Sunday, September 25, 2016

53 Didn't Change Much of Anything

I passed my 54th birthday back in March and guess what?  Not much has changed!  I'm still heavy.  But I'm not giving up. 

The problem with these weightloss blogs is that they all sound the same.  "I did this and  never felt better!" seems to be a common refrain.  That might be true, but getting out of the starting gate is really difficult for me.  Follow through is an issue.  The new diet is great... for about three days.  The new exercise routine feels wonderful until the achiness becomes overwhelming and feel like I'll never move again.  I don't know what the secret is.  I admit this freely.

I don't know what to do about that.  I am so heavy that I am uncomfortable.  Tying my shoes is hard.  Finding clothes that fit  well is nearly impossible.  I started buying some clothes from LuLaRoe and I love the patterns and the clothes - but only a few of the ones hanging in my closet actually fit me.  It's frustrating.

My mom was recently in the hospital with colitis.  For a week, she had bags of IV antibiotics, clear broth and jello.  It was practically a starvation diet, but necessary for her to heal.  Now she's in rehab for a week and gets to have bananas, rice, applesauce and toast (the BRAT diet) - and she's thrilled!  She's frail, my  mom.  Insulin-dependent diabetic with osteoporosis and a serious heart condition.  I look at her and I see me in a few years... and I don't want to be her (at least not in that respect).  I MUST do something about this weight before it takes me down.

I'm ruminating now about a course of action I would stick with.  It has to be realistic, something that works with my family's needs as well as my own.  I can't just do my own thing. 

Sigh. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Into the Tube

Just before Labor Day weekend, I was carrying groceries into my house.  As I bent over to put them down on the floor, I felt my whole insides shift.  It didn't feel good and made me nauseated.  That was followed by pain in my abdomen, like little knives sticking me and a general achy-ness.  Anytime I had to bend, that happened.  I had to hold onto myself to roll over in bed.  And the big fun - acid tummy (and reflux) like you wouldn't believe.  I had to sleep sitting up.  Tums didn't help.  Nothing seemed to help.  I had a few very fitful nights of sleep, I can tell you!

I called my doctor the day after the holiday and got worked into the schedule that day.  I've had instances of abdominal pain for quite a while (though nothing like this) and it wasn't ever consistent.  He looked back through my history and palpated my belly.  He said enough was enough and he was going to schedule a CT scan for me.

I showed up for my appointment on Wednesday, but there was a problem with the machine, so I was rescheduled.

Friday, I turned up again (fasting).  I got to drink down two large (pints) containers of the barium which tasted like vanilla flavored Pepto-Bismal.  Abysmal is more like it.  Hideous stuff.  When I'd finished that off, I was led back to a bathroom with a lovely warm hospital gown waiting for me.  Wish there'd been instructions too.  Putting it on felt like a test I failed.  After putting it on, I crossed the hallway to where the CT machine was.  I climbed up on the table and they put in an IV for the contrast after a couple of non-contrast scans were made. 

Getting a CT really isn't a big deal.  I'd had one before (though not for the abdomen).  The table slides in and out of the scanner and I have to hold my breath when the machine tells me to (about 15 seconds). 

But the abdominal CT is different.  First the barium drink, then the contrast which makes you feel like you're wetting yourself and your mouth tastes funny.  And finally, an enema, which wasn't as bad as I feared.  I actually didn't feel anything except the urge to go.  There were a few more trips in and out of the tube and then I could get up to get dressed.

I spent a little time in the bathroom before emerging and went to work.  Piece of cake, I thought.

Nope.  A few hours later, my stomach started gurgling and my whole belly hurt.  Moving hurt.  Apparently the barium is hard on a tummy.  I went home early and spent the rest of the day on the couch - and the whole day after that.  By about 4, I was feeling pretty human again.

Next time, I'll be more prepared and just take the whole day off.

I'm glad to have had it done though.  They get a look at everything from the lungs down.  Now I just have to wait until they're done looking and call me with results. 

The possibilities:  hernia (internal), stomach cancer, diverticulitis, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, pancreatic cancer, intussuception (which I had as an infant and apparently if you have it once, it's not unusual to have it again), cysts...  there's a lot going on in the abdomen so the pain could be almost anything.  The one symptom that seems to be missing from a possible cancer diagnosis is weight-loss.  I don't know if that rules it out or not.

Basically, I'm not worrying until there is reason to worry - and will try not to worry then either because worrying is pretty much a waste of time.  I do want to know though, so that I can take whatever action is needed as soon as possible.  Wish me luck, ya'll!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Love letter to Larry

I'm not sure how many years ago it was that I first got into Larry.  It's been a long, long time though.  My friend Kelly introduced us and it's been wonderful ever since.  Larry knows my likes, dislikes and preferences.  Larry knows I hate mustard and am allergic to raw tomatoes.  Larry has been a steadfast companion for so long, than when anyone ever asks me where I disappear to during lunch, I always say "Larry's!"

Don't freak out.  I still love my husband, but I've been having a love affair at lunch for years - with Larry's Giant Subs.

At first, it was the sub combo.  Medium Animal (ham & turkey) on white with mayo and lettuce.  Fritos and sweet tea.  Then the sweet tea became unsweet with Splenda.  My "usual" for YEARS.

When I went gluten-free for a while, I'd drop by and pick up a container of chicken salad or egg salad for lunch.  

Now that I'm watching what I eat in a serious way, my order has changed again.  When I really feel the need to bite into something, I order a turkey club on a spinach wrap (no mustard, no tomatoes).  When the biting urge isn't so bad, I have the chef salad.

And then there's the soup...  my favorite is Jambalaya Thursdays (A hearty Creole classic that features long grain white rice, tender chunks of chicken, smoky sausage, ham, onions and green bell peppers simmered in a tomato-infused chicken stock seasoned with chili pepper, garlic and oregano) followed closely by Crab & Cream Bisque (Sweet firm crab meat, Old Bay® seasoning and a splash of sherry come together beautifully in this unabashedly indulgent bisque. Finished with a flourish of fresh cream).  The crab isn't there on a specific day, so it's always a pleasant surprise to find it on the soup board.


What I really love (besides Michelle and April, who are almost always behind the counter making the sandwiches) is that I can still visit Larry's and not feel like I'm totally busting my diet.  It makes a difference in feeling successful at this weight-loss thing if you can eat out like a normal person and still be able to make good choices.  The fact that the good choices are actually GOOD is a bonus! 

Thanks for being there, Larry.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Number THREE!

I've been wearing a FitBit for quite a while now.  I used to hate the thing because everyone I knew was racking up WAY more steps than I was.  I was really starting to have an inferiority complex.  My job is at a desk and it's not unusual for me to sit down and not move for most of the day. 

I have stairs at home, so I usually do pretty well on the stairs, but the steps were a real challenge for me.  I'd get tired or sore or just not feel like walking - and the numbers showed it. 

As I've been feeling pretty good for a little while though, I've been up-ping my walking, either walking the dogs before going to work, or taking a walk during my lunch break or early before I even sit down to start my day at the desk. 

Every week, FitBit sends me a "progress report", which sums up what I've been up to for the week, which I've always kind of dreaded opening up (but I always do.)  In that report, my performance is compared to my friends' performances.  I have some pretty serious walkers as FitBit friends and I'm usually somewhere down at the bottom of the list (5 or 6) unless someone's lost their FitBit or their battery died or they forgot to take it off before swimming.

 So maybe you can appreciate how excited I was when I opened my report today and saw this:
(Chala and Lisa are still kicking my butt, but I'm getting better at this!  Don't pay attention to the calories or weight category - I don't update the parts that make that up very often.)

Hi Sayre, here are your weekly stats.
Aug 24, 2015 to Aug 30, 2015
WEEK'S MOST ACTIVE DAY
Tue, Aug 25

WEEK'S LEAST ACTIVE DAY
Sat, Aug 29
TOTAL STEPS
49,625
DAILY AVERAGE
7,089 steps
BEST DAY
14,082 steps

TOTAL DISTANCE
20.75 miles
DAILY AVERAGE
2.96 miles
BEST DAY
5.89 miles

TOTAL FLOORS CLIMBED
44
DAILY AVERAGE
6 floors
BEST DAY
10 floors

TOTAL CALS BURNED
16,172
DAILY AVERAGE
2,310 cals
BEST DAY
2,705 cals

CALORIES IN VS OUT
-7529
WEEKLY TOTAL
16175 cals burned
3396 cals eaten
-5250 plan deficit

WEIGHT CHANGE
0.1 lb
LIGHTEST
236.4 lb
HEAVIEST
236.5 lb

AVG SLEEP DURATION
6 hrs 42 min
AVG TIMES AWAKENED
13
AVG TIME TO FALL ASLEEP
0hrs 8min

Last week's step winners
1 Chala F.
150,204 steps
2 lisaschaos
141,241 steps
3 Sayre
49,625 steps
See current leaderboard
Last week's badges
See all of my badges
What's the buzz?
  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I am the Tortoise

I've been walking the dogs a lot lately.   Every other day or so, I get up early and start, taking them one at a time around the neighborhood for about a half hour each.  3 dogs = 1.5 hours of walking.  Some days, like today, I can't seem to get it together afterwards to speedily get to work.  That's why I do it on days when I know I don't have meetings or conference calls to worry about.  Today, I'm taking a half day of annual because it's taking me a while to cool down.

This morning, I needed to jog a little to get out of the way of a car backing out of its driveway.  It occurred to me that I don't leave the ground easily anymore.  There's an uncomfortable heaving and bouncing and thudding that happens when I have to move quickly like that. 

I like to walk.  One foot in front of the other, plodding away the steps and the time in a regular, steady fashion.  I don't bounce, but I do move.  By the time I finish the first half-hour lap, I'm sweating and the dog is panting.  Switch to a new dog and we start over again.  When I get home from that lap, I'm breathing pretty hard and my clothes are clinging to me.
As I finish the final lap with the third dog, they're all grinning like maniacs and I suspect I might be too, since the end is finally here.  I am dripping with sweat and radiating heat.  A shower at this point would be useless, as I'd still be sweating when I got out.  So I allow myself to cool down - drink a lot of water, maybe check email and facebook.  And when I'm finally no longer actively sweating, I shower and head for work.

I don't like exercise.  I really don't.  It's hot and messy and uncomfortable - but I'm doing it.  I can't see any results yet, but I can feel them.  I'm a little happier.  A little more productive.  I'm eating better and choosing my food more wisely.  I take my vitamins and supplements and keep track of my blood sugar and all of these things are pointing to a healthier me. 

I wish I were a hare - quick results with little effort...  but I'm not.  I have to try.  Hard.  And it takes me a long, long time to get anywhere.  But I will get there.  Maybe not in a year, but I'll be well on my way by then because I STARTED now.  I'll get there and I WILL win this race to get my health back.

I am the Tortoise. 

The Tortoise and the Hare
an Aesop Fable  (from StoryIt.com)


        One day a hare was bragging about how fast he could run. He bragged and bragged and even laughed at the tortoise, who was so slow. The tortoise stretched out his long neck and challenged the hare to a race, which, of course, made the hare laugh. 

      "My, my, what a joke!" thought the hare.


     "A race, indeed, a race. Oh! what fun! My, my! a race, of course, Mr. Tortoise, we shall race!" said the hare.

 
     The forest animals met and mapped out the course. The race begun, and the hare, being such a swift runner, soon left the tortoise far behind. About halfway through the course, it occurred to the hare that he had plenty of time to beat the slow trodden tortoise.

 
       "Oh, my!" thought the hare, "I have plenty of time to play in the meadow here."


     And so he did.

 
     After the hare finished playing, he decided that he had time to take a little nap.


     "I have plenty of time to beat that tortoise," he thought. And he cuddle up against a tree and dozed.

 
     The tortoise, in the meantime, continued to plod on, albeit, it ever so slowly. He never stopped, but took one good step after another.


 
    The hare finally woke from his nap. "Time to get going," he thought. And off he went faster than he had ever run before! He dashed as quickly as anyone ever could up to the finish line, where he met the tortoise, who was patiently awaiting his arrival.



The moral of the story?  Slow and steady wins the race.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Simplifying My Days

This particular subject is something I have struggled with, and still do as new priorities take the place of old ones. For me, a perfect day looks like this:

– Wake up with plenty of time to have a relaxed and not rushed morning

– Breakfast a half hour after I wake up
– Make walking or some other form of exercise a priority and do it early in the day so I won’t stress about it later.
– Go to work and do what needs to be done, one thing at a time. Don’t let other people’s stresses become MY stresses. I have enough of those on my own. I enjoy my job and the people I work with,
but sometimes they do get over-wound. I try not to let that be me.
– Spend time with my son and my husband, even if we’re not doing anything, face-time and talking-time is important.
– Go to bed early enough to get a good night’s sleep before the next day starts the cycle again.
Doing these things consciously has made a huge difference in how I feel about my life!


This post was inspired by THIS post from Mark and Angel Hack Lifehttp://www.marcandangel.com/2015/08/23/9-ways-to-make-your-days-simple-again/comment-page-1/#comment-13132908

I've been a huge fan of this website for several years.  I don't visit it often, but whenever I do, I always find something that speaks directly to me.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

NINETY-TWO

Ninety-two...  this is not the temperature outside.  This is not the number of dollars in my wallet.  This is not the age at which I plan to expire. 

Ninety-two was my blood glucose reading this morning!!!!

For those of you who know little to nothing about diabetes, this is big news - especially for me.  My diabetes has been out of control for a while.  The medication I was taking made me so sick that I'd decided to stop taking it and I was leery of trying something new because my mother, who is also diabetic, had such a severe reaction to a new diabetes medication that it nearly killed her (finally, a dermatologist was able to figure out what was wrong).  I take after her in that way - if there is a rare but serious side effect to a drug, it usually shows up in me.  This is just one of the reasons I want to get off prescription drugs as soon as possible.

Anyway, back to that ninety-two...  My doctor started me on a new diabetes drug called Glipizide.  I checked my body every day for side effects.  I did find a black spot on the bottom of one foot, which I watched.  It never opened up and faded away after a week, so this new medication seems good to go.  In the next week, I watched my numbers start to drop, but my morning fasting numbers, while dropping, were still high.  I have a little note taped to the inside of my testing kit that tells me what my blood sugar levels SHOULD be (for a normal person) and the fasting numbers are 80-120.  That 120 is actually a little high for a type 2 diabetic - my doctor told me to aim for 100 or less.  Still, I was seeing 125 to 145 on a regular basis while fasting. 

I've been doing my AdvoCare, which regulated my eating and provided me lots of vitamin support and exercising pretty hard every other day (I have to work up to this - my body's not used to it!), and I'd get the occasional 110 or even 107, but still, as a rule, I was 125+ in the morning.

After my endocrinologist got my blood work back, she called and said my A1C was at 8, which is still too high but I did a happy dance anyway because the last time I had that tested it was at 8.5 - so I saw that as progress.  She also said she wanted me to start taking the Glipizide at night, which I started doing about a week ago, while continuing my eating and exercise regimen.

And this morning - 92!  Numbers rarely mean much to me, but I cried this morning.  I actually did.  It's been so long since I've made progress in anything health-wise, and I know I really need to fix my health if I want to live a life uncomplicated by blindness or kidney failure or amputation.  Obesity is a major complication in and of itself with the heart issues and stroke possibilities (which run in my family - almost all of my mother's side family dies of heart/stroke).  If I can fix my health, there is longevity on both sides that I'd love to take advantage of.  It feels like I'm making progress.

For those of you who are curious, these are the numbers on my little blood sugar levels note in my testing kit:

On waking up (before eating breakfast)    80-120
Before meals                                              80-120
2 hours after meals                                    160 or less
At bedtime                                                 100-140

I usually fall somewhere in those numbers at the appropriate times now that my morning reading is on track.  My previous meter readings were in the mid-200s!