Unlike the classic Bachman Turner-Overdrive song “Taking care of business”, I’m taking care of an important piece of business: my physical health. “I love to work at nothing all day” will get you nowhere if you don’t put in the effort. Losing weight takes determination, willpower, and importantly; effort! Don’t expect to be a coach potato and lose weight very quickly.
You need to be active in order to lose the weight. So, I got my giant self off the couch and decided to pay a local visit to my primary doctor. I told him that we need to start losing some of this excess weight. Before I saw him, his nurse took my weight and my vitals. Immediately, when you’re called in you step on the scale. The nice digital scale that measures your weight and your BMI (did not know that!) in seconds. Then here comes your vitals. If you’re like me and dread going to the doctor’s or dentist’s office, then this is where your blood pressure goes sky-high. It always happens. And I’m always asked if I have hypertension. Just anxiety. When she took it, it was 143/83. A little on the high side, but not dangerously high. I should get myself a blood pressure cuff and see what happens when I’m having an anxiety attack. I wonder what the numbers would be? 160/80 or 180/80? I don’t know.
All vitals were normal and the blood pressure was checked again and it went back down to the normal range. Just a case of pre-show jitters. When I met my doctor, we spoke about weight loss and if I have any pre-existing conditions that I’m not aware of. Diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, thyroid, kidney problems, mental illness and others run in the family. Makes my head spin just thinking about it. First thing he asked me: “How are you doing today?” “OK. My sleep is a lot better and I want to lose my flabby weight.” I told him that my sleep has gotten so much better thanks to melatonin. It’s my new BFF and lifesaver. I go to sleep about an hour later each night depending on how late I work and get up at the same time in the morning: 8am. And then I eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and very selective on the snacks. I’ve cut out soda, starting downing more water, eating more protein and fiber. And when I mentioned that he said: “Great job! Guess what? You’ve lost 10 pounds since I last saw you in July.” I said: “What? Really? I didn’t notice.”
Ten pounds in the last eight weeks is slow, but a good amount of weight to lose. You want to be extra careful when it comes to how many pounds you’re losing. But I was shocked. It made my day and made me happy, for once! So we decided to order a wide range of tests to be on the safe side: cholesterol and trig levels, blood glucose levels, blood pressure levels, kidney function, pancreas function and the whole nine yards. We also did blood tests to check for anemia and a blood count level, too. So for the next 72 hours, comes the waiting game.
During my shopping excursion this afternoon (burning off lunch!), I got home and there was a message from my doctor’s office. The message said: “Hello, Ms. Gasser, your results are in.” I was like: “Already? It’s not even 24 hours???” Apparently, this doctor’s office really gets their work done and doesn’t keep their patients waiting forever like other doctors. This is a score in the bucket! The nice nurse said everything came back normal. No pre-diabetes, A1-C is great, blood glucose is also great, trigs and cholesterol were all normal. Did I mentioned that I fasted for several hours before I took that blood work not including the hours that I was sleeping. I did it for a reason. The doctor and the nurse said just keep your stress levels down (Running a business is easy, right? There’s no stress there?), watch what you eat and what you’re eating and exercise. And to keep up the good work.
So guess what the next step is: changing my eating habits and exercising more. Eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner and become more mobile. My doctor recommended that I should eat around 1500-1600 calories a day since I’m only 5’5′. This is just me. Everyone is different! So, I’ll do that! I already have a pretty routine breakfast whole cereal with low fat milk. It’s packed with whole grains, fiber and all sorts of goodies for your body. Low fat dairy is preferred when you’re eating healthier. I don’t do a lot of dairy because I’m not really a dairy fanatic. Shocking I know, since I’m a born and raised Wisconsin girl. My other breakfast is egg whites and I will throw a lot of vegetables on it. I only use black pepper very lightly for taste. Lunch will usually be sandwiches and salads. Nothing too heavy that makes you feel like you’ve swallowed a brick. I usually scout out for whole grain breads (not white or bleached!) and carefully look at the (non processed) deli meats for low sodium and nitrate free and low fat cheese slices (not processed) and will throw some tomatoes, fresh avocado spread (that’s handmade in the grocery store right in front of you!). Salads, I usually choose kale or arugula and go a little nuts with the vegetables. I’m slowing adding salmon in my diet. I hate the smell and the taste of it, but it’s healthy and it’s the only fish I will eat. Fresh cooked shrimp is a little brave for me. I’m not a shrimp lover. But you do what you have to do.
I will also have to get my exercise bicycle out and get that going. I also have to get my other jalopy (my regular bicycle) out and put air in those tires. I will walk more and ride my bike more often. And start doing some cardio workouts, too. I do a lot of that at work and I can lift about 30lb boxes with no problem. Another thing that I should start is a sleep, food, and exercise jog. That may just kick me right in the butt in a good way.
One of my new projects will have to be a food blog. Showing off healthy recipes. Hmm! I’ll have to think about that!
Some of my absolute faves at Panera include their Ancient Grain Arugula with Chicken, Modern Greek with Quinoa, Green Goddess Cobb salad with Chicken, Greek salad, Lentil Quinoa Broth with Cage Free Eggs. At Salata, my favorite bowl is kale salad with carrots, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, celery, black beans, avocado, quinoa, bacon, feta cheese, almonds and eggs.
If you do go out to each thoroughly check the nutritional facts! You’ll be surprised as to how much sodium in a lot of those foods. One of the smartest things you can do is to recreate the dish yourself and use healthier ingredients. I know it sounds like too much work but your really doing yourself a favor. Your heart thanks you for not dousing your food in sodium. Use fresh and low-sodium ingredients in your food. Also at the grocery store, spend a good 30 minutes walking around the store. I do. I will grab a basket and walk and shop at the same time. I do a little weight lifting with the basket vs the shopping cart. It helps me tone some muscle and helps because I’m exercising!
I highly recommend everyone to check out the American Heart Association Diet and they give you helpful tips on eating, drinking, and exercising!