This week I had my annual physical. Numbers are looking good. Cholesterol is going in right direction. Bad number is going down. Good is going back up. Super good blood pressure…. like awesome 96/60. My doctor even told me…. ”You are no longer in the obese category. You have moved down to just overweight.” lol
Seriously though…. she was happy because I lost 11 pounds this last year. She said whatever I was doing to keep doing it. I will also admit that I was shocked that the number was 11 pounds. Pleasantly surprised. Who wouldn’t be? So I think I will, but I know since Thanksgiving I’ve been sliding a bit. Haven’t we all? That is what happens to everyone over the holidays. Time to find my balance again. Time to readjust and get the wheels back on track. It takes so much work to loose the weight but so easy to put it back on. It sucks how unfair that is!
When told a friend I lost 11 pounds this last year, they asked what I was doing and if I thought my smoothie game was a factor. So here goes….
I do think that the smoothies have helped. For a few reasons. I start my morning of every day with a nutritionally balanced smoothie. It is never the same but always packed with lots of vitamins, filling fiber, and protein. It sets the tone for the day. Some days that works. Some days maybe not but at least every morning I get to start over.
No While I have been working with my Functional Nutrionist and it has been helpful, food wise she really has just been reinforcing what I already know. Cutting down dairy, processed food, and bad carbs is really the answer for me. Also thinking about what I am eating, when I am eating, and why am eating has been helpful.
It also helps to know what workds for you as each person is different. I have never been one to track food, count calories, or any of those things. Some that works for them. Not me. Also for me, I really am not looking at this as a diet plan to loose weight but as a healthy more natural way of eating. Seriously it is a lifestyle change and it really is about meeting my nutritional goals and just eating healthier. The thing about that is that means cutting out processed foods and cutting back on unhealthy carbs and dairy.
Eating this way does not in any way feel like I am giving up anything. It also allows flexibility and I never feel like I am missing out. I will also say that if I want a cookie that I will have a cookie. If I want something that I will not deprive myself but maybe instead of having a plate of cookies that I will have one or two.
It’s not easy to find. It is often easy to get out of it and sometimes you are going to fall. As long as you keep getting up, dusting yourself off and getting back on the balance beam all is good.
As I said before….. This is about my health, meeting nutritional goals and trying to be the healthiest that I can be.
I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I am far from it. I have many faults but I really don’t feel the need to list them. I also have many positive traits that I don’t feel the need to list. All that being said, we all know those that put forth the ”perfect life.” They have the perfect home. The perfect style. The perfect this the perfect that….. Blah…. Blah…. Blah….
Let’s be real, there is not such thing as perfect in the real world. Usually when you peel back the mask of perfection, you will see how imperfect it all is. The problem is that often no one bothers to look past the initial layer to see the reality of what striving for perfection cost. Perfection is an unattainable goal and often leads to frustration, giving up, or in some cases drastic measures (think of those celebs who went one cosmetic procedure to far).
In our workout routine or diet, the strive for perfection often leads to people walking away feeling like a failure. We think that we have to follow a strict diet and if we don’t follow to the letter T that we cant do it. Many times people who decide to get fit go gang busters…. Going to gym every day. Starting strong as they say. Then they get sore. They miss a workout. They can’t hit a pace in a run. They feel like they are too slow. That why bother because we just aren’t good enough. The strive for perfection often sets us up for failure.
I am to the point that I am realizing that striving towards “perfection,” towards unattainable goals, to comparing myself to not others but old versions fo me were setting me up for failure. My goal is no longer perfection, but only to be better and the best version of me. A realistic version. A version that I can live with. A version that is sustainable. A version that will never be perfect, never be more than it can be, and one that I can say I did my best.
I’ve been thinking along these lines with my nutrition. I have always said that my problem with diets is that if I get hit by a bus that I don’t want my last meal to be celery. Not that there is anything wrong with celery as I actually had it for snack last night, but you understand. I do not want to live my life feeling deprived. Striving for things that long term will not keep. So as I started thinking about my nutrition, I’ve realized that sometimes change while hard doesn’t always mean depriving myself. I want to develop a nutritional plan that I can live with, feel good about, that is healthy, and most of all sustainable. Also I know for a fact that I am not going to be giving up certain things and that is ok. Embracing the imperfection of moderation.
So far. So good.
The morning smoothies are still a thing and one that hubby and I look forward to. The thinking about what I am eating, when I am eating and why I am eating has been helpful. To be honest, the cravings for certain foods is lessoning. My boss gave me 2 caramel chocolate bars 2 weeks ago that are still uneaten. Not because I am depriving myself but because i just dont want them. That would be unheard of before. My morning coffee is now filled with an almond creamer instead of half and half or such. If you know me, you know I take my coffee seriously so this was a big step. But once I took that step, I realized that it was more in my mind than in the cup because my morning coffee still tastes like my morning coffee. This past week, I also made homemade cinnamon rolls for my family. They are delicious but I didn’t have one because I really didn’t want one. On the other hand, when I made Pumpkin donuts I did eat one. Just one and that was enough. No shame. No Guilt….. Balance.
I have also been taking this approach to my running. I have continued to walk the first few miles of my long run and the first of pretty much all. Then my goal is to keep the pace in the 12’s because that is where I realistically am. In being real with what I can do, how fast I can run, and what my body can do; I have actually been able to run better Striving for unattainable goals has been my downfall with my running. Working towards being the best I can be on each run has been making running both enjoyable and sustainable.
To be the best version you can be on any given day either in your nutrition, in your running or in your life will change day to day. The trick is to give yourself the grace you need to be that version. Accept the version that you are today and if it doesn’t live up to your expectations know that tomorrow is another day!
My relationship with food is complicated. Always has, but hopefully always won’t be. It does have a past though…
As I have said before I was the fat kid growing up. I may sound like a broken record when I say that but for some reason it stays with you. This may have been made more complicated by the fact that I literally had a balerina/Ms Teen USA older sister and lots of other dynamics growing up. Although they may speak more to body image than food relationship, but there is always a correlation.
When I think of my childhood some of my happiest memories are around food. I remember making fudge on the farm with one of my sudo Godmother’s as a young child. I remember my brother’s and sisters making Christmas cookies while listening to Christmas music (The carpenter’s) on an old record player. It’s funny too because I have a horrible memory when it comes to my early childhood but these standout. These are good memories.
I also have the stark recollection of my childhood doctor talking to my mother about my weight and giving her a diet I needed to follow. Do doctors still do that? I mean if you look at the pictures of me as a child, while I was not the ”ideal” weight I also now think this was extreme. Then again, I grew up in the 70’s, so I am betting times have changed. Based on where we lived (we moved several times, so this is how I tell times of my childhood), I would guesstimate that I was probably in 5th or 6th grade. Anyway, I remember getting into trouble for having an extra packet of oatmeal for breakfast. I don’t even remember the trouble (wouldn’t have been more than Mom saying something), but I remember the feeling. (Also in my Mom’s defense, she was deferring to the doctors and again this was the 70’s).
I would also like to give exhibit A to this story……
So as I share these stories, I wonder if anyone else has thought about their complicated history with food and how it effects them now?
I have started to think more about my food choices. I have started to think more about my relationship with foods, how it effects my body, and what better choices I can make. For the most part as an adult, I really have never thought about these things. Yes, I have thought about what I want to eat, where we are eating, and all of those things; but I have never really given food choices much thought. I’m hungry. I eat. Not why am I hungry. Why am I hungry for XYZ and why am I making the food choices that I am making and are they really good for my body, my health and my mental well being. That last is in reference to when we gorge ourselves on chocolates, cookies, or what not and how it makes us feel later. You know the… I should not have eaten all of that food guilt/shame.
Recently I had a consultation and then my first session with a Holistic functional nutritionist. In just talking with her these two times, I have started to think about my food choices more. Her open ended questions of simple things….. What if your replaced X with Z, how do you think that would make you feel? Why do think you NEED to have a snack at night? Are you really hungry or is it just habit? She is a runner who has run several marathon’s and I feel this helps. She has also said, we will do no major changes to my diet until after the marathon although changes have already started to occur just in thinking about things. Plus in looking at my diet, she has already pointed out that I need more protein and I also need more water which I can and should implement right away.
For me, this is about my health. This is not about number on the scale. When she asked me what I wanted out of our time together and what our goals were, I thought of my Grandmother. A woman who drank nothing but probably coffee or iced tea. Who never went to the doctors and if she did didn’t really listen to them. Who smoked right up until she kind of forgot she did when she had stroke. Who up until the end was the healthiest unhealthy person you could have met. I said to Lisa (my nutritionist) that I worry with my hypopara and the toll it takes on my body (thinking long term kidney health), having to now use a CPAP machine, and now peri-menopausal that my goal is to be the ”bad ass woman that I was meant to me” channeling my Grandother.
So this is my new life motto:) Ok, it may have already been my unoffical motto but I thought about it now.
So with this in mind, I have started implementing minor changes that are really not so minor but they don’t feel life altering which makes them easier to stick with.
Start my day off with a glass of water before coffee. Preferably with lemon and continued through out the day.
Instead of skipping breakfast or worse grabbing something aimlessly that really offers no value, I have started my day with smoothies (Go to my instgram to see them). I do not feel like I am giving something up and hubby now benefits because I make smoothies for 2. It’s kind of like a game now where he tries to guess what is in them. Besides being tasty (a pre-rec for anything I make), it is packed with nutrients and are filling.
Thinking about what I am actually eating has made me want to eat better.
Realizing that some eating is really just habitual and better choices can be made.
Lisa and I have talked about my Hypopara especially in our initial consultation. Some holistic groups I’ve been in are very anti-medication/supplement and feel like you should get everything naturally. Before working with her, I wanted to make sure not only did she understand but was on board with my circumstances. As a person with hypoparathyroidism, my body does not produce the hormone PTH which helps to regulate many things but Calcium is the big one. I also no longer have a thyroid. Because of these two factors, I take a boat load of pills a day. This is just the way it is…….. Some such as my calcitriol and thyroid meds are a must as is the vitamin D, magnesium, and, of course, calcium supplements.
All that being said, though, as I am entering this journey adding more natural calcium to my diet……. I am beginning to wonder if maybe….. just maybe…… instead of taking calcium supplements 4 times a day……. maybe just maybe….. I only need them twice a day, I could replace one or possible two of them from a food source. Would that be better for my body? Would it help me with my kidney health long term. More importantly for the short term, would it keep my calcium levels where they need to be?
These are things rattling around my brain and only time will tell.
What is your relationship with food and have you ever thought why?
Part of being a passenger of life is abdicating responsibility and therefore accountability. If it is all out of our control, then nothing that happens is our fault. Not really the way it works. I realize that even though I had thought I was taking control, I had handed over the keys and just going along for the ride.
There is truth that with Hypoparathyroidism much is out of my control, but I also recently realized that I was giving up all control to it. That I was believing that due to the Hypopara that I just had to go along for the ride. That there was nothing that I could do That I just had to go along with the status quo. I was wrong.
I have talked about gaining the 20 plus pounds since becoming Hypopara. I’ve tried to loose it with no luck. So I just gave up. And this is not even about the weight but about health. For me this is now about my creeping up cholesterol, feet that are suffering from the extra weight, and now my sleep apnea.
This past week I took a step about taking back control and jumpstarting my healthy nutrition. I completed a five day healthy smoothie challenge which is just what is sounds like. Every morning instead of skipping breakfast or eating something filled with carbs an no nutritional value, I started the morning creating delicous, healthy, and power packed smoothies. They were yummy. They were easy to make and they also left to better choices later in the day.
I found these to be a great way to start the morning and set me up for a better day. Come lunch, I was making healthier choices and I was thinking about what I was putting into my body instead of just aimlessly grabbing something.
I’ve written about this before, but I will again……..
When you are not a size 8, people automatically think that you must eat nothing but crap all the time. That you start off your morning with a donut. Followed by a Big Mac for lunch followed by fried chicken for dinner. Topped off by bon bons, cake, cookies and what not all during the day.
Not the eating. The dealing with the misconception.
These misconceptions come from everyone including healthcare providers. Some are more understanding than others but even the understanding ones I think give you the side eye. Years ago when I was 25 pounds lighter and in great shape, I was considered borderline obese. I was wearing a size 8 but the numbers on the scale were high. Probably because at the time I was doing Crossfit, training for a marathon than, and all muscle. I had a doctor just look at the scale and tell me that I should have a shake for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a small dinner to get my weight down. I switched doctors.
But now, we fast forward a few years. Due to my thyroid/hypoparathyroidism I gained 20 pounds in one year. Sadly, due to covid year, probably gained another 5. I also know that I am also in not as great shape as my Crossfit days nor am I as young (shocking). That was 2016. I am 51 now. I have my thryoid/para issues. I am premenopausal (sorry guys) and it is hard. Really hard.
So yesterday, I went to see my Endocrinologist. She did take into account some things, but I still feel like she was looking at me like I am making excuses. I pointed out that once again, I am training for a marathon and I am active. She suggested that maybe a food tracking app would be good because sometimes people don’t realize what they are eating. Then went on to say that I should use the setting that doesn’t take into account exercise. WTF! WTF…… Excuse me (ahem) Bitch……. If I am going for a 6, 8, 10 plus mile run, I am going to need to fuel the run and recovery. I also don’t think she believed me when I said that I for the most part eat a healthy diet, am a pescatarian and do balance it.
Exhibits from last week.
Now, here me out…….. I know I could do more. I know that I could have the damn shake for breakfast, salad for lunch, and small dinner with carrots as a snack. I know. I know…… I know……
Here is the thing……
I don’t freaking want to!
Maybe it is the trying and trying and trying. Followed by the failing and failing and failing. Who knows. I also know that thryroid/hypoparthyroidism/hormones/age/ect are already working against me. So maybe I have given up before I started, but weight really is just a number. I don’t know why we let us define us so much.
My cholesterol last year while higher than previous with lower good cholesterol than in past is still good. While I take tons of medication daily none of them are for blood pressure or cholesterol, so there is that. My sugar levels are normal. And while I know that the extra weight probably did move my sleep apnea from high end of mild to extreme, I still had it 25 pounds ago.
I am also a petulant child. Tell me to do something and I will dig my heals in, cross my arms, and pout that “I don’t want to do!”
So who knows.
Would I like to fit back into my size 8 jeans?
Will it ever happen?
It is also really frustrating that just because it probably won’t happen that people think it is because I have no self control. Here is another fun fact….. I was a fat kid. I still remember the doctor telling my mom when I was in grammar school that she needed to put me on a diet. I still remember getting in trouble for sneaking a second packet of……. Wait for it……… wait for it…….. Oatmeal for breakfast. The shame. The teasing in school. The name calling.
Of all the things that people should feel shame for being fat isn’t one of them. So while we are now at a point where fat shaming is not really accepted, it is still going strong. Being skinny doesn’t necessarily equate to being healthy any more than being fat equates to being unhealthy.
When you are a fairly active person and you still are not a size 8, people automatically assume that it is your diet. Like everything in life…sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. And as always people should just never assume.
Even at my fittest which I would put about 2015/2016, I was according to all medical and fitness charts overweight.
I would go in for yearly checkups and when the doctor would ask how active I was, I always felt like I got the side eye….. Yes, I am active. I do cross-training, I run all the time and even am training for a marathon. I actually changed doctors around this time because one told me that I should try having a protein shake for breakfast and a salad for lunch… blah..blah…blah.. She only looked at the numbers and not full picture. Luckily my current doctor is not tied to charts and scales. She takes into account all the other numbers which have always been good. Although I admit my cholesterol is starting to creep up (not to a point where I would need medication, but for me I see a pattern). That might just be genetics and age at this point too.
Anywho…… Here we are at a point where I am no longer at “my Peak” but I am still a fairly active person. I do have to remind myself that I do not to have to be as active as I used to be, but that I do need to keep moving which I have been (I will update on that another day).
So today, I was thinking about things as I was going about my workout. I am no longer a size 8 nor do I think it would be possible without changes I do not plan to implement because I do not find it necessary. Anyhow……. And maybe it’s just me and my insecurities…….. I sometimes feel like people don’t feel like you are really trying hard enough if your goal isn’t to “get in shape.” That you are eating nothing but chips, chocolate, and ice cream. They would be wrong.
Here is the thing….. I really am in shape. I’m a bigger shape maybe, but I am also a healthy shape. I also while I readily admit do treat myself, overall I eat a very healthy diet. I am a pescatarian, so I eat a lot of veggies. I eat a lot of healthy fish. Probably don’t drink as much water as I should but trying to get better. I realized this morning that I think I have been pescatarian now for about a year. There really was never a day where I threw down the gauntlet, but it was a gradual change that occurred during pandemic. The longer I ate this way, the more I enjoyed it. I can honestly say that I do not miss meat which my husband as he was grilling a porterhouse steak this past weekend could not understand how I was satisfied with my yummy grilled portabella mushrooms. I really was….100%.
So as I go about working on my fitness goals, I wish people would not assume that the reason I am doing what I am doing is because I feel that I need to fit a certain mold or size. And even though I might also admit that the extra weight might keep me from “peak performance” that is my weight to bear and not theirs.
So when you look at an athlete or ANYONE, we really should not make assumptions about them based on something that really is not anyone’s business. Believe me EVERY overweight person knows they are overweight but not every overweight person feels the same about it.
Lastly…… unless you are their doctor or trainer, it really isn’t your place to question it either.
Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we always put ourselves down? Why don’t we treat ourselves the way we treat our friends? Why aren’t we kinder to ourselves?
Inquiring minds want to know!
As with everyone, I am in a few group message chains with my friends. These forms of communication are even more important now when you can’t see your friends. In one of these groups recently, we were all saying all the bad but very tasty things we were eating that we shouldn’t be. Then how we needed to get on track. On and on….. You know this conversation because I’m sure you’ve had these converstions.
(Sidebar – Do ONLY women have these conversations? Seriously. Although my husband has said to me about getting back on track, I don’t think he discusses with his fishing or work buddies. Maybe I’m wrong. Am I? )
Anyway after this conversation where we were all beating ourselves up about gaining weight, not loosing weight, and our bad eathing habits I started to think…..
This particular group was a bunch of running Mamas. Some are still running and training for virtual marathons. Those of us not running are still active. We are not sitting on the couch eating bon bons all day even during a pandemic.
A wise friend said, “Life has been extra nuts lately right ? Eat the damn cake chocolate pie cookie ..drink the wine beer pizza whatever …and more importantly be kind to ourselves”
Why is it so hard to be kind to ourselves?
If a friend calls us and tells us they totally blew their diet, blew through their Weight Watcher points, or gained weight; we would come back to them with a kind word (at least I hope so!). We would not berate them. We would not tell them they were hopeless. We would not tell them they blew it. We would reply that it’s ok. That tomorrow is another day. That each day is hard enough without beating themselves up. We would be kind.
So lets be kind to ourselves. Let’s start by treating ourselves the way we treat our friends. Let’s start by giving ourselves a break. Let’s start by knowing that it’s ok to eat the donut, eat the cake, and even eat the brownie but just maybe not in the same night. And if for some reason, we do eat them all in the same night to pick ourselves up the next day and say it’s ok. We will do better.
Here is another thing. As a woman of a certain age, it is pretty damn hard to loose weight. Hormones are all over the place. Metabolism is non existent. Then add no thyroid and a non working parathyroid glands and it is perfect storm of impossible weight loss.
Now I am by no means saying it is impossible to loose the weight. I am just saying that I am not committed enough right now to engage in trying to the extreme necessary. And while I may eat the donuts, the cake, the treats for the most part I really am not a bad eater. I eat a fairly healthy diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables For right now, I have embraced a pescatarian diet. I don’t really eat much processed foods. I’ve dieted. I’ve trained and run marathons. On paper, I look good. On the scale is another story.
My sister has suggested that I talk to my doctor about hormone replacement therapy. Truth be told, I take so many pills a day because of my Hypoparathyroidism that the thought of adding to the mix is just tiresome. So I am at a loss and I really do not feel the need to go to extremes as I have maintained where I am for the last 3 years since my surgery when I added these extra 20 pounds.
Now please don’t take this to mean that I have given up. I haven’t. I am not sure when yet, but I will once again start tracking my food. This actually is more for when I go to the doctors for my physical so that we can discuss it. Although my doctor is not one to use the scale as the be all indicator of health. If your doctor isn’t, I would say find one!
Now with all this being said, I am not saying that I wouldn’t be thrilled to wake up 20 pounds lighter tomorrow. I’m just saying for right now….. With all that is going on in the world…… It is just not my priority. I am not saying it won’t one day in the near future, but for today I am content to walk my mile a day and complete my 30 day yoga challenge.
During the month of December, I accepted a fun Facebook Challenge from a friend to post 10 days of running photos without explanation that had an impact on me or were important. Here are some of what I shared –
I loved this challenged and it reminded me that I used to be somewhat of a bad ass. It reminded me that I can, have, and want to again to hard things. It motivated and reminded me that before I started out, I couldn’t do any of the things that I did. I trained. I pushed myself. I didn’t give up. Most of all…. I tried.
I want to try again.
I will try again.
Most of all, I need to continue to remind myself that the best things in life aren’t easy. So I have been spending December baking cookies, eating cookies; but also plotting. Plotting how to stop feeling like a marshmallow and get back to feeling like I can do anything. Don’t get me wrong, my measurement of being a bad ass might be different than it used to be. That doesn’t make the feats any easier.
I’m putting out some BIG, BIG goals for me for 2020.
1. Loose 25 pounds
2. Run at least 1 event a month
3. Close my activity rings on my watch every day. This will ensure 30 minutes of exercise a day.
4. In the back of my mind, I’m pretty sure I want to run (if they will have me again) the NYCM again for Sandy Hook
These are lofty goals. This are hard goals. These goals will push me. Most of all these are not impossible goals even if as I write them they seem impossible.
I’m laying the ground work and plotting as I so often do. Another hypopara friend asked me to join her group to run the year 2020 challenge with some others. We will create a team and as a team, we will run 2020 miles. A challenge on your own sometimes falls to the wayside, but knowing that you are part of a team will keep you motivated. I’ve already registered for my first 5k on January 1rst.
I’ve already talked to a dietician to help me find a healthy way to loose the weight. When researching good diets for those with Hypopara, I realized that the one I used prior to becoming Hypopara might not be the best alternative now with the once again high urine calcium levels. Must protect the kidneys at all costs because being super vigilant has served me well. So having the help of a dietician will help not just with weight loss but overall health. She has also mentioned that there will be a January weight loss challenge that I can join. As mentioned above, it is easier to stay on track with others.
So as I continue to plot out my plans, I hope to share both the victories and pitfalls (hopefully not too many) with you.