Friday, December 28, 2012

Positivity for the New Year

Dear Readers,

I hope your Christmas was wonderful, despite the inevitable fatigue and aches so many of us deal with.  I am learning to separate the good from the bad:  maybe, it is simply a more philosophical approach to dealing with pain and fatigue.  I know it is going to slow me down and keep me from doing some things, but it doesn't control my life.  However, it does slow me down, and that is not always a bad thing.  

Now that I have to slow down, I don't have to worry about things being perfect, which never worked that well for me anyhow.  My family still knows that I love them and that I do the best I can.  They also are incredibly helpful.  God bless you all, and as the new year approaches may you find ways not only to endure, but to enjoy your life.
Image Courtesy of [Idea go] /

One of the things I want to continue is my mission to declutter my house; because it less stressful to have less stuff.  It seems that for years most people were on a mission to get more things, but I think many people are realizing it is easier to live a simple life.  However, that seems nearly impossible.  We really do live in an information age, and I think that makes life more complicated if we don't control how much comes into our lives.  So I suppose I am talking about control of items or things, as well as control of how much "world noise"  I allow in my life.  I am not talking about hiding or being a hermit, but to be healthier, we need to seek the positive not just look at the negative.  One of the nice things about Christmas is I think the news stations actually look for some positive news.

Many blessings to all you precious people.  God loves you and so do I.  Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Getting Ready for an Week-long Guest & the House Wasn't All Unpacked from Moving

The perfect plan in unpacking and moving means you do it as you move in;  you have gone through everything before you move;  and you are able to unpack a little everyday, while keeping up the settled areas of the house and other necessary daily chores.  However, as hard as I have worked, the reality is I had to push hard to get the guest room company ready.  I have had multiple roadblocks in the last year.  In fact this time last year, I was in the hospital;  because I had just had hip and joint surgery.  

I will take some pictures of some of the work I have done, and please understand -- I do not considered this the finished product.  It is only the beginning the amateur decorator says.    I will have fun  tweaking, fixing, painting, hanging pictures, and getting rid of more clutter through the new year.  I may even begin posting my discards on Facebook.  Maybe , you could join me. 

I got to the point last night and today that some boxes were going to have to go behind a folding screen.  I could not do anymore.  And hubby could not help, because he had a concert and had to pick up his mother.  Right about know, a massage therapist would be the perfect before Christmas present.  I forgot how many places could hurt in my body.  Right now, I think most of them are quite active. Big OUCH!!

I think I have had enough quiet time to go to bed.  My body would appreciate the sleep.  Merry Christmas!  And may you have the energy you need for your activities.  God bless you.

D. Bolton

Friday, December 14, 2012

Decorating, Resting, Weight, and Shopping in One Post

Christmas Tree Decorating in Progress
Learning to Balance Life Changes
How is your energy meter?  I hope it is on, so you are able to enjoy the holidays, get something done, and rest at the same time.  We are not quite done with our tree; but then again, ornaments tend to move around as long as it's up.  There is always another angle or better place for the ornaments, especially when your labrador retriever knocks off an ornament with her tail.  Last year we didn't put up a Christmas tree, because I had surgery;  and I knew I was not going to be able to take it down after the surgery.  Furthermore, my Fibro-brain was not working well enough to think of a way to rearrange the furniture to fit in our tree.  Don't you love it when your brain is working better, so you can do the things you have been wanting to do?

Quite honestly, I am not sure where to go with today's blog post.  I am probably like most of you, trying to keep my head above water, and not get a flare-up.  Speaking of flare-ups, last week I got a cortisone shot in my right knee and it feels so much better, but I am seriously thinking of asking for one in my left knee.  Arthritis in both knees is not fun.  Actually, arthritis anywhere is not good, but such is life;  moreover, I put some serious wear and tear on my knees when I was younger.  I am thankful for the good years they gave me.

Some of you may be wondering how the green coffee extract is working for me.  So far, I do not feel any caffeine effects, which goes along with the research I did on what other people had said about GCE.  I am still keeping my food journal, also I include the time I take medicine and supplements, as well as what they are.  Now, for the good part -- I have lost four pounds!  Woohoo!  That takes me back to where I was before Thanksgiving, and I have been able to go to dinners and parties -- two of them.  However, I know of times this has been my undoing, so I am a happy lady.  By the way, moderate low-carb is keeping my blood sugar at an even keel.  That's a good thing too.

So goes the 2012 Christmas Season for me so far.  Most of the presents are ready to be wrapped, and I plan to start that soon -- one or two a day.  God bless you all at this wonderful time of year.  I pray for you to enjoy the blessings and good memories of past Christmases as well.

Also, check out what I have to say on my right sidebar about one of my favorite online shopping places who I happen to be an affiliate with.  I will give you a hint -- think of strong, tall woman, who is a warrior.  And aren't we warriors too, guys and gals?  We are fighting fibromyalgia and other chronic diseases, as well as finding ways to live our lives happily and more fully.  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Weekend - Monday Potpourri

So how are things going with you?  Well, I hope.  Are you pacing yourself and resting without guilt?  That is important, because the guilt negates the resting--it leaves the body in a chemically ready to go state, at least that is what I think.  When you rest, you need to turn the mind off from the I need to do this and this needs to happen state.  It's a matter of self-preservation.

I'm in semi-rest mode after a mega weekend.  Our sweet 17 year old kitty died, I sang a solo Sunday morning, made Christmas cookies, worked in the yard, and sang in our Christmas musical all in one weekend.  And we had a fellowship after church Sunday night.  That was absolutely Mega-Weekend for me.  And I am still feeling badly about our cat, but she was sick and it was her time to go.  I am so glad she didn't suffer a long time.  I had almost decided not to put up our big Christmas tree, but in honor of our sweet kitty, who loved to lie under the tree, it is going up tonight.  Last night, my husband and I rearranged the living room, which is not an easy job in our very oddly shaped room.

Please ignore the spastic looking hand.
A model, I am not.
What counts is we were having fun!
The other part of this potpourri of things going on is a revelation I had yesterday afternoon.  So many people tend to save their pretty clothes for "going out", including me.  But yesterday, I wore black leggings, which looked absolutely smashing with a long decorated sweatshirt;  however, I got hot because I was working.  So I put on makeup, pretty ear rings, and a "hot" tunic top.  When my husband got home, I surprised him--he wasn't expecting dressy looking Debby.  Moving furniture was so much fun last night:  I think I ended up more tired, because we were dancing to the Christmas music -- absolutely worth it.

How can I dance with a bum knee?  It is called I got a cortisone shot in my right knee last week and now it feels good.  Oh, why did I wait so long?  Two months of bad pain is over.

Lastly, here is an easy cookie recipe:  Press one 16.5 ounce chocolate chip cookie roll in a greased 9 X 13 pan.  Beat 3 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 9 oz. cream cheese together.  Pour over cookie dough.  Break another 16.5 oz. roll of cookie dough into small pieces and place on top of cream cheese mixture.  Bake at 350 degree f.  for 30 minutes.  After cooling, store in refrigerator.  Yummy.  And easy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Losing Weight -- A Gradual Process

Argh!  I weighed more this morning, two pounds more.  I can think of nothing I have done to weigh more, but I know my journal will be my ally in figuring it out.  One thing I can see is I have not been having as many vegetable snacks.  One of my favorite vegetable snacks is baby carrots and celery sticks dipped in hummus.  Also, I have not been eating as much coconut oil.  Coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, cocoa, and splenda made a wonderful substitute for the taste of chocolate with sugar in it.  Also, I didn't have cravings and my appetite went down.  My appetite is still at a good level.  I don't eat all the time, never have;  however, I am definitely sensitive to carbohydrates.  I guess it's time to pull out the journal from August through October, and see what I am doing differently.  

Bring up the subject of weight is a touchy subject for many of us.  I use to be quite slim, but I was rarely satisfied with my slimness.  It seemed to be a constant battle to stay there.   Sometime during my illness, I got tired of fighting the battle.  It seemed like nothing made a difference, but I know I was weary and battle worn.  Trying to lose weight caused too much of an emotional reaction in me:  it was just one more thing to deal with.  The best reason I can think of now to lose weight is to improve my health.  My knees are suffering and I have borderline diabetes, so I have to watch what I eat.  For the last two years, I have made very gradual changes in my diet to the point that I no longer feel deprived.  One of the main things I do is pay attention to my hunger and fullness.  When I am satisfied, I quit eating.  There are many times I have put leftovers from my plate in a container for later.  

However, the thing I do not do anymore is make a list of "Nevers."  These would be the foods that the diet gurus say never to eat.  I did not feel at all deprived during the fall of this year.  I even had the occasional hamburger and french fries.  I only had to make a few changes, because I already eat a healthy diet.  One change was keeping cookies and ice cream out of the house.   I did buy the low carb bars for treats, but they  are not something I always want to have around.  Another thing I did was I took primrose oil in addition to my supplements.  I also found myself giving up "treats" without disappointment, because I had  alternatives or  I didn't want to become addicted to sugar again.  One of the things I really love is that I have actually forgotten there was leftover ice cream in the freezer.  So I am seeing behavior changes, all done gradually.  

That's the other thing:  I have not been very good about taking all my supplements for the last three weeks.  Could it be my body works better when I take the supplements?  Do you ever get tired of loading up the medicine containers and taking the supplements?  I do.  I wish I didn't have to take any, but it is medicine and supplements that helped heal my body to the point I could function again.  So today, I will take the time to line them up and get myself back on the path I need to be on.

One more thing:  I mentioned I had a new secret weapon to add to my weight-loss efforts.  Usually, I avoid anything that promises to help one lose weight, but I saw Dr. Oz's name next to something I have never heard of and I knew to go to his website, because he does not endorse for money or sell supplements.   In fact, he warns against buying something that has his name beside it, because people use his name without his permission.  What I did was check this out and I am not going to explain it all to you, because Dr. Oz's web site does it so much better.  He did an experiment with a carefully selected section of his audience, using placebos and green coffee extract to see if green coffee extract helps people lose weight.  The important thing to note is there were positive results, but it is not recommended as something to take for months on end.  Also, it is important to note that some green coffee extracts have fillers he does not recommend.  I am doing this as an experiment to see if it helps me this month, but I do not endorse or recommend this to anyone else. I just figured that I already drink coffee, so it would not hurt me.  I am merely telling you what I am doing, not suggesting you try it.  I don't even know if it is going to be helpful.  In fact, I took it yesterday and weighed more this morning.  So please take this as my disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional, nor a dietitian.  If you want to lose weight, you should contact your doctor  and always inform him/her of any supplements you are taking.  Some supplements may interact with your medications.  It is good to err on the side of caution.  Lastly, if you are interested in the green coffee bean extract, I suggest you watch all of Dr. Oz's videos on the subject.  Also, read the other information about green coffee extract on his website.  I just went back to read the information today, and I decided to follow the directions I saw there -- not the directions on the container of green coffee extract I bought.  Again, I repeat, this is merely a report, not an endorsement.  You should contact your medical professional before beginning a weight-loss program or taking over the counter supplements.   

One more thing, I promise not to bore you with the details of my progress every blog post.  However, I will let you know how things are going -- negatively or positively;  although, I have to let you know I am aiming for Positive Results.   As far as weight goals go -- I have none.  Most of my life has been filled with unrealistic or realistic weight goals.  I am aiming for healthy lifestyle changes:  as many as I can make in my physical condition.  
To simplify, I will list them and that will conclude this post.

Learning to Balance Life Changes

P.S.  As I was writing out my lifestyle changes, I remembered what I have been doing differently, which could have tipped my carbohydrates over the amount I can have and lose weight.  I have been drinking cherry juice to bring down the inflammation in my knee.  Since I don't count carbs or calories, this may have made me gain a few pounds.  So, I will either have to stop drinking the juice or count the carbs.  I could also look for fresh cherries, but I doubt I will find them this time of year.  I also went about two or three weeks without journaling my food, which I should have mentioned on my list of lifestyle changes.  Writing down what I eat makes a difference for me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Losing Weight in December

You see the title of my blog post, and you may think, "Has she lost her mind?  Why on earth is she talking about losing weight in December?"  

Here I am wearing one of the pairs of pants
I could not zip.  They are not even tight.
Learning to Balance Life Changes
My mind is all here, all clear -- no brain fog.  Yes, I am trying to lose weight in December.  I have been on a moderate low-carbohydrate eating plan since the middle of last August.  I lost four pounds and kept it off until Thanksgiving, but that did not do too much damage.  I have had my moments of going up, because I ate salty nuts and I did go up a three or four pounds at Thanksgiving;  however, I got it right off.  I think most of that must have been water weight, because I could still wear my clothes that used to be too tight to zip.

I started keeping a food journal months before I committed to the moderate low carb way, and I know that helped me lose 2 to 4 pounds.  I wasn't tracking my weight then, so I'm not sure.  What I can tell you is that I am down a dress size, down a shirt size and I can zip pants that had a two inch gap last spring.  Yipee!

Some of my down falls are Halloween candy -- it calls out to me, even though it's not my favorite, and last August, the doughnut shop near my kids was calling too.  My kids are so nice:  they went out and bought some.  I limited myself to two doughnuts;  but when I got home, I craved more sugar.  

So back to why I would consider losing weight in December -- I have knees that are crying out for less weight on them.  I have beautiful Christmas tops I would like to wear this year.  I think four or five pounds less might get me nearer to my goal of wearing those blouses, might even get me there.  And I do not want to gain weight in December.  I want to keep my ultimate goal in sight, not feel like I'm starting over again in January.

I bought the book How I Gave Up My Low-Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds by Dana Carpender, and I take a look at it when I feel the need for a boost.  However, I am not on a particular diet.  I eat when I am hungry and I write it in my journal.  I am not looking for fast weight loss, because it usually doesn't stay off;  moreover, I do not lose weight fast anymore.  If I could exercise more that would help, but I am not doing anything that is going to make my body hurt worse.  I am all for moderate exercise.  And I have a new secret weapon I hope may help me this month.
Tomorrow, I plan to reveal it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The First Christmas Supper 2012

Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Tonight is the night of the first Christmas Supper of 2012 for me.  I don't go out much anymore, so I look forward to it, but I also feel a bit of anxiety.  When my husband came home for lunch, I asked him teasingly, "Should I go for beautiful or sick tonight."  Those of you who have Fibromyalgia or/and CFIDS probably know what I was feeling when I said that.  I was thinking about those people who know church services I have missed, etc., and when they see me, I don't look sick.  And I have to say that I don't really want to look sick.  I just get frustrated when I know there are people that probably don't believe it.  I admit -- I am still afraid of being judged.  By the way, I still vote for looking the best I can look.

As much as I know about my illness, there are times I get so frustrated with myself -- I still have moments I have to let putting out energy remind me that life in the Chronic Fatigue Immune Defiency Syndrome realm is never going to be normal, unless a miracle occurs.  I wish someone would tell me why I still feel guilty about something I can't help.  I don't carry that guilt around every moment, but it hits sometimes.

There are things I could probably do if I could afford to have people to do some of the things I have to do at home.  However, I have to make a choice;  and the basic things of life need to be done.  My husband is getting older too.  When I can cook supper, wash clothes, or clean the areas in the house that need to be cleaned, I am helping him.  That is the way I can support his ministry in our church, which still makes it our ministry because I am his helpmate.  I want to sing in the choir, go to every service, play piano, sing solos and do all the things I used to do.  Sometimes, I am so sad I cannot do this, but someday I will be praising my God in Heaven with more energy than I ever had.  I will be able to dance on my toes for Him and leap in the air, and sing too.  So I praise God with all my heart that He just put this picture in my mind to share.

For all you out there that have any chronic illness:  Merry Christmas!  We do not need to fear or grieve, but praise God that in the name of Jesus, we will one day be whole.

P.S.  I won't be writing as much during the Christmas Season, but I always try to remember to post it.  I will also check into a place for you to subscribe.