Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gluten allergies anyone?

I was reading an article online today about gluten allergies and the symptoms.  It seems that outside of celiac disease, some doctors don't subscribe to gluten intolerance.  The supermarkets sure do though.  I do have most of the symptoms, but I'm not sure to what degree since the article didn't really get into detail.  Anyway, I was looking over my meal plans just to see how much gluten is in my average day.  Wow!  It's like half the meals.  Anyway, I'll ask my doc at my next checkup to test me.  I read that you shouldn't go on a gluten-free diet before getting tested because it can jack with the results.  But here's a list of the symptoms in case you were curious too:

Dysfunctional Digestion*
Intractable Dandruff*
Itchy, Scratchy Rash?
Foggy Brain*
Pounding Headaches?
Pins and Needles?
Attention Deficits?
Depression, Anxiety and Irritability*
Infertility or trouble conceiving

*=yes I have that symptom
?=maybe I have that symptom but it's not all the time or very severe.

I mean it seems all these symptoms could be anything.  Like, I have itchy skin but no rash.  Well, I live in the high plains desert of Colorado for Pete's sake!  It's really dry here.  Same with dandruff - it's dry here.  Foggy brain?  Who has clarity all the time?  I have headaches but sometimes they're pounding and sometimes they're just aches.  And I'm trying to lose weight, so irritable?  YA THINK?!?

Sometimes the internet can give too much information.  Anyway, I'll ask my doc to run the tests.  Do you have an allergy to gluten?  Any insight?  I swear I'm not a hypochondriac - really.  Even after you read the rest of this post.  I'm really not. =)

In another online experience today, I had an epiphany.  I was reading a blog that lead me to another and then well, you get the idea.  This was my first time checking out this particular blog, but all I can say is wow - incredible.  Holly is amazing to say the least and if you want to check out this article first, please do, because I'm about to spoil the ending of that particular post, so I'm giving you fair warning to go read it now - right now - before I say what I am going to say - so click HERE now if you don't want ah never mind....

Basically, this woman lived for 18 months in excruciating pain because no one could seem to find the problem.  Her husband thought she was crazy and the ER was actually turning her away to the point she felt like she was losing her mind.  There's so much more to it than that, but that's the main idea I think.  Here's the thing - I had the same medical problem almost 22 years ago.  I was fortunate to be immediately diagnosed and had an operation that removed my gall bladder and hundreds of gall stones in and around the gall cavity.  Well, I'm telling you now that this woman found strength in her faith in God, because I know personally that's the ONLY way I would have survived 18 months in that kind of pain.  When telling my story, I have described the pain as worse than childbirth and it truly is.  But hey, that's not even my point.

My point is that in the comments section of her blog, "Faith" commented that she too had her gall bladder removed.  She goes on to mention "phantom attacks" a few times a year where "it feels like you are having a heart attack WHILE someone jams a knife into your diaphragm and out the other side of your back while twisting it simultaneously."  I was like THAT'S WHAT I HAVE TOO!  I had never heard of phantoms gall bladder pain.  And it always scares the crap out of me when it happens.  But now I know I'm not alone and although it feels like it - not dying.  Anyway, thank you Holly for having the courage to write your post and thank you Faith for posting your comment!  That was truly serendipity.

And finally, the token health and fitness part of my blog...  Weigh-in tomorrow!!  I did really well all week on exercise.  I changed up food for preparation reasons but nothing crazy unhealthy.  Water intake was very good.  Actually looking forward to the scale.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Avoiding potholes

Being on a weight loss journey is like a road trip.  There will be lots of curves, hills and grand mountains to climb as we make our way toward our goal and sometimes we'll even be coasting. But no matter where we are in the journey - the beginning, middle or end - there always seems to be potholes along the way.

Conquering the curves, hills and mountains can make us feel AMAZING - like we can really do this!  But how we handle those potholes might be even more important than conquering those huge challenges.  They may seem small and insignificant when planning the journey, but if you hit one the wrong way, it can ruin your whole trip.

See, I'm thinking those bumps and potholes are like the small challenges we face daily in a journey to be fit and healthy.  Sometimes we can see these obstacles coming and then easily and smoothly avoid getting off track.  But take your eyes off the road for just a few seconds, hit that pothole, and suddenly you're in a tail spin.

So, how do we avoid what is inevitably going to happen?  How do we keep 100% focused on the goal and NEVER EVER take our eyes off the road?  Simple.  We can't.  Potholes happen.  All we can do is hope it didn't do too much damage and just keep going.  That's important - JUST KEEP GOING - no matter what.

Obviously, if the wheel went out of alignment (injury) or the tire went flat (food setback), you'd pull over, right?  But the important thing to remember is that it can be fixed.  Call for help.  Fix the flat.  But DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR JOURNEY.  Get right back on your way.  I don't know where I saw this - probably fb, but it's so true - "Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tires because you have a flat."  This is NOT an all or nothing journey!!

How I'm planning to avoid potholes:

  1. Write down my goals and review them often - I don't need to go into the research that's been done on this, right?
  2. Be realistic - slow progress, in the right direction, is ok because it's still progress
  3. Plan ahead - pick one day a week to plan meals/shop AND be sure to plan exercise
  4. Have a free day - I have one day a week where I eat whatever I want and don't do any exercise - only one day.  Any cravings I have during the week are put off until this day.  Then, if I even remember the craving, I eat it =D
  5. Don't dwell on past mistakes.  I'm not going to beat myself up for having a setback - no matter now long it lasts.  Get back on track NOW, it's not too late.  Take things one choice at a time.
  6. Push myself - everyday, I want to do at least ONE thing better than I did the day before.  If I can gain an extra .1 mile of speed on the treadmill, another pound on a dumbbell, another glass of water or just one better choice than yesterday, then I am one more step closer to my goal
  7. Don't try to change everything at once - I'm all for baby steps - I've just gotta make sure the baby grows (see #6).  It takes at least 2 weeks for humans to form a habit - pick one realistic thing from each "area of fitness" and do it for 2 weeks.  Then add another for 2 weeks, rinse and repeat.  For me, in the beginning, it was:  Get 8,000 steps (physical goal), drink at least 64oz of water (water intake goal), and don't eat out (but if I do, I can ONLY eat at Subway).
  8. Connect with people who are where I am on this journey - who knows the crap we're going through better than us?  Plus, we might see a "pothole" that someone else can't!!  (ok, have I totally worn out this road trip analogy now?)  I am always looking out for bloggers who are on this journey - I love reading stories and seeing new recipes and meeting new people.  So, if you're doing this too, let me know!!
  9. Connect with people who are where I want to be on this journey- who knows the crap ahead better than them?  It is so amazing to see what others have done and how they're doing now.  I enjoy reading about these journeys and I learn so much.  Thanks to you all and I look forward to being one of you!
  10. Encourage others often - it's just a really cool thing to do

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gettin' it done!!

I mentioned that I tried almond milk this week, but what I forgot to mention was the conversation between me and my teen in the grocery store...

Me:  I need to get almond milk
Her:  Almond milk?  I didn't know they could get milk from an almond
Me:  Well, they got butter from a peanut...
Her (looking at me funny):  they got BUTTER from a... oooohhhhh yeah

It's moments like those that make shopping so totally fun =D

Ok, moving on... this week is going pretty stinkin' great so far.  Eating according to my plan, drinking lots of water AND getting in all the exercise!!  I wish I could say that I notice a difference in the way clothes fit, but I guess I'm not quite there yet.  Soon I hope!!

Today's training was 30 minutes on the treadmill plus core and stretches.  I decided to do it all before dinner so I could work in the core exercises finally - and not feel like I was gonna... well, you know.  And oddly enough, I'm not sore from yesterday's mega-resistance training day - woot!

Hope you're gettin' it done too and having a great week to boot!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Peanut Brittle Protein Shake (using almond milk)

I posted the recipe yesterday and today had it for my afternoon snack.  It is sooooooo good!  And quite filling too.  I hadn't tried almond milk before - I'm impressed.  I decided to plug in the numbers to check the damage - it is surprisingly... not bad:

Calories: 235
Fat: 12
Carbs: 13
Protein: 23
Sugar: 3

Today was a very good day.  Fairly busy at work, but not so much that I couldn't take a couple of walks during the day.  Eating and water intake was according to plan - YES!!  After I got home from work, I relaxed for a few (with my Peanut Brittle Protein Shake), then got right into exercise.

First up was a 10 minute warmup on the treadmill @ 3.0mph.  I hadn't reset the treadmill from last time, so the incline is still at 2.0.  It wasn't too hard, though next time I'm going to wear the HRM so I know where I am realistically at this level of perceived exertion.  Typically, I was around 125 with the treadmill level - I'm curious to see what it is with an incline.

After the warm-up, I did the normal training plan with some minor changes.  Instead of 8-10 reps, I was able to do 2 sets of 12 reps on all but one exercise (ball leg curls - made it to 9 in the second set).  I was really close to muscle failure on most of my second sets and I know I'm going to be sore tomorrow!

Other changes:

I switched some of the more difficult exercise of a muscle group to first instead of last in the hopes of working the muscle to the fullest.

Calf raises got a minor change.  Instead of simple "standing" calf raises, I did the first set "angled" and then moved to a stair with a  20lb dumbbell and did 12 reps on each leg separately.  Finally!! A challenge for the calves - my entire body weight plus 20lbs, on a stair.

Increased resistance by 5 on the Lat pulldowns and added a couple sets of "lawn mower pulls" to work more of my back.  I used dumbbells for each set.  This felt like it worked shoulders and triceps quite well, but I still need a back challenge... any suggestions?

Increased resistance by 5 on the bench press.  These became much harder, but still doable.

Increased db weight on bicep curls

Used db instead of BowFlex for Seated Shoulder press - FEEL THE BURN BABY!!

Speaking of BowFlex, I really like it, really, but I don't think the resistance rods are directly proportional to actual free weight.  I doubt it really matters as long as a good resistance is given and can be increased.  I mention this because I seriously doubt I'm be able to bench press over 100 pounds in free weight, but I can do 2 sets on the BowFlex.  I think I may be able to do 40.  Anyway, no way to know until I get back to the gym - which btw, may happen next month!  We shall see.

Hope everyone had a fantastically healthy and sweaty Tuesday!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ok, seriously? Who thought of this?!?

So there I was, mindin' my own, shopping at the grocery store and I see this...

Girl Scout Coffee Creamer!!!!
I call foul.

Got over 8000 steps for the day, ate ok, drank about 100oz of water.  TOM showed up early (how rude!) and threw off my weigh-in.  I was 1 pound up from last week - ugh!!

Day off.  Went to church, then to the movies (and yes I had butter on my popcorn!).  We saw The Lone Ranger.  It was ok, but we got there right as the previews started and ended up in the front stinkin' row.  Ohhhhh my neck we hurting!!

It rained this morning, so no geocaching today.  I'm planning on taking the pups for a walk after I finish this post just to get some movement in today.  

Today has been mildly productive so far.  I updated my meal plan for this week because I decided to change it up a bit.  Next was grocery list making/coupon planning.  After all that I was hungry, so we headed to Jimmy Johns for lunch.  (That's almost a tradition now.)  After JJ's, we went grocery shopping - all set for the week now.  Cleaned out the refrigerator this afternoon to make room for all the fruits and veggies.

I don't think I mentioned this before, but I quit smoking back in October 2011.  I'd been smoking off and on since I was 16.  I had quit 3 times before, once for each of my pregnancies in my 20s and once for me in my 30s.  During the pregnancies, it was easy to quit because the smoking affected someone other than me.  The third time, I used patches and pills.  That time lasted about 6 months until a stressful situation made me just say to heck with it and I started up again.  Finally, in 2011, someone told me about a book that helped a family member quit.  I kind of laughed.  A book?  Really?  To get over an addiction?  Well, it took about 3 months, but I finally read that book and guess what?  It worked.  I quit.  The book was Allen Carr's "Easy Way to Stop Smoking".  I read the book and a couple days later, I quit.  It was that easy.  Well,  not really "easy" but still doable.

I bring up that book because Allen Carr wrote a bunch of "Easy Way" books.  One of which is "Lose Weight Now - The Easy Way".  I've been considering buying it for some time now and finally did yesterday.  It's less than $5 on the Kindle so I'm not losing a lot if it turns out to be a dud.  Anyway, I'll give a full review later and reserve judgment until after I've read the entire book, but so far, it's an interesting read.  I think I'm about halfway through it.  I know what you're thinking.  At least I know what I would be thinking if someone told me about an "easy way" to lose weight.  I would say, it takes hard work and dedication to lose those extra pounds - there's nothing easy about it.  But without giving too much of a review at this point, I think he's talking about a paradigm shift rather than a diet.  If we change the way we think about food, then I think it would be possible and perhaps even "easy" to make healthy food choices.  I'm still wary of that "easy" part though - just sayin'...

Ok, I'm off to walk my dogs!  Hope you had a great weekend.

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