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Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Balance of Rest and Productivity

It has been a nice balance of busy and restful today.  I stayed up reading until 2:00 a.m. this morning and had to get up to go look at houses, so didn't get a full 8 hours on a weekend night.  I felt fairly well rested, but knew I might want a nap sometime this afternoon.

We went to look at 3 houses, all of which have potential.  One was larger than the other two but needed the most cosmetic work.  The other two were updated and pretty nice in some ways, one having a pool, but were small enough that they might be a problem.  Mainly because the living areas were pretty small for my furniture.  I ended up being most interested in the one that needed the most work.  It is entirely livable the way it is.  It is lower in my budget, cost-wise, so I would have a nice, low monthly payment for my mortgage, somewhere around $200-300 less than what I budgeted for a "high."  I can get a second loan to do the cosmetic work -- update the kitchen somewhat, wood (or wood laminate) floors in the bedrooms, and possibly a couple of other things, and pay it off as quickly as possible.  Then, going into retirement I will have a much lower house payment, which will be good.  I have not made a decision yet (still have to wait on the backup offer expiring, if it does), but that is the way I am leaning on the three I saw today.  We decided having enough room was more important than having a pool, which is the main thing that would have drawn me to one of the other houses.  This one has also been on the market over two months, so I probably would not get into a multiple offer situation, which I am not a fan of.  The other three I made offers on were more like I would ultimately want them (just too small); this one I would make it, over time, into what I would ultimately want.

I actually made some progress on my ambitious "To Do List" beginning last night.  I have been working away on some things today, although there is plenty, plenty more to do.  I cooked one of the "dishes" I had planned to cook this evening.  It is a dip I cooked to make use of some of the Greek yogurt I have that I did not want to go bad.  I will freeze it in individual containers so I can have it whenever I choose.  It is a spinach-artichoke dip, so already full of veggies, but I will probably use it with carrot and celery sticks, or spread it on a sandwich or burger.  I could use it to stuff squash that I am roasting.  I could even put some on scrambled eggs.

Honestly, I was not in the mood to cook.  Not for the reason you might think (the fact that I cannot eat it right now), but for the same reasons I have not wanted to for the past few months.  I am "tired" and I don't want to be on my feet that much.  But I also realized I do not have to let those feelings control me.  As for the being on my feet part, there are things I can do to help that situation.  I can sit down during some of my prep work to minimize the time on my feet, although I did not do that today.  I have a rolling stool I can use wherever I need to while I am working.  The thing is, I have to cook to be able to eat like I need to, to avoid food allergies and to eat cleanly.  I did have some legitimate reasons I did not want to cook many times, but I am feeling better.  I need to get this done to be able to fulfill my plan when I start eating again.

Tomorrow I plan to make three different veggies that will make a number of meals during the first week I start eating.  I need to have those ready so that when I get ready to break this fast, I can be successful.  The vegetables are this green bean recipe by Pioneer Woman which is very good, some roasted carrots, and some roasted squash.  I will divide these up into containers (that have three compartments in each) so I can pull one out for each meal when I start eating again.  I should also have enough for some meals after that, too.

The cooking actually did not bother me in the way you might think.  It did not give me uncontrollable desires to eat.  The way it affected me is a feeling of weakness from the activity.  I drank down water while I was cooking and that helped.  I did have some stiffness in my left knee (the one that was replaced) which I often get when standing in one place too long.  I also had some pain in my left hip after my work in the kitchen.  More work to be done.  More weight to be lost.

Other than that, my pain today has been pretty good, although I did have some twinge-y pain in my back when bringing in groceries, etc.  I have had some nausea today, but not as much as yesterday.  I did have some "purging" this morning.

So, I do have a feeling of accomplishment for the things I have done so far.  I need to do a lot more tomorrow.  I will do enough that feels comfortable and the rest can be done in the days to follow.  No pressure.  The purpose is to provide me some structure and make progress.

One thing.  All week when I have been reading, I have had to fight feeling like I would fall asleep.  This afternoon I did not fight it.  I took a good, long nap.  My daughter said she even came into my room to ask me something and I did not wake up.  It felt good.

All in all, a very good day.  18 down; 482 to go!

Friday, September 22, 2017

To Do List and Meal Plans

It's 1:00 a.m. and I am up.  I went to bed (and went to sleep) at my fairly normal time.  The dog woke me up "ruff"-ing at something and I became aware I had this catch in my hip.  It was not painful, but a bit like trying to sleep with your hip out of joint.  Not comfortable.  I'm surprised how much I did not feel I could lay there and "stand" that.  I got up and started doing a little picking up, hoping the catch would release.  Right now I am in the recliner and it seems to have done that.  I am having discomfort at the top back of each pelvic bone and in the middle of my lower back.  It feels somewhat muscular in nature.  I put pain patches on both sides and in the middle.  Now that I'm up reading, I feel like I will drop off to sleep.  Go figure.  At least tomorrow -- no, today -- is Friday.

Later

I went back to bed not too long after writing the above and was able to go back to sleep.  I would sleep so much better if my pets would not wake me up.  My cat camped out by my left ear at about 5:00 a.m. and started meowing.  He was wanting affection.  He got a pillow thrown on top of him.

I have stayed fairly busy this morning, even with my boss gone.

I have felt pretty good, pain-wise, this morning.  My only real complaint is nausea.  Just trying to handle it and not let it deter me.  Even though it is "normal" to have this, it is still no fun.  I am continuing with the anti-inflammatory patch on my heel.  It is still sore, but nothing to make me limp at this point.  This is the first day I have not put a pain patch on the area in my upper back that was giving me trouble (I have done it all week, as a preventative if nothing else).  I have no pain there today (knock on wood).  My pain was improved enough where I never took my 1:30 dose of medicine.  I took some right before leaving work.  However, after walking to my car, when driving home, my heel and ankle began hurting sharply.  My pain med had not had time to kick in yet.

It is so nice to be wearing some clothes that I have not been able to wear for a while.  I know this is not a good way to lose weight (as far as permanent weight loss goes, but it certainly is nice).  It is a good way to heel things that are impeding weight loss, however.   There are some clothes on the small side I had already packed up for the move, but I may have to pull them out again, depending on how long I continue this fast.  I don't have any set time I plan to stop; just when I feel my body is saying it is time.

An attorney at my office, who is quite overweight (much more, proportionately speaking, than I am), was talking to someone else as he walked by my desk and said he had now lost 90 pounds.  He said he was hoping to get to 100 pounds lost by October but didn't think he would make it.  (Guess it depends on what part of October he is talking about.)  I don't say this critically, but he looks like he needs to lose about 100 more.  He is not very tall (shorter than me).  He is doing the Nutri-System program.  I have tried that before and it is not the way I want to go for a number of a reasons.  Anyway, his statement made me realize how much I want to get to 100 pounds lost.  I have gotten to 70 pounds lost a number of times in my lifetime, but never 100.  That means I would need to get to 223 or less.  I'm going to keep that goal in front of me once I get done with this fast.  Again, I will gain some back once the fast is done.  But hopefully not anywhere near all of it if I follow my plan.

I want to get back to my "getting unstuck" goals in other ways and I have an ambitious "To Do" list made for this weekend.  I know I will not get it all done and it does not all have to be done this weekend.  It is just to give me structure and have goals about what I need to get done.  I am also getting my daily checklists made for next week.  I don't want to overdo and be "out of commission" for over two weeks like last time (caused by spending way too much time on my feet), but I want to get going on this again now that I am starting to feel better.  I am in much better shape, pain-wise, than I was then, thanks to the fast.  I already got one of the things done on my list when I got home -- something I had been putting off for 3-4 weeks.  It was a couple of things I bought that I had never gotten out of my car.  They were very heavy and no way I could carry them without help (I can lift them; it is just not wise to do so and carry them in from the parking garage).  I also had some things boxed up to go to Goodwill or a clothing box that I needed to take out to my car.  So I got the box out to the car and the other things brought in.  That felt big, I had been putting it off so long.  It kind of made my back hurt, but only temporarily.  I did not do enough to injure it; the added weight just made it hurt a little.

Some of the things I have on my list involve cooking.  You never know when I may decide this fast is done and I need to have my meals ready so I can be off to a good start when I am eating again.  That is extremely important.  I don't feel like I am ready to stop yet, but the other times things would happen rather quickly to make me decide it was time to stop.  I want to be ready.  That also means getting my meal plans complete and meals in the freezer.  I made one list of the things I need to do the cooking I planned for this weekend.  Part of that is recipes to use the Greek yogurt I have before it expires.  The other is three vegetables that I plan to put up in containers and freeze that I will need the first week I break my fast.  I want to have those ready so I can be successful in carrying out my plans when I break the fast.  I also made a second list of all the things I will need for the second round of things I plan to cook, which are also things I will be eating the first week (two different kinds of soups, for one thing).  Later in the week I plan to add some rice and some beans to the vegetables I will have at first.  I will also add some deviled eggs at the last of the week to start adding in more protein.  There will also be extra of the things I will cook for use in meals I plan to have the second week (and after, if there is still some left).  Those go in the freezer or when I need them.  I also made a list of the things I will need to buy when I break my fast which cannot be bought ahead of time.  Some of them are fresh foods, like some fruits and later in the week, some carrot and celery sticks to have with hummus or celery with natural peanut butter and that kind of thing.  I will need some orange juice for the first day (which is what they recommend you break a fast with).  I also plan to buy some vegetable juice because the orange juice has a lot of carbs and sugar.  I will probably just use V-8.  If I do the cooking I am planning and buy those things when I first decide to break the fast, I will have all I need to make it through successfully.
 
I am halfway through my meal plan for the second week.  I am trying to use things I already have in my freezer, like some brisket I had cooked before my fast which was way too big to eat, so I have too gallon baggies with a lot of brisket.  There are several ways to use it that week because once I thaw one out, I cannot refreeze it.  I will have some just with some low-carb BBQ sauce, some in a stuffed, baked avocado, some in a breakfast hash, and some in a stuffed sweet potato to mimic something I had at a local barbecue restaurant called the "Hot Mess."  It is a sweet potato (I probably will only eat a half of one because of the carbs) stuffed with brisket and topped with sour cream and some other things I cannot remember at the moment.  It is really good.  I can also make a bowl similar to what you would get at Chipotle and use some more brisket that way, along with the rice and beans I am cooking for the first week.  I still will have some more brisket left after those meals, most likely.  I will plan them out to use it up.  My daughter will likely eat some too (but you never know; she has been eating her meals "out" most of the time lately).

I do hope this nausea does not continue every day.  I feel like it is something I need to go through to get rid of some of this toxic belly fat, but I hope it does not continue the whole time.    That makes me want to sleep to get away from it.  Resting is good when fasting, though.  But I also have things I need to get done.  I struggled with it a good part of the afternoon, and still a little this evening.  Sometimes I wish I would go ahead and throw up, but I never do.

I have an appointment to go see 3 more homes tomorrow.  If the other house does not come through, which is more likely than not, there is one home available I am most interested in (of the three) that will likely go fast.  It has a pool.  We need to see that so I can make an offer once the option period on this other house is up, if I decide I want it.  My backup contract goes through the 26th, so I cannot make any offers before then.  This house is lower in my budget, which would be good, but I would need to replace some flooring.  I do NOT want carpet (there is carpet in the bedrooms) and the bathrooms have this fancy mosaic look that I and my daughter are not really fond of.  I probably will use something like this on my bathroom and kitchen floors (ceramic tile that looks like hardwood):
 


I am still quite sleepy today.  I took NoDoz before leaving for work and another dose a little before lunch, but still felt like I could fall asleep at any moment a good part of the afternoon.  I know it is connected to the fast.  With the nausea and that, I really wanted to go home and let myself fall asleep.
 
I am going to stop and get this posted.  Hopefully I will have a busy and productive weekend, with just enough rest mixed in.
 
Day 17 down; 483 to go!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thoughts on How to Handle "Occasional" Foods

Morning

I woke up with some lower back pain this morning, but it dissipated fairly quickly.  If it comes back, I will use some pain patches.  Other than that, my heel made itself known last night.  It is pretty swollen.  I am trying really hard to get it better without going to the doctor because I feel sure they will put me in a boot and that tends to mess up other areas of my body.  I will continue to let the fast do its work, plus the other measures I am taking to get it better:  always wearing supportive shoes, except when I walk a few steps on the carpet in my room; icing the area; arch supports in my shoes I wear "out" (unless the shoes do not allow me to); and today, I remembered I had some anti-inflammatory patches, so I cut off a piece the right size and put it on my heel.  If it is not better in two weeks, I should probably go to the doctor.  I having a little nausea today but am drinking down water when it hits me, and that seems to soothe it for a bit.  I am sure it helps wash the toxins out.  One thing that cropped up out of the blue this morning is some nerve pain in my left arm shooting down my lower arm toward my thumb.  I have not been having that problem and I have to think it is related to healing work the fast is doing.  I did not sleep wrong, and my neck is not sore (although my muscles are very tight at the end of workday).  I have no other explanation for it.  Overall, I still feel very much improved.
 
My boss is out of town today so things are a bit more relaxed.  You need days like that every once in a while.  I am going to get back to catching up on my e-mail and working on organizational stuff according to my plan.
 
Afternoon
 
My afternoon has gone well.  Not much pain to speak of other than a dull ache in my heel, at times, and that twinge in my lower back I was having when I walked to the parking garage last night.  I put a pain patch on it and it settled down nicely.  (I did have it again when walking to the garage -- it is when I am on the "up" incline -- but it was more of a twinge tonight instead of a pain.)  My nausea settled down and I have had very little this afternoon.  (After I wrote that, I had another little bout with it and I realized it was after I took my medication.  I don't think it always is because I didn't have any nausea the first 12 days or so, but that could be part of it.)  It seems like I have had to go to the restroom about 20 times today, which always is a good sign I am losing weight.
 
It has been nice to have a slower day today.
 
My realtor said the sellers of the house I made the offer on have signed my backup offer.  That means if the other buyers' deal fell through, I would definitely get the house.  Here's hoping!!  I wasn't sure if you can have more than one backup offer on a deal, but if they signed the offer, there could not be another one or they would be breaking my contract (unless it is a backup to my backup).  So I definitely came in second.  I am not getting my hopes up, but I am certainly hoping something happens with the other deal.  Things like that happen often.
 
I have been slightly sleepy this afternoon despite taking the NoDoz.  It has to be a symptom of the fast.  (I am having trouble staying awake when reading this evening.)

Evening

As I was getting in my car to go home, I could smell food from a nearby restaurant.  It smelled like French fries and it smelled mighty good.  My first thought was that French fries was something I could not eat ever again.  But I realized it is unrealistic to think I will never eat French fries again.  Then I had an idea.  Now French fries is not something I am going to have so much of a problem with, but I was thinking about other things that had been tripping me up before this fast.  One big one was potato chips.  I can eat potato chips and still eat wheat/gluten free, but not low-carb.  But eating them occasionally would not only be okay, it is unrealistic to think I never would again.  (The reason I got into eating them as a much as I did was because I felt lazy and they were convenient.  There are only so many nuts and cheese sticks you can eat before you tired of them.)  But if I bring a bag of potato chips home I have trouble with portion control.  I want to keep eating them until they're gone.  So my solution is not to think I will never, ever eat potato chips again; it is that I need to eat them somewhere besides at home.  If I have something at a restaurant or a friend's house that is served with potato chips, there is no danger for me to get extremely out of control with my portion.  I just do not need to be buying bags and bringing them home.  And I am not talking about doing this regularly.  I rarely would make French fries at home anyway, but if I have them occasionally at a restaurant, I am not in danger of bingeing on them.  So that is the key.

The exception to this idea is sweets.  I really do not believe I need to eat sweets ever again.  I have proved time and time again that once I start eating sweets (as in cake, cookies, candy, etc. made with sugar), I want them all the time and pretty soon I would be right back where I started.  And there are so many desserts I can make with an approved sweetener to satisfy that desire for dessert that there is really no reason for me to eat sweets (except laziness).  So I think that is going to have to stay on the no list.  The only time I have been truly free from being a sugar addict is when I never ate them and did not even consider eating them.  I did not eat sweets for three years at one point in my life and I did not miss them, once I got over the craving.  And I got very practiced at saying no.  I can just enjoy the "sweets" I make with approved ingredients.  That needs to be my lifestyle.

I hope once I get through with this fast, I can get back to some mild exercise and build from there.  I could do a little walking while fasting, but it would be difficult to do much more than that when taking in no food.  But an active lifestyle, as much as is possible for me, needs to be a part of my daily life to get where I want to be.  I hope soon to at least be able to walk my dog a little bit.  And there will be all the activity involved with moving.  I am about to the point where I can get back to working actively on my daily checklist.  I need to get that organized tomorrow and do that this weekend.

I have quite a few empty boxes sitting around my apartment right now.  I don't have much of any place to put them, but we need to get going on some packing.

I'm going to stop there tonight.  It has been a good, somewhat relaxing day.  I am encouraged by the improvements with my pain issues.  Tomorrow I need to work on Week 2 of my menu plan.

16 days down; 484 to go!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Feeling Better!

It's 7:30 and I am still at work.  I'm taking a quick minute to get a post started, although I know I will be called away soon.

My pain issues have been much better today.  I really haven't had much of any complaint except I have been slightly nauseous off and on all day.  My body is dealing with toxins and that is what needs to happen.  Not pleasant, but not unexpected.  One thing -- I should have known that the day after I posted about having no more pain in my hands, one joint in my finger would start hurting.  Not nearly like it was.  It is the one I use a lot when manipulating the mouse on the laptop.  Just some more inflammation being worked on, I guess.  All in all, I am very pleased.

I was pleased with my weight status on the scale this morning.  I posted on the Weight/Size page.  If I were in the "regular" part of my weight loss program, I would say it here, but this is not "regular" and I will gain some back.  But I do like to have a record of it.  It lets me know that at ___ weight, I was feeling much better pain-wise.  Part of that is because of weight and part because of the decrease in inflammation and the other stuff the fast is working on.  Still, nice to know.  And it will keep more focused on gaining back as little as possible during the transition back to a regular diet.

I got my new glasses today.  So far I have mainly used my "computer glasses," but as far as I can tell, I am seeing much better than I was.  Hopefully that will decrease strain on my eyes and I will be less tired.  I put on my "distance" glasses shortly before I left to go home and my first thought was, did I ever really see this good before?  I know I did because I had perfect vision all my life until I started needing readers.  Only one negative:  I can see my wrinkles a lot better; although I don't have nearly as many as most women my age.

I bought some NoDoz this morning and it helped immensely with my sleepiness.  I took one this morning and another later in the afternoon.  I hope not too late that it will keep me awake.  (Lately, nothing has been keeping me awake.)  I knew I would be working late, so I thought I needed the second dose.  Even if I wasn't, I like to be able to read in the evening without constantly dropping off.  (Now that I am home, I see it is working.  I can do some reading on my blog and not fall asleep during each paragraph.  But I still feel like I could go to sleep if I went to bed.)

I got to work again at 8:30 this morning and got a little more work done on my organization plan.  My boss will be out of town tomorrow and Friday (which is why I am staying late), so I should have more of a chance to work on it.  I got in over 12 hours today; I'll take it right now -- I need all I can get to help with my down payment.

I'm home now, although I wrote half of the next paragraph at work and the other half when I got home.

One thing that emphasizes my pain is better is I was due a dose of medicine at 5:30 (and had not taken it yet) and have had to walk up and down the hall many times with no pain.  However, my shoulder began hurting quite a bit before I left work.  It was tight muscles from so much time at my desk without much of a break.  Walking out to my car, my lower back had some pretty good twinges (possibly for the same reason).  But still I am feeling so much better.

No more chance to work on meal planning since a couple of days ago.  No chance to do much of anything except work.  It's been a busy week.  It will be nice for a little break tomorrow.  I do have e-mails that come in with recipes and I save those that interest me to an electronic file.  I will use those in my meal planning.

I am planning to do a little cooking (or food preparing, as the case may be) in the next day or two.  I have some Greek yogurt I need to use before it goes bad.  I found an ice cream recipe I want to try and a dip recipe and one other I can't remember -- all to use the 4-cup container I have in my refrigerator.  I think I can do it without too much temptation.  I will have to have my daughter be a taste tester, if necessary, since I cannot.  I could just put the container of yogurt in my freezer but I read it changes the texture somewhat, so I wanted to go ahead and use it in other ways. The dip recipe (spinach and artichoke, I think) is cooked, so that will not be an issue.

I saw an idea for "Pickle Subs" today.  You take large dill pickles, scrape out the middle, seedy part (which has the most moisture) and put whatever sandwich ingredients you want on it -- preferably something that you would put pickles in already (regular sandwich meats and cheese, tuna or chicken salad, etc.).  I was thinking you could also do that with a cucumber, if you like cucumbers.  Just a low-carb way to have a sandwich.  It would make a good, low-carb snack, too.  One thing I want to make soon is some Paleo bread.  There is a bakery in town I buy it from sometimes, but it is very expensive.  I would prefer to find a recipe I like that I can make myself.  It is nice to be able to make a sandwich or burger or even some toast with breakfast every once in a while.

I'm going to close now, do a little more reading and then get to bed.

15 days down; 485 days to go!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tired and Sleepy

Well, looks like I did not win the offer on the house.  They want to know if I want to be a backup offer.  Don’t know if that means I had second highest bid or if they ask others the same thing.  I probably will do that since I wanted to wait that long anyway.  In the meantime, I will just move on and believe that is not the house for us.  If we end up getting it after all, all the better.
 
I got to work 30 minutes early today.  I wanted some time to work on my organizational plan before my boss pulls me away for other things.  I'm going to try to do that every morning until I get things in order.  Sometimes it is hard for me to get out the door in the morning.  The key is getting up on time.  I'm going to have to get in the habit of leaving earlier anyway, once I move.
 
I’m telling you what, these physical issues are hanging on.  I woke up feeling fairly decent, unless my dog lay with all his weight on one leg, then sciatica would start shooting down my hip.  When I walk around, my back feels extremely tired with isolated areas of pain.  I made sure to put a pain patch on the area in my upper back to start out the day.  I may have to put some on other select areas of my back if it keeps up.  As I am sitting at my desk, the sciatic pain is shooting down my right hip.  I am also having quite a bit of pain in my right knee when I walk.  I had this several days ago, but it got better for a few days.  It feels like the pain is coming from under my knee cap (which is arthritis), but I am not sure.  It hurts at the top of my knee (toward my head) more than totally under the knee cap.  The Achilles tendon is hurting moderately (as well as in my ankle, which I assume is related).  Again, I say all this to document my pain so I am able to recognize improvements.  Occasionally I have twinges of headaches, but they are mostly improved.
 
One thing you are not hearing me complain about now is my hands.  They feel much better.  I had to do some writing by hand today and my handwriting was so pretty.  That's because my hands are not hurting like they were.

I had some more toxic purging this morning.  I am starting to feel that nauseous feeling.  I believe this means my body is getting deeper into the toxic layers of fat in my belly (or elsewhere), and as they are released into my system, it causes me to feel nauseated.  That was very difficult last time and the main reason I stopped when I did.  I am going to try to tough it out through that this time, but there is a lot of fat in my belly for that to be released from.  I hope it does not cause the nausea for an extended time.  It needs to be done and I think I would have to go through it whether I do it now or wait until later.  So I might as well do my best to get through it now.  It will improve my health greatly.  I have never had stomach bugs or have sicknesses that caused nausea (not even morning sickness), so this is not something I am used to.  So it is tough for me.  Seems like if I can work with this much pain all these years, I should be able to tough this out.  I hope so.  So far, it is not bad.  When I start to feel a little nauseous I drink down some water and that helps.

I continue to feel thinner.  My clothes are fitting much looser.

I have been reading in my blog from 2013 when I was doing Medifast.  I did pretty good during that time, but from my posts, I think doing Medifast is more difficult than fasting.  I did Medifast for some of the same reasons – mostly for faster weight loss to help with pain issues so I could feel good enough to exercise more, which was necessary for me to have good weight loss.  I was doing Weight Watchers before and after the Medifast period (which was only intended to be temporary).  I have just gotten to the place in my blog where I went back to Weight Watchers, so I don’t remember what happened then.  From my posts, I know I was hungry a good part of the time on Medifast.  With fasting, I am not.  Plus it allows your digestive system to totally shut down so your body can focus on healing.  I did have improvement in pain during Medifast, which I assume is because of weight loss.  I got down near 250 during that time.  I will be coming up on that fairly soon.  Of course, I have more issues than I did then.  From my posts I think I had the beginnings of the Achilles problem, but it did not really set in until a little later.  I was having trouble with my knees, at times.  Now I have had the knee replacement (which makes that one better in most ways), but my right knee has gotten worse.  My biggest problem, though, is my back issues.

As I have gone through my day, the pain issues from this morning have improved.  I am having some upper back pain at the moment, but nothing like yesterday.  My biggest “problem” has been that I am sleepy.  I am getting some Vivarin to help with that.
 
Walking to the car, I again experienced the back pain -- a feeling of allover tiredness in my back with isolated areas of pain, particularly on the top of my right hip on the side.  I never did use a patch, but would have needed to if I was on my feet much.
 
The tiredness really makes itself known in the evening.  I am trying to read past posts in my blog and I keep falling asleep.  It is getting pretty ridiculous how sleepy I am.  And I felt generally tired all day.  I think my electrolytes were low again, so I took some potassium and magnesium this evening.  That helped last time.  It might also help with muscle pain.  I have been taking a muscle relaxant fairly regularly, so that may be one reason I am so sleepy.  Although the doctor said this type is supposed to be "non-sedative."  I'm going to try to get out the door to get some Vivarin before I go to work in the morning.  I'm tired of being so sleepy.
 
Tomorrow is weigh-in day, although I am not treating it like I would when I am eating.  I will probably just post it on my Weight and Size page.  I had a nice drop yesterday, but this morning it went up again (although still a loss, of course).  But I don't know if it's going to show that low tomorrow.  Doesn't matter; the work is being done no matter what the scale says.
 
I'm headed to bed so I can hopefully get up a little earlier tomorrow morning.  I actually did get out of bed earlier this morning, but I tried to do some reading and fell back asleep a while when I tried to do that.  Probably need to do something else to wake myself up.
 
14 down; 486 to go!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Progress on My Meal Plan

If I'm going to get a post done tonight, I had better do it now.  My eyes were crossing on my 2-mile drive home from work.  So sleepy!!

The sciatica was a little better today, although I did have a little this morning when my dog was in my lap, lying on one leg or the other.  Whichever leg he lay on, that is the side the pain would start shooting down my hip.  It has been okay so far tonight.  My tailbone was extremely sore this morning.  I did use my coccyx pillow while sleeping last night because it was hurting enough where I did not feel I would be able to go to sleep.  I also used the anti-inflammatory gel last night and this morning.  The pillow seems to be okay in the bed, just not in the chair.  The biggest issue I had during the day was my mid-back.  It felt like someone was stabbing me at that level of my back.  Sometimes it feels like a vertebra is out of place and pinching something.  A pain patch helped it be bearable.  It almost wasn't before that.  Walking out to the car after work I had pain in the right side of my lower back.  Very targeted pain.  I do think this is all fast related.  Tonight, as I am sitting here, there is pain in my ribs on my right side, but that sometimes happens when I am losing weight.  I don't know how to describe how I felt, at times, today.  It was like I could feel the fat being eaten off of me.  I had a little purging of toxins this morning.  I was sleepy all day.

I was feeling thinner today.  The pants I mentioned I was able to start wearing last week are getting looser.  I wore a blouse I have not worn in quite a while.  My face is looking much thinner, which makes my eyes look bigger.  I have fairly big, round eyes, but when my cheeks are fat, they don't look as big.  My eyes are beginning to stand out a lot more.  I like it!

I got the first week of my meal plan together today.  I decided I'd better get that done since you never know when your body will tell you it is time to stop fasting.  My first week is mostly juice, fruits and vegetables.  Toward the middle of the week I added in a little starchy stuff like some rice, a half of a sweet potato, or some beans.  I added some eggs toward the end of the week and a little cheese.  The idea is to ease myself back into eating.  I tried to include vegetable juice more than fruit juice, except the first day.  Fruit juice can really spike the blood sugar.  But that is what they tell you to have when you break a fast.  I will also have some soups late the second day and the third day.  If I break my fast on a workday, I don't want to shock my stomach where I have purging (because if you eat too much too fast, you will).  I plan to have as much of my first week's foods made ahead of time as I can.  Some I cannot, but a good part of them I can.  There should be enough left from the recipes to combine with other things the second week when I am back to eating meats.  I think I can do this in a more controlled way than I have the last two times if I have such a specific plan.  I have to keep my goals in front of me more than my cravings.

I have some things already in the freezer I should probably make use of the second week.  I cooked a brisket a few weeks ago and have quite a bit of it in the freezer.  I want to try to use the things I have on hand.  But I also want to incorporate things I have not been eating, like some fish.

I do think I will need to buy a freezer before the fast is done.  I can get a small one for not that much money.  I want to follow through with having a lot of meals in the freezer.  I already have some Freshly meals that came in just before I began my fast (I thought I had canceled my deliveries, but I had just postponed them for a couple of weeks, so some came in unexpectedly).  Anyway, I don't have enough room in my freezer for many meals, not to mention a quarter beef and pasture-raised chickens, etc. when I decide to buy them.

No word yet on whether my offer has been accepted for the house.  Praying it goes as it should (God knows if this is best for me).  I do want this house....

I think I'm going to go in to work early tomorrow.  I never have time to work on my organizational system once the day gets going.  I did impress my boss when he asked me to find a file and I checked my log to see where I had put it and pulled it right out.  He can see I am working on this aspect of my job and I can tell he likes it.  My day was too busy today to make any headway on the project.  (It's going to take a bit to get it all done.)

That's all the news in my world today.  I think I am on the downhill slope of pain issues.  I hope things are going to improve immensely in the next few days.

13 days down; 487 to go!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

House Hunting: Put in an Offer, Praying Mine is the Highest

I slept okay last night, but early mornings seem to be a bad time lately.  As soon as I was awake, I was aware of sciatica trying to start up.  Not only that, but my tailbone is extremely sore again.  I felt a couple of days ago that the coccyx pillow might be what is making the sciatica flare up (or at least contributing to it), and I think that may have been the case.  I have not used it for the last couple of days or nights.  It was most certainly helping my tailbone.  I got up this morning and moved to my recliner and used my pillow again, but after a while, sciatica started in on the right side.  Yesterday it was the left side.  Anyway, I removed the pillow.  I did use an ice pack on the tailbone area last night and will again today, and this morning decided to try some anti-inflammatory gel (it seemed to help; will use it before I go to bed).  I hope the sciatica will settle down.  I hate it when pain interrupts my sleep.

The last couple of evenings I will be reading and I start falling asleep and having the strangest thoughts going through my mind.  Probably closer to dreams.  I am only half asleep but the thoughts/dreams are way out in left field.  It makes me wonder where those thoughts are coming from.  Just happened again.  Very strange.  It is almost 7:45 a.m. and I am still very sleepy, but I have to be careful to be up and around in time to go look at that home I found last night at 10:00.  Because of the interrupted sleep, I am still not quite ready to be "up."

My weight is moving down nicely.  By weigh-in day (even though I weigh every day) I hope to be past a strategic number.  That will be along about the time it typically starts slowing down.  I wish it would still move this quickly, longer.  Weighing less, I think is a key in improving my pain levels.

Later

I went to look at the house and this one is close to the house for me.  Not that there could not be others, but it has most of the things on my list, including a pool.  The two things it does not have are a gas stove and a bathtub in the master bathroom.  It does, however, have a very elaborate shower in the master.  It is not quite my taste, but I like it okay.  I will just have to take baths in the other bathroom.  The rest of the master suite is spectacular, including a fireplace in the master.  I would actually prefer the fireplace to be in the living room, but I will take it.  It has tons of storage, all hardwood or tile floors, and a double garage.  It has tall, mature trees in front and back (I have always wanted big trees.)  The pool is like an oasis with palm trees around it.  But there is plenty of yard for other things, like for my grandson (and future grandchildren) to play or have a swing set, if I so choose.  The neighborhood is very nice.  And all this is in my price range.  There are already multiple offers on the house, so I had to offer my highest, which is well above asking price.  We will see.  Offers are due by 5:00 tomorrow afternoon.  If I do not get it, I guess there will always be another one, but the ones like this are very popular.

Something is definitely going on with my back and hips.  It is (they are) really hurting.  I have not done anything that should have made it worse.  I have not been on my feet too much this weekend, but my back is hurting a lot when I am on my feet, and when I sit down, I am hurting and sciatica is still kicking in.  This is all sciatica, but what I am talking about is when you have the sharp nerve pain shooting down your hip (sometimes down your leg to your ankle or foot).  Mine is mostly in my hip right now, though it is shooting down the back of my thigh, at times.  Sometimes I feel like I cannot sit in this chair another minute, but when I get up on my feet, I am hurting then too.  It is not usually like this.  That is why I believe it is fast related.  My belief is that my body is working on breaking down some tissue, like scar tissue or thickened ligaments, and that process can be painful.  When it gets done, I should feel better.  It is the thickened ligaments (and bone spurs) that are clamping off the sciatic nerve where it exits the spine.  I am ready to be done with this process, but I need to wait and let my body do its work.  It is one thing for it to do it during the day; it is another altogether for it to be interfering with my sleep.  I work too hard to be losing sleep.

Of course I was headed to worse if I did not do something.  My back issues had been getting pretty bad before I started this fast.  I don't want to stop before my body does its healing work.

If you have not noticed, one thing I don't talk about on this fast is being hungry.  I'm not.  I haven't really had much of any cravings, even.  Sometimes I feel a little weakness, but it passes.  In some ways, I am starting to have more energy.  If the pain issues would clear up, I think I would feel like doing a lot more than I had been before the fast.

Back to the house.  If they accept my offer, I am going to have to get on the move about packing. I did pack a couple of boxes today.  If the timing works out, I hope that my first payment would not be due until December 1.  That is a month before my lease is up, so I might as well just pay the last month's rent instead of an early termination fee (which is a month and a half's rent).  That would mean we could take our move nice and slow.  I still also could offer a lease-back option until the sellers find their next home (within reason).  I need to get better very soon.  That is why I must keep going.  If it does not improve soon enough, I will have to think about getting an injection.  The thing about that is, even though those help, it sometimes frees you to do things you might not otherwise feel up to doing, and then when the steroid wears off, you are in worse shape because you overdid.  So I really want to be in better shape without that.

I have the spent the rest of my day reading blogs and getting up and down doing a thing or two around the house.  I still don't feel up to doing a lot, but I had to get up because sitting in the chair was causing the other kind of pain.  I'm hoping I will finish up with this phase this week.

All in all, things are going well.  I can handle the pain if I know there is good being done.  I can handle it anyway, for now, but that doesn't mean I want to.

I am thinking about asking my boss if I can put in an extra hour every day to get my system at work fully implemented.  I want to get things in better order; I just haven't had a lot of time to deal with that.  It would help with the countdown to closing on a house (although I would not do it just for that reason).  In the meantime, I am saving every penny I can.

12 days down; 488 to go.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sciatica is the Pits

Well, we looked at four houses today and only one was even a potential.  People are not really good at flipping.  Sometimes they tried to do the best they could with a weird layout, and other times they were just weird.  They would look finished out (and were, to an extent), but layouts just didn't work.  Back to the drawing board.  We are still a couple of weeks shy of looking in earnest, but these homes had been on the market for a while and I wanted to see if any would work.  Guess there is a reason they have been on the market a while.

One of the houses, which had been on the market for over 300 days, was quite interesting.  It did not say it had a pool, but when you look on the County Appraisal District's website, it said it did.  I found an aerial photo of the property and it showed a pool.  I was interested to see what had happened about that.  Turns out, you could see the edge of the pool sticking up in the yard, but they had dumped a bunch of dirt in it and it was all grown over with grass and weeds.  Also, you could see a definite slope downward of the floor in the main living area (which might have been an add-on).  No wonder it hadn't sold.  Too bad, because a lot of the updates on the home I liked.  But I definitely did not want to have to deal with all that.  Another house we looked at had a pool, but the owner said he had drained it because he didn't want to continually have to clean out the "Fall leaves."  Not only is it not Fall yet in Texas, but there were no trees in that yard.  The house had possibilities, but I smelled a rat on that issue.  The realtor said she did not think there was much way to do a full inspection on a pool if it did not have water in it.

At the end of the day, I found a house on Zillow with very good potential.  It just came on the market today.  Going to go see it tomorrow!  This one might be worth fighting over.  This house shouldn't need any updates.  I wish it had a tub in the master, but it had a very elaborate shower.  I like baths, so would just have to use the tub in the other bathroom.  It also has a pool and fireplace in the Master!

I will definitely be glad to get this process done. 

I did pretty well last night on pain issues, but right before time to wake up started feeling sciatica in my right hip.  I prepared myself for the process of looking at homes with medication and did fine with that, but we had been in the car quite a bit before getting home and it was starting to shoot down my hip again.  I will be glad for this to settle down.  I still think this could be related to work the fast is doing.  As the day progressed, I switched between needing to sit down because of pain from being on my feet too long and needing to get up because my hips were hurting too much.  Definitely ready for some improvement on this!

After looking at homes, my daughter (Stephanie) and I went and had lunch with my other daughter (Bethany) and son-in-law (Tom) and grandson (Carter).  Always a treasured time.  I am so happy I get to see them on a regular basis and get to be there while my grandson is growing up.  I don't know how long distance grandparents do it.  I would have a really hard time with that.  Here's my little guy with his new little toothies:


By the way, when I say we had lunch -- they had lunch and I held Carter and fed him.  Plenty of entertainment for me for the meal.  I do want to order the green beans I was feeding him next time I go there, though.  They looked yummy!  (Of course, most everything looks pretty yummy right now, although I don't give it much thought.)  Carter was (and always is) such an angel that the people sitting next to us, who were somewhere close to my age, left there wanting to be grandparents sooner rather than later.  :)  They talked about how cute and good he was.  He kept turning around to look at them.

I didn't get much done on my meal plan last night except to save a bunch of vegetable recipes from the Pioneer Woman website.  She has a green bean recipe I really like, so I looked that up and then decided to see what other recipes she has for veggies.  They will be worked into my meal plan.  Especially the first week, which I would like to be mostly vegetables, a little juice (to start out with), and a little fruit.

I'm not anywhere near ready to stop my fast until this pain gets under better control.  I am making good progress, but stopping now would not allow it to do all the work it needs to do.  That may take a while.  Unless I start having something in my body that tells me I need to stop, I am going to keep going.  Interestingly, my realtor (who is a friend of my daughter's) is also a trainer.  We were talking today about health and weight loss and stuff and she actually brought up fasting as a good tool.  I told her she was "preaching to the choir," although she was not trying to coach me; it just came up in our conversation.  I had not told her anything about what I was doing but it was a good confirmation that I am on the right track.  I can't remember if I said this yesterday, but I think I am going to use this tool when I get to the times where I start feeling bored with my food (the food I should eat) and start looking for things that are convenient and then start slacking off.  (This usually involves starting to eat potato chips and ice cream; and some Mexican food with corn tortillas -- which I figured out also gives me a headache -- every once in a while.)  If I do a short fast when that happens, I think it could head off a month-long (or three) trip down the wrong the path where I start gaining weight.  It gives a restart and food starts tasting good again.  Maybe I can avoid weight gains if I do this.  I seem to be able to fast pretty easily when I make up my mind to do it.  Intermittent fasting will also help.

It's time to head off to bed now, but I again have pain shooting down my hip.  Hope I can sleep.  Will probably have to take my middle-of-the-night dose of medicine tonight.  I am so ready for this to get better!

11 down, 489 to go!

Friday, September 15, 2017

House Hunting and Preparing to Move

It's 7:00 and I am still at work, waiting for my boss to "spring" me.  I am done with my work, I think; just waiting for him to give me the word.  It was a busy and somewhat stressful day -- push-push, but I have made it through.

I have had some pain issues, but everything was improved over yesterday.  Still had some pain in my upper back.  My lower back still has that tired achy feeling (probably a little more severe than that sounds), but I think it was better than yesterday.  Headache was improved, though not completely gone.  Achilles tendon pain was there, but not bad.  I did not have the problem walking up the incline today.  All in all, it was much better.

(I got sprung at 7:05!)

It was, however, a little bit of a tough night.  I went to bed with sciatica pain in my left hip.  I slept fitfully for a bit and decided I was going to have to move to the recliner, so I did.  But that was causing other issues with my arms and neck.  So I got back up and moved back to my bed.  I do not typically take my middle-of-the-night dose of pain medication, but I did last night at around 3:30.  That helped.  However, I also had some significant pain in my left knee, which was weird because that is the knee that was replaced.  I have had some stiffness in what feels like a ligament in that knee during this last part of recovery, but it was getting better.  I think this is fast-related.  My biggest problem at this stage has been that my scar (which is large) kind of sticks to what is under it and that causes a lot of stiffness.  I am hoping that is improving.  Your body uses scar tissue for fuel during fasting.

Sometimes I think sciatic pain is brought on by one "heavy" pet or the other sitting in my lap.  My dog weighs maybe 14-15 pounds, and my cat is even bigger.  I have more trouble when my cat is in my lap.  I push him out a lot.  I feel bad about that because he needs affection too.  But it is not worth setting off sciatica.  I am giving thought to getting a little bigger recliner in hopes it would help the arms/neck problem, but I have to wait and see if the house I move to will have room for it.  It might also allow my pets to lay beside me, instead of on me.  It also occurred to me that it might be coccyx pillow I've been using that is setting it off.  So I removed it.  We will see if that helps.  The tailbone pain has been a little better, but that was also one of the things that was hurting last night.

I think I mentioned that I was very tired yesterday.  It occurred to me that my electrolytes might be low or out of whack.  So I took some potassium and magnesium and I think that helped.

We are going on a house hunting expedition tomorrow.  I am a little concerned about holding up to quite a bit of standing.  That is usually what will set off lower back pain.  I am going to have to save a dose of medicine and take extra before we head out.  We are looking at at least four homes.  Three of these have been on the market for a while.  There was a fifth one, but they are not doing showings before the 22nd.

I am going to try to get some meal planning done tonight and possibly try to work on my checklist.  I am hoping to be feeling well enough this weekend to get some chores done.  At least I don't have to worry about kitchen work, except any deep cleaning I might want to do.  But that will likely require help.  I could do some stuff as long as it does not require moving anything heavy or getting down on the floor to get to the lower cabinets.  I just have to be careful to not stay on my feet too long at a time.

I am not feeling terribly motivated to pack because we have nowhere to put anything.  I'm going to have to decide what to do about that.  I wish I had a friend who would let me borrow part of a garage to put some boxes in.  I am probably just going to have to rent another storage closet for $40 a month.  It already feels so crowded in this apartment; I'm not sure I can stand a lot more stuff sitting around.

I really need to get started though.  If things go as planned, we want to be ready to move the bulk of everything by December 1, and slowly finish up odds and ends and cleaning before my lease is up on December 31.

My savings for my down payment is coming along nicely.  That makes me feel good.  I pray that this whole process goes smoothly.  The last couple of moves have been rough.  My daughter is having a minor-ish surgery to remove some hardware from one of her knees that has been causing her pain.  It is scheduled for the 28th.  It should be healed in plenty of time for the move.  People laugh at me for even making that an issue, but two of my last three moves have come right after one or both of us have had a major surgery.  Last time it was only supposed to be me and my daughter was supposed to be responsible for the bulk of the move (I had had my knee replacement surgery less than a month before), but she ended up having another minor-ish knee surgery before the move, and a major one after the move.  So stuff sat around for quite a while not getting settled and I carried the brunt of the responsibility to get things put away.  The move was difficult because I could not get my daughter to buckle down and get the rest of things packed between her minor surgery and the move.  We had movers, but there was so much left that was not boxed up that the rest of the move was very stressful.  I was not happy about that.  I don't think my daughter has fully understood how unhappy I was about that situation.  The move was something she wanted to do.  It seems every time I have something major like that, something happens where I am not allowed to rest and heal as I need to.  I end up having some other stressor and way more responsibility than I should.  I DO NOT want that to happen this time.  Better stress that some more with my daughter and start pushing for her to start helping with packing when we get a little further in this process.

I'm going to shut it down and work on my meal plans and watch a little TV.  TGIF!!

10 down, 490 to go!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tough Day

It’s been a little bit of a tough day.  Not so much weight loss related; just work-related.  My boss was kind of irritable this morning (extremely unusual), and therefore kind of impatient.  Plus I have had two long tapes of dictation that took me quite a while for each one.  It kind of wore me out.

My upper back has been hurting today.  The trouble with that is it makes it hard to keep sitting at my desk, doing my job.  But there was no choice.  It was not settling down with just pain meds, but I finally got it to settle down by taking a break from my desk and using a pain patch (uses capsaicin – what makes peppers hot – as the active ingredient).  I also had a headache off and on, but not too bad.  Must be going through a spell because I have had some “toxic events” (as the writer of the book on fasting calls it), which is purging toxins, and I have been pretty tired today.  I will be glad to get home and do nothing.

I also had some significant lower back pain at the end of the day.  It came on very suddenly for seemingly no reason other than being on my feet for a few minutes.

It seems since I went to the eye doctor, my vision has gotten worse.  I think it is just that I am more aware of it.  The doctor did say that my reading glasses are not strong enough.  I was talking to a co-worker and she was standing a medium distance away and I realized when looking at her how blurry my distance vision really is.  I guess it has crept up on me so gradually; I did not realize how bad it has gotten.  I dimmed the lights over my desk because it felt like the light was glaring on my glasses, and that helped some.  I am looking forward to getting my new glasses.  They said they would be in, in about a week from my appointment.  Eye strain could be part of my headache problem if my glasses are not strong enough.

I told myself I should stay off the computer when I get home and just get some rest.  I don’t know if that is going to happen, but I should.  I just wanted to get my post done and I might do a little reading from the beginning of my blog.  It does help me see patterns when looking at it from the distance of time -- what things tripped me up, how I handled things well and how I did not, and gives me ideas of how to handle things in the future.

One reason I am re-reading it is I am thinking about making it more "public" with people I know.  I want to make sure there is nothing in there that would make me uncomfortable for them to read.  My blog is really a journal, in many ways.  It helps me get thoughts out that I really don't have anyone to share them with or I feel they are tired of hearing.  When you hurt ALL the time, sometimes just talking about it helps you stay sane, but people do get tired of hearing it.  I remember feeling that way about my mother and now I so understand where she was coming from.  I feel sorry for my impatience when she talked about her pain with me.  Please forgive me, Mama.

Today has gone well with my plan.  Some of these things are to be expected in a fast and they are just things you have to deal with.  I am pleased with the progress I am making.  I am going to close and go take a nice, hot bath.

9 days down, 491 to go.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Just Stuff

I worked steadily on work things without any break until around 2:00.  It feels good to get some things done.

I was awakened in the early hours of the morning with sciatic pain in my left hip.  My journals from prior fasts tell me this has happened before.  I always feel it must be related to work being done during the fast, especially since I haven’t done anything that should have made it flare up (although often, I don’t have to do anything; it can be sleeping wrong or a little too much time on my feet, or any number of things that will set it off).  This time, I do think it is fast related.  Hopefully some good healing work is being done in that area.  (That can be a little uncomfortable, sometimes.)  I had more foot pain this morning than yesterday, but it hasn’t been too bad as the day progressed.  However, when I was walking out to the car, through the tunnel that has an incline downward and then an incline upward, it hurt sharply when walking up the incline.  That is really hurting my Achilles tendon.  But it did not keep hurting afterward.  Headache is much improved.  I had a mild one, but nothing like yesterday.  Those are no fun.  Of course, none of these pain issues are “fun,” but headaches are particularly difficult to me.  Trying to focus at work and stay self-motivated is much harder when I have a bad headache.  That may account for this morning’s focus on tasks.  I haven’t had a bad headache to distract me.  Other than these select pain issues, I am feeling pretty darned good!

I have been reading in my old blog, as I have said.  I am reading about August of 2012.  I did not remember all the details of that time, but I do remember it being very rough.  That was when my daughter went through two intestinal obstructions within a month’s time and then lost her job the day she returned to work because of it.  All while we were getting ready to move – me to one place and my daughters to their own place.  They had already signed the lease on their new apartment when she lost her job.  That is the entry I stopped on so I don’t remember how long she was without a job.  I do know I had to help her keep her COBRA insurance and possibly some bills paid for at least a short time.  Between my daughter’s life-threatening issues, having to be at the hospital A LOT during that time, getting ready to move, and still working a lot of overtime, that was quite a time.  Reading what I went through and how I handled it as far as my weight loss efforts were concerned, despite some stumbles (which were understandable under the circumstances), I did pretty darned good during that time.  If I can do it going through all that, there is no reason I cannot pull it back together now and get some momentum going.
 
I did get so absorbed into that reading that it was kind of hard to come back to the present and almost brought on a little stress -- I had to remind myself that was the past and not what was going on now.  But it was also encouraging, in a way.  It makes me more determined to push through my present struggles.
 
I am having no struggle with my fast.  I haven't had much time to do my more of meal planning.  I plan to work on it a little after I get this posted.  I want to start with some purely vegetable and fruit meals and I want to do some research on that.  I will have to start with juice, perhaps with a little watermelon after the first day.  Then I want to eat vegetables and a little fruit through the first week.  Then I can start on more regular eating.  I want to pay attention when I add things back to see if certain things, like dairy, bring on more pain.  I hope I am at least able to keep eating cheese and the high fat aspects of dairy.  Grains, especially corn, need to be part of my past.  I still at cornmeal products, on occasion before my fast and I believe it also gave me headaches.  Sure do miss my Mexican food, but I can still cook things that are a Mexican style without eating corn.  I can have a little rice and a little beans, as long as I am staying under my carb count.
 
I posted my weight on my Weight/Size page.  That was for 5 days, because I did not weigh when I started and I had already been fasting a couple of days when I weighed.  I do not want to make a big deal out of the loss during the fast.  I will gain some back, and although very nice, it is not how normal life will work.  But I did log it for the sake of my records.
 
That's about it tonight.  Day 8 is in the books.  492 days to go.  (It really helps me to focus on putting those days together.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Feeling Significantly Better Today

I got a little bit of a slow start today at work.  I got there at my usual time, but had to leave for an appointment with the eye doctor and did not return until noon.  I have always had perfect vision, up until my late 40s.  Then I started needing some reading glasses and have always bought them over the counter.  This time, my vision has deteriorated to the point where they said if I had my eyes checked for my driver’s license they would require corrective lenses.  So I had to get two pair of glasses.  Hopefully they will help.

My pain is much improved today!  Thank the Lord.  Not so much pain in my feet and knee, and my back is improved, although it still feels tired and achy in my middle back.  I still have a moderate headache that comes and goes, but not as much as yesterday.  I think my efforts are helping.  In fact, as the day wore on, I could stand up without waiting for the flood of pain to wash over me before I take my first steps – which are always very painful, slow and with a definite limp.  Not today.  Progress.  Fasting is the best cure for inflammation I know of.  I have not lost enough weight to have made this much difference.

They checked my blood pressure at the eye doctor.  I have had some problems with HBP in the past, but last time I had my annual checkup she did not prescribe medication for it.  I don’t know if that was because I didn’t need it anymore (I had just finished my fast in August of last year, so it might have been good) or if it was an oversight.  Anyway, I was a little worried what it would show today.  It was 144/76.  That is a little elevated, but not too bad.  I will go have my annual again after I finish my fast, and the fast will help my blood pressure, so I think I am good until then.

Incidentally, I went to the doctor after the fast last year at the urging of a friend (she doesn’t believe in water fasting).  My numbers were great.  My friend was worried that all my electrolytes, etc. would be screwed up.  I told my doctor what I had done and how I was feeling.  She was actually quite interested and did not reprimand me at all.
 
My friend was worried because her mother has been chronically undereating for years and her numbers were seriously screwed up and she had significant issues because of it.  My doctor (who happens to be this woman’s doctor, too) agreed with me that chronic undereating is far different than fasting.  When fasting, your body completely switches over to burning your stores of fat and other unnecessary tissues, and all the nutrients you need are also in those stores.  The problem comes when you run out of stores.  That is when your body starts feeding on its own organs and muscles, etc.  That is when it enters starvation mode.  I have a looooooooong way to go before I am in any danger of that.  Before that, it is very selective to use only fuel that is unnecessary for your overall health, and is actually quite healing.  Your body tells you when it is time to quit fasting because hunger returns.  I am honestly not hungry now that I have gotten through the first 3-4 days.
 
With chronic undereating, your body still has to rely on getting what it needs from the food you are eating and you are not getting what you need.  I know on my fast last year, as it progressed, I had more energy than I had had for years.  Shortly after I broke it (like the second day), I had had juice for breakfast and then because of our activities (I was on vacation), was not able to eat until later in the afternoon, and I was feeling weak.  That’s because my body had switched back over to getting its nutrients from food and the juice I had had that morning was long gone.
 
You do feel some weakness when you first start fasting, but that is because your body is switching over to fat burning, and you are also ridding your body of a lot of toxins.  You will also probably feel some weakness if you engage in strenuous activity.  If you are eating a really unhealthy diet before fasting, it is much more difficult for the first 10 days or more.  The first time I ever did it I had sores in my mouth because of all the toxins being released.  That did not happen on the most recent ones.  There are different stages in fasting, but I felt better after my fast than I had felt in probably 40 years, and it lasted for a good while afterward.  That would have continued if I had eaten like I was supposed to.  I am not planning on letting that happen this time.  I do often feel pretty sleepy at this point.  That will improve, I think.  There are plenty of other reasons for me to feel tired, too.

I would like to stick to fruit and vegetables (mostly vegetables) the first week after my fast.  I hope I am able to make myself do that.  It would not include things like beans or rice or other things vegetarians often eat.  Just vegetables and fruit.  However, once you start eating, it is easy to get out of control.  I want to avoid that this time.  I pray I can keep focused enough to do that.  Blogging about it helps with that.

Day 7 is done.  7 down, 493 to go.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Getting Started on My Meal Plan

I was hurting quite a bit this morning.  I think I am detoxing quite a bit.  That process is never pleasant.  Just have to keep plugging through.  Headache was pretty bad today and I was trying to decide whether to take something for it.  It is better for my stomach if I do not, but it is hard to function at work with a severe headache.  I gave peppermint oil a try; and it did not help.  I did take a BC and regretted it.  It made my stomach burn.  It did finally take the headache away, but I won't do that again.  Hopefully I will be through this part of sloughing off toxins soon.  I usually get over headaches within the first few days.

My shoulder has been hurting quite a bit the last couple of nights.  That had not been a problem, so much.  I am wondering if it is too much time spent in my recliner, leaning on my elbows.  Will try some stretching tonight to see if I can break up some of that tension.

I found some good recipes on “All Day I Dream About Food.”  I recommend this blog highly if you are eating low carb/keto.  She had a blog post about family-friendly keto recipes.  I am in the process of adding them to my recipe “library” and will work them into some meal plans.  I have not looked at her website for non-dessert foods as much as for desserts (she seems to post about low-carb dessert-types more often).  But her main dish recipes look just as good.  I saw one for Chicken Pot Pie with a biscuit topping.  I don’t usually think of being able to make chicken pot pie with a crust in low carb eating.  I am glad to find things that are closer to old favorites.  I just have to get to feeling good enough to do the cooking!!  I saved quite a few recipes, including some she listed from other bloggers (I will have to check out their blogs more thoroughly), but had to stop.  Can’t get myself to thinking about (and seeing pictures of) food too much.

I got started on my menu planning today.  Have not gotten far, but it’s a start.  I think I will have plenty of variety to keep from getting bored.  An important part, knowing how my life has been, is having meals made up and in the freezer for when I work too late or just do not feel like cooking.  Probably a good way to do it would be to start with my first week of meals and double the amount I make (depending on how many servings it makes), and freeze the part I do not use.  If I were cooking in a typical week, I would typically make something and then eat it again (and again) in the days to follow until it was gone.  Sometimes, though, by the time I get to the end of it, I am tired of it and end up having to throw out a serving or two.  Having things planned ahead will hopefully prevent that and I will have less food waste.  Breakfast is not usually a problem as far as my motivation to cook it.  Special recipes might be, but I will probably put the basic things I usually cook for breakfast on my weekday menu and those requiring a special recipe on the weekend.  There could be leftovers from that, depending on what it is, so I could also use it for another meal during the following week.  There are some things, though, that I would not want to make and freeze (like when I cook steaks; they are not nearly as good left over).  Anyway, I am thinking this plan will also help me waste less food.  I am always buying salad vegetables or some other kind of vegetables and then I don’t end up using it all and let it waste.  If I have my meals planned, I will know exactly how much I need, can prep it ahead of time, and that will eliminate wasted food.  I think this is going to be a good plan for me.  I do want to make a number of meals before I get started and get some in the freezer so I always have something to fall back on.  I would love to do some of the cooking during my fast, but I am not sure how advisable that is.  There are some things I could cook without much temptation.  I may have to go ahead and buy my freezer sooner, rather than later, in order to get a good stock of things.  I will have to keep it on my terrace.  Fortunately, my terrace is large and you cannot see what is at the back of it from the ground level, since landlords typically don't like this type of thing on your terrace.  You would have to be on a terrace across from mine to be able to tell, and even then, it would not be easy to tell.  It is kind of tucked in a corner.

I am back into a pair of dress pants I have not been wearing the last two or three weeks.  They are lined, and the lining feels tighter than the pants themselves look.  I probably could have still worn them if not for the lining feeling uncomfortable to me.  I do not like to wear tight clothes.  But it was comfortable enough today!

I am feeling a little impatient about my goal to get out of debt.  It is a little bit on hold until I buy a house.  All of the debt I have left is at 0% because of balance transfers.  So I decided that instead of making the big debt payments for last month and the next 2-3 months until I have bought a house, I would make minimum payments and save that money toward my down payment.  The budget I established for my house will yield a significantly smaller house payment than I am now paying for rent, so once that is in place, I will be able to make up the payments I would have made toward debt.  But it feels so strange to be making minimum payments on my debt.  I am ready to get through this phase and get back to putting as much money as possible toward debt reduction so I can finish that goal.  I noticed in reading some of my older posts that I talked about getting out of debt, and if things had gone according to plan, I would have been out of debt right now.  Let’s just say that the events that kept that from happening were not of my own doing, or I diverted money to help one or more of my kids, and that slowed things down.  They are paying me on a monthly basis to pay that off.  I actually am pretty good about not overspending and, had it just been me doing the spending, I would have been out of debt.  And if not doing things for my kids, would not have had nearly as much debt to start with.  Sigh.  Some things just could not be helped, and others I have addressed and remedied.  It is just going to take a while for all that to play out.  I decided, though, that it was in my best interest to pay everything as though I was the only one who ever would and get out of debt as soon as I can.  I will continue to receive payments from my kids even after that is done.  I am just so impatient to get the house deal done so I can get back to paying as much as I can toward my goal.  The good thing is, I will have more to work with once the move is done and that will help in my getting out of debt efforts.
 
A bit of good news is, all three of my kids have made positive steps toward their independence.  My youngest and her husband are already independent, although I sometimes temporarily loan them a little money to get through a tight spot.  They always pay it right back.  This daughter experienced a crossroads with the job she had that made it apparent she needed to look for another one.  She took a position with another company and immediately realized the employer was toxic and would not keep her word.  So she immediately started looking for something else.  She ended up having two offers and was able to choose the one she thought was best and it came with a substantial pay raise over what she had been making at her original job.  Because of that, my other daughter, who works in the same industry, decided she would see if she could find a better-paying job.  The one she has was pretty good, but she thought she could find one at a higher pay.  She ended up getting an offer with a raise in pay.  She went to give her two weeks' notice and her current employer countered with an amount higher than what she was offered and assured her she would be having opportunities to move up the ladder if she stuck with them.  So she stayed where she is with a significant raise.  My son also came to a crossroads with his job (they did not treat him right).  He made the decision to leave and he also made the decision to go in a different direction with his career.  He worked in the food/beverage industry and it can always be a little unstable.  He is now getting unemployment because his employer cut his pay so significantly he qualified for it, and is going to school to become an aircraft mechanic.  I am so happy about this.  This will be a much more profitable and stable field for him.  He is also working a side job on the weekends -- one that does not affect the unemployment, but that supplements his income enough to get by until he is out of school.  I do not know how long that will last, but it is a good situation for him right now and he is using it to better himself.  So it has been a good month for my kids.  My son-in-law is also planning to take some classes to better his career, so I am very proud of them all for securing their futures, as much as that is possible.  It also takes pressure off of me.  Total independence is a little bit closer.

I am also already feeling impatient because of the few boxes I already have sitting around.  I don't have any spare corners to stack boxes I have already packed, but I also do not want to wait until the last minute to start packing.  I am considering getting an extra storage closet to put that stuff in.  It would cost me an extra $40 a month, but that would be less than getting a storage unit.  It is also difficult for me to actually put the boxes in storage (or anywhere, for that matter).  I need someone else to do the lifting.  Guess I will have to have my daughter do some, and do others when my other kids visit.  I really do not like transition periods and that is what it feels like right now.  I am ready to find my house and get this moving.  But have to wait because of when my lease is up.
 
I have gone on long enough.  I have had no trouble getting through Day 6 and know I will finish the day out as planned.  So 6 days down, 494 to go.