Julies Renewal – Week 34 August 31, 2010 It’s hard to imagine, comprehend, get my head around the fact that I have been eating healthier and exercising for 34 weeks now. Lets take a look at an “old me” photo….Wow - and I thought this was a good photo!!!
This is a photo taken by my daughter of me back in December 2008 or there abouts. Snow’s on the ground so it’s winter at least. I really do not know how much I weighed here, under 300lbs, but definitely over 270lbs… I was in a 3 – 4x size depending on the cut… I had already lost a size or two having gone vegetarian that year, so at the time this was taken I thought I looked awesome. I was suffering from arthritis and fibromyalgia big time, no energy, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, bad this, not so great that… Now however things are completely different and I look even better!!!! (and I’m not done yet!)This is me in the now… big difference!Not too bad huh? I think so.. with dedication, hard work, water, good vegetarian & wholefood eating, and exercise… I have made it this far… and continue to go even further. So what am I doing exactly? Well… Here is my official plan:
1. I use www.sparkpeople.com to track everything I eat, and all my exercise. At first I was on 1800 – 2400 calories a day, now I have recently dropped that to 1000 -1400 per day… some day I am on target, some days I go over.. I also track my carbs, fats and proteins. Spark People is a great site, and it’s free to use. Good teams, challenges and friends are there. Articles on health and related topics abound. They even have a site for teens who want to get healthier! (www.sparkteens.com).
2. I eat a low fat vegetarian diet. This was by choice, due to ethical and health reasons. My cholesterol levels were really high, as was my blood pressure. Knowing that the only foods that provide cholesterol in our bodies are animal products I decided not to eat them… (as well as the ethical reasons but that is a different debate).. since going vegetarian, and not eating cheese or drinking milk (save for the ODD occasion) my good cholesterol is perfect and my bad cholesterol levels are perfect too!!!!
3. What am I doing for exercise. At first I’d be on my exercise bike a friend gave to us. Twice a day, 30 min at a time, morning and night, for 6 days a week. Then my morning bike ride I increased up to an hour in the morning. Then it got nice outside, so I started a walking program with my neighbour… my husband (at my request) got me a gazelle.. so that is nice to work out on. I do resistance strength training 3 times a week.
4. I also use a great vitamin supplement that has given me tons more energy, as well as two other products that I use for breakfast and before I exercise.
5. Drink Reverse Osmosis Water… I have a water service and get their RO water. Tap water contains toxins that you can’t boil out nor will a Brita or other similar filter remove them… things like fluoride for example… (google this stuff, it might surprise you!!!!).. I will not buy plastic water bottles, it’s wasteful. So I carry my own refillable stainless steel one and just fill it up at home. I try to get in at least 2L of water a day.. I do count my green tea as water btw, you get water from drinks, foods, etc, but it is better for you straight up as the body does not have to process it.
The other thing is, this hasn’t been an easy 34 weeks, I have had days, weeks even where I have struggled to do anything at all… not in the mood, have a headache, too hot, too cold, too tired, do it tomorrow… then I get off my proverbial butt and get to it… I still slip on my eating, I still slip on my exercise, but I get back to it afterwards.
If I can do this, anyone can. I do not hurt anymore, thanks to my supplements I use, and being able to exercise has helped even more (couldn’t have done that without my supplements – this I do know).
So… in a few weeks I will post an update. As of the photo below, of me now, I am 207lbs, in a size 16 jeans, no high blood pressure, no bad blood work, I am perfectly healthy according to my blood work and Dr. Even my migraines have subsided to once in a while, vs once or twice a week! I love getting healthy!
On the quest to drink more water, those recommended 2L per day (Eight 1 cup measurements) I have struggled and struggled.From filling up a 1 L glass and sitting it in front of me.. as I slowly watch it drain away… and then trying to remember to do it again.From making a chart and checking it off…. tick tick.. miss miss miss tick.. out of sight, out of mind !To filling up a jug and keeping it in the fridge and saying to myself.. drink this every day and that is a good thing…
Well… for starters I strongly dislike the flavour of water, it’s gross.. yes water has a flavour.. tap water is disgusting, not to mention full of poison.. yes, fluoride is a poison! So we subscribe to a water service to get our reverse osmosis water.So, I finally figured out a way to do it.Freeze water in my 2.6L jug (just to have OJ in it) and put it on its side so you can fill it up with water when frozen. This keeps it nice and cold (how I like to drink it).. then I have a kitchen timer… I set it for 60 minutes, when it goes off I drink a cup of water..a minimum of 250 mL of ice cold water.. and then I hit the reset button on the timer to count it down again to drink another one… So far so good, this is working.. only issues I have had thus far is that it is a digital one and even though I think I hit reset, sometimes it doesn’t reset! So.. I have a wind up one now I use instead.. If you have issues remembering to drink your water in the day, or are trying to do something else like this, take pills, use supplements, taking ACV every hour? Try the timer trick. It does work!
This is my first summer of exercise, I made it through the end of winter and spring, and early summer even, now we are into the humid hot sticky heat of August. The time when A/C’s are running 24/7, full blast and set to their lowest temperature settings possible, windows are adorned with tacky reflective materials and tinfoil and us humans temporarily turn into vampires and only come out after the sun has gone down. Welcome to August in Ontario we tend to say to new comers and tourists. So what’s a Lady to do when she wants to exercise in this heat, drink my Access shake, wait 15 minutes, point the fan at the Gazelle, hop on, with a bottle of ice water beside her and ride ride ride to the beat of the Burundi Drummers.
Now typically I manage to do a good 30 minutes in the morning. Today however, not the case. Nothing was different, save for the temperature already being 35 degrees with the humidex that is. And my A/C on the main floor is now gone as it died. So here I was giving it my all, and counting the minutes as I could feel my body getting fatigued due to the heat more so than the work out. After 5 minutes in I was already sweating like someone had a fire hose on me. At around 20 minutes I was starting to slow down and it was getting harder to continue, with some coaching from Glenn I managed another 5 minutes, then stopped. My legs were like jello and quivering, I was soaked from head to toe, and a bit dizzy and sick to my tummy. So I knelt down, didn’t even try to walk anywhere, just stayed where I was, and then sat on the floor and leaned up against the wall. My darling hubby came to my rescue with a tall 8oz glass of ice water (3rd one today) and a wet cold cloth….. oh how nice did that feel!!!! Few minutes go by, cooling down, breathing normally again, drinking my water, I snickered… what a rush that was, endorphins coursing through my body, feeding my brain those “good feelings” that one gets after a good workout.. some refer to it as “runners rush” , but one doesn’t have to run to get that! I sat on the floor and commented to Glenn how great that felt, despite the ending bit, and said “Can I do that again!?!?!” it felt awesome to know that my body can perform like that, crash like that and 5 minutes later, get up and feel like it could do it again right then and there!
So I got my Attain shake and sat down to drink it and report my findings here! Last night, as an aside here, I did 20 minutes and felt really hot, so I got off the Gazelle, and headed outside where I finished my 30 minutes by jogging for about 10 minutes.. and trust me, I never have jogged in my life…So that was an accomplishment. So – now I am going to make a nice space in the basement for my Gazelle and also my exercise bike, so I can get a good workout in a cooler environment so that doesn’t happen again. Bordering on heat stroke due to a work out is not a healthy thing to do, but it was an experience and at least I know how far I can push myself right now in this weather!