Tuesday, November 19, 2013
(In the voice of a hypnotist) Sleep. Sleeeeeep. You are getting sleepy. You are falling into a deep sleep. Sleeeeeep.
Something we do every night, right? One of my goals is to actually get 8 hours of sleep per night. I'm achieving my goal so why do I wake up so many mornings still tired? Because I have sleep apnea. Apneas are those periods when you stop breathing for between 10 and 30 seconds or longer. The apneas interupt the sleep cycles causing you to awaken slightly thus interupting the sound, restorative sleep we need each night.
According to the article I read on Sparkpeople this morning I have all of the symptoms of sleep apnea. I have a large neck (nearly 20 inches), I have partially restricted sinus (I presume is because I'm overweight), I snore, I have borderline high blood pressure and I'm more than 20 pounds overweight which is what I think is causing the snoring. It never occurred to me that the size of my neck was contributing to my snoring or my sleep apnea.
So, now I have another reason to lose the weight. As if I needed more motivation than I already had.
If you have read some of my other blogs you may have read about "health markers." One of my health markers are my physical measurements and one of the areas I measure is my neck. I've been measuring there mostly because of vanity, I show my obesity prominently around my neck as many men do. Fortunately for me, it's also one of the first places where my weight loss shows.
I dropped 2 pounds last week and I'm already down a pound this week since I started working out again. Going to trust in the program and take it one small step at a time and try not to hurt myself by doing too much too fast.
That's all for now. JUICE to you all.
Friday, November 15, 2013
I just read a great article by Nicole Nichols (Coach Nicole) about getting ready for fall. I couldn't believe I hadn't read this before, she had some great ideas I want share with you.
In her article Nicole says "Reinvent Your Fitness Program." I couldn't agree more. Fall is a time when the days are getting shorter and many people move indoors. I say get outside and enjoy the autumn. Dress for conditions (think layers) and get ready to pump those arms. Enjoy the rustle of the leaves as you trek down the street. Feel the crispness of fall as you fill your lungs with fresh air. Do activities that it's been too hot for the past few months like hiking in the woods, raking leaves, whatever. Soon the snow will be flying in much of the country and the only outdoor exercise will be shoveling the driveway and sidewalks, that is if you don't ski or ice skate.
Next, Nicole says Refresh your Meal Plans. I am all for this. I am a big proponent of eating "seasonally." Lot's a fall vegetables are in season now, especially a variety of squashes, beans and asparagus. What a great time to try new recipes or to put a spin on an old favorite. Don't be afraid to use your grill outdoors either. I use mine until the snow flies.
Re-evaluate your priorities says Nicole. What a great idea. This is the time of year I shift my focus back to what I call "health markers." I look at losing inches, not necessarily pounds, around my waist and hips. I also look at blood pressure, heart rate, cholesteral levels and my overall exercise fitness specifically my endurance.
Nicole says "Return to your Goals", I say make NEW Goals. I like to think of this as looking forward not backward. I'm not saying you should lower your standards, absolutely not. I'm saying "Raise the Bar." Be realistic in your goal-setting (see my blog on this topic) but challenge yourself.
Finally, Nichole suggests rejuvenating your wardrobe. Must be a girl thing. I do agree with her to get rid of those baggy sweatshirts and hoodies, but I'm also a fan of wearing out your clothes before buying anything new. Workout clothes should be well fitted, not to loose and certainly not too tight (not a big fan of spandex).
I do have a very important note here, GET GOOD FITTING SHOES! If you need to, go to a store that specializes in running shoes (think Fit2Run) and get a good fitting shoe that is comfortable to wear. Remember, if your feet hurt you probably won't exercise as much. So spend the extra money and get some good shoes. This especially applies to you ladies reading this blog.
I would like to close by saying a big Thank You to Nicole Nichols for this article.
Until next time, JUICE to you all!
Thursday, November 14, 2013
I can't believe how good I feel today. I have back on my Spark-diet for only 24 hours and I have more energy and feel better internally than I have in months. I've been tracking my food and still have 2 issues. I can't seem to get my calorie "pie" right, 20% protein, 30% fats, and 50% carbohydrates. I would like to get my protein up to around 25% and my carbohydrates down from 65% to 45%. I just can't seem to get those carbs down.
But like I said, I have soooooo much energy. Can't wait to check my weight on Monday. Just a gauge mind you, I still don't believe the scale is my friend.
See you all tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
It's been a long hot summer here in Florida and now that the weather is finally cooling off, I can get back to actual workouts I enjoy, not just working hard in the hot, humid Florida sunshine.
I wanted to share with you a conversation I had with a small group in my homeowner's association. We were talking about what direction we should take in the redevelopment of our clubhouse. While our town is rather large (more than 40,000 people) our little community is made up of about 600 homes with aging facilities in desperate need of repair and updating. Our neighborhood is largely made up of retirees, but we are seeing a turn around in our area as many younger families with small children are moving into the neighborhood. It is a largely middle-class blue collar neighborhood and our "clubhouse" has a pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, a great hall, a lending library and 5 acres of undeveloped grassy area. Sounds nice, right?
As we were talking I remembered back to my childhood growing up in northern Illinois. Our family belonged to a swim and tennis club. Not a country club mind you, but a private club with a swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, and about 8 acres of grassy areas to play. Sound familiar? It was a safe place for kids to go and spend all day there. There was swimteam practice in the morning, tennis lessons and swimming lessons available, kids could get a basketball or softball game going at a moments notice, and adults had their own area to relax in. The facilities were nice for what was available in the '70's, but nothing like what is available today.
As I was waxing nostalgic to my small group, they could begin to picture the "Rockwell-esque" portrait I was painting of our facility. I was painting a picture of children laughing and playing, being active after school in a safe place right in their neighborhood. The picture I was painting wasn't of a bunch of privileged kids at a golf course, it was of their kids.
And then I remembered what a typical day was like for me growing up in Illinois. I remembered how active I was. How I got myself up before 6 a.m. to ride my bike to swimteam practice at 6:30, then rode my bike home for breakfast. Later in the morning I would push my mower around the neighborhood and mow my lawns before riding my bike back to the pool to work as a lifeguard. Then home again 6:00 for dinner or stay at the pool for a swimmeet on Thursday evenings.
It was like that everyday all summer long. Our family didn't have 3-4 cars. My brother and I rode our bikes EVERYWHERE. Our parents didn't give us a ride anywhere. I think about it now, I must have ridden that bike 20 miles a day. I remember what great shape I was in. No aches, no pains, no sleep apnea, no beer belly, just energy to spare.
So, I'm getting back to that. I'm not going to train for a triathlon or anything like that, but I am going to get much more active in a constructive way. I'm going back to my youth. I'm turning back the clock not just on my body, but on my workouts. (Cue "Rocky" music).
JUICE to you all!
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