Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Musings and a look back

As I take a break from challenges, I'm trying to catch up with the bloggers I adore. There are SO MANY of you who are talented writers and deep thinkers about your journey. I feel like my blog is often pretty boring in comparison! :-) And it's hard to keep up with everyone.

Then, someone new comments on my blog and I find a new friend and I just have to read her entire blog. My new friend is Diane. Check out her fit to the finish blog and program. She's lost 150 pounds! WOW! AND, kept it off for 12 years.

I decided I would give a recap of my path to health. Also have some health issue updates. This will be a long one, so get a big glass of ice water or a cup of green tea and kick up your feet! ;-)

My journey has taken quite a while. It took a certain photograph (isn't that usually the story???) to make me stop and find the determination to change my health and that meant changing habits! When we lived in Texas, we bought a treadmill, mainly for our son who has serious health issues. That treadmill stood in our very large master bedroom and was rarely used. And who wants to walk OUTSIDE in south Texas where summer lasts 11 months out of the year? Well, in our house in Colorado, the treadmill now stands in the finished basement and the first habit I started was walking on that treadmill. Started out slow, but walked six days a week for quite a while. Lost a couple of sizes and about 15 pounds, then stalled. Sigh, OK, guess I'll need to start eating better. I also started doing stability ball workouts. (I'd bought one when we lived in Texas and a bunch of us homeschool moms got together once to learn how to use them from a personal trainer. But it was about as neglected as the treadmill.)

A few books that have helped me along the way:
Flip the Switch by Robert K. Cooper, PhD - has lots of great ideas for fueling your metabolism & burning fat 24 hours a day. It also has lots of tasty, healthy recipes.

the Abs Diet for Women by David Zinczenko - love the list of the Abs Diet power foods that have so many yummy options. Also has lots of tasty recipes. This book has some great weight-lifting routines which I continue to use.

Flat Belly Diet by Liz Vaccariello - the one book that really helped me turn the corner and up my weight loss to more than a couple pounds a month! Many, MANY wonderful recipes and the specific portions and calorie counts were what made the light bulb come on for me. I had been eating a LOT more calories than I realized, so that explained my snail's pace with the weight loss in the past. This book had pages for journaling about your emotions before and after meals, plus gave you some little steps to take that helps you notice your patterns with meals. AND get rid of the unhealthy habits you may have incorporated.

And not a book but the magazine Prevention has been one of the best magazine subscriptions I've ever bought. They have wonderful food advice, different workouts to shake things up a bit if you get bored with your current routine, and it's MUCH cheaper than a gym membership. ;-) I do almost all of my working out at home (other than the ballroom dance lessons my husband and I take.) :-D Most of the new things I try are fairly inexpensive, like my latest toy, the Ultimate Abs ball by Danskin. I think this is the best workout I've ever done for abs, especially the obliques!

My body seems to be breaking down, the more I incorporate healthy habits. Seems SOOOO not fair, but maybe I'd be a lot worse off if I didn't have those healthy habits. Digestive issues led to an endoscopy and THREE colonoscopies within 3 months last year. Ugh. Nothing serious was found, but I did have to get a barium enema as a follow-up and that's where it was discovered that I have a tortuous colon that is QUITE long. Any future colonoscopies, I'll be insisting on general anesthesia. Nuff said.

Lately I've had some shortness of breath with very little exertion, like taking a shower or just walking from the living room into the kitchen. I went to the urgent care clinic a while ago and that doc thought it was just a virus. I saw my regular doc today and told her it's continuing. Not constant, just enough to make you go - huh??? As the day went on and I was thinking about everything, I'm wondering if I'm breathing too shallowly when I'm at rest. Today the doc did a peak flow test, an EKG and a chest x-ray. Also ordered pulmonary function test and I have that appointment next week. I'll have a follow-up app't with her on the 30th. I also told her that it should probably be noted in my records that my mom died of ovarian cancer and 3 of her sisters have had cancer, two of them breast cancer, including my youngest aunt who is only 10 years older than me.

With all of my frustration over slow weight loss, I knew that I couldn't quit if I wanted to be healthy. So on I go. I'm not going to obsess over every little thing I eat. I still want to be able to enjoy life, time with friends and family and be able to splurge on a treat now and then. Everything in moderation. :-)


Kelly's Ideas said...

Great post... I went from a size 4 to a size 20 in one year - mostly health reasons at the time.. Now there is no reason to be heavy - I just eat too much. Finding a diet that I like is hard.. currently doing the rotation diet...
Thank you for your encouragement.

Herbalife Las Vegas said...

I bought the abs diet book from Mens Health, I am sure its similar, it is very good. I like the book by Dr. Luigi Gratton, very good read also. Everything in moderation is huge. I feel the same way. I still love food but in moderation.

Miz said...

confession time :)
Ive never read the flat belly diet even though peopel rave about it.

No reason.

Off to check it out today.

and fit to finish.

MizFit, who as you are struggles to focus on all things in moderation and succeeds better some days than others.

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

Thanks for the mention in your post. I love your honesty and perspective. I hope you find out that all is okay with your health. Keep up the good work! Diane

Diana said...

I have the same thing in my family (mom passed from ovarian, aunt from breast, and then 3 others that have had breast cancer 1+ times with the youngest at 29). We have a gene mutation though that runs in the family (I don't have it). If your family doesn't get tested, then I hope that they do ultrasounds and test often! It's something I'm very, very passionate about (so I apologize if it sounds like a lecture! I'm sure you know all of this).

You've come so far and are doing good things :) (sorry your body seems to be contradicting it, but seems is the key word!) Thanks for the recap and subsequent encouragement!

Mrs. Sheila said...

Great post June! =) Thanks for sharing!!

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

I love reading about successful weight loss journeys. It really shows you that it's a long process, but that there's definitely a big payoff.

Good read.

Cammy said...

When I think how much I whined over ONE colonoscopy... :)

I hope they get to the root of your breathing issues soon. Your newer, fitter self is much better prepared to handle problems once they are named. Keep us posted, please!

Hanlie said...

Thanks for introducing us to Diane... I popped over and something she said just really resonated with me, so I'll definitely visit her again!

I hope they find the cause of your discomfort.

HappySkinnyGirl said...

Thanks for sharing June.That was an important reminder to all of us, to enjoy life and everything in moderation :)

Martha said...

What a beautiful (and inspiring) story, thank you for sharing! I don't think your blog is boring at all, so shush :P

Please keep us updated on the followup appointment, we <3 you!!

Patty said...

I enjoy reading your blog very much and never thought of it as boring once! Success is not boring!

Hopefully, the shortness of breath is temporary and not of a serious nature. A friend recently was dealing with that, and it was during a time of high stress. When things settled down, she didn't notice the symptom anymore. Hope you have a relaxing and very happy weekend.