Step Up Sunday 2/1

I didn’t see as much progress as I would have liked this week, but to be honest, I was a little worried I might have gained weight. David and I went out to eat last night for a special occasion and I was sure that the meal was going to put me over the edge. But hey, any loss is good right?

1. How many pounds did you gain or lose?
-0.4

2. How many inches did you gain or lose?
I’m not tracking my inches.

3. Your weekly exercise or step goal, and did you meet it? 
I was shooting to hit 10,000 steps a day. Again my weekly steps only averaged out to 5k-6k a day.

4. What was your biggest challenge this week?
Staying away from unnecessary carbs. I LOVE carbs. I’ve also been craving a milkshake for days.

5. What is your favorite healthy snack or meal?
I’ve enjoying trying different baked chicken recipes this week. Weight Watchers has a great database.

6. Do you have any advice or tips for the rest of us?
Don’t give up! We are all in this together!

The Straight Arrow

I Want To Try Essential Oils

I want to try essential oilsI am always open to trying holistic and natural methods of staying or getting healthy. I am a firm believe that returning back to nature is often the answer and that many of our products now a days are filled with harmful chemicals. That’s why 3 years ago I made the commitment to cut out as many unnecessary chemicals from my daily routine as possibly, namely parabens and sulfates. I did a major overhaul of all my beauty and body products from shampoo to lotion.

Obviously it’s not realistic to cut out all chemicals, but I try where I can. As I said yesterday, I’d like to start the journey to try and get off of my anxiety medication Effexor. While it has worked wonders, I have concerns about the long term use of SNRI’s and SSRI’s and would like to try to find other ways of coping and treating my anxiety so that I can eventually get off the medication.

I’m not an idiot, and I know what the withdrawal process is like, so before making any actual step on this journey, I will be meeting with my doctor, getting her opinion (luckily she is very openminded and actually listens to me), and will work with her every step of the way from there. Messing around with these medications is no joke, and I wouldn’t consider weening off my dose until I was sure I found alternatives that might really work to help treat my anxiety.

Right now I am in the research stage so that I can have some ideas to take to my doctor. I’m already aware of the benefits of meditation as well as 5htp and St. John’s Wart. While I do plan on trying 5htp in the future, I cannot take either of those supplements while on the Effexor due to the risk of too much Serotonin, which can be serious and even deadly. So in the mean time I’m looking for even more holistic approached to overall well being and health.

I have always been fascinated by essential oils. I use them regularly in my home in an aromatherapy capacity with my wax warmer. I use lavender when I am feeling anxious or stressed and eucalyptus when I have a stuffy nose. I also put the lavender on the inside of my wrists when I wake up on days that I am feeling particularly anxious. It could all be placebo, but I find it very comforting and calming. And even if it is placebo, it’s working right? The eucalyptus is also fantastic as breaking up a cough and clearing a stuffy nose. It’s a lifesaver in the Winter.

I would like to learn about and try more essential oils and there are so many out there, I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve seen people who sell Young Living Oils rave about how they cure everything, but seeing as they are selling the oils, I am skeptical of their testimonials. I’ve also seen great things about doTERRA oils, but again have concerns about the veracity of the claims since those making them are those selling them.

Do you have any experience or knowledge of what oils I should be looking into? I’m current just using NOW Foods oils I got at Whole Foods, but I don’t know if they are high grade enough fro true therapeutic use, or if that is even an issue in the first place. Any feed back would be much appreciated!

Sick Of Anxiety

I know I’m stating the obvious here, but I am so sick of my anxiety. I’m sick of waking up in the morning and the first feeling I have is one of absolute dread in the pit of my stomach. I know so many others have such worse things to deal with, so my bitching about anxiety can be viewed as obnoxious. I’d agree if this was a pity post. It’s not. It’s an I’m pissed off post.

I realize there are a lot of health issues we don’t have control over. However I feel like I should have control over my thoughts and emotions at the very least. Hard as I try, and I do try, I don’t. So instead, I’m on medication. I used to be on Lexapro and I switched to Effexor last year when the Lexapro stopped working and my anxiety was unbearable. I wish I could go without the medication. I don’t like to think about the possible long-term effects if I stay on it for too long, and it has greatly contributed to my weight gain. But I need it.

I tried cognitive therapy for a while, in addition to medication, but my psychiatrist, who also happened to be my psychologist and I both agreed that cognitive therapy was not effective. You see, I don’t get anxiety over specific issues or concerns. I just wake up feeling it from the second I open my eyes. There aren’t triggers for me to work through. It’s just there. All thanks to my brain chemistry and hormones.

The anxiety I’ve been battling recently is nothing like the anxiety I suffered from last year. That was debilitating. This only occurs the week before my menstrual cycles when my hormones are fluctuating. The rest of the month I am fine. It’s also to a much lesser degree than what I experienced last year. It’s still shitty though and I hate having to suffer through it.

I wish mind over matter was simply that easy, but it’s difficult when your mind is the problem. Even more so when the root of the issue isn’t a tangible problem you can focus on. One thing that does help me is crafting. It allows me to get outside my head and mindlessly focus on a task, allowing me to ignore the ball of worry in my gut. Looks like I’ll be doing a lot of crafting this week….

Introducing A New Linkup!

I am excited to announce that I am teaming up with Kathy and Britt to bring you the Step Up Sunday Linkup! It will be a weekly linkup where we can all share our progress in trying to lose weight while supporting one another. The linkup will also be a great way to accountable to your weight loss and health goals. It’s like a Weight Watchers meeting without the actual meeting! Don’t worry – no one will see or know your weight. We will be posting our progress using “-3 lbs” or “+3 lbs” each week.

The linkup will go live next Sunday January 25th and every Sunday after that, so be sure to log your current stats to track your progress for this week! I know for most of us, posting on Sunday is pretty foreign, but it seems like Sunday is a common weigh-in day for a lot of people and each post should be quick and easy!

Below are the prompts for each week. Feel free to respond to whichever ones you like. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing the number of pounds or inches lost, that is ok! And if you happen to gain, don’t be embarrassed. It happens to all of us and we are here to support one another. Also, if you have a pedometer, you can set a weekly step goal for yourself and track your progress every week, or simply track your weekly exercise if you don’t track your steps.

1. How many pounds did you gain or lose?
 2. How many inches did you gain or lose?
3. Your weekly exercise or step goal, and did you meet it?
4. What was your biggest challenge this week?
5. What is your favorite healthy snack or meal?
6. Do you have any advice or tips for the rest of us?

The Straight Arrow