Friday, January 20, 2017

Counting blessings...

It's a late work night, so it's been a fruitful early day!

Sweet Potato Soup  is simmering softly on the stove. I have to admit this is a new favorite of Hubs and I. The smell of cinnamon and bay fills the kitchen.  A load of laundry is almost finished and I need to put the groceries away.

Hubs and I got our walk in first thing this morning, it was so damp and foggy, eerie.  I ran as much of it as I could, circling back to walk with him each time.  My Fit Bit and I are not speaking now, as it didn't even record my extra effort.  Oddly, even though I walked/ran further we both got the same mileage and pace... WHAT?  Oh well, I know what I did.

I'm debating on taking a gym bag and tackling some weights today.  Not sure.  I always take it with good intentions, and then end up without the time. I feel I probably will, it's not that much more to carry and if it is there, well I might make time during my dinner hour. I really don't feel like I will hit the treadmill any more, simply not enjoying it.  It will be my emergency back up for really gross days.

I had such an amazing day yesterday at work.  I was blessed to have conversations with several members that have either shared the journey of Europe or my current journey to health.  They filled me with passion and joy.  Friendships are harder to make as adults, these felt like baby steps in that direction.

After the later conversations I felt much stronger in my conviction that I want to become certified as a YDPP Coach.  The change it has made in my life is so powerful, I mean seriously I just typed about running, that I want to be able to share that.  To provide that amount of support and love to those people that are on their journey!  Not only did she fill my bucket emotionally, I almost cried when she told me that she had felt strongly drawn to visit our Y yesterday, that our conversation and lifted her spirits and given her hope. Wow!

Immediately after I was part of an interview process for another Y.  It wasn't the interview that inspired me. It was a question asked of my peers and I.  We were asked our "why" for doing what we do.  Powerful.  I felt my spirit and soul soar listening to them.  We are all passionate about making a difference in this crazy old world of ours.  We didn't talk about changing bodies.  We all talked about spirit, mind and finally bodies. Everything important!  We talked about the power of "yes" and supporting others.  About being there to support whatever journey they are on.

As I am chopping the veggies that will make Hubs and I lunch and dinner this morning, It dawned on me that I am so blessed.  That I am in a place in my life that is fulfilling, nourishing and encouraging!  I am married to my very best friend, God blessed me with my soul mate.  I have children and grand children that fill me with joy and pride.  I have friends old and new that complete me as a person, ones I cannot imagine living without, others that have drifted into my past - but helped shape me just the same.  I love my career!  I have pups and a kitty that bring me unconditional love and joy.

This journey that is my life... it's full of blessings!  Even when it's hectic, crazy, sad, frustrating, and just generally a downer... there are silver linings.

I'm glad I took a moment to count my blessings today, have you counted yours?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

defining success...

How do you define success?  What is the goal, dream or gold ring that we are all reach for?  Does it change throughout your life?  Are you single focus?  Or are you more like me and have a million little goals that you are chasing?  And once you reach that goal... do immediately alter it for a greater reward or do you slowly savor it?  Hold it in your hands, grasp it close.  Be afraid that the winds will whisk it away or treasure it like something solid and unmoving?

The further I progress on this incredible journey that is my life, I have realized many things are not static.  I have some over arching "goals".  Things that I have always aspired to.  Being a good human, treating people as I want to be treated, being the best mom, wife, daughter, friend, etc that I can.

Have I always been successful at those things?  Of course not.  I have forgotten important dates, said the wrong thing, not been there when I'm needed, been too busy saving myself to see where I was needed.  The point is those are life goals, meaning they are works in progress.  In fact they are more guiding principals.

Success often has many forms.

I got a call at work today from Hubs, he had his annual physical.  As a result of all the hard work, he is OFF all medications.  High blood pressure - completely under control, doc told him that for every 10 pounds more he drops he can expect another 5 points lower.  Incredible!

Hubs is energized again.  He is ready to tackle those pounds that are still hanging out.

I'm gonna chalk that up in the success column.

I came home after a long day.  Right now days are a bit longer than I want them to be.  But they are so rewarding.  I feel that I am making a difference.  I feel like I am right where I want to be. Great conversations, paths charted, plans made.

That falls in the success column also.  Especially considering I was very close to giving up not so very long ago.

Tonight I came home and decided that I hadn't gotten enough exercise in.  My solution... another 2 miles. Just me and some seriously energizing music.  I even managed to drop my pace per mile to 16.42.

Again, success!

I am not sure how I define success.  But sitting at my kitchen island eating a bowl of homemade veggie barley soup, listening to music, with the remnants of sweat on my neck.  That amazing feeling that comes from pushing yourself to your limits vibrating through my muscles.  I feel that I am having some serious successes.

Tonight as I stretched my legs, trying to accomplish a bit more.  I had a million random thoughts rushing through my mind.  I have goals that I am working towards.  Fitness wise... Hubs and I are doing a 5K for Valentine weekend, how's that for serious relationship goals?

How do you define success?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

my journey to me...

Can you believe that we are already half way through the first month of 2017?  

This morning as Gator and I played his game of racing to the door, I realized it didn't even phase me to run that half mile back with him.  He wasn't out of energy from it either.  A year ago, I barely could walk him that far, the pain was extreme. My left leg swollen and stiff. 

In January of last year they told us he wouldn't make it to summer.  He's sixteen now, and he and I race every morning.  And yes he always wins. After all he does have 4 legs. Some days it's simply a house length, other days like today it's a full half mile.  

Not Impressed!

The changes a year can make. I've been very introspective today, as I am sitting here sipping my hot coffee waiting for breakfast to finish baking, okay at this point maybe it is brunch, I am looking out at the ice covered trees.  It looks bitterly cold, it isn't, the the layers of ice are a bit deceiving. 

I am thinking about my "baby boy", he's far away on the southwestern coast.  I imagine it is going to be a warm day there, or at least warmer than here.  It's his birthday.  I miss him.  It never really gets easier having him so far away.

Memorial Weekend 2016 - Me and My Son

Maybe he will have a chance to call.  He's got company, so I doubt it.  I know that he knows I love and miss him and that I am over the moon proud of him, so I will catch him when he has a moment. 

So many changes from a year ago.  

I was in an ugly place.  I didn't realize it completely.  I mean, Hubs and I are very happy, together.  I frankly think we were always meant to be together.  I am one of those lucky people that truly found her soul mate.   

But seriously... 

A year ago I spent more hours than I care to remember sucking down anti-inflammatory medication, and wishing basically for my leg to simply fall off it was so non-functional, painful and swollen! I was miserable! I was hating therapy.  The only bright about it was the ice/compression machine.  The rest of it... well sucked!

I was not in a happy spot at all career wise.  I love what I do.  I feel the same about my career choice as I do about my husband choice. Although for very different reasons. I can't say I was in love with it a year ago. My love and passion were being stolen from me. 

I was never home, work/life balance simply did not exist.  My own health and well being simply didn't matter.  I was too worn and depressed to even consider what I knew I needed to do.  And honestly I feel like Hubs and I were suffering.  Both of us were struggling hard with what I will now call what it was obesity, honesty time - morbid obesity. Neither of us exercised.  We worked hard all day, giving it everything we had, came home too exhausted to make a decent dinner, so we either went out or ate crap at home collapsed in front of the television after struggling to walk up the road and walk our boys.  

It hadn't been a wake up call when Hubs had to have two hip replacements.  Prescription of high blood pressure medication... isn't that part of growing older?  Larger pants and shirts for both of us, well... we work so much.  I had to have large amounts of fluid drawn off my knee twice, nope didn't light up that light bulb that says "hey... stop you are on self-destruct".  The blood work that showed I was pre-diabetic, well couldn't that have been simply that I had the blood work when I was super ill with the flu?  Reality, yes, it could have, but I am sure now that it was very accurate.  It wasn't the flu, it was the fact that I was not willing to take responsibility for my own life. 

Seats on planes uncomfortable?  Well the airlines were simply making them smaller to squeeze more folks in. I was sure it was the same thing at the ball games and my cheeks burn with embarrassment now at the struggle with sitting in a restaurant both.  Table please, armless chairs better. 

I remember the tears burning in the back of my eyes when the orthopedist working on my knee said to me "well it's hard to tell because your knee is so fleshy", she was trying to be nice.  I knew what she meant. 

I remember the sadness I felt pushing my swollen leg trying to help my sweet grand baby learn to ride her bike, last spring, both of us giving up in tears and frustration.  Today, I ran almost one of the four miles I "walked".

It hasn't been an easy year of transition.  It had lots of false starts and ah-ha moments.  I'm not done transforming.  But wow, what a time it's been. 

A year ago I got my first Fitbit.  I never even considered seriously tracking what I ate. I mean sort of, but not really. The joy I got from the changes therapy started to make were minor, and easily got chased away by the other struggles in my life. 

I was browsing through some old photos today, cleaning out my phone. I thought I was doing really well when I went to see my son last year.  I had finally taken my health journey pretty serious, started walking and watching what I ate, I had already made serious strides forward.  Looking at those pictures, wow... just wow.
Christmas Week 2015

Memorial Weekend 2016

Memorial Weekend 2016

Today, I have a second Fitbit, a Charge2, the original one finally quit meeting my needs as I seriously started chasing my health. This morning, after walking the boys with Hubs, I popped in my ear buds and turned on iHeart radio (I've discovered my grand daughter is great at picking upbeat music) and off I went.  

New Years Eve... Silly

There is ice dripping off of everything, but the roads and sidewalks are clear.  I wasn't about to miss my opportunity.  33 degrees is a bit nippy, and a year ago, I wouldn't have even considered it. The slight misty rain would have been a complete deal breaker, as if I really needed an excuse back then. Today, I accepted it for what it was.  A challenge.  Game on Mother Nature, game on... 
And we thought it was cold this morning... Wimps 
Hubs is battling a cold.  So needless to say he was not about to join me out in the cold, rainy morning.  I understand completely.  And I have days that I will not walk myself.  Today wasn't that day. 

I am worried that my health journey is taking me in on a path that is moving away from Hubs.  I don't like it. I feel torn.  He's been struggling first with his back and now this stupid cold.  

I don't want him to go backwards, I am fearful that he will. 

I can't go back there.  I don't want that for him either. 

I know he is stronger than a few set backs.  He can be downright determined when he wants something.  I am probably more determined than he is.  But we have both been on this journey before. He isn't in the same place that I am career wise.  He's still battling the darkness. 

As last year progressed major external changes fed my internal changes. 

Life changed dramatically at work.  Hubs insisted on making us sign up for YDPP.  My career path changed. The people I surround myself with became far more positive and supportive. And I found my inner passion. 


That was what led me to walk in the rain, ice and cold these past two days.  I want to be the best person that I can be for me.

I won't say it isn't so that I won't have a long and happy life with Hubs, because it is.  I will not deny that I get excited when clothing that wouldn't fit in my wildest dreams is now too big.  Or when someone that hasn't seen me in a bit says "where is the other half of you" (that is met with shock - after all - how blind was I?  As I have a long journey ahead of me?).  I want to be full of energy for my grand daughter and my soon to arrive grand daughter.  I want to be full of life and energy for another grand children that have not even been thought of yet come to be. 


I guess my point with this ramble is to point out, that a year is a short time and the changes you can make in your own life can be amazing, powerful and life altering.  But you have to want to change.  You have to take off the blinders, you have to accept things, take responsibility and not lean on those excuses. 

I was the master of all those things.  Excuses were the worst part of it all, I could justify everything.  In fairness I was in a dark place, I was very unhappy and couldn't see a solution to any of it. Today, it's still easy to lean on those excuses, I just don't want to be accountable to them any longer. 

There are days I hurt, I don't want to walk.  I do anyway.  I have found that after about a mile, I'm not hurting.  I've found my pace mentally and physically.  I remember a mile seeming so far, not any longer. 

There are days that try as I might, I am super busy or the weather is horrible and I cannot make my walk happen.  I am still trying to solve that one.  I take a gym bag with me to work, after all I work at a Y - still doesn't always happen. But I am getting closer. 

Do I always cook at home.  Umm no.  But I am sure trying to get back into the swing of things.  Hubs doesn't really cook often and when I leave him to fend for us, it might often be pizza. My solution so far?  I actually bought groceries (yikes!) and I am working on a menu plan.  We'll see how it goes. 


I need to look back occasionally to see how very far I've come.  The next 120 or so days are going to be a heck of a ride... but I have a goal, a mission and a dream... I can do this.  

I will do this.