Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year - Same Commitment To Health & Fitness

I have to say that 2010 was a very successful year for me in terms of health and fitness. Sure, I had some setbacks but it all came out for the absolute best. As a result, I'm close to being in the best shape of my life. Seriously.

It didn't come easy though. In addition, a few of the setbacks were pretty hard to deal with. At the beginning of the year I spent a lot of time in physical therapy, acupuncture, and with sports medicine doctors. There are some discs in my neck that are degenerative and something about that is irritating the nerves that go down my right arm. My right shoulder also gets aggravated rather easily.

At the beginning of the summer I was hospitalized for a few days. Somehow I was incredibly anemic and was having non-stop excruciating indigestion-type pain. This was really the turning point for me and I'm so glad that it all came out the way it did.

Several years ago I was told that I had IBS and that the type that I had meant that I had to stay away from certain foods. I was already what most people considered to be a "healthy eater" and have been either vegetarian, vegan, or pescetarian since I was very young. At this point, I was told that I needed to stay away from corn products and beans. I love beans and really love corn tortillas so this was quite upsetting to me.

After the hospitalization, it turned out that the prior IBS diagnosis wasn't exactly correct and was causing me even more health issues. I even had the diagnosis from a so-called prominent researcher in the field. Yeah, it was more like he was trying to shoehorn me into the diagnosis for his own benefit. The pills he had me on put some extra weight on me and I would run out of steam every day in the afternoon. It was incredibly difficult to keep motivated to be fit, but I was diligent and really made the effort regardless.

Now I am so much better. Like "back to normal" better. All of the extra weight that I put on was gone and I am back to my normal size, which is about a size 6. Yes, I'm 5'10" but I have smaller bones and am very active. I have to clarify that though - I wear a size 6 pant but tops have to be closer to a 10 because my shoulders are too big to fit into smaller sizes. This is not a bad thing though and I am certainly not complaining.

My diet is close to being vegan - the only exception being some seafood. I mostly like shellfish and the lighter fillets (nothing heavier than tilapia or trout). I stay away from processed soy and tofu products, however. In fact, I really only eat what I can see the ingredients to. To me, although some folks think that "organic", "vegan", and "natural" foods that you can get in those fancy stores are better for you I am not convinced. I stick to a produce-heavy diet with fresh seafood, beans, and corn tortillas. Avocados are my main staple, I have them at least once every day. Additives are totally out as well - no salt, sugar, or any other spices. I will add Tapatio or Sriracha to foods or my own fresh salsa. Therefore, those two sauces, corn tortillas, and beer are the only things in my diet that have any processing to them.

In 2010 I also gave up caffeine. This was a product of the hospitalization episode. The physician told me that the four things that should be avoided for being healthy are cigarettes, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. I already didn't smoke or do chocolate (I've never liked it). On the other hand, I love me some Belgian beer so I decided to give up caffeine. Since I didn't have any in the hospital it was easy to give up because I didn't really have to go through the usual withdrawals that you experience when quitting.

I'm committed to keep my new, healthier self through 2011. In fact, my Twitter bud kokgirl is talking about starting up the Twitter Trim Up Challenge (TTUC) again. I'm ready!

Last year I met many of my goals, one in particular was to compete in a surf competition without feeling so winded I thought I would die. I accomplished this and came in 2nd place at said contest. My golf goals need some working on but I spend most of my weather-permitting days surfing so that's to be expected.

Yes, this was a big and long-winded post but there it is. Stay tuned for my 2011 goals and how I'm going to get there. I'll post more of my food recipes and workout routines throughout the year as well.

What are your 2011 fitness goals?


Lindsay said...

Well I'm finally doing a full marathon in 2011. A friend and I agreed to run one together in May.

You eat so much healthier than me, although I probably do eat healthier than 90 percent of America - sad to say! My problem is convenient, processed food.

One goal I have is to PLAN ahead for my meals. I need to eat a lot of calories a day. I eat six or seven "meals." And if I don't plan ahead, then I literally go on these crazy eating rampages where I eat whatever is convenient. So planning ahead and preparing food ahead when I can will be a big help for me.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Awesome - I can't wait to hear about your marathon experience.

I totally understand about the planning thing with food. I feel that once you get in the habit then it comes much easier, it's just getting it to be a habit. Best of luck, I know you can do it!

Mike said...

I'm glad things are going well for you, Apryl. Those health problems early on in 2010 were a real worry.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks Mike! I was just thinking about you - you must have read my mind. Happy New Year to you!

Mike said...

Happy New Year to you too! I wish you lots of warm surf! ;-)