Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Reason for Good Health

I am truly grateful for doctors and medications, but I really only want to see a doctor for regular illnesses and I only want to take medication if it is absolutely necessary. I just can't tolerate most drugs. Because of my weight I am forced to take medications for high blood pressure and cholesterol. So far I can tolerate the blood pressure meds, but I just can't take the cholesterol meds. They make me sick!!

Last year I started on a cholesterol drug and got so fatigued I ended up getting really sick, that's when I was diagnosed with Hemi Facial Spasms. (Fatigue and stress triggers the spasms.) Because of the spasms the doctors were not sure what was happening, so they decided to take me off of all my meds. It was wonderful, I started feeling human again. I had energy, focus & clarity of mind and a real zest for life. I felt so good and sane that I decided it was time to focus on weight loss and getting healthy again.

This past year, every time I would see my doctor, she was always pushing me to take cholesterol meds. I told her what I'm doing and that I had actually lost weight, but unfortunately my blood work does not reflect a significant enough change for her. There is improvement, but the blood work is still border line and the doctor wanted better results.

So I agreed to start on a new drug on March 1st. The very next day I had a low grade headache that would not go away and each day I would get more and more fatigued. My workouts were pathetic. I could barely do what my trainer asked me to do. Weeks prior I was like a "machine". But since starting the drug I had nothing left to push through. I also was not able to stay up until bedtime. I was going to bed at 8:00pm (or earlier or I would take naps)and getting up at 6:30 instead of my usual 5:00am. Then the worst part was my face started ticking again and I would have bursts of pain in my left cheek - The start of the facial spasms. I also realized my enthusiasm for my weight loss and health plan was waning. I really just did not give a rip anymore. Too tired to care...Augh!

So on March 25th, without my doctor's permission, I took myself off of the drug. Since then my energy has been restored. I feel like the "machine" again!! The headache has subsided - still there - but getting better each day. No more pain in my cheek and only a little tick once in a while. The best part is I am back on my plan ~ ready, focused, and excited out of my mind ~ grateful to feel good again!!!!

This is just another reason why I need to get healthy!! My goal is to get my blood pressure and cholesterol under control and in the normal range. Another reason why I can't quit ~ A perfect reason to stay on task and to reach the goal!!

What reason do you have to get to your total health and fitness goal?


Monday, March 22, 2010

Things are Happening!!

I have not reported my progress yet. I have made a lot of changes and things are starting to happen:

Journal - I keep a daily journal where I record my progress. I track my blood pressure (AM & PM), water and food intake, exercise and weight. It's fun to see my progress from week to week.

Calories - I started keeping track of my calorie intake ~ January 2010. It's amazing how the calories add up. Writing the calories down has really helped keep me focused on my daily goal.

Exercise - Last year, I started with 1 - 2 days per week, 1/2 hour per day - walking and water aerobics. I have worked up to 5 - 6 days per week, 1 to 2 1/2 hours per day - walking, weight lifting, stability ball class, water aerobics, swimming, biking and stretching. Also I started exercising with a personal trainer, Brooke. She has really helped me stretch my confidence. She has shown me that I am a lot stronger than I think and she pushes me to my limit. It's exciting!!

Mobility - I can walk 3 miles, ride my bike for 15 miles, and swim for 30 minutes without stopping. I can squat and jump. I can reach around and wash my back and can turn at my waist and look behind me. I could not do those things a couple of months ago.

Weight Loss - I have lost 27 pounds so far!!

Clothes - I have gone from size 22-24 (sometimes size 26) to size 18-20!!

I have a lot more energy! I sleep really well!! I have clarity of mind and I am still extremely excited and focused on my journey!!!

People are starting to notice the changes in me!!

What have you achieved on your journey? I hope you are well on your way!!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Another Set Back ~ Serious?

OK I am starting to freak out!!! I had another little set back yesterday. Was not feeling well, did not get enough food or water in, but decided to drag myself to the gym anyway. I should have listened to my body and turned around and went home. The first 5 minutes on the treadmill just about killed me!! I did not let it stop me. I pushed through and made it to 30 minutes ~ barely moving, but I made it!! Then I went through my weight routine. Did pretty well and toward the end I decided to see how long I could hold myself in a plank position. I made it to 1 minute 10 seconds and then I heard a "pop" just above my left eyebrow and then I got an extreme headache. I thought oh my gosh, I've blown something in my brain!! Thankfully the headache subsided after a few minutes but I decided to quit my workout and go home.

It's really frustrating because I have had 3 exercise injuries since January, in the emergency room for 2 of them. I just could not bear to go again. I thought I would rather die then go in with another exercise injury. So I waited the night out and felt pretty good by morning. I did call the doctor and she was OK with what happened as I did not have any other symptoms and the headache had subsided. Whew!!

I did end up doing my regular exercise this morning - treadmill for 30 minutes and my physical therapy stretches and then this afternoon I went on a 16 mile bike ride!!!

On my bike ride I hit a rut and almost biffed it on the street. Thank goodness my arms are getting stronger; they helped me pull out of a wreck!!

You know I really wonder why the Lord is allowing all of this to happen. I mean here I am trying to get this weight off. I am doing everything I am supposed to do and I just keep getting road blocks. I guess the lesson here is I have not given up. I am still extremely motivated and excited to get this weight off. Road block, obstacles, injuries or mishaps~I'M NOT GIVING UP!!!!

How about you ~ if this happened to you ~ would you still be fighting to get to your goal? Think about it!!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Rewards

I have noticed something new about myself. I like rewards. I mean I really like them! Rewards seem to motivate me!!

For example: This weeks exercise schedule was the gym on Monday with my personal trainer, Tuesday was water aerobics, Wednesday was the gym (weights), Thursday was Stability Ball Class (I will talk more about that one later), Friday was the treadmill & stretches at home and Saturday was my reward!!! Lap swimming at the pool. I love it!!

Then I realized while I was at the pool this morning, during my lap time, I worked pretty hard and was looking forward to my next reward. After a hard swim I love to take the last 5 minutes and leisurely swim a couple of laps. Then every time I'm in the deep end, I spend some time just bobbing up and down in the water. Don't know why this makes me so happy. It's just really relaxing and it cools me down. You should try it!!

After bike riding my reward is taking the last 1/2 miles of my ride and I try to coast all the way home without pedaling. I go really fast ~ it's a little edgy because of the car dodging and sharp corners, but it's exhilarating!!!

I have not found any rewards yet for water aerobics other than I love talking with the ladies and encouraging them! I think my rewards for the gym time will be increasing my weights each time. That will be fun!!! And the only thing I can think of for a reward for the Stability Ball class is really just getting through the class alive!! I have never worked so hard in my life!!! It is a butt busting class for sure!!

Anyway I can see how motivating rewards are with my workouts. I am looking forward to creating some rewards for other things in my life. Rewards are great!!

What are your rewards? Think about it!!!


Friday, March 12, 2010

The Bad Things About Being Fat vs. The Good Things About Being Healthy

Just sitting here thinking about this whole journey. I never really took the time to think about what it's like being fat and what it has cost me.

What it's like ~ Well since I have been fat....
1.) I have probably been passed over for jobs, promotions and made less money.
2.) I have not been able to do the sports that I like: Skiing (water & snow), racquetball, and horse back riding to name a few.
3.) Clothes shopping! What a disaster! I have not been able to go into a regular store and buy clothes off of the rack for years. I mean cute clothes. Yes there are the "regular" stores that accommodate large sized people, but I am sick of the tent shaped clothes that have the large printed flowers all over them.
4.) I am sick of being invisible!!
5.) I am sick of not being able to fit into an airplane or theater seat. I am always worried that I may break a chair. One time I went to a wedding. It was outside and they had these really nice white chairs all in a row. You've seen them before. Anyway, I get to my seat just in time and the music begins. I take my seat and all of a sudden everyone hears "crack"!! I broke my chair. Do you know that I was in a sitting position the entire ceremony without a chair? It was still there, but it was completely broken and was no support what so ever. By the time the wedding was over my legs were burning, cramped and so sore that I could hardly walk. Needless to say, I did not do any dancing that night.
6.) It's hard to buy shoes, cute shoes, with fat feet!!
7.) Jewelry - have you ever tried to find a bracelet that fits?
8.) I have experienced the following health problems due to my weight: High blood pressure, high Cholesterol, bunions, carpal tunnel, sleep apnea, and feet and knee problems.

I am not saying it's not possible to look good when you are fat, because I do look good, but I only have one store that really has a good selection of stylish clothes and accessories. Pretty limited. And besides that, this store is very expensive - simple t-shirt is $20. It's expensive to be fat, everything that I need costs more!!

Have you ever watched those programs that have heavy women on them who say, "I love my body, I love my fat!" Paaalease!! I don't buy it. There are no good things about being fat! Well I guess there are some....I am speaking about myself....I used my fat to shield myself from people and to avoid reaching my potential. I used food to make me feel better, my comforter. Where did it get me? Nothing but heartache and despair!

Benefits of being healthy. In two and half months I am only taking two blood pressure medications instead of three. My skin has cleared up. I went down a whole size in clothes. I can go up stairs without having a heart attack. I can walk anywhere (There was a time where I could not walk from my car to the mall doors). I know how much water I drink and how many calories I eat each day. I work out 5-6 days per week. I have more energy and I look and feel better!!! I have focus, I am determined, I am excited and I'm reaching toward my goal!!

Being healthy has so many benefits. I chose health. How about you?


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another Set Back ~ Really?

Have you ever had set back after set back? Seems I have had a few lately!! When I hurt my knee recently, I shared with my doctor that last year I had worked with another doctor who was helping me with my feet. I had had a lot of pain and after a bunch of tests they found that I have bone spurs on both heels and on top of the right foot, a problem with an old bunion surgery from years ago, found that 50% of my Achilles heel on the left foot is gone and the calf tendons in both legs are too short and they needed to be lengthened. That doctor suggested I have surgery to fix these problems. Unfortunately the week that I got this diagnoses, was the same week that I had my first Hemi Facial Spasm. It was decided because the spasms were more serious; I had to put the feet problems on the back burner.

As time went on the Hemi Facial Spasms subsided and so did the pain in my feet. I kind of forgot that I needed to get the surgery done. In talking with my new knee doctor, he felt that I needed to get a second opinion on my feet and see if surgery was really necessary. I have to tell you this did not make me happy!! I asked him why should I put myself through all of the pain and recovery of surgery when I'm not currently experiencing pain in my feet? He advised that, by waiting, I might be causing more damage and could complicate a future surgery.

Anyway to cut the story short, I went to the new foot doctor today. He reviewed my x-rays, MRI and chart notes and confirmed that I do have some pretty serious issues with my feet. However, instead of surgery, he would like to try physical therapy first!

He is very encouraged because of all the efforts I am taking to get the weight off. Said less weight would help a lot!!! He also recommended that I wear shoes with heels. He said that he almost never recommends that, but because of my situation it would be helpful!! Yeah cute summer shoes!!

So for now, I'm off the hook, well for surgery anyway. Does not mean I'm off the hook for hard work. Physical therapy is not easy!

The best and most amazing part of this whole thing is, that I was still trying to figure out how to stay healthy even if I had to have surgery. I was already thinking of a way to get my cardio in, I figured I could still lift weights and I could still watch my calorie intake. I was reminded that no matter what happens in my life, I can still make the right healthy choice and I don't have to quit my program or plan because "life happens". This is a huge break through for me!!

Anyway, have you thought about what you would do to stay healthy when life throws you a curve ball? What is your plan?


Monday, March 8, 2010

Chubby Legs In Short Shorts

Had my first session with my personal trainer and it went pretty well. I am encouraged, as I'm not as bad off as I thought, I am pretty strong. I do think I will be a little sore tomorrow!!

My advice is to never wear short shorts to your first visit with a trainer. First thing she did was put me on the bike, in the front row, in front of the mirror. All I could see was chubby legs and a whole lot of them! I am quite sure that I turned some heads in the gym, not in a good way. This did not make me feel too attractive. But you know I gritted it out!! I worked my hiney off and I did not care what people thought!! The whole time I was thinking, "Yeah go ahead and laugh, this is temporary!! My legs won't always be chubby!!"

My trainer put me on a reasonable plan for now and I am excited to get going. Monday and Wednesday is cardio & weights, Tuesdays is water aerobics, Thursday is stability ball class and Friday is cardio.

Waiting to get to the nutritionist!!

Words of wisdom - "Be all you can be, do what you can and don't ever, ever, ever, ever give up!!"


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sick Of Myself

Geez after reading my last blog ~ I'm sick of myself!! To be honest I have been on a little pity party for a while. I have lost my "joy"!!! Mostly I think it's because I've put so much focus on my "poor" health and lost sight of what I'm really supposed to do. And that is to keep focused on the plan and do the best I can everyday. If I eat well, exercise, take care of myself mentally, spiritually and physically, take care of my family, work and have a little fun, if I do it well, then the rest is up to the Lord. If he sees fit for me to have injuries, then I am to face it with "joy". If I lose a pound or two or gain some, I am to face it with "joy". If I get bad news from the doctors, if I wreck my car, if I eat too much, if I, if I, if I do whatever it is and do it with "joy", then the rest is up Him. This whole thing is really out of my hands and EVERYTHING is in His!!

Boy that takes the pressure off. Does it mean I live carelessly, without rules, and basically run amok? NO!! I still have to honor Him with all I do and with all I am. If I am obedient to Him I believe He will take care of the rest.

Today I decided that everytime I had a pain, I would pray for someone who was sick. If I thought about my finances, I would pray for someone who does not have a job. If I thought about how dirty my house is, I would pray for the people in Haiti or Chile. If I was upset with my kids, I would pray for families that can't have children. Whatever my problems are, I am taking the focus off of me and I'm praying for others. Try it!!

Do you do your best everyday? I am praying that you do!!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Set Backs

Set backs are no fun. Have you ever had one? Well I feel like I've had more than my fair share this week. Still experiencing pain in my chest due to the contusion, the knee is slow in getting better, found out that I have several more weeks of physical therapy. Went to the doctors yesterday for the annual check up and blood work. The doctor said my cholesterol is not getting better, no longer is she suggesting the medication, she's already ordered it from the pharmacy. She also said my iron is low and she's concerned with what she sees on the liver test. She's recommending a specialist.

Please don't get me wrong, I am truly grateful that I have medical insurance, but I have to say that I am sick to death of going to the doctors all the time. Seems I get one step forward to good health and then have to take a couple of steps back. I am feeling rather frazzled.

I have to say that I am breaking old patterns! Well before now I would have quit my health and exercise program. I would have gone to my favorite fast food restaurant and had a SUPER SIZED burger, fries and a milkshake. I would have eaten a ton of candy at work. I would not have exercised, consumed my water, journaled my food and calories or take the time to write about this on a weight loss journey blog. I would have given up!!

Praise the Lord that I am still focused. I am excited. A little concerned on how I am going to manage new doctors, meds, a nutritionist and a personal trainer and oh yeah, husband, family, work, church and everything else I do. This time....I will not quit, I will do everything I need to do and I will do it well!!!

I read this scripture today that really helped me make it through the day:

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:3-5

Hang in there my friend, keep focused, push through and grit it out.