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Type O exercise
February 3, 2007
Late last year I wrote a blog about how I gained some weight by ignoring some of the key aspects to living a healthy type O non-secretor lifestyle. I am happy to report that I have committed to a few key habits that have me back in “fighting” form and feeling energized physically and mentally.
1. Exercise. So important for type Os!!! Can’t be emphasized enough. And for me, not just any exercise will do – I definitely need a good aerobic workout, but weights are the top priority. In December I joined the YMCA and have been consistently exercising there 2-3 times per week since. I have a pretty simple routine that is working for me now:
- Warmup for 3 minutes on elliptical (I’d love to warmup longer, but I am time-strapped).
- Weights, either upper or lower body (or a whole-body circuit). Upper body work is focused on strengthening my upper and middle back to counterbalance my otherwise seated (in class or studying) lifestyle.
- Running (time determined by physiotherapist) while studying.
- Elliptical for 20-30 minutes, both backwards and forwards, while studying.
- Abdominal exercises followed by stretching.
I have honed this process so that I can leave school, workout (while studying!), return to school, heat up my lunch, and get my butt into my next class in just over 2 hours! This works great because I have 2 days each week with a 2 hour break in the middle of the day. Sometimes I have to stay at school for one of those breaks (to attend seminars, club meetings, whatever), so my backup plan is to head to the gym on Tuesday evenings, since that is the only day of the week that I am finished school earlier than 6 or 7pm. I try to fit in a 3rd workout either on Friday afternoons or Saturday or Sunday morning (on days I’m not working). It’s all about planning!
2. Limited grains. Pretty much out the picture now. I no longer buy Ezekiel buns because they are too tempting and I end up eating them too often. When I do this, I get a weird feeling in my gut the next morning. I will probably eat more in the summer (BBQ season). I use some puffed rice in the chocolate I make sometimes and I have a few rice crackers in the cupboard, but now that I’m not eating the Ezekiel bread regularly, they don’t call me like they used to. Instead, I am eating sweet potato fries with dinner sometimes and having other crunchy things, like almonds or pumpkin seeds.
3. Different kinds of sugar. Rather than eating packaged bars with rice syrup (some of which I still have in my house!), I have been indulging in more fruit, like figs (beneficial!). I have also started adding avocado to my morning smoothie. I just got a case of the new and improved Unibars and they are amazing! A lot better texture and nicer taste than previously. I am still having some issues with my ears, but not as bad as before and I am going to make it a priority to work with my naturopathic intern to get that resolved by the summer.
4. Sleep is good. This is a constant struggle. I’ve been doing alright, but I could do better. If I could just finish writing this blog, study some more pathology, and get to bed, I will be well rested for work tomorrow…
5. Stress reduction. Go figure, the increased exercise has helped my stress levels a lot… So does meditating nightly, good time management, a positive outlook, and taking Catechol.
In addition, I continue to learn to accept myself. In my life, I have spent an inordinate amount of time and energy worrying about how others perceive me. I am highly intelligent, hard-working, organized, independent, and emotionally mature and I have succeeded in accentuating these qualities in creating my external “image”. However, I am also sensitive, goofy, nerdy, and even naïve and it is these qualities that I have protected most from the view of others for fear of being judged “uncool”. So, I continue to work on being comfortable with my own unique likes and dislikes and less concerned with “fitting in”. Socially, I am coming to accept that my interests are just not the same as the majority of people around me. I don’t mind staying home on Friday nights to watch movies, play games, or just read (even if this makes me lame). When I go out with friends, I don’t care who is going where, what the hot club or bar of the night is, or how many men I can meet there. I like to be on time, rather than fashionably late. I would rather eat than drink if I have to choose. A fun night does not require that I am hung-over the next morning. Embracing myself helps with the stress reduction…
6. Meals and snacks. I’m doing WAY better at not eating out of stress or boredom during the day. I always take lots of food with me to school (I have long days this semester), but I try to have a small snack in the morning, a set lunchtime, and then another snack if I am at school late. I try not to eat in class, but there are some days that this is inescapable if I want to eat lunch when I am actually hungry. Eating is way more enjoyable this way!
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