August 04, 2009

The highs and the lows

By the time I get this post up it’ll officially be Wednesday and no longer Better Tuesday - but better late than never, right? It’s 3 weeks before we return to Dallas for our health assessments and I’m officially three weeks behind on the program. I don’t know how I got here other than to say … life; and that’s the real life of a mama, wife, attorney, conference planner, blogger, friend and all the other roles that I play. I’ve found it increasingly difficult to login AND do the course work AND try to exercise AND try to eat right – so as with all other things, something had to give.

Because I was so ashamed, I made a concerted effort today to try to catch up a little to the rest of the ladies on Better U. I logged in and there I was at Week 7 while everyone else should be at Week 10 – yikes! I managed to finish up 2 weeks of course work today and I’m proud of myself. Mind you, hubby was working out while I sat on the laptop, but that’s okay. In fact, it’s great.

On a side note, I am so proud of hubby for starting to take his health a bit more seriously. He, like many of us, has put on some weight in the last few years, but of greater concern is the fact that his blood pressure and cholesterol have sky-rocketed as well. His doctor gave him medication and he hasn’t taken them. So, now he’s really trying to eat healthier and exercise as much as he can. I’m not sure whether I had anything to do with his shift in priorities, but I’m happy about it. Ironically, the issues that he face are the program’s focus for Weeks 7 and 8 - cholesterol and high blood pressure (so hopefully he reads my post – yeah, right - who am I kidding, but then again do I even want him on our blog - I think not?)

We know that heart disease doesn’t manifest in the same way in women as it does men, so we have to pay attention to some of the warning signs and get a regular heart health checkup because some of those warning signs are pretty silent too. A couple of those signs are high blood pressure and high cholesterol and there are things that we can do to lower our risks of these two conditions – starting with getting more information. Luckily I don’t have an issue with my blood pressure which was 120/68 when last measured in April. Although it’s probably higher now because my stress levels have shot through the roof with Blogalicious planning! I do, however, have a bit of a problem with my cholesterol. I am in the “Borderline High” category at 207 and I need to bring that number down to 200 or below. I am exercising now (when I can) and I am eating better, so hopefully I’ve succeeded in that category because God only knows that the weight is the same. All I could (realistically) do at this point is keep on keeping on.

I found these tips and fats facts very helpful in better understanding these conditions and I hope you do too!

· High cholesterol has no symptoms. So it's important to have your blood cholesterol levels checked.
· Fat and Cholesterol Recommendation
Saturated Fat =<7% of calories = Choose lean meats, fish (at least twice per week) and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
Trans Fat = <1 % of calories = Minimize "partially hydrogenated" fats. Choose liquid vegetable oils and soft margarine in place of hard margarine or shortening.
Cholesterol = <300 mg per day = Choose vegetable alternatives to meat, poultry and seafood. Vegetables and whole grains have no cholesterol and are high in fiber, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol. An average goal is to eat about 25 grams of fiber every day.
· Many women believe that they either have diabetes, or they don’t, but they could have prediabetes (a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet diabetic) which may cause no symptoms. You can be developing high blood sugar without yet having the diagnosis of diabetes.
· Ways to control stress include: Keep moving! Fuel your body with healthy foods and drink plenty of water; Get plenty of sleep on a regular basis; Practice deep breathing and relaxation exercises; Take small stretching breaks throughout the day; Keep a journal or appointment book to help you identify those tasks and daily demands that are sources of stress; Unplug and take a break from technology Practice personal stress management skills regularly.

Hope you're having a Better Tuesday/Wednesday.

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Justice Fergie said...

you're doing great! i'm very impressed at how well you know your stats. the important thing is not what "week" you're on, but what you're learning along the way. nice job!

Ms. Latina said...

I agree with Justice Fergie you are doing GREAT! I'm sure you inspired hubby to exercise, as well as so many others (ME! ME!)

Like you, I have borderline high cholestoral (204) and diabetes runs in my family so thx for the info!

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