Total Weight Loss

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday Weigh In

The scales read 231.2 this morning.  That is up 1.2 pounds from last week.  Sigh.

I really felt like I'd had a good week.  I'd eaten good healthy food and done as much exercise as I could.  I'm disappointed to be sure.  But, I'm not over the top about it.  I had a good week.  I made good choices.  I can't control the scales.

Recently, I've been reading about women in my stage of life trying to lose weight.  The old cut calories in and burn more calories just doesn't cut it.  In fact, it can backfire (see above).  The culprit is cortisol.  

I can't explain it fully, but somehow estrogen helps keep cortisol in check.  When estrogen decreases cortisol begins to wreak its ugly havoc.  Cortisol is the stress hormone.  It is released when we are under stress.  So, the remedy is slow relaxing walks, warm baths, soothing massages, anything to decrease the cortisol.  I can get behind that!

As counterintuitive as it sounds, I'm all about relaxing.  Relaxing about how many calories or carbs something has.  I know that an apple is a better choice than a cookie.  Relaxing about how fast I can walk a mile.  I'll just walk and enjoy it, or the Wii or whatever without trying to beat my personal best all the time.

Unfortunately for me and my cortisol level, my mother is moving this weekend.  The emotion of it is catching up to me.  I had a major meltdown in church on Sunday.  As much as I tried to be discreet, people five rows back came to check on my after worship!  I have cried every day since.  I thought I was ready.  But the reality of it staring in my face is another thing indeed.

My out of town sister and her daughter are flying in bright and early tomorrow morning.  They will be here for a week.  The movers come on Friday morning to get the big stuff.  The new owner has given us until May 10 to get everything out.  We don't think we'll need that long, but we're all criers.  So, factoring that in, it could be a while!!!  Actually, we think we'll have everything out of the house by Monday.    My sister and niece are planning to stay a few more days to help my mother get settled. 

On a happier note, my nephew's wife is due to have the baby tomorrow.  She is waiting to go into labor so the baby may or may not arrive tomorrow.  Now to get them moved here...

Anyway, I don't know how much I'll be around over the next few days.  Don't fret if you miss me, and if you do miss me say a little prayer.  I'm sure I'll need it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Great Chicago Wallet Incident Part 2

65MD and I have been a little off kilter since coming home from Chicago without his wallet.  We have this sense of waiting for the other shoe to fall.  We have continually remembered things that were in the wallet that need to be replaced, like his library card.  Those can't be bridged.  Nor can store loyalty cards, so whatever loyalty points we had would just disappear like his wallet.  We were trying to decide what we wanted to replace and what we would just let go.

While we were waiting for the new credit cards, we had the unusual experience of having to use cash.  We relied heavily on our cards, paying them off each month, in order to collect travel points.  On Friday night, after my three year old niece's art show at preschool (which was wonderful!), we decided to stop at Wendy's for supper.  Just as we were walking in, 65MD suddenly realized neither of us had a card to use. Before going inside, we counted his cash to see if we could eat there or not.  (I hope this doesn't sound arrogant.  I know most people have to do that.  We do to, only on the back end.  We keep track of our receipts and know when we need to reign it in.)  It was just different than typical.  We had enough cash to each get the 4 for $4.  It was plenty although perhaps not the healthiest option.

On Saturday, the new cards arrived and we activated them.  It felt much better, but still we were unsettled wondering when something might come along to bite us.  Not knowing where the wallet was and if the pickpocket had trashed it, perhaps someone else found it and gotten the cards.  It was an issue we were just going to have to adapt to.

Much to our surprise, when we got home from church yesterday, there was a call on our answering machine.  Everyone knows that we are at church on Sunday mornings.  A call is either an emergency or a wrong number.  I was going with the latter since the caller name & number were totally unknown to us.  As we listened to the message, I fully expected to have to jot down a number to call and tell them they had the wrong person, but I was wrong.  I had to jot down the number but for a totally different reason.  The man had 65MD's wallet!!

He and his family were in the same room as us in the Palmer House.  His four year old son found the wallet completely in tact with cash and everything "underneath the headboard."  We still haven't quite figured that out.  The headboards are attached to the wall and we looked under the bed.  We stripped the sheets and shook them out and both looked under the bed.  We think it must have been between the mattress and the wall.  Maybe the housekeepers knocked it loose or maybe the 4 year old was playing under the bed and found it.  It really doesn't matter now.  The important thing is it was found by honest people.

When 65MD called back, the man was extremely glad to hear from him.  He'd gotten 65MD's school contact info from the wallet and had called Friday afternoon.  However, 65MD left work early and does not check voicemail on weekends.  So this kind, kind man googled 65MD and found our home phone number!  65MD, at that time, did not know the son that found his wallet was only 4.  He told the man to take the cash out for his son as a reward, thinking that it was about $50 and the son was a teen or at least old enough to be impressed by that much money.  The man then explained that his son was only 4 and he just wanted him to learn to do the right thing because it is the right thing.  65MD insisted on at least taking $20.  We'll see.

65MD, not wanting to cause any more trouble for this very generous family asked them just to give the wallet to hotel security and have them send it.  He then called hotel security to make sure they had our address still.  He then learned that the only thing the hotel will mail back is the wallet itself.  They will not mail contents as they do not want to be held liable if all of the contents do not arrive safely. No matter the value of the contents, or if the credit cards have been cancelled. And we would still have to pay the shipping cost. The wallet really was of no consequence.  It wasn't a special gift or anything like that.  It was just a black wallet.

So, 65MD called the gentleman back and explained the situation.  The man said he would send the wallet no problem.  65MD, then insisted that they keep the cash to cover the cost of shipping.  Again, we'll see.

I would really like to publish this man's name and give him all of the accolades he deserves for being an honest man and raising his son to be honest as well.  I won't since, I'm not sure where this will wind up and the last thing I want to do is cause trouble.  I pray that his honesty will be rewarded and I am glad to know that there are a lot of good people out there.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday Weigh-in and Water

Today the scales read 230.0.  That is up 0.6 from my last weigh in before our trip.  I'm sure this is just a little souvenir from the trip and will be gone by next week.  Even though I tried Saturday and Sunday, I really didn't get my mind in the right place until Monday.

My total weight loss from my highest weight five years ago is 24.4 lbs.  It is a real victory that I haven't regained everything.  I'm leaving my ultimate goal weight open.  I want weight loss to be a natural part of my life.  I think it will be with the Granny Plan.  

I think I'll set some mini goals though.  Like getting to my pre-op weight, which was 219. And getting below 200.  I think I'll give myself little rewards as well.  Or I might just give myself an reward every time I lose 10 pounds.  I'm not sure.  I'll let it roll around in my mind a while.

Now, about water - it is almost the only thing I drink.  Obviously, I have cut out sugar.  I've also cut out artificial sweeteners.  I am almost to the point that I think sugar is better than the artificial sweeteners, just almost.  Right now, I'm allowing myself honey or stevia.

I have found some stevia sweetened flavorings at Publix called Everly.  I really like them.  They are nice mild flavors.  Not overly sweet like Crystal Light or Mio can be, IMO.  But I miss my tea.

I like honey in hot tea but not in iced tea.  I've tried several brands of stevia, but I haven't found one that I truly like.  That stuff isn't cheap so I don't want to buy it if I don't love it.  I discovered that I like agave nectar enough to pay the price for it but then I learned that it is really no better than sugar as far as spiking blood sugar is concerned.

A couple of years ago, we grew some stevia in the garden.  I brewed those leaves with my tea.  I enjoyed that.  It took about a cup of leaves per pitcher and just gave it a mild sweetness.  So, of course, that only works in the summer.

I'm searching for a nice chemical free way to sweeten my tea.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Great Chicago Wallet Incident & Getting Home Without It

On Friday, the plan was for 65MD to attend the morning session of his conference and leave the hotel at noon. (We had arranged for late check-out. I don't know why conferences schedule meetings past check out time.) We would make our way to the airport, get through security and have lunch in the airport while waiting for our flight. All neat & tidy like. That is not what happened. 

I fasted breakfast because I'd overdone it on Thursday. Then around 11:30, I realized that it would be another two hours before lunch. I was getting a headache. I decided to eat a Larabar that I'd brought with me. About that same time 65MD got back to the room and began to pack his last few items and he could not find his wallet. We tore the room apart looking for it to no avail. We called hotel security using the in room phone. They were no help. We tried calling the credit card folks to see if any charges had happened since he'd bought breakfast but we could not get a cell signal anywhere, even outside on the sidewalk. He retraced his every step since breakfast and could not find his wallet anywhere. I sent out an emergency 'please pray' email to my family and we left the hotel. When we checked out, 65MD asked if they would send his wallet home if they found it.  They said they'd call and get an address and let us know how much shipping would be.  Really!!

I had $23.63, because my mother had given me a $20 bill before we left! He had $2.00. I also had $100 gift card that I brought just in case I ran across something I couldn't live without. I had not spent any of it. I also had the other credit card on the joint account. His was in his wallet. We needed money for the train ride to the airport and for lunch. We thought we could make it. We bought the train tickets with the credit card. It was a good sign that it hadn't been maxed out already. We got to the airport and found a hot spot to call and report the lost cards. He had two. No charges had been made to either one that weren't ours.  Then it was on to check in and get through security. 

The airline folks (Southwest) were most kind and checked our luggage in early and gave us both boarding passes without a hassle. They said that it was really TSA that made the decision to let us fly or not. We stood in the eternal line to get our ID's checked. The security man was nice, and took us to his supervisor. She was all business. Not unkind, but quite firm and told me to step away since I was not a party to this! I wasn't leaving my husband, but I did move about a foot away. He had nothing that she would accept for proof of identity. He had to complete some sort of document, I was not allowed to assist with and then she made a phone call. He had to answer some questions and passed. Another TSA agent escorted us through security. If I hadn't known what was going on, I would have thought we were getting VIP treatment. This guy was very nice and seemingly quite concerned about the missing wallet.  He surmised that 65MD had his pocket picked.  He said they targeted the nice hotels, dressed to blend in and knew how to spot the tourists.  Of course 65MD had a lanyard around his neck as a conference participant.  He might as well have had a sign saying "I'm not from around here!" 

Once we got through the scanners, 65MD got a very thorough, very complete pat down. When we got through all that. I realized, I'd never finished the Larabar (I'm not sure where I left it, maybe on the bed in the hotel, and that is good enough for them!) I was quite hungry. I didn't want to eat in the food court because we still had our carry on luggage with us. I didn't want to have to try and schlep that around with food as well. We stopped at the first, sit down place we saw.  As we were waiting for the table, I thought I was going to get a Coke. A real one with sugar in it and dessert - something creamy and cool. Almost immediately, I thought that really wouldn't help anything and decided to get a salad. I needed cool greens. I got probably the worst restaurant salad in history and water. I ate it anyway. It wasn't awful, just not good. Besides, I was hungry. 

We got to our gate only to learn that our flight had been delayed. I got hungry again. I remembered passing a nut shop and went back to find it. It must have been before security because I couldn't find it. I was not going through that again even with my ID. I wound up buying some overpriced trail mix at a little stand. It was good, but had too much sugar. AND, I ate the whole thing. The package was 4 ounces and was supposed to be four servings. Right!. We finally got on the plane, where I drank two glasses of ginger ale and ate all 10 peanuts in the package. 

We parked the car at a hotel near the airport.  They have a very reasonable daily rate and they run a shuttle to the airport every 20 minutes.  We got our luggage and the shuttle arrived very quickly.  We had the kindest driver.  We told him about the lost wallet and he seemed genuinely concerned for us.  He drove us straight to our car, since we were the only passengers.  65MD tipped him the last $2.  It felt good to be home.  Even the air felt welcoming.

On Sunday, 65MD got online and reported the missing license and has a new one on the way.  The bank has already sent a new debit card.  We expect the new credit cards any day.  He has a new work ID.  Now the only things to replace are the voter registration card and a couple of store loyalty cards.

It was an ordeal.  We've learned a valuable lesson.  We are taking copies of our ID's with us from now on when we fly.  We'll leave the originals locked in the room safe while we are out and about.  We are thankful that we got home safely and the only thing lost was material.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Quick Catch-up

65MD had a conference in Chicago last week.  I happily agreed to tag along.  I love the tag along!  We planned the trip at the first of the year, thinking that it wouldn't be so cold in Chicago in April.  We were wrong!  They were actually having snow just days before we arrived.

We had a nice trip, but I won't bore everyone with the details.  I'll just share a few tidbits:

First, Chicago is quite windy.  But it is called the Windy City because of the politicians yak & blather.  The name works for the weather too.  I have never been so pummeled by wind.

Next, we stayed in a palace hotel called the Palmer House.  It has an interesting history dating back to the great Chicago fire.  Google it.  If anyone ever finds themselves in Chicago check it out.  A second mortgage is probably required to stay there.  We got a conference rate and 65MD's employer paid, since they require attendance at these things. Just go look around.  It is fabulous.  I hardly left the hotel alone.  Besides being a cool place to explore, I could hardly open the doors against the wind!  

Finally, I had a break through with my shoes!  I found the right tension with the laces.  I can get them on & off without adjusting them and they don't feel floppy when I walk.  We walked a lot!  It was probably 1/2 mile from the gate where we landed to the train that took us to the city.  No exaggeration!  We didn't rent a car because we were staying at the conference site.  So, we had to walk if we wanted to eat outside of the hotel.  We did.  We also wanted to explore the area.  We walked to Lake Michigan and the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower).  We went to Jeweler's Row but I couldn't convince 65MD that I needed any more diamonds!!

We had a very nice trip until Friday, our departure day.  Then 65MD's wallet went missing.  I'll do a whole post about that in a day or two.  Getting on a plane without photo ID can be a challenge.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Wednesday Weigh In

I know it is Thursday.  Yesterday was just one of those days that got away from me.

The scales read 229.4.  YIKES!  That is up 1.6 lbs.  I know it is from the weekend pity party.  That is over now.  It is time to get with the program.  I have.

Not to brag, but I had a great day yesterday.  I decided to go to the knitting/crochet group that meets at our church building on Wednesday mornings.  I have a nephew coming in just a few weeks and his blanket is far from ready.  It seems that the only time I can make any progress is when I'm with the group.  I just can't seem to carve out the time every week to go.  I'm going to start having my nieces on Wednesdays so I'm a little worried about the blanket.  Anyway...

Someone in the group brought leftover Easter Reese's!  I love those things.  I could scarf down a bag of those eggs without taking a deep breath.  She insisted on passing them around.  Oddly, I wasn't even tempted.  I had to touch the bag to pass it along, but that was all I did.  I didn't even take a whiff.  Even when the woman next to me kept asking for the bag back.

As it was getting to be time to go, some of the women started making plans to go have lunch.  I politely opted out.  I really had no desire to go.  No one pushed it.

Just as I had my things packed away to leave a straggler showed up with some freshly baked goodies from a Mexican bakery.  I had never seen such pastries and was quite curious as to how they tasted.  The bag was passed around.  I was tempted, but only by the curiosity.  One of the women, took one out and broke off a piece saying she just wanted to taste it and not spoil her appetite.  A couple more ladies followed suit and took a pinch.  I left as quickly as possible without taking even a taste.

I went to the grocery store and got some fruit and nuts for healthy snacks at home. Going to the grocery store right away was another victory for me.  There was a time when I'd have to come home and rest.  I did my shopping came home and put everything away before needing a rest this time.  Progress is being made, however slowly.

Finally, 65MD asked if I wanted to go to a steakhouse for supper.  I agreed.  I steak and Caesar salad are a great low carb meal.  He had a BOGO for burgers.  Often they will still give the free item if the purchased meal is of greater value.  Not this time.  We both had to get burgers.  So, I did.  I did not eat the bun though.  I indulged in a hot roll, fresh from the oven.  It was much smaller than the bun.  That is how I knew it was still me!

I couldn't believe I was making these choices with hardly a struggle.  The Mexican pastry was the biggest.  One day, I can go get one, if I am still curious.  I liked the way I felt at the end of the day yesterday.  I felt strong, fit and healthy just like the mantra, I have been writing daily since the middle of December.  It took a while, but maybe just maybe it is kicking in.   Time will tell.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sweet Success

I have a lot to catch up on and the word I wanted to use to title this post was "Inconsistent" however, I wanted to be positive and focus on the successes without omitting the inconsistencies.

On Friday, I threw an amazing pity party for one.  I knew I was exaggerating my perceived short comings, but I just didn't have it in me to stop the madness.   65MD fixed my shoe laces saying that they hadn't caught in there properly when he snapped it shut and it wasn't my fault they came apart.  He's a good man. 

On Saturday, I woke up feeling a bit fragile still, hung over from all the whine of the evening before.  65MD wanted to go to the store to get the last of the things we needed for the floor, like grout and baseboard.  I put my shoes on all by myself and didn't break anything - shoes or me!  It took a LONG time, but I managed.  I wore my shoes to the store.  They felt fine, but the warehouse store had concrete floors and everyone within 100 mile radius of the store was there.  It took forever.  By the time we left, I was feeling it. (BTW, the whole floor has been dry fitted!)

Even though things were better on Saturday, I didn't do my best eating.  It wasn't off the charts horrible.  It was my 'on plan' cheating.  I was really wanting dill pickles.  So, I grilled some hot dogs - burned them black,  I love them that way.  I grilled the whole package.  There were only 8 and 65MD wanted some to.  I thought we'd each have two and then have the rest for another time.  I ate two without bread but with lots of mustard and dill pickles.  They were yummy.  I was struggling with eating a third one, when 65MD grabbed another.  So, I couldn't allow him to eat alone, so I had another one as well.  It was protein and no carbs, so it wasn't awful.   Yet, I know that three hot dogs even though that is all I ate was just too much.

I woke up Sunday morning unable to make a fist my hands were so swollen.  My ring finger on my left hand looked like a little sausage where my wedding band was pressing in.  So, once again, I determined to make Sunday a better day.  I did.  

We went out to lunch and I made a good choice there, but even so, restaurant meals have more calories than home prepared and they're sneaky about sodium too.  I did fine until I wanted ice cream for supper so I ate it.  Since nothing is truly off limits, then that wasn't cheating and I didn't have to polish of everything else sweet in the house.

Yesterday, was spot on.  Therapy in the morning and my big meal at lunch just as planned.  Today is on track for being the same.  I've had a good breakfast and plan to break out the Wii this afternoon.  Baby steps to actually going to the gym.  I think I just need to go, even if it is only for 5 minutes.  I feel like once I get that first trip done, it won't seem so intimidating.  

So my focus is on my success:
*I got my shoes on all by myself
*I made a good choice while eating out.
*I ate ice cream without binging after
*I still have not had one slice left over of Easter cake
*I had a spot on day yesterday
*So far today is spot on as well

I am focusing on the success, and acknowledging areas for improvement.  I am trying hard to learn to enjoy the process and not obsess about the results.  I have added a sentence to that end in my daily affirmation.  I think I need to come up with some rewards for reaching the 'process' goals.  Something like a manicure when I've been to the gym 5 times or a pedicure when I've done therapy 10 times.  Those thoughts are still forming.