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.

 

 

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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.

 

Misery Business

     So, yesterday, try as I may, I could not get a minute to blog. Alice was home sick, and she was at the stage where you feel just well enough to whine and be demanding. I spent my time making milkshakes, baking bread pudding, and preparing food she felt like eating. I also spent time at the crowded grocery store, because I live in Georgia- in the area forecasted to get an inch of ice. Saturday and Sunday, I was walking outside in shorts.Tuesday, I was in the middle of the crowded grocery store. I posted on my Facebook page, I truly went to the store to get a can of reduced sodium Cream of Chicken Soup and I walked out with my soup and a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk. It has to be Southern genetics. Storm=bread+milk. Even though I don’t eat white bread. I eat rye or flatbread or pita.

     At least my stove is gas. Even if we lose power, which I am praying we don’t, no one here will go hungry. We did get a good bit of ice last night and this morning. There seems to be a lull and I hope it stays that way. The thing about being in the middle of an ice storm, is I have the overwhelming urge to bake and cook. Of all the things I can’t do or am not good at doing, cooking is not one of those things. AND, I like to eat my cooking. Luckily, Alice and Mickey devoured the bread pudding, which was made with chocolate chips, custard and croissants. I ate half a cup for dessert. It was amazing.

     Today, I got up and made this for breakfast: http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2013/11/cinnamon-roll-baked-oatmeal.html Cinnamon roll baked oatmeal. People, I do not even like oatmeal and this was delicious. Great for a cold, winter, iced-in day. It tasted decadent and it is HEALTHY!

     So, why is today Misery Business? I have been planning this blog post for awhile. Being fat is miserable. Oh, not only do you have to deal with the fact there are virtually no cute clothes for the heavily overweight, you also have to deal with the snide remarks people make and the looks they give you. No matter what you buy to eat, you are going to get “the look.” You know the one I am talking about. The disdainful one that says, “why are you taking up space and breathing my air, fat person?” Try being a handicapped person with an invisible disease like heart failure. Summer is horrible. I swell, swell, swell in the heat. In order to grocery shop, I have to use the ride- on carts. I get plenty of looks and have heard people say, “If she would get off that cart and walk, she might not be so fat.” Fat-shaming and fat-bullying are alive and well and are the ONLY forms of bullying that seem completely socially acceptable. I even venture to say it is encouraged.

     Additionally, try using the restroom anywhere other than in your own home. Men, you have it a little easier. I have literally (and yes, I am using the word correctly) been almost standing on my head in the WalMart restroom, as I attempt to wipe my behind. Why? Well, I would LOVE to say because my arms are too short. However, I think it is because I have a giant stomach in the way. I have often wondered if I was just going to flip over and land flat on my back in the stall. Head down towards the ground, a$$ in the air, wiping my bottom like I just don’t care.

     I also keep a raw place under my breasts. Not fun at all. Misery Business, actually. Part of it is caused by being fat, the other is caused by being large-breasted. I was a 36DD by 9th grade and I was a size 7. The girls aren’t as perky as they were back then. In fact, I am pretty sure while they aren’t quite friends with my knees yet, they do have a fairly good relationship with my belly button. I wash under them 3x a day with Dial, dry carefully, blow-dry to make sure they are REALLY dry, (Aside, my hair sweats and my breasts get blow-dried.) and apply different remedies. Since I started working out, they are getting worse, due to the sweating. I do clean immediately after exercise. It’s one of those have to get worse, before I get better.

     Even friends can be vicious. I once had a friend tell me after heart surgery that I had “done this to myself.” I was just too heart-sick and tired to tell her that no, I might be fat, and it probably didn’t help, but I have hereditary heart disease. My grandmother, who was a size 4, had a two heart attacks. My uncle who is slightly underweight has CAD and has undergone by-pass. My great-uncle dealt with CHF all his life and finally died from it. My grandfather had PAD, a close cousin to CAD.

     I am changing my lifestyle for ME, though. It just won’t work if you are doing it for others. It has to be for you and for reasons that inspire you. For me, it’s small things. I want to wear a pair of real jeans. I want to ride a real bicycle again, outside. I want to buy a cute sweater and undies from Victoria’s Secret. I want to quit sweating just from climbing a set of stairs. Oh yeah, I want to be able to wipe my fanny in a restroom without having a close, personal relationship with the floor of the stall.

Disclaimer: I received nothing from either WalMart or Victoria’s Secret for mentioning them. I can’t wear ANYTHING from VS at this point, anyway.