Middle of Summer, It’s Hot but I’m Not

Posted by lettucelose on December 12th, 2011 |Filed Under Dealing with Obstacles | 3 Comments

7/1/11:
Well, “yesterday”, once again I didn’t get up until almost noon. I immediately did my strength exercises plus the four new lower body ones as well. I am able to do all of the lower body ones laying in bed which really helps me avoid the hassle of getting down on the floor (and then getting up). That still is hard for me to do. Then, I did my upper body strength exercises. It takes me about 35-45 minutes.  Also, I pause often to rest a very tight hamstring muscle in my right thigh as I move through them. When I reread one of the new lower body exercises I realized that I had done it wrong the other day. That might explain why my lower and middle back hurt!!

I am very proud to say that for the month of June I never missed a day for my strength exercises and actually instead of doing them 3x a week, I did them every other day so that added 2 extra days to my workouts. It is paying off too. I can see the change especially through my lower abdomen, which has always been a source of embarrassment for me. That alone is incentive enough for me even if I have such a long way to go before I can actually touch my elbow to my knees (for example). I need to lose probably 40-50 lbs before there will be less through my middle but in the meantime I can still tone up what is there and, at least, I look a lot better in my clothes as a result.

P has really shown a strong interest in volunteering at a hospice he heard about when he went to the Men’s Expo. I don’t usually see him get that interested in something so suddenly. I told him to go ahead and check it out since I expected not to sleep well last night (which I didn’t). He came home so excited and surprised in how eager they were to have him volunteer there. I told him that it really takes a “special calling” to volunteer where you know the outcome is only way and that is death plus the end of life is not always so pleasant either; both on the family and the person dying.

Right before we went to bed, Pl checked his e-mails and he got his results back from the fasting blood lipid panel he had done. His total cholesterol is 224 and his triglycerides are 774. Anything over 500 is considered very high risk for cardiovascular disease. I told him not to worry and get a good night’s rest but I can see that both of us really need to start towing the line when it comes to exactly what and how much we are eating. I want to go to the library this weekend sometime anyway and I want to print out these results so he can discuss them with a doctor at the time as well. I would hate to see him get started on some heart medicine but until he loses the weight and changes his eating habits that might be the best thing to do.

It truly brings it home to me as well that you can’t rest on your laurels. Compared to the way I used to eat, I am doing great but I know that I could do better and that is what I need to keep pushing for–now, for both of us! One thing I am so glad that I have stuck with is these strength exercises which has really enabled me to start walking for longer periods of time. After we watered our garden (which sorely needed it), I suggested our “favorite haunt”: GC. I felt that I was very aware of the choices I needed to make and actually if I hadn’t had 2 hot dogs for lunch I would have been okay with my sodium for the day. The one thing that I did though that I “regret” is that although I wasn’t particularly hungry when we got home I ended up having an apple with some SF peanut butter (to finish up the jar) along with two small bowls of regular microwave popcorn and an alcoholic beverage. I wasn’t even hungry for any of that so I just am not sure why I did that. I’m certainly not happy with myself that I did that especially after weighing this morning and having already lost 3.2 lbs since Monday! That will put me back a couple of pounds until I eat less calories and sodium!

Well, as soon as we got home, I took 2 EX Tylenol and iced both my knees. My knees and my thighs are sore but unless I wake up tomorrow hurting all over like I did on Tuesday then I would say that my legs are getting used to this a little bit more each time. I have only been doing the strength exercises for my knees for one month and that isn’t even every day so I am probably pushing myself too fast and too soon but I do rebound (even if it takes more than 24 hours) and I do know that moving around for 45-60 minutes is also burning some calories, which I really need to do to get this weight off. So, we will see how the month of July progresses. Ideally, I would be able to tolerate walking that long and possibly even being able to walk farther. The longer that I can walk the more I will build up my endurance and the more calories I will be able to burn.

7/4/11:

Well, our 4th will probably quite uneventful because it usually is. I am going to bed in a few minutes. I must have pulled a muscle in my left thigh on Thursday because I was unable to walk on it without the knee locking up on Friday. In fact, it happened almost a dozen times; each time more painful than the last. It became painfully and noticeably swollen. I spent the past couple of days icing it and taking additional EX Tylenol. I can now walk on it although the quad muscle right above my left knee is still sore and tender. I didn’t do any other exercises this past weekend so I have a day to “catch up”. I have also overeaten by several hundred calories and, of course, hit the ball way in left field with my sodium! OY! And, I would have liked to have lost 2.5 lbs this past week. I am just not sure if that will happen. We’ll see how later today’s weigh in goes.

7/5/11:

I hate holidays or, at least, the fact that there is always the expectation that you “must do something” to celebrate and usually we don’t. Fourth of July was no different. I slept poorly the night before (going through that again) and I didn’t finally fall asleep (for longer than an hour) until nearly 7 a.m. So, of course, I didn’t get up until 1:45 p.m. I awoke feeling irritable. More about the fact that this is reoccurring again and that it screws up what I had hoped to do for the day. I hate to admit that before long I was going all over “unpleasant” topics and somewhat venting on P about it. I later apologized profusely but he was so diplomatic about it and said he had forgotten.

Well, what I did do was redo P’s professional resume. I told him (and I mean it) that I am really impressed with how it lays out. He has consistent employment history going back nearly 28 years. He also now has four solid work references as well. At this point, I do not have the up-to-date work or personal references that would really “impress” any one if I were actively seeking work. I haven’t worked full time in nearly two full years. In my defense, I had stayed with my previous employers on average 4 years and I went from one job to another without more than a week’s space but since I was laid off this time, I have really “floundered”. I worked as a tax professional, which I enjoyed but then between getting bronchitis then all of the RA flare-ups, I have been chronically depressed for the past 9 months. Not a mood conducive to looking for work. I honestly don’t miss it one bit either. If I never worked again for anyone it wouldn’t bother me in the least bit.

Last week I decided that I would return to school for some updated training with the presumption that I will get a job in that field. It is a sound move in that respect but my heart isn’t in it 100%. That may turn around once I resume studying but right now I am more concerned about the added demands that it will make and how it will change my daily schedule. Also, the reality is that I will have to borrow additional monies to go to school which means that, once again, we will be relying on P to make enough money to meet all of our expenses. That is rather daunting since his income has not been stable enough to know how much he will be making from one week to the next. Still, I do recognize that the longer that I wait to decide whether to go to school the longer I am not  contributing towards the resolution of this situation. I just don’t like being put in this “position” at this time in my life. I am not sure why I am so resistant to this but I am.

I would like to lose 2-3 lbs this coming week. I did end up having some foods that were more calorie dense than nutrient dense over the long weekend but in terms of my overall eating I had a pretty good weekend for being around here a lot, not able to be very physical and dealing with a lot of time on my hands. I am going to return to bed in a short while. P has to take his Mantou test for TB for this volunteer position at this hospice center in R. He is really excited about it. I really hope that this is something he can really “enjoy” doing. I told him that it really takes a special person to be able to volunteer for such an endeavor and I am sure that he will only benefit from the experience.

So, instead of transferring a lot of these winter clothes into the plastic bins, I am just going to put them into the larger lawn Hefty bags and send them off to the Goodwill. I have no intention of returning to wearing size 26W again and all the reasons that I thought were good enough to hang onto those clothes don’t seem to make sense to me now. I see this as a “major change of mind” regarding how to handle moving down the scale and away from this former self-image.  So, I guess, I felt an “announcement” was in order even though to P it probably doesn’t mean as much to him as it does to me. It has dawned on me in the past couple of days that I am really tired of still being in the 260s even though I have said that I am dieting. Right now I would like to be 250 lbs by the end of this month. That would mean losing 15 lbs which is a lot so that means that I need to step up my work outs in both intensity and frequency. Well, let’s see if I can accomplish that. That is my short term goal for the month of July: weigh 250 lbs by July 31st.

This sounds absolutely crazy but I would really like to be 250 lbs by the end of this month. That is 3 weeks and 5 days away. I weighed 267.4 lbs today. I am thinking that I am probably carrying 5 lbs of water weight at all times. So, that would mean an average of 4 + lbs a week. I think, it would be a matter of really exercising a lot; both with the strength exercises and doing aerobics. I do think that my quads are strong enough where I believe that I could do RS or JF aerobics and, hopefully, hang in there for 20-30+ minutes so I really burn the calories. Well, I won’t know until I actually try so that is what I am going to set out to do this month. I just plain want to see those numbers actually and really go down and stay down. I am tired of hovering around in the upper 260s and low 270s.

Another one of the women in one of my online diet support groups hit her goal weight this past week. It seemed rather high to me: 170 lbs for someone who is 5′5″. It would be considered “overweight” for me in terms of BMI. However, the number on the scales is just one health indicator. A person could be very muscular and weigh more but have significantly a lot less body fat. When I have exercised in the past, I was able to wear some size 20s even though I weighed around 235-245 lbs but you really have to be fit and be active to have that kind of muscle tone. Still, for one of the few times when I felt envious of someone else, I widh it were me. I would still have another 35 lbs left to go but I would be so pleased to have made it that far!! That would be a huge deal for me! Huge!

I don’t know if she was pleased with this. I will admit that I was a little jealous. I feel like I have so far to go—well, in actuality, I do!

Well, anyway, I am determined to break through the 200s by the end of this year. I had a set back this past week because I must have pulled a muscle in my left leg because it was both visibly swollen and I could barely put any weight on it for 1 1/2 days. I have laid off any kind of exercise for 5 days but I am coming back strong tomorrow. I am wondering if I have a very tight groin muscle because I can feel it in my inner thigh and I was doing inner thigh crossover leg work that day before we went to Wal-mart. I wasn’t feeling too great going into the store and I really felt bad coming out.

7/6/11:

Another day that I awoke feeling really anxious and afraid. I wouldn’t say that I am having a panic attack because those are much more severe and they are usually quite physical but I am afraid. We took out a loan to cover some car expenses and other “emergency” expenses. I wrestled with making that decision for an entire month but trying to be sensitive to P’s desire to not run to his Dad  to help us out really was what pushed me to agree to it. I just wish we could have had other options available for us. The necessity of paying that off asap is another stressor that we really don’t need right now. I am just worried that we are going to exasperate his Dad enough where he might say “this is the last time” and then we really won’t have any other place to turn to. I said to P last night, “I am afraid to wonder how much worse it could possibly get.” Add to all of this the fact that P has a skin cancer and abnormally high triglycerides and we have some valid reasons to be genuinely concerned about a lot that is going on in our life right now.

After talking with the IRS rep yesterday I was so drained. I know what he was saying was factually accurate but it would have made a difficult situation even more difficult had we made quarterly payments on P’s self-employment, both of our unemployment benefits and the money he was making from C’s; after all, we have been making about 2/3rds of what we were making together and probably this year is might even end up being half—–we don’t have a lot of wiggle room to be paying all of that when we are trying to keep the electricity on, etc. It is a lot to take in some days and I am just having a couple of those kind of days. I just wish all of this were behind us and we could get back to a better way of living.

I started back doing my strength exercises. I now definitely think that the combination of everything that I am doing is aggravating my knees because they hurt afterwards. I only did the one quad exercise today so that surprised me. I thought it might have been because I was also doing those squats before. I need to do my upper body too. P went to take his Mantou test for this volunteer position that he is really psyched about (in a way that is both surprising and refreshing—where is he getting this sudden interest from?) and then to hand in his invoices. Once he gets his check he’ll bring back D’s for me (after he has eaten there) and then he will deposit his check (for the past couple of weeks of work!). I appreciate the time alone though. I am probably going to return to bed since I went to bed around 3:40 a.m. and I awoke at 8:40 a.m. I like to take a nap when our building is quiet and it is overcast, like it is today. I also feel more relaxed after having taken a shower first thing this morning, shaved my legs and stripped the bed of the sheets. I did a load of laundry. I might just focus on watching some of the tv programs that I have recorded.

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Well, with clean sheets on the bed and having had a warm shower I returned to bed for a really nice long afternoon nap and I awoke in a lot better mood. P brought me D’s, which now I immediately split in half and refrigerate half of it since D’s gives huge portions, and then we prayed the evening prayer again from the Liturgy of the Hours. It is going quite well. I have been doing this since July 1st. I hope to add in morning prayer within a few days so then I can pray that upon rising as well. I would like to feel comfortable enough with it that I can join in the communal prayer when I go with P to their July Carmelite meeting which is coming up in about 10 days. I am not used to all of this added social interaction so that I am nervous about it. Fortunately, there will be a few people that I should know from meeting at other occasions. I am a little concerned about not getting up early enough either but it might just be one of those things where I will have to make a point of doing so and if I am tired then I can always come home and take a nap.

[Note: The Carmelites are a community of lay Catholics who have made a public profession of faith to follow the bylaws of the International Order of Calced Carmelites. It does involve a period of discernment, spiritual preparation and then becoming active in a lay community. The main focus of the lay community is "contemplative prayer". The Liturgy of the Hours is the "prayer of the Catholic Church". It includes the Psalms, readings from both the Old and New Testaments, Canticle of Zechariah and Mary, intercessory prayers, Lord's Prayer. It is primarily prayed by priests, deacons, the religious and lay religious. It is highly encouraged that any practicing Catholic pray it.]

Side note: I have decided to include the whole panorama of my life in this diet blog. I think it is important to you, the reader, and myself to show that I am not on a weight loss journey in isolation but while I am busy living my life. I want to be as truthful and honest about my efforts, my struggles, and God willing, my eventual triumphs. I hope that by sharing other aspects of my life, both the strengths and weaknesses, you will get a more three dimensional view of who I am as I work at losing my extra weight.

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Paul has been sleeping out in the living room on the floor while I am trying to totally recoup from hurting my legs almost a week ago. I resumed doing my exercises today. It is always hard to come back even after such a short absence. I noticed what muscles I am using (and possibly straining) which I need to be very careful with! I waited until almost 10:30 p.m. to do my upper body strength exercises so I was rushing through them and now my middle of my back hurts. Can’t do that anymore!

I really overate today too. It didn’t start out that way but it seemed like once I started eating I felt hungrier and I did a bit of snacking this evening that was more “emotional eating” than actual hunger( although I was somewhat hungry). I even debated whether I should make myself a PBJ sandwich. Looking back on the amount of calories that I consumed, that would have been a better choice. I ate nuts (lots of them) mindfully but I still ate them and they carry a lot of fat (good fat), calories and sodium along with a wine cooler which has at least 135 calories. So, tomorrow I will do my best to make better choices all the way around. I wonder if this might be PMS induced eating. I seem to have a few days during the month, about a week before any kind of period, where I am especially hungry.

If I am going to choose to snack in the evening then I need to find things that are really low calorie so I can do “damage control”. Lightly salted dry roasted peanuts are not a snack item you can go “nuts” over (pun intended). I have a couple things in mind right now. I am out of diet pop but I do have some light cranberry juice cocktail. It is only 5 calories for 8 oz. I added some water to dilute it a little and it is a good beverage to have. I could also have some fat free microwave popcorn which is both low in calories, sodium and fat. Also, raw vegetables, which I have done during the day, are another good choice. They are crunchy and if you use a good dip they actually are a very healthy snack. Low fat cheese and hard boiled eggs are other great snack ideas. So, all I have to do is make sure that they are readily available and that I can grab them quickly when I feel like the munchies.

Week of July 8, 2011:

So far, the month of July has all about treating “injuries”. However, having said that, I do want to say that only within one month’s time, I have seen a noticeable increase of strength and toning in the body parts that I have been working on. So, just imagine what I could be writing a month from now? I only know that it would mean a more toned body with additional muscle tone and, hopefully, with some weight lose. Almost two weeks ago I made the goal of  wanting to reach 199 lbs by Christmas Day.  I still think that it is possible. I will admit that I am struggling to stay at a lower calorie range like BLC recommends but as long as I keep up the work outs that I am doing and add in some additional aerobic exercises, I believe I will see my body start to use up some of that “stored energy” (fat) and the weight will go down.

Right now, my average daily calories are around 2500-2600 calories. If I can do a RS workout from start to finish 4-6x a week, I will be burning enough calories to bring that amount down to the recommended range. Add in any spontaneous movement that occurs and I could definitely see those numbers go down. Did I mention just how start I find it to sit for eight or more hours with my stomach growling because it is so “empty”. Shrinking my appetite is and probably will be my major challenge as I lose weight. No amount of extra celery sticks or plain water fills me up long enough to get through each day. I “bite the bullet” many nights until I either go to bed to avoid eating or I “cave in” and have something to eat which then leads to eating more.  I just have to continue to be patient with building the muscle so that it will burn the fat. Once that happens, I might see the weight really come off. Of course, that doesn’t mean that gives me the “excuse” to eat like crap until then but just be mindful that eventually as I do both I will see a difference and not only in how my clothes fit but also on the “all important” scales.

7/8/11:

Well, I am still feeling the pain in my middle of my back. I think this is from doing the upper body weight routine too quickly and thus straining the back muscles that I am trying to develop and make stronger. OY! So, I am treating it with Icy Hot, EX Tylenol and plenty of bed rest. It is hard to stay upbeat when I keep having stuff like this slam me all the time. In fact, I started to get down on myself and then I actually argued with myself. I think I sometimes feel “guilty” that I get up in the morning (or early afternoon depending on when I go to sleep at night) and after I have breakfast, (sometimes) load the washer and dishwasher, do my exercises (unless I am self-treating a self-inflicted injury) I end up spending almost the rest of my waking hours playing online games.

I finished P’s professional resume. Well, then I compare my previous work history. There was a time when administrative assistants were “invaluable”: you depended on them to run your office but now with more supervisors and managers having computer skills, they are now doing a lot of their own correspondence, e-mails, taking phone calls and even filing their own work; all thanks to the ease of personal computers. I was underpaid and underemployed way too long doing that kind of work. I was able to “get by” even with minimal computer skills but now fast forward to this decade [and especially this recession] and I need to come back stronger with better and more current job skills if I want to seriously compete in this job market; yes, even at my age. The past three jobs that I have had since I met Paul were all jobs where I was trained for the use of proprietary software or machines. Outside of those jobs, I don’t have much to show for marketable job skills. It was a good move to take an update on MOS this past winter. However, there is this nagging I feel that tells me “why am I settling for so little in my life?” I believe I am capable of so much more but what?

Right now, to bring some much needed added income, I could get a retail job (short term) if I could only stand for longer periods than 30-45 minutes but I can’t. My knees start to swell up and pretty soon I am shuffling around when I walk. I have already seen this happen twice in the past couple of weeks when I walked around Wal-mart. I need joint replacement surgery in both knees asap. I now have a clearer understanding of my own anatomy and why I have had the mobility problems that I have had; thanks to that book “Treat Your Own Knees”. I have fluid on both of my knees which then cause my knees to not be as bendable. I could go for routine aspiration of those fluids but they would return probably as soon as I walk out the door or, at least, the very next morning I awoke. So, I am looking at two separate surgeries which could take me 1-2 months of recuperation time besides.  Now, that I have seen the limitations of this “Treat Your Own Knee” program regarding my knees; if anything, this has confirmed the need of having both knees replaced. [in 2003, I was told by an orthopaedic surgeon I needed my right knee replaced then. He also told me he had never seen anyone as young as me with such advanced arthritis. He told me I had the bones of a 74 year old woman. I had just celebrated my 50th birthday! I opted not to have surgery then because I knew we were moving in 6 months and I felt that I couldn't afford to take time off to recuperate from major surgery. Who knew that I would end up losing my health insurance and, well, the rest is history?]

Well, in the meantime, I will continue with the quad muscle strengthening exercises and the quad/hamstring stretching exercises until September 4th (which would be three months—the maximum he recommended) then I will do them once-twice a week thereafter. It does allow me though the ability to stand more stably on my legs. However, it doesn’t get rid of all of the pain. That still is there. It sucks!

7/9/11:

Well, I was able to get through one day and one night where I stayed within my calorie range (although at the very top of it), not eat during the night at all and get up at a “normal hour”. I was empty and I was awake. Now, that I have eaten and gone to the bathroom, I am getting sleepy and tired again. That’s the way it works. I shared with a diet “buddie” the non-mysterious way to lose weight: eat less and exercise more. I am sure that she will be somewhat taken aback by my candor but I just posted on my Beck Diet group that was one of the core reasons why I am glad I am a part of that group: these people, especially those who have recently lost between 70-80 lbs, all have done the exact same thing. They have worked it day in and day out, irregardless of how they felt about what else was happening in life. There really are no secrets other than it is a daily struggle, some days more than others, and hard work is rewarded by a lot of weight to be lost. It is a very poignant reminder of just what I am up against the next year or so.

I know that I am tired of my own “excuses”. I am tired of being stuck (or feeling like it anyway) in the 260s–and at the upper end too!  I have also realized–quite soberly–that all of the tough stuff that you hear people talk about is true. If you really want to see those numbers go down, there is going to be some effort on my part. Period. If I want to have toned abs then I am going to have to do the tedious and mundane crunches needed for that. There are two people in the Beck Diet group who have recently lost 70-80 lbs respectfully. They admit that it takes discipline and it will probably take a certain level of discipline to keep that weight off. It means that sometimes you will have to turn down dessert and have a sandwich or salad instead. It will also mean not eating   when you might want to or exercising when you just don’t feel like it. I saw the good fortune of being in such a group where there is the single minded purpose shared by all of them.

So, I weighed in today at 268.2 lbs. I really lost awareness this past week in just how way overboard I went in terms of calories, etc. I returned to make some corrections on some alcoholic beverages I drank (since I found out the accurate calorie amount) and I had no idea that I had eaten over 5000 calories one day! In fact, I had several days where I was over 3500 calories and 5000 mg sodium. No wonder I weigh what I weigh today. Well, God willing, I will return to a lesser weight within a few days but I need to keep at this and not flip flop back and forth, which is unfortunately, my prevailing characteristic for the past five and a half months!! Just think; if I would have applied myself during that time I could have lost as much as 40-50 lbs by now!! I have done a lot of pissing around and I am mad at myself for it too. I should know better but it seems like it takes awhile for me to wake up to exactly what I need to do and to keep on doing it.

Well, let’s hope that I can have another good day followed by another good day and so on from now on. In fact, what I could say is treat this like “sobriety” or as they call it in OA, “abstinence”. Just For Today I will follow my food plan and only be focused on having a good day regarding that. Yes, exercise is important but I have already discovered how I can only take that so far because of my joints. I can continue to work on building muscle and trying to get in some cardio work as best as I can but the bottom line is I have to have a good food plan until I can really kick my cardio up a notch or two.

Whenever I have these kind of “revelations” I feel so dumb. It seems so obvious but yet I keep trying to reinvent the wheel at the same time. I guess, it just takes awhile for me to allow this to sink in so that I can put it into practice. It also is not the most desirable answer either. I mean, it sucks when you want to eat more and you have hit your calorie limit for the day. It sucks that, for now, I am probably going to be limited in just how much physical activity I can do. I can’t even do that much for housework any more. I can go like gangbusters for about 3-4 hours and then I am hurting so much in my knees and hips that I have to sit down and recuperate.

Just this alone brings up so many different things that I have to consider when making choices about everything from what kind of work I can apply for (anything but prolonged standing) to whether I can walk a college campus (doubtful). And, I have discovered (not surprisingly) that it has affected my cardio health as well. I get tired easily because I am not as active as I could be if I had joints that didn’t give me so much trouble.

Well, we spent a quiet day indoors away from the continuing heat. I have been indoors long enough though. I want to “break out” tomorrow. I haven’t left this apartment since Thursday, June 30th, and today is the 9th. So, after a late afternoon nap, I made us supper and then I got to work on “editing” the contents of the under sink cabinets in the bathroom. I asked P to clean the inside of the refrigerator. It wasn’t that bad but I thought it would be a good time to do it since we were eating up most of the contents. Less to move out. I threw out a couple of things but nothing more than $5 total. However, in the bathroom, I threw out everything that was expired or had oil in it and I hadn’t used it in “years”. That was half of a kitchen trash bag. Now, at least, I know that what we have in those cabinets is current and that I will use it. I am glad that I kept myself busy. It kept me from thinking about food or the fact that I am really trying to stay within my calorie range. I also got some much needed straightening up done as well.

I did stay within my calorie range although since it was 1 a.m. Sunday (technically) I broke my fast and made myself a PBJ sandwich and had a small glass of skim milk with that. The milk will count on Saturday’s calories since I usually have a glass of milk to take my Tylenol PM but the PBJ sandwich will count on Sunday’s. We plan on going out to eat at GC for dinner so that will be my big meal for the day. I always get into trouble when I eat out because it usually is more calories than I had “counted on” and also the sodium. The best way to deal with that is to make careful choices and expect a 2 lb sodium-induced weight gain the next day. Also, the rest of the day try to eat lower calorie and lower sodium foods, if possible. There was a time when I ate enough where I wasn’t hungry for ten hours or more later but as I eat less food when I am there, I find that I am hungry within a few hours. It is a challenge and it is one that I will have to do day after day after day, in all kinds of circumstances.

7/10/11:

Well, I ended up returning to bed around 8:30 a.m. and sleeping to 4:30 p.m.!! I awoke twice to go to the bathroom and fell right back to sleep. Even then, I really didn’t want to get up. I did go to bed last night around 2 a.m. but I awoke a couple of times and ended up getting up around 6:30 a.m. So, all total I had ended up sleeping nearly 12 hours. It does seem like a symptom of depression but I just get better sleep, if I am going to get any at all, when I can move around while in bed. P was over 3/4ths the bed last night. We’d benefit from a king size bed. I hate to do that to P because he spent the better part of the day doing things alone: going to Mass alone, going to the grocery store alone and then eating alone. So, I made sure that the rest of the “day”, I spent it with him. We prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, read our weekly readings from the New Testament, prayed our Sunday rosary and then settled in and watched t.v. for the rest of the night.

Before we ate, I did my scheduled strength exercises. I now think that it is the ab work that is aggravating my middle to upper back. I tried all of that on the hard floor. I have been doing it on the bed most of the time but lately I just wanted to see if there was more resistance doing it on a harder surface. I think there is but I really don’t know if that meant I actually put more effort into it since there was less “give” from the surface. That might have caused my back to hurt.  Either way, it is still an ongoing problem. I made sure that I did the upper body work very slowly and consciously–no quick jerks like I did about 5 days ago. P mentioned that he thought I was doing a lot of exercises.

Well, I added 4 lower body ones in the past 7-10 days. I only do these every other day so it will take awhile to begin to see a difference but already both P and I am noticing how much easier it is for me to get down and up from the hard floor. This is a huge difference because before it seemed almost impossible for me to do so. I think it is more overall strength that I am developing. I would say that between losing more weight (which I just plain have to do!) and building more muscle, I might even be able to stay overnight at the women’s retreat in October! That would be great. The only thing is I would have to make sure that I brought my milk along with me so I could take my Tylenol PM before I went to bed. Some things never change.

Again, today I was able to stay within my upper level of calorie range although with eating those favorite hot dogs of ours it jacked up the sodium by 1300 mg! I am going to be on the look out for a lower sodium hot dog. Period! We love to eat those a lot because they are a quick and easy supper so I know that it is in both our best interest if we eat one that has significantly lower sodium. Besides, really scrutinizing the sodium in the foods that we eat around here (again for both our sakes), I am also going to reconsider all of the no sugar and artificially sweetened foods that I have been eating. Since April I have made a very strong effort to avoid added sugar in everything from cereal to peanut butter and, of course, desserts. I will say that I did have a couple of “serious breaches” when we bought a large bag of chocolate candy bars and then I made homemade fudge two separate times but other than that I really towed the line.

The benefit was that it really kept my physical cravings in tow. However, I noticed that when I really wanted something sweet eating a no sugar chocolate chip cookie did not “satisfy” that in any way. So, when all of that was eaten up, I tried (carefully) some reduced sugar peanut butter and one bowl of sweetened cereal. I think, that now I may have stumbled onto something. IF I eat something that has been sweetened with less sugar, I don’t get the same kind of physical cravings as when it is sweetened as “usual” for that particular item. The peanut butter tasted great but I didn’t feel like consuming more of it. One serving was enough.  Is it a “revelation”? It might be. The next question is just how much sugar is enough and how would I go about getting that level of sweetness that is satisfying but doesn’t trigger those physical mouth watering cravings that too much sugar can produce?

Well, that might be my next step of this weight lose journey of mine. How can I satisfy my sweet tooth in a way that still allows me to enjoy that occasional treat and not overeat? I started out by eating a lot of fruit. In fact, a couple of months ago I was eating as much as 4-5 servings of fruit a day. Then, I read somewhere that you shouldn’t eat any more than 3 servings per day so I cut way back. I also decided to load up my grocery cart with a lot of  processed soy products; like Boca burgers, etc. Well, I still have some of those left but once I finish them, I just don’t think that I will purchase them again, except maybe during Lent, and maybe even then I might know of some other recipes that are delicious than that. My tastes have changed and they just “demand” more from the taste of the food I am eating. I have bought some new cookbooks. The most promising ones that I have liked have been the diabetic ones. I noticed the low sodium/fat/sugar right away but still the recipes do reflect an “effort” to make some of the old favorites as palatable as possible and for that; I am pleased. And, that is where I am at today. I am slowly sifting through the recipe and the foods available at the supermarket to find ones that I call “keepers”.

I think I have discovered what most people have discovered when they start cutting back on the higher fats/salt/sugar foods; no fat/no sugar and no salt are not very palatable for very long. The ones which I come back to enjoy over again are those that still have some fat/salt/sugar in them; just not over the top. I am undecided whether or not I will continue to buy no sugar products. I bought quite a bit from Joseph’s Lite Cookies. They were good and you could eat more without the GI issues that a lot of no sugar products cause. However, most of them simply had no taste. So, this is the point I am at right now. The foods that I am going to eat primarily are also ones that taste good and I would want to eat again. It will be interesting to see which foods make the cut and which don’t.

I think what this really opens my eyes to is the fact that I am not going to lose weight just back cutting way back on salt/sugar/fat because I will lose interest in eating those pretty quickly. I think that is the biggest complaint most people have about foods like that. That is when I get cravings for fast food. I once quit a diet program simply because I really wanted a real beef hamburger. So, the really key element in “moving forward” for me will be how to achieve foods that taste good, are reasonably healthy to eat but will also allow me lose weight so that all of my “numbers” are in the normal range.

I think it has finally sunk in with P that he needs to do something about his health. I feel for him because sometimes you just don’t know where to begin. It doesn’t help either that we really can’t get into the pool here because all the kids are in and then all of the adults are fully clothed and watching them. I feel awkward because of my weight but I am sure that P just would like to get in there and cool off but preferably at night. I think that we will just have to drive to a Mall and he can walk and I can just sit there until he comes back. Like he said, who feels like even going out in this oppressive heat? In a way, it is “nice” that he doesn’t have to get out into it right now for work (as long as he is getting unemployment). He realizes though that he needs to get back to exercising and ideally not wait until fall when the temperatures start cooling down again.

What I did was go through my Favorite Foods list (on the BLC site) and delete a lot of foods that were high in sodium and no sugar. Until I am either closer to my weight, I am at goal weight or in a long time;  I don’t think that I will be buying or eating some of these foods. The hot dogs we eat are one example. Two of them are disastrous to my daily sodium intake. As for the no sugar; although, I enjoyed some of the Joseph Lite products, for the most part when I want something sweet, I really want something sweet and they just simply don’t have any taste whatsoever.

I decided to wash up the rest of the dishes and then make another one of the recipes from the “Month of Meals” (MOM for short) cookbook. I didn’t have egg substitute so I guessed at how much actual eggs that would be. I’ll have to read one of the labels in the store and see. I might have put too few eggs in the recipe. I also substituted agave nectar for the artificial sweetener. I did have Truvia which I don’t like the taste at all so this was another “guess-estimate”. I also used skim milk since one of P’s 2% cartons was frozen (pushed to the back of the refrigerator). I also didn’t have all raisins so the dried fruit I used was golden raisins, cranberries and cherries.

Anyway, in spite of all the changes I made, it turned out really well. I’m not sure if I did the math correctly but I would definitely make it again. I would try it with the egg substitute just to see how it would set up and how it might taste differently. I am really looking forward to getting these other two MOM cookbooks. I am wondering how some Southern favorites will end up tasting. Now, that I have actually used agave nectar in a recipe and it doesn’t seem like it altered the taste much, I might venture out and get a cookbook that uses that.

7/12/11:

Well, I made it to 265.8 lbs! I regained the 3.2 lbs I lost right out of the gate when I decided on the goal of losing 70 lbs in 25 weeks + 6 days. So, now I am .4 lbs away from that initial weight lose. So, I want to be very careful in how much sodium I have and how many calories I have. Last night,  I made bread pudding from the diabetic cookbook. I ate it in 3 sittings. It was so good and tasted so like “normal” food. That is probably why I couldn’t leave it alone. I calculated how many calories were in each serving and I actually cut the calories in half!! I will see if I added enough eggs though. I don’t know the ratio between egg substitute and whole eggs. However, if I can stick with how I made this recipe then I would say I really managed to pull this off in a very tasty way!

7/13/11:

I slept poorly last night. Not to mention, this is the 13th day I have spent in this apartment without going out. Of course, it was 97 degrees yesterday so there wasn’t much incentive. The whole country has been under an oppressive heat wave and we are no exception. Still, in spite of the cool “artificial” 70 degrees in here, I would like to “get out”.

Again. I got up every hour on the hour to go to the bathroom but I also felt restless. I think in the back of my mind I was preoccupied with some of the short term deadlines that I have hanging over my head that I know I have to address asap. Although I have been in a state of limbo (probably self-imposed) I have decided that (by default, at least to me it seems) I am going to enroll in a specific program of study at a small community college for fall semester. It was my first choice in March 2010 but when I found out that W.I.A., which I was working with at the time, told me they would not “fund” a degreed program I gave up on it. I somewhat regret doing that because as it turns out the other funding, like the Hope and Pell grant( which is what they were hoping would cover the majority of my schooling costs) fell through because of disqualifying people like me who already hold a college degree so, in essence, a full academic year went by and I am one year less from moving towards receiving that new degree. As a person with a Bachelor’s degree which is 24 years old, everyone I speak with “assumes” that I can either land a plum job and/or “financially afford” to self-fund further education. Wrong on both accounts!

I still like the fact that the technical college across the campus has a more practical course of study but I think that an actual college degree in this field will carry more weight once I am interviewing. I still haven’t wrapped my mind around changing a career but, like P said, maybe once I get back into studying it I will feel more enthused about the whole idea overall. It is an up and coming field though—so it is very “forward” in terms of where our world is going in the way we handle information in the health care field. I should be able to find something for a job. The possibility also exists that once I get this A.A. degree that I could try for the four year degree in this while still working in the field itself. I just have to get over the idea that here I am approaching age 60 and still haven’t got “the career” sector of my life in order. At least, this time I will be coming out of the matriculation process with some specific and au courant skills that will apply to the job market. In other words, I will probably be more prepared to get a better job than ever before. If its any consolation, which it hasn’t been up to maybe right now, there are many other people in my age group who are re-inventing themselves so why not me as well? I can’t argue with that line of reasoning.

The main concern I have at this point is that I have sat around this apartment for sixteen months and done “nothing”, including contributing any measurable amount of income. I also was concerned about removing myself from the active job market while pursuing education but even that argument has fallen by the wayside. I doubt whether I would have found anything substantial should I have found something for a job in the past year plus now that it appears that our country (possibly the whole world) is falling back into another “double dip recession”, employers are scared to hire many new people so I might as well be in school.  Also, in those two years, maybe I will have lost all of this weight, which could be another drawback to getting hired. I might even have had knee surgery. In other words, I might be at my very best physically and maybe even sharper regarding my ability to get a really good job. P and I have both been unemployed and underemployed the majority of our lives. It would really be nice if we could begin earning enough money so that we could really begin to not only relax about money but pay off all of our existing debt and begin to aggressively save up for our older years. There would be a lot of satisfaction in that if we could achieve those “seemingly” remote goals. I haven’t lost hope that we won’t be able to turn all of this around even if I’m not sure how that will happen exactly.

I told P this morning that I have decided to not come to his monthly Carmelite meeting until an actual meeting rather than the social hour that they are having to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Carmel. I guess, there is a part of me that wants to take all of this slowly and at a less hectic pace. I have been praying the LOTH with P since the beginning of this month. I really enjoy doing that but again right now I really don’t even know what and who the Carmelites are. I think I would like to pick his brain on that some more. I also feel like I have so many other stressors in my life right now that I don’t want to have to deal with my “social anxiety” on top of all that. Next month, he is giving a talk about Mary and I told him that I would like to be able to hear it as well. They do discussions on specific books that they study throughout the calendar year and I would like to be able to participate in that as well, if possible. I look forward to book discussion because I really like our Friday night Bible study for that reason as well. In the meantime, I can continue doing what I am doing and preparing to merge into the actual community. I told P that I really wanted to feel like I could follow along well with the LOTH so I wouldn’t be holding the group back. I have picked that up fairly quickly so that puts my mind at ease.

Well, P is bringing me back D’s but I am already close to my daily calorie limit already! I hate when I both stay up too late and get up too early because most of the time that means I end up eating 1/3 of my daily calories during that time. I have been e-mailing one of the BLC members for the past several months. It sounds like she is home alone, like me, with a lot of time on her hands and struggling to lose weight with some personal and health challenges. Not that much different from me actually.  It is so easy to get over involved in other people’s lives. I have to remind myself to pull back from time to time.

Well, it is really hard to separate how things around us affect us and how we turn to food for every other reason than to feed our bodies. It is difficult to be disciplined day in and day out as well. I have my birthday “dinner” coming up and I do know that I do not want to end up blowing all of the hard work that I have been doing in the past week or so. I probably will order dessert. I would like to try a different restaurant than the ones we usually go to simply because it would be nice to see what else is “out there”. I don’t know if I will like the food but it is fun to take a risk once in awhile. I plan on wearing a dress and shrug that I bought to wear for Easter 2010. I can’t believe this but I have not attended Easter Mass two years in a row. It comes at a time when my arthritis flares up, I have allergies and often I am depressed because of feeling so crummy. It was snug back then although it still looked nice on me. Well, since that time I have lost 35 lb and I have toned up my body so I think I should feel quite pretty in that when I wear it this coming weekend.

[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.]

This is a Must Read!

Posted by lettucelose on December 10th, 2011 |Filed Under 100+ lbs To Lose, Dealing with Obstacles, Moving Beyond Technical Difficulties | Leave a Comment

FYI: For those who have been following my diet blog, first of all, I am both surprised and humbled that any one would be interested in reading about my obviously flawed attempts at weight loss this year. However, I did want to mention to those whom have left comments how I have been quite “moved” by your comments. Thank you so very much!

The fall of 2011, this diet blog was part of a techno bug and I was unable to add any entries into it. I alerted the site administrators and they promptly did a “fix” so I am good to go. I am transferring all of the older entries onto this “fixed” blog one month at a time. Please be patient as I get “caught up” chronologically with my ongoing weight loss journey. I am setting aside time each day to do the “mechanics” of this so all of this will make sense.

In the meantime, once again, thank you for taking the time to share your comments and suggestions. All are appreciated and valued.

As always, “to be continued….”.

[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.]

Pain persists as do I.

Posted by lettucelose on December 10th, 2011 |Filed Under Dealing with Obstacles | 215 Comments

Week of June 24, 2011:

We are still waiting on the outcome of how P’s unemployment benefits “determination”. One year ago, he went through this and he ended up having to appeal their initial decision. It was turned over and then he received the arrears. We are hoping that that will happen again although we hope it won’t mean going through another appeals. In the meantime, we are (were) broke. Our last bill for the month came out today and we didn’t have the money to cover it. P was able to earn enough money yesterday and get paid the same day so we could “cover” his monthly life insurance premium.

Right now, the summer months are unusually slow for P. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernacke, announced that we were going to have a slower (than he expected) continued recovery. We are weary from the past seven and a half years. We have struggled to keep ourselves going. All I can say is that we need to come up with something before the end of July that will stop all of this borrowing of money and allow us to permanently and securely get ourselves back on our feet and stay there.  The main question is: what?

6/26/11:

Paul said that his Dad called early on Saturday morning to 1) make sure we got the money and 2) to see if it was enough. I am touched at his concern. It seems that since his second heart attack this winter and the fact that he (finally) realizes that what he thought was “helping us” tax wise (the annual check from the partnership) was in fact a “tax liability” to us (since we have nothing else to offset it and therefore are paying the highest tax percentage on it); he seems more open to helping us without “20 questions” and no hesitation at all. I am not saying that he ever refused before, because he didn’t; it is just that now he asks fewer questions. P said he feels terrible that he can’t reciprocate but I remind him that we have been praying constantly and unceasingly for all of our families’ needs and if that is “all” we have to offer, it is still something. Well, added to the fact that we are also paying 4% on the loan his Dad set up for us when we got into that credit card debt back into 2005 and we have been ensconced in debt ( almost drowning in it, in fact) ever since then.  Well, whatever has “motivated” his father to be more generous in his support, I did thank him when I spoke with him briefly right before “Tax Day”. I meant it then and I mean it now. I don’t feel that we “deserve it” or that it is “owed to us”. Just simply grateful he has been willing and able to help us as we struggle through this time period.

I hate to say that all of this disciplined eating and using up what was left in our cupboards and refrigerator had a boomerang effect. We went out to eat at A’s Friday night then bought groceries. You would have thought I hadn’t had a care in the world two hours earlier. I also paid due bills so our services wouldn’t be disconnected. Saturday night we went to Mass and I suggested that we eat at GC afterwards. Well, as today wore on I started doing the math in my head and realized that the money was going out pretty fast (as it does when you need to pay up overdue bills). I hate to admit this but a certain “don’t give a damn” attitude and my diet was definitely out the window. I finished up the homemade fudge we made Friday. I also ended up eating emotionally as I realized that no sooner were we “flush” but now after paying the last of a few very large bills, we would be right back where we were—-flat ass broke! P yelled a couple of times in disgust. I felt “guilty” since I was the one who suggested eating out last night.

I decided to check our checking account balance to see the “damage” and, to my surprise, the DOL did make their decision and in P’s favor! There were two separate deposits totaling $1012 in our account. He had just gone to bed about 10 minutes earlier so I went in and asked him to come here so I could show him. I told him that I couldn’t wait until tomorrow since he was so bummed out when he went to bed. It was much needed and at the 11th hour as well!

Well, tomorrow morning, P is going to return to that NF Health Clinic and hand them the paperwork they require to be considered for reduced fees/financial assistance. I am hoping that they will accept the DOL’s wage inquiry as the only source of proof of income. I read over the list and it said that you needed to show a birth certificate and last year’s income tax return for dependents but I “argued” (to P) that since he is only going in for himself, I am hoping they won’t request that to qualify—-and, I am also hoping, that it will mean a significantly reduced (if no fee at all) for him to be treated for the lesion on his neck. Here’s hoping that “lightning strikes twice!”

[Side note: He needs all of that in spite of how the instructions read. I do our income taxes since I have worked as a tax professional in the past so I gave them our tax papers but they weren't satisfied with how they were "done". I then went a step further and I requested official documentation from the IRS. Once that came in the mail, we presented those to the Health Clinic financial counselor but she still wasn't satisfied. I just shook my head in disbelief. Again, we can not "escape" the fact that according to government financial guidelines in determining "ability to pay", we should have the extra money to pay, even though I have clearly shown and documented where our income goes and that we really don't have the discretionary income for extra medical costs. Her final decision: we pay 70% of the medical treatment. Considering that this is skin cancer, I fear the costs could be significant. We cancelled any further appointments until we can come up with the money needed for P to get treated for his skin cancer. The dermatologist who saw P in June said that this is a slow growing skin cancer so he said take care of it but don't panic. Well, let's hope the doctor is correct because it will have to wait to be treated.]

Well, the other day I got P started in doing the same strength exercises as I am doing. He has been somewhat reluctant but he is doing them. He moans and groans but I know that once he begins to start to see some “progress” his “tune” will change. As for me, I have moved up to the Advance level of the strength exercises. I am now doing 2 sets of 15 reps. For the past week, I have been doing the lower body workouts on our bed. I realize that it is a softer mattress than we would prefer but it does allow me to do them without having to get up and down on the floor, which is still difficult for me to do.

6/27/11:

In spite of the great news from late last night, I slept very poorly. I couldn’t fall asleep until nearly 6:30 a.m. I ended up needing to take a 3rd dosage of Tylenol PM to fall asleep and even then I got up a few times. I hope, tonight I will be a lot more relaxed and that I will fall asleep (and stay asleep) earlier in the evening. I will certainly try. Well, I weighed in at 268.8 lb (before a BM-which usually means that I can lose another .4-.6 lbs) this morning. Considering that I really overshot the mark for several days this past week, it is more of a testimony to the fact that I am clearly building muscle and that it is burning up more calories as a result. My “plan” this coming week is to start doing more “sweating” when I am doing some cardio so that I can burn even more calories on the non-strength exercises days. My “plan” is to start out every other day with a day of rest during the week. I am hoping that as I become stronger and more fit, I could increase that to 5-6x a week. Ideally, I would like to truly eat between 1800-2100 calories “moving forward” and then continue to build more muscle and burn more calories. Well, that is my “fitness goal(s)”. They can become a reality the more I work towards them too.

6/27/11:

In spite of the great news from late last night, I slept very poorly. I couldn’t fall asleep until nearly 6:30 a.m. I ended up needing to take a 3rd dosage of Tylenol PM to fall asleep and even then I got up a few times. I hope, tonight I will be a lot more relaxed and that I will fall asleep (and stay asleep) earlier in the evening. I will certainly try. Well, I weighed in at 268.8 lb (before a BM-which usually means that I can lose another .4-.6 lbs) this morning. Considering that I really overshot the mark for several days this past week, it is more of a testimony to the fact that I am clearly building muscle and that it is burning up more calories as a result. My “plan” this coming week is to start doing more “sweating” when I am doing some cardio so that I can burn even more calories on the non-strength exercises days. My “plan” is to start out every other day with a day of rest during the week. I am hoping that as I become stronger and more fit, I could increase that to 5-6x a week. Ideally, I would like to truly eat between 1800-2100 calories “moving forward” and then continue to build more muscle and burn more calories. Well, that is my “fitness goal(s)”. They can become a reality the more I work towards them too.
6/27/11:

So, all the homemade fudge is gone. I realize that it is a diet buster but it was a “sweet distraction” last week as we were moving towards the fact that we knew we had to do something to be able to meet all of these bills on time. The timing of everything was “near perfect.” It establishes a new unemployment claim for P again which will be good for another calendar year. It is a back-up to whatever monies he can make and. hopefully, we can both make “moving forward”.  It would be nice not to have to go to his Dad again for the rest of the year but I won’t rule that out as a possibility. I think we are both hoping that we will be able to get enough income where we won’t have to—at least, for a few months. So, in the meantime, we will try to make the best decisions that we can and “ideally” increase our income, from whatever source we can find.

I hate to admit that I am still an emotional eater and that I do still allow myself to eat “off plan” from time to time. I have really struggled with my food plan since I rejoined BLC and joined this Beck Diet group on 3FC. I realize that others struggle as well in their own way but I guess I just feel like I would like to be able to see the scale go down and not just stay at the same place for so long. Ideally, had I been able to stick to 1800-2100 cals. per day and exercised like it is “recommended” I might have been able to see a 25-30 lb weight lose by now. Well, I am now hoping that “the approach” I have been taking will also “pay off” by the end of this summer.

And, that “approach” is to get the quad muscles that are supposed to support my knees strong enough where I will be able to resume a more vigorous exercise program. Which, in turn, will continue to get me more “fit” and will make my metabolism work more efficiently and burn more calories. I think the approach of building muscle also does the same thing since muscles burn more calories and, therefore, will burn body fat. The end result will be I will get leaner in a more efficient way. I began reading the BLC Fitness Program book and it promotes interval training as the best way to get fit and lose weight. I think, that once my leg muscles are strong enough to do some of the quick movements on my feet, I will be doing that.

I am just playing this all by ear so I really don’t know when I’ll be starting this. As I have instructed Paul, I have used the rule of thumb of letting my body tell me when it is time to increase the intensity of my work outs. When something starts to feel like it is too easy then it is time to take it up a notch. When doing the 2 sets of 15 reps becomes easier then I will either do 3 sets of 15 reps or I will move up to heavier weights. Since I am more concerned about strength than bulk I will probably do the former—or, at least, do it first before I consider using heavier weights. Since I have arthritis in my shoulder joints, I think it is more important to have really strong supporting muscles first before I add more weight. I want to avoid injury as much as possible. Already, I have gotten some irritation of my shoulder joints when doing these exercises. It usually goes away within 48 hours but I know that I am working a sensitive area so I feel I am being cautious.

I think it would be nice if I could lose 50 lbs by the end of this year. I would like to lose more but that allows time for me to get up to speed regarding working out. I would love to be 199/200 lbs for Christmas. That would mean a drop in nearly 70 lbs!! That would be very ambitious. That would mean 2.7 lbs per week for 26 weeks since Christmas is exactly 25 weeks and 6 days from today. Right now, that seems daunting, especially after all of the stammering and stuttering that I have been doing for the past five months where I have “maintained” a weight lose of 11 lbs. Well, I won’t know if I can do it until I try. This will be my caveat: I will do everything that I can within my physical capabilities to make that a reality.

For starters, I am really going to have to watch what I choose to eat when I eat out—every time! No more Cowboy burgers at A’s! After I saw how many calories and how much sodium is in one of those, I thought, “that did not taste good enough for me to consider doing it again”. I have allowed myself to make some mistakes like that too much in the past five months and if I really do want to see Onederland for Christmas then I can’t do that any more. I would also say that I am going to have to really hold off on making any more fudge for some time until I am firmly established in a more vigorous work out program.

I also think I am at a place where I would like to add some other toning exercises besides the ones that I am doing on my strength days. One of the things that I look at when I am watching the BL contestants as they lose weight is how their bodies are responding to the weight lose. One thing that I notice is how elastic their skin is. The two sisters who lost weight and ended up 1st and 2nd place this past season had one of the best “results” I’ve seen (and I am sure the show has seen) regarding that. Both of them are about my height and frame. They also started out at my highest weight (for this year). I am hoping that I will also see the same results.

I have heard that your thigh muscles take the longest time to tone up so I am going to start including some lower leg toning exercises besides the squats that I am doing now; especially around the hips and buttocks area. I have wide hips with a big butt. So, I want to work on toning up the muscles in that area from “now on”. By the time I lose the weight all of that will come together. It will also help me wear smaller sizes as well. Definitely sooner than if I were just reducing calories alone. Already, I am looking more toned. It is has a psychological boost too. If I look better in my clothes then it just makes me more motivated to continue to work on reducing the calories and working out.

P wanted to go to A’s for dinner so I thought “Why not?” He loves their house sirloin. I decided that I would opt for one of the lesser calorie dishes. Then, I saw a new frozen drink that I decided to have. I couldn’t find it on their website so I compared it to something similar at McD’s. I have done this when trying to calculate calories, etc. on foods I can’t find listed. Actually, I am usually pretty close on the calories but usually way off on the sodium! The drink was so good and filling that I only ate half of my meal. It was a good thing too because when I got home and saw the sodium in that I would have overshot my sodium for the day. I told P about my decision to “raise the bar” on my weight lose efforts and “attempt” to lose 68 lbs by Christmas Day. It scares me to even think that I could do such a thing but I put it out there.  That’s quite a difference than the 2.2 lbs I’ve lost for the past 5 months. A huge difference!!

So, do I think it is doable? Well, yes, if I follow the BLC “recommendations” to the best of my abilities. That means eating smaller and more frequent meals for starters. Avoiding almost all processed and junk food. If I can, try to follow or model my meal choices based on their meal plan. it also means actually burning the 203 calories each day that they recommend. I now have a heart rate monitor that does just that. Well, I’ve just spent the past hour trying to figure out how this heart rate monitor works. It also calculates how many calories you have burned when you are active or exercising. It is rather late so it will probably make more sense when I actually start to use the functions and see how they compare to each other. If I understand how this works then this is as close to a “Body Bug” ( which the tv contestants wear) as I can get for the money. Well, I want to be as accurate as I can be so I can adjust both my activity level and my calorie intake so I can lose the amount of weight I hope to lose. I put down that I want to aim for 2.5 lbs lost per week. That puts me at 2252 calories according to this monitor. More importantly is making sure that I am burning enough calories to accomplish the weight lose. I just might have to see how this works the first couple of days, weeks, etc until I understand how I can use its “results” to assist me in losing weight.

I am really struggling with a lot of pain when I try to walk longer distances than 40-50 ft. At this point, I can’t even walk a third of one city block. I simply can’t. I knew walking into Wal-mart that I was going to be “hurting” because I had been hurting before I even got there. I just had no idea how much. I made it around the majority of the store but by the time I rounded to the produce section I was walking very slowly and I was in a lot of pain. I rested while P checked us out and then I did manage to walk to the car, which was in the middle of the parking lot. When I got home, I applied ice to both knees and I took 2 EX Tylenol. Both knees are still sore but a lot better than they were. I figured that we were in there about an hour (P thought so too) so that was continual walking for an hour. Ambitious considering where I have been but between staying at the top of my calorie range and doing that walking, I really felt I had a really good day overall. Now, to do that “times” 25 weeks and 5 days!!

It just felt so good to be able to “indulge” my/ourselves today too. I know that Pl felt that way as well. He was the one who suggested that we go to A’s. I bought some health and beauty items, some candles (we’ve burned all of our other ones), a new Jane Fonda “Prime Time” exercise dvd ($10) and a reflective vest for P to wear when he walks in dusk or dark. Of course, it all adds up but it really felt nice to be able to get some items we both need and a few that are just plain nice to have.

6/28/11:

Well, that walk around Wal-mart was quite an onslaught on my joints! I awoke twice during the night where both my neck and my upper back were very sore. The only thing that I can think of  is that as my legs get more fatigued I have a tendency to use my upper body to propel me around and so my back was probably tensed up from the “overload”. I ended up going to bed around 3 a.m. but other than getting up once or twice to go to the bathroom, I really slept soundly; another possible reason why my back and neck hurt. Our mattress is quite soft and not very supportive hence not getting the support I need for both my back and neck. As I moved around during the day, it did get better.

I decided to start a whole new weigh in chart since I am hoping to ramp up my weight lose efforts. I spent more time than I had wanted to programming this new watch. Supposedly, it is going to keep track of how many calories I burn. I am not sure I have it set correctly for that but I will soon find out when I actually begin doing a specific cardio workout starting tomorrow. I weigh in every day and I am hoping that I can get “serious” about both keeping the sodium down but also keeping the calories burned up as well. I lost 1.8 lbs since yesterday so I am off to a good start. I kept the sodium a little over the recommended 3000 mg and, TG, I only ate half of my A’s meal because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have seen that lose. I am really going to have to be very careful about the choices I make when I eat out. Period! Quite plainly, I am just sick and tired of going up a couple of pounds and going down a couple of pounds. Blah. Blah.

So, today, I also added 4 additional lower body exercises. Quite by accident (or it felt that way) I realized that maybe some of the pain that I am experiencing in my hip area really has more to do with the fact that my inner thigh and hip flexor muscles are underdeveloped also. Wouldn’t that be nice instead of needing a new hip? Yes! After doing them, the area that seems to hurt was hurting so I really might be “onto something”.

6/29/11:

Well, regarding my weight lose, things are going as I would like them to: I have lost 2 lbs since Monday. It would really be nice if I could lose 5 lbs each week for a while simply because it will probably be more difficult as I get closer to 199 lbs but I will take whatever happens.  I lose another .6 lbs and I have met my weekly goal. However, I would like to do better, if I can. That will mean getting more active and staying more active. It will also mean watching the sodium and keeping the calories no more than 2300, at “worse”. Can I do it? We’ll see. Can I sustain that? We’ll also see.  If I want to truly be 199 lbs on Christmas Day, then I need to put some concerted effort in that. I’m not too weary from all of the stop/starting kind of dieting I have been doing but once I really hunker down, I am sure that the discipline needed will get to me sometimes. I hope that I will be able to turn to non-food ways of dealing with that added stress.

I was just thinking about what I could weigh as I begin a new year for Bible study, which starts in mid-September. I might even be attending school as well. I could be 28 lbs less. That could be one size smaller for instance. I might even be a size 20. I can say right now that I will probably be wearing more athletic clothes to classes once I am more toned. I just think they will feel more comfortable and I will also look like I “belong” in them as well. Not to mention, they are also a lot cheaper to buy. So, that is my goal for this fall/winter: buy “cute, comfortable and cheap” casual clothes. (say that three times). I can take in the dressier clothes as I move down the scales. That is my wardrobe strategy “moving forward”.  IF I come into some extra money where I can buy some pretty dresses, which JL has some in this season’s catalogs, I will try to buy them in the sizes I hope to be next spring/summer: 12/14s?? Well, let’s see!

I finished cleaning and reorganizing the kitchen. I am definitely pooped. And, that is what I hope to do every day. I want to be tired enough to want to go to bed earlier for one thing but also it means that I am being active enough where I am making myself fatigued. Cardio for the “couch potato”. I also vacuumed the living room. I asked P if he would sleep out there tonight so I can try and get some decent sleep. Here’s hoping that I do. I would like to ease back into getting to bed before midnight again instead of this 6 a.m. routine.

[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.]

Moving towards my goals….slowly

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

6/18/11:

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.

6/20/11:

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”).

6/21/11:

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.

6/23/11:

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.]

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

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

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.]

Getting better a little at a time.

Posted by lettucelose on December 10th, 2011 |Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 1 Comment

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.]

M.O.M.’s cooking

Posted by lettucelose on December 9th, 2011 |Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 31 Comments

5/27/11:

I went through the Month of Meals cookbook (compiled by the American Diabetic Assoc) or MOM is how I abbreviate it for my BLC food log. Yesterday, I made one of the recipes, black bean chili, and had it for lunch. Last week, I had made the potato salad, something I really love also. I can really taste the absence of fat and salt in both recipes but they were still very tasty. I think today I will try to make a couple more of the recipes. It is fun to experiment when you have most or all of the ingredients readily available. The black bean chili is a great way to get my vegetables in and not feel like I have a mound here and a mound there sitting “alone” on my plate.

The only thing is when my appetite increases (like after cleaning the porch last night) I do want to have some food so I have been going over my daily calorie limit, unfortunately. Usually when I first start being more active this happens. If I remember, just like the early hunger pangs as I adjust my calories downward, this will go its course and then I will be able to be more active without “needing/wanting” additional calories. At some point, I am sure that I will probably have to even plan a light snack for after working out. However, if I really work out hard enough it does the opposite and acts like an appetite suppressant, sometimes for several hours afterwards. Right now, it is just getting back into the full swing of things so, once again, I am going to have to be patient with the process.

Maybe, I need more “prep” time than what Dr. Beck lays out in her book. She said 2 weeks but for me it has now been four weeks and I have been more “maintaining” a 5 lbs weight lose from the first initial week than actually losing. I am going to cut myself some slack here because when I began reading the book I was still experiencing the heavy menstrual flows and the acute arthritic pain not to mention I haven’t slept well for nearly six weeks. I feel I am making progress. Since May 1st I have been able to buy the food that would support me in eating healthy. I have really gone to the grocery store armed with a lot of nutritional information culled from a lot of sources which I then see what is available to support that. I also have cracked open a lot of my cookbooks, especially the ones geared towards diabetics. I feel more in the mood to cook now that I have more food available to me. It also has been really fun to try different foods that I didn’t before because we weren’t spending the money at the grocery store. This is one aspect of my present weight lose program that I really hopes continues. It gives me such hope that I can have a varied, tasteful and healthy food plan as long as I can “afford it” financially. Here’s hoping. (fingers crossed)

About two weeks ago, I decided that I would really make a stronger effort to go “no sugar”. What I discovered by doing that is a lot of the stronger physical cravings triggered by my blood glucose rising rapidly dramatically fell off.  That action alone brought a lot of sanity into my behavior towards food.  Now, that I have made an assessment of my weaknesses and strengths regarding dieting, I can be more on the alert for how my weaknesses derail an otherwise steady progress. I have more hope because I have a better understanding of what I am doing right and what I need to work on and improve.

Within the next two weeks, I will be receiving a heart rate monitor, some new (more difficult) BL dvds and the second edition of the Beck Diet Solution. I went through the “Treat Your Own Knees” book last night and although I haven’t read it in depth yet from what I have read it sounds like by me strengthening my thigh muscles, doing some key stretching and then doing some walking followed up by some physical therapy treatments, I should eradicate my knee pain. It sounds logical from what I have read so far. I think it would be wonderful if I could resume some of my former mobility and strength. It would also go a long way in helping me to lose weight since I really do need to be more active so I can burn more calories.

In some ways, it does make me feel a little foolish, especially if I find out that really all along all I really needed to do was lose some weight, get my muscles stronger and be more active. In my defense, I didn’t “discover” this book until just recently so how would I have known exactly what to do to treat my knees? I wouldn’t have.  On the other hand, won’t it also be wonderful if I can walk without a cane and even better yet go for a walk with P? That will not only rebuild my strength and stamina but it will also help me lose weight. Not to mention, I might be able to postpone surgery so, if we were able to afford health insurance, the rider that would be on that surgery I could actually “comfortably” wait until that was lifted and then I could have the surgery? I think any or all of these possibilities are exciting.

For an “unending” breakfast this morning, I decided to have the nutri-grain blueberry waffles along with the new sugar free maple flavored syrup I ordered through the mail. First of all, you can have 1/4 cup which was enough for 4 waffles. However, although there was no disclaimer on the label, I have had a lot of gas and some stomach upset since then. I could have had half of the serving size but I guess, first time, I thought I would see how much 1/4 cup was. It is plenty enough. I know that a lot of programs do not endorse using sugar alcohol for that reason but the diabetic recipes often call for that so I figure that if I were diagnosed as a “full blown” Type II diabetics I would be probably encouraged to use them as an alternative to “added” sugar products. So, I am going to use them while I am following a weight lose food plan since I have found that when I have sugar foods I do have a tendency to crave more food as a result. Not to mention, repeated use of sugar foods would also raise my blood glucose.

When I was out shopping, I got more highlighters and recipe cards to finish up the Beck Diet Solution book with. We always check out the “latest” candy selection. I had sworn off all the chocolate but it’s been quite a while and I actually felt like I was in a lot more “control”. I scooped up the last of the  sugar free selection.

5/30/11:

Hard to believe that it is already Memorial Day Monday!  P’s birthday is next Sunday. I wonder if the rest of the summer will fly by as quickly as the first five months of this year have so far. I decided to “relax” my dieting efforts this past weekend and I can say that it makes all the difference in the world right now. We had PJ’s pizza on Friday night. I haven’t ordered that in a couple of months! Even P remarked that it had been quite a while. Suffice to say, I believe that I can wait yet another couple of months to do it again. That is real progress. Then, we got some of our favorite mini chocolate bars yesterday. I had a few but again I didn’t feel like a non-stop binge coming on. Progress again!  What has changed? Well, I think the way I viewing dieting in general and I really owe it to the “work” that I have been doing in this Beck Diet Solution.

A couple of key factors were “defining” a plateau. She defines plateaus into two categories: short and long term ones. I realized that I had more control over my weight lose than I had previously thought. In fact, if I am experiencing either there are things that I can do about those to get myself started back in losing weight. Before, I would see even a slight weight gain that some how I had failed and done something wrong which then the anxiety sometimes lead me to either overeat at the next meal since I tend to have an “all or nothing” mentality towards dieting and felt like “what’s the use?” or simply to reinforce the insecurity and mistrust I have had in my decision making and choices I make in this area. For me, this has been very freeing. It also helps me to “reduce the stress” (another lesson) since I do have unreasonable expectations of my own efforts in dieting, which, again, was very freeing. I can lower my expectations enough to reduce the stress without compromising my weight lose goals. That was a huge revelation for me. Again, it gets back to the “all or nothing” thinking I have previously had.

So, this weekend, I am relaxing my dieting efforts and eating “off plan”. I am still logging everything I am eating and I am also weighing myself every day. So, now I am viewing this “going off plans” meals/days/weekends/maybe even some day the “holidays” as “temporarily going on maintenance. Yes, the “danger” exists that it might be difficult to resume going back “on plan” and, therefore, I might not want to do that but, again, since Dr. Beck emphasizes that success or failure really depends on: first, our thought processes, then, secondly, our behaviors; why not, view this as it is a conscious decision to eat “off plan” knowing full well that will slow, stall or cause a temporary weight gain and that if I take ownership of that decision and I can live with the short term consequences; than why not?

So, the benefit of seeing these same actions in a different light is that I can avoid many of self-defeating thoughts that I had before and I probably can and will get back on track a lot more quickly as a result. I will say that one of my strengths is the ability to get back on track. In some ways, I do have the ability to flip dieting on and off like a light switch. I used to see this as a weakness but now I am beginning to see it more as a strength and a strength that I can use to my “advantage”. Later tonight we are going to have our “annual” brat supper that we typically have during one of the summer holidays. I don’t think I have had brats since this time last year. When it dawned on me that this is an “off plan” food that I rarely “indulge” in I decided that I am going to enjoy it for today and then tomorrow it is back to “business as usual”. I like that “strategy” and I think that will help me move through the remainder of my weight lose journey easier and feeling like I don’t have to have super-human willpower to lose all of this weight. That alone is a great relief and I also think a “recipe” for failure too had I continued to hold onto that unrealistic expectation.

So, my “plans” today also involve some “spontaneous movement” (I prefer the word movement over exercise since I feel that is what it is): I am going to have Paul help me take the two rockers from the porch out to our cement area between these two buildings and I am going to really clean them up good. I bought a small plastic bucket and a long handled brush(actually for car tires). If I had a garden hose I would have used that. It would have been quicker and easier but I don’t so this is the next best thing. Then, I will wait for them to dry. I hope to begin the spray painting the dark wood chair. I bought two cans of paint so let’s see if this will be enough. I have been wanting to do this for several years but just never got around to it.

Finally, I got some decent sleep. I felt like I was coming down with a mild head cold yesterday so I began taking some sinus/allergy medicine for it. If I take two of them, it really knocks me out. I figured it was the combination of all the fans and a/c running that irritated my sinuses. I was able to get about 8 hours total today. What a difference that makes!!  I think, I had had several days/ nights with less than 4 hours each day and it was rough. Let’s hope this is the start of my sleep turning back around to “normal”. I have decided that I am going to do everything I can to not oversleep as well; out of boredom or even feeling blue. I am going to do my best to stay alert and stimulated throughout the day. I realize that part of the reason why I seemed to spend a lot of time sitting here at the computer was I simply wasn’t filling my day with enough things to interest me and keep me stimulated. Plus, I now think that I was also having some S.A.D.D. during the winter months. It seemed my mood brightened as soon as April came around only to be “slayed” by my arthritis and that flare-up along with the two heavy menstruations I had. Boy, what a past 4 months it has been. I sure hope that I am pulling out of a lot of this so I can really move ahead on some of the things that have been on hold during that time.

This past weekend, I “allowed” myself to relax on my food plan. I didn’t go into the weekend thinking that I would but once I ordered Papa John’s pizza on Friday night (which I haven’t done in two months) it just seemed to evolve. I still feel like I ate in a fairly disciplined way. I did have regular Coca-Cola and some mini chocolate candy bars but as soon as the clock struck midnight last night all that “indulgences” ceased. Getting back on track is essential if I am going to “allow” myself some “off plan” eating. The success of doing that will also mean that I won’t lose much ground when I do. I have been very careful the past 6 1/2 weeks so this was a risk to do this. However, I was willing to take that risk since I know how stressed I was feeling going into the weekend (the lack of sleep was the primary cause) and how much more relaxed I became when I made the decision to do that. It is not easy dieting and especially under these circumstances. I think that “on occasion” if/when I can do this I will allow some of that built up tension to be released. I am well aware that is also saying that I am still “using” food as a stress-reliever. I guess, this is a more conscious effort. I acknowledge that I am an emotional eater. Not as bad as I used to be, for sure, but I still “use” food to relax and unwind. It is a work in progress which I feel I am winning.

6/1/11:

Well, I slept better last night. TG. I did get up around 5 a.m. and I am returning to bed in a few minutes. All my eating over the weekend resulted in a nearly 6 lbs weight gain. Last night alone I ended up having a 1200 calories “nosh”. Since I was prompted to weigh myself on BLC I did put in the weight gain. Not a great way to start out a new month but “Oh well”. Now, to get back on track. I plan on working out when I reawaken. I also plan on working out 5-6x a week. This will be tough at first but once I get used to it the benefits will really be worth it. One benefit is that once my metabolism picks up I will be able to absorb these detours from my food plan a lot better. In fact, I might not even regain any weight. Since I ate over 3000 calories each day this past weekend and even closer to 4000 calories along with added sodium, I am not surprised by the weight gain. However, I do hope that I can get back to 2100 calories today and within a few days be around 1800 calories.

Since I didn’t fall back to sleep right away, I got up and thought I would exercise while P was doing some “errands”. I did about 10-15 minutes of STOIV. I could feel it in my knees, especially the sideways movements. I felt clumsy and really out of shape. It is always hard to start all over again. However, it is a start and I have to begin somewhere. I might actually try it again tonight when P is at choir practice. I will just keep returning to it until I can do a little more each day.

Well, as it turned out, the summer cold that I have been fighting returned and I ended up sleeping a lot. I’m not sure how much but I would say between 9-12 hours over three separate times. I seem to feel the best when I take the Emergen-C which is 1000 units of Vitamin C and some B vitamins. It felt like that is what I needed to do so I went to bed around 10 p.m. and I got up in the middle of the night, although this time, I had, at least, slept some before I did get up. My joints are holding their own. Crossing my fingers but other than the twinge of pain in the sides of my knees when I move suddenly, I am able to sleep when I do go to bed except when I am dwelling on the many different things in our lives. The good thing about being sick. You stop “caring” so you can care for yourself. There’s a lesson in there.

Well, my latest renewed efforts to get back eating OP (”on plan”) and exercising is starting out slow but I am getting back on track and that is the main thing. Although I really do enjoy taking time off from my dieting and eating some of my old favorites, I really hate the fact that I “had to” change the scales on the BLC site backwards—again. However, if/when I get back where I am working out diligently like I have in the past, I will be able to ride out those kinds of “bumps” a lot easier and with less “damage” to my weight lose progress. It is just getting back to that point again that takes time.

TG, I have been sleeping a lot better these past couple of days. What a difference that makes too! I have tried to get up from here periodically and do something around here. Just to stretch my unused muscles for one thing but also so I can “say” that I have done something besides play online games while I am waiting for my pain meds to kick in; which, sadly, I hate to admit I do a lot of. Now, that it seems that I am having some good nights which gives me some good days, I really need to do more of the things that I have been putting on hold for several weeks now.

[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.]

No Sugar “Sweets” aren’t so sweet

Posted by lettucelose on December 9th, 2011 |Filed Under Keeping It Real | Leave a Comment

Week of May 20, 2011:

Well, I have already had about 1/2 of my daily calories and it is only 6:45 a.m. I would call that emotional eating. The more I eat the more I want to eat too. I slept 1 hour before getting up to take some additional Tylenol PM. I had a cup of milk to wash that down with, one serving of sugar free chocolate chip cookies and 2 cold hot dogs. Then, I started to feeling somewhat hungry so I had 2 servings of cold cereal with some lite soy milk. Soon after that I made some toast with natural peanut butter. Now, all of these foods are healthy (the hot dogs might be the only questionable one due to fat -although this is a lower fat one-and the high sodium) but I am eating and I would continue to eat if it weren’t for the fact that I know that I shouldn’t. I’ve stopped for now but I know if I allowed myself I could continue eating until I had eaten several more hundred calories. Why am I doing this?

For all the reasons that I shouldn’t be. Maybe, the cup of skim milk could be “justified” because I take that with my sleep/ pain medicine and coating my stomach isn’t all that bad of an idea but the rest is partially because the food is readily available, my guard is down (I’m sleepy but not yet that sleepy) and because I have “allowed” myself to do so. It just goes to show you that I have my work cut out for me when it comes to eating when I am not hungry. This habit alone will keep me obese, if I allow it to. In fact, right now, I feel like going into the kitchen and eating a lot more until I am very full. That is the set up for a binge so that tells you I am feeling emotional right now even if my eyes are getting sleepy and I really couldn’t tell you what I am feeling emotional about.

I would not have labeled this “emotional eating” until I read the Day devoted to that in the BDS pink book. I began calling it “distracted eating” but Dr. Beck labels that as “emotional eating” so I guess it is. Actually, any reason you are eating other than hunger could/should be labeled “emotional eating”. Well, I will return to bed shortly and I will probably sleep through the time I would normally eat lunch so when I get up I will probably eat either an early supper or, if I can, hold off and eat a later dinner. However, this sets up long stretches where I am not eating as a result. It is not the healthiest way to eat, that’s for sure.

Well, at least, I am detached enough about this that I can observe my behavior as it is happening and see how the dots are connecting with each other. As she states so emphatically, stop at that moment and then proceed with your next OP meal when it is scheduled to happen. Well, time to give myself credit. I managed to go through several nights this past week without “emotional eating” so I have to acknowledge I have done it so I am capable of doing it again. Right now, I am going to return to bed. When I get up I am going to take a shower and maybe what might be a good thing to do is put on a Richard Simmons STTO dvd and that might help me sweat off some of the sodium-induced weight I gained over night and also maybe help drop  1/2-1 lbs besides.

I am very grateful that we can “afford” to buy the food that will “support” my food plan and healthier way of eating. I hope that I will be able to continue to do this “moving forward” and not have to cut back so I’m not able to try new recipes and foods. I just love to look into our cupboards and refrigerator and see all of the healthy choices I have available. Since we do not have health insurance nor can we afford to be self-insured, I have often “drilled” P about how eating healthy is our “assurance” in avoiding seeing the doctor.

I received my sugar free food I ordered online. It came within 48 hours. I was hoping that the assorted snack pack were of everything they offer. Instead, it was two of the things I had bought on Monday and a third one: pecan walnut brownies. I gave one to Paul to sample. He didn’t think they were half bad. I didn’t either. What I like even more is that I can truly stop at one package without feeling like I have to eat more and more. That is another advantage of eating no sugar and an important one: I have better control over how much I eat when I do eat it. However, the main disadvantage is that I have been quickly substituting eating sugar free cookies, brownies or a Klondike bar for healthier alternatives like raw vegetables or fresh fruit as my snacks.

I began reading the “Biggest Loser” Fitness book. According to this book, this is the workout that they put the contestants through while they are on the ranch. Or it is implied anyway. Essentially, it is a combination of circuit training followed by cardio. So, that is exactly what I am going to do. They have several different levels even within Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. I think I could follow up with doing a RS dvd afterwards. That should make a person good and tired after doing that! You’re supposed to do it in such a way that you are moving very rapidly through the different “core” exercises so I would say that by the time you get to the cardio you are well warmed up and ready to hit the ground running when it comes time for the cardio. All of this is supposed to be done at 80-85% of your target heart rate.

Well, we have a heart rate monitor on our treadmill and I could take my heart rate with my fingers like the way everyone “used to do in the old days” but now everything is electronic so I decided to go ahead and order a heart rate monitor. With an extended one year warranty and taxes, I paid $65. In order to deflect the cost of the extended warranty, I decided to have it shipped to the Dunwoody Wal-mart. I was going to wait on this until I had lost 50 lbs or more but I really do want to get the full benefit out of these workouts. It did have some medical questions that it asked beforehand: have I had chest pains when working out (I have some very mild ones when I start up the first time after a long absence but they go away within a few minutes and don’t return the second time I work out), do I have any joint problems (yes!), etc. but I can take it slow and work my way up too. I really want to do this. I know that it will help me sleep better, feel better emotionally and it will definitely help me burn up calories and I won’t be so worried if I stray a little bit from my food plan. After this past weekend, where I just really felt like I couldn’t face another strict day of dieting, I knew it was time to bring this part of my plan back into full force. I logged what I ate late last night but when I do that it “cheats” me of the calories I need for “today” and now here I am right before bed, snacking on cereal and sugar free cookies.

I continued to read through the Biggest Loser Fitness Program. As soon as I have become more acquainted with it I am going to start it. I am sure that I won’t be going at 80% of my target heart rate at the beginning anyway but I might have worked up to that by the time the heart rate monitor comes. I think it will help me burn enough calories where I can eat about the same amount of calories that I am eating now and lose weight. At least, that was the case last summer. I do not look forward to eating any less than what I am eating now. There is an overview of their food plan and the calories are really low. Which surprises me because they have me at such a high calorie range right now. Well, time will tell how much I need to cut to see a consistent weight lose. As I mentioned to P, if their calories are that low on the ranch how do they manage to do the workouts? When I was going at my peak a few months ago I was so wiped out I had to take a nap shortly afterwards.

5/24/11:

Before I went to bed I finished off an open bag of the sugar free cookies. They don’t have a lot of taste–remind me of vanilla wafers–but they were hard and had that “crunch factor” that I like when I want to eat indefinitely. I knew while I was eating them that I could end up with a lot of intestinal gas because of the sugar alcohols. By the time I finished it off I really had an off after taste in my mouth. I slept for awhile but I was quite restless the past hour so I finally got up. I still feel full to my stomach from those cookies. I’ll take some more Tylenol PM and go back to bed shortly after. I hate to log those cookies but I will. I think I had around 20 cookies, which is around 475 calories. No sugar but still calories. Well, it feels like they are just sitting in my stomach so I am not feeling hungry right now so I guess that will be considered my breakfast calories!  I am hoping that once I begin exercising daily and actually work off some of this free floating anxiety some of this “emotional eating” will cease.

I got that book “Treat Your Own Knees” yesterday in the mail. It is a very small book written by a physical therapist. I hope it has some good tips in it. What awoke me an hour ago was the muscles in my thighs were hurting along with my knees. If I could both get my pain subsided before I go to bed and then while I am sleeping I am sure I would be able to move forward on all of this. Well, I will do all I can to try different home remedies. I would love it if I could get to a place where I could walk without the cane and have strong enough legs to carry me through a level ground walk.

I’m still waiting on the green book for Beck Diet Solution. According to the time frame, the latest expected delivery would be May 31st. I think this is the longest that I have ever had to wait for a shipment. Wal-mart’s “site to store” can also be lengthy but I got the extended warranty so I figured that I would have to cut back on shipping costs. I think I am doing the right things to move towards a healthier life. I just have to be patient with the process.

Well, another thing I have to be patient with is my sleep patterns. I felt that I was only up less than two hours.  I ended up sleeping from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. I awoke rested but still I feel “weird” that I am not sleeping throughout the night but it seems like I can sleep in the later morning and through the mid-afternoon. Last night I slept lightly and awoke a couple of times because of the muscles in my upper legs bothering me and then, of course, my knees.

Well, after eating the rest of the opened package of sugar free cookies I waited expecting to have diarrhea and a lot of gas. I did have gas and I felt like I had a rock in my stomach for several hours! I didn’t eat anything until around 4 p.m. and even then I wasn’t very hungry. Does this sound very sane? No, but I did log it and I did share it with the others in my Beck group, especially when someone asked if it were okay to eat intuitively. My answer was yes since Beck Diet Solution does not endorse any particular diet as long as it is healthy. I think you can eat intuitively and eat healthy. I told her that I felt that to some extent I do eat intuitively since I don’t plan my meals the day before. I just don’t like to. However, I do log what I eat as the day goes on. I am very good about doing that. I also make sure that I am not straying far from my food plan and I do try my best to eat within the recommended calorie range. I keep what is known as a “clean kitchen”. In other words, I don’t have anything that is considered not healthy in either my cupboards or refrigerator.

However, my biggest obstacle to losing weight is the fact that I am not only a couch potato, I am fast going to seed. Well, I plan on doing something about that very soon. I am almost finished reading the Biggest Loser Fitness book. The last time that I worked out that hard I got so tired I got in the habit of needing to take a nap afterwards. My appetite also increased. However, the biggest benefit I know that I will gain from exercising is that weight will come off plus I will also be able to eat more without regaining what I lost. That is very good news!

Tonight was the finale show of “Biggest Loser Season 11-Couples”. One of the two sisters won the grand prize. Both looked amazing! Probably the best looking of all the final contestants on any of these shows. In fact, one of them got down to 120 lbs which I think is almost unheard of on that show. I think what was to their advantage is each other so their motivation remained high throughout the entire program. They also managed to hang in there and not get eliminated like a lot of the other contestants. Also, one used to play volleyball so she had some muscles underneath all of that extra fat. The other one was an opera singer and I am certain that she knew how to be disciplined in order to succeed in that field.

I also noticed that a lot of the people, including one person(C) that I really thought would return home and blow the rest of the people away, didn’t do as well once she got home. There were some exceptions though. One woman, aged 59, won the $100K at home prize, and I think she lost half of her body weight. One guy who was at the ranch almost to the last couple weeks also did remarkably well. Then, there was one who left almost 4-6 weeks ago that lost a significant amount of weight. I could tell by the reaction of Bob and Jillian that they were both surprised and very pleased with those at home “losers”. So, I would say that the “at home” losers were a divided group. Half did really well and then there were some who probably struggled more once they got home. My guess is that they couldn’t find enough motivation on their own to keep it going.

Well, inspired by that show, I decided that, in spite of 1 hour of sleep during the night, I would push P and I out the door today. He didn’t have any work and rather than he sit around all day and I sleep all day that is what I did. We did find the D Green Market. It was amazing that we even found it at all because there were more twists and turns to the road than you can imagine. We got fresh Swiss chard and arugula. I think we paid too much for them ($4 a bag) but these types of market do have a tendency to run kind of high. Then, we found (also another twist and turn) the D Nature Preserve. I did something I haven’t attempted in quite a long time. I got out and I walked (with my cane). I knew P wouldn’t be all that interested if I sat on a bench and he “explored” on his own (we’ve tried that before).

Anyway, we ended up our “running around” by eating lunch at GC. I have a good handle on eating there. I am able to find what works on my food plan and then I eat it. I don’t even consider going over to the bakery area. I did pose the question to the Beck support group about pre-planning meals. I am not so sure that I am really deviating all that much from what they do. However, one person made a note that they really ramped up their exercising which is what I am going to do from now on. I did tip over 3000 mg sodium today and my calories were at the top of my calorie range but I also moved, even if it felt laborious at times. My knees felt swollen after I laid down for a brief light sleep nap. I also noted that I was breathless just moving around and I felt my heart although I wouldn’t say it was chest pains. It made me feel sad a little because it really shows how inactive I have been and what a toll it has taken on my “heart health”.  The “good news” is that with persistence I should be able to strengthen my heart muscle as well as the rest of my body. Once I get that heart rate monitor I will know how much I am working my heart but also how many calories I will be burning. Both were be important pieces of information in helping me to know how I am using the calories I am taking in but also what I need to do to lower those calories taken in so that I am losing on a steady basis.

So, for under $20 I have two dvds on the way here. They are scheduled to come within a couple of weeks. I’m not in any hurry really since I doubt whether I am in good enough shape to even crack them and I want to get my heart rate monitor first so I can see how “unfit” I am so I won’t push myself too fast too soon, I am more than okay with that.

What I am hoping I will be able to do is have all of this come together at about the time that I am able to really put it to practice. In the meantime, I also hope that I can slowly get back to being more mobile around here and in general. So, any kind of working out that I can do in the next couple of weeks will only help me prepare for the more rigorous working out that I am sure these two dvds will be. The 30 Day Shred (Jillian Michael) is really hard on the knees so I also hope that I will have finished reading that book I got recently and whatever it says to do to “treat my own knees” I will be doing that as well. Although I feel a little sheepish about ordering all of this stuff, given our present financial circumstances and the fact that we are living on one income, I do know that I will use this all and it can only help me move beyond my inactivity and how that impacts not only my joints but also my weight lose too.

Speaking of which, I am still hanging around 267-269 lbs. Again, I think that once I start working out more diligently I will begin to burn up some of those extra calories that I am finding so hard to “resist”. I am not sure if the “falling off the wagon” this past weekend was hormonal-driven or emotion-driven or both. It seemed to correct itself yesterday and I found myself being able to stay OP(on plan) relatively easy. I wasn’t tempted at all when we ate at GC although because of the amount of food I ate, I did end up being at the top of my calorie range and over my sodium range. Still, I felt it was a more “sane” day of eating overall.

We are also well aware of how precarious our financial situation is. I think, on one level we are in denial. I think it helps to get through what has been a very long and protracted period of  financial hardship. We have gone from the frying pan into the fire and we’ve been walking on hot coals, especially for the past 7-8 months since my unemployment ended. Looking back on it, I think I did the right thing for me but that also points out how stressful being so strapped can be for people and how that in itself becomes a struggle besides the rest of  the things you are dealing with. I will say though that at times I am “proud” of how well I/we have done in spite of the formidable challenges we have faced. It certainly does bring out your resourcefulness. We try to do the best with what we have.

[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.]

Erratic Sleep and Eating Out Continues..

Posted by lettucelose on December 9th, 2011 |Filed Under Keeping It Real | 67 Comments

Week of May 13, 2011:

Well, I have been awake for almost 24 hours straight. Thanks to me sleeping 12 hours yesterday during most of the morning and part of the afternoon then making the mistake of having Coke Zero when we came home last night. I’ll learn one of these days! Well, I was starting to feel drowsy around 4:30 a.m. but when I went to bed I started thinking about a lot of things that were not important enough to be keeping me awake but I was and as it got closer to 6:00 a.m. I knew that the technician would be here sometime between 9-11 a.m. so I figured I might as well just get up and stay up, no matter how tired I was. So, that is what I did. The technician was here for 3 hours. He rewired all the phone jacks and then installed the new modem including a wireless router and then the cable box. I called Dtv right after the technician left and cancelled our service with them. The csr was less than cordial but it is over with. Now, we are “bundled”; the latest in their technology. Here is hoping that there are no “surprises” in our bill except that it will be less.

5/14/11:

I went to bed at midnight and awoke at 2 a.m. with both knees really bothering me so I got up and I have taken a double dosage of EX Tylenol. I will try to go to bed in the next half hour. I feel a lot better that the installation of the new “bundle” service is over with. I really hate having to adhere to one of these open-ended service calls because it invariably will fall a day when either I didn’t sleep well the night before or the apartment is a “mess”. Well, I hit jackpot on both accounts. Not only did I feel like a “scrub” (I need to both color my hair and wash it) but all I could see looking around was things I “should have” done before this technician came. I am going to have to keep the computer in this room because of how he wired the phone jacks. It’s a lot more limiting than having DSL but I should see quite a difference in processing speed with my computer.

I weigh every day and have been for a couple of months after joining a daily weigh in thread on 3fatchicks but I will say that I haven’t been paying much attention the past couple of days. However, the Beck book has us weigh once a week as we move through the daily exercises. I have had such horrible sleep this past week coupled with the fact that  I have been eating some of my daily calories during the middle of night so when I do weigh in it is mid-afternoon and I am not sure if that is an accurate measurement of my present weight.

So, it appears that I have either not lost any weight this past week or I may have even gained a couple of pounds! One day’s lesson was devoted on how to view the number on the scale. I have come a long way regarding that although I still don’t heed the “warning” if the numbers creep up until 5+ lbs have been regained. Looking back at my food log, I feel I did very well. There was more consistency in staying within my recommended calorie range, from day to day there wasn’t much difference and the only added sugar food item I had was a small reduced fat vanilla ice cream cone earlier in the week. In other words, this has been one of my better weeks in a very long time. It is possible that because my sleeping/awakening pattern has really been off I could be producing cortisol- a stress-related hormone to be believed in inducing weight gain. It is also possible that because I have been sleeping a lot more during the day I have been even more inactive than I was before (if that is possible). Plus, it is getting closer to the time when I get a monthly period so this could also be PMS bloat. I have been craving chocolate and sugar the past couple of days.

Well, I am going to resume daily exercising. I will do my best to do something every single day this coming week and let’s see how that impacts my weight lose. I have also been drinking a lot more diet soda than water although I really think the bottom line is always less calories = weight lose. So, that is what I have to aim for always. This last assignment where we have to put our sabotaging thoughts up against 7 Questions really opened my eyes to some of the ways that I have been holding myself back. I think of all the cards that I have made up thus far those have had the most impact on how I see my own role in remaining obese. I am still full of self-doubts but there is also a Day coming up that will address that as well so I am looking forward to seeing what exactly I will need to do to overcome that hurdle.

Right now, the main thing is to just get on with all of this. Once again, it seems like I have had a reoccurring pattern of RA flare-up. This has been at least the second year in a row where I have a predictable period, usually 4-5 weeks, where my RA goes from being tolerable achy to acute pain. Ironically, it is at the two times of the year, Advent and Lent, when we as Catholics become more involved in openly practicing our faith. This has been the second year that I missed Easter. I honestly thought I could make it Easter morning so I waived going during the Easter Vigil. I am really going to have to rethink that “strategy” because it backed fired on me twice two years in a row.

Well, I need to do a couple of things that might actually help me get through those two periods easier. One is pain management. Two is use the plateau time to get a lot more things done so that when I do have one of those periods of acute flare-ups, if I ease back on my activities, I won’t feel doubly discouraged that I have all this stuff, particularly around, that needs to get done. I am still learning how to effectively manage the acute pain. One thing that will be beneficial is getting back into shape, particularly my flexibility and to strengthen the muscles that support my affected joints. The second is to just move more quickly on some of these unfinished projects. That way I will have cleared my “to do” list of things that trouble me because they are not done. Then, when the flare-ups return, those things will be done and all I have to focus on is getting through the acute flare-ups and not be preoccupied with the other stuff. I have also decided that when I am having better days/weeks/months that I will ceize the opportunity to take in a lot of social activities so that it will balance off the times when all I can do is be home, either in bed or on the loveseat watching tv.

So, moving forward, this is going to my plan on how to handle my RA.

Today, we went to Wal-mart and  I was able to walk around the whole store well. My knees were only bothering me a little towards the end. When we got home, I was even able to put away what we bought without sitting down and then after briefly sitting down I was able to stand to make our supper. All of this used to be a “big deal” for me. It thoroughly convinces me that I really need to try and get as much weight off of my joints as I possibly can asap. The less weight I am carrying on my weight bearing joints the easier it will be for me to do more “sustained” exercise, which is what I really need to do to see those numbers go down.

Case in point: T,one of the women I’ve met on the BLC site has been training for several different walking fundraisers. I am not sure why she decided to start that but she has been very determined to finish these “5, 10 and 13K” walks and, by the sound of it, she has but what a price she is paying: after one such walk, she went home and took an ice bath! I used to walk 15 miles a week. I could walk 3 miles in 45 minutes. I was going up and down hills as well. I was 245 lb at the time. By the sound of it, T is doing what I used to do: being  physically active but not dieting. I didn’t like reducing calories then. Who does? I shudder when I think of the kind of food choices I used to make though. A lot of fast food for one thing. When I was home, I ate very little fresh food either. It was all processed, frozen or canned. So, I was eating a lot of high fat/sodium/sugar and calories. No wonder I never budged an ounce.

My guess is that she is eating the way she usually does. I know that is what I did. I got really toned but I was still obese. Now, I have been working more on my food plan. I eat more healthy today than I ever have. As I have mentioned about me losing weight and using the Beck diet techniques, she hasn’t written me as often. I hope I don’t lose her as a diet buddy because she is a really nice person and I think that we have “connected”. However, as I lose more weight, she might begin to pull back. It happens. I value my friendships and I would really hate to lose her as a new friend but I also understand how these things work. I think that a lot of people when faced with the overwhelming task of losing a lot of weight just give up. I know that I have many times before.

Well, now that the acute RA flare-ups have subsided and, hopefully, won’t be returning for another 6-6 1/2 months, I want to really kick my activity level into high gear. However, my food plan is equally important and I now recognize that. I can’t have one without the other. I am becoming a much better shopper too. I love to try new things and if I felt that I could, I would go ahead and fill our cart with all kinds of new “organic” food items. Instead, I try a couple of new things here and there, see if I like them and, if I do, then I buy them more often. I am really proud of myself that I have managed to really pursue healthy eating with such purpose and determination. I am still tweaking the calorie part of my food plan though.

I do see that when BLC recommends eating PB, for example, they only list 1 TB rather than 2 TB. It is 80-100 calories difference. I also have a tendency to add margarine before I put on PB and that adds another 80 calories. By following their example, I could eliminate 180 calories and really not miss it either. So, that is what I need to do “moving forward”. Another big change I have made recently is to just eliminate all empty calories from my food plan. I was really surprised how easy that was to do. I have missed the taste of sugar but other than 2 reduced fat small vanilla cones that I have had at McD’s this past week, I have done remarkably well. I have really come down from a “sugar high”, so to speak.

I am really proud that I have made some really good choices in places you wouldn’t think you could. McD’s is a perfect example. I had a grilled chicken wrap today for lunch. I had a small french fries which was just the right amount of fat and salt for my meal. I usually get a diet soda anyway so those two and the small vanilla cone was 620 calories. The small cone was just enough to satisfy my “sweet tooth”.  I left feeling satisfied. The past couple of times that we have gone to A’s I have ordered off either the WW’s selections or the “Under 550 calories” selections. So far, everything has really tasted good. It is having experiences like this that help me relax when I am eating out since I know that I can find something I like and isn’t a “diet buster”.

What I am really most proud of though is getting in the habit of eating more vegetables each day. I think for most people that is one of the more difficult parts of changing your diet. I stumbled onto a small section in the produce area of P that has smaller bagged cut up vegetables. I was originally thinking that I would use these in either salads or raw but when we were getting low on vegetables this past week I decided I would have to cook up one bag. They were amazingly much better than frozen! It made me want to eat my vegetables!

Tonight was a good example of a relatively simple meal but done in a way that both of us went away feeling satisfied. I made sloppy Joes. I have seen others load up on the condiments so I decided I would add dill pickles, yellow mustard and sliced onions. Wow, what a difference that made. It really made the burgers come to life. Then, I cooked some of those vegetables mentioned above. I added some cold fresh sliced tomatoes. We each had a light beer.  I had a sugar free chocolate mint mousse for dessert. I think what this proved to me was that I didn’t need high fat chips or french fries to make this meal delicious. I think that it will help me figure out a way to have cook outs without the usual high fat, high calorie foods and, yet, still enjoy the occasion. I was struck though by how fortunate I am right now that I can buy the kinds of foods I need to eat to both lose weight and be healthy. I only hope that I can continue doing this “moving forward”.

Well, hopefully, in a few months, we will be enjoying a lot of fresh produce from our own garden. I especially look forward to having fresh tomatoes, strawberries and cantalope. My strawberries might take a few years of growth before I am really going to see an appreciable amount of fruit. I picked up a small book on “Square Foot Gardening” that emphasizes growing large amount of food in a small space. It uses raised beds that are rich in soil mixture with soil no deeper than 6″! I am really excited to see how this is done. I just planted ours the most efficient way I knew how but, after reading this book, I will make sure that my winter garden follows this format. Again, like so much else, garden smarter not harder!

Well, I have decided that I am just going to stay up until I begin to feel tired. So far, it is 2:30 a.m. and I am still holding my own. I am drinking lots of diet root beer and chewing lots of ice. It makes me feel cold but, so far, I haven’t felt hungry either, which is another nocturnal habit I would like to break: eating late at night when I am usually not hungry but restless or bored. If I can nip that recently developed habit in the bud I will be able to eat more throughout the rest of the day and I won’t be scrambling to try and eat a lot less. Right now, these two habits plus not being very active during the day are what is slowing down my weight lose. I want to try and work on countering my sabotaging thoughts and/or habits so I can expedite my weight lose or, at least, not slow it down by my own unintentional actions.

I don’t know how long it will take to lose this weight. I feel really optimistic when I see a lot of weight go and then I am left wondering when I don’t have any weight lose or even a slight weight gain. I agree with Dr. Beck that you can’t let your feelings about your progress or yourself overall be affected by the rise and fall of that number. Instead, it does pay to be more objective and see it as an opportunity to learn from it. I really have to shake my head when I think about eating all of those candy bars, chocolate chip cookies and V-day cupcakes. It is like my head wasn’t making the connection between doing that and not losing any weight. The distorted thinking I was under was overly positive fortune telling: believing that having those, even though I was including them in my food plan, was okay and wasn’t going to impact my weight lose at all. Now, looking back, I feel really foolish; like what was I thinking?

I may be in for some more reality checks before this is all said and done. I’m not even sure what that will mean either. I think about my diet blog and how that has evolved a lot differently than I thought it would. Well, I am still going to continue to contribute to that as I move through this process. Then, I can look back and see what I did, what worked and what didn’t, and the end results. That was the whole purpose of me starting the diet blog. I wanted a record of what I was doing while I was losing the weight. I plan on including some of these diary entries as well since they are from the “foxhole”, so to speak.  I just hope they don’t sound too rambling.

I have about 7 books from the “Biggest Loser” and I haven’t read any of them except the calorie counter! I think it is time I start delving into those and see what “gems” I can find among those pages. In fact, I was leafing through one of the first ones published and a lot of the stuff that I have discovered on my own, they had in that. OY! Talk about reinventing the wheel. Had I taken the time to sit down and read these books from the start I might have avoided a lot of unnecessary trial and error. Another thing to help me feel “foolish”. I could be thin right now if I had begun reading these books last summer! That sucks, just thinking about it!

5/15/11:

I will give myself credit though with not eating at all during the night and that allowed me to realize a 1.6 lb lose. I drank a lot of diet soda and chewed a lot of ice cubes. I can now say that I have lost 10 lbs since I rejoined BLC. My fasting blood glucose was 107 mg/dl. In order for me to see that kind of number I have to go without any food for about 12 hours! I really have to fast. If I wanted to really get some lower numbers for a medical testing I would probably have to fast 15 hours or more to get down to where they would consider it “normal”. Or possibly not have any carbs a day or two before I take the test. Something to think about if/when I would need to take a test which would show up on my medical records for “all to see”, including the insurance companies I have term life insurance with. In the meantime, I really need to keep working on losing weight and getting some exercise in as well.

I am getting better about not straying way off my calorie range. Now, as I approach 2100 calories, I can sense it. Tonight, I felt a lot of free floating anxiety and I could feel like I wanted to eat “just because”. I didn’t but it made me wonder how long it will take for me to get over this particular behavior. It has certainly done a lot of damage to what would have otherwise been really good days when I was dieting in the past. So, I need to give myself credit for being able to both recognize the cause and source of this desire but also not to act on it either. I was able to distract myself. I got a small book about “Square Foot Gardening”. Between reading that and learning where our favorite networks are on this new channel system I soon forgot about the desire to eat.

This is something noteworthy to share with my Beck group. Just think: I am going to have to face this kind of challenge and many more for many months ahead!  I don’t want to think about how many times I will be journaling about this very thing. It is too discouraging. I just want to get through today. I can’t even imagine what tomorrow will be like. I was surprised that I would be dealing with this because I had a decent sized supper with a lot of crunchy foods, salty and sweet tastes and it was both eye appealing and filling. I wasn’t tempted to snack except for a banana. Well, obviously, Dr. Beck knows how we dieters are going to react better than we do ourselves.

Once again, we seem to end up eating out somewhere when we are out doing our “errands”. This is a pattern we have had for several years. It hasn’t stopped yet. Although I wasn’t familiar with R’s menu, I knew walking in what my “strategy” would be. I did well except I had a small dish of ice cream and a delicious seasoned dinner roll with 3 pats of sweet creamery butter. I think I could have easily changed my “game plan”, had another one of those rolls and foregone the potato and rice that I had. I think, if we ever go there again, I would probably stick with the rotessiere chicken since that really looked juicy then have a couple of those rolls along with vegetables. According to their online menu, they offer reduced sugar desserts but I didn’t even go over there. I think, I owe it to myself to do so. Still, I feel satisfied that I made some good choices in spite of not knowing exactly what they had on their buffet. That was today’s “lesson” in Beck Diet Solution.

Much like the expansion of plus size clothing, I am also finding that now restaurants are trying to respond to people’s desire for healthier foods within the framework of what their menus offer. Back in the early 1980’s, it was really difficult to find plus size clothing that was attractive. Now, the choice is endless. Well, the same thing is happening with a lot of restaurants’ menus including McD’s. (although food purists may argue with me on that point of what is healthy there-so suffice to say, I will say, “healthier”) What I wear now for clothing style I will most likely wear when I am a “normal” weight. The only difference is that I will be in a smaller size and I will feel more attractive. If I would really commit myself to doing some toning exercises I won’t even have to wait until I am in the single digit sizes to look nice(r) in my clothes. I could look better in the clothes that I wear now if I would do more situps, butt lifts, hip reducers, and toned arm exercises. The same with restaurants. I will probably still be eating at the same restaurants that I do now so I might as well develop a strategy that will carry me all the way down the scales and “then some”.

I could wear a body slimmer, which are quite popular now, but I don’t want to get in the habit of having to reconstruct my figure just because I am not working out or toning my muscles. Granted, I could use them now so I can get that effect but when I think of how constricting they are and probably not all at that comfortable (especially in hot humid weather) I think it is better to just work out my core muscles and gain the sense of pride that would come with doing that instead of trying to make like a girdle is really how my body is and would look naked. I want to look good with or without my clothes one. I’ve got my work cut out for me though! That is for sure.

As for my food plan, I need the practice of eating in the real world so I feel that every time I eat out I can developing the necessary skills to do so. All the major chains have a website where they have their menus and nutrition listed so you can essentially plan what you are going to eat before you even sit down in their restaurant. In fact, you can skip getting the menu and order immediately so you aren’t tempted to eat something else. I am finding it easier and easier to do. Once I have these skills in place, I can really enjoy the dining experience without feeling tense about compromising my pre-planned decision. I’m not perfect at this but I have achieved quite a bit of finesse in this area and I feel more confident as a result.

I am also supplementing some sugar free “dessert” type foods simply because I know that if I don’t allow myself some type of “treat” within the framework of my food plan, I will start craving the sugar alternatives of those food items and that is not good for either my blood glucose or my weight lose plans. I am approaching my weight lose as also a means to lower and keep my blood glucose lowered as well. And, it has been widely accepted that diabetics do use artificial sweetners as part of their food plan. I have recently learned that agave nectar does not raise your blood glucose like other sweetners so I am going to try and substitute that in some recipes and see how I come out with both the taste and whether I end up wanting more or can settle for just one serving size. All this is a “work in progress”. I don’t know how long I will do this or where I will end up with the sugar issue.

Right now, I am thinking that I won’t have traditional sugar desserts –ever. Instead, I will tweak the best recipes I can find until they are palatable and then that is what I will do “moving forward”. Why resume eating sugary foods indiscriminately if I can cut the habit and stay away from that kind of food? It is like returning to smoking a cigarette here and there rather than giving it up for good. Having said that, I am sure that there will be times when I acquiescene but I would rather that be the exception than the rule. I just simply don’t think my body will be all that forgiving. I am treating my food plan as I should: I have elevated blood glucose and that is a strong factor in what choices I make from now on.

I went online and took the RealAge quiz. This is quite “well known” for determining what your real age vs your chronological age. Even Biggest Loser has used this to help the morbidly obese contestants realize just how unhealthy they are. RealAge had me at 63.0 years old. I fudged a little on the activity portion.  I did put slow walking but whether or not any of it could be considered aerobic would be a “stretch”. I do move around the apartment during each day, with some days being more than others. Lately, I have begun to go into the grocery store or Wal-mart and walk around. I do try to seek out more movement since this latest RA flare-up has subsided.

The main detriment to my RealAge is being obese. I do have quite a bit going in my favor. I have improved my eating habits significantly and in a relatively short period of time. I am eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. I am drinking more water. I am taking my vitamins and supplements, including trying to find products that have omega-3 added to it since fish is so expensive and I don’t eat it as often as I would like. Surprisingly, they recommend eating fish only once a week. I wonder if that is because most fish has traces of mercury in them and now the new recommendation is to not eat fish more than 3x a week.

I do eat ground chuck once a week. Both P and I usually order steak when we go out to eat especially at A’s since that is really good there. I don’t mind the soy burgers on the market although those frozen products usually come with higher sodium. I am eating a much healthier diet overall than I have been in a long time. I just need to keep it up. Recently, I have decided that I am going the “no sugar” route. It is a far cry from my earliest entries on my diet blog but right now it makes sense to me and that is all that matters. If it looks like I am doing a 180 degree turn then maybe I am. I just feel a lot better and I find dieting is a lot easier when I am not eating sugar. Now, I do have some lightly sweetened oat cereal and some organic Greek yogurt with organic cane sugar (sugar is sugar!) but if sugar is not the second or third ingredient, I am going to let it go by. It does help if yogurt has a little sweetener in it because it is pretty bland without some added flavor to it. The kind of sugar that I am talking about is all the empty calories except fat and sugar that is in a lot of junk food or processed sweets. I have been weening myself away from my sweet tooth by eating a lot of fresh fruit. It works but I was starting to miss having a dessert once in awhile. That is where I am at right now.

So, yesterday, I bought some sugar free cookies and they weren’t half bad. In fact, they tasted just like their sugary counterparts, as far as I can remember. I bought the chocolate chip and the pecan shortbread ones. Tonight, I went on the company’s website and I ordered: sugar free maple syrup, sugar free creamy peanut butter and a 20 pack of “snack size” assorted cookie flavors. I sent two messages to one of the women I have talked with on a daily basis: one regarding what I just wrote above and also quite an impassioned plea for her to seriously consider her health first and foremost when making decisions regarding her food choices. I realize that may have no discernable affect on her but I felt compelled to tell her that she needed to start putting herself first. I woke up and continue to wake up regarding how I am eating and how it is affecting me.

I do believe that this Beck Diet Solution is a no nonsense way of saying “just do it”. I’ve been playing at dieting. Now, I am doing it. Not saying I’m dieting but eating pizza and drinking regular Coca-Cola then finishing off with candy bars. What diet is that? Now, my food plan looks and feels like a restricted calorie, healthy eating plan. I can and I hope to eat this way for the majority of my meals from now until “forever”. So, it is important that I have the right frame of mind, I practice good behavior, I eat foods that are both varied and healthy, I learn to prepare them in a way that makes me want to continue to eat them, and eventually I get back to moving again. That is the next step in this process.

Lately, when we are out, I am walking into the grocery store with P and walking the store along with him. I am holding onto the cart and I am able to make it through the store without needing to run out to the car and immediately sit down. That was something that I was doing last fall. I could do even better than that if I could 1) lose 10-20 more lbs as soon as possible 2) strengthen my leg muscles so they could take off some of the pressure my joints are “taking” as a result of being out of shape. So, what that means is that I really get diligent with how many calories I am eating and watching the sodium as well. Then, I really need to get doing as many strength exercises as I can particularly for the lower body.

Then, we had a good dinner: baked chicken, steamed asparagus and potatoes. I made a potato salad recipe from one of the diabetic cookbooks I got off of Amazon.com. I could tell it was lower fat but other than that, it tasted quite good. I tried the asparagus and I had some leftover cabbage and a slice of tomato. I am finding it easier to get my vegetables in.  After dinner, I decided to catch up on some of the t.v. programs I’ve recorded in the past several days while catching up on my reading in the “Beck Diet Solution” book. I am almost done with this first printing of the book. I should be receiving the second printing in the next couple of weeks. I ordered a book on how to self-treat your knees. Again, I bought a gently used book on Amazon.com. I used the little bit of credit that I have on my credit card. A few of the people on these website groups think that some of my problems with my joints will be resolved once I get back exercising and lose the weight. I agree with that up to a point. One thing that I can not do is walk on the treadmill very fast nor for very long. That is when my knees really start to bother me. However, I will admit that having lost the amount of weight that I have lost has made it easier for me to move around when my RA isn’t flaring up. I also have to make sure that I am taking the recommended dosage for the Aleve. If I drop the ball on that then I really do feel pain when I am moving period.

5/19/11:

I ended up going to bed later than I had planned on. I read my e-mails at the last minute and I saw that D, a woman I have met and converse with from BLC, seemed like she could use my help with figuring out a menu for diabetes. As an example, I gave her what I ate yesterday, breaking it down into macronutrients as well. I also made some notations on what I could have done to have less carbs at a particular meal. I said I was satisfied with how it turned out since I was at my lowest end of my calorie range and I was within the range for each of the macronutrients. It doesn’t always work out that way but that is the daily goal I try for anyway. I also ended up having another pound lost! So, I know what I need to do. Try to eat between 1700-1800 calories per day.
Now, just to do that.

I decided that I am going to shoot for 135 lbs instead of 140 lbs. The idea came to me last night as I was writing up my response cards from “Beck Diet Solution”. All during high school and my early 20s I seemed to hover between 135-138 lbs easily. I did diet back then, at times quite stringently, to lose additional weight and if I remember, it was a lot harder to maintain a lower weight than that. I think that with that weight and what we now know about burning fat/building muscle, etc. I could be both very fit and lean at that weight and also be healthy as well.

So, I think the way that I am finally going about losing weight now will get me there. How long that takes will depend on how willing I am to really tow the line and do what I need to do to get there. As I just said, I noticed that without exercising I need to reduce my calories to at least 1750 calories per day. It wasn’t all that bad yesterday but it can easily be blown by making the wrong choice when I am eating out, especially if I make an impulsive decision to eat a dessert that I hadn’t planned on. I would like to say that I could also gain the same advantage by exercising but right now it is all I can do to get the sleep that I need. In fact, although I managed to stay in bed between 3:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. I have been fighting the urge to go back to bed and get some more zzzzs for the past couple of hours. So, in a few minutes that is what I am going to do. However, resuming exercise is definitely something that I plan on doing asap. I know that I can make progress in both how I look but also strong I can become if I will only do what it takes. I used to be able to but right now fatigue has been the main reason why I haven’t done so.

Already, I have had comments from different ones on how well I am doing. That is nice to hear. I realize that in order to pull away from the pack you need to do all of the things we all have either not tried to do more diligently or have refused to do. I know that I was resistant to doing some of these things before. I really did want to “have my cake and eat it too”. I still can but I choose not to have the sugar version right now since I know that it triggers overeating, craving and even binging when I do. I have discovered that metabolically, chemically or whatever you want to ascribe it to; that is how my body processes sugar and, to some extent, high glycemic foods. I could fight this and refuse to believe it but I have seen evidence in how it changes my behavior around food. It is almost like I am an addict craving heroin. I am not joking! So, although it may sound drastic to do what I am doing, I believe that I have finally found the key to opening up the possibility of me finally shedding the rest of this weight. Since I have seen both the before and after of just how much calmer I feel around food in general after removing as much sugar as I can from my diet; I’m sold. I don’t need any more evidence. So, now that I have realized this in a more deep and profound way, I am more willing to accept this as” my reality”.

5/20/11:

It is almost 1 a.m. Yesterday was an emotional day. I knew that as I worked through the Day designated for Emotional Eating that it would be. For as long as Nicole has been alive, I have struggled with first my weight and then food issues. That is a very very long time. It started out losing the weight I had gained from pregnancy. I was unaccustomed to being so large. I was used to being a size 7-8 and here I was leaving the hospital wearing M:18 tops and they were tight. Granted, I still had breasts full of milk which diminished by the time she was 3 months old but I was not prepared for my body to be so large. I lost the extra 68 lbs I had gained during pregnancy and then I quickly went back up to 140 lbs. However, it was the first time that I had to face that my naturally thin figure was not going to cooperate in a way that it had previously. I wasn’t overweight by any means but my perception of my body image had changed and I began to feel uneasy about my weight.

Unfortunately, the struggle with my weight began then. I managed to stay around 165 lbs which is still considered the top of my normal weight range but it was anything but normal for me. I was accustomed to being 130-138 lbs up to that point. I stayed around 165 lbs for about 5 years until I met Chet when all of my former insecurities and anxieties seemed to surface strongly. He enjoyed eating out. I wasn’t used to that up to that point and, suddenly I found that it was something I would enjoy too. I think, I wrongly assumed that we were building intimacy every time we ate out. I believed that for a very long time. It took me years later to realize that he simply had a penchant for restaurant-prepared food and I was a “tag along”. I remember towards the end of our marriage constantly urging him to go out to eat because that was when I most felt like we were a couple. However, those meals were not intimate or memorable other than the fact we were both gaining weight; me more than him. Towards the end of our marriage, I was eating alone often and I was also compulsively binging and overeating probably 5000 calories or more at times. I was also desperately unhappy in that marriage.

So, now, fast forward to today. I have done so much work in individual and group therapy. I have joined and followed the 12 Step program, which I have embraced wholeheartedly, and I have joined and dropped out of a lot of diet programs over the years. Now, three decades later, I am working yet another program to help me lose the weight. So, what is different about this? I am almost finished with this book and I have about 3 dozen recipe cards filled with statements on how to overcome most of the “typical” hurdles most dieters, including myself, need to overcome to successfully lose weight. Maybe, this will work simply because I am ready to “draw a line” and not cross over it; at least, intentionally. My conviction is stronger right now after having worked through this book than I have felt since last summer when I had it for about five weeks.

I think that this CT will help keep me motivated and focused on what I want to accomplish until I have accomplished it. That is what I think this will do for me. It will be making a conscious decision over and over again so that I make choices that will support me losing weight until I am the goal weight I want to be. If anything, this book provided with a motivational kind of “you can do it” push that I needed to get back on track. I don’t want to keep falling off the wagon and getting back on. The longer and more often I do that the more demoralized I become. What I think this book will do for me from now is give me specific strategies that I can use when I am confronted by some of the common “obstacles” that most dieters face. It will help me work a better and more effective food plan. I am not saying that I will diet “perfectly” but I think I will have more hits than misses.

For example, in the past three weeks, I have had three unplanned “desserts”; all ice cream but I chose the smallest cone and I included it in my daily food log. I decided about two weeks ago that I was going to go with minimal amount of added sugar to my food plan. It just evolved one day and I realized that it would help me deal with a lot of the extra hunger, cravings and impulsiveness I had surrounding food. I now believe that most if not all of those difficulties that I was experiencing before were because of my addiction to high glycemic/sugar foods.

However, the challenge is not over yet. I have one other hurdle to overcome: eating less so that I can see, at least, a two pound weight lose every week. I began three weeks ago today so this is my “official” weigh in day for BPD but I had D’s for dinner and my sodium was over 3000 mg. If it looks like I have gained from yesterday’s weigh in, I will take yesterday’s weigh in as my weekly weigh in. What it will mean for me is becoming more active and to really watch my portions when I am eating throughout the day. I’m not overeating but I am also eating more than I am burning off. Then, the next challenge will be doing this over and over again for the next 15-16 months, or possibly longer through whatever life throws at me! I would have been intimidated before reading this book but after going through what I have gone through, I do believe I will be able to do it.

I am wondering if this woman I have befriended from BLC will be able to pull herself together and get back on track. I have been as encouraging and helpful as I can be but she hasn’t mentioned reading the book after the initial first three chapters or even whether she is going to follow its premise. It sounds like she is really grasping at straws at this point. Since we have been conversing back and forth, she has bought several books and just as quickly as she buys them she drops following them. I am wondering if she will do the same with BDS. Well, I need to step back and allow her to find her own way, even if it is not what I am doing or feel works for me.

The only thing I am wondering is since our relationship began on a mutual desire to support the other person I am now wondering how we will make the shift if one of us is really struggling and the other seems like they “are on their way”. Well, I thought that I had a diet buddy when I met A and then I am afraid I might have scared her off. She was already struggling just to start her food plan and I was charging right out of the gate. However, I wonder how she would have been had I been able to re-connect with her when I was struggling as well. It all began when I wanted to “celebrate” my birthday and it ended up being a three day overeating which derailed me from then on. I was really on a roll. I felt so bad about that because it is really nice when you have someone whom you can talk unending with about all of the nuances of dieting. It would probably get boring to anyone else but when you are both dealing with the same struggles, it forms an instant bond.

Well, I am going to do my best to give her some “breathing space”. I have inundated her with a lot of information and she might feel overwhelmed at this point. She did seem to be confused about what she should do next. And, I need to remember that is how I felt before I actually cracked open this book and really began to do the work the author suggested. Had I skimmed through it like I did several years ago and how I hear some people do, I am sure I would be writing something entirely different.

[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.]

Beginnings of Beck Plus Diet…..

Posted by lettucelose on December 9th, 2011 |Filed Under Beck Plus Diet | 241 Comments

Note: I decided to combine the Beck Diet solution with my Biggest Loser Club recommended food plan. I call it “Beck Plus Diet”.
Well, officially, I have lost 6.2 lbs since last Friday when I started my “Beck Plus Diet”. Since that time I have “tweaked” my Response Cards that Dr. Beck recommends you make so that I feel it reflects my present circumstances and allows me to battle some of the common diet pitfalls; ie, overeating, unable to withstand temptations, unplanned eating, sabotaging thinking, etc. It really is about sticking to a plan long enough for the results to happen. What my food plan ended up being is more defined than I would have originally thought it would be but with those kinds of results above it is certainly doing what I was hoping that it would do. I really feel like I have a thought out plan that I can take with me into almost every possible circumstance or, at least, the ones that I seem to face both every day or when I am out eating.

Since this has been a week of poor sleep and a lot of mid-night “distraction” eating, I have decided that when I am faced with this situation in the future, I will allow myself to have a bag of Smart Balance low calorie-low sodium-low fat microwave popcorn. It takes me quite awhile to eat it and it should “satisfy” my desire to be doing something while I am struggling with my pain or insomnia. Ideally, sleeping through the night is the best solution but when that doesn’t happen I have an alternative that won’t be such a diet-buster as some of my other night times “noshs” were getting to be. It wasn’t uncommon for me to eat 800-1000 calories on foods like cereal, toast, juice and milk. Like Dr. Beck says; a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Then, I have to make sure that I eat less when I do awake from my morning sleep and that means long hours in between meals struggling with both hunger and just the stress of trying not to overeat because I ate when I wasn’t hungry only needed a distraction because of me being up during late night/early morning hours. This schedule has really seemed (intellectually) “unnatural and insane” to me. The surprising part is how I have adapted to it fairly easy.

Also, I am going to make it a top priority to get in my 3-4 servings of fruit and 4-6 servings of vegetables every single day. I noticed what a difference that made for me during the month of April so that is worth continuing and repeating “moving forward”. I decided that I am calling a moratorium on all “C foods”; ie, cookies, candies, crackers, chips, chocolate, cakes, etc. I just feel that for the time being until further notice I am only having fresh fruit as my dessert choice. Right now, I am having an afternoon snack of a bag of the popcorn (above) and diluted (adding half juice and half purified water) 100% grape juice. I am really going to “hammer home” fresh fruit and juices as my source to go to for when I’d like “a sweet taste”. (Note: I have been doing this and I have also noticed a significant softening of my stools plus some residual gas. I have actually been eating as much as 50 grams of fiber each day!)

So, I have a plan now that I pray that I can draw that “symbolic line” as Dr. Beck calls it and not cross. I really want to lose this weight. I know that part of the reason why I have yo-yoed is because I was always making room for exceptions, overeating regarding calories and certain foods, allowing trigger foods in here and then falling prey to eating them until they were gone; just to name the ones that seemed to pop up all the time. I might really surprise myself if I really stick to task and follow my food plan. I would love it if I lost an average of 4-5 lbs a week like they do on the “Biggest Loser” show. That would really help boost my confidence. Right now, I don’t feel deprived. I feel a little hungry but not deprived. I’ve decided that I am going to wait awhile before I re-introduce Splenda-sweetened desserts. I would really like to lose another 25-30 lbs before I do that. Ideally. I say that because maybe by that time I will have had knee/hip surgery and I will be able to walk and be more active so if I do have a dessert (Splenda-sweetened only) I will be able to handle it both metabolically but psychologically. When I read above all the things that I “allowed” to happen, I feel foolish. Like, what were you thinking? I was victimizing myself over and over again. I just want to do this in a smart way. Here’s hoping that I will.

The other “news” is that my body is responding nicely to my “Beck Plus Diet”. I came up against my first “test” yesterday when I was really hungry. I was sort of antsy, since I was inbetween naps, and feeling tired and out of sorts when I came across the rest of the marshmallows from when I made homemade fudge for Easter weekend. They aren’t high in calories but they are pure sugar/ empty calories and I really had to “pause” for a few seconds, while deciding how I wanted to handle that. Not only did I toss them in the garbage but I purposely put them under the empty tray of the chicken I was making for supper so, potentially, the raw chicken drippings would fall all over it. I could have snuck one out later but the odds that they might be contaminated cinched the deal. I was surprised at both my quick thinking but also my stick-to-it-tiveness. I usually crumble pretty easy when it comes to “sneaky bites”. I kept thinking of all those times when I did cave in and I had a cookie (or dozen) or anything that wasn’t on my food plan. This time I did it. I stuck to my guns but there may be a time when I am weaker (I can’t imagine that since I am feeling pretty vulnerable right now but it’s possible) so it was a short term “in the moment” victory. This is what Dr. Beck calls “strengthening your resistance muscle”.

Right now, as I am sitting here, used to doing night time eating while I am sitting at the computer playing online games, it seems like a tough “bargain” but how will I ever get down to my goal weight if I don’t cut off the non-ending eating that I have a tendency to do?  P ate 4 Kit Kat chocolate bars while we were watching tv tonight. I could smell the chocolate from where I was sitting. I was eating some fresh, cold, ripe watermelon (which I really love) and that was satisfying to me but I could still smell the chocolate. I wonder if I will have this “problem” every day for the next 15 months that I am expecting it will take to lose all of this weight? OY! That would be quite a challenge. Although, he doesn’t eat Kit Kat bars every night; just every once in a while.

I mentioned this situation to my Beck group and the Diet Coach said he hoped that it would get easier for me. I don’t know. I really struggle to eat less food. I always have. That has been one of the hardest parts of dieting for me. Eating less. That may sound laughable but I really feel like I have a larger appetite than most people. When I hear about people eating a couple of crackers and a half of this or that I wonder why they haven’t keeled over. To me, I have always associated feeling overly full with feeling strong and more substantial. That has really been my self-perception regarding my larger size. I felt formidable. I felt psychologically stronger. Again, I think this is because I felt very vulnerable when I was thin and I was both molested and raped. I never felt empowered because of my thinness or attractiveness. I felt vulnerable to men’s advances, especially their impulsiveness, and how they acted when they were aroused by how I looked.

Dr. Beck covered in detail about learning to accept hunger as part of dieting which is what I have tried to do. The problem is if I allow myself to get too hungry then I have a tendency to overeat at the next meal. Then, there are  hese night time noshes.Since we usually have more protein at our dinner/supper meal, I usually am not very hungry even before bedtime. However, when I awake and I am in pain, I have started a bad habit of feeling that since I have a small glass of skim milk with my night time pain meds, why not have a bowl of cereal as well? Well, the reason why not is that since I am logging these night time noshes it uses up 1/3-1/2 of my daily calories so I am crunched to eat a lot less throughout the rest of the day. I start out with a small bowl of cereal and before I know it I have eaten 800-1000 calories and I am still usually not full.

The majority of the time I am not even hungry when I am eating which is really sabotaging my dieting efforts because when I finally do become hungry, I have already limited myself in how many calories I can eat because of what I ate 8-10 hours prior to that. I am also eating those calories where I am not getting a chance to work them off too.  I have begun to call this distraction eating. I am not truly hungry but because I am in pain, the act of eating distracts me from the pain until either I give up, fill up or get sleepy enough to fall back to sleep.I see the best solution is to get a good night’s sleep.  However, doing that seems near impossible for me right now. The more I want it the more elusive it seems. I can see areas where I really have my work cut out for me. This is one of them.

So my “assignment” is: to strive to be in bed during the night, stay there until early morning and then eat a breakfast in the morning hours not at night.

5/8/11:

I am up again in the middle of the night. I did sleep for about 45 minutes but I awoke cold and my right hip was hurting. I also think that I am going to have to make sure that I don’t have it too cold in our bedroom since that can also make my joints hurt. I had noticed that last year when I was wearing shorts and sitting near the vent in the living room. Afterwards, my legs were aching. It’s hard to know how to set the a/c right now since we have been having cooler weather overall.
I recognize that some of my “habits” have contributed to some of the pain I am having: doing a lot of sitting throughout the day and night, air temperature in our apartment, forgetting to take my Aleve throughout the day so I have a steady stream of that pain reducer in my system, “pissing around” with my diet and attempts to lose weight (including added sugar which is known to cause flare ups with arthritis) and not strengthening my muscles. It is hard to admit that I am also exasberating this pain I am experiencing but I am.

I am realizing more and more that although it does seem to take more effort, I need to keep pushing for some of these simple things in my life which will bring back benefits double fold. If I want things to be different, then I have to be willing to make the effort to help make them different

5/9/11:

Well, my Mother’s Day was very quiet. I didn’t leave our apartment. Instead, I ate “OP”(on plan). It has been 9 days that I have done that and I have really felt the desire to eat anything that isn’t on my food plan. Today, since it was a recognized holiday, in the past I would have allowed myself to eat “off plan” and overeaten. I did this on Easter. Between P and I, we finished off a 13″x9″ baking pan of homemade fudge. It was delicious. I’m not doubting the foods that I could have chosen if I had done that same thing would have tasted just as wonderful BUT then I would have eaten more calories than I “should have” and I would be facing a weight gain instead of either the same or less plus I would have had to log those “slips” and I would have had to face the fact that I was giving in once again. I can see where Dr. Beck is correct when she says that it does strengthen your “giving in” muscle rather than building up your “resistance muscle”. I hope someday that I will be able to have just one or two pieces of fudge. Period. Unfortunately, right now, I just haven’t the skills to do that so, for now, it is off limits for me.

Today, I really felt the stress of sticking to task. The “withdrawal” that I am experiencing is how I “use” food to cope with emotional/stressful situations in my/our life. I think I will probably go through this every time there is a holiday until I break the connection between “it’s a holiday/special occasion so let’s celebrate by eating foods off my food plan.” This is really ingrained in my psyche. Today, it became very apparent by just how much it is.

So, I posted exactly what I was feeling about this. I always feel vulnerable after I submit the post though. I wonder what people are thinking of me. If they think, “Wow, this chick has got this bad.” Well, I do and I am in the right place to give and get support for my personal “demons”.

5/9/11:

Again, I slept poorly. I awake after about an hour the first time and I felt like I had pins n needles up and down both my legs. I laid there for about an hour and it did eventually go away. It made me wonder if some of this is from inactivity during the day so my legs and muscles are “reacting” to that inactivity. When I say that it seems so self-incriminating to admit that I might be contributing to some of the pain that causing me to be awake during the night. I don’t know this for a fact so I could say I am speculating but I wonder if a doctor would tell me that.

I have been wanting to go to Wal-mart to fill up on the OTC medicine that I have been out of for some time. I decided to walk the entire Wal-mart while P was having an eye exam. It took about an hour for that so I am assuming that is how long I was walking. It was a “waddle” at times and definitely slow but I was moving. I decided that it seems easier to get spontaneous exercise in than planned so I am taking advantage of days like this. We ate at GC afterwards. I was really hungry since I had a small breakfast(mostly carbs although lots of fiber in the shredded wheat) many hours before that. I have found this past weekend to be quite difficult in terms of just staying the course. The Beck Diet Coach commented that he hoped it would get easier for me. I don’t even know how to respond to that. I don’t have a lot of faith in myself when I actually am knuckling down to dieting because I have gone up and down the same 35-45 lbs for the past couple of years. I think I will start to believe more in my abilities when I am below 245 lbs since I haven’t been there in a very long time. The day I am 244 lbs and I am feeling good about that then I will say, “Hey, I’m doing it!” Although I might always struggle with doubts right up to hitting my goal weight. We’ll see.

5/10/11:

Well, I took a different tactic regarding my irregular sleep patterns. I decided to go ahead yesterday and get out of the apartment and do some “normal” activities instead of returning to bed to sleep until 1:30 pm like I have been doing. I also went to bed last night around 11:30 pm. I awoke a couple of times. I do think that the fan is just too cool right now. It cools the surface of our comforter and that alone gets my joints aching. I noticed that I was having the same problem last year when I was wearing shorts around here and the a/c was on. I didn’t make the connection at the time until much later but I hate to admit again that some of this could be avoided if I were just more aware and then planned accordingly. If I am open to what I am observing, I think I could find answers to some of the questions that bother me.

It has been 12 days since I began adding the Beck techniques to my food plan. I have tweaked my Response cards as I become more aware of how I could customize her techniques to fit me and my “situation”. The bottom line though is I need to eat less calories and/or burn more calories so there is a caloric deficiet in my body which will result in a weight lose. It really doesn’t matter what diet you choose but it should be healthy enough so you aren’t ruining your health and interesting enough so you will want to stay on it.

I have been listening to the other group members and what they are or aren’t eating. At this point, I am beginning to believe that my “on plan” is whatever will get me the results that I need. Right now, it has become more strict than what I thought it might be originally. Part of the reason I am doing this is to combat unplanned eating, overeating “trigger” foods like chocolate or some salty, high fat foods like delivery pizza and simply establish a pattern of healthy good eating habits. I just feel that it is almost too soon for me to take too many “liberties”. I think this is the best and most wise way to proceed. Once I have firmly established eating healthy the majority of the time, I might dip my toe in the water and see how far I can go without accidentally setting myself up for a binge. However, last night I already tested myself. I am so spontaneous at times I surprise myself. Again, I think why I suggested that we go to McD’s is that any “accomplishment” for me seems to warrant a “reward”. I can see that this is a habit that is really going to die hard with me since I have used this a lot and for decades. At least, I am already becoming more aware and sensitized to when I do it.

After we dug up the hydragnea plant, I suggested that we go to McD’s. Boy, talk about seeing my thoughts almost as I was thinking them! I was feeling uncomfortable about P doing all the work while I essentially was “giving orders” so I suggested that we go to McD’s for a little “treat” (again, there is that reward element). We hadn’t eaten in 7-8 hours by that time. As soon as we got closer and I got a whiff of the fries and burgers my hunger increased. However, I am very pleased to say that I kept my head and I ordered a hamburger Happy Meal along with a small reduced fat vanilla ice cream cone. Then, I even did one better. I encouraged P to take one bite for every bite I did so I ended up having half of a Happy Meal. It wasn’t enough food to hold me all day but it was just enough for an evening “snack”. I also stayed within my BLC calorie range as well as keeping the sodium under 2500 mg. I was “lucky” and did okay but I am not thinking that means I can go ahead and start reintroducing chocolate or even doing some home baking from the Splenda or Biggest Loser Dessert cookbooks. I am thinking “maybe” by my birthday but, again, we’ll see.So, for now, I am proceeding cautiously especially with foods that are not home prepared and have passed my “clean” kitchen test.

So, we brought the plant home based on the Master Gardener, D, suggestion that the direct light was too much for this shade loving shrub. We heavily watered it and it will stay on our shaded porch. It is a perennial so it should come up again and again. Eventually, it will get so big that we will have to consider a complete transplant in a yard.

Well, I did manage to sleep about 3 1/2 hours last night. Unfortunately, I began drinking caffeinated diet soda and I think that contributed to my awakeness that I am now experiencing. I rescheduled the t.v. appointment for Friday morning. I was trying to think of “plausible excuses” but I got the automated system so all I had to do was follow the prompts and reschedule; no explanations or excuses “required”. Today is a stellar t.v. day and I just didn’t want to disrupt my programming while a technician re-wired us for t.v. Oprah has been bringing back past memorable guests and today she is having women who have lost over 100 lbs and the one woman who she has had on her show a few times who has lost over 300 lbs. Sitting here, wanting to eat more calories than I “should” (if I want to lose weight), I see 100 lbs as a goal that seems “unattainable” but that is only because I haven’t arrived there yet. I can barely wait until I am back down in Misses sizes. I think once I get to that place it might actually be easier to lose weight. Right now, it is a real struggle.

Then, tonight is “Biggest Loser” and also a documentary on Chaz Bono becoming a man. It is an unusual phenomena that I don’t quite understand. He was on Oprah yesterday and I thought he came across as being quite composed and at peace with himself. I still see some womanly characteristics in him though. Mostly more of the take charge kind of qualities; which I guess are more masculine except in the context of being in his kitchen at home, it just came across as more motherly to me. After all, I don’t see too many men washing dishes. Most guys are socialized to let the woman do the dishes. I have often wondered if N would have been different had I been a “normal” weight. Well, we will see how he reacts when I do become a normal weight.

To me, this transgender phenomena seems to be more of wanting to be outside of the cultural norm but yet not quite absorbing the entire societal norm of male or female. I even wonder if someday transgender will evolve into a prototype called “feminine male” or “masculine female”, where the person decides to allow certain dominant features to be more apparent and these individuals are more andronyous than anything else. The fact that some of these transgender are okay with having part of their body parts and not others tells me it isn’t about the being exactly a clone of either a female or a male they wish to achieve or have as an outcome  but a more blurring of the definition of being gender-specific in how they behave within our culture and society. It kind of reminds me of the early desires of the women’s movement where women said that they didn’t want to be defined by being homemakers or mothers but if they wanted to be a doctor or lawyer they would be able to express that part of themselves.

Although, I would consider myself to be very feminine overall, in some areas I seem to have a masculine “edge: when there is a problem to be solved, I am in my element. I take charge quite easily and I am decisive when I am making decisions. However, I don’t have the ego needed to “get ahead” in the work world.  In spite of me not contributing some form of income, I actually enjoy being home. It doesn’t sound very impressive or ambitious but I don’t really care. I enjoy the “roles” of being a wife and mother. If I never had to have another job for the rest of my life, I would honestly be okay with that. As long as it didn’t mean that we wouldn’t have to suffer any more financial hardship, I would be more than okay with that prospect. In fact, that is my secret desire. I think P is aware of it since I don’t hide my feelings about this. I think he is somewhat “shocked” about me saying that especially given our present financial circumstances. It is a state of limbo neither of us feel comfortable with. P doesn’t press the point because he is worried about getting the work he is offered done in a timely and accurate manner. It takes some of the heat off of me but it also makes me feel really anxious about just “sitting on it”. It is a really awkward and uncomfortable position to be in. Sometimes, I am honest to a fault, even at my own detriment.

I took a very sound nap which took me hours to really awaken from. I was able to get dinner ready for us so Paul was able to eat before he headed out to church to sing for our new priest’s installation. I decided (once again) at the last minute not to go. I just was tired and my mind was in a mental fog. All of this sleep deprivation is really hard on a person. It took almost 4 hours for me to be fully and completely awaken!!  I watched “Biggest Loser”. There are only two more shows, I think. I still am confused about who appears to be “the favorite” to win. The two sisters seems to be Jillian’s favorites. I think it would really be an “upset” if the older man, Jay, won since everyone on the BLC website had voted him as the one most likely to leave the ranch. He surprised everyone by losing 9 lbs which this late in the game is pretty awesome. The women were able to manage 5 lbs each. When the younger man, Austin, only lost 1 lb. he was really so emotional about it. He knew it meant only one thing: he was going home. I would like to “simulate” the Ranch experience here at home. I got this idea the other day when I was writing out my Response cards. I thought I am already giving some time and energy into making sure that I stay on my food plan why not take it a step further and create some “challenges” for me to do at home to spur me on to work out a little harder?

5/11/11:

I slept a little better. Emphasis: little. I had to stay up after 8 am since these technicians were coming out. OY! I stayed up during the night and watched some of the programming that I had recorded. Then, I returned to bed around 6 and slept until 8:45 am. Well, it ended up being one technician and he reconnected the Internet remotely but he came into the apartment to fix the phones. That wasn’t until 1:30-2 pm. OY again! So, I was pumping caffeinated Coke Zero in me and I was really feeling quite tired by the time I decided to lay down. I was only able to sleep for 1 hour. P came home briefly and then went to choir practice. He brought me home Subway. I ate nearly 1000 calories in the middle of the night/early a.m. I had an apple this afternoon to curb some of the hunger I was feeling. That is not the best way to spread my calories around but as long as I am getting up in the middle of the night with pain I am afraid it is going to be a temptation. At least, I am logging the food as part of the day’s plan. It just really squeezes for the rest of the day. If I am feeling better tomorrow I am really going to try (for the first time in a very long time) to do one of the workout dvds.

Well, after getting the Internet back I quickly posted on my Beck group. I hate to admit that my posts are very long but I have had some positive feedback from them so I guess that is okay. I usually try to make comments about the Day I am working on and what I have gained from that then I do personals. I have already gone back and tweaked some of my Response cards as I get deeper into the book and something sparks me to consider or add something else to my cards. Today, I really had to make a card on defining what exactly is my “On Plan”. If I don’t know what that is how will I know when I have strayed from it or am tempted to do so?

We finished up our “errands” by eating at As. I will admit that I usually try to “fan dangle” a meal out whenever we get a list of things to do. Paul is usually agreeable to that. I don’t have to twist his arm too much. I look forward to opportunities to see how well I do in picking out lower calories foods from the menus. A’s actually makes it easy in that they have sections for entrees under 550 calories or WW’s entrees. Tonight I had a really good one that probably will be a staple: 7 oz house sirloin, grilled shrimp, new potatoes, broccoli and a bruschetta sauce.

I wanted to take it a step further and go to YM’s and try their frozen yogurt. I got the only one that was no sugar! It was coffee flavored which tasted like a dark chocolate. It was very good. That place is expensive though. By self-serve, people end up loading up on the frozen yogurt, which is priced according to ounce, and then further loading it up with toppings which adds an extra weight. Clever pricing. Since I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have a lot of calories, I didn’t fill it very full. They noticed. Still, I got the nutritional information from them and I was able to determine how I would handle this place again. P was being a good sport about it but he isn’t sold on frozen yogurt although to me it tastes better than full fat ice cream. I really felt I left there and A’s having Aced a test.

I have been working on creating a lot of counter cards for sabotaging thoughts and as I am doing the “work” it is bringing up a lot of feelings I have about feeling unsafe, feeling anxious and in general feeling overwhelmed at times. I have been sharing this with my Beck diet group. I am aware that this might make some people uncomfortable so I don’t try to elaborate on it too much and I also do try to make most of my post about the work I am doing in the book as a point of reference.

I think by doing some of this deeper work I am coming up against the reasons behind why I have remained obese for close to three decades. Basically, I felt that by being so large I could protect myself from unwanted sexual advances. That; and I never really felt comfortable with my own sexuality and sexual needs. When I was molested it made what should have been a healthy libido and turned it into a twisted, dark and shameful part of me. I’ve known this intellectually for a very long time but I just never acknowledged how that made me feel. I think, finally, I am. I also still have some residual anger towards the different men that victimized me. I thought I had gone through all of this when I was in sexual abuse therapy but I always was overeating then and that was a mask over what unresolved feelings that remained. In other words, there was unfinished business and work to be done. I think I am starting to do the remaining work now. I don’t know if it is an appropriate time but I am doing what I can on my own. I don’t know if I will need to revisit a therapist or not.

Interestingly, I looked back over the chart that BLC does of my diet progress and I noticed that this past week, my eating doesn’t have the jagged up and downs of eating way too much 2-3 days a week followed by eating lower the other days of the week. This past week each day is within a few hundred calories of each other. I think that speaks volumes. I think it means that I am getting back on track and staying there, not flipping all over the place. I would say that I am actually settling down to a routine. I hope that this will translate into a steady weight lose as well. Steady is good. I know that I have really come far in a very short period of time (a month). I think, once I get this initial groundwork laid, it will just be a matter of daily reapplication of what I have learned until I am at my goal weight.

I honestly think that I will do it this time and I also think that I will be able to maintain the weight lose. There is a certain “let’s get on with” feeling though that I have. This season’s “Biggest Loser” is wrapping up. The average monthly weight lose for the women contestants was 20 lbs and the men’s was 28 lbs. If I could mirror that kind of weight lose I could be my goal weight in 6 1/2 months! Just in time for Thanksgiving and the holidays! The fastest weight lose for some of the 3fatchicks is 10-12 months for over 100 lbs. Well, I haven’t begun working out a lot yet but I have a feeling that once I do, I should see some good weight lose. I hope to start that quite soon.

[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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