A reprint of my recent blog
Most of my friends (both real and virtual) and our families know that I’m a certified Transformational Health Coach and that the dream my (Personal Trainer) husband and I are pursuing in our senior years is to build our business as a team. The process from student to coach has been positive, exciting, and emotionally satisfying for both of us and we continue to grow and learn as much as we can to improve our skills.
While we love working with people of all ages, we have a special affinity for clients who fall into the “baby boomer generation”, have blood sugar issues that manifest as Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome or Type 2 Diabetes or other medical/physical challenges that tend to show up as people age. Our programs are tailored to the needs of our clients and we find that older clients find it easy to relate to us. Our clients’ results include lower A1C (blood glucose) levels, increased energy, and body thinning and firming as they progress through their program. In short, they reach their goals for health and fitness.
The two prior paragraphs are not really advertisements for our services, although they sure read that way. They describe how we help our clients but they don’t always apply to our own health and fitness goals. We were both reminded of this after recent checkups with our primary care physician, our podiatrist (diabetics need regular monitoring to manage neuropathy and other foot problems), my husband’s endocrinologist and my rheumatologist. (As we age it seems there are always checkups on the calendar!)
Long story short, my husband’s A1C was higher than any of us wanted it to be, and I had regained some of the weight I had worked so hard to lose. It's crucial for me to keep my glucose levels in a healthy range as well. Let’s call the results a “come-to-Jesus moment”. We’d been lax in controlling our sugars and carbs, and test results were a wake-up call.
No one wants to hear unpleasant medical news, but I’m one who tends to wallow for 10 minutes and then moves full-on to improve the situation as much as I can. When it comes to my husband’s well-being I’m all over that, and he knows if he discloses to me any pains or health problems I’m going to be yanking his butt to the first medical appointment/test I can schedule. Too bad I’m not as diligent with myself.
After months of weight plateauing and sloppy tracking, I knew I had work to do, but it took my husband’s blood work results to spur me into action. Suddenly my new mantra became “Walk your talk!” I have to tell you, my husband was not happy with my decision: I declared a moratorium on sugar and white flour consumption. YIKES! Just take a moment to imagine our discussion in the car on the way home that day.
I set August 1st as the Beginning Day and set about researching alternative sweeteners and white wheat flour alternatives. We like our whole grains, (no gluten problems for either of us), but some replacements are more nutritious and often lower in carbohydrates. I had to promise him I’d find healthy replacements for the sweets we so love, and I found Paleo dessert recipes to fit the bill. The recipes use natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia, date sugar, monk fruit or agave syrup. I even found dark chocolate (70% cacao) chips sweetened with stevia! I also promised him we could still have high quality, 70% cacao dark chocolate as long as the portions were well controlled. While we do not exclusively follow a Paleo diet, the dessert recipes are a win-win for sure because we do not care for the artificial sweeteners currently on the market. (No judgment here, just a personal preference!)
**IMPORTANT to note: All sugars/sweeteners should be used sparingly, in controlled amounts. The best way to satisfy a sweet tooth is with fresh fruits, which supply nutrients as well as fiber. Everything in moderation, as the carbs and sugars in fruit still need to be monitored.**
Since I love to cook, finding new ways to use veggies to replace pasta has become a bit of an obsession. Zoodles, anyone? How about cauliflower rice or veggie noodles? Easy peasy with a spiralizer! We also use rice pasta, Soba (buckwheat) noodles, even pasta made with various beans (adzuki, or black). It is amazing what you can discover in grocery stores these days. Ingredients previously found only in health food stores are becoming much easier to find.
We’ve been sugar and white flour free (well, I’m more stringent in my food choices than dear hubby) since the first of the month and in 11 days we’ve both shed excess pounds, feel less bloated and notice an improvement in how we feel overall. I even discovered that going added-sugar-free decreased my appetite! WOW, was that a pleasant surprise! I had to research that little tidbit to be sure it wasn’t just a fluke. I know that if we maintain this decision we will continue to feel and be more healthy. As a by-product, we also gain the approval of our medical team.
We were compelled to make these dietary changes because (a) our food plan demanded an overhauling in order to improve our health, and (b) our integrity as coaches is paramount. Neither of us will ask a client to do something we ourselves will not do. Walking our talk is a major priority, and helps us to experience what we ask of our clients. It’s another win-win situation!
I realize that life happens and there will be events that are beyond our control. In striving for excellence rather than perfection, I give myself permission to falter and to learn from mistakes rather than repeat them. I recently read this quote by an unknown author:
"The first time you make a mistake it's an accident, the second time you make the same mistake it's on purpose, and the third time you make that same mistake it's no longer a mistake, it's a habit."
And now that I've blogged about our experience, it's all about accountability for our new habits. One day at a time!