March 12, 2014

A Healthier Me

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My biggest weakness: cookies!

For the last 3 1/2 weeks, I have given up sugar.  My goal is to give it up until Easter and so far it is going fairly well.  Within the first week, I noticed a huge change in how I felt and actually looked.  Before I started this, I was eating so much junk, it's unbelievable.  It felt like I was baking goodies every other day, we were finding reasons to get treats from the store, and I was even rationalizing having these things in place of actual meals.  (I may or may not have had brownies for breakfast quite a few times.)  Ever since having Livie almost a year ago, I have yet to fit into all my normal clothes.  I have finally gotten so tired of wearing the same things over and over that I decided I really need to start making some changes.

I certainly could have just cut back on my intake of sweets, but it has to be "all or nothing" for me when it comes to the sweet stuff.  I think that by the end of this, I will really be able to see how these kinds of things affect me and I will be able to better control myself.  I've also noticed that I haven't been snacking as much throughout the day.  Normally, I would grab just anything regardless of it's nutritional value.  Now I find myself making a more conscious decision when it comes to eating, and I've really only been eating when I'm hungry.  That's HUGE for me.  I'm sure that the good changes I've noticed in my body aren't just because of the lack of sugar in my diet; I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I'm probably consuming a lot fewer calories as well.

Now, if only the weather would warm up so I could get out and get some exercise!  That's my next step in trying to get healthy.

February 21, 2014

Comparison


DSC_0069, © AmberWall
Being a little different doesn't mean you're not beautiful.

I attended another "resiliency training" meeting yesterday and the topic was based on how we, as women, are constantly comparing ourselves to others.  I know I am certainly guilty of it.  I find myself getting discouraged because I just don't feel like I measure up to a lot of my peers.  I know that's wrong and that I do have my own unique qualities, but sometimes it's hard to get out of that mindset, ya know?

How ironic is it that I heard from an old friend yesterday, telling me how when we were in elementary school together and I started to lose my hair, she worried that she wouldn't be "cool enough" for me now that I got to wear all these cool hats and be bald and stuff.  For one thing, I can't believe she of all people would think that because she was one of the coolest people I knew, but secondly, I was probably thinking the exact same thing - "Why would she want to play with me?  I'm this weird bald girl wearing weird hats and stuff."

On what basis are we comparing ourselves to others?  We are all blessed with unique talents and abilities, some more obvious than others, but who's to say that one quality is better than another?  Someone brought up a good point yesterday... What if we started comparing ourselves to Christ instead of trying to be like Him?  Just think how miserable and defeated we would always feel!  Luckily, it is our goal to be LIKE Him.  Some days we may fall a little shorter than others, but that's why we're here - to be better than we were the day before.

So, the point of all this is, I need to stop comparing myself to others.  I can find things about them that I admire and use those things to inspire me to be better, but I don't have to be THAT PERSON.


February 20, 2014

...There shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost...

Last night, as we were having dinner as a family, the topic came up about being an eternal family and what that means.  Brett explained to the boys that because he and I were married in the temple, and as long as we live righteously, we can all live together again after this life.  The boys balked at the idea of them someday having wives of their own and being able to live with them for eternity, but they understood the idea.  When Brett explained that because of Christ's Atonement, we all would be resurrected when He comes again and that out bodies would be made whole again, the boys didn't quite grasp what that meant.  I mentioned that I would even have hair again.  Brady said, "Maybe... Maybe you'll have your hair again."  I reached for my scriptures and was able to show him where it says that even my hair will be restored when Christ comes again:

 (Alma 11:44)   44 Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be arestored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the bFather, and the Holy Spirit, which is cone Eternal God, to be djudged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.

This section of the Book of Mormon is talking about the resurrection and when Christ comes to the earth again.  It is such a comfort to me - you have no idea how much of a comfort - to know that even something as silly as hair will be in its proper place in that time.  I guess if I can't have hair in this life, I can wait until the next.

January 24, 2014

Fears



Yesterday I attended a resiliency training put together by my ward for all of us military spouses.  They do it twice a month and it is such a blessing to have that as such a great resource for those of us dealing with the craziness of military life.  The best part about it is it can help no matter if you're in the military or any other situation in life.  The topic that was addressed yesterday was fear, or as I interpreted it, "facing your fears."

I was really hesitant to go because I knew I was going to be late and then I knew I was going to have to leave early.  I got this prompting to go anyway and I'm so glad I followed that.  I really needed to hear the things the instructor talked about and the things that were discussed with the other ladies in the group.  I feel like I have so many fears rolling around in my head right now that I'm almost numb to what is going on around me.  The hardest part is I don't really know what I'm afraid of.  Maybe it's just the stress of a bunch of little things boiled down to, "I'm going to do it wrong."

On the bright side, the resiliency training really helped me see how all these things I'm fearing aren't really as bad as they seem.  Yes, they can be real and difficult, but I have resources to get me through.

One of my biggest fears right now is whether Brett and I are making the right decision about him getting out of the military this summer.  He has a job lined up, but we still have the option to re-enlist up until his official separation date in July.  On the one hand, if he gets out of the Air Force, he's free to explore job options anywhere he'd like to go if we just don't want to be in Maryland any longer.  There's definitely a lot of pressure to choose that route.  On the other hand, if he re-enlists, there is a lot more job security, but at the expense of being subject to wherever the Air Force wants us to be.  We have some say in where we would like to go, but not much.  In some ways, that's not so bad.

I am constantly running a "pro's and con's" list through my head and I can never come to a clear winner.  I pray and I pray for guidance and clarity, but I still have yet to find peace in either of the options.  Sometimes I think that I have that peaceful feeling with re-enlisting, but then I feel like I have only come to that because it is the "safe" choice, the "comfortable" route to take because we know what to expect if we head down that road.  On the other hand, if that is the right choice, I feel guilty because for so long our plan has been to get out of the military, move back west, and finally be settled in one place.  I feel like we'd be breaking a promise or something.  I don't know who that promise was made to, exactly, but I feel like we'd be letting someone down somehow.

So, that's just one of the fears I'm facing right now.  Maybe I'll write about some others in my attempt to "face them," but for now, any advice or insight into this big one is most welcome.


IMG_5783bw, © AmberWall
(This photo I took a couple of weeks ago seemed fitting for this post for some reason.  I guess the thought of seeing those birds flying through the fog reminded me of what I need to do.  Just keep going and at some point the way will seem clear.)

January 16, 2014

Dr. P

I have mentioned a few times how lucky I am to have the dermatologist I have.  I have been a patient of Dr. P ever since I was first diagnosed with Alopecia at age 11 and I am so lucky he happened to be the one my parents chose to take me to.  He has always been on top of all the current treatments and has always been a huge source of support for me.  After 20+ years, he's become more of a friend than just my doctor.  He is always quick to respond to my e-mails (and from what his office manager tells me, that is a very rare thing, and even more rare that he gives out his e-mail address) and he always finds a way to squeeze me into his busy schedule whenever I happen to be in Utah.

He is the one that has helped me do this most recent round of treatment.  We've decided to take a rest from the medication for a little while because of some of the side effects.  I'm grateful that he cares more about my overall health than just trying to get the results he knows I so badly wish for.

I've seen a few other doctors in my many years of living outside of Utah, but they aren't the same.  I guess I've just been spoiled by having Dr. P as my doctor and friend.    

January 13, 2014

Do you ever have days...?


Do you ever have days where you have a whole laundry list of things to do, but you just can't seem to want to do any of it but the one thing that doesn't HAVE to be done?  Today is one of those days.  I should be doing dishes... I should be doing laundry...  I should be cleaning at least one of the bathrooms...  For the life of me, all I want to do is look at the photos I've taken of birds, watch TV, and do a blog post.  Lately, this blog has been calling to me.  It has been almost an entire year since the last time I posted and I have missed it tremendously!  I don't know why I haven't written anything.  It certainly hasn't been for lack of topics to write about.  I think life gets busy, I get behind, and then don't have the strength to try to play "catch-up."  I've been doing a lot of pondering lately on the past, present, and future, and I have decided that I need an outlet again.  An outlet that will help me get thoughts out of my head instead of them getting jumbled and tumbled around in my brain.


For instance...

I've been going through another round of hair treatments over the last couple of months.  I have seen some progress, but not enough to feel like things might be on the mend.  The thoughts I've been having lately are, "Is this worth it?" "Am I getting my hopes up for nothing?"
"It couldn't hurt to try, though, right?"

So, I'm going to start putting myself "out there" again.  I want to start writing more about life with Alopecia, life as a military family (and how that will be ending soon), and everything in between.  Hopefully I can clear my mind in the process!


February 15, 2013

Ice

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My crushed-up freezer ice.  Definitely leaves something to be desired.

It has reached that point in my pregnancy where I crave ice.  Unfortunately for me (but fortunate for my teeth), the ice from my freezer just doesn't satisfy.  Oh, what I wouldn't give to have a Sonic nearby and their wonderful bags of "chewy ice."  

IMG_3070
Cafe Rio had "chewy ice;" too bad it's even farther away than the closest Sonic.  Ugh.
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