All Posts tagged teton valley hospital

Good Choice, Bad Choice: Gonna Climb That Mountain

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

Disclaimer: This blog discusses my personal wellness goals and is in no way a soapbox to tell anyone else how to eat, exercise and/or live their lives.

Last week, I was riding my bike at a sure and steady pace as my teenage children shouted words of encouragement from their positions at least  46 miles ahead of me.  I noted the upcoming hill and geared down. My kids were perched on top of the hill and looked concerned.  My son shouted that I should get off my bike and walk up, perhaps fearing that he and his sister would be unable to drag me home when I collapsed mid-incline.

Hah. Watch this, nonbelievers!

I made it to the top of the hill by furiously stomping on the pedals.  After some fist pumping and Rocky-like chest pounding, I glided downhill.  The wind rushed against my cheeks, the leaves on the trees were fluttering.  What a great feeling to be back on my bicycle!  I had a total ankle replacement last October and although my surgeon had told me I’d be able to ride a bike again, I had been worried.  Not anymore.

Over the next four days, I walked like a first-time bull-rider.  Apparently, my big push up the hill mountain resulted in various pulled muscles between my lower abdomen and upper thigh.  (Okay, it’s my groin area.  It’s not funny.)

I spoke with a physical therapist from High Peaks Physical Therapy, Michelle Christensen.  After hearing my tale, Michelle suggested that I should have progressed more slowly and eased into my hill-climbing activities; plan a warm up and a cool down. She was pretty certain that my adductor muscles had been strained, and the lower abdomen pain showed weakness in my core muscles.  A cyclist herself, she also recommended that I avoid zipping straight to the lowest gear on my bike and instead try higher gears with more efficient revolutions for incline cycling.

“Hills first, then mountains,” she said gently, not realizing that truthfully, my “mountain” was a slight incline.

It occurs to me that portion control – or lack thereof – has contributed mightily to my health decline.   When I apply portion control to my recent wellness adventure, I can see that I took too big of a portion of bike riding. I understand the benefits of pushing myself and getting sore muscles, but I don’t need to injure myself in the process.

I think that portion control has a lot to do with quality, too.  I can choose to eat three milk chocolate Lindt truffles or a grilled halibut with green beans and the calories may be the same but the benefits to my body are quite different; not that I’m giving up on Lindt truffles.   Similarly, exercising appropriately for one hour has to be better than overdoing it.

I know that riding my bike was a good choice, and I have another trip planned this Saturday as long as my strained muscles heal.  (Not funny, folks!)

Meanwhile, I’ve lost a pound.

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Good Choice, Bad Choice: A Hospital Marketer’s Health Blog

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

Disclaimer:  This blog discusses my personal wellness goals and is in no way a soapbox to tell anyone else how to eat, exercise and/or live their lives. 

Before I get started with this adventure tale, I’ll share my health profile with you so that you can understand the inside jokes, excuses and rationalizations that have helped me reach my current state of health.

 

  • Age:  53
  • Height:  5’10”
  • Weight:  As if!
  • Female, married, mother of two teens
  • Chronic conditions:  hypothyroid, systemic lupus (photosensitive), arthritis, clinical depression
  • Total hip replacement, right hip
  • Total ankle replacement, left ankle
  • Prescriptions:  levothyroxine, methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine, fluoxetine, folic ad and occasional prednisone shots (kenalog)

As Oprah says, here we go:

The first question I have to ask myself is “How did this happen?”

About a month ago, my mother came across some photos during her exploration of the basement flotsam and thoughtfully dropped them in the mail for me.

There I was, all of 28, hanging out with friends at a Park City club called “Cisero’s” (pay attention to that name because it comes back later in the story).  I was hot, folks, and I don’t mean sweaty.  I WAS HOT.

Of course I’ve aged.  Everyone does.  Wrinkles and gravity have changed my appearance and that’s okay, kind of.  Not really, but that’s not the point.

As I recall, the photo was taken after I had ridden my mountain bike from Little Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake City to the old town park in Park City, whereupon I laid my smoking bike down in the grass and proceeded to play three hours of sand volleyball.  After a brief break to change my clothes, I headed to the club to dance, of course.  And have my picture taken.

Back in those heady days, I had a BMI (body mass index) of 15. BMI is a basic indicator for body fatness and can be used to determine specific health risk factors.  Under 25% is generally okay. Click here to get more info on BMI.

Now I’m a 53 year old woman with a BMI of 35.  In the gentlest terms, many BMI charts declare this as “obese”, which I’m sure everyone can agree is an unpleasant word.  There is no good will attached to this word and thus I’ve trained by brain to always delete that “o” word and replace it with another “o” word:  overweight.  I can deal with that, kind of.  Not really.  Sigh.

As I looked at that old photo and reminisced, I made a vow to eat less, exercise more and perhaps put blonde streaks in my hair.

So last week at the Farmer’s Market, I was happily carrying a large Dutch apple pie back to my car after a fortuitous visit at a booth called “Cicerolls” where premier baker Sue Cicero had sold me one of her homemade pies!  The serendipity of this occurrence (Cisero/Cicero) wasn’t lost on me although I didn’t bat an eye about buying the pie.  I made a good choice when I bought the pie because how can it be wrong to buy a homemade apple pie from Sue Cicero?  I made a bad choice when I ate a quarter of the pie immediately upon my return to my office.

The answer to my question is pretty clear.  I know how this happened and I know I can do better.  My goal is reach a BMI of 27 within 10 months.  My mantra is this:  make less bad choices and more good choices.

Ann Loyola is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Teton Valley Health Care. She lives in Alta with her husband and two children.

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TVHC employees attend wild edibles workshop

As part of its employee wellness program, TVHC set up a wild edibles workshop for employees with local Ayurveda practitioner Cate Stillman.

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