Perfection. Webster says perfection is a noun 1. the state or quality of being or becoming perfect. 2. the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence, as in some art. 3. a perfect embodiment or example of something.
Apparently I am not perfect, though sometimes it may appear that way to my readers. Allow me to assure you I am not. Like everyone else I make mistakes, poor choices, and I live to tell about them...so far.
Today is a good example. I started my day off ‘perfectly’ with a bowl of Kashi GoLean (and I actually measured the serving size stated on the Nutritional Analysis) and added some unsweetened soymilk. I took my vitamins and downed a big glass of water on the way to work. I had a serving size of bing cherries planned for my mid-morning snack. I planned to eat lunch at home and there were plenty of choices so I didn’t plan anything specific.
Well ... my day didn’t go quite as I had planned. The bing cherries tasted off to me (though usually they're wonderful) and some were rather slimy. I rinsed them off and they still didn’t appeal to me. I pitched them. Knowing better, but dealing with a growling stomach, I grabbed a peppermint and skipped my snack. By ten o’clock I was so groggy from lack of food, I poured myself a cup of coffee adding some non-dairy creamer. OK, so there are good ideas and bad ideas, but for now I was feeling better and would be home shortly for a good lunch. I found myself at the office too long and when I finally arrived at home I was starving!
My dear husband, my resident carnivore, had beef ribs slow-cooking in the oven. The house was filled with juicy, beefy aromas that toyed with my senses. I knew I had fresh spinach in the refrigerator. I had about any kind of salad-fixings you could imagine. I had plenty of fruit. I even had a vegetarian casserole from the night before that would be wonderful. Somehow, my sense of right and wrong slipped by the wayside and I found myself diving into one little beef rib ... then two ... then ... well, I quit ... what WAS I thinking?! I haven’t eaten beef in years and now I can no longer say that ... life goes on. And, as I chomped each morsel I could feel the squishy fat I used to love and now it actually repelled me ... BUT ... I didn’t quit!!! Two ribs and two glasses of water later I was beating myself up. Then, to add insult to injury I found some old Girl Scout cookies in the garage freezer ... heck, I already screwed up my plan, so why not? I ate two, then two more and then shamed myself into quitting while I was still standing! So I ask you ... am I not allowed to make a poor choice? Can I eat perfectly all the time? No ... well, maybe on paper, but not in the real world.
But fear not, my friends, even though choices can bring you failure, all is not lost. Had I taken the time to count the calories, carbs, cholesterol, salt, sugar, and fats I ate today I would have embarrass even myself! I know I did a bad thing. And, there’s nothing I can do about it, right? Wrong. I took a deep breath, fixed myself a drink (OK it was ice water) and flipped on my WiiFit and had a workout that winded me, but I could have done better. I looked in the mirror and realized one day of poor choices wasn’t going to kill me. So here I sit and though I didn’t have a perfect day but I’m still smiling.
When you make a poor choice move on ... give yourself a hug for recognizing your poor choice and know tomorrow is another day.
Signed ... One who is not perfect.
PS Do you have an “Oh-oh, I screwed up story”? Leave me a comment ... you’re not alone!
Do you ever have those days when you wonder just what in the heck you're supposed to do? Eat this, don't eat that, buy this, don't buy that, this is good for you, this is not good for you … geez … will it ever end? We know how to do this, right? If you've got something ailing you, own it, research it, change it. Easy, huh? No, it isn't. But it should be. Why do we do what we do? Or rather why do we not do what we should do? Well, my friends … I do not know the answer to that. I can barely answer that for myself! I struggle daily with choices knowing full well the right thing to do. Most of the time, I'm pretty good, but believe me … I have my days! Knowing exercising helps reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol you'd think I'd be out the door and exercising, right? Well ...
One of my biggest struggles is getting more exercise. “Just walk thirty minutes day,” I hear and read every where I turn … really? How am I supposed to squeeze THAT into my busy day? And where? We have few sidewalks or walking trails where I live and we live in a hilly area which is not really good for my knees.
Another struggle is that exercise is boring -- well, it is for me. I liked step aeorbics but they canceled the classes. I liked yoga, but the classes are inconsistent. There are Zumba classes, but they fall on t-ball game days … and the rest is history. Am I right? Well, perhaps … so what's wrong with me? I'm lazy. Yep, you heard me … because I allow myself to be everything to everybody from my family to my boss and everyone in-between, I run out of time.
Then it hit me while I was out-of-town visiting one of my daughters. I have been making excuses for my lack of exercising for years … it's easy to blame someone else for my lack of motivation. So, since I had my six year-old grandson with me and because my daughter lives in a larger city than I we walked wherever we needed to go. A mile … two miles, three … no matter. I never enjoyed walking so much. After walking through a beautiful park we needed to walk along a four-lane for few minutes when my grandson spotted a incline and suggested we climb the hill. That hill was covered in overgrown vines … yes, it's spring here … and there were wildflowers and rocks … BIG rocks we would need to climb to get where we needed to go. Being over sixty and in pretty good shape, though no spring chicken, my daughter and I looked at each other and said, “Sure, let's do it!” Once we scaled the hill an immense sense of accomplishment filled me from head to toe. What fun! Our walk continued and we found ourselves in a small, well manicured park with a fountain. While my daughter busied her nephew, I dropped into the corpse pose and reveled in the way the grass tickled my back, legs, and arms. The sun kissed my face and I stretched, rolled over and pulled myself into downward dog … then cobra … child's pose … repeat … it was a marvelous feeling. Who needs a class? Why don't I do this every day … for me … just for me …?? Why do I let the world dictate what I do and when I do it? OK, there's work and ball games … there's grocery shopping and family responsibilities, but I asked myself … am I not worth it? Am I not worth feeling the best I can feel? All the time??? Of course I am … so I made a deal with myself … I WILL be getting up five minutes earlier until I've reached thirty minutes and I WILL walk each morning … boring or not … it's up to me to make my walks more enjoyable … I'm not sure how … but I'll find a way. Will you?
I don’t know about you, but I’m a leaner. I lean on the counter ... on my car ... on my husband ... on my desk ... on my desk chair. So, guess what? All that leaning has allowed my belly to get bigger and bigger because I’m not using my abs properly. Granted, I’m not fat by normal standards, but I feel I’m carrying about 20 pounds more than I should. Posture is something we all take for granted. I also slouch, do you? I ask you this and before you straighten up at this mere suggestion, look at yourself. Are you slouching with your belly resting on your lap, you shoulders drooping and your back rounded? Or are you sitting up tall, back straight, tummy tucked in, feet planted squarely on the floor? I didn’t think so. I am now, but I wasn’t. So let’s be honest here and challenge each other. Starting right now, I will demand an improved posture of myself ... and of you.
First, while sitting up straight at your computer, read some interesting information I found on Everyday Health. While you at it ... take a deep cleansing breath and sit up ... I also found a website that outlined how bad posture affects heart health and I saddened to realize it was describing me! Both articles made it perfectly clear to me that I had some improving to do! How about you?
Need some other ways to “make it work”? I did so I kept pushing myself to find ways to make good posture work for me. I wonder if it would help to put full length mirrors wherever I am ... in my bathroom just may not be enough. When I walk past a store window and glance my reflection’s way, I am amazed at that little old mannish looking person gazing at me! Geez, when did I turn into such a slouch?? So here’s the deal ... it’s time I made my body work for me instead of the other way around. What do I mean ... well, this morning, I dropped the soap in the shower. When I bent to retrieve it I placed my palm on my thigh to ‘give myself a boost’ to a vertical position. Huh? Are you kidding me? When did my back and abs become so weak I need assistance to return to an erect position? Enough! I pulled out my Wii Fit, weighed in and realized I hadn’t really changed much. My WiiFit age was acceptable but that’s because I’m somewhat coordinated and could “beat” the system with my talents. So, I pushed myself a bit. All the way to twenty minutes of pretty intense stuff, sucking in my abs all the way and breathing correctly! Whew! So that’s what a workout feels like! To cool down, I did some balance games that forced me to twist and turn, reach and stretch. So as I reviewed my workout I realized I likely didn’t really stand as tall as I should have or reached just beyond the comfortable position or twisted just past the “ohhhhh” position - tomorrow is another day and I will step outside my body and view myself from another point of view. I can do it, can you?
_Many people have come to me and asked, "How did you do it?" So, I thought I'd make a 'quick list' for those who haven't the time to read my whole blog - I understand!
So, here's the simple list. What isn't so simple is implementing the list:
I started with what I was eating. To stabilize my numbers, I removed all meat except the 'good for you' Omega-3 foods. After my second "let's take a look at your numbers visit" I added smart meats - research helped me decide what would be best for me. I began to watch my saturated fat intake and removed all inappropriate fats - again, research helped me decide what would work best for me.
I began to keep a food journal ... I visited Vegetarian Times to learn more and better ways to incorporate the much needed veggies into my diet. I eventually subscribed to their magazine - and I love it!!
I researched supplements and working with my doctor adjusted them to be more efficient. I discovered red yeast rice which my doctor hadn't heard of, but was amazed at my success in lowering my numbers. Some trial and error was required as I had a reaction when I mixed red yeast rice with Fresca or other grapefruit-laced foods. (Note: do not take red yeast rice and any grapefruit products). I added 500 mg of niacin and my doctor added another 500mg. Research indicated taking supplements or statin drugs were more effective if taken at night.
Now, exercise was my challenge. I'd much prefer to research, compute, read, do puzzles and science experiments with my grandson so exercise was a challenge. We own a Wii and have WiiFit and even WiiFit Plus, sports games, etc., but you have to actually turn them on to reap the benefits! One small success I have is with some little exercise CDs ... A Morning Cup of Yoga ... Stretching ... Balance ... TaiChi andmany others. This twelve to fifteen minutes routines fit very nicely into my day. Everybody has 15 minutes!! So, make the time ...you're THAT important!
I have toyed with a gym membership and even found a local one who offers a three-month contract rather than the full year. Still not sure since I'd much rather come home from a stressful day at work and chit-chat with my grandson! I'm working on doing both.
Equally important is staying in touch with your doctor. And, if you don't like him or feel he isn't a good listener or caregiver, for heaven's sake, find another doctor! Check out alternative ways to lower your cholesterol numbers ... community yoga classes, meditation, whatever it takes to de-stress you!! Stress plays a very significant role in high cholesterol numbers.
Our society is so stressed out we have acquired all sorts of maladies ... take time for YOU ... take time to do what you love ... breathe!!!
Stay tuned ... what does not work for me ...
I am ...
... a former blogger for a health site, which means eating healthy aka heart smart
which has become a passion for me. I will start at the beginning when I first
discovered I had high cholesterol.