Friday, August 15, 2014

The Unfinished Puzzle

First and foremost to get it out of the way... no soda.  Still on track.

Second, I had my first grief therapy appointment following my father's passing yesterday and it is clear that this is going to be a full, whole body and mind integration.  What stands out to me is how I described myself vs. how my therapist described myself.  

I described myself as a 1000-piece puzzle that never seems to get finished.  Sure there's a corner here and a piece there that's put together but the picture is never fully finished because you keep putting it back in the box to work on later.  The way he described me was very much a trailblazing free spirit who wants to have that stable "rock" of an existence but not lose the other side of me at the same time.  

I cried.  I cried a lot.  I am sure I will cry some more.  

This truly was a good decision on my part and I look forward to continuing this journey.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Thoughts and more

30 Day Challenge is chugging along well. This is officially Day 12 and to be honest, I am pretty sure I am going to be able to pull this off.  My energy is WAY up and I am not dragging first thing in the morning either.  And, if we want to believe that just dropping soda will help you lose weight, I have a pair of size 36 jeans I JUST RECEIVED that are baggy on me!

My blood sugars continue to drop and drop and drop and drop...When I first started going to my doc my numbers were 294.  Today I clocked in at 129.  That folks is PROGRESS...

Finally, I am really sad and glad at the same time that Robin Williams' suicide has brought the topic of depression and mental health into the forefront.  As someone who has suffered from depression for years and only recently started taking anti-depressant for it, I can tell you that when it hits and hits hard, it can be crippling. It can simply paralyze you. I cannot count the number of times that I could not get out of bed and just laid there for hours.  It's great that the conversation has started and I hope that it continues.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams' Suicide

I just got an alert on my iPad about Robin Williams being found dead and it was being investigated as suicide as he died due to asphyxiation.  Per news reports, he was suffering from severe depression.

This resonated with me so hard as depression is something that I have dealt with for many years.  I say for many years because, in hindsight, that's what it was... Only in the last two years did I realize the feelings I had, the inability to get out of bed, the crying when someone spun a dollar on the Big Wheel (and, don't laugh, I totally bawled when that happened)... all of that was, in reality, depression.  Each time I have found a way out of it.  Suicide was never an option for me then and is not one now.

Hearing of Robin Williams' suicide hit me hard.  It made me realize that I am doing the right thing by seeking help and entering into therapy - first for grief counseling and then for other issues that have been a part of my life for a while.  I know that Mr. Williams sought counseling for his demons and sadly, for him, he felt this was his only option to end his suffering.  Thankfully, for me, I look at this as an opportunity to move forward.  No, I am not in the same position as Mr. Williams and am not comparing myself to him.  If anything, I feel like this has strengthened my resolve to continue my overall path to better health - both physical AND mental.

30 Day Challenge - Day 10 of No Soda


I have made it to Day 10 and still no soda.  As I have said many times before this is the point earlier this year where I couldn't hack it and just gave into my body's cravings and slurped down can after can, never once looking back.

I have noticed I am a little bit slimmer now than I was when I started this project.  Based on past experience and the knowledge that men tend to lose weight a bit faster than women when they quit soda, I expect to drop anywhere from 5-10 pounds this month just from drinking more water (okay, yes there's sugar and sodium free drink mixes in the water... but hey... it's water)....

Also, today I noticed I have an increase in energy.  My office has a spiral staircase that links all three of our floors.  Today I could bound up and down the stairs with ease - something I haven't been able to do in a long time.

Today I saw results.

It makes me positive I can keep going and complete the 30 days and maybe even permanently.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

30 Day Challenge Update (and more of course)

Here we are closing in on the end of Day 9 of the No Soda Challenge and I have to say that this is getting easier and easier.  Last time I did this I was not in the right place to take on something like this. However, since my father's passing, my health is important to me.  Getting to the doctor and getting on all of my meds (and yes, there's a lot of those) is making take stock of a lot of things I am putting into my body that I shouldn't.  Soda is probably the one thing that I binge on daily.  It's practically crack in a can.  It was around this point in the process the last time that I tried this that I totally bailed and drank and drank and drank and drank soda after soda.

It rained all weekend (and I do mean ALL weekend).  So I decided to be a lazy bum.  I stayed in bed, watched crap TV on Hulu.  My mother sent me some pill sorters that my dad used and I did spend some time getting my pills in order and organized.  Not that I have a problem with taking my meds, but it did help me see where I stand, when I need to refill, etc.  Also, it gives me the impression that I am in control of my meds and not the other way around.

21 days to go.  I can do this.  

Friday, August 08, 2014

30 Day Challenge - Day 6

I am on the cusp of a week with no soda.  I haven't noticed much of a lift or change even when it comes to my sleep.  Not that won't change in the future but for right now, I am thrilled to know that I am definitely going to make it through the week.  It's just that next week scares me.

I tried this one before when I went cold turkey during Lent.  I made it about 10 days before I finally succumbed and found myself not only pressing the button on the Pepsi machine at work but drinking FOUR of them in less than an hour.  Given that I have some drink mixes at my desk, my water intake is high and I don't feel the need to drink soda - NOT THAT I HAVEN'T BEEN TEMPTED!!!  If I can make it through next week, then the rest of it will be smooth sailing.

Also, as some may know, I also have Adult Onset Diabetes (aka Diabetes II). Last year my blood sugar number skyrocketed to 390+ (normal is around 110 or lower).  When I went to my doctor back at the start of July my numbers were somewhat better - 294.  I've been on meds full time for the past two weeks and today when I did my blood sugar check, I was at 146.  I'm getting there.  I'm getting into being a better, healthier me.

I am going to try a new thing tonight, though.  The anti-depressant my doctor put me on has really impacted my sleeping as I am now waking up around 2am and really not able to make it back to sleep no matter what I do.

I feel like on the verge of moving into a great new stage in my life.  It's weird.  I'm battling depression, grief from my father's passing, getting my health back on track, and still finding my footing a year after leaving NYC.  But for some reason I know that I'm moving forward and to a better, healthier (mentally and physically) place...

Thursday, August 07, 2014

30 Day Challenge - Days 4-5

Sorry for not posting.  These last two days at work have been BRUTAL with everything that I have had to do at the office.

That's where the temptation hit. As I mentioned, the hardest part about giving up soda for this month is the fact that we have FREE soda at work.  It's always around.  I hear cans popping throughout the day.  When I am stressed, it was always a "go to."  Go grab a soda, sit down, release some tension, get to work.  Now I don't have that.

What I have replaced it with (and who knows if I am replacing it with something better or worse) are the single serving drink mixes with my favorite being the Jolly Rancher Green Apple or the Wylers Strawberry Lemonade.  I am sure the sodium levels with that aren't that great but I do feel that at least I am not putting a can of chemicals into my system.

At my worst I could drink 20 cans a day.

And now I've gone cold turkey.

But I am making it and that's all that matters.  I think if I can make it through two weeks then the cravings will subside and it will be smooth sailing from here.

Monday, August 04, 2014

30 Day Challenge Day 3... and some more stuff....

Okay nothing new to report on Day 3 of the challenge.  I successfully avoided soda and stuck to my water and sugar free drink mixes.  However, I did have a bit of a revelation.

This 30 day challenge has somewhat morphed into me coming out of the depression funk I have fallen into since my father's death.  Sure there's all the health benefits from the no soda drinking but there's the additional benefits I am going to get by being around friends, not hermiting myself in my apartment or at work, and getting myself the grief counseling help I need.

I had a great conversation with a friend on Facebook during my lunch hour where I asked her to keep me in her thoughts and prayers.  I had reached out to her prior in asking about group grief therapy counseling and she made several suggestions.  When I told her I hadn't started anything probably because I was being too picky she suggested that my "pickiness" came from not being ready to start.  And that's when I knew I was ready... I just had to suck it up and do it.  With that, I logged into our PPO benefits site, found a psychologist near my office, and signed up for my first appointment.  It will have been almost three months by the time of the appointment and the only way I am going to move forward is to revisit the past and "deal with it."  To say that I am encouraged by my actions and also scared shitless at the same time is a bit of an understatement.

What I need to remind myself of (and regularly) is that I have a great support system already built up and I need to remember that I can use them to lean on and talk to when I need a shoulder.  I don't have to do this alone.  I know that sounds really simplistic and really easy to say... (yes, I hear you all saying, "DUH!") but it's hard for me to ask for help sometimes.  Okay, a lot of times.

This is a journey.  It's a marathon... maybe even an Ironman Triathlon.  It is not a sprint.

I will get through this and hope you will join me for the trip.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

30 Day Challenge - Day 2

So... another day in the books.  Granted it's the weekend and the temptations of soda are not around me. I ordered a pizza from Dominos and was able to successfully navigate myself away from any soda purchase.  The real struggle starts tomorrow.

The thing is the place where I work has refrigerators stocked with soda on each floor.  Even to get to the water, you have to stand right next to the machine that will pop out a soda for free at the touch of a button.  I have prepared myself with enough drink singles (Jolly Rancher green apple drink mix is AWESOME) to make it to the next paycheck and another trip to the grocery store.

So Day 2 is practically in the books.  I attempted this earlier in the year for Lent and failed horribly.  I think after about 10 days I had to give in and push the button for a Diet Pepsi.  This time I have a big incentive to stay on it because I am going to Florida over Labor Day and I know from past experience that not drinking soda will help me drop a quick 7-10 pounds.  No, I'm not a ripped muscle God, but I am gonna be seeing some friends and I want to look good.  Nothing wrong with that, right?

Saturday, August 02, 2014

30 Day Challenge - Day 1

Okay, so far so good.  No soda was consumed today and I was tempted more than a few times.  On top of that I made some really smart choices on low sugar things to drink as well.  I got several sugar free drink mixes to make at home to help me curb the desire for Diet Coke or Diet anything for that matter.  Give this a week and I may be pulling what's left of my hair out.

Today I went out with my neighbor to run some errands but more important for me was the opportunity for me to be around people and out of my apartment.  I have really turned into a hermit these past two months since my dad's passing and it hasn't really been a good thing for me.  Being outside I realized how much I miss people's energy and how much fun it is to snark around with friends.  I also spent WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more money than I should have but it was on stuff I really needed (like groceries and meds).  

I got a message on Facebook today from one of the rollergirls on the team I volunteer with saying she missed me.  Knowing that there are people out there who care and take the time to check in makes it doubly important that I get back out into the "real world" and interact with those who supported me when I arrived as a newbie and welcomed me with open arms and especially those same people who have been there the past few months.

Friday, August 01, 2014

30 Day Challenge (and more)

Okay so I haven't written in a while as promised.  I am doing my best to keep out of a depressive funk.  Part of that is trying to stay on all of the meds I have been prescribed since returning to a doctor for the first time in five years.  A lot of changes will be made in terms of diet and exercise but it will be all for the best.

In terms of the depressive funk, it is clear I need to get out and be amongst people more.  I have been hermiting myself way too much and need to be amongst friends and smiling faces.

I will admit I got a little rattled today when I learned that a dear family friend was admitted to the hospital after also suffering a severe head injury like my father had and that tomorrow they will be removing the ventilator.  The difference with him is that there is some brain activity whereas my father was clinically brain dead.  I know what this family is going through and it's tough as well since this man was very much there for my mother and family when we went through this in Daytona.  So... if you pray, a few kind words with the man upstairs would be nice.

So... The Today Show issued their 30 Day Challenge today.  Since August has 31 days, I am considering this day to be the "Enjoy it while you can because tomorrow it begins" day... for 30 days I am going off soda and candy and will be exercising more.  I will be blogging about it here... mainly to keep me honest but to also lend support to those also going through the 30 Day Challenge.  I have Diabetes 2 and need to take better care of myself.  My doctor has put me on some great meds this week and it's the perfect time to kick start this new part of my life.