• 23 Aug 2008 /  Comments Off

    Since I didn’t start this blog right away, here are some clips from my spreadsheet journal.

    April 8, 2008
    My thumb drive with my diet journal died on me, and I lost everything that I had thus far.  I’m not particularly happy about that.  However…

    I weighed in today at … 226.4 pounds!  That’s a loss of 25.6 pounds and I still have a month before I see my doctor again.

    I’m so damn proud of myself. 

    My clothes are getting loose and I can breathe at night a lot better when trying to sleep.  I found it quite easy to keep up with my meal plans; they’re convenient for me for work as well.  My poor husband is grumpy as he has to adjust to my adamancy of no eating after 7:00 p.m.  He’s learning how to also make sure he doesn’t eat (much) when he gets home from work.  No more ordering food from take out places, or at least, a tightening up of how often we do so.

    What I Have Learned

    One of the important things I learned in my road thus far, is that it’s okay to “cheat” on occasion.  You just have to learn moderation in things, and mostly that, it’s okay to have only one slice of pizza, or a small square of a brownie; it’s not the last time you’re going to have those things, so there’s no reason to hog down a whole batch of brownies or an entire pie in one night. 

    Here’s how I did it.  And … why.

    Every time I felt the salivation whenever one of the ladies in my office brought in homemade cookies, I asked myself, “Is it worthy dying young?”  I really wasn’t hungry; my meals and snacks sufficiently sated me.  It was just old habits that wanted to take hold of me again.  Plus, hey, it’s a BROWNIE after all!  I began to view these old urgings as my demons, and it was time to exorcise myself of them.  I learned to say, “no thanks” and mean it.  Honestly, to consider the bite of a cookie versus the certainty of a life with diabetes, it made it much easier.  I had motivation.

    People at work would remark on my lunch of a Lean Cuisine meal, a small salad, and a yogurt of how that didn’t seem enough for them.  Some had even tried it, but they felt they were just too hungry.  My response to them was, “Were you REALLY hungry? Or just thought you were?”

    You absolutely have to put into perspective the reason why you are eating.  Are you eating because it’s lunch time, or are you eating because you’re bored? Depressed? Unhappy?

    Also, the key to having your meal truly being satisfying to both your psyche as well as your stomach, is that you have to create your lighter meals to satisfy your particular tastes and palates. I could glance over at these same ladies and see their bowl of tuna salad and piece of bread and think, “Ugh, that would SO NOT satisfy me. At all.”

    I was noticing, however, that even with sticking with the exercise routine at home and the 1,500 or less calories per day, there were those times I would reach those dreaded plateaus.  I learned, by accident, how to bypass them quickly.

    I stuck to my sample menu every day of the week except for Sunday.  Sundays are the day that my husband and I sit down and have a nice meal for dinner.  Keeping my diet needs in mind and the fact that eating healthy was good for him too, our Sunday dinners were centered around his yummy oven-roasted chicken.  Or, if I could find fresh-never-frozen Swordfish at the store, that was a special treat chock full of those omegas.  A nice lean pork chop on occasion, too.  Brown rice preferably over any other rice.  Pasta in moderation.  Lots of vegetables.  I would alter my recipes for enchiladas to instead use ground turkey and less cheese; even my enchiladas were low caloried delights.  Tony altered his lasagna to use ground turkey and skim milk ricotta and mozzarella cheeses.  I’d broil up turkey burgers, which we now prefer over beef burgers. 

    I’d say, it has been very rarely that I had anything with beef in it (even my Lean Cuisine meals).

    One day, I had it, and told my husband, I want pizza!  I was grumpy because I hadn’t seen a weight change in days.  Despite his subtle hints that I shouldn’t, we ordered and I had my fill rather quickly, though managed to get down two slices before I had to stop.  I went over my 1,500 calories that day, by about 300 calories.

    The next day, I was back to my 1,500 calories or less per day and … I started losing weight again. 

    Then I read various articles and it was noted that it’s okay to cheat, that the body sometimes needs to be fooled.  Hm. Maybe they had something there.  So, the next time I hit a plateau, I cheated again, and again, I bumped off that plateau and returned to losing. 

    I now regularly “cheat” every two or three weeks, never on the same day…

    May 13, 2008
    My doctor quite pleased;  I weighed in at 221.2 pounds. Granted, that is only a 5 pound loss in a month’s time, but that was all good because it’s not healthy to lose more than 1-2 pounds per week.  Not only that, it makes it easier to tone up.  Ever see anyone who loses a LOT of weight really fast? 

    I also joined Bally’s.  Sure as I had thought, the summer deals arrived.

    My blood tests came in, too, and the sugar level was still a bit high, so Dr T. gave me a 10 pound goal to meet before I see her again on August 20th.

    June 6, 2008
    I have reached MY personal goal of being out of the 220s.  I weighed in this morning at 218.6 pounds. 

    I’m wearing clothes I had long grown out of.  I discovered clothes I had packed away because they no longer fit. WHEE!  This is like Christmas in June! 

    I set my next personal goal of reaching 199, and forever, and I do mean FOREVER, leaving the 200s behind.

    July 4, 2008
    I weighed in today at 214.2 pounds. 

    My workouts at the gym are regular.  Twice a week after work, usually Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then again on Saturday mornings early.  I started out on the stationary bike at the lowest level doing 20 minutes, and now I’m two levels higher doing 45 minutes.  Then I spend another half hour on the weight circuit.  I feel so wonderful and have met some really nice folks at the gym.

    My poor dog has learned that a walk with me these days means that the first half of the walk is his time, sniffing away and pooping and all that.  The rest of the walk belongs to ME, and it’s a full blown power walk.  He huffs and puffs like an old man.

    I noticed an odd pink spot on my left calf this morning; it looks like a mosquito bite.

    July 10, 2008
    The pink spot has grown larger and it has me concerned, but today I fly off to Oregon to spend almost a week with my two daughters and my granddaughter. NOTHING is going to stop me from seeing them — and yeah, I intend to cheat!

    July 17, 2008
    I’m home and my leg is now incredibly red and swollen.  I was told by my daughter’s mother-in-law that it looked like cellulitis. Great.  I gained only 5 pounds and that is rather unbelievable considering how much I did cheat.  I also learned the hard way, that I don’t tolerate beef well anymore.  After a night of barbecued beef burgers, I became viciously ill. 

    Looking back, though, I was feverish that night as well, and combined with the evidence on the leg, it may not have been just the beef.

    July 25, 2008
    I’ve lost the 5 pounds I had gained while on vacation, but I’m in a big bit of depression right now. 

    I chose a new physician to be my internist a week ago today, and he gave me antibiotics for my leg.  He thought maybe phlebitis.  I went to the hospital also that same day for a venous doppler, but thankfully it was negative for any blood clots, especially deep vein thrombosis as was feared since I had flown twice for long periods within a week of each other. 

    Today, I saw his partner who suggested still it might be cellulitis.  My leg has responded a little bit to the antibiotics, but not near enough as I have hoped. He told me that I can’t return to my workouts because it could be dangerous. He sent me off to have some x-rays done.

    July 31, 2008
    My leg seems not better, but worse.  I haven’t been faithful in following the 1,500 calories per day either since I’ve been back, though somehow still managed to lose that 5 pounds.  The body being fooled and all, I suppose.  The clock ticks on and my due date to see my endocrinologist nears and I know I won’t make the goal she and I had set.

    I suppose the good thing, is that I recognize that I’m “misbehaving” in my meals due to being despressed and worried about my leg. 

    My x-rays results came back negative and I go back and see my doctor next week to see where to go at this point.

    August 5, 2008
    I’m not losing weight, but then again, I’m not gaining any either.  I suppose that’s the plus.  My doctor is concerned that I have venous insufficiency.  (Refer to earlier in this when I mentioned that I was concerned about exactly that almost two years ago… another misdiagnose by my now ex-physician?). 

    I see a vascular physician the day before I see my endocrinologist. 

    My internist gave me Lasix and potassium to hopefully ease the edema from the left leg, and in my research of venous insufficiency, I found some gentle exercises that will help heal the leg and pump blood without damaging the vessels in the process.  I intend to research more.

    August 12, 2008
    I weighed in this morning at 213.2 pounds with the determination that I have to put myself back on track. It’s back to following the 1,500 calories per day; back to the workouts, be it at home or at the gym.  I had my last cheat day yesterday for awhile now.  Though my meals I cheated in, 100 to almost 500 calories per day more than I should have, I have returned to and kept up with the exercising at home.

    Tonight after work, I returned to my regularly scheduled workouts. Based on what research I’ve done, exercising is essential to recovery and keeping healthy, so I figured that if I kept my workout light enough and not overstress my body, it’ll help not only my leg, but my emotional well-being.  I was literally like an addict needing a fix…

    At the lowest setting (UGH! how wimpy…) on the stationary bike, I rode for a half hour, then set off to work out on the weight circuit, those machines that work the upper body.  Though I had to work out on the two hip abductors as well. Those put pressure on the thighs and hips, and generate blood circulation without pressurizing the calves, so I figured that would be fine. 

    DAMN!  It felt so GOOD to be back at the gym.  I was beaming when I left, I just know it.

    When I got home, I leashed up JD and we went on a nice walk; I even pushed a little bit of a power walk in there.  The weather was just gorgeous!  So clear and… FRESH; just beautiful. On our round back down the hill toward home, with the view of the Hudson and New Jersey on the other side, it was sunny over there in New Jersey, but above us, was sprinkling down a gentle rain.  Because of the sun, you could see the rain falling, like tiny diamonds dripping down.  It was spectacular and I wish I had my camera.