Wednesday, August 27, 2008

looking forward

Being back on track feels, well, weird I suppose. At the end of the day yesterday, logically, I felt great about what I’d consumed and the walk I’d taken at the end of the day (even if I wasn’t able to go as far as I’d hoped). Physically though, I’m feeling tired and beaten up. This morning particularly, I had a really tough time getting going.

This will shift, I know that. I’m still flushing toxins out of my system I think. I know that I’m drinking more fluids and as a result am peeing more. My skin is sort of wonky at the moment as some of the nasty stuff that’s been in system works its way out. In a few weeks, I’ll feel less bloated and my skin will improve.

I think that this shitty feeling is good though. It’s reminding me why I’m doing this. Crap meals and laying around have made me feel like a slug and I know for a fact that I’m way over that. If I eat better and move more, eventually, I’ll feel terrific. I’m looking forward to that!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

new shoes & ice cream cones

I can report that I’m definitely being more thoughtful in my food choices. I really think about each meal and what I’m consuming before I do it. Over the past week, I feel that I’ve done well overall on cutting back on my portions, on reducing the amount of salt and fat I’m ingesting and on increasing the amount of water I’m drinking.

I cannot say that I’ve been completely “good” last week, well over the weekend anyway. On the weekend, I had some chips, some dip, an ice cream cone and a couple of hot dogs. Honestly though, I did think about what I was doing – it was not mindless eating. I also tried to offset the extra calories with either a little more exercise or a by eating less later on. This isn’t ideal, I understand this, it is what it is though. It’s life for now. I keep talking to myself about small changes and I think that is what is going to work for me in the long run.

This week is going pretty well so far. I’ve realized that it’s time for me to buy some new shoes. I’ve been wearing flip flops and sandals all summer. This past week, I was doing some extra walking and realized that I really need a new pair of walking shoes. It’s been a long time since I have splurged on my feet and I want to invest in something that will be comfortable and make me want to keep walking. The dog park we go to has a large track and I’d really like to start walking that. We go there pretty much every night so it’s a good opportunity for me to get some serious walking in, rather than the meandering stuff I do when I’m playing with the dog.

So that may be this weekend’s project, get new shoes. If you all have any suggestions for a good walking shoe I’d love to hear them. I have a wide foot and am pretty heavy right now so I’ll need something that is pretty sturdy. I know that it’s not going to be easy, walking that track, because I’m really out of shape. At the moment, I’m so sick of being this out of shape that I’m actually excited about exercising regularly again. Feeling like a giant slug is not a good thing. I can actually remember how good it felt to get into the habit of exercising almost every day (like I did way back at the beginning of this whole thing) and I want to have that in my life again!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


This week has been tough at times, at other times, not so much.

I do have a couple of things to report, good stuff I suppose, things that will help me out in the long run.

1. I cleaned out our treat cupboard. Now, the thing isn't a whole cupboard, it's more like a shelf. It also has all of our herbal teas, and crystal light and stuff. It was a mess, I threw out crusty old Werther's and cookie bits and it's now tidy, and free of starchy snacks. I will say this, recently, it's been storing digestive biscuits and licorice. Neither of these things are as bad as, let's say, delicious kit kat bars, but if you have enough of them, they aren't really smart either.

2. Fewer meals out this week. We've fallen into a bad spiral over the past month or so, of either eating out, ordering take out or making sandwiches. All of these things are not good and honestly, are pretty boring. We did grab a hot dog at Costco on Monday night because we hadn't eaten dinner and we wanted to get groceries (not on an empty stomach!). Had it with some fresca and it was good. Otherwise though, we've been preparing meals at home and have been eating all of the good produce we picked up at Costco when we shopped on a full tummy.

3. moving it. I've had, at times, crippling cramps this week but I've tried to keep moving. I didn't get walking as much as I'd have liked but I have definitely been outside, doing more than I normally would, despite the being doubled over (literally - it's very strange) with lovely TOM cramps.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

it's not all about the scale

...I think we've all known this for years but it's nice to see some data backint it up. For me particularly, I have a lot of weight to lose. When I get to my goal, I'll still be considered overweight by insurance chart standards but I know that I'll be healthier than I am at my present weight. Anyway, fyi:

Better to Be Fat and Fit Than Skinny and Unfit

Published: August 18, 2008

Often, a visit to the doctor’s office starts with a weigh-in. But is a person’s weight really a reliable indicator of overall health?

Increasingly, medical research is showing that it isn’t. Despite concerns about an obesity epidemic, there is growing evidence that our obsession about weight as a primary measure of health may be misguided.

Last week a report in The Archives of Internal Medicine compared weight and cardiovascular risk factors among a representative sample of more than 5,400 adults. The data suggest that half of overweight people and one-third of obese people are “metabolically healthy.” That means that despite their excess pounds, many overweight and obese adults have healthy levels of “good” cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and other risks for heart disease.

At the same time, about one out of four slim people — those who fall into the “healthy” weight range — actually have at least two cardiovascular risk factors typically associated with obesity, the study showed.

To be sure, being overweight or obese is linked with numerous health problems, and even in the most recent research, obese people were more likely to have two or more cardiovascular risk factors than slim people. But researchers say it is the proportion of overweight and obese people who are metabolically healthy that is so surprising.

“We use ‘overweight’ almost indiscriminately sometimes,” said MaryFran Sowers, a co-author of the study and professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan. “But there is lots of individual variation within that, and we need to be cognizant of that as we think about what our health messages should be.”

The data follow a report last fall from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute showing that overweight people appear to have longer life expectancies than so-called normal weight adults.

But many people resist the notion that people who are overweight or obese can be healthy. Several prominent health researchers have criticized the findings from the C.D.C. researchers as misleading, noting that mortality statistics don’t reflect the poor quality of life and suffering obesity can cause. And on the Internet, various blog posters, including readers of the Times’s Well blog, have argued that the data are deceptive, masking the fact that far more overweight and obese people are at higher cardiovascular risk than thin people.

Part of the problem may be our skewed perception of what it means to be overweight. Typically, a person is judged to be of normal weight based on body mass index, or B.M.I., which measures weight relative to height. A normal B.M.I. ranges from 18.5 to 25. Once B.M.I. reaches 25, a person is viewed as overweight. Thirty or higher is considered obese.

“People get confused by the words and the mental image they get,” said Katherine Flegal, senior research scientist at the C.D.C.’s National Center for Health Statistics. “People may think, ‘How could it be that a person who is so huge wouldn’t have health problems?’ But people with B.M.I.’s of 25 are pretty unremarkable.”

Several studies from researchers at the Cooper Institute in Dallas have shown that fitness — determined by how a person performs on a treadmill — is a far better indicator of health than body mass index. In several studies, the researchers have shown that people who are fat but can still keep up on treadmill tests have much lower heart risk than people who are slim and unfit.

In December, a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association looked at death rates among 2,600 adults 60 and older over 12 years. Notably, death rates among the overweight, those with a B.M.I. of 25 to 30, were slightly lower than in normal weight adults. Death rates were highest among those with a B.M.I. of 35 or more.

But the most striking finding was that fitness level, regardless of body mass index, was the strongest predictor of mortality risk. Those with the lowest level of fitness, as measured on treadmill tests, were four times as likely to die during the 12-year study than those with the highest level of fitness. Even those who had just a minimal level of fitness had half the risk of dying compared with those who were least fit.

During the test, the treadmill moved at a brisk walking pace as the grade increased each minute. In the study, it didn’t take much to qualify as fit. For men, it meant staying on the treadmill at least 8 minutes; for women, 5.5 minutes. The people who fell below those levels, whether fat or thin, were at highest risk.

The results were adjusted to control for age, smoking and underlying heart problems and still showed that fitness, not weight, was most important in predicting mortality risk.

Stephen Blair, a co-author of the study and a professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, said the lesson he took from the study was that instead of focusing only on weight loss, doctors should be talking to all patients about the value of physical activity, regardless of body size.

“Why is it such a stretch of the imagination,” he said, “to consider that someone overweight or obese might actually be healthy and fit?”

Monday, August 18, 2008

holy crap

Somehow, two months have passed (over two months actually) since I last updated. I wish I could say that I'd been a good, healthy-eating-exercise-doing shrinking gurl but alas, I was not.

I feel lousy too.

It's time for a change, for our entire household actually. We've just finished a two week vacation and we're both determined to get our collective shit together. The dog is going to be in on it too. Less treats for all, more walking, more biking. Generally, just a lot more of being kinder to ourselves.

I was at the funeral of my cousin on the weekend. She was 43 years old and had fought cancer for 14 years. I thought about how lucky I was to not have any major health issues at the age of 41 (although I'm fat - I think I can change that). I hate that it took a family tragedy to kick my ass again but I'll try to make something good come out of this horrible situation.

So yeah, in short, I'm back.