Thursday, May 17, 2012
As I mentioned in my last blog, I had an appointment yesterday with my doctor regarding my cholesterol levels. I had been off the meds for a few months to see if my levels would remain low, or if I would need to go back on them permanently. Unfortunately, my cholesterol levels bounced back up, so I am once again on a very small dosage of the medication. My doctor stressed to me that she believes it is my genetics, not a result of anything I have, or have not done. After drowning my sorrows in an iced capp (made with milk rather than cream!), I made up my mind that my lifestyle changes are important, beyond cholesterol levels, to my well-being. There are many reasons to keep going, even though cholesterol is no longer one of them. :)
So I picked myself up, and will carry on with long, brisk walks, careful consideration of what I eat, and a mind set to stay healthy.
PS: I actually bought a bag of chips to help drown my sorrows, but after my now habit of checking the nutritional information, decided to forgo that "pleasure". I guess this lifestyle is ingrained deeper than I realized. :)
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I've been tired this week, but am continuing to go for my one hour brisk walks. No new personal best times this week, but still improved over a month ago. Today I have an appointment with my doctor to see if I can stay off my cholesterol meds. I am optimistic that the lifestyle changes I have made will have dropped my cholesterol numbers enough to make the difference. Wish me luck! :)
Friday, May 11, 2012
In the last 3 weeks or so I have been closely watching the scale. It has been downright discouraging! I've been having a hard time making the numbers go down even though I have been walking a lot more now than 2 months ago, and logging every morsel I eat. I had been walking about 25 minutes in March, and have increased to about an hour per evening. It's amazing how on evenings when I think I'm too tired for cardio my energy level grows as I walk! I love that! I've been shooting for better lap times (I walk around our yard - 3 laps = 1 mile, all hills). It's a great work-out. The hills are a built-in interval training course. To build on the interval training idea, I gradually push harder each lap for 3 laps, ease off for one, then push for the next 2, and so on.
On Monday my massage therapist suggested I relax my thinking about the scale & focus instead on healthy habits. Today the scale was down a bit, so I'm thinking she's got a great point. When the scale is my focus I tend to feel deprived of bad-for-you foods, and indulge more than I should. My walks feel like the end in themselves rather than the means to improved health. When healthy is my focus I think more about how tasty healthy food is! And I enjoy my walks much more. Lesson learned: Focus on Healthy!
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Yesterday was a great day! My massage therapist gave me some super news, I had some relaxing shopping time with my sister, and enjoyed an hour long walk with the dog in the evening. But I need to give you some history before I tell you what my massage therapist told me that was so great.
3 months ago I had a massage. My massage therapist gave me some shocking news: in my mid 40's I was developing a hunched back with accompanying scoliosis. Although I knew my back was stiff and tight, I never realized it was that bad! I asked her the question burning in my mind: "Can I reverse the damage?" The answer: "I think so, but it will be hard work". That was just what I needed to hear. I have never been one to shrink away from a challenge, and this time it was my body giving the challenge, making my response vital to my own future. I also realized that this challenge would last longer than just until the damage was reversed. It would and will involve diligence and hard work for the rest of my life in order to live as pain free and stay mobile as long as possible.
Since that massage 3 months ago my daily walks have increased gradually from 20 minutes to about an hour, always followed by a half hour yoga session (I use a DVD). The increased activity followed immediately by targeted yoga stretching has been life-giving to me. I would (and do!) encourage anyone who is remotely interested to give yoga a try. Cardio is crucial, but should be followed by stretching. I never understood that fully before, but I sure do now! I don't subscribe to the Eastern religions that sometimes accompany yoga, but I definitely appreciate the increased flexibility and strength that comes with regular yoga practice.
The benefits have gone far and beyond strength & flexibility though. My mental health has benefited greatly from the yoga and fresh air & exercise as well. Spring is our busiest season for my husband and me (we own a small business), and in past years I have literally lost sleep worrying over / thinking through aspects of our business. Not this year. I slept well every night through the busy season. Those daily walks are an opportunity to work off built up stress and think through the issues of the day. Yoga also helps with focus and mental clarity. I have learned that first hand as well. In regards to relationships, the lowered stress levels have helped me enjoy family & friends more.
Before I sign off for the day, I must add that the determination displayed by other SparkPeople has been rubbing off on me. I believe I CAN accomplish better health, a healthier weight, and more endurance and stamina. I believe this because of the wonderful encouragement of others who have had huge obstacles and blasted right through them. Other Sparkers have proved the power of that first positive step, followed by another, then a third... all the way to the health they were searching for. I will continue this journey to health. It's not about perfection, it's about continuing improvement, never giving up.
Friday, April 27, 2012
It feels so great to shed some unwanted/ un-needed pounds! Last night I was feeling like I needed to eat more food. Not a craving, I just thought I felt hungry. Then I remembered how great it feels to eat lighter and feel lighter. That pesky "hunger" left & did not return until breakfast today.
I have been staying within my calorie range most days, rarely (if ever) staying under, and keeping my nutrients within range or close. The result? I have lost a pound per week for the past month. And I feel very optimistic that I will be able to sustain this pattern. It has been many years since I have felt comfortable with how I look (in relation to my weight), so I'm very happy & proud of my accomplishments. THANK YOU to all of my SP friends who inspire me to keep going day after day, when I feel motivated, and when my own motivation is MIA. I would not be able to lose this weight without all the wonderful SparkPeople who post daily statuses, blogs, measage board posts, etc.. And it's not just about the weight. I feel healthier, stronger, happier as well. Thanks, friends!
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