the other, on the right is more blue-based.

So there is no need to get angry when you think about wearing red lipstick.

There is a perfect shade of red for everyone, just like there is a perfect shade of foundation for everyone. It is all about matching your colours, and your skin tone. Due to time limitations, I did not use the Touch Behold Translucent Setting Powder, which is shown in the picture at the top of the products used.

Don’t be angry if you have the wrong shades. Take time to find someone to help you do a proper colour match.

Colour matching is something which I am learning how to do. As I learn more, and as the business grows, I will continue to get better at it. For now, I have a team of friends who are happy to help me out when I have questions. They are all really great people, and they want to help me to succeed. When we work together, we all win! This is a great work ethic, one I can see myself wanting to continue being a part of, and that puts a smile on my face.

Having fun with makeup puts a smile on my face
Having fun with makeup puts a smile on my face

You can follow my adventures with makeup on Facebook at Always Beautiful with Tish MacWebber and if you want to see more behind the scenes you can request to join the Tish MacWebber Always Beautiful Friends Group. It is linked with the business page. Whatever you prefer, I am only a message away. #makeuphappens

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 80 | Three Surprising  Weeks

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 77 | Stepping It Up!

I have done something new in the past week. It is time for me to be stepping it up when it comes to my health. I was sent information from a friend in an email, about a medical study at the local university. As a person with type 2 diabetes, I was able to apply. I made a call, and I am glad I did.

When I connected with the person working on the study, I was asked some questions on the phone. They needed to know when I was diagnosed, and what medications I was taking. I went through them all and made an appointment for the first session. When I did, the person I was speaking to asked me when I would like to do the second part of the qualifying session. I chose Wednesday and Thursday this past week.

Next, I was given a brief overview of what would happen. The first session was to fill out the paperwork and to get my measurements recorded. They needed my weight, height, waist and hip circumference. Two blood samples were taken, one by a nurse, and the other by the person I would be working with. The nurse used a needle to get a blood sample, similar to when the doctor sends you for bloodwork. They needed to establish some baselines for my sugars and lipids. The second blood test was just a finger prick, similar to what I do to test my blood sugars myself. It is for a 3 month average of my blood sugars, called an A1C test. We went over the numbers, but I do not remember them all. I was assigned a number for the study.

The Bod Pod

I was told on the phone that in the first session, I would need to go into something called the Bod Pod. It was described as an oval machine, shaped like a spaceship. Of course, I asked for the details of what it was used for. It uses changes in air pressure to get an estimate of the fat and muscle percentage in your body. It sounded neat, and then I asked one more question. With the description of the Bod Pod, I asked if they played any Lady Gaga music while the test was running. I made my contact person laugh, and he surprisingly admitted nobody had ever asked him that question before.

Since I am a blogger, and I have this category, I wanted to document the interesting parts here. We will start with some pictures of the Bod Pod.

As you can see, it has a seat inside. I was asked to wear something similar to a bathing suit for the test. My Zumba clothes worked for this purpose. There are magnets to hold the door secure during the test, and there is an emergency release button if for any reason a person would want to stop the test. It has never been used, and I did ask if the person who I was working with for the assessment wanted to test it after my test was done. My offer was declined, as it was uncertain if it would affect the calibration of the expensive machine. I did not test the emergency button.

For a few moments, I could pretend I was Lady Gaga arriving at a music award show.

The person who was assessing me to see if I would qualify for the study did agree to help me with pictures for the blog. They use the equipment for their job, so they are used to it, but for someone like me, it was worth documenting the whole experience.

Since the machine uses air pressure to record the measurements, I was advised of this. I was also warned that just like my ears, the machine may pop while the test was running. Thankfully, although I felt the pressure changes when it was running, it was not a huge difference, and my ears were not affected. For statistical reasons, they run duplicate tests for certain qualifying factors. This test was run twice and will be necessary again once or twice while the medical study is being conducted.

I had to wear a swim cap also, to help with the test. It was okay for me to wear my stockings in the Bod Pod. At the same time the blood tests were run, my feet were also checked. One side effect of diabetes is neuropathy, which affects the nerves, especially in feet. I have had this test before, and I usually feel the apparatus on my feet when it is lightly pressed on the sole of my feet. After completing these tests, I was able to go home, with a pedometer to wear for 7 days, to get a baseline average of my current activity level.

The fitness test.

Day two had a new test to run. First, I was given an explanation of what to expect. I would be fitted with a heart monitor to start with. I do not have a picture of this because it was put right under my sports bra (which I am SO glad I wore that day!)

Next, I was set up for the apparatus to measure my oxygen levels. If you thought the Bod Pod was glamorous, you haven’t seen the best parts yet. I had to wear this frame over my head, which would be attached to a tube that was placed in my mouth. The air goes in on one side, and out the other, to be measured in another machine. I was advised to drink a bit of water before it was in my mouth because my mouth would get dry during this test. The paper towel was there for me to use for saliva. There was a part of the tube made to catch any drool dripping around the mouthpiece. So attractive, I know.

There were goals to beat in the fitness test to qualify for the study. A speed was selected, and the incline was increased at several intervals. I was shown a clipboard with numbers on it. They ranged from 6 to 20, and since I would not be able to talk during the fitness test, I would point at the number which corresponded to the level of exertion I was feeling when asked. I was also advised to give a thumbs up or down as answers to questions and to move my hand back and forth by my neck if I needed to stop for any reason.

To get the most accurate measurement of the air I was breathing, I also had to wear a nose plug. I walked on the treadmill, and if you know me, and you caught the musical reference above, you probably guessed that I had a song in my head while I was walking my way through this test. I will reveal it soon. First, I want to assure you that my breathing was fine once I got settled into the test. I did feel short of breath near the end, but with increasing intensity for the duration, it was to be expected. When my heart rate was checked as okay, and the machine to measure the oxygen I was using as I breathed was full, the test began.

There was a short warm-up period, to adapt to the treadmill and the breathing apparatus. Once I found my groove, the incline was increased. It was increased by one increment until it reached 11.0. At this time I was asked if I wanted to keep pushing or stop, and I chose to stop.

I qualified for the study.

The good news is, although I will need to repeat the measurements and tests, it will not be every time. I will have to wear the heart monitor every time I go, but that is not an issue for me. It is the lease intrusive piece of equipment I have to wear. Except for testing and measurement days, I will be working with a trainer to help me work on my treadmill game. I will want to push myself as I get used to walking regularly again. It is going to be a good change for me, and my hope is that I excel while I am participating in the study. I will not be getting paid for my participation, but if I can lose some weight and increase my activity levels, it will be worth it to me.

The study is testing to see what the impact of regular exercise is on the A1C levels in people diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and people like me, with type 2 diabetes. As the study progresses, I hope to have more to share here. At this time, I am glad I Trusted My Gut and applied for the study. I needed a change, and this could be just what the doctor ordered.

The song I had in my head when I was on the treadmill on day 2 was Good As Hell by Lizzo. As I finished the test on day 2, after I was unhooked from all of the apparatus, I told the people in the room, “I would like to thank Lizzo for getting me through this fitness test.” My statement was met with laughter, as it was intended.

Trust Your Gut

Makeup Monday | Reorganizing My Stash

Makeup Monday | Reorganizing My Stash

Hello, Beautiful Friends! I am catching my breath as I have just completed reorganizing my stash of makeup. What began as a simple project evolved as I gave myself time to think about the possibilities.

In case you don’t remember what my counter looked like the last time I wrote about this… here is a reminder to show you the clutter I was dealing with:

Originally, I was going to clear off a shelf in the storage unit between the vanity and the whirlpool tub, which is also known as my kitten’s racetrack. I had previously started storing crafts on it. There was room to shift things to clear one or two shelves for my makeup.

The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to make a bigger change.

Not that long ago, I took the bottom half of a closet storage set and moved it to the bedroom. When I did it, I was sure it would stay, so I screwed it into the wall and put it to use.

Fast forward to January 2020 and the annual cleaning challenge I participate in. I usually choose one project to improve our home. We don’t have a lot of extra funds set aside for home improvement, so one project is all I can really manage to purchase supplies for. With this in mind, I am preparing to makeover my mini laundry closet. Therefore, if I am going to make any other changes in y home, I need to work with what I already have here.

As the project grew from a simple reorganization of makeup to a shelf system swap, I started by taking more pictures, before I started.

Before: In the master Bedroom
Before: In the master Bedroom
Before: In the Master Bathroom
Before: In the Master Bathroom

In the top picture, above, you can see the two white cube storage pieces I had repurposed from my master closet. In the second picture, you can see the cluttered counter, and the shelving unit I wrote about above.

I went to work.

After getting a screwdriver and a duster, I cleared off the black shelving unit enough to slide it out of the place it was in. Then I unscrewed the white cube storage pieces from the wall in the bedroom, one at a time, and moved them to where the black stand was.

Finally, I had them switched, and I began placing items where I wanted them. This process may not be entirely complete at the moment, but for now, the main parts are done!

Craft storage moved into the bedroom.
Craft storage moved into the bedroom.
More room by the jacuzzi tub
More room by the jacuzzi tub
From craft storage to makeup storage
From craft storage to makeup storage
The new look in the Master Bathroom
The new look in the Master Bathroom

I have not gone through all of my craft supplies at this point. It was more important to get the bed cleared off to sleep tonight. It is ready for the clean and dry comforter. I changed the sheets before I got going. I am sure I will sleep well tonight.

Here is one final look at the project.

Being able to access all of my makeup is important. I am learning new tips and tricks, and I need to be able to access it easily to enable me to continue. I am glad I decided to take on this project. Here are some final looks.

3 shelves hold my makeup and supplies now.
3 shelves hold my makeup and supplies now.
Makeup is easy to find, and neatly organized
Makeup is easy to find, and neatly organized
Now there is more room on the counter.
Now there is more room on the counter.
Clutter free!
Clutter-free!

When I get to the week for organizing craft supplies, I already have a great start on it. When I get to the week for the Master Suite, I can focus on cleaning and not have to work at reorganizing. I am also closer to tackling the laundry closet with these steps done because I needed to empty the clothes basket at the foot of the bed and change the bedding. This is now done, so I can keep working towards the next project.

I feel like I have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. I also know that when I want to wear my makeup, it will be so much easier to take out what I need now that the counter is clutter-free! How do you store and organize your makeup? Do you take on a project every year to improve your home? Let me know in the comments what you think about this new setup!