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Small Changes Lead To Progress

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

So, another month is down and I can say that I have made progress, but didn't meet my goal. I lost 6.2 lbs this month (not the 8 I was aiming for) and am happy to have lost 22.8 lbs since I started in the middle of May. It just goes to show that even if you don't meet your goals, those small accomplishments do add up to losing weight and feeling better:) I'm still going to aim for 8 lbs in August, and am going to push myself to meet that goal!!

My journey to being healthier seems a lot different this time than any other time that I have tried to lose weight. There is no "falling off the wagon" as I used to see it. Yes, there are days that are better than others, but the mindset of being healthy doesn't go away to start again on Monday of next week. I know the threat of kidney stones tends to keep me in check, but I'll take this lifestyle change any way I can:) I am starting to see myself feeling better, having more energy to keep up with my children, and finally having my clothes fit me better and are actually starting to get too big.

I have learned a few things along the way that have helped me with my progress:
1. Not drinking your calories really seems to help to keep me within my ranges.
2. Drinking lots of water makes me feel better and healthier.
3. Tracking sodium teaches you a lot about what you are putting in your body, along with tracking everything else. (Try it, you may be surprised at how sodium affects your weight loss).
4. You have to want it and be willing to make the changes in order to see the changes that you want to see!!

I seem to have the eating part of this on a positive track, so in August I am going to push myself to get more exercise in. I really want to try to do kettle bell, and am going to see if I can find one at Play It Again Sports (second hand exercise/sports equipment) that is cheaper than what I have found so far. I was surprised at how much they cost, the heavier they are the higher the price and being a farm girl I'm sure that I'll need a fairly heavy one to push myself to start out. Either way, I am going to buy one as a reward for losing 20 lbs.

I'm also still working with the Endocrinologist to figure out why my cortisol levels are out of whack. I go on Friday to have even more lab work done, so hopefully they will figure out something. It's a much more involved test that I have to go to a hospital 1.5 hrs away to have done. Sounds like lots of blood draws and injections to see how my body reacts. Hopefully it doesn't last too long, as that's when I want to see about a kettle bell:)

So, it's time to push myself to take the next steps in my journey to a healthy me...are you willing to make the changes too??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNSHYNE72 8/1/2012 2:30PM

    Congrats on the weight loss! Just a helpful fact, but when I was getting kidney stones every couple of months my endo had suggested that I give up Iced Tea! I did and now only drink it when we go to a restaurant! I have not had a kidney stone in almost 4 years!!

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WASCALLYWONE 8/1/2012 2:26PM

    You are doin' it! emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 8/1/2012 10:53AM

    Joy, you've turned a corner, and I couldn't be happier for you! You know what you need to do....and you are willing to make sacrifices in order to get it done. Woo Hoo!

About the Kettlebells, do you have Aldi's in your area? A while back some of the girls were going to Aldi's and getting them for pretty cheap. Not sure if they still have them though, or if they are heavy enough for you. But maybe worth a try?

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VLKSHA 8/1/2012 10:28AM

    You have to want it and be willing to make the changes in order to see the changes that you want to see!! - Love it!

Hope you find a cheaper kettle bell, have considered trying them to focus on my stomach ever since I read about them in a c-section recovery blog. I wouldn't get them too heavy, the range of motion and intensity looks pretty tough. Then again, if you move buckets of water/milk, feed bags, hay, etc... you are probably more than ready. Let us know how it goes.

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ANLYNNKO 8/1/2012 10:23AM

    Thanks for the idea of tracking sodium! Keep up the good work.

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MABELLE87 8/1/2012 9:57AM

    This month my goals are to incorporate more veggies in my supper and even my lunch. I clearly dont get enough. Also try to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Its hard especially when you dont like the taste of water, but i bought MIO and thats been helping. But since i have a game plan, im gonna try my best and I cant wait for my next dietician appointment to see if i lost this months goal of 5 lbs. Loved reading your blog keep on posting

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MICHELLE6468 8/1/2012 9:56AM

    You seem to be on the right track! Congratulations on your weight loss!

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Swimsuit issues...Definitely not Sports Illustrated!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

This Friday, my son has a trip planned to the local water park and they are asking for chaperones and drivers. Of course my first instinct was "Yes, I'd love to go and have some one on one time with him!!" For those that don't know, I have 4 kids and love the special times when I can put all of my attention on just one:) Then self doubt reared it's ugly head-OMG, I'll have to wear a swimsuit and I always hide this body as much as possible when in public. Not only that, but when I do wear a bathing suit, I like the two piece ones that flare out and hide some of the "mommy rolls" on the front side, with swim shorts that hide some of the back side too. Well, anyone who wears these suits can tell you, that the flare in the front likes to "swim" up in the front when you are in the water and I can just envision it swimming up to my chest as I go down a water slide (not a pretty picture). So, do I forgo this trip because I don't like the way my body looks in a suit, or do I suck it up and try to have fun anyway...Maybe I'll see if I can find a suit that will stay down and hide my rolls...Do they make such a thing???

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FAITHHOPELOVE17 7/28/2012 11:22AM

    Great blog! I say go... even tho i am not wearing swimsuits right now! But your children are smaller and i think he will love to have you there and he won't ever remember that mommy had a little extra fat in her suit... he'll remember the fun time he had with mommy at the waterpark. Having said that, I know how overwhelming it is for me... so i hope you can find a suit you feel most comfortable in and then just go and have Fun! Smiles! - Kelly

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DDHEART 7/27/2012 8:34AM

    I saw from your friend feed post that you are on your way....have fun...and all of our friends here have said such smart things.....we are harder on ourselves than the rest of the world....

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MNTWINSGAL 7/24/2012 10:41PM

    Joy, I'm dying to know....what did you decide? I hope you decided to go. Truth be known, most of the moms are probably just like you. And really, people don't notice what we look like half as often as we think they do. And my final point....if you are out there with a smile on your face, having fun....that's what people are going to remember, not an extra love handle here or there.

P.S. at the last second at the top of the slide, tuck the top into the bottoms just a bit. then when you plunge into the water at the end, remember to quick untuck. ;)

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CATANTIGO 7/23/2012 7:36PM

    I agree, go on the trip. Your son will love to have you along, and he'll be so proud. It's not because of the suit size, but because he loves you. And you'll love your time with him.

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SUNNSHYNE72 7/23/2012 3:10PM

    Go for it. I stepped out of alot of thing with my kids because of my weight & depression & now wish I can take those days back for a DO-OVER! I am a mother of 6 & yes one on one time is a special thing!

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WASCALLYWONE 7/23/2012 2:25PM

    And, P.S. Joy, you are not as big as you imagine...from your pics, I'd say you can rock a swimsuit....give it some attitude!

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WASCALLYWONE 7/23/2012 9:26AM

    Please move the focus over to him, not you. And SMILE through it all! Your son will long remember that you were with him, having fun, not that your suit and body weren't perfect. Some mothers wear a large T-shirt over their suits (to avoid sunburn.)


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LADYJ6942 7/23/2012 8:44AM

    Go for it mom, our kids are only young once and only want us around for a little while. They grow to quickly and brush us aside so go for the gusto and have a blast!!!

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The Endocrinologist

Monday, July 02, 2012

I had an appt with the endocrinologist today, and I was a little surprised about all that she talked about. I've been seeing endocrinologists for about 18 years now for a pituitary tumor, and just recently had to change dr's. This was the second time I have seen this one, and the first time I wasn't very impressed with her.

The first thing we talked about was my prolactin levels and how they are at a normal level now with the help of medication. That was about all that the other dr's ever checked, and sent me on my way with a "we'll see you in a year and re-check the levels then." I knew when I went last week for lab work that she had a lot of tests down on the script. Next on her list was my cortisol levels. Mine are low which really surprised her, so rather than jump right into it she is going to re-check those levels again to make sure it wasn't a fluke at the lab. She didn't want to discuss it with me until she was sure that it was a problem?!? I'll be doing a little research on-line later to see what is involved with low cortisol;)

Then, the subject of my kidney stones came up. She asked multiple questions on what tests my urologist ran and what his suggestions were. Well, she was shocked at what little was done, and is ordering more tests to see why they are forming. How sad is it that you learn more from the endocrinologist than the urologist when it comes to kidney stones?!? She is checking to see if something in my body is causing them, or if it's in my diet. The urologist just blamed it on my diet and left it at that.

Then came the wonderful subject of being over weight. She just loves to help people lose weight, and obviously I'm her next victim:) She talked about all of the great new weight loss medications that have been approved by the FDA and how each one works. I have never cared for taking any kind of medication, even tylenol, and avoid them at all costs. She really wants me to try one of them, but I am really leary about it. Yes, I know that being OBESE (there I said it) is a very serious health problem. Yes, I know that I need to lose the weight and keep it off. Yes, I am trying to lose it by watching what I eat and exercising. Yes, I want to feel better and look better and I want to grow old to see my children and grandchildren grow up. Why does it all have to be so hard and frustrating!! Sooo, whether I like it or not it's time to get serious about getting out of the obese category.

Even though I don't want to, I will be starting Phentermine and monitoring my blood pressure (mine was high today for the first time ever). I will be sticking to what I have been doing on sparkpeople and adding more exercise in too. She would like to see me lose a minimum of 12 lbs by the time I go back in 3 months. To me, that sounds low if I'm having the help of a weight loss pill, but we'll see. So, off I go to crush the OBESE category and get healthy:) I hope this works!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDHEART 7/5/2012 8:26AM

    My support and encouragement added to the others here...Since this Dr. seems to be trying more than the others to help you I think your trying to go along with the plan is good but I'll insert one caution and that is to remain your own number one priority and protector so as you try this med...be aware of how it affects you and if you have ANY concerns don't ignore them, contact the Dr. with your concerns. As others have said everyone is different and you don't want to ignore your own special needs. Also, as Sharon said, you have made progress on your own so no matter how you proceed at this point, we know you can and will have success.

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CATANTIGO 7/5/2012 7:17AM

    Thanks for sharing your personal story. It's great that this Dr. is giving you the time and attention you deserve. Take care, and keep on Sparking!

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AMYLYNN0908 7/2/2012 4:50PM

    Sounds like you found a doctor who really cares about the health of her patients! You are so lucky! I'd love to know how things go for you. (I returned to school for nursing.)

I have been hypothyroid since I was 18. Even with medication, I still showed signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism. It wasn't until 6 years later when I found out that I have a special type of autoimmune hypothyroidism... which, low and behold, was discovered by my psychiatrist!

Also, prescription medications aren't for everyone (just like all diet plans don't work for everyone), and everyone has an opinion on them. Personally, I feel that if your doctor suggests it, she/he has a very good reason and will be monitoring you closely to ensure no bad effects. On the other hand, a doctor should also work with you on your preferences over your own health.

Phentermine is one that is intended to be a short-term boost to get you going. However, of my own experience, it made me jittery. I did stick with it for the three months that my doctor prescribed it, and it did great at controlling my appetite. By the end of the three months when he weaned me off, I was able to control my appetite on my own. I kept that weight off (all 82 pounds) for several years. (Why I gained it back is a whole different story, and is related to a negative relationship.)

Your doctor is also looking out for your health. Losing 1-2 pounds each week is healthy. Any more than that can shock your body and result in health problems. (Not always, but the likelihood is quite high.) Losing 12 pounds in 3 months is a reasonable goal to keep you healthy while losing. If you lose more, that's great... just stay healthy in doing so.

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MNTWINSGAL 7/2/2012 4:33PM

    Wow Joy, I always love your blogs, but....I read this with much interest, since we do have some of the same problems. I'm so glad this doctor is looking more into the kidney stones and cause thereof. I thought the Urologist you saw basically blew you off, and I'm thrilled for you that this Endocrinologist is picking up the ball!

That being said....did you tell her that you have just lost over 16 pounds in the last two months WITHOUT medication? I wish she'd have given you a chance to lose the 12 pounds she's requesting before your next appointment before insisting that you start the meds now -- and especially given your convictions to stay off unnecessary meds.

OK....I'll get off my soapbox. I'm sure she had her reasons, and that she has your best interests at heart. I'm excited to see the results!

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JUDSTERF 7/2/2012 4:22PM

    Good for you on seeing an Endocrinologist. I've been seriously considering doing that myself when I get back from vacation. I know my thyroid needs to be increased (I have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism) even though I'm on a very low dose now. I hope this Endocrinologist helps you more than the 1st one did. Keep me informed.

Judy emoticon

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Low sodium/low fat-how do you balance it out?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I started off soooo strong with eating extremely low sodium to avoid kidney stones. The problem is that I have "burned out". I wonder if I tried to cut too much at once or just too much in general on some days. I don't know how to balance between watching the sodium and watching the fat. It seems like what I was eating that was "healthier" is high in sodium and a lot of the food that I have switched out to lower the sodium is higher in fat-so what is better for me? How do you balance it out? I love fruits and veggies, but after a while I get sick of eating the same thing day in and day out:(

It's been 3 days since I tracked my food, and 4 days since I've gotten my walk in. Today is the day to get back on track and quit letting "life" stop me from getting myself healthy. When does a "life style change" get easier?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNTWINSGAL 6/14/2012 12:30PM

    Accidental double post....I can't delete it but at least I can change it!

Have a great day!

Comment edited on: 6/14/2012 12:31:12 PM

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MNTWINSGAL 6/14/2012 12:29PM

    I agree with Raelene....don't beat yourself up Joy - just keep doing the best you can and learn all you can. Maybe your doctor will refer you to a nutritionist?

Have you had your stones analyzed? There are different types of kidney stones. For instance, mine are made of calcium oxalate. which has a different "do not eat" list than some of the other types. Also, remember it's not only about the sodium. Getting enough water is critical. My doctor wants me to aim for a gallon per day....and for sure a half gallon.

Now....back to tracking!

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WASCALLYWONE 6/14/2012 9:45AM

    Joy, these days happen...the day when you have an "aha" moment and realize that in our efforts to accomplish one thing, another goes askew! So, you did the right thing, in stopping to catch a breath. Now you did the other right thing, in reaching out to your SP friends. Not that I have any answers....I wonder if your Q would be answered by one of the SP coaches or nutritionists? Have you gone online to research a food plan for your situation?

Not sure if it EVER gets easier...just more comfortable. Esp. when we have events and other people to plan around... Ah, LIFE! Just do the best you can!

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Have any low sodium ideas? Please HELP!!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Does anyone have good ideas of what to eat that is low sodium? I think that part of not losing much weight this week is because I'm not eating enough (I know not right, huh?), and not the right things. I look at labels and get very discouraged-whole wheat and whole grain seem to be higher in sodium, and low fat is higher too! I've bought no salt peanut butter to have with my celery, eat salad with very little or NO dressing, salt free pretzels with nutella, and roasted almonds (no salt). The only problem with all of the "nut" products is that they are sooo high in fat!! I love fruits and veggies, but need a variety of other foods too.

I made spagetti for my family last night, then had to just eat salad with grilled chicken and no dressing after reading the labels. Some meals I eat the same thing as my family, but really small portions to keep the sodium lower. Most of the time I even track the meal to see how high the sodium will be before I eat- I hate to see how much sodium is even in those small portions:( The hardest thing so far that I have had to give up is cheese-calcium with the sodium is a no, no for kidney stones.

What was really tricky this week was a few days we were away from home and had to go out to eat. I had snacks with me that I could have lived on, but it's not fair to my husband to not eat. One thing that I did notice was that some menus tell you low fat options, but nothing is ever mentioned about sodium so it's a guessing game. Once again, I ordered a salad with dressing on the side. Not one of those yummy looking salads that have everything in it, but the basic garden salad-I don't know how long before I get sick of the same foods all of the time! The other time, I ordered a half of turkey sub with very little mayo and no dressing or oil and definetly no chips or sides-it still had over 1100 mg of sodium because I had it on a whole wheat roll-not a good choice!

So if you have any ideas of different things to eat that are low sodium I would appreciate the help-I NEVER want to go through the pain of a kidney stone again!! Thanks so much:)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNTWINSGAL 6/4/2012 8:05PM

    I dno't have a lot of ideas for low sodium...I'm just here for support! High blood pressure is one health problem (sometimes I thing the ONLY one) that I haven't had to deal with. I do know that processed foods are exceptionally high in sodium, so maybe being sure to rinse any canned veggies before using would help?

And don't forget, while nuts are high in fat, with most of them it's healthy fat so you should enjoy in moderation!

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    Hi! I'm also trying to lower my sodium intake (I have high blood pressure) and have found it difficult at times too. I've been eating a lot of salads on this journey and have taken a break from them recently (or at least haven't been eating them every meal, lol). Try making chicken (skinless, of course) or fish, maybe sautéing them in the frying pan with some No Stick Olive oil spray (no sodium in the Walmart brand, not sure about others). You can also add some frozen veggies of your choice, just the plain kind, no seasoning added. Then try using the Mrs. Dash seasonings. They have a lot of different kinds and they are Sodium Free!! These are lifesavers when it comes to having flavor with your food, lol. Eating more fruits and veggies is what has been helping me the most. I'm not sure how you track your food but I find that pre-planning meals really helps too. I hope you don't mind my adding you as a friend. It's nice to chat with people who have the same things going on in their diet. Hope this helps! emoticon

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ONEDERLAND2013 6/2/2012 9:47AM

    I agree that almost anything that you buy has a high sodium content. I even hauled out my bread machine (that had been collecting dust for a number of years) and started to make bread and then I can eliminate the salt. The problem is that it tastes so good that we eat too much of it - hard to get a really thin slice !

The only thing that I can suggest is cooking as much from "scratch" as possible and eliminating or drastically reducing the salt that is called for in most recipes.

Good luck - hope you get lots of responses and then maybe I can use some of the suggestions as well


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