A Short Cooking Video

So we’re venturing into new territory.  I’m not really comfortable being on video, but vlogging seems to be the big thing and we’re looking to share our health journey so we’re probably going to be making more of these.  Future vids will be longer and, hopefully, better than this one.  We’ll call this one an experiment.

I’ve been thinking for a while that I need to upgrade my diet.  Good nutrition is vital to a healthy life.  We’re eating more whole foods now, and less carbs and upping our protein.  This is having a huge affect on my sugar levels.  I test my sugar an hour and two hours after eating and my sugar is amazingly stable.  The highest number was 108 and it’s averaging around 90 to 100.  As a type 2 diabetic, this is fantastic.  Since this is working so well I’m going to continue eating this way.  I will be sharing more of my experiences.

April is a huge month for me.  First, I will turn 50.  And I will be in the best shape and fitness of my life.  In fact I have a new hashtag ready to roll out…#FitAt50.   Also in April I will have been medication free for 3 years.  Big things are ahead and I will be sharing them right here.

 

Nutrition For Life

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I am living proof of this. I have been off the diabetes drug, Metformin, for almost 3 years now.  All because I made simple lifestyle changes through a healthier diet and becoming more active.

So many common illnesses are connected to our modern lifestyle.  High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes etc.  Our bodies are designed to move.

With Big Pharma being so prolific on our televisions these days, it’s easy to think “I’ll just take a pill and everything will be ok.”  But most medications are not meant to be taken over a long period of time and can end up doing more harm than good.  Also, most medications are designed simply to treat the symptoms, not the cause.  I’m not saying Big Pharma is never the answer.  Some illnesses that are genetic can only be treated with drugs.

There are so many instances where living a healthier lifestyle can drastically improve and even reverse diseases.

I. Am. Living. Proof. Of. This.

The Truth About Dieting

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There is a myth that diets don’t work.  The truth is diets do work.  But only while you’re on them.  It’s what you do when you come off your diet that measures whether you will maintain your weight loss, or see that weight creep back up.

Most people go on a diet after looking in the mirror and seeing they have gained weight, or when their clothes become too tight.  Then they decide to lose weight by going on a diet.  Which is just another word for Denial.  I can’t eat this, it has too much sugar. I can’t eat that because it has too many carbs.  I can’t eat that because it has too much fat.  

So you become more fixated on what you can’t eat.  You eat like a rabbit for as long as you can stand or until you reach your goal.  Then you come off your diet and go back to your old eating habits.  Which…

…is why you gained weight in the first place.  And what do you think is going to happen?  This is the very essence of yo-yo dieting.  It becomes a self perpetuating vicious circle until something changes.

The other problem with the standard method of dieting is when you focus on what you can’t eat, you set up cravings.  Have you ever noticed how when you go on a diet most of the television commercials seem to focus on food?  And usually high calorie foods.  They’ve always been there but you didn’t notice because you’ve always been able to freely have them when you want.  Then you go on a diet, or a Denial, and suddenly you notice these ads every time they’re shown.  Because you are craving those foods and you’re telling yourself you can’t have them because…diet.  The worst thing is once you come off your diet suddenly you can satisfy all those cravings so you’re most likely to eat these foods over the next week or two because you can.  You could easily regain 5 or 10 pounds in the first week or two just satisfying all those cravings.

Giving up foods because they are high in sugar or carbs is not the ideal way to keep weight off.  It does work, but it has to be sustainable long term.  Portion control and tracking calories is the best and most effective way to not only lose weight, but keep it off.  I’ve been with a calorie tracking app, MyFitnessPal, for three years now.  I’ve successfully lost the weight I wanted to lose and I’m maintaining very well.  Simply because I know how many calories I should be eating daily and how many calories I am eating daily.  I haven’t had to give up a single food item I enjoy.  I also exercise almost daily.  I run, I walk, I work out at the gym.  I’m 100% focused on keeping my healthy lifestyle.  Because that’s the secret of maintaining weight loss.  By making it a lifestyle.  If I go over calorie once in a while it’s ok.  I don’t panic.  I am not going to derail all my efforts because I eat unhealthy once in a while.  And we have to live.  You have celebrations, parties, birthdays, the holiday season.  You have to be able to enjoy life.  And I do.  I eat under calorie probably at least 80% of the time.  And the funny thing is once you’ve been at this healthy lifestyle for a while your binging habits change.  Overeating for me now looks very different to how I used to eat when I was being bad.  You find you don’t want to eat crazy after a while.  You don’t enjoy it and it’s not worth the uncomfortable bloated feeling you get the next day.

There will be people who will say there has to be more to losing weight than eating less and moving more.  They are right, of course.  It’s a psychological battle most of all.  The most critical ingredient is a healthy mindset.  It’s a process and you have to commit to it.  Yes, you can have crazy days if you want, as long as the rest of the time you make a serious effort to stay under calorie.  But you have to be determined and keep your eyes on the goal.  There will be frustration.  There will be times it doesn’t seem to be working.  The scale doesn’t move.  Or worse, the scale ticks up.  That’s when you will be sorely tempted to just give up.  That’s when you need to have other weapons in your fight to lose weight.  Measure yourself once a month.  Measure your waist, your hips.  Compare the numbers each month.  Take photos before you start your journey so you can make comparisons.  Pay attention to how your clothes are fitting.  Nothing boosts your confidence more than dropping a pant size.  All these things will keep you motivated and show you the process is working even when the scale isn’t co-operating.

Be aware there will be temptations along the way.  Someone brings donuts in to work almost daily, or a friend keeps inviting you out to eat at high calorie places all too regularly.  You have to learn to pick your battles and know it’s okay to give in sometimes.  It’s a lifestyle, after all, and you you have to be able to enjoy your life.

Why Not Just Start Today?

Chris Before and After with words

Dave Before and After with words

We know that it isn’t easy to start something or if you start something to actually stick with it.  Believe us, we know.  We have been there, tried it and failed.  Yes.  Failed.  So many times we would say, “oh, one day I will try again.”  But, you know what?  Don’t just try.  Just start.  Just do it.  Grab a partner or friend and do this together.  Stick with it.  This isn’t lose 50 lbs in a month quickly.  This is a health journey and it is for life.  It doesn’t matter when you start, it matters that you do.  Remember, the years will be passing by.  The question is: will you be healthier in five years or at the same weight and fitness level that you are now, (or worse)?  We are continuing on our health journey and would love to take you with us!20431268_10155099919073853_1005647030163866610_n

With Inspiration And Determination You Can Get Results

15940461_10154478448933853_3879399576321855286_nHello everyone!  As you can see, this is a blog from me, Christine, Dave’s wife.  I know you have been reading about Dave’s journey into his health, fitness and taking up running.  I promise, he will be getting back to writing.

It’s been about a year since I wrote about my  journey.  I have struggled with my weight since my teenage years.  I have tried everything.  Some worked but as soon as you stop having a focus, guess what, the weight slowly starts creeping up again.  Sure, people always saw me as ‘the life of the party’ as I was always an extrovert.  But, deep down inside I knew what I really looked like.  I mean, I would hate to look at myself in the mirror.  I would wear baggy clothes.  Heck, when you are a size 26-28, I think all clothes are made baggy.

My inspiration, always first to God, is my wonderful loving husband, Dave.  You know his story.  He took up running, watched what he ate and was able to lose a lot of weight, get fit and be off his diabetes medication!

I saw how focus and determined he was.  And he kept sticking to it.  I first joined My Fitness Pal in June 2015 and started logging everything I ate and drank and the exercise I did.  Hey, walking counts!  I realized, it is about portion control.  You can eat almost what you like, as long as you don’t go over the calories they say you should have daily.  (You would think that because I have been a vegetarian for 25 years that I would weigh 100 lbs!  No, that isn’t the case!)  Then, in mid July 2015, we joined Planet Fitness.  Guess what?  I fell ‘in love’ with the weight strengthening machines.  At that Planet Fitness, I worked out on 16 machines.  We joined a new PF where we moved to and I do 18 machines.  I started with being able to do 20-25 lbs on the machines and now, I average 150 lbs!!  I also have a love/hate relationship with the darn Elliptical machine.

I do try to walk whenever I can.  In the winter, when it is too cold to go out, you will find me jogging in place watching a TV show or dancing around.  I hope no one is watching me through the windows!

It has been a struggle during the last 1 1/2 years.  Sure, frustration kicks in when you are staying at the same weight, or you might fluctuate between 2-3 lbs like a yo-yo.  Then, Dave took my photo last week, (the one on the right), and I actually really liked how I looked!  I realized the frustrations are all well worth it!

Sometimes, I still look at myself in the mirror and I guess I might see a glimpse of who I was.  I remind myself, that the only thing that changed is me on the outside.  I am still the nice and extroverted person on the inside.

The photo on the left is from Oct 2005.  The one on the right was from last week.  That’s 75 lbs lost, numerous inches, and a total of 5 -6 pant sizes down!!  And I lost 60 lbs and 4 pant sizes just in the last 1 1/2 years.  It took a lot of determination, sweat, patience and my husband Dave, who was my inspiration!

It doesn’t matter how old you are to finally do something and stick to it!  (Can you believe I just turned 49!  I feel like I am 29 years old.)  I am still on my journey.  I want to inspire others, especially women who struggle with their weight.  Lets do this and get healthy!

One Foot In Front Of The Other

One foot in front of the other.  That’s a mantra I’ve seen repeated many times in blogs on WordPress and from other runners on Twitter.  I put it to good use today.  After the 80 degree heat on Monday, today was overcast and in the upper 60’s.  Perfect running weather.  So off I went.  I’ve gotten into a routine of running a mile, walking a mile and then running half a mile.  That was my plan for today as I headed for the park.

I started out with a brisk walk for three laps before launching into my run.  The usual heavy legs started to set in around lap three, but I pushed through it.  It didn’t seem as bad today as I settled into lap five, the lap that takes me to a mile.  So I decided to keep going.  I usually run a mile and a halfway with a walking break after the mile marker.  So I figured I could get the mile and a half in one go.  As I headed into lap seven I still felt I had more in the tank so I just went for it.  I’ve never managed to run two whole miles in a single workout before.  I got close once but had to stop running one lap short of the first mile.

Heading into lap 10 I hit The Wall.  My legs just wanted to stop but I pushed on, refusing to come up short this time.  The One Foot In Front Of The Other mantra chanted over and over in my head as I followed word with deed and I completed my first ever two consecutive two mile run.  It was such a good feeling. I managed to complete my two mile run in just 21 minutes.  I’m really pleased with that time.  It shows I pushed myself hard.  I guess my fitness level is coming up.  I’m glad I took advantage of the cooler weather to push myself as I know the 80’s will be back after today and we’re going to a convention next week.  As long as I see progress that will give me the push to maintain my new healthy lifestyle.

When I got home I tested my sugar.  It was 88, a good number.  I love how my body is responding to my healthier lifestyle.  Getting more active is a great way to get diabetes under control.  I really feel upbeat and hopeful that I can get off medication altogether.  That’s my goal.  I’ll find out how close I am to achieving that when I go back to the doctor next month.  Running is part of my life now.

I am a runner!