I’m Normal?!? (and the Mini Heart 5K walk)

screenshot_20180320-0932491289093212.pngRecently I had my yearly health screening for my work insurance. They take some blood, your weight, waist circumference, and then give you a basic lecture on being healthier. If you fall out of any of the norms for the categories you have to jump through hoops to “earn” the points back to receive your HSA money. This is the first year ever that not only have I been in the norms for all the categories they award points for but that my waist circumference was within normal range! The lady who was giving me the mini lecture was going on about how they would like my weight to be closer to the normal range for my height, not realizing/ knowing my history. Meanwhile I’m internally jumping for joy!

Above I’ve included a chart of my health screenings from years past and a few extra values from blood draws for the weight loss management office, just to show the trends.

So looking at the numbers my blood pressure has improved, not that it was bad before, as well as my cholesterol, HDL, and LDL. Pretty much everything! The couple that haven’t improved have been consistent, neither going up or down for the most part.

So why do we care about the size of our waists and such? The website that explains the reasoning behind the categories lists them as follows: “Waist circumference helps assess your risk for chronic diseases that are associated with overweight and obesity. An excess of body fat, especially abdominal fat, increases your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.Glucose, or blood sugar, is the body’s primary source of energy. When there’s too much sugar in your diet, or your body isn’t efficient at using it for fuel, blood glucose levels can rise. This can eventually lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood used by the body for energy. While you need some triglycerides, too much can raise your risk of heart disease.HDL Cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol because it helps to remove “bad” cholesterol (LDL) from the bloodstream, lowering your risk for heart disease. HDL Cholesterol that is too low may increase your risk for heart disease.”

One way to raise your HDL is through exercise. I like that you can see quantitatively the change in the numbers as I started working out from 1 month post-op.  You can also see my food funerals reflected in my triglycerides and cholesterol values for the pre-diet numbers.

 

This past Sunday my Dad and I joined some of my coworkers and 27,000 of our closest friends at the Mini Heart 5K Walk downtown. Over the course of the day there was a half marathon, 5K race, 5K walk, 1K steps for stroke, and 1K kids run. Last I heard about 3 million dollars was raised for heart disease and stroke research and education.

The walk wasn’t a timed race but of course I couldn’t not figure out our time. We finished it close to 1 hour and 14 minutes. That was walking at a leisurely pace around people that were truthfully walking quite slow. Dad even got frustrated a couple of times at the lack of speed of the people walking in front of us. Still, all things considered we were only 10 minutes slower than our finish time for the Thanksgiving 5K, which is really good! Since it’s gotten cold we haven’t really done any training and this was the first course we’ve done with hills. Not too shabby.

Our next challenge is the Flying Pig 5K in May. Dad now has a fire under his butt to train more for it, not only to improve his speed but to improve his recovery time from it. He was a bit sore after Sunday. I was thinking of trying to completely run, or run as much as I can. I’m curious just how fast my time could be. Though I don’t want to leave Dad to walk on his own. We need to find someone willing to walk with him so I can run off.

The Saturday before the Mini Heart there was a health expo at the convention center downtown that I went to. They had booths from all the specialties within healthcare with free screenings, as well as booths from the different running stores selling their wares and booths from future marathons/runs. There was a couple future events that caught my eye, one in particular. There’s a local canoe rental place that’s putting on a tough mudder of sorts. 40 obstacles with mud over 10K on their property. Crazily I think it sounds super fun! I just need to find someone to do it with me so we can keep each other motivated. Dad is not the least bit interested, which I don’t really blame him. Any takers?? Bueller??

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Fancy shoes and Purim

 

Last weekend Dad decided he was tired of his feet hurting and so we ventured to a fancy running specialty store for him to purchase fancy gym shoes. It was an amazing experience that I would highly recommend if you’re looking for a higher quality running/walking shoe.

We went to Fleet Feet in Cincinnati. They has awesome service, super nice, and were very knowledgeable. The store itself had more than just shoes. It had just about any running paraphernalia you could want. When I have a bit of extra change in my pocket I’ll likely go back for one of their super duper exercise bras ($60ish).

After putting your name on a waiting list, you wait and wonder. They were so busy that they were about 4 people ahead of Dad, which meant waiting probably 20 minutes. Once they called his name they asked what he was looking for in a shoe, what he actually plans on doing in it, any issues with his current shoes, and what size he’s been wearing. Then they do a cool 3D mapping of his feet, and watch his gait while he walked up and down the store barefoot. Combining all this information they brought out several shoe options, socks, and insoles for him to try out. Each pair he was encouraged to walk, or even run, around to test out as much as he wanted. There were several people literally running the sidewalk outside the store testing out their shoes.

Once Dad landed on a pair he liked we learned that he’s been wearing the wrong size shoe! Plus he’s lost all of his arch to the point where he’s completely flat footed and his ankles are turning in to compensate (hence the insoles). All in all he probably spent close to $200 between fancy new shoes, socks, and insoles. Over the next week he said it was like walking on air and his feet haven’t hurt once! Though his knee has been hurting more than usual. I attribute that to his ankles actually in a neutral position again, which is forcing his knees to a more neutral position again. In theory that should work itself out. Hopefully anyway. Our next 5K is in a week.

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I also wanted to wish you all a belated Happy Purim!

“Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all the Jews. This took place in the ancient Achaemenid Persian Empire. The story is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. According to the Book of Esther, Haman, royal vizier to King Ahasuerus/Achashverosh (presumed to be Xerxes I or Artaxerxes I of Persia, “Khshayarsha” and “Artakhsher” in Old Persian respectively) planned to kill all the Jews in the empire, but his plans were foiled by Mordecai and his cousin and adopted daughter Esther, who had risen to become Queen of Persia. The day of deliverance became a day of feasting and rejoicing” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purim).

Part of the celebration of this holiday is the wearing of costumes. According to my husband, so take this with a grain of salt, the evolution to wearing costumes on Purim came about from the story. Each year at the party the story of Esther and Mordecai is retold via a play of sorts. The actors act it out in costume. There’s a fair few characters so a good number of people at the party would be in costume for the play. This evolved to everyone at the party wearing whatever costumes they want, or so the husband says.

Last year we went as crayons (our labels had become unpinned by the time the picture was taken). This year the girls went as medieval witches. I went as Emma Watson, combining Belle and Hermione.

Our Temple does a good job with the party every year, hosting a kid version in lieu of Sunday School.  Included is a decent lunch, lots of crafts and activities, and learning opportunities. Everyone involved had fun 🙂 And I managed to only eat two hamentashen (cookie. look it up. seriously yummy).

 

Dad’s best NSV yet!

This past week Dad had his best NSV (non-scale victory) yet! His primary doctor took him off all of his diabetes medications! He’s still a type 2 diabetic, but now he’s considered diet controlled. Not too shabby at all for a guy that was well on his way to dialysis due to kidney disease resulting from uncontrolled diabetes. He’s been an insulin dependent diabetic for at least 15 years that I can remember, though that number is likely bigger. His results from this whole journey has made it all worth it. Even though I’ve had great success from it so far, I’m more excited for his success than my own.

This past week my husband and I have been on a stay-cation, celebrating his 34th birthday on 2-25. We did absolutely nothing and it was glorious.

I demolished my normal sleep schedule. Stayed up incredibly late each night. Slept in every day, temporarily getting up to take the girls to school and then back home to bed. I binge watched many a show and watched several movies I’ve been wanting to see. Aside from transporting the girls to and from school, and going to the gym with Dad, we only ventured into the outside world twice the whole week. Once to go see Black Panther (If you haven’t seen it yet, you should.) and once to go to lunch at the birthday boy’s favorite restaurant, Benihanas. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and I barely left the couch the whole time. No chores were done by either of us. It was glorious.

I know I’ve gained back a few pounds as a result but I regret nothing. It was a very much needed mental health vacation. Though I will admit that today I’m struggling in the sleepiness department due to my altered sleep schedule and inability to sleep normal hours last night, but that was more than expected.