27 May

Have sleep apnea? Here’s another reason to do CPAP…

Those of us with sleep apnea are used to living life just a bit differently from everyone else. We have to choose between being like everyone else during the day, or during the night. To be able to sleep “normally,” we have to not use our CPAP machines. But then the next day we are tired to the point of exhaustion, and don’t get to enjoy the world like everyone else. If we want to be awake, alert and coherent during the day, then we need to sleep hooked up to a CPAP machine. Which is fine if we sleep alone, but definitely makes things different when we sleep with someone else.

All in all, though, the benefits of sleeping with the CPAP machine outweight everything else. That’s why I do it, and that’s why millions of others make that same choice. Aside from the benefits of being awake the next day, using a CPAP mask has been proven to provide a number of health benefits for those of us with sleep apnea.

I actually am getting to a point here, Dear Readers. 😀 MedicalNewsToday.com has an article regarding a study which indicates that using a CPAP mask actually decreases blood pressure for those of us who have obstructive sleep apnea!

Patients with the nighttime breathing disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea who receive air through a mask while they sleep can significantly reduce their blood pressure, according to a study to be presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 22nd.

Sleeping with the CPAP mask can be a pain.  It can be frustrating sometimes to not be able to just lay down somewhere and go to sleep. But there are so many beneifts to sleeping with the mask that it doesn’t make sense not to. If you have sleep apnea, use your CPAP machine. If you think you might have sleep apnea but haven’t been diagnosed, talk to your physician about it.

23 May

May 23, 2006 – It’s working!

Weight: 331
Difference from last entry: -1.5

I meant to do another audio entry this week. I also meant to post this entry on Saturday evening. Obviously, neither of those worked out the way that I had planned. But something even better did work the way that I planned. and that was my action plan from the last entry. I followed that as well as I could, and it most definitely shows this week. I managed to shed another pound-and-a-half.

I know there are some that will say “what’s 1.5 pounds compared to the 100 or so that you still have left to lose?” But one can’t look at weight loss that way! One can’t take on any major task that way, actually. You have to break major tasks down into smaller and more manageable bits, and then work on completing those small, manageable tasks. And if you can continue to complete all the small tasks, eventually you’ll look up and realize that you’ve made major progress on the major task.

But again, I am getting ahead of myself.

A couple weeks ago, I gave myself a small task: find some way to regain control. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, wasn’t trying to figure out how to get rid of 120 pounds. I just wanted to get my over-eating under control. And I was able to do that.

Last week, I gave myself another small task. This time around, it was my action plan. It was 8 small steps, 8 small challenges that I made to myself. Turns out, though, that this isn’t a small task. It’s a continual task, something that I must dedicate myself to. And so I am giving myself the same task this week. Stick to the action plan. Try to meet every step every single day (I had a hard time with beverages again). And we’ll see what happens.

13 May

May 13, 2006 – Doing better

Weight: 332.5
Difference from last entry: -1

This week’s entry is an audio update! Click anywhere here to download and listen to this week’s entry.

I am once again feeling a little better about things. Mainly because I actually had a good week. It wasn’t perfect, but perfection isn’t what I’m expecting of myself. I know better; I’m prone to making mistakes and getting myself off-track. Expecting perfection is setting myself up for failure. The last thing I need right now is to make things any harder on myself.

So I’ll just enjoy a mostly-good week. I’m cutting down on the bad stuff that I am eating. I’m being a little more active, mostly thanks to my little boy. 🙂 And the combination showed in a loss this week. And I’m just gonna give myself a pat on the back about that loss. Because I actually did work at this!

One of the secrets to success is having an action plan. And I’ve put one together. This addresses most of my major weaknesses. My plan includes:

  • Stop buying snacks when I’m stopping for gas for the car
  • Say “NO!” whenever a craving hits
  • Find some way to distract myself when cravings hit
  • Choose healthier meals when I eat out
  • Reduce the number of times per week I eat out
  • Reduce/limit the beverages I imbibe (aside from water, of course)
  • Drink at least 64oz of water a day
  • Get at least 10 minutes of exercise per day (increasing as much as possible every day)

For the most part, this seems like a good starting point. These are easily-achievable goals. I just need to convince myself that I can stick to them. Setting goals = easy. Sticking to them = not so much. But it’s my plan, and it’s time for me to live by it.