Sunday, December 13, 2009
This is just an FYI. Some of you may be aware of this, but it really caught me off guard. I recently had my cholesterol checked and was shocked that it was borderline high. How could this be?!?!? I have been faithful to my workout routine and I have been eating right. All of the things the nurse said I SHOULD do, I am doing. I love the gym and I have found healthy foods that I love to eat. I eat my fruit everyday and most days I get my veggies in. What could be the problem?
So I tip-toed back through my diet and found things that were low in calories and fat, but high in cholesterol. First my protein powder that I drank everyday sometimes twice a day has 30 mg of cholesterol. Then I looked at my convenient frozen healthy lunches; they had 30 - 45 mg. I love burgers, but I recently switched to turkey burgers. Those have 95 mg of the stuff!!! I have also tried veggie burgers and those have none, at least the brand I just bought. Smoked Turkey sausages to take the place of Bratwusts (A Wisconsin Treat) and polish sausages, they have 45 mg per serving!!! My eyes hit the 120 calories and 6 grams of fat on those and went no further. Also, ice cream is my desert of choice has a lot of cholesterol. I do buy the light which does not have as much, but it is still there. Frozen yogurt is a good alternative to the light ice cream.
A little knowledge for the new Sparkies and maybe a reminder for the vets. I was blown away so I wanted to share.
Happy and healthy eating to all.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
As I was watching the finale of The Biggest Loser last night (love that show!), the image of a baby learning to walk came into my head. I watched as they played back footage from the first weeks of this season’s show and you saw the contestants falling down, crying, screaming, wanting to quit just as they began this new journey. Their will was being tested, their resolve was being challenged. They were giving attention to the issues that for some played into their obesity. I was just fascinated with Danny (the winner) and all of the contestants who at any point could have walked away. They could have done what was easy and gone back to what was comfortable. But they did not. They hung in there. They kept coming back. They kept getting up. And if any of you watched the show, you know the results of their perseverance. Complete amazing transformations of their bodies.
The relation to a baby learning to walk and the contestants on The Biggest Loser is the getting back up. You see I have been told by the veterans at my gym that the number one thing to succeed at this fitness thing is to keep showing up. Bad days, good days, lose weight or gain weight, keep showing up; keep getting up. Danny, Rudy, Rebecca, Abby, Shay, Amanda and the rest of the Biggest Loser contestants refused to stay down. And neither does a baby learning to walk. They fall…..but they always get up. They wobble back up to their feet and try again. With loved ones cheering them on each time they try and fall. If you keep exercising, eating right and sleeping right, things will work out. If you have a set back, get back up. The main thing that will fuel your success is that you keep getting up. Keep wobbling back up to your feet. And just like a baby, you will be walking into your fit place before you know it. No crowds cheering or confetti falling; just the personal satisfaction that you have done something special for you.
Hats off to Danny!!! I was pulling for him. But I am very happy for all of the contestants. I am totally inspired to keep moving forward. I tip my hat to all of them. And also to all of you in the Spark People community who are doing the same. I can not put in words how inspirational and motivational it is to read about the success of so many here. Keep getting back up!!!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I had the gym all wrong. I was more than hesitant to set foot in a gym to work out. Actually, I was more than hesitant to work out PERIOD. Initially, I did start out at home with workout DVD’s, but with a passionate desire to get in the best shape of my life and to reach my short term goal of losing 50 pounds, I thought I would give the gym a try. So I called a good friend and asked him to get me a day pass. He did better and got me a week pass.
The image I had of the gym was so far from reality. I thought I would find a gym full of fit people looking at the fat guy thinking what is he doing here. I thought if I got on a piece of cardio equipment and got off after 5 minutes, people would laugh at me; even if only on the inside. Trying to use some of the strength training machines and not knowing how to use them; will I make a fool of myself? Bench pressing what I could handle; will I look wimpy with the amount I can lift? I pick up 25 pound dumbbells and the guy next to me is doing the 60 or even the 100 pound ones!!! Man, I didn’t want to do that.
But I have found the gym to be quite the blessing. It is vast array of multi-isms. It is muti-age, multi-color, multi-size, multi-shaped, multi-height, multi-ability and filled with people who are willing to help you. There are those who are very fit at the gym. But there are many who are just like me; trying to get back in shape and lose weight after years of allowing health and fitness to take a back seat to everything else. I have even seen a guy (an older guy too) with both of his legs amputated below the knee with prosthetic legs working out. Seeing him on a treadmill takes away all my excuses. He is one of my many inspirations at the gym.
The thing that has just kept me going though is all of the awesome folks I have met in the gym. People who have been doing the fitness thing for a while and are more than willing to help you do things the right way. It is almost like having multiple personal trainers at your disposal. My first week at the gym, I met a man named Jason who offered me help and has continued to help me some 7 months later. Always willing to answer questions and is always giving me good advice. I do a lot of research on fitness on my own and having someone like that at the gym is a big bonus. And there are so many more like that. I have asked questions of people and they have responded very kind. I have had guys push me and encourage me. It’s like I had this place all wrong. The workers at my gym are super friendly and have noticed and been vocal about the weight I have lost since joining. Congratulating me and encouraging me to press on. And I don’t think it is just because they want my money. They seem to truly care.
The gym may not be for everyone. And I acknowledge that my experience may not be typical. I thank God for my experience. There is still equipment there that intimidates me, but I am declaring this will be the week I overcome one or more of those pieces of equipment. The chest flys on the cable cross machine is one exercise that unnerves me. For those who are intimidated by the muscle bound dudes or maybe the skinny ladies. Let me tell you, for every one of them, there are 3 or 4 like me or maybe you. And you will never get in any kind of decent shape from the outside looking in. It is not as bad as you think. There are six packs, but there are also not so six packs; people who want nothing more than to improve their life.
Every time I see a ripped gray haired guy, I am totally pumped. And I have seen quite a few of them. They make this 40 something year old guy think, it can be done!! If you are on the fence about this, give it a try. Call your local gym, see if you can get a day or week pass and at least try it. The way I feel, the stress relief, what it has done for my blood sugar, cholesterol and my blood pressure is worth it. It may be a challenge at first, but like anything, it gets easier with time and repetition. The number one piece of advice I have received from all that I have talked to at the gym is to just keep coming. Keep showing up, work hard and the rest will take care of itself. What are you waiting for?
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I am so excited!!! Let me see where to start. I actually began my trek to better health after a doctors visit in July of 2008. I was called in to speak with him directly after my blood work came back. Needless to say, that scared the crap out of me. They would not tell me anything on the phone, just that he wanted to discuss my blood sugar levels. When I arrived, he sat me down and told me I was a borderline diabetic and my cholesterol was borderline high also. He also said I needed to get my blood pressure down. I went into deep denial about the whole diabetic thing for a while. But then I embraced the idea of seeing the nutrition specialist as he recommended. It was the best move of my life. I started eating better and the pounds began to come off. Oh, by the way, I was 315 pounds at the time.
Then, along came Billy Blanks and Sparkpeople.com!!! I had hit a wall in my weight loss so I began working out with Billy Blanks and his boot camp team. Then my health coach assigned to me through my job told me about Sparkpeople.com. I joined a gym and have been faithful to my fitness routine. I have only been doing this for about a month, but the results have been incredible!!!! I saw my doctor on Tuesday, March 24th and the numbers are in. My A1C number (a three month average of your blood sugar) is down, below that of being borderline diabetic, my cholesterol is way down and my blood pressure is down. And to boot, I feel great!!! Someone responds to me almost everyday about my weight loss. As of my last weigh in, I have lost 34 pounds since that day in July. I have a ways to go before I reach my goal, but I am excited about how far I have come. And I will press on to my goal taking it one pound at a time.
I am sharing this with my Spark community to say it really works!!! You can do it. I was amazed at how things changed. Don't give up. Do not throw in the towel. Keep the faith. keep working hard. Encourage yourself even if no one else does. At times it may not be easy, but nothing good ever comes easy. I am happy with my test results and elated that I do not have to buy expensive medicines. And I wanted to share my good news with my friends. Some of you may have been diagnosed as either borderline or as a full blown type 2 diabetic. You may have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Well, let me tell you fitness works!!! Eating healthy works!!! It may not be easy (it is getting easier), but it is possible!! And with the support you find on this site, you can do it!!! We can do it!!! With lots of prayer and lots of work, we can do it.
It really does work!!!
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