Monday, May 04, 2009

taking care of my body in 2009: part 5

Alternative title: "a mixed bag

Alternative title: "doritos do not make a healthy lunch"

Alternative title: "time to bring in some support"

As my first alternative title suggests, I have had some mixed success this month, in my quest to "treat my body as well as I treat my mind" in 2009.

Let's review, shall we?

1-Walk VIGOROUSLY for an average of one hour, five times per week (300 minutes a week).

I did very well on this front, meeting my goal and exceeding it. I am especially pleased, given that I had such a terrible cold for a while. And I am very proud of the fact that I went for a long walk every day that I was at the Conference for Women Living With Advanced Breast Cancer (near Philly). I walked after checking in at the hotel, at the end of a long day on Saturday and organized a late check-out so that I could walk again before going to the airport.

2-Go to yoga once every week.

I went twice. I can definitely do better. I did have semi-valid excuses (conflicts and a head cold that made it impossible for me to bend down) but really, I can do better.

I'm going Wednesday morning, OK? I'll report back afterwards.

3. Do either 10 minutes (at least) of strength training or yoga with the Wii Fit or abdominal exercises every day (chemo recovery days excluded).

I used the Wii Fit once. I did the abdominal exercises three times (every day when I was away and then not again). Yeah, I caught a cold and then had chemo. But there were lots of days I could have worked at it and didn't.

I think I will lower the bar to 5-10 minutes and try again.

And that's the good news.

4-Cook dinner at least once a week.
5-Cut down on refined sugar.
6-Eat seven servings of fruit and veggies a day.

7- Take my vitamin D and calcium supplements daily.

When it comes to input, things have been a little out of control.

The dinners I "cooked" were as instant as possible.

I have eaten more sugar and fried stuff in the last month than I have in a very long time (Easter, Passover, travelling and my son's birthday provided the excuse). And the volume of food has vastly exceeded my needs.

The whole fruit and veggie thing has been extremely haphazard. I stopped keeping track but I'm probably averaging three servings a day (if I am incredibly generous in my calculation).

I can't remember the last time I took the lid off a supplement.

Clearly, it's time for some more drastic action.

I'm not talking about buying into the beauty myth or wanting to look like Posh Beckham. I just need to take better care of myself.

My lymphedema is worse and has started to be painful.

The bigger pants I bought are becoming tight.

I have aches and pains in my joints.

I feel sluggish and run down.

Now, I know not all of this is attributable to diet (early menopause and chemo are playing a role) but I do have control over what goes into my mouth.

I keep attending workshops on diet and nutrition, as it relates to cancer (went to another excellent one at the conference I have yet to write about) and I have years of Weight Watchers and reading obsessively about diets under my belt.

Going back to Weight Watchers might help (I tried doing the online last year and without a person to hold me to account, it was a bust) but we really can't afford it right now and the idea of dragging my ass to meetings is extremely unappealing.

So, my friend C. (who is feeling much as I have been) and I have hatched a plan. We are going to track what we eat, weigh in weekly and report in to each other. And then we'll have a little mini-meeting about what things are working for us and why other things might not be. My goals for this month aren't changing (no specific weight loss goal and I won't count points) but I will keep careful track of my promises to myself.

This kind of accountability has worked for me when it comes to my writing goals so it can only help on the health front. When I was meeting with my coach in January (without whom I would never have finished the book, started writing fiction or done so many other things that made me feel happy and purposeful in 2008), I set the following goals for the year:

I want to fit back into my pre-diagnosis pants (two sizes smaller than my current ones).

I want to have a strong core.

I want to feel fit and strong.

I think these goals are realistic and achievable. I just need to keep my eye on the prize.

Going to go throw out the empty Doritos bag and weigh myself with the Wii Fit now.


Unknown said...

I have to say, I'm very impressed you walked so much. Good work! I hope being accountable to your friend will help you meet some of your other goals. Hang in there!

Bhuvana said...

In the past I have used and found it useful to keep track. Now I just go to the local University Wellness Center (they have a cardiac rehab program attached to the gym and since I had some issues last summer, it is a good place for me to go.

Keep at it Laurie. I try too :)

Unknown said...

Did you like the Wii Fit the time you did use it? I'm curious. ;)

I hate "instant meals" but often don't feel like cooking. I've gotten out of the habit as of late, but generally I cook a really large batch and freeze half for another day. That way I can still eat "homecooked" on the days I don't want to be in the kitchen.

Easy meals that double up quickly and freeze well in our house are mac and cheese, cabbage roll casserole, hamburger soup, goulash, etc. :)

Great job on the walking!

-Melissa. (refashionista)

Dee said...

I've been trying to cut out the refined sugar, too. It's hard, though! I usually try to change one thing at a time until it becomes habit, then I do something else. I'd say you were making progress since your first goals (walking, etc.) have become fairly regular.

I've also started using a Personal Chef. For $140 US, she makes me three entrees of four servings each. As the servings are sometimes generous, I usually get 14 or 15 meals out of them. Yeah, I could probably cook it for cheaper myself, but I think it's also a bit cheaper than eating out. And, I get healthy, generally good-tasting food that I only have to warm up. That's a good alternative. Plus, she cooks at my house. This works for me because my son is with his dad almost half the time, so the meals can stretch out over a couple of weeks, at least. My partner, though, may be moving in soon and that may change. It's still a good deal for me, though.

Christine said...

I've been writing about my struggle to lose my chemo weight at I hope you find something there that might be helpful.

laurie said...

Thanks to all. And Christine, I will check your posts out.
Melissa - we have fun with the wii fit. Not convinced it provides much of a workout, though.