Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

Archive for the category “Musings”

Meditation Explained

Ugh! I never knew it was so stressful trying to destress.  I downloaded an app to help me with practicing mindfulness (a.k.a. meditation). The app – Insight Timer — is good, but I’m spending a lot of time searching for “guided” sessions to help me release anxiety and with sleep.

I think the skeptic in me has a hard time buying into the concept of fighting stress by just “being in the moment” and focusing on my “breath.”  So I’m not giving the recordings a fair shot.

With all my frustration with mindfulness, I turned to the only source I could think of to help me let go of my resistance to meditation: Ultra Spiritualist JP Sears.

I met with a new doctor last week (I’ll post about that meeting tomorrow) and she suggested a few recordings to check out. Of course I didn’t…until now. With my insomnia, I just don’t have the energy to be overly critical anymore. So this morning I’m checking out the doc’s recommendations. Hopefully the search ends soon and I can start relaxing and sleeping again.

Perfecting The Butter Burger

butter burger 2

My second attempt at perfecting the Butter Burger. I’m closer with this one.

I’m finally feeling a heck of a lot better after being in bed for the last 6 days. I got hit with a nasty cold. I made the mistake of thinking I bounced back pretty quickly on Sunday. I felt great and it was a beautiful day. So after walking the dogs, grocery shopping and a few errands, rather than resting I decided to do some grilling for lunch.

So I started my second attempt at a butter burger. My first didn’t go as well as I hoped. You are supposed to put a pat of butter in the middle of your ground beef before it hits the grill. Well I found that it just melts out and the burger isn’t any more juicy for it. Read more…

Recent Gains Have Me Doubting Myself

lane-bryant

Nearly 2 years and 100+ pounds ago I “broke” up with Lane Bryant. Clearly they miss me. The feeling is not mutual.

I’m fast approaching my two-year anniversary from saying goodbye to Lane Bryant.  I vowed never to shop there again. To do so meant failure. However, my recent weight gain has me doubting myself and resolve.

It was time to replace an old pair of jeans. And for a fleeting moment, I thought about picking them up at my old stomping ground.

Thankfully something woke up inside of me and yelled “Hell no!”

Despite those damn menopause pounds I’ve added back on, I’m not going back to Lane Bryant. Ever.

I don’t know if that was the kick in the pants I needed, but it worked. I’m making a bunch of changes right now (post coming later on those changes). But I’m excited and finally feel energized. Something I haven’t felt in a long time.

Oh, and I picked up my new jeans at Old Navy.

Feeling The Burn…Literally!

burn

I felt the burn the other night thanks to a very hot pan and no oven mitt. Thankfully I knew what I needed to do to treat the burn and had what I needed at my (crispy) fingertips.

Blogging has been light thanks to a little mishap in the kitchen. For some strange reason I pick up the lid of my VERY hot Dutch oven without oven mitts. Ouch!

It took about half a second for the pain to hit and my brain kicking in to tell me to drop the lid. I immediately turned on the faucet and let the cool water sooth my blazing hot fingers.  My husband leaped into action by pulling out our first aid kit.

After plunging my had in cool water for 30 minutes, the pain subsided long enough for me to move to a damp, cool towel. An hour later I could bear my husband applying the Neosporin ointment and wraping up my swollen finger tips. Read more…

Want To Change Behavior? Try A 30-Day Challenge

Screenshot 2014-09-02 11.11.07

30-Day Challenges are a great way to create new habits, change how you do things and build confidence. And they are available online for free. Just make sure you pick one that’s realistic.

I love this article from Business Insider on the importance of 30-Day Challenges in changing behavior. I’ve become a big believer in these challenges. I’ve used them to:

  • Drink more water
  • Cut back on alcohol
  • Build strength
  • Run a 5k
  • Improve my sleep habits

I always try to pick something that:

  1. Isn’t part of my wheelhouse;
  2. Provides opportunity for self-improvement;
  3. Realistic and measurable.

It’s important to pick a challenge where you not only want to make a change, but decided that you must change. Big difference.

Making a meaningful, lasting change means committing to it. Read more…

My Fasting Challenge: Days 4-7

no-food-or-wine

During days 4-7 of my 7-Day Fasting Challenge I experience some subtle changes in my mental and menopausal symptoms. Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net, KENO64 and Simon Howden.

Sorry for the delay in posting on the final days of my 7-Day Fasting Challenge, but I had a sick doggie and husband that needed some attention. Plus while going through the last 4 days of my fast, I thought they were uneventful. The intense hunger I felt on Day 3 was gone. Once in a great while my stomach might grumble a bit, but a sip of water took care of it (Day 3 I was obsessed with food thoughts).

I even stopped opening up the fridge.

But my little notes to myself indicate there was a lot more going on than I realized at the time. Physically, my menopause symptoms were gone. I could easily get 8 hours of sleep each night. The hot flashes and chills disappeared. My anxiety dropped through the floor. Mentally I was crisp.

Worrying that my fast would cause more stress on my body (thus raising cortisol levels and stress me out further) was unfounded. Yes, I lost weight not eating for 7 days, but that really was side benefit.

Below is the highlights of days 4-7 of my fast. Read more…

The Scale Isn’t The Only Way To Track Weight Loss

scream-scale

Don’t let the scale define you. In a given day, the scale goes up and down more than the stock market, so perspective is needed.  The scale only shows one data point. Never let it control you.

There are other ways you can track how you are doing.

  • Take your measurements monthly — way better than a scale
  • Before and after photos — pictures don’t lie
  • How your clothes fit
  • Getting more sleep
  • Progress on creating healthy habits
  • Keep a journal tracking how you feel (more energy, happier), mobility (can you climb stairs without feeling winded), your overall well being

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Reasons My Weight Loss Resolutions Always Failed

What is the #1 resolution people make on the 1st of January each year? Weight loss. Unfortunately 88% of those resolutions don’t even make it out of February.

I have made my fair share of failed resolutions at the start of each year. Always vowing that this year would be different and I’d finally lose weight. After careful thought, here’s the 10 reasons why my weight loss resolutions always failed.

Bookending My Day With Essential Oils

my-diffuser

Early this morning I mixed rose and bergamot oils in one of my diffusers to help focus me. The smell is divine!

I can’t believe I’m doing this. Me…the one who’d make jokes about power crystals, meditation and all the rest of that “hippie” science. Well I’m not laughing anymore. Essential oils are now a big part of fighting my wacky hormones.

If I wake up feeling a little down then I add a few drops of lavender, chamomile, bergamot and ylang ylang into my diffuser. Soon I’m feeling pretty awesome.

No energy to plow through my to do list?  Then I load up my diffuser with a few drops of grapefruit or sweet orange and voila! I’m a bundle of focused energy moving from task to task.

In the evenings, about an hour before bed I load up my bedside diffuser with lavender. While that lovely scent is filling my cool, darkened bedroom, I’m relaxing in the tub with some lavender infused bath salts. When I follow this ritual I’m out like a light when my head hits the pillow. If not, I’m in for an evening of tossing and turning.

Science Be Damned. This Works For Me.
The science on essential oils is very light to say the least. I know that humans have a long history of using plants for healing. But I’m also aware of the power of suggestion. Read more…

Post Holiday Purge Begins

storage

Time for my annual After Christmas Purge of all things unhealthy or furry in my pantry and fridge.

After a festive Christmas it’s a blur of activity in my kitchen. No I’m not cooking. It’s my annual After Christmas Purge. Between my 2 pantries and refrigerator I’m discovering lots of strange items – some green and furry, some smelly and squishy. Others decidedly not low carb.

Two full trash bags later my kitchen is back to normal (other than all the food storage containers in the sink). And I’m starting to feel that way too. The mindfulness is helping with my stress levels. That doesn’t mean the rage monkey doesn’t escape the cage. Nor are those depressing thoughts fully at bay. But I’m working on both.

On January 1 I start a different type of purge — my 7-day fast begins. I can’t wait. After the rollercoaster of the last 6 months I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2017.

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