Tuesday, June 02, 2009

BetterU Tuesday: The Beginning

For some reason, I am unable to keep up with the world this week - I mean, I'm less able than usual to do that. Even at the best of times, I seem to be running full tilt to keep up. This week, it's a hopeless task.

However, I have not forgotten The Turtle. Indeed, it is much on my mind. Fortunately, I can come here in between all the distractions and report on what's happening. Maybe the writing of it will help get it under some degree of control.

Yesterday was Day 1 of the American Red Cross's Go Red for Women BetterU program. I signed up and joined Joshilyn Jackson's posse, to make myself accountable to her and the others, because if I'm accountable only to myself, I'm likely to fall off the Heart Health wagon before very long.

I will be blogging about the twelve-week program on Tuesdays, reporting my progress, complaining about my aching knees, and all that. So. To begin.

When Joshilyn first started talking about BetterU, I jumped right in and started watching what I ate, trying to be more active. Hence, by yesterday, when the program started in earnest, I had already lost six pounds.

Hooray for Sandra!

My stats on Day 1 are:

Weight = X (which is really X-6, but I'll make it X for all future calculations)
Waist measurement = W, which stands for W-a-a-a-a-a-y too big.
Blood Pressure (BP) = 115/69, which is an improvement over a few weeks ago, but I didn't think to write the figure down, back then. In any event, it's not a big concern for me.

My cholesterol is high. I am taking Crestor to control it. I don't want to strain the health care system by getting tested unnecessarily. I was tested just a couple of months ago. I'll have to see if my doctor's office can give me a printout without my having an appointment. Otherwise, I'll just wait for my next scheduled test and see how it compares to the last one.

My goal is to lose 15 pounds on the program. Towards that goal, I am eating a lot less - and a lot better - than I was a few weeks ago. I'm following the Weight Watchers guidelines, aiming for 20 points a day, allowing myself 2 points for half an hour of walking or at the gym. That 2 points represents about a 100-calorie Breyer's ice cream sundae (or a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich, which I think is 130 calories.)

Today I walked 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) with my Nordic walking poles. My doctor recommended them, and I'm really enjoying them. I think that besides burning extra calories, they are working my pecs, biceps, and triceps. They make me walk faster than usual, so I presume I'm getting my heart rate up. Win-win. I'm planning to take a forty-minute walk, four times a week.

Twice a week, I will go to the gym, where I will walk half an hour on the treadmill, then use the vertical leg press, pec deck, thighworkerthingy, vertical row, lat pulldown, and the dreaded Roman Chair. I've been to the gym four times so far, I think. My main reason for going (because the walking is really good, so I probably don't really need the gym) is that they have a great scale there. I believe it is actually accurate. The one I have at home is amusing, but not very useful. In general, I think it weighs about ten pounds low, but it's hard to tell, because if I get on and off it a few times in succession, it will give me results that vary by six pounds - eight, on a bad day. So it's hard to trust the thing, and I'm going to do my official weighing in at the gym.

I sort of planned on doing two gym workouts and five walks each week, but it has since occurred to me that a day of doing absolutely nothing, once a week, might be great for morale, and it would give my muscles a few hours to repair themselves.

Wish me luck, folks.


John Hayes said...

Great! This is something I should do, too. Maybe reading about your exploits will get me going!

Audrey said...

WOW! I am impressed! That is fantastic, and very inspiring. I love writing down my plans for exercise, or whatever, because the action of writing it down tends to make me more committed to the action. The same with publicly declaring something - when I decide to take on a new challenge that I am "iffy" about, I publicly declare it thereby forcing myself to see it through. You have done the same here. I am anxious to follow your progress!

Reya Mellicker said...

How about a spa retreat for bloggers? Wouldn't that be fun?

Hey don't take your cholesteral down too low. Many studies show that it's inflammation in the blood vessels that's the problem, not the cholesteral.

To your health! Cheers!!

Sandra Leigh said...

John, Audrey, Reya - thank you for your encouraging words. So far, I'm enjoying this adventure. My mother died of a heart attack when she was 48, so I am rather hyper-aware of my need to be careful.

Reya, I know there is controversy around the cholesterol issue, so I'm going to concentrate on getting my weight down to a sensible level. If I can do that, my cholesterol may very well level out.

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