Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 72 |Being Kind To Myself

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 72 |Being Kind To Myself

Since I last wrote a Trust Your Gut blog entry, I have been trying new things. I imagine myself to be lighter before I step on the scale. You might say I am manifesting through God, a lighter, healthier version of myself. I imagine all of the negativity that I keep within my body in the form of weight to be released.

To my complete and total shock, it is working.

Not only am I doing this, but I have started a month-long journey in a group coach setting. We meet in an online Zoom room, and Coach Elaine guides our sessions. There are also followup emails and activities for us to work on for the rest of the week.

To my complete and total shock, it is working.

We are learning how to use her VIBE method to help us achieve emotional weight loss. It is Coach Elaine’s own program, and it doesn’t involve a diet. Of course, she encourages to work on building healthy habits, but the focus is not on food.

The focus is on our emotions. We talk about feelings and share our emotional responses within the group. As there is a confidentiality agreement, I may only share my own experiences here.

I made some promises to myself when I started writing this blog category.

If you have been reading as I have been writing, you know I decided a long time ago that I wanted to mark significant goals in my journey. Specific rewards for becoming a healthier version of myself. With chocolate. Not the kind you eat. Chocolate diamonds, and a chocolate brown coloured dog. Things I really want to do for myself.

When my weight drops below 300 pounds, I will take a new picture of my feet on the scale, to celebrate my success.

When I got home from vacation in July, I had let the weight creep up to 326 pounds. It was at this time I decided to work towards Twoville and take a picture when I got there.

Other than one week since then, I have been watching the numbers on the scale drop. I am making healthier choices. Drinking less regular pop, drinking more water. Eating more Trim Healthy Mama recipes for lunch. When I am eating out, I try to compromise with a balanced meal instead of a carb-heavy meal.

My focus is not only on food, anymore.

When you change how you think about food, and stop obsessing about it, changes are bound to happen.

I am not letting food dictate my days any more. I do eat, but I am finding joy in other areas of my life, instead of trying to capture it in every bite.

There are two possible outcomes as a result of what I am doing. If I completely stop caring about what I eat and eat whatever I want all of the time, I would not see the weight going down. I am happy to say that I am seeing the other result. My weight is going down because I am thinking about my food in terms of choices, rather than obsessing about it and what I am going to eat next.

I am working on me, as I have been all year. This involves many appointments and a huge learning curve in some areas. One of the things I have started doing since working with Coach Elaine is to start being kind to myself.

What does it mean?

Being kind to myself involves making choices which are positively going to reflect on me as a person. It does not mean always taking the easy route, in fact, it involves pushing my limits, within reason. For example, it means I set aside the time to cook a healthy casserole for my lunches. The time it takes to cook meals is not always what I want to schedule. However, if I make the choice to do this for myself, I will have easy lunches for several days. I am choosing to invest time into something which is important. Something which allows me to not waste time or energy finding another choice for lunch which would not always be healthy.

It also means choosing to walk more, to try to be more active. In the last few weeks, I have started telling my husband that I am walking to the next store we need to go to, rather than driving there. I am making a conscious effort to add more steps into my day, as I found my smart band, and I am remembering to put it on.

Most importantly, I am not holding on to negativity. I am looking at the positive side of everything I can and reflecting it outward. It means I am choosing what is going to positively benefit me and my health, not what is going to give me an instant gratification which would always bring along guilt and shame with it. This is what I believe I am doing to be kind to myself, and to my complete and total shock, it is working.

I am seeing results from my work.

I have lost 23.5 lbs since July 10th, which means I am almost ready to take a new picture of my weight for this blog. Now that I am actually seeing results, I am excited to keep working on my health. In fact, I released 8.5 lbs since my second session with Coach Elaine two days ago, and I had lost 4.9 lbs in the previous week. I usually weigh myself on Wednesdays. When I weigh again on Fridays, I have noticed that I am seeing amazing results. It makes me want to follow this trend to see if I keep losing weight on Fridays. I don’t know if it is because of the training I am doing on Wednesdays which is helping the weight loss, or if it is something that will continue when I am done the program.

I damn near fell off the scale when I saw my weight today. 302.5 lbs! As I have signed up for an accountability group with a small prize for the top three weight losses in the next 3 months, I was only getting on the scale to get a picture of my weight for the contest. If I didn’t take the picture, I don’t think I would even believe I saw that number on the scale today. The changes I am making are adding up to be positive experiences, even if they require me to work on myself to get to the other side. With results like these, I would be foolish to stop.

Next week I will share what I decided to do this week after my session with our group led by Coach Elaine. It relates to a similar topic I have written about before, but it steps it up to be a whole new level of how I look at myself.

Until then, if you have any thoughts about this post, I would love to read them.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 72 |Being Kind To Myself

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 71 | Mind Over Matter

Just over a month ago, I had a breakthrough. Which I shared here with you, and I have to say, it is still having an impact. After gaining a few pounds (okay like 5) since I wrote that post, I am recovering by losing, even more, this week.

The scale was at 322.7 last week. Ugh. Having the breakthrough and seeing 318.1 the previous week was so encouraging! I was sure I unlocked the secret to weight loss for me. Then I went back up. I didn’t give up, though. The breakthrough was powerful, so I kept working, and when I got on the scale this week, I weighed in at 317.6.

I know I am doing something right.

A choice that is helping is that I stopped buying ice cream. Summer is over, so that is a logical choice. I was still tempted when I ran out to pick up a few things. I know this will be an ongoing struggle for me, however this time I didn’t give in. It helped that there weren’t as many sales in the ice cream section for sure.

Cooking For Two

When I am planning what to cook, it is hard to balance what I am going to eat with what my husband wants to eat. He is not a fan of the healthier lifestyle I am working on, so he sometimes has opinions which don’t make me feel good about what I have cooked. Some recipes he likes. Others are not an option for future meals.

He doesn’t mean any harm, but he is a fussy eater at times who does tell me when he does not like something. Radishes in the beef stew were not something he wants to experience again. He wants potatoes. I can accept that. He tried it.

When I overcooked the asparagus in the oven, he surprised me. He liked it because it was crunchy. I could make that again, and he would eat it. He doesn’t speak his mind about not liking what I make very often if I am being honest. After being together for more than 25 years, and married for 9 of them, I do know how to cook the food he likes.

The trick is in the compromise. If he says he likes something enough to eat it again, I ask him what frequency he would like to see it in our meal planning. Every two weeks is a common answer, sometimes once a month means he isn’t a huge fan, but he would eat it again.

Head Games Can Be Positive

Remember the start of the blog today, when I was referring to the breakthrough I shared in a previous blog? If you missed it, here it is. I wrote about not knowing how to deal with negativity. I am working on making healthier choices, of course, but it isn’t the only thing that is working.

Tuesday night, I tried to think about the breakthrough, and about letting go, and imagining myself feeling lighter. I had a loss on the scale the next morning. It worked. Is there a scientific explanation for this? I am trying to incorporate this lighter feeling into every day. It is about letting go of things that are weighing me down. I know there are other factors involved in the number I am seeing on the scale, but this is new territory for me, and I am open to working on it, especially if I keep seeing positive results.

When I saw the number on the scale, I was pleasantly surprised. While I am making better food choices, they aren’t always the best all the time. We have been snacking on chips and dip. We both know that there are healthier choices, but sometimes you have to give in to a craving, to get it out of your system.

The chips and dip are all gone. We are going to avoid buying them for a while. This is something we are working on, keeping less junk food in the house. Lowering our regular pop intake. Drinking more water, and I am choosing Zevia when I can for the pop cravings.

Can It Really Be This Easy?

I am going to find out. This journey comes with all sorts of twists and turns as well as ups and downs. I know that realistically I am not going to think away the weight. I realize that sometimes the scale is not going to show a loss and that there are plateaus and gains in my future.

But what if I can increase my chances of success by imagining myself as a little bit lighter, every day? It won’t hurt to give this method a try, to see what I can accomplish by trying a new tactic. A positive mindset is an important tool in anything you do, so why not apply it to the biggest struggle of my life? Focusing on myself feeling better, lighter and weighing less might just be what I need to tip the scale in my favour for real. I wrote that I was ready a few weeks ago. Now I am open to the possibility of change.

What do you think about this? Have you ever tried this method? Did it work for you? Let me know, I am curious to see if this breakthrough is a solo act or if it can be a group effort.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 72 |Being Kind To Myself

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 70 | Minor Setbacks Are Minor

This week, I am reminding myself that minor setbacks are minor. I gained a couple of pounds after losing for a few weeks in a row. It is going to happen, and that is a fact of life. Fluids are going to be retained, no matter what plan you are on.

I am writing today to let you all know that I am still on the right path, even if I slipped a little. Some junk food made it into the house, and I am certain it is what caused this minor setback. It is okay, as long as I make a recovery plan.

It is summer. Ice cream.

I am human, and I will sometimes go for the ice cream. The trick is to make it a treat, and not an everyday event. I got bagels and cream cheese. I do like bagels and cream cheese and want them from time to time. It is better for the budget to buy them at the grocery store than at a cafe. I will do this from time to time. It is okay.

What isn’t okay is throwing my hands up into the air in a sign of defeat.

We all have those moments. The days when everything is going wrong and all you want to do is go get some fast food to make one thing easier on ourselves. Guess what? It isn’t true. If you give in, you are giving up on yourself when it becomes a pattern. If you get fast food every time things are not going well, it is going to become a bad habit, with some nasty side effects.

You will feel bloated, and you will retain fluid. Then you will get on the scale, and see it went up. What a nasty cycle of negativity.

One reason why I do not weigh myself every day is that I would become obsessed with my weight. It is not a healthy obsession, for me. It can cause a spiral of events that would have terrible side effects. Always wearing black clothes, and avoiding social events. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you want to hide. In case you haven’t learned this about me yet, hiding is not something I want to excel at.

While it is okay to have that treat once in a while, it is not okay to have treats every day, or more than once a day. Unless that treat is a salad. Fill up on healthy foods, and more than once a day is acceptable for healthy food choices.

What is working

I have been drinking a lot less pop, or for the south of the border readers, soda. I still have one every so often, but I am getting it less frequently than ever before. We are drinking more water, and of course, I am drinking coffee. I sometimes have a cold-brewed coffee or an iced coffee, and these beverages can be sugar-free. If I choose iced tea, it may or may not have sugar, depending on which one I choose.

I have cooked a bunch of boneless skinless chicken breasts today.

When I bake them in the oven, with greek and feta salad dressing, there are a variety of ways to make meals with chicken. I can then add it to a garden or pasta salad, casseroles( my favourite recipe is here) or make my own version of Buffalo chicken nachos. Not being a fan of anything super spicy, I add a smoky or hickory BBQ sauce and blue cheese dressing in place of the salsa and sour cream. Of course, I add chicken, tomato and green onion, but you can adapt nachos to include whatever options you prefer. It makes a nice change from ordinary nachos, and I haven’t made them often lately, but I do love my nachos. As long as they are mild.

When it comes to making casseroles, I stick to the Trim Healthy Mama recipes. They are found on their website, but if you search for them, many bloggers make their own THM recipes, and they are really great. I do need to focus more on cooking at home, and I have started.

What can you do?

It all goes back to doing what works for you. If you don’t know what that is yet, it might be time to try something new. I recommend checking with your doctor before making any serious dietary changes, to be on the safe side. Keto is really popular right now, but as a type 2 diabetic, I cannot eliminate carbs. That is exactly why THM is working for me, it is low carb, not no carb. I do not buy their products, except for the first book, I bought a while ago. I would buy all of their cookbooks before ordering their products. They do sell high-quality products, and I have no qualms about them. My reasons are that if I can find similar products locally, I will try to go that route first.

If you can make your meals at home, from scratch, it will make a difference in your health. I do enjoy cooking. The cleanup, not so much. Certain foods are optimal to batch cook to have leftovers, such as the chicken I cooked today. It will help me make better meal choices because it is ready to use. If I prepare food and have it ready to grab when I need it, I make healthier choices, and I do see results. If you aren’t a fan of buying chicken breasts in bulk, you can buy a whole chicken, and roast it in your oven or slow cooker with this recipe.

Start with one meal a day.

With THM, they recommend you start with breakfast. I am currently eating a smoothie bowl breakfast almost every day. A small container of yogurt, a small container of unsweetened applesauce and a raisin, nuts and seeds mix all together. I have been adding 20 almonds as well since we had bought some on sale and I want to use them up. There are plenty of other options out there, I also like eggs and avocado for breakfast. When I have too many meals in a row without carbs, I do notice a difference. So, I mix them up, to make things balance better for me. I choose to eat Silver Hills sprouted wheat bread. It is not on the plan, but I still use it. I like it, and that is important, too.

What changes can you implement to start your path or add variety to your journey to become a healthier version of yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I am curious, and always looking for new ideas.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 72 |Being Kind To Myself

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 69 | I am ready.

Hi. It has been over a month since I last wrote anything at all in my blog. For those of you who have been patiently waiting for me to return, thank you. July has been a difficult month, along with being the good kind of busy. I am ready to start writing here again.

Yes, it is usually Thursday when I post, and it is in the wee minutes past midnight here; technically it is Friday. I have something to write about, and I don’t want to wait another week.

You see, the difficult part for me in July revolved around what I am calling the plague. Both Roy & I have been fighting it and we are finally starting to feel better. We aren’t at full health yet (gamer reference for the geeks out there), but we aren’t fighting brain fog from being sick anymore. The summer cold, sore throat, plague whatever we are fighting is a nasty bug.

While we were so sick, we realized that our water cooler had green stuff growing in it. Likely algae, possibly mold; needless to say, we stopped using it. I made an appointment with our doctor to verify if the antibiotics we were taking from a previous appointment were sufficient after this discovery. She advised that with no noticeable GI side effects, to stop drinking the contaminated water, we would be okay.

Even Jazzy, our new kitten was on medication in July.

Our going concern was hard to contain after she was spayed. Jazzy is a delight in our home but was so unaware of her surgery. She needed time to recover. The active kitten she is had ripped her stitches which caused her scar to become infected. So all three of us were sick and on antibiotics in July. It was indeed a difficult month.

Jazzy MacWebber, relaxing after she is completely healed and free to play like the kitten she is!

With all the illness in our home, it does not surprise me that I had good news on the scale. The up and down battle is finally going in the right direction again. When I had gone on vacation, I peaked at around 326 lbs. This week, I weighed in at 318.5 lbs. I am working hard to keep this going in the right direction this time. I am making some changes.

My journey is leading me down a path of self-discovery.

It is no secret that I have been working on myself for a while now. I am trying to improve my life in terms of my health, self-confidence, and building healthy habits as I do the work. One thing I am doing is taking part in a challenge recommended by some friends. While all of the material is not all new to me, I have made some discoveries about myself while doing the work.

I was bullied as a child, and at different times throughout my whole life. Since I am an emotional person, and I have written before about eating my feelings, I have already shared my thoughts about this subject. You don’t get to be morbidly obese because you have normal eating habits. Something is broken inside of people like me who are more than overweight. It could be related to another health issue, but chances are, if you eat your feelings, it is because you are not dealing with the real issue.

As I am working on my own backstory for the challenge, which is called The Unstoppable Influence Challenge, I watch videos, and do assignments related to what I am learning. I made several discoveries, one of which I am going to share here.

When I met Roy, my husband, I was damaged goods.

He has never seen me skinny. I have been overweight, and that has progressed to being morbidly obese in the 25 years we have been together. We will be celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary in under a month. I had put on weight after having mononucleosis and tonsillitis in my first year of university, and we met the following year.

After being so sick, I had to make sure I was eating, especially because of the sore throat, and I did. As a child, I would eat my meals quickly to be the first one done to get dessert. My sisters were picky eaters, I was not. Eating was something I became very good at, in a home where we strived for approval to be good all of the time. My parents raised us well, and we were good kids. My stubborn streak is something I come by honestly, and I wasn’t a perfect child, but we all turned out to be decent human beings.

I realized something else while I wrote my backstory.

When we started dating, I told Roy that I had a protective shell around my heart, and he was patient enough to wait for me to let him inside as we fell in love and learned to trust each other. I used that analogy at the time because my zodiac sign is Cancer the Crab. When I took a long look into my past this week, I learned something else about myself.

I eat all of my feelings, including negative feelings from things said to me and about me to hurt me. Using food to build a protective layer around my whole body. I eat the negative hurtful feelings to surround me to keep more of them from getting to me. My weight is a physical manifestation (this term is new to me, from the challenge) of the negativity that I have been holding inside for my whole life.

The person running the challenge, Natasha Hazlett, said her weight was a physical manifestation of the hate she had for herself. When I heard her say that, I almost believed that this was my issue too. What I realized, is that it isn’t hate I feel for myself, but that I keep the hate I have felt from others in my life. As a result, I have held onto it because I didn’t know what else to do with it.

What does this mean?

It means I have to let it go. All of it. When you are a child and people say terrible things to you, there is no way to know how to handle those words. I cried a lot during my school days, and thankfully, most of those negative experiences are in my past. As a child, I didn’t know how to handle the negativity. If I deal with it now, to let it go, consequently, I will let the feelings go. The negativity I buried in me, from the inside out to be released with my excess weight.

As I am typing this out, I am shaking. It is hard for me to acknowledge this to myself, let alone the world at large. Since my word of the year is FEARLESS, and I want to lead by example, with integrity, it would not do me any good to keep this knowledge deep inside of me anymore.

I have a lot of work to do to lose the weight I need to lose. With this blog post, I am on the right path, finally, to be able to make the changes I need to make to become a healthier version of myself.

The biggest lesson I have been able to take away from this exercise is going to set me free.

I realized I don’t hate myself and that I never did. I love myself, and I always have. Now that I am an adult, and doing so much work on myself, it is a relief to me that my problem has never been how I feel about myself, but my reaction to how others wanted to hurt me. As a child, I did the only thing I knew how to do to protect myself. As an adult, I can face those negative feelings and chase them away.

In the challenge, we learn that we all carry metaphorical bricks in life, and they weigh us down. We learn how to deal with them, and of course, I put my own spin on this. Instead of following the imagery suggested, I have decided that I am going to grind every one of the bricks to dust, turn them to glitter, and let the ocean take them away. Sparkles in the sea, which are beautiful to me. What a way to release the things that weigh me down. Sending them to my happy place.

Love yourself enough to let yourself be free.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 72 |Being Kind To Myself

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 68 | Good Things Are Happening

Good things are happening for me, and for some friends of mine. I started a small beta group to support people like me with regards to weight loss. It has been running for a while now, and I have asked for feedback to make it better for the users, and as my own research to prepare for the option of expanding to a paid membership group. I haven’t fully decided on what to do next, to be honest. I’m going to share a bit about the good things which are happening.

We are more of an accountability & support group. There is no plan we all follow, we each are responsible for our own choices in that manner. We are working on daily step count totals, and I have kind of fallen behind in our weekly totals. We are also working o water intake and healthy recipes. I post tips with articles once a week. Recipes are shared, and there is a weigh-in day, a non-scale victory day and feedback on Fridays. Other days allow for a spa day to treat yourself, and prep cooking meal planning prompts.

I create more graphics, which I did as a result of feedback, and I think the group likes them. Every so often, I make new ones. Scheduling the posts keeps them consistent. I can forget things when I am busy.

We had some milestones in June.

One member is in ‘onederland’ which is below 200 lbs, and two members are in ‘twoville’ which is below 300 lbs. For us, these are huge goals, and I celebrated their victories with them. I am not sharing their names, as it is not what matters here. The important thing to note is that we are holding each other accountable, and providing support to each other. With success!

I had a scare last week when I got on the scale at the doctor’s office. I was not amused. It weighed me at 330 lbs. I have never been that high, and I was quietly very upset by that number. I told Roy that I should have only celery for supper.

It was awful, even though I knew it was a different scale, a different time of day, and I had clothing on. It was still a nasty number to see.

Wednesday rolled around this week, and I prepared to step on my scale.

I was not 330 lbs. I weighed in at 320.8 lbs. What a difference! I had actually lost weight in two weeks. Things are not as bad as they appear to be, even if I am not at one of the major milestones, yet.

I am working towards that first milestone, twoville, myself. When people ask me if I lost weight, I really want to be able to say, yes. Some still ask. My answer is honest. I am moving more, and I am trying to make healthier choices. This week I feel like I did something right because I was down about 4 lbs in 2 weeks. However, I won’t feel like it is enough to talk about until I start hitting some major milestones.

I am waiting for my body to adjust to the highest dose of Victoza. The doctor recently increased it, and when I adjust, I start needing to lower both of my insulin injections. It is the reason to take this new injection, to lower the number of insulin injections. As a type 2 diabetic, my body still makes insulin but doesn’t make enough, or it isn’t being used properly. Taking less means my body is using its own insulin more effectively. It is another good thing. I was worried about nausea with the Victoza, but it only affected me for a couple of days when I started it a few months ago.

Hard work pays off, especially when you have accountability and a support system.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 72 |Being Kind To Myself

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 67 | It has its ups and downs.

Issues with weight. It has its ups and downs. On the scale, in the grocery store, with activity…I could go on for days with how many things can affect my issues with weight. I am not alone. So many people have issues with their body image, and if it is something everyone experiences, then we need to take a step back.

Reflection on our body image can be a harsh experience, if we let it. I remember when I was writing about gremlins, a while back, who were whispering so softly I didn’t even realize they were inside my head. One thing we can do to help ourselves is to change the message we are hearing from within. I did not come up with this concept, but I am giving it a whirl.

I have been working so hard on myself and this includes my health. It is tedious to be focusing on it all the time. It could be something to obsess about if I let it. I am not the best at the daily record keeping for this. Why?

I struggle with prioritizing me on my list

What? I have been working on this issue for what seems like the whole time I have been writing in this category. If I was doing this on a regular basis, things would be better. I know it. You know it. Sometimes I have a hard time thinking that I deserve to be on my list. Oh, I have this, and that, and so many things to do that I should do which are more important than filling out the daily checklists which I have taken the time to write down. Am I filling out the paper for time management were given to me to track my time? NO! I am important enough to fit my health and my time into my list. Why can’t I just grasp this concept? It is a struggle, like the title says, with its ups and downs.

Yes. I am writing that I did take the time to make my checklist, and I do have paperwork for accountability to bring to all of my appointments. This is my attempt to get the ball rolling again. For the billionth time. Maybe this time it will work. It has to.

The pressure of letting down the professionals I am working with is not enough incentive. It used to be. When I decided to work on me while I have the time, I was doing the work. I stopped. As a result, I am trying to get back to creating healthy habits. Some days, it is so hard.

I was relying on others to make me do the work

Of course it was easier to get me to do things if other people were counting on me. If others need my help, I am the first one to volunteer. I need to focus on more than just time management. I need to get to the bottom of my issues. What does that mean, really?

It means I have to do the work.

As we all roll our eyes at this, me while I write it, and you when you read it, it is the truth. It isn’t rocket science. Hard work is not easy, and if you fall out of line, it isn’t so easy to get back on track. If doing the work was easy, it wouldn’t be something a lot of people struggle with.

Accountability Groups

I am in a lot of groups on social media. Most of them are not run by me, but one is. It is a support group, of 8 people with weight issues. I do find it is helpful for me to have a safe place to encourage others and myself. It helps me to try harder and to do better. The members help me to change it for the better, which is incredibly helpful. Their input is crucial in keeping it active. I am scheduling the posts a week at a time, so I don’t fall behind. I still interact with the group in the prompts, and for now, I am happy with it.

We do work on meal planning, tips, weigh ins once a week, non scale victories, feedback, spa day, and activity. One topic per day, although sometimes I miss a day here or there. I have added in recipe shares when I find new recipes, or some I have tried already and love.

I do think I can keep improving it, but for now, it works for our needs. Part of the work I need to do is to manage my time more effectively, to become more productive. This will allow me to do more of the things I need to do in more areas of my life.

Finally, I want to ask you about how you think of yourself.

Self-reflection is a difficult thing to do. Start with your positive features, and increase from there to how awesome you are. Especially if you read this blog! 😉 I happen to think my best feature is my blue eyes. Instead of commenting with what you do not like, please leave a comment below about your best features. Let’s share our ups this week, and forget about the scale.

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 72 |Being Kind To Myself

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 66 | Regrouping

In the last couple of weeks, I have slipped a little on what I have been working on. As a result, I have had to do some serious thinking. I am not losing the battle. I am human, and I have slacked off a little in keeping up with the food journal. It does take effort, and commitment to keep up with it, among all of the other things I am currently struggling to accomplish. I am up to the task, but sometimes you have to find easier ways to attack the numerous responsibilities in your life. I am thinking about starting to use my fitness pal, an app on the tablet I was given by a friend.

Earlier in this series, I wrote about the little spark of light within myself. The part of me that needs to shine, so much brighter than the darkness it is enshrouded in. I have done some reflection on this, and I think it is time for a new perspective.

Stay with me here.

I still believe in me. I still believe in you. And most importantly, I still believe in letting my little light shine brighter than the sun.

What if the reason we struggle within ourselves is because we imagine there are opposing forces?

What if the answer is not to fight so hard? The light will shine from your heart if you let it. It will overcome the darkness. Why do we focus so hard on making things harder than they have to be?

It is in our nature. Everything we experience in life which is worth the outcome is derived from a struggle. For some, it is getting out of bed and dressed every day. Other people fight to get through the weekday hustle to find rest in the weekend. Addiction afflicts many people, more than the individuals who have this issue, it can reach further to attack families and friends. People like me struggle to become more active and lose weight, second-guessing every bite of food they put into their mouth. Others, at the opposite end of the scale, obsess about that bite of food so much that they may not even eat it. Or they appear to be eating regularly but they hide how they remove the food from their body when they are alone.

There has to be an easier way.

When it comes to my approach to everything in life, I am not a quitter. I push and fight. I dig in my heels, yell, and cry. Sometimes, all the effort pays off. I accomplish my goal. But at what cost?

This is what I am getting at. If it is so hard to get to the desired result, maybe I shouldn’t be pushing so hard. What if instead of trying to use my inner light to just be. Let it sparkle and twinkle until it is existing in harmony with the darkness. It is in there, it is inside all of us. We need to believe it can be seen and more importantly, that it should be seen.

When we focus on the struggle, we are expending time and valuable energy on the wrong thing. It is something else when you stop fighting. When you do, don’t let the darkness take over. Let the little light inside reach out to the world.

When you stop fighting so hard, you can believe in yourself fiercely.

It isn’t easy to just change your perspective. I am working on this constantly. There are good times and bad times, just the same as with other parts of life. You need to experience both to learn and grow. One cannot happen without the other. I am here to tell you that you can change the way you think about yourself, and find the confidence you need to make conscious choices every day to make this possible.

There is no war inside your heart. Not if you don’t create it. There is only you. And you, my friends, are meant to step aside with the darkness, so that the world can see the beautiful glow from within. It is there. I am learning to trust in it. You can too.

Let me know how this post or any in this category have helped you. I started writing to help people, and I am still writing with that purpose in mind. Is it working?

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 72 |Being Kind To Myself

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 65 | Making some Positive Changes

When I wrote Trust Your Gut part 64, I was struggling. Immensely. I was having difficulty with managing my day to day life, and with controlling my type 2 diabetes. Since then, I have worked really hard and made some positive changes.

I have been unemployed for two months, and I was feeling lost, in many areas of my life, health included. I have had blood work, and the monthly average had gone up again. It was over 10 in the last 3 months, and that is considered high. The three-month average should be under 7 or lower, to be considered as under good control.

I was falling further and further out of control. This had me in such a state that I almost went into full panic mode. I knew I had to make some drastic changes or things would continue getting worse and worse. The complications of diabetes are well documented, and poor blood sugar control only exacerbates the issues.

I made a decision.

I had another appointment at the Diabetes clinic, that is when I found out that my blood sugars went up again. The first thing I did was talk about medications. I have had a prescription for a new medication since the last time I saw my doctor in January. With the job loss, and my husband in a new job, we did not have medical coverage for the new medication, and it was expensive. I had to wait before I could start it.

Meanwhile, my doctor is now aware of the increased 3 month average of my blood sugars. She may not know that I lost my job, and asa result of seeing my last blood work results, I will bet she will be planning to give me a stern talking to when I see her. I hope to distract her with the proof I have been doing much better since I was finally able to start the new medication this past Saturday.

I started to take Victoza. It is an injectable drug, taken once daily. At the diabetes clinic, I was asked if it would be better for me to take it once a week, which required a different prescription for a different drug, or if once a day would be manageable. I decided to stick with the once a day option, as I know myself too well. If I picked Monday for the once a week, and forgot, then as a result, I wouldn’t know what to do. I have been doing really well remembering to take it once a day, with the new system I have had some help to set up at the clinic.

In less than a week, things are SO much better!

Today, I had to call the clinic, only 5 days after starting the new medicine. I have had a blood sugar low, and this means that the new medicine is working SO well, that I have to lower my insulin amounts to compensate. Hallelujah! Progress in the right direction! What a relief!

There are side effects of the new medicine. They are not as bad as they were when I started it. My stomach is settling down, as there were a few upset days. I am hoping that I continue to tolerate it well because my sugars are stabilizing.

What else am I working on?

Furthermore, I asked at the clinic for help to keep track of what I am eating, and my medicine intake. Since I have 2 agendas, I am now using the larger one as a food/water/medicine intake journal. I have kept up with it, and it is helping me to stay accountable. Really, I wasn’t kidding when I wrote that I have proof to bring to my next doctor’s appointment. Sometimes it is okay to ask for help, as long as you are willing to do the work once you get it.

Until this year, I have been asking for help and not getting the right kind of support for my health. I have tried things and been told that I am doing fine, and the appointments would be less frequent, or just stop, so I am pushing harder for the help this time. It is still up to me to do the work, but it feels like I am going to have the right kind of support this time. I just need a little help, to figure out the best way for me to take control of my health. I am happy to say that having a plan, finally, is just what the doctor ordered.

Most importantly, I am working on a lot of things right now. I am not only working on my health, but I am also learning how to organize my days, to have more structure. I needed help with that. Next week I will be seeing a dietitian. I hope things keep going well. For now, I am celebrating a little bit. Something is working, and as a result, it seems like I am going to be able to keep progressing in the right direction for a change.


Have you asked for help and been let down?

Don’t give up. Keep asking. Maybe like me, you haven’t found the right person to help you yet. It only took me 20 years. Sometimes it pays to be stubborn.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 72 |Being Kind To Myself

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 64 | Mind Games are a Complication of Type 2 Diabetes

Please Note: As a Type 2 Diabetic, I can only write this article based on my own personal experiences. Some of what I am sharing may apply to Type 1 Diabetes, but I am not able to confirm this myself. There are many complications of diabetes which are very well documented with scientific and medical proof, but this post is one I have been thinking about for a while, so I am going to go for it.

The epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes caused by obesity is a well documented topic. There are many campaigns to encourage healthier eating around the world. They are only effective, however, if they are based in medicine and science. The other factor is if they are actually followed as guidelines or not.

The Canada Food Guide has recently made some changes.

In 2019, Canadians were shocked when the old Canada Food Guide was replaced by the NEW Canada Food Guide. It is supporting a more Mediterranean based diet. More lentils, fruits, vegetables, protein and water are the basics to build on. While it is likely a healthier diet to follow, the dairy sector seems to be less emphasized in the new food guide. It is not on the landing page. It was a main food group in the previous versions.

In contrast to the lower focus on dairy products, the only one I have eliminated is milk. These days, I drink unsweetened cashew milk, with or without vanilla. I am not lactose intolerant. I do have cheese, cream cheese, plain greek yogurt and sometimes ice cream to make sure I have calcium in my diet.

The new food guide seems like a drastic change, but it can also be useful.

When I was first diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic, there was a panic.

The only thing I was scared of was the needles. I didn’t want to take insulin injections. Consequently, I put them off for as long as I could, and now I am taking 5 needles a day. When I am making the effort to take care of myself. On days when I sleep in, I don’t eat breakfast early enough to have the 3 meals, and the 5 needles. Sometimes my suppertime insulin doses are forgotten until bedtime. Some days and I am not wanting to scare my family or friends who might read this, but I forget to take it at all.

In reference to the title of this blog, Mind Games are a Complication of Type 2 Diabetes; it is a vicious cycle to fall into, but it exists. Furthermore, it is real, and it is something I am struggling with. I forget to test my blood sugars. I forget to take my insulin. As an imperfect human by design, I am a human with type 2 diabetes. I need to take control again.

I certainly do take responsibility for what I put into my own mouth. It is easy to blame a situation, or what someone is offering as a way to happiness through food. I do eat my feelings, at times. This means I am owning what I am doing to myself by the choices I make, but not taking control of my type 2 diabetes, and therefore my life.

The experts talk about protecting your liver, kidneys, eyes, heart and feet.

The experts have used these complications in their medical scare tactics for years. I have heard all about them, and sometimes my brain wanders while I am supposed to be paying attention. Other times I think not me, I am not going to be affected by this disease in those ways. What I should be doing is everything possible to avoid these complications now, because as a result of not taking control with better choices, when they happen, it may be too late to fix the complications.

This is the most important point I need to make here. I do know what I should do. Making better choices for myself, and taking control of my own life should be the most important priority for my health. I should listen to the warnings, and take them seriously, and more importantly, I should take better care of myself. Here comes the head trip.

It isn’t easy to always make your health your number one focus in your life when it requires a constant effort to do so. When I choose the easy way, or the lazy way, that too is a choice I am making. Should I exercise every day, for at least 20 minutes? Yes. Do I? No. That is a choice. It is easier to not think about these things, therefore avoiding them, than it is to focus on them and remain committed to a healthier lifestyle.

I have seen the positive results in my life when I do take control and make better choices.

So why can’t I do this all of the time? You may think it is a form of depression, which is also one of those complications the experts warn about. It isn’t what I am referring to, at least in terms of my own experience. Some days I do really well, other days not so much. It is not consistent with me at all. I might have a good plan, then three hours later realize I never bothered to try to get any of it done.

When left to my own devices, I will slack off to doing nothing about my health. It is a fact, I have proven to myself time and time again. I know what I should be doing, and I just don’t make the effort. My mind games involve my own feelings of self worth. I know I have self esteem issues. I know that I can overcome them. Again, we are back to choices and control. Without making the right choices, and taking control of my own health, I am leaving myself open for further complications. Consequently, this also opens the door to more medications to try and slow the damage I am doing to myself.

I am driven to succeed. I am striving to be fearless. The season is changing, and I am taking vitamin D, when I remember, to help me find a way out of what appears to be seasonal depression. I know what I need to do. I need to change my mind, for good. It is time to make more changes in my life. At this point, the list will unfurl to be a scroll which goes the full length of the mini home I am living in, and then some.

As a result of the mind games, I am starting to see what happens when I let them win.

Today I feel like I am really out of shape. I am having muscle pains in odd areas. My chin size increased. I am not able to move as quickly as I would like to, nor am I able to find the energy to do things. These symptoms have led me to the realization that the mind games have to stop. I need to take control, get a routine, and make some positive habits.

When you have spent your whole life being too hard on yourself, and become an all or nothing person, it is incredibly difficult to change the path you are on. Since I have come to the decision to start making some new changes, I need to take the time and write them down. If I just think about things, it is not as likely for me to take action. I need to create a new game for my mind. Only then can I truly win.

As always, please leave comments if you have any at the end of this post. I am working on something new for the website, relating to the Trust your Gut series, and your feedback may help me to find better ways to help other people with weight issues. If you would like to share your own story in this category, it is always open to submissions.

#TrustYourGut

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