Who Are We and Why Are We Headed for Shamrock?

We met online in 2005 trying to--what else--lose weight. We've had our ups and downs along the way, but we're not where we want to be. This is our journey to get fit and healthy. We invite you to follow us as we "exercise" our way across the country--track our progress on the map to Shamrock below-- in an effort to each lose 50 pounds by the end of 2009 and adopt a healthier lifestyle along the road.

Where will we go once we reach our goals? The sky's the limit... but we're thinking Greece would be nice.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Queen of Denial

It's time to face the ugly truth. Time to stop kidding myself. Denial is no longer an option. In the wake of some emotional eating today, I realized that I must be more vigilant in this fight against fat. Assuming that I can wing it through the day, shoot from the hip, and otherwise sail through a diet are ideas of utter nonsense right now. I had wanted to just focus on exercising for a while, but my current eating habits are sabotaging even those attempts.

So what does that mean? Ugh. Groan. Whine. Well, for one thing, I have to start counting calories, of course. And that is an activity that I seriously detest. But the realization that, at least temporarily, I must inflict this kind of torture on myself is all too clear. I am partaking too often in mindless eating. This has to stop. Determining the number of calories is a little tricky since I'm a nursing mother, but after some careful research (okay, a few minutes on the internet) I am going to start with 1800 calories. Nursing mothers need anywhere from 200-500 extra calories a day, and I feel like that's a safe place to start. A drastic cut in calories could spell disaster for my milk supply; and after enduring breastfeeding hell for the first 3 months of Elvis' life and not knowing from one day to the next whether I would be able to continue nursing him, I'm not about to do anything that would endanger that. Okay. Daily calorie recording form printed off? Check.

Next. Time to step up the exercise. After perusing at least a dozen TiVo-ed exercise shows, I have quite an arsenal of workout options available to me. The best ones are one hour shows. My favorite one so far (favorite meaning it looked like the best one while I sat on my tush watching it) is Total Body Workout on BYU-TV. Because it's a college station...drumroll...NO COMMERCIALS!!!! Oh wait. That means more workout time. Well, it's not like I don't need it. Anyway, so far I have step, yoga, stability ball, and basic aerobics workouts taped. I especially appreciate the modest workout clothing and the REAL people who are part of the exercise posse. I don't think I want to plan out in detail which workouts on which days, but I DO know that I want to commit to 1 hour of intense exercise, and anything after that is great (like Wii Fit....not much intensity there, but fun). Lots of workouts ready to go? Check.

And next, and easiest, water. I've been doing pretty well with water. But time to step that up as well. I have read many times and from many sources that you should divide your weight in half and that number represents how many ounces of water you should drink per day. So that's what I'm going to shoot for. Big honkin' water bottle ready to fill almost 4 times daily? Check.

The last, and probably the most important for me personally, is sugar. I have PCOS (PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome). In a nutshell, where sugar is concerned, my pancreas overreacts to the sugar that I consume (sugar meaning actual sugar as well as anything that turns to sugar in the body, like carbs). So my pancreas releases tons of insulin to process the sugars. There ends up being a surplus, and the insulin can't just go back to the pancreas so it signals the body to crave more sugar so it will have a job to do. Then, when I eat that sugar in whatever form, my pancreas overreacts again. And so on. And so on. And so on. The cure? There is none. But there is a solution; I've tried it before and it really works. Diet.

Not just any diet. The Insulin-Resistance Diet. And that approach, in another nutshell, is to link protein to other things I eat. For example, if I'm going to have a serving of rice I need to pair that with a lean protein. The protein slows the body's reaction to the carb/sugar making it less likely that my pancreas will go into overdrive. Here are the rules:
  • No more than 2 servings of carbs at a time.
  • Space carb intake at least 2 hours apart.
  • Always pair a serving of carbs with a serving of protein (15 g carb to 7 g protein)
  • Except for corn and potatoes, eat unlimited amounts of veggies to satisfy hunger.
  • Carbs found in high-protein dairy and vegetable proteins do not count as carbs.
This way of eating takes a bit of brain power. But even just remembering to eat a protein before or with a carb, not even taking into account the grams, is helpful. That's what I did in the past. And it worked. My energy was better. My sugar cravings decreased significantly. And I just felt better. Eating plan to lose weight and avoid diabetes? Check.

So, what's the stumbling block here? Time. The one thing I will never have enough of. Well, I probably won't ever have enough books either, but I digress. Anyway, time is a commodity in short supply here at home. I home school. I have a demanding (but sweet) nursing baby. I have four other children who need my attention. I have a home to take care of. Yadda, yadda, yadda. In all this whirlwind of responsibility, I also have myself to take care of. I have been mindful lately of the need to prioritize and take care of first things first. The most important thing is my spirituality. And at first when considering where exercise and dieting fit in to my life and it's huge list of stuff, I didn't consider that to be tantamount in the long run. But upon more careful pondering I realized that it is a part of my spirituality. It affects my spirit. It weighs me down physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And it keeps me from becoming the woman I have always wanted to be. I am not saying that it overshadows things that are more important to me like prayer, scripture study, and the like. But I do see in a very real sense how important it is to my spirit that I take care of this body, this temple, that has been entrusted to me. I am ashamed of how badly I have treated it so far, and I want to redeem myself by caring for it with a reverence I should have had all along. New respect for the body and what a healthy body means to me? Check.

Let me just close with a few motivational quotes that I really ought to read to myself daily.

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
Robert Collier

To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.

Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.

Extremely long post? Check.

1 comment:

  1. You go, Peggy Sue. It's always darkest before dawn, right? Use your frustration to make something happen.

    I'll go try to take my own advice now...