Friday, January 25, 2008

Worthy Goals

We of course have the general and really important goal of being healthy. This is enough to make the plans to lose weight, and exercise, and eat healthily... but I also think it's important to have a very strong, personal goal.
It needs to be important to me personally, something that I will gain that fulfills a dream, or returns something to me that was lost.
I've spent some time thinking on this. It wasn't easy. Life is easier on a daily basis if I DON'T think about the things I used to do, but no longer can, so it was a difficult journey to revisit life as I knew it before the arthritis and attendant abdominal problems from the surgeries and so on became part of life. To think about what I missed most, that I might be able to regain.

Thanks to Ysabeau, who has given me some coping techniques to help with the jostling problems, and to the most recent episode of Extreme Homes I think I may have found a dream to shoot for. They featured Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Program.

Back in my 20s, I was very active. I went whitewater rafting, rock climbing and wilderness camping when in college. I hiked almost every weekend in Japan and when I moved from there to California I worked on a ranch caring for and helping train horses. My Grampa trained horses for the Amish when I was a kid, and I've loved horses all my life.

The hiking and rock climbing and white water rafting may be beyond what I can do in the future. BUT If I lose weight, and use support to help the jostling.. I think I can ride horses again! The thought is almost overwhelming. What freedom! And to be around horses again would be well, indescribably joyful. And Oscar knows someone who runs a thereputic riding program.

All I need to do is lose the weight.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Oscar and I are both committed to improving our health this year, on many fronts. It has already made a difference.
Oscar began using his high-wattage lights during his bath, and his S.A.D. is not much in evidence at all this winter. He sings, and smiles, and is mostly happy.
We both made a commitment to eat more healthy meals, and that has gleaned an additional 7 pound weight loss for Oscar this month, and 4 pounds gone for me. Not bad for the sedentary life we had these past few weeks.
We have been battling illness, and it took all our energy just to keep the house going and make doctors appointments.
When my UTI showed up three times in two weeks, it was time to go on antibiotics. I rarely use antibiotics, as I need to save them for big stuff. If I take them every time I have a minor infection 1. I'd be on them all the time and 2. they would lose effectiveness and not work when something becomes life-threatening.
I was really hoping that they would get rid of my mysterious fever/high white blood cell count/ minor infections, but that's not what happened.
I had two blessed days fever-free, then the fever returned. My sinus infection is going strong today, my abdominal pain is back, in two 'hot spot' locations, and of course the fever is here too.
The UTI is not back, though, which is really good.
My appointment with the gastro intestinal specialist is Thursday. I don't know what input he will have on a chronic infection, but we'll see.
Another step toward health is for me to get the entire body of my medical record from U of M hospital. I need to know how big the mesh is, to know if the infected area shown by the indium scan is involved. I'm afraid more tests are in my future from the new specialist, but if it ends up with me being healthier, it will be worth is.
Being ill every day is really messing with my life's goals, eh? I hate the muddle-headedness. It is hard to write anything of substance fiction-wise, but I will NOT give up.
It is also hard to knit for Lynnie's pattern, as I keep making mistakes and having to 'Tink" (knit spelled backwards).
I managed a few more rows this morning, but now the fever is climbing, and its time to stitch to a dead-simple project.
Anyway, if you've read this far, thanks for listening to my moans.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Specific versus General Goals

I am very good at wishy-washy goal setting.
"I will exercise more"
"I will eat healthily"
"I will write more"
as opposed to
"I will swim once a week to start, and work out 20 minutes every day with hand weights"
"I will reduce the sugar and cream I use in my coffee by making the brew less like paint thinner"
"I will sit to write every single day, three separate times"

Having a specific, attainable goal makes a huge difference mentally.
It's important to have a clean-edged finish line, one that is under your control. When you accomplish that concrete task you can celebrate it, and set the new task. The smaller the tasks, the more celebration, eh?

The BIG goal may be to lose weight, even a specific number of pounds, in the end, but there is no way I can guarantee that I will lose X numbers of pounds per week. I CAN control what I eat, and my time exercising, that will attain the result of lost weight.

I can control how long I spend on writing each day, but not really a consistent quality of output (yet).
I can limit the time spent on tasks that take away from my writing (both fiction and pattern writing) to help attain the goal of ultimately submitting a book for publication.

An online writing friend who has been consistently published for fifteen years writes fresh stuff for three hours in the morning, and does her revising for three hours in the afternoon.
As a fellow morning person, this makes good sense to me, and I am working my way up to that.
For now, I can add five minutes each session to the time spent writing.

One small step at a time still adds up to miles of journeying.