Category Archives: empowerment
Every day we face obstacles to what we want to accomplish. Some of them may prove too difficult, and then we need to figure out another alternative.
But most obstacles are within us. Are you, like me, your own worst enemy on a lot of things? Do feelings of inadequacy bubble up to the surface, making you give up before really even giving it a good try? Our inner voices, past experiences, and uncertainty thwart our efforts to learn something new, stick our necks out to try something we’ve never done before, and more.
We need to separate obstacles we really do need to honor from ones we throw up as excuses to avoid going outside our comfort zone. Our world needs to get larger as we age, rather than allowing it to quietly get smaller and smaller, ‘safer and more certain’ until it implodes.
If you find that you can no longer do something you once enjoyed, take an active interest in finding something to replace it. Reach out to others, read voraciously, TRY things that are a bit scary.
Challenge yourself to acknowledge it when you discover you’re giving up on something and make it a point to meet it head on and widen your horizons.
I’ve tried all my life to remain calm in an emergency and haven’t managed it yet. This beautiful quote and illustration suggests it’s a skill you can practice. Does that mean you have to find emergencies over and over and then try to solve them, trying to remain calm in the process?
When my husband and I lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma a million or so years ago, we bought our first house. It was a lovely two-story wood home with a very small lot in a nice area of town where most of the homes were at least 50 years old. There was a small, rectangular ‘swimming pool’ taking up most of the back yard that didn’t hold water. :0) It also had a garage apartment that we fixed up and rented out.
After several years, I came home from a day of teaching school to find the garage apartment in flames! My reaction was to freak out. I did make sure that our renters weren’t inside. Then I called my mom, only figuring out several minutes later I should probably call the fire department…
I’ve spent a lot of time in my life trying to do everything I could to AVOID emergencies. I guess that’s a good thing, but it doesn’t give you much help when you encounter the next one. I run around like a chicken with its head cut off, squawking and crying and panicking, rather than keeping a cool head and doing what’s necessary.
I admire people who know just what to do if someone gets hurt. My mind goes blank, forgetting everything I ever knew, other than maybe calling 911 – something my husband would rather DIE than do. HE wants me to get him into the car and go to the ER – the way he has done over the years (rarely, thank goodness) with ME.
Maybe I’m not alone in needing some practice.
I tend to live in my comfort zone. I feel sure of myself and I like feeling that I’m in ‘control,’ even though I ‘realize’ that is delusion.
I feel good about myself when I step out of it, though – when I learn something new that is empowering.
Example: Since my husband is really good on computers and is finishing getting my new computer to work the way I want it to, I tend to be lazy and ask him how to do things, rather than figure it out for myself ( a VERY time-consuming, frustrating thing for someone the complete opposite of a computer/electronics nerd.) My husband tries to be patient when I ask him something, but it’s hard for both of us. He wants me to be specific, telling him exactly what I need in the proper terminology. (If I knew the proper terminology for my problem, I probably wouldn’t have the problem!)
I was trying to find some files on my computer. I tried to explain what I needed. The more I tried, the worse it got. Finally, we were totally frustrated with each other and gave up.
THAT’s when I stepped out of my comfort zone and actually started learning. After a LOT of flailing around, grinding of teeth, and more than a few bad words and tears, I managed to FIND the information I needed for my insurance detailing project – both the information that is on what I’m now calling the ‘old DVD’ and the spreadsheet on which I’ve started detailing what we own, what we paid, making sure we have a pic, etc. (including our first grade report card, thumb print, and….
When we talked about it later, I calmly told him I had found what I needed and had relocated them so I wouldn’t have trouble next time. He tried not to show it, but I THINK he was a bit disappointed that I didn’t need help on this anymore.
I stepped out of my comfort zone and now feel empowered – until the next time.
Learning to actually LIVE with a new way of eating is very different than simply grabbing a package and nuking it. My husband and I will finish Month # 1 on Nutrisystem on Thursday. Part of the program I like is the “Flex Meal” idea, where you learn to eat out plus learn to cook meals incorporating the new things you’re learning so that you can function in the real world. You have one flex breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each week, preferably on different days.
“Flex breakfast” –
- My husband eats his regular cereal with some blackberries and milk.
- I eat my old low-carb breakfast of 2 thin slices packaged turkey, a hard boiled egg, some shredded cheese, and a bit of butter, nuked.
“Flex lunch” –
- This was easy. We use our “Lunch Bunch” on Fridays. My husband has chicken fingers and I have a nice salad built from the salad bar, including hard boiled egg, ham chunks, cucumbers, shredded lettuce, and a sprinkling of cheese shreds, plus one spoon of dressing.
“Flex dinner” –
- You can see from the chart above we’re supposed to have 1 smartcarb and 2 powerfuels.
- What we are doing is cook something we’re really missing – but a lot less of it than we used to eat. Last week we got two thin steaks. (This was a big change because we usually get thick ones to grill.) We love baked potatoes with steak. Instead of the two ‘boat-sized’ white baking potatoes we usually get, we got two little-bitty potatoes. My husband was upset, but I asked him to just try it. He asked in a deprived voice, “Can we eat corn?” while gazing longingly at a nice group of ears. I said, “yes,” not really knowing for sure, but knowing that if he feels TOO deprived, he won’t stay on the new eating plan. I convinced him that we would share one ear.
- I froze one of the steaks and cut the one I was cooking into two pieces. Lean beef is the ‘powerfuel.” I husked the ear of corn (smartcarb) and broke it into two pieces. We each had a little, bitty potato. (a starchy carb). After we ate last night, my husband came over and said, “You always do such a perfect job that I don’t think about saying anything, but the meal tonight was delicious.” :0)
“Flex Snack” –
- This is easy. We go bowling with good friends most Monday evenings. Afterwards, we either celebrate our good bowling or commiserate over lousy games by going to Braums in Fort Smith. We each have one scoop of ice cream and savor every bite. (Mine is chocolate.)
The Flex idea allows us to not feel deprived, keep fun social stuff with our friends even though we’re trying to get the lard off, and put the lessons we’re learning to the test while we’re dieting, so it isn’t just a mindless process, learning to eat this way the rest of our lives. My husband is trying to keep his sugar under control – a HUGE change for him. (He even calls ME ‘Sugar.’) When we started Nutrisystem almost a month ago now, I gave up all added salt. (I used it on everything – even things that were known to be salty.) I’m hoping this will help my blood pressure numbers.
My husband’s weight loss is 5 or 6 pounds, but the biggest thing to me is that his blood sugar numbers are the best they’ve been since we started monitoring them in 2016. I keep a record, and we started with numbers like 353 (which is future amputate your parts territory). Today it was 122. The goal is under 100, but for the first time since we discovered he has Type 2 Diabetes, we feel we might actually get to the goal.
Official end of week 4 report Thursday. Next quarterly monitoring at our primary doc’s – August 6th. (After about 3 months on the program)
- After Week 3 on Nutrisystem: 7.6 lbs
- Total Weight Loss since my Lardiest: 20 lbs.
- After Week 3 of Nutrisystem: 9.8 inches
- Total since my worst wideness: 26.2 inches
My husband has lost weight and his blood sugar numbers are looking a LOT better! (I’m trying not to invade his privacy by printing numbers, but I’m really happy for him.)
- I’m trying to do 15+ minutes on the Elliptical Trainer each day.
- Yoga – 30 minutes of stretching daily
- Weight exercise for neck/shoulder problem
- Over-the-door shoulder pulley – 5 minutes daily of pulling
- Ice/heat daily, 15 minutes each for neck/shoulder problem
- Serious Intention to get up and move more, such as taking break from computer, walking out to shop or garden, then out to greenhouse, sweep garden, clean something, organization effort, etc. several times per day.
- I’m happy that I have ‘new, smaller shorts’ on this week’s list!
- I’m having fewer instances of having to take a serious nap in the afternoon. I haven’t gotten any younger, so it has to be I’m feeling more energy due to my new eating regimen. :0)
- I’m feeling more in control of our food now. I keep an eye on the clock so that we remember our mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, but the rest is becoming more routine.
- We’re eating more veggies – celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes and radishes with a bit of salad dressing with our lunch, and a salad with spinach, romaine, and head lettuce from our own garden with our dinner.
- We don’t have the feeling hungry sensation. Though we’ll be happy to finish the first month’s supply of food (choices we’ve changed in the next order) we’re feeling generally happy with our food. We’ve found some favorites, such as their orange cream bar as a before bed snack!
- We’ve cooked one dinner, eaten lunch out, and fixed our own breakfast, and had a snack NOT on the program this week (Flex Meals), learning how to function in the real world, learning to judge portions, and more.
- I bagged up the food left from the first order in gallon freezer bags. We got my new group of frozen food yesterday and my husband’s this morning, and we were able to quickly put both away, keeping everything straight. :0) Now waiting for NON-frozen boxes.
Week 3 has been a success. I’m feeling motivated and happy to be getting less of me!
I think I’ve told you that I hate computers when they don’t work and make me feel stupid. This happens a LOT. Recently, my husband really insisted that I change to a PC with Windows 10 from the iMac my son set up for me. My husband wants to be able to fix things when I have problems. Our son is across the world from us, and so many times isn’t available to help.
My husband ordered the same hardware he’s using for me, but for some unknown reason, it wouldn’t work. He fought and fought with things, returning and changing out parts, and finally got things going. Then there was a fight with Windows 10 and getting other software on to emulate what I was using on the iMac. He’s still trying to get our computers to see each other so we can share files. Usually, this is a simple process (for a computer person) but even the Microsoft tech support people, taking over both of our computers, haven’t been able to get it so we can see each other. It’s a mystery.
Meanwhile, my biggest aggravation on a daily basis is that I couldn’t see the pictures I use every day in writing the blog. I have a lot of pics collected and can’t remember all their names, so I was having to get on each one, open it to see if that was the one I wanted, over and over. My normally fairly nice demeanor has been eroded over several weeks now of fighting with this.
My husband is at an auction in Oklahoma today so I have the house to myself and relative peace – except for the animals wanting to go in and out constantly. I was determined to get my pics to show this morning AND I DID IT! I was prowling around and saw ‘options’ under the viewing menu. I clicked on view below that and found a box in which my husband had placed a check mark: “always show icons, never thumbnails.” That was the OPPOSITE of what I like and I UN-clicked the box. VOILA! I can see my pictures!!!!!!
There is no telling WHAT this newly empowered, puffed-up lady can do next!
I finally got the hang of bookmarks on the new PC! Most of the stuff I’m doing on the new machine, including trying to write blog posts, I’m like an elephant trying to walk between two buildings high in the air on a tightrope – and I’m afraid of heights. I feel extremely awkward, brain-challenged and get frustrated really quickly.
BOOKMARKS – on the other hand – are now good. :0)
I now have all the ones we imported from the MAC, and the others imported that I had put on FireFox, on the new PC. I can now save a website to a bookmark I’ve created, change one to another section, change the name of one, create a new bookmark, etc. Yesterday I figured out how to create SUB-directories, so I was able to organize the many websites I’ve bookmarked for gardening. HOOOOORAAAAY!
One thing learned, a gazillion to go; but the empowerment has begun!