Friday, September 21, 2012

The Challenge is Over, but Not the Journey


This has been a remarkable journey. Even though it has ended, the magnificent and life-altering changes continue! I saw Dr. Iqbal yesterday, and she was just blown away by the difference in just 12 weeks! Not only did I lose 29 pounds, and 5 inches off of my waist, but I made changes on the inside. Life saving changes!

My total cholesterol went from 252 to 187. My LDL (bad) went from 191 to 134. My HDL (good) didn’t improve a lot, but it improved, from 33 to 35. My triglycerides went from 142 to 89!! My blood pressure was 128/80 on my R arm, and 118/78 on my left arm. It was 132/88 12 weeks ago. Every number was improved, some more than others, but EVERY ONE was improved!

I was so happy after I left her office that I called up my husband as I got into my car, and with tears of joy, told him the great news. I will not stop here, though, I have more goals to attain. I want to improve my numbers even more, and I have a weight loss goal that I have not reached as of yet. I am hoping to be closer to it, if not having attained it, by the luncheon on November 1st. I hope to see many of you there!
Then to top off the night, I went to the Handbags Helping Hearts, and got to spend a fun evening with my fellow challengers, treated myself to a glass of wine, and yes, I actually stayed within my caloric goals! I had my wine and drank it too! I deserved it! It was wonderful to see my fellow participants, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the luncheon, and hearing their phenomenal stories.

I hope that our stories have inspired and empowered you to start your journey towards heart health!

Healthy Blessings,

Friday, September 14, 2012

The End of the BetterU Challenge


I have lost 26 lbs and 4 inches during this 12 week program.

I have set up to have my lab work drawn this week, and will see Dr. Iqbal on Thursday the 20th, and know it will be a glorious way to end the day on Thursday, with the revelation of my numbers, and the Handbags Helping Hearts. I look forward to the luncheon on November 1st, as I am hoping to have even higher numbers for my weight loss, and waist measurement, and lower numbers for my cholesterol and LDL. I look forward to seeing my fellow challengers at these events and hearing about all their successes.

Life holds many challenges, and thanks to AHA, I have met this challenge head on, and have succeeded in so many ways. I leave this program weighing less, feeling great, emotionally inspired, strengthened, and empowered. Thanks goes to the staff of the American Heart Association, St. Joseph’s and Dr. Iqbal, Nam Le and Gold’s Gym, Lisa Cavallaro, my fellow challengers (who I now consider dear friends), my friends and family, and my loving husband. Without all of you, this would not have been possible. I hope that these blogs have inspired you, encouraged you, and empowered you to go out and meet your challenges head on, and succeed, and become more Heart Healthy! This is not goodbye, it is... “Until we meet again”. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

Healthy Blessings,
Roseann Gardinier

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Making the Better Choice on a Splurge


I was naughty yesterday, I had Walmart popcorn chicken for dinner! But, I must say, when I looked at my choices, I did choose well. I was caught between the honey barbeque boneless and the popcorn, and I am so glad for what I chose! The popcorn chicken is 170 calories per serving (12 pieces), where the honey barbeque is 450 calories per serving (5 pieces)! I had no idea until I looked it up. Now that I know, if I ever decide to splurge again (due to late night, and not a lot of time or energy to cook), I will definitely choose the popcorn chicken! I stayed within my calorie range yesterday, although my sodium has been high this week, due to the soups I am having for lunch. I have chosen to eat the Campbell’s Healthy Request, which is the healthiest choice besides home made, but still fairly high in sodium per serving. Grateful that I do not have a real issue with blood pressure, as the sodium is not good for high blood pressure, but even us healthy people need to watch our sodium intake.

Just hard to believe that this is our last week. These 12 weeks have just flown by. As they say, “time flies when you’re having fun”, it is so true! I have had such a good time, have learned so much, lost so much (weight), and gained so much (knowledge and empowerment)! I will forever be grateful.

Ran only 2 miles yesterday, as I seemed to be a little tired (I contribute it to working now, and not being used to getting up so early), and it was very warm out on the track. But I did good, ran the 2 miles in 23 minutes, and then walked 1/2 mile to cool down. I was so glad though to be back running. Today I will go to Planet Fitness and do some well needed strength training.

I set up my labwork, and appointment with Dr. Igbal, can’t wait to find out my numbers! I am so looking forward to seeing her, and showing off the changes I have made. For those of you going to the luncheon, I plan on seeing my primary doctor in October, and hopefully, I will have even more phenomenal numbers and changes in November!

What are you grateful for today, and what changes are you making in your life?

Wishing you all Healthy Blessings,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Little Things


Love the little things I have noticed that make me feel so good. Had to go upstairs yesterday to give a message to a teacher, and noticed that I didn’t get short of breath! Last school year, if I attempted to go up the flight of stairs to the second floor, it would take me a while to catch my breath, before I could say anything, as I was so short of breath. Not so yesterday! I went up at a pretty quick clip, and was able to speak without a problem! All these little blessings, are so inspiring and encouraging.

Had the final conference call with Lisa. It was a great one! She had a very inspiring message, and it was again full of information, laughs, and inspiration. Thank you Lisa, for all your assistance, support, and encouragement. I look forward to seeing you again at the Handbags Helping Hearts on September 20th, the AHA luncheon on November 1st, and maybe, at another race!

Went a little over on my calories today, but not by much, still ate well, and made good choices. Feeling great.

I will be running again today. It was cool weather on Monday when I ran, so it made it easier to get to the 2.5 miles, hoping that I can go to 2.75 miles in spite of the fact that it will be warmer today. I am so excited to run again. I am so glad I found an exercise that I really enjoy and look forward doing. I never thought I would be running, ever, but here I am, and there I go!

Hoping you are reaching your goals, and finding joy in your activities and exercise routines.

Healthy Blessings,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Achieving a Personal Goal


Ran on the track today, and was able to get up to 2.5 miles! 10 times around the track. Phew! Going to keep working on going farther, getting to 3 miles, then going to work on decreasing my time each time I run. I can’t believe how much fun I am having running! I moved as much as I could at work, and felt good about my accomplishments yesterday.

Won’t be doing much after work today, as John and I have a meeting to go to, so right after school, I am going to rush home, and walk or run with the dog a little bit at home, then do some weights before I have to go to the meeting. Don’t want to sweat too much and be stinky, but do want to get some exercise in, so I will do “something” today.

Something that not many people know, I wanted to share. Before I end this journey, I wanted to let you all know about something very personal. One of my most intimate and personal goals, that I have not expressed to that many, is something that was so very important to me for many years. Not long after I was married, I began to gain weight, and it wasn’t long before I was unable to wear my wedding band. I hadn’t worn it for many, many years. I was concerned that I would not be able to get it re-sized because of the type of band it is. So, I procrastinated, and wished, but never could fit it on my finger. Well, guess what is on my left ring finger. Yes, my wedding band. It may not seem an important goal, not as important as changing my numbers, and preventing heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. But it is these little goals, that make me feel so good about what I have done, and will continue to do. It is these little blessings, that make life so precious, and my effort to live a longer, healthier life, so that I can share many, many years with the man I love, so much worth the effort.

I hope that you too, are making goals, that not only will save your life, but reward you in so many other special, personal, and sentimental ways.

Healthy Blessings,

Monday, September 10, 2012

BetterU at the Arc Race


The Arc race was so much fun. It was great to see Laura, Roseann and Beth and see them running! We also had time to laugh, catch up and take pictures. I was also glad that my husband was there and got to meet everyone.
I was very proud of my husband as he placed in the top 50 at the race! For his age group he placed eighth. We both had so much fun that we signed up to do another 5K in October with our goal to beat our times. So what are your goals? What are you doing to get there?


My weigh in on Friday was non-eventful. I had stayed the same this week, no weight loss. I was not surprised, as I did not move as much as I would like to have, because of all the meetings I HAD to attend during the Superintendent’s Conference Day. But, I am not discouraged, as I remained the same, and continued to work hard. Grateful that I was still able to exercise, and remain healthy.

Saturday was a blast!! Went to the ARC race with 3 of my fellow Better U challengers. Three of us walked together, and Beth, who we are so very proud of, ran with the Fleet Feet group she had been training with. Everyone did great! We walked most of the way, but ran our way to the finish line. It was my first race, and I can’t wait to race more! I think I have a new obsession!

Sunday I made a cathartic change. I went through my closet and removed all of the clothes I have shrunk out of. I have shown the universe, that I am serious about this, and that this is not the end of my program, but just the beginning of the vast changes that I have begun, and will continue for several more weeks. I have reached some of my initial goals, and look forward to reaching ALL of them. I keep moving forward, knowing, that all my hard work will pay off. I have stepped out, taken the challenge, and have begun to see success. But as I said before, this is just the beginning.

Today, we begin the 12th and final week of the Better U program. It is sad to know that it is almost over, but words can’t express how grateful I am for all that I have learned, the friendships I have made, the changes that have taken place, and knowing that my life is forever changed for the better. Thank you, AHA, Gold’s Gym, St. Joseph’s, Lisa Cavallaro, the BetterU challengers, my friends, family, and all of you reading this blog. Because of the love and support of everyone, I and the other challengers, have journeyed successfully towards a healthier heart.

With gratitude, and thanks,
Healthy Blessings,

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Tortoise Wins the Race


Picked up my packets for the Arc race this morning after working out at the gym. My husband is going to be running the 5K and I am going to be walking with some of the Better U participants. I can not wait to see them and hear how their progress is going and see the transformation in all of them. People have been asking if I am upset that due to having two bad knees I can not run in this race. Honestly, I am not! I went thru four weeks of physical therapy and am feeling so much better. I am happy that I can still work out and have avoided surgery. I am choosing to focus on the things I can do instead of the few things I can not do. I am getting healthier even if it is one small step at a time. After all it was the tortoise that won the race right? :)