Thursday, September 24, 2009

Body Mass Index and other scary tests

It was much better than I expected. No poking or prodding or weighing was involved this time around, and no BMI (body mass index) measurements were taken, thank goodness! I am so relieved.

Earlier this morning, you'd think I was preparing for a first date or something! I was nervous, sweaty (or, was that a hot flash?) and completely absorbed by my wardrobe's lack of choices."What should I wear", is a question that goes through my mind every day, but this morning, it was "What sporty thing should I wear", which limits things considerably because I'm not a sporty kind of girl.

I settled on a pair of running shorts (never been worn for running before, only for walking) a yoga top (you guessed it, never been worn for yoga but nice and cool for working in the garden) followed by a colourful hoodie, just in case it was cold in the office and my yoga top felt too bare, and then I topped that off with my bright turquoise cycling jacket which looks like I probably just did something athletic, or at least have a mind to do something healthy soon. And my runners were fairly new and presentable. I think I'll fit in now, I thought.

Next came the makeup… and I needed to be careful there too… not too much and not too little. I settled for a dash of eye shadow, and a light lip gloss, hoping that the overall effect was well tended and again, sporty!

Then, armed with my completed health questionaire, I went to drop off the kids at school, and on to my 9 am appointment at the iQuest Healthcare and Fitness Centre.

Why all this drama for me today? Because today was the day that I officially enrolled in the newly launched iQuest Women's Life Balance Program. My friend Lorne Friesen, Director of iQuest Kelowna, recently presented me with a great opportunity that allows me to focus purposefully on my health, while exercising my love of writing. I am to be honoured with being one of the first clients to participate in the Women's Life Balance Program, and I will write about my experiences, and I will share my stories with you.

So all of my preparation this morning was leading up to my first physician assessment at iQuest, and I didn't quite know what to expect, how I would fit in, what the outcomes would be, and most of all, how embarrassed I would be to learn how unhealthy and unfit I really am. As it turned out, my experience was completely comfortable, because iQuest is a comfortable place, whether you are 'sporty' or not. The people who work there make it that way.

Dr. Grant Pagdin's assessment was more of a conversation really. We spent our hour talking about the various aspects of living a balanced and healthy lifestyle, how this relates to life in menopause, and the new possibilities offered now with Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (BHT). I felt at ease talking about myself and where I was at, asking him lots of questions, and he patiently answered every one. I came away feeling more educated, listened to, and entertaining the possibility that there were new options for me and other women who are struggling with the sometimes overwhelming symptoms of the 'pause' (see this previous post).

So, next steps for me are 'salivary testing' to determine hormone levels in my body, an appointment with iQuest's Naturopathic Doctor to discuss holistic treatment options for menopause, and then some strength and agility testing. Nobody mentioned the BMI yet, so maybe that's not going to happen. I really don't need a test to tell me that my middle is wider than it was before… just someone to help me manouver through these waters of menopause with grace and a sense of being in control of my own healthy lifestyle choices.

Salivary testing is done at home… and it involves spitting… hummm…


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the good, the bad, the ugly

The good;

• sun is shining outside yet again… these autumn days are warm, yellow, wonderful.

• kids are all back in school again.

• my throat doesn't hurt today.

• my email is back online.

• God loves me and has given me a good life.

• I have friends.

• Chicken noodle soup is good for the soul… not the books, the soup!

• there are groceries in the fridge and dinner plans in my head.

• there is a sleeping dog on my couch because he and I had a good long walk.

The bad;

• someone hacked into Bob's business account and took his money.

• the days go by too quickly with too little to show for it… unless writing is considered by non-writers to be productive? Does it really matter?

• poetry is not considered to be writing, by some people.

• some people don't read.

• I can't remember what I read this morning… and I'll have to read it over again!

The ugly;

• my car is in dire need of a wash and vac.

• there are hampers full of dirty clothes upstairs.

• I still care too much about what other people do, say and think.

• even after I re-read what I forgot, I will still struggle to put it into action, and will most likely forget it again.

• I don't want to do the laundry.

• I don't want to wash and vac. the car.

Well, that's about it for now… and at the end of it all, the good outweighs the bad and the ugly. So, I guess that's good. Unless I add the bad and ugly together and then it's… more heavily weighted on the negative side of things… but who's counting!

I prefer to keep looking up!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ranting and reckoning

A short rant on a (the) virtual enemy…

What the? So my email suddenly goes AWOL, and once I dig into the problem I discover, with the assistance of my husband's amazing technical wiz Wayne at his office, that my email has been 'harvested'! What on earth is that? Harvested by online 'bots' whose job is to find email addresses with unprotected something-or-others and then somehow hack into personal information, including passwords, and hijack everything.

Why would anyone do this? "You don't know the criminal mind, Mom." my 13 year old says. But why would any criminal want anything of mine? Especially the email of a 40 something suburbanite wife and mother, who writes poetry? I just don't get it… and I guess that's just the thing… it's not to be gotten! It just is. And people like me… naive, honest, trusting people like me who strive to learn to navigate the virtual world in an attempt to impact the real world, do so without really knowing or understanding some of the potential dangers that come along with this territory.

So you are probably saying to yourself… it was only your email address, not your bank account and not true identitly theft… right? But, this person (whose email was actually programmed as a forwarding address with my internet provider - sick!) didn't just steal my personal email (remember that mail theft is a federal offense in the United States… and maybe Canada too), but they took my information and that of many others from a huge online community called 'Faithwriters', and posted them on a website… with dark intent… they placed me and those others on a list… an anti-christian, gay bashing 'watch list'… and THAT makes me really PO'd. That makes my skin crawl. That makes me want to reach along the vast miles of internet highways and bi-ways and… what? And what? (take a deep breath…)

And here I'll have to park… 'cause it shouldn't surprise me, and it shouldn't shock me, and it certainly shouldn't cause me to hesitate for one moment to continue what I'm doing here… writing things down… writing poetry… speaking my heart out… speaking my mind… sharing God stuff. 'Cause when I do that, then somebody is certainly bound to get PO'd… and try to stop me… even if it's just by making me feel a little foolish, or perhaps a little fearful, or maybe by stealing my email.

Well, I call your bluff!!!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Flu season already?

It's been a few days since I've written… went quickly from summer holidays, to back to school prep., to FLU (or some un-named virus with flu-like symptoms)! How frustrating for my poor sick kids… to just get into their new classes with their new teachers and new classmates, then have to stay at home with sore throats, headaches, fever, cough, stomach aches, and no energy to do anything other than press the remote button from time to time, and whine a little bit.

I feel badly for them because I know there will be catch up to do, new concepts to learn outside of regular class time, and the added stress of having missed school life for a few days. I wonder if they caught it at school, or exactly how we could have moved from the happy, healthy days of summer to this, so quickly?

And now, just as we are coming close to the end of the sickness for them, I catch it. Last night I couldn't sleep due to a throat so sore that I had trouble swallowing. I tried a couple of home remedies… one you probably know about, the other is, well, a little suspect. But, I was desperate last night.

The first was to swallow a teaspoon full of liquid honey. Ummm, that felt rather good going down, smooth, sweet, covering the throat with a calming coating… which only lasted for a few minutes before the pain kicked in again.

The second involved dill pickles. First, I swallowed a tablespoon of the liquid from the pickle jar… now this has to be garlic dill pickles apparently, because the combination of garlic and dill is a disinfectant/antiseptic in some way. Then, as a chaser, you eat a pickle. Ta da… done! And again, the result was rather calming for a few more minutes… and then, the pain came back. At least my hunger pangs were satiated at 12:30 am. But my throat, not happy at all.

So, I headed back to bed with lozenges, a glass of water, and a large portion of self pity for company. And I tried to sleep as best I could.

This morning things are a bit brighter… always better in the day light, isn't it? Today I'm more able to care for my son who has taken up residence on the couch again. Poor boy has pink eye, nose bleeds, and a sore throat too. I need to check in on him now, so I'll leave you with a helpful list of things you might want to have on hand for this winter's flu season. I might have been better prepared if I'd had this list last week. Oh well, it's not winter yet, is it?

This too will pass.



Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Virtual awards


I've never received a virtual award before… and maybe a real one only a couple of times. Once in middle school I received a Citizenship Award for being a good and caring student, and another time a Participation Award for completing the Canada Fitness Challenge without giving up. So, you can imagine my amazement at receiving an award for being 'Neighbourly'!

My online friend Pastor Sharon at Dances with God gave me this award in thanks for my support of a not so popular blog she posted some time ago. And I thank her for her kindness to me, and for the honour and the cool badge that I can post in various places. Thanks Sharon!

It feels wonderful to get recognition of any kind, yet I feel something slightly different about being recognized for my character rather than my achievement. There's this small pang of disappointment that my blog (and I) weren't chosen for great writing, or incredible impact, or excellent research, or hilarious content… rather than being recognized for being a loving neighbour to my internet friend.

It reminds me of a verse that goes something like this, 'beauty fades and charm is fleeting, but a woman of the Lord is to be praised'. Do I want to be a woman of the Lord - oh yes, please let that be true. But, do I want to also be beautiful and charming as well - yes I admit I do, maybe even more so on some days.

It's that constant vying of flesh and spirit inside me that causes my angst. And I know I'm maybe disclosing too much reality here for some, but the physical world gets it's claws in sometimes, and those deadly things that God hates raise their ugly heads in my life, my mind, my actions. I wish I could say it wasn't so, but it is.

So here I am, with my very first 'award', and I feel disappointed. So pathetic. So true. And I can see that I need to do some damage control. So, I'm going to keep this short, and go hang out on my porch with a coffee, my dog and the good book. Yep, that's where my attitude will get readjusted, where forgiveness can be requested and received. And that's where my focus can change from earthly to eternal rewards.

Forgive me this today,



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