Friday, October 31, 2014

Success

Day 31 - 31 Day Challenge
To read this challenge from the beginning, click HERE.

This month of blogging has definately been a challenge.  No one forced me to choose the topic of health. No one forced me to post each day.  But I took up the challenge and am better for it.

While I am glad I can be a little more varied with my topics from now on, I will try to continue to blog more often than before the challenge started.  That shouldn't be too hard, as I only posted once every few months.

Setting a goal is healthy. Whether or not you meet that goal is sometimes not as important as doing your best to achieve success.  I may not have lost more weight this month than ever before, but I set small goals and started working towards success.

I am surprised I achieved this goal.  I was sure I would miss a day or two along the way.  It is fun to surprise yourself.  Surprising yourself can give you a boost of confidence that you weren't expecting and is much needed.  Knowing I can get a blog post in everyday for a month shows me I can get at least two done per week.  I have blogged while camping, traveling and during the normal everyday busy-ness.

For those of you who checked in to see what I was up to during the month - THANKS.  It was fun to see the numbers of those who visited my blog each day.  Thanks for the support, comments, and encouragement. I hope you will come back and see what I am up to when I am not chatting about health.

Please continue to set goals, drink your water, and eat wisely.  I am still walking the road towards health. Don't give up.

Let's do this!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How to Handle a Migraine

Day 30 - 31 Day Challenge
To see the other posts in this series, click HERE.

If you have never had a migraine headache, you will not fully understand this post.  If you have, you will understand it all too well.

I have very sporadic migraines, maybe one or two every three years or so.  This week I had two warnings that migraines are approaching.  My symptoms are funny to the non-educated and when I am not experiencing them, they are funny to me as well.

When a head pounding issue is arriving it is polite enough to send messages ahead to prepare.  First my fingers go numb.  My index finger begins the numb parade. By the time I have feeling back in that pointer finger, the odd sensation has worked its way through all my digits in a wave from pointer to pinkie.  Then the numbness continues down my palm and disappears.

My tongue delivers the next warning.  Apparently, when the numbness is finished with my fingers, it travels up to my mouth, but only partially.  Half of my tongue tingles just like the effects of the dentist's novocain.  You can only imagine trying to explain what's going on when you tongue is just not cooperating.

Message number three comes from my eyes.  Blind spots occur in my peripheral vision, usually the outside edges, but last night it was the bottom, outside quarter of my right eye.  That was the biggest one ever.  Between the blind spot and good vision is what I refer to as a starry patch of rainbow colored flares.  Those are kind of pretty to look at if it didn't get in the way of actually seeing.

All these symptoms then disappear in the order of appearance.  Sometimes they overlap, but most of the time they are very mannerly and take turns.  This polite warning system allows me to prepare for the pain that may or may not follow. What? you may ask.  Yes, I have discovered I can go through all or some of the symptoms and not get the headache, but I will wake up the next morning with a killer of a hangover headache. The kind where the pain is a dull ache in the background until you cough or bend over or do anything that puts pressure on or to you head, then WHAM a sledgehammer of pain will stop you in your tracks.  Once the pressure is gone, so is the pain.  Your brain feels black and blue for several hours.  Day two after the migraine (for me anyway) all is right with the world with only the dull ache in the background.

Like I said, this happened to me twice this week on the days that my wonderful husband was out of town with work.  Thankfully, the pain did not follow the symptoms either time, but the lingering headaches did.  I am wondering if because the pain did not come, the symptoms will keep coming until the headaches arrive and clear the slate.

I have discovered, that when it is possible, I just need to not fight what is happening. I need to turn off the lights and just go lay down and ride it out.  The pain passes quicker and stays away longer than if  I try to muscle through my day and try to ignore the migraine notices.

I am not sure if there is a cycle to my migraines or if they are tied to any state of health, but I will do what I can to endure and bounce back from them as quick as possible so I can continue down the path towards better health.

Let's do this.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Water, water, everywhere (and a few other options)

Day 29 - 31 Day Challenge
To read this challenge from the beginning, please click HERE

Grab your water bottle and pull up a seat.  I have written how much water we are supposed to drink in a day.  I try, I really do, but sometimes, water is just so blah.  After working out or doing some serious yard work, I can guzzle water without thinking about it.  But in the middle of the day, the thought of drinking another sip of plain water makes my throat close up. So I have researched alternatives that still count as water but have flavor and even a little kick.

Option 1 - Add something to plain water.  I have added chunks of ginger root, slices of cucumber, and even though I cannot do this myself, lemon or lime slices work well too.  These additions do not take away any of the health benefits of water. they may even add a smidge of extra healthiness.

Option 2 - find a recipe that does not add chemicals or sugar to your body.  I have mentioned the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating.  They introduced me to "Good Girl Moonshine".  There is no alcohol involved in this drink.  In our house we refer to it as "Ginger Pop".  It is my soda/pop/cola replacer.  It is a great refresher on those hot summer days when you used to reach for a bubbly beverage.

           Fill a quart jar with ice, then fill with water leaving about an inch empty at the top.
           Add a half inch of ginger root or 1 teaspooon of ginger powder.  Add 1-2 Tablespoons of apple
           cider vinegar. Finish the mix off with 1-2 packets of truvia (all natural sugar replacement).  Put
           the lid on the jar and shake to mix it well and disolve the truvia.  Drink while ice cold.

Adjust this recipe until it totally suits you.  Add more truvia, less ginger, what ever floats your boat to make this drink your favorite over the sodas you used to reach for.

There are many other recipes like this out there.  Some for hot weather and some for cold.  Some in the format of a smoothie texture others a lite latte version.

What ever it takes to get your liquids in, please do it to help your body get healthy.  Let's do this,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fresh Air

Day 28 - 31 Day Challenge
To read some of the rest of the series, click HERE

A nasty cold has settled on my oldest child.  We were up until 12:30 last night.  Even though he is 12, he wanted to have his momma hold him for a little bit while he fell asleep.  I jumped at the chance even though a migrain was threatening. The symptoms were announcing themselves in their usual order: numb fingers, numb tongue, loss of peripherial vision, then the headache.

Anyway, I had obligations this morning and once those were accomplished, I warned the boys with penalty of death I was not to be disturbed, and went back to bed for a hour.  It is amazing what sound sleep can do.  My headache had retreated to the background and I was ready to teach school (consider it a four hour delay).

I glanced outside.  The sun was playing with the clouds as the wind rocked the tops of the trees.  The temperature was higher than it has been for a week and most likely as high as it will be until after winter.  Snow is in the forecast for this weekend.  Knowing these facts, we packed up our school room and headed out to our outdoor classroom (aka the back deck) and learning commenced.

As read aloud began, we breathed in deep and relaxed in the warmth of the sun.  Tension of the morning of illness and headache wars blew away with the breeze.  The beauty of the autumn trees surrounded us with art that can't be duplicated by any man.  The music of the leaves rustling and the birds chirping was a wonderful accompainment to the lessons being read.

There is something about being outside and breathing in lungfulls of fresh air to lift your spirits and make you feel better.  Looking ahead to the winter and being inside each day, makes us enjoy this day all the more.  School in front of the fireplace is special too, and I will tell about that in another post this winter.

Today, I am going to enjoy this summer day that got lost in the days of fall. I will get in my two mile walk with a friend this evening and enjoy it all the longer.

Breath deep, everyone.  Let's do this.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Healthy Doesn't Always Mean Skinny

I am going to put myself out there.  In more ways than one.  I have decided to join a 31 day blogging challenge for the month of October.  Since I am very sporadic when it comes to my blog and actually  finishing posting the drafts I have written, posting everyday for a month will be a wonderful way to get the ball rolling (right?).

Also, I must blog about a specific topic.  I am going to be honest about my journey toward a healthier me.  Yes, I have weight to lose (and have since my 10-year old was born), but my goal is not a lower number on the scale. My goal is to breath easier, sleep better, move better and keep up with my energetic boys.

I will talk about past successes and failures, the short cuts I dream of but would never try, and food issues along the way.  I will keep a running list of my posts here so that you can start here and find new posts easier than scrolling through all of them each day.

Day 1: Welcome!
Day 2: What Have I Done?!?!?
Day 3: The Dreaded "D" word.
Day 4: Our Newest Hobby
Day 5: Get Out There
Day 6: Health for the mind and soul
Day 7: Healthy enough to try something new.
Day 8: Confidence is Healthy
Day 9: Moderation
Day 10: Water Water Everywhere
Day 11: Hiking for Health
Day 12: Day of Rest
Day 13: Success
Day 14: Sleep
Day 15: What is Healthy?
Day 16: Planning Ahead
Day 17: What Do You Do When You're Sick?
Day 18: A Journey From White to Black
Day 19: Discouragement
Day 20: Work out with out the gym
Day 21: Connection
Day 22: My schedule for Better Health
Day 23: Snacks in Sight
Day 24: Benefits of Health
Day 25: Running Late is NOT Healthy
Day 26: Laughter - It's Healthy
Day 27: In The Home Stretch
Day 28: Fresh Air
Day 29: Water, Water Everywhere (and a few other options)
Day 30: How to Handle A Migraine
Day 31: Success

Thanks for dropping by and I welcome any encouragement along the way.

If you are a blogger/writer, and want more information about this writing challenge, click here!

In The Home Stretch

Day 27 - 31 Day Challenge
To read the rest of the series, click HERE

I am amazed I have made it this far into this challenge.  I was confident in the beginning.  I knew it was something I could do, but was it something I would do?

 "The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach." ~Benjamin Mays

Setting goals is important.  It gives us something to strive for. Something to work towards. While we may not achieve our goals everytime, each attempt gives us a chance to better ourselves and our accomplishments.

"If the plan doesn't work, change the plan, not the goal."

Without a goal, do we know where we are headed? Without a plan, how do we reach our goal? My plan of walking at the park 3 days a week is paart of my goal for healthy living.  If I do not see the expected results after a couple weeks, I need to change the plan or add other aspects to it.

"Discipline is the distance betwen goals and success."

I have admitted my lack of will power earlier in this series of posts.  In order to be disciplined about eating better and exercising more, I have called on the support of my family and friends.  I have been wearing a Fitbit to track steps, water intake, and exercise.

So my plan is in place, but is ready to be changed if need be. My support is standing by cheering me on in many ways. My goal is set.  I will weigh myself at the end of this week to see how things are going.  I will keep track of my energy level and endurance because there are more indicators of health than just the numbers on the scale.

So go grab a glass or bottle of water and plan your week.
Let's do this.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Laughter - It's Healthy

Day 26 - 31 Day Challenge
To read from the beginning, click HERE

After two very short nights with little sleep this week, I was dragging, so when I found my husband and youngest son laying on the living room floor getting ready for a quick nap, I claimed the couch to join them.  As my head hit the pillow, the two guys started chatting, disrupting my chance to drift away.

I grabbed the pillow from under my head and tossed it at the gabbers on the floor saying "Quiet down. I thought we were taking a nap."

A peaceful hush filled the room for only a moment.  Then in a stage whisper, my son says to his dad, "Keep talking, maybe we'll get a blanket."

We cracked up laughing.  This kid is funny.  His timing is wonderful and his one liners will floor you!  All of us agree he is the funniest member of our family.

Family time, relaxing together, laughing together, and rest - all so healthy for body and soul.

Have a great Sunday everyone.  Worship in your local church. Enjoy your family and friends. Rest and prepare for the coming week.

Let's do this!