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Thread: Getting Back On Track

  1. #1
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    Getting Back On Track

    Okay, it's high time. I HAVE to start making changes and I feel like I'm starting to be ready. I am kind of appalled at how much I have let myself go in the last year and a half, even before my daughter's death.

    I just got the blood test results back from my physical last week. My total cholesterol is still way too high; it's at 241. And the LDL is high too. I am supposed to do a diet change and stop eating so much saturated fats. It's also a heredity thing. I am kind of glad I have this goal that I need to implement in my life. Living in Madrid is great, but it is a community known for excessive drinking and doing whatever and eating whatever and I am afraid I have taken it to heart, no pun intended. At least I haven't started smoking again. I want to enjoy things still, but to not so much excess. Instead of going to the tavern 4 or 5 times a week I would like to reduce that to maybe 2 or 3 times. It's a bit too much wine on a weekly basis, and it gets very expensive!

    So here is what I am doing ~ now that my foot is mostly healed, I am getting back to walking and hiking. I am going to do it every day, and not just the quick walk on the relatively flat terrain in the mornings. I have three specific places to hike around here that have good, steep elevation that I am adding to my repertoire. I have done two of them in the last two days (oh boy, my calves are feeling the burn)! So I am actively ramping up my physical activity, but in my mind I refuse to think of the end result, like the way I used to view exercise as a way to sculpt my body. I KNOW I will get the end results (getting stronger and hopefully losing a few pounds) IF I just have the motivation to do it every day. It's more like just being present in the moment of hiking and seeing what is around the bend, having fun exploring the terrain, distracting my mind from my grief and staying away from the bar at Happy Hour.

    I feel like I have aged so much in the past few months. My body doesn't bounce back the way it used to. I am also currently in physical therapy due to some lower back and hip issues that have been plaguing me. In addition, I have the whole wrist issue and that surgery in the future. The things I can control are my diet (which has gotten a bit to lax) and my daily exercise. I told my boyfriend that I am going to be changing my diet and he is welcome to try it with me, but no longer am I going to eat meat six days a week like we've been doing. I need to go back to the way I ate when I lived in Michigan and worked at Wholefoods. I only ate meat about twice a week then and the rest was all vegetarian stuff. I am going to go back to the things I used to cook and cook at home more. Somehow I got into this thing where I would buy pre-made stuff because it is so much easier. It is hard to keep a well-stocked cupboard here when I live so far from grocery stores and go into town only about two days per week but all it requires is a bit more planning, and if I stay out of the bar I will HAVE more time for cooking and planning!

    Anyway, just rambling at this point but I feel motivated now which is good; last week I had a few days were I was feeling quite depressed about everything and have been worried about myself wondering if I was going to slide further down mentally. I just do not want to go down any further in my mind, and a good way to alleviate those despairing feelings is to get out in the sunshine and get my body moving and have a good project to focus on - my health.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Good for you, SQ!

    I simply would repeat the standard advice about taking it gradually and not writing off an entire day or week because of a setback. I have no doubt you can do all this, but I do doubt it will be executed perfectly from the get-go. So be good to yourself as you make the changes.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  3. #3
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    Yes!

    would you like a buddy?

    my plan is to do yoga three mornings a week and swim the other two evenings - my weekend exercise is supposed to be yard and barn work, and I need to make an effort to get outside every day.

    last week I got in three yoga and one swim. Today I am heading out to work on stalls.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    Yes, I would like a buddy CL! I have today off so we are going to go hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest. It'll be hot here but not nearly as hot as in June and July. I am looking forward to being under some tall tress and spending time with my boyfriend. Good luck on your Sunday activities!

    A funny note: at this minute I am cooking up the rest of a package of bacon (geez, I NEVER buy bacon except it was required in the one recipe I did last week that needed a little for flavoring). Since I don't want to waste it, I am going to have two slices for breakfast with my eggs and use the rest for roasted brussel sprouts tomorrow. Then I won't ever buy it again, unless it is turkey bacon.

    Baby steps, grasshopper, baby steps....

    Thanks Steve, I *know* I will not be perfect by any means, but as I make changes each day the good choices will start outweighing the bad choices and I know I will feel better and better. Just the success of a few good choices each day always spurs me on. I am also looking forward to sleeping better as I get more physical exercise.

  5. #5
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    I totally get it, i am a couple years younger and the body is slower to heal. I started at the beginning of last summer improving my health, and lost about 10 lbs. It was all activity and sugar really. So now I am in a place to have a balanced life and I am very slowly losing some weight and feeling better.

    Real hiking is the best! I am jealous because I didnt get out this weekend. The outside strolls are nice but I understand what you are talking about. Maybe post a picture for those not lucky enough to live in the west.

  6. #6
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    Small changes really add up. I lost 40lbs 3 years ago and it made a huge difference. I changed my diet and did lots of walking. I love to hike but had to give it up as it sent my BP and heart rate way too high even though I am on medication to control both.

  7. #7
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    SiouzQ, Bravo! I would think just getting through the day is enough. Your plans to eat better and exercise more doing what you want (hiking) sound healing. I second Steve's comment about being kind to yourself. Baby steps is right!

  8. #8
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    I cleaned stalls.

    how was your hike?

    if you make something really good for dinner, i’d Love to hear that too - i’m Always looking for vegetarian ideas that will appeal to my meat eating dh.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    Oh lordy, we were not paying much attention to the trail map, all we saw was "let's do the triangle loop! Wev'e never done the triangle loop before!"

    So off we go, it's an absolutely stellar sunny, not-too-hot day. We are going down and down under the ponderosa pines and aspens, and down some more, back and forth through switchbacks. We finally get to a mountain stream and some ladies there told us to make sure we took the correct turn at the fork so we don't end up on the really long trail. So we are hiking, and hiking - hours go by, we've missed lunch by a long shot. I have no idea what we were thinking when we started out but it turns out the trail was five miles in length! At about 9000 ft in altitude. By the time we got on the third leg of the triangle loop I was getting really, really tired and my legs were aching. My calves were screaming at the downhills and I get worried about my boyfriend because he is diabetic and I am always afraid he'll have a blood sugar crash when we are far away from help. We kept plodding along, up and down and up and down, in and out of the hot sun...slow and steady. Man, were we slow. People kept passing us on the trail. I was running out of water and energy. We kept plodding away. Of course the last 50 yards of the trail up to the parking lot is one of the steepest parts too. I was so happy when I saw the glint of sunlight on a fender through the trees! Civilization at last!

    In hindsight, there was so much we should have paid attention to. It's not like hiking in the woods of Michigan. First off, carry more water! Secondly, pay attention to the trail head map! Understand the mileage involved! Take more food and snacks, especially for a diabetic.

    It was fun, and I do have a sense of accomplishment. Now I am going to hydrate and take a little nap for a bit. My calves will be VERY sore tomorrow, but it feels good to have had all that physical activity.

  10. #10
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    We made those types of mistakes when first moved from the Midwest to the West.

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