Yesterday, Jake, Boh, and I made a quick trip to my parents' house to see my family. While I was talking to my dad, he told me that a recent visit to the doctor revealed that his cholesterol levels are uncomfortably high again.
Sidenote: Heart disease runs in my family. My grandfather had a stroke when I was born and then died from a heart attack when I was eleven years old. My dad had a 95% blockage, had a stent put in, and suffered from a heart attack when I was a junior in high school.
Anyways, I'm worried about him. Exercise isn't a problem with him. He does at least 30 minutes of cardio daily, despite being over 60 years old and having a hip replacement. He loves it and because of him, I love it too because of him. What I am worried about is his diet and his naturally slower metabolism. So since I'm home with the flu, I've been reading up about what he should focus on eating, what food he should avoid, etc.
My goal is to make a little meal plan guide for him by the end of the week. What I can email him today is a great guide on lowering your cholesterol by making therapeutic life changes. You should check it out too!
So it's officially 2016 now. Everyone's resolutions are in full-swing...hopefully. I had a protein pancake for breakfast, played with my pup a bit, and should probably get ready for the gym soon. Today I plan on focusing on my lower-body aka my favorite day at the gym. I heart leg days. A typical leg day for me focuses on body weight exercises for the warm-up along with some of the heavy-weight exercises listed below.
And then I walk it out on the treadmill at an incline or the step mill for about 30 minutes.
So I read that Women's Health did something really cool. They asked their readers what they could improve on in the New Year. The readers talked and Women's Health listened so that the magazine's audience encounters a positive experience. When 2016 rolls around, you'll no longer see "bikini body" and "drop X sizes" on the cover or anywhere throughout the magazine. Kudos, Women's Health!
I, myself, read Women's Health from time to time and enjoy the magazine. However, I agree with the readers' who were in favor of getting rid of the two phrases. Healthy isn't dictated by being a certain size. It's dictated by how you feel physically and mentally. In my book, a healthy person has energy, a healthy heart, a good immune system, gets enough sleep at night, eats well most of the time, exercises regularly, etc. To sum it all up, a healthy person listens to and respects their body - just like Women's Health listens to and respects their readers.
It's been a week since I last posted. Between preparing for, enjoying, and recovering from Christmas, I haven't had the time to write. But alas, here I am writing another post. I was a little sad going to work today. The holiday season is almost over with the last hurrah being Thursday night - New Year's Eve. Speaking of New Year's, resolutions have been on my mind. In fact, there are a few that I'd like to do this year:
Wait, my resolutions look more like a to-do list. Not surprised, because I'm a huge fan of to-do lists. Maybe I should select some general goals that would count as resolutions?
Okay, there we go. Resolutions set. 2016, I'm ready for ya.
I'm not sure if anyone else feels this way, but there is something special about making a trip to Barnes & Noble. Despite our ever-evolving technological world, they've remained in business and I don't think it's a coincidence. While Netflix and Redbox defeated Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, Barnes & Noble hasn't been demolished yet. Maybe it's my love for print media, but nothing will replace the feeling of holding a book in your hands, feeling the smoothness of the paper as you turn each page.
Anyways, I went to Barnes & Noble this past Saturday for the first time in a while. With Christmas coming this Friday, I did some last minute shopping. While browsing for presents, I stopped in the fitness, nutrition, and recipe book section for myself. Boy, was that overwhelming. In a few aisles, there's endless information and various people's opinions on those topics. I didn't buy anything that day. However, I'd like to buy some new books, preferably about yoga and maybe a nice recipe book or two.
Adho mukha svanasana aka downward facing dog. It's been less than two months since I started taking yoga classes at a studio. Before then, it'd be at my gym back in Carroll County where the sound of your breathing was accompanied by the thumping of Nicki Minaj's "Starships" and the occasional clang of a free weight. Relaxing? Hell no. While resting in Child's Pose, I wished I was out there doing something more active.
Taking classes at a studio has changed that. It's an amazing experience to participate in a 90-minute Vinyasa class where the lights are dim, the music is right, and the sweat is dripping from your face onto your mat. Vinyasa is challenging, especially since I'm far from being an experienced yogi. I learn more and more each time I practice. Not only about yoga, but about myself. I don't mean to get all soul-searching, philosophical on you, but I surprise myself. I've become so flexible that I wish I could go back to P.E. and take the v-sit and reach test (that thing was the bane of my existence in elementary school) because I'd definitely pass now.
Oh, holidays. How you make us all crazy and stressed out. Thankfully my birthday falls in December and since I like coffee so much, I receive lots of Starbucks gift cards. It's been about a month since all the hoopla arose when Starbucks introduced their holiday cup. Since the controversy has died down, we can go back to focusing on the cup's contents.
But seriously, thank goodness for my gracious friends that give me Starbucks gift cards. My nine-month-old puppy, Boh, loves to wake me up at 5 am - sometimes even 4 am! I don't know about you, but I love getting 5 hours of sleep...I'm kidding, of course. When this happens, I reward myself with my go-to Starbucks drink: a caffe latte. It doesn't sound as exciting as, let's say, the Chestnut Praline Latte, which has the following description: "Quintessentially festive flavors like caramelized chestnuts and subtle holiday spices mingle with our signature espresso and rich steamed milk. Topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of spiced praline crumbs." But what the description leaves out is that a grande contains a whopping 39 grams of sugar.
Notice I didn't point out that the drink is 370 calories first. Calories aren't your enemy necessarily. It's the high content of added sugar that you want to steer clear of. A healthier choice would be a caffe latte. If you like your coffee sweet, add some stevia or honey. Mayo Clinic has an excellent article that sums up the issues with added sugar. I highly recommend reading it!
I'm just going to dive in and let the cat out of the bag: I used to have an eating disorder and therefore, was afraid to eat. What I consumed ended up consuming my life.
It all started my senior year of high school. I noticed some weight gain after being on prednisone for mono. I started to watch what I ate and forced my nonathletic self to go to the gym. The pounds dropped, but I didn't stop. Losing weight became my religion. I restricted (during the day and to my dismay, binged at night) all in attempt to keep losing weight. It was a nasty cycle that prohibited me from knowing how to eat normally.
With the support from my family and friends, I sought treatment during my freshman year of college. I went to Sheppard Pratt in Towson, Maryland (which I highly recommend), and was diagnosed with EDNOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified). It hasn't been until recently that I finally feel like I can eat normally again without fear. What really helped was nourishing my body with helathy food, listening to my hunger cues, and like everything else in life, time.
So back to the name, FearLyss Eating...as you can see my name is Alyssa, but my close friends call me "Lyss" and now I can eat without fear. Tada! FearLyss Eating. The purpose of this blog is to highlight the many aspects of my (mostly - cause no one's perfect) healthy lifestyle and to document my random daily thoughts.