mother's dayWelcome to our healthy lifestyle challenge lead by our program dietitian Vicki Bovee and her husband, Bill.

Because we can always do better to live a healthier lifestyle Vicki and Bill decided to work on a weekly challenge together to provide support and accountability for each other and hopefully inspire you to make healthy changes. Follow along with them as they tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being. Vicki and Bill invite you to participate and accept the challenges to improve your lifestyle too. Some of them may be difficult and please feel free to modify the challenges to accommodate your dietary needs and physical abilities.

Challenge #42 Do what you gotta do
This week was a strange one. We had a garage sale on Saturday where we both put our backs out, I was having a colonoscopy on Wednesday, and my daughter and new son-in-law were coming up to visit from Sugarland, Texas, on Friday. We always start our new challenges on Saturday and we had one plugged in and set to go. But after the garage sale when we were barely moving, I looked at Bill and said we gotta do something different than planned. The light bulb in my brain turned on and a new challenge was born. This week we decided to do what you gotta do to take care of yourself. I could have gone ahead with the planned challenge but I (we) wouldn’t have been very successful and I knew it was crazy on my part to try and do it. This week I decided to take my own advice. I am frequently telling patients, especially females, that they have to take care of themselves and it’s OK to put yourself first. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. Funny, this all coincided with Mother’s Day. During this challenge week I asked myself every morning, “What do I have to do today to take care of myself?”

Wednesday was my jackpot in health care with my colonoscopy. Colonoscopies aren’t pleasant but they are necessary. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women. Click here for more information to evaluate your risks and learn about the benefits of early detection. And if you are in the preoperative stage of weight loss surgery and are due for a colonoscopy, get it done before your bariatric surgery. The prep is more difficult after weight loss surgery.

Vicki’s observations:
• My back hurt and I couldn’t sleep. I ended up taking muscle relaxers a couple of times which made my brain fuzzy so I felt like I wasn’t playing with a full deck. I don’t like that feeling so I stopped taking them.
• I had to change my usual diet several days before my colonoscopy as part of the prep: No fruits, no dairy, no salads, restricted veggies,  etc. That meant no shake for breakfast, and no yogurt or fruit for snacks. I eat a high fiber diet and it was difficult to turn this around. Bill had to fend for himself for 5 days. It was all I could do to figure out what I could eat that wasn’t junky and processed.
• It wasn’t easy nor fun to go to work on a clear liquid diet, but that was better than what came after that later in the day and into the night. I was curious….my prep totaled 2,000 steps and a weight loss of 2.5 lbs. I was glad when it was over. (The 2.5 lbs found their way back.)
• I have a family history of colon cancer and I have a colonoscopy every 5 years. My mom was a colon cancer survivor due to her vigilance with early detection. Her mother, brother, and sister weren’t as fortunate. Because of my family history I am now on the 3 year recall list and you can count on me to get it done.
• My exercise was measly early in the week. My giddy-up and go got up and went. I had no energy between the back pain, medication, diet change, and prep. On Monday I took my gym bag to work and had the best intentions but it was enough just to get through the workday.
• On Thursday I decided what I needed to do to take care of myself was to get back in the gym. I took a longer lunch to get my bum into the gym and get in my workout. This day I had plenty of energy to do it.
• We had a great time with the kids and our family was altogether for Mother’s Day. Both of my daughters and families are doing well and I am a lucky mom.

Bill’s observations:
• My back hurt too and I spent time rolling on my foam roller to work it out. I was busy getting the house in order for the kids but I took a break when I needed to instead of pushing it and hurting more.
• I had a great week just taking care of my body and eating what I could find as Vicki was busy getting ready for her colonoscopy. I am glad it was her and not me.

Thankfully I had a good one last year and don’t have to go back for another 9 years.
• It was nice just to have a week where I could focus on what needed to do to take of myself.
• It was a great weekend with the kids and grandkids. It was nice for Vicki and I to have all of her family here on Mother’s Day.

Sometimes you just have to listen to what your body tells you and be flexible enough to change your course of action. What do you need to do to take care of yourself

and what can wait? The world still goes on but your world will better if you take charge of yourself.

Next week we fight another disease but this one is of a different type, however the health consequences are the same.

Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD

Want to catch up on what you’ve missed?

The road to success is always under construction
Challenge #1 Eat everything sitting down.
Challenge #2 Eliminate cheese as an ingredient.
Challenge #3 Walk sideways in your home.
Challenge #4 Include a fresh herb in your daily meal plan.
Challenge #5 If there is food in your mouth there should be nothing in your hand.
Challenge #6 Eat the MyPlate recommendations for fruits and vegetables.
Challenge #7  Stand (and walk if possible) while talking on the phone.
Challenge # 8 Don’t eat out of the package. Put your food on a plate or in a bowl.
Challenge # 9 Keep a food record.
Challenge # 10 Power down while eating.
Challenge # 11 Eating to reduce inflammation.
Challenge # 12 Eating to help our environment.
Challenge # 13 Switch it up.
Challenge # 14 The road to success is still under construction.
Challenge # 15 Little bites.
Challenge # 16 Drink your water.
Challenge # 17 Count your chews.
Challenge # 18 The 100 Bite Diet.
Challenge # 19 Start your day right.
Challenge # 20 Holiday moves.
Challenge # 21 Limit TV time.
Challenge # 22 The Paleo Diet: Eat Like a Caveman.
Challenge # 23 Sweet dreams.
Challenge # 24 What color is your plate?
Challenge # 25 Six month reflections
Challenge # 26 Retro-walking.
Challenge # 27 Gimme a high fiber
Challenge # 28 The Half Plate Rule
Challenge #29 Feel Good Week
Challenge #30 Try one new healthy food a day
Challenge #31 It’s a stretch
Challenge #32 TLC for heart health
Challenge #33 The sounds of silence
Challenge #34 10,000 steps a day
Challenge #35  35/350
Challenge #36 Have a super week
Challenge #37 Stress busters
Challenge #38 Walking the tightrope
Challenge #39
The 7PM cut off
Challenge #40
Primary eating
Challenge #41
We’re gluten free



Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, “Health and Lifestyle Program.” Contact Vicki