Saturday, April 30, 2011
When my cat, George, passed away in March, I admit I sunk into a bit of a funk. I quit eating well. I skipped my vitamins. I quit caring. Or, at least for a little bit. really haven't worked out at all since last August, when it was more of an intense desire to keep myself busy instead of potentially crying over the loss of my dog. There's no excuse. Injuries in December and again in April shouldn't have stopped me completely for so long. So, I decided to do something about it. It helps that on my husband's 35th birthday, he also decided that he, too, needed to get into shape. Because while round is a shape, it's not the shape either of us want to be in for our 40th.
We bought a scale. Guess what? The Wii board has been lying to me, by about 12 lbs. I knew I'd gained some weight back since we moved to Georgia, but I had no idea how much. Our new scale is calibrated and accurate to within one tenth of a pound. And, when I weighed myself, I was in for a huge shock. I'd gained back all the weight I'd lost when I lived on the farm in Oregon. More, I was within 1.8 lbs of my all time high.
I am horrified
I can't even punctuate that sentence I am so shocked and upset with myself. But, no matter. I am back on the wagon.
Our first step was to re-evaluate how we eat and switch it up again. Finally, after 3 years of effort, I have my husband on the same page with me. We are "eating clean", meaning if God didn't make it, we won't eat it. No store bought processed foods allowed. We even took it an additional step and are following Michi's Ladder from the Beach Body website.
Yes, we joined the Beach Body party. We have started Power 90, although, I know my body won't be bikini ready in 90 days. We are hoping to move to P90X once we're done with this one. But, that's beside the point. I digress...
For almost a week now, we just changed our eating habits. We followed the tiers on Michi's Ladder and decided to start off by eating only from the first three tiers. As we adjust, we'll move to just Tiers One and Two, the Pious and Happy tiers. For us, this isn't a "diet", but a lifestyle change.
It works like this:
Find what you normally eat on the ladder and then substitute something similar on the tier above. A near perfect diet would only consist of foods on Tiers One and Two. There are no calorie restrictions, unless you impose them on yourself. You just simply clean up your eating habits and replace what you used to eat with more nutritious foods. That simple.
While it's not always easy, I do have to say that in almost a week, I've already lost a whole pound. Without exercise.
Now, we're eating from Tiers One, Two and Three, because I can't justify throwing out the rest of the Tillamook cheese my husband brought back from Portland and that a friend sent me from Alaska. I just can't do it. And, well, a little extra fat in my diet from the cheese might just help me avoid diet rage since I am counting calories a bit. Quite frankly, Tillamook cheese makes me happy and I'm not going to completely deprive myself. Instead, I will measure my servings so I'm not going overboard.
I started Power 90 today too, modifying it for my injured ankle so I'd have no real impact. And, I plan on continuing this trend, modifying as needed until my foot fully heals for the next 90 days.
My husband and I took our "before" photos today. No, I won't share them because I have a long, long way to go. I am more than a bit embarrassed and ashamed that I'm back at my starting point for weight loss all over again. Let's just say I won't be riding Casey for a while yet because I don't think I should put him under that kind of strain, knowing my balance is poor as well. No horse did anything to deserve lugging my lard butt around.
Hopefully, I'll have a different opinion at the end of 90 days. I'd like to be ready to move to just eating from Tiers One and Two by then, if not before. And with luck, I'll not be suffering two steps back again for this step forward. I am under no delusion that I'll have a "beach body" in 90 days. It will probably take a lot longer than that.
But, I started today. I took that first step forward.
Sunday, January 09, 2011
I started more than one thing this past week.
1. My vitamins got here by Wednesday and I couldn't resist starting them immediately. No sudden boost of energy. But I doubt that to be expected if my own vitamin stores are low.
2. I also started the chamomile tea and Valerian capsule bedtime combo. I forgot the tea 3 days and skipped the Valerian 2. I'm not sure my Valerian is helping. I think it's properties became damaged and lost potency when we moved this past summer. So, I will replace this bottle on Friday.
3. I gave up alcohol for a month. Not that I'm a big drinker, but we do have a drink occasionally. Being how my youngest daughter decided to share her cold with the rest of us and I'm currently sick, this seemed as good a time as any. Then, once the month hiatus is up, I can enjoy that bottle of sparkling Pinot in my fridge for Valentine's Day.
4. I played with my juicer. I made juice 5 days out of 7.
papaya and pineapple
pineapple and mango
straight Gala apple
Gala and Granny Smith mixed
I like one or two variety blend apple juices. They taste REAL. And so much better than the bottled stuff at the store! That stuff is made with all the bruised and blemished apples from a region mixed together. So it's not even a consistent mix!
You cannot store fresh juice overnight. It tends to taste bitter the next day, especially when it comes to pineapple juice.
All citrus fruits need to be peeled first or a bitter compound is released from their skin. This is really, really time consuming. It's probably easier to slice the citrus and use a reamer than to peel and run it through the juicer.
Pear juice needs to be drank right away or it starts to become bitter too. So, don't clean your machine first and drink it afterwards. Drink first and clean later!
Apple and pear pulp won't go to waste if you toss it in your soaking beet pulp for your horses. The horses enjoy it!
Things still on the agenda:
1. Give up sugar.
3. Give up caffeine.
4. Change carb/fat/protein ratios.
5. I'm sure there are more, but I'm not going to go get the book out and look them up right now.
Ok, this next week, I pick #2! My elbow is doing better. I do have tendon damage that will take forever to heal. But, there is no reason I can't start working on regaining some strength back in my hand and arm. So, I plan to start with yoga daily and work more at drinking my chamomile tea. Yoga, tea. Yoga, tea.
I'll check back in with you next week about how I'm faring.
How about you? Did you make any changes this last week? How did you do at sticking to them?
Monday, January 03, 2011
Last Christmas, my focus was on weight loss and running. I wanted to run my first 5k, had signed up, then couldn't due to injury. I just never quite got back to running again as injury after injury plagued my running career. However, I did make some progress on the weight loss front. :-)
Last year, Santa brought me 2 new pairs of running shoes, an ipod shuffle and workout clothes. Santa was very, very good to me. Well, and my birthday was in there too.
Santa was very good to me again this year. Once again, Santa's focus was on health. I won't list all that he brought me, but I do want to talk about one particular thing I received.
Probably the most useful and amazing gift I receieved this whole holiday/birthday is a book called Reversing Fibromyalgia: The Whole-Health Approach to Overcoming Fibromyalgia Through Nutrition, Exercise, Supplements, and Other Lifestyle Factors by Dr. Joe M. Elrod. A mouthful of a title for a book that is only a mere 286 pages long. But those 286 pages have held the most hope I've had since being diagnosed in 2003 (click here for a bad description and discussion of treatments that really don't work for any Fibro person). In short, the beliefs behind what causes it tend to be injury, extended illness, and long periods of extreme stress. Some theories claim multiple, microscopic muscle tears, others claim a mycoplasmal bacteria (hum... I did have mycoplasmal pneumonia a few years ago), others suspect greater sensitivity to environmental toxins, the body not processing Substance P correctly and not getting to the 4th stage of sleep, where humans manufacture Growth Hormone, which is needed for cell replacement and regeneration. The theories are really complex and I'd be happy to explain them if you'd like.
When I was first diagnosed, there wasn't much information. To be honest, there's still not a lot of information or hope in the medical world today. Like migraines, they simply don't know what actually causes Fibromyalgia. We don't know what causes it, how to treat it, or how to prove it exists- just like migraines. Many doctors still believe that it doesn't exist, telling patients it's "all in their head".
Initially, I didn't accept these answers. I didn't accept that there wasn't a way to make my life better. I tried the drugs that were prescribed, usually with uncommon, debilitating side effects. During this time, allergies I've never had before have cropped up, I've gained weight (about 80 lbs), been lethargic, so foggy I can't string together a sentence, much less a thought, been unable to stand the taste of proteins or slept an inordinate length of time daily. In addition, my inflammation markers are sky-high without an explanation, which, isn't helpful in the slightest.
Because of these effects, I chose to quit pursuing prescription medication of any sort. I've dealt with my pain by taking it easy when necessary and powering through the rest of the time. In short, I've come close to running myself in the ground and have endured prolonged bouts of laziness out of necessity. In the last 2 years, I've mostly found my new homeostasis point. I do ok. But, just "ok" isn't good enough. I shouldn't be settling. And I was reminded of that recently.
This book, Reversing Fibromyalgia, is the first I've ever really experienced a doctor who "gets it". That alone is exciting to me. Finally! Someone who truly understands!
Obviously the title says it all. According to this book, the answer to my problems lie within the realms of sleep, nutrition and exercise. It's all natural, no drugs and completely sensible approach appeals to me.
Some of the things I'll be doing different are:
Gentler forms of exercise- walking, yoga, martial arts and pilates. I'm giving up Zumba and running for a while. Besides, they seem to be injury laden for me right now. (And no, that's not how I ended up with a hole in my elbow. It was aliens, I tell ya! Aliens!)
Regular exercise- I endeavor to work out 6 days a week, for as many minutes as I can handle, potentially 2-3 times a day if I can't do very many minutes at once. And daily stretching! And light strength training. Stretching is key though. I'll have to do it daily.
High potency liquid vitamins- the theory here is that Fibro sufferers have lower stores of important vitamins due to stress and stresses upon the body. So, if I'm chronically low on say, my B-vitamins, I'll have less energy and not utilize iron correctly, leaving me anemic (which I have been for years). Of course, the B-vitamins are just one example.
Continue my quest for less processed food- the theory here is that chemicals and preservatives are causing more stress on my body and that Fibro might be partially caused by years of a eating crappy and not nutritiously.
(Are you seeing a theme here? Less stress on the body!)
Better sleep- meaning a higher quality sleep where I twitch and thrash (and clock my husband) less, achieving a deeper state of REM than I do now. We'll discuss this more in depth later on.
Change my carb to protein ratio again- I'll be aiming for a 70/20/10 ratio, as in 70% high quality carbs, 20% fat and 10-15% protein, with a reduction in red meat consumption. This is different from how I eat now and will be difficult. For the last 5 years, I've been eating more like 50/20/30, of carbs, fats and proteins.
Juicing- I'm going to give it a try. I've read that we absorb vitamins best in food form, or as long as our bodies think it's food. Supposedly we don't absorb much from pills because our bodies don't see it as natural food stuffs. (Wish it didn't recognize chocolate as food stuffs!) I'm prepared to drink a few ounces of gross, disgusting healthful cocktails if it helps me feel better. Wish me luck!
Lose weight- but this is the last of my priorities right now. Hopefully, the changes I'm making will facilitate this.
According to Dr. Elrod, you should only make one change a week, maximum. Otherwise, human beings aren't likely to stick with a change. One change a week is reasonable! I can handle that!
What I need from you, dear friends, is to hold me accountable. I need someone to remind me to make one change a week and stick with it. I also need someone to help me track how I'm doing. So, please feel free to nag at me. (Be warned though, nagging makes me cranky). Sometimes it's easy for me to lose sight of how far I've come or accurately judge whether or not something seems to be working for me, because I'm with me day in and day out. Having someone ask helps me monitor myself and the changes I'll be making.
So, this next week, the first change I'll be making is with vitamins. I'll be ordering them tomorrow and starting them as soon as they arrive, on Monday or Tuesday. Also, while not intended as a second change, my son, my husband, and I will be starting Kendo classes once a week on Monday nights. Yes, we will be beating each other with bamboo sticks, wearing bamboo armor. (It's a martial art and on the approved exercise list for starting out on this new path).
Now, the length of time is supposed to take up to a year for a real, more permanent change and return to health to happen.
2011 is the year I'm going to take back my life!
Friday, November 26, 2010
As most of you know, Dude started Charter School in mid-September, meaning he is mostly homeschooled using public school curriculum. And, as most of you know, Dude has ADHD. So, this has been a challenging time for us as we adjust and adapt to being together ALL the time and as we find a balance learning coach/student roles.
I needed to be away to make that happen. I just simply could not balance both as I often felt wiped out and/or frustrated.
Hopefully now, we've struck a balance, and I'm feeling less exhausted with my efforts to educate my son. So, hopefully I'll be around again!
How are all of you? What have you been up to?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
~ I found this from SusieMilo, who got it from COOKME123, who got it from MARCIAC10 ~
Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. In-Home Obedience Dog Trainer
2. Office Assistant
4. Dispatcher for an Alaskan Trucking Company
Four movies I have watched more than once:
2. The Black Stallion
3. When In Rome
4. Empire Records
Four places I have lived:
1. Olympia, Washington
2. Oceanside, California
3. Soldotna, Alaska
4. Willamette Valley, Oregon
Four Places I have been:
1. In the shadow of Mt. McKinley, AK
2. Tijuana, Mexico
3. In every state on the Continental West Coast
4. The Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta Georgia (World's largest)
Four of my favorite foods:
1. Grilled Asparagus
2. Double Chocolate Kahlua Cake
3. Alaskan Salmon
4. Sweet Watermelon in the summertime
Four TV shows I watch:
2. The Big Bang Theory
3. Doctor Who
Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Back on the farm in Newberg, Oregon
2. Oahu, Hawaii
3. Tuscany, Italy
4. Riding horses across Ireland
Four things I am looking forward to this year:
1. Getting back on plan and making progress towards goal weight
2. Taking riding lessons again
3. Getting settled into this house
4. Working towards smart financial decisions
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