COVID-19, June 11 2020

It has been a while that we have been like this, right?

Am I the only one who piled up fat during this social isolation period?

I do not like myself with these extra pounds and I want to go back to my regular weight.

Damn, it is difficult.

Do I go keto? Vegan? Low carb? Low fat? Low protein?

What do I do?

COVID-19 Day 2

I slept like a child and got up at 7 am.

When you start the day early, the day welcomes you, nourishes you, and slows you so that you can enjoy more of it without stressing for time. I love such days.

I have not worked today. This is a wonderful development on my side. And it feels great.

As usual, I cleaned my home and did the laundry. I also fed my sourdough starter and have a dough to be risen overnight. I have not been baking bread in the last 2 months or so, so having my hands in that dough and working with it was an amazing feeling. I cannot wait till tomorrow and smelling it, right out of the oven.

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I did some more shopping. I feel like I am hoarding. Nowadays my shopping is almost doubled. It is not necessarily a bad thing – my freezer and fridge are full, just in case, and I have all cleaning and personal care products, except liquid hand soap. I feel confident this way and it is a plus on my side, but from this week on, I must just focus on getting fresh food and other essentials, but not necessarily stocking up.

I walked in the afternoon as well. All of a sudden it turned out that I ran out of garbage bags. Now. I was one of those who used the plastic shopping bags as garbage bags. Since they are not offered anymore in the grocery store I often go to, that means I must purchase them…… Okay…. I have. I am good for another 2-3 months – thank you. Who knew?

I found a chance to talk to my good neighbours and they are scared. They are both above 60 but very active people. She said that she could not look at facebook anymore as she only saw scary stuff. Sometimes I think that we must be scared so that we will take it serious. Is this really the only way, however?

The death rate in Italy and other parts of the world – due to COVID-19 – is continuing to break my heart. I do not think anyone see that coming. Or, maybe someone did but many people did not hear or listen to.

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Overall, I enjoyed my Day of self-distancing. But it is just the beginning. I want to feel like this is an adventure (no disrespect to those who get sick or die is meant here). A change in my daily life. Hope that does not mean that I will gain weight, but, oh well…. Just for the record and to keep myself accountable: I am 217 pounds today. Cannot gain more!!!

Also, when I think about the economic consequences, I cannot help but think that if this continues like this – and by all predictions it looks like it will continue for months – what will happen to our workplaces? Will they try to get rid of us? OMG.

But, no.

It is not a time to feel discouraged and pessimistic.

We will get through this.

 

 

 

Life-related objectives following a vacation

I just returned back from a family visit – it was great!

I found a chance to see my family and friends, and I have had a great time. Food, conversations, and visited places were all awesome. I am glad I have done this trip!

I also found a chance to stay away from work, especially in the last half of the vacation. I did not access and respond to emails, which was a blessing! I like this improvement in my approach to work.

My work-induced stress levels were down to zero as soon as I stepped on the plane. I still feel positive and relax. I hope to be able to respond to work related feelings and pressures better. I want to convince myself that I can do this.

One of the best things about having a break from the routine and engage in activities and thoughts that are different than what I usually have (mostly work related issues) is that it is a good opportunity to formulate new plans to remove the negativity of the past activities and have a chance to improve things that do not go so well. Today is a good day to do these:

Aims related to personal life:

1. Going back to frugal and abundant life-style.

I have been quite successful with this a couple of years back and then I broke it with junk food and can-fare expenses… I want to go back to that as of today.

My specific aims are:

  • to spend no more than 100 bucks a week on grocery and other needs (cleaning products, personal care products, etc.). This does not include medication and health-care related expenses (e.g. physiotherapy)
  • to utilize what I already have (dried food, frozen food, etc) to reduce my food cost, while not sacrificing from healthy and diverse food
  • to have another shopping freeze for flower pots, shoes/clothes, books (occasional ones are okay) and furniture
  • to keep all other frugal activities I already have (e.g. use of coupons/discounts, points, etc.) to maximize the value of my money
  • not to make any pre-payments unless an unexpected sum of money finds my way. This is to ensure that my chequing account will remain at a healthy level. I feel quite strongly about this because when it dips, first I pay extra money to the bank each month, and second, it makes me feel like I am in a financial crisis – not a great feeling
  • to eat the food that I have in the freezer and pantry (I have a lot of dried legumes/beans/rice that are waiting to be enjoyed)
  • to save around 7K bucks till December
  • to make a prepayment in December with the money I will save till then while also keeping around 5K in my chequeing account. This is an ambitious but doable aim. I feel like this will give me the best motivation to move forward and keep my frugal spending habits.

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2. Having a healthier body and weight

I have gained quite a bit of weight this year and its negative effects on my health were noticeable during my vacation: my feet ached a lot, my back gave me trouble (twice I have had my back pain/sciatica – they were minor compared to last year, but still I did not like having two episodes in a short time…).

I am aware of two reasons as to why I have gained weight this year: I did not walk as much as I did in the past years (I used to walk from office everyday – rain or shine) and I ate quite unhealthy food (pizzas and prepared food…). I still have two boxes of frozen pizza and some frozen, pre-made dinners in my freezer. I will consume them as well but with the understanding that my priority will be not to purchase them anymore so that I can eat better.

Thus, my specific aims are:

  • not to buy any pizzas or other prepared meals
  • to eat at least 6 different food (veggies, fruits, or dried food) every week
  • to cook meals at least 3 nights a week (I often consume them in two-three days)
  • to eat apples everyday at the office and to continue to eat carrots and radishes that I love so much (for some reason, these veggies made me feel much better and help me lose weight at the same time)
  • whenever feasible, to walk in the morning to office and in the afternoon from the office (this will help me feel great, lose weight, and also save from the transportation – win-win situation!)
  • to shop at the farmers’ market to have fresh local and affordable food
  • to keep take my calcium supplements and drink milk to keep my bones healthy
  • to re-start doing my back exercises to help strengthen my abs and my back muscles
  • to do light weight-lifting at home to keep my muscles and my bones healthy and strong

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3. Heaving a healthier mind and higher quality of life

I wish not to have stress and anxiety to my best anymore…. Work-related stress, sleep problems, and problems related to relations with the colleagues have hit the ceiling last couple of years… I am better at managing my anxiety by means of the worry journal exercise. But in terms of stress management I have not been much successful.

Hence, my specific aims are:

  • to walk everyday, to eat a healthier diet, and to exercise whenever I can find a chance to provide myself a healthier, nourishing way of life
  • to rest everyday. This I noticed is quite important for my stress levels. Whenever I am tired, I noticed I feel more pressurized and over-react as a result
  • to not access the emails in the evenings and the weekends, unless I have a good reason to do so
  • to take things a little bit lighter and not to react to problems when I am anxious or panicky
  • to trust the life and people around me a little bit more
  • to stop thinking that I am the only person who can do things well and on time. This is one of the main reasons that I feel resentment towards people I work with. Often times I have a good reason to think that the work is not done well and corrections/my involvement is needed. However, this also makes me over-work and over-stressed… Perhaps it is time to lower my standards without harming the quality of the work. I can also take it easy with relations. I can be more tolerant and less assuming… (wish me luck with this one. It is hard…. but I must do this)
  • to make it priority to feel calm at the office
  • to feel confident that I have solved many issues in the past and I can do so now and in the future as well. I must remind myself this everyday, especially when I face of an issue
  • to integrate a new walking route or an activity in my life over time – whether this would be going to theaters/shows, visiting a cafe on a Saturday morning, or reading about an entirely new topic does not matter. Something useful and enjoyable!
  • to continue to read my daily affirmations first thing in the morning to set my intentions for the day for the better

For example:

I am calm and can take care of any of the work-related issues easily

I am confident and successful

I have great work-relationships with everyone I see today

I am known by my high quality and meticulous work and I am respected for these

I am kind to everyone I meet today, especially, myself

I have time to do my work

Today has all the opportunities and beauties I may need

I welcome and appreciate the opportunities life can offer me

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

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joy journal, Nov 5, 2016

I meant to have a great weekend and so far it has been going well 🙂

1. I am grateful for the refreshing and easy sleep. For someone who has had sleeping problem in the past, it is such a wonderful thing to be able to get sleepy, fall asleep at night, and wake up rested and feeling well.

2. I am grateful for the coffee I treated myself with in the morning 🙂 One cup of coffee can sure make me feel pampered and energized 🙂

3. I am grateful for the bagel-like pastry I baked last week, freezing them during the week, thawing over-night, and then eating it this morning with my coffee 🙂 I decided that this was a great practice – I know what I am eating and I enjoy trying new recipes. So I decided to make a batch of bagels tomorrow (my first trial – so wish me luck 🙂 ) to consume at the weekends together with my morning coffee.

4. I am grateful for walking to a store 10-15 min away and purchasing the hair dye I would need soon. Using the coupons, both store’s and manufacturer’s, made it a great deal and an excited occasion for me 🙂

5. I am grateful for meeting with a friend of mine and visiting a shopping mall. We spent around 4 hours there, going around the stores, checking clothes and other items, chatting, and drinking coffee. It was a fine day 🙂

6. I am grateful for the left-over piece of cotton I found at a fabric store today. It costed me $2.30 for 1 meter of fabric. I have some cotton cloths that I us during baking (e.g. to rest or the shape the dough on), but I wanted to have extra ones so that I would not feel rushed to wash them every day. The today’s piece was enough for 4 pieces of cloths 🙂

7. I am grateful for the little battery-operated sewing machine my sister and my mom had bought me a year ago! It is like a kid’s toy but sure does the work! I used it for the first time today to sew around the cloths 🙂 I am not done sewing the baking cloths yet, but it was such a joy to be able to operate this little magical tool and fix my baking cloths 🙂

8. I am grateful for not spending on anything unnecessary today.

9. I am grateful for the meal I have had cooked yesterday, which made my dinner easy today.

10. I am grateful for the sourdough I am rising tonite. I am trying something new and I hope to bake something interesting tomorrow. We will see how that goes 🙂 exciting!

11. I am grateful for doing the laundry today; it is sometimes a chore that I dread a lot…. I am glad that I do not have to think about it for another week 🙂

12. I am grateful for the beautiful day today 🙂 it was warm and shinny and felt like early spring.

13. I am grateful for my plan to shop tomorrow at another mall. I am hoping that the weather will be nice (though the forecast says that it sill be chilly) so that I can walk to the mall. It will take around 30-40 min to do so, but I really am looking forward to this opportunity 🙂

14. I am grateful for having the night to myself.

15. I am grateful for the push ups (today’s set consisted of 30! Wohooo 🙂 ) and the other light weight lifting and lower back stretching exercises 🙂 I am getting stronger and that makes me feel a lot better about myself. This is a great feeling that I had missed for some time. I am very, very grateful for this feeling.

16. I am grateful for not getting bad news today.

17. I am grateful for my back being pain-free. I can turn around without too much of a problem and it does not bother me at all.

18. I am grateful for not getting crazy about gaining 2 pounds the last week. Okay… Okay… Maybe I am… I was losing weight and it was feeling great and then I stopped and then even put on two pounds back. I have not really eaten too much or too different this week, so I am not sure about the cause of this weight gain. I am still conscious about my eating and making really good choices. Sometimes it is what it is I guess. I hope that the next week things will turn alright.

19. I m grateful for the McIntosh apples I have got Thursday. They are my favorites and I had not had them for months 🙂 The sour/sweet and juicy texture of this apple is distinctive. I have been eating two of them per day since I have got them. I hope to buy another bag hopefully tomorrow 🙂

20. I am grateful for my computer, internet connection, house, job, salary, benefits, furniture, clothes, shoes, and everything else I have at home and in life that makes my life safe, comfortable, and easy.

21. I am grateful for being grateful and taking time to note these 🙂

the mental judo

I am perhaps famous with my “mental judo fights”, where I keep thinking, paining, putting and effort, and struggling about the same issue over and over.

It is not fun; fighting with your own thoughts or choices. Wanting something, trying, putting an effort, and then not being able to continue, be effective, or achieve. Having frustration and lack of confidence as a result. Feeling bad about yourself.

The struggle is usually a habit that I need to change for the better. Take my healthy eating and losing weight saga, for example.

Weight: For my entire life, I struggled with my weight. It is true that in the last 6-7 years, I have gained a lot of weight; 35 pounds to be exact. There are reasons that I can count for this; lack of physical exercise, lack of time, stress, and eating usually unhealthy food or snacks among the top ones.

Walking: When it is combined with the rainy/snowy weather, walking becomes a challenge. I am more comfortable walking in the afternoon than in the morning. When I walk in the morning, it is always a great feeling. But my challenge is to start walking – taking my feet out of the house. When I start it, I enjoy it. When I can walk it, I enjoy it. My day at the office starts better and I feel proud of myself. That is when it is not raining or snowing of course. So I accept the fact that during winter and the majority of the spring, I may not walk in the mornings. Ok.

Gym: Walking is of course not the only exercise I can get. I have gyms at my work place. One of them is quite suitable for me as it is pay per visit and quite an affordable one. I was planning to start it late September; alas 2 months have elapsed and I still did not start it. What am I (not) doing?

Weight loss: In terms of weight loss, I thought by limiting the carbs (which is also good for lowering my blood sugar levels) and by eating better food, like raw veggies, salads, and fruits like apples and pears, I would lose my extra weight….. I thought so because in the past I was able to lose weight. It turns out that is not the case anymore – I have been on a healthy eating journey since September. While I have lost 8 pounds till early October, after that I simply gained them back. It is not working. To lose my weight, I must try another way….

Having these two items, exercising and losing weight, on my “to-d0-list” has been tiring.

It has been years………

I WANT to achieve these.

But there is always something more important to take care or channelize my energy into. There is work, there are issues in life, at work…. There is always A LOT for me to handle. Whether or not they are excuses, I do not know.

What I know is that today I have been thinking; how would I feel if they were gone from my list?

Healthier? Yes

More accomplished? Yes

Freer? Absolutely Yes! 

I today imagined how my mind would be freed of these concerns, attempts, struggles, and issues.

I imagined how energizing this would have been.

I am not naive enough to think that my mind would not fill up with new mental judo activities. And that is okay; at least they would be new, not stagnated ones like these two issues.

Wish me luck as I start planning and implementing new strategies to tackle my weight loss and exercise goals.

 

 

 

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.

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