Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Food and a free diet

So this is some info I have researched.  Increasing your diet in these foods help with many things to make your body work better.  

Dr. Perricone's Superfoods:


The Allium Family


Beans and Lentils


Green Foods

Hot Peppers

Nuts and Seeds


Yogurt and Kefir

Also if you want a free diet plan recommended for heart health Here's a free one from the National Institute for Health. Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH if this link doesn't work.  www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf

Friday, November 14, 2008

Inch loss update.

Today is November 14th, This writing is from November 7th.  I've had some challenges this last week and I haven't worked out as much.  I strained my hip working out on Sunday and over doing it.  I worked out for 75 minutes on the elliptical and was feeling so energized.  But, I also went backwards on the dang thing and I think that's what did it.  I don't have a lot of control on the machine when I'm going backwards.  I was flying!  The next day I suffered and my hip was very sore.  I'm still dealing with the pain involved and didn't work out for 3 days.  Even though I was still sore last night I still worked out.  I probably could have worked out the night before but I thought it would be painful.  As it turned out, it wasn't painful to work out and I ended up just sabotaging myself by not working out.  But, I'm trying to keep in mind that it was just a mistake not working out and it's a marathon not a sprint.  So, I made it 55 minutes which is now becoming my standard workout.  Weekends after sleeping in and no real time constraints seems to be where I can make it the extra 15-20 minutes.  I noticed after my last weekend work out that made me sore the next day actually gave me more energy than before it.  That wasn't expected.  Usually after a workout of that magnitude I'm tired afterwards and not very energetic.  But, this last weekend that turned around for me and I felt like I still had energy to burn.  I also had problems this week with food.  I ate cake at a baby shower then came home to make cranberry bars and banana bread as well.  I ate them at work and didn't eat lunch!  Not good nutrition in the long run and my blood sugars paid a price.  They were up and I'm transitioning to different medications as well and that just didn't help.  However, the week prior to this I have noticed that my blood sugars had dropped on their own and I was going low blood sugar more often.  This is a great thing and one of my main priorities.  Wouldn't it be great to go off medications?  Anyway, so not so many big inches since the last update.  But significant none the less.  I've made my totals like this four inches down on my chest, 1 1/2 inches down on my waist, 1 1/2 inches down on my arm, 1 1/2 inches on my leg and 3 inches on my hips.  This is a total, of  11 inches on my body total.  Not bad.  No weight loss yet.  But again inches are better for me right now and still my expected outcome.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Inch loss - warning!!! long post!

First, to see pictures from last post, if they are not coming up most my pictures are posted on my me account located here: http://gallery.me.com/leitha#100176

Second is a diary log of my struggles through diabetes and weight loss or inch loss at this point.  This is the first part of my diary.  It is a large post but it might be of some interest to someone.  Here it goes:

Weightloss Journal (Updated progress of inch loss)

So when I began this expedition in getting fit, my motivation was one single item.  I don't want to die yet.  I want to make it to my Son's graduation.  I ended up in the hospital.  I stayed in the hospital overnight in the ER for observation.  They thought I might be having a heart attack.  What it ended up being was Pseudohyponatremia which is basically an electrolyte in-balance brought on by taking water pills to help with edema and an instance of low blood sugar with my diabetes.  Sort of a perfect storm of different things that came together to make me feel weak, tired and out of breath.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know what.  So just to make sure that my heart wasn't going to pop, they kept me overnight.  

In the morning, with little sleep from the night before and alone, I didn't have coffee or breakfast or insulin, I had an IV, and a headache and a series of 3 different lectures from 3 different doctors telling me I have to take care of myself and makes some changes.  If I didn't I would find myself in here for a real heart attack.  

Basically, this was a huge wake up call.  One cardiologist especially gave me the what for right in front of my husband.  He is my greatest enabler and the love of my life.  He took a look at me in the hospital bed and it was like a light bulb went on.  Or more likely a neon sign that said "She'll die if you don't change".  

So, after getting some sleep and resting at home, we started, we started working out like the cardiologist suggested.  She said I had to do 30 minutes of cardio a day.  So, I live in an apartment complex that has a gym.  This should be easy.  I'm a person motivated to getting better and better.  So I started out at 30 minutes and then came home.  But, by the first week, feeling no pain, I'd increased this to 50 minutes workouts at least 5 times a week.  I really think the first week I worked out 6 out of 7 days.  

I felt it the first week.  I was able to get through the workouts without dying.  I wasn't feeling a lot of pain.  The last time I was working out it was while we were trying to adopt our son Benjamin.  It was painful the whole time.  It was torture the entire time.  I'm still not sure what was going on with me during this time.  I just know this time was different then that time.  I know I'm older now and you'd think it would be worse this time.  But, it wasn't.  It was completely different.  I looked at the strain of my muscles burning in a whole different way.  Instead of pain, I had the sense that the burning in my legs was just progress to getting better.  Was it just a mind set?  Was all the pain in my workouts a year ago in my head?  I'm not sure I'll ever know.  All I knew is that this time, I could make a hour workout.  An HOUR!  Something that didn't seem possible before and I'd been working out for 3 months by the time I quit last time.  I never felt then that I could go a minute longer than I had to and felt I had lost inches, but no weight and it wasn't working considering the work I was doing.  

One of the things that I'm finding this time around is that the fact that my husband is playing a direct role in my well being is the extra edge with the pain free workouts that I need to keep going on this path.  My husband has gained a little weight since we've gotten together.  His 20 lbs. is shocking to him.  His waist size is amazing to him as well.  So, we made a commitment to workout more and try to eat better meals.  

The following week was instrumental in this endeavor because I had just happened to have a nutritional appointment with my diabetes instructor to talk with my husband about having meals that more suited my diabetes.  This was a great place to start talking about the stuff we put in our bodies.  I highly recommend this kind of education if embarking on a journey like heath and wellness.  Even though I've read several books and several online info articles, it just doesn't measure up to one tip that might help you deal better with the journey to come.  My one moment was when I was told, to eat in the first 30 minutes from when I woke up, and that would help me curb my appetite later in the day.  What?!  Come to find out, if you eat first thing after waking up you turn off that switch and it helps you regulate your hunger for the rest of the day.  So, is it a placebo? Possibly, but so far I snack a lot less in the evenings.  I still have occasional snacks at night.  I used to feel like I could eat dinner and just keep eating until I went to bed.  Popcorn, bowls of cereal, crackers, you name it I'd add double my calories after I ate dinner just from snacking mindlessly at night in front of the TV or computer.  

The other little trick is more for my diabetes and my heart.  Oatmeal, which is known as a good thing for diabetes anyway because it is filling and high in fiber and even though it is a carb doesn't spike blood sugars.  It is also good to lower bad cholesterol which is a good thing in itself for diabetics because we need to keep that extra low.  So, as it turns out, if you cook oatmeal, then let it cool, and then re-heat it to eat it, it changes the sugars that are created by the oatmeal even more and it will works even better for not spiking blood sugars.  So, we cook a big batch of oatmeal and I eat on it all week for breakfast. So, again, little tricks have helped a lot to get further in this struggle.

So, it's been a month since I've started working out.  What changes have I saw?  Well, the first couple of weeks were tough because even though I know I'm going to change, there wasn't many changes taking place.  There were only small benefits to working out.  I had a little more energy.  I had a little motivation just because this time, it didn't seem to hurt as much as last time.  My husband doesn't understand this right now, but the time he gave me, by saying he'll watch the kids while I was working out was the greatest gift he gave me.  I still felt guilty a little bit about not spending this time with my kids, but I figure an hour now is three days added to my life that I can spend with them.  I don't know, if this is true in reality but I know this is the kinds of thoughts I kept me trying to tell myself to keep it in perspective.  What would I really be doing at home if I was there?  Would I be sitting there with my child having a bonding experience?  The truth was, probably not.  I might be interacting with him, but this exercise would ultimately be more helpful in giving me more energy when I was spending time with him.  I'd be able to keep up with him when I was around him and we would have better quality when we were together.  

Again all this time was mostly a mind fake.  Getting myself going, keeping myself going until I could get there and see other results.  Then in week three it happened.  Almost all at once, three things changed.  First the weekend workout, - it was increasingly harder to workout and I had to push myself harder to get the same heart rate that I had achieved when I first began.  So, this doesn't seem like a good thing in some ways.  I now all of a sudden have to work harder to get the same results?  Damn is this a joke?  But, in reality, those thoughts were not the ones I clung to, it was "Hey! this means I made significant changes and my heart is healthier!"  It means I had a cardio jump in fitness.  Lower blood pressure here I come!  I don't want to take drugs, or at least as few as possible.•  (*This means, if my heart is happy, I'm going to have to take less drugs to keep it that way.  Whenever I take a a drug, no matter what kind, it seems that it happens that I have the most obscure side effect from them possible.  I took one drug and it made me gag.  Was that on the warning label?  NO.  I tried to tell my doctor this and she said it was just a coincidence but later looked it up and found out it was quite a bit down the list, but on it and it wasn't all in my head. Trust yourself first, your doctor is trying but isn't the end all to knowledge.   It's our health, take charge! )

The second thing that happened, was a jump in energy.  I felt 10 years younger all of a sudden.  Like I could workout for 2 hours and I'd still be able to function.  This energy jump did help in motivating me, but was unfortunately not long lived.  I seemed to come down with something in the following week and it drained me of this energy boost.  Overall, however, since this time, I have had more energy but the higher energy I experienced in the initial jump didn't stay up to that high level, but kind of leveled itself up to a lesser degree but still higher than when I started.  

The third and final big difference I found was the inch measure.  Week three was significant because, I was measuring myself almost daily.  Not a good idea by the way.  Sometimes my measurements were off, and I felt like it was never going to happen.  Then all of a sudden, it happened.  My chest, I lost two inches!  Hallelujah! I would breath better at night.  Then I measured my stomach.  No change.  But an inch is an inch and it at least some came off somewhere.  Keep going your on the right track!  This pushed me forward. 

This next week was one of the toughest.  I was tired, I was feeling a bit drained and my nose was running.  And then one of those things happened.  Something you've read before but had a recent reminder of, just clicked in your brain.  I read an article and it said that it's o.k. to take a day off.  That this is more of a marathon than a sprint and a day off if I needed it, is perfectly fine.  So, I took one and then two but instead of feeling guilty, I got up on the third day and worked out.  Moved on, past the guilt of the days before and just understood that it was what I need to keep me on the path for the long distance.  I worked out every day after that for that week.  Eventually, my energy returned and I dragged myself over and just tried to remember what motivated me the week earlier was the inches and keep on trucking.  What I was rewarded with was even better.  I woke up Monday with two inches on my stomach, two inches on my hips and an a  inch loss on my stomach plus loss on my arms and legs!  Six inches in one month.  

Have I weighed myself? No, I don't have a frame of reference.  I didn't weigh myself to begin with because I'm PCOS.  Which means, that I have all this testosterone floating in my system, and it helps my muscles become bigger easier than most females.  So when I start to work out in the beginning, I don't loose weight, sometimes I actually gain weight (muscle weighs more than fat) so I end up feeling worse, because loosing a pound takes forever and I get depressed that I'll never loose any and on and on it goes.  So, here's to inches and may the pounds eventually fall off when they get a chance.  I do have a rough idea of what I weighed before but I'm trying to not focus on that.  Lord help me with that struggle!