Monday, August 30, 2010

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Bought myself a treadmill this past Friday!  Woot!  My daughter, her husband, and two toddlers live in the house with me.  About a year and a half ago, I enclosed my carport to make a large *room* for me.  This room serves as my bedroom, my den, my office, and my craft room.  (Scrapbooking and card-making).  There's hardly any wall-space left, between my bed, recliner, desk, and crafting cabinets, but there's still a large amount of floor space.  I didn't want to clutter it up, so I opted for a medium-sized treadmill.  Most everyone says "Yeah, I have a treadmill.  It makes a great place to hang my clothes."  I SO totally hope I don't go down that road!  My mom has one in her dining room, and of course I am welcome to use it at any time.  However, that would involve putting on clothes (I work from home in my jammies) and driving to her house (less than one mile.... haha...)  That's not much motivation.  Seeing the thing sitting over there, taking up precious space in my room, taunting me, challenging me... now THAT's motivation.  Plus, I can watch TV while I *work out*.  I use the phrase *work out* loosely here.  I bought it Friday night, put it together Saturday night, and used it last night.  Since I've lost 50 lb, I can walk a lot further than I once could, and I've handled hills in my neighborhood quite nicely.  I was very surprised to find that after 10 minutes on the treadmill my legs were hurting, and i had to stop.  It wasn't that I was tired, it's just that my legs hurt!  The model I purchased only changes speed in 0.5 mph increments.  1.5 was too slow, while 2.0 seemed a bit brisk.  That's kind of crazy, since I was doing 2.5 at the Wellness Center about a month ago.  Maybe I really have gotten that badly out of shape in the month since I've done any serious walking. 

Earlier in the summer, I started watching a new show on ABC called The Gates.  I've not been into the whole Twighlight thing, but I do like this tv show.  I had missed the previous two episodes, so I thought I'd take my laptop over to my craft table, hook it up and start catching up on the shows I missed while walking on the treadmill.  Fail.  For some reason it wouldn't buffer.  Now I'm turning over ideas in my mind... I need a taller table that I can bring directly in front of me, and maybe I can sew a mouse pad onto the leg of my shorts, and hold my tiny little wireless mouse and then play Frontierville on Facebook while I walk!!  Ha!! 

I think entertainment while I'm walking will be a key factor for me.  I walked on my mom's several times, but it seemed to take forever with no TV or music or anything to keep me distracted. 

My mom is having some energy issues and needs to drop a few pounds as well.  We're going to the beach in October, and one of our favorite things to do is take long walks on the hard packed sand.  She desperately needs to start walking on her treadmill too, so we have agreed to challenge each other, and keep each other accountable.  This should help as well. 

Since ten minutes seems to be my limit, I'm going over right now and walk so I can log a session.  Our VPN network is down at the office and I can't connect to get my work done, so I might as well burn up 30 calories while I'm unable to work. 

Do you have a treadmill?  Do you use it, or has it become a coat rack?

Friend Makin' Mondays

This is something new that I'm trying from Kenz's blog.  Not sure if I'm *doing* it right, but here goes!

I like... sleeping with the windows open in the spring and the fall.  I love the feel of  the breeze coming in through the window and the fresh smell of the outdoors. 

I don't like.... feeling that I could have done something better.  Except that maybe next time I will try a little harder. 

I love... how my family loves each other. 

I dream of.... finishing my book.

I wonder...if my life will ever slow down.

I know... that I am loved.

I my favorite place this weekend: DJs deck for some relaxtion outside.

I have... two beautiful grandchildren!

I think...that I need to get better organized.

I plan... to walk on my NEW treadmill every day!

I regret...though I try not to focus on regrets, I do regret not teaching my daughter a few lessons/tasks/skills that would serve her well now.

I do...believe in myself.

I drink...sugar-free lemonade instead of plain water.

I wish....that my desktop computer would once again access the internet so i wouldn't have to use this laptop!!  grrrrr!

I am... a stronger person for having gone through the (failed) lap band surgery ordeal.

I am not... giving up!!  I will make the goal even without the band!!

I need... to remember to take my medications faithfully every day.

I graduated... from technical school as a medical assistant.

I hope.... in hope and faith.

I want... to never lose inspiration to become as healthy as i can possibly be.

I sometimes... cry easily.

I always... say "I love you" when saying goodbye on the phone with my family.

I swim... not nearly often enough.

I work ... as a medical transcriptionist.

I cannot... for the life of me understand why anyone would want to be a math teacher.

I avoid... confrontation whenever possible.

I will... continue to be thankful for all of my blessings!!

Wow, Kenz, that was fun.  Thanks for the challenge.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Winder has the most wonderful Weight Watchers leader I've ever known. (And I have known many!) Though I am not currently a member and don't attend the meetings, if I DID rejoin, it would be as much about her as it is the program. She's a real person who genuinely cares about the men and women who are trying to lose their excess weight. Each week in class, there is a "lesson" that the leader takes you through. Some of them are okay. Some are really very good. Some of them are pretty stupid. One of them spoke to me like no other. The subject that week was regarding one of the tools of the program caled "anchoring". We were encouraged to find something tangible that would remind us throughout our day to stay the course. My anchor was a notecard that I already had sitting on my desk. It was a note of encouragement that I had intended to send to a co-worker going through tough times. It was a water-colorish kind of art that depicted a little train chugging up the side of a mountain. I took my pen and wrote across the top of the card "I Know I Can, I Know I Can". I taped that card to my desk where I would see it all day long. And it helped. For a time. Then some faction of life intervened, and I got derailed, and tumbled down the side of the mountain, bringing all the weight with me... and then some. I stopped going to the meetings, and the old habits took over again. Now rewind and replay this scenario several times, joining, stopping, joining, stopping... too many times to count. During another WW stent, shortly affter Leyland was born, I decided to use the anchoring technique again. Every morning when I got to work, I'd take my pen and draw a tiny little set of baby footprints over the pulse point of my left wrist. I would see those footprints all day long, reminding me of my NEW reason to take back my health. I even considered having the footprints tattooed on my wrist, but I was too chicken. This anchor worked very well for a time, and I used it again when Corey was born. Then I would be busy and forget to draw them, and once again, I eventually lost my focus. Losing weight is doggone hard!!

Fast Forward to now, and here I am again, facing the Demon Hunger Monster head on. It just never gets any easier. However, with a little bit of success under my belt (literally), and with everything invested in the project this year, I am hopeful... no, confident that this time it will happen. Now I believe. I believe that I can do it. And Saturday, I found a new anchor! I've always loved the sterling jewelry pieces that have inspirational engravings... but I would never indulge myself. Imagine my delight to run across some clearance jewelry that AMAZINGLY included some of the pieces that I love. I picked out a very simple band that has one word engraved on the top of it. Believe. On the inside it says the power of believing. How perfect is that! Normally I can't wear rings when I'm working, but this one sits nicely on my finger where I can see it all day, yet doesn't interfere with my work. The perfect anchor. Thank you, Linda, for introducing me to this concept, and for always being a "hero" to those of us who have attended your meetings.

Just. Believe.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

6 Up, 3 Down

I've been messin around with 5-6 lbs for six weeks now.  I had my lapband removed on July 7th.  It took a few days to feel like eating much, and quite frankly, I was afraid to try anything beyond a few sips of water and protein drinks for several days after surgery.  Over the following week, though, the Hunger Monster reared his ugly head again, and it was official:  My Appetite Had Returned.  When researching the lapband procedure, and talking with other patients, I often heard them say "You will not want to eat."  I looked them in the eye, and in my sweetest, most sincere voice told them they were nuts.  My eating habits have nothing to do with hunger.  It is doubtful I have ever experienced true hunger.  Even when following strict eating plans, and going around saying "I'm starving to death!", I doubt I have ever truly been hungry.  I eat because I love to eat.  Food feels good to me.  It feels good in my mouth, and I love the sensation of chewing, tasting, and then swallowing the food.  To think that the desire to eat would go away was unfathomable to me, and I told my new lapband friends so.  I was TOTALLY amazed that what they told me was true.  The entire time I was banded, I never had the desire to eat.  I was a very disappointed girl when complications necessitated its removal.  I knew the Hunger Monster would return. 

And return he did.  I was not surprised that I gained a few pounds once I was able to eat again.  I mean, seriously, I had been living on probably less than 300 calories for weeks.  Of course when I started to consume food again I would gain.  And gain.  Yikes!  All of the foods prohibited while banded were once again available for the consuming.  I've had a family reunion, homecoming at church, and several dinners out with my best friend DJ.  As a result, a few pounds started creeping up on me.  At first I gained 5 pounds, lost some of that, then ended up 6 pounds over my Ground Zero weight (my weight on the day of band removal).  I've had a couple of good days this week, and now I'm delighted that I've lost 3 of those nasty 6 lbs.  I'm going on a Girls Only Weekend trip beginning Wednesday, and I really want to reach Ground Zero by Wednesday morning.  I am quite sure I'll probably gain those same  6 lbs back again while vacationing with the girls. I'm going to enjoy the weekend.  I hope I can exercise some level of control and not just totally pig out, but by the same token, I'm not going to deny myself and then set myself up for a total pigfest. 

I have a new plan for getting in my water.  Lanie suggested having two glasses of icewater before having my glass of diet A&W.  That is a great idea, and it will be motivation for me to drink the water.  Thanks, Lanie!
We'll probably be doing a good bit of walking on the trip, so that will be an extra bonus.  The next few days will be very busy, as I'm tying up loose ends for work and home before leaving town for four wonderful days.  Maybe I can burn a few extra calories with all the preparation!  

3 down, 3 to go to reach GZ again! 

Happy Monday, ya'll!!

A Blog A Day

I am amazed.  I skipped a few days reading blogs.  I had no idea how much difference it would make... until I caught up again last night.  It was so inspiring!  I know there are only a few folks who read my blog, but occasionally I'll get a comment, and it's always so appreciated.  A new blogger friend left a comment on my last post that rocked my world. (Thank you, Lanie Painie!)  Here's what she said: 
Oh boy. You've GOT to stop that nonsense! This week will be better, right? I know it will!
I loved it!!!  The week was better, Lainie, but still not as good as I know it could be.  After catching up on the handful of blogs that I follow, I was reminded that it is a journey that begins anew each day.  A journey that most of the time is difficult.  One blog that spoke to me deeply last night was written by Julie, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. She shared that she had an e-mail conversation with a friend that went like this: 
Julie:  Regarding the diabetes.. It's up to me. 100% reversible. Or, I can let it kill me slowly. It's up to me.
It's so hard to change."
Her Friend:  " comes my tough love on "It's so hard to change." Diabetes is F-ing hard. Being sick is hard. Going to the hospital is hard. Getting and taking medicine all the time is hard. Not playing with your kids because you're sick is hard. (would you like me to keep going?)  Eating well, living healthy and exercise is easy.

Wow.  Julie could have been me.  I, too, was diagnosed with diabetes about a year and a half ago.  Because I had no symptoms, it was easy to bury my head in the sand and ignore it, despite the fact that on a daily basis my work involves patients who have varying degrees of complications from diabetes, the majority of whom end up tethered to a dialysis machine three or four days a week.  Many of them have other problems that seem to go hand in hand with diabetes.  Some of them take as many as 30 prescription medications every day.  Julie's friend is so right.  THAT is hard.  Not being able to play with my grandkids, and the possibility that I might not be around to watch them grow up weighed very heavily in my decision to have the lap band surgery.  Reading Julie's post just brought it all home again, and I was so grateful that she shared.
Catching up with Sean's blog, I discovered another amazing woman who created a slideshow of her amazing journey.  Yes... reading these blogs is a true source of inspiration.  As I was out and about today, running errands, shopping in the grocery store, there was a time or two when I felt like I wanted something to eat.   How easy it would be to make a quick run through the drive-through!  It was pretty strange, though, that I "felt" my blogger friends with me today.  It was almost as if I could feel them encouraging me to make good decisions.  Sounds bizarre, but .... whatever works!!!  I'm happy to report that it was a good day.  Protein drink for breakfast, salad with grilled chicken for lunch, salad and baked potato for dinner. Would have been better with some exercise, but that didn't happen.  And I need to drink water.  While I had the band in place, I couldn't have anything carbonated.  The entire time, I craved root beer.  Soon after the band was removed, I got myself some diet A&W, and I've been hooked ever since.  Unfortunately, I have been drinking more A&W and very little water.  This will change.  Thank you, blogger friends, for your diligence in posting, and
for sharing your journeys that so inspire me. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good was that I had a really great weekend.  Got some chores done around the house Friday morning, played with the kids Friday afternoon, and ran a few errands in the evening.  I spent the entire day Saturday with DJ.  Coffee and protein drink on her deck in the morning, floating in the pool Saturday afternoon, and dinner out Saturday evening. 

The Bad was that I overate terribly.  Friday night while out doing errands I went to my new favorite Mexican restaurant and had a fajita quesadilla. Can I just say.... Yummm Meeee.  Saturday morning I did fine with my protein drink. I don't remember what I had for lunch, or even if I ate anything.  For dinner, DJ and I went back to the Mexican restaurant and I had another fajita quesadilla.  Just as yummy as the night before.  Yesterday was Homecoming at church, and though I had tiny portions, I had lots of high-calorie/high-fat casseroles and such on my plate.  I had teeny tiny samples of four different deserts too.  (The Really Bad is that there was a bug among us somewhere... At this point I know of at least nine people who were sick last night/this morning... and I expect the number to grow. Thankfully it was short-lived for me and for my parents as well. I'm so thankful that Whitney and the children didn't go. Corey started to school (daycare) today, and it would have been sad to be out on the first day. I hope none of our school-aged kids at church didn't get it because today is the first day of "real" school as well. I also hope our elderly folk have avoided the bug. I worry it would be really bad for some of them. )

Then last night Whitney whipped up a batch of jerk chicken nachos.  Oh. My.  When I fall off the wagon, I don't do it half-heartedly.  I make it worth the fall. 

The Ugly is this:  186 lbs on the scale this morning.  That was after I had drank my protein drink, one cup of coffee and half a glass of diet A&W, so maybe, just maybe, that's not the true picture. Maybe I didn't REALLY gain 4 lbs!!! 

Oh well.  Time to put it behind me now, and get on with a new week.  Each new day brings with it a fresh, clean opportunity to make better choices.  Just like God, whose grace is new and fresh each morning. 

"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:  The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, therefore I will hope in him." (Lamentations 3:21-24)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Feeling A Little Down Today...

DOWN ON THE SCALES, THAT IS!!!  Yay!!! The 5 lbs that I gained since recovery are disappearing!  I've lost 3 lbs this week!  Totally workin' the protein drinks and one sensible meal a day.  I'm posting this tonight, because tomorrow the number may change.  And not for the good.  :-(    I had the day planned down to the minute.  We had a meeting at the office, which meant shedding my jammies and donning real-people clothes, and wearing makeup.  And shoes.  Bleh.  An urgent phone call from Whitney sent my well-laid plans straight to the dumpster. It seems that Mr. Corey, who is entering daycare on Monday, wasn't up to date on his immunizations!  He was lacking the final Prevnar vaccine.  So.... in order for him to be admitted, Greemaw and Mr. Corey made a mad dash for the pediatrician's office, 20 miles away, in order to have him duly stabbed.  Back to GiGi's, where I deposited Mr. Corey (I had tossed Leyland out the window as we drove by on the way...), for their standing play date with GiGi and Pop.  I now had 30 minutes to shampoo/dry/style my hair, find something to wear that doesn't involve PJs, and put a little paint on my face.  I had fully intended to sip on a protein drink while doing all this primping.  I just forgot.  My breakfast drink was hours earlier, and I had no idea how long the meeting would last.  I decided on a quick drive through kids meal at McDonalds, with plans to avoid the fries.  Foiled again.  Too many cars in line.  So over to the Burger King where the line was shorter, and I placed my order for a chicken sandwich (...sigh... no, not the grilled one... see it just gets worse...) and I sat there waiting for far too long.  Thought about driving away, since I had my drink, but dang it, they'd already taken my money!  So, finally I get my bag, and haul it toward the office.  To my dismay, there was no fried chicken sandwich in my bag.  There were onion rings (....yes, I ate them...) and the biggest honkin' hamburger I have ever seen in my life!  I almost couldn't lift it out of the bag with one hand.  It must have weighed 4 lbs.  Well, there's no time to go back, so I peeled back the paper and started eating.  I ate way too much of the stinkin thing, but it was pretty tasty.  I did NOT eat the entire burger, though.  In my "before" life, I would have had no problem scarfing the entire burger, all the rings and still have room for ice cream.  So, even though I was HORRIBLY off plan today, I am claiming a little victory in the fact that I didn't eat it all.  Gotta take my victories wherever I can get them!  For dinner I had a baked potato, a salad with spritzy-spray dressing, and some steamed veggies.  Fridays and Saturdays (my weekend) are sometimes challenging, but I have no plans to be out and about tomorrow.  Maybe I can stay on track with the protein drinks and be sensible.  I'd really love to get those last 2 lbs off  and get back to Ground Zero.  I weighed 180 the day before having the band removed.  So that's what I'm calling Ground Zero. [Edited:  I just looked at my calendar, and the previous sentence is incorrect.  The day before surgery I weighed 183.  I continued to lose after band removal, until such time as I started eating again.  My lowest weight was 180 on 7-19.  Original removal surgery date was 7-20, before it became an emergency, and I failed to remove the word "surgery" from my calendar on the 20th.  So I just got a little mixed up when I was writing the blog, and pulled the wrong figures.  Does that make me feel any better?  No, it doesn't.  But it is what it is.] Sunday is Homecoming at church, and you know what THAT means!!  Happy Weekend ya'll!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yay, I Did It!!

Protein shake for breakfast 
Protein shake for lunch
Salad for dinner
I didn't cheat or munch!

871.5 calories
Walked 1 mile at the mall.  (Too hot to do it outside!)

Hourly Challenge

I'm hungry.  Well, that's not really true.  I'm really NOT hungry.  I just want something to munch on.  Something to tease the taste buds on my tongue and something to crunch between my teeth.  I had my protein drink at 8:00, and so now the challenge is to make it to 12:00 when I can have another one.  I'm enjoying my coffee on this rainy morning, as well as my diet root beer.  So let the countdown begin.  It is 10:29 a.m.  One hour and 31 minutes til my next protein shake.  Is this pitiful?  Maybe.  But if it works, then I don't care how lame it is.  I said there would be many new beginnings. 

I am encouraged that I lost 1 of the 5 pounds I've gained since the return of The Beast (my appetite). 

The ticker at the top of my blog is incorrect.  I did lose 52 lb, but I gained 5 back.  Just being honest here... but too lazy to change it.  If I don't lose the other 4 lb soon, I promise to change it to reflect the correct numbers.  I'm hoping that soon I'll be needing to change it more often.... taking me further down the road toward the finish line. 

Okay, so this blog took 4 minutes to write.  Now it's only one hour and 27 minutes til time for my drink.  I feel kinda like Rain Man.  On a rainy day.  :-)   I'll post at the end of the day and either confess my shortcoming, or proclaim my success!!
Taking it one hour at a time today...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

From This Day Forward

No, I'm not getting married.  Hell is far from freezing over, and the pigs haven't sprouted wings.  But it is a new beginning.  Actually, there will likely be many more new beginnings in the future.  I'm realistic enough to know (and to admit) that life after the band will be filled with ups and downs.  Hopefully more ups than downs.  Each day will be a new beginning. 

As mentioned in a post on my other blog, I'm finally feeling like "me" again.  We had a rough couple of days earlier in the week, but the past three days have been the best I've had in months.  I've been pretty excited about that!!  Rhonda came on Thursday to entertain the munchkins while I worked.  They were extremely well behaved (yay! that means she'll come back!) and I didn't hear a peep out of them.  I got tons of work done, which translates into nice number$ at the end of the day.  Corey pooped his penny Thursday evening, which was a great relief.  Friday morning I did some chores around the house before heading out to pick up a birthday gift for Peyton.  I ran across some fabulous clearance sales, and was able to contribute nicely to Mary's school wardrobe, pick up a few super-cheap items for Leyland for next summer, and get a jump start on Leyland and Corey's fall clothes. 

Some things never change, though.  Successful shopping always makes me hungry.  So for lunch yesterday I enjoyed the heck out of a fajita quesadilla.  Not the best choice for one trying to lose weight.  It was scrumptious, though.  I know I burned a lot of extra calories with all that walking, and all that reaching for my debit card... but... I'm pretty sure calories consumed was greater than calories burned. 

Eating has always been a pure source of pleasure for me.  And remember... since late March, I've gone from "cutting back" to two protein drinks and one meal a day, to liquid-only, then original lap band surgery.  Following that it was two weeks of liquids, two weeks of mushy/pureed foods, followed by adding solid foods back to my diet.  At which point the nightmare spasms began, and I slowly trended backwards to finally existing on sips of water.  When I could no longer tolerate that, the band was removed.  At first I was afraid to eat much of anything.  There were a few episodes of spasm, which totally freaked me out... but thankfully those have completely abated now.  I've had several of my favorite meals now, and it's kind of like an alcoholic falling off the wagon.  Hi, my name is Cathy, and I'm a foodaholic.  The one thing that is different this time around is that I am good with knowing I must tame the monster.  I have my protein drinks chillin' in the fridge this very moment, and I'm prepared to tackle the beast again, avoid weight gain, and ultimately finish what I set out to do... and that is to lose 90 lb.  I did a Google search and found a couple of blogs that inspired me.  And I enjoyed a nice healthy salad for dinner, thank you very much! 

Today was my third good day in a row.  I took my protein bar and diet root beer up to DJs and we sat on the deck and talked about our Girls Only Weekend, and made plans for the beach trip in October. Then I had a nice visit with an old friend (from whom I actually bought my house) who was in the neighborhood.  A little later I worked outside until early afternoon.  It was awful hot, but it felt really good to get myself up and moving.  I love the satisfaction of small projects with quick results.  Such  feeling of accomplishment!!  Whitney and I took the kids to Peyton's birthday party this afternoon, and we enjoyed some wonderful Bennett family time.  I enjoyed some party food, but not to excess, like I would have done in my former life.  It was a great day.

Now the house is quiet, and I've had a little time to catch up with Facebook and blogging, and soon I'll be turning in for the night.  But From This Day Forward, I vow to get back on track, taking it One Day At A Time, and get the job done.