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Sun, Oct. 4th, 2009, 10:27 am
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Just testing to see if this will post to facebook.

Mon, Dec. 11th, 2006, 09:35 pm
Adventures in acupuncture

I have been having issues with my right wrist...diagnosed with carpel tunnel, of course. After I had allergic reactions to two meds my dr tried, I inquired about acupuncture as an alternative to surgery. He agreed that this was a good first alternative so he suggested I see his acupuncturist (after I told him of a previous bad experience). I have had three sessions...she does Five Elements acupuncture, which is a more traditional approach. I really like her. My previous experience was with my internist who was recently licensed at the time. She did the sessions in her office and it was total chaos..phones ringing and people in and out of the room. I never felt confortable and after two attempts I never went back. These sessions were more exploratory, not specific.

Brett is an RN with all the licensing for acupuncture and then some. It seem that her father is the founder of the Veterinary Accupuncture Association of America. He specializes in race horses...said he was convinced that if it worked on animals there couldn't be any placebo effect. She learned from him with his animal practice and went on to practice on humans. It's difficult to tell if anything is happening. I have had this problem for six months or more so I don't expect things to happen immediately. I have noticed that I'm not taking Advil for pain right now. That is a good start. My insurance pays $500 per year for acupuncture so I will get in all I can before the end of the year. This is a good start, at least. I like the fact that she works on relaxation as part of the process. She also uses traditonal needles, as opposed to the electronic ones that my dr used. These are less scary. The electronic ones hummed and vibrated while attached. They made me nervous. I had to make myself look at my foot last time to see what they looked like while inserted. I waited until she was ready to take them out so I wouldn't freak. Not nearly as scary looking as I expected. So far not painful when inserted.

My first session was a cleansing ritual and she did some balance exercises that were interesting. In order to see if one side of my body reacted differently than the other (it did) she held a lit incense stick near, but not touching, the nail beds on each of my fingers and toes. I had to say "hot" when I felt it and then she went to the same nail on the other hand/foot to see whether it was the same. I found it interesting that I sometimes didn't feel anything but a bit of warmth but other times it was very hot. All of it was a way of learning about me, I guess.

Hopefully this will get results. I know the surgery isn't a big deal but I really don't like the idea of surgery.

Thu, Nov. 16th, 2006, 10:07 pm
changing times

I went to my group meeting on Tuesday to learn more about the adapting phase of my diet program. I really wasn't sure that I was ready to switch but by the time I left the meeting I had made the committment to proceed to the next stage. It is much harder. I now have to plan a meal for dinner each night. Part of what I have loved about this program is that I could just have a shake or soup to replace a meal when I couldn't get home for a normal time dinner or feel like cooking for myself. I suppose I can still do that but the idea is to get more used to eating on your own and not depending on the shakes.

For some time I have been having a frozen meal with salad and fruit for lunch or dinner to replace one of the five shakes. This has worked really well at work for lunch and satisfied any needs I've had to eat "real" foods. I have also used this option to eat out once or twice a week to make a modified meal: 250 calories plus small salad and fruit. Now what I have to do is add three ounces of lean protien, two cups of cooked vegetables and 1 fat to my diet each day. That shouldn't be all that difficult except I have to prepare the chicken and vegetables when I get home at 7 or 8 pm and I really don't feel much like it...especially when I'm home alone. Tonight Steve cooked for us and it was fine, but I can't have starchy vegetables yet and I know I will get tired of frozen brocoli and carrots and mushrooms. I am starting to look for variety and I know that I will get used to this, just like I did before, but I could just as easily fix a plate of rice or pasta or frozen dinner and be happy (not necessarily healthy, though.) Like I said, I am getting used to the new stage and will be glad of the change of pace soon. I am just whining a bit. I have three more pounds to lose by the end of the month to not have to pay a surcharge for my health insurance. That is a major goal of mine since I have been paying one for two years. It is a little scary to change plans when I still need to lose more weight but I haven't been losing as much at a time and often the change of diet will kick start the weight loss. I'm hoping. 34 pounds so far.

Sun, Nov. 5th, 2006, 12:39 am
Visiting Rusty

Steve and I went to visit Rusty Hevelin in the hospital this afternoon. He was in great spirits...he'd already had a visit from Frank Johnson and Chris and Naoimi Barkley (he slept thru their visit, though. They left him a funny note.) We spent almost two hours with him, just talking in general and visiting. I told him it was a shame he had to go into a hospital to get us to visit him. We have seen him relatively often recently but considering he's less than an hour away we ought to be able to find the time to visit more. That's on our agenda for the rest of the year. He is hopeful of coming directly home from the hospital instead of a rehab facility... the doctor told him there was an outside chance, if he continued to improve. He thinks he'll end up moving his bedroom to the first floor so that he can avoid the stairs. We will probably go up in the next week or so, if he's at home, to see if we can help move things around to make it easier for him to stay in his home. Anyway, think good thoughts and hopefully he will continue to improve. He certainly has the right attitude for a speedy recovery.

Fri, Oct. 27th, 2006, 09:31 pm

Just a quick update because its been a while. I've been reading LJ's to catch up....Steve's had my laptop and I haven't been able to get online until now. Even missed the good news from Minnihaha B until now. (my beloved spouse could have told me...)

I have been going to the gym two times a week. After meeting with the fitness consultant at the weight loss center I feel like I have a plan that I can work with...a combo of machines and weights and cardio. He had some good suggestions and gave me alternatives for my shoulder and wrist (hense the weights). I've used the eliptical, but only did the quick start. I was on SparkPeople today and saw they have a whole section on "how to..." so I printed off how to use the elliptical for next time. I've even been using our treadmill here at home. Steve hooked up a television in front of it so it makes me feel better about watching TV. As of last Tuesday I've lost 33 pounds. I am starting to think about going into the next phase...adapting...soon. I want to be eating more real meals by the holidays. I am already having a meal off program at least once a week with Steve...usually a salad with chicken or something like that. It's nice to go to a restaurant once in a while.

I am trying to relearn how to crochet..Michaele Jordan and Anne Evans both gave me pointers at Chilicon and I've relearned how to single crochet but I'm having a hard time with anything more. I don't seem to be able to visualize the steps from the instructions...I have a great book to use but it's not enough. The local Michael's has classes so I am thinking of taking one sometime soon just for the hands on help. Steve asked me if I was having fun while I was crocheting and it's not really fun yet...it's not relaxing yet because I have to concentrate too much, but I think when I actually produce something, even if its just a scarf, I will feel better.

I think I need to get a new userpic...none of them look like me now. This one will date me because I'm leaning on my selectric typewriter....aka Graymalkin days. It will have to do for now.

Til next time.

Sun, Oct. 15th, 2006, 12:18 pm
Further sagas of the diet and life in general

I know, it's been a while since I've posted. My intentions were to post at least once a week but life keeps getting in the way. The good news is that I hit the 30 pound mark last Tuesday on the diet "life style" program. The fact that I lost 1.9 pounds that week came as a bit of a surprise to me. You see, the week before GRR Martin was in town and we went all over for book signings and I ate off program at least 4 times, including a visit to Ribs King (I had the petite ribs (4 riblets) for those who know...it wasn't nearly as satisfying as a whole order. It would have been better to get something else entirely). There was a fair amount of walking involved on the Weds that we went to the Tall Stacks Festival so I'm sure that helped.

But the real killer was Chilicon on Saturday. I had everything planned out...I took a salad and some shakes and planned my meal around a bowl of chili. There were lots of great looking salads and desserts around and I resisted them all until the dreaded lemon squares were set out. Now, you would have thought, knowing me, that the chocolate would have been the issue. Yes, I did taste a bit, but not a problem with leaving them alone. I thought I could just have 1 lemon square and walk away. They were, after all, only small, bite sized pieces, and shouldn't be much of a problem. WRONG!!! I found that I couldn't walk away from them. I had several more, knew it was bad and went outside to visit with friends around the bonfire. However, every time I went back in there were more...wasn't anyone else eating these things? (BeccaL, good hostess that she is, kept refilling the platter). I know I had at least a dozen of those suckers.

The next morning I woke up with the worst hangover I've ever had. I didn't have a drop of alcohol, just the lemon squares. I really hadn't had sugar, more than a bite or so at a time and weeks apart,, in 14 weeks, so this was really a true sugar hangover. ..something I never realized could happen to me. Sure, people always talk about "sugar highs", but I always thought they were mythical...parenting books told me that the sugar really didn't cause my kids to go crazy after halloween....it was just bad behaviour, or bad parenting. Now I know better! All those mood swings....not hormones, just sugar.

We had a brunch that day and thank god there were no more lemon squares! (if there were, Becca kindly didn't put them out). I had some of the stratta and Frank J's r traditional rice dish and other wise ate mostly fruit and vegetables and had my shakes. Relatively healthy, if off program. I made sure I did some walking that day and my treadmill the next and stayed strictly on program for those two days. All shakes, no meals. And I lost 1.9 pounds and hit the 30 pound marker.

In group the leader always asked about any problems we had with the program the week before and I recounted the lemon square story. What I REALLY like about this group is that no one points fingers at you, or says you shouldn't have cheated. I know I cheated, no one has to tell me that. What I got was someone who said she could totally identify with the episode and that she would have spent time journaling in a way to analyze the reasons why she ate them. Which is one of the reasons I'm writing about it here....there is a lot of emphasis on journaling in this program, both as a way of tracking what you eat and a way to put down your feelings and emotions at the time. This is why I started the diet journal in the first place. I am very good at writing down what I eat but not good at the whys. The hope is that when I am off the program I will be in the habit of journaling, and writing things down and keeping track of what I eat so that I won't gain the weight back.

So why DID I lose control with the lemon squares. Was I nervous about all the food choices I would have to make (suggested by my group) or the recent news about Bob Tucker and recent death of Frank's mom? There was a bit of an emotional undercurrent going around with those in the know. Truly, I don't know what it was. I've had issues with these things before...I know I love the damn things, which is why I don't keep them in the house. People on diets often think they are cured after they lose the weight...I haven't had any problems walking away from food in the past at meetings and parties...maybe because they were all small enough groups that it would be obvious if I ate the whole plate...or I knew there was a finite amount of food that had to be shared. Becca always has tons of food so nothing would be missed. Maybe that was it...not really being observed so it was easy to eat them...and not all at once...I could come in and out of the room and have another bite...nothing on a plate as evidence. I'm sure some people noticed (I know Steve did and I told him I was having a problem with it.. he is good about being helpful and not judging me)..what I DO know is that i am NOT cured and will have to be cautious about what I eat. I'm sure that there are other foods out there that will cause the same problems.

The thing about going to a restaurant and ordering a dessert or high calorie food is that when you finish the meal its gone...you don't have to deal with it being around all the time. Even when the kids would bring home french fries I could have a couple and they would be gone from temptation. I have learned to not keep snack foods around the house, and it easy with just the two of us at home. I have brought home a treat for Steve on occasion and taken it to his office so that it is not around for me to see and he is good about not leaving things out that might tempt me (like peanut butter)

There are lots of diets out there and theories about how to eat. One of them is where you eat healthy every day but one and then do what you want on the day off. Then, back on the program the next day. This seems to be a reasonable approach to life in general...not having excesses every day and making the lapses treats or special occasions...sometimes they all come in the same week, like what happened last week with me, but often they are only once in a while and it is good to enjoy them when they happen and not feel guilty about it. Guilt is often what makes you eat more (or drink, gamble, whatever your demon is)...you hide what you're doing from others and sneak around to do it. I am trying to not feel guilty when I lapse...it is supposed to be a lifestyle change after all...I know I can't eat like this forever and have to learn to deal with difficult situations without going overboard. The program I am in is good about this...no one is asking who lost or gained weight this week (unlike weight watchers and other programs I've been in where the leader asks who lost weight and rewards you for each milestone). No one has to talk about what they've gained or lost...most of us don't, just about the issues and joys for the week...this is about life, after all, and the group discussions are really helpful, not demeaning or condesending.

The other thing I did last week was join the recreation center near my office. Is is only $130 a year and has a great fitness center. I plan to go at least two nights a week, since Steve works those nights, and it is on my way home. I went Thursday for an orientation to the fitness center. A 16 year old girl showed me how to use the machines (10 in the circuit) and wrote down the settings for future use. I only did about 5 reps on each machine since she was with me but I was really sore afterwards. I am concerned about overextending my wrist and shoulder since I've had problems with both. It has been years since I've done anything like this and I know I have to take it slow. I intend to talk to someone at the weight loss center about how to start and what machines to avoid. I figure any thing I do will be a step in the right direction...just making the effort to show up. I can always use the treadmill or bikes or elipticals if I don't want to use the weight machines. They are going to have personal trainers available after the first of the year so I intend to check into that for additional help.

Otherwise life is good...I have been inspired by Michaele Jordan and Ann to relearn crocheting. They were both making projects at Chilicon and I used to make scarfs when I was a kid. It seems like a good idea to find something to do at night when I'm home by myself, especially in the winter when I'm not going outside much. They both recommended a book, Crocheting In Plain English, by Maggie Righetti which I am currently reading. It really is a wonderful book, written in a style that anyone can understand...even me. I am working on getting the materials...sometime today i will go to a craft store and pick up basic supplies.

I will try to post more often so there isn't so much catch up.

Sun, Sep. 10th, 2006, 01:52 am
Progress

Thursday I went to my meeting and broke the 25 pound barrier. I think that I feel and look better now than I have in many years, even though I still can't fit in some of the clothes I wore then. I have also switched from all shakes to 1 meal a day. This is a low cal Lean cuisine type dinner, a small salad and a piece of fruit. People ask me if it isn't easier now that I can eat a meal but it really isn't. I switched because I had 3 days in a row where I was subbing a meal for a shake and at that point I figured I might as well be on the "mix" plan. But it is much easier to not have to think about what I'm going to eat today. You have to have all 3 parts of the meal so I can't just grab the frozen dinner and run. I have to plan out a salad and fruit. I have been doing this at lunch at work because it is easier to fit in my schedule. I found this weekend that I had to remember to eat the meal. I plan to go to the grocery tomorrow to pick out some nice fruit and salad stuff. I am limited to lettuce varieties, cukes, mushrooms and celery and apples, oranges and kiwi.

Anyway, it's good to see progress. My clothes are getting too big, but my next size down is still a little bit too tight. I guess it's a good position to be in.

Thu, Aug. 31st, 2006, 07:05 am
"Mediterranean Women Stay Slim, Too"

I've just picked up the above new cookbook by Melissa Kelly, which I believe is a response to the book French Women don't get fat (unsure of the title). She is the owner, and executive chef of Primo Restaurant. Because of my greek and syrian background I find it interesting and I know that I won't be dieting like this forever. She has a whole, fresh foods philosophy and some nice versions of traditional foods. Her Tabbouleh Salad has jalapeno peppers and limes instead of lemons and tabasco sauce. A very different version than the traditional one I use but interesting and worth trying. Anyway, it's a fun book.

The program I'm on encourages us to read books with healthy food options and I'm trying to do that. I've always picked up cookbooks but if you know me, I don't cook very often. They're just good reads. I'm going to try some of these recipes later on.

Wed, Aug. 30th, 2006, 10:29 pm

The diet is going well...20.2 pounds so far over 8 weeks. I find I've been craving more protein so I have added either a string cheese or a mini bel. I picked up pizza for the kids for dinner last week, thinking it wouldn't be a problem and I ended up eating a piece of pepperoni in the car and again when I got home. The logical thing to do would have been to put the pizza in the back seat but I think I subconsciously knew I was going to eat it so....both of my kids yelled at me for making a bad decision, but I told them it was MY decision, good or bad. I thought I might end up with digestive problems but what I ended up with was a head ache. I haven't had one for weeks. I'm thinking it might have been the nitrates in the pepperoni, but don't know for sure. Maybe food was one of the reasons I've had headaches in the past. It makes me think. Someone in my group said they thought my kids set me up for a fall but I don't think so...neither of them have any weight issues so I don't think they can imagine having the problem. They are normally very positive and supportive about this...I haven't been cooking for them at all and no complaints (they're eating more fast food, though. That isn't so good. I'm trying to keep more easy to fix meals in the house so that they can find something and fix it fast. They are both adults so they can fend for themselves and Steve is good about cooking for all of them. Unfortunately for me was in LA last week so I felt compelled to be more maternal. It was funny because I worked out a lot of this in the group meeting...just talking about it and getting ideas from the others helped. Really I worked it out for myself outloud, but I probably wouldn't have even thought about it before. This group is really the key, I think. It really is a support group, not a meeting like weight watchers. Someone compared WW to a quilting bee, with the leader calling off who lost this week but no one really intereacting, just listening to the leader. I think my group must be a lot like what AA meetings are like....everyone talks and tells a bit of their story or how they are doing and what challenges they are facing. I've done other groups and this is much better. I like it a lot.

I have been taking two pain medicines for carpel tunnel and pain in my right shoulder for about one month. Saturday I developed a rash on my thighs and couldn't figure out what was going on. When it didn't get better by Monday I realized I have hives (something I don't remember ever having). I called my pharmacist and was told that pain meds and anti biotics both can cause hives. I been taking benadryl and it is making me feel terrible so I stopped. I stopped taking both meds, and have been waiting two days to hear from the prescribing doc about what action to take. I don't know which one caused the reaction and wasn't sure whether to stop taking them or not. Since I still haven't heard from him I didn't take either of the meds today. I see him next week. The pain is pretty much under control now so maybe one month was too long to stay on the medications. I don't know why he hasn't called me back. I called his office again today and was told he was in surgery and they would leave another message. He is usually very responsive so I don't know what's going on. Hopefully I'll hear from him tomorrow.

Sun, Aug. 20th, 2006, 10:47 pm
people tell me its all happening at the zoo...

I had planned to spend time on my tredmill today since the weather was cooler, but I got a phone call from Guy and Becca, inviting me to meet them at the zoo to see the new Australian exhibit. I hadn't been to the zoo since going with Devon on a school trip in gradeschool so it sounded like fun.

I met them about 2 and we explored most of the zoo...the Australian exhibit was fun but mostly in the Children's zoo and the only things we could pet were goats and sheep. A goat wanted to eat my shirt and pants...must be the linen. By far my favorite farm animal.

Our other must sees were the nocturnal house, the cat house, the giraffes (for Guy) and the gorillas. We were looking for the new baby lowland gorilla but it wasn't obviously out. We even went for a train ride and saw all the animals we missed. All in all it was a really nice afternoon. I put over 12,000 steps on my pedometer and resisted all the tempting food treats. The weather was in the low 80's and the company was great. I highly recommend a trip to the zoo without kids. It was a very different experience, not that the kids weren't fun, but no one was crying to go home or wanting to do something RIGHT NOW.

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