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When weight loss takes a back seat - Tales from 100# down.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Before I get into the meat of this blog I want to put up a word of caution. DO NOT USE THIS BLOG TO JUSTIFY A DETOUR. I know from personal experience how easy it is to get mired down in a detour on this journey and how EASY it is to leave the main highway and idle in front of the "vending machines" so to speak. This blog is not about that.

Illness happens. I've had my fair share of it. There are times when your weight loss journey takes a back seat. Note - I didn't say stops the car. It just isn't the primary driving force for a SHORT TIME. This happened to me yesterday. I've had some issues with low blood pressure and yesterday I had to address my low blood pressure quickly and did so with powerade and salty foods. In addition I can't take my normal med this morning that deals with my ongoing edema bec. it lowers blood pressure. The combined affect has me showing an uptick on the scales this morning. Now I tracked my food yesterday and though it was SALTY in content it was still at the top of my range. I know my problem is temporary and will come back off once I get my bp up and can get back on my meds and stop the salty intake.

Here is where I didn't allow this to become a full fledged detour. I STILL tracked my food. I STILL got on the elliptical for 45 minutes though I went at a slower pace and was ready to peel off at the first sign of feeling faint. I still checked in with sparkpeople. I still made BETTER choices (frozen light entrees are full of sodium which was my go to quick fix).

Now I did not feel like getting on that elliptical. I really wanted to lay on the couch but the weakness was waning and I knew that I had not done my cardio for the day which has been an essential part of my weight loss program. I initially set my goal for 10 minutes. When that passed I said 15. Then I said 20. Then I said 30 and after I passed 36 minutes I knew I was on for the full 45. We sometimes have to play "games" with our mind to endure. I am not a runner but I know some runners take this same strategy.

The other side to this is the scale. In the past the uptick would have been such an epic FAIL that I would have comforted myself with MORE food (dumb, but I did that for years). Now I know that it is not a true gain and that once I get past this bump in the road it will come off easily because I am tracking and know that I still have a small deficit.

There are times when illness is severe (requiring hospitalization etc.) and then it is hard not to enter a detour but here is the thing - even in the hospital you can continue your journey by:

1) Tracking your food - ALL food can be tracked. Even people not trying to lose weight can track food. The benefit of tracking is knowing what you are putting in your mouth. Educating yourself to the effect on your overall calorie budget. Learning how your choices impact the bottom line.

2) Reading and learning - If you are stuck in the bed read health articles and blogs on Sparkpeople. Watch videos. Poke around the spark recipes and look for things you can try when you are back on your feet.

3) Stay connected - If you are on a team - don't slide off into limbo. Plug in and chat with your team. Read their posts. Allow them to encourage you. Keep the journey front and center in your mind even when your body can't follow.

4) Do what you can physically - even when I was recovering from TKR they had me up and walking. Walking prevents blood clots, muscle breakdown, etc. If you are in the hospital ask your nurse. Can I walk down the hall and back? Usually they encourage it though they may want to walk with you or have a family member do so. Sitting up in bed? Do some simple arm exercises. While these won't have the impact of your normal fitness routine the reason it's important is it keeps ACTIVITY in the front of your mind. It reminds you that THIS is your new norm.

5) Plan - downtime is a GREAT time for planning. While looking through recipes you can plan a whole week's worth of healthy meals. You can make up strength training circuits. You can plan a hike. You can make a healthy grocery list. Many hospitals have wellness channels on their televisions. Look and see what's showing!


The bottom line is this. Yes, there will be times when illness slows our journey but it doesn't have to come to a grinding halt. EVEN the simple tasks of reading about health and tracking food are keeping your little "car" headed to "Health & Fitness".

I've had my healthy breakfast and tracked it. I'm sipping my water. I plan to start with another 10 minutes of elliptical and see how far I can go. I may be feeling under the weather but my journey continues.

Press On!
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