In Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 79 | Medical Study Progress Report I am going to review how the first month of the medical study went. If you missed it, you can find it here. I did the testing for the study in January. The study started 4 weeks ago. I have had some things happen which I will write about, but please understand, I am also participating with the blessings of my doctor. It wasn’t required, but my doctor is aware of it, and yesterday, she told me how proud she was of me for taking this step. She also said that she wished more people would do more to be proactive in their own health care.
Yes, you read that correctly. I saw my doctor yesterday.
When you start any new physical activity, it is always the right thing to do. I saw her before I started, and I saw her again yesterday to discuss something that happened this past week. Before I get into this, I want to review my thoughts on the whole month. I will get back to the reason for the doctor’s appointment and the result of it in a bit.
I agree with her statements. It is a lot for me to just show up. Let’s explore this in more detail.
To understand how hard this is for me, you need to know that I weigh over 300 lbs. 318.9 as of this morning if you want to get specific. I have not seen a huge weight loss in one month of the study. This is not the most encouraging thing to think about at the moment, but I KNOW I NEED TO DO THIS. If I keep showing up, I might just save my own life.
There is no payment for this study.
It is completely voluntary. They are measuring the effects on people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes (which if we are being honest, doesn’t exist) who exercise. They are checking my body muscle and fat density, taking oxygen measurements, and my blood sugars. The study will compare the H1AC (the 3-month average) blood sugar levels while it is happening. I signed up for 7 months. What was I thinking?
I know it will help me with my own health issues. However, if you have been reading these blogs all along, you know that I have issues with showing up for myself and have been wavering since I stopped going to Zumba class twice a week. It is a decision I made for my own reasons, and I love Zumba. I have tried it at home a bit this year, and I will continue whenever that mythical energy is here to stay. I have seen improvements in my energy levels, but they aren’t consistent, yet.
No, really, what was I thinking?
I was thinking that I need to move on purpose this year. I needed a reason to do something. Some days I feel strong, and others I can barely manage to keep the heart rate up to where they need it to be for the study.
They make us wear heart monitors every day. It can pinpoint if something happens, and most of the time they tell me I need to pick it up a bit. Which sucks. I did sign up for it, and I am doing my best to show up and do what they need me to do. It is not a leisurely stroll on the treadmill I am taking.
In the first week, I had to walk for 80 minutes.
We broke it down to 20 minutes a day for 4 days. I got to have Wednesday off, as a rest day. Did I ever need that rest day! I was so happy to be able to sleep in. Being unemployed for over a year has affected my sleeping habits, I had been in the pattern of staying up too late and sleeping in every morning. I am not excited about being on a treadmill at 8 am 4 or 5 days a week, but I am still showing up.
The schedule is flexible, so if I should happen to get a job, they will accommodate a different schedule if I need it. I picked 8 am so that I would be able to drive my husband to work, and then hit the treadmill, on weeks when he needs the car. He shares driving with a co-worker, so every 2 weeks he drives, and if I want the car, I have to be in the car to take it from his work and pick them up after work.
The one issue I had in the first week was sore calves. Did they ever express their unhappiness out loud to me in that first week. The first day was the worst for the calves. I wear compression stockings, and they help improve circulation in my calves. They did not like the change in my routine, at all. I kept going, and I got through the first week okay.
Setting My Own Goals
In week 2, I walked for 100 minutes, so the daily minutes increased to 25 minutes a day. I still had Wednesday off, and I started testing my body to see what worked to get my heart rate up. I also took the time to create a list on Spotify, called Treadmill Tunes. It is great on shuffle, and today I almost laughed out loud when this played in my ears…Mustard! There are 311 songs on that list… I have a hard time narrowing it down, okay? I haven’t heard all of the songs in a month. Variety helps me to stay motivated and change my pace to, “Bump it up!” as they keep telling me when my heart rate is too low for their study.
Sometimes I skip through a few songs to find the beat I need for that moment, but shuffle usually does a good job.
By the start of week 3, my calves weren’t the issue I had on my mind. My nerve pain in my right thigh sometimes kicks in. It is related to my hip flexors, and I have had this issue for years. All I can do is stretch it and work through the pain. I know it won’t last forever, and I have to push through it. By the end of week 2, I was using my Zumba stretches after walking on the treadmill, to make sure I didn’t get sore after going home.
My goals are to increase the intensity when I can, and keep the heart rate up high enough so I am not having to bump it up every day. I am working on this; I have good days and bad days.
There was a new concern in week 3.
I performed a very entertaining Bambi on Ice routine, where I slipped but managed to recover and stay on my feet. My hip flexor muscles on the left side were pulled as a result, and I was very concerned about how it would affect my time on the treadmill. I take painkillers when it is sore, and try to rest. It is worse after sitting in my computer chair for long amounts of time. It doesn’t hurt on the treadmill, which I was a relief.
Week 3 time increased to 120 minutes. I was walking for 30 minutes, four days a week. Dealing with the issues above, and starting to challenge myself with increasing the incline for longer times every day. I play with the speed, as I move with my whole body for some songs, and for parts of songs on a lower speed so I can get my groove on without face-planting.
It hasn’t happened yet but on a treadmill, the fear is real.
On Friday, last week, I noticed that my left knee was trying to bend the wrong way. I pay attention to my body because I need to know how to manage all the curveballs it throws at me. I checked with a friend who works in the fitness industry, and she advised me to take things easy on the weekend, which I was already planning to do; and to pay attention to what was happening. Later that day I felt like my hip was going to go out, and my knee did its funky thing shortly after this. I was cautious all weekend and rested as much as I could.
As the weekend progressed, week 4 was approaching.
I worried about week 4. This past week added 30 minutes to my walk time, which means I am now walking for 30 minutes, 5 days a week, for a total of 150 minutes a week. The good news is, there are no more time increases for me to worry about. The difficulty comes when I am needing to bump it up.
On Monday, I paid close attention to my knee, and my hip, both on the left side. The right side has eased off, and I don’t have the nerve pain every day, or for very long when it happens, now. I realized that my left knee is over-compensating for the hip muscles. This means I was able to correct it before things got worse, and I am feeling stronger by the end of week 4.
I started wearing my knee brace to walk, to support the knee, and it is helping. I only wear it on the treadmill, and I think just even knowing I have it on helps a lot. Monday and Tuesday were tough.
For me, it is all a head game.
I need to talk myself through it every day. Getting up, showing up, pushing through and relaxing when they tell me I can cool down. It’s my favourite part, actually, because I am done for the day. Whatever gets me through it.
I watch the timer. I watch the heart rate. It can be affected by the other people in the room, so I can’t trust the heart rate, but it gives me a general idea if I am working hard enough or not, most of the time. I tell myself, only so many more minutes to cool down, or I had the incline to 3.0 for a whole minute longer than I did yesterday. Woo-hoo! I have to be my own cheerleader, constantly.
On Wednesday, I fell apart.
I pushed real hard on Wednesday. Keeping the incline at 3.0 as long as I could and held it at 2.5 for another record-beating time. I was feeling like I was going to be able to keep pushing for week 4.
And then, it happened. My left hip made a twinge. This one little smidge of pain unravelled me.
I started to panic. I thought I would have to quit the study. My biggest fear is injuring myself and having to quit. If this happens, I would be letting myself down. I faltered and was told to bump it up.
When I bump it up, I can also bump it down when I arrive at the correct heart rate, as long as it doesn’t drop. I play with the speed and the incline while I am working out, as needed. I bumped it way down after I got to where I needed, and the panic running through my veins kept the heart rate high enough to not have to increase it any further at that moment.
Exercise-Induced Asthma is something I have been diagnosed with.
I have carried a Ventolin puffer around with me for years. I have wheezed when I push myself, and to allow me to complete the walks every day without needing to stop, I decided to take 2 puffs, preventatively before getting on the treadmill in the first week. It is helping me to breathe better while working out.
Wednesday was no different, I took 2 puffs before getting on the treadmill. Due to scheduling conflicts, it was a 4 pm walk that afternoon. I had coffee in my system when normally I just have water and my protein shake before the workout. My protein shake is made by mixing a scoop of chocolate protein powder into my unsweetened cashew with vanilla milk. I drink it before I leave the house if I am just driving myself, or in the car if Roy is driving himself to work.
The time of day was off, and my mental game was off. I had a complete panic attack by the time I stepped off the treadmill. What made it worse was I COULD NOT BREATHE! I went to the chair to rest, like I always do, and found my puffer.
Usually, I will sit after the walk and drink my water, do my stretches and head home.
On Wednesday, I had to get into my head and play hardball. It was very hard to talk myself down from the panic attack. It was so scary; I thought they would need to call 911 and rush me to the hospital. Not for the panic attack, but because I could not catch my breath.
When I took the puffer, it was just like you see others do with bad asthma. Inhaling the puff was loud, and it was hard to hold my breath while holding the medicine in my lungs. Breathe it in, count for 10, exhale. I had to do this twice, and all the while, I could not breathe.
Once I got the puffer into me, I worked on calming myself down. It took about 45 minutes before I felt good enough to go home. I did not stretch, and I forgot my hoodie. I was not feeling like myself at all, and when I change a routine, I am more likely to forget things.
Thursday morning, I talked about what happened with the students who are recording the data from the study. I was a little upset, still, and it helped to talk about it. I made an appointment to see my doctor as soon as I got home.
One good thing about a blizzard is that you can get a cancellation appointment easily.
The doctor’s office is not far from where I live, so I went to see her. She is sending me for tests on my lungs but agrees with me that the main issue was the panic attack. Fast forward to Friday.
I did it for a month, successfully! I am proud of myself. Today, I realized at about 8 minutes in that I forgot to take the puffer. It was okay, although it was a little harder for me to keep my heart rate up today. It does make a difference, and it does help, but I can do it without the puffer. I will have to skip it on the day of the appointment, and now I know what to expect.
Two weeks ago, I promised that I would show you all what my Makeup Monday Spring 2019 Look 2 would be. I am getting ready for the glam shots, but not before I share a little story. You see, I am having fun, and I like to try new makeup from time to time. I am also aware of my age. I was born in 1974, you can do the math, my birthday is on July 2nd. The look of the sparkly eyes do reflect my soul, but it may not be what I would choose for a career look.
When I was introduced to this sparkly eye shadow, I was enamoured.
I wanted to get all of the colours and try them all out. I got 5 of the 8 shades available of the Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art eye shadow. For my new spring look. I tried them all out and decided to have fun with a vote I am by no means an expert when it comes to makeup but I do love to play and learn. With this spirit in mind, I was going to have fun with it.
I bought a few different makeup products to try at the same time, and I had the first reveal two weeks ago. Honestly, half of the fun for me is having a selfie photo shoot. I also am learning to use the camera I have to use, and it is amazing!
Here is a recap of the look from 2 weeks ago:
I chose lip gloss, not lipstick. I used a new mascara and foundation. The product pic & description can be found in the previous Makeup Monday blog post. I love the look with the spring colours, however, I would probably only wear it to social events. It is fresh and fun!
Now we will get a little more of the story.
Someone who cares about me and has known me all of my life wanted to point out that this look may not be suitable for a woman of my age. I politely beg to differ.
While I am open to makeup tips and will keep watching videos about makeup application for new techniques, I am my own woman. I jokingly replied that I am ageless, but the truth is, I am young at heart. I will continue to try new things, and be open to suggestions and tips as always. It is how we learn and grow, after all.
There is something to be said for being conservative. I completely understand where this feedback comes from. It is meant to guide me, but I am carving my own path, and I am going to keep glowing my own way!
Bring on more sparkles!
I have planned this look in response to a tie vote on my survey. I used the same moisturizer, foundation, eye primer, and highlight/contour palette. As it is later in the evening here, I skipped the eye roller for puffiness. Then I layered the other winning look.
Here are the winners, and the new products used for this look:
1 Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in 610 HD Addiction
2 Revlon Photoready Eye Art in 020 Lilac Luster WINNER
3 Maybelline Snapscara Mascara in RD02 Deja Blue
4 Wet ‘n’ Wild Nail Colour 407A Sparkle Coat WINNER
5 Joe Fresh Nail Polish in Quartz WINNER
6 Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in 45 Orchid Hush
The blush is not new, but it was I chose it for the look. The lip colour and mascara are new, and I have to say I love them both! I love the colours, and how they look. I hated giving up my Electric Blue mascara a while back, and I am thrilled to find a new one to use. Snapscara also comes in Pitch Black and Black Cherry. It would be fun to try the Black Cherry, but I got the Deja Blue first!
Here is my new Makeup Monday Look 2 for Spring 2019
Instead of flipping the same image, I used two this time. I think they turned out better last time, but it is fun to play with the camera.
Now I will share a collage of pics:
The nail polish which tied in the vote was Quartz with the sparkle coat. Here is what it looks like:
We just got a new kitten a little over a week ago. Her name is Jazzy, and she is part tabby and part tortoiseshell, which is called a Torbie. She does not enjoy the nail polish. In honour of her arrival into our home, I am planning a new Makeup Monday in a few weeks to try out liquid eyeliner. I will try to create the cat eye look.
Here is a pic of Jazzy. We love her very much, and she is absolutely adorable!
Although Jazzy didn’t like the smell of the nail polish, she did seem to like the smell of my new lip colour. It does smell nice. That is a wrap for my new spring look, 2019. I look forward to sharing more adventures with both Jazzy and makeup in the future.
What makeup trends are you loving for spring 2019?
This week’s Trust Your Gut is inspired by a recent challenge I participated in for 5 days. It was a Hydration Challenge. I shared a bit about it on my Facebook wall, which created quite a lot of comments. I shut down on commenting about it after it upset me about how vocally people were protesting how much water I was trying to drink to improve my health. For me, it felt like I was trying to do something healthy, and I was under attack. That is where the title is inspired by. #Watergate.
First of all, it brought to my attention how many people out there care about me, and are following my journey. Some of the people that commented rarely interact with me on a regular basis, but were alarmed at the goal I set for myself. I do appreciate all of the support I get with my online adventures, but I needed to take a step back to realize that people were not scolding me for doing something wrong, they were genuinely expressing their concern for my health.
My calculations were that I should e drinking 5 Litres of water a day to lose weight. I started working towards this goal right away. I actually never made it to the 5 Litres in one day. On the day of Relay for Life, it was hot, humid and I was participating in the Zumba on stage under the lights. On that day, I reached 4 Litres, and I was properly hydrated for the event. I was able to participate in the Zumba on stage, with no issues. I do believe that on that day, I needed the extra hydration. There were extraordinary circumstances.
Photo of a wave splashing in the Atlantic Ocean. Location Chimney Corner, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Photographer Lisa Hill.
I took the concerns seriously and promised to check with medical professionals.
A person can drink too much water. The speed and volume of drinking water are factors in this being an issue. I am not drinking large volumes of water quickly, even on a Zumba day. My water bottle contains 750ml and I drink 2 of those in a Zumba class. One is mixed with a scoop of Biosteel, a sugar-free electrolyte booster. It’s like sugar-free Powerade or Gatorade. I drink it when I am working out, or feeling like I need an electrolyte boost. I buy it at GNC.
So on a Zumba day, I drink 1.5 Litres of water, but half of it is an electrolyte boosting drink. So the theory of too much water throwing my electrolytes off balance is not a concern when I am following this plan. I shared that I drink 3 cups of coffee a day, 3 Kcups in 4 runs on the Keurig. 3 full strength and one run through the second time. A litre of coffee a day. Coffee is a diuretic. I need more water to balance it. I drink 500 ml of water a day with my thyroid pill, as a requirement. I then drink my coffee. I then drink a 750 ml water jug. Sometimes more, and sometimes less.
Your diet can also contribute to the volume of water you are ingesting on a daily basis. Certain foods contain a higher percentage of water than others. It is also important to keep this in mind if you are eating a healthy balanced diet.
I sent an email about this to my diabetes case manager. I have not had a response. I did, however, ask my doctor about this.
My doctor advised that I should drink 2.5 litres, and that would be a healthy amount. Half of what I was aiming for. The good news is, it is a more realistic and therefore more achievable goal.
I do want to thank the people that expressed their concern. I am still working on drinking more water, as since the challenge I slacked off a bit because of the concern people expressed. I do make mistakes, and I can be wrong. It is what makes me human like everyone else. I appreciate my friends. Thanks for making me research #Watergate.
In Trust Your Gut this week, I am going to explain how I am changing the way I think, in the hopes of helping you to change the way you think. The story starts at an appointment I had, about a week ago. I have started seeing a Diabetic Case Manager, and I was attending my second appointment. I like her. She has a no-nonsense attitude, backed up with a lot of valuable information.
When I was first diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, it was November 1999. I remember the time because it was the day I found out that I was heading towards a path filled with needles and insulin. I tried to fight it as hard as I could. I now take 2 types of insulin, totalling 5 needles a day.
We talked about changing one type of insulin to a newer type of the same kind. It is made up of smaller molecules. This means that large doses, like what I take, will use less volume. It also has a longer range of activity. It works in the body longer than 24 hours, as a long-acting insulin. There would be no significant gap between doses. I am interested in trying this option.
Both she and my doctor want me to try another option. There are other injectables that help diabetics, and some help you to lose weight by suppressing your appetite. One of the side effects, nausea, has me concerned. I am not quite convinced about this option.
This discussion led to one about eating habits. This is when I learned about changing the way I think. I have written before about eating or drinking things when they are needed to get out of my house because they are bad for me. I was talking with my Diabetic Case Worker, and while we were having this conversation, I had an epiphany. Most people throw bad things out to get rid of them. My brain tells me to consume them before they go bad, and so that I am not wasting the food or drink. This is terrible, I know. I realized in the appointment that by consuming the harmful food or drink to get rid of it, I am effectively treating my body as a trash can.
Well. Another gremlin has appeared. It must be banished!
I have been working hard to change this way of thinking since the appointment. It is hard to deprogram what is in your genes (sorry Dad, this is the Scottish side of me not wanting to waste anything) to make yourself let go of foods that are garbage to your body. I have been consciously trying to not have junk food in the house because as I have written before if it is here, I will eat it. If it is not, sometimes the gremlins do make me think I miss it, but really, I don’t.
I challenged myself to stop dumping crap into my mouth. I also joined a 5-day hydration challenge. I have averaged 3 Litres and 3 cups of water a day since Monday. I will be trying to keep it up, as it is a good habit, drinking water. The chart said I need 5 Litres a day to lose weight. I am working my way up to it.
Lesson learned this week, my body is not a garbage can.
It has been a while since I felt up to writing a regular Blog story. I am sorry if you were missing me and my writing, I needed a break. I was on a really good streak there, for over a year. Some people write their Blog stories ahead of time. I usually sit down and pound it out on the keyboard right before I publish. It could be an hour more or less, and I usually come up with a title, topic, and story. This week I am going to share something a little different in Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story. Part 57 Prep Cooking Tips is going to be a top 5 list of my own Prep Cooking Tips!
I have written about the importance of prep cooking in my own journey to become a healthier version of myself. I have found that I am less likely to eat unhealthy if I take the time to prepare healthy choices for my lunches, and sometimes even breakfasts and suppers. Everyone deserves a treat now and then, as long as it is within reason. I tend to give an inch and take a mile or ten. So, I know that prep cooking works, and I must get back into the habit of it.
I had plans last weekend but I got sideswiped by an unexpected injury. I was walking, which is supposed to be something that is good for me. I somehow managed to pull some muscles in my foot. I was in a lot of pain for 3 or 4 days. I am taking fewer painkillers now, and hoping that the weekend is nice. I am going to plan a short walk. I have to build up my tolerance a little more slowly, as it has been some time since I walked for longer than it takes to go get groceries. Now that I am on the mend, it is time to start walking a little more each day. It is a plan.
These tips may seem like common sense to more experienced home cooks. I think that if you plan ahead the prep cooking will go more smoothly than if you don’t.
1. Determine what type of meal you want to cook. Go through recipe books, Pinterest, and websites. Most of your family favourites can be made in bulk and frozen, to reheat or cook when you are ready to eat them. Write down the recipes in a planner for when you are going to eat them if you want to be really organized. People plan meals by the week and month. There are lots of guides for this online, depending on what suits your fancy. Since I am a fan of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, when I get serious, I will be planning according to their guidelines. You can make this as simple or as complicated as you like. The more effort you put into this, the better results you will get. It is up to you.
2. Now that you have recipes selected, write down your ingredients list. Include everything for each recipe. Then check your cupboards and pantry for the ingredients that you have on hand, and cross them off the list. The remaining items will become the start of your grocery list. If you are feeling like you have extra time, go through the fridge and cupboards and toss the expired items. It will be better to replace them before starting the cooking step, and finding that you need to get more of something that is mouldy or gone bad.
3. Next, you will need to think about utensils, pots, pans and storage. Do you have what you need to prepare and store what you will be cooking? This limits me a bit. We are a household of 2 adults. We live in a mini home. There is not a lot of storage in my kitchen. I have had to become creative with storage methods. I have 2 shelving units and a bookcase in my kitchen. They work for now. I also prefer glass containers for anything that needs reheating later on. So the plastic storage is available, but not used for prep cooking storage, unless it is something that will not be going into a microwave. I also use more Mason jars than I have room to keep organized. They are another way to store soups, salad in a jar, and pantry items.
4. Go to the grocery store to get what you need. This can be pricey the first few times if you are starting from scratch. If you are on a budget, use coupons and flyers. Get as many deals as you can. If you have like-minded friends, TEAM UP! If you have 3 friends to join in, and you all buy enough for 4 batches of a different recipe, then you have 4 meals prepped, and you will have CHOICES! Working together with friends to make homemade healthy meals is a great way to have a productive social gathering! Take turns hosting once or twice a month. Make it a THING, and make it FUN! Have snacks. Get more done faster, including clean up! (This can also be teenagers if they are a part of your family. They won’t be able to help with the budget, but they would be happy to help if it means they get some cookies or a movie night aw a thank you!
5. Don’t Give Up! Start with one recipe, doubled up. Then make something different the next time. Keep building recipes until you have a good variety, and you don’t have to cook for the whole month in one day. Spread out the work over time, and you will have a freezer full of healthy food in a few weeks. When you feel like cooking, make something. When you don’t you have a plan. As long as you keep rotating what you make, it will pay off!
Tonight I made Cheeseburger Pie for supper. It is in a 9 x 13 pan. It serves 6 to 8 people. There are 2 of us. When I have it for supper, I have 2 pieces. When I have it for lunch, I have 1 piece. I will have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I plan to freeze one or two portions, for whenever I am craving a burger. Sometimes you just want that burger so bad…that it is good to plan ahead and have a cheeseburger pie portion in the freezer ready to heat and eat. When I want a BigMac or a Mozza Burger, I make Big Mac Salad. With cheddar, it is a BigMac SALAD, and with Mozza, it is an amazing Mozza Burger SALAD. No buns makes it a salad! I even put the sesame seeds on top!
BigMac Salad for Lunch
In case you aren’t on my Facebook, and you want to know what Cheeseburger Pie is, I am going to share a link to the recipe. It can be found with other recipes on the Trim Healthy Mama website, and if you check out the recipe, you can also take a look at the THM plan and other recipes. They even have products for sale there. I am not affiliated, so I leave things up to you. I love the recipes, and I also am happy that I know it is a plan that does work for me WHEN I WORK THE PLAN!