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!
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.
This Weekend Warrior is going to be about a little bit of rock and roll. This past weekend was Easter Weekend. I did have to work on Good Friday. I also went to a concert. One of the bands I like to support when they are in town had a show here on Friday night. I did keep the no meat rule for Good Friday, and I was not drinking. I drove myself to the show and was able to drive myself home after. Having the car made me not have to think about having anything stronger than ginger ale. I am still taking antibiotics, and have decided to stay out of the wine until I am better. One of the prescriptions I had taken for a week was not to be mixed with alcohol, and I am just trying to be careful when I am not feeling my best.
Although I did not see The Hypochondriacs play, I bought their CD. I also bought the latest CD from The Stanfields, Limboland. I decided to buy a t-shirt and got a tote bag for free. Then I made sure both bands signed the new CDs. It is something I have always done when I buy the CD at the show if I am able to do so. Here is a picture of what I brought home.
The Stanfields Swag and The Hypochondriacs CD
Late into the night, I had a chat with a new friend. It is something I have really liked about taking on the journey to becoming a published author. I am involved with a few writing groups, and the ones that I am wanting to be more involved with are providing me with a safe place to vent, share my projects, the highs and the lows of my journey. Friday night, I discovered another perk. I have a new friend that I started chatting with.
I have been going through some stalling on my projects. I have picked up the beads, which is okay, but I still haven’t done any writing outside of the blog, and the E-Zine I wrote an article for. (If you missed the Creatives Rising E-Zine Spring 2018 Issue, the online publication FOR Creatives, BY Creatives in affiliation with @CreativesRising and @CreativeEnergyGoddess #CreativesRising2018#CRZine#amwriting#HappyWriting)the link to subscribe and check it out can be found in Treasure Seeker Tuesday #24 When Opportunity Knocks. I have a pending Guest Blog that I really need to find time to work on, but the thing I am not giving the attention it needs is the book writing. I had some revelations about this while I was chatting with my new friend.
I realized that my cover for book 1 has me feeling doubt. I played a little in Canva. I am finding my way and doing as much as I can. I had some criticism when I was getting down to my final choices. The picture is not high quality. The fonts are too hard to read. The tartan is too much. I should just write the book, and not try to do all of the different things involved with it. I tried not to let on that it bothered me, but it did. Not enough to make me quit. It did slow me down, though.
I realized that I need to go with my gut on this. I am still a little nervous, but I finally realized that not everybody gets me, and that means that not everybody is going to get my design choices. That is okay. If they don’t get it, maybe it isn’t the book for them. I know in my heart that I need to write, and I need to tell the stories inside of this book. People have heard me tell some of the stories over the years, but nobody has heard them as the cats might have narrated them. That is why this book is going to be special. It is from my heart, and it uses the talents I was born with to tell the stories.
I made a decision in the wee hours of Saturday morning. I decided to set a deadline in September. I don’t want it to be released too close to the day that my friend passed away, but I do feel that it is the best way to honour her by releasing it on September 30th. That is my tentative launch date for my first book to be published.
I have been speaking with a colleague that does editing in her spare time. We haven’t discussed details yet but she is interested in editing the book for me. I will be glad to have someone I know to give it a good read through. I will do my own editing first, and then I will need an editor to help me perfect it before publishing. I am hoping that this plan will work out.
Then I got up Saturday, with the idea for the second book cover. I plan to have book 2 published in December. I have it drafted, I just need book 1 finished so I can get right into writing book 2.
That Tartan that I designed for my pen name? It’s going to be sticking around. I will have help to get the perfect pic of me for the cover of book 2. The idea is going to be something I don’t share with too many people yet. I can say it is going to be fun!
Saturday I didn’t do a lot. I preoccupied myself with reading the latest Writer’s Digest Magazine for a part of the day. It was a quiet night at home. I have been trying to rest up as much as I can. That doesn’t always add up to sleeping in. I didn’t sleep too late on Saturday.
Sunday was fairly quiet also. We just needed a quiet weekend. I needed to sort out what was holding me back, and figure out how to get things going again. I think I was able to get a good amount of time to figure out what I need to get my momentum going again.
Since I had a bit of a mixed up weekend, loud and quiet. I am calling this weekend a draw. There were highs and lows. I had time to have a little fun, and I had time to think about what was holding me back. I feel good about it.
In Treasure Seeker Tuesday this week, it is time to tell a story. Once upon a time, more than a few years ago, I was chasing another dream. A local craft store had decided to close. I talked to the owners, I made a business plan, I presented it to a committee, and it was rejected. It was rather deflating. The dreams were dashed, and I put it away. It is hard to put yourself out there for a dream to have it crushed. Really hard.
Inexperience was probably the biggest factor in the rejection. I did not know how to make a business plan. I didn’t have any money of my own to use as an investment. From that rejection, I then tried to create my own jewellery business, which I have yet to officially launch here, on the website. It used to be known as Tish’s Treasures, which was launched years ago at the local Farmer’s Market. I gave it a good try, for 2 years, but there were restrictions. There I was, a brand new entrepreneur, chasing my dreams of turning my hobby into a sustainable source of income; stuck following someone else’s rules. I was allowed to sell beaded ornaments and suncatchers, but not my jewellery. That venture was doomed before it even started.
Tish’s Treasures turned back into a hobby, one that made appearances with me as a vendor in different craft shows. I did sell a piece or two, here and there, but it never really took off. It wasn’t until this past January, when I pulled my product out of a local store, that I realized that the old business, under the old name, was holding me back.
I haven’t launched any of my product here yet, officially. I have shared my new business name, Tish MacWebber, Always Blinging… I have yet to take pictures to post products for sale on this website. I have dreams and plans, but they are larger than life. My imagination knows no boundaries.
Writing books and being a jewellery designer is something that works in my mind. I don’t know if I am going to be able to make it work in the real world. As I started writing this, I realized what is holding me back. I’m terrified of failure. Literally terrified.
I have followed my dreams before. Not with as much conviction as I have had this time, but I have tried before. I do not like being told no, and I certainly do not like to be proven to be wrong. I can admit when I am wrong and apologize. But how do you apologize to your toughest critic, yourself?
I have grown a lot since I wrote my first business plan. One of my peers is encouraging me to use her template to write my own business plan. I have been avoiding it like the plague. You guessed right, I am scared to try.
Which sounds ridiculous when you think about it. I have spent very little money on my adventure this far, and I am not ready to give up. Not by a longshot. Despite this very thing, I am avoiding writing my books right now. I am scared of not being able to finish them. Yeah, I know, stopping is the fastest way to never finishing them. I have bailed on a lot of projects in my life. This dream is not going to be one of them.
You might think I have things all together on this side of the computer. Nope. I am not an organized planner at all, even though I have two 2018 agendas that match and are waiting to be used. I bought two sizes so that one could be portable if I needed it, and the other would be my main desk planner. One does help me to keep track of appointments and my husband’s work schedule. They are not being used to their full potential.
Neither am I. While I am Always Thinking… I am not always doing. Therein lies one of my problems. I am not taking action. I am keeping up with the Blog, but it has been a lacklustre effort of late, and I am changing that right now. I am writing something meaningful again, not just writing for the sake of the commitment to the schedule I set up for myself.
I am at a crossroads while I write this. I have two choices. I can say to heck with it and walk away. That would be the easy option. It would lead me back to a life of putting up and shutting up. Taking whatever comes at me, and losing myself in circumstances. Woe is me, the universe is out to get me, and I am helpless to do anything about it. That really is what my life was like before I started putting myself out there and trying to find my purpose and passion. There is the teeniest, tiniest spark left inside of me. That flame needs to be fanned, and nurtured, and fed to grow. It is the part of me that makes me shake my head when I am writing about giving up. It is the part of me that fuels my passion, and I have to let it flourish. To let this spark go out is to let the creative dreamer inside of me die of boredom, frustration, and hopelessness. That is not something I am willing to do, no matter how scared I am of putting my work and myself out into the world again. A failure is only a true failure if you let it beat you. If you pick yourself up and shake the negativity off, to try something different, change your perspective and attack it from a different angle, you win at life. I want to win at life. I need to follow my dreams. I haven’t felt this good about one of my blog posts in a while, so I am taking that as a good sign, and that I am on my way out of whatever was dragging me down.
I have to share one more experience here, with you. It was from before I even tried to open a craft store on my own, and failed. I was in need of legal advice. I met with a lawyer. I told him about my issues, and he advised that it was not the kind of thing that he could help me with. We had a conversation, and he listened to me talking about this crazy idea I had to open my own craft store. I had a floor plan and had talked to people about flooring and storage and the interior design. I wasn’t ready to present the business plan at that point, but it was clear to the lawyer that it was something that lit a fire inside of me, he could sense that I was passionate about this idea. I had other friends at the time see the same thing, and they were excited for me and with me as I gave it my best shot. It didn’t work out.
The lawyer did two things that day that I will never forget. The first one was that he didn’t charge me a dime. How often do you ever hear people say that about a meeting with a lawyer? Not too many. The second thing was a little more insightful. He encouraged me to keep working on my dreams. He told me that he wasn’t sure that this was the right path for me at that time, but he was certain that I was going to be successful at something, he just didn’t know what, or when. Here I am trying something new, and pushing myself harder than I ever have before.
I might just surprise myself and do just what I set out to do this time. Write my books and design jewellery together, because that is how I want it to be. My passion, my dreams, and my rules.
This story may appear in part or in whole in my second book. I am calling it The Art Of Surprising Yourself, which I announced earlier on my social media platforms this week. This is just an example of something that you might find in my second book. What do you think?
In this week’s Trust Your Gut; Push It Real Good, I am pushing myself. I am my own worst critic, and sometimes I am really hard on myself. When I fall off the wagon, it’s not usually a small thing. I don’t do anything the easy way, and I don’t tend to minimize things. When I get back on track, I tend to go all out. Until the next slip up.
I have been working harder to stay on the plan. The scale reflects it. FINALLY! I am happy to say that I am down 3 pounds. That is worth celebrating! A few changes do make a difference. I made it to Zumba twice, and I just finished about 30 minutes of shovelling heavy snow. There is another storm, and I am home first, so I get to shovel as much as I can before my husband comes home. I cleared the steps and walkway and made a path to the street. That took me 30 minutes. At that time, my thumbs usually start getting cold. I learned the last time that if I ignore them and keep going, it will be a painful experience as they warm up. I don’t know if it is caused more by poor circulation, or if it is a side effect of diabetes called diabetic neuropathy. I used to think it was just the one thumb, and although that one does seem to be affected more by the cold.
Diabetic neuropathy can be very painful. I have had nerve pain, and my new doctor is wondering if I am experiencing it because of diabetes. I can’t say for sure. I hurt my thumb that is really sensitive to cold temperatures, years ago, and I always thought that it was a side effect of hitting my thumb. Now I am not so sure, as they were both bothering me tonight.
I also have pain in my right thigh. Not all the time, but it can bring me to tears when it is bad. I have discovered that it is coming from my hip flexor muscles. I have had physiotherapy and acupuncture to try and release whatever is causing it. It is a pinched nerve, so I try and stretch the muscles when I can. I would not wish nerve pain on my worst enemy. Just another reason to keep pushing myself. When I lose weight, the thigh problem may go away. That would be wonderful.
I am a little down this week, as my blog has not been getting as many views as it used to. I don’t know what to think. I do know I am going to keep writing, and hopefully, it will turn around. If you are reading this, thank you. I need all the support I can get on my journies, and I hope in some way I can help people with my writing. The only way to know is to keep on blogging.