Saturday, July 04, 2009
I am.. errrr.. (as of today) *was* a closet smoker. If you asked me if I smoked, I would say NO! I never put that i smoked on anything medical - ever. The truth is - I was a smoker. Lord that's hard to write. It happened slowly I suppose but the end result that cannot be denied is that I've smoked anywhere from a 1/2 to a whole pack a day for the last 12 years. Secretly. Gulp. And intermittently for 10 additional years prior to that.
Started out by smoking "socially" in my 20's. I could take it or leave it. Maybe 5-6 times a year. Then in my mid 30's I became a critical care nurse. That's when I really started smoking (ironic, eh? enter healthcare, start smoking). It started by going on break with the smokers (it seemed they were the only ones to make sure they took a break!). Then one day I was upset and said "let me have one of those". It seemed to help the stress. That evening I bought a pack of cigarettes for the first time by myself (I had shared packs with friends when we went out in the past).
I never smoked in the house. Ever. I moved towns and decided that I wouldn't smoke anymore. So, I didn't smoke at work but I smoked at home (again, never in the house.) I was married by this time and my husband smoked. My rules were clear - no smoking in the house and no smoking in the car. He broke the smoking in the car rule and after about 2 months, I joined in. By this time, I'm secretly smoking a pack a day. I got freaked out and thought "oh no I'm addicted!" and I quit... for a month. Then, convinced that I wasn't addicted I started smoking again but "only" about 1/2 pack/day. My friends knew my husband smoked but only a very very few knew I smoked (the few were the other closet smokers I found!).
For the last two years, I have tried to quit on multiple occasions and failed. I've been smoking between a 1/2 pack to a pack a day. No matter who knows - no matter how you look at it - I was a smoker... until today. I am coming out... confessing.. I've been cutting back in preparation for quitting all week long... I smoked my last cigarette at 4pm yesterday afternoon.
I'm probably the most insane person I know but I also decided to kick caffeine. I mean - if I"m going to do it.. I might as well DO IT! I drink 3-5 Route 44 Sonic Iced Teas DAILY. The reason I'm quitting is because it's a trigger to smoke.. drive to Sonic.. get a tea.. smoke. So, I'm prepared to "give in" by making and drinking tea at home but I CANNOT go to Sonic to get tea.
So far. So good. I'm drinking a ton of water. I've stocked my car (the trigger) with straws to chew on, chewing gum, stickie notes with words of encouragement and am determined not to smoke - ever.
It just seemed really weird to be concentrating on good, healthy nutrition while I'm pouring carcinogenic smoke into my body on a daily basis. I mean.. I drew this mental picture of a cigarette hanging out of my mouth, smoke billowing up around me while I bought my ORGANIC fruits.. LOL It's crazy. I know. LOL
I really wasn't planning on quitting smoking when I came to sparksville because I was in such denial that I really was a smoker.. the mind is a weird weird place.. but now, I can see how my focus on eating healthy is already running over to other parts of my life. So, BRING IT ON!!
I'm declaring iNDEPENDENCE from cigarettes and caffeine today and leave you with one final .. mmm.. "thought"
Friday, July 03, 2009
Every time I read a label there are sometimes 3 or 4 types of fats.. Saturated fat, unsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and trans fat. What the heck?? So, I thought I'd simply look up to see what the difference is.. geez.. what an adventure that turned out to be!
Saturated fat - known for being in meats and dairy and has a bad rap. Lots of chatter about it causing high cholesterol. The American Heart Association www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtm
l?identifier=532 says you should have no more than 7% of your daily calories as saturated fat. Okayyyyyy. I got out my calculator and determined for me I am "allowed" 11.6 grams of saturated fat (1500 cal x .07 = 105 calories/9 calories per gram of fat = 11.6 grams of fat). Got it. Not so fast! Then I found these internet sites www.NaturalNews.com/025857_saturated
_fat_health_butter.html , http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1
d_cholesterol.html?cat=5, and http://www.stop-trans-fat.com/benefits-of-
saturated_fats.html. Did you know that your body NEEDS saturated fat for healthy cell walls? Did you know that mother's breast milk has a whole gob of saturated fat? Did you know your body can't effectively and efficiently absorb calcium without saturated fat?? WOW!! No, no. I'm not taking this as a license to eat a quarter pounder with cheese or anything.. I'm just saying.. WOW.
On to polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which come from what we typically say are "good" sources.. fish, nuts, olive oil, etc. The AHA says that most of the fats should come from this source BUT they also say you need a "moderate intake of all types of fat". That's the AHA.. you know, the heart people... saying you need to be moderate.. and get some saturated fat! Again, confirming my newly adopted philosophy of not going crazy but just focusing on being healthy (and trying to figure out what healthy means!).
Trans-fat... now that's been a recent addition to the fat catalogue. This is where the big words come into play.. hydrogenated! To me? It means not natural - Man added something to it (in this case hydrogen - thus HYDROgenated). It's bad.. seems like everyone agrees it's bad - so far. I haven't researched it thoroughly but I intuitively know that adding things to nature's bounty is not so good. Good for shelf life. Not good for body life. I did find a pretty cool website devoted to the truth about trans fat ( www.thetruthabouttransfat.com ). The AHA guys say that just 4 grams of the stuff can increase your risk of heart disease by 23%. Wow. But here's the bad part - the law is that you only have to list a trans-fat as a trans-fat if there is more than 0.5 grams. If there's less than .5 grams they can claim it's trans-fat free or has zero trans fat. Huh? It doesn't take too many "zero trans-fat" things to add up to 4 grams. For heaven sakes! Okay, stay with me.. there ARE naturally occurring trans fats found in meat and dairy products. However, no one - NO ONE - is saying the natural occurring trans fat is bad. So, concentrate on the labels of processed foods...
Another google search and the world of Essential Fatty Acids opened (Omega 3s, Omega-9s). BAM. I shut that door quickly. I'll look another time. For today, what i read only confirms my intention of eating close to the earth, aka "clean" - lots of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, avoiding processed foods.. and I'm getting more and more concerned about the source of my meat.. again, that's for another time.
Bottom line: read the label, if it has trans-fat - don't buy it, if the ingredient list says partially hydrogenated or shortening - don't buy it.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Everyone knows I'm sucking on my fitness... although today I'm rockin' it. No matter what though - what you eat matters! Concentrating on nutrition - giving yourself healthful food - matters.
"You can never out train a bad diet"
Check out the link that illustrates this fact www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQbuzsY_34Q
So, I'll keep working on my fitness points because I know it's important... but even more important is what I give myself nutritionally... I cannot exercise enough to make up for poor nutrition... go me!
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