Results!

If you have been around me in the last month and a half, I have probably showed you my Results Journal.  I’ve been showing everyone and singing its praises.

Results!

I mentioned it in my last post but I wanted to go into more detail now.  It really has been a game changer for me.  I found out about it from Kris Carr.  She’s that wellness advocate and cancer thriver that I discovered during my breast cancer trek last summer.

Every morning, usually after I work out, I take a few minutes and fill out my weekly checklist page and my daily page.  All the goals are focused on what Kris calls her 5 pillars of wellness:

  • What you’re eating
  • What you’re drinking
  • What you’re thinking
  • How you’re resting
  • How you’re renewing
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Weekly checklist

Kris wants you to eat 3+ fruits a day and 4+ veggies.  I was doing the 3 fruits a day back in January but I got to the point that it was too much for me.  I’ve cut that down to only 2 fruits and I’m hitting that every day.  I have banana in my oat muffin in the morning and then I have either an apple or a clementine on my salad for lunch.  My 7 cup salad at lunch every day hits the veggie goal out of the park!

For the what you are drinking goal, you are supposed to halve your weight and drink that amount of water in ounces.  I’ve been all over the place with this.  Half my weight in ounces is 72.  The cancer med I am on really sucks all the moisture out of me so I wanted to up that goal.  I settled on 83 ounces and I hit that most of the time.  I’m not gonna lie though.  It is one of the toughest of all the daily goals.  Some days I feel like I live in the bathroom!

The next goal is to take 2 mindful breaks a day.  I love this!  All you have to do is stop for a few minutes and take a deep breath and meditate or pray.  It doesn’t have to be a long break but it is meant to ground you and bring you back to what your intention for the day was.

Recording how much sleep I get is so helpful.  It really helps me stay focused on getting to bed on time.   Sleep is so crucial to our well being.  I’ve been going to the YMCA lately and participating in the LiveSTRONG program on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  I also go to Tea and Yoga at my church on Wednesdays.  I try to run on T/Th with my run club, run on Wed with a group of my very good girlfriends, and on M/F, I try to do my arm exercises at the gym before work.  With all this exercising I have to focus and get to bed so I can make it for the next workout the next morning.

As I am writing this I know it is a lot of exercise but by going in the morning before work, it helps me beat all the very bad traffic.  I have to leave early anyway so why not work out?!  Exercise is not an area that I need to work on.  I’ve got this pillar down!  Getting enough sleep and enough of healing H2O are my toughest 2 pillars!

The next to the last row on the weekly checklist is my very favorite!  It is how you are renewing.  On the snapshot above, both my “fun” outings also involve exercise.  I noticed that week after week, I was struggling to find things to do that truly made me feel renewed that didn’t involve exercise.  Running on Wednesday mornings with my girlfriends is more fun to me than exercise.  Yoga on Wednesday night at church is the same thing.  I love visiting with all the other ladies at church and hearing the devotion that we have before the yoga.  I wanted to make sure I had some variety in the weeks and I am doing better now.  Some of my fun things that didn’t involve exercise was a date night out to the movies with Ron, a brunch date with Harley and Lydia, and my monthly book club get-together.  Tonight Ron and I are going to the RV super show and tomorrow we are going to a Murder Mystery dinner theater.

The last row you get to pick a goal and I chose flossing my teeth.  I hate to floss but I’ve been doing it almost every single night.

Now for the daily pages.

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Daily thoughts and goals

 

You start the day off with reflecting on how you feel.  Every single day that I work out in the morning, I feel fantastic!  Almost every single morning that I don’t work out first thing, stress starts to creep in on me.  In the month and a half that I’ve been doing this I have noticed this pattern and I’ve decided to really strive to get to bed on time so I can wake up early enough to get a workout in first thing!

Next on the 2nd page, you write down 3 things that you are thankful for.  I LOVE this!  No matter how bad we are feeling, there is always something to be thankful for.

Then you write down your intention for the day.  Another LOVE.  You are in control of your day.  By writing down and focusing on how I want my day to go, I feel so much more focused.  During my 2 mindful breaks during the day I really try and come back to this and not let the day get away from me without working on what I intended to.

Then you write down your daily affirmation and your Big Sky Goal.  For me these are the very same thing every day.  I want to maintain vibrant great health and for Ron and me to get out of debt once and for all.

The last part is when you write down what you are going to do that very day to help you get closer to your goal.  Most of the days so far for me in January and February are exactly the same.  I have been working very hard to gain 100% mobility in my shoulder since my breast reconstruction surgery.  I write this down and then you have to write specifically what you are going to do and WHEN that day you are going to do it.

Like I said, TOTAL GAME CHANGER.  If you focus every single day on your most precious goals, you really look at all the millions of choices you make every day with a tremendously different mindset.

Here’s a choice I made this morning.  My favorite whipped banana oatmeal and some Glory juice from Wegmans.

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What are you drinking and eating?  What are you daily thoughts?  How are you resting and renewing?

Best wishes always and may all your Big Sky Goals come true and all your little choices you make every day help you get there.

xxoo,

Melissa

 

 

Favorites

I always love it when the bloggers that I follow most have a “favorites” post.  It is so fun seeing what other people like and picking up on new ideas.  I decided to highlight some of the things that are new to me that I am loving and also showcase some things I’ve loved for quite some time.

First up on the loved for quite some time is our wonderful church Mt. Zion!

Mt Zion

Last Sunday when Ron and I were walking in I snapped the picture.  I actually was trying to take a video because the bells were ringing and with the sun shining, such a feeling of calm and peace came over me.  Mt. Zion is a fabulous church and if you are in our area and are looking for a new church home, we’d love to have you.  I think one of the best things I like about our church is the community.  We have small groups that change up every so often and it is a great way to meet others and to fellowship.  Over the years I have led a couple of small groups and I need to get back to it.  One of the groups I led was on dog walking.  I think we only had about 4 or 5 of us in the group.  We would meet and walk our dogs and discuss different topics about how to sit, stay, and come when God calls.  I based the small group on this book.  Such great memories.  Another small group that I led was a Run for God group.  We trained and many of the participants went from the couch to a 5k.

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This group was so popular, we followed it up with a Run for God half marathon group.  We all trained and ran the Myrtle Beach half marathon.  Even after those 2 seasons, other leaders stepped in and continued the small group for many more years.

Some of the small groups that are just starting up next week that I have my eye on joining are the Talk, Tea, and Yoga for Women and the Beginning Ukulele group.  Click here to see all the small groups that are being offered.

Okay, back to favorites.

I adore Japanese sweet potatoes.  I can’t even eat a normal sweet potato anymore I love these so much!

Japanese sweet potatoes

I made these in the Instant Pot (10 minutes on manual) last weekend and I usually have one every night for dinner.  Most of the time I only have them with some broccoli and beans or stir-fried tofu but this week I added a new favorite, No Evil Foods.

No evil foods

The thing I love the most about this brand is that it doesn’t have protein soy isolate.  Isolates are when they process the heck out of soy and it becomes a “processed food” that I try to limit.

Here’s a shot of a basic dinner:  potato, No Evil Foods Italian Sausage, and some spinach.

dinner

Another old favorite is the awesome Juice Vibes juice bar.  When I was healing my breast cancer last summer, I would go here all the time.  I hadn’t been in a while but on Friday, I was doing so well in my PT exercises, I decided to celebrate.  I got the Green Detox smoothie.  It was delicious!

Next up on the new favorites list is this awesome new journal that I’ve been keeping.

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And right beside it are some new favorite pens.  I got my journal from my favorite wellness advocate and cancer thriver, Kris Carr .  She has lived and thrived with a stage 4 incurable cancer for over 17 years now.  I’ve always loved the art of journaling but I’ve never really been able to keep up the habit.  I’ve made it 11 days so far and I haven’t missed a day.  Below is a snapshot of the daily and weekly pages.

Kris says the secret to getting “Results” is to write your goals down every single day.

The pens that I am using were recommended to me by my oldest daughter, Andie.  Andie is an avid planner keeper and she uses Emily Ley’s planners.  She is crazy about Emily Ley and has now got me hooked on her too.  Andie got me this book for Christmas and I’ve already devoured it.  I can’t wait to read her other books.

When Less Becomes More

A couple more favorites and I’ll call it a morning and head out for my run.  It is Saturday and Saturdays for me means log run and I have 8 miles ahead of me.

Here’s a new toothpaste I found accidentally.

Fennel

I didn’t mean to get the fennel flavored one and boy was my mouth ever surprised when I first used it.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but I love it now!  Fennel has great health properties.  

And the star of the week were these banana oat quinoa muffins.

banana oat quinoa muffins

They are vegan, gluten free, sugar free, and oil free.  Since I’ve been working out every morning, I’ve needed more than my smoothie to tide me over until my lunchtime salad.  These have worked out great.  I made a huge batch last weekend and I’m all out now.  I will definitely be making these again this week.  So yummy!

Well that’s it for me.  What are some of your favorites?  Are you a journaler?

Happy Saturday!  Now, I’m off to run!

xxoo,

Melissa

 

PMA all the Way

So you guys know I’m crazy about Kris Carr now.  Well she has these guided meditations and I tried out a sample during lunch this week.

Speaking of lunch, I had my normal salad and I ate it outside.  I really am trying hard to take my full hour and also get outside for some vitamin D.   Another thing I am doing is after lunch, I take my shoes off and get my bare feet in the dirt and grass.  It is called grounding.

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This is when I put my earbuds in and listed to Kris’s sample meditation.  I loved it!  And this is what I got out of it.

Ever since the very beginning of my cancer trek, I have wanted to get a double mastectomy and not just the single.  This is a very common decision that many women make even if, like me, they have one breast that is disease free.  It is so common now that insurance companies are denying this request and are not covering removing a disease free breast as there is no medical reason to do this.  However, my insurance company will cover this.  I do meet 2 of the very long list of criteria.  (You only have to meet 1 and I meet 2)

  • I have very dense breasts that make it very hard for mammograms to detect breast cancer.
  • I also have one first cousin that had breast cancer before the age of 50.

I wanted a bilateral mastectomy (DMX) and no reconstruction.  I even joined the Flat and Fabulous Facebook page to gain support from others that have chosen this route.  Here were my reasons:

  • I wanted to never have to worry about mammograms or MRIs again.
  • I didn’t want to go through more invasive surgeries.
  • I didn’t want something foreign inside me. (implants)
  • I didn’t want to have to worry about replacing implants after 10 years.
  • I thought it would be great to run and hike without a bra.

However, my hubby was very against this.  He felt like I was “throwing the baby out with the bath water.”  It hurt me that it mattered to him.  I wanted him to be so in love with me that he only worried about my life and not what I would look like.

During meditation, I realized that Ron was in the denial phase when I first started talking about a DMX.  Ron loves me unconditionally and I know this.  This trek is not just one that I will go through.  Ron is going to be right there with me all the way.  I’m sure he is scared as well.  Finances, time off work, the logistics of getting the surgery done away from home, all of these have to be just as taxing on him as they are on me.

I have let go of these negative feelings that I felt in the beginning.  It is so critical that I harbor no negative emotions at all.  As my BFF says, PMA all the way!  (Positive Mental Attitude)

pma

So here are my new reasons for going with only a unilateral mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction:

  • I don’t plan for cancer to return anywhere in my body after surgery so there is no reason to take a healthy breast.
  • The surgery will be easier for me to recover from as I’ll have full use of my right arm.
  • Since I’m keeping the healthy breast, I’ll need some balance and symmetry.  With DIEP I will have a permanent and natural reconstruction.

After this first mediation session, I visited with an old high school friend that is battling cancer.   She confirmed that care givers go through many different stages of acceptance.  Then last night I texted with another high school friend who is a 14 year survivor of breast cancer.  She stressed that our thoughts and keeping them positive are the key to getting through this trek.  In fact that was her only piece of advice she wanted to share with me at this point.

I’m not perfect and I have many moments of worry that continue to plague me.  As I go forward this week, I’m going PMA all the way!

I pray this for you as well!