Awesome People!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Taking Charge of My Life!

First, we did something very special and fun for our family.  We took the kids to Disneyland!  We kept it a secret from them for about a month and then the night before we went we gave them each $40 and said that they would need it.  We told them they should pack because tomorrow we're going to Disneyland.  It was so funny.  They didn't believe us at first.  Then when it sunk in that we weren't playing a cruel joke on them they started squealing and jumping up and down.  The very best part was that during our month of secrecy it seemed that every few days it kept getting brought up by the kids how we promised them years ago we'd take them to Disneyland and never did.  lol  It was really hard not to laugh (because we knew something they didn't) or to not spill the beans.  We had a fabulous time.  Here are a couple pics...

On to the heart of my post today.  I've been going to one or another doctor (or more) every week now for over two months getting all kinds of tests done to get a good picture of my health.  Well, it's not so good, but should I be surprised?  Probably not.  My latest test results show that one of my cholesterol levels is very high, and I'm also diabetic. The good news is that only one level is high and I'm just over the threshold for being diabetic, so my doctor says I will be "ridiculously easy" to treat.  I will not be on meds forever, and as soon as I get myself into better health (primarily weight) I will be able to stop taking them.

I am really taking charge of my life and making myself accountable for everything that goes into my mouth.  I told you about in my last post, and it is truly a fabulous tool for keeping everything right in your face.  This way I can't get lazy or "cheat" myself.  Really, what would that accomplish?  I have been finding ways to cut calories and trim fat and carbs while increasing protein.  It's not always easy.  I fell off the wagon at Disneyland with a big loud "thud" and gained 4 pounds back in just 3 days.  Lesson learned.

But I am making progress.  Last night, for example, we had our weekly take-out night.  This week it was taco bell.  And what did I eat from Taco Hell?  Not a dang thing!  Everyone else ate the junk food while I heated up leftover chicken enchiladas that I made.  I was very proud of my choice.  It was hard, too, because I really wanted to try one of the new Dorito taco shells.  And I really love chalupas.  But, I felt better about myself and my choice afterwards.  The reward?  I got on the scale today and I am 7.8 pounds down in just 2.5 weeks!  Woo Hoo!!!!  For the first time in almost 5 years I am LOSING weight!

And all it's taking is counting calories while keeping an eye on fats, carbs and proteins.  My first goal is to maintain my daily caloric intake to between 1500 and 1800.  After that I try to find ways to lower fats and carbs (my goal on carbs is less than 150g/day) and increase my protein.  The basic changes I have made are (and I did NOT make them all in one day.  It took about a month to make these changes gradually):

  • Whole grain pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Olive oil
  • No potatoes
  • Light dressing (Ken's lite creamy caesar is the only way to go!)
  • Diet soda
  • Skim milk
  • Much more fresh fruits and vegetables
  • NO sugary breakfast cereals (oh, what a weakness that was)
  • Sugar Free Jell-o and chocolate pudding for snacks
  • Almost nothing breaded or fried  (I do still use Shake n Bake on my pork chops)
  • More protein from various sources including meats, seeds, nuts and beans
  • Carefully measuring portions using measuring cups or my new handy kitchen scale
  • Stevia instead of sugar
  • Eliminating processed, packaged foods as much as possible
  • Counting calories and keeping fitness and activity logs on
  • Walking more and being more active

I heard this once years ago, and now I am finding that it's true.  In order to eat healthy, do your grocery shopping around the edges of the grocery store.  And that is right!  My milk and dairy is in the back, the fruits and vegetables are on one side, the meat is on the back on the opposite side of the milk and the breads are in the front.  All the processed junk is in the aisles in the middle of the store.  I very rarely go into these aisles any more.  Only to get a few things like seasonings, olive oil, and some other baking goods, occasionally some canned veggies, oatmeal on the cereal aisle and things like that.  I cleaned out my pantry last week and took out everything I no longer eat.  My shelves are almost bare.  I gave the boxed goods away.  That was very empowering!  The next thing I want to try is quinoa.  Have you every had it?  I've been hearing a lot about it in the world of healthier eating, so I decided I should try it.  My local grocery store doesn't carry it though.  I'm going to try the super WalMart today.  If they don't have it, maybe the health food store I buy my daughter's vegetarian meat at will have it.

My kids are learning to stop asking for snacks.  They now eat my sugar free puddings and jell-o or fresh fruit.  Celery with peanut butter is a great snack we love (although I measure my peanut butter to no more than one serving and only have it a couple times a week).

And it's all paying off!  7.8 lbs less in under 3 weeks!  That's awesome.  And not to mention the fact that today is my one month mark of no smoking!  I am well on my way to getting healthy again.