Friday, April 03, 2015

Getting healthier.

After my appointment last week with my psychiatric care professional, I stopped in to see the nurse they have at the facility. It is something new that they are doing, where clients who are on medication have their blood pressure and other things monitored to keep an eye on how the medication is working. It doesn't cost me anything more and sounds like something that will actually be useful. Thus, I am participating in it.

The nurse was a lively fellow with an extensive history in the medical field and a delightfully sharp wit. I found him to be quite charming. I was told that it is impressive that my lungs are clear bilaterally and moving air well for someone with asthma. He was additionally pleased when I reported that I don't smoke (because Beloved would skin me for it, amongst other reasons) and that my alcohol intake was very low. My blood pressure was 120/80. I restrained the urge to laugh when he said wow before telling me the numbers.

Apparently, my systolic number is a bit high but still within the normal range. I mentioned that high cholesterol ran in my family and asked if that could be a contributing factor. He said that it was possible but some people just have higher numbers normally than others. My weight is still level around 185 lbs. I mentioned some frustration with how I've been doing in my efforts to get back down to my goal weight of 150 lbs. He suggested that I monitor my weight daily and keep a diary of what I eat and how much I exercise.

I explained that I was very uncomfortable with the daily weight monitoring because of my history with eating disorders. (I was borderline anorexic when I was younger) Thus I was recommended to do so twice a week. I'm still a bit uncomfortable with that thought but it is more reasonable then every day. He suggested that I engage in walking or swimming as my mode of exercise because it would be easier on my arthritic knees. His ideal was for me to get 20 min of walking in three times a week.

Now that the weather has improved, I think that will not be a problem. I think I am going to try for 20 min of walking every day, to be honest. The exercise helps my anxiety and quiets my mind. As much as I'd like to take up running (as many of my friends have done) I don't think my lungs would appreciate that.

I am trying to be more disciplined with my diet. For a little while there, I drifted away from my habit of eating vegetarian meals every day at breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. My dinner has always included some sort of meat. I recognize that it's important that I get the nutrients in it and that vegetarian meals will not go over well with folks in my house. Sometimes I think about switching my diet to a fully vegetarian one and then I remember that I love a good stake as much as the next gal.

I am, however, dramatically cutting down how much soda I drink. I tried replacing it with tea and I had a moderate amount of success. At the suggestion of this nurse, I'm trying out replacing it with Crystal Light (or the generic equivalent of it). I've gone through one week doing this and I'm not completely repulsed by it. While it does have aspertame in it, the taste is nothing like diet soda. It's a little off but not enough so that I find it disgusting.

So, now I am attempting to find a flavor that I like. I have this strawberry version that I have been drinking. I thought I was going to enjoy it because I love strawberries. All I have accomplished thus far is reminding myself how much I dislike artificial strawberry flavoring. It doesn't completely repulse me but it is not pleasant unless I am very thirsty. And even then, I'm not drinking it for flavor but for the liquid intake.

I am limiting the amount of sugar in my diet. Last week, I had what I hope will be my final pint of ice cream/sorbet for a while. As much as I enjoy the stuff, I recognize that eating a pint every week (which is what I had been doing for a little while when the holidays were in swing) just is not good for me. I found myself looking for something sugary after dinner tonight. My solution was a 1/3 cup of M&Ms. It's a little over one serving but a lot less sugar then a half pint of gelato. (Yes, I am the woman who will eat a pint of ice cream when stressed out. I don't watch romantic comedies when I do it, though. So I'm not the stereotype.)

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