Thursday, April 25, 2013

Driving...thinking...not thinking right...

Day 8

The drive yesterday was wonderful - 11 hours long but lovely weather, hardly any traffic - it felt like I was the only person in the world and for me, who lives with a large family (including one who rages hourly and one sporadic rager) the feeling of being alone was wonderful. Normally when I travel I am on a plane surrounded by people and their busy-ness. I can't recall the last time I spent 11 hours on my own - I can't even recall the last time I spent one hour on my own.

So, being on my own meant I had to plan my thinking. I know that sounds weird, but without some planning I am bound to ruminate - and that leads to a cortisol overload which leads to increased belly fat (as if I could squeeze more into my body - nope, don't think so!). One of my thinking plans involved creating the topics and general direction of my soon to be Hazardous Parenting Blog Talk Radio show. Well, that didn't go so well - my mind kept running from that topic like a teen from a chore list. I just can't seem to get a mental grip on this one - if you have any ideas or suggestions of what you would like to hear on this, or how you would like to participate, don't hesitate to drop me a line Clearly I need some help.

Eating on this trip wasn't easy or positive. I mostly just bought food from service stations because I didn't see a restaurant worth stopping for. That meant I bought those plastic containers of fruits and vegetables which weren't too bad, but it also meant items that the rest of my food was too carb heavy and too light on protein. Why does every bought sandwich have to have ham in it? Ever since I found out that pigs can learn to dance - well, that is  way toooooo sentient for me - and that means I won't eat anything that came from a piggy (I picture them in tutu's - dancing their little hearts out till the axe falls...ugggg). So my food choices excluded the wrapped sandwiches and that left mostly muffins  =  carbs, sugar, fat, and calories.

I'm not going to beat myself up over this because one day won't wreck my life and now I've learned to buy a cooler and fill it ahead of time for any future driving trips. I'm happy, too, that I was aware of what I was buying and even if my choices were limited and not so good, I was able to ensure that I had the fruit and vegetables.

Today I've done well. I'm trying to be aware of my food choices without being obsessed. Not something I've achieved in the past but here's hoping for success now.

Okay - off to work. Remember, you are always entitled to a better day.
Don't forget to check out the Hazardous Parenting facebook page for tips on how to thrive despite the stress in your life. 

And, if you have time, have a look at the Hazardous Parenting web site for more info on self care for parents.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Driving, ruminating, and Elton John...

Day 6

In the past, my attempts at health have often been overwhelmed by travelling. I don't do a lot of that anymore - thank goodness for webinars and other things that mean I can still do presentations but I don't have to leave home. I would get into a good eating pattern but then one airport after another, one plane meal after another, one hotel meal after another, and I would be back to too many carbs and too much fat, too much sitting and not documenting the calories.

Anyway, tomorrow I leave home at 5 a.m. for a trip - driving for eleven hours followed by hotel life for a couple of days, then another eleven hour drive home. So, this time, I'm planning ahead. I know some of the problems will be that I will be travelling through small towns where it's hard to get a healthy meal (truly - have you ever seen the salads they tend to serve at the only diner in a teeny tiny town?). I suppose I could pack a cooler ahead of time, and I will next time but didn't think of it till now so no cooler, no time to get one.

The other problem is that there is no way to get exercise or activity. Jogging in place beside the car doesn't work for me. In fact jogging anywhere in the world doesn't work for me. I'm going to a very small town and I checked out the hotel and it doesn't have an exercise room, as if I could, at my weight and age, do any exercising after all those hours in the car. I'll be lucky if I can still walk.

I do, however, intend to some positive things while driving. I will tap (check out eft tapping if that isn't familiar to you) about letting go of stress and that will help with the weight. I will pray about my stress and just about everything else in my life that needs praying about, and I will eat the best I can and will document it all in Spark People so that I don't get out of what is beginning to be a good habit. I will also wiggle a bit more in my car seat because every movement helps, and I'll do my best not to ruminate and add to my cortisol load.

I don't know about you (obviously) but I do indeed tend to ruminate while driving - and that is such a deadly thing to do. Not only does it raise the cortisol level, but its all about focusing on the negative and has nothing to do with problem solving, or with creative thinking, or with anything at all that's healthy. Well, when I find myself ruminating I'll tap for a bit then I'll crank up the Elton John cd's and that will be bring me back to a positive mental state - or at least as near to one as I ever get.

How do you manage healthy eating when you're travelling? Love some suggestions.

So friends, have your best day possible today.
Chat later...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fat magnet...

Day 5

I've been reading a lot of weight loss success stories lately. I was hoping it would help motivate me because it seems that looking awful and having health problems isn't adequate. Anyway, the thing that bugs me about these is that so many of the successful weight loss people talk about how, once the motivation clicked in, or, they found the right eating plan, or, they resolved their childhood issues, or....fill in the blank.... the weight just dropped off.

Really?! Well, the fat has never just dropped off of me no matter what I've done. I'm sure that I have some kind of fat magnet in my body that attracts weight from afar. I can picture the magnet pulling fat toward me .... it's dragged across arid deserts, up craggy mountains, and it must navigate the tides to reach me. 

Okay, so you can tell I'm moving toward the end of my first week. Five days of dieting and I'm not totally thin!!!!  We had yet another birthday party yesterday for one of my adult children - we still do the birthday parties for most of our kids - those who are grown and those still growing. We have the biggest house so it holds the most people and I think they all just assume that mom will do the party. I'm fine with that - we endured some harsh years with some of the now grown adults and knowing they want to hang out at my house and spend a special day with their sibs and families is a total reward. No complaining on my part - but it does mean week after week of very festive menus, lots of cooking, and of course, lots of snackable appetizers as well as cake and ice cream.

I easily  avoid the high calories foods, the cake and ice cream aren't what made me fat. It was my lack of stress management combined with my perceived inability to take care of myself.

#13363 Old Woman Cooking With An Antique Stove Clipart by DJArtSo, as I cleaned and cooked and cleaned and cooked on the weekend, I paid a bit of attention to my eating, and I paid a lot of attention to my activity level. I made sure I moved more than usual - stood when I could have sat, danced around when I could have walked like a normal person, and just generally kept my body in a "go" status the whole two days.

When things got stressful with my not-so-littles (these guys can rage like nothing I've ever seen before), I made sure my breathing was good so that the oxygen had a chance to dissipate the cortisol; and, I made sure I had 7 hours of sleep last night to keep that cortisol in balance.

Okay - the weight isn't falling off me - I guess at day 5 there isn't going to be a miracle, is there. However, I feel good, I feel happy with myself, and I think the neurons in my hippocampus are doing the happy dance.

I hope you are taking care of your stress.
Don't forget, I put a tip a day for stress management on my Hazardous Parenting facebook page. I hope you can use some of those.

Chat later....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bathing suit saga...

Day 3

I've been swimming all my life - not just since I decided to get serious about my health. So, I was swimming the other day and when I got out of the pool I realized my bathing suit had worn to the point that it was virtually see through in places. I wonder if that's why there is hardly ever anyone in the pool when I am there. Do you think I scared them off? I have to admit that getting a glimpse of me through the suit could alarm the faint of heart.

So, as you know from yesterday's post, I ordered one online and that was a disaster. I then went shopping and that was a also a disaster. What is it with bathing suit makers? Don't they think that being fat is enough? Do they really think that fat women want to look as ugly as possible? I mean really - every bathing suit I find is black with either some barf green or some eggplant purple pattern. It's not as if wearing black is going to prevent people from noticing me. A new trend this year seems to be that all the fat lady bathing suits have these weird little skirts attached, kind of like bathing suits from the early part of the last century. Oh really - is that supposed to protect the public from the site of my abundant thighs? Don't think so.

Anyway, I'll have to forgot swimming for a couple of weeks because family stuff and work deny me the time to do more shopping.

Again, I had a good calorie count yesterday. I use Spark Peopleto chart my intake and my activity level. If I don't record everything I eat then I tend to nibble a bit here and a bit there and by bedtime it adds up way toooo high.

Yup, things are going okay but it's early days in this process. I'd love to hear how and what you are doing.

Remember - you are entitled to a better day.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Raging, cortisol, and just another day in the life...

I'm writing this with two of my ragers yelling their substantial sets of lungs out at me (one is wearing the shirt of the other and both want me to punish/kill the other).  Over the years I've become highly skilled at just getting on with the day as they scream around me. Too bad that isn't a skill that is useful anywhere else in my life!

 It also makes me so highly aware of how hard it is for me to lose weight because ( warning - if you get bored by explanations then skip this part) my cortisol levels rise when  the screaming starts, its an automatic physiological response. Here's how it works -when the body/brain is under chronic stress it produces an abnormally high amount of cortisol - more than it can process. And, the process is disrupted so that instead of having more cortisol in the morning when it's supposed to be there for energy, you have more at night; and, this slows the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. Cortisol does a couple of other things too. It helps the body release insulin which can lead to an appetite increase; and, it increases blood sugar so even when the stressor has stopped, the excess glucose that was produced gets stored as fat and, worse yet, it tends to get stored as abdominal fat. 

I'm sure I gained ten pounds from the screaming this morning!

In case you're wondering, I'm not making excuses for my fatness, I just like to understand how it all goes together so I can plan the best way back to health  - this is my life and I have to adjust my stress management to my benefit- to my survival.

I did fine with eating yesterday - low calories count and nothing unhealthy.It was easy to do, the first day of any health plan is always easy. I didn't get any exercise though. The first time I went to the gym to swim I found they had changed the schedule so the pool was being used for a seniors aqua fit - I was so grateful they wouldn't let me in!!!! Then I went back later and discovered that the new bathing suit I bought online was definitely made on Mars by teeny tiny little Martians because while the size on the label was the right number, I couldn't even squeeze it up past my butt.

I know I can do 20 other things for my daily activity, but I only like swimming and if I start to force myself into activities I hate, well, we all know where that ends.

So, off to my second day of health.

What are you doing for exercise? Do you have an eating plan you want to share? Love to hear from you. I need all the support I can get.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Welcome...let's begin...

Those of us who are parenting children with extreme behavioural challenges often overlook ourselves. We are great at taking care of our children and our families, but we aren't so great at remembering that we need help and support to manage the often overwhelming stress that is a part of our reality.

For me, I've fooled myself into thinking I was managing my stress for years.  I'm not quite sure how I did that - all I had to do was look in the mirror to see the continuous weight gain to know that I wasn't managing my stress in some pretty significant ways.  Ah well, denial is such a lovely place to live - but truly, the cost has been too much! Now, I'm obese and unhealthy - and it's time to change that.

It's always hard to know what's going to kick start the energy to get serious about linking stress and weight. For me, it's partially the joy of having my estranged son return to our lives ( let me tell you - that was a spiritual, emotional, and physical energy boost!). It's also just finally getting to a point of being tired of carrying this fat around with me everywhere I go - truly - it just won't leave me. And, it's accepting that as someone who helps others manage stress - maybe I need to be a better role model - there is, after all, some real responsibility to my clients and my friends and my readers and maybe to the universe - to walk my talk. I do so in all other aspects of my life - so best to get on with it here.

I know there are many other hefty Hazardous Parents out there! I hope you will join me on this journey. I won't be dealing with this project by detailing the pounds gained or kept or lost - I'll be doing it by talking about the exercise and healthy eating I'm (hopefully) doing. I"ve included Daniel Siegel's Healthy Mind Platter here for you to see my goals. I don't know how to include all of this in each day - in fact, I know I can't - but I can try to get most of it on most days.

I'm going to be adding Youtubes to document my journey and I'll include some of it in my new BlogTalk Radio show that is starting soon. Undertaking this venture in such a public venue is a bit of an emotional risk - but so are most aspects of Hazardous Parenting - so - on I go.

I hope you will join me in this. If you have your own story to add - please do - I'm happy to post the struggles and successes of others. I will also welcome your comments and suggestions.

So friends, here we go -  and let's all remember - we're entitled to a better day!