GINGEMBRE   19,396
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GI Blues

Monday, May 07, 2012

Today I am on a clear liquid diet in preparation for a combination gastroscopy & colonoscopy tomorrow afternoon. I am very nervous about having this procedure, even though I know that it is necessary to help diagnose the GI problem I have been having for the last couple of years.

This morning I was finally able to arrange a room within walking distance of the hospital (an hour's drive from home) so that I will have a place to stay after the procedure, since I am not allowed to drive due to the sedative I will be given. Having a room booked relieves some of the stress I've been experiencing, but I am still anxious about the procedure, not to mention the preparation for it starting this evening. I have to drink the 2-L jug of electrolyte laxative solution-half this evening and half tomorrow morning, and then drive for an hour to the place where I have booked a room. I can walk to the hospital from there, and after I am allowed to leave the hospital I can walk to my room to rest for the evening and stay overnight.

My main worries, now that I have the room arrangements made, are that I won't be able to drink all the solution, that even if I do manage to drink it all I won't be cleaned out enough for the test to be of any use, that I will still be in evacuation mode during the hour drive there, that there will be complications from the sedative (I'm very sensitive to anesthetics), that the procedure will be very uncomfortable physically, and that the diagnosis will be inconclusive or negative. See, I am a worrier. I am trying to relax and not worry so much but it is difficult to do.

My worry about getting the entire solution in me sounds like I am being a baby about the (no doubt) unpleasant taste of it, but that isn't it. Part of my GI problem seems to be slow emptying of my stomach. Over the course of the last few months I have gone from drinking at least ten glasses of water per day, usually more than that, with no problem, to forcing myself to sip water from time to time. I used to be filling my water bottle several times a day and drinking at least half a bottle at a time, but now I can only sip water because I am so full that it makes me nauseated to drink 8 ounces, even over half an hour's time. Last October when I had my first test regarding my abdominal distress, an ultrasound, I was sick from drinking the 4 glasses of water in the half hour preceding the test. The nausea and painful distention of my stomach was just horrible. I had one cup of chicken broth for lunch half an hour ago and my stomach is still full and hurting from that. That is why drinking the laxative solution worries me, even though worrying is counterproductive.

I am a mess right now, not looking forward to what lies ahead later this evening or tomorrow.


Measuring the cupful

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The size and configuration of my measuring cup is important to me. To help myself stay on track when measuring my portions by the cupful I find it best to use my smallest one-cup measuring cup, the one with no extra room above the one-cup line. Because it holds exactly one cup when full there is no room for an additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup of food to sneak in and be included as part of a "one cup" portion!


Eating better and feeling better

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My progress with nutrition tracking was interrupted by a huge move across the country, preceded by months of house-hunting and the travel that entailed, and so I fell off the wagon for a year (!) as far as my food intake. Since my first day at Spark People I have faithfully drank at least eight glasses of water, even when my nutrition suffered, and I believe that helped me to maintain my weight rather than gain back what I had lost. During my hiatus I also continued to read Spark People articles and save recipes that sounded good, knowing that eventually I would get serious about allowing Spark People to help me help myself to a healthier lifestyle. In the meantime I still felt crummy and lacked energy, even as I made changes to my diet such as cutting out artificially sweetened or flavored foods. Between my lethargy and bad back I had a terrible time getting settled into our new home.

Last fall I began to forego margarine in favor of butter (in small quantities) and sugar in favor of honey whenever possible, although I gave in frequently to my craving for desserts when dining out or visiting friends. Since I returned to counting calories and nutrition using the Spark People tracker on March 20th I have cut out all sugary sweets and use only two teaspoons of sugar in my one cup of coffee each morning. Due to the close tabs I am keeping on my calorie intake I rarely consume honey these days. Cutting nearly all sugar from my diet has made a huge difference in how I feel; I have more energy and more of a sense of well-being than I had before. I am less sedentary and more eager to do things, to jump up and do dishes or fetch something from the car or pick up and put away items, etc. It's a good feeling, a feeling worth giving up sweets other than fruit.

Since March 20th I have been trying hard to stay within my allotted calories and to keep my protein intake fairly high yet fats and carbs low. I do my best to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruit a day and I eat only high quality multigrain bread. We have our own free-range laying hens that provide us with nourishing eggs with deep golden yolks and nearly every morning I eat one of these eggs for breakfast. I can really tell the difference in how I feel; the more protein and less fat and carbohydrates the better I feel.

Even my back is better these days. I still get spasms and pain too frequently, particularly when sitting on a hard surface, but the inflammation that would invariably set in and put me out of commission for days at a time has decreased considerably. I am hoping that as I continue to eat well and lose weight I will be able to exercise without worrying about hurting my back and going through the agony that has plagued me for many years. I am trying to walk several times a week and find that I feel more energetic now when walking than I used to, more eager to walk farther and more quickly, with a spring in my step.

Using the nutrition tracker can be a pain at times because I find that I have to enter so many foods in order to use it the way I want to use it, but I don't know what I would do without it. It is addictive and very effective at making me accountable for what I ingest. It gives me good feedback, printable reports and meal suggestions. It is one of my favorite features on Spark People and I look forward to eating well so that I please the nutrition tracker gods. I hope to soon add an exercise plan that will be as addictive and effective as the nutrition tracker. Spark People , in the words of Jack Nicholson (As Good As It Gets), makes me want to be a better person. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GINGEMBRE 5/24/2010 7:52AM

    Thanks. Feeling better physically and mentally is my main goal, with weight loss as a bonus, so it is a relief (literally) to finally see and take the path leading to that goal. I have a feeling that the longer I stay on this path the more energy I'll gain, in a positive feedback loop kind of way. I hope so, anyway. In the meantime I'll do my best to keep on track.

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HAKU695 5/23/2010 8:17PM

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. I'm so glad you didn't give up and have started to find what works for you. I too am addicted to the energy and positivity I receive as a result of healthy living. I wish you continued success...

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Perseverance and Patience Pay

Monday, March 23, 2009

I am really struggling with being impatient. I have been so conscientious about measuring portions and counting calories for the last 29 days that I find myself expecting the weight to drop off at a rate of several pounds a week. I mean, why shouldn't my efforts be rewarded with substantial results? I have to confess that I wake up each morning and feel my belly to see if it disappeared overnight! I know it's ridiculous, but I check anyway. The biggest differences that I can discern so far are an increase in energy, a thinner face, and a more positive outlook on life, all of which I appreciate. I want my clothes to get looser sooner rather than later, and it is not easy to be patient while waiting for that to happen. It will happen, though, because I am determined to stick with the nutrition tracker and to be less sedentary.

When I stepped on the scale today the needle ended up on 187, a pound less than last Monday. I've lost a total of six pounds in 29 days, and seem to have settled into a loss of one pound a week now. At this rate it will be a year before I reach my goal weight, and that seems hard to accept--until I remind myself that if I don't continue this healthier lifestyle a year from now I will weigh what I do now, if not more, and that is even harder to accept! In fact, that is just plain unacceptable! So, like everyone else who struggles with losing weight, I have to have patience. It's tough.

That reminds me of a coffee mug I once saw that read "Grant me patience, Lord, ...but hurry!"


Discouraged, But Still Determined

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm discouraged, so much so that I couldn't even post here Monday as I had planned to prior to weighing myself. Bah! My bathroom scale is not very good, but I haven't replaced it because until recently I had not wanted to weigh myself. Not that I really want to weigh myself now, but I have decided to weigh in to help track my progress as I count calories. Hopefully I will be rewarded by feeling and looking better, and will see significant differences in clothing sizes, but it would also be nice to be able to watch my weight drop along the way.

Monday when I stepped on the scale the needle swung to either 187 or 188--it is hard to read. I stepped off and then back on the scale and was alarmed to see that it now read 192! Oh, no! Off and on again, now it read 190. I asked my husband to look, so he got his glasses and crouched down to try to read the scale. 191! Off and on again. 188, he read. His own weight remained steady at 193, just as it was three weeks ago...but then, he hasn't been counting calories or trying to eat less. He eats anything he wants, and in any quantity he wants. It's not fair. Anyway, I recorded 188, as I refuse to believe that I have gained weight over the last three weeks of faithfully counting calories, averaging just under 1200 per day.

I am discouraged by more than the lack of cooperation from the scale. Over the last three weeks I have seen changes in my face that reflect the loss of a few pounds. I have dimples that I had forgotten about. And a week ago I was able to squeeze into the one pair of jeans I own, which was gratifying. But the jeans aren't getting any looser. And now the scale doesn't show that I've lost weight. The nutrition tracker keeps telling me that I don't eat enough carbohydrates, fats or proteins, and often notes that I don't eat enough calories! I am trying so hard to eat a balanced diet of 1200 calories or less a day, and I often go to bed hungry, yet I'm not seeing results. Sigh. Could I have reached a plateau so quickly???

The weather is starting to improve here, so I hope to be able to start walking soon. Hopefully that will help me feel better. I had hoped to lose several pounds by the time I started walking, as that would make it easier for me to breathe while walking. I'll keep plugging away with the calorie counting. I'm not so discouraged that I want to quit. Yet. It's been 24 days since I began conscientiously counting calories and trying to eat better. I'll see how the next week goes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GINGEMBRE 3/18/2009 8:38PM

    Thanks for the advice and encouragement, you two! Starting right now I'll increase my calories to around 1400 per day and keep working on making them as nutritious as possible. I'll also try walking in place indoors, MusicMinor, instead of waiting on the weather to get warmer. First I'm going to eat an evening snack to boost today's calories and ease my hunger pangs! I feel better already! Thanks again.

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MUSICMINOR 3/18/2009 8:21PM

    Sunnydalebetty is right. Same thing happened to me shortly after starting counting calories. I increased my calories only enough to put me in my range of 1200 but not over 1500 and I slowly started droping again. You can also start walking in place in front of your T.V. Dont let the weather hold you back. I like to March and swing my arms. You will be suprised how fast your heart picks up.

Comment edited on: 3/18/2009 8:22:47 PM

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Eat more! You will lose more if you eat in your range! 1200 is the BARE MINIMUM. You will go into starvation mode under that, and it will be harder to lose weight.

I've found that on the days I work, I can eat up to 2k and still lose weight. Find your perfect range and remember that your perfect range is NO MATTER WHAT going to be above 1200 per day. :p

Good luck, and good eating!

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