Sunday, May 25, 2014

Plans Gone Awry...

I have been waiting for this weekend for a couple of weeks.  I had so many plans - stay home and clean, clean, and throw out junk and such.  Saturday was a complete bust.  Chloe would not leave me alone for even 30 seconds.  Out of frustration, I gave up and sat down on the sofa with her and she literally was not happy until she was almost on top of my head.

This is behavior that I normally see from her if there is bad weather or she is not feeling well.  I ended up taking her to the vet.  $435 later - she has high blood pressure and needs to get it lowered.  The rest of the day was spent either laying in bed or sitting on the sofa with Chloe right on top of me.  Some part of her body had to be right next to me.

I have to take a step back and look at how I am handling my budgeting.  I over pay my bills, then end up using the credit cards to pay for items.  That is turning into a vicious circle.  I do stand by paying for a meal in cash.  It is a rarity for me to use my credit card to pay for a meal.  However, I need to start creating a bit more "cush" in my budget.

That also means, nice things like cushions for the balcony furniture is going to have to wait a bit.  Also, I need to replace a floor fan in my bedroom and get another one for on the balcony.  I really want to take time to sit out on the balcony and enjoy the outside for a change.  I know the hot summer months are ahead of me, but in the mornings or evenings would be nice for the dogs and I just to sit outside and chill.  

The other day, I was on and looking for a new quilt.  Bo was coming out from under my chair for a head scratch and that reminded me that there was no point in that.  He has a tendency to rip out the stitching on the quilts.  I killed the URL sessions, saying to myself, "No point in wasting money on that!"

This week, my trainer wanted me to put down everything I was eating that way she could see it.  I have been remiss on doing that all of the time because I was going out to eat a lot or eating those items I should not.  I have had my FitBit account for awhile, but there is a credit card attached to it, so I am a bit weary on that.  However, I set up a account and it connects to my FitBit account to pull the exercise and food data over to it.  Now, that was pretty cool!  I have been trying out the MyFitnessPal food diary entry system.  There are some good and bad between the two systems.  If one could combine - that would be very awesome.  However, it does not work like that. 

I am more conscious about what I put in my mouth, though.  Also, when I cook/make the foods I eat, I know exactly what went into the meal and there is no guessing involved.  I use the food scale and measuring cups/spoons a lot.  That helps.

Now, I am not sure if this is still a side effect from that monthly deal all we women experience, but it seems I have gained 5 to 6 lbs.  Next week, we shall see how much weight I drop there.  I am not going to worry about it.  Just deal with it and move along.

To help promote my personal trainer, here is a link to her personal training page on FB.  She is really cool and I have learned a lot of different exercises for building up my core:

LeAnne Hill Personal Trainer 

The most interesting of exercises, and the ones I actually like - don't tell her I said that because they are rather tricky with the balancing, are those using the bosu ball.  I kid you not!  Being an overweight woman, yes, I admit that it unnerves me to stand on that for fear that it will bust.  The ball never has.  It is all about increasing your ability to balance, which I find really cool.  I do enjoy working out with the weights.  

The part I never thought I would ever be able to do, ever again, was push ups.  I have done push ups, planks, and a type of push up where I ended up in a downward dog position.  Each one I have felt in my abdomen muscles and knew that that area was being worked.  It was a great feeling, even though I wanted to beat myself for getting so heavy.  LeAnne is a very positive person and tells me that by using my body weight, it will get easier as I lose it.  Right now, just means I have that much to deal with, but I will get stronger and it will get easier.

I need to get back to that "happy" place I was in when I was losing weight.  Perhaps that this reboot will help get back to that point.

God's Message to Me Today:

when you notice the beauty and the goodness in the world, then the evils and catastrophes, the greed and the wars will not be as overwhelming.

old fast to your faith. Believe in goodness. Believe in God.

Monday, May 19, 2014

When Everything Goes Horribly Wrong...

Technically, the weekend was pretty uneventful.  I did manage to whittle down the laundry mountain and clear the dishes in the sink.  However, a couple of furry beings were not particularly happy with my busy work.  In fact, one got down right vocal about it and refused to keep quiet until I sat on the sofa for about 2 hours.  Some times, someone tries to tell you that they will not be ignored.

Friday night, I had pizza with one of my friends.  I ordered a small and a house salad for myself and wanted to try the Greek bread.  My friend ordered a whole medium pizza.  I shared the Greek bread.  While it was really good, I won't be ordering that again.  Mainly because there was too much dough.  I just wanted to try it - too bad there is not a tasting area for such things.

I ended up taking back half of my pizza and the Greek bread.  My friend wanted me to take her last piece of pizza, but I did not want it.  In the end, I threw out the food because it was really the last thing I needed to be eating.

I ended my passion for making an omelette.  Too difficult to do and too many calories in the long run.  I am good with that.  I will just stick with my scrambled egg beaters, turkey sausage, fruit, and occasionally a little cheese mixed with the egg beaters.

As for my ending my use of Prilosec for the use of Vitamin D, that ended by Saturday.  I lasted about 6 days and enduring horrific pain.  Neither tums or alka-seltzer were able to hold back the really bad indigestion or heart burn.  Once I started taking Prilosec, life was much easier to handle.  I decided not to end taking the Vitamin D - I know I am pretty low on that vitamin, so this can only help me in other ways.

I tried to stay off any aspirin or pain medications.  That ended on Saturday as well.  I had to get two Tylenol Extra Strength to take care of the aching abdomen muscles from the Thursday workout.  I feel much better today.

As of late, I have been thinking a lot about my mother.  While grocery shopping, I thought about how mom would put together what she called "hamburger steak."  She would mix together ground sirloin with onions and an egg, then make patties out of them.  My father would fire up the grill and cook the patties.  When completed, we simply ate the grilled patties as they were with some ketchup and other veggies.  No buns and what have you and I always loved that meal.

I tried to make it using my grill pan.  Total fail!  The meat fell apart and some of it was cooked well done to still being rare.  I was completely disappointed.  I will try again, but it may be some time before I do.  Cleaning that mess is not an easy job.

I managed to get rid of some boxes in my apartment.  Making the decision that it is time to drop getting the Julep monthly box.  Also, realizing that I need to curb the shopping habit considerably - try to empty out the freezer of all foods I put in there to keep from throwing out.  Also, properly emptying out my pantry.

Since spending time with my trainer at YMCA, I decided it was time to see what I have gained.  I noticed a bit more strength when picking up the case of water bottles at the grocery store.  Carrying up groceries is still a pain, but it is getting better.  The ultimate - I actually raised a window in the apartment.  

I had tried and tried over the years to open the windows just to get sunlight and fresh air.  I could never quite sort out the deal with the window and figured I was just too weak or not standing in a good position.  Yesterday, I got the window raised.  Chloe was not fond of it because the weather was rather warm and she was hot.  I had the room fan blowing, but that did not seem good enough.  

As for Bo, he was fascinated with the window.  Normally, the blinds cover the window and he cannot see out.  Now, he could see out the window and hear sounds.  I figure that the more I can do it before the really hot weather hits, the action may actually help Bo quiet down some of the barking.

Time to get this day started.  Did not sleep too well last night and still feeling pretty exhausted from hormone changes.  Actually, I could use a serious break from everything, but it would all still be here, so I have to deal.

Tonight is meatless Monday - got a lot of good veggies to eat.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Where to Next?

When I started down this weight-loss path, I had some unrealistic ideas and thoughts.  Some information hit me like a ton of bricks and seriously brought me to my knees.  Reality is - losing weight is not going to make everything better.  The fact of the matter is that losing weight will help me be healthier and allow me to live longer, but it also poses some other issues.  One of which will be excess skin.  

That thought has crossed my mind several times.  Personally, it is going to have to be one of those things I will need to manage.  My biggest issue is with those weight-loss advertisements where they show before and after - they never show the true "AFTER".  As long as the skin has not stretched out too far, it may retract back to normal.  I already know I am far past that point.  For some of those advertisements, the others were past that point as well.

A friend shared the following link today and it really hit home for me.  Bottom line - you have to love yourself - flaws and all.  Those are the things that really make you, well, YOU.  So what if I have one boob larger than the other?  I have an "innie" and not an "outie".  I lose this weight, I will have flabby skin.  That will be the truth.  However, it will also prove to be my mark on a long, suffering struggle to be healthy.  

Perhaps, I lost my point in losing weight on this journey.  I wanted something so out of my reach and unrealistic.  That was very stupid on my part and I have allowed that to hurt me and my goals.  My goals were not focused on beauty and such - mainly to have fun and enjoy life.  It is time to get back to reality and focus on having fun and enjoying life.  Who cares about flabby skin?  I am going to love me for me.  There is only one of me and no other. 

Weight Loss - AFTER 

Her Blog Site:  Dear Internet

Since I have been in my downward tumble, this week, the exhaustion factor has quadrupled.  I barely could keep my head up at work.  Coming home, I was so exhausted that as soon as I walked the dogs, I would take a 3 to 4 hour nap and still not feel energized.  I was not happy about any of that.

So, I have to get back to what I was doing at the beginning of the year.  I think February and March were my best months.  My blood sugar did not rise tremendously and was never exhausted like I am now.  I suppose that adds more credence to the fact that living clean does keep you fueled.

I have made some amazing progress in the area of building up my core.  Most of the time, I cannot realize it - I just do not see it.  However, being so overweight, I would have never thought I could ever do a push up.  I have done them.  I won't lie - they were not easy and my abdomen lets me know about it whenever I cough or sneeze.  Still, the muscles are there.  I picked up a case of water bottles today with a bit more ease.  I could actually feel that.  That made me feel really good about what I have been doing.

It is all so difficult.  Every choice is fraught with some downside.  Just like voting in any election, you need determine the lesser of the evils.  What can you live with?  That is what I am trying to do now.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Horrible Eating Habits and How I Try to Curb It...

Seems an odd title, eh?  Nutshell, since my visit to the endo, I have been really been eating horribly.  I do not measure as much or even try to see what the calorie counts are.  Break is over - time to buckle down and get back to sensible eating.

Eating out is ALWAYS a headache for me.  Many places are getting better at making their nutritional information available, but not all restaurants.

Recently, I visited a new restaurant called "The Egg and I."  I tried the "Eggs-cellent Omelette" and really enjoyed it.  Laying in my bed, I went to their web site and realized why I enjoyed it so much.  The meal I selected as it was - over 1000 calories.  I was completely knocked over on that.  However, I was fascinated by the nutritional calculator that the web site provided.  I was able to adjust the meal somewhat by changing eggs to egg substitute and removing the english muffin and ranch potatoes with a fruit cup.  I was able to cut the calorie content by half!

I love web sites set up with a nutritional calculator such as these.  It helps me take their basic meal and alter it for my needs.  That way, when I go the restaurant, I know exactly what I want when I get there.  No more guessing games on calorie content or even accepting bad food (unless it is a special occasion).

Sunday, I tried making my own version of this omelette and it turned into just a melted cheese hot mess.  LOL  However,  have some ideas on improving for my needs and being able to fit such new foods into my diet.

Time to get busy and drop this weight.  I have taken a long enough break and I am really able to tell when my stomach cannot handle much more.  That is a good thing.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Little Spring Cleaning...

WARNING:  This blog may contain a huge amount of geekiness.  Just how I roll at times.

As you can see, I have found the font size change - I am just playing around a bit.

Thursday, I decided to allow my inner geek to emerge for a bit.  Business has all of these "buzz" words, so the latest one is "Tech Talk".  I attended such a conference at the Galleria's Westin hotel that morning.  I will say, the road rage animal did appear.  I should know better - driving south on the north toll road is a nightmare and quadrupled by Mother Nature providing rain.

I was a bit late, but luckily, the meeting was not one that I really wanted to attend.  It was regarding a product that VMWare is trying to sell called Horizon 6 - portable desktop.  Nutshell, the product provides users the ability to pull up their work desktops and applications from PCs, Macs, Linux, and iPads. 

For my company, I know they have their money invested in Citrix, but I am not so fond of it.  I liked how this product was presented and its capabilities.  However, it still was not something I was interested in doing.  At the first break, I left and got breakfast/lunch at a restaurant called "The Egg & I".

(I really enjoyed the "Egg-cellent Omelette I had and I have been back again.  Today, I am going to try making an omelette myself.)

When I got home, I started thinking about some of the "spring cleaning" things I need to do.  Not only the stuff around the house, but getting the electronic stuff handled.  My Dell laptop has not been backed up in over 2 years - shame on me!  That had to happen first.

I located the original portable drive I used for doing back ups for this PC.  I cleared it out and started the back up on Friday morning.  The full back up did not complete until yesterday afternoon.  Importantly, I am happy that the PC has been backed up.

My other tech project was reviving my first Toshiba laptop with the recovery CD, getting a virus software installed to protect the machine, then installing some old 32-bit games that I never finished.  Granted, it is an XP system and XP's end of life was April 8th, I really do not care.  I cannot run these games on Windows 7.  I also have some sort of trouble.

The frustrating part has been getting McAfee installed.  For some reason, their systems says that the serial number given to me from the download screen is already in use.  The part that threw me into a huge rage was dealing with customer support.  Rather than listening to my problem and helping me verify the serial number I had written down (never received an email confirming that number as well!), the support guy wanted on my PC to fix it. 

First of all, tech robot has not listened to my problem.  Second, what in the hell is this business of wanting to get on my computer?!  I do not think so!  Third, I really did not appreciate the condescending tone given to me.  At one point, I tried telling him that the software he wanted to use to connect was not working - invalid certificate - three times he asked me if I clicked on "Run".  I did this and same result. 

I finally got fed up and told the guy it was time to end the call.  Heaven forbid!  That was a challenge, so I finally told him - I did not want you on my computer, you won't stop talking to listen to my real question to the problem, and now, you won't listen to know that your customer is furious.  I worked customer support for 8 years and at the time, we did not have any tools to get on a customer's computer.  I had to LISTEN to what the problem was in order to figure out the best way to handle the issue.  I did not immediately take off with trying to get on a customer's computer because I considered the user to be stupid.  I was offended.

I decided to walk away from the issue and get my shopping done.  Yes, I did go buy Norton while I was out because I have been a huge fan of the product and kicking myself for not having bought it in the first place.  After washing my hair, about 15 minutes after the above customer support session, I got a phone call.  It was the tech support's boss wanting to try something else.  I was in no mood and I tried politely to tell him to drop it.  I appreciated that he was trying not to lose a customer, but right how, I was furious regarding the way I was handled and I did not want any further assistance from them.  I was more set up because that call had taken place 15 minutes earlier and the manager tells me the call took place yesterday.  I realize that customer support has been off-shored and the least that the team there could do is really identify what part of the world that they are communicating.

Since that time, I have reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled the software to factory settings yet again.  I am going to go through getting service packs 2 and 3 installed and so forth.  At that point, I might consider installing McAfee one more time, but don't hold your breath.  I realized I did not get the complete security protection when I purchased McAfee.

So, today, I am going to be multi-tasking.  Working on getting the old Toshiba up to speed, cleaning the apartment, fixing a dinner that my mom would have asked for if she was still alive, and spend the evening in honor to my mom.  It is difficult to believe that she has been gone for almost 4.5 years.  This will be the fourth year without her for Mother's Day.  

I miss my mom a lot on days like these.  Some days, I wish I could have one more day to talk to her.  Let her know I am okay, how much I miss her, and ask her about those things that have been bugging me.  I also want to apologize to her for not listening to her regarding a few issues.  She was right and I have been paying for that.

God's Message to Me Today:
you've been skipping out on God's most important gift to man - love.

Love is the blood of the soul. God wants all beings to have healthy and strong souls, so God created a simple law to nourish the soul: the more you give love, the more you receive love. Remember all the beings you love - people, animals - that you haven't thought of lately. Do not wait anymore, reconnect with them today and express your love.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Leaving People on the Doorstep...

For the past few days, the following thoughts have crossed my mind:

  • Ditch those people who drain you of your energy
  • Leave toxic relationships
  • Do not chase people who leave your lives
  • People come and go
I thought long and hard about these things.  So often, I hear about true friends are the ones that are with you through the good and the bad.  So, are we trying to say that you can leave when things get rough?

I guess it reminds me of when a co-worker's daughter had an issue with a group of friends who basically taunted her that they did not want to be her friend anymore.  Reason?  There was no reason.  I agreed with my co-worker that those friends who were truly his daughter's friend would apologize...and they did.

At the same time, we do not want to get caught up in other people's drama.  I have learned to leave out the bad things in conversation, unless it has a funny ending, which everyone needs a good laugh, even if it is at my own expense.  However, others should not be expected to shoulder all of the drama in another person's life.

I figure, I have too much male hormones in my system.  When I listen, sometimes, I want to solve the problem and I need to just sit there and listen.  I am getting better about it.  I will feel badly about the other person, but I have to leave all of that on the table - it is not my responsibility.

I do have a friend where her manners scare me to no end in public.  She has other issues going on in her life and she has no qualms talking to me in a raised voice and using a lot of condescending tone.  It really does not motivate me to want to ask to go out to dinner with her.  I feel bad about it, but at the same time, good grief.

I have limited my contact with her, but at the same time, I feel bad.  It is not what a true friend should do - or is it?  How do you tell someone that you do not like their attitude without getting any sort of blow back.  Honestly, you don't.

In the Health Department...

I saw the endo yesterday.  Blood sugar was 114 and weight was 280 - a 2 lb loss from 3/27 according to their records.  Next, the blood pressure was 160/90.  When I got home, my blood pressure was much lower.  One of those things here - situations with the new position at  work and dealing with both dogs being ill is probably stressing me out or the nurse did not properly take my blood pressure.  Same nurse that scared me that my left eye was going blind - it is not.  So, I am writing that episode off - I have had enough to worry about over the past few weeks. 

God's Message to Me Today - (I will try this later today)

sometimes it helps to go to the sacred places of this Earth.

There is a lot of peace and energy there to fill you up and restore you. Go there in person, or if you cannot, in your imagination. When you get there, miracles do happen.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Incorporating Small Changes...

Truth:  I have seriously slacked off from reaching my 10,000 step goal.

Theory:  Procrastination - telling myself "Yeah, you can do this later tonight."  Later tonight bounces around and guess what, I am too tired or the dogs are on the demanding side for attention.

Time to suck it up and look for another way to get the steps done.  I thought about this:

Goal:  10,000 steps per day
Hours in a day for anyone:  16

I came up with this idea:  If I can get 1000 steps in per hour, I should be able to more easily reach my goal.  So, take more 15-20 minute breaks and "walk" or "walk in place". 

I am really bad about sitting at my desk for hours on end and never getting up because I keep telling myself - "I will step away after I finish this up."  That has to stop.  Locate a stopping point and just get up and move.  The reason why this is so important is not just to get the steps for my goal, but if I sit for too long, it hurts so much on my muscles and bones.  When I am more active, there is no pain.

Also, I can slowly incorporate this into my daily routine.  I can still do 30 minutes of continuous exercise, but this plan will help me be more active through out the day.

Anyone interested in what Week One's Work Out is for the 28-Day Challenge, check this out:

I told my trainer about the "Bird Dog Push-Up".  She said that was a bit more difficult than I was ready to do.  I do Bird Dogs because it is helping with my balance.  It was a real eye-opener on how unbalanced I was and still am.  I do not guess many of us really see that.

So, here goes - trying to prove my theory will work - putting the idea into motion!

God's Message to Me Today:

you have to pass through a dark night of the soul.

Everyone does, including you. A time comes when what you have always believed is true melts away underneath you. When you cast in doubt even the most obvious, the most simple. When it seems that dark night is all around, and you are all alone. Take heart, this journey through abyss is the final barrier before your emergence into the heavenly light of a new synthesis of your being. God is waiting for you on the other side.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Nothing Wrong With Being a Turtle...

When I read about the Prevention Magazine's 28 Day Challenge, several really good points were made in how to handle everything during this challenge.  The more I thought about it, it was very good advice to apply to our own lives:
  • No nasty, negative self-talk, whether you skipped a meal, splurged, or anything
  • Embrace the turtle - it takes time to change.  This statement said a lot to me
"Remember: The only time you can quickly change someone is when they're in diapers. For the  rest of us, change takes time. So let's embrace turtle power and take it slow." -- Kris Carr
  • It is okay to goof off
  • Find that right balance between work and play
  • Learn to listen to your body
The negative self-talk will be the most difficult for me to control.  I have a horrible habit of beating myself up when I screw up - for instance, eating all of the wrong foods for a day or not writing down everything that goes in my mouth.  It is okay NOT to be perfect - it is impossible.  If I were perfect, I would pretty much be a robot.

I get so caught up in wanting to drop the weight quickly that I tend to forget how damaging that can be.  I have to keep reminding myself - you did not get to your current weight overnight and your system could not handle such a drastic change.  Take it slow.  So what if you did not get to Six Flags in May?  First, it will still be there.  Second, you will enjoy the visit that much longer.

Thursday night and last night, I went out for meals.  Thursday night, I was too exhausted after dealing with Bo's physical antics to muster putting anything together for dinner.  I started to crave fried chicken, so I went to Golden Chicken.  The food just did not taste right to me and it made me feel ill.  I actually see this as a bonus - the fact that the food tasted awful reminds me how fast food really is.  Also, the fact that I felt ill reminded me that I am no longer used to truly bad foods.  So, I have NO desire for any fried chicken for quite awhile.

Yesterday, I met friends for lunch at a hole in the wall place called Chitos.  The chips were a bit too salty for me, so I did not eat as much.  I did eat the enchiladas, but not as much rice.  By the time I got home, I was pretty full, but again, I did not feel well.  I felt pretty run down and sluggish.  Another sign of eating poorly.

So, a friend wanted me to go out to eat with her for dinner.  Now, here is where I think I did fairly well.  One thing to remember - I am constantly drinking water, so that is a definite good habit I have gained.  Rather than getting some red meat, I chose the bone-in grilled chicken and rather than garlic mashed potatoes, I asked for a salad.  I did keep the sweet creamed corn because I still need to keep a bit of starch/carb in my diet.  The chicken tasted delicious as did all of the other foods and I walked away not feeling so ill that I needed to lie down when I got home.  Bonus, the waiter gave me a huge 32 oz cup of ice water to go.

So, I have to say, since January, I have noticed when I eat poorly, I get really sick.  When I eat fairly healthy foods, I feel energized and can get through the day.

Today is weekly weigh-in day - 281.1 lbs.  According to FitBit, I have lost 1.3 lbs since last week.  I will take it!  :-)  My BMI showed I had a 0.3% decrease, so that is a bonus.

Last night, Random Cathy texted me that she was reaching 8000 steps.  I was really happy for her.  I got close last night to the same number, but was really tired and fell asleep.  I am going to make the commitment to make sure I get in 30 minutes of walking a day.  It was working when I was dropping the weight a few months ago and I am sure it will work again.  Also, that will help me attain my goal of 10,000 steps a day a lot easier.  :-)

God's Message to Me Today:

 you don't have to be serious to be spiritual.
Laughter is good! Levity is good! When you allow yourself to be joyful, that joy radiates to all those around you. God honors you and your laughter.