Search This Blog

Sunday, February 26, 2017

I'm a "Nana" Now!

Well, as you can tell from my new picture, I’m a “Nana” now.  I am loving being Carter’s Nana.  He is the sweetest and most beautiful boy.  He is a little less than 2 months in the picture in front of the Christmas tree (which was Thanksgiving Day 2016).  Below are more recent ones – he’s 4 months old now!

I don’t really have a lot of people to talk to about these types of things, so perhaps it is time to start blogging again.  I don’t intentionally stop blogging; it just happens.

I haven’t read my last post at the time I am writing this, but I know I was blogging during my fast.  Do I think the fast was a good thing to do?  YES.  But the most important part of a fast is what you do after you break it, and I did not do very well at that.  I stopped when my blood sugar got pretty low.  I don’t know if that was really something I should have been concerned about, but that is why I stopped.  Then I gave myself permission to eat more carbs the first couple of weeks, since my blood sugar was low.  The trouble is, I didn’t stop.  That’s the problem with letting yourself do those kinds of things.  I allowed myself sugar, grains, except for wheat, and lots and lots of potato chips.  I didn’t feel like cooking much, so I ended up eating potato chips a lot, and eating lots of ice cream.  It was easy and it tasted good, and that’s what I was looking for.  Oh yeah, and I drank lots of sugar free Monsters.

The trouble is, although you expect to gain some weight back after a fast, I gained more than I should have and my joints began hurting more and more.  That’s what sugar and grains do to me.  So I am back to sugar free, Monster free, and grain free.  I have eaten potatoes a couple of times, but not often.  My joints are feeling some better.  But the back problems are still pretty bad, and I am pretty sure I am now bone-on-bone on my right knee.  I’m pretty sure I will have to have that knee replaced, but I just do not want to do that until my back gets better.

My back felt much, much better at the end of the fast.  I have to think that is from weight loss.  But the more weight I put back on, the more the pain started increasing.  I do not want to go through recovery of another knee replacement until my back is in better shape.  That is what I have in my sights, but I seem to be lost in the process instead of making sure I am moving toward the goal.

Even since I have been doing better on what I am eating, I have been struggling with having the energy and motivation to cook as much as is needed.  I am working around 50 hours a week, and by the time I get home from work, I’m pretty done.  The last thing I want to do is a lot of cooking.  I don’t have feel like doing a lot of housework; I do some on the weekend, but not as much as is needed.  I am also on a big quest to be out of debt (so the overtime helps with that).  I am focused on that because I really have to make some aggressive progress on my retirement fund.  Most of the debt I have was run up by my kids, and I am speaking to them about paying me for it, but what it comes down to is I am the only one I can depend on right now.  So even while talking to them about stepping up and doing their part, I have to act like it all depends on me.

Eating this way is expensive.  The things I have to focus on are cooking more on the weekend so I will have options to choose from for workday lunches and evenings – easy, but the best things to eat instead of just eating nuts or yogurt and berries because I don’t feel like cooking.  I am also trying to make sure I have something sweet to eat (with an approved sweetener), because I am still craving sugar.  I drink Topo Chico (sparkling mineral water) when my craving for carbonation (which is what the Monster habit was really about – I just like them) rares its head.  Slip-ups usually happen when I have not planned ahead.  I try to never make the slip-up something with sugar or a Monster.  Once I start on those, I have a hard time quitting.  A couple of times it has been potato chips, but that happens because I did not have something to bring for lunch and the choices I have downstairs at the restaurants (which are not many) were not appealing to me.

Next, I need to start getting up and getting a little exercise.  The trick there is to do enough (and the right type) to help without doing so much I cannot walk because of what it does to my back.

So, the things I am facing right now are: (1) sugar is not an option; (2) Monsters are not an option; (3) cooking has to be a part of life; (4) need to work exercise back into the mix.  The more I do the “right” thing, the better I will feel, and the easier it will be to keep doing the right thing.

Last week I had not taken a lunch, but knew I needed to eat something, so I chose a salad from Paradise Bakery – it was something like a Chicken Apple Pecan Salad, but it had salad greens, grilled chicken, dried apples, red onions, bleu cheese, pecans and an apple vinaigrette.  It was okay – mostly I did not care for the vinaigrette – it was pretty “vinegary” – the red onion was really strong, and I am wary of bleu cheese because some bleu cheeses have wheat in them.  So I decided to do my own spin on one this week.  It will have the salad greens, grilled chicken, and pecans.  Instead of the red onion, I am going to use green onions, instead of the bleu cheese I am going to use crumbled feta, and instead of dried apple I am going use some chopped Granny Smith apple.  Then I am going to make my balsamic vinaigrette and I think that will be really good.

Another thing I make fairly often is an open-faced burger, but I get tired of them being the same old way.  So I am going to try making some different aiolis and sauces to put on the burger to change it up.  I love caramelized onions because it adds a sweet flavor.  One thing I am going to make is bacon/onion/ green chile jam.  I think that will be good.  Last night I made one with a perfectly cooked patty with sharp cheese melted on top, fajita veggies, a sauce left over from a restaurant that is kind of sweet and spicy (they told me what was in it and it is house-made, so I knew it was okay), and an over-easy egg on top.  Soooo good.  I took a picture of it, but let’s just say my cooking skills are a little better than my photography skills.

I’ve been craving some soup, but don’t think that’s going to get done this weekend.  I made some “legal” chocolate chip cookies, so at least I have a little to eat on the next couple of days.

That’s what I’m doing; now I just need to see some progress.  I will know when my body is responding.  I’m not really doing the “scale thing” right now.

I am feeling the need for some time off, but now is not a good time.  My backup is going through a difficult situation and I wouldn’t feel right with leaving her with my workload right now.  I will be looking for a couple of days soon (probably when my boss is going to be out of town).  The trouble is, I am doing quite a bit of work for a couple of other attorneys, too, and when I think I am going to have a little “down time,” it doesn’t necessarily turn out that way.  I love the work; I just would like a break.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Can't Sleep

I did not intend to take so long to post again, but life got busy.  It has had its ups and downs.  My eating has not been stellar.  My first week was "carbier" than it needed to be.  I am trying to settle into what is normal for me, but life has not been normal in the last week and a half, so that has made it a little more difficult.

A week ago Wednesday (2 days after my last post), I had to put it in a late night at work and worked until about 12:45 a.m.  That was about a 15.5-hour day.  Also, our offices have been being renovated and, 2 days later on Friday, we had to move our offices from the old "unrenovated" part to the part that is done, and that was a long, tough day.  I tried to take it easy -- not much lifting and being wise about what I did -- but I was still quite sore for 2-3 days after that.  Saturday I could barely keep my eyes open, so spent most of the day resting.  My daughters had gone to a birthday party for one of the kids on my ex's side of the family.  There was to be a baby shower the next day on that side of the family and some of them begged that I come since they had not seen me in years.  So I ended up doing that on Sunday instead of going to my church, etc. (I didn't feel like I could do both with being so tired and sore and the shower was in Fort Worth, so would take a good part of the day).  It was so good to see them (I think they prefer me to come to family gatherings rather than my ex!).  After that we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant.  I ate wheat-free, but did not eat grain-free (had some corn products).  But they had a seasoning on the tortilla chips that I now think must have had some wheat in it because I have been struggling with a headache this week.

There are some issues at work since the move that make eating a challenge, too.  Almost everyone in the firm is now packed into about 1/3 of the space we had.  Our kitchen is being renovated now and so we do not have a microwave, temporarily, to heat up food in.  So I either have to eat cold food from home, or I have to get something "out."  It is much easier to eat this way if I make my own food, for the most part.

Today my son called me and just wanted to talk about his struggles.  There have been a lot the last few months.  His work situation has not been good and he is leaving that job.  That is a good thing, but until he finds another, things are not great with him.  He has also been without a vehicle.  After our conversation, I grew frustrated.  Not at him, so much.  I just need all my kids to get on a good track for a while and let me focus on taking care of me.  My finances need some work and I don't need to be taking care of them financially.  That is not why he called, but it still weighed heavily on me and I did some emotional eating this afternoon and this evening.

The last thing that is going on has to do with my dog.  He has been "worrying" with his paws for a few weeks.  At first I thought it was because he needed to be groomed and his claws had gotten really long because the last time I had him groomed, they were not able to get it done.  So I got him groomed two weeks ago, but the groomer told me it looked like he had a developed an allergy of some sort.  There was a lot of redness between his paw pads that you could see after they groomed him (he is a Yorkie, so his fur can get pretty long).  So I changed his diet per their recommendation.  I don't know how much that has helped because he continued to mess with his paws, licking them constantly.  So I have been treating them with a Benadryl cream and Neosporin.  He still messed with them constantly and they were looking red and angry.  So my daughter and I wrapped the back paws (the ones he was messing with), after treating them, so he couldn't mess with them.  I had some medicine left from another time -- an antibiotic and a couple of pills for pain and inflammation.  I also have some liquid for pain, but can't get him to take that.  I have also been giving him Benadryl by mouth.  So I am hoping that will clear it up.  I was asleep tonight when he frantically started messing with his paws.  I realized he had gotten one of the wrappings loose, so I had to get up and re-wrap it so he couldn't mess with it.

After being awakened and my stomach being kind of out of sorts because of the emotional eating, plus having trouble getting my mind to settle down, I haven't been able to go back to sleep yet.  Ugh.  One thing that has been on my mind is that after seeing my ex's family, it has brought up more thoughts from the past.  I am so happy to see them and they will always be family to me, but it does stir up stuff.  I'm just trying to get my mind to settle down enough so I can go back to sleep.

As for the eating, I think I was happier not eating than I am right now.  I need to get things on a better track and not eat as much.  I need to do some more cooking, but I haven't felt like it when I get home.  I am again having some back troubles, although not nearly as much as before.  It was time for my bi-monthly visit to the pain management doctor today.  My right knee has been having that "bone on bone" feeling that I had in my left knee before the replacement and has been causing me more pain.  I found out my pain management doctor can give me steroid injections in my knee, so he gave me one today.  It just now occurs to me that that is probably why I am having trouble sleeping and I have felt kind of hot and clammy.  It is the steroid shot.  It will ultimately help for a while, but it does have that side effect at first.  This is the first time I have seen my pain doctor himself in a few months.  I have seen his PA to get my refills.  He once again seemed surprised that I am able to work full-time with my physical issues.  The first time I saw him he asked if my employer was aware of how much physical stuff I am having to deal with.  I had to say no, I didn't think so.  He evidently still feels like it is a lot and is pleasantly surprised that I am functioning as well as I am.  Some validation, anyway.  I told them I needed to get an epidural injection in my back (those help), but that I am just grinning and bearing it this year because of the expense (they cost me around $2,000 when I haven't met my deductible; I am not looking to go into debt and meet that deductible in August!).  He said he has been trying to convince the authorities to allow them to do the injections at their own facility instead of having to do it at a surgical facility, but the insurance companies will not listen to the doctors.  Or whoever it is giving the approval for things like that.  That would bring the cost to around $500 instead of $2,000+.  He said he is not long for continuing the medical profession because of all the issues they are having to face.  That is not good because he is a very good doctor.  My knee doctor closed up shop and moved to another state, probably for the same kinds of reasons.  He is heading up the orthopedic department of a VA facility now (I think).

I am going to see if I can drop off to sleep now, at least for another couple of hours. ...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Low Blood Sugar - Time to Call It Quits

Well, I hope I don't regret this.  I took my blood sugar last night and it was pretty low (51).  I took it again this afternoon to make sure it wasn't just an inaccurate measurement, and it was 52.  I have not felt bad -- dizzy or anything like that -- but I read a fast heartbeat was a symptom of low blood sugar and I have had that the last couple of days (at random times), so I decided to drink a little juice today.  I had about 1/3 cup -- hopefully enough to boost my blood sugar, but not so much that it brings on hunger pangs.  If that works, I will have about that much every day until I am done.  I think if I am saying that I am going to listen to my body about when to "quit," then I should probably pay attention to this.  If it were in the 60's, like it was before I went on vacation, I would be okay with that.  But 51 seemed pretty low, and with the added symptom, I thought this to be the best option.  I did not find information about this in my book, and I know any medical person I talked to would probably have a cow about my fasting in the first place, so there wasn't anyone to ask.  I could probably ask my functional medicine doctor, but I haven't seen her in almost a year.

I went to church today!  I went to both class (I love this Sunday school class) and service.  It felt right.  I believe I can make some good friends in this group.  They do a lot of "extracurricular" activities, and that gives me even more of a chance to build relationships.  Soon I will start going to choir, too, and that will be another opportunity to form relationships.  I haven't talked about singing in a long time, I don't think, but I am a pretty good singer.  Good enough to have been chosen to sing in the Dallas Symphony Chorus for a Christmas season, which only happens by audition.  One of the reasons I chose this church is because of the large singles ministry for adults over 40 (my class is large and full of single people around my age) and I know it will provide an opportunity for me to sing again.  I loved the services at my old church, but I just didn't fit in there very well musically, since they typically sing a much more "modern" style music (plus it is pretty far away and I just never got to know people there).  My voice is more traditional -- can be almost operatic if I choose to sing that way -- and I will fit in with the choir at this church much better.  Not to mention special productions, possibly worship team and even solos.  We will see. But I will enjoy just singing in the choir and being involved in the special productions, even if I don't do the other.  (I have always been chosen for those kinds of things in the past.)  However God wants to use me is fine.  Not using my music has left a kind of empty place for quite a while, but I was so down physically, it was just too hard.  I have faith that I am truly on the mend since doing this fast.  This church also has the fundamental beliefs and practices I believe in.  I would not choose a church just for the choir or the singles ministry.

I have the sniffles today.  Don't know if it is allergies from the weather, or a symptom of the fast.

I still feel great, and did pretty well at church today.  One reason I did not go for so long is the campus is large and you have to do some stairs to get from one place to the next.  (There is probably a way around that, but the most direct route requires me to take a few stairs.)  I found out I can valet park, so that helps cut down on the walking if I need it.  I had one little spot of pain in my back during the service, but it never got bad.  I had some stiffness when standing up after class, but we were up and down enough during the service that I did not then.  I feel fine now that I am home.  I don't know that this has cured all my back problems, but it has certainly helped.  And it gives me hope that more weight loss will help even more.

As I suspected, the juice made me hungry.  I held it off for a while.  I took my blood sugar again and it only raised it 2 points to 54.  I decided it was time to call this one quits.  So I think I am done with fasting for a while.  If I feel more symptoms that need to be dealt with, I may do another shorter one in a month or so, but I am going to see how I do from here on out with eating the way I know to eat.

I did eat a baked potato tonight after I decided I was done.  I felt that since I had only been going 8 days this time, I did not have to baby my stomach quite so much.  We will see if I regret that, but so far I feel fine (although full).  Last time just the orange juice started some things, but this time it did not.

Now I will need to go ahead and get some more groceries so I can get started sooner than expected.

I'm trying to keep away any feelings of failure.  All along I said I was going to listen to my body, and although I was not hungry, I felt that blood sugar that low might not be a good thing.  So even though I did not go as long as I planned, I did what I said in that I listened to my body and quit when I felt I should.


Well, I did regret what I ate last night.  It was a night of being up and down with purging.  I took it easier this morning and had juice and some watermelon.  For lunch I had some salad.  Tonight was a night of getting some of my cravings out of my system before I get really focused.  With my blood sugar so low, I did not mind eating more carbs than I normally eat.  I ate some corn tortilla chips and guacamole, and then was going to have some pimento cheese on some paleo bread, but ended up eating only a few bites because I got too full.  I also bought some potato salad, but got it home before I saw it had wheat in it.  Why in the heck would you put wheat in potato salad?  I will make some of my own for a carbier day soon.

A friend told me she was worried about me fasting because of some issues her mother is having.  Her mother has been chronically undereating for years (after a gastric bypass) and lives on bites of food and wine.  I read about that in the main book I was reading.  That can definitely bring on malnutrition and can kill you if it continues long enough.  You do not get the benefits of resting your system when you are under-eating so that your body can focus on healing itself, and your body is trying to get what it needs from the little bit of food you are eating and it cannot do it.  Especially if you eat one type of food all the time.  Her liver enzymes are all messed up.  When your body lives off its stores, those stores have all the nutrients you need.  Your body saves them for times when food is scarce, illness, etc.  As long as you don't fast so long (until all your stores are gone) and move into starvation, fasting is healing, not something that makes you sick.  She wanted me to go get some blood tests, and since I am due for a checkup, I told her I would do that.  I fully expect them to be in good shape.  They had an opening tomorrow, so I will find out quickly.

This post is getting long, so I will close.  I am looking forward to moving on to eating like I will do for here on out, and continuing weight loss.  I bought a bunch of groceries tonight and will start some cooking tomorrow.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

I Want to Keep Going


It’s Friday afternoon and I am starting another post, even though I just posted this morning.  Sometimes writing helps me keep focused and stay on track.

In the end I deleted what I was writing.  Some of it was about work, and I decided it was better not to put it out in the cyber universe!
I made it through my day, even after going to dinner with my daughters and watching them eat tacos and chips and queso.  I really did not feel tempted by that.


I started out with some errands today -- took my dog to the groomer and picked up some Paleo bread to have on hand when I do eat.  I keep it in the freezer.  While in the bakery, I left my purse in the car and just took in the means to pay for the bread (in my phone case) and I locked my keys in the car.  I have roadside assistance with my cell phone service, so I was able to have them dispatch someone to help me out (at no cost).  I ended up sitting out on the sidewalk in front of the bakery on Lower Greenville Ave. in Dallas, waiting for the rescue service, and it was somewhat enjoyable.  I was rescued in time to pick up my dog from the groomer.

I'm home now and feeling a little weak-willed.  I want to eat.  I'm doing my best to think through that decision -- my goal is to give myself 24 hours when thinking that through and usually the temptation will pass.  I want to keep going.  I don't feel like I am done yet, even though I am feeling so good.  I had to walk a distance when taking my dog since it is downtown and there is no place near there to park.  My knees are still tricky.  I don't know if the more I walk, the better I would get, or if they need more work.  I am going to divert my attention and think this through before making any decision to break the fast.  I know more weight loss will help my back.  Of course, this is not supposed to be about weight loss.   I also want to feel more in control when I do break the fast so I don't jump into eating things I just want instead of what is best.  Hopefully I can do that.  I know I would eventually get on track, but I want to do the best that I can.  So I do not feel ready to stop.  Going to do some reading to motivate myself.

I went and bought a few groceries later -- some meats I can put in the freezer, cheeses (also put them in the freezer), and some nuts, plus the Paleo bread I bought earlier.  I don't want to have to buy a huge load of groceries when I start eating again.  A couple of weeks ago I ordered some stuff from Wheat Free Market that will come in handy in a pinch.  They make a grain-free granola that is really good and I got some pizza crust mix and the baking mix, as well as some brownie and muffin mixes.  They are pretty expensive, but will come in handy when I need things to eat or can cook in a few minutes when I am tired or busy.  I will get more groceries next week and then when I break the fast, I can buy the perishable foods, like fruits and vegetables and dairy products.  The fast has definitely been nice on my budget.  My daughter is thinking about doing one.  She is feeling like another intestinal obstruction might be building.  (She has already had four, I think.)  I think it might be the answer to scar tissue building up around her surgery site, if she can do it.  It will be harder for her, since she has been eating the average American diet, so she will have a lot of withdrawal.  It probably will not be pleasant for her.  But I think it would help her health.  She also has fatty liver and I know it would help that immensely.  She also has insulin resistance and needs to lose weight.  My other daughter would benefit from it, too, but she is pregnant and then will be nursing, so not a time when she could do it.  (I am not sure she wants to try it, anyway.)  She also has trouble with wheat, although it affects her with nausea instead of the headaches I have.  I am sold on fasting for health benefits.

Speaking of which, I was looking at my scar from my knee replacement today.  The top of it has had a large knot of scar tissue.  Today I felt of it and the knot has pretty much softened and disappeared.  Still a little that needs to be done, but it is improving.  Yay!!  Here is what my scar looks like these days:

We went to a beautiful park today and my older daughter took maternity pictures of my younger daughter.  Stephanie did Bethany's makeup and hair (she is extremely good at that and starting to make a business out of it) and then took the pictures (she is also very good at that).  Bethany looked so beautiful!  I will post a picture soon.  I am so excited!!

My temptation has passed and I know I want to continue.  I knew it would if I waited it out.  It was not hunger, just wanting to eat because I like food.  :/

I think I can get thought my day now, so I will stop and get this posted.  I'm planning to go to church tomorrow and get back in the flow with people outside of my family and work.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Feeling Wonderful and Optimistic!!

I wrote this part of my post on Wednesday and didn't get it sent, so will just continue with it.


I don’t know as I am really struggling today, as much as just thinking about food.  It’s because I am not that busy at work.  Things have been a little slow since coming back from vacation and I am having to divert my attention, at times, so my mind doesn’t wonder to wanting something to eat.  Especially when the girl who sits next to me is eating popcorn!  And the smell from the kitchen at lunchtime is a little tortuous.  But this is my choice.  I can stop when I want to, and I am not ready yet.

Physically, I am feeling pretty good today.  Lower back is definitely improving and I am not having the pain going down my legs like I have since Sunday.  I can stand up and just walk – no waiting for pain to settle over me before taking a step.

My upper back seems to be feeling pretty good today, too.  I know it could go the other way if I don’t baby it, but it feels better than yesterday.  I have been up and down today, packing boxes for moving my desk.  As soon as I sit down for any length of time and start typing, I can feel it tighten up on me.  But I am aware and will take measures to keep it from getting too bad, hopefully.

So, even though I fasted Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, I feel today like I am back where I was when I broke the fast.  I think the hunger has switched off and I am now back to using “alternate fuel” instead of getting fuel from the food I eat.  The plan is to go 15-17 days from here.  I admit to feeling a little urge to get through these days more than I was the first time.  I made up a calendar and am crossing off the days.  Of course, if I feel like I am ready before those days are up, I will stop.  If I feel that what I need done physically has been done, there is no need to keep going.  What am I looking for?  First, that the improvement in back pain is more “set.”  I don’t know if that is even possible, but I want to make sure I give it the chance to work as much as it is going to.  The fact that I had pain again after getting back told me there was still work to do.  I also hope for improvement in my upper back.  Otherwise, I am looking for more changes in the scar tissue from my knee replacement (I do believe it has improved some), and for the swelling in my right knee to go down.  I don’t know what is still causing that swelling, other than arthritis, but I hope it will go down.  I also want to make sure my hormonal issues have had time to “reset” so that weight loss will move along more readily once I go back to eating.  I feel like there have already been changes in both of those areas because of how much better I have been feeling, generally.  I have so much more energy than I did before.

I would also like to see what effect getting more of this abdominal fat off will have on my lower back.  The more I lose of my lower belly fat, the less it is going to pull my back into the exaggerated arch.  Of course, I will gain a little back, but it will give me an idea of how much more weight loss is going to help.  Then, when it is time for exercise to begin, I need to work on strengthening my core.  Before then, I need to work on my range of motion in my left knee.  It seems to have backtracked a little since leaving therapy.  I am trying to stretch it at different times during the day.  Part of that is from scar tissue, so I try to massage it a couple of times a day to loosen that up.

I took a little break for lunch in an unoccupied office.  It was so cold in there that I came back shivering.  I had me a cup of hot water to warm me up.  I know that sounds funny, but it works, and sometimes it is a little more satisfying than just cold water all the time.

This afternoon, I've been reading over some chapters in the main book I read about fasting (when I had bits of time).  It keeps me motivated to keep going so that the good that has been started can be completed.  This paragraph jumped out at me:

"The reserves last much longer if the faster rests, than if he is active during the fast.  (Don't care so much about this.)  Better results are achieved in the fast if rest is observed.  (Definitely care about this.)  Work, long walks, strenuous exercise, etc., waste the body's reserves without producing any compensating benefits."  (The exception to this might be working on the range of motion I feel like has lessened in the weeks since I left physical therapy.  And that is not strenuous -- just some stretching.  So I will leave the other kinds of exercise until the fast is done.  There is no choice about work, but it is not strenuous work, most of the time.)

Here is another quote for those who argue against the safety of fasting:

"If the adipose tissue (body fat) and other reserves are abundantly present, one may fast thirty to ninety or more days without consuming one cell of the essential tissues of the body."

"'With no digestive drudgery on hand,' ... 'Nature employs the long-desired leisure for general house-cleaning purposes.  The accumulations of superfluous tissues are overhauled and analyzed; the available component parts are turned over to the department of nutrition, the refuse to be thoroughly and permanently removed.'"  (He was quoting another author.)

"The aggregate of tissues of the organism may be regarded as a reservoir of nutriment capable of being called in any direction or to any point, as needed.  The ability of the body to nourish its vital tissues off its food reserves and its less vital tissues, is of extreme importance to the sick man who is unable to digest and absorb food.  Except for this ability, the acutely ill would perish of starvation."

My knees have been kind of sore since vacation, but today there seems to be something more going on.  It makes me wonder what work is being done through the fast -- possibly scar tissue being worked on and the like.


I have quite a bit of money left that I had saved for my vacation.  I am trying to decide whether to save it for the next one (that is what I am leaning toward) or to use it for something else I have been wanting (to further update my bedroom).  I could also use it to pay toward debt.  The thing is, if I save it for the next vacation, I can take an even better one than I could have taken last time.  These vacations have become very important to me.  I feel like they are an investment in my health and my self-worth.  I did not take a vacation (where I went somewhere) from 1998 until 2015.  When I came back from my vacation to New York last year, I realized how much it affected my self-worth.  Like before I unconsciously felt like I didn’t deserve a vacation.  I knew in my head that was not true, but my heart kind of believed it.  I would like to begin developing friendships with people I could go on vacation with.  I went with one of my kids the first time, which I enjoyed, but usually have to wind up paying for more that way.  This time I went with my two sisters.  Ultimately, I would like to be married and take trips with my husband.  But a trip with good friends would be a good thing, too.  I have not put much effort into making friends over the last years and I feel kind of isolated because of it.  So that needs to change.


 Following up on my thoughts Thursday, I am planning to get back to my church group on Sunday.  It is a start to getting to know some people and make friends.  Plus I want and need to get back to church.  For a long time, I didn't have a car available to me on Sunday to get there, my physical issues were making it too difficult to walk there, and then the campus is large enough where getting around was too much for me.  I now feel ready to tackle all that, especially since I have a car and can get there.  I am looking forward to the class and the extracurricular things they do together to make friends.

I am feeling so.much.better.  My back has improved all week and I have been waking up again with virtually no pain.  My upper back still wants to start hurting if I don't do what I need to do, so I will try to pay more attention to that today (I didn't so much yesterday, but it never got very bad).  Today I can tell it would go that direction pretty easily.  A muscle relaxant helps.  That gives me hope that a lot of it is muscle tightness, etc., instead of a structural issue in my spine (although I do know I had bone spurs in that area).

I feel like I am moving through the fast with more ease now.  I actually looked at some recipes yesterday, but made myself stop pretty quickly.  After a bit, it starts to get to me.  But I do want to have a good plan going for my meals when I start eating.  I also want to buy some non-perishables gradually so I don't have to buy so many groceries all at once when I break my fast.  I can get freezer stuff and pantry stuff, anyway.  And things like butter, eggs and some types of cheese I could get a little ahead of time.  I may try to make up a couple of recipes next weekend, if I have the time.  Things I know I can do without tasting.  I will have to see how I feel then to know if it would be too tempting.  And they would have to be meals that freeze well.  Soups or stews are a good option.  I've been wanting to make a beef vegetable soup like they had at the first restaurant I ate at on my vacation, but couldn't have because it had gluten in it.  I can make something very similar without using any wheat products. (I'm going to make it kind of a cross between beef vegetable soup and chili.)  I also may make up a batch (or two) of ice cream to have in my freezer.  I can get my daughter to help me test the sweetness, if I need to.  I bought some little containers to put the ice cream in (kind of like the ones they come in at the store).  I had hoped they were going to be plastic, but they are not.  But they are really cute and didn't cost that much.  I am going to buy a more "permanent" set before the end of my fast.  Ice cream has become my go-to dessert since I cannot have wheat, but it needs to be with an approved sweetener and I am more likely not to stumble and buy some with sugar at the grocery store if I have it available in my freezer.  I also make a cheesecake and a key lime pie with approved sweetener that are really good.  There are also some recipes for cookies made with almond flour, etc. that I enjoy every once in a while.  I bought a couple of "mixes" from Wheat Free Market to have available for those times when I am really wanting something sweet and I don't want to mix up a full recipe.  I also want to make up one of a couple of breakfast casseroles I have tried so my eating is more balanced.  Many days I would just have bacon for breakfast, which I can do, but more balanced would be healthier.  I can add some vegetables into the casseroles, too.  I think when I do cook I will start making double batches when I can, so I always have balanced meals in my freezer when I am too tired or too busy to cook.  I want to plan ahead for good success once I start eating again.

Guess I will shut it down -- this post is long enough.  I just want to reiterate how wonderful I am feeling.  Pain is greatly reduced, energy is great, and I feel optimistic and in great spirits.  I am so glad I am doing this fast!  I am excited for my future for the first time in a long time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Let's Get This Done

My lower back is feeling a bit better this morning.  I am hopeful I will get back to where I was while on vacation.  I think I probably did pull something out of place when crossing my legs several times in the car.

As for my upper back, I can tell it will start hurting pretty readily, so I am trying to vary what I am doing and not spend hour after uninterrupted hour at my computer.  We are getting ready to change desks because of the renovation of our offices, so I am up boxing up stuff (but not carrying the boxes), walking around, etc.  While at my desk I am trying to lean back into the support and not do any hunching over or that kind of thing.  I added extensions to the thing my monitor sits on so it is a little higher.  (That seemed to help me not hurt as much today.) When we get our new desks, they can be raised and lowered so we can stand up and type if we want to.  I don’t know if that will help my upper back or not, but I will give it a try.  I am pretty sure my computer will be raised up higher than where it is now, so that might help.  If I cannot get it under control, I will likely have to go to the doctor and possibly get an injection.  I can work (as in at work) with the lower back issue, but this upper back thing tends to get worse and worse, the more time I spend at my desk (unless I can work out the ergonomics that are making it hurt in the first place and do some strengthening to help).  I might need to do some physical therapy.  I would rather do that on my own if I can find the proper exercises.

I made it through last night without any more temptation.  I knew I would feel better if I just waited it out.  I still feel some hunger this morning, but it should settle down by tomorrow.  Still, I am looking forward to getting through this so I can get back to “normal” eating – at least what will be normal for me.  During the last few days I will start making menus and possibly cook up some things to put in the freezer.

I should check my blood sugar tomorrow.  It had gotten very low (63) before breaking my fast.  I read that is expected and fine (though going below 60 I think is too low).  I will be interested to see if I can eat a few more “carby” foods than I could before the fast without my blood sugar being raised too much.  I would have to eat them in very small quantities until weight loss is complete and then could eat them a little more moderately; things like sweet potatoes, winter squash, peas, possibly some whole corn (not corn meal), some beans, etc., and maybe a small portion of white potato once a week (potato salad!  Lol).

Once my energy switches back on again (assuming it will be like before), I want to start working on some housekeeping habits.  If I can feel like I did last week on an ongoing basis, I know so many things will improve – because I feel like doing them.  Not just keeping house, but getting out and enjoying myself, making friends, getting back in with a church group, etc.  I have been so without energy the last many years, along with all the pain issues, it has made my reclusive tendencies much worse.  The energy is not as great right now because I am still going through the hunger stage, but I still feel much better than I did before beginning the fast.  And even at that level was much better than it was before I made the dietary changes (no wheat or grains, etc.).  For years I was doing well just to get through my work days.  I am so very glad I discovered this tool of restoring health.  You would never expect it to make so much difference.


I'm home from work now and the day went pretty well.  Not much temptation, even when picking up some Whataburger for my daughter, who was home sick today.  My upper back never got out of hand, and the lower back was improved.  I should start feeling really good tomorrow.  My plan starting tomorrow is to do 15-17 more days.  That would be the same as doing 42 days straight as far as giving my body the opportunity to take care of stuff once I have switched to fat burning.  I am ready to get these done and see how I am doing by then.  That will actually be 45 days, but I had to make up some lost ground for the break I took on vacation.  (The break only delayed the ultimate good; it did not erase any of it.)  Let's get this done.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Talking Through Temptation

Having a little more temptation today.  I’m not sorry I took a break for a few days of vacation, but that made me have to go through this part again.  The first 3 days are the most difficult.  This time, more than last time, I am trying to talk myself into chunking the idea.  But I really do want to finish and know that I have given it every chance to do its work.  So, as of 1:50 p.m., I am still fighting the fight.

It hit me again an hour later – more fighting with myself.  But if I wait it out, I get back to knowing I want to finish.

I felt so good on vacation.  My back did not bother me much at all and I did so much more than I had been able to do in a long time.  Sunday morning, after the first night spent at home in my bed, I woke up hurting again.  I tried last night to arrange my pillows and bolsters the same way I did on vacation and that seemed to help a little, but I was still hurting more than I ever did while on the trip.  I bent over this morning to brush my teeth, etc., and I felt things popping in my lower back.  That may have been a good thing, but it was definitely very tender in that area.   I did notice a few times in the car that if I would try to sit with my legs crossed, it seemed to want to pull something in my spine “out of place,” so I finally made myself stop doing that.  It may be what set it off because the popping this morning felt more like something popping into place instead of out, with residual soreness after that.  I’m going to see how it goes for a few days and see if it improves.  No more trying to sit with one leg crossed over the other knee.  My massage therapist has told me that is a no-no anyway.

I got on the scale, and as I would have expected, my weight was up.  But less than 10 pounds.  I was actually pretty happy with that because you are going to gain a few from just going from the state of being totally empty to that of having food in your system.  And I did not pay much attention to how much I ate after the fast.  I was on vacation and had not eaten for 25 days, so I wanted to enjoy it (although I did not eat sugar or wheat, of course, except for Saturday night when I had decided to resume my fast).  I think after the third day, I will probably be back to where I was before vacation and can continue from there.  I wish I could get to where after I break the fast, I never get above 215, but not sure that will happen in that length of time.  I say 215 because that is the weight I needed to get to, to be able to have back surgery, if I ended up still needing it.  Of course, I am not going to do that this year, anyway, so I have plenty of time to continue weight loss.

Again, I do not want back surgery.  I want the weight loss efforts, etc. to make that unnecessary, but it remains to be seen whether that will do the trick.  I think I mentioned this before, but I have done a lot of examining my body.  I have an exaggerated arch in my back and I see the fat under my belly button pulling that part of my back into that arch.  I know getting rid of the weight I carry there has to help some.  Plus I hope for continued work on scar tissue, thickened ligaments and maybe even bone spurs (don't know if it will work on that).  I am hopeful that part of this pain is just brought on by the extra activity, which created some soreness.  And from so many hours spent in the car.

I realized when I got home from vacation that it is only 2 months until my grandbaby is expected.  My upper back is trying to hurt me again now that I am back at my desk all day again.  Surely there is some kind of strengthening I can do to keep that from happening.  I feel like a lot of it has to be muscular in nature, since I had no problem with it while on vacation.  I am trying to make sure I sit up straight and tall to help with that.  And lean back into the support of my chair.


I'm home from work now and went through another big battle in my mind.  I was craving, of all things, potato salad.  I wanted some so bad!  I had a kind of "gourmet" kind with the barbecue I ate on vacation and it sounded so good to me tonight.  I am trying to make it a goal that if I decide to break the fast this time, I have to think about it for 24 hours before I decide to do it early.  I did that the first time.  Right now it is just hunger talking.  I should be feeling better after tomorrow.  I expect the benefits to begin more quickly this time since I don't have nearly so many toxins to work out of my system.  Or so much stuff clogging up my colon, so it should switch on over to fat burning very quickly, I would think.

I admit, a big motivation, besides pain, is my grandbaby.  I want to be able to hold Carter and have enough energy to keep him.  I have felt like such an old woman in my body the last two or three years.  I already have a lot more energy and I think that will increase as I finish this.  I also want to start getting a little exercise -- walking on the treadmill and riding the recumbent bike, as well as some strength training to help with targeted areas.  My knees are a little swollen right now, so I want to give them opportunity to rest a little.  I will ice them to help them along.  I asked a lot more of them last week than I have since surgery and several months before.  They will get strong again.

Okay, I think I have talked myself through this round of temptation.  I can do this.  And I want to finish what I started.