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!
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