The Break

I admit it. I didn’t make the full month. I actually broke down on Wednesday and went out for pizza. Then Wednesday night I had a seizure. I had another Thursday morning. So Thursday I pretty much slept all day and Friday I went for pizza again because of a lack of energy and just a feeling I should get some food in my system since I didn’t really eat at all on Thanksgiving.

I’m still feeling beat. I hope I’ll have my energy back by the time I have to go back to work on Monday. I think I did well taking a break from eating out and I may go back to it after the weekend. We’ll see. The real weight loss came with the seizure though. I lost 5 lbs by not eating for a day and a half. I’d rather not lose weight that way, but it seems to be life right now.

One Week In– Still Not Eating Out

I made it through the first week! I will admit that I may have cheated a little on Thursday, but I think it was acceptable. After all Thursday was a big deal in my little town of Morris. It was the annual Parade of Lights. All the businesses downtown open their doors for people to gather in the evening and enjoy some treats and watch the parade. I am not quite sure what originally inspired doing a parade in November in Minnesota, but it’s become a tradition. Every year it seems that the parade is on the coldest day of the season so far. Everyone comes downtown. Crowds wander through the supermarket and make a meal of free samples. Then people gather on Atlantic Avenue. Some happily watch from inside the businesses where they can stay warm and snack on cookies and cocoa and whatever other treats. Others who may be more hardy or just have kids are out on the sidewalks waiting for the candy to be tossed. I did a bit of both, though I didn’t pick up any of the candy. I did enjoy some really good homemade cookies though!

Still, I am proud of myself for not giving in to restaurants this week. I had a few moments when I was tempted. The younger of my two cats, Tickle, got out on Wednesday night when I was bringing the dog in. She’s a four year old house cat and had never been outside. She was scared immediately and the dog chasing her didn’t help. She ran. I spent quite a while with my flashlight combing the neighborhood, but didn’t find her until the next night. She spent a really cold night out alone. First I was tempted to go eat out because I was saddened losing a cat that had belonged to my former foster daughter. Then I wanted to go eat out to celebrate. I did neither. I cuddled with the cat instead. I am reminded though how food can become something to always turn to. That it doesn’t need to be good food. And, that that’s not okay, that I deserve better.

Good things came out of this week. I think I lost about a pound. It doesn’t seem fair that I can gain five pounds in a week and only lose one in that time, but still it’s going the right direction again. I’ve also been only waking up about once a night, down from my two to four times a few weeks ago. I think it helps not to have processed sugar in my system. I also got good exercise this week. I walked. I went to the gym. I did some yoga. Nothing strenuous really in any of these areas, but I was moving about. That’s good. My ankle handled it well and my body and spirit appreciated it.

Still Eating Well

Yesterday was stressful. The day started really well. I found a freshly laundered $20 in the pocket of my pants and I was able to walk to work without my ankle brace for the first time. I had a nice morning meditation and all felt good. In the afternoon though, I got a phone call. I had expected it, but still it made me anxious. The call was from the Mayo Clinic. I’d emailed them over the weekend to see about setting an appointment. They called to set that appointment.

Living with epilepsy is a strange thing. I will go for months without a seizure. Life seems completely normal, except that I don’t know when the next seizure is coming. It’s never far from my mind. After a disappointing visit with a new neurologist last week in which I felt treated with disrespect and no consideration of my experience with my own health, I decided I needed to do something else. I took the leap to schedule a trip to Mayo.

It is both exciting and terrifying to think about going to one of the best medical facilities in the world. Normally, this type of emotional intensity would send me out to eat. After all, I deserve it right? I deserve some sort of comfort or celebration or whatever for setting this appointment.

This time I decided I deserved better, homemade comfort food. It probably wasn’t the healthiest, but it was tasty– scrambled eggs with vegetables, bacon, and cheese. Then went off for a small and super fun yoga class. It was just me and a friend who was leading the session. There were lots of laughs. It was good.

Today had some temptations, but nothing huge. I am wondering about tomorrow though. Wednesdays are often a day for eating out for me.

The First Day

Sundays are a day for me to go to Pizza Ranch. It’s a thing in our little town. A lot of people seem to go there for the buffet after church. I skip the church part, but the buffet has often been part of my Sunday. I am proud to say that this Sunday held no buffet for me.

After a breakfast of berries with yogurt and a little chia seed pudding (and I will admit to some sugar free chocolate chips mixed in), I went to the gym. I’ve just started going back. Today was my first day doing leg weights. The weight was really low, but given that I am healing from a broken ankle just two months ago, I am feeling really good about what I was able to do.

It was a nice day so I took advantage of it and after the gym, instead of going to Pizza Ranch, I took my dog Buddy for a long walk that included some off leash time out in the Pomme de Terre Park. We both loved it.

I don’t know that lunch was totally healthy, but it was a lot healthier than a pop and multiple slices of pizza. I made myself buttered noodles with asparagus and tomatoes and had a little cottage cheese while I was waiting for it to cook. Later in the afternoon I had some fresh pumpkin/ apple bake with a bit of yogurt and berries (and I’ll admit to more sugar free chocolate chips).

The afternoon held a little nap and then working on various projects. I realized something. I realized that my energy is coming back after being really low when my ankle broke. Two months ago I was sleeping all day and night. More recently I was waking up multiple times during the night, but not doing a lot during the day or accomplishing my household tasks. Then I started meditating again and using frankincense in hopes of getting my sleep back and avoiding seizures. Well, I am just waking up once or twice a night now and my house is getting back in order. I’m not sure what, but something is working. My dreams have changed too. They’ve gone from nightmares to strange and entertaining.

Dinner was unusual. I bought tofu yesterday on a whim. I’ve not bought tofu in years. Tonight I threw together the tofu with an array of veggies– broccoli, onion, tomato, garlic, and okra, with a bit of miso, coconut oil, and cayenne pepper and baked it up for about 45 minutes. It was surprisingly good. That’s good because I made enough to have leftovers for a few days.

I snacked tonight on a bit more of the pumpkin/apple bake with berries, yogurt, and chia pudding with more of those sugar free chips. I think the next step may be getting rid of the chips. I can’t imagine they’re at all healthy, but they do taste good.

It was a healthy day and I feel good about it. I hope you all had a good day on your wellness journey as well.

A New Challenge for Me

Okay, tonight’s post is just going to be a short one, but it’s an important one for me to write. About 4 years ago I had my allergies tested and I found that I had a list of mild food irritants. Most are pretty easy to avoid. Buckwheat just isn’t something I’ve ever eaten on a regular basis. But some are harder to stay away from. The truly tough one and the one that really messes with my health is sugar. I have a mild allergy to cane sugar.

Eating sugar is an addiction. It’s an addiction for a lot of us. I do pretty well when I am at home. I don’t bring sugary substances into my house. My problem is that it’s too easy to go out to eat. I will often eat at a cafeteria at work where my meal almost always includes bread made with sugar, breaded mozzarella sticks that include sugar and marina sauce with sugar. Outside of work I’ll go out for pizza which is generally filled with sugar and I’ll have pop which either has sugar or high fructose corn syrup, so basically either sugar or sugar. Sometimes I’ll go out to a restaurant for a burger or something. Again, I’ll have a soda and there will inevitably be something that has sugar in it whether it’s the onion rings or the hamburger bun or something. Then there are the times where I quite simply crash and decide I’m getting a sugary dessert just because. I don’t feel better when I eat like that. Instead I feel my stomach upset and the fatigue that comes with eating poorly.

My addiction has been getting worse in recent weeks since I broke my ankle and my weight has been going up. So, now is the time to detox again and the way I am choosing to do that is to quit eating out, including the cafeteria at work, for the next month. I’ll let myself go if invited by friends or family. I am a person who mostly eats out alone, my family lives far away, and I don’t often meet friends eating out, so I don’t think this will be an issue.

I am hoping the next month will get me back on track, help me lose that 5 lbs I’ve gained in the last two months, get me cooking more good foods, and maybe help me save a few dollars at the same time. I also hope that this challenge will help me get just a little healthier for my next visit to the neurologist.

I hope your health journey is going well!

The End of the Challenge

Well, so I will admit that I disappeared for a while. I’ll also admit that wasn’t good. I haven’t been eating like I should. There’s been too much pizza and snack foods and not enough light and healthy vegetables. The result has been an additional 5 lbs.

I can feel it in how I’m breathing. I can feel it in my mood. I am just starting to feel the edge of sadness. I need to get back on track and it’s a tough time to do that. I got offered a new job and I got an interview for another position. So, right now I am finding myself waiting and deciding which of two very different roles might be the right one for me. I am getting to ask myself about my values. I’m getting to ask myself what I need and what I want. I’m in a space of making hard decisions.

I need my health to help and not hinder my ability to make good choices. So, I will keep trying. I will move forward. I have learned from this experience and I will take that learning with me.

There will be more posts to come. I hope you’ll keep reading.

60 Days and Where Am I?

So, I’ve not been entering my blog posts as religiously as I was for quite a while in this exercise. It doesn’t mean that I’ve given up, not at all.

I think what I have done is made a regular habit of be conscious of the fruits and vegetables that I am putting into my body. I don’t always get the full 6-9 cups, but I am always getting at least three which is more than a daily serving. I feel good about what I am accomplishing.

Things are busy with work picking up at the university and my considerations of moving back to Wisconsin. Still, I am eating well over all and getting out to be social and exercise as well. This weekend I got to spend time with my brother and sister-in-law who I normally only see once or twice a year. It was a great day at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion. It’s really amazing how many people attend it each year. It’s just such a delightfully innocent, old-fashioned, simple kind of fun. And, this year it was filled with laughter and stories from our growing up years. Yesterday and today were for hiking. Buddy and I probably put in about eight miles at our nearby state parks. He loved it! It amazed me how after walking four or five miles yesterday he was ready to run when we stopped by the dog park. He played with friends for over an hour! Tonight, he’s a bit more relaxed. I suspect that it’s due to the flea and tick and heart worm preventative medicines.

All of these things, along with taking my supplements and drinking lots of water, and offering prayer each day are helping me feel my best. It is a good life and I am thankful.