Tag Archives: health

This is my oath to you

31 Dec

In keeping with my tradition of listening to the most poppy of all pop songs, I adore the song Oath by Cher Lloyd and Becky G.  Alex is a huge Becky G fan as evidenced by her new flat brimmed baseball hat, high tops and sweater with holes in it. :/

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Getting Rid of Pounds. Week five.

17 May

I lost TWO POUNDS this week!

That puts me at 9 pounds lost in total, with 31 still to go.  I am almost done with the green pompoms and will be moving on to another colour!

With respect to my arrangement from last week, I need to lose three more pounds and I am off to get a pedicure.

This week I can say that both my eating and exercise were pretty good.  After the news from last week regarding my cholesterol, I was prepared to start starving myself.  Realistically, I knew that wouldn’t help me, so I went back to what works.

In the morning I have a shakeology with 1/2 a banana and a teaspoon of all natural peanut butter.  I snack on almonds and/or apple.  For lunch, I usually bring leftovers from the night before or some variation on a salad with protein. I also really like GF oatmeal with a teaspoon of natural peanut butter and natural strawberry jam. Tastes good!  My dinners have been grilled chicken with salad usually, but I have gone for Thai food and sushi.  I also went out and bought myself one of those Lindt 85% dark chocolate bars.  I hid it.  Every evening, I have one square.

As far as exercise, I am walking, walking, walking, and loving it! I love to walk. I’m one of those people out there “race” walking and it feels good.  I have my daughter’s iPod touch or my phone, put on my headphones and bop to the music as I walk around my neighbourhood for 30 to 40 minutes a day.  In fact, I haven’t even taken a day off!

The key, I think, is to be realistic. If you hate chicken and salad, then don’t eat chicken and salad. If you hate to walk, don’t walk. Find something that works for you and makes you happy!

I am glad that this all happened before going into the Victoria Day long weekend. Historically, this weekend is about opening the cottage and eating as much food as humanly possible, all day long, for several days straight.

To combat that, I am only going to the cottage from Friday to Sunday. While I do have things to do Sunday evening and Monday, it is also a good excuse to get back to normal sooner rather than later.  I am not going to beat myself up, but I am also going to stop and think before acting like an insane glutton.

As of now, that sums up where I am at.

How are you all doing?

Read all of my posts in my ongoing series about health and weight loss.

Panic Attacks. The period connections.

15 May

I wrote this yesterday, and am feeling much better today!

My psychiatrist introduced me to a website a few years ago, called Moodtracker and I have been using it off and on ever since. (I have no connection with Moodtracker except that I like it). The good things about it are that it is free, it allows your caregiver to see how you are doing and monitor medication, and you can watch your mood fluctuations in “real time”.

One thing I noticed is that my highest anxiety and depression levels, including panic attacks and physical symptoms, often occurred near the time of my period. I have read about connections in a woman’s cycle and mood disorders before so I wasn’t surprised, but it is intriguing just how connected they seem to be for me.

My period is about to start like any second now and my anxiety is really, really high. Physically, I feel terrible. I have had several panic attacks over the last few days including one of the worst in a long time. The worst one came on the night after my doctor’s appointment where I was told about needing to watch my cholesterol. I was in the bathroom around midnight and I felt a strange burning sensation going through my limbs. I could barely get in any breath at all, I felt strange all over, weak, and out of control. I thought to myself “this really is it” and I could not let go of the intrusive thoughts as I could in the past because well, I have cholesterol issues and past BP issues and I need to lose weight and THIS. COULD. BE. IT!

I screamed for my husband. I was about to dial 911 but I screamed for him. I started pacing all over in complete fear and my husband took me by the shoulders and told me to breath and to go back to bed. BED? I was in serious trouble, how could I sleep at a time like this? I walked around, got water, walked around and then finally just tried to rest.

For some reason, I went to bed, and felt normal again. No more heat rushing through my body, I could breath, and I felt calm.

Wow.

Today, I feel anxiety in me. I am weak and shaking and my breathing is beyond shallow which brings about a whole host of other issues.

Right now, I feel overwhelmed with all the “right things” I want to do.

I want to eat oatmeal and take omega 3 pills, I want to walk daily and meditate. Actually, it doesn’t seem like a particularly comprehensive list now that I have written down, but it I feel overwhelmed because I want to be “better” as fast as possible.

Panic and anxiety really suck.

Image came from google images via this site.

Check out my ongoing series on Panic Attacks and Post Partum Mood Disorders including Depression and Anxiety.

Getting rid of pounds. Blah blah blah.

5 May

Tom Hiddleston welcomes you to my whiny post. Stay for him.

You are welcome.

Onwards.

I learned a lesson in the past week or so. A good lesson. Lately I have enjoyed a little bit too much of the ice cream. And the white rice. And the GF tortilla chips. And I feel crap about it.

So far, there has been no reflection in my weight, but there is enough of a sluggish feeling that I know I cannot continue on this path.

There is a pattern at work, you see.

I lose some weight. I am happy. I feel I can eat what I want.

But I cannot.

I cannot eat what I want, when I want.

And I am ok with this.

When I let the voices of others – society and otherwise –  attempt to sway me from my chosen path, I fail to stay true to myself.

Restriction works for me. I enjoy restriction. I thrive on restriction. I am healthier when restricting.

As of now, I am off the rice and potatoes and sugar.

I am not in a place where “occasional treats” work and I am ok with that because if it’s not working, change it.

Glad to have gotten that off my chest, mind and back.

********************************************************************

Now I can get back to my fun Friday night programming of following the Tom Hiddleston tag on Tumblr and reading about how he tweeted that orgasms are marvellous after he tweeted the ending to the Avengers movie using the word orgasm and then freaked out about the spoiler and deleted the tweet focusing instead on orgasm.

/fangirling like a maniac.  Flanked  by two sleeping small people beside me who would be truly and fantastically embarrassed that their mother still thinks like a teenager. And acts like one.

And yes, I am listening to the Wanted, thank you VERY much.

And in the immortal words of the bitchy “cool” girl from the best movie of all time Girls Just Want to Have Fun – “no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be as good as me”.

With that – back to Tumblr.

Getting rid of pounds. Second Week

26 Apr

It’s hard to see, but this week, I lost two pounds for a total of seven pounds lost!

I feel pretty good overall, but my exercise was slim to none this week and I really noticed.  I enjoy exercising and how it makes me feel, but once I miss one morning, it tends to set the tone for the rest of the week.  I admit to looking forward to better weather when walking in the evening with my music will be a real option.  There really is something about walking with music in my ears that I just love.  I can think things through and focus on my thoughts and the music.

Food wise, I’ve been good.  I enjoy what I eat, and am happy about it.  I had two pieces of white chocolate and some frozen yogurt, but I’m ok with that.

My BP was great when I saw my doctor today!  I felt really excited about it and also relieved.  Psychologically, I feel healthier.  Mind/body connection maybe?

Either way, I enjoy continuing on this journey and am loving feeling (and looking?) better! 🙂

Posts on my weight loss journey.

How do we sabotage our babies intuitive eating?

25 Apr

This post is based on my opinion.

The website IntuitiveEating.org defines intuitive eating:

The underlying premise of Intuitive Eating is that you will learn to respond to your inner body cues, because you were born with all the wisdom you need for eating intuitively. On the surface, this may sound simplistic, but it is rather complex.  This inner wisdom is often clouded by years of dieting and food myths that abound in the culture.  For example, “Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full” may sound like basic common sense, but when you have a history of chronic dieting or of following rigid “healthy” rules about eating, it can be quite difficult. To be able to ultimately return to your inborn Intuitive Eater, a number of things need to be in place—most importantly, the ability to trust yourself!

Intuitive eating seems to be everywhere these days.  Mindfulness in general is gaining in popularity and it is only fitting that people bring that mindfulness to what, and how, they eat.  Proponents of eating intuitively consider this way of eating to be both normal and natural, a sort of “anti-diet”.  Others on the other side of the debate consider it another diet, another lifestyle change, and another way of eating to mitigate the amount of harm in one’s body.  Either way, being more mindful of when we eat and why we eat, is a sound idea for several reasons, both physical and emotional.

According the blogger Mary Claire at My Intuitive Eating Journey:

Think of a baby. They know when they’re hungry. They cry. We feed them…when they have had enough they turn away, or throw the food away. They won’t eat no matter how much you try to force it down their throats. They haven’t been brainwashed by society into thinking they need to eat less to be thin, or eat more to make someone happy (or because there are starving children somewhere).

Maria Von Trapp, who sang the immortal lines from “Do Re Mi” in the Sound of Music had the right of it.

“Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. When we read we begin with ABC…”

To look at intuitive eating, we need to start at the very beginning.

With a baby.

As a mother, I am constantly reading and researching topics pertaining to children.  One thing I hear a lot of is that children today are significantly more overweight and showing markers for diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis at shockingly young ages, compared to only one generation ago.

This discussion could go on because there are so many factors contributing to childhood (and adult) obesity.

I am going to discuss infant feeding, and the role that it plays in this discussion, because it is so important to go right to the beginning in looking at this issue.

I want my children to be healthy and fit, and to have a healthy relationship with food.  I want them to trust in their own bodies and minds.  Through my years of research (AKA – being my kid’s mom), I have found several things that I believe will contribute to my children ultimately having a positive relationship to food.  I fail a lot, but I continue to try to achieve a healthy balance.

Mary Claire asserts that babies eat intuitively.

I agree.

Sort of.

1.  Breastfed babies eat intuitively.  In order to successfully get milk from the mother’s breast, the baby must latch on.  The process of latching and then sucking the milk takes effort.  Essentially, a breastfed baby must work for their food.  It is relatively easy for a nursing mother to know when baby is actively sucking for their food, or passively sucking for comfort.

Conversely, the bottlefed baby (be it breastmilk or formula in the bottle) does not exert the same effort.  Bottle nipples are free flowing, and though they come in varying sizes and flow rates, the method of getting milk from it  is the same.

2.  A breastfed baby controls their intake.  It is impossible to force a baby to latch onto the breast and actively suck, particularly when baby is not hungry. Babies may eat many, many times a day.  They may eat for an hour.  They may eat for 5 minutes every 1/2 hour.  They may be easily distracted and delatch to look around.

Here is the key – they are controlling their own intake.  Yes, it is hard and exhaustive for the mom, but it gets easier and it creates a much more positive relationship with food in later life.

The caregiver of a bottlefed baby controls the intake.  While the baby may turn their head or indicate that they are done, the caregiver may continue to feed the baby until the bottle is empty (in an effort not to waste the milk or in an attempt to “top the baby up”).

This early step of “force feeding”, immediately takes away the autonomy from the baby – they are no longer in control of their intake.  Furthermore, when feeding is “scheduled”, the baby does not eat according to their needs, but according to a time table designed by someone else.

3.  Breastmilk is designed so that the lower calorie, “thinner” or “more watery” “foremilk” is what comes first and the calorie and fat rich “hindmilk” comes later.  (Kellymom explains this much better than I do).  Generally, the baby gets satisfied off the foremilk and only has a small amount of hindmilk.

The calories are evenly distributed via bottlefeeding.

This small difference may play a larger role in later life.  This article (with citations, is quite interesting and explains things well).  It is important to take note of this though, because babies who are being exclusively breastfed are often told they are “too small” because the chart that they are being weighed against is a chart for babies who are fed formula.  Ensure that your baby is being measured by the WHO chart for breastfed babies and look at other cues such as growing in the positive direction on a curve, output and mood.

4.  Early introduction to solids can contribute to later problems with weight and lack of intuitively eating.  The guidelines for most major paediatric associations state to wait until the baby is at least six months old before introducing solid food into the diet.

5. Baby led weaning or baby led solids allows a baby to control their own food intake and choices.  If we want our kids to have a positive relationship with food, this can begin right when solid foods are introduced.  In the first year, solids are mainly for “testing” and tasting, not for sustenance.  The baby should be offered solid foods when they are interested and they should be allowed to feed themselves.  For someone who practices baby led solids,  scooping rice cereal into baby will not usually happen and instead baby will play with foods of soft textures in their hands and then eventually pick food up and eat it.  Additionally, breastmilk and formula should be offered before solid food, not after.

 The conclusions to a study published in the British Medical Journal 2012 states:

Weaning style impacts on food preferences and health in early childhood. Our results suggest that infants weaned through the baby-led approach learn to regulate their food intake in a manner, which leads to a lower BMI and a preference for healthy foods like carbohydrates. This has implications for combating the well-documented rise of obesity in contemporary societies.

6. Bottlefeeding after 12-18 months of age.  Babies who get milk from a bottle past the age of 12-18 months show an increased risk for later obesity.  A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics suggests  that parents tend to allow the child to use the bottle and walk around with it, and often use it as a behavioural technique, associating the food with comfort and feeding an emotional need.  Breastfeeding is not included in this as breastfeeding can meet an emotional need with limited increase in calories and children associate breastfeeding differently.

By nature, babies do eat intuitively, but, in the same way that we sabotage ourselves, we can sabotage our children’s ability to eat intuitively.

If a baby is bottlefed, be sure to feed on demand and, even if milk will be wasted, to stop when the baby indicates they are done.  Follow the cues of your baby and let them set their own feeding schedule (or not).  Rather than feeding a baby solids via a spoon, allow them to explore the food and feed themselves.

I look to my son as a sort of “test case” for this.  My son is a very intuitive eater.  Although he had a very minimal amount of formula after birth, he was cup fed and nursed exclusively following release from the hospital.  My son was not a huge eater of solid foods in his first year and we very much followed a baby led solids approach, although it was difficult for me to put aside preconceived notions of “right and wrong” with respect to feeding.  When I returned to work at twelve months, my son experimented more with solid food, but we reversed cycled at night with nursing – another sign that my son followed his own cues as to when he needed nutrients.  Yes, I was tired at times, but I believe that due to the small period in which our children are young, we need to set aside our own wants at times for their needs.  

My son is a small four year old, weight wise, but he is a mighty and healthy child, meeting and exceeding developmental milestones.  Watching him eat is a pleasure.  He eats slowly and methodically.  He goes through periods where his hunger is high and periods where he needs little.  He asks for a wide variety of food from sweets and chocolate to salmon and carrots.  He is not a perfect eater, but he developed, from an early age, the ability to eat intuitively, and I hope that he continues to have a positive relationship with food as he gets older.

Doctor Shopping

9 Apr

Every year, around March/April, my doctor sends a letter to his patients. He updates us on what is going on with his practice, who the new resident is, and a fee guide for uninsured services.

Every year, dh and I send him a cheque for our family so we don’t have to be billed per service for phone appointments, notes and prescription refills.

A few weeks ago, I went to see my doctor. At the end of the appointment, he asked me if I had read the letter, and embarrassed that I hadn’t yet read it, I joked not to worry, but we would send in our cheque as we are frequent users of uninsured services.

It’s not that kind of a letter, he said.

Uh oh, I joked, no more family plan? Was I bankrupting him.

Heh. Not that kind of a letter, he said again.

I looked at him.

He looked at me.

You’re retiring. Not even a question. I just knew.

I’m closing my practice, focusing on teaching and just paring down.

I cried.

My doctor hugged me and gave me a fatherly kiss on the cheek.

How do you replace a wonderful doctor?

How do I replace the doctor who has seen me through all of my panic and anxiety?

I gave myself the night to mourn.

The next day I was searching for a new doctor. I searched for doctors accepting new patients in my community. From that list, I searched through the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons website to check out their registration and see make sure they hadn’t been suspended.  I read reviews.

I made a list and started to call.

After a few roadblocks, I found a possibility and booked a meet and greet.

The day arrived to meet him and I went into the office, which was nice and new and spacious.

The doctor came in to see me.

He was wearing a mask.

Oh, he pulled it over his mouth, but he was still wearing it around his ears.

Do you smoke? Do you drink? Are you a drug user? Do you have any big medical issues?

Uh.

So he was a no. I just didn’t click with him. I didn’t get a WARM sense from him. At all.

I went through the rest of my list and found that no one was accepting patients.  One receptionist gave me the number of a doctor who had started a new practice so I did my check (college and reviews) and phoned to book a meet and greet.

Her office was beautiful and her staff was nice.

I was escorted into a state of the art room and had my vitals taken.

My blood pressure was HIGH. Like really high.

The doctor came in and we chatted and I liked her. She took my blood pressure again. HIGH.

I think we’ll do an ECG and try taking it manually. 

I started to panic. I felt sick to my stomach and I was sweating and shaking.

The nurse came in to do an ECG and I was in tears.

In the end, all was fine.  Manually, my blood pressure was in the high normal range. ECG was normal.

But the doctor was wonderful. Thorough, prompt, nice, compassionate and kind. 

I went back a week later to check my blood pressure again – all fine, likely anxiety, but she is having me check my blood pressure at home to be safe.  She spent time just talking to me about my moods and she read the mood journal and thought records I brought.

Her approach, her office, her staff and well, her, solidified my choice. I signed the forms for myself and my kids. I brought forms home for my husband. Even my father in law, who saw my old doctor, wants to meet with her.

It is almost like she was tested. It was almost like I needed to see how she would react to panic. She passed.

As I embark on this new medical phase, I am not surprised that it was so stressful, but I am hopeful that all will be well.

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