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Sunday rambles

English: Atlantic Ocean (Oct. 24, 2004) - Chap...

English: Atlantic Ocean (Oct. 24, 2004) – Chaplain Lt. John Burnette prays over the Blood and Body of Christ during Sunday Roman Catholic Mass aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the global war on terrorism and is currently conducting carrier qualifications off the east coast of the United States. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Kathaleen A. Knowles (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunday is usually the end of my week. Hubby is off and around and it is my day for my weekly weigh in. I sometimes sleep a little later and get up a little later. I’ll watch sunday Mass on the computer and feel I’m somewhat still connected to my church community. We might have brunch instead of breakfast and lunch and it’s a lazy day with most likely a nap involved. I’ll still do my therapy exercises during the day but there is never much on tv to occupy the mind. I did manage to lose 2.2 lbs. this past week for a total of 20.2 since Aug. 1st.

It is an odd day today. I seem to be a little blah. I’m beginning to understand how my mother lives, though she is more active than I am able to be. She is almost 90 and lives alone with her dog and her plants. She watches tv and plays solitaire and seems to be content. She has a neighbor who has adopted her and checks on her daily for us since we live out-of-state. I have always been a private and introverted person, and as long as I have the computer and the tv I can keep myself occupied all day. But some days, emotional changes occur. Not quite mood swings, just a vague blah or emptiness verging on boredom. It is odd and sometimes quite disconcerting to wake up ‘on the wrong side of the bed’ for no discernible reason. I figured mood swings were a part of the past after menopause. But, I guess women have them for life depending upon what day it is or what might be happening at the moment.

I have had the mood swings when my physical progress took a step back after much forward momentum. It is always difficult to pull myself up and keep going because the step backwards always seems to blind side me unexpectedly and without warning. But each time I kept trying, sometimes after fear and tears and the worry that the progress wouldn’t continue and I’ve managed to get stronger. I have noticed the worst time is always after a doctor visit. There is the effort of dressing for the public, getting into and out of the wheelchair and the car and then sitting in the doctors’ office for a couple of hours and then doing it again to get back home. It always seems to take a bit of a toll on my body and my physical strength and it takes a week to a week and a half to feel ‘normal’ again and into my normal daily routine. That doesn’t help me to be eager to leave the house and see the doctor.

As for today, I’m not quite moody, maybe just a little introspective. Not quite bored, just a little blah. Not even cranky, just blah. That seems to describe it the best. Sunday tv is not the best normally and today it is worse. Our local cable provider is fighting with Viacom. Viacom wanted to raise the rental fees for certain tv channels our cable provider supplies us with by 50% and they refused to pay and so we lost a few of my favorites like CMT (country music channel),  and spike tv. I used to watch the top 20 countdown every Sunday on CMT. There were a few others we lost also, but the replacements are a little odd. We got Blaze which seems to be another political/commentary type and I had plenty already. We gained OWN which I guessed might be Oprah Winfrey Network, ID which seems to be investigative reality tv, UP tv which might end up being a good one, FXX which might be movies and older tv shows and would be okay. We also got Hallmark movies & mysteries which I’m hoping will be a good one. I’m still waiting for the tv guide in the newspaper to catch up so I can figure it out. It’s a picky thing, but I don’t like change. Funny how we tend to get a little bent out of shape when things don’t go like we want them to.

Anyway, today will be a bit of rest and blahdom and some ramblings to get over it. All in all not too bad. I managed to get a blog out of it and now I’ll go back to channel surfing and solitaire. Who knows, maybe I’ll buy a microwave pressure cooker or a workout dvd. See you next time…

Fall

English: Fall leaves and acorns

English: Fall leaves and acorns (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fall is my favorite season of the year, but this time it snuck up on me. Yesterday we were in the 70’s and today it was 44 degrees when I got up. It was a little overcast and the wind was blowing. I’ve always wondered why there is no wind in the heat of summer and plenty of wind when it is cold outside.

And so today I’m wanting to plug in my little space heater. Crazy, I know, but the chill is in the air. It is time to bring out the sweaters and the afghans. It is time to snuggle and vegetate in front of the tv and perhaps drink hot chocolate. The trees will be turning and we will realize that winter is around the corner. Halloween is coming and then Thanksgiving and Christmas with perhaps some snow in between. Now the snow I can do without, but love watching it. At least this year I won’t have to worry about driving in it.

The summer heat caused me to cut my hair and now will be the time to let it grow out. No more flip-flops and shorts. Drag out the sweat pants and hats and get ready for gloves. Dig out the window scrapers and stock up on antifreeze. Time for chili and stews and comfort foods. It will be hard to crawl out from under the warm blankets in the mornings. Change is a coming…

October

An autumn ground with fallen leaves and grass ...

An autumn ground with fallen leaves and grass in Portugal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s amazing to me, but it is October already. The year is passing by at a rapid pace. It was just the end of May when I had to quit work and begin home health care and physical therapy. It seems like a long time as well as a short time ago. My life has become very small and self focused. I am home-bound and the days sometimes blur together.

I get up with help from my daughter and make my breakfast. It is always oatmeal and fruitl. I have recently added a protein drink to bump up my protein levels during the day now that I am dieting regularly. I spend the day on the computer, blogging, playing solitaire, watching tv and doing my daily exercises. I log my foods and my exercises at http//www.loseit.com where I am keeping track of everything and am losing weight. I lost 7 weeks in a row and then for some reason managed to gain .4 lb. Keeping under my calorie budget each week has been a goal and a given, so the small gain was unexpected. Perhaps a plateau of sorts…

Anyway, nothing new to report. Had a doctor’s appointment last week for regular followup visit. Everything is the same. I’m going to a urologist in about a week and a half and time moves on. Just doing my exercises each day and getting a little stronger. The visits to the doctor and sitting in a wheelchair for a couple of hours and the effort of getting into and out of the car always cripples me up for about a week afterwards, so it is nothing I look forward to. Almost back to my normal but the setback always makes it difficult to stay positive. The new weight loss program and the loss of 18 lbs certainly helps.

And so…the journey continues…

Weight and height are used in computing body m...

Weight and height are used in computing body mass index, an indicator of risk for developing obesity-associated diseases. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Leaves in fall

Leaves in fall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s September after all, so changing to fall weather right at Fair time is pretty normal here. Summer seemed to last longer than normal and was more humid and much hotter than I remember from last year, but it does seem to change every year.

I really love the fall weather. I like when it is cooler and we start getting some drizzle and slow rains off and on. We call it sweater weather and it is my favorite season. Not too hot and not too cold. Of course, I missed most of the bad part of the summer since I was house bound, but I didn’t mind at all.

Things are going well. I have added wii fit games/exercises to my daily routine and it seems to have helped me get a little stronger in the legs and knees. I have started making progress again, where before, it seemed like I would progress one day, and then fall back the next and then it would take me days to recover and make it back to where I was. It was emotional and depressing. I like this much better.

As an update, I’m still on the Lose It program and still enjoying it. I’ve lost weight 6 weeks in a row, the last 4 weeks on the Lose It program for a total of 14.8 lbs. That has been quite encouraging. My daughter and I started the free app on August 18th. Since then, we have gotten my son, my nephew and my sister also involved plus a couple of friends. It’s pretty nice to have all of us doing this together and enjoying it so much. It’s amazing how just logging our food and exercises and keeping track can be so entertaining for me, but it is. If you are interested, just check out the earlier blog, or go to http://loseit.com  to check it out.

Anyway, all positive lately, improving and losing weight…what more could I ask for? And so the journey continues…

LoseIt

Over the years, I have tried many many weight loss programs. I remember drinking a horrible protein syrup substance once that was very nasty.It was supposed to take the place of a meal. I did weight watchers many times and was successful for a time. I had a stomach stapling back in the 1970’s and either the staples came out or my stomach stretched over time. Every program required me to pick an “all or nothing” approach to be successful and I was successful until I grew tired of the nothing and wanted to eat some of the foods normal people ate.

I recently tried a very expensive diet pill. I was skeptical because in general, they don’t do anything for me. I am a stress eater so appetite suppressants don’t do anything to help me…I never had to be hungry to want to eat something. And who knows if “fat burners” really work…they sound great, but who knows. Since the drug was not covered by insurance I had to wait until I got some help from my son who sent me some money. And so I tried it for a month. I still don’t know if they helped or not because half way through the month I discovered a really cool app on my new Nook.

The app is called Lose It and is a way to track how much you eat, the calories and nutrition etc. and subtract them from a daily limit given you determined by your weight and height and how much weight you would like to lose per week (up to 2 lbs.). Having done weight watchers before, you’d think this would not be anything new to me, but it was immediately captivating for me. For anyone dieting off and over the years, you pick up a lot of knowledge about diets and dieting and assume you remember what you need to know about calories and what to eat and what not to eat.

I decided to join Lose It. It is entirely FREE but there is an upgrade if you choose to use it later. It has an online database to help you track calories of fast foods and supermarket foods and if you have a nook or iphone or android you can enter your food calories on that or just enter  online. If you have an android you can use your bar code scanner to scan in nutrition and calorie information on your foods. Technology is a wonderful and exciting thing!

To offset the calories you eat, you can enter exercises or walking you do and the calories burned to “get back” calories to add to your daily total. There is something addictive to watching how many calories you eat at each meal and how many you can add back into your daily allotment by doing some exercises. And the Wii fit plus exercises, which include a lot of fun games are all included in the data base to count.

I realize I have a hidden incentive…I am home bound, need to lose weight to have knee surgery so I can walk and become more independent again, but this program is fun for me. Not every program suits everyone, but this one I really enjoy. It keeps me doing my home therapy exercises and have added my Wii exercises I can do and it helps me track my food.

The shocking thing I found out was exactly how bad and how fattening some of the fast food I used to eat was. I used to be one to eat half a large pizza for supper, but supreme or meat lovers would use more calories than I am supposed to eat in one day! Now, if we want pizza, I’ll eat a big salad first, and then have 2 or 3 slices of the less calorie types of pizza and be well satisfied. I was amazed to discover that pepperoni pizza was one of the better calorie choices and I love pepperoni pizza.

My husband and I have a Sunday brunch tradition. It has evolved from one type of food to another over the years and lately it is breakfast food. So he likes to go pick up a pancake platter from Whataburger that has 3 pancakes, butter and syrup and a sausage patty. I was shocked to discover this platter had 1104 calories! That was more than half of my daily allotment! This doesn’t mean I can’t do this anymore, but that I have to plan for it and realize I need to eat lower calorie choices for the rest of the day to stay within my calorie budget.

Does this work? Well, for me it is working. I joined Lose It on Aug. 18 and have lost 9.4 lbs. I am totally excited and no longer fear the scales. I have found web sites that help you to count your exercises or things such as housework and your calories from restaurants or home.

http://http://www.calorieking.com/foods/          http://caloriecount.about.com/

http://www.prohealth.com/weightloss/tools/exercise/calculator1_2.cfm

http://www.acaloriecalculator.com/calories-burned-calculator/

Help yourself to any of these helps if you need them. Check out the http://loseit.com webpage to sign up for the free app or check it out on your iphone or android device. And have fun! And so, my journey continues…

lose it

Been a little AWOL

English: Cheeseburger 20 years ago had 333 cal...

English: Cheeseburger 20 years ago had 333 calories well a modern cheeseburger contains 590 calories. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Someone posted a comment and mentioned they missed my posts. It made me realize it had been awhile since I had posted something. Well, I tend to go in spurts. My interest is somewhat like a child’s. I will focus on one thing for a time and then switch to something else for a time and then to something else again.

Since I’ve been released from home health care and physical therapy, I’ve felt somewhat like I have been left on my own with not many resources left to look into. With help from my son, I’ve started the diet drug Qsymia and will try it about 2 months and decide if I can tell a benefit from it or not.

I went to the orthopedic surgeon about possible double knee replacement surgery. He told me, “Boy your knees are bad. Your knees are really bad, wow your knees are really bad.” Interesting, since I can only walk a few steps in a bent-knee position also having knee spurs this was something I already knew. What I also expected but was surprised to hear is that for elective surgery, I weighed too much and no hospital in town would want to accept me as a patient. ( I weighed about 335.) I realize I am overweight/obese, have been most of my life, but hospital surgical beds have a weight limit? Interesting…

The surgeon decided to refer me to a gastric bypass/bariatric surgeon. I am between a rock and a hard place so am willing to try almost anything.  I am still waiting for the referral phone call…it’s been a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, I have tried to cut down on my weight, as usual. I lost 1.8 lbs. the first week and 1.6 lbs. the 2nd week. The 3rd week, my daughter got a new color Nook for $50 from a friend. On it there was an app we noticed called Lose It. We looked at it and were instantly intrigued and both of us joined.

It is an online program that gives you so many daily calories to eat depending upon your weight and how many lbs. you want to lose each week. The program will keep track of everything you eat, subtracting the calories from your total. You can add calories back to the total by doing exercises. If you have an android or iPhone you can use your bar code scanner to scan foods to get the nutritional information and calories etc. That is very cool! As a longtime fast food junkie it is shocking to find out exactly how many calories are in fast foods. It is also interesting to discover how compelling it is to try to stay below my daily limit and in the ‘green’ and away from the ‘red’ side of my chart. Last week I lost 4.6 lbs. so boringly enough…watching calories and adding a few exercises actually work.

Continue Reading »

Today is a new day

 

Why change your Diet?

Why change your Diet? (Photo credit: DES Daughter)

 

As I continue this adventure, no matter how difficult or how emotional yesterday was, when I wake up, it is always fresh and new and there is hope. That is the hardest part of the journey…to believe there is still hope.

 

I went to the orthopedic surgeon last week. As expected, my weight is an issue as well as the lymphedema. At 5′ 3 1/2″ tall 335 lbs. is too heavy. I have over the past 44 years since my 20’s, learned to hate and accept the label of morbidly obese. In December I will turn 65 and you learn to live with certain things. One of mine is that it has always been difficult to practically impossible for me to lose a certain amount of weight. I have lost 100 lbs. more than once using different approaches. Usually what works is to give up anything of interest and eat only bland foods with lots of vegetables. Thank goodness I always liked veggies! Even so, the pounds will come back when you begin to add back to your diet things that most normal people eat.

 

Add to that, I tend to be a stress eater. I used to binge eat and have managed with the grace of God to leave that behind. My favorite thing to do would be to eat the largest bag of Doritos with a 1 lb. bag of m & m’s until they were all gone. To this day, we can’t keep chips or candy or cookies in the house. It helped a lot when my husband developed diabetes. His is minor, easily managed with oral medication, and he still eats sweets but usually hides it from me. LOL But not having sweets in the house changed my taste buds a lot. I haven’t eaten chocolate in years.

 

 

The last time I lost weight was on nutrisystems. I used to weigh over 425 lbs. So, to me, maintaining a weight of between 325 and 335 has been a success. Now, with all of my health problems, the weight has once again become a major issue.

 

Back to the knee surgeon…he said at least 3 times how bad my knees were. Since I struggle just to get to the bathroom each day, it was not something I didn’t know. But he also said I needed to lose some weight before knee surgery and recommended I see a bariatric surgeon. So, we are once again in a hurry and wait period. They are attempting to get me in to see the surgeon and someone will call me with an appointment. What was interesting to find out was what the brochure on understanding obesity and metabolism had to say…

 

“Metabolically resistant obesity is essentially obesity that strongly resists dieting and weight loss. When an individual reduces their calories and loses approximately 10% of their body weight, their own metabolism will actually stimulate intense hunger through multiple neural gut hormonal changes and at the same time lower the body’s metabolic rate so that fewer calories are burned. This produces the typical yoyo cycle that patients experience when trying to diet down to a healthier weight. 

 

Normally, as our bodies gain fat and weight, a hormone called leptin is released which triggers multiple mechanisms to control food intake and raise the body’s metabolism so that weight remains stable. Normal leptin metabolism is critical for weight control. Leptin resistance occurs when an individual’s metabolism no longer responds to the hormone leptin. After consuming a high fat diet for several years, many people develop leptin resistance. This drives their body’s set point weight higher to unhealthy levels. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to leptin resistance. Other factors that contribute to leptin resistance include food additives such as antibiotics, hormones, and preservatives. Unfortunately, once a patient’s set point for weight is in the ‘morbidly obese’ category, there is less than a 1% chance that significant weight loss through dieting will be successful.”

 

What!?? Wow! less than 1% chance? The struggles of the past 40 years all seem to make sense now. You can’t know how much relief there is in knowing the past failures weren’t totally from my lack of trying. I know you’ve heard if not said some of them…’just quit eating’…’just push away from the table’…’just use will power’…but all of that is for another rant on another day.

 

 

Meanwhile, my primary care physician had told me about a “new” diet drug on the market. It is a combination of two drugs…used for other purposes with an unexpected side effect of weight loss. It is very expensive and the insurance will not cover it. I tried to get it about 2-3 weeks ago but couldn’t afford $237 a month. With a 15% off coupon it runs about $185 which is still quite pricey. I gave up on trying it. And then my son said he probably could give me the money to try it out. I thought it would only take one month to see if it had any benefit for me and so voila! we now, beginning today, are trying out Qsymia.  Even a jump-start on losing weight once again would be helpful and any weight off of these tired old knees will be greatly beneficial. And so, we shall see what happens. We are still waiting for the appointment with the bariatric surgeon but can try this until then…and the journey continues…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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