Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Road to Wellness

I have not been the best caretaker of my body.  In my old life, I gained some very bad habits.  Many of these bad habits had to do with food and health. The last year and a half I have been working to change that. During the old life, I gained a whopping 220 lbs within a fourteen year period.  I allowed my freedom in adulthood to lead to overindulgence.  I need now to work back to some of the older healthier habits of my youth. I am not expecting to be less than 200 lbs.  I will be happy with less than 250lbs. 

One bad habit has been the over reliance on convenience foods.  That is everything from canned soups and chilies, to frozen dinners and entrées, to pre-packaged things I could make myself.  I used to cook all the time from scratch.  My current living situation has made that difficult.  I am going to finish all my frozen and canned items then stop buying them.  Some things I will still buy, like the Thai rice noodle soups (they look like ramen), yogurt, instant oatmeal, and the Zatarain’s boxed meals.  Simple things like Guacamole and Tzatziki will be made at home. What makes the living situation difficult is my lack of kitchen equipment. The instant/ microwaveable oatmeal I will keep for portion control reasons.

I love cooking and I am quite good at it.  Getting back into the habit is not going to be easy.  There are challenges in no longer having the kitchen equipment I used to have.  I cannot lament the loss of what I left behind in leaving my old household. That just ends up a pity party.  This time around the choices are solely my own.

I have already limited my Soda Pop consumption to 3-5 times a week from that amount a day since January of 2015.  Since April my Soda Pop consumption is now at 5-10 times a month.  April of 2015, I removed my candy bars and ice cream.  I am seeing a dietitian. She has helped me come up with alternatives to the ice cream, my biggest weakness, fruit juice bars, frozen fresh grapes, frozen yogurt and sorbets.  Another thing I replaced the sweets with is fruit.  I am increasing the fresh fruit consumption.  I have one snacking weakness that I have kept Bacon Jerky.  It is like meat crack for me.  That is why two bags a month is the limit.  I also eat 4 Cliff Bars and 16 pieces of fruit leather a month.  Another step is making my own tortilla chips.  A suggestion I got was to bake them with a drizzle of olive oil.

I am not working on a diet.  I am working on a lifestyle change.  Another old habit is the avoidance or limited amount of wheat products.  My family (my parents, brother and I) is very sensitive to wheat products. I have been trying to limit that incredibly since I started the new life. I eat more rice, corn (maize), and potato products instead. I am also increasing the good fatty foods, avocados, olive oil and the like.  I am also helping friends who are new to avoiding wheat and or gluten. So far their response to my suggestions has been great.  Having had to deal with the wheat intolerance diagnosis since the 1970’s, I know a few things and tricks of the trade, so to speak.

In June 2014, I began a physical activity regimen.  I walk a mile every other day.  The plan is two days on one off after June 2015. I had been having serious issues with stamina prior to the walking.  I have been getting better, but in some ways it does not feel fast enough.  This is a marathon not a sprint, so I am trying to show patience. I already am able to do more.  I used to be able only to mow one lawn a day now I can do two, unless they are long.  These are very large lawns. 

Portion control has been another thing I have been working on.  I used to eat a small breakfast, one yogurt then a big dinner.  Now I am eating small amounts every 2 to 3 hours.  I only eat when I hungry.  My large Kellogg’s cereal bowls are in retirement.  Two months ago went from using them to a standard cereal/soup bowl.  Now cold cereals are gone for oatmeal, which is more satisfying at smaller portions.  I use to eat box meals of frozen bagged meals all in a sitting.  That is something I am working on resolving.  I have had wonderful input from friends on my Facebook page.

In April I added more vegetables to my eating schedule. I am adding them to many of my meals.  I also have been eating a serving at a small meal as well.  It is mostly frozen vegetables at this time, but I plan to add more fresh as time goes on.

A year and a half ago I was started on a blood pressure medicine.  It turns out two family members had adverse reactions to it.  My previous medical clinic ignored my concerns.  They are no longer my clinic.  That same clinic put me on diabetes medication when I did not have a diabetes diagnosis, but was high risk.  Some of those medications make people physically dependent of them to function.  I was unsure of that too.  Those concerns were also ignored.  My clinic transitioned me off the blood pressure medication and removed the diabetes medication from my prescriptions.   There are other health concerns being worked out.

This is a work in progress. I am by no means at any of my goals.  I cannot give up.  In the past my father offered use of his mobility scooters.  That is not going to happen.  As long as I can stand I will walk.  I may need to sit down from time to time, but I cannot use those scooters.  That to me is clearly giving up. I was told to use the riding lawn mowers.  I need to put one to get my stamina back. 

I have a good support network in friends and family.  I cannot get so discouraged that I give up too.  That has been another issue in the past.  This Has Been My Not So Humble Opinion.

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