Category Archives: Health

‘Tis the Season

fat-santa-2

And so it goes…
I’ve been inconsistently munching my way through gluten-ous crackers, pasta and I even ate a donut last week. Drinking the occasional coffee, too. I’m not gaining (yet), but I’m not losing. I’m fairly certain the chances of me reaching my goal this summer are being swallowed up along with the rest of it. My yoga pass expired yesterday, too. I’m even dragging my feet getting my supplements organized for the week ahead!

On a more positive note, I’ve been selling stuff on a local Facebook tag sale site. It’s a positive step towards the cleaning out and eventually selling of my home.

I suppose what strikes me most is how diligent I must be, staying focused and keeping my eye on the prize. My attention certainly has been wandering.

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Danger, Will Robinson!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I really love Thanksgiving.  It’s my favorite time of the year. I’m a hibernator, a caver, a snuggler. Throw in some snow, good friends, family, and we’ve got a New England memory in the making. That aside, what I really want to talk about is all the delicious gluten and processed food I’ve been eating. Would someone please analyze me, quick?

TG-day I did pretty well. I didn’t succumb to any gluten until about stuffing time. Note though, that I attended the 9:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning yoga class! Yes-siree-Bob, I did! Later, I shared some pie with my dear hub, I was proud.

Then~
Friday morning I was hitting the road with my boy to the Great White North for a hockey tournament. Rushing, the road trip started with a stop for bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches at the local market.They were,

OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Ahem, amen.

And for the rest of the weekend~
We lost all of our games. Ate pizza, popcorn, coffee cake, chlorine, orange Crush. Had a few break-aways, and made some new friends. Upon our return, met dad at a local favorite, and drank a beer (or two…).  Drank coffee all weekend, too. That’s a first in months.

I am astounded at how easily I can revert to my old ways. It is natural, comfortable.
I think tomorrow I will go back to the other.
Not a single adverse reaction the gluten, the sugar, the rest of it…nothing. Nothing but pleasure.

What the heck?

 

 

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M is for…

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Movie and Meditation!

If you’ve got some time, here is a link to view, free for a few more days, a new film, Origins:

http://origins.well.org/movie/

It is about food, past and present and our changing relationship with it.  I loved it.

Also, I have been participating in Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s 21 day meditation about the power of attraction, desire, manifesting the life you want.  It is the best one yet. I can’t believe how much I’m getting out of it. Will likely purchase it. It’s that good.  You can check it out for free here:

https://chopracentermeditation.com  There are about five days left, enough to see if you like it.

I’d be interested to hear what you think if you check them out. Both the movie and the meditation reflect the space in my head these days…especially the messages in the meditation. In fact, me mentioning it here may very well be the universe manifesting something for you as we speak!!

 

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Sweating it Out

yoga silouette

One word:  Y  O  G  A

This morning, as I did my final stretch, sweat dripping from my nose, my chin, my elbows, I was filled with gratitude. Gratitude for my body–limitations and all, gratitude that I made it– that I showed up, gratitude for my breath and my mind, gratitude for doing something good for myself. I signed up for a month. I’m hoping to go three times a week.

Don’t get me wrong.  I still hate it. It’s hard, it’s hot. See that little white space underneath the arm of the silhouette? That doesn’t exist for full-figured gals like me. It’ll be a long time before my forehead kisses my knee. Yet I feel so good afterwards.  And it makes so much sense to me…stretching and elongating my muscles. I have no idea how many calories I’m burning in the 90 minutes. It doesn’t really matter. I’m moving, stretching, twisting, and for now, I’m showing up.

Made some homemade chicken noodle soup (with gluten-free noodles!). Still eating clean.  I breezed through Halloween without so much as a single M&M. It was easy. I had no desire.  And I’m convinced if I did have an M&M, I would have been tempted, perhaps beyond my control, to eat more. Such is the poison of sugar.

Hit a milestone last week: 1/3 of the way to my goal at 194 lbs.  I’m probably losing some ground, but I’m staying the course.

Namaste.

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The Downer of an Up Number

weight_scaleWhen I step on the scale, and it shows a loss, I stare in disbelief while a giddy feeling rises in my tummy. Inevitably when I step on the scale three or four days later, the loss seems to vanish with even an extra pound or two to remind me the fat wants to stick around. That giddy feeling? Replaced with a sinking dread that I never want to step on the scale again. The hell with it.

You may recall my earlier “Pssst,” post where I broke the 200 lb. mark. I posted in my moment of giddiness. The scale reading did not happen on a Monday, so I didn’t post it to my “The Numbers” page. A week later I was up to 201 lbs. I was deflated. So I didn’t weigh myself again until this morning (down to 196.5). I’m happy, but I’m thinking of foregoing the weekly (or more) weigh-ins. I recall a blog post from someone who weighs in only once a month, especially to avoid the downer of the scale. This makes sense to me. I’m four months into this journey of healthy eating. I seem to be averaging a loss of about 5 lbs. a month. I think I can confidently move forward without checking the scale so much.

The downer of an up number isn’t worth it.

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Time

One day at a time

One thing is for sure, time marches on.
Being a nostalgic, too-attached person, this fact can make me a bit weepy. But in reality, I view it as a wonderful thing. And it’s especially great news for weight loss. One day turns into another, into another, into a week, two weeks, a month, and before you know it a year is gone, and hopefully as well, a bunch of weight to go with it!

That’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. As you know, my goal is to be under 150 lbs. by the time I turn 50 next July.  I’ve pretty much settled into this wholesome way of eating now. Even the gluten-free part is a piece of cake (lol). The sugar and flour are out of my house, I visit our local farm two or three times a week, and I’m a label reader. Better yet, I hardly ever have cravings! I have no desire to eat any other way. And so, if I can keep it up, the weight will continue to drop, and time will march on. In some twisted way, I am looking forward to my birthday like as if it’s my due date!

Being a teacher, a “year” is really a condensed, carefully plotted and planned ten months. There are always these smaller increments of time we are marching towards–first day of school, back-to-school night, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, February break, April vacation, Memorial Day, last day of school, SUMMER! It’s a whirlwind. And this year, I am so much looking forward to a healthier, more vibrant ME as I transform myself over the course of this school year.

But the season of sugar is fast-approaching. What is your plan for staying healthy throughout the onslaught of temptation over the next few months? I for one, plan to keep the candy out. I want to make a plan with my son for Halloween. I’m thinking something along the lines of paying him cash for candy. I won’t be getting any trick-or-treaters as we live on a street where the houses are few and far between, so no pressure there. Thanksgiving will be much more tempting for me. I figure it’s prudent to have a plan and it’s time to start thinking about it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great Columbus Day weekend.
I think I’ll put on a pot of soup this beautiful Autumn Sunday.

 

 

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Psst…

[I broke the barrier…under 200 lbs. today.]

earthlove

 

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Making Amends

It’s been about three months since I started this blog.

When I was contemplating blogging, I hadn’t intended to have a blog about health. I mostly thought it would be a good way to make sense of my day, to record my thoughts, and maybe post some of my art. But clearly, my writing has centered around health. Not surprising, as improving my health has become my priority over the last few months. All I can say is, “Thank gawd.”

When I look back on the last three years, I am startled to see the mounting symptoms of my deteriorating immune system. In June of 2011, I ventured cross-country with my son on an 7 week, 8000 mile journey cross-country in our old, 24 foot Airstream. It was the trip of a lifetime, and I never felt better. One of the highlights was a week-long Grand Canyon rafting trip. 190 glorious miles of the Colorado River and the majesty of the canyon was almost more than a heart can hold. But what I left behind will forever be counted among one of my greatest achievements. I left behind my cigarettes. I knew there would be no quick trips to the convenience store in moments of weakness. 5 days on the river. That was it. I kicked it.

And it all went downhill from there.

Fatigue, weight gain (40+ lbs), itchy skin, and more fatigue plagued me for the next three years. Each day, I couldn’t wait to get home and get under the covers. I started to worry that I was depressed. I couldn’t muster up any enthusiasm to complete household chores and maintenance projects. I dreaded social events. I just felt tired    a  l  l     o  f      t   h  e       t   i   m   e .    Then one morning I noticed that my eyebrows had thinned, fairly drastically.  The first third of both eyebrows. In fact, once I saw it, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed it before and wondered if it had happened overnight! This triggered a visit to my physician who promptly referred me to the dermatologist. The doc administered painful cortisone shots to my eyebrows and delivered a serious recommendation to go to an endocrinologist. He said this eyebrow loss could be a symptom of Lupus. Lupus? No way.

Six months later, I remembered the dermatologist’s advice, and decided that I really must find an endocrinologist. I may have something seriously wrong with me. The thought was frightening, but I was ready to face it. I had to figure out why I was so out of sorts.

I literally had the thought after school one afternoon, and the very next morning, at 8 a.m. an endocrinologist appeared! My class and I were making our way to the library to see a science presentation. I had no idea what it was going to be about. Imagine how struck I was when I discovered our guest speaker was an endocrinologist. I couldn’t believe it! I felt the universe was speaking directly to me.

Thus began the my education about the state of my health. When I got the diagnosis of Hashimotos, I had no idea what it meant. I did a little bit a research, concluded it was a common diagnosis, and actually never gave it much more thought. The diagnosis actually came by mail, as my endocrinologist was in the process of moving offices, and she had gone ahead and ordered the blood work, etc. based on a patient questionnaire and medical history that she mailed me. I didn’t actually meet her in the office until this past summer!

Then I visited a naturopath who practices functional medicine. It’s expensive, especially the supplements I’m taking. But as far as I’m concerned it’s worth every penny.  I am finally feeling like myself. And as I get healthier and stronger, I am seeing more clearly the dense fog I’ve been in for so long. I’ve never had a good relationship with food. I’m trying now, to make amends.

So, I have this blog. It turns out I have a lot to say about my health. I suppose I’ll just keep writing like this until I run out of things to say.

It might be a while. After all, I’m turning 50 next year. I’ve got a lot of ‘mending to do.

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This and That

koolkid

I’m feeling  G  O  O  D ! ! !
No school yesterday, so I started catching up on myriad neglected chores and projects~this blog being one of them. Went to the farm and wandered around, picking out items that looked good to me and appealed to my taste buds. By the time I left I had a plan to make my first “pot-‘o-hot.”  Tomatillos, bacon (uncured/no nitrates), red and yellow cherry tomatoes, cilantro, navy beans, onion and garlic, all simmering together into one pot of deliciousness…Mmm.mmm.good.
It was a cozy, grey day. My kind of day.

Been out camping the past two weekends, this last weekend for reunion at my old summer camp. Hung out with some old friends, singing around the campfire. Found a ‘time capsule’ (really just a paper) my friend and I had written back in 1985 in the rafters of one of the cabins. I only remembered it because I had photographed my friend placing it there, and recalled the picture. Wish we had written more. Nonetheless it was thrilling finding it. Apparently the roof is slated to be ripped off and replaced in a couple of weeks. Our capsule would have been lost forever if we hadn’t retrieved it when we did! Great fun.

Finally saw Fed Up. It was good, but not as good as I had hoped. The best part was watching it with my son who seemed pretty moved by it.  The comparison between tobacco execs spouting lies twenty years ago and food industry execs doing the same today about sugar was pretty poignant. Sugar assaults us daily. It’s only with steadfast determination that any person in this day and age can stay away from it.

Got a call today from my endocrinologist’s office. My doctor wants me to double my dose of thyroid medication. I’m all for it. Have started to run out of some of my supplements. This will be my first reorder. It seems significant to me to be going for a second round. Like it means I’m really doing this, this health thing. I’ve been observing my conversations of late. The enthusiasm spouting from my mouth about cutting out sugar, and coffee, and gluten, eating whole foods, and taking vitamins. Holy moly, I hardly recognize myself.  I’m a child of the 70s!!!  I grew up on tv dinners and wonder bread! I was a smoker until three years ago! I’m a sicko!!!  Slap me, wouldja?!

And pass me another glass of that Kool-aid.

My First Hot Yoga Experience

first time doing yoga

I forgot something pretty important.
I forgot that I don’t do so well in heat. Never have. I fainted in a shower once cooling off from a sauna. Hot tubs make me feel faint as well. But oblivious to this well-known fact about myself. I bee-bopped my way into the studio, sporting my new mat and my new towel and my new headband and water bottle, totally unaware of the hot hell I was about to enter. No amount of reading about the heat and the sweat could have prepared me. I went a little early, since I was signing up for the first time. That went pretty quickly so I proceeded into the Hot Zone. I mention this because as a result, I ended up in the heat an extra 10 minutes.

Oh. my. Gawd.

First of all, yoga is not made for apple-shaped gals like me. I’d at least get my forehead and my knee in the same neighborhood if it weren’t for my belly. I marveled at the poses and contortions of the participants. I can’t imagine ever being able to really do these moves. I mean, really. My first sip of water resulted in the instructor telling me something about not drinking during something or another, I didn’t understand her. Dutifully, I put the water down, and waited for the water permission to come…and it never did, and I nearly passed out. When I saw others taking water, I just took their lead. To make matters worse, my new water bottle, unfortunately, does not deliver water into my mouth as fast and desperately, as I felt I needed it. Sort of a soft, airy kind of suck. No good. I was also the only overweight person there. But no one made me feel uncomfortable.

The instructor told me at the beginning that my only goal should be to stay in the room the whole time. If she hadn’t said that, I think I would have left halfway through.  My face was purple, my heart pounding and of course the sweat was pouring out of me. About half way through I was basically laying on my mat the whole time, staying in the room. Truth be told I felt faint at least half the time. But laying on the mat helped me gain composure and I endured, trying poses the best I could.

At the end, I scrambled out of the room asap and plopped myself in the lobby. The cold air instantly made me feel better. My instructor praised me and told me I did really well.  I don’t think so. The teacher said that new people make the mistake of letting too much time pass between visits, that it’s like starting from scratch.

So I guess I’ll try again tomorrow.

 

 

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