Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Joining a gym in the New Year???

Read this first.

It's a great article from Hope Nagy, a trainer in the Philly area, with things to keep in mind before you sign the dotted line.....

GREAT tips!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Massive Reality Check!

Last week, it caught up with me. The scale did not lie. Yuck. I just do not even want to talk about it. My clothes do not look right, I don't feel right, and this is not a feeling I like.... at ALL.

And yet, it is a great lesson: a lesson in the need to continually be vigilant. On how easy it is -- even years later -- to slip into behavioral patterns that are still ingrained deep in us, and to allow "oh, it's just that time of year" to become a reason to overdo, instead of a reason to keep watch.

Stepping on the scales was the reality check I didn't want but truly needed. Even going to the gym for four workouts last week wasn't a license to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

So what's a girl to do?

Hit the gym tomorrow morning. That's what I'm doing anyway. And Wednesday morning. Thursday too. And Friday for good measure. Oh, and on the off-chance we leave work early Friday (doubtful but I can hope), I can squeeze in an extra workout or a walk with the dog (if I were to get off early and home early enough).

Watch the foods and the portions and ESPECIALLY the sodium, if at all possible. Too much sweet, sweet-salty, and salty for me. Load up on veggies, fruits, lean proteins and way less grab-some-grub stuff.

And recognize that it didn't go on overnight, and it won't come off overnight ... but you can sure as heck try.

***

In other news, last week I had my calcium scoring scan. Nothing so far from that (given that it's the holidays), and then one more scan next week before we start the synthroid and HRT. Of course, that's if everything is copacetic with these two scans. Keeping my fingers crossed that it's all good..... Please, God, let it be.

Last week, I mentioned that a friend of mine had told me that perhaps I didn't realize how really tired I am (and I'm just thinking I feel mostly good right now): she may be on to something. Yesterday was a pretty lazy day, given that it was Sunday and Christmas. I had done midnight Mass, come home around 2:00 AM, and then fell just pretty quickly afterwards. I was up by about 7:45 AM (funny how the smell of good java will do that...) and then by 11:00 .... ZONK! down for a nap. By 2:30, POW! another short nap. I think I had another small one (10-15 minutes) around 7:00 or so, and of course, then I couldn't go to sleep until after 11:30. Up this morning around 6:45 .... meaning, 4:45 is gonna be AWFULLY cruel tomorrow. But it's for my own good!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Better late than never, huh?

I can't believe I forgot to post anything last week. The brain is fried, between holiday events, regular ol' work, doctor's visits, workouts, and oh yeah, trying to squeeze in shopping. Ha. Ha. I have ONE gift purchased. That's it. ONE. And Christmas cards? Try MAYBE this week, if I'm lucky.

And in the midst of all this, I have been following an 80-20 rule: eat healthily 80% of the time and stop obsessing about the 20% of the time when you mess it up royally. I've also kept up working out at least 3 times a week. So far? It must be working. I'm down two weeks in a row. It's not been huge amounts -- both times, less than a pound -- but it's downward progress.

What I'm discovering is that I really enjoy my workout times. Do I relish the idea of waking up at quarter till dark and then leaving no later than oh-dark-thirty to go sweat? Not particularly. But once I get there, I'm loving it. I find that I feel much better -- and better about myself -- when I get in my workouts. I feel more accomplished, and if I do the workout in the morning, I find that I have a little more energy throughout the day. Even late afternoon workouts help me sleep better.

Speaking of energy, I met with the doctor's PA earlier this week. We're going to begin one of the therapies in January ... after a couple more scans. Yes, more tests, but these are worth it. The doc's PA said, "Once you get onto this therapy, one of the nice things is that you're gonna feel like a million bucks!" So I'm thinking I feel pretty good, so holy mackerel, how much better can I feel? But as a friend told me, "You probably don't realize how tired you really are."

She's right. There are moments when I feel absolutely drained of everything. I'm too much like my dad .... we both run ourselves into a stupor, and when we sit absolutely still: BAM! out like lights. We joke, "Rest? That's for when we're dead...." Of course, most of my dad's family is of the same vein.

So can you imagine how completely dead I would feel if I were still at my peak weight?

No thanks .... even with all the struggles and health issues I've had in the last few months, I would NEVER want to be where I was 6 years ago and having to go through this. No way. I used to scoff whenever I would hear the phrase about nothing tastes as good as being thin feels..... but not so much now.

So if you are thinking about making changes, DO IT TODAY. Get a jump on all those people who are going to wait until the first couple of weeks in January. You'll thank yourself!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Gobsmacked by reality

When I was a child, I remember adults would say about people, "Hmm, guess their sins finally found them out, huh?" (especially when someone got a measure of comeuppance). I can't remember if my mother or either of my grandmothers would use that phrase as a guilt trip when they were sure I was hiding something ... heck, probably all three.

But as much as I hated hearing it, there is a kernel of truth in that saying .... and in this case, the things I didn't bother to track or care about this week showed up on the scale en masse. Nothing I could do but claim them as my own. I mean really, what other choice do I have? I made good decisions (workouts, and eating good meals, mostly), but what derailed me were those little things: not tracking, indulging in the more-than-occasional treat because "it's been a rough week"....

Well, guess what? This past week was easy compared to the upcoming week's agenda. I could easily give up this week: I have more time- and energy-grabbers than you would believe: just regular work, choir practice, a special service Thursday night, a holiday party on Friday night, a 5K on Saturday, AND a concert on Sunday. But I'm not going to wallow in it ...... no, instead, I have a plan!

A) Work out at least four times this week -- this worked for me last week, even if it meant squeezing in two workouts in one day. So the plan is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday's 5K. YAY ME! Plus I will be doing a small workout later today (just cardio, but still moving!) and maybe get in one on Friday..... nothing too

B) Plan better meals -- right now, I have 7 chicken breasts cooked and ready to use this week. I have Brussels sprouts roasting in the oven and will be roasting some sweet potato chunks as well. I have some steamed green beans I can use as well. And I have a slew of various other veggies and veggie mixes in the freezer. I have apples. I have oatmeal for breakfast if the cereal runs out and frozen lean breakfasts as well. It's all good.

C) Stress eating. Oh yeah, and I'm not even talking about the holidays. The holidays? Bah. No match for regular everyday stress. But I'm not going to allow it to derail my thinking. I have a secret weapon: Hershey's Special Dark miniatures. I'm going to allow myself one per day, most likely as lunch's little dessert.

With a plan in place, I know I will be successful!

***

Now for good news this week on the medical front..... I met with the cardiologist to review the results from my holter monitor and the echocardiogram. He was concerned because the holter shows I do have a slow heart rate overall, but the echocardiogram doesn't show any structural issues with my heart.

I actually sighed, very deeply, in relief. I had really wondered what might transpire. I knew that the very worst they could tell me was "yes you have an arrythmia and you'll need a pacemaker" ... or "you have a faulty valve and will need heart surgery." Scary concepts either way, but in my mind that was the worst they could say. So I was prepared for anything. I almost wasn't prepared to hear the good news.

Then he suggested doing a Tilt Table test. Since the heart is sound, it could be a fault in the circulatory system where my system doesn't re-balance as quickly as it should. One nice thing about Dr. M (cardiologist): he's thorough and explains things very well. So he explained how the body works to keep blood pressure even throughout the body at all times ... fascinating! I then mentioned that Dr. Y (primary care) wants to get me on certain meds for the sluggish thyroid and HRT issue. Dr. M's eyes lit up and he said, "YES! YES! Tell you what, see her again and get started on these. I'll see you again in three months and if things are looking better, I won't even bother with the Tilt Table test." In another mini-science lesson, I learned that apparently, there can be a correlation between hormonal imbalance and cardiovascular issues. WHO KNEW? (Not me, that's who!).

As much as I am not a fan of HRT, for my heart health, I'll do it.

So we'll see how things go from there!