Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 61 | Resources and Support

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 61 | Resources and Support

I started a weight loss support group. It seemed like I was doing well at the start, with the weight loss. After the holidays, I gained more weight. I was very disappointed, but, I could only blame myself.

Things changed in my life around the same time. I changed jobs. I was a bundle of nerves, and I did it. After working at the same job for seven years, I took a chance. You can probably imagine how surprised I was to be unemployed three months later. Consequently, I am still adjusting. I am choosing to see this as an opportunity to write full time.

Control

What I do have control over is what I eat. I have been unemployed for almost two weeks, and in that time I lost 10 pounds. I gained one back this week. My eating habits and my sleeping patterns need to be scheduled again. With a schedule, I will have more control.

I had an appointment with my doctor. She was expressing concern about my sugars. They were creeping back up again. One positive thing to note was my blood pressure was good we have been working to improve it. I was overwhelmed that day, and I told her I had nowhere to put the emotions I was fighting to hide.

I was having a hard time. There is no easy way to say it. I was struggling in many areas of my life, and I didn’t know how badly I needed help.

The doctor asked me if she could set up some appointments. With tears rolling down my face, I agreed. At the time, I was concerned about my work schedule. It is no longer an issue. I have had two of the appointments, and am working on the others. One is with the Diabetes Clinic. One is with a social worker. I did not know what to think about it.

The social worker was really nice. She explained that she meets with people to help them find the help they need, by connecting them with resources. If there is one thing I am learning, is that if you can use resources which are available to you. Use them to the fullest advantage.

We talked about the loss of my income. She recommended a community food program for fruits and vegetables. I am looking into it this week. She wants me to go to the career counselling center I had gone to about a year ago. In a few weeks, I will meet with her again.

An appointment with the health coach I had been working with back in the fall will be rescheduled. I had every intention to reschedule. Now I will make time. One would think that becoming unemployed unexpectedly would have left me with a lot of free time.

Why am I busier now?

I am working towards a freelance writing career.  I am staying up too late and sleeping in. There is a need to make time for exercise. It will come. I need to catch up on chores. I am starting to work on them. We are eating more meals at home, as we have to be careful with our budget. Healthy eating will be a challenge on a tighter budget. I need to fight my way out of this to be able to take the next steps to managing my health, and my life.

I am making my own schedule. Today I went outside to shovel the snow. It was an attempt at a little fresh air and exercise. There had been a little snowfall today. I wanted to feel like I accomplished something.

Winter is hard on my mental health. I am susceptible to seasonal depression. I am adding vitamin D into my daily routine, to see if it helps. Today was a really hard day. I made myself get up, get dressed, and go outside. I didn’t want to get out of bed. Things will be easier in the spring. For now, I keep fighting.

This week, I accomplished a lot

I relaunched my website and I had some appointments. Today, I fought the winter blues and made my way outside. Tomorrow I am going to cook 2 healthy meal options for myself. I can keep working on my own goals, and stop being a victim of circumstances. I will. It might take some time to get things going in the right direction again. Once I make up my mind, things start happening. It is good to be blogging again. I think I need this part of my life to be active to help me to be accountable. Hopefully, this helps a reader one day too.

It’s hard to start over. How do you get things under control again? Let me know, maybe you can help me as I try to help you.

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 61 | Resources and Support

Trust Your Gut:Tish’s Story; Part 60

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!

#TrustYourGut #TYG

Salt Water Therapy

Salt Water Therapy

Salt Water Therapy is what is known to other people as beach time. It does involve the Atlantic Ocean and the coastline of Cape Breton Island, for me. This year, I was able to take a camera with me that I have on a long-term loan from a friend. I am grateful that I have been trusted to take care of the camera, and have been learning the craft of amateur photography since borrowing it. It is fun to take nice pictures. I can’t wait to share some with you all!

The featured photo at the top is of Margaree Island. I went out one afternoon to take pictures for the blog. It was the best of the bunch and my mom helped me decide which one to choose. I love taking pictures, but I do not always know which ones are the best, and which ones are not. I ask different people for help with different projects. This one was perfect for Mom.

We went back to Chez Edmond Vacation Home. I wrote about visiting my family there last year, and this year we all were able to stay in the same location. As much fun as it was last year to be staying with my friend, it was equally fun to be staying with my whole family under the same roof.

You can read about last year’s family vacation trip in a guest post on another blogger’s website. Homesick for the Home of my Heart was written to be shared on Mohamad Al Karbi’s blog specifically for his Around the World category. I encourage you to check out other stories and categories on his website, as there are many other authors who write as guest bloggers there. You can see more pictures from last year’s vacation that blog and also in the introduction blog post I wrote for my own blog, Sun Kissed and Salt Licked. Both posts were a little different and they both have stunning photography, contributed by myself, friends and family. I am blessed to have such a beautiful location to call my home.

We did enjoy wonderful weather all week long. I did venture into the host’s home to check out another business on the property. K Rugs LeBlanc creates her own custom designed,  unique traditional rag rugs. Located in the same driveway as the vacation home, it was a stop I was glad to have made. If you would like more information about the rugs or other art in the pictures of the next group, please send an email to giggleskleblanc@yahoo.ca

She uses the traditional rug hooking known in that part of Cape Breton. It is a French Acadian hobby. She also recycles t-shirts into her work. It was very interesting to talk to her and to see the project she was working on while we were there. She was using a picture to create the design. I hope to see the finished rug next year.

 

 

We did have some plans to go to The Dancing Goat. We made it a ladies day out, and also went to a gift shop after. The Dancing Goat Cafe & Bakery has a very good reputation for being an upscale cafe in Margaree, not far from Margaree Forks. I may not remember exactly what we all ate, but I did snap pics of everyone’s meal. There were 7 ladies there, and we all chose something different to eat!

Other food was prepared by different family members all week long. Here are a few of the highlights. I made the deviled eggs for a potluck barbeque birthday party. Same 3 people as last year, not as surprising for me to be included this year. My Dad and cousin share the same birthday, and mine is a few days earlier.  They tricked me into asking my Aunt to make the cake last year. I didn’t know that it would be for me too.

Most of us love lobster, and it is a real treat to have it cooked fresh. My dad and uncle set up a propane burner to cook them in a large pot outside at the farmhouse. If you go there for your vacation, you will not find this outdoor lobster cooking assembly. It was brought over by my uncle, who took it home after the lobsters were all cooked. As we have friends that share pics of their lobster all cooked and ready to eat, I wanted to take a picture to share of our fresh cooked lobster too. You will find this and the deviled eggs in the next slideshow.

I know. You are looking at these pictures, and reading my words, and wondering where the beauty of Cape Breton is. Wonder no more. I will share some pictures of some birds and flowers in the next group. It is a hint of what is to come. I am an amateur photographer, but having a really nice camera makes me feel like I know what I am doing! I love taking random pictures of things that I think are beautiful, or things other people might not think to take a picture of. With so many pictures to share, I thought it made sense to separate them into groups.

I spent a few hours at Chimney Corner Beach. With so many things planned within the week, it was the only day I was able to get to the beach and dip my feet in the ocean. Some of my nieces and nephews braved the chilly ocean waters, but it was not as warm as it had been the year before. I did not go in past my knees. It was literally bone-chilling, as the water had not had enough time to warm up for the swimming season yet. I decided to go for a walk with the camera. I made a video which has yet to be edited and subtitled for my YouTube channel, Tishspiration Station. I will get it worked on soon, but this blog post kind of took priority. Here are some pictures of my afternoon at the beach.

I was sitting on a towel, after my walk, when I heard people hollering for Daisy. When I finally turned to look, there was this lovely dog heading in my direction. She promptly laid herself down beside me and snuggled right up to my leg. I gave her a little attention before her family collected her. She was on a leash but made a beeline for me. Her owners apologized and explained that they think she is losing her hearing. Maybe it is selective. Unbeknownst to them, they were at a gift shop at the same time as me a few days later. She escaped from the family vehicle, and I heard the shouts for Daisy again, pleading with her to get in the car. The heat wave had not hit yet, at that point, and people don’t spend hours at the gift shops, so Daisy was not in any danger if she was waiting in the car for a few minutes.  This just confirms to me that it is definitely time for me to get a dog. Daisy seemed to like me, that’s for sure!

Finally, we have arrived at the space for the scenery of Cape Breton Island. I will not have to explain most of the pictures here, as they focus on the Cape Breton Coastline. There are a few other pictures mixed in here, but I feel that they are also worth sharing, a bit of the everyday mixed amongst the raw beauty. Enjoy. I enjoyed learning how to take better pictures, and I am really proud to share them with you all.

There you have it! I am really glad that I went. I am really happy for the memories we made on our family vacation. I hope that you enjoy the story, but even more, I hope you can see the beauty I tried to capture with my amateur photography skills. Someone with more training will likely see flaws and would edit or touch up some, I am sure. I have not taken any courses in photography, it is just another hobby which I love to do. Just like my writing and web page design; it is something else I am learning to do as I go. Since I am having fun, I hope that you can see this when you take a look at the results of my efforts.

Part 2 from the overnight visit to the other end of Nova Scotia will be ready soon. It will be a shorter story, but I felt it was worth a separate blog post of its own.

How is your summer going?

 

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 58 Change The Way You Think

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 58 Change The Way You Think

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.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 58 Change The Way You Think

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 57 Prep Cooking Tips

It has been a while since I felt up to writing a regular Blog story. I am sorry if you were missing me and my writing, I needed a break. I was on a really good streak there, for over a year. Some people write their Blog stories ahead of time. I usually sit down and pound it out on the keyboard right before I publish. It could be an hour more or less, and I usually come up with a title, topic, and story. This week I am going to share something a little different in Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story. Part 57 Prep Cooking Tips is going to be a top 5 list of my own Prep Cooking Tips!

I have written about the importance of prep cooking in my own journey to become a healthier version of myself. I have found that I am less likely to eat unhealthy if I take the time to prepare healthy choices for my lunches, and sometimes even breakfasts and suppers. Everyone deserves a treat now and then, as long as it is within reason. I tend to give an inch and take a mile or ten. So, I know that prep cooking works, and I must get back into the habit of it.

I had plans last weekend but I got sideswiped by an unexpected injury. I was walking, which is supposed to be something that is good for me. I somehow managed to pull some muscles in my foot. I was in a lot of pain for 3 or 4 days. I am taking fewer painkillers now, and hoping that the weekend is nice. I am going to plan a short walk. I have to build up my tolerance a little more slowly, as it has been some time since I walked for longer than it takes to go get groceries. Now that I am on the mend, it is time to start walking a little more each day. It is a plan.

These tips may seem like common sense to more experienced home cooks. I think that if you plan ahead the prep cooking will go more smoothly than if you don’t.

1. Determine what type of meal you want to cook. Go through recipe books, Pinterest, and websites. Most of your family favourites can be made in bulk and frozen, to reheat or cook when you are ready to eat them. Write down the recipes in a planner for when you are going to eat them if you want to be really organized. People plan meals by the week and month. There are lots of guides for this online, depending on what suits your fancy. Since I am a fan of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, when I get serious, I will be planning according to their guidelines. You can make this as simple or as complicated as you like. The more effort you put into this, the better results you will get. It is up to you.

2. Now that you have recipes selected, write down your ingredients list. Include everything for each recipe. Then check your cupboards and pantry for the ingredients that you have on hand, and cross them off the list. The remaining items will become the start of your grocery list. If you are feeling like you have extra time, go through the fridge and cupboards and toss the expired items. It will be better to replace them before starting the cooking step, and finding that you need to get more of something that is mouldy or gone bad.

3. Next, you will need to think about utensils, pots, pans and storage. Do you have what you need to prepare and store what you will be cooking? This limits me a bit. We are a household of 2 adults. We live in a mini home. There is not a lot of storage in my kitchen. I have had to become creative with storage methods. I have 2 shelving units and a bookcase in my kitchen. They work for now. I also prefer glass containers for anything that needs reheating later on. So the plastic storage is available, but not used for prep cooking storage, unless it is something that will not be going into a microwave. I also use more Mason jars than I have room to keep organized. They are another way to store soups, salad in a jar, and pantry items.

4. Go to the grocery store to get what you need. This can be pricey the first few times if you are starting from scratch. If you are on a budget, use coupons and flyers. Get as many deals as you can. If you have like-minded friends, TEAM UP! If you have 3 friends to join in, and you all buy enough for 4 batches of a different recipe, then you have 4 meals prepped, and you will have CHOICES! Working together with friends to make homemade healthy meals is a great way to have a productive social gathering! Take turns hosting once or twice a month. Make it a THING, and make it FUN! Have snacks. Get more done faster, including clean up! (This can also be teenagers if they are a part of your family. They won’t be able to help with the budget, but they would be happy to help if it means they get some cookies or a movie night aw a thank you!

5. Don’t Give Up! Start with one recipe, doubled up. Then make something different the next time. Keep building recipes until you have a good variety, and you don’t have to cook for the whole month in one day. Spread out the work over time, and you will have a freezer full of healthy food in a few weeks. When you feel like cooking, make something. When you don’t you have a plan. As long as you keep rotating what you make, it will pay off!

Tonight I made Cheeseburger Pie for supper. It is in a 9 x 13 pan. It serves 6 to 8 people. There are 2 of us. When I have it for supper, I have 2 pieces. When I have it for lunch, I have 1 piece. I will have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I plan to freeze one or two portions, for whenever I am craving a burger. Sometimes you just want that burger so bad…that it is good to plan ahead and have a cheeseburger pie portion in the freezer ready to heat and eat. When I want a BigMac or a Mozza Burger, I make Big Mac Salad. With cheddar, it is a BigMac SALAD, and with Mozza, it is an amazing Mozza Burger SALAD. No buns makes it a salad! I even put the sesame seeds on top!

BigMac Salad for Lunch

Cheeseburger Pie

In case you aren’t on my Facebook, and you want to know what Cheeseburger Pie is, I am going to share a link to the recipe. It can be found with other recipes on the Trim Healthy Mama website, and if you check out the recipe, you can also take a look at the THM plan and other recipes. They even have products for sale there. I am not affiliated, so I leave things up to you. I love the recipes, and I also am happy that I know it is a plan that does work for me WHEN I WORK THE PLAN!

Here is the recipe for Trim Healthy Mama Cheeseburger Pie

I plan the next Trust Your Gut to be two weeks from today. I am slowing down, but not bailing. I have more stories to share. 🙂

There you have it. Do you Prep Cook? Have you had friends join you to conquer the kitchen? Let me know if you have tried and true favourite recipes that you use, and love.

#TrustYourGut