Thursday, December 24

December 24, 2009 - My Xmas Present to You All!


Merry Christmas Everyone!

The photo is from today's Rudolph Run. That is me in the red sweatshirt. I do not know who the other people are, but I must tell you that they finished a lot before me! The picture is from the Rudolph Run web site.

This year for Christmas I offer you the gifts that I have received during my learning to "live better" process that I started about 18 months ago.

1) Try New Things, Even If You Are Skeptical
If you had asked me 2 years ago if I would try acupuncture, I am sure I would have said; "No!" As my faithful readers know, not only has acupuncture helped, it has also provided MANY amusing stories!

2) It's Okay to Be the Caboose
As long as you are trying it is okay to take longer than others. Whether you cross the finish line last, or first, you still crossed the finish line! For my friends that are also trying to lose weight and be healthy, do not compare yourself to others. Everyone is different and we all get there as long as we stay on the track.

3) Laugh At Yourself
Earlier this week I put on my Facebook status about a bad day I experienced. I ripped my pants, lost my parking card, and locked my keys in the office building. However, not once did I chastise myself or get upset. There was nothing I could do about any of it after it happened. All I could do was laugh at myself and learn the lessons from it!

4) Forgive
Over the past year I have heard some rude comments regarding my quest to live healthier and lose weight. I do not hold on to those comments because they add to my "weight." It is best to forgive those that do not understand or stay away from the negativity. Part of forgiving is realizing the comments or actions of others normally has nothing to do with you.

5) Live To Fight Another Day
As we all know, I sometimes get discouraged with my training and placement in the Walk/Runs in which I "compete." For example, today I REALLY wanted to not be in last place. As I started to pick up the pace to pass the folks in front of me, I felt my injured hamstring snap. It was then that I realized and actually thought the words; "Live to Fight Another Day." I could have tried to pick up the speed and undoubtedly caused further injury. For what purpose? It is okay to rest and recover in order to fight future battles.

6) Live Simply
I have yet to accomplish living simply, but you will notice in the next year it will be a big part of my weight loss and healthy living goals. I also think it is appropriate for Christmas time. We all need to remind ourselves of what is really important. I do not need to have a lot of material extras in order to be happy and healthy. I just need food, clothing, shelter, transportation, my pets, friends and family.

7) Be Happy With Who You Are
Even though I am on a mission to improve my health I must be happy with who I am as a person. There are many things that I cannot change nor should I. We all need to be happy with the core of our being. If we are not happy with who we are then we can never truly reach any of our goals.

8) Always Continue To Improve
I believe it was Benjamin Franklin that wrote something about once you change one habit there will always be another habit to change...it is a vicious cycle. That is okay with me. I know that I will always have to try to live healthy. It will not be something that can ever be "turned off" and become a habit necessarily. Some of it is easier now, but not all of it. The past few months have not been as good as others in the respect of eating choices, but my exercise has been the best ever. It will always be something to continue to improve upon for the rest of the time I have to spend on earth. I must make the best of it!

9) Just Live
Stop and smell the Roses! We all flit from here to there and everywhere. Be sure to experience pure joy once a day. Play fetch with the dog. Hug a kid. Watch the clouds. Just enjoy the time you have on earth. We all need to make sure to enjoy life every day.

10) Be Thankful and MEAN IT!
I want to thank everyone that has supported me and offered words of encouragement. I also want to thank those that read my blog, but never say a word. Due to the wonders of tracking on the internet I know you are out there...thank you for reading! Most importantly, I need to thank my Sister who listens to all of the good and bad, my friends who are patient with me, and Kristi's Army (PT Bruiser, the Social Workers, the Dietitians, Dr. Pins and Needles, and of course Dr. Pita (even though he can wear the same pants he wore in High School)).

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!
Kristi
Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 13

December 13, 2009 - Jingle Bell Run Update

Hello All,

This is just a quick update. I will update more on Wednesday. I was not able to post on my normal day this week. The days just "got away from me" after Wednesday.

For those that read my blog on Facebook, they noticed I was raising money for the Arthritis Foundation as part of the Jingle Bell Run/Walk. I raised 240.00 dollars. It was an interesting and fun event for something that almost all of us can understand.

I want to thank everyone that donated! You can still donate at http://jinglebellrunindianapolis.kintera.org/kristiasher

I am struggling with the Half Marathon Training due to the nagging knee injury, but I am working hard at developing the strength in both my knees. I am trying to do a bit more cross training this time, but I am a bit discouraged as the pain just keeps coming back to haunt me.

My food is a bit better, but I need to get more fruits and veggies back into my diet. It will always be a struggle, I suppose. I need to come up with a way that when I get super busy to do a better job of taking food with me wherever I end up during the day.

Well, that is all I have time for this week. I have a funny story to share on Wednesday.

Til Then,
Kristi

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 3

December 2, 2009 - 1% Body Fat is A Lot, Dr. Pita


Hello,

I am a bit late this week in my posting. I just got a bit busy at work and home. Y'all know how that happens!

I have been a bit discouraged the last couple of months since the scale has basically quit moving. I have maintained though, which is GREAT.

Which brings me to today's story...

The day before my appointment with Dr. Pita I sent him some information via e-mail that he requested. Of course, I figured I better turn it in before my next appointment so I would not be asked 20 questions about it. At the bottom of my e-mail I wrote; "Do not yell at me tomorrow, I am sure I gained weight."

Sure enough, I was up 4 pounds. I deserved it. I was eating too much fast food.

The conversation went something like this.

Dr. Pita; "Well, what you you going to do about this?"
Me; "Eat better. However, I have been exercising A LOT."
Dr. Pita; "Hmmmmmm...well you are going to have to stick with the fundamentals."
Me; "Mmm Hmmm"

We went on to speak about other things.

I headed to the Social Worker's office. While in the Social Worker's office I looked at the printout from the scale.

The printout said that I was up a bunch of water and up 2 pounds of muscle. I was DOWN 1% Body Fat!!! Woo Hoo!!! My body fat percentage had not moved in a few MONTHS!

Me;"HEY, I deserve kudos for being down in body fat! That is the most important thing, after all."
Social Worker; "You are right you do deserve kudos for that!!"

I confront Dr. Pita..

Dr. Pita; "Nope. No kudos for you!" (Obviously a Seinfeld reference).
Me; "Hmph!"
Me Thinking; "You are sooooo going to be made fun of in the blog."

Dr. Pita wonders why I give him a hard time....Why wouldn't I?

Til Next Week,
Kristi

Originally published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 25

November 25, 2009 - Thankful for Headaches


Hello All,


Stupid pill. So far, all I have are HEADACHES, HEADACHES, and more HEADACHES. Of course, these could be caused by people at work (luv ya all!), my family (hi sis!), my friends (grin), or myself (nah, how could I cause myself headaches?!?).


The only reason I mention this is the fact that when the headaches are the worst, I think to myself; "I am not going to tolerate having these headaches if I am going to start to feel like I did before I started living a healthier lifestyle." Hmmmmm...*POW* Proof I am feeling better! You know you have proof when you no longer tolerate feeling like crap!!!!


I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. One of the things I am most thankful for is the help and support of all of you!!!


Til Next Week,

Kristi


Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 18

November 18, 2009 - A BIG Misunderstanding


Hello!

I know that none of my faithful blog readers are surprised that I abhor taking pills. It really does not matter what kind of pill. Any pill is subject to my throat closing and my gag reflex starting. I am getting better, but I do have a long way to go before I am "cured" of my attitude problem. So, when Dr. Pita finally won a six month long argument (using the Clinic Social Worker as his henchman) to see a Specialist outside his office, I was not happy AT ALL. I KNEW that this so-called Specialist was going to prescribe SOMETHING. That IS what they are to do.

I met with the Specialist, who I believe found my story of why I was in his office mildly amusing. I told him that I was strongarmed, and that Dr. Pita managed to get the Clinic Social Worker to do the dirty work so his hands were "clean." (Note: This is my perception of the events, I am sure Dr. Pita and the Clinic Social Worker would have an entirely different perspective of our conversations over the last 6 months. HA!)

I left the the Specialist's office with a prescription that I DID NOT WANT TO TAKE, but I knew that I should. In order to "get it over with" I went to the closest CVS to fill the Rx. On the way into the store I was upset and a bit teary due to how I was feeling regarding taking ANOTHER pill.

CVS Lady 1; "How may I help you today?"
Me; "I have a prescription to fill and I have a discount card from the Physician."
CVS Lady 1; "Hmmmm...I do not believe we carry that prescription. Let me check."
Me (thoughts in my head); "How could they NOT carry it? Am I THAT broken?!?!?"
CVS Lady 2; "How may I help you?"
Me; "The other lady is looking to see if you carry the prescription I need."
CVS Lady 1; "Nope, we do not have it!"
CVS Lady 2; "We will have to order it for you to receive tomorrow."
Me; "OK"
Me; (On the way out the door talking to myself) "Stupid pharmacy. Stupid pill. Stupid Doctors just trying to take my money. It is all just some conspiracy anyway."

The next day at CVS as I pulled in I was getting weepy (I know, I know it is crazy, but I WAS really upset about the whole situation.).

Me; "Hi, I am here to pickup a prescription. Asher, Kristi"
CVS Lady; "First name?"
Me; "Hmph. Kristi"
CVS Lady took the sticker from the prescription and placed it on the signature form. I noticed in bright bold letters PRIVACY. I also noticed that none of the other stickers on the page had this notation.
Me (in my head); "Oh this is just GREAT!!!! I am taking something that the pharmacy has to make sure no one knows I am taking!!!." It was then that the tears started to well up in my eyes. I cried all the way to the car.

I settled into the car and ripped open the bag. In the bag I noticed that there was a letter from CVS stating that they needed me to sign that I have received a copy of the CVS Privacy Practices.

So, do y'all suppose that is why PRIVACY was in big bold letters next to my name?

Heavy Sigh...

Til Next Week,
Kristi

P.S.
*I was down a pound at my checkup with Dr. Pita today.
*My knee is slowly getting better.
*I am on Week 2 of Half Marathon Training.

Originally Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 13

November 13, 2009 - The Scale


All,

Sorry I am a little late posting this week. I had a little trouble writing my story. I am trying to tell the story right, but sometimes the words just do not happen to hit the keyboard the way they sit in my head!

The scale and I were fighting. It was not telling me what I wanted to "hear." Stupid scale!! I named the scale Pinocchio since it lied so much.
After several fights with the scale I realized; "Apparently, *I* am the one with the problem." Yes, I know how could *I* be the one with the problem? Well, I started focusing on the wrong thing.

All the professionals around me are not concerned about the scale. They are more concerned about the other aspects (e.g. eating correctly, exercising right, staying in the mindset of being healthy).

The problem is that I started focusing a bit too much I want the scale said and not how I FELT. I then asked myself; "How do you feel?" When the answer was; "Not as good as I can" I took a hard look at my exercise, diet, and other lifestyle factors and made few tweaks. Now I feel a lot better.

I just needed to remind myself that losing weight will come with the lifestyle change, but I have to feel and be healthy FIRST! I had gotten a little off track in my thinking.

So, me and the scale are back on speaking terms again. It will never be a love affair, but we CAN coexist in the same house as long as the scale remains just the toy that it is meant to be.

Til Next Week,
Kristi
Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 4

November 4, 2009 - PT Bruiser and the Physical Terrorist


All,

So...I am still feeling not up to par, so I am not sure how humorous my story will be this week, but I guess it is not always about being funny, huh? Working to be healthy is HARD WORK!

Apparently, it gets easier (at least that is what I am told). However, when you have an adulthood filled with bad habits breaking from the old is difficult.


I whined a little bit to Dr. Pita this week about going up and down the same 3-4 pounds for the past 5 months. Of course, he is the man that always has an explanation (sigh). He stated that for as much weight as I have lost this is to be expected. However, if it keeps up, after I am able to start exercising fully, we will look for a physiological reason if the pounds do not start dropping again.

Physical Therapy has been quite enlightening. So far my favorite quote from the Physical Terrorist is; "You really did the Mini? All 13.1 miles? Really? On these knees and with these hamstrings? Hmmm.." I decided not to question further.

Apparently, you are supposed to be able to step up and down on a step without "bobbling" your leg to the left or right. You are also supposed to be able to push your legs into the Physical Terrorists arm with some strength. Hmph!

I took my new found knowledge to PT Bruiser and told her that we have some work to do. So we have been working these exercises into the "routines". It is important to note that:

1) These exercises HURT.
2) PT Bruiser nor the Physical Terrorist care.

However, PT Bruiser does count for me. The first day in Physical Therapy the Physical Terrorist gave me an exercise and after a few minutes said; "What number are you on?" Oops! I thought I paid these people to count for me? Sheesh...

Yesterday, I told PT Bruiser about my week and told her that I could not think of anything funny for the blog. I then mentioned that I tried to do agility with Calvin on Monday. Unfortunately, during agility, Calvin bumped into my knee and scared the beejeebees out of me! This caused me to have a minor "breakdown" in class. Tears and all...

PT Bruiser; "That's funny."
Me; "No it isn't."
PT Bruiser; "No, it's funny."
Me; "Only if you are sadistic."

Til Next Week,
Kristi

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 29

October 28, 2009 - The Black Dog

Some days the alarm clock chimes and I cover my body with the blanket. "No need to get up. It's too early." Eventually, the dogs nose pokes me and he says; "Get the ^%&& up!"

I make my way to the door to let the dogs out and ever so slowly the day begins, but some days the routine is altered. Hiding in bed seems like the best thing to do. If I do make it out of bed the radio makes me cry on the way to work. Sometimes, the irritation of being amongst people overwhelms my senses. Granted, I do not have as many of these days as in the past, but occasionally the "Black Dog", as Churchill called it, comes for a visit.

For those that truly understand, it is more than just being lazy for a day or tired. There are other symptoms that you notice, but try to combat before they get out of hand (e.g. convinced that your sister has just been in a fire-y crash and you will have to figure out where to bury her (grin)).

For the past 18 months, many times the symptoms were caught early and the physiology changed. All of the symptoms are helped by eating right, exercising, and of course taking Vitamin D and loads of fish oil.

The Black Dog is a formidable foe that Kristi's Army is determined to combat even when I have difficulty with the fight myself. For that, I thank all of them.

Til Next Week and a Better Mood,
Kristi
Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 21

October 21, 2009 - Calvin-2 vs. Me-0


Hi All,

I am not really in the mood to blog today, but it is Wednesday and I must. I have a lot going on right now in my head that I really do not want to "talk" about at this time (if ever). I will resolve it soon.

I did see Dr. Pita today and I was up a half pound, but do not worry folks, I was actually down 1.5 pounds of fat. I have some excess "water" due to an extremely swollen knee.

It all started Thursday. I mentioned to PT Bruiser that I needed to stretch my leg out some more after doing some strength training, but I did not think anything more about it until later in the evening.

Later that evening Calvin walked by me and "ouch!" My knee cap dislocated INWARD. It had NEVER done that. After much wallowing on the ground and a brief stint of tears' (after the pain subsided) I got up.

I will be going to Physical Therapy for a week or two to get some exercises to work on with PT Bruiser. Dr. Pita insists on some new knee braces, so I will get those too. I also will start back in with the Marathon Training here in about 10 days.

Poor Calvin, this isn't the first time he got the blame for my poor left knee.

Last winter Calvin plowed into me in an agility trial because I was standing in the wrong place. I went down and HARD. Of course, like a good dog, he proceeded to bark at the judge until my Sister walked him off the course.

Later Calvin decided to show his displeasure/nervousness/etc. at the day's events by going "Number 2" right before she finished a perfect Agility run with him. Sister then ran another course with him later and...he had to "Number 2" AGAIN.

That's my boy...


Til Next Week,
Kristi
Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 14

October 14, 2009 - Pill Poppin'


Hello All,

I HATE to take pills. I have always had trouble taking pills. My longtime blog readers know that my pill popping problems pop up persistently in my postings (ha!). However, I believe they are now solved!!!!!

Last week, I discussed my pill popping problems with Pita (ha!). He was no help; I just wanted to throw another 'P' word in it. I did find some help on Google. When in doubt--Google it!

My problem with pill poppin is that I did not tilt my head alllll the way back so that my throat is completely open! If you too have this problem, definitely tilt your head all the way back and then take the pills and water. The pills slide much easier down your throat!

So...my persistent pill poppin' predicament poses a problem no more!

Til Next Week,
Kristi
P.S. I am down 1.5 pounds from my being up last week!

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 7

October 7, 2009 - Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!


Hello All,

I just ate a half pound of fudge. Not just ANY fudge---Amish Peanut Butter Fudge. Of course, now I want to "release" it all. I deserve the feeling that is in my belly. If I could write an eloquent diatribe regarding the feeling in my stomach, I would. For now, I will just say; "ugh." I could not stop myself. It was part of my lunch. I also had baked chicken and greek potatoes .

I am obviously struggling with being healthy right now. I met with Dr. Pita today and he had some "ideas." However, it is hard to take some of the ideas from him when I cannot seriously believe that he understands what I am going through right now. To be fair, I know that he can speak regarding what has worked for others and cite studies using empirical evidence.

When I got weighed before I met with him I was up 3.5 pounds. I was not suprised. Ever since the last time I was there I have been eating, eating, and eating. I do not know why. Is it Emotional Eating? Is it anxiety? Is it the weather? Is it hormones? I do not know, but it needs to stop. This is the worst it has been since I started this whole "concentrate on being healthy" life-long project started.

Dr. Pita mentioned that I need to be sure to drink water, because thirst disguises itself as hunger. Good point. I am going to try to drink at least 8 ounces of water before I eat anything. However, I know it is something beyond that. He also mentioned that there is a distinct instinct in us that makes us want to eat more as the weather gets colder. During this time I will need to be hypervigilant.

I got the most today from meeting with the Clinic Social Worker. She gave me a list of high-serotonin food for these low-light days. Here they are:

High Serotonin
Bananas
Kiwi
Pineapple
Plantains
Plums
Tomatoes

Moderate Serotonin
Avocado
Black Olives
Broccoli
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
Dates
Eggplant
Figs
Grapefruit and Honeydew
Spinach

She also mentioned it could be the start of the winter blues. I mentioned that I want to buy this natural light that turns on slowly at a certain time each day (just like sunlight). Well, between the two of us we came up with the idea that I will use a regular OTT light with a low wattage bulb and a timer to see if that will help. It will not be enough light to automatically wake me up, but enough to start to disturb my sleep. It is a lot cheaper to try this than buy the 200-300 dollar light I was one day hoping to purchase.

Now, for my funny story for the week, I want to tell you about my Mother and Father. They are sugar pushers in their old age. When you are in the middle of a cycle of binging THESE ARE NOT THE PEOPLE TO BE AROUND.

You see, there are these cream-filled sticks that I believe Dad gets at Aldi's. One day, while walking by my mother's computer I saw a can of these and said to myself; "Hmmmm, these look good. Only 70 calories in one. PERFECT! This will take care of the sweet tooth and not set me out many calories." Well, I ate at least SIX of these. Sweet, crunchy, and soft in the middle. Yummy!

In a conversation with my sister we decided these sticks are made by the DEVIL! We both are addicted to them.

A couple of weeks later I am telling my Mother and Father about this addiction. My father said; "I have coffee one's. Want to try one?" I said; "Sure. I do not like coffee this will cure me of my addiction." Nope! I ate one and IMMEDIATELY wanted another one. Of course, Dad ate one and immediately put the can down. He did not understand why I could not eat just one. Urgh!

I later informed Dad that he didn't need to have those in his house. They are made by the DEVIL! Normal people could not just eat one! He then said to me; "I am going to eat whatever I want." He didn't get the joke. Even mom got this joke! (eye roll)

When speaking to my sister a few days later I informed her of the incident with Mom and Dad. She laughed and said that the cream ones ARE addicting, but she had not tried the coffee ones at the time.

Later that day I get the following tweet:

@kristiasher coffee wafers are just as addicting.


Til Next Week,
Kristi
Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 1

September 30, 2009 - Work Continues

Note: The photo is of my dog Calvin. Yes, I know it is blurry. However, per usual, I could not get him to sit still very long when trying to take his picture.

Hello All,

I had an appointment with Miss Tappity Tap earlier today. We discussed the same-old-same old, then she asked me; "What is it that we need to work on?" I had an immediate answer; "Binge eating or emotional eating. Are they the same? I do not know, but I have a problem with it!"

As you all know, I have struggled most of the summer. It is not that I have not lost weight, I have. The weight loss is not as quick, but that is not the problem. I am not eating as well nor am I remembering to take all my supplements, working out as hard, or journaling what I eat as much.

To be fair to myself I am doing better than I did 18 months prior, but I can do better. It is not that I am disappointed in the daily struggles, but sometimes it seems very overwhelming to think that I have to do all of this for the rest of my life. Then I get even MORE upset with myself when I think about the fact that other people have greater problems than me.

Of course, chastising myself does not help matters in the least. Sometimes I hear Dr. Pita in my head; "You need to change your physiology to change the chemicals in your brain."

I proved that I can lose weight. I just need to keep going with a healthier lifestyle. It is important to note that I am not on some huge calorie deficit to lose this weight. I am eating as if I weighed in the BMI I am supposed to, and was somewhat physically fit. Therefore, I am striving to eat and exercise in healthy zones.

I signed up for an Emotional Eating class. As much as I despise groups (especially groups with whiny women), I agreed to give it a go. However, the first woman that blames the "snack table" at work will get an earful from me.

When you have years of bad habits to correct, it can all sometimes be exhausting. Or maybe it is just the change in weather.

Til Next Week,
Kristi


Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 26

September 26, 2009 - Mill Race Race


Hello All,

Yes. I am actually posting an additional blog entry this week, because I want to fill you in on how my first "race" since the Mini turned out. In case you missed it, I added to my physical fitness goals to try to do a walk in every county in Indiana. No doubt this will take awhile to accomplish.

All of the races I previously took part in were in Marion County. So, I am seeking out races in other counties. Today, I took part in the Mill Race Race in Columbus.

I was a tad worried at the start line since I had not taken part in one in 4 months. I stretched and was ready to go. As normal, my goal was to finish. I always have a secondary goal of finishing no worse than second to last.

The walk traversed the city streets of Columbus and wound around through the absolutely beautiful Mill Race Park. I strongly recommend you walk the paths in this park, it is very nice and picturesque.

As I waited at the start line I decided to take an instant dislike to two ladies pushing strollers. I decided that my goal was to finish ahead of the stroller ladies. In order to do this I made sure to start ahead of them as well!

It wasn't long before we were at a marker that said '1'. I was very excited! I realized at the time that I could still do this. While I had not been on any walks longer than a couple of miles in a while, I still was not phased by the longer distances. I was psyched!!!

Until....

I hear a man tell his wife; "Well, in about 3 tenths of a mile we will be at mile 1." What?!?!?!?!?!?! Apparently, the '1' I saw was for the 15K. They started farther back than we did. Ugh!

I checked my watched and realized the first mile I did in about 16 minutes. I slowed down a tad as I felt that was too fast for my aching knee.

At about 2 miles the ladies pushing strollers passed me. That made me MAD! However, I said to myself; "You will catch up to them, just do not let them get too far ahead."

At this point I am working up a good sweat and am breathing relatively heavy. I was at the zone where I would not be able to hold a conversation. Of course, stroller lady 1 and 2 were just talking, talking, and talking to each other. Evil Kristi said to me; "I do not like them. They need to be quiet! No one cares that since they are not able to run they are not breaking a sweat."

I then hear behind me; "I am following the lady in the hot pink! She will not get lost." At this point we are in the deep woods of the park. Apparently, the lady fast approaching was taking part in her first 5K. She also has fibromyalgia. Good for her in doing the 5K! This did nothing for my self esteem though. She at one point told me to get moving as she was about to catch up to me!

At mile 2 I checked my watch and deducted that I was at an 18 minute mile. Okay, I decided I needed to kick it up just a little bit. And then...

A HILL! What?!?!? No one said anything about hills??!? (Moment of truth: It was actually an incline).

I get passed by two young girls ages approximately 10 and 7. Double ugh! They were also smiling. Triple ugh! I wanted to say; "Well, at least your parents cannot keep up with you either."

I made it to mile 3 and decided to let the stroller ladies finish before me. They probably would have broken down and had a rotten day if I ended up passing them (that's my story and I am sticking to it!).

At the end I found that this was the BEST RACE EVER! There was of course the normal free fruit and nuts. However, there was an extra special treat at the end of this one. Corn on the Cob - Oaxaca Style. You DEFINITELY need to try this at home.

All in all it was a great race. Of course, the two stroller ladies will never know how I kept them from having their self-esteem deflated.

Til Wednesday,
Kristi
Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 23

September 23, 2009 - 75 and Counting....

Hello All,

Finally, I hit the next milestone....I have now lost 75 pounds. Woo hoo!!!

Before I went today, I knew that I was going to reach the magical number, but I did hold my breath when the scale was calculating. It registered RIGHT ON 75 pounds. Good thing I did not drink or eat anything before my appointment !

The appointment was relatively uneventful. Well, with the exception of when I decided that instead of playing with the rolling chair while waiting on the doctor, I would play "drums" on the counter and windowsill. I had quite the routine going until it was ruined by the entrance of Mr. ICanWeartheSamePantsIWoreInHighSchool (aka Dr. Pita).

Let's see...

I was asked if I had started training. Yes, I have, thank you very much. I even have a plethora of people that might be going with me when I walk the half marathon in New Orleans.

I was asked if I had gone to get a new knee brace. No, I will make that appointment, but that would require going to see Family Doc who is then going to make me do all my yearly tests, too. Ugh! I also do not feel like having my knee touched right now, unless of course Future Husband wanted to touch it then that would be a DIFFERENT story (future husband info here).

I was informed that I was in an entirely different mood than last time. Yes, I am. Grrr. Don't start something with me today. I like this mood...trying to keep it.

Then I saw Salmonella Sally (Salmonella Sally info here)...

In a nutshell, I am still not doing well at refusing the high fat foods for breakfast, primarily. SOOOO...this is the goal that I am going to tell you all about and report back next week.

I AM ONLY GOING TO EAT OUT THREE TIMES THIS WEEK.

We will see if this keeps me from swinging by for fast food in the morning on the way to work. I also am going to keep some sandwiches at work for when I have my evening activities so that I can put them in my purse to eat later.
Note: I do believe the young man at McDonald's might miss me. We have developed such a friendship. Of course, I am not sure he is old enough to work there. He appears to be 12 years old.

In other news...

I am about to embarrass myself. I need new pants. Today I spent most of the day trying to keep these pants above my hips. Fortunately, my friend at work said she was not embarrassed to walk down the street with me! Thankfully!

I am about to enter a new phase in my stone collection (click here for more information). Apparently, now I will get a "jewel" for each pound lost. I will be sure to post a picture when I get my first one!

Remember the puzzle ring I bought last fall? It was tight. Well, either I am able to stretch silver or I have even lost weight in my fingers. Now, my rings do not fit.
Off to find a man to buy me a ring...

Til Next Week,
Kristi


Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 16

September 16, 2009 - I Walk Because I Can


Hello Everyone,

I do not think I have any funny stories to share this week. Of course, I am going to see Dr. Pins and Needles later...as my long time blog readers know my experiences with acupuncture can provide quite a bit of fodder.

Well, I started training for the Half Marathon coming up in February. Since my plan is to train differently I am adding in additional strength and stretching sessions to succeed. PT Bruiser will absolutely be watching my every move during this round of training!

Now, Dr. Pins and Needles is on board as well. He is ready with the long needles if I manage to pull the wrong muscles or cause myself some undo pain.

Of course, I am sure Dr. Pita will always have his two cents during the training. I am starting to think I have allowed his opinion to have a wheeeee bit too much influence in my life. Ah, well. He is "Big Brother." I also feel better, have lost weight, and have some of my "zest for life" back!

My long-time blog readers know that in order to complete the Half Marathon the first time, I solicited and received pledges for the charity of the donor's choice. A lot of what kept me at the training plan and fueled my dedication was the fact I was doing it for someone other than myself. Someone or some organization was going to get a charitable donation because of me crossing the finish line.

Well, it still is just as important for me to work hard at my training and complete the half marathon, but I do not feel that I NEED to cross. When I walked the first time, I absolutely without a doubt had to cross that finish line. I had worked so hard to accomplish what I did that not crossing would have probably devastated me. Thankfully, with all the tenacity I could muster, I crossed.

This past weekend, I was again given a wakeup call and reminded how fragile we all are. I will now complete half marathons because I can. Many people cannot perform in endurance races because they truly cannot and no matter how are they were to try would not be able to..given the hand that God has given them. It is for these people that I will walk.
I will walk because I CAN!

I will walk for:
-Those that arthritis is trying to overtake their bodies, but they continue on and show me what truely living is all about.

-Those that suffer from neurological disorders, but keep their true spirit and zest for life.

-Those that do not have shoes, but walk miles every day because they have to in order to meet life's necessities.

-Those who have such flat feet that every step causes considerable pain.

-Those that deserve medals, not because they completed a run/walk event, but because they used a different kind of mettle to fight for their lives.

-Those that just cannot do it no matter how hard they would try.

-Those that may not have been as truly blessed as much as me.

Here are some organizations that you should feel free to check out.
Changing Footprints

Til Next Week,
Kristi

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 9

September 9, 2009 - Conversations

Date: September 2, 2009
Time: Approximately 9:00 AM
Setting: Patient Room, Dr. Pita has just read that I gained 3.5 pounds in two weeks.

Dr. Pita: How are things going?
Me: Eh, okay. Not eating as well as I should. Not really binge eating, just not eating right. Too many fatty foods. However, I did not really gain 3.5 pounds there is no way I overate by 1000 calories a day.
Dr. Pita: According to the numbers you are up 3.5 pounds of fat.
Me: No I am not. The scale is wrong. I think I am bloated, but I am not up 3.5 pounds of fat. Nope, nope, nope.
Dr. Pita: (Heavy Sigh)
Me: (Smiling an innocent smile)
Dr. Pita: Exercising?
Me: Yeah.
Dr. Pita: Hmmmm...I think you should do the Mini Marathon again next year.
Me: Nah, I have done it.
Dr. Pita: I REALLY think you should do the Mini Marathon again.
Me: It hurt A LOT! Remember? I my knee cap dislocated on the track and I still had 5 miles to go. It hurt. Besides, I have done it. Why do it again?
Dr. Pita: You will get a new knee brace and do it again.
***The sound of Dr. Pita scribbling in his chart.
***The sound of my brain churning with thoughts such as: let's see YOU do a half marathon with a bum knee Mr. ICanWearTheSamePantsIWoreInHighSchool.
Me: It hurt.
Dr. Pita: I want to see you in one week.
Me: Grrrrr...

Date: September 9, 2009
Time: Approximately 10:00 AM
Setting: Patient Room, Dr. Pita has just read that I lost 3.5 pounds in one week.

Dr. Pita: So, what do you think was different this week.
Me: Nothing. I still am not eating perfect, but my calories per day are better.
Dr. Pita: Well it looks like you are doing better.
Me: I told you I did not gain 3.5 pounds! It was just bloating.
***The sound of Dr. Pita ignoring me.
Dr. Pita: So, what else is new?
Me: I am signing up for the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans at the end of February.
Dr. Pita: Good!
Me: Yeah, I was thinking I could have a goal to do a 5K in every county in Indiana and a half marathon in every State.
Dr. Pita: That's a good goal.
Me: PT Bruiser is not happy.
Dr. Pita: Why?
Me: She thinks I am going to get hurt and then I will be out of commission awhile.
Dr. Pita: You need to train properly and get a new knee brace. If you were to get hurt you still would need to exercise, just differently.
Me: I know. I am going to go have my walk analyzed with a Physical Therapist and get the expert advice on what I should do. I also am going to concentrate more on strength and stretching and less on mileage per day.
Dr. Pita: Sounds great!
Me: Grrr...
Dr. Pita: See you in two weeks.
Me: Yippee!!!

Date: September 9, 2009
Time: Approximately 10:30 AM
Setting: Salmonella Sally, RD Office

Salmonella Sally: So, I haven't seen you in a long time!
Me: I have been meeting with the Social Worker.
Salmonella Sally: Ahhhh! Let's take a look at your food logs.
Me: We don't need to do that (said fearfully).
Salmonella Sally: You are eating way too much fast food.
Me: Hmmm...
Salmonella Sally: You need to do better at breakfast.
Me: Yeah...
Salmonella Sally: Try the Jimmy Dean Lite Breakfast Bowls.
Me: OK
Salmonella Sally: Set a goal to only eat out a certain number of times during the week.
Me: OK
Salmonella Sally: Anything else going on?
Me: Dr. Pita is making me walk a half marathon.
Salmonella Sally: He is MAKING you? (said doubtfully)
Me: Really, he is. Look in my chart.
Salmonella Sally: Huh, he IS making you.
Me: Told you. He is mean.


Til Next Week!
Kristi

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 1

September 2, 2009 - Intervention




Hello All,

In the morning I have an appointment with Dr. Pita and the Social Worker. I will also get weighed. I more than likely have gained weight. Most weight will be bloating, but there may be a pound gained back.

Even if I have not gained any weight, I must admit I have not been doing that well. This up and down a pound for the past couple of months has got to stop. I am not as upset about gaining a pound or two as the fact that I do not feel as well and I am not doing all the healthy things I need to do.

I could come up with a zillion excuses, if I tried. However, I do not believe that excuses are worth the space on the page. I just have not been taking care of myself as I should.

Now, when you reach a dilemma like this I figure that there are a few options.

  • Give Up
  • Try Doing the Same Thing and Hope that It Gets Better, but Complain About It the Entire Time
  • Use an Intervention
Well, I am not going to give up. I might as well buy the Long Term Care Insurance and plan the funeral expenses now. Giving up would mean that I would never feel well and not have the quality of life that I deserve and desire.

Obviously, what I am doing now is not working. If a person is not happy and things are not working it is important to take ownership and fix it. What good is it to keep venting and not fix the problem?

Thus...

I am going to shake things up a bit. First off, I am going to start trying visualization techniques. This is where I will visualize in the morning that I am eating correctly, that I am working out, and the other things I need to do to be and stay healthy. I read somewhere that this is helpful for people trying to accomplish lasting lifestyle changes. It also is proven to help athletic performance. Who knew?

I also will be working on what my next physical fitness goal needs to be. Next week PT Bruiser and I are going to meet twice so I am hoping she can help me fill out the Physical Fitness Challenge thing I found on the internet so I can have that as my year-end goal.

In order to have some accountability for getting back and staying on track, I am going to post my food and exercise journals publicly. You may view my journal by clicking on the following link. The link takes you to Sparkpeople. Much like this blog has kept me on track, I believe the journal will as well.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_tracker.asp?id=SPARKLEKRISTI


Feel free to ignore (grin), critique, or even yell at me as I work through this latest challenge.

Til Next Week,
Kristi

P.S. The picture is of my sister's dog, Zorra. It is such a cute picture; I had to share. Yes, she always looks that serious.

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 19

August 19, 2009 -WHAT IS IN THESE PILLS?


Hello All,


This will be a short post this week. I was in a funk for a while last week and then I popped out of it and people told me I was acting weird (heavy sigh) and now I have a fever. Therefore, I am not in the mood to write today, but I do have a funny story at the end of this post.


I went to see Dr. Pita and the clinic SW today. It was good visit, except for the part I was up a pound. I was a bit frustrated about that, but that happens. I am a bit frustrated in general. It sometimes is extremely hard to get and stay healthy. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier in the short term to go back to old habits. I continually have to remind myself how I felt and how I would feel in the future if I go back to the way things were, but since I realized that I have never really done healthy things and taken care of me well, I can't expect to be perfect in 15 months.


Remember how Dr. Pita has me taking a bunch of fish oil? Well, I do not like the regular fish oil because the pills are huuuuge! So, awhile back he gave me krill oil. Krill is what whales eat (I do not THINK he is calling me a whale). I like the krill oil much better since the pills are half the size. I take 2 of these a day, as opposed to the 4 large fish oil tablets.


Well, previously Dr. Pita had some samples of Krill Oil for the Heart and Krill Oil for the Joints. The only difference is the quantity of the essential fatty acids. He said it did not matter which kind you get the minimum of what he wants me to take is in the different varieties. Well, after our little chat today, he asked me if I needed some more krill oil because he had some more left. I took the krill oil and put it in my purse.


Later in the day I went to CVS to refill a prescription. As I walked into the store alarm bells chimed and everyone in the store turned to look at me. Yes, I set off the alarm when I walked IN the store! Fortunately, I was in a small town and not in downtown Indy where I would have been strip searched.


So, in order to show the folks that I was not holding any contraband. I took things out of my purse and slid them in front of security scanner. Guess what caused the alarm? You got it!! The krill oil. Yes, my Krill Oil-PMS Formula caused the alarm to go off at CVS.


Thanks Dr. Pita!


Til Next Week,

Kristi

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 11

August 12, 2009 - In Search of a Goal

Hello All,
I am back to my regularly scheduled programming. I hope you enjoyed last week's submission about the reunion. I am also back to being my normal funny self. Hope you enjoy...

It all started with the fact that l I am floundering without a good goal. Those that have read my blog from the beginning know that I have always had a sub-goal in mind (the major goal is work to be physically, spiritually, and emotionally healthy). The first goal was to finish the Indianapolis Mini Marathon. After that, I decided to cut back a little and focus on maintaining the good healthy habits and work toward burning 1750 calories a week until August 1st.

Well, my new goals were okay, but not sufficient. I have been a bit unfocused and not stretching myself as much. You know what I mean? I did it, but there was something missing.

So Tuesday of last week I decided I needed to really start to figure out what my goal should be, but then life happened.

Here is the story...

Monday night it rained and rained and rained. When I left for work it was still raining hard. The State Road that takes me to work was still closed; I had to take the country roads to the interstate. I was listening to the radio hearing a coach discuss that kids in school only do well when asked to go outside their limits. They have to not think they can do the task at hand, but the coach or teacher knows that it is possible. I thought to myself; "That's it!!! I need to come up with something I am not sure I can do, but "Kristi's Army" is sure I can!" I was very excited about figuring out what I needed to do.

Until...

I spun around 240 degrees into the ditch. "Daggone it!"; I said. Well, while I was waiting for AAA, a farmer came along helped me out of the ditch even though it was raining heavily. It helped that he knows my family and my cousins (he also apparently likes us as well).

After cleaning up a bit I was off to work. I was a bit shaken, but I HAD MY ANSWER. I WAS GOING TO GET THROUGH THE LULL OF THE FIRST HALF OF WINTER!

I was at work and my sister called me; "I am getting your dog. The water is going to be up too much. You will not be able to get in."

I don't think I wrote much last year about the floods we got in June 2008. For brevity sake, we have a lot of erosion problems now and the floods last year really caused some nasty damage to a lot of folks. How it primarily affects me is that it is now difficult to get home if we have a-lot-higher-than-normal rainfall.

At that point, I was D.O.N.E. I decided I needed to head home, check on the water level to make sure it was not going to get into the garage, and continue work from home.

As I went to close my truck door I heard a "ka-tink-tink". The door to the truck would not close because a screw has fallen out of the hinge(?). I finally got the door to swing closed and then the door would not latch!!! "@#@#R@#$@#$" I still do not know TO THIS DAY what one has to do with the other, but the door WOULD NOT LATCH.

My first inclination was to hurl myself at the seat, curl up in the fetal position, and lay there until I died. The feeling passed after a few seconds and then I laughed. By laugh I mean maniacally.

Well, because I was raised right (and barely a step above white trash), I have bungee cords in the truck. I took 2 bungee cords and looped one around the passenger-side door and the other around the driver-side door. I was all set. There was a gap in the door, so I was getting wet on my left side, but at least I could head home.

There was also another problem with my "fix." Everytime I turned left the door opened due to the slack in the bungees. Picture a crazy woman going down the road muttering to herself, soaking wet on one side, when she turned left she used her left arm to try to hold the door closed.

It took me over TWO HOURS to get home. Yes, TWO HOURS! It normally takes 45
minutes. Primarily every road I drove down was flooded. I did not completely "lose
it", but insanity did seem like the preferred choice at one point.

I made it home and everything was okay, except the truck door of course. I just left it. I could/would not try to fix it in the pouring rain. I also could not get the latch to go back to it's proper place. I knew I would need to take it somewhere and get it fixed.

It did cross my mind to eat something baaaaaad Tuesday night (classic case of Emotional Eating), but I chose not to at the time. I was getting weighed the next day. I ate a pound of strawberries instead .

I did a little bit of "research" the internet to try to find a good goal, but came up with nothing. I was not daunted, the coach said on the radio I just needed to stretch my limits.

The next day I borrowed my sister's van (I really need to get my car fixed so I have a backup) so I could get to the clinic, work, and attend a Dinner Party later that evening.

Now, I probably should have warned Dr. Pita before he opened his mouth and said anything stupid on Wednesday, but I did not, because what fodder would I have for the blog?

When I got weighed, I found out that I was .5 from 75 pounds. While little disappointed, I was still happy that I was almost at 75 pounds finally.

I informed Dr. Pita that I was looking for a new goal. I was trying to stretch myself much like training for the Mini.

Dr. Pita; "How about finding some really nice outfit that you would like to wear that is a size or two too small?"

My thought; "Seriously?!?!? Mr. ICanWeartheSamePantsIWoreinHighSchool? How does that REALLY help? I thought the idea is to implement healthy habits. How does going for that goal REALLY work toward that? Hmmmm? Besides, that is not how I am motivated. Seriously, pay attention!"

My response; "I really do not like that idea because you can do unhealthy things to get into any outfit. This is about making life long habits."

Dr. Pita; "You are right. Well, I am sure you will come up with something. Tell PT Bruiser she needs to come up with something"

My thought; "Way to be helpful Pita. Grrr. Not in the mood for you today."

As I was set to visit the clinic Social Worker I found out that she could not see me due to a scheduling mishap.

My thought; "Good! I am too irritated with Dr. Pita's lack of help today anyway."

Later in the day, I see PT Bruiser. She was sufficiently disgusted with Dr. Pita as well, but we discuss what the goal could be. Nothing seemed to be pleasing me so I decided that it was my mood.

I had a lovely evening with friends.

When I got home, I noticed something odd about my truck. The door was closed all the way. With great fear, I opened and closed the door...five times. It worked every single time. Cue the "Hallelujah Chorus", and contact the Pope, it is a miracle!!!

Found out later that my father noticed it sitting in the driveway with the door wide opened and fixed it.

Now I could focus on my new goal...

Since this is getting to be a really long post, I will finally "cut to the quick." I found a site that the Government has called "Adult Fitness Test" where you enter values from a prescribed fitness test and you can see how you compare to other folks in the database. I informed PT Bruiser and she is definitely on board with this idea.

Based on what is in the fitness test I plan to improve on the following (after I take the test I will have specific metrics):

-Minutes per Mile (walking)

-Number of Situps Per Minute

-Number of Modified Pushups Per Minute


For fun, I mentioned to PT Bruiser that I also wanted to be able to do 3 pullups. She didn't laugh (she's too polite), but those of you that know about physical fitness may do so. I was not aware that doing just one (and being a girl) might be all I will ever be able to do....

I will let you all know how my "test" goes.

The spring from the truck door? It is in the cupholder. I STILL do not know what to do with it.

Til Next Week,

Kristi
Originally published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Monday, August 3

August 3, 2009 - Lessons Learned from A Reunion

To my new blog readers: This blog started as a way to hold myself accountable for getting healthy. About 16 months ago, I decided that at 37 there was no reason that I could not walk 13.1 miles in the Indianapolis Mini Marathon. At that point, I sought the help of professionals and turned over all decision making to their expertise. (Okay, not all decision making, but MOST of the time I do what they say). Since that time, I have lost 73 pounds (officially on the scale at the weight loss clinic). I also have learned a lot about myself and have improved both physically and mentally. For those that have not known me or been in touch with me consistently over the past 10 years you would probably not see it, but most of my close friends mention the drastic changes weekly.

This blog documents the hilarious and not-so-hilarious episodes in my pursuit of creating permanent changes for a healthy lifestyle. I have avid blog readers that tell me that they enjoy reading it because it is nice to see that someone else goes through the same struggles. For me, it is therapeutic and documents my successes and trials. Besides, Dr. Pita asks about it all the time, so I need to keep updating it (big grin).

-----

The reason I am posting early this week is because I promised to do a post about the Wolf Park on Wednesday. I also wanted to post what I learned about myself from attending an all classes High School Reunion.
-----
The Setup

The father of a friend of my sister (got that?) always wanted to have 50 year reunion for the High School that we all attended. Unfortunately, God decided to take him home early and his dream was not realized before he died. His son decided to take on the task and created an army of volunteers to create the first all-high school reunion. Personally, I will speak for the class of ’88 and say it was a huge success.

What does this have to do with me becoming and staying healthy?

EVERYTHING.

The Start of Not Being Healthy…The Setup

The last couple of years of High School were somewhat out of the norm for a High School Junior/Senior. I was not sleeping, barely eating, and getting sick many days before I headed to school. I also now know that the “spaced out” feelings I was having at the time were anxiety attacks. My mother finally had to take me to the doctor to determine what to do. There were many theories at the time of what the problem could be, but at the time there was only one solution-Xanax. Now, I must be perfectly honest, I thought the Xanax made me feel dull so some days I just did not take it.

There was nothing happening at school for me to act in the manner I described. I liked school and was doing well. As much as my mother THOUGHT there was something going on there was not. Looking back the only problem I ever had in school was a bit of social anxiety brought on by “girl politics”, the undying need to please others, and a little bit of paranoia (brought on by the fact I never thought I was doing ANYTHING right). Most of these are normal things for any high school student. However, as Dr. Pita now tells me I have physiology that sometimes takes things past the norm. He sometimes tells me this is the curse of being a rapid thinker. This can be controlled if I stop and “just be” (a lesson I am still learning).

The Solution I Found…That Worked for Awhile

After high school, I attended a college where most of the students were from larger and more equipped high schools. It was a difficult transition the first couple of years. The classes were harder than I had ever had and the social pressures were enormous.

College has the perfect antidote for social anxiety-alcohol. Through drinking large amounts of alcohol with my friends I was able to attend social activities and alone time with the chosen guy for the week/month (grin). I was able to not worry what people were thinking, in essence turn my brain off from Thursday evening to Monday morning.



The Change in Solutions...When Real Life Hits

After college I was one of those that knew that the party was over. I had to work. Life worked well for awhile, but the old anxiety, unstoppable thoughts, and crushing sadness returned. I was an adult now, I went to the doctor myself.

Well, I went to the doctor, but I did not do what he said. I tried several doctors and apparently could not accept what they had to say. I would do what they said for awhile, but nothing ever stuck more than a month. You see, I found my new cure…FOOD.

Now, as those of you in Bloggerland that have this same problem know, food is a great anxiety/depression/relaxation treatment. If you are at a social event, you can keep from speaking to people by eating or drinking alcohol. Alcohol was still my preferred choice at a social event if it was available. If it wasn’t going to be available, sometimes I just did not go. I would think or even say I was going, but couldn’t quite make it.

Food can also stop you from thinking. Eating mindlessly for some reason gives you time to rest your mind. My other cure was sleep and lots of it. If the pressures of life got to be too much and I was resisting the urge to eat, I would just sleep. Sleep is the Great Escape.

I think during this time, in one year I gained close to 75 pounds. Additional years added additional pounds.

It is important to mention, I did seek help and in my mind I did try, but things got progressively worse. I was avoiding social events. I was in pain most days. Sometimes, I needed to take a week off of work because I needed a timeout from life. When I took those days off, I slept.

Don’t get me wrong. Good things did happen. I did well in my career. Primarily, my spinning thoughts were encouraged by my employers. I have great ideas and can implement them quickly. I was paid to be the way I was. No one cared or knew that my health was at risk-including me.

The Day I Woke Up

I would love to tell you that ONE thing led me to start the change in habits. However, I think that anyone around my age knows what probably started it all. The number 40 is fast approaching and I realized what I was doing was not working. Past posts in this blog document the past 16 months of this process. The important thing in all of this is that I said; “I do not have the answer. Listen to the professionals.”

The Reunion – The Day I Learned I Am on the Right Track

I was excited to attend the reunion. My sister stated it best in her blog as to why. You see, I genuinely like and care about my classmates. Many of my classmates I have known since that first day of school in First Grade. To me, they are cousins that I do not get to see that much.

Personally, I could care less what they do for a living, if they have been in jail, if they have gained weight, or if they are crazy. They are, in a way, family. I care about knowing who they are as a person not defined by their job or the mistakes they may have made.

However, I was apprehensive. This was only the second big (more than 10 people) social event that I have attended since not having a “cure” for my social anxiety. In fact, the week before I told my sister I was sitting with her class. I was starting to get that nervous. I could not pinpoint a reason why other than the fact that I have not seen most of the people that I attended high school with since the day I graduated.


At our previous single-class reunions there was alcohol, which provided me the perfect opportunity to self medicate. I did not have that this time since it was at the High School we attended. No Audrey, they do not serve alcohol at PUBLIC school events only PRIVATE school events (grin).

I did have one advantage that most people did not know that night. I was no longer concerned about my weight. I think the reason why is because I have lost so much weight that I wasn’t NEAR as heavy as I was 16 months ago when the changes started. For that, I am appropriately proud. I also pragmatically knew we all would have changes and that no one would care. A classmate said it best that night; “Heck, we all are 50 pounds heavier! I just want to see my classmates!”

When I arrived I was immediately accosted (grin) by a couple classmates that graduated with me. At that point, some of the anxiety slipped away. You know why? I was genuinely happy to see them both. They both are extremely nice people that I would want nothing but the best for out of life.

Unfortunately, at an event that large I wasn’t quite accepting of being “blocked in” with no escape route, but I managed. I also started developing a twinge of anxiety that built through the night. Primarily, I think it was “learned behavior” as they say in dog training. I did not know how not to be anxious in a crowd. My mind was spinning with such things as; “Did I dress appropriately? Do they really want to speak to me? Do I look okay? Don’t say something stupid.”
Looking back, I wish I would have been a little less anxious so I could have approached more people in other graduating classes, but I did talk to those that I spent most of my time with in school. I wish I could have spent more time alone with all individuals to hear more about their lives, but with so many people in attendance that could not be expected. Everyone had people to see.

In speaking to folks I heard stories of successes, failures, losses, and gains. I heard stories from their lives. You see, we are now quickly approaching 40. I believe that at the 5, 10, and in some cases even the 15 year reunion, the stories were more about what individuals had accomplished or planned to accomplish. In some cases, girls want to know if you married better than them and guys want to know if you make more money than them, but once you get closer to 40 people really want to know how you are. Are you happy? If you aren’t, how can I help? In other words, we have finally grown up. We have all had similar life experiences. We also all have that one common thread that binds us---similar childhoods.

This blog is about my quest for a healthier lifestyle so let me continue on to discuss the big thing that happened for me that night.


When it came time to eat. I did not gather a lot of food to keep me busy the rest of the night. I grabbed the same amount of food I normally eat. I had one piece of chicken and some green beans. You see, I am still eating every 3 hours to keep myself fueled properly. Good for me!


Even though I am convinced there was some alcohol floating around I did not ask for any, that too would have calmed me and probably made me a bit more social, but I was going to try this sober so I can do it next time even better.

Later, I was standing in the middle of the gym, after our class picture was taken. I was in a bit of a snit about what to do next. “Who should I talk to? What should I do? I look like an idiot standing here in the middle of the gym by myself.” Then…all the sudden…I stopped and breathed…I somehow stopped my brain from spinning. I quit worrying about everyone. I quit thinking I had to do something next.

I LEARNED TO “JUST BE.”

It is important to mention that it did not last long, but I DID IT. I stopped the thoughts from consuming me. From that point on, I was more focused on speaking to as many people as I could before the event was over - I did it. I was able to control one of my demons for the night. Next time, it will be even easier.

As my avid blog readers know, I have come a long way. I will have to remain vigil due to my funky brain chemistry, but that night at the reunion I truly learned I am on the right track. I managed to have fun and enjoy the moment. In fact, a new daily goal is to make sure to stop and enjoy as many moments a day as possible.

A final note to my fellow graduates of SWHS that had the opportunity to attend, but did not for similar reasons. I hope that you find that you are not the only one that has the same apprehensions, and we see you next time!

Til Wednesday,
Kristi

Originally Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, July 28

July 29, 2009 - Sodium is the Enemy


Hello Everyone!

Well, I am a bit miffed at myself. I went away for the weekend and gained FOUR POUNDS!!! ugh. Fortunately, I do not have an "official" weight check until next week. Okay, I KNOW that it is just bloating because I did not eat that horribly, but the food did have a lot of sodium. However, it does make me obsess about the scale.

I have to kick it into gear and be sure to eat healthy, that is all. I also had a bit of a binge yesterday and today. So, first thing in the morning I will be referring to my journal.

The journal I carry has a list of the reasons I want to get healthy, what works, and the status of my goals. I keep this journal in my purse and refer to it frequently (except the last few days). I am going to forgive myself and do better starting first thing in the morning.


That's all I have this week,
Kristi

P.S. I will tell you all about my trip to the Wolf Park next week.

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 22

July 22, 2009 - Short Post


Hello,

I do not have much to say this week. I have an appointment with the doctor in a few hours, but since it is an afternoon appointment I will not be down any weight. I ALWAYS weigh 2-4 pounds more in the afternoon.

Here is what is on my mind this week...

I decided Dr. Pita has a pretty good gig when he is doing his Weight Loss Physician work (he does other things, too).

If you do well and lose a lot of weight...he can take credit (even though the patient does all the work).

If you do not do well...he can blame you for not doing what he says.

Sounds like a good gig.

On second thought, PT Bruiser has a good gig, too!

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 14

July 15, 2009 - Seeking Praise


Hello All!

I hope everyone is having a good week!

I am typing this early, so the post might actually hit the blog before Wednesday. I do not have a Dr. appointment tomorrow, but I do plan on getting weighed tomorrow because I am hoping to be down 75 pounds. We shall see in the morning! Once I am back at a computer after my visit I will update the stats on the blog.

Last week I had an appointment with Dr. Pita. While it is never a dull moment at the clinic, last week was especially exciting because I got my fasting blood test results. Well, Dr. Pita was quite happy with my results.

Which is good because if he is not happy with you then he grumbles. If I want to hear grumbling I have many other places I can go and it does not cost me any money!

I digress...

We reviewed the results and sure enough they were really good especially as compared to when I first went to the clinic 15 months ago! I do not want to bore you with the specifics, but we all hear about watching our insulin levels, glucose levels, cholesterol, etc. My numbers were all in the "make your doctor happy zone." Very exciting.

The only number I noticed on the paper that was high was my bad cholesterol. However, it was a lot better than when I first started at the clinic. Dr. Pita informed me that my good cholesterol was really good, so I needed think of it more as a total of the two numbers. I thought; "Okay, my cholesterol is GREAT!"

Getting the excellent test results was confirmation of how my lifestyle has truly changed my body. I feel better primarily because my body is working better! I still have a long way to go, but I am definitely a healthier person.

Dr. Pita babbled on about a few more topics before I left the appointment. It was at that point I was trying to decide who to call. No one REALLY cares about your test results but yourself and your employer who is paying your health insurance.

I shared with my employer. I got a "high five." Woo hoo! I thought to myself; "I must share with more people."

I shared with my Sister. She said; "That's nice." Hmmmm...never know how to take that one. I am relatively certain that she was happy for me, but she has made the comment; "..my sister loves her watch and annoyingly tells me every single, flipping calorie that she burns a day" on her blog.

Well, I decided to tell the woman who gave birth to me. How could I go wrong telling my mother? She listened politely to my results and said; "Those are good numbers, but you know the depression episodes will never go away." Hmph! Wonder who I get those from...hmmm?

Finally, I realized the one person who I REALLY needed to tell was my FATHER. He is always proud of whatever I do and sometimes even might say it! He also LOVES looking at health related things.

I think my father might have every copy of the Physicians Desk Reference published and a few other medical books. Physicians love him! He does everything they say and occassionally will have a weird ailment that they can write about in medical journals.

Again, I digress...

I took my paper of test results to him and started to share. My father turned to his dresser and pulled out AT LEAST 10 YEARS of his own blood test results. Yes, he started comparing my results to his.

While he was doing this I tweeted; "Trying to figure out who won the Best Blood Test Results. My 84 year old walking-pharmaceutical-experiment father or me."

He continued through the results for several minutes mentioning different particulars and finally pointed at my bad cholesterol number and stated; "My cholesterol was lower than that when I had my first heart attack."

Til Next Week,
Kristi

Originally published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 9

July 8, 2009 - The Art of Taking Care of Self


Hello,

As you all know, it is not easy trying to be healthy. It is especially not easy if it is not inherent in us. For example, my friend tAmMY (I mentioned her before) normally eats healthy and gets the appropriate amount of exercise (MOST of the time). It is just what she does. She eats all the right things and takes care of herself.

Most of us however have a hard time with a healthy lifestyle. We might make excuses such as;

"Healthy food is too expensive."
"I do not have time to watch what I eat."
"I am too busy taking care of others."
"I am too busy at work."

Personally, I use all of the above excuses and many more. However, they are all a bunch of crap. It boils down to you are either going to do it or not. Make the decision and own it. For example, I did not feel like going to the gym on Tuesday. I told myself; "You are too busy at work today. You got a late start and need to get stuff done." At the end of the day on my "Daily Checklist of To Dos" I had to put a 'X' in the line for exercise. It was then that I owned my decision. I then had to say to myself; "You did not exercise today. You chose not to. Do it tomorrow." I did not beat myself up about it, it was in the past .. just did not do it.

Somedays it is that simple. I did workout Wednesday and noticed a difference in my mood. That was my reinforcement for why I do it.

It gets tricky when it lasts several days. That is when I need to look inside and see what the real reason is for not eating right and/or exercising. Sometimes, I need to call in reinforcements by reading my "What Works for Me", speaking to Miss Tappity Tap, the clinic Social Worker, or even fessing up to Dr. Pita about being lethargic. Sometimes, they are not available and there are even free resources that can help. Ultimately, the only one that is going to do it is ME.

Some of my friends and acquaintances say; "It has been easy for you because of blah, blah, blah." Again, bunch of crap. They have not seen the times I did overeat and then picked myself back up the next day. Or the time I really did not want to exercise, but did it anyway and cried all the way through it, but I did it.

I continue on because a fire developed deep inside. It was when I finally realized that I was worth it. Every day I stoke that fire.

Daily it is about investing in me so that the interest earned can be spent on the other things that matter in life, being there for others and experiencing all that life has to offer.


Til Next Week When I Probably Will Not Be So Preachy,
Kristi

Note: For those that read my blog via Facebook and RSS Feeds, you cannot keep up with my weight loss stats since I post them on the sidebar in my blog. So, I am wanted to let you know I am officially down 73 pounds. Woo Hoo! I have also lost 6 inches off of my waist since the 1st of November.

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 1

July 1, 2009 - PT Bruiser is Not Bendy

Hello Everyone,

PT Bruiser has never really experience my “wrath” on the blog. Honestly, she is a bit too nice to be made fun of too much, but this story is too good not to share.

When I workout with PT Bruiser we begin my training session on the treadmill. As I clod along she stands there cutely in her matching workout clothes while I start to work up a sweat (note: I have never see PT Bruiser sweat). As I get my heart rate dangerously close to the “be careful or drop dead zone” in my hot-pink-too-large shirt and non-matching orange pants, PT Bruiser regales me with humorous stories or points out that my clothes are too big. After getting my heart pumping we proceed to the stretching area.

When we stretch we perform the Standing Chest stretch. Notice how the lady in the photo is nicely arching her back and pulling her arms up while keeping her shoulders down.

















The following photo is a representation of how high up PT Bruiser is able to get her arms.





The following photo is a representation of how high I am able to get my arms.



Grasshopper, the student has surpassed the teacher.



Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 25

June 24, 2009 - Scattered Thoughts


Hi All,

Sorry for the day delay. I had several ideas and blog posts started, but none that I finished.
I was going to write about motivation…lost the mojo.

I was going to write about binging…had to eat.
I was going to write about mindfulness…couldn't maintain focus.
(Heavy sigh)

Went to see Dr. Pita this week. I am gaining muscle. I have decided that since I am gaining more and more muscle which causes my weight loss to be a bit slower I am going to measure myself every month so I can see the results of my healthier lifestyle.
Saw the clinic Social Worker, I am working on controlling my negative self-talk.

Saw Miss Tappy Tap, I am working on mindful eating.

Visited Dr. Pins and Needles, felt prickly afterwards.

Worked out with PT Bruiser, my abdominals ache.

I think that is all for this week. I have several e-mails from some of my readers. I promise to get to them no later than this weekend.
The picture is from the Mini Marathon. It is one of my favorites, not because it is a good picture, but because of all of the paraphenalia I have with me (water bottle, fanny pack, Garmin, napkin towel from the hotel). I also look like I am saying to the photographer; "Seriously? You are going to take my picture NOW?" It is also funny because Tara sped up to get out of the picture.

Til Next Week,
Kristi

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 16

June 17, 2009 - Breathing


Hello All,

I hope you had an enjoyable week! Thanks for all of the great messages I received regarding my last posting. I really enjoyed the encouragement and it reminded me that people DO read my blog!

Last week I had an appointment with Dr. Pita. I informed him that I was having a lot of trouble concentrating. My mind has been racing a bit too much lately.

Dr. Pita decided to teach me a new breathing technique that is supposed to help with maintaining focus. I started to get a little nervous when I realized it was demonstration time. I remembered how the last time I learned a breathing technique I learned I could not walk, breathe, and swing my arms all at the same time!

Well, this technique is breathe in for a count of 4, hold for 7, breathe out for 8. We tried it together. He was taking so long counting I was slightly concerned he forgot what number was after 3. We did this a couple times and Dr. Pita got a bit frustrated with me and said; "You are not breathing from your diaphragm." He then comes rolling over, NEVER a good sign.

(By the way, I LOVE those rolling stools. I zoom around the room when I am waiting for him.
Fortunately, I can hear him flip through my chart before he enters the room which gives me enough time to be respectfully sitting in the patient chair upon his arrival.)

He then said; "Here, put your hand on my chest to see what you are supposed to do." Okay, he took a breath and the following thought popped in my head; "Seriously, do you have ANY fat on your body, Mr. ICanWearTheSamePantsIWoreinHighSchool?" I then focused and understood how I was to do the breathing.

We did the exercise 4 times. My head hurt from the rush of oxygen that it apparently was lacking. Who knew!?!?

Dr. Pita wrote down on a paper towel (of course) a reminder of how often to perform the exercise (no more than twice a day) and told me I could download it from the Internet, too. So, I downloaded the instructions from here and the exercise from here.

Dr. Weil counts A LOT faster than Dr. Pita. It seems to work better for me at Dr. Weil's speed. Probably because I am not thinking; "Hey! If you kill me, you will lose a paying patient!" as I perform the exercise.


Til Next Week,
Kristi
Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 10

June 10, 2009 - Obsession


Greetings and Salutations!

I had a very good friend tell me last week that I am thinking about being healthy too much. She is concerned that it is turning into an "obsession" (at least that is how I interpreted what she is saying). Of course, in typical Kristi form I analyzed what she said over and over and over again.


I cannot disagree with her that I think about how to be healthy ALL THE TIME. It probably is an obsession. As far as obsessions go, this is not necessarily a bad one as long as I do not take it overboard. I believe this obsession is rooted in my overwhelming fear of getting this far and reverting back to unhealthy habits.


For everyone else to understand what she is referring to let me give you an example of a typical day.

  • I get tweets constantly to my phone with affirmations and links to articles on healthy living topics.
  • I get emails of articles on healthy living topics.
  • Once a week I either see Dr. Pita or Dr. Pins and Needles.
  • Once a week I see Miss Tappity Tap or the Weight Loss Clinic Social Worker.
  • Once a week I see PT Bruiser.Right now, I am exercising 4-5 times a week insuring I get in at least 1550-1750 calories burned a week per my Polar Watch (last week it was closer to 2500).
  • I track my food, mood, and exercise in Sparkpeople or on a chart in my purse in order to stay on track.I listen to healthy living podcasts.
  • I Breath Walk every day (this can be accomplished by walking ANYWHERE).
  • I do the homework assignments given to me by Miss Tappity Tap or the Weight Loss Clinic Social Worker.

However, I also do the following:

  • Go to agility and flyball two days a week.
  • Practice and attend piano lessons.
  • Work on getting rid of stuff I do not need in the house.
  • Play with the dogs and cats.
  • Read for pleasure.
  • Practice my Spanish (I hope to go to Spain this fall).
  • Work at our family store (I squeeze in real work and exercise when I am there).
  • Work at my real job 40-50 hours a week.
  • Read articles and practice stuff that I need to learn for my career.
  • Go to "bad" dinners/lunches with friends.
  • Hang out with friends.
  • Insure that I sleep 8 hours a day.

So...in my defense I hardly call it an obsession, but I do see my friend's point. I think that whether she intended it or not, the point that should be taken is can I keep this up? I have no choice whether I want to or not.


Much like a recovering alcoholic, someone who is an overeater with the baggage that comes with it must remain vigilant. Doing this requires you to change as a person. I think in some cases your friends do not recognize you both physically and intellectually because the change is somewhat drastic. There is a reason that the divorce rate for those that have lost and kept weight off (especially bariatric surgery patients) is higher than the normal population (I read this somewhere).


The question still stands: have I gone overboard? I do not know. Only time will tell.
I can say this. I will fight, fight, fight to stay as healthy as I am today. I am actually working to be even healthier. I will remain vigilant so as to keep up the new life I am creating for myself.

So here is my lesson to everyone...

As you work to get healthier your friends and family may try to say that you are getting more selfish. Just remember that you need to take care of YOU first before you can take care of others. HOWEVER, this does not mean escaping from personal responsibilities. There is a fine line, but I truly do believe now that you can take care of your needs first and then the needs of others and both be better served.

Til Next Week,
Kristi

P.S. You will notice I went up a pound this week. It is water weight so I am not concerned about it. The biggest improvement I noticed this week is that I walked up 4 flights of stairs and was breathing normally!!!! Woo hoo!!!

The photo is of my sister's dog Zorra. I just love that photo and since she has a "determined" look I think it is a nice pic for this post.

Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com