Friday, December 31, 2010

The Plan

I don't believe in dieting, so I won't diet. People who diet are obsessive and beat themselves up for making mistakes or having weak moments. When it's a special occasion, I will indulge. When I'm hungier on a given day, I will eat. But... I will make good choices, which I do most of the time anyway. My weight has been steady or slowly coming down for the last 5 years. My problem is lack of exercise. Every time I fit exercising into my life, the weight comes down naturally, but I haven't ever been able to make it a daily activity in my life. Laziness, crazy times, etc. So, exercise I shall do.

First, I will walk Henry to and from school (while I can - as I hope to be going back to work soon). Second, I will use the Wii and aerobic videos and once I get into that, I'll look into the gym (as we already have membership). I know me and exercising at home is more likely to happen than having to go somewhere else to do it.

Losing weight without adding fitness, would be torture and disasterous for me - been there, done that. And while I can't say I don't have a weight goal, I'm flexible with it. Ideally, I will lose 75 pounds in the next year, but I would be very happy and satisfied if I lose 50. I can continue from there once I am 42.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Why this blog? Well, I'm doing a lot of soul searching as the end of the year approaches, but let me start with why it is hitting me hard now, more than ever before. I'm 41 years old - just turned. My father died of a heart attack at the age of 42. He was average build and weight, but always had a horrible diet and smoked heavily. Ten years prior to his death he had a horrible accident which I'm sure shortened his life too. Nonetheless, he died at a young age. Just one year older than I am now. While I knew I wasn't living a model life, I ate healthy foods and always felt healthy and strong, until recently.

A few days before my 41st birthday I went to the doctor for chronic headaches. 3 months of every day headaches and before that, months of build-up. I hate doctors. I knew what he was going to say - I need to lose weight, but I didn't expect to hear what I heard (or maybe I did?). Arriving at the doctor's office, my blood pressure was 223/124. Twenty minutes later it was 180/110 and I was allowed to go home, but with a low dose of blood pressure medicine prescription. The next week my prescription quadrupled  (and then later increased double again) as my BP readings continually read in the 220's over 120's. Back to the doctor and with blood work results in I knew I had high blood pressure, an under active thyroid and high blood sugars. Thankfully, my kidneys are/were functioning normally.

I was kidding myself with thinking I was mostly healthy. Deep in my heart I knew I was in bad condition, but I was too terrified to know, thus the avoidance of the doctor for years and years. I think I finally caved in when I knew that daily headaches weren't going to go away and I really was becoming depressed. But I didn't know what direction it had taken. Like, I didn't know I had silent killer blood pressure. I could die of a stroke - younger than my father's death, at 40 or 41, not even making it to 42. I had no idea of my thyroid condition (as I wasn't gaining weight and had actually been slowly losing weight), but I did fear diabetes, which I still don't know if I have or not. As it turns out, I had a reason to be afraid, but maybe I am ready to face it?

That doctor's appointment was on December 3rd. I had been feeling lousy for months, years probably. Within two days, even though my blood pressure was still very high, the headaches were gone AND I was sleeping through the night which I hadn't done in over six years (but most of that time was due to a baby/toddler/preschooler who didn't sleep or woke incessantly). Within a week of taking the thyroid medicines, I started to have more energy (though still not 'normal' feeling yet). I started to feel alive again - and I want to stay alive, where a month before, I didn't really care to live a long life - just long enough to raise my kids. Reality check. I wasn't going to live long enough to raise my kids if I didn't get my act together.

It's a vicious cycle. It's hard to take care of yourself when you don't feel well. So, you just start to feel worse, and then worse and so on. I was there. But with a couple little pills, my life has changed so dramatically that it's an upward spiral. My blood pressure is now perfect. I feel better, so I want to do something good for myself and my body. It's started with simply getting enough sleep!!!! No headaches (haven't had a headache in 3 weeks - a record for me - it's probably been 20 years since I've gone that long without a headache). And getting my thyroid back on track. Now... it's time to tackle what is probably the root of all of it - my weight and lack of exercise.

I've gotten fit before, but I never was able to make it a lifestyle change. I just HAVE to now. What are the alternatives? To die at 42 like my dad? With my dad, he had abandoned us kids and we were grown. I'm the mother of two kids, 5 and 14 who still need me.

I have a year to prove to myself that I can turn 42 healthier than ever. I want to enter that year feeling I'm fighting to stay alive and have a chance to live a longer, healthier life instead of entering it wondering "will I meet the same fate as my father?"

So, the answer to my life is 42. I need to do this  - NOW.