Project Me: October & November review and my goals for the remainder of 2013

[I somehow did not do a check-in for October nor set any goals for November. Can’t fix that now, so we’ll just review how I’ve done with my goals from October before moving on to goals for December.]

My goals for October were:

  1. Stop spending so much time reading other blogs, shopping, and being a social media fan girl and actually start writing here more often – I’ve been a bit better about this and certainly I’ve written more here since setting the goal than I did before, so we’ll call this at least a partial success.
  2. Continue working on eating after 7:00 pm – Well, if you’d asked me before Thanksgiving how I was doing with this, I’d have said that it was firmly in the “win” column, but I’ve been turning to my old way of dealing with stress and anxiety (binge eating); this is not good. It’s always late at night (after 7:00 pm) and it’s always when I’m alone. You’d think the success (so far) of Project Me would have made me more relaxed and less anxious, and to a certain extent that’s true. In some ways, though, it’s actually made me more anxious and compulsive than I was before. I’m at that point now where everyone I meet is taken aback by my slimmer appearance, and most of them remark on the difference. I don’t know how to deal with compliments, particularly not about my appearance, so it produces a lot of anxiety. I’m also obsessing about losing the last six pounds I need to drop before I reach the “Overweight” BMI designation and stop being “Obese” officially. Nothing in my health is going to change in any way from losing those six pounds – it’s just a mental/emotional thing for me and I’m blowing it out of proportion. I must deal with the underlying anxiety in order to keep tight control of my diabetes but it is also a huge source of unhappiness for me and I’m tired of it.
  3. Get my flu shot and figure out what I need to do to get a pneumonia shot – did not do this. Honestly, I never really wanted to, have never done it before, and am fairly certain I’m safe without the shots.
  4. Re-jigger my schedule so that I can fit a weekly strength training session in AND go for an outdoor bike ride -Well, I achieved something close to this – I’m now taking Pilates Reformer classes twice a week, which is great for my strength training needs (and is probably contributing to my fairly drastic drop in body fat percentage). With Pilates early on Sunday morning and Weight Watchers early on Saturday, my only real option for riding my bike is Saturday after WW and that is only possible on days when I don’t have any other engagements on Saturday. I’ve managed a total of two outdoor bike rides in all of October and November and probably two or three more indoor on the stationary bike. Oh well, I’m getting lots of activity now and I’m happy with my body, so I’m not going to sweat this one.

My goals for 2013 have been published and they include:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale) – 35 5 more pounds in 24.5 three weeks (not sure I’ll make this one but I’m sure going to keep trying!)
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches –1 more inch in 24.5 three months (side note: wow, I lost 4-1/2 inches from my waist since August 1 – must have done something right!)(not sure about the likelihood of making this one, either, but I’m going to push hard)
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – well on my way to achieving this!

So, will I work on for the next 25 days?

  1. Make an appointment with my therapist to deal with my anxiety and the binge eating, binge shopping, and horrible obsessive/compulsive behaviors that accompany it. Period. Yup, that’s it. While the spending and the compulsive straightening up around the house are embarrassing and dangerous for my long-term happiness, the binge eating has the real potential to not just damage my body through higher blood sugars, but also knock me right off track with Project Me. This is a big milestone deliverable and it deserves my full attention for December.

So tell me: what healthy habits are you focusing on for the rest of the year?

Happy Veterans Day & Diabetes Awareness Month

I borrowed this from the Lilly Pulitzer blog – it perfectly blends my love of all things bright and floral with my patriotic spirit!

Today I’d like to thank every member of the United States armed services for their service and sacrifice. Similarly, I would also like to acknowledge and thank the sacrifices made by the families of service members, too. (Believe me, they also serve.) Less than 1% of the families in this country have a member currently serving in the military. Less than 1%. Please take time every day to thank those in your life who put service ahead of self.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, the aim of which is to increase knowledge and understanding of this disease. Most of you know that I am diabetic, as are about 26 million other Americans. The type of diabetes that I have is called Type II – which used to be called “adult onset” until children under 18 began being diagnosed, too – and I am fortunate that my condition is currently well controlled with diet, exercise, and oral medication (Metformin). At the beginning of the year, I was injecting the maximum dose of long-acting insulin, a non-insulin injectible medication (Victoza), taking a pill to make my body produce more insulin on its own (Glipizide) plus a prescription-strength Omega-3 pill (Lovaza) and cholesterol medication (Tricor) to lower my triglycerides, AND double my current dose of Metformin – to absolutely no avail. I was a virtual walking pharmacy and none of it could get my numbers (blood sugar and triglycerides) into the recommended ranges.

I have made a lot of changes to my eating and exercise routines since then and have been fortunate to see drastic, positive changes in my health, but lifestyle changes such as the ones I’ve made this year don’t work for everyone – certainly not for Type I diabetics, who must inject insulin with every meal in order to allow their bodies to process the food that they eat – and so more must be done to spread awareness of ways to avoid diabetes as well as funding critical research to find new and better medical therapies for both Type I and Type II diabetics.

Last month, I was approached to participate in an online diabetes awareness-raising activity. The results of the project can be seen here and I’m very proud to be part of such a great group of bloggers with diabetes. Please take a moment to check it out and let me know if you have any questions about diabetes that I can help with. Knowledge is always powerful and it’s one of the best weapons against diabetes, too.

Head vs. heart (vs. IT band): A running journey

I used to run. Not in high school, at least not voluntarily, but after I’d lost 110 pounds for the second time in my late twenties, I ran, and I loved it. I loved that I felt light and fast and athletic when I ran. And so I ran a lot – I averaged 35 miles a week and never once felt a twinge of pain, not even when I still had some weight left to lose (I started running when I had about 40 pounds left to lose). When I stopped running, I stopped eating properly and I re-gained 110 pounds for the second time.

Fast forward to present day. I’ve lost 63 pounds so far (of the 110 I need to lose in order to be in a healthy weight range per the BMI charts). I’ve completed a sprint duathlon. I finished the Couch to 5K program and am able to jog for 30 minutes straight, albeit inside, on a treadmill.

I started the Up & Running 5K course last month because even after finishing Couch to 5K, I wasn’t able to run outdoors at all and I want to be able to run the monthly 5K events I participate in. At the beginning, I was quite pleased with my progress – I was finishing all of the running segments in less than the time listed on the Training Plan and feeling pretty good. (Turns out I was the slowest kid in class, but that’s a post for another day.) Then my shins started to hurt so I gave the running a miss for a few days and went right back to it again without any problems. Until last week.

Lovin' my body before The Color Run 5K on my birthday
Lovin’ my body before The Color Run 5K on my (46th) birthday

The training program I was working on last week features three separate intervals of 1/2 kilometer running with a two-minute rest break in between and topped off with a 1 kilometer run before cooling down. I was a little nervous about the amount of running involved but I trusted that I could do it because I’d done all of the running in the previous four weeks with so little trouble. (Slowly, but I’d done them.) The first run of the week was tough and I hated it, particularly the running uphill involved in any 2.5 kilometer run in my neighborhood. I rested for a day between runs – aren’t I good newbie runner? – then went back at it again. This time it was even harder and actually painful by the end of the third 1/2 kilometer running segment, to the point that I was crying in pain and frustration but didn’t stop running. I mean, I couldn’t, right? To stop would be to admit weakness and then I wouldn’t be able to say I’d done it. (I know that’s crazy personified but that’s what I was thinking.) I finished up the final kilometer, which was downhill all the way, and gratefully cooled down. A day off and then I went for the third and final run of the week at the end of my work day so that it would be nice and flat because surely it was just the hills at home that were causing problems.

I should have listened when it hurt at the beginning of the first 1/2 kilometer run, but I didn’t. It hurt a bit more for the second 1/2 kilometer and a whole lot more by the third and final 1/2 kilometer. I was in tears again but this time from the frustration of not being able to force my body to do my bidding, but I readied myself for the final 1 kilometer push and looked forward to a weekend off from running. When I took the first step for that final run, I could tell something was very, very wrong with both of my legs as well as my left knee – they just felt “off”. And finally – finally! – I listened. I stopped trying to run immediately and speed walked the final kilometer before melting into my cool down.

A little research and a visit to my favorite physical therapist/masseuse led to a diagnosis of iliotibial (IT) band syndrome. I have pain from my hips down my thigh and especially just above my left knee. From what the therapist has told me, if I don’t stop running and cycling (and pretty much anything except walking and strength training) until the symptoms are gone then I risk knee problems and chronic pain that will likely keep me from running again. In addition to the restricted activity schedule, I also have to use a foam roller on my IT band and quadriceps twice a day and stretch after each (walking) workout. For once in my life, I’m following orders without question or resistance; I think I’m finally scared straight.

I’m frustrated and disappointed, not because I have to give up running and cycling for a while, but because of how I got here. Ignoring my body is the antithesis of my motivation for Project Me – to live a healthier and happier life. I spent most of my life hating and trying to divorce my body even as it carried around the (literal and figurative) weight of my world without complaint – I don’t want to live that way any more. Integrating my mind and my body is an important success criterion for my long-term happiness and perhaps this period of being forced to listen and respond to my body’s needs is the right prescription for this recovering control freak.

Project Me: August review and goals for September

My goals for August were:

  1. Finish Couch to 5K program, be able to jog 30 minutes straight – Done & done
  2. Attend one Pilates Reformer class per week – Also done. (Turns out I really love these classes – who would have guessed strength training could actually be fun?)
  3. Consume no more than 20 ounces of latte drinks each day – I achieved this goal most days this month, and certainly reduced my intake of caloric beverages. [I now substitute iced coffee with an ounce of half and half (20 calories) for an iced latte with 14 ounces of nonfat milk (140 calories).]
  4. Complete six cardiovascular workouts of at least 45 minutes each a week – Um, definitely NOT done. With the training required for my upcoming duathlon, my workouts are now longer (two jogging sessions of ~20 minutes each, sandwiched around biking workouts of between 20 and 45 minutes)

My goals for 2013 have been published and they include:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale) – 35 23 more pounds in six four months
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches – 5-1/2 5 more inches in six four months
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – well on my way to achieving this!

August was a tough month for me. I signed up for a semi-endurance event that was less than eight weeks away at the time (now only five weeks away!), requiring very specific, somewhat physically challenging, definitely mentally challenging workouts. This, combined with a nasty bout of depression (again!), left me doing the minimum required workouts (five a week) instead of walking or jogging every morning as I had been. I did make the Sunday morning Pilates Reformer class a new part of my routine (hello, strength training) and I finally tried Pure Barre Lite, which turned out to be not nearly as bad as I’d thought (but has me still sore five days later, so it’s going to have to wait five weeks until after the event), so all was not lost.

On the other hand, at my three month check-in with my endocrinologist (diabetes doctor), he officially changed my status in the computerized chart from “Diabetes, uncontrolled” to “Diabetes, well-controlled”, and told me I should stop taking my evening insulin shot because it’s not needed. (I need to continue monitoring my blood sugar levels but if they stay as they are, I will only need to take one pill twice a day!) Given that it was the horrible state of my diabetic self-management that started me on this path to create a healthier life at the beginning of the year, that’s definitely something I’m proud of.

Bottom line: I lost 5 pounds this month but actually gained 0.5 inches around my waist and I know I didn’t do everything I was capable of, exercise-wise, but my overall health is steadily improving regardless of what the scale or tape measure say.

So, what will I be working on for September?

  1. Put nothing in my mouth that has calories after 7:00 pm unless it’s fruit – the evening dessert routine is getting a little out of control. I’m having a large latte (200 calories) plus two macaroons (another 200 calories for both combined) most nights. If I skipped that and either had a piece of fruit or just some plain tea or decaf coffee after dinner instead, I’m pretty sure that would be another pound a week off of my body.
  2. Wear my heart rate monitor for all workouts – need to make sure I’m in the right training zone and getting enough intensity to actually burn some pounds.
  3. Do not buy anything unless absolutely necessary – my addictive personality has latched on to compulsive spending to take the place of my compulsive overeating, and that’s going to be just as damaging in the long run, so it needs to stop. I’m going cold turkey and will use my paper journal every morning to work through whatever feelings bubble up when there’s nothing else to numb them with!
  4. Focus on gratitude – While I’m writing in my journal every morning, I’m going to spend a few moments focusing on what I’m grateful for that day. I have so many great things going on in my life and I need to remember that instead of always looking ahead for “what’s next?”

strong-legs

Alright, your turn: How did you do in August and what would you like to focus on for September?

What makes you happy?

An important component of Project Me involves improving the quality of my life. I threw that om the list of deliverables for Project Me because I’ve  done the whole “lose weight, get in shape, be more active, and eat less” thing before and always ended up gaining every single pound back and more, so clearly something was missing from those previous efforts at better health. Also, pursuing better health without incorporating happiness somehow feels incomplete.

I deal with depression at least once a month. Some months are worse than others but generally it makes getting out of bed and, really, even just giving a damn about anything, difficult for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how serious/strong it is. (Or is it based on how strong I am that month? Interesting thought.)

In any case, as far as I can tell, the depression started a really long time ago – at least in college, if not before then – leaving me with not a lot of answers to the important question, “What makes you happy, Denise?”

Happy day!
Happy day! by ricco via Flickr

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time since I started on Project Me thinking about happiness and even joy – the emotion of great delight, which has been rare in my life, as you might expect – and I feel I’m making progress at understanding what makes me happy. As part of that research, however, I’d like to hear from all of you: what makes YOU happy? When was the last time you felt joy and what part of the experience do you think  pushed you from mere happiness to actual joy? Please share in the comments or send me an electronic mail message if you’d rather not share publicly.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Project Me: July review and goals for August

My goals for July were:

  1. Finish Couch to 5K program (I’ll be starting week 5 of the program this week if all goes well with the surgery), be able to jog 30 minutes straight – I’m very, very close to being complete – just finished Week 7, Day 2 – but I’m not done yet. I’ve developed some sort of mental block about running and I just don’t want to do it. I walk every day, though, so it’s not as though I’m not burning calories, just not running
  2. Make an appointment with a personal trainer to develop a strength training program I can begin – complete fail. I do not like strength training, never have, and while I say that I want to start doing it, in my heart I do not. I’m going to face reality on this one and move it to the backlog for consideration at a later date. [Note that I DID take a Pilates Reformer class this month, though, and that seriously kicked my butt. Nothing like using your ~200 pound body for resistance!]
  3. Reach out to friends & family to make sure that I have scheduled time with at least one person I love every week this month – I think I did pretty well with this one. The surgery at the beginning of July really threw a wrench into the first two weeks of the month because I was on heavy duty pain killers for five days then trying to figure out how to eat semi-regular foods with my new (fake) teeth. Still, I saw my childhood penpal from the UK while she and her family were in San Diego the weekend of July 19th, I went to an event downtown for healthy living bloggers at a great Mexican food restaurant, met fellow San Diegan blogger Kay Lynn for coffee after Weight Watchers, and went to lunch with my BFF, so I think I’ll mark this one as “done”

My revised goals for 2013 have been published and they include:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale) – 35 23.8 more pounds in six five months
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches – 5-1/2 4-1/2 more inches in six five months
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – well on my way to achieving this!

Given that, what am I focusing on for August?

  1. Finish Couch to 5K program, be able to jog 30 minutes straight – I’ve started it, so I want to finish. It’s not as though it hurts to jog, I just don’t enjoy it
  2. Attend one Pilates Reformer class per week – if I’m not going to do traditional strength training, perhaps I’ll fall in love with the painful experience that is Reformer class!
  3. Consume no more than 20 ounces of latte drinks each day – I’d gotten into a bad habit of swinging by Coffee Bean on my way to work and after dinner, each time picking up a large latte. That’s 400 calories a day and it’s nearly pure sugar because of the milk, so I’m cutting that in half. I want to chew my calories and I want them to have a reasonable amount of fiber, too!
  4. Complete six cardio workouts of at least 45 minutes each a week – I must increase the number of calories I’m burning if I’m going to make my weight and waist measurement goals for the year. I’m currently doing 5-6 cardio workouts each week but they’re 30-45 minutes each and I really need to do 45 or more for maximum calorie burning. No, I’m not getting obsessive here, although getting at least an hour of moderate intensity exercise per day has been proven effective – by the National Weight Control Registry – at maintaining a significant weight loss, which I hope to be doing by this time next year!
strong is beautiful
a good month

Given that last month started off with me losing 15 teeth, I think I ended the month pretty well. I’ve been fighting with the depression again for the last 10 days or so but I’m not letting it knock me off my healthy routines. Being able to buy non-plus size clothes now is a great motivator, as is hearing that I look “ten years younger” from work colleagues, but honestly, just knowing that each step I take is a step away from early death brought on my diabetic complications is really the best motivation I’ve found to get the shoes laced up and get me out the door for a walk every morning.

You cannot imagine how good it feels after so many years of adding more and more drugs to my daily routine and still seeing my blood sugar and triglycerides rise and rise to see my well-controlled blood sugar readings each morning! When I wonder if it’s worth it to get up earlier to walk or not to eat a sweet dessert that looks yummy, that’s what I remember: sitting in my endocrinologist’s office on November 29th of last year listening to him tell me that there were no drug therapies left to try and I needed to start daily insulin injections.I’m off all but two of my medications and I have to keep monitoring my blood sugar and adjusting my nightly insulin to make sure that I don’t go too low in the mornings. Is it worth the sacrifice to feel this way? Absolutely, without a doubt!

What motivates you to make healthy choices? And, in a related thought, do you have any great songs that you listen to while working out? I find that jogging/running isn’t nearly so awful if I have great music to listen to, but I’m getting bored with the same songs every day, so I need new material, friends!

Project Me: June review and goals for July

I am writing this a few hours before my dental surgery this morning that will remove 15 of my teeth. I’m not sure how long it will be before I am able, or want to, write again, and I want to make sure I’ve got goals for July beyond simply surviving the pain. If you’re reading this and it’s Monday, July 1st, say a little prayer, if you would, that I survive surgery, that the surgeon is able to do everything she needs to do, and that this will be another important step in my journey to better health.

My goals for June were:

  1. Get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio activity PLUS two strength training* sessions each week
    • *Make an appointment with a trainer at the gym! – did not see a trainer, did not do even a single strength training session, but I did get at least the minimum 150 minutes of cardio each week
  2. Have fun: incorporate at least one fun activity into each week (sewing, knitting, crochet, lunch with a friend, bike ride, pedicure, get hair done) – I have been focusing more on working fun into my life and I’m pretty sure I hit my goal to do something fun every week, but I don’t think I’m doing enough to make sure I really experience and enjoy the fun, if that makes sense
  3. At least one fruit or veggie with each meal – this one has been a real pleasure to check off of the list! I have developed a healthy obsession with berries & cherry/grape tomatoes, so that has made this goal super simple
  4. Eat at least 25 grams of fiber every day – by eating so much fruit and so many veggies, this goal has been a slam dunk
  5. Don’t buy any clothes for a month – I sort of managed this one. I did buy two items of clothing but I didn’t wear either of them in June, so there’s that. I wanted to buy clothes many, many times during the month, and it was knowing that I’d have to come here and tell you about it that made me stop and put down the plastic!

My revised goals for 2013 have been published and they include:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale) – 35 more pounds in six months
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches – 5-1/2 more inches in six months
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – well on my way to achieving this!

So, where should I focus for July?

  1. Finish Couch to 5K program (I’ll be starting week 5 of the program this week if all goes well with the surgery), be able to jog 30 minutes straight
  2. Make an appointment with a personal trainer to develop a strength training program I can begin
  3. Reach out to friends & family to make sure that I have scheduled time with at least one person I love every week this month

These aren’t particularly aggressive goals but I need to focus on recovering from surgery and learning how to eat again with temporary teeth. I’m told by my dentist that I will not be able to chew anything with these “flipper teeth” in for 3-9 months – yikes!

OK, I’m off to the gym before my surgery. Hope all goes well. I’ll report back when I’m feeling well enough to do so and I’m sure I’ll be on Facebook and Twitter in the meantime.

Project Me: Goals for June

When last we chatted, I was telling you all about what a pleasant and productive April and May I had. OK, perhaps that wasn’t exactly how it went, but I got through April and May, Project Me is still going strong, and I’m ready to set some goals for June.

Let’s first look back at my bigger goals for 2013, which are

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL
  • body weight at or below 220 pounds,
  • and an improved quality of life as perceived by me

Turns out that I’d blown away all four of those goals before the end of April, so I’ll need to think about new, challenging/inspirational goals to work on between now and December 31st. (Look for that post Coming Soon.) That being said, I know the general direction I want to head, so let’s look at how I can make progress in the next 30 days.

Goals for June:

  1. Get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio activity PLUS two strength training* sessions each week
    • *Make an appointment with a trainer at the gym!
  2. Have fun: incorporate at least one fun activity into each week (sewing, knitting, crochet, lunch with a friend, bike ride, pedicure, get hair done) – it’s sad that I have to be so serious & focused about having fun but that just seems to be the way it works for me!
  3. At least one fruit or veggie with each meal
  4. Eat at least 25 grams of fiber every day
  5. Don’t buy any clothes for a month – believe it or not, this one is definitely going to be the most difficult for me since I’ve become quite the clothes-a-holic since I stopped using food to numb my feelings.
fun
fun by hodgers, via Flickr

So that’s what I’m going to be working on for June – what will you accomplish in the next 30 days?

Project Me: April retrospective and review

My goals for April were:

  1. Make appointments with my optometrist and a periodontist – DONE. My eye appointment was on May 15 and my periodontal appointment was on May 22.
  2. Take 10,000 steps per day at least 5 days a week – DONE. (Note that this was before The Depression kicked in.)
  3. Cook one meal at home in April – if I can’t manage that, I might just give up on cooking entirely. I think I’m ready to call Uncle on this one. The problem, as far as I can tell, is that I don’t really want to cook at home. I have been successfully improving key areas of health and happiness in my life for three months now without cooking at home, so I don’t really have enough motivation to overcome my dislike for all of the hassle, planning, and MESS that comes with cooking, either. So I’m officially stating for the record that I am no longer beating myself up for not cooking at home because I am making great food and eating choices while eating out and I can afford it, too.
  4. Make an appointment with my hair stylist for highlights – DONE. My appointment was on April 19 and I just love the sunny look of my hair now. (You almost can’t see the gray at my temples. Almost.)
  5. Do something fun at least once a week – I might have accidentally had some fun every week in April but I didn’t really concentrate on it, as I’d intended to do when I set up my goals. This definitely requires more focus!

You might have noticed the date on this post – May 30 – and wondered to yourself, “Why has it taken Denise an entire month to update us on her progress?,” or even, “What happened to May???”

What happened indeed!

The short and simple answer is that I have been fighting with a major depressive episode for roughly the last six weeks. This is not the usual blip on the radar that passes through my universe every month and then goes away without doing much damage, rather this is a terrible beastly thing that devours my happiness, my self-esteem, and any desire I might have to be creative and clever.

Lots of good things happened in April/May, too, especially in regards to my health. I was able to tick off several of my overall health goals for the year before the end of the first third of 2013, and I’m so happy & proud to be able to say that. (Related Note: Look for a reassessment of my 2013 Project Me goals coming soon!) The scale was kind, too, and although I am trying very hard not to let that be the primary barometer of “how I’m doing”, it’s hard to miss the fact that I’ve donated five large trash bags of clothing and shoes to charity since February 1 because things keep falling off of me.

I truly hope that I’m turning the corner and am on my way out of the worst of the depression, so I ought to have my Goals for June up by the weekend. Bless your hearts if you’re still here and still reading!

Project Me March retrospective plus my April goals

How did I do this month? Not bad, honestly. My blood sugar is consistently in recommended ranges, my mood has been mostly good with a few blips that I rode out with some deep breathing and less harsh self-judgment than in the past – all good. I’ve lost some weight, too, which certainly never hurts although it’s not the prime focus of this project.

So let’s get specific. My goals for March were:

  1. Make appointments with my endocrinologist (Diabetes doctor), my general practitioner (for my annual exam), and my optometrist – Never did make that appointment with the eye doctor so that needs to be my first priority tomorrow morning at work.
  2. Work out at gym five or six times a week, 45 minutes each visit – Done and done. Whether I go to the gym five or six times in a week generally depends on what else I’ve got going on, not whether or not I want to work out. The girl at the front desk at the gym knows me now and told a newbie there that I was “a regular” – me, a regular at the gym? Who’d have thunk it???
  3. Eat at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables on three days a week – Big improvements here. On workdays in particular, I always have veggies with my lunch and dinner, and I’ve been making an effort to squeeze in a piece of fruit at least once a day during the week, too. Not doing as well on weekends but my calories are still in line with expectations, so I’m giving myself some slack. Besides, I said I’d do it three days a week and I’m definitely in line with that goal.
  4. Cook dinner at home at least twice a week – Nope. Not once. I have subscribed to a meal planning service and yet still nothing. This is a continuing source of frustration. I am eating well and getting in the nutrients I need but I really want to be able to cook at home and I’m not.
  5. Schedule an anti-aging facial and make it a monthly thing – Didn’t get to this one, either.

Alright then, so what will I be working on for April?

Let’s first look back at my bigger goals for 2013, which are

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL
  • body weight at or below 220 pounds,
  • and an improved quality of life as perceived by me

Goals for April:

  1. Make appointments with my optometrist and a periodontist – The eye doctor is more of a preventative measure (to make sure diabetes isn’t damaging my vision) but the periodontist is something I’ve been putting off dealing with for five years. I have very bad gum disease – turns out that’s probably due to my diabetes – and I haven’t done anything about it since I had costly and painful root scaling surgeries in 2008. Once the doctor told me I’d need a further four surgeries after that and that EACH ONE would cost about $5,000 (none of which was covered by insurance), I just sort of gave up on trying to get better and decided just to wait until my teeth fell out. (Yes, I know how insane that sounds.) That philosophy is not in line with improving the quality of my life – how does hating my teeth fit in with a healthy lifestyle??? – and I need to do something about it, now.
  2. Take 10,000 steps per day at least 5 days a week – right now I’m averaging about 9,000 so this will be a bit more work but not unreasonable.
  3. Cook one meal at home in April – if I can’t manage that, I might just give up on cooking entirely.
  4. Make an appointment with my hair stylist for highlights – the gray in my hair is making me feel old and sad. I’m thinking honey blonde and auburn but I’ll let the expert decide!
fun
fun by hodgers via Flickr
  1. Do something fun at least once a week – I spend so much time doing what has to be done (work, volunteering, parenting an adult former foster child) and almost none actually having fun. I feel as though I’m always running after something elusive, just in front of me, that will make everything perfect and right so that I can relax and just enjoy my life. But I’ve come to realize that there is never going to be a perfect and right time in my life but if I don’t start to have some fun then what is the point? One of my big goals for Project Me is to improve the quality of my life, and I cannot think of anything more important for attaining that goal than having fun!

So those are my goals for April, now you: What will you accomplish in the next 30 days?