Tuesday, July 28, 2015

More Good Results...

This morning, I had my appointment with the endo.  I was nervous, but more on the calm side.  I was eager to find out if I had improved my A1C.  Also, I had to fast, so I drank a load of water.  That was not squelching the hunger, but I persevered.

My appointment was at 11:20 AM and I got to the office before my appointment.  Filled out the regular paperwork - basically, has anything changed medically/physically since the last time I was there for my 3 month visit.

I got my finger pricked for blood testing.  Before I went to see the doctor, the nurse told me that my blood sugar A1C had dropped.  Last time I was in to see the endo, my A1C was 8.8, which is high.  Even worse, when I saw the new PCP, the A1C was 9.2.  Yesterday, it was down to 7.8.  My blood sugar measurement was 125, which is fine.  Still high, but a sight better than 350.

My endo was happy with these results, but concerned for my morning numbers, which are higher than he would like.  That only means that I have to shave off some units of Lantus that I take in the morning and inject 5-10 units before going to bed.

Well, crud.  I was hoping to get away from the medications before bed business.  I will try it and see if that works for me.  Right now, I have lost weight - 3 to 4 lbs - getting closer to breaking back into the 200 range and get out of the 300 range.  I would love that.  I just need to remind myself that I need to take this day to day.  While long range goals are great, but I have to keep in sight what needs to happen on the day to day.

Continue healthy, controlled eating and drinking lots of water!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Nearing the End of This Year's Tour de France...

Every morning this July, I have sat at my desk and while working, I would watch the live coverage of the Tour de France.  Talk about some awesome performance by the athletes.  I was sad when Tejay Vangardener had to abandon the race due to upper respiratory issues.  He was doing so well in the race.  He was in second place for the yellow jersey and I am sure he was just gutted.

I watched Chris Froome win the 2013 race and he is doing quite well this year.  Last year, I saw him wipe out and that was it for him in that race.  So, it is great to see him back and racing as he did.

Tomorrow will be the final race - the race to Champs-Elysees.  In 2013, the cyclists rode from Versailles Palace to Champs-Elysees and it was so beautiful.  Well, to be honest, being a viewer, I love seeing the scenery - it is so beautiful.

I was disappointed that some race fans were making rude gestures and such.  That really takes away from the race.  It is just sad.

However, at this point, it would seem that Chris Froome will win the race this year and good for him.  He is a strong cyclist.  What I did love was how everyone talked about depending on their team members.  Great to see such team work.

The month of July has just flow by and that is due to watching the Tour for me.

Finally - Seeing Results...

Every Saturday morning is "Weigh - In" day for me.  Today, I got the encouragement I needed.  I lost 3 lbs!  Yay!

I did not expect much, but this was important.  I had been trying for the past 3 weeks and doing nothing but gaining weight.  Now, I have a few pounds off and that helps me feel that I am doing something right.

I have been trying to drink lots and lots of water.  Occasionally, I will drink unsweet tea or a diet soda. I have one more week of getting to eat healthy meals, then the following week, I am back to drinking the shakes for breakfast and lunch.  It is really not so bad when I am busy. 

Next step - figuring out how to get exercise in and/or getting back & leg pain relief.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Reflecting on Purging...

Back in 2000, when my grandmother passed away, I remember going to her house and people taking stuff out of her home.  Inside, the place was in such disarray.  I saw the little Christmas bell my band sold my freshman year for our trip to Carlsbad.  I wish I had taken it, but I did not feel I could.  It was given to my grandmother.  Everyone was grabbing things to take home and it made me feel so sad.

Today, I understand my mother's feelings towards all of that.  I am going through something similar now with purging my parents' home.  Granted, my father is there, but it is really disconcerting to realize what you are so used to seeing is gone.  This was my home since I was 4 years old.  True, the insides of that home changed, but for the most part, from 1978, the livng room and kitchen configuration was always the same.  It was comforting.

Now, it is empty and sad.

I fight with the feeling that I cannot save everything.  Honestly, it is not possible.  I do not have a house for the most part.  However, even if I did, not everything would still fit into a new house. 

I had removed most of my stuff from my parents house back in 2007.  So, the room had a lot of my mom's stuff stashed there.  So, I have to go through all of these photo boxes to find what needs to be saved or tossed.  So many Christmas, Mother's Day, Thank You, Valentine's Day, and so forth cards.  Then, there are the various pictures.  All of it is heart-wrenching.  I have such a difficult time going through all of it and my father just does not get it.  It is just unfortunate that I am a very extremely sensitive person.  Sometimes, I wish I was not.

I feel that when you are purging your own stuff, then that can be a "cleansing" feeling.  You are ridding yourself of those items that produce chaos in your life.  However, trying to purge the items from a close loved one, it is a bit more difficult.  Maybe, I just have not gotten over my grief.  I hate to say that - most people would have moved on from this point.  Again, my heart just has so many issues with that.  There is always my mom in the back of my mind, wanting to give me something to help.  I wish she was there with me to say "Oh, just toss that - I am not sure why I even kept that!"  That would be nice, but so not possible.

This is just a difficult process to go through, but it is unavoidable.

First Two Weeks Are Done...

The first two weeks of the shake diet has completed its course.  Now, I am on two weeks of eating healthy, regular meals.  Over the course of time, I noticed that I was beginning to start feeling full earlier than usual.  This is actually a good thing for me because that synapse between my stomach and brain may be working - the one that tells you that you have had enough food.

I try to drink a lot of water before my meals.  I think that has a lot  to do with the "fullness" I am feeling.  Still, I do not mind.  It is a huge help to feel full or "OMG - do not eat another bite or I will blow" feeling.

My endo had told me that during the two shake weeks, I won't see much activity on the weight loss front.  It is when I start eating regular meals, then the body no longer feels starved, so the body is no longer storing what is in your system currently.  Here is hoping that I lose something because I gained 1.4 lbs during those two weeks.  Although, I think my body is changing in different areas.  However, I need to get a tape measure out and measure my arms, stomach, thighs and such.  There, I might see some change.

I am still searching for ways to get rid of the tight, soreness I get every day.  It is so annoying to try to walk the dogs in the morning and you can barely move.  I just have to be more active and that is all I can do.

I have to keep positive thoughts on this.  I have to realize that this is going to be a long haul to get into better shape.  Nothing really good or long lasting happens overnight.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Stressful Times...

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  I understand that saying.  I had the best of intentions this week to make it to the gym to try riding one of the stationary bikes.  I ended up getting wrapped up in work issues.

It bothers me that these things happen.  I know Murphy's Law and this is just another instance of it.  If it is going to happen, it will.  I just dislike how various people treat me.  Maybe they do not mean it, but sometimes, they act like I have nothing else better to do than those things for them.  Problem is - I am inundated with stuff from everyone.

Sometimes, it gets so stressful, I have to step away and clear my mind.  However, heaven forbid that you step away for too long because I am not taking their issue seriously.

I really wish that I had the Baskin Robbins old ticket system.  Take a ticket and wait in the queue.  I will get to you and address your issues.  Unfortunately, that does not work.

I  have been trying to make a huge effort to eat properly and drink as much water as possible.  I made the huge mistake of not going to the grocery store last weekend.  Now, I am down to the bare minimum stuff.  That is good in one way, but bad in that nothing really good is available to eat.  Fruit and veggies are turning bad and that is not good, either.

Another stressful weekend ahead of me as well.  Clearing out the house is hard.  I cannot be there every day.  When I am there, going through all of the boxes of items my mother had is tough.  These were items that were dear to her.  It makes me so sad that she is no longer with me.

I am praying to get through all of this soon, then I can refocus on my own home and address my own issues.  Seems like I am always stopping and having to deal with other matters on other people's time tables.  My hope is that once this is all done, I can take some time off from work, board the dogs, then concentrate on de-cluttering my own home.  The chaos at home is messing with my own mind.

Hoping to stay sane for the next few weeks...

Saturday, July 11, 2015

What is Wrong with Me?

After my first week of drinking shakes for breakfast and lunch, eating lots of fruit and protein for snacks, then trying to have a reasonable dinner, I gained 1.2 lbs.  Now, I weigh 307.2.  My initial weigh-in was 306.

Now, to be truthful, that initial weigh-in was two weeks ago.  I could have gained a couple of more pounds before this week.  Also, I have been drinking tons and tons of water.  I tend to be a sponge and absorb fluid right before that monthly ordeal.  So, checking the calendar, it appears to be close to that time.

I can tell a change.  My morning blood sugar is in the upper 100s rather than the mid 200s.  That is a good thing.  I was just hoping to find that I had lost something, other than my mind.

During the day, my blood sugar remains in the lower 100s, which is good.  However, I get the shakes and such from time to time simply because I am not used to the low blood sugar.  That is fine - I will adjust.

The one thing I cannot seem to really get into the groove is walking.  It is so painful to stand and move at times.  I need to go back to the doctor and get this sorted out.  At least, give me something to get over this.  I really appreciate days where I can easily walk the dogs and have no pain.  Believe me - I say a "thank you" prayer to God each time.

However, while watching the Tour de France this week, I found myself thinking about riding a bike.  It was something I really liked when I was younger.  I caught myself looking at buying a bike, but the cost is a huge deterrent.  My friends, who are huge bike enthusiasts, gave me great suggestions on having it sized, so that, yes, you spend an awful lot on the bike, but it will last.

Through that, I figured what I really needed to do is hit the gym.  No personal trainer, but hit the gym and ride the bikes there.  Okay, so what if I am only on there for 10 to 15 minutes?  It is something and something I can build.  I have to start somewhere.

So, yes, I admit, I am discouraged.  However, when I started this metabolism kick start, my goal is to eat healthy and I am working towards that.  I am trying to make better choices and realize what I should be eating.  It is okay to splurge from time to time - I had shrimp nachos last night, but could not finish them - but do not make it every day.  I won't be having shrimp nachos any time soon again, for example.

Today, I head back to my parents house to sort out what needs to be trashed and kept.  At some point, I will need to locate a storage unit.  This sort of thing is stressful, but when I come home, it will be tuna sandwiches for dinner.  Homemade, so I know exactly what is in them and I eat better.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tour de France - Stage 2

I won't be reporting on every stage of the Tour, but watching the group ride today has been exciting as well as concerning.  The current stage route is from Utrecht to Zelande in the Netherlands.  From the shots taken by the helicopters, the country is really beautiful.

Today, there have been a several crashes.  The weather has not been the best in that it has been raining on the route.  I hate to see the cyclists crash because sometimes it can be really dangerous.  I think the roundabouts have been the most trouble.  Trying to crowd so many cyclists, there is bound to be an issue or two.

For me, I have been cheering on Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish, and American Tejay Vangarden.  I remember watching Tejay being behind in the 2013 Tour and glad to see him near the front of this sprint to the finishing line.

Later tonight, I will watch the women's soccer game - USA vs Japan.  Hope that USA wins.  That will make a lot of people very happy.

Relief for Cramping Foot, Shin, or Calves...

I cannot speak for many women, but it is a monthly thing with me.  Sometimes before I start that monthly business, I get these severe foot cramps.  They hurt like hell, too.  Most of the time, the crap starts at the top of my foot and goes up into my shin.  You know the poop has hit the fan when the crap starts in the right foot/leg, subsides, then starts in the left foot/leg.  Generally speaking, the muscle cramps continue for about 20 minutes and longer if the switch takes place.

During my last blood work, I noticed my BUN levels were quite high - 42, in fact.  I asked my doctor about that, but she never replied.  So, I did some research and found that it could be that I am dehydrated.  

I have been working on drinking more water.  However, the fact of the matter is that I may be missing many nutrients in the process, such as potassium, magnesium, and electrolytes.  I had bought some Crazy Water and other water products claiming to provide necessary nutrients and electrolytes.  Those bottles of water are pretty expensive.

A few Saturdays ago, I was walking the dogs and listening to the "Train Station" show on the Ticket.  The host mentioned using a product called "Nuun" to gain back necessary electrolytes and nutrients.  Basically, eschewing the Gatorade and other sports drinks as they are so sugary.  Plain water does not contain the electrolytes you need, so this tablet would supply that.

A few days later, I noticed a friend on FB mentioned using it.  I asked her about it and she had very positive things to say about the product.  In the conversation thread, another friend of hers chimed in with positive things to say about Nuun.

Yesterday, I picked up some Nuun from Kroger.  I got the lemon-lime and triple berry flavors.  Nuun is about $2.00 per package and each package contains 4 tablets.  Since there are so few tablets, I plan on drinking water with one tablet every other day.  I want to see if that helps to relieve the muscle cramps.

I know many people suggest pickle juice and what have you.  I took potassium and magnesium vitamins, but every month, still dealing with the foot/leg cramps.  It is just annoying, especially if you are already having sleeping issues.

So, here is to giving this a try...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

That Time of The Year - Tour de France!

With all of the 4th of July excitement, I almost forgot that the Tour de France would start today.  Granted, I have not really kept up with the various cyclists, but a few years ago, I got hooked watching the competition.

This year, the tour starts in Holland and that is exciting.  The competition always ends with the riders cycling to Paris and towards the Eiffel Tower.  There are several competitions within the main competition.  I had an understanding about the various shirts when I started watching, but I will need to refresh myself.

I have always wanted to visit France.  Tour de France gives you these beautiful views of the various areas of France.  Not only is the race exciting, but the programming always shows such amazing sights.  

I know that, for many cycling enthusiasts, Lance Armstrong and others have ruined their enjoyment of the competition with the drugging.  I am looking past that and simply watch in awe with how graceful and quick these riders are on their bikes.  Sometimes, I actually think about getting a bike and trying to ride it around for exercise.  It is something I may put thought into doing depending on how well I get myself back on track.  It should be a reward for getting into better habits and weight loss.  Getting a bike right now is not feasible financially.

Another reason I really like the Tour is because I am such a huge Kraftwerk fan.  In 1983-84, the band had a single out called "Tour de France" and I fell in love with it and the video.  In 2003, the band released an album with the 80's version of the song along with other versions and new music dedicated to the competition.  Furthermore, the song was featured for that year's competition.

So, before I head out for my grocery shopping tasks, I will sit down, enjoy my breakfast, and watch this first stage of the Tour de France.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Should I or Shouldn't I?

Last night, I woke up from sleep with something on my mind.  I had remembered about losing a friendship on Facebook back in December over something pretty stupid.  

Unfortunately, I was born with very sensitive feelings.  It really sucks because there are times I wish various actions, events, or things did not upset me so easily.  That is not the case.

Not that I want this person's friendship, but part of me wants to thank that person for being there during some rough times after my mother's passing.  Sort of - "Look, I know we disagree greatly on a particular issue that we are no longer friends.  However, I want you to know I still think highly of you.  I appreciate your kind friendship during some rough times in my life and for that, I will always be grateful.  I wish you well and maybe over time, our paths will cross again."

Not sure if I should do this or not.  If I did it, it would only be for closure.  sort of like when I finally figured out why a couple of friends from back in the '90's no longer wanted to be my friend.  Once I discovered why from the wife, I simply said I wished that they would have talked to me about it, rather than my finding out in a public forum.  I was highly embarrassed at the time.  After that, I just closed the book - I never searched for them again.  It was done and I moved on with life.  I cherished their friendship while I had it, but now, we had our separate ways.

I still have this person's phone number in my phone.  That is the only reason why I even consider that.

I do not know...


Getting the Right Frame of Mind for a New Experience?

Past several days, I have noticed that when I finish a meal, I feel so bloated that I could explode.  The other night, dinner with Random Cathy, I would have normally finished off the reuben sandwich I ordered.  I only managed to eat half of the sandwich and all of the fries.  (Okay - I probably should have selected something other than fries to eat, but this was a "pub"!)  I noticed that when I have great conversation, I eat slower and fill up faster.

As I have gleaned over Facebook, I see the postings about clean eating.  I have a doctor's appointment at the end of this month.  Needless to say, I have done a lousy job on my eating and exercise habits.  The exercise piece is not getting done because I have so much back pain.  I hope to sort that out soon, but in the meantime, I will try to work on walking more.  My job requires that I sit at my desk for most of the day.  I think I will try standing or walking in place while sitting on conference calls.  I am multitasking, but making sure I pay attention to the call.  For me, that is most important - making sure I pay attention to what is being said.  However, just sitting there is not helping me health wise.

Last night, I joined the "Biggest Loser" challenge on MyFitnessPal.  Honestly, I am not competitive.  The only thing to gain here for me is to lose weight and possibly get some new ideas and concepts.  I do not care about winning because if I only lost 1 lb, then I won.

Let's be honest.  "Dieting" does not work.  It is only temporary and you are spending your time starving yourself.  End game, you may lose the weight, but you will return back to your previous eating habits.  Making the lifestyle change, that will stick, but you have to have the right frame of mind.

For example, fried chicken has always been a favorite food of mine.  I love it with mashed potatoes, fried okra, cole slaw, green beans, and/or corn (not all veggies at one time).  However, over time, I have gotten to the point where fried chicken does not taste very good to me.  I prefer either grilled, roasted, or baked chicken, which is better for me.  Every once in awhile, I will break down and have fried chicken.  Once I do, I am reminded why I do not like it.

Actually, to be honest, most fried foods leave me feeling like I have this huge weight at the bottom of my stomach.  Not a nice feeling to have, so I turn to grilled, broiled, or baked foods.

My biggest foe is bread.  I love freshly baked bread.  It is one of the foods that I can hardly resist.  That is no joke.  I am getting better about bread.  I will buy multi-grain bread for sandwiches and such that is low in calories and high in fiber.  If I order take-out, I ask that the bread not be included - if it is not there, I do not eat it.  Last, if I get the bread, I have two carb hounds that love it, so the dogs usually end up eating most rolls and breads.  I know it is bad for them, so I try to limit it.  However, they REALLY love bread.

So, starting on Sunday, I will work harder on eating more "clean" foods as well as re-evaluate my portion size.  Also, curtail the sodas to maybe one a day, if one every couple of days.  Luckily, I am prone to pick up diet sodas than sugar filled sodas, but I really need to drink more water and tea.

Seems that now is the time to start making healthier habits and work on sticking to them.  Now, that does not mean killing everything altogether.  It means eating less breads, cookies, candy, pies, cakes, and so forth.  Save those for special occasions. 

Going to make these changes stick!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Enjoying Time With Friends...

Last night, Random Cathy took me out for dinner for my birthday.  I love getting to hand out with Random Cathy because it is always a new experience and have fun every time.  I thought going to Trinity Hall Pub was a lot of fun and getting to walk around the Mockingbird area was interesting.  I had been in that area a couple of times - one to visit Virgin Records when record stores were still a big deal and the second visit to eat at Rockfish with a co-worker.

Earlier this year, when I was evaluating my finances and such, I made the decision to try new experiences.  Basically, try new restaurants and such, do Painting With a Twist, and other local experiences.  That way, one did not have to travel too far to experience something and it would cut down on the money spent.

So far, I have had the opportunity to experience some really fun activities.  That part is very cool and highly recommend doing that.  Also, it has helped me rediscover Dallas/Fort Worth in a new light.  I think everyone should try this.  

Thanks again to Random Cathy for the great evening and the always enjoyable and fun company!