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Posts Tagged ‘weight lifting’

During my adult lifetime, I have been everything from a size 6 to a size 22.  After years of up and down and not liking crowded closets, I have settled on having rubbermaids labeled 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and I used to have 18, but I got rid of it last year.  For ever!!!

While I have not gotten back to my weight lifting and aerobic exercise routine I had before my heart problems came up, I am serious about how I eat.  After open heart surgery, I found out I was one of the 26.9 % of people who develop Type II diabetes.  During 2009, I laid off of sweets, to a large degree, and went even lower on salt than I already was.  I cut out red meat, for the most part.  My doctor told me that it will not kill me to eat a piece of cake for my birthday and I have occasionally done so.  Did I mention that I have three official birthdays a year?

Salad for breakfast

In the beginning vegan diet, there was salad to eat. I was hungry 24/7 and now salad is but one part of my diet

Then, I found out that my heart surgery had failed and I had 70% blockage in a vein at the entry point to my heart. I am no longer a candidate for further open heart surgery, so I decided to go vegan.

First, let me say, in no way has this been an easy battle.  The first two months of a plant based diet seemed to be the magical formula.  I lost two pounds a week, but was continually hungry and never satisfied.  It’s the same plant based, no oil diet that President Clinton went on after his heart problem.  Only thing is, I do not have a chef to make the food taste good and the creator of the diet has the wierdest taste buds on earth.  He puts sweet potatoes or sweet squash in everything, along with about 26 more ingrediants) and frankly only sweet and sour chicken is a sweet/sour mix I like.

I am now eating Vegetarian and hoping to work my way back to Vegan.  With the help of three cholesterol busters (medications) and my no meat diet (and there is the very, very occasional hamburger out) I have reduced my clogging from 70% to 50%. You can do that.

Now, if I can just get my body back on the treadmill and weight bench, I can maybe get some of those rubbermaids emptied out to Good Will.

Bon Appetite!

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I grew up in a “women don’t sweat” type of family.  My dad did not watch sports on television and neither did my brother.  The closest we got to physical activity was once, my brother and I, played badminton.  We did not go to the beach.  We would do a ‘walk’ on our vacation. It certainly wasn’t a hike. I was hardly allowed to ride my bike because I might get hit by a car.  Mom was a bit overprotective, but, then again, I never got hit by a car. 

 

I was last picked to play ball and I hated gym, so when I started the Body for Life program, I was thoroughly amazed at how good it felt to lift weights.  Me, can’t hit a ball with a stick, me and I love weight lifting. 

 

I had worked hard for nine months, alternating weight lifting and the treadmill, in 2005, and I lost (drumroll please) not one ounce; muscles weigh more than fat.  I did lose two dress sizes however, and I felt better than I ever felt: weak ankles, gone; floating knee caps, gone; weak arms, gone; aching back, gone.  I could throw around clay with the best of them.  I was strong and I knew I would never be weak again.

 

The main reason I had gotten into this is that I was watching my mother deteriorate and I said, to myself, that I was not going to go down that road.  That road included weakness, illness, resting to walk down a hall and instability, and I was strong.

 

In 2005, there were no commercials on television telling a woman that one reason she is tired could be her heart.  I could have been the poster ‘woman’ for that commercial.  I woke up one morning so exhausted I couldn’t lift weights, or run.  Just overnight, I was exhausted.  I could barely walk, and over the next two years, I got so bad that I could not make it to open the door for irritating Chihuahua to go outside. 

 

“Why didn’t you go to the doctor, you ask.”  I did.  I didn’t have insurance though so the A.N.P. (some type of nursing practitioner) that I got to see checked my thyroid four times over the next two years and told me I was “just under stress.”  Of course, she never even hinted at a treatment for the “just stress” that was slowly killing me. 

 

Then, the doctor’s office called me in and told me not to return for three months because I was “just under stress.”  There’s a lot more to the story, like blood pressure being twenty points different in each arm and a cardiologist who was pretty sure he knew what was wrong but his hands were tied by the corporation he worked for.  So, when they told me not to return to their office, I came home and announced, “They have sent me home to die.”

 

Then, on the internet, I found the wonderful people of St. Francis hospital.  I went into their free cardiac clinic and two hours later was seeing a cardiologist, who scheduled me for a cardiac catherization.  It took a total of seven days before I was having emergency open heart surgery.  I had a spasming artery to my heart (could it have been caused by stress?  Possibly)  I also had 70% blockage, but they said that could have waited.

 

When you don’t have insurance, you do not have rehabilitation.  So, it has taken me two years but, as a birthday present for myself, I finally felt strong enough to start Body for Life again. 

 

I recently read some negative things about this program, but I am here to tell you there is no pressure.  There is no one saying, “you can’t get anywhere, if you don’t use forty pound weights.”  Just the opposite, is the case.  I am starting off with two pound weights and actually I have also had to modify the program for now.  Last time, I did all the reps right from the beginning.  I have to listen to my body, so that I have the energy to do other things.  It is a great program and I love it. 

 

I am literally using two pounds on the upper body and one set of reps.  I went up to three pounds a couple of weeks ago and my rib cage hurt so much that I went back down. I am also eating smaller portions and healthier food.  It all goes hand in hand, folks. 

 

Since February 2, I have lost eleven pounds, and I’m loving that part too.  I’m sweating and I’m loving it all.

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