Dreams and sleep

All posts in the Dreams and sleep category

Coffee lovers

Published May 20, 2022 by shoutyourheadoff

Coffee is one of the beverages you can easily find anywhere you go in the world and mostly during the visit of any cities, countries… So, there are plenty of coffee shops and restaurants offering coffee on the beverage menu inside Nairobi city. You may have delicious coffee at any Java house, Art café… And […]

Coffee lovers

New Beginnings- Conclusion

Published May 10, 2022 by shoutyourheadoff

Firstly, an apology to my followers and readers for not posting for over five weeks. I went on a vacation to Portugal for a week during the last week in March and then flew to Canada, where I stayed just over three weeks. I went to see my younger sister, whom I had not seen for nearly three years due to the Covid pandemic.

As far as my journey during the past eight weeks is concerned, I am carrying on with the process to reverse my diabetes by losing weight and controlling my carb intake to bring sugar levels down. The weight loss has been maintained at 88kgs despite a little overindulgence during my vacation. This was something I could not control as I was being looked after and spoilt by my dear sister.!!

I have to also mention that the walking journey of 300k steps for Marie Curie Cancer care went extremely well and I have achieved over 400k steps in total and raised £471 in the process. I went on some wonderful walks in Portugal and Canada to complete them. More on this in a new post later!

I have now taken on the challenge of completing 500k or more steps in the million steps campaign run by Diabetes UK. This will take place from the 1st of July 2022 and finish in September 2022, so I have plenty of time, and I’m confident that I will achieve more than I have taken on, bearing in mind, how many steps I did in March 2022. I will be posting links and stories on my JustGiving page for Diabetes UK.

Why am I taking on another challenge you may ask? Well, as you all know, I went through Cancer and also have diabetes and a heart condition. In taking up these challenges, I have been able to prove to myself that anything is possible, especially as my recovery from Covid 19 in January 2021 took its toll on my ability to walk even short distances. And as you have all witnessed from my posts, I managed to recover quite well and started to take on challenges to spur me on.

Thank you to everyone who follows my journey, supports me with likewise content and encourages me along the way. I really appreciate all of you for taking the time out to read my story. I hope that I have kept all of you interested enough to stay the course and keep on following me.

Thank You once again.

New Beginnings-Week 7

Published February 22, 2022 by shoutyourheadoff

I am one more week away from my goal of weight reduction and diabetes reversal. The good news is that my weight is halfway to my target and my sugar levels are doing ok, but not great. But I am not feeling dejected at the diabetes target, not being achieved in the eight week period. It is a tall order for such a dramatic achievement, and am certain that eventually,I will achieve my goal.

I have had sleepless nights all week, possibly from long covid. It is one of the side effects of covid 19. I don’t like to make excused and say that my diet is being affected by sleepless nights. Although not sleeping enough has its own knock-on effects, I have not let this get in the way. It’s a tougher slog, but very doable. My exercise level has increased by 15 minutes from an hour. I’m still practising my walks to achieve the 10000 steps a day challenge that I am taking from the 1st of March, for the Marie Curie cancer care charity. I’m including the link for the donations if anyone wishes to do so. No pressure though!

The mental state is good. I have found that meditating daily, even for short half-hour sessions can be very helpful in achieving the calmness of the mind, gaining perspective for your daily life and achieving your best potential. Mediating, for me, was quite difficult for me in the beginning because I could not concentrate my mind on the techniques. I say perseverance is the key, but the most important thing is either doing it alone in a quiet place or in a group session where everyone is on the same path. Good luck to all that may take on this very important part of our lives.

Photo by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels.com

So, this is my update for week 7. So close to my target and yet so far. But stay with me, as your continued support is my encouragement. Take care and be safe…….

New Beginnings-Week 6

Published February 15, 2022 by shoutyourheadoff

I should be jumping for joy. Six weeks into my diet to reverse my diabetes and lose at least 10 kilos of weight was in my sights. But, I am still level pegging with last week, but if the “myFitnesspal” app is anything to go by, then I should not get disillusioned. The prediction to come down to 77kilos is still on track.

Here are images of some of my healthy option meals, which make up part of my daily intake with almond milk juices made with superfood mixes and blueberries, strawberries and kiwi fruit but not altogether as that would definitely spike my sugars.

Sprouted Legumes salad only

So above are some of the creations that keep me on track with the diet. As far as exercise goes, I am now achieving over 1 hour of elliptical training and between 6k to 7k steps, burning on average 700 calories.

But the weight loss is slow, and it should suddenly start to go down. Mentally, I am coping better than I expected as doing this alone is hard work. To inspire me, I have signed up for the “Marie Curie Cancer charity by doing a 10000k steps challenge daily for the whole of March. Look out for my fundraiser, where I have set a target of 2000k pounds sterling.

More next week…..until then, my dear readers take care and be safe.

New Beginnings- Week 5

Published February 8, 2022 by shoutyourheadoff

This week has been a big booster to my morale. I’ve lost 2kgs and come down to 89.1kg.

This feels good because I am still on target with all my measurements, ie, Blood pressure, sugar levels all below or within expectation. I have to admit that on Saturday 5th February, I thought I would be struggling to keep to my target and diet, as I had been invited to a dinner by my brother and sister-in-law, to celebrate 45 years of marriage!

So obviously, I did indulge a bit more than my normal daily intake. I was reading to get on the scales. But I gave my stomach rest on Sunday by just eating one main meal and a liquid breakfast of a superfood drink made from almond milk and blueberries. I am using, or rather trialing for myself a superfoods powder made by Nutriseed. This one drink in the morning gives me enough nutrients, protein and carbs until lunchtime.

I also have to bring back my state of mind because we all know how food affects mood swings. Well, mine does anyway, and I did have an episode for two days, where I was down in un dumps and couldn’t easily pick myself up. I couldn’t really work out what was weighing me down, and it came quite suddenly. However, I did some meditation, mind searching, and deep breathing exercises to overcome my problems. I still don’t know what had happened to make me feel like this. It was a debilitating type of feeling, constantly questioning myself. And did I find the answer? NO ! and that is a little frustrating because if it happens again, I want to be able to deal with it quickly.

On a positive note, I am receiving positive feedback from the readers of my journey, so thank you to all the comments and likes, which only encourages me to get that goal.

Until week 6 then……….!

5 Reasons You Have Haters

Published February 8, 2022 by shoutyourheadoff

Many of the greatest, most tender-hearted, and level-headed people I know have a pack of haters behind them. And many of them don’t understand why. Down through the years, I’ve heard them ask, “What did I ever do to them?” or “I know I’m not a bad person and I treat everyone how I would […]

5 Reasons You Have Haters

New Beginnings-Week4

Published January 31, 2022 by shoutyourheadoff

Back so quick after my delayed input last week. The diet is still on track and today’s weigh-in showed the same small difference as last week, which is just under a kilo. The blood pressure and sugar readings have steadied markedly. I.E Blood pressure is normal and sugar levels are below 8 every day. This means I am feeling much better in myself, and my hands are not as shaky as before.

My exercise regime is continuing with me having added an elliptical trainer to my equipment along with a different static bike which I was lucky enough to source from Facebook for only £15! Yes, £15 only. I can’t believe it myself as they are both very good makes.

What about my food? Well, I did lapse once during the week and had too much carbohydrate in the diet. The dreaded plate of chips. I have been very good though, having almost taken bread and potatoes out of my diet, replacing it with pasta made from peas, adding a small sweet potato or butternut squash. all within acceptable limits, otherwise I will be fighting a losing battle.

And my mental well being has been tested once more as the quest for my goal continues and without going into detail, just like buses, trouble comes in three’s. Maybe, when I am up to revealing things, I might write in a future week. But for now, it’s locked away. I know that the readers of my story will be keen to learn what has happened, but do not worry. It is all in hand.

I was encouraged to seek employment today by, someone, I know through Facebook and so I took the steps necessary and created a CV. It’s very short as I was employed for 35 years with the same company!

And to top that, I was in conversation with a car mechanic about fixing my daughter’s car and we got chatting about things. He asked me if I would like to work for him in an admin capacity 3 to 4 days a week. I am truly blessed is how I feel, when an opportunity comes knocking at your doorstep.

My next write up should be with more good news I hope. Until next week…..!

New Beginnings-Week 3

Published January 28, 2022 by shoutyourheadoff

Once again a delay in my update. I’m almost into week 4! The diet has been going well and the progress is slow but on track. Another kilo down, with eight more to go. The App I am using has predicted a that I should weigh 83.1kg in five weeks if I carry on the way I am doing. It has been tough though. There are moments when I feel so down, I feel like just stopping and enjoying what I have left. Then, my thinking process brings me back to my goal. I keep reminding myself that if I want to enjoy life as I want to, then having a healthy body, and mind will be better than struggling through. For example,I had covid in early January of 2021, and the breathing problems I had after I got discharged, were so frustrating and debilitating, that it was at this low point that I had made up my mind to get fit again. The exercise regime I followed was as recommended by the physio at the hospital, and I persevered. Not being able to climb the stairs without getting breathless to walking continuously for over an hour on a treadmill and using the indoor cycle, gave me the boost I needed, mentally to achieve this goal I have set for myself. When I said, it’s been tough, this is mainly because of maintaining a single person diet that is enjoyable, interesting and not hard to cook or create. I’m learning new tricks, creating my own recipes that suit my lifestyle and taste. For example, I created a scrambled tofu recipe, with peppers, tomato and onions, with garlic as optional to have in a wrap or on toast or by itself.

The exercise routine has been hard to keep up it this week because of family demands. But I am now on track again since today. I invested in a static cycle and elliptical trainer. Now I have to make use of them daily by setting myself goals.

What is my mental/emotional status? That’s one for later. I believe that if the mindset falters, all goals fall by the wayside. And I must say that doing things alone is doable but harder I think. It’s like not being able to show someone your pride in yourself for your achievements, getting that well done pat on the back. Sounds egotistic right? It’s my state of mind. Although these things don’t normally bother me, when the gloom button hits the mind, so does the negative thinking get worse.

Let’s see what week 4 brings…..soon

New Beginnings-Week 2

Published January 20, 2022 by shoutyourheadoff

I am a few days late updating my log of the story of the new beginnings. But better late than never, I say. Seriously, though, due to bereavements in the family and covid related illnesses, my focus was elsewhere. Thankfully, it wasn’t me who had the Covid symptoms but a family member. I still managed to keep to my diet and although I did not get the desired weight loss, I am on track.

Emotionally, it’s been a tough two weeks. Nothing to do with the diet though. I learnt yesterday, that a childhood friend of my wife has lymphoma- cancer of the glands in the neck and is seriously ill. I’m praying for her daily now. The news came as a shock to me. I had not heard from her for nearly a year and I was feeling a bit peeved at not receiving any contact. But I haven’t stopped castigating myself for this feeling I had towards her and am constantly berating myself. You never know the circumstances of someone and having negative views had made me rethink how I feel about close friends who have not stayed in touch. Maybe, they are thinking the same as I am, because I didn’t stay in touch either.

So I managed to lose only another half a kilo, but small losses over the eight-week target should show the result I am after which is a 10-kilogram weight loss and a possible very positive result with my diabetes’ reversal progress. I have maintained my exercise regime of walking, indoor cycling and stretching daily.

I also learned from other people who have had strict regimes in their lifestyle. Like eating freshly cooked homemade meals everyday, within diet limits. No junk food or outside sourced food at all. Three meals a day and the last meal of the day should be 6.30pm latest. After that, early to bed for a minimum eight hours sleep. Apparently, the brain works even harder during our sleep, so this is most important for the brain and body to get a really good night’s sleep.

The above is very hard to follow in today’s busy lifestyles. Maintaining a certain strict regimen in your life takes some doing, especially if you’re in a family unit that has differing dietary needs. But now that I have managed to bring some form of regular eating and exercise habits in my life, I am feeling much better. My body doesn’t ache anymore and my moods are much better, meaning I have clearer thinking through the day. I feel confident, better about myself and look forwards to getting up. I enjoy cooking, experimenting with new dishes that are not fattening, but definitely wholesome.

Looking forward to write my next update again in week 3…….

My Emotional State -Revisited

Published December 28, 2021 by shoutyourheadoff

The last time I wrote about my emotional state was way back in 2017. Almost five years now, and the rollercoaster of emotions is still in full flow. For everyone, and myself and my family, the past two years have been very difficult indeed due to the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

Going backward, I talked about my wife who was very ill and had been given a maximum of 5 years to live. Unfortunately, she passed away in August 2019. And then about 9 months later, my eldest sister passed away, at the end of April 2020. Many other relatives have died too, but sometimes,in times of your own grief, even this is difficult to talk about. It was already a difficult time and losing family members at the very difficult time of the Covid 19 lockdown was harder as people were not allowed to say goodbye to loved ones in the hospital. Added to that, funerals were a maximum of 10 attendees. My emotional state in 2017 wasn’t revealed fully. As humans, we often can’t open up fully about our emotions and when they are heightened, then it’s even more difficult. I was hoping that I wasn’t going to use the word”depression” or “depressed”. Owning up that there is something seriously wrong with your mind, and body and feelings don’t come easily, because acceptance of that fact by the self is the first step. I wanted so much to open my mind to someone professional or even a close friend or a stranger even. Things building up needed to come out, but the bottle top was tightly shut and wasn’t budging. The days going forward got harder and I was putting on the biggest pretense of my life. I was behaving normally every day, and little did people know what was really happening inside. I should have won an Oscar for my performance from 2017 till even now in 2021.

When I look back and analyze what was going wrong, it makes me too emotional. I was dealing with a lot of traumatic incidences in my life, and also learning to be a full-time carer to someone who was the most active, exuberant, lively, happy-go-lucky person that I had the pleasure of knowing and being a husband to. When someone, whose personality I have just described goes into a serious illness and isn’t able to even look after her basic needs is in a more emotional upheaval than yourself. So then, how could I have shown my softer side that was also killing my thought process? It was killing my feelings. It was killing how I interacted daily, especially when I had to put on an act. It was killing me physically too as I wasn’t taking care of my own health. And the heart problem I had in 2016 was a reminder of how quickly one’s life can take a drastic turn. It could have been fatal, but I survived.And thankfully too. Because I always think, about how my wife would have coped if I hadn’t been around. I am forever thankful to God for saving me and making me be a carer to someone, whom I had loved with all my heart and spent 40 happy years with.

You know, watching someone die daily in front of your eyes is extremely hard. Because you feel so so helpless. You can go about your daily life, wishing, praying, looking for a miracle, and knowing that it’s not coming.

Back to my emotional state. Back in 2017, I was in a bad state, and now in 2021, I am in the same state, but coping better. Losing my wife was tough and every lonely second makes it tougher. I am quite a strong-minded person and usually deal with all my problems, even though I know that I need to get that help, which we all know is out there. I took that step once, guided by my elder brother, who took it upon himself to book me a free session. I went to the counselor. Before reaching her office, I had my trepidations but went there anyway. I sat opposite her, having been made comfortable and relaxed. As the questions came, with an invitation to say what I needed to, without being led there, I had already broken down into my second or third sentence. I tried to compose myself. It was no good. That pent-up emotion was bubbling out fast, making me hurt even more. I couldn’t carry on. I had to excuse myself, to use the bathroom hoping to go back and start afresh. No way. It was not happening. I thanked the nice lady and decided to leave. When I sat back in the car, I broke up again. I knew what was wrong. I knew what was getting into my head. I knew this was the path to take. Cry. Weep. Sob, whatever, just get back in there and start again. Instead, the demon that has been destroying my insides, won. I drove off.

Can you imagine how I was feeling of late? If I can’t talk to a professional, then who?

I know that what I have bottled up needs to escape from within. It going to hurt something crazy. But I have to do it, or the pent-up emotions, feelings, state of mind are going to destroy the essence of my soul.

I’ve got a set of oracle cards given to me by my daughter a couple of years ago. They are called “Messages from your Animal Spirit Guides”. I am a bit of a sceptic when it comes to horoscopes and similar types of cards, eg, Tarot cards. However, I have had surprising results on many an occasion. I saw the box lying on the kitchen counter and decided to pick three random cards after a good shuffle. And the animals that would be my spirit guides came out as “PUEO”(poo-ay-oh) which is a hawaiian owl. The short message on the card was “your spirit guides are offering guidance now, so pay close attention to signs and omens from them”

There is a full explanation in the guide book that accompanies the cards. I was quite surprised by this card as it was telling me that I was being guided by some ancestors that have died, no matter when and how old. I lost my brother-in-law on the 5th of January 2022. How odd. My wife died on 5th of August 2019. So who is guiding me . I have been in a quandary about a personal matter that I have not dealt with yet. There have been many deaths in the family in the past 25 years or so. And so it could be anyone, but I feel, it may be someone I think of daily.

My second card was a Penguin. “the period of darkness you have been experiencing is passing” read the short message. When I read the full explanation, I was again aghast with surprise. without going into great detail, it told me everything that I have been trying to write about in this emotional rollercoaster of mine. Almost to the letter, there were things in there that came up that were and have been part of my upheaval and healing process. It talked about all the hardships and challenges I have been experiencing of late. It talked about the loss of loved ones. It talked about daily difficulties. And so it went, revealing a surprising amount of what my emotional state is all about. Maybe, these words in the guide will help me do the self healing?

And the final card was a Weasel. The short note read “be silent, pay attention and simply observe with your eyes, ears, and physical feelings what is happening inside and all around you”. The detailed content in the guide talked about the stuff I have endured so far and how I should take a deep breath and another and another and then listen to my enviornment , my body, the feelings I have etc. As I had dealt myself these three random cards, and being the non -believer that I can be, I felt a little energised. I felt maybe, even though these are just oracle cards, maybe, there is some thruth in what each one portrays. For me, it was exactly what is, and has happened in my life so far. I don’t intend to pull another three cards tomorrow, but the temptation remains in the form of intrigue.

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