BEBARB149's SparkPeople Blog BEBARB149's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My Aching Back So it had gotten to the point that if I did a long grocery shopping or stood at the kitchen counter to chop veggies, or bake bread, the small of my back started telling me tales of woe and I would have to sit down for a while to quiet it down. I checked with the doctor to make sure I didn't have a kidney infection and I didn't. So I started doing several short shopping trips instead of one long one, stopped making so many meals that require chopping veggies, and stopped baking bread (which wi... Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:42:06 EST New Year - Same Old Problem So, four months since my last surgery. That was really a mess. The surgery went ok but then something seemed to be wrong the next day and the surgeon opened me up again, then figured out he really hadn't needed to do the second surgery. Unfortunately he had to open me up again two weeks later because I was badly infected. That time he left me open and put in a wound vac. I was supposed to be in the hospital 5 days but it turned into 19 days. That was followed by six weeks of lugging the wound... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 22:34:16 EST Stalled, again There are only three weeks left before surgery and my weight loss seems to be stalled. I haven't lost more than a pound a week, despite my efforts, but that is better than no progress at all. I'm so tempted to fast but not only is that "old hat," I probably wouldn't make it long enough for it to be effective. It seems like I'm constantly thinking about food anymore and I'm hungry more than I'm not. <BR> <BR> This seems wrong. There were periods in my life that food was scarce and I don't re... Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:30:05 EST Almost Down To The Wire So, my hernia surgery is scheduled for August 21st. That’s just a month away and the surgeon would like me to lose as much weight as possible before then. This surgery is going to be hard, taking about 6 hours and involving some pretty close work. Succeed or fail, this is probably the last chance I’ll have for a repair of my abdominal wall. The surgeon says there’s too much damage already and this repair will, literally, leave no room for future attempts at closing any new hernias that devel... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 17:36:48 EST More, But Only a Little at a Time The book I've started reading, "The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss," is geared a bit toward veganism, but can be used by meat eaters, too. I like the idea of 30 days of making 30 gentle changes to improve your eating habits. Even if I don't get any new insights into how to get healthier, it is giving me mental reinforcement of the steps necessary. That's good. That helps me stay conscious of what I'm doing. It helps, also, that it's an audio-b... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:20:52 EST Keep it Simple and Workable I don’t know when I’ll have my next surgery or even who will perform it, only that I need it. The surgeon that did my colectomy and the two parastomal hernia surgeries that followed has never done the component separation technique for hernia repair. He’s looking for a surgeon for me that has some experience with the technique. I’m seeing him the middle of next month to see how it’s going. If I can get myself on a nice, slippery slope of weight loss in the next three weeks that would be a goo... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 17:17:23 EST The Problem: Having an ileostomy is better than having ulcerative colitis if only because you no longer have the pain and uncertainty that goes with the colitis. There's also the time saved. With colitis you are always searching for ways to make your life more normal while watching it become less and less so as time passes, with an ileostomy you know that this is as normal as it's going to get unless you could possibly pull off a very successful reconnection, and at 65 the odds are against that, so you sp... Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:31:16 EST Good book about diabetes I'm reading Richard K. Bernstein's book "Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution." It's a pretty thick book, and I only intended to skim through it but I've ended up reading every page of his introduction of himself, some of the case histories, and am almost through part one of the text. <BR> <BR> Just the idea that he has lived longer than most type 1 diabetics by taking personal control of his disease caught my interest. Then there's the fact that he was an engineer when he started studying dia... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 16:09:02 EST Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge, Week 4 I only blogged once last week because I didn't have anything new or substantive to blog about and I feel this week may be the same. I haven't craved sweets for several days. Instead I'm going back and forth between not being hungry and craving fast food. Yesterday I didn't want breakfast, made myself eat a light lunch, and then wanted a hamburger for dinner. Right now chocolate doesn't even sound good to me. It's no good trying to retrain my sweet tooth when it's behaving itself. I'd like to ... Mon, 8 Jul 2013 21:03:55 EST Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge, Week 3, Blog 1 I did so well today I can hardly believe it, except that I skipped breakfast because I haven't figured out what is ok for me to eat for breakfast. After lunch I had a vanilla chai tea with sweetner and soy milk when I craved something sweet and at the grocery I walked right past the counter full of Russell Stover's Smores and stuck to my list. I'm hoping that this is a sign of permanent improvement! Mon, 1 Jul 2013 21:53:45 EST Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge, Week 2, Blog 3 Saturday I did myself in by having waffles with syrup for breakfast. For some reason if I eat a sweet breakfast I crave sweets all day and that is pretty much how Saturday went. I tried several subterfuges but ended up having another waffles after dinner. Today I did much better. Having just a glass of soy milk for breakfast, I've really had no cravings at all. Of course I've been busy doing yard work all day. That helped keep my mind off of food. In fact I'm low on calories and need to find... Sun, 30 Jun 2013 21:23:08 EST Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge, Week 2, Blog 2 I went vegan for a couple of days the beginning of the week and made myself sick. I have stage III kidney disease and apparently I've been keeping my potassium and phosphorus at ok levels without really trying. So I didn't really realize how little extra potassium it would take to overload my kidneys. Two days of fried cabbage, steamed veggies, and salad were just too much. Wednesday was a bad day, nausea all day, no appetite, no energy, achy muscles, and my heart racing at very little exerti... Fri, 28 Jun 2013 21:24:37 EST Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge, Week 2, Blog 2 Wow, at the end of today I came up short by almost 500 calories. I've been a little nauseated all day and just didn't eat much: toast for breakfast, a salad for lunch, a little short grain brown rice and peas with zucchini for dinner. I snacked on a peach and some fresh pineapple that's nice and cold because I have it in the refrigerator. Nothing really interested me. So I did a bad thing and made a double batch of Single Serving Chocolate Brownie just to make up the calories, more because I ... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 22:13:36 EST Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge, Week 2, Blog 1 Sunday has been my day off from diet/exercise for a little over a month now. I have been on a weight loss plateau since November of last year and thought that having a day when I didn't think about calories and portion control might make it easier, mentally, to stick with the low calorie range the rest of the week. What I found was that I still thought about calories on Sundays and tried to juggle what I wanted around so I could have it without going too far afield. Once it was apparent that ... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 16:17:04 EST Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge Week 1, Blog 3 Yesterday after lunch I really wanted chocolate. Actually I wanted a Smore again, and since I know that Walmart has individually packaged Russell Stover's Smores I wanted to go get one even if they aren't as good as the real thing. To keep myself from driving to Walmart I kept finding things to do and reasons to postpone making the trip. Finally I just convinced myself that if I had no other reason to make the trip except for the Smore it would be a waste of gas, and I had a cup of caramel te... Fri, 21 Jun 2013 10:29:19 EST Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge Week 1, Blog 2 I wanted some popcorn and I have an airpopper to make it low calorie, but I like it with lots of butter. So I thought I'd try to find a substitute for the butter. Of course I turned to Google. And that's how I learned how to make Kettle Corn today. <BR> <BR> Have a heat safe bowl ready, <BR> Mix 2 Tbsp sugar with 1/4 cup popcorn, <BR> Put 2 Tbsp oil to heat in a pot with a lid (I used a 3 quart pot), <BR> Put 3 kernels of popcorn in the oil and when they pop add the rest of the popcorn/suga... Wed, 19 Jun 2013 17:22:23 EST Tame Your Sweet tooth Challenge Week 1, Blog 1 Whoo, I blew it yesterday. I made it to the checkout stand at the grocery only to find myself staring at a shelf full of Russell Stover's Smores. Last month I just about went crazy trying to figure out how to have just one smore and not end up with a box of graham crackers and a bag of marshmallows in the house. I did finally get over the craving without having one. But yesterday I realized that it was kind of impossible for me to walk past the display. I would have had to go through the whol... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 10:12:15 EST Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge I Last night I took on the Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge. My assignments for this week are to take an assessment quiz that determines how persuasive my sweet tooth is, track my cravings to see if there is a pattern to them, and list my reasons for wanting to cut back on sweets. The results of the quiz were not a surprise to me. I have a very active sweet tooth. So I set up a spread sheet to track my craving: Date, Time, Location, Activity, Strength of Craving, Results of Craving and immediat... Sat, 15 Jun 2013 21:56:10 EST Adding Minutes 2 Today I walked the same route through the neighborhood as I did Friday but backwards. That is I started out in the other direction and walked the route in reverse (I didn't actually walk backwards). I don't think I was slower. In fact, my heart rate monitor showed that I was staying within my target heart rate most of the way, but it took me the whole hour to walk it. Both directions have me walking an uphill grade for the first half and downhill the second half, although the direction I took... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 13:11:25 EST Adding Minutes to My Walking Time I'm going to have to get out earlier to walk now that the weather has warmed up. I started out just after 9:00 am this morning for a one hour walk around the neighborhood and by 9:30 the sun was beating down on me making me hot and sweaty, and causing me to remembering that I'd forgotten to put on my sunscreen. Other than the that, the walk was very nice. The sky to the east was filled with thin wispy clouds and to the west it was filled with huge billowy ones that almost look like white copi... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 12:54:10 EST Forecast: Thunder Storms Today was my day to walk outside. I've been walking the Rock Island trail the last few days just to have a change of pace from walking the neighborhood or to Walmart. There's a trailhead just two blocks from my house. It's one of many trails for hikers, bicycles, and horses that wind through the city but are away from streets. When I first walked it twenty years ago, it followed beside the old Rock Island Railroad tracks that were not longer in use, and was just loose gravel and dirt that tu... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 20:38:10 EST Hiking Palmer Park II Went back to Palmer Park to hike again today. It's Sunday and there were quite a few people there. I figure that makes it safer to hike alone. There's a greater chance of being found if I sprain an ankle or fall down the side of a canyon. The road winds around through the park so no matter where I am I'm not that far from it, but often the ground between the trail and the road is more than a bit treacherous and the shrubs and scrub oaks obscure it. It's nice to know that if I holler someone w... Sun, 26 May 2013 13:11:12 EST Hiking Palmer Park - I I've been urban hiking my immediate neighborhood for a long time now. It's not that I don't have trails, parks and open spaces to hike in, it's just quicker, easier, and some times safer to hike around home. I don't have to get in the car and drive there and back. Three of my neighborhood routes take me to stores where I can buy an orange and sit for a few minutes eating it before starting back. One takes me to the local library branch where I can sit inside where its air-conditioned and read... Sun, 19 May 2013 15:34:57 EST Summer walking Here's an odd turn around: the last couple of winters have not been bad enough to keep me from walking outside most days. But the summers have been so hot that it's almost dangerous to be out doing anything strenuous. I'm afraid this summer is going to be worse yet. It's May and we've already hit 82 degrees. I just got back from a walk to the store, one mile each way and the time walking around in the store, it's only 11:30 am, and the sun's so hot it feels like I made the walk in the middle... Thu, 16 May 2013 13:45:48 EST Still Not Losing It's almost two months since I started SparkPeople and five and a half months since I got scared enough by the speed at which I was putting on weight that I started dieting and exercising, recording calories eaten and expended daily. I stopped gaining weight almost as soon as I started, but I haven't lost any weight even though the figures, calories in - calories out, say that I should have lost a lot. Recently I increased my aerobic/cardio exercise time and the amount of vegetables I eat ea... Sun, 12 May 2013 17:11:05 EST Heart Rate Monitor Revisited My heart rate monitor arrived a few days ago, so I've had a little time to play with it. Being an inexpensive one, it doesn't do a whole lot of things, but I knew than when I ordered it. All I wanted, really, was to be able to know whether or not I was reaching my target range while exercising without stopping to take my pulse. It does that and tells time, is a top watch, and an alarm all for $33. I do have to wear a strap around my chest to use the heart rate function, and it can get a littl... Sat, 4 May 2013 17:37:51 EST Snow and the Utility Company We have been put on water rationing by the utility company again. I can water my lawn twice a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays, for no more than three hours but not between the hours of 10am and 6pm, and I can only wash my car at home on Saturday or Sunday with a positive shutoff sprayer. If I use over my allotted amount of water, the rate will go up quite a bit. All new sprinkler systems must have rain gauges to shut them off when not needed. I've been invited to visit the utility company's Web ... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 10:38:42 EST Heart Rate Monitor I've been using SparkPeople for a month now and was doing the calorie counting, in and out, using software on my old hand held Palm Z22 for several months before that. I started out eating 1375 or less calories a day while doing cardio and strength training for at least an hour. Now I'm down to 1200 calories and doing more strenuous cardio exercises. With the Palm software I was only maintaining my current weight, so I joined SparkPeople hoping that there would be some sort of magic mystical ... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 11:09:33 EST Snow on the Mountains Most of the snow that had accumulated around me the last two days is gone. There are only a few patches in shady areas of the neighborhood yards. But the mountains are still full of snow. Even after forty years of living here, it's still awe inspiring to look over the dry plains to the snow laden mountains. I live part way up a hill leading to a bluff, so my view of the mountain range to the west is fairly clear. From where I sit I can see a large house with many windows perched half way up t... Fri, 19 Apr 2013 12:45:36 EST Cold Snap II I think this second cold snap has killed any daffodils I had left in the yard. We don't get a lot of spring color here, and I'll miss having that splash of yellow by the bird bath this year. I planted a hyacinth there, too, but for some reason it has gotten smaller each year. I haven't pulled the grass back from around it to see if it's surviving. I hope it has just because it's nice to know it's still there, but since I can't see it unless I look for it, I doubt I'll miss it if it's gone. A... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 15:34:57 EST George Foreman Grill I own what is probably the world's greatest diet aid, a George Foreman Grill, and it's been sitting on the back corner of my kitchen counter being ignored all winter. I don't know why I only think of using it in the summer when it's too hot to turn on the oven. Grilled food tastes good any time of year and it's so much lower in fat than fried, and sometimes it's better than baked. I pulled it out to the front of the counter today because while I was grocery shopping this morning I spotted a s... Tue, 16 Apr 2013 22:57:50 EST BMR I just finished reading an article on SparkPeople about a machine that actually measures a person's resting metabolic rate (RMR) and returns a fairly accurate result. The article points out that we are all different and what works for one person won't necessarily work for another. That line of reasoning really blows the idea that anyone can become physically perfect if they limit their calories enough and exercise enough right out of the water. I'd love to do the test. I'll put it on my prior... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:37:47 EST Fish and Chips Man, I'm really craving fish and chips. I tried to side track the craving yesterday by having salmon and brown rice for supper, but woke up this morning thinking about fish and chips again. This is one craving that I've gotten for years and have never been able to find a substitute for, probably because since the last H. Salt Fish and Chips moved out of town I haven't found another place that I really like. So I know I can't really satisfy this craving, but it won't go away. Since today is my... Sun, 14 Apr 2013 11:47:49 EST Clouds Having lived most of my childhood in northern Ohio, the one time rain forest where the sky is mostly gray all the time, I had no idea about clouds. It took moving to the front range of Colorado for me to start appreciating what the deal was with them. I found out what a mackerel sky looked like one morning when I was coming off a night shift. Other mornings I drove home under deep pink and gray clouds that had to be the inspiration for a decorating fad in the 80s. Some mornings in summer the ... Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:11:44 EST Edible Rewards When I weighed myself Wednesday I found that I'd lost the two pounds I'd gain since joining SparkPeople three weeks ago. It was good news. I am back to where I started, but... it wasn't good enough news to allow me to treat myself to pancakes for breakfast. Well, the pancakes would be ok, I only ate two small ones, but the margarine and Log Cabin Original syrup were a bit too much. Then I had popcorn with butter before going to bed, air-popped to be sure, but with the butter it put me almost ... Thu, 11 Apr 2013 12:14:25 EST Jazzercise I did manage to try out the Jazzercise for Strength Stretching CD I borrowed from the library. I got through 20 minutes of it before I got too frustrated by my stumbling over my own two feet to continue. (It felt like I had more than two!) The thing about Jazzercise is the energy and enthusiasm of the instructors is contagious. It's easy the get caught up in that and I think that may be what I need right now. Today is going to be cold so I'm going to work on the CD again. I want to see if ... Wed, 10 Apr 2013 09:21:22 EST Windy and Cold I was pretty busy yesterday and apparently I didn't take a close look at the weather forecast. The forecasters are often wrong, but I usually take what they say into account when planning my day just in case. Yesterday it was in the high 60s and we were suppose to have afternoon thunder showers so I did my running around early and exercised inside so as not to get caught a mile from home in a downpour. I'm not afraid of melting but here the rain, even in midsummer, is almost always cold. But ... Tue, 9 Apr 2013 14:28:09 EST Strawberries When I was a very little girl we lived on my grandmother's farm in eastern Pennsylvania while my father was away (He was an artilleryman so probably in Korea at the time). On nice mornings in late spring and early summer we'd go out to the surrounding fields and hunt berries. Raspberries were hard to find and harder to pick but oh so good if you got any. Blueberries were scarce around there, too. You had to go to the edge of the woods where the poison ivy was to find them. But strawberries w... Sun, 7 Apr 2013 16:01:07 EST Weather reports and other fairy tales According to the weathermen, it should be raining now. The sky is dusky, the wind has calmed down, and the birds are quiet, but there is no rain. It's funny how we listen so attentively when the weather is being forecast, as though that gives us some edge up on the day's travails, all the while knowing it's very seldom accurate. <BR> <BR> I didn't walk today, but I spent time raking, bagging leaves and fallen branches, and digging. That should make up for not walking to some extent. The ya... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 20:29:09 EST Pole beans I started digging up the strip beside the side fence where I planted beans and peas last year. They did well there having the chain link to crawl up. I was afraid there wouldn't be enough sun but since my neighbor took out his aspens and put in gravel it's much brighter. The fresh beans (at least what I got of them) tasted better than frozen or even grocery store beans. Unfortunately, the deer enjoyed the plants with my roses for an appetizer. I have tomato, basil, and beet sprouts up indoors... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 11:17:21 EST Crows The crows that nest a couple blocks over and use my bird bath are back. I saw them wheeling this way and that across the sky day before yesterday and on the roof of my shed yesterday. They look healthy and strong. Wherever they go for the winter, it's good to them. I don't understand why they come back to the arid high plains when they could head for the corn belt and always have a supply of good food and water. Here they jockey for scraps in the McDonalds and Walmart parking lots and search... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 14:18:36 EST Losing Gaining weight on a diet/exercise plan is a losing. Right? I gained two pounds this week. After not losing any weight last week, my first week with SparkPeople, I don't know what to think. I did eat more for Easter, but even with that I haven't gone over my top allowable calories at all, and I've actually increased my workouts to include the three mile walk aerobic routine once this week and several short cardiac and strength building routines. I may have lost an inch and a half around my wai... Wed, 3 Apr 2013 12:51:44 EST Winter or Spring? Usually on the front range in Colorado we go from winter to summer and from summer to winter, there's little or no spring or fall. That's changed over the past two years. Last autumn was long with several flash backs to summer and now spring keeps breaking through while winter tries to keep it's hold on us. Actually, we've had beautiful warm weather interspersed between cold spells for months. The weather was so nice two days ago that I planted seeds and bulbs in the pots on my patio. I did c... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 15:15:13 EST Sitting Bad habit, sitting. It's a hangover from when I wasn't able to do much else a couple of years ago. I'm stronger now and I have so much to do. Most of it doesn't involve sitting. I did get chamomile and shallots planted yesterday and a little raking done, but I could have accomplished so much more. From what the weatherman says it may be too cold to work outside today, but inside I have cupboards to sort through, papers to file, blinds to dust, and library books to return. I must remember tha... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 11:41:22 EST Easter Most of my life I've had jobs that required me to work on holidays. Now that I'm retired I find that I don't know what to do on holidays. Once the celebration at church is over and you've watched as many TV specials as you can stand (which for me none to one), what then? Cook, eat and recover the rest of the day? Not too good to do when you're dieting. <BR> <BR> I had my chocolate cake for breakfast. It tasted good but upset my stomach. I'm hoping that will put me off sweets for a while, a... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 09:48:50 EST Deer One of the two bucks that have frequented my back yard for the past three years is back this morning. Oddly, it's good to see him. Last fall I got mad and shooed them away because I caught one of them sleeping in my front flower garden. I was already upset with them for eating my roses (Not the bushes, just the flowers. They could have waited and eaten the hips after the flowers were gone), and my garlic chives, and my green bean plants and my baby yew tree. They took the shooing to mean I di... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 11:09:29 EST Rain, maybe The weatherman's predicting thunder storms for today. I hope he's right. I love a good thunder storm. My mother gave me that. When I was a little girl and we lived in a big old farm house in Lawrence county, PA., she would take my brother and I out on the front porch to watch the storms rolling in. Exciting. If it doesn't rain, I have raking to do. Raking is suppose to burn a lot of calories. I hope that's true. Right now I better start my exercises. I'm getting side tracked a bit. One of th... Fri, 29 Mar 2013 11:14:28 EST Mammogram today The title says it all. I'm practicing saying "Ouch!" so I'm ready when the tech says "Just I little tighter, dear." I don't really mind. One of my aunt's died of full blown breast cancer. I'd rather not go that way. I had a nice hour's walk yesterday, but last night my legs ached a bit from all the aerobics and strength training I've been doing so I may just stick to aerobics today. Besides, if it's nice outside I have a lot of spring yard work to get to. That'll burn some calories. Thu, 28 Mar 2013 11:33:25 EST Wednesday The middle of the week, half way to the end. I wonder if part of the reason we divide our time into days and weeks is so we'll always be close to a starting time for beginning new things or redoing things we feel we could have done better. How often do we say, "This isn't going well. I'll put it aside for now and try again tomorrow.", or "Next week will be better."? Wednesday is my weigh -in day just because it's the day I joined SparkPeople. I didn't lose any weight this week despite my eff... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 11:06:24 EST Library day Actually, I don't have a set day to go to the library anymore. Usually I order what I want online then pick it up when they email that it's arrived at my branch. It's a lot easier now that there are small library branches all over town and the entire catalog is online instead of having just one large library downtown with a cardex. I particularly like being able to down load audio books directly to my computer. It's much easier than dealing with burning the CDs before I transfer the book to m... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 12:13:54 EST