Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Wow. Almost a year since my last post, and what a journey it has been. The biggest and hardest time was the loss of my mom in April. She was 67 and died of complications related to her M.S. I miss her every day.
This blog is really just a mismash of thoughts. Everything really pales in comparison to that time for me. Suffice it to say that she was my sole focus during that time. I have had a long detour off the path of health and feel ready to refocus.
Last week Thursday I stepped on the scale for the first time in a long time. It was as I expected. Thankfully not as high as my first true foray into health and fitness. I felt the click in my mind as I put the puzzle pieces together.
I'm tired of waking up in the morning and being tired.
My body hurts all over
I get out of breath walking quickly for any distance - short or long
I have no energy
I am easily distracted
I hide from the camera
I don't feel good about myself
I feel like a hypocrite teaching healthy food options to my patients when I haven't been able to follow it myself.
Hmmm....looking back to my very first journal entry in June 2009 - before I found SPARK, I could have been rewriting that entry almost word for word. I have had success before. I know what it feels like when I am feeding my body for nutrition - every cell hums with energy. I know what it feels like to be fit and strong.
So, on Thursday, July 18th, I took a stand.
I went out and stocked my refrigerator with healthy choices. I started tracking my food intake and paying attention to the labels of the food I was purchasing and buying. I scoured pinterest for all of the recipies I have been pinning and not cooking.
I started acupuncture for the pain in my elbow, shoulder and lower back.
I made an appointment to see a therapist for my bee phobia.
I have made a healthy food choice each and every time I have eaten something.
I am starting my training walks this week for the M.S. 50 mile challenge walk in September.
I am ready to get back to life now, where I sit in the drivers seat as opposed to letting things happen. Everything we do involves a choice and a decision. We may not like the options, but we have to deal with the consequences of those decisions. In the end, why not choose the healthy path?
Sunday, September 30, 2012
You know how when you sit in the chair at home and your body just hums because it is ready to get moving? I was ready to get some exercise. I felt like I could run for a long time. I had this picture in my head of my feet flying with ease.
So, Keith and I went to the river for an afternoon run yesterday. Twice around is about 3.4 miles. I felt good starting out. I made it half way around and hit the wind tunnel on the other side. "I can do this" in my head. I turned my music up louder. I made it 3/4 way down the long path aaaaannnnd had to stop to walk.
This wasn't feeling like I had envisioned it would be. I walked the brief distance to the bridge and picked up the pace a bit. I got to the end of my first lap and paused for a quick drink at the bubbler. Still one more lap to go. I wasn't feeling it....grr I just ran a whole 5k a couple weekends ago. I should be able to do this. C'mon Laurie, get those feet moving.
I restarted my timer and moved on. I walked a couple more times on the 2nd lap. I started thinking about the 1/2 marathon I signed up for next September. I felt a moment of panic. If I can't run this whole way, how will I ever keep up with the 1/2?
Ok Laurie, let's think this through. First of all, there was a time when the thought of a 5k terrified me. There was a time when I couldn't even run 1/2 the length of the long path without having to stop. I have come a long way. I know that if it can be thought, it can be done. I have proven this to myself many times.
I have a plan. I just need to stick to it. There will be times when the run is easy and times like to today when it is difficult. In a few months, I will look back on this blog after a difficult run and realize just how far I have come.
That little voice in my head just keeps telling me it can be done. And, it will.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Plant based update: I have been exploring different food options. We are definitely not there yet. But, I have added flax seed meal and almond milk to my oatmeal in the morning. I also made meatless meals for dinner several times over the past week. Overall, I am pleased with some of our changes, they are gradual as they should be.
My MIL was placed on a heart healthy diet recently and she said to me "it's so hard, I feel so limited, there is nothing to eat." I thought about it and replied, "it's not that there's nothing to eat, it's just that you don't see the options yet."
As we start our heathy journeys, we often feel limited because we only see the foods that we have been trained to see. When I think of breakfast I naturally gravitate to eggs or omlets. I love cheese in almost anything. When we go to fast food, we don't think about the healthier options, at least I don't, I tend to look for the burgers and fries.
There was a study done that looked at healthy bundling of foods at fast food restaurants. Instead of showing pictures of the burgers and fries, the healthier options of salads and sandwiches were promoted instead. It wasn't that the unhealthier options were no longer available, but they weren't as prominently displayed. People chose the healthier options 6 out of 10 times.
We eat what we have grown up eating. Changing the way we eat, forces us to look outside of our box to find a whole new world of options, tastes, colors, and textures. Recently I looked through my cabinets and felt like we didn't have anything to cook. That was ridiculous, we had a pantry full of stuff. I realized I wasn't thinking outside the box. I pulled together a one pot meal of beans, tomatos, farra, spinach, etc. It was very tasty, meatless, and healthy.
I have been a lot more creative with our meals recently, because I have made it a point to have the vegetables available to me in my kitchen. I am able to explore new foods (like almond milk) because I have researched its benefits and purchased it to try. If I don't like it, that's ok. At least I have tried it.
Change takes time. It requires a willingness to take off our blinders and look outside our box. It requires a willingness to be creative and try new things. It can be painful and/or it can be exciting. Looking for ward to the change.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Keith and I were in Chicago this past weekend for the Chicago 1/2 marathon and 5k. I am so proud of both of us. We both had firsts with this run:
Keith completed his first half marathon
I completed my third 5k this year - but this time, I ran the whole thing
Wait, what was that I ran my third 5k this year! I have had "run a 5k" on my goal list for 2 years. Why didn't I do it before? I was scared. I thought I wasn't good enough. What if I couldn't run the whole thing? What if I finished last?
Keith and I ran our first 5k in January. I walked some. I ran most. I didn't finish last. I proved to myself I could do it.
We ran our second 5k in Madison in August at the Madison Mini. Last year we signed up for this run but got rained out (actually, the rain helped me to chicken out). This year the weather was beautiful, the course was awesome, the energy was amazing. I wanted to run the whole thing but had to walk at mile 2 and then on and off for the last mile. That's ok, I had a better time and still felt good!
This past weekend the weather was perfect. The course was flat, the music lively, the energy of the crowd - wow. I was excited and pumped. I had done this twice. I could DO it! I cheered Keith and his brother on as they started the 1/2 at 7am and then got ready for my 7:45am start.
I started out at a steady pace. People passed me, but that was ok. It wasn't about THEM. It was about me. I got to mile 1 and realized I felt really good. Not tired or out of breath, just in a rhythm. I started to pass others that had passed me but were now walking. I kept a good pace.
Mile 2 was long and straight, but there were people along the way with signs and smiles to cheer us on. Just past mile 2 was the water station. I kept going, I didn't want to jinx myself. I wanted to see if I could run the whole way. I was starting to feel tired, but not too bad, I slowed my pace a little bit, but didn't walk.
I saw the mile marker for mile 3 and realized I was so close. I CAN DO THIS! As I rounded to the finish line I picked up the pace and finished strong.
I did it.
A year ago I was too scared to run a 5k that I had signed up for. A year later I ran the whole way. We are only limited by the what we think we can or cannot do. Now that I know I can do it, I have a baseline to train. I signed up for the 1/2 with Keith for next year. There will be other runs before then, I look forward to them.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Transitions. Change. Stress. We have experienced many of these in a few short months.
I have spent a lot of time focusing on other priorities and not myself. My weight has reflected this. I have to wonder how the world works sometimes. How do we end up meeting the people we meet and choosing the paths that we take in life?
As a nurse, my passion in patient teaching is prevention and healthy lifestyle. I believe that we can impact our health by making better choices about what we eat, and how we move. While I think this, I don't always practice it.
I met a physician recently who suggested that many of our chronic disease related issues are related to the food we eat. He firmly believes that that making changes to the way we eat, from a fast food, calorie dense, meat and dairy focused diet, to a "whole food," plant based diet, can reverse the dependence on medications to treat diabetes, hypertension, and a host of other ailments.
I was intrigued. This was one of the first times I met a doctor that was passionate about diet as a way to treat disease. So much of what we eat is processed, sugar and fat loaded, convenience focused, that I had to wonder. Even our "low-fat" and "health" foods are processed. We are a pill based society. If something hurts, or we feel sick, we go to the doctor and expect a pill to make us feel better.
I am proof that changing diet and increasing activity impacts weight. I am also proof that falling into old habits and not making exercise a priority impacts weight Thankfully, despite this, I am still pretty healthy. My husband however, judging from his labwork and body type, could very well end up with diabetes or heart disease in the future. He exercises, but isn't really diet conscious. This worries me.
I talked to him about my interaction with the physician and his interest was piqued. He said he would give it a try. What? I was surprised that he would consider such changes. But, without change, his future will be medications and some major health issues.
Now, I get this is different, and to some may seem extreme. When my daughter came home in 8th grade and announced she was going to be a vegetarian I was not supportive. It was different from our lifestyle. I was sad. She refused to eat any of the things that we had enjoyed together for most of her life. Being a vegetarian does not mean that you necessarily eat healthier. She still ate eggs and dairy. Cheese pizza, grilled cheese, and macaroni and cheese don't necessarily mean healthy diet.
As a mom, I should have offered her support and modeled healthier choices. Unfortunately this was at a time when I was struggling with my own weight. I wasn't really a vegetable eater. I was working full-time and going to school. I didn't know how to make wiser choices for myself, nor did I "have the time to cook."
Today I commit to gradually transition to a more whole food, plant based food plan. I plan to write along the way. How I feel, what are my challenges, what are my successes, and how it impacts our health. I am interested to see how this experiment pans out for us.
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