Monday, March 05, 2012
Although I joined SparkPeople right before New Yearís, my journey to weight loss began this summer. In fact, it began with my co-worker receiving the diagnosis of pre-diabetes. Her high blood sugar levels that were causing her to fall asleep at work. She was understandably upset. I told her it would be OK and that she just needed to make a couple, easy changes to her diet. So, she stopped drinking her daily Frappecinos and began bringing fresh fruit to snack on. As she gradually began to have more energy, she became more active. This was no easy matter for her, as she has nerve damage and an artificial knee replacement. She greeted each of these changes with a positive, cheery attitude. Before long, she noticed that she was able to fasten her belt on a tighter notch. I am happy to tell you that she now needs to buy new pants because all of her pants are falling off.
Watching my co-worker begin her journey reminded me of all the things I do know about weight loss and healthy eating. That all the little things we do each day, really do add up and matter. Also, watching her, I began to be afraid for myself. I already was borderline with my blood sugar.I And I too was beginning to have problems falling asleep at work. My blood pressure was elevated even with my doctor doubling my meds.
But, I was so tired food didnít even taste good to me. Many of my favorite foods no longer tasted good. Instead, I was eating Chobani yogurt for lunch, or McDonalds, and lots of junk food from the vending machine. I would grab something from the vending machine when ever I was going to fall asleep. A six pack of diet soda took up permanent residence at my desk. I absolutely could not be caught sleeping at work or HR would begin harassing me like my co-worker. What was I going to do? I just didnít have the energy to begin a diet and exercise program.
Instead, I visited my MD. His diagnosis was insomnia with possible depression. He gave me a mild tricyclic antidepressant to help me sleep. The pills did work to help me sleep, but at the same time my depression changed from possible to actual. So, I started reading about depression. The one thing that stuck in my mind was that exercise was one of the best remedies. The solution, get my self off the coach and out for a walk. I have to say, that I didnít really enjoy the first few walks, but I did notice that I felt better afterwards. The other piece of advice, was to begin doing the things that I enjoyed doing. So I did. Sometimes I liked them, sometimes I didnít. But the point was to try to re-establish my old routine.
By the time I had enough sleep to really feel better, I was well over 20 pounds above my last high weight. I so clearly remember the first time I stepped on that scale after many months of avoidance. It felt so overwhelming. I felt like I was trapped in a very large hole with no shovel large enough to dig myself out.
About a month later, I found the SparkPeople app on my phone. I am so glad I downloaded it. I began checking out the site. Finally, at the end of December I was ready and looking forward to eating healthy and exercising. It was approximately a six month journey to be ready. I am so glad that I found SparkPeople. I am in month two of my new healthy lifestyle. This week marks my first week where I didnít have any ďlights outĒ days. Thatís what I call the days, where no matter what, my brain switches off and back to depression. Itís been a tough week, but I managed and did very well. I may have more days where my brain switches off, but itís OK I have my friends at SparkPeople. I also know that I have many more happy days than ďlights outĒ days. I canít tell you how much I am looking forward to Spring and walking in the sunshine. So, while I might stumble or even fall, this girl is not going backwards. The only direction for me is forward. Sunshine, happiness and health are my future.
Sunday, March 04, 2012
We visited my Dad today in the nursing home. It was good to see his beautiful hair growing in all short and spiky. His eyes seemed a little brighter. He's mad at the nurses for putting posy alarm on his wheelchair. They put it on his chair because he fell when trying to walk on his own.
Over all, it was a good visit. One of Dad's doctors wants to speak to me about his DNR/DNI order. My Mom and I spoke about it and she wasn't aware that you could choose one and not the other. I guess I had hoped Dad would feel the same way. My Dad has had the DNI order for a long time and is very definite about it. That's fine, I can accept that. The DNR order makes me feel sad. I want to fight for my Dad, but it isn't what he wants. So instead of fighting for him, I'm going to curl up on the coach with a blanket and a good book.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
This month I am down 7.6 pounds for a total of 15 pounds lost. A total of 3.5 inches are gone from my waist. It's been kind of a strange weight loss month. I lost a couple pounds the first week then hit a plateau for 2 weeks, I rounded out the month with a four pounds gone in one week. If I average that out it's a little over 1.5 pounds a week. I really think that's how my body has been losing weight, slowly and steadily.
I now work out six days a week. I have increased my work out time to 40 minutes a session. I feel less stressed if I miss a day knowing that I have already put in some extra time. I find I am beginning to enjoy my workouts and look forward to them. It really makes me feel better about my body. I feel stronger and have less pain due to the workouts.
The challenge this month has been learning to jog/run on the treadmill. I rediscovered my exercise induced asthma. This caused me to need the use of my rescue inhaler, which temporarily raised my BP into the danger zone. My BP has dropped back to normal, but it has erased a little of the progress I had made in that area. Oh well, eventually with continued weight loss, it will slowly drop right along with my weight. With all the snow I haven't been jogging/ running outside. After doing a little research, I think my problem was coming inside after being out in the cold, dry air. Also, I need a longer cool down. So, I jog/ walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes and follow it with 20 minutes on the elliptical. Because, for what ever reason I never have an attack on the elliptical. I follow the workout with a nice, hot steamy shower. So far, so good.
I've been working on my body image this month. After looking at old photos of myself, and photos of other women at my before and after weight, I have an idea in my head of what I want to look like. I don't want to look like I did when I was younger. Been there, done that, this time I want to be healthier, happier, and stronger. It's funny looking at the photos of the women at my height and weight in the "before" photos. I thought they were all lovely, beautiful women. I always felt so bad and ashamed of my own body. The photos helped me to realize, that I was wrong. I feel happier with my body right now. It's not ideal, but that's OK.
This month, they let 8 people go at my job. The place I work is not healthy. There are so many people with high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, depression, heavy drinking. All due to the very high level of stress. It's time for me to leave and to find a new job. Now, all I need to do is figure out what type of job I want. These feels like a very daunting task after working at this place for nearly 12 years. As stressful as this last week has been, I did great. I didn't give in and eat under pressure. I decided that work, simply wasn't worth it.
So, I am definitely ready to leave month 2 behind. I am looking forward to month 3 and hope it brings more positive changes.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Losing weight is a lot like playing a video game. In every video game there are obstacles. You know there is a way around these obstacles, it's just a matter of finding the secret. Lucky for us, there are plenty of Spark friends ready to share their secrets. Also, we know that we can win this game, because we will not be the first to play this game. And I hope, that like playing a video game, everyone is enjoying the journey.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Today was my weigh in day. Today the scale registered exactly the same weight as last week and the week before. Today I am thinner than last week. It's frustrating as I have been down 1-3 pounds all week. This morning, right back where I was last week. I felt really down at first. Then I started doing my weigh in Wednesday check list. Did I stay within my calories? Check. Did I exercise? Check - 6 days/ week. Did I do a good job this week? Check.
So, my next question for myself is, what am I willing to change? I can plan to eat at the lower end of the calorie range for a while. Which, may help to break the plateau, but is not something I want to do everyday. I can add 10 minutes to each exercise session (an extra hour of exercise!). When it warms up and the trails clear of snow, I can get back to walk/ jogging outside again. This is my favorite because it really lifts my mood.
What else? I've been hungrier this week. Maybe, it's because my carbs are creeping over my limit. So, less carbs, I'm kind of like a junky with sugar. Also, I should increase my fat intake, as that has been too low as well. Also, I need to continue to watch my fiber intake. Hopefully, that will help with the hunger and allow me to eat at the lower end of my range. I can drop the menus from my first week into next week with Mastercook.
What do I feel good about? I am thinner, I measured and I have lost inches since last month. So, I am making progress. I had to buy heavier hand weights for strength exercises at home. My son has been joining in with the weights too. Also, tonight I will do one of my exercises on the machine at the gym.
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