Self-treating my bad knees …surprise, it’s working!

Posted by lettucelose on December 10th, 2011 |Filed Under Dealing with Obstacles |

6/10/11:

Today, I just wanted to sleep in. I got up around 5 a.m. but rather than stay up, I took some more Tylenol PM and had breakfast. Within a couple of hours, I was really sleepy. However, I had to go to the bathroom a couple of times before I really stayed asleep. Well, I have been doing both my quad strength exercise along with my stretching exercises from that book for a week now. I do the stretches everyday, the quad exercise every other day and I have also included (since I am already down on the floor) ab crunches; the ones I used to do 14 years ago! I finished off with doing the upper body strength exercises BLC online recommends.

I think about the benefits I will get from doing all of this–and keeping it up! The shoulder work will give me a better posture so I’m not slumping over (which I do). The abs will also protect my lower back but it will also give me core strength so I can stand longer and, of course, look a lot better through my middle. Then, the knee exercises will strength and elongate my upper thighs through stretching which will allow me to do “endurance” exercises longer and be able to really push myself to perform the exercising at peak muscle capacity.

All of this is exciting. I can barely wait. I think the best way to “test” my endurance will be to just go to Wal-mart or any larger indoor facility and walk around. I say Wal-mart because there is enough to look at that I could take my time and check out every aisle if I wanted to. When we went the other day, it was nearly empty of customers. That would be a perfect time to do some “shopping”. It would allow me to see how long I could last and how far I can expect to go. It might also build up my endurance as well. In fact, this is an excellent idea for “planned exercise”. It might also desensitize me from feeling that since we don’t go to Wal-mart very often that I should “spend, spend, spend”. I was thinking about how Dad spends an hour in one of those carts and all he buys is breathe mints and batteries. Well, I will run this by P and see what he thinks. After all, it is air-conditioned and they also have a McD’s so if I get too tired or want to sit down for awhile, I can always buy a soda or Happy Meal.

This past week, I have decided to take a little different approach to my weight lose efforts. Since I am focusing on establishing this new habit of daily strengthening and stretching exercises, I am just going to “relax” a little on counting calories. I’m not going to use this as an “excuse” to overeat but if I go over a couple hundred calories I’m not going to worry about it—for now.

Well, I threw “caution to the wind” and I had 4 servings of pasta along with the rest of some pre-cooked meat and tomato sauce. That is a lot of calories, carbs, fat and sodium. I ended up having around 3000 calories for the whole day and over 4000 mg sodium. I won’t be losing weight doing that. At different times during the day, I was both hungry and also “just wanted” to eat. Have I decided again to go on a “maintenance” food plan? I did this over Memorial Day weekend. At least, that made more sense. I like to feel like I can “celebrate” the holidays. I have a lot more work to do on my sabotaging thoughts. I’m not fooling myself regarding this. I like to be more relaxed in my eating especially when it comes time for restricting calories. I just hate it. If I could eat 2500 calories a day and still lose weight I would do it.

Well, I can see some of my stress-induced eating as well today. I awoke around 5 a.m. and I was nervous about how we were going to pay two bills ($173.77) which is due tomorrow and then GP ($187.+) which is due on the 16th. I did go back to sleep within a few hours and slept well but when I awoke sufficiently I called a number I had for GP to see if I could make payment arrangements. I haven’t had to do this in years. In fact, it’s been so long, I honestly can’t remember the last time I had to do it. Well, I was really relieved to see that they have it incorporated in their automated system so I didn’t even have to negotiate with a csr. The system offered June 30th and I took it. What a sense of relief I had after that. The remainder of the day felt a lot better after that.

P called and had some news. A had an ultrasound and the baby is a boy. P is thrilled to death. I reminded her that she had nothing to do with it. P said she doesn’t want another girl to compete with S. I don’t see that as an issue but maybe P does. P told me that A has given away a lot of S’s clothes to her friends who were also having babies. I would have preferred if A would have saved some of the things that I bought S simply because some of the stuff was really nice and could have been used for another girl, had she had another girl. I think some of P’s concerns are just plain silly. It sounds like the baby is healthy which is a great relief for A since she had surgery early on this pregnancy.

Mine/our primary concern was praying that A would follow through on this pregnancy and not have an abortion. She came really close but we were praying daily and God intervened. I want to be as supportive of this pregnancy as I/we were of her pregnancy with S. After all, it isn’t just enough to pray that the child isn’t aborted, there needs to be support (emotional and financial) besides. I am well aware of that. I/we have given generously¬† with S and I hope to do the same with this baby. I guess if A wants to pass on what she feels she doesn’t need any more, it was a gift and that is her “right” to do so.

I got online almost immediately and went through the newborn boy clothes to see what is available. I decided to start with a Garanimal 24 piece layette set in shades of blues and greens. There are little knit caps, footed sleepers, socks and gowns. His birth is expected November 3rd. So, S will be 20 months old. So, as I buy I am going to have to keep an eye on winter/cold weather clothes. It sort of feels a little “weird” to shift gears and buy the newborn sizes too but that is where it all starts. For me, this helps me feel close to them even if I won’t see either of them “who knows when”. At least, I know they are getting clothed. A likes my choices so that also helps.¬† Being a Great-Aunt is as close as I am going to get to being a Grandma so I am enjoying every moment of all of this as much as I can (long distance).

I had 97 cent shipping so when that comes I will include that with the things I got for S earlier this week. I think it will help A feel more positive about having another child if she sees that he will start out as well taken care of as S has been. I doubt whether anyone will consider giving A another shower. That is one of the “down sides” of a second (subsequent) child. They just aren’t heralded into the world quite as grandly as the firstborns. So, I want to make sure that A knows that someone does realize this and helps out (as I can). I know that it has been quite an emotional roller coaster for A so I hope this will be a “celebratory pause” for her. When she sees the little boy things I think it will help her envision him being here and wearing them. I know as a new mother that is one of the things that helps cement the “reality” of the coming birth. It did for me. I used to go in and take each little outfit out, look at it, touch it and then put it back in the drawer.

6/12/11:

Well, P went to the Men’s Health Expo again yesterday. It costs $25 and he gets a lot of basic exams for that cost. He had the prostate screening, a full blood profile (fasted for that), oral mouth check, blood pressure and weight check; the main ones. His blood pressure was 120/70, which is really surprising because it used to be around 106/60 for the longest. It has been in the past year that his blood pressure has risen. I am not sure why either. His BMI is still 29% which is the highest percentage for being overweight. If he were to gain additional weight he would be obese. I find that really hard to believe because ever since I met him he was so thin. He has gained some weight but it is all in his stomach and chest area; which is not the best place to gain it either. For the most part, he eats really healthy. He has begun walking in the past year but he hasn’t kept it up on a regular basis in the past couple of weeks as it has gotten a lot hotter. His goal is to lose around 35 lbs. I hope that he will be able to. I am so glad that there is something like this for him to go to. It covers the basic checkpoints of most annual physical exams. The cost is amazingly low and affordable for us.

Recently, he had his vision checked and he now needs prescription reading glasses since one eye is different than the other. Well, right now, we don’t have $200 for that. Besides the cost, P is “notorious” for misplacing his glasses (and cell phone) all the time. Last week, we got a value pack of 3 of stronger reading glasses. I told him to leave one pair in the car, one pair at home and the other I put up in case he loses one of those two. He said it helps his vision so we are going with that for now.

Somewhat even to my own surprise, I announced first to my Beck Diet Group and then to P, almost simultaneously, that I’m throwing my hat in the ring to start the formation process to join the lay order of the Carmelites. From my understanding of P has shared with me their primary focus is a life of contemplative prayer. Since prayer, especially the rosary, and also reading the Bible have become an important part of my spiritual life the past couple of years; I think it would be a “good fit” for me. I told P to go ahead and share the “news” with his Director, D, who has approached me a couple of times in the past 18 months about joining them, and then we will see what will happen after that. P gave me some of the books he was given when he began. So, the “journey begins”.

I am trying to create a new habit of making sure I get my quick exercises done upon awakening. I can do the stretches in bed before I rise and then I do the quad strengthening every other day and my abs every day. It doesn’t take more than 15-20 minutes tops. What I look forward to is not having to feel self-conscious about my pot belly. I haven’t decided exactly when I will really start throwing myself into harder aerobic work-outs. Ideally, I would like to make sure that my quads really are a lot stronger so that my knees are “protected” when I start up some of these dvds again. I will get a lot more out of them and, hopefully, my knees will be able to handle the stress. I think, I am just going to play it by ear and see how my knees are reacting to each new layer of added stress. I am still using a lot of Icy Hot on my knees and legs during the night when I go to bed. I am just trying to be patient with this process because I feel like I if I lay down a good solid foundation of strengthening the essential muscles then I can really make up for lost time once I do begin to do the more daunting workouts.

And, it is not easy to be patient either. There are several people in the Beck Diet Group that have lost over 60 lbs already. I don’t know how long it took them but even so with me coming in with so much to lose, it seems daunting to me that I will ever be where they are at. There are three of us who are in the upper 200s.¬† For me, it is just a matter of dealing with some “obstacles” (my eating out so much, eating too many calories, being able to be more active) more effectively. I think, once I do that I will be “on my way”.

The main obstacle right now for me is to be able to get my muscles strong enough to support my body (and weight bearing joints) so that I can work off some of the extra calories that I am eating. Once I can achieve that level of fitness, even if it is no more than as a beginner, I can really move forward. In the meantime, I am tweaking my food plan. It is evolving in what feels like a “natural” progression. I have been eating no-sugar desserts; like cookies, ice cream treats and puddings, for the past two months. I will say that I am just getting plain sick of the lack of sugar. That sounds silly to say but it is the truth. I miss sugar. For awhile, fruit helped satisfy my sweet tooth but even that has passed. I am assuming that at some point I will begin to reintroduce sugar back into my food plan; either on a one-time basis, like for birthdays, holidays or celebrations; or I will allow myself a small amount within my food plan. For the time being, I am going to just follow this because my fasting blood sugar still remains over 100 mg/dl when I have had a lot of carbs and/or sugar, like last night when we had delivery pizza and I had a regular Coke with it. This morning, my fasting blood glucose was 108 mg/dl. Certainly better than the 118 mg/dl that it was two months ago but it needs to be in the low 90s before I can feel that I can add sugar back into my food plan on a more regular basis. I am willing to wait. Now, when I do have some sugar, it does seem very special since I don’t have it very often. I just make sure though that I only have a little bit so I don’t end up setting off a binge.

I am hoping that once I get more active, the weight will come off more predictably and more quickly. I am going to try the BL Fitness Program for one thing. I will also work out to both RS dance dvds and JM Shred dvds. I would love to see the kind of results that they do on the tv program! I could drop all or most of my weight by the end of this year. That would be phenomenal! Again, their emphasis is “building muscle/burning fat”. They don’t show much about the diet except having the chef make some low cal cupcakes or low cal entrees. I am beginning to think that it is important, if not more important, that I really push the “building muscle/burning fat” ratio more than the psychological skills of the Beck Plan.

I mean, once I identified some of the sabotaging thoughts that I have had in the past that were preventing me from losing weight and also keeping it off, it actually became easier to catch myself when I was thinking along those lines. I have also discovered that although you do need to have good habits overall there still is “wiggle room” when it comes both to a food plan and working out. For example; just go to our garden during the hottest part of the day so I guarantee to sweat irregardless of whether I am actually doing much, I will lose some body fluids. Also, if I do some of the housework around here and keep at it until I get tired, more than likely I am burning some calories. I have been doing that in the past couple of days with pretty good results.

6/16/11:

Well, I am continuing with the exercises and stretches. It has been 12 days thus far. I am now beginning to notice that my right knee is not hurting as much although my left one is at different times depending on what I am doing. I am also noticing that I can do the exercises without my knees really hurting like they did at first. I can also put the left knee on top of the right knee when I am sleeping on my side and it is “okay”. Before, my right knee just wouldn’t tolerate any pressure on it. Another side note: although I have been eating way more than I should be if I really want to consider myself dieting. I think, I must finally be building some muscle and being active enough, at least some days I am, that I am maintaining my present weight within a lb or so. I think what this points to is that when the time comes and I am ready to really kick some butt in my work outs and reduce the amount of calories I am eating: I will start seeing some good weight lose!! I’ve decided that I am going to try one of these work outs one month after I began this knee strengthening exercises. So, that would be July 4th. I will see how I do and then decide whether I can continue to do those or I need some more knee strengthening exercises.

Unfortunately, our tomato plants look horrible. I had P dig up the two smaller ones which still haven’t gotten any tomatoes yet. I sprayed them the last time we were there. I rinsed out the spray bottle I used but maybe I should have put it in the dishwasher. I am wondering if there was a residual of the former contents in it and that was what killed the plants. We were told to be on the lookout for large green worms that eat tomato plants and I thought I would get a jump start and spray them. Well, I picked off all the dead limbs and leaves of the last two that both have a small green tomato on. I’m not holding out too much hope for them though. If there are some medium-sized tomato plants left in the nurseries this weekend I might just get two new ones and start over. I feel that with this heat, we should still be able to get some fresh tomatoes this summer.

[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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