FANGFACEKITTY   72,454
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Dr. Visit update

Saturday, June 18, 2011

So I got in to see my doctor today. Described my symptoms, both what I did and did not experience.

As expected he suspects gall bladder issues. He doesn't think it is acute since neither the frequency nor severity has been increasing and I have not been vomiting or feverish. So the good news is I don't need emergency surgery to remove it.

He has ordered an ultrasound for next week, or as soon as I can fit it into my schedule. If that is inconclusive there is a second test they can do, which is more invasive. Assuming my gall bladder is the issue my choices are to delay the surgery and try to manage it by my diet or get it removed. Eventually it will likely have to be removed anyway since it won't get better.

He also said it could possibly be relax or an ulcer, but thinks the gall bladder is a likelier candidate.

So "highly intelligent" person that I am I went home and ate for lunch something very similar to what I had eaten Thursday night that caused the attack. I wanted to experiment & see if it WAS what I had eaten that caused the attack...and the experiment worked. Another attack, fortunately much less intense than the other night.

My 2 coworkers who have recently had their gall bladders removed are both still on very bland diets. They can't eat anything spicy, drink alcohol, anything fatty, etc.

I don't drink much at all, but I love pizza and spicy foods. I don't like the thought of having to give those up completely. So more experimenting. I just had some of my HOT salsa with the new Tostitos chip, Hint of Pepperjack ( hey, it's made with whole grains, it's practically a health food LOL!). We'll see how it goes tonight.

I'm optimistic that I won't have to restrict my diet too much because from their descriptions it sounds like my coworkers were a lot worse off than I am right now.

It won't be the first time I've had something removed. My poor belly button, though, is going to get another scar.

And I wonder...what do the hospitals actually DO with the bits of people they remove? When I had the "knuckles" removed from 2 of my toes way back when I asked the doctor if I could have them but he wouldn't give them to me. So I wonder where pieces & parts really end up?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUSSELL_40 6/22/2011 5:31PM

    I had my gallbladder removed in February.. joined SP right after I got out.. as far as surgeries go, it's not much.. I was doing laps 4 hours afterwards. I had a few days off, and couldn't eat fatty foods, so I typed " weight loss" into yahoo, and ended up here..lol

I didn't get my gulbladder, or appendix back.. thieves!

I think if I get 1 more surgery, my belly button will be square.

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OFABULOUSME 6/22/2011 4:09PM

    My husband had his gallbladder removed a few years back, and like MCJULIO mentioned, it's mainly the fat, not the spice that will upset his stomach now (gravy, Taco Bell, fast food, stuff like that). We had cut back our fat intake to almost nothing before he had the attacks, and the doctor said that was the reason why the stones formed - gallbladder was looking for something to do! I guess there really IS a place for good fat in a nutritous diet. All in all no issues since he's had it removed though. Good luck!

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DEZZIEJAMES 6/22/2011 10:57AM

    Awwww. I hate to hear that you would have to give up what you love.

As for the bits and pieces they remove from you... GOOD QUESTION! I didn't think about that! What do they do with those organs? Bones? Etc. Hmmmmm....

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VYVIENN 6/22/2011 7:26AM

    Uck! Well, I hope that they find a way to manage the issue without surgery... and without having to put you on a bread, water and banana diet. I consider myself very lucky that my insides have kept quiet these 40 years, and hope to keep them that way.

I think they're experimenting with building a bionic man and woman. Or Wolverine!

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SPOOKYTHECAT 6/20/2011 1:53PM

    Oh, I am so glad the Doc said no emergency surgery was needed .I have a friend who has been controlling her GB attacks with diet, & it's the fried food & fats that really got to her~

I hope you can eat the food you love in moderation, I once went for a month with no tomatoes, no wine or spice because of acid reflux~ & just a month of bland food 'fixed' me.
I've been fine ever since.

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MCJULIEO 6/20/2011 12:55PM

    Interesting self experiment....

I think that it is the fat that riles up the gall bladder more than the spices....it might be worth further experimentation....

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 6/19/2011 12:33AM

    You sure made me chuckle about the "parts" mystery! I am sure they dispose of them into some special vat of spare human parts! emoticon Oh, now that I'm thinking about it, YUCK! emoticon

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DAISY-HIBANA 6/18/2011 11:16PM

    Yep, it is almost uncanny the way gallbladder symptoms are described from one person to another, very similar accounts each time. Be very cautious to treat it as a serious issue. I wound up with pancreatitis when I tried to tough it out for a week. Eventually, I couldn't even drink water. My physician said it is common for weight loss to trigger gallbladder issues (if you guessed that I had lost 30lbs right before - you win a prize!). Go figure. As long as you do not exacerbate your condition, you will most likely have a short recovery time. Take care of yourself!

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Oh, the gall of it all!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

TMI WARNING! Proceed at your own risk!

Thursday night I was in pain. Not agony but enough where that was really all I could focus on. It started around 9-10 pm right at the top of my ribs where they come together. Based on the location I don't think it was indigestion (too high) or heartburn (too low). Some minor (in comparison) pain started spreading along the sides of my ribs and up my shoulder blade. I couldn't lay down on my sides, or stomach, or back and either had to sit upright or stand...and it still hurt. I felt like I had way over- stuffed myself although I had not and like if I could only puke or burp or something the discomfort would end (but I couldn't seem to do either). I did not actually feel nauseous. My dinner was fatty & processed but within all my nutritional ranges.

I ended up taking some Rx painkillers I had from previous injuries/surgeries which never really worked until the pain went away about 2 hours before I had to get up for work. So I got virtually no sleep.

This was not the first time I have experienced this in at least the last 8 months. It was not the worst experience but it wasn't the mildest either. Normally it happens at night but it has happened at least twice during the day at work.

Friday, in addition to being exhausted, I still felt out of sorts. The area where the pain hit still felt wrong, my shoulder blade still hurt, but no major pain like the night before. I was telling a coworker about why I was so tired and she asked "did it hurt here (pointing to the exact place) and then travel around like this & up your shoulder blade & did it feel like this (describing the exact sensation)? Yes, I replied, that was it exactly.

She said those were her symptoms too and she had just had her gall bladder removed because of it last month.

Great, betrayed by my body again. I made an appt. with my doctor for Monday afternoon but just now called the office & they can get see me in an hour. I told myself 3 times ago that if it happened again I would go to the doctor, I was concerned it could be a symptom of heart disease...but of course it happened again and I did not go to the doctor. So I'll go now and get it figured out.

It really irritates me though because it seems like something is always going wrong. Fortunately nothing ever life threatening or major, just lots of "little" irritating health problems. If it is my gall bladder & I do have to have it removed it will cause some minor setbacks in my training. I think that pisses me off more than anything. I should get "frequent patient miles" or something for all the times I've had surgery. I'm also probably going to get disqualified from the organ donator list at some point because at the rate I'm going I won't have any organs left to donate if I die! ( that is an LOL! by the way).

I feel like I should make a rude sound now to express my disgust at being betrayed by my body yet again. I should just start going cyborg, head off all these issues in the future.

I'm off to get ready for the doctor, will update afterwards.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETSTRONGRRR 6/18/2011 10:19PM

    Sorry to hear about the attack. Hope all goes well with the doc.

Do what they tell you.....first do no harm....through action, or inaction

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RESULTS361AP09 6/18/2011 9:49PM

    I sure hope it is nothing serious. I've had problems with acid reflux in the past & it is definitely not fun! The first time I had it, I thought I was having a heart attack. Take care & keep us posted.

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 6/18/2011 7:18PM

    I sure hope it all turns out ok! Keep us posted, ok? I'm glad you're going to the doctor! emoticon

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MCJULIEO 6/18/2011 12:30PM

    Laparoscopic gall bladder surgery ROCKS! You should have seen the recovery time for the old way they used to do them!


Besides, I'm pretty sure there is not a great demand for gall bladder donors.... emoticon emoticon

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CLEUTHAUS 6/18/2011 10:19AM

    Thanks for your blog. Your the 2nd gallbladder buddy I have found today. I have been putting up with what I thought was maybe a cracked rib or shoulderblade problem for a year.Last week I had so much pain I ended up in the ER( a place I don't want to be EVER unless I'm working!). An abdominal ultrasound confirmed gallstones and a mild gallbladder infection. I am due to have it removed within the month. It is recommended that you eat nothing with fat as it can trigger an attack. For me though nearly anything can trigger the attack. Don't fear wellness warrior. The surgery is outpatient and they will send you home after 12hrs. Laproscopic sites are used now days and rarely do they need to make an actual incision. You'll be feeling better in 5 days. No lifting for 3 weeks:(. emoticon

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My 50 lb. loss reward - what should I expect?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Last month I reached the 50 lbs. gone milestone. As my reward I had decided previously that I would get a massage. I've never had one before. In anticipation of this goal, back in March, I got a coupon for a "VIP Spa Package", 65% off the regular price. The package includes a choice of massage type, mani-pedi, facial or chemical peel, hair cut or style, and a skin evaluation/picture thing (one of those that highlights sun damage).

Never having done anything like this at all...what should I expect?

Do I have to tip each person? Or just the place as a whole & they divvy up the gratuity? The coupon states the gratuity is not included & I assume any tips should be based on the normal charge, not the price I actually paid.

Do I have to get naked?

Will they be upset if I accidentally kick whoever does the pedi because I can't stand having my feet touched? I think I may just skip the pedicure part entirely to be safe (plus my feet are so ugly they are just not redeemable LOL!)

What else am I not even aware of that I should be asking?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LITTLEFARMMOMMA 6/17/2011 6:13PM

    I hope you turn off all of your inhibitions in this regard and just GO FOR IT! I, too, was worried about a massage like this, but after you have it done once, well, you'll be looking forward to your next one! And you'll have WON over being afraid of it! emoticon

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TRI_BABE 6/16/2011 7:20PM

    I don't know! Please blog about it because I am considering getting something similar done too.

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FANGFACEKITTY 6/15/2011 6:24AM

    My feet are ugly...but they are my feet & I'm OK with it LOL! I just can't stand having them touched. I kicked the ER doctor when he tried to examine my broken ankle last year so I think I am going to skip the pedi.

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VYVIENN 6/15/2011 2:17AM

    Agree with SparkBirdy... even in Germany, they don't get you totally nude for a massage, and sensitive areas are always covered.

I would ask at reception about their tipping policy. To be honest, I never tip except on special occasions, but this is Germany, and things are a bit different.

As for the foot thing: if you truly cannot stand having your feet touched, please get an alternative treatment. My best friend in school once clobbered me in the head because I accidentally tickled her, and that was definitely unpleasant. If you're only self-conscious because you think your feet are hideous (which I'm sure they're not), my advice is to just forget about it and enjoy the pedi. Why? Because your feet will be BETTER afterward! I have horrid callouses, but my wonderful all-in-one wonderwoman bathed, scrubbed and moisturized them to beyond recognition, and they felt awesome for a week after!!

P.S. If you have a choice, see if they offer hot stone or ayurvedic massages. I have never been so dang relaxed in my life!!!

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4EVERFIT011 6/14/2011 7:59PM

    Relax and enjoy yourself. Massages are wonderful and I hope you change your mind about the pedi because a foot massage is the best! As for tipping, I usually tip each person. I think asking about their policy, as Sparkbirdy suggestion, would be a good option. Be sure to let us know how your celebration reward day goes. I hope you have a wonderful experience that is worthy of your 50 lb. loss!

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GETSTRONGRRR 6/14/2011 7:52PM

    Remember, you're going there to relieve stress.....don't heap any more on yourself...go in like you've been doing this your whole life and make them pamper you....that's what your paying for

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FROSTY99 6/14/2011 6:02PM

    Just relax and enjoy!

Pat

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JUSTBIRDY 6/14/2011 5:37PM

    Tip each person individually, based on their service. Or, ask what their policy is.
If you don't want to get naked, you can ask for shiatsu. Usually swedish massage is done clothing free, and it's pretty hard to do a massage with a bra on, but many do wear panties. It's just an individual thing. They always use sheets, so it is really no problem for most people.
They are like doctors, they have seen everything. I am sure your feet aren't the ugliest they have seen. Then again, if you don't like your feet being seen, you might want to skip the pedi and/or go for reflexology instead.
Enjoy!!!!!

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Bunny War

Friday, June 10, 2011

I have a colony of bunnies living under my deck. They have been there since I was a kid.

Each spring when I plant my garden they think that they have primary rights to the veggies given the length of time they have been squatting on my property. I think they actually consider it THEIR property.

Last year I planted peanuts and they thought they died & went to heaven. Apparently bunnies really, really like peanut plants. So I had to attach mesh fencing to the bottom of the larger fence to keep them out. Afterward my backyard neighbor said he would see them lined up outside the fence just looking at the peanuts.

This year I have done the same, put mesh fencing on the bottom of the larger fence and along the gate to keep them out. They had gotten to the lettuce & started on the peanuts before I got the rabbit fencing in place. As a peace offering I left some celery and lettuce cuttings under the corner of the deck.

It was rejected.

Apparently the fencing has really, really pissed off the bunnies this year.

They went to the front yard and ate all the leaves off of my lilies. Then they ate all the leaves & gnawed the bark from the little dwarf maple that was coming back to life, which is now officially dead. And yesterday they have started gnawing the bark on my peach tree, which I will have to wrap this weekend.

This means war.

emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NURSESUSIE51 6/11/2011 6:19PM

    The last two years, we have been battling rabbits eating our flowers. This year we put up fencing around the ones we felt were the most vulnerable and we haven't see one bunny yet. Yesterday we pulled up the fencing and are crossing our fingers they won't return. Yes, they are cute, but not when they eat my flowers!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VYVIENN 6/11/2011 8:22AM

    Back in his day, Tim the Sourcerer knew that bunnies were nothing to be messed with (see "Monty Python & the Holy Grail")!

DH wants me to ask you if you also have to deal with deer in your area, and if so, how you manage to keep them out of the garden. Apparently, we'll be living right next to a bunch on our property...

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GETSTRONGRRR 6/10/2011 2:54PM

    "Do you happen to know what the penalty is for shooting a fricasseeing rabbit without a fricasseeing rabbit license?"

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BUTSWEETER 6/10/2011 12:52PM

    Vengeful bunnies?! I didn't know they had it in them! I also didn't know the peanuts could be grow in a garden. This was a very educational read!

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IHATESALAD 6/10/2011 12:30PM

  You should eat them... MUAHAHAHAHA.

Ok, yes that sounds evil, but i have been reading this blog about urban farming by Novella Carpenter and she eats her bunnies. Strange, but yes.

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MCJULIEO 6/10/2011 11:32AM

    My DH says bunnies make an excellent stew... emoticon

and if there are enough of them you might get a hat and some slippers!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 6/10/2011 10:37AM

    Oh, I HATE bunnies! I'm sorry, bunny fans, but these varmints have eaten crop after crop of planted green beans in our garden, and we have resorted to shooting them with a pellet gun! Since it is so dry and hot here in W. TX, they seem to be coming to the only areas that are watered, and that means our garden! We put up fence, and they can get through CHICKEN WIRE! How they do that, I'll never know! Anyway, we've now turned the dogs loose, so hopefully, they'll stay chased off!

GRRR! Hate bunnies! emoticon

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DEZZIEJAMES 6/10/2011 10:37AM

    I don't know if this will help or not, but it's worth a try. I am doing it with the plants that we have moved outside due to the squirrels and bunnies in our neighborhood. Go to your local hairdresser, and ask for a bag of hair clippings. Apply the clippings LIBERALLY to your garden perimeter, around the trees, plants, etc. It is said that the human scent in the hair will ward off the critters for awhile. M's sister is a hairdresser, and she saves me clippings now and then. And no - it's not unheard of for people to show up at the salon and ask for some hair clippings - or for some to be saved. She lives in MI and says people do it all the time! Good luck!

It sounds as if you have a real bunny infestation. Show them who's boss!!!

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Why SP calorie ranges may be "wrong"

Thursday, June 09, 2011

When I joined on 1/1/11 (yes, I am a New Year’s Resolution baby!) I, like everyone else, entered my weight loss goals. For me it was a starting weight of 204, a goal weight of 134 and a goal date of 12/31/11. This was a reasonable, achievable loss of about 1.3 pounds per week. My starting calorie range was about 1200-1400 per day and I had no planned cardio minutes on the tracker. After a few weeks, once I got into a routine, I entered 30 cardio minutes M-F, nothing on the weekends; my calorie ranged changed a little, but still was within this same basic range.

In reality I exercised a lot more. So finally, for the last few months, ever since I updated & increased my planned cardio on the fitness tracker to 60 minutes per day, Monday - Saturday, SP has told me that my needed calorie range is about 1500-1900 per day.

I understand that if I get 60 minutes of cardio a day I need to eat more to stay healthy on this journey than if I only exercised 10 minutes a day. It made sense, then, that my calorie range would increase.

But that much?!? I quickly found that if I ate even at the low end of that range I started gaining weight (and felt stuffed & bloated). *Obviously* SP was wrong! So I made several posts about how SP ranges were inaccurate for me.

So I continued staying mainly in the range of 1200-1400 per day and that was working for me.

Then this morning I went in to the weight tracker to enter my new weight – 149.9! – and got a little message in a box. Maybe it’s been there in the past, I don’t know, but today I read it.

I wish I had thought to take a print screen or write it down word for word.

It basically said the SP does not automatically recalculate calorie ranges based on weight losses (or gains) and that members need to do so manually. SP recommends resetting every 10-15 pounds.

What?!?!?!?

Well no wonder then that my calorie ranges were so high! SP was calculating based on my original starting weight & goal date with a rate of 1.3 pounds per week.

The *problem* is that I have been losing an average of 2.3 pounds per week (Yay me! What a problem to have!). But SP is still on the original schedule. By my calculations based on my original goal settings I now have over 6 months (29 weeks) to lose the last 15 pounds, bringing my calculated loss rate to…0.5 pounds per week.

Nope. Not going to happen. At least not deliberately by me. If I happen to plateau that is one thing but I’m not going to ease up on fitness or eat more just to stick with “the plan”.

So a new “plan” is required. SP instructed me to go to my Start Page and next to the weight progress graph click on “Change” to update either my starting weight or my goal date or both in order to recalculate my calorie ranges.

So I updated my fitness minutes to 45 per day, 7 days a week (but this is temporary until I take the time to figure out what I am actually doing going forward this summer & update to reality). And I changed my goal date to August 31 (b/c SP would not let me choose July 31 since that would put me over the max recommended 2 lbs. per week).

And now my calorie range is back to 1200-1500 per day, right where I thought it should be.

I don’t understand why SP does not automatically recalculate calorie ranges for your weight loss. SP recalculates when you change your fitness minutes, so why not weight?

Perhaps this should be a future improvement because I am sure I am not the only one who was not aware of this and there are probably many people who follow the SP nutrition recommendations…and are wondering why they have stalled or are gaining now.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANEDOE12345 6/18/2011 4:23PM

    I changed my own calorie range and the funny thing was, I felt guilty bout it -- like SP was going to come and yell at me, lol. I feel better with a lower range and I think SP is just too generous.

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WOLFKITTY 6/13/2011 12:00PM

    Whenever anyone says that they're exercising the same amount, eating what their ranges say and is plateauing, I remind them that we are supposed to go and "refresh" our goals...

I *like* having the freedom and accountability that comes with adjusting it myself, just like I have to adjust my planned fitness minutes, and it doesn't recalculate just because one day I did a big hike and it doubled my fitness minutes.

My weight can fluctuate up to 5 pounds in one week - maybe in one day. I don't want SparkPeople to recalculate my ranges when it's because I had too much sodium the night before, or something along those lines. If my goal is to lose 1 pound per week, and I gain 5 pounds, I don't want my ranges to automatically drop to 1200 one day and then bounce up the next day when it seems like I've lost it all.

Looks like a lot of your SparkiFriends have really been helped by your post - that's awesome!! I wish you lots of continued success!!
Jocelyn

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MCJULIEO 6/10/2011 11:39AM

    Hmmmm! Thanks!

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DEZZIEJAMES 6/9/2011 9:53PM

    Very interesting! I am so glad you figured this out and shared the wealth of knowledge! I'm sure this will help a great many members! You are doing so awesome on your weight loss!!!!


emoticon

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THISYEARSMODEL 6/9/2011 8:31PM

    I redo mine after every 15 to keep my skittish metabolism happy. When I used SP in 2007, the calorie range changed for us automatically. Then SP changed the system so that we have to go in and change it manually...I think maybe because people complained when all of a sudden their calorie allotment got smaller.

I agree with you that if it automatically changes with calorie burning, it should change for weight loss as well. Makes sense to me!

Congrats on your success!!! emoticon

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WHIPPEACHZ 6/9/2011 7:39PM

    Didn't know this thanks so much. Just went and figured for my current weight and calories dropped by like 500, right where I've currently been eating. So good to know I am on track it was only sp that messed me up. Thanks again.

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SMURFY_47 6/9/2011 6:49PM

    makes me wonder if thats why i keep plateauing...

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ARLENE_MOVES 6/9/2011 4:12PM

    A friend here on SP told me how to go in and manually change calorie range. If I can find it, I'll post again. I agree with you that it should work right. Mine went up too when I changed some things which is why I went looking as to why.

Thanks for the post.

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EVWINGS 6/9/2011 4:09PM

    I have had the higher range, too, and I just can't eat that much and always fall lower. Every time it changes, I change it
back!!!

It is so wonderful that you are doing so well in getting so close to your goal. emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 6/9/2011 3:51PM

    I have noticed the very same thing! I'm STILL confused, I have to admit! I'll try to do what you said and see if it will make a difference. THANK YOU! emoticon

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TERRI289 6/9/2011 3:31PM

    Congrats on your continued success!! And I have been having trouble with the range of calories as well!! Thanks for the blog!!

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VYVIENN 6/9/2011 3:06PM

    Astute observation! It is kind of weird that this is set up this way. Hopefully, you're right and a make over for this is in the works...

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GARDENQE2 6/9/2011 3:02PM

    Interesting! I had no idea! Thanks!

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1RONNIEMOM 6/9/2011 2:59PM

    Thanks for the tip that could be a big point in my progress. emoticon

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