Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Okay, I might be the only person in history who is truly overweight and worried about anorexia. Fact is, when I was a teen, I was significantly underweight. The doctor told my mom I had to gain at least 20 pounds. I was pretty much anorexic; I simply quit eating for days at a time, and I didn't get hungry.
Things would have gotten bad, but my grandma and aunt sat me down and told me they were concerned. They had never heard about anorexia, but they simply told me I was not eating enough, and that I had to eat to stay healthy. Since they were the two people in my life whom I was closest to, I did. I was still skinny, but at least I ate.
I think that's why the weight snuck up on me; I never, ever had to watch my weight. Once I came to America, different things happened that helped me get a much better outlook on life, and I started to enjoy food. And being surrounded by all that variety of food around here made it easy. Plus, I was at minimum wage for 7 years while I was waiting to get the Green Card, and I was not allowed to work somewhere else because I was restricted to a work visa, so whenever someone fed me, I ate as much as I could, because I wasn't sure where the next meal would come from.
To make a long story short, for 30 years, my goal was gaining weight, not losing it, and that's why it didn't alarm me when I gained.
Anyway, now that I'm overweight and diabetic and need to lose weight, I am able to turn the old switch in my brain from my anorexic days. I can look at food without it having any appeal to me. I noticed the past few days I was way below my recommended calories on SP - not a good thing, because in the long run it will put me in starvation mode, and I won't lose weight, not to mention the health issue.
Last night I panicked, because at 8 p.m. I had only eaten 800 calories, so I ate too much pizza, making my sugar spike - and I ended up having too many calories. I really need to find the balance where I find food appealing, but don't eat too much or too little of it. I've been in both extremes, and it seems I can still flip that switch from eathing nothing to eating a lot at random. It's crucial that I find a happy medium.
Monday, February 18, 2013
I finally had a Monday off again and went to the low-impact Zumba class in the morning. This time, I did even better than a few weeks ago. I was sweating and my heart rate was up, but I was nowhere close to exhausted. I guess all the swimming and walking are paying off now. I realized I'm very good at picking up the choreography and rhythm, and the variation keeps my brain busy, so I'm not getting bored. I doubt I'll ever be graceful, but stranger things have happened.
My school district and the health insurance are sponsoring free Zumba classes for district employees, starting next Monday in the afternoon. Now that I've tried the low-impact Zumba and it was almost too easy for me, I've decided that I'll definitely sign up for the 12-week class.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
I am so sore from yoga! Especially my shoulders are hurting, which shows where I need the most exercise. Even my ribcage is sore, so I probably need to work more on my breathing.
Anyway, I dedided to give my upper body a break; my legs are fine, probably because I've been swimming and walking a lot, so I walked around the lake behind the apartments, about 3 miles. It was very nice and peaceful, I even ran a few yards here and there. I saw a hawk gliding right over me, a Northern Flicker, and lots of other big and small birds. It was very peaceful. Afterwards, my sugar was down to 98!
I ate a sandwich and took a well-deserved nap.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
I had forgotten to turn my alarm off for the weekend, which turned out to be a good thing, because after getting up at 6 a.m., reading the paper, having breakfast, and taking my meds, I didn't feel like going back to sleep, so I headed for the health club with my new yoga mat. I hadn't done any yoga in over 10 years, so I was a bit nervous.
After I got out of the car, I saw an older lady with a mat under her arm going to the entrance, so I asked her if she was going to the yoga class and where it was. She took me under her wing (by now I was about ready to chicken out and just go swimming instead), showed me where it was, got me a yoga block and strap, and told me she had been going to the class for 10 years.
Amazingly, I did better at Zumba a couple of weeks ago than at yoga! My endurance is up, thanks to the swimming and walking, but my flexibility is terrible - except for those movements that are similar to swimming. I felt like a stick puppet with the joints screwed on too tight. Someone get me some WD-40! Even though it wasn't aerobic exercise, I was exhausted at the end. Just sitting cross-legged or pushing myself up was hard. The people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s were doing better than me. That didn't really bother me, though; they had been doing it for a long time, and I was a beginner. You have to start somewhere.
Muscle memory is a funny thing, though; any move I was familiar with from karate didn't hurt, even though I haven't done any karate in a decade.
I realized two things:
1. I need to do yoga 3-4 times a week to increase flexibility.
2. I really need a massage, I'm way too stiff!
After the 90 minute class I slipped into the pool for 20 minutes of swimming, and it seemed so much easier than yoga!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Today is the beginning of Lent. I don't want to be cynical, but it's been Lent around here for a long time.
After being diagnosed with diabetes 3 years ago (what I call Phase 1):
I gave up
- all sugary drinks, including juice
- candies, donuts, pies, and cakes (I didn't even want a birthday cake)
- ice cream
- anything with powdered sugar on it
After learning more about nutrition (Phase 2):
I didn't give the following up completely, but severely cut the consumption:
- potatoes in all forms
After deciding on actively working on weight loss last November (Phase 3, what I call the Spark People Phase):
Cut down even more on:
- any type of fried foods
- portion sizes
- processed foods
- peanut butter (it's healthy, but I'll eat half the jar in one sitting)
It really doesn't bother me; I've just put that stuff out of my mind, like it doesn't even exist. Besides, I like veggies, fruits, lean meats, and eggs, so it hasn't been as big of a sacrifice as people might think.
Still, I really can't think of anything to give up for Lent this year, except the meat on Fridays (but I'm probably exempt from that now, because I need to get more of my calories from protein, and lean meat is one of the best sources - I could try to eat more fish, though). So, for Lent this year, I'm just going to keep up my healthy eating habits.
Feasting? When Lent is over, I'll eat a lot of Easter Eggs - the hard boiled kind, not the ones made from chocolate.
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