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Asthma & turkey triumphs!

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm posting a little later than I wanted to today, but I also wanted to share some triumphs I've experienced.

1: I have exercise-induced asthma. It was first diagnosed when I was in middle school & I definitely still have it. While I am sensitive to things that could trigger normal, random asthma attacks (pollen, dust mites, etc.), I only ever go into asthma attacks when I am working out or forcing my lungs to work too much. In middle & high school I was never able to run the mile when we were required to. Everytime I did, I would get about 1/4 of the way through & already be in tears, panting like I was choking, my lungs burning & my heart wanting to jump out of my chest. I was given an inhaler to use before strenuous exercise of any kind, but it gives me side affects that are not exactly conducive to working out (tingling in legs, headaches, heightened heartbeat & breathing). As such, I've been toying around with how far/much I can exercise with & without the inhaler before telling my allergist I want to try a different kind.

For the past month or so I've been focusing on increasing my endurance with cardio. Right now I am alternating walking/jogging. 2 minutes walking, 1 minute jog, & so on until I couldn't go any further or my time was up. A couple of weeks ago I decided to try 2 minutes walking, 2 minutes jogging. It gave me a little bit more challenge but the 2nd half of the work-out was harder. Today I was fully prepared to do 2 minutes walk, 2 minutes jog for 20 minutes total. When I started my first jog stretch, after 2 minutes I realized I was still fine so I decided to just stretch it to 3. After 3 minutes I thought, "Hmm, breathing a little bit harder but could still do more. Let's go for 5!" 5 whole minutes. I've never been able to do that in my entire life, but it was now mentally planned in my head I wasn't stopping until I did 5 minutes. AND I DID!!! Granted the last minute was the hardest but I kept reminding myself that I was ok & I focused all of my attention on my breathing. The rest of the work-out I was only able to maintain 2 or 2.5 minute jogs but the fact that I could get a whole 5 minute jog in was incredible!

2: For Thanksgiving yesterday I had planned on still eating the foods that I wanted to, but in smaller portions. I wasn't going to be extremely strict in the exact amounts I ate as I was prepared to indulge a bit more than usual. After all, it's Thanksgiving. After dinner I logged all my food & calories since I wanted to be accountable. I wasn't going to be ashamed of what I ate. When everything was said & done though, I was surprised.... my meal logged in at 934 calories. This was less than I thought it would be & while I did go over in my recommended calorie range, I was only over by 72 calories for the whole day! I was still in range with fat & protein for the day as well! I was quite proud of myself since I just stuck to eating what I liked but only eating till I was starting to get full. So that is also definitely a success.

I hope you all have had something successful happen to you this week, whether with food, exercise, health in general or just anything!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANN111 11/26/2011 2:31PM

    That's awesome! It feels so good when the hard work pays off, doesn't it! You are really making progress! Keep it up!

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A time to be truly thankful

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I woke up in my bed at my mom's house this morning, excited to relax, take my time enjoying cooking my stuffing, and looking forward to visiting my grandma later. And so far it is not turning out that way.... exactly. :)

I've been reflective all morning of things that I cherish in my life & am blessed to have. I'm healthy, I have family who loves me, I have friends that I adore & can count on, I have a roof & heat to shelter me, & I have opportunities in my life to keep me moving forward always.

While I do recognize & truly am thankful for all that, I'm also a lot more emotional this time. My grandma was placed in the hospital over the past weekend due to an infection of some kind. She is still there & I am unsure of her status at the moment. She has been slowly dwindling for the past couple of years & most of us thought she would be gone by now. To be honest, I'm not sure why she is still holding on so much, but I'm sure she has a reason. In any case, I haven't been able to see her since August so my mom & I will be doing that later tonight. Even though I've come to terms with her state of health, it's still a little hard to see her.

The other thing that is scaring me a lot right now & is making me appreciate today even more, is last night my mom told me something about one of my younger brothers. I knew he went to go see a specialist about a month ago for some testing. Ok, normally that's fine, no big deal. They came across low levels of some things in his system but didn't know the exact cause as it could've been a couple of things. They then decided to schedule an MRI which was yesterday morning. The doctor called my mom right away yesterday afternoon to have him come in for a blood draw first thing Friday morning (they would've done it today had it not been Thanksgiving). They want to do it ASAP so when the doctor comes in on Monday, he has the results & can immediately decide what to do. During the MRI yesterday, they found a tumor on his pituitary gland. I have done a little research on my own & have found out that most of them are noncancerous & there is treatment available, but of course the possibility of something more serious remains. At the moment we don't know exactly how serious it is & what kind of treatment he'll need, but knowing his past health history & realizing that the symptoms present of it are things he's had his whole life, I'm trying not to get too pessimistic.

My mom decided to tell me this right away yesterday instead of later in the week when I was leaving, so I'd have more time to process it while I'm away from my usual life. I'm glad she did. Right now, yes, I'm really worried, but I also know there's nothing I can really do or worry about until we know more in the coming weeks. What I can do is spend time with him & enjoy the times we are together.

Ok, this took longer than usual to write but I needed to get it off my chest to someone! Off to continue making gluten-free stuffing, finish laundry, shower, making applesauce........ :) I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving & if you don't celebrate, that you have a wonderful Thursday! May you all have a peaceful, warm, loving day. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANN111 11/26/2011 2:36PM

    I hope everything works out well for your brother and your grandmother! emoticon emoticon

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Weight/Gluten set-back

Monday, November 21, 2011

Today I weighed myself at the Y for an "official" weigh-in. I've been doing it every 10 days just to keep myself in check. (I admit that I also did it a couple of times late last week just out of curiosity, but I digress.) And my weight loss for the week is.... nothing. It was .2 higher than last week. I didn't get disappointed but I was thrown off. When I did the random curiosity checks a few days ago it was a pound, pound and a half lighter than today.

At first I couldn't figure out why, and then it dawned on me. Yesterday was a little bit of a splurge day. I went over in calories by about 100, the first time in over a week that I've gone over. Besides a healthy breakfast, it consisted of pizza and garlic bread. It was the first day in a while where I let myself eat anything, and to be honest, after the emotional rollercoaster I went through this weekend (along with my roommate), we just decided to watch movies and veg. I know it wasn't the best healthwise. We did walk over a mile to the store and back to get the food though. Even though I didn't eat much of either, I still was really bloated today. Not my time of the month yet, so my sudden mini weight increase couldn't be from that. I've been staying within calories & exercising more than usual. Then I realized pizza...... garlic bread..... gluten. I am a gluten-free diet because I know I'm intolerant to it. While I don't get violently ill from having small amounts, I do have plenty of physical symptoms when I eat too much of it. And bloating is definitely one of them. Because I've been staying strict to being GF for a few weeks again, the longer I go GF, the more noticeable it is when I *DO* have gluten (and the worse the symptoms). The pizza and garlic bread I had yesterday? I felt it today and I know I probably will tomorrow too. I rarely eat bigger things with gluten in them, but once I do, it's hard to stick with having just that one thing. I always, always get the mindset that "well, I just had something with gluten in it earlier today, so it won't matter if I have this thing too" and just blow the day with gluten-filled food choices, even if they are healthy.

In any case, I'm not getting upset about it, but just recognizing what happened and what the causes and consequences were. While I had the leftover small pizza slice (and another piece of garlic bread) tonight (I know, I should've had the roommate eat it when she gets back from out of town Wed), I do have all my meals for the rest of the week planned out so I don't randomly eat something that looks good but isn't going to sit well. I'm going home for Thanksgiving Wednesday morning when my roommate is coming back, so I'm going to leave a note for her to tell her to please eat the rest of the garlic bread throughout the rest of the week. And hopefully in another 10 days my body won't be so angry and retaliative and actually go down a little the next time I weigh.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANN111 11/24/2011 10:00AM

    You are really getting in touch with what works best for you! That's huge! Just like you noticed the changes in your muscles, you know that good changes are happening even when you can't see them. You are doing great! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! emoticon

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KELLEY421 11/23/2011 7:25PM

    You have a really great response to something that others might have been totally depressed by. Keep doing what you are doing, and keep that positive attitude! emoticon

P.S. Have a terrific Thanksgiving!

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IHEARTGEE 11/22/2011 8:46AM

    Sounds like you did well in recognising what caused your setback and making provisions to avoid it happening again. Hope you have a wonderful (gluten free!) Thanksgiving!

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Small realization

Saturday, November 19, 2011

While I was standing in the kitchen earlier this morning eating my cereal trying to slow down & enjoy it as much as I could but eating it fast enough where it didn't get soggy, I had a realization. I noticed my calves were sore from the combination of strength training I did Thursday & jogging I did yesterday. I then thought about how my leg muscles feel soooo much different to me than they ever have before. They feel more toned & firm, & I can actually feel muscles forming in parts of it that I've never had before.

All of my life I have had an issue with my feet. While I have a natural arch to my foot, when I step or stand they over-pronate. Until a couple of years ago, I never wore orthotics in my shoes. Because of that I know the muscles that developed in my legs are way different than they should be. Everyday it's a work in progress building up the muscles to be how they should against other ones that are stronger. But today, just standing in the kitchen I could feel the strength of the outer calves for once, and the strength from that holding me up felt so different. Part of it is a result of wearing my orthotics all the time, part of it is exercising to build those muscles right.

I'm super excited about this because it means that if I'm starting to feel these changes, there are also changes going on with my body too. Tomorrow is going to be my next 10-day weight in & measurement day. Maybe I'll see some differences, even if they're really small. Who knows?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IHEARTGEE 11/20/2011 7:36AM

    Whether your weigh in shows a difference or not, there's one there! Celebrate those non-scale victories just as much, if not more so, than those on the scale. I'm so happy that you can feel your body changing, feel how good all this is for you! Be very, very proud of yourself!

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Making adjustments

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm starting to realize that I should probably write & post my blogs earlier in the day before the afternoon. That's when my mind is the most clear & I can remember what I want to say better. :D Anyway, onto my real topic....

It dawned on me earlier this week that not only exercising regularly (and wanting to!) but eating within the Spark recommendations is becoming routine and second nature to me! Every day it's becoming more and more easier to grab foods that my body wants, and eating amounts that it needs. I also find my body craving to move around more. While I noticed I've fallen into a routine with this that I'm comfortable with for now, I also saw that there are a couple of areas that I could use a little more work... or as I like to see them, challenges.

First, I realized that I don't drink enough water in a day, even though it's all I ever drink. Some days I hit 8 cups now problem but most of the time I don't. Second, I currently eat 3 meals a day of about 400-500 calories each. In the beginning that worked out well for me, but now I'm finding myself getting hungry in between those meals. And with my schedule constantly changing between school & commitments, I don't have a set time that I can eat meals. Right now I eat breakfast when I wake up, space lunch to be sometime in the afternoon, and then dinner sometime in the evening. Some days breakfast & lunch are closer together, 3-4 hours apart, some days longer. With dinner, it's not possible to eat it until later in the evening, about 5 hours or so after lunch.

After realizing these things, I decided to do a little experiment with myself. For a week I am going to track it & see if there are any noticeable differences. Here are my goals:

1. Drink 8 cups of water a day (at least): The easiest way I can see myself getting all those in is having a cup every hour or so. One glass will be right when I get up, and also one for every meal.

2. Break my meals to be smaller but more frequent: I can tell my body wants constant fuel now, and that the 400-500 calorie meals at larger gaps are getting to be too much to eat in one sitting. They also don't provide the day-long support I need. I get lethargic after eating bigger meals since it's working on digesting it all, especially during dinner when the most calories are & I feel too full most of the time. I will have 5 meals throughout the day, every 2-3 hours at around 250-300 calories. Hopefully doing that will keep me feeling sustained enough throughout the day without getting too full or without going too long in between meals. It'll also work better with my schedule.

I realize that they may be a little difficult to implement for the first few days, especially the meal one, but it's definitely worth giving a try. We'll see how it goes!


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