Friday, April 24, 2015

Did eating healthy give me pneumonia? Nah!

Four weeks ago I rejoined Weight Watchers, cut out sugar, made healthy choices, started taking my daily vitamin again, actually tracked my food. I started back to the gym, was wearing my Fitbit, walking at lunch and getting in my 10,000 steps a day. Things went pretty good for two weeks. Down a few pounds, feeling better, more alive. Life was good.

Then it all went to hell in a hand basket last week. A coworker came to work with a bad cold. Next thing you know, I'm sick. The cold turned into the flu, with 103 temperature, vomiting and diarrhea. I thought I was going to die. The flu turned into pneumonia. This all happened in one week. I saw the doctor last Monday, she sent me home for another week. My blood oxygenation was 91, which is pretty low (I've never seen mine below 98). At 91 the red blood cells can't get enough oxygen and organs can get damaged. Breathing has been difficult, and then there's the coughing. I coughed so much and so hard that my ribs ached.

I'm doing much better today. My blood oxygen is at 95, which is a huge leap from 91. I had ordered an oxygen meter online. A rather expensive one so I wouldn't get false readings. I checked it on my boyfriend and he's a steady 99 or 100. Until today I was at a steady 92 or 93, seeing the 95 is very exciting. I can feel that I'm getting better, which is a huge relief. I have a new respect for people with COPD. I have just experienced a touch of what it's like to not be able to breath easily, and it's miserable. My energy was at the lowest I've ever experienced. I actually got up, showered and dressed this morning. Life is good again.

It's truly ironic that I finally make an honest attempt to get healthy and then this happened. I suppose it's just life, slapping me down a little when I get a little too cocky about myself.

I've lost a few pounds, but it was mostly water weight and probably some muscle. Up until yesterday I could barely stand to look at food without wanting to heave. Today my appetite is back, so I'm back to tracking all my food in my Weight Watcher phone app, back to making healthy choices.

I want to come back to blogging. I doubt there's anyone that even reads my blog anymore. I always come back, post, then disappear for months. I hate people that do that because I wonder if they're okay. I'm going to try it again, this blogging thing. It was such a huge piece of my life. I miss it. I miss you guys, the few of you still out there that know me. I still ready your posts, usually once a week I catch up on you. So many people have dropped out. I always wonder what happened to them.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It's not rocket science

Yesterday was sort of a fail. My eating was very healthy, but I didn't track my food after  breakfast. I didn't track it because I was lazy. I'm sure I was well within my Weight Watcher Points of 30, but I just didn't feel like making the effort to document everything I ate. I had a huge salad with about 3 oz. of cutup chicken breast for dinner, with homemade balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. It was delicious and the first salad I've had in about a year. I'll do better at tracking my food today.

Exercise yesterday was non-existent. Sometimes I wonder if I could become fused to my chair. Like I've read about that can happen to extremely overweight people when they never leave their recliner or couch. In my weak defense, I still have a terrible sounding cough from a cold I had over a week ago. It sounds a lot worse than it feels, but I didn't want a lot of stares at the gym as I hacked away while exercising. Not that I need an excuse to not exercise, because sometimes, I'm just lazy.

Today I have three simple goals:

1.) Track my food in Weight Watchers online tracker
2.) Stay within my 30 Points
3.) Go to the gym!!!  (this should really be number one)

I ordered this last week, and I'm really looking forward to listening to these CDs -- The Mind-Body Code: How the Mind Wounds and Heals the Body. Unfortunately Amazon delivered it to someone else in a different city so I won't get it until tomorrow. I think my problem is the negative voice in my head telling me I can't do this. Somehow I need to stop listening to it and get that positive, supportive voice to come back to life. I need to heal my body. 

The formula for losing weight is so simple. Eat less, move more. It's not a secret, it's not rocket science, but it's so difficult. Something is causing me to fail at this and I think it's me. I should be the one in control of what goes in my mouth, but it seems like there's something else going on here. I really need to figure it out. 

The sun is out, a real rarity this time of year in the Pacific Northwest. I think I'll go for a walk. I love the sun. Sun mixed with some exercise, it's like an antidepressant for me.

Until tomorrow....

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Off to a turtle pace start for 2015

It's been three weeks since I posted anything. Three weeks of constantly thinking I really need to do something about my weight, but not putting much effort into it. I sort of tried, but not really. I didn't eat a few boxes of cookies or bags of candy that I would have normally eaten. I only ate fast food once. I walked during lunch a few times and hit the gym once or twice a week. Isn't it strange how we make our new normal? Mine had become no exercise and eating every piece of junk I wanted.

This morning I logged into Weight Watchers. I signed up for online three weeks ago and logged my food twice during that time. Today I told myself is the day that I get serious about losing weight. Of course that voice in my head said "ha, I've heard that before!". Shut up head if you can't stay positive.

I entered my food in the tracker for today and looked at the weight tracker. I had added my weight on December 28 but hadn't touched it since then. I weighed this morning, and I really wasn't sure what my weight was before I started my half-assed attempt at losing weight. I was very surprised to see I'd lost 7.2 pounds in three weeks. Although I'm a little happy about it, part of me can't help but think if I had really made an effort, I could have lost a lot more. I know from my past efforts that when I start out at a high weight, 236 pounds this time, the weight comes off pretty easy to the beginning. At least I didn't gain 7.2 pounds. Yes, that's the bad voice in my head that wants to make me fail at this, now allowing me to be happy about what it considers a mediocre weight loss. I'm working on shutting down that voice, but a lifetime of listening to it make it hard.

I got a Fitbit Flex as a gift from where I work (we could choose anything from our company store for $100 - I chose the Fitbit). I love this thing. The few times I've actually used it, it really motivated me. Well, at least for a few days. When I didn't make an effort to exercise it was depressing to look at it. I walked yesterday at lunch and was delighted to see the walk was three miles. I had measured it on a few years ago, and I was happy to see the fitbit came up with the same distance. Fitbit results from yesterday (fitbit emailed me that I was an over achiever. Hahaha!):

I don't have an exciting scheduled today. I had a healthy, late breakfast, now some house cleaning (I love a clean house but hate to clean), a gym visit and maybe a walk with my boyfriend (he joined my gym and loves going to the gym...nice, but sometimes annoying too). Then something light and healthy for dinner. 

One day at a time is all I can do. It would be great if I could keep up a two pound a week weight loss, but I know that's not realistic. As long as I give this at least some effort, I'll be happy. I doubt I'll become a crazed maniac going to the gym five or six days a week and tracking every single bite I eat - at least not every day. That's just not me anymore. I'm pretty sure that "do or die" attitude I had was exactly what helped lead me down the path to cancer. I'm a little more relaxed about stuff these days. It's the key to a happy life. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Regained it all...again

Let's just cut to the chase here. I've been on a year-long "eat whatever I want" path, and it's caught up with me. After months of carefully stepping around the scale and avoiding it like the plague, I stepped on it this morning. I knew it was going to be bad, and it was just as bad as I thought. No surprises. My weight is back to what it was even before I started this blog over seven years ago.


There are many words to explain how I feel about this. "Horrible" because I screwed up (again). "Sad" that I did this to myself (again). "Happy" that I feel ready to start on a healthy path. "Excited" because I remember the rewards of a healthy diet and exercise plan. "Fear" that I will fail and be fat forever. 

As usual, I have no explanation for my bad behavior. I'm relatively happy. Yesterday was my 31-year anniversary working for a really great company that I love. My career is good, my job is secure. My divorce has been final for almost one year. December 31 will mark one year since I was legally divorced, and that was a huge, uphill battle. I'm madly in love with my boyfriend of almost two years, he's truly the love of my life. My house is now "MY" house legally (that was another year-long battle with my ex). 

So what the hell happened? I don't know. That's where the fear comes in. If I can't figure out why I regained the weight again, how will I ever keep it off? 

Right now my plan is just to take it a step at a time. First step, lose the weight. While losing the weight I'll try to figure out what is so messed up in my head that I think over-eating can solve all my problems. I need to do some soul searching and identify those problems and figure out how to cope without food. 

I know some kind souls out there will probably suggest therapy. I've tried it, and I'm a pathetic candidate for therapy. I've had one or two sessions with at least four therapists in the past two years. I actually saw one therapist for three sessions. She's the one I liked the best. Unfortunately, after three sessions she told me there was nothing wrong with me. She said I had my head on straight, that I was smart, and I knew what to do. She didn't think there was any need for further therapy. I had to agree with her since she didn't tell me anything I didn't already know about myself, or anything I should do to be a better me that I didn't already know. So it's a no on therapy.

I just signed up with Weight Watchers online. What's with the chat thing they have now? I hate chatting with people I don't know. I actually hate online chatting with people I do know. I really just wanted it for logging food and exercise, and the recipes. Maybe I'll transition into meetings again, but maybe not. I'm not sure yet. 

What triggered my "I've got to do something now!" was a clothes shopping expedition yesterday. Holy cow! When did I go from a size 16 to an 18W pant size? I knew all my pants were tight and causing me pain, but I didn't really pay much attention. It was a horrifying experience looking at myself in a 3-way mirror. 

So I'm back at it again. I bet if I searched that word "again" on this blog it would probably come up hundreds of times. At least I'm going to give it my best effort. 

If anyone actually is reading this, thank you. I almost gave up on blogging. It seems like so many people I started blogging with years ago have quit. I still read the few of you that are active, but I rarely comment. I guess because I felt like a hypocrite if I left a word of encouragement when I was doing so poorly myself. 

Happy post-Christmas and pre-New Years to everyone. I shall be back tomorrow to report how my first day went back in the healthy world.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hello world!

Last week I wrote my first little program in Swift, the new iOS (Apple) software language. All first programs written in a new software language are called "Hello world!" where you write a program that simply says those two little words. It seemed appropriate for this post since I feel like I'm starting over from square one on the weight loss and exercise.

My weight is back up in the 220's. I'm not even sure what I weigh since I haven't been on the scale for a few weeks. My 59th birthday was last Thursday. I'm out of shape and feel every year of my 59 years.

I've noticed about 75% of the bloggers in my blog roll are gone. I wonder if they did the same as me and just gave up and decided not to write about it anymore. I completely understand that line of thinking because that's where I've been for months.

The thing I can't figure out is why this weight gain happened. I'm not depressed. I'm madly in love with the man of my dreams. He treats me like a princess and is actually probably a little more in love with me than I am with him (and he reminds me of this every day). I love him like crazy, but he loves me a little more. It's really a nice feeling to be appreciated and loved and to love someone back that deserves it.

Last year was a bit rocky, cancer and divorce. This year my sister passed away about three days after my last post. Which was three weeks after my niece, my sister's daughter, committed suicide.

Even though those were sad events and maybe a little stressful, it doesn't explain the weight gain or giving up on exercising. I was sure this time was it, and I'd never gain the weight back. I've thought that so many times in my life that it "almost" makes me think why even bother to try this again.

I can't just give up on myself. I have so much to live for, so many things I want to do before I die. Since I'm definitely in the last phase of my life, I don't have any time to squander on being fat. So I'm making another attempt to get healthy.

I'm not sure which "diet" or food plan I'm going to do this time around. I rejoined Weight Watchers two months ago, but I just couldn't get into the swing of it. Since my favorite leader quit I can't find a leader that I even sort of like. They all sort of annoy me. I'm still trying to figure that part out.

I am back at the gym and boy is that hard. Working out is painful when you're 220+ pounds. My body feels like it has lead weights attached to it. Every minute on the elliptical was pure torture. I only did 20 minutes today but it felt like an hour. I had done five minutes warmup on the the Stairmaster, which was even worse torture than the elliptical. Twenty minutes of weights and I was out of there. How on earth I ever did 90-minute workouts I'll never know.

So I'm back. Back to posting, back to reading the few blogs that are still out there. Back to diet and exercise. Hello world!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My sister

I can't believe I haven't posted anything here for three months. Definitely a first for me to go that long without posting anything. I've noticed several bloggers just sort of slowly fading away. It's hard to believe that  this blog was my lifeline at  one point, but I guess not so much anymore.

I'm still a member of the gym but I haven't gone once in three months, since my last post. I don't know what to say about that other than there have been some monumental difficulties recently. Sometimes I feel like a drama queen, just looking for trouble.

My niece from Alaska came down to visit her mother, my sister, February 22. It was her first visit to see her mother in over two years since I moved my sister here after her stroke. I was worried that it would  be four days of tears. It was just the opposite. I've never seen two people so happy to be together. My niece was 48 years old. She was my sister's baby and they had always had a special connection. They had a wonderful visit.

My niece returned to Alaska and six weeks later committed suicide. She had suffered from depression for over twenty years and had attempted suicide many times. This time she was successful.

I was in Alaska for my niece's funeral when I received a call that my sister was in the emergency room. That was last weekend. Today I'm sitting at the foot of my sister's bed in her adult family home where she has lived for two and half years. She has congestive heart failure and a large mass on her thyroid (5 cm). She's on oxygen and hasn't been conscious for two days. She hasn't eaten or drank anything since Monday. I was told it's a matter of hours or maybe days. No one knows. She has morphine for pain and seems to be comfortable. As I watch her breathe I think each breath is going to be her last. She's only 75 but the stroke had taken a toll on her. They've placed on hospice care, comfort care only.

I remember watching our mother die in 2005. My sister and I didn't leave the hospital room for five days. Our mother had been taken to the hospital for stomach pain, slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness. I was holding her hand when she passed away. I remember 2009 when my brother-in-law, my sister's husband of 53 years, had a massive coronary at the gym and was airlifted to Anchorage. I held my sister's hand as we lived in the hospital for eight days until they told her there was no hope and unplugged the machines. I held her hand and she held his as he passed away.

Now I sit here alone and watch my only sister dying. She's seventeen years older than me, 75 years old. I knew this day would come. I had no idea how much it would hurt me.

My boyfriend, the love of my life has been a Godsend throughout these past weeks. I'm so blessed to have met such a good man that loves me so much. In the past year he has treated my sister with love and respect. Every weekend it was his goal to see how much he could make her laugh. There was a lot of laughter.

I'm going home in a few  minutes. It doesn't look like today is the day. Maybe tomorrow or the day after.

This is how I want to remember my sister, not as the frail little lady in front of me, but in the summer of 2010. It was the year after her husband had passed away and our brother took the two of us four-wheeling in the backwoods in Alaska. We had so much fun. We both almost died that day (thanks to my brother for taking us off the trail and up a very steep mountain), but we laughed like teenage girls. I love her so much.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Decision: Go to the gym or cancel the membership?

I'm in the middle of a refinance on my house. This is a "post-divorce, must cash out half the equity for the ex-husband" refinance. So far it's going well, credit approved, closing date about to be set, now just waiting.

I have to come up with a significant amount of cash for the closing costs (which of course, is all out of my pocket and must be paid up front). I've been brutal with my budget, really cutting back on things I deem unnecessary.

When I saw the $32.00 monthly gym membership withdrawal in my checking account last week, I questioned myself, is this really a good way to spend my money? I've been averaging a once a week visit to the gym. That's about $8 for 45 minutes of exercise a week. I walk a couple times a week at work during my lunch hour. That's been it for my exercise for months now.

So I've made a deal with myself. I have to go to the gym three times this week, starting with today. If I can't get my butt to the gym at least three times in this seven-day period, then I go to the gym one week from today and cancel my membership.

The thought of canceling the membership makes me sad. It feels like I gave up on trying to exercise. I keep telling myself it's only $32.00 a month and maybe I'll start going again on a regular basis. On the other hand, it's stupid to pay for something if I'm not going to use it.

Maybe I should use the cookie versus my foot mentality on the gym. If I don't exercise then I'll most likely gain more weight and get diabetes. Which is worse, going to the gym or losing my foot? I sort of suspect losing my foot is much worse then exercising a few times a week. In fact, there's no comparison.

I promise to post back here next week on how this goes. My intention of course is to go to the gym at least three times this week. But that's been my intention for months, and I haven't done it. Maybe a public announce will do it for me. Let's hope so. I feel like something needs to click for me.