Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sleep. Cravings.

The two words in my title are not related, although lack of sleep does have impact on your healthy eating habits and can cause you to have cravings. There, that's the link with how, in a general sense, the two are related.

Now....About me...

I slept horribly last night. I went to bed and laid there for the longest time. I "woke up" about an hour after I'd been in bed to pee (there really is no good way of saying that other than directly), then again an hour after that. Both times I didn't feel like I'd been asleep. When I realized I needed to get up, I felt wide awake. After the second time, I laid there for a while, and then finally fell asleep...Only to awake a few hours later to pee again. I had trouble falling asleep, and was up again a couple hours after that.  I think I got the best sleep (or it felt like it in anyway) during the hour I hit the snooze button on my alarm. You'd think with my sleep being interrupted every ten or twenty minutes I would not have slept well. I probably didn't. Maybe I was so tired that any little bit felt like a lot at that point.

I had been planning to get up to do yoga this morning. Obviously, with hitting snooze so many times, that did not happen. I wonder if I had trouble sleeping because my body knew I wanted to get up early.  I seem to have that problem other times too. If I know I have to be up for something and I'm worried about not getting up, I can't sleep. If I'm excited about getting up early for something, I can't sleep. Perhaps that's what happened last night. 

The crazy thing is that the previous two nights I was really tired. I went to bed at a normal time so I didn't end up getting up early.  I'm going to try again tonight. My plan is to be in bed early and hopefully drift off to sleep. It would be amazing if I could stay asleep all night! Even getting up just once would be tolerable.

To help with the sleep issue I'm done drinking water (except for the little I will drink in order to swallow a small pill and a vitamin later) for the evening. I ended my water consumption with 24 cups (a cup meaning an eight ounce serving; an actual cup).  Actually, it's a little over that because of the amount I drank...I really probably drank between 26 and 28 cups. Geez...No wonder I pee so much! Anyway, I've cut myself off because that is more than enough for the day, and I'd love to have a good, full night of sleep. I'm drinking my Tazo "calming" tea right now, and as soon as I'm done with that, I'm done with fluids for the night. I may even take my pill and vitamin with the last bit of that.

I REALLY hope this little plan of mine works. I need some to sleep so I can get up and at least do yoga!!

Now...Cravings.  I was thinking about cravings today and how much of an annoyance they are.  Cravings are sometimes typical during weight loss, especially when you've just stopped eating the foods that your body loves. They're also effected by hormones or by different things that can be going on in your body. 

For me, whenever I experience hormonal changes, I crave carbs. Generally it's sweets. This is probably because the hormonal changes cause a change in how the body perceives insulin and such. That's probably a blog post on its own, so I'm just leaving it at the fact that hormones sometimes cause cravings. Perhaps I'll get into how the hormones effect the body in another post.

Just be aware that while they do cause cravings, you can find ways to fight them. Don't try to use hormonal changes as a reason to go crazy eating unhealthy things.

Other bodily functions (I know when people say that they usually mean things like having gas or elimination - I DON'T) can also cause cravings.  Your glands may be small but they do quite a bit of work. If something isn't quite right, you can get cravings. 

Here is where I will say how important it is that you take a daily multivitamin.  It's good for your health to do so. I'm sure it will make your body pretty happy.

It is also important that if you're trying to lose weight you consult with your medical professional.  For your health, you need to be sure that you are approaching weight loss with a healthy mindset and that your methods are healthy. There are far too many methods of weight loss that are damaging. Many show immediate results but they're not effective for a lasting loss. The one thing that will show lasting results is to change your lifestyle...Be healthy! 

If you're starting a program, check in with your medical professional to get their input and recommendations. Make sure it's safe! It's really not a good idea to start a program or taking a substance for weight loss if you don't know all of the facts.  You may not fully understand the facts (even if you think you do), and having a professional explain it to you is a good idea.  For example, the HCG diet.  It's probably a good idea to see what your physician thinks of a diet that directs you to load up and eat as much of whatever you can the first couple days, then drop to a very unhealthy 500 calorie a day plan, and so on... See what he or she thinks about taking the pregnancy hormone to lose weight. 

My guess would be that most medical professionals would not agree with many diets that promote unhealthy living. I haven't done a poll of every professional, but my feeling is that if they're good they'll be honest and concerned about your health, safety, and well-being.  I think I'd have a hard time seeing someone who recommended something that's unhealthy.

It's good to check in with your physician (or a physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner, whoever it is you see) at least yearly to be sure that your body is functioning properly.  It's a good idea to have lab work done at least yearly too. Obviously if you need it more frequently, your medical professional will recommend what's appropriate for you.  Lab results can show if you have levels that aren't functioning normally. Sometimes, these abnormal values can impact on your weight - your ability to lose, or if you're gaining, cravings...All kinds of things that may contribute to your weight loss efforts.

Do not hesitate to see your physician if something with your body isn't "right."  It's important to be mindful of how your body functions so that you are aware of any changes.  If you're feeling differently than what's normal for you, it isn't a bad idea to go in for a check-up.  I'm not saying call your medical professional at the first sign of a cold, but if there's something that seems fairly serious, it doesn't hurt to get it checked out. For example if you have increased fatigue, can't get warm, have insomnia, or changes in your mood... Call for an appointment.  Good health is not just about eating healthy foods and exercising. Good health is about having an awareness of how your body functions. Take time to learn about it. Ask questions when you go for an appointment; ask what's normal and what's not, report things that seem different, anything that you feel you should share or you would like to know more about.  It only takes a few minutes and could benefit you greatly.

I don't go rushing into the office over every little thing. More times than not, if I'm not feeling well I try to wait it out and see if I get better on my own. I don't hesitate if my symptoms persist or worsen, or if I'm in great pain, or have an injury. You have to use your judgement, which is why it's so important to know your body.

I'm proud to say I've been to my physician's office for athletic injuries twice.  Of those, one included x-rays, a MRI, and a referral to a specialist. Why am I proud of that? The reasons for those visits were due to injuries I noticed when working out... I have never, that I can recall, been to the doctor for an athletic injury. It felt good to go in for something that happened while I was bettering myself. 

Plus, let's face it, going to the doctor and showing continued weight loss is always a proud moment. I guess my medical professionals are the people I really want to impress with my weight loss. They understand it. They know how they body works. They know the effort and hard work that goes into losing weight. They like to see their patients doing something good for themselves; bettering their health and bettering their lives. It's a really great feeling to hear your medical professional say how pleased s/he is with your accomplishment. Oh, and when you do it the natural, healthy, lifestyle change way, I think they're extra pleased!!

Take time to really know your body, learn about your health (family history too!), and be aware of changes. Your health depends on you taking care of yourself.

XOXO

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