Friday, August 22, 2014
Tonight was a cancer benefit dinner, that Du & I had signed up to attend a while back. You know Du thought it was important, since he gave up his first night of League Bowling to attend. I had contacted some dear old friends to join us. We have drifted apart over the years, after being close for many years when we were all young-marrieds, but I knew from her Christmas card, that she has been diagosed with and undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and sure enough, they were happy to donate to the event and attend with us.
It was a great event, the proceeds from a silent auction went to benefit The Cancer Research Center here in Lincoln, which allows people to participate in Cancer Clinical Trials without having to leave home. I like that!
It was a wonderful chance to catch up with our old friends and we had a grand time, ate some great food (I tried to avoid the high-caloried options at the wonderful Brazilian Steakhouse where the event was held), and hopefully helped out with a great cause.
Du & I before we left for the restaurant.
Du with our dear friends.
We asked a stranger passing by on the street to take a picture of the four of us with their camera. As soon as I get a copy of it, I'll edit my blog and add it. What a wonderful evening!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I remember when I finally bought a scale, almost four months into my weight-loss/getting healthy journey, back in March 2010, and got on it for the first time. I had been to the cardiologist for a heart check-up (my heart was fine) in January, and was a little disappointed that I was still over 300 lbs. (304 to be exact). In December when my family practice physician assistant had told me "The EKG seems to show you've already had a heart attack," I had weighed in at about 310 lbs. Later on in my journey, when I asked him to check his records, he discovered that in July of 2009, I had weighed in at his office at 328 lbs. It was at that point I gave up Pepsi. So just giving up my beloved sugared cola led to a loss of 18 lbs. in the preceding five months. But his words about "heart attack" are what really got me started. So in March when I finally bought a scale and got on, I was happy to see 280 lbs. register. It was exciting to see a LOSS! That's the same month, I began walking for exercise, and I have never looked back.
By April of 2011, I hit my goal weight of 160 lbs. Eventually I managed to get clear down to 139.8 pounds (Nov. 2011) before leveling out at 150 lbs., which I managed to maintain for the next two years. But as I have explained, last Thanksgiving, I started slipping. I began slowly, allowing myself bigger portions, occasionally making a desert from a recipe on Pinterest or a cooking show, just to have around the house, not for any special family dinner or occasion, but just to snack on, like in the old days. I bought too many of those 100-calorie so-called healthy snacks, and would binge on them, eating one after another. Mindless eating is my down-fall. Just sticking my hand into a bag of candy or chips led me to 328 lbs. I never went back to those habits, but I was eating way too many "healthy" snacks. I quit my daily weigh-ins, fearful once again of my scale. When I would get on occasionally and see the growing number, it was depressing, but I felt completely out of control. I hate that feeling, but was floundering, uncertain how to regain my weight loss/maintenance frame of mind. I even set goals for myself, knowing a family wedding was scheduled for mid-March. In early January my son and I decided we would lose weight by that wedding. Neither of us stuck with it. In January I was already up to 175 lbs., from my comfortable weight of 150 lbs. I knew I should be able to lose at least 20 pounds in 2.5 months, but I just couldn't stick with my "no snacking" plan.
I did have surgery at the end of January and at one point, in the forced "no-eating for 24 hours prior to surgery period" I got as low as 163 lbs., but after I recovered and my ulcer was finally diagnosed and medicine cured my constant severe stomach aches, I quickly regained, and soon was back in the mid-170's. I was frustrated with my lack of control, but seemed incapable of regaining it.
Finally in mid-June, my friend Brooke Birmingham, http://brookenotonadiet.com/
hosted a Diet Bet. I had been reading about these Diet Bets, but they seemed very complicated, with notary public's verification required, etc. so I had not bothered to check them out more thoroughly. But Brooke, who had started her weight loss journey at 327 lbs. (endearing herself to me--since that was so close to my own starting weight), was so enthusiastic about her Diet Bet, I decided to join.
That first day, it was so depressing to weigh in, especially when the scale said 182.6 lbs. I knew those 200's were getting too close and I swore I wasn't going back there.
Just like back in 2009, it was a slow start, but I did curtail those snacks. In fact most of them went into the trash. Out of sight--Out of MIND! I barely made my first goal, which was 175.6 pounds. I thought it would be easy to drop 7 pounds, but it was TOUGH.
Thirty days later, however, when I got on the scale, I made my weigh loss goal and won an additional $14 from the $20 I had originally bet! For some reason, that relatively small amount of money really motivated me. That.....and my own pride. I was determined to DO IT for Brooke!
These are the pictures from the conclusion of my first Diet Bet on July 21. WOOHOO! Only 25 pounds to go to get back to my 150 lb. goal!!!
Immediately I joined another Diet Bet. This one was hosted by Chris & Heidi Powell of Extreme Weight Loss, and cost $30. There was thousands of people participating and the total pot was over $188,000!!!
So during this last month, I have really gotten re-dedicated and motivated, which was necessary. As you get closer to goal, efforts need to be especially strong in order to lose weight. You need to eat even less and move even more. I learned that during my first journey to get to my goal weight. So I have stepped it up. Several days last week I got in over 10,000 steps (which is remarkable, given my extremely arthritic knees), and kept my calorie-limit pretty low. Every day it is my goal to get in 10,000 steps. I don't always make it, but I always try. So it was frustrating, after an initial drop of a few pounds early in the 30-day period, when I got stuck in the 171's.
Then late last week, the scale started dropping quickly. Finally I got back into the 160's. Does anybody else get as excited as I do when you enter a new "decade" on the scale? I love it! Every day the scale would show a pound or more GONE! Losing weight got exciting again! Is there anything better than working hard and being rewarded by a dropping scale weight?
Monday morning, my scale read 163.2 pounds! Wow--that was only 3.2 pounds from my original goal weigh of 160, even though I ultimately want to get down to 150 lbs. However, there was a bump in my road. I had minor surgery on a trigger finger (this is my third surgery on different fingers for this problem--darned arthritis!) early Monday morning. I knew I would have an IV to deliver the twilight sleep drug and it's called saline solution for a reason--it's evidently full of SALT! Sure enough, yesterday morning (which was the beginning of the 48-hour Diet Bet concluding weigh-in, my scale was back up to 166.6. FRUSTRATING. I was still below my 168-lb. goal (a loss of 7 pounds, or 4%, for the 30 days), but the lower you can get, the more money you can WIN!!
So I tried to drink a lot of water yesterday to flush my system of the IV solution, and this morning the scale was back down to 165.6.
I am so excited to have won another Diet Bet! The Diet Bet people sent me a congratulatory e-mail, saying how LUCKY I was to have won. I fired an e-mail back stating, "It was NOT luck, it was HARD WORK."
It feels super good to have my weight-loss mojo back again and exciting to see the numbers on the scale dropping! I know I could get rich if I could find a way to bottle this intangible mind-set that I have right now. I possessed it for a long time, then lost it for a bit late last year and up until mid-June. I guess the only way to share this motivation and determination I feel right now is to blog about it here, and hope others can catch my enthusiasm.
So far I am officially down 17 pounds, on my way to losing those 32 ugly pounds I re-gained. I ran into a woman from my long-ago past at the surgical center Monday morning. We had been casual acquaintances over 40 years ago, because our parents were friends, around the time we were in (different) high schools and both got married shortly after graduation. I remember going to her wedding in late 1969. She still looked GREAT, although I would have never recognized her, but she called out my name and told me who she was. She said she had seen some of my pictures I post on Facebook through a mutual friend, who I didn't even know she was also friends with. She mentioned that she had seen me on the Today Show back in late 2012, and that's how she recognized me. I am so happy I have lost some of those 32 pounds I gained, so hopefully my slight (now) gain from when I was on TV wasn't too noticeable. Unlike in my morbid obesity past, it was GOOD to be seen by someone from my past.
I feel like I look slimmer. My 17-lb. loss is probably un-noticeable in these pictures, but I can see it in my mirror and my clothes are definitely looser. Those mint green size 10 jeans are going to fit soon, I'm just sure! I am excited about losing weight once again and it feels good to be back!!
Oh...forgot to mention...I have joined another Diet Bet. It starts 8/25, but I'm not going to go crazy until the weigh-in day for that one. I have gotten my mojo back and I know when I allow myself to cheat for a day or two, it leads to getting completely off track. So for the next five days, I'm going to be very good, and maybe my starting weight for the next Diet Bet will be even less than the 165.6 I weighed this morning! I can't wait to see those 150's pop up on my scale once again. Isn't weight loss EXCITING??!!!
Monday, August 18, 2014
I have been treated with much kindness throughout my life. Sure there are the stinkers in there who have been mean for no reason, and I have discovered my way to deal with this is to simply write them out of my life. If you can't be kind, I really have no use for you, it just hurts me too much.
And so it goes with Spark. In over 5 years here, I have never encountered such a mean spirited comment as I did the other day from a so-called caring friend. I quickly deleted her nasty comment and deleted her as a friend, only to discover she had already deleted me as her friend. The reason: I had commented on HER blog and talked about myself instead of HER. To quote Steve Martin, "Well EXCUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSE Me!"
I have too many real worries to spend much time thinking about this poor soul and her angry words. I feel sorry for her that she is so involved with herself, that she can't see how hurting someone in my position is so wrong, so misdirected, and so very mean. Especially when I had no intention of being nasty to her, that is not in my nature.
As much as I tell myself to forget about it, I find myself fretting over it, just as I used to when I would hear a rude comment from a stranger about my obesity when I was out in public. Those mean words stay with you forever. As Anna says in Frozen, "LET IT GO!" Good advice, which I plan to try and take.
I did not respond to her angry, mean comment and do not plan to do so. I assume, since she has unfriended me that she will never read this blog either. I really hope not. Revenge is not my intent. Kindness is such a wonderful character trait. I will continue to practice kindness here at Spark, as well as in all Social Media, and hopefully in every aspect of my life. How about you?
Sunday, August 17, 2014
I had been stuck in the 171's for over a week. Despite eating right, and walking as much as I could (for three days in a row I got over 10,000 steps--my knees hurt all night--but I DID IT!), the scale would NOT go down. I joined Chris & Heidi Powell's Diet Bet just after my previous Diet Bet had ended July 21. I barely made my 7.4 pound goal during that first Bet, but I got there! So this month started better. I was more motivated and much more self-disciplined. No Fourth of July holiday in there, just lots of family birthday celebrations. But I've been doing better and better every day, and I am so proud of be back in the grove of weight loss. I honestly was afraid I was on my way back to 328 lbs. I didn't seem able to stop the constant snacking. But I DID IT!
I do have one concern. Monday (tomorrow) morning I am having some minor surgery on a trigger finger. I have had this done on both thumbs and the middle finger on the right hand already. So I know what to expect and am not nervous at all. But I'm worried about the IV saline solution. Every time I have any kind of surgery, and they hook me up to that IV, I gain weight. I'm really trying hard these last several days to get BELOW my goal of 168 lbs. (which is a 7 lb. loss for the 30 day-Diet Bet period), so that if there is a gain due to surgery, I have some lee-way. The concluding weigh-in is Tuesday and Wednesday, so hopefully I will be okay.
Finally late last week the scale started to move! The right direction! After a week of those 171's, finally the scale started dropping. I got to 169.2, then the next day was back up to 172. ARGH! But I didn't give up. I just kept trying, and sure enough soon the scale was back down to 169. The following day I had dropped to 167, and then yesterday it said 166.6. I was super good yesterday even though we went to my granddaughter's 5th birthday party. We got there early and helped my son carry in the groceries as he was just arriving home from shopping when we got there. I carried in 3 grocery bags full of potato chips. POTATO CHIPS! All kinds and varieties (evidently, I tried not to get close enough to even see what kinds there were). Potato chips are my nemesis. I love them, and used to eat them by the bagful. They also had cookies from the store bakery (I didn't see those either), a beautiful hand-made Ariel (Little Mermaid) cake, and a giant sub sandwich from a local sandwich place. My daughter-in-law also prepared spaghetti and marinara for the kids. Du & I were sitting in their family room as everyone went through the food line. Finally, he asked if I wanted something to eat. I was holding Noah, which gave me a really good excuse not to even venture into the kitchen where the chips, cookies, cake and sandwich were. I just said NO. I realized none of it was food that I should be eating right now, even in small quantities and decided I could eat when I got home.
Du got up and got a sandwich and some chips (I didn't check his plate too closely, I'd rather not even SEE those potato chips). But he is not supposed to eat cured meats, like the lunchmeat that was in the sandwich. So he had taken it out, and basically had a lettuce and cheese sandwich (he was it was mostly lettuce), and gave me the cold cuts. It was a small roll of meat which I devoured. I didn't eat cake (as usual), and when we got home I had a Weight Watcher ice cream bar, and some watermelon (with NO salt--I LOVE salt on watermelon).
So this morning the scale said 164.4! That's right--another 2 lb. drop. I was going to be happy if the darn scale just didn't say 170 again! But 164.4!! I am almost back to having lost HALF my starting weight (328 lbs.), and that is exciting. My original goal weight was 160 lbs. and I am getting very close! So exciting. Of course, ultimately I want to weigh 150 lbs., so that I have that 10-lb. leeway before going over my goal weight. So I won't stop when I hit 160. What am I saying? I'll never stop. I found out that stopping leads to gain. It's NOT a diet, it's a lifestyle! I know that!!!
I'm not sure the reason for the sudden weight drop after staying the same for so long, but I AM GRATEFUL. And the loss really gives me incentive to stay strong. When I look in the mirror, once again I LIKE what I see. When I got into the 180's, and even the 170's, I just saw FAT in my mirror reflection. I feel good about myself again, and confident and IN CONTROL! It just feels so good to have my mojo back. Even with all our family turmoil, I have tried to stay strong in my food and exercise choices, and it's paying off.
Amber's birthday party was a wonderful celebration for a beautiful little girl. My daughter-in-law's family was also there, she has 5 siblings, so it's a large group of people, because most of them are married with children as well.
The Birthday Girl
Noah & I. I took over his care so his mother could hostess the party. He is such a good baby.
Amber & her birthday cake.
My sweet granddaughters.
I think things are looking up. At least I hope they are.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
First of all, I am staying strong in my commitment to lose the weight I gained over the last six months. In the last almost 60 days, I have dropped 14 of the 32 pounds I gained, and feel so good to have my weight loss/maintenance mojo back. It truly takes constant vigilance and obsession with eating right and moving more and that's where I am at once again. So that is ONE good thing in my life.
My Du is responding to his cancer treatment. That is another GOOD thing in my life. His cancer remains just two small spots on either hip, not growing or progressing, and that is what the treatment is supposed to do. The Urologist told us that with Du's aggressive cancer (8 on a scale of 1-10), it wasn't likely the shots would work all that long, but so far....so good. And that is truly a GOOD thing, maybe the BEST thing in our lives right now.
I adore my pets. That might seem like a small thing, but they bring such joy to my life. Tonight, Du's legs were "tingling," this is how he describes a feeling he gets almost every evening. His family practice doctor compared it to "growing pains," when Du asked him about it. He said it was the result of the Xgeva shot he gets every month, which is to strengthen his bones, fighting the devastating effects of cancer. Du insists it isn't painful, but it is bothersome. Tonight, when the tingling started after dinner, I suggested we go for a walk. It was a beautiful evening, after a rainy day in Lincoln. We took off with Juno on the leash, and kitty Neymar joined us as we walked down the driveway. She sometimes follows us a little ways down the driveway and then takes off, to hunt, or whatever it is cats do. Tonight, she followed us as we walked down the road. I tried to carry her, but she wanted down. Usually she is content to be held, but I guess not when we're supposed to be on a walk. So I let her down and she continued to follow us. It was just the cutest thing, but of course we worried that we were teaching her to be on the road or to wander too far from home, so we didn't walk too far, turned around and came back home. She turned around too and followed us home. Such a quirky, fun little cat. Since she wandered onto our acreage last Fall, she has certainly wormed her way into all of our hearts. Today, my pets are the third GOOD thing in my life.
I still have major concerns and worries in my life as well. My oldest son continues to struggle with depression, and his wife is so unhappy too. He treats her quite badly, gets upset so easily and she is really at her wit's end. I'm afraid she is ready to throw in the towel and give up on him. She texts me, and I am her one confidant, and I feel so badly for her. It upsets me so much, I told Du I am tempted to tell her that I need to step away and let them handle it now. I can't do that. They need me. Does a parent's job ever end? No it doesn't. I got a call about 10:00 Wednesday night, and when my son's name popped up on the caller ID on my TV, my heart started pounding. I feared the worst with a call so late at night. But all they needed was a babysitter for my sweet Amber, who started pre-school this week, but was ill with a bad cold. So I went and picked her up yesterday and we spent the day together. She is a jewel and is the fourth GOOD thing in my life right now. I adore that child--she has a special place in my heart and always will as the first little girl in our family. She turned five on Tuesday, stayed home from school that day too, as she went to the doctor with her Mom, trying to get help for her cold. The doctor suggested Tylenol, so the cold is just running its course. But yesterday we had a beautiful day, as she felt well enough to jump on the trampoline,
Play in the sandbox, (making apple pies with apples we picked from our trees and placing them on top of a panful of sand),
Drive to the Park where we walked and played,
Then stopped for ice cream at the Dairy Sweet,
Before I took her to Shopko, and let her pick out a Play-Dough set. She told me that she would have to leave it at my house, as her mom doesn't like her to have Play-Dough, it's just too messy. She played with the set the rest of the day, made an awful mess, but that's okay, Grandma didn't mind cleaning up after her sweet girl. If I had to deal with it everyday, it might be a different story however.
So after my heart-pounding reaction to a phone call Wed. night, Amber and I had a lovely day, but it showed the stress I am under, as after I talked to my son and agreed to babysit the next day, that night, at home alone (Du had gone to bed earlier) I had a good cry, just to relieve the stress.
Today I was at the Pharmaceutical/Health Supply Store, buying new catheter bags for Du. A couple was ahead of me, I believe it was a mother and her son. They were buying a shower chair, it looked like, and were discussing their situation with the clerk who had waited on them before. The woman said she would not have been able to get her husband home from Florida, if her son had not flown in from California to help. Evidently her husband had a medical emergency of some kind while on a trip to Florida. She said, her son had not flown in six years, she knew, because the last time he had flown was to come home for their 50th wedding anniversary celebration, six years earlier. To show how stressed I am, I had to fight back tears, as I fervently and silently wished that Du and I could just get to 50 years of marriage, it's still six years away, and we sure have no guarantees. In fact, the odds are NOT in our favor. Nobody has guarantees, I realize that, but we certainly have an awful diagnosis and an uncertain future looming. I know my son's depression is leaking over into my own life, and I just don't need that right now.
But how to shut them off from our help? It's impossible. Du and I have a lot on our plate, and my son and his wife have both acknowledged that and I know they feel guilty for burdening us with their problems, but it's so critical right now, their marriage is literally hanging by a thread I fear. I cannot walk away from that.
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