DEPOTMODE's SparkPeople Blog DEPOTMODE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community New year, new goals. I deliberately didn't start back on my weight-loss journey on January 1. I had to do some additional travel right after the new year, so it seemed sort of pointless. I have been tracking my food intake through the holidays, even though I sort of didn't pay attention to the calorie range. I just finished up round four (and hopefully the last round) of epidural steroid injections right after Thanksgiving, so I didn't see the point in fighting steroid weight gain, especially at the holidays. I u... Sun, 7 Jan 2018 08:34:33 EST 46 I'm turning 46 years old on Monday. I feel double that, at least physically. I'm still fighting against my body. And to add to the ongoing back pain fun, I've now developed steroid-induced diabetes. I was predisposed to getting diabetes, with having family history and PCOS, but I was fighting the good fight. I seem to be losing. I'm on the entry-level diabetic drug Metformin XR, and if nothing else, it's kick-started my weight loss a bit. The weight loss that had slowed down since the round o... Sat, 16 Sep 2017 09:00:07 EST Starting over Well, I've now had another round of three epidural steroid injections in my lower back (L5-S1), and it's just been in the last week and a half I've been able to walk without limping. I did have a cervical MRI done--I've had some tingling in both my hands on and off for a year now, but there was nothing remarkable on the MRI, so going to a neurologist for some electrical studies on my hands and arms. I have started walking again...very slowly. I'm going to Boston for 10 days in two weeks and I... Sat, 22 Apr 2017 10:08:42 EST Time for change Starting over from a different place. I re-injured my back in November, and have had another round of oral steroids. Also more muscle relaxers, all to tide me over until I can see my March. (Not happy about that, let me just say.) Anyway, I have gained weight due to this back injury. Two rounds of epidural steroid injections, expecting a third round, plus the oral ones I took post re-injury have helped me pack the weight I'd lost back on. I have been unable to do hardly any ... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 12:27:24 EST Time for change Starting over from a different place. I re-injured my back in November, and have had another round of oral steroids. Also more muscle relaxers, all to tide me over until I can see my March. (Not happy about that, let me just say.) Anyway, I have gained weight due to this back injury. Two rounds of epidural steroid injections, expecting a third round, plus the oral ones I took post re-injury have helped me pack the weight I'd lost back on. I have been unable to do hardly any ... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 12:27:23 EST Ten years (I keep hearing Jeremy Piven in my head, when he's driving John Cusack around in Grosse Pointe Blank: "Ten years. Ten years! TEN. YEARS. Teeeeeeeeennnnnn yeeeeeeeaaaaarrrrrsss!") <BR> <BR> So, this month marks my ten-year "sparkiversary"…I've been a part of SP so long there isn't a trophy for it! :P That's okay. I'm still plugging away, even though I've been sidetracked by life: good things, bad things, changes, more changes, injury, more injury. Being on SP has given me the opportunity to u... Sat, 2 Apr 2016 15:22:48 EST The more things change... Been nearly a year since I last made a post. Since then, my health has pretty much completely gone off the rails. Re-injured my back last May, but in July I really wrecked it. My husband and I moved house (local move) and I herniated my disk at L5-S1. Led to being out of work for nearly a month, followed by only working part time until after Thanksgiving. Have had one round of epidural steroid injections, and am in the middle of round two now. As a result of this serious back injury--I've nev... Sun, 6 Mar 2016 09:23:52 EST First Flight 5k and Flying Pirate Half Marathon: complete! Did the 5k yesterday. Walked to and from the race, plus walked the actual race. 51:12 time. <BR> <BR> Did the half marathon this morning. My watch came up with 13.2 miles, but whatever. We completed it! We walked this one too. 3:50:05 <BR> <BR> Nearly 19 miles of walking in two days. I'm tired. :) <BR> <BR> Planning to set my sights on a fall half marathon…just need to figure out which one. Sun, 19 Apr 2015 16:06:02 EST Amazing changes in the last couple of weeks. Today, we completed another 10-mile walk, our last before the half marathon on April 19. We improved on our time by over five minutes! I'm pretty pleased with that. Also pleased that I kept up a consistent pace the entire 10 miles, as opposed to fading in mile 8. That small distinction will be important to get us through the half in two weeks. <BR> <BR> In a better mood since the last time I posted. I kicked the sinus infection to the curb (although I am still having some lingering dizzy sp... Sun, 5 Apr 2015 13:30:21 EST One step forward, one step back. I sometimes feel like I'm in some sort of loop I can't get out of. We got back from Disney, and bam! I'm sick again. I struggled with an upper respiratory something-or-other for a week, then went to the doctor last Monday. It's a sinus infection. This has been a rotten six months in terms of being ill (and not working out as a result). Went to Paris, came back with a nasty head cold. Went all over NC at Christmas, came down with the flu. Went to Disney World, came back with a sinus infection.... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:06:36 EST This year so far has been a blur. Started the new year off with a bang--came down with the flu. Yes, I'd had the flu shot--was around a newborn at Christmas, and wanted to help with his immunity. I also had gotten the adult pertussis vaccine for the same reason. However, both my husband and I came down with the flu (strain A) right after New Year's. He recovered more quickly than I did--the flu sapped me of energy and stamina. I wasn't able to eat anything for about 10 days, and lost that many pounds. I also wasn't able to do... Sun, 8 Mar 2015 08:22:58 EST To Paris and back So right before Halloween, my husband and I went to Paris. Not for anything exciting: he was there for two work conferences; I went along for the ride. I did get the opportunity to get a lot of walking in, though! Climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe (284 steps!). Walked two cemeteries and most of the east end of Paris (all together, about 13-14 miles that day). Went to the Louvre. Went to Versailles--walked the gardens too. Went to the Musee d'Orsay and the Paris Catacombs. So lots of c... Sat, 29 Nov 2014 13:32:23 EST Stepped into stupid I am pretty sure that I'm currently in the middle of a fatty liver flare-up. (I was diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in 2012.) Since we moved out to the beach in June, I've been eating all the wrong things. I also discovered some new-to-me tastes that I like…too much. I never used to eat onion rings…now, I crave them. Crab cakes? I try to get them broiled, but still…crab cakes. Two things that I never used to eat. Couple that with the excess sugar and simple carbs and….wham, f... Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:23:28 EST Lots of changes I realized I haven't posted in several months. I'll be honest, I fell off the SP wagon. I got married, I moved 200 miles to a tourist destination, and have been trying to find a new job while setting up a new household. And my new husband has been traveling quite a bit for work. Lots of stressful changes, but positive ones overall. <BR> <BR> I have not been so good with the whole eating thing, though. As of last week, however, I finally got myself into dairy detox, and I am already feeling b... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:22:08 EST Times, they are a-changing Big changes are on the horizon. I'm getting married next month…looking forward to getting out of town for our destination wedding. And in a twist of fate, our plans to move later on this year got moved up by three months--the landlord gave us a notice to vacate our current house. So we're not only moving, we're moving 225 miles away--to the same area where we're having our wedding, actually. <BR> <BR> I haven't been working out much this winter. It's been crazy cold and I am a bundle of ach... Thu, 13 Mar 2014 19:13:09 EST Big changes on the horizon It's now 2014, and the time of year to make resolutions. I don't like resolutions since a lot of times they fall by the wayside. All I can do is do my best. <BR> <BR> --I really want this year to be the one where I lose some serious weight. My goal is to finally hit onederland. Having PCOS, it's difficult for me to lose weight, and always has been. However, I need to stop thinking of the PCOS as an obstacle to weight loss, and work with it as best I can. I know my goal is completely doable ... Sat, 11 Jan 2014 09:14:09 EST Weekend binge So, Halloween happened. And then I went to visit friends in Cleveland for the weekend, where they had a belated Halloween party. I fell off the mainly plant-based wagon. Especially in the dairy department. I gorged on cheesy pizza, ice cream, cake (with frosting, naturally), and of course, lots of Halloween candy. I am feeling it, too...more sluggish, more achy in my joints. I'm also having trouble stopping. I got home yesterday after flying home (flying stresses me out anyway, so that didn't... Tue, 5 Nov 2013 08:43:24 EST Light at the end of the tunnel? Well, last month I was still dealing with the intercostal rib strain--turned out I had also strained my rectus abdominus muscles (they run vertically from under the rib cage to the pubic bone) when my back had gone out back in August, and I was healing from that as well. Took my massage therapist and I awhile to figure it out, but she worked on my abdominal muscles, and things are much improved. Almost back to my usual semi-normal. <BR> <BR> However, the weather changed this week--cool, over... Sat, 12 Oct 2013 10:09:13 EST Scale victory I know there's a lot to be said for non-scale victories. However, I want to crow a bit about my scale victory today. I finally have made it 25% of the way to my weight-loss goal! I have a lot of weight to lose...a smidge over 100 pounds. However, I can officially say from my all-time high, I've lost 25.4 pounds as of this morning. That's been a long time coming...New Year's 2012 was when I hit my all-time high. Since then, I have radically changed my diet, but it's still been slow to come off... Sat, 7 Sep 2013 09:09:53 EST Back from vacation I just got back from the most amazing trip. I spent two weeks on the West Coast, exploring Seattle, then taking a cruise to Alaska and Canada. I saw things I'd never seen before, like the Space Needle, Chihuly Glass, beer brewed with spruce tips, glaciers up close, and so much more. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime sort of trip. <BR> <BR> However, did not eat quite as well as I could have or should have. I switched to vegetarian for this trip, which basically meant I was including eggs and ... Mon, 2 Sep 2013 12:07:47 EST Jinx Not even an hour after I made my last post, I went to clean up some cat vomit under my desk. (I know, not a pretty thing.) I threw my back out as a result. I spent all day Sunday in an inordinate amount of pain. I have degenerative disk disease, and bulging discs at L4 and L5, and this was just the latest flare-up. I don't get these often, but when they do, I literally lose my legs. My back gets incredibly weak and I can't support my legs. This time it was just the left leg, but still...not g... Tue, 13 Aug 2013 11:25:30 EST Eleven So it's eleven days since my last post. Updating my health issues here so I can keep tabs. <BR> <BR> Stomach: The ulcer med is working. I got the script filled. However, with this I've gained a couple of pounds back. Not worrying about it though, especially since I'm leaving for a two-week vacation in six days. Will do my best to eat clean and not make myself ill and deal with the aftermath weight-wise when I get home. I'm still having some IBS issues, but the gnawing pain is gone, which was... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 09:29:15 EST One week later So, it's been a week since I've seen the doctor. I'm happy to report that the ulcer med seems to be helping. I'm starting to feel better there...still have a ways to go, but don't feel as rotten. <BR> <BR> I also feel much better with the rib strain. I've had two 90-minute massages in the last week, concentrating on the rib cage, and a lot of the muscles have finally let go. I can function again. I'm still using the topical NSAID, but only at night, and only after I've iced. I'd say that's p... Wed, 31 Jul 2013 09:18:38 EST Went to the doctor this morning. I decided to go to the doctor about all of the stomach issues I've been having. The official diagnosis is still gastritis, but the doctor suspects I may have a small tear in my stomach lining, so she'll treat it as if it's an ulcer in the hope that it will improve. If it doesn't improve, I'll have to get an endoscopy. I really hope the meds will work. I'm still taking the probiotic as well. *crosses fingers* <BR> <BR> She also gave me a topical NSAID for my intercostal strain (rib muscles a... Wed, 24 Jul 2013 16:08:12 EST Food poisoning aftermath Just so you know, getting food poisoning is not the best way to jumpstart weight loss, but I will take it. Since my episode two weeks ago, I've lost four pounds...mostly from not eating as much. My appetite has curbed quite a bit, and I still have some lingering muscle pain around my torso (that I managed to flare up when I worked out this week...naturally) as well. I had pulled my intercostal muscles around my rib cage prior to the the food poisoning, so it's still healing...anything I do se... Sat, 20 Jul 2013 09:10:25 EST The last three weeks... have been a big cosmic joke on me. In terms of health, anyway. <BR> <BR> First off, I strained my right hamstring. Then went to visit family in Florida over the Independence Day holiday and got food poisoning. (Ciguatera poisoning, from grouper, if interested.) Then got back home and pulled a muscle in my neck, resulting in major pain from my shoulders up (and a 4-day headache). <BR> <BR> However, I think I've finally pulled free of all that mess. Even though my energy level is a bit low, ... Wed, 17 Jul 2013 09:57:25 EST Quarterly bloodwork (crossposted from personal blog) Had fasting bloodwork done last Monday, and today I went to my doctor to get my results. She and I are both very pleased. My lipid particle number dropped 330 points--from the high range all the way down into the moderate range. *happy dance* The lower this number is, the lower my risk of heart disease. Well, this number and another number, which is being stubborn and won't come down: my small particle number. This number is high. We're going to try krill oil and see if that brings my small p... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 11:34:28 EST One year It's been a year since I transitioned to a mostly vegan diet for health reasons. It hasn't been a complete success, but I would have to say the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. <BR> <BR> Some of the positives: <BR> --Jump-started my weight loss. <BR> --My liver is no longer swollen. I'm pretty sure I still have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (I don't think it completely goes away), but I'm doing a lot better there. I can tell when I've had too much fat or sugar now, because my... Sun, 9 Jun 2013 11:09:06 EST Non-scale victories I lost a pound this week. I've been gaining and losing the same three pounds since January, so I've been concentrating on NSVs. I am compelled to share, since I've had a few in the last week or so. <BR> <BR> 1. I took measurements on Sunday, and it sounds silly, but I lost an inch in my calves! I thought my lower legs were looking thinner--the measurement proved it! <BR> <BR> 2. I FINALLY got over the 3-mile hump! This is the progress point I've been stuck at for awhile...I haven't been abl... Tue, 4 Jun 2013 12:17:15 EST Improvement Well, we've been back from the beach for a week and a half now. Have gone back to the no-dairy thing and I'm feeling much better. My stomach seems to be happy again. I don't feel as achy or bloated anymore. Still have a ways to go, but I can tell the difference. <BR> <BR> Plus, my energy is returning. I got so sluggish from eating the dairy. For someone who has never had a lot of energy, seeing it return simply due to what I'm eating (or in this case, not eating) is amazing and tangible. <... Tue, 14 May 2013 09:47:54 EST Must remember: dairy is bad for me. My fiance and I just got back from a week at the beach. Part of our trip involved meeting with a variety of wedding vendors, since we're getting married at the beach next year. My fiance is allergic to dairy, so I took the dairy tastings for the team. It was a poor decision in my case, since I've had minimal dairy in the eleven months since I went no dairy/no eggs/no meat/pescatarian. I discovered that it didn't take very long at all to return to a state of bloat and inflammation. My joints a... Tue, 7 May 2013 09:12:35 EST Sugar equals poison (crossposted from my personal blog) <BR> <BR> My new mantra: sugar equals poison. <BR> <BR> Not naturally occurring sugars, like in fruit. I'm talking about processed sugar, found in cakes, cookies, candy...cinnamon rolls. Cranberry-orange scones. Bagels. <BR> <BR> This past weekend, while lovely to hang out with Jeremy's family, also was a minefield full of temptation. And sadly, I didn't resist. Since it was Easter, there was more sugary stuff around the house than usual--jelly beans, t... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 08:10:27 EST Twenty Well, it's taken me a lot longer than I thought it would to reach this milestone, but I am finally here. I've lost 20 pounds as of today! <BR> <BR> It's amazing how much better I feel with these 20 pounds gone. I still am not back to my "original" starting weight (I gained nearly 30 pounds from taking one medication), but I'm finally starting to feel more like me. I don't feel like I'm busting out of my clothes anymore. I feel better in my own skin again. Granted, I want to achieve a new no... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 10:34:31 EST Reset I reset my goals this morning. Due to my myriad of health issues this year, I didn't lose the 60 pounds I wanted to--I lost 19 (as of this morning; I managed to break my plateau...not sure how, but not knocking it). Nineteen pounds is nothing to sneeze at, and admittedly, it's been since June that I lost the weight. However, that's 19 pounds I don't have to account for in my new goal. <BR> <BR> I'm setting the 60-pound goal again, by the end of 2013. That's five pounds a month. I'm confident... Fri, 21 Dec 2012 08:46:20 EST The exercise deal You know that deal you make with yourself when you don't want to work out, but know you need to? The "I can do anything for 10 minutes" deal? I had never made that deal with myself...until this morning. I decided I needed to do some exercise, but I was in a bit of a time crunch. So I did a modified version of the deal: instead of my semi-usual 30-minute minimum workout, I'd do a one-mile Leslie Sansone DVD walk. Which is approximately 17 minutes. And I did it! And I feel like I got some exerc... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 09:02:02 EST Bloodwork Good news from the doctor's office. Copied from my personal journal because I'm lazy. :) <BR> <BR> There is something to this whole new way of eating. (I guess it's not so new anymore--been at this for six months now!) My bloodwork was better than it was three months ago. I made the dietary change in June. For compare-and-contrast: <BR> <BR> Fasting insulin: in June, it was 32. 28 Was the top of the normal range, so I was essentially pre-diabetic. Today: 12. (This number is the lowest it's ... Wed, 12 Dec 2012 14:39:17 EST Poor food choices Poor food choices can be disguised as good ones. Went to a Japanese restaurant last night for dinner. Got veggie spring rolls and a clay pot dish with tofu and veggies. The clay pot dish had a soy-based sauce, so I was expecting it to be a bit salty, and it was. What I wasn't expecting was the after-effects of the decision. <BR> <BR> I strongly suspect that this dish had MSG in it. Normally, small amounts of MSG don't bother me. Same for salt. I think I tend to follow a fairly low-salt diet,... Sat, 8 Dec 2012 12:38:34 EST After Thanksgiving We went out of town to visit my fiance's family for Thanksgiving. After the craptastic week I'd had leading up to Thanksgiving, I was really glad to get out of town and focus on other things. I met a bunch of the fiance's extended family, which might have been stressful at any other time, but was actually not very stressful at all, even meeting 15 new people. Plus I managed to maintain my weight over Thanksgiving. <BR> <BR> That last statement is not really something to be proud of. One, I'... Mon, 26 Nov 2012 14:34:29 EST Stressful week doesn't even begin to cover it It's been a very trying week. My greyhound has had Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (essentially, doggie dementia) for the last year, and he's become very unpredictable and difficult to handle. He'd been having seizures and had lost his spark--he spent a lot of his time staring off into space. I finally had to make the awful decision to put him to sleep this week. I'm torn up with guilt--did I wait too long? Does he understand what's happening to him and why I have to do this? I sent him to the... Sat, 17 Nov 2012 08:58:47 EST Small steps FInally got out to walk for the first time in three weeks. My foot's been tight all week, but it eased up when it warmed up. I'm not sure this dependent-on-the-weather thing will bode well for training for April's half marathon...will have to play it by ear. Regardless, we finally broke the 5k mark yesterday--went 4.32 miles. And each mile was under a 20-minute mile pace (still slow, in the 19-19:30/mile range, but...), but we were steady. Today, we got out for a 2.18-mile walk--didn't want t... Sun, 11 Nov 2012 13:30:17 EST Still stuck So my full-time contract ended this past Monday. The next day, my part-time contract jumped to full-time. I signed up for a class that will be six sessions, on Wednesday nights, starting Nov. 7. <BR> <BR> I haven't quite figured out where to get the exercise in. My fiance and I went for a walk on Monday, but that's all I've done. I've discovered my foot, for all the trouble I've had with it this year, isn't fully healed yet, so I've gotten lazy. I'm still trying to eke out two-mile walks, b... Fri, 26 Oct 2012 09:33:59 EST Stuck So I've been working two jobs since early August. The hours have been about 55 hours a week. Since Labor Day week, when I lost three pounds since I was ill, I've been maintaining my weight. I'm definitely on a plateau. This really isn't bothering me all that much, since I haven't been able to devote the time I want to be devoting to exercise or to meal prep. But all that is about to change. <BR> <BR> I'm wrapping up my full-time contract in the next two weeks. My part-time contract will jump... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 16:47:58 EST It was my birthday yesterday. Don't get all was really a non-event sort of day, except I got presents. :) My fiance had made me a vegan German chocolate cake for my birthday over the weekend--so tasty, although I have discovered as a result of this yummy cake that too much sugar makes me crazy congested. Of the post-nasal drip variety. In the old days, that cake would have been inhaled and devoured within 24 it is four days later and there's still half a cake. That's with both of us eating it--it... Wed, 19 Sep 2012 08:41:19 EST Things are finally falling into place. Saw the orthopedist this morning. I'm free of Frankenfoot! During the day, anyway--I still have some plantar fasciitis pain going on, but she's confident that the achilles tendonitis and stress fracture have healed. I'm to wear either Frankenfoot or some sort of night splint to bed, continue ice therapy and anti-inflammatories as needed. And--this is the big one--I can start doing some cardio again! No five-mike hikes to start, obviously, but I can do a short Leslie Sansone DVD or get on the ... Thu, 13 Sep 2012 11:29:37 EST Bloodwork results (Crossposted from FB because I'm lazy.) <BR> <BR> Doctor's appt. went quite well--she was pleased with my numbers. Fasting insulin down 12 points (back into normal range--no longer pre-diabetic!), LDL dropped 20 points to 76, Triglycerides dropped 40+ points to 125, and total cholesterol dropped 30 points to 141. Best news of all: lipid particle number dropped 300 points! Now I'm just "borderline high" instead of in the "high" range. Next blood draw is in December--hoping it'll be even lower... Wed, 12 Sep 2012 15:36:05 EST How I spent my Labor Day weekend Actually, I need to back up a bit. <BR> <BR> I've been taking 25 mg of Atenolol, a beta blocker, once a day, on and off for about 15 years. I take it mainly to control my blood pressure, which is usually high normal (130s/80s). I've been on it currently for about 2 1/2 years. Anyway, I made a pretty significant dietary change back in June--essentially went vegan (save for the occasional fish). I've lost 14 pounds to date. I'm currently not exercising because of liver issues (the impetus for ... Tue, 4 Sep 2012 10:23:28 EST Month two results I've been gaining and losing the same two-three pounds for the last month. I know exactly why--I have discovered two frozen vegan foods that I really like, but need to eat in moderation (or learn to cook myself!): Kashi's Mayan Harvest Bake and TaDah's falafel lemony hummus wrap. Also, I've been eating homemade trail mix--tasty, but high in calories. And since I can't do cardio right now (I haven't been able to find time in my schedule to go to the doctor to have her sign off on my gym app, w... Tue, 7 Aug 2012 10:15:09 EST Aftermath Three days of walking in this walking cast/boot thing has caused my right knee (my "bad" knee--the one I've had two surgeries on) to start hurting. I am positive it's from the way I've been walking--and the height difference in shoes. I've been wearing my workout training shoe on the right foot when we go out, in an effort to even up the height, but it's not close enough--but closer than some of my flats or slip-on canvas shoes. I really need to be careful, not only with my busted heel on my ... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 07:57:02 EST What to do in the interim The orthopedist yesterday cleared me for only one kind of cardio: swimming. Since I don't have easy access to a pool, I'm going to have to improvise. Mainly by concentrating on strength training...which, admittedly, has been lacking in my workouts in the past. This is probably the best time to get into a solid strength training habit. I need to be doing something physical, especially since I'm losing more weight. (Down a total of 13 pounds from my all-time highest weight; 12 pounds down since... Sat, 21 Jul 2012 08:55:07 EST Back from the orthopedist (and crossposted from FB because I'm lazy) Well it seems I struck the mother terms of issues, that is. I did correctly self-diagnose myself with plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. But! The x-rays showed I have two heel spurs--one at the top where my Achilles tendon is, the other on the bottom of my foot. AND based on the kind of pain I'm having around my heel (on the sides of my foot) she is pretty sure I have a stress fracture of my heel (which can't be seen on an X-ray, just an MRI, and she's not going to put me th... Fri, 20 Jul 2012 15:36:26 EST