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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- To manage my diet appropriately to get back on track and control my sodium.
- To adapt and try a new recipe--I think it's going to be a whole wheat vegan lasagna!
- 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!