Thursday, April 18, 2013

BIG Update: Health, Diet,and Fitness Changes

Okay health and fitness blog, this week of my life is more your spin than my other blog!

On Monday I went to the hospital.

It's my PCOS, we think. I began having alarming symptoms in my feminine regions. Symptoms started on April 9th, but I thought it was nothing at first. Then it went on for a while... then on Monday morning I had a gush of fluid that should not be coming from that area.

It turns out I have cervicitis and cervical erosion. We're not sure why. I have medicine which should clear it up in a week. This morning I had some blood tests done, and I'll have an ultrasound next week. Mainly it's just to see how bad the PCOS is, and also make sure that it hasn't caused anything worse to develop (PCOS puts you at risk of all sorts of bad stuff.)

On the plus side I was weighed for the first time since arriving in India: I've lost 13 pounds!

As far the C25K, I have only completed the first two workouts of week two. I was supposed to do the third yesterday, but overslept. Then today I didn't because I was having the bloodtest done early in the morning.

I also have decided to make a diet change. I really need to make several. But my mom was telling me about this program she saw on American PBS with this UK doctor, Michael Moseley. Actually she told me about two, The Truth About Exercise and Fast, Eat and Live Longer. I'm not sure why, but I could actually watch them on PBS's website, and the fasting diet they are talking about is called the 5:2.

Okay, it's Thursday, so half Workout Wednesday...
You should really check out the documentary because I know I'm not doing it justice, but basically there is a growth hormone that in adults leads often to diabetes and cancer if at high levels. And in at least most affluent people this is high because of over eating. Eating so much makes your cells be in "go-go-go" mode. But if you have periods where you don't eat much, it slows them down and the cells instead of multiplying will revert to repairing cells, and it makes everything wear down a lot slower, therefore helping with overall health. Dr. Moseley tried it for four weeks in the documentary and his growth hormone levels had cut in half, insulin was in normal levels (he was at risk for diabetes), and cholesterol and blood pressure were also at good levels.

It's called the 5:2 diet because five days of the week you eat a normal, healthy diet without worrying about it. Two non-consecutive days of the week you calorie restrict: 500 for women, 600 for men. Which isn't a lot of food, but I figure an egg for breakfast (about 80-90 calories), a yogurt for lunch (100 calories), a 100 calorie soup for dinner... plus lots of veggies. That doesn't sound so bad. (That's just a sample. I haven't figured out my diet yet.) That seems totally doable to me, for two days of the week.

and half Getting Fit Friday!
Actually part of the way I've already lost weight in India is just portion control, and I've been keeping track of my diet on Noom. Most days I still hit 2000 calories, but somedays I'm even at 1000 calories and I figure if I'm not hungry, why force it?

Aside from the C25K I've also been doing other workouts.  I have done at least two hours worth of
calisthetics this past week, and Ryan and I walked home from the hospital on Monday (probably about a twenty minute walk) which was good.

I'm also trying HIT (High Intensity Training) which was shared in the other Dr. Moseley documentary. Basically you get on an exercise bike and pedal as hard as you can for twenty seconds. Then you can rest two minutes. Then you do it again for 20 seconds. Then rest two minutes. Then one last burst of twenty seconds. You do that there times a week... which adds up to only three minutes a week. I did my first day yesterday.

If it's only three minutes a week, why bother? Well apparently by going as hard as you can you end up using 70% of the muscle versus 20-40% when pacing yourself in traditional exercise. By using all that muscle, the muscles sends out for glucose, reducing the amount you have. Within two weeks it's supposed to help your insulin levels.

And I figure... why not? It's only 3 minutes a week, and I'm not actually replacing any exercise with it, just doing it in addition to other exercise. Plus I figure it works in a similar principle as the interval training of the C25K, in that short bursts of intense exercise can do as good a job as long training, which I already know to work since I've completed the C25K before. Plus, and this is the biggest thing, what harm could it possibly do?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Prayers for Boston

Hi everyone,

I'm just a newbie runner, but as part of the running community, and an American, I want to pause on the blog in honor of the people who lost their lives or loved ones or were otherwise affected by the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

I'll return tomorrow with an interesting post about my health, but I wanted to give over one day's worth of posting to ask you all to stop in prayer. I'd have done it yesterday but, well, I'll tell you about that tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Workout Wednesday

Hey guys!

I unfortunately still have not completed the second week of the Couch to 5K due to the melatonin not letting me wake up in time.

I have however lost over three inches on my waist since I arrived in India!!

And actually I got a care package from my older sister just a few weeks ago and she sent me a nightgown... which I could put on but was tight and unattractive...

Tonight I put it on and it fits perfectly!!

I've worked out inside a little to youtube this week, that's all so far.

So my goals for next week:
finish week two of the Couch to 5K
try to do some non-equipment necessary weight training exercises (yes, I looked them up!)
do at least two at least ten minutes workouts outside of that!

Also, if I don't do the C25K workout I have to do an hour of cardio to replace it!

See you next week!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ultimate Blog Party 2013/ Getting Fit Friday

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Okay, this week I'm combining my Fit Friday post with an intro post for the Ultimate Blog Party!

Hi, I'm Pamela. This is Meaningful Activity, which is my fitness blog. This is actually my second blog, because I found that when I would be active I liked to blog about it... but it didn't really fit with the niche of my main blog (the Songs on the Way) so I started a second one just as a health and fitness blog.

Here I blog about my different health and fitness goal stuff. Like I'm redoing the Couch to 5K! I did it once before successfully, completing it this past September. But then I was moving to India... and then moved to India.. and then got married... and I just haven't kept up my fitness.

I also share about having PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and a sleeping disorder (which I am
trying a new treatment for!) and then just random stuff. Like how the weather in India makes it harder to exercise (yep, that's right, I'm in India. I'm an American expat.) Oh, and sometimes I talk about things like using the free Noom Weight Loss app on my smart phone, the youtube fitness videos I've tried out, or the MP3 tracks I'm using for the C25K.

Me after a C25K run
Honestly, this is a very new blog, I just started it in January, so I'm still figuring out what goes on it. So I'd love it if you would join me. And I'll love to network with other health and fitness bloggers, to inspire and encourage me!

As for this week... it's sort of been a bust. Well not really. You know how I mentioned just a couple of paragraphs ago about trying a new treatment for my sleeping disorder? First I should tell you that having a sleeping disorder affects every aspect of my life. I know for sure I would have had a .5 to 1 point higher GPA in college without it, because I was always either sleeping through class or going to class with little or no sleep. I am great at ignoring how bad it was, so every semester I'd be like "This will be the semester I do great!" and then three to six weeks later being like "Oh... right... I hate you sleep!" Yes, sleep and I have been great frenemies. Because basically it eludes me to get to sleep, it eludes me waking up, and it is always completely unpredictable. I've never been able to just lay down and sleep, and once asleep an alarm is no guarantee I will wake up!

And obviously anyone who knows what they say about regular sleep and weight loss knows that some people say without it, you can't lose weight at all. (I have lost a couple of inches, but in my whole life I've never been able to lose more than say, ten pounds. Ever.)

A few years ago when I was newly smacked in the face with the reality of how invasive my sleeping disorder truly is, I realized that my new found desire to someday get my Master's would definitely have to happen after I finally got my sleeping disorder under control, it would be idiocy to do it otherwise. But I didn't have medical insurance to find out what was wrong with me, so that was for someday in the future.

Well, two weeks ago, I got an email from a reader of my regular blog saying that she'd been reading for a while and thought she should speak up. I would complain about my sleeping disorder there from time to time, and it all resonated with her because her daughter had the exact same symptoms. They had gotten her tested and it turned out she had a melatonin deficiency.

When I was a teenager I had tried melatonin, but the first day it had no effect, the second day I slept for 18 hours straight and no one could wake me up. That scared me, so we stopped using it and I've never touched it again, though a few people had recommended it to me over the years.

And now, looking at that incident with the realization that someone else in the world had the same symptoms as me (I've never met anyone who has!) and they were diagnosed with melatonin deficiency... maybe the reason I slept 18 hours was because my body was just needing melatonin so bad that it was like "Okay, quick, let's sleep as long as we can while we have it!"

I mentioned this to the woman who had contacted me, and she said that her daughter had been very groggy that first week, but after that it went away and she'd been normal ever since. So it made me wonder if maybe I'd not given up after two days, I could have solved my sleeping disorder as a teenager.

Linking up with Getting Fit Fridays!
So I talked it over with my husband and mom, and decided to give it a try.

By the way, after we got it, I read on the bottle that it's not recommended for teens. So maybe teenage biochemistry makes the reaction more severe? I don't know.

But I've been taking it since Saturday night (so five doses now). It does work! Whether or not it's the solution, I don't know. I was groggy the first several days, not as much now, but I am finding I'm sleeping slightly more than 8 hours a night (9 to 10) so hopefully that levels out soon.

Anyway, because I'm oversleeping, I'm also missing my exercise-in-the-Indian heat window for the C25K. So I haven't done it this week.

But since regulating my sleeping patterns will change every aspect of my life for the better (including weight loss) I figure a missed week isn't a big deal. And according to my friend, her daughter was "normal" after a week, so maybe next week I'll be normal! And if it takes me two weeks, it'd still be totally worth it!

However, writing this is inspiring me that I can go find another workout video on youtube, and I have no excuse for that!