Thursday, October 20, 2011

On the upswing!

Armed a renewed optimism, here are just some of the reasons I'm smiling today.

1.  My surgeon tells me that my tympanic reconstruction and graft are healing very well.
         1A.  As one who avoids pills whenever possible, my glee at a prescription for antibiotics today defies description.  I'm putting my faith in these little white pills -- perhaps they'll lead me to the light at the end of the tunnel of surgery recovery.
         1B.  I took this good news straight to the bike store where I replaced my cracked helmet.

2.  I reheated - rather than charred - my black bean soup for lunch.

3.  Removing meat from my diet has been a huge boost to me.
         3A.  I'm not grossed out when I eat. 
         3B.  I appreciate the flavors of unsalted nuts. 
         3C.  I'm learning to make heatlhy vegetarian recipes, beyond steamed veggies as a side dish

4.  New bike helmet + road repaving nearing completion = I may get to bike before the snow flies!

5.  I've decided to add Wii workouts to my babysteps of getting my exercise fix.

6.  I'm about to embark on developing a new (and hopefully profitable) skill.

7.  I've got the greatest family, friends, challenges, and accomplishments I could ever hope for.

8.  I'm reminded of Lucy Maude Montogmery:  "It's not what the world holds for you, it's what you bring to it.
         8A.  I'm feeling like I may finally be ready again to bring something to the world.
         8B.  I'm eager to explore what the world does hold.  It owes me nothing, yet it's filled with possibilities. 

9.  I'm reading a thoroughly enjoyable book: Louisa May Alcott's Jack & Jill.  I recommend the many first pages to all who love home & hearth at Christmas time. 

10.  It's still cool and rainy, but will be sunny for Sunday's cyclocross at Sims Park!  I can't wait to see the event!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Validation for a new perspective 

Yesterday's blog was a bit of a downer, I know.  But I needed to put it out there for a couple reasons: 1. there's the thought that perhaps sharing my experiences will help someone else; 2. writing helps me work through my thoughts; and 3. it leads to happier blogs like this one.

The same day I found the Psychology Today article in my counselor's office, my counselor shared with me an article from More (October, 2011).  In all honesty, I never knew that such a magazine existed; its tagline is "for women of style & substance."  It looks like a fashion magazine, with Naomi Watts on the cover, and has articles about beauty products and anti-aging hair tips, but it the cover also has a story called "The Migraine/Addiction Link" and... get ready for it...

Get a load of the opening paragraph: 
Doctors aren’t supposed to write prescriptions for medications they know don’t work. So why do they and many leading public health authorities continue to dispense advice that may be no more effective than a sugar pill—and might actually cause harm? In a landmark review published earlier this year in Nutrition Journal, the authors question why doctors and other medical experts routinely counsel over-weight people to get rid of extra pounds even though scientists, after decades of intense research, have yet to find a reliable prescription for weight loss (p. 162).

I love this article.  It's not a license to be fat for fat's sake, but it points out the dangers of focusing on fat and dieting, and shifts the focus to being healthy.  And really, that's what I'm trying to do: be healthy.  

Since saying no to eating meat, I've been much more cognisant of what I eat.  Now that I'm not internally balking at a portion of every meal, I'm learning how to make what I want to eat healthier.  For example, rather than fill my plate with chicken (which, to me, is cringe-worthy) and a helping of plain broccoli (which, though healthy, is a little lacking), I made a broccoli strudel which contained nuts and cheese.  While my family had meat with it, I used it as a main dish; and since the strudel was filled with fiber, I didn't overeat.

Again, focusing on health instead of focusing on not being fat: I'm able to look at long walks as a positive (I'm walking!  I'm outdoors!) rather than a negative (I'm not burning enough calories. I'm not sweating enough.). 

I'm building on my strengths and positives rather than beating myself up all the time.

Are there challenges to this?  Of course!  There's Halloween candy in my house and fundraiser chocolate bars for sale ($1 each, you know where to find me).  But instead of telling myself "I can't have that, I'm too fat," I've asked myself whether those things will help me reach any goal such as health or happiness.  So far the answer has  been no. 

And just like there's still the temptation to eat beyond nutrition, there's still the temptation to scratch.  Last night I worked hard to talk myself through it, having a "be gentle with yourself" internal dialogue.

"We'd all be much happier if we honored size diversity and focused on healthy choices, letting our weight fall naturally where it may (p. 166)."

(for more on loving ourselves, see

I'm fortunate that I love exercise.  It's one of those tools I can keep with me as I work through the junk in my head that's been making me sick for so long. 

As The Proclaimers so lyrically put it:
I'm on my way from misery to happiness today!
I'm on my way to what I want from this world!

Image source