Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday's Words

After two really bad Ambien night's where I ate stuff I didn't remember eating, and even "dreamed" I drove my car in the middle of the night, lost and scared (pretty sure I didn't but scared the crap out of me anyway), last night I went cold turkey. No Ambien or OTC sleep aid. It was a miserable night.

I have trouble sleeping anyway but throw in a full arm cast almost to my shoulder, and it was a night from hell. I finally went to sleep around 2 a.m. (no weird eating last night), and got up at 8 a.m. feeling and looking like death.

Add in that my back is killing me from blackberry picking yesterday, and I'm not a happy girl today. Tired and feeling older than dirt.

Yesterday I managed a full hour of cardio yesterday at the gym, bike, crossramp and even 11 minutes on the StairMaster (which was pure torture). I did a few bicep and tricep exercises for my right arm, but I always feel  of kind of silly weight lifting with just my right arm, with my left arm in a bright pink cast, moving it up and down the best I can to keep in sync with my good arm. I imagine people think I'm nuts.

My agenda for today, nothing but chores:

1. Gym, of course.

2. Pick up the  Dyson vacuum at the repair shop. Only took them four days to fix it and $79. We've had it over 5 years. Love my Dyson.

3. Stop at Safeway and buy Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Caramel. Prior Fat Girl, Jen, had a link to a dollar off coupon. I normally drink coffee black. Not sure if this is a good way to use 35 calories, but thought I'd try it.

4. Library - 2 of Joy Bauer's books I had on hold are ready for pickup.

5. Wash and freeze the 16 cups of blackberries I picked yesterday - great for green monster smoothies.

6. Plant pansies I bought at Farmers Market  2 week's ago. One-handed gardening doesn't sound fun, but only 6 plants. For a planter that didn't get watered and everything died.

7. Pick more blackberries--?? Not sure if I want to do this or if my aching back will hold up.

8. Vacuum living room since I didn't vacuum last weekend (broken Dyson). Darn hardwood floors, the dust bunnies are taking over. I had pulled out our almost new Kenmore from pre-Dyson days, but just never got around to it.

9. Go to bed early!

Actually, I want to crawl back in to bed right now. So tired and achy, but I have to get moving. It's noon, and I'm not even dressed. I wonder if this is what getting old feels like.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I love you BodyMedia! Today's weight 182.2

One month with my BodyMedia and down 12.8 pounds. It's a miracle! Of course, I take a lot of the credit because it's also a lot of hard work.

I was actually 199.4 on July 19 for my physical  (pre-cast). And I'm sure  the cast weighs a little something, right? Regardless, I'm thrilled if it's only 12.8 pounds. I've lost and regained this same weight so many times that you would think I wouldn't be so happy, but I'm thrilled!

With the BodyMedia I still have to track my food, which I have done without fail for 28 days. The user interface is very easy to use and fun.

Of all the things Ive tried in my life to lose weight, this one is my favorite. The technology behind it is a small miracle.

I don't know how many of you remember this post. It was a test I had done at Swedish Hospital in Seattle to determine my BMR (base metabolic rate, which was 1,900 calories - what I would burn with no activity at all)). Then they determined my Daily Expenditure rate as 2,280 calories daily (based on my sedentary job so tat was BMR times 1.2). This would be my calorie burn without exercise and just normal activity.

Amazingly, the BodyMedia almost exactly matches this number if I take a day off from exercising and walking. The number of calories burned on those days is usually right around 2,300.

If  I walk my 10,000 steps (minimum daily goal) and get in at least one hour of moderate exercise (I try for 90 minutes but that's hard!), then my daily calorie burn is up around 2,900 daily.

I think there might be a method to this madness!

PS - I finally caved at midnight and took Ambien, but no sleep walking or weird eating.

Now I'm heading out to pick blackberries and get in my 10,000 steps in the process. I had some fresh blackberries with breakfast and they were delicious (and free---gotta love free!).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ambien...I don't like you anymore!

Goodbye Ambien
As my 3-year old grand-niece said with her hands on her hips, after her mother made her angry, "I've decided I don't like you anymore!".

Three nights in a row, after taking Ambien, I've basically sleep-walked and ate food I didn't plan to eat or remember eating. The first two nights it wasn't too bad, a few extra pieces of fruit that I didn't remember eating, but last night:

This was a full 8-cup container of chips (my husband's food, not mine). Worse than eating the chips is the conversation I had with my husband as I was eating them which I totally don't remember. Something about I had been good for six weeks and I deserved a treat. Approximately 600 calories!

Bye-bye Ambien. Hello sleepless in Seattle.

Best huumus in the world and I made it!

There's no oil in the recipe, but I drizzled olive oil over it, as Angela suggested. The first time I used a whole teaspoon, which was too much. The next time I only used 1/2 teaspoon which was perfect. Scrumptious!

Dash Point Park hike yesterday
The stairs

Puget Sound, worth the short hike.

Today's hike, my usual trail by my house
It was 85 degrees and I think I overdid it. It was worth it though because I found a great blackberry patch (and no people!).

Beautiful Mt. Rainier

Great weather, but dead, brown grass.

Perfect blackberries

My cat's Halloween costume That I bought her yesterday. And if looks could kill...I'd be dead. 
Things I do to entertain myself.

My hair. Some of the hideous ash toner has washed out. My bangs are growing out, but still too short. Looking at this picture I can see why I got the senior (62+) discount at the movies last week. 
I'm only 56. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's almost noon and I have done....nothing

It's kind of killing me that I have all this free time, but because of my broken wrist and this cast, I can't do anything too physical or active.

It's almost noon and all I've done is have a healthy breakfast. It takes forever to prepare because I've added lots of vegetables my meals these days. Although I'm not doing Weight Watchers anymore (BodyMedia and counting calories instead), I still trying to get in 5-7 fruits/veggies a day and my healthy oil.

As with many things in my life, I think I may be addicted to Netflix streaming video. We've had Netflix forever but I've never watched much of the instant stuff. Of all the things on there to watch I chose probably the dumbest series ever made, but I love it.

I'd never heard of the ABC show, Make It or Break It. You probably never have either because it's geared towards teenage girls with an interest in gymnastics, with a touch of Mean Girls. Obviously, I'm none of those things, so it's really puzzling to even me why I like this show so much.

On the agenda for today:

1. Go for a walk at Dash Point Park, about a 10-minute drive. I can't stand to do my usual trail or neighborhood walk today. It's boring me to death.

2. See a matinee showing of The Help.

3. Pick a few blackberries to have for an evening snack.

4. Buy the ingredients for homemade hummus (Angela's recipe, but make it tomorrow).

5. Stop at the neighborhood produce store for some more white peaches. Almost twice the calories of a regular peach, but twice the flavor.

Another exciting and fun-packed day.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A time to heal

Even though I'm pretty sure I'm a borderline hoarder, perhaps even a full-blown one when it comes to closets, I decided the closet cleaning can wait until my wrist has healed. It was a stupid idea.

I didn't use my left hand the last two days while moving stuff, yet my left wrist was aching terribly by this afternoon. It has me concerned.

Before I decided to stop the madness, I managed to drag two big bags of clothes, ten purses (why do I keep things I don't like?), and even a belly dancing kit (a Xmas gift, the box not even opened), among many other treasures.

I shoved the rest of my junk valuables back into the closet. I'm done for now.

Back to just my walks and moderate one-armed gym workouts. This is not the time for me to do's a time to heal.

Weight this morning was 183.4.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Ambien Diet

Best thing that happened to me today - I made a ponytail with one hand! With a special ponytail thing I found in a drawer and with the help of gravity. I have a ponytail! It's like a little piece of heaven. Yes, I do lead an exciting life.

I should be working on my closet mess, which has now spilled over into the rest of the house. It's like my closet is a bottomless pit of junk. I can't believe the stuff I'm finding. Like 12 pairs of size 12 pants (jeans and dress slacks), so far. I still have piles of clothes to sort through.

I haven't comfortably worn size 12 for about a year. Why are they still hanging there if they don't fit? We all know the answer...because I was going to lose the extra weight...soon. I also have lots of size 14 and 16 clothes. In boxes in the garage are the size 8's and 10's from two years ago. I never dreamed I'd outgrow my size 12's, for about the 20th time in my life.

I actually don't even know what size I wear right now. I have a "one-hand" rule for pants these days. I have to be able to pull then on with my right hand. No buttons. Which means I'm living in my elastic waist workout pants. 

So about this Ambien diet. For the last five or six years, since menopause, I feel like I haven't slept. I can fall asleep easily, I just can't stay asleep. I've practically begged my doctor for Ambien several times, but the most she would ever give me was ten tablets at a time, no refill. She acted like she was prescribing heroin. While I appreciated her conservatism, I just wanted to sleep for an entire night.

Hello cast! My doctor accepted it as a logical reason for my sleepless nights and gave me a refillable prescription for Ambien. The difference in my sleep is incredible, although I do feel a little like I'm doing something I shouldn't be doing. Just a little. Ive been warned about Ambien's addictive properties (and I read about it on the internet), but these days, I'll accept a little help in the sleep department.

The added benefit is that if I'm sleeping, I'm not eating! A pleasant side effect of sleeping through the night.

Although, this morning I remembered a dream where I was eating plums. Then I found a lonely pluot on the counter this morning and a pluot sticker in the sink, I checked the trash. There were two pluot pits right on the top. It wasn't a dream. The really odd thing is that I'd forgotten we even had any pluots. They must have been hidden somewhere in the fridge.

Check out these old posts from last year:

Posted 4-20-2010
The Ambien experience

I've stopped taking Ambien, the prescription sleeping aid. It's dangerous! This morning I woke up and had red stuff all over my hands. It looked liked I'd murdered someone in my sleep.

My fingers were literally "beet red". OMG! I ate the roasted beet dip! I headed into the kitchen and found the container in the refrigerator, with only a couple tablespoons of dip remaining. There was about 3/4 cup in the container when I went to bed. This meant I'd eaten almost the entire 3/4 cup of dip. Considering three tablespoons was 4.5 Points, this isn't a good thing.

Posted 4-20-10
My Ambien blackout I had last night where I ate 1/4 of a loaf of Dave's Killer bread but didn't remember a thing (about 500 calories). This morning I wanted to make breakfast and found the empty bread bag. I asked my husband if he ate bread in the middle of the night and why couldn't he have left me just one slice. He said of course he didn't eat bread in the middle of the night (like I was insane). Plus there was a full glass of milk, untouched, on the counter next to the empty bread bag. I don't remember what happened. Scary!

Then this posted after I quit taking Ambien, 5-27-2010

I continue to sleep the sleep of the damned, waking up several times during the night. I've tried all kinds of things, Ambien, Simply Sleep, meditation, quiet time before bed with Sleepytime tea, Melatonin, and sleep techniques I used when I worked a graveyard shift thirty years ago that always worked like a charm. NOTHING is working. Now it's to the point where the more I worry about it, the worse it's getting. I really don't want to go back to the doctor for a sleeping aid, but I'm not sure what else to do at this point. I just know it's kind of killing me. Everything is in shades of gray when I'm exhausted.

Funny thing, this was in the same post, so about a year ago I was size 10:

One bright spot is I have to retire my size 12 slacks. I have several pairs that I bought last fall because I gained twenty pounds when I was doing all that traveling for work. I've almost lost all of it (19), and now my size 10's all fit. This is the first time in many decades that I'll start summer at the weight I was last summer, which is a weight after losing 75 pounds. Usually by now I would have regained all 75 pounds plus an extra 10-20 for good measure. Of course, I still want to lost another 20+ pounds. Will I ever be happy with my weight? Probably not.

We'll see how this goes, but I don't like the sound of it. How quickly I forgot about the negative aspects of Ambien.

My strange addiction

I typed this yesterday, a paragraph here and there throughout the day, then forgot to hit "publish" before I went to bed. So this really was my day yesterday, Tuesday.

My addiction isn't as interesting or dangerous as eating my couch (where do they find those people?), but I'm addicted to buying (not eating) magazines. I buy a magazine or two at a time, sometimes I read an article or two, sometimes not. After a couple months (or after watching a Hoarders episode) I throw them all away. Usually 20-30 magazines at a time, mostly health related. Really a waste of money.

I guess I could take then to a senior center, but would they really want to read articles like "Sexy Abs, Butt & Thighs"? There's something similar on almost every magazine cover.

Right now I'm looking at a stack of 25 from June, July, August, September. Everything from Oxygen (my fave), Women's Health, Fitness, Oprah Magazine, Shape, Weight Watchers, Natural Health, Prevention and many more. Some of them I haven't even cracked open.

Normally this is about the time I toss all of them, but since I have all this free time, I'm trying to go through two magazines a day.

So what did I learn today? Tons of stuff.

New exercises that I can do with my right arm.

Several fun, healthy recipes I want to try.

Lots of weight loss tips, like did you know cayenne pepper can reduce cravings. Just 1/2 a teaspoon added to your food (which sounds like a lot to me!). I wonder if this is where that cayenne pepper, lemon and molasses in water fast came from that Beyonce did a few years ago.

A book I'm going to order from the library, Joy Bauer's Food Cures. I read a review on it at the vet's office a few days ago (Woman's Day I think), and then in one of my magazines. Sounds interesting.

Best organic protein powder according to Women's Health, Orgain. I checked out the nutritional information on it and I totally disagree. 255 calories a serving! 13 grams of sugar! 7 grams of fat!  And its only 16 grams of protein. Supposedly you get the equivalent of ten servings of fruits and veggies per serving and it's organic (and very expensive)..

I love my MRM Egg White Protein French Vanilla. It's only 120 calories a serving, 0 grams sugar (uses Stevia), 0 grams fat and 23 grams of protein, and it tastes great in my green monster smoothies with a little banana (100 grams), berries (150 grams) and spinach. The only downside is I'm sure it's not from free-range chicken eggs, but you can't have everything.

The truth is all this magazine reading feels a bit like information overload. It's just too much stuff to take in.

Workout bra frustration
I came home from the gym today after an hour of "moderate" cardio (bike, treadmill, crossramp), heart rate 124-134 for most of it so I don't sweat too much into my cast. I was still drenched in sweat. I fought with my workout bra for at least ten minutes and couldn't get it off. It was one of the t-strap kind that's a pull-over type. I can get it on okay but when it's sweaty I need help getting the thing off. Since I was home alone and totally mad and hot and sweaty, I took a pair of scissors and cut it off. That's right, an almost new $35 workout bra in the trash!

Look what I just ordered!
A CastCooler! I'm so excited about this that I can hardly stand it. I want it right now but have to wait 3-5 days for shipping. Especially since my orthopedic surgeon faxed a letter to my work on Monday that I'll be in a cast a minimum of three months. I'm really hoping he's wrong.

Closet cleaning
What was I thinking when I got a wild hair this morning and pulled everything out of my closet (with my one good hand)? Major disaster. It looks like a bomb went off in here. I had good intentions, but forgot how much harder the simplest task is with only one hand. Try putting on fitted bed sheets with one hand (I could write an entire post about that dreadful experience). I did that this morning before I got the crazy closet cleaning bug.

I saw something on the Today show last week that 70% of the junk in our closet shouldn't be there because we don't use it and will never use it. So true but this is a major non-fun chore that I kind of wish I hadn't started! Too late now.

At least I have a lot of time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Senior Monday

I had an argument with my husband yesterday. It was about dishes. Enough said.

I decided to go see a movie alone. Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Great movie. I discovered Glaceau Vitaminwater Zero Naturally Sweetened Water Beverage Lemonade (with Stevia). Delicious poured over a cup of ice.

As I was standing in line, waiting to buy my ticket, I noticed the sign said Senior Monday, $6.00. Age 62 and up. Six more years and I'll be a senior. Just think of all the money I can save.

Then it was my turn. I stepped up to the counter and ask for one adult ticket. The young man, about 18, asked "Senior?". I said "yes". I don't know why I did that, but he said okay, took my $6 and gave me a ticket.

I told him "I'm only 56!" He said "too late, I already rung it up." Gee, thanks a lot. As if I didn't already feel lousy, now I can pass for 62 years old.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's a quarter after one and I need...

It's a quarter after one and I need...a dry cast! I walked for an hour and a half last night at 8pm. The evening was gorgeous. It was 81 degrees with a nice breeze. I was really pushing myself which resulted in a disgusting and very sweaty cast. I've been tucking Kleenex in it and soaking up the sweat. It's totally gross, cold and clammy and really wet. Next I'm going to try the hairdryer. I was asleep for three hours but the cast woke me up because it's so uncomfortable.

My walk
I found a new trail and I'm very excited about it. It's the same BPA trail in Federal Way, a  ten-mile paved loop from my house where I use to ride my bike (too fast...hence broken wrist).

Last night I discovered there's a dirt trail that runs next to the paved trail. It's separated by brush by about 200 feet in most areas. I like this a lot better because the terrain is a lot rougher, much hillier, and fewer people. I had a much harder and more interesting workout last night. Although, I think I'll be buying a can of pepper spray because it's a bit secluded.

What my husband said about my diet and exercising affecting our lives..what I didn't tell you
I was mad and hurt at first. I told him I didn't choose to be like this and it sure as hell wasn't fun for me either. I'd love to eat whatever I wanted whenever the mood struck me (like he does), but if I did I would easily gain 100 pounds very quickly, and more. It's my cross to bear in life, this thing I have with food. I'm doing the best I can, but it will always be a battle for me. Always.

He tried to continue with his reasoning that it causes a lot of hardship for HIM. This isn't the first time we've had this "discussion". I didn't back down before, and I certainly didn't this time. He has no concept of deprivation when it comes to food. He never looks at calories or carbs or fats, or any food label. He's never heard of nor does he care about my BodyMedia.

He's not skinny and needs to lose at least 50 pounds, but he refuses to count calories or track his food, and he basically eats whatever he wants, when he wants it. If he's hungry, he eats. Nor does he exercise except 'working' in the yard.

So when he tells me that me being on a diet all these years has been hard on him, I just want to scream. I sort of understand it, I guess, in a tiny, insignificant way maybe it has impacted him.

I don't cook fat-laden, delicious meals like his mother did when he was growing up.

Or maybe I do always check out how many calories in an item before I eat it, or pick a restaurant based on what's available that I know is healthy and I can eat without totally ruining my diet.

I never eat movie popcorn with him. Does this stop him? I wish it did, but it doesn't. I don't say anything either, like 'do you know how many calories are in that?! OMG!'. I keep my mouth shut and don't make an issue about it. I'm not a popcorn fan so it doesn't bother me, but I know it's very unhealthy for him.

Birthday cakes, I have a sliver then the rest gets cut up in pieces and frozen...all for him.I still haven't figured out why he keeps buying birthday cakes for me (I guess he likes cake?).

Then he told me he resents all the time I spend working out. Those were fighting words. He apparently has no concept of how hard it was, and sometimes still is, for me to exercise almost every day. I consider this a major achievement in my life, to be a person that works out consistently. I've been doing this for over three and a half years and plan on doing it the rest of my life. And he "resents" it?

That's when the conversation took a bad turn because that really me me mad.

I told him I wasn't changing. This was all for my heath. Period. I wasn't going to ever stop my vigilance with food. I will continue to exercise until I'm physically unable to do it. I told that I was sorry this was such a hardship for HIM (I didn't scream it, but I wanted to). I also told him if I didn't do these things I could guarantee him I'd gain a lot of weight very quickly. Didn't he remember how miserable I was at 240 pounds? Talk about not being fun! I was very unhappy..

My husband isn't an ogre nor is he stupid. He quickly apologized, told me he was proud of me, of how hard I try and how much I work at being healthy. He would never want me to stop (that was the correct response if he wanted to stay married).

On the other hand, I'm trying to lighten up a little. That was why I agreed to the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet at a casino. Although in my head I was dreading it (no nutritional info so I had to make my best guess on calories)  and I knew there was no way we'd get our money's worth on my dinner.

It's all good. I'm still counting calories and still exercising, and we're still married. :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I spent the night with Elvis

Okay, so it wasn't the whole night, only about ninety minutes. It wasn't the real Elvis, but this guy, Elvis impersonator Steve Sogura (who was incredibly and surprisingly good):

It was our 23rd wedding anniversary yesterday. We usually try to do something different or special on our anniversary because it is a special day (Lord only knows how we made it this far).

Since I can't travel (my flight benefits are suspended - which is fine), my husband wanted to go to the Muckleshoot Casino for their all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. Personally, I'd almost rather have my eyes poked out with a sharp stick.

a.) I hate casinos. The noise, the smoking, and watching people that you know can't afford it throwing away good money is all almost more than I can stand. I'm not a gambler and personally, I just do not understand the entertainment value. I've tried it a few times and thought it was boring and a waste of money (obviously Ive never won anything substantial).

b.) All-you-can-eat seafood buffet. Need I say more?

In an effort to be more fun, I agreed to go. A few weeks ago my husband told me that my constant diet and exercise really has had a negative impact on our lives all these years, and he was tired of it (not of me, I guess--just my relationship with food and how I often don't want to do food related activities). He doesn't get it.

I could write a very long post on the previous paragraph but since I only have one good hand, I'll spare you for now.

My review of the Muckleshoot Casino food -  yuk! Bad food. I didn't know it was peel your own shrimp and crack your own crab. With only one hand that is almost impossible. My husband offered to do it for me but I didn't like the shrimp (mushy and tasted funny) and the crab was super salty so after one bite I was done with the crab.

My dinner was Northwest salmon (wild Alaskan Chinook is better), smoked salmon (too salty), a few shrimp, a big pile of perfectly steamed broccoli, and cantaloupe and honeydew melon for dessert.

In spite of the food not quite being what we expected, we had a really good time. We decided to go to the free show, the Elvis impersonator, Steve Sogura (from Ravensdale, WA). It sounded a little cheesy and I didn't expect much. I was shocked at how much he sounded, looked and moved like a young Elvis. Especially the voice. He had it down perfectly. My husband, a rather harsh critic, loved the show. I'd highly recommend it (skip the buffet).

Weight this morning, a new low (well, at least this time around): 183.4.

By the way, you'll notice no pictures of me for a while. I had a hair catastrophe earlier this week. A bang trim that butchered my bangs. Almost an inch and a half above my eyebrows, and ash blond on my golden blond hair. I have an appointment to get the color fixed (with my regular color person). The bangs, well, I guess they'll grow. Long story on what happened. Anyway, I'm camera shy right now.

Funny thing, two days after my bad hair experince, Jen, Prior Fat Girl, wrote this post with the video, " I Am Not My Hair" by India Arie. Made me smile.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wednesday's Cruise in pictures

The day was fun. Good people, good food, good weather..

I ate as healthy as possible on the cruise considering we had to pre-order the food and no nutritional information available. I had salmon, mashed potatoes that were amazing but I ate only about 1/3 cup, and fresh asparagus. There was bread and a little salad before lunch and strawberry cheesecake afterwards that was the best cheesecake I've ever tasted (I had one very tiny bite). My best guesstimate using BodyMedia to log my food was 670 calories for that one meal. I had even left a lot of food on my plate.

Exercise lacking yesterday but I made up for it today (StairMaster).

Doctor appointment in the morning to review my lab results. 

Too tired to write anything else (with my one hand).

What we saw when we got off the chartered bus from our corporate office.

From onboard the boat from the dining room.

From the top deck.

More from the deck

The top deck.

The 35-year lapel pin. There were company anniversaries from 20 to 40 years (starting with 20 every five years is a milestone with a celebration). Total years of experience of the people being honored was 990 years. My best friend got the most applause because to know her is to love her.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I really wanted to say something worthwhile, but it takes too many words

Just checking in, me and my one hand.

Weight today is 184.6. Woohoo! Much better than the 199.6 I saw at the doctors office 3 weeks ago, Followup visit with her Friday to review my lab work. Got the results in the mail last night. Looks like she had every possible test run on me. I don't even know what a lot of it means. Guess I'll find out Friday.

I'm off work for three weeks until the cast comes off. I made the decision last Friday and my doctor agreed. I can't type all day with one hand, with the other one up in the air (above my heart) so it doesn't swell. I tried last week and was miserable. I went home each day with major backaches from how I was sitting. Being home with this cast isn't fun so don't envy me.  I have over 700 hours of sick leave so I'll be getting paid.

Although I do have an event to attend today. It's my best friend's 35 years with our company celebration today. An Argosy cruise around Puget Sound. It's catered and I ordered the wild salmon. Pictures tomorrow.

That's all for now. Have to get ready and pick up my girlfriend in about an hour and then the company has a chartered bus taking us downtown. Gorgeous weather here so should be fun.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I hope my arm doesn't rot and fall off

Sorry about my continuous complaints about my cast and being one-handed. I know I'm being over dramatic, but I've never had a cast or a broken anything. I kind of hate it.

Every time I whine about some inconvenience of this cast I think of the woman that had her face, eyes, and hands eaten by a chimp Which for some reason that day it was on the news last week I couldn't say the word chimp. I kept saying "shrimp". "Did you hear about the woman that had her face eaten off by a shrimp? I mean shrimp! No, c-h-i-m-p!" It was like I had a stroke or something. Really weird (and maybe a tiny bit funny if such an event can be funny).

Sorry about all the typos in my last few posts. I need to remember spell check!

Now, back to my whining...

The cast drama
I'm trying not to sweat when I go for my walks or go to the gym, but it's impossible! To get my heart rate up to 120-130, which is actually sort of low, I sweat. Normally this is a good thing but my cast is getting super gross. Right now it's wet, sticky and clammy inside. I wake up in the middle of the night and want to rip it off. Then I remember, it's attached to my arm for the next three weeks.

I keep imagining some yucky, stinky fungus growing inside of it. It comes off in three weeks for x-rays but the doctor said the best case scenario is my arm will go back in a cast for two more months. Worst case, surgery (which horrifies me). I'm praying for a one-month miracle.

In other sad news I had a conversation with a trainer at Bally's today (my regular gym). He told me if I have a cast for three months, my arm will shrink 30-40%. Yikes! To build it back up, it will take two months of hard work (exercise) for each month I have the cast on to get it back to where it was before the cast. Another "yikes!".

He did agree that I should keep working out the good arm. I'll be out of balance and freakish looking for a while, but there's not much I can do about it.

Not cured of my food issues but I'm better
Since I started wearing my BodyMedia almost 24/7 and then my accident about a week later, my eating is "almost" under control. I say "almost" because I've been logging every bite and have stayed right around 1500 calories, which is how much I think I should be eating.

BodyMedia thinks I should be eating 1900. That would probably work if I could get in some "vigorous" activity, but that's not happening much these days when I'm trying not to sweat a lot. When they say vigorous that's with a heart rate in the 140s. Not happening.

It's not that I've lost interest in food, I definitely still enjoy it. It seems like when I cut out most sugar right after I got the BodyMedia, that it really helped me get control of my cravings. This is nothing new to me. I've known this was my problem for years, sugar, either processed or too much fruit is my kryptonite. So why is it always such a surprise to me that if I stop eating sugar the cravings subside? I do not have the answer to that question. Selective memory I guess.

Unfortunately Sunday I bought a big box of Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bars (Costco). They're good, but not so delicious that I'd want to eat the whole box (or so I thought). 11 grams of sugar per bar and 70 calories (Dreyers fruit bars are 20 grams of sugar each--too much!).

I ate four Yassos in one sitting last night, AND then three servings of fresh crab (Costco again - 70 calories a serving) AND a perfectly ripe mango (another 160 calories). Total late night snack, 650 calories. I think that's called a binge. Total for the day was 1971 calories. My first binge since July 27.

I guess as long as I learned something from last night it's sort of okay (not really, but I'm working on accepting myself as the flawed human that I am). The lesson is don't eat any sugar late at night. Pretty basic rule. Veggies or protein are okay. Sugar and carbs at 11pm, not okay.

Great recipe
From MizFit's Sunday post - Apple-Bacon-Chicken. It's been my dinner the last two nights. Delicious! I had a few substitutions - Canadian bacon, instead of regular bacon, no oil other than a little Pam, Greek yogurt with a spicy sweet mustard, and a little Stevia. Served over a bed of spinach. Also the apples were organic Fuji's. Sort of a pain to make with one hand, but worth good.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

BodyMedia weekly summary - I love this thing!

Just a quick evening update (2 posts in one day typed with on hand!).

This is my BodyMedia's "Performance Summary" for the last seven days. I can get a 7, 14, 21, or 28-day summary. Very cool.

Sleep isn't as bad as it looks because I didn't wear the BodyMedia one night. Too uncomfortable, and fighting with cast and the BodyMedia was too much! I'm getting use to it and sometimes I even forget I have it on (the BodyMedia, NOT the cast!)..

I love this part:

And this one (missed my average daily calories burned by 19 calories...not bad):

I love this one too!

You can see why I'm in love wiyh my BodyMedia. It's a super cool weight loss tool. There are other parts to the report. Every category is broken dow..

Well, my right hand is complaining so bed time!

I found an advantage of having only one good arm--upper body workouts take half the time!

I Googled "one arm cast workouts" and found several sites suggesting to keep training the arm that isn't in a cast. I had been wondering if I should just let both arms lose their muscle tone (which was killing me). Almost everything I read said that it's best to continue to work out the good arm. They suggested to not increase it's strength but to maintain it. That made me very happy.

Today was my first right-arm strength training routine. I did it at home with 10- and 15-pound dumbbells. It seemed really weird and only took 20 minutes for six exercises (3 sets each and 12 to 15 reps each set).

I have to keep my left arm with the cast up in the air so it doesn't swell. The cast is very snug around my wrist to keep it totally immobile (at least I guess that's why, or maybe it was just to just torture me!). If it swells just a tiny bit the pressure is almost unbearable.

I've been keeping up on the cardio workouts on a regular basis, mostly by walking, but also the gym. I can manage the stationary bike (funny, since I'm this situation because of my bike) and the crossramp. I could probably do the treadmill but I hate that thing. If I'm going to walk, it'll be outside as long as the weather is nice. I can also do the lower body weight machines.

Yesterday I walked to the clinic to have the lab take my blood for a follow-up visit with my regular doctor to check my cholesterol, glucose and all that other stuff. The weather was perfect, about 62 and overcast. Three miles one-way, so it was a nice six-mile walk round-trip. The sun came out on my way home, but still cool. A really nice day.

Since my favorite blood giving vein (my geyser vein for donating blood) is in my left arm which is in the cast up past my elbow, the phlebotomist  had a terrible time getting one tiny vial of blood. She couldn't find a vein inside my elbow that would give more than a few drops of bood, She tried the back of my hand. Major burning pain. Then she tried my arm again. Then she  give up and got another phlebotomist that found a vein in my forearm. With three bandages on my good arm I walked the three miles home. I'm pretty sure people that saw me on the trail thought I'd been run over by a train or something.

The good arm after the vampires phlebotomists got done with me at the clinic:

Below is what was on the sign at the clinic when I arrived. I never mentioned this but when I got up to 199.8 a few weeks ago I was actually giving some thought to the lapband surgery (only for a few minutes, then I came to my senses). I'm not sure whether to credit my BodyMedia (which I still totally love!) or my broken wrist for my new lack of obsession with food. Maybe it's a little of both. It's something I'll write about in my next post, but I'm still trying to figure it out. I was 187.4 this morning (with my cast which is approximately 2 pounds I think...per Google 2 - 3 lbs.).

Pretty flowers I saw on my way home. I would have barely noticed these if I had been on my bike. Someone told me they're a butterfly bush. I thought they were so pretty we should plant one in our yard. Turns out Washington has deemed them a "noxious weed". Still pretty.

This is the spot on my trail where I crashed my bike two weeks ago. The crash site is located where the person that is farthest away in the picture is standing. There weren't any people on the trail when I crashed. I walked by it yesterday and looked for a pothole or something that made me lose my balance. Nothing but smooth pavement. It doesn't even seem that steep (although I know going up it is really difficult on my bike).

Last but not least, a sketch of a hand and the scaphoid bone. It's the kind of peanut shaped bone, bottom left in the picture. Mine has a major fracture near the forearm and that's why I have full cast from my knuckles almost to my shoulder (which, if I haven't mentioned, is miserable!).

It's taken me several attempts to write this post. Typing with one hand is extremely frustrating and s-l-o-w!

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Making lemonade...with a broken wrist?

I bet you thought I was going to say "making lemonade with lemons". My last few post have been trite sayings, albeit true. Especially the "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger".

I'll be the first to admit I was a big baby yesterday. I was an emotional wreck. Going in for what I thought was nothing more than an x-ray that I was sure would prove nothing was wrong with me and the pain was totally imaginary, and then walking out with a full knuckles to shoulder cast was devastating. Add in the time of three months minimum in the cast and possible surgery, well, I guess I was in a state of shock. All I could do was cry.

My first thought was my upper body weight lifting. I couldn't lift weghts for three months. That was like the end of my world as I knew it. Yes, I know. BIG BABY.

Then there was all the stuff I couldn't do for myself. Open jars, do my hair, fasten my bra, carry more than one item at a time (like breakfast AND a cup of coffee). Let's not forget my job. I'm a software developer (among other things). It's hard enough to code and type with two hands. Try it with one hand. The list of what I couldn't do was endless.

Of course, top of the list of what I thought I couldn't do was weight loss. My illogical thinking was, great, now I'm physically challenged. I can't exercise. I'll for sure want to eat ALL the time, and of course, lots of bad foods (and don't tell me there aren't any 'bad foods", because in my world there are such things). With no exercise, and eating like a pig I'll definitely balloon up to 300 pounds in no time. I'm doomed! Life as I knew it is over!

That was yesterday. Today was a hell of a LOT better.

I'm not saying any of this is easy, because everything is a  lot harder with only one hand. But it's not impossible. Except making a decent looking ponytail. I haven't figured out that trick yet. I just have to focus on being creative in figuring how to do simple tasks with only one hand when two would be much better.

I'm off to bed now, Very tired.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Don't I look miserable? I tried to smile but honestly, I just want to cry.

I have a severe fracture of my scaphoid wrist bone. Only the most important bones in my wrist.

A full cast for three months...if I'm lucky. The alternative is surgery in a month if it's not healing properly. I don't like either option but I hate surgery.

Several of you suggested seeing a doctor after my bike accident. Since I was still having wrist pain I scheduled an appointment for this morning with an orthopedic surgeon. I actually saw three surgeons this morning. The first was a young intern, barely wet behind the ears, then the real doctor, then the #1 orthopedic surgeon in the area (at least that's what they told me), he just happen to be down to the Federal Way Clinic from the Seattle Virginia Mason Clinic. He's the one that made the diagnosis and had them put me in this miserable cast.

This is life I guess. Ironic because I love doing upper body workouts. Well, that's not going to happen for three months. I guess I'll focus on abs and lower body. My cardio will have to be walking. Lots and lots of walking.

Even worse than not being able to exercise my regular routine is that I can't type with my left hand. I type for a living, software development. Not good.

I just want to cry.

Before my day went to hell at the doctor's office, I weighed in at 188.4. That was a nice number to see (much better than 199.8 from two weeks ago). It's going to be a real battle to keep going with my weight loss with my arm out of commission, but I intend to keep up the good fight in spite of this setback with the cast.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Another year older...another year better?

Today was my 56th birthday. I sort of felt like a wreck this morning. My injuries from my bike crash last weekend are still plaguing me. My wrist still hurts, my knee is still swollen and feels like a water balloon is attached to it, and to make things worse, I woke up with a sore throat and sneezing today. Happy birthday to me.

We had plans to head up to Mt. Rainier to hike at Sunrise. The cooler was packed with healthy food and the backpacks with hiking supplies. I was very disappointed to tell my husband it probably wasn't a good idea for me to go hiking because I felt like crap. Luckily, I'm married to a very understanding person and what could have been a really rotten birthday turned into a day of fun.

My husband brought me a dozen roses and a cute card with kittens that sang happy birthday with kitties meowing. I'm a cat person so it was very appropriate. He signed it "Love, from all of us!".

We sat around in our bathrobes until noon and then ate one of the healthy sandwiches I'd made for lunch. Flatout bread, hummus, spinach, chicken breast. Yummy!

Dessert was birthday cake of course. When my husband took it out of the box I was really surprised he'd picked out such a great cake. It had whip cream frosting with strawberries mixed into the frosting, and it was coated with white chocolate shavings around the outside edge. I was eager to take pictures, and was snapping away as he took it out of the box, making over what a pretty cake he'd chosen. He couldn't stop laughing, and I couldn't figure out why. Can you see what he thought was so hysterical?

I didn't even notice it said 65! I'm 56, NOT 65! Funny guy.

We decided to go see a movie we'd both had been dying to see and we both loved it! I love Westerns and I love Sci-fi. This was a perfect match! Oh, and now I'm in love with Daniel Craig. I hated him as 007, but he was great in this movie. Super sexy guy.

Then we decided to go for a walk down at the boardwalk at Redondo beach:

 Me...56 years old! (that's my BodyMedia on my left arm).

After walking around for a about an hour we were hungry, so we went here for dinner. Not my picture because I forgot to take one! From their website.

 My dinner...Crab and Shrimp Louie, and a glass of wine (yum..forgot how much I love wine). I only dipped my fork in the wonderful shrimp louie was to die for.

On the way back to the car and the sun has gone down.

So overall, it was a pretty great birthday. Being 56 really isn't so bad.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I miss my left hand

Since my bike accident last Saturday when I sprained my left wrist, my left hand has been pretty useless. I can type (although even typing hurts a little), but I can't even lift a coffee cup without wincing with pain. I accidentally lifted my purse with my left hand today, and it almost brought me to my knees with pain.

I'm really regretting my decision not to see the doctor after my accident. It took the swelling in my hand three days to go down so that it looked more human (it looked like a fake hand), and it's still a bit swollen. I can't wear my wedding ring or my watch. Since it sort of hurts all the time, I've decided to go see the doctor. Even if there's nothing they can do, at least I'll feel better knowing it will heal someday (I hope!).

My most favorite part of going to the gym is the weight lifting. I detest cardio, always have and probably always will. Since lifting even a five-pound dumbbell this week was out of the question, I stayed out of the gym (it kind of broke my heart, but I didn't go). Plus I was trying to give my body time to heal, especially my wrist.

My bike accident was actually pretty serious, and I have the bruises all over my body to prove it. The bruise on the inside of my right knee is amazing. I've never seen anything like it. It's eight inches in length and four inches across. It's still a deep reddish purple, and it's still very sore to the touch and kind of burns all the time (maybe the doctor should look at this too). I was looking at it tongiht and thought it looked swollen. I measured my knees and the bruised one is two inches bigger than my undamaged knee. No wonder it looks so fat!

Even though I stayed out of the gym all week, my BodyMedia really motivated me to still get in my exercise. I set it to give me goals to meet so I would lose two pounds a week. It set my goal at 10,000 steps, one hour of moderate exercise and 30 minutes of vigorous exercise per day. Calorie intake at 1910 per day, although I'm aiming more at 1,300-1500.

These are tough goals to make but I'm amazed at how motivated I am to make them. This BodyMedia is the best investment I've ever made in my weight loss journey (that and my Polar heart rate monitor - I still use it). I know I sound like a commercial, but I really love this thing. I bought the armband and the Bluetooth display. At first I thought the Bluetooth display was a waste of money (for another $99). But it's really fun to check it during the day to see how many calories burned or how many steps I've taken. It makes me get up from my desk and run downstairs to get water and ice (no ice machine on my floor). Just that little jaunt is 100 steps and they all add up.

When I get home, I can't wait to sync up my BodyMedia on my computer to see how I've done during the day and where I am on the calorie deficit. Entering my meals is so much easier than Weight Watchers and a lot more fun because you can see all the details of what you eat.

I was surprised that my total calories each day are almost always a balance of the following: Carbs = 50%, Protein = 25% ,and Fat = 25%. It various a little, but it's been pretty close to that every day, and I'm eating different foods and a different calorie amount almost every day so I can't figure out how this is happening. I don't know if that's a good balance or not, but I think the Zone Diet is 40 / 30 /30. I've never done the Zone Diet but I have a friend that swears by it.

For my exercise I've been walking/running at lunch. When I get home, if I haven't made my exercise goals I go for another walk/run, usually it only takes another 20 minutes. Tonight at 8pm I went for a 25 minute walk/run. I met and actually went above my exercise and step goals.

I've done a fair job of meeting these goals most days. A couple days I either ate too much fruit (darn those nectarines, plums, cherries and apricots!) and/or got stuck at my desk during lunch (like yesterday) and didn't get any exercise.

I was down to 189 on Tuesday, but then my weight jumped back up to 191 the next morning, and I didn't overeat. My guess is it's the swelling in my knee, and my other bruised and injured body parts.

My night binge eating has basically stopped. I don't really know why, other than I can't bear the idea of entering my binge foods into the BodyMedia website. The one night that I did go crazy on the fruit, I entered in every bite. I was at 2005 calories, which is more than I think I should be eating, but seeing how many calories I'd burned that day made me feel a little better.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to the gym to do some lower body weight machines and maybe the StairMaster. When I ballooned up to 199 a couple weeks ago I couldn't even think about the StairMaster, but I'm feeling more fit and ready to tackle it now.

I usually never post what I eat, but just for fun, I thought I'd post my 2005 calorie day from Monday. You can all see what a pig I can be at times. My late night snack was 761 calories!

Here's a fairly decent review on the BodyMedia & BodyBugg (both made by the same company):