Tuesday, July 19, 2022

My Before Pictures

Hyper-Focusing is my Super Power

Today,I have started on a journey to get healthy. It's not another diet or a quick get-thin scheme. I want to get into shape. I don't have to look like a super model. Hell! I don't even have to be skinny; mildly overweight would be fine with me. I am at the age-48-where the presssure to be perfect has lifted and an "I-don't-give-a-shit-what-you-think" attitude has taken it's place. I will never look 18 again and that's okay! The goal now is about health. I want to feel good and look as good as possible. I have a long way to go. I weighed in 15 pounds lower than my highest weight ever. I can't walk up an incline without getting winded. I have aortic valve stenosis and will need a valve replacement in 15 or so years. My sugar is borderline high. I am sure I am pre-Diabetic. My liver is fatty. I need naps more than anyone should. I have acid reflux that could make a dragon burst into flames. I have glaucoma currently being controlled by eye drops. I am in perimenopause, thanks to my uterus tring to kill me five years ago. My arms are jiggly, my thighs are wiggly. I have a gross double chin and the beginning of jowls. My stomach is forming an apron thanks to 4 kids and pure laziness. I am a mess. Despite all the negative, I am not done yet. I can still run short distances for about a minute without dying. I want to be able to run 5K's. I want to feel strong. I don't want to have aches and pains. I want to be the best me I can be and that means losing weight. I am not without resources and knowledge. I have been trying to do this for a long time. I have what I need to succeed. I have exercise equipment, workout DVD's and Youtube. I have read nearly every diet book ever written. I know a donut is around 300 calories, and a McDonald's double cheeseburger is about 400 calories. Dieting info is burned into my brain. The problem is...I am ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.) People with ADHD are more likely to have problems sustaining attention,to hyperfocus on a subject and then totally lose interest, to struggle with food issues,and to have more car accidents. All of the above describes me. I start diets and quickly lose interest or forget I am dieting and eat a cake. I start a plan to get healthy, hyper-focus, lose 30 pounds and then totally lose interest, and quit. I know what's good for me, but my brain will go into paralyzed mode- where I am unable to do the one thing I need to do (in this case, cook a healthy meal), and I will get hungry, give in, and eat whatever easy, processed junk is lying around. (I am way better about the car accident thing. No wrecks for awhile.) So what do I need to do lose weight? #1 Hyperfocus: Hyperfocusing is my superpower. Once I get focused on something it becomes a near obsession. I will live it, breathe it, build my life around it, until one day I wake up and suddenly, I am done. Losing interest is my kryptonite. Once I am done, I am usually done-forever. It is rare I can get myself to hyperfocus on the same thing twice. This is why I have had so many hobbies. I hyperfocus on something, make progress or get good at it, spend a bunch of money on it, then dump it. Past hobbies include: scrapbookimng, reborn doll making, doll collecting, genealogy, art, fitness; photography, gnome collecting, angel collecting, crystal/rock hunting and collecting, etc. So how do I get myself to hyperfocus on getting healthy? If I can get myself to hyperfocus on my health for 3 months I could make a real difference. I could lose about 30 pounds, tone up, lower my blood pressure, and cholesterol. Just feel better! Occasionally my hyperfocusing can last longer than 3 months, sometimes nearly a year or more. The trick is to not allow myself to get bored. So how am I gonna do this? 1. Watch tv shows about weight loss and getting healthy. 2. Read books- both fiction and non-fiction about weight loss. 3. Find a plan I am excited about. 4. Find a weight loss planner I am excited about. 5. Cool apps that help keep me focused would be beneficial too. 6. Start working out, logging food, and blogging about all of it. So that is the plan; to get myself to focus on my health and to work at it really hard for as long as my ADHD brain will allow me to. After the hyperfocus ends, I am hoping I will be able to at least keep going, even if I am not obsessed, as I have developed a little more balance in my life since starting medication. So I am hoping to be able to continue with the healthy changes. I hope you will follow along with me on this new journey. It should have plenty of laughs along the way.

Friday, August 14, 2020

I Am A Writer (& A Runner)!

Today I ran. I got up when my alarm went off at 7 AM...Okay-full disclosure-I reset it to 7:30...but I popped up at 7:30 much like a pop tart out of a toaster. We are camping in our new-not-yet-a-year-old-camper. I took Roxy for a walk before doing anything else. The campground was quiet, only a few other humans and their canine charges were moving. I returned her to the camper and took off alone. Today was a run day, and I was determined to get at it and get it done. 

The Kentucky air was thick, heavy, and sultry. The sky is hazy with the promise of storms later in the day. I walked my 5-minute warm-up. I had chosen to skip ahead and moved on to week 3 of C25K. Week 1 and week 2 were too easy, so skipping  ahead made perfect sense. Also running fewer, but longer intervals appealed to me today. I ran a loop around the campground choosing my path on how much uphill running I would have to do.  I noted that at some point soon I would have to stop avoiding hills. In all honesty, hills aren't that big of a deal for me, but much like everything in my life, I have avoided everything that causes me pain, and take the easier way out. That's how I ended up this way. 

I ran and then walked, ran, and then walked.  It wasn't a serious effort, just a ticking off on a to-do list.  As usual, I was as slow as a turtle.  None of that mattered though. I ran, passing a few people: Most walking dogs, a few more just sitting outside in front of their camper, enjoying the quiet of the morning. Sweat beaded and ran down my face, more from the weight of the humidity than my efforts, and when I stopped to stretch it ran into my eyes.  I wiped my face dry with my t-shirt and continued on just enjoying what my body can do and the peacefulness of being alone, in nature, and on the pavement. 

I finished and had a low carb breakfast with Josh and Gavyn. Roxy got the leftovers.   Currently, I am sitting beside a large pond while my husband and son fish. It is peaceful here too. Even with the whine of a weed eater going behind me, I am enveloped in cool, breezy peace.  A few raindrops spill onto my keyboard and I hide in the shelter of some pine trees. (Pines give the best shelter from the rain) and work to finish my writing. 

Last night I spent a bit of time with God, praying and attempting to listen to what God had to say to me.  Then I read The Circle Maker, a book about the power of prayer by Mark Batterson.  There was a section about praising God for what you have been praying for before you even receive it.  As a Christian, I had heard people do this often. I had even done it when praying for my Mother and sister's breast cancer diagnoses. I knew it was a way to show faith, but I will admit I never felt comfortable doing it.  It always felt forced and inauthentic. For all this time, I had been praying for my life's purpose.  Since 2014 when I did not receive the teaching job I thought I had been called to, ever since I had given up my certification and let my dream of teaching go, I had been asking God what my purpose was. Evidently, I am not one of these people who can float through life without a purpose, because my apparent lack of one weighed heavily on me, causing an apathetic attitude toward life and sometimes even depression. God had told me years ago, I was supposed to write. In my disbelief He had even given my sister the same message, and yet- I didn't believe it.  Even in my past blogs and social media posts, I expressed my blatant disbelief that God would want me to write for him.  I knew God could choose anyone for his purpose-even an old, dirty sinner like me- but I was no Moses. Who am I to write words for God? I felt unworthy and still do.  I worried what others would think of me.  I kept questioning him as if I had not heard his voice loud and clear. However, something happened last night.  I read this passage; "True Faith doesn't celebrate ex post facto, after the miracle has already happened; true faith celebrates before the miracle happens, as if the miracle has already happened because you know that God is going to deliver on his promise."  

I finally got it last night. I am a writer.  I have been a writer since I could pick up a pencil. Every time I write a piece of poetry, a story, or a blog post that glorifies HIM, I am fulfilling my purpose! I am already writing for God.  My purpose is being fulfilled and I didn't even see it happening in front of me. I thought because my audience was non-existent, and my books unfinished, that I couldn't be fulfilling my purpose. I had been living my life as if the good stuff was still to come, instead of enjoying the good stuff that is happening now.  I may not ever have a huge audience, I may not ever get a book published, or be a best-selling author, but I know that as long as my pen scratches across the page, and keyboard clicks that I am fulfilling the purpose God has laid out for me.    

 So tonight, I will circle my Jericho, and ask God to make sure that every word I write is pleasing to him. That every word I write helps bring someone else closer to HIM.  That is all I want. Anything else God allows me to have will be the icing on the cake of life. 

The only cake I am allowed to have right now. 😆

Sunday, August 9, 2020

...And So It Begins...

So I have started a "biggest loser" Challenge with my sisters. We are going to see who can lose the most weight before my niece's wedding.  It is also going to coincide with my 90 Day V-Shred Challenge. 

I bought a V-Shred package back in May. It comes with food plans and workouts. All I had to do was follow them. I didn't follow them. Like many other Americans during this stressful time, I can not bring myself to get my butt moving. I can't get motivated. What is the point of trying when the world may end tomorrow?

However, that is just another excuse. I know the world probably won't end tomorrow. I also know that even if it does Jesus still wants me to do my best today.  So that is what I have done this week, a soft version of my best.

I have started C25K over for the five-millionth-bejillionth time.  It is too easy in the cardio aspect- which is good, considering I have heart issues- but is just slightly easy on the physical side.  I have run twice this week on Monday and Wednesday. My body was really tired on Wednesday.  So my next run will be scheduled for Saturday.  I have not yet started the V-Shred workouts.  I am not going to start them until I am comfortably able to run 3 times a week with minimal soreness and fatigue.  I want to avoid extreme soreness and injury.  

Here are my stats for Monday and Wednesday.  I am slow as a turtle, but that's okay because I love Sea turtles. 

As you can see, the last screenshot is a lot slower than the first day.  I just have to remember that every run is progress, and a step toward obtaining my goals and living the life I want for myself.

I signed up for a bunch of virtual races between now and the end of the year.  I know I am being ambitious. A few of them are only one-mile races that I will do just for time- to check my speed 😆, and the rest progress upward in distance until the end of the year with a 10K race.  I will be working hard to accomplish this goal.  The website I signed up with has free races, so that helped me keep my cost down.  They still provide you with a printable bib for completing the free race, which I thought was pretty cool and a nice gesture.  So I only paid for a few of the races because I wanted the really cool bling. The bling is some very cool, unique medals and official racing bibs. The website I used is www.virtualrunevents.com.  They are famous for their "Bible Race Series," which I plan to start doing in 2021- God willing! 

Here is one of the medals I will be receiving when I complete the race.  (I told you I love sea turtles!)

Weekend Update

I didn't run on Saturday, I overslept and it was just too hot to hit the Kentucky pavement by 10 AM.  So I am going to run tonight-Sunday- after dark. 

I received my first medal in the mail. It-remarkably- is the race I am going to run in December, the 10K. The last race of the year; My big race; My goal for 2020.  Here it is: 
Pretty snazzy, huh.  I picked this race for my longest distance ever because of the bible verse. Isaiah 40:31 may be one of the most beautiful, most promising, verses in the Bible.  It says:

This has been an inspiring verse when I run. It has reminded me that God will hold me up when I am weak and get me to the end of whatever race I am running. 

The prior few verses are a powerful promise from God to his followers. It says:

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. 
-Isaiah 40:28-31

So despite being 50 pounds obese, and another 31 pounds to normalcy, I take God's promise and claim it as my own, and I RUN. I run till the sweat run down my face and into my eyes, I run until my asthma kicks in and I use my inhaler and never break stride, I run til my calf muscles lock up and I am carried across the finish line, not by my own power but by God's.  

 I claim these promises for myself. I will not be shaken from my goal this time. I have the LORD on my side. 

Have a Blessed Sunday!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

A Switch In Focus

VIDEO: Click here →An Announcement; The Trump Prophecies

Hey all! A little off topic, but a new beginning for me! Watch and let me know what you think constructively! Be kind. Be Blessed. #JesusMatters

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

A week of bad.

I am bloated. I feel fat.  Blah.

I started my official "cheat day" the day before Thanksgiving. Then we had two Thanksgivings, my son's birthday dinner, and now I am on my way home from a work trip to Ohio with my husband- work for him, vacation for me. While we have been up here, I have done okay with my food intake during the day, but have blown my carb counts out of the water at dinner time.   So my cheat day turned into a cheat week!

So yeah, I have a wheat belly.  I  feel okay now though.  S.A.D has subsided some. Getting away from home was what my husband and I needed.  We needed time together and time away from our soul-sucking house. Now that he is on third shift, our time together is limited, and the time we do have... he is usually tired and grumpy.  We needed a few days of just us, to reconnect and to break the cycle we had going.

I have made a new commitment last week. I saw an ad for Chris Freytag's Get Healthy UTV.  It is a streaming and download service for workouts.  It also acts as a personal trainer, as there are a lot of downloadable calendars you can print off to keep track of where you need to be. You could try premium for a year for $3, so I did that.  Then they offered to upgrade me to Gold for $13? more.  So I did that. I am pretty excited.  Winter is hard for me. I HATE the cold air, and getting out to run is usually challenging. This way I can keep working on my goals without having to step outside. It also includes a facebook group that is supposed to be super supportive, so I can't wait to get started!

Tomorrow is back to keto and heavy detoxing...and work!  BLAH!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Just SAD

I stood in the kitchen at 11:30 at night, and shook my fist in the air, "Take me now, God! I am ready.  I am so sick of this life. I am a failure.  I can't get anything done. I can't accomplish anything. I am worthless to you and to everyone here. Take me now and get someone else to write for you!!   I can not do it."

As soon as the thoughts ran through my head, I felt HIM come to me. I knew it was HIM because I immediately began to calm down, and I felt a small amount of the peace I had been missing in recent weeks.

HIS words danced across my heart and through my brain at once. I don't hear him speak to me audibly,  it's more of a knowing, a feeling that is translated in my heart and becomes words in my brain...

"I chose you and I do not make mistakes.  I chose you because you are strong, and you don't quit. You're not quitting now, my child. It's not in you.  You have been struggling.  Satan is fighting you hard, but that is because you are so close...  so very close to accomplishing what you want, what I want for you.  He is using others surrounding you to keep you from progressing, but don't falter. You have made so many strides, so much progress.  You are not going to quit. You have more work to do."

I wish I could say I was happy to hear this message in my heart, but I was not.  I felt chastised, embarrassed at my temper tantrum and at my selfish request. I felt a little mad that despite how miserable I have been feeling, I was gonna be left here to do all this crap alone.

I have been struggling.  Just a few weeks ago I was filled with joy and hope.  But then the skies darkened and the temperature dropped and my brain quit making enough serotonin to keep me from wanting to leave society and become a hermit. I know what this is. I have suffered from it before. It is the entire reason I began my last prescription of Zoloft many years back.   Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It is commonly referred to as the "winter blues." I have had it before, sometimes as early as September, but I do not remember suffering from it so violently as I have been this go around.

I thought I had it under control. The last few years I hadn't suffered from it at all. What had caused it to return with such a vengeance this year is beyond my understanding.

Things have been tough for the last few months. I had a family member have a serious illness. I have lost several pets. My husband and I have not been getting along at all. He returned to third shift which has caused his own set of problems, that directly affect me.  I am stretched thin.  My days are spent running errands, often making 3-4 trips to town every day.  I get up at 6:30 and don't make it back to sleep until 1 AM most nights. If I nap I am made to feel guilty.  I regularly feel unappreciated by everyone in my household. I can't keep up with the housework and am made to feel like I am worthless because of it.  I have to work too, some days I am substitute teaching at the local elementary schools...a job I love, but also an extremely stressful job. Add in my own money troubles, and it has already been a recipe for disaster even before the sun began to head towards the winter solstice.

I have hinted I need help catching up with things, but so far no one in my small circle seems to take the hint. So I feel incredibly alone a lot of the time because no one understands how I feel or what I am really going through. Some people don't seem to care at all that I am suffering and brush off the scary thoughts that sometimes run through my head.

You can't make people who have never experienced depression understand it. You literally are sad, FOR NO REASON.  It is different from being down in the dumps about a life event. When I am upset about something that has occurred in my life, I know the reason why I am feeling the way I am and I know that it will pass eventually. When you are depressed, there is no reason. I mean the things I complained about a few paragraphs ago are my life.  Most of the time I would get mad about them,  yell a little bit, shake them off,  and move on. However, now that I am depressed  I am just sad. Sometimes I am sad about these things but unlike usual, I can't shake the sadness, and a lot of the time, I am just sad for no apparent reason.

My sister, in her attempt to help, told me I should just choose joy.  I do. I really do try, but with depression, I could choose joy all day, every day, but I can't feel it.  My brain is all messed up from the lack of sunlight and all it wants me to feel is sadness. So despite jamming out to some Christmas carols,  watching sappy Hallmark movies, and watching an amazing sunset, my brain will not allow me to process that into joy. I'm still just sad, despite my best attempts to feel happiness.

I don't plan to rest on my laurels and just wait for this to get better on its own.   I am ordering me a full spectrum light to help with the lack of sunlight, and I am gonna force myself to get outside more despite the dreadfully cold weather.  I am gonna pray a lot because let's be honest...I need Jesus right now.

If you want to learn more about Seasonal Affective Disorder  follow this link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651

My Before Pictures