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Healthy Wednesday

8 Jul

As this is Wednesday — the day before my infamous Thursday weigh-ins — I thought I’d share an article I came across 0n MSN which details the 20 unhealthiest beverages in America.

Thankfully I’ve never consumed anything on the list. One: I don’t like coffee, so Diet Coke is my caffeinated drink of choice. Two: I don’t see the point/allure of energy drinks. Three: While I like ice cream, I prefer custard, so if I have a malt, it will be from Kopps.

If you drink any of the items on this list, maybe the article will help you rethink whether you really want that Starbucks Venti 2% Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate.

Salt, caramel and hot chocolate?! Yuck!

Anyway, here’s the article. Enjoy!

Weigh-in, Week 12

9 Apr

Apparently I’m a week behind, as I just weighed in today for Week 12.

Oh well, semantics.

10 percent ticker:

Overall ticker:

I’m pretty pleased with myself, having re-lost 1 pound of the 1.8 I gained last week. It still puts me at losing an average of more than one pound a week, which is in line with what Weight Watchers recommends for long-term weight maintenance.

I worked out quite a bit this week, but wasn’t as attentive to my eating. I really need to be more diligent with my tracking, because it will catch up with me eventually.

Our last at-work meeting is May 7, and according to our office manager (who herself has lost 30 pounds!) we are one person short for being able to re-up for another 15 weeks. I really hope we can either get one more person, or our company will agree to subsidize the cost of that final person. She sent out this great e-mail to the entire agency crowing about how much weight we’ve lost as a group, so hopefully that will spur people on to join us.

I wish I had more interesting things to share with you besides my weight, but I really don’t. This week is Easter, and my Dad is having my Mom’s family over to his condo (for those new to the blog, my Mom passed away in May 2007 at age 56). He’s making ham, I’m responsible for rolls and dessert, and various aunts are bringing the rest of the dishes (including two kinds of potatoes — no self-respecting Irish family has less than that at a family function).

Work is going fine. I’m still struggling with some apathy issues (having things to do, but not wanting to do them). I thought moving into a new position within the company would help, but so far it hasn’t. There’s still time, I guess.

The weekend of April 17 is Trivia 40, a 54-hour trivia contest held in Stevens Point, Wis. every year. I played a couple years while I was in college, and this is my second year playing as an alumnus. It’s run by the campus radio station, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s billed as ‘The World’s Largest Trivia Contest,’ and people from all over the world come to answer trivia questions from 6 p.m. Friday until Midnight Sunday. There was even a movie — creatively called ‘Triviatown’ — that documented the whole experience.

I have some other things I could write about, but the work day is almost over so I will save those things for another time.

So that’s my next couple of weeks in a nutshell. What are you all up to?

Wednesday Pre-Weigh-in

18 Feb

Another Wednesday means another Thursday is right around the corner.

(It is Wednesday, right? This week has been crawling by.)

Another Thursday means another weigh-in, this time No. 5.

I did pretty well on food this week. I still had to dip into my workout points, but only for one point I think.

The ‘Couch to 5K’ experiment isn’t going to well. I got through the workout Sunday, but then could only get 15 minutes through yesterday because, on top of still being sore from Sunday, my ankles were killing me. Maybe someone of my size isn’t meant to do something like that.

But I’ll keep trying.

My scale says I’m down about a pound, so we’ll see how that gibes with the WW scale.

In non-weight-loss news, Friday I see my dermatologist and finally get my prescription for Accutane. I’ll be on that for the next five months, while having to take monthly blood and pregnancy tests.

Then on Tuesday the 24th I get a tooth pulled to start the ball rolling for braces on my bottom teeth. I have TMJ, and the only way he can treat that is to get rid of the crowding on my lower jaw and straighten out those teeth.

Lots of fun coming down the pike.

Lots of fun.

Cholesterol Wars

16 Feb

This week I will be going on Accutane for five months for acne issues. Leading up to and while on the drug, I need to take monthly blood tests to keep watch on my cholesterol.

My question is this: If my overall cholesterol keeps going down, why do my triglycerides keep going up? I’m losing weight and eating better, you’d think the bad numbers (tri, LDL) would go down, but it’s sort of the opposite, in that my LDL is going down, but my HDL (good numbers) are going down as are the triglycerides.

Oh, to be ignorant about health matters like I used to be. :p

No Caffeine Experiment

3 Nov

Though I haven’t had a soda since Saturday, today I officially decided to stop drinking caffeine. I was reminded of how acidic it is when my trainer told me her dentist said the acidity of soda is just a few steps above that of battery acid.

I don’t want to drink battery acid.

Today I think I am experiencing my first withdrawal symptoms. I looked it up and, sure enough, this is what John’s Hopkins has to say about caffeine withdrawal. The main ones I’m feeling are the headache, fatigue and sleepiness.

I’m tempted to have a little Diet Coke® and see if the symptoms subside, but that kind of defeats the purpose of going off caffeine, doesn’t it? Maybe a good dinner will help.

This is going to suck, but in the long run it will be a good thing. Hopefully I’ll get to the point where I can have a soda now and then, but for now I’m going cold turkey.

And if you’re interested, here are the origins of the phrase “cold turkey.”

John McCain and Women’s (Health and Otherwise) Issues

30 Oct

I received this from Planned Parenthood, and thought it was great information to share as we get closer to Nov. 4 (citations for all the claims are listed at the end of the entry).

Be sure to get out and vote!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

10 Things to Know About McCain

Today at 1:25pm

We’re just days away from choosing a new president, and the stakes couldn’t be higher for the women, men, and families Planned Parenthood serves.

By now, you know that the McCain/Palin ticket wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, while Sen. Obama is committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose. And I’m sure you’ve heard Sen. McCain mocking protections for women’s health as “extreme.” Those facts alone are enough for most of us to support Sen. Obama.

But the McCain/Palin ticket is even more extreme and more dangerous to women’s health than you may realize. Take a look a look at our list of 10 things every woman should know about John McCain and Sarah Palin — and then pass it along to everyone you know before Election Day:

1. John McCain opposes equal pay legislation, saying it wouldn’t do “anything to help the rights of women.”(1)

2. John McCain opposes requiring health care plans to cover prescription birth control.(2)

3. John McCain and Sarah Palin oppose comprehensive, medically accurate sex education.(3)

4. John McCain opposes commonsense funding to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies.(4)

5. John McCain and Sarah Palin want to tax health care benefits for the first time in history.(5)

6. John McCain opposes restoring family planning services for low-income women.(6)

7. Sarah Palin opposes abortion even in the case of rape and incest.(7)

8. John McCain voted against the Violence Against Women Act, which ensures rape survivors are not charged for the emergency exams used to prosecute their attackers. While Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, rape survivors were forced to pay for these exams, which cost up to $1,200.(8)

9. When asked whether contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV, John McCain said he was stumped.”(9)

10. In his 25 years in Washington, DC, John McCain has voted against women’s reproductive rights and privacy 125 times.(10)

We can’t afford four more years of an administration that is openly hostile to the needs of women and families across the country. Here’s what you can do over the next five days to elect Sen. Obama and make his pro-women, pro-health care vision a reality:

• Forward this message to your friends and family so they know what’s at stake in this election. You can also compare the candidates’ health care plans online here: http://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/campaigns/315.htm

• Watch our new TV ad — and share it with your friends and family: http://plannedparenthoodaction.org/campaigns/386.htm

• Vote! This is truly the most important statement you can make in support of women’s health. If you’re not sure where to go to vote, you can find out with this easy-to-use polling place map: http://www.vote411.org/pollingplace.php

We’ve got just a few days left — let’s make them count. Thank you again for your time, dedication and spirit through this election season.

-Planned Parenthood Action Fund

1. The Trail blog, Washington Post, 5/7/08; 2. Roll Call Vote, 3/11/03; 3. The Caucus, New York Times, 3/16/07; 4. Roll Call Vote, 3/17/05; 5. Center for American Progress, 7/2/08; 6. Roll Call Vote, 3/17/05; 7. ABC World News with Charles Gibson, 9/12/08; 8. H.R. 3355, Roll Call Vote, 8/25/94; The Frontiersman, 5/23/00; 9. The Caucus, New York Times, 3/16/07; 10. http://www.meettherealmccain.com

A Chill in the Air

26 Aug

I’m up this morning a bit earlier than usual, and as I’m sitting here typing there’s a decidedly chilly breeze coming in at me through the northern window in my guest bedroom. Fall is definitely on its way. I’m sure we’ll have more warm days, but it doesn’t smell like summer to me this morning. It smells…cold.

Fall is my favorite season, second only to spring. Summer I could do without for the most part (or at least the humidity). Last night I took a different path for my walk, and went to the cemetery to visit my mother. By car I think it’s about a two-mile walk round trip, which I knew I could handle, no problem.

The change in scenery was a nice diversion from the usual round-and-round-the-block that I’ve gotten used to. I also did and saw some new things/things I’ve not done in awhile.

  • I ran through a sprinkler.
  • I saw a vegetable garden right out near the street with green and red tomatoes at various stages of ripeness.
  • I saw a homemade, laminated sign leaning up against a tree that said, “Beware of attack cats,” with a picture of two cats on it.
  • I saw through a window a silhouette of man playing guitar for his blond-haired toddler.

Afterwards I came home, ate dinner, and watched a little Twin Peaks, in addition to an inspiring speech by (what I hope is) the next First Lady of the United States. (The precocious seven-year-old talking into the microphone I could have done without, but ah well.)

Sweatin’ to the Oldies (or “Oldie Sweatin’)

7 Aug

In Nov. 2007 I started working with a personal trainer. While I’ve not really lost any weight, I certainly have improved my muscle mass and have actually lost some inches (I’d be further along if I could just get the eating thing down, but baby steps…). Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. for half an hour.

Tuesday we did cardio, and she had me walking for two minutes at 3 mph and running for a full minute at speeds from 4 mph-4.5 mph (this is the fastest my short legs have been able to carry me so far). About halfway through the session, another gym member my trainer knew stopped to say hi to her. She looked at me and said to him, “When she first started working with me, there’s no way she could have done this, and look at her now!” And this guy, this huge body-builder guy, got a big smile on his face and said, “that’s awesome, way to go!”

That felt pretty cool. And she was right. I’m doing things that I never would have even attempted nine months ago. I’m starting to get muscle definition, becoming a little more curvy instead of just a blob, and I’m noticing little changes, too. For instance, when I moved, my Dad and I took a couple of trips with both of our cars in addition to me hiring movers. I moved on the most humid day of the year to date, and while I was sweating and tired, I carried and toted way more than I could have before I started working with Nikki (my trainer).

It’s not cheap (I pay her in addition to my monthly gym fee), but it’s been totally worth it so far. I’ve lucked out with little financial windfalls that have enabled me to keep paying for sessions with her (first set of sessions were a birthday gift, then came a work bonus, then tax returns, then the economic stimulus check, etc.), and I hope I get my security deposit back in time for me to continue when my latest batch of sessions are up.

Lesson Learned

25 Jun

I had an appointment with my personal trainer last night (the first time I truly worked out in 2 weeks because of traveling for work) and for fun/information I decided to bring my little measurement book with me (I try to have her measure me about once a month).

This is what I gained (or lost, depending on how you look at it) in just two weeks of not working out (in addition to not having as much stamina to complete my workout as I previously did):

Hips: 1 inch
Thigh: 1 inch
Chest: 2.5 inches
Calf: 1/2 inch
Waist: 2 inches

Scary!

I could even tell the difference when I did my abs and cardio. I think I have a hernia that flares up from time to time, particularly when I am doing ab work. Initially my trainer was “tricking” my abs into working out by doing nontraditional abdominal exercises. In the last several weeks we’ve been able to do actual crunches without any problems.

But not last night.

As we were finishing the last set of crunches, I felt that familiar fist twisting inside my abdomen, and immediately told her we needed to stop (I’d like to deal with this with exercise instead of a doctor and potential surgery). Obviously the regular workouts were helping this condition, so we’ve decided to go back to “fooling” my abs on Thursday and wait until it calms down a bit before we do actual crunches.

So basically, the lesson I’ve learned is: don’t stop working out for two weeks! I’ve done this before, but was never measuring myself, so I was never truly aware of what that amount of time off would do to my body. Now that I know, I’ll never do that again. Even if it’s just the two times a week with my trainer, I was seeing a huge benefit not on the scale, but with the tape measure.

I really do feel that I can use traveling as an excuse for why I haven’t worked out. Each day I was “working” from about 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. or later (I consider dinner with the client — while fun, because she’s really awesome — to be work), and I certainly was not going to work out that late at night and get all keyed up before bed. The only day on my trip when I was able to work out was this past Thursday, because the work portion of the day ended early (about 4 p.m.) and I was (thankfully) on my own the rest of the evening. So I went down to the hotel gym and walked/ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes.