Monday, November 25, 2013
I haven't been around Spark in a long time. I may be around more, I don't know. A lot of changes are coming up and I may need support, but I may not have a lot of time so we'll see.
Good news: I've been dismissed from my infectious disease doctor, pending one last check of my labs in January for my histoplasmosis levels to make sure they don't increase (currently still have trace amounts) and I was able to stop my meds for the histo.
My son got a job after his year long fellowship with Gillibrand ended. He is now a legislative aid for Dianne Feinstein. One week in and the hours are long!
Daughter is doing well, still with Peace Corps: one year in, one to go.
Husband doing well: Looks like changes are coming at work. More on that in another blog. Big reorganization at work is all I can say for now.
Me: I'm 37 pounds down. I finally had to go to Walmart and buy new jeans today as I didn't have any more smaller ones in my closet. Size 14 (stretch or relaxed fit)!!! I've been enjoying "shopping" in my closet and wearing things I haven't worn in awhile, but had run out of pants and was tired of my jeans being so loose. I don't wear a belt usually since I like tops that pull on, being the casual stay at home that I am and I don't have many "tuck-in" shirts in my closet. Still enjoying wearing tops that I wasn't able to wear in recent years and wearing my winter coat and actually being able to zip it up! We have such mild winters that I never bothered to buy a bigger coat when I gained weight, as usually I only needed it a few times each winter. But we're in a cold spell and it's so nice to be able to zip it up and really be warm!!!
How am I doing it? I started by going low carb as in Atkins low carb. I couldn't quite keep up the Atkins diet long term, but I'm still doing more low carb than before and less low fat. Basically no potatoes, bread, any high carb food in my house, although I may indulge when out to eat as we don't eat out more than once a week normally. Cutting out the low fat (they replace the fat with carbs) and watching overall calorie intake is a big help.
I did the heart healthy for years, but giving up the low fat and moving to low or really lower carbs has been much better. My glucose dropped from above 100 to 88. That's something to celebrate!
Thursday, September 05, 2013
I took a break from Spark. I needed to spend a bit less time on the computer! I gained back five of the pounds I had lost.
I went to my doctor appt for health insurance (DH's work insurance gives incentives/discounts for getting your yearly checkups) and as expected my cholesterol was high again (had to stop my cholesterol meds when I got the histoplasmosis due to liver involvement with the meds). My high blood pressure, which had been well controlled was now a bit high so he increased my dosage of meds and my blood sugar levels were still showing pre-diabetes.
So I came home determined to work on my diet. My sister gave me a "talking to" about metabolic syndrome. My sister is a retired doctor and she gives pretty good advice. She advised me to cut out the carbs and get my blood sugar levels in control and the blood pressure and cholesterol would follow suit. So with her urging I am now following a low carb diet instead of the heart healthy diet that I have been on for about 10 years. Yes, 10 years, more or less (with a few breaks) of heart healthy diet never did much for my blood pressure or cholesterol, even with weight loss so why not try the low carb?
Low carb is just a different mindset. I actually have not had a difficult time switching. The hardest thing is getting enough protein and fats in each day. Eating plenty of veggies was no problem. And surprisingly, cutting out carbs, with the exception of the veggies, has been easy. There were a few days of fatigue but that's all. No dramatic weight loss, but then I was just switching my way of eating, not going on a diet so there was no dramatic water weight loss at the start.
So far in one month I've lost 7 pounds. It's coming off at a slow and steady pace. I'm still grappling with the protein/fat allowance to make sure I get enough fat each day! Eating heart healthy I was cutting out fat. Now fat is okay. And low-fat is bad. Low-fat foods add sugar, so you get added carbs. Now that I'm looking at carbs in the labels of ingredients it's amazing how many there are in certain foods. So carbs with fiber are good, carbs without fiber are not so good. And since most of the carbs in low carb diets must come from veggies, it's very beneficial.
Anyway it is working for me to break me out of this metabolic syndrome that has been leading me towards diabetes slowly but surely. Not only has my weight dropped but my blood pressure is improving, too. I take it each morning now and finally, this past week my numbers have gone back down. According to a chart I found on Heart.org, my numbers have gone from Stage 1 High Blood Pressure back to Prehypertension, which is where I've been the last 10 years. My goal: get back to normal!
Ironically, DH is now in the insulin resistant stage himself for the first time so he's gotten serious about dieting again. He lost 100 pounds about 6 years ago then gained it all back and so it's good to see him working on it. But he's eating a lot of carbs! But he has to do it his way and if it works for him that's good. I told him what I'm doing and why. Each of us are different so we have to focus on what is best for us.
So for me: eat low carb
Continue my exercise program
Monday, July 15, 2013
Friday evening: walked almost 5 miles.
Sat. Did nothing much all day. No walk in the evening.
Sun. Walked 3 miles in the evening (temps were nice after our hot humid days, so enjoyed the change).
Monday: a day of overindulging. I think I got it out of my system!!
Pilates: great workout.
Walk tonight: doubt it. Need a night off.
I volunteered with our local school district and am being trained Wed. I was employed by this system for 5 years and resigned due to health issues and frustration with not being allowed to teach as much as I wanted to do.
Anyway, I'm going to training to learn how to work one on one with students to improve their reading. Ironic: when I was a music teacher I was put in a first grade class during reading block and expected to help them with reading with no training!
I thought of many options for volunteering: the hospital, the local animal protection society, etc even thought of doing CASA, but wasn't sure that was a good fit for me. Working with a child and navigating the legal system, foster system, etc sounds daunting and with my health issues wasn't sure that sitting in a court room for extended periods is a good option! So I chose to go with the school volunteering. I'm familiar with classrooms and always had a good rapport with my students, and since I taught so many who were underprivileged, I think volunteering in one of the needier schools who don't get many volunteers is the way to go. I know those kinds of children and have seen how they struggle and maybe I can help one of them.
Friday, July 12, 2013
I'm enjoying my "break" from Spark. Actually it's a break from the 5% Challenges, but I also haven't been on here that much this week.
My 30 minute Pilates session was great. We worked on the whole body in that time and I'm sure I'll feel some of it tomorrow! Well worth the money at this point!
Saw my dermatologist this afternoon and got three different samples for three different issues. Hoping they help. Especially the one for brittle nails, which are a pain in more than one way.
DH took the afternoon off so he got to enjoy the house to himself while I was gone, something that doesn't happen too often.
Hoping the weather allows for a good long brisk walk this evening! But if not that's okay, I've already gotten a great workout!
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I had my third Pilates session today. Great workout! I'm splitting my next two sessions into 4 30 minute sessions. After that I may go to class work: groups of 2-4 at a time. The one on one sessions are such a huge help as I learn how to sit and stand aligned correctly (a problem that we worked on in physical therapy last fall). I can't get that at home! Hopefully I'll soon be more aware when I'm sitting or standing incorrectly and be able to fix it myself! I have so many years of bad posture/alignment that it will take a while for me to do it right. When she has me stand or sit correctly, it feels weird, as my muscles aren't used to it! It should decrease stress on my body overall and help my back/hips/knees/feet!
My goal: be able to do Pilates at home correctly with weekly sessions with the instructor.
Enjoyed a brisk 3 mile walk with DH last night! Hopefully the weather will cooperate tonight. We could use some rain, just let it be this afternoon and clear up by evening!
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