Saturday, February 16, 2013
Sometimes I become so fixated on the number on the scale that I forget it is only one measure of my progress. This week, for example, I had a 1.2 pound increase when I weighed in at Weight Watchers. I was disappointed but I knew that I had changed my workout routine so perhaps that had some effect on my weight. I was surprised when I tried on a fairly new top and it was way too big on me. That was a very pleasant surprise too!
That got me to thinking about non scale measures of progress. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, the way your clothes fit is one measure of progress. Some others are lab numbers, energy level and improve immune system. My lab numbers and energy level are much better that they were just two months ago. I decided to measure my arm, chest, waist, hip and thigh and compare the measurements that I did on October 4, 2012. The results were very pleasing to me!
Arm 16 7/8 in.
Chest 47 3/4 in.
Waist 45 1/2 in.
Hip 53 3/4 in.
Thigh 27 3/4 in.
Neck 15 in.
Arm 15 7/8 in. (-1 in.)
Chest 45 in. (-2 3/4 in.)
Waist 39 in. (-6 1/2 in.)
Hip 49 in. (-4 3/4 in.)
Thigh 26 1/2 in. (-1 1/4 in.)
Neck 14 in. (-1 in.)
Total Loss = 17 1/4 inches
Oh my goodness! A total loss of 17 1/4 inches is a lot! No wonder I'm able to fit into much smaller sizes. Plus, with such a big loss around the waist, my overall health must be greatly improved.
This just shows that sometimes a weight gain will show up on the scale and it is easy to let that number define you. When you look at other measures of progress, you get a much better picture. Although I had a 1.2 pound gain this week, my body was busy making changes inside, where I couldn't see them. I am actually making great progress. Now that I can see the progress, I'm motivated to continue to strive to meet my goals and become more healthy.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Yesterday, I saw my neurologist for migraines and chronic nerve pain. She stressed to me that when I'm starting to get a migraine or nerve pain, I should take my medicine instead of trying to "tough it out" and letting it get out of control. Apparently pain that is out of control is very bad for my overall health and I'm still not paying enough attention to it. I have a large tolerance for pain and when I start to get really uncomfortable with it, that means it will shortly be out of control. Pain that is out of control is bad for your body in so many ways. It is especially hard on the blood pressure and the heart.
It must be karma because today I had my MRI and I was in a moderate amount of pain after it was over. The pain comes from the position that I was in for the MRI and from the fact that I didn't move for an hour while the test was in progress. My shoulder muscles went into spasms so badly that the MRI technician had to re-do one part of the test. He initially thought that it was do to me moving my arm but I told him about the severe spasms after it was over. I was surprised that he didn't have to re-do the very last sequence too because the shoulder blade and back part of the shoulder were positively jumping. I guess it didn't affect the actual part of the shoulder being tested.
I drove from Tampa to the Y on my way home. At the Y, I did 80 minutes on the recumbent cycle. Today I did machine intervals as opposed to the manual intervals that I did yesterday. The intervals that I did today were 2 minutes high and 2 minutes slightly lower in difficulty. It was a good workout and I was sopping wet when I finished. I also felt exceptionally tired, which wasn't a good thing. Now back to my reference to karma. I felt okay all the way up until I got into the shower. Then it hit me! The pain that I experienced earlier in the morning came back along with the start of a headache. Since my doctor and I had covered exactly what I should do when I saw her yesterday, I put my plan into action.
First, I turned down the temperature of the water in my shower. I cut my shower time to as little as possible. I sat down as I dressed and re-packed my gym bag slowly as I breathed slowly and evenly. Then, I walked out to my car and slowly put my things in the back. I carefully drove home.
Next, I headed for the refrigerator and had some yogurt and drank some water with my medicine. I told hubby that I was working on a bad headache. I had a pile of mail, which I placed on the bed and read while I lay down and rested. Hubby came in and lay on the bed next to me to check on my progress. Once the medicine kicked in, I put hot packs on my spasming muscles and lay back down. Ahhhh, the combination of medication and hot packs on my shoulder and neck got the migraine and spasms under control within 3-4 hours. I still had a pounding in my head so a took a couple tylenol and the pain lessened even more. I could still feel the throbbing along the side of my neck but it was under control.
I honestly didn't think that the pain was that bad after the MRI or I would never have gone to the gym to do a vigorous workout. Some types of pain are hard for me to feel until they get out of control (My doctor says that this is very common for people who suffer from chronic pain). I am so glad that I went over my new procedure yesterday with my doctor. Who would have thought that I'd be using what I learned today. My time as the computer needs to be shorter so I will stop typing now and go take the second dose of my medicine and go to bed. Tomorrow, I will be very careful because I'm sure I will have residual pain. I will not do vigorous exercise tomorrow in order to let my body recover. Exercise in itself is good for me to do after a bout with pain but it has to be gentle. So, gentle it will be. I got a handle on pain before it got a handle on me. I feel better already!
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Today I decided to look back at the successful times along my journey. I matched my food tracker with my periods of successful weight loss and was able to see in writing what works for me. (Exercise has never been a big problem, except that I tend to do too much of it.) I love the fact that Spark People has such great online tools that I can use to help me along the way. Thank you Spark People!
So what information did I gain? When I eat protein with whole grains for breakfast, I do better during the whole day. Notice that I didn't say more calories. Every time I have had a weight loss streak, I have had egg whites, fruit and oatmeal for breakfast. When I eat a leafy green salad with lean protein for lunch along with fruit, a whole grain and skim milk, I am less likely to graze in the kitchen later in the day. If I'm really hungry, I eat a snack. I eat a fruit or veggie along with it and it is more satisfying. When I have lean protein, veggies, fruit and a whole grain for dinner, I stay full longer. Smoothies made with fruit or veggies and skim milk make a great evening snack that is very satisfying. I can use a variety of fat free dairy products and add fat to my plan with heart healthy oil. I feel the best when I drink 72 ounces of water and when I do it consistently, I'm less likely to confuse hunger and thirst.
Wow! That is a lot of information! I'm glad that I took the time to write it all down after looking at my tracker. I think that I'll copy this blog and use it as a tool when I do meal planning. This plan is full of vitamins, fiber and protein. It is low in sodium and low in added sugar.. If I throw in a few spices, I can have lots of variety too! It is a plan that keeps hunger under control but is flexible enough to allow me to live my life.
Thanks Spark People for having this wonderful site that helps me with my journey to health!
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