A Different Kind of Change

Good morning! Not really a lot to hop on and tell in the last day or two. Yesterday was my annual wellness physical. I had discussed with the doc office regarding the safety of this visit. I was told they were not seeing sick patients. (This office has a walk in center adjacent to it, so perhaps the sick ones go there?) I didn’t ask and kinda didn’t want to even think about it. But the lady I talked with said she had MS and a pacemaker and was in the office every day. I said if you do that (working/risking her health) for us, then I’m coming in. She laughed. She said there were only 4 of us that would be in the building when I was there. It was more like 10 of us. But I think she meant patients.

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My appointment was at 6:20 a.m. It was only me and another person in the lobby. We both wore our masks. I used my own pen to check in. I was called. And weighed in. My weight was up. I would love to blame COVID – but truth be known it all began with George’s birthday extravaganza about a year ago. A turning back of sorts to many things I’d missed. And drinking fewer shakes, doing less cleanses, having diverticulitis issues, which further defined my eating categories to fewer items, my fight back from it and declaring to my body that I would eat pizza again, and pasta and bread – a daring of sorts for the gastronomic issues to take that away from me. And oh, my body is winning. It’s taken on the bread, the pasta, the mayo, the dips, the crackers. Oh too well.

My appetite was weird, I knew I’d be hungry but I couldn’t crave any particular food. I’m not sure how to explain it. I had no desire for anything really. So I began just eating all my favorites. I even wondered if I’d had COVID and had lost my sense of taste and smell and just didn’t realize it and viewed it more as a loss of appetite, but then that is not right either as I definitely eat. So I ate, and ate good food as all the lock down and post lock down occurred. We have had fattening casseroles and cookies after dinner. If the world was going crazy and we are going through an apocalypse, we might as well eat what we wanted. And drink what we wanted with fancy cocktails and appetizers and hor d’oeuvres. And seconds at dinner because it was there and it was good.

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It’s a wonder we aren’t whales. Maybe we are relative to some. So the scale tipped a bit over what I’d have liked. Ok a lot over what I’d have liked. So before I ever sat in the little office to wait for the doctor, my head was already reeling in thinking of the things that needed to change immediately. I do it after EVERY doc appointment. I create the list. What am I gonna do better? It’s like a New Year in July. What rules are you gonna set that you will slide off from two months from now? Rolls eyes. I know myself too well. But there’s something to say about trying. I was able to lose 30 lbs once. Yeah it was gained back. It has to be the “lifestyle” I’ve said before. And shakes every morning does not cut it for me. I like the shakes but not every morning. The cleanses helped though, but they became burdensome and dreaded over time. But they did help.

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Then come the questions. Why does dessert that tastes good have to be bad for you? Why do the things that are good for you not taste as good as dessert?

But what if we didnt have these annual wake up calls – a call to reckoning? What if you made it fun to eat right and exercise and fit in the size clothes you wanted to fit in. What would that feel like? It’s kind of a religious revival of sorts. A “coming to fess up party” and a change to get on the right path again. A repenting and turning about!

So yeah, it’s time to reign it in a bit and go in a different direction. I’m an hour away from finishing Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food”. In the book he says “eat like the French, eat like the Italians, eat a Mediterranean diet, eat like…..and he goes on and on listing other countries and then says “Just don’t eat like a westerner”. Ahhhh it’s so hard. But I just have to keep on trying. I have to go in the other direction. We can no longer go back to eating what the heck we want. I kinda got over the hamburger addition and pretty much the pasta addiction. I had to give up nuts though and gained crackers, and began adding back the bread. I like to have a munchy in b/w meals. But need to find a good snack to fit this hole in my morning and afternoon. I have since gone back to nuts this week but have had increased pain in my abdomen and some issues there. So backing off again in fear. Was it nuts or those sesame seeds on the side of my sushi, darn it? They sneak in seeds on you everywhere.

I have replaced the crunch with carrots for this next week. A few months ago though, my system could not even digest a carrot and it was recommended to eat all the things I was trying to avoid.

I just wish it was not constant turmoil over what to eat. And that is exactly why I gave up the turmoil saying I’m freaking over this. And Covid happened and we just ate what we wanted.

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I’m pouring my heart out here including my frustrations. But overall I’m not frustrated so much anymore. I’ve tried to accept it as part of life, much like this COVID snarfle (that’s my replacement word for the shidoodle I really want to call it) that we have going on right now.

It’s really just a desire to survive, live, not get a disease, have a heart attack or stroke and be able to enjoy grandchildren. And the only way to survive is to try and do better.

The nurse came in and took my BP – 20 points high. Oh dear. I feared the uppage of the BP meds, or a change in meds which scares the potittle out of me because it usually means issues with your heart, issues breathing, and fluids in places they ought not be. That was the last experiences with trying various BP meds.

But the doc came in himself and took it and it was 120 over 80. Oh yeah. Was it luck or a fluke? Bottom line, no change in meds. All good on the BP front. Bloodwork and urine samples given and those results come in later and will be the real tell all. Is cholesterol high, sugar high? Of course it will be. I’ve been consuming the classic Westerner’s diet, minus a few burgers and fries as I’m past that addiction. I’m not expecting improvement. How could one expect it?

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Do you want to know something? I never even looked at the numbers last time? I couldn’t bare it. I didn’t even peek at it. I was going through the eating issues and I knew it wouldn’t matter anyway, as I was having to eat whatever my body could digest at the time. And things just went sideways from there. Eating changes and diversions just end up causing other issues too it seemed. Remembering “don’t eat white foods” because your sugar is too high. Then having to go back to it b/c I had diverticulitis and nothing could be digested but mac and cheese and potatoes and rice….and broth. Doh! What to do? lol.

It’s a see saw of trial and error. But I have to get back on the see saw. I have to figure out how to level it out. I have to want to do this. I have to want to feel better. Have to want to wear a lower size. And oh I do. I have to image being smaller in my head so that I go toward that. So that I move in the right direction. And see the future and not just satisfy the moment.

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The good news is, I’ve learned to love some healthy things. So while I may sound negative and barking at the trying – after all there is that side of things, I do realize it can be fun to try and do the right things again. To find joy in the journey again. To realize how good you feel again. I can do this again. Maybe not in the exact same way, but in a way that is enjoyable and stickable. I may do a cleanse day and I may not. If it is a dread – I’d say that is dangerous because forcing myself to do a dreaded day only makes me never want to do that again. But when I enjoyed it, I longed for it again.

So. I think it is all about the mindset. I think that is the biggest tangle aside from what your body will allow and tolerate…..and digest. I mean for some reason, I can’t even tolerate ketchup anymore. It burns my esophagus. I can eat it on something like a burger if it is a small amount. Or if it’s mixed in something, but just to dip a fry in it burns my insides. So odd.

Anyway, yeah, the mindset. I will try again and I’ll have a good mindset about it. I’ll focus again. We’ll keep working at it. And try to make it fun. And I’ll share my experience.

And so…so far all is ok – no changes in meds. And I will review both this doc visits numbers and will also pull last times numbers as it will be in my records on line. I will look at the data and not let it alarm me. I will just knowingly try to do better. Research shows eating like most any other country will give less of a chance of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. So how broad is that?

Let’s explore our options out there? Let’s learn a cultural change of how we eat? And of how we think about eating. It has to be a different kind of change. Who’s with me?

That said, it’s the weekend now and we have some plans. I’ll see you either later in the weekend or on Monday morning. What you guys doing this weekend? Be safe. We will be too!

Figuring Things Out, Getting Things Done, or NOT

Good morning! A quick entry here as my alarm did not go off. Or I turned it off in my sleep. I kinda remember hitting my watch and wondering if I had turned it off completely. But I intended to blog this morning. So I shall!

The worst news of the day is that the diverticulitis is back. I began having twinges of pain in the lower left abdomen where my “diverticulae sac” is. (The pocket of the colon at the turn where things get stuck.) I am pretty sure it was tomato seeds. Since the whole stomach is not raw and upset, I know it’s not a colitis situation as it is only a certain section that is irritated. So likely something stuck. I had tomatoes also in my Mexican food the other night and had spaghetti twice. My guess is that there is a polyp or something that needs to be removed that is making things so difficult in there. I think it’s been five years – maybe 3 – since the last colonoscopy. But he’s (the doc) likely going to send me in for that. Our medical procedures are opening up now. However, I am first going to see if I can sneak through this one. I can’t live on antibiotics so if it gets worse, or I cannot pass, or I begin getting a fever (infection) – then I will call. It may get better on its own and heal if I do the liquids and soft foods and start over and we’ll see if I can buy some time during this pandemic. But the colonoscopy, polyp removal – or worst case scenario – surgery – some of it is inevitable. There is no sense in worrying about it. It is going to be what it is going to be. Hopefully it will turn out well.

I feel bad for George who has tried to eat with me and eat things that I have to eat. He’s a real trooper in that way. But he must be getting tired of this scenario that keeps happening. Back to the drawing board.

I got into all the vitamins this weekend and finally decided what I needed to take when. I decided to buy and AM and PM pack – so that some will be taken in the morning and some at lunch time with my meal. This is the one I picked out from Amazon. How cool is that. It’s nice as you take out the day and put in your purse if you don’t want the whole thing. This is perfect. I’ll probably be taking out the Saturday and Sunday ones as I won’t have my “work bag” with me when we are out running around. Hopefully the pills fit, lol. These are bigger than they look. I think they will hold 3 big vitamin E’s on each side (for example).

So, I did get a lot done yesterday. I was pretty happy. Although I did not do a lot of cleaning. It really didn’t need a lot of cleaning. Most things are in it’s space and we’ve not messed up too much. I did work on the laundry, hung the bulletin board, got the ironing done, nails and toes done, dog baths are done (even trimmed their front paws but not the back as they won’t be still). Bed sheets changed, pill box ordered, packages from the week opened and put up. Also checked out Zoom. It’s $14.99 for a month. So I did not upgrade to the paid version yet. But I had George get on and practice so I could see how it would work. Seems pretty easy. I also watched the online church in Graham Tx.

But the things I’m most excited about is that I watched a couple of YouTube videos on Movavi software and actually had the free version on my laptop which I’d forgotten about. I hopped on the laptop to do something else and that icon popped out and grabbed my attention.

It’s been a while since I’ve been on my windows laptop. I have it on the desk (table) on the other side of the office but may move it over to this long desk next to my iMac so I can still do PSP. Anyway it’s a lap top and moveable. But the important thing is that since that icon jumped out to me and I opened it up, it took me to their website and I could see the prices. It was reasonable. $79 for lifetime download for it. So that led me to watching the YouTubes just to see what it was like.

The videos showed the basics of starting and saving and several things in between. So I downloaded the software and gave George $100 bucks of my blow money which is all saved up as we’ve not been going anywhere (lol) – it was that much with tax and some extra fee that they had to protect your download. A fee they probably came up with instead of raising the price, lol.

So I got on the iMac and downloaded. It came in a package of downloads. It had a separate video recording program and some type of Media Player. So all that was a little bit confusing as each one had a key and I was trying to use the key for the wrong thing until I realized “oh I had three emails with different keys” on it. The other two came later after I had already grabbed the first one thinking it was for all three, lol. Geez.

So yeah, I bit the bullet and went with a much easier program to use. I actually made a little stupid video with a few clips just to try it really quickly. iMovie has more upgraded things to work with. Movavi is coming out with a newer version in June. But it looks like I already have the 2020 one – at least it says 2020 on it. So maybe I just got it early. iMovie has a better look to its transitions and titles and has a LOT of music to work with. Movavi’s tools were not as many but what good is iMovie if it corrupts my videos and doesn’t work.

So to appease my soul at having to give up a lot of really good sound effects and music with iMovie, I allowed myself to join Epidemic Sound (one month free) which is know to be THE BEST at being able to download songs (can search by mood, or music type, or emotion) for the video you need it for and with copyright protection when uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.

So….if I am going to pay a $15.99 per month fee for Epidemic sound, then I need to be making a lot of videos. lol I may not keep this around forever, but as I told George – “I found a new hobby”. It’s just something I would like to learn to do. I first want to be able to do our vacation videos. But at some point, I may just do some simple videos of our week to add to the blog. Much like blogging led to graphics, it’s also leading me to video now and want to integrate Vlogging into it, if I can and if it makes sense to do so and I can be artful and intent with it – and it is a useful thing. So we’ll see.

I also did the Magazine project which is for the past couple of years, I have folded magazine pages of things I want to go back and keep. Many were recipes, many were websites, some were products to check into. So I’ve torn them out, tossed the magazines, and separated out the recipes and the other is in a file “check out on the internet”. I will share with you as I look these things up. Some things were very interesting. Some were blogs. So I’ll share with you as I “make the magazines come to life” as I call it. lol

And I need to quit blogging and go get dressed, pack some liquids/lite foods for the day to give my colon a rest, and put makeup on and go to payroll related activities. Sadly the info I needed did not come Friday to begin starting on the unemployment taxes we have to pay for the many states we have employees in. There is no way it can all be done in two days along with everything else that has to be done once payroll is closed. So pretty good chance it’ll just have to be late. I’m only one person and also don’t know what will happen with this diverticulitis thing either. It’s a ticking time clock right now. But the phrase of the decade is: “It is what it is!” None of it really in my control so why worry about it.

Country Opening Up, Diverticulitis, and Other Mid Week Talk

Look what dear daughter did! She is a hunter for sure. I stole this from her social media. She is a woman of many talents.

Well the news is sounding better about the virus. I’m really just baffled by it all. The cases are going up which is what we see in the graphs – even during the shutdown and social distancing. Up 28.9% from last week, yet we are talking reopening the country. And I’m hearing we are flattening out – ummmm, but the graph is going up. So the argument there is that the testing has increased but the ratio of those testing positive to the number of tests done are going down so therefore we can reopen.

This is why numbers can be so confusing. You can twist anything around to “fit the need”. I’m not in either camp really. I am just about as ready as anyone else to get back to a normal life where can go and do and see people, despite the fact that I love love love being home more since I’m an introvert anyway! That part has been a dream. lol. And I do get the fact that business and the economy has been harmed. I also appreciate the fact that the government looked out for people or society as a whole. I get the fact they are in the middle of trying to keep people safe versus tanking the economy. They acted swiftly despite all the accusations that they didn’t. I mean considering the fact that the country was basically shut down – that anyone including our president – give pause at doing so – is understandable in my opinion. I’m not being political at all – I am just speaking from a human being’s standpoint and how I would have reacted if it was me. Shutting down a country is a scary thing to do but it was brave and necessary. I get that it is complicated. But I guess we cannot be “safer at home” forever or “stuck at home” or however you want to refer to it. I guess the fact that this has got people’s attention – maybe if we ease back into society with ‘rules’ it will be ok. That is my hope. However, we all know that people live to break rules because everyone has to be their own individual self with their own individual will according to how they would have it. So we all know how it will go. Unless this virus is killed off by the summer heat – then – it’s gonna get bad before it gets worse.

So people are showing signs of having antibodies in certain regions. I’ve not looked at this much and don’t know a lot about it but that is promising.

Well in case you have been wondering, I’ve been several days with NO pain now as far as the diverticulitis. I’ve not even started the new supplement routine, although they have started arriving. All were to have arrived today in one shipment but some arrived yesterday, some coming today and some tomorrow, lol – I tried to help the deliver guy, by scheduling it to come at once but it is all coming different times.

I definitely think the probiotics help that I began taking again that I already had from THAT SHAKE/SUPPLEMENT COMPANY I USE, the mid day supplement I take for metabolism that has green tea, cinnamon, pepper – I forget what all. And I’ve taken a digestive enzyme with dinner, and then at night magnesium. I’ve also, much like my Dad used to, drink a couple of glasses of ice water with and after dinner – replacing an after dinner glass of wine or decaf coffee.

This is making me savor that happy hour beer or glass of wine as a really special treat. But I’ve also with the same fervor, told myself to enjoy the ice water. And it really is becoming something I’m looking forward to after dinner. I fill my cup FROM THAT SHAKE/SUPPLEMENT COMPANY I DO with ice, add the filtered water, put the top on and add a straw. I go through two of these.

So, it’s been a couple of work days AT WORK the last two days. Today I am at home. It’s easier to blog on those days as I don’t have to put on make up or have a commute. I enjoy each day whether it’s at home or work. It seems about perfect to have two days there, one here, one day there and then one here again, that way I can toss things back and forth, print every other day and so forth. It’s been easier to get things done having only one day at home in b/w the other days.

The parts that are challenging is wagging work files back and forth. And judging how much work you will be doing for the time at home. Bring it all? Or not? It’s hard to judge. But I’ve learned to overload myself so I have what I need. It’s frustrating to get into something and part of what you need is at work or vice versa. So that big white tote bag is what I use to go back and forth. The flowered bag I got at the Mercantile (Pioneer Woman’s shop) and love it. I actually use it as a carryover work bag – I put lunch in it, vitamins, snacks, water, drinks, anything I need for the day. My computer glasses also are in there. An umbrella is in one end and water bottle can be put in the other. Each end has a pouch. This bag is perfect for my carryover bag! But lugging purse, work bag and my lunch/carryover bag all three – is a bit much sometimes. I brought a lot of stuff home yesterday (files) in the big white bag for doing taxes and such and I like to have never made it up the stairs. It’s month end again, so more states to pay.

I had to laugh at Monday’s selfie. I was trying to smile for the camera but it ended up being a smirk. I guess my smiles are just smirks. lol.

I really intended on eating chili for lunch yesterday and testing the waters from a spicy standpoint. But after looking at the sodium content of 1700 mgs per can- I decided to go with something else.

I ordered Cracker Barrel. They had free delivery. And they have a limited menu right now but still the old favorites. I had grilled chicken, brocolli, and pintos. And I ate a biscuit and butter. And then later on mid afternoon I had the other one. I didn’t care. I just ate it.

George fixed shrimp and grits Monday night and then we had hamburger steaks and onion rings (cooked in the air fryer). I went back for 2nd’s on the onion rings and George had eaten all the 2nd’s. lol. He said “oh I thought you didn’t like them”. He said I made a face when he said we were having them for dinner. I don’t remember making a face. I could have wondered if they would be good for me but I didn’t say I didn’t like them. I tried to get over the fact that he ate the seconds – I didn’t care that he ate the seconds – it was just that my taste buds wanted them and I was so excited to go back and they were gone. So I ended up air frying some more. After all it was only 6 minutes at 360. So then life could go on! lol

Here was his shrimp and grits dish.

Sometimes frozen shrimp can taste fishy and I thought these were fishy. That has no bearing on George as a cook. The grits were great, the dish was great. But I think we needed a better quality shrimp for the dish itself.

Well, I guess I need to go figure out breakfast and get plugged in and set up for work.

Oh, I did get the baby shower invitations bought yesterday thru Amazon. So I marked that off the list. And I had some time after work and before dinner to watch a show – I love to watch the YouTube shows but have to sneak them in when I can because they are not George’s favorites. It was a perk to get to do that yesterday.

Ya’ll have a great day and I’ll likely post again on Friday morning.

How do you feel about our country opening again? I’m not sure exact date around here but think it’s going to be around May 1 for some things. Our business is coming back at work also so that is a good thing. I am guessing that by mid May or end of May that we’ll be back FT at work and at our desks all week. But that is just me speculating. I really have no idea. All it takes is one of us getting that dang virus to mess all that up.

Well, ya’ll be good!