Outlook Good

Well here we are in 2019.  The last couple days have been a bit of a roller coaster for me, fraught with challenges galore, but I am keeping my head above water.  Maybe a better way of looking at it is that with the winter break for my kids, and my foot stuff, and snow now dumping on us, things have been a little out of sorts, but we will get back in our groove, and spring will be here sooner than we know.  That's what I'm banking on!  Even my dog had a hard time getting going today, he is used to sleeping in with me until 7am and this morning's 5am alarm didn't sit well with him.  Lazy dog laid by the fire refusing to go outside. 
I did enjoy having off yesterday, and I spent my time doing a whole lot of nothing too productive.  I spent some time on Facebook, doing a little genealogy, and watching YouTube videos.  I found some inspirational videos about people losing weight and that really made me feel positive.  Then I watched a sad video about a 600+ pound girl who was really quite beautiful, who not only lost and regained 200 pounds but was diagnosed with cancer but they couldn't do surgery until she lost 150 pounds, and she spoke of her determination to do so, but the video ended before I could find out more.  I also looked at a few more ads about magic pills that help lose weight, some of the same old stuff like green tea extract, and probiotics, etc.  I do believe that gut health is essential and I have been taking a probiotic, but it is not a real high quality one.  So if anything, I may spruce up my vitamin profile a little. 
In my "research" the one thing I have heard a few times is that if you want to specifically LOSE WEIGHT (not speaking about health or fitness at all, just drop pounds), exercise is almost irrelevant.  It takes a lot to burn off calories, and if you are starving yourself AND exercising you may be losing muscle.  Anyway, I want to be healthy no matter what weight I end up at, so I know I need exercise to acheive that goal.  It is good for heart, brain, bones, stability and flexibility depending on what you do.  All of those things are what I want. 
I did catch myself reacting to someone I saw in a video that was non-related to weight.  There was a group of friends gathered and one of them was considerably larger than the rest.  I thought to myself, that is my in a group of people, the bigger one who you can't help but look away from, or at least, look on with sadness.  I felt myself thinking, if she just buckled down and lost a little weight she would feel awesome about herself.  And that was me talking both to the lady on the screen and, ultimately, me.  But maybe neither one of us is unhappy, maybe we are not broken and needing to be fixed.  The things I want for myself are not necessarily related to looks.  Sure, if I were smashing my goals of being fit and healthy it would come along with the side effect of changing how I look, but that's not my primary goal. 
My blood pressure is better, I am making sure to limit myself to 2 cups of coffee a day and not have any other caffeine besides.  It causes a slight inflation in my blood pressure, maybe 5-6 points in my systolic (top number) which is in a more normal place than the diastolic.  Still, I may try to ween myself completely off it and only have an occassional cup as a treat.  That will be hard but not impossible.  I don't really notice a huge difference in alertness with the little I do have. 
I have been cutting back on alcohol since July and will continue to only have it occassionally.  I was able to reason with myself on New Year's Eve that I really don't need any, even though I was really stressed out from having to drive home on ice and snow covered roads and take the dog out in deep snow which twisted my bad foot a couple times.  I was tempted to have some alcohol, to numb myself, and we even had some on hand, but I realized that all it would do is make my feet hot, make my stomach feel bad, make me dehydrated and potentially make me wake up with a headache or dizzy and groggy.  So I didn't.  I had a salad with lots of onions and drank a bunch of water.  I slept good and felt great when I woke up. 
I have cleaned up my eating.  Looking at diet and weight loss stuff does inspire me to do better for myself.  It is a tool I will need along the way.  I'm still not really totally commited to any one thing right now, even though I am eating pretty low-carb right now, that doesn't mean that won't morph into something else later.  I do have overnight oats for breakfast because I saw some recommendations for healthier heart/blood pressure saying oatmeal is one of the best things you can eat to lower blood pressure due to the fiber.  It doesn't cause sugar cravings so I don't mind starting my day off that way.  Salads and eggs etc are on the menu this week too.  After all the "diet" stuff I have been seeing lately, I did stop by a blog of a mindful eat advocate Dr. Stacy and with all the conflicting advice I've seen over the past few days, it was nice to kind of hear the advice that all that diet stuff creates more noise in our heads than is helpful or necessary.  So I am kind of going rogue, doing me, and I'll adapt to what my body is doing.  I know I said I was going to go back to South Beach but I really want to have oatmeal and bananas in my diet for my heart health, and because they taste good and sweet (the oatmeal is unsweetened but I pour a teaspoon of Maca powder on it, chia seeds, hemp hearts, walnut pieces and some blueberries) and that satisfies me greatly while being of benefit to my heart.  Win-win.  Works for me.  I am happy to say that my only craving so far was for a juicy burger (odd one for me) and we made some lean burgers last night which I had without the bun and with a side of sea-salted cucumber instead of chips.  It hit the spot and calmed the cravings.  I am also enlisting the help of sugar-free Juicy Fruit Starburst gum which feels like a treat.  The mental state of eating healthier is a reward in itself, I really feel like I lost about 3 pounds of water weight in a day and I feel so much better not being all bloated and feeling like my stomach defines me because it's so prominent. 
Anyway, here's to starting the new year on the right foot! Hope this is the year that we all find peace with food and ourselves.  Cheers!


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