Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 73 | Looking Myself In The Eyes

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 73 | Looking Myself In The Eyes

I need to clarify that my recent success is not as good as it appeared to be last week. I knew something was off on the scale, and I tried to believe it was true. It happened at least once before. My scale had a false reading. One I happened to take a picture of, coincidentally, but I have not lost as much weight as I thought I did. Which is both more realistic in terms of healthy weight loss, and beyond frustrating, simultaneously. The last time I checked I weighed in at 313.1 pounds. Still better than July, but not as good as it looked last Friday.

In the second week of working with Coach Elaine, I have not been as diligent. I did what I always do when I have success. I listened to the inner gremlin, which I previously wrote about in Part 56 of the Trust Your Gut category. It convinced me that I didn’t have to be so strict with what I was eating. Old habits creep in when I am doing well, which is why I have such a hard time finding success.

Self-Sabotaging Only Hurts Me

To understand why this happens, I fear I might have to go really deep inside. This inner reflection will take time, more time than I have if I want to publish on time this week. I have begun the process, and I have seen the results. They are positive. So why do I slip up every time I get something good going for myself? This is something I feel a lot of people like me struggle with.

It’s like when you need to take medication all of the time, and when you do, you feel better, so you stop taking the medication. First, it is never advisable to stop taking medicine without medical supervision. Second, for most situations, this does not allow you to continue to feel better because the medicine is the reason you were feeling better in the first place. The medicine as a general rule does not make anyone sick, it makes you better. I do understand this is a general rule and does not apply to every circumstance. Consequently, when you stop doing things that make you feel better, you relapse or feel worse than you did before you started.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. ALWAYS check with your doctor before making any changes regarding your health. I also realize that side effects can sometimes seem worse than the disease. I am not advising anyone to make any decisions about their own health without discussing all of the options with their doctor, or without being your own advocate for your own health without including medical professionals in that discussion.

When I take this concept, which usually refers to the treatment of mental health, or taking antibiotics for less than the prescribed number of days, and compare it to people like me who are morbidly obese, there are similarities. I slipped and got back into old habits last week. More fast food came in. It is like I am testing my body to find out how much it can take before I start putting on weight again, to fail at this healthy lifestyle.

When I slip up, the inner gremlin laughs delightedly.

Maybe that is why I hear ringing in my ears constantly. I am kidding; although I do have tinnitus, and it is another irritation I am contending with. Will I turn down my music when I bounce the house? Not a chance. I love music, and the louder it is, the more I love it. Maybe it is so I can’t actually hear myself singing along. Whatever the reason, I will always crank the tunes when I am listening to them. My hearing is not suffering that I can tell, so I will keep on the way I always have.

What I do mean is that when I slip up and make poor choices, misery loves company, as the saying goes. One poor choice is not so bad, and then I make another one. Before I know it, I have picked the easy way more than the healthy way, and the inner gremlin is cheering me on! When it is in charge, I don’t make the right choices. When I don’t make the right choices, I am not being kind to myself. Which I learned last week, is something I need to learn how to do better. When you don’t know why you make poor choices, it is harder to convince yourself to make better ones.

And when you do choose to be kind to yourself, and you are kind to yourself, the inner gremlin is threatened. It starts acting up and throwing temper tantrums like wild cravings into your mind, and the next thing you know, you give in and go to the nearest drive-thru. Because it is easier to feed the cravings and the inner gremlin than it is to be kind to yourself and make the right choices.

How does this all fit in with what I am doing?

In Trust Your Gut Part 56, the one linked above, I wrote about looking at myself in the mirror. As my week 2 takeaway from the VIBE method created by Coach Elaine, I decided that I was going to practice looking at myself with love when I look into my own eyes in the mirror. I want to see me, not a morbidly obese person with type 2 diabetes, just me, a person who is worthy of love.

In the session, I talked about how I feel when my husband looks into my eyes. He has always looked at me as a person, and it was one of the first things I found attracting me to him early in our relationship. It stayed with me from then and still does, as something we have always been able to do, to be connected to each other by looking into each other’s eyes.

It has been such a profound feeling for me while being in a relationship with him, that I wrote about it in the song I wrote for our wedding. (Don’t worry, I didn’t sing it for him). When I think about how our relationship started, and how we have managed to be together for 25 years, 9 of them married, I know the love I see in his eyes when he looks at me funny holds the answer.

As long as I keep trying to do better, I am winning. Maybe not on the scale every single week, but certainly in my heart, where it counts the most.

This week I will do better.

Yes, it is Thanksgiving on Monday here, in Canada, so I am not going to have a perfect week. I will indulge, eat too much, and try not to regret too many food choices. The food will be homemade, not fast food, shared with family in combination with spending time together. I may not have pie with every meal, but I may have some in moderation. Followed by a short walk if the weather cooperates.

I challenge you to look into your own eyes with kindness and love, to start healing yourself in your heart and soul. Seriously, take a look in the mirror without judgement, criticism or hate. Leave the inner gremlin under your foot on the floor, where it belongs. It doesn’t love you. You do, and you need to let yourself know that you are beautiful from the inside out. When you do this often enough, it will not only become a good habit, but you will start to see changes. A phrase came to me in my sleep a few weeks ago, and I didn’t know what it meant. I think it belongs here.

Be Your Own Inside Out

Find the love in your heart and treasure it until it grows so big you can’t keep it inside anymore. Let it radiate and glow, to be seen by and shared with everyone you meet. I am seeing this in different areas of my own life, and because I know it to be true, I know it is something we all can do. I believe in you. Start with yourself.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 73 | Looking Myself In The Eyes

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

Tishspiration Tuesday | Doing it Yourself

Tishspiration Tuesday | Doing it Yourself

The journey of #Tishspiration has been an adventure, with many twists and turns along the way. Right now, it really feels like an uphill battle. You know what I mean, you are on a narrow path, climbing a mountain one step at a time.

When this happens, you have two choices. You can stop for a rest, or you can choose a different path. I choose to rest when I need to but keep aiming for the top of the mountain.

I have been working towards the dream of launching my own business since January. While I am on this path, I am meeting people, in the areas of personal and business development. I have been in a constant state of learning for three years. Becoming an entrepreneur alongside of being a published author is the direction I must keep moving towards.

Why DIY?

Here is the thing. For the last three years, I have been learning as much as I can from free online training programs. I have to confess, that first one with the pitch at the end really threw me for a loop. I had never experienced a sales pitch for an online program before.

In this realm of online training, you have two choices. You can choose a program to invest in to have professionals help you get your business idea up and running, or you can do it yourself.

If you only have time and energy to invest in your business, it makes investing money into your dreams difficult. I started with baby steps to invest in myself financially. Quite frankly, in the online business world, it comes highly recommended.

I have had good experiences, and I have had good results after paying more than I expected. There are lessons to learn as I work towards bettering myself.

What have I tried?

I tried an online coach hot seat. I would be able to talk about my business and the coach would ask questions and offer advice. The really cool thing is that participants like myself also offered help and advice. It may have been my nervousness which caused them to want to offer support, as I was visibly nervous when my turn came around.

The coach was gracious and encouraged me to talk more about my business plan. (It has changed entirely since this session). She knew from my application that there was more to my business plan than what I was saying when the spotlight was on me. Except for my nervousness about being in the hot seat with someone I follow who is confident and has an incredible sense of business, this experience was a positive one, which I would do again if the timing and price were right.

What else have I tried?

I took a paid online challenge. There is no disputing that I did indeed get value from working through this challenge. However, the cost of doing so from a financial point of view was more than double what I expected to pay.

The series of unexpected charges which kept adding up made me feel like I was not treated fairly. I was aware of the exchange rate and having to pay a little more because I live in Canada, not the USA. After the first unexpected charge on my credit card, I asked some questions. They answered, and I was okay with their explanation until the postman delivered a book to go with the challenge, and I had to pay more money.

The work done with this online challenge did lead to a breakthrough for me, and for that I am grateful. I didn’t sign up for their next challenge, as I had a bad taste in my mouth when the sales pitch came at me.

What Lessons Have I Learned?

Sometimes I get really nervous. It can impact my experience both positively and negatively. It positively gathered more support for me than anyone else in the group coaching session. My authentic self has the ability to surprise me in what it can do, even when my palms are sweaty and my words are not conveying my whole message. I will go for it again and be less nervous the next time because I have tried it before.

It is good business sense to set the expectations for your clients in all aspects of the services you are providing. If I had known how much that paid online challenge was going to cost me in the end, I may not have taken it. Or, I would have been expecting each charge, and not becoming upset when I experienced each additional fee.

Now, some of you may be thinking I should have refused the package. It was tempting, but I want to read this book to see if it is worth the extra cost. I went to my husband one more time, as he does our household budget and I explained that there was yet another unanticipated charge on a credit card. We were both ticked off at the financial consequences of my signing up for the paid online challenge. After our discussion, we also agreed that the lessons to be learned would not be easily forgotten.

Surprises are everywhere.

Regardless of the financial impacts, I have crossed a toe over the line into paid online training. The value of what I have learned outweighs the charges on the one hand. On the other hand, I had a breakthrough with personal growth and I was amazed when people started offering to help me from an unpredictable source.

Tishspiration is The Art of Surprising Yourself. When you push your boundaries and limits, even in a small way, you might just be surprised at the results. It will not be a big deal unless you choose to learn the lessons life delivers to you and you are open to the possibilities of success. When you find your own Tishspiration, please do celebrate it with me! It is a feeling like no other when you accomplish something you never thought you could do. I would love to celebrate with you, so please share your wins in the comments so I can.

#TishspirationTuesday

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 73 | Looking Myself In The Eyes

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

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 73 | Looking Myself In The Eyes

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 62 Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Happy Valentine’s Day! It seemed rather appropriate to write about the heart today. Heart health is important and should not be ignored. This post is not going to be one which is full of facts, spouting all the do and don’t guidelines for the organ’s health. Consequently, you are wondering, what am I going to write about?

The heart for me is a complicated topic. As a creative, I am very in tune with my emotions, which also relate to my heart. Every single beat of my heart wants to spread love and positivity far and wide. I have a strong heart, I am lucky. It can take a lot of use in its various functions, traditional and non-traditional. Let’s explore what I am writing about.

Traditional Use

The heart pumps blood to every cell in your body and back in an impressively short amount of time. Constantly. When your heart is physically healthy, it is powerful. I like to think of mine as strong. I have had concerns, especially since I am morbidly obese. As a result of my concerns, I do have it checked when something feels wrong. I have been assured that my heart is not the source of any medical concern when I do get it checked. This tells me it is strong, physically.

Regular exercise is something I have been slack – a- lacking on in the last few months. Several, if I am being totally honest with you. I used to go to Zumba on a regular schedule, twice a week. The location has moved, and with my previous work schedules, it wasn’t always possible to make it in time for the class. The summer was very hot and humid, the price of gas was another reason, and I just stopped going. Once in a blue moon, I would have all the stars align to allow me to go, but it was painfully clear that I am now really out of shape again. I may be in the worst shape of my life as I write this.

It’s not like I don’t know what I have to do. I have to actually do it.

I have to stop making excuses, and just exercise. Last week a good friend encouraged me to walk 20 minutes a day. I countered with a plan to dance in my living room instead. Then I didn’t take action. That is on me. I let one excuse become two and then I had seven days of excuses, with maybe five minutes of dancing in the bathroom the other day. I play music when I am in the shower. It helps to keep me on track, and starts my day off a little happier because I add in music. My feet don’t move when I dance in the tub, for safety reasons. Before I get into the shower, however, I may be moved to dance to a whole song.

My husband even gave me a deadline to get the living room cleaned, which I have held in my mind but not really acted on yet. I have started. I have puttered at it. But it is still an excuse. So I need to take action on this also. Any movement at all counts right now. I know it is important. It is time to change the tune inside my head, to maintain the healthy heart I have. It works hard, so I need to honour it by taking better care of it.

Non-Traditional Use

The emotional side of me is all heart. I want to help people, I want people around me to be happy. When I am working on this and focusing on the needs of others, rather than on my own, it can be exhausting. This is the type of person I am, and I am learning that I need to also be a protector of my own heart, so it stays strong, emotionally. It might sound odd from a scientific point of view, but it is my truth. My heart is connected to me, and to everything around me.

I have been known to go above and beyond what is required on a project. I am an overachiever. It is in my nature to put the needs of others ahead of my own. This is a common issue for me and for many other people. We want to make sure everyone else is taken care of before taking care of ourselves. This can cause me to lose sleep, and become difficult to be around if you are not the person I am working on the project for. When this happens, I should stop and take a break. If there is a deadline, even a self – imposed one, I am not always able to stop.

I need to be more aware of this so I am giving my best all of the time, instead of focusing it on one project and letting the other areas of my life fall aside; as if they are not important. As if I am not important.

My creative interpretation of a photo challenge prompt. Something she wore.

She wears her heart on her sleeve

One thing about being in touch with your emotions and embracing them means that if you are a heart-centered person like myself, we wear our hearts on our sleeves. I took red lipstick and black eyeliner to drew the heart on my arm to give a visual representation to what I know is my truth. I successfully completed the challenge, and have some remarkable photos I am very proud of taking as a result of participating.

This leads me to my final thoughts, back to emotions. I have been working on myself, and I am starting to see some positive results from the changes I am making. From the very heart of my being, I know I need to do more. It isn’t easy. If it was, we would all be healthy, active, emotionally balanced people. I embrace all of my emotions, and I need the full spectrum of what that means. I wouldn’t want to be any other way.

People look at me and assume that because I am morbidly obese, I am eating all the time, and lazy. I will admit to the laziness, I am working on overcoming it, in relation to my physical activity levels. This doesn’t mean I am not a hard worker, though. I give my all to everything I do work on.

Morbidly obese people who have issues don’t eat all of the time, however, we can eat our feelings.

It is not healthy, and I have done this to avoid facing my feelings. This is one very real thing that has contributed to my weight. It is not the defining factor, though. For me, it comes down to choices. I choose whether or not to be active. Choosing to eat a whole box of chocolates or a large bag of chips to eat my feelings away, instead of facing them. As a result of that choice, I may feel full, or even not well because of it, but I am not facing what is really going on in my life. Choosing fast food instead of taking an hour to cook. These choices add up. To one very important realization.

I am choosing the easy way because I do not feel like I am important enough to choose the better option. It is easier to avoid the issue rather than face feelings and deal with them. Choosing to do better is something I am working on. It is hard. There are so many choices available to me now that I am going to make the wrong ones sometimes. What do I need to do? Start taking action, by making better choices. This is truly the heart of the matter.

Let’s help each other to make better choices. How are you spending your Valentine’s Day? How are you showing yourself that you are important? Please, let me know in the comments.