Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I wish I had thought about this when I was at the gym.

I keep saving images and ideas and forgetting to save the actual link,
I owe someone credit for this piece.

My partner took me to the gym the other night and my heart just was not in it, I ended up walking for about 15 minutes, "stretching", and then sitting around. I also wandered and looked at bulletin boards and artwork pensively.

I had too much on my mind and I found that walking, which is my favorite exercise and the start to my routine, just was not distracting me or making me feel good. I just kept thinking more and sort of feeling like my thoughts would knock me over.

I got yer link right here!

I have never felt that way before. I did not turn to my Todd for help because I was glad he was busy exercising and I did not want to interupt.

Aside: Todd
hit the top of the cardio heart rate on the elliptical for the first time since this summer. This is a big deal for him! Snaps to Todd!

Todd has been working out 3 times a week with cardiac rehab staff since August and he is now on his own. I am very proud of him.

My goal is to get back to the gym this week and to "fake it until [I] make it", as a mentor once preached to me. If my thoughts overcome me, I will just walk slower or go and do some weight machines, or perhaps some actual stretches and deep breathing.

Meanwhile, my daily weighing for the study is going well. I do not enjoy it, but I do it and the cat helps me remember.

"Meeeeweigh yourself and give me a treat oooow!"

Last week and this week my weight has barely moved. It is down but stable, I am not sure why. I guess I have plateaued, but I really have not done a decent job of controlling my diet quality and I have not exercised that much.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Work Workout

Yesterday I did not go to the gym with my partner. He tried to get me to go, but I knew I was too tired and had too much work to do by today.

Slight dramatization. I am much more pale with fair colored hair. Plus, I am female.

I know, it is a terrible thing to put work before exercise and wellness, but it really was a time to work late with good reason. Trying to work less and take more time for myself could be a whole different blog!

I wish I could do more exercising while I worked!

Well, not exactly.

Standing and moving around at work is always nice; stretching at your desk while on a conference call, taking the stairs, and walking to the furthest bathroom or copy machine to get a few more steps in- depending on your needs.

A standing height desk (or adjustable desk) would be great! There are several benefits that have been found by those who choose this option, including better back health and feeling more alert.

Look at how fit and content she is, plus her desk is so organized!
I would keep my Dansko's over heels though and that cord is a safety hazard!

I have long considered a balance ball chair for better posture and constant core strengthening.

NO! Not that kind of ball chair!

This Kind:

This is NOT how I would use it, I mean, how can she read her emails from that angle?

I tend to wiggle my legs around and get restless as a rule, so a structure balance ball chair might help me use that excess energy to my benefit. I wish I could test one for a week before committing to it though.

Now this is the stuff! And her desk is neat and organized too!

Maybe when the network is down I could use the chair for some stretched while I make phone calls?

Well, let's not get carried away...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


My Health Coach just called for my monthly check in.

Admittedly, I signed up for this benefit for the opportunity for $$ if I complied. I am chatty, I like to answer questions, why not?

I am looking great! Beautiful posture and winning smile!

Well, I guess I am a sucker because I have long passed the required number of calls and I keep on trucking with my health coach. I always forget her name, but she lives in Ohio and is nice.

She has been very supportive of me and has given me credit (or slack) for the big stress in my life since May. I have listened to her and appreciated her rah-rah-rah attitude.

Last month she encouraged me to really minimize my goal for November. She talked me into making a goal of going to the gym or playing Wii intensely once per week. I was also supposed to do some mental health work.

The overachiever in me thought that was pretty lame, but I humored her.

I actually am taking Spanish and sort of polishing off my French.

She just called to check in with me and I blew that goal out of the water and I feel AWESOME!!

I went to the gym about 3 times a week and did several mental health care activities.

She is so smart. Set the bar low and feel amazing and motivated!

Off to sign up for fencing and physics classes now...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Heart troubles coming on...

First off, I just got home from the gym with my Todd. for the first time he had to find me because I was still exercising and he was ready to leave!

I am not going to guess how much the New Yorker article on
Wes Anderson influenced my getting there.


Second, I have had more interaction with cardiologists, endocrinologists, and other metabolic experts in the last year than I care to count. I am grateful for all of them, I just wish I never had to meet them!

It is a love/hate relationship.

Unfortunatly, a loved one was treated for their 2nd heart attack/disturbance/major artery blockage today. I am grateful for those caring for them, for their choice to seek help, and for their health insurance. I am very grateful that they are recovering nicely and can continue this wonderful life.

I bring this up because as I waited for news and absorbed this reality today, I kept thinking about the elements of our health that we can control.

There are so many factors involved in our health: genetics, fate, environment, circumstance, HOWEVER, despite the efforts of public health professionals, public policy makers, and health care researchers, millions of us do not take control of the elements of our health that we can impact.
Remember: I am not a health professional or a graphic designer.
I urge you to seek professional advice for your health and promotional materials.

For me, I struggle with diet and exercise. I trust that what "they say" about a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and being physically active is true, but I struggle to live it.

Par exemple: This open faced Croque -monsieur was fantastic and had 3 dipping sauces! 3!
It was delicious with nearly zero nutritional value. Le sigh.

People spend a lot of energy worrying and discussing all the terrible health problems that occur in this life to ourselves and others, news media outlets make a killing feeding a culture of health care fears. People spend a lot of money trying to find the fitness secret that will save them, some find it but not without a lot of sacrifice and commitment to lifestyle change (the hard part).
Many sacrifice Oreos, for example.

I am still searching for my best game plan for a new normal of healthy foods and consistent exercise. I have been exploring cookbooks, changing how I shop, taking nutrition classes, trying nutritional supplements (ground flax seed and fish oil), and of course facing the gym. This blog is one of my personal attempts to stay on task- I think to myself: "tell the world, and then live it!". I also like to track what I have tried and to hear feedback from others.

There are so many ways to improve your diet and exercise and invaluable health related reasons why it is important to try, to explore, to think twice and to ask for help. Some are peer based, some are spiritual, some are fun, some are strict, some are social, some are free, some are expensive, some are sweaty, some are heavy, some require a surgeon, and some can be dangerous.

You are invaluable! Take care of yourself!

It is very overwhelming, but thankfully there are many others in the same boat and they can help you to get motivated and see results. Success stories can be found all over, like in books, online (some are linked in the right had nav), on tv, and at your local gym. I thank you and Google for this blog, it is not much to look at, but it does help me keep tabs on myself. Let me know if you would like to join me, or pipe in with your own ideas!

I wish you clarity and patience as you seek the best ways to stay healthy. Of course I wish you health!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nobody's fault but my own.

Today on FML:
Today, it’s decided, I’m going a diet. For real. But I said that yesterday. And the day before. FML

I can relate, but cannot agree.No, this is not a "FML" worthy scenario. This is my fault, my lack of self control, my lack of commitment.

I believe in eating whole foods and I know that I need to overcome my sweet tooth, my habit of eating out, my resistance to exercise, and my sporadic cooking schedule.
I believe these are reasonable and feasible.

I can change, I can try again. I am doing the best I can, and I know I am not alone.

Todd and I are in a little competition to see who can lose 10 pounds first. I will post our method of tracking, etc once we get officially started. I am not so much motivated by the competition, but by my desire for him to be healthy and follow doctors orders, and he reminds me that he wants the same for me.

This weekend we tried to go to the gym together, but it was closed early. We went home and played SingStar together in duet mode.

Shake it!

We danced and sang, we broke a nice sweat.

We plugged in our neglected Wii controllers for future at home workouts together.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In which I shame NPR for luring me with a doughnut to talk about belly bugs!

(I have no clue why the fonts are all messed up, sorry!)

NPR had a little piece today on some early mice based research on fatty food and an increase in MICROBES LIVING IN OUR DIGESTIVE TRACKS!


They lured me into the piece online with a delicious picture of a doughnut in coffee. The nerve!

Not the photo. In fact, this is the least alluring doughnut and coffee picture EVER!
I will be working on burning this image into my brain.

I suppose if they put a picture of microbes I would have run away screaming and never read/listened.

Giant Stomach Microbe Plush Toy! Sorta cuter than the doughnut picture. Sorta?

The Gut Response To What We Eat

by Nell Greenfieldboyce

"A high-fat, high-sugar diet can quickly and dramatically change the population of microbes living in the digestive tract, according to a new study of human gut bugs transplanted into mice."

Thank you, brave Mice, for helping humankind!

PS: I am sure Nell Greenfieldboyce is a lovely person, but her promo picture makes her looked possessed! Or as if she is trying to seduce us. Look:

"You will make a donation during the pledge drive this month.
And the pledge drive next month too."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I was dragged to the gym!

My partner is starting to phase out of his highly monitored fitness classes, hooray for Todd!

Last night he made me go to the gym with him.

Well, he was assigned by his instructors to go on his own and earlier in the evening I was totally stoked to join him! I really was, ask him.

Wahoo, let's go to the gym!

But I had started working at home and fallen asleep (deep cat nap) by the time he was ready to go. I tried so hard in my half-awake state to get out of going to the gym. I think I put up a pretty great, really whiny fight.

Todd is the dragn. Missy is the kitteh.

He won. I reluctantly went to the gym.

Todd gloating because he got me to the gym OR me celebrating because I went to the gym?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Macro Awesome!

Ok, so we have practically no food in our house. Honestly. Where does all the time go?

I'll tell you what, eating healthy takes time and budget management, so I am floundering right now. I hope to get my kitchen act together.

I have been trying to bring my own lunch, which is wonderful on so many levels, but I had to buy my lunch today and I bought Macro Vegetarian Thai Dumplings at the little store by the post office in Coffman Memorial Union.

Macro Vegetarian Thai Dumplings are not pictured here, but this is what their friends look like.

What a happy plate! Yum! Flavorful, hearty and smells delicious too!
Happy plate decoupage from this etsy shop.

Plus the dish is macro-biotic and vegan with pretty great nutritional value.

Healthy! And I have been weighing myself everyday for the study, it is odd to do.

The drag is that the meal cost $5.99. Not something to get everyday, but perhaps inspiration for meals to prepare at home. I guess that is less than the awesome salad bar at Coffman costs.

One other bonus is that if I took the stairs up and down to the East River Road to get to Coffman I burn some calories and build some muscle. How much money is that worth?

Soon these steps will be closed for the winter and I will watch people try to walk or slide cautiously down them from my office.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Research Kharma, or Facing the Scale for the Benefit of All

As you may have read before, I am not a fan of weighing myself or knowing the actual mass measurement associated with my body. I know I need to lose mass. For my health, and because I cannot afford to buy new clothes! (Ha!)

I am scared of the reality in spite of my intelligence.

When I was younger, I my pants got a little tight once a month, but I always went back down. Then suddenly that changed and I have yet to successfully change my behavior to match my body's needs.

Well, as you may have read before, my friend researches obesity behavior. She has published works (which I have ignored despite my respect for her) that show there is evidence that daily weigh-ins are correlated with people successfully losing weight.

This woman is not my friend and with that attitude she may never be my friend.

Tonight I embark on my second stint in a weight loss research study, this time I will have to weigh myself how ever many times my random selected study group protocol tells me.

Fancy space scale.

I am doing this for participants in studies I recruited for in my years of work in research.
I am doing this for myself.
I will commit to it for my friend! I do not want to botch her study results with poor participation. Plus I get anxious about breaking rules!

I have been eating better, now I will weigh in, and hopefully exercise more from the terror on the scale!

And let me tell you, telling a friend your weight honestly is pretty humbling in itself. My friend was professional and kind. Thanks, friend!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Goodreads review that I wrote pasted here for you!

The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Cookbook: Hundreds of Favorite Recipes Created to Combat Congestive Heart Failure and Dangerous Hypertension The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Cookbook: Hundreds of Favorite Recipes Created to Combat Congestive Heart Failure and Dangerous Hypertension by Donald A. Gazzaniga

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My 37 year old husband has had a rough year. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and then had a very damaging heart attack. Like the author of this book, he was told he may need a heart transplant. Of course he/we have been eating better and trying to find the most flavor bang for our buck AND sodium count. We love to eat out and try all kinds of foods and we wanted to keep that as a part of our life. I have loved this book because it reads like more than a cook book. I enjoyed sitting down and reading it, I looked forward to going back to it despite the fact that I was so bummed about NEEDING it in my life when I picked it up. I cannot say that about many of the chronic disease diet books I have been browsing!

In addition to the recipes, the book gives a great primer on low-sodium eating, where sodium is found, what it is used for, and how to live low-sodium all the time. The author goes to great lengths in his own life to be at around 500mg of sodium a day, super low, and it is inspiring to read his commentary. I also like the board of people he used to help write the book. Even better, my husband and I have enjoyed all of the recipes we have tried so far. I like how the recipes are not bland and all areas of dinning are covered (comfort food, holidays, potlucks, light snacks, dressings, salads, sweets). The nutrition information on each dish is included, which is helpful for other areas of diet that we are monitoring.

The book has me excited because it is helping me adapt my cooking and shopping to what I was hoping: that being low-sodium does not mean flavorless and boring.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Psyching myself up for safety!

Ok, I am still making excuses for not getting to the gym. I am disappointed in myself and I am dreading the next call from my health coach.

One excuse I have for avoiding the gym is safety when walking or biking to the gym at night. It is only 7-8 blocks away, odds are nothing will happen, but I get nervous carrying any sort of bag with me or wearing a bulky coat.

I purchased these babies after I told myself I would make them myself for about 5 months:

Wrist Zips!

They have room enough to keep my keys and my gym ID. And I kind of like the fabric pattern; sort of a tribute to the Ska fashioniska I never became.

Sorry, The Specials. I love you but I never bought "the look" and I sold your CDs for a killing before the dawn of MP3s.

Also, I think they could be nice for safety if/when they are not covered by my sweatshirt(s). I need to get some non-black sweatshirts and some safety tape next. Safety tape is expensive!

The wrist zips have not gotten me out to the gym yet, but I have not given up on them!

I have given up on Ska, or out grown it. I will still skank when given the chance!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Healthy cooking in a rush.

I stole this quote from a friend's blog:

"My goal tonight was to use them up before they rotted."

I feel like this is the goal with way too much of my cooking with fresh vegetables! My healthy cooking challenge.

I am inspired by this:

to make something like this:

But I get busy or forgetful and soon the vegetables in the fridge are looking at me like this:

I am working on a better game plan right now and I have learned to accept my limitations, for the sake of food and budget waste. Living in a climate with a short growing season, the vegetables will soon be pretty pricy, like 99cents per green pepper. That always seems like a lot to me.

How much are green peppers in other states?

Future topic:

Food dehydrators!
Do you have one? Do you use it? Is it good for making low salt, low sugar food? Or are those a part of the process?

I have no clue- I just know that dried food is delicious for snacks but can be so expensive, like Just Corn and Just Raspberries. Those are freeze dried, so I cant afford that machine but I may be able to swing a dehydrator.

I am working on the gym. Anyone out there who would like to motivate me or tag along with me, please pipe up!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I went to the gym tonight

and as a reward, the universe had a copy of a recent People Magazine waiting for me to read!

Thanks, Universe!

In the magazine I saw a brief review of this book:

The Big Skinny: How I Changed My Fattitude

The Big Skinny: How I Changed My Fattitude

"Here’s the skinny: After a lifetime of yo-yo dieting with pills, hypnosis, and ill-informed half-measures, Carol Lay finally shed her excess pounds and kept them off. Now this California cartoonist shares her experiences in a funny, genuine, and eye-popping graphic memoir that tells Carol’s story and shows you how you can do it, too."

Could be a fun read. I enjoy comics and graphic novels. If I ever get aroun to reading this or flipping through it at a store I will let you know.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Now that I'm a major award winner . . .

I'd better actually post about my heroic feats in the world of personal fitness. First off, I smoked all the other runners by jogging an ENTIRE 220yd lap!!! And that was AFTER a courageous 35 minute power walk. Today for some reason my lungs couldn't make the whole 220, but I did power walk 45 minutes interspersed with four or five 100yd jogs. Can I call that interval training? Then it was into the fitness room for 5lb free weights and upper body stuff.

Laugh if you will, but dragging this 47-year-old-fat body to the gym and making it DO things is not easy. Nor is fighting the urge for a congratulatory large iced mocha afterward. I deserve the Nobel for doing this in the first place.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Little Miss Iowa Crowned!

She won our hearts in the fitness competition!

Great job running and walking, Happy to Be From Iowa!!

Your prize:

I am proud of you! You inspire me.

And you are not alone...stay tuned for future honorees!

Everyone- please chime in with your feats of strength! I would love some blog partners.