Christine's Health Blog

Chronicles of Healthy Living

Losing Weight Again :) 05/03/2015

Good morning! I’ve been getting up early, even on the weekends. I was up at 5 am today. I feel rested, so I’m just needing less sleep lately. That is fine. I like being a morning person and waking up early naturally.

I believe it is due to the reduction of the last two of my medications. I feel clearer-headed and not so drowsy. I’ve been feeling great overall, actually. Things have never been better.

Also, my mood is better. I’m almost always in a good mood and often in a great mood. I’m just really happy.

And I’ve lost some weight🙂 I’ve lost 5 of the 7 pounds that I gained over the winter in the last 6 weeks! I have simply cut back on my portions gradually. Maintenance is a learning process, and eventually I’ll “get it.”

In fact, just this week I realized how much better I feel when I’m not bloated and feeling sick from eating a big meal. I actually feel better when my stomach is empty than when it is overly full. Which, my meals used to be really big, so when I ate, I always felt crappy afterwards, especially because of my GI issues (I get stomach pain and other symptoms when I eat too much in one sitting). And eating fast and taking big bites doesn’t help either, because my stomach doesn’t digest food as well as it should.

So I’ve cut back a little more on the meat at breakfast and dinner to help reduce the overly full/bloated feeling. I was definitely eating more meat than I should have at dinner, and I had an upset stomach every night from it.

So, for example, instead of 3 eggs and 3 bacon at breakfast, I’m eating 2 of each (plus veggies), and instead of 2 hamburgers at dinner, I’m eating only 1. I feel better on these smaller portions and I feel that they are more normal in size for a woman (women need less protein than men). I have not reduced my veggies or changed my lunch meal, because lunch is only a salad with protein on top (usually fish or seafood) and not overly filling.

So I feel like I’m getting control over how much I eat, and the fact that I feel better having less food in my stomach has allowed me to be fine with eating less and more aware of how much food I actually need. Even better, it has helped rid me of my food addiction (finally!). Food is less important and tantalizing to me. I feel that this is a turning point in my health journey…and a very significant one.

I never thought I would be completely free from my food addiction, but now I think it’s possible. I’m not convinced yet that I’m completely free from it, because it’s only been a week of this new lifestyle and perspective, but once I see it go on for longer with consistency, I will know for sure.

I have come so far physically and mentally as a result of this weight loss journey. One example is that I enjoy exercising now and I want to do it regularly. In fact, I feel bad physically when I’m sedentary. I get aches and pains when I’ve been sitting for too long or haven’t worked out in a few days. When this happens, I crave a workout.

It’s amazing how even just a 10 minute workout a day is enough. I’ve gotten my husband into working out too, and I’ve told him this tip. Everyone can fit a 10 minute workout into their day! It makes such a difference.

We have enough time to do anything we want to do…we just need to make the time for it. We do what is most important to us. If we say that we don’t have time to do something, it’s actually that it is not important enough to us to make the time for it. It’s not that we don’t have enough time; we are simply not making time for it.

I’ve been training for the races that I’ll be doing this spring, summer, and fall. I’m working on increasing my distance and my pace. I’m seeing improvements. I want to do a 10K race (I’ve only done 5Ks so far), which is 6 miles. I’m up to running 5 miles right now – non-stop. I can’t believe I’ve done this. I’ve just been increasing my one weekly long run by 1/2 mile each week, so it’s been doable and not noticeable.

I’m also doing one 3-mile run during the week as a short run to keep my body in shape for running. I hope to do another shorter run with my husband sometime to help him improve his running.

3 runs a week is the most I would do. I can’t run two days in a row or else I will start getting chronic hip or knee pain. So I have to limit my running, but I also have to run enough to stay in shape for it and progress with it. This schedule seems to work good for me.

Until next time…

 

Race Day! 04/11/2015

Filed under: Races — Christine Rice @ 8:17 AM
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Tomorrow is the big day. My fourth 5K race. Wow, I can’t believe that since November of last year, I’ve done four races! I’m really looking forward to this one. I’ve been training for the last month, and although I’ve only been running twice a week – to keep my running to a minimum, due to my bad knees, joints, hips, pelvis, etc. (lol) – I’ve managed to improve my pace from over a 14 minute mile to under a 12 minute mile.

However, the temperature is going to be 10 degrees warmer than what I’ve run so far this year, so it’s not going to be easy. In addition to being hotter, it’s going to be sunny, and since I’m susceptible to heat stroke, I have to be careful. I’ll be dressing coolly and wearing a hat and sunglasses to protect me. I expect my pace to be slower because of the big difference in the weather, but I’m still going to try my hardest!
My goal for the race is 38 minutes, which is a 12 minute mile, since the course is 3.26 miles. It’s good to have a goal to strive for while running. More important than meeting that exact time is having a good experience. I will try to be in a good frame of mind for the race, which should be fairly easy to do, since my last run went great.

Today I’ll be going to the running store to get fitted for new running sneakers. I will get my gait analyzed again, to see if it has changed at all, since I’ve been working on my posture and form and I’ve been going to the chiropractor, and because I’ll be going to a different store, so I’ll get a second opinion. I had previously planned on doing this on this date, and then I realized that I’ll be able to wear the new sneakers for the race. Plus, it is where I’ll be registering for the race and picking up my race stuff, which is an odd coincidence.

My next race is in two months, so I’ll be able to train even more for that one. Then I have one in September. Those races I’ll definitely be doing, and I’ll also look into more, if there are any in my area. My goal is to be a great runner by the end of the warm weather. It’s just beginning, so I should be able to accomplish my goal.

Enjoy the beautiful spring weather!

Do you do any outdoor exercise? What are your fitness goals for the warm weather months?

 

A Quick Update… 04/04/2015

Filed under: Exercise,Races — Christine Rice @ 8:46 AM
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I know it’s been over a month since I’ve written. I haven’t had any good news to report in the weight department. I’ve gained a few more pounds, actually. Although, I’ve been eating healthy 100% and I’m comfortable in my body now. In fact, I like my body, despite the sagginess in places from losing 100+ pounds. I feel sexy for the first time in a long time.

I’ve started using a natural asthma supplement before I go running. I hadn’t run in 3 months when I did my last race. In fact, I didn’t train for it at all, and I did horribly. The race was in the middle of last month. My next race is in about one week. I’ve been training for it, running twice a week, working up to 2 miles. However, my performance is still not great (13/14 min mile). I think it will take time to build my stamina back up. But I will still do races, regardless of my performance, because I love the experience.

I’m still going to the chiropractor weekly, and I’ve been able to run without any pain, which is a true blessing. I ran the last race with only a little pain at the end, which was an improvement from the race before, when I had pain 2 minutes into the race. So there’s been some improvement, and I believe the chiropractic care has helped.

My husband is getting into exercise again, and I’m so happy for him. Great job, honey!

Have a marvelous weekend, all!

 

A Slight Gain 02/22/2015

Filed under: Diet,Weigh-ins — Christine Rice @ 8:22 AM
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Whenever I get below my goal weight, I think I can increase the amount of food I eat (i.e. eat however much I want), but then I end up gaining a few pounds the following month. So I believe the scale is not helping me at this point. It is not helping me to listen to my body and eat a normal amount at all times. It’s messing with my mind by changing how much I think I should eat.

So I got to 2.5 pounds below my goal weight (after a gain of course) and then I gradually increased the amount of eggs and bacon/sausage I ate at breakfast (which are very high in calories in case you didn’t know) every day, until I was eating double a normal amount.

So from this, I gained 3 pounds the month before last, but I continued overeating, thinking my weight would stabilize at that amount. But suddenly I got smart and realized that some of my portions were just way too big. So I’ve slowly cut back my portions the last week or two and I’m back to a normal amount of food again.

So I only gained 1 pound this last month (weigh-in was yesterday). I think I gained more during the month and then lost some when I reduced my portions, because my clothes are starting to fit better again. So I’m actually happy about the 1 pound gain, since I know it would have been more if I hadn’t changed my eating.

So I plan on continuing to eat my new normal amount, weigh-in once more in one month to make sure I’m heading in the right direction, and then give up the scale. Apparently, weighing myself is not a good thing anymore. I will only get weighed at the doctor’s office when I go.

I easily get obsessed with the scale, so I think it’s a good thing to give it up. How my clothes fit will tell me how I’m doing.

Have you banished the scale? If so, how did you do it? How long has it been since you weighed yourself?

 

Becoming Medication-Free 02/14/2015

As part of my journey to improving my health, including my physical health, with my doctor who practices functional medicine, we have decided that it is a good idea for me to be weaned off my medications to restore my hormones to normal levels.

My hormonal imbalance is the only physical health issue that I’m experiencing right now, and it is highly likely that my medications are causing this imbalance. So if I no longer take the medications, my hormones will return to normal levels, so I can be a healthier and happier person!

I’ve been taking these medications for the last 15 years, ever since I had a nervous breakdown in 2000. To save you the sad details, I was living a very unhealthy lifestyle back then. Now that my physical health is nearly restored – from diet, exercise, and supplements (the latter is temporary) – and my lifestyle is now a healthy one, my doctor does not believe that I need the medications that I was put on all those years ago.

I wanted to share this, because it is part of my journey to becoming an all-around healthy person. It is best to be on as few medications as possible, as they are chemicals and chemicals are toxic to the body. Plus, the body adapts to medication, which reduces its effectiveness, which is why dosages often have to be increased to maintain the same effect. A healthy lifestyle can do wonders for the body and can make it so less (or no) medication is needed. Medication should be a last resort.

However, it is hard for everyone to live a perfectly healthy lifestyle if they are not ready for it, and I understand this. I also understand that everyone is different, and some people absolutely need medications for chronic illnesses. But keep in mind that lifestyle plays a big part and it is possible to heal from some illnesses. Plus, some illnesses are actually temporary, so the medication is only needed in the short-term, which was the case with me. However, until I changed my lifestyle, I was dependent on the medications. So it was my lifestyle, not the biochemistry of my body, that needed fixing.

So I’m happy to report that the plan is for me to slowly go off all of my medications. Of course, that is the goal, and the journey to getting there may prove a different end result. But I am hopeful. I believe my doctor is right – that I don’t need the medications anymore. I’ve already started tapering them as instructed by my doctor. I’m excited to be medication-free someday.

Have you been able to go off any medications due to the health problem being a short-term one or resolving itself? Do you take supplements instead of medications to treat any health conditions? What are your experiences?

 

Meditation for Improving Mental Health 02/07/2015

I feel like I’ve been in a bad mood almost all the time lately. I’ve taken on more work duties, some days working double what I used to work, and it’s put a damper on my personality. I’ve been feeling stressed (mental stress that I put on myself) and this has made me crabby.

I was sick of always being in a bad mood, easily irritated when I was feeling okay, and just feeling uptight all the time. I knew that not taking breaks from work during the day and no longer meditating daily (I used to do 30-60 minutes a day every night) was leaving me feeling miserable. I also wasn’t exercising, because of my chiropractic adjustments and the bad weather. So I didn’t have an outlet for my stress. And because I put high expectations on myself and I’m a perfectionist, I felt a lot of pressure and anxiety.

So I realized yesterday morning, almost like an epiphany, that I could take 5 minute meditation breaks after every hour of work and I would probably feel a lot better. 5 minutes was something I could spare, even every hour, and I felt that it would be really beneficial. So I did that all day yesterday…and it worked! Meditating every hour made me aware of how much stress I experienced during the day, how the stress built up quickly, how much I needed breaks to clear my mind, and how effective a plan it was!

I think meditating throughout the day is necessary for me to keep my stress at bay and to have a better mood while working more. I don’t like being in a bad mood, feeling a lot of mental stress, or having others experience my bad mood either. I hope that if I continue this routine, I will feel even better than I currently do. I feel that I have a lot of built up stress stored in my body that will take time to release. I’m hopeful regular meditation will help with that, so it is a plan I will continue.

Do you make sure you take breaks from work? Do you have a break schedule? Do you meditate at all? How do you relieve your stress?

 

Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health 01/24/2015

Hello, all. Sorry for the lapse between posts. I’ve been meaning to post but then I lost the inspiration to write. A lot has been going on, however.

I’m still seeing the chiropractor. In fact, I go twice a week. I don’t know how long it will take before my body is corrected, but they continue to make adjustments each time I go. I’ve seen some temporary and intermittent improvements. Hopefully, eventually the improvements will happen in other areas and will be lasting.

I’m also seeing my massage therapist, Robin at Pathways to Wellness, every two weeks, who is awesome and I’m so grateful for. She has helped me in spite of my misaligned body, which creates knots and tension that she has to deal with at each appointment! She makes it so I’m not in physical pain all the time and relieves my mental stress too. I believe my mental stress (and misaligned skeleton) is why I have so much tension in my muscles.

Mental stress is something I deal with on a daily basis. I’m naturally a high-strung person, caught up in my thoughts, always trying to get to the future (and not enjoying the present), and all of this creates mental stress. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I meditate daily, focus my attention on what’s happening in the present as often as possible, spend time enjoying nature, exercise regularly, go to bed early, and eat healthy (the latter three I’ve been doing for a while, but the first three are new). It is incredible how my state of mind and body affects my reality! I feel I’ve truly found the secret to true happiness…being in the present moment.

Think about it…the majority of the time we are thinking about past events or projecting into the future. They both can create depression and anxiety. If we simply focus on what’s happening in the present moment, we have no stress or anxiety, because the present is never that bad – it’s always manageable. Our thoughts make our life hard to manage, because they stress us out! Additionally, how we perceive our reality is relative and tainted by our past experiences, how we see ourselves and our life, and how we feel about the future. Therefore, our thoughts affect our reality and are simply mental images that distract us from the present and true reality!

The truth is, we are each a spirit within a physical form with forms (people, living things, objects) all around us. Our internal energy (our spirit) is the same in everyone, which are essentially all connected, and altogether, make up the source of life, who we truly are. We are this energy that has been dispersed into human forms, living things, and even objects. As people, our personalities, interests, professions, social status, possessions, wealth, and even gender, race, and ethnicity all make up our outer form and ego, but they are not who we truly are. Who we truly are is that internal energy that constantly fuels our body, that which makes us feel alive. You can feel this energy – your true self – if you close your eyes, breathe, relax, and focus on your body rather than your thoughts. Eventually you will feel your body’s energy growing, almost pulsating, as it is similar to a stream of water flowing through your body (also known as “chi” in Chinese culture).

My ideas come from reading Eckhart Tolle’s books, The Power of Now and A New Earth. I am very happy to recommend him and his work, because his ideas are amazing and life-changing. Reading his books and watching videos of him on YouTube have allowed me to be a less stressed person most of the time and generally more peaceful inside. This has allowed me to handle more work duties while feeling more at ease!

This increased spirituality and inner peace has also allowed me to reduce my medications and I am in the process of going off of them – all of them (a future blog post) – and dealing with life and my health naturally. This is a new step on my health journey where I will become more peaceful, less stressed, and medication-free, which means better mental and physical health (I believe my body pains will also improve from this due to less stress), as well as better social health (from a reduced ego – another future blog post). And the cause of these improvements is better spiritual health.

So, all aspects of the body (the organs, the muscles, the bones, the body processes, the spirit, and physical, mental, social, and spiritual health) are connected to each other and affect each other. So it is so important to get healthy in mind, body, and spirit to become a truly happy and fulfilled person.

Here’s to peace within you and the world.

 

 
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