August 31, 2013

Health and Wellness

Good Saturday! It has been an incredible week for me, and I am looking forward to what God has planned for me during the rest of this semester. So far, I feel confident about teaching at GCU. I was overwhelmed, and feeling less than able to teach a few weeks ago. So much has changed in one short week. I am blessed, truly blessed.

Now that I have my work life under control and a good plan laid out, I feel ready to tackle some major health and wellness issues. I have not been able to focus on my health due to chronic stress at work, and the upheaval in my life (moving twice, and now living with my parents). As I consider the past couple years, my life has been a yo-yo -- up and down -- with me reeling to and fro and never feeling settled or able to take control of my health.

It is funny that I am starting to make changes now -- when I have no medical insurance! AGH! I had two good years of medical insurance, but I didn't take advantage of them. I did use my dental benefits recently, thank the Lord, and now have my teeth fixed and no longer in a state of decay (PTL!)

I have been struggling with my weight for the past ten years. Well, if I am honest, for the past thirty years. I was very thin as a child, and all through high school, could eat whatever junk food I wanted to eat, and never worried about weight gain. I did gain, of course, after all that junk food has to go somewhere in your body (LOL!) I was 116 lbs when I was a freshman in high school. I was 123 when I graduated in 1980. I was 132 when I worked at Britton Lee, Inc. (in 1985-1990). I was 146 when I was pregnant with my son (1993), and then found myself at 164 when I gave birth. I zoomed up to 170 in 2001, and finally took control and followed Weight Watchers for a year and lost 35 lbs. My goal weight was 135, and I achieved it in 8 months on the program. I kept that weight off for a long while, but slowly I re-gained the pounds due to stress, lack of exercise, and poor diet.

In 2010, I started working outside the home, and I weighed in at 155. I kept that weight down due to working at Macy's and walking several miles a week. When I started working at UOPX, I was up to 158. After a year of working in a stress-filled environment, and sitting 8 hours a day, my weight went back up to 165. I was shocked, and I was depressed over that fact. I mean -- I had worked so hard to lose the weight back in 2001 - and here I was almost ten years later right back where I started.

I attempted Atkins and Weight Watchers, but neither worked for me. I moved to hyper-stressed filled CVS Caremark in 2012, and gain another 5 lbs over the course of the year there. It didn't help that we had cookies, cakes, and chocolate every day, and that we often went out to lunch during the week.

I left CVS on 8/23, and I weighed myself, and I am now back to 169. I am furious at myself for allowing food to dominate my life, and for my lack of will power to choose good food to eat.

I have prayed about losing weight, and I know what I need to do. I have been unable to do it, so today, I decided that now is as good a time as any to start this process. This time, I am not choosing a diet. I am choosing a lifestyle plan. I realize that my health issues -- chronic constipation, headaches, sinus trouble, back ache, low energy, all stem from my poor diet. My weight gain is all in my belly and around my hips. I look like a pear and I hate it. I hate the fact that I cover up my backside, and that I cannot wear slacks without feeling like my backside is sticking out. Plus I cannot stand my legs rubbing together - it bugs me.

I am miserable, and I know why. I have used food to comfort me during stress-filled times. I have become addicted to carbohydrates, and I have refused to drink enough water to keep myself hydrated. My poor body is crying out for help, and I have been starving it and keeping it from having the food (good food), and water it needs.

No more. I am done with that pathway, and I am ready to start over.

My Health Plan

I am walking about .7 of a mile 5-days each week. This is just getting to and from my classes. If I park on the roof of the parking garage and I walk down the stairs, then I am adding in more walking every day. Plus, I hold office hours in the CAS building, and I can walk up to the 4th floor. This will add more walking so that over all I am walking close to a mile each day that I am at GCU.

My schedule is M-W-F from 11-4:30 (with office hours) and TR 11:00-2:30 (office hours).  I can eat a good breakfast at home before I leave, and then take something for lunch. I can carry some snacks in my laptop case, and drink water. Dinner with the family needs to be healthy, but I can work with the dishes my Mom makes.

My menu plan is as follows (a combination of the Maker's Diet/Primal Blueprint, and the Daniel Plan). I am using a low-carb, high protein, whole foods approach. I am taking grains and processed foods out of my diet -- no sugar. My goal is to reach 145 by Christmas, which I think is very doable. The walking regime will help me get in shape, and then I plan to add some light weight training next month, along with some sprint work (I cannot run, so I plan to bike). I am not going whole hog on the fitness routine - just easing into more activity, so that I can contemplate hiking with friends or sustaining a long shopping trip :o).


I am going to go with an egg-meat combination to start. I like this for breakfast, and it usually works well (when I did Adkins, it was OK). I may create mini-quiche or mini egg/sausage squares that would be easy to make ahead and refrigerate. I am choosing no fruit for the first two weeks, but then will add in berries and grapefruit to my morning breakfast choices. Coffee with HWC instead of milk, creamer or half/half.


Lunch is easy -- salad with lots of veggies. If I can add chicken (grilled), I will.


Just whatever Mom makes, but without bread, and no starches. I will have a salad or green veggies whenever possible.


Probably to start, no dessert. I have a sweet tooth, so I think I will just wait a bit.


Carrot sticks, celery, nuts, berries, yogurt, string cheese. Easy foods I can pack in my lunch. I need a little pick me up in the afternoon, especially right after class.

I am giving up breads, pastas and rice. I am also giving up diet soda, and reducing my coffee intake. My goal is to rid myself of the processed foods, and start to eat whole foods that are organic, fresh, and chemical free.

Lord willing, I should make my goal weight by the end of the year (1.5 lbs per week x 4 = 6 lbs a month). My ultimate goal is to get back to my weight from high school. This is my natural weight, and I know that my back and leg pain will diminish once I get this weight off.

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