Thursday, August 30, 2012

Personal Health Update

I really need to blog my photography sessions from this summer, but I wanted to give you all a little update on me since this blog represents both me and my photography.

It's been 7 weeks since I started to focus on becoming healthier (not just healing), and just shy of 5 weeks since I started my running program, so I thought it was time to provide an update to put all of those "Ease Into 5k" posts in perspective.  I've been recording my diet and exercise; monitoring how I feel, how my heart reacts to exercise, and how my clothes are fitting.  Mostly, I have been paying attention to how I feel about myself and life.

On Day 1 I wrote down some words to describe how I was feeling - and how I had been feeling for a very long time.  They included: gross, heavy, tired, foggy, thick, achy, and unhealthy.  But, then I also wrote down that dreaded number, and moved on to writing down my food intake for the day.  

Now, at the start of week 8, I have new words to describe how I am feeling.  Refreshed, comfortable, happy and active would be my top four.  I've managed to maintain my initial 8 pound weight loss by continuing to attempt better food choices and exercising at least 5 out of the 7 days each week.  I'm not gonna lie - I did manage to snack on a couple of brownies and have fro-yo outings with friends and family, but overall, I am making much better food choices.  Specifically, I am trying to eat my carbs in the form of whole foods, not processed foods.  And to address the first couple of weeks of exercise, I surely wanted to roll over and sleep more when that alarm went off at 4:50.  But I got out of bed and now I look forward to getting out in the morning.  It might have to do with the fact that I have great company.  Suggestion:  get friends (or a dog - until he decides it's too much) to do this with you.  

What I have noticed in this personal mission is that although the weight loss stalled with the start of my running plan and my clothing size hasn't actually changed (yet), my clothes are fitting so much better.  My jeans don't want to fall down over my frumpy gut.  When I put my arms to my sides, my wrists barely skim my thighs.  A month ago my thighs would direct my arms outward and I could grab a good chunk of thigh or butt that has rolled over onto my thighs with my hands.  It seems my thighs have lengthened and my rear has moved back into place.  My back doesn't hurt.  I can bend down and pick things up with much less effort.  Did you know that muscles under skin make the skin more taught than just fat under the skin?  Yep.  It's true.  It makes shaving a much easier chore.

I mentioned that I have been monitoring how my heart reacts to exercise.  It has been one of the best measurements I have as to how well I am doing and why I feel so good.  I purchased a GPS heart-rate monitor when I started running.  The first week, I was running for one minute segments during our run/walk.  My heart rate monitor would beep at me during those one-minute runs telling me my heart rate was too high.  Yesterday, my heart rate elevated during my 6-minute segment, but my monitor never alerted me that my heart rate got too high.  Amazing!  That is a true cardio success.  I couldn't even walk a block without having my heart rate get up to 140 in March.  And now, I can RUN continuously for 6 minutes (probably longer) and it feels great.  Tomorrow starts a new "week" of running, so I get to push myself even more.  Is it weird that I am excited about that?

A personal goal for me in this is to be a better role model for my kids.  I was tired of being tired (although medically related in the beginning) when this started, I didn't want my kids to think that was an acceptable way to live.  I didn't expect what has occurred so far.  Ayvarie gets up and goes out with us in the mornings.  Nearly every morning.  Ayla is making her own lunches for school and is proud of making "healthy" choices.  Ayden even has interest in going out with us on occasion.  And best of all, Levi has become a good workout partner along with my friends - even though he shows us up by making his way far ahead of us on running days.  But, we all have to have our own goals in this, right?  I'm just as excited for him.

We'll see what the next month brings, but so far it's all been good.  Very good.


Melissa222 said...

Yay! So happy for you! And so flipping impressed!!! I couldn't get up at 4:50 and Sadie could never do that (let alone run! haha). She drags herself out of bed at 6:15 to potty and eat some of my toast before it's back to bed for her! What a rough life ;)

Anyway, keep up the good work.

Misty Schmitz said...

I am proud of you, Rox! So glad you're making these choices before they weren't your choices to be made! I can't wait to see pictures of how fabulous you'll look when you reach your end goals (you gotta share with people that live at a distance)! Tell the family 'Way to go!' too! I love seeing your daily updates, but this post on your feelings about it all is even better! Keep it up!

Unknown said...

Way to go chick-a-dy! So proud of all of you! You got your whole family involved, what a wonderful way to connect. Keep on, keeping on. Can't wait to see you. Hugs! Sonya