My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Perspective

It’s all about perspective.
It’s something Tyler told me not long after we started working together.
It’s something I’m still learning.

I’ve been known to dwell on the bad stuff happening, instead of focusing on all the good around me.
I’m trying to change that. I’ve been working on it a while.
Sometimes I’m pretty good at it. Sometimes I’m not.
Sometimes it takes a friend or loved one to point out that I need to focus on the good.
Thankfully I have people around who do that.

When I was younger, I would sometimes get excited about something new, some new challenge. But when I would tell some people about it, they seemed to take great pleasure in pointing out negative aspects of it, to the point that I was no longer excited and would just give up on the idea. I don’t know if they meant it to happen, I would hope not, but more often than not, that’s what happened.

And I think over the years, I learned to do that for myself. I would be happy about something, but almost as quickly, I would see the negatives of the situation. It’s like I was talking myself of even trying.

But I never recognized that’s what I was doing. It took people around me to tell me, to show me what I was doing. And that only started happening in the last few years.

Now, I didn’t always do this. But it seemed to happen more often than not. Sometimes I wonder how many great opportunities I missed out on because I did this.

I’m learning how destructive that can be though.
When I do this, I’m robbing myself of the joy, the wonder of all the good there is.
It takes away from the beauty in the every day.
It makes me forget how lucky am I.

Over the last few years, I have gotten better at not dwelling on the negative. But I still do it. And sometimes when I do, it goes on and on for awhile. It can be hard to snap out of that mindset.

It’s been 3 weeks since the car accident. And I’ve been dwelling on it. The cuts on my neck and hands that are becoming scars. The soreness in my body that is preventing me from running and getting a really good workout in. The fact that we need a new car.

And when I start thinking about these things, it snowballs into other things.
I start blaming myself for the accident. If I hadn’t been going away that weekend, we wouldn’t have been on the highway. And I blame the weather. If it hadn’t been raining so hard, we might not have crashed. And I blame my husband. If he had been driving slower, we might not have crashed. If he had noticed that the back tires needed replacing, we might not have crashed. But it always comes back to blaming myself.

And then I start blaming myself for other things too. It’s a vicious cycle.

Usually when it gets bad like that, it can last awhile. And it almost always takes the words of a friend to break me out of it.

I wouldn’t say I’m completely out of that mindset with the accident, but I’m trying. I’m really trying. Friends have definitely helped with that, reminding me that I’m a lucky person, and not just with the accident.

I have a house to live in.
I have food to eat.
I have a wonderful husband.
I have 3 great cats.
I have been cancer free for 4 1/2 years.
I can go out walking.
I volunteer with 2 great organizations.
I have loving friends and family.
I call one of the best countries in the world home.
I live in a beautiful town with lots of friendly people.
I can see beauty in every day things.
I can hear wonderful music.
I can taste good food.
I can read and appreciate beautiful books.
I can watch television and movies.

There are a lot of people in this world who are not so lucky.
And I need to remember that.
I need to remember just how good I have it, just lucky I am, even when bad things are happening.
It’s all about perspective.

Even with the accident.
Yes it was bad thing that happened.
But it could have been a lot worse.
It was a single-car accident.
And we walked away from it.
Yes, we both had some injuries.
But they were/are relatively minor ones.
It’s all about perspective.

I’m a very lucky woman.
I need to remember that.
And thank you to those friends who remind me of that when I need it.

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I only have myself to blame

One of the things I’ve learned about myself along this journey is that I’m an emotional eater and a stress eater.  Most of the time I have pretty good control of it.  Most of the time.

The last 6 months or so have been hard.  There have been times when I’ve been pretty stressed out.  And the events of the last several days have not helped any.  And I haven’t been about to control my eating the way I had been.

I’ve been struggling.  A lot.  With everything, it feels like.

The result?

The scale is going in the wrong direction.

And I only have myself to blame.

I’ve been trying.  But obviously not hard enough.

My workouts are different.  I’m not doing as much strength training as I was.  And I’m sure that has contributed to the problem.

I’m trying not to be too hard on myself.  But how can I not be?

I was making such great progress.  And now I’m going backwards.

And now since the accident, I can’t do much until I get the okay from the doctor.

The only thing I’ve been able to do is a little walking.  But with my sore hip, it takes effort.  And it’s not something I can do every day.  Nor can I go for really long walks.

And that just makes me want to eat more.

I’m trying to be good.  Really, I’m trying.  But it’s so hard.

Not everything I’m eating is bad.

Okay, some of it is.  I try not to keep that stuff in the house, but my husband and I don’t eat the same.  He can have anything he wants.  So sometimes we have stuff in the house.  Most of the time, it’s not a problem.  But lately it has been.

When I’m stress-eating or emotional-eating, I gravitate towards things like bread and sweets.  Not sure why, but I always have.  So if there is bread in the house, I just keep eating it, little by little, until it’s gone.  The same thing goes for sweets.

But sometimes it doesn’t stop there.  Sometimes I just will eat whatever I can find.  It depends on how big the stress or emotional level is.

To make matters worse, I’ve not been keeping up with my food journal as I should be.

I had been really good about it for so long.  I don’t know why I stopped.

I really need to get back to doing it.  I know how much it helps.

I need to get back to basics, I think.

I need to refocus.

I need to plan my meals and snacks better.

I need to do what workouts I can until I get the doctor’s clearance.  And once I get that, I need to get back to do workouts like I used to.

I only have myself to blame for where I’m at now.

But I can’t continually beat myself up about it either.

I need to get myself back on track and do my best to stay there.

I’m not giving up.  I’ve come too far.  And too much is at stake.

I just need to do better.

I will do better.

 

 

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Mission: Offer Support

Originally, when I started writing this post, I was going to talk about how I offer support to those around me.  Whether it be sending them a quick note on facebook, sending them a card, offering to buy us coffee, or just letting them know I’m around if they ever need anything.  I had planned on giving several examples of things I’ve done recently.

But then things changed.

I found myself in need of support.

And my friends rallied.

It was amazing.

I had planned to go away this weekend to visit friends in Arizona.  I was scheduled to fly out Thursday afternoon, May 1st.   My husband is an accountant, and they always have May 1st off, so that’s why I scheduled my flight that day.  It had been raining on and off for a couple of days, but the weather looked pretty good for that afternoon.

We headed to Toronto (the closest airport) in the morning, stopping for coffee and gas along the way.  It had been sprinkling a little when we stopped.  After we got back on the road, it started raining harder.  A few minutes after getting back on the road, my husband lost control of the car.  We began fishtailing.  He tried to regain control, but couldn’t.  We headed into the ditch and rolled.  I took the brunt of the impact because we landed on my side first.  I remember my window shattering.  I had been looking towards my husband, so I did not get hit in the face with the glass.  I had been bracing myself with my hands, so that’s where I got cut.  When we came to a stop, the car was resting on the driver’s side.  Thankfully we were both wearing our seat belts.  I remember my husband screaming through the entire crash.  Once we stopped, I did my best to calm him down.  It happened so quick, yet it felt almost like slow motion.  My cell phone was in my left pocket.  I had my husband grab it so we could call for help.  He was in a shock, I think, and couldn’t figure out how to call out on it. (We have different types of phones — I have an iPhone, he has a Blackberry).  He handed it to me and I called 911.   The lady who answered was really nice.  Her name was Rachel.  I explained what happened and where we were.  She asked a couple of questions as she sent for help for us.  She stayed on the phone with me until they arrived.  We were in between towns, so help came from both.  The police arrived first, followed very quickly by the paramedics and the fire department.

They talked to us through my broken window.  They were trying to figure out how to get us out safely.  Eventually, one of the paramedics opened the back of the car (it’s a Hyundai Tuscon), and crawled in.  They had removed all the stuff from the back, cut the seat belts to get them out of the way, and laid the backseat down.  They were going to try to get my husband out first, but no one could reach the lever to lay his seat back.  So we decided to try to get me out first.  They laid my seat back, cut my seat belt so I could move.  I very carefully moved my legs out and stepped down near my husband.  I carefully stepped over him towards the back.  At that point, he was able to get out of his seat.  After a couple of minutes, I was able to walk out the back of the car, followed shortly by my husband.  Once I stepped out, 2 paramedics grabbed a hold of me to walk me to the ambulance.  I had remained pretty calm the whole time, but once I was out of the car, I lost it.  I’m pretty sure if I had not had those paramedics holding on to me, I would have fallen into the mud.  I walked to the ambulance and climbed in under my own power.  I never looked back at the car.  They started asking me questions, like my name and birth date, and taking my vital signs.  After what seemed like forever, we headed to the hospital.  My husband was in a different ambulance.  I found out later that he too, walked out of the car and to the ambulance under his own power.

Once at the hospital, we were seen quickly by the people in triage and registration.  One of my first thoughts was to call my friend who I was going to see.  I was shaking terribly from the accident.  I called Jeff and after saying that it was me calling, the next thing I said to him was “Don’t Panic!”  I explained we had been in car accident on the way to the airport.  We were at the hospital, but okay.  I said I would call him later when I had more information.

We were at the hospital for a couple of hours.  I had to get a tetanus shot.  My right shoulder and hand were really hurting, so they did x-rays to be safe.   I was covered in mud.  My husband was covered in mud and coffee.  But we were okay.  We walked away from it.  Relatively speaking, it was a minor accident.  We have minor cuts and bruises, me moreso than him.  But we walked away.

We also spoke with the police while we were there.  No other cars were involved, which was good.  We found out that back tires were nearly bald, which is probably why we lost control.  Or at least partly why.  They gave us a copy of the police report.

My husband’s office is only a couple of blocks from the hospital we were at, so after they said we could go, we walked down to his office.  He called the insurance company; I called my travel agent and travel insurance company.  I also messaged my friend to let him know what was going on.  I had thought still trying to make my trip, but in the end, we agreed it was probably best to cancel and rebook for a later date.

After being there for a couple of hours, we called my husband’s best friend.  He explained about the accident, and his best friend left work early to come pick us up.  He was very concerned, but happy to hear we were both okay.

After we got home, I posted on my Facebook that we were okay, but that we had been in an accident.  I gave only a few details.  Almost immediately, I got messages back, expressing concern, asking if were okay, asking if we needed anything.  Some people asked what had happened.  All day messages came in.  Some who had not seen the initial posting, but heard about it later, posted messages on my wall.  One friend offered to stop by the next day with some coffee and to see if I was okay.  The outpouring of love and support from our friends and family was awesome.  Messages and phone calls are still coming in.

That day started with such promise.

Then the unexpected happened.

And then the most wonderful things happened.  Our friends and family may not realize the effect their simple words had, but I’ll never forget.  They took the time to offer their support in our time of need, and I will always be grateful for that.  When we needed them, they were there.  Even from far away, they were there.

I have always tried to be there for my friends whenever they have needed me.  Letting them know I will always be there, no matter what.

And when my husband and I needed them, they were there.  Without question.  With great concern for us.  They were there.

When we needed the support of the police, paramedics, and fire department, they were there within minutes.

When we needed the support of the staff at the hospital, they were there.

My point is this:   We all need support at one time or another.  Always do your best to offer support to others because you never know when you’ll need that support back.

It doesn’t have to be big.  Just a kind word.  Ask how they are.  Offer to stop by for a short visit.  Invite them out for coffee or even just a walk around the neighbourhood.  Let them know you are there for them.

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