Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Are You Willing to Do?

Had my followup from all the testing that has been done since December and the results are... nothing. Well I'm still waiting on the endoscopy results but as far as every other test not one thing can be found "wrong" that would be addressed via medical intervention.  Makes it even more likely/quite possible that it was seasonal stress, anxiety, menopause, or any combination of things like that.  In any case, I've been tested head to toe and the tests came back normal - or in some cases normal "for my age."  (A phrase I'm really growing to dislike.)

In other good news, I've lost 14 pounds since I was there last which the doctor was really happy with.  She was also happy about my blood pressure.  I told her I had taken her seriously about trying to reduce stress and that I'd been doing some yoga.   She said she wished all her patients were so proactive.  I told her I was just relieved that I've been feeling better and that I was willing to try almost anything not to feel the way I had been all throughout the fall.  Since she's made some changes to my medication she wants me back in a month for a walk-in blood pressure check.  She also said I might as well get weighed in again too since it seems I"m on a roll.  No pressure there, right?  In fact it makes me feel quite motivated.

I've been thinking a lot about eating styles because it seems like every time I turn around there's another opinion on what we should/should not be consuming.  I actually saw a list of foods put out that suggested that asparagus has too much naturally occurring sugars to be good.  I think I might have sighed a bit heavily when I read that but I also understand that people are desperately trying whatever they can to feel better and/or lose weight.

I sigh a little heavily over veganism as well.  I have several friends who are hard core and while I'm happy they seem to have found what "works" for them, there is no way I'd even consider that way of eating due to all the substitutions, not the mention the amount of soy they consume.  As much as I like vegetables I guess a purely plant based diet isn't for me.  Neither is hard core Paleo.  I just can't grasp what is "wrong" with quinoa and oatmeal.  While I like the idea of whole foods immensely, I'm still not convinced that elimination of entire whole foods is a good thing.

I am sure there are folks out there who would not be willing to do some of the things I've done over the past few years either - for example, I have almost completely eliminated artificial sweeteners.  The last place I'm hanging on to that is in my iced tea.  It's homemade and fresh-brewed but I still want that bit of sweetness to it and I haven't been able to switch it to sugar - or just go black like I did with coffee many years ago.

Also, I've learned the hard way over my 12 years of running, that I don't need nearly as many carbohydrate-type foods as I'd like to eat. My body is not one that "reacts" to bread, pasta, potatoes and rice, other than to gain a bunch of weight because I'm just not burning it off. Nearly every time I trained for either half or full marathons, I'd gain weight after the race because I needed to scale back the amounts of carbohydrates I was taking in to sustain long runs.  When you go from running 30-40 mile weeks you need a different amount of such things than when you're running 20 mile (or less) weeks.   I have discovered this has even become increasingly more true for me as I age and my metabolism slows down.  Sometimes I feel a little sad that I have to think of a piece of bread or a nice yummy baked potato as a treat but right now, that's my truth.Of course if I was willing to exercise more, I could easily have more than the one small portion per day I currently allow myself.

I have also gone back towards fats in recent years.  The two week Dr. Oz detox alone showed me I could have nuts, avocado and moderate amounts of olive oil with no hindrance to weight loss.

As I was thinking about all this, I realized this morning that including this week, I have 7 weeks to a bathing suit.  Truth be told, I'd love to lose around 2 pounds a week until then but realistically that may not happen... unless I'm willing to change something else dietary or exercise-wise and I'm not even sure what that would be at this point.

So again, I've come full circle and find myself thinking:  what am I willing to do?  Because it's what you're actually willing to do - day in and day out - that ultimately determines the end result.

16 comments:

  1. Great job on 14 pounds! I am jealous :D Sometimes I feel like what I am willing to do changes day by day. It's annoying when you do what you are supposed to and nothing happens for weeks. I just can't follow a plan someone else makes up to the letter. If it makes me unhappy, I won't stick to it. The eating style dogma makes me all squinty-eyed on FB and blogs. The same militant people often go off the deep end the other way, too.

    I never liked artificial sweeteners and that was probably the hardest thing when lowering calories because they are in everything! Why is there sucralose in some cereals? It is so bitter it almost makes me gag. So, that really moved me more to minimally processed stuff than anything else because of the prevalence of the sweeteners. I either go unsweetened or with regular sugar. I tell you - going out for a latte and you would think I was asking for the moon if I wanted a plain latte with no flavor or sweetener. I get constantly questioned if I am sure. I can't be the only one ordering this, right? Flipping annoying.

    Yay - more commenting about me, me, me!! :D

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    1. I soooo get the doing all the right things and nothing happens thing. That is probably the MOST discouraging thing of all, isn't it? Also, I cannot even tell you how many times I've ordered coffee and had to return it because folks don't seem to understand black means not even sugar. Sometimes I even say "black, no cream no sugar" lol!

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  2. My Mom went back to real sugar after using artificial sweeteners for years - about the only sugar I add to my diet is coffee creamer - I am addicted to International Delight coffee creamers - luckily I only have one maybe two cups a day.

    I couldn't imagine keeping a whole food group out of my diet - I love meat and cheese too much! Hooray for -14 pounds!

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  3. Congratulations on the 14 pounds AND the blood pressure. That is really fantastic.

    And I agree on "what you are willing to do--day in and day out." I bet if someone did a study, they would find that the most successful people were those who tweaked a plan to customize it for themselves. Maybe that's why W.W. is successful--there's a lot of room for tweaking within that plan!

    Anyway, onward with our personal tweaked plans. We still have to follow them day in and day out to have continued weight loss, and that's the hard part (IMO.)

    Giving up regular bread was one of the hard things I did, but I barely think of it any more. Artificial sweeteners, on the other hand...

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    1. I'm honestly as excited about the BP as the weight loss. Of course I've been here with weight loss before so maybe once I get past here I'll feel a bit more hopeful about that. Customization is key Debby. In fact I think it's THE key. White bread I can do without (well most white things after my experience a couple weeks ago lol!) but I so love a good dark heavy grainy bread!

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  4. Congrats on the good results (weight loss, good blood pressure, etc) - that's most important!! As far as strict vegans or strict paleo eaters - it's really whatever works for you. As a paleo (but not strict paleo) eater, I am MOST interested in doing what is right for my particular body... quinoa is great for me and I react super well to it, so I occasionally eat it. I've never really understood people being SO strict with a diet that they eliminate foods that are healthy, nutritious and don't hurt their own body. That's why I am a little looser with the paleo template.

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    1. I am probably also a "mostly" Paleo eater and honestly that's what works for me. Of course, should I decide to train for another long distance race I'd have to see :D

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  5. Knowing yourself, knowing what you are willing to do, and being willing - all keys for success. You sound like you've got a janitor's ring of keys at your waist and are primed for (even more) success!

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    1. I sure hope the roll keeps going. I think maybe I feel less pressured than usual because I haven't really given myself any deadlines this time. I just need to get healthy!

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  6. AMEN SISTER!!
    totally why I dont do or believe in willPOWER just the WILLINGNESS to do what it takes to get where I wanna go.
    in fitness and beyond.

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  7. I love avocado season! (They don't taste very good right now.) Even having just a little bit of avocado fills me up.

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  8. Great job, Helen! I think the "no deadlines" approach is the best. Deadlines seem to make be nervous, and I lose slowly, so I don't usually reach them anyway. I am also one who does not like any type of artificial sweetener, so if I have something sweet (rarely), it has real sugar. I am still losing in spite of having the real thing very occasionally, because my portions are small. But there are some things (chocolate) that I just can't have. Bravo, Helen!

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    1. I probably get most of my sugar in dessert to be honest. I'm not one to drink sugary drinks or spinkle it on cereal. Thankfully I'm mostly able to see dessert as a treat. You are doing fantastic and I'm happy for you!

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  9. First: good news that everything is good. You know I've been in the same position as you at the beginning of this year when I got back the same results: nothing. And although I (and I guess you too) was happy nothing was wrong, it was also a bit frustrating.

    I'm so sick of diets or eliminating foods. I just don't do it anymore. I am a firm believer that eating normal healthy foods with a treat every now and then is the key and it's the easiest thing to stick too.

    I don't use artificial sweeteners, don't buy products that have it. I buy the "real" stuff, use regular sugar, I just just less of it. I don't drink soda but the rare occasion I do a real coca cola is so much better than diet.

    I was just thinking about you at the beginning of this week when I read something you said, I think it was on FB, that you were running and working towards 10 miles for your long run. The reason I thought about it is because you run because you love it and for your health and not for a race. I signed up for a race this weekend and I got nervous (again) and even skipped a run. After reading you and thinking about it I have decided that I won't do races (except maybe 2 that are special to me) and just run because I love it, no pressure of a race (I don't even like going to a race). You helped in making this decision, thank you for that.

    Other than this: great post and what I love about you is that you don't let everyone get you crazy about some diet or extreme lifestyle but you do what works for you and you stick to it.

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    1. I think the foot fractures and other things Iv'e been through over the past couple of years made me grateful when I could run and I realized you don't have to race to just enjoy running. I won't say I'll never race again but right now, I'm not even looking to sign up. I just want to run!

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  10. Helen, I just wanted to let you know that it was posts like these that finally got me off my dupa and working on losing weight and getting healthy again. You always make me think, and you definitely got me thinking on what *I* was willing to do.
    Hang in there, my friend!

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