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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Blue, Blue Christmas

I'm having one of those days, so thought I would try to get some thoughts down.  Honestly, I am feeling pretty down.  I do not feel free to share why, but it has hung on throughout the day.  Let's just say the timing of things could have been better.
 
The timing of other things could have been better too.  If I had any choice in the matter, I would have chosen to do this home-buying/home-renovating thing at a different time of the year.  But I didn't really have a choice, since my lease is up at the end of this month.  Moving and renovating at Christmas-time is not the best, to say the least.  I want to be able to get some decorations up, but we are in no shape to do that yet.  However, Jim (my son-in-law's father) said things should move along quickly after Monday.
 
What is happening Monday?  We found someone to place the support beam for the price I needed.  Jim (who had back surgery about 3 weeks ago, so cannot do it himself) is doing all the prep work so I can get it done for that cost.  Actually he did it today.  And then he will do the finish work (sheetrock, texture, etc. that needs to be done to finish things up).  I am a little concerned about running out of funds.  It is more than a little stressful.
 
As for progress on the house, I got the pantry mostly painted, the shelves covered with shelf paper, and the boxes of food I have come across so far put away.  I did not do that on the night I intended since we ended up going somewhere that night, but it is done now.  We have interior doors now, with  most of the hardware installed.  I didn't buy enough doorknobs, so had to get a couple more today.  (Actually, I bought the wrong kind for a couple of doors.)  Other than that, they got the prep work for the beam done today and probably a couple of odds and ends I haven't thought of.
 
I have worked today not only on the pantry and some box-emptying, but just doing some cleaning.  It is so dirty and dusty, I wanted to get some of that cleaned up.  Now I need to get up and do some box-emptying.
 
Eating has been pretty bad today.  I did end up breaking my fast the other day.  :/
 
I don't know that this has really helped my state of mind, but it at least got my mind off the thoughts that were bothering me.  Hopefully I will feel a bit better tomorrow.  The more progress I make on the house, the better I will feel.  I am in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed (that happens often to me, my life is so chaotic, but it is worse than usual right now), and a little more order and progress will help.  I just have to get through this week and then there is 4 days off (including the weekend) for Christmas.  (Goodness, I have to finish my shopping!!)
 
Over and out.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Need for Relationships

This is a post I started between the last one and the one before.  Feelings expressed are still valid, so I will just post it....

There are some things in my life I feel so "done" with.  Let's just hope I feel done enough to actually change them.

Mainly, I'm tired of being such a lone wolf.  Because of fear, physical issues, working too much, etc., I have not made relationships outside of my family.  That means the only people I really have to count on are my kids, and sometimes that is a little precarious because they have lives of their own.  It's not that I want relationships that are all about what I need, but when you are in situations like I am in right now, it would make a difference if I had some people who had my back.  The load feels so heavy right now.  If I had a group of friends, I feel sure I could have called on them (say, a Sunday school class) to come help me with my move.  A group of adult singles tends to pull together about things like that.  But I am not involved anywhere, so I don't have anyone to call on.

I've said this many times, but I need to get back to church and make relationships there.  The thing I have to decide is, since I am moving further away from where I had planned to get involved, is that still the right place, or do I need to look for something closer?  It is still close in that I work downtown and the church is downtown.  So if I get involved in music, which has its regular practices on Wednesday nights, I just have to go from my office to the downtown church.  But to go to services, I will have to drive a ways to get there.  Wherever I choose to do it, I am sure I just need to jump in and start getting involved.  If I wait for the perfect time, it is never going to happen.  And I am tired of feeling alone.  I probably should just jump in and go Sunday; but I feel pressed about using all available non-working time to finish things up so we can move, so it will probably have to wait until after that.

I am just so tired of feeling so alone.

I am craving carbs and sugar quite a bit today.  Really, what I am craving is comfort and help and rest.  I may think eating comfort foods will help (and it will for a short minute), but it actually will make things worse because then I will have regret to deal with, and more importantly, added pain to deal with.  I am limping around today, but I am hurting in so many places that limping does not help.  My left hip (related to the pinching pain I described a couple of days ago) is hurting quite a bit today, as well as my right knee and my right Achilles.  When you have pain on both sides, limping does not do any good because you are limping on both sides.

Pooped, Progress, Plans and Priorities

Tuesday

I wrote this part of this post on Tuesday and did not get it posted.  Then I am skipping to Thursday, today.  At least it gets things caught up a bit.

I am pooped!  Exhausted!  But there is so much to do.

I thought I would take a minute to get a few thoughts down.  My boss was here for about 30 minutes earlier, will be back for about an hour late afternoon, but has to leave for the day at about 5:30, so I have some time to “catch up” on some filing, etc.

I have not been following any fasting regimen the last couple of weeks.  I have started on a couple of occasions, but by dinner ended up eating.  I don’t necessarily look at that as a failure.  There is so much going on in my life right now, and I know that I have the ability to do what needs to be done when the time is right, so I am giving myself some grace right now.  However, I have been doing some “less than desirable” eating as far as what I have been eating, and I do want to change that.  I am doing better so far today.

Specifically, I have been eating too many carbs, and eating sugar.  I need to stick to eating keto/ low carb during this time.  That way weight loss can continue, or at least I am not undoing progress.  If I can get my body back to being in fat-burning mode (called being fat-adapted) – which will happen if I eat high fat/low carb – then it will be easier when I do go back to fasting.  (If your body is used to using the fat you eat for fuel, it is easier for it to switch over to stored fat when you fast.)

But one reason I would like to get back to fasting right now is I do not have time to cook, the kitchen is still not even begun as far as putting things away, plus if I do cook something, it requires me to clean it up.  There is too much to do right now and it would be much easier to be fasting.  So, just because I am extending grace to myself for breaking a fast does not mean I do not want to get back to fasting.  I will get there.  Just have to get my mental toughness back enough to fight off the bits of hunger I have, and more importantly, the ability to keep going even when I feel this tired (since that is such a big trigger for me).  Getting fat adapted again would make it much easier.

As I sit here, I am trying to stay awake.  I am just so tired.  It has built up on me for the many, many days I have worked so hard.

I started this post, then went back to see what my last post said about where we were on the house, so had to insert some information.  We did hire someone to do the floors and to finish out the doorway between the living room and the dining room (more about that in a minute).  They got the floors done a week ago Saturday and did a good job on them.  The picture is a snip of a still picture of a video my daughter took, so the quality is not great.  And she took the video before we cleaned the floors, but it gives you an idea, anyway.
 
 

For the doorway, they were supposed to insert a beam to provide support that was to be removed from the doorway being widened.  They started that a week ago Monday.  Stephanie came in from work that day and they had removed all the 2x4’s from the wall, but had done nothing about support!  The ceiling was actually bowing down in the dining room.  My daughter’s feisty side came out and she demanded that the contractor come and do something about it and also insisted on seeing his proof of insurance (which his contract said he had).  I called him when I heard about it and said he needed to get someone over there immediately to get some support under my ceiling.  (I am not an assertive person, so this is difficult for me, but I did do that.)  The guy said he had workers coming over within 45 minutes, but asked me to please call off my daughter!  Lol.  I did not.  He refused to show proof of insurance (I am sure because he did not have any).  As it happens, my son-in-law’s father (who had been doing the skilled work at the house, but had back surgery days before this) was over at my other daughter’s house (which is only a few minutes away from mine) and he came over and had to show the workers who came back how to construct a temporary support under the ceiling.  It was obvious they did not know what they were doing.  If my daughter had not been so on top of things, I believe their intent was just to sheetrock and finish out the opening, thinking us two females wouldn’t know the difference.  Wrong!  Anyway, we ended up firing them because they obviously were incompetent for that kind of work.  The ceiling still just has the temporary support, but no permanent damage was done.  I say that.  We cannot put things back like they were, if we so desired, without quite a bit of expense.  I had paid them half down, which covered the floors, and had given them another check for another quarter of the cost, and I stopped payment on that check.  They cannot say I broke the contract because they had in the contract that they had insurance and they obviously did not.  I ended up paying them another $75, which covered some extra square footage on the floor, and we called it done.  They did a good job on the floors, anyway, which would allow us to move in.

We moved from the apartment to the house last Friday (December 8).  The house is nowhere near done, but the floors are in and it was too difficult to keep going back and forth every night.  At least we can come home and work and not have to drive back to the apartment every evening.  But now we have to work around our stuff, plus there is the getting things put away.

This morning was frustrating and difficult.  For one thing, we have no interior doors in the house.  I don’t think taking those off was such a good idea, this long before the new ones being installed, but it made it easier to paint the trim.  Since we have now moved, having no doors makes a bigger difference.  Stephanie’s room and my room are right across the hall from each other.  Plus we have the dynamic with the pets.  Maggie constantly wants to get after the cat.  I have the gate on my door so she can’t get in, but she sets herself up in the hall outside my door and watches him.  Cas (my Yorkie) feels the need to police the situation, and the cat sometimes milks it for all it is worth by taunting Maggie.  So I cannot close my door on that situation, and every time I try to leave my room, Maggie is right there, trying to get in the gate.  This morning, as often happens, I woke up fairly early.  I needed to go to the restroom, and my back was hurting enough when I got up that I decided to move to my recliner until time to get up for the day.  I tried to do that quietly so as not to get Maggie riled up so that she woke Stephanie.  Also, we are working on Cas’s potty training outside of using pee pads and I did not want him to wake up enough where I had to take him outside (which would get Maggie riled up).  There was no way to close the door on that situation.  I finally did have to get up and let Cas out, before Stephanie was ready to get up.  Of course, that means I had to let Maggie out too.  Stephanie has trouble going to sleep at night, so I hate to disturb her unnecessarily in the morning.

Another issue is that I have not located all my boxes of clothing and gotten them put away (I basically know where the boxes are, just need the time to do it), so finding something to wear this morning was more challenging.  Also, all of my coats are boxed up.  I am riding the train to work now, which requires me to sit outside waiting for it for a bit, and the sweater I had on was not warm enough this morning.  I am not going from parking garage to parking garage anymore.  (If I ever move again – which I hope will not happen – I will do things differently with my packing.  I should have left clothes in the dresser/chest of drawers and moved all my hanging clothes at the last minute instead of putting them in boxes.  I was trying to save myself walking, but it did not really help.)  Tonight’s job is to find all my clothes and my coat(s) and put them away, so I have them available tomorrow morning.

Another issue is that many nights, there are a number of people at the house doing work on it.  That’s a good thing, but sometimes you just want to come home to some peace and quiet.  There is not much of that right now, except after they all leave.  And if they are there working, I feel like I need to be working, so there is little time to rest.  Also, the people there -- Jim, Tom and Penie (plus Bethany and Carter) -- are all pretty intense people.  Everything is OH MY GOD!!!  I am not that way.  I lived with way too much drama for many years, and I do not want to live that way again.  So this intensity is a little tiring.  But I do appreciate the help, don't get me wrong!  No one was at the house Sunday, so Stephanie and I did only what we felt up to or absolutely needed to be done (that is a relative statement, since there were probably a lot more things that most would think necessary, but not necessarily what we had the energy to do).  Even after taking some time that day, I am still very, very tired.  We still have no Christmas decorations, which makes me sad.  Things are not quite ready for that.

As for the rest of the progress on the house, here is what has happened.  Unfortunately, we have not gotten someone to do the support for the wall yet.  I got bids for $3,000 and $2,350 (and this was not supposed to be a fully load-bearing wall).  That was with the wall already completely demo’d and everything exposed.  I cannot do that.  A couple of other people are coming to check things out.  If nothing else, we will install a support post(s) in the opening.  It will still be opened up, and that would provide the support and not be as expensive.  I would be fine with that alternative.  It would still be opened up a lot more, and the post(s) would look fine -- could even look very nice.

We got the “shiplap” up on either side of the fireplace and it looks really good!  This is an inexpensive way to do the shiplap look.  The wood will be painted white and is on either side of the fireplace.  There will also be a “shiplap” wall in my daughter’s bedroom and on the lower half of a wall in the bathroom.  We have since decided to do the backsplash in the kitchen with this.  It is only temporary since I plan to redo the kitchen as soon as I can, but this is pretty inexpensive and it needs something to look decent besides just paint.

 


They got all the baseboards cut and ready to install, also.  They are primed white (which is the color they are to be painted) and we may wait a bit before doing the painting.  Just to take a break.  They look really good as they are.  They just need to be nailed in place and caulked before painting.  The French doors were partially installed yesterday.  They have also gotten the decorative beams on the ceiling partially wrapped with stained wood (needs to be finished; progress has been made since this part of the post).

As for what is left (for this portion of the renovation), there is some painting to be finished (trim, touchup, a closet or two, the mantle, and finish the kitchen painting and do the shiplap I mentioned above; it will just be a temporary solution since the next renovation will be redoing the kitchen, so there is not much point in spending much time or money on it right now); the shiplap needs to be primed and painted and trimmed out; the shiplap in my daughter’s room and the bathroom needs to be done; the doors and hardware need to be installed.  Of course, there is the doorway I talked about above.  I am sure there is quite a bit more, but that is most of it.  It is coming along, even if I am at that stage many homeowners go through, wondering why in the world I wanted to do this.  I am just tired.  It is going to look really good.  There may be a couple of other things I decide to do depending on if I have money left.  I am doubting it at this point, as much as I would like to do them.

I would love to get a big claw-foot bathtub.  I need a soaking tub to help with pain issues, and the only bathtub in the house is just a standard size.  (Gives me more motivation to get smaller!)  That will likely have to be part of a later renovation.  That is the biggest thing I am going to miss from my apartment, I think, is the huge tub.  And the distance from work….

But, riding the train is working okay (as soon as I find my coats!).  I need to get organized and make sure I have a book with me each morning.  It has been a little hectic, so far, but I have made it to work on time.  It still requires me about 40 minutes to get to work, but I much prefer this to fighting the traffic, and traffic is usually bad on the route I would have to take to work.  Riding the train, I can read or watch a video or just chill.
 
Thursday
 
Since writing the above, a little progress has been made.  I updated portions to reflect that.  I feel like I am not getting enough done at night, but I am just so tired!!  Monday night I had to stop at Home Depot to get a few things needed, including a doorknob for the French doors -- we totally forgot about that.  We also needed a shower curtain rod and I needed a curtain rod (among other things).  Tuesday night we did not have any "help" there and I worked on finding my clothes and coats as mentioned above.  I know there is another box of clothes somewhere, but I did enough to have a decent selection of something to wear, and I found a couple of my coats.  Last night I worked a little late and stopped off to get something to eat.  I went to a grocery store intending to get something more healthy, but this grocery store was not great and I ended up just getting something I absolutely did not need and nothing else.  The grocery store was in the same parking lot as a Whataburger and I talked myself into getting a vanilla milkshake there (an old behavior I had not indulged for a while) since I had already gotten the other at the grocery store.  After eating, I was falling asleep in my chair and did not get anything done last night.  I did get up this morning and put some things away in the kitchen -- emptied the boxes that were in there, for the most part.
 
I think, because of how tired I am, I need to set a goal of one or two things to accomplish each night (at least).  It would be easy to just go home and watch a Christmas movie, but I need to make progress -- and Christmas is coming!  I hope I can catch up over the next few days and not feel so drained.  I think I am doing more than I am giving myself credit for, but there is so much to do!  I am trying to begin a fast today, even if just a couple of days, so I don't have to worry about planning what to eat, fixing it or buying it, or cleaning it up.  Plus, I need to get on a better track.  I woke up with quite a bit of pain during the night!  Pain is definitely up because of all the hard work, plus the increased inflammation from my sloppy eating.  My shoulders were really hurting in the middle of the night.  At least most of the heavy lifting is done, and I mean that literally.
 
So, tonight I think I will plan to work on finishing painting the pantry closet so I can get food stuffs put away and have them available to use.  (I am going to need to make a "legal" dessert soon so I can get off this sugar trend and get to feeling better.  I need an alternative that doesn't have the negative effects.)  I also bought some shelf paper to cover the shelves in the pantry, so I can put that on.  I also need to get all of the shelves back in my closet (for some odd reason, a girl who was helping us took all of it down!) so I can better put away all the stuff in my closet.  The trouble is, I'm not sure exactly how it is supposed to work together.
 
I also need to go to the grocery store, but will probably wait a day on that since I am getting a fast going anyway.  (We will see how I do on that.)

One thing I did not say earlier is that Bethany had a pretty significant wreck on the day the contractor worked on the "support beam" for my house.  That is the reason my son-in-law's father was at their house.  She is still sore, her car was totaled, and they are dealing with that issue.  She is going to need follow-up care.  She had run out of gas and was sitting on the side of the road with her emergency flashers on, waiting for roadside assistance, when she was struck quite violently from behind.  She was on a freeway, so the guy was going 50 mph plus, and there is no evidence that he even applied his brakes.  He was distracted and just did not see her.  She had gotten out of the car to check on something and gotten back in on the passenger side, since there was a lot of traffic passing by on the driver's side.  She did not have her seatbelt on because of that, but it likely saved her from hitting the steering wheel, anyway.  Her back and neck are hurting her.  They had bought this vehicle (used) earlier this year and it has been a lemon.  They had just put a new engine in it.  Hopefully they will get reimbursed for all that (they should, I believe).  But this was just another blow in a series of events, one after another, that have made life a little rocky for them lately.  I hope at least part of it will be a blessing in disguise -- that she will get a good settlement for the vehicle and out from under a problem vehicle.  The insurance company already offered $1,000 more than they paid for it before learning about the recent work done on it.  They submitted the receipts for that and are waiting to hear.
 
I know this post is very long, but I wanted to catch up a little bit.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Progress, Hopefully

Resting was nice last night.  But I am trying not to feel stressed today.  We have a lead on someone doing the floors for roughly what I felt I could spend.  We will know later today.  First I need to find out if Jim has made any arrangements so I don't step on anything he has done.  If we get the floors done, I am ready to just move our stuff and keep working while living there.  I am definitely tired of the going back and forth.
 
Traffic was really bad this morning and it did not help my feelings of stress.  And I am moving further away.  But that reinforces my plan to take the train.  I do not want to have to deal with that traffic.  What I have not decided is whether I should pay one more month of parking, or just pay by the day and take the train after we get moved to the other place.  I am leaning that direction.  I could take the train from where I am now, too, but it requires some walking and I likely will have to stand for the trip because I would get on at the end of the line (almost to downtown).  When I ride the train from the house, I will be getting on toward the beginning of the line.  Plus, if I am having to make trips over to the house every night, I don't want to waste the time walking to and from the train stop every morning and evening.  When I ride from the house, there is a Park & Ride.
 
I did something a little questionable with my eating.  I did pick up a rotisserie chicken last night, as well as some eggs and a couple of other things.  I was really craving something sweet and the best way for me to indulge my sweet tooth is to make something, but I really don't have the time or the energy last night.  So I bought some low carb ice cream.  That is not the greatest thing for me to have, and I often have portion control problems with it.  But we have leftover pecan pie and cheesecake in the refrigerator from Thanksgiving and I need to stay away from that, so I thought this was safer.  I did a decent job of controlling my portion, but I will have to be careful.
 
For lunch today I brought some boiled eggs, summer sausage and cheese.  Not the greatest lunch, but fine for keto and it will do.
 
We got a bid on two things we need done on the house to move forward.  Actually, so we can move!  He first told us a total amount for the floors and finishing out the opening between the dining room and the living room, which includes a support beam.  I liked the price for the support beam, but he wanted more for doing the floors than the quote I had gotten from someone else.  So I wanted to hire him just to do the beam and finish-out and get the other guy to do the floors.  He came down $200 to do it all and I decided that is probably the best option (he was acting like he might charge more for just doing the beam and finish-out if he did not do the floors).  It's a little more than I wanted to pay, but it does include the cost of the beam.  And he can get it all done in two days, which means we can go ahead and move.  So, I think this is the best option.  I am just happy to be able to move forward.
 
However, this is all very scary for me.  Paying out that kind of money when there are still other things left to do scares me.  But it is not like I have any choice.  These are things that have to be done.  I am so ready to get settled and not have to work quite so much after work!
 
I don't think I made this clear what I was talking about -- I think it was yesterday, but it might have been the day before.  For quite a while (in some ways, ever since I can remember), I have felt that getting out of the house very much was more than I can handle.  For one thing, I am such a home body.  And I feel like I am not really resting unless I am home, and I get a little crazy feeling if I am not home enough.  For another, the pain issues have kept me home much more.  But the last few weeks have shown me that I can do a lot more than I think I can (part of that is because I feel better), and I realize that I don't have to be home to feel like I have time off.  I hope after we get settled, I will feel more like getting out and making friends and spending time with them.  It has shown me that I can still handle my work schedule, even if am not home almost every minute I am not working.  Of course, I have not been working much OT during these weeks, but it still has shown me I can do more than I could do before, especially physically.  My energy level has vastly improved.
 
I'm hungry tonight, so will probably stop and get me something on the way to the house tonight.  I'm going to head out so I can get to work.  Need to get things cleaned up for the workers to get started!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Looking Thinner?

I was thinking last night I might need to go see my massage therapist about the “hot spots” I am enduring right now.  When I went over those things in my mind, there were more than I realized.  My lower back is always an issue, and right now it is grabbing and hurting with almost every move.  Something definitely feels pinched.  I am also having a problem with my middle back where it sometimes feels like something is out of place and like a nerve is pinched there (pretty sure that is from painting).  It also hurts with many basic movements.  I have been having a problem with my thumb area on my right hand (and sometimes on my left).  It feels like a nerve issue.  My shoulder is also sore and I kind of think these two things are related (it starts in the shoulder and travels down to the thumb area).  Then there is the sharp pain in my right knee I have been having, and the problem with my Achilles tendon.  Then there is just the overall soreness and fatigue from the physical work.  None of these things is keeping me from keeping on going; I just have to put up with them all while I am doing it.

The guy who has been helping us with the remodel (my son-in-law’s dad) had back surgery this morning.  He has had pretty severe problems for a long time and they could not figure out what was wrong with him.  They found out when they got in there that a disc had slipped and was totally encased in scar tissue, so they could not see it on the MRIs, etc.  The nerve was also all tangled up in the scar tissue.  His prognosis is very positive.  I am so glad for him.  I would love for them to find something like that with me.  That sounds weird, but you want them to find out something definitive and be able to fix it; not this vague thing of we’re not sure what is wrong, etc.  Of course, multiple issues are seen in my MRI; it’s just that I must lose more weight before the surgery is advisable.  That is why I am so adamant about continuing with the fasting, keto, etc.

The other issue I am experiencing today is that I can barely stay awake.  I pray I can find some help to finish some of the work so we can get moved.  I would love to take a night off and just rest.  I am so thankful that I have been able to do the work, but I am very tired and need a break.  We will see if any of the leads I am chasing pan out (and whether I can afford them).  I have to do something, that’s for sure.

As for my eating, after breaking my fast yesterday I went on to work on the house without eating anything else.  We quit a little before 9:00 last night and on my way home, I was hungry.  I kept trying to think about what I could eat.  I didn’t want to spend much money, for one thing.  I have been feeding those who are working on the house and it adds up after a while.  I also do not have much food to speak of in the house.  I decided to stop at the grocery store and pick up a few things.  I ended up getting some salad from the salad bar at Kroger, which included a boiled egg, some pepperoni slices and some shredded cheese, along with the veggies.  I used bleu cheese dressing I had at home.  I also picked up some summer sausage in the deli area, some cheddar cheese, some salami, bacon, and some parmesan crisps.  I didn’t eat all that last night, of course.  With my salad I had a couple of parmesan crisps with some sliced summer sausage on it.

I didn’t bring any food with me today.  I feel a little hungry, but mostly I just feel tired.  I may pick up something at lunch, but again, would rather not spend the money.  I can eat some of the stuff I bought tonight when I get off.  The only choice I was not pleased with last night is someone had brought a bag of potato chips to the house and I ate a few of those.  I thought about that as I was driving home and was kind of kicking myself.  Even if I eat, if I can stay in fat burning mode instead of burning carbs, it makes it easier.  Those few chips probably brought me back to burning carbs.  It is much better for me to eat protein and fat when I am going to be eating some meals and not others.  It kind of keeps the momentum going.

I snapped a picture of myself this morning, just to see if I thought it showed the fat loss I believe is occurring.  I believe it does.  The first picture was taken on Mother’s Day.  The second picture is the one I snapped this morning (please excuse my moving mess in the background).  I think I look significantly thinner in the one this morning.


Mother's Day 2017
November 29, 2017
 
I can tell a lot of difference in the second picture.  For one thing, my arms are a lot thinner than they had been.  You might not can tell that, but I seem them all the time and I can tell.  I also see it a lot in my legs.  It is encouraging.
 
Later
 
I did end up eating some lunch.  I remembered I could get two scoops of tuna salad (nothing else, just tuna salad) for about $4.00, so I had that.  I will have a similar dinner to what I had last night.  One thing I wanted to get last night was a rotisserie chicken, but they did not have any in the display that late at night.  So I may pick one up tonight.  I also meant to get some eggs and forgot.  Eggs are always a good thing to have around when you are eating low carb.
 
I have decided to take the night off tonight, at least from working at the house.  I likely will work on the last remnants of packing, but only some.  I need some rest time.  I still don't have anyone to do the floors, but Stephanie and I need a night to regroup and get a second wind.  I probably should go to bed early.  I don't know that I will; I would also like some time to just watch TV or do something I want to do.  Watching a Christmas movie sounds nice.
 
I will shut it down for tonight.  I'm not going to know how to act, going home and staying there for the evening.  It has been a while since I have done that.  But now I know I can, both physically and emotionally.  I don't have to be home every non-working minute.  And I can do a lot more physically than I have been able to for a long time.  That feels good.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Staying the Course

I need this to be quick, at least until I can pick it up later, but I wanted to say this.  I got on the scale this morning.  That's always a little scary to me when I haven't been paying close attention to it, because, historically, that usually means a gain, even if a small one.  And since I shook things up a little last week, I wasn't sure what to expect.

I actually was about a half a pound below my recent lowest.  So that means I am on my way to losing those 10 pounds I set as a goal for this month (or by the end of the year).  Yay!  And as I said before, weight does not tell the whole story when you are doing this.  I am obviously (to me) thinner and losing inches.  I would try to measure that but my stuff is packed away.

A not-so-good thing I have been doing is drinking SF Monsters.  Yeah, yeah, I know they are terrible.  But this pace I am having to keep is tough, and the one Monster I drank yesterday morning did help.  (I sure wish I liked coffee!)  It doesn't affect my hunger that I can tell, and it obviously did not affect my weight loss.  I do not want to make them a regular part of my life, but I will deal with them (again!) when I get through this time of having to work so much on the house.  We worked until around 10:00 last night.

If it had just been Stephanie and me, we would have quit at around 9:00, or if in the middle of something, 9:30.  But since Tom and Bethany were there, I needed to stay at least as long as they did.  Bethany left at around 9:00, I think, because of Carter (poor baby was so tired and NOTHING was what he wanted; even then, he was not so much fussy as just fighting sleep), but we left when Tom left.  And then it always takes me a bit to wind down when I get home.  I also needed a bath -- both to get the paint and sweat off of me, and to soak my aching bones.  So it was after 11:00 when I settled down to sleep.  I must have dropped right off because I don't remember anything after that.  More later.
 
Afternoon
 
The morning was going along at a reasonable pace until my boss got here at around 10:45.  Then he called me into his office and loaded me down.  No huge projects, but lots of little things to take care of.
 
I feel pretty decent this morning, all things considered.  My right knee has gotten really sore.  I couldn't think of anything I had done that should have caused it, except climbing a ladder a couple of times (very little).  I googled the kind of pain I am having and it called it patellofemoral pain syndrome.  Sudden change in physical activity definitely fits.  :)  Hopefully it will settle down when I get through this.  In the meantime, when I land on it wrong, OUCH!
 
 
My back was very "grabby" yesterday.  Every time I moved it would grab and I had some uncomfortable sciatic nerve pain.  It is a little better today.  I hope I can hold it off until I get this done.  All of this makes it more important that I stay on track with my eating.  Eating inflammatory foods definitely increases my pain.  Fasting some days definitely helps my pain.  So I will continue.  It does not make me feel weaker; it actually makes me feel stronger.  Of course you have to acclimate yourself to fasting, but once you do, it is not difficult at all.  It is so nice not to be obsessed with food all the time.  I am glad for the rest from not having to decide what to eat, shop for it, cook it, etc.  I hope some reading this blog will not write me off as a quack and will at least read the books, The Obesity Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting (both by Dr. Jason Fung).  I believe it to be the answer I have been looking for all my life, and it might be the same for you.
 
I ended up breaking this fast at around 3:15 p.m.  I seem to be less willing to go longer at the moment and I know that is because I am working so hard.  It is not so much because I feel weak, physically.  More that I feel a little more weak, mentally.  And I think that is perfectly fine, given all that I am dealing with right now.  I am also pretty sure I don't need to justify that to anyone because you probably think I'm pretty crazy anyway!!  But I know from the FB group I am on, you have periods where you do more and you have some where you do less.  The important thing is eating as I should when I do eat, and if I am doing shorter fasts at some times, that is perfectly fine and good.  And just because I ate something at 3:30 does not mean I have to eat something tonight, if I don't want to.  That was my first thought.  Oh darn; now I have to find myself something for dinner tonight.  But I really don't, unless I want to.  And I may not want to.
 
There is a tendency to feel like you are being "bad" when you have it in mind to fast a certain length of time, but then decide you are done earlier than you planned.  Actually I think that is a good thing.  It shows I am not being legalistic about this and am listening to my body.  I broke the fast by eating a few peanuts and then went downstairs to a convenience store and bought two boiled eggs and a stick of cheese.  It is good that they provide low-carb options more and more these days.  I probably will not eat dinner because I do not want to take the time.  And I am not hungry.
 
Going to get this posted and get off to the house to do more work.  I have no idea what day I am on, but I am on track with the lifestyle.  I will reach my goal if I stay on this course.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Ready to Enjoy the Fruits of My Labor

It’s been a little while.  Not because I have not been doing “good,” but because life has been so busy!
Since closing on the house, every night after work I go over and work on painting, etc., and every weekend I have worked pretty much all day, each day.  (I have given myself a little rest at the end of those days, but it was much-needed because I worked so hard during the day.)  We usually sleep in a little on weekend mornings and then head over to put in a full day of work (unless we had help; then we got there earlier).  I took off from my job last Wednesday, so was over there working all day Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  I spent Thursday (Thanksgiving) at my daughter’s with my kids and their significant others and my grandson.
I did take a lot of last week off from fasting.  I was tired and it seemed too hard to fight off the first day of hunger when working so hard.  I would have been fine if I had continued, but I thought a break might be good for me.  I did fast on Friday after Thanksgiving, and breakfast the next day, but then ate regularly the rest of the weekend.
I “feasted” on Thanksgiving.  I didn’t eat that much, but I did eat some sweets.  I was okay with doing that as long as I got right back “on the wagon,” and I did.  One thing I noticed.  Pain was up a lot on Friday after all the sweets, was a little better on Saturday, and even better on Sunday.  So it definitely affects my pain levels.
Pain has been moderate to severe (first thing in the morning) with all this work, but I have been able to do so much more than I thought I would.  There is no way I could have done this a couple of months before I started this.  However, sleep has been a little more difficult; I wake up with some pain, but am able to drop back off to sleep, at least.
We are making decent progress on the house, considering we have not had that much help.  My help has been “spotty” and I am looking for more.  The person with the most expertise kind of dropped out on me for a few days last week, was back on Friday and Saturday, but now is having back surgery this week, so I don’t expect much help from him in a long while.  In the meantime, there is still a lot to do.  We have to get a certain amount done (have to get the floors in, for sure) before we can move in, and this going back and forth every day is getting very old.  I told Stephanie we need to focus this week on getting the bedrooms where we can at least move our beds over and sleep there, so we can have the extra time to work in the morning and when we get home at night without having to make the drive back and forth to the apartment.  There are some things that can wait until we are moved in, but floors must be done first; at least, it would make it a lot more difficult if the floors were not done first.  I am looking into the possibility of hiring someone to lay the floors (we have decided on laminate throughout since the hardwood was not in as good of shape as we first thought).  My daughters and I have done some work on the floors, but it is hard, slow work when you are learning, and Stephanie and I are very tired.  Bethany was a huge part of doing the floors so far, but can only help so much because she works full time and has a one-year-old, plus just moved into her home.  I know if we had the proper help, we could get a ton done this coming weekend; it is just finding the help.  I am so ready to get moved in.
I have worked on a punch list (kind of early to be called a punch list) and there is still so much to do.  It is hard to not get discouraged.  But we will keep moving forward….  I think the big thing is to get to where we can move in and finish up from there.  I am trying to protect myself, physically, as much as possible so I can keep going as long as necessary.  Getting injured or in so much pain I cannot get around would not help anything.  I gave thought to doing a round of steroids, but that tends to make me overdo and I pay for it later.  Plus it makes me want to eat more.  So I have not done that.
I haven’t gotten on the scale for a while, so have no idea how things are going on that avenue.  I have a goal to lose 10 pounds from my lowest (which would bring me to about 240) by Christmas.  If I do my fasting and eat keto/low-carb when I do eat, that can definitely happen.  I just have to stay focused.  All this does not mean I did badly last week.  I was just not as strict as usual.  There were a couple of times today when I wanted to eat.  I had to remind myself that this will pass soon and I will feel fine and good.  Being tired is such a huge trigger for me.  I know there are many who would say that I should not fast while doing all this work, but those who fast know, you actually can have more energy while fasting then when eating because (at my size) you have a never-ending supply of fuel.  I just have to get switched back over from burning sugar to burning fat for fuel.  That will take a little more effort this time because I have eaten more carbs some days last week.  I have to burn off my glycogen stores so I can get back to burning fat.  I will just drink down my water and this will pass.
I have to keep my eye on the prize with everything I am doing right now.  If I keep at it, it will all be done and I can enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Catching Up

Tuesday
 
I forgot to post this Tuesday, so I will post it now and add a little to it.
 
Pain is not too bad this morning.  Some stiffness in the back, of course, but I have that when I am not working like this.  My heel hurts and I had planned to dig out my boot they put me in when I first went to the doctor about this a couple of years ago and at least wear it when I am working at the house or walking around Lowe's or something.  But the inside part of the boot and Velcro straps were not with it when I dug in the box.  I don't know where they have gotten off to.  Stephanie has a boot too, but hers goes up higher on the calf and did not fit me well.  It was making my knee hurt to wear it.  I do wear my compression sleeve all the time, except when I am sleeping.  (Since then, Stephanie found another boot she had from a surgery, that is like mine.  So I will be wearing it beginning tonight, or when I am working on the house, moving, etc.  I was moving a couple of boxes this morning without anything on my heel and it HURT.  It makes me nervous.  So I will be wearing the boot except at work.)

I am thinking of taking tonight "off" and coming home and working on the remnants of packing.  I know I do not have to work late, but when I think about that, I know that means I probably need to take advantage of going over to the house.  I just don't want to have to take the dogs with me.  Maggie is crated all day, so she needs to be let out right after work, and I worry about her having too much restless energy if I just leave her out in the house after work.  We took her to the house Sunday without Cas and she was upset and nervous.  She ran off once when she got out the garage door and it took us a bit to catch her.  I think she is afraid we are going to leave her or something.  Plus there are all kinds of strange noises and smells, etc. at the house.  Something was freaking her out a little.  She does better when Cas is there with her.

Evening

I am getting ready to wind down at work.  For some reason, along about now, I sometimes get some temptation.  Like my coworker's peanut jar.  But I reminded myself why I am doing this, how much better I feel, and that I will get to enjoy food soon.  I have been feeling better this week with the salt intake.  Headaches are all but gone.  I have ordered some salt capsules to take to make it easier, but might only be able to take those on eating days.

With the input I have gathered on the FB group I am on, I gather that during the last two long fasts I must have gotten low on salt and that is ultimately what led me to stop.  (And it shows I was listening to my body by doing that.)  The first (actually second) one, I was feeling nauseous for a number of days.  The second (actually third) one, I was exhausted and I thought my blood sugar might be low, but I know now it was the salt issue.  The symptoms they describe are spot on.  I need to get clear on why this happens; all I know is it helps and I feel fine now.  It is nice to know what was going on.

I'm going home now.  Have to stop at the store and get my prescription filled and pick up some pet food.  I did decide to stay home tonight and work there.  I just do not want another trip across town with the dogs.  Stephanie is at the house working tonight, though.  I will go tomorrow night.

Wednesday

Yesterday was a good day on my fast.  We had a Thanksgiving luncheon.  I contributed to it (by picking up a pumpkin pie -- not a good time for much cooking for me, since most of my stuff is packed) -- but I did not eat anything.  I did make me a plate of things that were okay for me to eat and I can either eat it when I break my fast tonight, or more likely, eat it for lunch on Friday.  I chose some pulled pork someone brought, two ribs (but no sauce), some kind of shrimp that was not breaded, some roasted Brussels sprouts and some green beans.  That's it.  But it will make a nice meal that I don't have to cook.

I accidentally left my pain med at home yesterday.  Rather than make a trip home, I just toughed it out.  It wasn't too bad, but pain was building at the end of the day and by the time I got home, I was needing it.  Especially since I was going to work on the house.  But it did not make my workday miserable, anyway.  It would not have been that way 2 months ago or if I was not fasting and eating carefully.

My boss asked if I could work late last night, but then asked if I was needing to work on my move, etc.  I told him I did and he let me go at 10 after 6 (my quitting time is 6:00).  I needed to pick up a prescription, but decided it could wait since I still have pain med to last until Saturday.  I will pick it up Saturday morning.  The pharmacy does not open until 9:00, so I couldn't do it before work.

I went home and changed clothes and picked up the dogs.  I hate driving there with both of them, but I did.  Stephanie also could not find the paint brush, so I also had to stop at Home Depot and buy another one.  (She found it as we were picking up to go home.)  Traffic is still not great at the time I am driving over there, and that is the worst part to me of driving over there each evening.  I wish we had someone to watch Maggie while we are doing this.  Cas is fine if I did not get home until late because he is not crated and uses pee pads.  But Maggie starts chewing on furniture if she has too much energy and/or is left alone too much.  Anyway, I made the drive over.

Stephanie had gotten quite a bit done and we finished getting a third coat of primer in the dining area, which had dark (ugly!) paint on the walls.  She also painted the ceilings that had not been done yet, and got second coats on ceilings that only had one coat.  We should be ready to move forward with wall paint tonight.  I'm anxious to see how the gray color we chose will look.  It already looks so much better in the dining room -- lighter and brighter -- without that ugly paint.  The other walls are a yellowy cream color, which really just looks kind of dirty.  It probably looked okay in its day, but this house was not clean.  Did I mention the owner had 6 dogs?  It didn't look as bad as some houses you see with lots of dogs -- there were not big urine and poop problems, but it was dirty, dog hair, etc.  So the new paint job is helping with that.

We decided to open the wall between the living room and dining room.  We had taken some sheetrock off there because it had some mildew, and when we saw what was under there and asked Jim, he said it would be pretty easy to widen that doorway and open it up.  So that sheetrock is completely off (one less dark wall to paint!).  Jim needs to take the studs out, create the stronger frame for the wider doorway (and whatever else he has to do for support), and extend the step that is at the sliding doors in the living room going to the outside, since the dining area is on a higher level than the living room.

We worked until about 9:00 last night -- probably would have gone longer, but we finished priming, etc. by then and didn't want to start with the walls that late -- and went on home.  I had packed my car before leaving for work yesterday morning with some "new" boxes and lamps and things that would not be boxed, and unloaded it at the house before leaving.  I plan to do that each day so we can see more clearly what is left to pack.  I need to see the apartment emptying out a little more.  We are probably 75% packed, but it is hard to tell.  I need to keep working on packing at least a couple of boxes a day.

Thursday

That gets me to this morning.  I need to shut this down and get ready and off to work.  I will fast until after work tonight (would like to eat at about 7:00 or after, so will eat something when I get to the house tonight (planning on a very low carb/moderate protein/high fat weekend to continue in ketosis).  We are going to work tonight, probably pretty late tomorrow night, sleep in a little on Saturday morning and then work all day there.  Stephanie has to work at a makeup class on Sunday, so I will be on my own that day.  I may work at home packing; it just depends on what we get done on painting, etc.  I don't think I will have any help Sunday.  Tom and Bethany are going camping with Tom's family.  They closed on their home Monday and I think moved a lot of the big stuff yesterday.  Hopefully Tom will be available to help more next week.  Stephanie has taken the 3 days before Thanksgiving off, so she will have time at the house then, too.  We will probably get her bed moved over there for that (or at least her mattress), at some point.  She is keeping Carter next week, too.  Bethany will be changing daycare after that, since she will be moved from Carrollton to Garland.  Stephanie wanted to spend some time with Carter and it saves Bethany some money.  Bethany's new house is less than 10 minutes from mine.

We are a little up in the air on where we will have Thanksgiving, but it is looking like we might be able to have it at Bethany's.

I'd better go.  I may post again tonight, but might not have any time.



 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Lots of Work

I posted this morning, but will try to pick up where I left off before the last few days’ hiatus from posting.

After eating from Wednesday evening until Sunday evening, I was kind of ready to get back to my schedule.  I know that sounds strange.  I am not getting anorexic or anything like that.  It is just that I am so busy and on eating days, I am required not just to eat, but to plan what to eat, buy it, cook it, clean up, etc.  It’s so much easier on fasting days.  I don’t think any of the work required of me during my fasting days is strenuous enough where fasting will bother me.  It probably would have bothered me a bit Friday night and Saturday morning when loading the boxes, but there should not be much of that again until we actually move everything.  I have about decided I am going to pay someone to do that; we just need to get the rest of our packing done.

I do plan to go over to the house tonight and do some work (provided I don’t have to work late).  Tomorrow is the designated day for trash (both regular pickup and big/special items).  Regular trash is to be put in city-provided containers and left by the driveway in the back.  Special and bigger items are to be put out by the curb in the front.  The seller left a lot of stuff that has to go by the curb, so I will need to move it tonight.  They only come every other week for that kind of stuff.  I guess that will require more effort, but it will not have been long enough since I have eaten to where that will bother me (if it would, anyway).

On other nights I will likely be either painting walls or taping off woodwork, etc. in preparation for painting.  Actually, we may be replacing some sheetrock ourselves, and I would like to help with that.  We will also be doing a couple of shiplap walls.  At least it will look like shiplap, but it is a lot less expensive.  That is what we are doing on each side of the fireplace.

I am sleepy today.  I guess that is not unexpected.  I slept okay over the weekend, even though pain is a bit increased.  As I said in my last post, I am so glad for the work I have done the last couple of months.  There is no way I could have done what I did this weekend without the healing that has taken place during that time.  I want to keep going with what I am doing.  I actually do not think it will take me “500 days” to get where I want to be.  I could be wrong, but based on how I seem to be losing now and reading about other people’s progress with this lifestyle, I think I could get most of the way there in 6 months.

The sleepiness is tough, in one way, because being tired is a big trigger for me.  That is the first thought that comes to mind when I am tired is I want something to eat.  But I am getting pretty practiced at turning my mind away from food when it is not a time I am supposed to eat.

For the first time in I can’t remember when, I no longer have 100 pounds to lose.  The goal I have in mind is to weigh 160.  That may be less than what I really need.  I will know when I get there.  But I now have less than 100 pounds to lose even if that is what I decide is my ultimate goal.  My youngest daughter got down in the 190s a couple of years ago and she looked wonderful!  So I might get to 180 and decide that is a good weight for me.  Although I think, with my joint issues, less is better (within reason).  I meant to step on the scale this morning, but I forgot.  When I put on my clothes this morning (some I had not worn for a couple of weeks), they were noticeably looser than last time.  I just don’t know if it will show upon the scale that way yet.

I did not think about having a headache all weekend.  I had a slight one this morning, but that seems to be doing better.  I didn’t focus on the sodium issue, but I probably had more sodium than usual because, one, I was eating, and two, most all of my meals were “out.”  If I didn’t get a restaurant meal, I ate nuts, which are also salty.

A “funny” thing happened yesterday.  Stephanie and I were taking a little break and I was taking a dose of medicine.  I reached for my bottle of water and absentmindedly picked up her cup of soda instead and took a sip.  As soon as it hit my mouth I freaked out.  I absolutely want to stay away from sugar and that was the first sugar I have had in quite a while.  Stephanie told me not to worry, I had not “sinned.”  I would have spit it out except I had the pill in my mouth too.

Evening

I'm just home from the house.  I got off on time and stopped by the apartment to pick up the dogs and change clothes.  I drove there, which took at least 30 minutes (there was still some after-work traffic).  My son-in-law's dad is helping with the stuff that takes more skill than we have, and he was there with his wife.  They had pulled the insulation out of the walls were the mold had occurred, so I got started on bundling that up and bagging it and getting it out by the curb.  I also took out some bags of sheetrock would had pulled off yesterday.  It looks like our neighbors took care of some of the trash for us, bless their hearts.  They have been very helpful.  Then I went and did some taping in my bedroom so it will be ready for painting.  Jim called me when I was pretty much done with that and sent me to Lowe's to get something.  When I got back, Stephanie had gotten there.  She had started some painting in the bedroom, but Jim had asked her for some help, so I picked up where she left off, painting the ceiling in my bedroom.  I finished that, and did a second coat on the ceiling in the hall.  After that it was just some odds and ends and we left a little before 10:00.

We asked Jim about an idea we had to open up the area between the kitchen/dining and the living room.  He said it would work without a whole lot of expense, so he set Stephanie to tearing out more sheetrock where that is going to occur.  I think that will make a huge difference in the house.

With all that, I never felt any weakness or hunger.  Being busy like that helps.  I got through my first day of IF just fine.

I stepped on the scale when I got home and I am not showing a loss.  I am actually showing a gain, but I do not typically weigh at the end of the day.  We will see how this week goes.  According to my sources, I still am not getting enough sodium (and I am still retaining water).  At least my headache was better today.

I am going to close and get to bed.  Life is going to be this busy for at least a couple of weeks.  I need to keep at it so we can get it done and not drag it out.  But I don't think I want to do what I did tonight every night this week.  It is one thing for Stephanie to do it because her work is closer to the house.  But I am not only working a couple of hours, I am also driving for at least an hour total.  (One thing that occurs to me is I could take the train up there and have Stephanie pick me up; that would be a lot less time in traffic.)  Maybe I can alternate days and use the alternate days to finish packing at home.  I have asked my son if he can help and he said he would find some time this week.  Hopefully he can get a good bit of painting done for me.  (These are the times when I wish I had a friendlier relationship with my ex; this type of thing is what he did for a living.  But it is very awkward between us since he believes what he does about me, and my kids want nothing to do with him, so, nope.  But I sure could use some more help.  Hopefully Tom can help some this week; but he and Bethany are also getting ready to move.  Sigh.)

I think this is 65 days down; theoretically, 435 to go.
 

I'm a Home Owner!!

Going to try to get a quick post done before leaving for work.  The reason I haven't posted is things have been so crazy busy!!
 
I ended up breaking my fast one day early last week.  I intended to fast during the day Thursday and Friday and eat at night, but then decided that with all I would be putting my body through this past weekend (and continuing until things are done), a little longer break would be good, so that is what I did.  I was not crazy hungry at any time, but ate what seemed best when I had time.  There were only two diversions from eating/drinking like I should.  I drank some sugar-free Monsters during the weekend.  I gave myself a reason (excuse) and told myself it was allowed this weekend only because we were working so hard -- late nights, early mornings, etc.  The other diversion was last night.  I ordered a bun-less burger from Chili's and instead of getting a salad with it like I did last time, I ate the fries.
 
Concerning the late nights, as it turned out, except for Friday night, we didn't have such late nights.  We were so done in by the end of the days (around 5:00 p.m.) that we went on home both Saturday night and Sunday night.  I did a few things at home those nights, but it wasn't the harder labor of moving, preparing to paint, demo-ing things at the house, etc.  Just a little clean-up and putting some small things in boxes.
 
Friday night we got the smallest U-Haul truck they have available (10-foot truck).  We have two storage closets here at the apartment and we emptied one (we had it packed from floor to ceiling with boxes) Friday night, and we emptied the other (it was full, but not packed in an organized fashion, so there was not as much stuff in it) Saturday morning before heading over to the new house.  We unpacked the truck and then got started on demo stuff with the house.  During the early time at the house, I helped some on the prepping and demo-ing, but Carter was there and was not wanting to be put down a lot of the time, so I tended to him while the "youngsters" did the harder work.  I'm sure it was good for me to have that little "break" after loading and unloading boxes.
 
We did not get any painting done Saturday.  Lots of taping, tearing off some wallpaper, tearing off strange d├ęcor the owners left, etc.  The living room was completely paneled.  The paneling was painted off-white with a gold stripe every so often.  I did not want paneling and so the kids tore all that off.  Under a couple of areas you could see there had been water leaking before the roof had been replaced and there was some mildew/mold under the paneling.  Not major stuff, but we did not want to leave that sheetrock with the mildew/mold.  So yesterday, after instruction from Jim (Tom's dad, who will be doing a lot of the work for us), we tore off the sheets of sheetrock that were affected by mold (wearing masks and gloves and enclosing the moldy pieces in construction bags, just in case it was toxic -- I do not think it was the toxic kind from looking at pictures and reading descriptions).  He said we needed to tear all that out and let it breathe.  Nothing was wet and the mold looked "old" and not actively growing.  There was no current source of moisture.  So I think we will replace the insulation in those areas, replace the sheetrock, and we are good to go.  Not a major expense.  I've toyed with the idea of replacing the sheetrock myself (with the help of my kids).  You just have to score it and cut it the right size, screw it into the studs with drywall screws, and you are good to go.  Then Jim can do the taping and mudding and texturing to prepare it for painting.  If Jim cannot get started as soon as I would like (which it is looking like he may not be able to do much this week), then I might do that.  There is no reason I cannot replace the sheets of insulation either.  I'm going to see if my son has some time this week and maybe he can help me.  Tom and Bethany are closing on their house today, so they only have so much time right now since they are moving after Thanksgiving.
 
That leads to this -- I don't think we are going to be done by Thanksgiving.  So I'm not sure where we are going to have it.  I could probably make it work at my apartment.  We will talk it over with the kids and see.  It doesn't matter to me, as long as I am with my family.  I don't care about the food very much.  (That's what eating low carb and IF does for you.)
 
One bit of drama that happened with the closing on Friday:  I had found out at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday night what my "cash to close" number was for sure.  I had to call and ask for it because no one had told me.  So I left in plenty of time Friday morning to go to the bank to get it in time to get to the closing at 10:30 a.m. and...the bank was closed!!!  (My bank closed Friday and Saturday for Veteran's Day.  Many banks were open, but not mine.)  I was panicking.  I didn't know what was going to happen.  Everyone -- the representative at the title company, seller and seller's agent -- were very gracious about it.  We went ahead and signed all the papers (seller was already there signing papers when all that was going down) and the lender had already funded.  I even got the key at closing and permission to get started on moving some stuff, etc. later that afternoon.  So they allowed everything to go forward and I have to drop off the cashier's check this morning.  So I am headed to Mesquite to a branch of my bank to get the cashier's check first thing this morning and I will drop it off at the title company (also in Mesquite) before heading to work.
 
I think I will close there.  I can give more details of everything later, if I think of anything else.  It is nice to be done with the closing part (almost) and getting to work on moving and the house, but I would love to be able to fast-forward through this part and get settled.  But it will be fun to see the transformation of the house going forward.  (There was definitely some shoddy work done -- cosmetically speaking -- on this house.  And their taste in certain things was pretty different.)  I will post some pictures when I have more time.
 
I have no idea what day I am on and I haven't weighed in days, but I can tell I am thinner by my clothes.  There is no way I could have done all I have the last few days without my efforts the last couple of months.  I am thankful for the progress I have made, physically.  And I am positive I have found the best way to keep going and move on toward health and wholeness.
 
That's it for now.  Better get ready for work!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Feeling Good

I'm tired.
 
Less than 2 days to closing!  We close at 10:30 on Friday.  Then a lot more work begins.  :)  But it will be worth it in the long-run.
 
I found a deal online where you can order certain lab tests without a doctor's order.  I can get an electrolyte check for $29.99.  I already have it set up.  I want to make sure what is going on.  One thing I want to know is if my potassium is high.  Or is it low?  But it will also check my sodium level.  I did 1-1/2 tsp. of salt today.  When I got home I was quite puffy, but I had started having to go to the bathroom a lot more by the end of my workday.  I hope it is helping.  I don't know if I am going to show a loss this week with all this, but that does not mean I am not burning fat.  It is all this fluid fluctuation.  I definitely feel and look thinner.
 
I brought work home again tonight.  Just a little, but I don't want to stay behind.  And I'm going to miss some time Friday morning.  I wish I could take the day off, but I can't.  Too much going on.  I'm ready for things to settle down a little bit, but any sign of that is not in sight.
 
I felt really good today except a headache.  I read that the reason you have a headache when you have low sodium is because your body sends fluid into your cells to draw out the sodium into your blood, and it does this more in brain cells than any other.  That is why your head hurts.  I know a lot of the time lately it has felt like my brain was too big for my skull and it kind of was.  I haven't had any of the huge danger signals you have when it is dangerously low, but it definitely needs to be dealt with.  We will see what this test says and go from there.  If I need to go see my doctor, I will, but if she is just going to tell me to consume more salt, what is the point?  From my reading, fasting is not a cause; but low carb can be.  The other causes do not apply to me.
 
This book and the FB community I found make me feel a lot less like I am way out there on my weight loss/getting healthy strategy.  I even heard Dr. Fung say on a podcast I listened to this morning that extended fasts (like I did before starting IF) are perfectly fine for people who have a lot of weight to lose.  He said you need to pay attention to how you feel and break it if you feel something amiss (which I did), but otherwise, there is no reason you cannot do it on your own when you have family watching over you, etc.  But don't feel like you have to do that.  Please don't write IF off without researching it.  You can do much smaller windows than I am doing.  Many people do 16:8 to start with.  You have a window of 8 hours when you eat and 16 hours where you do not.  That's very doable!  You just need to give your body breaks from insulin production.  It's not for everyone, but many of you would be surprised how good you feel once you get over the first hurdles and get your body acclimated to fasting.
 
I have a phone call to make (remodeling plans), the work I brought home to do, and I want to do some more reading.  And maybe pack another box.  So I'm going to close.
 
60 days down, 440 to go.  Woohoo!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Salt

Afternoon
 
Even though I don’t feel like I have time to do it, I want to get a few thoughts down.  Work picked up where it left off and is crazy busy.  No time to stop for anything.  But I am entitled to a little break, so….

I think I feel a little better today.  I am pushing the sodium.  My reading tells me I need to consume 1-2 tsp. of salt a day, while fasting.  Since I am depleted, I feel I should do the 2 tsp.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to get down 2 tsp. of salt?  I am putting it in my water and just putting it on my tongue, at times, to get it down.  I notice when a headache starts building, if I consume a little salt it starts to die down, so I think I am on the right track.

This makes me wonder – was this round of headaches ever about corn?  I don’t know.  I do know that corn is still not good, but Dr. Fung, the author of the book I am reading, talks about the importance of feasting and fasting.  Man, throughout the ages, has feasted and fasted.  He says there needs to be times of feasting.  Not all the time; probably not even every week.  But on special occasions.  I would like to be able to do that, but if it is going to give me a headache and cause me pain, I don’t want to eat corn.  Of course, he says times of feasting -- say, a big Thanksgiving dinner -- should be followed by a time of fasting.  Or a cruise, with several days of abundant eating, should be followed by a longer fast, to bring your body back into balance and get your insulin levels in check.  He talked about going on a cruise and eating a lot and realizing his pants felt a little tight, so he fasted and returned to his usual trim self.  Of course, he has no weight problem.  For me, while losing weight, I think any feasting that would include a lot of carbs, should be few and far between.  That is what I did wrong after my first two extended fasts.  But there can be some carbs on special occasions.  I will have to come to a balance of this in my mind.  Dr. Fung does not seem as concerned about the ill effect of modern grains, though he does discuss the possibility.  He stresses more the importance of keeping constant insulin production in check, especially if you are insulin resistant (which I most definitely am), which means watching what you eat (low carb) as well as when you eat (intermittent fasting).  Yet I definitely see how removing wheat from my diet has improved my health.  So I know there is truth to it.  Not to mention the carbs in the wheat that cause the insulin production.  So was it the carbs causing the problem, the wheat, or both?  Right now I think it is both because other high carb things, like potatoes, don't give me chronic headaches.  Maybe someday I will test it out and see if wheat is really the problem, or wheat with being insulin resistant, but if I don’t need to be eating many carbs, why bother?  I can get carbs in other ways – sweet potatoes, beans, fruit, etc.  And I do believe it will give me a bad headache.
 
Evening
 
I got home less than an hour ago and brought work home.  I'm going to get this post finished and then try to finish a project.
 
I finally got all of my salt down.  The headache has improved, though not completely gone.  It will probably take a few days.  I hope no more than that.  I hope I can "maintain" with only one teaspoon of salt on fasting days, because 2 is a lot!  You would think I would be all puffy after consuming all that salt today, but not really.  Interesting.
 
We are having our usual Christmas party for work on December 9 (I think).  We are going to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Chorus Christmas program, which is awesome.  Of course, it is good to dress up for those things and I have a goal dress I am going to work toward.  I think I can already zip it up, but would want it to fit a little better.  It is kind of jewel green color, which is good for me because of my green eyes.  It is a little shorter than I would like, but hopefully that will feel a little better in a month.  We will see.  It's just a goal.  If I don't like the way I look in it, I don't have to wear it.  (I would love to have a date for this; usually I take one of my daughters.)
 
My stomach has stayed a little more "active" today than it usually does at this stage of a fast.  I don't know if it is the salt or the little bit of pickle juice I have had.  I allowed myself the pickle juice this time because I need to get this sodium thing lined out.  But still, it is not that hard to turn my mind away and know I can eat in a couple of days.  It encourages me to know I am healing insulin resistance a little more each time I do this.  There is so much to the teaching in this book that I cannot really do it justice.  But your body develops a set point of what it thinks it should weigh.  When you go on a low calorie diet, your body will compensate and though you may lose weight at first, after a while it will do what it has to do to regain the weight, including making you desire more food, lowering your metabolism, etc.  Even on a low carb diet this happens, unless you heal your insulin resistance.  That is what lowers your set point.  I know I have "sweet spots" that my weight wants to return to.  260 is one of them.  It is the constant flood of insulin in our bodies that raises the set point.  (I know I am not doing this justice.)  But if you give your body a regular break from that constant flood of insulin, it lowers your set point.  Dr. Fung explains this very scientifically and with many studies to back it up.  Eating three meals and two or three snacks a day is one of the worst things we can do.  It keeps our body constantly flooded with insulin and insulin is the hormone that tells your body to store fat.  At the very least, we should only eat three meals, no snacks.  And if you are not hungry for breakfast, you shouldn't eat it.  Your body does not need it unless it asks you for it through true hunger.  My hunger has really tapered off on this way of eating.   Even on my eat days I find myself not hungry.  Now I know I don't have to feel pressured to eat if I don't feel hungry.  Sometimes I have felt like if I am eating only 3-1/2 days a week, I need to EAT during that time.  But if I am not hungry, I should not.  My body is living off its stores.
 
The other thing he said is you can expect to lose about 1/2 pound of fat a day when you are in fat burning mode.  You will lose a lot more than that on a fast, but it is mostly water.  So you shouldn't feel bad about gaining back a little chunk after an extended fast.  It is water.  I suspected that, but it is nice to hear it.  With doing this every week, I feel like it is a good indication of how much fat I am actually losing since I am weighing the same day every week.
 
That's enough for tonight.  I need to get to work on my project.  59 days down, 441 to go!  (Hopefully less than that!)