Wednesday, June 20, 2012

lamentations or exultations?

Since Saturday I have been running everyday. It has been five consecutive days that I have been running. The past three days is a lunch or RuNch session. I enjoyed it. I have the time all by myself. Is that being selfish?
I guess some people will think that way. This is the stage of my life when I wanted to be alone, free from distractions and I wanted to meditate more. I sounded like crazy sometimes...but meditation has been a reality for me. I thought I will never enter this stage. But I realized that yoga and running actually brings me to meditative trance, it made me feel something indescribably a step closer to God (no offense on those who do not believe there is God or to those who do not match my belief and practices).
And that is the very reason, why I am hooked on both activity.  I don't care anymore how people perceived about me. Because, I am bliss..... If this is crazy so be it.

Lately, I have been focusing only on the important things in life. Myself and my family.
I have been obsessive compulsive about my health. I try to make sure, I am pain free, eating healthy food and doing healthy things like exercise.
I couldn't trade this state of habit with any other kind of habit.
I guess the book "The power of habit" by Charles Duhigg,  gets under my skin. Because, that book is a testament of what I have been saying for quite a long time now about habits and how it build ourselves to become person of whatever state.

As I turned the leaf of age, I have realized that I actually enjoyed preparing food for my husband. I try to make sure he eat the right amount of dose of carbohydrate, fats and protein. Yeah, I have made myself a career in nutrition planning. He is in his forties, men at this age are typically at risk for heart disease. In fact, we had a friend about his age who had undergone angioplasty from years back. A stent was put in his artery. That event was startling to me. I thought it was just a bad dream. We are happy that he survived that first heart attack. Later, I learned from my doctors that men are at risk when they reached the age of forty. The risk is elevated when they have sedentary lifestyle, they smoke, alcoholic,  they have a family history of coronary disease and the list of risk goes on.
I know that event had me re-evaluated our lifestyle.

My husband and I, we are both fit and active. Yet, food wise. I think I don't discern much about what we eat. I have a different perception about healthy food.And so I started psyching myself in getting a good relationship with food.
Really, relationship takes getting to know each other. I know myself, but I don't know my food. I practically eat anything. And based from my knowledge now, I suspect my daily consumption used to be 2000 to 2500 calories. Hmmm. I justified myself well because I have been regularly on exercise.

But just like anybody who is resistant to change. I was appalled at the thought that I should be eating only 1600-1700 calorie. That's unfair.
When I started measuring my calorie output. Every 30 minute run depending on the effort or intensity calorie spend is only between 50-350 calorie. See, it's so easy to eat 500 calorie worth of burger and difficult to spend it in the process.
Aha! I wish food and money would behave the same. Because, if it's the same with the money. I could have been a billionaire now.  But who says life is fair?
But it's also good to note that running a marathon means losing about 2500 calorie in the process, it felt like fasting for a day.

At first, it was denial. Then, came a realization. Now that I know, I must act upon it. There is no more excuses. It has been a habit that I often advocate. With awareness comes the responsibility to act or do something. There is always a way to do things and it spells w-o-r-k.

Then, I was caught. I know what the right thing to do. And every resource needed follow suit.
At first it was difficult. Calorie counting is the most tedious thing to do. Thanks to my fitness pal, it becomes bearable.
I am used to analyzing data. Besides, it's part of my job. I realized that my body is actually like a process. But my body is a work in process. Every day, is a process to make yourself a better person or not. That's why my everyday mantra when I wake up. "God! Please, make me a better person today than I was yesterday." And I say my praise and grace for another day, another chance to make up with yesterday's fault.
At work, I learned that process has measurements. Ooops! my body got measurements too, there's the waist line, the weight, the body mass index, uh-oh and the dreaded blood chemistry that says all about my health state.

So I realized if at work, I desperately measure a process. Why not my body? why not my state of health? why not my financial health (uh-oh)?
Well, health- my health in general is known to my doctors and were working on some issues (i know!). It dawned upon me that even my health issues perhaps can be controlled just like any other process.
Process is well defined to me as input-process-output. To control an output say weight, waistline, blood cholesterol. You must be able to identify the input variable that drives these output. Easy? yes. Only finding out the input variable gets tricky.

Since, work related problem resolution have been  habitual to me, to drive resolution is an automatic impulse. I guess, I can put this habit to good use. I started on base-lining about my body's input variable. There is no other people who will try to figure out my input variable but me. Not even my doctor. Just thinking about it, makes me think I could get myself a career in medical field or a nutritionist. Sadly, I have no training at all.

The first three weeks was difficult, the devil is in the details. But with the help of this fitness apps called myfitnesspal,  I was able to gather important insight. I am a carbohydrate addict! There is too much carbo in my diet. Then the fat ranks second and the protien last. The ratio appears something like 60% carbo, 25% fat and 15% protein.  And I  call myself fit and active?  Well, I go for complex carbo. But hey it's still carbo. And I am on a flexitarian diet, with very minimal meat. I just don't feel like eating pork, since I learned about my liver ultrasound some ten years ago. I guess, it says all that I have not had enough protein to repair my muscle. Or I would say, not enough protein to rip a muscle. lol!
This is the second week of base-lining my input variable or my foodie intake.

Now, I am facing a challenge. How will I reduce the carbo intake and convert certain percentage to protein. I guess the fat should be at least 20%, I am okay with that. Muscle ripping isn't still in my mind (denial, I hear my husband murmur). I am looking for a more balanced diet that's good for the heart.