New diet/exercise plan, day five

…an update.  🙂

 

So far, so good, I guess.  I’ve been tracking my food again on Sparkpeople.com, as they have more food in their calculator than the other place did.  (Plus they let me start over.)  I’ve been doing really well, calorie-wise, even despite one unintended meal out (Subway, I picked from their low-cal list and came in right on budget) and some interesting meals to try to gauge info on.  (Most stuff you can figure it out if you know what proportion of ingredients went in to your particular plateful of food)  I am not feeling in any way undernourished and I’m enjoying my lunchtime salads.  This week I’ve had one that was Italian (spring mix & American veggie mix combined, sliced real olives, turkey pepperoni, zesty free-Italian dressing), one Mexican (fajita meat, guacamole, salsa, American veggie mix with carrots), one egg salad (boiled eggs, a dab of mayo to hold them together with spring mix instead of bread, crumbled turkey bacon), and one off the back of the Fat-free Ranch dressing bottle (kidney beans, ranch dressing, carrots, American veggie mix, onions). Breakfasts have basically been a flavored oatmeal, a fruit, sometimes some turkey bacon.  I’ve been trying to wean myself off the caffeine and drink more water than tea/coffee.  Some days I have snacks, other days I eat more dinner instead.  It just depends on the day.

 

Exercise had gone well until yesterday, when my husband was unexpectedly home in the morning during my workout time (his gym just closed without notice).  I didn’t manage to exercise at all, but I also didn’t really feel like eating much yesterday either, so we’ll just count it as even?  Something like that.  The only problem with this exercise thing so far is that I get up, do it, feel fine all during the doing, then when I stop I get this ferocious headache.  It’s migraine level pain, but it’s not a migraine –it’s all over the front of my head, not just one side; lights do not make it worse; I am not nauseated.  Fortunately for me, I see my neurologist next Thursday, so I can ask her opinion on these headaches.  Today I do have a true migraine.  I haven’t had one in a while.  I think this one was brought on by a trip to Bath & BodyWorks.  I hate this weird scent sensitivity that I’ve developed the last couple years.  It’s really annoying.

 

Also next week I get to see the rheumatologist.  I’m looking forward to that; we’re going to discuss the drug situation and see if we can get me on something I can live with. 🙂

Happy October!

I can’t believe it’s already October!

Once the staph infection was gone, I went back to my primary care doctor for a physical.  He said I was the healthiest he’d seen me in ages and that we should go ahead and do those vaccinations he’d been holding off on for a long while.  So I got a flu shot and a TDAP.  I immediately started feeling weak and dizzy, but I HATE shots, so I didn’t say much.  I told the lady doing my blood draw that I felt weird and she let me sit for a while first and eventually I was good to go.  Three days went by and while my flu shot side (the nurse labeled them) stayed small and red, the TDAP side swelled and swelled and was very hot.  I had a fever the first couple days, then it left and a stiff neck set in.  I called my doctor’s office a couple times but my doctor was out of the office & there was a holiday weekend involved, so I finally saw the doctor about a week later.  He said I’d had a really bad reaction to the vaccination and put me on another round of steroids.  (Even now, a month later, I can still feel a marble sized lump under my skin on that site.)

Since I’m mostly doing all right lately, I’ve started a new food tracking program.  I’m using LoseIt.com to track my food and exercise (I used to use SparkPeople, but it felt so competitive and just like too much to do).  I’ve discovered a few things the past couple weeks (I tracked for a week without changing anything first, just to see what that looked like.): 1) After entering my age/weight/activity level and letting the program run its calculations, I found out that I apparently don’t eat enough, so my body’s been in starvation mode and b) once I started eating as many calories as I’m supposed to have, I started losing weight.  So far just a week of eating more (and making sure that that “more” was a healthy more, not a candy bar or soda more) and I’m down 1.7 pounds.  No extra exercise (although it counts weird things like housecleaning and music making as exercise) involved.  We’re going on vacation this next week, so eating well will be trickier, but I’ll also be moving around more, so that’ll even some things up.  Still, I’ll be trying checking out menus/nutritional values and trying to keep as close to on-track as one can while on vacation.

How’s the RA?  It’s coming and going.  When I’m being good and resting like I ought to it mostly stays pretty quiet.  When I’m running around like a crazy person (the last couple weeks: friends came to dinner, we went out to dinner, my kids birthday party, book fair at school, field trip for MDO, PTA movie night, playing a duet at church, family dinner night out), then it creeps up on me and unleashes its wrath: hot swollen ankles, knees, and hands; a painful back, shoulders, and elbows.  I’m hoping that this upcoming vacation week allows me to slow down a little and catch my breath and rest my limbs.  🙂

I know, I know….

….you’d nearly forgotten I blogged here.  I had as well.  I keep meaning to blog more, but mostly kept coming up with the same non-answers and/or depressing news, so I stopped blogging entirely.

I have been having the bad days again, though.  I put myself on a 10 day steroid taper, as per the doctors instructions for Times of Necessity.  The steroids made me glad to be alive again (and hungry as all get out.  I ate and ate and ate.  One day I got sick.  It was so not a good day, but it reminded me to be more careful.  Learning is always good, right?).

School started for the kids back in mid-August, which meant I did lots of shopping and resting and shopping some more.  Then PTA stuff started back up.  I’m homeroom parent coordinator, so I’ve spent lots of time making a database of which parent is willing to help with which activity for which grade (as well as all the contact info, which flummoxes me a bit because the school already has most of that info in a database somewhere; why must I copy it?).  I started volunteering a couple hours a week in the school library helping check in and out while the librarian teaches classes.  I also help out with shelving (I bring in my own kneeling pad & am allowed to scoot around in the wheeled chair when my knees are bad) and in the computer lab.  It’s more fun and life-affirming than you can imagine.  My husband thought it might wear me out, but it actually has been energizing me because it gives me a couple hours out of my own head.  Plus I get to talk to kids about books!  What could be better?!

Other things: I seem to be done with the sinus infections for now, despite living in the Land O’ Big Fires (seriously, if you looked at a map of Texas there’s a ring of fire around my town) and woah-allergies.  I do have a staph infection (probably mrsi, pending lab tests, according to Dr. H.) of a wound that I thought was just a blemish.  I got it the first day I used the machines at a new gym.  (They now have bleach wipes available)  More antibiotics, yay.  Just what every girl wants, right?  The good news is that the antibiotics will also save me from the pneumonia that the doctor thought it likely I might get due to the stress of the lungs from all the fires (apparently I was on The List of the Immune-deficient.  Also so much yay.)  Bad news: more yogurt eating.  I used to LOVE yogurt.  Now it’s like a more flavorful medicine.  I hate that “they’ve” made something as yummy as yogurt seem bad.  *sigh*

Other things: my insurance/pharmacy plan seems not to love my blood pressure medicine, so I’ve spent a vast amount of time on the website/and/or/phone trying to figure that out.  If I jump through all the right hoops in all the right order I can get it practically free (<4/month), but no one wants to tell you that up front.  You have to spend gobs of money and time on the phone (we don’t have a landline any more so any time on the phone=money spent) to find out anything and ususally half that time is spent on a call system that says “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.  What did you mean to say?”  which I find infuriating.  If they’d just use a person instead of a computer, they’d understand that I wanted to talk to a person in ther first place.

More other things: the temperature has finally dropped from a daily high of 105 to something more like 95. Oh what a difference 10 degrees makes in a day.  In the mornings I feel so much like a regular person.  The van is easy to drive.  My shoulders are down.  My body is stiff, but not achy.  It is such a goodness.  In the afternoon I no longer feel like deadness personified, but merely hot & sweaty.  I can make the kids a snack myself, rather than telll them what to get out.  Love, love, love it!  I cannot even express how much better it feels.  Just a thousand, million times better on the good days.

Day 6: Food, Fitness, and Faith

Day 6 I got up and tried to do my 10 minute Dance Solutions video. I have several problems with it: 1) There’s no instruction, just dancing. 2) I am trying to lose weight, which means that I cannot see all my muscles, so I have no idea which ones are moving. 3) I can’t dance. So after several minutes I gave up trying to figure out what she was doing and spent the remainder of my time bouncing around energetically whichever way I could. (I am giving this video away to a friend that can use it. It is not for me.) I figured that cardio was cardio at this point. My heart was beating super fast, my arms & legs were flailing around, it was all good. I also ended up walking back and forth to my parents house a few times (and mostly took the long way ’round).

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Food: I had another one of my less-than-inspiring-at-this-point breakfasts. Skipped morning snack because I knew I was meeting my parents for lunch. Lunch was at a place called The Purple Pig. I should have realized that this would mean less-than-stellarly-healthy, but I did expect there to be some sort of salad option. Alas, no. Even the safe-sounding new potatoes turned out to be cooked mush with a pound of butter in it. I ate the brisket sandwich (surprisingly small compared to my parents food) and some of the broccoli rice casserole (I farmed out the rest under the flag of “You don’t have any of this, try some!”) and since everyone agreed the potatoes were bad, I didn’t feel bad leaving them on the plate. So I didn’t really do too terribly badly. Skipped afternoon snack as well, since we were doing Mother’s Day Celebration dinner.

We went out to BJ’s Brewhouse and Grill. Even though I’d declared it my “cheat” night, I still wanted to not go too overboard, so I chose off the “under 575 calories” menu and had a yummy chicken pesto flatbread with a side salad. After dinner I had a Klondike bar (only 220 calories, much less than regular ice cream, strangely).IMG_2109

Day Five: Food, Fitness, & Faith

Day five was when I fell apart.

 

I got up, couldn’t find the exercise video I wanted, so had to do a different one.  It was for the balance ball, an upper body workout, and really, it did go okay, but my head was down towards the ground a lot, which made my headache (day 5 of headaches, day 5 of fitness.  a coincidence?) so much worse.  Surprisingly, as the day wore on what I missed the most of my workout was the cardio part.

 

Breakfast was fine: another variation of oatmeal, fruit, and tea.  Snack was unexpectedly a mini muffin at Greg’s MDO (muffins for moms, whee). Lunch was a small portion of a low-calorie version of mac-&-cheese with some yummy herbed zucchini.  Dinner was pasta & sauce leftovers. 

 

Everything was all right to that point, but after the crazy day I had (nothing went right.  nothing.  And then the kids brought other kids home, which I’d forgotten entirely)  I really wanted a beer after dinner.  So I had one.  And then I wanted just a few Reece’s Pieces, so I had some of those, too.  And then another high calorie bit of junk before bed.  Like I said, after days of denial of things I really wanted, I caved. 

 

I was going to allow myself a cheat night for Mother’s Day and I’ll just have to think of this one as this week’s cheat and Mother’s Day as next week’s cheat come a bit early, right?  Tomorrow is, as they say, another day, so I’ll just have to start over and be good again.

Day Four: Food, Fitness, & Faith

Day Four was my last day of the week with my Nancy Marmorat video. Today’s focused on the "butt-ox" (I can’t help but giggle when she says it like that; it sounds like some ugly beast, silly, but true).  I like to refer to it as the "booty" instead. 😉

Foodwise: breakfast was at my friend’s house and she’d made yummy sausage rolls.  I had two of those, some grapes, and half a banana, encompassing both breakfast and snack times (we were there all morning).  Lunch was leftover sausage & polenta & green beans.  After-school snack was pistachio pudding (oh, and I was wrong earlier this week: we use 1% milk, so it’s even fewer calories).  Dinner was beans & cornbread & pickles (Wednesday night is vegetarian night at our house).

 

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I usually drink black tea at breakfast, green tea at lunch, then water at all other times.  Sometimes I drink extra tea, but my rule is that I have to drink another half glass of water with my tea to rule out any dehydration that might come from it. (And that’s what keeps me from drinking too much tea)

 

Smile

Day Three: Food, Fitness, & Faith

Day Three I had the same kid-in-my-bed situation, so I put off exercising until that small window of time between taking big kids to school & Greg to MDO.  Greg burst in on me at some point with a "What are you doing that for?!"  The look on his face was priceless. 

I got in some extra exercise today as well, in the form of walking up and down all the bleachers three times fast and walking to the car and back (at the very end of the parking lot from the stadium) a few times.  I also had to dig some holes for the azaleas we got from church (I dug the 3 easy ones; Nick did the harder ones later).

Food-wise:  Breakfast was a different oatmeal, a different fruit, and a different kind of turkey bacon (did you know they make one that tastes just like regular Canadian bacon?! I was so happy to find that out.)  Lunch was very difficult, as I was stuck at Track & Field Day over at the Rose Stadium…without cash.  I don’t know where it went, I just know I didn’t have it.  A very nice family brought me a meal, unexpectedly, so I ate it: hamburger, fries, and a coke.  So yummy.  Fortunately I’d skipped morning snack (no time for that lately) and then skipped afternoon snack as well to make up for all those calories.  Dinner was sausage, polenta, & green beans, all of which I ate reasonable sized portions of (double the green beans in proportion to the polenta).

Day Two: Food, Fitness, & Faith

Day Two was all about your partnership with God.  It reminded us not only to avoid unhealthy foods, but to remember that you can ask God to help you with that part of the journey.  That God is always protecting you and to try to remember that when you’re faced with unhealthy choices of all kinds.

So today I got up and had a stumbling block right away: a kid in my bed.  I exercise behind the closed door of my bedroom because I find exercising to be super-embarrassing.  So this was hard: do I wake up the little one to exercise or put it off hoping I’d find willpower later?  Well, I ended up letting him sleep a while longer and then trying to transfer him to his bed, but he woke up anyway.  I left him out on the couch with his brothers and went off to do my exercising.

In terms of exercise, I’m currently doing Nancy Marmorat’s video series on low-impact exercises.  There’s one dealing with different groups of muscles each day of the week for four days, using simple items like towels and one pound weights.  Yesterday worked on the stomach area and today worked the chest and shoulders (plus a warm up and several minutes of cardio). Then I’m doing balance ball exercises from physical therapy the last official exercise day of the week.  I’m hoping to also walk the other two days, but I’m not going hinge all my plans on those two little walks.

Eating wise, I did okay most of the day. Breakfast looked like this:

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(oatmeal, an orange, a slice of turkey bacon, and some green tea)

We skipped midmorning snack entirely.  Lunch was some baked potato with very carefully measured sour cream and butter and a whole lot of chives (yum!) for only 400 calories of goodness.

Afternoon snack was chocolate pudding made with 2% milk (only 140 calories a serving for a 1/2 cup of yum).

Dinner was pasta & sauce with broccoli. I tried to eat more broccoli than p&s.  And then I had a small piece of birthday cake (which I found to be totally reasonable given the skipped snack earlier).

Day One: Food, Fitness, & Faith

During the spring campout at church a few of us ladies were chatting (while making lunches for the kids) about how we were all in need of a little help with our waistlines.  Most of us had gained 40 or more pounds since our weddings (although one had gained a lot less, she was a lot closer to her wedding than the rest of us as well) and we had all tried lots of diets or exercise plans and not had them work.

Well, one of the ladies had a new plan:  God, by way of the Sam’s Club book counter:

Food, Fitness, and Faith for Women: A 21 Day Journey to a New You

We all agreed that God had been the one thing really lacking in our past plans, so we got hold of the book and we set a start date and now that day is here.

The book is pretty simple and slim on details: you find your own diet and exercise plan, something doctor approved, and then this book provides the Scripture and encouragement and opportunity to journal daily.  A little paragraph about health, a lot of quotes from the Bible and elsewhere, and then a journaling prompt.  I liked this because it didn’t dictate to me exactly what I had to follow, so I could go at my own pace and let my RA kind of determine my days more than a book full of advice that didn’t take that into consideration.

Here’s how today went:

I did really good in the morning: got up, read the chapter, made myself a little plaque with the main quote from the book to put up in my kitchen, worked out, ate a reasonable breakfast & skipped snacking.

Afternoon wasn’t bad either: a decent lunch, then skipped the afternoon snack because I was having a high calorie dinner, walked a fair distance to the car & back.

Evening though, well, some of you know that I went back home after the play.  Nick didn’t go back to work (surprise!), but had been preparing a special dinner..  So I did not do well in the evening after all that work the rest of the day. *sigh*

But that’s okay!  The book didn’t really have any goal for today other than make a list of healthy choices you’d like to follow and unhealthy ones you’d like to drop and an admonition to look at portion sizes, which I totally did.  Smile

My healthy habits list:

  • Eat less bad for me things
  • Drink more H20
  • Exercise at least 5 days a week

Bad habits to change:

  • Eating junk just for something to do
  • Drinking caffeine & alcohol
  • Not exercising because “I don’t have time.”

My grandma

There will be a break from the usual Food Diary posts for an unforeseen number of days.  My grandma (my dad’s mom) passed away less than an hour ago.  She fell down in the middle of the night, lapsed into a coma, and never woke up.  My day has been filled with phone calls both to us and to others for updates and plans.  I was fortunate enough to have a few friends over this morning (I debated calling & telling them not to come) and they were very sweet & comforting.  I’ve eaten nothing but junk food.  It is good for the soul, if nothing else.  Very soothing.

In any case, I’ll be taking a bit of a break this week.  “Talk” to you again next week.