Monday, November 30, 2009

Vacation Update & Week #9 To Do List

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Well good morning everyone! Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday last week. As I told you last week I was on vacation for the week, which was a much needed break for me. I limited my time online during the week too, which was also a much needed break. It was a little strange not being constantly connected to the internet but it provided some much needed time to do other things. I spent the week mostly at home, except on Thursday when I spent the holiday with my partner and her family in the Baltimore area.  I have to say that the week went very fast and I almost feel like I didn’t have a week off since here it is already Monday and I head back to work in a few hours.  Nice thing is that in less than a month I will be off on vacation again for two weeks when campus closes for winter break.

Ok enough about last week’s vacation update. It is after all Monday, which means it’s time for a To Do List! So let’s get to it.

Week #9 – Cardio Fitness & Exercise
•    Manual: Pages 213-245
•    Workbook: Pages 74-78
•    Master the Manual: Pages 51-58
•    Audio: Chapter 7
•    Flashcards: Chapter 7

Studying overall has been going very well for me. Now that I’m several weeks in I feel like study time is a natural part of my day. Even while I was on vacation last week I still stuck with my schedule of studying right after breakfast and then on some days there was studying in the later afternoon. I’m also finding that as I progress, that the material is reinforcing the previous chapters. I think that is a good indication that the materials are put together well. I always hate when you get a textbook where the progression doesn’t make sense and materials aren’t built upon. Because the materials are being built upon, it is making it easier for me to retain information from the earlier chapters. 

Here is another update on my progress. If you remember from last week’s To Do List there was a review quiz again. This time it was on chapters 5 & 6. I got a 90% again! So I have to say I’m doing quite well and I feel like I should be very well prepared for the certification test when I go to take it.

I also was able to figure out how I’m going to get my CPR/AED certification completed. I have been in contact with the police officer here on campus who can conduct the training. The problem was that we needed a few more people who were interested in the training to participate for him to be able to do it. I wasn’t having much luck in finding staff but luckily our outdoors student club has requested this training for January and I’m going to get to jump in on their training. I’m pretty excited that I got that figured out and I don’t have to go off campus.

Overall I feel like I’m right on track with getting my certification completed. I’m really glad that it is going so well and I really am looking forward to getting certified and attempting to find a part-time training job once I do.

Well I should get my day going so I’m going to end this post. Hope you all have a great week and you will see another installment of Emotional Battles on Friday.

Quote of the Day:
 “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” ~ Jim Rohn

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Week # 8 - Testing and Evaluation / Vacation

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Well what can I say, I’m a day late with my To Do List this week. Don’t fret though because I’m actually ahead of schedule this week already.  I’m off this week from work since a large majority of my students are home for the holiday. Yesterday I spent some quality time with my partner so I didn’t have a chance to post.  Well let’s get to the To Do List.

Week # 8 – Testing and Evaluation
•    Manual – Pages 169-208
•    Workbook – Pages 65-69
•    Master the Manual – Pages 39-50
•    Audio – Chapter 6
•    Flashcards – Chapter 6
•    Online Review – Chapters 5 & 6

Like I mentioned I’m already ahead of schedule because here it is Tuesday and I already have the chapter read, the workbook done, flash cards reviewed, and I’m working on the Master the Manual stuff already. I got started on this week’s chapter on Sunday because I had finished up the Health Screening chapter early because it was kind of short.  It also helps that I have had more free time in the past couple of days. It’s amazing what you can get done when you don’t have to go to work LOL!

Anyway, I’m going to keep this short because I’m trying to get away from the computer this week. It’s nice to take a break from the wonderful world of the internet every once in a while.  So, with keeping with that I’m going to skip this week’s Emotional Battles post and will just resume with that next week. Hope everyone enjoys the holiday on Thursday!

Quote of the Day: 
"Don't skip your vacations and breaks. Spend your breaks meditating, praying or reading. Don't bring work or your laptop with you on vacation." ~ Yasmeen Abdur-Rahman

Friday, November 20, 2009

Emotional Battles Series: Managing the Emotions of Saying No to Other People.

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Happy Friday everyone! As you might remember from last Friday I am going to be doing a post every Friday on the emotional battles that I experienced throughout my journey to better health. For this week in honor of the start of the holiday season craziness, I thought it would be a good time to talk about managing the emotions of saying no to other people. 

Emotional Battle #2: Managing the Emotions of Saying No to Other People.

At one point in my life the word “no” was one that wasn’t used very often when it came to other people. I was a people pleaser to the fullest and whether it was being asked to do something as a favor, an extra project at work, or it was being offered food I would say yes. There were plenty of times I wanted to say no but I gave into that lovely emotion of guilt that would wash over me every time the thought of saying no popped into my head.  So what did all that yes saying get me? Seriously poor health! Physically, mentally, and emotionally I was not in a good place because I was always putting others needs or my perceived needs of others in front of mine. You know the old saying that you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first, and boy was I an example of the truth to that.

Throughout my journey to better health learning to say no and managing my emotional reaction to doing so has been one of the big reasons I believe I have been successful. I’m not just talking about saying no to food, I’m talking about saying no in lots of situations for the sake of my own well being. Heath to me is not just about the reading on the scale. It is a how I feel and perform emotionally, physically, and mentally. In order to feel and perform well in all of those aspects I need to be making sure that I’m taking care of my needs and to do so means making them a priority. Making my needs a priority means believing that I am worth it.

So let’s talk about a common situation that I have faced where saying no and managing the emotions of that come into play. I’m going to focus on one that involves food choices because I think this is one that we all struggle with when it comes to making choices that affect our health.

The Dreaded Social Food Situation:
I’m at a work social function where food dishes are being served  to celebrate a holiday, birthday, etc.
 

Honestly, these were challenging situations for me to manage in the beginning of my journey. There is or it is assumed that there is social pressure to eat at these functions. At the start of my journey I would find every way to get out of going so I wouldn’t have to face the situation. But in the end I wasn’t really learning how to manage anything. I was just avoiding things and not really making progress. After a while I realized that I needed to start attending these because they do play an important role in my professional career for networking proposes. So this is how I handle them.

I go into these situations focusing on having meaningful interactions with the people instead of focusing on the food.  Before I attend an event where food is being served I make up my mind if I’m going to eat anything or not. It took me a long time to realize that just because food is present doesn’t mean I have to eat it. In most cases where you are attending a social work event it is some kind of celebration (ie. birthday, holiday, etc). Just because there is reason to celebrate doesn’t mean that means you have to eat to be part of the celebration.

You may experience social pressure from some of the people attending to eat if you choose not to. This is where making yourself a priority and sticking to your choice is important. Sure the first few times you do this it will be challenging but every time you stick to your choice you will feel more confident. For me every time I was able to stick to my choice to not eat it made me feel strong and boosted my feeling of self-worth, which in turn made it easier to make myself a priority. Every time I ate out of guilt I didn’t feel so good about myself in the end but luckily I started to look at those moments as learning opportunities on how to manage them better in the future.

From my experience after you attend a few of these events where you have turned down eating at them people leave you alone about it and some others might even start to join you in not eating at the social functions. Most of the time, there are other people who want to not eat at these functions but eat anyway because they fear the social pressure. It only takes one person to be consistent with their choice to attend but not to eat to break the ice and help make it easier for everyone who wants to make that choice. After I had lost quite a bit of weight there where more and more people joining me in the not eating at a function like this. Remember sometimes it only takes one person to start a chain reaction that will result in a change in culture. I actually will get more comments now if I choice to eat because it has become common place for me to not eat at a social function like this. There will be a post later in this series that will go into more detail about that kind of experience. 

If I do make the choice to eat at these celebrations, I go in with some boundaries set for myself ahead of time. For me those boundaries normally mean I’m not trying everything available, limiting the portion size of those items I do choose, sticking to water as my beverage, and not allowing anyone to pressure me into eating something I don’t want to. I also make the deal with myself that if I’m going to eat there that I will go right back to clean eating at the next meal or snack. Making the choice to eat at these functions follows much like my 90-10 clean eating strategy, meaning I make the choice 90% of the time not to eat at these functions.

When it came to managing the guilt that I used to feel when in social food situations I started to use positive self talk when I noticed it would rear its ugly head. I would tell myself that no one gets irreversibly hurt by my decision not to eat or limited what I eat. That if I made the choice to put the perceived needs of others ahead of my need to take care of myself by eating that I was the one who would be hurt in the end cause it would keep me from improving my health. I also told myself that if someone was offended by my choice it was likely because of something that had nothing to do with me. For example, it was because they secretly wish they could make better choices. I also just reassured myself that I was important and worth having a life where I was healthy. Every time I was successful in sticking to my choices that I made a head of time I celebrated and congratulated myself so that I experienced the positive feeling of pride. Now that I have been on my journey for so long the guilt has faded and I rarely experience it. This is largely in part just because I have faced this situation so many times and know what to expect. Plus it helps that those who I interact with in these situations are now used to my behavior.
   
In addition to the situation above there are plenty of non-food situations where making a choice of saying no to other people can have a benefit to your health. How many of us over-schedule ourselves to the point we are super stressed out or end up running ourselves so hard we are exhausted?  I have so been there but I refuse to live like that anymore. Biggest tip I have to that is to avoid agreeing to take on any task, do a favor, or make a social commitment until you have taken some time to check your schedule and time to evaluate if taking it on will overextend you. I always buy myself time by responding with “Let me check my schedule and I’ll get back to you”. If the person doesn’t accept that and wants an answer on the spot I instantly say no. If I look at my schedule and see that saying yes to the situation is not going to overextend me and it is something I want to do then I agree if not I let the person know that I can’t. I experienced some guilt when I first began saying no to commitments but as I saw that my stress levels dropping because of a more manageable schedule I stopped worrying about it as much. Again those around you start to get used to your behavior and start accepting the fact you aren’t someone who agrees to everything.

If it is going to overextend you the best thing to do for your health is to say no. Keep in mind that you do no one, including yourself, any good by overextending yourself. I apply this not only in personal situations but also at work. The work situation was a little harder for me to get to the point where I learned to say no and that is because I was so worried that saying no would hurt my career. Interestingly enough, I feel like it has saved it. I was close to the point of burn out and if I continued the way I had been I likely would not be in my field anymore. Overall I am more productive now then I was when I was overscheduled. That is because I actually was able to take the time to make true progress on projects because I can focus on what I am working on and I’m not so tired so I don’t loose efficiency because of it.

Questions for you:
How do you manage social food situations like outlined above?
What kind of emotions do you experience when saying no to others and how do you handle them?
What things do you to make your health a priority?


Quote of the day: 
"He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away." ~ Raymond Hull  

Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 7 To Do List & Review of what I learned from the Nutrition Chapter

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Happy Monday everyone!

Well as you know Monday’s are To Do list days so let’s get to that for this week.

Week 7: Health Screening (Holy crap I’m already on week 7! Where did the time go?)
  • Manual – Pages 149-167
  • Workbook – Pages 59-61
  • Master the Manual – Pages 33-38
  • Audio – Chapter 5
  • Flashcards – Chapter 5

Overall studying is going pretty well for me. I changed up my schedule a little so that I get an hour in the morning for studying and then I normally get another hour in after work in the afternoons. I made this switch because I find that studying in the morning is the best for me for retention and also for my attention span. I’m glad I made the switch because I am getting more accomplished study wise every day than before the switch.

Also some exciting news about studying, on last week’s to do list you may have noticed that I had an online quiz for the first 4 chapters scheduled. I am glad to report I scored a 90% on it! After reviewing the 3 questions I did miss I saw that they all were ones where I had debated between the answer I gave and the correct one. So I’m pretty excited to see that my approach to studying the materials is working and that I’m retaining it.

So let me fill you in on last week’s materials. As you might remember last week was the chapter on Nutrition. First off I have to say that so far this chapter was the easiest for me to get through so far. For the most part it was stuff I have been exposed to before with a little more detail to the information. They recommend that personal trainers refer to MyPyramid.gov to assist in understanding basic guidelines. It was good to see that MyPyramid.gov includes a recommendation about getting exercise daily. The rest of the chapter went into more specifics about the role that proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water play in the body. They also covered things like cholesterol, triglycerides, and heart disease. The thing that I read that I was very happy to see was that ACE trainers are suppose to discourage their clients from using supplementation to meet nutritional needs.

Also, I learned that coming up with meal plans does not fall into the scope of a personal trainer but they can make suggestions on strategies that clients can use to make healthier choices. For personalized meal plans I should be referring clients to Registered Dietitians or other qualified professionals. I will be comfortable with making suggestions about making healthier choices, especially since that’s what I already do when friends ask me for help with their nutrition. It’s interesting because a lot of the suggestions that where in the manual where ones I already have given out.

So after reading the chapter, I was curious how my nutrition stacked up against the recommendations of percentages for protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake. You would think I would have known how I stacked up but since during my journey I have never tracked my calories or the breakdown. That’s right people I don’t count my calories and until this weekend I really didn’t have a clue what my calorie range was. One of these days I’ll go into a detailed explanation on what I eat and why but I’ll save that for another time.

Anyway, I signed up with SparkPeople.com because I knew they had a pretty decent meal tracking system that was easy to use. Didn't hurt that their site is also free. I tracked my food on Friday through Sunday. And here is what I learned tracking.
  • Calorie range: 1885-1605
  • Carbohydrate percentage range per day: 48.2% - 53.6%
  • Protein percentage range per day: 22.5% - 23.8%
  • Fat percentage range per day: 23.3% - 29.2%
Ok, so here is what I learned based on the recommendations that were in my manual. I don’t always eat enough carbohydrates (especially considering my activity level), I eat a little too much protein, and I eat the right amount of fats. I agree with the carbohydrate outcome, and I can tell when I am consistently below what I likely need cause my endurance drops. Normally to correct that issue I just eat some more carbohydrates for a day or so. However, it probably would be a better idea for me just to adjust my carbohydrate level overall so that I didn’t experience that drop in endurance. Reading the materials this past week made me understand that a bit better, especially the part about the carbohydrate loading experiments that have been done in athletes.

Below are the percentages that they recommend.
  • Carbohydrates 55%-65% of daily intake
  • Protein: 12-20% of daily intake
  • Fats: 20-30% of daily intake
As far as the calorie range it probably is a little inaccurate as an overall range because my eating those three days was very clean. On average, I follow a 90-10 approach of clean eating but those 3 days it was what I consider very clean. And it is normal for me to have several meals in a row where eating is very clean followed by a meal or a snack of less than ideal eating and then back to very clean eating. Since I have been able to maintain my weight over for the past several weeks I’m thinking that I’m doing well in the calorie balance department.

Looking at my results compared to the recommendations, it was interesting to see where I can make some slight adjustments to fall within them. Seeing that I’m not too far off from them, I doubt it would be hard to do that. Also looking at the MyPyramid.gov recommendations, I’m doing pretty well with their recommendations too. If anything I could stand to eat a little more grains in place of some of the milk products I consume and I would be right in line with what they recommend. Doing that would likely correct my carbohydrate level issue.

I also learned something really important for me personally with this three day experiment. I hate tracking calories and nutrients I eat, even when tracking with a very user friendly system! I don’t know how people do it for long term at all. But we all have to find ways that work for us for managing our nutrition and for some people it works. I found that it made me think about food too much and I just didn’t like feeling that way.

I will say this that SparkPeople.com is a pretty good site with a lot of good information on nutrition, fitness, and health in general. I browsed through their articles and found a lot of good resources. I also spent some time on their message boards and it was interesting to interact with the people on the site. I plan on continuing to stay active on the site with the message boards and to continue to read the information they have. I also had a member email me and we have agreed to be motivational buddies. She seems to have been on a similar journey as I am and she’s very close to her goal weight. I look forward to getting to know her better and seeing how our “buddy” relationship goes.

So here are a couple questions for you:
Do you track your food intake?
Does your intake match the recommendations listed above for % of breakdown?
What are your thoughts on the MyPyramid.gov recommendations?



Quote of the day:
“Facts are to the mind what food is to the body” ~ Edmund Burke

Friday, November 13, 2009

Emotional Battles Series - Managing the Fear of Failure and Making the Commitment to Better Health

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When I sat down to write about the emotions surrounding making big changes in your lifestyle I came to a realization. This is a very complex and huge topic in which I have a ton to share about. So instead of writing a super long post on the topic I have decided to break it down into several smaller posts which I will post over the next few weeks. Each Friday I will cover a different emotional battle I faced during my journey to better health and I will share the different strategies I used to overcome them. So welcome to the start of what I’m calling the Emotional Battles Series. Hope you enjoy and I look forward to hearing your comments.

So, let’s get started with this week’s topic! 

Emotional Battle #1: Managing the Fear of Failure and Making the Commitment to Better Health

Making the commitment to improve my health was the first of many battles I faced. I finally made the commitment on January 8, 2007 and began what has been one of the most important journeys I have been on in my whole life. It is the most important because it is one I will continue to be on for the remainder of my life and it is the one which has already changed my life more than any other experience I have had to date.

I’m a strong believer that if you want to make a commitment to better health you have to be ready to make that commitment otherwise it will result in just another failure towards better health. Why do I believe this? Because I can count over 20 attempts in which I failed and I can point to not being ready as being a big part of the reason why in all of those instances.

So what does it mean to be ready to make the commitment to better health? Well there are several things I believe that are needed to be ready but the one I’m going to concentrate on here is going to be the emotional readiness part of making the commitment.  For me being ready emotionally meant I had to work through my fear of failure.

I had this HUGE, and I mean HUGE fear, of failure. This was because of the many failed attempts prior. Each failure always had resulted in my health getting into worse shape than it was before the attempt so at that point I was convinced it was better to just not try so I didn’t make things worse. The thing I didn’t see at the time was not trying was still resulting in a progression of my bad health but it was just at a much slower speed.

What did I do to remove this fear as a roadblock to making the commitment? It took time and a shift in the way I viewed what I was committing to. Instead of looking at it as just a commitment to loosing weight I looked at it as working at committing to habits that would change my health status. I shifted from letting the number on the scale being the only measure I was going to keep track of to having several different measurements that I would look to for measures of progress (blood pressure, body measurements, blood test results, etc). I also was going to keep tabs on how I physically felt each day.

Once I shifted my focus from just weight loss to overall health improvement I was able to see that this was one commitment I had never made before. I had committed to loosing weight in the past but never a commitment to improved health. Meaning I had no previous history of failing which made the fear of failure to drop to a level that it no longer was a roadblock to making the commitment to it.

As you see above I didn’t say I eliminated the fear for failure completely to get to the point I could make the commitment. At that point, I couldn’t have eliminated it completely which was ok. Eliminating that fear in terms of this journey completely didn’t happen until later down the road. I will talk about that process in one of the later posts in this series.

So I leave you with the following question.
How have you made the fear of failure manageable enough to make the commitment to better health?


Quote of the Day: 
"No passion so effectually robs the mind of its powers of acting and reasoning as fear". ~ Edmund Burke

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Look for Certifiably Fit!

3 comments
Well as you can see I did some updating on the look of the blog. I finally found some time to play around on Photoshop and created a custom title image. I added a more descriptive section with an intro on the blog and about me. I played around with the overall look and also added a couple of other things.

So now the question is do you like it? 
Feel free to leave me comments on what you like, what you don't, and what else you might want to see.

And I promise I'm working on that post I mentioned about emotions surrounding making changes to a healthy lifestyle...stay tuned!

Quote of the Day: 
"How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us". ~ Unknown

Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 6 To Do List - Nurtition

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Good morning everyone!

Well it’s Monday so that means its To Do List time, so let’s get to it.
Week #6: Chapter 4 – Nutrition
•    Manual – Pages 115-145
•    Workbook – Pages 47-56
•    Master the Manual – Pages 27-32
•    Audio – Chapter 4
•    Flash Cards – Chapter 4
•    Online Review – Chapters 1-4

So I have to say I’m very excited about this week’s chapter since it is the nutrition chapter. Throughout my journey to better health over the past few years learning about nutrition has been somewhat of a passion of mine.  I have spent countless hours reading about nutrition and the scientific studies that involve nutrition.  My current nutritional habits have been formed by implementing different strategies that I have learned about. It has been an interesting adventure to say the least because it has involved a lot of trial and error to get to this point where I feel like I have found what works best for me currently. I say currently because I realize as I continue to work towards an even higher level of fitness and as I age my nutritional needs will likely continue to change. I also say what works for me because I feel like nutrition is one of those things that needs to be individual and that works for one person won’t necessarily fit another person as well. I think there are some nutritional strategies that work overall such as eating whole fresh foods, avoiding overly processed and chemically enhanced foods, and avoiding added sugars.  It is the more specific things such as how many calories and the nutritional break down (fats, protein, carbohydrates) of someone’s  eating plan that needs to be individual. 

So, as I get into this chapter I’m interested in seeing what information I already know and what new information they will include.  I’m sure I’ll post sometime later this week about what I learn so that you can see what ACE is educating their personal trainers on.

As you can see this is also the week where I take the online quiz on the first 4 chapters of the manual. So that means sometime this week I will do a review of everything I have studied so far. I’m glad I’m going to do this cause I think it is a good time to review and see what I still need to review and what is sticking with me already.

Well it is time for me to get ready for work so I’m going to wrap this up. Stay tune for a post later this week on the topic of managing the emotional struggles of making the change to a healthier lifestyle. This post is actually one that is inspired from an interaction I recently had with someone I know who is  working towards her own health goals.

Quote of the Day: “If we're not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn't settle for junk food.” ~ Sally Edwards 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I feel Incredible! Managing Seasonal Affective Disorder

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I am feeling incredible this morning and wanted to share that with everyone this morning. So why is feeling incredible on this particular day post worthy? Well keep reading and you will see!

If you have been paying attention in some of my other posts you will see I have mentioned I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and this is the season for my symptoms to begin surfacing. So for me to say I feel incredible right now is a pretty big deal for me.

So what is Season Affective Disorder you ask? Well check out WebMD’s Overview here.

I was diagnosed with SAD back in my early 20’s and it has been a learning process for me over the past ten years to find a way to manage the symptoms and still be a productive member of society during the colder months. Some years I have done better than others but I will say that the years I have struggled the most are the ones I have learned the most about managing it.

For example last year was a particular bad year for me in regards to my symptoms. So why was that? Well there were several factors that came into play. I was faced with some stressful situations in my personal life that I was not managing well. In not managing that stress, I was not taking care of myself in the ways I needed to during the season change which set me up for some full blown symptoms which are particularly hard for me to manage once they get into full swing. For me prevention of symptoms is far more effective than trying to get a handle on them once they are already a problem. I learned that lesson last year when I made the choice to finally address them in about mid-January when they were full blown for me by that time.

So what things work for me in managing my SAD symptoms? Below is my list of what I call my prevention/management plan. When I focus on following the 4 parts of the plan, especially at the start of fall I find that I am able to manage my symptoms so much better. (Disclaimer before I list this. I am not a doctor so in no way should you read this and assume that this will work for you in managing SAD or any other depression related illness. You should always consult you physician for information on developing a treatment plan.) 

  • Consistent Sleep Pattern: This is an important one for me. Not only is it important to make sure I am getting my full 8 hours a night but it is also important that my body get on a sleep schedule where I go to bed and get up at the same time everyday. This also is important to my light therapy schedule which I will talk about in a minute. I also make sure I’m not sleeping too much. That means no weekend sleeping in and very rarely do I allow myself a nap. 
  • Light Therapy: Starting the day following the time change in the fall I start using my light therapy box every morning until right before the Daylight Savings time change in Spring. Some years I am able to stop earlier and some years I will continue until the time change, it really just depends on how I’m feeling that year.  I started light therapy a few years ago and this treatment by far has helped me more than traditional medication and counseling did.  Want to know more about light therapy check this site out.
  • Eating Clean: So if you took time to read the WebMD site I listed above you saw one of the symptoms can be cravings for more carbohydrates. For me that is a symptom that I experience and at times if can be downright intense. My body is trying to increase my serotonin levels (one of those feel good neurotransmitters in the brain) and one of the ways that it tries to accomplish this is by encouraging me to eat simple carbohydrates. If I gave into these cravings every time I had them I would surely put on weight so knowing this I try to keep them at bay by eating as clean and consistent as I can. This means eating 6 times a day, focusing on whole foods, and balancing my carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fat intake. Sure does a holiday cookie or piece of pie make its way in? Absolutely, but I just make sure I’m following the 90-10 approach. Which is focusing on 90% clean, 10% not so clean eating. 
  • Consistent Exercise: Getting active most days of the week has been really helpful for me in managing my symptoms. Not only does it get me up and moving for the day it also gives me the feel good boost that my body is craving. I workout 6 days a week every morning after breakfast. Working out in the colder months has been something I have had to work at getting into the habit of. During the warmer months my main form of exercise is riding my bike and when the weather gets colder I no longer do outdoor rides. Investing in my indoor trainer for the bike has been helpful but it’s not the same as riding outside for me. So to manage incorporating exercise indoors I have found that I needed variety. Sure I use my indoor trainer but I have added workout videos and now my Wii game. I tried just focusing on my indoor trainer but it just made me miss my outside rides so adding other things in helps me in not getting so sad about missing the warmer weather.

So did you notice that medications and traditional talk therapy are not part of my plan? Why is that? I have tried both of those in an attempt to manage my SAD but they just were not very effective for me. I know that they work for some people but for me the just didn’t. Interestingly enough, those two treatments are the ones that are used most often. My experience with medications was very scary because some of those I tried caused side effects that made me feel even more emotionally unstable, which in turn made my symptoms worse. Talk therapy just wasn’t something that helped in my case. It didn’t make it worse but it also didn’t help. I got frustrated with the fact that my doctor at the time really didn’t know what else to try other than keep changing my medications. This is where I took things into my own hands and did research on my own. This is how I learned about light therapy and lifestyle management as treatments for SAD.

So why is it that I’m feeling incredible today? Because I’m following my plan very consistently and I’m feeling as good as I do during the summer months. Compared to all the other fall seasons I feel like a completely different person. I feel like I have figured out the solution to an issue I have been battling with for a very long time and that makes me feel like I’m on top of the world.  

Quote of the day: 

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” ~Robert H. Schuller

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday To Do List - Chapter 3 Finally!

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Well it’s Monday so that means To Do List time!

Week #5: Chapter 3 ~ Biomechanics & Kinesiology
  • Manual – Chapter 3, Pages 65-112
  • Workbook – Chapter 3, Pages 35-44
  • Anatomy Book – Pages 172-184 & 214-220
  • Master the Manual – Chapter 3, Pages 21-26
  • Audio- Chapter 3
  • Flash Cards – Chapter 3

So as you can see I’m moving on to Chapter 3 finally. That Anatomy chapter was killer and I still feel like I could use more time with it but I feel like I got enough of it to move forward. Believe me I will still be reviewing the material until I get more comfortable with it. Chapter 3 looks pretty interesting because it’s going to go into the mechanics of movement. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it done this week and then I’ll only be one week behind on my original study plan.

Well I’m stuck at work right now so I’m going to cut this short. I’ll update you on my week off on working out on another day this week. I learned some interesting things with that, but it’s going to have to wait.

Quote of the Day:
“The first wealth is health” ~ Emerson