time to really prioritize myself and my well-being

I have not written here for some time.

I took some kind of break from internet for a while so that I could rather read inspirational books and analyze my feelings by writing on my worry journal.

It all started with a two-days I took off work – my first time in my entire career that I used my vacation time to focus on myself and rest. This is 25 years of work, my friends. All other times I used my vacation time to visit family or friends (where are they now?)

In that two days, I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do – reading books, sitting at a cafe, ordering meal, shopping, reflecting.. Just about anything but working!  It was good. I did not check my emails during this time, which was a miracle, by the way.  I still try not to check the work emails in the evenings and at the weekend. I also try not to work at home and generally take things easy.

But I am also angry with anything that bothers me, and I think my blood pressure increases time to time in such a way that it is alarming me. Deep down I think I am also depressed. I do not know friends – I feel a lot of things nowadays and I think I should really prioritize myself and care about my body and mind, and I should let go off any past or current issues or negative feelings to feel okay.

Honestly, the other day while I was having elevated blood pressure (I think that is what it was)  I just felt that I could as well die at that moment and I would not even care.

This is scary.

On the good side, since I have started the worry journal practice, my anxiety is manageable.

This is priceless.

 

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reconstructing when life needs it

I have taken significant steps to change things; the way I work, live, or interact with others. Just because I realized the amount of change I have been thinking about or implementing, I came to realize today that I am re-constructing myself, my work, and my life. I am also re-constructing my attitude towards myself, work, my family, my co-workers/friends, money, and my life.

It feels great!

I have done what I thought was best at times. I cannot regret, and I am not willing to. They serve me well over sometime, but not anymore. Time to change, time to do differently. For a better tomorrow as I want today.

I am fine with that.

As a matter of fact, I am encouraged, excited, and happy about these!!

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What progress I have had so far?

I am more compassionate and supportive of myself. I feel the need to take care of myself and my wellness is becoming important. This is very healthy and natural – I take that it is a real need and this is empowering.

I am less concerned about the mistakes I may have done, developed new interests and skills, and feeling successful after a 2.5 years of high stress and hard work season. I am very aware of my strengths and capabilities, and I am more confident. What remains to be implemented is to take it easier and maybe stop working regularly at the weekends. And say no more often.

I value life and am curious about it more like when I was young. I want to be out there with life, within life, and I want a fuller life that is not restricted with my work or how stressful or constrained I may feel. I want to taste it – whether it is visiting new places, meeting with new people, having a new outfit style, trying new things, or simply just buying myself a lovely meal, I want to experience life in a wider way. It is my birth right, like is yours.

I am forgiving more and letting go more. This positively affects my relationships. I also speak less and listen more. I am more authentic or genuine than before, less reserved, but equally loving. I am putting myself more out there without fear or fear of rejection, stigma, etc.

At work, I am speaking of my mind less and developing a political attitude to less annoy others, but still make the points I want to make. I do not need to insist on things that others would not agree to. Sometimes my job (at work) is just to bring them over for discussion. Let everyone think and decide.

I have stopped recording my expenses and savings as of yesterday. I realized that it was a constant battle for me to see how much I had spent and how much of it was extra (which meant I beat myself for it). I do not need this in my life. It served me well in the last few years, but came to a point that it started to harm me. So I am stopping it until next time I need it or benefit from it.

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All started in action by re-arranging the furniture of my bedroom yesterday. The “new direction” of my furniture made me realize it was needed, felt great, and was full of opportunities for me to realize. I then visited a nearby book store and purchased two books – both inspirational. I sat at a cafe and started reading it. It was quiet, and the 6 bucks I paid for the tea and scones were the best 6 bucks I have ever spent. This was one of my most enjoyable things to do at the weekends, which I had stopped in the name of saving money. Now I see that I can enjoy it still. And I will as long as it continues to be enjoyable.

Then, I met with some friends and decided to dress up. Boy, it was a great idea. I went there not expecting anything (that is, not having any prior plans or thoughts) and I just took it one moment at a time. All the new experiences I have had and all the new people I have met, and all the positive thoughts that went through my mind as a result, are priceless. Life can be very awarding if we step in it and watch what it can offer. Not all the time, but this does not mean that it does not. I will take my chances with life more now.

I also decided that it was time that I had stopped worrying about work. This week I am going to take a couple of days and shut my work email down. I do not want to think about work. Just myself. My plan is to be visiting new places, a public library or two, some art galleries, and simply sit and read a book at a cafe. All while dressed up like I would love. I also would love to smile more (honestly it makes one feel better right away), immerse in what life can offer, eat better with healthy food, and continue to reflect on and celebrate the wonderful change I am leading.

I have experience from which I have learnt. And I have faith that the next days will be better and everything is happening as they are supposed to be. I trust that this is true.

 

 

self-value, self-care, self-respect

If there is something nice about hard times is that you kind of understand your own value and prioritize your comfort.

This is exactly what I have done. I am going for a short business trip. Under normal conditions I would take the bus, I will not do that anymore. I will take the cab so that I can at least have a comfortable and short ride to and from the airport both here and in my destination.

The amount of money I would save by taking the bus does not even cover the expenses I made for a session of the physiotherapy for my lower back, let alone the negative effects and pain of, sitting and waiting in already kind of long flight. Whose money am I saving anyways? A good organization that does amazing stuff, but saving money should not be at the expense of my health.

I am proud of myself and I really like this change.

 

life priorities

I woke up feeling a little bit lost thinking that my life priorities need to change and I should re-prioritize what are important.

For my entire life, my work was prioritized mostly because I love what I do (mostly).

In the last 3 years or so, I prioritized my personal and financial health over work a little bit after I purchased my home: I was not highly successful in terms of personal health (I had a lower back problem that ended me in the emergency, which still acts time to time; I have not lost the extra weight I am carrying around even though I am 5-10 pounds lighter than 5 years ago; and I have not been consistent about eating a variety of food every week). But I was more consistent with the financial planning, frugal spending/budgeting, and savings.

The last 6 months, I became agitated by the toxic work place and all the pressures. One solution to overcome this feeling was working more (irony, is it not? 🙂 ). So I worked almost non-stop since the beginning of July. I feel tired, stressed, and somehow more accomplished. Sadly, working hard and stress also means eating junk and getting lazy and not walking as much as I would. Also not saving as much as I would.

Stressed Big Bang Theory GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Thus, I realized this morning that sometime setting priorities do not work and we may not be able to keep up with all of them at the same time. It does not mean we cannot try. It just means that realistically it may not be possible and that can be okay.

In other words, I forgave myself for eating junk food! 🙂

Joking.

I forgave myself for changing priorities and not sticking up with the most important one.

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I know that my traditional annual reflection time (aka holidays ) is coming and it is only natural to realize these now that we are close to it.

For 2018 I would like to prioritize my health and well being, work, and family; they go hand-to-hand. Financial plans will be my least of priorities this year. This does not mean that I will not be budgeting and aiming to save; just reminding myself what is important more.

Family cannot be prioritized enough. We as mortals are here for this moment and may not be the next one. What $ and work can replace the people we love? They will be on top of my list.

I enjoy not having a chronic disease, but who knows what will happen next year? Probability of having one increases with each age. Thus, I will care about my eating, exercise, and lower back as much as I can. 

And work? I can continue to work but maybe a little bit less intense and more effective. What I need is a way to control my feelings and find a venue to vent them out and clarify my mind. The yoga classes offered close to my home always relaxed me, yet looks like they also exacerbated my lower back problem. Goodness knows, I want to start again to feel that way. I wonder whether there are programs designed specifically for people like me having back problems? One thing to check.

Someone GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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#2 topic for reflection during holidays

I kind of started doing my traditional holiday reflections today; I am early this year 🙂

Anyways.

#2 topic for reflections during holidays will be my life.

In the last few years my main personal interest was to have a more frugal but enriched and simple life. I have done a good progress in this. 

Life goes on and years pass fast. While I am busy with work and trying to control my finances, many other aspects of my life are neglected. One important thing would be my family. Other important thing would be my health and emotional well-being. It is time that I realize as I get old, things that I can do get limited. What is important for me in the remaining years of my life? I must find this out.

This year, I would like to remove money out of my main focus and rather concentrate on these under-served areas in my life. I know that I enjoy simple and frugal life and being resourceful. If I focus on these, I know that financial stability will follow. It is a shift in perspectives. Hopefully this will work out well.

Additionally I want to have a healthier and stronger body and mind. I missed my weight-training exercises and leisure walking. I missed my push-ups at home and exercises that help strengthen my lower back. Maybe I would care my eyes better; since I keep working and reading, I wear my glasses all the time. This is not good – my vision is negatively affected. I lost some weight in the last year and I can keep doing this by focusing on it. My aim would be to lose another 10 pounds. This is not a huge amount, but can take significant effort. I will see how it goes.

Also I want to keep developing new interests and abilities. Lately it has been pickles and marmalade. What will be the next interest of mine? Will I start writing that book finally this year? Is this my next project? Will I start a side-kick, an additional source of income this year? Will I start or undertake something with a significant impact on not only my life but others? Is it my time to start being an advocate?

What will happen to my work, though. Without the stability it gives me, none of these seems like a possibility. I am seriously fed up with the environment and the responsibilities I have. Maybe I should keep looking for work elsewhere? Other positions? What would it be? Where?

I feel like my life will reach a tipping point this coming year.

joy journal – September 10, 2017

It has been a long time that I wrote in this journal. I miss it almost everyday but it is hard to find time to put the words out. Today I am taking my time as I made a conscious choice of being grateful and, as a result feeling good.

Not all days and moments are joyful, or without any problem or hurt that bothers us. But we/I could find some time to remember the things, event, experiences, and people that makes our lives better, safer, and enjoyable. This journal has served me well in this sense, I hope you too will start your own and benefit from it at least as much as I do.

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1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up at around 9 am. It was not too early or too late. Just right.

2. I am grateful for my morning coffee which was just right. Every once a while I get the temperature right and today was one of those times. With a little bit of sugar, it was the most enjoyable drink I have had in the last while 🙂

3. I am grateful for not getting crazy over the rain. I was planning to shop today but it rained whole day and made my plan a future plan. I do not need anything urgent, but shopping would be very therapeutic and help me with feeling good and excited. Ah, shopping…. 🙂

4. I am grateful for baking a sourdough loaf today. I run out of the bread in my freezer and I was so craving for fresh bread 🙂 

5. I am grateful for speaking with my family today and for their well being, health, and happiness.

6. I am grateful for working today. I worked around 3 hours reviewing a report and drafting a report about it. I still have work to do on it, but I started and this is good. I must finish my report in two weeks and I have ample time now that I progressed quite a bit today.

7. I am grateful for being assertive with a dominant and bossy collaborator of mine. He changes things or involves more people in without consulting me on matters directly related to me. I swallowed a few incident like that in the last one month and today he did it again and I said it is time that we talked. I asked him to call me, which he did and we talked. He admits that I am a control freak (who did not know this?) and he was too negligent of others’ opinions and priorities. We talked like two mature individuals with understanding and without yelling or getting mean, which was nice. I am not naive enough to think that this talk has solved the problem for ever; no, as long as I work with him, we will come to the same point again and again. But I am happy that I talked without fearing negative consequences (I actually need him for a project of mine), and formed a more respectful bond between us. This is good enough for now and we can always talk in the future should it be required.

8. I m grateful for the kale meal I have cooked yesterday. At one point in the afternoon I took a supplement that upset my stomach. I ate the meal and it was okay after that. Should I not have the meal ready, I think I would suffer longer while trying to cook something new. Long live kale! 🙂

9. I am grateful for my windows being open and having fresh air in. I love this about summer and fall. One of my treasured activities at home. I feel so lucky 🙂

10. I am grateful for listening to a relaxing music that is great for my fried nerves…. Many years ago I used to try to mediate listening to this kind of music. Seeing the bigger picture in life and feeling safe and well in it in the moment are priceless. I should try sitting meditation someday again, but honestly it is the most boring thing for me (I know many people can do it – hats off!!).

11. I am grateful for stepping out for a short time and purchasing yogurt. I love yogurt!! I can eat an entire tub on a single day; it is creamy and healthy. I should make better choices and opt for low fat variety next time. My doctor informed me that my bad cholesterol is a little bit high. I am still at low risk group, but it was consistently increasing in the last year, so I must be careful with it.

12. I am grateful for realizing my needs and short-comings. I  just had a birthday in the last few weeks. Between the trip to Rome and the busy and stressful work schedule, I could not reflect on my new age except in a few short moments….. I have been looking forward to a quiet time to actually reflect and figure out how I feel about my age and aging, what changes I must introduce in my life, and how content I was with everything else. But this is not happening yet, and I feel annoyed by this… I know that I am changing as a middle aged individual. I know my dreams and plans are changing. I know my days are getting shorter and shorter and so are the days of my loved ones. My chronic disease and death probability is also increasing with each passing moment. These demand significant changes in my attitude, my life-style, and the way I look at life and my priorities. I know my health and my family’s health are the most important thing, but ask me how I contribute to either of this and the answer will be very lame. I am so focused on turning work around and dealing with antsy bitsy issues that I cannot find time to think big or be positive. What a shame…. I am rationally aware of what I must do, yet still cannot or do not take the steps to better my life and spend more time with and cherish my family…. It takes one step to start this journey… I wish that I can start it right now… I may or may not, but at least I am aware of my need and wish and who knows, maybe I will take that step sometime soon.

13. I am grateful for having the day to myself. I plan to watch TV after this and enjoy my time.

14. I am grateful for the cat of my neighbour’s who spends time in my yard a lot. It is a beautiful black and young female cat that keeps hunting and surveilling the yard for pests and moth. She killed a little rat a couple of weeks ago in my yard, which was a scary sight at first. But I am so grateful for this mouser that keeps my yard free of pests. She and I do not interact much except that we both look at each other whenever both of us exist in the yard at the same time. I respect her presence and she respects mine. We are a good team 🙂

15. I am grateful for the food in my fridge and pantry; all the clothes, shoes, furniture, and everything else in my home. They make my life easy and comfortable. 

16. I am grateful for making a conscious effort to have a healthier lifestyle as of today. The last 2 months have been crazy stressful and I lacked the time, energy, and willpower to pay attention to my own health and well being. I almost left home today for a convenience store trip to get junk food, but stopped at the last minute and I am very happy about this.

17. I am grateful for being grateful and finding time to note these here today 🙂

your body let you know when you need to slow down

My tummy was aching yesterday and this morning, and I have a terrible headache since morning. I have eaten lots of carbs and drank too much soft drinks, and my face is puffy and I feel lethargic. I believe my blood tension is also high. 

Where am I going like this?

I may not have managed my work-related stress effectively so far, but I think it is time that I start doing this.

Action item 1. Stop thinking work at nights. Watch the X-files instead. Give my mind a break.

Action item 2: Breathe. Deep breaths. Continuously. For 5 minutes or longer. Try time to time.

Action item 3: Stop drinking soft drinks. Replace it with water. Drink milk.

Action item 4: Get out of the house.

Action item 5: Eat better. No carbs for some time. Eat delicious veggies and fruits for a change. They energize me.

Action item 6: Do not work this weekend, if I can.

Action item 7: Work at the office tomorrow, not at home. Get some human interaction. Get away from isolation.

Action item 8: Write down the things that go well.

Action item 9: Cuddle with a nice book.

Action item 10: Watch these lovely creatures and put on a smile 🙂

Stress GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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joy journal – August 14, 2017

I most need to write this journal today; nothing seems to go right and I feel some strange type of being over-whelmed. 

1. I am grateful for not losing my sanity yet, despite all the turbulence, issues, and decisions made. All work-related.

2. I am grateful for not resigning.

3. I am grateful for deciding again and again not to resign. Not without finding a job to replace what I already have. Some things are really going unkind and downhill. But no matter what, I cannot resign and leave. It is a good feeling to be able to leave everything behind, but this would not be a wise thing to do; there is me and other people who are dependent on me having a stable life and work. It is easy to quit but not easy to find a job that will satisfy me. Can I change myself? The way I think? The way I cannot handle things? What will the future bring to me? What am I doing right and what am I doing wrong? 

4. I am grateful for sitting down and listening to a relaxing music. What the days will bring, I must take it. I just wished I did not have to find myself in these situations. But then what can I do? In all cases I try to be fair and just and do the right thing. Sometimes there are no good thing and sometimes there is too much pressure. I bend under this much of a pressure. I just hope not to bend more or unnecessarily.

5. I am grateful for one of our work being assessed favorably. I got the news in the morning. Our efforts are not completed yet, but at least this is a good sign. I hope the final decision will be favorable or at least manageable so that I can feel better.

6. I am grateful for hearing from an ex-trainee of mine who had worked with me something like 5 years ago. Hearing good memories and how their time under my supervision changed and improved their skills is always a delight 🙂

7. I am grateful for taking the bus in the morning and walking in the afternoon.

8. I am grateful for the coffee I have had at the office.

9. I am grateful for the internet connection and my computer that allow me to work and enjoy my time at home.

10. I am grateful for logically analyzing the difficult time I am going thru and realizing that this is a learning opportunity and it will help me with other experiences in the future.

11. I am grateful for not having anxiety or panic attacks, and keeping my cool.

12. I am grateful for slowing down this evening. Tomorrow is another day. This is a period of time that is supposed to happen.

13. I am grateful for breathing and having a healthy body.

14. I am grateful for trying.

15. I am grateful for having loved ones.

16. I am grateful for hearing bad news from others and realizing I am not in such a bad situation. This may sound selfish, but realizing that there are bigger problems in life brings me back to reality and big picture; I must keep my sanity and well being so that I can help others.

17. I am grateful for my blog for letting me vent my frustrations and confusions, interact with others, and express myself.

random thoughts

After 6 months or so, I did some back and ab exercises yesterday and today I feel like my big belly has shrunk! 🙂

I am serious 🙂

I know I did not lose whatever fat I have but I must admit that the ab muscles do an awesome job keeping things in place and firm once they are active. 

My belly is all tucked up very nicely and my posture is a lot better. I even feel taller.

You know when the abs are strong and supportive, these are all expected to occur.

I used to be physically very active and quite muscular in the past, prior to starting my current job. I know that muscles have their own memory and they are quite forgiving. So if you want to remind your muscles how great they can be, go ahead, take a walk, lift a weight, or just find a way to use them. You will know the difference.

Abs GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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I have had a good day today. I got up at around 9 am, did the laundry, talked to family, and prepared an interesting dough (sourdough with kefir – cannot wait to see how it will turn out tomorrow).

I wanted to get out and buy some sewing notions but boy, do we have a rainy day? It is raining cat and dog, and I hope tomorrow we will have a better day. On the other hand, I am grateful that it rains – my yard and seeds/plants needed it. Had I mentioned that I have potato plants? Yes, I do and this is such a fantastic feeling! 

Anyways; back to sewing. Sewing relaxes me, even thought I am not sewing frequently or with confidence. Nevertheless this afternoon I felt like I needed to sew (that is a strange feeling; it is like the need to eat… the need to sew… strange but true…), so I have sewn two simple pieces of clothes to be placed over my washer and dryer. They are cute but can be cuter if I can find nice ribbons (which I hope to find tomorrow). They will keep the dust away from my machines and also make that area look a little bit homey. My washer and dryer are in small room with boiler, ventilator, and garbage bin, so this area does not traditionally look or feel nice at all. But after these cloths it feels a little bit better. I also am interested in sewing a nice cover for the garbage bin – maybe with a flowery fabric so that it may look and feel better too! Many can find this idea weird, but I have been meaning to do this for some time and I believe that it is gonna look cute, so I am all for it 🙂

Cat GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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wish for a better future

I wake up early this morning with lots of thoughts an annoyance in my mind. As being a regular night bird, the early morning hours of course are interesting for me. There is little sound, it is peaceful, but I just do not know what to do as it does not fit my routine. Maybe I will go out to get a cup of coffee.

Since I do not like how I feel (e.g. pressure, not feeling good about myself or others, stress, etc.) I am looking for the causes of these feelings and then to remove them from my life. I decided that perhaps I was too ambitious. perhaps my comfort zone was better for me; where daily life goes on good and without event, I have a routine and it works, and work goes satisfactory.

This kind of a life and serenity leave room for energy and efforts to do better in all aspects of life. I realized I have been pushing my efforts towards the work, but not necessarily my personal life.

I imagined this morning how my future would be and I kind of get scared.

Honestly I have no idea how my future looks. It is blank.

It is likely that I will end up being alone in my old age, possibly need social and medical care, and will need financial security to help being cared.

I am doing my best to ensure my financial future – as long as I keep my work, I am okay.

I should, however, get a healthier life-style; from diet to exercise to better everything. That is a must.

Seeing the future as blank….This was a scary thought at the beginning but then blank can be actually good. Why do I not try to make it better then? Fill with a better life, emotions, memories, joy, and health?

Work is one part of my life and it is time that it takes a much less space in my mind and leaves more room for my own well being and function as a human.

joy journal – May 2, 2016

Time to remember and acknowledge all the great things that made me excited, happy, and grateful 🙂

1. I am grateful for the good night sleep.

2. I am grateful for deciding to walk in the morning. It is always fascinating to see that I have energy in the mornings. I have suffered from low energy for many years. Since last Fall, this has changed as my doctor put me on iron and vitamin D supplements. Did the wonders for me. This has been long waited for and by all means well deserved. I am very happy and excited about this.

3. I am grateful for the nice weather today. I substituted my winter coat with a trench coat today. Overall, the weekly daytime temperature forecast are not bad. I love Spring 🙂

4. I am grateful for the coffee I brewed in the office. It is always a delight to be able to have coffee whenever I want.

5. I am grateful for the productive work today. Feeling this satisfaction is really great.

6. I am grateful for getting invited to a professional event today. This kind of invitations are a sign of recognition. Feeling humbled and also excited 🙂

7. I am grateful for walking back home from the office and enjoying my walk. I wanted to walk longer and sweat a little bit; I must come up with a longer route to walk.

8. I am grateful for doing my back exercises and also working my arms and triceps.

9. I am grateful for binge-watching a TV series.

10. I am grateful for not eating too much for dinner. I think I munched too much at the office and that is why I did not feel like eating a lot tonite. That is good as I have eaten quite unhealthy at the weekend and gained some pounds right away. I want them gone.

11. I am grateful for drinking a tall glass of milk this evening. I have drunk yesterday too, which is awesome. Milk is the one where I have got my calcium and vit D, in addition to supplements. I know that it is helping my body, my bones, and my energy levels. I am very grateful for those animals who produced it, the farmers who gathered it, the trucks that transported it, and the store that sold it to me.

12. I am grateful for not using my eye glasses this evening. I have had a habit of putting them on while I work, browse internet, read books, write stuff, or watch TV. It is tiring for my eyes. I should not be using the glasses all the time; this is what my eye doctor had recommended, too.

13. I am grateful for corresponding with a previous mentor of mine. He is a very successful person, but is hit hard with multiple medical problems. He is still young but I keep hope that he will recover soon. Another mentor of mine died quite young unexpectedly, which always makes me nervous. I am approaching that age, too…. I wonder whether our line of work has a higher stress levels and thus makes us prone to sickness? I wish to live long and happy and healthy. Remembering the passing of one and the multiple sickness of the other reminded me again to relax and not to take this work so serious. There is life outside the work. There is life everywhere. I just need to claim my own portion full of opportunities, enjoyment, love, and relaxation.

14. I am grateful for being safe and sound.

15. I am grateful for being grateful.

The delicious part of my life

Yesterday, I wrote about an advice my dad had given me a couple of years ago, about “enjoying the delicious part of life”. I have also mentioned about my intention to read books to help myself see/develop a better route for my future life and self.

Well, I have one book like that, which kind of captured me at its first chapter. It says “we can choose to choose”. We can decide to make choices so that we can look for new ways or alternatives to enrich our life experience and, hopefully, progress into a life we want.

I have a couple of wishes and changes to have, but I would like to come up with more. In order to realize what more I could have, I decided to first note those that I have made my life better than before. I noted them below.

This has been a truly therapeutic exercise for me…. I was not aware until now that I have had actually taken steps to improve my life and my experience, and the way I work or relax, especially in the last few years….. I am happy to see that I actually make changes and improve… And the way I see, my dad would be proud of me for doing all of these and he would see that I actually have a good life. Yes, I am alone and away from family and that I miss mostly, yet almost all other aspects of my life are going well..

Daddy; know that your daughter is doing really well.

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A. Job: I have the best and the most suitable for my self. It is meaningful and usually enjoyable. It is also challenging and sometimes quite stressful because of the pressure (who does not?) we have in terms of constantly having success indicators, deadlines, and output. Yes, I have spent many years at school and got trained in many different places. But I am one of the few lucky or good enough to have a position like mine. So, I must cherish my success. I know I can do better and I will do better, too, as my abilities are increasing each year.

would I change it?: No, not right now. I may develop other interest later in my life, but this is the job I was born for.

things to improve: Better time management and sharper focus to take care of things hopefully on time. I seriously need that to improve my success rate and to reduce my stress levels. I also decided that I do not need to undertake more than I comfortably can.

B. City I live in: A small and safe city where things are simple and easy. In terms of cultural activities, it is a limited place, but at least it is very easy to live here.

would I change it?: If I must change it, I would rather go back home. So, unless something drastic happens (like losing my job), I am not planning to look for jobs somewhere else. If I like, I can visit other cities time to time. I am staying for now and that is good to know.

C. My home: I bought my home 2.5 years ago. A 90 years old town house that was newly renovated, yet 1 week after I moved in, the roof started to leak from two different places. Talking about remorse…It was a cold slap on my face that created anxiety and depression. After a long search for a repair company, I got it fixed after 10 months. So far, no problem with the roof, which is awesome. yet, I have a crack on one of my inner walls, which I was told was a foundation problem. We are waiting for a drastic opening of the crack to start repairing it. It still gives me the depressive moods. Other than these, I am very happy with my home and the way it feels.

would I change it?: Not planning for now.

unexpected benefits of the house problems: Since the house repairs have created anxiety, I last year realized that unless I have changed by current financial situation, I could end up having a huge problem in the future. This was an additional anxiety. This is why I started to have a budget and I am saving way better and more than I ever thought about. My savings are around $10k/year. When I think about this, I kind of feeling like my house actually helps me to save money to take care of it, without sacrificing my quality of life or the life style I have. Hence it is weird but also very satisfying to say that I am very grateful for the initial house troubles that now have made me more abundant and financially sound.

D. My neighborhood: I am happy with it as it is close to everywhere I need to go. I can walk to my office, there are two grocery stores within 10 min of walk, there are 3 convenience stores and many restaurants, it is close to downtown. There are also two bus stops that enable me to go to the shopping centres and the workplace. So convenient in so many different ways.

would I change it?: No

E. My finances: I am doing good and I am grateful, thanks to my job, my budget, and my un-interest for material possession. It is true and hurts time to time that I do not have enough accumulation for my retirement. But I am doing my best to do so; my RRSP contributions are maximized, I have a steady contribution plan for my TFSA account, I have another personal retirement plan with annual contributions, I am planning to increase my retirement contributions a little bit next month. And the only debt I have is my mortgage, which to me is huge. But I will make sure that I pay it off as soon as I can. My TFSA serves as my emergency fund and in case I need funds for house repairs/renovations, I will use these funds. Overall, I am doing my best and it is not too bad.

What would I change: In the new year, as soon as I get a nice amount of emergency and house maintenance funds (that is, my TFSA), I will fully focus on paying off my Home Buyers Plan (HBP) (the funds that I have taken off my RRSP to pay the down payment of my house). RRSP is my long term investment plan and I believe beefing it up is important. Even more important than paying off my mortgage early.

I believe next year I will have a more solid financial health; this year I am still working on saving and making my chequeing account healthy (e.g. not below $0). I spent almost the entire last year with a chequeing account like that, which made me really stressed and kind of feeling hopeless, too. I hope every year will be better than the last year in future…

F. Health and life-style: I am a middle-aged individual and luckily I do not have a chronic disease, maybe except my recent back problem. Bu I still am over-weight and this will be one area that I will focus on, or more like I should focus on….

Plan: I gotta come up with a better plan to help me lose weight. My last two attempts were not successful… let me reflect more on this. I can also walk more, now that weather is better.

For my back health, I will keep the physiotherapy and the daily exercises I was given to. I do not want to have an issue again. i do not want to damage my body again.

G. Social interactions: I am not a social person and I am very happy with it. I only spend time and communicate with a few number of solid and trustworthy people. I will keep this as it is.

H. Taking time off from work to relax and enjoy my time/my life: I have been doing this in the last one year or so! I now do not spend 16 hour a days working or thinking/planning about work! I can usually relax at home, though time to time I still work at home in the evenings or weekends. And that is okay.

Since I started my blog 1.5 years ago, I take my time everyday to express myself and to read other blogs, which has been very informative learning experience. I also watch TV shows and continue to read books. I usually go to bed with a clear (of work troubles) and relax mind.

This is, to me, so priceless.

back pain

Pulled my back again this morning for no apparent reason – this is why it is particularly scary… No apparent reason. No twisting. No slipping/skidding. No lifting heavy objects. No nothing. Just like that I pulled it and the incapacitating pain came back.

I had a very bad episode a month ago and I had ended up in the emergency. With medication and rest as well as light walking and stretching in 8 days or so all the pain had gone. My doctor had prescribed physio-therapy which I had not made an appointment till out of laziness or carelessness. Lessons learnt – never show carelessness when comes to your health.

I made an appointment with a nearby physiotherapy place this noon and I will go there twice a week until I get some kind of relief. In the mean time, I was recommended to take breaks every 30 min and stretch. I am of course on painkiller and muscle relaxant, too.

I really do not appreciate myself not being careful. This has been finally my eye-opener. I not only sit at the office for hours but also at home. Home is worse, as I sit with a very poor posture on the couch for many hours…. I knew it was not good, especially yesterday when I had experienced some kind of pain and inflammation due to sitting so long. Thankfully I came up with the idea of walking yesterday, which had helped. But obviously it only delayed the coming problem, rather than curing it.

I do not want to have a chronic problem with serous pain or disability. From today on, I will not only have physiotherapy, but also do stretching and and exercise good posture. That also means I need a firmer chair at home to sit on – no more couch.

My “normal” days are over and if I do want to be healthy, I will have to show care to my body.

You do that, too.

 

today’s bits

I have pulled a muscle at my lower back and I have been having extraordinary feelings/experiences about this.

First of all, for the first time I found it very difficult, almost impossible, to get out of bed and go down to the the first floor to get my pain medication. This was yesterday and it was scary. I for the first time thought about maybe I would have to stay in my bedroom for ever or something like that…..Living alone brings this kind of thoughts I am afraid.

Well, after 20 min of struggle, with lots of pain, trial and error to find the right angle of movement without locking my back or increasing the pain, I finally made it to the 1st floor and my pain medications. It helps and limits the pain – which is useful in terms of mobility (I am very grateful).

Then come the hard decision of what to do: take the cab or walk to the emergency?

I decided to go to emergency because this was nothing like I knew, even though I have had lower back problems/pulled muscles in the past. I decided I did not have to go thru the pain all by myself. Seeing that I was not able to kneel or sit, I decided to walk. Luckily the hospital is 10 min away from here.

I could walk up, changed my pajamas and put on my boots, walked to the hospital, waited like 30 min, cared by a lovely doctor, got my shot for pain and prescription, and walked back to pharmacy and home. The medication consists of painkiller and a muscle relaxant. I was also recommended to  follow up with my doctor; there may be some nerve problems I was told. Arghh..

I am literally wishing to go to office while I am here at home. I am not supposed to go to work for the rest of the week, but I am telling you; this is boring. Yes, I still work on my computer (which is going very well by the way) and coordinate with my team members through emails, but I am seriously bored. I just wished (what a twisted wish that is, by the way) that this has happened in December, when I was very tired – I would appreciate being at home then. After the refreshing holidays, all I want now is to go to office and work for long hours….

Anyways, I should not be complaining about these now. My back is better, walking and light stretching helps, sitting is not a big problem, but lying on the couch or bed are scary (as I may not be able to get up again if my back feels like it); so here I am; sitting on a chair for the entire day 🙂

I missed sitting on my couch, snugging up with my blanket, and surfing on the net or watching TV. But again, I should not be complaining.

The funny thing is that the yoga classes were going so well, so relaxing. I sure was feeling relaxation on my lower back, though on monday class, I had thought my upper body (shoulders) needed quite a stretch; they were very tight. I had thought “while one region of my body relaxes, the other one tightens up – I should not have made the assumption that a week’s full of yoga classes would solve all my problems”. I also happen to have some realizations during each session – that day I have had “connecting with my body” in my mind.

I was right 🙂

The same night, I pulled the muscle at my back while picking up something from the floor. Maybe the lesson I should see was to have a healthy life style and good posture no matter how much yoga stretching classes I attend; one thing cannot be the magic solution to everything. I am thankful that my body has showed me that with my recent back problem… I will support my back while at home; especially while sitting on the couch. Since it is soft, sitting long hours on the couch actually is not good for my spine… gotta fix that. I cannot make it worse than what it already is.

Ah… Life is funny 🙂

 

Despite all the negativities, I am grateful for realizing these lessons,  being able to move around, having painkillers at home, and the hospital and pharmacy being so closed to my home. I am also thankful to the doctor who cared for me and the nurse who gave me the shot, saying she knew how painful that must be… Empathy is an awesome thing and nurses for sure rock!

 

I am lucky

Today is the second time I participated in yoga/stretching classes.

What a blessing! 🙂

I could not be happier and prouder of myself to have tried, explored, benefited, and liked these sessions!

I am so lucky; last year I had tried these classes as a new year’s resolution and had attended for a full month. After that I either got too busy with work or could not afford them.

This year, even though I was still hesitant due to its monthly fee ($100), I re-started them. New Year resolution? I am not sure. Not directly. I rather wanted to have things I liked in my life and this was on top of my list. So, here I am.

I am so lucky that the studio is  5 min away from my home – so rain, snow, or shine does not matter.

I am lucky that there are late-evening classes – so I do not need to rush back from my office to attend the classes or forced to take the classes in the morning or something.

I am lucky that every day there are classes, including the weekends, when my daily schedule is even more permissive.

I am lucky that there are different instructors that train us – I have some favorite ones that are kind, explain things well, and most importantly, contribute to the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere by their low but clear voices.

I am lucky that I like the building and the rooms; their colors, lighting, temperature (pretty warm and comfortable), and the clean floors.

I am lucky that my mind fully relaxes and empties when I am there. That is so surprising for me. How awesome 🙂

I am lucky that the stretching poses work for my body – I feel my muscles more than before and I am happy to notice my muscles again.

I am lucky that my lower back and shoulders benefit from all the stretches, not to count my legs, arms, neck, and upper back.

I am lucky that I have time and interest to keep going.

I am lucky that I have money to attend these classes.

I am lucky that it is my ME TIME. Mine and mine only – no work, no thoughts, no stress, no worries.

I am lucky that I have prioritized the well-being of my body and my mind at the same time by deciding to attend these classes.

🙂

I hope you have such things in life that makes you feel lucky! Good about yourself! Good about your life!

2015 wrap up

This year has been great in so many different ways: I am grateful for many positive and lovely experiences this year marked in my life. I always find it useful to reflect at the end of each year, assess and remember what has happened or how I have done, and then plan and have hope for the new year. That is what exactly I have started doing today.

My list of 2015 highlights is not finalized yet; but here is a general list that I may expand later:

1. Family and health: My family’s and my health has been alright; I am very grateful for this. I also found a chance to visit my family last summer, for which I could not be thankful enough. Our close relationship and support for each other continues no matter how far I am.

2. Finances: After a bout of financial worries and unexpected expenses (mostly home repairs), I had finally realized I had to change things. I started with a budget in June 2015, which turned out to be a great help.

a) According to my calculations, I have saved around 20% of my gross income (not including my home equity and company pension plan); seeing this the other day was a pure joy and happiness.

b) My total savings from would be-expenses (expenses I was tempted to do, but did not) for the last 6 months is ~$3,000…. This is an incredible achievement… I am proud of myself.

c) The shopping freeze was a great idea – I am not sure who came up with this idea first, but I am wholeheartedly thanking this individual(s) for bringing it to my attention. An absolutely working and wonderful idea.

d) While I needed to borrow from my personal line of credit, I kept continuing buying mutual funds during the last year. Having “debt” pushed me to save more and was the initial motivation after the budget saga: while I have had hardship, I gained because of it. For this, I also thank myself for not giving up and turning things around.

e) I did not have any major repair expenses related to my home this year. My lovely house is strong and sound and I do hope that for many years to come, it will continue to stay strong.

3. Food management: My food waste is minimized 🙂 That is something I truly am proud of. I never intended to waste food, but now I am way better than before: I learnt to do the grocery shopping as required (not once a week) and I learnt to freeze food for later consumption. I even learnt and applied blanching to preserve veggies, such as carrots and zucchini. The pleasure these activities have given me is incredible.

4. Decluttering: This was another thing that positively affected my life. I not only removed many unuseful, unwanted, or crappy things from my house, but also donated many stuff to charity, realized how abundant I was and I did not need to buy many stuff for a while, and psychologically felt the lift of some weight off my shoulder. I am looking forward to the next decluttering activity 🙂

5. Work: Work has gone crazy this year, mostly because I worked with minimal performance. I am not sure why that happened, but one thing is that I have been working so hard for so many years that now I want to take my time for other activities, such as blogging and literature. Life is good, work can be stressful time to time, but I will handle all to my best.

6. New stuff around the house: I loved the art-work I have purchased a few months back that gave a new look and character to my house. I also loved the plants I have got, which are absolutely adorable. The couch cover I have got lately is an absolute beauty. I am not materialistic yet the feelings these and others around my house give me should be acknowledged and cherished.

7. Life-style changes: Well, not as good as I would like to, but I have made some positive changes in my life; walking to the office in the morning (when the weather is permissive) is one of these activities. I have eaten generally better, although I could not lose the weight I wanted to; this is the second. Better days will come 🙂

And so on… Many things to be grateful for 🙂

Once I finish this list, I will have a closure and appreciation. After that, I know I will start working on the new year’s hopes and plans. I hope you will have great ones, too 🙂

 

 

 

 

ending healthy – life style journal

I have not posted my healthy – life style journal yesterday.

The fact that I am tired of not doing as good as I wish to do. Plus, in the last 3 months while I have eaten better, I did not lose much of a weight. So noting what I have eaten or how much walking I have done per day does not satisfy me anymore.

I am ending it for now. I may start later sometime should I see a benefit in it.

Thank you all of those who commented and supported me through this journey. You guys helped me keep going 🙂

Amazingly, I feel free, too.

Interesting….

Free from drafting it everyday, picking up multiple tags and categories, cluttering my blog with these daily posts…

I have more interesting stuff to write about.

Now, I will go enjoy my newly found freedom.

healthy life – style journal, Dec 2, 2015

Well, at least I managed to snack better at noon and to cook for myself for dinner today 🙂

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar; many cups of it

noon: 1 can of fish, 1 hard boiled egg

dinner: green lentil meal with 3 slices of bread. I also ate many small and toasted breads commercially available. they are crunchy and great with soup, but I also love eating them as they are. This product will be a challenge to manage…

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: 5 min (yay!)

healthy life – style journal, Dec 1, 2015

By working long hours at the office, coupled with the snow on the roads cost me not walking today at all, but that is okay. I knew once the snow started, my walking would be limited. I should make plans as to how to otherwise exercise now..

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: two cans of fish

dinner: 2 hard boiled egg, large salad, and 4 slices of whole wheat bread. Since I came home late in the evening, I did not cook anything tonite…

late-night snack (added later): 8 small toasted bread

exercise: none

supplements: vit D and calcium after dinner; missed taking the iron today; hoping to take it before the bed time.

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 30, 2015

It is the end of November already…

I have been eating better and healthier in the last 3 months, with little weight loss. Quite a failure if you ask me. Quite frankly, this resistance to weight loss is puzzling me but I continue to appreciate (generally) better food and healthier life – style that I have since September.

I have not noted this journal yesterday. For those who are curious is it is that because I ate almost completely unhealthy yesterday. 2 bagels in the morning with coffee, sesame crackers and salty trail mix in the afternoon, a big green salad (the best meal yesterday) and some other unhealthy food in good quantity that I cannot even remember now (or, maybe I do not wish to…).

Anyways, here is today’s count:

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: coffee with cream and sugar, 1 can of fish

dinner (planned): boiled carrots with 6 pieces of fish with lemon juice

late-night snack (to be added later):

supplements: iron at the evening, vit D and calcium after the dinner (planned)

exercise: 30 min of walk in the afternoon

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 28, 2015

Well, one of these days again where I have indulged into food.

On the positive side, I walked for 30 min in the morning – that feels good 🙂

breakfast: coffee with cream and sugar, one bagel toasted with butter

late lunch: beef and potato meal, 3 slices of bread. 1 banana

dinner: cucumber and cheese, which was very refreshing. Then fried cheese and two eggs as a treat, together with 3 slices of bread. I have over-done this one, but it was so yummy. Nevertheless I am noting my resentment and hoping this high-calorie and fatty meal will not show up on my diet for a long time.

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the morning

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: none

 

 

healthy life – style journal, Nov 27, 2015

A beautiful day where I surprised myself by walking longer than usual 🙂

It is nice that sometimes I have meetings first thing in the morning; if the venue is close to my home, I directly walk there. That is what I have done today (30 min). Then I walked back home, worked a little bit and then needed to go back to office to sign a document. From home to office and then back, I walked another 1 hour today 🙂

breakfast: coffee with cream and sugar, 1 tea biscuit

lunch: 1 banana

dinner: beef and potato meal, 4 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: 5 min in the evening

healthy life – style journal, Nov 26, 2015

Well, not too much of a progress today. Lots of coffee and cafeteria food enjoyed with colleagues. I am okay with that.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and sugar

lunch: coffee with creamer and brown sugar, beef and cheese sandwich

late-afternoon snack: another coffee and 1 tea biscuit

dinner: green salad and 6 pieces of breaded fish pieces (frozen, cooked in oven) with lemon juice. This is my all time favorite dinner.

late night snack (added later): 2 hard boiled egg, a small can of black beans with olive oil

exercise: 10 min in the morning.

supplements: iron at noon, calcium and VitD taken later tonight

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 25, 2015

Another day; great in terms of the healthy food I consume. My irregular eating habit still continues, though.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 1 hard-boiled egg

dinner: green lentil and veggie meal (yummy!); two bowls; mango-berry juice

late night snack (added later):  another bowl of the lentil meal, 50 grms of cheese

exercise: 10 min walking in the morning, 30 min walking in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium to be taken later tonite

healthy – life style journal, Nov 24, 2015

a great day 🙂 I am loving it so far.

breakfast: 1 coffee with creamer and brown sugar. I had my breakfast with me but forgotten to eat it in the morning.

lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: I prepared an interesting meal; I first cooked minced beef in tomato sauce and topped with cut green onion. Also I cooked instant oats with turmeric in a pot. Then in a bowl I mixed both of them. Delicious and filling meal. Very interesting, too 🙂

late-night snack (added later): another bowl of the meal above, mango-berry juice

exercise: the highlight of the day; walked 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon. Yahoo :))

supplements: iron at noon, no vit D and calcium supplement yet.

stretching(updated later): 5 min of stretching, mostly to relive my back pain

healthy life – style journal, Nov 23, 2015

Well… well… well.. for some reason I run out of appetite again 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 1 hard boiled egg, tea

dinner: 1 bowl of red lentil soup (this has been the 4th night I have had this soup – I am grateful for food, but I guess I will just freeze the remaining portion for later consumption. I also learnt that I should use less lentil than before to do this soup in the right amount..), 3 slices of bread, 30 grms of cheese

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 10 min walking in the morning, 30 min walking in the afternoon

supplements: iron after the dinner, no calcium or vit D supplement today

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 22, 2015

better choices – feeling good 🙂

breakfast: 1 bagel with butter, coffee with cream and brown sugar. I must confess I wanted to have a second bagel, but made an effort to not. It paid off.

lunch: veggie meal; 2 slices of whole wheat bread

dinner: roasted egg plants served with yogurt, olive oil, and chilly pepper. This dish was something I have done to limit my food waste; I had eggplants that were about to go bad. Cut them out, sprinkle with olive oil, two cloves of garlic and salt;  bake in oven at 350 C for 30 min. Serve with yogurt on top, olive oil, and chilly pepper. Yum 🙂

late night-snack: veggie based meals during the day were not enough – I got hungry. So I also ate two hard-boiled eggs with 3 slices of whole wheat bread.

Later: 1 pear, 3 slices of bread with butter and honey, and 1 can of corn

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: none

 

healthy life – style journal, Nov 21, 2015

I have not noted my healthy – life style activities (or frustrations) yesterday; here they are 🙂

breakfast: 2 bagels with butter,, coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: 2 bowls of red lentil soup with 3 slices of whole wheat bread

dinner: this is where I have done too much 🙂 fried minced beef with onion and egg; this is a practical meal but usually has a high fat content; 4 slices of whole wheat bread; 1 pear

late-night snack: 1 tall glass of milk, 1 pear

exercise: none

supplements: iron at noon; did not take the vit D and calcium supplement

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 20, 2015

Almost forgotten to write this one post 🙂

Well, some good choices made today. Overall, not a bad day at all 🙂

breakfast: food forgotten at home as usual; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 1 pear

dinner: 2 bowls of red lentil, onion, carrot, and turmeric soup with 5 slices of whole wheat bread, raw leek, 1 hard-boiled egg.

I am lucky that I have a blender that made this soup possible. Do you know what else I am planning? To have bean (after boiling slightly; not necessarily to much) and veggie patties using the blender. Any food, even scratch food, can be mixed and consumed this way. technology is awesome. I have so much dry food in my pantry that have been waiting to be consumed; I finally found a way to eat them and I am excited about this 🙂

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walking in the morning and then 30 min in the afternoon. Yahoo!! felt good at both times. I even took a longer path this afternoon. I am in love with myself for the walkings today 🙂

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, calcium and vit D (recommended) after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 19, 2015

So-so day..

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar. Lots of coffee..

lunch: one can of fish, coffee

dinner: yogurt with cucumber and olive oil dip, raw leek with 6 slices of whole wheat bread

late night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron (prescribed) in the afternoon, vit D and calcium later at night.

stretching: 10 min in the evening

 

 

healthy life – style journal, Nov 18, 2015

After eating all the great(!) left overs from the dinner at the weekend and ranting about my inability to keep up with healthy eating habit, I am glad to say that I am returning back to eating better today.

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: beefy eggplant meal with 2 slices of whole wheat bread

dinner: pasta with yogurt and cucumber; 2 apples

late-night snack (added later): 30 grms of cheese, 5 table spoon of honey. For some reason, I am craving for sweets. I must say it is likley because of the high carb eating lately. got ta get back to limited carb eating..

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon; calcium and Vit D after dinner

stretching: 5 min! Yay! I did stretch today. Listening to relaxing music and relaxing my muscles, even for a short time like 5 min, felt awesome 🙂 I am glad I have kept this category in my posts so far; it helps me to remember this one activity

healthy life – style journal, Nov 17, 2015

I am in a state of self-pampering and lifting off the imposed restrictions nowadays. This directly reflects on my diet and behavior – I do not care of eating better or not eating fatty food at all. I do not.

I am rebelling.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: two cans of fish

late-lunch: 3 slices of whole wheat bread and beefy eggplant meal

dinner: 3 slices of whole wheat bread and beefy eggplant meal; chocolate

late-night snack (added later): yogurt, cucumber, and olive oil dip with whole wheat bread

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 16, 2015

A regular work day with missed breakfasts and lunch… Oh, well.. You know my eating habits. One day, my friends, one day, I hope to convert them for a better and healthier type.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 20 grms of train mix (I am lucky to find this; otherwise I had nothing to eat)

breakfast: 1/2 cucumber, 2 bowls of red lentil soup, 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (added later): bread, walnuts, chocolate

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron (none yet: i forgot to take it today too), vitamin D and calcium (after the dinner)

stretching: none

 

healthy life – style journal, Nov 15, 2015

Well.. I have eaten high-carb today, very sugary.

I have had guests over for a dinner yesterday and that meant I purchased and cooked meal that I would usually not consume; that means tasty bread like baguettes (I love them), sweets like frozen yogurt, etc. That means the first couple of days after such dinners, I eat left overs which are not only different from what I usually eat, but also hearty and rich in calories.

I keep saying that I keep eating the same things over and over; that is true. My diet is usually simple and does not have much diversity (although I strive for it time to time). Perhaps it is the best for me, as the other food I cook (for others) are usually high in calories… Dilemma…

breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar, red lentil soup with baguette

lunch: red lentil soup and baguette

dinner: frozen yogurt with walnut – a lot of it

late night-snack (added later): 1/2 avocado, 1 pack of chips

exercise: 10 min in the morning

supplements: none yet

stretching: none

healthy life style journal – Nov 14, 2015

I had friends over for dinner; that meant cooking a lot during the day. Also eating and enjoying it with great company 🙂

breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: 30 grms of cheese, 1/2 slice of bread

dinner: lettuce salad with avocado and olive oil; red lentil soup, pasta with cheese, a slice of pumpkin pie, and ice cream

late nigh snack: none

exercise; 5 min walking in the morning

stretching: none

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon; no opportunity to take the vit D and calcium supplement today

healthy life – style journal, Nov 13, 2015

Not a bad day.

breakfast: breakfast forgotten at home again; coffee with creamer and brown sugar only

lunch: none (I was working; what an excuse…)

dinner: carrot, onion, and meatball meal with a dash of black bean sauce and 3 slices of whole wheat bread. Later for some reason I craved for raw leek, which was yummy 🙂

There is something nice about the raw food that my body likes. Any ideas what it is? I am curious…..

late night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the morning and in the afternoon 🙂 well done; very relaxing activity. My mental clarity increases as I walk. It also relaxes me. The weather is just perfect; not too cold, not too dump. I wonder how long I will be able to have the pleasure of walking.

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, calcium and Vit D (recommended) after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 12, 2015

My disinterest in food continues.

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg (yay for not forgetting it), coffee with creamer and brown sugar. Lots of it.

lunch: 50 grms of trail mix

dinner: 1 tomato, 1/2 large cucumber, 100 grms of cheese, 1 avocado, 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late night snack (added later): 2 glasses of milk, 1 apple, 2 slices of bread

exercise: the highlight of the day! walked 30 min in the morning and then another 30 min in the afternoon 🙂 Yay!! 🙂

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, vit D and calcium (recommended) after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 11, 2015

Another day with irregular eating; both eating carbs and then not.

I am not as careful about carbs as at the start of this journey; I keep telling myself it is because I am not afraid of carbs anymore, I tend to eat other healthy food almost everyday, and even though I slip back to carbs, I keep bringing myself back to the protein and raw veggie side.

I also must add that my weight does not change much. If I really want to lose weight, I will have to do something more drastic in the coming days/weeks.

I once had tried eating small meals 6 times a day; it does work, dear friend, yet I really have no time to implement it. I can hardly remember taking my breakfast (which is usually 1 hard-boiled egg); how am I supposed to remember to pack with me not only this but also lunch and snacks?

Every single day, I must add.

I may be a hopeless lazy person. Or someone who does not really care.

Why can I not care about my weight loss? I am over-weight (obese I guess, based on BMI scales). I have near border blood sugar levels that keep scaring me time to time, I am getting older and as such my metabolic rate is getting lower (i.e. I am likely to gain more weight with the same amount of calorie consumption).

I kinda think it is because there are so many things in life that I must face and work on, I choose the ones that are either manageable or at the top of the priority list.

If my weight loss is not on the top of the priority list, for very good health reasons, then that means I am doing something really wrong.

My health should be on top of my priority list. This healthy life journey should be on top of my priority list….

breakfast: 2 bagels with butter, 1 cup of cream with brown sugar and cream. I met with my friends at this beautiful Remembrance Day holiday. This was my breakfast at that meeting.

lunch: none (I was working at home)

dinner: half green cabbage half lettuce salad with olive oil; 6 pieces of oven-baked frozen and battered fish pieces.

I forced myself to eat these fish; after 1 piece I was done. You may think I am over-eating, but no. The total calories I consume for today is not at the healthy level. That is why I ate the other pieces.

My lack of appetite is continuing to worry me. I usually would have a big appetite in the evenings. Not anymore. Together with my iron deficiency, I am scared that this points to a sickness…

late-night snacks (to be added later):

exercise: 15 min walk in the morning to the cafe I met with my friends.

supplements: iron ([prescribed) at noon, vit D and calcium (recommended) after dinner. these, at least, I am consistent with.

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 10, 2015

well, not a bad day 🙂 thank you all that supported me yesterday.

I can do this!! 🙂

breakfast: got my breakfast (1 hard-boiled egg) with me (good job!) before I left home, but forgotten to eat it at the office :)))) Coffee with brown sugar and creamer as usual (I never forget this one, do I?) 🙂

lunch: I was busy with work, so only another coffee with cream and sugar

dinner: pasta (left over from yesterday). I was very conscious about it being solely carbs (which is not good for my weight loss aim). So I decided I would eat something healthy after that. That is how I ended up eating 2 bunches of broccoli, raw, with a garlicky yogurt  as a dip. Yum 🙂

late night snack (added later): 2 small glasses of milk, 1 hard boiled egg, 3 slices of whole wheat bread

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron (prescribed) late afternoon, calcium and Vit D (recommended) after dinner

stretching: none (would be appreciated if I started this again)

healthy life – style journal, Nov 9, 2015

Like the idea of dieting and the (same) types of food I consume, I am getting bored of writing this journal…

Pew.. I did not feel as bad as I thought it would 🙂

It is okay, dear reader; occasional ranting is a feature of mine – nothing serious 🙂

Here is today’s account:

breakfast: remembered to take my breakfast with me! Yay! It was 1 hard-boiled egg. Of course, with it I have got coffee with creamer and brown sugar.

late-lunch: 1 cup of chicken-vegetable soup

dinner: carbs. carbs. carbs.. Well, I am not afraid of carbs anymore, but it would be nice if I had not eaten them too much, like before. Pasta was the dinner today, together with lettuce salad with olive oil dressing. Yummy.

late night snack (added later): lazy bean salad; mix a can of beans with a small onion and add a dash of oregano, salt, and olive oil. Vola! 🙂 (no milk tonite – does not look like a fit with the bean salad)

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning and 30 min walk in the afternoon.

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, vit D and calcium (recomended by my doctor) after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 8, 2015

there has been changes in my body, which incidentally overlapped with the time I started to eat less carbs and more protein.

As a person good with observations and patterns, I could not help but think whether the carbs were not so bad after all; perhaps they help and are required for certain body functions?

Perhaps I have not done well by limiting carbs that much; but I can tell you this; the amount of carbs I was eating was above normal limits too.

So even though I have had this conflict in my mind, I will keep limiting the carbs and continue to eat better. I just will not get crazy about occasionally eating carbs.

Today’s diet reflected this.

late breakfast: 2 bagels with butter, coffee with cream and brown sugar. I ordered two bagels to test myself; nope, they are not as tasty as before so I am glad I have done that. the way they are toasted has not been great lately and that strengthens my choice of not eating bagels anymore. The coffee is not tasty either; I never liked this cafe’s coffee – so why do I keep drinking it? the answer is that it is in my favorite cafe. The cafe is my favorite because of its bagels and its staff, not the coffee. I decided to change the cafe from now on; it will also help me with seeing different places and having different experiences. A great step towards breaking a habit and the routine in my life. Exciting! 🙂

late lunch: 2 bowls of vegetable chicken soup

dinner: 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 tomato, and half a large cucumber with 2 slices of bread. I was too lazy to cook and I wanted to eat raw veggies. I am glad I ate the tomato even though it is not one of my favorite veggies. It was from the last week and I am glad I have eaten it before it started to go bad. Cucumber, as always, was a delight to eat.

late-night snack (added later):  1.5 glass of milk; 10 rice  cakes with caramel. Totally too much. Yet felt good. Like when you are at school and they tell you not to eat during the class. Or laugh. Or talk to our peers. And something prompts you to do it anyhow and miraculously you do not get caught. I am not sure whey I am rebelling against healthy eating (am I bored?), but mentally I am feeling good.

exercise: 10 min in the morning

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon; vit D and calcium (recommended by my doctor) after dinner

stretching: none yet

what was important

I know I am having an internal dialogue about the things I am not happy with (mostly my bad habits and not being able to work lately due to the trips) and the boring daily routine that I have had.

All the activities and their sequences in my life are predictable; the way I get up, brush my teeth, the way I put on my socks, leaving home after that. Brewing coffee right away as soon as I arrive the office, checking the emails, attending to the meetings, coming home (usually by walking), changing my clothes, cooking or preparing something to eat, then the relaxations by browsing on the net and blogging.

I am a person of habit, having a system that keeps things in track. It is not always bad as it also makes my life efficient. It is just boring. very boring.

I know I am not the only one living like this or saying this. So I do not feel like having a unique situation. But I really would like this to change. I would like to be more spontaneous and less structured. I also would like to work better and more.

I have an interesting relationship with my work; I feel a lot better when I work. I feel a lot better when things are completed. I feel a lot better when I can take care of the projects and work.

In the last month, I was not able to do so mostly due to the trips I have taken. I must confess I also liked being away from the work and visit new places and being in the moment. Being away from the office also meant stress as I had to work harder to complete things prior to the trips. But it is time that I go back to my work as before. I should not be hard on myself as I also have worked and accomplished quite a bit lately; my widely praised presentation that got positive feedback from many is a good example. I just need to finish the other stuff. Stuff that has been on my list for months. Time to get them done! 🙂

Timing is also great as the holidays season is coming. I usually take 10-12 days off during this time. That means I can really kick it until then so that I can enjoy both the satisfactory feeling of already taken care of my work and the time off from it.

So I am going to just do that. One thing I need to stop doing is working at home. It is lovely and the majority of the time effective, but it also makes me too relax. I guess I will commit to being in the office and working there from now on. I will work at home only when being in the office is unbearable (which does not happen too much).

I will also come up with plans to enrich my weekend life; whether this will be going and checking out stores, shopping malls, or bookstores, I gotta do this. I know I am on shopping ban for many items and I have a budget, but I will have to trade money with enriching my life with other activities and experiences.

This morning, I thought “what is important in my life?”. Here is the list:

  1. my mental and physical health: eating better and exercising, losing weight a long the way (hopefully), having a content and less boring life, getting rid of unhealthy habits, taking care of myself better and improved personal care.
  2. family and friends: their well being and support are important to me.
  3. work: I love it and I want to be more successful. It also helps me with how I feel about myself, my support to family and friends, and my financial health. that is why it is important. But it should not mean that for the work, I should forget what if more important (number 1 and 2 above)
  4. financial health: as much as I can do; not more important than myself or my family’s well being at this point. Fully dependent on my work and my performance.

I now will go away and contemplate on how I can do better in these aspects of my life.

have a great sunday everyone 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Nov 7, 2015

Interesting day..

breakfast: 1 bagel with butter, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

late-lunch: vegetable soup in chicken stock

dinner: hah! here is the fun part. 1 can of corn and 6 chocolate chip cookies. I was at a store and could not resist buying and then eating the chips. What prompted me to eat them I have no idea. I guess it is one of those days when I find some freedom in my choices. As a matter of fact, with my budget as well I am a little bit relax nowadays. I guess I will wait and see how this episode will develop.

late-night snack (added later): 300 grms of yogurt and 4 slices of bread; 5 more cookies

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning and another 10 min in the evening

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 6, 2015

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: two cans of fish

dinner: breaded flaky fish pieces (4 of them – it is delicious; how do they do it? this was a frozen meal and certainly yummy 🙂 ), a big red cabbage and celery salad with olive oil and lemon juice; This salad was the healthiest thing I have eaten this week. The raw veggies; especially those that are hard to digest (such as red cabbage, lo bok, cucumber) are good for my body. I know it as I feel it.

late-night snack (added later): 5 slices of whole wheat bread and 350 grms of yogurt. I craved for yogurt tonite – it happens time to time. I did not want to eat that much bread but then as long as it helped me to eat yogurt I did not mind (maybe I should have?)

exercise; 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon (prescribed) and vitD and calcium after dinner (recommended to me by my doctor)

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 5, 2015

Not bad today 🙂

breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar; 2 whole wheat bagels toasted with margarine

lunch: no food; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: I turned the left over crack-wheat salad into another meal; basically I had one large onion sauteed in olive oil; added a little bit of hot sauce, 3 eggs, and celery stick together with the left-over salad and cooked for 3-4 minutes. It turned out to be tasty 🙂

late-night snack (added later): 1 big apple (yummy 🙂 ) and a tall glass of skim milk

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning, 30 min in the evening

supplements: iron at noon, vitamin D and calcium after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 4, 2015

It is a good day in terms of eating healthy food; I still need to implement strategies that will help me eat more in the mornings and at noon.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 100 grms of trail mix, coffee with creamer and sugar

dinner: cracked wheat salad with tomato, pepper, cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice. This is an easy and nutritious salad that is also filling. I have a large bowl, which I am working on time to time.

late-night snack (added later): one hard boiled egg to eat something enjoyable, which I had hoped would bring back my appetite (I love eggs); later 1 apple and a tall glass of skim milk 🙂

I am not sure why I do not have appetite. I usually would have a great love for food, especially at the evenings and nights. It is good at one hand as by not eating too much at nights, I am doing a favor to my body. On the hand hand, the low counts of calories I have been getting in the last one week or so means I am involuntarily slowing my metabolism. Hope to resolve this soon.

exercise: 30 min walking in the evening

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon and vitamin D and calcium tablet (recommended by my doctor) after the dinner.

stretching: none today (I better re-start this – it is so enjoyable..)

healthy life – style journal, Nov 3, 2015

breakfast: forgotten to pick my breakfast from home; 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar. As usual, I am not feeling hungry in the mornings. I must do something new to encourage myself to have breakfast..

lunch: 1 can of fish, 50 grms of trail mix, coffee with creamer and brown sugar. I must say I have been reducing my sugar intake in the last while. That is good news 🙂

dinner: 1 pear, 3 eggs fried with 50 grms of cheese in olive oil, 3 slices of bread. The fact that I do not cook nowadays is working against me… Fried eggs help me to gain weight. Making a mental note again to start cooking at home.

late night snack (added later): 1 apple, 3 slices of whole wheat bread, 300 grms of yogurt sprinkled with a generous amount of olive oil and dried mint. This yogurt is a very refreshing dip – give it a try if you like the taste of dry mint with yogurt.

exercise: 30 min walk in the morning; climbing up 4 stories of stairs. Ok – when I arrived at my building this morning, the elevators were not working – so here is my extra exercise for the day! 🙂

supplements: iron at noon (prescription), vitamin D and calcium table after the dinner (recommendation by my doctor). I decided to note the prescription and recommendation to this list, as I do not want anyone else to get inspired and take these supplements without their doctor’s recommendation. Please have your doctor’s opinion before taking supplements.

stretching: none so far….

healthy life – style journal, Nov 2, 2015

Another low appetite day, which worries me. If I am not wrong, low calorie intake is not good – eventually makes the body feel like on starvation mode, which later helps with gaining more weight upon returning to regular diet.

I am trying to eat as much as I can today.

breakfast: forgotten my meal; 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: no meal; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: 1 pear, 1 cup of left-over rice from yesterday, cucumber and yogurt sauce with olive oil. 3 slices of whole wheat bread

late night snack (added later): 1 tall glass of skim milk

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon (yay! walking is great and I have not been able to do so in the last 10 days or so; very grateful)

supplements: iron supplement at noon, calcium and vitamin D supplementation after dinner

stretching: not done this yet; hope to find time to do some light stretching tonite, while also listening to relaxing music 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Nov 1, 2015

it is surprising to notice that I have been keeping this journal for 2 months now.

Since I am eating and nourishing my body with better food and necessary supplementation, I am glad I have started this journey.

Today has been a good day in terms of good eating; cannot complain 🙂

breakfast: one bagel with butter, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: turmeric rice, cucumber and yogurt sauce with olive oil and dried mint

dinner: the same as the lunch

late-night snack (added later): 50 grms of trailer mix

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning

supplements: iron at noon, vitamin D and calcium after the dinner

stretching: none today.

Hoping to walk and stretching tomorrow. Good that I have not forgotten my supplements so far 🙂 Rice is usually does not agree with my system, yet is a welcome change in my diet. Yogurt and cucumber are always awesome to eat and the addition of mint has given a fresh kick to the meal 🙂

healthy life – journal, Oct 31, 2015

late breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and sugar

lunch: 1 pear

dinner: soup, fish, salad, pasta, and bread. A generous amount of rice crackers and a little amount of fruit. I was invited for a dinner with great friends. I enjoyed being with them. the food was amazing 🙂 I feel bloated and like eaten too much 😦

exercise: 10 min in the morning

supplements: iron supplement at noon, bit D and calcium supplement at night

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Oct 30, 2015

Alright… I am back to my daily posts on my healthy life – style plan.

You all know that I did not keep up with it during my trips; reason? The reason was that I took my trips as a great way to remove any restrictions and obligations. To make them enjoyable. The end result was not great, certainly, now that I am at the same weight as I have started eating better 2 months ago 😦

Now that I got this off my chest, here is today’s account:

late breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

late lunch: 1 banana

dinner: one can of corn, 50 grms of trail mix

I do not have appetite today at all…. very surprising as I usually love to eat, especially at nights. Maybe my appetite will get better after this hour 🙂

late-night snack (added later): 1 banana, 1 tall glass of milk, and later; yogurt and 3 slices of whole wheat bread, 100 grms of trail mix

exercise: 10 min walk at noon

supplements: iron supplementation at noon, vit D and calcium tablet after dinner.

stretching: none for today

healthy life – style journal, Oct 20, 2015

I record my weight on Tuesdays; so here is the moment of truth 🙂

I am 202 pounds, 8 pounds less than when I started my healthy eating on Sept 1, 2015.

It is not a substantial loss, but a loss nevertheless. I can do nothing but being appreciative of this and hopeful that I will continue to lose the extra weight over time.

breakfast: forgotten my breakfast at home; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: one can of fish, coffee with cream and sugar, and 1 tea biscuit

late afternoon; 3 soft meatballs

dinner (added later): I do not have an appetite today, either but I will force myself to eat a little so that I do not consume less calories than my body needs to. I have eaten 3 slices of whole wheat bread and 50 grms of cheese. I have noticed that I have been eating these very frequently. I also remembered, through the conversations in the comment area, that I have not been eating enough veggies. Hence, I have also eaten a large cucumber. Life is good 🙂

late night snack (added later): 1 apple

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon (no walk in the morning today – it was raining so I took the cab)

stretching: 10 min in the afternoon while listening relaxing music 🙂 it was great!

supplements: iron supplement in the afternoon,  calcium and vitamin D supplement after the dinner.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 19, 2015

A beautiful day 🙂

I do not have appetite today, so I have not eaten much during the day yet. I have no idea I will have at dinner, either. I will take it easy and all will be fine.

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with brown sugar and creamer

lunch: did not have much time to eat; munched on peanuts

dinner (added later): 1 apple, 1 slice of whole wheat bread, and 50 grms of cheese so far.

late-night snack (added later): 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1 avocado

exercise: did very well today 🙂 30 min in the morning and another 30 min in the evening. Yay! 🙂

supplements: iron supplementation at noon. I took my calcium and vit D supplementation after dinner (they are fat-soluable, so they should be taken with food).

stretching (new): stretched my back, neck, arms, and legs while listening to a relaxing music!. Good job 🙂

how am I doing with the challenges I have assigned to myself a while ago?

I am too talkative today… I know.. I know… Hope you do not mind! Having a day to myself without working or house chore is really a blessing – it allows me to learn and do new stuff and get excited about the new useful information.

This post is a continuation of a few number of previous posts where I wrote about the changes I would like to do in my life; some of them good for my budget, some good for my mental or physical health. I revisit them time to time to see how I have done since the last time. I also update them, too, and create new challenges for myself.

so let’s see how I have done so far:

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challenge 1: take the bus (not the cab). It was done then!. I am even better since then; I started to walk in the morning from home to office in the last 3 weeks! I am so excited about this and happy to see that I have the energy to do so and open-heartedness to truly enjoy it. I am not sure how long I can keep doing that as the old man winter is about to arrive and it also rains time to time. Let’s cross the fingers 🙂

challenge 2: eat better and healthy – cut out the carbs and consume more veggies and fruits. DONE. I am eating much better compared to before 🙂

challenge 3: walk an extra 30 min at the weekends. NOT DONE – NEED A PLAN.

challenge 4: do not buy books for two months. DONE! 🙂 I have a shopping freeze till holidays and it has been going really well, I am okay with occasional purchase of a great book.

challenge 5: cut out the bagel breakfast- one bagel/breakfast. DONE!

challenge 6: do grocery shopping as required and buy small amounts. Going well. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 7: start listening to music and relaxing 20 min a day; this is done easily now thanks to my computer and youtube/internet sources. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 8: drink at least one cup of tea a day. I easily and lovingly do this during the week. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 9: get up in the morning and smile to yourself and hum a song. well, remembered to do only a few times. NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN: just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 10: look outside the window at the office three times a day – enjoy the view and relax. Going well. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 11: record the progress in these areas in breaking the routine or joy journal categories. Not necessarily in these pages, but I kept posting them somewhere in this blog, good job 🙂 Going well. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 12: increase the contribution made to the RRSP account. NOT DONE yet but now that my chequing account has a positive balance, I am getting closer to implement it. I am planning to increase it in the new year by cutting out some expenses- exciting!

challenge 13: during the day remember to smile.  NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN:  just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 14: lose 15 pounds in two months – record weight and food consumed every day. PARTIALLY DONE. I have been on a healthy – life style mission in the last 7 weeks; all I have lost is around 6-7 pounds. It is going slower than I had expected, but at least it is happening. So I am happy with it 🙂

challenge 15: stick to the plans – I have done these before and I can do it again. ALMOST DONE 🙂 keep going.

challenge 16: comb the hair everyday. I do not need that anymore – have the hair cut short. Yay! But i can easily change this into a new challenge for my short hair; dye the hair every month but every 6 months, get it dyed in a saloon to get a better treatment.

challenge 17: spare 5 min every day to breathe – just to breathe. NOT DONE. I am re-introducing this challenge again. I will start doing this today – it is always relaxing.

challenge 18: apply sunscreen every morning. NOT DONE…NOT APPLICABLE ANYMORE (summer is gone)

challenge 19: apply moisturiser every night. NOT DONE…. It is such a nourishing activity. I should start it now that winter is coming, my skin feels dry.

challenge 20: every week, eat two different food from last week – whether veggies or fruits or others. Change the brands or types of canned food or others I regularly consume. I have been consuming canned beans and others rarely since I started my healthy eating plan. In terms of variety, yes I need to do that and started with it this week – good job 🙂

challenge 21: take the stairs at the office (2 storeys) at least twice a week. NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

challenge 22: write the joy journal every day; no matter how dry or repeating it may feel.  I do not write it every day – NEED ADJUSTMENT. The primary reason is I keep blogging about many other topics and it does not leave much time to write my joy journal. nevertheless, all is well and I will keep writing it 😉

challenge 23: have a budget, write down all expenses in each category, do not over-spend the weekly allowance, save as much as you can. DONE!  I am certainly spending less than before and more consciously. I even managed to bring my chequing account to a positive balance. My credit card and cable fees are also down. I am taking advantage of the sales and discounts and I am very abundant. I am proud of my efforts. Yay! 🙂

challenge 24: continue to declutter the home and donate the usable items. DONE! I still need to get rid of the VHSs and CDs, but I have donated my clothes and a large number of books a couple of months ago – feeling good 🙂

challenge 25 (new challenge): learn ways to minimize food waste. I have started this; even though my waste in the past was limited, my aim is to completely prevent it. I will keep reading blogs and websites, get ideas, and implement them as appropriate.

challenge 26 (new challenge): Stretch your body every day and start with light weight lifting activities. Even better, start the gym at the work place to do some free weight exercises. I should be doing these. As soon as I am done with my trips, I will start my free weight training; my plan is to do it twice a week; mondays and fridays. Once I start, I am sure I will be hooked as weights are always fun to work with 🙂

—————————————————————————————

It is so satisfying to see that I have been noting down the beneficial changes I would like to make in my life and seeing that the majority has been implemented. The flexibility to adjust them and to add new ones, as well as this checks I do time to time help me tuned in and motivated to keep going. Overall, this has been one of my most valuable experiences 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Oct 18, 2015

Almost no exercise, but the food I consumed so far has been great 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, one cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. It is amazing that although I keep going to the same cafe, I have no difficulty not ordering bagels anymore. Yesterday the staff at the cafe had asked me whether I would also get bagels as usual 🙂 I said I was limiting carbs and he understood it. He even said “sorry, I did not mean to remind you them!!”. How nice of this young gentleman 🙂

lunch: soup with 3 slices of bread

dinner: soft meatball, leek, and carrot meal; I am in favor of not cooking veggies a lot and make them mushy. I think cooking breaks their fiber and fiber is what we all need. So I cooked first the meatballs and  then added carrot and the leek. I turned off the stove before the leek lost its crispy feel.

late-night snack (added later): 1 big apple (delicious 🙂 ) and 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: 10 min in the morning.

supplements: iron supplement before the lunch and calcium+VitD supplement after dinner.

My pharmacists told me that iron supplementation could cause constipation; one remedy is to take it with food/drinks that contain vitamin C, such as orange or apple juice. Apparently, vitamin C helps iron to be absorbed by the body. I thought I would share in case you also are recommended to take iron supplements.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 17, 2015

I am grateful for all the food I have in my pantry, fridge, and freezer.

I am trying to eat a little bit better today and also give my body a rest; I still have the cold but it is getting better. Soup and warm drinks are really good; so is water.

I felt discouraged this morning, as the total weight loss I have had in the last 6 weeks is only 5 pounds…. I had thought I would lose more. It is partly because of the trip I have had lately I guess (eating more and different food, and long flights), but I have two more trips to come, meaning I can expect a similar pattern…On the other hand, with this plan, I have more energy, I walk more, and I eat really well compared to before. I know I am doing much better in nourishing my body.

I hope to see more weight loss soon to at least have some more motivation to keep going. It is too much to think that I will have to cut out calories, eat different things, or exercise more should I not lose weight on this plan.

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

late-morning snack: 1 pear

late lunch: salad with tomato, cucumber, green pepper, onion, and olive oil. That was really healthy 🙂

dinner (planned): fish bits, frozen and cooked at oven.

late-night snack (added later): 1 large apple, 1 tall glass of milk, 350 grms of yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and a small spoon of honey – warming and lovely; give this a try 🙂

late-late-night snack (added later): 2 slices of whole heat bread and 50 grms cheese

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning. that is probably all for today, though I am contemplating about walking in the evening. I will see how it goes..

supplements: 1 iron supplement before lunch, 1 calcium and vitD supplement after salad

healthy life – style journal, Oct 16, 2015

Pretty relax day…

I started walking in the morning; I walked for 10 min or so then one of my good friends here gave me a ride. I could not possibly say “no, friend, I am going to walk“. I enjoy her company and we always have sincere and fun conversations. So it is well worth it 🙂

When we got to our building, I realized how hungry I was… Hmm.. So I went to the cafeteria for unhealthy food.

I know well why I do not have my breakfast at home; I gotta leave the house right away upon waking up. I know this is a peculiar habit, but this is what it has been and I have no interest to tackle it. However, I do not know why I do not pick up my breakfast with me before I leave home; that would be wonderful as I almost always have something healthy to grab. Sigh… 🙂

breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream but no sugar (there was no brown sugar at the cafeteria so I thought “When I go back to the office, I can add brown sugar“). Of course I have forgotten that, too. So I drank the coffee without sugar 🙂 That is interesting as I never thought I would drink a coffee like this… But I guess what helped was the two carrot muffins I have bought and ate, together with the coffee.

I know… I know…. It is so not me. First, I do not actually have a sweet tooth (I am lucky). Second, muffins are not healthy at all (not nutrition-packed and full of sugar, which I am trying to limit to help my blood sugar levels).

lunch: 1 banana, 1 bowl of soup, 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1 cup of tea, 2 small tacos with tofu.

late-afternoon snack: 1 pear

dinner: 1 bowl of soup, 2 slices of whole wheat. I do not think I am done yet. I will try to eat some raw veggies, such as cucumber or tomato, to get my body some nutritious food. Plus, for some reason raw veggies always help me lose weight.

late-night snack (added later): 1 big apple, tofu squares dashed with honey, 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning, 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron supplement at noon; 1 tables of calcium and VitD after the dinner.

joy journal – Oct 15, 2015

joy 🙂

happiness 🙂

joy 🙂

here is today’s list (try your list; trust me it does not come easy at first, but then one starts to realize how many joyful, happy, or positive experiences we actually have every single day. You may as well surprise yourself 🙂 ).

1. I am grateful for getting up early; before 8 am. This is early for me 🙂 I was not sure whether my favorite coffee was open, but decided to try my chances.

2. I am grateful for finding the cafe open, ordering and having my bagel and coffee, while also working on my laptop. I also found a chance to chat with the lovely manager I know there. She is always smiling and always so positive; It is a blessing to be around her and feel the positivity 🙂

3. I am grateful for working at home, efficiently I must say. It is one of these days that I worked really well. Because of the multiple work-related trips I must make this month, I have been time-wise constrained for some time now. I feel the stress but then I take care of the stuff, too. yesterday I finished something important and submitted it to the department. And this morning, I worked on an atypical presentation and got feedback from one of my colleagues; it looks good 🙂

4. I am grateful for today being the day I have the new cable plan that saves me around $40/month. How great is that! 🙂

5. I am grateful for getting my blood test results; everything is fine, even the blood sugar levels (yay!), but I seem to have iron-deficiency. I am really happy about the blood sugar results. I was so scared of it since the last test when it was alarmingly borderline. Now it is not and I know with my exercise and healthy diet strategy, I can even make it better. I am so grateful and excited that I promised myself to look after my body even much better. I hope to start stretching sometime as well as weight-lifting. I will also look for additional ways to nourish my body.

6. I am grateful for my body that keeps up with everything so well, so healthy 🙂

7. I am grateful for walking quite a bit this afternoon. I have had a couple of errands to take care of. All went well and I walked around 1.5 hours 🙂 I sometime try to notice how fast I can walk and I am glad to see I can walk quite fast. For my age, that is pretty good. I am not that old yet! 🙂

8. I am grateful that I did not go and eat at a Mexican restaurant on the way, even though I was a little bit hungry. Do not get me wrong; its food is awesome! But I saw myself all stuffed, not wanting to walk, and calling for a cab for a ride back to home if I had dined there…. Too much of a hassle…. I decided I could as well go home and eat as I please there. Well done 🙂

9. I am grateful for shopping this afternoon. I did not need a lot of stuff, as my fridge is still full. But I needed my fruits. I also bought a number of items on sale (yogurt is being one of them; I love yogurt) that I can preserve in my fridge for sometime for future consumption.

10. I am grateful for buying and eating carrots. I have not had them for a long time, even though they are supposedly very healthy. One of the reasons was their low glycemic index (GI) score. I am still not interested in eating them too much, but every once a while or in small quantities they are okay.

11. I am grateful for not cooking today; the left overs form yesterday were enough as the meal.

12. I am grateful for my couch, pillows, and the blanket that make me feel pampered and comfy. They make me feel like “Life is good; why should it not? I have food in my stomach, a roof above my head, health, a beautiful job, plans and hope for the future.”. I am so glad I have many pampering stuff in my life 🙂

13. I am grateful that even though I have cold, I am okay – no fatigue or low energy levels. Runny nose and sneezing are a little bit annoying, but they will go away in a couple of days. So, no worries.

14. I am grateful for tomorrow being a friday. I have a 3pm meeting that I know will last at least 1.5 hours. I do not wish to attend this meeting, at least entirely. I guess I will come home early and take a rest, or work. Friday late afternoon meetings are never a good idea.

15. I am grateful for listening to the “do you love me” by The Contours; such a cheerful song 🙂

16. I am grateful for bread not being an important food in my life anymore. I still like it and it is very nutritious, yet you know my story; I love it and would eat a lot of it every day. Now, this love has subsidized, together with my love for the bagels. I am not threatened by their availability or by eating a small amount.

17. I am grateful for the milk I am drinking right now. I know it is good for my bones and immune system.

18. I am grateful for the doctors and the field of medicine.

19. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Oct 15, 2015

I keep eating the same things over and over. Are you not bored of the food I consume? 🙂

You should and I finally am. So from this week on, I will try to consume at least one other fruit in addition to apples and 2 veggies that I have not had in the last week.

That plan made me feel good 🙂

breakfast: 1 bagel with butter, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: 1 bowl of chicken noodle soup

late-afternoon snack: 1 banana (yep; something I have not eaten lately 🙂 )

dinner: 1 bowl of chicken noodle soup, 3 slices of whole wheat bread, lots of raw carrots. I bought carrots as part of the new plan of eating a variety of food. I am glad I have. The young carrots (thin and crispy ones) are excellent snacks; I also love them in salads (grated). Yum, yum, yum! 🙂

late-nigh snack (added later): 1 bowl of chicken noodle soup, 1.5 glass of milk

exercise: Walked a little bit longer today 🙂 30 min in the afternoon, followed by another 15 min walk, and then 45 min walk after that. (I try not to sum all up like 1.5 hours of walk. The reason for that there is a difference between a walk here and there and then a continuous walk; I believe a continuous walk would be the one that make me sweat most, but I keep hearing interval training is also great. Your choice 🙂 ).

calcium and VitD supplement: 1 tablet after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 14, 2015

I cannot believe it is mid-October 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

late morning snack: 50 grms of peanut

lunch: 2 cans of fish

dinner: cucumber. tomato, and onion salad with olive oil, 3 slices of whole wheat bread, chicken noodle soup with lots of lemon juice. I have got a cold; so the chicken soup is my best medication right now. I also feel like raw onion does help with it. So the dinner today is full of healing nutrients 🙂

late night snack (added later): 75 grms of cheese. I am not drinking milk tonite; at least I have got the calcium to be obtained from food (not supplement) by eating cheese, even though I did not have enough daily Vit D today.. oh well, tomorrow then 🙂

exercise: 1o min walk in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon. There was a function that I needed to attend in the morning somewhere close to my home – I managed to leave it before the coffee and pastry/muffin type of snacks are served (good job! 🙂 ) – a colleague of mine gave me a ride to office, which I appreciated very much. The muscle I pulled the other day has not healed yet so walking is a little bit challenging time to time.

supplements: 1 tablet of calcium and Vit D after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 13, 2015

Today is the day I record my weight: it is 205 pounds. Only 5 pounds less than the start on Sept 1, 2015.

It is going slow; I am not demotivated yet; I know that little by little it will go, maybe it will take longer than what I projected at the beginning, but I will continue to have a healthier diet and physical exercise; they help me nourish my body and exercise is vastly important for feeling good 🙂

breakfast: I have forgotten to take my breakfast with me; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 50 grms of peanuts; it was a day full of meetings and thus I could not find time to eat better.

late-afternoon: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: 3 hard-boiled eggs and cucumber salad with olive oil; 3 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (added later): 2 apples, 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon 🙂

supplements (calcium and Vit D): I forgot to have one during the day; I do not think I will have another tonite as I just took medication for my back pain. I should make sure to have milk tonite to get a little bit of calcium and VitD.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 12, 2015

What a great day – happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends and happy Columbus day to my American friends. I hope you all are having a great, relaxing and peaceful day full with sweet moments with family and friends.

I have so far done really well with my healthy life-style plan today. I walked for 50 min in the morning! I did not even take my purse with me; I just left with my key, focused on walking, the rhythm of my body as I walked, and the scenery. I kept pretty much a faster than average speed and I loved seeing how well my body handles it (i.e. without straining itself) and how it made me sweat. Sweating is good; for some reason I am feeling much better when my body works to this extent. I am very grateful for today being an off day, which allowed me to have this wonderful experience.

I know I can do this more often and I know that I do not feel tired as I used to time to time in the past. Starting to walk for leisure again is positively affecting me and I am very excited about this 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and sugar

lunch: green beans and beef meal (left-over from yesterday)

late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner: red cabbage and hard tofu cubes salad with olive oil

late-night snack (added later): 1 apple, tofu bits sprinkled with brown sugar, 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: 50 min walk in the morning 🙂

supplements: 1 calcium and Vit D tablet after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 11, 2015

The scale says I gained weight during my trip; if I know my body (and I do), I will lose 2-3 pounds of it in the coming days. I believe this extra weight are mostly water retained in my body due to different types of foods I consumed and the long flights I took. so even though I have eaten during the trip more than I usually do here at home, I am not too worried; the weight I have gained will be lost soon.

breakfast: none (got up late)

lunch: 1 bagel (toasted and buttered), 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

dinner: green beans, onion, and minced beef meal in oven; 1 slice of bread

late-night snack (added later): 1 apple, trail mix

exercise: none

supplements: 1 tablet of calcium and vit D after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 6, 2015

Boy; a long day and I am hungry 🙂

breakfast; coffee with cream and sugar; 1 cheese and avocado sandwich (2 slices of bread and 1 mashed avocado) as well as egg salad sandwich with orange pepper

later; coffee with cream and sugar

lunch: spicy thai soup with one bagel (toasted and ligthly buttered), 450 ml milk

later; 1 apple

dinner: Caesar’s salad, tortilla chips with cheese, guacamole, salsa, and some other dips

second dinner: one small roll of bread, small salad, chicken, and brownie with tea

late-night snack (added later): trail mix, tea

exercise: walking 15 min

supplements: None – I believe milk and food I have had today had enough levels of calcium and Vit D

healthy life – style journal, Oct 5, 2015

I have little appetite today; great after a weekend of little indulgence 🙂

breakfast: forgotten food at home; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: coffee with cream and sugar; a can of fish

dinner: 6-7 fish bits cooked at oven (left over from yesterday); 1/2 hard boiled egg, 1 apple

late night – snack (added later): 1 apple, 2 hard-boiled eggs and two slices of whole wheat bread

exercise: yahoo 🙂 walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon (i am so loving the morning walks. Wish the weather will be permissive for a very long time so that I can keep doing this. Please. please. please. 🙂 )

supplements: 1 calcium and Vit D tablet after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 4, 2015

Almost no exercise today, but here and there I have eaten quite well 🙂

breakfast: a small piece of cheese, coffee with cream and brown sugar

late-morning snack: 1 pear

late lunch: green bean meal, 1 meatball, 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late-afternoon snack: around 50 grms of trail mix

dinner: oven-cooked breaded fish-bits; a large salad with 1 tomato, 1/2 head broccoli (raw), green onions; salad dressing: a little bit olive oil, garlic and yogurt. Give this a try; it is fresh and tasty. After enjoying raw broccoli and garlicky yogurt yesterday, I could not help; I had to have this combination again. I am glad I have – it was really nice 🙂

time to time I crave for garlic; I wish it was more frequent than this as the health benefits of garlic may be more than I thought . Some info on garlic here and here.

late-night snack (added later): around 150-200 grms of trail mix and sunflower seed mix. Ok – I have eaten too much of this…. I think the sweetness of the dried fruit helps me not eat other sweets (like dessert) and the crunchiness of the nuts/seeds is just an amazing feeling, but I better watch out for the calories in this mix.

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning

supplements: calcium and vit D supplements; one after lunch and one after dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 3 2015

relatively good day 🙂

I think I have seen some weight loss on the scale this morning 🙂

breakfast: 1 bagel with butter, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. You may remember my love for bagels; I left the home without thinking about having a healthier breakfast and thought, “ok, what the hey; let’s have a bagel”. I did and I did not even think that I missed the bagels 🙂

late lunch: green beans meal and meatballs; 1 slice of 12-grain bread, 1 English cucumber (too much? well, so be it; it was crunchy, juicy and just fantastic! I am glad I have had it)

late afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner (updated later): red cabbage salad, cheese sandwich with 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (added later): 1 pear, yogurt.

Later at night I craved for broccoli.

Can you imagine?

Have you ever craved for broccoli dear friends? I doubt it 🙂 but if you ever have, please drop a line to say so that I can know I am not the only one 🙂 Anyways, enough with this; just because I do not like broccoli does not mean you do not. Honestly, I loved eating raw broccoli dipped with garlicky yogurt. It was awesome 🙂

I am glad I craved for it and it was fresh and crunchy; I know it is also very healthy. I am grateful for it.

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning

supplements: calcium and Vit D after the late lunch

healthy life – style journal, Oct 2, 2015

breakfast: forgotten again at home 😦  coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: the best meal of the day: chicken sandwich and salad, coffee with cream and sugar

dinner: 3 hard-boiled eggs and two slices of 12-grain bread

supplements: 1 calcium and Vit D after the dinner

late-night snack (added later): 1 tall glass of milk, 1 apple 🙂

exercise: 30 min walking in the morning; no walk in the afternoon as it was raining.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 1, 2015

Walking in the morning is going well – it is a very appreciated habit now 🙂

I also have had a nice lunch; I was at home working and took the opportunity to prepare myself a nice, hearty sandwich. Cannot complain 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

late-morning snack: small amount of trail mix

lunch: cheese and avocado sandwich with 2 slices of bread, cheese, and 1 mashed up avocado

late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner: 3 oven-baked battered fish pieces, salad with tomato, cucumber, pepper, and olive oil.

late-night snack (added later): 1 tall glass of milk, two apples, 1 slice of bread and a little piece of cheese

supplements: calcium and Vit D after lunch

Exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min at noon 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Sept 30, 2015

I have attended a workshop in the morning somewhere away; so no walking in the morning. I did not walk in the afternoon either; I had a meeting till 7.30 pm and luckily one of my colleagues gave me a ride. So no exercise today.

Eating has not been great, either. In the workshop there were unhealthy snacks which I happily ate. What is it about free food and eating in excessive amounts? I would like to know.

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled eggs, 1 slice of bread, coffee with creamer and sugar; 4 small packs of chocolate cookies or granola bars.

lunch: 1 can of fish.

late-afternoon snack: a lot of trial mix

dinner: kale meal, 3 pieces of battered fish with lemon juice

late-night snack  (added later): biscuits, 1 tall glass of milk, 1 apple

calcium and VitD supplements: forgotten to take after the lunch

exercise: none

healthy life -style journal, Sept 29, 2015

Tuesdays are the day that I record my weight; after 4 weeks of healthy eating, my weight did not change much . My weight is 207 pounds (still). Total loss is a mere 3 pounds in 4 weeks.

Ok; I know that a few days back it was 205 pounds and I am suspicious of water retention because of the introduction of new food to my diet this week; oat and milk. I will see in a couple of days whether that is what it is. Otherwise, I am discouraged but am determined to continue to eat good food.

I know I still need to work on the practice of eating a hearty breakfast and lunch so that I will need less calories in the evening/night; I am almost certain that this will help me to lose weight. We will see how I go with this.

Breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: 1 can of fish, trail mix.

Dinner: kale meal with olive oil, tomato paste, and chili. well, it was tasty but not enough, so I also ate two hard-boiled eggs with a dash of olive oil on top and 3 slices of 12 grain bread

late-night snack (added later): 1 apple, 1 tall glass of skim milk

exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon (at least I am doing this right 🙂 )

Calcium and Vitamin D: how to best get them

As a middle aged person, now I am on calcium and Vitamin D supplementation.

I am okay with this; I trust my doctors and medicine to provide me with the best options.

I always knew at one point in my life, I would need calcium supplementation. And, since I moved where I am, I always knew I needed extra vitamin D (here is a foggy city with little sunshine and long winters); I so feel the difference in my energy levels when I go visit a sunny place (psychological or not, I am not sure).

Nevertheless, my doctor’s office sent me a brochure to inform me about the daily required levels for calcium and Vit D.

My doctor also noted that not more than 50% of the required values should come from the supplements. I loved this very much.

Did you know that health-care providers prefer that these micronutrients (and possibly others) to be obtained from the food/drinks, but not the supplement pills? So cool.

The truth is I find supplements artificial and would prefer intake through food, too.

So, here is some brief info for the calcium and vitamin D (also here):  these websites give info on how much we need (changes based on age and sometime sex) and the foods that contain them. Milk seems to be doing well in both cases (as well as the fortified orange juice and others) and fish seems great for Vit D intake.

Go check these sites out and see how you are doing in terms of getting your calcium and vitamin D from food.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 28, 2015

Time to time, change can come quite easy. Not always, but sometime. Especially if you enjoy doing/having the new change.

This is the case for me; I walked to the office from home again this morning 🙂 I did not even think about not walking 🙂 See, there is no mental judo here for me (I had mental judo before; while having quite a difficulty in deciding to take the bus rather than the cab every morning at the beginning of my conscious spending plan implemented 4 months ago).

I used to walk for hours every day prior to I moved to my current city. I mentioned this a couple of times that our weather is a little bit challenging; our winters are long and we can get rain anytime year round . In addition, in winter the sidewalks are usually icy if the temperature is below 0 C for extended time periods and it is not unusual to see the snow banks occupying them, too. These two reasons make walking in my city quite challenging (walking on the road when the sidewalks are not permissive is not a safe practice; trust me). Also, although for some reason I am usually okay walking in the afternoon, as a non-morning person, I am not in the mood to walk in the morning. This was also accelerated with general lack of energy in the mornings. Or, that is what I have thought so far.

Anyways, I am very happy that I have the joyful activity of walking in the mornings lately. I know there will be times that I will not want to do this (e.g. when it is too cold, too dump, or too rainy/icy), but until then I will enjoy doing it 🙂

Good job me! 🙂

On the other hand, I am not sure how my new eating plan is going. I gained 2 pounds yesterday; I am assuming it is the new food types I am consuming (oat, milk) that help retain water in my body (and hence the extra pounds), but I you can guess it is quite demoralizing….

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: did not have time to think about eating a proper lunch – munched on trial mix

late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner: meatloaf and 1 slice of 12 grain bread

late-night snack (added later): 1 tall glass of skim milk, 1 apple, 2 small cucumbers. Later: 3 slices of bread and cheese

calcium and Vit D supplements: 1 after the lunch

walking: 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Sept 27, 2015

I ate a lot yesterday night; argh!!! And kind of unhealthy today.. Another argh..

well, I try to convince myself that every once a while it can be okay. I hope, though, I will keep it with “every once a while”…

On the other hand, I am pleased with my decision to drink milk everyday (see below).

Breakfast: 50 gr cheese, coffee with cream and brown sugar

Lunch: waffles.. what is it about waffles that I crave for? Simple – it is their crunchiness. I went to shop and could not resist buying one. Lots of calories, minimal nutrition….

Dinner: mixed salad with red and white radish, cucumber, green onions, tomato, and olive oil.

Late night snack (planned): Skim milk. My doctor’s office sent me a booklet yesterday about the calcium and Vit D intake. It was very useful – thanking them very much. They recommend getting a maximum of 50% of the daily requirements for calcium and Vit D from supplements – the rest better comes from the food I consume.. I loved this. There is quite an information about the food that contain these two micronutrient. I noticed that it is the milk that has the highest amount of both. I am not a fan of milk, but I bought some today and am planning to drink every night. It will feel good (knowing that I have done really good) 🙂

As snacks, I may also get apples or the honey-cinnamon-granola bars I have tried at home for the first time today 🙂

added after the post: ate the granola bars; then I craved for salty stuff and ate a little bit of cheese and 1 slice of bread.

Exercise: 15 min walking in the morning.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 26, 2015

Not bad so far; I managed to cook for dinner (yay!) and had a nice lunch with friends 🙂

Breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and sugar

Lunch: veggie omelet with fries (I know… I know…) and fruit, coffee with sugar and cream. This lunch was awesome. I was with friends, the view and the cafe were great, and the meal tasted really good. Finishing the lunch with fruits, to my surprise, was very nice. Great that I have eaten a variety of fruits today 🙂

dinner: I am cooking meatloaf with tomato, peppers, onions, and broccoli on the side. I placed everything in an oven dish and then boiled water with tomato paste and added it to the dish. As per broccoli, I do not think it is the best companion in an oven dish, but I tasted it (the meal is still cooking), and to my surprise it actually tasted well 🙂 I am glad I added it to this dish and did not just waste it.

late-night snack (added later): yogurt and 3 slices of 12 grain bread, 2 small apples

exercise: sporadic walking here and there. Nothing specific.

Supplements: Calcium and Vit D (x1) taken after the dinner.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 25, 2015

Yours truly did it again and walked from home to the office in the morning! 🙂

Yay! Could not be happier of myself. Seriously. So well done 🙂

Eating during the day, on the other hand, is still challenging.

Breakfast: forgotten my breakfast at home; contemplated about eating from the cafe but decided against it (good job – no junk today, either), munched on trail mix, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: cheese sandwich, 1 apple

Dinner: hamburger on bun and salad (eating out with friends) – good job choosing salad over fries 🙂

Late night snack (updated later): 1 apple

Exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon 🙂

Supplements: calcium and Vit D (x1)

healthy life – style journal, Sept 24, 2015

Today yours truly did an excellent job and walked to the office from home in the morning!

I was not really in the mood, but then the weather was so nice, and the sky was clear and shiny. Because of the morning walk yesterday, it was in my mind anyhow, so I could not resist the idea. And I made it 🙂

I am very excited about this – I guess not only walking but in fact enjoying is the key; I enjoyed walking yesterday morning (from a meeting venue to my office) and walking today (from home to office).

I wish to continue. There are a couple of things to consider:

  1. from my previous experience of implementing changes, I know that at the beginning I will mental judo each morning to decide on walking. I can find excuses, I can say it is cold, I can say I am tired already (it is not unusual for me to get frustrated with myself and vent here – so never mind 🙂 ). But eventually it will click and form an habit so that I will do it automatically.
  2. I am worried about the weather. It is not fun walking when it is raining and I should be okay with taking the bus then. The same thing in the winter when the sidewalks are icy – it is safer not to walk then. I should be mentally okay with not walking at those times. So based on the past years patterns, I am assuming I should be able to walk in the morning up to 70% of the cases till January. This is not bad at all. After that, it all depends on the weather…. January-March is usually the winter and April-July usually rains. I will see how it goes.
  3. I may want to have extra clothes at the office in case I have an important meeting or so; 30 min walk makes me sweat a little bit. Also I may want to have extra make up material at the office in case slight rain or sweat washed my makeup. Good plan 🙂

Anyways, let’s hope the coming days I will keep walking in the morning, too. With the walk in the afternoon (which I was pretty consistent except it rained too much or it was exceptionally cold/icy outside), that means I will be walking a total of 1 hr every work day. Yay! 🙂

Breakfast: I forgot to have my breakfast again!! where am I going with this I do not know. I should find practical ways to implement it. Maybe I should start having it at home. Or place the lunch box in front of the door so that I can remember it. Coffee with creamer and brown sugar as the only breakfast today (do they count as breakfast? I do not think so….).

On the positive side, I contemplated about buying tea biscuits or another junk food in the morning, but then decided against it – that is a good sign 🙂

Lunch: peanuts and a can of fish.

Dinner (updated later): 3 pieces of oven-baked fish (from yesterday), 1 slice of 12 grain bread, 1 apple. I am not done yet; I am still hungry. I am not sure whether I would get an omelet or a large salad.

Update: 3 hard-boiled eggs with a dash of olive oil, 3 slices of 12 grain bread. I probably did not do good eating that many slices of bread – my skin got itchy; I am thinking – is my body reacting to this type of bread (allergic reaction)? Maybe. On a separate note I am happy about my consumption of olive oil (we all need healthy oils) and the eggs. These additions helped me not to drop my calories below 1,200 cal/day limit (less than that creates a starvation mode in the body, stimulating fat storage).

Late night snack (added later): 100 grms of trailer mix.

Exercise: 30 min walking in the morning and 30 min walking in the afternoon (Yay!)

Calcium and Vit D  supplements (added later): 1 pill today. I need to bring them to my office to take a pill after the lunch.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 23, 2015

Okay; eating during the day is still a challenge for me, but dinner was great today 🙂

breakfast: forgotten my breakfast at home, 3 cups of coffee with creamer and sugar

lunch: 1 can of fish, green tea

late-afternoon snack: peanuts

dinner: a large salad with lettuce, cucumber, fresh cilantro, and olive oil. 3 pieces of battered fish pieces (oven baked, frozen)

late-night snack (added later): 1 apple and two pieces of fish. Later, yogurt with brown sugar

Exercise: I have done great today 🙂 walking 30 min in the morning. It was so nice, so peaceful that I decided to give it a try every morning (weather permitting). I am excited (good to see that I have energy; last May I had tried and I was really tired in the mornings, so I had left the idea then). I also walked in the afternoon for 30 min.

Supplements: my doctor recommended calcium and vit D supplements for me recently. Okay; I started yesterday (twice a day).

healthy life – style journal, Sept 22, 2015

Sometimes awkward, sometimes great day in terms of eating 🙂

Anyways; it has been 3 weeks that I have been trying to eat better. Since then I lost 6 pounds. Not too much, but considering the fact that I actually gained a couple of pounds within the first week, I will take this as something to cherish 🙂

Breakfast: forgot my healthy breakfast; as a matter of fact I remembered about it as I was leaving home, but did not feel like going back (that is how I relate to breakfast during the week-days. sigh..). Then I bought a cup of coffee with cream and sugar and while on it also a tea biscuit. Well… It was delicious. Consider this one of the “reward me” days (how many have I had lately?)

Lunch: 30 grms of cheese. I was working and did not feel like eating lunch.

Late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

Dinner: that was not bad. I worked till late so I did not have time to cook. So I decided to eat a large (I mean, really large) salad with tomatoes, cucumber, onion, green peppers, and olive oil. Also had 2 hard-boiled eggs to compensate for the lack of adequate amount of calories to be consumed for today.

Late-night snack (added after the post): 1 can of corn, yogurt with brown sugar. I crave for sugar late nights sometime. I wonder why. I also wonder whether it has anything to do with eating less bread (i.e. less carbs).

Exercise: walking – 10 min in the morning and 30 min in the evening.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 21, 2015

Breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: vastly forgotten; munched on peanuts and coffee with cream and sugar

Dinner (planned): oven-cooked frozen fish pieces – they look like breaded. Ok. lettuce salad with olive oil and lemon juice.

Late-night snack (added later): 1 apple. Okay I love apples but I guess it is time I bring in some variety to fruits. I will try pears next week.

Exercise: walking; 10 min in the morning, 30 min in the afternoon.

joy journal – Sept 20, 2015

joy…happiness… peace… joy…

I have no entry in this journal in the last few weeks – time to spill all the joy 🙂

1. I am grateful for getting up on time this morning – I was tired from yesterday but I did not sleep late. Good job 🙂

2. I am grateful for walking at the Terry Fox Run with my colleagues; we not only raised funds to help cancer research but also socialized and burned energy :).

3. I am grateful that I found a chance to extra walk today; the Terry Fox Run venue was 25 min away from my home, which I walked to and from. I am glad the weather was permissive (e.g. not raining) and I was not lazy or tired; so I could do all the walking 🙂

4. I am grateful that I saw myself walking at a pace that I used to 5-10 years ago; would that mean I am not that old after all! 🙂 I loved that feeling; walking, sweating, but not panting or running out of breath. Just like the old times! My body does an amazing job 🙂

5. I am grateful for checking a grocery store on the way back. It is one of the big stores. I used to shop there and then winter hit and I forgot to visit it. I made a mental note that it is a great store that I should check time to time. Walking to and from will be extra exercise, too 🙂

6. I am grateful for finding red cabbage in the store. Yuppi!!!… I have been craving for it for weeks now. I love red cabbage as a salad material! I bought 2 small ones (I must go back to that store time to time!)

7. I am grateful for talking to my family today – what would I do without them?

8. I am grateful for working on my computer and moving up with an important document. I still need to work on it, but tomorrow before noon I will have time to do so. Then I can submit it for review.

9. I am grateful that instead of working whole afternoon and night, I decided to take a break. the last few days I just has been running from one task to other. Stress is negatively affecting me. It is better that I take time for myself to recharge.

10. I am grateful for liking my work I did yesterday with the deck. Yep, the new stain is much lighter in color and the entire deck looks patchy; but hey I hopefully will finish it next week (right before the rain/winter) 🙂

11. I am grateful for, on the average, eating better. I think it has been 2-3 weeks now I did not eat bagels at my regular weekend breakfasts… what a change… I never thought I could do this, but looks like when the right time comes, it does happen.. Wishing this will extend to my other not-so-good habits soon 🙂

12. I am grateful for my home, power, TV, cable connection, computer, phone, and all the furniture, food, and items in it that make my life safe, comfortable, and delightful.

13. I am grateful for the soup I made this afternoon – warm and nourishing.

14. I am grateful for my plans for the next weekend! Yep; the week will be too rush-rush (too many stuff to take care), but the weekend I sure will take time to relax. I first will go get some more stain to finish the deck, will do shopping at a nearby more affordable store, visit two thrifty stores for anything interesting (not that I am planning to buy stuff unless they are great; but I so enjoy going thru stuff at those stores. Not sure why I do not have the same pleasure from going around other, regular stores. Could it be because I know that I can afford many of the nice stuff at the thrifty stores? Or is it because these stores have many interesting items from many different trends/seasons, but not necessarily only from the latest trends like other stores?)

15. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

healthy life -style journal, Sept 20, 2015

Breakfast: 1/2 slice of whole wheat bread, 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with cream and sugar

Lunch: 1 apple (was working and I did not have time for lunch)

Dinner: chicken noodle soup and red cabbage salad (no olive oil)

Late-night snack: 2 apples, 1 bowl of soup. I am eyeing the yogurt as well 🙂 (added the next day: well I did that; ate yogurt but it tasted sour a little bit; so added 1 table spoon of brown sugar and enjoyed it a lot 🙂 I know… I know… sugar is not that good. I am trying 🙂

Exercise: walking. A lot! Thanks to the Terry Fox Run walk, I got to walk around 1 hr 45 min today. Yay!

healthy life – style journal, Sept 19, 2015

Awkward day 🙂

breakfast: hard boiled egg, coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: totally passed that out – I was working at home (house chores + work on computer)

late- afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner: fish with veggies, fried onions, and strawberry short-cake. Ok – I went out to dinner with a friend and that was an amazing, decent meal 🙂 Also very pampering; why did I eat the cake? it would be better without it, but hey..

late-night snack (added after the post): 2 small cucumbers. I feel a lot better if I do consume raw veggies. So I ate cucumbers even though I was not hungry. I kinda believe that they will neutralize (or reduce) the effect of the short cake I had at the dinner. Right or not, I cannot know 🙂

(added once again after the post): I also ate 4 slices of whole wheat bread and 40 grms of cheese late at night. I believe the cake increased my appetite – will be careful not to have desserts again 🙂

Exercise: walking 10 min in the morning, and 30 min at late evening after the dinner.

healthy life – style journal – Sept 18, 2015

I did not eat as much as I am supposed to today; gotta be more careful about not dropping the daily calories. Anyways, here is what I have done hopefully to improve my life – style:

Breakfast: forgot to have my breakfast with me again. this is a recurring theme. Not sure how to implement it as a habit. Coffee with brown sugar and creamer

Lunch: 1 can of fish, around 100 grms of peanuts. Coffee with creamer and brown sugar.

Dinner: 1 apple, stir fried leeks and the roasted chicken. I decided I could not eat another piece of roasted chicken as it is again…I must confess I could not eat the entire meal. The leeks are gone, but the chicken is still lingering. I am not sure what to do with it, except that I know I am not going to waste it.

Late-night snack (added later): Cucumber – my goodness; it was never that delicious. I needed something to take the taste of chicken out of my system – what is better than the refreshing cucumber sprinkled with salt? Yummy. Also cheese and 1 slice of whole bread. Okay – I know I keep eating the same things ad I certainly like cheese, but I really wanted to eat something that increases my daily calorie and I was not in the mood to cook. Cheese sandwich is a very practical option for me.

And just around the mid night I craved for sweets; yogurt with brown sugar. Would be better without the sugar, but hey; it was delicious 🙂

My lessons learnt: NEVER buy whole roasted chicken again; it is good in terms of down-regulating the appetite, but I cannot do this anymore. I will rather have pieces (like legs and thighs) and make meals out of them. At least these parts I am okay to eat.

Exercise: Walking; 10 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon, both of which were at high speed. good job 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Sept 17, 2015

I think about two things:

  1. If I need to lower my appetite, chicken is the best food for me (I am serious – try something you do not like very much, which is also a healthy protein and see yourself)
  2. Am I doing good recording my journal everyday? I feel like I am posting too many posts everyday. And the topics are so different. Not sure whether that is good or not..

Anyways, here is what I have done to improve my health today:

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: did not have time to eat much – I was working on something. So I munched on roasted chickpeas. Green tea.

dinner: a piece of roasted chicken, left-over sauteed greens from yesterday, 1 slice of whole wheat bread, 50 grm of cheese

late-night snack (added later): 1 apple, 1/2 cucumber. Eyeing yogurt 🙂

The total calories I have consumed today is low. That is not good – they say I should have at least 1,200 cal/day; otherwise my body will think that it is starving and will start storing fat. I gotta be careful about under-eating.

Exercise: 10 min walk in the morning and 30 min talk in the afternoon. The afternoon walk was not slow and made me sweat. That is good 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Sept 16, 2015

Not too bad so far 🙂

breakfast: forgotten to take my breakfast with me again. So only coffee with creamer and brown sugar (three cups)

Lunch: two cans of fish, vegetable soup, and a slice of white bread

Late afternoon snack: none

Dinner (updated after posted): roasted chicken and sauteed greens with olive oil, onion, and dash of chili pepper. One apple. Since I ate the legs, now it is the breasts of the roasted chicken I am left with – the part that absolutely lowers my appetite. I estimate that I will completely eat it within the next two days. I will not waste it. I should not forget to give my thanks to this chicken who died to nourish my body.

Late-night snack (added after the post): yogurt – yummy 🙂

Exercise: walking 30 min in the afternoon – considering it was a rainy and misty day, not bad – well done 🙂

healthy life-style journal – Sept 15, 2015

This is the end of my so-called “healthy life-style plan” week. That means I took measurements to see any progress.

My experience with measuring my waist and hips is that it is tricky and does not match with what the scale says. Thus,  from now on I am sticking with the measurement of my weight.

Today my weight is 207 pounds. It is 3 pounds less than two weeks ago. I am not overly excited about this (my weight can fluctuate 2-3 pounds within a day – not sure what the reason is; thinking either my scale is not sensitive/accurate enough or my body retains water – I guess both of these are quite possible). I need to see the same weight over a week to finally become confident about what my weight is.  Therefore I am not treating this as a weight loss; rather I see it as a positive sign that at least I did not gain weight this past week 🙂

What have I eaten today?

Breakfast: one hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: two apples

Late-afternoon snack: roasted chicken.

Dinner (updated after posted): 2 slices of whole wheat bread, around 100 grms of cheese, and raw lo bok. Lo bok is white radish often found in Asian stores. I am fond of it because of its juicy texture and light taste. I have been thinking; it is good that nowadays I am not having salad, but rather consuming veggies as they are; overall I consume less olive oil this way.

Late-night snack (added after posted): yogurt – good job 🙂

Exercise: None – it was raining today, so I took the cab/bus.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 14, 2015

A relatively better day, but it is not over yet – so I am not keeping my hopes high. Nevertheless here is the account of today:

Breakfast: one hard-boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: munched on peanuts and roasted chickpeas (give it a try – they are not fatty but quite filling; lots of fiber)

Late afternoon snack: 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Dinner: roasted chicken. Chicken is not my best type of animal protein – I like beef more. This one was purchased from a store; I usually consume it in around 4-5 days. Honestly, I do not like the chicken breast at all, which is supposed to be the healthiest part. Anyways, I am planning to have salad later.

Exercise: walking 10 min in the morning; 30 min in the afternoon. Both walking at a faster speed – hoping to increase the energy expenditure a little bit this way,

Things I have done right so far today: having something for the breakfast, walking faster, and roasted chicken (lots of protein)

Late-night snack (added after the post): 2 slices of whole wheat bread and around 100 grms of cheese. Did i mention I love cheese? Hmm. Nevertheless, two things are clear: a) chicken seriously down-regulates my appetite; and b) I am not reacting that badly to eating bread as long as it is not >5 slices a day and as long as the calories from the food consumed during the entire day is not huge. Okay – I have made peace with eating a small amount of bread finally.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 12, 2015

Yesterday late-nigh snack: 1 apple, two slices of whole wheat bread, cheese, yogurt with 2 tbs of brown sugar. I was craving for sweet yesterday night. Try yogurt with brown sugar; it does not dissolve much and you can feel it 🙂

Today – breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, 2 cups of coffee with cream and sugar

Lunch: I had a late lunch today; 1 hard-boiled egg. I thought that would be enough till dinner (I was working and did not want to spend time to have a large lunch). Yet, it just made me more hungry… 2 chicken legs (boiled), 1 bowl of chicken noodle soup with lemon and black pepper (delicious).

Dinner: White rice with yogurt. I over-ate it – I do not usually eat rice. When I eat, I eat multiple plates…

Late-night snack: 2 apples. At least I did not eat too much late at night. That is a success 🙂 Also no bread or bagel today.. hmm. that was a great day even though I ate too much white rice.

On thing goes well another thing not so well. Well..

Exercise: 10 min walk in the morning – that is all.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 11, 2015

Okay; getting back to eating raw veggies (as salad), but still no breakfast or lunch today..

yesterday – late night snack: cheese, yogurt, and 5 slices of whole wheat bread (argh..)

Today: breakfast: none (forgot to bring with me to office). 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar.

Lunch: none.

Late afternoon snack: 40 grms of nuts, 1 apple, 1 cup of green tea (yay! something healthy and relaxing)

Dinner: 6 pieces of battered fish with lots of lemon juice; salad with 1 tomato, 1/2 (raw) zucchini, 2 celery sticks, lettuce, and olive oil. This is the third time I am eating raw zucchini in salad and I can tell you it does not have much of a taste. good in terms of having fiber I guess. But would not recommend it as a salad material to anyone, including myself.

I am preparing my hard-boiled eggs now to be consumed at (or, as) breakfast for tomorrow and the following mornings. I thought if I do not have them, tomorrow I can go back to eating bagels for breakfast. refined carbs need to go..

Exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

healthy life-style journal – Sept 10, 2015

I am doing better today after my burst-out in the last two days.

Yesterday – dinner: yep, I have eaten the pastry filled with blueberries 😦

Late-night snack: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 5 slices of whole wheat bread, cheese

Today – breakfast: I forgot again to bring breakfast to my office; 4 cups of coffee with cream and sugar (I really needed a large amount of creamy coffee today)

Lunch: none

Dinner: Stir-fried leek with sesame seeds, olive oil, hot sauce, and soya sauce. It was delicious – a simple but tasty meal.

Slowly I am getting back to my healthy eating plan, but not having breakfast or lunch (which is a long-time habit for me) is not good. Gotta plan better.

Exercise: walking 30 min in the afternoon.

Eye-care: I strain my eyes by reading a lot and for extended periods of time. I think limiting to use my reading glasses will help my eyes a little bit. So I finally come up with the idea of increasing the zoom on the monitor of my laptop. I can see things away from me and my eyes adjusting just fine.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 9, 2015

After learning my defeat against losing weight yesterday (I know; it has just been a week that I started my healthy-eating strategy, but would it hurt not to gain weight during this time?? No…), I went down big time. I am not giving up yet, but this is really demotivating. I promised myself this to be an honest journey, so here are what I have done to further gain weight since yesterday night (irony is high here):

Yesterday dinner: 1 big sweet pastry filled with apple, presumably very unhealthy, purchased from the convenience store. I am not sure what else I ate; did I have salad? probably. eh..

yesterday late-night snack: 1 apple, 1 egg with 2 slices of whole wheat bread, and maybe other stuff that I do not remember right now. The only good stuff I have done was to drink a cup of green tea – it was delicious.

Today: breakfast; forgot my breakfast – munched on peanuts at the office. Coffee with creamer and brown sugar as usual.

Lunch: none

Late-afternoon snack: another apple-filled pastry… In case you are wondering, I bought another one filled with blueberries and am very likely to eat it tonite….

Dinner: not planning anything right now, meaning it is going to be unhealthy; see above.

Exercise: 30 min walking in the afternoon (at least I did not let this one go).

I am not writing this to be a bad role model for those who would like to lose weight by eating right. Please DO NOT eat like this. I am just frustrated with many other stuff in life right now. It is not an excellent excuse, but I know that is an expected hurdle that I will eventually overcome. Over time..

Till then.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 8, 2015

Ahem… It has been a week that I started to try to eat better; less bread and bagel, more and diverse salad and protein resources.

I cannot complain about these changes; they seem to be good for me. It is just that I am not sure whether this eating style works for me. Why? Because based on my measurements, it seems like I actually got bigger 🙂

My shoulders and my waist seem to have expanded 2 cms and my hips 1 cm since last week.

Ahem… Ahem…

Gotta be a little bit more careful then – maybe eliminate extra calories (e.g. limit olive oil in the salad)?

Arggh. Anyways, here is what I have done to live healthier:

Yesterday – late night snack: 1 apple, yogurt, 3 slices of whole wheat bread

Today: breakfast; 50 grm of unseasoned peanuts, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: a can of sardines in tomato sauce, green tea

Late afternoon snack: 75 grm of peanut

Dinner: large salad with lettuce, red radish, pepper, zucchini, and olive oil. This is the second time I am eating raw zucchini – I must say the idea is weird but raw zucchini tastes just fine.

Exercise: walking 30 min in the afternoon.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 7, 2015

Yesterday dinner: I did not eat the salad I had planned yesterday; I rather had one tomato, 5 red radish, and 3 slices of whole wheat bread in lieu of salad; I felt not like preparing salad.

Yesterday late-night snack: 1 apple, yogurt

Today – breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with brown sugar. Since no cafe is open today (labor day), I brewed my own coffee and had it with no cream.

Lunch: Lazy cauliflower meal (recipe can be found here) 🙂  I completely made it up and I am glad I have, as it turned out to be an awesome meal. Very surprising as cauliflower has never been among my favorite veggies. Anyways, I also had yogurt at lunch. Additionally, I  craved for garlic and ate 4 big cloves together with the meal. Yum. Seriously. If eaten with meal, it does not upset my stomach and while its smell always increases my appetite, considering its health benefits, it was well worth it 🙂

Late-afternoon snack: Left-over lazy cauliflower meal

Dinner: I am planning a large green salad with tuna, spices, and olive oil (modified this a little bit while preparing it; added white onion, celery sticks, a can of corn kernel, and 1/2 lemon juice. It turned out to be quite hearty and stuffy).

Exercise: None.

Eye care: I really need to prevent straining my eyes by wearing the reading glasses for long times. Today while I continued to read and write, I hardly used my reading glasses. Trying to give my eyes a break from the glasses. Hope to massage them at night with tea bags.

healthy life-style journal, Sept 6, 2015

Yesterday – late night snack: yesterday night was another over-eating night. I was hungry so ate 2 hard-boiled eggs, cucumber, 2.5 slices of whole-wheat bread, and 2 table spoons of olive oil….

Yesterday night – eye care: I have reading glasses and since I use them a lot my eyes ache after a while. I remembered that putting wet and warm tea bags (best after brewing your tea) over eyes for 5-10 min would soothe them. I did this three times yesterday. It certainly is very relaxing to eyes.

Today – breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 cup of coffee with brown sugar and cream. Did I mention I eat a lot of eggs and I should change this? Yep…

Lunch: went out to a cafe with my friends. As a result I have a heartier lunch than I would have if I was by myself. Turkey, cheese, arugula, and cranberry sauce sandwich on baget, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. And a little tart – I could not resist the tart, even though I usually do not eat sweets…

Late afternoon snack: 1 apple

Dinner (planned): 2 medium size meatballs, salad with tomato, raw radish, lettuce, onion, coriander, and celery sticks with olive oil.

Exercise: 30 min in the afternoon. I did some house chores this evening and as such did not notice the time. I went out shopping but the store was closed. I wanted to try another one on walking distance. While the second store was also closed, this helped me with walking around 30 min. Yay!

healthy life-style journal – Sept 5, 2015

Doing good in some parts, not so good in others 🙂

Late-night snack: 1 apples, 3 table spoons of sunflower seed (I love seeds and nuts, but I need to remind myself that they are not only healthy but also are packed of calories). Nevertheless, I am glad I did not eat too much yesterday night (not that I was not tempted to).

Today: breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. Today was the second time I have been to my favorite cafe but did not eat their delicious bagels! Good, good, very good 🙂

Lunch: None – I was too busy decluttering the house. Gotta have lunch no matter what.

Late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

Dinner: Salad with tomato, lettuce, raw cabbage, cucumber, radish and olive oil. Meatball and cabbage meal with 1 onion, black-bean sauce and olive oil.

Exercise: 10 min in the morning – in addition I have been working at home non-stop for 6 hours. I hope that counts as some calories consumed.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 3, 2015

More or less I am keeping up with my new eating strategy, albeit not perfectly. And I guess that is okay too because I do not wish to have a restricted, straining diet that after a while will prompt me to eat more and worse kind of food: my psychology and the long-term sustainability of this eating style are also important. So I am taking it quite easy.

Yesterday – late night snack: I overdid this: around 150 grs of cheese, another bowl of green bean with minced beef meal, and one apple. Sleeping without consuming carbs (such as bread) was, however, not difficult.

Today – breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. The interesting thing is this: I went to my favorite cafe whose bagels I love. But I did not crave to eat one today, that gave me confidence and a sense of accomplishment 🙂

Late lunch: 1 slice of whole wheat bread, mashed avocado (1/2), and cheese

Afternoon snack: None

Dinner (planned): A large salad of tomato, pepper, coriander, and lettuce with olive oil and sunflower seeds. The left over meal from yesterday.

Exercise: 10 min walking in the morning only 😦

joy journal – Sept 2, 2015

joy, happiness, excitement, joy 🙂

1. I am grateful for the little salary increase I have got this week. It is not too much, much less than what we used to have. But it is better than nothing.

2. I am grateful for renewing for my mortgage and getting a little bit lower rates. I am also grateful for increasing my payment so that the debt can be paid faster.

3. I am grateful for working from home monday and tuesday. It was great to have this change, have piece of mind, focus on the work at hand, and have the comfort of home.

4. I am grateful for starting to eat a little bit healthier yesterday. It will be a struggle for some time, and I do expect to start from the beginning time to time. But I am glad that I finally implemented some changes in my eating; start was the hardest part so far. The rest? I will see.

5. I am grateful for the food I have in my freezer and my fridge. They nourish me, help me enjoy my life a little bit more, and help me eat better.

6. I am grateful for starting to declutter my living room – it has been a couple of days and I am not finished yet. But it will eventually and with this hope comes the contentment.

7. I am grateful for my friends; today I had a chat with one of my dear friends. She is awesome, really awesome. It is great to spend time with funny, smart, and positive people.

8. I am grateful for checking the web to get ideas to better decor my home with artwork. I have got quite a bit of inspiration.

9. I am grateful for my TV, computer, internet connection, cable, electricity, water, and everything else in my life that makes me safe and entertained.

10. I am grateful for not eating bread in the last two days.

11. I am grateful for walking from office to home this afternoon. A little bit exercise. I have been consistent about it, which I like. Hope to continue like this.

12. I am grateful for taking the bus this morning, too, even though I got up a little bit early and had to spend time at home prior to catching the bus.

13. I am grateful that I brought my office the work-related books that I used to keep at home. They just fit there a lot better and I have less crowd in my study.

14. I am grateful for donating around 40 pens to my work place today. I have had these pens for up to 10 years (I am not exaggerating) and never or hardly used. As part of my decluttering adventure, I am glad now that they are to be used by others and that my home has less items.

15. I am grateful for my throw that keeps me warm in this chilly night.

16. I am grateful for the big green onions I have found at the store the other day. they are locally grown, waaaaay bigger than regular onions, yet with a sweet taste, and I just loved having them in my salads. I hope to find more tomorrow.

17. I am grateful for my gums feeling healthy. I have been flossing consistently and I am happy to say that my gums do not feel sensitive to floss anymore. I think that is a good sign.

18. I am grateful for the apple I am eating right now.

19. I am grateful for this weekend being a long weekend. If the weather is good, I plan to re-stain my deck and paint the window trims.

20. I am grateful for having so many things to be grateful of 🙂

21. I am grateful for being grateful.

healthy-life style journal – better eating plan – August 31, 2015

I have known my eating habits for a long time – I know that if I eat regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner and consume food that agrees with my body, I lose weight. I feel more energetic and overall better about myself. Now that I am mid-40s and a couple of years back my doctor had warned me about my high-blood sugar levels, I have no longer have the (silly) option to run away from eating and exercising better and losing weight. Plus, I really want to see myself thinner, like many years ago. It is a good feeling that subsidizes the feeling that comes with aging 🙂

The followings is my primary and abstract plan for eating better; I will adjust and detail it later as I move on with it.

1. Mental work: Yep, I would like to lose weight and it is not gonna happen unless I do something about it. I know the reasons that make me gain weight and overall under-nourish my body. I also understand the very negative consequences of my weight – metabolic syndrome that I possibly have; it can easily turn into diabetes. Who wants this disease? It makes you live less, encourages heart disease and other circulatory problems, kidney problems, and so on. Seriously, do I want to have such a disease? Do I want to have insulin rejections and checks every day and think about the possible consequences in future? NO, NO, NO! (that is pretty scary – perhaps I gotta read more about diabetes so that my mind can get conditioned to take the steps to reduce my diabetes risk…).

2. Shopping: I need to eat a variety of food and also more protein in my diet. Time to start buying different veggies and fruits each week. Also I need more veggies to use in cooking. I should be experimenting with beef and chicken dishes and hopefully cook tasty meals.

3. Cooking inspirations: The timing could not be better; I started sorting out my books to donate. I have a number of cookbooks that I can get inspired from. In addition, there are so many bloggers out there that provide recipes; why not to set time everyday and get ideas? I have already done this this evening; I tried lightly stir-fried kale with garlic, olive oil, and soya sauce. It was practical, tasty, healthy, and did not take more than 10 min to prepare. Way to go. I just need to be resourceful and trying different meals; I know myself if it gets too dry, uninteresting, or routine, I will not want to eat the meal. That is why it is important for me to start experimenting with not only different food and their combinations, but also with different spices, sauces, or cooking methods; re; cooking methods, I hardly use the oven to cook meal. Perhaps it is time for me to start using it. Variety this way will make it interesting for me.

4. Breakfast: This is going to be challenging for me, as I do not have an habit of having breakfast at home. But, this does not mean that I can not prepare breakfast food at home and bring to the office. My favorite items on the list will be hard-boiled eggs or chicken/meatball/cheese sandwiches. I think I can do this.

5. Lunch: I may either bring in sandwiches or buy soup at the cafeteria. Purchasing lunch may increase my weekly expenses, but I guess it is well worth it (saving from preparation time and the food).

6. Dinners: Protein based dinners look like the best for me; something that will not increase my blood sugar right away and keep me feel full longer than carb-based meals. raw salad should also be an integral part of it.

7. Snacks: Whenever needed during the day, nuts, dried fruits, apples and other low-GI fruits, cheese sticks, milk, or yogurt (wow – there are so many alternatives; that is pretty good. Looking promising).

8. So what to do when hunger or emotional eating hits? Drink tea, eat fruits or other snacks, go out for a walk, floss and brush your teeth (read that somewhere; obviously gives a mental break and helps with diminished effect of wanting to eat), work with the dumpbells first (1 set of 10 reps of biceps and triceps and see whether the need for hunger subsidized), do a light house chore (clean the dishes, fix the mats, pick up the garbage, replace the hand-soap or the toilet paper, declutter somewhere!!).

9. How to assess and record the efforts, food consumed, and weights lost (if ever)?: Keep up the “healthy-life style journal” running everyday. Record foods consumed, and the weight and the dimensions of waist and hips everyday.

So it all starts tomorrow. By writing these I know I am making myself accountable. Oh, I will rant along the way, eat unhealthy food probably, will not have time to shop or cook, or will eat just to forget everything. But I know that at least time to time I will keep up with it and if I see a drop in my weight, that will further motivate for me to continue.

So wish me luck 🙂

joy journal – June 29, 2015

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up.

2. I am grateful for having enough time in the morning to catch up the bus. Each time I see it turn around the corner right before coming to the bus stop, I feel that great enjoyment in me. “It is here! and I am taking it!”. Who knew taking bus would be such a joyful thing? 🙂

3. I am grateful for working really well at the office. One of my team members and I completed a critical task of a project that took us almost 3 years to do. We still need to do some simple analysis tomorrow, but now that everything is ready and checked and verified, the rest is really easy and straightforward. There was a great excitement and a sense of accomplishment today 🙂 And it was well deserved 🙂

4. I am grateful for a colleague of mine giving me a ride this afternoon; we had a great chat together and it was a lot of fun.

5. I am grateful for having a relaxing night. It is raining outside but I have a friend with me, who is a great company. We both are used to work on our computers so it is great that neither I nor my friend is feeling like it talking or doing things together. There is a great relief in this – I am not a great entertainer 🙂

6. I am grateful for my friend saying nice things about my home and the yard today; come to think about it yes, I have a nice place. Maybe not well decorated yet, but it is spacious and clean. My yard is pleasing even me, with the clutter gone, grass is tidied up, and the lilacs bloomed 🙂

7. I am grateful for one of our reports now published! We worked on it, like many others, for quite sometime, but most importantly, the team member who did the work was particularly careless. It was very disappointing and caused me not only being stressed out but also work harder and longer with low motivation. I am glad now that the work is fixed, the report is finalized, and this entire stuff is over.

8. I am grateful for the orange I have had after the dinner today; it was fresh and very tasty 🙂

9. I am grateful for helping a friend of mine with a work-related question.

10. I am grateful for my home being strong and safe; my coach for being comfy and strong; my blanket for keeping me warm and cozy; my food for feeding me and nourishing my body; my clothes for keeping me warm; my computer for allowing me to read, write, research, and learn; my TV for making the background noise; my power for making my life easy and comfortable; and my body and mind being healthy and stress-free today 🙂

11. I am grateful for checking the garbage collection day; it looks like the garbage will be collected on Thursday not Wednesday this week.

12. I am grateful for one of my team members who told me that the bus schedule has changed now (summer schedule), which causes some of the services cut. I checked it online – there are now 2 bus services in the morning not 3. Good to know 🙂

13. I am grateful for keeping the bathroom window open to get fresh air in.

14. I am grateful for having the Wednesday off (Canada day); I may still go to office and take care of stuff. But at least I do not have to get up early; I can take my time that day 🙂

15. I am grateful for keeping up with my budget and continuing with my conscious spending plan.

16. I am grateful for being excited, joyful, happy, and grateful of things, people, events, and memories today.

there… I am complaining about myself

I started writing this post and then erased multiple times.

It is only because I want to complain about myself (for my senseless eating today), but then what is the benefit of the negative reactions? What happened to my joy journal entries? Where is the gratefulness, excitement, and joy of the day?

I have conflicting feelings as you can see – shall I feed the unpleasant feelings I have about not taking good care of my body by eating unhealthy stuff, shall I contemplate a little bit more on it and make a strong mental note of “eat better everyday”, or shall I forget all, forgive all, and focus on the positive sides of my day?

I think for such an important reason (and the reason is my health), I can continue to feel my negative feelings to help enforce my aim of eating better. Focusing on the positive is a great skill, yet sometimes for the long-term good, complaining about my own behaviour/eating and enforcing a better diet is way more valuable.

So, there I am complaining about myself.

This being said, it does not mean that I cannot end this post with a positive tone! I hope everyone who is hungry will find food and nourish their body and soul. I hope there will be no homeless, hungry, or diseased person without a safe and warm shelter, support, and care they need. I hope my senseless eating today (and many other days over the years) will help me to instead start being helpful to others.

breaking the routine – March 22, 2015

I have not done anything differently today, but I am aware the things I have to change; here is a short list of things I would like to do:

1. spend less time with the computer

2. everyday eat healthy; every single day eat raw vegetables

3. walk more, take the stairs at the office, start the yoga again

4. think less about issues; breathe and relax

5. stretch everyday

6. each weekend, do something you do not usually do. Go to different stores and explore; buy a new book and read; cook something new; go to a movie; start a hobby; call someone I have not talked in a long time; write more poems or stories; shop at a different mall.

7. everyday; smile more; take a break at work; comb your hair (yes I usually do not do that..); bring lunch in; enjoy any activity other than sitting at the couch; engage in more meaningful activities; give hope to someone.

8. be okay with the idea of going to bed earlier so that I can get up early, too.

9. laugh more; sing more; relax more.

10. do something good for your body every..single..day..

while silencing the roars of mind and heart

I am kind of angry with my self. I think I was so occupied to silence the roars of my mind and heart in the last couple of years that I never prioritized the well-being of my body.

Two years ago, my doctor told me that my blood sugar levels were too high; just borderline prior to diabetes, and suggested I take a detailed blood test. I got the requisition for blood work, which I conveniently lost. And then found it 6 months later, and never actually went to the lab to get my blood levels checked. This has been two years ago. I lost some weight in between, up to 10% of my total weight; this is supposed to be good for regulating the insulin levels, but in the last 6-8 months, I packed up them back. Every month I feel like; “okay I will lose the weight and start eating better”.

Nope. I was too busy. My mind was busy. Always. My mental needs were the priority.

That is enough.

Time to prioritize my body’s well-being. My mind better start listening to the needs and wishes of my body.

I never talked about this before… By making it public here, I hope to have finally faced it and have finally started to take it serious.

joy journal – Feb 15, 2105

Feeling kind of sick, I wanted to go to sleep feeling good. So here comes my joyful entries for today;

1. I am grateful I am well and sound, even though I have been feeling sick lately. I am still okay.

2. I am grateful for my family – they are the real joy and support in my life.

3. I am grateful for sleeping in till noon – I believe my body needs that long sleeps to recuperate.

4. I am grateful that I did not have to work today; rather spent time at home; warm and cozy.

5. I am grateful I could buy myself breakfast and cooked healthy meals in the evening. I am extra grateful for the tasty and healthy salad. Well done.

6. while I was feeling very lazy, I am quite grateful that I could prepare tea for myself. Green tea with pomegranate and lemon juice. It was good.

7. I am grateful for doing the dishes; keeping home clean and orderly when I am feeling sick is not my priority, but it feels good really. good job.

8. I am grateful for reading books today. I have not been reading for sometime… What an unfortunate practice. One of the books I have read says something like “Choose to choose”. I have chosen today to prioritize the well being and needs of my body rather than the lazy, convenience-loving mind. I chose to put an effort or struggle to make things better for me, my health, and my life. I will see how it goes.

9. I am grateful for no new snow; I have had no motivation to shovel again today. rather it was a bright and shiny day. It was nice to see the sky so. There is something miraculous about the nature.

10. I am grateful that I have not forced myself to get out of house today. sometimes it is best we keep ourselves where we are most comfortable.

11. I am grateful for feeling hungry late night – while I know it is not a healthy habit, it also tells me that my appetite is just fine, so I am not completely sick. That is great.

12. I am grateful for my couch that allowed me to lie on and just chill tonite. Similarly my throw and everything else that kept me warm today.

13. I am grateful for my TV and computer – they kept me engaged, made me learn stuff, and have a couple of laughs 🙂

14. I am grateful that I can take tomorrow as a sick day – I have no commitment for tomorrow at work; this may be a good time to keep caring for my body.

15. I am grateful that I am grateful.

have a nice night everybody.

joy journal – Dec 21, 2014

I am grateful for many things and people that made my day a beautiful day.

1. I am grateful for its being a weekend and having the freedom to do whatever I want to do.

2. I am grateful for my breakfast this morning – it was tasty and fresh. Walking in the crisp day was an extra thing to be thankful for.

3. I am grateful for my favourite bookstore – I have found two books that I am sure I will enjoy reading sometime soon.

4. I am grateful for the gift one of my old friends sent to me – such a lovely CD! the songs are catchy; my like was immediate; that does not happen often.

5. I am grateful for my friend taking the time and effort to buy and send my gift – I had not got any gifts in the last few years, not from my immediate family members. I had forgotten what a great feeling it was. The surprise and the joy made me emotional. I remembered my human side. A little bit more deeply than I thought I would. Very interesting.

6. I am grateful for the healthy food I have had today – nothing major but absolutely not unhealthy, either.

7. I am grateful for looking at the sky at the evening; seeing its darkness and the branches of the trees in it… It was quiet, peaceful if you will. Nights are my favourite time of the day.

8. I am grateful for cleaning my home today.

9. I am grateful that I have aerated my home – both floors in fact. It was cold and all, but I really think it is way more important to have fresh air inside than to keep the heat inside.

10. I am grateful for being relax and less stressed. The prospect of time off from work has been exciting. I have no definite plans but I know I will enjoy the next two weeks.

11. I am grateful that all the people important for me are alive, safe, and healthy.

12. I am grateful for the music I am listening right now – there are so many emotions it evokes, all strong and meaningful. I am grateful for the internet and whoever recorded it for making this possible for me.

13. I am thankful for my computer, internet connection, TV, and cable. Yes I am; thanks to them I can see, listen, learn, and think – at least pass time. They also keep me connected to the others. What have we done to do prior to internet I wonder..

14. I am grateful for my couch – I have been sitting on it for a couple of days now rather than my all-time favourite, the old recliner. it is good to have a change from even the favourite.

15. I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for having a house to keep warm. I am grateful for my job to keep doing. I am grateful for my furniture, my plants, my books, my CDs, my clothes. I am extra grateful for the gloves, scarfs, coats, and boots I have that make the winter bearable.

16. I am grateful for being happy with even the little things that make a positive difference in my life, in my feelings. I am thankful that I am not a materialistic person. I am grateful that no matter what I keep going. I am grateful that I am content and at peace with myself. I am grateful that people in my life and supportive, caring, and nourishing. I am grateful that I do not keep people who are annoying, bad or otherwise wrong in my life.

17. I am grateful that I can find all these and others to cherish and appreciate the life, my life, as it is.

Go ahead, make yourself tired real good for once!

I am mad.

I know someone, who for his work travels a lot. A LOT. In the last few weeks I am not sure how many states he has been to, often with flights as little as 12 hours apart. Now he says he is about to board a trans-atlantic flight.

Since I am not comfortable talking to him, but I do care about him, I will say it here. He may not know what I think, but at last I have this chance to get it out of my system.

Go ahead, make yourself tired real good for once!!! Get burnt out. Get cold. No heart attack or a serious issue, but something manageable. Maybe you will stop killing yourself. Maybe this time people in your life will, instead of clapping, talk to you out of hurting yourself for your career.

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