I have done something new in the past week. It is time for me to be stepping it up when it comes to my health. I was sent information from a friend in an email, about a medical study at the local university. As a person with type 2 diabetes, I was able to apply. I made a call, and I am glad I did.
When I connected with the person working on the study, I was asked some questions on the phone. They needed to know when I was diagnosed, and what medications I was taking. I went through them all and made an appointment for the first session. When I did, the person I was speaking to asked me when I would like to do the second part of the qualifying session. I chose Wednesday and Thursday this past week.
Next, I was given a brief overview of what would happen. The first session was to fill out the paperwork and to get my measurements recorded. They needed my weight, height, waist and hip circumference. Two blood samples were taken, one by a nurse, and the other by the person I would be working with. The nurse used a needle to get a blood sample, similar to when the doctor sends you for bloodwork. They needed to establish some baselines for my sugars and lipids. The second blood test was just a finger prick, similar to what I do to test my blood sugars myself. It is for a 3 month average of my blood sugars, called an A1C test. We went over the numbers, but I do not remember them all. I was assigned a number for the study.
The Bod Pod
I was told on the phone that in the first session, I would need to go into something called the Bod Pod. It was described as an oval machine, shaped like a spaceship. Of course, I asked for the details of what it was used for. It uses changes in air pressure to get an estimate of the fat and muscle percentage in your body. It sounded neat, and then I asked one more question. With the description of the Bod Pod, I asked if they played any Lady Gaga music while the test was running. I made my contact person laugh, and he surprisingly admitted nobody had ever asked him that question before.
Since I am a blogger, and I have this category, I wanted to document the interesting parts here. We will start with some pictures of the Bod Pod.
As you can see, it has a seat inside. I was asked to wear something similar to a bathing suit for the test. My Zumba clothes worked for this purpose. There are magnets to hold the door secure during the test, and there is an emergency release button if for any reason a person would want to stop the test. It has never been used, and I did ask if the person who I was working with for the assessment wanted to test it after my test was done. My offer was declined, as it was uncertain if it would affect the calibration of the expensive machine. I did not test the emergency button.
For a few moments, I could pretend I was Lady Gaga arriving at a music award show.
The person who was assessing me to see if I would qualify for the study did agree to help me with pictures for the blog. They use the equipment for their job, so they are used to it, but for someone like me, it was worth documenting the whole experience.
Since the machine uses air pressure to record the measurements, I was advised of this. I was also warned that just like my ears, the machine may pop while the test was running. Thankfully, although I felt the pressure changes when it was running, it was not a huge difference, and my ears were not affected. For statistical reasons, they run duplicate tests for certain qualifying factors. This test was run twice and will be necessary again once or twice while the medical study is being conducted.
I had to wear a swim cap also, to help with the test. It was okay for me to wear my stockings in the Bod Pod. At the same time the blood tests were run, my feet were also checked. One side effect of diabetes is neuropathy, which affects the nerves, especially in feet. I have had this test before, and I usually feel the apparatus on my feet when it is lightly pressed on the sole of my feet. After completing these tests, I was able to go home, with a pedometer to wear for 7 days, to get a baseline average of my current activity level.
The fitness test.
Day two had a new test to run. First, I was given an explanation of what to expect. I would be fitted with a heart monitor to start with. I do not have a picture of this because it was put right under my sports bra (which I am SO glad I wore that day!)
Next, I was set up for the apparatus to measure my oxygen levels. If you thought the Bod Pod was glamorous, you haven’t seen the best parts yet. I had to wear this frame over my head, which would be attached to a tube that was placed in my mouth. The air goes in on one side, and out the other, to be measured in another machine. I was advised to drink a bit of water before it was in my mouth because my mouth would get dry during this test. The paper towel was there for me to use for saliva. There was a part of the tube made to catch any drool dripping around the mouthpiece. So attractive, I know.
There were goals to beat in the fitness test to qualify for the study. A speed was selected, and the incline was increased at several intervals. I was shown a clipboard with numbers on it. They ranged from 6 to 20, and since I would not be able to talk during the fitness test, I would point at the number which corresponded to the level of exertion I was feeling when asked. I was also advised to give a thumbs up or down as answers to questions and to move my hand back and forth by my neck if I needed to stop for any reason.
To get the most accurate measurement of the air I was breathing, I also had to wear a nose plug. I walked on the treadmill, and if you know me, and you caught the musical reference above, you probably guessed that I had a song in my head while I was walking my way through this test. I will reveal it soon. First, I want to assure you that my breathing was fine once I got settled into the test. I did feel short of breath near the end, but with increasing intensity for the duration, it was to be expected. When my heart rate was checked as okay, and the machine to measure the oxygen I was using as I breathed was full, the test began.
There was a short warm-up period, to adapt to the treadmill and the breathing apparatus. Once I found my groove, the incline was increased. It was increased by one increment until it reached 11.0. At this time I was asked if I wanted to keep pushing or stop, and I chose to stop.
I qualified for the study.
The good news is, although I will need to repeat the measurements and tests, it will not be every time. I will have to wear the heart monitor every time I go, but that is not an issue for me. It is the lease intrusive piece of equipment I have to wear. Except for testing and measurement days, I will be working with a trainer to help me work on my treadmill game. I will want to push myself as I get used to walking regularly again. It is going to be a good change for me, and my hope is that I excel while I am participating in the study. I will not be getting paid for my participation, but if I can lose some weight and increase my activity levels, it will be worth it to me.
The study is testing to see what the impact of regular exercise is on the A1C levels in people diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and people like me, with type 2 diabetes. As the study progresses, I hope to have more to share here. At this time, I am glad I Trusted My Gut and applied for the study. I needed a change, and this could be just what the doctor ordered.
The song I had in my head when I was on the treadmill on day 2 was Good As Hell by Lizzo. As I finished the test on day 2, after I was unhooked from all of the apparatus, I told the people in the room, “I would like to thank Lizzo for getting me through this fitness test.” My statement was met with laughter, as it was intended.
Hello Treasure Seekers! This is a little past the cutoff time for Tuesday, but I am determined to revisit Success 2018 as we are halfway through the year. Previously, in Treasure Seeker Tuesday #11, I revealed that my word to define 2018 would be Success.
I thought it was time to check in with my list, to see how far I have come.
15. Launching my Website on January 1st, 2018. (I have 14 more days to work on this)
If you are reading this, it is on my own website. Success.
14.Learning how to make a proper Launch and Landing page before the website launch on January 1st, 2018. Also setting up an email list and starting a newsletter.
This project is still in progress. It is on the way to success.
I am working on the second draft of book 1. I have set deadlines.
From Where I am Sitting, A Collection of Cat Tales by Tish Mac Webber September 30, 2018
The Art of Surprising Yourself (which has since become the definition of #Tishspiration) December 2018.
It is on the way to success.
12. Supplementing my income with sales from my website. Book Sales will come with launch & publishing dates. Book Bling will Launch with the books. I have borrowed a camera to start taking better quality pics of my Bling for the online store. Basic Bling will be available before I start Book Bling in September.
It is on the way to success.
11. Plan a real vacation. 2 weeks. Need to fly to get there and back. 2 days before and after, 10 days at the destination.
I have booked a vacation and we will be heading to Nova Scotia. I am working on ideas for what to write about while I am in Cape Breton.
Sometimes we have to compromise. I am taking a 10 day vacation, but not getting on a plane.
10. Jewellery sales increasing after adding the jewellery to the website.
See # 12. It is on the way to success.
9.Using my 2 new 2018 planners to the fullest extent.
I am struggling with this. I have 6 more months to figure it out. Needs more effort.
8. Purging things. Lots of things. More than last year.
Started and stopped. I will need to get this going. It is Yard Sale Season. Needs more effort.
7. Finishing the Housecleaning challenge. A Bowl Full of Lemons runs it, check it out online here. There is a Facebook Group, but it is a closed group. You will need to ask to join it if you are interested in that.
Really struggling. I have company coming soon, and I am hosting a potluck in 2 weeks. Time to get’er done! Needs more effort. (Right away)!
6. Having a job related to the field of writing.
I will resume pursuing this goal after vacation is over. Needs more effort.
5.Collaborating with musicians to get at least one of my songs recorded and playable for other people to hear. Writing more lyrics.
#Help If you are a musician, we should strike up a conversation. A true collaboration is what I am looking for, a win/win. I really do want to get the songs out of my head and onto the radio. Needs more effort.
4. Getting a new pet (or a duo).
After vacation, this will be a realistic goal. It is on the way to success.
3. Becoming more active.
I did more Zumba lately. I walked and pulled a muscle in my foot. Le sigh. I am gingerly back to Zumba. It is on the way to success.
2. Lose weight the right way.
I started a Hydration challenge. This caused concern on my facebook wall, as I am aiming for 5 Litres of water a day, and people that care about me expressed their concern. I am researching and requesting guidance from my Diabetes Case Manager, and my own doctor. I am eating more home cooked meals and working on giving up pop as a daily treat. I will still have some on occasion, but not every day any more. It is on the way to success.
1. Become a Best Selling Author.
Biggest goal here. I am working on it. It is on the way to success.
So if you were keeping track, 2 Successes, 9 items on the way to success, and 4 items need more effort.
Progress is progress.
Success 2018 Desk, notepad, pen, laptop and coffee for Tishspiration
I have surpassed my list with 2 things in 2018. My #DanceWithJanet audition is a total success, even if I didn’t get that call, because I did it. I used this to start rebranding my entrepreneurial dreams, by creating the YouTube Channel, Tishspiration Station. Wait, what? Did I jump into the YouTube world too? Um yeah, I did. I needed a place to link the dancing videos from to share them here on the blog. I am taking the #Tishspiration with me, and running with it. There I go again, surprising myself. I had no ambition to do this until I had the dance videos to share. I will be developing it to go along with book launches to start. As you know, I just go with things sometimes. I don’t know where this little left turn will take me, but here I go!
How are you doing at the 6 month mark of 2018? Are you checking your list off? Let me know in the comments.
Hello Treasure Seekers! It’s Tuesday! Here I am starting fresh. It is like I am beginning again! I know it has been a while since I have been blogging, and my new schedule will have me writing in this category every two weeks, instead of every week. I really needed a break, and it is time to get back into the Blogging habit. It is a good thing for me to do, and I enjoy Blogging.
I am writing my first book. I have put aside the first draft to begin again, this time with a second draft. The first draft hasn’t been shredded, in fact, it will help me to perfect my second draft. Some of it is definitely worthy of making it into my book. Other parts need to be written with a new perspective, to have it in the correct point of view. I had to get a feel for where I am going with the stories and to do that, I needed time to think about what I did, and what I want to do.
One of my gifts is that I love to write, and tell stories. I have written song lyrics, and a poem or two. I have written a lot here on the Blog, and some people have told me that it is like a journal. In a way, it is. It is written from my heart, and that is where all of my stories come from. I used to write in journals, so maybe that is why it may read like a journal to some people. For me, it is not the same.
There is a lot more thought behind what I write here. My journals were written when I was a teenager and a young adult. They were a lot less polished, more raw than what I write here on the blog. Nevertheless, I treasure all of the words I write, like the hidden gems they are. Some are kept hidden, from my past, and they will stay there. It is where they belong. The Blog is constantly being polished to shine. Every change I make is heading in the right direction for me. I am hoping that you are still going to be reading as I keep writing. That is another one of my treasures. You.
This afternoon, when I got home from work, I checked my Stats. I know the GDPR is coming up, and I am working on preparing my website for the change. I have seen very low activity in the past little bit. Imagine my surprise when I saw a jump in the numbers! It went from 3 or fewer views to 24! Weekend Warrior from this past weekend stirred up some views. That makes me smile, to know that people have been waiting for me to write more Blog stories.
Wow. For those of you that are with me on this adventure, thank you. Really. It means a lot to me when the numbers reflect that you are paying attention. I write for you to read because you matter to me. My stories mean something to you too. I hope that this pattern continues and that you will stick with it and with me. Oh my gosh, this just makes me smile!
So how can I help you to grow in your own way with me? It is something I have been thinking about when I was preparing for this story. I have started so many new projects in the last year and a half. I have tried new things and challenged myself. Sometimes, there have been things that didn’t work. I am too stubborn to just quit. I am just not that kind of a person. I may stop in my tracks to get my bearings, and then go full speed ahead in whatever direction I need to go next. How can you do this?
Trust Your Gut! Ha! If you read my Blog, that is another category, but the title lends itself here with a different purpose. Start with one thing. Something that scares you a little. Or challenges you. Go with it. If it doesn’t work, there are two possibilities. Either it isn’t your thing (which means you need to try something different next time) or you need to rethink what happened, and try it again from a different angle. That is it. It is okay to try things and decide that you don’t want to do them again. The important thing is to keep trying new things. Keep pushing for what you really want, even if you are scared, even if you don’t know what that thing you want is yet. Time is going to pass whether you watch it or become a part of it. I choose to participate, and what an adventure I have begun. I am on my way to things I never thought I would be able to do. I am, in fact, surprising myself. You have the power to do it too, if you decide to participate in your own life, instead of watching it pass you by. Do something new! Let me know what you did in the comments below. I can’t wait to help you discover new things about yourself. I want to know what works for you, and what doesn’t.
Need an example? #DanceWithJanet was something I tried this spring. I thought about it, planned it in my mind, practiced when I got my feet to join in on the project. It took some convincing. I KNEW I wanted to do it. I didn’t know how. I do Zumba. I like it. I make up the moves that work for me to get through the class. That is what I did in my blooper reel. I spent 2 days filming, one with a friend, and one on my own. I did it. This past weekend, Janet Jackson was on the Billboard Awards. She was getting the Icon Award, and she did sing a little. Loved it. The thing that made me want to jump up and down was the little dance section at just over 2 minutes into the performance. She did her dance to IF! That is the song I chose for my audition. I was blown away. I am still giggling and shaking my head. Grinning from ear to ear. She must have watched. She may not add me to her show, but I might have added a touch of Tishspiration to her life. I have convinced myself of this, and that it wasn’t just a coincidence. #Tishspiration. It is a word I made up, with a whole lot of potential. I am going to use it to move forward with my journey. I am playing with my creativity and imagination, and it is really surprising me.
There is one final thing of note for my #DanceWithJanet audition. I did it. I sent it in. No regrets. I was on Twitter after the Award show, and one tweet stood out to me. Someone wrote, “I should have tried out for #DanceWithJanet.” Someone else out there regrets not doing something that I actually did. I am not the person with regrets. That is something I can think back on and smile. Scream a little, jump up and down about, and clap my hands for. I DID IT!
I was wondering today if Janet Jackson has any idea how much she impacted my life just for allowing me to try? Not only have I felt the joy of actually doing something to change my life, but the responses I got from friends and family were nothing short of amazing. The support and comments from so many people really made it worthwhile. Okay, and so did the actual completion of the project, but the reactions on the internet really surprised me. Nothing but positivity. For this, I also want to thank Janet Jackson. I didn’t know how many people truly cared about me and what I am doing in my life. It makes me think that I am on the right path and that I must keep going. #Tishspiration is just beginning. Wait until you see what I am working on next! There is a hint at my Youtube channel, Tishspiration Station. By the way, if you didn’t see the Audition video, or the progress/blooper reel, you can find them there. It is where the word Tishspiration started, with that audition video, so it is fitting that they were my first two videos on my Youtube Channel. I am conceptualizing what to tackle next there. It won’t be anything with music or dancing at this time, due to copyright laws. I am still crossing my fingers that the videos I have posted there keep the music. It was a part of the audition, so it was not in any way meant to do anything but share my adventure. It was never intended to earn money or claim any rights to the music. It was her sone, for her open competition. I can’t just do that with any music I love. There are songs that allow usage on Youtube. I may have fun someday with other songs and dances. For now, I am working on my first Vlog on youtube. Stay tuned! Vlog #1 TBA. I am just getting started on this adventure! I hope you will join me because I am glad that you are here!
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.
I have had a lot of success with the #DanceWithJanet video audition on my own sharing of the dance video. I am watching the number of views climb while waiting for a response from Ms Jackson, herself. When something like this happens, it is good to keep your feet on the ground (unless you are dancing, of course)! #Tishspiration Strikes again! I have been Tishspired to share a little more about this adventure with the world.
I am sure that there are some people out there who know me that are worried about my sanity. I am fine. It was something that I couldn’t pass up trying for. Whatever the outcome, I did my best. I think of it as possibly a mid-life crisis at the worst. I am trying to make my mark on this world while I am here.
People have talked to my husband about it. They want to encourage him to support me. He does. We have done the Long Distance Relationship thing twice before. It is not easy, but it would not be a problem. People that haven’t known us longer than 10 years wouldn’t necessarily know that. It’s been done, and it could be done again. Who knows, maybe there would be times for him to visit. If not, we would manage just fine.
People are trying to convince me to make more videos. With the copyright laws, that is tricky. The #DanceWithJanet video has raised flags on Facebook. It knows what song it is and who owns the rights. I have done what I could to explain it in the posts with the video. It has been left with the music, as I am stating with the video that I do not own the rights to the song I chose, IF by Janet Jackson.
One must remain humble when something causes a larger than expected reaction. In my attempt to do this, I thought of sharing a longer video of this project. I do not have the knowledge to edit the video to change the speed of the song to avoid the issue of copyright. I tried. I fought with it. I just don’t have those skills. In time, I may learn how to do this. For now, I am clearly stating that this video is a byproduct of my #DanceWithJanet Audition, in which I claim no rights to the music in the video. IF is a song by Janet Jackson, and she owns the rights.
I hope that covers the legalities. If the sound does disappear in the future, we all know what happened. I am not intending to earn any profits from the music that I am dancing to unless I go #DanceWithJanet as a result of sharing it.
People also said that it looked easy. Let me tell you, it was a lot of work. I had to practice. At the start, it didn’t flow. It didn’t look smooth. I had to find the combination that worked the best together, which is what made the final cut. It was actually the last run through on my last video. I had fun, which will be apparent in the video I share below.
I have no regrets. I am certain that it made people smile to watch me try. What else can a person ask for in an adventure like this? Other than being chosen to go work with Janet Jackson, of course. That is the dream, and the reason I tried. I went for it. If nothing else, it made me try something new. That is one of the secrets to feeling alive, is to try new things.
As I wrote above, I am trying to keep my feet on the ground and be humble amidst all of the positivity and support during this adventure. I am going to share 2 videos. The first one is the behind the scenes blooper reel. It shows that I had to practice and work on the actual project before selecting the 30-second audition video. I will share the final audition video also. This shows the progression to the audition and the final result. Enjoy!
And the final edit!
Thank you to @JanetJackson for letting me try. If youtube or Janet Jackson remove the music…I challenge you to turn up YOUR favourite song while you watch. Let me know if it works with my Blooper Reel!