I was supposed to write this story last week, but time got away from me. I have a lot on the go, and sometimes I have to decide what to prioritize. I am going to try and catch you all up on what has been going on.
I have made some changes recently, in the hopes of improving my health.
I have all but eliminated pop from my beverage list. I will still allow it from time to time, but Roy started this a little while ago, and I am supporting him. Even though Zevia is on the plan. I will still have pop with pizza, and sometimes at home, but we have reduced our intake. He has lost some weight. I have had improvements in my blood sugars, with this and paying more attention to what I am eating and remembering to take my medicine. Little changes add up to big results. My 3-month average was starting to creep up to a bad number. It was 9.6; 6 months ago. The doctors want is under 7. I am happy to say that the latest bloodwork had it down to 8.8. Yes, it is not where we want it to be, but my doctor was so impressed that she said not to worry too much about that awfully high number you see in the cover pic. It was my weight not that long ago.
I was participating in a 10 day, 30 photo challenge online when I took it. The camera did add 2 pounds ( really, it did). I took to my Facebook wall and asked what colour should I choose ambiguously for the challenge that day. Hot pink or Legendary Red. Hot Pink won by a landslide. I painted my toenails in pink, dug up the feather boa, and stepped onto the scale for a pic. I knew it was really hard to do, and sharing it was brave. I was scared, but for me and my journey, I needed to share this pic.
It will soon be amongst the 29 + other pics I took over those 10 days in an album or graphic soon. I want to have them all together, to show others what I am capable of. Take note of that ending of the last sentence. to show others WHAT I AM CAPABLE OF! I am learning more about myself and what I can do every day!
My weight is a concern to me. It is the highest I have ever been to, and I know I need it to change. With that in mind, I decided to reach out to a Health Coach, who was recommended by my Diabetes Case manager. I had a few things to check out for our first appointment.
I have taken on the Wellness Wednesday Project (WWP) as the Ambassador. I am trying to help people at work with contests, prizes and information. My boss offered this as something I could do when I asked him if I could write a blog for our workplace. I was going to be at work early in the morning for a couple of months, and I thought writing would be something I could do at that time. I cannot access my book online to work on it, there is only wi-fi in the mall, not in the call centre I work at. I am not able to work on it there, unless it is old school, pen and paper, on my own time. When I am not working on WWP, I do take the paper copy of my book in and edit or write stories for the Kit Sora Flash Fiction with Engen Books. In the last one I entered, I placed second with my story. I placed third recently in another one. They are fun, and I am glad I can enter them.
Rabbit hole. Sorry, I get distracted sometimes.
There is a point, though. 😉
I was researching the Health Coach idea in light of my own need, asking about options for a friend, and checking on what might be available for work. There are workshops, and that may be something that happens in the future. For now, I have some information and I am working on my own goals with her. I am able to meet with her for appointments and we are working on my sleep habits, first. I am not able to change them yet, but I am conscious of what I am doing that delays bedtime on work nights, and I am trying to do better. We are now lowering the goal from 5 nights a week to 2 nights a week, to see if I can find ways to sleep longer. 5 or 6 hours a night is barely enough to be able to function. I am managing, but not feeling like my best when I am following this sleep-deprived schedule.
In talking with her at my appointments, we decided that sleep is important enough as a foundation for achieving my goals that it should be the right goal to start with. I need to put a little more importance in my health and sleep patterns to live a healthier lifestyle. It will trickle into other areas, and I will have the energy for things that I want to do but am too tired to do.
Something I realized is that I am putting a lot of things in the way of going to bed, and I need to treat myself to the same level of importance by getting enough sleep every night. I am working on it.
Even though the scale is not being nice to me right now, I am making progress in my blood sugars, which is very important for a diabetic. Once I start getting the right amount of sleep, the scale will be nicer. I just know it.
The other thing I have done was start a weight loss support group tied in with #Tishspiration. I am trying to hold myself accountable. I am working with a small group to help them and myself, to stay motivated. I am getting great feedback, which helps me to know I am on the right track. It is good to have a place where friends are in the same boat with you, or as I shared in a gif, all kittens in the same roller coaster ride. Since it is a small group and kept secret, the people in it feel safe sharing what is going on. I am finding their stories inspirational to me. It is a place to share our journey, and I do think it is going to help us all, in one way or another.
Like I wrote at the start, I am very busy these days. I am enjoying it as long as that is still a side effect, I will keep on keeping on!
#Tishspiration is the word I finally created to describe what has been going on in my life for the last two years or maybe even longer. I have been aware of it for the last two years, this I am sure of. I have been telling my husband for years that I am full of surprises. It went from being a saying to becoming what my superpower is. The best part of all of this is that I am using my powers for good. I am constantly surprising people around me with what I am doing. The best part is when I surprise myself. That is the true meaning of Tishspration, the part I want to share with the world. It can happen to you. I am going to try to explain it, and then give advice for what YOU should do when Tishspiration happens to you!
I have been on a journey for the last 2 years. It started when I watched that inspirational video, where I took away the message that I need to live while I am alive so that when I die and I think back on the life I lived, not filled with regrets and what ifs. I want to live life to the best of my ability. That includes trying things and doing my best. It means not dwelling on what might or might not happen, because I have done something to make a change. I am pushing my limits. I am trying new things. I am chasing my passions. I am surprising myself.
Where do you start? Well, asking me is one way to find out more. Waiting for my book about Tishspiration is another option. It will be a few months from now before it is ready. What do you do in the meantime?
Think about what you want to do with your life. What is something that you are really good at, something that you get so involved with that before you know it, several hours have gone by. It should be something that comes really easy for you, even if you don’t think it is your passion. If it isn’t it might be a clue to where you are supposed to be going on your journey.
People are starting to pay attention to what I am up to. Some of them are curious. Some of them want to say they knew me before I started my journey, to be a cheering squad from the sidelines. There is nothing wrong with either of those reactions.
There is a small group of people that are watching me, and thinking about their own lives. They have seen me change and start to grow into the person I am now, and they wonder what if it happened to them? To me, the answer is simple. I would simply ask them, why not? Why not take one step in the direction you want to go in? Why not prepare yourself for what could be, instead of hating the way things are and doing nothing?
What is stopping you?
Fear of failure.
Fear of not being accepted for being the unique and wonderful being that you are, from the inside out, the one you have buried inside for safe keeping.
Want to know a secret?
I am scared of failure too. When I try something and it falls flat, I let myself lay there for a while. In the melodrama of despair.
I cannot do that for very long, anymore. I have a drive in me, fueled by passion, bursting at the seams with stories to tell.
I am a Lyricist, with songs I cannot sing.
I am a Blogger, because I need to write.
I am an author, with some small published works, who is writing her first novel, and planning 5 more.
I need to let my stories out. If I keep them inside, they hurt me because I am selfishly not sharing the gift I was born with. By writing my books, I will be accomplishing my lifelong dream of becoming a published author. Surprising myself and others with how good I am at this writing thing. Most importantly, I will be sharing this gift with the world.
Because deep down inside, all of us know what our purpose is. We just have to be listening to our hearts whispering the answers to us. Then we need to make a plan and act upon it. One step at a time, on this journey of life. If you smother a spark, it will extinguish in time. Don’t smother your passion. Let it trickle out until you feel like opening the dam and letting it flow free.
Friends, I am standing in front of a lever, preparing to open the floodgates. The next step for me is getting my book published. I hope that you are 1% as excited as I am about it. I can assure you, I am the other 99% on the excitement scale, and then some! I cannot wait to be able to share this book with the world. I sincerely hope that you all will agree that it is worth the wait.
So what do you do if #Tishspiration strikes? Congratulate yourself on a job well done, then move on to the next goal. That is what I do, and I am an expert at #Tishspiration. It has gotten me this far…
This week’s Trust Your Gut is inspired by a recent challenge I participated in for 5 days. It was a Hydration Challenge. I shared a bit about it on my Facebook wall, which created quite a lot of comments. I shut down on commenting about it after it upset me about how vocally people were protesting how much water I was trying to drink to improve my health. For me, it felt like I was trying to do something healthy, and I was under attack. That is where the title is inspired by. #Watergate.
First of all, it brought to my attention how many people out there care about me, and are following my journey. Some of the people that commented rarely interact with me on a regular basis, but were alarmed at the goal I set for myself. I do appreciate all of the support I get with my online adventures, but I needed to take a step back to realize that people were not scolding me for doing something wrong, they were genuinely expressing their concern for my health.
My calculations were that I should e drinking 5 Litres of water a day to lose weight. I started working towards this goal right away. I actually never made it to the 5 Litres in one day. On the day of Relay for Life, it was hot, humid and I was participating in the Zumba on stage under the lights. On that day, I reached 4 Litres, and I was properly hydrated for the event. I was able to participate in the Zumba on stage, with no issues. I do believe that on that day, I needed the extra hydration. There were extraordinary circumstances.
Photo of a wave splashing in the Atlantic Ocean. Location Chimney Corner, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Photographer Lisa Hill.
I took the concerns seriously and promised to check with medical professionals.
A person can drink too much water. The speed and volume of drinking water are factors in this being an issue. I am not drinking large volumes of water quickly, even on a Zumba day. My water bottle contains 750ml and I drink 2 of those in a Zumba class. One is mixed with a scoop of Biosteel, a sugar-free electrolyte booster. It’s like sugar-free Powerade or Gatorade. I drink it when I am working out, or feeling like I need an electrolyte boost. I buy it at GNC.
So on a Zumba day, I drink 1.5 Litres of water, but half of it is an electrolyte boosting drink. So the theory of too much water throwing my electrolytes off balance is not a concern when I am following this plan. I shared that I drink 3 cups of coffee a day, 3 Kcups in 4 runs on the Keurig. 3 full strength and one run through the second time. A litre of coffee a day. Coffee is a diuretic. I need more water to balance it. I drink 500 ml of water a day with my thyroid pill, as a requirement. I then drink my coffee. I then drink a 750 ml water jug. Sometimes more, and sometimes less.
Your diet can also contribute to the volume of water you are ingesting on a daily basis. Certain foods contain a higher percentage of water than others. It is also important to keep this in mind if you are eating a healthy balanced diet.
I sent an email about this to my diabetes case manager. I have not had a response. I did, however, ask my doctor about this.
My doctor advised that I should drink 2.5 litres, and that would be a healthy amount. Half of what I was aiming for. The good news is, it is a more realistic and therefore more achievable goal.
I do want to thank the people that expressed their concern. I am still working on drinking more water, as since the challenge I slacked off a bit because of the concern people expressed. I do make mistakes, and I can be wrong. It is what makes me human like everyone else. I appreciate my friends. Thanks for making me research #Watergate.
In Trust Your Gut this week, I am going to explain how I am changing the way I think, in the hopes of helping you to change the way you think. The story starts at an appointment I had, about a week ago. I have started seeing a Diabetic Case Manager, and I was attending my second appointment. I like her. She has a no-nonsense attitude, backed up with a lot of valuable information.
When I was first diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, it was November 1999. I remember the time because it was the day I found out that I was heading towards a path filled with needles and insulin. I tried to fight it as hard as I could. I now take 2 types of insulin, totalling 5 needles a day.
We talked about changing one type of insulin to a newer type of the same kind. It is made up of smaller molecules. This means that large doses, like what I take, will use less volume. It also has a longer range of activity. It works in the body longer than 24 hours, as a long-acting insulin. There would be no significant gap between doses. I am interested in trying this option.
Both she and my doctor want me to try another option. There are other injectables that help diabetics, and some help you to lose weight by suppressing your appetite. One of the side effects, nausea, has me concerned. I am not quite convinced about this option.
This discussion led to one about eating habits. This is when I learned about changing the way I think. I have written before about eating or drinking things when they are needed to get out of my house because they are bad for me. I was talking with my Diabetic Case Worker, and while we were having this conversation, I had an epiphany. Most people throw bad things out to get rid of them. My brain tells me to consume them before they go bad, and so that I am not wasting the food or drink. This is terrible, I know. I realized in the appointment that by consuming the harmful food or drink to get rid of it, I am effectively treating my body as a trash can.
Well. Another gremlin has appeared. It must be banished!
I have been working hard to change this way of thinking since the appointment. It is hard to deprogram what is in your genes (sorry Dad, this is the Scottish side of me not wanting to waste anything) to make yourself let go of foods that are garbage to your body. I have been consciously trying to not have junk food in the house because as I have written before if it is here, I will eat it. If it is not, sometimes the gremlins do make me think I miss it, but really, I don’t.
I challenged myself to stop dumping crap into my mouth. I also joined a 5-day hydration challenge. I have averaged 3 Litres and 3 cups of water a day since Monday. I will be trying to keep it up, as it is a good habit, drinking water. The chart said I need 5 Litres a day to lose weight. I am working my way up to it.
Lesson learned this week, my body is not a garbage can.
This week in Trust Your Gut I am going to write about defeating inner gremlins. What are inner gremlins, you might be wondering? Inner gremlins are those little voices that whisper negative things to you, kind of like the devil on your shoulder if you prefer that description. I have been doing a lot of work on myself, and this past winter I have been having a hard time. I have difficulty being active in the winter, and I also lack gumption. It could be Seasonal Depression, but it has never been officially diagnosed as such. It does seem to be related to the winter months, and I have noticed a change in this over the last few weeks. I am perking up with the sunshine. Or it could just be an elaborate excuse told by the inner gremlin.
In my journey to become a healthier version of myself, I can honestly say that it has been a lacklustre event since the fall. I have had spurts, but not a long-term plan of action. I think the plans up and talk myself out of them. Or rather my inner gremlin talks me out of them. I want to do things that make me feel better, but I just let lazy Tish win. She is a real pain in the ass. She doesn’t want to put an effort into anything that isn’t absolutely necessary, and she is a real downer. She listens to the inner gremlin and believes what it says. It makes her tired and cranky. Negativity will do that to the best of us. I know in my heart what I need to do, and I just don’t do it. I am perfectly capable of doing anything I want to. I just don’t believe it. Because the inner gremlin tells me otherwise.
Something I am preparing for in my journey as an author is an official author profile picture. I don’t let on that it bothers me. I am in pics all the time. I am morbidly obese. This is something I deal with internally. I don’t want my pictures to show the worst version of me, I want them to show the best version of me. I will take the time to do my hair and makeup, and wear the dress I picked out. I will make myself look nice. That is the plan. But the inner gremlins have been working against me for a while now.
When I moved away from home to go to university, I lived in a dorm for a few years. When I moved off campus, I started a ritual in my bathroom in the mornings. I turn on the water for the shower, and while it is heating I take off my glasses and take a close up look at my face in the mirror. I have been doing this for years. At first, I was just checking to see what I looked like that day and if there was sleep in my eyes or drool on my face from sleeping. Then I started looking and hearing the gremlin whispering, “How do I look today?” Not such a negative thought. It seemed harmless, so I never thought anything else about it.
Until the other morning.
I was taking my morning look, and I heard the gremlin whisper, “How bad do I look today?” I realized the whisper had changed, it was negative and hurtful. It was nasty. I thought to myself, wait a minute. How long has this been what I think when I am looking at myself in the morning? I honestly didn’t know.
This was the first time I had paid attention. I heard it, I recognized it, and I decided that I had to make a change in that thought process right away! I also decided that it was important enough to write about it here, to share this and try to help other people like me.
If your inner dialogue, aka your inner gremlins, are so smart that they fool you into thinking they are harmless, you are just like me. I didn’t even know that they were waging war on my self-esteem on a daily basis. But they were. And they WERE winning.
That is until they whispered loud enough that I actually heard the message. If you ignore them, or you don’t hear them, they can still do damage. They are there, whispering all the negative thoughts, sometimes too quietly to hear. Other times they do what mine did, and the change is subtle, so subtle that they can be missed. If you overlook them, that is where the danger lies, because you are not defending yourself, and you are not taking them seriously. They are nasty little buggers, and they need to be defeated. In this case, ignorance is bliss for the inner gremlins.
After I had that realization, I made a decision. It is going to take me a while to be able to say that I have conquered the inner gremlins, but I have a plan. I am going to say something positive to myself every morning as I look in the mirror. It will take me a long time of doing this to make it feel genuine, that it is real. I have to start somewhere. I hope that it will help me with my goals of becoming a healthier version of myself. I need to not just say that I am worth it, I have to believe it. This is the first step in a new direction on that path.