Monday, June 10, 2013
Over the past two rounds of BLC and the past few years of life, I have struggled at setting new goals for myself... After reaching my goal weight, I've often been too busy focusing on everyone else to really focus on any major "changes" for myself. My efforts often are spent in the wrong places, doing what is easy, convenient, and has "always worked." This pertains to many areas of my life, but they all manage to roll into one main issue... I have neglected myself for too long and it's time for change!!
Several weeks ago, all this came to a head when I had been dragging around, weak, fatigued, and unable to function "normally." I finally broke down and made an appointment with the doctor. I hadn't been in over five years (since my daughter was born). I had a laundry list of issues to discuss. You can really accumulate a lot of "issues" in the period of five years! The doctor felt it was best to run just about every blood test they could find and do a depression screening (since I have a history of depression/anxiety). A week later I returned for my lab results and to discuss my depression screening. All my labs were great (fantastic, actually), except one... LOW (almost undetectable) PROGESTERONE (and exceptionally high estrogen levels, considering my lack of progesterone). As my husband said, "this is the best 'bad' news we could get!" There WAS something wrong, but it was easily fixed, not life threatening, and possibly could explain all these issues I've faced over the past 5 - 10 years!! We learned that I've likely had low progesterone for at least 6, if not more, years. It was likely the cause of my numerous miscarriages. It may also explain the many problems I have had w/my menstrual cycle, pelvic pain I have experienced, the mood swings and irritability my family has had to deal with, the depression/anxiety I have struggled with again lately, difficulty concentration, and struggles with fatigue/weakness/exhaustion. My depression screening also showed that I was once again struggling in this area and we have addressed that w/medication, at least until we can resolve my hormonal issues. I am not able to see the GYN for hormone therapy until July 1st, so I must continue to cope until then... However, I have a plan and I'm working every day to ensure I can be healthy not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally!!
MAKE/KEEP all remaining appointments and make additional appointments when necessary. No longer "stick my head in the sand" and hope my problems will go away! Face them head on and ask for help when necessary. As of right now, I have three essential appointments:
✶ LOW PROGESTERONE GYN APPT
✶ ANNUAL GYN EXAM
✶ FULL PHYSICAL W/GP
YOGA at least 5 days/week!! This includes both a morning POWER YOGA session and an evening RELAXING YOGA session. While this used to be the daily norm, I began to struggle w/even my beloved yoga over the past few months. Often, getting in just the minimum P/Y daily to keep myself strong, but not using it properly to benefit my mind/spirit. I recently have found myself getting "lost" in my morning yoga, praying through my postures in the morning silence. It has such immense benefit and I am determined to commit myself to this goal!!
CARDIO at least 60 minutes, 5 days/week!! I used to do as much as 3 hours of just cardio daily, but I had fallen into that "working harder, not smarter" category. My daily cardio comes from a variety of activities, including biking w/my family, walking our dogs, and walking/jogging on the treadmill. I have also committed (with the support of my team) to starting a C25K program (see next goal), which I am planning to start in one week (Monday, 6/17).
COMPLETE C25K, which I am planning to start on Monday, June 17th. I've got to get life settled a bit, everything organized, and head to the running store for some shoes that don't make all my toenails fall off!! This is something I've always wanted to do... I have all these team members who participate in 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, triathlons, etc., and I've never even tried one... I have been known to work out anywhere between 3-5 hours a day, but I can't jog, much less run!! So, we're back to that "work smarter, not harder" topic, again, and I'm determined to give it my best effort and maybe I'll find a new favorite form of exercise in the process!! Even if I don't I will at least have accomplished a new goal!!
STREAKS... I am also participating in a couple of "STREAKS" for BLC22, so those are worth mentioning here, too!! I have signed up for the 12 Week Streak, which is typically a given b/c there is rarely EVER a day I don't at least start my day w/some P/Y, and most days I get about 120 F/M. I let my team select my "GP Streak" and they chose "TRACKING EVERY BLT AT LEAST 6 DAYS/WEEK!" They made the right choice b/c this was definitely the one that would be the most difficult. After being at goal weight and in maintenance for several years, I occasionally track a few days here and there, just to make sure nothing is getting out of whack (fat, sodium, fiber, etc.), but I am now committed to tracking daily!! It can only be beneficial and help me to find ways I can continue to "tweak" my food intake to improve my overall nutrition...
FINALLY, I have one other BIG GOAL for the next 12 WEEKS and beyond...
I am committing to giving my weekday evenings and my weekends (after 10 AM, with the exception of Sunday night "RESULTS" posting) to my family!! It means I will have to work smarter and more efficiently and learn to DELEGATE (Do I even know what that word means?? I'm trying, really...) responsibilities!! :-) My family is my priority and they deserve my attention first and foremost. I've always managed to do a relatively good job at this, but it's been painful and very stressful for me!! I'm hoping my new plans will results in happy times for all!!
Monday, March 11, 2013
We are EIGHT WEEKS into BLC21!! How time flies, when you're having FUN!! What an AWESOME couple months I have enjoyed as Captain of Golden Phoenix!! I've recently realized how IMPORTANT it is to remember to focus on MYSELF, while trying to keep up w/everything else (family, church responsibilities, and BLC duties). I've always heard that WOMEN, as natural "nurturers," have a tendency to forgo taking care of themselves to attend to others!! I admit I absolutely fit this description!! However, one thing I've learned over the past (almost) 8 weeks is that BALANCE is essential AND I think I am finally beginning to succeed in achieving balance (at least w/my time)! However, I recently (thanks to a week of focusing on nutrition w/the team) realized I have not been balancing my nutrition as well as usual...
While my calories and carbs (typically my primary concern) have stayed w/in range, I was a bit shocked by my fat consumption and disappointed by my fiber intake. HOWEVER, I was AGHAST at the excessive amount of sodium I have been consuming!! I have major issues w/water retention and I know WHY!! So, what's my PLAN for the remaining four weeks of BLC21??
REDUCE SODIUM INTAKE!!
How will I achieve this goal... Focusing on more fresh, unprocessed, clean (all of the above) foods!! I notice I have added more "convenience" foods to my meals (especially snacks), probably due to my busy schedule. So, my sodium goals for the final four weeks of BLC will be as follows:
✻ Week 9 (3/13 - 3/19) - 2500 mg or less
✻ Week 10 (3/20 - 3/26) - 2300 mg or less
✻ Week 11 (3/27 - 4/2) - 2100 mg or less
✻ Week 12 (4/3 - 4/9) - 2000 mg or less
Once I achieve the final sodium intake goal of 2000 mg or less/day, I am going to move on to new goals of increasing my fiber and reducing my fat consumption. ONE STEP AT A TIME!! Soaring towards a BALANCED LIFE!!
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
I suppose many people take this opportunity to blog about how they will make changes in the year ahead. Hopefully, changes that will make them healthier... AND I do have and will share some of those, but 2013 will bring some other changes in my life and my family's life!
Two major changes involve my daughter... She has shown some tendencies toward ADHD (like her mother). She is very smart and generally very well behaved, but she has a hard time focusing and staying on task and is WILD, completely fully of energy and requiring VERY LITTLE SLEEP!! She will be starting Kindergarten this fall (another major change) and I want to address this issue w/diet modification, prior to her starting school. We are currently making some minor changes over the remainder of this week, but will be introducing major dietary changes, next week and beyond. We are going to try significantly reducing sugar, white flour, and other simple carbohydrates. Her hyperactivity is greatly affected by her intake of sugar and this type of dietary modification has worked very well for me... Granted, when I chose to no longer take stimulant medications to treat my ADHD and turned to diet modification instead, it was a bit easier b/c some of those foods were already eliminated b/c I have Celiac Disease. However, we have been discussing this for several months and she understands WHY we are doing this and is prepared. In fact, when I fixed her some "no sugar added" ice cream tonight, she actually said, "Mama, aren't I supposed to be having less sugar?? Are you SURE this is OK??" I explained that we were gradually making changes and since she ate all her meat and peas at dinner, it was fine for her to have a little bit of this particular dessert AND that I was very proud of her for asking... So, while it won't be EASY to make this change, I think it can be done and will produce a positive result!!
Obviously, the other BIG CHANGE that will occur in 2013 is my daughter going to school!! This will drastically change my life b/c right now we spend every waking (and the occasional sleeping) hour together!! I am going to have many, many hours alone every day, which I am hoping will give me the opportunity to get more done during the days, so I can devote even more time to my family at night... I will have more hours to devote to myself ("ME" TIME), my Church work and Sparkpeople without interfering with my "family time!" I'm actually striving to make it work, so I have MORE "family time!" Of course, I'm also praying for a positive, happy experience in school for my daughter!! Happy Kid = Happy Mom!!
My husband, who lost over 80 lbs in the past year, has asked me to continue to PUSH him and encourage him to lose another 10-20 lbs this year!! So, I share in this goal w/him. We are also continuing to work w/Skyy (our older Boykin Spaniel) on her weight loss. She has lost several pounds, but still has several to go... She unfortunately has reached somewhat of a "human induced plateau" b/c we have not been taking her for as many walks, due to the colder weather. I am a total wuss about the cold, as in anything below 60į F, but I've got to push past that and get back out w/her daily. It is not only good for her weight b/c also for her arthritis!
I really had some major (positive) mental health changes in the past few months, which is something I have always struggled with over the years, but especially since I chose to stop taking antidepressants several years ago. (Basically, I went off all prescription meds when I was pregnant with my daughter and chose to find other ways to deal w/my ADHD and depression/anxiety.) I have began to discover some of the roots of my depression and anxiety, and have been working to deal with those root causes, instead of simply dealing with the resulting symptoms. I am striving to continue to address these issues and improve my mental health w/the same dedication I give to my physical health.
With regards to my physical health, I'm tired of the "status quo" of maintenance... I've reached my THREE YEAR mark of maintenance and I'm ready to push farther!! I'm striving to eat even "cleaner" in 2013 and try to encourage my family members to do the same. I'm also pushing myself to "kick it up a notch" when it comes to my fitness. Most folks who know me and my fitness regimen would think I'm nuts (or more nuts), but I'm not striving for MORE exercise... Let's be honest, the average 3+ hours that I manage to work in daily, is by far enough!! Instead I'm striving to try new forms of fitness, focus on strengthening certain areas of my body, and possibly even try integrating some more jogging/running into my mundane daily outdoor/treadmill walks!!
Finally, I will be joining Golden Phoenix as Captain for BLC21... This is obviously another HUGE change for me and a HUGE responsibility. I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to work w/these amazing women, as they strive to soar through the lifelong journey that will lead them to sustainable physical and mental health!!
Monday, December 03, 2012
It is absolutely AMAZING that BLC20 is nearly over!! These 12 weeks have blown past, but have been AWESOME!! I have found a group of amazing women w/whom I've developed friendships that I'm confident will last a lifetime!! I've learned so much about myself and had a major epiphany that has completely rerouted and improved my outlook, mental state, and my family's life, too! I've tried and learned to integrate new forms of exercise and finally added to my power yoga/treadmill routine!! Today, I shared some essentials w/my team, which I will continue to use through the break and beyond.
EAT within range and try to make sure to consume at least 1200 calories/day!!
DRINK as much water as possible, at least 18 glasses/day!!
ELIMINATE sugars and sodium!!
PUT DOWN the food/drink goodies!! SUBSTITUTE a healthy goodie/treat!!
MOVE until you canít take another step!! PUSH yourself to your limits!! FEEL the burn!! Strive for 90-180 mins/day!! Continue to ADD new exercises/activities to my fitness regimen!!
SLEEP at least 7 hours!!
PARTICIPATE in BLC break activities to help maintain the status quo and support others!!
FOCUS on goals, VISUALIZE success, and CONTINUE to add new goals!!
At the end of the year, I will reach THREE YEARS in maintenance and I plan to stay there...
Monday, October 22, 2012
Here we are, at the halfway point of BLC20... So, far I have generally SUCCEEDED in the plans I laid out at the beginning of the challenge. However, I have also addressed some "hidden issues" (mostly stress related) and am beginning to make some beneficial adjustments!! Update on my plans for success:
SUPPORT & ENCOURAGEMENT
I have been relatively successful in keeping up with the team chat thread. Due to my schedule, I tend to get a bit behind on Mondays & Tuesdays, but I have still been able to post daily and catch up w/in a day of my "busy days!" I feel like I have made a valiant effort to be available for support and encouragement and to respond to my Sparkmail and messages promptly. I have ALWAYS participated fully in challenges and made an effort to go above and beyond in EVERY challenge. Unfortunately, I have not been blogging as planned... I hope to improve in this area, but I am honestly NOT going to stress about blogging! I am working to reduce my stress levels and I feel that my participation directly with the team is MOST IMPORTANT!! IF life calms down a bit, I will work on blogging.
MAINTENANCE, STRENGTH, & HEALTH
I have continued daily tracking of my fitness, using SparkPeople's fitness tracker. I began tracking all food (mine and my husband's) by hand in a notebook, which has worked well... He has even dropped a few extra pounds in the first half of BLC20!! WOOHOO!! I have achieved and surpassed my goal of completing at least one hour of power yoga and one hour on treadmill, road, or bike, five days a week, and at least one hour of some activity daily. I purchased a kettlebell and have been knocking out at least 30-40 minutes of strength training almost daily (at least 5 days a week) and I can definitely FEEL THE BURN!! I have been working on "me time," but have continued to struggle w/this off and on over the past few weeks. Part of that struggle has been my high level of stress, which has led to me trading "me time" for other tasks that I was stressed about completing. While I thought I would be reducing my stress, not taking care of "me" led to even more stress!! OF COURSE!! So, I have really been pushing over the past two weeks to reduce stress and focus more on myself and my essential needs. I have been successful overall w/my 6+ hours of sleep goal. I have NOT made my appointment w/the gynecologist, YET... I will do this in the next few weeks!!
Skyy is doing GREAT!! She has been staying out of the bed and walking 30-60 minutes, almost every day!! We did have a few days that were "rained out," but we at least tried to get her moving around the house! If I could only teach HER to walk on the treadmill! She is down just over 2 lbs, since the beginning of BLC20!!
My plan for the second half of this challenge is to maintain the status quo AND work hard on reducing my stress level!! We may be at the halfway point in BLC20, but this is a lifetime journey, which means every day is just the beginning!! NEVER QUIT & KEEP PUSHING!!
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