Eat Well, Move More











{November 27, 2012}   Hitting a wall

Oh my! It’s been nearly five months since I’ve updated this blog.  Perhaps I should explain the reason behind my writer’s block.

I hit a wall.

Hard.

In my last post in July, I mentioned my difficultly with completing a moderate workout, experiencing  asthma symptoms, rather shortness of breath, and dizziness.  After several more attempts at the same workout, I was still taking breaks and not completing the full workout. Even worse, I hit a wall of fatigue and pain that caused the walls to crumble in around me.

Flu-symptoms and exhaustion kept me bedridden on my days off from work.  Heaviness and burning aches increased in my limbs. The dizzy spells became more frequent. Panic attacks set in. By panic attacks, I mean full-fledged heart-beating-out-of-my-chest and feeling like my skin was crawling off of my body, leaving me unable to sit still yet unable to move. The panic attacks woke me from deep sleep at night. At one point, I felt like I might have been having a heart attack.

I suspect that the panic attacks at night were caused by nightmares, and I’m pretty certain I know the cause of those. However the frequent panic attacks in the daytime seemed to have no relevant reason.

After several trips to my health care provider, a few dramatic and frightening fainting spells, several missed work days, a referral to specialist, and a few medical tests later, I had my diagnosis. More accurately, I had a few diagnoses and a bag of new prescriptions.

My main diagnosis: Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome .  A fancy term for a heart condition that comes with an imbalanced nervous system.  Good news, it’s not life threatening. Annoying news, it can be life interrupting.

So, now that I’ve absorbed my diagnosis and allowed myself time to adjust to my medications, it’s time to adapt my lifestyle. And time to adapt how I will bring my lifestyle to the healthy lifestyle that I want.

Stay tuned to find out how I accomplish that.

 



{July 2, 2012}   Jillian kicked my arse

Oh. My. Goodness.

I’ve spent the past few months trying to work back up my stamina. I’ve progressed from a few minutes of walking a day to nearly an hour a day, at least 5 days a week.  I’ve only had one episode of debilitating pain and fatigue that kicked me down.  I thought I was ready to step it up to the next level of exercise, so I picked out a workout DVD from my collection of DVD’s.

My choice today: Jillian Michael’s Biggest Winner series.

I chose it for its combination of large and small muscle group exercises, and for the simplicity of basic exercises. The last thing I wanted was fancy footwork or complicated combinations. I am so uncoordinated these days.

Jillian kicked my arse. I only made it half-way through the first DVD this morning.  I stopped a couple of times, pausing to catch my breath, then rejoined. I had to stop at the point that I was dizzy.

I’m not  sure if I was pushing myself too hard or if my asthma was to blame.  Nevertheless, I got more of a workout than if I had not done it at all. I will try it again this evening after work.  And I’ll continue to try, over and over.

Something to keep in mind about workout DVD’s: You can pause. You can take a bit of a break (while still moving around, walking to keep your heart rate up) and rejoin it. It is also OK to stop when it gets to be too much, cool down, stretch, and go back to it another day.  Just don’t give up easily.



{May 14, 2012}   Love Don’t Cost A Thing

The title is poor grammar, yes. And it’s more than a teen movie title from the early ’90’s or  a Jennifer Lopez song.

I spent a few hours this weekend sorting out all of the fitness and exercise stuff that I own.  The above picture is just a sampling of the “fitness” stuff in my house. I was trying to figure out what I need to take the next step in my plan to get healthy and fit.

I wonder how many of us do this? (C’mon, raise your hand. You know you’ve done at least one…)

  • See an infomercial for a new DVD exercise program and put it on our wish list, or even buy it.
  • Buy magazine after magazine with eye-catching headlines promising to show you how to get “flat abs” or lose 20 pounds by summer.
  • Shop yard sales or Craigslist for a weight bench or treadmill.
  • See an advertisement for this month’s special on a gym membership and look in the checkbook to see if you can budget it in
  • Make a shopping list of what gadgets or tools you need to start your fitness or weight loss program

Over the years, I have collected several “fitness guru” books, a few sets of exercise DVD’s and magazines. I’ve owned weight benches, dumbbells, elastic bands, balance balls, and other equipment. In the past, I’ve had gym memberships or exercise class punch cards that often went unused.  Up until a few weeks ago, I had a wish list for the perfect “as seen on TV” exercise program, as if it would motivate me to follow through. What I’ve come to realize is that while all of these things could help me reach my goals, they do NOTHING if I don’t use them.  Investing in more or different items would be a waste of my money.

Making a shopping list to get fit or lose weight is a stalling tactic. Procrastination. Where is that internal motivation to love myself enough to begin to DO SOMETHING?  I don’t need new gadgets or DVD’s. I need to use what I have on hand and do so consistently. In fact, it’s time to get back to basics.  Remember gym class in high school?  Running and calisthenics?  I’ve decided to start again with walking and some simple floor exercises. Yes. That seems like a good starting point to Move More. I’ll add the other items in as I go.



{May 11, 2012}   Starting Point

We all do it.  We make New Year’s Resolutions, plan to join Weight Watchers next month, promise to join the gym next payday, schedule  to start on that Couch to 5K program on Saturday, etc.  It’s noble, these plans and promises that we make.  We mean well, but the bottom line is…

We procrastinate. We delay. We put it off. We finally start. Life happens. Something gets in the way. We skip a day. We stop. We plan. We procrastinate. It’s a vicious cycle.

Often, we aren’t catapulted into following through or making changes at all, until there is an outside motivator: a family member’s health is in jeopardy, or even our own, motivates a change to be made.  Outside motivators can be helpful, especially the “scary” type.

Honestly, though, to be truly successful and not sabotage our own plans, we must find that internal motivator.  Yes. Self motivation is key.  We all have it. We just don’t use it like we should.  Simply put, it is deciding to…

JUST. DO. SOMETHING!

My external motivator: rapidly deteriorating health and increasing pain.  Diagnosis is irrelevant at this point. I know what needs to change.  My internal motivator: I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I want to feel better and be my “old self”.  I consider myself semi-sedentary in my lifestyle, and at times “inconsistently active”. And my downfall, I love food!  The inconsistency and promises to begin exercising or eating healthier “on Monday” are not helping me.  I have fitness DVD’s, diet books, and exercise stuff. My problem is that I keep wanting things to be perfect and think a fancy program is going to help me. Sure it would, if I actually used it. Waiting for the right day or the beginning of the week or the perfect program is not helping me.  A few days ago, I simply made the decision to “do something”.  I decided to just Eat Well and Move More.  Sounds too simple? No. Not really. It’s a starting point, a realistic starting point.

It doesn’t matter where you decide to begin. Just pick something and do it. And tomorrow, do it again.  Some things should be planned and scheduled, and that’s fine. We shouldn’t wait for June 1st to begin our “programs” or for next Monday to begin to eat better. Each day is a starting point.  Now is a starting point.  Don’t complicate things. Keep it simple.  Eat well. Move more.



et cetera