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Saturday, January 31, 2015

So Far, So Good Today

Today has gone pretty well.  I have eaten when I was hungry.  I ate a MF pancake at about 11:00 a.m.  So lunch was later than usual.  I had a MF shake (Orange Crème).  I tried mixing it in the blender with just a littler frozen berries.  I didn't like it and ended up just chugging it down, so I won't do that anymore.  I had an apple with that.

I fell asleep mid-afternoon, after dropping my dog at the groomer.  I woke up when they called me to tell me he was ready and was pretty hungry.  I walked down to get him and came back and had my afternoon snack of a MF snack bar.  By 6:00 I am more than a little hungry.  Dinner is cooking and it is some tilapia and sautéed broccoli.  We didn't make it to the store today, but I need to tomorrow so I will have what I need for my L&G meals.  I made a little tartar sauce with some Miracle Whip Light, some grated onion and some sweet pickle relish.  I will have that on my fish.

As I sit here, I am realizing that some withdrawal symptoms are probably coming on me.  I'm not sure.  I only have a little bit of the stronger med left, so I don't want to take it too soon.  I will eat and see how I feel.

Honestly that did not taste good to me.  I don't know if I am out of practice on seasoning things or what, but I had to push it down.  I felt kind of nauseous.  That's happened off and on the last few months.  I ate it to fill my tummy.  So far, I feel satisfied (with how full I am, not with how it tasted).  Tomorrow will be either an off day or an off meal.  Still haven't decided.  :)

I've been reading my blog all day, back when I was on Medifast before.  It is very enlightening.  Gave me ideas for L&G meals too.  I didn't remember a lot of that.  I was getting a lot more exercise back then than I am able to do now.  But the weight loss did help my pain then, so that is good to know.  The thing is, I know that I worsened to the point of needing surgery while I was lighter.  But it will still help.  I want to read when my condition deteriorated and see what was going on then.

That's all for tonight.

Weigh-In Day

Even though I just started on Tuesday, I want my weigh-in day to be on Saturday.  So, today is weigh-in day.  I don't really have any exact numbers for you.  I did weigh when I started, but I didn't write it down.  I am ashamed to admit how far I got off-track, but I do know I weighed in the evening either the night before or the night I started and I weighed over 303 pounds.  :/  That was in the evening.  This morning's weight?  290.2.  So that is over a 13-pound difference.  I'll take it.  I'm going to estimate I weighed 300 pounds when I started.  So a weight loss of 9.8 pounds after 4 days on my plan.  Yes!

I stayed up late last night and so slept in until 9:30 this morning.  I was really empty by then and I usually need a few minutes after taking medicine to get up and around.  So my first meal today was a snack bar.  I will have a MF pancake in a while.

I get either a meal off or a day off each week.  I haven't decided.  I will probably do that tomorrow because my (married) daughter invited me over for a Super Bowl party.  So today is a regular MF day.

Friday, January 30, 2015

It's Been Rough

I keep typing posts at work and not getting them posted.  It's okay, a lot of the time I am journaling and it's more detailed than is really needed in a blog.

The last two days have been rough.  Really rough.  My stomach has been gnawing constantly and I feel hungry all the time.  I made it through yesterday, except I had a piece of corn on the cob with my dinner, and instead of a shake for my evening meal, I had an 80-calorie container of Greek yogurt.  I was hoping it would soothe the gnawing feeling, but it didn't.  I also ate some dill pickle spears.  I still went to bed hungry.

I woke up in about 2 hours and realized I was having withdrawal symptoms.  I now know stepping down from a stronger med to the next one down can cause withdrawal symptoms.  My legs were so restless I had to get up and I finally realized that was why I was so hungry.  In withdrawal, I want to eat everything in sight.  I took a warm bath and after a bit took about a third of one of the stronger pills.  I slept the rest of the night and didn't feel ravenous the next morning.

I thought today was going to be a lot better and it was until after lunch.  Then I started getting that restless feeling and my stomach was gnawing again.  I had gone down to a salad bar downstairs and gotten me some raw veggies to snack on just in case, and I snacked on those a good part of the afternoon.  I was ravenous when I got home.  I had asked my daughter to pick me up a salad at Chick-Fil-A and it was waiting for me when I got home.  The thing is, she got it with breaded chicken instead of grilled.  I still ate it because I didn't really have anything else in the house.  It tasted so good, but I felt a little nauseous at the same time.  Just part of the w/d I am sure.

I have now taken another half a stronger pill and hopefully will feel better soon.  I was miserable this afternoon.  I'm sneezing (another thing I do when withdrawing) and was grouchy and restless, etc.  But I held out several hours until I got home.  I sure hope it doesn't last too long because I only have 1-1/2 pills left.  That's kind of scary.

I would not have made it this far if I did not have that vacation in sight.  I want to feel better for it (and in general, but the vacation motivates me).  I have to stick with it.

I was thinking that probably the best thing I could do to get ready for vacation besides some extra walking is to do stretching and core exercises.  A strong abdomen supports your lower back and maybe would help between now and then.  I really need to make myself do this.  One thing that deters me is the hard floor in the loft, but if I need to get some extra pads to make it work, I need to do that.

That's it for today.  I'm pretty sure I can make it through the evening.  TGIF!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

66 Days and Counting

I had a post typed up at work and didn't get it posted.  But, after work, something was made clear to me.

I worked until 8:30.  By then, I was starving.  REALLY HUNGRY.  So as soon as my boss gave me the word, I lit out of there.  It's a longer walk home when I work late because I have to exit the back of the building and go all the way around instead of coming out the front door and straight down the street.  There are also some steps going up out of the building.  I was walking home and the wind was blowing so hard, it almost stopped me in my tracks.  I got about 3/4 of the way home and started feeling for my keys.  Then it hit me, I left them on my desk.  I was trying to think of a way I would not have to go back, but Steph wasn't home and even if I could get in the building, I couldn't unlock my door without them.  So I turned around and went back.  I came back to those steps and had to go down this time.  Going down steps is much more painful even than going up stairs, so I was slow navigating those.  I went back up to the 25th floor, got my keys and back down again, back up the steps, and then the walk home against the wind again.  I honestly didn't feel like I was going to make it.  I was hurting really badly by then, I was breathing hard and my heart was pounding.  I was also sweating since I was wearing a jacket I really did not need, but needed to take home so I will have it tomorrow.

I can't believe how hard that was on me.  And I'm taking a trip to New York City in 2 months.  There is no way I could do what I want to do in NYC if doing what I did tonight was that hard on me.  I knew it would be difficult, but....  So onward I go. 

I was on plan today.  The only deviation I had was that I had 3 snack bars instead of 2 for the day (you are supposed to limit yourself to 2) since I got so hungry tonight.  But I didn't have an extra meal.  I also had 2 peppermints when working with my boss because my breath was kickin'!

I'm going to start counting down to vacation, so after today it is 65 days and counting!  That is how long I plan to do Medifast.  I may do it for one week afterward if I feel like I need to, to make up for vacation eating.  This is my first vacation since 1998, so I am NOT going to diet on my vacation.  We plan to share meals a lot, so we can try a lot of things, but I don't plan to stuff myself all the time.  But I'm not going to deprive myself either.  I plan to get right back to some kind of plan as soon as I get back.

That's it.  Another day in the books.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Decision is Made (and Acted Upon)

Monday

Me again.  Hopefully I will begin to post more again in the coming days.  I made the decision to go on Medifast from now until my trip to NYC.  Usually something a little more drastic helps me get the ball rolling.  I have ordered the food (and spent the money) for the first month, and that is something that will help me follow through.  It should be here, probably tomorrow or Wednesday.

I want to document how I am feeling right now so I can see how much getting some weight off helps.  Not that I plan to use it as an excuse if it doesn’t make as much difference as I hope, but we will see.

I am having semi-regular headaches.  Not nearly like they are when I am going through a “bad spell.”  Just some headache for a time most every day.  But certainly not all day every day, and not really bad ones.  Although there have been a couple of nights when I have had trouble going to sleep because my head wouldn’t quit hurting.  That’s a little different because usually I can go to sleep to get away from them.  I have not been very consistent about taking my BP medicine, and a headache this afternoon (after a longish walk) made me wonder if it was my blood pressure.  I took my BP med and it does seem to be settling down a little.  I will be more careful about taking it regularly.

My neck and shoulders have been bothering me.  It is hard to find a position to sleep in that doesn’t “mess with them” in some way or another.  Last night is the best night I’ve had in a while.  I have gone back to wearing my neck collar at night (had not been doing that the last few months) and I changed back to my previous way of arranging my pillows (so I am more elevated), which seemed to help.  My shoulders have been pretty sore and I have to be very careful not to slide down and rest my weight on my elbows at night.  I iced my shoulders both days this weekend and will try to remember to keep doing that most every night.

My lower back is just like always (not good), which also affects my hips and legs.  I cannot walk much distance or stay on my feet very long or my back, etc. will be hurting too much.  However, sitting too long is a problem too.  I’m working some long hours right now and by the end of a long day, sometimes I feel like I cannot stay in that chair one minute longer.  This weekend my daughter and I were watching a Castle marathon (my kids got me the first 6 seasons on DVD for Christmas) and I sat too much and it increased pain almost as much as doing too much does.  So there is a fine line of what I should and should not do.

I have noticed my tailbone being sore lately.  I feel it most in the reclining position I am in at night.  I am thinking about getting a “coccyx pillow” to help take some pressure off that area.  I have a kind of deformity at the end of my tailbone and it can create soreness when too much pressure is put on that area.  Like doing sit-ups on a floor with not enough padding will set it off.  This might be what is causing the extra pain with too much sitting right now, too.

My knees are pretty painful right now.  I know sometimes it is sciatic pain and other times it seems to really be my knees.  They feel “thick” when I bend them, like there is some swelling and inflammation deep inside the joint.  But other times it is like the radiating pain from the back problem.

My right foot had been some better from the Achilles tendonitis.  But it seems to be trying to flare up again and now my left foot is feeling like that too.  My left heel is pretty sore right now.  It feels better in a little heel (an inch or two) than in athletic shoes or flats.  So, to combat the tendonitis, I am icing them when I can, I am wearing anti-inflammatory patches on both heels during the day until I run out, and I did some stretching this morning by hanging my heels off the step and stretching them downward to gently stretch the tendon (the doctor said this was the best way to stretch it).  I will keep this up because I don’t want my feet/heels to be too sore for my trip.

That’s a lot of aches and pains, but that has been life for me over the last few months.  It seems most of my energy is spent either working or coping with chronic pain.

I asked my doctor to change me back to my old pain med.  I am SO TIRED of being so sleepy all the time.  And it didn’t seem to do much better on the pain than my other one did.  The only difference is I will be able to take the old one every 4 hours, if needed, instead of every 6 hours like it used to be.  I will start on this tomorrow.

I estimate I should be able to get at least 20 pounds off between now and the trip, on Medifast, and possibly up to 30 pounds.  That would make a big difference.
 
On the Medifast plan, I will be eating 5 MF meals a day and 1 Lean & Green meal a day.  My plan right now, for a lot of days, is to have my L&G meal at lunch, either taking food I have prepared ahead of time or getting it “out.”  I want as little food in the house as possible, and I want it to work so that during the week, the only food I eat at home is MF food.  That may or may not work for me.  It may be cost prohibitive to do it that way.

I do plan to have one “free” meal a week where I eat what I want to.  That gives me that to look forward to because the MF food gets very monotonous.  I should be fine for the amount of time I will be on it (here’s hoping).

Tuesday

I didn’t get this posted yesterday, so will just continue.

I found out my Medifast order will be delivered today.  I wanted to get started, so since I had a couple of Atkins shakes left, I am substituting those, as well as a protein bar I bought.  I will have my L&G meal at lunch and that should get me through until I get home tonight when I will have my MF food.

I had a rough night last night.  It wasn’t because of the change in pain meds, because I just started that this morning (so nice not to be so sleepy!!).  What was hurting the most was my right knee and some in my right ankle.  I think it is most likely sciatic pain, but at times it felt like something was wrong with my knee.  I had a very difficult time finding a position that helped it stop hurting.  I finally got up and sat in my recliner, took some Advil to augment my pain med (sometimes the anti-inflammatory effect helps a lot) and I put an ice pack of my knee.  I watched TV for a while and finally was able to drop off to sleep.  I slept in the chair a good part of the night.

This worries me that I am getting closer to where I was before I had the back surgery, except on my right side instead of my left.  That’s why I wanted to get started today even though my food won’t be here until this afternoon.  Judging by the way my back and hips feel today, it was most certainly sciatica.  I must, must get going and get some weight off.  It scares me because sometimes there is no way to get away from the pain as far as changing position.  Used to, as long as I was sitting down, the pain was relatively under control.  Not necessarily the case anymore.  Sigh.  Time to pull myself together (where weight loss is concerned).

I just realized as I was typing this that it was time for my second “MF” meal.  That’s good.  I don’t want to start entertaining any thoughts of wanting something else.

We are still gearing up for trial, which is to take place February 9.  The Judge ordered us to one more mediation to try to settle the case (this is the 4th one).  That is happening today.  We don’t really expect it to settle.  The opposing side won’t give us anywhere near a reasonable offer in the past.  We will see.  If it doesn’t settle today, things will be fast and furious the next couple of weeks, I am sure.  I have to be careful to get up and walk every so often because my bottom gets so tired of this chair!!  Lol.

Lunch was a grilled chicken salad with a vinaigrette dressing.  I did not get a “low fat” dressing.  I don’t really subscribe to the low fat way of losing weight.  I believe we should have healthy fats in moderation.  It seems the low fat versions of salad dressings are as sugary as a soda.  Since I had a blood sugar “scare” when eating a low fat diet (and losing 63 pounds) a few years ago (blood sugar was 124, which was all but diabetic), and reading about it lately, I don’t think the traditional low fat diet is the way to go.  Since then, my blood sugar has improved when eating a healthy diet with moderate fats.  It still needs more improvement, but much better than it was.  I don’t know right now since I have not been doing well for the last 11 months.

The plan for the rest of the day is an Atkins shake for afternoon snack, and when I get home, I will have my MF foods, so a MF dinner and evening snack.

Okay, I’m going to get this posted.  It is very important I make it through this day.  So far, so good.

Friday, January 2, 2015

I'm Back


Well, hello there! It has certainly been a while since I posted.  The last two months have not been all bad, but I have not been focused on weight loss.  I have pretty much maintained the last few weeks.  I am feeling ready (I hope) to get back to it.

My appetite lately seems to have decreased.  I don’t know what is causing it, but I need to listen to it.  I am supremely uncomfortable if I eat too much and I do not like that feeling.  I am not sure what kind of program I want to do, but as I am getting started again, my plan is first, to get off sugar, and second, listen to my appetite.  My other goals will be to drink more water and to get started on some light exercise.  I hope my weight will start to move as I do these things and then I will think more intently about what “plan” I want to follow.  The last thing I need right now is to start something rather drastic and fail again.

Here is an example of my appetite.  I had some cereal left in the house and wanted an easy breakfast, so I poured a smallish bowl (for me) of cereal.  (The cereal does have some sugar in it, but not the kind I am worried about.  I am not going to binge on this cereal.  I don’t know if I will buy it again, but I feel okay about finishing it up.)  Anyway, after eating about half of what I poured out, I was pretty much having to force it down, so I stopped.  I really felt like I was going to have to eat something else later in the morning, and did get a little hungry at one point, but was busy and never got around to it.  For lunch I brought a Lean Cuisine panini that Stephanie had bought and never eaten.  I finished it and right now, I feel satisfied.  We will see if it lasts me all afternoon.  (It is now about 4:00 and so far, so good.)

I have been on a cleaning and organizational kick (for me) the last few days.  It really wasn’t motivated by a New Year’s resolution or something like that.  I got things all cleaned up after Christmas and I liked how it felt so much, I have really been trying to maintain.  Something just feels different about it.  I am doing it because I like the way a clean house feels instead of because of some feeling that I have to be that way to be acceptable.  I began to want to get things “underneath” looking organized and pretty too, so I have started working on that.  Things are really not that bad, as in it won’t take weeks to get things in shape.  Sometimes it feels that way because the loft is small and a little bit of clutter seems like a lot.  One thing I have decided is that we are too comfortable with clutter.  I want to find a place for things that are just sitting out all the time because there is no place to keep them (or I haven’t decided on a place to keep them).  I am starting with one area and am buying what I need to get it like I want it, and the goal is to work on another small area each month and purchase the things I need to keep it more organized.

For example, my first project is the biggest – my laundry closet.  It is too full and has stuff in it that we don’t even use.  I have decided it would be more efficient to stack my front load washer and dryer, so have ordered a kit to do that.  Then my plan is to buy a cubby and some baskets or bins to organize the other things I keep in there.  I also bought an over-the-door rack to hang my ironing board on and it has a shelf for the iron.  On the other door I will put a rack for my brooms and mops (which I also bought)  I took a before picture and will take an after picture after it is done and post them both.  I also bought some stuff for my pantry, since I have some extra Christmas money left – just some stacking containers to make better use of space, etc. 

Next month I plan to start on 1 or 2 cabinets at a time and buy the pull-out drawers so you can store your pots and pans (or whatever) and be able to pull out the drawer and see everything that’s in the cabinet.

White Drawer Storage

That stuff can be a little pricy, but hopefully I can get enough for at least one cabinet each month.  Then I will do the same in the bathroom and buy some things to better organize the linen closet (although it is not bad).

I am also trying to make things more accessible.  Although my shoulders are better than they were, I still do not want to have get things down from high places that I use often.  I am trying to put lesser used items up high and things I use regularly down where they are more accessible.  For instance, we made this kind of coffee bar on an “island” we purchased for the kitchen (it was called an island, but we keep it against a wall).  There is a Keurig machine, coffee pods, flavored syrups (which we also use for hot chocolate and other things), etc.  It’s cute, but the thing is, neither one of us are drinking coffee right now.  I don’t drink it at all and Stephanie has been getting hers at Starbucks.  I do want to keep it for when we have company.  Up above that “island” is a shelf we installed which had my canisters (flour, sugar, etc.) on it.  I use those pretty regularly.  So I reversed them and put the coffee bar stuff on the shelf and the canisters down on the island where I don’t have to reach to get them.

As for my pain issues, as I said, my shoulders are feeling some better most days.  If I do something that uses them too much, they will flare up, but they are much better than they were.  (Hence, moving things I use more often to where they are more accessible.)  My back feels decent some days, but if I do quite a bit more because it is feeling decent, then I pay for it the next day.  I guess I am okay with that, rather than never having a good day.  I need to get more done when I can.  But I will definitely have to be careful as I start trying to get some exercise.  Walking will not be a part of it.  I think the best thing I can do is my recumbent bike and some light yoga type things for now.  Then, hopefully, as my weight starts to come down, I will start having more “good” days to work with.  Having only major pain issue to deal with (my back issues) instead of two (my back issues and my shoulders) is much easier to take.  I also have my knee, but it is not as debilitating.  I am back to taking a full dose of pain medication almost every time and I seem to be tolerating it a little better.  I still get sleepy, but not like I can’t work through it most of the time.  If I sit still, I could definitely fall asleep, though.  Hopefully that will get even better.  I am just thankful to have some pain relief. At the end of four hours, I am always feeling the need for more – because of pain, not because of addiction.  I am hurting all over when the medication wears off (probably fibromyalgia, as well as the back issues).

My goal for 2015 is to take my life back from pain.  I want to get my weight down and feel well enough to get out and do more.

I am planning (and have saved the money for) a trip to New York City in early April.  I would like to feel at least some better by then, because I know there will be a lot of walking.  But regardless, I’m going to go.  I will ask the doctor for a round of steroids when I go, and that will help.  It won’t help afterwards, but you have to live life a little, even if it causes pain.

If I get things more on track with keeping things clean, I will feel more like having people over to my home and at least get to be with people that way.  I know one reason I close myself off to people and don’t ask them over is because I feel like my house is always messy.  But the reverse is true, too.  I think sometimes the messy house is my way of shutting myself off from people.  I just know I love the feeling of peace and wellbeing that comes when my home is in order.  So much more restful.  I want to do it, if just for that.

That’s all for today.  Happy 2015 everyone!!!