Monday, March 4, 2013

Greetings from the Confessional

Yesterday was a day I'd been looking forward to and dreading.

First of all, it was my mother's birthday. I lost my mom to cancer in 1997. She was 60 years old, and she had battled cancer for 17 years--since I was 8 years old. I still miss her terribly.

Yesterday was also the day I transitioned off of the diuretic I take for my blood pressure. I've been looking forward to this--one medication down! At the same time, I knew that it would mean water retention and a rise in my blood pressure. I've seen the weight gain already. My weight bounced up from 267 pounds last Monday to 272 today--so, 5-6 pounds gained. That's actually what I expected. If If I can go by my history with these medications and my battle with sodium and water retention, I can expect things to balance out over the next few weeks. My BP will be higher for about a week and then as the water balance is restored and I lose a few pounds of water weight things will normalize. I'll need to keep an eye on it, though.

Beyond that, I have to say this past week was a disappointment. I'm not going to dwell on it, but I need to be truthful so that I can keep myself accountable. I didn't eat terribly for most of the week, but I had another breakdown on Friday. Panda Express. I wish they would post my picture behind the register and ban me from the place. Seriously. I don't understand the appeal of their food and I don't understand why I feel powerless in those moments.

I've also struggled with my workouts. There's a couple of things going on:
  1. I'm having a really hard time getting my HR up above 130. I like to have it at about 135 for a half hour of my workout for the cardio benefits. I'm probably having trouble because I take a beta blocker (metoprolol) that slows my HR. I'm also getting more cardio fit now that I'm at the one month point of exercising my heart regularly. Consequently, I have to work out so intensely to get my heart rate up that I cannot breathe well enough to keep it up.
  2. I'm exhausted. This is probably because I've been trying so hard to get my HR up in my workouts. I'm going at an all-out intensity level that is actually too hard. I need to worry less about my HR and more about how I feel. An intense level of workout that's appropriate for me is for me to be breathing heavily, but not so heavily that I can't carry on a short conversation. It should be intense enough that I don't want to talk, but I could if I needed to. I learned this at Cardiac Rehab, and I need to use it! The HR monitor is good, but I can't ignore how I feel. I need to use the heart rate monitor to keep tabs on how my intensity levels are improving and how much I can do within those heart rate zones.
  3. My feet hurt. The truth is that I cannot jog at this time. I want to, and it's still a goal of mine to be able to jog outdoors this spring and summer, but I need to ease off and do exercises that don't damage the joints in my feet. So, walking, StairMaster, and elliptical it is. . . I'll put the jogging off for a couple of months. I already know that I CAN jog--I've jogged for a mile at a time on the treadmill--so it should not be difficult to pick back up where I left off after I've lost another 20 or so pounds and I've sorted out the correct shoes and inserts to wear to prevent more damage to my feet.
 So, for this next week, I'm not going to set huge, and potentially unrealistic, goals for my workouts and diet. Instead, my goals are going to be:
  1. To manage my diet appropriately to get back on track and control my sodium. 
  2. To adapt and try a new recipe--I think it's going to be a whole wheat vegan lasagna!
  3. To exercise 5 times this week for an hour each time at a comfortable intensity level. I am not going to concern myself with the number of calories I burn in the workout--my goal is just going to be to exercise intensely for an extended time. That's what really matters!
Alright--I'm late for work at this point. Time to get moving. Thanks for checking in on me today--I know I've been lax in my posts, but I promise to get one up when I get this recipe adaptation sorted out and I'll let you know how it turned out. 

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