BIGSKYCHERIE's SparkPeople Blog BIGSKYCHERIE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Progress Just a quick note to report on my progress on the ketogenic diet. First, it's more of a lifestyle than a diet. It's changed the way I look at food. I no longer think of food all day long, no more obsessing about what I'll have for my next meal or having eaten all my "points" or calories for the day. I eat when I'm hungry and don't stop until I'm satisfied. I eat real food, not processed "diet" food. No lo-cal or sugar free for me. Just real food. Eggs scrambled in butter with a side of bacon ... Sun, 23 Aug 2015 10:18:54 EST Thank you I appreciate the comments on my blog and the good wishes for success. It's so cumbersome typing with one finger so I skipped a lot of info and background. I do know that 800 calories is far today low. I had lost nothing in 5 months on 1200 calories after my exercise was so limited and tried 800 to jump start my body to lose something. I did lose that little bit but my body again went into starvation mode and I knew I could not continue long term to lose the 100 lbs needed to get surgery. I do... Wed, 6 May 2015 18:13:21 EST Making a big change It's been a long time since I've posted to my blog. Much has happened. I've learned I need both hips, both knees and my left shoulder replaced. The most damaged is my left hip, which makes it impossible to put weight on my left leg. Three surgeons have refused to do the surgery unless I lose weight first. The one at Mayo was the most professional and I have more faith in him. Even though I've lost so much already and kept most of it off, I need to lose another 100 lbs before he will operate. ... Tue, 5 May 2015 14:59:40 EST Happy New Year <BR> Wishing everybody a Happy New Year. I've been offline for a few days as I just got out of the hospital. The ambulance guys saved my life and got me to the ER fast enough so the doctors and nurses could work to keep me alive. I had a bleeding ulcer which I didn't know I had--lost 4 units of blood and was nearly dead when I got to the hospital. No symptoms at all and no warning signs--just started throwing up large blood clots the day after Christmas. Lost so much blood that I couldn't b... Tue, 31 Dec 2013 04:12:52 EST Finally Finally gave up and called the surgeon to set up an appointment to get my hip replaced. The pain has been horrible the past couple of weeks and I don't like living on pain meds--it's not really living. I want my health back so I can exercise and get the rest of this weight off FINALLY. I can't even walk 10 feet now without excruciating pain so it's definitely time--probably way past time, but at least I'm doing it. Soonest I can get in is Feb. 4, but the time will go by quick enough. I'm... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 05:30:11 EST What a surprise! I am still in shock! Late last night I posted photos of myself NOW with my new hairdo and one from last November with shorter hair. I've always liked short hair best because it's so easy--just wash and go. My sister has been after me for quite some time to let my hair grow and get it styled in a 'bob'--short in the back, but gradually getting longer on the sides and turned under. Well, after looking at my hair yesterday, I had all but decided to go back to the short hair, as I didn't thin... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 15:30:26 EST Survived Well, I survived my trip to the dentist today--3 root canals in the front teeth in one day. I go back next week to have the bridge installed; until then I have a porcelain temporary bridge which looks as good as regular crowns, but the actual bridge will be more permanent. I'm still very happy with the work my dentist did. <BR> I'm not quite as happy with the hairdo I got today afterwards. Two weeks ago I had a cut and style and kind of liked it. Today a different girl did my hair and it ... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 07:30:15 EST Tweaking myself and the program After putting it off for several months, I finally went to Mexico on Thursday to the dentist. I'm sure nobody LIKES going to the dentist, but I have some real serious terrors dating from very bad experiences as a child with three different dentists. But I lucked out and the new one I went to this time (I had checked her credentials and she has excellent training and references plus 25+ years in practice) was very gentle and so far very good. I had one root canal on Thursday, but need 3 more... Sat, 1 Jun 2013 21:35:39 EST A new look We just returned from a day trip to Mexico so I could get my hair cut and styled. They have a shop over there that works wonders--I've never seen one I didn't like. Since a bad hair day can totally destroy my focus on getting healthy, I decided it was a priority, so we bought extra car insurance to drive over (most people park at the border and walk across, but walking is still difficult for me). I'm glad I took my cane, as there was a lot of walking, even though we were able to park right... Wed, 22 May 2013 22:25:20 EST The long dry spell is over!! I haven't felt like blogging for a long time now. My one-year Spark anniversary came and went last month, but I couldn't bring myself to post on my blog. WHY? Because just after I hit the 100 lbs. lost benchmark on Valentine's Day, I settled into a plateau that has lasted all this time. Oh, I'd fluctuate 2-3 pounds now and then, and one time I was even up 5 pounds! But basically, the scales were stuck at 101 lbs. lost and wouldn't go below that mark. UNTIL TODAY! I've continued to make... Sun, 19 May 2013 04:22:15 EST What a difference a year makes! It's hard to look back at this time last year and realize how far I've come. A year ago I turned 65 in March and so went on Medicare. I'd been unable to walk or drive my car for over 5 months at that point and was ready to get a motorized wheelchair just so I could get around and not be isolated any more. The handicap was hard enough, but the depression of being so alone was absolutely devastating. I'd even considered having weight loss surgery, as I'd been struggling for half a year, try... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 15:19:09 EST Change in my plan It's not a question of will power. I could easily stick to liquid protein meals only for the final 4 days of my 6-week program. But the first day after my liquid runs out is Valentine's Day. And there is a special shrimp dinner at our club that I want to attend. I know eating a full dinner like that--even though it's healthy--is too much for my stomach to handle after 6 weeks on only liquid. So yesterday I started a gradual re-feed along with my liquid meals. I began with 6 mini pretzel... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 14:12:43 EST I'm having fun! I'm having fun with this new life of mine. It's fun to get new clothes and have them fit. Even more fun is getting new clothes and having them be a bit TOO BIG! I do have a hard time knowing what size to get. Since I buy nearly everything online, I order what seems to be the correct size, but my new pants are a bit loose. And I was afraid they'd be too tight! That's fun. <BR> And it's fun to make a quick stop at our clubhouse just to pick up something and have several people stop me and... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 02:13:11 EST GOALS I can't stand goals. Maybe it's just me and some warped part of my personality, but whenever I've set a goal for myself--whether weight-related or for any other aspect of my life--I fall short of meeting that goal. That failure sets me up for depression and, usually, giving up completely. I can be making great progress in an area I'm trying to improve, then I set a goal for myself. I don't meet that goal (ALWAYS happens), and I see my efforts as a failure. It doesn't matter how well I've... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 14:13:39 EST Another pound gone! Not much to share today except to say that I have now lost 89 lb. Just one pound away from 90 gone forever. That feels soooooooo good! I am starting to feel younger as I lose more weight. It's like I've been given a new lease on life. <BR> <em>252</em> <em>243</em> <em>381</em> Tue, 15 Jan 2013 15:22:09 EST AT LAST--Holiday weight gain is back off I didn't come unglued this time when I regained a few pounds through Christmas and New Year's. It's a whole new attitude--thinking of my weight as a lifetime new lifestyle. So I need to accept that each year during the holidays, I'll most likely go up a few pounds. Instead of getting upset about it, I need to just plan to get right back on track and get the pounds right back off. I've never looked at it this way before. But this year is different. I'm different. And as of today, I've l... Mon, 7 Jan 2013 07:17:10 EST HAPPY NEW YEAR! Happy New Year to you all! And a Healthy New Year to you all too. That is even more important. How many times have we each made new year's resolutions and then broken them a short time later? I know I have and you probably have too. But my only resolution now is to keep coming to SP to track my food and exercise, to watch videos and read articles, to post messages and add to my blog regularly, to huddle, learn and interact with my SP friends--all the little things that keep me focused. ... Fri, 4 Jan 2013 02:06:14 EST MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL Wishing you a blessed, peaceful Christmas and the peace that will last throughout the New Year. My wish for each of you includes a big helping of good health and success in making those little changes that will help each of us achieve that goal. God bless us everyone! <BR> Tue, 25 Dec 2012 11:59:56 EST FINALLY--broke through a plateau I haven't even been able to post here for so long. Hit a plateau about 4-5 weeks ago and could not break below that. I'd gained 10 lb. on the scales just before Thanksgiving--water, I know, was most of it, but still it's very frustrating to see the pounds go up on the scales. We were having a lot of humidity and that always causes me to retain water in my joints, but some of it was just too much food too. There were days when I couldn't seem to eat enough. About the best thing I could sa... Mon, 17 Dec 2012 13:20:31 EST GRATITUDE AND TODAY'S NSVs This morning I am grateful for the outcome of the election. So many around the country turned out as I wanted. And I'm grateful that now we can put all the ad campaigns behind us and get to work making our cities, states and country a better place for the people who live here. <BR> <BR> My NSV for today is that I was able to walk 200 feet without my cane at physical therapy. I am also able to walk with better posture than I could when I started. I'm surprised (and happy) that I'm seeing ... Wed, 7 Nov 2012 15:16:24 EST GRATITUDE AND NSVs Gratitude is the quality that helps us keep our focus on the positive. No matter what challenges may face us, if we can find one thing to be grateful for each day, we can maintain our positive outlook. That will help us succeed--whether in our weight loss or in life itself. <BR> Today I am grateful for my support--first and foremost from my husband who supports me daily in my quest to live a healthy lifestyle. I know I am blessed. And I am grateful for the support of family and friends wh... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 02:56:26 EST Started Physical Therapy Just checking in to say hi and let you all know that I started physical therapy this week (Thursday). It's for my knees and shoulders so maybe I can get better range of motion and actually do some more exercise than I've been able to do so far. The therapist mostly did evaluation of what I can do, but she said I was doing the right kinds of exercises and to bump those up from 3 reps to 4 and she added a few new ones to strengthen my knees and quads. I wasn't in any pain at all during my ap... Sat, 27 Oct 2012 20:01:30 EST The doctor was so happy The doctor was so happy with my weight loss. She's kind of given up on me over the years, but the last couple of appointments she's seeing the new me. She was very happy--I should say thrilled--with my progress. She's happy I'm doing well, but when she checked out my knees and shoulders she looked like SHE was in pain and wrote out the referral for physical therapy right away. Now my only problem is getting in to one of the rehab centers here. They are all very full this time of year wit... Thu, 18 Oct 2012 07:04:06 EST A new phase Tomorrow I may be starting a new phase in my journey to healthy living. I have an appointment with my doctor and I'm going to ask her to recommend some physical therapy so I can begin to move more. She's written prescriptions for therapy for me a few times over the past few years and I've ignored them. Some of the time I was simply too busy taking care of my mom to fit in one more thing. Some of the time I was just too depressed to want to do anything good for myself. But I'm creating a ... Mon, 15 Oct 2012 14:38:58 EST What's happening? I'm confused. I've been feeling great, exercising regularly, trying out all the new clothes (well, not new, but they never fit when I bought them so I'm removing tags and wearing them finally) and making healthy food choices. And yet, when I track my food each day, I find the total has been above my calorie range for the past few days. I don't feel that I'm eating too much--still having 3 small meals and 2 small snacks--but the calories don't lie. I'm going over by 100-300 calories a day ... Wed, 10 Oct 2012 14:50:27 EST On top of the world This week we started off "the season" at our clubhouse--from October through April it's buzzing with activities all day, every day. During the summer, many of our members head north for cooler weather, so we slow the pace and only play cards, have weekly social gatherings and of course the swimming pools are always open (and much needed in the summer). Tuesday night was our first night of Bingo, and I'm the manager and bingo caller, which means going up on stage in front of the crowd. Most... Fri, 5 Oct 2012 07:12:52 EST Dragging today Today I'm just washed out. I think the best thing I can do is get a good rest so I don't fall off track. I've planned my meals and snacks for today and I got my morning exercise in. The best thing I could do now for myself is to take a long nap. Sometimes we just need to regroup before we can make more progress. <BR> <em>134</em> Sat, 29 Sep 2012 15:56:35 EST Day 5 and 6 of sleep challenge Again I didn't get to log onto Spark to track my food and exercise until after midnight, so I didn't want to stay up even later by adding to my blog for yesterday. Nothing new to report. Even though I thought I was headed to bed at just after 2 a.m. 2 days ago, it was just after 5 a.m. when I finally got there. Same thing last night. I just think I wasn't ready to start the sleep challenge when I did so I need to start over. Tonight I WILL get to bed by 2 a.m. and I will get up by 9 a.m.... Tue, 25 Sep 2012 18:08:36 EST Day 4 of sleep challenge I will not drop out of the sleep challenge, although I'm not succeeding with my original goal of getting to bed by midnight and sleeping 8 hours. I do think 7 hours is a more realistic goal for me as I wake up after 7 hours on a good night totally refreshed and awake. But midnight is proving to be too drastic a change for my night-owl body. So I'm changing my goal to getting to bed by 2 a.m. and up at 9 a.m. Much more do-able for me. Last night I fell asleep in my chair for 2 hours and t... Mon, 24 Sep 2012 05:21:00 EST Day 3 of sleep challenge I wonder if I'm just wasting my time on this. But not really. I DID stay in bed 8 hours last night, but I didn't make it to bed until 5:30 so that meant I slept until 1:30 in the afternoon. Now it's after 4 a.m. and I'm just now entering my food on the tracker for Saturday. I've been a night-owl all my life and it seems strange to try to change my hours now when I'm retired and it really doesn't matter if I sleep at strange hours. But I would like to start getting 7-8 hours sleep a night... Sun, 23 Sep 2012 07:20:04 EST Day 2 of sleep challenge Well, Day 2 was a total disaster. I had a lot to do so missed the midnight bedtime. Then I fell asleep in my chair sometime after 2 a.m. and woke up at 5 to go to bed. It took me a full hour to get out of the chair and make it into the bedroom--just couldn't function. Then once I got into bed, I was wide awake until a little after 7, fell asleep until 9 and then had to get up to make it into town for an appointment. So, definitely NOT what I'm aiming for. I was able to focus on my food ... Sat, 22 Sep 2012 06:01:48 EST Day 1 of sleep challenge Well, whether my voracious appetite earlier this week was due to erratic sleep schedule or not, I know that it's healthy to keep regular hours, so I signed up for the 4-week sleep challenge. Last night was my first night of trying to get to bed at midnight (early for me, as I'm usually up until 3 or 4 a.m. and sometimes 6, 7 or 8 a.m.). Well, I headed to the bedroom at midnight, but didn't get into bed until 12:45 as I found several little things left undone that I knew would keep me from s... Thu, 20 Sep 2012 14:21:14 EST BLAHS I suppose it was bound to happen. My upbeat motivation is totally gone, and I'm just feeling totally BLAH. Yesterday, I could not get enough to eat all day long. I made healthy choices, but was waaaaaay over on my calories. I'm still exercising and have bumped it up a little more each day this week, but not so much that I'm getting worn out from that. It feels like I'm doing all the right things, but I've just had this horrible appetite yesterday and it's not totally gone (although not a... Wed, 19 Sep 2012 19:49:36 EST Home again and fully recuperated All my life I've been happy to be on the road, driving through all 50 states, Canada and Mexico to see as much as I could see in the short time each vacation allowed me. It was nothing for me to drive the Al-Can highway all the way to Anchorage when I had a week off work in 1978 (flew back home and had my car shipped down). Another trip took me from Montana (my home then) south to Oklahoma City, then east to Orlando and west across the country to San Diego and north back home--all in 9 days... Sun, 16 Sep 2012 22:08:30 EST Just one more Just one more pound and I'll have 80 lbs. gone forever. I'm actually giddy and giggly because I'm so excited about this. We're going out of town for a few days and I know it's possible I might gain a little while we're gone, but I've done all the planning I could think of to avoid that happening. And yet, eating in restaurants is sometimes difficult. I've looked up the menus of places I know for sure we'll be eating and have decided what I can order that fits in my calorie range for the d... Wed, 5 Sep 2012 01:08:32 EST Almost made it Well, I had hoped to lose 80 lb. by August 19, which is one year since I started taking care of myself and eating more healthy. I also joined a team challenge for the summer with the goal of losing 80 lb. by Sept. 1. Well, Sept. 1 came and I have lost 78 lb. Sooooooo close!! I'm thrilled with the 78 lb. loss, but will keep at it. I'm sure the 80 lb. mark won't take too much longer. Then I'll be working on 90 lb. and then 100. WOO-HOO! And I know from past experience that I would have ... Sun, 2 Sep 2012 05:46:31 EST Doctor's report Well, I went to my oncologist/dermatologist yesterday and the spot I have is NOT cancer. It is also not pre-cancer. It is a "warty growth" which will never grow into a cancer, so I didn't have it removed. It doesn't bother me--I just wanted to know it wasn't a cancer. What causes them? Age. It seems that everything that's wrong with me (except being fat) is due to age in some sense. Well, I think that's silly because I'm not old. I'm only 65 and I haven't even grown up yet--and I might... Thu, 30 Aug 2012 19:11:27 EST FINALLY the liquid is starting to go away It's been very frustrating this past month since ending my liquid Optifast and going to solid food. Between the natural tendency to retain a little liquid by doing that and the liquid retention I get when we have high humidity (which is good because it protects my arthritic joints), I've had a consistent 5-10 pounds of extra liquid just hanging on day after day. But yesterday the humidity was slightly down and so were the scales. One pound. I'd been seeing that same 5 pounds (it did go up... Sun, 26 Aug 2012 19:48:03 EST The big 'C' Yes, I have a spot between my neck and my breast. It looks suspicious. It's been there for the past 3 days--small pink spot. And yesterday it started to get a whitish spot in the center. I have an appointment with the dermatologist/oncologist on Wednesday to check it out. I thought I was handling it ok and not wasting time checking it out, but when I described it to the nurse on the phone as I made the appointment, she said it did sound like something that I should get in quick to take a... Sat, 25 Aug 2012 05:23:01 EST Finally--I went to the Friday Social Well, I finally made it to the Friday Social last night after 16 weeks of isolating myself so I wouldn't be tempted by all the good food there. With the exception of 2 people there (and my husband) I haven't seen those people in the entire 16 weeks. And yet NOBODY noticed that I had lost weight. Two of the other ladies had also lost--one of them came in a very form-fitting long tropical dress and everybody commented on how great she looked (they didn't mention her weight loss--just that sh... Sat, 18 Aug 2012 15:40:26 EST You CAN teach an old dog new tricks I'm only 65 and I don't consider that 'old,' but I am learning something new each day. Today I took lots of extra time and found that I'd settled on too high a calorie range for my body to continue losing. So I've adjusted it again--now it's between 1200 and 1500 calories a day. I also went in and adjusted the carbs, fats, protein, and fiber to coincide with that calorie range. My body was trying to tell me that I was eating too much, as I spent the whole day eating just to get in the cal... Wed, 15 Aug 2012 19:12:19 EST Water--my friend and my enemy WATER! I live on it. Drink it all day. And I make sure I get at LEAST the 64 oz. daily that I know I need. But the past few days, between transitioning off the Optifast plan onto only solid food and the extreme heat advisory (with humidity) we've had now since the middle of last week, I am retaining LOTS of liquid. I learned the last time I was on Optifast (20+ years ago) that a water gain is normal when coming off the liquid fast; diuretics are normally prescribed when that happens. Th... Tue, 14 Aug 2012 19:32:09 EST Chickened out Well, I chickened out on going to the Friday Social. By the time we were supposed to leave, I was very tired and I know from previous experience that when I'm tired, my willpower is nonexistent. So we stayed home and my husband brought home a Subway sandwich--one of the lean choices. It felt like cheating, but wasn't a lot of calories and I don't care for a lot of the add-ons, so just added lettuce and tomatoes. It was delicious. There's always another social next Friday, so I'll make a ... Sun, 12 Aug 2012 07:16:14 EST The Friday Social One of my favorite social events is our weekly Friday Social at our club. Everybody brings a plate of appetizers or hors d'oeuvres to share and our beverage. By sampling a few of everyone's treats, that becomes our dinner and we don't have to go home and cook. After we eat and visit a bit, we play cards. It's a lot of fun with our friends. Since I started the liquid phase of my diet, we stopped attending the socials because it was too tempting for me to be around food that I knew I could... Fri, 10 Aug 2012 05:03:55 EST Passed the 70-lb. mark Yes, I broke through the 70-lb. mark yesterday and have now lost a total of 71 lb. since my mom's funeral last August. But those last few pounds were NOT due to sticking with my healthy eating or exercise or anything good. I picked up a 24-hour bug and was extremely ill all day yesterday (started the night before, actually). I has chills, fever, diarrhea and dry heaves. I was too weak to even stand up for most of the day. After my chills left, I knew I had to get something into me so I w... Wed, 1 Aug 2012 18:14:40 EST Don't Quit "I Will NOT Quit" Pledge <BR> <BR> Saturday, July 28, 2012 <BR> <BR> Share and spread the Spark! <BR> <BR> <BR> "Today, I promise I will not quit. <BR> <BR> I pledge that no matter, how many ups and downs I pass through, I will continue on my journey. <BR> <BR> I pledge to make a NEW START today, and forgive myself for my past, and to stop being so critical of myself. <BR> <BR> I pledge to take control of myself, to stop making excuses, and stop blaming other people or situations. <BR>... Tue, 31 Jul 2012 04:00:39 EST Beginning Week 11 of my Optifast liquid diet Yes, today was the first day of my 11th week on Optifast. I decided to add some green veggies and fruit during these last 2 weeks to help my body transition to solid food. It feels like time to start chewing again and I thoroughly enjoyed the salad I had this evening and the fruit I had earlier today (cherries). It's still quite humid here and my weight was up one more pound, but I do know it has to be water. My normal daily calories are 810 and even this week with the fruit and salad it ... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 05:54:17 EST My doctor was thrilled Well, in spite of my water gain this week, I know I'm still losing fat. But I wanted to check in with my doctor as it's been 3 months since I started Spark and 9 weeks since I've been on my liquid diet. Well, she was thrilled with the weight loss and could definitely tell a difference in the way I look. That was thrilling for me since everybody I see has been seeing me all along so they haven't noticed the gradual changes. But since my last appointment in April, my doctor could tell a maj... Wed, 18 Jul 2012 17:48:23 EST I'm so frustrated! I've been waiting patiently all week to get on the scales to see how I'm doing. Last week I had a 6 lb. loss, so I didn't expect a big loss today. And I've been working hard all week--getting lots of exercise and working up a sweat each day. Well, earlier today I got on the scales and it said I was up 4 lb. since last week's weigh in. Later this afternoon I tried again and it said I was up 6 lb. Now I KNOW I'm not really up because I'm on a very limited totally liquid diet and have been f... Mon, 16 Jul 2012 06:56:29 EST Something old, something new Well, this week I'm challenging myself to do something I used to do all the time without a second thought. For months now I haven't been able to do much at all. Injuries and arthritis have pretty much left me disabled to the point that walking 20-30 feet was all I could handle without stopping to rest. Well, I've had a cleaning lady come in once every 2 weeks to dust, vacuum, and clean the kitchen and bathrooms--things I simply could not do any more. Well, this week the cleaning lady coul... Thu, 12 Jul 2012 18:02:33 EST