A ‘health’ post – Updated

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I don’t normally write posts about my health, exercise or what I eat.  It’s not that I’m against those kinds of posts, I’ve just been turned off by some in the past.  When I read that eating ‘this’ way is the ONLY way to eat healthy, or exercising a certain way is the ONLY way to loose weight, it just really turns me off.  Everyone is different, and I don’t think there is only one way to eat, exercise or things like that.  So with that in mind, I’ve never written posts like this, because I don’t want to come across that the way I eat or exercise is the only way.  But my weight, eating and health have been a focus for me lately, so I have decided to write about it.  Let me say right now, I’m only talking about what I am doing for me.  I don’t think this is the only way to eat healthy, exercise or anything.  And I’m not talking down someone who chooses to do things differently.  I’m just sharing my heart about my life.

I have been slowly watching my weight creep up the older I get.  Actually, I should say, I’ve noticed a change in clothes sizes.  I don’t own a scale because I know me, I would get so hooked on the numbers, I wouldn’t pay attention to anything else.  And I would be extremely bummed if the numbers didn’t constantly go down.  I do own of scale of sorts now, the Wii Fit board, so that will be the only scale I work with.  The extra steps it takes to get it out, turn on the Wii, log into Wii Fit and get weighed, helps me not to be attached to it in a way I shouldn’t be.

I have also noticed lately that I am just more tired.  Not like I can’t do anything tired, but just a sort of run down feeling.  So I set up an appointment with my doctor and got checked out.  Mainly I wanted him to draw some blood and make sure my vitamin levels weren’t too low, and other things they check.  I didn’t like what the scale at the office showed, but I did like my blood pressure reading.  She said it was real good.  Truthfully I had been stressing all day about website design issues and I thought for sure my blood pressure would be high.  🙂  My doctor said he would do the blood tests, and that if they all came back ok, then it would be diet and exercise I would need to focus on for my tiredness.  One thing he did say to me, besides more water, fruits and veggies, is to make sure I have some protein with every meal.  I was excited thinking I could have meat at every meal (I’m a meat and taters kind of gal).  But he reminded me that I can get protein other ways too.  🙂  I haven’t gotten all the results back yet, but I did get some results and my thyroid, liver and kidneys are great and I’m not anemic (thank you Lord).  My vitamin level results won’t be back until next week, but they did find that I have indications of a viral infection.  Which would explain why I’m feeling run down.  The nurse said to treat the symptoms and drink lots of fluids to flush it out.  Since being tired is my biggest symptom, that means resting a lot.  Which I’m not real good at, but that’s for another post.  🙂

I don’t do ‘diets’ because they never last.  I know for me the best thing to do is watch my portion sizes of food, and for me, that is the hardest thing.  I mean, I really can’t tell what a proper size is.  I’ve printed out a little cheat sheet that reminds me 2 ounces of cheese is the size of two dice, things like that.  But truthfully, it hasn’t helped a whole lot.  I just don’t remember to look at it.  Plus, and here is my biggest downfall, I tend to eat like my husband!  I know, so completely wrong.  First he is a man, and our bodies are different.  But secondly he has a VERY physically active job, and I don’t.  So the portion sizes that he eats are way bigger than the portion sizes I should eat.  I know in the past part of me ate the bigger sizes because if I didn’t, I felt like I wouldn’t get any leftovers.  Everyone else would eat them.  So hubby and I talked about it, and we agreed that I could put some away in a container that’s just for me.  I even have a specific container now for that reason.  No one else touches it, and that helps me to realize I don’t need to gorge myself when eating just because I think there won’t be leftovers.

So after going to the doctor, I decided I really need to work on my portion sizes.  I joined MyFitnessPal which I had heard about before, but the Jenn was talking a lot about it, and I thought it would help me understand portion sizes more.  I’ve been on it for three days now, and it has really helped me learn more about portion sizes.  It’s a bit time consuming for me, because I make different recipes, and I have to create all my recipes there, which is a bit of a pain.  But at least once its there it’s saved, so I’m really hoping it will only be this time consuming at the beginning.  Putting that aside, it has helped me to check portion sizes before I eat because I need to keep track of them on there.  I need to watch myself though, because it’s constantly telling me about calories which isn’t my main focus there.  I truly believe, if I eat only when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full, I will loose weight.  Plus I’m trying to learn to eat much more slowly.  I have skinny friends who eat this way, and they never diet.  My problem is, I eat when I’m not really hungry, don’t stop when I’m full and eat the wrong portion sizes and I gulp down my food.  But knowing I have to log everything into this site is making me think more before I eat and when I eat.  It’s helping me see how much protein I’m eating, which my doctor wants me to add.  And I can easily keep track of the water I drink, which I need to do to flush out this virus.  I even have the iTouch app for it, though I will admit, I like the web page better.  Again, maybe after I get some regular things I eat in there and don’t have to type so much I’ll like the app version.

But doing this I realized I haven’t a clue what things look like when they are a certain weight.  Like two ounces of cheese, how much is that?  I buy cheese in bulk, much cheaper, but how do I know I’ve cut off only two ounces?  Or chicken, how do I know the chopped chicken I’m adding to a salad is only 3 ounces?  So I decided to get a scale so I can weigh some of my food and learn what a proper portion size looks like.  Isn’t it nice?

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I’m actually having fun with it right now, though I’m sure in the future I’ll grow tired of it.  But I don’t plan to weigh and measure my portion sizes forever.  I’m really praying that I will learn what a proper portion size is, and then I can stop the weighing and measuring.  But so far it has really helped.  I had cooked some chicken yesterday for chicken salad.  I cooked extra and cut it up and put 3 ounces in little baggies and put them in the freezer.  Now when I need some protein for lunch, and I don’t know what to make, I can pull out some chicken and know it’s the size I need.

I was a little worried that the sizes would be so small they wouldn’t really feed me, but for the most part that hasn’t been true.  I have been shocked by the sizes at times, both big and small.  The chicken was smaller than I thought it would be, but when I weighed out 2 ounces of cheese this morning for a snack, I was surprised how much that actually was.  And I didn’t even eat a whole 2 ounces, I only measured out 1.5 ounces because it would have been more than I was hungry for.  So already it’s really been an eye opener.  But even with this I need to watch my eating.  Last night I put the ‘right’ portion size of chicken salad on my plate and ate pretty much all of it, though I was full before it was completely gone.  But my mind starts thinking, it’s a portion size which means I can eat more.  🙁  So I really need to learn how to put these two things together.  I’m really praying the Lord shows me how to do this for me.

These are the things I’m really trying to work on.  Not comparing other people’s portion sizes to mine and want to eat like them.  To not get to caught up with the big calorie number on MyFitnessPal’s website.  Again, it’s like a scale, I can get too hooked on it. Trying to slow down when I eat.  I’m actually looking at the clock before I take my first bite and try to make sure my meal lasts at least 20 minutes.  I know they say reading isn’t a good thing to do when you eat because you’ll eat absently, but for me it helps.  I can take a bite, put down my fork and read a bit before I take the next bite.  It helps keep me ‘busy’ so I don’t gulp down all my food.  But mostly I’m trying to continue to give this to the Lord and not make it my main focus.  And I know my hubby is watching me on that too.  It’s one thing to try and watch my portion sizes to get my body in a more healthy condition.  It’s another thing to becomes so engrossed in what I’m eating, sizes and everything else that it starts to consume me.  And that’s what I really want to watch out for.  I really want these new portion sizes to become the norm for me, and I know with the Lord’s help it will.  I pray through this my tiredness would ease up a bit.  I must of overdone it yesterday, because today after working out on the Wii fit, I’m really feel run down.  So I’m doing as my nurse said, I’m treating the symptom.  I’m sitting on my bed with my laptop working on this post while my kids do their school lessons in the living room.  But I’m thinking of other things I ‘should’ be doing.  Resting, it just doesn’t come easy for me.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading about my health and fitness journey.  I probably won’t write much more about it on here.  If I really want to write about it, I might just use the blog option on MyFitnessPal.  Like I said, I don’t want it to become a main focus for me.  If you do join MyFitnessPal, look me up, I’m JoAnn22.

I need to add something, I have recently found out that a serving size and a portion size is NOT the same thing. A ‘portion size’ of a normal cookie is two medium size cookies.  The serving size on some packages say 6 cookies.  So that was something I learned.  Serving sizes & portion sizes are not the same.

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