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The Hypertension Diagnosis

Thursday, January 02, 2014

This holiday season brought me some eye-opening news. Over the last four months I have had a bad cold twice, which is unusual. Both times I became sick after my husband came home with something and I failed to take proper preventive precautions.
As I hate being sick, I opted both times to see a doctor within a week or so of getting sick. The first time I went to a CNP on campus and was told I had high blood pressure during intake. This was the first time I have ever read high.
This time around, I went to a local Urgent Care (a few days ago now) and also tested with a high blood pressure. The nurse even took it twice because she was unsure she had the correct readings.
I want to note that it has been over four years since I have stepped on scale and read the daunting numbers on the screen. When I go to the doctor, I always insist they keep it hidden from me. In the past, when I have lost weight, I have become so obsessed with that number that it ultimately perpetuated an eating disorder. So, in an effort to avoid this anxiety, I just stopped weighing myself.
This time at the Doctor's was no different. I insisted the nurse hide the number from me, and I could just get my antibiotics and go on my merry "weigh". However, while she was taking my BP the second time around, I saw the post it note with the number. I immediately teared up and reached for my phone to text my mother for some comfort. It was lower than I thought, but higher than I have ever been.
Despite the emotion I was feeling at this moment, it all became secondary when I over heard the conversation between the nurse and doctor outside my waiting room before she was to come in.
She saw my chart, saw my BP numbers, and then saw my age. The nurse had told her exactly what I said: That I'd never read high except the last two times. I heard the Doc say, "So now she officially has high blood pressure." Then I heard her say, "Did she see her age?"
It was devastating. The doctor came in to the room and I told her I overheard the conversation. We had a candid talk and she told me I have hypertension and that I am too young to have this.
I was besides myself for several days. I wanted to blog about this immediately, but I couldn't. Today I woke up finally feeling better from my cold, but I have been eating better from the second I received that diagnosis.
I logged on to Spark People as soon as I got home. I am going out to buy a scale today and will lose the weight I need to so that I can live past my 50s, past my 60s even (hopefully).
I am finally in the position I never wanted to be in, but I put myself here.
Fortunately, I feel very optimistic that I can take myself out of this situation as well and that maybe this was the wake up call I needed.
In the past, I have been derailed from my efforts by family tragedies. I won't let that happen this time as it has all had dire effects on my health. I am the only one in my way and I want to live a longer life than what is currently expected for me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLIEBEAN 1/2/2014 10:57PM

    I'm so sorry you had that upsetting experience! It's good that this is all out there and now you are making a plan. Who knows what would have happened if you kept hiding from your weight.

One step at a time. You are becoming a healthier version of yourself. That is a great thing!

emoticon emoticon

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SHELLS514 1/2/2014 10:55PM

    Oh sweetie, yes learn from this experience. You have time to turn this around and I know you can do it. I'm sorry you have had this scare but so happy you knew where to turn to get support. Here you will find the encouragement you need alongside sthe loving support from your mom. Let's do this together, I know I need all the support I can get to get back on track. So glad to see you, will be keeping you in my prayers!
Love and hugs,
Teri

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ELISADENK 1/2/2014 9:39PM

    emoticon

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RUDITUDI2000 1/2/2014 4:52PM

    emoticon I had an experience a few days ago that woke me from my slumber too...sobering but necessary sometimes..Hang in there! You have made your U-turn! emoticon emoticon

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Why I went off track and why I came back!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Two weeks ago my older brother (JJ) disappeared after a physical encounter with my younger brother. (Tim).

JJ has bipolar disorder and has been refusing to take medication. It has been stressful on my parents and my family because, as a result of his illness, he has lost his job, had several encounters with law enforcement, and now gone missing. He has tried to take his life on several occasions. Needless to say, we are all scared and devastated. My mother was thinking the absolute worse, and I sometimes so was I while sometimes I knew he would be okay.

He is okay. He turned up at a relative's house about a week after he went missing. This relative lives nearly 2,000 miles away.

During this time I couldn't eat much, and when I did it wasn't very good stuff. I just let myself go again, but I am ready to get back on track!

Fortunately, I have made some pretty good friends through this site and knowing they would be wondering where I had been, inspired me to come back and check in sooner as opposed to later.

I hope everyone is doing well. I am glad to be back. I am glad my brother is safe (names changed to protect.)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELLS514 8/23/2013 11:13AM

    I am so sorry you had to go through that but I can somewhat relate. My sisters youngest son is bi-polar and has done all those things when off his medications. Untreated bi-polar is very scary so I am so happy to hear he is okay and somewhere safe. I thought about you often the last 2 weeks and most certainly was concerned. I am SO very glad you are back! Now it's time to get the focus back on YOU! Here's to a new day! emoticon and Take care!

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SYELLICO 8/23/2013 10:18AM

    Glad to hear your brother is safe.

Good to see you back! Just jump back in, you'll do great :)

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ROSEPETAL80 8/23/2013 5:02AM

    I'm very glad your brother is ok. I understand how hard that must have been.

You'll be ok to get back on track. And anytime you need support, there's plenty here.



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KIM22211 8/23/2013 3:36AM

    I am so glad you were able to find your brother. I can't imagine what your mom was going through. Bless her heart! And yours too! I am really glad you didn't let you drive you over the edge! You are back and that's all that matters!!! Take care of you!

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WEARINGTHIN 8/23/2013 3:29AM

    Sometimes people with a new psychiatric diagnosis can be resistant to taking meds for years, then can get on course and lead quite normal lives. I'm one of them. I retired two years ago after a career in mental health. I got my masters in counseling psychology at the age of forty four, then worked as a mental health counselor for the latter part of my work career. I am married and have a successful son who also married and is the father to two young kids. It can be done. It is best if the person has someone close to them who they can confide in. I think they need at least one person to believe in them. Enough pontificating. Good luck to you and to him. Glenn

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Week 3 - Do Work!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

It's the first day of Week 3 and I'm pumped! I feel like I'm really on a roll and have made several small changes to my diet, and keep doing so.

I made some delicious whole wheat banana bread over the weekend. Yum! So healthy, too.

I bought new workout clothes and new workout shoes so I feel more comfortable at the gym.

I have also started making fruit smoothies every morning! I previously blogged about my challenges eating breakfast, but I love making smoothies so that helps me. I found a recipe on the site that is just perfect. It calls for a tablespoon of oats and I also add flax seed and it keeps me full for quite awhile.

I have literally purchased every single kind of fruit imaginable: mangos, peaches, pears, blueberries, raspberries, fresh pineapple, strawberries, bananas, etc. so I have so much fun deciding which combination I want to make.



Yesterday I made a strawberry banana one, and today I made a pineapple, raspberry, and banana one . . .so freaking yummy!!

So, I'm doing pretty well with things and have been really proud of myself about the fact that my husband, who is not changing his habits (in the past, I have asked him to join me on diets and he will do it, but this time I decided that he needs to be ready to make that change on his own), brings home all kinds of bad food and I am not tempted at all!! I know that my fridge is full of all kinds of healthy goodness that is just waiting to get in my belly and make me healthier all around.

I also feel more social lately and had a really nice weekend spending time with family. Last night, for my step-mom's birthday, we made a huge sushi buffet. I limited myself and I know I didn't go over my calories.



I just feel great and hope everyone else does too!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUSHIOUS 8/5/2013 8:40PM

    I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE your ENERGY!!!

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SHELLS514 8/5/2013 12:56AM

    This is such a happy blog, I love it. I also love smoothies! I am going to start incorporating the oats in mine, that is a great idea to make it more filling and the flax is such a healty component too, thanks for that idea! They are so good and the combinations are endless. Have you tried tossing in a handful of spinach? You can't even taste it and it adds great value. Glad you had time to enjoy family, that us so important and thge sushi looks fab, yum! emoticon
emoticon Teri

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Gambatte!

Friday, August 02, 2013

The Japanese have this saying that basically means, "You can do it! Good Luck! Work hard! Don't give up!" all in one. I love that saying and often say it to myself to keep motivated.



I first joined SP back in 2007 when I was living just outside of Tokyo and teaching at the largest language school in Japan. I was so determined and motivated to lose weight, and I did lose close to 70 pounds.

In retrospect it seems like it was so easy back then. The lifestyle there is so much different than here. The portions are smaller. The food is fresher. The food is healthier. The walking is endless. It was so wonderful to live there and have the experiences that I did.

I knew that when I came back home to the U.S. I wanted to be fit. I knew I would be seeing my husband (then just a friend with romantic interest who communicated with me everyday). I wanted him to find me irresistible, and he did.



Five years later and we are married. Five years later and I've done exactly what I told myself the day I boarded the plane to come home that I would not do: I let myself go. It is my pattern when it comes to relationships; I get so comfortable that I just don't care anymore.

As the years have gone by I have slowly forgotten most of the Japanese I learned while overseas for two years. But now that I am back on SP, and back on track with a healthy lifestyle, these words and phrases have started coming back to me.

One of those phrases is Gambatte (the phonetic spelling - it sounds like Gam Batt Ey). And now I say that word to myself often again.

When I don't want to go to the gym, but know I should, I hear the word in my head and it pushes me out the door. When I'm at the gym and I don't want to push myself, I hear the word and it makes me push harder. When I visualize the way I will look at my Mom's 60th birthday party, I hear the word in my mind . . .over and over again.

It's an important reminder of what I am capable of and the strength that I have. I went to Japan without knowing a single sole in 2006, and I left with many friends, a ton of teaching experience, and many wonderful prospects at my fingertips.

Just because I have gained my weight back, does not mean that all of that is gone.

Gambatte!



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELLS514 8/4/2013 12:36PM

    What fantastic experiences you have had, memories you will never forget! It sounds like you are motivated and on your way. emoticon Thanks for sharing and have a great week! emoticon

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JIMINY24 8/2/2013 6:31PM

    You have had some amazing experiences! You're right about American lifestyle...it's hard to be healthy because it's just not the natural culture. I love the word Gambatte! And you can do it!

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RUDITUDI2000 8/2/2013 10:35AM

    Never knew that, I like it! emoticon

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New Workout Clothes

Thursday, August 01, 2013

I've needed new workout clothes for awhile now. I usually just wear the same sweat pants I've had forever (with a couple smalls holes) and a t-shirt.

So, I went to Target earlier and went . . .well . . . a little crazy.




That's four very bright new workout shirts and one pair of comfy Yoga pants. I know it's not the clothes that matter, but there's something motivating about it and I can't wait to get in them and hit my work out in the next half hour. I am hoping to attend the PowerPump class, which is something I haven't been to in over a year now. I am anticipating a lot of soreness tomorrow morning, but I'm ready for it!

I also swung by the grocery department and took advantage of the sale on frozen fruit. I really want to start making smoothies so now I'm all stocked up!



Tomorrow is the start of our big tax free weekend, so I hope to take advantage of that and get some new workout shoes as well.

Usually I try to save these kinds of purchases for a reward for reaching one of my goals, but I made an exception this time because I really did need to find some attire that also doesn't substitute as my pajamas.

As this is the first day of a new month, I'm really hoping to go hard or go home! The new semester starts in about two weeks and I really want to make sure I'm going strong enough that a little bit of stress won't steer me back into my old habits.

And now at least I have something new to help push me in the right direction.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUDITUDI2000 8/1/2013 8:52PM

    That will keep you moving! They look comfy and I love the bright colors! Enjoy your workout. emoticon

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FLPALM 8/1/2013 8:09PM

    Good for you to purchase some new workout clothes and fruits for smoothies! I think that is a great way to keep focused on your goals! WTG!

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