Bringing it Down – #11


DOWN with the D (2)

This post was to make it’s way published October 1st,  as you can tell I never did that.  I was busy and struggling to decide what I wanted to say. Here goes.

I know my eating isn’t exactly the way it should be.  Too many processed foods have entered the picture, or better yet my mouth on too many occasions.  My blood sugars are still really good.  I like to chalk that up to the walking routine and not over eating in most table settings.

I’d like to mention that there have been bouts of emotional stress during the past month.  Which was brought on by lack of sleep and quite possibly the depression that resides within me.  Although both should be manageable, at times they are not.

It’s just a cycle.  Lack of sleep or interrupted sleep = crankiness= eractic reactions=feelings of highs and major lows = eating mindlessly= feeling physically yucky = mental let down of oneself.

But come October 1st I found the determination to get on course and make some changes to my goals!  And so far so good!

I’m a visual person.  I like to actually SEE things to remind me and to really get the whole picture.  I am going back to a simple system.  I am using this calendar to log things daily. I still use my Garmin Connect and Samsung Health app but this is kept in my bathroom.

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I have started doing some indoor walking workouts from Leslie Sansone.  I am doing the ones that include hand weights. I feel at home with her if that makes sense, she doesn’t seem fake or pushy.   It’s not too hard either, although I know I walk faster doing her workouts than when alone outside. I know this is where a walking buddy would really help me when walking outdoors. Speed things up, if you know what I mean!

So my goals include the following:

10,000 steps 6 out of 7 days a week

Less processed foods intake.

Snack planning (meals too)

Strength training every other day.

Eat out no more than twice a week.

Look at my plate before starting to eat. Are vegetables half the plate?

 

That’s it. That’s where I am at.

Things I want to be able to look back in regards to  in this journey are….

I can feel a waist again. Just a little but it’s there.

The scale hovers at 199 and 200.   (Yes I really did just put my weight on the world wide web, it’s okay.  It’s a number.  Last month that drove me nuts, now it just makes me determined even more.  I want to be out of the 200’s and be far enough away to really celebrate it!

People are noticing a physical change.  I hope they notice the mental too. Thank you to those that have complimented me. It really is a help!

Winter is coming, that means my work is cut out for me.  It will be easy to be lazy, acknowledge the struggles and celebrate the successes, right!

It hasn’t been easy but in 10 months I’ve made a difference in ME.  I’ve moved forward.  I can continue this life change and in January when I meet with my diabetic educator feel proud of it all!

Until next time!

Julie

 

 

 

 

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 I’m Sorry Friends


I have been pondering for a few days the friendships I have, and the state they are in. I’m not talking about the social media friends you don’t really know or see much of.  It’s the closest of closest gal pals I’m talking about. 

I feel compelled to apologize to those closest to me in the world of friendships. (you know who you are)

First, let me direct you to my post Friendships that I wrote October 1, 2014. Three whole years ago!  It was a coincidence for sure that this little nugget popped into my view today. Honestly,  I hadn’t given this post much thought, then WordPress decided to share with me someone had liked it today. I took a stroll down memory lane and read it. But I was actually pondering my friendship connections for a couple weeks now.

After three years I’ve come to realize that I am not nurturing my relationships with my closest girlfriends like I used to.  I realize now that this is a by product of my emotional roller coaster ride I jumped on back in 2014.  I have hidden away in the walls of my home verses sharing the hardest times with those who love me.  I haven’t joined the celebratory moments due to anxiety or feeling the weight of the world upon me.

I recall I used to send cards more often, make sure we had coffee or dinner dates, and even text more than we do now.  The relationships in my life have become…. stagnet. Is that it?

The point where the connection is where we click LIKE on a photo or comment GOOD LUCK to one of the people in your life that probably knows more than many others. The ones that would drop anything for you, if you just picked up the phone to call or text.  I must say, when I do click love, like, or type a comment, normally I am  wishing them so much goodness I can feel it.  I think to myself, when was the last time we saw each other?

The face to face interactions that bring forth the building one another up and you’re not alone right now strengths has faded to the back of the line.  The moments where you laugh till you cry, your heart literally aches in your chest at the words they have shared so willingly or you shake your head in agreement. Let’s not forget the  you rejoice at the success of the one across from you moments.  Are these all just faded memories?

Oh I know.  Our lives are busy and our families need us.  We don’t have the energy to go out and the comfy pj pants are more enjoyable than those jeans.  The stresses of the job, family, church, and kid’s activities are all weighing us down.  The fact that our marriage isn’t healthy or one of our kids is having some major issues keeps us from connecting in fear it will be found out! ( I know, I’ve been there on both those topics!)

The re-booting of ourselves in womanhood has been put on the back burner.

99% of the time after being with one or a group of friends I feel just that.

REBOOTED.  REFRESHED.  RELAXED.

I sometimes forget to laugh in my daily life. I know, it’s a sad thing.  But when I’m with a friend or two it just naturally happens.  Seriously. No Joke.  

So why have I distanced myself from the women God has placed in my life?

I guess I already answered that in previous paragraphs. 

I think I’m ready to move forward in my relationships.  To re-connect with my tribe of women friends.  

I guess this post was mostly to motivate me, put it out there, and make me accountable.  I don’t want to end up later in life wishing I had done more.  I love my women friends and I can’t wait to share all the moments before us!

Do you have a girlfriend that it’s been awhile since you hung out or talked with? Maybe it’s time to remedy that!

Until next time!

Julie

 

 

Bringing It Down – #10


Below is the post I shared on my personal Facebook page today.  There is more I’ve felt, accomplished, failed at, and shared but this is a good start.  I’m proud of where I am and can feel that I need to step up a few more things in my life.  I hope you enjoy today’s post.

DOWN with the D (2)

58 days ago I was motivated by another individual and their social media post.  He motivated me to get myself out of the 8,000 steps a day mode and kick it up a notch.  I am grateful for him and his posts on various aspects of his life.
To hold myself accountable I decided to post daily and possibly motivate others.  I post my fitness tracker progress throughout the day in comments as well.

It has helped me a great deal to stay accountable and keep moving.  I’ve also received feedback and support from people.  Thank you to all of you that have helped me.

In those 58 days….

I have missed reaching my goal 10 out of 58 days.

I have bounced back from times of depression quicker than usual.

If I do not get 5,000 steps before noon I’m probably in trouble.

I have lost less than one pound.

Taking 3 small walks a day is better than no walks.

I have clothes that fit better.

I’ve been frustrated.

I have gained support from old friends.

I’ve ate better but still need improvement.

I realized sleep is essential, power naps are okay.

Sunrises are pretty spectacular here in Kansas.

My knees and leg have hurt and I wonder why I even try.

Stretching is a must for this lady.

I am the only person that can really make myself care about me.

My hip hurts more if I don’t walk often.

My feelings still get hurt but I probably don’t blow it out of proportion as much.

It’s social media, if someone doesn’t like your post, they can unfollow you or scroll by, just do your thing.

My process  and progress is slow.

Support is really great, but you don’t always have it.

My blood sugar numbers are super good on average!

Guilt within yourself can be a tool to motivate.

Walking to the corner of my road and back can give me 1500 to 2000 steps in no time.  Quick as that!

It’s okay to still eat yummy sweet stuff or carbs… just don’t overload.

Pay attention to you. Mindless living doesn’t work in my situation.

A little girl is watching my every move.

My process is just that.  Mine.

10,000

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Homemade From the Heart – A Quilt Journey


About a year ago I took up quilting.  I had made a few with my mother for my older daughters but never really took to it.  Until now.  In the past year I have made 17 quilts and  I find myself often thinking of my mother while doing so.

mom and i quitl

While I was growing up she tended to do crafts, even before they were cool.  Frona would crochet, sew clothes, crosstitch, woodwork, and from my very young days at home Artex paints.  She was creative, even drawing and painting at times.  Our dining room table normally had stuff all over it.

I have done various crafts in my adult life as well.  Jumping from one to another periodically. Crosstitching to scrapbooks to chalky paint to embroidery and now quilting. I guess I did take after my Mom some.  🙂

I inherited tubs full of my mother’s fabric scraps, quilt blocks she started, even crochet thread and a partial tablecloth she was making. The thought that her hands touched this fabric to make quilt blocks makes it very meaningful when I made my two sisters their quilts recently.

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 My brothers quilt was one that she had use fabric paint on and was an eagle.

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There are still blocks left to make more quilts.  I will eventually get back to my mother’s blocks but I was not only thinking of her but my grandmothers too.

The woman my father considered his mother and us kids our grandmother made me a quilt when I was an older child.  I recall her asking what color I wanted it to be. Yellow.  Still my favorite color.  I love that quilt.  I can still see it on my twin size bed and I’d sleep under it every night. It was like a piece of sunshine during some dark times.

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Eventually it made it’s way packed away in the attic but I decided it was time to pull it out for this post.  Although coming apart in places it still gives me the feeling that I always had.  The feeling that someone loved me enough to make me something homemade. (and love me as if I were their flesh and blood.)  I have the quilt she made for my parents as well.

Then there is the very worn and tattered quilt that my mother’s mother made.  The blocks have embroidered birds for each state on it.  The white and blue quilt I recall seeing in our home over the years of growing up.  The soft material was so nice to touch, still is.  My mother gave me this quilt long before passed, it too has been packed away.

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Writing this post has taken me down memory lane.  It has re-connected me with feelings that re-kindles an appreciation for the homemade things in life.  While perhaps not physically daunting while creating but still a hard work to create.  From the finger pricks, to the seams to rip out, to the love that was poured into each stitch, and excitement to watch the person open the gift that came straight from the heart and hands.

I can only hope that my creations are at least half as good as the ones the women I’ve mentioned were.  Every crooked stitch, every binding uneven, every quilt block not square, just know that I made it with lots of love, just for you.

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And when years have passed and the seams are coming undone and it’s time to pack it away, think back to the feeling you had when you first opened it or used it.  I promise it will probably fill your chest with warmness and a smile across your face.

Julie

 

Mom- Still Thinking of Her – 2nd Ann.


Mom

The days leading up to where we find ourselves I honestly felt strong, for the most part.  I didn’t feel I was going to fall apart when it arrived.  I didn’t anticipate the tears streaming down my face the moment I read the caption on the sweet snapchat I received on my morning walk. Those tears needed to flow, they really did.  It’s okay and I’m grateful my dear friend touched base with me.

The back and forth moments of whether I should post on social media to recognize she isn’t forgotten.  If I do is that me not moving forward?  Will others feel obligated to acknowledge the loss of my mother, even though I don’t expect it?  Am I opening pain for my siblings and her grandchildren?

That’s why you find me writing on my blog.

Grief is a thing that is sometimes hard to grasp and even harder to control. It will smack you in the face or makes a suttle appearance, depending on it’s plan.

Words are not coming easily for me.  So here.

I miss my Mom.

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I had a pretty good day since I spent it with four of my favorite people in the whole wide world.  FAMILY.  Mom would have liked that. She always loved her family together.

Four of my most favorite humans ever!

I’m heading to work on a quilt and have some quiet time alone.  I’ll think of her I’m sure. Not only today but tomorrow and the next day and so forth.  I just have to keep moving forward.  Through the grief and through life. Better to have loved  than not have loved at all.

Until next time,
Julie

Bringing It Down – #9


It’s interesting that I was finally able to share this series on Facebook.  I was at a point where I felt confident (for two seconds) to hit post, so I went with it a couple weeks ago.  I still haven’t done it on my personal page but over on our farm blog page I did it.

Some things happened that I had to change my series title and that threw me into a place of disarray.  I have now composed myself (to some degree).  After a day or two I gathered my running thoughts and emotions and got down to business.  Arranging and organizing and feeling more in control once again.

Balanced.                 That’s it.               Balanced is what I felt.

Instead of having FOCUS as my 2017 word  it should have been balance.  I’ve repeated it, in my mind so many times, over the course of this past eight months!  I should have it down! But occasionally I tip one way or another just a little too much and find myself in a frenzy.

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For example, today I wasn’t able to fit in the 30 minute walk before work I had planned. Due to circumstances out of my control!  BUT instead of letting my emotions get the best of me I took the time to sneak a 10 minute walk in.  The old me would have made up some excuse to just skip it.  Even though I already know my lunch hour will be filled with me eating out and running errands.  No real workout then either.

Here’s the deal, I’ve changed my brain somewhat, my thinking.  I know for a fact that if I do not get movement into my day my blood sugar will be higher and I will feel bad physically.  The movement keeps me in check and helps both mentally and physically.

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I did buy a package of donuts before walking, it was an emotional buy, no doubt.  This was not a good move BUT once again I turned a negative into a “not so negative” situation.  I only ate half the package.  I had already ate low sugar oatmeal for breakfast.  That’s like 25 carbs alone, and the donuts (half) were about the same.  Yes 45 is my target but this was a meal with not really much healthy carbs in my books.

I took my blood sugar and it came back 151.  target range for after meals is 140.  Do you know why it’s not as high as I predicted?

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THE WALKING!  A little 10 minute walk can make such a difference and this is what keeps me coming back.

Finding the balance.  That’s what works for me.  That’s what I want to continue for the rest of my life.  Not a strict diet plan or exercise regiment, but a balance that suits my life while benefitting my health.

Movement.  I still try to walk about 45 minutes daily 5 out of 7 days. My goal is 10,000 steps per day so it’s been more like 6 or 7 days out of a week to reach it.  I have started biking with my daughter.  It’s taking some getting used to but last night I went 14 minutes.  That’s pretty good for the lady that could hardly do 7 minutes the first time.

Diet.  I still am not counting my carbs necessarily for my meals. I am looking at the plate to visual and plan what I need it to look like.  I have been eating more “non-healthy” snacks of recent.  I am noticing the way I am feeling and need to back off this habit. Grocery shopping for September is right around the corner so planning is crucial.

Support. Here is where it’s has been extremely helpful for me.  I have two gal pals T & N that stay in daily contact with me to help me.  I hope I am doing enough to support them as well.  It has really helped me.  I also am doing some challenges through Samsung Health app and my Garmin Connect app.

The other daily thing I started about 30 some days ago is posting on my personal Facebook page.  I use a photo from my walks and add words. I have placed them all in an album together.  I write different things depending on my mood.  And there are days where I just do not want to “talk” so I write 10,000.  (I put that at the end of each post too.)

Throughout the day in comments I add a photo, normally of my Garmin Vivofit 3 showing my steps status.  I figure in a year my Facebook “ON THIS DAY” this will remind me where I was and where I am wanting to be.  It’s another tool in my motivational box of goodies.

Also I hope I inspire someone else.

But honestly, its mostly for myself.

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A selfie on that 10 minute walk!

 

Until next time,

Stay moving,

Julie

 

A Day of Remembering & A Shot of Anxiety


I slept well last night. Maybe to prepare me for today. I don’t know but I liked it.

My anxiety is heightened.  I noticed it pretty quickly this morning.

The dog barking only once. Shrill ran up my neck.

The sudden awareness that my husband & child had left and I was alone in the house.

On the drive to work my struggle was real to contain my perspective.  Switching the songs more times than  needed on the radio.

Continuing to use my peripheral vision on the guy & his dog at the park.

Anxiety and depression are partners. They walk hand in hand.  When one stops the other can easily pickup where his pal left off.

That’s how it is for me at least.

Let’s go back to the car ride to work.

Country music reminds me of my Dad. It was on the radio.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of his death. Blocking the emotions from that day, 3 years ago is normally pretty simple for me.

But not today.

It’s not like I’m not functional. I am. I got out of bed, walked, went to work, and so forth.

There’s just this blah existence in me today.

It really hit me in the car. The point where tears were coming but I said NO! Not today, at least not right now.

It’s the recollection of my feelings from that evening that creates this emotional upheaval within me. Not necessarily that he is gone.  It’s the way it all went down. I really thought I had come to terms with this.

I came home to find flowers from my husband and youngest daughter and a piece of snail mail from a friend.  Life is sometimes really hard and filled with sadness and anxiety.  But the glimmer of hope is still there, it lies within the area around us.  It may not be in our view at the moment but it is  there.

It’s coming back into my view.  Tiny bit by tiny bit.  Perhaps tomorrow.  Yes, probably tomorrow.

Dad & I

Until then,

Julie

Cracks Within Series – #1


Sometimes when I imagine myself,  I see a person that has cracks throughout their body. The body is just flesh and bone but I’m talking about like a stain glass window of sorts. Or perhaps more like, the old china cup that has hair-line cracks throughout it but you can’t stop using it.  The thin cracks making it only more beautiful.

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Each crack within me was placed there from an experience.  The tiny cracks creating a brokenness in one shell of a human.  From the arguments on the playground to being picked last on a team as a child.  The teen emotions of being dumped by the guy I thought was my whole world or struggling to pass Algebra. Finding myself walking the high school halls practically full term pregnant.

The more substantial cracks stem from someone taking advantage of me as a child. The remnants of sleeping in a car overnight due to alcoholic situations at home. Not to forget to mention my experience of divorce, motherhood fails, and professional occupations.

Some of those cracks were brought on by other people’s actions and some my own.

Each one has its place within me and each one helped mold me into who I am today. Maybe the reason I am able to write is due to one of these or perhaps all of them.  I will never know.  I find that okay, I have always said “struggles build character.”

I’ve come to realize from the years 2013 through 2016 there became a crack in my being so substantial it made the largest of large indention.  A combination of things.  I was moved to a place of darkness, seeming to never return and changed forever who I am, almost ruining my marriage, my role as a mother in this world, and a few other things.

In the span of those three years I made choices and choices were made for me that scarred me for life.  I’m still reeling from them, especially since we find ourselves once again in the month of August. The difference is I am feeling better.  The difference is I survived.  I’m stronger and I’m still here writing about it.

Check back soon to get another edition of the Cracks Within series.

Julie

 

 

Writing on a Personal Level


I can only speak for myself but when I write, it’s personal.  Which means that my emotions are all wrapped up in the words I lay out on the screen.  That the time and effort I put into each post is a piece of me. Some people may not get that, but high-five to those that do!

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I’m not a person that needs to have 1000’s of followers or comments on my posts daily.  If that was the case, I’m 100% outta luck.  138 followers on this blog alone is all I have, in the blog world that’s probably an embarrassing number to share by the way.  Rarely does anyone actually comment on the posts, and if I don’t share on my personal Facebook or Instagram page there are times the views are a total of two.  (Thank you dear sister and husband, you rock!)

That’s how it goes.  That’s reality.

Each post is a personal journey in one individual’s life. My life.  As I’ve said before, writing helps me process.  I don’t write about every single hiccup or joy or smack in the face or delicious kiss I experience.  I write whatever flows from my fingertips and my heart.  Some posts are written in hopes to help others, process my experiences, just for fun, or to just share a song I really like! (love me a good song)

Some of my posts are more important to me than others.  They resolve conflict in my mind, comfort my heart, pull back the drama of reality, or help me say what I wish I would have when I could have to someone.

Some of my posts when I finish writing them (and reading them like 30 times before hitting publish) I truly feel “that was well written.”  A sense of pride fills my chest and  the emotions that go with accomplishing something feel awesome!  It doesn’t happen with every post.  It’s a rare gem in this blog writing woman’s life.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this.  This place, Pushing Forward with Grace and all it holds…. means a lot to me.  It has my heart.  I pour it out in hopes of feeling I’ve contributed something worthy not only my own life but others.

That my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will know me a little better than they would have otherwise.  Even if they end up saying (when I’m long gone) “that Grandma Julie was a emotional roller coaster, wasn’t she?”  

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I hope that others remember I am human and I have an emotional tie to this place. These words. The stories that fall from my fingertips.  That even though this place may not be important to them, it is to me.

There’s a whole lot of me wrapped up in here!

I am beyond grateful for the those of you that follow my blog, comment via social media, texts, email, or even right here on the blog.  Thank you for the days you lift me up.  Yesterday was one of them and some of you did just that.  God bless you!

Until next time,
Julie

 

 

 

P.S. It’s not always easy for me to click publish and share myself on the blog.  The reason is I see people weekly or daily that read it.  It scares the crap out of me that they will think I’m that crazy emotional roller coaster lady! 🙂

 

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #1


This post was held for publishing until I was over the six month mark of my health journey.  I had to feel mostly confident and positive progress before sharing.  In my life, too many times, I’ve started something only to feel I failed.  This time needed to be different and so far it is.  Six months was goal number one.

If you care to follow the series just subscribe to receive emails in the top left corner of this blog.

Those minor changes I mentioned in my 2017 word post began on January 3rd, but reality hit when I received the call about my A1C number in December. (Diabetes)  The reality of trying to fill my pain, grief, sadness, anger and lack of confidence  with food (and sedentary actions) has brought about a not so lovable thing.  Hold tight… more on that in a moment.

Those conversations I mentioned before in this post, well they were not life changing but they changed me enough to feel free.  It felt as though someone was finally listening to me and although in a quiet manner the results helped me take a baby step towards feeling less alone.  That tiny bit of support where I felt I could say out loud feelings I had felt ashamed of having , actually enabled me.

So now I will share with you in hopes that if you ever find yourself in a similar situation you know you aren’t alone.

But first a few things I need to get out.

  • I don’t completely understand why I was so affected by the death of my parents. Why it knocked me so far down.
    • It’s not like I was super close to either of them or saw them all the time. It’s not like I grew up in a cozy happy situation.
  • Okay, I do know one reason. It’s because  I’m out of time.
    • Out of time to ask those questions.  Ask the questions that make people uncomfortable and aren’t pretty.  The ones that could give me answers or explain why things happened to me.  Silence can be a killer in itself I think sometimes.
  • I loved them.
    • No matter what happened in life, I loved them.  They were the parents that created me. 
  • Why didn’t they take better care of themselves?
    • Who am I to talk, look where I am now.

That freeing I spoke of earlier, it came when I said out loud, to my spouse, the part about time running out to ask the questions. That was a turning point for me.

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This photo helped me move forward. Jan. 2017

All those words you just read were written a few month ago, but they still resonate with me.  They still bring forward to my mind that the path I am now on is one that is really important.  I’ve held off blogging about this part of my life for  fear of failure,  and afraid those that see me often will watch my plate each time I fill it. (like they have nothing else to do, right?)

I’m ready to share now.  Maybe it’s because I’ve met with my Diabetes Educator  a few times.   Actually,  it’s because I feel more in control then I have in a few years.  Whatever the reason I’m not going to force myself to journal but I will write when necessary about DOWN WITH THE D. In hopes that it will help others and yes even keep me on track for life.

Down with the D Series # 2 – 5 will be published soon.  Subscribe so you can read the next step in the series as at this moment I don’ t feel comfortable sharing on my personal social media pages.

Julie