I have always struggled with my weight. They say there’s usually a reason why people choose to look to food for comfort and I believe that to be mostly true. We all have our demons that we try to keep locked behind closed doors, but it’s when we aren’t paying attention that they somehow free themselves and whisper in our ear that we should eat a chocolate cake pop to make it all better again. This blog’s purpose is to share with you my journey to living a better, healthier life. I’ve tried so many things to lose the weight but it always comes back. I love cycling, kayaking and taking walks. I’ve seen a nutritionist and a trainer and aside from my weight, I’m healthy. So what gives? This blog isn’t for those who want to find all the answers to be thin. I’m still overweight so I don’t have them. But I will, for me. One way doesn’t work for all. I do know that. But if you are here to follow someone who struggles with some of the same things you are going through, to know you aren’t alone, then you are in the right place. Just imagine, we are going on a road trip with you in the passenger seat, and there’s a beautiful sunset closing out the past so that we can welcome a new tomorrow.
Finally, I’ve made it back to blogging. For the past seven months I’ve been struggling with horrendous pain that has kept me from being able to work out. I was making such good progress on the working out end of things and had made my goal of cycling 10 miles pretty quickly. Cycling is a passion of mine and I wanted to get back out there on the road and even participate once again in organized bike rides of 20 to 40 miles. Getting up to 10 miles was so important to getting there. But then one morning, I woke up in the worst pain I can remember in a really long time. My neck felt stiff and it was throbbing. If I turned my neck to the left I’d get strong piercing pains from the base of my neck to the top of my shoulder. Yep it felt like a really bad crick in the neck. Maybe it would go away. A week later it had only gotten worse.
My doctor asked if I had done anything to hurt my neck like an accident or something like that. I hadn’t done anything like that. I just woke up to it. I tried some exercises she had given me to do but this didn’t work. A week later I got a notice that she was moving to a different office that was too far for me to follow her, so now I was out a general doctor to help me. The things I tried over those months to get better…my goodness. I sought out a doctor who specializes in bones and the first thing he did was to send me for an MRI. That MRI is a story in itself and for another time. We found inflammation in my neck but no broken bones, slipped disks or anything that would keep causing lasting pain. That was good news but why was I in so much pain? He told me he could send me to a pain management center and they could give me a shot in my neck. The world stopped moving, in a bad way for me, when he mentioned shot in my neck. I asked him if there was another way? I’m not good with shots. He said we could try physical therapy first if I wanted. I told him, “Yes, I wanted!”
Twelve sessions of physical therapy didn’t do much at all to help. I had already seen a chiropractor which just made it worse. A friend at work suggested I find a massage therapist that specializes in pain management. I thought hey why not and it was as if an angel was looking out for me because I had only skimmed google for a short time before I ran across Touched By an Angel. Brelinda is amazing. We had weekly appointments that helped a good deal but the pain was just too bad. At this point I had suffered with this pain for 5 months now. It was affecting my work, my home life and my weight was going up, up up. I was depressed. I couldn’t work out and so I ate things I shouldn’t. I had to do something, so I succumbed to meeting with the pain management doctor. Yes the man with the huge needle that was going to be put in my neck!
The doctor was great. They did put me to sleep for both times. The first time he called it a diagnostic shot that has a steroid and something that deadens the pain for a few hours afterwards. He does this to make sure we are working in the right area. The second time was to do what’s called aberration. They burn the nerves that are causing the pain. The nerves do grow back in about 9 to 12 months so they aren’t murdered forever. The doctor told me that I don’t have any lasting issues like slipped or bulging disks, it’s just that I’ve come across a rough patch and I shouldn’t need to be back in twelve months for another shot like others do. I was super worried about that. I have a fried who has had lots of shots and at some point the insurance insists you get surgery and you are cut off from the shots. This isn’t my case he assured me.
He did tell me that if I start working out again and building up those neck and shoulder muscles that this is the best things I can do for myself. I also need to keep my eyes out for other things that might irritate my neck like my posture at work, my bed and how I was sleeping. For me, after the last shot, the time clock started ticking. Some things happened prior to going to sleep for the last shot that traumatized me. It wasn’t the doctor’s fault. It was essentially my fault for being over weight. They couldn’t find a vein to put the IV into and I got stuck over and over again and… well right now the memory is too raw to talk about. Maybe another day.
With all that I’ve been through with this pain, I’ve sworn to make the most of this year. It’s not a game anymore. I can’t keep saying I’ll get back on track Monday and say this every week. I refuse to be back in that situation again. I’m back at ground zero but this has to work out. I’ve prepared some things to get going again that I’m excited to share with you in the next post. I tend to make these posts too long and don’t want to lose anyone is the length.
Until then… Eat Well and Prosper!
Dieting on vacation? Say whaatt? That question came up in my mind so many times while we were on vacation. I had only been on the new meal and training plan for a week before our week long vacation. For me and my husband, vacation means unlimited opportunities to eat tasty food that’s bad for us. I think we only once attempted to eat healthy and exercise while on vacation so I knew this would be hard.
I kept telling myself that even thought it’s healthy food that doesn’t mean it has to taste bad. We can make it taste good I’m sure. We did a good job I think. We had a lean steak one night and some scallops another night so we tried to mix it up with foods we don’t normally eat. On the physical side we went walking each day for thirty minutes. There are HUGE hills out at our little house in the country where we stayed for the week so each time we came back inside sweaty and exhausted. YAY on the physical part of the plan!
I do have to be honest. One night, I think it was Thursday night, I didn’t want to cook food. I’m on vacation right?? I need a break. So we went down the road and got Subway sandwiches. It could have been worse. I could have told my husband, Hey let’s go get Mexican, and we would be trucking on down the road to get my fix of melty cheese. I had the Teriyaki Chicken sandwich with the sweet onion dressing. Not too bad. I felt guilty because carbs are not on the diet for dinner. No one tell Roger please. OK, so I also had a beer. I can’t beat myself up too bad. On a week long vacation that was my one slip up so I’ll take this as a win.
My follow up with Roger went well. I spoke to him the first of the week. The plan going forward is to merge my strength training and cardio into one morning session. I get home late many times and tasks and chores vary, so trying to get in cardio at night just isn’t working. He recommended eating half a banana before working out and eating my carbs right after which is a piece of toast. The banana will give me what I need for the strength training and then while I’m doing the cardio this will burn fat. I’m excited to see how this works out. It’s a lot to get through before I even get to my pressure cooker of a job each morning. It will be challenging but I want to make it happen.
So far I’ve been doing this for I guess four weeks now? I don’t know if I’ve lost weight really. I hadn’t weighed myself until Thursday. I have a base line now to start with. I do know that I feel healthier, some of my clothes fit better, and I have more energy. The best part is that I feel very positive about the future. I have a plan to get healthy and to get back on my bike. Roger is such a blessing. He is super supportive and I no longer feel like I have to try to figure out all of this on my own.
Last week, just in case you noticed there is a week long gap in my writing, I had to get a tooth pulled and what I call the molly bolt for a dental implant screwed into my jaw. I wasn’t feeling very good and had to focus on somehow getting through the work week with that kind of pain. But I’m back now and it will be the first full week that I don’t have to deal with a stomach bug or mouth pain. I can fully devote myself to the plan.
We are heading out to see the movie Deadpool 2 so it’s time to go. Remember to add some fun into your life to make all of the hard work worth while!
Until next week,
Eat Well and Prosper!
Hi Again! Now that we know what the menu and work out plans are, outlined here https://wp.me/p8FgND-8k , let’s see how I did.
My first week was certainly challenging. I’ve been trying to get ready for vacation and get this stressful project at work to a place where I could leave it, so going out for groceries just wasn’t really going to happen. My meeting was on a Tuesday and I do my grocery shopping on Sundays. With that I decided to start the plan on the following Monday and use what groceries I had at home.
Monday went well. I ate my half a banana when I woke up, did my daily burn video, gathered up all of that food for the day and went off to work, drinking my protein shake on the way. I ate the food on the menu and nothing extra so I was happy with that. I did feel hungry 30 minutes before lunch- I’m supposed to time all the food 3 hours between each meals- so that was a little uncomfortable but luckily I’m so busy at work that it went by fast. On the way home I ate my stress apple and this helped I think. We ate dinner and I pushed through going on a one mile walk. It sounds impressive but its just about 25 minutes. I was so tired and a bit stressed because in the evenings I’m supposed to be studying for my certification exam, but now I have 30 minutes of exercise and 15 minutes of food prep time which eliminates my study time. I placed this concern on my list to speak to Roger about on my follow up. I could have emailed, him but I wanted to give it a week to see if I could make this all work somehow.
Tuesday morning I woke up and completed my DailyBurn video but right afterwards I felt like I was going to throw up. At first I thought that it was the work out because that workout had a ton of core exercises. I managed to get through getting ready for work and somehow got to work without being sick. The stomach pains were so horrible and I ended up going home an hour later. I don’t remember much of the rest of the day because I crawled into bed and slept the whole day. I remember my daughter coming over later in the afternoon to see the dogs and give me some chicken soup, which she scooped out the noodles because I can’t have them, and got me to eat. She takes good care of me. Such a sweetie. So there was no exercise this day and barely any water.
Wednesday morning I worked from home. I spent half the morning sitting up, but my stomach hurt so bad that I spent the other half in bed curled up with my laptop. I got a lot of work done actually without all of the distractions at work. I wasn’t able to produce anything that would relate to a toilet visit and wished that I could so that I might feel better. I barely ate this day. The idea of eating all that food just wasn’t a good thought.
Thursday I was back to eating as directed, but only did an evening walk so that I didn’t push myself too hard and get sick again.
Friday was much of the same thing, but dinner consisted of me grabbing a chicken breast and eating it on the run as we packed to go up to our little project house out in the country to start out vacation.
I was really concerned that perhaps the protein shakes were causing my stomach pains so I emailed Roger. He told me that a stomach bug was going around and that was probably what happened. My husband was really sick on Sunday, and we thought it was food poisoning, but apparently he had the bug first. I was really relieved that it wasn’t the shake. I have trouble with black beans and was worried this was similar.
All together I did OK. I didn’t cheat and I lost 4 pounds, mostly due to not eating much for two days. I was a bit dismayed due to the sickness. I really wanted to kill it on my first week but my body had a different idea. Roger said that probably 2 of the 4 pounds was probably due to the meal changes. I’ll take it. I’m still struggling with the water intake. I’m supposed to drink 100 ounces of water but I’m only at half of that right now. I actually like water, it’s just not a habit to drink so much.
I think this week was a win even though I had two days down. I made progress and I really like how I feel. Next week, which is actually this week as I’m writing this, is vacation week. Our vacations are usually focused on all the wonderful foods we can eat.
How will I do on vacation? Tune in next week to find out.
Hi there! A week has passed since I had my initial meeting with Roger at http://eatrightfitness.com/ So what was the plan? Well here are the results. Drum roll please….OK that’s cheesy. Moving on.
After meeting in person, and talking about my goals, Roger sent me a menu and workout plan to get started with. As part of the initial consultation I got two weeks of unlimited emails, texts and phone calls to him for any questions, concerns or changes I wanted to make to both plans. I won’t post the actually plan he gave me, he does make a living doing this, but I will show you what I came up with for my meals based on the guidelines he sent to me, and I’ll share my journey and information that I gain as a result.
It’s a lot of food. I’ve read and heard this before about healthy meal plans and thought, OK whatever, that’s a load of baloney (my least favorite food in the world), but it’s actually true. Looking at the menu guide I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed . I had to take the guide, make a menu, and switch it over to a grocery list. I’m sure if I emailed Roger about needing help, he would have done so, but I wanted to see if I could do it on my own.
Breakfast for me is one whole egg, three egg whites, a piece of toast with a teaspoon of creme cheese and half a cup of fruit. Most mornings I had a protein shake made by https://www.premierprotein.com/ instead of the eggs. That’s a lot of eggs and I was having trouble getting through it all. Also I’m super pressed for time and the shake was the easiest and most convenient. Surprisingly, he told me that I could keep having my iced latte because it doesn’t have a lot of sugar and extras. I make a homemade decaf iced latte with three shots of espresso and 2% milk. That’s it.
Lunch that week was 4 ounces of chicken breast, a medium salad with 2 tablespoons of fat free dressing and half a cup of quinoa. Yep carbs are in my plan for breakfast and lunch but not for dinner. I’m glad the carbs are there for many reasons.
Dinner is 6 ounces of chicken breast, fish and lean steak along with 2 cups of non starchy vegetables. Wait what? I didn’t know there was a difference in vegetables. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/starchy-vs-nonstarchy-vegetables-1764.html
Morning snack was twelve almonds and half a cup of strawberries
Afternoon snack was half a protein bar and half a cup of fruit. I tried several of the Quest protein bars but only the chocolate chunk was bearable. I liked the MusclePharm combat bars the best so I’m switching to those. The bars are high in protein and low in carbs.
After Dinner snack is 100 calories of whatever I want. I don’t know what that is really yet. I didn’t do it this week. I’ve gotten into the habit of not eating desert.
Stress apple was eaten on the way home.
Weekend I’m to relax the diet. Have a few meals of what I want. I know this, and the dinner snack, are behavioral tactics so that my mind doesn’t freak out about never getting to eat the forbidden foods.
Recap- tons of food. Oh my!
Exercise is strength training in the morning with the True Beginner series from DailyBurn. He liked that I was doing those and told me I could keep doing them. And then 30 minutes of cardio in the evenings. Wow another 30 minutes? I was struggling just to do the morning ones. For that one I either walked outside or walked on the treadmill.
So that’s the plan, but how did I do? This blog is getting long so please stand by as I fire up another post.
Until then, Eat Well and Prosper!
Good Morning! I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’ve been tackling a stressful project at work, had the stomach flu and trying to add on my new workout routine and food plan designed by Roger at http://eatrightfitness.com/
Last time a blogged I was going to have my in person initial nutritional consultation with Roger. I was super nervous and worried that he would scold me for my weight or current eating habits, kind of like a mom who practices tough love. Weeks before the meeting I had been stress eating really badly. I have a high profile project at work going on, trying to study off hours for a certification exam, trying to get everything stable before my week off (this week YAY!) and then the stress of not knowing what this meeting was going to be like. How it would change my life and how many foods I would never get to eat again. *sighs* And of course my body found ways to eat all of those foods as a sad goodbye. But my worries about Roger were completely unwarranted. He is so motivational and upbeat. I couldn’t have wished for more.
We met at his home office for the first meeting. He was super nice, strong handshake and looking healthy and fit like his pictures on his website. Sometimes people doctor up their pics, but nope, you get what you see here. I heard somewhere a couple of years back that you don’t want to take your health advice from an overweight person just like you wouldn’t want to take financial advice from a poor person- certainly makes sense- so my first impression settled me down a bit knowing I was in good hands.
The discussion started off with telling him about my lifestyle, the foods that I eat, and my goals for fitness and health. I told him I was interested in getting back into cycling and wanted to be healthy enough to do this. Some of my concerns were that my husband may not be able to cycle with me this time around because of his knee surgery, and one of the reasons I’ve been delaying is that I’ve been hoping he’d be able to go with me. Doing it alone is no fun. Roger told me that he would find some beginner groups that he could hook me up with along with some online spinning classes. For those who aren’t familiar with riding groups, beginner means 12-15 miles per hour. Many groups are racing groups that travel up to 22 miles per hour so you have to be careful. You don’t want to be left in their dust with no map to find your way back.
His knowledge of the sport really impressed me. He even knew the cycling world lingo including the term bonking. During this conversation I took the opportunity to ask what his thoughts were on the Keto diet. With all of the cardio I’m going to be doing, and sheer curiosity, I couldn’t help myself. His take on it was that this diet isn’t for everyone, and with my goals, it’s not for me and recommended not to try it. if I remember right he said the only clients he has used a variation of this diet were those with diabetes and those with severe cases of bi-polar disorder. Not sure why this is for the latter, but certainly intriguing.
Roger has merged the two worlds of nutritionist and physical training in a way I hadn’t seen before, and that I’m completely thankful for. My meal plan and exercise plan is tailored for my cycling goals and as my fitness level changes or my exercise regime changes, so does my diet plan. I could go on forever about how excited I am about this new journey. Check out his about me page. The man knows what he’s doing http://eatrightfitness.com/pages/about/
Another thing Roger does that I’m excited about is how he combines the science of nutrition with behavioral habits. We talked about when I tend to stress eat the most, which for me is when I get home. I have a happy life at home and I wasn’t sure why that would be. He explained that it could be that home is where all of the food is and that I may be worried that when I get home I’m worried about making bad choices. In order to combat this he recommended eating an apple on the way home, and then before I even walk in the door, take a walk around the block. After the confused look surely appeared on my face, he explained that chewing releases chemicals that calm you. Take for instance when you were a kid and a stressful situation arises, you may have chewed on your hair or your nails. This is a behavior to calm your mind. Fascinating!
There is so much more to talk about but I have to run for now. Tomorrow morning I’ll be talking about how my first week on the plan went and how my distance follow up scheduled at 2 pm today goes. I’m feeling very positive about all of this and hope you enjoy hearing about it.
Have a great Tuesday morning! See you tomorrow.
Eat Well and Prosper!
This week is going to be another set of the same plus one different goal. I’m pretty stubborn so it may be harder than it looks on paper. Last week went well. Surprisingly just adding one more work out a week was more challenging than I thought it would be, but I made it happen.
Goal 1– Continue working out 5 days a week-
Goal 2– Meet up with my newly hired dietitian/trainer Roger Adams who can be found here- eatrightfitness and listen to what he says
Goal 3– Eat a veggie snack- I’m hoping Roger can help me figure out how to do this
Another quick and simple set of goals. After meeting with my dietitian I’ll probably have some fresh goals to add
Diet or lifestyle? That is the question. A couple of weeks ago I attended some training, and one of the guys in the class was a Keto diet success story. He wasn’t a pusher of the diet, thank goodness, but when asked about how he lost the weight he promptly pulled out before and after pictures and talked highly about the diet. I’ve never subscribed to the popular diet plans, mostly because of the issue where you do see results for a while, but then once you stop eating that way you gain back the weight plus more. I did do some research on the diet and found out that it actually had been introduced back in the 1920s, way before the Atkins diet came out. I guess now it’s coming back, like old fashion styles do.
During my research I found many people who this diet into a lifestyle change. Sighs… I just don’t understand how it’s sustainable, but I can’t say much because I haven’t tried it. Wanting to get back into cycling, and having “bonked” before- this is what happens when you deplete energy that comes from carbs and get dizzy and damn near pass out- I don’t think this is the right fit for me due to the lack of carbs in the diet. What I do know is that whatever I’ve been trying to do all these years, all on my own, reading books and researching how to lose weight, isn’t working for me. So what have I decided to do about it? Diet or lifestyle? I’ve decided to hire a dietitian/trainer to help me on my change in lifestyle journey.
His name is Roger Adams, and in future posts I will refer to him as simply Roger, mostly due to the fact that I can never spell dietitian correctly. He not only does nutrition training he also does physical training as well, so I’m really happy about that. There’s so much more about him on his website eatrightfitness
We had our initial 15 minute consultation, which I felt went great, and our first meeting is this Tuesday afternoon. I’m so excited to meet him and see where we go from here. I’ve already filled out a questionnaire that asked some challenging questions such as list three short term goals along with dates that you want to accomplish. Next week I’ll be sharing with you how it goes and explain what the next chapter in my life will look like. I’ve already told my friends and work peeps and they are anxious to see what progress I can make. A lot of things in my life will change, and I’m going to face many challenges. For instance right now. It’s Mother’s Day and my mom- in-law wants fried chicken, so I’m searching the internet to see if there’s some healthy options out there. This means I’ll be inconveniencing those around me to eat the healthy things I need to eat.
Regardless of what’s to come, I’m ready for this and anxious to get started. For all the mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day. You are shaping what the future will look like through your kids. Hold them close and love them.
Check in next week to see how my meeting with Roger went.
Until then, Eat Well and Prosper!