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Saturday, August 4, 2012

6 Month Challenge

Today I am starting a 6 month challenge to better healthy. I am simply sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I want to improve my health, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I 've been suffering with daily migraines, fatigue, muscle aches, "brain fog" and a host of other annoying little nuisances that are creating quite a miserable existence. I am fully confident that heavy doses of nutrition are going to get me back on the road to better health. If I don't change the way I care for myself now, I fear what life will be like a year from now.

I remember 2 years ago that I felt like I was in the best health of my entire life. I felt healthier and stronger than I did in my teens and 20's. The only difference between then and now is that I do not  exercise the same way that I once did. I also don't make good choices with the things that I put in my body. The key is to make a plan. I intend to do that today.  I'm going to make a plan for what to do on those occasions when I feel famished and the only thing handy to eat is a something filled with sugar. I need to make a plan for when I feel overwhelmed, exhausted and depleted to NOT look for a good dose of chocolate to take all my cares away.

I am frequently feeling like I am missing myself. I am missing the me that I used to be. I am missing the body that I once I had. I feel like my body is betraying me by becoming weaker, stiffer, "OLDER." Actually, it is me who has betrayed my body by not meeting her needs. I will begin to change course and meet her needs more and more everyday. I am calling it a 6 month challenge because I am going commit to 6 months right now. If at the end of 6 months I still want to go back to sugar, chocolate and minimal exercise, well so be it. I will do that and live the consequences. But, before I acquiesce  to defeat and that there is nothing I can do to improve my health and well being during this aging process I am going dive in the deep end for the next 6 months. I will take very good care of this body and be very purposeful about what goes I feed her and in what I expect of her.

Here I go..... 6 months challenge! You are on baby!!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tick Tock Tick Tock goes the Clock

Tick tock goes the lock.......tick, tick, tick, tick, tick....goes the second hand as time passes me by. I am continually amazed how quickly time can pass even as it stands still. "As time passes me by the clock stands still."  that phrase just resonates in my mind as I think about the speed that life races at while so many things that I struggle with remain the same. It is said that everything changes. Nothing remains as it is now, as it once was. I continue to struggle with sugar addiction, and using food to deal with my emotions. I continue to struggle with self discipline in managing my life and not becoming narrowly focused on my music.

Since I began playing the guitar just 2 years ago, I have done what I typically do when I invest in something or someone. I go full board, full steam ahead, "pass go" and keep on rambling on at a neck breaking speed.
Last summer I took a slight diversion from my music because a person from my past that I invested a great deal of time in had come back into my life. This person demands attention and focus of my every waking hour. So, my guitar and music took a back seat to that. However, I recall back to the prior summer. The summer I picked up the guitar. The summer of 2010. I kept to myself a good amount of time and hunkered down in my house with my guitar and played it for hours upon hours upon hours. I would wake up, pick up the guitar, remain playing all day and night. Eventually, I would drift off to sleep, then awaken and pick up the guitar and repeat the process again. I assumed that pattern would eventually balance itself out and the novelty of learning a new skill would wear off and I'd find a balance in life again. Yet, 2 years later I have not found that balance. I am 6 weeks into my summer and as I reflect back I have done very little of what I love about me summers, with one exception, guitar time. I have plenty of that!

It is hard to believe I have been teaching 7, or 8 years. I sort of landmark my life now by the summers. I recall what was happening in my life by how I spent my summer. The school year is completely consumed by teaching. So, the time is a blurry faint memory. But, the summers are very clear and memorable. My first 6 years teaching, each summer was land marked by what I was going through with my ex-boyfriend. This is the first summer that hasn't been mandated by my ex in one way or another. Since I began teaching he had occupied my time during each summer, even during the summer of 2010 when I was no longer with him. I was still "with him" in my head which is what the guitar helped me work through. This is the first summer that he is not a part of my physical space and time, nor a part of my mental space and time. I no longer feel even an ounce of connection to him, nor even an ounce of desire to ever have any connection with him again. I  have moved on from that relationship on all levels. The relationship that is occupying my time and my mind is Taylor, my 6 string friend which resides in my living room.

I have 3 weeks left of summer vacation before school begins. I put the word "vacation" in italics because it hasn't felt much like a vacation. I think of vacation as time spent with family and friends in leisure activities, such as long walks, hikes, trips to the beach, campfires, evening chats over a glass of wine, morning talks over coffee, early morning walks followed by a latte' and good book. I have done none of that this summer. I have played the guitar. I have played the guitar. I have played the guitar. There has been very little of anything else. I do enjoy playing the guitar or I wouldn't do it so often. However, I don't enjoy the constant drive that pushes me to progress higher and higher and higher and it's never enough. The progress I make is never enough because it only leads me to set a new goal, to reach another level, learn another set of songs. It isn't just the guitar however.  It is singing along with the guitar. If I am only wanting to learn new guitar skills I wouldn't feel such a push and drive. But, singing along with the guitar playing is more challenging for me. So, this is what pushes me and drives me. Today I am asking myself this; If singing is so difficult, if I have to struggle so hard through each song, then perhaps singing isn't something I should pursue.

As the "Days of my Life" slip through the sands of the hourglass I don't want to be stuck in this force field of music obsession. I want to enjoy playing the guitar. I want to enjoy singing. I also want to enjoy hiking the way I used to. I want to enjoy early morning walks the way I used to. I also want to have my daily routine back. I haven't had that in a very long time because I am up until early morning hours working on my music. I eventually fall asleep. But, only sleep for a few hours before I'm up thinking about music again. This has put me in a perpetual state of sleep deprivation which makes every other are of life difficult. As I type this, I am on just a few hours sleep, after being up all night working on some new songs. I am making  a decision today NOT to learn any new songs at the moment. That is a difficult statement for me! There are so, so many I want to learn! But, I simply can't learn them all, sing them all and do them all well. Many songs are easy for me to play, sing and learn. I learned Bob Seger's Turn the Page in about 5 minutes. It's an easy one for me to sing and play. Just comes naturally. Compare that to numerous other songs that I have been trying to learn for weeks, months and years. Some of these songs I will work on 10 hrs a day, 7 days a week for months and still not get them just right. It is these songs I am going to temporarily abandon. I'll abandon them long enough to get balance back in my life. Then perhaps slip one in. Just one!

As these seconds, minutes, and hours tick away through my life which literally gets shorter by the passing second, I will gain some balance. I will get back to my exercise routine which makes me very happy. I will set limits on the amount of time I spend on the guitar. 2 hours a day. No more. I will set a time and not allow more than 2 hours a day. I will get back to yoga and get back to being in tune with my body again. I will get my juicer out and serve my body, mind and soul what it needs nutrition, exercise, balance, and care. I am clearly aware that if I don't make these changes my life will change. But, not in the direction I would like it to.  I intend to "change" that!


Monday, February 27, 2012

All Juiced Up!!!!

I started my 3 day juice fast 4 days ago. I've since decided to extend it 6 more days for a total of 10. I'm considering trying for 30 after that. But, it seems more manageable if I do it in smaller increments than being overwhelmed at the thought of 30 days all at once.

The first day seemed relatively easy. I wasn't hungry. The juice seemed to satisfy my appetite. I did however rebel a bit that first day and indulged in Ghiradali Chocolate and some candy coated chocolate eggs. I don't know exactly why I chose to do that on the first day. But, I did. Guess it's the equalivelant to a drug addict getting high on the way to rehab.

The second day was a little tougher. I was fairly hungry and wanted something to chew and swallow. I had plans that night to go out to listen to some music. I knew I would likely have a drink. So, I did have a bowl of oatmeal. My rational was that it is natural, healthy fiber. My second rational was that I'd be drinking so my body would need some subsetance to absorb the alcohol. Even so, given that was the only thing I had other than juice the 2nd day, I am surprised that I wasn't hungrier. After having the oatmeal, I wasn't hungry the rest of the day.

Day three, a bit tougher yet. It seems each day I get a little hungrier than the day before. I was juicing per my hunger and I think I juiced about every 2 hours which seems about right. Eating every 2 hours whether its juicing or solid food is the best way to keep your blood sugar levels level and keep strong hunger pangs from pushing you into giving into not so healthy indulgences.

On day 3 I had some strong sugar cravings. They only lasted as long as it took me to juice a cantelope. If you have never juiced a cantelope I highly suggest you try, rind and all! It is incredibly sweet!!!!  Cantelopes are said to be the most nutrient of all fruits, loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, beta carotenes and antioxidens.

If you want to read more about the benefits of juicing a cantaloupe try this link:

http://www.thejuicenut.com/cantaloupe_juice_the_juice_nut.aspx

Drinking cantaloupe juice straight is a delicious treat. If you aren't into juicing as a meal, try it as a dessert! Wonderfully delicious and sweet!!

Another great juice drink with cantaloupe is to mix it with honeydew and green apples. Green apples cut down the sweetness a bit and add LOTS of nutrients as well. This morning I had 1/2 cantaloupe, 1/2 honeydew and 3 green apples for a wonderfully delicious breakfast.

Day 4, I had dreams of FOOD!! I dreamed of popcorn. Nevayah, my grand niece was eating some on the couch the night before. My favorite snack of all time! A bit of Johnny seasoning added for a punch of flavor and it is simply heaven.  So, while I salivated over her popcorn in the midst of drinking my spinach juice, I was feeling a bit deprived. My mind wasn't able to let that go while sleeping. However, the dream was more of a nightmare. For while I immensely enjoyed eating the popcorn, I also had horrific guilt afterwards. I couldn't believe I had worked so hard for the past 3 - 4 days to abstain from anything but my juicing, gotten my mindset into juicing wholeheartedly; Yet, I would blow it so quickly on a bowl of popcorn. I was absolutely devastated. So, when I awoke I can't tell you the relief I felt knowing it was all a wonderfully horrible dream.

That was not the end of my battle for food however. I also woke very hungry and wanting a solid meal for breakfast. A big bowl of oatmeal!!! Complete with brown sugar and butter. Ohhh...how wonderful. Fortunately, I recalled my remorse in my dream after the popcorn indulgence and dutifully went to my juicer. Much to my delight, in the end, for the juice I created was to die for. Yes, the juice I made this morning was purely heavenly, cantaloupe, honeydew and green apples. Once my body tasted that and got a dose off all those nutrients, it no longer wanted anything to do with oatmeal or popcorn.

If you are wondering why the juice fast?  In a nutshell, health!!!  I want to get my head back in a space of desiring healthy eating. I want to get my body back into a place of wanting healthy foods over processed, greasy, sugar laden prepackaged, preprepared everything. I want to lower my blood pressure, strengthen my heart, avoid diabetes and obesity which run in my family. I want to lose weight. I also want to boost my immune system. I want to avoid the brain fog I can frequently get, the fatigue I often have and the over all sluggish mental and physical state I was feeling.  So, these and a few other reasons are the motivating factor for me.

Day 4 and counting...

4 lbs down in 4 days...is a good motivator this morning. Now in terms of weight loss, just 7lbs more to go. But in terms of health and completing a body nutrient overhaul, 26 more days to go and my current state of mind is feeling confident that I'll make it.


UPDATE: It's the end of the work day with students. I'm typically completely and totally depleted by this time in the day. All I have energy, mental or physical energy, for is to clear up my desk. Then drag myself home. Walk the dogs, begrudingly, only because I am so disgustingly fatigued it's all I can do to muster the mental and physical energy to get the task done. The spirit is willing, even while I am continually frustrated at how warn out I feel most of the time. It saddens me at how much effort it takes to mentally make decisions to do things like walk the dogs when I know they need and it and my spirit wants it but my body and mind are depleted. Hark! There is light at the end of the tunnel.

This afternoon, it is the end of the day with students and I have the energy to clear my desk off, and prepare some lessons, put up a bulletin board and am looking forward to going home to walk the dogs and clean house. I feel mentally bright and physically full of life. The juice diet is working so well, I am thinking I don't want to ever go back to solid food. Oh, I know I have to at some point. But, for now ere the cough that lingers, I am feeling pretty darn good.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Doohickies

Lately I've been thinking about something of mine. For now, I'll just refer to it as my "doohickey." This doohickey of mine, not to be confused with a dickey. They are too very different animals. This doohickey of mine seems to take up an awful lot of my time. As a matter of fact, this very minute I should still be asleep but I'm not because I'm using my doohicky. This seems to happen a terrible amount of time. I wonder how many other people are sleep deprived because of their doohickys? I wonder how many others have their hands gently resting on their doohicky as mine are at this moment? I know many are jealous of my doohickey and covet one just like the one I have. Most people, nay nearly everyone has a doohickey of their own. Some share theirs with others. There are some that are strickly for sharing. I don't care much for these social doohickies who have had all sorts of hands stroking them. They seem too unclean, misused and abused to be of any interest to me. I much prefer using my doohickey in the privacy of my own home. Other people are quite stingy with their doohickies and only they are allowed to touch it. I'll admit that I'm a little uneasy about using another person's doohickey. Many consider their personal doohickey to be quite private and wouldn't allow another hand to come near them. I don't mind sharing mine. I don't feel as comfortable using another person's doohickey as I do about allowing others near mine. Nonetheless I am cautious about who I allow to get close to my doohickey. I am never far when another has my doohickey. I am always careful to warn the person to be gentle and cautious when handling my doohickey. For it is priceless and full of intimate secrets. One can learn an incredible amount about another when handling their doohickey.

Doohickies come in all shapes and sizes. They aren't really a one size fits all. Although many think they should be or that they are. I have been on a few different types of doohickies. I can defintely tell the difference in handling them. I much prefer some over others. They do all have the same utility and serve the same purpose and function in much of the same way. Even so, each has it's own personality and should be approached a bit differently.

There are 2 general types of doohickies. Most prefer one over the other. Not many people can use both. They operate in two very distinct manners and each are lovely and useful for their given purpose. But, it does seems the general population have a preference. Few people who like one will also like the other. I myself have tried both. I do prefer the type I'm most familiar with. Although it is a little exciting to get my hands on the type I don't get to use or see often. I'm told many feel the other kind is more valuabe and doesn't catch viruses as easily. I think if I had more experience with this style of doohickey I may prefer it over mine. It just takes a bit of getting used to handling this other kind. I would like to get my hands on one more often. But, they can be scarce. So until I do, I'll just have to settle with the one I have and get the most use out of it as I can taking special care as not to get a virus.I also know that the type of doohickey I have is longed for by many and many would love to get their hands on one. So, I keep a very close monitor on mine and know who is around it at all times. It's never out of my sight or far from my grasp.

I hate to admit I've had more than my share of viruses. I think most of us are nervous about catching one on our own doohickey. They can be difficult to clear up once infected. It can also be a bit embarrassing because when people find out that your doohickey has caught a virus you know they are wondering what you've been doing with it. Many will assume you've been up to no good in the privacy of your own home with your doohickey and that is why it became vulnerable to a virus. This isn't the case however. Oh, I'll admit, those doohickies that are used by lots of people and shared with an indiscrimate amount of users will become infected. It's guaranteed. It's only a matter of when and how badly infected it'll become. Some may even die as a result of a serious infection. But this is not typically the case thank goodness. Usually your doohickey can be cleaned up and back to full operation in a short amount of time. Just be very careful not to use it until it is clear of the virus. If you do choose to use your infected doohickey you run the risk of infecting others. Once they discover you were the one who gave them the virus, most people won't let you near theirs again. Many people will never trust you to be near their doohickey again if they even suspect it was you who brought them the virus. It is a very serious matter and is one of great public concern. In some instances it has become an epidemic and general populations are warned on news channels and in newspapers and magazines to stay away from social predators that are out to infect your doohickey. It is very important to be discriminate who you allow to touch your doohickey. But also who you need to be aware of what other doohickeys that come into contact with yours have been exposed too. To become infected one doesn't even have to have come anywhere near the original source of the virus. One only needs to be in contact with another who has been in contact with someone who may have given it to them. It's a very tricky matter. The virus can spread very quickly if everyone isn't vigilint about protecting his/her own doohickey. It is best to error on the side of caution when it comes to protecting your personal doohickey.

Well, my doohickey has kept me up a while now. I sometimes fear I may have a serious addiction to my doohickey. It's time to remove my fingertips and pull myself out of this doohickey's grasp and get some shut eye. Please be careful with your doohickey. Respect it. Take very good care of it. Don't expose it to viruses or pass them onto another if you have one. Stop it's use until it has a good bill of health. Incidently many name their doohickey. Mine is Android. What is yours?