Tomorrow is my last meeting with Maggie. I am both happy and sad about this. I'm happy because I feel like I've come a long way. The materials I've read, the changes I've made and the support that Maggie has given me have helped me feel better, more in control, healthier and happier. It is my goal to hang onto these changes not only now, when the weather is gorgeous and I can get outside whenever I like, but to keep them close to me during the winter months too, when I tend to get more sedentary and depressed. I have all the tools to lessen my winter blues, I just need to remember to open that toolbox and use what's there.
For my final assignment, I was asked to complete a four month review. I have done so and it posted below. This blog won't be around much longer as I plan to return to my other blog, but for now, here's what's what.
Four Month Program Review
- Please review your list of symptoms and share what changes you’ve experienced over the last four months.
· Extra weight – While the scale doesn’t exactly reflect much, I have noticed a shift in my body, things have re-arranged a bit and I’m feeling a little bit better. I still have big issues around my weight, but they are much further back on my list of priorities now. I’m more focused on staying active, being strong and healthy, making good choices, etc. I feel confident that the weight will slowly continue to come off if I continue on the path that I’m currently on.
· Stressed, feeling rushed – Summer has helped really slow things down at work so it’s hard to tell how much the changes in diet have affected my stress level. I’m doing a much better job of leaving my desk to go enjoy my lunch, but I still am usually reading while eating instead of focusing all my attention on my food. Improvement will be ongoing forever.
· Lack of energy – I feel much better! I have way more energy. I credit the Blood Building vitamins I take (along with fish oil) and I know my diet and exercise help incredibly as well. In addition, the SUN and SUMMER have had a huge impact on my mood and disposition. I realize now that I must be more pro-active next winter and really focus on taking care of myself so I don’t get so depressed again.
· Poor self image &/or negative self talk – Depends on the day, some days are better, some are worse, but in general, I feel better. I am being nicer to myself and placing more importance on what is on the INSIDE instead of what is on the outside. This is something I need to keep track of as it’s easy to move away from and slip back into old habits. But I think it’s really up to me, by just keeping the positive thoughts in my mind and reminding myself daily of all the good in me, I will feel better. It’s totally something I can control and steer in the right direction; I just need to be committed daily to doing so.
- Based on the handout found in Tab 1 called “Integrative Nutrition Plan: 12 Steps” please share your progress
- Drink more water – Never a problem, always hydrating. J
- Practice cooking – Always cooking and trying new recipes. Repeat ones that work. Doing really well here. J
- Increase whole grains – I have increased them, but I need to do better and work on REPLACING processed grains with whole grains. K
- Increase sweet vegetables – Already eating them, could probably use more. K
- Increase leafy green vegetables – Have increased them, but could probably use more. But I have experimented with new recipes and consider this an ongoing process that is moving in the right direction. J
- Experiment with protein – I have not experimented at all; I eat protein daily and haven’t really played around with types or portions or anything. L
- Eat less meat, dairy, sugar and chemicalized, artificial junk foods; consume less coffee, alcohol and tobacco. Working on reducing all of these. Some, like chemicalized, artificial junk foods, are easy! Walked away from diet soda, many kinds of snacks I was having previously, etc. Never ate a lot of red meat, have reduced some sugar and some white flour but there’s always room for improvement. Have reduced my alcohol intake for sure, as drinking and training don’t mix. Overall, I’m moving in the right direction. J
- Develop easy and reliable habits to nurture your body - Feel like I have a good base here. Pre-cook meals to take to work, always have a water bottle near by, am on a workout schedule, take time to self care regularly, etc. J J
- Have healthy relationships that support you J J J J I <3 Shawn Riley!
- Find physical activity you enjoy and do it regularly – Ta Da!!!! Training for a sprint tri with my eye on an Olympic Distance tri next year. LOVE the swim and the bike! Am tolerating the run as a necessary evil, but overall, rockin’ it! J
- Find work you love or a way to love the work you have – Have become un-stuck and am currently job hunting. J
- Develop a spiritual practice – Admittedly have not done much here. I do not feel it is hopeless, but I need to really watch and listen for when I feel ready to invest some solid effort here. L
- Which areas and/or symptoms still need attention? See above.
- How have you changed your relationship to food? I think the biggest change is the move to buying, preparing and eating organic foods. I have fully bought in to the benefits of eating locally grown foods without chemicals. They are worth the extra investment (as am I) and they taste terrific. I am cooking more than ever before, planning ahead so that I have healthy meals to take to work. I have left many unhealthy habits behind, greatly reducing my intake of coffee, diet soda, white flour, sugar and processed foods. I’m not perfect and never will be but I am much improved. Where I would like to continue to make changes is in HOW I eat, being mindful, slowing down, taking my time, enjoying every bite. I am more AWARE of mindful eating; I just need to start putting it into practice on a regular basis.
- Are you now better able to understand how your cravings are created? Please share an example. I think I have a little bit better of an understanding, but I am not the best at noticing things as they are happening. I am more likely to heed a craving without putting mindful thought into the fact that I am HAVING a craving and SUBMITTING to a craving. I see things more in hindsight, but you can still learn that way. I understand more about the addictive nature of sugar.
- Lifestyle (career, exercise, spirituality, relationships, emotions, stress reduction, self-care) plays a very significant role in your health. How has your perspective changed regarding this aspect of your health?
- I have taken the beginning steps at finding a job that I feel joy in doing. It will be a process, but it seems less overwhelming now and less like I’m stuck at my current job. I’m checking for vacancies, applying for jobs and imagining a happier work place.
- I am consistently working out 6 days a week and feel much more in control of my physical movement. Knowing what I do about myself, I realize that I do better when I have a goal to work towards, the triathlons and duathlon are essential in keeping my choices healthy.
- Spirituality continues to elude me. I am still not connected/connecting with a higher power. I have not made it a focus or a priority, but am hopeful for someday.
- My relationship continues to bring me joy, be a positive force in my life full of love and support. Shawn is my rock.
- Would you like my support in continuing to improve your health?
I would love to continue to see you, but the finances are a concern for me. If I could see you and have it covered under insurance, I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute.
- Do you know someone that would benefit from this program? I grow my business based on referrals. You’re welcome to share with this person that I offer a free, 60 minute consultation for them to learn more. Thank you! I have talked you up already and will continue to do so.