Taking Charge of My Health – An Action Plan

I didn’t go through a pregnancy with Fox, yet here I am at the weight I was when I left the hospital with Bean. What the hell? Did my metabolism slow that much? What they say about your metabolism once you past 40 seems to be accurate for me. I seem to be putting on about 10 pounds a year, which is crazy and isn’t good for my family, for my heart, for my health, for my sex life, or for my self esteem (the last two are connected).

I know what I need to do, but I keep sabotaging myself. Why? Where is my off button? For the past month I’ve been talking with women who have managed to take charge of their health and I’m impressed, but the nagging doubt was still there. I understand how they’ve done it, the mechanics of it, just not the psychology of it. A couple of weeks ago, I sat down with a health coach and while the idea was to talk about what she does with her senior clients at the hospital I work at, it ended up being a personal health coaching. It was kinda like therapy.

That therapy coaching session resulted in the following post on TMC for Women about action plans.

I figure a little accountability never hurt, so I’m putting it out here that I’m going to focus on three goals for the week, all with a confidence level of 7 or above. If I can change this awful unhealthy weight gain around and lose 30% of the extra cancer-causing, heart-impairing, esteem-destroying weight I’ve gained, I’ll post a picture of me in a swimsuit on here and if I don’t I will too. Someone give me hell if I don’t share my progress on here by say September 12.

What the heck am I thinking?

Here is a little snippet

4. Be realistic and flexible about your action plan. Allow wriggle room to be successful.

A crucial part of the action plan is reflecting on the steps you plan to take and being realistic about whether you’re going to attain that. I know that week after week I say I’m going to track what and how much I eat. I know this is a successful strategy for many, yet week after week I fail. Karen suggests I reassess my action plan.

What is my confidence level that I could track for one day out of seven on a scale of one to 10?

Ten, I respond. I know I can do that.

Good. What about two days?

An eight or nine.

The confidence level piece is what was missing from my arsenal I think. Check it out here.



Filed under Health, heart, Prediabetes

In Hen We Trust

Just this week Los Angeles banned single plastic bag use, joining cities and towns across the country. Tucson has been thinking about how to address issues associated with single-use plastic bags.  Me? When you’ve the opportunity to use sweet canvas bags like this one my mum gave me there isn’t a question. Brilliant. Every time I look at it though I see “In Hen We Trust” not British Hen Welfare Trust. Not sure why. Hey, but check ’em out. This upcoming Friday is Free Range Friday. We should celebrate! 

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Filed under chicken

Jubilees and Hen Labor

I’ve got some adoption thoughts brewing, but waiting to have a moment to actually process them and so this is what we’ve been getting up to.

Bean and the hens weeding the easement. Well, maybe that should be encouraging the hens to weed the easement. They need to earn their keep damn it.

I’m thinking we should have an easement party, perhaps a Jubilee easement party, complete with bunting and sarnies. Sounds like a fab idea don’t you think? Maybe a big bowl of quivering trifle (I hate trifle, something about all those textures mixed together, but it is appropriate street party food for the Jubilee.) I think I’m going to invite all the neighbors. Do you think they’ll know why it’s a Jubilee Party? Will someone be offended? Perhaps they’ll throw a Boston Tea Party.

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Filed under chicken, Cluck


After the Lenten post about the 40 bags in 40 days (didn’t accomplish) I decided to also do a no posting to the blog which I obviously managed. (Of course, I was over at TMC for Children and TMC for Women posting away. Check it out and please like TMC for Children and TMC for Women on Facebook too.)

Why blog thought I? I started a blog back in 2004 about our desert garden, it didn’t last too long. In 2007 there was the almost mandatory, we have a new baby, share tales with friends and family blog. It didn’t last too long either. Then in 2009 there was A Little Gnocchi – a blog about living in Italy for close to 7 months at the request of those who wanted to live vicariously through us. When we returned from Italy this blog was born out of request from friends and family near and far to carry on.

What would I blog about?

Why should I blog?

Should I blog?

Adoption was on our mind, which proved a much more convoluted mental path than I could have imagined, and healthcare, diapers, and of course,Tucson.

What did I expect to achieve? I’m not sure. I wanted to carry on that connection for friends and family that asked. I wanted to have a platform, however narcissistic that sounds, to shout in my small blog voice about political issues that were/are important to me, to participate in discussions in this arena. A mishmash of things.

I think I still want to do that.
-We’ve finalized the adoption of Fox, but the adoption process didn’t end there. Adoption is part of our lives. Its delights and quandaries are every present. There are questions asked continually, mainly about open adoption, that I could address here.  Not specifics of the relationship with Big Mama and Big Sis, but more general stuff.

-Tucson is ever the evolving place, which I love, well except for the part that is devolving to consider Jesse Kelly as candidate. Dear God help us if he gets in.

-We’re pressing on with the garden and the chickens. That Desert Chickens and their Hen House- Lessons Learned post, gets hits every single day. I think there is a veritable explosion of chicken lovers in the desert. I want bees, really, but the whole small kids and bees thing isn’t so appealing. I wonder if the community garden does bees. Hmmmm.

So, I’m back in case you missed us. While we were gone we went to England to introduce Fox to the cross-the-pond family. A photo from there to end this  post on.

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Filed under Blogging

The Humanist does Lent

Yeah, yeah, I’m a humanist not a Christian, but I grew up with Lent. Shrove Tuesday rolls around and I’m all over the pancakes. Not those thick monstrosities that people love so here. No, I mean those sweet crepe like pieces of heaven that the rest of the English speaking world calls pancakes. Yesterday was Pancake Tuesday aka Shrove Tuesday. A chance to fill up on the beautiful lemon and sugar sprinkled flour, milk and egg delight. Then today, reflection. Ash Wednesday. Reflection for forty days, and effort to become more accountable in some manner.
Pancake Tuesday
I recently stumbled upon this forty bags in forty days project, I think via Pinterest. (Yeah, don’t hate me cos I pinterest occasionally. I find it useful.  A virtual pinboard with much more organization than our house.) So, I’m doing it. Yep, forty bags in forty days. Going to get rid of the junk and clutter- to goodwill, to friends, to the compost bin, to the recycle and to the trash can. I like the idea of using the time to clear our heads as well as our home of clutter. Anyway, it’s doctor’s orders. Seriously, I went to the doctor today as a follow up from the whole prediabetes thing and then more recently I’ve been having lots of heartburn and arm twinges. The doctor’s assessment:

1. Lose weight via exercise and diet (specifically lower the carbs)
2. Get a decent amount of sleep (but we have a 4 month old)
3. Cut out the citrus, peppermint, tomato, spices, caffeine aka chocolate and raw onion – he wants to take the joy out of life apparently)
4. Reduce my stress levels.

Stress levels? What stress levels. Honestly, while the past 10months have had some significant stressful and emotional times, both happy and sad, I don’t have a terribly stressful life. I mean wasn’t that part of the point of my little life change a year and a bit ago. Of course, ask my bowels if I’ve been good at managing stress and they might tell you a different story. I physically internalize all mental stress so that it exhibits in delightful ways in my body from my heart to weight gain, I do think that stress, or my lack of management of it, impacts my health. I asked him what he thought were the most effective ways to reduce stress levels. His response:

1. Sleep (yes, again sleep comes up as crucial to health)
2. Stop procrastination
3. Use meditation and/or prayer to relax and calm the mind

And, drum roll please

4. Be organized. Clear the physical clutter, it helps with the mental clutter.

He has obviously been my primary care physician too long. Or he has been talking with my dad or husband about some of my less attractive qualities?  So the doctor orders effort toward decluttering my mind on Ash Wednesday and I’m going to do as I was told.

Back at home I sat down and wrote out a list of areas to go through. I have more than forty days worth. Today was the top of the fridge. Check. Tomorrow the firebox. My goal tonight, to fall asleep before midnight. Which gives me approximately twenty minutes to get going. What reduces stress for you? How do you stay committed to that? Do you have a time of reflection and contemplation in your life? My commitment for the next forty days, to reflect on how material objects can clutter our minds. Doesn’t that sound high-faluting? How to live more simply.

Oh yeah, about those sugar lemon carb filled discs – I ate in moderation. A first when it comes to pancakes- one of my all time favorite foods.


Filed under Attempts at mind expansion

Second Installment is Up! Me and My Bionic Breast

While Fox naps, and then late into the night, I work. I love my job. I love the freedom it gives me to be involved in areas I am passionate about, health, science, families, and community using my education, all from the comfort of my home. Occasionally, there is a piece I want, maybe even feel the need to share here:

The most recent post  is the second part of an installment about my personal heart issues, part of what I hope will be a larger series of women sharing their health stories on TMC for Women. Of course, I didn’t call it Me and My Bionic Breast over there. The first installment is here too. While you’re there take a look around. Julie of TucsonMama has joined me over there and has some posts coming up that are relevant.
A little excerpt:

My father tells me that it was only when I was able to explain the history behind the name of my recently adopted dog that he knew I was going to be OK, that I was fighting to keep hold of not only my physical self, but me. And I was winning.

My first memory is from over a week later, waking and my parents gently explaining why I was in the hospital. The doctors didn’t know why my heart rhythm had gone crazy and then stopped completely. They call it idiopathic ventricular fibrillation, or “we have no idea why the electrical circuitry in you heart went nuts.

Go on, go take a gander. Let me know what you think.


Filed under Health, heart, TMC for Women

Parents Need to Eat Too – Giveaway Winner Announced

A little after 8pm MST we put the names of all commentators in Bean’s Valentine box and Bean drew the winning ticket. Apologies for the incorrect location of the winner. Big oops there. Oh Angelina I’ll be sending you an email shortly. Congratulations.

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Filed under "Gastronomic Delights"