Getting healthy: Ties in with Lil's weight loss thread.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Jabberwockey, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Ok, here's the deal. I've never been the healthiest of people. Even when I was in the military I LOVED to eat and had a tendency to repress. Back then, I got enough exercise that it didn't make a huge difference and was a borderline alcoholic to, and I say this semi-jokingly, reduce my stress levels. Well, like many of us on this forum, I'm getting older and my metabolism is slowing down. Not that my body was ever the most efficient engine on the planet but you know what I mean. I also don't repress my feelings as much but then, have significantly more....substantial?, real?....problems to try and deal with. You're on this board so you understand, wont bore you further with details.

    I find my pants getting tighter even though I'm maintaining my, and lets be honest here as I'm beyond overweight, current weight of around 280 lbs. The reason I'm maintaining my weight but getting fatter is lack of exercise is causing me to lose muscle, and since muscle weighs more than fat I'm gaining size if not weight. The medical profession says my optimum weight should be around 160 or 170 lbs. While I could probably make that weight, I cant see being comfortable with it so my target weight range is between 200 and 220 lbs. This will not be reached any time soon. Not being negative, just being realistic and acknowledging that breaking a lifetime of bad habits will take time.

    All of you understand the stress that Lil and I have in our lives at least to a point. Everyone's circumstances are different but you all understand the basics of what's going on. We both work desk jobs so our days are fairly sedate. We work a part time job cleaning so get a minimal amount of exercise from that but it also makes proper meal planning difficult and in all honesty, there have been weeks where we spent as much or more on eating out as we earned from the job. Its not high pay and I took it initially just so we could build up savings a bit while our son was at college but don't want to give it up just yet, maybe another year or two.

    The hours are flexible so we can work as much or as little as we want during the week, with consideration to special events. We've started to adjust our work schedule to where we have Saturdays off and while this gives us one full day off a week (we clean after church on Sundays but it takes less than an hour) it does make the whole proper meals each night and time to exercise...I guess time to sleep too...more difficult. But by the time we get home from the main job, we relax for an hour or so then go to the part time. Then we say "Lets relax for a few, then we will get to...insert chore/project of the day an hour or so". Before we know it, its 10:30 or 11:00 at night, the chore/project isn't started much less completed, and we're getting to bed an hour to and hour and a half later than intended.

    Ok, that's disturbing. Just made a cup of coffee and looked at the creamer nutritional information. I'm consuming almost 200 calories a day of non-dairy creamer. No other significant nutritional value. Disturbing. Time to start drinking it black. Or quit drinking it all together? One thing at a time.

    Sorry, this is becoming a bit of a ramble. I know what to do, just not how to do it. We need to eat healthier, we need to get more exercise, we need to get more sleep. The question is, HOW? While most would describe our house as "lived in" the fact of the matter is that one of the first things we sacrificed to life was house work. Oh, we still do a little of it but after cleaning for an hour or two at the church its VERY hard to bring ourselves to clean our own home. Its not filthy but needs work. What happens when we make one change only to have it swallowed by something else like when we reorganized the garage only to empty our basement into it for home improvements?

    It really all boils down to time. We don't have enough to do everything we want or need to do so things are prioritized. Eventually, the lower priority things are sacrificed to either lack of time or something else more important coming up. And now we're talking about purchasing a piece of property that will consume even more of that time as we set it up to make it usable for its intended purpose.

    Stopping now as this is getting out of hand. Basically looking for in general advice on how to get you life back on track. Do we do a major overhaul and change every thing? Do we work on one tiny project at a time and ignore everything else till its completed? Or something in between? Sorry, but I woke up this morning feeling crappy (not sick but unhealthy) and just a little bit overwhelmed.
  2. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Honey, I know you don't want ME to be the one to respond, but I do agree with you...we need to do something.

    Just a run-down of what our nights tend to be like:

    Jabber gets home about 4:30, takes care of our cat and dogs, popper scoops the yard, etc., lets dogs out and feeds them and sometimes hasn't even gotten changed by the time I get home at about 5:15-5:30.

    We kick back for a few...maybe until 6 - 6:30 and grab something to eat.

    About 7 we head to the second job and we're there until 8 or so.

    Back home. We're tired! At this point other than an hour of TV and some dinner, we've been working all day. We generally crash and watch TV, get on the internet, and next thing we know it's 10:30. By the time the dishes are done, teeth brushed, etc., it's well after 11.

    Jabber's alarm goes off before 6 a.m.

    I drag my butt up at 7.

    And we do it all over again. :(

    I weigh more than he does. Which really sucks.

    That's just a typical day. Then he takes a guitar lesson once a week (though he cancels more than he should) and I have church board commitments one to two times a month. We only put in about 5 hours a week at the church (2nd job) but we have been doing 2 hours or so on Saturday and we want to quit, which makes it an hour ever day during the week, or we don't get done and have to go in on Saturday! Really, after 8 pm is about the only weeknight time we have!

    I don't know what to do about it.

    I DO know that every horizontal surface in our house is dusty, the bathrooms are filthy, I can't remember the last time I vacuumed and I just can't seem to get any ambition to change the stuff I hate. :(
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  3. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    I wasn't really even looking for responses. Sometimes you just have to get it off your chest, even if it is on the internet. I think I just needed to do this today. Joined the a bit ago. The results for my first morning are DEPRESSING as hell! Im going to start walking the circle along with other employees who do this during lunch. Should be easy to gauge as the circle is roughly the size of a track so right at a quarter mile in length. I'm just tired of feeling like crap all of the time, being too tired to enjoy anything or not having the time to do it in the first place. We WILL start getting ready for bed by 9:30 from now on because I have every intention of getting on the infernal machine at least three times a week from now on! Sorry, infernal machine=elliptical!
  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Well you can't get on the elliptical until the sewing/exercise room is cleaned up because you can't even get to it!
  5. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    And we cant clean that room until we find time away from work, we cant find time away from work till we schedule better, yada yada yada. You get my point. Im going to start with walking the circle at work every day. Its not much but its better than nothing. Then tonight I'm going to spend 5 or 10 minutes cleaning that room. I can spare 5 or 10 minutes a night, right?!?!
  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Yes dear...we can both easily spend some time cleaning up that room. I hate to admit it, but I think mostly that carp is it will be both of us.
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Join the gym. I go to the Y. They have all the equipment there with TVs and you can listen to headsets. You don't have to clean up your house to use the equipment. Actually, I started out walking and moved on to jogging and you don't need any equipment for that. Just that I don't have that much time lately because of my job. Fortunately I am on my feet at work the entire five hours so I do get exercise.(When I jog, I do it in the basement by our building's washing machines are. It's a big room and pretty quiet). I'm not ambitious enough to jog in Wisconsin snow and ice.

    Try using one level teaspoon of creamer and that is only ten calories. They have a fat free kind too. I lost lots of weight and still enjoyed my coffee. It was the one thing I didn't give up that I like to consume.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  8. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    On that note, a question for the more health conscious, exercise educated people out there. I know you should eat a decent, light, protein snack before an actual workout. What about just moderate to low paced walking during lunch? Should I eat first or wait until I've walked before eating?
  9. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    LOL! We're having trouble finding time to clean the house. Exactly when are we supposed to go to the gym?!?! Actually, I'd like to start going to the Y again. Its right next door to the church and close to our house. We need to get our lives more organized first. I'm going to start, in just a few minutes actually, with walking at work. The inner circle that connects all of the housing units is about 1/4 of a mile around, maybe a bit less, and I plan to start walking at least 4 laps a day.

    Almost forgot. I've got myself hooked on the French vanilla creamer which is MUCH higher in calories than just regular creamer. My daily use of regular creamer is around 50 calories. Triple that for the French vanilla.
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    It's 30 calories a tablespoon for the sugar free. How many do you use? I figure I'm getting about 60, maybe 100 calories from creamer!
  11. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Actually, the Y is so close to our church that they rent our parking lot for extra parking space. It's certainly not a problem to go there...but time is a factor.

    Really, I think getting organized as to life in general is the key. If we actually cooked crock-pot (or casserole meals that Jabber could stick in the oven when he gets home) so that dinner is done at 5:30 when I get home, then we would be able to eat and get out of the house at a reasonable hour to clean. Maybe after cleaning we could stop by the Y, but darnit by then we're tired and ready to crash...but we have to get the dogs out (they're crated) and give them some time to run. I suppose if it were warmer we could actually walk them, but now it's dark and cold.

    I could get up early and work out...I used to. Back when Jabber worked nights and I worked days, I'd get up at 5:30 or 6, feed the dogs, chug a cup of coffee and get on the elliptical, then shower, change, put dogs up and off to work (or Jabber would be home by then and he'd deal with the dogs). But I was going to bed earlier too.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm not an exercise freak, nor a medical professional... and I have enough fitness and diet issues of my own. But... just tossing these out there in case they help.

    As much as possible, cut out sugar and starches - sugar as in anything "sweetened", but not counting fruit. These are the emptiest calories on the planet. Some starches will give you some fiber, maybe a bit of minerals or vitamins (yams, for example), but... there are better sources. That leaves protein, vegetables, and fruits. If half your meal is veggies, with a moderate serving of protein, and a serving (not a "piece"...) of fruit for desert, you'll be surprised how full you actually feel, for less calories plus more vitamins, minerals and fiber. It's a mindset shift, takes a bit of planning ahead, but it doesn't need to be a huge effort.

    Go through that priority list of yours that is hanging over your head. It's not getting done anyway. And having it hang over your heads drags you down. Which compounds the problem. Ignore what you think "should" be important. Focus on what is bugging you right now. I could be wrong, but I suspect the dust upstairs bugs Lil more than the "mess" downstairs. In that case... spend 10 minutes - yes, just 10 minutes - doing that kind of a task as soon as you get home. Then make and eat supper. THEN see what you want to tackle before you head out the door to that second job. Does that second job have to start at 7? could it start at 7:30? Because by the time you get home from that, you're ready to shut down. See if you can start later and get a couple things done before you go there. Then you won't feel guilty shutting down when you get home from that.

    And then... do NOT turn on the computer or the TV or any other "screen" after you get home. Screen time within 2 hours of bedtime interferes with quality sleep. Read a book. Prep food for tomorrow. Have a long hot bath. Anything that is simple, routine, and pleasurable...

    (note to self: get off that computer at night...!)
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  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    The biggest problem with getting home even later is our pets. We have two Boston Terriers and they are strictly indoor dogs. They are crated during the day - (please let's not get into a crate-training debate, they're 8 and it's done) - So they're crated ALL day. They HAVE to have some running time! They don't get enough as it is, but they're so used to it they even ask to go to bed on the weekends when we try to keep them up.

    I'm wondering if they'd be okay alone in the house for a whole hour? I've never left them alone uncrated for more than 1/2 hour in the past. (They eat anything and everything!)
  14. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm an exercise freak more or less (I wake every morning early enough to have 5 to 10 mile jog with my dogs, I do hit a gym, swimming hall and now during winter I cross country ski few times a week and some times take out my snowshoes and take the dogs to long walk.) Only extra weight I have ever had has been after giving birth to my sons and that I nursed and run out of me quite soon.

    However, my husband, who used to be very athletic when he was young ended up to same situation you are in Jabber (about the same weight etc.) due rather demanding job, business lunches and dinners and using most of his free time to carter our son's sports (coaching, being a service manager etc.) He also used to smoke a lot and few years back he was in bad shape. After our difficult child left home, he was able to quit smoking because reduced stress (he did pick the habit back last fall, when difficult child was in crisis and at home, haven't been able to quit again yet) but quitting smoking made him even more fat. He had always used boys sports as an excuse not to be in shape, so when he was needed in those anymore, boys started to bother him about his weight and not keeping his promise to get back to shape after he doesn't need to spend all his evenings in Joy's sport. In the end we made a bet with him. He claimed he would win me at half marathon a year from that date. He of course didn't, but he did make an amazing turn around in the year (he had lost some weight already before it, but was still obese when he started.)

    He travels quite a lot for his work and it is also a desk job. What he did, was start to exercise and gradually making that harder, start to mind the meal times and eating regularly (irregular lifestyle and meal times make it difficult to eat healthy and not to over eat), making sure he ate enough veggies and drop some most obvious 'bad for you' foods to rare treats. Just having regular eating schedule is huge. And making time for some kind of exercise every day does wonders to your sleep and daily rhythm.

    How often do you walk you dogs? Couple half hour brisk walks with them a day would already make a big difference. and would make you more energized and help with the stress and help you sleep better.

    For the food: Could you consider using some time during weekend to make some food for the weekdays? Casseroles, soups, stews and so on are just as easy and quick to make in bigger size and often handle fridge and freezer well. And I'm sure you can also find healthy options for eating out or buying food in. I of course don't have any idea of your selections, but for example our supermarkets have fresh food sold from the meat counter, most of the reasonable healthy. What ever is available for you, it is important to plan. Make a list about what you are going to eat for next week, do the groceries and make as much as possible ready during the weekend. Then you actually have a plan and food to eat, when you are busy and tired and you don't have to wait till you are super extra hungry and go for something that sounds best at that moment (and when you are hungry, the thing with most fat and sugar is what you want.)

    For my husband changes in his diet and starting regular exercise made absolute wonders t6o his energy levels. He was bit like you before. Always tied during nights, had difficulties getting things done at home, needed naps or was very slow doing whatever he needed to do, always ended up getting to bed too late and being tired at morning. Eating and exercising regularly made a much bigger difference than those pounds he lost. he is like a new man again, says he feels ten years younger and having double the energy he used to have. And in fact he needs less sleep now and is not tired any more.

    And I feel like I got the man I married back instead of that grumpy old man I have for the while sharing my bed.

    EDIT: About the dogs. It could take them bit getting used to, but I'm 100 % sure they would be okay alone in the house. In my country it is strictly against the law crate a dog if not injured or sick and needing to rest and only short time even then. And we live so far in north that our outdoor dogs have to have dog houses with central heating, so 95 % of all dogs are strictly indoor dogs around here. And every one of them is able to learn to be home alone without creates etc. So are your dogs.

    But I would encourage you to take the time to walk with them instead of just leaving them home and hitting the gym. Would do good to all of you and walking a dog is a great way to lower your stress levels. especially if you are able to do it in park or in the woods.
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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  15. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Ok, thought it was 30 per teaspoon. Need to adjust that. So how much would a level tablespoon (actual, not measuring) be considered? Ok, its the regular that's 10 per teaspoon. Im actually considering trying to cut out the French vanilla and the sweet & low in my coffee but we will see. I need to drink more water anyway!

    Hehehehe!! I love how everyone has just started putting spaces in there! We have both quit smoking at this point. Well, mostly quit. Neither of us have smoked a half a pack in over two months. Total, not per day or week.

    This is a big portion of our problem right now. Not that I haven't ALWAYS considered ice cream a food group, but right now our schedule is so off kilter because of the part time and lack of planning ahead on our part. Between the stress, lack of sleep, and general tiredness/grumpiness we both feel all the time because of this it makes it very difficult to get out of the rut we've dug ourselves into. But we're going to try starting today. During my lunch I walked about a mile. Plan on doing that every day at work as well as eventually getting on the elliptical in the mornings.
  16. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    As I said, I'm not going to get into a crating debate, but Jabber and I will have to discuss leaving the dogs out when we're not home. I've done the math today and really, they're crated too much these days. When our son was home, we didn't crate them when we ran out for an hour or so, but now we have and that makes their restricted time too much. We'll definitely need to find a way to gate them so they don't go after the cat food/litter box, and we'd have to clean the house big time, at least the area they are in. When I say they eat everything, I'm not joking. Our little boy (who I have refered to as my has lately taken to getting napkins or tissues (yuck!) if I leave one on the coffee table when I get up to take my plate to the sink or get a cup of coffee, etc. So...clean house, gate, then we'll see.

    They do NOT handle either heat or cold well at all. We have jackets, but their poor little feet! And they just shiver so miserably! I don't know about walks in the winter. :unsure:

    Well the Sweet and Low doesn't have any calories. I know it's not supposed to be good for you, but I don't think I could do away with it. Even when I drank my coffee black, I drank it sweet.

    Actually, I've had six cigarettes since Thanksgiving...and a few drags on an e-cig. Pretty good actually.
  17. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I didn't mean to start a debate, but because crating is not an option here, we simply have to teach all and any dogs to stay home alone. And they do learn, so if you want to train your dogs to be home alone also without crates, I'm sure they will learn. Just start with the short times and maybe leave something for them to do (like eating a small bone or activation toy) for few first minutes alone. Though be prepared that they do not actually do much home alone. My dogs for example spend probably 90 % of their time alone sleeping.

    If you want to walk them during winter, they will get used to it (but do use jackets.) Boston terrier is very popular breed also here and they do make long walks also in snow and cold.

    Do you have Ikea anywhere near you? They sell good and affordable child/animal gates that you could use to make your dogs stay in one room or to stay away from certain rooms (cats can easily jump/climb over)
  18. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    For me maintaining health is a priority. When I was 30 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Between the surgery and 60 radiation treatments my immune system was severly compromised. Again, staying healthy is a priority for me. Because of the radiation I now have an underactive thyroid which I take medication for. Factor in the thyroid, age & menopuase I am not the size or weight I used to be, it's not horible, I'm 2 sizes bigger and I'm ok with that.

    I too have a desk job so I can relate. I get up at 4 am and work out for an hour, I do this Mon - Sat and give myself Sun off. I have a Total Gym and a Treadmill. I alternate days, the Total Gym helps build muscle, the Treadmill for cardio and fat burning.

    My suggestion is start slow. You want to get your house straightened out, schedule it like you would a client. Allow one hour to take on whichever task you want to tackle.
    Sneak in some walking, get those little dogs outside for a walk. Start slow, 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes. When you're cleaning house turn on some music, dance a little, clean a little. Make it fun, not a chore.
    It's about creating new habits, one at a time. If you take on too much at once it can be overwhelming which can derail your progress.

    White sugar and white flour I call white poison. I do my best to avoid them. Chocolate is my weakness.

    As for the coffee maybe try a good French Vanilla flavored coffee and forgo the creamer all together.

    One of the best things I ever purchased was a Vitamix. I use it everyday. My breakfast is a berry smoothy. 1/2 Cup frozen berries, 1 scoop protien powder, 1 slice lemon, 2 heaping TBL flax meal and about 3/4 cup water.
    I also use it to prepare my afternoon snack. 1 apple, 1 large carrot, 2 cups raw spinach / kale
    (I alternate my greens every other day) 1 cup water.
    I prefer the Vitamix to a juicer because the juicer seperates the fiber and I need the fiber.

    When you cook, make enough for extra meals. I have a food saver vacuum system. Love that thing!!

    Start slow, make one or two changes and stick with those for a couple of weeks, then add something.
  19. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Lil, I saw on a dog show once where the dogs were naughty and tore stuff up when they were left alone. The "dog whisperer" guy got those rubber Kongs, filled them with peanut butter and froze them, the dogs worked so hard to get the treat they forgot all about tearing stuff up. It might help.
  20. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Planning your weekly meals does take some effort first, but believe me, it seriously lowers your stress level and saves time and money in the long run.

    Have you tried if you could find a ready made meal plan and grocery list to go with it from the web? I know that around here many supermarket chains offer something like that in their websites, so do some government funded health organizations. Looking for those and then choosing meals you can pre-prepare during the weekend, or that take very short time to make and buying ingredients beforehand would likely make it easier to get more regular and planned diet going.