Saturday, June 30, 2012

I just keep getting redder and itchier

Whatever I got myself into, I got myself into it GOOD. My arm just keeps getting more and more blisters. More and more red and the swelling just keeps expanding down the arm. I started an antibiotic yesterday, but I don't think it does anything for me at all as, unfortunately, I think I just got a really good dose of poison ivy oil on my skin and it's continuing to torment me.

I worked more in the yard today. I got the rest of the plants in the ground and in the planters and mulched for a bit. It was supposed to be a super hot day today, but it didn't get as hot as they predicted and so I was able to get more done than I thought I would.

My plan initially was to get up early in the morning and work in the yard. Plan changed as we had a horrible storm last night- fits the description of a derecho. It came in quick and furious and things were flying in the air and there was a lot of rain. Decided it would be too wet in the morning to work at the crack of dawn, so waited until about 11 am and worked outside until about 1 pm. I hope to get back out there to mulch the flower garden around the boulders this evening.

Not much more than that... I'm hanging in there and feeling mighty miserable with itching and just keep wondering when I'll finally start to see things calm down with my skin. I'm kind of sick of all this rash!

Friday, June 29, 2012

All about the heat

Summer is officially here and man, is it HOT!  Some things about summer are easier now that I'm thinner. Like, I don't get as exhausted from the heat. All that extra padding made me work harder to move and it was insulation and worked against me when I was trying to cool down.

Some things are the same. I had hoped I wouldn't have chub rub any more, but... I do a little. I think if I lose a little more and firm up a bit more, I'll get rid of chub rub completely, but my thighs do rub a teensy bit and that is awful in summer. I'm wearing a skirt today and to keep myself from getting a rash, I have to wear a pair of compression shorts/underwear to keep my legs from getting a rash. Of course, that then makes me hotter as I then have an extra layer!  Maybe next year.

And of course, this heat is making my poison ivy rash feel better on my underarm and my waistline. Super itch!

I went to the doctor today and he thinks the swelling is just from the poison ivy, but he said it could be beginning of cellulitis as well, so he put me on an antibiotic and gave me a steroid cream for the rash. The swelling on my arm has gotten a bit bigger throughout the day, so it was probably a good call to start the antibiotic as this swelling is nasty!

It's too hot to be hungry today which makes it an easy day to be good with eating! And I slept better too with taking the antihistamine. That helps tons.

And because I'm a glutton for punishment, I'll be heading back outside to work on the yard this evening to try to get the mulching near completion. I'm tired of seeing this mulch pile!

Stats for 6/29/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 172.8

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Well, I'll admit it, it's more than poison ivy

I don't know what yet, but my arm is swelling up like a balloon - more and more. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow at 10:30 am, but that's the soonest I could get in. I called midday, but they were booked. So, I used a sharpie to mark the outline of the swelling and it is expanding beyond that... and expanding away from where I have poison ivy. Not good.

I've been taking antihistamine so the itching is subsiding, but the swelling is getting worse. Darn it! I have no fever or anything, but something is up, obviously.

So, the day didn't go as I planned. I worked for work today and then when the heat came down I worked for a bit outside. I still have so much to do and this heat and this rash and now this swelling isn't helping me any, that's for sure!

I did sleep last night though, but my eating was at maintenance level once again. Seems when my stars aren't aligned in a row lately, I'm not making the best of decisions. Shame on me!!! I need to get back on track!

Stats for 6/28/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 172.0

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Now I somewhat understand mange

Sorry if that sounds strange, but we have fox in the area right now that are dying from mange. Basically, they are dying of starvation or hypothermia because they are itching to death. That is how I felt last night with sleeping or lack of sleeping and day 3 or 4 with poison ivy.

I finally fell asleep around midnight. I was up at 1:30 am to put cream on my arm. I woke up at 5 am itching like crazy. I put on my cream which helped, but I couldn't fall back asleep. I even tried to take a nap today as I've had about 15 hours of sleep total for the last 3 nights, but it was a no-go. I was too itchy.

So, I went to Target and bought a hydrocortisone cream. It works about as good as the Sarna cream works, if as well. I also bought a diphenhydramine hydrochloride (HCl) tablet (same as Benadryl) and HCl cream. I can't use both, but I should try one. I'm not sure which,  but I need a good night of sleep!

Besides that, I've been on target with eating today, by some miracle. Maybe I'm too itchy and tired to be hungry? Kind of like a mangy fox? Ugh... poison ivy stinks!

I guess the only good news in all this is that my son who had slept so little the night before last, slept 14 hours last night, so I at least got the 5 hours of interrupted sleep. It could have been worse.

It's been hot today, so no working in the yard, but I will do it tonight after dinner. I'm on a mission!  And I think the poison ivy is getting better. The sores on my stomach are drying up and are less itchy. And the scale was done 2.5 pounds today. Though you can't tell it by my arm. My arm is so swollen - looks and feels like someone pumped a 20 ounce bottle of water into all the loose skin - filling it up again like when I was fatter.

Tomorrow, hopefully, I'll feel better and will see even more droppage on the scale.

Stats for 6/27/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 172.4

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Interesting couple of days

Yesterday I had a meeting for work. When I went in, I discovered that my boss had resigned - effective immediately as of past Friday. Of course, we all were thrown for a loop - especially us part-timers and temporary hires. We were hired because of her vision of the department and the direction she wanted to take it. Who says that the next person will want that same vision? or the same employees? Of, if there even will be a new boss as they might just shuffle departments around.

We all were assured tout our jobs are safe. No one is getting laid off and if we were hired for 6 months, we were hired for 6 months and we'll see from there. We were told, "Now is your time to shine". So... I will try to shine. I don't know what this will do for a resume refresher, but it's too soon to tell. I'll just go with the punches and try my best and see where things end up. That's all I can do, right?

My son also started camp yesterday. He was so excited about archery today that he was up before dawn which then meant he crashed shortly after getting home this evening. Who knows what his sleep will be like, but I sure hope he sleeps as I only got 5 hours last night and that's never good.

Besides working, I worked a lot in the yard today. My poison ivy rash is getting better on my stomach, but it's still spreading on my arm. I sure hope I didn't come into more contact with poison ivy today. I wore new socks, new gloves and different shirt and shorts. I'll wash all the other stuff in Tecnu. Tonight I showered in Tecnu too, though it was probably too late to get any poison ivy oils off my skin as I had been out there for hours and hours - including spraying Poison Ivy Round-Up on some poison ivy in the yard. Darn stuff!  I probably put in 4-5 hours in the yard today. I'll try to put in similar hours tomorrow.

The scale is still climbing. Part of it is my eating, but part of it is this poison ivy. My arm is so swollen and my whole body is reacting, I guess. I tend to get edema with anything and everything, so I shouldn't be surprised.

We'll see what tomorrow brings. I'll work some and work in the yard. I really want to get this mulching all done. Tomorrow I "might" be able to get it all done, but then it will be time to clean up the darn yard! I have all sorts of crap to get rid of!

Stats for 7/26/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 174.0

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I am so bloated

And I blame the poison ivy. I have it on my tummy and my underarm and a bit on my forearm. The scale just keeps going up and that's the only thing I can see that is 'off'. Well, until today. Today I went on a cookie feast - stupidly. That's a well-rounded meal plan right? 2 cookies for breakfast, a hamburger and fruit for lunch, 4 cookies for snack, 2 cookies for dinner and a quesadilla. Good grief!!!

I need to reel it in as that is just plain stupid eating! And I know it! I did fine yesterday and for several days before that, but then today happened. I don't even know what caused it except they were there - looking at me.  I need to figure it out.

So now more of my bloat is from carb bloat along with the poison ivy bloat - NO FUN!

Tomorrow is back at the same. My younger son starts camp tomorrow and he's so excited. This week will be a week I need to get it "all together" as best as I can which includes getting that yard work done. A good case of poison ivy isn't helping my enthusiasm to get back out there, to say the least! But I need to! I can't have a blocked off driveway forever! And I need to start back up at the gym as I'm seeing my hard work at the gym fading away with this easy peasy yard work I've been doing.

No more blowing it!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Not sure what's up with the scale

Every time I step on the scale I weigh a half pound to a pound more. My husband's weight has crept up a few pounds this week too, but mine has crept up 5. I can see that my ankles are swollen, my fingers are swollen and my gut is poofy, but from what?

I somewhat suspect it's the heat wave, but I've also come in contact with poison ivy in a couple places. Could that allergic reaction be making me hold water?

I've been diligently counting calories and it's not from overeating. Yesterday I ate 1380 calories, yet gained half a pound. Stuff like that. Ugh!!!So annoying!

Plan for today is to work at the pool for my job and then go to a couple events this evening for a couple stories for the same job. Then I'll make some cookies to take to a play date tomorrow for my other job. I'm hoping to stay out of the cookie dough! That's all I need is MORE weight gain on top of the water weight gain I'm experiencing.

Stats for 6/23/12:

Highest Weight: 275  Now: 172.0

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Getting back in the groove

For whatever reason, the past month or so, I've been a bit lackadaisical about fitness and weight loss and I can tell on the scale and in my fitness level. I'm still watching what I'm eating and I'm still being active, but it's not at the same level it has been and that's not good. I had wanted to go on vacation very fit and at my best. Well, I won't.

But, it is getting better. My eating was spot on yesterday with a lot of exercise too.  Today is starting out to be that way too. It's funny. I just feel that desire coming back. Either my thyroid is getting better (a good possibility) or I just needed a mini mental break. My sleep still stinks, so it's not that, but something is changing for the better. I care more (again) about my movement and my eating.

So, maybe in this last month before our trip I can reign it in and get things better than they have been! It's up to me!

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170.6

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How does the gizmo do with yard work?

I've been wearing my bodymedia fit fitness gizmo while working in the yard. On average, I spend 2-3 hours outside a day working on yard stuff. While I'm out there I have done such activities:

  • Ripping up sod with a manual sod remover - 3 hours. It said I was moderately active for about one hour with about 12000 steps for the day.
  • Weeding flower beds by hand - 3 hours. Gizmo said I was moderately active for about 15 minutes. With about 6000 steps for the day.
  • Planting annuals with a hand spade - 3 hours. Gizmo said I was moderately active for about 15 minutes. WIth about 6000 steps for the day.
  • Planting larger shrubs with shovel - 3 hours. Gizmo said I was moderately active for about 25 minutes with about 7000 steps for the day.
  • Digging up soil and removing it for stone pathway - 2 hours.  Gizmo said I was moderately active for about 25 minutes with about 7000 steps for the day.
  • Hauling stones, positioning and leveling with sand - 3 hours. Gizmo said I was moderately active for about 30 minutes with about 8000 steps for the day.
  • Shoveling mulch, hauling mulch and distributing mulch by hand and rake - 3 hours. Gizmo said I was moderately active for about 15 minutes with about 7000 steps for the day.

Compare that to 45 minutes of step aerobics:

  • 20 minutes of moderate exercise, 10 minutes of vigorous exercise and about 10000 steps for the day.
This are somewhat accurate and a bit hard to compare super accurately, but either gardening isn't as 'active' as it seems or the gizmo just doesn't pick it up. It kind of stinks when you spend 2-3 hours outside working and come in to see that you've only logged 15 minutes of being active! I can get that much moderate activity going grocery shopping!

This morning I was out mulching the yard. I had to break up the compacted mulch on the driveway, shovel and lift it into a wheel barrow, roll the wheelbarrow to the side yard, dump it out, then with a pronged rake and a bit by hand, distribute the mulch around the perennials. I did that today for about 90 minutes between 8:45 am to 10:15 am. When I came in, it was 90 degrees outside, 96 with heat index and I was drenched. I could almost ring out my jeans shorts, t-shirt, bra and underwear. My gizmo said I was moderately active for 32 minutes and that I took 4000 steps. I was working pretty fast this morning to try to get the side yard done before it got too hot, but to be that hot and sweaty and "ugh" feeling and to see I got 32 minutes out of it? Kind of disappointing - though it is more than I've seen for other days doing similar things for even more time outside. 

So, I don't know how much info I get from the gizmo. It's fun in a way, but how accurate? Hard to tell. I haven't been dropping weight, but I've also been eating more, so maybe it is pretty accurate.  I'll keep checking and see.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

As weight loss has tricked down, my thoughts

There are a few ways I could look at my very, very slow weight loss now. If you can call it weight loss. I lost a bit, gained a bit, but not quite as much as I had lost. Pretty much, I've lose 6-7 pounds and that's it since right before the holidays.  And that is somewhat misleading as I did gain around the holidays and had to lose that weight (again). But any way you look at it - my weight loss is painstakingly slow.

I could say - that's it - diet's over. I'm no longer going to try to lose weight because what's the point. I'm barely losing so maybe I should just move to maintenance mode (whatever that means).

I could say - darn it - I need to buckle down. I want to lose 7-15 more pounds and I just need to get stricter with my food intake and work harder with my exercise/fitness.

Or, I could say or admit  this - Well, this weight loss thing has trickled down quite a bit. That's OK, every little bit I don't eat or every little bit I do move is creating a deficit. So what if that means a pound a month loss. It's still losing and still getting me closer to where I want to be weight-wise and fitness-wise. I'm at a healthy weight (for my frame). Now it's just fine tuning and there's no rush. Just keep trying to make good decisions and see where that leads to with weight and fitness.

I have to say, my husband has helped me quite a bit with the 'slow loss' thing. He started losing weight last year a bit after I did. He didn't have much to lose and like most diet efforts, he lost the most in the beginning. He went from 185 to 175 in about 6 months. Then it took him another 6 months to get to from 175 to 170. Then the holidays hit and he gained 5 pounds. It's taken him 6 months to lose those 5 pounds again. He would like to lose 5 more pounds, but he doesn't care if it takes 6 months or even a year. He just keeps swimming and eating right and little by little it keeps coming off. He has also really trimmed up with muscle strength and looks great and feels great.

So, I'm not 'giving up' or going to despair at my slow ups and downs. As long as the main direction is still downward, I'll be fine with that. Last month it was going upwards, but that's all back under control and headed downwards again.  So... it might take me another 6 months to a year to take off that last little bit, but my body still thanks me. It's just happy to be moving and getting quality food.

Stats for 6/18/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.8

Monday, June 18, 2012

Reflecting on being 42.5

Well, technically that date was a bit over a week ago, but it didn't hit me that I'm now in the second half of my birth year.

I got to thinking about where I am in the 42nd year when I realized I might be dealing with menopause (or I reallllly miscalculated when I ovulated).  I realized that my father died around 42.5. Sadly, I don't remember exactly when he died. I just remember it was the fall. When someone isn't a part of your life, noting the exact date of that missing someone's death isn't etched in your brain for life. Then there's the fact that it's been nearly 20 years! Things really spiraled around that time. My father died - I was reeling somewhat as I had so many questions of "WHY???" and "HOW???" I was angry. Then, like a week or two after my father died, someone I always looked up to as a father figure and wished he was my father instead of the one I had, hit on me, made a sexual pass and that was just AFTER I had told him about my dad dying. And then he shared some personal information about himself that made me thankful he wasn't my father. So, I lost my deadbeat dad and my idolized "wish he could have been my father" man in a couple weeks time. Ironically, I met my to be husband a couple weeks after that. I think we hit it off so well, so quickly, because I let my guard down. I needed to confide in someone and well, he was there and it helped us form a very quick and tight bond from the beginning. He helped me sort out my feelings as a friend.

So, here I am, at the age my father died. My weight is steady. My blood pressure is good (off meds again). I'm fit and active and I have totally changed my lifestyle around. When we were at the bay a couple days ago and we were waiting for the cars behind us to move so we could leave, I was watching the owners of the home bustling about putting stuff away (with a lot of help - and yes, we helped some too, but we also had a very sleepy 7 year old in the car at 9:30 pm and an hour drive to get home).  I was looking at the owners and realized - I want to be like that at that age. They are both in their 70s. The man is, I think, 79. She is 70 something. They are fit and active and on the go and they always have been. I contrast that to my mother in law who gets winded going up a flight of stairs so she avoids the stairs. She doesn't do any physical work and complains about poor sleeping habits and not feeling good and it's all because of a lifelong habit of not moving.

That could have been me! Just slowly getting less strong and less able. The key is moving! Always moving and being active - in whatever way - walking, gardening, swimming, running, lifting weights, yoga. Whatever trips your trigger, but MOVEMENT is key to a healthy, long life. Sure, so is weight management, but active people have less problems with weight too.

Just as I was approaching my 40th birthday and felt so horrible, I didn't think I wanted to live a long life as I was tired and worn out. I just wanted to live long enough to raise my kids - that's it. Now, with being healthy and fit (and a mostly fixed thyroid issue), I want to live a long and active life and I see a way to make it possible (barring things like cancer).

So much is in my control that I didn't really give much thought to. It's up to me on how I exit this world to a large degree and I don't have to view my senior citizen years as years of pain and suffering like I've witnesses around me much of my life. I look around me now with all these original home owners living around us since the beginning of the community - 45 years - all around or over 80 now and they are healthy and strong because they are active.

I might have started being active and fit late in the game, but I don't think it was too late.

Stats for 6/18/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170.2

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Another year to honor my husband on Father's Day!

This morning started out so nice. My younger son slept in because he was up late last night at that party on the Bay. It's another cool, low humidity day too. My husband's requests for the day are pretty modest  - he asked for crepes for breakfast, which I made and we were able to eat outside on the deck. It was slow and leisurely and wonderful.

Then we went outside to garden some more. I transplanted a few plants from the shady bed to the front yard that needed more sun and then we tried to even out the soil around the two side flower beds and planted a few shade perennials.

Now we're in the house watching the soccer game between German and Denmark. After that's over, I'm giving my husband the rest of the day off and I'll work with mulching with my older son. I don't think we'll get it all mulched today, but we have another beautiful, low humidity day tomorrow and we should be able to finish it up then.

But back to my husband. In addition to him being a huge help with the yard these days, I see all the time what a wonderful father he is. Yesterday at the bay, he was hanging out with my son, got him in his suit, showered him up when he was out of the sea and got him dressed again.  Those little things are the things that matter. Those little things are things my dad never did even when he was still a part of our lives. And he doesn't do it because I tell him to. He does it because he wants to - because he is part of his kids' lives.

My older son and he have a great, great relationship. They are two peas of the same pod. They practically look like clones separated by a generation (my son just have reddish hair while my husband has black hair) - with only my smile being a giveaway that he might actually be my son too. They carry on conversations that are way over my head in technical language and while there is a line of parent/child, there's a mutual respect there too and they like each other.

With my younger son, it's still so much of the little kid/adult  relationship, but it always warms my heart when the little guy wants his dad over me for anything - spending time with, putting him to bed, etc. I love that they are building their own relationship and it's not just mom that is wanted all the time like it used to be.

I see that my husband likes being a father. It's something he always wanted and he's good at it, but I'm also glad we are through the rough years of parenting - the super intensive years. I'm glad that we have a relationship beyond "we are these kids' parents". We have a friendship that goes beyond that - and hopefully one that is lifelong.

But for today I am honoring him as the father of my children. I chose a good one! One of my better decision in life - marrying and becoming parents with Sven.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Just a really quick check in

To see I'm here and well.

Today was a great day. Great temps with low humidity and mostly sunny. We gardened for 3 hours, then got ready for a party and then spent 6 hours at a party on the Chesapeake Bay (well, 4 hours at the bay - an hour getting there and back). Such a great day. A bit more food than I needed, but it was also a very active day. I wish more days were like today.  I'll go to bed happy, relaxed and worn out. That's a good way for a good night of sleeping (which I'm still trying to catch up on!)

Oh, and 5 days late, but my monthly visitor arrived. Not quite like clockwork, but at least I can stop worrying about 'when' will it come.  This could make our vacation on the beach quite interesting!

Stats for 6/16/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 167.6

Friday, June 15, 2012

I'm 42 and I think it's finally happening

The first true signs of menopause.  My mother was completely through menopause sometime between 42 and 43. I'm exactly 42 and a half years old.  (Hmmm... which will lead to another age related post tomorrow).

Up until now, I haven't seen much in signs of menopause approaching. I thought I was about 18 months ago as I would get hot flashes around ovulation, but turns out that must have been thyroid issues, because as soon as my thyroid got in a better range of hormones, the hot flashes stopped.

I get my monthly visitor every month and every month I have signs of ovulation. It's getting more difficult to detect ovulation, but like clockwork, I get my menstrual cycle.

Well, this month has been different from the get go. First, I dropped weight in the first half of the cycle which I never do. And while I did gain as if ovulation was coming, it never spiked and then dropped. On top of that, I was eating more poorly, so it was harder to tell what was causing the spikes in weight. One thing for sure was that I didn't see a 'whoosh' like I usually do.

It is now 18 days past what I thought was ovulation and my period is nowhere in sight? Pregnant you ask? Not possible unless you all really believe in immaculate conception. At least I don't need to worry about that!

I'm either experiencing my first known anovulatory cycle (they actually happen a lot more than people realize) or my thyroid is really messed up and is messing with my cycle. I tend to believe the first of the two because even when my thyroid was way off the charts bad, I was still cycling normally.

My mom said for her that it just stopped - just like that. No irregular cycles. Just one month she had periods and the next months she didn't. For that year, at least, she would cycle a couple times when my sister and I were home for college during Christmas and spring break. Those pheromones in the air I guess were enough to get her body to jump start a cycle or something (this phenomenon of women's cycles aligning is super fascinating), but basically it all just stopped.

While I hate dealing with cycling - the moods, the hormones, the hassle. I also know that it's better for my health if I cycle longer. Of course, noncycling doesn't mean that all hormone production has stopped. It's just not enough to cycle. It will be years and years before the ovaries stop functioning, but still.

Right now it's ver odd. I've been dealing with my monthly cycle for 28 years and only stopped while being pregnant and early months of nursing. I'm a bit nervous - like I could start bleeding any minute, so I'm wearing a protective layer 'just in case' it starts.

And it's an odd feeling. I don't want to be "that old" yet. I don't want to know psychologically that I'm past child-bearing age. I feel too young for that.

And it seems getting healthy and such didn't have much bearing on when all this was going to happen. Seems, for now at least, it's following my mother's pattern almost exactly.

I guess if it's going to happen, I can be hopeful it will happen without all the hormonal hoopla that will drove me and my family nuts.

Stats for 6/15/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 168.6

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I feel so sluggish!

I wish I knew what was zapping me because I'm soooooo sluggish. I run out of steam almost every day, yet I'm anxious too.

Possible suspects:

1. Thyroid is way out of whack again.
2. My anemia is getting worse.
3. Lack of sleep is the root of the cause.
4. I've added in more carbs to my diet (out of convenience) and it's making me sluggish.

I think the first I need to address is #3. I need to get better sleep. I'm just having a hard time adjusting to working from home doing two part time jobs. Also, getting used to both kids being home all day as well as having TWO big projects going on at home.  I'm reallllly hoping the yard project will be done by Sunday. At least the bulk of it will be and I'll feel some of the pressure is off. Then I can move to painting and then cleaning up the house (which is getting painfully neglected as I work outside) before we go on vacation in mid July.

Then, I need to address #4. I need to lay off the carbs. They are probably affecting #1 and #2 too.

Today, ALL I did in the yard was plant 74 TINY annuals in the front flower bed. Last year I did similarly and a ton more and I was fine. Today? That totally drained me - I was done. And of course, it's a vicious cycle. The less I get done, the more stressed I get and then the less sleep I get, so the more carbs I eat and the less energy I have and so on.


Stats for 6/15/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 168.6

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I think I found my philosophy on eating online yesterday

Yesterday someone on a weight loss site linked this post:

I read it and was like, "yep, yep, yep, yep..." and then "What diet is this? It seems to be mine, but I'm not following a prescribed diet or a formulaic diet. I'm just doing what makes sense and works!"

Well, seems there is someone, lots of someones who are saying the same thing. This particular guy is a bit more paleo than I am. Like I will eat grains and I will eat beans, but I limit them - same with sugar. Trying to stay away from them is very difficult and like most things, I think moderation is key... but essentially, yes, what Kris has to say is what I feel is true too.

His whole "does this make evolutionary sense" is how I've done some parenting too. Like scheduling nursing, baby feeding, sleeping, dinners etc. We didn't live by a clock almost ever in our existence, so why do we think we need to do that now to be healthy? Fats have always been an important part of our diet, so why now are they so 'bad'? Well, after doing research, I think it's bullarkey. I don't trust the so called medical research because like most research, it's flawed I just have to use common sense to me. We need fats, proteins and carbs and I think we eat too many carbs as a whole. If you eat less carbs, you have to eat more protein and/or fat. Many people just increase the protein. While I do increase protein,, I don't just eat protein because that's hard on the body and I don't believe fat is evil.  My very good health, very good blood test results only support that, for now, at least, eating a lower carb and higher fat diet is healthy.

Does that mean everyone should stop eating all carbs and live on bacon? NO!!! It means, eating full fat dairy isn't bad. It means that eating fatty meat or the skin of chicken isn't bad. Just like all carbs aren't bad. Eat some cherries and an apple. We get something from those foods nutritionally. Ask yourself, What do you get out of a bagel? Stuff like that - when you really think about it - food should be filling, but filling for hours, not for a tiny bit. Filling foods that keep you full are fatty or full of protein or both. Carbs, in the end, just make you hungrier for more carbs - with the exception of high fiber fruit.

Anyway... I'll have his blog on my radar from now on. He makes sense to me. Poke around his site, check it out. I'm not endorsing anything and neither does he (though he does mention a book or meal plan that at least jives with what he agrees with). But I implore you to start thinking about food differently - especially those who have metabolic issues like blood sugar issues... makes me glad that both my nutritionist while I had gestational diabetes and my internist now said to eat lower carb. It has made allllll the difference in the world in how I feel and I'm convinced that's why I've been so successful at losing this weight and at keeping it off.

Stats for 6/14/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.0

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Really seeing yourself

I don't know why it is that I can look at myself every single day in the mirror and not see myself, but that seems to be the case. I can only really see myself in a photograph. And, I'm proud to say, I can see the good along with the bad, but it seems the mirror, for me at least, I tend to have a set of rose tinted glasses or something. Or, my bathroom mirrors are more flattering than the reality of the digital imaged the camera takes.

I got reminded of this when I saw a picture of myself from this past Saturday. My husband and I were working in the yard on creating that stone pathway. He had our older son take a photo of us looking at our finest, showing our work. My husband is in too baggy pants (they're too baggy for me too) with ripped knees, a grubby T-shirt and his baseball style sun hat. Me in a pair of jean shorts, a t-shirt, really old tennies and my woven gardening hat. It's one of the few photos of my husband and I together side by side. The last time we had a photo of us together was at Halloween time in our Halloween costumes. Now this time in grubs. Maybe we should maybe think to have a better photo taken, huh?

Anway, here's the photo:

I see this and I see I'm all boobs. I don't feel like I'm all boobs. And my boobs have shrunk quite a bit with this weight loss (down 2 cup sizes and 3 band sizes), but if anything, they look bigger on my body as the rest of me has gotten smaller.  I also see that my hips don't look as big as I see them in the mirror. When I see myself in the mirror, I see my gut and all the loose skin and basically, I just see bigness. But, it's not out of proportion with the rest of me. Also when I see this, I realize I don't look out of scale with my husband - for like the first time ever. My husband is 6'1" and 175 pounds. While I definitely am bigger than he is in frame size, fat percentages, etc, I don't look huge next to him any more like I used to.

This isn't a great photo, but when I see it, I don't see me. I don't see my face here, so I'm looking at a silhouette. That's not my silhouette in my head. I don't remember ever looking like this, so I don't know who that person is. I wonder when I'll get used to it?

And that path - it's now done. In that photo, we had the last 5 stones (those near our feet).  Now it's just to plant, but not today. It's raining - a lot.

Stats for 6/12/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170.2

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hello summer vacation!

It feels like a double summer vacation to me! The kids last day of school was Friday. For that there was a class picnic to end it off. Also, with the end of the school year, my commitment to volunteering every day in the classroom ended as well as the commitment to getting both my kids off to school, dealing with both of their homework issues and so on.

Then on Sunday was the last day of Sunday School (and the rest of the meetings) for the Ethical Society I work for. That means my Sundays are mine again for the first time since September. Surprisingly, I didn't miss a single Sunday!!! Of course, the last two weeks have been extra busy there too - getting the graduation behind us (which included my son this time) and this week with recognizing all the wonderful Sunday school teachers and sending the kids off with a party.

Work isn't really done for that job, but it's now 'behind the scenes' kind of stuff. I need to get some emails sent off and some things set up, but I can do this today, tomorrow or next week at my convenience - any time of the day.

Basically, that leaves me with just one bigger commitment - my part time job writing the blog posts as well as getting my yard put back together and taking care of the kids, of course.

So, this morning, upon waking, I just felt a relief - no more school. No more Sunday School. Ahhhh.... a break. I needed a break. Honestly, as a mom of two kids of special needs for schooling, "I" need the break as much as they do - maybe even more so. I don't think I could handle year round schooling.

I started my summer break though by waking up early and working on the yard by 7 am - after breakfasting! That was my husband's idea (the non-morning person). He felt bad that he wasn't able to help me yesterday with the yard as he was sick.

Not sure what today will bring. I have already worked a bit for my paying job. Now I think I'll go dig some in the yard and then in the later afternoon take the kids to the pool and 'work' there too as I need to take photos of pool shots for a couple stories I'm doing. I have all sorts of ideas popping up in my head!

And, since I got a good night of sleep. I don't feel snacky - unlike yesterday. I peed a lot of that water weight off too - not all of it, but I lose 4 pounds overnight!

Stats for 6/11/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 171.0

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The body is a funny thing

Yesterday morning the scale read 167.6. I noticed all day I was drinking and drinking and just not peeing. Huh? How come? I had a decent night of sleep. I hadn't eaten anything strange that I know of. I had spent a couple hours of vigorous activity in the yard. What could cause the lack of peeing.

When I stepped on the scale as I was heading to bed, I was blown away with seeing 173.6. That's 6 pounds more than in the morning! AND I hadn't eaten any food since 4 pm, so I know it wasn't food weight! Dude! I was seriously holding water.

I had a very, very, very short night of sleep - 3.5 hours and this morning I still barely had to pee. I didn't have a chance to weight myself this morning as my darling husband was hugging the toilet bowl in the bathroom where the scale lives. I was starving since I hadn't eaten since 4 pm and had been awake for so long. But I'm sure it was pretty darn high.

Now, after a day of not so good eating (hello - lack of sleep!) though not super terrible, the scale says 175. That is 8 pounds in 36 hours and will probably be 6 pounds difference in 48 hours.

Isn't that incredible?  And I see almost ALL that weight in my gut - Well, my feet too, but since my gut has shed a lot of the fluff, I can now tell when I get bloated.

It's probably all hormones too - my body is in a  big shift and for some strange reason, it likes to hold water when the hormones get flowing for either menstruation and ovulation. So much for that invisble line of 170.... I just need to work hard this upcoming month!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

This really is beginning to feel like a lifestyle

While I've been super, duper busy the past few weeks and while yes, the scale has creeped up a bit, I have a good 'feel' for what I need to do without having to document it all and having to stop and think, "Can I eat this?" Or thinking, "I should be moving more." I know what is right and what's too much and too little now. I think about things like I never have before.

Before, at a party I would eat whatever I wanted. Now, I think a bit more about it. Before, even if I ate a lot for a party, I would still eat later. Now, I will scale way back or not eat anything else at all later on (and amazingly, I'll find I'm truly not hungry!). It seems I'm finding a healthy balance - as long as sleep is in place that is! The gain I saw this month was from lack of sleep. I get it more than ever how important it is to keep good sleep a top priorty (funny I say that when I know I'll have a short night of sleep tonight!)

It feels good that it seems to be a true lifestyle now. I wondered how that would feel as I transitioned from losing weight to maintaining my weight loss. It had been a top priority to watch so completely carefully every morsel of food and every minute of exercise. While I still plan to do that, with the crazy schedule and demands of my time the past few weeks, I've not written anything down. I just try to walk more, move more and limit my calories and since I know what foods have so much and I'm eating basically the same thing daily anyway (same breakfast and similar lunch every day), I feel good about it.

I had stopped wearing my fitness gizmo for awhile because I didn't find it told me anything I didn't know already. Well, I started wearing it again to gauge if I was moving as much as I thought I was or not while I wasn't documenting activity and food intake. While it doesn't capture everything; like today it said I did 17 minutes of activity - moderate activity when I had spent 2 hours outside shoveling sand, lifting stepping stones and shifting sand around, it does let me know I'm burning about 2200-2400 calories a day. And I think I'm eating about 1450-1750 a day. And well, I don't think I do burn as high as the gizmo thinks I should as I don't see as much loss as it says I should even when I was keeping careful track of everything. But still, at this rate I should be still slowly losing - and that's with not documenting anything. That, to me, shows I've switched to this truly being a lifestyle change. I was getting about 2200-2400 calorie burn when I was trying to get a good calorie burn. I am just more active without really trying as hard as it's become part of my lifestyle!

Stats for 6/9/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 167.6

Friday, June 8, 2012

Saving myself from work

I have taken on a fairly ambitious task with the yard this spring/summer. I ripped out the 4 layers of weed barrier in the huge side yard flower bed. I've torn out 1/3 of the front yard to create a perennial flower garden and to make a stepping stone pathway to cut through, and I'm creating a new side of the house flower bed to take care of a very difficult to mow area of the yard, expanding the rock garden flower bed a bit and planting on the other side of the house where our neighbors finally took out their humongous bushes that grew up against our house.

It's a lot. I realize that. I'm doing this while also trying to get painting done in the house and while working two part time jobs. My mother in law who lives with us thinks I'm crazy. Thank goodness my husband does not.

Tonight she said something that is the philosophy of her life - "I'm just trying to save you from so much work."

 And what am I saving myself from? Beauty? Physical exercise? Absorbing Vitamin D naturally? Ok, grass is cheaper, but a nice garden is cheaper than medical bills for being too sedentary.

But I realized, that's how she lives her life. She is very clean and tidy, but it's easy to be clean and tidy if you don't do anything! She doesn't have any hobbies and never has. She doesn't sew, or craft in any way. She doesn't garden or cook or bake. Nothing. She reads, watches TV and goes to the mall every day. That's it. She keeps her bedroom and living closed and she's the only one ever entering or exiting. Well no wonder she only has to clean every couple weeks and it still looks clean. She's 'saving herself' from having to work and she's lived her entire life that way.

She hired people to bake for her, to cook for dinner parties. She lived in an apartment on the 3rd floor all her life and at most had two to three potted plants to take care of. So, she doesn't do anything that requires any physical effort.

Now, I can somewhat understand that at 76 years old. She's tired and it's more difficult, but she thinks everyone should live their lives like she does - save yourself from work. I think it's also biting her in the butt - this "saving herself from work". She doesn't sleep well. She has a super slow metabolism. She has aches and pains and doesn't feel well. And I think it's mostly because she's too sedentary. She doesn't 'do' enough.

So, what if I didn't bake and cook and do crafts and garden and such? I would be moving less. I would burn less calories. That's exactly opposite of what I need! I would have to go to the gym even more to make up for the movement I didn't do at other times. Some of the healthiest people I know are gardeners. You are constantly lifting and hauling and moving and tugging and usually not super strenuously, but for long periods of time and frequently. Doesn't it make more sense to move in that way when I can than to stand in a room and lift weights?

In essence, why would I save myself from work? I still need to work out. I still need to move. I don't know... she's probably secretly hoping that the time I don't spend on gardening I'll spend on being more tidy with the house. Hardly... I would sit on my duff. I know me.

So, I'm not going to save myself from work. We need physical work and we all probably should do more of it in our day to lives around home. I'm going to work on it more - hand scrubbing floors instead of using a mop for small areas. Weeding more often, etc. I already walk a lot of places... I'll just keep increasing all these things in my day to day life so I rely on the gym for fitness less and less. I will not "save myself from work". That's the wrong attitude.

Stats for 6/8/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.8

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our influences in the world

I've always felt that, for the most part, a person, an individual person, has very little influence in the world. I remember one time, early on in my marriage, we were talking about what we felt our roles were in the world. What are hopes were. My husband said that he would feel his life was a waste if he didn't leave an impact on the world. He would feel his life would be a waste if he didn't leave an important contribution. I felt that was so lofty... I didn't have such ideas. I just wanted to do the best I could as a human being and to try to be a good mother, a good employee, and to help others around me - to help make the world a better place by contributing my small part - no lasting legacy, but a positive blip on the radar for a second of time.

I find that I gravitate towards jobs where I feel I can help, where I can make a difference. I would love that these are high paying jobs, but they rarely are. And it's not the money that gives me satisfaction. I also can't do work that I don't feel passionate about. I couldn't 'sell' fat loss creams because I don't believe in them. I can't lie to myself or others. I couldn't work for a school I thought was bogus. I couldn't say something is fantastic, when it isn't.  Also, when I care about something, I don't care about it a tiny bit. I care deeply. It becomes part of me.

That's why when I was wanting to become a mother, I learned about midwifery, benefits of breastfeeding, and I was sooooo into it. I wanted to become a midwife and seriously looked at midwifery schools. I entertained the thought of becoming a lactation consultant. I felt so strongly about it that I wanted to 'do' something about it to enlighten other people to alternative, better ways of birth than the American, surgical, high intervention way. I didn't go that route due to so much re-education and my family moving all over the place.

I've thought about going back to get my teacher's degree. I still think of that possibility. I believe kids are our future - because they are! I want to support their growth as people.

In both my part time jobs, I feel very passionate about it. I teach Sunday School and I am the director of religious education with a nontheist organization. I simply love that job. I love working with the kids and the teachers. I feel energetic around them. I get recharged working with them because I think it's important - we are teaching kids to be kind and empathetic and to think about and to question everything.

With my other part time job, I work for an organization I strongly believe in. This organization enhances people's lives by providing camps, fitness facilities, bike and walking pathways, art classes, teen centers, musical events and so on - it's an organization that promotes building and maintaining community. It improves the quality of life for thousands and thousands of people. I buy into that and I champion that and wish other communities had such organizations.

I'm always drawn to such things - trying to make our lives richer and better.

I suppose I do that with this blog too. While this is my journey and everyone's journey is different and needs to be different, perhaps seeing and hearing of my ups and downs and inner thoughts help other people deal with their journeys a bit more easily.  Maybe they feel they aren't in it alone - like it seems so much of the time as we battle our own demons.

Last night I was in a discussion about personality types. And I mentioned that I was puzzled that my personality type changed. I used to be an ENTP - weak on the E and T and P. Very strong on the N. Now, with middle age, I'm an ENFJ. I'm still weak on the E, but strong on the N and now weak on the F and moderate on the J.

I read the description of ENFJs and I think it fits me fairly well. And I say this in a non-cocky way... but I think I am good with people - I understand blow-ups, people who do weird things, people who prefer to be by themselves and so on. The only time I have a hard time, really, is with people who don't think before they do - that's so hard for me to grasp! That and intentionally deceiving people.  ENFJ's are "The Givers"and I'm very giving of myself - always have been.  My husband is an INTP known as "The Thinkers". No one who knows my husband would be surprised at the label for him and probably for me either.

So, I give myself unto you almost every day as part of my giving nature! Want to take a personality type test? Myers Briggs doesn't do online versions, but there are several based off them and seem quite similar:

Stats for 6/7/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.0

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Watch out world, I'm having a moment!

My emotions are all over the place because of lack of sleep. I looked up on my little gizmo my sleep this past week and it's not good.

Tuesday: 5 hours
Wednesday: 5 hours
Thursday: 3.5 hours
Friday: 5.5 hours
Saturday: 4.5 hours
Sunday: 7 hours
Monday: 3.5 hours

By textbook, I should have gotten 56 hours of sleep in 7 days. I've gotten 34 hours. My one good night of sleep - Sunday night was still only 7 hours. That hardly makes up for the rest of it. I'm exhausted and my moods are all over the place.

Last night, I was feeling so good - almost irrationally good. I was looking at the number of people who were volunteering to teach next year for Sunday school and I was encouraged. It's still not enough, but it's more than we've seen volunteer in a long time. I counted up how many kids are in our program this year at this time compared to last year at this time and we doubled in size for kids outside of the mentoring program (9 to 19) and there's prospects for more growth. I was almost giddy as I'm excited about the possibilities.

Then, this morning, after getting even less sleep than I anticipated as my 7 year old had one of his very rare "up in the middle of the night" nights. He wasn't a happy camper this morning and he keeps breaking out into tears because the school year is ending. Change is difficult for him and even though we keep trying to show him the positives (vacation, going to museums, going to the pools - things we don't have time for during the school year), he still wallows in the "Oh no. I only have 4 days left." One of autism's effects - change is hard.

Then, I see my older son's high school assignment that he spent so much time on and was as polished as he could make it still only garnered a low B and significantly below the class average and I wonder why? I see he's still struggling all across the board and I just want to scream as part of the problem is that "I" don't do well with his ADHD because I probably have ADD and I'm sure his father has ADD. How can we help a kid with organization when we have problems with organization? I feel we let him down. I was near tears this morning. Intellectually, he's one of the brightest kids in school. Organizationally, he's probably one of the worst - not a good combo and I just hope that he can get through these horrible high school years and early college and be able to move onto his strengths (science and math) without failing out first. It's getting harder and harder with colleges too - there's less leeway for grades than ever before - his high test scores won't be enough.

And then this morning I stepped on the scale and it was up again. I knew it would be as I had another difficult day of eating - less carbs, but too much food. I'm undoing all of last months progress and I hate that. And it's because of lack of sleep and right now I can't control the amount of sleep I'm getting. I either go to bed, or I leave my struggling teen to organize on his own during the biggest crunch time he's ever experienced. If he doesn't do well on these last projects, he'll be on academic discipline and unable to do any extra curricular activities - punishing him even more for a disability he has so little control over.  And I curse myself for not being like many moms I know who can keep it all together - hovering and supporting.

Ugh... but I vow not to let my emotional roller coaster affect my eating today. I took the first step yesterday by eating protein when I wanted sweets. So, I still ate too much yesterday, but I got the sugar cravings under control I think. So, it's a step in the right direction.

But everyone who encounters me today needs to treat me with kid gloves. It's just one of those days that I know I'm moody. I know I have a short fuse and there's nothing I can do about it.

Stats for 6/5/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 171.2

Monday, June 4, 2012

Totally my fault, but the scale went where it was never to go again!

The scale this morning read 170.4. Oh. my. God. While I knew it was a possibility, my heart still sank. Two days of eating sweets and there I was - the forbidden zone! Ack!!!!

I know much of it is carb water weight and will come off in a day or two, but I also know there will be no weight loss this month. I've taken that possibility away. There will probably be a slight gain, actually. The good news is that I had a fairly decent night of sleep  - sort of and I'm eating better today, but holy smokes is my body sensitive to carbs! And is my mind sensitive to lack of sleep. I just keep saying to myself, "This is the last week of school Melissa." and "This is the last busy weekend." And then I'll have a bit of a reprieve from stress and time demands.

My mind is in a better place about it now though. All those eons ago when I lost weight, and would get these major sweets cravings, I didn't understand them. I didn't get the connection between lack of sleep and this insatiable desire to eat crap. How was I so dense? When it is so obvious? Duh!

So while I still succumbed to the sugar, I know how to reverse the pattern - just like that! Back on track, no excuses!

Stats for 6/4/12:

Highest Weight: 275  Now: 170.4 Eek!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lack of sleep caught up with me - bad eating!

Last night i succumbed to it. I was decorating the cupcakes and ate a lot of frosting. Today I grabbed several cookies, a donut and a couple cupcakes too. Man oh man... lack of sleep is my number one issue with weight gain. And I must never, ever forget that.

It makes complete sense. First, your body is dragging. Your body needs a boost of energy to do with it what you are asking it to do. If sleep isn't possible, food is. So, you want to eat and it's always (at least in my case) high carbs food - sweets for quick release energy.

Then, with lack of sleep, your ability to think rationally and clearly are less. You listen to the 'bad' voices more readily. "Go ahead! Eat that cookie. It's only one. It can be your lunch. You won't get hungry."  And then an hour later, you are even more hungry, "Mmm. I already touched that donut (getting it for my son, but he didn't want that kind). I guess I should eat it."  On better days, when I've had enough sleep. It would be, "You are hungry, eat a lunch. Skip the cookie because that won't satisfy you for long and will only make you hungrier in the long run." And, "Darn it! Now I have to throw away this donut because I've touched it already!"

So, tonight I need to get a good night of sleep and face the scales. I didn't step on them this morning as I had a short night of sleep and I knew it wouldn't be good. Won't be tomorrow either, but oh well..

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Digging in the garden and darn measurements!

So, in the middle of last month I took measurements - boobs were down, waist was down, hips were down.  I took measurements this morning and everything is back up!!! What? Means I must have gained a bit of weight! Man a live... that stinks. Well, nothing to do but buckle down.

Today is a busy day. This morning I made 6 trays of cookies and 96 mini cupcakes and 15 large cupcakes and frosting. I still need to tint the frosting and decorate the cupcakes.

I then spent three hours outside gardening - sort of. First, my husband and I unloaded the stepping stones from the pallet and then I started digging up the path for the stone walkway. Three hours of that - so much for getting to planting. I figured it made more sense to get the stones in first before planting. My poor plants are still all in those little plastic pots!

Then I made dinner and now I'm about to start decorating the bazillion cupcakes! Hope they turn out cute! And I'll try to stay out of the buttercream. As it is I ate too many cookies today! (my lunch).

stats for 6/2/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 168.2

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sleep deprivation usually means overeating, but...

this times it seems it's making me less hungry.

Every time that I think I have figured out my body, it throws me for a loop. I always do poorly with lack of sleep. And I am sorely missing sleep due to my son's high school end of term crapola he has to get done.

Maybe it's the lack of sleep plus STRESS that is keeping me less hungry. Both the last couple days I actually ate a bit less than my daily allowance and I didn't feel hungry. I didn't have cravings. I haven't even felt that exhausted. Strange, strange, strange...

Oh well, I'll be thankful and will hope for a good night sleep tonight. I crashed last night. Didn't even realize there was stuff at the foot of my bed. I didn't move, so I didn't even notice it or disturb it until morning. I even slept with the iphone charger under my face - totally clueless.

And yes, today is the first of the month, my usual measurement day, but it wasn't happening today. I've had 8 hours of sleep or less for two nights total. I don't even want to count how many true hours I've slept as that will just feel worse.

Tomorrow I'll do measurements and plug away at a very busy day. TWO more busy weekends and then some peace and quiet with school being done, one job mostly wrapping up for the season and hopefully nothing new stirring up - at least or a couple weeks.

Stats for 6/1/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 168.8