Is there really anything more satisfying than crossing something off your to do list or putting a check-mark next to a goal you have accomplished? There is something SO REWARDING about knowing what you need to do and then getting it done. If you think about it, most, if not all, of life’s frustration occurs from either (1)not knowing what you need to do or (2)failing to get it done.
I write the times of all of my scheduled (or rescheduled) workouts down on a calendar for each 8-week period. This way I know my schedule ahead of time and if I need to schedule a make-up class. When I get into the office in the morning – I take the calendar down off the wall and I put a check next to the class I completed. Today, as I checked off the two-classes I completed in less than 12 hours, I felt an amazing sense of satisfaction. Was it the small part of my brain that has obsessive tendencies, or was it a part of me that is so proud of how far I have come.
Last year, I wrote a short post about a new adventure. That post signaled the beginning of a quest to improve my health. For the first time in a lifetime filled with dieting, I can say I was genuinely concerned about my health. My Type 2 Diabetes was completely uncontrolled. I was experiencing side-effects like styles and other skin conditions. And for the first time in my life, it wasn’t a vanity issue, it wasn’t a willpower issue, it was a legitimate medical concern. My first step in this journey was to look to surgical intervention.
I visited the bariatric program at Albany Medical Center from February through November, as I considered the risks and benefits associated with gastric bypass surgery. I have to praise Albany Med and their staff. They certainly do not let anyone rush in to this high-risk procedure without a lot of pre-work. For about 9 months, I visited the program office twice a month (one meeting per month with a dietitian and one meeting per month with a nutritionist). I was also required to have appointments with a hematologist, cardiologist, gynecologist, and a therapist.
In addition to the medical visits, the program requires that you begin an exercise program and lose 5 – 10% of your current body weight. In July, I started my exercise plan – starting with morning walks and one weeknight fitness class. By November, I was still walking regularly and attending 3 classes per week. I had lost the required weight and had to start thinking about my next steps.
After all these months of visits, tests, and therapy – I couldn’t say for sure that surgery was right for me. There are so many risks, so many limitations and possible complications. It just doesn’t seem like the right decision for me, at least not right now.
Anyway – that pretty much brings us up to today. I am still training 3 times a week, and walking when I can fit it in my schedule. I am making a halfhearted attempt to eat clean and stay away from processed foods and sweet drinks. And I am here sharing myself with anyone who happens upon my stories.
I have decided it is time to revive this blog. After looking at some of my previous content – I was tempted to delete all the previous entries and start fresh. But the past is a part of who I am. It is a part of my journey, and as embarrassing as some of that whiny content may be, it is kind of nice to look back on it and see growth. I am feeling stronger, smarter, and more in control of my life. Seems like a good time to share myself with the world.
A new journey begins today.
I have started and deleted the first sentence of this post about 20 times . Well maybe not 20, but several. Sometimes I feel like what I’m writing needs to be perfect, like it’s an assignment that’s going to be graded. I think that is why I rely so much on links to other people’s content or philosophies or what not. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t think my own original content is good enough or if it’s because I am used to writing for school – where all of your original ideas need to be supported by research or facts or something someone else said about the topic.
Either way, I’m struggling to be more real, to be more revealing, and to write something that actually means something to me, and to other people.
In the meantime, I said I would blog about Dr. Oz for 28-Days and I’m not going to quit just because it’s boring! Today’s assignment: Day 5: Memorize a Poem.
I choose the poem below for two reasons. (1) It’s very short and easy to remember. (2) It”s a beautiful way to express something important that I’ve learned in the last two years.
As my life today
has been determined by the way I lived my yesterday,
So my tomorrow is being determined by the way I live my today.
Ralph Waldo Trine
Everything that happens today, truly is a result of yesterday. The decisions we make, the experiences we have, shape our lives. What we do today will certainly carry over into tomorrow. From something as simple as choosing not doing the laundry and then waking up without a clean shirt to wear to work; to things as complex as the way you manage your finances, your health, or your relationships. There are all situations where the choices you make today will definitely impact the future.
My point isn’t that we should regret what we did yesterday or worry about things we can’t change. Today is going to play out as a result of things we can’t control. Today is going to play out as a result of things we already did. In fact, my point isn’t even to decide what things we should do today because they will make tomorrow better. (I mean – that’s a good idea – but that’s not my point.)
My point is to understand that even when it seems like our lives are out of control, or that things are happening to us that we can’t control; we need to wake up and realize that is simply not true. Perhaps we didn’t mean for certain things to happen TODAY – but it was our actions YESTERDAY (or the day or month or year or decade before) that set those events in motion. And, if we had the POWER to impact today, we certainly have the POWER to impact tomorrow!
We have the power to decide what tomorrow will be like, so with a little planning, determination and action – it can be whatever we want!
Dr. Oz’s 28-Day Plan to Renew Your Body, Mind and Soul started out okay, but by Friday night, I sort of lost interest. But rather than say “to hell with it.” I’m going to pick up where I left off and keep going.
Day 4: Forgive Someone – Oprah says that “Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed.” I agree that letting go of that wish that things could have been different is the first step. It’s acceptance. It gives you the freedom to really understand what it means forgive.
Forgiveness is what happens when you realize that someone (or something’s ) action have done nothing to damage you. It does not mean that what that what the person did was okay. It means that YOU ARE OKAY! It means that nothing that has happened that you cannot over come. You are whole. You are healed. And you don’t have to carry around any pain.
When I was a little girl, someone hurt me. And for a long time, I felt damaged and broken. But as I came to understand forgiveness, and I came to realize that I am not broken. I am WHOLE. I can be and do ANYTHING. There is nothing holding me back. And in those thought, I found the ability to forgive the person that hurt me.
Forgiveness does not mean that I will ever let this person be a part of my life. It just means that I am OKAY and therefore, I don’t have to carry around any hatred or fear.
Therapy tries to teach you to be conscious and not give into the urge – kind of like being an alcoholic. But it’s hard because you have to eat something – so it’s not like you can just stay away from food all together. Geneen Roth’s books have a lot of good advice about binge eating – like trying to figure out what the feeling is that is making you want to go unconscious. So since I started reading her books – I am much more aware while it’s happening. But I still can’t really understand what causes it. I know I’m more in control when I don’t eat gluten. So I think there might be a connection there.
I also know part of it is from fear and loneness. It started when I was a little girl and would be home alone – I would eat these massive quantities of food. And as I got older – like in college – I would sneak and do it. It was the worst when I was 21 or 22 years old and lived alone in small town where I didn’t know anyone. I had no friends, no social life, and every day after work I would either buy or cook these huge meals and eat them until I passed out in front of the tv. At the end of that time, I was at my heaviest weight ever. When I moved back home – I joined Weight Watchers for the first time and that helped for a little while.
But like Geneen Roth says, “every diet has an equal and opposite binge.” So eventually it came to the point where I would diet when people were around – and binge when I was alone. I remember on nights when my roommate wasn’t home – I would order a whole pizza and eat most (if not all) of it myself.
Then in 2001, I went to therapy for the first time, and it helped A LOT. I don’t have binge episodes nearly as often as I used to. But it still happens. I honestly belive that the more I talk about it, the more I put it out there, the more strength I will have to get better!
In Day 3: Cook for Your Heart , Dr. Oz explained that “certain foods do wonders for your veins and arteries, promoting blood flow throughout your body.” And he expalined that a “meal packed with heart-healthy nutrients” starts with four ingredients: Wild Salmon, Tomatoes, Garlic, and Lima Beans.
When I did my grocery shopping this week, I did buy the first three ingredients. And I actually put a tomato on my sandwich yesterday. I also put the salmon in my refridgerator to thaw – and do plan to cook it tonight with some white wine and garlic. But to be honest, I don’t see myself eating Lima Beans. I get that they are full of magnesium, but I hate the texture, so I’ll have to look into something else for that.
Last night I went to Athos restaurant with my friends The Wilkenes. We ate a variety of appetizers and had a great time. Come to think of it, Athos does have a hot appetizer called Gigantes (Lima beans with tomatoes, onion, carrots, and celery). I’ve never tried it – but it does look and smell fantastic. So perhaps I will put trying some Lima beans on my to do list for my next visit.