Saturday, December 31, 2011
To all of my Spark friends, I hope you have a safe and happy New Year's Eve. Let's hope that 2012 will bring us many good things and lots of success in all that we strive to achieve!
Friday, December 30, 2011
Today I completed the last week of intensive physical therapy to restore the use of my hands, arms, shoulders, neck and balance. Therapy has been slow, painful and time consuming. I am now ready to be more independent. I will continue to do my home strengthening program, attend water aerobics and slowly get stronger. In about 3 weeks I will have another check up with my physical therapist. He will assess my progress and help me solve any problems that may develop along the way. My physical therapist said that I have exceeded his expectations for muscle strength during the 10 weeks I have spent in therapy! That was very nice to hear because I've really worked hard to achieve my current strength level. Although I continue to have issues with my left arm, he assures me that if I follow my program, over time, most of the issues will disappear as I heal.
It is fitting that as I enter phase II of my physical therapy, that I am also entering into a new year. When I look back at where I was last year at this time, I shudder. I'm so thankful that I dug my heels in and acted as my own advocate. If I hadn't, I would most likely be paralyzed by now - either in both arms or from the neck down depending upon outside influences. That is why my neurosurgeon insisted upon doing surgery within two weeks of my initial consultation. So, with the beginning of 2012, I get a fresh start. I will consider it my second chance to make the most of my life and to be the best "me" that I can possibly be.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
I just finished reading a Spark People blog entitled "Nutrients vs Putrients" by Michelene Cleary. She makes some very valid points and has a great link to a lecture by endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig, M.D. called "Sugar: The Bitter Truth". His lecture was a real eye opener for me! It explains so much about my weight as well as my difficulty losing weight. Couple it with hypothyroid disease and it's a recipe for obesity. I thought I was reading labels before, but I'll have to be even more careful now. It really changed the way I look at sugar and may be very helpful for my weight loss plan, my future health and that of my family. The lecture takes some time to view so please allow enough time to watch the whole thing. It is worth the watch!
Here is the link:
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
As we were saying our grace before eating our Christmas dinner, I glanced around and thanked God for all of the gifts we had before us. There are many people who are without anything this holiday season. I am blessed. Then it struck me. "Look at what you are serving," I said to myself! Yes, we had plenty of turkey and there was cranberry jelly too. None of us eat gravy, mashed potatoes or rolls so I didn't even make them this year. I did make a large bowl of my famous whole wheat stuffing with Smart Balance spread (with flax seed oil), chopped sautéed onion, chopped sautéed apple and herbs. It was very moist and delicious! (It only lasted until the next night) I also made three different kinds of vegetables; corn, broccoli and carrots. On these three, I filled the bowls to the top. The home made pumpkin pie was made with Splenda, pumpkin, spices, reduced fat evaporated milk and egg whites. I sent half of the pie home with our guests. It would have been just as good without the crust. I only had a piece that was about .25 of an inch wide because I was so full of veggies. Later I ate a piece of chocolate and a modest serving of pecan frozen yogurt. I was totally satisfied and so was my family. That was a surprise. There were no complaints or suggestions for improvement this year either.
Dinner was at 2:30p.m. and I thought I'd be hungry again later. I ate a snack and then my frozen yogurt and that was it for the remainder of the day. I did find that I was very thirsty however so I was drinking water like crazy. Most likely this was due to the fact that the kitchen was warm and I was rushing around like a crazed chef, trying to get everything on the table at the same time. I even managed to get in a .75 mile walk in after we cleaned up the kitchen. The exercise felt good before my exhaustion set in. I found myself nodding off as the family was watching a movie and everyone laughed! I excused myself and went to bed. It was only about 8:30p.m.!
I would have preferred to go a little heavier on the exercise during the time when my daughter was visiting. I particularly wanted to take her to water aerobics class with me to meet everyone. But it was not to be, due to a cut on her foot. We did manage to take several long walks together. She tried to do three walks per day; some with me some with the dogs, while I was doing holiday preparations. We talked about nutrition, eating habits and food likes and dislikes. She commented on all of the fruits and veggies in the refrigerator! While she was visiting, she ate lots of nutritious food as well as favorite recipes that I have re-done in a more healthy way. I know that I most likely seemed obsessive to her but as her mother, I love her and I want her to be healthy. I've also found that I love myself and I want me to be healthy too.
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