Changing the Narrative

The ongoing narrative in my head is mostly negative.  “I screwed that up.”  “I should have done that differently.”  “I’ll never be able to figure this out.”  “I don’t have time for myself.”  And so on.  In talking to my few friends, it seems that’s common for other women as well.  I wish I knew why that was.

It occurred to me the other day that negative self-talk does not have to be the default.  I have the power to change the default setting.  I can change the messages I tell myself.

I’ve been feeling extremely stuck in my life so I decided that’s a place to start.  My first new message is:

“I am not stuck. I have the ability to make change.  I can make new choices.”

I followed that up with a few general positive statements:

“I am confident.  I am competent.  I am smart.  I make good decisions.  I have the ability to figure things out.”

And then, a few goal-specific items:

“I have the ability to ride my horse.  My horse is not beyond me.”  And . . . “I have the ability to learn Spanish.  I will practice Spanish and the learning curve will be o.k.”

It might sound ridiculous but I literally repeat these statements to myself over and over and over . . . when I first get up in the morning, several times throughout the day, and when I get in bed at night.

I think its making a difference.  I’ve felt a bit more motivated, gotten a bit more accomplished, and well . . . I just feel better, like, more able to overcome obstacles.  The challenge is going to be making it stick.  I’m usually good at things for a day or two.  So, the fact that I’ve reached day 3 or 4 here is an accomplishment in itself.

Happiness is hard but I’m convinced that its worth it.

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So . . .

I’m almost embarrassed to write a new post.  I’ve been away for awhile having once again fallen off the road to my goals, dreams and own personal success; pulled away by “life” and “busy”.  I know that everyday I made the choice to write a post or not, exercise or not, eat healthy or not, work with my horses or not.  I’m a big believer in personal responsibility.  Unfortunately, for the past few weeks, that belief has brought me down – I allow myself to make excuses and then later, feel even worse about myself.

Anyway, I’m here again.  In some ways, I feel like a lot has happened and I want to write it all and share it all.  But in some ways, I feel like its really nothing very interesting, all of it just falling under the category of “life”.

So I’m not going to beat myself up for not having anything profound or even extremely interesting to say.  The point of this was to start again, to take a small step towards who and where I want to be.  That’s what I’ve done and so I’m going to let myself be happy with that.

 

Its Monday & the Laundry is Almost Done

I do laundry on Sundays.  For some reason, whether or not I actually get the laundry finished on Sunday speaks to how my week is going to go.  Last week, for example, the laundry stayed on my couch the entire week.  I’m not exactly sure why – I was just busy and distracted.  That also means that I didn’t eat particularly well, didn’t exercise and in general, just felt blah.

I was sick a couple of weeks ago and had come out of that determined to really and truly make changes to how I eat.  As it seems to go with all of my other “determinations”, it lasted a couple of days.  Ugh.

Here it is Monday yet again.  I just heard from my best friend in Vegas – she’s doing great with some new eating habits.  I’m really happy for her but it made me feel way, way terrible about myself.  Like, I almost started crying.  And I’m not really a crying person.

Ugh.

Instead of crying, I’m trying to take action.  I popped some garbanzo beans in the toaster oven to try roasting them again.  That was a gumdrop replacement snack but I didn’t get them quite roasted right last time.  I’ve surveyed the refrigerator and decided to make broccoli beef for dinner.  Its my daughter’s favorite, involves some veggies and I’ll make myself brown rice.

I’m also trying to remember that I’ve made some progress.  The gumdrops are still out of my car.  I’ve put ice cream in a bowl on the nights I’ve had some, rather than sitting down with the entire container.  I made an excellent new recipe – avocado edamame hummus and ate it with jicama.  I figured out how to make an omelet and had that for breakfast several times last week.

Despite this, I’m continuing to gain weight.  My blue work slacks are tight and they’ve never been tight before.  Its really, really hard for me to see the positive.

And, its only Monday and the laundry is almost done!  Its all through the washer and dryer and 50% folded!  Perhaps all is not lost for this week.

 

Towards Health – Day 1

O.k., as I talked about yesterday in my unfocused, rambling post (because that’s how I was feeling), I really need a plan to get healthier.  I live in a very food-centric, health-focused, outdoorsy place so it seems especially ridiculous that I’m struggling with this.

Yesterday, I took a very first baby step and took my dog on a short (very short – just over half a mile) walk.  After being sick for a couple of days, that was about all I could muster.  But I figured that some walking was better than no walking, right?

I need to remember that theory – that something is better than nothing.  I get stuck on the idea that a half mile walk is “stupid” and get upset at myself for not being able to walk more.  So then, I don’t do anything at all, which isn’t helpful and is just self-defeating.

Anyway, I also spent some time googling up high protein snacks.  Snacking is a big issue for me.  That, and the fact that I often don’t leave time for lunch in my schedule.  So I find myself without time for lunch and then eat some stupid, carb-laden, sugar snack instead.  Again, self-defeating.  So I have chickpeas roasting in the oven right now.

I changed breakfast this morning too.  My typical breakfast has been fruit and maybe some cheese.  By 9:30 I’m starving and so, what do I do??  Eat some stupid snack.  Like those gumdrops.  (Which have now left my car.)  This morning I had two scrambled eggs with some tomatoes and cheese.  10:00 came and I still wasn’t particularly hungry!  Amazing!

I struggled with whether or not to add the cheese to my eggs  – that’s where my conviction that I’m fat and resulting desire to eat less comes in.  But I think I need to focus on eating less of the wrong food, rather than just eating less in general . . . because clearly, that’s not working for me.

O.k., so I’m feeling pretty good today about having made a few small changes.  It really helps to write about it here.  It helps to think it through clearly and see it in black and white.  Next . . . I’ll think about exercise.  But for now, small steps.

Step 1 – Get Rid of the Gumdrops

I’ve been sick for the past couple of days.  And I did it to myself.  I know perfectly well that I’m hypoglycemic; if I don’t eat well (Protein!) and sort of frequently, I get sick.  Like, in bed, can’t function, throwing up, sick.  That’s how I spent all of yesterday.  Blech.

Part of the issue is that, at 5’4″ and 136 – 138 pounds, I’m 100% convinced that I’m fat.  You wouldn’t look at me and think “overweight” but that’s what I think when I look at myself.  So, I try to not eat a bunch.  I don’t “diet” exactly, I just try to not eat.  Except when it comes to sugar.

I love sugar.  I keep a container of really good gumdrops in each of my cars.  There’s almost always ice cream in the freezer.  And I eat it right out of the container – no need for a bowl!

So, the recipe for “sick” is not enough good food, too much sugar, too little water, and add in some stress.  I’m done.  My body literally does what I call a hard stop . . . all of a sudden, I get really hot, my vision gets blurry, my ears start to ring, and I know the next step is hitting the floor.

Its happened at work (they called 911) and it almost happened when I was out and about yesterday.  I managed to get home before hitting the floor.

So here I am, taking another day off of work, trying to rest and recover.  But I know what I really need is a plan to stop this from happening.  I know its multi-faceted – stress management, nutrition, exercise, self-image.  I know I need to eat more protein and less carbs.  I know I need to get rid of the gumdrops and stop buying ice cream.  I’ve know all these things for a long time; I just have such trouble putting them into practice for very long.

I need a plan.  Not quite sure where to get one.

 

“Its a Bit of a Hike”

I texted our friend to see if he wanted to get together for dinner.  “Yes, or, do you want to go fishing with us on Saturday?” came the reply.  “O.k., where, etc.?”  The plan was to go “poke poling” out at Dillon Beach.  “Its a bit of a hike out to the fishing spot.” our friend warned.  No problem!  We’re usually up for a hike.  And, a quick online check confirmed that we could take the dog.  Perfect!

The drive out to Dillon Beach is beautiful.  From our house, its just under an hour through the best of what (in my opinion) Sonoma County has to offer – long, 2 lane, slightly winding roads through green, green pastures of cows and sheep, over gently rolling hills until you get to the coast.

We parked alongside the road in the little coastal community of Dillon Beach.  First up, was about a quarter-mile walk to the beach.  As we were gathering up our stuff, our friend reminded us, “Its a bit of a hike to the fishing spot.”  Ummm . . . o.k..  I had woken up a little bit crabby and his reminder wasn’t improving my mood.

The beach was accessed by traipsing along the side of a property, across squishy ice plant, that allegedly is a public access.  Thankfully, the homeowner wasn’t home because apparently she takes issue with whether or not there’s actually an easement for public access across her property.  So, at least we didn’t get yelled at.

Next up was a fairly step, slightly slippery, trail down to the beach.  Again, not making me very happy.  I made it down without falling on my butt and was relieved once we got down to the sand.  I was almost happy until our friend pointed to some rocks very, very far off in the distance and announced that’s where the fishing spot was.  “What???  Why??!!!!”  I was seriously beginning to regret not having brought a book to read, which would have allowed me to plop down and spend the day right there.

Ugh.  We set off.  The hike was a torturous combination of walking across sand, scrambling over boulders, scaling some large rocks, more boulders, squeezing through a little rock tunnel, more boulders and more boulders.  To increase the fun, some boulders were wet, slippery, and covered in spots in mussels.

Normally the beach is my happy place.  I should have been delighted.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day – sunny with no wind.  But did I mention all those boulders?  Finally, finally, we got to the fishing spot.  Yep, that was a bit of a hike.  Once I had a snack and settled in, I began to notice what a beautiful spot it was.20180127_152453.jpg

I chose not to fish.  Everyone else went poke poling with these super long bamboo poles.  20180127_135705

Needless to say, they got rather wet.  But, they also caught a bunch of fish!  I was perfectly content to watch the ocean, take pictures, peer into tide pools and hang out with my dog.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen tide pools with huge starfish.  They came in a couple of different colors!  There were these dark red ones . . .

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And orange!

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And, of course, there were tons of shells and mussels and other stuff that I don’t know the names for.

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It turned out to be a lovely day.  But at the end of it, there was that “bit of a hike” back.  And all those boulders . . .

Meet Prince Frizzle!

What happens when my husband can’t take our daughter to 4-H Chickens?  We come home with a new rooster!!  Meet Prince Frizzle!

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The activity for that night was practicing showmanship, so we could have brought one of our own chickens.  But, it was cold and rainy and dark and so we decided that Queen Victoria probably wouldn’t appreciate being taken out of her cozy coop, stuck in a carrying case, and carted off by herself to a place she’d never been to.

That meant that my daughter got to borrow a chicken to work with for the evening.  Out came Prince Frizzle (who wasn’t named at the time)!  “We want the Silkie!!” we both yelled, as soon as we saw him.

Prince Frizzle didn’t really know the chicken showmanship routine but he sat quietly in my daughter’s arms the entire night.  When we heard he was in need of a new home, he just had to come home with us.

I had a Silkie rooster many years ago.  Moo Goo Gai Pan was bought out of a store in San Francisco’s Chinatown and given to me as a hostess gift from a guy I met on an airplane.  Sweetest rooster I’ve ever had!  So I was super excited at the idea of another Silkie rooster.

So far, Prince Frizzle is living up to Moo Goo’s sweet reputation.  His favorite thing is to be carried around, cradled on his back like a baby, with his little feet sticking up in the air, and have his tummy feathers stroked.

My husband says he’ll definitely take our daughter to 4-H Chickens next time!