Thursday, April 15, 2010

Navigating a Life Change

I am still at work.  It has everything to do with the fact that this first week of getting into my groove at the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center is taking a lot of my focus.  So, it has meant extra long days.  Poorly timed on my part because this is "hell week" as we work to close the next issue of Intuition Magazine.  But that's me - I want this change NOW, so to heck with normalcy, I will make it work!

I was once able to easily make everything fit.  It will come again with practice and exercise.  The latter may seem a little strange, but it's proven - both because it's an actual scientific fact and that's how it affected me before.  The more exercise I did, the more energy I had, the more my mind cleared and I could get things done in record time.  That's a side effect that isn't often discussed with regards to regular workouts, though it should be.

I have talked about my Swiss cheese memory before, I have felt scattered and focus has been nearly impossible at times.  In just the four days I have been hitting the gym and eating better, I have found my ability to clarify returning.  I feel like a fog has lifted, which became very clear this afternoon when I chatted with Nutritionist Katie after my workout.

Katie and I were talking over the basics of my nutritional plan - 1200 calories for non-exercise days, 1500 for workout days and how to make up those calories.  She started to go more in-depth with the good and bad, the pitfalls, portion sizes - all things I knew 18 months ago - and it all started coming back.  A few weeks ago I was very frustrated, I truly couldn't have told you how to eat healthy if it didn't come in a box with calories on the side.  When Katie started running through everything, it came rushing back.  I believe it was the benefit of both a clearer mind via exercise and a lesson that a little refresher never hurt anyone.

By the way, you will notice on the days I workout I eat more.  I know that in a day and age of everything right now that seems counter-intuitive.  "Wait, can't I just lose more weight those days by keeping my calories low?"  Well, probably, to a point.  However, then your body would start burning up things you really need, like muscle, to feed itself the difference.  Our bodies tend to freak when we diet and a major change in calories can actually cause it to go into starvation mode.  If that happens, your metabolism will actually slow down so your body doesn't need as many calories to survive, thereby keeping your weight the same.  Or, you could end up like I did in September 2007, flat on my back in an emergency room.

That's right, in the midst of my last weight loss adventure I went too far.  I didn't have anyone guiding me, like I do now, and that lead to doing exactly what I noted above.  I worked out seven days a week, but didn't take in enough calories to handle my body's basic needs.  So, one day I am getting ready to be on the air and bam!  I nearly pass out.  Long story short, after thinking it was just a sinus infection with a high fever, I became delirious and room mate Lori drug me to the emergency room.  My body was on its way to shutting down.  My potassium was so low I became delirious and they thought I had had a stroke.  Luckily a smart trauma doctor figured out what was really going on and three IVs later I was on my way home - very tired and very humbled.

That story will not repeat.  Not only because I have learned my lesson, but I have Team Kate to back me up with facts, figures and good old-fashioned common sense when it comes to how I should navigate the river of my journey this time.

Speaking of water, this morning at 6:30, I had my first water therapy appointment.  It was different, but I think I like it.  I know it didn't feel as hard, yet, as physical therapist Kara warned, I felt it later.   Oh well, that's what ice is for.

Good grief, it's after eight.  I better wrap up and go home for dinner and bed.  Have a good night.

Yours in Health,

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