Tag Archives: health

Accountable Monday: On a Tuesday

28 Aug

Sorry for being a bit late with this post. I did weigh in yesterday– and saw 154.

That’s one pound down, and given that it’s the time of the month and I wasn’t very good last week, I’m very pleased. I’m still doing TurboFire until I get my hands on my friend’s Insanity, but am really having trouble with motivation.

I’m also due for taking measurements in the next few days so I’m hoping to see some good progress there as well. I’m about 7 weeks into my lifestyle change (and this blog) and am trying hard to keep it a routine- a balance- and not burn out/give up.

I have to remember that I’m doing this for so many reasons, and I can’t give up.

I can’t give up on myself. It simply cannot be an option.

End melodramatic post… sorry about that.

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I Am Not A Failure If I Don’t Complete TurboFire

26 Aug

I’ve been having a battle with myself lately. I’m midway through month two of TurboFire and I posted recently that I was getting tired of it. This past week I haven’t been very good about getting those workouts done. A few of you suggested it might be time to change it up.

But, would I be failing myself if I gave up TurboFire before completing it? At first, my gut reaction was yes. Of course, I simply had to complete what I had started. What was the point if I was going to give up halfway through?

Here’s the thing though. I’m not giving up. I’m changing courses. Maybe. I might only do another workout for a day or a week and then go back to it. That’s okay. I know at this point in time I need a change to regain focus. I tried the “giving yourself a day off” to shake things up, and that didn’t seem to be enough. So, I’ve come to the decision that it is okay for me to change courses. It doesn’t mean I failed. It means I needed a change.

I’ll be borrowing a friend’s set of Insanity dvd’s and am going to give that a shot sometime this week. Who knows, maybe it will reaffirm my love for the fun dancey ways of TurboFire. Or, maybe it’ll help me push to a whole new level. I think what is most important is that I keep pushing myself. Keep fitness and my health as a priority in my life. I don’t necessarily need to follow one set series to do that.

We’ll see how this goes!

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and What it Means for Health and Weight Loss

22 Aug

I’m a big reader. Recently, I was reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and one section really stuck out to me—it speaks to how community affects our health.

Living a long life, the conventional wisdom said at the time, depended to a great extent on who we were — that is, our genes. It depended on the decisions people made — on what they chose to eat, and how much they chose to exercise, and how effectively they were treated by the medical system. No one was used to thinking about health in terms of a place.

Wolf and Bruhn had to convince the medical establishment to think about health and heart attacks in an entirely new way: they had to get them to realize that you couldn’t understand why someone was healthy if all you did was think about their individual choices or actions in isolation. You had to look beyond the individual. You had to understand what culture they were a part of, and who their friends and families were, and what town in Italy their family came from. You had to appreciate the idea that community — the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with — has a profound effect on who we are. The value of an outlier was that it forced you to look a little harder and dig little deeper than you normally would to make sense of the world. And if you did, you could learn something from the outlier than could use to help everyone else.”

This chapter was published in the New York Times and you can read it here. To me, this was an important eye opener. So often, we think about genes and decision-making as the two main drivers behind our level of health. The research that Gladwell is referencing indicates that it so much more than just the individual. Our health is also a product of our culture, the people that we surround ourselves with. Whether we’re trying to pinpoint why someone is healthy or why they aren’t healthy, we need to not only look at the individual but beyond them to their culture and environment.

Outliers (book)

Outliers (book) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does this mean for someone who is trying to change their current health status? To me, I think that it means we have to think of ourselves within context. None of us exist in a silo. We are influenced by the people around us and their values. Does something in our environment have to change in order for us to succeed in changing into a more healthy being?

How do you think your cultural context has affected your health? 

It’s Okay To Take Rest Day: 6 Ways to Know When It’s Time to Give Yourself a Break

21 Aug

We all need days off– to let our muscles recover and repair and to mentally give ourselves a break from the routine. Most people schedule their rest days into their week. But, how do you know if you need one?

1)      You feel the “twinge” that something isn’t right: I mentioned yesterday that on Sunday when I was working out my lower back started not feeling right. I continued my workout as low impact but high intensity as possible, and when I didn’t see much positive progress with it yesterday I made it a rest day. It’s okay to switch around when your rest day is based on when your body is asking for it.

2)      You’re lethargic or you have trouble sleeping: Sometimes, becoming overly lethargic throughout the day or not being able to sleep soundly at night is an indicator of over training.

3)      You absolutely dread working out: Now, there’s a difference between the usual “ugh I don’t want to get out of bed and go running this morning!” and the absolute dread associated with exercise burn out. Make sure you’re sure that it’s the later before you give yourself a rest day—and don’t let it turn into a regular excuse.

4)      Progress has slowed significantly: This may seem counter intuitive but sometimes if your progress has slowed or come to a halt it might be that your body needs a rest.

5)      You’re sick: If you’re suffering from a terrible cold or other illness, it’s okay to give yourself some time off to heal. Just make sure that as soon as you’re feeling better you get back into it!

6)      You’re becoming obsessed: Remember it’s about balance. If you are overdoing it and exercising is all you can think about, it might be time to give yourself a break and reconnect with your friends, families, and other hobbies or interests you may have neglected.

This all comes down to listening to your body! And, as always, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have. Remember, just because you took one day off doesn’t mean you’re going to fall off the wagon completely. Rest days should be a part of your regular exercise routine. You can also do active recovery on those days, like light walking, stretching, or yoga.

How often do you take rest days? 

Accountable Monday: Weigh-in Results & TurboFire Month 2 Beginnings

20 Aug

Good Morning! Monday is weigh-in day around here, and today I saw 155.

That’s one pound down since last week and 7 overall since the start of TurboFire. I’m quite pleased.

Month 2 of TurboFire has been off with a bang. The workouts are longer than last month’s on a whole, and there are none of the HIIT workouts on the horizon. My endurance is building but I’m still struggling through the longer workouts. I did something funny last night, apparently, and my left lower back is not so happy today. I’m going to have to take it a little easier until that goes away but I’m going to make sure I’m still getting my heart rate up.

English: SAN DIEGO (Sept. 3, 2009) Fred Fusili...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Additionally, my lovely SO who certainly has nothing but the best of intentions gave me a “tip” today after I stepped off the scale that my weight loss results would be better if I didn’t eat so much crap. True, yes, but my diet has significantly improved and I’m trying to make this a lifestyle change. I know that if I cut out everything I’m craving it will not be sustainable. I’m cutting down on those indulgences not eliminating them completely.

Maybe I won’t lose weight as quickly as I would if I were eliminating anything remotely unhealthy from my diet. But, I’m proud of the progress I’m making and am looking forward to finding ways to still enjoy life but be more mindful and healthy as I do so.

Never Been So Happy To Schedule A Doctor’s Appointment!

15 Aug

I’ve posted before about the following: 1) I hate going to the doctor 2) I have a doctor I really like that I found through ZocDoc. So, you can imagine my distress when I went to schedule my regular appointment with my doctor to see his page had disappeared all together from ZocDoc!

I, being the worrywart (with a flair for jumping to the worst-possible conclusion) decided he must have left the practice or even the left the City and I’d have to start from scratching finding a new doctor. I was immediately worried I’d get a doctor that’d make me take insulin and pills to lose weight, disregard all my wishes, and make me cry regularly. (Yes, I cry at the doctors. I can be such a baby– I’m so sensitive!)

Figuring I’d call the office first thing in the morning just to be sure– I nearly jumped out of my seat when his page was back the next morning! Phew!

Image representing Zoc Doc as depicted in Crun...

ZocDoc Website (Image via CrunchBase)

So, I’ve got my next visit scheduled: September 27th at 8am. I’m hoping to lose a few more pounds by then and that my blood pressure and lab work all come back showing significant improvements.

It’s now been two years since I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. My health is still improving, but I know I’ve made vast strides since then. In the next few days I’ll be posting about my last two years living with Diabetes so be on the lookout for that.

When’s your next Doctor’s appointment? Do you have any goals you want to reach before then?

Accountable Monday: TurboFire Month 1 Results & Weigh-in

13 Aug

Yesterday, I posted about my thoughts of the first month of TurboFire. Notably, however, I left out my weight loss results– which I’m sure many of you were eager to see. I know I was.

I started TurboFire on  at 162 pounds on July 15th, 2012.

As of today, August 13th, 2012, I weight 156 pounds.

That’s six pounds down!  

Of course, it’s not as much as I would have liked. (Got to love those unrealistic expectations and lofty goals!) But, I know I’m well on my way and moving in the right direction. I’m building muscle, getting stronger, and I’m sure I’m loosing inches along the way. Measurements in a couple of weeks will tell me for sure.

My goal was 15 pounds by the end of TurboFire on November 4th– that’d make me 147…. 9 to go! That feels do-able. I like breaking it down it more bite-sized goals like that.

Did you weigh in this week? How were your results? What are you going to do this week to make it even better?

TurboFire Month 1 in Review

12 Aug

I just finished my first month of Turbo Fire and I’m incredibly proud of myself for getting into the routine and pushing beyond my comfort zone. I thought now would be a good time to reflect on the first month of the program and my thoughts and results so far.

I haven’t done the program absolutely perfectly (switched some days around, etc.) but have completed each of the sessions prescribed for the last month within the month time frame. I’ve been conscious of my food intake, though not perfect. I’ve also significantly increased my water intake which I’m happy about but still working on.

Beachbody

Beachbody (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Impressions:

  • Changing it up: I love how the workouts change regularly and you’re never doing the same thing two days in a row. This was a problem I had had with other programs like 30 Day Shred. I haven’t gotten bored with the routines yet because they’re challenging (keeps me on my toes physically and in terms of the choreography) and all different.
  • Increasing Intensity: I’m also really liking that there are always way to improve on the same workout as you get stronger: jumping higher, push harder, etc.  The level of intensity you bring to the workout really changes things so the workouts can increase in difficulty as your fitness level increases as well– so they’ll keep being challenging!
  • Sculpt & Tone: So far it seems like she’s throwing in one sculpt/tone strength building class a week. I almost wish they were more frequent as I really enjoy them and feel the burn from them. I’m loving the resistance bands and again– they provide a way to keep the workouts challenging as you can always increase your resistance level for the workouts.
  • Stretch: I don’t love the stretch portions. For the days that the Stretch 10 or Stretch 40 aren’t scheduled, it does’t seem like the workouts on their own provide enough before/after stretching. I’ve been doing more on my own in order to prevent any possible injury. The Stretch 10 is okay, but I get bored of it quickly. Stretch 40 I have a lot of trouble getting through so I’ve been doing a lot more stretching on my own. I’m familiar with a lot of stretches due to all the sports I played growing up, so I guess I think I have down a routine that works well for me.
  • Cast & Production: I don’t really love the cast– primarily you only see the three on stage and I wish it was reversed so you could see the rest of the group like in some of the other TurboJam videos. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing because they’re zoomed in on Chalene. Chalene is tolerable– but I don’t seem to love her as much as some people do.

Results: 

  • Clothes are fitting better: My stomach is definitely flatter and that’s always been my biggest trouble spot.
  • I’m getting stronger: I swear to you I surprised myself at work the other day when I realized how strong my triceps were getting! My muscles are responding– I even got a compliment on how muscular my calves are the other day.
  • My endurance is growing: I still have trouble with the longer workouts, but I’m getting there. I can see the progress and I know I’ll only get better if I keep pushing myself regularly. I still prefer the HIIT workouts though!
  • Weight/Inches lost: I weigh in tomorrow so we’ll see what the number looks like then and inches in a couple weeks, but I am pleased with the progress I’m making so far and am excited to see where it will go from here.

Bring it on Month Two!

Diabetic vs. Living with Diabetes

11 Aug

You might have noticed that I often refer to myself as a person with diabetes, or living with diabetes. But, I’ve never once referred to myself as a diabetic. Sure, by definition, I am. But– that’s not what I identify as.

It might seem like a subtle difference and just a difference in nomenclature; however, it’s a significant one.

In college, one of my majors was in Psychology. I remember in my Abnormal Psychology class they addressed the importance of this difference with regards to mental illnesses. It should be a person who suffers from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, not a schizophrenic. A person is so much more than their illness– whether mental or physical.

By saying that I am diabetic, it makes it sound like that is all of my being. It is a part of me and my life, yes, but there is so much more to me than that. I am also a daughter, sister, friend, coworker, reader, blue-eyed, and freckled. Get the idea?

It’s amazing the implications of such small differences in the way we say things. I’m working on being much more conscious of things like this… in how I think about myself and how I think about others.

Other Ways To Measure Progress- Besides The Scale

10 Aug

“But, I’ve been working so hard and haven’t made any progress!”  “Why am I gaining weight if I’m eating healthier and working out?” “Is this even worth it or working?”  It can be incredibly frustrating when you feel like you’re putting so much time/effort into something and the scale just isn’t budging. Since I revealed my weight earlier this week and discussed how we often label ourselves based on “our number”, I’ve been thinking a lot about other ways we can measure and track our progress besides the scale.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the amount of effort you put in equaled the results you saw? It might not be equal, but there is definitely some level of correlation between your effort and your progress towards becoming a healthier person. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways you can track this progress besides the number on the scale—which we all know is affected by so many things.

Tape Measure

Tape Measure for tracking body measurements. Lose those inches! (Photo credit: incurable_hippie)

Here are a few of my favorite ways to see success:

  • Measurements: Every month, I take my body measurements and track them on a website (but even an excel spreadsheet would work). It’s so nice to see those inches coming off even if my scale tells me otherwise. I use a vinyl measuring tape for this and it works perfectly.
  • Clothes: Dig into that closet! Are your clothes fitting better? Are they literally falling off of you?
  • Photos: Many people take pictures regularly (in the same outfit, location, pose, etc.) and compare them side by side. This is a great way to really see the changes in your body.  Every month or would work for this, you won’t see much/any change from one day to the next but over stretches of time you can definitely see a difference.
  • Energy & Emotions: Is your energy level higher? Are you generally feeling happier and better about yourself? This is a highly underrated way to track your progress in my opinion.  If you’re feeling better—isn’t that so much of what this journey is all about?
  • Workouts: Your fitness milestones are another way to track how you’re doing. Are you running faster or further? Are you getting stronger? Are you able to do that workout with more intensity? This all speaks to your improved fitness level—stamina, strength, cardiovascular health, etc.
  • Other Indicators: BMI, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, etc.: If you’re numbers driven, another great way to see how you’re doing is by regularly monitoring other parts of your health like blood pressure and cholesterol. Work with your doctor to determine how often you should be testing these.  They might be able to help you with goal setting and any other health measurements you might want to monitor—like for me; my A1C measurement is a huge indicator of my progress.

Do you track your progress using any of the above methods? Are there any others you use that I might have missed? I’d love to hear them!