Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hit the Road, Fat, and Don't Cha Come Back No More, No More! By C.P. Stringham

My oldest and me on a snowy trip 
around The Matterhorn--and I'm 
still smiling! 
After a year of family-related medical anxieties, I have finally decided to take back my healthy lifestyle choices that I’d started nearly three years ago. Although the stressors have not lessened, my stress eating needs to stop and I have to get back into my old exercise routine. I look at where I was this time last year (walking/running 2.5 miles 3-5 times a week and covering it in 37 minutes along a rugged, hilly township-maintained dirt road) and then look at my current fitness and want to cry in frustration. If it makes sense, even after the holidays, when I knew I had returned to my old bad habits and my new clothing wasn’t exactly fitting as it should, instead of changing things, I binged on more unhealthy stuff. I went from stress eating to what-does-it-matter eating. Crazy.

I love to cook and my entire family suffers for it! Foodies!!
Other things contributed to this motivation as well. My husband came home last week from his yearly work physical and said I had to stop being such a good cook because he’d put on ten pounds in a year. Although he has a very physical job and can usually burn some serious calories over the course of his workday, he was just as guilty of overindulging. Our youngest takes medication to control her epilepsy and, while the medicine and dosage is an absolute necessity, the side-effect is weight gain. Not only does it cause the brain to trigger a false sense of hunger, it makes the weight gain settle mostly around the subject’s midsection. We’ve been told it’s very common for those taking Depakote to later develop Type 2 Diabetes. And we don’t want that. Because of her autism and cognitive issues, it is extremely hard making her understand that she really isn’t hungry. The way she acts sometimes, you’d think we were starving her! She’s very sedentary, too. Her activities are more electronic gadget powered ones versus moving her body activities.

With our oldest away at college, it makes it easier for our household family of three to transition into healthier eating habits—besides, she's the fussy one who complains the most over menu choices. The first thing we did was purge the house of junk food, including processed foods and sweets (we’re big fans of ice cream and chips). Instead, we filled the fridge and cupboards with the good stuff. Losing weight isn’t about starving yourself and I hate the word “diet.” I would even go so far as to say you don’t need to pay for some fancy brand diet food or supplements to get results. I ate better and walked myself into a fifty pound weight loss. No DVD’s. No shakes. What I’m advocating is a healthier lifestyle. Plain and simple. Training yourself to make wiser choices when it is time to eat—or even snack because snacking is totally permitted!!!
For the first time in my life, I wore out a pair of
running shoes using them for their intended purpose--

 exercising! *Sniff* My Saucony TR7's. 
The second thing I did was more for myself. I purchased new running shoes. Plantar fasciitis makes having the perfect fitting sneaker with the best support a must. My first pair of running shoes were the awesome Saucony TR7’s! I loved them! The fit and feel were perfect and the tread was perfect for the terrain I am on—especially for running downhill. When they wore out, I was prepared to buy another pair of TR7’s. However, Saucony replaced them with TR8’s (and now TR9’s). They offered nothing in support even remotely similar to their predecessor. I settled on a slightly more expensive model, happy with the toe box and heel support even though the arch was nothing like my tried and true TR7’s. I know they say you need to replace sneakers after so many miles and, while I literally wore out my TR7’s from lots and lots of miles, I wasn’t nearly getting out as often as before to wear this new model out. Midsummer, plantar fasciitis came with a vengeance and benched me for six weeks. Sure, two weeks in, my feet began to feel better only I overdid it trying to get back into my regular workout. Reinjuring isn’t recommended. Recovery takes even longer. My left foot still has residual issues. My family went sneaker shopping with me last week and pretty much ended up hating me by the end. I lost count of how many shoes I tried on. I wasn’t going to be brand loyal. Whatever fit the best and offered the support I needed was going to go home with me. This was further proven by the fact that I didn’t care what the shoes looked like. I tried on everything—much to my oldest daughter’s chagrin. I guess old moms like me aren’t supposed to wear iridescent colors in five different shades. Whatever. I was about to give up when I spotted a brand I had never tried before. I knew from my running friends the brand had a good reputation, but they tended to be pricey. As I pulled them out and my oldest gasped in horror over their appearance, I had my misgivings. They sported those open heel shocks through the sole. I didn’t know if I would like that. I’m a plus size lady after all. How would this feature hold up? And then I tried them on. It was like walking on air! The shoe also has a damn sturdy foundation around the perimeter and a decent arch. The others I’d tried had very disappointing arch support. I didn’t want to use insoles to gain arch support. Insoles always mess up the feel of the rest of the shoe. I decided to snap them up. I prepared myself for sticker shock only to discover they were on sale. I should say ridiculously on sale since I had returned home and searched online to see if I’d paid too much only to find out that I paid half the price they were online from the usual suspects. So, I am now the proud owner of hot pink Mizuno’s! Of course, I bought them just in time for the arrival of the 2016 Polar Vortex and then the snow/ice storm we got that left my walking/running path too treacherous to even dare attempting. AccuWeather is forecasting a mild weekend in Northeast PA. I’m hoping to hit the trails again—not running because I’m far too out of shape to do that in light of the 3 ½ months I took off. Instead, I’ll take it at a leisurely pace to avoid cardiac arrest. The Matterhorn is bad enough without adding further cardio! I should also note, I purchased foot compression sleeves that are supposed to help offer support for plantar fasciitis. They aren’t very fashionable looking, but if they work? Who cares!!!
My new hot pink Mizuno's! I hope they don't disappoint me! How do you like
those stylish compression sleeves? Jealous?

Any of our Broads of a Feather readers making lifestyle changes? What’s new with you?!      

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