Saturday, November 22, 2014

Just a quickie I am...

...This is just a quickie, but I feel like I have to stop for a second and just write something.

It's Saturday morning and I'm getting ready to head to Baltimore to pick up my mother, who is the first of the Thanksgiving arrivals.  My daughter arrives this afternoon.  Hubster's uncle called last night and wants to come visit tonight, so we're excited to see him as well.  My son, sister, and niece arrive on Wednesday, so that will complete the arrivals.  My son has two friends who will not be with family this year, so they're coming and we're happy to have them with us - it is the more the merrier!

I love this time of year - mostly because it means my family is together and I get to see my favorite people.  We're lucky in that we get along and there's no family drama.

A friend of mine's daughter passed away unexpectedly - Alissa was 34 years old - brain aneurysm.  I can't fathom the depth of what my friend, the husband, and the kids are feeling and experiencing.  It makes me all the more aware of how fortunate I am.  God Bless Mona's family and RIP Alissa.

I weighed this morning - my weight is coasting along the same path.  My goal for the week is for my week to be the same next Saturday as it is today - 254.2.

Just FYI - Maggie the Cat has decided that she wanted to be inside my robe next to my skin while I wrote this morning.  All you can see is her head and it looks like it's coming out of my chest itself - wish I had a picture!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sodium intake/My "diet" I am...

 ...thinking about my sodium intake.

It's kinda surprising actually, but my sodium intake for the day is over 6400 mg.  Reckon that's having much of an affect?  Head --> desk!  That's way too much - so yes, I know this.

I try to keep my sodium levels within a normal range and I can always tell when I've had an abnormal amount of sodium - and it happened today.

This morning was the sausage/cheese/almonds and I had made a salad for lunch - romaine, grilled chicken, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, olives, and Greek vinaigrette.

However, I had forgotten that there was a cookout at lunch today for a charity fundraiser - hotdogs and homemade chili.  I decided to go with the cookout instead.  The woman who made the chili is a friend of time and told me she didn't add any sugar at all - so the only sugar would be coming from the tomatoes - so that's okay - tomatoes are either frugies or veguits (botanically - they're fruits, but the U.S. Supreme Court - yes, THE U.S. Supreme Court decreed that tomatoes are vegetables - you'd think they'd have more important things to do!)

But I digress.

Anyway, I had two hotdogs - no buns - they're were very well-cooked with a lot of char - just like I like them, some of the chili - maybe 2/3 - 3/4 cup, onions, and some cheese.  I totally skipped the bread, the cole slaw, the chips, and all the other white carb shit they had.  It wasn't the most nutritious lunch, particularly when compared to my salad, but it was okay.

Almost as soon as I had finished eating, I could just feel it in my hands and feet.  Of course, today I worked in areas where food and drink wasn't allowed, so I didn't get the chance to try and dilute it with liquids.

I've been drinking like crazy - unsweetened tea and water - since I got home and decided that I'd figure out the sodium intake.  Holey moley - over 6400 grams - that's NUTS!  The bigger surprise is that my salad had more sodium than lunch!!!  The olives had a crap ton of sodium (1340 mg) in them and, surprisingly, the chicken (Costco rotisserie) had a lot of sodium - 635 mg for 5 ounces.

A few folks have asked if I'm on a low carb diet.  Technically, yes I am - very low carb.  My carb intake for today is 44 total carb, so net is even lower.  However, my goal is not a necessarily a low carb diet.

My goal was to cut out ALL added sugar.  I think I've done a pretty good job of that.  Cutting out the sugar means that processed foods are necessarily removed from my food repertoire. While I can't swear to it, I think the hot dogs today were the first processed food I've had in a LONG time - that I can remember at least.  Alright, so I just lied - I do have salad dressing, but it's usually some form of Newman's Own.  Out of everything that I've learned over the last year, I think I'm pretty sure the sugar is gone for good.  Folks have written all sorts of flowery, superlative descriptions about getting rid of sugar.  Let me just say that it makes my life easier, makes me saner, and I feel better without it.

I also cut out white food - rice, potatoes, bread.  On a rare occasion, I'll have a bite of bread or a small serving of potatoes, but like I said.  The hardest time for these was when we'd go out for steak.  There's always the bread ahead of the meal and then the potato with the meal.  We no longer get the bread basket unless we forget and the server brings it anyway.  As for the potatoes, I order either a double salad or an extra veggie.

All veggies above the ground - particularly the green ones, are a green light for me.

Many folks assume that if you're on a "low-carb" diet that you must be eating a high protein diet.  This is not the case with me at all.  I keep my protein around 25-30% of my total intake with at least 30 g protein each meal (note this is not ounces of food, but grams of protein in the food).  I don't think I need more protein.  And while I don't have an issue, folks with kidney issues are generally told to minimize protein.  Being that I've only one kidney, I wanna take care of it - just in case.

The one kidney thing is also the reason I drink like a mad woman.  I drink A LOT!  On a slow day, I have at least a gallon on liquid.  Most days, I push two gallons.  When I get up in the middle of the night to potty, I drink a big ol' glass of water.

So this leaves fat.  My diet is at least 60% fat, sometimes as high as 80%.  I try to get my fat from real foods, like cheese and meats, but I do have salad dressing.  I don't eat low-fat all.

Is it perfect?  Nope - it's ever-evolving and I'm always trying to make it better and make it my way of life.

And there's something weird here that I can't put my finger on - it's really not about the food at all - the food is food.  It can't do anything at all.  It's what I do with it and how I react to it that's the important thing.  There's a bunch of "whys" that I'm trying to figure out - Why do I overeat?  Why do I want to overeat?  Why can't I just stop?  Why can't I put it in its proper place?  Why do I give food importance?  Isn't that stupid when you think about it?  Other than providing nutrients for our bodies, it doesn't do anything.

I've made some big strides, but there's more steps ahead of me for sure.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Another Monday I am...

...another Monday down.

Work issues seem to be relentless lately - I thought they would lighten up at the beginning of the new fiscal year, but they have not.  Oh well.

My blood pressure is not going down on the new meds.  In fact, it was higher today, but I'm not sure how much faith you can put in to those grocery store machines.

Finally, we had a fellow come out this evening to measure for a new patio door and to replace the soffets and rakeboard on the house.  The guy was here forever and it put me in a pissy mood.  I told him at the beginning that I wanted specific things and no more.  I also told him that I would not commit today as we were getting additional quotes - that doesn't seem to matter to salesman.  I know it's their job, but I was upfront about it all.

As far as food goes, it was a good day.  I had my handy dandy chocolate strawberry smoothie for breakfast - thought I'd give the cheese nuts, and sausage a break.  Lunch was an awesome salad with 5 ounces - not 8 ounces - of chicken measured out.  Along with olives and artichokes, it was an awesome salad.

On the way home from work today, I decided on tacos which meant we had to go to the store for a few things, like everything needed for tacos!  Hubster picked two kinds of tortillas, while I got some lettuce to use as the shell.  However, one of hubster's tortilla selections had 19 g carb with 13 g fiber!!!  I was impressed!  I had one with dinner - it was good, but I'll just stick with the lettuce leaf as the shell.  I measured out 3 oz of ground beef in a bowl for me and then had that much again for a total of 6 ounces.  I prepared the meat with just onions, cayenne, and chili powder.  I needed to add more stuff, but the fellow was here about the door, so I was a little distracted.

Because I ate the tortilla, my carbs for the day were 63 g - and that's total carbs - measured.  Net carbs would be 37 g since I had 26 g fiber.

Tomorrow is another shitstorm of a day at work and then another contractor after work.

My mother and my daughter get here on Saturday, so I'm looking forward to the start of these holidays!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Low-keyed I am...

....feeling low-keyed.

I've been arguing with myself for the last hour about whether or not I'm gonna write anything because well...just because.

It's been a quiet weekend.  Hubster and I made our Costco run yesterday.  We're trying to get a new patio door order, but it's turning into quite the chore and we can't seem to find the appropriate replacement - it's just irritating the shit out of me.  Other than another few errands, we've been home all weekend.

One thing that keeps running through my mind...and I wish I could remember the a comment that someone made in a blog (I remember it was a her) that she could stay on track "...for exactly one day."  When I read the comment, I chuckled but knew exactly what she was talking about.

I surely don't have any answers for how to be 100% successful - I'm sure as hell not.  The only thing I can do is keep plugging away...and that's what I've been doing.

The weekend has been on point.  Last week was pretty much on point as well, though we did eat out twice last week - the evening hubster got home and Friday night.  Not exactly sticking to what I said I was going to do.

In both instances, I ate well.  I kept it to meat and veggies and kept the bread and sugar at bay.  I think there are several problems:  1)  There's a bunch of sodium in restaurant food so even if I don't fall off the wagon, the sodium isn't my friend; 2)  The portions are larger and my problem isn't so much the type of food, but rather the quantity of food.

The night hubster got home, we had steak - ribeye for me and while I gave hubster a chunk of it, I still had too much.  On Friday evening, I had a skirt steak salad with some wings.  Again - no sugar or bread, just too much sodium and too much food.

I've tried to be very conscious this weekend of the amount of food I eat.  I've become an intermittent food tracker - and am trying to become more of an "on" food tracker.  So I've tried in some instances to decrease the amount.  In some instances, I've halved the amount - like the cheese and sopressata.  We had split chicken breasts for dinner tonight.  These guys are usually pretty meaty and I'll eat the entire breast  I weighed it tonight and it weighed 416 grams - that's almost a pound (454 grams) - and that was my breast.

Clearly, I don't need that much, but I told myself that I'd pay attention, eat the green beans, and stop when I was full.  When I stopped eating, I weighed the remainder - there was just about half of it left - 194 grams.  I'll have the rest of it tomorrow in a salad for lunch.

Yannow - I felt for a long time that I was walking on firm ground - solid concrete - and getting somewhere.  For the last while, it seems like I'm trudging through shifting sand.

I'm trying to get on firm ground again.

Know this - I will not give up.


Monday, November 10, 2014

A Lazy Couple of Days/Pre-Thanksgiving I am...

...I've had a lazy couple of days.

So, hubster left on Saturday and I haven't left the house since then...and I've had a fine time!  I've got a ton of stuff that I could do, but I've done absolutely nothing except chill.

The good thing about hubster going out of town is that it makes eating easier.  He likes a lot more variety than I do - I'll eat the same thing day in, day out.  I did change it up a little yesterday and made the most kick-ass omelet I think I've ever made - I impressed myself!  But I think it was the cast iron skillet that did it.  Yannow when they're perfectly seasoned, it seems almost impossible to screw up anything you cook in it - and nothing sticks! 

So exactly what have I done?  Well - I moved from the upstairs to the downstairs - it didn't seem right to actually stay in bed all day!  I did a lot of computer work, I shredded three kitchen trash bags of credit card offers, I gave Lucky her subcutaneous fluids twice a day - she's taking it VERY well, I cleaned the litter box, I cooked when I was hungry, and I vegged and read a ton of blogs.

Today though I did just a LITTLE exercise.  I have a set of hand weights in front of the fire place  When I walked in the family room today, I swear they were looming.  So I did a little bit of arm work.  I couldn't figure out why I was so weak at the end of each set.  When I put the weights down at the end, I saw they were 15 lb weights.  I thought they were 10 lbs.  I'm such a dumbass!  lol

Thanksgiving is here in 17 days.  Karla said in her awesome blog that she was gonna be on spot and on point until Thanksgiving so that she could enjoy the day without feeling that she was derailing herself.  I think this is a good plan.

I've been thinking about Thanksgiving a lot since everyone will be here for a week.  When I think about what we've eaten for Thanksgiving week over the last few years, there's not a lot that I will have an issue with or have a difficult time adapting.

Except the macaroni and cheese. 

Since I've started this journey, many folks have talked about trigger foods and foods they can't put down once they start eating the.  I don't have any of that at all.  At least I didn't until I thought about the macaroni and cheese we have at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It IS my trigger food.

I like all the other stuff we have at the holidays, but I *LOVE* the macaroni and cheese.  We make it from scratch - mama's recipe, but I make it now - and it's the thing I get a second helping of, the thing that I eat again two hours later even though I'm not hungry, the thing I have for breakfast the next morning.

We always have a variety of pies - pumpkin, pecan, coconut, etc., along with a bunch of other dessert-y type things.  I can take a bite or not - it doesn't bother me either way, but that macaroni and cheese is a whole nuther Oprah!

I've got 17 days to decide what to do.  Since it's something I have only twice a year, I'm not going to NOT have it.  The thing I have figure out is how I'm going to handle and control it.  Right now at this moment, I don't know how I'm going to do it.  I imagine some turkey with a bunch of beans and a boatload of macaroni and cheese.

It'll be the first pasta I've eaten since last Christmas.  Perhaps the carb shock from the pasta will make me sick and my body will reject itself and I'll never want to eat macaroni and cheese again.  Nah - that's not gonna happen.

Perhaps I'll eat some of the macaroni and cheese and get full really fast and get a stomach ache so I won't eat anymore.  Perhaps I'll make less - usually I make a HUGE pan cuz everyone loves it.  Wait - I wonder if that's an excuse.  Perhaps every one else only likes it and I'm the one loves it and I project that on to everyone else...I have to make it for THEM.  That way, I can make a huge pan without feeling guilty because I'm the real pig.  And of course, that means there's a lot...too much...macaroni and cheese left over.

Maybe it'll turn out like the potatoes did one year.  Maybe it'll get burned.

Like I said, I've got 17 days to figure it out.  Like Karla, I'm gonna be diligent, studious, full force, all in, no cheating.  I'm hoping that will help.

I gotta say - and this is incredibly stupid - I'm starting to get pissed off at the thought of this macaroni and cheese.  I'm feeling deprived and I haven't even had it yet!

What are you gonna do?  Do you have a Thanksgiving weakness?


Friday, November 7, 2014

TGIF I am...


We found out yesterday that our oldest dog, Lucky, is in renal failure, which makes us quite sad.  We went through it with Lila, our Corgi, so we know what to expect.  Luckily, we discovered the issue with Lucky early so that's a big help - her creatinine and BUN are quite elevated, but her phosphorus levels are normal.  We'll give her subcutaneous fluids twice a day and keep her on a low protein diet.  While it seems a bit odd to say, other than the kidney failure, she's in good health!  We got her from the pound when she was 3.5 years old.  She had been mistreated, was quite sickly, and had heart worm.  That was Christmas 2000.  We got her all fixed up and she's been an awesome, faithful girl!

Food-wise, I'm still on it!  We've eaten home each night for the last week except for Tuesday, so that's awesome.  We ate out on Tuesday because of errands we needed to run and knew we'd get home late, so we went to the rib place.  We'll do the same thing for the coming week - eat at home!

One thing I notice eating at home - and hubster commented on it tonight - is that the food we prepare at home generally tastes better than restaurant food.  That's not always been the case - I think we've just become better cooks!

One cool thing happened today.  We always stop at McDonald's for coffee in the morning.  When we got to the drive-thru window this morning, the girl told us that the car ahead of us had paid for our coffee.  How awesome is that?!?!  We were so excited by the kind gesture that we didn't pay for the car behind me, but we will on Monday!

I'm starting to think about Thanksgiving.  My mother and my daughter get here two weeks from tomorrow, and my son, my sister, and my niece get here on Wednesday before turkey day, so I gotta start planning.  We always have just a good family time - nothing over the top at all, but just the comfortableness and contentment of spending time together.  

Mama always makes vegetable soup and potato soup.  We have the same conversation every year about whether it's ground beef or hot dogs that go into the vegetable soup.  Mama - it's ground beef!  We always buy an extra ham so Mama will have the bone for the potato soup.  I don't know what it is, but Mama's ham is a lot better than my ham and we all just graze on it.  I prefer the vegetable soup, while my sister prefers the potato soup, so that will be easy!  We also hit Macaroni Grill because Mama loves it.  We've had shitty service the last several years, so we're switching locations this year.

In thinking about the upcoming holiday, I remember and think a lot about the picture that Mama and I took together last year.  It is a terrible picture of me and it ain't so good of Mama either.  I love the pic though because Mama doesn't like having her picture taken and I don't either, so getting one of us, much less BOTH of us actually semi-posing for the camera - well, that's something special.  It don't no matter we ain't beauty queens - we got our own brand o'beauty!

Anyway, when I saw that picture I was close to horrified.  I'm an effing moose!  It helped me start thinking about making changes that needed to be made - it wasn't IT, but it was a help.  That jacket in the picture - I wore it today.  Last year, I couldn't zip it; today, one side crosses the other side by about 4 inches.  I hope Mama will take the same picture in the same spot as last year.

We'll see.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Damn scale I am...

...thinking about the damn scale.  It does seem to have a mind of its own sometimes.

The scale has been up every day for the last four days in a row - and I have been ON POINT!  No slipping, no sliding at all!

I couldn't figure out at first what was going on, so I started looking for clues.

First - when I went to the doctor last week, she added another blood pressure medication.  When I started losing weight, my blood pressure went down to normal, but it didn't last long.  It didn't go back as high as it originally was, but it's still high enough to warrant medication.  Perhaps the medication is doing it.  However, I specifically asked her how it would affect my weight and she said it wouldn't.  So probably not.

Second - I've been having sausage, brie, and cheese for breakfast the last few days - not all willy nilly, but weighed and measure so as to not go wild.  Could it be the nuts and cheese?  I don't think I've had problem with nuts and dairy before, but it's a possibility.

Third - and most likely - I'm getting ready to start.  Over the last year or so, they've become irregular, but all the tell-tale signs are there - so that's probably it.  Dammit!

Just gotta pay attention to the ol' body!

It was really frustrating at first.  I mean, I've been doing great and THIS happens?!?!  I don't know what the scale will say for the next few days, but I know I'll be on point...and STAY on point.

The combination of the scale, the yucky crampy feeling, and the ever-present stress at work has the potential to lead to bad decisions - and it almost happened tonight.

The last few days have been stressful...yet again! work.  As hubster and I are work this evening, I get a message that there's a serious accident and all lanes of traffic are closed.  Of course, it's our route.  Great!  JustGreat!  It will take forever to get home.

We take the back road and make progress, but I ask hubster if he wants to go to the Peruvian place.  He says okay.  So off we head in the direction of the Peruvian restaurant.

But wait...didn't I say that I was going to try and not eat out last week?  And here I am the one suggesting that we go out to eat?  Wait a minute - didn't we eat out last night because we had errands to run after work?  Do I really want to go out to eat?  If we don't go out to eat, there will be less temptation, we'll get home sooner, and we'll save that money.

While I'm considering this decision, I remember being in the car about the same time and about the same place several months ago.  The decision then was whether or not to go out to eat. At the time, hubster didn't want to go, so we came home.  At that time, I remember I got mad and felt quite deprived because I wasn't getting to eat what I had in my mind.  While that time didn't have anything to do with tonight, somehow remembering that helped me.

This time, I wasn't thinking about any food in particular, I was thinking about the time and the ease.

Decision made and changed - we go home instead.  Dinner was very simple - pork chops.  Quick, easy, and it was done.  I think we save time AND money.  But more importantly, I kept my word.  We've eaten out the one time this week, so done is done!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Snickers...revisited I am...

it's Snickers...revisited.

I really kicked Halloween's ass this year and successfully navigated all the candy traps and avoided ALL Halloween candy in all spaces and places.  Hell, I even bought pretzels instead of the usual candy for the kitties.


So, I get to work today and a friend of mine comes down to see me.  As soon as I saw the full, rounded napkin, I knew something was up.  She walked up to me and said, "Hey darlin'", and puts this napkin on my desk.

The napkin opens up and THIS is what I see:

 Are you effing serious?!?!??!

I looked at Missy and said, "No Missy!!!  I can't eat these!"  She replied, "But you loved them!"  I said, "Yes, I do, but my ass doesn't like them at ALL!"  She said, "Awww bullshit, you can have one in the afternoon for a pick-me-up!"

She refused to take them back!!!  This woman is the size of, oh, I don't know, Heidi Klum, and just as sweet as the day is long!  She truly doesn't get the whole food issue thingie I have.  I dunno - out of all the folks I know, I *know* she didn't mean anything by it and only had good intentions.  Regardless of how much I weigh, she always tells me I look awesome.

Challenges come from all directions and with all intentions - it's amazing really.  I so wasn't expecting that at all so early on a Monday morning.  But I'm so glad that my strength and fortitude were in full gear.  Otherwise, it would have been difficult and I would have succumbed to the Snickers!

One thing I do know is that if I had eaten a Snickers, it would have been a struggle NOT to eat another one...and then another one.  Last week, I had a cookie and there was no problem at all stopping at one.

So what's the difference between the two?  Is it the texture?  the taste?  the timing?  I dunno.  While it wasn't a struggle at all to not eat the Snickers, I knew that if I did, the story would change.  Why was it easy to be objective about it?  I dunno.  I would be a rich woman if I did!

The rest of the day was nonstop and I ate lunch very late.  Lunch was a salad of chicken, feta, lettuce, and pepper with some greek vinaigrette.  Simple and tasty.  Dinner was interesting - hamburger, hot sausage, and mushrooms.  Somehow, we forgot to cook a vegetable!  Macros for the day are great!

That's about it for the day.  I'm still shaking my head about those Snickers!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Successful weekend/Progress I am...

...I've had a successful weekend.

We made our weekly Costco run and got the usual.  They had the fudge demos there for the beginning of the holidays.  I put two packages of fudge - 2 pounds total - in our cart.  Hubster eyed it with suspicion.  I told him that it was for when the family visited at Thanksgiving  When we were ready to check out, we reviewed the items in the cart - the fudge was put back.  It was for the best.  While I think I could have handled it, there's no need to put unneeded obstacles in my way - there are plenty anyway!

For some reason, I didn't sleep well last night and was up when the time changed.  It ended up helping since I slept a bit late today.  Because I slept late, I only ate twice with a snack in between. 

Breakfast was a beautiful omelet - eggs, cheese, bacon, and mushroom - cooked in my cast iron skillet.  It was awesome.  I swear I think it cooks better than other types of skillets.  Dinner was chicken and beans and my snack was the brie, sopressatta, and almonds.  It was a perfect food day - the macros are the way I like and I'm satisfied.

I received an email last week from a company that would like for me to try their food and blog about it and to relate my experience with their program.  I've thought about it a lot and even replied with a few questions.  While it's a bit enticing and I feel a bit complimented about it, I don't think I'm going to participate - perhaps in the future, but not now.

When I started the DIP back in January, even though I didn't know how I was going to do it, I was determined to do it on my own - to figure this out for myself and me - to wade through all the bullshit.  I've tried plenty of programs in the past and nothing has been long term as I didn't learn how to deal with the emotions about food, with the various food situations, with the emotional food situations I found myself in...even when it wasn't a situation!!!

While I screw up all the time, I've truly learned a lot in the last 10 months and I've made tremendous strides and progress - and most importantly, I still have that determination today  It's not perfection, but it is progress - and that's really what it's all about.  The saying is "work in progress", not "work in perfection."

It's been slow going the last couple of months - extremely slow going.  But that's a big lesson as well.  The biggest thing I've learned is that I can do this even when the going gets rough - that I do have the fortitude to keep trudging along, that I can recover when I screw up, that I don't have to be perfect to be successful.  If I hadn't learned this, I could very well be 350 lbs right now - no shit.

So - for these reasons, I'm gonna stick with the DIP.  Progress is not just a number on the scale.