Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I still can't believe I got chosen for this challenge!!!! I needed this desperately!!! I have gotten such a good start on healthier habits, and best of all -- every day sticking to wiser diet choices AND exercise is having an exponential effect on my positive motivation! Am feeling very confident that these will be LONG TERM lifestyle changes. I also want to get more involved in spreading this good news and all of the education we have received in this program!
One last very important event has occurred in my life. I QUIT SMOKING!!!! All I can say is -- thank you deeply and sincerely Julie Schnieders -- for reaching out to help me face this head on as the biggest priority -- and thank you, THANK YOU American Heart Association for creating Go Red for Women and the Better U program. Your persistence and confidence has changed my life where I was falling far short and would not have moved forward like this on my own without your much-needed the support.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
After meeting with my primary care doctor last Thursday for a regular checkup, I am proud to have received a clean bill of health, with the ongoing exception of the bad cholesterol. It's improving but not fast enough. I'm using the meds now.
I'm sharing this with you because the exercise, healthy eating, and weight loss are all paying off. The journey has it's rewards and challenges. Last week I went shopping for a new pair of jeans. You know what a challenge that is. Well, I found a pair that had a nice fit and looked good on, but when I took the jeans off and looked at them as I held them up, I was surprised. The jeans looked too small. Could I really have fit into those jeans? The feeling was great and one of many discoveries on this journey.
There can be a tendency, however, that after one accomplishment you let down your guard - you can't. Staying focused is even more important. Last Saturday, (and I was wearing those new jeans) I let down my guard with an over the top "cheat treat" but my body let me know I had slipped. I had thought I "deserved" a award when the real award is the return to a healthy weight and life style. We slip but we must get back on the road.
Getting focused and staying focused are key components of the journey. Each day I have found it important to stop and reflect on the day's journey. One step at a time, one day at a time.
I too am a foodoholic but the healthy life style change is in the driver seat.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Every single part of my body hurts. I hurt in places I didn't know it was possible to hurt in. It is a good pain though because that means I'm doing something! My eating has been a lot healthier. I keep hearing Adrienne's words ringing through my ears "Eat for health first and taste second." That seems so strange. I've ALWAYS eaten for taste first. Amazingly, though, I've found many things that are both healthy AND tasty so my challenge has been figuring out how to incorporate them into my daily diet. I've noticed I can serve healthier choices at meals and my kids don't throw a fit. At last night's dinner, I didn't have a side dish to go with our main dish. Ordinarily I would have fixed a box mix of potatoes or macaroni and cheese or something equally as unhealthy. Instead, I served cut up vegetables with light ranch dressing. They loved it!! I was shocked!
Guess that's one more excuse I can't use anymore!!!!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Fast forward to age 28. I was still in great shape at that point. But on Labor Day weekend, I was hit by a drunk driver. (Let me just say, seat belts save lives, I am living proof!) Up to that point, I hit the gym at least 3-4 times a week, did aerobics, and I would jog quite a bit and was very active. Then, after the car accident, I couldn't even brush my teeth without assistance, let alone go to the gym or run. Talk about a humbling experience! I would have sold my soul to the devil to make the pain go away or to go back in time and not have been on the road that day. Even saying that, I am one of the lucky ones. I wasn't paralyzed nor did I end up six feet under. I went through over 2 years of physical therapy. I'm fortunate to have recovered to the physical state that I am in today. I tried everything, acupuncture, yoga, steroids, spinal injections, different concoctions of cure all juices! (Yes, I said "cure all juice", I was that desperate.) In July of 2010 I finally had back surgery, and the pain is so much better than it was. However, during that 13 plus years of inactivity from an injured back and poor food choices, I packed on a hefty 100 pounds. I cringe when I verbalize that....100 POUNDS!
Today, I choose to take control of my life and health back! You have to play the hand you've been dealt, no matter how unfair that hand seems. I can't change what happened to me, but I certainly have control of the choices I make today for my health. I would be lying if I said I just want to be healthy. I mean I want to be healthy, but lets keep this real...I want to look good too, and I mean real good! I want to find those long lost abs, lean and muscular body that once was.
That's me in a nutshell! I am embracing this Go Red BetterU Challenge. It's truly a blessing!
Love your ♥,
Monday, January 23, 2012
Oh sorry, it hurts when I blink.
Just kidding, it isn't QUITE that bad but close. It really was neat. I wore my heart rate monitor and I never dropped below 125 beats per minute even when not doing cardio. When doing serious cardio, I hit 170 a couple times. I mostly appreciated having someone watching me who wouldn't let me quit when I was getting tired. The most painful portion was when I had to do plyometric lunges for 30 seconds followed by hopping on one leg twice, the other leg twice and then 2 plyo lunges for 30 seconds. It got to the point where when trying to hop on one leg, I literally could. not. get. my foot off the ground!!! I just kind of stood on one leg and moved my body up and down. I'm sure I looked ever so coordinated!!!
All in all, I'm really looking forward to the next session! My assignment for tomorrow (assuming I'm not in traction tomorrow morning) is to do 30 minutes on the elliptical to get my muscles warmed up and stretched out before Wednesdays next personal training session.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Hello. My name is Molly and I am addicted to food.
I have always kind of known this to some extent. But, now that I have been consistently eating what I'm supposed to eat for 14 days, I realize how much I had relied on food up until now. I just flat out want to eat. all. of. the. time. Why is that?! Why would I want to eat when I'm not even hungry? What is it about getting in the car to go somewhere that makes me think I need to drive through and get something from somewhere like Pavlov's dogs and their bells? I may never know the answers to these questions but at least I know it about myself and knowledge is power!
Or ignorance is bliss. One or the other.
Either way, as I start week 3, I'm looking forward to beginning my first ever sessions with a personal trainer!!! Tomorrow afternoon, I will have my very first meeting and I am so very excited. My trainer is someone I already know so I'm already comfortable with her. I need her to hold me accountable to my exercise regimen and I know she will. Just having someone there who won't let me quit after 5 minutes is comforting.
I also assume it's going to be comforting to have a large bottle of ibuprofen on hand this time tomorrow night.
Well, this week I blew up my oatmeal in the microwave one day before work. All over the top and bottom of the microwave. My nicely portioned allotment for the morning....... The next day, the VCR "ate" my most favorite exercise video -- one I have gone back to over and over in the last 20 years!! If I didn't know any better, I would think there is some kind of invading alien force plotting to interfere with my Better U efforts here........
Found an incredible snack or meal food that holds me from any hunger for hours and hours....and hours!!!! I have done this for a meal on a few different days this week: 1/2 cup Greek yogurt + 3/4 cup granola. I get an *ultimate* response from my metabolism to this combination. I have used the Trader Joe Greek yogurt (0% fat) -- has only 120 calories in a whole cup!!! Better yet: 22 grams protein and only 7 grams carbs. So I get some more carbs and fat from the granola -- but you see how well this balances carbs with the protein!!! I cannot recommend this combination enough -- try it and see!!
I find it difficult to find sources with enough grams of protein to equal the grams of carbs -- as was suggested by Adrienne -- but once you find that combo -- I know you will see the difference you can make in control of your appetite!!! Has anyone else found a good meal or snack plan that seems to provide this "perfect" feeling of fullness, and/or staves off any feelings of hunger indefinitely til the next meal/snack time??? Any of you readers out there?? PLEASE share!!!
My best thoughts and wishes to my fellow challengers out there, and to each of you readers following along on your own journey to better health!!! Laura
Friday, January 20, 2012
Yeah, I doubt it too.
Ok, here I go. There is surely at least one more person going to work out right now who didn't want to as much as me! (Well, maybe not AS MUCH as me, but you understand)
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The opportunity to meet with two women's health specialists from St. Vincent's has been a very special experience for me and my life -- I have simply never spent any time in my life in consulting a doctor about my health, because there has never been any issues to discuss (knock on wood). I have gotten a few 20 second pieces of advice on eating more fruit and fresh vegetables, but that's about it. We could not have been in the hands of any other people as phenomenal as Adrienne and Julie -- both personally and as dedicated health professionals. I am so touched by their personal attention -- they both really give it their all and go above and beyond in extending their care and knowledge. I was fairly astounded by what I learned from Adrienne -- I have been learning and teaching nutrition for the last 35 years as a nurse. I have been very active in many exercise programs, dance classes, hiking excursions, and sports the majority of my life. BUT -- I sure learned some new tricks and every minute spent with Adrienne was a gift!
Julie did some serious work with me!! She met me right where I am at, and worked with me on a plan of attack. My cholesterol is a bit high, and my LDL is (YIKES) frightfully high --- they are a good reflection of what my eating patterns had been prior to embarking on the journey!! I could easily eat 100 grams of fat (and not the good kind) at *every* meal -- not kidding!!! Was not concerned about anything I was eating! Now I am sticking to Adrienne's suggestion of 25 grams a day. More than anything, both Julie and I did a dead focus on my smoking habit -- as being the number one priority above diet and exercise. My chances of becoming a serious women's heart statistic are very good right now. That's what I'm going to be -- just another sad statistic if I don't face this issue NOW! Well, after some discussion, Julie has started me on Chantix, and I took my first one today! That is a HUGE accomplishment for me -- because I do not take any medication unless I am dying, and it is very difficult to convince me otherwise. But I rightfully admit that I need HELP -- and I am going to give this a chance, even though I do feel bad about resorting to chemical help!!!!!
Anyways, and again -- all of us challengers have been so blessed to be in the hands of these phenomenal health care providers!! They really have treated us so special -- and they have made a difference in my life -- not just for this three month challenge -- but for my entire journey ahead!! That's the path I am carving out on this walk, and I really look forward to reaching out and touching others' lives with some inspiration and new knowledge!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
For starters, I knew it was going to happen sometime, I had to hop on the scale
to see that dreaded #. Much to my surprise, I saw a loss of 9 pounds since I last weighed myself. WOO HOO! Do the cabbage patch dance now ya'll lol
The results were actually pretty good too!
Triglycerides are in the normal range
Cholesterol is in the normal range
DHDL-(the GOOD HDL) is low so I gotta get that bumped up a bit.
LDL-(the BAD LDL) is high so gotta get that one down a bit.
Glucose(sugars) was little high.
Let me tell you Julie Schnieder is one AWESOME lady!
I was so thankful to know where I stand knowing that with all the information given, increasing my exercise and continuing on my journey of making better eating choices, more heart healthy all these results can be changed for the better! (Planning on getting retested after 6 months to compare).
I was then off to meet with Kristen one of the coolest dietitians to look over my results and help me tweek what I've already been doing on my own and see if that is the right path or not.
Glad I made a one on one appt with Kristen, lots of homework to go thru and help me tweek some things. Very thankful for her insight and assistance. Now I don't feel like I may be spinning my wheels so to speak.
Looking forward to our group "fieldtrip" to the grocery store and learn more!
I've been little tempted with wanting some fast food the last couple of days, certain it's due to the stress I'm feeling from work, been swamped the last couple days. But, I think I handled it well didn't totally give in went to the "golden arches" and ordered me a small fry. They didn't taste as nearly as delicious as I had in my mind they would or had before.
I'm making a grocery list of things I need to get this week and looking forward to trying the Zesty Pecan-Crusted Tilapia & Mediterranean Veggie Medley recipes that came in my packet. Will have to post pics later!
Will be hitting the gym in the morning, really makes a difference for me getting the blood pumping and shaking the sleepiness off.
If weather is decent I will be doing some walking outside.
I'm going to be breaking out my pedometer I'm curious to know how many steps I do in a day, hoping its close to 10,000 steps. If not, it's something I can work towards. The more active I am the better I will feel!
Here's some motivation that I found on the website and struck a cord with me, it's so true!
Each Woman's body is unique and each has their own health concerns.
Don't compare yourself to others, aim for your BEST HEALTH!
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
I’ve heard it said many times that the journey is more important than the destination. I agree with that when speaking about life. However, when it comes to my weight loss journey, I’m just saying “let me be the judge!” Tell you what, I’ll just go ahead and get to my goal weight in a week or two and then let you know which I enjoyed more… the journey or the destination. I’m betting I’ll enjoy the destination a little more than I enjoyed the journey. I also bet no one who has been through it successfully would bet against me.
Having said all of that, though, something about THIS time is just different. Maybe it is the way Adrienne talked to us last week about changing our mindset. She told us that instead of worrying about calories in/calories out, think more about "what benefit will eating this _____ give me?" For example, if it is a healthy protein or a complex carbohydrate, it will benefit me by providing me longer lasting fullness and more energy. If it is a fruit or a vegetable, it will benefit me by providing my body essential nutrients to aid in digestion. If it is a big ole' honkin' bag of potato chips, it will benefit me by adding padding to my rear end in case I fall on the ice this winter. (Yeah, probably not where she was going with that) Whatever the reason, I'm appreciating my newfound ability to stay on the cruise ship and not be tempted by the ports we pass.
I'm just praying it doesn't turn out to be that cruise ship that just sunk in Italy.
Tonight I'm eating out again with girlfriends for a birthday celebration. The trick here is, I chose the restaurant. I knew what health choices would be on the menu. ( When you can, take the lead and recommend places that will benefit you in term of healthy food choices.)
Last Saturday my daughter and her girlfriend took me to lunch. I planned ahead by going online to look at the menu at the restaurant. When we ordered I already know what to choose. I was mentally ready. It worked and I enjoyed every bite of my healthy choices.
I've had to work to get to this point. But this is what works for me. As we heard in class on Friday, you have to have a "cheat meal" occasionally. I was glad to hear that. I'm on the right track and it has worked for me, but I keep my eye on the prize-my goals.
Eat out, but eat smart.
Monday, January 16, 2012
I often hear those words of his echoing in my head. What am I going to do TODAY to fight heart disease? Just because I ate healthy and exercised yesterday, doesn't give me a free pass for today, tomorrow, and the rest of the week. Sadly, Coach Bill Green passed away recently, but his words of wisdom will live on forever. I hope that everyone has a "Coach Green" in their life, giving them inspiration and motivation! Thank you Coach Green! You will be missed.
What are you doing TODAY to improve your heart health and fight heart disease??
Love your ♥,
Saturday, January 14, 2012
I've been keeping up with my workouts every day and tracking every single thing that goes into my body. That makes me feel like I have more control over it all.
So, nothing new or profound to add today. Just checking in with my small victories! Since this is a 3 day weekend for my kids AND my husband, it is going to be challenging to continue to eat well all weekend but I'm up for the challenge! I've already had my ONE controlled cheat meal, so from here until NEXT weekend, I'm eating well like it's my job!!
How are all of you doing??? Any restaurant favorites? Check in...especially if you aren't a challenger!!!!
We're all in this together!!!!
Friday, January 13, 2012
Still focused on the big picture...healthier food choices, exercise and getting sleep is key for me.
I'm trucking along with my food logs and exercise, it's finding time to make sure I get my 7pm no eating cut off that is becoming a challenge, but the final cut off for me is 8pm. Getting my mind to shut down at a decent hour so I can get a good nights sleep is too. I'm sure eventually it will work itself out too.
Oh yea, did I mention... hello my name is Pamela and I'm a chocoholic?
I've not been hankering for it but I have made it reasonable for me to have it if I want it. (mini snickers are only 45 calories, just don't eat 20 of them at a time!! LOL)
The vending machines are NO issue at work heck the only time I see them is when I go into that area to fill up my bottle for water or make a cup of hot tea.
I did get my blood drawn this morning after a 12hr fast, curious to see what Julie tells me on the results on Tuesday morning.
One highlight today was going to Seasons52 Fresh/Grill by work.
I've heard great things about it decided to check it out for lunch.
Great choices on there but darn pricey so won't be making that a regular hang out anytime soon! Highly recommend the Fish Tacos for lunch they were delicious in fact you get 3 of them and I could only finish two, go the doggie box for the third.
I'm realizing eating fresh food, not processed or fried I feel better and I don't feel like junk after I eat... WHAT A CONCEPT!?
The true test may be on Sunday afternoon when I meet with a coworker to watch some football games at a restaurant. I'm already looking over the menu and trying to plot my best strategy on that so I don't fall prey to things I shouldn't eat.
Going to end this on a high note, a co worker that hadn't seen me since me doing all this traveling since November came up to me an said " dang girlie, you have lost alot of weight since I last saw you" That took me back for a second because I haven't seen it much since November, but did thank him for noticing and told him what I'm doing and to follow my blog an the rest of the challengers too.
So I do believe a change will do ya good, slowly but surely it will fall into place.
Staying the course!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Again, I want to give a very special thank you to Julie. Having a female nurse practitioner who explained the test results, listened to my question, offered sincere support and most important, raised my awareness and understanding of what is going on in my body, was a wonderful gift. She was another blessing that will help move me forward on my journey.
Facing the facts is hard, but it's reality. As they say, "the truth will set you free" - Free to make healthier choices and to work harder.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I'm so grateful for both of these women and that they took the time out of their busy days to meet with all of us Better U Challengers! THANK YOU ADRIENNE AND JULIE!!!
**in case you're wondering, you can hear what they have to say too! Check out their blog at http://www.3384her.com/category/4-her-blog/ There are even several videos!!**
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I am so much appreciating my fellow challengers' blogs -- I am actually burning a lot of calories just trying to keep up with the blogs!! I can really sympathize with those of you who are talking about emotional eating..... although I really don't have too much trouble adopting a diet and sticking to it, or starting to exercise more frequently. My big obstacle is to quit smoking!!! I am really in need of all the help and support I can possibly get on that account!!!
I know we all keep talking about the journey we are taking over these three months...... I am hoping that we all can start to gain some serious insight here! We are ALL attempting to go down a new path in life.....a path that we have not taken AND stayed on before in our lives. We are blazing a new trail, and I know there is a lot of undergrowth to cut through right now!! I hear some familiar sentiments coming through from my fellow challengers as we get into our travels here -- and that is trying to visualize life without things that we seem to be convinced make us very happy (lots of all the wrong kinds of food, for example). Do you believe it is possible that we could cut out a new path where we discover that different choices in life actually lead to much greater satisfaction than the current habits we persist in holding onto -- actually under some false belief that our life will seem like it has less quality if we let go of them????
I don't know about you, but I don't want to just go down a better path for three months -- I would like to know and experience what it is like to live at my maximum potential - to really know what it feels like to experience the best of physical, mental, and spiritual health. I fear that as a human race we all have veered so far off the path that we don't even give ourselves a chance to feel our bodies as they were meant to be (before processed foods -- full of chemicals, salt, refined sugar, refined flour). I think with this challenge -- it is dangling right in front of us -- to reach out and grab. LOOK at all of the support we are getting to do this!!!!
This journey is going to be a lot more than a physical/mental challenge. We are going to have to dig deeper than we ever imagined to get at the root of destructive habits -- and keep walking down a better path -- and never look back to go down the same old paths! The question is -- are we willing to do that??? I am slowly but surely feeling a growing faith and belief that this can be a reality -- not just a possibility. It's not about big drastic changes -- it's going to be a lot of letting go and burying some issues along this path we are traveling!!!
Don't you want to keep going down this path we are taking!!! There are a lot of us challengers to help each other, if we trip over something on the way.........!!! It is so very nice to know that I am not walking alone, in the dark on this one, because I want this to be one of the biggest journeys I have taken in life!!!! And it is so comforting to know there are others on this path!!
P.S. -- I have this most WONDERFUL article on why we eat what we eat -- I will give each of you a copy when I see you at our next meeting -- has a lot of ideas that you may never have considered -- and may really give you some much needed help in the days to come!!!
Let's keep moving forward, even if it's only an inch at a time!!!!!! Laura
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I'm thankful I managed to get thru today with few fall backs.
I forgot my water bottle at the hotel today but went to the cafeteria
and got a big bottle of water to make sure I got it in.
My logging of what I eat is still a reality check of sorts and makes me pause
and think do I really want that? do I really need that? ,how am I feeling right now?
I'm trying to cut back on bread, doing just fine for breakfast but its the lunch and dinner times that have been little harder today. I had two cheddar biscuits at lunch but drank so much water to flush it out because after eating. Sure, it was yummy but dang it was soo salty, not good for me.
Ate more salad today than I thought possible. I find myself craving more healthier food is that even possible??? I'm surprised.
I'm getting my blood drawn Friday morning was really hoping for it to happen tomorrow afternoon but, I'm rolling with the punches on that.
I got a call tonight to schedule meeting with Julie about the results of the test, that excites me, scares me a bit of the unknown but I know no matter what the results are I will be ok.
Looking forward to hearing from the YMCA people and getting all that in order, looking for one with a pool so I can do water aerobics or just do my water therapy on my own.
Once I get the testing out of the way an meet with dieticians and have a food plan I will feel more confident and comfortable.
I'm excited about flying home for work and getting to sleep in my own bed for more than weekend at a time to spend time with friends and family.
It's so hard to have X amount of hours that you are home before you leave again, and try to figure how you are going to share your time with friends,family,and heck make time for yourself,let alone your pet that has to be going thru seperation anxiety by now because mommy isn't around to snuggle with. LOL But, I'm committed to this great job project opportunity and know its only temporary this craziness of flying back and forth and I'm taking full advantage of experiencing life to the fullest. I can sleep later!
Looking forward to getting some grocery shopping done tomorrow, fresh fruits and some veggies and being able to experiment with cooking up some healthier dishes or trying even trying to make some of my favorite meals more healthier.
I hear my hotel bed calling, and faintly hear my bed at home calling my name, so on that note, I bid you all a good night, sweet dreams and let's make some small steps to better heart healthy food choices.
Love ya my fellow challengers!
So who out there has gone to the website and signed up to do their own BetterU Challenge??
Love your ♥!
Now that I may have finally figured out how to join this blog --> Greetings! Making my official debut as a Challenger in the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Better U Program!!! It was such an honor to meet my fellow Challengers at our kick-off breakfast a few days ago. When arriving at this "kick-off" breakfast, I entered a room full of AHA administrators from the Indy area and many healthcare professionals from St. Vincent Hospital. I initially thought they were all present to have a meeting with each other, BUT -- they were actually all there for us -- the seven new Challengers in the Go Red Better U Challenge!!!!! What a humbling experience for me -- meeting all of these professionals who scheduled time out of their own busy schedules to meet with us - with me!!! I am not one to seek the spotlight, and if there is a spotlight in the area, I will usually hide from it. Besides getting a firsthand overview and amazing realization of all the individuals who are standing by to support my fellow challengers and myself on our three-month journey, one of the most profound messages I took away from this breakfast meeting was that it is OKAY for us to take care of ourselves and to put ourselves first as we embark on this journey. It's like I needed permission to value myself above everything else in life!!!
Can we take a look at this idea a little further?? Take a look at your "to do" list, or your list of priorities........ are YOU at the top of the list right now??? I certainly was not at the top of my list -- I wasn't even on MY list!!!! Okay, so think about this........ if you are not even on your list of priorities, what will even happen to those priorities if you are not even around to address them????
As women, we could not be more blessed to live in this age and time in the history of all womankind!!!! Do you realize that women's health has simply not been addressed equally with men's, on a national and global level, until the last two decades of history???? I have been in the nursing profession since the early 1970's, and all of my learning about diseases and disorders was based on the white male medical model (weighing approximately 70 kg -- yes -- that specific!!!!). All of the decisions to treat or not treat a human being have been made based on the white male health research. Any attention to women's health came mostly from women who had gained entry into the medical and nursing professions, but progress was slow!!! Anyways -- as a result of research in the last few decades, we have come to learn that disease in women presents with different signs and symptoms, DOES NOT necessarily respond to the same treatment given to males, and the results are different, and even the prognosis for the outcome of the disease/disorder!!! Many medical research studies being done on major debilitating diseases in the last two decades have started to include equal numbers of women in the studies. As a result, we have the blessed chance of being healthier than women throughout all history. Just take a look at how many women's health centers AND women's hospitals that have opened nationally in the last decade!!!!! Imagine -- hospitals just for women!!
Lo and behold -- just LOOK where we are today, ladies. Our own American Heart Association, which has been around since 1924, cared enough in 2004 to develop an entire cause devoted to women -- The Go Red for Women movement. For those of you who haven't done so, I challenge you to visit the AHA website (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/) and their Go Red for Women movement (http://www.goredforwomen.org/). I am so confident that you will develop some passion and inspiration to take a look at caring for yourself -- simply reading about all the work being done to prevent heart disease and stroke, and getting an idea of the help and support and encouragement that is available from these two websites alone.
So for now, as I begin day one of this three month challenge with my fellow Challengers, I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I can be my first priority, and take care of myself before I get to other things on my "to do" list. I will share much more about myself in the coming weeks. I just wanted to inspire others of you to really want to do something for yourself, because as women all over the world, we play a priority role in the health of our families and society. With all we are blessed to know about our health today, we can all make an impact on the lives of those around us -- IF -- we are healthy enough and actually here because we made time to take care of our own health. One last beautiful nugget I came away with from our kick-off breakfast. I know that you have all likely heard of the saying "random acts of kindness". Well, Renee, one of my fellow challengers, shared with me the idea that she decided to start doing random acts of kindness for herself. I think it would be a lovely thing for all of us to put that on our "to do" list every day.
Okay fellow Challengers -- let's do this!!!!!
This morning I was at the gym at 8:00 a.m. with Peggy who was a BetterU challenger last year. She is my BetterU support partner this year. We walked and talked for almost an hour. Time does go fast when you're having fun. It really helps to have support during your journey. At 11:00 a.m. I will pickup my 81 year old friend and go to our Yoga class. Seeing her doing Yoga in a chair lets you know you are never too old to get up and MOVE.
There is one problem for me with the continued exercising. Well, it's really not a problem. I now had so much more energy that I have had to find new way to use this energy. Walking three miles a day, five days a week is my gift to my heart.
They say to lead by example. I hope I am an example that a 63 year old young person, who has had a heart attack, can get back in the saddle and make major lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of future heart attacks.
Choose to be a BetterU at GoRedForWomen.org. Learn how to make heart-healthy choices every day. It's in your court.
Monday, January 9, 2012
I flew into Maryland for work Sunday night and focused on the journey I'm about to begin with jumping in with both feet!
I woke up at 5:30am to hit the hotel gym, very excited to see no one in there and got my treadmill and bike time in 45minutes then it was off to the room to shower, get ready for work and get something healthy to eat for breakfast.
My Goals today were: write down everything I eat, drink a gallon of water, no eating after 7pm.
I had yummy oatmeal, blueberry yogurt and a sausage patty and skim milk.
Stressful or emotional eating can be an issue for me and with Monday's being hectic and busy at work, I want to be prepared. (peanuts, nutrigrain bar, and pineapples were my choices)
Who would've thought a petite Alaskan salmon,broccoli & green beans would be enough
to satisify the hunger for lunch. (nothing fried or salty, score!) Houlihan's was the great place I found this, I highly recommend it!
It's humbling and enlightening seeing your own handwriting when you write down everything you eat in a day.
Did YOU know how many ounces are in a gallon of water?
The answer: 128 ounces... to break that down easier, with the 32oz water bottle I use I only have to drink four 32 ounces and I managed to get 3 of the 4 in before 5pm. WOOT WOOT! (its easier than it sounds!)
I will keep this up the entire journey, it's good for you and I love water, may need to throw in some lemon or lime to mix it up.
I went to dinner w/a coworker tonite and didn't finish until 7:30ish so that's not too bad. The dinner had grilled shrimp and crabcake over linguini. Loved the shrimp, the linguini, not so much nor the crabcake. It was the seasoning and sodium I'm sure. I'm drinking more water over my gallon goal tonight because I don't like the way the meal made me feel afterwards.
Will be sure to look more closely and ask question on the meal choices for sodium next time.
I'm confident I can do this it's small, simple choices that anyone can make!
Did you know that the #1 killer of women is HEART DISEASE??
1 in 3 odds, 2 will live , 1 will die from HEART DISEASE!!
(I remember hearing this long ago but chose to "block it out" because I felt it couldn't happen to me, well I can tell you it can happen to ANYONE!)
If you have high blood pressure like me, you are AT RISK for HEART DISEASE!!
80% of heart disease may be prevented if we choose to act NOW and start living heart-healthy!
You've got NOTHING to lose by checking out the site:
Sign up for the 12 week challenge, tell your best friend, your sister, your mother, grandmother,your coworker,your neighbor. KNOWLEDGE is POWER!!!
I'd love to hear from you and let me know if you are up for the challenge and let's do this journey together! We can do it! I believe in you and me!
Ready for Day 2 and beyond!
Loving myself and my heart one day at time!
Well, here I am over a year into my life style change journey and the BetterU Challenge has come into my life. Its resources, tools, support, and my new partners are valuable gifts. I have always had a supportive husband and children, but now they are especially proud to see "a better me that will get even better".
Yes, it's up to you. Join me. It's not always easy, but life never promised us a rose garden. We have to work for a goal worth achieving. Your it!! Join us.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Well, the 12 week challenge officially starts tomorrow. I am anxious to get started and thought if I’m going to be bearing my soul here for the next 12 weeks, perhaps I should tell you a little more about me than just what is in that little blurb over there. --------->
I could make it really short and say “My name is Molly and I am tired of being fat…..the end” but I suppose I should include a little more than that. I grew up one of those people that I hate now. You know, the kind that can eat anything and not gain a pound. Yep…that was me. *raises hand timidly* I was relatively active and I participated in a lot of sports and activities in high school but I never exercised just to be exercising or ever think about my weight, let alone my heart health, at all.
Around the time I got my driver’s license and was able to go get whatever food I wanted whenever I wanted, I began to develop some really horrible eating habits. But, I still didn’t gain any weight. (I know, I know….I hate me too) I graduated high school at around 120 pounds (I’m 5’4”) It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I began working on my obligatory freshman 15. Really, I blame society for telling me I had to do that! (Just kidding) My freshman year of college is also when I met my husband. Of course, that meant a lot of dinner dates and pizzas at midnight. (Honestly, Papa John’s breadsticks at 2 a.m. is a religious experience) By the time we got married 4 years later, I was 30 pounds heavier.
The next 14 years were kind of a blur in terms of my weight. I’d be up quite a bit and get serious about losing, lose about 20 pounds and then fall off the proverbial wagon. I also used each of my 3 pregnancies as an oasis from dieting and really ballooned up during each of them, never quite losing all the weight I’d gained from the previous pregnancy. (Really, can you still call it baby weight when the "baby" is 4?)
By the time my youngest was born 4 years ago, I weighed 240 pounds and was completely. And utterly. Miserable.
Another interesting thing happened during my pregnancy with him that I had never experienced before: High blood pressure. I actually got admitted to the hospital for a total of 12 days before, during and after his delivery. I was told I had to get the weight off to make sure it wasn’t something that I had to deal with the rest of my life. I got serious yet again and made my way down to 170 pounds with diet alone. No real exercise to speak of. When I hit the 170 pound mark, however, the pounds were a lot harder to get off. It was time to start exercising. I joined the YMCA and began working out quite a bit. I even trained for and completed a sprint triathlon in 2010. (In case you don’t know, a sprint triathlon is a quarter of a mile swim, a 20 mile bike, and a 3.1 mile run.) Even with training for that, though, I didn’t get back down to where I wanted to be... Since then, life has gotten in the way yet again, and I find myself back up about 35 pounds.
I applied for the BetterU Challenge after seeing it on the news one evening. Women who want to get more heart healthy by losing weight were asked to send in an application. I immediately applied and I am so thrilled that I did. The 7 Challengers all have very different stories. Some of the ladies have a strong family history of heart disease, some have had heart attacks, high blood pressure, stents placed, etc. Maybe you can relate to my story. Maybe you relate better to one of the other challengers. We are all at different stages in our lives and different places in our journey but the one thing that binds us all together is that we are taking this step for our health. I hope you will join us too.
Here's to a BetterU and a Better Me in 2012!
Now, since I have put myself out there, I am going to ask something of you...here comes the "dare!" I dare you to find out your numbers....your BMI, your cholesterol level, your blood pressure, your weight. I dare you to find out where you stand in your heart health. Believe me, I know...I know its easier to walk past the scale and not weigh yourself...ignorance is bliss, but it can also kill you! I encourage you to have a face to face with your doctor to discuss your heart health. If you aren't ready for that, most pharmacies have free blood pressure monitors that you can check your BP at, so you could start there! Take baby steps if you have to! Don't forget, you can do the challenge right along with the seven of us, with the online version, just click the link below to register. " https://www.goredforwomen.org/Registration.aspx"
Love your ♥!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Just yesterday we had our first meeting of the new seven BetterU Challengers at a kickoff breakfast. The bonding was immediate because we all had so much in common. What a delight to also meet the professional support staff that will assist us on this part of our journey. But the seven of us who are this years Challengers are not the only ones that can embark on learning how to become heart healthy. You too can take the first step and sign up for the 12 week online BetterU Program challenge. Register at https://www.goredforwomen.org/Registration.aspx There are a range of resources and tools provided online, in additon to the blogs. Share with us your challenges and successes. Most important remember, the journey begins with the first step.
I am learning so much already. Did you know that 80% of cardiac events in women are linked to poor choices, involving diet, exercise and smoking? The numbers are staggering...but the good news is that we can do something about this! Lets all love our hearts and commit ourselves to making better choices. Are you ready to get started yourself? You can take the 12 week challenge too online, just go to "https://www.goredforwomen.org/Registration.aspx". There are some great tools that you will also find to help you out. If you sign up, leave a comment and let me know, I want to hear of your progress too!
Love your ♥!
Friday, January 6, 2012
Hello new friends, old friends, and fellow challengers!
As you've already read, today was the kick off breakfast for the 2012 Go Red Better U Challenge! I must admit, I really had no idea what to expect. Now that the Challenge’s Official Start date of January 9 is only 3 short days away, reality is starting to sink in. As I was looking around the room listening to people speak about nutrition and exercise and heart healthy practices, I was hit by the thought that “Oh my gosh. What have I signed up for?? I have to completely change my lifestyle!” That thought was quickly followed by “I better eat everything in sight this weekend!!!” Of course, I’m kidding.
After the breakfast, the first thing I did was stop at the grocery to get lots of healthy foods to have on hand. With 3 small children and a rather picky eater of a husband, I have my work cut out for me in finding meals we can all eat together without quickly becoming a short order cook.
If you are reading this and you haven’t already signed up to take part in the 12 week challenge with us….do it now! It’s easy! Go to this link and register. https://www.goredforwomen.org/Registration.aspx There is an amazing tool for your computer that even syncs with your calendar to send you helpful hints and reminders. When it asks, put your start date as January 9 so that you can participate right along with the 7 of us challengers!! Be sure to leave a comment when you’ve signed up so we know who all is participating with us…then continue to share your challenges with us.
There is strength in numbers, my friends. Join us. Your heart will thank you!!
We met with the committee and you can already "feel the love" and support from everyone there and the encouragement to step out of our "comfort zones" and learn,grow and make a change.
Who would've thought we would be doing interviews and talking to the media already!?
(Not sure if I was ready for my close up just yet, but got thru it just fine, no hair, makeup or lipstick issues lol ) Be sure to check out WTHR today at 5:20 segment!
Here's what I'm hoping to get out of this 12 week program.
*Better understanding on what is heart healthy lifestyle
*Focus on exercise and nutrition and what is best for my mind, body and soul!
*Lose some of this weight that is holding me back.
*Get off my high blood pressure medicine.
Some of you are probably wondering what is this 2012 Better U challenge and what all does it entail??? Here's a link to check out what we'll be doing and YOU can do it too! It's FREE!! (who doesn't LOVE FREE?!) http://www.goredforwomen.org/BetterU/
Here's a quote that is rescinating heart for this opportunity:
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”
At the end of the meeting, we taped a news segment with Anne Marie Tiernon from WTHR and posed for a group photo.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Friday morning we'll all meet for the first time for an orientation breakfast at St.Vincent Heart Center, and then it will be full steam ahead.
We're looking forward to reading all about their journey right here.