Total Weight Loss

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On Cutting My Toenails

When I was at my heaviest, I had pedicures regularly.  I said that I worked hard and deserved to be pampered.  That was, and still is, true.  However that was not the entire story.  I really couldn't cut my own toenails.  

I couldn't maneuver around my big belly to get down there, or move my legs up to get to them.  Neither one of my legs was going to move like that and the arthritis in my right hip made that one all the worse.

So, I told myself I was giving myself a treat even though I knew deep in my heart the real reason why I kept getting regular pedicures.  I had to.

Now, I still get pedicures because I do love the indulgence.  But now they are just that.  Special times for me alone, or with a special friend or family member.  Because now I can, and do, just did, cut my own toenails!

Monday, October 28, 2013

On Getting Hungry

A little more than a year ago I started working from home.  It has been a good decision and I'm glad things have worked out as they have.  It is impossible to know all of the implications of changes will be and I've had quite a few.  The biggest one as it relates to this blog is getting hungry.  It makes sense; let me explain.

When I worked in an office, I kept a fairly regular schedule.  There were individuals around me that helped keep me on that schedule should I try to veer off.  Specifically speaking - lunch time.  There was a group of us that generally ate together most days.  So, if I got overly involved in some activity, and didn't show up at lunchtime, there was someone at my desk to check on me.

Now, I can work and work and not notice the time.  Sometimes, my stomach will growl and I'll wonder why I'm so hungry so soon.  Then, I'll notice the time and know it is not too early to be hungry.  Even then, sometimes, I'll decide to finish what I'm doing rather than go eat right then.  Sometimes, but not often, eating is a chore.  It is something messing up my train of thought on a project.  I'd just rather not be interrupted right then.  It is still rare, but it happens.

I began to think about what my life was like when I first started down this weight loss road.  I was fearful of being hungry.  I actually remember having a conversation with one of the counselors about it.  I liked the feeling of fullness in my body.  Hunger was  an enemy and something to be vanquished.

Now, I know that hunger isn't going to kill me.  A little hunger is a good thing.  It tells me that my body is ready for more food.  It is OK for me to eat.  Now, I am learning how my body feels with the right amount of fuel.  I don't like the over stuffed feeling.  My brain has learned that the feeling of being too full is associated with weight gain and that isn't good.

My brain is learning now, what that just right feeling is like.  I like it here.  I like it in this place.  I like that I don't mind getting hungry.  I especially like that I know better how to make good choices about what and how much I eat.  I'm still learning, I'm not there yet, but I'm on the right path now.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What I'm Eating

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm not following any weight reduction eating plan right now.  The hubs and I are making our food budget the same as SNAP for 30 days.  As a result, when I went to the grocery store, I got the most basic of items, not wanting to go over budget first thing.  I got white bread because it was the least expensive.  I left all the non-sugar sweeteners in the store because sugar is cheaper.  I even got a bag of white potatoes!

I was a bit afraid of adding back all those simple carbs to my diet.  I've read for so long, and agreed, that those things are not good for us.  I had vilified those things in my mind to the point that I felt ashamed when I bought them.  I felt as though I should explain to those around me why I was buying these things.  I didn't and I ate them.

I've eaten toast with cooked apples on it for two days now, and loved it.   I drank tea with sugar rather than agave nectar. The sugar sweetened tea didn't seem as sweet.  In short, I've had more carbs both simple and complex (more fruit). in the last three days than I've had in I don't know when.  And nothing happened; at least nothing bad has happened..

I haven't binged.  I haven't wanted to binge.  I haven't had any cravings.  My mind has been on food a good bit, but it has been on the cost monetarily rather than the cost of it calorie or carb-wise.  I eat what we have when it is time and I move on.

A few good things have happened for both of us.  We've both lost weight.  We've both noticed that our natural hunger has returned.  When we have noticed rumblings, we have noted that it is time to eat.  Neither one of us are obsessing over what we can eat.  We're making the best choices we can with our food dollars and that is that.

We're just three days in so I'm trying not to celebrate too much too soon, but 65MD is talking about making this a way of life.  I'm not opposed; I'm just waiting until more time passes and we have fuller information to make the call.  So far, so good!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What I'm Doing Now

Nothing!  Not really but I'm not following a structured plan right now.  My intention upon returning from Guatemala was to get back on the meal replacement shakes.  Life intervened and I never got started.  Since the regain was falling right back off I decided not to tamper with what was working.

The hubs and I took a fall break trip last weekend and hatched a plan that we embarked upon today.  We are keeping our food budget to $270 for the next 30 days.  That includes food we buy at the store and food we already have at home.  The $270 figure is what we've read is the national average for SNAP (food stamp) recipients.  ($4.50 per day per person)

We feel like keeping our food budget so low will automatically limit what and how much we eat.  We won't be unhappy if we lose a few pounds during the process.  We are documenting this adventure on another blog.  Feel free to follow us there.  I will continue to update here as well, but not in the detail that we plan to on the other blog.

I'm excited to see where this path leads us!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What I Did in Guatemala

Since a couple of my faithful followers asked for more specifics about the trip, I'll share some in this post.  I've got good news on the weight loss front as well.  I'll share that at the end.
(The natives to the area where we stayed pronounced it more like WHAT-emala.  I thought this was a clever title but no one other than me would get it.)

I was on a medical mission trip.  It is a christian based trip but not restricted to one specific group.  In fact, one does not have to claim christianity to go, although most on the trip I was on were believers.  My sister, who is a labor and delivery nurse made a trip with this organization (Health Talents International)  several years ago. It was one of the most positive experiences of her life.  Her husband had passed away and she had been in a very dark place for a very long time with his extended illness.  This trip rekindled something inside of her that she sorely needed.  Ever since that time, I have been trying to make a trip myself.
HTI makes 10 trips per year.  She went in February and continues to go each February.  I have never been able to work out a February trip.  For a couple years, a group of ladies from where I worship have been going.  I was gladly welcomed as a part of that group.  This year there were four of us that traveled together.

We met about 50 other individuals from all over the country in Guatemala City and rode a bus about 3 hours towards the Pacific Coast to the clinic.  The clinic performs surgeries and gives other medical care on site and conducts remote clinics throughout the villages each day.  

The group consists of all types of medical professionals from surgeons to nurses to EMTs and even medical students.  Then there are the rest of us!  Those without medical training care for the patients before & after surgery by perhaps calming the children with a teddy bear or a warm hug.  It is not necessary to speak Spanish,  We had several translators along too.

I worked in the sterilization room with 3 men.  They had all been in there before and there was an easy camaraderie among them. They welcomed me into their fold and showed me all of the ins & outs of sterilization.  It is way more than washing instruments in antibacterial soap!  The instruments have to packed and wrapped in a special way and then finally sterilized in an autoclave, which is a giant steam oven.  We joked about 'cooking' the instruments and compared our cooking with Walter White's on Breaking Bad.

There were three ORs and we were allowed to scrub and enter if there were no instruments to wash.  I saw several surgeries and was quite fascinated by the whole thing.  Our bodies are amazing.  I went to one remote clinic and saw many more of the locals and got a better idea of what life is like there.  It is a simpler way of life.  Everyone seemed so happy.  It was a refreshing break from the hustle & bustle that so often surrounds us in our society.

Even with Montezuma's Revenge exacting vengeance on me, it was a good trip.  I learned a lot and am glad I went.

Since I have been back, I have been thrown headlong in to the hustle and bustle of life.  Being gone two weeks in such rapid succession left me with a pile of work to sort through.  That has been a good thing for me as far as weight loss goes.  I am less than 1/2 lb over what I was when I left.  

I have not tried to follow any plan, not even drinking the meal replacement shakes.  I've been getting up in the morning and getting to work.  When I feel the need to eat, I go get something, eat and get back to work.  I just felt like I didn't have time to put the energy in to following a plan.  I have good healthy food in my house so that helps.  I am happy for the weight loss, no matter how it comes, but even more grateful that it hasn't been a battle to get it off.  I'm hoping to keep this momentum going for some time to come.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Trip

I got back from Guatemala over the weekend.  Much to my dismay and chagrin, I gained weight!  I knew I had, my tummy was really pooching out by the time I got home.  I think part of it was bloat because I spent a lot of time sick.  The tummy pooch came after I got some medication and returned to some modicum of health.

I gained almost 5 lbs while I was gone.  I've lost almost 3 so that leaves only 2 to get back to my pretrip weight.  Since the weight has fallen back off so quickly, I'm wondering if it was the medication.  I took it from Wednesday through the end of the trip.  

I really don't feel like I ate too much.  Let me explain how life worked down there before I get in to what I ate.  It was a medical mission trip.  We stayed on the same campus as the clinic in dorm style rooms, with a common bathroom for men and one for women.  There were sweet, local women that worked hard all day long preparing three meals each day.  Everyone was served the same thing, in a buffet style.  Our options were how much we served ourselves, if any.  It was a nice arrangement.

Meals were served at 7:00 am 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm.  No snacks unless you brought them with you.  I thought I would starve, but I was so busy (or sick) that I didn't notice getting hungry.

For breakfast most days we had eggs of some style, black or red beans, salsa, tortillas and fresh fruit, along with some fresh squeezed fruit juice.  I put the eggs, beans and salsa on a tortilla trying to make a breakfast burrito the first couple of days.  I got tired of that quickly, so I focused on the fresh fruit, which was usually watermelon or pineapple.  The one day they actually had omelets I was too sick to eat,

The other two meals were mostly chicken based with a rice dish and another vegetable also served with tortillas and fresh fruit.  We had steak one night, but I didn't get any because I was too sick to eat.  We had dessert at a few of the evening meals.  It was cake that wasn't frosted.  It wasn't hard to pass that by after the first try.

All the meals, even the ones considered "American" had a decided Central American flavor to them.  Most of what I had I enjoyed, and trying the new flavors and styles of food was interesting.  The only time I refused something was when I took a big drink of cantaloupe juice.  I hate cantaloupe!  I could not drink it at all.  As far as portions go, I watched the women around me and took portions similar to theirs.  I didn't always know what a serving was.

I left feeling well fed at each meal, but not over stuffed.  I liked not having to worry about what to prepare, how many calories, carbs, fat grams, etc were in the food.  Food was of minimal importance.  I ate when it was time and moved on to the next task.  It felt good not to fret about it.  I think that is the way it is supposed to be.  I hope that is a lesson of this trip I can take with me for the long haul.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Quick Goodbye

I'm leaving for the airport at 4:30 in the morning.  I have a ton of stuff to do to get ready.  I am dreading this trip like none other so I've procrastinated on getting packed.  Even though this is a bucket list item for me, as 65MD had repeatedly pointed out, the timing could not be worse, IMO.  Losing our dog has hit us both very hard, harder than I think either one of us realized.  I don't want to leave 65MD alone, even though he has assured me that this it totally OK with him.

If you could spare a prayer for us during the next 8 days, I would really appreciate it.

BTW, I'm not going to make under 200 lbs before I leave.  I have a friend that is confident that I'll come back lighter.  I'm hoping to reward her confidence.  I'll check back in sometime after the 12th.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'm Sad

On Monday we had to put our 16 year old dog to sleep.  If he had lived until today, he would have been 16 years and 8 months exactly.  He had a full and happy life with us.  In the past months, however, his health declined dramatically.  Over the weekend his legs stopped working.  We knew it was time to let him go.  However logical and reasonable that sounded to our brains, our hearts just didn't accept it.  

The vet came to our house and it was quick and very peaceful and the most gut wrenching thing I have endured.  I have never participated in taking another life.  I had no idea how devastating it would be.  It was the humane thing to do.  The vet supported the decision completely and opened her schedule to accommodate coming to the house.

Our dog is gone and now I am living with the aftermath.  I'll mourn for him for some time, and in time, I am sure happy memories will replace the heartache I feel now.

Why am I putting this on my weight loss blog?  Two reasons.  1.  It is real life and real life happens to all of us.  Stuff like this can't be sugar coated.  2.  I haven't used this as an excuse to eat.

Once we had buried our dog, 65MD offered to take me to one of my most favorite places to eat.  My stomach actually lurched.  Eating was the last thing I wanted to do.  We both needed to get away for a while, so we went to a neat little area near our house where we could sit outside and watch the world go by.  My appetite has not yet returned.  It will.  For now, I'm drinking my shakes and waiting for my heart to heal.