Today is the last day of Month 4: Supply Myself with Supplements. It has been a crazy busy month…well, they really ALL are crazy busy, but especially now that wedding season is starting up. I’m glad to have had the extra bit of energy that I truly believe came from my new healthy eating habits and the extra supplementation that I was taking. I have to say, I don’t think that I can continue drinking chlorophyll every day. Ick! I think I will lower the frequency to every 2 or 3 days instead. Perhaps the next time I will search for some of the freeze dried pills. I still have some of my liquid chlorophyll to finish off first though.
Apart from a greater sense of energy, I haven’t felt any different that I did without the supplements. However, I do think that a lot of the changes going on internally will probably take a little while longer to manifest. The intention is to add my supplementation to the other habits I’ve formed. I feel the strongest one I’ve formed so far has been the water consumption. Maybe cause I’ve done it the longest, but my body has really began to alert me if I’m low on my water intake. Stronger signals than I ever have had before. My body definitely does not like when I skimp on the hydration. I’ve been good, but the few times I slip up, my body is right there with a headache or strong thirst sensation, well before I get any dry mouth. As soon as that happens, I’m drink some water and my body goes back to it’s happy, hydrated self. I love it!
The movement has suffered a bit, as regular YOTD followers know, sometimes that aspect is hindered by pain. I hope that you will all be proud of me though, I’ve joined a co-ed summer softball league! It will really inspire me to get moving and has a wonderful social aspect. We had a brief practice yesterday, just to see where everyone was at and I did a lot better than I anticipated doing. Apparently, I can catch. I’ve been put on 1st base. So, who’s on first? ME! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!) My muscles are screaming today in protest, but I feel really good about taking another step towards getting moving.
As far as eating raw is concerned, I don’t eat as much as I’d like to, but I eat a lot more than I used to. That is the goal. Upping those enzyme counts! If I had a personal chef and unlimited budget, it would be easy. I shudder to think what the organic month is going to be like, but I will do my best and I’m sure my body will thank me for every effort…even if my bank account doesn’t!
So there is the scoop on my journey so far! Have you done anything lately, like joining a summer softball league, that will help you better reach your health goals?
I’m starting to edge towards the end of February and while I won’t give you a full update, it hasn’t gone as well as I’d hoped. Now I’m already looking to March, where I will have to concentrate a lot on eating habits. The goal is to replenish my enzymes…you’ll soon find out why. But the thing that scares me most is that it will be a lot more planning. I already feel like I have more on my plate than I can handle, will I be able to add another thing to the load? Between my photography business, being in a play, modeling, my writing and all my detox writing I don’t have all that much time. Well, I guess I will just have to give it my all and see where I end up. I have all of you with me to keep me on track, right?
Wonderful blogger, Brittany of Ginger Sneezes wrote a post today about dieting vs. healthy eating. I agree with her wholeheartedly and I hope that when the cards are laid down, that I fall into the latter category. That IS part of my goal anyway. Check out her blog post!
I am having a really tough time staying on track this month. I think I may have set my goals just a little too lofty as far as cardio was concerned. I don’t want to make excuses, but without a normal schedule it is UBER difficult to plan in some exercise time. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been able to maintain a true 5 day-a-week cardio exercise routine. This week was especially hard as I had one day where I left my parent’s house at 7:30 a.m. and didn’t return home to my own house until 10:30 p.m. that night! I know, you might think I could have squeezed in some exercise in the morning if I was really dedicated, but not so. I had to do extensive hair and make-up for my modeling gig that day. (Yes, a PLUS size modeling gig!) Not being a morning person in the first place, nor one to ever ‘do’ my hair, it gets complicated. Then there was the sinus infection…sigh.
So what am I going to do about it? Well, sitting here listing the reasons I can’t do something is not going to help me at all. Nor will it help you! As my husband so often likes to say, “don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution”. He is right, he’s right, I know he’s right. My biggest issue with all this is how it affects my self-esteem and drive when I don’t reach my goals. Looks like it is time to do a little edit on my goals.
At a conference in Florida I was able to hear a man named Raymond Aaron speak. He believes that you can live and thrive by doing what you love if you are smart about it. One of the techniques he uses is called ‘MTO goal setting’. For you Ontarians, no, he isn’t talking about the Ministry of Transport for Ontario. M refers to minimum (see, ‘M’ ISN’T just for motivation!), T is for target and O is for outrageous.
I propose altering my February Cardio goals to this:
M (minimum) – I will do 30 minutes of cardio at LEAST 3 times a week for the month of February, 2012.
T (target) – I will do 30 minutes of cardio at LEAST 5 times a week for the month of February, 2012.
O (outrageous) – I will do 30 minutes of cardio at LEAST 6 times a week for the month of February, 2012.
By using this technique, you can set different levels for the same goal. I know that I can do my cardio 3 times a week because normally I have been achieving a four cardio week. My target still remains the same, because that is what I am actually shooting for. But if I don’t quite achieve it, I’ve still maintained my minimum goal for the week. When I first started doing goal setting it seemed a bit like a cop out. But as long you don’t make your minimum goal something ridiculously low, like “I’ll drive by the gym and think about working out.” then it can be a great motivational tool. Even if you don’t achieve your target goal, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the fact that you ALMOST did! I’ve been so down at the fact that one week I only made it to four cardio events during the week that I forget that I MADE IT TO FOUR CARDIO EVENTS THAT WEEK!!!! Considering in January and before it was an average of zero for a long time, that’s frickin’ sweet!
You can totally apply this to almost every aspect of your life and goal setting. Try it for a month and see how it goes. Just remember to do the following:
1. Put your original goal as your target goal.
2. Make sure your minimum is something you can definitely attain, but not too low that it will seem insignificant.
3. Put your outrageous goal as something lofty but achievable. If you achieve it, you’ll feel fantastic!
4. Put deadlines on your goals. If that means you have to do it every week, or every month, that’s fine.
5. Post up your goals so that you can review them. Then when you achieve them, even if it’s the Minimum goal, you can give yourself a pat on the back. Or do a little victory dance, if no one is looking.
Try this goal setting method on for size and let me know how it goes! If you want to read more of Raymond Aaron’s techniques or download a free digital copy of his book, “Double your income doing what you love” visit the official Raymond Aaron website.
Do you think this looks like a good method for goal setting? Why or why not? What has worked for you in the past?
Estrogen performs a number of very important roles, and not just in women’s bodies either. It has an impact on both sexes for water-salt balance, digestive enzymes, blood fats and heart function, just to name a few. So if estrogen performs all these tasks, what’s this toxic tummy I’m talking about?
Well, first off, estrogen is produced in many areas of our body. For women, it’s produced in:
- fatty tissue
That last one is the one that can become concerning. Fat tissues produce a specific type of estrogen called estrone. Consider estrone the shotty, mafia run contruction company made estrogen. It works, but it could perform better. When we are younger, our body is able to take that estrone and make it into estradiol. That’s the stuff that makes us the fantastic women that we are and is produced in the ovaries. Unfortunately, after menopause, woman have to rely on the mafia constructed estrone. On top of that, estrone runs a viscious cycle that (much like the mafia) is hard to escape. The more belly fat you have, the more estrone is produced, and the more estrone you have, the more belly fat is stored. It may seem that more estrogen is a good thing, especially as we enter menopause, but it really isn’t. Estrogen dominance can lend to scarier problems like breast cancer. An over-abundance of estrogen is bad for men as well. You’ve seen those men…the ones with what appear to have breasts, or ‘moobies’. Men with excess estrogen are at a greater risk of diabetes, cancers and other health problems. Those are a lot bigger problems to worry about than whether they look good in a tight t-shirt.
We also have to watch our environment and what we consume to regulate our estrogen levels. There are a great deal of ‘xenoestrogens’ that are present in our environment. Remember what I talked about in The dangers of bottled water, the BPA problem , about how BPAs can mimic estrogen. They are xenoestrogens. We also have to watch our diet for ‘phytoestrogens’, or plant based estrogens such as soy and flax seeds. You may have heard about girls starting menstruation at younger and younger ages? These two types of estrogen mimickers are a big reason why.
All this information paints a scary picture but it also reminds us that we can do something about it. If we exercise to burn off the belly fat that is producing this estrone, we will be in much better condition. Being aware of BPAs, as well as how often we consume plant based estrogens will allow our bodies to regain the delicate balance that it may have lost. Since discovering the presence of these estrogens, I have definitely cut down on my consumption of soy products. I also watch the presence of flax in my diet. (ps – whole flaxseeds, you don’t need to worry about. They pass right through you!) I’ve know for some time about BPAs as well. Right now I’m working on decreasing my belly fat. It seems like a never ending process…like I should just give in and pick my “Estrone Family” mafia name…Moonshine Walker? Jack Knife Jenn? Hmm, those sound more like pirate names don’t they! Bahaha Oh well, it doesn’t matter. Cause I’m gonna put cement shoes on the whole “Estrone Gang” see…they gonna be sleepin’ with the fishes. *insert evil mafioso laugh here* Just keep moving!
Where do you carry most of your fat? Is it in your belly region?
- Xenoestrogens (drjosephkaye.com)
- The Belly Conversion: Why Testosterone Levels Decline, part 2 (drjosephmazzei.com)
Although February is the month to ‘get moving’ and it started several days ago, this is the first day I actually went to the gym to meet my moving goals. Wow, did it ever take a lot of effort in pumping up my will power! I’m also the kind of person who hates to lug a bunch of stuff around, so the whole gym bag thing immediately puts me off. Then I have to remember my water, my mp3 player…the list goes on. Having said all that, I did make it to the gym and found a few things that made the experience pleasurable that I did not expect.
1. Parking space right near the door! Sweet!
On a side note, I always found it funny that people go the gym to do exercise but hate parking so far from the door because they have to walk longer to get there. :p
2. Pleasant chat with an older woman
The time of day that is usually best for me to go to the gym, ie. I’m awake for real, is not when most people my age go. I often find myself surrounded by the ‘geriatric gymmers’ as I like to call them. They are mostly friendly and I dare say, many of them are in better shape than me. They inspire me!
3. Catching up on current events
I never realized the connection before, but when I was frequenting the gym 5-6 times a week about five years ago, I was always up on current events. Now I see that was because of all the tv’s put to news broadcasts! I never watch them at home (I often find them sensationalized and/or depressing) but I can say that I am totally up to date on today’s happenings. All because I went to the gym!
4. Showers are better with ‘victory sweat’
You may be wondering what in heck ‘victory sweat’ is. I actually made up the term today while I was in the shower. I noticed that it felt really good to shower off all the new sweat I created at the gym. I am terming it victorious because every time you shower because you broke a sweat at the gym, you should claim a little victory. You DID it!
My visit was not all roses. I did feel some pain from the ‘spot’ radiating down my leg after my time on the elliptical machine. It bugs me that when I finally make it to the gym, get some good cardio in that my body doesn’t just ache with the goodness of a workout, but HURTS. (Think of the victory sweat, Jenn…think of the victory sweat.) Sigh.
Also, I managed to muster up the courage to ask to have my body composition measured. I wanted to know how much of my body was made up of fat as opposed to tissue, blood, organs, etc. They do this by sending a mild current through your body. Based on the preset measurements of your body (weight, age, height) and how fast the current travels, they can tell how much of your body is made up of fat. The process is called bioelectrical impedance analysis
My body composition…I almost don’t want to say, but I know that hiding it doesn’t change it.
It makes me want to cry. The desirable range is 21-33% in my case. That means at minimum, I am off by 15.7%. Ugh. The trainer who took my measurements seems to think that I would do well at about 145 lbs. lol Which I think is ridiculous. At the height of my fitness, I was 176-ish and working out immensely. I was also watching what I ate. While I appreciate the idea that he believes I
could safely make it down to that weight…I don’t think I want to be that skinny. I’d look emaciated !
There’s a picture of me at around 180 lbs. I think I look pretty darn fit. Imaging me 40 lbs. lighter? Ew.
Anyways, all that to say that if I can get down to a healthier weight, I’ll be much happier.
What are the things that make you happy about going to gym? Please share so I can look for these things as well!
While I wanted to post about this earlier, I wanted to have my dietitian take a look over my lab results to look for any red flags first. Better late than never!
When I decided to do a year of the detox, I knew I wanted to do it RIGHT or not at all. So, I sought out help from a dietitian but also from my doctor. The meeting went really well, as you can read in my earlier blog Support from your doctor. I asked her to request some blood tests for me so I can have the most accurate measure possible of where I am and where I need to be. I suggest that if you are considering any health plan, that you do the same.
These were my results and I’ve included the normal parameters in brackets so those of us without medical/hematology knowledge have a clue what it all means. I’ve also put in bold where I was out of whack :
Iron 21 (9-30 umol/L)
TIBC (total iron binding capacity) 50 (45 – 77 umol/L)
Saturation 0.42 (0.20 – 0.50 /l/ug/L)
Sodium 138 (135-145 mmol/L)
Potassium 3.7 (3.3 – 5.1 mmol/L)
ALT (liver enzyme) 16 ( < 36 U/L)
Glucose Serum Fasting 5.2 (3.6 – 6.0 Normal Fasting Glucose)
UREA (measure of liver function and component needed by kidneys) 2.7 (2.5 – 8.1 mmol/L)
Creatinine (breakdown product of muscles) 43 (50 – 100 umol/L)
eGFR (kidney function) > = 90 (>=60 mL/min/1.73m**2) NORMAL eGFR
Bilirubin 9 (<23 umol/L)
Cholesterol 4.93 (<5.2 mmol/L)
Triglycerides 1.20 (< 2.30 mmol/L)
HDL Cholesterol 1.56 (> = 1.30 mmol/L)
LDL Cholesterol 2.82 (Near optimal LDL level, corresponding to higher rates for developing symptomatic cardiovascular disease events)
Hydroxy Vitamin D 50 (Insufficiency: 25 – 75 nmol/L) **You’ll likely have to pay for this one**
As you can see I have reduced iron stores, low creatinine, my LDL is a wee bit high and my vitamin D is insufficient. The vitamin D is no surprise, almost all Canadians or northern dwellers suffer from this. It’s just too bloody cold to soak up the rays of the sun. That is something that I can start to better immediately, however, by taking a vitamin D supplement. In most of my reading the best kind here is D3. My LDL, well, it’s a little high but nothing that needs immediate or drastic action. I will be dealing with it as I start to exercise and eat healthier. I predict a drop in this one easily when I get measured at the end of my year of the detox.
In speaking to my dietitian, it is more worrisome to have too much creatinine than a little less. Also, I will have to check on this one, but creatinine is partially a breakdown product of muscles…so considering that right now my body composition is mostly…ahem…fatty, that is not really surprising. Last, but not least, my iron stores are a little depleted. I will be speaking to my dietitian to see if this can be upped with diet alone, or see if I may need to consider a supplement.
I think I will create a page with all my starting measurements…that way I can easily compare at the end of the year. Oh my, it’s only January and I’m talking end of the year. What optimism!
Have you had any blood tests recently to see what’s going on inside your body? What were the results. any red flags?
I know some people probably started reading the title and thought, she misspelled wasting! lol Honestly, I felt a bit odd typing it.
As I start the detox, I am looking at different measurements of the state of my health. I’ve already mentioned BMI, in my blog entry “The Importance of BMI in measuring weight loss success“, but perhaps a more important measure is the circumference of your waist. I was getting measured for a bridesmaid dress yesterday and I had to pay an added $65 for extra material. Not just for width, but for height. I’m 6’0″, so I had to add several inches of fabric and in the world of bridesmaid fashion, it doesn’t come cheap. While she was measuring my waist size, it reminded me that I need to write about waist size on my blog!
If you watch any of the medical shows or read any health related books, you have probably come across statements or studies having to do with waist size. All experts agree that belly fat is bad…very bad. If you have belly fat, you may well have a large amount of visceral fat. This is mentioned by Dr. Mercola, of Mercola.com. “A thick waist is a well-known sign of a build-up of visceral fat, a dangerous type of fat around your internal organs that is strongly linked with type 2 diabetes and heart disease.“
Another reason belly fat is bad has to do with it’s capability of producing hormone changes within your body. Isn’t that a scary thought! It boosts your estrogen putting you at a greater risk of breast cancer, diabetes and colorectal cancers, just to name a few!
So, what should you be shooting for as far as waist size is concerned? Well, there are a few differing opinions. According to the American Heart Association it’s this:
Men: Under 40 inches
Women: Under 35 inches
However, according to a study conducted by the American Cancer Society, it is:
Men: Under 35 inches
Women: Under 30 inches
All this information means nothing until you measure your waist. My measurement? About 41.5… I just ate dinner, so a part of me is hoping that made it a little bit more than it normally would be. Still, it is not a good number to have. No matter which source I’m looking at, that’s a big ol’ waist. The biggest recommendation to rid yourself of belly fat is…dun dun dunnnnn, you guessed it. Exercise! Lucky for me, starting very shortly in my next month, my goal is to Get Moving!
What is your waist measurement? Are you in a risk category? Not sure where to measure? I found this video by the Heart and Stroke Foundation very helpful.
Waist Size, not BMI, is the best predictor of heart disease risk (pulsescreening.wordpress.com)
Beware of belly fat dangers (trimbelly.wordpress.com)
I’m only on day three of my year of the detox and man, I feel like I should be living in my bathroom! I’ve maintained my goals so far and consumed at least eight, 8 oz. glasses a day. I’ve also had to consume an extra for a celebratory bellini I had one evening. I am sure my body is grateful but I am peeing like crazy!!! I started with eight as my number of glasses but I want to up it, especially after reading in my book “The Detox Solution” by Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald that I should be consuming even more. Apparently, there is an equation (isn’t there one for everything!) which can tell you how much water YOU should be drinking. This is instead of the eight arbitrary glasses that we’ve all heard so much about.
Divide your weight by two and that is the number of ounces you should be drinking. There are eight ounces in a 250 ml glass, so if you want to know what that equates to, just divide that first result by 8.
For example, a 130 pound person should be drinking 65 ounces of water daily. That equates to a wee bit over 8 glasses a day. Whereas, a 180 pound person should be drinking 90 ounces or about 11 glasses of water daily. According to this, I should actually be drinking approximately 15 glasses of water daily!!! Yikes! I don’t that’s going to happen anytime soon. I’m already having enough issues making my 8 glass minimum. Now, that’s not to say I can’ work towards it but I don’t think my body would be able to absorb that amount of water even if I pulled it off this early in the game.
It makes a lot of sense to me that your recommended water consumption should be tied in to how much you weigh. What do you think? How many glasses of water are you “supposed” to be drinking and does it seem possible?
The average person loses about 10 cups of water daily, so maybe my 8 cups is not quite there yet, but I also know it’s foolish to try to run a marathon the first time you strap on a pair of running shoes. I’m also sure my kidneys agree with a more paced hydration plan.
There are a few different numbers that I will be taking note of at the start of this journey. One of which is BMI or Body Mass Index. There is some dispute as to whether or not this is a valid means of measurement. Most of that stems from the fact that BMI does not take into account body composition. You could have a relatively high BMI and be extremely healthy because your body is made up mostly of muscle. Conversely, there are a lot of thin people who are incredibly unhealthy but just happen to have a BMI in the accepted range. As an example, the above illustration shows sketches of eight women with the same BMI in different distributions.
I am not going to share my weight on my blog for the simple reason that I don’t want my success to be determined solely by the number on the scale. However, since I know that my body composition has a higher amount of fat than it should, I will include the BMI as a means of measurement. If you feel that you are in a similar position to me, feel free to calculate it with me.
Formula for calculating BMI:
BMI = ( Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches x Height in inches ) ) x 703
Or, for those of us who are math-phobes, myself included, you can find a calculator online at http://www.bmi-free-calculator.com
My BMI is 32.3, which is technically classified as EXTREMELY OVERWEIGHT or Obese Class 1. While I take this into consideration, BMI will not be the only means of defining my success. Reason being, a few years ago when I was healthier, I was watching what I ate and working out five to six days a week. Even doing all this and looking pretty good, I was considered overweight by BMI standards.
What’s my message? Calculate your BMI if you want to use if as a baseline to see your progression, but never rely on it as your sole measure of success.
I was reading O Magazine’s January 2012 issue and I came across some interesting statistics regarding body mass indexes. (Keep in mind this information is for people with a BMI greater than 25)
- If you lose 5% of your body weight, you improve your body’s insulin production and lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes
- lose 11% of your body weight and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease by 21% and risk of dying from ANY cause by 25%
- lose 16% of your body weight and you can triple vitamin D levels, which can prevent many things from Parkinson’s to migraines
All of those reductions in risk really drive me to get healthy and encourage others to strive for health too.
If you want to, share your BMI and how many pounds you would have to lose to be in the “normal” category. Is this realistic for you?
The online calculator suggests I lose close to 60lbs. Yikes! I’ve been that weight before, but it took a hella lot of effort to maintain!
Gauging fatness vs. fitness yields unexpected results – on the National Post blog