Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Wellness and goals not defined by a scale

I’m so proud of me. At nearly five months into this weight loss journey, I have a routine!

It’s not the best routine and I’m sure it’s not the most successful one, but I’m about to stick what’s left of my chest out and tell you what I’m doing toward my health and wellness goals. First of all, have you noticed the new fancy term: WELLNESS. Wellness is my new best friend.

I’m not trying to become skinny, shapely or gorgeous, my goal is wellness. I’ve heard about this ‘wellness’ before and I always associated it with psychobabble on the grand and corporate level. Nay, nay, bunny rabbit! With a little hard work and lots of prayer, you too can achieve wellness.

I know now that I can lose weight. The pounds they are a dropping, but wellness will not accompany that Size 9 pair of jeans. Folks can be thin and "unwell." Kinda stinks, but I don’t make the rules; I just write about them.

Truth be told, at almost 60 (unofficial results, keep your Lotto tickets) pounds down the line, I still have diabetes, hypertension, a weird back ‘thang’ and a new weird front ‘thang.’ The thangs are aches and pains which are most likely associated with the colder weather or the fact that there’s a spring loose in my biological clock and someone thinks I’m approaching 40. If I were, per chance, going to be 39 this year, I might be feeling some age and weight-related ailments.

Wellness is not a status on the scale or the number of rings you will find inside my trunk.

Wellness is a way to look at my entire body and striving to achieve that which will make me look, feel and BE healthy. The ‘be’ is the catcher. You may think I look much better, but my blood pressure meter still displays a skull and cross bones when I come near it.

Two weeks ago, I made a vow to concentrate on those things the scale couldn’t bring me. The first addition to my routine was apple cider vinegar. The apple cider vinegar near the salad dressings at your local grocer has long been associated with a wide range of health benefits. If you recall "an apple a day, keeps the doctor away..." Well, don’t fear the doctors, it’s the undertaker who doesn’t dispatch a return ticket.

Way back yonder, before I escaped from Texas, I was in water aerobics class and the guru swore by this apple cider vinegar. Heck, it was cheap, so I tried it. Many of the ladies thought it helped them lose weight, but I soon discovered an undeniable affect, and I quote: "It made ya pee like a hose!"

(Excuse my crudeness)

I’ll add a few links below to debatable cures associated with ACV, but what seems most certain is that it’s a great way to detox and rid your muscles of excess water. I decided to go back to the ACV because of my long-term problems with water retention and high blood pressure. I don’t know if it’s a miracle cure, but it’s helping me with the retention.

I’m trying to use a teaspoon or two before each meal. In the morning, I have a heaping tablespoon in a small, 1/4 cup of warm water. I heard this helps, but if pressed for proof, I will say "DUH?"

Next, I followed up on my plans to reincorporate some type of protein/vitamin drink into my daily routine. Those of you who have followed the blog since its start, know that I swore off the high protein drinks after enduring months of allergy-provoked hives. Not only does most of this stuff taste like nuclear waste, but it was also filling my unwell body with chemicals and strange sweeteners that kept me scratching and calling my poor doctors all hours of the day and night. I sent SuperDoc a long list of resources citing the harmful affects of one particular ingredient. He looked at me, smirked and said "you found all that out...go back and research until you find something that works for you; then tell me about it."

Here’s a man who knows how to deal with a smartbutt with a high-speed connection and too much time on her hands.

And the winner is JUICE PLUS COMPLETE. Ok, I cheated a little. I’ve used Juice Plus before and I already knew a few things about it. First, it tastes wonderful and even my sweet-a-holic husband goes ape for it. Second, it’s not just high protein, it’s high wellness. I researched, read labels and eliminated products and I came back to Juice Plus.

I feel like a tree-hugger, but the big seller for JPC is the fact that it’s natural. No articificial sweeteners, no chemicals from outer space – just powdered real food. Food is good, right?

JPC isn’t super high in protein, 13 grams a scoop, but I gravitated toward it because of its list of vitamins and key nutrients that I would have to get from another set of secret potions or multi-vitamins anyway. With my protein, I get 50 percent of most vitamins I need in a day and 100 percent of the Vitamin C. When I saw it also contain easily digested iron, I was sold. I do need to clarify a few things, though. Unlike many bariatric patients, I’ve been left with no malabsorption issues and I can take all my vitamins and protein by mouth. With the JPC, I get 20 grams of protein (cause I take it with milk) and the rest of my protein comes from, as I like to say, "stuff that used to be kicking" and dried beans and nuts. Vegetarians, please don’t flame me, but meat is good and I do chose to get my 80 grams of protein the old fashioned way. (I hit it on the streets like a good hillbilly.)

Honestly, while on the way to my new house in the sticks, a mama dear and her twins ran in front of the car a few months ago. I’m truly torn because they are cute as buttons, but if someone else dresses them, lean protein is lean protein.

Back to the supplements. Scott and I bought a four-month supply of Dutch chocolate and French vanilla. I don’t think it will last four months because Scott drinks them like dessert. He’s gone all ‘smoothie’ with them and adds bananas and strawberries and crushed ice, etc. (He would make a good bartender – he’s available, by the way.) My shake of choice contains chocolate JPC, milk and instant coffee – ice mocha in the morning, oh yeah!

I think I’ll just scan the label and write another post about it. The highlights are the fact that it contains only natural fructose, no dairy products and has that extra fiber kick that someone’s been missing in her diet. Folks well-versed in wellness protocols will also recognize chromium and acidophilus (aids digestion).

I don’t want the journey to wellness sermon to end without giving a shout-out to BEANS! Yes, beans and I have kissed and made up. Beans are protein-packed and are sooo easy on the old budget. We brought dried red beans for 98 cents and black-eyed peas were four for $1. With protein exceeding 14 grams a serving, it just makes good wellness sense. The only thing better, is both meat and beans or chili. My homemade chili gives me almost half of the 80 grams of protein recommended by my doctor. Now I call it "protein soup."

And how has this search for wellness turned out? Well, only time will truly tell, but I’ve been averaging a 10 pound loss per month. After incorporating these items and doing some upper body exercises, I seem to have doubled my results to a near 10-pound loss in two weeks. This is quite unofficially, however, the real results come on Feb. 14 when we announce a new official weight loss and see if I met the body fat challenge of lowering my percentage by 5 percent. I can’t wait.

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