Changes

Well, it has been over a week since I last blogged. Remember how I wasn’t feeling well? I had a horrible stomach virus. I ended up in the hospital with it. They gave me a medication for pain, that pretty well left me drooling in the corner and a medication of nausea, which I am going to go with “didn’t work”, since I also had to get one of their pretty, green puke bags. I had not thrown up since 2006. It was also the first time since heart surgery. I didn’t think my sternum would still hurt. I was wrong.

However, last Monday, thanks to Mr. Tummy Virus, I had lost 3.4 pounds. Hey, if I have to be sick, at least I can look on the bright side. Last week, I was still recovering. No energy, very weak, not much of an appetite. I also didn’t exercise. Every time I stood up, I would feel nauseated and dizzy. I am sure Jillian probably would not be very understanding. I can just hear her yelling at me, telling me not to be such a wuss. That is why you will NOT find me on “The Biggest Loser.” However, I got on the scale this morning and lost 2.4 pounds last week, for a grand total of 28.0 pounds lost in the past 65 days. My goal is 30 by May, and I am thinking I am going to make it.

This week is a little different. I am not expecting to lose anything. Mickey’s sons, Jimminy and Panic, are here visiting and I have been cooking for them. Last night, I made Irish Soda Bread and a Guiness Reduction Dipping Sauce, Shepherd’s Pie, and Bread and Butter pudding, all from Downtown Disney’s Raglan Road Irish Restaurant. Can you say amazing? Can you also say bad, bad, bad? But again, it is life and I am going to enjoy this week. Tonight is homemade chicken and dumplin’s, tomorrow night we are eating at Mickey’s parents, and Wednesday, we leave for a 3-day vacation in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. One of my all-time favorite restaurants is there and it is an incredible all-you-can-eat buffet and I intend to eat all I can. I will get back on track next week. I am still refraining from soda’s, still tracking all my food, and thus far, I haven’t gone over my allotted 1360 calories, which since my last loss, turned into 1300 calories. I know I will Wednesday-Friday, though.

I entitled this post “Changes,” because I am going through a lot of changes, recently. Yeah, I am going through THE change, but I’m not talking about that at this time. I made the decision to go back to school. Specifically, back to UGA where I left after my sophomore year. I spent the majority of last week emailing and writing people in the Registrar’s office, the Admission’s office, Financial Aid, and the Adviser’s Office. All I am waiting on now is to find out if I received enough Financial Aid to be able to afford to go back to UGA. If I have, school will start for me on my 47th Birthday.

I plan to receive a degree in Dietetics. I have learned so much as I have been on my weight loss journey. I have watched my health slowly improve by adding exercise. I am having to take a little less medication. I want to become a Registered Dietician and treat people like myself. I feel I can approach them from a position of empathy and understanding and tell them, ” I have been there. I know what you are going through.” I really feel as if I would be good at this career path. I am hoping I can earn a degree and get a job and by that time be down to half my original starting weight. I am hoping the exercise is making my heart stronger. I hope my blood pressure will regulate and stay down. I want to be able to tell Social Security, “I am no longer disabled. I can work. I am productive. I am a person, NOT a statistic.” I also hope I can manage to use the school restrooms or there are going to be some long days ahead.

There will be challenges to going back to school at my age. The biggest being my major course of study requires LOTS of science. Lots. As in 8 different science classes, BEFORE I even hit my Food Science classes. Did I mention that the last time I took a science class, it was 1985? The second challenge is going to be my age. I am going to walk into class and be mistaken for the professor. Mickey said I should have fun with it. Introduce myself, tell them I AM the professor, then tell them the class will be meeting in a completely different room.

Alice insists I probably won’t make many friends. That’s ok, though, you know? I have had some friend issues here in my real life, some I know the reason for, some I don’t. It’s still ok. Like Alice says, soon I will be very busy and between my studies, and Alice and Mickey, and my home life as a wife and mother, as well as spending time with Mickey’s parents and my Aunt and Uncle, I won’t even notice that I am not in touch with some of my friends. Some, like Miss Jenni, I will always have time for. I couldn’t do this whole thing without Jenni, sister Judy, Alice and Mickey. And of course, all of you who support me, here.

Disclaimer: I have received nothing from Ragland Road, Jillian Michaels or UGA for mentioning them in this post. However, if UGA wants to throw some financial aid my way, I am certainly not opposed.

 

 

Cold As Ice

I really wish Spring would arrive and stick around for awhile. Sunday, the temperature was a wonderful 73 degrees. Today, the high was projected at 45, but if it ever got there, it didn’t stay long. Every time I have looked at my phone, it has been in the 30-36 range, with colder temps due to the wind chill factor. It isn’t that I HATE the colder weather, in fact, it used to be my favorite time of year. Ever since heart surgery, cold weather hurts my sternum, where it was cut, my ankle, where the vein was taken, and well my knees and hips because I am getting older and because my poor joints have had to support my heavy frame for all these years.

Today was really bad. My hips and knees have hurt way down deep in the bone. Yesterday, I was in pain for another reason. One I haven’t even figured out just yet. Yesterday, I hurt like I did when I was having a gall bladder attack. Only, I no longer have a gall bladder. The pain happens every now and then for different reasons. It is intermittent and no one thing seems to set it off. It feel like a huge lead ball is located in the middle of my chest just below my sternum. It presses through to my spine and presses down on my ribs, making it hard to draw a breath. If anyone has any idea what this could be and how to avoid it, please let me know. Jenni has suggested a hiatal hernia. (Just for the record, if it is one, I think I will name it. Spell-check keeps wanting to change the name of hiatal to Latisha, which is kind of funny because that is one of my sons who I haven’t named, ex-girlfriends. it is almost apropos to name something that causes me such pain Latisha.)

Since I hurt yesterday and today, I let Jillian down. Yesterday, I rode my bike for 30 minutes. I was so tender and sore in my chest, I was afraid to bounce around a lot. Today, everything has ached so much, I have spent the day cuddled up in my recliner with my blanket. It’s ok, though. Jillian isn’t going anywhere and hopefully, tomorrow, I will be right as rain.

So, Sunday, I went to my friend Belle’s house for her annual Oscar Party. Every year, she has a party where she makes ballots and we all vote on who we think is going to win. We get one point for each of these we get correct. The winner gets a special prize. For those of you who don’t know me, I love movies. All types of movies. Every year, I make it my mission to watch every movie nominated for an award. I also watch each one that someone is nominated for in the Best and Supporting categories, as well as the documentaries, short and long and the short and long animations and the short films. Yeah, I guess I am a movie nerd. Anyway, I won by getting the most correct. I only missed three total– Best Make-Up, Best Live Short and Best Animated Short. I got the Swag Bag, which consisted of champagne, chocolates and strawberries. The chocolates will go in Alice’s lunch, the strawberries will be eaten and I am saving the champagne for my mini vacation with Mickey.

Anyway, the party was great. I ate some yummy food, and even though I had saved my calories, I still went over by ALMOST TWO THOUSAND. I liked to have died. It wasn’t the food that really was the killer. I had a load of fresh shrimp (healthy), my homemade light chicken salad with celery (healthy), some of Rapunzel’s homemade canapes which were fairly healthy, four mini pinwheel sandwich things, which weren’t too bad and three mini eclairs, again, not really too bad. Know what did me in? Five Lindor truffles at 70 calories each and the biggie? Two Mimosa’s. Mmmmmm Champagne and orange juice.

Mimosa’s aren’t something I have very often. In fact, I usually have them once a year–at the Oscar Party. They are extremely high in calories, but they make me feel so decadent and so rich. And trust me, the only time I feel rich is then. Mickey works hard and all my needs are met, and some of my wants. I am not gonna lie, though. We live paycheck to paycheck and there are some really tight weeks. Anyway, the Mimosa’s were delicious and Belle is excellent in putting them and the party together. I would say, Oscar season is probably my favorite.

In spite of over indulging in champagne and chocolates, I still managed to lose 2 pounds this week. I have now lost a total of 22.2 pounds in 51 days. I wish it were coming off faster, but it is coming off healthy, which means it has more of a chance to stay off. I am REALLY hoping the exercise will result in some muscles and will stop my skin from sagging horribly. Surgery to tuck it all back in is around 13,000.00. I don’t see me scraping that up. If the exercise doesn’t work, at least I will be a strong saggy, baggy elephant.

Any of you giving up something for Lent? I am not Catholic, but I try to give something up each year. This year, I am giving up using disposable plates and cups. We use them a lot because I do not have a dishwasher and I hate washing dishes. So, for the Lenten season, I will rejoice in my God while I wash my dishes.

That’s the thing about us Christian Southerners. We take the parts we like from each religion and kind of incorporate and make them our own. That’s also why I am going to enjoy pancakes tonight on Shrove Tuesday.

This entry has kind of been all over the place. Hey, it is a reflection of me. Where else can you read about movies, God, exercise, being fat and losing weight all in one place?

If you have any ideas on what is making me hurt, let me know. You don’t have to be a doctor or even play one on tv.

Let it Go

Today is just a very quick check-in to say hello. Hope everyone is having a great weekend. The weather here is beautiful. I am very ready for Spring to arrive. I am not ready to spring my clock forwards, though. I like having the sun out in the evening and late afternoon, but I really hate losing that hour. It seems as if I can tell and miss it for weeks.

I have had a pretty rough weekend. I need to just let it all go. I got into a petty, stupid fight on stupid Facebook with someone. This person is no longer a part of my life and is not someone I have to see or deal with on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. I do not know why I let this person get under my skin. But he did. He implied stuff and behaved in what I can only describe as a “douchey” manner. I didn’t have to sink to his level, but I did. I said something very unkind and mean. I can make all the excuses I want, but ultimately, I am responsible for MY behavior. No one else. Sadly, while part of my brain knows this, the other part does not and is wildly cooking up revenge schemes.

I know I am hurting no one but myself. But it is so hard to let go of anger and resentment and hurt feelings. Any other time and I would have eaten my feelings away. I guess that is what I am struggling with. Having to actively deal with how I feel, instead of putting them away in a tight little box of Oreos, or Girl Scout cookies, or Key Lime Pie or Pizza or French Fries, and well, this list could go on without end.

I was up until after 4 am this morning. I could not sleep because I was in a RAGE over this incident. I blocked him on Facebook and now I never have to see his comments and he can never see mine. That’s sensible. If I can just convince my head to be sensible. I know ALL the platitudes about how “I am allowing him to take up space in my head,” and “I am only hurting myself,” and “Anger is a base emotion.” But, what is the best way to deal with real, justified (at least to me), anger? I think I will allow myself another day or two to be angry, then I will attempt to let it go.

I think I need to let go of all my anger and frustration that has built up for a long time. I also think I could probably exercise all of my anger out, or at least exercise until I can’t move and can only think about how I need to catch my breath. I can see it now, from smoking addict to food addict to exercise addict. Merely swapping one addiction for another.

I realize I am not being very humorous today. I am just being me and being honest. I am already the bigger person by weight and default. I should let this go.

 

Breathless

Yes, I know, I have been MIA the past two days. It honestly is not like me at all. I have just been so tired lately. This has been a bad week. Not just for me, but for many of my friends as well. I haven’t had trouble sticking to eating right. I haven’t had trouble having the will to exercise. I just have felt tired and run-down. I got on the scale this morning and disaster struck. I had gained about 5 pounds….since yesterday.

I decided that since I was so tired, I would just go back to bed for a nap. This is something I have done everyday this week. It USED to be something I did everyday. Then I started eating right, exercising, taking Plexus and was full of energy. Just yesterday, Alice commented on how nice it was to have me cooking family meals again. I didn’t tell her I took a nap.

This nap was different, though. I should have realized something was wrong when I just was not up to riding with Mickey and Alice this morning to take Alice to school. I used to struggle with insomnia. Then, I started exercising and was suddenly in bed by 11 each night and sleeping straight through until morning, But this week, it hasn’t been enough. This morning, I went to bed with Mickey, my night shift worker. I want to say we were in bed (back in bed for me) before 9. My sister texted around 11ish and I answered, then fell back asleep. I slept until after 1, when Jenni, concerned that I hadn’t replied to her texts or Facebook posts, gave me a call.

When I realized the time, I got up and staggered into the kitchen. I got back on the scale, hoping the sleep had done me some good. Erm, no. I gained two pounds between 9am and 1pm, sleeping. Then, it hit me. My CHF has flared up. *sigh* So, I am now sitting in my recliner with my feet up like a good heart patient. I took a Lasix and surprise, surprise, I have been living in the bathroom and I have dropped 4 of the approximately 7 pounds.

I was breathless when I took the dog out earlier. I decided that today should probably be a rest day. All I need to do is pass out doing Jillian, clunk myself in the head with one of my weights and then be forced into the hospital. Some days, it is so easy to forget I have CHF. I was starting to think, to hope, that maybe, just maybe, I was curing myself of it. No such luck.

I am frustrated to be forced into my recliner today. I am frustrated that this week has been such a struggle. BUT. I don’t feel hopeless, which is how I lived most of the past two years. I know now that when I am excessively tired to really look at my scale. I know that eating right and exercising is helping, because I have had five glorious weeks of feeling NORMAL. I can feel myself feeling better as the fluid comes off my body. I am betting by tomorrow, I will be back to where I was.

Jillian isn’t going anywhere. She will be waiting to punish me tomorrow and maybe, tomorrow won’t be like the majority of this week has been, where I felt off balance and had to push through molasses to get my workout in.

Normally, I would never use my blog to whine. But, i am all about being truthful- to myself and to my readers. The truth is, I have a disease. The other truth is, it is a disease, not an excuse. I may be stuck sitting in a recliner and on the potty today, but I will not eat use today as an excuse to eat wrong or to have a hopeless, negative outlook on life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the bathroom calls yet again.

 

I Get Knocked Down (But I Get Up Again)

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Yesterday was Mickey’s 50th Birthday. Saturday night, I had a surprise party for him at his favorite restaurant. I had pretty well decided what I was going to have for my supper. I chose a Cuban sandwich and I split an order of fries with cheese, bacon and green onions with Alice. I only ate half the Cuban, which was the plan. Turns out, it wasn’t hard to do. I apparently do not like Cuban sandwiches. At least, I did not like this one. Alice loved it. It had a lot of pickles on it, which is fine. I like pickles; I just don’t like hot pickles. Also, the pork part was unseasoned. Anyway, what I didn’t count on was getting in the party spirit and consuming two drinks. One of which was milk-based and contained whipped cream. It was really yummy, though. I only ate one bite of cheesecake, so at least there was no dessert damage.

Between hamburgers Thursday, lunch out Friday, and the party Saturday, I was very nervous about getting on the scale this morning. I planned for everything I ate. I worked out and each day I still had a few calories left over from exercise. I ate at least half my exercise calories each of the three days and I try so hard not to touch those.

Anyway, even though I enjoyed my week, had two drinks and had two hamburgers, as well as fries with CHEESE, I still lost 1.8 pounds. I now weigh 279.8. I have lost 20.2 pounds in 42 days. I am not complaining at all. I also measured but, I don’t know. My body seems way off. I have lost a total of 4 inches in each of my arms. But, I have gained now, equally, in both thighs, At least I won’t be dragging that one mutant thigh around, like I was afraid of last week. I was kind of picturing myself as Jillian Michaels own Igor. “Mahhhsssttteerrrr, I can’t do that exercise, I have the mutant thighhhhhhhh.”

In Phase One of Body Revolution, there is a segment of balancing. On one foot. Like a flamingo, Now, picture a flamingo in your head. They are not very heavy birds. Not only that, their bones are HOLLOW. I kept falling over. Like on my fanny. Lift, kick, fall. Lift, kick, fall. Then, there are abductions, where you kick one leg out to the side with your hands on your hips. Jillian allows for a step-touch as the “easier mode.” I found myself kick out, touch, stagger, kick out, touch, grab the coffee table. Finally, I broke down and brought a chair into the living room. Workout ready. Weights, check. Mat, check, DVD, check, Dining Room chair, check.

I have been doing these every three days for about a week. Some days I can’t balance at all on my own. Some days, I only grab the chair every four steps and kicks. The point is, I am not going to wait until I can do it to even try. I will get knocked down, but I will get right back up again. And in the same vein as my last blog post stating “don’t wait to live your life until you lose the weight.” I have registered for my first 5K. It’s a ZOMBIE RUN!

Here is the description:

EXTREME
THE ZOMBIE RUN: EXTREME is a mud-filled, daytime 5K obstacle course through a zombie-infested wasteland.  Register as a human and maneuver through 3.1 miles of mud, blood, and brains, with 8 treacherous obstacles, and a hoard of 700 ravenous zombies on your heels.  Or, sign up as one of the zombies and receive a free movie-quality makeover before heading to the course to chase after the humans and steal their life-flags.
 
Will I be able to run? Hahahahahahahaha. NO. Do I care? Nope. There is no timer, no winner. I love zombies. Will I have trouble getting over the obstacles? More than likely. Do I care? No. Will I be dead last (get it, dead last?) ? Probably. BUT. I will have beat every person who stayed home on their couch because they did not think they were fit enough to even try. I will try and even if it takes me until the night run, I WILL FINISH. BTW, Alice is VERY excited. She is old enough to register as a zombie.
 
I saw a video about a young man who was disabled in the Gulf War. He gained weight. He couldn’t walk without help. He had blown his knees out as a para-trooper. He ALMOST gave up. ALMOST. I can relate to him. I ALMOST gave up as well. But, I didn’t. He didn’t either. His knees and hips are bad. I have a bad heart and bad ankles. I get knocked down, but I get up again. What’s YOUR excuse?
 
 
I haven’t figured out how to embed a video yet, so trust me. Click the link. You won’t be sorry. You just MIGHT be inspired.

Cheeseburger in Paradise

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Saturday morning. Mickey just got in from work and is snoozing and Alice is still sleeping as well. Right now, it is just me and my cats and my breakfast. We are going out to dinner tonight to celebrate Mickey’s 50th Birthday. So, I am making sure I eat light and do my exercising. I have a date with Jillian as soon as I finish this post.

Speaking of Jillian, I have finally decided on an exercise program after playing around with all of them. This first month of exercising has been trial and error. I am finding out what I “Like” and can stand to do. Let’s face it. If you TRULY hate your exercise program, after a while you are going to burn out and not want to do it. I enjoy my recumbent bike, but I would get very bored doing it every day. I have reserved it for short workouts to round out my strength training and I use it for a leisurely workout on my rest day.

I can’t say I love the Jillian workouts. In fact, they are pretty akin to being in a torture chamber. I do however, love the way I feel after I have finished one. Nothing like finally getting a big whiff of oxygen to make you feel better. Seriously, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I am done. I also feel dirty, icky, and sweaty. While I don’t enjoy that feeling for long, I do feel as if it is proof that I have pushed my body as far as I can possibly push it.

Jillian has a real “in your face style.” She doesn’t take excuses. Unlike her persona on “The Biggest Loser,” she is very encouraging on her DVDs. She constantly tells you if you can’t master a move, not to worry, just to work on form and to keep trying, to do what you can, and to KEEP MOVING. That is the kind of encouragement I need, personally. It may not be for everyone, but it is what works for ME.

After trying each DVD, I have decided how I am going to approach this. I am going to restart and complete Body Revolution. Only that one for the next 3 months. (It may take me 4) I then, will return to Ripped in 30. From there, I will go to Six Weeks, Six Pack and finish it out with 30 Day Shred. I just don’t feel like I am getting much done by jumping around. Oh, I was getting exercise in and strengthening my body. I can feel that, already. But now I have sampled each and have a PLAN! Y’all know how much I like a plan.

This week has been tough adjusting my MIND to my eating plan. Notice, I didn’t say DIET. It is funny, adjusting my mind set. Part of me wants to say, oh no, I am on a diet, I can’t have that. BUT. I can. I mentioned my Uncle Donald and Aunt Daisy were going to cook me a hamburger because I had been craving one. Thursday night, we went over there and I had my hamburger. Actually, I had TWO hamburgers. Yes, I did. I ate a light breakfast, a light lunch, and did my normal exercise routine. Then, for supper, I had two hamburgers and a handful of chips. I savored every bite. Those were the most delicious hamburgers I have ever eaten in my life.

Uncle Donald had grilled them, so they were delicious and juicy without being greasy. Aunt Daisy had fresh lettuce and a juicy tomato and onions and pickles. I had mine almost Jimmy Buffet style. “I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes, big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer, Good God Almighty which way do I steer for a Cheeseburger in Paradise?”

I skipped the cheese, the french fries (we didn’t have any, thank goodness) and the beer. I had unsweetened tea with lemon, instead. I did have the lettuce, tomato, pickle, Heinz 57 and onion. Guess, how many calories, I went over by? Not what you probably think. I went over my eating calories by 237. However, even though I don’t usually eat any of my exercise calories, it is ok to do so, every now and then. I only ate HALF of my exercise calories. I admit, I got on the scale both Friday and this morning. Did. Not. Gain. An. Ounce. But, if I had? It totally would have been worth it. Not to do every day, mind you, but after six weeks? Oh yessssssss.

It’s life, you have to live it. You have to enjoy it. If you are thinking, “Once I lose x amount, I will be happy,” I am sorry. You are lying to yourself. If you are not happy in your life now, losing weight is not going to help. Oh you may be happier about your body and your health, but that is ALL losing weight is going to make you happier about. It is not going to fix any of your relationships. Losing weight is not going to cure your boredom or relieve your stress. Only you can do that. And why on earth would you say, “I will enjoy my life when I lose weight.” Enjoy your life NOW. Enjoy your journey. Do things you wouldn’t have done before. Don’t let being fat stop you. Live in the moment. Have the occasional cheeseburger, but balance it out with light meals and lots and lots of exercise.

We Could Be Heroes ( Just For One Day )

I have to say I am overwhelmed, touched and at a loss. For the past week, I have received private messages, emails, and comments on Facebook. I have been told by several people I am an inspiration and a hero. No, my head hasn’t grown as fat as the rest of me. I am truly being told this, and it bewilders me. I’m just an ordinary woman who is fat and who is trying as hard as she can to get back in shape and undo the damage that has been done, by both an unhealthy lifestyle and hereditary heart disease.

When I was first thinking of this blog entry, I thought about just saying flat-out that these people were/are crazy. But then, I thought harder. I realized as I was panting and melting my way through Jillian’s cardio workout of Phase One of Body revolution, that yes. I am a hero. I am finishing what I started. I also realized that every single one of us, the tall and the small, to quote Dr. Seuss, are heroes.

Everyone of you that blogs. Each time you put your feeling out there, your life out there, for strangers to read and gawk at, every time you open yourself up, YOU are a hero. Those of you like my daughter Ariel, who battle extreme depression, every time you get dressed and make it through the day and go see your psychiatrist and your counselor, YOU are a hero. Those of you who are overweight, like me, each time you make a healthy choice, or do a workout, YOU are a hero.

Preachers and pastors, heroes. Those who stand up for the oppressed, who speak up for the bullied, REGARDLESS of the reason, heroes. Those of you who encourage others, heroes. Parents of children and teens, muddling through as best you can, YOU are a hero. Those who have been hurt by life, by love, who have been disappointed by friends, by family, yet keep an open heart and a sunny disposition, YOU are heroes. Those battling addiction, each time you choose not to do drugs, or drink, or overeat, or smoke, or refrain from a meaningless sexual encounter, YOU are a hero.

Those who teach, a hero. Doctors, lawyers, rich, poor, heroes everyone. I am not forgetting true heroes such as police, soldiers, EMS, firefighters, etc. I am just saying everyday, in some small way, each of us is a hero. Each of us inspires someone, even if we don’t know it or aren’t aware of it. There is not a person among us who is not a hero, even if it is just for one day.