Saturday, June 30, 2012
Although I'm retired from my main career of teaching, I haven't stopped the degree of my learning. But suddenly, it seems like I'm not blogging as frequently. Why is that?
I love to write. I live to write. I am writing more. But I'm not adding to my blogs as much.
There is a book in me waiting to be published. I continue to add to my writing "chapters" by writing about one to three different topics. I save them in my "Stories" folder. They are topics that reveal my personality, lifestyle, and background. When I write about one topic, it gives me incentives to add other topics. So my writings continue to grow in amounts as well as content. I don't seem to tire of the cycles I'm going through as I record my topics for possible inclusion in a future book.
Will that book creation take place soon? I'll know when "soon" has arrived. And I'll break the "news flash" to all of you when that occurs.
Friday, June 15, 2012
I followed my proper meal plans for breakfast and lunch on Thurs. 6/14. But I knew I was treating my sweetie pie to a rib dinner that night. How well would I stay on task was the big question.
I perused the menu looking for acceptable choices. I knew they were listed on the menu even in this restaurant. I had dined here before so I wasn't completely worried about the choices. The menu was also a "winner" since it listed the calorie counts for all the items; I just might squeak by with a healthy meal plan. When Madison, our wait staff approached, I was first taken in by her broad smile and bubbly personality. Great way to start a meal! I asked for plain, iced water for my drink while my hubby (having no weight problem at all) asked for a 22 oz. Blue Moon beer with orange slices sitting atop the glass rim. You know I had to steal at least three small sips of his beverage to see if I might order a smaller glassful another time. Ahhh...so refreshing, light-tasting, and almost slightly sweet with the orange slice squeezed into his mug. I took the other orange slice to sweeten and flavor my own glass of water. Well, at least I was drinking at least 16 oz. of water when I finished my glassful!
I then ordered a 1/3 rack of baby-back ribs with St. Louis barbecue sauce (almost 1500 cal.), steamed broccoli (225 cal.), and cinnamon apples (250 cal.). The sides I chose were the lowest in calories and they also created another veggie and fruit in this meal. I tried to overlook the ribs I would be consuming. It was so very long since I treated myself to ribs and all the calories they contained. I congratulated myself on the small portion I chose. My husband, needless to say, chose the full rack, heavy duty Cole slaw and fire-baked beans. Again, I begged for a small forkful of the beans...just to test their spiciness. At least, that is what I told myself. Oh, they were excellent but my cinnamon apples and broccoli were not exactly poor comparison choices.
I finished my meal, drank all my water and took one smaller swig of my sweetie's beer. I knew I would purchase a small glassful when we returned to the restaurant on some future date.
This morning, I knew I would have to really count all my good food choices to counteract my more than 2000 calorie Thursday meals. I couldn't stop myself from enjoying my usual two cupfuls of homebrewed coffee, a dab of skim milk, and a demitasse spoonful of turbinado sugar. This is always the most calorie rich drink I have each day. I earned this wake-up beverage and I was NOT going to give it up if I wanted to start the day with my eyes wide open! I toasted a 100 calorie, whole wheat mini-pita and spread its halves with one-half tbsp. of crunchy peanut butter, and one tsp. of blackberry jam. I followed that with one cup of fresh cherries; a nice sweetener for the meal.
But after vacuuming the living room, kitchen, dining room, and our two home offices, running up and down stairs to fill the washing machine, move wet clothes to the dryer, and bring the finished products upstairs to our bedrooms, I just had to have that 250 calorie ice cream cone with chocolate and nuts covering the top. Did I earn that ice cream? Probably not! But I wanted it, I took it out of the downstairs freezer, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was not overtaken by much guilt; I knew I would make up for this lack of maximum control at lunch time. I already knew how many fruits and veggies I would consume.
Iím learning that I do NOT have to give up all foods I desire. I just must control the amounts I eat and NOT eat portions of the ďworseĒ foods on too many days. This is a real revelation for me. I have failed too many times by choosing a ďdietĒ plan rather than retraining myself to eat better food choices for the rest of my life. I CAN do this. I WILL do this. I MUST do this if I want to keep my weight and BMI at the proper levels.
Well, I must move away from the computer keyboard, finish the laundry, and then get in some more exercise today. I WILL make use of my new weight lifting chair. I WILL eat less calorie-filled meals today. Iíve already started today with the correct approach. I WILL continue the inroads that Iíve made today.
Can you see the *&%^)-eating grin on my happy face? Well, I CAN feel it!
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Well, I've been part of the SparkPeople group since 5/8/2012, or as I have renamed it: I'm a Sparkette and proud of it.
I began using the site when I saw my weight had again "blossomed" back up to 153 lbs. How could a "statuesque" figure weigh so much? Yes, the doctor told me I could never again say, "I'm 5' 3.75" tall. He informed me that that 0.75 inches was gone forever. It left almost at the same time that I first entered menopause. (I'd really like to know who first named that time period "menopause." It had almost nothing to do with "men" and the only "pause" that I denoted is that my period never reappeared again!)
So, if I wanted to read 153 lbs. when I stepped on the scale, I would either have to find another doctor that could make me taller through a seldom used surgery or make the scale "lie" by finagling with the read-out button on the bottom of the scale. Since I couldn't afford the surgery, nor the time involved to convalesce, the first suggestion was kaput! As to the second suggestion, I had already been lying to myself about my weight, who was I to make my scale a co-conspirator? Hence, I needed to get serious about losing weight.
I was so impressed about the mental messages I was receiving as I perused the SparkPeople website. This site offered meaningful, logical, and impressive steps to conquer that weight problem. While I was busy dropping those unwanted pounds of useless fat, I would also be enjoying tasty meals made with "normal" ingredients, would receive support and understanding from excellent coaches as well as others standing in the same "boat" as myself, and improving my health knowledge base.
I've always considered myself to be a lifelong learner. And now I was directing that learning into areas that could only help me succeed as a healthful-living individual. It was really eye-opening to read how women AND men were also fighting the ravages of overeating, "inhaling" those devilish fast food meals, and practicing the "coach potato" lifestyle.
I've always been pretty much "tom-boyish." I want to run instead of walk, or fast-walk instead of saunter. I love to climb wooden structures. I live to swim. I can't lift heavy, loose weights, but give me five, ten, and fifteen-pound weights and I will impress you with my stamina.
Unfortunately, after menopause commenced, some of my action activities occurred at a slower pace or for a lesser time period. I guess I'm happy that I still reside above the lawn and not below. But if I want to continue to stay above, I needed to really follow the healthful suggestions I was now reading. What do people sometimes say? Put your money where your mouth is!
So, I started to make slow changes to my behavior. I started with the meal plans; I set up my meals for a two to three day stretch. I looked up at least four to five recipes for the week. I pressed myself to try the new ingredients. I continued to eat my large selections of fruits and vegetables, but I now controlled the amount I ate per meal. I didn't "guesstimate" what I was eating or the amount I consumed, I measured with actual measuring cups and spoons. I took my food scale out of its dusty corner and placed it where I would see it and use it.
I was on a roll. One good change leads to another. Then another one followed! I was now actually consuming eight or more glasses of fresh water. I seldom drank my favorite Vernors. Sometimes I broke up the monotony with a bottle or two of flavored water. I couldn't stop myself from drinking my two cups of home-brewed coffee in the AM, but I usually finished the day with a cup of herbal tea. I left out the honey. I didn't even add a drip of skim milk. And boy, was that herbal tea tasty. It alleviated my thirst while it calmed down my overactive mind. Like I said, I was on a roll...and I was gathering no moss!
My weight dropped from 153 pounds to 149 in one month. I was feeling peppier than I have felt in a good long time. I noticed that I laughed more often. And the laughter made the day so much more enjoyable. My jeans were fitting looser. I had that "#U*&%@-eating" grin that Iíve often read about. Who was this lady? And how did she invade and control my body?
I started to remember how I really liked myself. And isn't it something, when I liked myself, I wasn't so overwhelmed by thoughtless people? I said "Hello" to them, and then pretty much went on my way to surround myself with cheerful, thoughtful, pleasant people. I wanted those people as friends if they were not already friends. I thoroughly enjoyed the "web friends" I encountered. I looked forward to opening my computer mailbox to read messages from those other Sparkers/ Sparkettes.
As I said, I'm on a roll and I'm really enjoying that trip! I can't wait to step on the scale again.
Friday, June 08, 2012
Well, I lived to see the dawn of another spring day! But first let me backtrack a bit.
My last unsuccessful colonoscopy occurred in 2010, not 2011. Yes, I know time really flies when one is having fun. The things I remember about that procedure are the following: (1) I thought I correctly followed the colon-emptying procedure to the ultimate end, (2) Evidently, I did NOT correctly follow the colon-emptying procedure fully since the scope photos were so brown that it looked like they were taken during a sand storm at its height with tremendous whirlwinds of macroscopic-sized particles, (3) I will always hate Gatorade, no matter which flavor or concentration type that is offered for sale, (4) When asked whether I first want to hear the good news or the bad news, choose the good news since the bad news will always totally wreck whatever is left of the day's final hours, and finally (5) When a colonoscopy does not produce clear photos of the colon, it will ALWAYS involve subjecting myself to another regiment of 24 hours of total starvation except for ingestion of laxatives until the colon only releases a rather faint, and dismal shade of pale.
So here I am in 2012. I am scheduled for a repeat colonoscopy procedure, same hospital, and the same doctor. But this time, I'm ordered to perform 48 hours of starvation along with twice as much laxatives as the first "go-around." I learned different variables this time: (1) Clear broth, jello and black coffee taste really fabulous when they are the only components of the two day "diet," (2) Never eat lime jello one day before the procedure since it will tint the expelled fluids an unwanted green color similar to the "creature from the black lagoon," (3) If lime jello is eaten, drink at least 32 ounces of clear water to dilute the greenish emitted fluid until it resembles a colorless, and wanted emission, (4) I met the nicest ladies and at least two gentlemen when I began the check-in procedure for a colonoscopy, (5) Do not get excited when the check-in procedure does not have my name on that day's listing since I am correctly scheduled by my doctor's office worker, (6) Go to the procedure with a trusted friend who will get me there on time, chat with me on all topics other than food, and later pick me up for the trip home because the anesthetic will still be affecting my judgment and motor skills as well as the light-headedness cause by a completely empty colon, and finally, (7) A three hour "nap" after I return home will NOT be enough to get my body back to it's pre-colonoscopy stage. I will also return to dreamland at 9:00 PM because my body will now be recovering from a severe migraine that occurred a few hours after I ate a light dinner.
But I think the colonoscopy was a success! Well, I was NOT party to the "good news/ bad news" conundrum. I didn't develop any symptoms spelled out on the post-colonoscopy direction sheet. The sheet did state that I would not need a repeat colonoscopy for another ten years!!!!
Guess my 2022 date book will contain the date of my next colonoscopy. Until then, I don't have to starve for two days, I don' have to drink any Gatorade, and I don't have to bother my friend Shirley for a ride to the hospital.
Free. I'm free at last! Well, that is until 2022.
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