Week 34: A Little Late but Fitting To Write On My Birthday

For some reason, I have been putting off writing the post. Yes, I gained a little but not overwhelmingly so that was no excuse. I think, I simply needed a break from talking, dealing and associating myself with the scale.

I love the support my readers give and the comments that are sent my way but sometimes focusing every second of every day around can or should I eat this food and did I exercise enough today and if so did it warrant a treat? At times you just need a break to just not go insane.

It was great with some time without having to think about EVERY little choice and I am sure it made my holidays a little merrier. I had a great time celebrating with family and treating myself, and as usual it is one of the few times a year I see Mike in a nice suit and he looks so handsome in those things.

New Year’s Eve was as always great but I feel like the entire earth is on edge with what is to come. I must admit that I do not have many Trump supporter friends out there but I know the people exist since he will become the president of the United States in a few days. It is going to be a tumultuous, emotional and frighting time for me and I know a lot of my friends feel the same but we all have different reasons. Trump is all about the unexpected, so we are all holding our breaths to see what will happen next and crossing our fingers that the world won’t crash and burn.

As always, I have been looking forward to my birthday but with the exchange of power happening and to a man that scares so many people, it is one that has a lot of anticipation, hesitation and a need to just focus on what makes me happy in the moment and surrounding myself with good people. This fear that has slowly crept up in me since the election is definitely a huge trigger for me so any support my way if you have the extra energy and capacity would be much appreciated.

On a more happy note. I only gained 3 pounds from last time so that I can take care of easily 😀 And as I posted on Facebook a couple of days ago, Mike, finally, went through his last boxes from California and I can now get started on the next phase of nesting (yes, that is a thing! Mike did not know the term, nesting and thought I was REALLY ODD). Talking about odd… there were some odd things in those boxes. Old box of mix for Creme Brulee, a diamond ring (for a little girl, not that kind of ring… yes, I know what you were thinking), a whole box of VHS tapes. Yes, that is right, now he has to spend the next 10 years going through the tapes god forbid there is something on them that he want to watch or keep. Did I mention we do not have a VHS player and I was thinking, if you had forgotten about the VHS tapes and haven’t looked at them for 10 years, they are probably not that important. Suffice to say – Mike and I do not think a like when it comes to stuff. But going through the boxes was like second Christmas. It was a present to just get rid of the boxes but also to open them. They were like little mystery boxes and you are sorta excited to know what is inside. I have been wondering for 7 years, so think the anticipation time was a bit long.

We, also, took advantage of the holidays and we got to go to 3 museums, a play, several food related events, hang out with friends and simply just having time to be silly. I love the compilation of pictures this time.

Well, until next time…

XOXO

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Week 11: Cholesterol

Week 11: It has been a while since last. Times at work got crazy so I prioritized my husband and my work outs in my spare time. It seems to have worked out. I am now at 226.4lb (102.5kg) which is a loss of 7 lb (3.2kg) from 3 weeks ago. The week after I got back from my mini vacation was a little tough so I must admit that the 6 of the 7 pounds have come off the past two weeks but hey nothing is perfect.

One of the reasons I started this journey was due to my health. I am not deadly ill but I do have among other things high cholesterol which is one of the main causes of heart diseases. The number 1 cause of death in America. I don’t want to be a statistic and looking at my family’s health I could very easily become one. My parents are not too healthy and I have certainly inherited some of their habits. Habits which I am trying hard to break but that is not what this post is about. I wanted to give some information about cholesterol. I do not think people are aware or want to be faced with what it means to have high cholesterol. And there certainly are many myths about it.

High cholesterol aren’t only seen in overweight/obese people. It can hit anyone especially if they have high amounts of fat intake. Because overweight and obese folks (like myself) would not get to our size without eating a lot of fats in our diet you will see an increasingly high number of overweight and obese people with high cholesterol.

I got myself into this mess by not controlling my binges, which was usually a combination of ice cream, cake, nutella on bread or cookies. So yeah, there you go. ALL sugar at fats. It tasted good though but those days have to be over.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that comes from two sources: your body and food. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Cholesterol travels through your bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins. These packages are made of fat (lipid) on the inside and proteins on the outside. Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout your body: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL cholesterol sometimes is called “bad” cholesterol. A high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. HDL cholesterol sometimes is called “good” cholesterol. This is because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver removes the cholesterol from your body.

This is a great sum up of Cholesterol from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute but they don’t mention what the fat is. When you get your cholesterol measured by the doctor. They look at 3 numbers. The LDL (which should be less than 130mg), the HDL (which should be above 46 mg) and lastly the triglycerides.  Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, particularly “easy” calories like carbohydrates and fats, you may have high triglycerides. Triglycerides needs to be less than 150. I believe in Denmark the doctor usually only gives you one number, HDL Ratio which is a combination of 4 numbers. Your total cholesterol, HDL number, LDL number and your triglycerides. If you have slightly high LDL but still high HDL, you might show up with high cholesterol but since your HDL (the cholesterol that takes away fats) is high you are technically not at high risk of heart diseases so I urge you to ask your doctor for the specific numbers so you have an idea of what number you need to work on and how serious it is.

Personally, my numbers are not in my favor. My HDL is low, my LDL is not high but on the edge and I have a very high amount of triglycerides. Which means I have an excess amount of fat in my bloodstream but not enough HDL to take it away which means my LDL is on the rise (which is what can cause plaque in your arteries, and then lead to heart disease). I need to reverse this trend. That means, try and stay away from binging as best as I can and eliminate high fat foods from my kitchen. This of course, also, means that I need to loose weight so my liver understands that it does not need to keep feeding my body cholesterol.

When I learned about how the cholesterol makes vitamin D in your body and how cholesterol comes into your bloodstream, I had an aha moment. I have had a long period of depression, unusually long for me, I knew I had to check my vitamin D levels (Vitamin D is what helps keep us in a good mood, for example when summer comes around and the sun is out it lifts your spirits. You feel lighter and more happy. This is because the sun is feeding you vitamin D). And sure enough, I am almost at the deficiency level of (only 1 point off) vitamin D. So my binges have not been psychological as I always had thought they were but more likely they were physiological. My body was screaming for more vitamin D so I feed it high fats to create more cholesterol so it could create more vitamin D. Needless to say, I have now started on a high dose of vitamin D. Hope this will help on everything. Still have to go to the gym and watch what I eat but perhaps I can get a little more control over my binging. Crossing my fingers that I might be right. I might not have an eating disorder after all. This sorta excites me.

I recommend if you discover that you have high cholesterol. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor ALL the questions you can think off and perhaps they know of a good website to go to for more information. I am happy that my doctor is not the type that pushes for medication but rather more natural remedies (exercise, low fat diet, fish oil and vitamin D was her prescription). If I work hard at my diet and my weight, she will check my numbers again in 3 months and if I can prove that with some Vitamin D, fish oil (helps on cholesterol), exercise and a healthier diet that I can move the needle on my numbers, she is fine with not prescribing any medication. In fact it seems to be her first choice.

If you like me, can’t control your binges. You have worked on your mental health and feel like you have worked through most of your major issues then you might want to check your vitamin D levels. Especially, if you are in a location where there are more seasons. You might not get enough vitamin D from your foods or the sun. I was naive enough to think I did.

Feel free to comment or reach out if you have any questions. I am not an expert but I have gotten a good sense of where to look for helpful information. But always as your doctor if you can.

Want to give some credit from a few websites that I have been frequently visiting:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/About-Cholesterol_UCM_001220_Article.jsp#.V6nCGq0-gsA

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbc

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/triglycerides/art-20048186

XOXO

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Week 8: Support Is Essential

Week 8: If you think you can do it alone… Think again! I have tried so many times loosing the weight on my own and I would be so excited when people would notice the difference but once I got the compliment I would fall back into my old habits.

This time it is all about making my surroundings aware of my plan so they have a chance to support me and be my cheerleader when I need it the most. I am a person who does not have a lot of friends but the ones that I do have, I cherish and I don’t know where I would be today without them.

I love my family and I love my husband but there is nothing like having a friend – a true friend, who will be there for you even when you are being ridiculous, silly or in need of a good verbal spanking.

Claudia, Me, Shelley - Missouri 2016

One of my best friends here in the States moved from Florida to Missouri. She is the quintessential woman of strength. With other words, Shelley is AMAZING! Another best friend of mine, Claudia, fabulous and ‘I am not sure where I would be in life, if it was not for her’ kinda friend, and I decided to trek out to Missouri for a visit.

One of our better ideas, if I may say so myself. It has been a bit of a stressful time, with work, moving, starting the blog and I could go on. Not until I sat on the front porch of my friends, from now Missouri, with a glass of wine in my hand did I realize how badly, I needed a small vacation where I could shut off from the hustle and bustle from daily life and just kick back and enjoy.

Winery in Missouri IMG_41801 IMG_41891

I was on vacation and I was going to enjoy so I decided to have 1 day of just eating and drinking until I could not stand and another day where I would control my portions a bit more but still enjoy the yummy barbecue they have around these parts. It was close to Kansas City and summer time. Perfect for barbecuing. To not completely destroy my last few weeks hard work I also wanted to get a workout in (ideally two but that would have been pushing it).

Margarita for no money...

It is in those times that you realize how amazing your friends are. They went on a workout with me. How amazing is that. In the hot sun of noon they went to the local college football stadium and worked out with me. It was a tough one. The day before we had been merrily drinking and eating the entire day away and I must admit I was a bit hungover Saturday morning, yet they were dressed and ready to go.

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THIS is the type of support and motivation you need at times. People, who are willing to do the hard work with you even when they really do not want to but they love you enough to do it and support you. To Shelley and Claudia, I know you are reading this blog post… I love you and appreciate you! Thank you for the talks, the support and your thoughts.

So my advise to anyone trying to loose weight. Lean on your friends and loved ones when it is tough and good choices are hard to make. And as you can see, just because you are traveling, there are no excuses not to work out!

xoxo

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