Bringing it Down #15 – May Update


DOWN with the D (2)

It’s now May which means that I need to update this series. It really is hard to believe we are in sunshine days with spring storms popping up all over verses winter darker months.¬† I’m happy for the sunshine no doubt! Total mood enhancer! ūüôā

 

There have been some changes since January, I started a new job in the industry I used to work for many years in.  So that means adjustments to workout times, eating and some mental stress.

When April rolled around I found the 11,000 steps was putting more mental stress on me than I expected.¬† The feeling of failure was outweighing the motivation mindset, so I made a decision.¬† I decided to reduce my daily goal to 10,500 steps.¬† It has been quite helpful and there are several days in the month I have more like 11,000 plus or even 12,000 steps.¬† I am considering changing to a weekly total verses a daily goal.¬† I think this might be beneficial to me, but I will need to keep that rolling total in front of me. That is where my Garmin app will come in quite handy! ūüôā

Since January I have lost 3.6 pounds with no real change in inches.  I am under 200 which is what I really wanted to get to and remain away from it.  Although I am not far from that number I still feel proud of the loss in weight I have had.  As of today I have lost a total of 16 pounds since January 2017.

I started strong in January with workouts and logging my food, that is where I lost most of that weight loss.  Even though I may not have eaten the best or stayed in my carb range, it was still beneficial to me.  I can see that now that I have strayed from that routine.   I also learned that drinking lots of water, especially before I get my coffee in the morning is a huge benefit!

May goals

Most of that blog post was written before  May 6, 2018.  At which point I found myself with an injured foot that kept me from walking my normal routine and some depression setting in.  I am seeking care for my foot and my hip. I  have rested the foot for a week or more.  It is better but still not good enough to walk the way I was.  Honestly my eating sucked during this period, but I am trying now to rectify that.  My blood sugar numbers are still pretty good and my app says my AC1 should be in the range of 5.9.  I still struggle with the number I have after my evening meal.  There are other exercises I could be doing (strength training and bike riding) but I did not because the depression won out.  I am taking it one day at a time.

Julie May 11, 2018

I want to be sure to be honest here so I wanted to be sure to share that last paragraph.¬† Sometimes the bad wins out.¬† It’s whether we allow ourselves to stay there that is the real problem.¬† I’m working my way out on my terms.¬† But know that I am a strong woman and can get back on track!¬† I have very good reasons to.¬† A 10 year old daughter at home, adult children that still need me, and some pretty super grandkids to name a few!

As of today, my foot has improved even more which makes me happy!  Come June 1st I hope to be back at my working out as I like to be! I did jump on my bike a couple times this week! (May 21st)

Until next time!
Julie

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It Is All Connected


feet leg health

My body is failing me (again).¬† At least that’s how it feels.

See, I’ve injured my foot so walking for long periods or at a higher rate of intensity only injures it more. But if I rest/sit too long my bad hip will become quite painful.

It seems to me there’s a connection between things.¬† One thing depending on the other in some form or way.

I need to walk/exercise  to keep my mental state and diabetes  in control. Not to mention my hip from aching. But yet I have to sit to rest my foot, not to mention at the job I hold, I sit at a desk entering  data to provide  for my family financially.

My feet have to carry me in my daily journeys. One being to that job and one to workouts, all while carrying¬† a substantial¬† amount of weight. My poor feet, no wonder one gave out! ūüôā

One depending on another. One needing to partner with the other to be successful.   When one is not functioning, the others can lack in their abilities.

I’m a thinker, so my mind questions.¬† Where do I find the balance without feeling depleted¬† or that I’ve failed something? Where do I find the strength to continue putting forth¬† the effort without feeling overwhelmed? Where do I¬† find healing and support¬† in the midst of uncertainty?

It’s hard for me not to get angry¬† at my body, but in reality I spent many years not caring for it in the manner¬† that I should have. (I still don’t 100%.)¬† I didn’t do my part to create a balance for my well being.

I know it could be so much worse and I’m not writing this for empathy or accolades.¬† I’m just a gal processing through words and throwing it up on social media in hopes it will help someone else.

See, I can take all that I just wrote and although I’m¬† speaking¬† of my¬† health, I could apply it to other parts of my life as well.

Relationships. Religion. Occupations. Goals. Dreams. Food intake. Life choices.  You get the picture.

Ponder that for a moment with me.  Look at how we are connected to more than ONE thing.  Also how those connections are what creates a balance or lack of in our lives.

From the “always thinking writer with the bad left side,” I want to end with this.

If it is healing you need, may you find it.¬† If it’s a partner you seek, may you fall in line with a dependable one.¬† If it’s a new occupation or calorie counting app may it guide you to connections to continue forth.

Whatever connection you are needing, I hope you find it with little pain and much joy.

Julie

April 1, 2018 – No Joke


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Writtern on April 1, 2018¬† Easter and April Fool’s Day

When you feel no more can be withstood.

Many people are rejoicing today and pulling pranks on their friends.¬† The first I speak of are Christians for it’s Easter and Jesus has risen!¬† The second folk are enjoying April Fool’s Day.¬† Perhaps you are a combination of both.¬† For me today is a day of attending church service and an Easter supper with my children, I’m not much of a prankster.¬† Knowing my personality, if one did an xray my funny bone would be quite small.

For me today is a bout of less than stellar emotions. So much to rejoice about yet I can’t knock myself out of this funk.¬† I know what led me to the depressive emotions, but unable to write about it here or even if I did I know it would make no difference in reality.

Oh don’t worry, I won’t show the downer state at the church service or even at my family gathering.¬† The nice clothes for church and the smile will appear, even the Happy Easter acolade will slip from my mouth.¬† I will be happy for the others,¬† my children around my dinner table, and grandchildren finding Easter eggs will bring me joy.¬† Then all will go home, the dim state will creep back in, and I will have to figure out how to push through.

Because that is what I do.¬† I push through, my mother taught me that without even saying the words.¬† Her example was to bulldoze the challenge ahead of her and never let it win.¬† ¬†Eventually the body gave out and the challenge won.¬† It was probably for the best, she was tired I know, her fight was less than it was back in the day.¬† Is that how it will be for me?¬† Feeling like I am fighting for a life I want but can’t seem to quite grasp it?¬† Is this really all my own fault, self-inflicted?¬† I presume some will say yes, some will relate, and some will just scroll through to the next blog post that catches their eye.

I’m feeling tired already to be honest.¬† Everything seems to be a challenge and if I don’t reach the right level each day I then fall to the state of feeling that of a failure.¬† I suppose it’s the adjusting period, with the new schedule from the job, my workouts not being when they were, and change isn’t my real strong suit.

Oh there I go, I let you in on just a tad of what the reasons may be.  I always have been kind of an open book.  I mean, why else would I have a blog sharing words from my mind, heart, and soul.

Although of late I have seriously considered closing both blogs down.¬† Giving up on something I once loved to do to make room for something else in the schedule.¬† Why does everything have to feel¬† so hard to accomplish?¬† I don’t handle it as well as I used to ya know.

Does this blog post even intertwine and make sense?¬† Perhaps only in my mind. Basically it’s a moment in my life that I may not even recall six months from now.¬† I may not even give it a second thought next April 1st.¬† But in the reality of it all where to do I go from here?¬† What choices do I have before me that I can look at and not feel so overwhelmed?¬† Marking off my lists, conquering my challenge, stuffing the defeated self away until another cloudy day comes along.¬† That’s how it goes.

It’s April 11th and I am just now revisiting this post.¬† To be honest, I am very happy with my writing in this post.¬† I feel honest and that it is well written.¬† I had planned to revisit it sooner and share it.¬† But today is the day because there really isn’t much else to write about it except this.

The bouts of depression appear, they always do.  The stresses of life exist.  The joy filled moments take my breath away and the photographs I take remind me of happier times.  Reality exists and without any of this my life would be incomplete I presume.  

Julie

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

 

 

 

 

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

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #3


April 2017

Three months in and I stopped.  I basically let it drift away by casually having a morsel or two then the entire item in front of me.  Yes, the 80/20 rule works but not for someone that has no willpower, is depleted by stress, tired, and most importantly on this new life change only a couple months.  Feel a lack of support was a factor too.

Here I am on April 4th, no weight loss in March, and I have a blood sugar hangover. Yesterday started as a new start to get back together. ¬†It went very well most all the day and then at supper I failed. ¬†Sweet potato fries, a few would be okay but too many no way! ¬†Then the DQ ice cream cake from my daughter’s 9th birthday. ¬†Those two things with a combination of whatever else few carbs I had throughout the day made my blood sugar increase. ¬†Increase to the point of headache and me deciding to take the actual test. ¬†154. ¬†To some that may be a great number but to me that means WAY TOO HIGH. ¬†An hour and half later 166. ¬†It wasn’t showing any signs of backing down. ¬†So I headed to bed thinking “what the he** Julie? Why did you do this?” It’s been a few weeks like this now and although stress and lack of sleep are factors, YOU chose to eat wrong a lot of the time!”

I’ve started my day by eating protein and ¬†24 carbs, which I’m suppose to have 45. ¬†It’s hard for me to get up to 45 at breakfast without going over. ¬†I took an easy paced walk as the energy level and mindset is low. ¬†Almost time to take my next test and then a snack. ¬†15 carbs. ¬† And on and on and on.

April 26, 2017

Most days have been better but still not a stellar way. ¬† I am moving. ¬†That is essential in this life with diabetes. I’m serious. ¬†It helps so much even when I’m not actually walking or moving. ¬†The issue I have is this. ¬†When my blood sugar level is great, but ¬†I don’t eat 45 grams of carbs, then go for a walk, ¬†my blood sugar drops low. ¬†And going from low up to way high is the worst feeling to me! ¬† Balance. ¬†That really is the key. ¬†But since falling off in March I’m struggling with getting balance.

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Sleep. Sleep is just about as big a factor as moving. ¬†I didn’t realize it until I stopped taking my anti-depressants in early March. ¬†The one thing they did was knock me out overnight. ¬†I did sleep well while on them but for various reasons have discontinued taking them. ¬†For the most part I am doing okay off them except my “light sleeping” personality wakes too much in the night! ¬†Then the bladder issue hits and up I go to bathroom. ¬†SO, early bedtimes are essential and if a nap is needed I should do just that! Easier said than done on most days. ¬†BUT, I am going to take this one step at a time, tackle one thing at a time. ¬†If I don’t, I will fail.

So my focus is eating balanced. ¬†Then moving. ¬†Just keep moving. ¬†Just keep moving! ¬†Find some support somewhere too. ¬†It has helped me to document via Snapchat with my two daughters and best friend. ¬†I’m not sure they enjoy getting snaps of my walking logs but oh well. ¬†They are getting them! ūüôā

Until next time!

Julie

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #8


I realized yesterday morning that Down with the D could mean a couple things.   Diabetes or depression.  Both are in my life.

We traveled for our vacation to an area that enabled me to exercise daily, feel relaxed, and eat somewhat healthy.  We cooked most of our own meals.  I still got on the scale after returning and have decided I need a new scale.

View from the grass

I was motivated quite a bit before leaving for vacation and was determined to keep working towards my daily goals even while away from home.  I was successful and have been reaching my 10,000 step goal all but about one day a week.

Upon leaving beautiful Arkansas and heading towards one more stop before coming to rest at home I could feel anxiety entering my body. ¬†The anxiety led to feeling in a funk and Monday I have felt quite “off” all day. ¬†I do think some of it is from my blood sugars being consistantly on the lower side. ¬† I need to find that balance again, so I feel good most all the time.

Tuesday morning brought more clarity but I am still feeling anxious at some moments.  The walk I took this morning has brought me more than 5000 steps and clearer mind.  Support from a new person came my way and I am utilizing it.

The battle of diabetes is one I am focusing on but the depression still shows up to the party on occasion. ¬†It makes it’s prescense not necessarily by sad faces or tear. It carries the blame when snappy answers blurt from my mouth or the urge to scream erupts within me. ¬†The expression of depression doesn’t take one route. ¬†It is kind and spreads itself in many forms.

I have to admit it was probably a positive to get out with other people last night.  To listen to little kids singing and feeling a loof myself.  Perhaps that is what helped me to visit with my husband in a casual manner last night or  to awaken this morning so much easier.

Mother Daughter Hike

Coming off the high of being somewhere you truly enjoyed and  pulling this thing called life out of  time-out so to speak is hard.  Getting away can give one perspective on many levels and I think this trip did that for me.  The opportunity to realize, alittle more clearer, what I want out of this life I am living.

Until next time,

Julie

 

Holiday Season – 2016


Although I’ve struggled some this past December, it’s not as bad as the last couple years. ¬†I don’t feel significantly down due to missing my parents. ¬†I suppose the process of grief and missing someone moves to different levels. ¬†It never totally goes away, you just adapt. ¬†That thing called “seasonal” depression, it normally hits me too, but this year there’s just something different.

It’s not the grief or the more than cloudy days. ¬†It’s more of a state of being tired when even being presented with the simplest task. ¬†The loneliness of conquering it outweighs the multitude of benefits from just “pushing through”

I can think back over the past few weeks of moments of feeling goodness.

When my kids and their kids were at our home laughing around the table before Thanksgiving.

Receiving the photo of my husband and youngest daughter on the chair lift or her standing with skis on waiting to go down the mountain.

The longer conversations with the eldest now that she’s found some contentment with her new role.

Seeing big brown eyes, an infectious smile, and hearing “Grandma Julie” only the way E. can say it.

Witnessing P’s first piano recital and thinking how glad I am she’s not petrified to perform.

The growing belly  and texts from the pregnant momma I call daughter number two.

The glow of Christmas lights and the “perfect” leaning tree we have this year with Pandora and Michael Buble playing in the background.

These are just a few of the nuggets that have made me smile in past weeks.  I look forward to Christmas Eve more than any other day this holiday season.  Because all my children and grandchildren will be at our home, attending church, and opening gifts by that leaning tree.

The gifts they give me will be nice I’m sure but the best gift is them spending time with me. (Oh, and if they would clean up after we eat and open gifts that’d be awesome too!)

May you find joy in the holiday season and hold on if you just can’t seem too!

Julie

The Gal That Danced in the Kitchen


“Mom, you don’t dance in the kitchen any more.”

My youngest daughter said those words to me recently.

Her words were profound.

She’s right. ¬†I don’t. ¬†Hearing these words brought a sense of sadness over me. ¬†Which were followed by feelings of being overwhelmed and out of kilter. ¬†How did I get to this place?

I’ve swerved in and out of this journey with a dark cloud that continues to hover over me. From my best estimates, this cloud was teeny-tiny about 3 years ago. ¬†Just a newborn and then quickly began to grow.

With each moment of anxiety, nervousness, and feeling as though I was failing, that small cloud turned into a massive one with the death of my two parents. There were moments of sunshine that blocked the darkness temporarily but as the days passed by the darkness began to win out.

Now three years later I am in the midst of something I know needs changed.  I awake daily feeling either frustrated, over whelmed or sad.  I look in the mirror and am unsure of who I am. Not to mention I  faintly remember that gal that danced in the kitchen.

So many factors go into this equation that has brought me to this point in my life. ¬†I’m approaching my 46th birthday and know there are decisions to be made. ¬†Life changes and willpower are needed; yet I’m struggling to find a starting point.

It’s there. ¬†I know it is. ¬†Deep down inside this dark clouded mind and sedentary body it sleeps. ¬†The one thing that will bring me back to the gal that dances in the kitchen and smiles more often.

Julie

Brightness


Today is a good day for me. ¬†I feel like most of the time when I write here I find myself writing when the darkness has once again come to the forefront of my life. ¬†Well today it’s pretty bright in my world! ūüôā ¬†Just yesterday was a so-s0 day, but I’m calling it good too!

Today while checking out my Facebook newsfeed, I clicked on the Katie Luther link. ¬†I took the time to read the blog post and I’m glad I did. ¬†It made me remember what difference it made for me when I did the Love Your Spouse challenge. (You might want to read my post before moving on). ¬†¬†I like the writer’s view about marriage and I can see the view of the one that she speaks about of course.

In dealing with my depression and losses in my life I don’t feel that keeping them completely out of the world’s sight is a good thing. ¬†I know there are others struggling as well, it help them or me to share. ¬†Yet part of me feels the shame of not being okay…yet. ¬†It’s an ongoing struggle for now folks but let’s remember! ¬†It’s a bright day for me today!

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Sunrise September 6, 2016

The past two years have been incredibly hard for not only me, but for my husband.  We still struggle with the things that were hard in the first few years of marriage. There are new issues which could include grief or financial or family struggles.  There are things that are coming from both our childhoods that make their appearance and neither one of us can figure out how to deal with them or react to the other spouse.  We have accomplished a great deal of things in our marriage as well.

Sharing isn’t horrible by any means. ¬† Holding onto the issue, struggle, grief, etc forever and ever is. ¬†I know several people, in my own family even, that can let go of the past easier than I. ¬†Sometimes I feel they are the lucky ones. ¬†But then I try to remember how far I have come already. ¬†How the difficult path I’ve been on has brought about who I am. ¬†That I have already beat a lot of demons that quietly reside within me. ¬†I can feel proud of that.

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Julie September 6, 2016  Photo was taken for other blog to show how tall the irrigated corn is! 

The darkness comes and goes. ¬†But today I’m celebrating taking my life back and soaking in the brightness of this life given to me.

Back to the love your spouse challenge thing, I participated in that challenge at one of my marriage’s lowest points. ¬†It’s okay. ¬†It helped, because I had to work really hard to remember what I appreciate about my spouse during a hard time. ¬†I didn’t lie. ¬†I meant every word I wrote on my Facebook newsfeed those seven days. ¬†So. ¬†Thank you my friend that challenged me it was a spot in the process of life! ¬†It helped me and my spouse.

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My husband and I.

By the way, my spouse and I actually have several photos of just us but I realized in the past couple years we have taken less. ¬†Probably because I haven’t felt good about me and many other things. ¬†Perhaps I need to take a spouse selfie today! ūüôā

Feel the brightness friends! ¬†Don’t worry about when it’s going to go dim again! ¬†Just feel the brightness!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

*My view is that the difficult moments in a person’s life do several things. But I’ve always said, “it builds character and strength.”