MUSIC2HISEARS's SparkPeople Blog MUSIC2HISEARS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Overcoming Medication Side-Effects and Weight Gain Since July, I have been having a hard time with gaining weight. I was hospitalized the last week of June due to depression, and was subsequently put on a slew of new drugs. Unfortunately, some of them had a negative side-effect of weight gain. Most notably Remeron. How did I know this was it? I gained more than 10 lbs in less than a month. <BR> <BR> After the doctor finally took me off the offending drug, I then had an issue of an injury to deal. I saw 12 doctors for about 20 doctor visits,... Sat, 28 Nov 2015 10:21:14 EST A Furbaby Prayer I just got off the phone with my furbaby's veterinarian. Sampson had been at the vet for his annual wellness visit, which meant blood work. Unfortunately, the ALP liver enzyme came back 10 times higher than it should be. Her first concern was Cushing's Disease; however, he has none of those symptoms. He appears healthy and happy. But he is also over 10 years old. One of the possibilities is that he had been on steroids for about a month during allergy season. But it has been a month since I'v... Mon, 19 Oct 2015 19:01:25 EST What does fitness look like to me I've been struggling lately. Earlier this year, I was the picture of health. Losing weight at a maintainable pace. Getting toned and fit. But then I got sick and it all fell apart. Since being hospitalized in June, I've regained 30 lbs of the 50 I had lost. Heartbreaking and deflating to say the least. <BR> <BR> But now that there is an end in sight, I need to start thinking about and visualizing what fitness looks like to me. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 18 Oct 2015 10:56:27 EST Could it be the food? As most of you know from previous blog posts, I had signed up for Nutrisystem. I purchased a month's worth of dry and frozen foods. The second day on the diet, my abdomen started hurting all of the sudden, and not just an ache, but a serious sharp pain. I told my psychiatrist about it, and she was adamant that I stop the program. <BR> <BR> Well, I didn't and I still had been eating the food (even though it is disgusting, I don't want to waste it). And the pain is still there and intensifying... Fri, 9 Oct 2015 14:46:36 EST Three weeks and I'm over it! Okay, my past blog was written at the 2 week point of my issues with pain. Today, I'm nearing the 3 week mark and still no relief or resolution for the pain. Yesterday I had a colonoscopy performed on me and it came back normal. Nothing there was triggering the pain. <BR> <BR> So, I've left another message plea to my PCP asking if there might be any other causes for this type of pain. Some friends have wondered if it were a gluten or wheat allergy/intolerance that I might be facing. But th... Fri, 9 Oct 2015 10:49:57 EST Two weeks...getting old Here I am in week two of being in severe pain. I've gotten to the point where I "tolerate" it and go on living life. I just ask people to not make me laugh, because it hurts so bad it makes me cry when I laugh. <BR> <BR> I've now been to the doctor 7 times since a week ago Monday (6 + trip to hospital for CT Scan): <BR> <BR> Monday 9/21: PCP & Hospital for CT Scan <BR> Wednesday 9/23: ER <BR> Friday 9/25: ER <BR> Monday 9/28: PCP then Urgent Care <BR> Wednesday: 9/30: OB/GYN <BR> <BR> All... Fri, 2 Oct 2015 22:07:59 EST You told me so... Yes, you all warned me, but I still did it anyway. I signed up for a month of Nutrisystem. And let me just say, that is all they will be getting from me. From poor to mediocre foods that lack taste to the fact it costs well over $500 a month. It doesn't include everything you need to have a healthy diet. They only include the 3 meal entrees and one dessert. Nothing more. It is up to you to supply your own fruits and vegetables for each meal. <BR> <BR> Compared to the program I was on before... Tue, 29 Sep 2015 19:04:16 EST The chains that bind us Why be shackled by your past when you can set free to experience what lies in today and tomorrow. Your past may have sculpted you into who you are today, but if you continue to hid behind those things, you continue to be chained to it until you see that those things are not what are hindering you, but you yourself hold the key to set yourself free. What are you waiting for? Unlock those shackles of shame and pain. Leave them in the past and take a new step into a new direction...a new life. H... Sun, 27 Sep 2015 00:19:20 EST Side-lined, yet again It's been a bad week. A VERY bad week. After an absolutely wonderful weekend where the sun shined, I rode my bike and ate healthy, it all fell apart at 2 am on Monday morning. At first I thought the stabbing burning pain in my abdomen was a result of using unused muscled during my bike ride. So I took Tylenol and went back to bed. 8 am rolled around and I was calling into work because the pain was that bad. <BR> <BR> Later that morning, I called my doctor's office and they took me immediatel... Fri, 25 Sep 2015 10:20:41 EST Take it easy I'm a big fan of the Eagles. I bought my first Eagles cassette (yes, cassette) when I was in junior high. Their music to me transcends generations. But as I grow older, I find many of their songs focusing on the older single ladies. <BR> <BR> Desperado is one that comes to mind the most. I used to love listening to my aunt sing this beautiful ballad as I grew up. She sang in a band while her husband played the bass. This was the song where the rest of the band would step down and let her hav... Tue, 22 Sep 2015 16:53:51 EST Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! I've got a wonderful feeling, everything is going my way... <BR> ~from the musical Oklahoma! <BR> <BR> Today, I started my new lifestyle changes! Yes, I'm starting a week early with the new 5% challenge starting next weekend, but after stepping on the scales yesterday morning, I felt it was time to make changes TODAY! <BR> <BR> So, I started the Fast 5+ portion of the Nutrisystem diet program. So far, so good. I'm a little hungry, but I did just eat and they do say wait 30 minutes. For fit... Sun, 20 Sep 2015 14:22:43 EST Pre-challenge Activity #: Exercise Plan Well, it's that time of the Fall season for the 2015 Fall 5% Challenge to begin. But, before we take off, there are a few pre-challenge activities that need to be addressed first. Like today, my exercise plan and commitment. I've already updated my SparkPage a week ago, so it is only natural that I just blog about my plan. <BR> <BR> Here it goes: <BR> <BR> * 6 days a week cardio (30 to 45 mins): Elliptical, swimming, treadmill, bicycle <BR> * 3 days a week strength/circuit training (30 to 4... Thu, 10 Sep 2015 14:25:00 EST I need some advice I need you, my fellow sparkers, to give me some advice. I'm looking for a healthy weight loss plan that is not a strain on my pocket book. I had been participating in a program called The Onion Factory for the past year. Problem is, I'm spending $145 a week on food alone. Sure, it is all healthy, freshly prepared foods (they make them daily, you pick up daily), and includes fresh fruits and veggies/salads, it is just way too expensive. Especially since it is 45 minutes away from my home. I wa... Mon, 7 Sep 2015 21:45:06 EST Sunday Night Musings: 9/6/2015 - Swim, Forest, Swim! 34 years ago I found a new passion: swimming! And, boy, was I good at it. Our family lived in a neighborhood that had a pool, so I was constantly in the pool building up my swim prowess. I had great strength in my arms to pull me effortlessly through the water. It just seemed so easy and effortless to do back then. <BR> <BR> Fast forward a few years into my Sophomore year of high school. I was on the team and battling my coach. I could never do anything to please her, and it just broke my s... Sun, 6 Sep 2015 22:08:39 EST Friday Night Musings: 9/4/2015 (Labor Day Weekend) Here it is...the long awaited celebration of summer's end. Summer was cruel to me this year. I filed for bankruptcy after a struggle with manic/depression landed me in the hospital for a week and off work for 2 weeks. I was literally one paycheck away from it, and here I am...3 days after my court appearance that left me feeling devastated. <BR> <BR> The good news is that I got to keep my home and my car. My sanity doesn't seem to be quite there, and work isn't helping. My bank of 8 years re... Fri, 4 Sep 2015 22:39:14 EST I did it!!!! And I wasn't even the slowest turtle on the course! In fact, there were people still on the course as I was leaving. And I was there for a good 30 to 45 minutes after I finished. I feel fabulous (aside from all my muscles screaming at me)! And I have to say it is well worth it! <BR> <BR> If you want to have fun while getting in shape, start signing up for 5k's and invite your friends to join you. The more, the merrier. Put a tutu on over your race shorts, wear a tiara, and put on your best s... Sun, 30 Aug 2015 19:31:36 EST I may be a turtle...BUT! It's Saturday and I have a 5k I'm participating in today called the Foam Glow (mentioned in a previous blog post). I'm looking so forward to it, even if I am going to be the turtle on the race course. You see it has been at least 5 years since I've participated in a 5K race. And then I'm only a walker, not a runner. <BR> <BR> But it isn't so much about relating to being a turtle, it is more about the fact that I'm doing it. I've paid my dues, I have accountability for being there, and I'm o... Sat, 29 Aug 2015 10:53:09 EST Baby Steps: First Step I know they say baby steps in getting back to being healthy, but a friend is dragging me kicking and screaming (okay, so they are more like squeals of joy) to a Foam Glow 5K here in Indy this Saturday night. I won't be running, but I'll be walking and hopefully I won't poop out too soon. I know 3 miles isn't a big deal to most walkers, but I've been out of commission for 8 weeks! That's a long time in fitness world (just look at my waistline for that one)! <BR> <BR> If you are interested in ... Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:34:13 EST I Can Do It Back on June 25th, I was admitted to the hospital and was there for a weeklong stay. I had hit a wall and could no longer function. I had given up and I made an attempt on my own life. I felt like there was no hope left in me. I was at an impasse in my life and all I wanted was to be free of the burdens that were facing me. <BR> <BR> After I was released, I was told to hold off on any strenuous exercise for 6 to 8 weeks. I unfortunately took that to heart and became a couch potato. I could h... Wed, 26 Aug 2015 14:08:40 EST The 2015 Fall 5% Challenge Are you looking for a way to get fit, lose weight, and have fun along the way? Check out the Fall 5% Challenge! Team members will work towards losing 5% of their starting weight in 8 weeks by participating in team challenges that focus on exercise & healthy lifestyle habits. Let’s have fun, make new friends and get in shape this Fall! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ndividual.asp?gid=65592 </link> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:03:02 EST Turn Around...NOW!!!!!! That's what I keep telling myself right now. Turn around before it's too late! 200 lbs is looming in the horizon again as I hit 196 again. And I'm not happy about it. And here I had been contemplating a trip to the pancake house this morning. I think not. Cheesy eggs and broccoli from The Onion Factory is what it will be. But, lunch is with family and I need to remember to make smart choices instead of dumb ones like I have been making. <BR> <BR> I overslept this morning, too. I hit the off ... Sat, 11 Apr 2015 09:24:59 EST Spring Challenge: My Recommitment I, Brenda, make a recommitment as of April 4, 2015 to become more fit, healthy, and vibrant. I've slacked off this past month, but have overcome hurdles that now warrant a new commitment to my well-being. Sat, 4 Apr 2015 09:00:32 EST There's Always Tomorrow Isn't that what we always say....there's always tomorrow? Well, tomorrow never actually never comes. It always remains tomorrow in many senses. What we really need is TODAY! So, TODAY I am getting back into the swing of things with my diet and exercise routine. I'm going to focus on 30 minutes of elliptical each day, 10% of carbs from sugar, 20% from starches, and 70% from veggies and berries. I'm going to increase my protein using my Syntrax Nectar protein shakes I make using frozen berries.... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 08:53:00 EST Bumps & Bruises Along the Way Here we are, the first full day of Spring and I'm no where near the 10 lb mark I had hoped for the month of March. I still have a week left, but dropping 10 lbs in one week is left to those on The Biggest Loser...and that was usually in the first week. <BR> <BR> The last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster ride to say the least. I had another cancer scare. I lost my contract at work. I just have had some ups and downs I'd like to forget. <BR> <BR> So, here I am again in Spring. Back... Sat, 21 Mar 2015 18:57:54 EST March Challenge 2015 I belong to a place called The Onion Factory ( <link> </link> ). I've lost over 25 lbs since the beginning of November. I've had sluggish weigh loss since the beginning of the year, as I've had some major challenges and hiccups in my journey. However, this months onion challenge is to lose 10 lbs in march. If I do, that would be me within 15 lbs of my goal weight. I can do that! <BR> <BR> How am I going to do it: <BR> <BR> 1) 30 mins / day on the elliptical (or some form ... Sun, 1 Mar 2015 16:46:21 EST The Key to Happiness This week's "Living the Good Life" activity during the 2015 Winter 5% Challenge is taking 10 minutes a day and doing something that brings happiness to our hearts. <BR> <BR> Well, let me tell you a story (a true one at that). My cousin lost her son in a tragic accident last April. He would have been 22 this Monday. He was her only son. But in his tragedy, they found that he had been an organ donor and saved 5 lives with that life giving/saving gift of himself. <BR> <BR> My cousin, trying t... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 14:38:18 EST It's Kind of Funny I know that one of the keys to losing weight is strength training, and that in order to successfully train is to work the muscles to exhaustion. Well, Tuesday was one of my ST days, and afterward I went out to dinner with a gal from class. I sat down to eat and couldn't lift my fork (which could be a blessing in disguise by itself). Then yesterday was another ST day. I worked a vendor show last night and couldn't lift my jewelry kits and supply bags AT ALL!!!! My arms were so tired and sore!!... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 12:20:25 EST What Motivates Me? My motivational goals for the 2015 Winter 5% Challenge are slightly different than goals I've set for myself in the past. Maybe it is because I'm living the results of those goals now more than ever. <BR> <BR> But, for the sake of a new challenge, and new motivational goals, here we go: <BR> <BR> What do you want to change? I want to change the way I look at food and eating. I want to change the way I look at exercise. I want to change how I look at life overall. <BR> <BR> How do you want ... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 23:54:57 EST A blank slate and a new outlook Each day is a blank slate. Each year we start that blank slate with a new book of 365 blank pages. Today, my page 2 will be hitting the gym to conquer the elliptical (it is becoming my favorite machine). Then tonight I have cooking class and group strength training class. <BR> <BR> Since tomorrow I graduate from the 8 week boot camp I participated in with great results, I decided to join the group for the next year. That means, the personal training will continue and the weight will continu... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 12:53:28 EST Struggling to find balance As I write this, I've lost 13 lbs and 10 1/2" since the beginning of November. I'm down from a size 16 to a size 14 and people are starting to take notice. But I'm struggling at finding a perfect balance to sustain this weightloss pattern. <BR> <BR> My THR is to be 121 to 148. On the bike, I'm even at 128/132. But on the elliptical, I cannot sustain myself under 148. I keep jumping to 151. And from what I've been taught, you burn muscle rather than fat at that heart rate. So, what do you do... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 10:59:26 EST Sleep, they say? Studies show that getting at least 6-8 hours of sound sleep a night helps promote not only a healthy attitude, but weight-loss, too. <BR> <BR> Well, someone forgot to let my dogs know this. Generally, they leave me alone at night and allow me to sleep peacefully all night long. Not last night. They decided that it was play time. Not only did they decide it was play time, but play time in my room with a toy that makes chattering noises!!! <BR> <BR> Luckily, they understand the command "bed" ... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 09:13:30 EST Of weight-loss frustrations and other things I've been doing great these past two weeks, except that I had been sick during most of that time. I've lost very little weight this past week and with official weigh-in looming ahead before the big holiday, my scale has stopped moving. <BR> <BR> Sure, losing 10 lbs in a two week period of time is a huge accomplishment, but I kind of feel like I'm on the Biggest Loser with my chance to stay on at the "ranch" balancing delicately upon my weigh-in. <BR> <BR> Right now, I stand at exactly 10 ... Tue, 25 Nov 2014 07:23:42 EST A big win Well, I just finished my first full week of Onion Camp. I learned quite a few lessons this week, including how much sugar and carb withdrawal can effect the mood (I'm bipolar). It was NOT pretty to say the least. <BR> <BR> But I also learned after the fact, that I wasn't getting enough protein which was feeding my mood swings and irritability. So, yesterday, I added in protein drinks (100 calorie EAS protein drink in chocolate...tastes pretty good, too). Today I feel more "stable". <BR> <B... Sun, 16 Nov 2014 14:08:13 EST The anatomy of weight gain (Photos Included) Today, I made an important step in attempting to shed the pounds I've been so frustrated with over the past 6 years. I joined a group called "The Onion Factory" in Anderson, Indiana. My "friend" suggested it after I had confided in him that I wanted to lose weight. He was relentless in his pushing me to contact this group after his mom, sister, and ex-girlfriend had all seen positive and amazing results from being there. So, Saturday begins that journey. <BR> <BR> But how did I get Thu, 6 Nov 2014 00:17:25 EST Getting Mental I was reading an article about how we need to get mentally prepared for weight loss. This got me to thinking about where I am mentally when it comes to not only getting myself healthy, but in life in general. <BR> <BR> I've been struggling with mood lately and the mood of late is lethargic, uncaring, and unwanting. I do not want to participate in anything right now, and that is not the mind-set that I want or need right now. <BR> <BR> So, how do you get your head back into the game? Good qu... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 11:44:49 EST On a slow train to nowhere I've been sparking for about 6 years now. One of the things that I've been proud of is losing 50 lbs in one year. However, the scale has started to creep upward, and I've gained back almost 20 lbs of that 50 back. I'm stuck in a rut and I don't know how to get out of it. <BR> <BR> Sure, fitness has fallen by the wayside as a myriad of issues had crept up: cancer, endometrial ablation, and other today's knee injury. But it doesn't answer the rest of the days I've been healthy. I... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:21:57 EST 106 flights of pain Saturday morning, I met my coworkers for what was supposed to be a 3 1/2 hour 7 mile hike through the beautiful hills of southern Indiana. What we didn't expect was what our fitbits claimed to be 106 floors climbed in one day. Today, 3 days later, my calves are still screaming at me. <BR> <BR> But that wasn't just it. I felt fine as I met my coworkers. I wasn't even 1/2 way up the first hill and I started suffering what I thought was an asthma attack. I didn't even have my inhaler. In honest... Tue, 7 Oct 2014 14:42:45 EST This is getting old Gaining weight that is. <BR> <BR> I started out the year at 191. Now I'm at 210. This is not the direction I wanted to go. This is definitely not what I wanted. But it is my fault. I've not been as diligent. But maybe not so much my fault. My doctor did change my medication. But I'm still floored that I'm this far above 200 again. <BR> <BR> What can I do? Change my habits? I already eat healthy. Change my workout? Maybe. I had been slacking a little. So, why did this happen. I have no id... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 19:57:51 EST And so it begins... Day 1, week 1. The challenge begins. So, what will become of this all important challenge? Will I lose 10 of the 15 I gained this summer? Will I finally win the battle? Will the 5% be my true goal? We shall see. But I'm already starting off on the right foot. I got in a good workout today, ate a healthy breakfast and dinner (lunch not so much...went over for the day). But tomorrow is also a new day with a new purpose. Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:20:29 EST Renewing My Commitment - 2014 Fall 5% Challenge With the 2014 Fall 5% Challenge looming in just a little over a week, I'm finding that I have a renewed spirit in regards to getting healthy once again. In the Summer of 2013, I reached ONEderland, but since then, I've gained back nearly 18 lbs. Yuck! <BR> <BR> So, with this new challenge in my sites, I need to renew my commitment to a healthier me. Which means I need to answer a few questions: <BR> <BR> What do I want to change? <BR> I want to change how I feel. What does that mean? It m... Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:46:22 EST Seeking Peace Something that has been missing from my life these past few months, if not years, is peace. In fact, in recent weeks, the stress and anxiety have become so debilitating that I'm actually on an extended leave of absence from work. It scares me that I don't know what is going on or how I'm going to make it day to day. I just pray that I do make it and that the stress can begin to wane. <BR> <BR> I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with PTSD as my secondary diagnosis. I was molested as a... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:40:49 EST The Last Day - 2014 Spring 5% Challenge Today is the last day of the 2014 Spring 5% Challenge, and while I had some successes, I am ending it right where I started weight wise. It is amazing that I have even been able to maintain considering the trials that I've been through this time around with Kyle's accident and subsequent passing, and then my cancer diagnosis. <BR> <BR> The thing that I think is the greatest aspect of these 5% Challenges is the camaraderie of the teams. Everyone comes together and helps encourage each other ... Fri, 30 May 2014 20:31:06 EST The Scale Hates Me I swear! The scale hates me!!!! I've been within calories...getting steps in and still...the scale goes up! What is up with that? Is it stress? I am leaving for Vegas on Saturday morning, maybe that is it. <BR> <BR> On the Vegas front, I'm not and I am looking forward to it. One one hand, it is for work and I will be in conferences all day. On the other, it is Vegas and I'm going to get to do some fun things. And work is paying for it. Breakfast and Lunch are provided most days there, but d... Thu, 29 May 2014 20:29:52 EST I hate to ask...but... For those of you who don't know, I had surgery on my shoulder last Thursday to remove a pretty substantial chunk of cancerous tissue. With that, I've been put on restrictions from doing much of anything for a month that involves the upper body. With that, I have 2 dogs...let's just say...they shed. So, when the church called and asked if I needed anything (they asked) I said "I need someone to vacuum". Very short. Very blunt. And to the point. <BR> <BR> She laughed off my response and advi... Wed, 28 May 2014 20:37:57 EST That Wasn't Smart I was dumb as they could come today. What in my head thought that it would be okay to walk 2 miles in old running shoes with no socks on? I have blisters the size of quarters now on the backs of my heels. You know, the kind that put you out of commission for a week until they dry up and heal a little more. Yes, they broke and are now open wounds basically. Sigh...why did I do that! Needless to say I got my walk in today. Needless to say it won't be happening again for at least another week. A... Tue, 27 May 2014 19:43:26 EST Debating I've been doing a lot of sitting these past 5 days since my surgery and it is getting old. The nurse told me that I could do anything lower body, including the Zumba steps. Just no arms. I had opted not to work out because I need to balance myself with my arms as I do. I'm such a klutz! <BR> <BR> But, a friend is talking about going for a walk this evening and I'm seriously debating on it. It would be great to get out and get some exercise, but I'm so afraid of over doing it and making my sh... Mon, 26 May 2014 13:11:07 EST Happy Times! Today, I spent the day with family. Tuesday is one of my 5 nephew's birthday and he will be turning 11. So, we celebrated yesterday and today by playing in the pool. Well, they played in the pool and I sat under the shade of the umbrella. It wasn't the best food day or exercise day for me, but it was a good day all in all. <BR> <BR> I hope you all are having a very blessed Memorial Day weekend!!!! Sun, 25 May 2014 19:57:44 EST Yeouch!!!!! Well, today is day 2 since having the chunk of cancerous skin taken off my shoulder and then some. Ice packs have become my friends. The nice thing is that I do get to be pampered a little. My poor mom has the job of changing my bandages on a daily basis. I'm sure that is not fun for her. My younger nephew looked at it and was like "how did you do that". He's not old enough yet to understand the definition of cancer. <BR> <BR> I'm actually surprised my grandmother has not called today. She ... Sat, 24 May 2014 21:51:04 EST Beating the Big "C" Two weeks ago, after the urging of a close friend, I called my doctor to get a referral to a dermatologist because a spot on my arm had become irregular in size and shape. The doctor said no, that she wanted to look at it first. She immediately proceeded to perform a biopsy and then removed the remaining tissue. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I got the results: Cancer. I had an invasive malignant melanoma. Those were the first words my eyes wandered to when she handed me the paperwork from the pathol... Thu, 22 May 2014 19:23:44 EST Kyle: My heart is breaking This morning has been a very difficult one in my family. Last night around 9:45, my cousin and Kyle's father were called into the hospital. At that point the vitals were showing no brain activity. They spent the entire night as they waited and watched, but no signs. They have not pronounced an exact time of death, but Kyle has gone home to be with God. He is an organ donor, so he will live on in helping others in this difficult time. Please, continue to pray for his mom, Kimberly, and his fat... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 12:40:41 EST