Sunday, March 09, 2014
I have totally overhauled my diet, and I have to say, I feel much better. I don't have the pain that I was experiencing before.
On Friday, I went to the casino and the buffet with my fiance and his family. His sister was visiting from Illinois and we haven't seen her in over 2 years. I did very well and the only meat I ate was a small piece of chicken breast. I had a lot of veggies and a salad with light dressing. The only dessert I had was a piece of sugar free coconut cream pie. It felt amazing and I felt in control. It was awesome. On Saturday I went to the club for his mom's 50th birthday party. I had a blast! I decided that I was going to have a bacon cheeseburger and two cupcakes. I still stayed with a good calorie range, and luckily, I didn't feel any gallbladder pain. I was talking to my fiance's step mom and I guess the reason why it probably didn't hurt is because I'm not eating like that regularly. Basically what this means is that I can STILL have a cheat meal, but it can't be as frequently as I had been making them in the past. I can maybe eat that way maybe once a month. That's going to be my goal. My next cheat meal will be on my sister's birthday next month. Though oddly enough, the bacon cheeseburger didn't sit very well with me. While I didn't feel it in my gallbladder, I just felt overall kind of nauseated. I'm guessing it was probably due to the grease in the tater tots and burger and the white carbs. In fact, thinking about it, it wasn't really worth it.
I will say, it's only been about 6 days, but I've lost about 8 pounds of water weight. I have severely reduced my red meat intake, and I actually don't remember the last time (aside from last night in my cheeseburger) I had any diary. I feel a ton better, and it's interesting because I feel better on less. I didn't expect that to happen.
I haven't been exercising much, but If I'm eating far less than i was, I'm okay with that. I literally only exercised 2 days last week, and that's perfectly fine. If my brother decides to go to the gym, I'll go with him. If not, that's okay and I'll go for a walk or something.
In other news, I am starting my last week of Winter term tomorrow. I can't believe how quickly that went by! There is so much I have to do, and as much as I want to just slack off, I cannot. I have to actually keep my butt in the chair, and do what I have to in order to graduate. The goals of finding work are great and all, but none of that is going to happen if I don't graduate!
I guess what I'm most excited about is just washing my hands of this term. I really struggled in my upper division Spanish literature class! It was so hard that I'll be happy to walk out of that class with a C. That's saying something considering I've never gotten anything lower than a B-.
I said that I was going to start looking for work, but I've been kind of putting that off because of all the work I have to do. I guess that's kind of an excuse. it doesn't take that long to compose a resume. I should be getting all this term's stuff done so I can worry about continuing my research for next term, and actually start applying for jobs.
I'm starting to feel the crunch, but at least if i don't find a job immediately, I have a place to live, and my parents said that they'd let us live here as long as we need to-though I hope that's not TOO long! I can do this! I want to do this, and I absolutely HAVE to do this!
ALRIGHT! Going to the cafe' to do some homework! I've got this!
Monday, March 03, 2014
So, these last couple of weeks (okay, more like three or four) I've been having some stomach pains nausea, and in particular, pain on my right-hand side just below my rib cage.
Because I FINALLY got health care, I decided to go to the doctor so he could check it out, and also so I could get some blood work done and make sure that everything was still fine. It had been over a year since I had gotten any kind of physical, so it was necessary, especially with the recent weight gain, to check my blood.
My doctor checked out my side, and referred me to the hospital to have an ultra sound. I couldn't schedule one for last Friday, so I had to go in this morning. He suspected it was a problem with my gallbladder.
He also prescribed something for my anxiety, which I won't really know if that will work for a couple of weeks. I've never actually taken any medications for that, but we'll see how those go. It's the lowest possible dose, so I'm not too worried about it.
I went in this morning for my ultra sound, and while she was doing it, I noticed that there was this weird little lumpy thing. Around noon I received a call from the doctor. He confirmed my fear. I have a gall stone the size of a grape. He said that we could do two things: I could go speak with a surgeon to talk about getting my gall bladder removed, or I could change my diet for about 3 months and see if the symptoms go away-unfortunately, the stone will not shrink, nor can it be taken care of with medication.
I immediately said that I didn't want to pursue any kind of surgery, and he agreed because there's a risk there (as with any kind of surgery) and since I'm so young, and there's only one and it's not really obstructing anything, he agreed to let me just change my diet for about 3 months, and then schedule another appointment.
I guess there's no way to remove them except through surgery, in which the entire gallbladder would be removed. There is no medication.
I also got word on my blood work. Everything else was fine. My blood sugar levels were normal, I had no problems with my thyroid, and he cleared me to work out at maximum-which I'm very pleased with.
It's interesting. I knew that there would come a day when I could no longer eat such terrible crap. I knew that "moderation" was just a lie, and so long as the addictive chemicals were inside my food, I was going to keep coming back, and I was going to struggle with binge eating. At least I don't have a thyroid problem or diabetes. Those were what I was REALLY worried about. Sure, the pain sucks, but once my body gets used to this new low-to-no fat diet, I'm sure the symptoms will calm down. Even if they don't and if I have to get my gallbladder removed, I'll have to eat like that for the rest of my life.
This is really for the best. I'm not saying that I'm HAPPY this happened, but it was just the kick in the butt I needed to really get me back into this again. Those foods will not be missed. Those foods are not welcome in my body anymore.
As far as school goes, we just started week 9. I'm so excited and nervous because I have so much to do and so little time to do it. I just have to sit down and do it. I know that I'll be able to accomplish it.
Adam got his score back from LSAC. It wasn't very good. He said he had changed his mind about wanting to do law school, and that also makes it easier because we'll be looking for work, and I know that I need to look here in Oregon, and not worry about re-locating to another state. I'm happy that we at least have a solid plan. I'm excited for us. We're both just going to look for work, and take some time off, pay some of our debts, and see what we really want to do for graduate school.
I'm thinking about applying for the MSW program after all and becoming a licensed clinical social worker. That's still something that I feel I'd be VERY good at. I just have to take some time off and get experience before the master's program at Portland State University will take me. I'm so excited for us! This will also give us a chance to save up a little bit to maybe get married-finally after 7 years!
I'm just even more excited about graduating. I love the thought of getting to know myself again and to get back into my own non-school-related hobbies, and read some books for fun. I want to get healthy again and maybe take some cooking classes or something.
This project regarding organic farming has really taught me a lot about how important it is not only to eat healthy, but to choose organic as often as possible. I'm SO excited to graduate, and I'm SO excited to see where our lives take us!
Monday, February 24, 2014
Wow. I cannot believe it's been so long since I've posted here.
I have fallen and gotten back up so many times it's not even funny. The good news is that since the 16th, I have consistently tracked all my food, and have made more of an effort to exercise. I actually bought a PolarFt4 to track my heart rate and calories burned. I love that it's more accurate because many of the machines and things over estimate, or way underestimate how many calories are burned during each workout. I feel that I am more motivated to exercise to see how many calories I can burn per workout session.
Today was the start of week 8 at school. I also had a chance to sign up for my classes for Spring term-my last term! It's going to be a lot of work, but I am confident that I'll be able to get it all done. I've been doing research for my project regarding organic farming. Since I started this term, I've actually been eating more organic foods (not 100%, but definitely looking more at labels than I was before). What I have found the most interesting is the fact that organic producers and distributors have to go through all this paperwork in order to have their certification, and to maintain it, while all of these other conventional producers don't have to fill out anything! I visited an organic dairy farm last Friday, and that was very interesting. I also had a chance to interview a woman from Oregon Tilth, which is a third party certifying agency. They make sure that farmers are "following the rules" so to speak.
I will definitely be making more of an effort to eat organic myself.
I haven't been spending much time at home lately. There's nothing to do there except watch television. Seriously, the room that Adam and I sleep in is the tv room. There is literally NO ROOM for us. We have no space to call our own. My mom likes to stay up very late (watching TV) and if I want to go to bed, I have to ask her. She of course always complies, but sometimes she gets very upset about it, and I'm not sure why. I hope she understands that I am a student, and with that, I have to go to bed early sometimes. I want to stay up with her one time just to see how late she'll actually stay up before going to bed on her own. It makes me sad how inactive she is especially because she has pain in her knees.
On a following note, I didn't realize how important being intimate was to my mental/emotional health until I started living at my parents' house. It might be TMI, but that's really important to me! I knew what this was when we moved back in, and ultimately, I suppose we could have found a cheaper place to rent, but financially, we would have been screwed.
It's hard to work and go to school full time, especially when I'm required to do a research project. I guess soon enough, we'll have the financial means to move out again. I really will make sure that this is the LAST time we live with them. In fact, when we do move out, my two brothers want to rent a house with us somewhere. That would be cool, and I know that they would both be good room mates.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate my parents at all, and I am definitely grateful to have a roof over my head. Some parents aren't so forgiving. I guess going back after being on my own for so long is just so difficult, and depressing. I just have to take it one day at a time, and remain strong and optimistic. I think that's the most frustrating part-I'm SO close to being done. I'm literally already applying for work, so I can be interview ready near my graduation date. It would be SO awesome to graduate, take a week off, and then start a job somewhere in a state office building.
I just have to get through 15 more weeks of school, and then I'll have my BA. I can do this.
Happily I have support for my health goals. My youngest brother and I are going to go jogging tonight at the lake after we are done studying at the cafe (which is where I'm at presently). There's a nice well-lit path in a safe community, so that's what we're going to do. It will be nice to get the endorphins going too. I just feel like as long as I exercise consistently, I'll be in a more positive mood, even if the weight doesn't come off.
I finally FINALLY got healthcare again! I actually have a physical on Friday. I'm going to make sure everything is normal. I've been experiencing bouts of nausea, one particular case I almost got sick in the car after I had consumed black tea. I'm pretty sure other people have had similar experiences with black tea, but I assure you, my stomach wasn't empty when I drank it. I've been just overall drained, and tired these last few weeks, but like I said, it's probably partially explained by my 11:00 or better bedtimes combined with waking up around 6 the following morning.
I'm also going to look into getting counseling again. I feel that it will help me to better cope with my situation, and help me really get back on track to where I want to be.
In spite of everything, I do feel optimistic. Nothing is truly bleak.
Saturday, February 01, 2014
Yesterday my sister, my brother, my mom, and I went to the gym. I had a good workout, and I finally started feeling better after having coped with food for the stress that I'm experiencing because of school. On the way home, we were talking and I said that I just had to stop eating all this garbage. It is something that I completely struggle with, and I knew that at least telling them about it would not only give them a heads up, but it would also help me stay accountable-at least a little, to let them know that I'm interested in fixing this further. I guess it was also sort of a cry for help to let them know that I want to and need to change.
My mom kind of laughed and said "yeah, and then you'll say that tomorrow, and the next day...". It really hurt my feelings. She's made "jokes" like that before. I hate that she says things like that, but when I say anything about it, she says "I'm just joking" or something stupid that totally invalidates my feelings.
I am happy to say though that during Spring break, Adam, my two brothers, and I are going to go to California. We're going to check out a law school that he's interested in going to in Clovis, near Fresno. It's interesting because it's about 2 hours away from the town that I spent my early childhood in. We're going to take a nice little road trip. I'm SO excited! I haven't been back to California in over 10 years. If he does decide to go to that school, we will be moving there. That also means that we will likely spend the rest of our lives there. I'm actually REALLY excited by the thought of that.
I know that moving away doesn't solve all the problems, but I get SO depressed with the Oregon rain and the cold. I do feel that at least living where the weather is better will help a lot.
On top of that, I need to get out there and start my life. I feel like staying here is actually hindering me emotionally. I know it sounds terrible for me to say that I don't want to be in that environment, but it is what will be best for me.
My youngest brother-the one that defended me, and jogs with me every once in a while, my fiance and I will be moving to California together should that happen. We just have to check it out to see how that goes.
If we don't end up going to California, it won't be the end of the world. The three of us will look into renting a house eventually.
Right now the thing that I have to worry about the most is getting through this term, and getting all my research data. The second thing I need to worry about it to start applying for work. I've never just relocated to another state before, so I don't really know how to do that. Adam will have funding if we go there. If they can't offer him a good funding package, then we'll stay here in Oregon. I'm nervous and worried about me finding a job, but my BA will help.
I guess whatever happens will happen. I'm not going to be sad if we don't move. No matter what, I will be happy and we will make it work. We will still make the trip Spring Break. I'm definitely excited for that. I haven't had a vacation in a long time, so this is very exciting for me. No matter what happens, I will continue with this weight loss journey. I have to stay accountable, and I will make my needs known.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Since my fiance and I have moved back home, we have been hanging out with my brothers a lot more. They have a lot of interesting ideas for things to do that Adam and i normally wouldn't have done on our own, and since we are saving a ton of money, we do have some extra money to do those fun things on our days off.
Last Thursday and the Thursday before, we went to Sky High, which is a basically a warehouse of trampolines! That was a lot of fun. I didn't realize how many muscles you use jumping on a trampoline! I was quite sore after that. I'll definitely go back again, but probably not for about a month or so.
Yesterday, we went to see some drag racing, where amateurs take their own cars, and just race around this crazy track. After a while, the smell of burning rubber got to me to the point where I was nauseous, but it was really cool to see. Afterwards, we ended up going to the Grotto in Portland. We had gone there as children, with my parents, but Adam had never been. He said that he found it very peaceful and beautiful. It was definitely a nice walk. Even though I don't hold the same religious views, I still could definitely appreciate the beauty of it.
Later that night, my youngest brother and i went for a jog. As a kid, I never though that would happen. He's not overweight, but he often talks about how he's like to eat better, and how much doing so made him feel better. He had a health scare, but it turned out that he just has really bad anxiety-as do I. We got a chance to just talk, and that's always helpful. Because I grew up mainly with my sisters because we were so close in age, I didn't really get to know my brothers that well because they were still in high school when I moved out. Now that we're older, and we're all in college, we have more to relate to, and I have another perspective to look at my situation from-which I definitely appreciate.
Personality wise, it's almost completely opposite. I tend to be very pessimistic, and he looks at everything from an "anything is possible" attitude, and I have to say it's very uplifting. I guess I never really thought about why I'm so negative. He pointed out that everything-literaly, EVERYTHING is about mindset, and I gotta say, he's right. We both suffer from anxiety, but he's over there knowing that things will get better, and I'm over here sometimes thinking that I'll never even make it out the gate.
I guess I had been so sucked into the negativity and depression for so long that I forgot that even though I do have depression, there are still things I can do to better my situation. I will never be "cured", and there will be both good and bad days, but I guess the point was if I could do something about it, why not do that? If the foods I eat are contributing negatively to my mood, why keep eating them? We talked about how certain foods are SO addicting, and they're terrible for you, and those who suffer from depression tend to not even be motivated to get outside in the first place to get those "happy endorphins" so the cycle continues. Even though I suffer from something that is out of my control, I can take preventative steps to ensure that I'm not exacerbating it. I can choose to put foods into my mouth that will uplift me.
Another fun thing that Adam and I did was go to his parents' house and watch football on TV. His parents are big broncos fans, and now that it looks good for them this season, we've been just spending time with them and watching the game. Even though I was forced to go to every single foot ball game in high school because i was part of the marching band, I never really understood it that much. I just always saw it as a chance to hang out with my other friends who were in band. I will say though that once I start watching it, it's easy to get sucked in, and I actually really enjoyed it last weekend.
I guess as far as an update is concerned, I've "backslid" weight wise, but I think my attitude is much better. It's been quite the dry month, which I'm actually happy about. Though it's freezing cold, I can bundle up enough to get out there and jog. I am going to get out there in about an hour or so.
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