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Let's Get (A) Physical!

Friday, March 08, 2013

I don't deal with stress well. I do have generalized anxiety disorder but can usually manage it without medication. But these last few weeks I've been pretty wired. Students loans have come due and they are as bad as I expected. I'm trying to consolidate them but it's going to take some time. It also sucks to pay $$$ for a degree that is basically worthless right now because I can't find a teaching job. And what's even more amusing is that if I HAD a teaching job, I couldn't pay the full amount anyway and would have to do an income-scale repayment plan.

The teaching situation is depressing. I was so pumped when I finally finished school, but now it's been almost a year since I tried applying and there aren't any brighter prospects. I can't relocate anytime soon. It's just not possible with the state of the house and the cavalcade of kitties. It's a Catch-22, really. I would have to relocate to find a teaching job, but I can't relocate until I get the funds to fix the house up and sell it and afford another home. And I can't afford any of that if...I have a teaching job.

I guess reality has just set in. My priorities have changed since I first started my degree work. I assumed I'd be here for a long time, but now that's not the case. I want to move at some point, whether it's moving in with B or just moving to a different town. And realistically, if I want to do that in 5-10 years, a teacher's salary is not going to give me the extra funds to fix up this house. I'm making more now than I would as a teacher, and I'm lucky to have enough extra for some savings or random expenses that come up. Now, I'm GRATEFUL for this, because I haven't been so lucky for a long, long time. But it saddens me to know that I really am not in a position to do what I truly love to do for a career because other things have to take priority.

I'm also waiting hopefully for some good news that will help the home improvement projects even more, but while I was really confident at the beginning, I'm now doubting myself and am worried this is not going to pan out.

So all of these have contributed to my anxiety-ridden self these last few weeks. I'm disappointed, frustrated, and kind of angry about it all. While I'm proud of myself for accomplishing something like a master's degree while working full-time, I do have my moments where I just think of how stupid I was and how worthless it all is now.

I talk about this because I went to see my doctor yesterday for my first official physical. And I'm proud to say that all my numbers were pretty much spot on. At least in some areas I'm considered "normal":

Total Cholesterol: 159
Triglycerides: 142
LDL: 70
HDL: 55
VLDL: 28
Glucose (fasting): 98
TSH (thyroid): 2.51

The ONLY problem numbers were my weight (of course) and my blood pressure. It was 130/82.

Yikes. That is unusual. I've never had high blood pressure problems and have always clocked in on the low side.

So he fussed a bit over the BP and as soon as I mentioned that I have trouble with lowering my sodium in my diet, he said that needs to change. And I'm assuming the anxiety has something to do with it too :( So I need to figure out a better way to deal with it.

*Sigh* Sodium is REALLY hard for me. I crave salty more than sweet. And I don't have a lot of free time for batch cooking or from scratch cooking. I'm going to at least try to get it down from the current average of 4K - 5K daily to 3000. I may not hit the recommended 2300, but at least I'll be closer.

The good news is that because all my other numbers were fantabulous, he really did not have any reason to gripe at me about my weight. And that's a huge comfort. I am well aware I'm about 50 pounds overweight and I'm trying to change it. It's good to know though that right now, because of my diet and exercise, I can still be healthy while I shed the rest of the pounds. And I was a bit vindicated because he couldn't find something to fuss about because I'm fat. For once.

I'm also happy to see I'm still not in the pre-diabetic range even though I have IR. It's close, mind you (100-125 is pre-diabetic), but it's not there yet. I'm still going to continue to follow a pre-diabetic diet though. It's worked well for me and hopefully will continue to do so.

I got a thumbs up on the triathlon training with some suggestions on how to deal with the knee issues. And he recommended I get a wrist brace for carpal tunnel (boo).

I know this is already ridiculously long, but two additional things I want to share:

Quinoa experiement
I tried some of this with some broiled salmon and veggies (the Green Giant antioxidant blend is fantastic for frozen veggies with a little bit of seasoning and not a lot of sodium). I cooked it in chicken broth (used bouillon with no added salt). The texture was a bit chewy, but the flavor was just fine. When I mixed it in with the veggies it was even tastier. Thumbs up and I highly recommend! I rinsed the seeds and then toasted them before actually cooking them and had no bitterness issues. I'm thinking of trying the black-bean/quinoa casserole recipe on here. I'll let you know how it goes.

Major nom:
Yesterday I worked from home so I was able to cook breakfast. I sauteed a cup of mushrooms, a red bell pepper, and 1 cup of broccoli in a few teaspoons of olive oil and mixed in 2 scrambled eggs and 1 egg white. This gave me 3 CUPS of food total for breakfast and it was fantastic as is (no other seasoning added). So you can do a huge amount of food for very few calories (I think it was around 300 calories total and very low carb for those of you looking for that).

Hope everyone has a great weekend!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Congratz for your numbers! Seems you are doing something right!
    I prefer salty food instead of sweets, too, so I get your difficulty...

    Have a great weekend!
    1898 days ago
    That is so great about your numbers and your health!! I am right there with you on the sodium thing, it is not out of the ordinary for me to hit 4,000 and I don't have high blood pressure but I know it's not good for me. On days that I can hit under 3,000 I feel pretty good about things LOL.

    I'm sorry about the teaching/house vicious circle thing, that does stink. emoticon
    1898 days ago
    Good on you!

    I went low carb and that has helped also releases sodium from your body (kidneys), so you may want to research that one.

    The other thing to try is to get some Mrs Dash and use it as a salt substitute for flavor
    1899 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    I'm glad you're so healthy! Keep up the good work!
    1899 days ago
    Yummy looking foods! Congrats on most of your numbers! I think it is wise to follow a pre-diabetic style diet. I am not near pre-diabetic but given the history of diabetes in my family, I behave as though I am because I know it can't hurt! emoticon
    1899 days ago
    You can do it! emoticon
    1899 days ago
    So, I am in no way a doctor or trying to replace your doctor's advice, but I wouldn't jump on the fact that one bp reading was higher. Yes, we want to pay attention to that, but so many factors can affect the number one time. Were you sitting straight with your feet flat on the floor? Was it a machine or person that measured it? What time of day? What activities had you done before that measurement? How stressed do you feel? Etc......Sure, try to limit your sodium. I would say recheck it in a week. Still high? Be more concerned, back to normal, just keep tabs on. This is a conversation my pharmacist husband has on a semi-regular basis. Great job on your other numbers!!

    Anyway, I love quinoa. I use it for a lot of things. I pretty much replace rice with quinoa. Less carbs and much less blood sugar messing involved with quinoa than rice.
    1899 days ago
    1899 days ago
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