Friday, July 11, 2014
I hope I am not sounding like a broken record with my blogs lately.
I am just so up and at it that I feel a need to get my thoughts written down somehow...
Last night I couldn't sleep thanks to the heat and a thought came to me...
Just how joyful I have been lately and how I have after a year or so of searching(this time around) have found my "sweet spot" on the health scale...
You know that spot you reach when the pounds are coming off at a good pace, your energy levels are higher than before and you just feel good??
I was here before about 5-6 years ago. At that time I was eating a low salt, low protein diet prescribed by my doctor and putting in about 75 minutes of walking a day, 15 miles a week.
Things were going pretty well back then, before I went off the bandwagon. That was also before I found Spark People...
This time around, when I was trying to get going again on my exercise routine and nutrition, I tried using the same formula, working up the walking and keeping to my doctor prescribed nutrition program. It wasn't working as well and things were progressing very slowly.
So I needed to make some changes... But it took awhile to find the right ones.
Those changes came over the past 5 months when to start with I was challenged by my doctor to lose 10 lbs in a year's time. I also came to realize my need for the Lord's help with my health routine. I had been trying to do it all myself and I knew I could not do it on my own. Then there was the wonderful encouragement I got from my Spark friends to keep on trying.
Over the past two months, I have managed to find that "sweet spot" again...It is not the same as last time, but that is okay. The nutrition part is a little different, having to add some more foods to my watch list. The exercise includes walking, but I have added a variety of other activities including gardening and working out on an elliptical. Oh and by the way...that 10 lbs?? they are gone already and I have set another goal to meet.
Things are not perfect by any stretch of the word, for I know that there are still changes that I will need to make along the way, but it is just good to know things are heading back in the right direction. Every little bit of success is another step toward good health.
It is a good place to be: "the Sweet Spot".
For that I can be joyful and thankful!
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
It is a hot day outside and getting my exercise in has been a challenge. Succeeding in some,
but having to substitute in others. I am not a lover of the heat and so it tends to slow me down some.
The advantage of having good weather is we can get outside and do things we otherwise would not be able to do. So I had the opportunity to talk with a couple of my health cheerleaders the other day and learned some more things I hadn't thought about in relation to my health We were at our church picnic and were enjoying some fellowship and chat time.
They told me they noticed I looked a bit more healthier and so we launched into a talk about health and healthy foods for a time.
I have been doing some research on sugars and simple carbs lately. What I found out was mind blowing. I thought to begin with that getting off sugar and simple carbs was all hype and did not have substance. That is until I started to look at what it did to me... Then my kidney doctor mentioned pre-diabetes. I thought again that she was just joking. I was wrong. The main one being my waistline. Too much in the wrong place.
So I decided to try out something to see what the results would be. I stopped using white sugar, white flour and white rice in my foods. Cutting down the added sugar to below 25 grams a day as recommended for a healthy diet. The results were astounding! My energy soared and my waistline shrunk! Over two months!! Not to mention weight loss.
When I have added those foods in unintentionally, I start feeling sick and sluggish and just not well. I have found also that artificial sweeteners do the same thing for me. They are not an option for substitutes. Anything with added ingredients of the artificial kind does not bode with me well.
So with the holiday weekend past us, I am heading back to a natural foods routine. When I want sweets, it will be the wholesome natural kind. Nothing with additives for me. Gotta stay away from those processed foods with the processed ingredients, added salt and sugar and whatever else they add to 'em. More wholesome foods are in my current and future plans.
So I guess what I have to say to others is that if you find yourself tired, sluggish, not losing weight and without any energy, take a good look at what you are eating. The foods you are eating may be part of the problem. Lots of people have found that they are sensitive to different foods. For me, it is the salt, sugar and white processed foods. For others it may be something else. I have found another puzzle piece to my success in gaining health.
I hope this can help someone else find success as well.
Friday, July 04, 2014
I was watching the spark video about Arthur the US veteran today and got inspired by his story.
So I decided I would write what has inspired me all of a sudden to get healthy and lose weight.
My journey to health started over 10 years ago when I found out I had nephritis a type of kidney disease that affects my protein. In addition I was also dealing with high cholesterol and other health issues. At that time I was able to adjust my diet, start on an exercise program and was doing very well for awhile. Then I got sidetracked and have had problems getting back on track completely until this year. Even though I have been on Spark People since February 2010, I do not think I ever really got into the program completely even though I did everything I was supposed to.
I found myself encouraging others to eat healthier and get more exercise. When our son started having some unexplained health problems, I encouraged him to change his diet and start getting exercise. He took my advice and ran with it. He is now several pounds lighter and in much better shape thanks to taking up bicycling and eating healthier foods.
I continue to encourage other members of my family in their health journeys as well.
But I wasn't really accomplishing anything for myself. I would get exercise, and try to stay within my calorie goals, but I wasn't getting anywhere. I would lose pounds and inches, and gain them back again. That's what happened last year.
I am not sure what it was that got me going... Maybe it was some comments I read on Spark People, or the challenge one of my doctors gave me to "lose just 10 lbs in one year". Or maybe it was the desire to stop eating all those bad foods that I was still inclined to eat...like white sugar, white flour and the like. Or maybe it was something completely different...like realizing that I could not do this on my own, that I needed God to help me achieve my goals. Or that I had helped my children get onto a healthy lifestyle and it was now my turn to do the same.
Or maybe it was what one SP leader told me...that I needed to WANT to get healthy and to get my attitude in line with my goals. Or maybe it was that great Spring weather that got me going.
I cannot say for sure, but I have learned a lot and started to lose weight and feel healthier than I have in a long time.
So this year somehow I got back on the bandwagon and in a big way...
I decided I would once and for all find out how to get things going and keep them going...
I knew I needed to stay with my low sodium diet and to get back on an exercise schedule.
My nephritis was in remission and in control and I was determined to keep it that way. I also wanted to keep my health numbers in the normal ranges.
But something wasn't clicking and something was missing. I did some research and found out that white processed flour, breads and white sugar were the foods that were blocking my success. I found that I was craving things like bread and crackers all the time.
So I took the bull by the horns and completed the Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge. I took the instructions to heart and learned all I could about what sugar and white processed foods can do to your health. Then I went off them cold turkey for about 3-4 weeks.
That in itself was an eye-opener.
My energy has returned in leaps and bounds and I am feeling stronger.
I lost 10 lbs this year...16 altogether and I am still losing. The pounds literally feel like they are melting off my body...really amazing!
I am back to where I was a year ago and then some, in less that 5 months.
I am finding lots of ways to get exercise, even non-conventional ways and wanting to do it every day. That is a big change for me.
Making small goals, reaching them and setting more have kept me going.
I have started and completed many outside garden projects over the past few weeks and months.
But I think the one thing that I have learned this year so far is that I cannot do this on my own.
Without God I am nothing and can do nothing. I would not be here without Him and the help He has given me. He is my main Partner in my health journey.
I also would not be able to do this without all the encouragement that the wonderful people on Spark People have given me. Getting back into SP challenges has given me the motivation to keep going. I am now doing the Summer 5% challenge and having a blast getting to know people and doing the weekly mini-challenges.
I've been on this journey a long time, but I intend on staying on it to see it to its completion.
I know I still have several unresolved issues and a long ways to go, but time and perseverance will take care of them.
I'm looking forward to getting healthier and meeting my goals in health and in life. I know with God at my side and friends on my team I can and will do just that.
God bless you all,
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