Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Asthma and India

Namaste from India!

This tip is a quick one- Delhi is "foggy". That's what they say at the airport if your flight is delayed and what all the locals call it. It is not fog.

In 2009, ECA International ranked New Delhi as the worst city in the WORLD for air pollution. It is estimated that about 3,000 metric tons of air pollutants are emitted everyday in Delhi. Bring your inhalers. Bring a mask (even though it won't be sexy). Bring eye drops. Bring nasal spray. And lastly- talk to your physician BEFORE you come to Delhi.

Other than the "fog", India has been a beautiful place full of warm people. I recommend coming, as long as you come prepared.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Flying with Meds

Happy Christmas from London!

As I sit in the airport for the 3rd time this holiday season, preparing to board a plane from the UK to India, I feel pretty well averse in the ways of airport security. So a few minor tips to help you on your own journey.

1. Remember that epi-pens and inhalers rarely have a prescription sticker on the container. While inhalers don't pose a huge problem, your epi-pen might. Pharmacies in the US will reprint an extra label for your prescriptions that you can affix to the case. Check TSA regulations for the US and with your local airports. Some locations prefer that you declare the pen prior to going through security since there is a needle involved.

2. Bring an extra. Whatever it is that you need and whether you are traveling abroad or stateside, pack one inhaler in your carry on and an extra in your checked bag. Refills can be difficult when you aren't at home or aren't familiar with the area.

3. Pack all essentials in your carry on bag. Don't trust that your checked bag will arrive at the same time and place as you. If you need it, keep it with you.

4. When traveling internationally, get to the airport early on return flights. Don't take it personally, you will be in a foreign country and sometimes security can be a mess if you don't have a local address.

Happy travels and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 2: I Feel Like I'm in AA

Hi. My name is Lacey and I'm addicted to carbs.

I'm on my second day without soda. I resisted the urge by consuming 24 ounces of coffee... ummm... Don't do that. Results may vary, but you will have to pee. A lot. I successfully went into the convenient store this morning and bypassed the donuts/danishes/muffins/etc for an apple (and the aforementioned coffee). I patted myself on the back and made the commute to school.

I parked half a mile away from class. That guarantees that my lazy legs will have to at least carry me a mile. I also have a meeting on the west side of campus... another half a mile? Probably not, but enough to help me ramp up into a better place.

So, I went to class. I only had one teary moment (over something inconsequential like Bose speakers or something) and have carried on about my business. The gym plan for yesterday was bust. Today? Perhaps...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 1: The Rebirth

Ooooo... It's all so dramatic. Not really. After such a long post to kick this off, I thought I would update you all on the day thus far...

I walked .5 miles. Not 5 miles... 0.5 miles. Then I needed my inhaler.

I. Am. Really. Out. Of. Shape.

But, I'll be fine. I weighed first thing this morning. I counted my calories at breakfast. And as of today? NO MORE SODA (diet or otherwise). What a bunch of wasted space/calories/time/energy...

I plan on going to the gym this afternoon... but you know what they say about the best laid plans...

We'll see, I'll let you know.

I Ought to Change This Blog to AsthmaLazyBum

I know, I know. A little over a month ago I made a decree about making time for yourself and getting back into the fitness routine. But then...

My mom passed away on October 28th. Just a week after they finally made a diagnosis, she was unable to continue to fight. I've slipped into a bit a of a hole. Something small like the Mariana Trench. And man, is it dark down here.

One month and one day. Still... I am not exercising; I am not eating right; I am lacking motivation and heart.

So today, with the knowledge of my current (shockingly painful) weight under my belt (just below the muffin top that I would be sporting if I were wearing pants that fit properly, I will pull it together.

I keep reminding myself, "No good can come of where you are right now. Dig yourself out."

What better way to start the comeback than with a blog, some Google info, and a request for some teamwork?

Blog? Check. Once the first few sentences are in, I'm good to go.

Google info? I love Google. I love it so much that when I accidentally search with Yahoo!, I go to Google to search again without even considering the Yahoo! results. It's true. Ahhh... Google. Google brought me to an interesting list of "Nine Sure-Fire Ways to Gain Fat". Well, I'm curious. Did I at least get fat to the best of my ability?
1. Eating then sleeping will make you gain fat: Check.
2. Skipping meals or not eating for long periods of time will make you gain fat: Check.
3. Drinking soft drinks (even diet drinks) with fatty foods will make you gain fat: Check.
4. Constantly snacking on energy foods will make you gain fat: Nope.
5. Stress without physical exertion will make you gain fat: CHECK.
6. Toxic substances in your food will make you gain fat: Mmm... preservatives... Check.
7. Losing muscle mass will make you gain fat: Check.
8. Over consumption of fructose will make you gain fat: Check.
9. Drinking alcohol frequently will make you gain fat: Check.

Eight out of nine.

I am a true overachiever. If only I had some energy foods to snack on right now...

But back to Google.

Jillian Michaels... Ummm... does she even know what it's like to be out of shape? Oh well. You can get a free fitness/weight loss plan on her site... or can you? Nope. They say you can and lure you through the all the hoops only to ask you for your credit card number.

iPhone applications- happily, there are a number of free aps that track your exercise and calories. Score.

Okay, Last But Not Least: Teamwork

Be brave, Lacey.

I need to lose... ummm... brace yourself... just say it... ugh... 25 pounds... AT A MINIMUM.

Now it's out there in Internet land. It only takes 4 months to gain 25 pounds and become a completely sedentary being. Living proof: Lacey.

Where does the teamwork come in? I will keep regular updates at well, then; my blog; facebook; and twitter. Workout, eat right, and comment! Tell me what you are doing to get healthy (during the worst time of year to try to get healthy) and I will tell you what I'm doing. So simple.

See you out there.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Make Time to Focus on You

Over the last 67 days, my mother has been in the hospital with an undiagnosed condition. As most people would in this situation, I have lost myself in the shuffle. I travel daily from school, where I'm working on my MBA, about 40 miles to the hospital, where I'm working on keeping my mom's hope intact. It's no easy schedule, but it's nothing heroic. It's just how family works.

The problem? I've stopped working out. I've stopped bike commuting. I've stopped cooking meals at home. And... I've stopped regulating my asthma.

The detrimental effect didn't happen instantly. The delayed effects made my laziness easier to justify. "I still feel pretty good," I would tell myself. No dice. I'm run down and simple tasks like walking a few blocks to my car seem to make me wheeze. Ugh. I ran a marathon this year. What is my problem?

Yesterday in an interview I was asked how I would maintain a work/life balance in a consulting career. Without any hesitation I responded, "I just would. You have to draw the line. This time is mine; that time is everyone else's." It seems so simple. If that is how I feel about work, why is it not how I feel about what is happening now?

This morning, I took my own advice.

Inhalers? Check.

Nasal spray? Check.

Allergy meds? Check.

Eye drops? Check.

Rescue inhaler in my purse? Check.

Swimsuit? Check.

Yes, swimsuit. Living the best life possible with asthma is not just about managing medications, it's about exercise. So in the midst of mid terms, meetings with my mom's doctors, class, commuting from place to place, and spending time with my mom, I took the time to focus on me. I hit the pool for a two mile, mind clearing swim. I stuck it out and breathed easy.

Now, I'm sitting beside my mom's hospital bed, having just taken my nighttime meds, feeling renewed for the first time in 67 days.

My advice for today... don't just take time for yourself, MAKE time for yourself.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hello, Beautiful!

The end result actually makes up for the rocky path to taking the finished bike home.

After much design/redesign, I finally decided on the general look I wanted for my fixed gear bicycle of love. I decided to maximize the rainbow... purple frame, yellow handlebar tape, blue front tire, green back tire, pink front rim, blue back rim, white seat, black crank set. I could not have been more excited.

Then life started getting bumpy. Very bumpy. School was in full swing, projects were due, reading was adding up. Family issues were getting out of hand, sleep was getting harder to come by, there was no end to the mess in sight.

But, life was good. I had the makings of a beautiful bike in my hands. The frame showed up scratched, but I decided to look past it. I was still thrilled. I loaded up the frame on the car and headed toward Bicycles Plus.

Somewhere along the way, the right crank arm fell off. Seriously. Just fell off. I am seriously unimpressed.

No worries though. After a minor (Skinny Jeans would likely tell you it was major) meltdown, I stopped in at BP. Ginger and I picked out new crank arms and pedals, the dream killer found a bottle cage, Skinny Jeans gave me the smile and hug I needed, and all was right with the world.

The result? Today I picked up the purple framed, blue/pink rimmed, green/blue tired, yellow handlebarred, PINK bottle caged, METALLIC GREEN crank armed, ORANGE pedaled bike. (I hear 5 Second Fix was behind the majority of the work)

Jealous? I would be surprised if you weren't.

I want to send a special thank you to Bicycles Plus in Coppell. They really pulled this together for me and each of then had a part in it.

So... In the last 9 hours, I have already ridden my bike in the BP parking lot, my neighborhood, and my living room (if you're single and hesitant to buy a house, this is one of the perks). This bike is just the thing I needed for a moment of calm joy.