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! 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.

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.

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.

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.

A Little Bit of Everything

I've really been lagging behind with no energy! For the past couple of days I have been sleeping at least seven hours and eating a little better. What I've decided to do today is take a stroll during one of my fifteen minute breaks during the day and hopefully it will give me a burst of energy throughout the day. I've heard that something as minimum as walking for ten minutes can increase your energy levels.

Today I am going to commit to drinking more water. Yesterday I drank tons of water and today my face looks absolutely glowing! Amazing!

For the past couple of days I have been obsessively weighing myself and getting down on myself because I am not really losing any weight. My pants are getting looser, but I keep fluctuating between losing five to ten pounds. It's really frustrating. So, I decided that I am going to FORCE myself to not weigh myself all week long and designate one special day where I will weigh in and write a post about it. I am really driving myself crazy by weighing myself every day and sometimes even multiple times throughout the day.

Today for my marathon walking training schedule I am supposed to walk 3 brisk miles. I've come to the conclusion that I am a social exerciser and so I will be making a 30 min drive over to my boyfriend's house so that we can go walking together. Last week I was too tired from work to complete the 3 miles, so wish me luck this week!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Super Size Me-In Reverse

A couple of years ago, I was traumatized when I watched the documentary "Super Size Me". The basic idea of the documentary, if you have not already seen it, is that the film maker is going to eat at McDonald's every day for 30 days-breakfast, lunch and dinner. He is relatively healthy, having a vegan girlfriend and working out often at the gym. (To the best of my recollection because it has been a while since I have seen the movie).

The documentary maker goes to see a number of doctors who run tests on him before he began his fast food diet, as well as throughout the thirty days and beyond. Throughout the thirty days, he gains weight, starts to throw up, loses his breath, and doesn't feel well. Based off of test results, his doctors advise him to quit his experiment, but he keeps on the fast food diet.

At one point one doctor stated that theoretically we know that a high fat diet can cause liver damage in the same way that alcohol causes liver damage, but the doctor states in shock that he has actually never seen it done within a thirty day period.

The documentary had such a lasting impact on me that I cut back on eating most of my fast food. I won't lie that it completely stopped me from eating fast food, but ever since I saw that movie there has been something in the back of my mind every time that I go through a drive through.

Now I would like to do the opposite. I would like to document my health pre-marathon and post-marathon. I'd like to compare and contrast how I look and feel, as well as how my health has improved between now and after my marathon in December. And I'd like to document it all on my blog.

Over the next week, I would like to do the following:
  1. Upload a current picture of myself
  2. Measure myself and post my measurements
  3. Post my current weight
  4. Make a doctor's appointment and ask him to run a series of tests: cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, etc. (Any suggestions?) I'm going to tell him all about my little blog adventure and I am sure that he will be highly entertained.
  5. Delineate the health problems that I suffer from-small and large.
I am so excited to be taking this journey! Putting it in writing in a public way is really motivating for me!

Giveaways on the Net

Folks over at are offering a book giveaway of the book "How to Make Life Work: The Guide to Getting it Together and Keeping it Together". You can enter a chance to win the book for free by clicking here! Good luck!!

Bookgiveaways is also giving away a backpack that looks great for hiking! You can enter to win by clicking here. Good luck!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Take It Back!

I think that I spoke too soon when in my last post I stated that I feel more energetic after my walk. I initially felt okay, but maybe after an hour afterwards...all I want to do is go to bed for the evening. Another Sunday when I can't get anything done because I am too exhausted.

Marathon Walking Training and All That Jazz

Today I was able to walk 4.5 miles!! It actually does seem to be getting easier because this is the first week that I have walked on Sunday and I am not completely knocked out from exhaustion. Maybe it also has something to do with the fact that I slept seven hours last night and the other weekends I had only slept about 5 miles. Nonetheless, it was easier for me.

It seems that I am a little ahead of the schedule for the marathon walking! I am not supposed to walk the 4 miles on the weekends until week 2, but I was able to do it today. It looks as if I am going to be heading into the second week of marathon walking training after all.

This week my walking schedule will be the following:

Monday: 15 minutes walk or rest (I will try to walk the 15 min)
Tuesday: 3 mile brisk walk
Wednesday: yoga
Thursday: 3 mile moderate walk
Friday: yoga
Saturday: 4 miles endurance walk
Sunday: 4 miles endurance walk

I haven't yet figured out the difference between what is a brisk walk versus a moderate walk?! Beats me. I also haven't figured out anything else to do for the cross-training except yoga.

One thing that I did today while I was out on my walk was take a couple of pictures of me, which I will upload to the blog as soon as possible. I want a visual of what I look like now and maybe I will upload another midway and after the marathon. Sometime this week I would also like to take a few measurements of my body and upload them here so that I can keep track of my weight loss.

It appears that any day now I might possibly have to buy some new walking shoes. I'm going to investigate some of the brands. This blog is also really motivating me, because I want to walk and take pictures so that I can blog about it. Whatever works, right?

P.S. I haven't had to take an excedrin since Friday, so maybe my walking is helping with my headaches and my energy levels after all!
marathon walking, walking, walking for weight loss, walking and stress reduction, health benefits of walking, walking for health

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Training to Walk a Marathon

I'd like to walk the Honolulu marathon in the beginning of December, and this week I TRIED to get myself started on a training schedule in order to prepare myself for the event. I went onto the Avon three-day breast cancer walk-a-thon and downloaded a couple of training schedules. I decided to get started on the 16 week training schedule.

Last week I attempted the week one schedule, which is:

Monday: Day off or 15 minute walk
Tuesday: Brisk 3 mile walk
Wednesday: Cross-train 20-30 minutes
Thursday: Moderate 3 mile walk
Friday: Cross-train 20-30 minutes
Saturday: Endurance 3 mile walk
Sunday: Endurance 3 mile walk

The idea is that trainees will work once a week on their speed during the brisk walk. The moderate walk is basically for conditioning and cardio. The two endurance walks train walkers to walk long distances and will progressively increase in miles each week. The reason why there is rest or a light walk on Monday is in order for rest and recovery from the endurance walks on the weekend.

How Did I Do This Week?
I walked two miles on Tuesday, which was very hard to do because I had been on my feet all day during a presentation for teachers and I hadn't slept well the night before. I probably could have walked a bit longer, but it was very dark outside and I couldn't see very well.

Unfortunately I didn't do any cross-training on Wednesday or Friday because I didn't know WHAT to do, and I was also very tired from my presentation and very long work hours during the week. The next time I have a presentation that lasts a couple of days, maybe I will walk in the morning because I am often too tired to do it after work or I get home when it is already dark. Next week I am going to try to go to yoga class for my cross-training sessions.

Today I walked a little less than 3 miles, primarily because I walked at 9:00 at night and my boyfriend didn't want to walk another ten minutes to complete the 3 miles.

Tomorrow we are going to walk 90 minutes as we have been doing for the past three Sundays, which might be more than 3 miles. I am going to pull back on the power walking that I have been doing during the other weeks because the speed and the distance during the 90 minutes have literally knocked me out for the rest of the day. Literally.

Week two of the training schedule suggests that I walk the same amount of miles on Tuesday and Thursday, as well as cross-train for the same amount of time on Wednesday and Friday. The week two schedule also calls for 4 miles on both Saturday and Sunday. So the only real difference is an extra mile on each day during the weekend.

So, this week I am going to try to walk both days during the week and do the cross-training through yoga. I will wait until Saturday to determine whether or not I want to stay with the week one training schedule for another week, or if I feel ready to move to week two.

One major reflection that I have is that it is easier for me to walk when I have someone to walk with. Fortunately my boyfriend has been walking with me on the weekends, but I am going to either have to train myself to walk alone on the weekdays or find another walking buddy.

Wish me luck for the training schedule this week!
walking, marathon walking, marathon training, walk for health, weight loss, women's health

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Elusive Quest for Energy

"They" always say that the best way to raise your energy levels is through exercise. So they say. I'd like to know when I am going to see that day because it has yet to happen to me. Sure, if I go for a walk I might get a little burst of energy afterward but the effects usually last a short time. I haven't yet started to feel as if I have more energy throughout the entire day.

Other people say that eating and sleeping well will give you more energy. Well, so far it's not working for me. Maybe I am not eating the so-called energy foods and I am definitely not sleeping as much as I should. So maybe that's my problem.

At the risk of sounding like a drug addict, I'll admit that I have a major caffeine addiction. So major that it is actually quite unhealthy. There are times when I drink coffee or tea multiple times throughout the day just to keep myself going. There have even been times that I have popped a caffeine filled excedrin (i.e., a pain reliever) just to give myself a little burst of energy. I just did that five minutes ago, to be perfectly honest. I told you that I would sound like a drug addict, right?

I actually tend to pop excedrin quite often. It just seems so much more easier than drinking a whole cup of coffee and it gives me an instant pick-me-up. I know it's unhealthy. I know that I shouldn't do it. I feel guilty every time that I do it and I promise that it is just this one last time, and yet I end up doing it again. And then when I end up having an actual migraine I have to take triple the amount of it because my body has already probably built up a tolerance to it.

Please don't lecture me, because I know that it is wrong. My secretary and clerk have already caught onto my little act and once hid the bottle that I used to keep on my desk. Now I'm only "allowed" to bring it to work once a month if I have cramps-and just for one day, or I listen to their incessant lecturing. I finally admitted this to my boyfriend last week after he commented that he thought I might take too much excedrin, and now I am admitting it to YOU.

It's time for me to move beyond this and find alternative ways to increase my energy levels. I know that I can drink a red bull or take some sort of energy drink, but I don't want to. I want to raise my energy level the right way, the natural way, the ...healthy way. So how the hell can it be done?

I've been doing my walking and yet-no more energy. In fact, there are times that the walk actually tires me out to the extent that I am literally knocked out and have to take a nap. I suppose that I can eat a little better and sleep a bit more, and maybe that will help solve the problem. So, in the meantime, I am going to try to keep up my walking, commit to sleeping a minimum of seven hours (yes, I know I might need more but I've got to start slowly) for an entire week, and I am going to increase the "energy foods" (whatever they happen to be).

Wish me luck. I will keep you posted.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hello Out There! This is Me...

I am really excited that this is my very first blog post! I feel that I am taking a HUGE step in changing my current lifestyle and becoming a better person. I'm ready to take that next step and address some issues that I have not been dealing with for a long time.

So allow me to introduce myself. (Not that there is anyone reading!). Maybe, just maybe, one of these days I will have a few readers and will find a space where I can have an online support system.

Who Am I?
I am a 33 year old woman residing in California who works as a manager in the field of education. I am in a very high stress job and would definitely classify myself as a MAJOR workaholic. I do not have any children, yet I have been in a loving relationship for the past twelve years. I am not sure if I want to get married or ever have children. I think I do, but I am confused. I suppose that is why I am here--to explore these issues.

I am currently over 100 pounds overweight and have been overweight for the past nine years or so. A year after I started teaching was when I first started to get fat. The last I checked (i.e., yesterday) I weighed 252 pounds. A couple of months ago I was at my heaviest, weighing 259 pounds. I am tired of feeling exhausted, tired of feeling embarrassed and tired of feeling out of breath and unhealthy.

I sometimes wonder if I sometimes suffer from depression issues because I tend to crash and burn. I have horrible eating patterns-I binge eat and I eat tons of fast food. I don't know how to cook and I don't want to learn. I don't sleep much although I know that I should.

I am fed up. I want nothing more than to feel happy and healthy. I just want to be at peace. As they always say, nothing will get better until we make long-term changes to our lifestyle and I am finally ready to do so.

Why Am I Here?
I am here to find physical, emotional, mental, psychological and spiritual peace. I am here to blog out my heart and soul and hopefully find other people who want to take a similar journey towards changing their lives. It's been a couple of months that I have been trying to lose weight and become more healthy, and it is hard. I feel like giving up all the time.

What Am I Going to Talk About?
I'm starting my blog to document my struggles and successes with weight loss and healthy eating as I prepare to walk a marathon in December in Hawaii. I've never walked a marathon before, am over 100 pounds overweight and have had minimal exercise over the past ten years, so this ought to be interesting.

Please feel free to leave me comments-I need encouragement!

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