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A little sappiness goes a long way.

First, I would like to thank Autumn, my fellow blogger, for her encouragement. I had been frustrated for so long that I figured something had to be wrong with me. Finally I know what it is, but it seems lame. I mean really. Who doesn’t have sleep issues when they have kids. I know the effects Apnea has on the body, but not many people understand. It sounds like a cop-out, so outside of cyberspace, I do not talk about it. It also makes it easier at 2am when the mask is bugging me to take it off. It’s just sleep. Lots of people are tired. (Never mind the fact that I stop breathing in my sleep and my hubby tells me he is glad he never woke up to a blue wife laying next to him.) It was a wake up call to have someone who understands remind me why it is important to keep trying. I have had more determination to wear the CPAP mask all night. Thank you Autumn!

I feel a little guilty posting results this week since it seems like a down week for my fellow weight warriors. We must remember though that we will not win every battle. Do not let it stop you from fighting the war. I hope we can be there for each other and celebrate the victories and encourage through the defeats.

Enough sappiness….

You may have noticed I hadn’t posted a weight loss/gain the past couple weeks. That’s because I hadn’t weighed in. I have been so sick of having a gain or just a maintain that I just didn’t want to step on that scale. I was done with having disappointments to write about. I started out the week with 2 co-workers asking if I had lost weight. They could see it in my face. ( I am usually behind a high desk when they see me.) Boost to my confidence #1. I ordered a new sports bras that finally arrived off of back order. I have to send it back for a smaller band and cup size. Much to the chagrin of DH! Confidence boost #2. Wednesday I was feeling lucky, sort of, and did my official weigh-in. I nearly squealed when I saw the 5 pound loss! It had to sink in and wasn’t quite believed until I saw the email confirmation. Five more pounds and I am out of the 230’s.

That is my goal. Small bites. I need to try to focus on small increments. I get focused on the big goals, like the 20 lbs before the June 3rd wedding, and get upset as the time shortens and the attainability of that goal seems too hard. Then it becomes easier to throw in the towel. Five pounds is not towel worthy. It can be done. I can do it. You can do it!

Let’s Do It!

“Every great achievement was once considered impossible.”

~ Unknown

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Sunday, Sunday….ahhhh, ahhhh, ahhhh-ah-ahhhhh

I am doing much better today. I got worse before getting better. I worked out Monday because even though the cough was increasing in my mind it was still a sickness from the neck up. Boy, did I pay for it though. The world wouldn’t stop spinning and I came home and just collapsed. I avoided the gym the rest of the week. My energy came in spurts anyway and used it to try to keep some semblance of order around the house rather than exercising.

I met with the sleep specialty doctor this past week and learned some interesting things and got some answers to my weight loss problems. My doctor has spent most of his medical career  studying sleep and is the authority many doctors go by. He diagnosed me with apnea coupled with insomnia. I go in for another sleep study this week with the CPAP machine to find the right level of oxygen for me. I learned that when you are suffering from apnea you have very little to no metabolism. You do not burn calories no matter what you do. If you have read my posts you know how frustrated I have been for over a year. How I couldn’t understand how I can train for a 5k and keep calories down and not see any progress. Or very little. It seems I have a predisposition for apnea and just need a trigger to set it off. At the moment I am caught in a cause and effect loop. Apnea raises your weight, weight increase aggravates apnea, which raises your weight and so on and so on. We were able to correlate my weight ups and downs in the past 10 years with the times in my life I can say I was sleeping better or worse. As I have gotten older, it has gotten harder to self regulate. My doctor is very confident that once I start on the treatment I will see the weight, assuming I keep doing what I am doing, will start to come off. Once I get down 20+ pounds, he thinks the apnea will resolve and I won’t need the oxygen at night. Then barring another trigger, probably won’t need treatment again. Although I have been told that most people don’t want to stop due to how well and energized they feel in the morning.

I know it isn’t a “miracle drug” weight loss, but the idea that my hard work will start to pay off and more energy to boot, Yes, Please!

I didn’t make it to my official weigh in on Friday. The doctor’s scale said I maintained last week and my home scale said I gained. (It is never the same as the “official” scale at Kaiser) So I really do not know where I stand.

I will be at the gym in the morning. How about you?

“In time of difficulties, we must not lose sight of our achievements.” Mao Tse-Tung

 

Sleeping Beauty

Do you realize how important sleep is? We have seen it mentioned time and again in this blog, in fitness articles, even TV shows tell you to get enough sleep. Do you know why? I didn’t until very recently.

Last month, after some convincing, I went to see my doctor. I had been working out faithfully for a year and a half and seeing very little results. Last summer I even increased my output by starting one of those beginner running programs and planned on doing the Turkey Trot 5k. Still not much happening except sore shins and a torn meniscus. I felt better, more stamina and was actually running more than walking. Something I had never in my life been able to do, but still the weight was painfully slow in coming off. At work one night, dear hubby was talking with the doctors about me and the consensus was that I should seek medical help. I fit the symptoms of someone with thyroid problems. The weight issues, I had become sensitive to cold, increase in depression and I was tired all the time. It was starting to be scary tired, trying to not fall asleep driving tired. I made the appointment.

I got the same skeptical questioning I have gotten from others, even on here. “Are you sure you aren’t eating more than you say?” “Are you really working out that hard?” He ordered some tests with a side remark that if I really was working out my tests would show it. He called me personally to give me the results which included a 40+ drop in cholesterol! Everything was perfect. He even said  “You are obviously doing what you say.” The extreme tiredness was worrisome though and a sleep study was ordered. I did that 10 days ago and it was miserable! My results came in on Friday and it turns out I have sleep apnea. I now must see a specialist and decide on treatment. Did you know that it is one of the most undiagnosed conditions and can affect anyone? A 6-year-old was being tested the same time I was and people who do not snore, like me, can have it too. (I’m not just saying that either. The test shows if you snore!)

I have learned a lot about how sleep affects weight even if you do not have sleep apnea. A woman needs about 7 hours of sleep for health. Weight changes, especially weight gain, are common sleep deprivation effects. The amount and quality of sleep affects hormone levels, particularly levels of leptin and ghrelin, which in turn affect physiological processes that depend on these hormone levels.

Leptin is a hormone that affects feelings of fullness and satisfaction after a meal, and ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite. When people suffer from sleep deprivation, levels of leptin fall and ghrelin levels increase. This means that people end up feeling hungrier and may be less satisfied by eating, causing them to eat more and, consequently, gain weight. . When we don’t have enough sleep, our energy is very low. This can trick the brain into thinking it requires more food to replenish our energy stores. So we tend to eat more. Not only that we tend to crave high energy foods such as ice cream, cakes or sugar laden soft drinks.

To make matters worse, the effects of sleep deprivation can lessen the body’s ability to process glucose efficiently leading to an increased tendency to put on weight. This could also lead to an increased risk of diabetes. Lack of sleep also produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and lower the metabolic rate which means we burn fewer calories.

That’s not even to mention what sleep deprivation does to our moods and depression levels. If there is a choice between hitting the gym and getting an extra hour of sleep, doctors would tell you to go to bed earlier and get both, but if there was no other option, sleep is more important. Get the sleep and work minutes of exercise into your day. Take the stairs, park farther away, go for a walk after lunch, calf raises while brushing your teeth or squats while putting dishes in the washer. It is very important to get enough sleep so all your other hard work and sacrifice pay off to the highest levels.

 

Ok, off my soap box and on to how I did this week. Well, my grand plan for diet and exercise while the family was away turned into more meetings than planned, waiting in lines in government buildings in the free time I did have and just not be very motivated. I got in 1, ONE, workout and gave in to temptation a little more than I should have. There was one difference though. Without anyone else to keep me going I found myself falling asleep early and only once did I not go to bed before 10pm. I can not say that it was quality sleep, but it was quantity. I was worried when I had my official weigh-in on Friday and had resigned myself to seeing a bigger number. Not only did I lose the weight I had gained last week, but I lost on top of that for a total of 3.8lbs. Yeah! Crazy I know, but I will take it.

The family is back so are schedules and routines. I hear the gym calling loud and clear for tomorrow morning and I will greet it happily with a little motivation of the scale going down pushing me and the thought that if I can get everything working together, diet, exercise and treatment for quality sleep, I could really see some big changes this year! Sweet Dreams!

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.

John Adams


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