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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

Pink ( Is My New Obsession)

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I know I did. Saturday, Alice had her friend Ann Marie over who requested that her new name be Rapunzel, so Rapunzel it is. Alice, Mickey, Rapunzel and I went over to my Aunt Daisy and Uncle Donald’s house to play board-games. Mickey gets every other weekend off and we often go over to my Aunt and Uncle’s house and play “SongBurst” and “Apples to Apples” and “Logo.” We have a great time and I get to spend time with my family.

Aunt Daisy and Uncle Donald have been VERY supportive of my journey. Aunt Daisy makes me unsweetened tea with lemon and provides a snack such as popcorn or chips or veggies and salsa. In fact, Uncle Donald asked if I had been craving anything. I admitted I had been craving a big juicy hamburger. Uncle Donald said if lean ground beef was used and the burger was grilled, then it shouldn’t be too bad. So, Thursday, we are going over there for supper and I am getting my hamburger!!!

Sunday, we all celebrated Eric’s Birthday. Ariel invited us all to a restaurant named “JimnNicks.” It’s a barbecue place. I was kind of worried because I am so incredibly picky over my barbecue. I was also worried about calories. I ended up with the smoked turkey breast plate with a salad of field greens tossed with a vinaigrette. That smoked turkey breast was off the chain. It was so good, I didn’t even mind not eating pulled pork. The portion was so generous, I brought over half of it home. There is enough for two good-sized sandwiches.

After lunch, we went back to Ariel’s and Eric’s. I had a small glass of wine and a small slice of the sinfully delicious Supreme Ganache cake from Publix. This cake is amazing. The really good news? I had breakfast at home, lunch out, wine and cake, and a light supper at home and still had 40 calories left to spare. I never feel deprived because this is NOT a diet. 

Today was weigh-in day. I lost one pound. I admit. I was a little sad. I want to see big losses like last week ALL the time. But, it doesn’t work that way. I am still very happy. I lost one complete pound. I didn’t gain. I have now lost 18 pounds. I really can’t tell or couldn’t tell at all, until I noticed my shorts are falling off. Alice took a picture of me in the same pose as a picture that was taken in January. When we put the pictures side by side, we could both tell. Before you know it, I will be able to use the restroom out in public, without kissing the floor. 

Today was also the day I started Week 2 of Jillian Michael’s “Ripped in 30.” It wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was a million times worse. I hurt. I thought I was going to puke about halfway through it. I just THOUGHT Week 1 was bad. I have a feeling I will be on Week 2 for 2 months. I was involuntarily making grunts and groans as I attempted to follow along with her. The last time I involuntarily made noises like that, I was in labor. Given a choice, I will gladly take labor again. I was back to using the coffee table to pull myself up off the floor back into standing position. 

I do have to say, the only reason I even have the energy to tackle Jillian, ( and I would gladly tackle her, except I know she would outrun me.) is because of my pink drink. I have been taking Plexus Slim since I started watching my diet and started exercising.  admit. I was VERY skeptical of it at first. Everywhere I looked on my Facebook, someone was promoting it and recruiting Ambassadors. First off, I do not have the time, inclination or even the mental prowess to be an Ambassador. Secondly, I was getting really bothered by some of the people who friended me JUST to promote Plexus products. 

I have a trusted friend, though. A friend I have known since I can remember. We went to church camp together We were in high school band together and we suffered through Geometry and Trig together. She casually mentioned she was an Ambassador and she would give me the chance to try the product. If I liked it, I could explore my options. She did assure me I was under no obligation to become an Ambassador myself. If I liked the product, I could get it through her. If I didn’t, no harm, no foul. 

I gave it a try. Did I feel full of energy and ready to take on the world? Well, no. BUT, I didn’t feel as tired as I had been feeling. I felt, well, normal. For me, as a heart patient that is a BIG deal. Did it suppress my appetite? Again, no, but that isn’t what it is designed to do. What it did was eliminate my sugar cravings. It made detoxing from my sweet tea and soda addiction much easier. 

Plexus Slim isn’t a miracle cure or a miracle diet aid. It was developed to regulate blood sugar, and for me it seems to be working. It doesn’t replace a meal. It doesn’t make me feel full. It doesn’t burn my fat. I do that by eating healthy and exercising. It works for me. Since it works for me,  am going to keep taking it. I got the approval of my doctor before I tried it. One day, before my order came in, I was without it. I could tell a difference. I didn’t feel normal anymore. 

I wanted to be upfront with you, my readers, as to what I am doing. Again, these are MY results. I have lost 18 pounds and I have also lost 2 inches from my bust, 2 inches from each of my upper arms, an inch and a half off my waist, 3 inches off my hips, 3 inches off my right thigh, and because I am weird, I have gained two inches on my left thigh. I have this mental picture of myself dragging around some hugely deformed thigh in about another month. Do I give all the credit to Plexus? No, not at all, I am the one suffering through Jillian. I am the one deciding to eat an apple for a snack and not a cupcake. But, I give Plexus credit for giving me back my pre-heart attack and pre-heart surgery life, simply by stabilizing me and giving me the energy I need in order to make wise choices. 

Disclaimer: I am NOT a Plexus Ambassador. I was not given any items for free from Plexus. If you choose to try Plexus, I get nothing at all. If you are interested in learning more, you can check out my friend’s site at http://jennirom.myplexusproducts.com/      She won’t push you to try it or become an Ambassador, but she will answer any questions if you have them. 

I also received nothing from the makers of any of the board games I mentioned. They are just fun. JimNNicks barbecue is another place I mentioned. No free barbecue, no money. Just a good lunch. Publix also gave me no money or any other type of compensation for mentioning their cake. 

Jillian does know who I a now, but she gave me nothing for buying her DVD or for kicking my fanny. 

 

 

What is Love (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)

Happy Valentine’s day to all my readers. I hope you are all having a fabulous Friday and a fabulous holiday. I have been flying high since about 8pm EST last night. We will get to that in a minute. So far, I have had a wonderful day. Mickey is off work this weekend, so we get to spend the weekend together. Alice is starting to feel better, so I am looking forward to spending the weekend with her as well. I have so much to say today, so hang on. In fact, I could not decide to name my entry today after Valentine’s Day, which I gave in and did, or whether to name it after what happened last night, or whether to name it after the exercise I did today.

Up first is Last Night. About 8pm EST, I decided to give my stats a look. I didn’t have anything better to do and I was bored. Now, my blog is less than a month old, so I don’t expect much. I have (had) around 190 followers, which is great. I also average around 100 hits per day. Not bad for a brand new blog that is really about nothing but me. (It’s ALL about ME!!!!) According to the little doohickey at the top of our stat site, my blog was getting tons of hits. I was puzzled. I looked at the bottom, but there weren’t THAT many likes, no more than usual. Same people commenting, no more than usual. So why was my blog hitting the stratosphere?

I decided to check my email. Maybe there was an explanation. Maybe, the SEO Gods had smiled on me, although that seemed silly, considering I write this blog for me without an worry about SEO practices. I opened my email, which is linked to my blog and my Twitter account. I auto tweet all my entries. I think so far, it has garnered me one hit, LOL. BUT, Bolthouse Farms has been reading my blog and following me. When I saw what was in my email, I about died. I could NOT breathe. I turned to Alice and began gasping and pointing at my screen. It took three tries before I could get the words out.

If you are my friend on Facebook, you know what happened. However, most of my readers are not. This is BIG, people. JILLIAN MICHAELS READ MY BLOG AND RETWEETED IT OUT!!!!!!!!

Here it is people:

JillianMichaelsTour ‏@JillianLiveTour 21h

Love this, @hunterswriter! Movin’ on up – you’ll be at 70 pound weights before you know it 😉 a great read!

THEN, she included the link to my blog.

Now, I can never claim in my disclaimer that Jillian Michaels doesn’t know I exist.

Now, onto, what is love? Many people think love is flowers and chocolates and cards and nice dinners out once a year. Not me. I don’t dislike Valentine’s Day, I just celebrate it differently. Mickey and I have a weekday getaway planned for March. Today, we took a HEART healthy walk together (more about that in a minute.) Alice fixed me a protein filled breakfast. It’s the little things.

Mickey proved his love to me three years ago when I had heart surgery. He sat by me constantly. Mickey helped me to the restroom and wiped my fanny when I couldn’t bend or move to do it myself. That is love people. Anyone can buy a few roses and say, “I love you.” Real love is wiping your partner’s bottom, when she can’t do it herself. Mickey gave me sponge baths after I got home. He did every single chore there was to do around the house because i was helpless.

Mickey works a job he doesn’t like. He goes in faithfully and works in 140 degree heat pulling splintery plywood off a conveyer belt. It is hot, sticky, splintery work and Mickey does it so he can provide for me and Alice. Even though, biologically Alice isn’t his and most of the time Alice ignores him. He still does this. He pays the bills, he allows me to plan great vacations and scrimp so we can have them. Everyday, in little ways, Mickey tells me he loves me and it doesn’t involve flowers or cards.

Now, as far as our walk. We went for a pretty intense walk for me, anyways. I downloaded Map My Walk, because a friend swears by it. Off we went. I walked as fast as my short little legs would carry me and I swung my arms the entire time. When I was done, I found that Map My Walk had listed my walk as a leisurely walk. I went with it, but geesh. I was sweating. I was out of breath and panting. I managed almost a mile and still have to get on the bike for a bit. I guess it is because I was walking basically a 23 minute mile. However, I never thought panting and sweating meant leisure!

That is all for today my friends. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and remember, love isn’t just about having a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse. It’s about being with people you love who understand you and love you back.