Monday, May 28, 2012

Getting Back on the Healthy Track

I'm happy to announce that I have been doing pretty well with my health for the past couple of weeks. One morning I woke up and I just couldn't take it anymore. I looked at myself in the mirror and I just couldn't tolerate how much weight I have gained. I huffed and puffed putting my clothes on in the morning and walking from the car to work, and I decided then and there that something needed to change in my life. I decided to get back on the wagon again and start anew.

I first started with walking for about 20 minutes, which then increased to walking 30 minutes, then to 45 minutes, and now about an hour. I even bought new walking shoes this weekend. I also went back to the gym and tried out the elliptical machine, starting first with 20 minutes and then 30 minutes the last time that I have used it. I've really only used it a couple of times, but I am looking forward to trying to push myself to stay on it for at least 45 minutes a couple of times a week.

I've walked in the morning a few times before work and I noticed that I had a noticeable difference in my energy level. Last week I started to get really bad PMS and I felt horribly bitchy. However, the more that I walked and got on the elliptical, the bitchiness went away. PMS was pretty much tolerable this week, and for the first time in a long time my bitchiness was minimized and my energy levels weren't as low as they usually are during times of PMS. I'm so proud!

I started to try to go to bed early on a couple of days, but on certain days I stayed up pretty late. Even though I went to bed late, however, I have been waking up super early in the mornings-at least an hour and a half, sometimes even two hours, earlier than I normally wake. Waking early is pretty significant because I am NOT a morning person, yet I've been laying in bed very early in the morning. Obviously I know that is has something to do with exercise.

I'm not doing as well as I could with healthy eating, but I have definitely been cutting back. I am trying to be more conscious with what I am eating and I am trying to make healthier food choices. I am going to commit to making small changes here and there that in the long run will add up. My goal this week is to not have any sodas or juices and I plan only on drinking water or unsweetened coffee or tea. Along the way I am going to make other good decisions about food, but I am going to commit to sticking to the no soda or juice rule on Monday through Friday. (I go to Las Vegas on Saturday, so I will reevaluate my soda/juice rule then and I will allow myself to make not so good of a choice then. Maybe I will get lucky and decide to stick with the rule on my Vegas trip).

I'm feeling very positive and good about the past couple of weeks and I look forward to even better healthy lifestyle choices that I will be taking!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trying the Gluten-free Lifestyle

Last week I watched Dr. Oz and he had a special about Celiac disease. It was really interesting to learn about all of the ways that wheat/gluten find its way into our bodies--through food, but also through shampoo, lotions, soy sauce, salad dressings, and other products. During the show I looked at my shampoo and I discovered that my very own shampoo had wheat in it!

I'm still a little confused about the symptoms of celiac disease because it appears that it changes from person to person. Some of the symptoms are: gastrointestinal problems (check, I've got that), rashes (check, I've got that), fatigue (check, I've got that), anemia (don't know if I've got it), migraines (check, I've got that) and a myriad of other symptoms. What I gather from reading about it is that it is an autoimmune disease and that your body is allergic to gluten.

I started thinking back to when i was in high school and I used to work at the local pizza shop. I walked around with large rashes all over my arms and hands after making pizza dough and my mother used to wonder if I was allergic to the dough. A couple of years ago she mentioned that as a child I was tested positive for being allergic to wheat, but I haven't listened to her much because her memory often changes over the years.

Last year I was having really strange symptoms. My acupuncturist told me that I had a lot of inflammation in my body, and after tests from the doctor it was confirmed that I had a lot of inflammation. He ran a number of tests on me to see if I had lupus, and I tested positive on many of the tests but negative on a few. So it's clear that I have some sort of inflammation or possibly autoimmune problem, but I don't know what it is. So when I watched Dr. Oz last week I figured I'd try to cut out wheat to see if after a week I felt any better.

Well, let me tell you, being gluten free isn't easy. I haven't been able to do it-contrary to really trying all week and precooking soups and other food that don't have wheat. Wheat is in everything. And it's really hard when you are addicted to certain things-like I have suddenly realized that I am seriously addicted to bread and pasta. And I really like pasta.

I'm not really sure that I want to go gluten free, or I really even need to. But I am trying to go through the process of elimination to see if after cutting it out I feel better. I do admit that after eating gluten free for one day, I ate bread and crackers the next day and I had a stomach ache and felt bloated all day. But then again I also ate cheese. So that's another thing that I later have to eliminate to see if dairy is causing stomach issues for me as well.

This week I am going to continue on, trying to do the gluten free lifestyle as a way to try to identify if I am having problems with wheat. I know that it's going to be hard, but for the past couple of days I have also noticed that although I am eating enough that my metabolism is raging and that I constantly feel hungry-so this might also be the needed weight loss jump start that I needed. Perhaps too much bread, etc has been bogging me down. Only time will tell!!
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