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Friday, December 27, 2013

A Really Rough Night

I had an extremely rough night last night.  In the past, most of the time, my back pain and radiating pain only bothers me when I am on my feet.  I can usually sit fairly comfortably and sleeping is not normally a problem.  Last night, however, I had just dozed off when my daughter came in to my room, for some reason.  When I stirred, sciatic pain hit me like it never has before.  It ran down my hip, thigh, back of my knee, calf and down to the bottom of my left heel.  Nothing I did would make it let up.  I tried every position I could think of and did some stretches like I have learned in yoga and massage therapy.  If anything, that made it worse.  Standing up on it was excruciating.  I got up and took a warm bath, hoping that would soothe it, but it did not.  I used ice and heat.  It was hurting so bad, I cried for about an hour and a half.  I know that doesn't do any good, but I couldn't help it.  You know how things always seem worse in the middle of the night?  I began to worry about being able to continue to earn a living, etc.  I was worried that the only thing that would cause it to ease up was surgery, as soon as possible.  I am not prepared for that, financially.  I thought about going to the ER, but I knew all they would do is give me pain medication.  So, although I took more than my prescribed dosage, that is what I did.  I know how much is too much, from experience with my daughter.  In other words, I know the dosages they have given her after her painful surgeries, so I knew the amount I was taking would be okay.  I also took a prescription dose of Naproxen and my muscle relaxant.  Finally, right after 4:00 a.m., I dropped off to sleep and slept until my daughter was stirring around getting ready for work.  I told her to turn on my lamp when she left for work, since I had already had a bath.  That would leave me enough time to get ready and get to work.

I have had only residual soreness so far today, but as I sit here, a place in my thigh is starting to throb and I am worried it is starting up again.  The only position that gave me any relief at all last night (and then, only a little) was to lay on my right side.  The trouble is, laying on my side will often mess with my neck, so my neck is feeling a little twinge-y today.  Ugh.  I looked online to see what stretch was recommended and the one I saw is one I have done in yoga (but did not do last night), so I will be doing those every night and maybe morning to make sure this doesn't keep happening.

However unpleasant that was, it is motivating.  I have to get my weight down further, both to see if that will help fix it and, if not, I have to have less belly fat for the surgery I need.  I did very well at getting back on track yesterday.  For dinner I had some ham and some roasted Brussels sprouts.  Later in the evening I had some SF hot chocolate.  Today, so far, I have had some mixed nuts (not too many) and a shake for breakfast and one for lunch.  I have not cared a bit about eating today.  That pain was too severe to want anything to do with dealing with it again.

So, despite my intentions of catching up on rest last night, that didn't really happen.  I did rest during the evening, but the lost sleep last night took me right back to exhaustion.  My boss was not here, so I spent my lunch hour in an empty office, taking a cat nap.  It was not the best sleep, but better than nothing.  I think one thing that causes me problems is if I spend too much time sitting up in bed watching television, which I did last night.  I need to sit in the chaise lounge next to my bed, which gives me more support.

Stephanie is worrying me.  She has been having a lot of back and shoulder pain since the move.  She and I did the bulk of the work, although Bethany and her fiancee did more of the heavy lifting.  Stephanie and I put in a lot more hours and were on our feet constantly, as well as doing mild and moderate lifting.  I hope she will improve as she takes it easy and doesn't do any more lifting or excessive staying on her feet.   She had major back surgery in 2011 after a car wreck (the same kind of surgery I would have to have, if it comes to that).  She has been feeling much better since her surgery, so this concerns me.  Hopefully she is just flared up and it will settle down.  This is one thing that restricts what type of job she can get.  She cannot be on her feet all day, because of the multiple foot and knee surgeries, as well as the back surgery.

I plan to start making financial preparations for surgery, even if I never have to have it.  Better safe than sorry.  I need to be able to pay my deductible and out-of-pocket expense, as well as compensate for my lost income if I had to take extended time off for surgery.  We are so short-staffed at work, it is hard to imagine how it would work for me to be off for several weeks.  And my backup is having health issues, herself.  I just want to get better and not ever need surgery.  I want to really focus on weight loss for the next 3 months -- until my daughter's wedding.  No several-week diversions.  As of January 1, I will have 75 days to work with.  I need to make every one of those count.

I got a little hungry this afternoon and ate a stick of string cheese.  The plan tonight is probably more ham and a veggie or ham and eggs.  We bought a spiral sliced ham for post-Christmas meals (we didn't have it for Christmas dinner).  I have a special lunch Monday, so plan to eat pretty strictly this weekend and have my higher carb day Monday.

That's it for today.  Here's hoping for some good rest tonight.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Catching Up

It's been a while since I posted.  Things have just been so busy.  We got moved, which was pretty tough for me.  We finished moving our stuff in on Sunday, the 15th, but I am still quite sore and my back, etc. is flared up.  My degree of pain is quite increased right now.  Last week was spent trying to get everything settled, as well as getting ready for Christmas, shopping and working my usual number of hours.

I did not try to do low carb during the days I was moving.  There wasn't time to think about much, and if pizza was there to eat, that is what I ate.  I tried at first to just drink an Atkins shake for breakfast and lunch, but I got too hungry with all the physical activity.  Hopefully all the physical work saved me.  After that, I was so worn out and there were so many goodies around, it was tough to resist.  I tried to keep my calories down, and hopefully the amount of activity engaged in every day kept me from gaining much.

Last week was tough.  I was so ready to get settled, but part of the thing that was slowing us down was that I had to purchase a few things to help us have enough storage space to put everything away.  I bought a portable pantry, a portable island, a "cubby" which has shelves and baskets (to store serving dishes that are not used often, and other stuff I do not have the cabinet space for), as well as a big entertainment center, which will also hold a lot of my books and other items (it was time for my bookshelves to go -- they were looking pretty sad).  The thing about all these things is that they had to be put together.  So we did that.  I also bought another bookshelf for my room.  I let my old bedroom furniture (except my bed) go, and am using what was Stephanie's (I bought it, she has just been using it), and Steph got herself a chest of drawers and 2 night stands with some insurance money she got.  She decided the stuff she was using was too big for her room.  I gave my old stuff to Bethany, for after she gets married.  She is going to re-do it to suit her taste.  Anyway, I don't have quite as much storage with my bedroom furniture, so got a bookshelf which also has some baskets to hold things, as well as shelves for some of my books, my printer, etc.  Once all those things were done, we were able to put everything away.

In the middle of all this, I had to go to work.  I admit to drinking SF Red Bulls last week and a couple of times this week, but it will end hopefully today.  Hopefully I can get caught up enough on rest this evening that I won't be feeling so incredibly tired.  I'm just trying to make it right now.  Every time I get still, I start feeling very sleepy.

We got through Christmas yesterday -- there was a big spread.  I ate a plateful at dinner, along with some desserts later in the day.  We sent most all of our leftovers with my son and a mother and son (a friend of my son's) who joined us yesterday.  They have been having a very rough time lately and we were glad to bless them with the leftovers.  Today, it is back on track.  I had intended to have an Atkins shake for breakfast and lunch, but my daughter came in with a plate of bacon and eggs she had cooked me for breakfast.  At least it is low carb.  I ate it and will have a shake for lunch and one for snack, if I need it.  I felt ready to leave the rich, carb-loaded foods behind today.  Hopefully any damage done will come off quickly.

We greatly enjoyed having our guests with us yesterday.  They both said it was the best Christmas they had had in many years (the mother shed a few tears) and knowing we had been a blessing to them made Christmas so much better for us.  I would like to do that every year.  My son has such a loving heart and is always helping out people he knows.  My daughters also felt blessed having them with us and we all agreed it made our Christmas so much better.

Now, my focus is back on being the Mother of the Bride in less than three months.  I have a lot of work to do.

I am extremely sore (but hopefully not injured) from all the activity of the last few weeks and feel like my body must have a break to recover (I have been extremely active, doing a lot of lifting, and on my feet for days on end).  So I intend to give it a rest through the weekend, and get back to my workouts in some form or fashion beginning Monday.  I will put together a plan that will help me make progress, but that works with my limitations, and hit it begining Monday.

My boss is sick today and will not be coming in, but I still have plenty to do.  Hopefully it will be a quiet day, even if somewhat busy.

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mindsets

I am realizing this holiday season how important mindsets are when it comes to sticking with my weight loss program.  In years past, the mindset was, “It’s the holidays, enjoy it now and deal with it after New Year’s.”  So, almost every day goodies arrived at the firm from clients, vendors, co-workers, etc., and I partook without much thought.  Until New Year’s, when I had a lot of ground to make up.  This year, my mindset is to stick with my program except for certain allowed (and limited) occasions.  So when the goodies arrive, I don’t really give them much thought.  I can’t have any, so why bother thinking about them?  And it is working!  This New Year’s is going to be much better than most of those in the past!  (I do remember one Christmas season when I lost 4 pounds!)

I wrote the above this morning.  This afternoon, I literally feel like the fat is being eaten off my bones, I am getting so hungry.  I also have that exhausted feeling you get when you need to eat.  I feel sure it is because of the steroids.  I feel resolved as far as not partaking in any Christmas goodies, but I am so hungry, I do feel like I want to eat more than I planned to for the afternoon.  My plan is to hold out and wait for dinner.  Sometimes we have to feel uncomfortable to get where we want to go.  I'm going to go drink down some water and see if that helps.  (It did.)

I started the steroid pack the doctor prescribed a couple of weeks ago.  I don't know if that is why I feel so hungry right now, but I assume it is.  Granted, I am not eating much during the day right now, but it hasn't bothered me much until today.  That is why I think it is the steroids.

My boss just told me we would be staying pretty late and the thought occurred to me:  my daughter cooked up a bunch of food for the week and I live a block and a half away, so I asked my daughter to warm me up something and bring it to me.  That way I can stay right on track!  Problem solved.  I can do exactly what I had planned.

One thing I have been enjoying most nights is some SF hot chocolate with some cream and SF caramel syrup added.  This is where I am getting the bulk of my carbs every day right now, although I also get some from the vegetable I eat at night.  It hits the spot in many ways and makes me feel like I am having a treat.

Since my new beau is quite an athlete, it is quite motivating to me to keep going on my weight loss.  Not to try to measure up, but I do want him to be proud of me.  He would be proud of me anyway, but this would be something we shared together.  I am not looking at it as a way to measure up and be accepted, but it is very motivating in a positive way.  Does that make sense?

It's 8:15 and I am still working, so I'm going to go ahead and get this posted.  One more day at work this week and then two days off.  But no rest for the weary, since I will be moving those days.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Weigh-In

Saturday

I'm popping in real quick to say I reached a new low on my weight this morning.  I weigh 245.8 -- .6 pound down from my previous low.  And that was after two meals out yesterday.  It just goes to show, if you be careful, eating real food, you can get the job done.

I'm having my higher carb day today -- nothing out of hand, but more of a normal day.  My daughter wanted biscuits and gravy.  No, I'm not going there.  Breakfast was sausage and a cheese omelet.  And some SF hot chocolate.  I was starving when I got up this morning.  I slept until 10:00 this morning.  I didn't go to sleep until almost one -- I was kind of wound up from last night's events.  :)  I have good feelings about this -- kind of like coming home.  But I will take it slowly and see what happens.  More later.  I need to get some packing and cleaning done.

Sunday

I just realized I never got back to my post yesterday.  The city is kind of shut down because of the ice and we ordered pizza and salad and had it delivered.  I have to admit to having a cupcake later.  But the day was not excessive overall and I am back to it today.

This morning I actually had my leftovers from Friday evening, which was 3 bacon wrapped shrimp stuffed with cheese and jalapeno.  Since I slept late, that will hold me until lunchtime.

I started my round of Prednisone today.  We are counting down to moving day and there is a lot of work to do, so I need all the help with pain I can get.  I hope it doesn't make my appetite way out of whack.  I know one side effect can be increased appetite.

I am filled with hopefulness about the future.  I have a feeling that something I have wanted for a long time is finally beginning to come to pass.  But I will take things slow and see how things progress.

My friend runs marathons and works out religiously.  I misspoke when I said he had lost 100 pounds -- he has lost over 150 pounds!  So he knows what is involved in my struggles.  I already feel motivated to get going on a fitness regimen that will work with my physical limitations.  He also had back surgery years ago, so he understands that kind of pain.  He told me to start with a plank, doing one for 30 seconds.  He said hold it until I am shaky and can't hold it anymore.  Do that every day and my core strength will build, which is important to low back issues.  Of course that is just one piece of the puzzle, but start with that.  He is going to be really good for me, both in encouragement and educating me on what has worked for him.  Of course, that is only one part of why I am excited about this relationship.  But I feel like he is someone with whom I can reach my goals.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sometimes Good Things Happen When You Least Expect Them

I'm at home this morning, at least for now (because of the ice storm).  I might be able to trek the block and a half, but I called and no one is at work.  So I will try doing a little work from home, if I can get the remote connection to work.   If not, and my boss doesn't insist on picking me up, maybe I will just enjoy the "snow day."  :)

On days like today, you want to curl up with something like a cinnamon roll and a cup of hot chocolate (since I am not a coffee drinker).  But that doesn't get me where I want to go.  An Atkins shake didn't sound too appealing, so I opted for a protein bar for this morning.  I don't want to do that every day, but the change was nice.  Tomorrow I will eat a little more normally, for my higher carb day.  First I have to get to tomorrow morning's weigh in.  I was .6 above my lowest this morning, so I am almost there.  10 pounds in one week (mostly water, of course) -- not bad!

Later

The rest of the day didn't turn out anything like I thought, but it turned out very well -- very well indeed.  I decided I needed to go to work and made the trek there.  It wasn't too bad -- actually, it was bad, but I didn't have any problems.  My boss showed up a little while later.  No one else showed up for work today.  Just me and my boss.  So after we worked (separately) for a little while, he took me to lunch at the City Club.  I wasn't expecting to eat a regular lunch, so I decided to eat a reasonable lunch and have my shake for dinner today.  So I had some chicken broth, a spinach salad, some fresh fruit, a small lamb chop and a small piece of steak, some green beans with mushrooms, and some baked tomatoes with parmesan (there was a buffet).  I am so amazed at how far I have come in many ways.  In times past I would have felt so shy in a situation like that, but I felt comfortable and we talked easily with no uncomfortable silences.  I really love my boss (platonically, of course).

Then my friend who was coming to town texted me that the marathon had been cancelled, but that he was in town and he wanted to take me to dinner tonight (no brother and brother's family, just my friend).  So, that meant I would not be having a shake for dinner.  I thought about him all day as I was working and I was feeling quite sure that he was intending more than just friendship and this was a meeting to see if we both felt that way.  I have known this guy all my life through my family, but have not seen him much for many years except once in a blue moon.  We have been talking a little on FB lately and he has always been very encouraging to me.  Not long ago, we had such a conversation and I began to think he might be interested in more.  I was beginning to entertain ideas about that.  So, we had dinner tonight.  I had to drive through the ice for us to meet up, but made it okay.  I wasn't sure all through dinner what he was thinking, but we talked easily and opened up a lot to each other.  It turns out our lives have had some similarities.  We have been through some very similar things.  We have reason to uniquely understand each other in many ways.  We talked for three hours and decided we'd better go because of the roads.  Long story short, he walked me to my car and kissed me good night.  So I guess we were on the "same page."

The biggest problem is he lives 10 hours away.  But his job is something he could do almost anywhere and he said he was well known in his field and could get a job most anywhere.  So, if it came to that, perhaps he could move here.  I am just supposing at this point.  We will be keeping in touch, that is for sure.

We went to Pappadeaux for dinner.  I had about half of a house salad and half of my entrĂ©e of bacon wrapped shrimp.  However I did not eat any of the rice.  I think I did very well under the circumstances.  I wasn't very interested in eating anyway, it seems.

Interestingly, I made a list some time ago of traits I wanted in a man if I were to ever remarry.  This guy fits a great many of them to a tee.  I'm not saying he's "the one," but, well, we will see.  Time will tell.  :D  Did I mention I like tall guys and he is 6'6"?  Yeah.  I am 5'7".  I can wear heels all I want to.

Sometimes good things happen when you least expect them.  :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ice Storm is Upon Us

Just a short post.  I worked from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and had no time for getting any thoughts down during the work day.

I had another good day, following my current plan.  I even did fine working so late.  Two tempting situations occurred.  I had to man the switchboard at lunch today and there is a bowl of hard candies at the front desk.  Those are what got me going on sugar again the first time.  I had thoughts of "just one won't hurt," but I fought it off and didn't have any.  Later, when I was working late and no one was around, I had to pass by the candy bowl in the mail room several times (full of fun size candy bars) and the temptation came to have "just one" since I was working so late and hadn't eat much all day.  But I said no and stuck with the plan.

My tummy has been out of sorts all day in one way (I will spare you the TMI) and it didn't make staying late fun, that's for sure.  Plus we have an ice storm beginning tonight.  Everyone hurried home, but my boss kept me late just in case we couldn't get there tomorrow.  I only live a block and a half away, after all (and he took me home).  The firm is closed tomorrow, but that doesn't necessarily mean I won't have to go to work.

As I have been, I had a stick of cheese when I got up and an Atkins shake for breakfast and lunch.  I had a few cashews during the day.  Surprisingly, I wasn't overly hungry when I got home -- I mean, not starving, but still hungry.  My daughter had made me some eggs with sausage and cheese.  It was yummy!  Nobody is eating the breakfast meat at breakfast right now, so I told her to fix some for dinner so it won't go to waste.  I love breakfast sausage any time of the day.  I had an apple to finish off my day.

My official weigh-in day is Saturday, so we will see how my weight is doing then.  Also, I will finally try to get some pictures this weekend, since my daughters are here to help me out with that.  I haven't updated in a long time.

That's it.  I'm going to try to stay warm and hopefully enjoy a "snow day" (but it's really ice).  That's North Texas for you.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Encouraged

Tuesday

I am encouraged.  The scale has dropped lower than it has been in several weeks.  It's definitely enough to make me want to keep doing what I am doing.  So, a cheese stick early this morning and an Atkins shake for breakfast.

I tried on the clothes I ordered (can't remember if I mentioned them yesterday).  The sweater is a 14/16 and the pants are an 18.  The sweater looks fine!  The pants are slightly snug in the waist (story of my life) and the rest is fairly roomy (not too big, but certainly not too small).  I can't decide if I should exchange them for a 16 or not.  I think I am going to go with them like they are because the 16's would probably be way too tight in the waist.  I could always take them up a little later if I need to.  I am waiting to wear that outfit until some jewelry I ordered comes in.

I've got most of my mornings and evenings mapped out for me through the move beginning a week from Thursday.  This doesn't feel as overwhelming as moves in the past.  I don't have nearly as much stuff as I used to and we don't have to pack everything as thoroughly as usual since we are just moving basically across the patio and up the elevator.  All of my planned tasks have to do with getting everything packed and cleaned by the end of next weekend.  I hope to leave everything in near-perfect condition.  It's funny how things don't get as messed up when you don't have kids.

Lunch was a smallish package of almonds and another Atkins shake.  I have an apple to eat if I get hungry this afternoon.

I don't know if I mentioned a while back that my boss had paid for another five yoga lessons.  I have been putting off getting started on those since we were working so much and so much other stuff has been going on, but I have a lesson tonight.  I probably will not schedule another one until after the move.  Stephanie is going to go with me -- the instructor offered that, and I think it will be beneficial to her.  I hope this will help (talking about me now).  I haven't been doing much lately because I have had so much going on and I have been in so much pain.  I definitely will have to take my pain med before I go, and I will be careful about anything that feels catchy or grabby.  I need to stretch out my calves and the back of my heels for the plantar fasciitis, for sure.  It is all so difficult with pain in the lower back, hips, knees, ankles and feet.  Going down stairs is extremely difficult right now and I have to do it slowly and carefully.  When I stand up after sitting a while, waves of pain wash over me and I have to wait a minute before taking a step.  I am also having trouble with my shoulders.  Ugh.  I am not looking forward to this.

Wednesday

The scale was down a couple of more pounds this morning.  I am almost where I was, at my lowest.  Most of this is water weight, of course, but even water weight makes your clothes a little tighter.  I am amazed at how much trimmer my legs are when I am not retaining fluid, and not just my lower legs.  My thighs are noticeably thinner.

So, I will keep doing what I am doing.  It is pretty easy, especially when I am busy.  I will have to be careful of the jar of cashews Jerry received from a business colleague.  He leaves them out to share.  I can eat cashews, but it would be easy to eat too much.  He also received a big tin of butter cookies, but I think I can stay away from those.  I mean, I CAN stay away from those.

I went to yoga last night and I did feel a little better afterward.  However, I am having just as much pain this morning.  I am going to give myself four months of doing it regularly to see how much long-term help it does.  That doesn't mean I would stop then; I just think if it is going to help enough, it will be helping by that amount of time.  I want to give conservative treatment a full chance to work.

I had a stick of cheese when I got up this morning and an Atkins shake for breakfast.  I had a few cashews this morning, but not an excessive amount (I always eat a little of something or other, whether it be cheese, nuts, a piece of fruit, etc., to supplement the shakes, so this is not more than I have been doing).  I had another Atkins shake for lunch and I am surprisingly full.  My future son-in-law is coming over to cook for me this evening.  His cooking usually involves some kind of grilling, so that should be fine.  However, he will likely time it to when my daughter gets off work, which has been pretty late lately.  Hopefully I won't get too hungry waiting for that.

About that -- at about 3:30, I was starving.  I ate a few cashews, but not much.  When I got home I had an apple, because I was right -- he was waiting for my daughter and she didn't get home until after 8:00.  I was so hungry!  He made steak with grilled asparagus, grilled onions and peppers and some sweet potato fries.  I didn't eat the sweet potatoes.  He only made enough for us to have a small portion (not used to our healthy appetites?), and I was not satisfied after I finished mine.  So I rolled up a couple of dill pickle spears with cheese slices and ham lunch meat.  That satisfied me.

I am hopeful I will pass my low weight this week.  I'm so happy to be moving!  And this is without working out.  I will get back to that after the move, except for yoga.  Then I am going to meet with the personal trainer at the gym for my 2 free sessions and try to get going on a workout routine I can handle.  I would love to get down to 200 by the wedding, but I know that is a lofty goal.

A friend of mine is coming to town to run the Dallas Marathon Sunday, along with his brother and brother's family.  I am going to dinner with them Saturday night.  This guy is my ideal guy -- tall and not thin, but not overweight.  In fact, he used to be quite large and lost 100 pounds a few years ago.  He is a great encouragement to me and is so sweet.  He roots me on in my weight loss efforts.  I hope we get closer now that we are communicating more.  He could be very good for me.  I haven't asked him yet, but I think his passion is helping people lose weight and get fit.  He also had back surgery years ago and so understands my pain issues.  I am anxious to see him Saturday night.  I hope they do not cancel the marathon because the weather is supposed to be freezing drizzle Sunday.  The route for the marathon has a turnaround right in front of my loft building -- how handy is that?  And they are staying in a downtown hotel, so that should be convenient.  I just hope the trip doesn't get cancelled.  I am looking forward to it, if you can't tell.  I just hope I don't get shy.

That's it for tonight.  I need to get a little more done on my "To Do List" before bed.  I stayed up too late last night.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Report on Thanksgiving

The report on how I did on Thanksgiving is not good for Thanksgiving Day.  But I did plan on having one day to enjoy Thanksgiving and then get right back to it.  So I did what I planned, and that is a good thing.

I hosted Thanksgiving Dinner for my daughter's fiance and his family, so we had 10 people.  Everything went really well, all the food turned out very well, and we had a good time visiting and playing games.  It was a good day.

I had been pretty hit and miss leading up to Thanksgiving.  The good news is, I have pulled it together quite well since Thanksgiving Day.  The next day I did not do well by Atkins standards, but I stayed away from sweets and my portions were fine.  Saturday and Sunday I did really well.  I am following a plan to do some catching up and have done well so far.  My goal is to be down 15 pounds from my lowest by the time I go back to the doctor in January.  That would put my weight somewhere around 232 by then.  I will have to work very hard for that to happen.  I've got my motivation pictures (Mother of the Bride dresses) propped up on my desk for a constant reminder.

Life has been quite busy.  First there was getting ready for a houseful on Thanksgiving.  Then we immediately had to start packing for the move the next day (packing, not moving).  I am making good progress.  We also got out and did some Christmas shopping, and then I immediately did my wrapping as soon as the gifts were purchased.  We are also working hard at keeping things picked up and clean around the loft -- there are too many people, too many pets and too much stuff in it to leave clutter laying around.  I am anxious to get the move done and get settled before Christmas.

This morning was not without its trials.  Someone brought fun size candy bars and left them in the mail room, so every time I walk by, they tempt me.  I have held off -- keeping my mind on my goal.

I was sitting in an office with my boss and a young associate later.  The associate was talking about having pecan pie for breakfast and banana pudding at around 10:30 a.m., leftovers from Thanksgiving (of course, he is as trim as he needs to be), and my boss talked about having pecan pie last night late.  I said that sounded good because my breakfast this morning was an Atkins shake (kind of yucky).  He said, "well that is how you are getting so skinny."  That made me feel good and strengthened my resolve, so I am holding firm with my plan today.

I had ordered a sweater and a pair of pants last week and they came in today.  I got a 14/16 in the sweater.  That may be kind of tight right now, but that gave me further motivation to stick with it.  My motivation is starting to come back after the busyness and distractions of the last couple of weeks.  I hope this plan will keep me moving between now and Christmas.  I do plan to indulge a little on Christmas, but not between.  My plan is to work hard between now and then, have the one day to indulge (to a degree), and then back to it the day after.  No giving up the whole time between Thanksgiving and Christmas with plans to get back to it after New Years.  I will not reach my goal (or get anywhere near it) if I do that.  In fact, I would backtrack.

Unfortunately, my pain levels are not improving.  Not to be negative, but if there is not vast improvement, I am coming to believe there will be back surgery next year.  There is a lot of time between now and then, so that could definitely change, but it is getting more and more difficult to live with this amount and degree of pain.  I don't want to live like this.  I will keep trying and hoping weight loss will make the difference, but if not, it is certainly a possibility in my mind.

I am also having trouble with my shoulders.  I had this secret fear that my neck was messing up again because the pain in my shoulders and arms is similar to when the nerve was so pinched before the fusion surgery.  But it is not as bad.  However, my most recent x-ray shows the fusion is as it should be and no additional levels are collapsing.  I am wondering if I have rotator cuff problems.  If this pain continues, that is something else I will be checking out after the first of the year.  You can see why, at times, I feel like one big ball of pain.  It is getting to where I need more medication to get to sleep some nights.  That means I have to go without, sometime during the day, but I would rather endure it for a while during the day and be able to take enough to help the pain enough to sleep than the other way around.  I always try to get to sleep on the usual dose, but if I cannot, I want the option to be able to take the extra.  It is all getting very old.

It is now 5:20.  I'm feeling pretty hungry, but it is so close to time to go home that I am thinking, "I can do this!"  I can make it until 6:00.  I talked to my daughter about having a vegetable ready when I get home to have with some leftover Pesto Chicken.  She promised to have it ready when I get home.  :)  That is an arrangement I could get used to.

My eating today so far has been an Atkins shake for breakfast, 2 cheese sticks, an Atkins shake for lunch and an apple.  I am eating this way, at least some days, to jump start my weight loss.  My hunger tends to build on me, though, so some days I will likely eat more than that.  Another reason I am doing this is it is a method I read about on a blog to get off of sugar (by someone who has an even bigger sensitivity and addiction to sugar than I do).  I have been eating sugar for the past month or so and it was starting to get to be too much of a "habit," so time to nip that in the bud.  At this point, I do plan to eat some on Christmas, but I will decide for sure when I get closer.  I may not want to risk triggering anything by doing that.  But if I am successful this time, it gives me more confidence that I can do it that one day and that's all.  I can't eat it regularly, or I will fall into old traps, but perhaps I can eat it once in a great while in this scenario.  I will have to see how well I do.

I think I will get this posted, or I am likely not to get it done later.  Things are too busy right now.