From this morning’s Good Day Columbia on WACH-Fox 57:
Have you ever read something and thought that the writer put into words something you believe, have been thinking or have been trying to say? That used to happen to me all of the time when Brad Warthen was still writing editorials at The State, but it now happens a lot with Darya Pino aka Summer Tomato.
Case in point: Ten Reasons You Hate to Cook (And What to Do About It). It’s a great read for those of us who weren’t born with a silver spatula in our hand!
Two years ago, when I made my transition to healthier eating, I was at a loss when it came to preparing my own meals. So used to opening a can or speeding through a drive-thru window, I thought I hated cooking. My biggest problem was number six, having an inadequate pantry. I swear, there was one week that I went to the grocery store every day, including one day that I went to four stores looking for one ingredient.
My mother and sister are now going through the twelve-week plan at Doctors Wellness Center, and both of them are finding it challenging to prepare the healthiest foods. I dedicate this blog post to them!
Coming soon, a post about my now very adequately prepared pantry!
This morning, I clicked on the Doctors Wellness Center website, and to my surprise, I was there in the corner! They posted one of my before/after pics, along with a testimonial I did, on the new site. Kinda cool, huh? GREAT accountability tool, too! Check it out – the new site is quite crisp and clean!
After my 45 minutes on the elliptical today, I cooled down with a few quick laps outside of Doctors Wellness Center. It was such a delightful morning, and I wanted to get a few more steps in, too.
Kanye was waxing poetic about Jesus walking on my shuffle, but I thought I heard a soft “Psssssst.” I looked around and didn’t see anyone, so I figured it was just a figment of my sweaty imagination.
“Psssssst. Hey, you!”
No, I definitely heard that. I looked around to see if perhaps my trainer, Daniel, had slipped outside, but no, I was still alone. I remembered that I hadn’t taken my blood pressure med before working out – my BP often drops dramatically after a hard workout – and maybe this was a new symptom. I kept walking.
“Pssssst. It’s me from fifth grade. You remember, you couldn’t handle me then, and I bet you can’t take me now either.”
So I wasn’t alone. Tucked in the median of Monckton Boulevard, a short street traveled only by gym members and dental patients, was an outdoor chin-up/pull-up bar. Worse than that, it was a chin-up/pull-up bar with an attitude, taunting me very early on a cool morning.
In all seriousness…
My one and only experience with a chin-up/pull-up bar was in fifth grade, and I remember it quite well. During recess, our teacher took us out to what I called the “monkey bars” and told us about the President’s Physical Fitness Test. I don’t remember the president, nor do I remember the rest of the test. I do remember the pull ups, however, and I remember that I was unable to do even one.
Given my history with pull-ups, I tried to ignore that stupid bar this morning. One lap down, no problem. Second lap, that bar was starting to get under my skin. After the third lap, I made sure no one was watching, climbed on and reached up. I took a deep breath and tried to pull up. Damn bar got me again. If I was able to move at all, it was a mere fraction of a fraction of a fraction of an inch.
I was a little defeated when I got in the car. I’ve lost nearly 100 lbs. I’ve been working out for almost two years. I have biceps. I even have a sleeveless dress now. But I can’t do a pull-up? By the time I got home, I’d re-framed the entire thing and concluded that even attempting a pull-up was a victory of sorts, but I didn’t really believe it.
I felt vindicated when I got home and Googled pull-up. I looked at several online articles, and apparently pull-ups are hard. Very hard. According to former Navy Seal Stew Smith, “Of all the exercises, the one with the largest mind game attached to it is the PULLUP.” (I should’ve known it with the attitude that pull-up bar gave me this morning!)
If there’s something I can’t do, especially something that is hard, I must do it. I bookmarked a couple online tutorials about training for pull-ups before I realized that I already have what it takes to train for pull-ups: 1) my fabulous trainer, Daniel, who I already work with twice a week; 2) my former nutrition counselor, Traci, who not only trains, but also knows how to get into my head!
By way of this post, which I’m emailing to Daniel and Traci, I’m challenging myself to perform at least one pull up by my 46th birthday on September 24. I’m also throwing myself on Daniel and Traci’s mercy – even more than usual – and asking if they can help me reach this goal. I’m willing to work, but I need some guidance. Danny and Traci, can you pretty please help me out?
Stay tuned, friends. This may get interesting!
This week’s Thursday Thank You was an easy one. I just completed my wellness assessment at Doctors Wellness Center and couldn’t wait to thank the two people who helped me first, City Manager Steve Gantt and City Councilman Daniel Rickenmann.
The Hon. Daniel Rickenmann
Mr. Steve Gantt
City of Columbia
Post Office Box 147
Columbia, SC 29217
Dear Councilman Rickenmann and Mr. Gantt:
For Lent, I’ve embarked on “Thank You Thursday,” where I send a thank you to someone who quietly makes my life or life in the community better. Today, I would like to thank both of you for piloting the wellness program with Doctors Wellness Center and continuing your commitment to the health of City employees.
When I came to work for the City just over three years ago, I weighed in at 230 lbs. I looked bad and felt worse. Yet because I’d been overweight for so long, I wasn’t hopeful that I could ever change. The day I was selected to participate in the City’s program with Doctors Wellness Center was the day that changed my life.
After completing the initial twelve weeks via the City’s program, I continued to work with Doctors Wellness Center on my own for another five twelve-week sessions. I’ve worked hard and had some great results, but had it not been for the City’s program, I would’ve never taken that initial step.
Yesterday I completed my final 12-week assessment and am thrilled to share my results with you.
|September 7, 2010||March 7, 2012|
|Body Fat %||47||22|
Thank you for allowing me to participate in the program and for continuing to look for ways for employees to better their health. You’ve literally been a lifesaver!
Mary Pat Baldauf
Why two pounds? When I lose two pounds, I will officially have a “normal” BMI, down from “class two obesity” just 17 months ago. I know it’s just a number, and there is really NO deadline, but it’s a psychological thing.
Two pounds doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’ve already lost 87, it becomes trickier! Traci doesn’t believe in losing weight quickly or setting deadlines for losing, but she totally understands my goal. So she’s offered the following tips to help me out:
- No refined cards, i.e. breads. (But oatmeal, quinoa and brown rice are okay.)
- Keep daily sodium intake at or below 1500 mgs.
- Four days a week, eat a total of 1.5 cups of leafy greens. (This is more of a personal challenge as I am STILL learning to eat leafy greens!)
- Limit daily servings of nuts to one.
- Drink 80 oz. of clear water a day. (Crystal Light and the like okay, but don’t count toward the 80 oz.)
- Get six to eight hours of sleep per night. (THIS may actually be the hardest!)
I’ve created a checklist on my iPhone, and so far, after yesterday, I’m one for one — I hit all of the goals! One down, 13 to go!
I recently saw someone that I haven’t seen since I started losing weight. He isn’t someone I’m in touch with via Facebook or Twitter – usually just monthly conference calls – so he didn’t know that I’d adopted a healthier lifestyle and lost 85 lbs. After he recovered from the shock of seeing me, he wanted to know more. After my usual answer – gave up fast/processed food and started working out – I gave him the address of this blog, which follows my journey from start to present. But he kept asking questions…It turns out that he has an overweight sister, and he continued to ask questions so he could share my story with her.
I’m not shy, and I love to talk about what I’ve been able to do in hopes of helping others. Beyond the basics, though, I sometimes find it hard to explain exactly how I was able to succeed this time, when I’ve failed so many other times. If I’m going to change the world by educating others, I certainly need to blog beyond the easy stuff – recipes, status updates, non-scale victories, so I tried to figure out what was unique this time:
- My grandmother had just passed away, and I was particularly sensitive about aging issues. I’ve said it before, but while Grandma had children and grandchildren to care for her, I may very well be on my own. I decided that I needed to take proactive steps to improve my health; it’s hard enough aging without the extra weight and its’ complications working against you.
- Because my employer – the City of Columbia – was picking up the tab for the first twelve weeks of the program at Doctors Wellness Center, I felt obligated to succeed. Quite simply, failure was not an option, at least not while they were footing the bill.
- Unlike any other diet or plan I’ve tried, this has been a true lifestyle change. It’s not rocket science, folks. I’m simply eating healthier foods and moving a lot more. I’m not counting points, eating wacky food combinations, taking supplements or going under the knife. I’ve cut back on a lot of foods, but I haven’t totally given up any one food forever. I also have a sense of this being a lifetime commitment, not just something to do until bathing suit season or a high school reunion.
- The support of I’ve received – including the staff of Doctors Wellness Center and fellow City employees – has been incredible. Weekly appointments with Traci, my nutrition counselor, have not only helped me remain accountable, they’ve also helped me learn to anticipate and overcome obstacles. Regular workouts with a trainer have ensured that I progress according to my ability and incorporate exercise into my every day life.
While it doesn’t sound complicated, and overall has been a somewhat painless process, it hasn’t always been easy. Along the way, there have been aches and pains, moments of frustration, even anger. Later, I’ll talk about the one thing that really got me through: preparation.
Thought this was pretty cute, and speaks well of my nutritionist/counselor/confidante/friend Traci! Traci IS fabulous, and I told her so in an email early this a.m. She and the entire team at Doctors Wellness Center have literally turned my life around.
@IT_oLogy: @mpbaldauf Who is your nutritionist?
@BradWarthen: @IT_oLogy @mpbaldauf Nobody ever asks ME that…
@IT_oLogy: @BradWarthen Haha Well, she supposedly has a fabulous one! @mpbaldauf
Today marked the end of my third twelve weeks. It’s a different day than my usual nutrition meetings. We don’t go over my food log or set new goals; we just do weight, measurement and some tests. Before I reveal my assessment results, here’s an update on last week’s goals:
- Add beans to my fave quinoa pilaf. Done, and it’s quite a yummy dish. By adding the beans, I think I can use this as a meatless meal instead of just a side dish.
- At least twice, do the elliptical for five minutes at level 4, >120 spm. Done. Didn’t seem to have any hip or heel issues.
- Make pizzas and get them in the freezer. Done. Made three small pizzas – two with a veggie sauce (pureed carrots and spinach + tomato sauce) and roasted asparagus, one margherita. Made into six two-slice servings and popped in the freezer.
- Make a new veggie medley. Done. Green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes and red pepper.
My third 12 weeks is in the books and following is a snapshot of my results:
This 12 Weeks: 20
36 Week Total: 66
Inches Lost, Waist
This 12 Weeks: 2
36 Week Total: 7
Inches Lost, Hips
This 12 Weeks: 3.5
24 Week Total: 8
% Body Fat
September 2010: 47.9
Body Mass Index
September 2010: 40.6
I’m going to start a fourth and final twelve weeks next week. It’s technically a free week – next week, we won’t go over a food log – but I will keep one anyway.
Today I met with Traci for my next to the last nutrition meeting for my third twelve weeks.
It was a good week, actually, especially the second half of the week. I met the goals we set – maintain water intake, vary snacks, safely increase level on elliptical – and did especially well cooking and mixing/matching food combinations.
Here are the goals for my final week of the third twelve weeks:
- Add beans to my fave quinoa pilaf. Danny is increasing the intensity of my training, and I need to be sure to get plenty of protein.
- At least twice, do the elliptical for five minutes at level 4, >120 spm. If there are no hip or heel issues afterward, we’ll start increasing the time the following week and beyond.
- Make pizzas and get them in the freezer. Always a good way for me to get added veggies.
- Keep my veggies up, and to help do that, Traci challenged me to make a new veggie medley. Now, my fave is corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas and asparagus. I need to come up with a new one that incorporates at least one new veggie.
The banner day?
- This morning, I weighed 163.8, which marks 65 lbs. lost since September.
- Danny increase the intensity of my training session, adding sled dragging (95 lbs) and bench presses (started at 45 lbs.) If you had told me eight months ago that I would be doing that, I would’ve laughed.
Tomorrow, I get blood work done for my physical. It’s been a year since I had it done, and I’m especially excited to see how things may have changed since I started my healthy eating and exercise program at Doctors Wellness Center.