Friday, February 24, 2012

On Diet and Exercise

Among the many reasons I am inspired to blog again, tracking my journey to health again is a major player. I have known for years that my diet is not good, that I am overweight by at least 35 pounds and that I was playing Russian roulette with my sugar intake. Now the chickens have come home to roost, (figuratively only, since we are still preparing our coop for REAL chickens) for my really little, young, cute, mother-of-two doctor has informed me that my LDL cholesterol levels are much too high and my blood-sugar numbers are at pre-diabetic levels. Therefore, I am faced with a choice: diddle around at pretending to get healthy and fit, or do it for real. Let’s just say that the thought of injecting insulin and pricking my fingers multiple times a day is not particularly appealing; I will opt for dietary changes and the addition of cardiovascular activity. Ready? Go……!

Ugh. This sucks! 1500 calories a day max? Seriously? That really sounds like a lot until you really start tracking your intake. I signed up (for free) at myfitnesspal.com, where you plug in your personal stats and weight-loss goals, then they tabulate for you the numbers for calories, carbs, fat and protein you should hit each day. I always drank my sweet, chocolatey coffee guilt-free because I figured a little bitta this and a little bitta that didn’t really add up to much. Well, it does. ONE cup of my favorite morning beverage is equal to nearly a tenth of my total caloric intake for the day. Again, not really that much until you consider that the average healthy meal is still three- to four-hundred calories. Count in snacks, and not even any non-water drinks, and you are finished. Kaput. Done.

Fortunately, I am, so far, doing okay with this. Sometimes I really crave something sweet, and my evening routine has nearly always included some sort of crunchy, salty, fatty snacking. That is difficult when my evenings are not busy. Yesterday I blew over all my limits by about exactly the calories, carbs and fat in the little, tiny (eensy, really,) Jr Frosty I ate at Wendy’s.

I only regret it a little. I am very determined to get back to a place where granny bras are not my only option, and to have the energy and fitness level my life goals now require of me. In addition, I reeeaaalllyyy want to be on the fire crew at Nachusa this year, and you must pass a fitness test to do so. Being able to walk two miles in 30 minutes, while carrying a 25-pound pack is NOT easy, and I am not yet able to be at that level. If I hammer hard I can do two miles in 30 minutes, but I am wasted and sore. I know I can’t do it with a pack.

I will continue to walk, I will swim at the rec center, I will even do the orientation required to get onto the fitness machines. I will adjust my eating habits, learn to like vegetables, and discover new and healthy ways to get a fix for my sweet tooth. And I will rejoice at the meeting of every small goal. Baby steps, after all.

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