A Little Off Kilter

Sort of off kilter this week.  I had a little skin cancer surgery.  The doctor told me that I was having a mini face lift in order to pull it all back to together.  Of course that would only be on one side!!  Not to worry, it will be down to its usually droopy self in a month or two.  All bandaged up in the meantime.

It has actually hurt quite a bit more that I thought it would, but now it’s just itching, itching, itching!!!  I’m bummed though because I had to miss a cake decorating class AND a sewing lesson.  I am just about finished with my spring table runner.

Last week we discovered that an old friend we knew from California, and hadn’t seen for at least ten years, has been living in the next town over from ours.  We were talking to a mutual friend and found out this delightful news.  We got in touch and she came over for dinner and some Mexican Train dominoes.  What fun we had.  She brought me these beautiful flowers.

Aren’t they pretty!

Well, since I’m supposed to relax and not do anything strenuous (no lifting, bending, exercising, sweating, etc.) for the next two weeks.  Yes, she actually said two weeks.  This is what I’m doing.

Sitting by the pool with LOTS of sunscreen on and under an umbrella.  No more skin cancer for me.

Sugar is enjoying it too.

Sorry this next picture is so dark. but this is out front looking down our street.  It was a lovely sunset.

 So that’s what is going on around here.  Not much at all.

Life is Good!

29 Gifts in 29 Days

Have you read the book 29 Gifts by Cami Walker?

I found this book in November of 2009 when our minister gave a talk about it.  Since November is gratitude month, this is my third year in which I use this book as a guide to give 29 gifts in 29 days.

Cami Walker  was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis one month after she married.  Her life was turned upside down, she couldn’t work, she was in pain and tremendously exhausted.  Life as she knew it was over.  She said she spent quite some time feeling sorry for herself and hating life.

 Now this is very significant to me because I was in a similar place at one point in my life.  I did not have a MS, but I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia one month after my wedding.  The pain was impossible to deal with.  I had to retire five years later and my life as I knew it was over.  On top of that, I had severe back problems, had surgery and had a very bad outcome.  I won’t go into all the problems I had, but suffice it to say, I could understand what Cami had been going through.

Back to Cami, by a dear friend told her to stop the whining and then wrote her a prescription.  The Rx said to give 29 gifts in 29 days.  They could be anything to anyone.  It did not necessarily have to be gifts that cost money or were even tangible.  They could be a phone call to an old friend, a thank you note, picking up someone’s dry cleaning or letting a stranger go ahead of her in line – you get the picture.  The gifts had to be mindful and from the heart – and given joyously and freely.

You need to read the book to see how it completely changed Cami’s life – but I can tell you that doing this has changed my life too. Even though this is my third year of mindfully giving 29 gifts in 29 days, I have adopted an attitude of giving on a regular basis.  It’s amazing that I have gotten back so much more than I could ever give.  It has changed my life in tremendous ways.  I now see the abundance of all good things in my life and not just lack, which had been my only focus.

November is not only the month for giving thanks but also for simply giving.  My gift to you is sharing Cami’s book. Enjoy her and check out her Website at 29gifts.org – I promise you huge wonderful changes just by simply reading this book.

Remembering that Life is Always Good and I’m in-joy-in my life.

My Electronic Stimulator

I’m wrestling with my electronic stimulator today. I always have difficulty charging it. I’m sitting in a very still, non-movable position in order for this to work.

Let me give you some background on this. About 4 years ago I had back surgery. I guess it cured my achy back, but I couldn’t tell because it left me in more pain than I’ve ever known before. That’s saying a lot since the fibromyalgia was so bad in the past that I was in a wheelchair because I could no longer walk. I even had to go on disability. Needless to say, I know about pain.

I told my doctor that I now had pain starting from my bee-hind all the way down my leg. They thought it was muscle pain and I spent quite a lot of time in physical therapy and the pool. All this was to no avail. They were completely treating the wrong thing. I spent 4 and a half months in my recliner chair, basically crying and in pain. It never let up.

Two things happened, I heard a little voice telling me to call Dr. Brooks who is a pain specialist that I had used with good fortune in the past. The other little voice told me not to give up (even though I already pretty much had).

I found my church, Christ Church Unity, and I saw Dr. Brooks. My favorite doctor of all time asked me why I hadn’t come to him sooner. Who knows. Within a few minutes he knew exactly that it was nerve damage and gave me an injection into that nerve and I was well!!!!

That injection lasted over a year. Had a couple of more which lasted for several months and finally the day came when I was told that I needed an electronic stimulator for pain.

After much thought, I agreed. This is where a very interesting part of the story comes in. You see, I couldn’t sit up in a bed for more than 30 seconds before the pain would start. After my surgery I found myself sitting up in bed with no pain. BUT, the electronic stimulator had not yet been turned on! I told my surgeon that whatever he did worked because I no longer had any pain. He advised me that it was certainly impossible because he inserted the stimulator far away from where my pain originated, that he hadn’t even gone near that area. No matter, I no longer had pain and didn’t really need the stimulator.

My doctor advised me that I needed to keep the stimulator charged because there would certainly come a day that I would need it.

Let me tell you the horrors of charging this stimulator. I CAN’T DO IT! It is the most difficult thing I have ever done. I just can’t find the right place to hold the charger and when I do, I just barely breathe and it stops working.

Needless to say, I gave up on it and the battery ran completely out. Several months later, they called to see how I was doing. I explained that I still had no pain and that I wasn’t using it. Oh my gosh, you would have thought I committed a felony. So off I went to the office to have it charged by the experts. I was told to keep it charged once a week.

After two weeks of messing around with this thing, I gave up.

This brings us to today. I still do not have any pain on the right side, which is where it was before, but I’m starting to have the same pain on the left side. I saw my favorite doctor and he told me to use the stimulator. Uh-oh, I let the battery run out. So here I sit, in a very difficult position, doing what is known as a trickle charge and trying to get the darn thing working again. I’m wondering if I will keep it charged this time.

Catching Up

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve blogged! It’s autumn now, the summer just seemed to fly by.

Let’s play catch up –

1. House is still for sale, only one looker so far. It’s so beautiful here, I’m having a hard time believing that someone hasn’t just snatched up this place.
2. Still walking. In fact, I joined the Y and have been loving the water aerobics and the stationary bike. I’ve been walking outdoors with my pups everyday, but I think when it gets too cold here, I will start using the treadmill at the Y. One good thing that has happened since I last blogged is that I’ve lost 20 of the 40 pounds I had gained. Yippee for me!
3. Hubby had his lap-band surgery and has lost over 50 pounds so far. Yippee for him!
4. Just got back from another vacation to California a couple of days ago. This was a much shorter trip than the last one. We went for a family wedding, which was awesome.

Making a commitment to myself to start blogging at least once a week. This is an exciting time of the year. Holiday recipes, crafts, spending time with family and friends, staying all warm and cozy, ah… I just love it. This will be a fun time to share ideas and thoughts with everyone.

I receive the most informative newsletter. It is from Better Homes and Gardens. It is called 100 Days of Holidays. This will be my third year. It starts sometime in September (but you can start whenever you want) and it goes to New Year’s Day I believe. Each day it arrives in my e-mail. There are recipes, crafts, gift ideas, decoration ideas, and the like. I recommend it to anyone who likes these kinds of things. You can find it here.

In-joy your bliss!

Is Exercise Really the “E-word”?

I would love to be one of those people that exercises AND LOVES IT!  I’d even love to be one of those people that exercises and doesn’t mind doing it.  I’ve wondered all my life why I consider exercise the “e-word.”  I just don’t get it, I’ve pretty much always been able to do something that I consider difficult when I put my mind to it.  Not exercise.  Oh, I’ve tried calling it other names, such as “walking” – “dog walking” – “joining a bowling league” – “taking tennis lessons” – “water aerobics class” – all of these I’ve tried on a daily basis, but other than the water aerobics for us older folk, I have not been able to stick with anything for any length of time.  I can’t tell you how many gym memberships I’ve paid for over my adult life that were hardly used.  I’ve purchased stationary bicycles and they became clothes hangers.  I bought the pedometer to count my steps while walking, thinking that would be fun.  I’ve done it all, but if I’m honest, I despise exercise.  I’ve never been good at sports or actually anything that takes any sort of athletic ability.  In grade school, when it was P.E. time, I would immediately start cleaning out my desk (which made my teachers happy) and I would either miss it altogether or be very late.  When I did manage to get to P.E. class, I was the one that was picked dead last to be on a team. Needless to say, I’ve lived a very sedentary life style.  I’m not sure which came first, did I actually have no athletic ability which made me believe it, or did I believe that I had no athletic ability therefore creating that for myself.  I truly think it was the latter.

Why am I writing about this?  Well, it’s time to try again.  Actually, it’s been time to try again for a very long time.  I’m exceptionally good at making excuses.  It’s too cold out, it’s too hot out, it’s raining, I don’t have time, my body hurts today, etc., etc., etc.  The new me doesn’t like excuse making any longer.  I have made incredible life changes in the past three years.  I’m now a positive thinker! I think in terms of “YES I CAN!”  One of my new favorite affirmations is that I no longer fight for my limitations. The only limitations I have are the ones that I put on myself.

I have posted earlier that I have had some health challenges in the past that had left me in chronic pain.  I am so grateful that I am not in that condition any longer.  I’m enjoying and loving life like never before.  I feel great most of the time AND I want to keep it that way.  Hence, it’s time to quit the sedentary lifestyle.  It’s time to put the kabosh on the excuses.  It doesn’t matter that hubby enjoys television, it doesn’t mean I have to sit there with him (another famous excuse.)  It doesn’t matter that it is freezing outside today.  Time to make a commitment to myself for better health and a longer life.  YES I CAN!

In my previous attempts I would set myself up to fail by making a very strict exercise program to follow.  This time will be different. First of all, I don’t think of failure in that way anymore.  I will only fail if I don’t even try.  I’ve come to believe that this whole exercise regime should be a process for me.  I want to understand my negative feelings about exercise.  Perhaps if I learn what is going on I can turn it around.  I know that I have to work up to a consistent length of time.

I’m going to commit to making some changes that I believe I can do.  That way I’ll have some successes right from the start and I’ll want to go further.

1.   I’m going to quit looking for the closest parking space, and perhaps park far away.

2.   I’m going to start walking the dogs more often.  I have been using the cold and rainy weather as an excuse lately.

3.   Even though I’d like to walk for 30 minutes, I know I will not do that at first – so I am going to commit to walking at 5 minute intervals at least twice a day.  I wanted to say 3 times a day, but I’m just not there yet.

4.   I am going to use positive affirmations to help me change my attitude about exercising like:

I am feeling the wonderful effects of exercise on my body.  I feel fantastic!

I love the feeling of purpose I have while exercising.

I am feeling healthier and healthier with each step I take.

5.   I am going to blog about my progress to keep myself accountable.

6.   I am going to pay special attention to see what kind of excuses I might make and examine how I am feeling at the time. I want to know what sort of beliefs I have been attached to about exercise and see what I can do to change them.

This is what I am able to commit to at this time.  I expect as time goes on I will be able to make a greater commitment.

I welcome any suggestions!   I need input.  How have you managed to change an old unhealthy belief?  I have been able to change certain thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve me. This is a tough one for me.  Thanks for your help.

Throwing out the Brownies

I must be getting ready to eat right again because I just threw out the brownies! Hurray for me! Now believe me, this is something I hardly ever do, throw out delicious food, but I just don’t think I can eat another. The only problem is that I bought myself the “Perfect Brownie” pan for Christmas to go with my new heavy duty stand mixer (700 Watts from Cooks). I bought a new rolling pin, new cake and pie pans too. I was really in to baking this holiday season. Oh, and I enjoyed it sooooo much too. Well, I really know the BEST diet plan available and believe me, I’ve been on them all. To think I found this on TV. The 6-week makeover diet I think it is. You have to jump through hoops, like answering all these questions and then find your specific diet plan through all they send you, but after you find your specific pages, IT REALLY WORKS! I found this a couple of years ago when I needed to lose 25 pounds. I lost it and kept it off for quite awhile, but then decided to “go crazy” a few months ago and actually gained 25 pounds. Now do you ever wonder why 25 pounds can come on you in a weekend, yet it takes 250 years to lose it again? Okay, I exaggerate, but it really seems like that. The point of this plan is to eat 6 small meals a day. You get protein, lo-carbs, fruit, and veggies, but depending on what type of eater you are, those foods are eaten in certain amounts and at certain times of the day. You really don’t get hungry on this plan, but then hunger has never been a prerequisite for me to overeat. Anyway, I still haven’t committed to eating this yet because I have an idea to try first. It seems to me that if I just cut out all the desserts, cookies, cakes, pies, brownies and candies that I have been eating on a daily basis, I might lose pounds, what do you think? I say all this, but at the same time I am well aware that my attitude, thoughts and beliefs play a huge part in the state of my body. That, however is for another post. Positive affirmations have played a major part in making positive changes in my life and using them in this weight loss endeavor can only help. I’ve been thinking about different affirmations to use. I find that simple ones, used in repetition are best for me. Something like, “my body is the perfect size for me” or “My food nourishes me and creates my perfect body.” During my last weight loss I repeated “I weigh 140 pounds” all the time and especially just before I stepped on the scales and one day I weighed 140 pounds. I also like to sing songs like Karen Drucker’s about my healthy body, every little cell in my body is well. So more on that later, I just wanted to post that I think it’s time for a change.