Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The scale didn't move this week. Didn't budge a bit. So it's now 2 weeks without a loss (last week I was up .4) Sure looks like a plateau to me.
Now, to be fair, I had been losing at a pretty good clip for quite awhile there, 2-4 pounds per week pretty steady. So maybe my body is just adjusting itself. Which is fine. My concern is that maybe I should be doing something I'm not.
I'm exercising plenty--5-6 days most weeks (last week I did miss 3 days due to being at the hospital with Laura). I've actually increased my workouts a bit. Hmmm, now that I think of it, my scale shows an increase in lean body mass. (My IronMan scale tells me everything possible about what makes up my body) Maybe I'm building muscle and that's why? BUT, does this mean I'm not eating enough? Or am I eating too much? And, honestly, just how does one KNOW???
Well, I'll give it another week. If there's no change again, I may have to change what I'm doing.
Yesterday was Memorial Day, and we went to Mom and Dad's for a BBQ. I agonized over having a burger, which initially looked like it would put me over my calories by 126 for the day. I thought about switching to a chicken burger, but I REALLY wanted a regular burger. I averaged out the calories and fat for the week, and even with the extra calories for the day I was well within the range for my average. So I decided to go for it. As it turned out, I readjusted a few things, making my tuna salad with yogurt instead of cottage cheese, and eliminating salad with dressing in favor of a plain tomato. Combined with the inablility to finish my whole cup of strawberries (I only ate 3/4 cup), it put me at exactly 1600 for the day, which is the top of my range! So it was much ado about nothing.
Of course, I kind of wondered if maybe I made the wrong choice, when I tripped and fell carrying my burger to the table, and dropped it right into the mulch! Ah, well, a little extra fiber never hurt, right?!?
Today I cleaned out the storage closet, hauled out some boxes, packed up some books, and took about 12 bags of clothes to the GoodWill box. I know that was good for some extra calorie burning. I also did 30 minutes on the treadmill. The other day I did 2 miles, at 2.5 mph. I hate the treadmill. I can do 60 minutes on the elliptical with no problem--I actually enjoy it. But when I walk on the treadmill, my shoulder hurts. Weird. Well, at least I know I CAN walk 2 miles, which was my goal for Scotland. I can't believe we leave in 60 days!
This time of year is so great for fresh produce. We went to Whole Foods yesterday and I got the usual apples, pears, and oranges. But I also got cherries, apricots, strawberries and peaches. And fresh corn on the cob! OK, it wasn't JERSEY corn, but it was still darn good. Even got a Jersey tomato, albeit a "hothouse" one. And I'm still enjoying the stewed rhubarb I made on Saturday.
So I guess we'll see what this week brings. Maybe the warm weather will kick up my metabolism??
Friday, May 23, 2008
Well, its been quite a week!
For starters, I've been having some odd cravings--for sweets, carbs, other stuff I basically don't eat anymore. I think it may be a hormonal thing--sort of like PMS, but without the period. I've been wanting 'just a little more' of things like raisins, cheerios, granola, but not the proteins or veggies. So I'm thinking that's the likely explanation.
On Sunday, we went to a friend's house for the afternoon and for dinner. I planned ahead--brought a chicken burger, a salad, and some tortilla chips. We had baked chocolate chip cookies, which I was happy to see I didn't really crave. Once there, I was fine with what I'd brought. But with everyone eating cookies, I was feeling a bit left out. I decided to have one Hershey kiss, with my dinner that evening. Just a little something to look forward to. So, after we all had dinner, I had my treat. It was good. Very yummy. But i can honestly say I got more satisfaction from the first time i ate cottage cheese! i felt good about how that went--I think I handled it very well.
On Tuesday, I got on the scale and found that I was up .4 pounds. OK, probably the hormonal thing. Also, i've been SO constipated! So not a big deal. I'd been to the nutritionist on Monday and knew I was doing great with the food, so I wasn't worried.
On Wednesday, I suddenly had to drop everything and take Laura up to St. Barnabas for 48 hours for EEG monitoring. So I threw together some things I knew I'd need--yogurt, cottage cheese, apples, pears, V8, nuts, tea, boluses, and some organic sugar. I knew i could get Cheerios there, so breakfast was covered, and snacks, I'd just have to deal with lunch and dinner.
That turned out not to be as easy as I'd hoped. I got to dinner late on Wednesday, and there wasn't much left. I ended up with a salad with grilled chicken and raspberry viniagrette dressing, and a sweet potato. Not too bad, but not great either. For a snack, the best i could do was some Fritos with my protein bolus. Thursday was Thai food day--NOTHING I could eat. So I had the salad with chicken again for lunch, with Fritos. For dinner I had hoped for a different menu, but no such luck. So I ended up with a roast beef wrap--roast beef, lettuce and tomato, with a bit of oil and vinegar in a whole wheat wrap. Again, not great, but it was ok. I noticed that today's menu included lentil soup. GREAT!! Add a little chicken and I'm good to go! Well, we left today before lunch, so I never did get that lentil soup (ended up with Wendy's chili, which was fine). In the meantime, there was temptation everywhere--so many poor choices available to me. Last night I actually considered a McFlurry! (until I checked the nutritional info and found it was 620 calories and 18 grams of fat!!) I made do with a couple bites of Laura's each night. I looked at myself in the mirror and said "it's not worth it". I am doing too well to mess it up for something stupid like that.
So today, we came home. I'm beyond tired, from sleeping on the sorry excuse for a "parent bed" at the hospital. The first night I didn't get more than 4 hours sleep. Last night I did a little better after the nurse showed me how to put the whole thing together and make a more reasonable "bed". But we had to stay up until midnight (so Laura would be sleep deprived), so I didnt' get enough then either. We were running to get everything done--pick up stuff at the pharmacy, get Danny from aftercare, get to cooking school (we were a few minutes late), grab dinner, go to the chiropractor, and go pick up Duke from doggie camp. I knew I didnt' have time to throw something together for my dinner, and I didnt' want to wait and eat at 7:30 or 8 when we got home. So I checked the nutritional values, calculated what I needed, and made a decision I was comfortable with. And then, when we stopped for dinner, I had pizza along with the kids--2 plain slices. I blotted off the extra oil--there wasn't much. i enjoyed it. Didn't excite me like the cottage cheese, or the watermelon I had a church on Sunday, but it was good.
Why pizza? Well, I decided that I am living in the real world, and I have to be realistic. There are just going to be days when the best I can do is pizza. Or a roast beef wrap. Or Wendy's chili. And that is OK. It's not everyday. I probably won't have pizza again until we're on vacation, if then. But it's nice to know I CAN do it.
Of course, then there's the issue of exercise, or lack thereof. I didn't get to the gym Wednesday before I found out we had to go to the hospital, so it's been 3 days of no exercise. Tomorrow I will go to the gym in the morning if the washer repairman gets here in time. Otherwise, I'll go for a walk in the evening. Sunday the kids are with their father, so I am going for sure. Monday too, even if the kids have to sit on the sidelines and play video games.
It will be interesting to see what the scale says on Tuesday. In the meantime, I know I'm doing a good job, and people have been noticing!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Seven years ago today I died.
In the recovery room, after my gastric bypass, weighing 486 pounds, I pulled out my breathing tube (I wasn't even awake yet). They couldn't get it back in. I stopped breathing. My heart stopped. I died.
CPR followed, and finally the anesthesiologist was able to get a pediatric breathing tube into me. And then, I lived.
I woke up the next afternoon in ICU, still on a ventilator. Not the greatest beginning to my journey, but a beginning nonetheless. Four days later I was home. At two weeks, my entire incision opened up, and I spent 2 months with visiting nurses coming to pack the wound. Finally, it closed. Then came the hernia. The first of 6. And then the reconstructive surgeries--breast reduction and lift, arm lift, tummy tuck, a thigh lift so badly botched it left my right thigh 2 inches bigger than the left. And a non-healing abdominal wound--for over 5 years.
I traded in my size 4X-5X, catalog only clothing, my shortness of breath with ANY exertion, including just talking, the inablility to do so many things most people take for granted--walk more than 10 feet, fly on a plane, go to the movies or a concert, tie my own shoes. In exchange, I got the hernias, barfing after eating anything that didn't quite agree with me, hair loss, and the inability to eat more than a tiny amount of food at one time. Oh, and I got weight loss. LOTS of weight loss.
One year after the surgery, I weighed 273. I'd lost 213 pounds. I could walk. i could tie my shoes. I could go to the movies, fly on a plane, all those things I hadn't been able to do before. I was a size 24--I could even buy clothes at the mall sometimes. But I wasn't done.
Over the next year, as my weight loss slowed dramatically, I got down to 236 pounds--a loss of 250. Then, I got careless. I played with 10 or 20 pounds for awhile, then 30, then more, and before I knew it, I was 6.5 years out, and I'd regained 50 pounds. Something had to give, and soon.
On January 2, 2008, I started the newest leg of my journey. Having lost 10 pounds since November (after the 6th hernia repair), I started back to the gym. And for the first time in my life, I liked it! I started eating better, but the weight was slow to come off--just a pound a week, from the start. I joined a Biggest Loser challenge online, for support and encouragement. After 2 weeks, I went to Canyon Ranch and discovered organic eating. I also learned 2 weeks later that I was sensitive to wheat, dairy, and egs, so I eliminated them. My weight loss picked up a bit.
On February 12, I found SparkPeople. I had been writing down everything I ate since I got back from Canyon Ranch--now i was putting it into the computer. I could tell exactly how much fat, protein, carbs, fiber, and calories I was getting each day. My exercise increased. I was LOVING going to the gym. The weight started falling off--4 pounds a week, 3 pounds, 4.5 pounds...something was working. And I found a whole community of people who actually understood what was going on.
Today it is 7 years since that day that I died. That day I chose, albeit unconsciously, to live again. Today I weigh 234 pounds. I have lost 252 pounds--more than half my weight. I wear a size 18-20W. I can walk 2 miles. I can do an hour on the elliptical. I can wear all my "skinny" clothes, and some are even too big. I have the smallest waist in my family. My children told me today that I look nice, and I'm not fat anymore, well, maybe just a little fat. (gotta love those kids!) I take my supplements religiously, exercise with pleasure, and make sure to get in lots of protein. I'm healthier than I've been in years. Not too surprising, since the last time I weighed this little was 15 years ago, in 1993!!
But I'm not done yet. I'd set a goal of 210 pounds, and that still stands, sort of. i've been thinking lately that I might want to go lower. And since my body seems to be shedding weight like a snake sheds its skin, I think my body would like to go lower too. So once I hit that 210 mark, I'll just keep going and see where my body takes me.
In July, I am going to Scotland. i've wanted to do this for over 20 years, and now i am doing it. I wanted to be in good shape for this trip, and now I am. I wanted to be able to walk and sightsee and enjoy things without pain, and now I can. I don't know how much more I'll lose by then, but whatever it is will only help matters.
When I return, I will continue my journey down the scale for as long as my body decides to do so. And when I find a comfortable spot, I'll settle in there. My fat days are gone. Forever. I will not go back, only ahead. No longer will I abuse my body with excess food and with chemicals and additives that poison it. My body is a temple, and I will treat it as such. After all, if I don't take care of my body, where will I live?
And I plan to live a long, long time.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
After seeing the surgeon yesterday and getting a big for my wonderful healing skin graft, I was feeling pretty good.
Today it was 70 degrees +, and I decided it was time for a walk. So I went for a nice walk after lunch--a good mile. it felt SO good to be moving again! I've decided to do it again tomorrow, and then, weather permitting, at least one or two more times this week. I see the doctor again on Monday and I'll ask when I can resume the TM and elliptical. Hopefully soon!
Meanwhile, the scale was down 3.4# this week! Yay!!! I'd been a bit concerned, since the lack of exercise might have been a problem. But it seems to be going fine. The most exciting part is, I'd set a goal to be under 240# by the time I go to Scotland. Well, today I'm 238.6, so I made it 81 days in advance!!! So I've reset the goal to under 230#, and I might need to change that again before we go!
I realized when I was walking that I'm still tired post surgery and anesthesia, but I'm feeling MUCH more like my old self. I know it usually takes a good week to shake the effects of the anesthesia, so I've still got a couple of days. Hopefully be Thursday I'll be all he way back. I'm really glad, since I wasn't sure how this post-op course was going to be. i've been pleasantly surprised.
I'm allowed to drive again, but had planned to wait until Thursday, a full week. Well, I had to drive to the drugstore to get a new prescription for Laura--her allergies are just awful, so the doctor said we'd try Clarinex. The insurance company denied it, so while we fight it, I had to pay out of pocket. $132 !!!!!! Sheesh, what's it made of? Gold dust?
Anyway, the Ex was supposed to pick Laura up at 6:10 to take her to her therapy group. I looked up and noticed it was 6:19 and there was no sign of him. Tried calling, not home. Got his wife on her cell, she's not heard from him. So we hopped in the car and I drove her there. He arrived about 5 minutes after we left, and was apparently a bit cheesed off that we weren't here. well, duh! What did he expect me to do? He WAS almost 15 minutes late! As it was, she was late for her group. She missed last week when I went to say goodbye to my Aunt, so she wasn't missing again. In any event, the driving was fine. My head is clear--no pain meds to interfere, and it's not exactly strenuous to drive my SUV. Basically, I can do pretty much everything except shower and exercise. (and it may be good that if I can't do one, I can't do the other!!!)
I'm just so grateful that I'm finally healing. I know the protein is helping--even the resident said that when I saw the doctor yesterday. So I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, and let the healing progress.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Today I went to my Aunt Anne's funeral. It was very nice, and of course very sad. Knowing that she is in heaven is very comforting--I know I'll see her again one day.
I had not expected to be able to go today, since I thought I'd be on bed rest until Monday. But surgery went very well, and I don't have to stay in bed. i can sit up, walk around a bit, just have to take it easy. So I asked if I could go and the good doctor said yes. I am so grateful for the blessing of being able to go.
After the funeral, we went to eat at a place my aunt and uncle always liked to go. I wondered what I'd do about food. I'd eaten an early lunch before we left, about 11:15, but it was like 4:30 and I was hungry, so I couldn't just sit there and not eat. First they brought out salad, the dressing was already on it. Italian dressing, and LOTS of it. OK, I can use the extra fats right now, so I had some salad. It was good. The next course was naturally pasta, since we were in Trenton and that is just the way they do it there. I decided to have a little bit. About 1/2 cup, with about 1/4 cup of meat sauce. It was the best pencil points I ever ate! (Pencil points is like a penne type of pasta, it's THE thing in Trenton, NJ) I was glad I'd decided to have some. The main course was veal parm and chicken cacciatore. I skipped the veal and went with the chicken. A thigh and a leg, about 3 ounces total. And some green beans that seemed to be cooked in olive oil with maybe some butter--agian more fat that I'd have used, but I needed the extra so it was fine. The chicken was moist and tender. There were cookies for dessert--Pepperidge Farm, which I love. I felt no desire to have any. I came home, plugged it all into Spark People, and it turns out I did PERFECT!!! With a little snack tonite, including my protein bolus, I'm right on target on all nutrients for the day!
I'm glad to know that I can go out in the "real world" and eat, and make good choices and stay within the parameters I need to be in. It proves that this is a lifestyle change that I can live with. I'll be more precise at home, and when I'm "out there" I'll do the best I can, and it will all work out fine.
I also got to wear some of my old "skinny clothes"--it was cool and grey today, so I needed something warmer, and it worked out fine. Not likely I'll ever wear them again, so I'm glad I had the chance.
Now I'll spend the rest of the weekend taking it VERY easy, just sitting quietly and letting my tummy rest. I feel fine, just tired. Hopefully I'll get a good report from the doctor on Monday, and things will be healing well. I didn't overdo today, I was very careful. I felt it went well, and I'm just so glad for the chance to go.
In loving memory of my Aunt Anne, August 1942-April 2008.
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