Extending Our Happily Ever After

"We do! Now let's live healthy and fit!"


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Stress is in this house…

Well, hard to keep a blog going when you are finalizing three lives in a state that you’ve called your home for over eleven years.
I moved to the East Coast over eighteen years ago when I discovered I was pregnant. My son’s father lived out here. Leaving my family in Southern California was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
Now, my son graduates in a couple of weeks and my parents need me back home. So, we have been preparing for the past two years mentally, but only physically in the last seven months or so. It is exhausting!
To wrap things up is hard enough. To do it when your only child is graduating high school is insane.
Our stress levels are through the roof and we are all dealing with it in our own different ways. Arguments happen when they haven’t before, from all of us being on edge. Tears seem to be at the ready for me from time to time when I last expect them. Diets have been thrown out the window, when comfort eating seems to calm the soul. Headaches come a bit easier, so keep the Tylenol ready.
I am giving things away and selling things I have had forever for $1.
My child is young and even though he chose his own future, he is torn up with thoughts of leaving his childhood friends behind. There is nothing my husband or I can say that will ease this natural transition in life that all kids go through when they go from high school to college. He will understand in a year, he just doesn’t understand it now.
I have six work days left. I have left friends in other states before. I have many friends that I have kept in contact with, yet I know that it takes two… So, I know that I will lose friends with this move. It is part of life. It is the friends that keep in touch that were meant to be in your life. For that, I am grateful for my moves… It has given me that bit of eye-opening… True friendship is a wonderful thing!
I am excited about our journey across this beautiful country and can’t wait to reunite with my mother, father and brother.
If we can just get through these next few weeks!

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My first speech…

This has been a crazy week. A bit stressful and alot going on.

First, I gave a speech this week. I joined Toastmasters, which is an international organization where members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending learn-by-doing meetings. My husband saw a recent article in a local newspaper about this organization. I hadn’t heard of it before. The reason he suggested I join this organization is that with my recent weightloss, I’ve been really thinking alot of what I want to do with my life. I have become a source of inspiration with alot of people in the past year and it seems that daily, I get asked questions on how I lost my weight, or just that I have been motivating people to get in touch with their own personal weightloss and fitness goals. It really makes me happy and it gives me a huge sense of pride to help people if I can… so I am not sure where public speaking fits in to that, but it’s something I’ve struggled with all my life.

This is very odd to me, as I’m one of the most outgoing people you’d ever meet. I am that person who talks to strangers in the street… yep, that’s me. I am very friendly and never seem to have a problem making friends or just opening up to anyone and talking about anything… yet, to have to get up in front of a room of people is a whole other ballgame. So, without knowing what path my life might be on, we thought it might be a good idea to join up with Toastmasters and brush up on this skill that I have an issue with. If anything, I thought I could at least make new friends.

The first time you make a speech in Toastmasters, it’s called the “Ice Breaker” speech. The speech can be about anything you want and should be 4-6 minutes long. I decided to tape myself, mainly so that I can watch it and learn from it… and hopefully better myself before I jump into speech #2. So, I posted it on YouTube and here it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBKEc3aOacU&feature=share

Overall, I was happy with it. I did, however, feel my voice shake throughout the entire thing. However, watching it, I see that it didn’t… that’s odd to me, but good to know. I was happy that I glanced at my speech, yet didn’t read the entire thing and was able to make eye contact… yet, that did leave me open to alot of “and so…” (grammarian counted 11 of them… oops!). I was timed at 5 min 44 sec, which I was very happy with, as it was within the time limit. I did stumble several times and leave thoughts open, but, for my first speech, I think I did fairly well.

I almost feel that I’d do better in a storyteller type of speaker setting… unless I just memorized something and delivered it. I think that I think too much and that might leave me open for the grammarian-critiqued pauses that come in.

The other bit of this week that was stressful for me was that I found out the following day that I was going to be needing hip replacement surgery. It’s good news, but huge news, none-the-less. Since all of this, I’ve been emotionally drained and just exhausted. I have been keeping up with my health, walking in the afternoons and keeping up with my diet. I have lost a couple of pounds, which is great. I’d love to lose more weight before I actually go in for the surgery. I just have been so very tired as well.

I start physical therapy tomorrow, three times a week. I have thoughts of getting the house cleaned and prepped so that when I’m recovering and it’s only the “men” here taking care of things (scary thought)… that everything will be just fine, ya know? I need to prep a room downstairs that I can recover in, as I won’t be able to make the flight upstairs to our bedroom… so just alot to think about and get ready for.

This will also be the first time in my life I’ve ever gone on disability… and I hear that it’s such a huge delay getting a check from co-workers who’ve done this in the past… so that’s another level of stress… I know I just need to relax… not sweat the small stuff I have no control over and just let go and let God. Sometimes that’s so much easier said than done. Breathe in and breathe out… I’ll be fine.


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Been hovering… and pulling myself out of a funk…

First time in my journey… I guess it’s expected.

I’ve been in a funk. I’ve been stressed. Mostly financial. I guess we all get that. I’m so glad that I’ve done my taxes and am just now waiting. I’m waiting for that check to make things LESS STRESSFUL! The effects? Well, I eat when stressed. I wish I didn’t. I guess old habits die hard and I didn’t even think that I had any old habits when I’ve been so very good for almost a YEAR now! I thought you create NEW habits after what? 7 days? 21 days? What is that saying? Well, I guess it’s not working in this girls’ head.

So, I’ve discovered a few things about myself. I’ve discovered that I am healthier. Thank God! I’ve discovered that nearly 10 months, or 10 months (since March 19, 2012) of eating healthy and nearly 9 months of exercising religiously, have made me healthier on the inside… because, even though I have been eating things I should not have been eating (cupcakes, which is seeming to become a wierd pattern as these aren’t really things I ate in the past, but for some reason they are snacks of the “now world” I think… anyway, pizza, which I don’t feel is horrible, as I have had that throughout the diet, just not as “often” as lately, and bread)… just stuff that I haven’t really had in doses that I haven’t had it over the past 10 months. Anyway, I’ve only gained 3 lbs! I haven’t stopped eating most of the foods on the plan I follow, so maybe it’s that. I sort of have stopped most of the exercise, but not completely.. just not as intensely.

I’m thinking that maybe I have built up lean muscle, which burns calories more efficiently (I hear). Maybe, from being healthier, my metabolism is much higher, and I’m processing things much better… I’m not really sure. It’s sort of a mystery to me that I’m not being that “good” yet I’m not showing it on the scale…

However, with all that said, I’m BACK on track. So, I do hope that I’m not derailed TOO much to see my goal too far away (or rather, further, away). I guess, I can’t be “perfect” all the time (and yes, I do TRY to be, even though I do realize no one can be)… It’s the A-type personality in me. First born and all that, you know. Sort of snaps me back into reality and throws the “You are only human” saying into my mind.

Stress… I did just post something about that recently somewhere… about 5 minutes of stress allows 6 hours of a breakdown of your immunity or something like that.. then BAM… this goes and happens… and Boy, does it ever! I’ve been a bit under the weather as well… and the eating, and the feeling “in a funk”… I don’t get depressed… I won’t say that is what I was feeling… in a funk way better expresses what I was feeling. I’m a very upbeat person… but when I’m “in a funk” it’s just that I get introspective… I don’t want to talk, to post, to do much more than read, watch tv, sleep, read more…

What I was doing alot of was watching Dr Oz and Ellen shows. I love to watch Ellen, because she’s about one of the only people I feel is about as positive as I am! LOL I truly love her spirit… I smile when I watch her and I laugh when she laughs and I just GET her! She’s a beautiful person and if I could be anyone else in the world (if I wanted to be, as I like being me, actually)… but I’d want to be her. Anyway… her and Dr Oz… but his shows get a bit repetitive.. but I have been trying to gleam as much info as I can… and reading tons of books on weightloss just to see if there are any little “tweaks” or things I can use or just think about.

I found a few. I already do quite a few things that are mentioned all over that show. Have been for months. Anyway… One thing I’m going to try is the ginger tea for bloating. I already have green tea all the time, so I’m going to look for decaf ginger tea, don’t need anything caffeinated, that’s for sure… but I’ll try to find something today. Anyway, the other thing I’m going to try is Cayenne before a workout. Who’s heard of this? 200 mg taken 1 hr before a workout is supposed to help you burn 40% more calories. Really? I’ll give it a try. Jorge Cruise gave me that tip and I already use his 8 minute moves in the morning and they are soooo amazing and I totally feel them working, so I’m IN with what he suggests! Another supplement I’m going to give a whirl is CLA. Read about it in “The Eat-Clean Diet” by Tosca Reno and also again, on the Dr Oz show… we’ll see. I’m going to STOP taking the Green Coffee Bean extract… not too much really studied about it and just not too sure it’s really helping or not helping actually… I think I’m losing same rate as I always was.

I like that the CLA is more than just for the fat, but also an Anti-carcinogen and also an anti-inflammatory, so with my arthritis, I love that.

I also am going to add drinking water first thing in the morning, before I even drink my warm lemon water… which I usually have after I shower and dress… so there is usually a bit of a delay.. been reading up a bit on getting water in first thing as a bit of a benefit.

We’ll see… nothing seems harmful to try… I never like to try things that seem too drastic.. just little tweaks. Everything else I’m very happy with… just need to stop the off plan and get back ON PLAN… re-focus and get rid of the stress… that isn’t good for anyone!


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Stress and The Spark

Today, I was reading The Spark by Chris Downie (Founder, CEO and Motivation Expert of SPARKPEOPLE.com) and a line in it stood out to me and I can’t seem to get it out of my head… That line is… Just five minutes of stress can leave your immune system vulnerable for nearly six hours. WOW! How truly insane is that? I knew that stress can leave a huge mark, and even lead to death, it’s that serious… but to have it’s effects measured out so simply and in such a huge variance has just stuck with me all day.

Luckily, I’ve always been one to deal with stress fairly well. I am not sure why. Maybe it’s the “California” in me, just the laid back attitude I have or just knowing that there isn’t much that can be done about something that has already happened. I recently saw an episode of Ellen where she had this woman on who was 105 yrs old… she asked the woman what her secret was to living to that age… and the woman answered… “I never let things bother me that I have no control over” or something to that effect. I’m very much the same way. Plus, I have alot of hobbies that are tedious lol Cardmaking or other things that my friends seem to think are just “busy work” that they couldn’t even be bothered with… they usually make a comment, “No wonder you are so calm all the time”… So, I think that must help me as well… who knows.

I truly feel that having less stress in my life helps me sleep at night… my husband seems to be a terrible sleeper and alot of my friends are as well. I’ve always been a very sound sleeper and I can probably count on my hand the very few times I’ve had troubles sleeping and it’s usually involved my mind not shutting off (which I’ll chalk up to a bit of stress) lol I think there is a link.

I know there are lots of other reasons for lack of sleep or reasons for stress… but I was just randomly talking about stress and that line and how it just stuck with me… does it shock you? What do you think of it?