Tuesday, June 28, 2011
This is my first July in Florida and it's hot and steamy. I'm trying to walk early and late in the day. But now that the rainy season seems to have arrived, I need to double up the morning walk because my evening walk is rained out most days.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I'm amazed at how seriously people take foodie labels: vegetarian, piscatarian, vegan 'til dinner, flexitarian...
My DH and I don't care what you call it, but we've completely changed the way we eat.
I can remember going on a wild hamburger comparative taste test while we were dating, hopping from Micky D's to Burger King to Wendy's to rate the double cheesburgers. And our favorite restaurant of all times had been Five Guys Burgers. We were real beef eaters, resorting to bouts of Atkins to minimize the impact on our growing butts. Feels like another universe to us today.
We had been gradually reducing red meat to help manage his cholesterol since he can't take statins. Seemed that diet and exercise made more sense. Then we got totally turned off chicken and turkey when we saw a show depicting the disgusting way our agricultural system manages poultry farms. For the past six months we eat fish and veggies supplemented by the occasional eggwhite or grating of cheese (though dairy products are seriously reduced and then only low-fat versions).
Does that make us part-time vegetarians? Pescatarians? Wannabe vegans?
We don't care what the label is. We just know we feel healthier now. And it is comforting to know that we're not supporting an industry that systematically tortures animals and pollutes the environment.
My DH has seriously reduced his insulin intake and his blood lipid counts are way down. Oh, and we've lost 50 pounds between the two of us.
One more interesting byproduct of our changed eating habits: we actually spend a lot less on food these days, leaving room in our budget to buy the new clothes our trimmed waistlines require.
What a total victory for the good guys.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I admit it -- I married an old poop. Mind you, I had no reason to expect he'd become an old poop almost immediately. After all, our first date was roller blading for good ness sake. While he courted me, he seemed quite active -- enjoyed kayaking, rode bikes, danced and even went on nice long walks. Was this all just an act? Sure, he was ten years older than I, with a triple bypass, diabetes, neuropathic feet and a growing belly that suggested bad times to come. But what a charmer. If I'd been thinking with my head instead of another body part (no, not that one...my heart), I might have anticipated trouble. Sure enough, just 5 years into the marriage his health problems started to act up. First he needed an angiogram. Then a pacemaker. And his out-of-control blood sugar required daily then thrice daily insulin shots. What a wreck I was married to. But it got worse.
My sweet husband took no care in managing his weight or fitness, so his cholesterol readings started to skyrocket. That’s when the doc gave him the heavy meds. And the really bad problems began there.
He was soon limping and carping about his neuropathic feet and the deep pain in his haunches. Wouldn't walk with me. Sat around doing sudoku and crossword puzzles, while I nagged him to move his sorry rear end. Overnight I found myself married to an old man. I was still just a kid. What had I done?? On the rare occasion when he joined me for a walk, he would creep like a slug, and stop to stretch his hind muscles every 15 steps. Said his haunches were killing him. Not good for our marriage, and not good for his health. Things were not going well.
I had almost no empathy. Bad wife; I just kept nagging him to get active. He had allowed himself to sink into a vicious cycle of decline, and he “owed it to me” to get himself back into shape. "Use it or lose it" I told him. “Don’t be such a slug.” “Just do it.” But he insisted that he just couldn't do it.
Finally we joined a gym -- and he agreed to go regularly. I hired a personal trainer - just to keep him honest, I guess. He grumbled and complained, but our trainer stood firm. And my dear husband responded. He had no choice. Now it wasn’t just me carping at him. He had the trainer in his face too. His upper body strength started to improve. But the pain in his haunches prevented any serious walking or even cycling. And if you can't walk, how can you get the cardio you need? And you know the way it is: no cardio, no real weight loss.
Hoping to inspire him, I joined Sparkpeople.com ... with great success: lost 5 pounds in the first 2 weeks. It worked. Hubby was motivated; decided to take his own weight problem seriously. Oncehe joined Sparkpeople, things really started to improve. He’s pretty competitive, so the point system motivated; and the communities appealed to his need for social support. He logged in several times a day; recorded his activity and food religiously; and started to lose weight. Slowly. More important than the weight, his blood sugar came under control and the doc reduced his insulin shots. At last some progress. But his cholesterol, always a problem, was not improving and the doc increased his cholesterol meds yet again.
That’s when something awful really happened, and it’s a damn good thing it did. The damn pain in his haunches started to get worse. He was nearly a cripple. This was not just old age. This was not just laziness. This was not my couch potato hubby. This was something way more sinister. After five years of uncomfortable pain, it escalated to debilitating pain; and we started to take this thing seriously. Whatever was going on was BAD.
Until now, all the docs let us down. Not a single one took it seriously. They responded the same sorry way I had responded. “Just lose the weight; you can be active if you try.” We insisted that tests be done and got him orthopedic inserts for his shoes to help his poor neuropathic feet. A retired neurologist brother suggested that perhaps an old spinal surgery had broken down -- a CT scan and trip to a surgeon yielded nothing. A retired cardiologist friend suggested that perhaps a blocked iliac artery was causing the pain. A trip to the cardiologist yielded nothing - the blood flow to his lower extremities was fine.
Surfing the internet gave us the first real lead -- message boards about folks who suffered muscle pain due to STATINS. Hubby has high cholesterol. Of course he took statins. Not only did he take large daily doses of statins, he also recently began a new drug - Tricor to increase the impact of the statins. Could this be the cause of 5 years of pain?
Sweet hubby immediately discontinued all statins as well as the Tricor. We made yet another trip to the cardiologist to confirm that this could be the problem and to assure that he wouldn’t keel over with another heart attack. The doc agreed that the statins were the likely culprit, and suggested that he might feel some relief within a couple of weeks.
SUCCESS at last. Now, just 3 weeks later, my dear hubby is almost completely pain free. He’s like my old sweetheart. Walking and dancing and riding his bike with ease. He even wants to play tennis. We’ve started several aggressive projects around the house, and now I’m racing to keep up with him. AMAZING.
We know that we’re not out of the woods. He’s religiously working out and walking whenever he can. We’ve added fish oil capsules twice a day to his regimen, and he sprinkles ground flax seed on just about everything he eats. No more hamburgers (or any red meat, for that matter). Only healthy food for this new man. We’ll track his LDL and triglycerides like never before, and pray that through diet and exercise we’re able to improve his blood chemistry. So far things look optimistic. At least our marriage is back on track, and he’s become a happier human being. That makes me the happiest woman in the world!!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
17 down, 23 to go. Not even half way there. Lots going great. Some things hard, hard, hard.
Love working out and feeling strong. Got a great rhythm going. Love to walk; thoroughly motivated to keep up the workouts, both at the gym and at home. Healthy meals are satisfying - not feeling hungry. Even keeping portion size in check. All good.
But even though I feel like I've had enough to eat, I have this need to eat every evening.
My challenge is evening snacking, and my trouble goal is to STOP this self destructive behavior.
I enjoy watching television with my hubby, but I find myself reaching for munchies. And he's no help -- munching himself.
So here are some ideas for getting this one challenge back in check:
1. Less TV. Take up another evening activity. School? more knitting? Read the great books?
2. Enlist Robert to help. He could give me a gentle nudge whenever I start to indulge.
3. Clear out the pantry - no more rice snacks, nuts or cookies.
4. Replace bad snacks with good snacks. Set out carrots and celery before the snack attack happens.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I have a hard time saying no to free stuff, and free food is especially hard to resist. Yesterday I was in Costco, and there were stations all over the store offering samples of foods I would never buy, but felt I wanted to try. One of the samples was a little cup of crab bisque. It tasted delicious, but about 12 hours later the cramps and diarrhea started. I've been sick all day. Went to the gym, but had a really hard time doing my workout. Now I'm paying the price big time for eating surprise food. Maybe next time I'll remember the price I had to pay today.
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