Category Archives: Health

Taking Charge of My Health – An Action Plan

I didn’t go through a pregnancy with Fox, yet here I am at the weight I was when I left the hospital with Bean. What the hell? Did my metabolism slow that much? What they say about your metabolism once you past 40 seems to be accurate for me. I seem to be putting on about 10 pounds a year, which is crazy and isn’t good for my family, for my heart, for my health, for my sex life, or for my self esteem (the last two are connected).

I know what I need to do, but I keep sabotaging myself. Why? Where is my off button? For the past month I’ve been talking with women who have managed to take charge of their health and I’m impressed, but the nagging doubt was still there. I understand how they’ve done it, the mechanics of it, just not the psychology of it. A couple of weeks ago, I sat down with a health coach and while the idea was to talk about what she does with her senior clients at the hospital I work at, it ended up being a personal health coaching. It was kinda like therapy.

That therapy coaching session resulted in the following post on TMC for Women about action plans.

I figure a little accountability never hurt, so I’m putting it out here that I’m going to focus on three goals for the week, all with a confidence level of 7 or above. If I can change this awful unhealthy weight gain around and lose 30% of the extra cancer-causing, heart-impairing, esteem-destroying weight I’ve gained, I’ll post a picture of me in a swimsuit on here and if I don’t I will too. Someone give me hell if I don’t share my progress on here by say September 12.

What the heck am I thinking?

Here is a little snippet

4. Be realistic and flexible about your action plan. Allow wriggle room to be successful.

A crucial part of the action plan is reflecting on the steps you plan to take and being realistic about whether you’re going to attain that. I know that week after week I say I’m going to track what and how much I eat. I know this is a successful strategy for many, yet week after week I fail. Karen suggests I reassess my action plan.

What is my confidence level that I could track for one day out of seven on a scale of one to 10?

Ten, I respond. I know I can do that.

Good. What about two days?

An eight or nine.

The confidence level piece is what was missing from my arsenal I think. Check it out here.

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Filed under Health, heart, Prediabetes

Second Installment is Up! Me and My Bionic Breast

While Fox naps, and then late into the night, I work. I love my job. I love the freedom it gives me to be involved in areas I am passionate about, health, science, families, and community using my education, all from the comfort of my home. Occasionally, there is a piece I want, maybe even feel the need to share here:

The most recent post  is the second part of an installment about my personal heart issues, part of what I hope will be a larger series of women sharing their health stories on TMC for Women. Of course, I didn’t call it Me and My Bionic Breast over there. The first installment is here too. While you’re there take a look around. Julie of TucsonMama has joined me over there and has some posts coming up that are relevant.
A little excerpt:

My father tells me that it was only when I was able to explain the history behind the name of my recently adopted dog that he knew I was going to be OK, that I was fighting to keep hold of not only my physical self, but me. And I was winning.

My first memory is from over a week later, waking and my parents gently explaining why I was in the hospital. The doctors didn’t know why my heart rhythm had gone crazy and then stopped completely. They call it idiopathic ventricular fibrillation, or “we have no idea why the electrical circuitry in you heart went nuts.

Go on, go take a gander. Let me know what you think.

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Filed under Health, heart, TMC for Women

A Broken Heart Story

I’m baring my heart to you today over on TMC for Women.

My heart stopped, like a fuse had blown and all the lights went out.

Go check it out. I’ll be back here baring a little heart love and the giveaway for Debbie’s fabulous “Parents Need to Eat Too” book a little later.

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Filed under Health, heart, TMC for Women

Paula Deen, Thank you

No really, thank you. Revealing your Type 2 Diabetes status, admittedly three years after diagnosis, has prompted me to reveal some shocking news from the Bean household. Two weeks ago, I under went a screening for diabetes at a Tucson Medical Center event and crap if I didn’t get prediabetic high sugar levels. Now, I’m sure that the drug companies will be knocking down my door to offer some sweet (pun intended) deal so I can push my rich decadent processed recipes and the drug at the same time. Okay, maybe not.

Now, I don’t want my vast Paula Deen like audience to be led astray. I still have to have this prediabetic level confirmed, but I figure that it isn’t too early to start taking action. After a little research, including talking with some medical professionals and accessing some basic information on diabetes, I understand that with some weight loss, some healthy choices in diet and vigourous exercise 5-7 times a week there is a pretty good chance I can reverse this prediabetes situation. It is going to require vigilance.

An early diagnosis of full diabetes could also most likely be managed with diet and exercise management before it progresses to the point where it needs medication. Although even with careful management I understand that many will need the medication eventually. Type 2 Diabetes is a progressive disease. The thing is, Type II Diabetes is, for most of us, completely preventable too.

I have some characteristics that make me a high risk candidate, a family history of Type II (there is a genetic propensity), cardiovascular problems AND I’m overweight. I’m not heinously overweight, but my BMI at 28 is squarely (or should that be roundly?) in the overweight range. I wonder if the Y will sponsor my membership for my promoting healthy living on this blog? Actually, I understand that the Y has a fabulous diabetes prevention program which I should probably look in to. Oh wait, I just gave away that information without a paid endorsement. That is why Paula waited three years. Must learn not to share information that might help others without compensation or I’ll never have Paula’s respect.

For what it is worth diabetes scares me sh*tless. I’m committed to getting my weight, my exercise and dietary habits under control. The cool thing is, the habits that will help with preventing or staving off diabetes, also help with managing heart issues and reducing cancer risk. I’m putting these recent test results out there to make myself more accountable. Maybe I’ll check in here occasionally to share where I’m at in my goal to reduce my BMI and get exercise. Thanks Paula Deen.

It was this article by Debbie Koenig that alerted me to Paula Deen’s decision to use her large audience, developed through the sharing of the very types of food choices that led to obesity, to pedal diabetes drugs rather than concrete ways to avoid this horrible disease.

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Filed under Health, Prediabetes

#GoRedCorazon

I was late to the party. Heck, I didn’t even know about it, but last night it was on. There was a party all about saving lives. Your life and my life. It was a Twitter party hosted by the American Heart Association. I never make it to Twitter parties, I tend to the in person ones with cocktails and BBQs, perhaps a little dancing, but better late than never though. At the heart of it – this video. Please watch and share.

Oh and a little more info – All of us at some point in our lives will know someone or be the person who needs CPR, but only 32% of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander, and less than 8% of those who have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital will survive. As one of that 8% I beg you to watch this and to share.

ps. Number one killer of women? Heart disease. More deaths than all cancers together. Now back to the never scheduled usual stuff.

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Filed under Health, Heart

BlogLove VI

Ah well, I never said I was perfect. Lets just say the BlogLove is going to be a semi-regular occurrence, but hey did you see the new spiffy page, BlogLove Arizona. Yes, that is right I’m coalescing all that great Arizona Bloglove onto one page so you don’t have to sift through mounds those whopping six posts called BlogLove to get to that link you saw once. OK, I admit it. I wanted to see what adding a page would look like.

Without further ado,

1. Local Arizona Blog Tucson Food Dude This is another of those bizarre occurrences where you’re chugging along (or in this case checking out Twitter) and you stumble across a cool local blog AND then you realize you know the blogger. Kevin and I worked in the same area years back, which is completely different subject matter than his very fabulous food blog that is a must read for anyone seeking to venture out into the culinary Tucson night.  That isn’t to say Tucson is a dark abyss when it comes to gastronomic delights, far from it, unless you’re talking fish or tomatoes, but I’ve been spoiled.

2. Adoption BlogReadingWritingLiving is a blog about parenting, justice, on being an adoptee, adoptee rights (Did you know that adoptees in our state do not have the right to view their own original birth certificate?) and life. Susan is fierce. She is also a lifetime WW member so she has me beat on the control of food issues.

3. Miscellaneous –  I’m part of what feels some times to be a fairly exclusive club, except unfortunately it isn’t as exclusive as I’d like. I’d like to keep all you guys out of it. That’s right, bugger off. This is my club and I’d like out too, but only in a positive manner. My Heart Sisters is a fabulous blog written by Carolyn Thomas addressing the number one killer of women in the US, not breast cancer, heart disease. Carolyn and I belong to the society of women victorious over heart disease. (Victors? Survivors? Muddling throughers? I’m not sure the best term.) Given the state of affairs in our home the past few months, the following posts have been particularly apt. Now, before you run off thinking “Ahhh, yes poor Tepary. Her of the cardiac arrest.” Lets go back to that figure, #1 killer of women: heart disease. Often misdiagnosed or ignored in women, heart disease doesn’t only show up in the over 50, XY caucasian crowd. Oh no, heart disease is all about equal opportunities and sometimes it even plays favorites. It is a real piece of work like that. My Heart Sisters applies to you, whether you’re XX or XY. For those of you who don’t know me IRL, I was 28, in fabulous shape (130 pounds), active, no drugs, never smoked, and relatively okay on the alcohol consumption (the choice in men is a whole ‘nother story).  Go on, go check it out.

Oh and happy birthday to my awesome father-in-law. Your gift is held captive on my knitting needles. It will be ready before you get down here.
IMG_6180
Grandpa and Bean earlier this year.

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Filed under Adoption, Arizona, BlogLove, Health

One wild and precious life

Above my desk and on the door at work I have the following quote from Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day,

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.

I’ve thought on that line a lot lately. That line, the verbal kick to the ass my friend Trish gave me a few weeks back (thank you Trish), but mostly the following interaction with Bean when I was upset one evening. She stroked my face, wiped the tears away, and said, “It’ll be okay Mummy. We’re not going to die. We’re going to exercise and eat healthy and we’re going to be okay.”

Dear God. What did she hear? She saw that I was upset. That I was worried, but wow, she was putting stuff together. I think this was the final straw.

I resigned from my job last week. A job that in essence I loved, but that has, for a variety of reasons, become stressful and all time consuming. The emotional drain of some aspects of work coupled with niggling health worries*, and a recognition that there are things** in life that I, that we, want to do and that we aren’t doing because there is this huge time/emotional energy suck is pushing this decision. These factors are having a negative impact on my health, and on our quality of life. Frankly, I’m also fed up of feeling like I need to defend the fact that work isn’t my number one priority. This I realize is my response to society’s pressure and some of my colleagues’ feelings and not my boss’s directive, who has always been supportive of my attempts to find a work-life balance.

Still, making this move feels reckless. I’ve always worked. Like many of us, my sense of who I am is tied up in my employment. There are obviously going to have to be some fairly significant adjustments to our spending habits, but we can do it (Trish, K and Monica, I need your help). There are ideas already fermenting as to next job moves, but we’ve made a firm agreement that there are some basics must be addressed first. I know how very fortunate I am to be able to make this choice. I am extremely grateful for the support that I feel from my partner, my family and my friends. Thank you.

*I’ll probably say more about this, nothing serious, but with my history it maybe isn’t really a surprise that I jump to worrying

** more quality time with Bean, adoption paperwork, unrushed time with each other being primary, exercising & eating healthy, gardening, HAMO, fixing up house, local community involvement, science stuff

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Filed under Family, Health