Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weight Loss Journal--Reality Check

January 25, 2015
Weight Loss Journal--Reality Check

Before I can move forward, I face up to a few hard truths.  Sometimes not gaining back the weight you have already lost is a win.  Sometimes you have to address the underlying reasons for weight gain before you can lose weight.

Defining normal

A new normal.  We talk a lot about things getting back to normal, meaning that we want thing to go back to the way they were before___________.  Everyone has to fill in their own blank because we aren't all rooted out of our normal bed by the same thing.  But for argument's sake, I'll list of few of the things that create chaos in our lives.

The List

  • divorce
  • holidays
  • visiting family or friends
  • a visit from your family or friends
  • death of a friend or loved one
  • catastrophic event (fire, hurricane, tornado, blizzard, tsunami, etc)
  • car wreck
  • broken limb
  • being diagnosed with a health condition or disease
  • pregnancy
  • moving
  • public embarrassment
  • failed diet
  • losing weight
  • birth of a baby
  • marriage
  • living with a new roommate
  • winning the lottery (don't we wish)
  • becoming a grandparent, for the first or the twenty-first time
  • having the best barbecued ribs that you have ever tasted
  • graduation--from high school, college, or trade school
  • starting a new job
  • being fired from an old job
  • retiring

The point to all this

I am sure that there are other events that could be added to the list.  But that's not the point.  The point is, when you experience the event--i e go home for the holidays and face your family who drives you crazy--going home doesn't take you back to where you were when you left for the visit.  No, whether you realize it at moment or not, going home or "back to normal" means that you have create a  new normal.  It may look and feel somewhat like the old normal, but it is not nor will it ever be.  Which is not such a bad thing, if you really think about it.  Redefining our normal is what helps us (humans) to to evolve.  Each tiny change adds a new fact to our normal self and gives us a chance to change the trajectory of our future.

I guess that is a long-winded way to say, if you don't like where you are, then get out and experience life and make yourself a new normal. It seems that it would be beneficial to apply yourself to the positive ones that you (in theory) can control, pray that the ones that not in your control don't swamp your boat, and you don't get more than your fair share of the negatives.

My new normal

Nothing to do but grin and bear it!
As if 1-13-15 new normal is living with a fatty liver, morbid obesity, moderate rheumatoid arthritis, regular old getting old arthritis, fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, sever Vitamin D deficiency, and being 59 instead of 58. All of these conditions (except for the morbid obesity)  were diagnosed with the last ten month!  Even though I may have lived with them for years, not knowing about them created a normal in which I believed I had no major health problems except for my weight.

No matter how much I would like for my life to get back to normal, it is never going to happen.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Blues!

June 18, 2014

Summer is always a joyous time and a bummer at the same time.  I am glad to be home after the frantic last few months of school, but the absence of a daily schedule sends my body into a tailspin.  For the first four weeks or so, I search out projects that we haven't had time to do, like clean and reorganized closets, paint the bathroom, redo the molding on the doorways, add a new electrical outlet, and...well you get the idea.  My poor hubby suffers through it all, knowing that eventually I will run down and my summer "I don't care if I get up before noon" attitude will kick in.  Then my body clock will get so messed up that I will dread the new school year because it will mean that I have to get up before noon and be productive.  Here are just a few to the project that I have scheduled for the next few weeks:

1. Turn the junky third bedroom, although that is really a generous description of that little overgrown closet room", into an office.
2. Find a good used bathtub and change it out for the rather odd colored blue one that we now have.
3. Tile the tub surround.
4. Paint the door trim through out the house.
5. Add three new electrical plugs.
6. Plant three flower beds.
7. Clean out and enlarge two of our closets.
8. Haul away all the junk that we seem to attract like we have a magnetic junk force or something.
9. Oh, and spend as much time with my grandson as possible.

We'll see how many of them I get done, or should I say, Doyle gets done.  He could always buy me a new house, if he'd rather.  But then we'd have to move and well, I'd rather complete the above list than move any day.

How does this affect my weight-loss goals?  Well...when I am working, I want something quick, filling, and good.  Something that I don't have to fix or clean up after.  Sometimes that means I make good choices, like Subway, and sometimes it means that I grab What-A-Burger.  However, after the project mania runs its course, then I want to cook all the time.  Then I do a better job of staying focused on eating good nutritious food.  I am collecting soup recipes to try out.  I have a few faves from last summer, and I hope to add a few more this summer.

So to all of you out there who have a list of things that need to be done if you are ever going to be happy, I wish you luck.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Run and Sweat to Death Is More Like It.

June 11, 2014

Well, we went to Houston on May 31, and in 90 degree heat, we walked the 5K Run or Dye marathon. We turned in a respectable time, 56 minutes.  I know, turtles walk faster, and  I will admit there were a few times that I was really disturbed when really old crippled people zipped right past us.  But, the whole point of this adventure is to set goals for ourselves and achieve them.  Our goal was to complete the course and set a baseline time.  We did, so I will try to quit griping.That means the next time we enter, we have to beat 56 minutes.

Did we enjoy the event?  Enjoy might be too strong a word.  We had to get up at 7:00 in the morning to sign up. I can truthfully say that I never enjoy getting up a 7:00 am on a Saturday.

 On our way of the hotel, we grabbed breakfast, and it was nice to just eat what I wanted--that was our reward for sticking to the plan and entering the race.

 Doyle was very supportive, bless his heart, he was there with us the whole time.  He took pictures, bought us sunglasses, kept us company while we were waiting for the 5K to officially begin. Then he stood around for an hour waiting for us to finish.  Here are a few of the pictures of the pre-race activities.

 It was interesting, but I don't know that I would call it fun. The best part was that the sky was dark and stormy, which blocked the sun and kept us from burning to a crisp. Happily, tThe rain held off until we were finished, otherwise we would have been extremely uncomfortable, cool, but soggy.

When it was all over, I got the feeling that Donna might balk at finding another 5K, but yesterday she looking for another marathon  for us to enter. It goes without saying that it will be one that focuses on the FUN rather than winning. Turtles never caring about winning, just finishing.

So, Mom only tells half the story. You know the part that doesn't mention that she constantly told me we had to speed up, even though we agreed that it didn't matter how fast we went. She is very competitive. But the absolute best part was finishing. And that was because it was a goal we set. But next time, I am thinking a night time 5k not a marathon (have no idea where she gets marathon from.) 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Run or Die...oh, I Get It!

April 25, 2014

Well...okay, I know it has been a day or two since I posted, not that it matters much, but life often interferes with my plans.  Donna and I have been working on getting our 5K distance down.  We have a schedule and so far we have followed it without a lot of problems.  Luckily, when I am not in the mood to walk, she drags me out anyway, and I do the same for her.  Walking is one of those things I have always enjoyed.  It requires little cash investment to get started.  A good pair of walking shoes is pretty much all you need.  However, finding a place to walk is sometimes problematic.  I tend to like to do my walking late in the evening, so I need a place that is safe to walk after dark.  This would be more of a problem if we lived in a large city, but we don't.  

How close are we to having the distance under our belt?  I more quarter mile lap is all we need.  Once we can walk the full 5K distance, then we will work on shaving off minutes, or seconds, until we are able to meet our goal of 40 minutes.  That may seem like a turtle pace to you, but we are comfortable being the tortoises in this analogy.  The tortoise finishes the race, and that is really all we want. When we decided on our next 5K, our goal is to reduce our time for the Run or Dye race.  Eventually, we hope to have our time down to a more respectable pace.  Or not.  Depends on how we feel once we complete the Run or Dye.  I am pretty sure that this race is more about getting splattered with color than it is about actually making good time. We'll see.  Regardless, we are walking, spending time together in which we solve all the world's problems, and gradually building our endurance.  Can't see how we can lose. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Giving Up...Fried Foods

Fried food has always been our downfall.  I mean who can resist hot, crispy, salty French fries?  Well, not me.  Or Doyle, for that matter. And yes, McDonald's fries are our fries of choice.  The phrase, "Would like that super sized?" was coined just for Doyle.  Okay, maybe not just for him, but he was certainly thrilled by the addition of super sized fries.
 If given the choice, Doyle always choses fried...anything.  But last night, he told me that he thinks that he needs to give up fried foods.  Hallelujah!  I have been trying to get him to this point for years.  I don't expect miracles.  I know that he will still crave the salty goodness of fried potatoes, okra, chicken, shrimp, catfish, steak fingers, and don't even get me started on the sweet things like doughnuts, funnel I really need to go on? 
 However, our journey is about taking things one step at a time.  At the risk of sounding like an AA wanna be, admitting you have a problem is the first step.  Maybe the most important step, or maybe just a necessary step that we have to repeat until we are able to move forward, like a waltz, one step forward, two steps back. Anyway,  hearing Doyle say,
"Karen, I think I need to stop eating fried food because it makes my heart beat me to death."
Just for grins.
was music to my ears (the Hallelujah chorus to be exact). Doyle may not listen to me, but he does listen to his heart. Since this is about Doyle's health not me, I can live with that. Even better, he can too.   Does this mean that we have to give up McDonalds?  Not at all.  McDonald's has made life much easier for us because they posted the calorie count of all their menu items. There are several things that we can choose from that allow us a treat without guilt.  One of our favs is the parfait. It's not quite the same as French fries, but it's a choice we can live with. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

It's a no go without a cuppa joe

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Last summer, when we were sketching out our diet plan, the next hurdle that we had to face was coffee.  Doyle and I like to start our day with a cup of  coffee.
70 calories of creamy goodness! Oh yeah.

When we were at our son's house, the weekend before we started our diet, we discovered "native pecan" coffee and fell in LOVE.  At home, we aren't always able to find the same products that are available in Houston, but we went to our neighborhood Brookshire Brothers to see what flavored coffees were available in our neck of the woods.  As it turns, Brookshire Brothers had just what we needed.  GO figure.  That almost never happens.  Better than that, most of their flavored coffee was on sale--like cheaper than regular coffee. SO I bought eight different flavors. Coffee has no calories, so why not?  We went through the creamer and sugar options and finally settled on Coffee Mate (because I won't drink anything else) and stevia. Coffee Mate is 10 calories per teaspoon. Stevia has 0 calories.  That would mean that if I used 10  teaspoons of Coffee Mate, which I sometimes do, then my coffee would go from 0 calories to 100 calories in a matter of a few creamy seconds.  But it is so worth it. My morning cup of coffee usually costs me about 70 calories.  And I love every one of them.   We have added many flavors to our coffee klatch since the summer.  Such delicious flavors as blueberry donut, amaretto, vanilla biscotti, hazelnut, Texas pecan, caramel drizzle, mocha, and others, gone but not forgotten.  There is something about that first cup of coffee each morning that really helps me get my day in gear. Being able to drink it without feeling guilty for indulging myself with the creamy goodness of it, the commercial says...that is priceless. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Saying Hello to a More Active LIFE!

Things I Would Like To Try

Okay, this Donna.  Most of the post, at least to date, are written by Mom (Karen).  Today, I thought I'd give it a try.

There are a lot of recipes and activities that I see on Facebook, the internet, in a book, or just in daily life that I would like to try, investigate, get plugged into, or find out more about. Whether I ever do all of them or not is yet to be seen, but  I a going to post a few of them today.  Then I am going to choose one or two, give them a try, and keep you updated. I'll give you the skinny on how they taste or feel or how bad they went. When you look at my list, don't smirk. Some are just fantasies that will never (or most like not be done by me, although I am not ruling them out), but a girl can dream, can't she? And it is always good to have goals to shoot for.
  • Let's start with something easy first:  This popped up on the feed back in January and I just haven't gotten the chance to make it yet. It seems more of a summer dish, and lucky for me, summer is barreling down upon us. 

Doesn't this look refreshing?
                                               Cucumber Sub   
If you love cucumbers, you will love this. I saw this on a friends page and I had to repost.

 Cucumber subs with turkey, green onions and Laughing Cow cheese! Yum!! All the goodness without all that bread! Sorry, but even though we aren't technically counting carbs, I still find myself conscious of the carbs in everything.  If you want to check it out for your self, it was on the  90 day fitness challenge
  • Now for a personal goal:  A couple of  weeks ago as I driving to pick up my Mom, I a heard a 5k being advertised The Fresh 15 in Tyler. And I decided that by next year I would be able to compete in a 5k and maybe the Relay for Life. So. I looked up a list of races for the next year and I guess I am going to have to start at least walking if I am going to make my goal. The list of races can be found here. List of 5k's.

An activity that I want to get out and start doing is photography. For Christmas my parents gave me a camera and on our last trip to see my nephew we took him to the park and I got some great pictures. Now, I want to see if I can get better at taking them. That means practice. Maybe someday I will take a class but for now I think I will go out and take pictures of the world around me and of course my nephew. Like these:    


Texas School of Professional PhotographyWhen  I am ready, there are some really impressive schools out there that are Close to home.

Egypt River Cruise - Abu SimbelFantasy hmm, let me think.... Yesterday on T.V. I saw some river cruises advertised and it made me curious. So, I looked them up. They have cruises in Europe, Asia, South America, Russia, and even the U.S. But my favorite (and the one that would be my first choice was a trip down the Nile in Egypt. You would get to see the pyramids and the Rames II statues and all sorts of other places. So if you want to check that out, you can follow this link .River Cruises. Should any of you at there in cyberland to go on one of these cruises before me, let me know how it went.   

Which do you think I should try first?  Are there any cool things out there that I should know about?  If so, send them on over.