Being in good health counts for a lot when the unexpected happens.

“You need surgery.” your doctor says to you  “Soon.” he adds.

“Let’s go on a last minute bike trip to Holland and recreate the trip we took in 1984!” suggests your friend.

“Grandma, can you walk a 5k race with me next weekend for my school?”  your adorable grandchild asks you with excitement.

Could we do it these thing when we are out of shape, overweight or improperly nourished and hydrated? Probably…but would you want to repeat it? How sore will you be? Are you likely to curse the fact that you didn’t go into the activity or surgery healthier?

Sadly, many people only decide to get fit or eat a healthier diet once there is no other choice. Let’s not wait for a cancer diagnosis before learning about the benefits of a healthy diet. Let’s not wait until we have a month to go before that bike trip before starting to get in shape.

Recently, I had major surgery. I have been away from my blog and I have missed it, although I had to take care of myself and needed to protect some energy. Something had to be put aside temporarily and it was my blog, social media and some other writing projects.

I am back though – and very, very grateful for having adopted a healthy lifestyle BEFORE I needed to depend on my strong muscles, healthy immune system and my realistic and positive mindset to get me through the last few months.

YAY for preventative health!!

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About Sleep and Weight-Loss

A good seven to eight hour, uninterrupted sleep promotes weight loss. (It has many other great benefits, too!) Sleep affects hormones. There are a couple of hormones that are affected by too little sleep. One encourages us to eat more and the other affects our sense that we had had enough. Both hormonal responses will promote weigh-gain.

Here are some helpful ideas to try:
* Use a body pillow. It supports your hip and shoulder. Increasing body comfort and decreasing body pain will help you to stay asleep.
* Sleep in a pitch black room. Cover your little LED lights with a piece of black cloth.
* Investigate and then adopt a relaxation technique to calm your thoughts before sleeping. (examples: 1) Breath in love and breath out peace. 2) Think about all the things for which you are grateful.)
* Keep a pen and paper beside your bed to record anything that is best taken off your mind.
* Consider swapping alcohol for herbal teas after dinner. Alcohol consumption leads to early morning wakings.
* Decrease amount of fluids consumed two hours before bed in order to eliminate nighttime bathroom trips.
* If body pain persists, try to eliminate it with exercise or physio and in a pinch take pain relief (ie. a slow release Tylenol and an Advil combination).
* Embark on a head pillow search. There are great memory foam pillows which are cool, and will keep your neck and spine aligned facilitating a longer and more comfortable sleep.
* Never fall asleep on the sofa or whilst the TV or radio is on. Calm your own body and mind by preparing for bed in quiet and peaceful manner.
* When possible, sleep in a cool room with an open window using light but warm bedding.
* Sleep naked….this will increase calories burned!

Weight-Loss Pearls of Wisdom III

More pearls to live by:

1. Losing weight slowly is better than never.

2. We can say “No thanks, maybe later”.

3. If not now, when?

4. Eat breakfast at home. It’s important that your body TRUSTS that you can be depended upon to feed it regularly, as you ask it to do things like shower, make lunches, drive to work, read emails, think and organize.

5. Understand your inner body and mind.

6. Get your body to trust you, and it will shed those fat cells it was desperately holding onto.

7. We deserve a healthy body. It’s time to care about ourselves as much as we care for our loved-ones.

8. Each of us are so different. Think of exercise that fits your personality. Follow routines and patterns that allow you to get healthy, happy and proud.

9. Go towards your new goals in very small steps that will encourage the sense of confidence (that you can do it) and self-trust (that you will follow through with what you say to yourself you want to do). Cross these off one at a time: (1) Have an idea such as wishing to use a weighted hula hoop. (2) Plan to research which ‘Winners’ has one. (3) Schedule the time to buy it. (4) Assemble it. (5) Hoop for 1 minute. (6) Keep increasing the time on the hoop as per the instructions. Little by little is the key. It is MUCH harder to intend to start something next Saturday morning for 30 minutes.

10. Joke: “No, thanks. That piece of cake will look better on you!”

Books and Programs I Recommend for Personal Growth and Recovery.

Below is a list of resources I have used to pursue personal growth at different times of my life, leading to the lasting happiness I now enjoy. It is important to note that the order is not really important and in fact this is a list of the steps I took given my specific needs and personality. It could be different for each of us. I took most of these programs in Ottawa, Canada but I hope programs like them are offered elsewhere in the world, too.

I have included the phone numbers or websites of each as a reference in case one of these ideas seem right to you at this time.

  1. 2001- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) with Melodie Benger. Eight week program of calming and meditation based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living. www.ottawamindfulness.ca
  2. 2003 (to present) -Attended Al-Anon meetings. It is a 12-step program for people affected by other people’s drinking, based on AA’s 12 steps. I focused on the Serenity Prayer (see below), slogans and developing a trusting relationship with a Higher Power. www.al-anon-ottawa.ca, (613) 860-3431.
  3. 2004 – Serenity Renewal for Families – New Beginnings program. This was a 4 day recovery program which helped me to feel hope at a deeper level. www.serenityrenewal.ca, (613) 523-5143
  4. 2004 – 2009 Amanae Sessions. This is a deep tissue emotional release bodywork technique by Victoria Butow. www.frequenciesofbrilliance.com, 1-(267) 337-2729.
  5. 2004 – Mindfulness (MBSR) at the Bronson Centre with Dr. Steven Hicks.  ‘Stress is a choice’ is what I took away from this program. www.mbsrottawa.psiottawa.com.
  6. 2004 – Rideauwood’s  ‘Family Program’. Highly recommended, as already mentioned, for people affected by another’s drug or alcohol use. www.rideauwood.org, (613) 724-4881.
  7. 2005 – Took a six-week group therapy course, which followed the book The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman. Worked on my multiple losses. An excellent approach to processing multiple losses.
  8. 2006 – Camillus Centre in Elliot Lake, Ontario. Twelve day residential Family Program for people affected by other people’s addictions. Call (705) 848-2652 and inquire about the Family/Co-dependency program.
  9. 2007 (to present) – volunteering as an ‘Adult Child’ at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders Program. www.theroyal.ca and click on ‘Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders’.
  10. 2007 – Participated in a Cursillo weekend, which dramatically deepened my trust in a Higher Power. www.ottawacursillo.ca.
  11. 2008 – Rideauwood’s  ‘Family of Origin Program’.  Highly recommended for adults who came from a dysfunctional background and wants to work on their continuing issues. www.rideauwood.org , (613) 724-4881.

My Recommended Reading List:

  1. Adult Children of Alcoholics, Janet Geringer Woititz
  2. Healing the Shame That Binds You, John Bradshaw
  3. Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph. D.
  4. The Grief Recovery Handbook, John W. James and Russell Friedman
  5. Journey to the Heart, Melodie Beattie

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Acceptance

Is the answer to all my problems today.

When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake…. Unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.