Monday, September 30, 2013
I call this the Summer of Bronchitis.
I have been so sick since about mid July. I got well enough to swim for one whole week near the end of August. Then my son and both grandgirls got sick in the following week, and I was sick again just after Labor Day.
I'm still not completely over this. My recovery tends to be one step forward, half a step back. Saturday, I had a low grade temperature and chills for several hours. Then yesterday I felt better and last night I had the best sleep - and longest period uninterrupted by coughing - in the whole last month! I seem to be able to control the coughing better. Getting my throat to heal will be the tricky part.
Anyway, I need to get back with the program. Because of my long lapse over the summer, I've reset my account so I'm starting out with my goals reset. I figured that's the best way to get back into tracking regularly.
So today - starting over and hoping for better health in the months to come!
Monday, August 19, 2013
The past three weeks I have been sidelined by illness. The upper respiratory infection I had was something I just couldn't get over. It turned into severe bronchitis that took me out of work for several days. There was an ear infection in there, too. I got back to work last Monday, but have been super occupied trying to keep my head above water on a day-to-day basis. No time yet to catch up on the work that didn't get done while I was sick. This weekend I was attending to personal matters that haven't gotten done while I was sick (banking, shopping, car registration, renewing my driver's license, cleaning the fridge, etc.). I'm still behind the eight-ball at work, trying to keep up on a day to day basis. Have two cats going to the vet tomorrow to get "fixed." And in the midst of all of this, a sibling had a family crisis situation.
So, I am finally back online. I'm tracking food today for the first time in at least a week and a half. I don't really remember. I was out of the pool for three weeks. I'm getting back into the routine slowly, taking it easy, with rest days in between. Boy do my muscles feel the increased activity! Just the housework I did yesterday put me in bed for about an hour to rest my back. And last night, I had the heating pad out to help me go to sleep.
So, no, I have not abandoned my health-improvement plan! I'm just apparently taking the long route to get there.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
I feel a bit like July has been a wasted month.
I started off the month discouraged by the slow rate of change in the numbers on the scale. But I was seeing changes in my body, and worked to encourage myself to focus on those. That was a good lesson, I think. Just last week, someone noted that a colleague was really trimming down. The colleague, though, replied somewhat dejectedly that the numbers on her scale hadn't changed. But the difference in her physique is notable. So that encourages me that I'm not just "rationalizing away" a lack of progress when I focus on non-scale-victories.
The second week of July, I had a major schedule disruption as I went out of town for several days to help family move from one town to another. I didn't use the trip to go hog wild, but worked to make the best food decisions at least 80% of the time. I was away from swimming for those days, and I did a lot of driving with little sleep. So I felt run down. But I got back into the pool right away.
Then, last week I got sick. I'd been feeling so exhausted, and couldn't figure out why. By Thursday afternoon, I realized that it was more than the moving trip and more than the sleep lost in our major storm/loss of power last week. I was sick with the virus my son had a couple of weeks earlier. I spent the past four days in bed with fever, headache, cough, and a totally messed up sleep schedule. I couldn't even make an attempt at tracking food. I felt so sick, I didn't even care. Whatever I could grab easily, could make myself eat, and my son could fix for me was what I ate. That doesn't mean it was a gorge-fest around my house. Sometimes it was a glass of milk and a banana I'd eat. I made scrambled eggs and toast one morning, during a short respite from the fever. My son made some spaghetti shells for me one of the first nights, and I ate off those for three days because they were easy to heat up when I was alone. I had turkey or tuna sandwiches for a few meals. But I also had vanilla ice cream to cool my throat, and ginger ale and crackers to calm my stomach. So I have no idea what my calories were like for the past five days.
Due to the storm and my illness, it's been a week since I've been in the pool. I feel pudgy. Maybe bloated? It's not like my smaller clothing no longer fits or anything. But I feel different and I don't know if it's lack of exercise, if a few pounds have crept back, if I'm retaining fluids, or all three. I dread getting on the scale at the end of the week.
But I will do it. I will get to tracking my foods today, my first day out of bed and back to work. I may not get to the pool this week. My ears are congested and hurt, and there's still some bronchial congestion that affects my breathing. I'd love to get into the water tomorrow, but I don't know that it will happen. Depends on how much this first day back at work tires me out. Since I've been up since 5 a.m. and got little sleep last night, I don't have a lot of hope for feeling like swimming tomorrow morning.
I have to get rested up and ready for the weekend. I've got the grandgirls for the weekend, and we're doing back to school shopping. I'll have four hours of driving on Friday, and another four on Sunday - plus the shopping crowds to deal with. I probably won't back into the full swing of my normal routine until next Monday.
For August, I want to put the frustrations of July behind me and take on this fitness journey with renewed vigor and hopefulness. I am NOT giving up! Quitting is NOT an option. My journey may take longer than I'd like, but I WILL get healthier, leaner, more fit. One thing I've learned in life is that there is no such thing as idling. One is either making decisions that move one forward, or one is remaining in the past. And I do not want my past health to be my future health. So I'll make as many good decisions as life circumstances allow. That's the best I can do.
Monday, July 08, 2013
Maybe I just really needed that long weekend to rest up, but I'm feeling quite positive and energized about my SparkJourney.
I was concerned that the activity tracker was over-estimating the number of calories I burn swimming. So I found a site that uses age, weight, height, gender to compute calories for slow swimming. It was several hundred calories an hour less than the Spark estimate. Then I checked the Spark estimate for "water aerobics" and found it is 100 calories under what the other estimated for slow swimming. So, I'm counting all of my swimming minutes as "water aerobics," just make sure that my caloric burn isn't over-estimated. I think one of my frustrations was that the activity tracker was saying I was burning so many calories, but the scale wasn't moving anything like those estimates would predict. I'm a lot more comfortable with the lower estimate.
Then, with a lower calorie burn estimate in mind and a nice, consistent record of swimming 90 minutes a day an average of 5-6 times a week, I did some figuring. My plan at this point is to keep my calorie intake to 15,000 a week. I'm going to try dividing that up into 6 days at about 2000 calories, and one "maintenance" day at about BMR. That will allow me some flexibility in my menu, and still should yield a 1 pound a week weight loss.
When it comes to activity, I'm going to stick with my 90 minute swims and not push the clock. I found I was getting into a bad habit of wanting to push myself too much. I need balance. Five to six 90 minute swims a week should yield another 1/2 to 1 pound weight loss. I'm going to start adding some weight training little by little, and go up to two walks a week. And I'm going to take one day a week off from workouts just to let my body rest. I plan to make that Sundays, so I can make that a complete day of rest from work, chores, and exercise.
I'm looking at my schedule, and planning on taking one 3-day weekend a month as a measure of self care. That will give me something nice to look forward to on stressful work days.
And I'm going to stop getting on the scale in between monthly weigh-ins! I'm going to pay more attention to NSVs, and remind myself that being consistent with my plan will yield results.
There! I am re-inspired and re-motivated.
Saturday, July 06, 2013
I'm feeling better than I was when I wrote yesterday's blog entry. Thank you for all the kind words of support! Taking in your words, and taking some time to think helped a lot. I went to the pool and swam for an hour and fifteen minutes. I got my hair cut. I stayed within calorie range. I took stock of the signs of progress that I've already made: better lung capacity, sleeping better, stronger muscles, knees feeling so much better as my leg muscles have strengthened, clothes definitely getting looser, having to buy smaller underwear, pants I couldn't wear comfortably in early May now fit loosely. I drink water more than I drink anything else. I'm taking my medication daily. I'm a lot more active than I was two months ago. Those are all really good, healthy things.
I'm going to stay focused on creating a new lifestyle geared toward health. Seeing the scale move quickly would be exciting, certainly. But what good would it be if the weight was back in months? I want real change that I can live with. And realistically, there's no way I can stay stuck at this size/weight if I continue eating in range and staying active. Change will come if I keep on keeping on in this new lifestyle. There's no better choice, because giving up only means no possibility of success.
So, I'll have some breakfast and head to the pool. I'll stop at the store and buy some more tomatoes and fruit. I have a coupon for Sports Authority, so I think I'll make a stop there and see if there's anything there to inspire me to try out a new kind of activity. I'll give myself a facial. And I will keep on, one healthy choice at a time.
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