This is Trust Your Gut | What Did My Brain Just Tell Me? Trust Your Gut is a series of blog posts that began on February 2, 2017. In this first blog, I introduce the concept of the category and begin to share my own story. In this blog, specifically, I write about something very dangerous. Denial.
Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues. It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on. Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real. The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people that have weight issues, on either end of the scale. If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog. I know there are people out there that want to help people like them, as I do.
The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name. If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story. The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors. I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.
Here is Trust Your Gut:Tish’s Story; Part 83.
In just about every online space you go, these days, at least in the platforms I use on a regular basis, people are talking a lot about mindset. The power of the mind is a miraculous thing when it is being used for a greater purpose. It can also lead people down the wrong path. I am not writing about the criminal mind, nor the mind of people who have mental health issues in this case, though. I am writing about how it can make you believe something that just isn’t true. In this case, I am writing about denial.
I love to read, especially fantasy and science fiction.
This love for reading has allowed me to expand my own creative horizons and write two books, with many other projects, and more to come, God willing. I love my imagination, and the way I can create worlds in my writing, with the hopes of fascinating readers with what I publish. When you read for pleasure, you also read to capture a bit of escapism from the real world.
I have been reading some books by Jim Butcher, who is the author of The Dresden Files. The main character, Harry, is a wizard for hire in these books, and I quite enjoy reading all of the trouble he gets into and manages to wiggle his way out of. It is a similar type of character that I have created more than once when I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons. Some of those characters have had fantastic adventures, the kind legends are born from. By doing the same thing as this wizard, in their own way.
Not too long ago, I was reading one of these books, called White Night. In this book, a character description made me pause and shake my head at what I heard myself thinking. The character was a mafia bodyguard, male, and he was described as massive, at over three hundred pounds. I thought to myself, “That’s not that big. I weigh over three hundred pounds.” It was at this moment I had to stop myself from reading, to process what I was thinking in response to that character description.
I then thought to myself, “Wait a minute. What did my brain just tell me?”
It was at this time I reread the paragraph and took a moment to process the amount of denial my brain has been feeding to me for the majority of my life. Three hundred pounds IS big. The distribution of the weight also plays a huge factor in this realization.
A person who is significantly taller than my five foot two and three-quarters of an inch in height would have the benefit of a larger area to distribute this much weight. Plus, it is a character described as a bodyguard, which would also have a different muscle to fat composition than I do. This character would be healthier, and not morbidly obese. Yet the weight of three hundred pounds is described as massive. I needed to proceed carefully as I processed this information.
I am still very mobile, even though lately I have had a hard time catching my breath. I can get up and down, walk and dance. I can sprint if there is a short distance to be covered and time to recover on the other side of that sprint. But I know that the distribution of my weight is all on the front side of my body, and it is more fat than muscle. And I got on the scale last week. I now weigh more than I did when I took that picture. It was really disappointing, but it is one reason why I am trying to do better.
I’m not going to make the mistake of thinking I am massive.
A part of last week’s story comes from the fact that people tell me I don’t look as big as I am, and that I carry the weight well. I am tired of not looking the way I feel. I do not see myself as massive, nor do I see myself as morbidly obese. When I look in the mirror, I just see myself. When I step on the scale, I see a number. Higher or lower than the last time, but nonetheless a number. This past week, it was 336.4 lbs. I am not in a hurry to get back on a scale after seeing this number, but when I do, I will share it for accountability. It is time to start dancing more every day.
On a positive note, I sang with the radio in the bathroom today to, “I want to dance with somebody” by Whitney Houston. I was done in the shower, and stayed in there to sing my heart out, and dance a little bit. When the song was over, I peeked around the corner at Roy and sang, “Don’t you want to dance, say you want to dance, don’t you want to dance?” His reply was, “Oh, I heard you singing.” He is not a fan of my singing, not at all. I said, “GOOD!” as I bopped down the hallway. We both laughed. I am doing better because I am trying harder. For now, that is what I am focusing on. Just doing as much as I can to be better.
When was the last time you had a reality check? #TrustYourGut
Happy New Year! Here we are in a new year, and in a new decade. I did not magically wake up skinny. 2019 had a rough couple of days during the holidays, and things got a little out of control. When things got bad, I was able to turn it around, and now they are better.
I’m seeing signs of going through the change. I’ve been having hot flashes at night. I am not sure if they are related to the next phase of my life or my sugars or a combination of the two. After a few restless nights, I got up and checked my sugars. They were very high. When someone with diabetes is sick, this is normal, however I don’t always do the right things for my health.
Sometimes I forget to take my medications.
Creating a health tracker helps me to remember, but I have not been using it. With a brand new agenda, I am ready to start fresh in 2020. I have worked really hard to create my health tracker, but I slacked off. I haven’t followed through with using it. So, I am getting it ready this weekend, and I will be using it starting today.
I haven’t been feeling well. I have had a stomach bug and more than one migraine in the last month. When I am sick, I am more likely to skip my medicine. When you have diabetes and you are under the weather, you need to keep taking your medicine. Just like you need to keep eating and stay hydrated. I know this, but I don’t always make the best choices. Especially when I am feeling ill.
Changes were made this week.
I started checking my sugars more frequently and I’m taking my medicine. I bought new vitamins, and have taken them for the last 3 days. The holiday treats are disappearing, and things are going to be getting back to normal. As I think about this, back to normal is not going to be enough for me. I need to do more, and I need to do better.
I bought a sports bra style workout top in November. The goal was to wear it at home, when I am alone, to do Zumba in my living room. So far, it is still in the bag, with the price tag still attached to it. I am going to cut that tag off on Monday and put it on with my shorts and Zumba sneakers. Then I will complete my look with my Zumba headband and dance by myself in my living room. I want to schedule it into my 2020 planner, 3 days a week. My only resolution for 2020 is to dance more. Now that I have put this into writing, I will have to follow through.
Accountability is something which I have learned is important when you are setting goals, but also for building online businesses. I need to get things accomplished to move on to the next tasks. The only person I am accountable to is myself until I have paying clients. Once this happens, I will be accountable to them also.
It is also a term that is immensely important to me and my health. It is so important, I decided to turn my weight loss support group from a beta to a membership group. This was a difficult decision because the current members are in it for free. Their participation means they are getting value out of the year and a half we have spent together.
It makes me sad that some have already left the group, and I understand why they are choosing to leave. I have also learned a term since joining the makeup industry.
Bless and release.
This is such a simple concept, and easy to apply. If someone does not want to buy makeup, let them go, and move on to the next person. It takes a rejection from being personal to being a manageable response.
The other thing I am learning to accept is that having people leave means they are creating space for the people who do need to be in the group. This is a new concept to me, and I am discovering how to include it in my thought process.
It is harder for me to let go of people in the beta group because we have built a connection. Therefore, we have a history. I have been preparing for new members by organizing the posts into topics. This allows for easier management and navigation within the group. I am refreshing the experiences of myself with the beta group as a whole during this process. It will help me to focus on what is working, what is not working, and what to change.
Each new member will be given a free, personalized health record (tracker). It will be designed on two pages, to fit in seven days. I’m planning to meet with each member online before the end of January to determine what they need help with, and what they need on their tracker. I create my own in my agenda, and it covers everything I need for now. I asked the beta group what they would need, and I have ideas on how I can modify what I created for myself to be useful for other members.
It is a customizable concept.
It has been useful at my doctor’s appointments. I have also had it in appointments with a dietician and at the diabetes clinic. I am not giving it the attention it needs, or rather, I am not giving my health the attention it needs when I am not using it. This will change today!
I opened the Membership group to new members for the new year. I am working hard to make sure that people get value out of the group for their membership fees. So far, it has involved a lot of housekeeping in the group. When it is organized, I will be able to create new content and schedule the accountability posts again. I find this so helpful, to just set aside a block of time to schedule posts for a month or two. It frees my time up to interact with the group and makes it more fun for me to be in there with the other members.
I’m not a medical professional.
This group is a support group, not for a plan or program, but for the members. I will not tell them what plan to follow, or what to eat or what not to eat. I am not the boss of the members. We are all adults and in charge of our own lives. Instead, I work on helping them to be accountable for activity, for drinking water; while sharing tips and recipes. It is general knowledge that staying active and hydrated promotes a healthier lifestyle. With the scheduled posts, it is something that the members will see every day, and it will remind them to work on these things.
All members are required to sign a confidentiality agreement, and the standard Facebook group rules will apply. Anything which goes against these guidelines will not be tolerated, and I am very upfront about this.
I have decided on 2 payment options. Members can choose a monthly payment of $54.00 CAD. It breaks down to each member paying for four hours of my time, at minimum wage, for me to run the group for the whole month. As the group grows, people may wish to pay a lump sum for the year. $550.00 CAD is the annual membership fee, and if a member chooses to pay annually, they will save $98.00 CAD on their fees.
I am working from home, and I need an income. It is not a decision I made lightly. It wasn’t easy to tell the beta group members that things were changing. I need to get the word out, and cannot afford to pay for advertising.
Sharing this blog post and sharing the posts from my personal Facebook account will help me to do this. It is going to be better than you can imagine, because I am right there, in the trenches with the members. Not telling you what to do, but reminding you that we are in this together, and we can help each other because of it. One of my goals for 2020 is to help people who can help me in return. I do have to stop doing everything for free, though. My heart wants to help people. I am asking you to help me by either joining the membership group, if you need the support or to help me get the message out to people who do need it.
This is my Facebook Profile for you to find the posts to share:
If you are not already a friend, you will see that my wall is a fun place to hang out. I am not only focused on business building. Sharing fun things I find, creating my own content, keeping it a positive enjoyable place to hang out online. Most of the time it is light-hearted. Once in awhile a dose of reality sneaks in, when I have something important to share. I have room for lots of friends in my life, and I have made some really great ones online.
Thank you for reading, and I look forward to sharing my future successes with you all, dear readers.
Hello Weekend Warriors! It has been a while, but I am trying to get back on track with the Blog. I am currently watching an Award Show after watching a Wedding yesterday. I along with a vast majority of the world, tuned in for the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I hope they get to try Sussex Golden Ginger Ale for a toast some day. It is my preferred mix for whiskey.
Let’s back up a bit. Friday night we made the trip outside of the city to a smaller town to watch The Avengers Infinity War Movie. There was a lot to keep track of, but as a Marvel fan, it did not disappoint. I look forward to watching it again, to catch anything I may have missed. I am looking forward to 2 other movies. I want to see Book Club because it looks hilarious. I am also wanting to see Deadpool 2. I cannot wait to laugh right from my toes at Deadpool 2. I really enjoyed the first one, in all its inappropriate hijinks.
I did not get up early to watch The Royal Wedding yesterday. I did record it, so I could watch it on my schedule. I had coffee, not tea. I cried a little, at the beauty of love. I don’t think I cried at weddings until I got married myself. I understand what it means, and the depth of feelings that are wrapped up in the ceremony. I felt it while watching Harry and Meghan.
People have hated on the wedding, the makeup, the dress, and well I have a few things to write about that. I thought Meghan looked beautiful Yes, she is an actress, but she wasn’t working yesterday. She was living her life and marrying a Prince. In real life. She wasn’t over the top, she was respectable and beautiful. The Queen is a tough critic, and there are a lot more restrictions in all things Royal that must be taken into consideration when The Queen of England is going to be an in-law. No pressure, with that and the whole world watching too.
I think it was lovely, start to finish, even with the fanfare, and the wild sermon. It was a memorable event, and I am glad I watched. It reminded me of my own wedding, and how it was very memorable, for a different reason. We got married on the day of Hurricane Earl, almost 8 years ago. If you can’t have yourself a Royal Wedding, then I recommend allowing the weather to make the day memorable. We survived, and they say rain is good luck on a wedding day. I wonder what a hurricane means?
On to Sunday. Today I went to Church, took a nap, fired up the barbeque, and watched the Billboard Music Awards. As you know, I entered the #DanceWithJanet competition. I didn’t get a call yet, so I wasn’t on stage. However, I think I might have made an impression on Ms Jackson. She used the same music clip that I did for my audition. That cannot just be a coincidence! I believe I may have had a teeny tiny success in #Tishspiration, in that she picked the same song I did for my audition for her performance tonight. I wasn’t there dancing, but my heart was singing! The whole experience was so much fun, and it might have just gone over the top!
I am trying to figure out what to do to prepare my website for GDPR. The deadline is Friday. I am going to see what WordPress.org and Bluehost where I purchased my domain name from have available for advice and options. The store is not live yet, so sales are not yet an issue. When I set the store up, I will have a better idea of what to do to be compliant. For now, I just have to get it as ready as I can in the next few days.
Other than that, I have been working on my Youtube Channel Art. Tishspiration Station is a new project.
I had a few trial runs for this project, but I am pleased with this result. Now to get back to things like oh, I don’t know, writing and jewellery designing. I am breaking up the quantity of blog posts to have more quality and more time for other projects. I am trying to get the new concept for my first book nailed down for the second draft of my first book. I am submitting other writing projects for publication in a few different places. I am finalizing the concept for the Cat Tales Jewellery Collection. The Book Bling will have small collections, maybe one piece per book. It is meant to be specific to the book and has meaning for the fans. I have 3 concepts for my first 3 books. I have a lot on the go, all the time.
Hi. I am so glad that you took a few minutes out of your busy day to read my blog. I am humbled and honoured every single time I get feedback and new statistics. Every time you take time to read one of my stories, you impact my dreams. You reinforce my beliefs to follow my dreams and make them into a reality. I am discovering my purpose here on this Earth. I am so glad that I am making it happen, and I am just as happy that you are sharing my journey with me.
I have always had a creative spark within. It was not enough. I have worked on cross stitches, embroidery, drawing, painting, beadwork, knitting and crocheting, and now I have rediscovered my love for writing. I didn’t work on my writing very much since high school. When I was in English classes, it turned me off writing as a career. I had to read books I never would have chosen to read, then I was forced to find hidden meanings that were a stretch for me to believe. I like things to be at face value. I also like to be funny, punny and clever. Dissection belongs in science class, not in English class.
After high school, I chose a path to science. I started a pre-vet program. I never made it to vet school. I did finish my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, with an Animal Science Degree. It was an honours degree. It took me longer than the average four years to complete it, but that makes me all the more proud to hang it on my wall.
I met my husband while studying for that degree. We met through a group of mutual friends. When we decided to start dating, things clicked. We are happily married, and that is something that I can wish for all of you to find. Love. It is an adventure that we all need to grab onto and hold tight when it happens.
If you are not in that kind of relationship at the moment, please do not despair. It is not your time yet. Things happen for a reason, and I truly believe that. Your story is not yet finished, and it is up to you to get up every day and see where it takes you.
I did not find a job with my Bachelor of Science. I went back to school and trained to be a Pharmacy Technician, who currently earns her living by working in a call center. Is this the career path I would have chosen for myself ? No. Would I jump at the chance to go back into the world of pharmacy? Absolutely. I enjoyed using the scientific side of my mind. It was a satisfying career choice. But it was not the reason I ended up taking that course.
I believe that I was sent in that direction for another reason. I learned how to mix IV medications and prepare chemotherapy drugs in a sterile hood. My familiarity with working with needles helped me to adapt to having to learn how to give myself insulin. Sometimes you need to figure out what led you to the path you are on, so you can decide if you want to keep on that journey, or find a new branch and follow another trail.
No matter what path you are on, it is up to you to learn what you can while you are there. When you have finished learning all that you can, if you are not still inspired to continue learning, it is time to try something different. Even if it scares you. When you do this you are pushing boundaries, and that is when the magic happens.
Now I am going to plant some seeds. Something to think about for the week, to help you on your own journey. What choices did you make to lead you to where you are today? If it was difficult, it was to make you stronger. How did it do that? If it was easy, why was that easy for you? What things do you love doing so much that you lose track of time when you are working on them? Those are the things you need to investigate further, to see where they will take you. Maybe when you do, you will find that you surprise yourself like I do when I am writing.
One last thought. When you find yourself going two steps forward, and three or even five steps back, go with it. Dance within the ebbs and flows of life. Join me, and together we will make our own paths in this world. One step at a time.
Treasure Seeker Tuesday: Photo by Tish MacWebber; Photo Edited by Noa Price
My friend Susan died last week. She was very brave and fought against cancer for as long as she could. I decided to write out what I would like to say at her Celebration of Life Event today. I am going to share that here, for those who could not attend to read about my friendship with Susan, and her husband, Andrew. She was 47 years old. Here is what I had written to say, from several little pieces of notepaper, scribbled at 3 am one morning earlier in the week.
I remember feeling sad when Susan told me that she had cancer. We weren’t the closest of friends at that time, but that changed. I had met Susan’s husband before I met her. I joined a gaming group as I was new to Fredericton, and needed to meet people and make friends.
Susan and I met later on, and we had a lot of things in common, including creativity and cats. Oh, how Susan loved all of the kitties! She would save as many as she could, and picked the ones that nobody else would choose. She had a cat with one eye, and a cat that has medical issues that require frequent vet trips. That didn’t matter because Susan loved her cats, and they loved her right back.
I attended a dance lesson in their backyard, once. It was a gathering of friends, and we all participated in learning a medieval dance. It was fun, although I would not be able to do it again without lessons. I returned the favour by bringing Susan to a Zumba class with me. It was after she had been diagnosed, and she did what she could. There were chairs for her to rest in when she was tired. I remember that she had fun, and wanted to go again. That didn’t happen, but it was nice to share the love of dancing with Susan.
You might be wondering why I chose to wear this brightly coloured poncho today. ( I was wearing the same one that is in my profile pic here.) When I started to knit it, I was lost, and rather confused. Knowing that Susan was an avid knitter, I approached her for help with it. She took the time to go over the pattern, and we decided that I needed a chart. She helped me to make the chart, and because she helped me, I have a completed poncho that she helped me to knit. Simple, yet effective. The perfect solution for me and that is why I am wearing it today.
She liked to knit socks for people. I remember being out to buy sock yarn with her, and she was asking if the colours went together well or not. She confided that other people didn’t always like the colour choices she made for knitting socks. She wasn’t so fussy when it was for her own socks, they were just socks. She had been getting feedback on other socks that she had knit for people that the yarn didn’t always match well, so she wanted to check on the colours before buying yarn if she was making socks for gifts.
When she found out I wanted to work on knitting, she lent me her Stitch and Bitch knitting book. I think I kept it a little too long. When she asked for it back, I actually went out and bought my own copy. I never told her that.
I have attempted to join in on the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) events. For those that do not know what it is, it is a worldwide movement for authors to write a whole book in November, and it is an annual event. I tried a few times, but have decided that it is not the format for me, and I am now a Nano Cheerleader. Susan loved to host the events for Nano, and was very proud to show me her Nacho Hat platter that was used for the Nano events. She was a great leader in the Nano world, and people looked forward to her launch and closing parties. Unlike myself, she was a Nano winner. She recently gave me a book she wrote, called “Freaks in Fredericton.” I plan to read it when I feel ready, and I guess I will have to wait to discuss it with her in another place and time.
(I added a bit here about FredNoWriMo, the local branch, and that the theme is Superhero this year.)
When Susan was needing to be more cheerful, she would often turn to Youtube. Sometimes we would sit and watch cat videos. Other times it would be music. She introduced me to the guy that takes tweets from Twitter and turns them into songs. Her favourite was the one with the ukulele and he is singing, “Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows.” That is the whole song.
She also introduced me to Post Modern Jukebox. They take current songs and cover them in different styles from different eras.
(This was the end of page one, and the start of page two. I had a harder time with page two.)
One thing I learned from both Susan and Andrew, her husband, was that it was OK to talk to them about things that were happening in my life. I didn’t want to bother them with my issues, they seemed to be insignificant when they were dealing with her diagnosis. We came to an understanding that it was OK to talk about things and that we would all be real when we were visiting. In a way, it might have helped them to have something less impactful to talk about, and as friends that talked about problems together, I think it helped them, just as much as it helped me to have a place that was safe to talk about anything. It made me realize that because they realized that what mattered to me was important, that made me, their friend, important. What a beautiful gift of friendship to share.
She often expressed a hate for cancer. I agree with her on that. One day, when she was having a particularly difficult time finding the right words to express her thought, she accurately said that she hated her brain. I knew exactly what she meant, but I still don’t know how to correctly respond to that comment.
I wanted to be a good friend to Susan, even if I knew that it would tear me up inside after she was gone. The last thing I said to her was, “See you later.” I hate goodbyes.I hope to be a better friend because of my friendship with you.
It surprised me when people told me after that I did very well, and that I should be a public speaker, not a writer. In the last few months, I have also been told I should be a comedian. I try to be funny, but it doesn’t always work. I blank out after speaking in public, so I don’t always know if it went well or not unless I ask someone after I am done. I did read in Church when I was old enough, and they taught me the few basic skills I used today. Pacing yourself, pausing to look at the people, and just making sure that you speak clearly into the microphone. I did need a minute near the end, but I expected that. I managed to do my best, and that is all I wanted to do.
It was not easy to do that today, even if it seemed like it may have been before page two. I had to just focus on the task of reading what I had written. Knowing another friend had given it a read before today helped, she said it was perfect. What do you say when there are no words to express how you feel? You think about the good times and write from the heart. Sometimes there are no words. I was blessed to have known her and to be able to tell her family just how important she was to me, as my friend.