Friday, March 23, 2012

Real Life Update

I debated on whether to do this post but then thought ‘what the heck. I’ve posted about my fear of mail, my travails in buying underwear, my rather naughty lack of sending in taxes and many other things over the years.

Ever since Ron died, I’ve slowly been going to hell in a hand basket health wise. As I live alone, there is no one around for me to account to. If I feel like eating a bag of chips for dinner, no one wonders if that’s such a good idea except myself and I’m not so good at listening to me when I want chips. In addition, there’s been no one around to kick me in the butt to get up and move it so I’ve been a terrible terrible couch potato.

When I broke my leg, I knew in the back of my mind that I should be giving up smoking and that was the impetus that I needed to get me to quit and I also knew in the same place in the back of my mind that I needed to start taking care of my VERY neglected health concerns. The first kick came when my sister was diagnosed with something pretty darn serious. I won’t go into details as it’s not my story, but enough to say that now she is doing very, very well. The second kick came when my other sister was diagnosed with something very similar almost a month ago. She also is doing very, very well, but both of them gave me that proverbial kick to start taking charge of my health.

I just recently went in for one of “those” tests, my first one in about 15 years and things looked wonky. So I’m in the process of further testing. I don’t know the results yet, but it might keep me home this summer and *sob* miss the RWA conference. By the time I do know the results it may be too late to start making plans.

And as if that weren’t enough, while getting blood tested, it was discovered that I have high blood sugar levels, very high. I don’t have to take insulin, but I do have to take oral medication for it. And between those things, I have now been completely kicked. in my butt! Time to take action.

I joined a gym and now have my very own “BOB” (those who watch The Biggest Loser know who I mean) that I see 3 x’s a week. They asked if I would be willing to be a before and after gal for promotion services and I said sure. The more accountability I have, the more accountable I’ll have to be. I started off at 3 visits a week, now I’m up to 5. TBecause I said sure, they are throwing in nutrition classes they usually charge for. I plan on becoming their poster girl, heh, heh. There’s not a whole lot I can do yet, I really let myself fall to pieces and “Baby Steps” is my mantra, but each time I go, I’m getting a little bit fitter. I had been, up until I joined, out of breath when I climbed the stairs.

I’ve also started eating very healthy! My body is missing those potato chips I used to use as fuel.

Instead of an entire bag of chips – yes I could do that quite easily – I’ve replaced them with 10 almonds. Carrots are becoming my friend as well as that lettuce. I’m reading the sides of cereal boxes and so far Honey Nut Cheerios is my favourite new/old cereal followed by the Banana flavoured ones. Even just eating breakfast is a big change. Silly, silly, bad me used to fast until lunch time and then overcompensate throughout the rest of the day with really bad things – like potato chips. I would tell myself that it wasn’t so bad since I was eating the low salt, but come on – who was I really fooling.

I ordered a Yonanas from one of my favourite places to shop – The Shopping Channel. I haven’t got it yet, but if it works the way they demonstrate on TV, it will be a great way to get fruit and soothe that ice cream craving at the same time.

And water – I can’t forget about water! The old me hardly took in much fluids at all. And what I did drink was mostly tea and coffee with some Coke or Pepsi thrown in. At the end of many a day amongst the various thoughts of the day, I would think I should have had more to drink. One of the tests I had to take gave poor results and the person doing them said it was a good possibility I was dehydrated. So now I have one cup of tea before work, after I drink some water first, and one cup of coffee I pick up on the way. Other than that I drink nothing but water. Lots and lots of water until I feel like I slosh when I walk. I have a wonderful water bottle I got at one of the Conferences from Carina Press with me at all times now, whether it’s at the gym, at my desk at work or on the coffee table. I don't think I've slept all the way through the night since I started this water thing and the bathroom and I are good friends now. My own BOB wants me to drink even more water, but considering I used to drink next to none, I'm working up to it.

I also downloaded a couple of apps to keep track of my eating habits and exercise that I set up to update on both Facebook and Twitter when I work out, you may have noticed them. It’s a small amount of time at the moment, but will get longer as I go on. The more I have to account for my actions I figure, the harder it will be to give up.

I’m trying to be realistic in my goals and am giving myself a year to get to the place weight wise where I want to be and if I lose 2 pounds a week, unlike those on The Biggest Loser, I will be quite satisfied. But then I won’t know as I don’t really plan on weighing myself a whole lot. The most important thing for me is to get my breath back and have longer endurance. Weight loss, while I’m not going to deny wanting it like anything, is the second motivator not the first. So it’s going to be how lose or tight clothes feel on me; when I start going down sizes that will be the real prize as far as weight loss goes.

So now I’ve put this out to the world – not that everyone in it will read this, so I have a huge group to hold myself accountable to. I’m rewarding myself along the way. The first one was the first day I went to the gym so I rewarded myself with some jewelry, my biggest weakness next to plain potato chips. I’m hoping for a big reward from my health conscious son. I was telling him I need an IPod to listen to while working out. He said if I kept it up he would get me one. I don’t know if he will remember and if I were a good mother I wouldn’t insist on it. But what the heck – he said so I’m going to hold him to it! The ultimate reward I’m giving to myself is a trip to Australia next year, hopefully to a romancewriter/fan convention they hold there. At this point in my life it would be a waste of time since I’m so out of shape I couldn’t do a lot of the things I would want to do. But next year baby I’m there! And maybe I’ll meet a nice Australian guy


I woke up suddenly with a thought and clarification. For those who don't watch The Biggest Loser, Bob is a personal trainer. It's a personal trainer I work with 3 times a week. I did not mean the other thing BOB could mean. *laughing*. That would be giving TMI.


Janicu said...

Wow. I was actually starting to get worried about what you were going to say at the beginning of this post, but it sounds like you are making a lot of positive changes. That is so great. :) Keep it up!

Kristie (J) said...

Janicu, I seem to grow and change the most when bad things happen. I figure that's the better choice then letting them get to me. Not that they don't of course, but it's that lemon/lemonade thing*g*

lisabea said...

This is so awesome, KJ. I hope everything turns out well with the tests (obviously I hope that!) and maybe you'll be able to sneak in that trip to RWA.

Keep up the great work. Which reminds me, I have to get off the couch and go to yoga tomorrow.



Kristie (J) said...

Lisabea, I hope I can get the trip in too!! It's become my vacation.. And I need to see all my friends again. :-(. And it's the tests themselves that are freaking me out more than what the results might be.

Lori L said...

Hi Kristie! I have been a reader of you blog for quite a while, this post hit close to home. My kick in the butt came last year, I am here to tell you it can be done, I didn't join a gym, but started walking, joined Weight Watchers, I am down 35 lbs for the year. I still have more to go, but my sugar, blood pressure & cholestrol are all down, I feel so much better and you will too! Just remember, if you slip, don't keep sliding, you can treat yourself, but don't let it derail you. I'm pulling for you, LOL at your Bob explaination!

Kristie (J) said...

Lori, hello and welcome!! I know I'm going to have slips and as you may have gathered by the pictures, one of the big ones just might be chips. Oh how I love them. And I have given myself to buy and eat a whole bag of them - tomorrow - keeping in mind the song about tomorrow - the one that says 'tomorrow never comes' but I don't tell myself that part of it. But I figure the more I put it out there what I'm trying to accomplish, the more I have to get back on course when I do have those slips.

And big congratulations to you on losing all the weight and even better getting healthy. That's my main focus - getting healthy. I'm noticing little things already and it feels good doesn't it?
I have been giving myself little rewards along the way, just not food anymore. There is this store right near the gym that has some very nice jewelry - heh, heh, heh.

nath said...

LOL, I was wondering when you said "your own Bob" LOL. Good thing you put the Biggest looser reference :P

You can do it, Kristie! You can definitively do it :) and it seems you're well surrounded. The most important is motivation and if there are people around you to support you, it'll be much easier :) I'll definitively be cheering for you!!

Wendy said...

Yeah Kristie! Sucky news about the further testing and maybe missing RWA - but super great news about the new plan of attack!

Also....AUSTRALIA!!!!! You so need to reward yourself with that trip - because their romance conference sounds amazing! Plug there are so many great writers and readers based in that part of the world.

Phyl said...

Good for you, Kristie! I know how hard it is to make those changes (and give up potato chips!). Wishing you nothing but the best and many years of good health with these changes.

azteclady said...

Here's giving you all the encouragement, moral support and virtual accountability you can use--we want you healthy and happy and blogging *hug*

*getting cheerleader outfit out*

(I'll still read BOB the other way and giggle all the way through, Kristie--but you get points for trying :wink:)

Rosario said...

Sometimes getting a diagnosis is the best that could happen to you, even if the tests are a pain. I had something similar a few years ago, when I got diagnosed with insulin resistance. Like your condition, it's controlled via diet (including cutting sugar out of my diet as much as possible), exercise and medication, but that didn't make it any easier to take at the time. I was eating massive bars of chocolate and huge plates of pasta every day, because I felt I NEEDED them. The idea I couldn't have them was horrible.

But... after a difficult first couple of months, things started getting positively easy. It's sort of a virtuous circle, the more you lose a bit of weight and feel better, the easier and more satisfying exercising gets. After about a year and a half I was a nice, healthy weight and felt SO much better. So hang in there, it gets better.

You're also doing the right thing by setting up healthy rewards for yourself. Even recording food and exercise in a diary counts as a reward (it feels so satisfying to enter things, doesn't it?). Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristie,

Hope your results are good.

The Australian Romance Readers Convention is in Brisbane next year. I'd love to say hello if you make it.


Lynnd said...

You go Kristie! We're all pulling for you.

Kristie (J) said...

Nath - it was funny. The first thing I thought the next morning was "uh, oh!! I better make that a bit clearer" Why that was the first thing I thought I don't know *g*

Wendy: The tests are becoming a comedy in error of misunderstanding. When they are scheduling the tests, they aren't telling me stuff I need to know so I have to go back for the same thing a second and sometime third time. It's getting annoying and wasting time. Time I can't afford to waste if I want to make it to RWA this year *sigh*. But if I don't *sob* I do have something to look forward too.

Phyl: The chips are the hardest thing so far. And once I get further along, I know I won't miss them quite as much as I start seeing results. But now I miss them! I miss them so much.
And yep - the BOB thing was something that didn't even occur to me - til after. *chuckle*

AL: now is that cheerleader outfit for you - or for me to wear?? At this point a cheerleading outfit is as out of reach as say a bikini for me to wear heh, heh, heh.

Rosario: I know when I broke my leg, that was the best thing that happened. I quit smoking - haven't had as much as a drag since then, I had time of work when I wasn't really sick and odd as it sounds I had fun and great stories. And I'm glad to hear the things we need to give up are worth it down the road. Right now I'm kind of in the honeymoon stage almost - it's new so it's still easy. But I know it will get tougher, and I will have the occasional slip. But like you, I think the results will be worth it.

Laine: Hello! You can count on me saying hello!! I'll be the one giddy with excitement - and an odd to you accent ;-)

Lynnd: Thank you!! I will report occasionally on how I'm doing. Not too often as to become annoying, but enough to let everyone know I'm getting healthier (and hopefully thinner)

Leslie said...

This is such awesome news Kristie! Good for you for taking steps to get your health on track. I know how hard it can be, I've battled weight-loss for years. I've just joined Weight Watchers again, hopefully this time I can stick with it. :)

It sounds like you've got a great plan in place and having accountability is such a good idea. And what an amazing incentive to succeed! Australia is hard to top. :)

Kristie (J) said...

Leslie, thanks. I already noticed a difference this morning when I got dressed. Normally I have to suck in and do strange contortions when trying to do up the pants I'm wearing today, I did last time I wore them a few weeks ago. But this morning they did up easy peasy. That was a very nice surprise. And I went up and down the stairs a number of times yesterday and wasn't nearly as winded as I was a few weeks ago.

If you want we can be buddies for watching our weight - you will know I'm watching how you are doing and vice versa.

A trip to Australia is a dream I've had since I saw my first picture of a kangaroo and realized they came from the other side of the world - along with Koala bears and duckbill platapuses. I knew I simply had to visit a place that had such cool animals.

Shannon said...

Good for you turning this into a positive personal challenge. It sounds like you are doing this in a smart way, setting manageable goals and providing yourself rewards for success. Stay strong. Your will be amazed at how good it will make you feel both physically and mentally.

Kristie (J) said...

Shannon, my next challenge is an interesting one. My son and daughter-in-law took me to the musical Cinderella as a Christmas gift. After that we planned to walk about 5 rather long blocks to a restaurant for dinner. The show was a matinee. I could only make it a block and a half and I was so out of breath and in so much pain. They had to get the car and drive me the rest of the way. I was talking to Rye tonight and was telling when I was feeling ready for it, I wanted to do that walk again only this time I would walk the whole way, have dinner and hopefully walk back. Rye got a kick out of that one and said he and Kara were in when I was ready.
The most important thing when I started was to be reasonable and be realistic in my goals while collecting some nice bling along the way heh, heh heh.

Teresa C said...

I love the Lose It! app.
Making it a habit to to keep track of everything you eat/exercise really helps.

One thing I have found very helpful, is a food/kitchen scale that weighs in grams.

I am still eating Potato Chips, or chocolate, but I weigh it to the gram before I eat it.

However, I avoid pasta Alfredo as much as possible, because I can eat that all day long.

Keep track of how you feel after every walk or exercise session. What was hard, what was impossible?
Then, in 2 months, you can quantify how you have progressed. The feeling of "is it over yet?" on the first 10 minute walk becomes "Wow, that was quick."

Kristie (J) said...

Teresa C,, I'm really liking Loose It.too. I record what I eat or what I exercise as soon as I'm done so I don't forget.
And I'm already noticing that exercising is getting easier. I'll admit I'm not so fond of when I'm doing it, maybe when I see more noticeable results I'll like it more, but I do feel good on the drive home.

Mariana said...

Just wanted to let you know I'm rooting for you! I usually just lurk, but this has inspired me :)

little alys said...

Good luck, Kristie! I know you'll do great and you've already done the hardest part - getting started. :)

I will be cheering for you!

Barbara said...

Hey Kristie! I know I'm late reading this post....I want you to know that I know you can do it! If you quit smoking, surely you can do this. Since I last saw you in 2009 I also completely changed my eating habits and dropped from 160 to 118. I feel great. Now all I need to do next is quit smoking. Each time I contemplate doing it, I think of you and say, if Kristie did it so can I.

Keep us all posted with your progress (((hugs)))