Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wow, just amazing that here it is November 11, 2010, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Some of you know and some don't, but this is the time of year that is HARDEST for ME with fighting depression. I have to say, I am fairing pretty well so far this year. I don't know if I have numbed myself or what, but I feel more energized, happier, scared, lots of mixed emotions. I've lost a lot this time of year, but at the same time, I now feel I've gained a lot in my life and that is ME. What I mean by that is "I AM ALIVE TODAY." Oh yes, and since I have so many struggles, my heart, health, I just feel blessed to be alive. This may sound weird, crazy or stupid, but I have a friend, and yes I love her dearly, but she thinks I am obsessed with my health. I told her yes I am. She thinks I should not worry about my eating and I try too hard. I told her, I HAVE TOO in order to stay alive. She doesn't seem to get it or understand that I HAVE TOO watch what I eat, exercise (which I am somewhat lacking on). Ok, I can be like so many in the world and say "screw it, smoke, eat whatever, give up, but I can't. I am NOT perfect about it. Here is an example, she said I should not use food as a treat. I said to her, I HAVE too. She said for me to make a goal of losing 10 pounds and buy an outfit. I said, that is great and agree, but I can't because I may NEVER reach that goal because of my disease so I can only try. What I can do and is doable is to set a goal, I eat healthy, do everything like I am suppose too, and allow myself that chai tea or to order out a Gyro. I am still in my numbers or I might be slightly high on sodium for that day, but that is not a bad thing, it s not breaking my diet or what I say my new way of eating. It is rewarding me for succeeding. If I set a goal of 5 pounds or 3 pounds or 10 pounds, that may not EVER happen, so what, I fail? Answer: NO
Here is something that was once motivating to me? I was offered $500 for new wardrobe if I lose and reach goal. Wow, pretty motivating. Problem here is that I FAILED. Why did I fail? Not lack of trying. Oh, I tried very hard. I didn't know I had a disease at the time. I could lose some inches, I could lose a few pounds eventually, but nothing real significant. Was that goal realistic? Yes/NO It was not realistic for me in the sense that it was an impossible task. As far as time frame we set (1 year) at time it was 50 pounds, it even got extended 6 months so that would be 1.5 years) so that was doable for the normal person but not me. Had I known, that goal would have never been set. After I explained to her, I think she understood.
Ok, stay with me. I could say, if I do good with my nutrition for a month, I can buy myself a new outfit. Well, ok, but the problem here is, I have to eat so healthy, and I have to watch everything, and I feel like I am losing, missing out, to never eat out again...that just doesn't make sense to me. It might for some. But on a normal week, day I give up a lot. People ask me "how can you just poof, in an instant, poof, quit smoking, quit coffee, and log log log, read label after label? Wow, pretty powerful question. I CRAVE having a cigarette sometimes. YES I sometimes want to be able to light up that cigarette BUT I CAN'T! Why? Because I may stop breathing, I still have difficulties and I don't want to stop breathing. Sodium really matters to my blood pressure and I really and truly DO NOT WANT TO BE ON BLOOD PRESSURE MEDS. It is such a fine line for me right now as to take or not take blood pressure meds. Right now the cardiologist is ok with me being off of them. If things don't improve, regardless of diet/exercise, I will have to take them, but we are all believing and fighting to improve and stay off of them. I do know that higher sodium raises my BP. Sorry, I know this may be boring so you can skip reading my blog if you so choose, but I hope that my successes and failures will help whoever may read this. Yes, I crave that candy bar, or donut, or cookie or coffee, or chai tea. I CAN'T EAT these, but can I have them as a treat on occasion? YES.
If you are familiar with the Diet Solution, or The Fat Belly Diet, and many other similar diets, they have what they call a "CHEAT DAY" Basically, I call the cheat day my treat day; however, my catch to it is that I have to have followed my health plan in order to have that treat day or cheat day. It has to be part of the plan. Having this day makes it doable to follow the plan. It becomes a normal process of healthy eating.
FYI - I LOVE the Pumpkin Oatmeal recipe. My hubby does too!
I did my reflections blog of some of my successes. I've not spoken a little bit about goals so now I will go into the good stuff of Holiday's, Tips, Ideas. Before I go into that, on goals, Be sure to set your goals that are doable for YOU. Oh, and if I ever reach losing 10 pounds, I will go buy me a new outfit because that truly will be a HUGE SUCCESS and well deserved! But it is NOT my doable goal. I call it my BONUS GOAL. I have to measure my successes a little differently. My successes will primarily be NSV No Scale Victory or non-scale victories.
Holidays are nearly hear, just around the corner, and the biggest one first is THANKSGIVING. Oh no, how do we survive the holiday? How do we keep to our plan so we meet our goals and don't self destruct? Well, I have lots of ideas, tips, suggestions and certainly going to use and try them and I challenge each and everyone of you to try them too!
1) Before going to someone's house or potluck, eat a healthy meal at home (this way you are already full, and all those desserts don't look so yummy). Also you will eat so much less. Fill up on salad before leaving.
2) Eat protein. That's right, Feast on Protein!!!! Protein by nature is filling and if you fill up on lean protein, you are less likely to go for more destructive food at a buffet. You will leave still satisfied. Another benefit of doing protein is that it will help your body process carbs more effectively as it will stimulate the release of the hormone glucagon - this is a hormone that helps control blood sugar.
3) Do NOT Drink your calories! Calories in beverages are wasted calories. They can tack on a lot of unwanted calories to your evening or day and cause you to self destruct for the day. Avoid this one! Rule is: If it has calories, DON'T DRINK IT!
If you don't want to go with just water, then add flavored water. Or another tip little tip, if that calorie drink is truly a MUST, well get yourself a DIXIE CUP! You heard me, yes a DIXIE CUP, pour that egg nog, or whatever drink into that DIXIE CUP! Sorry, that is ALL YOU GET! Oh, how many of those can I have? 1 and no more than 2. You heard me right, no more than 2. Before you have it, drink a glass of water!!!!
4) Your first move! Yep, when going to that holiday party or at your own home, as soon as you arrive, drink a tall glass of water and wait 15 minutes before you eat anything! Mingle in the crowd or visit, but drink that water and wait 15 min before you put any kind of food in your mouth.
5) Many of these things are POTLUCKS! Make something healthy and yummy and primarily eat your OWN.
6) One of my other favorites is to use small cake size plates. You have less room to put stuff on the plate. Choose the lean proteins, or bite size of other items.
7) Never go to it hungry....same theory of going to the grocery store...don't do it hungry. If you go full, less hungry, much easier to handle the small plate and you really do want to eat less.
8) Be "Normal". Don't save up your calories. This is a big mistake!
First, when you go into a meal or party incredibly hungry, you will absolutely overeat....meaning eat more than you normally would.
Bigger portions of calorie dense, fatty/carb-laden food = WAY more calories than you would have naturally eaten throughout the day.
Secondly, eating nothing only to follow it up with a big, high-fat/high-carb/high-calorie meal leads to a greater percentage of those calories than normal to be stored as fat.
9) Do a "Depletion" the day before the big event.
You exercise by doing a lot of walking the day before the big day. Fat is a slower energy source so by doing this, you are depleting your intracellular triglyceride store.
Do circuit style weight training, keeping it light, but do a lot of repetitions and really go for the burn...feel the burn....
Going into a big meal with depleted intramuscular energy stores (brought about via energy-depleting exercise) is suppose to lead to much of that meal refueling those stores as opposed to being tacked onto your waist, hips, and butt.
10) Go Non-Alcoholic - But for some, this may be no way, so I am going to say, go with the dixie cup rule or do the only allowed 1 drink/beer/wine whatever, and absolutely no more than 2.
Excessive alcohol intake also creates a hormonal environment in the body very conducive to fat storage, making those calories much more likely to negatively impact the number that shows next time you step on the scale.
11) If you don't Love it, then don't eat it! You must really want to have it, small portion, small plate as in one of the tips above.
12) The One and Done Rule! You only get one helping! Yep, so pick only what you really love as in #11, but you only get one. Most weight gain in holiday's is the 2nd and 3rd helping.
13) The Veggie Rule - Fill up on raw veggies (these don't count for the one done rule; however, if using dip, that goes on the one and done rule.
14) The Chew Rule - Chew chew chew that food. Chew your food at least 20 times before swallowing. Be conscious and savor each bite. It will really make a difference.
15) Compensate: Yep - true fact, you are going to consume more calories between November and January than you normally would throughout the rest of the year even if it is just moderately more, but that is reality. A natural combatant would be more exercise. You heard me right, more exercise. Throw in an extra walk, visit to the gym, or workout session at home.
16) BE ACCOUNTABLE - Oh don't ya hate that word...well maybe not, but be really, be accountable, write it down. Log it! Track it! Even if it is on paper, but then I challenge you to put it into the tracker even if it is just a tbsp of this or that, you will be just surprised at how much it accumulates, and also that you surprisingly did well. Really, you will be proud of yourself that you did it. You will enjoy the rewards of it all. Best of all, you really didn't go without any of it.
Another Idea: do half a plate of the small plate trick..... Ok, wait, chew chew chew....ok, drink that glass of water....ok.....go back for 2nd 1/2 plate. Hmmm you just spread it out, you just got fuller, you just satisfied yourself, and you survived the holiday meals!!!!
OK, those are my tips for the holidays. I have tried most of them and they work! I recently tried the one going to the buffet. I use to go for the salads first, but now I go for the lean proteins. Example: I went for steamed clams, put 10 on plate. Went for the blackened salmon (very tiny portion).... Oh, and the steamed mixed veggies which was broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini. All of this on my plate, and put the melted butter in little cup container. I dip the clam into the butter, shake it off a bit...yep this causes excess to go off the clam....I finish the plate, wow, getting full, go get slice of the prime rib (not as lean of protein), I have them cut it very small/thin and then I go get 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the mash potatoes and put some gravy over the potatoes. I cut any fat off the prime rib and put off to side. I cut small bites, dip into potato/gravy, chew it slowly, don't eat it all, put plate off to side, I drink my water, I am pretty darn full, off to the fruit, take literally a piece (it is just a cube) of cantelope, one of watermellon, and one strawberry. Ok, eat that, I am now fuller, ok, now dessert, how full am I? if really desire to eat a dessert, I go pick a SMALL piece or have a bit of bread pudding, one or the other, but not both, and if I take it back to table and take a bit or two, often I am too full and just push it to side and not eat any more of it. Sometimes, instead of the prime rib, I will go for crab or do both. When I do both, I have zero dessert. I am too full. Oh, by the way, I write it all down on a napkin...lol... I come home and log it in to sparks... I have surprised myself. Sometimes all of my numbers are good, or I am a little high on sodium or little high on calories, but guess what, NEVER POORLY.... All within reason. Oh, cholesterol, it is always within the 0-300 range. I believe 3 times in the 3 years I have been over the 300 and not by much...Never hit 400.
Oh, the writing it down on the napkin helps keep you from going to get something extra that you shouldn't because you know you have to go log it back and you don't want it to show for yourself or anyone else. It just makes you be accountable to yourself. It really does work!
This year, I plan on doing the depletion. Never really thought of it in the terms that I have it above. It really makes sense to me. In fact, all of the tips make sense so I am going to follow.
Think of this particular day as your "cheat day" but if there are too many of those, not good thing...you have to arm yourself with these tips. You are only allowed ONE Cheat Day or Treat day, whatever you want to call it.
My advise or thought or idea is, and using Thanksgiving as an example. Wow, Wednesday at work we are having a pot luck. Well, I really don't want that to be my cheat day, I better bring something really healthy that I can eat. I am going to use all my tips/tricks above. I am arming myself up by drinking water throughout the day at work. Big time water.... can't stress that enough. Oh, I better go for a Walk the day before and do so weight training at home too. Ok, did my depletion Tuesday. Doing my water. Made my healthy meal for potluck to share with all, but this will be my primary item on plate to eat. Got the small plate too, and did 1/2 plate, now drinking more water, then another 1/2 plate. Oh spread it out so it looks like full plate. Taking time to chew it. I am going home happy and on track!!! Woo Hoo. Oh my gosh, tonight we are having a thing a church...another pot luck!!! oh no...repeating my process. Whew, that was a success. Oh, by the way, I know that tomorrow is my cheat day, it is the big day, and I really need to do a depletion....oh I am tired, it is late, I am home...well, put that 15 min walk away the pounds in and do it or in between work/lunch/church I do a 20 min walk. Me, personally will pop in my dvd and do the 15 min walk away the pounds and call it good and now off to BED. Another thought would be to get up 20 min early and do the 15 min walk away the pounds or do weight training....that would cover me.
Now, the big day is here, well go through the tips/rules and you can do it, and today is my TREAT DAY.
For your TREAT DAY - Be sure to follow the Love it Rule!!! That is a MUST!
Some additional rules for treat day/cheat day
You must include a MUFA (Monounsatuated Fat) with two of your meals. What are these:
1 tbsp of Olive Oil with Basalmic vinegar over salad would satisfy this. I might do a salad for lunch on a small plate and basically would be baby greens, 5 croutons, 1 slice of 95% fat free turkey (1 oz) cut up over salad, 5 slices of cucumber.
Breakfast I would do oatmeal or oatmeal squares or all bran buds, with 1/2 cup of almond milk (unsweetened) and 10 Raw Almonds. (10 raw almonds is a Mufa)
I will drink water in between and if I am feeling at all hungry, then I will put strawberries or blueberries or peaches into blender (1 cup) and (1 cup of Almond Milk) Blend, pour into tall glass, stir in 1 tbsp of flaxseed oil and drink up. You may use skim milk but I try to avoid dairy except for cheese.
I should be pretty decently full for the day, well satisfied, and ready to tackle thanksgiving dinner. Follow the normal tips. If you are bringing something for Thanksgiving, bring the dessert and make it a healthy yummy dessert using chocolate but it has to be DARK CHOCOLATE and yes, you can have a serving of that!!!! lots of antioxidents.... 72% or higher of cocoa!!!!! Hershey's Cocoa (unsweetened) is ok. Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate one is ok too, but is not as healthy or have as many antioxidants as the other and just learned that...it states it on the can. Another idea for dessert is to buy the chocolate bar and break the squares onto a plate and garnish with orange slices.
The key here is that "YOU" make the dessert. If you are preparing the dinner, and having guests, let guests bring salad, or anything else but the dessert. YOU prepare the dessert.
Note: The more fat/sugar you put into the dessert, the smaller the piece you get!
BE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOURSELF! WRITE DOWN AND/OR LOG THEN OR LATER...BUT IT IS A MUST DO.
BEST OF ALL, ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS! BE SAFE! LOVE LIVING LIFE IN A HEALTHY WAY!
********KEEPING YOUR SODIUM LOW*********
This blog is so long, I am going to do another blog called Keeping your sodium low
fyi following those above tips...you actually will most likely be under 2300 in sodium unless you eat a lot of high sodium foods.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Time for some reflections. I just read the sparks reflection for today and even commented on it. Are you afraid to try or are you afraid to fail? I am not afraid to try, but I am afraid of failing. Does that stop me? No, I keep on trying and going strong. Many of you know the challenges I've had to face, still facing, my heart attack, my rare disease. None of it has stopped me from trying. But am I afraid of failing, yes, afraid that the successes will be too late for me, but what I do have is HOPE, and MIRACLES, and GOD. God to give me the strength to keep trying, to give me healthy benefits from it, to heal my body. Here are some reflections of my successes, not failures, but successes:
- Lowered my LDL considerably, well within normal range! WOO HOO this is a super big accomplishment and success. I did this over the time with sparks.
- Lowered my HDL to well, too low, but that is due to disease and I am working on getting that UP and I am still working on lowering the LDL, as the doctors want it at 70. Wow, that will be a challenge.
- HDL - 60 and LDL 70
You may not call lowering my HDL a success, but it is in the overall picture / numbers.
- Lowering my Triglycerides (the fat in blood) (I was 175, now 167) Normal is 150. I am getting there!
- I exercise more now than 3 years ago (this is a big success)
- I can challenge myself, push myself
- I am more nutrition savvy... and I am still learning.
- I've lost 14 pounds now in 3 years... (that is a little depressing)...ok but I will keep trying to get there. I really believe the body needs to heal certain things. I look at a friend who lost nothing in pounds, ready to quit, give up, but goes to the doctor and finds out she has improved her blood pressure and some other things that she gets to go off of 3 of her medications. Wow, she was excited, as it happened like I told her, the body healing first. A week later, she lost 5 pounds, and slowly but steadily lost. I have no clue where she is today as so many of friends that reach goal go poof! I am so happy for them, that I inspired them and they made it. It saddens me because I no longer have them as supporters and that I haven't made it yet.
You know, every person that has stuck with me, did what I did for exercise, ate like I did, on average, lost 3-5 pounds a week. Me, wow, I lost zero. Even my sister, did exactly what I did and lost 6 pounds. Ok, why stop? What happened to her motivation. Ask me to make her exercise.... I can't, but wow, I sure wish it was me that would drop the 6 pounds. A dear friend of mine, older and wiser, now passed away, didn't believe me until she started paying attention and then realized after time, that wow, I am physically active, eat healthy, and definitely not over eating, and realized that I still gained or stayed same. I miss her a lot. People that may think a person is fat from over eating, being lazy, well they can be so off base. The smart, intelligent ones, the ones that pay attention, realize that it isn't so. Yes, there are those out there that do over eat, do purposely put on weight, etc., but there are so many that have no control over there weight.
- I can cook really HEALTHY meals that everyone LOVES, especially those that love meat and potatoes
- I can ride my bike 28 miles WOO HOO with some hills but mostly flat...small hills too, not big.
Over the Fall challenge on the Lime Team, I have focused, tried, and basically stabilizing. I have a good feeling that some positive things with my body will happen for the Winter challenges on the Lime Team! WE CAN DO IT! Believe in yourself! You really can do it! Just don't give up, no matter how fruitless it may all seem.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Start of our ride
Had to use the outhouse first
Ok, ready get set go
here I go...trucking on down the path.
Hi Hun, you there? I am doing it!
Wow, going under I405 (13 miles) WOO HOO
This is me going under it
further under I405
We had 1 cup of grapes each. We rode a little further (another mile and turned around and started back and stopped ate the rest of our lunch which for me was a slim fast (protein), cheese stick, and back to truck. Yes, I am wore out, tired, a little sore. I usually ride at 3 but today I did it at 5, hubby did 7, but on way back had to drop to 3/4 where I stayed at 5. It really gave me a good workout. My heart rate would vary from 124-150. I was mostly at 130-140
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Ok, today was a little bit of a slow start but I got started. I laid in bed debating on getting up. Part of me wanted to throw the covers over my head and never get up and part of me wanted to jump up get dressed, go get on my bike. Ok, had to settle for the middle, get myself up and dressed. I cried last night, I rode my bike and cried. My hubby felt so sad to see me cry. He felt like crap because I was so upset. I was upset but I wasn't. I was more on the frustrated side. I really truly tried really hard and was so disappointed in my labs but at the same time, to find out that just taking a week off from serious exercise could make that much of a difference, to cut back on salmon a little, to cut back on fish oil pills. Well, there is no doubt I have to exercise whether I want to or not. I have to be honest here, the fact of the matter is, if I don't I will DIE. The thought of dying just hurts inside. I can't let the whatever horrible disease win. I asked my doctor for the name again, he has to find it, as he forgot the darn thing and knew only part of the name but assured me he would get it for me. He did tell me that he felt I was stable. He said we will know for sure in January. Dang that seems forever to wait but I have from now until then to try to get things better improved. See, if I do all the wonderful things that are so healthy for me, exercise like I am suppose to, well then numbers still not where they should be, meaning worse then this visit, they have to find different medications or adjust dosage. This isn't all that bad, and I know I am not the only person to have bad cholesterol, but just remember, my cholesterol is from a rare disease, it is not because of eating habits, it is extremely rare and genetic. It nearly makes it impossible to lose pounds. Sometimes I feel so alone with this. I go walking with a friend, she wants to split sub, and so do I, but almost every sub I can't have because too much sodium. Over the past 2 years, nearly 3 years, I have not watched my sodium like I do today. Wow, what a wake up call on just how much sodium is in food, even without adding table salt. No I do not add any table salt.
Ok, after pitting myself, the crying, being angry, and everything else you can imagine, managed to get dressed, talk to my friend, was just getting ready to leave house for bike ride when hubby surprised me of coming home. I went to the store, got healthy grocery and count that as walking, light exercise, but it counts...249 calories gone with that, but that really doesn't count for my heart in what I need, so got home, put away the groceries, got on my bike and rode or 70 minutes. I did what I needed for the heart. Woo Hoo, 637 in calories are gone!!!! Yippee!! I have exercised for a good hour.
My nutrition is in check again today. Still working on my water. Get to start dinner shortly, chicken breast, baby greens, basalmic vinegar, croutons.
Update: I just finished riding my bike, getting ready to do up a really healthy low cal dinner and my CARDIOLOGIST called. He saw my labs and well concerned, and worried, but once found out plan the doctor has with me, he is good with it, but if January, numbers are same or worse, MEDS change. He was concerned that no one was watching and he really does not want me to have a coronary again. He wants my HDL above 42 and wants my LDL 70 and ok if 80. She explained to me the reason. Only reason he is not adjusting meds right now is because he agrees, it may be the week of me not exercising, there was a positive change in triglycerides, and the numbers are still relatively low and the overall number did NOT change, it stayed the same. Ok, no missing exercise for me!
1) EXERCISE 30 Min or more a day Preferably longer
2) LOW SODIUM
3) LOW FAT - MUFA ONLY
BFD is great, but need to watch that I don't get too many MUFAs and make sure I get the fiber needed. I have to modify.
6) 1200-1500 (closer to the 1200 range) If lower, ok.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Ok, got my lab work back. My overall cholesterol number is 175. This is good.. It was 175 in August. Bad news, my HDL (the good) dropped 10 points so I was 32 and my bad cholesterol the LDL went up to 106, ok, Tryglycerides this is the fat in your blood, 150 is normal, I was 175 in August, I am now 167. Ok, what happened? Just so you all know, I am scared because 24 was my hdl (HEART ATTACK) yes, so yes I am scared. The only really good news is that they think is what is happening, I am healing. My cholesterol appears to be stabilizing which is good. Reason he is not really concerned right now is that the numbers are balanced. I have not exercised now for 1 week plus 2 days, well a little exercise, just not my normal. He thinks that the no exercise too, may have just been enough to drop me 10 points. Wow, tells you how important exercise is... Yes, VERY. Just thinking wow, just 1 week of basically no exercise, some, but not my normal. Anyways, since overall number stayed same, weight went up couple of pounds, 3 inches lost, and the fat in my blood has improved, it really can be my body making adjustments. Well, I am making sure to add back in salmon 3 x week, no matter what and fish oil pills. Yes, I take them, but not as much as I should. Well, that is a must. I have now until end of December/beginning of January, to take some more inches and/or pounds off. Exercise, no matter what, is now no doubt a part of my life, even if I feel lazy, I have to get up and do something. Right now I can't afford to lose any points with HDL right now. I can afford to have it go up, LDL go down, Triglycerides to continue to go down. Oh, everything else, body chemistry, thyroid, etc, all show GREAT....just the cholesterol stuff. So with all this said you can say I am happy, sad, scared and yes I rode my bike for enough to burn 250 calories today. I cleaned house today too. Don't know what I burned standing, cleaning, but hey I did it for a couple of hours.
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