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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Exhausted

Thought I'd better get a post done lest you think something was amiss.

Honestly, I have been exhausted today.  I have not eaten in the best way to break a fast, but it is difficult to hold in check once you get to eat again.  I did not do anything too outlandish -- no sugar or anything like that, and no meat except for the tiny bit that was in some soup I ate.  I had fruit and juice for breakfast and we went to On the Border for lunch.  I got their chicken tortilla soup (without the tortillas).  The "bad" part was some chips and queso (their queso is delicious and gluten free).  I had to take most of the queso with me because I was too full after the soup, so had that later in the day.  More juice and fruit and that's been it.  I have started first steps for my cooking, but will have to do the bulk of it tomorrow.  I don't plan to go out tomorrow, and plan to make it a more normal day of fruit, veggies and soup.  I will also be making deviled eggs for part of the week.  I wanted to give myself a week until I got back to eating meats.

As I said, I have been exhausted.  My body felt like it was missing something.  I had taken potassium and magnesium at times during the fast, especially if I started getting leg cramps, so I didn't think it was that.  I thought my iron level might be low, so I took an iron tablet.  I may do that for a few days and see if that helps.  It did seem to help a little.  I did not feel quite so wrung out after that.  But I still cannot read for any length of time without falling asleep.

That's all I have to report.  We will see if I can put together a normal day tomorrow.  It is hard to wake up and think, "I get to eat!"  I do, but I still must maintain control.

Do I think the fast was a good thing?  Yes!  But what I do now is even more important.

I will count this as a neutral day. So still 24 days down, 476 to go.

Friday, September 29, 2017

I'm Done

Well, I'm done.  I've been having cravings for the last few days, but this had nothing to do with cravings.  I was feeling very weak.  I've felt it off and on,  but today I felt like my body was trying to tell me it is time to stop.  And I promised to listen to my body.
 
Now comes the difficult and very important part.  I broke the fast at about 4:00 p.m. with some orange juice, as "they" recommend.  I ended up having to work until 7:30, so by that time I was ready for more.  Actually, I was ready for food!  I always plan to be very controlled in the breaking of my fast, but that is very difficult to do.  But I have eaten vegetables tonight.  As anticipated, they tasted so good.   Of course, that brought on some purging.  It's okay.  I purged even when I broke the first once with orange juice and watermelon chunks (which have also been recommended).  Already I feel not quite so drained.
 
I had the toughest day at work I've had in a while.  Barely a spare minute to think about anything other than the task at hand.  I tried to take a little "lunch" time to pay my bills (it is payday), but got interrupted and didn't stop until I left.  I was feeling really weak a lot of that time.  Not like I was going to faint or anything, but just like what I had to do cost more energy than I had to spare.  I was so very tired.  So I am feeling a bit better now.
 
I still have a lot of cooking to do this weekend because what I was going to be cooking was to be part of my first week's meals (with some left for other meals next week and perhaps beyond).  I do want to be in control this weekend and next week.  The first few days after a fast, it is very easy to let yourself slip into some sloppy eating because you are making up for being "deprived" for so long.  That is what needs to be different.  If I stop posting, that is not a good sign.  So I am going to try very hard to stay focused and move toward more progress.
 
I ran off this morning without my medicine.  I had taken it in a different bag to the hospital yesterday and I forgot to switch it back.  I made it okay, but I was really achy by the end of the day.  My boss was sitting by me dictating over my shoulder and I felt like I could not sit there a minute longer, but there was no choice.  I haven't been that ready to get out of there in a long time.  But being who he is, my boss made it worthwhile.  Not only did I make OT, he sometimes gives me a nice blessing on these late nights.  The kind that will go into my savings account for my down payment.
 
I haven't had time to give much time to the house hunting this week.  I have been thinking about making an offer on this one house that needs some work (although quite livable now).  I need to see the Seller's Disclosures first.  Even then, I just don't feel ready to jump in on this one.  I still may, but I have time.  And if it sold before then, I would not be heartbroken.  It has good potential.  There is a little eating area right on the other side of the bar in the kitchen, and then a bigger dining area at the other end of that area.  We barely use one dining area, so I definitely do not need two.  I was thinking I could take out that bar and add a big island and probably some more cabinets along the wall, too.  We could have some bar seating at the island.  That likely will not happen at first.  The first thing I would do is change the flooring.  Depending on how much that cost, I would pay that off and then probably the kitchen would be my second project.  But it would be a pretty big project.  I want to be wise about this.  Yes, I would have a smaller payment on this one than the others I have made offers on, but I don't want to try to do too much at once and defeat part of the purpose of doing this.
 
I'm going to close.  I have a busy weekend, but still need to catch up on rest.  I have cleaning to do to prepare for my grandson's birthday party next weekend.  It is going to be at the pool area of our apartments, but we need to be prepared in case anyone comes up to the apartment.
 
I can still say this because, just because I broke my fast does not mean I did not have a successful day.  So 24 down, 476 to go!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Day at the Hospital

I have about 30 minutes before needing to leave for my day's activities.   I have to remember to get everything I need for a few hours at the hospital, namely, water and things to read and do.

I got to the place in the past posts of my blog where I started having the really severe pain that led to my back surgery (a more minor back surgery than what they say would really "fix" things).  There is no forgetting that pain.  I know it is not the most severe pain there is -- watching my daughter writhe around on the floor with an intestinal obstruction was the worst I have seen, and I have seen her in very severe pain with the various surgeries she has had.  But this is a different kind of pain.  That nerve pain that shoots down your body is very difficult.  I know I do not want to go there again.  That is one reason for this fast.  I felt I was headed that direction, not to mention problems in other parts of my body, like the Achilles pain and the pain involved with needing a knee replacement.  Let's just say, that is something I want to stay as far away from as possible.

So, the things I said last night about ending the fast -- I only want to do that if I feel I am far enough away from that where I can pick up with my conventional efforts and keep going with weight loss.  Knowing there will be some backtracking, I need to be far enough away from that kind of pain that symptoms will not return during the time of switching over and getting things moving with diet and exercise.  And enough to be able to actually do some exercise.  I am not there yet.  I woke up with some twinges in my sciatic nerve this morning.  Remembering my experience in the past, that always scares me.  Like that degree of pain is going to happen again and there is nothing I can do about it.  I cannot have the kind of surgery I had the first time.  She said anything like that is too likely to make things "collapse."  If I have any surgery (which still, I do not want), I need the fusion surgery.  To be eligible for that, I need to be somewhere near 200 pounds.  And not just touching on it and then gaining it back.  I need to get stabilized at 215 or less.  I chose that number because she said I had to have less abdominal fat to have the surgery and someone I know who is roughly my height, etc. weighed 215 when they had the surgery.  Of course, what I hope is that when I get down to 215 or less, I will not need any surgery.  My doctor said that is very possible.

So, I need to make sure my pain levels are where I need them to be before breaking this fast.  And then I must be very focused when I do so that I do not gain excessive weight back and I continue to lose weight.  I feel sure that is going to require me to get some exercise.  I don't want to live on Atkins shakes to get there.  (That is what I was doing during that time, when things got so bad -- 2-3 Atkins shakes and then a low-carb dinner.)  I want to live on real, whole food, like we were intended to eat.  I will be limited on what kind of exercise I can get, I assume.  I still have a knee that needs to be replaced.  But hopefully I can do enough through low impact exercise to do what I need to do.  I am sure some strength training is very important.  I will be losing a good source of getting all that exercise -- the fitness center at our apartments -- when I move, so will have to find another way to get it.  At first I can use my hand weights and my own body.

That's all for now.  Have to get stuff gathered up to go.
 
Evening
 
I am finally home now, for good.  We got home from the hospital somewhere around 5:00.  It took longer than we thought and we stopped to get something for Steph to eat since she had not eaten since dinner the night before.  I got home and got her situated -- ice machine up and running, pillows where she needed them, etc. -- then sat down to rest a bit.  I tried to read but kept falling asleep.  I had to go to the store to get Stephanie's prescription and decided I might as well get the groceries I need to do my cooking this weekend while I was there.  That took quite a while, for some reason.  I put things away and am finally able to sit down and relax a bit.  Too bad I don't have tomorrow off.  But my boss is leaving for a weekend trip sometime during the day tomorrow, so no staying late, thank goodness.
 
With all the activity, my back is hurting and there are sciatic twinges in my hip.  So I am not where I want to be yet.  It's too bad because I am starting to want to eat.  But not more than I want to be free from pain.  Now this is not hunger I am talking about; it is cravings.  Today it started from picking up Stephanie's food at On the Border.  I love On the Border and it sounded so good.  And when I eat, I do not want that to be my motivation.  That will only lead to overdoing.  Not that I cannot have some things at On the Border sometimes, but this needs to go according to plan, as much as possible, so I begin in more control than I would if I broke my fast because I was wanting On the Border so much.  I will get away from those feelings in a few hours and I will be fine.
 
But I wish I knew why, all of a sudden, pain is back.  It is so unpredictable.
 
Stephanie had a male nurse today that was so nice.  He is somewhere up near my age, if not as old as I am.  I seriously wanted to know if he was married (he was), because I might have left him my number if he wasn't.  He was nice and funny and very caring, but in a manly sort of way.  Darn it, he was married.  Lol.
 
Stephanie had her annual checkup recently and got a call from her doctor's office this evening.  Her pap smear came back abnormal.  Something about her HPV level being high, which can indicate cancer.  I am not going to panic or anything.  Funny, I just read my old blog post today about when they found cysts on my ovaries during the MRI on my back, and the report said the cysts were larger than they should be for a postmenopausal woman and malignancy could not be ruled out.  So I ended up having a hysterectomy less than two weeks after my back surgery.  The cysts were not malignant.  Anyway, I think Steph is fine (mentally), but it does give you a little pause.  I am sure the tests will come back with nothing, but you have to make sure.  And that is what I choose to believe until you tell me differently.
 
I will close for today.  I thought today might be a little bit of a break, but it certainly did not turn out that way.
 
23 days down, 477 to go!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Feeling Good!

Man, I was sleepy this afternoon.  I didn't take any NoDoz today, so I was really feeling it.  I don't know if there was any connection, but after a little bit this morning, nausea was much better today.  My biggest issue today was I was cold!  That happens when you are not eating many (or any) calories.
 
I felt generally pretty good today.  My foot is still hurting quite a bit.  I'm praying I don't have to go in a boot.  Otherwise, just some stiffness and some upper back pain this afternoon, which I think was muscular from sitting at my desk for long hours.

I will be "off" tomorrow.  Stephanie has to have a minor surgery to remove some screws from her knee surgery she had last year.  The biggest part of the recovery will be the incision, so she should be recovered in plenty of time for moving.  I made that clear that needed to happen.  Anyway, I took the whole day so I am available to take her home from the day surgery clinic.  Not exactly a day of rest, but a day away from work will be nice.  We are also going to go look at one house a second time in case I want to put in an offer before for my realtor leaves town for the weekend. 

My boss has told me several times the last few days that my new hairdo looks good, my hair is making me look really "different" (in a positive way, it seemed), etc.  The only thing is, I haven't done anything to my hair.  I think he is seeing the weight loss and not realizing what it is; he just knows I look different.  I'm glad he hasn't figured it out.  I don't want people to wonder why I am losing so fast.  I am, however, getting a haircut and color on Saturday.  I will look different then.

I don't really have much news today except that things are going pretty well, I'm feeling better and better, and I continue my plans to break this fast with a detailed plan in place so I can continue my journey with little interruption.  I don't want to break my fast with a lot of over-eating.  I am thinking I will plan to go either 31 or 32 days.  I can't decide if I want to break it on the day of my grandson's party.  That would be mainly a juice day, but I don't want to take a chance of there being any "purging" as my body is getting used to food again.  So I may want to break it the next day.  But it will depend on how I am feeling.  If I feel like there are still pain issues that could benefit from going longer, I am willing to do that.  Whatever, I want to break it in a controlled way.  Whatever I eat, it is going to taste wonderful and there is plenty of time to enjoy food.  I want to make sure I have plenty of meals made and that I am fully prepared for success.

I also want to have plans made to begin an exercise plan started fairly soon after I start eating again.  It would be difficult right now because I feel weakness with small amounts of exertion.  Perhaps I could handle a little walking.  But I felt just the added activity of the cooking on Sunday.  I want to give myself a little time to regain some strength, but be ready to start some light activity within a few days.  I will need some time to build up because I have not been able to do much in the last couple of years.  I still have my recumbent bike and hope to use that.  However, it has been on my patio, so I have to make sure it works as it should.  I also have a fitness center here in my apartments, at least until we move.  I can also make use of stairs, which I would like to do to strengthen my quads.  I never really finished my rehab after my knee surgery because my back was in such bad shape.

That's it for tonight.  Today was day 22, so 22 down, 478 to go!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

More Meal Planning

As I have mentioned, I have been reading through my blog from the beginning.  I am relearning a lot of stuff I learned back when.  It is a great tool to see the progress of my self-discovery.
 
One thing I talked about at one point was my headaches and what I was finding out (from my massage therapist) about why they were occurring -- all about head and neck position, not gritting my teeth, stretching, relaxation, etc.  All, as far as I can tell, were wrong.  Not that they could not contribute to a headache.  But when I eat really cleanly -- no grains, no sugar, etc. -- my headaches completely go away.  I do not have that tightness in my neck and shoulders, and when I grit my teeth (which I still find myself doing, now that I was reminded when I read that part over again), it does not give me a headache.  All those years of thinking they were tension headaches (which, in a way, they were), the root of it all was what I eat.  Not that I never have a headache or a different kind of headache, but that is the main thing.  I feel so wonderfully free when my head is not hurting all the time (like right now).
 
Pain was much improved last night.  I had a little trouble sleeping, for some reason, but it was not because of pain.  My dog was restless again, and after a couple of times of him getting up and down off the bed, I had trouble going back to sleep.  I finally did, but when he (or the cat) woke me up again at about 4:00, I gave up and moved to my recliner.  Based on recent experience, I thought if anything would help me drop off it would be reading, because every night I have been trying to read and I have trouble staying awake.  I was right; it wasn't very long until I started nodding off and I finished the "night" in the recliner.
 
My alarm went off at 6:00 a.m., and instead of turning it off and waiting for the next one, I got right up.  I had more stuff on my list I wanted to get done.  I knew if I sat back down I would go back to sleep, so I started my bath water and then dusted my bedroom, which was one of the things on my list.  That activity made all the difference.  I took my bath and sat back down and there was no more temptation to go back to sleep.  Lately I have done some reading in the morning and wind up reading too long and am rushed to get ready, especially when I am trying to get to work 30 minutes earlier than usual to work on my organization project.  I decided this morning to reverse my schedule by completely getting ready -- ready to walk out the door -- and then read until time to go, if there was any time left.  Today there was no time left.  I think this is a better way to handle it, though.
 
I am coming along on my organization project at work.  I'm not sure if anyone else can tell it yet, but I can.  In the next couple of days, you should be able to tell a big difference.  It feels good.
 
I felt fine on the nausea front this morning until I took a NoDoz on the way to work.  I take pills all the time, so I don't know why this one affected me more than others.  I'm trying to drink down my water and hopefully it will pass.  It is better than it has been, anyway.
 
I have not made any decision on when I am going to wind up this fast, but right now am thinking maybe after 31 days.  That will have me breaking the fast on the day of my grandson's birthday party, which is on October 7.  I may want to wait one more day to avoid that.  But it all depends on if I feel like there are more pain issues that need to be dealt with.  Or you never know, sometimes I can decide overnight that it is time to stop.  When I start thinking it is time,  I usually try to give it 24 hours and make sure I am stopping for the "right" reason.  Not just because I am craving food and ready to eat.
 
As I said yesterday, food is beginning to sound good to me.  But then so does getting back into certain clothes and feeling better.  I am definitely looking slimmer.  No one has said anything yet, but I know it has to be obvious.  I have not told anyone but family (and here on my blog) what I am doing.  On my last fast (in April), I got a new hairstyle during the first couple of weeks and I think everyone chalked up the change in my appearance to that.  Just fine with me.  I was open about what I was doing the first time, to certain people, but haven't wanted to do that since.  People have their own idea about what you should and should not do, and some are very outspoken about it.  I have done much research on this issue and I feel very good about what I am doing.  I know people speak out of concern, but they speak from faulty information.  Some might think I am doing the same thing; the improvement in how I feel tells me I am doing what I need to do.  That is also how I knew I was on the right track with Wheat Belly.  Nothing else got rid of the headaches before.  That spoke volumes to me.
 
 Earlier posts in my blog reminded me about a website where I got some really good recipes for Atkins/low-carb recipes.  I saved quite a few of them and there are so many more.  I had to stop because it was making me want some.  I will be incorporating these into my menu plan.  I have enough recipes now where I should never have any excuse for boredom!

I made it a little tough on myself as the day progressed.  When I had bits of time, I worked on my meal plan.  Of course the food sounds really good to me right now.  It was getting to me for a little while.  But as soon as I turn my attention away from it, I am fine.  I sure am going to be eating good in a few weeks, though (how is that for good grammar?).  Next week I plan to do the cooking I can do ahead of time for week 1 and week 2.  I will put meals together in containers and freeze them so that week will be easy.  The following week, I plan to do my cooking for the 2nd week and some will be left for future meals.  I plan to be thoroughly prepared.  One thing the Wheat Belly doctor tells you is to incorporate vegetables into every meal, including breakfast.  I think I am doing a decent job with that, and he has some meal plans in his book that have given me a couple of ideas.  One is poached or fried eggs over roasted asparagus.  Reading my blog has also given me ideas about meals I had forgotten about, but I now remember were very good.

I have to stay a little late tonight and I really was not wanting to.  Just feeling a little out of sorts.  Mostly because of what I talked about in the previous paragraph.  Probably need to turn my attention away from the meal plan for the rest of today.  But I have so many good recipes to look forward to!!

I am home now and had to work until 8:30.  I will be glad when the paycheck comes....

I am back to feeling strong about continuing with the fast for a bit longer.  My nausea was much better this afternoon, but as soon as I got home it started up again.  Not bad, just annoying.  I just tell myself my body is ridding itself of all that toxic stuff that is keeping me from losing weight and making me unhealthy.  It is not fun, but bearable.

That's it for tonight.  This is my 21st day -- 3 weeks!  So, 21 days down, 479 to go!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Some Cravings and Back to an "Old" Tool

I'm up earlier than I have been.  You can chalk that up to my checklist, partially.  That really motivates me and I have more stuff I wanted to get done.  I also want to get to work at 8:30 instead of 9:00 and needed to bathe and wash my hair, since I didn't do it last night.

Knowing I wanted to get up earlier this morning, I got to bed earlier last night than I have been.  But I had a little bit of a rough night.  Cas was restless and kept getting up and down off my bed.  When I have the head and foot elevated, he thinks he can't get up on it, so he barks and I have to put it down, and last night, even switch on the lamp for him to even attempt it once I lowered it.  It was either that or let him bark, which was worse.  I also had some pain shooting down my right hip and leg,  and close to that in my left hip, from all the activity yesterday.  So I guess I'm not quite over everything yet.  :(  I keep expecting it to be like my fast last August when I felt so amazing during my vacation.  I was able to walk all over the place with almost no pain at all.  Of course, I was lighter that time than I have gotten yet, this time.

My weight still seems to be dropping steadily this week, and even more so after the added activity this weekend.  I feel like the more weight I get off, the more my pain levels will drop.  At least, as I said, that is what happened last year.
 
Later
 
Pain has improved immensely, so much so that I forgot to take my second dose of medicine this morning.  That is always a good sign that I am doing better.  My biggest problem continues to be a little nausea.  I took a little break in an empty office at lunchtime to get away from it.  The "good" thing right now is if I get still, I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat.  I went to that office and fell asleep in a couple of minutes, and slept for about 20 minutes.  No nausea when sleeping.  Unfortunately it was back when I woke up, but it kind of comes and goes.  If it gets very "bad," I know a purge is coming soon.  Then it feels better.
 
I am a little stiff today from more time spent on my feet.  Hopefully that will improve as the days go by.
 
Later Still

Today turned out to be a very busy day, although I did not stay late to speak of.  I was just busy most every minute except the short break I took.

Food is starting to sound good.  I don't dwell on it, but I do think, "I'm going to eat that when I am eating again."  Today it was these Cheese and Jalapeno Stuffed Shrimp, wrapped in bacon, I get at a certain restaurant, and I always have it with a side salad instead of the rice and beans it comes with.  All perfectly "legal."  I will definitely be having that soon after it is safe to eat more substantial food (the second week).  Sounds so good!  But I'm still not planning to break the fast yet.  There is still work to be done.  Actually there will still be work to be done after I break the fast, but I want to get over the worst parts of my pain so I can add in some light exercise and hopefully be more successful at continuing to lose weight after the first adjustment to eating again.  I am definitely planning for success and I think that is very important.  You cannot leave it up to chance.

I am going to go back to using a tool I made and talked about earlier in my blog.  I read a book that told you to make a list of all the reasons why you want to lose weight and to read that list over at least twice a day to keep it in the front of your mind why you are doing this when times are tough.  I took it a step further and cut out pictures to illustrate those concepts.  Being able to visualize it made me remember it more.  I still have the notebook and have pulled it out to start using again.  It is an excellent tool.  I may share those things, one every few days.  Some of those things are not quite as important as they used to be, but they still motivate me.

The things having to do with my ex are not as important.  But I still would like to have that moment when he sees who I have become after the way he treated me for 21 years.  He has already paid a high price for his ways.  He was not asked to walk his daughter down the aisle for her wedding (he barely made it in any pictures) and is not allowed to be a part of his grandson's life.  That may sound harsh, but you would have to know what all we went through.  And he makes no effort to be a father, so as long as that does not change, my daughter feels he has no right to jump in and try to be a grandfather.  I had nothing to do with the decision -- my son-in-law is as adamant about it as anyone -- but that is not to say I do not agree with it.  My son-in-law says there is only so much "control" he has over the decisions Bethany makes for herself, but it's a whole other thing with the decisions concerning their child.  He does not want him to have the chance to do to my grandson what he did to his own kids.  Words can do harm in a second and last a lifetime, and there were many hurtful words spoken in our home.  If there is repentance and change, that is one thing; but that has not happened.  So far, as far as I know, it is still "my fault."

I'm going to close and try to get another thing or two done this evening.  I did a good job on my list this weekend, but there is still quite a bit more to do, plus the everyday maintenance chores I need to do.  I feel very tired and sleepy when I sit and read, but if I get up and get around, I have energy.  I feel empty sometimes, but still have energy.  Amazing, isn't it?

So, 20 days down, 480 days to go!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Cooking and Making Progress on My List

Whew!  I've had a day so far!  But let me start at the beginning....
 
I kind of slept in this morning after staying up until 1:00 a.m.  (I'm kind of turning into a night owl as I am getting older.)  When I got up I thought, uh oh, my back is screwed up again.  It was extremely achy when I got up.  But as I got up and around, it improved.  I think it was just that morning achiness you get sometimes when you get older.
 
I always give myself time to let my pain meds kick in, so I did that while doing some reading.  Then I got up and started making progress on my "To Do List."  I got my bedding back on my bed, which I had washed.  I did some other odds and ends and Stephanie said she was meeting Bethany to take some pictures of Carter for his one-year pictures.  He will be one year old on October 7!!  She asked if I wanted to go and, of course, I never want to miss a chance to see my grandson.  There is too much to miss when they are this young.
 
I'm sorry, but if you were hoping your grandchild would win
the "Cutest Grandbaby Ever" contest, I already have it locked up.  ;)
We went to White Rock Lake to find some spots for good pictures.  It required a bit of walking and even more standing, and I did fine.  By the way, Carter always acts pretty happy to see his Nana.  That makes me very happy.  :)  I came in a separate car so when Stephanie and Bethany went to get some lunch afterward, I could go on home.  There is only so much sitting and watching other people eat I want to do, and besides, I had a list to get back to!  Lol.
 
I rested a few minutes, but fairly quickly got to the cooking tasks on my list.  I had six different "dishes" on my list to get done this weekend.  Three were to use up the Greek yogurt I had, and three were veggie dishes to have ready for the week I break my fast.  I have gotten five of them made so far.  It turns out, I need a little more yogurt to do the last one (a frozen yogurt recipe).  The other Greek yogurt recipes I did were a buffalo chicken dip and the spinach-artichoke dip I talked about last night.  I also used some chicken I had cooked and frozen a while back for the buffalo chicken dip, so I killed two birds with one stone with that.  It smells delicious.  My daughter came out of her room asking about that one.  She will have to get her some chips or something if she wants some of that.  I plan to eat it with celery and carrot sticks, as well as with different things like I mentioned yesterday with the other dip I made.  The veggies I made were roasted carrots, roasted (summer) squash, and a green bean recipe from Pioneer Woman.  I "packaged" all those up in one meal container (several meals, but all three with each meal) to have my first week or two after my fast.  I still have some more carrots and green beans left (I doubled the green-bean recipe because the bag of fresh green beans I bought had two pounds and the recipe calls for one).  The only thing I did differently was I did not use bacon grease.  Don't get me wrong, I am perfectly willing to use bacon grease in any and every recipe I cook, but I did not have any and all the bacon I have is frozen.  So I used a mixture of butter and olive oil, which is the alternative she mentions in the recipe.  Everything looks so yummy.  I have to admit, I had urges to just pick up a carrot and try it, but no problem not doing that.  It looked good, but it did not set off cravings.  I will greatly enjoy my first week back to eating, that is for sure.
 
So, it is a little after 5:00 (when I started this post) and I only finished all that.  I need to sit and rest a bit and then I will get back in there and clean the kitchen.  I tried to clean as I went, as much as possible, but there is some cleaning up to do.  I did do as much of the prep work as possible sitting at my bar.  That saved my legs and back.  I think it is safe to say that my energy is improving.  If I sit down and read or something, I get sleepy.  But if I get up when I am feeling that way, I have more energy to do the things I need to do.  I am so glad.
 
I still have no idea how long I am going to go with this fast.  My thought today is I will go 31 days.  However, as I go along, I may decide it is time to stop sooner, or as I get closer, I may decide there is more work to get done.  I do believe there is more work to be done at this point.
 
Nausea today was better.  The smell of food cooking did not bother me.  I'm glad to know I can do some cooking even when fasting so I can prepare things ahead of time.  There will be more cooking to do next weekend to get fully prepared and plenty of meals in the freezer.
 
When I was at White Rock Lake I saw all these people walking, jogging, kayaking, riding bikes, roller skating, etc., and I wanted to be one of those people.  The old dreams of wanting to be a more active person are starting to rise up in me again.  That is why breaking this fast the right way is so important.  I need to go with the momentum and not backtrack (more than is natural -- I will gain some weight when I start eating again).  I hope the weight gain can be held to 10 pounds.  That is going to be my goal, but I am not sure if that is unrealistic.
 
I also want to add things back methodically when I start eating again so I can recognize anything that brings on unwanted symptoms.  I have wondered if dairy might be something I have to give up, or at least the lower fat versions of dairy.  I know grains are a problem for me, so I plan to leave those in the past, although I do plan to eat limited amounts of rice.  I only recently realized that the Wheat Belly doctor says that is okay.  Anyway, I need to add things back one at a time and pay attention to whether that causes headaches or any unwanted symptoms.
 
I'm going to wrap it up for today.  I want to rest a little more and get some more things on my list done.  (It's amazing how much that motivates me.)
 
By end of day, 19 days down, 481 to go!

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 heal 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 at 10:00 to look at that home I found last night.  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!