Thursday, November 13, 2014

"It's cheap to be well"


I was doing a Walk Away the Pounds mile the other morning when Leslie gave this fit tip during one of the segments.  It really stuck with me.

I think if you read a wellness/fitness blog that you have either found yourself in a place where you have/want to lose weight or know someone who has struggled with the ups and downs of getting weight off and keeping it off.  Sometimes it's for vanity, sometimes it's for health.  Know if it's for vanity, there will likely come a time in your life where that will switch and it'll be about the health.  I know when the Mr and I were at our highest weights and I was staring 500 lbs in the face, I finally got to the point where I admitted that if we didn't do something and quick, any dodged health problems up to the point would end up catching up with us.  When it looked like that was happening and we were given a reprieve, I knew I never wanted to end up in a situation where we were that out of control again.

Granted, neither of us are at a 'healthy' weight but with over 400 lbs collectively off of our frames, life is much easier.  We talked about this woman who claimed that she was miraculously cured of her headaches when she went on a 'miracle' diet for headaches on a doctor show the other day.  She talked about 'getting rid of all of the junk food in the house' and eating this specific thing and as a 'bonus' she lost 65 lbs.  Well guess what sister, you said the magic words..."got rid of all of the junk food in the house."  We suspect it was less about these miracle combos of food voodoo she touted with the diet author standing next to her and more about the fact that she just stopped eating crap every day.  I thought back to my childhood when my grandma, a nurse, would get very concerned about the headaches I always had.  I got them a lot.  As I looked back and thought about how little I've gotten headaches in comparison (just have them when I sleep wrong or a stress headache where muscle tension is involved) and the difference by far is the diet and activity.  Lean meats, whole grains, fruits and veggies pretty much every day and 25-60 minutes of exercise six days a week depending on the intensity.  Back then, I was a latchkey kid living on pizza rolls, magic fries (remember those??) and bologna and cheese sandwiches and enough activity to not be too out of control but no formal exercise to speak of.  Everything back then was processed because processed is cheap...in the short term.

But when our health became a priority and I wanted ways to enjoy the things we loved without sacrificing flavor, my culinary abilities really blossomed and now we want for nothing.  (Except calorie free frosting and cinnamon rolls...but I digress)  I think about how some people in my family still eat everything out of a box, don't cook for themselves and I see how sick they are and it just confirms to me that what we're doing is right.  Yes, I still buy things in a box but they are usually from Trader Joe's where everything is whole and pronounceable.  But most of our food is fresh and homemade from scratch and I like it that way.  I haven't quite gotten to baking my own bread or anything and let's be real, I likely never will but 85% of what we eat is from scratch six days a week.  I have one family member whose idea of lunch is grabbing whatever takeout their co-workers are going to get.  Then dinner is grabbing a 32 ounce sweet tea from McDonalds on their way home and if they don't grab dinner from there then it's a handful of crackers, a handful of mushrooms, maybe some candy laying around and anything remotely healthy that may have snuck in stays in the fridge until it morphs into a fur monster.  The weekends are spent with their friends who all bring crap over to snack on while they socialize.  They have high blood pressure, are morbidly obese, anemia and are bone on bone in the knees.  Just moderate exercise of walking around the block could've helped when they were more mobile and now it's down to needing a scooter in big box stores because they can't get around without it.  It breaks my heart.  It's been discussed and we all know that we can't force someone who isn't ready.  Now I fear they're getting to the age where they'll start to say "I'm too old to do anything about it" and that isn't true.  I know moving is hard for them but it's better than the alternative which will eventually be that they can't go out at all and will end up on disability.

Then I have my grandparents who eat out basically for two of their three meals a day.  My grandma has gone up two dress sizes and with her lack of activity from meds and grandpa just not bothering to go on small walks or anything with her, it's a wonder she shuffles, her muscles are atrophying away.  We were told early on that diet and exercise could be a MAJOR component in helping to preserve her mental faculties and not to eat out because of all of the sodium in restaurant foods.  But it's like everything else he had to take on was too hard so the places he cut back in care were the things that should've been top priority.  He has also gained back all of the weight he lost and he's 8 years older than her so it's not good for him either.

It is so frustrating when you see people throwing their health down the drain or saying how it's "too expensive" to eat healthy.  Would you rather pay for it up front a few extra bucks or how about a couple hundred to tens of thousands down the road in insurance premiums, co-pays and treatment??

It takes SO LITTLE to reverse risk for disease.  You can reverse your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes and other weight related diseases by losing as little as 10 pounds.  I mean we can all do 10 pounds, right?  Losing weight doesn't have to be "I need to lose another 100 lbs to be at "goal" weight", it can be reducing the risk further in small increments.

The Mr and I have never stepped foot in a gym to lose any of this weight.  It's all been in the comfort of our own home with at home workouts so the "I can't go to the gym, it's too embarrassing" excuse won't work.  You can't say at home DVD's or equipment are too expensive because you have great sites like Fitness Blender and various YouTube channels that let you do them for free with little to no weights.  You just need to walk.  You don't have to walk far to get started.  Walk to the kitchen...no wait, don't walk there...walk to the bathroom.  Then walk to the mailbox.  Then walk to the neighbors driveway two houses down, then four houses down and so on.  It doesn't need to be much.  It just needs to be more than you're currently doing and given how sedentary we've become as a society, it wouldn't take much for many of us to do more than we're doing now.

I'm not saying this to be preachy...I can certainly improve and am trying to on not sharing a blood supply with the couch.  I'm reminding you as the eating season looms large that now is the time to get in a new routine so that in 6 weeks when everyone else is making promises to themselves that they know they might not keep, you will have already established yours.  I'm also trying to save you money in the future because man would it suck to be told "well, you have diabetes (insert any preventable disease here) and you need to lose at least 40 lbs and until then we'll need to put you on meds and re-evaluate."  Do you know how expensive meds are?  Not just that but have you heard commercials for those damn things!??!  They spend more time telling you about the third arm that could grow out of your chest and the 50 other things that could cripple or kill you than the thing it's supposed to help you with!

So let's make a date to walk after dinner or at lunch or to do squats between commercials during a show.  Take your free medicine now so you don't have to take the expensive kind later!

Whose with me?  (Or for the more introspective types, whose thinking about it?)

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17 comments:

  1. Great, great post and SO true. I never spent a dime on my initial weight loss - and just turned my junk food budget into my healthier food budget!

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    1. Absolutely! It's all about priorities! I still like my sweets on occasion or doing an appetizer spread for the big game but the difference is its one day a week, not any day of the week. The wellness benefits in addition to weight loss are abundant!

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  2. It is definitely not as expensive as people think. We all come up with excuses not to do some of the things that we know we need to do but don't ever let money be one of them!

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    1. Nope. I remember when someone told me how they couldn't afford to eat healthy because they couldn't get as much for the same money. Then I bought them two weeks worth of groceries for $40, less than they spend in a week eating out and it still didn't convince them. You have to prioritize it. Yes, organic is more but only buy 'the dirty dozen' in organic and save on the rest.

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  3. So, so true. I have bone on bone in both knees and am looking at knee replacement surgery next year. BUT, I have to lose weight before I'm a candidate. I've lost about 20 lbs, but have 35 more to go to get to the place where they'll even schedule it. Then, I must stay under that forever.
    I can do this. Changing fast food for home cooked does it. Even though I can't stand for very long, I can still do strengthening exercises and work on my upper body, my core and my legs too.
    I'm over 50, getting close to 60, and THIS IS DOABLE.
    I'm with you! I will NOT regret my holiday eating.
    Thanks for reminding me that small, incremental goals really count.
    Blessings!

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    1. Congrats on the weight loss thus far! You can do this, girl! I wish so much than my family member was a candidate for knee replacement surgery but they have a separate condition that keeps them from being eligible. I do have other family members who have had it and they say it's like being reborn. I hope the same is true for you! Keep up the great work!

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  4. Thank you for sharing your experience. I know you and the Mr. have lost a bunch of weight, but I was unaware of how many people in your social / family circle are currently living the struggle you've overcome. Helps me to better understand your point of view. It's tough to make it out of any stronghold and to see the way out for other people that you care about, but they don't see it.

    Anywaaaaayyy---my current challenge is that the weather is starting to nip so my lunch break walks are starting to turn to blog reading/video watching breaks instead. Fiiiine! I'll bundle up and head out today! :-) THANKS!!

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    1. Yeah, the only person in our family who is currently "on the wagon" so to speak is my cousin who has lost 120 lbs. We have diabetes in our family so there should be incentive but I remember when I wasn't in the mindset, I didn't care either. But now that many are getting to the ages where normal age related things can pop up, it just feels like it would be beneficial to prevent the things that can be instead of compounding. I'm not judging any of them for the way they eat, I'm just worried that they'll face things that could wreck their health. If nothing else, I'm glad that our weight loss inspired my cousin to get in gear and can only hope our examples may click with others.

      Consider that walk an 'invigorating' break in your day! :-)

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  5. As I shoveled snow this morning I was actually thinking along the same lines as your blog. I've slacked, big time. All the reasons in the world, but no excuses. I usually love shoveling snow (I'm a weirdo, what can I say?) and this morning I was hating it. I was also thinking about grocery shopping this weekend -- and how much more I'm spending this year than in past years without my list changing all that much. Our menu

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    1. oops - cut of the last though. Our menus have had to change to things that stretch longer. Not all bad, but that's the trade off for still trying to buy the healthier versions of things rather than the processed ones.

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    2. You're not a weirdo because if you are, then I am. Oh wait. ;-) I love shoveling snow as well. Instant workout! Well maybe you can take a look at what you're typically buying and see if there are any improvements/switches you can make? If you hit the bulk section of the grocery, you can get things like quinoa, oats, etc and if you get the little guy to help you pre-portion them.

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  6. Another great post! I need to make a conscious effort to get up and move more, I find it so hard to come home from work and prepare a meal when hubs is saying "let's pick something up" for dinner. He doesn't have weight to lose (well maybe five pounds), but he doesn't have good eating habits either. I'm getting better, 9 times out of 10 I'll say no thanks, I'm going to make something to eat, but that 1 time...anywhooo I have to make lifestyle changes (knees are starting to bother me now) and you inspire me to do that!

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    1. Yes, it can be difficult especially when one is looking to lose more than the other. But healthy habits are good for you both and thin doesn't necessarily mean healthy. Maybe you could pre-portion some dinners (like how some do an hour or two Sunday prep for the week?) so when he asks, you will still have that healthy option? I'm going to do that with some black rice and quinoa that is in the pantry and I don't turn to because it takes longer to cook. But I figure if I pre-cook then vacuum freeze them and grab them out the night before to put in the fridge then I can just reheat in the microwave. Good on ya for saying no most of the time, some people can't.

      Aww, thanks!

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  7. YES!!!! Thank you for sharing such a great message! Prevention is key ya know? Being aware of your health so you don't let it get worse. Love your message!!!!!

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    1. Thanks! It is all about prevention in whatever we can control!

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  8. I'm with you sister! As you and I have talked, you were where I've gone in recent months and I'm happy to say the past couple of weeks I've gotten back to tracking my food and planning far better as well as exercising. I'm only doing 20 minutes of Leslie's new video (it's a 20, 30, and 40 min one--and yep Nick is in it! LOL), but it's perfect for me right now because of my pain issues. I can do 20 minutes every day--I really can, even when I don't 'feel' like it. I've even gone so far as to take my credit and debit cards out of my wallet during the week so when I have a bad day at work I don't go self-medicate through a drive-thru with a milkshake. No money on me means no self-sabotage. And I can honestly say that I feel such a sense of relief now at lunchtime because I don't have this internal struggle going on (and habitual behavior). It may sound extreme, but for right now, it's helping to me establish better habits and my attitude is far better and much less demeaning to myself. So, yes, I am on board to do the best I can for the next 6 weeks. I've changed up my goals to more reasonable and attainable feats that I can celebrate much quicker than the "you can pat yourself on the back once your entire 200 lb goal is met" which is what I've done for far too long. Not anymore. I refuse to put off the joy of feeling good about even small healthy steps--they count. And I'm finally giving myself credit for them.

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    1. Good on ya girl! You do what you have to do to be successful no matter what extremes. So feel that joy babycakes! So proud of you!

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