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Loss

 

Good Riddance 2014.

It was a tough year for me personally. I found some success improving my healthy habits which resulted in shedding a few pounds (I still have a ways to go), but other parts of my life were… challenging.

In the past few years I’ve been more involved in helping my dad out: doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, balancing his checkbook & paying his bills. This summer I found him on the floor and unable to get up which started nearly 6 months of being in & out of the hospital and nursing home with only a few short weeks in between where he was home…and fell again. He was pretty steadily getting crankier, needing more attention, and finally began to refuse treatments. I drove the 20 miles to see him at the nursing home 3 and 4 times a week. Because of his condition and refusing medical treatment he started getting confused easily, too, so we never knew what to expect when we went to check on him. The kids and I had a wonderful Christmas visit with him last week and then on Sunday he was no longer responsive. By Monday morning his breathing stopped and he was gone. My daddy died. He was only 73.

This is the hardest loss I’ve ever had to cope with. Yesterday, I spent most of the day crying at the drop of a hat and hiding in my room. But because I have children I put on a brave face and hung out with them to count down to the New Year. Perhaps all the yelling and throwing of Pop-Its was cathartic because as I got into bed I felt a little better. I felt ready to get to work.

Part of that work is getting back into my fitness routine that I abandoned as the holidays came. Healthy eating and exercise will be necessary to combat what I found when I stepped on the scale this morning.

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The pounds are creeping back on! NOOOOOO!!!!

My dad and I both have…had… Type II Diabetes. I was diagnosed younger than him. He never really changed his habits and that was part of the reason his health was so bad. I don’t want to make the same mistake. It’s going to be a tough battle to get rid of this extra weight but I know it will be worth it! Maybe I won’t get rid of the Diabetes but I will get healthy.

This morning I woke with the same desire to get to work and with a need to spend time with my family.  I suggested we go on a family hike. The closest hiking trail to us is a loop. My husband, our boys, and our cute doggy, Lula, hit the trail. About a quarter of a mile in the trail splits and you can take one of two trails: a 2 mile or 5 mile loop. The hubs and I agreed we were in the mood for the long loop.

I’d never done the long loop before and I’m not sure I knew what I was getting myself into (my legs are already sore), but the views were both a reward and a triumph. This is at the top of the trail before we started descending. I swear it was the highest point surrounding our valley. It was so fulfilling to stand up there and look how far away the car was parked!
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That hike was exactly what I needed.

The other part of getting to work is learning how to exist without my dad. I have lots to keep me busy (going through his stuff and getting his place on the market is not a small task), but I know I will miss him in unexpected moments.

This morning I wrote in my journal and when I was finished I turned the page. The sight of these clean, fresh pages coincided with exactly how I was feeling this morning.
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It is time for a fresh start and I am ready for the task. Coincidentally (or perhaps not so coincidentally) it came on the first day of 2015. I’ve only made one resolution for this new year and I think it fits nicely with all that is happening in my life right now: I will not give up on myself, on my goal of ridding myself of this excess weight. Happy 2015!

Wish me luck.

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Mini Snickers are of the Devil

Halloween was a challenge! I kept planning not to eat candy but I wasn’t very good at listening to myself. To be fair I didn’t go crazy and binge. I just didn’t NOT eat any. (Don’t ya love a good double negative?)

Yesterday, while reviewing my goal board on my SparkPeople app I found my best reason to avoid those dang mini Snickers and tiny bags of peanut M&Ms: lowering my A1C (I have no idea what that stands for but it’s a measurement of your average blood sugar for 3 months). Last visit my doc upped my oral Diabetes medicine because of my score. My next visit is in December. I’m taking the increased dosage, working out more, and trying to eat better but I need to be more strict on my carb/sugar intake.

Sometimes I forget that Diabetes is a disease and pretend it’s no big deal. Spending time with my dad, who has not taken care of himself over the years and is now paying the consequences, reminds me that I can’t ignore it. For me, avoiding too much sugar is more than a weight loss tool, it’s imperative for my health.

Whoa.

Let’s move on to less weighty matters. (I crack myself up)

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Another pound and a half down!

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If you follow me on social media you’ve already seen this but I can’t look at it enough. I almost don’t believe the change. It isn’t a huge change but it’s significant! I wasn’t expecting that.

This week I’m going to be more conscious of my diabetes as I eat. It’s harder than it sounds.

Wish me luck!

2 steps back

 

 

I had to weigh in at the doctor’s office yesterday, so I was more prepared to step on the scale today. Is it weird that my home scale and the one at the doctor’s office said the exact same weight?

2013-04-26 weigh in

 

I wasn’t surprised by the weight. Like I said in Wednesday’s post…I haven’t been doing what I should. However, I was surprised that this is my highest weigh in since September 2011 …right after I began. I am so glad I’ve been keeping track and I have pictures to remind me of the amazing progress I’ve made. There is no reason to let my weight creep up any further. I’ve lost it before and I don’t want to keep losing it…I’d like to get rid of this weight and then live in maintanance mode forever.

Losing the same 15 pounds repeatedly seems counterproductive, doesn’t it?!

My bad behavior not only showed in my weight gain, but in my A1C (an average of my blood sugar level for the last 3 months). Doc called today to discuss increasing my meds. I refused. I promised him I would make an effort, that I would be better. Counteracting my bad eating habits and lack of exercise with more medicine is NOT going to get me healthy. In 3 more months I have to go back in for another A1C. My goal is to have it be below 7.0 which, I think, is completely doable.

Wish me luck!

that old familiar pain

Got two excellent workouts in this week and I am f e e l i n g  i t !

Also had a doc appointment this week and did not like what I saw on his scale.

However…

I am making the time for my workouts. Letting the rest of the world live in its chaos while I push the pedals or lift some weights is doing me good…painful good. I think the pain is a reminder that I’m back. No more excuses about having no time to workout.

The pain is also a reminder to stay away from the sweets…or it should be. I am weak! Emotional and weak lately. My kids wanted to watch Marley & Me this afternoon. I protested but gave in. I held my sweet 6 year old boy while he sobbed for the death of the on-screen dog… and I envied his tears. Tears seem useles. Or maybe I’m kidding myself and bottling in the stuff I should be letting go of. Or maybe I just really like chocolate.

Hoping for some good news in the next week and to find a better way to deal with the bad/sad/frustrating/infuriating stuff that comes along.

Wish me luck.

Love it, Hate it, Can I Live Without it?

I’m 41, married, a mother to three kids and I live in my own mom’s house. It didn’t happen on purpose and we’ve been here years (YEARS). Some days I have hope (or faith or both) that we’ll get our own home and others I feel stuck. Today is a stuck day. Don’t get me wrong. There are some great things about being here. This is not one of them…

She (Mom) came home from a weekend away for a family funeral and this is what was on the counter when I woke up. She cannot throw food away. It might be a physical impossibility for her. She loves treats, too, and no matter how often I ask her not to bring things like this home….she ignores me and does it anyway.

Oh my mother. How I love her. How she drives me crazy.

This isn’t a blog post to complain about my mother. It’s about all the dang sugar! I have given in to the sugar too much lately. I need a clean slate. I feel totally addicted. I choose easy, grabable (it’s a word), food filled with refined sugar to snack on, to replace an actual lunch, to fill me when I’m tired….need I go on?

I’m diabetic for crying out loud! Iwasn’t even eating candy a few months ago and now I don’t seem to know how to eat without it being something sweet. After seeing the many treats this morning I decided I need to go on a sugar fast. I don’t know for how long. I’m afraid to put a number on it and discourage myself so much that I give up before I start. So I’m doing it for today. Tomorrow is another day. I pray for the courage to stick to it tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

Isn’t talk about my blood sugar level exciting?

I’ve been playing the role of Swim Mom this summer since 2 of my 3 kids were on a city swim team. This last weekend was the big, final district wide swim meet. Am I glad it’s over? Yes and no. It was a great reason to leave the house every day and a required hour of exercise for them during the summer. But I’m ready to not have to schedule my day around evening practice. And we have less than 2 weeks before my oldest starts her school year. This is our one last stretch of relaxation and family play time.

So that’s sort of why I didn’t blog on Friday, but I did WANT to blog. Since Rae is coming home today from 3 weeks in Hawaii I didn’t think she’d mind if I crashed her day.

I weighed myself on Friday, but I think it is an unofficial weigh in. I didn’t do my normal routine and I weighed in with clothes on. Still…the scale claimed I lost a pound. If it had said I gained weight I might have cried.

This week I’ve been making better choices when I eat, and I have been doing something my nutritionist called “testing in pairs”. I test my blood sugar before a meal and then again 1 – 2 hours after the meal to see the change. I can gauge which foods/meals cause my blood sugar to raise more than others and avoid those or modify them to be healthier for me. It helped some, but mostly caused me concern because my morning blood sugar has been hovering around 170 (should be between 90 and 120). This week I’m going to be testing more often. If I can eat so my blood sugars are under control then I will definitely loose weight. If I can’t get my blood sugars under control then it’s time to get back to the doctor for an adjustment of medication. I don’t want that.

Other than my kids swimming and blood sugar level…this week Aims, Rae and I will be together for a few days! We’ll be each other’s support group, I’ll harass them about blogging more, and we’ll try to get a picture of the three of us together. Wouldn’t that be novel. As a matter of fact I just looked through my pictures for the last 5 or 6 years I don’t have a single picture of the three of us together. I’ll have to change that this week.

Wish me luck!

Why am I here?!

Have you ever been in an unhealthy relationship? When I was in college I dated a guy that I thought was The One. In our short relationship we’d even talked about how many kids we were going to have and where we would live. *sigh* Young (misguided) love. It took some years to get perspective to realize that when we had a fight and I ran to the mall to charge up my credit cards – which he hated – that it was not the best outlet for frustration and anger. I was literally paying for it years later.

Now I have an unhealthy relationship with the scale, because when it tells me I’ve gained 2 lbs in a week where I worked my tush hardcore doing 4 super sweaty workouts…then I want to go to See’s Candy, use my gift certificate for a pound of candy and E!N!J!O!Y! 

 

Well, maybe it’s more of a fairweather friend relationship, because when the scale shows I’ve lost I speak kindly to it, put it away more gently, and look forward to our next meeting. Right now I just want to throw it down the stairs. Yet, I’m reminded of that old saying “Don’t shoot the messenger!” It’s not the scale’s fault. Plus eating the pound of candy will cause me to pay and won’t really effect the scale (except when I throw it back in its spot and call it names).

So. With an attempt at humility I am willing to admit that getting exercise is not my problem.

I need to pay more attention and be more deliberate about my eating habits. Gah! It’s so hard and one of the things I HATE to do.

Even after seeing the nutritionist in May (or was it April) I still have not made a plan or checked my blood sugars or tried to be sure I was following her guidelines. I knew what she was telling me was right and good and would benefit me. It’s. Just. So. Hard. (Yes, I’m totally whining)

I think this is the point where I need some reminders about why I am doing this whole blog and getting outside my comfort zone and doing crazy things like being the fattest person in spin class. Here’s the list I came up with earlier this week. WARNING: I did not hold back. Some of these are kind of personal reasons, but I suppose if you are here reading you are not someone who gets uncomfortable with TMI. In no particular order…

  • I want to look the way I feel
  • I need to be able to keep up with/chase down my youngest child. He is 6 and quite fast
  • I want to be a good example to my teenage daughter
  • I want to feel more sexy
  • CUTER CLOTHES OPTIONS!!!
  • I want to control my diabetes and get off the meds
  • GET HEALTHY!
  • Live longer
  • If we get these same bodies in the hereafter….I really want to look good in the eternities and not kick myself everyday for getting stuck with a fat suit.
  • I don’t want to be self-conscious and/or wonder what others are thinking when they see me, especially next to my husband who is in good shape…and looks like he’s 27 (but that’s another problem all together)
  • Be comfortable on amusement park rides
  • Live the Word of Wisdom strictly (it’s a Mormon thing. click the link for a better understanding)

I think that is a good list for now. I’m sure my list will evolve throughout this journey. I hate using that word “journey” because it is so overused lately. But I’m not sure what else to call this attempt at reaching my long-term goal while sharing my experiences in writing. If you have a better word…share.

This week, unlike the girl from Oklahoma, I want to be the girl who CAN say “No” (or even “No, thank you”).  I also need to dig out my paperwork from my visit with the nutritionist. Her advice and guidelines will help me balance my glucose levels and get back on the losing weight track! Well, her advice and continuing to go to spin class.

Wish me luck!

 

Just Peachy

My husband is originally from Colorado. Near his hometown they hold the Palisade Peach Festival every year. Somehow we have never visited during the festival. Maybe it has something to do with the August heat and my in-laws not having air conditioning. I almost want to brave the heat, because I love peaches. Love them!

This is my favorite summer salad recipe. A distant but close cousin made it for us during a visit once. Some friends brought us a big box of peaches from their tree last week, so of course I made this salad. I took a picture to show it to you, but…it kinda looked like puke.

I promise it is super yummy!

Carma’s Peachy Salad

dressing

1/3 c – mayo (go ahead and use something super healthy like greek yogurt if you need to)

2 T – milk

1/2 t – salt

1/4 t – pepper

1/2 t – dried tarragon (or 1t fresh)

salad

2 1/2 c – cubed cooked chicken (if I cook it I season it with tarragon, too, but those roasted grocery store chickens work well)

1 c – red, seedless grapes cut in half

1 c – frozen peas

2 lg – peaches, peeled & cubed (I use more)

1 c – pecans halved (I chop mine up a bit)

If you want to be really super, uber healthy then you can serve it in a bowl lined with lettuce. Since I have diabetes I am trying to cut back on my carbs or eat more carbs from fruits instead of grains. This helps me do that easily! And…and there is no cheese in it. Every other salad I love has some sort of cheese in it. Cheese = fat.

I’m looking for a movie clip to share with you tomorrow (something to look forward to)…

Wish me luck!

 

getting help

My goal was to have a better week this week than last. However, it was equal parts the same and different which are working toward “better”….it makes sense in my head. I didn’t weigh in this week. Partially because of the week and partially because it’s that time of the month. It could be depressing…or induce crying to step on the scale.

I saw my doc this week. He referred me to a new podiatrist for my foot problem. Walking from my classroom to my car hurts let alone trying to do a couple of miles for exercise. I am looking into accupuncture as a way to relieve the pain of or maybe even fix my platar fasciitis, too.

Doc also referred me to a nutritionist. I met Sarah this morning. She was more helpful than I expected. I feel prepared to have a better week nutrition wise! She got me excited again. I did not realize until I was sitting across the desk from her talking about my life how much I avoided eating in general and carbs specifically because of my fear that I would be eating what was wrong for me. I have been going between days where I do not eat enough and days where I eat whatever and probably too much of it. She gave me some encouragement, guidelines, and motivation to be consistent.

This week I need to make some time to do yoga early in the morning which will require a whole snowball of events to get there. But I want to make the changes (especially dropped weight) and I need to plan. My resistance to planning ahead is beginning to wear down.

Wish me luck!

psychology + biology =

I’m taking a class called physiological psychology. I know…why don’t I challenge myself more. Ha! We just finished a chapter with a section called, “Hunger: Regulation of the Body’s Nutrients”. If I wanted to bore you I’d give you all the details about insulin and glucagon and fat and about the lateral hypothalamus plays a role in getting you to start eating or how a neurochemical called, CART, plays a role in getting you to feel full and stop eating…

…but really, would that help us in our quest to lose weight? Maybe.

Apparently, there is a group of scientists who believe that obesity should be classified as a brain disorder. Pros: insurance might pay for counseling and other treatments to help obese people lose weight. Cons: If you’re fat, you’re crazy.

One intersting fact that affected me personally from this chapter is the BMI scale. Since I’ve lost some weight I have downgraded from being “morbidly obese” to only being “obese”. I’ll take it as good news!

Everything else I’m learning in this class just backs up all the info we hear all the time: get a good night’s sleep, less calories in, more calories out, don’t starve yourself or puke up what you just ate, drink water, blah, blah, blah….

Only it isn’t “blah”. It’s scientific fact. Dang it.

Someone told me yesterday that I was brave for posting my weight (which is exactly the same today as it was 2 weeks ago, by the way). I told them I wasn’t brave. I had to. HAD TO. I cannot be accountable to myself. I lie to myself all the time (“This cookie won’t count”). The scale doesn’t lie and I am better at telling the truth to other people.

I’ve been discussing with my hubs (oh, yes, thank you, we had a lovely anniversary weekend in San Diego) that I’m at a set point (another scientific term from physio psych class) and I need to do something drastic to get passed it. My goal for this week is to make an appointment with my doc and ask for a referal to a nutrionist.

Drastic.

Clearly, what I have been doing isn’t getting the weight off, so I am looking for outside help. I’m probably going to have to start counting carbs or calories or some other annoying thing, but counting is not nearly as annoying as being fat. I want to feel better in my bathing suit this summer. I’m going to be spending a whole week camping at the beach!

SO! What drastic measures are you willing to take (or have you taken) to overcome your issues, friends?

I’m off to Disneyland for my baby’s 6th birthday. Wish me luck!

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