October 2011

Me with Jeff Galloway - Jan 2010

At Engine 2 Immersion with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and Rip Esselstyn 9/24/11

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Do. Or Do Not. There is No Try.

I started my journey to improving my health in early August 2009. I was almost 40 pounds overweight, stopped watching what I ate, or exercising, had just been put on high blood pressure medication by my doctor, was unhappy with how I looked and how I felt and still depressed after my parents had both passed away 2 years earlier. The shock of being put on high blood pressure medication (and winding up with my parents’ health problems) served as my ‘wake-up call’. The day after I saw my ...
I started my journey to improving my health in early August 2009. I was almost 40 pounds overweight, stopped watching what I ate, or exercising, had just been put on high blood pressure medication by my doctor, was unhappy with how I looked and how I felt and still depressed after my parents had both passed away 2 years earlier. The shock of being put on high blood pressure medication (and winding up with my parents’ health problems) served as my ‘wake-up call’. The day after I saw my doctor, I unfolded my treadmill, started tracking my food and started using SparkPeople .

In the beginning, I just made a commitment to myself that I would walk 30 minutes per day seven days a week and start tracking my food. Gradually, I added more healthy habits into the mix. I decided I was not going to go on a specific plan (like Weight Watchers) but instead, this time, I was going to figure out for myself, what worked for ME, using all the health knowledge I’d gathered over the years, and the new reading I started doing again. I know from past experience that once I put myself on a rigid food program, I eventually wanted to rebel against it, and I was looking for a permanent solution. I started listening to motivational podcasts and hypnosis tapes. I started using my Cardio Coach tapes on my treadmill again. I bought myself a GoWearFit devise to keep track of my steps, exercise intensity, and calories burned. I found that it serves to keep me focused and accountable towards reaching my daily goals.

In September, I found I needed to do more exercise than just walking to get my heartrate up, and started to do a few minutes of jogging (using Cardio Coach tapes outdoors). I decided to train to run a 5K and now I am hooked on running. I had never tried running before, and didn’t realize how much I would enjoy it.

In January 2010, I attended a Running Retreat with Jeff Galloway, and in June 2010 I met my goal to run a half-marathon before I turned 60. Now that I've achieved that, my plan is to run a 10K in the spring and fall (I found I was injuring myself too often when my training mileage exceeded 10 miles).

As far as my personal program, here is what seems to work for me:

I listen to a motivational podcast everyday, which I download from iTunes. Right now I am listening to Fat2Fit (my favorite), Motivation to Move (premium), & Dr Joel Furhman's "Nutritional Excellence" podcasts.

I’m using Jeff Galloway’s RunWalkRun method for my running. On the days I don’t run, I walk for at least 30-45 minutes either outside or on my treadmill. In March 2010, I became an 'ambassador' for Cardio Coach audio workout tapes (which I use both outside and on my treadmill). I also occasionally use My Treadmill Trainer workout tapes.

I do strength training twice a week. I find if I do three days of strength training each week, my body doesn’t recover enough, so I’ve stopped doing that. I focus mostly on upper body and core work, as I found that doing squats and lunges hurts my knees and makes it more difficult for me to run.

As far as my food program, for the first few years, I was most influenced by the writings of Tom Venuto (Burn the Fat/Build the Muscle) and John Berardi (Precision Nutrition) and have incorporated their ideas into my routines.

I give myself permission not to be 'perfect' when I have an off meal or off day, chalk it up to experience, and then get back on on-track. Sometimes I need to do a lot of 'self-talk' to remind myself that one bad day or one bad meal does not negate all my months of hard work... and that it will take lots more than 1 meal to regain the 25 pounds I've lost.

July 2011 Update: I've have fallen off both the diet and exercise wagon this fall, but last month, after recovering from 2 different injuries earlier this year, I was able to start running and strength training again. Unfortunately, I gained about 10 pounds, mostly around my middle, but it could have been worse. Now that I am in an exercise routine, I'm focusing on my eating. I watched the film "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and will be following their Reboot food plan for 10 days (basically fruits, veggies, a little good fat & water). I'm in the transition phase of that right now, where I eat fruits & veggies (cooked or raw, juiced or in a green smoothie) in the daytime, and then have a light protein dinner, plus a serving of lowfat yogurt during the day.

August 2011 update:
After watching "Fat Sick & Nearly Dead" last month, I started doing some reading on 'plant strong' nutrition and its health benefits, and discovered the nutritional philosophies of Dr. Joel Fuhrman ("Eat to Live") (who was featured in FS&ND), the "Engine 2 Diet" and "Food Over Forks". I've just started eating "plant strong", following the general guidelines below:

Eat nothing with a mother or a face (no meat, poultry or fish)
No dairy
No oil of any kind
Generally, no nuts or avocados
YES to:
All veggies except avocado
All legumes (beans, peas & lentils)
All whole grains & products made from them, so long as they have no fat
All fruits

I'm looking forward to reducing my weight, my blood pressure & my cholesterol.

Read More About BAY2BAYOU (Updated March 6)



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 Pounds lost: 32.0 

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Member Since: 12/28/2009

SparkPoints: 0

Fitness Minutes: 13,187

My Goals:
Near term goals:
Weight: under 150 DONE
Fitness: Run a 10K in April - Crescent City Classic in New Orleans on April 3rd- Done - in 1:16 (12.15/m).
Waist: under 35 inches. DONE!!!

Long Term Goals:
Waist under 32 inches
Weight: 130

9/26/09 First 5K 41.27
11/7/09 5K 36.10
1/16/10 Resoluton Run 5k 34:26 Gold Medal 50-59 year old females! 11:05 pace
1/22-24/10 Jeff Galloway Running Retreat
2/28/10 Get Your Rear in Gear 5k. 33:05. #3 for age group. 10:40 pace
3/20/10 Koman 5K 33:40
4/3/10 Crescent City Classic 10K- 1:16 12:15/m
6/6/10 Minneapolis Half Marathon 2:54:38
11/13/10 Cajun Cup 10K 1:16, 12:22/m

4/12 Crescent City Classic 10K

My Program:
I'm eating "Plant Strong" and following the recommendations set forth in the books, "Engine 2 Diet", "Eat to Live" and "Forks Over Knives".

Exercise Plan:
Cardio: Walk 10,000 steps/day 5x week.
Strength training 2x week

My Challenges:

Being treated for sciatica caused by a pinched nerve is severely limiting my mobility.

Personal Information:
Places I've called home: NYC, Ann Arbor, MI; Phoenix, AZ, Naples, FL, San Francisco, CA and Lafayette, LA.

I enjoy playing Cajun guitar, gardening and Science Fiction.

I just adopted 2 kittens!

I am a Cardio Coach Ambassador.

I'm a big fan of Battlestar Gallactica (I want to look like Starbuck when I grow up :-).

Other Information:
"I didn''t say it was going to be easy. I said it was going to be WORTH it!"

"Patience, persistence, practice"

"Progress, not Perfection"

"Decisions help us start. Dedication helps us finish"

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Member Comments:
5/30/2012 2:52:16 PM

Hi Andrea,
Just checking in to see how you are doing. Sure hope that sciatica is better by now. Your progress with the Engine 2 process seems incredible, and I'm so glad your biometrics are under control.
Seems like all I do is start over - sort of like a broken record (45 rpm, of course!) Had further mesh sling surgery the first of April and have finally healed again, so here I go getting back on my walk/run regime. I definitely have weight to lose, so am interested in the diet you outlined in your 3/12 blog. I'm going to read up on it.
Take care and I'll be on the lookout for you! Have a great summer (ugh, hate to think of the sauna like conditions here in GA when it is hot!!)

Comment edited on: 5/30/2012 2:52:46 PM

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11/12/2011 5:40:31 PM

Andrea, wow, sounds like you're doing great despite the sciatica - that's awesome! I picked up a magazine about nutrition (think it was actually a 7th Day Adventist publication) and saw them mention the Engine 2 diet (think that's the name). Sounds like its a great plan.
I had problems with sicatica last year and went to a chiropractor who uses the "Graston" method. After just a couple of treatments I felt great. If that's not something you've tried you might want to give it a shot.
Keep up the great work!!!
p.s. I'm envious of your weight loss - I can't seem to lose anything right now, even though I'm working out so much.

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11/12/2011 10:22:48 AM

Hi, just checking in to see how things are going withi you. Hope you're enjoying the cooler weather - it was about 27 when I did my am running group today. Cold at first, but I love running in this weather. :)
Take care and let me hear from you!

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10/25/2011 9:55:23 AM

thank you for your quick response. I think I will definitely try it. I've been wanting to. Just think I started it out wrong with going full force on JUST juicing. Looks like I am going to have to buy some books and do it a better way.

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8/22/2011 12:45:45 PM

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
We're going into the fall season! Let's make sure that we're actively creating a P-L-A-N for our success! Get our that ol' pencil and paper and let's get started!

We can do this!

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