Blogs > Lighten Up with Sarah

Sarah Buchanan is a 48-year-old full-time Lakeland Community College nursing student who knows she represents many people struggling with their weight. The Painesville resident will work together with her family to get active and get healthy.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No excuses...

Well I hope the next weigh in goes better then this one.  I unfortunately went in the wrong direction, traveling out of town, hurrying to school and not taking the time to cook my food ahead of time or pack things the night before did not help,  it happens to everyone but its no ones fault but my own. Portion control and emotional eating have been some of my issues but I am getting much better at controlling both of these now, which is a huge step in the right direction for me.

But this is another month and things are going to get better.  I was able to get to the Y and meet with Beth, she is sooooo supportive and a great person to talk to, everyone was very helpful. I also went to my first chair yoga class on Tuesday(the teacher is great by the way, and very patient).  I thought my body would really be yelling at me on Wednesday morning but to be honest I think i felt better, this is really encouraging to me.  I'll start water fitness this week, and on Friday will be taught how to do weight training. 

I have made myself up a schedule to follow(which I had never did before), and went over this with Beth.  I wrote it down on a calendar and found an app for my smartphone so i can't say I forgot the times or I need someone to remind me. I can check my calendar and my phone sends me reminders.  

I just have to keep saying to myself...NO EXCUSES...and stick to everything, it took a long time to gain the weight and it will take time for it to come off...but i'm the only one by eating right and exercising that will achieve the weight loss.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

A few productive days.....

The past few days have been going much better.  I have an appointment with Beth Horvath at the YMCA on friday to help me with my personal fitness. I also signed up for the water fitness classes which are held at least 4 days per week, this will be great for cardio.  Also I am going to attend the chair yoga classes.  I thought about some of the other programs offered at the Y like pilates and zumba, and normal yoga, but I don't want to get overwhelmed by taking on to many things at once, or doing classes that I cannot handle yet. It would only discourage me and that is the last thing I want to happen because I'm afraid I would give up and think that everything is just to hard for someone my size.  We all know this is not true, you just have to start out slow and take things one day at a time. She also told me I could sit in on the classes that I am interested in and see what I thought too before signing up, which I think is a great idea.

Beth was wonderful to speak with, she took the time out of her day when calling me to set up my appointment, and talk to me for almost an hour on the phone and answer quite a few question. She seems like such a patient person and I really look forward to meeting with her. I also decided to put something on my facebook page to let family and friends know about what I am doing when it comes to this blog and decided to make up a menu for the week and cook things ahead and divide them into the right portions I should be having. I've noticed that I'll get in a hurry while leaving for school and forget to grab something good for me to have for my lunch and end up getting something at Lakeland.  Its not that Lakeland has bad food at all, its honestly good and they do have veggie burgers there too but for me its not portioned, and it can get expensive if i do this to much.

My classes at the Y all start on the 26th of Feb...I have to be honest, i have feelings of excitement but at the same time dread because I know how out of shape I am.  But as the old saying pain, no 

Take care,


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Feeling better finally..

Sorry for the length between blogs.  I am crossing my fingers that everything that I could possibly catch is done. After returning from winter break to classes at Lakeland I've had the flu and went right from that into a pretty nasty cold so I don't think there is to much left I can catch. I've been able to watch what I was eating pretty well the past few weeks, being sick kind of limited how much I was eating which is both good and bad because you tend to eat anything that will stay down and sometimes these are not the best kind of foods to have when trying to lose weight.

I was able to sign up for the water fitness program at the Y, along with a chair yoga class, I was told that these classes that be easier on my knees and back until I am able to lose more weight. I am waiting now on a call from someone at the Y about a 12 week program that works with you on the machines, mainly how to use them and which ones to use, and how many days should be cardio and weights. 

It seems like alot to do at one time but what did help is finding several app's for my cellphone that can help me keep track of what is going on each day...appts, workouts, class schedule at school..etc.  I was also able to find a diary that may help me keep track of what foods i am eating, whether its when I am really hungry or emotionally eating. I really have to start watching my portions, this is something that is hard for me to really get used to doing constantly.  We were always taught that you didn't waste your food, make sure you clean your plate which I'm sure alot of people learned growing up, but during the time that I had my thyroid issues for the 10 yrs it didn't matter if I ate very little or alot, i was going to gain weight. Now I have to start making sure I remind myself that I can lose the weight and the only way that is going to happen is to watch the portions and start measuring everything. Its not that hard if I make it part of a routine.

I'll follow up soon, if anyone has suggestions for me please feel free to share any secrets you have or ways that have worked for you..take care.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Not a good week so far...

Not a good week so far but hoping it gets better. 

Started getting sick on Monday, missed school which i hate doing, but just no energy it seems, and I finally gave in today and went to the doctor.  I hope to get to meet up with someone at the Y this weekend to get help with what exercising they would recommend for me to do. I'm also looking forward to signing up for classes that they have in the pool, but I believe I may wait on that until this cold is gone.

I'm sure everything will be better, we all have our bad days,  just have to keep on going and have faith. Take care all.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A weekend with family

Sorry for the late blog. I was with family that lives a few hrs from us. It was a great day on Saturday, we attended my nephew Scottie's  basketball game, he plays both JV and Varsity(they won both games too!!), and my niece Emma who is 9 was a mini-cheerleader at the game, i am so blessed to have them both and they made me so proud to be their aunt. I normally sit on the bottom row of the bleachers, but climbed up higher to be with the rest of my family and even though it may be only 8 or 10 steps further up to get there, every little bit counts when it comes to exercise and trying to get healthy.  We all went to dinner after the game and I was happy that on the menu was a vegetarian meal that I would be able to have, what I did plan before and have decided to do if and when we do go out is only to eat half of what I order.  It seems that meal are alot larger then they used to be and a few times i have asked for a box when ordering my meal so that I separate the two at the beginning so I am not tempted to finish it all.  Looking forward to the week, I am meeting with a coach/trainer at the YMCA and hoping to plan my schedule to where I can get some time to speak to someone about the exercise classes in the pool there also, and possibly yoga.  Will write more in a few days to update and look forward to anyone that would like to write in. Take care.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My journey begins..

I met some great people at the weigh-in on Sunday, and we are all on the same lose weight and get healthy.

A little history about myself that may help you get to know me.  I have not always been the obese and unhealthy person that you are getting to know now.  I was misdiagnosed for 10 years with a thyroid condition that we found out was actually thyroid cancer(a curable one), after surgery I was considered healthy again.  For me I do not see it this way since during that time I had no metabolism and had gained approximate 250 lbs. This lead to the high bp and diabetes that I have now. But I have to also say that I cannot blame all of my weight on this condition either, i have to take some responsibilty for it too. Like some obese people I have times that i let my emotions get the best of me and find comfort in food. I have tried to lose weight and failed or gave up thinking that at this weight why try, it will take me forever to lose it, or the fear of hearing doctors telling me that because of my weight I most likely could have a heart attack, this comment is good and bad.  It puts the fear in someone my size that I should lose it no matter what and to exercise and get the pounds off, but there is also the fear that exercise may cause the heart attack. I have finally gotten to a point in my life that I realize that if i do not exercise I will die alot younger.

I have 2 son's that are 21 and 28 and 4 stepchildren(13 yr old twin girls, a boy 15 and a girl 23.  I was blessed to see my oldest son get married in Oct of 2011, I want to be here to see the rest of them graduate college and high school and maybe get married if that is in their futures.  But I'm the only one that can make sure that this happens.

I am also a full-time nursing student at Lakeland Community College, this is something the I have dreamed of becoming since I was a child and at this time in my life everything fell into place and I was able to start school and achieve this dream.  But one thing that I do realized is that being a nurse is hard work, i have several in my family, and at my weight I may be able get the degree to achieve this but would not physically be able to do the work.  This just will not work for me, I did not have this desire for this long to let my weight be the only thing that is stopping me, I am determine to not let this happen.

Knowing that my weight was going to be something that would be known now to everyone was something I had to think about first and discuss with my family also.  When it came to my family I have alot of support from everyone and they told me to go for it.  Everyone volunteers to help however they could, whether it was going to the YMCA with me, taking walks, or just listening if I was having a bad day(there is where the emotional eating comes in), they have always been this supportive but I have always been tough and didn't want anyone to think I was weak and could not do this on my own.  What I also hope to achieved by sharing my story with everyone is for the people that may be a little overweight or very obese like myself to see that it can be done, you are not alone, and if you feel that you are, find any of us that are on this blog and let us know how you are feeling, sharing this with others might help you to see that it can be done and you are not alone.  You can even start your journey to getting healthy with us, and we can be your support system.

I also decided to change what I was eating about a year ago close to Easter of 2011.  I decided at this time to give up all meats, and begin a plant-based diet, I did start out as a vegetarian and still had some cheese and milk here and there, but have since given this up and became vegan. I have tried to do this before and always would think it is to expensive or just let things get the better of me and give up.  Not this time, being able to achieve almost a year of my choice of foods I want to eat and not giving up has showed me that I do have determination and I know I have to use that and start exercising the way I should. Between the YMCA and the gym at Lakeland I have no excuses. I may not know what to do when it comes to knowing machines or how much to walk each day or laps to swim, but there are people that are trained at both of these places that can help with that also.  So no matter who you are, there are no excuses.  I have finally realized this and by blogging here I am also making myself accountable. The plant-based diet is a choice, and if anyone would like more information about it please let me know, I have 3 books I use constantly, "Eating Vegan on $4.00 a day, The Happy Herbivore, and Everyday Happy Herbivore".  Both of the authors are on facebook and will message you and share posts on facebook also. Lindsay Dixon is the author of The Happy Herbivore and actually has a 1200 calorie diet that she shares, she list how to cook the recipes, how many calories are in each serving , and a calendar for the week, even shopping list and 50/100 calorie snacks.  This is something that I have been following for about 2 mths now and have lost about 15 lbs and have also felt better and had more energy.  Like I said before, this is a choice that I made for me and its up to you what is good for you.

Well enough about myself for now, I look forward to this challenge and know I can do it this time, just keep me in your thoughts if you could.