Getting back to my Plan

Well… 2020 has not worked out to be anything I expected. I have not accomplished what I set out to do so far this year. It’s been a crazy year with COVID-19, to say the least.

But… I feel like I’m just not doing what I need to do. I know what it is. I just have been making excuses. My son is away at a boarding school to help him – he had a terribly stressful year in 2019. I’m so grateful he’s there and getting the help he needed so badly. He’s happy too. So, that stress has been lifted. Covid has also caused a lot of stress, but it’s time to stand up and do what I set out to do.

There is nothing I cannot do. I know that. What really is amazing is that when I drink, I forget about ALL my other goals and priorities. All I do is work my ass off and drink, for the most part. I work 60 plus hours a week in my business. And I drink several nights a week and when I drink, I DRINK.

I drink a couple bottles of wine. And then that leads to me smoking. I never smoke until I drink. So two bad habits tied up in one neat little messy box. Seriously, I know better! I’m not stupid. What I’m doing to myself is plain old stupid.

I wake up, like today, annoyed with myself. Annoyed that I now won’t go exercise because I feel like shit again. Annoyed that I didn’t work on writing my book again because I’m laying in bed wallowing in my self disgust. Annoyed that I have not lost any weight since January because I drink too much. Annoyed at my belly that now looks like I’m 5 months pregnant from the bloat of alcohol and lazy food choices.

And then my mind says, well the holidays are coming. You have to drink for the holidays. Or, you’re finally buying your mountain cabin as a second home and you will need to drink wine there to celebrate it. And it goes on and on. The mind of the alcoholic, I guess.

I don’t consider myself an alcoholic. I can stop drinking with no issues. I don’t get any withdrawal symptoms. I actually mentally crave wine. Nothing is physical, and I know a lot of women are like this. There is a large group of “gray area” women drinkers. Especially now with COVID-19 and being stuck at home for so long. For me wine is my escape from work. My time to relax. That’s what my mind thinks when wine o’clock hits.

I’m tired of this. Tired of waking up hazy, parched, hungry. Tired of not living my best life. Tired of not weighing my ideal weight and being embarrassed by my size. Tired of not remembering the end of the night most nights I drink. Tired of all my excuses.

So, today I’m contemplating, yet again, what to do. Quit for good? Do 100 days? Do what? What do I do? I hate the thought of quitting forever. Of never having a Chardonnay or a Cabernet again. But I also hate the fact that I’m a smoker when I drink. And that I look 5 months pregnant. And that I waste so much time when drinking and recovering.

So, I’m back to my blog. My accountability partner is my blog and the community that blogs and comments on blogs about this subject. I have been MIA because I’ve been avoiding it. It’s time to step back up to the plate and make my life everything I know it can be.

I look forward to your support and encouragement as I navigate this and decide what to do with my approach. I also look forward to catching up on some of my favorite blogs on this subject for encouragement!

Cheers!

Teen troubles

I didn’t realize how much of my focus was on him. Worrying about him. Checking his bed in the middle of the night to see if he was still there. How drained I was from the constant power struggles. He really put me and my husband through a lot of pain for the last year.

I love my 16 year old son very very much. Tuesday was the day that we finally did what we’d contemplated and threatened for so long. The final final final straw had finally happened and we did it. We enrolled our son in a boarding school for troubled teen boys.

I will write more about him and what happened with his life later but right now this is more about me and recovering from a year of abuse from him (not physical abuse, mental and exhausting (up all night ) abuse!).

This is the second morning since he’s gone. I know it will be a rollercoaster of emotions over the next 15 months while he’s gone, but right now I feel relieved and happy that we finally made this move. We literally exhausted ourselves trying to help him and none of it worked. It would work for a few weeks but then he’d be right back at his games. We need help and we finally accepted that fact. It didn’t feel like we gave up or that we failed. We just need more help.

We will be involved with him and the staff for the entire time. We get to see him occasionally and talk weekly and write. We pray he learns and grows.

We’ve been consumed with him. Now we need to focus on us, our marriage, our 13 year old son who has been somewhat neglected because he’s a good boy, and because the oldest took so much energy. Time to refocus on healthy habits and drop the old bad ones.

I started this year off alcohol free and the stress of this made that extremely hard over the last month. So today I am going back to no alcohol and no more smoking! I picked both back up over the last month or two and they don’t serve me well. And now I have no excuse to “need” them.

So here we go again, round 100 of me attempting to live my best life… my healthiest life, and my happiest life.

Quarantine and life goals

So, life is funny. When I started this journey and started documenting my journey through this blog I had very specific goals that I thought were going to be my “answer” to finding my true path, my perfect life. Well, now I see it’s just not so simple.

I started out thinking that I needed to quit drinking for good to find happiness. Well, for me that was not the case. I started out not drinking for a month. I did find I spent more time painting and doing yoga during this time, but I also spent less time socializing with my husband and did not see any of my friends. This really made me feel lost and bored. So, I decided to try drinking again, but in a different way. More on that later…

Then I wanted to simplify my life. To live a simple life. Quarantine has most certainly brought that to the forefront! Simple living has been kind of thrown in my face! In some respects it’s been great and I love it. It’s forced me to simplify, my business has come to a screeching halt and I’ve had the past month to really evaluate my personal and business lives. This has been a real process; a real eye opener.

Since being able to sell real estate feeds my family, my team and my employees I’ve been forced to act fast, to simplify many areas of my life in order to maintain the business while we are in this pandemic. No one knows how long it will last or how it will ultimately impact the housing market.

I know we will make it through and come out stronger, but in the mean time, something very important happened to me. I was forced to simplify and to do it fast.

The kids are home for the next 5 months because schools are shut. Business is very slow and my overhead is still high. Home budgets have been evaluated. It’s been a great time to cut back on many expenses. This has helped me toward my goal of over all simplifying.

But, on the other hand, this made me realize how I have taken so many things for granted and I can’t want wait to get back to normal life so I can go to our beautiful beaches each week (haven’t been in about a year!), bike in nature in the mountains when the leaves change color (my favorite annual trip I never have time for), plan the next epic family summer vacation…. see my friends and enjoy wine at sunset in my yard… you get the idea.

Life is to short to sweat the small stuff. Enjoy it. Cherish it. Don’t drink so much, take care of your health… all these things now make more sense than ever.

I’m looking forward to see where this takes me next. Life is a crazy journey.

Vegan Learning curve

Wow, I am absolutely shocked at what I’ve been learning. I honestly don’t know how I got through 50 years of life not knowing that a plant based diet is so healthy, has protein and supports healthy arteries and cholesterol. Seriously I was raised by my parents who grew up on dairy farms! That’s all I ever knew- meat and dairy were essential to a healthy diet is what I grew up believing and doing, until now.

It was like all of a sudden I was interested in vegan and I started learning about it and I haven’t looked back yet! I’ve been watching so many documentaries I never noticed before. You know how that is – once you start focusing on something it just keeps popping up more and more.

I had absolutely no idea how much eating meat and dairy affects our health. Seriously. No idea. I am not trying to make anyone switch to vegan and I’m not even trying with my kids, but the lack of knowledge and the complete focus on Atkins and keto by our country is shocking now that I’ve been exposed to information about it. It seems so crazy to me that it’s all new to me because I always considered myself to be very educated when it came to things health related. But I had no clue.

Anyway – just wanted to put that out there to see if anyone else had this type of shift in their later years to go vegan. So far I’m thoroughly enjoying it and feel better than ever. Lighter, more energy and happier!

Day 12 Vegan!

Well it certainly is a crazy time with the coronavirus and Social distancing and along with that us changing to a completely vegan diet! I just wanted to make a few notes as to the changes I am feeling and seeing on the vegan diet to keep track of progress and let anyone know that might be interested in pursuing this type of eating.

I have never been much of a meat lover but I definitely loved eggs and dairy products. So as far as missing meat, I really do not miss it. I do miss some of the dairy products but honestly it has not been a big deal. It has been challenging to find foods to cook to keep things interesting but fresh fruit and vegetables are always on the top of my favorites anyway so it’s just finding enough things to eat so that you’re not feeling hungry all the time.

Having starches is the key. Each meal and we try to have potatoes, rice, bananas, or other root vegetables or whole wheat pasta or bread. I have been making a whole wheat bread from scratch and use it when needed but for the most part we are trying to incorporate brown rice or potatoes or oatmeal. Beans are also playing a big role in our diet to keep things interesting and flavorful. Overall, the diet takes Some preparation and planning especially since the boys are still eating meat so I’m having to cook the meat to go along with whatever we have at night.

The most important thing right now is how I feel. Both my husband and I have not felt lighter or better in a long time. We have both lost weight at a slow pace. Of course he has lost more than me because he’s a man! It’s just not fair! But in the first week I did lose 1.5 pounds so that was good. I’ve also seen a Decrease in my blood pressure and I’m looking forward to having my blood work done to see improvements in about a month. More on that later!

I hope everyone is staying healthy and calm during this coronavirus pandemic and is enjoying time at home away from others in the community practicing self isolation as much as possible.

Prepping Day

Today I officially started preparing for the new vegan diet by shopping, getting out the tape measure and scale, taking out the blood pressure cuff and making some staples from scratch: salsa, german potato salad, dill pickles (refrigerator style) and started some saur kraut. I’m very excited about beginning this journey and seeing how it makes me feel and how it affects my health.

The plan we are going on is low fat vegan and will require more time cooking than normal and no eating out for a while. I love to cook, so this should be fun for me to experiment with new ideas and recipes.

If you have any great low fat vegan recipes you love, please share!

Vegan lifestyle

I’ve always been curious about diet and what it can do for your health. Over the years I’ve read countless books about Keto diet and high fat diets but not until just this last week did I come across the starch based diet, created by Dr. McDougall.

It’s fascinating to think that we could control so much of our health by the food we decide to eat. Of course we’ve all heard “you are what you eat”, but I never really saw studies about it until now.

I am planning to give this new lifestyle a shot. I’ve been in denial for years about my cholesterol and weight and have been on blood pressure meds for 25 years. It’s time for me to take control and give my future health the best opportunity.

I’m quite excited about the foods and recipes. I really do not like meat and have always found it kind of gross. With the big fat high protein diets we have been eating, this will be a welcomed change for me.

The recipes are all based on Whole Foods from the fruit and veggie groups with starch at the center of each meal. They are also low fat. And low salt.

I’m getting my bloodwork done the first morning we start which is next Monday. I will monitor my blood pressure and bloodwork for the following month and see how it all goes (hopefully improves)! I’m really excited to think that maybe I have a chance to change my health and correct the issues I’ve been hiding and brushing under the rug.

I’m sure there will be some challenges with this transition but I’m preparing now and getting ready for the big change. My hubby is going to join me and we will have to figure out what to do with the boys. I’m hoping we can transition the whole family into it if we like it and see good results.

If anyone has experience with this type of lifestyle I’d love to hear about it!

Getting back on track

So, I’ve strayed from my plans for the past few weeks and I need to regain my focus and determination.

I get frustrated easily with making changes and some hip pain really got me down, but I’m getting back on track here.

I’m not sure if the pain was caused by over stretching in yoga or what but I’m determined to not let it get me down.

February was sprinkled with some drinking and I see myself slowly getting back into old habits. When I allow drinking I stop painting (weird!) and I don’t work out as much. So with the little bits of wine and the hip pain I was not my best version of me.

It’s a process. I have to go through the bad and good to get to the final goals. My business coach is on me to list my top initiatives and rank them and then set the goal deadlines. This has been enlightening!

Weight loss and health are at the top. I’m planning to begin a very new healthy eating plan starting March 8 when we return from a business trip. I can’t wait. And I can’t wait to see results!

More on that soon.

I’ve been so busy I haven’t written much but the goal is to get back to writing more when I return from the trip next week. I miss everyone in this community when I don’t take the time to be here. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s posts!

Be back soon!

Busy busy and how to slow down!

Life just gets so darn busy.

I want to see what it’s like to live the simple life and really connect to my passions, but it’s just so darn hard! I am trying to make little changes and tweaking and tweaking and then tweaking some more.

I’m definitely struggling with seeing myself alcohol free forever. I think I’m learning a lot about myself in this journey to a better me, and I’m really evaluating my past alcohol consumption. I don’t feel I ever truly gave it an adult try. I feel like I always viewed myself as the sneaky 16 year old sneaking around and drinking and then smoking as I got older. I was sneaking like that with my drinking and smoking to some degree. I never actually thought about my position in life and that is just weird!

It’s weird because in every other aspect I am so “grown up!” I think it was my excuse to not be grown up and to be not responsible during those many days and nights I got myself drunk and forgot my real life and work and family responsibilities, even if only for a few hours. I enjoyed that disconnect. That’s what I’m trying to find. The disconnect and simplicity.

This is going to be a long journey for me! I’m ready to go on it and discover more about life and my personal life path.

Decided to start each morning off M-F at the gym with elliptical and weights and sauna three days a week and an hour long yoga class the other two days accompanied by a long walk with my pup.

I hope this tweak will help me with getting in my fitness and getting it out of the way first thing!

Cheers to a great week! And I mean the kind of cheers with Pom-poms!

Sugar and weight loss

I remember back in my teens I decided to go sugar free and I was relentlessly reading labels and would eat no white flower or sugar. I lost so much weight doing this. It sounds simple, but it takes a lot of effort to do it. There is sugar in everything!

I’ve been thinking about how hard it is to lose weight at this wonderful middle age of 50!

I think weight lifting and no sugar and Whole Foods will really make a difference. I’ve been craving sugar lately so its time to stop the sugar and increase the weight lifting.

I lost 10 pounds fast and have stalled in weight loss. Its time to kick it up a notch!

I remember when I was 24 and in the best shape of my life I weighed 140. I was a size 2 at 5 feet 8 inches! I would be very happy to reach a goal weight now of 155. So, that’s my new goal, which means I need to drop 25 pounds more or less.

If I can keep on track and lose 1-2 pounds a week I can reach the goal by mid June. I need to find some accountability partners, maybe start a small Facebook group to post and be accountable.

If anyone else is interested in a friendly group to be accountable and maybe some fun competition, let me know and I will set it up!