Down a Few – Woo-hoo!

Still keeping keepin’ on.  I haven’t “seriously” been trying, but I have been tracking what I eat.  Yesterday was THE shopping trip – we stocked up on healthier options and made the resolution to cook more from home.  Last night – tacos.  Not that healthy really – except without a tortilla….maybe.  I admit, I had the tortilla.  But won’t tonight.

267.8/266/140
B: GoNature 2% Greek Yogurt (WW 6)
Banana (WW 0)
S: None
L: Lean Cuisine Pomegranate Chicken (WW 6)
S: Orange (WW 0), Mini Peppers (WW 0)
D: Taco Salad (WW 10)
S: NSA Fudgesicle (WW 3)

Per WW, I’m allowed 37 points per day and have eaten 25.  Will more than likely have to look at adding more proteins to my day.

Onward and upward!

It’s Official: I’m Fat

I was brave enough to step on the scale today – knowing it wouldn’t be good.  I was right – 267.8 pounds. Sometimes, I hate to be right.  Half of me wishes I hadn’t stepped on that Number Bully, but the other half is grateful.  I have a starting place now.  I have work to do, but I know I can do it.  I’ve done it before – several times, as a matter of fact.  It’s the whole “maintaining” gig that I have trouble with.

For me, the easiest thing to do is just start.  Start fresh.  Start new.  Not focusing on what’s behind me, but focusing on what’s ahead of me.  I’ve taken baby steps this week – just by cooking at home.  Which brings me to the reason why I’m thankful that our freezer broke down over Christmas break.  I  cooked.  A lot!  We still lost some stuff, but we did a lot of bulk cooking and I’ve re-energized my love of cooking and my love of reading & collecting recipes.  My love of creating delicious foods and having people enjoy their meal.  I’ve missed that.   My thing though is that I don’t really like measuring things out.  I come from a long line of dumpers that are blessed with just knowing what tastes good.  That being said, in order to be accountable for what goes into my body, I really do need to be more accountable about what goes into my meals.

I did South Beach Diet several years ago and lost over 100 pounds.  I felt great, I had more energy. I smiled a lot.  Then my heart got shattered and I just……….stopped.  Before I knew it, the weight was back – all of it, plus an additional 30 pounds.  I know it wasn’t “literally” overnight, but it truly feels like it.  I wasn’t really aware, if that makes any sense.  And when I realized what I’d done to myself, I was shattered all over again.  I cannot describe the level of self-loathing and embarrassment that comes from gaining back everything that I’d worked so hard for.  I just gave up. It feels like just yesterday, but it’s almost been a decade since I successfully decided to change my life and followed through.

What’s different this time around is I do have several medical conditions, some of which cause me to be in chronic pain on a daily basis.  Others, however, I think can be corrected with mindful eating.  Mindful living.  Exercise though, will have to be on the back burner.  I can walk – and I plan to, Anything more intensive probably won’t be in the cards for awhile.  I’ve had the talk with my doctor and she agrees with me, for now.  Right now, we’re focusing on the food and what I put into my body.  For me, I think tying in the fundamentals with the original South Beach program, along with Weight Watchers is the best course for me.  So that’s the route I’ll go.

To start, I’m just eating as normal, but I”m tracking my foods.  I want a realistic idea of what I’m doing to myself.  The thing is, even as I’m cooking the instant oatmeal, I know it’s crap.  I know I should just make a batch of homemade and go from there. Or even better yet, forego the carbs all together and make a batch of scrambled eggs!

I love collecting recipes and meal planning.  Currently, I’m addicted to Plan to Eat and am enjoying planning our family meals and using the site to create shopping lists that I can either print off, or check off on my phone.  It’s easy and so convenient!

Tonight’s dinner will be this Butternut Squash & Apple Soup recipe I found at Simply Recipes.  It’ looks delicious and will be something new for me – I’ve never tried making or eating a squash soup before.

I think I’ve rambled enough for today.  If you’re visiting for the first time, or revisiting me – thanks so much for stopping by!  Hopefully, you’ll come back and see me again. I’m planning on making updates at least a few times a week, so keep popping by 🙂  You’re always welcome!

“Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself.  Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal.”  ~~ Unknown

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Fell Off (Again)………

So, I fell off the face of the earth.  Again.  Not sure who all stops by here anymore – I’m a lot more active on facebook, pinterest, goodreads, or ancestry these days.

Cancer – My sister was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma a few days ago.  We are still reeling from that little bit of news – trying not to over-google it…but still trying to research it just the same.  We’ve joined a few support groups and are just trying to process.  It’s definitely a life changer. We don’t yet know what strain or what stage she is in.  There will be a bone marrow biopsy and a PET scan done within the next week.  From there we’ll know more and then the oncologist will come up with a course of treatment.  The prognosis is good, so although we are scared, we are hopeful for a  positive outcome.  Your prayers are very much requested and appreciated.

Reading – Well, no surprise that I increased my reading goal this year to 110 books.  I’m about 75 in so far….fingers crossed.  It’s nice to know I’ll meet one of my goals this year! (ha ha).

Health – You would think that someone who was diagnosed as pre-diabetic would work harder at making better food choices for herself.  I know what good choices are – I’ve gained and lost a lot of weight over my lifetime.  For me, limited processed carbs works best.  I do better with proteins, veggies, and fruits.  I need to lose the weight – over 100 pounds, as a matter of fact.  I need to cook more at home, less eating out, less convenience foods – more movements, less sitting around.  I need to have more respect for myself and I need to get healthy.  End of story.

Genealogy – Still plugging along.  Still a lot of dead ends and roadblocks, but it is a passion of mine that I’ll carry for the rest of my life.  It is wondrous how connected I can feel to ancestors that lived generations before me.

Missing No More

So, I’ve been on “hiatus” – not completely intentional, but I didn’t completely fall off the face of the earth.  I did however fall while rollerskating.  In February.  Here’s the story – I took my 4-year-old niece to a skating party thinking that a) she wouldn’t in a million years want to roller skate and b) on the off-chance she did want to skate, the party was with all of her friends from daycare so she would skate with one of the teenagers that she loves.  That’s what I get for thinking.  Yes, she wanted to skate.  No, she didn’t want to skate with anyone but “Auntie”.  So, Auntie decided she’d take off her shoes and just walk around the rink holding onto J so she wouldn’t fall.  Auntie was quickly shot down by the powers that be at Skateland – evidently you can’t be on that floor without skates.  It’s not safe.  Evidently.  So, Auntie put on skates for the first time in about 10-15 years (after signing a waiver that she wouldn’t hold them responsible if she got hurt).  Auntie and J did a few laps, had a few laughs, and then attempted one of the games.  That wasn’t a good idea.  Auntie fell. Hard.  Hurt her left hand.  Auntie’s left handed.  It’s Bad.  But, I braved it through ’til the end of the party – then J and I buckled up in the car with the help of one of the kind teenagers and went to the Emergency Room.  Nurse Practitioner working took a bunch of x-rays, gave me a bag of ice and said it was just a bruise – a bad bruise, swollen, but it should be fine in a few weeks. If not better, go see your regular doc. I was wrapped in an ace bandage, told to take aleve, then sent on my merry way.   A few weeks come and go.  Still swollen, still achy, and my hand still looks like a bunch of pork sausage links connected by a band aid.  So I see my Doc.  “Try a Spica Splint” he says.  If it’s not better, come see me in a few weeks.  So, I got the Spica Splint.  A few weeks come and go, and still not better. I still can’t bend my wrist – I still can barely use my left hand. I can’t do much in the way of cooking – I can’t do much of much.  So I go to the Doc.  Doc takes another set of x-rays, but doesn’t see anything significant, so I’m sent to an Ortho Specialist.  A few weeks go by – first appointment, Dr. C has me remove the splint and tests my movements – which are none.  I’m sent right away to Hand therapy.  Weeks of this, combined with appts every 4 weeks.  Therapy at least twice a week, home exercises everyday, specialist appts every 4 weeks….for about 3 months.  It gets better, but still not healed.  I have an arthrogram.  Followed by an MRI.  Now, the MRI?  Piece of cake.  I had to lay on my belly surrounded by pillows while they did a bunch of scans of my hand.  I fell asleep.  It was heaven.  The arthrogram?  Not so much.  Even if you were one of my worst enemies, I don’t think I’d want you to go through one.  Or maybe I would.  Repeatedly.  While I watched.  (ha ha).  Anyway, verdict came in that I did have 2 tears in the cartilage and what appeared to be scar tissue under the thumb/wrist area.  Shouldn’t be significant, but I was still having issues.  That was the first time Dr. C brought up the subject of surgery.  I told him “not now” …so we tried a topical cream of sorts that has the anti-inflammatory in it.  Didn’t do much.  So we tried cortisone injections in August. It maybe helped a little bit, but not so much that I could see.  So, more appointments.  More talk about surgery.  More praying, more waiting, talking to my family, researching – I finally decided to have the surgery.  So it’s scheduled for the 18th of December.  We’ll be doing a wrist arthroscopic surgery – 3 incisions.  One on the left under my pinky to try and either fix or remove the torn cartilage, one in the middle of my wrist to try to get the cartilage, and one under my thumb.  It’s minimally invasive, but will still take approximately 6-8 weeks to heal.  Then I get to start all over again with the hand therapy and the home therapy and the doctor visits. I’m only hoping it works because I’m in pain everyday that radiates from my wrist to the tips of my fingers and also down the arm to my elbow.  It’s not fun, and it’s no good to take so many aleve on a daily basis.  A good day is 2-4 pills; a moderate day is 4-6, and a not-so-good day is 6-8.  Everyday.  That can’t be good on the kidneys. Anyway – I’ve never had surgery before so I’m nervous.  And it’s going to hurt.  A lot.

Anyway, as a result of the fall I wasn’t able to do a lot.  I couldn’t even open an easy pull bag of salad.  I still can’t do a lot of cutting – softer foods, yet; but pomegranates (which I love), pineapples, squash, etc., etc…forget about it.  Doesn’t work.  So I wasn’t able to cook for awhile, so I reverted to a lot of convenience food and takeout.  And not the “good for me” kind.

So, part of the regiment for the surgery was a physical.  Which is fine – I was due for one.  Just putting it off because I didn’t want to face the dreaded scale.  The nurses tell me all the time “We really don’t care what you weigh.” Well, that’s not the issue.  I do – and there is a lot of shame when I’m not taking care of myself.  It effects the whole psyche….add to the fact that I’m on anti-depression and anxiety meds, mixed in with some blood pressure meds for good measure and you can imagine what kind of hot mess I am when I have to face that dreaded scale.  It’s a lot of things – mostly shame, though I think.  So, had my appointment last week.  Still waiting on the results.  Got my meds renewed for another year.  Got my labs ordered for two weeks from now (has to be done less than 30 days from surgery) – Dr. P talked to me about taking some appetite suppresents short term to maybe help get me back on track.  I said I’d think about it – I don’t eat because I’m hungry, I eat to fill some sort of void.  Also, need to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day – or a minimum of 150 minutes  a week, and I need to start immediately.  So life went on – until Monday when I checked my messages and found a call from my doctor after my appointment stating they found blood in my stool.  So I have to do stool cards at home for three days.  And may I say there is really nothing more shitty than having to dig through your own fecal matter to spread it on lab cards? (Pun completely intended).  It’s absolutely disgusting.   I also did decide to start on the tenuate at least for a few months to see if it gives me the boost.  So far, I’ve made good choices – I’ve eaten lots of veggies and fruits, drank my water and even braved the scale.  That was the most surprising part.  I expected it to be worse than it was.  Yes, I gained some back.  But it was only 10 pounds – I can be happy about that  and I can move forward from there.

I guess the last bit of news would be in my genealogy stuff.  The adoption agency that we think handled my grandma’s adoption has opened a file for me – if they do have records on grandma, I’ll be able to get something – at this point I don’t know what that something will be.  They say they won’t give any identifying information – but this adoption happened in 1919 – everyone that was involved has passed away. So, I’ve petitioned for all information.  My father has even signed off on a letter releasing those records to me.  So fingers crossed and say lots of prayers.  This is something I would really like to discover!

Also – I took the new DNA test that ancestry.com is doing for $99.  For the most part I wasn’t surprised with the results.  I’m 61% Scandinavian (well, duh! I’m mostly Norwegian, but I do have some Danish and I also count my German in this category since they were from the Schleswig-Holstein area and intermingled with the Danes quite a bit); but here’s where the confusing part sets in.  24% Eastern European – Russia wouldn’t surprise me, because my g-g-grandma Clara said she was part Russian although I haven’t been able to find anything that validates that.  Then again, Clara was raised by her Aunt Frances – her parents either died or just disappeared after she was born.  So I really know next to nothing about her dad except he came from Manchester, England.  I also wouldn’t mind having some Greek in me – maybe that’s why I’ve always been so fascinated by Greek Mythology and dream of seeing the ruins one day. Here’s the surprising part — 15% Southern European  (Italy, Spain, Portugal) – have no clue.  None whatsoever.  What’s also interesting is no British Isles?  No Ireland?  My Hughes are all based from Ireland; my Schofields, Farleys, Coes, Pyles, Gallups, Andrews, and Collins all come from England – so I have no clue.  I might question the results a bit, but I’ve already discovered some new-to-me family connections with common ancestors, so there is a level of legitimacy.  I guess that leaves me with more to discover.

21.9 Pounds

I’m starting to see changes in my body now……my stomach isn’t as big and my face is slimming down.  Also – my pants are too big!!  I’ll be needing to head to town and pick out a few new pairs to wear until I drop a few more pounds 🙂

In other news – those of you that are facebook friends know I sprained my left wrist rollerskating on Saturday.  That’ll teach me!  The biggest bummer of the whole thing is I’m left-handed.

17.1 pounds

I’m down -3.8 pounds this week, making my total loss to date 17.1 pounds!  Woo-hoo!!  Give me a moment while I pat myself on the back 🙂

In other news, I seem to have found myself in a bit of a reading slump…..nothing wrong with the books I’m reading, just not holding my attention at the moment.

What is holding my attention currently is my genealogy – yes, I’ve been bitten by the bug again.  Blame a distant Hughes cousin for that – I’ve now found about 25 “new” family members – descendents of my great-grandmother’s sister, Viola.

Up a Pound

I was up +1.2 pounds today.  My theory? I’ve been doing okay on the food – but need to drink more water. I still need to work on eating all of my allotted points for the day – I have yet to eat all of my points in a given day, so that could be affecting my loss now as well. Also, last week was very stressful at work, so that could have something to do with it.  Ah well.  I look forward to evicting the poor sucker by weigh-in next week 🙂

Food Plan for Today:
B: Yoplait Light Key Lime Pie & 1/4 c. grape-nuts (6 pts)
S: Apple w/ 2 babybel wedges (3 pts)
L: Gina’s Lightened Up Asian Peanut Noodles w/ Chicken (10 pts)
S: Grapefruit (0 pts)
D: ??? Either Peanut Noodles again, or Cold-Weather Soup (again). (Soup – 6 pts; Noodles – 10 pts)
S: ???
E: None unless I do some therapy exercises – DDD flaring again

Oh- instead of regular rice noodles for the Asian dish, I used No-Oodles.  Essentially the same concept as the Shiritaki Tofu Noodles and I think the price is about the same.  I liked them and will be using them again!

Lastly, on the genealogy front, only 64 more days until the 1940 census is released!!!  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am 🙂