ALASKAPSYCH's SparkPeople Blog ALASKAPSYCH's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community You'd think I would learn So after yesterday's fiasco, I made not one, but two mistakes and it is barely 7:30 AM. <BR> <BR> First? I got on the scale. <BR> <BR> Second? I didn't plan for breakfast or lunch. <BR> <BR> Not only didn't I lose, I gained a quarter pound. Yes, I know it is likely the salt in the McD's lunch I choked down yesterday. Probably a pound or more of water is lurking in my system, forcing my BP up even higher. <BR> <BR> And then I got up late and didn't plan for meals. UGH! <BR> <... Thu, 12 Oct 2017 07:30:08 EST Tattling on Myself So, yesterday was perfect diet wise. I stayed within my calorie range, wasn't hungry all went well. <BR> <BR> Then . . today. <BR> <BR> Let's start with the fact I did not prepare for lunch today. On Wednesday's I have to travel from one site to another for work. <BR> <BR> And of course, I travel past like three McDonalds on the way. So that's what I did. I swear, I thought I said "unsweetened tea", but somehow it came out "Coke, please". I swear I thought I said, "yogurt parfait"... Wed, 11 Oct 2017 17:27:41 EST Gotta get some things off my chest . . . . I have been lax. And I am going to have to start over. Again. No, I don't like it, but I need to get a grip on my health. I went to the doctor last week and the trip resulted in an increase in my BP meds, continuation of the low dose aspirin regime, a stern warning about vitamin D and lack thereof, another stern warning about drinking more water, another stern warning about gaining (gulp) six pounds, and of course an extensive conversation about my cholesterol and the meds I refuse to tak... Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:43:36 EST Lisa If you happen to read some of my previous blogs (meh, maybe not worth the effort), you will see a blog about a woman named Lisa. The short version is, Lisa was a pediatric oncology nurse, one of the true heroes in the world as far as I am concerned, who developed gangrene in her foot. Diabetic for a very long time due to being over weight all of her life, didn't seem to notice gangrene. During surgery to amputate her foot, she had a stroke, lapsed into a coma and remained there for somethi... Wed, 8 Feb 2017 08:53:51 EST Trying so hard You know, I probably give a lot of lip service to trying hard. But, like a lot of people, I think I just say what is expected. I swore so many years ago that I would not be fat and forty. Well here I am, fat and sixty with a birthday coming very soon. <BR> <BR> I am well past caring about how I look, but I do care about how I feel. And face it, I feel lousy. My head hurts almost constantly, my joints ache, I'm out of breath most of the time and I'm depressed. I have chronic ulcers and ... Fri, 3 Feb 2017 09:28:24 EST Virgin Diet Since I was hospitalized a couple of weeks ago, my daughter is convinced my ulcers are rooted in some sort of food allergy. While I really don't believe this to be true, I am willing to give some credence to her notions. Thus, the Virgin Diet. <BR> <BR> Evidently this woman, J J Virgin, has developed a diet that is essentially an elimination diet. You purge your system of foods that are typically considered allergenic and then reintroduce them to determine physical reactions. These foo... Mon, 7 Nov 2016 07:43:26 EST And so it Goes Last week, while I was thinking about how much weight I have gained over the past year (on an already overtaxed body), I began having profound chest pains. I was at work, and since I work in a school, there was thankfully a nurse on duty who insisted on calling the EMT's. <BR> <BR> Bless their hearts, they came immediately, gave me aspirin and nitro, and transported me to the nearest hospital. After two days of testing, including a chemical stress test, it was determined I did not have a... Mon, 31 Oct 2016 10:43:59 EST Post New Year blahs Well I'd have to say I feel a bit let down because none of my grand plans have worked out. <BR> <BR> Not to be totally slogged, I continue on my path. Thu, 8 Jan 2015 15:29:51 EST Lots of News! As a follow up to my surgery, I have to say that so far it has been an amazing thing! I feel so much better, I can't even begin to start. And the good folks at University of Pennsylvania Hospital deserve some serious props because they took very good care of me. My surgeon, Dr. Daniel Dempsey, head of the Gastro-Intestinal Department and Chief Surgeon, I'm sure had more important people to slice and dice on, but instead was taking care of me and even gave me and my husband his personal cel... Tue, 11 Jun 2013 10:30:00 EST Updates I met with the surgeon. He seemed fairly confident that all would be fine regarding my upcoming procedure. <BR> <BR> Like many educators, I am postponing surgery until school is out, even though this is a ticking time bomb. However, both the GI doc and the surgeon think I will be fine waiting for another month to have surgery. <BR> <BR> Let's keep our fingers crossed! Sun, 14 Apr 2013 10:41:24 EST What is wrong with me . . . You will note this is not a question. Like "WHAT is wrong with me??" It is a statement. What is wrong with me . . . <BR> <BR> I have always been a vomiter. No, not bulimic. I just throw up. A lot. Always have. My parents used to arch an eyebrow at me and explain to other people whose children were not vomiters, "Well you just can't take her ANYWHERE." We even had to have supplies in the car for my eminent episodes of car sickness. My best friend looks at me with envy, "I so wish I ... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 21:55:11 EST Again, the Anniversary of the Plane Crash It has been four years since I was in the plane crash. Every year, I honor that day with another section from what I refer to as "my Alaskan Adventures". I am again adding another segment: <BR> <BR> It really wasn't until I was in a car accident in Bethel that I became aware of the caste system. The Korean cab drivers were, I discovered, the bottom rung of the social strata. I always tried to treat those who drive for me with the utmost courtesy. I don't like to drive much and to not have... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 20:30:55 EST Sewing Again! Overall, I've been in a general funk. My diet has been totally off. My job search has been fruitless. I'm going back to AK which I am not thrilled about because of being away from Walt so much. I miss my house in Ohio. I've had health problems. Problems with one of my kids. I could go on and on, but instead I will just say, I did finish a couple of nice projects. One was a bra. Yes, I made my own bra. It was a bit of a challenge, but it fits well and is very comfortable. <BR> <BR> A... Tue, 14 Aug 2012 21:48:37 EST Yippie Skippie!!!!!! Iron levels are up 50% and AND blood count nearly normal! Thank you all for your kind words and prayers! <BR> <BR> Chris Fri, 13 Jul 2012 08:14:07 EST Trying to Deal As some of you may know, I packed up and went to work in Alaska as a knee jerk reaction to getting seriously ill. About two months after my first husband died (that's another story), I collapsed at work. Three days and a bazillion tests later, it was determined that I was severely anemic due to the development of 8, yes I said 8, bleeding ulcers. <BR> <BR> Profound anemia is a very serious condition. It affects so much about you, your habits, your thinking, your energy, your emotions, it ... Sat, 9 Jun 2012 10:44:29 EST I just want to Understand Myself or The Story of Lisa and the Diabetic Coma I'm going to tell you a terrible story. It is my hope to understand myself more. I have a rather deep understanding of human behavior (see "psych" in "Alaskapsych"). But when it comes to my own emotions, I am usually at a total loss. My psyche and my rationale are a mystery right up there with Who shot Kennedy? And why does the bleu in bleu cheese, which is really mold, taste good? and possibly Is there life on other planets? <BR> <BR> Let me do some back story first. My best friend, Ki... Fri, 30 Mar 2012 14:51:39 EST Anniversary of the Plane Crash Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of my plane crash. (Documented in a previous blog entitled "Mik'"). As a way to honor this day, I thought I'd post another section from my writings: <BR> <BR> As the weather continued to escalate, I found it harder and harder to get out to the local villages. Even the ice roads seemed dangerous with temperatures and winds making it a very frigid prospect to head out. Winds gusted in February up to 55 miles per hour and with temperatures sometimes in ... Wed, 18 Jan 2012 13:30:16 EST Couldn't Help Myself! I have no self control! Yes, I'm sewing again, but this is the last project for a while. I leave for AK for 4 maybe 5 weeks, and I'm not taking the sewing along. :( <BR> <BR> But this is a birthday present for my daughter. It turned out ok. Not fab, just ok. It is red faux calf with a sateen lining that is black and white lily pads, the handles are not photographing well, but they are a black and red. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <B... Wed, 11 Jan 2012 23:15:17 EST A Record! Yes, boys and girls, I have now set a record! What record you ask? I have managed to abandon my new year's resolution of eating better and exercising in only 4 (count them, 4!) days. <BR> <BR> I am, at least, sewing. I have some new projects in the works, however, I am making a few of my little wallets again until my fabric and tools have arrived. <BR> <BR> My children, ever supportive of my reclamation of sewing (still hoping for those curtains, I think) have given me a few new tools: <... Wed, 4 Jan 2012 21:42:57 EST Long Story . . . yep, long story (no short) You know me by now. I have to tattle on myself and my blogs are frequently filled with angst. This will probably be no exception. <BR> <BR> As you probably know, after many years I have begun sewing again. My daughters gave me a lovely sewing machine last summer as a birthday/mom's day/we love you and would you please make us new curtains for our respective apartments gift. <BR> <BR> I have been having the time of my life sewing. I had totally forgotten how great it felt to say, "Oh yea... Mon, 19 Dec 2011 21:15:28 EST Thank you, Done Girls! As you may or may not realize, I was named Done Girl of the Day on Wednesday. I have to say, without question, it was a well timed and well appreciated honor! I have been feeling pretty bleak about the whole diet and weight loss process and nevermind the fact I had been staying in a school for the entire week while a blizzard of epic proportions was engulfing me. <BR> <BR> But XPhoenix, named me DGOTD and I have to tell you, it lifted my spirits beyond words! Thank you to all involved a... Fri, 11 Nov 2011 18:00:51 EST It's times like this I always say I came to Alaska because I was looking for good karma. And I always say that I found it. People either say how lucky I am to be working up here or when they hear about what it is like in the bush, they respond with things like what a wonderful person I am. I am not wonderful. I receive so much more than I give. I found the good karma I was looking for. <BR> <BR> I made the decision to come up here to work mostly as a promise to God. I was working in a large corporation not... Wed, 9 Nov 2011 01:06:24 EST Happy Birthday, Mom I’ve spent the day thinking about my mom. Today is her birthday. If she were still alive, she’d be 93 today. She was born at the end of WWI. Born at home, but attended by a doctor who left immediately to go serve in the Great War, his wife recorded her birth. Decades later when my mom got her birth certificate, so many things about it were incorrect: the actual date of her birth (10-10-1918), her mother’s name (“Nina” instead of “Mina”) and her name was wrong (“Mary Jane” instead of “Ma... Fri, 14 Oct 2011 21:25:30 EST Back to the Sewing Machine! I'm having a particularly difficult time right now. I'm having some financial issues. But enough of this blithering, I am busily making Christmas presents for my girls. <BR> <BR> I didn't take any in process pictures, but here is instead the finished product: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The color isn't showing up quite right: it is a lovely brown/green/inky blue tweed upholstery fabric that I picked up for about $3. I used the... Wed, 14 Sep 2011 17:02:02 EST Welcome to my World I thought I'd post a little info regarding my world. <BR> <BR> I went to the grocery store today to pick up a few little items. Allow me to share. I purchased: <BR> <BR> 1 small can cooking spray (store brand) <BR> 1 16 oz jar pickles <BR> 1 small bottle pancake syrup (store brand) <BR> 1 16 oz can Del Monte pasta sauce <BR> 1 loaf whole wheat bread Orrowheat <BR> 1 SMALL roll paper towels <BR> 1 small bottle dish soap <BR> 1 medium sized onion <BR> 1 dozen large eggs <BR> 1/2 gallon 2... Sun, 21 Aug 2011 19:01:53 EST What I have Learned from my Short but Fruitful Hiatus from Sparkpeople! Throughout the summer, I have struggled with my dieting plan. No surprises here. I was home with my Walter all summer. In our entire relationship, this has been our longest stretch together, 14 weeks. I had joked that if you see a news article about a Jersey couple found dead with hands wrapped around each others' throats, that would be us: Film at 11. Just kidding, we are fortunate in that we actually like each other in addition to loving each other. <BR> <BR> However, we were both ... Sat, 20 Aug 2011 10:20:57 EST Top 10 Reasons why I have decided that my reclamation of sewing is a good thing because: <BR> <BR> 10) I can remake my wardrobe to fit as I lose weight! <BR> <BR> 9) It keeps my hands busy! (not eating) <BR> <BR> 8) It keeps my mind busy! (not thinking about food) <BR> <BR> 7) All of the oooohhhs and aaaahhhhhs have boosted my self esteem. <BR> <BR> 6) Although I'm not a very creative person, it has provided a place for me to get some of my ya ya's out. <BR> <BR> 5) I'm terrified t... Sun, 7 Aug 2011 14:43:53 EST Dear Sparkers . . . There was a little suggestion that some of my fellow Sparkers would like to continue to see some of my continued stitchery. Here is my latest project, a gift for my younger daughter: <BR> <BR> This is the outside: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here are two shots of the inside: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="">... Fri, 5 Aug 2011 23:05:31 EST I'll Bet You are Tired . . . of me turning this into a sewing blog. But I'm having so much fun, I can hardly contain myself. Right now, I'm having some personal issues (that's another blog, oh dear). Sewing has bridged the gap for me. <BR> <BR> Here's one more of my little wallets. This one is for my older daughter. I'm learning more and more about my sewing machine, how it works, the rhythm and quirks. I am having a few problems getting things EXACTLY how I want them, but working on it. <BR> <BR> <img src="http:... Fri, 29 Jul 2011 13:53:52 EST Hoping for the Best I am planning to attend my grandson's birthday tomorrow. I wasn't invited. Needless to say, I have a very strained relationship with my son and his wife. I don't know why, when or how this happened. But it has. <BR> <BR> I am hoping that sewing will once again give me a gift that I might not already have. I made one of my little wallets for my daughter in law's mother as a hostess gift. Sewing has always given me so much: beautiful clothes when I had no money, clothes for my kids when... Fri, 22 Jul 2011 20:55:07 EST Japanese House, Philadelphia, PA Walt and I went out looking for some fun during the short break in the weather last week. There are so many things in the city I have yet to experience. We started out seeking the zoo, but it was crowded (everyone else had the same notion I guess), but then veered over to a lovely Japanese House. The Japanese government gave this house to the city of Philadelphia in the 1950's. It is called Shofuso. <BR> <BR> Walt thinks I have some sort of artistic talent buried somewhere deep within m... Mon, 18 Jul 2011 08:53:07 EST So sew! I had quit sewing. I felt so bad about my weight, I simply quit. My children had come to a point in their lives that having homemade things was no longer cool. So, I quit. My sewing machine fell in total disrepair. <BR> <BR> There was a time people stopped me on the street to ask me where I bought my clothes. I always coyly replied, "Oh, I have them made." Never did I mention it was I who did the making. <BR> <BR> I started sewing when I was five. If we consider those few times I r... Thu, 14 Jul 2011 17:04:11 EST More Fun Stuff Well, Walt and I went to the Collingswood Red White and Kaboom! <BR> <BR> The pregame show: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> A local band played hits from the 80's and 90's: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Walt and me acting goofy trying to take some pictures of ourselves (pssssst: I'm really bad at it): <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 4 Jul 2011 22:32:43 EST Fun Stuff Walt and I are fortunate enough to live just a few minutes from the heart of the Birth of our Nation. Yesterday, Walt and I went to Chinatown in Philadelphia to experience some of the holiday. I wished I had my camera, but I had my phone an took a few pictures. <BR> <BR> Part of the street festivities in Chinatown: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We stopped in one of the store front restaurants to recharge and get something to drink... Sun, 3 Jul 2011 11:52:45 EST Pushing Through In an effort to once again move past some of the blahs, I'm attempting to focus on the positive. <BR> <BR> That said, I have previously confessed my lack of culinary skills. Walt and I eat out a lot and he tends to prefer places that are not conducive to my weight loss efforts . . . at least that's what I thought. <BR> <BR> One of our favorite places is The Bread Board. It is a little deli/salad bar that is all you can eat on the bar stocked with soups and any kind of salad known t man. <... Sat, 2 Jul 2011 12:51:28 EST So let me explain . . . I married a man who is more than a little older than I am. I feel extraordinarily fortunate to have found him so late in my life. And without question, this is the relationship I dreamed of my entire life. He is sweet, smart, considerate, everything I could ask for. <BR> <BR> At the time we met, he was residing in senior housing, a high rise apartment building consisting solely of senior citizens and a handful of disabled younger people. <BR> <BR> That said, when we married, I moved ... Fri, 1 Jul 2011 09:23:57 EST Hiding Out I really wanted to hide today. But my husband wouldn't let me. He's like a puppy, always sniffing around seeing what sort of mischief he can get into. It's one of the things I love best about him. . . one of many. <BR> <BR> But today I wanted to hide. I hadn't realized it until a few days ago that this was the day I'd chosen last year to Spark. It is one year ago today that I signed up for Sparkpeople. <BR> <BR> It is my father's birthday. <BR> <BR> He is deceased. He and my mother... Sun, 26 Jun 2011 22:55:30 EST Reflections on 1 Year with Sparkpeople As I am rapidly approaching my first Sparkaversary, I find myself thinking a lot about this past year. <BR> <BR> I have to admit that as this day approaches on the 26th, I have lost about 10 pounds. I am rapidly rationalizing that this isn't really 10 pounds, but instead closer to 20 because I didn't GAIN 10 pounds throughout this past year as I probably could have without Sparkpeople. <BR> <BR> I have not embraced exercise, but I am facing the fact that I must with more fervor. <BR> ... Fri, 24 Jun 2011 13:16:23 EST True Confessions I suppose it is time to confess that I cannot cook. I mean, I can follow basic directions and the most fundamental of recipes, but over all not so much. <BR> <BR> When I was a young bride married to my first husband, he was a student and I was putting him through college. I remember him coming home and commenting that his first hour prof sneering, "Well, Patrick, how were the burnt offerings this morning?" Needless to say, I cringed. <BR> <BR> My current husband, Walter, has suffered t... Thu, 16 Jun 2011 11:42:23 EST Commentary from a Hungry Girl Newsletter In a recent Hungry Girl newsletter, Lisa comments that in an effort, some schools are reporting students' BMI ratings along with their grades. As if getting grades isn't stressful enough, we have to add in new statistical information based upon things that often children have little or no control over. <BR> <BR> Yes, I realize that selection of food is SOMETIMES a child's choice. But more often than not, meals are served TO children and they are required to eat or go hungry. <BR> <BR>... Tue, 24 May 2011 10:22:36 EST Ending my Relationship As some of you may or may not be aware (see earlier blogs), I have a very strained relationship with one of my children. <BR> <BR> Be that as it may, I am making a decision and I am test-driving this announcement here because I feel much more comfortable here than I do most other places (again, see earlier blogs). <BR> <BR> Here is my tentative announcement: <BR> <BR> Due to recent events, I am making the decision to end my relationship with Facebook. It has been coming for a long time... Wed, 4 May 2011 13:42:11 EST Tattling on Myself Sometimes I have to tattle on myself. This is one of those times. <BR> <BR> While I admit that I am not exactly the hard core Sparkperson, I have managed to drop about 15 pounds, verrrrryyyyy ssslllllooooowwwwlllyyyyyyyy. And while everyone will say that this is optimal, I do admit to a certain frustration not seeing the numbers plummet. <BR> <BR> I do not wish to admit, however, approaching the diet half heartedly and my major exercise usually is raising the fork to my lips. <BR> ... Tue, 12 Apr 2011 18:53:12 EST Speak to me Lao-Tzu! While seeking out a motivational quote, I long ago had stumbled upon this: If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. Lao-Tzu. <BR> <BR> I have a large cadre of quotes that I have made part of my life over the years, one of my favorites being: Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and it won’t change anything but your mascara. Pam Young and Peggy Jones (of Sidetracked Sisters fame). <BR> <BR> But Victoria (Hiketoheights) challenged me to consider blo... Wed, 6 Apr 2011 20:15:26 EST Cama-I Cama-I is a Yup'ik greeting meaning "Hello". It is pronounced (cha my'). It is also the name of the local dance festival in Bethel. I've attended Cama-I for three years now. People from all over the delta come to Bethel to celebrate the traditions of dance, music and food. People sell crafts, traditional things such as beaded jewelry, carvings from walrus ivory, carvings from bone and pelts of all sort, native art, seal gut rain gear, ulu's (curved knives), you name it. <BR> <BR> Walt a... Sun, 27 Mar 2011 23:02:46 EST Write my name in the sand, OK? Write my name in the sand, OK? <BR> <BR> I’ve been thinking a lot about my cousin, Diana. <BR> <BR> Diana and I are first cousins. Our fathers are brothers. We are both only children. Although my parents would be so quick to say we were raised entirely different, the fact is, we were both starving for love. We were raised by obsessive mothers who were jealous of us and any accomplishment to which we might have aspired and by fathers who were downright mean. <BR> <BR> I didn’t kno... Sun, 13 Mar 2011 00:18:02 EST Getting Serious Ok, I have decided to get serious about this water thing. Drinking water is not my idea of a good time, but I have determined it is one of the things I need to stay on the grid. So, I bought not one, but two water bottles that will withstand the rigors of my crazy life. <BR> <BR> I ordered them on line and make me happy with their bright spring green color. And I don't feel even remotely guilty about dumping unnecessary plastic into landfills with them because they are refillable! <BR> ... Tue, 22 Feb 2011 14:57:49 EST I have a Tale about a Tail . . . In an attempt to move along on and leave my fretting behind, I have a story titled A Tale about a Tail, subtitled On a More Positive Note . . . <BR> <BR> No, I haven't developed a gecko-like appendage sprouting from my lower spine, which could explain some of my back pain, but I digress. <BR> <BR> As you may or may not realize, I fly. A lot. And when I first started this job about two and a half years ago, I barely fit in a coach seat. I pined for first class where I might have a little... Sun, 6 Feb 2011 11:23:18 EST Why I'm Pouting Ok, it is only fair to let you all know why I'm needing support and why I'm pouting. <BR> <BR> First, let me thank everyone for the ups on my Sparkpage! I truly appreciate it. <BR> <BR> When I worked for a very large charter school system that will remain nameless, I drove approximately 40,000 miles a year and that seems to have done some rather serious damage to my hip and leg. I supervised the special education departments of 7-8 charter schools filled with at risk and drop out kid... Thu, 3 Feb 2011 16:18:43 EST Coming Home You know, stress is one of those things that wrecks your life. But I was determined to operate under the assumption that if you act like things are ok, then shortly they will be. The stress imps were out to challenge my resolve big time on the trip home. <BR> <BR> First, I was due to fly out of Bethel at 8:40 pm on Tuesday. We finally left around 10:00. No biggie. <BR> <BR> I made the Seattle flight with time to spare. But landing in Seattle was an issue. Sea-Tac was fogged in and evi... Sat, 29 Jan 2011 11:24:17 EST Daunted This week has been hard. My Sparkfriends have been wonderful, but it has been hard anyway. Being up here (AK), is rough in January and February anyway. I'm away from my husband while he has been overwhelmed with bronchitis and while he is feeling better, I'm feeling untold guilt about being so far away while he's sick. He's taken care of me multiple times while I was ill, and when it became my turn, I'm in the frozen north. Guilt. And, of course, the obvious issue: it really is about m... Sun, 16 Jan 2011 20:31:01 EST