Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More End of the Year Reflections

Yesterday I posted one reflection that I have made this year as I have been on my struggle towards living a healthier lifestyle, and I am going to continue to write a couple of reflections and lessons learned until the new year starts!

Today's reflection is about-acid reflux and constipation. Yes, you read correctly. Boy have I learned a lesson about these two topics! This might be kind of gross, if you are one of those fidgety type of people.

As I have fell off the wagon a couple of times, I have noticed that when I gain my weight back and get to a certain weight (256 pounds to be exact), I have severe acid reflux. In the past six months this has happened to me about three or four times.

The first time this happened, I was in a hotel and the only thing that would alleviate the heartburn was tums, pepto bismol and pepcid. And believe me, I popped the pills like crazy because I was desperate. And then...I couldn't poop at all. I mean, I really couldn't poop. Nothing. I had to go and get a laxative and I was so constipated and compacted that I...well, you REALLY don't want to hear all of the details. Trust me! Oh, and by the way-don't ever get a laxative if you are constipated because all it does is just push what you can barely get out of you. Instead you need to get a stool softener type laxative.

Later I looked online and I found out that overuse of antacids might cause constipation.

As if I didn't learn from the first time, this holiday season I have hit that magical weight again and last week I started having acid reflux again. I was in so much pain and so desperate that I started popping the meds that I mentioned before and lo and behold-I was all stopped up again! But this time it was worse because I had also been stuffing myself with holiday treats and I'm sure that the tons of fatty food and cheese plugged me up even more!

Well, this time I tried to unplug myself naturally, by eating tons of high fiber foods, beans, and taking metamucil. Nothing was working. It was so horribly painful the first time that I went to the bathroom and I either tore something or have a huge, broken hemroids because...well, just trust me.

For days and days I took fiber pills, ate high fiber food, drank metamucil, ate tons and tons of beans and veggies and nothing has really been working. I am still in severe pain and honestly might go to the doctor if the bleeding doesn't stop soon. One thing that I have noticed is that my stools are softening up just a tiny bit but whatever I busted inside of me is just making me miserable with pain.

I started walking again and dropped two pounds and the acid reflux suddenly disappeared. I have noticed that after thirty minutes of walking that I need to immediately go to the bathroom, although it is very difficult and painful to pass stools. I am going to keep up with the walking and high fiber until my poor little behind feels better.

Lessons learned:
  • Losing even a tiny bit of weight curbs my acid reflux. Why don't I just keep on losing it so that I don't have to deal with this again?
  • Walking helps me go to the bathroom when I am constipated. They've always said that exercise keeps us regular, right?
  • I should never take antacids again unless I also do double duty fiber therapy at the same time. But if I keep my weight down and eat well, I won't have to take anything.
  • If I eat well in the first place, I will keep myself regular and won't have to deal with this nonsense!
Now that I've grossed some of you out-have a great day!!

End of the Year Reflections

I've been offline for a while, having also fallen off the wagon, and since then I have learned something during my quest towards being healthy:

I have depended too much on other people to exercise with me and eat healthy with me. For a couple of months my boyfriend would walk with me almost every day and would eat healthy food with me. Then he hurt his back. After that he had some family issues that he attended to, so he was unable to walk with me. There were actually weeks that I only saw him maybe once a week, so I wasn't able to eat very healthy with him. And what did I do when he was unable to walk with me? Well, I just didn't walk.

Over the past couple of days I have been thinking that I have got to learn to just exercise by myself and not depend on anyone else to help me lose weight. I've got to do it alone. If someone happens to be free at the moment and is able to walk with me, then that's great. But if not, I still need to do it on my own.

So for the past three days I have finally dragged myself out alone to walk and although it is not my ideal way of exercising, it's something that I am going to have to get used to because I think that my boyfriend is sick of walking with me and wants to resume his own workout routine.

So that's my reflection for today-I have a ton of other reflections, but I will blog about them tomorrow!

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Newest Obsession With Food

I haven't been online much-I have been off doing who knows what. I'm trying to balance my work life with my business that I am trying to get started, as well as spending quality time with my boyfriend. Well, the boyfriend has been sort of neglected lately.

Last week I went on a trip to San Francisco for work and while I was at the conference an interesting thing happened to me. I suddenly became obsessed with taking pictures of the healthy food that I am eating and then uploading it to facebook. It's the strangest thing! And I also just love looking at the pictures on facebook. Hmm.

So tonight my boyfriend made me a salad and I of course took a picture of it. I'm sad that the picture didn't do the salad any justice because it doesn't look as good in the picture as it looked in real life. Well, I can assure you that my boyfriend is the king of the salad makers and he spends hours and hours chopping up all sorts of vegetables that he throws into his salad. Here was tonight's salad:



I am going to keep my eye out for healthy food that I am eating and keep taking pictures! This ought to hold me accountable!

Friday, November 27, 2009

How Many Times Do I Need to Pick Myself Up Again??

Yay for me! So I've finally decided to get my butt back in gear and try to start walking again. I had to start slow today by only walking thirty minutes because my foot is not feeling well and I want to take it easy.

I've been noticing that I am back to huffing and puffing again and that in one month's time I have lost my stamina just for walking. Oh well, I'll get it back.

My post last night about my aversion to shopping really made me think hard about how what a dilemma this can be if I am not going grocery shopping. I definitely can't lose weight if I am not eating well and going grocery shopping. This, I suppose, is something that I will have to explore further on another day.

In the meantime, have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Am I The Only One Who Has an Aversion to Shopping?

I HATE shopping. I'm not messing around here. I really, really hate shopping. In fact, I think that I am one of the only women that I know who hates shopping as much as I do. I will literally wear my shoes until they have a hole in them or until my pants are too faded to look professional before I actually go and buy something.

What really bothers me about the whole thing is the amount of time that it takes. It's just way to time consuming for me to go to the mall, find a parking space, walk around and try on tons of outfits that hardly ever fit well. I usually end up being more depressed when I am walking around and trying on outfits because I am always in between two sizes and everything is either too big and frumpy or two tight.

My aversion to shopping for clothes started spilling over into shopping for other things. I think that one of my main reasons why I can't get my eating habits ironed out is because I HATE going to the grocery store. I was just thinking about this the other day-am I really okay with being fat because it is easier to drive through a fast food place instead of taking thirty minutes of my time to go to the grocery store? I think that I have identified a main culprit of me being overweight-I HATE going grocery shopping.

Why am I ranting about all of this? Well, because my boyfriend just asked me if I would go to the black Friday after-Thanksgiving sales tomorrow. Hell no! I told him, "I hate shopping so much and I just wish that I could get everything mailed to me so that I don't have to go to the store anymore".

My little brain started ticking and for some strange reason I looked online at Amazon. I saw that they have great "black Friday" deals, and the great thing is that they are all week long. It appears that Amazon uploads them and changes deals every couple of hours. I was looking at some of the exercise equipment because as I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I am possibly looking to start getting equipment for my house.

They look like they have deals on all sorts of stuff! They had the Mad Men Season 2 for only $20 and I just actually bought it yesterday for $50. You see? You see what happens to me when I actually do go to the store? Check out some of the deals here if you are just like me and you want a good deal, but you hate going to the store. Their deals are supposed to be all week long, like I said.

As I was looking through the deals at Amazon, I also noticed that they sell food. How could it be that I have bought books all these years on Amazon, and I never noticed that? I actually even saw that I can buy Silk soy milk and have it delivered. Am I in heaven, or what? But wait--how does something like that work? What happens if you order something that is frozen or needs to be refrigerated? I'll have to investigate that. Too bad they don't have fresh vegetables that can't be delivered directly to my door, right? Okay, I've digressed.

Anyhow, I can't believe I am so excited about some of the black Friday deals over at Amazon. Check it our yourselves by clicking here when you get a chance. Remember to keep checking back every so often because they change.

Have a happy Friday!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving wherever they are and whatever they will be doing with family or even by themselves. I am so grateful for my readers and the online support community of other health bloggers who are trying to create supportive networks of people who are trying to lose weight and get healthy.

Now, having said all that, let's get down to business! I don't know about you, but I am promising myself that I will NOT be guilty today if I pig out a little and overeat at my Thanksgiving meal. I haven't really been overeating that much before this day and I am going to try to not eat any pies or anything after today until it gets a little closer to Christmas. It's been hard though because we have been having potluck after potluck at work.

As long as we indulge a little today and then get right back on track tomorrow, we should be fine!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Planned Slipups

I've been dying for this "Harvest Pie" that they sell at Coco's Restaurant starting every October. So far this year I have managed to maintain my composure and I haven't set foot in a Coco's Restaurant for a while now, because I just knew that I would break down and have a big, sugary slice of pie.

Well tonight, my friends, I am going to Coco's and I am going to eat the biggest piece of pie that they've got in the place. I am going to allow myself this slice once this November and maybe again on Thanksgiving day. In December I'm allowing myself two slices as well.

So, if I go missing in action, you know that I definitely had a sugar attack and am somewhere bouncing off of the ceiling after eating all the sugar. Yummiiieeeee!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Work News!!

I'm really excited! Today I met with a publisher (no, not an annoying one like the one that I blogged about before who wanted to shove bad food down my throat). Anyhow, I met with the publisher today and it looks as if I am going to potentially be a contributing writer for one of their language arts curriculums!

I am going to keep my fingers and toes crossed, hoping that the deal doesn't fall through. This will be my first time doing something like this and so I am really excited about it!

Of course my co-workers picked a Mexican restaurant to talk business over lunch. I just caved and had a tostada and an enchilada. Oh well! It could be worse.

Well, if I get this gig then I am definitely going to need to make sure that I exercise so that I can manage my stress from my regular job as well as this freelance work.

Wish me luck that it doesn't follow through!!!!!!!!

Ouch!

Why oh why am I continuing to walk on a hurt leg? Yesterday my boyfriend said, "Suck it up and just keep walking. Walk through the pain". Hmm, and today he's going to get it because my leg is killing me!

Just for that, I HOPE (hint, hint) that an exercise bike shows up on my doorstep any time before now and Christmas.

For the record, I KNOW that we should stop and take a break when we are hurt. My boyfriend has been trying to help me stay on the wagon and sometimes has to act like a task master in order to get me to exercise. Sometimes I whine so much and make too many excuses about why I can't exercise, so logically I think that he thinks that my hurt foot and leg is all in my imagination.

Note to self: Stop whining about things because when you are really hurt or not feeling well, people don't believe you. In the meantime, cut back on your food and start going to yoga until your leg feels better. But wouldn't it be so much better if I could have an exercise bike right in my living room? (Hint, hint, hint).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Maybe an Exercise Bike Will Help With My Crosstraining Goals?

It's about that time of year when my parents and boyfriend ask me what I want for Christmas. I usually don't know what to tell them, but this year something has actually caught my eye. Exercise bikes! I have been looking over the fitness exercise bikes on the Sam's Club website and they have got some really great options to choose from including: recumbent bikes, upright exercise bikes, and magnetic exercise bikes.

One of the main reasons why I haven't really been exercising much is because my foot and my leg have been absolutely killing me. When I first started my marathon walking schedule, one of the main things that was made very clear to me was that I needed to balance my walking with crosstraining. I know that I am supposed to crosstrain, but I didn't and now my foot and leg are feeling the consequences. For the past month I have only been able to walk once a week.

I really don't want to go to the gym during the flu season, and so I think that the next best thing would be to get my own exercise equipment at home. An elliptical trainer seems like too much work for my injured foot and leg, so maybe an exercise bike would be the best way to maintain my cardiovascular stamina while my foot is healing. What an excellent way to get in my crosstraining!

In fact, the Sam's Club website has a variety of different fitness exercise bikes for a pretty decent cost. I really like the recumbent bikes with the upper body workout capability, because it's an additional way to increase my heart rate so that I do not fall behind in my cardio as I am trying to heal my leg. The upright exercise bikes with the handles that look like the elliptical trainer handles also look like they would give my flabby arms a workout challenge, and the magnetic exercise bikes that have the heart rate monitor look pretty enticing to me as well!

The bikes can be easily ordered and delivered by the Sam's Club website, so there is no hassle with dragging a heavy bike home from the store. If my parents or my boyfriend is reading this post, "hint hint", I sure hope that in the next month or so I wake up to a big present that has spinning wheels with a nice red bow on it!

You can check out some of the fitness exercise bikes on the Sam's Club website for yourself by clicking here. Wish me luck!

Oops, She Did It Again

Well, I did it again. Once again I put my work first and let my workaholic behavior take over, which negatively impacted my eating and exercise habits. The truth is that my healthy eating habits have been completely non-existent over the past month. For the past month I have also only walked only about once a week.

So much for my walkathon in December that I was supposed to go on, right?

Work has been really tough for me and I have also been working on some independent projects which have taken my time away from exercise. But not really, because I CHOOSE to work on these projects instead of exercise. When, when, when am I ever going to kick this bad habit of mine and get with the program?

Well, I'll try again tomorrow because it's better late than never. Sigh.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hi Everyone!

I'm just a tad bit irritated over the past week, because it seems like every day I have to go in and clean out the spam that is left in my comments section. For the record, if anyone wants to leave a "hey you might find this site interesting" type of spam comment, don't even think about it because it will get deleted as soon as possible. If you want to advertise on my blog, you can contact me in a professional manner by emailing me at multilingualmania(at)yahoo(dot)com.

As for my personal life, I have been too busy to exercise over the past couple of days because I am working on a few of my education websites that I am really excited about! I have been eating so-so and this weekend I will make sure that I walk!

Off to bed for now! Have a nice Friday!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

To Eat Meat?-That is the Question

I've never really liked meat, even when I was a child. I can remember ordering meals like fettuccine alfredo with grilled chicken and picking all of the meat out of it and maybe eating one or two small pieces. During Thanksgiving, Christmas or other holidays, I always loaded up on everything else besides the turkey or ham. And I never, ever, ever ate fish until just recently when I started trying to live a more healthy lifestyle.

So why do I keep eating meat if I really don't like it that much?

Well, because it is easier to find and eat quickly. And over the years I've bought into the myth that everyone always tells me about how I will waste away from lack of protein or iron if I don't eat meat.

Now I am starting to get grossed out about the prospect of eating meat for some strange reason. I can't exactly understand why, but lately I have been feeling like meat is so icky and gross. I'm not knocking anyone who wants to eat meat, but it is just not something that seems very appealing to me at the moment. Over the past couple of months, I have been eating mainly salmon and other fish, but then the other day this thought popped into my mind, "If pregnant women really aren't supposed to eat fish because of the mercury in fish, why the hell am I eating it?"

Then I started looking at the signs at the fish counter that were warning signs about mercury, those signs that had been there all along yet I just hadn't noticed until recently.

It seems that the more and more organic fruit and veggies that I eat, I feel better and I am more concerned about the things that I am putting into my body. The other day I went for drinks with a friend and I couldn't even drink half of my drink because I was so concerned that it would mess up my blood sugar and make me feel like crap.

So I've taken the next step about learning to live a meat free life and bought a book about vegetarianism and another about veganism. I would like to learn about the nutritional requirements, substitutes for meat and maybe even dairy, and learn to live without meat for a while in order to see if this is just a phase of mine or whether it will be a lifestyle change.

Who knows what path I will take. I suppose it will all boil down to how my body feels with or without having eaten meat for a while. Wish me luck on my new adventure!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Get Off My Back

Why are there so many people who do not support those of us who are trying to work towards living a healthy lifestyle?? It's almost as if people who want to be healthy are committing a subversive act by taking care of ourselves.

The other day I met with a textbook publisher and she brought a bunch of muffins from Starbucks. She also brought all these creamy drinks that I don't even know the names of. Throughout the entire meeting she kept badgering me to eat the muffins and drink the drinks.

I repeatedly told her, "No thank you, I am trying to cut back on my sugar".

She kept telling me, "But the muffins don't have much sugar".

Then I started telling her, "I am starting to watch what I am eating and am trying to eat in a healthy way".

She countered with, "But the muffins are good for you".

She continued pressing and pressing me. I was almost at my wits end and was just about to lose my temper.

I finally said, "I am just trying to eat more fresh fruit and vegetable. No thank you".

And she said, "But the muffins have fruit. Don't you see the blueberries?"

I finally got a little assertive and told her to back off.

What is wrong with people? Why has this been happening lately? Why is it that when I am eating my veggies and beans in front of co-workers that they have to sit there and tell me that I am hurting myself by not eating meat?

I'm convinced that so many people out there, even the little skinny ones, are really not healthy and they try to sabotage people who try to be more healthy. Geez

I'm Going Crazy

I'm having such horrible, horrible cravings for sweets and bread today. I am having horrible pms and I want to gobble up everything in sight. I've stood my ground today though and I am just sitting here before dinner and I'm trying to control myself so that I can make healthy decisions for dinner. I'm so used to loading up on bread, pasta and other carbs that today I am craving it so bad since I have been trying to cut back on them and eat more fruit and veggies.

Cross your fingers that I can keep my control in check!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Getting Back On Track

I walked today for about an hour and a half. I'm feeling better this week and I feel positive that I am going to get my ass back on the wagon again.

A few weeks ago when I was on vacation, I had a session with my yoga instructor and she talked about my eating patterns with me. We had discussed that I would try to mainly eat fresh veggies and fruit, cut out the bread and wheat and limit foods that have tons of preservatives. I did it for about two weeks and I noticed a notable difference in the way that I felt.

Then for the past couple of weeks I have been eating okay for breakfast and lunch, but I've been eating out and overeating for dinner. Boo.

My mother keeps telling me that when I was a child that I tested positive for a wheat allergy, so this weekend I started thinking about going back to the eating habits that my yoga instructor discussed with me. I've decided that I really want to learn more about what to eat if you are cutting wheat out of your diet. I know that it's a "glutten-free" diet, but it just seems like it would be really difficult to cut wheat out of my diet because it's something that I eat a lot and wheat is in many products. So this is something that I am going to begin to investigate.

This evening I went back to the store and loaded up on organic fruit and veggies. Instead of bread I bought corn tortillas. For dinner I made green beans, edamame, snow peas, broccoli, and lentils. I stirred it all up for like 7 minutes with olive oil and ate it on corn tortillas smeared with some spicy hummus. It was delicious! This evening it occurred to me that I feel much more full by just eating veggies than I do when I have a huge dinner at a restaurant.

So tonight I decided that I would learn a little more about vegetarianism and also being a vegan. I've never been one to really like meat, so I would like to learn the ins and outs of being a vegetarian. I really don't plan on being a vegan, which would mean cutting out all animal products or products that have harmed animals-including something like honey, because it just seems like such a strict diet. Nonetheless I would really like to learn more about both lifestyles.

A couple of weeks ago I saw the actress Alicia Silverstone on the Joy Behar show promoting her new book about being a vegan. I thought that she looked so healthy-her skin looked great, her hair looked great, and she just looked altogether healthy. So today I decided that I would buy her new book to learn more about how she eats as a vegan.

These are all the books that I bought tonight on Amazon:

The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet: This books is mainly about phasing in a vegan diet, but I still thought it would be interesting to learn about veganism and also to try some of the vegan recipes in it.

Flu: Alternative Treatments and Prevention:
Sometimes I get tired of listening to everyone talking about getting a flu shot as a way to prevent the flu during flu season, and then I watch everyone sneeze all over the place and wash their hands. I thought it might be interesting to learn about some alternative ways to prevent and treat the flu, as opposed to medication and vaccines. I've heard of people who have such a healthy immune system that they never get sick. I want to be one of those people.

The Immune System Cure: Optimize Your Immune System in 30 Days the Natural Way: I've mentioned the immune system in the previous paragraph. I want to be one of those people who never gets sick.

I can't wait to get my books! Have a great week!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

She's Back

I'm back and I'm not very happy. The truth is that I have been going crazy off the wagon, sort of, and have gotten out of my routine. I finally realized that it was actually helping me by blogging, because it was holding me accountable pretty much. I have been living in denial for about two weeks.

I was doing okay, but then I went on a business trip for four days and it completely knocked me out of my schedule. I tried one day while on the business trip to go the gym, but I just had no energy. I tried to eat well, but there wasn't much of a healthy selection in the hotel that I was staying. Then I just got really tired and I've been in a funk for over a week.

Over the past week I have walked a couple of times, but I seem to have regressed a bit. I'm beginning to think that there is no way that I will be able to walk in a marathon in December and maybe I should just try for the marathon in January here in California in Carlsbad. It's hard work to train as a marathon and I don't want to not be ready and then let myself down and get depressed if I quite after a couple of hours. I don't want to pay all the money to go to Hawaii if I am not going to complete the marathon.

So I'm back and I'm ready to get my ass in gear again. Wish me luck.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Good News!

Yay! I am so happy for myself-I woke up this morning and I weighed myself! I am not 247.5, which means that this week I lost three pounds. My weight loss has been a bit slow over the months because I was trying to exercise without fixing my food habits, but it's been about two weeks now since I have started trying to eat a little better.

I first started this journey in May at 259.5. So as you see, my weight loss has been a bit slow, but now I feel that I will finally start moving forward.

I have noticed this week that I have consciously made better decisions. There have been a couple of times when I have wanted to go and have something fatty, but I remember in my head that I have been feeling better and I don't want it to derail me. I've even wanted to go out and have a couple of drinks with friends, but something is telling me that I am starting to feel better in large part because I have been keeping my blood sugar stable, and I just don't want to make myself feel like crap. Good for me-pat on my back.

I've been trying to keep active, but I haven't necessarily been sticking to my rigorous marathon walking schedule. Two days this week I didn't do my crosstraining and on my long weekend walks aren't as long as they should be considering that the marathon is getting closer. So maybe I will start trying to walk a little longer.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Little Things

I haven't blogged in a week, but I've been doing okay. I was on vacation for a bit, and it's been taking me a little bit of time to get back into the daily grind of things.

I'm happy about something that you will probably think is a little deal, but it means a lot to me.

Over the past couple of years when I have been dressing for work I have gotten out of breath. Really, just putting on my bra, panties, nylons (especially the nylons) and then my shoes really have made me lose my breath. There were even times when I would walk out the door huffing and puffing from getting ready and sweating a little.

I don't know how long I was experiencing this problem, but it was happening for too long-quite a long time.

When I say huffing and puffing and out of breath, I mean it. I was sometimes exhausted from just getting dressed in the morning.

Today I got dressed. I put on my nylons, shoes, grabbed my bags and walked out the door. But as I walked out the door, I noticed that this morning was the first time that I have noticed that I haven't gotten out of breath. I think it just actually happened suddenly.

After I walked out of the door, I drove over to a school that I had to visit for work. I was at the school Sept 8-9 of last month. Every time that I attend this school, I am always out of breath because I have to walk up a very steep ramp and the school is on the top of a hill. Today when I walked up the hill, I noticed that when I got to the top I was not dying from losing my breath.

I was pretty impressed.

Last, but not least, I went walking with my boyfriend on Sunday. He always jokes when we walk in a certain neighborhood that he really loves walking on a particular street because I am silent when I am walking up the hill. (I talk a lot!). It's been hard for me to catch my breath and walk at the same time when I am walking up a hill. Well, last Sunday I talked his ass off the entire time and we didn't even notice that I had been talking while walking up hill until we were almost finished!

These are all small little things that I noticed in the past couple of days, but I'm so proud of myself for achieving these milestones. It's so strange to me that it completely seems to have happened overnight.

I think I should give myself a pat on the back! Pat pat.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Secret is in the Combination

Last week when I was on vacation, I tried to do a couple of things to make myself feel better. I have been feeling so EXHAUSTED lately, and exercise and sleeping well was not seeming to work. So, this is what I tried and it seems to be helping a bit:

I went to my yoga instructor for a food coaching session and talked about my eating patterns. We discussed that I should mainly try to eat fresh food-nothing in a can and nothing in a box. I went to the store and bought tons of fresh groceries including veggies and tons of salmon. She suggested that I try to completely cut bread and wheat out of my diet. (I'm trying, but it's very, very difficult!).

I researched "anti-inflammatory foods"-just because. Anti-inflammatory disease runs in my family and there have been a few times that doctors have mentioned that they think I might have some sort of anti-inflammatory disease, so I thought that it wouldn't hurt me to load up on food that is naturally anti-inflammatory. I plan on writing another post about this, so I will come back to the topic later when I write about it tonight.

I was eating pretty well for a couple of days and then I went out to lunch at a restaurant with my boyfriend. Believe it or not, but I had diarrhea all day long after eating at the restaurant. I'm really trying to notice how my body reacts to healthy food and how it reacts to junk food!

I also started taking a multi-vitamin and pills with omega3 fish oil every day.

I cut out coffee and just drank green tea all week. I'm noticing that it gives me that "boost" that I need, but without the jittery feeling that I get if I drink too much coffee.

I went to an acupuncture session. I'm also writing a blog post about my experience, so I'll save that for later. The acupuncturist wants me to come back one more time this week.

I went to yoga three times-beginning yoga, kundalini yoga (tons of breath work and I think that I hated it) and restorative yoga (which was tons of relaxing, stretching and made my body feel good). Supposedly the acupuncturist told me that if I keep up yoga that I will feel much better because yoga opens up natural pathways in your body for energy to circulate. Only time will tell, right? I haven't been to yoga in almost five years and it was surprising to me how easy it was for me to remember some of the moves. I plan on taking a couple more group sessions and then I really think that I might want to take some private lessons again.

I also walked my ass off last week. I walked for an hour most days, and on Thursday and Friday I walked for an hour and a half. I signed back up for the gym and on Saturday I went to work on the treadmill. I busted my ass on that treadmill for an hour and a half at a decent incline and a pretty quick speed. On Sunday I went hiking for two and a half hours.

Sunday evening I noticed that all of my walking and yoga somewhat "got to me" because my body was feeling really exhausted, so I decided to completely take the day off from exercising on Monday. I'll get back to it today-hopefully! I have a pretty long day and am crossing my fingers that I still feel up to exercising after the end of the day.

Sunday evening I was taking a shower and I thought, "I feel a little better. What might be causing it?" And I'm at a loss for words. I think that it has to do with all of it-walking, yoga, acupuncture, relaxing, eating better, sleeping well, etc. Before I was just walking and was not sleeping well or eating well, so I have got to keep up the combination of it all because I think that is the key to feeling better.

For anyone who is already healthy, my epiphanies might seem slightly ridiculous to you, but to me it's a huge step!

Have a nice day!!
marathon walking, losing weight, getting healthy, walk a marathon, weight loss, hiking, yoga, acupuncture, walking for weight loss, lose weight, healthy eating, stress relief

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hiking in Palm Canyon in Palm Springs

Today my boyfriend and I went out to the Indian Canyons in the Palm Spring desert for hiking. It was such a beautiful day to go hiking, minus the wind that blew a little too hard every once in a while. We hiked for two and a half hours straight-most of the hike was on flat land near a somewhat stagnant and at times putrid smelling stream. We did hike up a large hill and we didn't make it all the way to the top because I had enough sun.

Here are a couple of pictures of the day. I really liked this interesting rock that we had to drive through on the way to the trail:


When we first got there, I was a little paranoid by a sign about rattle snakes.


I had also read on the internet that rattlesnakes are often found on the trail. Luckily we didn't see any. I think that I was scared to death the entire trip about stepping on a snake and I probably missed some great scenery. At the end of the trip, I did hear a "ch-ch-ch-ch" sound twice in the bushes. I don't know if it was a rattle!!

That's the strange thing about me-I really want to go hiking, but half the time I am scared to death of getting bit by a snake or attacked by a mountain lion. Maybe I will get over that if I start going hiking more often?

We hiked down into a beautiful canyon that's about 15 miles long and is full of Palm Trees. It's called "Palm Canyon".



We hiked up a mountain and it was so beautiful. You could see the surrounding mountains and the palm trees in the canyon below. We only went halfway and it was quite a workout, by the way! Here's a pic of me and by the way, I was having a meltdown of fear of rattlesnakes because I went a little off the path!


We got back down to the bottom of the hill and I saw some really interesting rocks. Well, at least I found them interesting, but my boyfriend wasn't impressed!


After two and a half hours, I was through and pretty worked out! Next time I think that I can hike even longer! The next time I am also going to take a healthy lunch for a picnic!


It was a great day overall! Nice exercise, beautiful scenery and a fun day out with my boyfriend. The Indian Canyons in Palm Springs has other canyons as well-Andreas Canyon and Murray Canyon. In the future I'd like to go back and hike even farther into Palm Canyon, and then check out some of the other canyons. I can't wait to go back!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Lab Results

Well, I just got back my test results that I have been waiting for. They were:
  • Total cholesterol: 239--->should be less than 200. Was 254 on 7/2/08. At first glance it looks great that these numbers went down, but keep reading. The decrease is actually due to a decrease in my good cholesterol, which is NOT a good thing.
  • HDL ("good cholesterol"): 46--->should be higher than 40. I've heard optimal is 60. In 2008, my HDL was 60, so it has apparently gone down-not a good thing. Now I've got to work my butt off to get the numbers back up to 60 or more.
  • LDL ("bad cholesterol"): 161--->should be less than 100. It was 158 in 2008, so the bad cholesterol is pretty much the same.
  • Triglycerides: 160--->should be less than 150. Was 182 on 7/2/2008. I supposed that I should pat myself on the back that I have improved in this area.
  • Glucose fasting: 105--->normal levels are 70-99. Was 107 in 2008. The doctor mentioned that the glucose levels have been slightly elevated for the past couple of years, and this makes me "pre-diabetic".
  • Kidney and liver function: normal
  • Thyroid function: normal
In one of my past posts I mentioned that I wanted to do a "Super-size Me" experiment, except in reverse. If you haven't seen the documentary "Super-Size Me", it basically consists of a man eating McDonald's fast food three times a day for thirty days. Within the thirty days, he gains weight, his liver and kidneys are shot to hell, his cholesterol goes through the roof, and his glucose levels spike up. As a matter of fact, his kidneys were functioning as if he were an alcohol.

Well, I plan on doing the opposite. I told my doctor that after my marathon and eating better, I would like to take my tests again because I would like to see if there is a significant change in my cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels. So apparently I will need to start studying about how I can improve these numbers!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Weekly Marathon Walking Training Schedule

I'm really confused about which marathon walking schedule I should be using to train for my Honolulu marathon in December. So I'll just blend a couple of them together and make up my own. And I'm a bit worried that it's only 12 weeks away and I am not in shape to finish it! But I figure I will still try to walk as long as I can on the marathon.

This week my training schedule will be the following:

Monday: Rest (although I went to a yoga class)
Tuesday: Walk 3 miles (although I didn't walk at all because I was too relaxed from acupuncture-which I still need to blog about)
Wednesday: cross-training for 20 minutes (but I actually walked an hour and a half)
Thursday: Walk 4 miles (but I am also thinking of possibly squeezing in a gentle yoga session as well)
Friday: It's supposed to be a cross-training day, but I am going to the beach and am going to walk for 2 hours-that'll be give or take 5 or 6 miles. If I feel up to it in the evening, maybe I will take the restorative yoga class
Saturday: 6 miles
Sunday: Haven't figured it out yet. Either I'll take a yoga class or I'll take a slow hike in a hilly mountain area.

I am trying to exercise as much as I can this week, because next week I go back to my hectic work schedule. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Accomplishments this Week

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself today because I have somewhat accomplished something over the past two days.

Yesterday in the morning I went to see my yoga instructor for a weight loss session. In the past I worked with her over stress issues when she hypnotized me and I think it kind of worked, so I contacted her again to see what she could do to help me with getting ready for the marathon.

Our coaching session yesterday just revolved around what I should eat. I told her that I thought I had some sort of autoimmune disease or something that is making me feel sick. She said, "Let's ask the pendulum" and she swung around a pendulum. "Nope, it's all in your head", she said. Now I had a hard time believing a pendulum when it comes to my health, but hell-whatever is gonna make me feel better.

She worked with me to visualize what I am going to eat for the week and what I was going to buy at the health food store. Afterwards I went over to the health food store and bought tons of organic vegetables, tofu and salmon. I've never had organic fruit or veggies and I have never cooked fish for myself before!

For lunch I only ate a bowl of veggies with humus and some nuts. I was so surprised to see how much it filled me up. For dinner I cooked salmon and veggies and it was really delicious! I was absolutely surprised to find how quick and easy it was to cook salmon. It cooked even faster than chicken. It definitely occurred to me that I had my entire meal cooked in probably the same amount of time that it would have taken me to drive to a restaurant.

At my coaching session we identified that in the past I would go out to dinner with my friends in order to destress. So now I have got to find some new ways that I can destress!

Later in the evening I returned for an actual yoga session. About six years ago I took about eight private yoga classes, and I haven't done any yoga since then. It was amazing to me how easy it was for me to jump back in to the poses. I actually think that in a couple more sessions that I can move past the beginning class.

In the yoga class, I felt one brief moment of ecstasy as I sat there in a still pose. I want to feel like that all the time. It gave me some flashbacks of the ways that my body would feel so sensual and powerful in the past when I took the private lessons. I'm definitely going to go back to another class to see if I can refine my practice. It wasn't very physically vigorous, but it definitely will help me unwind, relax and improve my flexibility.

To top it all off, this morning I went over to the lab and took my blood tests that my doctor ordered a couple of weeks ago. So in the next couple of days I should know my fasting blood sugar levels and my cholesterol levels. I am a little excited about it because I want to test myself now, and test myself again later after I walk the marathon. I want to see if there is an actual decrease in numbers.

And guess what I am doing today? I signed up for an acupuncture session. I am a little nervous because I don't know if it is going to hurt with those needles poking out of me. I've heard that it helps with stress and pain relief. I'm pretty desperate at this point to make myself feel physically better. Wish me luck! I will keep you updated!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Will Consumers Really Fall for This?

Yesterday I blogged about how certain companies advertise their soft drinks as including antioxidants-which I personally think is a bunch of hogwash. We all know it-drinking tons of soda is not the optimal health move.

Today I saw an article from the LA Times with a similar theme. Apparently there is a non-profit "nutrition" organization that has set parameters for which food will receive a large check mark labeled "Smart Choices". Apparently companies can pay $2, 500 to have their products reviewed and have the "Smart Choices" mark of approval.

This sounds great, doesn't it? Healthy food labeled as a "smart choice". Well, think again.

There has been a tad bit of criticism about this project. Certain cereal has been "Smart Choices" approved, including cereal such as Lucky Charms that contains 12 grams of sugar. Excuse me, but given the epidemic in childhood obesity and diabetes-since when has 12 grams of sugar first thing in the morning been a "Smart Choice"?

I'll tell you who is really making a smart choice, and it's not the consumers. This advertising is a slick move on the part of the corporations to manufacture the myth that this crappy food is actually good for us. They even had the non-profit organization change their criteria as to how much sugar can be included in order to qualify.

This is so disgusting. It reminds me of the same thing that happened with "low-fat" food. They market it as "low-fat" and healthy and then we find out that it has tons of bad stuff in it that isn't even healthy. These companies are just preying on people who are trying to make healthy decisions and don't realize that what the companies are selling them is practically the same old shit that has been making us unhealthy in the first place.

You can read the LA Times article here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Selling the Lie

Today I saw something on television that really ticked me off and annoyed me.

There I was, minding my own business, trying to relax after my nice, long, relaxing four mile walk. I was chugging down a cold glass of water when a commercial on television came on.

I can't recollect if it was a Sprite or a 7up commercial, but the whole commercial's tagline was "Get your antioxidants". It showed a picture of a clear soft drink with something red in it and was flashing "antioxidants" in red across the screen.

Antioxidants? Um, I don't think so!! Rather, how about...pink corn syrup with a little itty bitty splash of cranberry concentrate. Sugar, sugar and sugar. And whatever else crap they put in those drinks.

It's bad enough that this country has a major problem with obesity and poor health, and now advertisers are repackaging what is bad for us and slapping a healthy label on it?

On a positive note, one thought that went through my head was, "Well people must want to get healthy if the large corporations are using health terms to market their poison to us". Yep, I said it. Poison. You know it's not good for you; I know it's not good for me, but we still have a problem with drinking all that crap, right? But do we really want children being brought up on the idea that these drinks are healthy for you?

Here's another diet coke video that I found online with a similar theme:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Few Things I've Learned This Week...

A few things that I have learned this week are:
  1. It's hard as hell to exercise for a decent amount of time when it is hot as hell outside and the air quality is horrible due to fires. Southern California is having a HOT HOT HOT spell this week. Today I went out walking at 8:30 a.m. and I couldn't even last an hour because it started getting hot. I tried to walk again in the evening around 7:45 and also didn't last very long because it seemed like it was still over 90 degrees. I suppose that it is due to these types of situations that I should renew my gym membership, or have some sort of indoor video exercise.
  2. It's also hard as hell to try on walking and running shoes. Lately I have been having a hard time walking because my right foot has been killing me and I know that it has to do with the way that my feet slant. I went to numerous shoe stores looking for information on each of the shoes: which shoes have extra cushioning, which shoes are better for flat feet, which shoes are better for people who are inclined to slant their feet, etc. Nothing-no info. During my research online, many experts stated that it would be better to go to an actual running store because people have more of an expertise. Next time I will drive the extra 45 minutes to an actual running shoe store, because the mainstream sporting good stores just aren't cutting it with me. Nonetheless, I still bought some cute Nike shoes!
  3. Japanese food can fill you up and it's very nutritional. Not to mention so much fun sitting at a sushi bar and watching them make the rolls. Tonight I popped into a sushi bar and had a cup of miso soup, edamame, a california roll and an avocado roll. I feel so full, but not too overly stuffed! I came home tonight and was pleasantly surprised that the soup, sushi and edamame is relatively low in fat and high in fiber and protein. Yum. I'm going to have to study the Japanese diet a little more.
  4. Stress can seriously wreck havoc on your body and make you feel as if you are sick. I've been complaining for a while that I have no energy, despite the fact that I have been exercising and trying to eat better. Well, I've been on vacation for almost an entire week and just today I actually started feeling physically better. I'm suspecting that the stress from work might be what is actually making me feel like crap. I am going to have to learn to manage this better.
  5. I need serious help if I am going to walk that Honolulu marathon in December. I need help getting me both physically and mentally prepared for the walk. On Monday I was walking for over and hour and I was mentally having a really hard time with it--every street that I came upon I thought to myself, "Is this my last street?" I literally thought I couldn't make it. It wasn't so much that I was physically tired, but I was just mentally having a hard time getting into it. I have heard this about people who are in marathons-that there are certain points on the trail that it becomes so much more about the mental aspect of finishing than the physical aspect of it.
That's it for now! Have a nice Friday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm Feeling Very Overwhelmed Today

Today is one of those days that I am feeling completely overwhelmed in my life. I can't shake this sense of frustration.

For over an hour I searched online for health and well-being books, hoping to find something that will help this feeling that I carry around that my life has gotten completely out of control. Yet all I could really find was some lame self-help books, or books about dieting and weight-loss. Yes, I need to lose weight and I need to diet. But I feel that there is something so much more problematic in my life than that. I think being overweight and unhealthy are just symptoms of a larger problem.

I can't quite put a finger on when it seems that my life started falling apart. When I look back on my twenties, it just seems like it was one big decade of self-neglect and self-destruction. And work, work, work. I've achieved a lot in my life, in both the financial realm and in my career.

Now I have everything that I want-a nice house, tons of money saved, a new car, a great boyfriend, great friends... I have everything that I want. But now I am looking back at the past ten years, looking back at that huge gap of time that is missing where I let my whole life fall apart because I was too busy working my ass off for what I have now. And now I want something more out of my life.

I'm thinking back of all of the doctor's appointments that I canceled because of work. Not to mention all of the vacations that I stopped taking also because of work. All the missed dental appointments, exercise appointments. All the time that I was too overworked and burned out to go shopping for some nice clothes, shoes, or makeup. The many times that my car or something in my house just completely fell apart because I didn't take the time to do the small maintenance on it that would have immediately solved the problem. I even bought a beach house in Mexico that I have owned for a couple of years and have only visited a few times.

Once again I am walking down the same damn road that has gotten me into such a screwed up mental and physical state of being. I took two weeks off of vacation and effectively canceled my out of town vacation. I've been off since Friday and I have done NOTHING productive, and I actually feel more tired that I did last week when I was working.

You should see my house. You would be horrified at the mess that I actually live in. Luckily, my boyfriend has taken it upon himself to try to help me clean it up and get out of the funk that I am in. I'll have to take a picture of how very messy the house is, but I am a little embarrassed.

How am I supposed to take control of my health and weight when I can't even fix my damn car when it is breaking down? How am I supposed to lose weight when my life has spun so far out of control that I am too scattered to even go shopping for groceries? The funny thing is-if you were to see me at work, you would think that I am one of those people who has it all together. You would NEVER suspect.

I know that I must have depression issues, but I just want to get over it the natural way and not by having the doctors give me medicine. I want to heal myself through the food that I eat as well as exercise and getting my physical surroundings clean and in order. The only problem is that I am so overwhelmed I don't even know where to begin.

But I'm gonna beat this. And believe it or not, I feel much better just by having written this.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Book Giveaways

Shauna from "Book Giveaways" is giving away the book "I Hate it When Exercise is the Answer". The book looks funny and is full of ways that we can improve our emotional and spiritual health. If you are interested in the book, you can enter for a chance to win the book by clicking here. Chance to enter ends September 29, 2009.

Sweeps4bloggers is giving away the book "Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms". This book looks really handy. You can enter to win by clicking here. Chance to enter ends September 27, 2009.

~Good luck~

Exercise Buddies

It's so frustrating to me because most people that I know don't exercise. How am I supposed to get healthy if everyone around me isn't into a healthy lifestyle?! I mean, even my little skinny friends eat crap and don't exercise.

Yesterday I went for a walk by myself and I enjoyed it. It's interesting to walk alone because I see and hear things that I typically wouldn't see or hear if I were walking with someone else. I walked past a pine tree and was overcome with an overwhelming scent of "mountain", even though I wasn't in the mountains. I heard people talking to their babies. I listened to mothers calling out to the family to come out and have breakfast. It was really interesting.

But I also have learned over the past couple of months that I tend to participate more in healthy lifestyle patterns if I have people around me who do the same. Last year I had a roommate who was a vegan and I started picking up some healthy eating patterns from her. I also had another friend who was a vegan and who was really into meditation and fitness-her good habits rubbed off on me as well.

Sadly, both of my role models have moved to San Francisco and I don't really have many other friends who are into a healthy lifestyle. I do have one of my clerks at work who walks and exercises, and also eats well. Yet I don't want to get too close to her outside of work because I am her boss.

Well, I do have my boyfriend who has been graciously walking with me. However, he also takes his mom on a walk every morning and I don't want to burn him out with taking me walking. At some point I also need to find other exercise buddies or learn to do it on my own because I can't depend on him forever.

So, what am I supposed to do? There is a local walking and running club about fifteen minutes away that is designed to prepare people for the Los Angeles marathon. However, I don't think that they are accepting any more new participants at this moment because the deadline has passed. Maybe I should check into that again.

This morning I went onto meetup.com and I did a search for both "walking" and "hiking" near my address and up popped a walking club and two hiking clubs. But I am shy and I am scared to join them-go figure! Although I am very outgoing, I am also somewhat socially shy and don't mingle well with new people. I am afraid that I am going to join the group and it will be a tight nit clique and I will feel excluded. Well, I won't know until I try it-right? Stay tuned.

P.S. If you are in Southern California and are near the Inland Empire area, let me know if you want to go out walking. I will even drive an hour from my house to your house if we go on a walk of a decent amount of time.

World Alzheimer's Day

Yesterday was Alzheimer's Awareness Day! I meant to post in time, but I missed it by a couple of minutes.

Alzheimer's Disease International
has designated September 21, 2009 as a day to raise awareness about the causes, early symptoms and treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. You can read about some of the early symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease by clicking here. Some health practitioners believe that many of the symptoms can be delayed upon early identification and treatment.

If you are someone who has been affected by Alzheimer's disease in your family, the Alzheimer's Disease International also has a publication on their website about how to start a support group for family members who have been affected by the illness.

The National Alzheimer's Association is also organizing "memory walks" throughout 2009 to raise money for Alzheimer care, support and research. You can find a memory walk near you by clicking here.

I've recently figured out that I am a social exerciser who needs to break up the monotony and walk with different people as well as walk in different places. These types of health walks are excellent ways to get in a little exercise while funding a great cause. Even if you can't raise donations, the little money that you can donate is better than nothing. Plus, remember that your donations are tax deductible!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Workaholic's Biggest Stress=Vacation

I was supposed to go on vacation with a friend who promised me that she would take me on vacation with her if I exercised for an entire week straight, but my plans fell through. Well, I'll be honest-I flaked on her. Now we both took two weeks off and I caused her plans to go awry. I'm grateful that she is a wonderful and understanding friend. She's still going to take me to Mexico with her for a few days.

I flaked because I am a workaholic. I mean it. For a long time I have thought that I just have a strong work ethic and am a hard-working individual. But, no, I have a serious problem with being a workaholic. So much of a workaholic in fact that I canceled my plane ticket because I wasn't finished with a few minor things for work. Minor things.

Today was my first day off and it was so difficult for me to relax because in the back of my mind I kept thinking that there were things that I need to get done. Specifically: 1) a letter of recommendation; 2) a revision of something that I need to send out to teachers (that is already a few weeks late; and, 3) a letter to principals.

I woke up this morning in a panic and immediately called my secretary to remind her of some things that need to be completed. Then I tried to relax and take a walk. That uneasy feeling of not completing everything that I needed to have completed kept eating away at my mind all day, so I forced myself to go to sleep.

Most normal people would say "oh well, I'm on vacation", but I just can't do it. Not yet, at least. I hope that I can work on getting to that point some day, but I just can't do it now.

So I've decided that I am going to put in one hour or so tomorrow and Wednesday to tie up those loose ends and then I won't do anything else until Oct 6 when I am supposed to go back to work.

I KNOW that I am supposed to have "me" time to rejuvenate my battery. My boss told me that he read a study that women who don't take vacations have a higher chance of having heartattacks. I've got a serious problem and I want to have my life back, but I have to take baby steps.

Is this not totally ridiculous, or what?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Holding Myself Accountable

I.don't.want.to.exercise.today. I don't want to! No, no, no! But, I'm going to make myself exercise anyways.

I just got home from work and sat down to have a nice cup of green tea because I am literally dragging so much that I am going to need to a boost to push me to go on my walk. I've been dragging so much that I promised a friend that I would drive 40 miles over to her house so that I will go walking with her in order to hold me accountable. It's quite ridiculous, I know, because I could have been over and done with my walk by the time that I arrive at her house. Trust me though when I say that it is something that I need to do in order to hold me accountable.

In fact, I have taken to lying to my boyfriend and a close friend over my eating and exercise habits over the past week. Did I really tell my boyfriend, "Oh, yes, I exercised for an hour this morning" last week? I was so relieved when he looked at me with his suspicious eyes and said, "Well, we'll walk again this evening. It won't hurt you!" I whined and complained and threw a fit, laying down the bed. He just stood there until my fit was over and we went on the walk. When I later admitted to him that I had lied, he told me that he already knew that I was lying.

Has it really come to this, that I lie to my loved ones about whether or not I have eaten well or exercised? I mean, really?! What the hell is wrong with me?! It's not as if they will not notice that I am not losing weight. It's obvious to me that I've got a major problem if I've got to lie about it to my loved ones.

My boyfriend and a friend of mine conspired to keep their eye on me, or so I've been told. My friend told me that she will take me with her to the Pink concert on Friday for free AND she will take me on vacation with her for two weeks next week if I walk everyday with her this week and every single day on vacation. Now, I love the musician Pink and I really want to go on vacation, so therefore I will be driving the 40 miles to walk for an hour each day with her. Whatever it takes to motivate me, right?

Am I the only person who has lied to a loved one who is concerned about his or her health, eating or exercise habits? Why am I doing this?!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Children's Health Magazine

I don't even have children, so I can't figure out exactly why I am so excited about a children's magazine that I found at the grocery store this evening. Maybe it's because I am an educator, and have seen my share of obese or unhealthy kids. Or maybe it's because I am the product of a single mother who was too busy working too much throughout my childhood to actually teach me how to have healthy food and exercise habits. Perhaps it's because topics related to health and wellbeing are catching more of my interest, I dunno. Nonetheless I am excited about it.

The editors of Men's Health and Women's Health just released the first (I think?) issue of Children's Health magazine. It's on the news stands as we speak. I haven't yet been able to figure out if this is just a one shot thing, or whether this is going to evolve into a monthly magazine. I've only had the opportunity to flip through the magazine this evening and the topics range from nutrition, exercise, health, vaccines, parenting, child psychology, etc.

I wish that I would have learned from my parents how to have better healthy living habits. Maybe when I have my own children I will be a better example of living a healthy lifestyle.

If I read anything interesting, I'll share the info in the near future!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Starting Over, Sort Of

Okay, I admit it! If you have been wondering where I disappeared to….well, I basically fell off the wagon. I’m NOT going to feel guilty about it. No I won’t. Maybe if I keep telling myself that enough times, I’ll eventually believe it.

I don’t exactly know what happened. I was doing pretty well with my walking routine and then suddenly-poof-the walking ended. I didn’t walk for practically a whole week, I had a HORRIBLE menstrual period, I pigged out all week to my delight. Then on Sunday I woke my lazy ass up and got back in control of myself.

The funny thing is that although I didn’t walk for almost a week, I still was able to walk for 5 miles and I still think that I could have walked more. So, at least the week long hiatus didn’t set me back physically.

But I have noticed that I gained back the weight that I had lost. I don’t know exactly how much I have gained back, because I am really trying to NOT look at the scale. It is so much more self-defeating when I am constantly weighing myself. So I suppose that I am just going to have to trust my instincts that I have gained weight.

I have so much that I want to blog about, but I am going to have a very long and tough week. I will post here and there and try to stay updated. See ya soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

National Yoga Month

The month of September is National Yoga Awareness month! There are so many health benefits to yoga-stress relief, flexibility, pain management, diabetes control, and so many other health benefits! Yoga is most definitely something that I have tried a number of times and I love it, yet I haven't practiced yoga as much as I should over the years. I am going to commit to going back and taking yoga lessons this month!

Over at yogamonth.org you can find participating yoga studios who are offering a free week pass to take yoga classes! What a GREAT offer! Head on over there and see if there is a yoga studio in your local area who is offering free classes. The yoga studio near my house charges $15 a class, so this is a great opportunity to take some free yoga classes if you are already a yoga fanatic, or to try out your first yoga session free of charge. The site also has lists of free yoga events throughout the country.

Remember--despite all of the pictures of people practicing yoga who are contorted into all sorts of crazy positions, yoga is a great type of exercise for all fitness and weight levels!

Tell a friend and spread awareness!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Self Doubt

Uh-oh, Houston..we have a problem. Red alert! Red alert! Red alert! Well, a potential problem!

I just looked online and I counted the weeks to go until the Honolulu marathon and I just realized that there are only 14 weeks left! Oh no! I need to get my butt in gear!

Now I know why my doctor sort of looked at me funny when I said that I would send him a post card if I finished the marathon in Honolulu and he said, "Just send me one even if you walk ten miles of the marathon".

I looked online at the Avon training schedule that I have been using and I just realized that although their marathon is 26.2 miles, that the Avon marathon is spread out over two days! Now I am freaking out, wondering if the training schedule is not appropriate for me since I will be doing the marathon in one day.

I am going to have to investigate a little more. I am now sooo nervous that I don't have enough time for training! I am over 100 pounds over weight, have not exercised in years, and I can't even get my ass in gear enough to walk consistently four days a week! Am I really going to be able to pull this off in fourteen weeks!?! My body already aches just from walking four miles on the weekends. How the hell am I going to be able to pull off 26.2?!

To add to my nervousness, one of the participants at my training today told me that she had a personal trainer from October to March in order to get her ready to walk the Los Angeles marathon. Imagine that-the skinny little thing trained for six months, yet I'm attempting to do it in four months. Even with all her training, she told me that she almost gave up at the 22nd mile.

Then she told me that her friend had walked the Honolulu marathon and said that it was extremely hard to do because of all of the humidity. So what did I do? Well, I just looked up and searched on youtube "honolulu marathon" and lo and behold, there are tons of videos of marathon walkers and runners trekking through the pouring rain. Ahhh! I am freaking out! I HATE HATE HATE humidity, and I most definitely don't want to walk in the rain!

In addition to all the freakiness mentioned before, she also told me that I will get a little tracker on my foot that will monitor me at the marathon and my family and friends will be able to track me online. I am not sure if that applies to all marathons, but that sounds really inspiring to me!

So for the next couple of days I will be getting my butt in gear and researching some additional training schedules to ensure that I am going to set myself for success.

Besides-who really cares if I don't finish, right? All that really matters is that I am going to try.

Should I or Shouldn't I?

It's been a rough week for me and my energy levels have been pretty low due to PMS. I'm not sure if I am imagining this, but I don't think that I was as bitchy this month as I have been the other months. Maybe it's the exercise! Nonetheless, I had low energy levels and I over ate every fatty and salty thing in sight.

I conducted a three-day presentation and it was excruciatingly difficult for me to to exercise after an entire day of standing in front of forty people all day long. Monday I did nothing. Last night I managed to walk only 30 min, although my marathon walking schedule stipulates that I am supposed to walk 3 miles at a brisk pace. Tonight I am supposed to have 2o-30 minutes of cross-training, which I haven't done.

Now I can feel that my period is coming on, and the cramps are starting to kick in. Should I go outside for 20 minutes and take a quick stroll to try to dissipate the cramps? Should I risk walking outside alone at dark? What about the wildfires-is it even healthy for me to be outside walking? This morning I came outside of my house and there was a fine coat of ash on my car, although the fires are 30 miles away to the east and 60 miles to the west of me.

Now I'm stuck in a dilemma. I know that I probably shouldn't walk outside alone at night. Last night I walked around the park at 8 at night, but I was with my boyfriend and it is in more of a rural area as opposed to my urban area. I also suspect that I shouldn't be walking outside with the poor air quality.

So I suppose I just won't exercise, because I am one of those people who hates exercising inside my house, and I haven't renewed my gym membership yet.

Oh well, I won't fret. At least I walked 30 minutes yesterday as opposed to nothing at all. I'll just have to make sure that tomorrow I walk the three miles that I am supposed to walk on Thursdays.

It's a lot harder than I thought to jump into a six days a week walking schedule, when I am not accustomed to walking on a consistent basis in the first place. So, I am going to be okay with not completely following the six day schedule, and I'll just try to work on being more consistent with walking for four days a week. When I have that under my belt, I can conquer the two days of cross-training!!

Maybe instead of doing my cross-training tonight I should actually register for the Honolulu marathon online!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Healing Myself

It's amazing to me that while I am trying to get physically healthy and lose weight, I can't help but notice how out of balance other parts of my life are. It's as if my mental, emotional, and spiritual health are inextricably linked to the journey that I am taking towards improving my physical health. So I suppose it's true what they say about that mind-body-spirit connection.

It's a bit overwhelming-suddenly I am focusing on just how out of balance my life is in so many other areas than just my weight. I am beginning to notice unhealthy patterns that I have in my thinking and relationships with others. I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that I am a workaholic, and not in a good way. I suddenly yearn to deal with all of those demons and monsters that are haunting me from the past.

It's as if walking has suddenly become so much more than just "walking" to me. I am starting to understand that it is really so much more than just walking and losing weight. It's about starting myself on a long journey to balance and heal myself after years of mistreatment of my true self. It's going to be a long and hard journey, but I will eventually get to wherever I am trying to go.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another Wake Up Call

I blogged a couple posts ago that one of my co-workers suddenly passed away from what they presume to be a heart attack.

I just found out today that a close friend of a friend died in her sleep last night. We haven't heard yet why she died, but we know that it had something to do with her being very overweight. She has been morbidly obese for years, and her heart must have just gone out on her.

It's very sad-she is a mother to five children and wife to a wonderful husband. She ran a non-profit organization devoted to working with Latino and African American children in order to put an end to the racial violence that has been going on between the two groups in many urban school systems in California. She was such a wonderful and loving woman.

It's just another wake up call for me to get my butt in gear and get headed on the right track. The two women who I have known who have passed away in the past two weeks have both been overweight.

This is yet another reality check that obesity can wreck havoc on your health and can lead to your death.

Falling Off the Wagon and Starting Anew

I royally messed up this week!! I'm not sure if it has anything to do with me having pms-maybe it does, maybe not. This is exactly how I fell off the wagon this week:

Wednesday: I was supposed to cross-train for 30 min for my marathon walking schedule and I planned on going to yoga. Instead, I went to dinner with a friend and had some really fatty nachos.

Thursday: I was supposed to go on a moderate 3 mile walk. I didn't do it.

Friday: I was supposed to do cross-training again, but instead I went to dinner with another friend and had a large margarita with fatty nachos again. For lunch I pigged out and ate a large plate of fried zucchini. One good thing though was that I slept for like nine hours.

Saturday: I was supposed to go on an endurance walk for 4 miles, but I only walked for twenty minutes. And really the only reason why I went walking was because my boyfriend dragged me out. During the day, I ate almost a large pizza and some chicken wings, and I felt like crap, let me tell you! Later in the evening I didn't want to admit to my boyfriend that I had binged and ate almost a whole pizza, and he made me two tamales with tons of cheese. I had such a stomach ache all night long and felt like I was going to puke.

Sunday: I walked today for 4.5 miles. I had a nice breakfast and lunch at my boyfriend's house. Later I came home and pigged out on a large burrito and fried zucchini.

Okay, so I am beginning to see a binge eating pattern when I am alone. Tomorrow I am going to promise to start anew and work on walking both Tuesday and Thursday as well as cross-training on Wednesday and Thursday. I'm going to commit to not feeling bad about messing up, pick myself up, dust myself off and try to have a better week. Wish me luck and send me positive thoughts for me to stay strong!! It's so hard-it's so very, very hard!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Uh-Oh!

Uh-oh! I have a dilemma!!

I didn't walk yesterday. Why? I have no idea.

I feel like crap today. I feel like a migraine is coming on, but I am NOT going to take excedrin unless it turns into a full blown migraine.

This evening I was planning on walking, and it appears that there is a fire somewhere near! Uh-oh! I don't think that I should be out walking in the smoky air. Unfortunately I haven't signed up for my gym membership. Oh well, maybe the fire will be out by this evening.

I made a doctor's appointment for today so that I can order all of those tests that I was talking about. I want to see the physical proof of how my body is now as well as after my marathon in December, so I need to get some test results.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Status Check

I've noticed a few things this week since I have tried to be a little more consistent with my exercise and I've tried to get a little more sleep. This is what I have noticed:

Energy Levels
First, on Monday and Tuesday I felt pretty calm and seemed to have more energy. On Tuesday I was very happy and seemed to be floating around on a clowd. On Wednesday I was really dragging and didn't have any energy at all. I don't know if this was because I walked three miles Tuesday evening, or I had less sleep on Tuesday night. Today I haven't felt a tremendous amount of energy, but I don't feel exhausted. I even forgot to drink coffee or tea today and I didn't even get a headache!

Feelings of Happiness
I seem to feel happy this week. I don't know if it is just a coincidence or whether it is due to having exercised. I feel so optimistic, I am getting a lot done at work, and I seem to not get too stressed when something stressful happens in the workplace. It seems like I am not taking things personal.

Emotional Wellbeing
I don't think that it is a coincidence that while I am trying to get my health in order, I seem to want to work on my emotional wellbeing. I feel more confident because I am taking control of my life and I am trying to love myself more.

Skin
I have noticed that my skin has been looking great this week! I haven't even put foundation makeup on it all week long. It has to be because I am trying to drink more water.

Migraines
I haven't had a migraine all week long. Amazing!

Marathon Training Schedule
It's been hard to stick to my training schedule. I walked this weekend, walked again on Tuesday like I was supposed to, yet I didn't do my cross-training last night. I am going to walk my three miles tonight, although it is still very hot outside because it was 106 degrees during the day today. Tomorrow I am supposed to do my cross-training, but I don't think I will make it because I might have to work late. I suppose all that matters is that this week I will have completed my Tuesday and Thursday walks, which I didn't do last week. So even though I haven't completed everything on the list, I am still making progress.

Breathing
I've been noticing my breathing this week. It seems that I hold my breath when I am stressed about something. Even when I am walking and am deep in thought, I have noticed that I am holding my breath. So I am trying to determine if I am really losing my breath, or if I feel like I am because I have been holding my breath.

Weight Loss and Eating Habits
I am not eating well, and have not been losing weight. But I'm okay with this because I have been exercising more than I ever have in the past. I've got to start slowly and take it one step at a time. I am trying to promise myself that I am not going to weigh myself until next Wednesday. I weighted myself again today and I was 255.5. It seems like I fluctuate every day by about five pounds.

Women and Heart Attacks

I've been thinking a lot about women and the health system regarding heart disease. Last week, one of my 36 year old female co-workers passed away from what the coroner deduced to be a heart attack. It was so sad and unfortunate--they think that she may have passed away on a Friday evening, yet she was not found until late Sunday. That's always a nightmare for a woman who lives alone, no?

Over the past week, people have been discussing whether or not this might have been prevented. She has been going to the doctor for months complaining that her chest was burning and that she wasn't feeling well, yet the doctor diagnosed her as having acid reflux disease because she was overweight and young. I wonder if she was having a heart attack the entire time and the doctor wasn't taking her complaints seriously.

Something like this has happened a couple of times to two men that I know. My uncle went to the hospital and told him that he was having a heart attack and they sent him home because they said it was indigestion. Later in the evening he had a massive heart attack and luckily he survived.

My step-father had one heart attack years ago and a couple of months ago he went to the doctor complaining of chest pain and feeling faint. They identified that he was having a heart attack and he underwent a double bypass surgery. When he got home, he told the doctors that his chest was hurting and they told him that he was sore from the surgery. A month later, my mother finally demanded that they conduct additional tests and they found out that the entire month his other arteries had been clogged. The new doctor who performed another by pass told us that he couldn't imagine why the surgeon didn't see that he had another major blockage.

If this is what happens with men, I can only imagine that it happens more often with women.

I've gone to the doctor a couple of times, telling them about chest pain. My grandfather died of a massive heart attack when he was 29 years old, and my grandmother has had three heart attacks throughout her life. My mother was diagnosed with mitrovalve prolapse in her thirties, although she had been complaining to her doctor for years that something was wrong and he told her that she was "too young" to have a heart condition.

I've gotten the same mumbo jumbo from the doctors when I have visited in the past-I'm "too young" to have any problems. Once the doctor told me that it was just growing pains. (Which it probably was, but I still feel that my fears should have been taken seriously considering my family history). Another time I was told that it was probably stress. Nonetheless, I still feel that a test should have been conducted.

I've heard it said time and time again that women's heart attacks often don't manifest themselves in the same way as men's heart attacks. When women have a heart attack, we might have different types of symptoms. If doctors sometimes can't properly diagnose the typical symptoms of heart attacks in males, it is probably even more unlikely that they will identify untypical symptoms in females.

As females we've got to really know our bodies and take it seriously when we feel that something is wrong. If we feel that something is wrong, we must be very assertive in demanding appropriate tests. If we don't advocate for our health, no one else will!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"To Thine Own Self Be True"

I've been thinking hard about the merging of my blog self and my true self, and who I really want to be as a blogger. Who? Who do I want to be? I fluctuate between hiding essential aspects of myself from readers versus just letting it all hang out and exposing who I really am to people.

Today I have decided to just let it all hang out. Hear me roar-grrrr.

I've always guarded and hidden who I really am from many people, in fear that people will not like me or judge me in some way. I am often misjudged by people because I don't fit into the typical box of maybe what certain people might expect of me. And I internalize the self-hatred when I think that people disapprove of me.

The day after I wrote about my caffeine addiction and my little habit about sometimes popping excedrin to get an energy jolt, my boyfriend told me, "Well, there goes your political career. If you ever want to be president, your enemies can dig it up and hold it against you."

Not that I want to president or anything, but I've been thinking about this for a few days. That "what if he's right?" thought has been swirling around in my head. I won't lie that the following thoughts have crossed my mind numerous times: What if someone that I know reads my blog? What if people who already might not like me at work get a hold of things that I write on my blog and use it against me?-(Believe me, I'll get back to this at some point in a future post). What if people who don't like me read my blog and they learn the intimacy of who I am?

Yet yesterday a new thought burst onto the scene. "I just don't give a damn". I don't give a damn. I really don't. I've decided here and now that if I am going to work towards living a healthy lifestyle that I have got to stop caring about what other people think of me and I just need to love myself for who I am. And I do love myself and am tired of hiding who I really am.

So here I am, the true me. A workaholic, a woman, an idealist, a big-hearted woman who is both tough and emotionally frail at the same time. Me-sometimes often outspoken and obnoxious, while other times quiet and reserved. A curious blend of liberal and conservative all wrapped up into one woman. A walking contradiction full of passion and love. Fiercely independent, yet strongly dependent upon intimate connections with others. Me-healing, growing and learning.

My true self-love it or leave it. And I love it.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tight Ass Tuesday

Today is tight ass Tuesday!! What did I do to get my booty in gear?!

Tight Ass Tuesday

Today I had a great day. I felt relaxed and calm all day. I also felt as if I had more energy. At one point in the day, I overheard my clerk and secretary talking about me. My clerk said, "Have you noticed that she is drinking water? She never drinks water!"

On my drive over to my boyfriend's house I thought to myself, "This is how I want to feel every day of my life". I felt so positive, so alive, so energetic. My heart felt so big and I felt like I could conquer the world. I couldn't wait to complete my walk and write a blog post!

Tonight I walked my three miles at a brisk pace. About halfway through the walk my boyfriend had to go home because someone was making a delivery at his house. I followed him halfway home, but then I thought, "I am going to finish my walk! I didn't do it last week and I have to do it this week! Besides, it is tight ass Tuesday and I have to work my ass off!" I walked alone around the park, even when it got a bit dark. I walked so fast that my butt, legs and feet were aching!

Tomorrow is yoga. I haven't taken a yoga class in years, other than to get spiritual coaching from the yoga instructor. Tomorrow she is teaching a kundalini yoga class, so stay tuned for my newest adventure!!

P.S. I have NO idea what kundalini yoga is, and I don't want to know until I show up there.
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