Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spirit and flesh BOTH willing and able 4 today

It's 11:40 and I'm sitting at my work desk starting this post while wolfing down some celery heart pieces with a Blue cheese LC lite wedge.  (btw - the blue cheese LC lite is my fave of their offerings)  I was absolutely empty-stomach hungry (as opposed to my more typical "throat wants to swallow something" hungry) because I didn't have my complete power breakfast I described yesterday. 

******Work interruption (and how dare they?)********

I did have my oatmeal and flax early before I left for work.  My plan (and frequent m.o.) was to have the yogurt and fruit as soon as I got in.  Well, it's now 12:33 and I've yet to have the yogurt and fruit because I got caught up in work matters and didn't miss the protein hit until about 11:15 when my stomach started actually gnawing and growling (who knew it remembered how given it's rare sensation of genuine emptiness!).  The celery and LCL blue was quicker to grab than getting my yogurt and applesauce parfait arranged.  Now I'm thinking I'll just have the yogurt when I get home from work, b/c it's about time for me to eat my awesome, huge, kick ass salad and a serving of the roasted veggies I did this morning before coming to work.

I'm so excited to have NOTHING going on this evening.  A couch potato's nirvana.  As I said yesterday, I've had things to do every evening this week, and also tomorrow night, so it's going to feel nice to come home and not have to go back out.  It's Modern Family night, and I think I'll be able to stay up to watch it (all the way to 9 pm), given my new found evening wakefulness of late.  It's chilly and rainy here, so I might go to the gym that I quit (but can use through April) to log some time on the treadmill and maybe elliptical.  Then to the store to pick up something for dinner for which I hope to find inpiration by perusing my favorite food blogs. 

I often get my dinner inspirations from blogs - especially now from some of the WW blogs, like TJ, Danica, Tami, Biz and The Slender Kitchen.  Most of you probably read these blogs, but if you haven't they are all worth your checking out, so hit the linky dinks and enjoy.  Of course I have a slew of favorite recipes in my rotation of dinner ideas, but I continue to get great new ideas from blogs.   Sometimes I bring my laptop into the kitchen to reference the recipes while I'm throwing them together.  Makes me feel like a child of the NEW MILENNIUM!  My husband has totally appreciated the vast new array of meals he gets since I started blogging.

BTW - I need to say again that I HEART blogging and am so glad to be back to it.  When I needed the break, I needed it; but I'm glad that's out of my system now and back amongst youze guys!  (A little Philly talk for youze....)

My meditation class was fantastic last night.  I'm going to write more about it soon.  It feels like something that is really nourishing my whole self and I'm so happy that this new opportunity is availble at a time when my spirit is willing and so is my flesh.  So often I have one without the other when trying to pursue something beneficial and broadening.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Keeping food light and mood right

It's been a busy week already, but a good one.  Monday morning I got the 2nd round of my injections in the knees with the Euflexxa.  Getting shots into your knees is not as much fun as it sounds...but the improvement I'm already sensing is worth it.  I definitely felt a slight improvement last week which the ortho told me was a good prognosticator for a good result.  I like that

I saw the podiatrist Monday afternoon about my numb left toe and he was essentially unconcerned because I'm walking fine with it and it's not impairing any function.  He noticed I've developed a small bunion I didn't have before and said that's likely the culprit of the numbness.  Sciatica is the 2nd contender, but given the lack of any more substantial symptoms and the fact that it's so intermittent rather than constant, he feels it's prudent to leave it alone unless the symptoms increase or change in any way.  He thinks neuropathy from diabetes is highly unlikely because I've been so well controlled and not required medication or testing.  The chance of diabetic neuropathy with my clinical picture is very small.  I'm fine with all that.

Monday night I went with hubby to an Alanon anniversary meeting where they had a speaker from AA, Alanon and Alateen.  All 3 had excellent messages of recovery and hope.  I was out until 9:40, a time at which I'm usually sound asleep because I'm up so early in the mornings (4-430am), and then stayed up another hour reading.  Really unheard of for me these days.  I can stay awake if I'm out doing stuff, but once home where the possibility of getting horizontal is 100%, I fade fast.  Last night I spoke at a meeting which had me out past my bedtime again.  I'm feeling like a grown up staying up so "late"! 

My sleep patterns definitely changed with menopause.  I stayed up 'til midnight or later for all of my kid-rearing years, then slept without waking until the alarm sounded.  But since mother nature began to send my hormones into underdrive as she does as we hit late 40s and early 50s, the quality of my sleep changed dramatically, and I haven't needed alarm clock since!

Food and exercise has been good this week thus far and I'm hoping for a loss at weigh in Sunday.  I've recently been on a new breakfast kick - I have oatmeal with 2 Tbs of flax meal stirred in after cooking and just a bit of salt.  The flax meal makes the oatmeal thick, dry and a bit grainy and gives it a sort of nutty taste.  The texture is heavenly to me, though my husband said it looks "disgusting".  Thanks dear.  ME LIKE!  Somehow the flax meal gives it a heartiness that keeps me full all morning.  Having a cup of TJoe's FF plain yogurt with unsweetened applesauce on the side has the protein hit (22 gms!) to also keep me satisfied, which is almost more important than being full.  (Any good food addict knows that.)  When at work, I usually don't eat lunch until about 1:30 because this b'fast is so substantial that I really have no desire to eat until then.  Unfortunately, after lunch the absence of desire to eat drains away quickly and once home from work, it's a constant effort to stay out of the fridge and pantry.  But I press on, hoping for the elusive peace with food to finally settle in.  Siiigh.

Tonight I have my meditation meeting from 7-9 that I think I mentioned a week or so ago. It's for people in any kind of recovery (with a 12 step focus) so there are some folks from OA, AA and even some with no official recovery program but wanting to meditate with a group. This is just the 3rd week, and so far it's been really good and helpful for me in my endless effort to establish a consistent meditation practice for myself.

Have a good day folks. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Not chapter 3

After writing out my thoughts about my ego driven doctor issues in my last post, I was going to write of the genesis of some of the health anxiety that has plagued me since 4th grade.  But I'm just not ready to do it - there is a lot of pain and ancient baggage there, and it's definitely been the most ongoing of my own unique thoughts and beliefs about myself, about my family and about illness.    I've never written it out though I've spent a lot of time in therapy over it.  Again - related shame is a core issue that has bled into my otherwise pretty great life and ever improving self concept and self acceptance.  Other than my weight and eating issues, it feels like the only remaining area of unresolved emotional stuff.  I know writing will help and I'm going to start working on that.  Whether I share it here remains to be seen.

Otherwise, I've tested my blood sugars all weekend, first thing in the morning (fasting) and then 1 and 2 hours after eating breakfast.  Other than fastings that are up a little (80-100 is normal range; mine has been 110-115 which used to be in the normal range back in less informed days), the numbers are exactly where they should be.  I'm glad about that, but the higher fastings are indicative that my type 2 is not borderline I suspect.  But the high readings are still quite low in the realm of type 2, so I'm grateful.  A week from Thursday I see my PCP (the one I just changed back to effective April 1), and given the numbers, and my blood pressure which is totally controlled and very good with the medication I'm on, I think it's prudent and perfectly safe for me to wait until then.

This afternoon I'm seeing my podiatrist about my numb toe.  I've realized it started happening since I got a new pair or running shoes (even though I walk, I get running shoes b/c I continue to hope for knees that will again allow jogging at some point).  The numbness is very sporadic, just with the left big toe and seems to be lessening.  The shoes are the updated version of the same ones I've used for a few years and definitely feels tighter under the left laces.  Don't know if it's related, but I'm getting it checked anyway in keeping with my new anti-ostrich approach to my health.  I got a lot of walking in this weekend - about 6 miles over the 2 days. 

I'm tracking points again and determined to do it for the whole week.  But first, I just have to do it for Monday, which is about as much committment as I can muster.  Get one down, the next will likely follow suit more readily.  Have a good one -

Friday, March 25, 2011

Doctor Dread - Chapter 2

*I apologize for the length of this.  I'm writing it out for myself.  Don't feel bad if you glaze over and fast forward to the end!*

In Wednesday's post when I first mentioned this more serious topic I was going to talk about, I said that I was seeing my primary care doc at 5:30 that evening to touch base, get some prescription renewals and a slip for blood work.  That was only a part of the story, and it turns out the appointment didn't happen...because I cancelled it.

Being a nurse has given me a comfort level with doctors that I think many people don't have.  I am able to think of the questions I want to ask during an appointment without writing them down prior, as I advise many friends to do who claim to forget everything they wanted to discuss because they are somewhat intimidated by docs.  I also know relevant information to report about symptoms or whatever is going on with me.  I worked in an Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary specialty for 14 years while my children were younger and learned a tremendous amount that specialty.  Have big time allergies and occasional asthma myself, that was a very good thing, and I still really know how to take care of myself in that realm, as well as how to advise others.

Prior to that lengthy job in an office setting I was the Clinical Nurse Specialist for a GYN Oncology doc for 3 years.  Another phenomenal learning experience professionally and personally.  I got to know the doc so well he taught and trusted me to do a lot of procedures that were really beyond my scope of practice - which I loved.  He became a close friend and actually walked me down the aisle in my wedding, as my own father passed when I was 11. 

All my years of nursing (I graduated in 1975 so it's been awhile) have given me a competence and confidence in my profession that of course has overflowed to my personal life, since we all need to see doctors from time to time.  (Also, my career as a nurse has become a big part of how I define myself - so there is much ego swirling around my thoughts and feelings here - just as a disclaimer.)  So it's important to me that my primary care doc is someone I respect and like, and feel respects me as well.  Until about 18 months ago, my PCP was a doc (named Walt) I actually worked with for quite awhile, who had also done a stint during his residency at the Allergy Practice I mentioned above, while I worked there.  He came to know and trust me in the work setting, which informed his demeanor with me when I saw him as his patient.  He knew I was a little neurotic about health issues and one of those people who takes every symptom to be a potential death sentence!  This is more common among health care professionals than you might thing.  But he also knew that I know my stuff and I know myself pretty well. 

Walt's practice was set to be bought by one of the local hospital corporations who owned that attached hospital.  If that happened, they were going to make Walt join a huge Internal Medicine and Family Practice that had about 15 docs already.  It was something of a factory and he decided to not be bought out but rather rent the space he'd be provided and stay independent (with a nurse practitioner).  This meant his office staff had to be fairly slim, and what happened was that for the last year I was his patient, there was one woman to answer the phone, make appointments, do referrals, check people in and out, and who knows what else.  She was lovely, but literally a one-armed paper hanger trying to do way too much.  I became frustrated because one day I went to an appointment for which I'd needed a referral and had asked for it a week in advance, and when I got to the referral.  So I decided I was going to change docs - not so much for the medical aspect but because I didn't like the glitches that resulted from an overtaxed office staff.

I went to another big practice I used to go to many years ago and started seeing a doc new to the practice.  He was nice enough and I liked him okay and thought he was competent.  But to make a long story less long, I have gradually grown to not care for him - mainly because he's as flat and unconversational as can be.  If he was a surgeon or a specialist, that'd be fine, but I need to feel like I can talk to my PCP and that he listens and gets that I'm not senile or a drug seeker.  I never told him I was a nurse, but showing up in scrubs a few times eventually caused him to look at my info sheet and see my occupation and ask me in what specialty areas I'd worked, so I have EXPECTED he'd at least know I have a clue about something. 

What started me not liking him after seeing him for several months (only a few times) was going in when I had a killer sinus infection last year and he wanted to give me an antibiotic that I knew from repeated attempts wouldn't take care of it.  I knew what worked because it had worked for years - and I only needed it 1-2x annually.  He said he didn't want to start with "such a big gun", and I told him not to give me the one he wanted because it wouldn't help.  I said that at age (then) 55 I knew my body, my asthma and chronic sinus issues, and knew what worked well and fast.  He begrudgingly gave me what I wanted, but it's been a very weird vibe since then, and every time I've made an appointment to see him since, I dread it and just get through it best I can.  He's pleasant enough, but I don't feel comfortable being myself with him...which translates to not being funny, self deprecating about my health anxiety, etc.  In general it just isn't a good fit.

Last week I made a decision to return to my beloved Walt.  His office has since moved, and I hear his office staff has increased and tightened up.  Making the decision and then making the official change with my insurance has given me a huge sense of relief and I've already scheduled a physical with Walt for April 7th.  However the change doesn't become official until April 1 on my insurance.  Because of the occasional numbness I started having in my big toe 10 days ago, I'd decided I'd see the other doc one more time just to get a lab slip, refills and B/P check and report about the toe numbness.  But the thought of seeing him just made me antsy and I chickened out at the last minute and cancelled.  I didn't say anything about switching docs - just cancelled.  It would have been a bit of a hassle anyway, getting my lab results sent to Walt.  So on April 1, I'm going to go to the current practice and ask to have my relevant records copied and sent to Walt.  There can't be too much accumulated in 18 months of pretty good health.  I will also go to Walt's office on the 1st and get the lab slip so I can have the blood work done before the appointment.

In the meantime, I'm going to "borrow" the glucometer from my job and track my fasting blood sugars and 2 hour post meal readings.  I started today, but because I didn't have the meter at home and ate oatmeal with flax, I just did a 1 1/2 hour post meal reading that was 110.  Not too bad, though below 100 would be better.  I was halfway expecting it to be sky high and am grateful (and relieved) it isn't.  I'll be checking it and keeping track for the next few days at least, and if it gets really out of whack, you can bet your life that I'll see whichever doc I'm "authorized" to at the time.

This concludes Chapter 2 of this subject.  Tomorrow I'm going to get more honest about my fear and health anxiety, including how it originated for a very lost and sad little girl Leslie.

**added 45 minutes after posting** - I just rechecked my blood sugar and now it's 95 - a little over 2 hours after eating the oatmeal.  This is sounding pretty good, so maybe I haven't lapsed into uncontrolled status.  But don't worry - I'm following through with doc visits and all.  My big toe numbness must be a progressive neurological disease*****KIDDING.  (i hope)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My name is Leslie and I have Type 2 Diabetes and high B/P - Chapter 1

Yesterday I alluded to a more serious issue that I was going to talk about today.  As it turns out, it's going to take a few posts, or become a novel.  Chapter 1 deals with health and denial.

On the 27th last December, following the great Christmas 2010 food frenzy and subsequent weight gain debacle that overtook my otherwise marginal attempts at healthy eating, I wrote a post about getting serious about my health and weight.  Please trust me when I say I meant it with all my heart and soul.  This was IT.   Siiiiiigh - it's easy to be earnest, honest and self-scrutinizing in the shadow of a weight that almost choked me to observe, and from within jeans that were bisecting me into 2 human sausage links, leaving me just a tad breathless when bending over.

I confessed about having Type 2 and hypertension.  I wrote about my shame over having what are thought to be (at least in my self centered and often faulty and inaccurate thinking) "fat people" diseases.  In an attempt to minimize the truth, I went on about how my Type 2 had thus far not required I even test my blood sugars at home, take medication or any other interventions other than diet control.  (Note:  that presumes one is practicing diet control.)

I discussed starting the South Beach diet, which I actually did for 2 days, but by Day 3 I was really nauseous and feeling off, and so "in the interest of health and wellness" (read: bullshit?) I backed off SB and added back in more carbs, still trying to stay low on carb intake, but not as low as SB induction.  By the middle of January I was floundering and began the new Weight Watchers, which I'm still floundering dabbling with today.  Bottom line - I've been screwing around with alternating "good" days with "bad" days, and the result is that today I've gained back 3 of the 9 pounds I've lost on WW. 

But this isn't about weight.  It isn't about dieting or dropping pounds or restricting certain food groups from passing into my temple.  It's about waking up and smelling the coffee that is my less than optimal health.  After I wrote that December 27th post and owned my Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure in front of God and everyone, I really never gave those diseases much more thought.  The God and everyone I told were all of you in Blogland - but I didn't cop it to my husband, my kids, my flesh friends (I know you all have flesh but I haven't met any of you in the flesh except for dear Tammy).  I didn't schedule the doc appointment in order to get blood work, B/P check, and have an annual physical.  To be honest, the real thing was losing weight, because THAT would take care of the health issues. 

And so they would - if I was doing it.  I haven't been consistently keeping my health in the forefront, and just recently have started experiencing a symptom that has freaked me out gotten my attention big time.  I've had infrequent intermittent numbness/tingling in my toes - mainly my left big toe but the others also.  This sounds benign and it could be from my L sciatic nerve which occasionally flares a bit and sends a shooting burn through my left butt cheek.  This nerve goes all the way down into the foot (both legs), and when it's compressed or bulging between discs can get inflamed and cause pain, numbness, tingling or a combination of any/all of those sensations all the way down the back of the leg into the foot and toes. could also be the beginning of peripheral neuropathy that can be a result of untreated diabetes.

Being a nurse, I think I know an awful lot about an awful lot (of medical stuff), but when it comes to my own body and self care, I don't know squat.  I am not in the position to make good assessments of how I'm doing and my judgement about myself is often impaired and affected by my own fear, denial and shame.  I honestly don't have any idea of where I stand with my Type 2 because I don't want to own that I have it.  I don't want to have blood work done every 6 months to keep track and make sure my numbers are where they should be and as good as they've been.  Given the dimishishing quality of my intake over the last year, my numbers could be worse than before but if I don't stay on top of them THE WAY I'M SUPPOSED TO, I don't have to deal with it can't know, nor can my physician.  Last January all was well - but I was still weighing 192-195.  I didn't get my blood work done in July as I was advised.  Now I'm weighing 208-210.  Things could have changed.  The only way to know is to touch base with my primary care doc.

Tomorrow I'll post Chapter 2, about that touching base with the doc, and how my own medical expertise gets in my way far too often.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Look at me...pop tart free!!

I'm very happy to report a pop tart free day yesterday, as well as a clean day where I didn't track my points but know I fell short of my 29.  Probably not good, but I had a very rare, never happens, there must be aliens approaching day of low hunger and no cravings or desires to eat too much.  I'd brought a big salad for lunch to work, along with some roasted vegetables, and ended up eating only the cup of vegetables while on the job.  I brought the salad home and ate it about 2:45, knowing if I didn't the universe would likely render me binge-y, crave-ish and hungry at some point before dinner.  After the salad I walked the dog with a friend - about 2 miles.  Not a huge chunk of exercise but 20 minutes worth of a good pace.

For dinner I made my favorite meatloaf recipe which happens to be low carb.  I got the recipe from Lyn's blog and my family and I like it better than any other meatloaf I've made, and we are big meat loaf lovers.  (That could sound pathetic, couldn't it?)  I've made it a point to make killer meatloaves as an adult because my mother's were so terrible;  I think she just used ground meat, maybe an egg and white bread, and it was basically like eating dry hamburger steak that was only palatable when slathered in great quantities of the off-brand ketchup she bought.  Wow - I digressed and got in a dig at my mom in one fell swoop, and both were unplanned and unintended!

Back to meat loaf - what makes Lyn's low carb is that it has no ketchup and no bread.  Actually I can supply a link to it if you're interested - it's a different taste, and DELISH.  Hopefully that second link gets you to the meatloaf, but if it doesn't, just click on menus on her menu bar and you'll see it in her list.  Anyhoo, for the menfolk, I fixed potatoes and green beans (esp. for the Mister who doesn't like what I fixed for myself in lieu of potatoes, which was a winging it concoction of steamed cauliflower and broccoli, mashed together with a little butter, s&p, 2 cloves of garlic and about a tbs. of fat free 1/2&1/2.  Wow, was the mashed mix really good - my son had 2 huge helpings, I had one, and enough left for some with lunch today.  I felt entirely righteous, dude, having such a low carb healthy alternative to potatoes. 

After work today I'm meeting a friend at Starbucks, and in the interest of keeping the WWP+ lower, I'll probably just have plain old coffee.  I generally don't like SB coffee and am a latte fan, but I'm pretty sure a tall, which is their stupid smallest size, has 3 points I think.  I'm going to google it later to see, because I'd much rather that.  Then I'm seeing my family doc for a few things like refills and slip for blood work.  I expect to talk tomorrow here about another topic about which I'm going to speak to the doc.  For the cliffhanger, if has to do with HEALTH.  And DENIAL.  And STRIVING FOR ACCEPTANCE. 

And I have to say that it's just beyond great to really be back here blogging.  Already my mind is back in the mode of filing thoughts for publication the next day.  Now if only I could get paid for the "published" products!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just in from OOOPSville

Yesterday ended up being an almost perfect food for me, but for one ridiculous snack...I'm embarrassed to admit this, but after dinner I decided it would be a good idea to eat Pop Tarts - I had 2 frosted blueberry pop tarts which came to a shocking and definitely unworthy total of 11 points.  Good grief - it was the only variance from my otherwise good day, but a substantial one.  My 24 y/o son is living at home and has taken to eating 2 pop tarts and a banana on his way to work in the mornings - dubbing it the perfect on-the-move breakfast.  He's 6'4" and probably weighs under 165, as in bean pole-esque.  He can afford 2 pop tarts that boast a total dearth of nutrition.  I cannot.

Her first mistake (my apologies to Lyle Lovett who has a kick ass song by that same title) was to open the pantry door after dinner.  No good could come of that given that there is no fruit or yogurt in the pantry.  Those would be the only things I'd eat after dinner if I was seriously following my food plan.  Once I saw the pop tarts, which I don't even particularly like, my mind and spirit perked up like a lost puppy catching a glimpse of home.  I don't know why other than there was no other junky sugary products on hand.  Here was a fix I didn't expect to find.

Reporting this reminds me that one of the reasons I was tired of blogging was having to report the same kind of crap like this over and over.  People are nice and say the right things like "it's over, let it go" along with plenty of other kind encouragement and support.  But if I'm sick of hearing myself say the same things ad nauseum, how must any reader feel?  I'm not asking for bloggy love and support - I'm just being honest about how being honest about my "episodes" makes me feel.  And I can say honestly that the pop tarts were far from a delightful confection - they were just dumb pop tarts - sweet, sugary, white flour laden disappointing pseudo food stuff that didn't taste that good, didn't satisfy me, and definitely didn't fill any hole in my soul.

Despite my hating to report a TILT, it feels good to have a place to leave this stuff.  It's nice being back amid the blogs and bloggers, and so nice to read friendly comments.  Have a great day, everyone.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Catching up with intent to stay put

Thank you to the blog friends who have checked up on me this last week.  I'm doing fine.  It's occurred to me that one of the reasons I've found blogging harder lately is that I am so much busier at work than I used to be that I simply don't have time at work to dream up profound wisdom fresh and interesting things about which to pontificate - much less type them out.  We have admitted about 10 new clients in the last 3 months who are more medically complex than we've previously had and they keep me quite occupied. 

I've almost always done my posts at work - either first thing before our clients start rolling in (literally, as we serve a mostly wheelchair bound population) or while I'm eating lunch.  Once home I generally get caught up in other stuff, like the visible 1/8 inch of dust that rests on virtually every horizontal surface within.  Sadly "getting caught up in" doesn't necessarily mean cleaning, but there are always things calling to me at home.  Weekends are different but I haven't even settled in them long enough lately to post. 

The way I have usually operated since starting the blog is that thoughts percolate constantly and I begin writing in my head before I get near the keyboard.  But the muse, whoever she is, has been out of pocket lately - at least out of my pocket, and I just haven't been thinking/mind writing in the same way.  Until the last few days when I realize that several things have been going on that I want to tell you guys.  And I'm very happy to do so as I'm missing the blog community a lot.  I haven't even done much reading of your posts in the last week.

I'll give you a scintillating boring update of what's going on in Leslieland:

1)  My weight has been exactly the same for 3 weeks - a couple of midweek .4-.7 gains, but by the Sunday scale tribunal, I've been the same.  Not bad, definitely not good when I want to lose 40 lbs.  I have had some very good on-plan food days, and some where I'm over my points enough to have stopped counting.  Siiigh.  Thus the "plateau", which is a euphemism for I've not been doing so hot.  I don't know whether the absence of blogging has impacted this and tend to think it hasn't.  Recall that for the last 6-8 months, other than the 9 pounds I've lost since January with WWP+, I've been sort of maintaining this state of just not getting it together like I had it together over a year ago.  Everyday it's my intention to stay within my 29 points and have a peaceful day with food.  I'm still at it and will never quit.

2)  My power walking has been great since it's possible to be outside for more than10 minutes now without freezing off one's cojones - or the equivalent female parts (I just love the word "cojones").  A couple of times I've walked the 5 mile loop at Ridley Creek State park that I love so much and have posted seasonal pics of over the last year and a half.  Also have begun some weights and strength training at home with a program I got off the "Friends For Weight Loss" site, so exercise-wise I'm doing well.  Most walks are ~3 miles.

3)  While exercise is going well, my arthritic knees have been talking to me - rather popping and snapping at me quite a bit - occasional when I shift positions at a meeting or something, my left knee pops so loud it's heard round the table, to the uneasy surprise of all in attendance!  The popping doesn't hurt, but they're also stiff in the mornings and with damp weather and achy at times.  Nothings keeps me from being able to walk or move around;  in fact the knees feel much worse when I don't do some concerted exercising.  It's really true with arthritis that movement is key.

However, because I'm planning to walk a half marathon at the end of May with some friends and hopefully my daughter, I want my knees to be in the best possible shape.  So this morning I began a series of 3 weekly injections into each knee of a substance called Euflexxa - which is a brand of a substance extracted from bovine joints designed to cushion, lubricate and protect arthritic joints.  I know several people who've used it and had good results, so I decided to give it a try.  Other than being stuck in each knee with a 2 inch needle, it was basically a non-event this morning getting the first week's worth.  The next 2 Mondays I'll get the rest of the treatment, and hopefully will get 6-9 months of improvement in all aspects of knee function.  And the shots really didn't hurt much at all.

4)  Recall I got a Kindle for Christmas and was so excited about it.  While I have it loaded with many free classics Amazon offers plus a few other purchased books, I just used it to read a whole book (the Girl Who Played With Matches) about 2 weeks ago.  It was fine to read it that way, but turns out I like the tactile rewards of holding the real book in my hand - the ability to easily flip ahead - not to read what's coming but to see if certain characters are still figuring in, or what REAL page I'm on, etc.  It's funny - I just feel like I'm only getting a partially satisfying reading experience with the Kindle.  I'll still use it, but my default preference will always be an old fashioned book.

5)  I started attending a meditation for group that just began last Wednesday evening.  It's for people in 12 step recovery who are interested in deepening their practice of meditation, and includes a Buddhist perspective on the 12 steps.  I'm really excited about it, especially to discover that I was able to stay awake easily the first night when we did a 25 minute silent meditation at 8 p.m.  Often I'm in my jammies and starting to head-bob by that time, given my early rising (~4-4:30 am).  I think it's going to be a wonderful tool for me to find more ability to sit quietly and attempt to not let every thought that bubbles up hook me and send me down any number of "what if" paths.

6)  Finally, back in January I talked about starting to read Marianne Williamson's book A Course in Weight Loss.  I was going to get back to you and let you know what I thought of it.  Hope you weren't holding your collective breaths as I'm just now reporting on it.  Turns out I found it WAY too new agey, and with no really new material.  Each chapter is a "lesson" on some aspect of personal understanding and healing, with lots of questionnaires and work book type activity to help the reader get to the core of the emotional and spiritual pain that is driving their overeating.  While there were some great questions and exercises for helping the reader to discover shame, pain, anger, resentments, guilt, etc, there seemed to be a lot of redundancy in some of the mental and writing exercises she offered.

Having been in AA for 19 1/2 years and worked the 12 steps at depth, I think the material didn't offer anything I hadn't already worked at.  If working at "healing the child within" and finding spiritual grounding
is what is necessary to lose weight, I'd be emaciated.  The step work I've done over the years has brought me much healing, and there is much left to be healed.  Marianne's book is a good tool for someone who doesn't have other means of finding ways to change one's thinking and behaviors, but it is no substitute for the 12 steps of recovery that were offered first through AA and adapted by many other fellowships over the years.

Clearly my recent absence from the blogosphere has not left me at a loss for words!  This is pretty long, and I'm sure I'll think of other things to talk about in coming days.  It feels good to write and let some random and tangential thoughts pour out through my fingertips.  And I hope that the good food day I've had to this point continues until I close my eyes to this day.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Feeling it if just a bit

Two days in a I sense a trend?  Perhaps an easing back into full on blogging?  Well, at least today I'm in full on mode.  It was nice having a reason to check for comments yesterday - a nice zero calorie treat for sister ego! 

It's interesting how everything can teach us something.  I just decided to throw some thoughts out yesterday and heard from good friends - this is a truly great community.  I have a vision of a big Blogger Love In Meet and Greet coming right here to the city of brotherly and sisterly love.

A couple things prompted me to write again today.  First, I was just in one of the classrooms at work, and as I was walking out, 2 co-workers said they could see I was losing weight.  Really?  It's only about 9 pounds since mid January and starting WW, but with where my weight is right now I am almost comfortably back into a new "old" lower size (or an old new lower size?) that was actually getting too big before "the great gain of 2010" that you all have been virtually witnessing for many months.  I'm not out of the woods yet, but I am beginning to feel stronger in my vow to never quit this weight loss effort.  And it was nice to hear someone notice (though I tell myself they were just being nice).

More important than feeling stronger, I'm really desiring it again - right down to visualizing a trimmer and more fit incarnation of myself, both physically and emotionally.  For so much of last year, I couldn't get myself psyched up about getting back on track.  I wanted to lose weight.  I didn't want to gain.  But I also wanted to have my cake.  Along with a smorgasboard of other edible unmentionables of the highly processed and empty calorie variety. 

Through a very twisted brand of scale roulette, I managed to not go above a certain number (212 from a low in 2009 of 192) and I was hovering between 208-210.  We're talking not small - but not horrible either.  16s were still squeezable into - though performed the equivalent of creating a link of sausage effect down my torso which is always such an attractive look.  ARGH.  Think lumpy square moosey body.  It was very frustrating, and to be honest a little scary that I had thoughts of just accepting myself as a size 16 - it's better than __(fill in whatever)__ .  Of course I couldn't let myself lapse to that extent - and this is a place where ego and pride actually served me well.  

Please know I'm not sitting in judgment of anyone at any place in their weight loss journey - AT ALL.  I know full well that inside me lives a 150 pound lean healthy woman along side a morbidly obese, short of breath, with dire health consequences woman.  If I forget that fact as a bona fide food addict, it would take only a short time to be seriously headed to the opposite self than whom I desire to embody.  I'm grateful that ~something~ kicks in to prevent a full on self destruct for this gal.

I have a friend in AA who often says that any given moment, he's a moment away from his best self AND a moment away from his absolute worst self.  As an addict, it's important that I remember this and stay vigilant.  With booze it's an all or nothing proposition (at least for me).  Food is so much more slippery - trying to convince me that being "less obese" is better than being moreso.  That maintaining a weight that is still unhealthy, still in the obese category of the BMI (I know, a flawed measure, but still) is okay, and better than whatever is worse and higher.

Why do I tend to settle for less than my best truest self?  I guess because it's hard to find her without sustained concerted effort and hard work, which is tough to muster when one's addictive monkey is sitting on her shoulder wooing her to the dark side.  For a long time I just couldn't get my mojo back for being my own best friend and advocate, despite "trying".  And now, finally, I'm feeling a bit of my inner warrior awaken again, and I'm so grateful.

Well - all that was just going to be about people noticing a little weight loss!  Some things never change with this verbose blogger:).

The second thing I was going to say was I had peeled and sectioned a grapefruit this morning in my office to have over the course of the day (and add to my salad, which is my newest craze - awesome).  When I walked into my office after the weight loss comment, my office smelled heavenly - fresh, citrusy and like a grove of grapefruit trees.  My parents owned a small grapefruit grove in Florida when we first moved there from Long Island when I was 4 - I've been a grapefruit lover forever, and recently "rediscovered" their amazing essence and sensual delight.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fly by

I'm just beginning to Jones a bit for my blog life - not enough to be ready to jump back in full throttle, but I'm definitely starting to not like being "apart from" rather than "a part of".  I thought I'd just check in briefly with a non-update, since things have been fairly steady. 

I am seeing that checking in more often with the blog positively impacts my day to day thinking as it pertains to sanity with food and getting my body moving.  My eating has been okay - definitely not perfect and definitely not staying within the parameters of my daily and weekly points allowance.  I haven't had any bingeing, but more sugar laden calories have passed through my portal than is adviseable for the sugar addict, and once sugar is on board it is much harder for me to stay clean.  Fortunately I haven't gained any weight, but my loss last week was a whopping 0.2 lbs, which I consider a maintain.  I've said it a thousand times...I can do better, especially with the weight I have yet to lose.

The thing that has helped me most of late is getting more exercise in.  The weather has moderated to the point where one does not need to wear polar anoraks and silk undies to stay warm outside.  But the total effect of less exercise over the winter (despite my membership at a cadillac gym - more on that in a sec) has really made me soft and lazy.  I always love to get out for a good 3-5 mile brisk walk, and the weather has definitely been accomodating, but when I get home from work, I kinda don't wanna.  Poor moi - I just want to sit and watch Oprah before heading to the kitchen for the newest installment of WTF can I fix for dinner tonight? I have been getting out with the dog, and I think him for his endless need in that area because without it, I'd very likely decide "tomorrow I'll get back to all that...".  His walks have been pretty sorry as I've taken to making a U-turn as soon as he's performed the required elements.  I can tell he's disgusted with me, and I'm promising his and you all that beginning today, the walk will be NO LESS than 30 minutes.

Regarding the cadillac gym - I've decided to give up my membership because they've just gone up to $90.00 a month.  I'm sure it would be possible to get ninety bucks worth of benefit monthly from it, but in my quest to get real with myself, I know I'm not going to do it.  Once it's warm, I want to be outside - walking, jogging if the knees allow, and possibly biking.  (I'm considering getting a bike so I can ride to work daily which would be great in a thousand ways.)  My gym offers classes, but if you can believe this, many have an extra cost on top of the $90/month.  It's a great gym, but for this 55+ gal who works full time and may even be adding an extra hour to my work day beginning in July, I'm never going to get my money's worth.  I absolutely believe/know that I can get a good full body workout, including strength training, apart from in a gym setting.  The secret - doing it.  If I'm going to screw around and not put for the effort I'm capable of physically, I might as well not pay the premium.

I finally sampled the oft-mentioned-on-the-blogs McDonald's oatmeal a few mornings ago and loved it.  My understanding is that it's 7 points+ total.  Not bad for breakfast.  Problem guessed's too good.  The day I had that before work, I wanted sweets and junk all day long.  It set up the the insulin response, apparently, that made staying to my plan torturous.  I give it 2 thumbs up for taste, 2 thumbs down for enabling me to stay on plan.

That's about it - sorry for the random and tangential nature of this post.  Just wanted to check in and say hi.  I'm staying current with a lot of blogs, but it has been nice to take a break.  We just have to figure out how to take care of ourselves a day at a time.  Today, checking in makes me happy!  I hope everyone is doing well.