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Week two of this thing I call an “adventure” is over. Good riddance.

The Good (Finding Joy)

  • Second ultrasound to verify abnormalities came back clean!
  • I was able to spend time with a dear friend, whom I call a lifer. She is one of those people I can’t imagine my life without. She brings me joy, just by being her.
  • I got to wear an ugly Christmas sweater for my first ever ugly sweater event.
  • I journalled.
  • I am thankful for all the positive feedback from people who say this journey is an inspiration to them to take their small steps. I am also grateful to the Board for their support. I told them I’d likely not be doing this without it.

The Bad (My Week)

  • A 911 call left me completely exhausted after having to deal with it. It wasn’t for me, all is well, for now.
  • A cortisone shot (jeez this aging thing…) in my shoulder has left me in more pain. It will get better, I’m told, and I will know in late January whether surgery will be required.
  • A sick day in bed, rare for me and frustrating, to say the least.
  • A debilitating migraine while visiting my friend made me angry. I haven’t had one in a long time, and it had to pick this past weekend.

The Ugly (True Confessions)

In my quest to be transparent and share the good, the bad and the ugly with you, last week was pretty much a write off as far as activity went. I had improved food days and a completely indulgent one, but I can’t say I made any progress at all.

Are the events of the week my excuses, the ones I said I would remove? I’m not considering them as such, rightly or wrongly. It was an extreme week and I am giving myself permission for a do-over. Anyone who knows me knows how hard it is for me to do that. Letting go of self-criticism is a tough one for many of us, I’m guessing.

So here’s me, asking for a do-over.

 

One of the interesting articles I came across last week is something I will explore too, besides my commitments from last week. I know how sluggish I feel when I’m not eating properly, but the new research about how our gut parallels our brain functionality is intriguing, to say the least.

This Success Magazine article gives some tips on how to reset your day. They’re worth considering!

  • Complete the sentence, I’ll feel better when…
  • List three things that are in your control to change right now.
  • Listen to an uplifting song. My all-time favourite is Footloose :).

  • Watch a funny video.
  • Look at pictures from your favorite vacation.

Recap of last week’s commitments…

I will:

  • Continue to track my food/beverage intake and eliminate bed time eating, except popcorn on Friday night :).
  • Continue sit-ups: 20/day this week.
  • Walk: minimum of three walks, whether outdoor or doing a mall walk if it’s too cold. No excuses. I actually had a friend offer to make those our phone call connection times, if it means it will help me get it done.
  • Begin to journal again, daily, free form. All that means is I’ll journal my thoughts as they come out, no editing or thinking too much. You in to try it? It could be three minutes or thirty, again it’s about actually doing it, not doing it perfectly. A friend gave me The 5-Minute Journal a year or so ago. I started it, but it quickly fell by the wayside. I will explore that as a begin-again possibility.

Instead of offering ideas of what you can do, I would appreciate hearing what you are doing to takes those  small steps toward healing and wholeness. You can comment below, and you are also invited to join our closed Facebook group, to share your thoughts, ideas and progress.

Huge thanks to all those who are in my corner, rooting me on! Next week’s report will be better.

Well, Week 1 is already done! How did it go for you? This is how it went for me…

The Good

The individual emails and Facebook posts and support are the best part of this whole adventure! People who don’t want to share publicly are sharing with me privately, and I received this last night: “Just know that you’ve helped at least one person by sharing.” My whole heart and goal achieved in one sentence! Well…except for that little thing called a 5km run!

I’m counting four out of seven days of sit-ups a win!

The Bad

I’m not good at keeping track of my personal well being, because what I don’t give attention to means it’s not really real, right? My commitment was to keep track of my eating, and it was quite eye opening! Ugh. I am now very aware of where my habits have fallen apart. I used to eat quite healthy, so to see in writing what my choices are now, actually startled me. My two most prominent choices? Cheese. Tortilla chips. I also did not consume nearly as much water as I thought I did.

The Ugly

Week 1 ended with a brunch event that rattled my emotions in a way I didn’t anticipate. Beautiful human beings with hearts of love, sharing their goodness with others. I didn’t know most of the people, so I instead of digging in and meeting everyone (my past behaviour), I retreated and watched from the sidelines. Before I got to my Jeep when I left, the tears were pouring down my cheeks. I was a wreck. What was a celebration triggered pain for me. Watching the family, the relationship dynamics, the engagement in the food prep – it was in my face, demonstrating what I don’t have.

What many don’t know is (and boy is this vulnerable, sharing it all for me), that I so desire to have a partner that enjoys sharing and serving together in a home environment, such as I was in yesterday. It triggered loneliness and reminded me of loss in my life. Rarely do I ever feel this way, but it hit me hard. It was a reminder of that saying,

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Maybe not every moment of every day, but we all go through our stuff’!

Week 2

I will:

  • Continue to track my food/beverage intake and eliminate bed time eating, except popcorn on Friday night :).
  • Continue sit-ups: 20/day this week.
  • Walk: minimum of three walks, whether outdoor or doing a mall walk if it’s too cold. No excuses. I actually had a friend offer to make those our phone call connection times, if it means it will help me get it done.
  • Begin to journal again, daily, free form. All that means is I’ll journal my thoughts as they come out, no editing or thinking too much. You in to try it? It could be three minutes or thirty, again it’s about actually doing it, not doing it perfectly. A friend gave me The 5-Minute Journal a year or so ago. I started it, but it quickly fell by the wayside. I will explore that as a begin-again possibility.

You can:

  • Join our closed Facebook group to share your good, bad, ugly moments. It’s a safe space, not shareable publicly.
  • Track your food. Check out the App Store on your phone if you are a techie-tracker-type. There are free or paid versions, keep it inexpensive if you’ve never done it before. If you are more of a
    paper tracker, you can search online for templates that suit your needs. The key? Don’t make it difficult for yourself! If you have an empty notebook or journal, use it. I ordered an erasable version that fits in my agenda, because that’s what works for me. I’ll take a photo of it each week for the benefit of this journey, but I also like that I can wipe away last week and start fresh! I need a finer pen though.
  • Set a small step goal for yourself and let us know you’ve done it! Solicit someone who can be your go-to for support and encouragement.

Our conversations during our free monthly meet-ups take us in a variety of directions, and in order to ensure we circle back for reference, we’re going to start posting these resource blogs the day following a meet-up. The intent is to provide a roundup of resources or references from the conversation the night before.

  • Self-care ideas include journaling or writing, many people seconded having a gratitude journal. Physical activity can be a great asset as well, and reading was also noted as an effective tool for self-care.
  • Changing perspective led us into a great conversation about how thinking about our trauma from another person’s point of view, can really reshape how we think about that memory. Try it for yourself!
  • EMDR is an incredibly powerful tool for dealing with trauma and PTSD. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which is an integrative psychotherapy approach. This type of therapy uses a patient’s own rapid eye movements, to take emotionally charged memories out of traumatic events. Using eye movements and “tricking your brain”, therapists can essentially reprogram the memory of a traumatic event to more positive or neutral emotions.
  • Complex PTSD: we were led into this discussion surrounding another branch of PTSD, Complex PTSD. This article gives some great insight:

Unlike formally recognized PTSD diagnoses, C-PTSD doesn’t stem from a singular event, but is instead the result of sustained abuse and powerlessness, from which the victim has little hope of escape.

“C-PTSD occurs when the hyper-vigilance of PTSD is accompanied by a breakdown in the ability to self-regulate,” said Julian Ford, a psychology and law professor who heads the Center for Trauma Recovery at the University of Connecticut. “Intense emotions or emotional deadness will overwhelm the person’s ability to cope. Mentally, they will suffer lapses in consciousness or in problem solving or judgment. And interpersonally, they will have extreme conflict in or withdraw from relationships.” [Vice]

The Breaking Free Foundation Golf Tournament is coming up on September 21, and the push is on for more golfers! If you don’t golf, you can simply join us for dinner. Details and registration online here.