Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Three years!

Three years ago today I made the decision to finally put my health front and center. I adopted Marion Nestle's adage: eat less, move more, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and go easy on the junk food. In the three years I have shed 20% of my body weight and discovered my inner cyclist. Last year I enrolled in the Get Well Fitness program at a local hospital. That program has allowed me to learn a great deal more about my own body, my metabolism and, how to increase my fitness. Let me ruminate a little more on my growth in the Nestle mantra. 

Eat less: The only way that I could effectively eat less and learn what that “less” was for my body was to track what I ate. I did not start out tracking, but about 4-5 months in, realized that this was really important. For more than two years I tracked everything that went into my mouth. Tracking helped me to truly understand what 1200, 1500, or even 2000 calories really are. Tracking allowed me to understand what a real portion was for any food that I ate. Tracking allowed me to be responsible and accountable to myself about my weight loss journey. For me it was a simple paper and pencil method of keeping track of everything.

In order to stay within my 1200-1500 calorie range, I have learned the importance of planning. I plan all of my meals. In my last post I mentioned my routine daily foods (yogurt, 2 pieces of toast and a green salad). I never find it boring either. I know that I am doing what I need to in terms of eating less.

Move more: I never thought I would become an exercise junkie, but I have. I have discovered my inner cyclist! Since I started this journey I have put close to 5000 miles on my bikes which is almost the distance between New York City and Los Angeles TWICE!! (It is 2792 miles between those two points). 

I have used my growing fitness to raise awareness and funds for two organizations that I care about: the Tour de Cure (America Diabetes Association) and Venus de Miles (this event supports Greenhouse Scholars).I rode in their bike events (62 and 67 miles respectfully).
I also discovered cross-country skiing two winters ago. I keep my cross-country skies close by so that I can get in some exercise at a local park, on a frozen lake or even at the college where I teach during the day. That tactic allowed me to get over 100 miles on my skies last winter. 

Eat more fruits and vegetables: As I mentioned above, my eating patterns have completely changed in the past three years. I now incorporate yogurt, fresh fruit and a large salad into my daily life. A large salad almost daily with a mix of lettuce that I cut and prep myself, fruit like grapes or strawberries, other veggies like onions, peppers, carrots, and maybe a splash of craisins or nuts. This salad is varied everyday so I do not get tired of it. My go to snacks are apples in fall and winter, grapes, peaches and strawberries in spring and summer. 

Go easy on the junk food: I wrote above about the importance of planning in my success. I like treats and I eat them, too, but only once in a while. I have learned to plan my food for special occasions. I budget in an ice cream cone, a slice of birthday cake or other special items into my daily caloric budget so that I can eat those special foods with absolutely no guilt. Go easy on the junk food means to eat sweets and treats in moderation. I do not feel deprived at all. 

It takes time: I have learned that getting healthy is not something that happens in one year or in my case even three years. It takes time. It takes planning. It takes commitment and of course determination. Every day, every week I am getting healthier. 

Blogging: I started this blog as a way for me to process my journey to find “the new me.” Along the way I have met many of you who have supported and encouraged me. I thank each and every one of you who have shared with me in this journey to become healthy and fit. Sadly, most of the bloggers who started out with me are long gone. Getting healthy and fit is not easy. I believe there are really no short cuts. What I do know, is that I, you are worth it. It is perhaps the greatest gift that you can give yourself. I will be here for awhile because I have still 35 pounds left to shed.

Thanks for your friendship via this blog. Take care of yourself. Stay strong!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Foot is healing and summer is here!

Hello Bloggers!
Last week was a pretty good week of eating. I stuck to 1200 or less calories most days. I stick to what works for me almost every day:
2 pieces of toast with PB and J for breakfast
1 cup yogurt smoothie (Greek yogurt with fruit) for mid morning snack
Lunch consist of either a large green salad or a 300 or less calorie frozen meal
Mid afternoon snack is grapes or fruit and 1 serving pretzels
Dinner is a large salad unless I had this for lunch with a serving of protein
Evening snack is a glass of milk or a frozen yogurt bar
I also kept up with my modified sit-ups and push-ups. I do them in the morning and at night before going to bed.  I am up to two sets of 25 sit-ups and ten push ups (modified) morning and night. I also am crutching around besides using my knee scooter. This is all very modified exercise being that I have a broken foot, but I still work up a sweat. This weekend we were at our cabin, which is on a small hill above our lake. I crutched up and down twice each day to get to the lake. I know my upper arm strength is improving because it is easier for me to get up and down that slope.
I saw my orthopedist on Thursday and had x-rays. My fracture is healing quite nicely. I will remain non-weight bearing for two more weeks. I can take my foot and leg out of my boot now twice a day to do some range of motion exercises. I can also go swimming. Our lake is still quite cool which felt awesome on my foot. It was nice doing the exercises in the cool water, too. If it continues to heal well I will get to ride my bike on a trainer starting on June 27! I am trying to be a model patient because I sooooo want to get on my bike!
I had two helpers with me at the cabin this weekend. I taught them how to make creamed scones. It is a very easy and delicious recipe. They did a great job as you can see.

I did not, nor will I, have a single scone. I am DETERMINED to not put back any pounds right now while I cannot exercise vigorously. The scones were a way for me to share some of my baking and cooking knowledge with these beautiful girls. You can find the recipe here if you like:
After baking the scones we all went down to the lake for a swim. 

Yeah for summer! I hope you have a great week! Stay strong in your getting healthy journey.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

From the Deck!

Greetings from the Deck!
I am just finishing my first week of being swept off my feet by my fifth metatarsal break. I found out through a little internet research that this break is called the Jone’s break, named after Sir Robert Jones, who first described this fracture pattern in 1902. I learned that this bone is the most common one broken in the foot.  After walking over 4 blocks using crutches (which was not fun) to get to the first Lynx game of the season, I decided there MUST be a better way to get around with a broken foot. I found this cute little thing on Craig’s list:

I named her Scottie my Scootie. She is my new little friend also known as a knee walker. I am able to get around pretty well now, at least on level surfaces. 
I can get in and out of my car with crutches, and fetch her from the hatch back area of my Prius. Works pretty well. I was able to attend search committee meetings and two days of professional development last week,  basically unassisted, too. On another day, I took most of the grandbabies to a park nearby. 

For fun I do leg lifts now (that boot is heavy!).

Or ride around with my foot propped up while hubby does the errands.
I started doing sit ups and push ups like crazy. I can not do any exercise where I put weight on my foot, so I feel now is the time to strengthen upper body and abs. I also am building my strength by crutching it up stairs (with someone keeping an eye on me) and around the house.

Summer is gently beginning here in the Upper Midwest, thus the deck at the cabin is the place for me right now. 

Because I am VERY vulnerable for weight gain now because I am not cycling (WAAA!!) and burning hundreds of calories, I am watching carefully what I eat and trying to stay under 1200 calories a day. Once I get the okay to trainer cycle I do not want to have to work on shedding 2, 3, 4 or any pounds. If my foot heals well I may get to trainer cycle in two weeks. 
The Minnesota Lynx (WNBA) started their season a week ago. So far they are 2-0. Our seats are on the aisle making it reasonable for me to get in to see them with some of my little helpers.

That is the news from the Deck!
Stay strong and TTFN,