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OT-Wakeup call

Old 03-27-2016, 07:46 AM
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OT-Wakeup call

So I've been trying to get back on track with my health (seriously neglected in most respects since I got sober). Don't get me wrong--quitting drinking was probably the MOST important thing I've ever done for my health. But I hadn't been to my GP since I was four months sober (seven and a half years ago), never had any of the tests done that she recommended, so I'm getting all of those done.

So far: Bone scan shows osteopenia (some bone loss), elevated risk of osteoporosis. Blood tests show mostly normal, but vitamin D deficiency (now taking D and calcium supplements) and elevated fasting blood sugar (just over the new limit of 100 but at elevated risk for diabetes because of gestational diabetes). Blood pressure a bit high (diastolic). Dermatologist checked moles and took a biopsy of something I thought was an acne scar--awaiting results). Colonoscopy normal, 10 years before I need another. Pap smear/mammograms normal. I'm scheduled for a lung cancer screening CT (I fit the criteria due to my many years of smoking).

Anyway, I'm thankful that so far nothing drastic is wrong, but I need to lose weight and start exercising. I've lost almost 8 pounds in the past few weeks and I just started a serious weight-loss program. My goal is to lose another 30 pounds, but losing 20 will get me to about the weight when I got sober. Years ago I lost 60 pounds over the course of a year and mostly kept it off up until I got sober. I've had terrible eating habits, but I've been eating right for the last couple of weeks and feeling pretty good.

I also downloaded an app to track my weight/food/exercise and just bought a fitbit. Right now the exercise will be the biggest challenge. I have SUCH a sedentary job, and serious lazy streak. Now that it's warming up a bit I'm going to try to start walking, and see if that gets me to the point where I'm ready to take on some more challenging stuff. I also want to get back into yoga.

There's this lady who must be in her 80s in my home group, and she's very heavy, walks with a cane, diabetic, hugely swollen legs/feet, and I don't want to wind up that way. She's been sober for 37 years, but the other health issues are seriously interfering with her quality of life.

If I can get the weight down and get more active, I can probably get my blood sugar and BP down to normal, as well as holding off the bone loss. I bought a blood glucose meter (most days I just check the fasting level because it seems fine before/after meals) and a home BP monitor so I can keep an eye on that.

So this is the year of uneffing my body, lol.
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:48 AM
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Lex-I love your motto for this year you go, woman!

Hugs.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:17 AM
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Glad to hear there's nothing seriously wrong, Lex, and glad to hear you're taking steps (weak pun intended) to get back on track. I bet that 8 pounds makes a difference in how your clothes fit already, right?

Around the holidays, I realized I was within 10 pounds of my previous heaviest weight ever (I lost about 50 pounds in 2004-05, have been slowly regaining ever since, up 5, down 4, up 4, down 2, etc.). As of January 1, I made a number of changes and am now down 20 of the 40 I need to lose.

It's been interesting simply b/c it feels so different than efforts in the past have, just another example of how recovery really IS "in all our affairs."

I've kind of run into a loss of motivation in the past week or so, just a general deteriorating attitude in a lot of areas. I have no clue what might have brought this on, but I need to get back on the beam and start doing right again. Thanks for your post; it helps me get facing the right way again and reminds me of some of the things I'd been hoping to achieve.
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:06 AM
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Lexie....just getting started is the most important step,,,and, ususally the hardest to face....

I. also. think that walking is the best general exercise for those people (like me) who just don't make good Gym Rats.
swimming is great, also....if you are a natural water baby (which I am not)...and, if you have easily accessable water.

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Old 03-27-2016, 10:33 AM
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Lexie, if you aren't familiar with low carb, you might check it out. I follow dr. Bernstein and Dr. Atkins and the lc way of eating has lowered all of those *metabolic* items. I'm also losing weight. I'm nearly to normal on all of the items now. Let me know if you are interested and I can connect you with a few sites that are helpful.
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:42 AM
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I appreciate the thought, but low carb is basically out of the question for me. I love my carbs too much to give that much of them up, but I am balancing things out, reducing calories/bad fat, etc. I know this will work because I've done it before--I've just let things get out of hand.
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:43 AM
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Sotired, one of the changes I made was to go lower carb, and it was a good choice for me. For the first 2-1/2 months, I lost weight much faster than what the simple "calories in, calories out" math should show, so I do think there is more to weight loss than the basic math we've been led to believe.

I've not had BP or any bloodwork done since last summer other than thyroid levels (I'm hypothyroid) so can't speak to the effects on cholesterol, etc., but we did decrease my thyroid replacement dose this past fall. I need to go get that tested again soon, suspect we may be lowering it even more. This is after years of a steady increase in the dose...

Whole foods, no grains, and carbs under 100 g a day is what I've been doing, and so far I seem to be on the right track. Weight loss has slowed to a more normal rate, about a pound a week, but then, I didn't expect to continue the super-fast loss of the early days.

ETA: Just read your post, Lexie, and I used to feel the same way about carbs, thought I could never give up bread. Believe it or not, I don't actually even miss that stuff--maybe once in a while, but if I do eat half a brownie or something like that, I generally feel like "well, that was nowhere near as good as I recalled..." Wouldn't believe it either if it wasn't happening to me!
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:53 AM
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honeypig......LOL.....LOL....didn't you work for a bakery at one time?!!

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Old 03-27-2016, 10:54 AM
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Honey, I'm much lower carb but eating as much as I can hold of what I eat. I eat lots of green stuff, bacon, eggs, steak and butter. Avocados too. I love what I eat and don't miss the grains/sugars at all
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:36 PM
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dandy, I sure did work for a bakery, and I liked working there and I liked eating their stuff, too! It's just as well I'm not there any more in terms of changing my eating habits--seriously, I never thought I could do without bread and other baked goods, but the changes I'm seeing from keeping away from those things is making it clear to me that I'm better off w/o them.

Carbs Anonymous, anyone?
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:02 PM
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I know what you are talking about. honeypig......I LOVE good bread...sigh.....
But, bread begets bread.....
when you cut back....after a while, the cravings go away.....

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Old 03-27-2016, 05:05 PM
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hi Lexie, you remind me of me, as in turning 60 this year, a bit overweight, not a natural exerciser. I have a standing desk and use it for half the day, and now that the weather's cooling down here I'm walking part of my commute home. Weekends I join my daughter for some stair climbing and I'm starting an exercise class on Tuesday.

Eating is my main challenge - not necessarily bad stuff, but not enough fruit and veg. If I buy it i find myself throwing a lot of it out after a couple of weeks in the fridge.

I'm glad you had a health check-up. My doctor makes sure I have blood tests every 2 years, and I get my BP done when I donate blood (it's not paid for in Oz). At least if I become pre-diabetic I'll detect it before it gets too bad. Another suggestion is a regular mammogram, which is a free screening service. I know there are conflicting opinions on screening mamms but my sister had a tutor detected very early and was able to get away with simple treatment and a lumpectomy.

Also pap smears every 2 years even though i have the risk profile of a nun.

Imagine how we'd be if we'd kept on drinking all these years. At least we don't have to worry about that.
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:08 PM
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Go for it Lexie sounds great! RAH and I are also on a get healthy/work/out/eat right.

My dad had a stroke and and heart attack 2.5 years ago and 100% due to sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. He is now disabled. Had many warnings and the usual progressions starting with HBP/sleep apnea/AFIB/pacemaker/prediabetic. It was all slow over the years, and really I am surprised he made it to 77 before it all blew up.

Not gonna be me.....I've been b!tching about extra 20 lbs and not doing a damn thing about it. I gaines it when my dad got sick then mom got cancer....tons of travel and Fast Food and crap we started 2 weeks ago working on it.

Please update as you go its great inspiration and congrats!!!!
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:57 PM
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Good Luck Lexie, It sounds like you are motivated to build a better "you". Keep us in the loop on your progress!!
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:15 AM
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I think this is awesome Lexi, I've spent the last year doing the exact same thing & I have never been happier with myself.

I'm 2 weeks away from my One Year mark. One year ago I could barely walk to the end of my block (.25 miles) and now I'm powering through 5 mile+ power walks & doing light running. I've worked up to 60-min long yoga workouts in addition to my more restorative home practice. I've probably dropped 35 lbs or so - I do not weigh myself. I love simple stuff like breathing, not getting sliced by my seat belt, etc. A year ago I was busting out of my size 12's and last week I bought size 4's. I feel amazing & I've learned a lot about myself in the process because I dug into this on all levels in light of my eating disorder habits - physical, mental & spiritual.

I also can't go carb-free, but I have found (like honeypig) that I can easily do without certain types. White breads & pastas don't hold any allure for me any longer & I will easily trade those carb-calories for a cupcake instead. I don't mind the whole-grain alternatives at all, I just don't tend to crave them. I have to watch my fruits for carb/hidden sugar because I can overdo it easily in that category, lol.

I am reading the Wild Diet by Abel James after watching how amazingly he demonstrated it's results on "My Diet Is Better Than Yours" recently. It caught my attention because he had great protein ideas (& I struggle with that) but I kept getting more impressed at the science behind his diet, with each passing episode. I just got the book, hoping to start it by the weekend.
http://fatburningman.com/what-is-the-wild-diet/

If you want more inspiration I highly suggest watching the documentaries, "Fed Up!" and "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" - I think both are available on Netflix and/or hulu.

Good Luck!!!
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:42 AM
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FS, thanks for the link to the Wild Diet--I've not heard of it and I find that looking into the many variations of this idea is really worthwhile ("take what you like and leave the rest", LOL, kind of like Alanon!).

Like FS, I have also found myself digging into many layers to get at the root of this behavior. Just "dieting" (again) seemed silly. And I'm finding and dealing with things I've never noticed or thought about before. When I began to see how strong the parallels were between XAH's behaviors around alcohol and my own around food, it was both enlightening and frightening for me.

There is SO much more to this than 3 spin classes a week and 1200 calories a day!! I'm really grateful to have (at least some of) the tools to make real changes now.
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:56 AM
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That is EXACTLY my approach with all of it HP - I'm taking what works/resonates for me & mashing it all up together into a new lifestyle instead of trying to stick to one specific regimen. That always makes me feel restricted & like I was either "on" or "off" - I want something to feel natural & eventually grow to be habit, not work.

That's another reason I gave myself a year - I wanted to go through every holiday, season change, etc for every possible excuse. And it was nice to work with a long, relaxed time frame.
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:55 PM
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Since I got sober two decades ago I crave sugar and have had varying degrees of success over the years. But now I'm 20 pounds overweight and yesterday started counting days to help give up sweets. It's the only way I know to give something up. Good luck!
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by NYCDoglvr View Post
Since I got sober two decades ago I crave sugar and have had varying degrees of success over the years.
Me too. I find it just as hard as giving up drinking.
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Old 03-29-2016, 05:55 AM
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Interesting to hear about the sugar cravings from the alcoholic side of things. I know that XAH had a powerful sweet tooth too--if I accidentally picked up his coffee cup in the AM instead of mine, I would almost choke on the amount of sugar he had in it. He liked everything sweet, sweet, sweet.

I'm working on a book called "In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts" and it talks extensively about which brain areas are impaired to start with, making addiction more likely, and how the DOC then damages those areas further, making it more difficult yet for the addict to even have a desire to get sober/straight, let alone actually succeed in the undertaking. I'm guessing this sugar thing might be an example of what was just a preference before the drinking started but that now is permanent, even if the drinking has stopped.

I have to say, as I read this book, I find it an absolute miracle that ANY alcoholic/addict EVER gets sober/straight. There is so incredibly much working against that. Hats off to you double winners here!
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