Monday, January 25, 2010

Off track...

1. (weight/fitness) I haven't tracked calories or weighed myself for four days, although I'm planning to do both today. I did work out on Thursday night and Sunday afternoon, but not Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday. Today I have a stomach flu, so I'm not expecting too much.

2. (mental health) I forgot to take my meds Saturday morning. Other than that, I'm on track. I had a friend come stay with me, and that was stressful. Having an extra person around for nearly a week throws off your routine, and routines are very important for people with bipolar disorder. I'm sad to see him go, but eager to get back to my comfortable routine.

3. (parenting) I haven't picked a new book yet. However, I've been practicing somethings I learned from Strong Willed Child by James Dobson. I think that the boys have been easier to handle, and I certainly haven't been quite as exhausted trying to handle them. However, I have been exhausted from other things, and the boys (and my husband, and my friend) wound up getting yelled at a couple of times this past week. That's discouraging, but I will do better for the next week.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A little here, a little there...

1. (weight/fitness) I weighed 216.9 tonight. There are certain extenuating circumstances, but I basically need to be watching what I eat more. I've been splurging a little, and I can definitely tighten the belt a little more, so that I can... ahem... tighten my belt. :D Sorry, I had to. But there are healthier choices I can be making so that I meet my nutritional needs in fewer calories. Also... I could be working out every day, instead of four days a week. I think I will aim for five work outs of at least 40 minutes every week, and 1400 calories a day, instead of 1500. These are moderate, doable changes that can be sustained long term.

2. (mental health) I attended my bipolar group and was much edified. I really get a lot from meeting with these women. We talked about affirmations, and about how we could apply them to our own lives. I was able to share a secret that I have very rarely shared, and found that two other women have been touched by this same thing. It was nice to share and be really understood.

3. (parenting) I finished James Dobson's "Strong Willed Child". I saw a lot of myself and a lot of my oldest in his description of a strong willed child. Also, he helped me see that by letting little things slide, I am setting myself up for yelling and anger later. By doing this, I am eliminating my most effective tools before I get started. So I'm working on using my tools right away, and not yelling at the kiddos. So I met one goal. My next goal in this area is to finish "Bipolar Child".

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Making Progress...

1. (weight/fitness) Worked out again today. Set up a schedule of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday work outs, and Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday as off days. Weight was 216.1 today. Happy with this progress. It's not dropping off quickly (which I do actually kind of want...) but I realize that this is healthy and means that it will be easier to keep the weight off. Still, there is a part of me that would really like to see more instant results. That would be awesome! lol... But the rational part of me has to convince the rest of me that I'm wrong.

2. (mental health) I am looking forward to attending my Bipolar Support group again. Also, I need to find a new therapist, as mine retired. So...

3. (parenting) Finished reading "Strong Willed Child" by James Dobson. Excellent choice for me, and very helpful. I haven't yelled at the kids all day, and I can see that going on much longer. I think this is a book we are going to buy. I see a lot of myself in the child that Dobson describes, and I see my oldest in that child, too. I'm eager (can't believe I'm going to say this!) for our first head to head confrontation, so that I can use some of the techniques he suggests.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rough going...

1. (weight/fitness) Yesterday (the 14th) was kind of a blah day. I was crabby, and exhausted after a long night with the boys. I did not do a workout, I did not weigh in, and I did not track my calories. Today was a much better day. I wrote down all that I ate, and I made healthy choices today. I also weighed in at 217.6, meaning I've lost 5.9 lbs since Dec. 27th. This is a good rate of loss, and I think I'm doing well. I'm very much enjoying my workouts with EA Active More Workouts. They keep you going and the trainer gives good feedback. This is motivating.

2. (mental health) I'm taking my meds regularly and I'm feeling good. I'm looking forward to being able to attend support group again on Wednesday. I haven't attended the last three due to completely forgetting, and then Chad has had church the last two. The encouragement of the other ladies is good for me. I find myself more motivated to learn things, and I do learn things from these ladies. I invited a friend to come with me, because she also has bipolar, and I hope she will be able to come.

3. (parenting) The last three days have been tough, as the boys have not been sleeping well. Baby went through a growth spurt, and BigBoy got an ear infection. The combination has meant some long nights for Mama. We've had some rough times, but by leaning on my husband, we've been able to make it. We keep each other in check well, which is really encouraging for my marriage. So while my temper has been shorter than I wanted, I think I've parented okay. I had to apologize for yelling last night, and we had to modify the punishment we gave. However, his behavior at school has been very good, and he's been pretty good for us here at home. So I think something is being done right.

All in all, I think for my first goal I'm making great progress. For my second goal, I'm doing okay. For my third goal, I need to step up and buckle down.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Getting there...

1. (weight/fitness) I'm working out nearly every day now, in one form or another. I'm using a combination of Leslie Sansone Walk at Home DVDs, Wii Fit Plus, and Wii Active. Tonight I did my first of 24 workouts in the Wii Active (More Workouts) 6 Week Challenge. I have set new, more realistic goals for myself. I'm hoping to hit 200 lbs by the end of March now, instead of February. I'm currently at 218.4, which means I've lost 5.1 pounds since Dec. 27th. Yay!! I've figured out that I do well with outside motivation. I wouldn't have worked out tonight if my husband hadn't told me to "go for it!" I'm thinking of ways that I can use this to my benefit. If you know any, leave a comment, and I'll be sure to give it a try!

2. (mental health) Working out is affecting my moods, but I'm still logging my thoughts and feelings and sleep habits. I've noticed that this past week I've slept a lot more than I used to. I think part of that has to do with getting sick last week, and part might be a lack of structure. If I plan my time better, I might feel less fatigued. I've also been paying more attention to when I feel the most stressed, and watching out for physical cues of anxiety or mental "snapping". Working out has relieved some of my physical pressure and has lengthened my fuse, so to speak. I haven't felt close to panic attack for a few days now, which is a good achievement.

3. (parenting) As I had expected, elevating my energy level by working out and decreasing my anxiety level have resulted in increased patience with my sons, more awareness of how I am treating them, and a more creative approach to discipline. Tonight I became stressed feeding the youngest, who did NOT want the soup I had prepared for his dinner. By switching places with my husband when I hit my limit, my oldest was able to finish his homework, and the youngest was able to eat his dinner. I did not feel as though I were all alone in that battle, and it helped a lot. I merely swapped one battle for another, but the change of pace, and the feeling of fighting Chad's battle instead of my own, helped a lot. I think I kept a much better hold on my emotions, and our mutual goals were accomplished.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Off target...

1. I have been sick for the last three days. First time in years that I've had just a cold. Usually I take antibiotics and wipe out whatever it is in couple of days. But this isn't an antibiotic kind of thing. It's just a stuffy nose, headache, and some nausea. And weariness. What do I do -- go to the doctor and say, "Doc, my head hurts, and I'm tired"? And he'll say "Here's some Tylenol, take it, drink fluids, and get some rest." Lol... I'll save myself the co-pay. :D

So in an effort to meet my weight loss goals, I have signed up on to try to find an exercise buddy. I have not worked out since Tuesday night, but I did work out again tonight (Saturday). I feel better than I have felt, and I'm a little more clear headed. I weighed in tonight, and I am at 220.9. Just about where I was nine days ago. However, I have lost a 1/4 inch off my waist line.

2. I went to see my psychotherapist on Wednesday. She told me that she is semi-retiring, and will only be working for one day a week at a different facility. I am laughing because she is one of a great many doctors/therapists/pastors/friends who have left their practice/facility/job/city since I became a patient or friend. However, she gave me some good papers for helping me to lose weight, and I'm looking forward to a new therapist. I need some guidance, and I need a person who will give me action items. Dian was good at that, and apparently so is John. But I need to actually make contact with him first.

3. I've done little toward my goal of becoming a better parent. I have avoided the kids when I know that I am in a bad mood, but other than that, I've done little other than feed the babies, clothe them, and get them where they need to be when they need to be there. I'll be working on this in the future, but I'm positive that as I improve my mental capacities with exercise and therapy, my parenting skills will come along side.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Better late than never?

Well, so much for wanting to post a new blog every two or three days! :D I'll still be trying, but now I've added it to my online to-do list. (Btw... if you are a list-maker, I highly recommend It's a free online service that can text you or email when a task is due. You can mark things as complete and view them later. You can postpone, add due dates, repeat tasks, and more! And no... they aren't paying me. :D )

1. My weight last night was 220.5, a healthy weight loss since my last post. I don't remember if I posted this but my first goal is to reach 200lbs by Feb. 28th. At this rate, I have a little over 20lbs to go to reach my goal. I think I can do it. I've worked out every day except for New Year's Eve, and I'm excited about the changes I'm seeing in my body. I've already lost a half inch in my waist, which means that I can tighten my belt a whole new notch! Also, from the library, I borrowed a few books on sustainable weight loss and weight loss with faith as a factor.

2. I checked out a bunch more books about bipolar disorder, specifically about kids and the effects of medication on bipolar kids. I'm eager to see if anything applies to our difficulties with Topher, or if I need to keep searching. I would LOVE to find something written by a Christian author who actually specializes in Bipolar Disorder, so if you happen to know of or come across anything like that, please, leave a comment.

3. I have noticed that when I exercise, I have more patience for the rest of the day, and I think I'm more consistent. This is paying off, in more ways than one. Topher had purposely ripped a hole in his pants, and the next day, colored on the pair we replaced them with. So we set up a chart for him to work off his pants ($12): he got anywhere from a nickel to a dollar for doing small chores around the house. He would run upstairs and grab something for me and get a nickel. He would stand with me and spend an hour drying and putting away dishes (when our dishwasher broke), and got a dollar. He went outside and brought in the recycling bins, 50 cents; raked the yard, 75 cents; picked up all his brother's blocks, a dime. We had done this when he took a pair of scissors to his shirt, and we've had good success. He has been much more respectful toward his clothes. We got him about halfway through his pants chart in about three months, so I made a concentrated effort this Winter Break to find chores for him to do. We did this, and it showed us a few things. 1) Topher is ready for more chores around the house. We need to find something else for him to do regularly. 2) When Topher is busy doing chores, he is not busy getting into trouble. 3) When I am thinking of chores for him to do, I am less likely to yell and more likely to simply give him something else to do. 4) Topher and I like each other better when we're working together toward a common goal.