Monday, August 8, 2016

Putting Myself in Check

On July 26, 2016, after a routine physical, I received some test results that I did not like.  At. All.  Nothing life threatening, but a wake up call for sure.  I was shocked.  I hadn’t been paying really close attention to what I’ve been eating lately and so when I got numbers from my A1C, uric acid and LDL tests that were outside of acceptable, I was like WHAT???? 

I go to the gym most every day, meditate, and eat very little meat—at least that’s what I do most often, in retrospect, lately I’ve been getting really sloppy.  These test results brought it home loud and clear.  Healthy habits won’t help if you don’t use them and you really can't eat vegan once or twice a month and whatever you want the rest of the month.  Go figure!!!

After picking my jaw up from the floor, I immediately went to the library and got books on gout, the Mediterranean diet and a new take on the Mediterranean diet the Vegiterranean diet (vegan Mediterranean) and made a commitment to eliminate red meat, ice cream, fried foods and cheese from my diet for the next 90 days.  My doctor agreed that she’d let me try diet and exercise before pushing medication.  I really didn’t want to go on any more medication than I take now.  Hypertension runs in my family--After trying to control it myself with diet and exercise, I succumbed to my DNA and took the hypertension meds—but I was adamant that I didn’t want to take any more medication.  I do believe that what’s going on with me are things that I can fix with diet and exercise—what they call “lifestyle” issues.  I’m averse to taking medications that can cause wide-ranging side effects and bad interactions with other drugs.  Not having it!!!

In thinking back, I realized that when Ted was alive, I was much more cognizant of what we ate.  I was really focused on keeping him healthy so, though we loved ice cream, we only had it once a week as a treat.  We watched the hamburgers and fried food and we were very active.  Not only did we go to the gym most days, we were always on the go to museums, parks and festivals.  Since he died, I have been cultivating the things I like to do—read, scrapbook, write—none of which really get me out and moving.  Add to that that I’ve been succumbing to the barbecue rage all around me and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

You all know that I love a challenge so this is a challgenge to me and, as always, I will meet it head on.

*Starting August 1st, I will:
  • Eliminate red meat from my diet
  • Be active each and every day – Incorporate movement into my day – Get my 10,000 Fitbit steps each day.
  • Eliminate cheese, pizza, ice cream and fried foods
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
  • Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per day (I hate to tell you what little sleep this night owl gets)
  • Step away from the computer every hour for at least 20 minutes – do some stretches, walk, do something active
  • Do some of my computer work standing up – It is possible to do that!
  • Continue my daily meditation practice and add yoga at least 5X week
Instead of keeping a food consumed diary, I’m going to keep an exception diary.  I expect that I’m going to be eating right at least 90% of the time so I will only log the times I stray, which should be very, very few. 

Eating this way and moving much more should help me take off those stubborn extra pounds I've been playing with for the last year.  The way I look at this, it's a win-win.  I develop some new habits--yes habits, that will become my new lifestyle, lose weight and get healthier as a result.  Who could ask for anything more, right?  Now, it may turn out that because of genetics, no matter what I do I still won't be able to change my numbers appreciably but I won't know if I don't try.  I like to stay on the optimistic side of things and like the little choo choo train said "I think I can, I think I can, I know I can."

I’m making myself accountable and there’s nothing that builds accountability more than shouting from the rafters, what you’re going to do, so here we go.

I’ll report in monthly and let you know how I’m doing and after my 90-day appointment, I’ll let you know the results.


*Footnote - I know, it's already August 8th - I started on August 1st.