Each week I bring you three tools, tips, articles, recipes or other resources that I find useful or interesting on the journey to wellness. Feel free to suggest your own helpful hints and tips by leaving a comment (see Comment link above).
Here are this week’s three:
My dad started smoking before he became a teenager — maybe age 11 or 12. After at least two heart attacks, bypass surgery and years of attempts to stop smoking, he died of heart disease. He was only 59. (Actually, on that horrible day, the doc said it wasn’t actually a heart problem that killed him, even though his heart hadn’t been working well up to that point; something happened in his brain. Mom thinks it was the drug he was taking to help him quit smoking.) Dad’s older brother, also a smoker, died of lung cancer. Decades earlier, their father died of emphysema and cancer. They watched their dad take his last breath, yet they still smoked.
I sit next to a smoker at my job and, even though a cubicle wall separates us, I inhale secondhand smoke every morning and first thing after lunch (she sits in her car and smokes). When she enters our workspace, she reeks of it.
I had asthma as a kid and still have lots of breathing issues; it would be an extreme understatement to say secondhand smoke is unpleasant.
My co-worker is 31 and has three little girls; I don’t want to see her die of a tobacco-related illness. I know what it’s like to lose a beloved parent to this. (My dad, who in my eyes hung the moon, died 11 days before my wedding.)
I used to nag Dad about his smoking. That was before I realized that overcoming a “bad habit” — especially one that involves addictive chemicals invading your body’s systems — is more complicated than just deciding to quit. (And the tobacco companies do their best to keep your cravings strong.)
The solution, in my opinion, is to keep people from picking up that first cigarette. That, in itself, is a challenge because, for some reason, kids think it’s cool.
I HATE CIGARETTES.
Here’s a powerful SlideShare presentation with some grim facts about smoking; maybe it will help at least one person decide not to start.
Check it out: (Just click the right arrow to see the next slide. And don’t worry; the slides aren’t overly wordy, so it won’t take you long to get through them.)
Fellow Arkansas Women Blogger Heather DiSarro makes some wonderful dishes. In fact, her blog is called Heather’s Dish. (She’s an awesome photographer, too.) Head on over to Taste Arkansas (the Arkansas Farm Bureau’s blog) and get Heather’s recipe for Zucchini Noodle Bowls. It’s a low-carb way to have your “spaghetti” and eat it, too. 🙂
I can’t wait to try this dish. (Gotta get me some zucchini first.)
Oh, I almost forgot: If you post a comment below the recipe, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a Spiralizer. I’ve wanted one of those for a long time. (On second thought: Don’t post a comment; I want to win it! 🙂 )
Check it out: Zucchini Noodle Bowls
I cleaned out my closet yesterday. Took out every stitch of clothing, every shoe, every sheet, every tote bag and purse, and every stuffed animal or doll (yes, I still have my babies) and flung them onto the bed.
It wasn’t pretty.
(Also, I didn’t fling; I placed. 🙂 )
Last week I mentioned a book I had read with the promise that I’d write about it in more detail this week. I’m going to post an actual book review, but what I need to tell you today is that …
I have clothes in my closet in size 8 and in sizes 14 and 16.
That’s not the hard part. This is the hard part: All the difficult work I put into losing 50 pounds in the past couple of years was very valuable, and now the weight is back on. I’ve managed to start going back in a positive direction, especially after my last cardio checkup in late May. After a hello hug, my cardiologist said there seemed to be more to me to love this time around. We talked at length about why this weight is back, all the challenges I’ve had since my heart surgery, and how stinking hard it is to lose weight. (It’s a lot harder than it used to be. I used to be able to set my mind to it and just do it.)
Bottom line: I’m working on it, and I’ve lost 8 pounds since I saw him. That’s a start, but after the initial 6-7 pounds, I’ve been losing and regaining the same 1 or 2 each week.
This is the first time I’ve written about it. It’s embarrassing, especially when I call myself a wellness coach. (Hypocrite?)
It took me a couple of years to lose the weight, and that’s as it should be — it’s safer that way, and a quick fix teaches you ZERO. And it took me about 18 months to gain it all back.
I keep saying — to myself and others — that I’m sticking by my original statement: If it takes (X amount of time) to lose it but I help someone else in her/his struggle along the way, it’s worth it.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. God either causes it or allows it, because He sees the entire picture — all we see is our little slice. My weight struggles are part of that picture — my own journey to wellness and wholeness — and my goal is to learn from this. I can only think that I haven’t learned all the lessons I’m supposed to learn on this journey, so I’m having to repeat some of them, and learn new ones.
I’m very grateful that you’re here today, and if you need someone to come alongside as you battle a challenging situation, please get in touch by leaving a comment or emailing me at email@example.com.
That’s it for this week, kids. I hope you found something useful or at least interesting. Until next time …
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8 Tips for Saying No Graciously