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More vision problems....sigh.....and getting older

Friday, September 30, 2011

Getting older is a journey that can be strong and meaningful.

But, it is also fraught with these darn medical things, and although thank G-d mine have been minor, they do get me down at times.

So about a year ago, I started having these weird flashes in my right eye, and then some effects that I first thought was a mouse running across the floor? No such thing, that was a massive "floater" that had developed in my eye.

A trip to the opthamologist revealed that I had had a "retinal pull," where decreasing fluid in the eyeball (because of that aging thing, darn it!) had tugged at my retina (the flashes) and created some floating matter (the floater). So I have it monitored, and the floater has reduced a bit (maybe I just ignore it better) and it has been stable. There is some risk here of the retina tearing or detaching and needing surgery.

So yesterday and today, darned if the same thing did not happen in the left eye. Should have expected it, I guess, same flashing and today a delightful (not) floater in the eye. Sigh....

I will go to the doctor and have it checked out next week, and I know the danger signs for real problems and what hospital emergecy to go to if they happen. At least we have socialized medicine here so no worry about fees.

But still, it is a downer.....

Thanks for reading, helps to write about it.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANT406 9/30/2011 7:54PM

    Hope everything works out for you. You're in my thoughts and prayers. Take care. emoticon

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CASJ57 9/30/2011 6:30PM

    I am right there with you on the eye thing emoticon

At least we can still see!

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Falling off the wagon and getting back on again....gracefully!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Yesterday was a difficult day.

My weight was way down, too far down I realize now, and I was feeling irritable and hungry.

The workday was spent dealing with difficult HR matters, and then there was a difficult volunteer meeting in the evening....I've used the word "difficult" three times to let you know that it was well, just a difficult day.

And then, on the way home difficult became dangerous because some clearly incompetent driver made a dangerous left turn directly in front of me and I am glad there was no one behind me, as I had to put on the brakes so strongly I might have been rear-ended. Goodness.

But, I held my eating together, keeping to the high end of my calorie range because I wanted to gain a bit. Until I got home.

Picture me, wandering around the house in an agitated state, getting my chores done and even playing my guitar for a bit, but still not able to stop those roiling emotions. True I was earning steps, but really....

So I made a conscious decision. I was going to consume two of my favorite binge foods, in controlled amounts, and document them of course, and then get on with it. Own it, track it, move on.

So you can say that I chose to emotionally eat in a controlled and limited way to deal with emotions that were playing havoc with my system. I got some sleep, got up and took some flex time--leisurely completed my morning chores, did some cooking, did a full workout (often I do a short one on Fridays), played the guitar, went on Sparkpeople and documented everything, and here I am at work relaxed and functional and with no desire to binge.

I did gain weight of course, but am still under goal. In fact, I would have had to eat 6000+ calories extra to make a real gain to where I am this morning, and the total extra was more like 800 or so. So some of this is temporary weight and will come off.

It has taken me since May 2009 to get to this point, to use emotional eating in a planful and limited way to get past a bad time. I do not have to use it too often, thank goodness, but it is there.

To all who read this. Do you ever emotionally eat in a controlled way? How do you manage your stress when your typical coping mechanisms fail?



I cooked for myself today....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Does not sound like much, but....

So my spouse is working tonight, so it is dinner on my own. A few months ago I moved beyond packaged diet meals--too much sodium, not enough volume.

For dinner I eat protein and vegetables. I had some nice leftover chicken, but what to do for the vegetables.

In the past I would open a can of green beans (which I do have in the house) and take those.

But, today, I cooked a fresh cauliflower. Just for dinner for me. And cleaned up the dishes by hand, not enough for the dishwasher.

What does this mean for me? That I am worth having fresh and wholesome food, rather than something out of a can. That I can plan my meals--I am working late tomorrow and will take some more leftover chicken and some leftover cauliflower--no prepackaged diet meal. That I can benefit by putting out the effort for cooking, just for me.

WW uses the abbreviation NSV--non scale victory. This was a NSV for me for sure.

Thank you Sparkpeople and Sparkguy and all the Sparkteam members I am getting to know. Your journeys are pretty remarkable, and inspiring for sure.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CASJ57 9/21/2011 6:37PM

    Alright! That is a major NSV, in my book. Once you get used to home cooking vs. packaged meals, you don't go back.


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SUNRISE14 9/21/2011 6:34PM

    emoticon I have dependend on diet dinners for one meal aday and desperatly want to get away from them i think i am hooked because its easy to figure calories ! Can you help me with my planning do you log your food and if it's public that would give me ideas ! emoticon

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A Year's Worth of Maintaining.....

Monday, September 19, 2011

So it is May 18, 2009, Victoria Day in Canada, and there I am.

I weigh 212 pounds, on my 5'1", small-boned frame.

I just tried to play my classical guitar for the first time in a long time, and I cannot manage to keep it on my lap....

I am over 60 years old and desperate.

I have had a weight problem my whole life, an emotional eater from infancy I think, and have had some time-limited success with Weight Watchers, but I gained it back and more.

But on May 18 2009 something clicked. WW was available on-line in Canada, which works for me, tech-oriented and not much for self-help meetings.

So I joined.

I cannot tell you why I stuck it out this time. The early WW days, using the old Points system, gave me plenty to eat and I got involved in the on-line support boards.

And I lost weight, and was able to go closet shopping, and eventually had to buy a whole new wardrobe, and had to convince some colleagues that I did not have a fatal disease. I have been treadmilling for decades, and upped the intensity (small increments) and kept up with some weights for the uppr body.

Fast forward to September 19, 2010. I reach my WW goal of 112 pounds, and am terrified--of gaining it back, of keeping losing, of not knowing what to eat, of losing more, you name it, I am terrified.

I got some support from on-line forums, but was pretty much on my own. My WW maintenance was up and down, I still emotionally ate (the day of weigh-in, and then try to lose it all through the week, anybody ever do that :-)). Then WW changed its system and it definitely stopped working very well for me. I got up to 114 and it was not going down.

So, in my ongoing web searches for the perfect pedometer (I've been wearing one for years), I found the fitbit. Not yet available in Canada when I discovered it (wireless license problems, no literature in French!) so I bided my time and bought one when in the US last June. And in getting used to the fitbit, I found folks were mentioning Sparkpeople on the forums. So I gave it a try....

What a relevation! This is an in-your-face, active, happy website, with enough information on maintenance to help me actually maintain! And not only am I maintaining, I am down to 109 and sometimes less pounds.

And today I have maintained for a year. I wrote in a Maintenace Sparkteam forum today:

"I have been maintaining for a year, today!

At first, the scale was the only measure I would use to determine successful maintenance--you can see I still have it as my icon on the weight loss ticker. It was operational, it did not lie, etc.

Now, I am getting into a broader definition, and looking at all aspects of fitness as indicators of maintenance. I have exercised for decades, and have certainly increased my duration and intensity of such. I also take into account my work/life balance (high pressure job, type A personality), sleep patterns (do not do so well here), frame of mind, my music, practice of my faith, doing good in/for this world, relationship with spouse, and other measures of how I am living a fit life.

The scale is still important, and I still weigh myself every day, I love stats and measuring things and that is how using a fitbit is really helpful to me as well. But what I try to do is measure me, how I am I doing on my journey?

And a funny result! I used to think that if I went below 110 pounds I would fall over from low blood sugar. Recently I have moved down to the 108's and I am still standing."

Do I still want to emotionally eat sometimes? Yes! Do I still emotionally eat sometimes? Yes!
One of the contributers on the Canadian WW meantenance message board has a slogan--when you go beyond the beyond, "own it, track it, and move on." Truer words never said.

And I am still scared I will gain it all back, but not as scared as I used to be.

And I am playing and enjoying my guitars (bought a second one), limited somewhat by carpal tunnel syndrome right now but managing.

And I am rewarding myself for the year's maintenance, which feels a heck of a lot more meaningful than my birthday, even.

At the advanced age of 63, I have never owned a personal smartphone. So, and being fortunate enough to have the funds, I went out and got an iPhone with a data plan.

The first app I downloaded was the Sparkpeople one (it's free). Now I can post and track without having to be near my computer.

I hope this was meaningful enough for folks to read right through to the end. Thank you Sparkpeople, and the Spark book, and some on-line friends I am getting to know.....thank you.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BVICTORIOUS 9/23/2011 12:11PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs - congrats not only on the one-year maintenance, but on the self-awareness. Loved your blog about cooking for yourself - WooHoo!!

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ROCKMAN6797 9/21/2011 10:28AM

    Your story is absolutely inspirational! Congratulations on your one-year anniversary and it certainly sounds like you have all the tools to continue maintaining. Simply awesome!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CASJ57 9/19/2011 11:25PM

    Congratulations! I still have dreams (nightmares?) where none of my clothes fit - and some days I look in the mirror and still see the 40 pound heavier me. Our minds seem to take awhile to catch up to our bodies! Great blog, you have a great perspective on fitness.


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REENIE131 9/19/2011 10:30PM

    Congrats on your maintenance...and your lessons learned. You've done a great job.

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I spread the Spark at work!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Couldn't find any palce else to put this...

I am on my employer's wellness committee and recently I organized a presentation to the committee about websites that folks could use to manage their weight, fitness, general quality of life. We employ about 260 staff.

Results? The following e-mail was sent by the committee today, with a really nice graphic that unfortunately will not copy and paste:

Are you interested in any of the following?
• Personalized diet & fitness plans
• Calorie counter & healthy recipes
• Workout tracker, exercise demos & videos
• Articles and FAQ’s written by registered dietitians & trainers
• Optional groups and message boards allowing you to connect with others like you in support teams

Whether you are looking to lose weight, or simply better understand your eating and exercise patterns, here are some free sites to help you reach your goals and be healthy and fit:
• Lance Armstrong’s “Live Strong” site:
• Spark People site:

So, now 260 more people (and all of them Canadians!) know about the Spark.

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERYL_B 9/22/2011 6:33PM

    I am presenting at work next week. Any hints on what people really liked or what didn't work? Thanks!

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    WTG :)..hope they take advantage of the information!

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LISA.LOU 9/19/2011 1:34PM

    That's a huge amount of people who now have access to this site. You did a good thing!

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BRANDISMARG 9/19/2011 1:04PM


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