Are you eating because of what’s eating you?

It’s 10am.  You’re at your desk or on break, and trying to get through the already hectic day.  What do you reach for?

As a nurse, I’ve often found my breaks were few and far between, in some of the positions I’ve held.  That played havoc with my appetite, as well as my food choices.  However, when I did work as an educator, working from a desk during some of the week, I became well acquainted with the 10am munchies.  Perhaps for you it hits a little later or earlier, but either way it rarely means a fruit, veggie, or  otherwise “healthy” snack.

Am I really hungry?  Or just stressed out or bored? Who stops to think about that?  I didn’t until now.  Well, actually a couple of years ago I did.  I put up a post with the same title, “Are you eating because of what’s eating you?” However, I’ve learned a few things since then.  I will be giving a lecture on this topic March 22nd @ 6:30 pm at Midlothian Library in Midlothian IL.  I hope those in the area will join me on that date.

For the rest, I will be posting from this lecture incrementally–as it is quite detailed.  If this is something of interest to you, I hope to see you there.  If this forum is the only way you have of accessing the information though, stay tuned.  It will start posting later in the month.

 

All for now, keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments? Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

 

 

A Day in the Life…do your own work

 I believe in homework.  Yet not in the sense of overloading already burnt out students to continue on at home.  Have my own ideas about that, but that’s another story for another time.  No the homework I speak to is much different.  It has to do with doing the work needed to move around the body you’ve been given.

THE CHALLENGE OF WORKING OUT, WHEN YOUR BODY ISN’T WORKING OUT

This challenge wears many faces.  For now, I’m going to focus on one.  This has to do with a client with recurrent chest pain or angina.

To begin, his story started out with trips to his general practitioner.  He was put on high blood pressure meds, because this was a concern prior to developing chest pain.  However, he started to notice tightness in his chest, at different times during the day.  He underwent an EKG, a stress test, and a second more invasive stress test.  All came back normal.  So has the pain magically disappeared?  He wishes it had.  Where does that leave him?  Unfortunately with more questions than answers.  He has been told by his cardiologist that this is not heart related.  Once again, does that mean his pain isn’t painful?  Or should instantly evaporate because it isn’t cardiac related?

Those of us who’ve been on medications for any reason, long or short-term, realize that sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.  And, if you are taking more than one  for a series of conditions, there are questions of interaction.  Those interactions can cause problems themselves, if not addressed.  But I digress.  Back to the point.  Where does that leave this client?  He wants to work out, his MD wants him to lose about 20-30lbs, possibly more.  Yet if he’s experiencing chest pain sometimes upon waking, at other times while walking on the trail, in the presence of cold, or on the job, what is he to do?

Well this where I come in.

IT’S NOT WHAT GOES IN, IT’S WHAT COMES OUT THAT CAUSES PROBLEMS

I often feel the health & wellness industry, just like medicine and nursing has sold us a “bill of goods.”  Why?  Because there are more questions left unanswered than solutions.  The lift, squat, fart repeat routine holds little credence for me.   Why?  Because not every body is built for that. Nor do many continue with it, past the month of January.

As for the medical community,  the answer given by so many professionals “we just don’t do it that way,” is akin to waving a red flag in front of a bull to me.  Well why are you still doing it that way, is the better question.  Are you too set in your ways to give a new technique a try?  Do we practice medicine or nursing the way we did 20, 30, 40 years ago?  No.  Why?  Because someone somewhere said “we’ve done it that way, but let’s try something else.” Or, the old technique is just that, OLD.  Message to both industries–one size does not fit all. The recipe book has some add-ons.  The lady wants a makeover; call it what you will.

The result has left many frustrated, overweight, over-medicated, & under siege by information that may or may not help, or is harmful.  Disseminating it isn’t easy or for the faint of heart.  However, it is well worth it, if you find what works for you.  That’s the key.  What works for you. 

When is the last time you’ve looked at yourself in the mirror?  Not sucking anything in, or making wishes about what you’d look like 20 pounds thinner? Or kept a diary of what you eat, why you were eating that (hunger, craving, stress, or combo of all three)?  Oh yes, that happens.  Has anyone at the gym asked you these questions?  Given you this info?  These are just a few tactics you have to incorporate, because few have given much thought to this.  In a health club atmosphere, it’s about working you; in many ways.  Again, another story for another day.

Did you know dehydration can mimic hunger?  Alter the way you make decisions?  In the elderly, can mimic dementia?

If you are hypertensive, perhaps lifting the heaviest weights isn’t for you.  Did you know?  Non-cardiac chest pain is still pain.  If you’re a personal trainer, how do you train someone like that?

Those who are fans of the low carb, no carb thing…did you know it’s quite hard on the kidneys?  Why should you care?  Well there are lots of reasons why you should..

These are just a few ideas you should keep in mind, especially if you have been diagnosed with CKD (chronic kidney disease), hypertension, or even if  you are perfectly healthy(a relative term), but train in extreme conditions.

Sorry if you happened upon this site, and the workout tips to lose the Xmas bulge aren’t forthcoming.  Never fear.  There’s plenty out there to help you with that.  It’s just not here.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Need a more personalized approach?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

A Day in the Life…follow-up to comment

I’ve had a follow-up commentary to this series.  I don’t usually post comments, because any I approve, can be clicked and read.

This comes from someone who is trying to improve/continue on a fitness journey.   He is on a blood pressure medication, as well as a beta blocker.  The latter is dropping his heart rate.

Let’s start with the basics.

Blood pressure is largely regulated by the kidneys.  Medications given to regulate BP work in many ways; some help you excrete excess water volume(diuretics), while others work as ACE inhibitors.  Angiotensin Converting Enzymes (ACE) in short, work to inhibit the renin-angiotensin phenomenon.  What does that mean?  They work to reverse the effects of vasoconstriction(tightening of vessels), which renin-angiotensin puts in place, elevating your BP.  Other BP meds work in a variety of ways.  In any case, the desired outcome is to lower blood pressure, and prevent complications such as (CVA) stroke, or kidney failure.   Yes, there’s a lot more to this than what I’ve briefly explained, but this is meant to be kept as simple & straightforward as possible.

As for beta blockers, their task is to lower heart rate.  Heart rates vary; as do people.  What’s normal for someone whose heart rate is normally elevated and now lowered slightly, may feel like an impending heart attack to another.  Only you and your MD can discuss what  this means to you.

However, there are factors which many may or may not consider.

If you are a coffee drinker, caffeine is very dehydrating.  If you are consuming 3-4 cups, I’m sure you realize your pit stops.  So if you are taking a diuretic to lower BP, guess what?  your dehydration factor goes up…way up.

If you are taking any BP medication, discuss with your MD the type of exercise in which you engage, how many days, what time you take your meds, and your response to them; especially if you are exercising regularly.  This conversation is all the more pertinent, if you are taking any type of beta blockers.  Again their job is to “normalize” or stabilize heart rate; the goal of any physical activity is to elevate it…get the picture?  So lets say you are drinking your 3-4 cups of coffee, taking your BP meds, as well as a beta blocker…  Again, this is food for thought, not a recommendation or advice.

As always, discuss with your MD any medication concerns you may have.  But empower yourself with keeping a diary; when you take your meds, when you may feel them “kick in,” your response to them especially during exercise, caffeine consumption (teas or coffee) and if you are experiencing chest pain during exertion or upon rest/recovery.  All of these tell a story; and your MD can only complete the puzzle if he/she has all the pieces.

You are your own advocate.  You inhabit your body, no one else.  Entrusting it to a health care provider is something that should be undertaken consciously, conscientiously, and with discernment.

Thank you for your trust and your commentary.  All for now, keep up and keep at it.

 

 

A Day in the Life….

 We all have a story to tell.  Since the revamp of this blog, from Personal Training to Life Training w/Crystal, I am interested in expanding my focus.  Because of my nursing background, this puts me in a unique position–to discuss topics that most personal training only blogs/sites may not tackle.

Therefore, I would like to hear from you if you living with:

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

High Blood Pressure–whether controlled by lifestyle changes, medication, or both

On or soon will be on dialysis

Cardiac Rehab

You may wonder why I’ve chosen these issues specifically.  These represent most of what I have encountered in my career.  As both nurse and personal trainer, I am interested in how you are  managing.  Medication? Lifestyle, diet, exercise?  Combination thereof?  How is this working for you?  What challenges do you face?

I sincerely hope when I do hear from you, you are interested in sharing your stories with my readers.

I am not offering advice, nor am I trying to take the place of your physician or nurse practitioner.   I am simply interested in A Day in Your Life.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

 

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Fitness plateaus–guest article

From time to time, I will be posting guest articles.    The following is by Paige Johnson, a personal trainer which wrote to me some time ago, requesting a spot on my blog.  If you have hit this proverbial wall, as many of us do & have, this may help. 

 

So you’ve committed to changing your unhealthy habits and working out. Your diet is on point and the workouts are a regular part of your week. At first, the changes to your body are obvious, and people are noticing — until it happens. The weight loss comes to a screeching halt, but you are still working just as hard! You’ve hit a fitness plateau and it feels like you’ve hit a brick wall. Here are some tips to kick start the positive momentum and tackle the plateau.

Give yourself credit for the meaning of a plateau

When the results slow or stop altogether it is easy to feel let down or like you have done something wrong. In reality, the plateau isn’t a sign of you doing anything wrong. It’s a positive sign that your efforts are becoming a part of who you are. It is a sign that you have changed your overall health level and your body is making adjustments. It is a new normal for you and your body is in balance.

Get F.I.T.T.

According to the American Heart Association, the best way to break through a fitness plateau is to use their F.I.T.T. System to mix things up. F.I.T.T.= “…frequency, intensity, time and type.” Changing one or more of these components of your workout routine can mix things up enough to jumpstart the changes you are looking for in your body.

An example of a change that can have a big impact is looking at what types of fitness you are focusing on and adding a bigger variety. If you are doing a lot of running, add in some weight training for strength. Adding cardio to a workout week that is mainly weight-focused can have a similar boost for change.

Build in rest and recovery and keep things fun

When you made a commitment to get healthy, you may have gone all out and skipped a simple bit of down time to let your body recover. It is a misconception that if working out 5 days a week is working for you, then working out every day will work even better. It is possible to train too much if you are expecting change rather than just maintaining a certain level. Adding in time to rest and get adequate sleep to let your body recover can actually help to prepare yourself to improve. Like your body, your brain needs maintenance too, so opt for natural sleep, rather than using sleep aids, which can be addictive. Your body and brain will thank you, and you’ll be ready to tackle your next workout.

Rest and recovery are essential aspects of avoiding burnout. If you overdo it in your workouts, you may get tired of what you’re doing and start taking shortcuts more often or skipping days you would normally hit the gym. Another aspect of avoiding burnout is keeping things fun. Try new forms of working out each week or seek out other ways to spice things up. For example, you might take your dog with you on a hike or try a Krav Maga class with a friend. When a workout is fun, you’ll actually look forward to doing it, and that’s a great way to keep yourself on track.

Change small things to see big results

Changing too many things at once may not give your body time to adjust and make changes. It is better to change a few things like doing a larger number of reps at a lower weight than your regular lift for several weeks, Not only is it suggested that you make small changes, but it is also good to give these changes time to work. You may not see immediate jumps in progress but over a few weeks the momentum will show again.

Measure and celebrate all types of progress

Workouts or new fitness goals are usually tied to a certain magical goal of losing a certain amount of weight or something that is pretty easy to measure. Focusing on just the numbers associated with weight loss can be frustrating if you stop seeing the pounds fall off. As you workout, your body is going through a variety of changes that go well beyond just the number on the scale. Start to look at things like body measurements, changes in muscle tone, higher endurance, and other changes you will see with improved health. There is a good chance you are still seeing changes, just maybe not the number on the scale.

Taking the time to do things like a selfie each week to track visible changes can do a lot to boost your mood and keep you motivated. You may find you are still making progress, just in a different way.