I’m grateful for views like these – they make walking a joy these days!
I had a great visit with my new doctor last week. She spent quite a bit of time with me going over my three biggest health concerns: my continuing stomach issues, beginning osteoporosis, and my weight. Together we came up with plans for managing all three, meaning some big changes in how I do things going forward.
I’m basically in very good shape for my age (68). My blood pressure and other vital signs are right where they need to be; my blood pressure is low. I am overweight though, and although my stomach issues have improved they are not doing as well as I would like. I am doing the right things to manage my beginning osteoporosis, but the doctor added a couple more things I can do so that the condition doesn’t deteriorate further.
Here are the new rules:
- Aim to lose 25 pounds . . . again. Sigh. This is going to be the most difficult thing to accomplish of all the things the doctor and I talked about, but I am going to give it my all. Since losing weight takes forever these days, my goal is to reach my new weight by the time YaYu graduates in 2022.
- Take in no more than 1200 calories a day, and pay more attention to the macros (carbs, protein, fat, etc.). I was previously eating around 1500/day (or a bit more), so I’m having to find ways to eliminate those extra 300 or so calories. I signed up (again) with MyFitnessPal – it’s free and does a great job of tracking everything.
- Drink lots of water. I am already doing this, so easy-peasy.
- Walk at least two miles five days a week. We’re already doing this as well.
- Add calcium, at least 1200 mg additional a day. I am making sure to take at least two Tums/day – each tablet has 650 mg.
- Continue to take a Vitamin D supplement along with my daily vitamin. Even in sunny Hawaii, I need the extra now for bone strength.
- Add a strength training routine to my day, and carry weights when I walk.
- Continue taking medication to help increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. For some reason, taking this weekly pill is a real pain for me but it matters.
- I have developed a highly acidic stomach for some reason and probably also have a hiatal hernia. Keeping a food diary will help me figure out what foods seem to increase the production of acid (cookies, crackers, chocolate, and wine all seem to be triggers right now, for example).
- Cut back coffee (half-caff at that) to one cup a day. SOB!!
- Add a daily probiotic and prebiotic in order to regulate my gut flora.
- Work to reduce my current prescription acid blocker through diet change to “as needed” rather than taking it twice a day.
- GIVE UP DIET COKE COMPLETELY! Nooooooooo! I almost cried when she said I had to do this. I currently only have one can a day, in the morning, but it now has to go completely. We still have one and a half cases on hand and she said we could use those up (Brett is helping) but then NO MORE. She also noted that getting rid of it should also help me lose weight. I am heartbroken. I love Diet Coke (and am probably addicted to it) – it’s been my only “vice.”
So far MyFitnessPal is working well, and although I don’t enjoy planning in advance everything I’m going to eat every day, it does a very good job of helping me track not only calories but those macros as well. I just ordered a set of hand weights from Amazon and will start with one pound in each hand, increasing the weight as soon as they no longer provide resistance. The pre- and probiotics already seem to be making a difference, so I am happy with that, and I’ve gotten the acid blocker down to one almost every day, taking it in the evening before bed. My daughter-in-law is sending me a case of mugicha (roasted barley tea) tea bags from Japan – it will make a decent substitute for Diet Coke, and contains beneficial minerals, but no caffeine nor calories.
Grower older is no tea party, but I am determined to not only stay healthy but improve my health. Brett and I plan to travel again and we want to be in the best shape possible when we set out again. Coming back to Kaua’i was a good move for us in that respect – it’s easier for us to exercise year-round, we eat better here, especially adding more fruits and vegetables to our diet, and our health just seems to improve overall.
So . . . onward, new rules and all!