Getting better a little at a time.

Posted by lettucelose on December 10th, 2011 |Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses |

6/3/11:

Good news. I weighed in this a.m. at 269 lbs. so I have lost the (extra calories/sodium induced) weight I regained from last weekend’s departure from my food plan. For the past three days, I have tried to slowly return to the food plan I have decided to follow. Each day, I try to eat a little less calories and do a little more activity. I took my blood glucose before I had lunch (which was D’s P brought back yesterday but I didn’t eat because my stomach was still tender from all the medicine I have been taking) and it was 80 mg/dl!!!  I have never had that low of a reading  since I have been monitoring (February 2010). I hope everything is accurate. I am at the bottom of my test strips but they haven’t expired. Well, that is certainly the kind of “news” I like to hear.

I slept through the night although I was up several times. I managed to stay in bed for about 5 hours which is getting to be longer than the 2-3 hours I have been doing for the past couple of weeks. Ideally, I would like to get 6-8 hours every night all at one time and not broken up into 2-3 segments. This has really been quite a trying two month’s period for me. Between my arthritis flaring up (predictably so), two heavy periods which left me exhausted and depleted each time for 4-5 days, seasonal allergies and then all of this sleeplessness followed by a mild cold; it has just been one long trial.

However, now that I am feeling better, I am also feeling uneasy about all of the time that has been “lost” where I haven’t paid attention to the “unfinished” stuff in my life. I certainly haven’t forgotten any of it either. It weighs on my mind every day, to one extent or another. Right now, things seem to have “settled down” some and I am hoping that will remain so I will be able to pick up where I left off and, hopefully, be able to cross these off of my “to do” list. I will rest easier when I can say that. I feel an “internal” pressure to just get things done around here. I have been doing a few things but it seems like the normal everyday things just seem to consume more of my time so I don’t always really pay as much attention to the other stuff as I would like to. Then, I get started playing online games and I can spend 8-10 hours over a period of time on that. When P is home during the evening though I refrain from that and join him in watching some tv together. I think that it’s important that we spend some time together each day. P has also expressed that he likes it when I go to bed when he does. I try. I don’t always end up doing that or even staying there once I do but I try.

6/4/11:

I weighed 267.4 lbs this morning. Well, I am steadily losing the sodium-induced water weight from last weekend. I have now lost 7 lbs in 4 days and I really haven’t been eating within my calorie range either. In fact, I don’t think I have had one day this past week where I was able to eat under 2500 calories! So, I feel fortunate that, in spite of the higher calories, the water weight went away. . Hard to believe that I could retain that much fluid but I think I could easily lose another 2-3 lbs if I would eat less. I actually ate quite a bit yesterday and the sodium was high so that was a surprise when I got on the scale this morning. I’ll keep working at getting my calories less though because that is when I will start to see “new” weight come off rather the same 5-10 lbs over and over again.

I was eager to change the scale on the BLC site since I was honest about the recent re-gain. Since January 27th when I rejoined I have lost 10 lbs. That averages out to be around 2.5 lbs per month. That seems pretty pathetic in one way and one could even say it shows more failure than anything but since that time I have worked consistently on changing my food plan for the better. I have consciously begun to eat more vegetables. After two months of eating a lot off my food plan including delivery pizza, fast food and lots of chocolate; since April 1st I have made a decision to go no-sugar and I really have stuck to my guns on that. Granted, I have had a few slips but that was all they were—slips. I have discovered in the process that going “no sugar” has really helped curb cravings and overeating to a significant extent. Now, I really need to hunker down and really apply myself when it comes to exercising and burning some of those additional calories off.

This past week I resumed exercising.

Last night, I had one of the best night’s sleep I have had in quite awhile. I went to bed at 10 p.m. and was able to stay in bed until 8:30 a.m. I did get up several times to go to the bathroom (hence the lower weight this a.m.) and I had a horrible leg cramp around 3 a.m. that got P up even since I was yelping loudly. He massaged it and we both went back to sleep. Well, that explains the leg cramp since I usually get those when I have lost a lot of fluids (and probably electrolytes along with it).

If I were following my food plan I wouldn’t be journaling this. I didn’t this past weekend and that is why I am continuing to go up and down the same 5-7 lbs. Going “off plan” was more about making food choices that were high in sugar/fat/sodium and calories than anything else. We ate at GC for P’s birthday but I am so accustomed to eating there that I could have made better choices (which I usually do) but, again, I got it into my head that this was a “celebratory” meal and although it was his birthday and not mine I decided to deviate and have both regular Coca-Cola all weekend and two glazed doughnuts for dessert at GC.

Well, today is a new day and new week. On Saturday, I began doing the recommended self-treatment for eliminating my knee pain. Since this is the primary reason why I don’t walk for prolonged periods of time, I am really hoping that this will bring me to a place where I can choose to resume walking on the treadmill and/or outdoors and also doing more of the active workout dvds. I am having trouble with some of the stretches. The back of my thighs have always been tighter than the front (maybe this is part of the explanation of why my knees hurt) and when I try to do the quad stretch one of the muscles cramps up and it is very painful. I usually have to ask Paul to rub the muscle until it calms down. I don’t think is “normal”. According to the author of this book(let) it should take about 8 weeks and then the muscles should be strong enough to support the knee and then the pain should be gone. If it works, then I will feel more inclined to push myself harder on the treadmill and/or the workout dvds and then I should really see some progress.  Then, I might be able to go for longer walks with P by early fall. I do think that if I can get to that point, the weight will come off a lot easier since I can really “ramp up” my activity level. So, I just have to be patient awhile longer.

So, in  the meantime, my weight lose might be slower since I will be more limited in what I can and can’t do. However, I am still going to try to build muscle in the meantime since I will need muscles to be more active when the time comes. I am also tweaking my food plan as I am going along. Although I had regular Coke and donuts for dessert yesterday, I also had 3 servings of vegetables, lean sirloin steak and baked fish and limited my the portion of the other starch (rice). Had I not tried the garlic cheese stick (which I wouldn’t get again–it wasn’t that tasty for the amount of sodium it had in it) and the one slice of pepperoni pizza (which was definitely worth the extra sodium!) I would have had a good OP meal. I still think that I have come a long way from my former food choices. There would have been a time when I wouldn’t have gotten any vegetables at all. Right now, my body isn’t as “forgiving” because I am not active but there will come a time when I could have regular Coke once a week and possibly a dessert on occasion and still be on the downward trend with my weight lose. I look forward to that time. I think, it could be by fall.

The past couple of nights I have made it a point to go to bed around 10 pm. Last night I was able to stay in bed (except for multiple trips to the bathroom) until 5 am. That is the best I have done in months. I had breakfast and then I did my strengthening and stretching exercises. That is the best way to go about that. Do them right away in the morning and then they are done. I think the longer I wait during the day, the more “excuses” I can think of to not do them. I think that is with most people. I used to do my walking the first thing in the morning when I had a regimen of doing that. I need to pick that habit back up. So, it is 8:30 a.m. and I have had my breakfast, did my strengthening/stretching exercises, made the bed, cleaned up and I have a second load of clothes in the washer.

Well, once again, I noticed that my knees really hurt shortly after doing the exercises that are “supposed to” make my knees “pain free”; so, I didn’t go everywhere that I wanted to go but I was satisfied with what I did manage to do. We got a 4′ tall wire fence for our garden, which we will put in later tonight. Then, we ate at my favorite Chinese buffet place for lunch. Now, that I am “better” physically, I have been using my free time to do some running around; running around that I just didn’t feel like doing before. If we had more money and the weather were milder, I don’t think I would stop until I “dropped”. I really miss just something different than going to bed, hanging around this apartment and, yes, playing online games. For now, I relish the times when I can get out and do something different than what I have been doing for months on end.

Of course, the entire country is under this oppressive heat wave so then it makes it a little more difficult to be out in this heat. Finally, I convinced P to start running the a/c in our car. In the past couple of years, we have opted not to and some days it was pretty tough but he felt it was hard on the car engine and it does use extra gas but I told him that there were times when he would come in and he looked exhausted. I just said we’ll pay the extra money on gas this summer, especially since this weather more typical of mid-July. I sure hope we aren’t stuck with this the entire summer. If so, it will make it seem even that much longer, although we have excellent central air in our apartment. That makes it more pleasant to be indoors.

6/7/11:

Again, I was able to sleep at least 6 hours within one stretch. I do get up multiple times to go to the bathroom but I fall right back to sleep so I am okay with that. I got up around 7:30 am and I did my stretches in bed–my thigh muscles are very tight and my right knee feels swollen when I try to bend it. Then, I got dressed and got on the living room floor and did the three different exercises for the abs (or core muscles) that I learned years ago and do get the results. I have decided that I am going to do my abs every morning first thing before I have breakfast so that they are “done” and I don’t have to think about trying to “fit them in” with whatever happens the rest of the day.

Another thing that I am trying to do is get out of the apartment more frequently. There have been times in the not so distant past where I didn’t leave this apartment for a couple of weeks at a time!  So, in spite of the oppressive heat, I willingly got out of the nice a/c to “tag along” to our garden and put up fencing and water our plants and eat at Wendy’s for lunch. I did get a little bit of coloring by being out in the sun but I urged P to wrap it up when I was even feeling like I had gotten a little too much sun. He is much fairer than I am and he burns; not tans. I know that you aren’t supposed to water your grass or plants during the hottest part of the day but considering it was as hot at 10 a.m. as it was at noon, I think that would be splitting hairs today. I made sure that it got a lot of water; enough to last a couple of days.

I think we should also consider thinning out our peas again since I thought the plants didn’t look as robust as they did earlier this week. It could be the sun but let’s see if we can thin them first and if they rally back. If not, then we know they are more suited for a winter garden. Some of this may be learned by trial and error. I think thinning might be the first choice and then we can check back a few days later and see how they are doing. They looked so promising a week ago.

For example, I thought the only answer for my knees and the pain/inflexibility was surgery. It still may be the case but now that I have found this small book on how to eliminate the pain I am wondering if this might be a better answer. Given the fact that we don’t have health insurance nor the money to pay for elective surgery at this time; it might be “an answer to my/our prayers” even if it isn’t what I thought would be the “answer”. SO; it is very well possible that God will have an absolutely different but brilliant answer to our financial insecurities. I am open to anything that will allow us to meet every bill that is looming on the near horizon.

6/8/11:

Well, another blessed night of sleep. I felt like sleeping longer so I stayed in bed until 7:15 a.m. I went to bed at 10 p.m. last night but, as usual, I was up and down every two hours to pee. I’m used to it and as long as I fall back to sleep I don’t let it bother me too much. Once again, I did my knee strengthening exercise then crunches and some stretches in bed. My thigh muscles are very tight. They have always been tight but not as tight as they are right now. I now understand that this is contributing to the knee pain.After having breakfast, I suggested that we go to Wal-mart. I honestly thought we could “afford” it although once we got home and I thought about the purchases I made, I realized the majority of it I could have waited on. Unfortunately, that often happens in spite of all the signs that point to us being in serious financial trouble if we don’t get some money in the next couple of weeks.

I’ve been feeling so good after a rested night of sleep that I wanted to get out of the apartment. Wal-mart was nearly empty so I could take my time and look at what was on the shelves and enjoy shopping. Again, relaxing in a store with so many cheap choices can mean spending a lot more money in the end.  I also look at it from the perspective of it is a large open area, I can walk slow and it is a/c. I was also feeling really upbeat with the fact that I could walk around the majority of the store without yelping too much from my knees. There was a time not long ago when I couldn’t do that. I know when my knees have had their limit though and as soon as it approaches that point I tell P it is time we check out. He is getting used to this cue so he knows that we need to wrap it up whether we have gotten everything we came there for. In this case, it was a good thing because that kept a cap on the spending. Still, I didn’t need to buy S another summer dress although it was so cute and when I got home I realized that the cute sandals I had gotten before I saw the dress matched! I also bought her some swim diapers, a couple of coloring books and crayons. So, I will try and send all of this within the next week.

6/9/11:

I feel like I am on a roll but I have had another wonderful night’s sleep. Granted, I get up about every two hours to pee but I do fall back to sleep almost immediately so I can live with that. I have been really trying to go without a nap also so that I will feel tired enough to go to bed by 10-11 p.m. So far, it seems to be working although I do have a “natural” dip in the mid-late afternoon. Well, once again, I did my stretches and ab crunches first thing in the morning. After P prayed his morning prayers, we prayed our rosary. We are nearing the completion of this 54 day novena. I am so glad that we both could do this together and that we have made every day thus far. Then, P had a few things he needed to get done today. I am always glad when he has “some” things to do because he gets really antsy when he doesn’t have any work.As for me, I just enjoy when I have a “good day” (without pain or missed sleep).

Well, I finished making homemade chicken noodle soup. I cooked the whole chicken long enough that the carcass just fell apart. I appreciated that since I hate boning a whole chicken. I put the different parts into separate containers. This will make it a lot easier to reheat later on. I also put aside some chicken breast meat for me. It is so much more tender when you just boil it in some seasoned water. I hate dry white chicken meat. Well, I had a cup of it and it tastes very good. P just loves it. I would make it more often but the big stock pot takes up quite a bit of space in our refrigerator. I am glad that, at least, we have a well-stocked kitchen right now. We really don’t need to do any major grocery shopping for another week.

[Note: I have been keeping a ongoing private journal separately from this diet blog which I am now incorporating some of that material into this blog. Dates written are actual although published at a much later date.]


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