DISCLAIMER:

live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin




I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.








Sunday, September 30, 2012

The "E" Word

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  - Psalm 139:13-14

Buckle up!  Yep - I'm going to talk about the "E" word again!  Exercise.  It's not exactly a 4-letter word, but for many of us, it may as well be! 

Sometimes I just have to remind myself of the benefits of regular, consistent movement.  I also have to remember that while exercise does not feel good while I'm doing it, there's never a time when I've regretted it later!  I'm always glad I took the time - and that I exercise a half hour every day.

Before you do any physical activity, you should test your blood glucose!  Nobody wants to begin a workout just to end up biting the ground because of low blood sugar!  That's not only counter-productive and embarrassing - it's downright dangerous!  That's also a very good reason to have an exercise partner if at all possible.  If you don't have a workout partner, at least let somebody know you're getting ready to exercise before you start.  Be accountable to someone for your own safety.

Now, a reminder of why we need to move for a total of 30 minutes every day. Exercise provides a better insulin response, and with a better insulin response, your cells use glucose from your blood more efficiently, which lowers your blood glucose readings! Who does not want that? Exercise also helps you lose body fat and replaces fat with muscle, which also improves insulin sensitivity. 

Good health and good sense are two of life's greatest blessings. 
-Publilius Syrus

As little as 10 minutes, 3 times a day will do the trick!  You don't have to go to a gym and knock yourself out for a couple of hours!  I know there are some folks who are so into their workout and they make it their entire life - but that's not how I roll.  For me, it's all about change - and variety.  If I get bored with something, chances are I'm going to quit.  My routine changes every day. 

There are some days when I do a 10 minute walk first thing in the morning, then after lunch I hop on the bike for another 10 minutes then after dinner take another walk or ride another 10 minutes.   

There are several creative ways to exercise.  Some days, I like to grab a dust cloth and start dusting and dancing in the privacy of my own home.  Okay, you can stop laughing now.  No, seriously - quit it!  I also have a stationary bike and treadmill in my workout room, along with some 3 lb. weights.  We are blessed to have good sidewalks in our neighborhood and a safe area to walk - so most days I take advantage of that.

One contributor to insulin resistance in the receptors is dehydration. A leading contributor to back pain is dehydration. It can even contribute to strokes and heart attacks, as well as angina pain.  - Dr. David W. Tanton

One more thing - after you workout, make sure you  - hydrate!  When you exercise you lose fluids through sweat (if you don't, then you're not working hard enough).  If you drink plenty of water after your workout then it will replenish what you have lost.

After you hydrate - test your blood glucose again. 

The most important thing to do is listen to your body - nobody knows you like... well... YOU!  Diabetics have a unique opportunity in this regard.  Non-diabetic people are often not tuned in to anything where their bodies are concerned - they run around pretty much on "auto-pilot" and don't really listen to their internal clock.  Diabetics have no choice but to "plug-in" and "turn-on" to our inner workings.  It's a gift, really.  Yes, it is a non-returnable, non-refundable gift.  I thought I heard someone ask. 

Living a healthy lifestyle with diabetes is important for maintaining good control of blood glucose levels.  Exercise combined with plenty of water, high alkaline food choices and lean protein is a good prescription for success.  We can manage this thing.  Yes we can!

Now, talking about the "E" word wasn't all that bad, was it?

If you're like me and have some physical limitations, this video might be helpful.

http://youtu.be/qvWNMWdHjmE




Today is a pampered princess holiday - NATIONAL MUD PACK DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Need I say more???  Reward yourself for exercising regularly.  Make your appointment for a facial today.  Ah!!!!!!!!!  Nice!!!!!!! 









Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mutual Valuing Through Communication

Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.  - Rollo May

 
Hold on to your hats - I have news that will shock you!  I love to talk, type and teach!  Communication is the bomb!  I see your jaws dropping in disbelief, but it's true.  I was asked one time during a job interview what my passion was, and I replied, "I love communication of all kinds!"   

Some of the most gratifying moments of my life were spent communicating.  I taught piano lessons for many years.  When that spark lights up in a student's eyes after mastering a complex concept, that is priceless!  To have the opportunity to clearly explain the basic outline of music, and later color it in with technique and individual style - it's been such a blessing to me through the years. 

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said. 
- Peter Drucker

To be heard - to be validated by another person is the most important key in any form of communication.  The lost art of listening to a friend who is going through a rough patch is vital.  Even when texting, it's important to wait after sending your comment.  Give the recipient ample time to read and digest what you've written.  Give them enough time to text back.  Some folks send one reply - then reply to what they just texted instead of the conversation following the natural "give and take" flow.  Half the time when that happens, the other person has to erase what they have texted as a reply and start over because the subject has changed!   

When I'm experiencing a bad day, it means so much to see a post that says "I'm praying" or "take care" or "tomorrow's a new day" or "you can do anything you set your mind to doing"!  I don't know why, but it just makes everything better.  It's easy to think (and ultimately believe) you are stuck in a situation all alone.  I know as a Christian I should never feel that way, but as a human being, the fact is, I do feel that way sometimes. 

Encouragement is highly under rated and under valued!

There's a saying - "Bloom where you're planted" which indicates that no matter where you are, what the circumstances may be, and whether you are in perfect health or not so perfect health - you have the capability to become great!  There are times when we need to be reminded of that truth once in a while.  These truths have to be hammered in once again.  My nails of truth have a way of wiggling halfway out, and it's nice when a friend comes along to hammer those nails back in for me!    

Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.  - Jim Rohn

I'm not for one minute suggesting we should be fake or pretend to care if we don't.  I'd rather not hear from a person if it is not genuine.  When I'm chatting with someone who has recently lost a loved one, I'd better make sure I'm fully engaged in the conversation and that my input is useful, respectful and above all, sincere and genuine.  There is not a more important time to have great communication skills than when you are speaking with a grief-stricken individual.  There are right words to say at a time like that - and there are wrong words that are said all too often.  Words matter the most after the loss of a loved one.  Words have meaning - words carry power and they matter.

There are days when the odds seem absolutely overwhelming!  I've come to trust two things in times like those:  I trust the LORD to lead me onward, and I trust my friends to add their prayers, positive thoughts and encouragement.  

Communication is so crucial for all of us.  With such a negative atmosphere around us in the political arena and world events, how important are words of kindness, love and encouragement to you? 

Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.  - Jim Rohn

Here's a new take on the old Abbot & Costello routine "Who's On First".  Pretty funny!  This brings the importance of good communication skills home!

http://youtu.be/YbVhN5VBy-k

If you're a bluegrass fan (even if you aren't) this is a really cute tune called "Social Media Blues".  It'll put a smile on your face!

http://youtu.be/9T37q9Lx6sw


Today is CONFUCIUS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!  Words of wisdom to be sure will come your way today.





Somebody pass me the Stevia and the half and half, because today is NATIONAL COFFEE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am the one who has a vanity plate on my car that says JAVA4ME - I mean, this holiday was made just for me!!!   Have a great day - I know I will!

  

 
 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Still Comfortably Numb

Grief doesn't vanish just because we try to lock it up in a sealed drawer, yet that's the way many of us are encouraged to cope.  - Hope Edelman


February 15, 1972 - Mama's 50th birthday!
Above - getting ready for church - below - getting ready to go out for lunch. 
I was 11 years old in these photos. 
In photo below, we're standing in front of the brand new house that we built and our old 1967 Chevy Bel Air. 
Our dog's name was Rusty.  He's in heaven too.
 
How do I begin to describe the most precious soul who ever influenced my life?  Mama was the essence of class, style and grace, yet could hold her own when faced with any kind of yard work, tree pruning or critter control.  One day I saw her take a hoe to a rattle snake out in the back yard and not even flinch - WHACK!  One fell swoop of the hoe and that rattle was never heard again! 

You know, when you're a kid and you see your mom do that - it makes you think twice about whether you want to misbehave!  If she could do that to a rattle snake, just imagine...  well...

I was so loved and I am so blessed to have some very happy memories of both my parents.  When they adopted me, I'm pretty sure I got the better end of the deal!

I lost my mama on September 28th, 2004.  She was 82 years old.  She had stage 4 colon cancer and it metastasized to her liver.  She lived with us until one night when she was having trouble breathing and we called an ambulance.  She was in the hospital for 3 days in a coma, then passed away during the night.  

The kids I grew up with used to tell me how lucky I was to be an only child - and tease me about being spoiled.  So, I had a Shetland pony and got to dig my own worms every Saturday morning to use for bait to fish, what's your point?  We also had rabbits, geese, a great vegetable garden and fruit trees all over the place.  I learned to appreciate nature and hard work and I developed a keen sense of humor because I lived with the two funniest people ever! 

But there's a flip side to being an only child.  When my parents died - wow.  It hit me like a ton of bricks - I am really alone now in this big old scary world.  Most of the time it's alright, but I can't focus on that too much or it freaks me out.  I miss my mom - a lot.  I have friends who remind me that God is always with me, and I know they mean well when they say that.  I just wish a person wearing skin would come and keep me company like my mom used to.  I wish mama and I could have a cup of tea and chat the day away and laugh and cry... like we used to.  Nothing will ever be - like it was.  It's different.  Different is not better, it's just...  well... different.

Mama's favorite color was turquoise blue and she wanted to be buried in her favorite dress (in the top photo above).  At her graveside service, my friends all honored mama by wearing turquoise blue.  My heart was touched as I looked out over the intimate group of people wearing various shades of turquoise!  I made an arrangement of turquoise blue and violet blue hydrangeas and I also wore turquoise, along with a turquoise necklace and earring set mama gave me one year for my birthday. 

The service began, not that I was paying very close attention.  I should have felt comforted by what was being said, but all I felt was numb.  I kept hearing Pink Floyd in my head saying, "Hello - Is there anybody in there?"  "Comfortably Numb" (The Wall) seemed to fit this unbearable circumstance perfectly.  I remember listening to that one song over and over as I drove to work in the weeks following the funeral.  I know as a Christian I probably should have chosen a more appropriate song to "grieve" to, but this song describes how I felt - angry, abandoned and alone.  I was not able to sing happy songs about heaven for quite a while with any degree of sincerity.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpzxf_flm8M 

I was only half listening to the sermon, when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed one small monarch butterfly just sort of casually floating through the congregation... then another larger one discreetly passed by.  I had not made the connection before, but of course - it was the time of year they should be passing through Kansas.  I tried to retrain my thoughts on what was being said in the service, but honestly I just couldn't.  The majestic orange and black monarchs seemed completely undetoured by their surroundings as they gently mingled with those in the process of grieving.   

While everyone else was praying, I quietly reached into my open handbag to get another tissue and discreetly snag a glucose tablet.  Then my eye was caught by one single, turquoise blue butterfly posed on the spray setting on mama's casket.  I could quite easily have missed it since it blended in with all of the various shades of turquoise carnations and violet roses so perfectly.  Had it not been for the black around the edges of the butterfly, it probably would have gone completely undetected. 

The gorgeous turquoise blue butterfly was in no hurry to fly away and lingered on the spray as if God had instructed it to just stay put there until it received further instructions.  And stay put it did for a good long while.  It made me smile.  It was the first time I could smile and really mean it.  Still watching the welcome distraction, I sent up a silent prayer of thanks to God for that little butterfly.  Just as my prayer ended, it was as if the little butterfly got its instructions from its Creator to move on - and it flew away.     

To be perfectly honest, I had never seen a butterfly like it before, nor since, which makes this memory even more precious to me.  I have a faith that tells me God gives us what we need when we need it.  His perfect timing is never early, and He never gives a gift we don't need, but He knew I needed to see that butterfly.  God let me know that mama is alright.  

I know she is with Jesus now, and that is the best place to be.  I love you, mama - my turquoise blue butterfly.



A great big THANK YOU to my friend Nancie Alewine Blume for this beautiful graphic with my mama's name in it! 

**************************************************************************
  
My friend Kathy Graham wrote this poem and has given me permission to use it today.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  Thank you, Kathy!

 
THE PAIN OF A BUTTERFLY

Kathy Graham
9/17/12

I released a butterfly

To let it go free.
The symbolism of it all
Was known only to me.

“Twas to free my heart
From sorrow and grief.
But as I expected,
There was not much relief.

I wanted my pain
To just go away.
But now I realize,
It’s here to stay.

Just like that butterfly
It flits all about.
The pain comes and goes
Returning without doubt.

But I’ll accept what life’s dealt me
And when that butterfly returns,
I’ll attempt to deflect it
From what my heart yearns.

For the beauty of a butterfly
Should not be confused
With the pain one feels
From a heart that’s bruised.
   


The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  - Psalm 34:18
 
 I debated as to whether I should include a wacky holiday on this post.  I've had too many tears and I need a good laugh - so - here goes...


If this officer had a dime for every time he heard this question, he could retire early!  Seriously!!! 
 



       






 



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Music Mania

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.  - Bob Marley

Part of staying well in my mind is staying positive.  I like to play games with music and lyrics.  I hear a sentence and put it to a familiar tune, or hear a familiar tune and put new lyrics to it - it gets pretty funny inside my head sometimes!

My weird brain has been working overtime today.  This morning my color ink cartridge ran completely dry.  As I was changing the cartridge I sang, "Put the car-tridge in the prin-ter" - in place of the words "And a par-tridge in a pear tree." 

Later in the day, I took a CD out that I just burned.  As I put it in the clear Jewel case, I began singing, "Jewel-y, Jewel-y, Jewel-y do ya love me?"  The actual lyrics are, of course, "Ju-lie, Ju-lie, Ju-lie do ya love me?" 

It's a common occurrence in this house to see a grocery list with items such as oyster quackers or batroom tissue written on it.  I don't typically let all the weird stuff my brain makes up slip verbally.  So, making up silly songs is kind of a new manifestation of sorts.   

How could it escalate to this degree?  I mean, I'm basically butchering perfectly wonderful songs with little or no effort these days!  Have I been isolated socially for too long?  Is there hope that I can possibly re-enter society without a total overhaul or a return to charm school?  I don't know.  Is there hope that I can salvage just a sliver of decorum before exiting my sanctuary house to go out into the world?  What if I'm beyond help?  

Time will tell - but until I have the opportunity to test my wings outside my fortress, I will probably continue to put strange lyrics with familiar tunes and sing at the top of my lungs (as long as nobody is around).  The last time I checked, singing is a sign of happiness and happiness is not a bad thing.

"Don't Worry - Be Happy".

http://youtu.be/WIM3GHvBQjY

Today is CRUSH A CAN DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!  What can I say?  Knock yourselves out - no, not literally!  Be careful when trying to crush a can on your head.  I know some of you think your head is indestructible, but it isn't.  No, trust me, it is not!






     





Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Laughing My Bacon Off

An affirmation to say everyday: The healing power of God is working in me right now. Every day I get better and better in every way.  - Joyce Meyer

I've enjoyed so many great conversations with my friends in the Diabetic Online Community (DOC).  Some have been very informative in nature, while others have been, um... shall we say, less than informative.  Okay they've been plumb silly!  But, we need to take our head out of the "D" game once in a while.  I'm not suggesting total denial of the disease or the disease process because as we all know, that is not the way to handle (or rather, not handle) diabetes.  We just need a few short breaks from the stress of thinking about it.

Today I posted a quote on the Wellness Soliloquy facebook wall:
 
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.  - Doug Larson
 
In a matter of nano-seconds, there was a response to the quote. 
 
You can always add some bacon bits to any veggie dish, and salads too. Lol.
 
I definitely take cues from this person.  He is a shining example of what Type 2 Diabetics can accomplish.  He's been on oral medications in the past, but has lost enough weight that he is now controlling his blood sugar through diet and exercise alone!  I told him one day that he is living my dream!  It's true, my goal is to get such good control that I no longer need to be on any medications to help - but I so desperately want to maintain good control with diet and exercise alone!  I really want to get there!
 
So, his comment got me to wondering - do we not eat our vegetables like we should because we don't add a little bacon to them?  I have fixed Brussels Sprouts with a few bits of bacon in the past, and it did make them much more tasty.  I think there's a point to be made here.  Maybe I should add just a little bit of the good stuff to vegetables and salads! 
 
When you deny yourself certain foods, you're setting yourself up for failure.  You can't keep that pace up for very long - you will eventually want to binge on that one food that you've told yourself you'll never eat again! 

I went on a "no gravy" trip for a long time.  When we would go into a restaurant and I would see someone at another table eating something with gravy, I wanted to jump up and run over to the  table and say, "Oh please - just give me one spoonful of your gravy - I'll pay you whatever you want - just please - yeah, just spoon it right there in my cupped hands - that's fine!"
 
I stayed on that wagon for - oh, about a year!  But - it was a miserable year!  Eventually you just have to give in to your craving.  You just can't eat that way every day.  There is a delicate balance in an alkaline lifestyle - but I'm finally realizing that all-out denial should never be a part of that balance!  Denial just makes you miserable inside and it's a bit depressing.  At this point, I'm going to quote my friend, the diabetic educator:
 
Having diabetes does not mean you have to cut any particular food out of your diet.  It does, however, mean that you can under no circumstances eat everything you crave all in one day.  - Tasha Cooper
 
So, I'm going to keep balance in my diet.  I understand that the more alkaline the food is, the healthier it is for our cells.  If I can maintain that kind of diet most of the time it will be a good idea.  I try to maintain an 80/20% ratio every day.  But I won't lie - I look forward to the 20% when it's time to fork over the  biscuits and gravy!

I'm going to worry less and enjoy more.  Enjoy "Fireflies" by Owl City.

http://youtu.be/Fi-nEY8kL_0
 
 Today is JOHNNY APPLESEED DAY!!!!!!!!!!  Johnny Appleseed was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, including the northern counties of present day West Virginia. He became an American legend while still alive, due to his kind, generous ways, his leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples. He is also known for winning in several apple eating contests including the grand apple challenge of 1785. Enjoy your favorite apple today!





 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mother of all Speed Bumps

 
I'm not going to pretend I like it, and I'm sure not going to pretend that it's just what I need today, but today I am in some fairly intense pain.  My chiropractic adjustment is tomorrow and I can hardly wait!  As I'm composing this post, my back is frozen on an ice pack and my leg is involuntarily jerking with each pulse of my TENS unit, which is on the highest setting (10).  A lovely picture, as you can imagine!  Since I'm a musician, it's my natural tendency to think of songs that match the rhythm of the pulsing of my TENS unit. 

Practicing the piano with my TENS unit on my leg is definitely a challenge, to say the least.  My right leg is the one I use on the pedal, so imagine trying to pedal with a foot that pulses and jerks every couple of seconds.  I've tried to play while wearing the gizmo, but to be honest, it's just not worth the effort.  Sometimes my foot slips off the pedal, or I end up playing the song at the rhythm of the pulses.  It gives a whole new meaning to the term, "feeling the rhythm"...  so yeah - no, it doesn't work very well.  

I missed taking my walk today as well, which is a bit upsetting.  Those walks actually help me clear my head and they provide so much inspiration.  Walking outdoors is the only way I can really recharge my batteries and face life with other people again.  Some people are energized by other people, but I need a little solitude before I mix with others.

David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the LORD was with him.
- 1 Samuel 18:14
 
It's my goal and desire to help others with this blog.  If I'm really going to do that, I have to be honest and post the bad along with the good.  Every day is not peachy keen and there are bumps in the road for all of us.  But, I will always give God the glory for any successes this blog has, because He's the reason I am doing as well as I am, and He's the one who has helped me in this journey!

Lord,
I pray You continue to help me in this journey.  Please help this pain to be eased soon.  I can't do anything without Your help, so I pray this blog would be a success and that the glory and honor go to You.  Thank You in advance, Lord, for what You are going to do in my life, apart from this blog and because of it.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

"Don't Be Discouraged" is a lovely song and message from Maurette Brown Clark. 

http://youtu.be/LXvyyM-oazI

Today is NATIONAL COMIC BOOK DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Did you know that there is a Diabetic comic???  It's called Captain Glucose and Meter Boy.  They have a page on facebook if you'd like to check it out! 
 



  
 
 


  





Monday, September 24, 2012

Diabetes ART Day

 
Obviously, I am much more artistic with writing and music than I am with pen and paper, but today is diabetic art day!  I decided to make an attempt to be artistic and be a somewhat good sport about it. 
 
This simple little drawing of a flower is how I feel about my Type 2 Diabetes.  I'm so frightened about it, almost paranoid at times.  So many things can go wrong and can be adversely affected by this disease.  There is so much to stay on top of with it - from your mental state to the tips of your toes - literally!  I check on everything - all the time!  Vigilance is my hallmark - it has to be!
 
I feel as though I get one complication under control - then something else goes haywire!  So far I've only had to battle one complication at a time, but they've all been connected to the Type 2 Diabetes.  This is one very wicked disease and I would not wish this on my worst enemy.  I don't think I have a worst enemy, but if I did I would not wish it on them!
 
My hope is in God and He has helped me and will continue to do so!  He will hold the petals of my flower on for me. 
 
There is REAL art on display today throughout the internet on different diabetes blogs and websites.  I invite you to check them out!  I've seen some real diabetic artistic talent out there today!  
 
I saw this and thought I'd share it - so cute and original - from the 9-inch plate:
 
                             Another day begins at the Lancet Farm...
 
The story of Diabetes Art Day.
 
 
Today is NATIONAL CHERRIES JUBILEE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I've never eaten that in my entire life, and I don't imagine I will today either.  But if this is a dish you enjoy, then go for it!  Bon Appetit'!!!

 

 


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Plan the Work and Work the Plan

If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.  - Jim Rohn

 
Perhaps it's the kind of tea I'm drinking, but I have an overwhelming urge to just take a moment - to take a step back and look at my goals and how my plan to whip this disease into submission is working, or if it's working.  I need to know what needs to be tweaked or what needs to go completely.  Am I on the best path to manage my disease?  In this day and age I think it's great that I can make an informed decision regarding my own health!

The wonderful thing about the Internet is that there is a TON of information out there.  The horrible thing about the Internet is that there is a TON of misinformation out there!  Because I am not a health care provider, it's difficult to know whom to believe when it comes to the claims being made regarding the management of my Type 2 Diabetes.  One thing I did learn early on - the most simple plan is more than likely the best plan.  My gut tells me that a common sense approach to this monster is the best strategy.

For a brief second, I thought nothing short of having gastric bypass surgery was going to tame this beast.  The thought passed rather quickly.  I've only had one surgery in my life - when I was five years old I had my tonsils out.  I'm sure not going to voluntarily walk into one of those places and say, "Hey, could you guys cut me open and make my stomach pouch the size of a walnut so I can't eat much food at one time?"  Um...  nope.

I've read a lot about gastric bypass surgery.  They teach the post-op patients to eat basically the same way they tell Type 2 Diabetics to eat!  They say eat protein first (and I've heard that if you don't follow that rule, you end up being very sorry later).  So I've decided I can take that advice and leave my tummy just the way it is!  The weight has not just "dropped" off - I admit it is coming off very (very) slowly - but it is coming off.

I learned how people with gastric bypass surgery eat a long time ago.  My ex-sister-in-law had the surgery.  She and I went into a restaurant (yes, she eats out).  She orders water with lemon, grilled chicken tenders (not fried) (protein) off of the KIDS menu (portion control), with green beans (few calories).  This is all her new stomach would allow her to eat.  She only ate 3 of the 4 tenders and left a few green beans.  She did not eat any biscuits or cornbread (complex carbohydrate).  I watched her and learned.  The light bulb came on in my brain.  I can do THIS!  

So, it's my plan to eat like a post-op gastric bypass patient - without the surgery!  I can totally do this!  The rules are very simple - you just eat protein first - always.  As your stomach gets more full, it is filling with the protein and you are less likely to even want to eat the starchy carbohydrates.  It's a matter of making good choices and eating them in order! 

Maybe this is my imagination, but I don't think so.  Since I've started taking a metformin 500mg. with my evening meal, I think my stomach feels fuller, faster!  It's as if I reach a certain point when eating and - I'm finished.  No matter what's left on the plate - I'll either wrap it up or let it go - but I'm done!  I think that extra pill every day is going to help me in more ways than one.

The exercise I get every day consists of either a mile walk or a half hour ride on my stationary bike.  Of course, if we're traveling I scout out the hotel gym.  If I skip a day or two or five, it just makes it that much more difficult to get back in the swing of it - it's just easier to do something active for a half hour every day.  It's not my favorite part of the plan, but it's a part that is non-negotiable so I just put on my big girl sassy pants and deal with it.

And finally, the emergency precaution portion of my plan.  Wearing a patient ID bracelet is important.  It's not my favorite piece of jewelry and I don't wear it with any particular degree of pride, but if something were to happen - if I were to faint and fall from the treadmill in the hotel gym or something - there would be no mystery about my medical condition.  So, giving others access to my medical condition is a good idea - and I also carry a card with all my medications listed in case I'm involved in an auto accident.

I guess that's about it.  Just eat portion-controlled meals at regular intervals, eat lean protein first.  Avoid simple carbohydrates as much as possible.  Complex carbohydrates in moderation.  And, heaven help me, I'll exercise a half hour every day whether I want to or not.  I'll keep my card with a list of medications on hand at all times and wear a patient ID bracelet.

Well, that sounds like a plan!  Now that I've planned the work, I'm gonna go work the plan!

I love the hymn "Be Thou My Vision" and the arrangement by Jars of Clay is my favorite.
    
http://youtu.be/Gp5-oVX6PqI



Today is CHECKERS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!  My folks used to play checkers almost every evening of the world.  Find someone and play a game or two.  Try not to cheat - I know that's tough - but try.










   

  
 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It's Time for the Lime

 
The most important thing you can do for yourself after a workout is hydrate.  Today I'm hydrating with lime water.  It's cool and refreshing after a workout on my bike.  I usually put lemon in my water, but thought lime might be good for a change today.  There was a time I could not live without a super-size diet Dr. Pepper in front of me.  I've made some significant progress since then!

Lemon/lime water has an alkalizing effect in the body. Even if you drink it just before any meal, it will help your body maintain a higher pH than if you didn't drink it. The higher or more alkaline your pH, the more your inner terrain is resistant to minor and major disease.

A few years ago, I began having painful joints and an occasional bout with gout (yes, I am a poet and I know it).  The  lemon/lime in water helps dilute uric acid, which otherwise would accumulate and cause problems with arthritis and gout.  Since I've started putting lemon/lime in my water I have not had any problems with joint pain of any sort. 

The liver produces more enzymes from lemon/lime water than any other food.   - A.F. Beddoe, author of Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition.

There are certainly many choices for hydration, but water remains the best choice.  Lemon/lime water can help lower blood pressure, did you know that?Do you take water for granted and pass it up for other ways to hydrate?  Even though water is a bit bland tasting, it is still the best bet for true hydration.  When you add the lime or lemon to it, that makes it better yet.  If you add both lime and lemon then a bit of seltzer or club soda with a packet of Stevia, you have something pretty close to an "un-cola" soda.

Enjoy your day and have a blessed week.  Drink some water today!

"Put the Lime in the Coconut" - well...  what can I say???  This is an alkaline lifestyle with rhythm!

http://youtu.be/5LxC3M-Yngs

This is a fun holiday - today is ELEPHANT APPRECIATION DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!  How does one appreciate an elephant?  Well, my suggestion would be to visit a zoo or perhaps go to the circus if it happens to be in your town.  Find a way because today is the day!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fellow Dyslexics, Untie

DYSLEXIA IS NOT A MENTAL ILLNESS

People with severe dyslexia (I call us dyslexians) can be brilliant.  The National Institutes have estimated that 15% of the world's population live with dyslexia.  Dyslexia is a consequence of the way a person’s brain is organized. Learning to read requires making the association between printed symbols and spoken words and spoken sounds. These associations must become firmly fixed in memory for reading to be fluent. People with dyslexia have great difficulty establishing these associations. The exact cause of the difference in the brain is not known, but recent research and new technology make it possible to identify some of the differences in the brains of people with dyslexia. Also, research suggests that dyslexia appears in families across generations. 

My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.  ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Neither reading nor writing come as second nature for me.  When I read, I sometimes have to re-read a paragraph several times in order to grasp a concept.  I don't always compose complete sentences that are cohesive and flow nicely. 

Like many dyslexians, I also twist the words within a sentence around.  "So, come on baby, let's do the twist"...  Today, I am absolutely addicted to the written word!  I love to read and cannot live a day without writing and expressing opinions and thoughts and feelings!  Written communication is a beautiful gift and it truly is what I love to do!  I still struggle with sentence structure and probably always will.  I still go through my blog posts and tweak away at them.  Writing may not come easily for me, but it is my passion.

  
Let the beauty of what you LOVE be what you do. - Rumi

I'm a work in progress, but today I love to write and feel blessed to have the opportunity to share my wellness journey with you.  Thanks for reading my blog!

Take a look at this entertaining video about dyslexia.

http://youtu.be/ik_pzXC1nA0

 

 Did you know that today is YELLOW UMBRELLA DAY???   What more can I say???  If you have a yellow umbrella, knock yourself out!!! 


 
 
 
 



        

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Music and Wellness

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.  - Abraham Maslow

If a person has a talent toward music or art, do they absolutely have to play, or paint, or write creatively in order to be fulfilled and truly happy and well in their mind and spirit?  I may be a bit predjudice, but my answer is a resounding yes!

In the music community, sadly even the church music community, there is a type of snobbery.  There are excellent church musicians who know without a doubt that they are excellent performers.  This does not make them excellent human beings, however.  These people are generally ones I tend to stay away from as they are generally picky and difficult to please. 

The saddest feeling in the world is to have a fellow musician make you feel as though the talent God gave you is somehow sub-standard and not worthy to be used.  The Bible clearly states that we are not to be a stumbling block to others, but I can honestly say that I've been made to feel as though I'm not good enough to serve.  I've stumbled over that stumbling block.  It would take a great deal of healing for me to ever use my talent in church ever again.  Nothing hurts more than the competitive spirit that rears its ugly head and seeks to make one musician somehow superior over another.  In the church there should be no such spirit.  In the church you find that very spirit more often than in the world - sadly. 

I'm not the best piano player in the world - never claimed to be.  All I know is, I'm never happier than when I'm sitting at a piano making music.  I do not play much by ear - mostly by note.  I do not write my own music like, say, Yanni - I wish I did!  But I don't have to make a living at it - I just have to play.  That's where the joy is - and whether anyone is listening to me play or not is immaterial really.  I play for my own enjoyment these days.   
 
We may define therapy as a search for value.  - Abraham Maslow

I have learned in the past few years that I am not "just" a pianist.  To place my entire value as a person on that one tiny piece of who I am is to deny myself the opportunity to discover that I am so much more!  It makes me feel so free to know that I don't have to be the best.  Performance pressure is no longer even almost a part of who I am.  I feel so free in the knowledge that I do not have to be perfect.  The one who said "practice makes perfect" - lied - lied big time!  Practice serves to make one better - but there are pieces that I know will never be played perfectly.  Pieces I have practiced my entire life - but they are still just as awful sounding as they were the first time I picked up the music. 

Music should not be about excellence in music-making, but touching the lives of others.  There should be more to music than an exceptional performance.  There should be joy - and all who hear the music should experience the joy with you.  No one should be discouraged from playing - no one!  Everyone who learns to play has found some level of passion in music and that should never ever be trampled by anyone!  Who do some people think they are?  I don't care if you've played in Carnegie Hall - you have no right to tell me my music is sub-standard and worthless!  Respect each other for the talent GOD gives.  Here's a newsflash for ya:  If God did not see fit to hand out talents, we'd all be in the dumpster!

We all search for value in this life.  It took me a very long time and a lot of soul searching to make this one great discovery.  God loves me - Linda.  Not Linda, the piano player or the teacher or the creative writer, but Linda - His child. 

Yes, there is a sense of wellness in my spirit when I'm sitting at a piano, but it no longer defines who I am.  I play - it makes me happy to play - it heals my spirit.  Nobody else has to hear me - it's okay.  God hears me - and when I play, it's at that moment my heart is wide open and allowing Him to speak to me.

Enjoy "Broken Wings"

http://youtu.be/mB4HfaI-4U4



Today is NATIONAL PUNCH DAY!!!!!!!!!!!  Whether you drink your favorite punch or punch your favorite person, have a great day!