Tuesday, July 22, 2014
I'm watching Brandy's episode on EWL from last Tuesday right now. Just saw her initial weigh-in. When I saw her with just a sports bra on and her enormous stomach, I thought to myself, "She must weight close to 400 lbs." But the scale said 329 lbs. My starting weight was 328 lbs. I never thought I was that fat, but then I see pictures like this and I know I was.
I have my "fat" picture on the fridge for motivation, but it's been there so long I hardly notice it anymore.
I need to take a long, hard look at these pictures today. I need to remember where I was and how I lived for so many years, limited in so many aspects of my life by my obesity. I need to REMEMBER! Because I know how easy it would be to weigh 328 lbs. again.
A month ago I joined Brooke Birmingham's Diet Bet. Not sure how I first found out about Brooke, but when I saw her starting weight was 327 lbs. (very near my own 328), I felt an immediate kinship with her, even though she is in her 20's and I am 63. I have been following her journey on her blog, http://brookenotonadiet.com/
with great joy as she hit her goal and became what she dreamed of for so long: A Weight Watcher Lecturer. She is certainly an inspiration, and when she started a Diet Bet last month, I thought, "Why not?" For some reason betting that $20 got me motivated again, and I reversed my gaining trends. I started slowly last month, by cutting out the snack/binging and that small change helped a lot, I did lose 4% (7.3 lbs.), so I will get my $20 back. Then I saw Chris & Heidi Powell started a Diet Bet which started the day after Brooke's ended. I decided to join another one, and risked $30 this time.
I feel like I'm back at the beginning, when I started out slowly, first just giving up my Pepsi. Then eating just one portion of the regular food I continued to cook, but eventually finding healthier foods and recipes to cook and eat. I'm working my way back into this slowly, and I feel confident I will be able to lose another 7 pounds before August 22. After losing almost 180 lbs., 7 pounds seems like nothing. It's not nothing, it's now almost 1/3 of the way to my goal, which is to get back to 150 lbs.
Today at lunch, we stopped at a local bar & grill after Du's bone scan. The special was a Philly sandwich, served with potato chips. POTATO CHIPS! My nemesis. They are probably the food I miss the most. And I have not allowed myself to eat them for almost five years. I know I can't limit the quantity, so I always figure it's just easier not to eat any. So I ordered my "sandwich," I asked the waitress to hold the bread and the cheese, so my 'sandwich' was simply grilled chicken, onions and green peppers. Then I asked to substitute a side salad with lite Italian dressing for the chips. I feel really good about the choices I made today, and how I was brave enough to ask for what I wanted. The waitress was really nice and the meal came out exactly as I had ordered it. I'm BACK!!!
I will look like this again.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Day 98: We live just southwest of Lincoln, Nebraska, on an acreage. It is a nice place to live, we have neighbors, but they aren't close, since we all have three acres. Juno has lots of room to run, and Du loves playing farmer in the garden and yard. We both love the peace and quiet out here in the countryside. We also both know that moving off the acreage is in our future, with his cancer, he isn't going to be able to take care of this yard forever. But we are putting it off, because neither of us wants to move from here EVER!
We have a nice view of the Nebraska State Capitol Building from our yard. It is easier to see in Winter when the trees aren't leafed out, but even in the Summer, over the treetops, we can see the top of our beautiful Capitol. It makes me happy to be able to live outside of the "big city" and enjoy the serene country, while still being able to see the cityscape from my front yard.
Day 99: I did a Smilebox picture tribute to my sweet pets, Juno (Bulldog) and Neymar (kitty cat who appeared at our house last Fall). You probably have noticed how much I talk about them. I really adore both these little girls. They are sweet and pretty well-behaved, and have wormed their way into my heart.
Day 100: I picked a simple walk down the road with Juno and Du as the conclusion to my 100 Happy Days. I called it a "perfect ending to 100HappyDays." And it was. We had some beautiful weather last week, highs in the mid 70's, perfect for walking, and unheard of around here for mid-July. Today it is to be close to 100, so our brief respite from the heat of summer is over, but it was sure nice while it lasted.
And that is my 100 Days of Happy. I will miss posting a picture each day. It was a good way to remind myself of how much I have to be grateful for, and there is much in my life to make me happy.....from a pint of frozen strawberries sweetened with Splenda, to the lovely lilacs blooming in my yard, to the birth of a new grandbaby, to good results from Du's cancer scans. It ranged from the mundane to the sublime and everywhere in between. I will miss it.
One month ago, for the first time, I joined a Diet Bet. It got me motivated to get back in the weight-loss mode, quit all the snacking, eat healthier at meals, and start walking more. I only lost 7 lbs., but it was 4%, which was enough to get my $20 back. I joined another Diet Bet immediately, since it really seemed to get me back on track. This one is sponsored by Chris & Heidi Powell and it is BIG. Chris says they usually get $100,000 pots. I am once again just hoping to get my $30 back. If I can manage to lose 7 pounds every month, by November, I will be back to 150 lbs., which is my GOAL. Of course I will celebrate when I get to 160 lbs. too, as that was my original goal, and I will always consider it the place where maintenance started.
Today I weighed 175 lbs. I feel good about my mind-set again, proud of myself once more and happy to be back on track. I am also very grateful I stopped before I regained all of my weight. I wish I'd have stopped sooner, but I'm on the way back down the scale again and that is a very good thing! (Please ignore my ugly toenails and feet in the picture below--this is what 63-year old feet look like, especially after 30 years of being morbidly obese.)
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Day 97 -- This little guy is just so adorable. At the Bowling Alley Monday night, I was feeding him, and when he was done, I remembered that when his big brother was about that age, I used to take his hands and make him clap, and he would smile, So I tried it with Noah and it worked! His smile really lights up the room, and my life. This little guy makes me so happy every single day!
I was thinking about my behavior over the months between Thanksgiving and when I started the DietBet on June 23, and got control of myself again. What did I do that? How could I let myself get so far off track? I am evidently one of those people who cannot eat right 90% of the time and not be so careful 10% of the time. Once I veer a little off track, I find it easier to keep behaving badly. I never returned to old habits, like eating bags of cookies, candy and chips or stopping at the Fast Food Drive-Thru's, but I ate too many "healthy" snacks. Getting rid of those was really helpful in getting me back on track. I now try to snack on fruit, and then only one snack in the afternoon and one in the evening. Sometimes I even forget to have a snack in the afternoon. ME? Forgot to snack/eat? That is weird. Today for my snack, I sliced up a Missouri Peach that I just bought at a produce stand--delicious and only 40 calories! SCORE! In the evening, I have been having a WW English Toffee Crunch Ice Cream Bar. They are 100 calories, and seem to satisfy my craving for something sweet. For some reason, I can limit myself to only one of those at a time, when a whole box of them is in my freezer. Go figure???
It is a relief to see the scale dropping again instead of headed the other direction. As usual, however, I am impatient and want to see those pounds melt off the way they did in the beginning. It is a proven fact that previously fat people simply cannot eat as much to maintain their weight as those who have never been fat. I try to counter-act that reality by walking more. But, as you know, walking just really doesn't burn many calories. I am finding, as I did before, that your weight loss is mostly dependent upon what you eat.
If I had not let myself get off track, I would not now be having to cut back so drastically in my calorie intake. In order to lose weight at this point, I have found it necessary to consume fewer and fewer calories. Someone sent me a Spark Mail a few months ago, asking how many calories I consumed in order to lose my weight. At first I aimed for 1,200, but as I got closer to goal, I found I had to cut back to closer to 1,000 in order to lose weight. I can eat about 1,500 calories to maintain my weight, and if I had to guess-timate how many calories I consumed during my 30-pound weight gain period, I would say between 2,000-2,500 calories per day. When I thought about tracking my calorie intake during that time, I realized I could not even remember all the snacks I had consumed during the day. That is when it gets scary.
I have been reading Sean Anderson's blog at http://losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com/
Sean is a success story, he lost 275 pounds and kept it off for over a year, before returning to old habits and regaining over 100 of those pounds. He is back on track now, losing almost 50 pounds in the last few months. However, Sean gained so much weight that it was noticeable. I'm pretty sure no one notices my weight gain, except me and my husband, and I am so glad I stopped it before it became noticeable. As much as I would hate to lose the health that I have regained, I might hate it more if people could see that I had gained weight and start those silent judgments of me, which people tend to do with those of us who fight the battle of the bulge.
I was so careful for so long. I still am. I still don't eat cake at parties when it is offered, and just as I like to blame the proliferance of fast food restaurants on every corner for this country's weight problem, I blame my own slippage on those darned so-called "healthy" snacks. They are healthy, fi you can limit your intake. I could not. I won't be buying them again.
I love this time of year, the produce stands are springing up all over and fruit and veggies are good, cheap and healthy. I currently have two canteloupes, a watermelon, Bing cherries, apples, bananas, and peaches in my fridge for snacking. DELICIOUS! I also have six ears of corn, and if I eat one at dinner, sprayed lightly with "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter," it's only 100 calories. This time of year, I can make a nice salad from the lettuce in the garden, and Du & I can make a meal of that, along with an ear of corn. It's unusual for him to be happy with a meatless meal, but this time of year, I can get by with it!
This was my lunch on Monday:
It's 16 Bing cherries, sliced lite peaches (I was out of fresh) and a tomato from the garden, chopped, with lots of pepper--the way I like them! Delicious! I also had a bacon & tomato sandwich, which came in at 250 calories. I have the bacon & tomato sandwiches at lunch, when Du is at work since he is not supposed to eat processed meat, like bacon and sausage, etc. I LOVE BLT's more than he does anyway, and with those great garden tomatoes, they are the BEST. I use 3 slices of microwave bacon at 135 calories, 2 slices of low-fat bread at 80 calories and a tablespoon of lite mayo which is 30 calories. I figure the tomato and lettuce are about 5 calories, for a total of only 250 calories for the whole delicious sandwich. Makes for a very satisfying lunch. I called the plate of food in the picture: Dessert!
We food addicts are the kings of ignoring what we are doing to ourselves when we overeat. I did it for 30 years, and then again in the past several months. It makes me mad at myself, but I'm also proud that I seem to have rediscovered my healthy mojo.
So even though I am having to be extremely careful about what I eat, I think I'm up for the challenge. I remember when I hit my goal weight before, those last pounds came off really slowly, so I can't get impatient and wish the scale would drop faster. I just know it's going to feel mighty good when I can slip back into those size 8 pants!!! AND I WILL!!!
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Yesterday in my e-mail was a note that a message was waiting for us in the Patient Portal at Du's Urologist. I was happy to see this message!
We are now 17 months into the initial treatment for advanced prostate cancer, which consists of shots to eliminate testosterone, which stops the spread of the cancer temporarily. The average time this treatment is effective is 18 months, so to hear that it is still working is most encouraging. The longer we can delay subsequent, harsher treatments (chemo, etc.) the better! Plus it says to me that Du is going to be with me for a while and that makes me SO HAPPY!
Du has a bone scan later this month, but the CT scan was last week, and evidently showed what we wanted to hear. He has a shot appointment tomorrow. I will ask his PA, Melissa, to tell me what is the difference in the scans and what the bone scan will show that the CT scan did NOT show. I should know this, but at Cancer Treatment Center both scans are done at the same time (one after the other), so I'm not sure what each of them specifically shows.
When I got the message on the patient portal, I immediately shared it with Du, but I wanted to tell the World. Instead I waited until today to post it on FB, so I could use it for my "Happy" of the day. Then I wanted to tell all my friends here. I know you're all rooting for us on our cancer journey and it's nice to be able to share GOOD news!
I didn't mention in yesterday's blog how I struggled with the steps at the Stadium at the Kansas City Royals game Saturday night. I had to take them one at a time. It's frustrating. I feel like I lost this weight.....regained my mobility.....and now have lost it again. I miss my aspirin. It really helped with my knee pain, more than I realized evidently. Aspirin over-use caused my ulcer, which caused more pain than I am willing to risk, so I take absolutely no aspirin, opting for a couple of Tylenol a few times a week. I am very careful about how many Tylenol I take, because I know over-use of Tylenol can lead to liver damage. Without the aspirin, stairs have become very difficult and painful. I no longer have the breathlessness issue from the exertion of climbing stairs that were part of the problem when I was morbidly obese. Since I have been forced to take steps so slowly, of course it doesn't exhaust me! But it IS embarrassing to have to take the steps so slowly and I find myself avoiding them if possible. We got to the stadium early to be able to get a Salvador Perez Bobblehead doll. They're just silly trinkets, but Du has a hutch full of meaningful trinkets out in the garage from our life together and it will make a nice addition. We were over an hour early for the game, so Du & Chris went to an area where they might be able to get a ball hit out, during batting practice. I was unwilling to go down those steps with them to get to that area, and we got separated. I walked around the stadium to get to my seat, and was in contact with them via Texting, but it was frustrating not to be able to join them in their pursuit of a ball (they didn't get one). I did get in a lot of steps walking around the stadium, however, so that was good. I had to do some searching to find the escalator and/or ramp up to the level where our seats were, because I would not attempt the steps. When they texted me that they were out at the "Outfield Experience" with my grandkids, I wanted badly to go back and join them, but I couldn't find the way to get back down to that level without taking steps. There are no down escalators until AFTER the game evidently, when they change them to go down rather than up. So I headed back to my seat.
I used to think I needed to have my knee replacement surgery while Du was still healthy enough to take care of me during my recovery. Now I realize I another reason I should have it done, is that I need to have it NOW to preserve my mobility, so that I CAN TAKE CARE OF DU when that time comes. I fear we will both be in a wheelchair at some point and that just will not do! So I need to screw up my courage, face the facts that surgery is in my future and get it over with! Any comments from those of you who have had knee replacement surgery would be most appreciated. Will it help with the pain? Will I be more agile? Will I be able to walk up and down stairs more easily? And will I be able to walk further down the road??? Will I be able to ride my bike again? I loved riding that bike the first two summers after I lost weight, but last summer, after getting a new (used) bike, I got on it, and was unable to endure the pain as my legs tried to complete the first spin of the wheels. It hurt so much, my knees just don't bend much at all.
I need to get things moving on this as soon as possible so I could have both knees done before the end of the year, since I am at my stop-loss on my insurance for this year. I hit the limit after my surgery in January. I have other things that also need fixing, I have trigger fingers on both hands that bother me a lot too. I have already had surgery on both thumbs and one finger, but now two other fingers are bothering me, so I need to take care of them. It doesn't bother me when I work on my counted cross stitch projects, to that's good, but it's hard to make a fist, open any jars, or even hold on to anything that is heavy, because it puts pressure on those fingers. It's a fairly easy surgery, the major inconvenience being keeping the sutures covered in the shower (or any water) for two weeks after surgery. It hardly hurts at all. So what am I waiting for? I don't know. Procrastination is certainly prevalent in my nature, obviously.
My dad had both of his knees replaced, but he waited until he was in his 70's. I know that he, like many people I have talked to, wished he had done it years earlier. I am only 63, but I feel like my old body is falling apart. I used to think, as my Dad had several surgeries as he aged, that at least everything he had that was going wrong, was fixable. I am thankful that what is wrong with me can be fixed and I just need to DO IT! Knowing that I won't have to worry about doctors telling me I need to lose weight before I have any surgery is certainly a relief. I do want to lose some weight before I go in to see a doctor about knee surgery however, because I know there will be a prolonged period where I will be unable to do much walking. I am not looking forward to the pain of rehab, but I know it is a necessity. Any encouragement from Spark friends would be most appreciated.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Oh My Goodness--My 100 Days of Happy is almost over. I have enjoyed it--mostly. Sometimes I struggled a little to find something unique to be happy about. I always can find something to be happy about in my retirement, but I tried to find something new and different each day. I have kept a calendar by my computer, and each day list my "Happy" for the day so as not to repeat. I realize, I used my Bulldog Juno repeatedly, but she is just so darned cute and makes me so happy, it was hard not to. And sometimes I think to myself, "Having Du by my side should be my happy every single day."
The other day, I read my friend's post on Facebook. She lost her husband to cancer in 2013, and posted that it has been 500 days since he passed away. That makes me realize how much pain she is in every single day, if she is counting the days since he has been gone, and that makes me want to grab on to Du and just hold tight so he can't leave me EVER! If only I could. Last night in bed, I made a silent prayer, as I do every night, that he would stay with me forever. I just can't imagine life without him. And I know I need to value this time I have with him so much more than I do.....because there will come a day when he's not there with me, and I will regret not appreciating more the days I had him with me, to touch, to interact with, to look at his gorgeous blue eyes and amazing red hair, and love him more than life itself. I know I will continue to love him after he's gone, but it will be so hard not to have him with me. The thought of that brings tears to my eyes and scares me so much. YES, I am scared to death. I live with this fear every single day, but try to stay upbeat, because I know I need to enjoy these days I have with him. I'm trying........but as my 100 Happy Days come to an end, I find myself getting a little depressed....so maybe I will start all over with another 100 Happy Days!
Day 91 -- My lovely daughter-in-law, Laura brought me flowers on the Fourth of July, to thank me for hosting the annual party. It was so thoughtful--she really is a wonderful addition to our family. She is a great mom and good wife and works so hard taking care of my son and my three grandchildren. I love her so much.
There was some white daisies too, but they drooped and I had to throw them out before I remembered to take a picture a few days after the 4th!
Isn't Laura pretty??? (Not to mention my adorable Noah!!)
Day 92 -- Chris got me motivated to get out and take an early morning walk with Juno. It's always fun to walk with someone and talking with Chris as we walk sure makes the time so fast!
It was a beautiful morning!
Day 93 -- We had tickets to the Kansas City Royals game Saturday night, so took off for a road trip! We haven't been on vacation this year, and this might be it--one night spent in KC, so I was pretty excited!
I am wearing a Zach Greinke jersey I got on sale a few years ago when we were at another KC game. He had already left the team when I got the jersey, that's why it was on sale. I did notice a few other people with Greinke shirts at the game, so I didn't feel so dumb.
Day 94 -- Oldest son Mark and his family were also at the game. They sat just down the row from us, so I got to see my two oldest grandkids (baby Noah stayed with Laura's mom). We had a good time, even though it was pretty warm and the Royals lost.
It was great to get home, and as we turned the corner to head down our road I took a picture of the street sign!
Miss Juno spent the day we were gone blocked in our large kitchen (off the carpet). Middle son Brady came out to check on her a couple times and let her outside. But she was very glad to see us when we got home!
Day 95 -- Today I am being lazy. It was raining when I woke up this morning, but I plan to walk later, since the high temperature is only to be in the 70's today. I love cooler temps, especially in July!! Brady brought his daughter Mia with him when he came to check on Juno, and she left me a very sweet note!
It says, "I love you grandma." I love that little Mia and the note made me so happy!
I did fine eating out at restaurants this weekend. We had a meal at Red Lobster before the game, and I had grilled tilapia with broccoli and half a baked potato. I ordered my salad with red wine vinaigrette dressing, for a pretty low cal. meal. For breakfast the next day we stopped at Bob Evans, we don't have any of those in Lincoln. My meal was their low-cal breakfast, tomatoes with scrambled egg substitute, along with whole wheat cranberry pancakes (with sugar-free syrup) and a fresh fruit bowl. It wasn't bad, although the eggs weren't good, (I much prefer my scrambled egg whites that I always order at Village Inn), and the pancakes were awfully heavy. I'd have preferred them without the cranberries too. But the whole thing came in at under 400 calories--so that is good. But once again, snacking reared its ugly head. We stopped at two Convenience Stores (including a Qwik Trip--which must be the king of junk-food stores), and I was weak. I ate nothing at the Ballpark, except a diet soda, but I made up for it with junk from the convenience store both before and after the game. So today, it's back on track. A week from today the Dietbet I entered is over. Before we left town, I had already met my 4% lost goal for the 30 days, but I haven't been on the scale yet, and fear I will have to re-lose some of those pounds. Saturday morning, I weighed in at 174, which is an 8-pound loss from three weeks ago when we started the Bet. I plan to work hard this week to get back there and get my $20 bet back!
I tend to adopt the mentality, "Hurry up and get these pounds off so I can go back to eating." That's a bad mind-set. I need to remember that THIS is for life. Even after I lose the pounds ONCE AGAIN, I need to stay away from snacking. I see recipes for high-caloried desserts and main dishes and want so badly to try them, knowing full-well I should NOT! I haven't been on Pinterest as much lately, but still enjoy watching the Food Shows on TV. I find myself wondering how those women (Ree Drummond, also known as Pioneer Woman; Trisha Yearwood, Giada De Laurentiis, etc.) manage to stay so skinny?! The food they make is definitely not low-cal in anyway. They must practice extreme portion-control, which is something I also need to work on!
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