Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Dealing with stress

This is an entry I've been mulling over for at least a week, trying to figure out what to write. It was easier when the kids were little, they didn't care what Mommy wrote about them online.

"Son, do you mind if I post online that you're wearing a tutu, your sister's bathing suit, a cape, a tiara, and cowboy boots?"

"No. Can I have a cookie please?"

However, now they're teenagers and they don't want their lives online. I post a lot but most of it's fluff. I baked muffins. I read a book on our balcony. We went out for a walk in the sunshine. I'm off to work. Nothing serious.

I'm sure it gives people the impression that life here is a bunch of sunshine and happiness. There is a lot of stress going on but it's stress that directly relates to the kids (and not in a "my teenage daughter back talks" or "my teenage son doesn't listen and his room smells like dirty feet and stale farts" kind of way). And, since it's directly related to the kids, it's stress I simply do not talk about. I can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the number of people who know pretty much everything that's going on. A few more know bits and pieces. And it's not because I don't trust anyone. It's not out of some bizarre wish to be "secretive". It's simply that these secrets are not mine to share without permission and I don't have that permission.

That being said, the stress is still there impacting on my life. The last week and a half have been bad. Those who don't know are saying "how bad?" while those who do know are saying "well that's an understatement". Yesterday and today have been more positive so I'm hopeful (crossing fingers).

I need to sort out a coping schedule for the bad days (weeks) so I've got healthy and sometimes portable food for the days I literally don't have time to cook. I need to remember to fit in 15 minutes with the My Fitness Coach a day, even if I don't end up with time to get to the Y for classes. Right now I've got food cooked and in the fridge (plus a huge pot of chili cooling on the stove). I need to stick food in the freezer as well.

On to the positive side of things. Last week my son and I went for a long walk. Ironically the trail starts right beside the bus stop we get off at to go to the Y and ends at a lakeside park we've been to a few times (a park I used to go to when I was a child). The trail is easy, paved, and has some lovely views (like this section of creek). It will be great this summer as we can pack a picnic lunch, walk down to the lake for a picnic, then take the bus back home.

This weekend we're going to be in Toronto and I'm looking forward to getting out and doing some fun activities with my kids and members of our church (including an after dark ghost walk). I didn't sign my son and I up for dinner on Saturday night so we're going to the Old Spaghetti Factory. Yummy, cheap food and great ambiance (hopefully we can sit in the streetcar). The Canadian site doesn't have nutritional information but the American site does. I'm thinking I'll have the minestrone soup with spaghetti and marinara sauce.

And I signed up for the 28 Day Vegetarian Boot Camp at Vegetarian Times. I've been a vegetarian for a couple of decades now but advice and some good recipes are always handy. Today's recipe is for a greek salad that looks like it'll be great this summer!

Tonight I'll be back at the Y on the elliptical :o)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Feeling productive

I weighed myself yesterday morning and was thrilled to see the scale at 169lbs. I've broken that mental roadblock... now onward towards the 150's! I'd say that was fast but I've been bouncing between 170 and 176lbs for just over half a year now. The next break through, from 160 to 159lbs will be faster!

I was all set to pull out the My Fitness Coach yesterday morning when my sister called and asked if we wanted to go on a walk with her. Most of the walk was at child's pace (fitting as we were walking with three children) but there were some challenging parts... including one hill that made me very glad I've been working out regularly. A little steeper and it would have been a cliff instead of a hill!

I've been feeling very productive today. This morning I worked out on the My Fitness Coach before church. After church I ate a healthy lunch then teenage son and I went to our local Y to work out for 20 minutes on the elliptical and swim for 20 minutes in the pool. I'm looking forward to getting back there tomorrow evening for Bars and Plates (an hour long exercise class with steps and weights).

When we got home I multi-tasked in the kitchen. I chopped up and roasted a variety of veggies in the oven for homemade pizza tonight and crock pot spaghetti sauce on Tuesday. I made raspberry vegetarian jell-o... with the bottom layer full of thawed mixed berries and the top whipped with a hand blender so it was foamy. I made granola bars and had them all set on the counter to go into the oven as soon as the pizza came out. I tossed a salad for myself and teenage daughter. And I also got a loaf of bread prepped and popped into the bread machine (it's cooling on the counter). Not only did we have a yummy and healthy dinner but much of the prep work's been done for Tuesday's dinner as well. I work from 7:30am to 4pm on Tuesday so having sauce ready to pop into the crockpot that morning will be very appreciated.

I think keeping on top of things is a huge part of a healthy lifestyle. I've found that the times I'm eating the worst are the times where I'm constantly feeling like I'm running to catch up. It's too easy to relax for an hour after work then try to decide, while everyone's hungry, what to make for dinner and come up with frozen pizza or take out from a nearby restaurant. It's easy to forgo exercise in the morning in order to catch up on sleep missed the night before. It's easy to skip going to the Y in the evening because nothing was planned in advance for dinner and, oops, there's no time to go now.

I like feeling that I've accomplished something. I like sitting here, all ready for bed, knowing the dishes are washed, we have yummy and nutritious food prepared for tomorrow, I've exercised, and nothing more is waiting for me than a bed with the sheets freshly turned down and a good book.

And, with that, sweet dreams everyone! I've got a book waiting for me :o)