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Injuries and Illness

Monday, December 24, 2007

Yesterday, I slipped coming downstairs, missed the last step, and landed on my sideways foot... my full weight crashing down on that one poor ankle.
I was sprawled out on the floor, at the bottom of the stairs, writhing and yowling in pain; my husband rushing down to see what had happened.
In 10 seconds flat I saw my weight loss flash before my eyes. My greatest fear was that my ankle was broken, it would be in a cast for 6 months, and regain all the weight I lost this year. I was terrified.
I didn't get up, or make any attempt to, for at least a minute. The first mandate I issued from my new throne was that I be given analgesics. My loyal subject dispatched them at once.
Within two minutes the pain started leveling off, and I knew my ankle wasn't broken (thank God). I was able to get up and stand, and tentatively take steps. Yes, I could walk.
I knew my ankle was injured, nontheless, and it worked okay as long as I didn't do anything to hyperextend it.
I examined it more closely while lying in bed last night. By that time, 10 hours had passed, and the bruising was obvious. It was also more painful when the support of my shoes was removed.
This morning, it's worse. No hiking through the woods for me... I'm just not up to boulder jumping on steep grades. I'll be back on my "short" route, and flat surfaces. I haven't tried the elliptical yet.
To top this off, I have been coughing up mucus for several days, and this morning my eyes were crusted with mucus and bloodshot. My lungs feel awful. I'm definitely in the early stages of a respiratory infection.
To go to Patient First or not?
Do I need drugs?
Do I need xrays?

Ho ho ho.


My husband is never as manly as he is on Christmas eve, when his thoughts turn to what gifts he will buy for his loved ones.
He is one of the millions of men out there at the mall today, while his wife stays home and snickers over a hot stove.
He has already called to ask me what size his nephew wears, where Bed Bath and Beyond is located, and how much to spend at which store.
I hope he doesn't have to go to the bathroom while he's out, because I'm not going to be there with the TP.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BODYNSOIL 12/24/2007 7:15PM

    Oh no so sorry to hear about your ankle and yes you should have that and the crusties checked out. That fall didn't sound good, did you keep your ankle elevated and take anti inflammatories? Rest that ankle and your self too, don't do to much on it even if you do have to cook and all. Take breaks and sit when you can.. Feel better hon.. Happy Holidays JJ

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TRECECOOKS 12/24/2007 9:49AM

    Yes, to all 3. You don't want pneumonia and/or pink eye/conjunctivitis to compound the problem. You may just have a soft tissue injury, but let's be sure.

I completely understand your "vision" - it's why I won't rest my shoulder enough to completely heal - too afraid I'd never go back. . .

Have a blessed Christmas, and may 2008 be your best year yet!

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"Consult Physician Before Beginning"

Saturday, December 15, 2007

We've all seen this advice.
But how many actually heed it?

Since my doctor retired, I am between primary care physicians. I was curious about how I would go about finding a new one, one who was experienced with my special set of metabolic circumstances, so I googled "obesity treatment" and my city and state.

Apparently, the only treatment for obesity in my area is surgery! Yes, the only matches I got that were related to obesity were hospitals with obesity SURGERY centers. I am just floored!
Is it ANY WONDER so many people suffer with this debilitating condition and think surgery is the only way out? I used to be one of them... my former doctor was actually NO HELP at all when I talked to him about my obesity, back in 1996 (I think). I recall feeling very defeated and wishing I could go to a specialist.
Looks like there still aren't any.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BODYNSOIL 12/16/2007 6:15PM

    That is surprising and with this at a forefront of the news all most all the time that doctors would specialize. Might be they don't realize that someone has to fill the void and be a gateway for conversation regarding a referal to a nutritionist or something that is less invasive. Good luck on that Dr. search... JJ

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AMARANTHA 12/16/2007 1:43PM

    I believe it's always important to consult with health care providers about weight loss, but I agree with you. It's really hard to find a real understanding of the nonsurgical weight loss process among physicians.

I wanted to post a general comment on your page but couldn't find the link, you have so many great comments and congrats on being a "motivator."

I recently saw a post by you that is like a lot of your posts I've noticed before, very into personal responsibility and healthful common sense. Just wanted to say that I find this attitude very refreshing and empowering. You are doing great!

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DAVENPLK 12/15/2007 7:56PM

  I have actually found chiropractors to be better informed in some of these health issues.............That is really strange...isn't it? My doctor will talk about it, but he always wants to send you to a dietician for the food issues.............You're right....Everyone seems to want the surgery. Two of my co-workers actually had surgery for obesity within this last month. They are looking great, but.................. Hang in there!!! Linda

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SECRETFUN 12/15/2007 1:27PM

  Durham has several (and a long drive, but I will send you a link for a pretty good one) but you still see the thrust being strange diets in many cases and surgery. This has been a huge issue that medical administrations talk about. Doctors are told to discuss weight and smoking and such with their patients but the docs don't know what to say usually or where to refer people. The stuff I have heard docs say to diabetics in the idea of "do anything to get rid of the weight" ok'ing supplements that could destroy their is disgusting and depressing.

Your best bet is a hospital or academic medical center that has a weight loss program through a diet and fitness center. You are so right that now when people write 'obesity program' it is 99% surgery. While you have an academic center near you I think you might want to drive south or north.

There are some specialists but still very few, and they cost quite a bit of money. I doubt it costs as much for these systems and long term coaching as the long term medical care costs resultant from the obesity, though.

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December in shorts and sandals

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We set a new record yesterday for the warmest December 10th ever: 79 degrees. More unseasonably warm temperatures are forecast for the rest of the week. Perfect opportunity for me to get out the extension ladder, and scrape and paint the trim on the house.


Now that we have moved past the fall season at the nursery, and into the winter (Christmas Tree) season, management decided to throw away all the remaining pumpkins, squash and gourds. What do I call that? Free food.
Cooking pumpkins in the microwave is so ridiculously fast and easy, that I really feel stupid for not thinking to do it that way sooner. A half pumpkin cooks in 15 minutes instead of an hour and a half in a baking dish at 350.
The down side? My Pumpkin-Raisin-Chocolate Chip cake is delicious.


Amazing that a formerly obese person such as me could become "addicted" to exercise. I'm a mean and unreasonable person without it.
Case in point: last night DEMANDING that my husband get off the sofa and walk with me at 9:48 pm. No, I do not mean 'around the block', I mean 5k.
He was not too happy. And the dog was confused.
I'll make it up to him.


A loved one just forwarded the wish list I asked for.

All of the gifts are from "handy home aids" junk catalogs.

I'm just looking at the list and I see a sad trend.
They are pretty much ALL things to help you create a more sedentary lifestyle: an ADJUSTABLE TV tray table, robotic vacuum, items with wheels and cushions and lights and extendable handles. Nothing but cheap gadgets to make life easier.

I understand that seniors have physical limitations, but this person is not that old, and doesn't have arthritis. I think they are aging themselves faster through these choices. And it makes me very, very sad.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I don't think so.
I know for a fact they have given away the treadmill.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMBERROGUE 12/18/2007 10:57AM

    79 degrees is all? It was in the 80's here the other day! LOL Of course, that's not a record as it's usually warm here in the winter... Last time I saw a "white" Christmas was about two years ago, and I think that it was actually this "sleet" stuff. My best friend moved to Connecticut and was very confused when she woke up one day and there was this soft white stuff on the ground. LOL, that's what we get for living so far south!

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PHEBESS 12/13/2007 11:04AM

    I have a recipe where you put a rice pilaf inside the hollowed out pumpkin, and bake it. (Use rice, raisins or dried fruit, and nuts - use red wine and chicken stock as the liquid. Oil the pumpkin before baking.) Very yummy, and great presentation since you put the entire baked pumpkin on the table.

Just in case you need a new pumpkin recipe!

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JEWLSM 12/12/2007 4:49PM

    Hey there!

Can you let me know how you cook the pumpkin in the microwave? Do you cut it in pieces? Does it need water? Help!



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250STRONG 12/12/2007 12:20PM

    I think you are right on with your commentary about the "gadgets" to help our life - they really do contribute to laziness. I wish whoever they were they had given their treadmill to me!

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BODYNSOIL 12/11/2007 11:42AM

    I wish we had some of your nice weather up here. I would love to trim the tree in shorts and a tank.. LOL on making DH walk at 9:48pm... oh and by making it up.. I bet you didn't mean making him a piece of cake.... {wink, wink}

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Do You Do Better With A "Goal Date"?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

This question appeared on the SparkPeople message boards recently. I could not resist clicking on the thread, as goals are my favorite subject. I answered the thread before reading any other responses.

The member asked readers if they felt that having a time frame helped them, and stated a personal opinion that it was not helpful.
It caused feelings of anxiety if progress wasn't steady and consistant with the time frame, the author explained, and led to "more and more discouragement".

I went back and read through the responses. To my astonishment, most of the replies confirmed that setting dates doesn't work, is counterproductive, discouraging, or just plain unrealistic.

Here's my take-
Statistically speaking, it helps to have a goal AND a date to achieve it. Of course, this forces you to come up with an action plan to make it happen... a crucial step that most people don't take. Ironic, because most folks also recognize the importance of goals and plans (with dates attached) when it comes to OTHER events, such as their wedding or their yearly vacation.
If it didn't work out that way for YOU, I'd revisit the whole concept and try to analyze WHY.
And that's what I said.

Several people who responded expressed an inability to think in terms of their long term weight loss goals. The whole notion that this goal could be a reality for them seemed elusive and distant. Someone suggested setting their ticker in five pound increments to avoid discouragement and bring their goals closer.

I could NEVER think this way!

I do NOT ACCEPT that my goal of losing all 150 lbs is too big or daunting to look at every day when I log in! Date or no date, my goal is WAY bigger than my next 5 lbs., and I'm proud of how far I have come.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, that I would not get a fraction of the kudos I get, if others couldn't see my ticker in it's entirety; and I want everyone who sees it to KNOW that it can happen for them THE SAME WAY IT HAPPENED FOR ME.

I'll use myself as an example.
If my boss throws something on my desk, and says "look this over and get back to me before lunch", I can prioritize tasks accordingly. If she tosses something on my desk and says "read through this and give me your input" the first thing I ask is "when do you need this by?"
When you drop off clothes at the dry cleaners, you have a goal of picking up clean clothes on a specific date, and BOTH are spelled out on your claim check.
When you start college, you have a graduation date, not just a plan to get a degree no matter how long it takes. Sure, lots of people don't graduate on time, but if that happens, they then come up with ANOTHER DATE.
When you become engaged, the FIRST THING people ask about is the wedding date. Imagine the reaction a bride would get if she told her mother "no, we're just taking this one day at a time, when it happens, it happens; having a deadline is very stressful and makes Jim nervous." It would definitely make people wonder how serious you were about the goal, wouldn't it? If you don't set a date, are you really engaged? Or just hoping to be married... someday?

Is the stress REALLY CAUSED by a date on the calendar?
Or is it that you just can't wrap your mind around the idea that it COULD HAPPEN for you? You COULD achieve your fitness goals by next summer?
Not having a plan or a date may "allow" you to fail, if that is what you have come to believe will happen for you. Not having a well defined strategy may "allow" you to regain weight. After all, we all know that the odds are against us for long term success.
The goal date is meaningless in and of itself. The date will come and go regardless of anything anyone does.
Most people don't lack motivation, they lack planning and action. The date is just one part of the commitment. For me, it's a pretty big part.

Nothing is 100% etched in stone. Many, many times, new deadlines must be set; but goals and strategic planning have been extensively researched, and the research shows that goals are absolutely imperative to success in any area of life, and they are MOST effective when they have well-defined plans and deadlines to propel them forward.

I ALWAYS use dates in my planning and goal setting. When I joined SparkPeople on Dec 27th 2006, my goal was to lose 50 lbs in 2007. That is less than 1 lb a week. I achieved my 50lb goal in April, and promptly set another goal of losing 100 lbs this year. I achieved THAT goal in September. Well, my goal WEIGHT is still down the road, but 112 lbs in 10 months is not bad. My date for completion is February 28th. Know what? I will make it.
You can't hit a target you can't see, and you SURE can't hit a target you don't have. To me, a goal without a date is just a wish.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 12/6/2007 10:02AM

    You are a wise woman, my friend. And this is why you are such a smashing success!

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KATYBETH 12/5/2007 8:23PM

    GREAT post. I was wondering about setting a goal recently, because I keep thinking about how BIG of a goal it is, and I'm wary sometimes of putting a date to that, because I hate the idea of failing (so maybe I'm expecting that I will fail?). Anyhow, thanks for a very timely post.

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2BABYFERDS 12/5/2007 4:52PM

    I saw the thread you are referring to and when I got to your post, and then saw your progress, I just had to visit your page and find out more! Wow, you are a great inspiration and I completely agree with you regarding how we have deadlines for everything else in life, so why not with weight loss. I try to make my goals realistic and achievable, and then set new ones to keep me going. I also realize that things can come up and you have to be flexible in your expectations. Kudos to you on your amazing weight loss and thanks for sharing an inspirational and interesting blog!

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KERRIGIRL 12/5/2007 8:43AM

    Wisely put Janine! I completely agree. If we can take the time to set goals and time for the tasks in our lives, we must set them for ourselves. Our body and life deserve it! Kudos to you for sticking to your goals and plan!! You are an inspiration!


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STARLIGHT42 12/4/2007 10:56PM

    I completely agree! I have my main goal date to reach - then in between dates to reach certain total lost. I would be afraid not to have that final date - if I am falling behind with between goals, I know I have to push harder to reach the final. Without that date, I would probably just go along without any real kick in the backsides. And, may I add - you rock!!! Incredible job!!!!

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SECRETFUN 12/4/2007 9:11PM

  This is why you are an achiever.

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TRECECOOKS 12/4/2007 8:44PM

    I want to be just like you when I grow up!! I have dreams and goals, but no deadlines, because I am so often defeated. Perhaps I need to rethink this. . .

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STACERIFIC 12/4/2007 8:15PM

    YES YES YES! Damn I love reading your blog.

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BODYNSOIL 12/4/2007 8:12PM

    I totally understand where you are coming from too.. I am a list maker and detail oriented person. I like goals and time limits to keep me on task as I tend to procratinate. If I don't have a timeline then at the last minute I will be scrambling to catch up. Your weight loss is amazing and I was just wondering the other day what your update profile looks like. I can't believe that in one year you have lost 112 lbs, less than one year. Without the pictures to see the changes it is so hard to believe but I have to tell you how proud I am of what you have done and how happy you seem to be.. I also can wait to be there when you hit goal.. you look fantastic alway. JJ

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WEEK 49 Progress Report

Monday, December 03, 2007

Okay, back to it. I just realized how badly I have NOT been tracking these important stats.

This week marks 49 since I began my journey as a fit person.

After weeks of no apparent progress (and scale avoidance) I have decided that my post-Thanksgiving efforts shall intensify, so here we go.
My last progress report was way back in August. Here's my update:

Weight down 112 lbs (13 lbs since August)

Chest down 12" (3" since August)
Waist down 12" (2" since August)
Hips down 12" (1" since August)
Thigh down 10" (4" since August)
Calf down 4" (1" since August)
Upper Arm down 4.25 (1" since August)

Down 6 sizes (1 more since August)

Now NORMALLY, statistics are a very dry read, not exciting at all...
but THIS excites me.
And here I was thinking I hadn't accomplished anything since summer.

I am most impressed by how much size has disappeared from my massive, massive thighs. Far more than most people can imagine even carrying there. I've always had immense legs, and I'm confident that I have my new habits of running and the elliptical machine to thank for my new definition in that area. Perhaps ONE DAY, I will realize my lifelong dream of having toned, beautiful legs, and boldly wear shorts in public.

38 pounds to goal!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BODYNSOIL 12/4/2007 8:18PM

    Feeling like you hadn't had the success in the last few months and then looking at those numbers had to be so incredible. You have had so much success and lost a large percent in the last few months which is so very kewl. Remember you now have higher percentage of muscle and while it may not seem you are losing weight the inches really will start to add up. So excited for you and happy dancin for ya.. (hey cardio for me)..

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SECRETFUN 12/4/2007 12:05AM

  excellent progress! Looking back it is amazing the differences we can see!

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SMURFETTE0725 12/3/2007 9:28PM

    WOW JANINE! 38 lbs to goal! INCREDIBLE! You are such a super star! (I'm truly so honored to know you!) MUCH LOVE!

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TRECECOOKS 12/3/2007 4:09PM

    You are fantastic!! Keep it going!!

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KERRIGIRL 12/3/2007 12:08PM

    You go NB...Remember that you are fabulous!!! Keep the focus!

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GRET30 12/3/2007 11:41AM

    Amazing! I can't believe how many inches you've lost since August! You go girl! You have so much to be proud of!

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