Well, I have done my knee strengthening and stretching exercises for two weeks. Some are every day and some are every other day. Today, I awoke and I just didn’t want to do them. I did any way but this will happen. I wonder if it’s because I am gaining a little more strength now and I am probably pushing myself a little harder. It takes about 30-45 minutes to do every thing. I am also doing a little more walking throughout the week. It’s nothing “impressive” by “normal” standards but considering that I was solely using those electric carts at Wal-mart about 6 months ago, it shows that I am coming back after a prolonged period of “in-ability” to do some “normal” activities.
Yesterday, we decided to check out some of these health clinics that do have “reduced fees”. We have had many people tell us to try them and we just didn’t know where to start and/or we were concerned that we wouldn’t qualify or even be able to “afford” the cost, in spite of the fees being reduced. Well, we still have the last fear because, in spite of the fact that for a “household of two people” we are considered “middle class”, we are really struggling financially; especially since the beginning of this year. Mostly, because all of our money is going out for monthly expenses and debts we are paying off.
There is a health clinic directly adjacent to our community garden. I thought it might be one but I wasn’t sure if it was just for marginalized people; like new immigrants, or for “the rest of us”. We stopped in person and we picked up the paperwork. Now, we are beginning the process of finding out just what “reduced fees” will entail for someone like us. Both of our fears are that even with reduced fees it might be something we simply can’t afford. However, we are going to move forward on it. What has pushed us is the fact that when P went to the annual Men’s Health Expo last Saturday, he was examined by a dermatologist who discovered some “suspicious” growths on his neck and face. One may be a “basal cell carcinoma”. I think, I noticed this in the past year. I thought it might be something but I watched it and it never changed in size or oozed anything so I thought it was akin to my psoriasis that is along my scalp line.
I thought about it later and decided that this might be a good time for me to apply for this clinic as well. They can do the financial counseling at the same time; if they will allow that, and then I am “registered” with this health center and I can then go there without having to go through all of this at that time. I’d like to get a Pap smear; something that I haven’t had in a long time. I would also like a general gynecological exam; also, something that I haven’t had in as long. I could ask about the vaginal dryness, the excessive bleeding and also the overactive bladder. I don’t know if I would necessarily want to start taking a lot of prescription medicines for all of that but, at least, discuss it with a medical professional.
Since the health clinic’s parking lot was nearly full we had to park about 30-40 feet away from the entrance so we parked near our garden plot. It meant walking up a graded hill which I was able to although I can feel how weak I’ve become whenever I exert myself, even a little bit. I have been reading this book about “Treat Your Own Knees” more and I am now seeing that I probably could move forward on working towards improving my balance and endurance. Walking is the best way to improve your endurance. P brought home a lot of information from the Men’s Health Expo including some on a walking club that meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month at P Mall. This coming Tuesday is the third one so if I can get myself up in enough time (it meets from 8:30-10:00 a.m.) then I will try to go with P. Of course, I won’t be able to go as far as he can but it will get me started also in a walking program. We had already talked about walking in the early morning hours at a mall since the weather has been so hot. Now, might be a good time to begin doing that; especially while P is not working regularly. It gets him back to exercising regularly like he was doing this past winter and some during earlier this spring—and, it gets me started as well. The author of “TYOK” reminds starting out with 7-10 minutes and then building up time and not being concerned about distance. So, am I take that the author means “going the time” is more important than “going the distance”? It would seem so! Good for those of us, like myself, who move at a turtle’s speed.
I weighed in this morning at 266.4 lbs. I am amazed since I have really been eating way over the BLC recommended calorie limit and also a lot of those calories are higher in sodium!! Besides that, I had a “snack attack” last night before I went to bed. I was eating a lot of carbs!! I think what triggered that was eating homemade fudge this past weekend several times a day. Well, I can only attribute this to the fact that all of this strength exercises are paying off. I am building muscle and that is burning some calories.
I decided that to put my level of strength training up a notch and go to the advance level. I was wondering if that would mean additional exercises but instead it is doing more of the same ones I have been doing. It will be a struggle but I am up for it. So, for starters, I think what I will do is do 2 sets of 15 rather than 2 sets of 10. Then, when that starts to feel okay, I might increase it to 3 sets of 15. After that point, I will have to decide whether I want to keep it at that or move up to a higher weight. I am only using 3 lbs free weights but the repetitions do “burn” towards the end of the second set. If I do decide to increase the weights, I don’t think I will go beyond 10 lbs. I think, by that time, it will be sufficient for where I want to end up.
Then, I took a look at how many calories are in some of my activities. I will need to be “busy” moving around for about 45-60 minutes every day doing stuff around here if I want to burn up the 201 calories they are recommending. So; that is what I tried to do today. Another day P was home so I just tried to keep busy around here and I managed to do that throughout the day. It did help though that I got up around 11 a.m. ( I didn’t have a very good night’s sleep last night because of the pain in my right leg). I did some laundry, loaded the dishwasher twice, then made some meals from our dwindling food “supply”. It isn’t all that dire since we still have quite a lot of good food left to eat but if we don’t get some money within three days; we will definitely be eating “lean”. So, for now, we are still eating well.
I made homemade chicken noodle soup. It wasn’t as “fatty” since I added in the white meat rather than boiled the whole chicken in the stock water so P didn’t like it as well as when I do the former but I thought it was good and it was probably a lot better for us too. I made up the last of our meat from the freezer: New York strip steaks. I did them in the broiler. They tasted very good. I made the M.O.M. potato salad and the CL cold broccoli salad to go along with the broiled steak. It was a very good meal especially considering we are really eating down our grocery supply and yet it still was OP (“on plan”).
Today is the summer solstice. The news reported that we will have 14 hours and 22 minutes of daylight. The solstice itself is at 1:16 p.m. Starting tomorrow, we lose 1 minute of daylight until December 21st, when that will be the shortest hours for daylight. So, tonight it probably won’t get completely dark until 9:30 p.m. I prefer the longer days rather than it getting dark around 5:30 p.m. during the winter plus I also think it keeps me in a better mood. I never thought I “suffered” from S.A.D. until this past winter when I really did feel morose a lot of the time.
Neither of us slept well last night. I could really tell that my quad muscles were swollen. It was my day to do the quad strengthening exercises plus I also include my other strengthening exercises, which I have two that are squats, and I was up on my feet a lot yesterday. So, I ended up tossing and turning for quite some time besides taking more EX Tylenol before I was able to fall asleep –again shortly before 4 a.m. Paul said he didn’t fall asleep until 2 a.m. Well, today he was going to the DOL (again-this is the 5th time!) and he is going to see if he can find out why he hasn’t received any unemployment benefits in spite of the fact that he has certified for three weeks now and the system is accepting his certification. It is money we could really use right now. Also, he needs to get some form that states what his income is so he can apply for financial assistance for his doctor’s appointment for the basal cell carcinoma on his neck.
Well, P was told that his claim has been under investigation since June 15th. He finally got a hold of the woman who left a message and she said that since he is self-employed she doesn’t believe he qualifies for unemployment benefits. Well, he has been getting them for the past two years so it seems “odd” that is an issue now. The people at the DOL told him to keep certifying. He said he is inclined to believe them first. All we are hoping is that this gets resolved asap. We have a couple more bills coming out of our account by the end of this week and I would hate to have overdrafts that we couldn’t do anything about.
It was then that P told me that this morning he vented at L, his friend and C’s Mgr, about hating being self-employed, etc. L told P that even the “staffers” had to take another cut in pay recently. P usually keeps quiet about how he feels, even to me, so this really surprised me and I hope that it surprised L because it’s not like P to complain openly to someone at CM because he has always had them in such high regards. It probably wasn’t a very “good” thing to do but certainly understandable given the circumstances. I know that P is resisting having to take another job other than this. The past two years have been a “demotion” of sorts by going from being full time employee with benefits to a sub-contractor but he has had work and some weeks he has done very well. In spite of the slow recovery in this area, this has been the slowest P has had since 2009. In fact, this is as bad as we have had it since 2004-2005; if not worse, because we have been constantly “short” on money. “Something” has definitely got to change for us. Neither of us are quite sure. Whatever it is, I sure hope that it is soon. Very soon.
I am out of Tylenol PM so I haven’t been able to fall asleep before 4 a.m. each day. I did lay down when P went to bed, which was around 11 p.m. but I only dozed off for 10-15 minutes. So, I decided that I would get up and make a recipe from a diabetic cookbook which I bought in the past year or so and which I have just begun making some recipes from. So far; everything that I have made I have really liked. Earlier “today” (actually yesterday since it is 1:45 a.m.) I made a whole wheat crust pizza with vegetables. The “twist” was putting an ample amount of shredded cheddar cheese in the dough. I didn’t have the reduced fat but it was a nice touch that really made the crust itself tasty. I would definitely make it again since it was really quite easy but for a “treat” I would add real meat instead of veggie “meat”; which is all I had actually. I even think P would eat it. He had a small piece today and thought it was really good.
Well, I just finished making oatmeal raisin scones. It called for “pulsing” the oatmeal into a fine meal. I have a very small food processor which I am not even sure that I have used before so I put the flour and the oats into my blender. It worked out fine. It also called for buttermilk. I finally got some a few weeks ago and it got pushed to the back of the refrigerator so it was half-frozen but that also kept it fresh since it was past the expiration date. One thing I have found out from these older cookbooks is that buttermilk is a key ingredient if you want fluffy baked goods; like pancakes and, of course, these scones. I used mixed dried berries because I had eaten the last small box of raisins. It still turned out really good. I had two hot from the oven with lots of “butter”. Yum. Yum.
[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.]