Posts Tagged ‘health’

I completed my first full week of the new school year and with it came a couple of surprises. The first surprise was the speed at which the work day passes in my new position. I am busy from the moment I set down my purse in the morning until I pick it back up again in the afternoon. Except for Thursday, I even worked while eating lunch. I attended meetings, reviewed lesson plans, visited classrooms to check environment, instructed teachers on programs new to them, answered loads of questions, and dealt with NJHS business. Several people have asked if I like my new position, and the answer is “yes, so far.” It is considerably different from teaching in the classroom.

The second surprise was on Thursday. I had an upper GI endoscopy procedure done. It had been almost six years since my last one. The main reason for repeating the scope was a result of certain foods appearing to feel stuck (roast, salad, bread) in my esophagus. Unfortunately, some scar tissue had developed in my esophagus due to reflux symptoms. To remedy this, my gastroenterologist dilated and stretched my esophagus. The surprise was being informed by my doctor that my stomach contained multiple gastric polyps. YIKES! I had no idea that polyps could form in your stomach. Biopsies of the three largest ones were taken and in two weeks, I should have results. What can cause these polyps? One cause is using proton-pump inhibitor medicines which I use to control my acid reflux. YIKES! And, my doctor just upped my meds from 20mg to 40mg. While this news is depressing, it is also a wake-up call. No more playing for me. I MUST take my health and wellness more seriously because I am currently overweight. Being overweight and eating poorly are risk factors for acid reflux.

RosesThe third surprise was on Friday after school. My hubby bought me beautiful roses to celebrate my first full week in my new position. They were waiting for me when I arrived home from work. It definitely made me happy.  What a thoughtful and loving gesture!

Finally, my last surprise was at weigh-in this morning. I lost two pounds! It was probably a result of my doctor removing the three polyps. HA! All kidding aside, I am trying to make a more conscious effort of not mindlessly snacking, especially when feeling overwhelmed. I am lessening my sugar intake, but it is imperative that I make more healthy changes in my diet. I need to return to clean eating and drink lots of water. I continue to walk almost daily. However, I need to also include some strength training and cross training as part of my fitness plan. I will be thrilled when I can say I have a walk/run streak. Clearly, I am not there, yet. It is essential for me to take action right now.

I remain hopeful, dear reader. Prioritizing my time is going to be the key to getting me back on track. I did it once before and lost 26 pounds which allowed me to cut back on my acid reflux meds. I failed at taking care of myself, and this is the consequences. There is a silver lining. I can start over again and strive to be better. Happiness!

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.”            ~ Henry Ford

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It’s Monday and time for my weekly weight loss update. Yes, I’m continuing to lose weight. I weighed in at 146.5 pounds. I had to transfer half of a marble to my “pounds lost” container. So, I wrote 1/2 on a round color coding label and stuck it on a marble. HA! Not very creative, I know. To date, I have lost a total of 6.5 pounds.

The Jackie Warner DVDs I ordered arrived late last week. I watched all three this weekend to see which one I would use first. I was sweating just watching her workouts. Tough! Her workouts are definitely going to kick my booty.  I decided to start with Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training. There are five workout options: two Total Body Circuits (15-minute & 40-minute), Abs Only Circuit (15-minute), Upper Body Circuit (15-minute), and a Lower Body Circuit (15-minute). This morning I chose the 15-Minute Total Body Circuit, which I did after my 30 minute walk. You move the entire time. Very fast-paced. Love the energy.

Running/Walking Schedule

This week I plan to run/walk on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Walk 7 minutes, run 3 minutes. Repeat three times. The other days of the week I will be walking for cardio. I will be doing Power Circuits three days a week on the days I am not running/walking.  

Last week, my run/walk schedule was on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Walk 8 minutes. Run 2 minutes. Walk 1 minute (repeat 3-minute session 5 times). Walk 8 minutes. I’m basically alternating days to allow for recovery.

I did take a rest day on Saturday. When my alarm went off, I got up to go walk; however, I crawled right back into bed when I saw lightning. I decided to sleep late. Mistake! Sleeping late = foggy, groggy brain for Kat. I felt off all day long. So, note to self:  if I take a rest day, do not sleep late.


Honestly, since I started my weight loss program keeping up with my workouts and my food journal haven’t been too hard; however, I know this will change on Wednesday. School is starting and life will get a bit more complicated. It will require planning and getting up earlier than 5:30AM if I want to get my cardio workout in before school starts in the morning. Eventually, I will be adding a job to the mix. Thus, more of a time crunch. It is basically going to boil down to priorities and choices.

“You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are. ” ~ Fred Rogers

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I thought eating the specific foods for the first two weeks on the “eat clean” program was going to be easy. After all, with the exception of whey protein (never tried it before), I’m a fan of those foods. Nope. Out of the first eight days, I only managed to eat everything on the list two of the eight days. Most days I got in six of the eight items. For example, I ate the eggs, oatmeal, veggies, fruit, and drank water; however, I didn’t drink the whey protein or green tea. Another day, I may have gotten everything, but the oatmeal. It is hard. Well, it’s hard for me.

I discovered as I reviewed the week, one reason I came up short is because I don’t eat on a set schedule. I don’t eat before my morning workout. Sometimes, I may not eat breakfast until 9:00AM or 9:30AM. Therefore, a mid-morning snack is not necessary for me. The next time I eat would be at lunch. So, in order for me to do better this week, I really need to plan out my meals ahead of time to make sure I can incorporate all these foods. Thank goodness I only have to do this for one more week.

While I’m discussing food, I must confess I find unsweetened Almond Milk disgusting. However, I am drinking it with the whey protein powder (chocolate flavor). This combination makes a remarkable difference.

As for my cardio workouts, I did workout five days. However, I did not workout at maximum effort or with intervals. As much as I love walking with my dog, he slows us down with all his sniffing and marking his territory. So, we are no longer exercising with Comet. Instead, I will take Comet for his own walk later in the evening where he can get his groove on at his own pace.

As for my weight (153 pounds), I did not lose or gain. So, I don’t get to move any of my marbles. Am I disappointed? Not really. I didn’t expect to lose anything this past week. If anything, I worried I had gained weight because my guys and I had gone to a family BBQ on Saturday. I indulged by having three Mike’s Hard Lemonade and two or three brownies.

A new week has started, and I’m ready. My goal for this week is to ramp up my cardio, and to eat everything on the list everyday.

“Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.” ~Jack Lalanne

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Today is July 1st. Today, I begin my “eat clean” program. Today, I begin exercising AGAIN. Today, I start my hiatus from Facebook and Pinterest. Today, I go to the movies to see Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Well, I have to have some fun today.

I woke up this morning at 6AM. My husband, Comet (my little dog), and I went for a walk. After taking a shower, I ate two hard-boiled eggs, 1/2 of a grapfruit, and drank a cup of coffee with one packet of Truvia and a splash of  half & half.  Usually, I add some extra sugar or chocolate syrup, but not this morning.

I am following the health and fitness advice from the book This is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever) by Jackie Warner. For the first two weeks, I may continue eating the way I have been eating; however, I must start implementing the following foods in my diet:

  • eggs (two daily)
  • oatmeal (one cup daily)
  • hormone-balancing, detox veggies (2-3 cups daily)
  • fresh fruit (2 servings is 2 whole fruits daily)
  • water (two to three litters daily)
  • whey protein shake (8-ounce serving daily)
  • green tea (evening) 

Even though I know I can eat crap for the next two weeks, I’m not using that as an excuse to go crazy. I have already started eliminating processed foods from the grocery list, as well as eliminating the extra sugar in my coffee. Of course, I will be eating peanut M & M’s at the movie theater later.

As for exercising the next two weeks, I need to perform cardio only five times a week for a maximum time of twenty minutes each workout. I will not do any resistance training in the first two weeks. My cardo workout must have maximum effort and include intervals. The first two weeks is prepping me for the “eat clean” lifestyle and the circuit type workouts I will be doing to lose weight.

This morning, I also weighed myself. I weighed in at 153 pounds. I checked my training log when I started running in August 2011. I weighed 143.5 pounds. My reaction: speechless, shocked, angry, sad. How did I let this happen? My only answer…complacency, emotional eating, not exercising, excuses. So, today I decided I want to weigh 125 pounds, which means I will need to lose 28 pounds (impressed with my math skills). A few weeks ago I found a cute idea on Pinterest to track your weight and stay motivated. It was weight loss jars. I decided to create my own using plastic ziploc containers and marbles.

weight loss containers

Weight Loss Containers to track pounds lost.


Danielle LaPorte makes a very good point (and provides some inspiration) in a short video (Your Word Is As Powerful As You Say It Is) she made for the blog PositivelyPositive. Today, is my day to make a commitment to myself. The only way I will be successful at losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is by keeping my word to myself.

“The secret of success ….do what you say you’re going to do.” ~ Danielle LaPorte 

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I have completed the first week of my happiness project. Honestly, I feel I did pretty well. Even though I still have not created my official resolutions chart, I tallied up my accomplishments.  My trend these past few years has been to allow stressful situations or my busy lifestyle to influence my health and fitness decisions.  I realized as I was making my resolutions that my life is always going to be busy, and that stressful situations arise; however, those two factors are not a free pass for me to not take care of myself the majority of the time. It really boils down to choices.

My week started off really great. My little guy’s birthday was Monday. To celebrate, my husband and I took him to Chili’s for dinner. Since we had planned this ahead of time, I planned my meals throughout the day to bank some extra calories for a restaurant meal and a couple of bites of dessert. Earlier that morning, I did a 20 minute cardio interval DVD and my run/walk interval training. Tuesday and Wednesday I continued eating well and exercising. Thursday I hit a bump or a few bumps throughout the day. And, amazingly that day snowballed and led to a stressful event. Of course, I blamed it on the fact that I did not get out of bed earlier, as I had done successfully the previous three days.

Thursday was my little guy’s Supplies and Hi’s Day at school. He would have the opportunity to meet his teachers and drop off his school supplies. I’m convinced NOW that I must have a “sabatoging demon” that resides in my body. Of all the days to lollygag in bed, I choose the busiest day of my week to do it. Reluctantly, I dragged myself out of bed. I was cranky because I did not get up earlier. I still managed to do my strength training. However, I had to wash my hair, so I got even crankier for not getting up earlier. Even though I dislike getting up early, I am MUCH happier when I do because it allows me the time to do the things I need to do to keep me healthy. The day proceeded with other activities, and I was irritable and antsy all day. Everything managed to aggravate me. Even going to Books-a-Million didn’t even help. I skipped an opportunity to get a mocha latte. Why? It is August, and they still had the July newspaper with all the book reviews. I already read July. I wanted August! I had a mental temper tantrum. I couldn’t wait to get home. Once home, I made a cup of coffee and ate about 15 M & M’s. Then at 6pm, all hell broke loose.

My husband always goes out in the backyard when he gets home to spend time with the dogs. My little dog, Comet, spends the majority of the day inside. However, when my husband gets home, Comet wants to be out there with the big dogs, too. Apparently, in the short time he was out there, he ate something poisonous. When Comet came inside, he started vomiting and collapsed. He went into a trance-like state and wasn’t breathing very well. After calling the vet, we quickly left home headed for an emergency vet hospital in Mandeville, which is about 30-40 minutes away. It was an extremely stressful drive. There were lots of tears, lots of fear, and lots of prayers. Thankfully, we made it to the hospital in time.  Comet stayed overnight, as well a Friday night. We took him home on Saturday afternoon. He is doing well considering his liver was assaulted, his blood wasn’t clotting, and he almost died.  

Now, I could have used that stressful event to make the choice to eat poorly and not exercise. However, I chose to keep my resolutions. I also decided not to get irritated with myself if I didn’t honor one of my resolutions. Soooo, I didn’t get up earlier; however, I still exercised, ate well (minus the M & M’s), and drank enough water. I would do better tomorrow. And, I did do better. In fact, I even lost a pound this week, which puts me at 142.5 pounds. Remember, I’m working on getting to 135 pounds by August 29th.

Okay, share time. I tried a new recipe on Sunday. The recipe is “Bacon Cheeseburgers to Die For.” I wouldn’t really go that far, but they were good. Even my little guy liked the burger. He can be picky. I’ve attached the link: http://www.justapinch.com/recipe/cookin4me/bacon-cheeseburgers-to-die-for-better-than-gourmet/beef?k=bacon+cheeseburgers+to+die+for&p=1&o=r.  I opted to use water instead of beef broth. I may try the beef broth the next time, as well as making my bacon bits a little bigger.

Something that I discovered that makes me happy: Double Chocolate Biscotti. Not terribly high in fat/calories. I enjoy one when I’ve had a good day (eating/exercise) and want something sweet without the guilt. Keep in mind: having one of these treats everyday lessens the happiness quota.   

Also, I want to share how I’m becoming a 30 minute runner using a run/walk interval program. The program is outlined in the book Running and Walking for Women Over 40 by Kathrine Switzer. The running schedule can be used by both men and women. It is designed to help you become a 30 minute runner in ten weeks. I started Week 4 (walk 6 minutes/run 4 minutes, repeat 3X) today. If I continue successfully, I see a road race on the horizon.

“Life is the sum of all your choices.”  ~Albert Camus

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