Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Return to Weight Watchers

This is it! I was back in my meeting and I'm so glad that I "went home," as my Sunday morning peeps said. It felt good to sit in that seat again.

A little good news - I did see a loss on the scale when comparing my weight from April 12 to now, so I'll take it and see this as the start of something great, again!

This week I am committing to mixing up the hum drum foods. I will be making several new recipes which include:
  • Cucumber dill salad with sour cream dressing
  • Slow-cooker chili steak and black bean tacos
  • Zero point soup
  • Scallop and broccoli stir-fry
  • Seafood salad with lemon and orzo
  • Herbed salad with roasted corn and pita croutons
  • Rosemary chicken with balsamic-glazed onions
  • Smoky Pork BBQ
  • North African meatball stew with couscous
I am going to try to make it a goal to make at least four new recipes per week, to try to avoid getting bored. I may even post a few pictures of these dishes as I make them. Additionally, I am vowing to go for a walk every evening. That is my start. This is a new day, it's a new week and I know I can do this.

I am in planning mode and will be adding everything to my tracker. So here we go, friends! Next week, I know I'll have a loss on the scale to report and I really can't wait to start feeling the fruits of my labor. I want to feel good again!

What are you doing this week to mix it up, keep it fresh and stay on track?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Let's Just Be Friends

Tonight, I had a discussion with my husband about my relationship with food. Truly, that is my issue, right? I have a really bad relationship with food.

I equated my current plan as "breaking up" with someone. You know, the first week you try to ignore their calls. You hold yourself back from texting them. As time goes on, the loss of them in your life fades and they turn into someone you used to know. (Yes, there is a great song out there about that right now, perhaps hitting repeat 20x in an hour has made this thought stick.) But I digress. Thursday, I broke up with carbs. I broke up with sugar. Oh hell, let's face it, I broke up with FOOD. Never mind, the fact that I do need some food to survive.

Let's just say it's extremely restrictive. I know I've heard all along that restrictive plans aren't the best. But, because it was provided to me by a doctor, and I was seeing an improvement in my blood sugar, I thought I had to give this a shot. I also know several people who have been amazingly successful seeing this doctor and following this plan - so that also helped convince me that it might be the right thing for me to do. 

However, I think a "let's just be friends" approach would be better for me? As it was when I had so much success on Weight Watchers. I'm not sure I'm ready to turn my back on tasting food. I'm not sure I can fight the very natural, very primal urges to EAT. Not overeat, not binge, but just eat. Humans need food. We like food. We get pleasure from food. Learning now to balance that pleasure and need is important. Trying to completely cut off the relationship with food, to the point of eating such an extremely low amount of calories and eating one food group - well, it just doesn't work for me.

Honestly, I have been a bit apprehensive about the new plan since the beginning, however, I've been talking myself into staying on track this week - and I have. I have not slipped a single time. However, I feel like I need to move forward with something that is more balanced. I've found myself increasingly weak, tired, dizzy and even confused in the evenings. I think the calorie count is too low for me. I think it's lacking a balance that my body needs.

Additionally, I've found something out about myself. I really, really dislike anything to do with protein shakes. I can't get passed the rotten smell/taste. I also have it in the back of my mind that I don't think it is truly healthy to make an over-processed powder part of a regular diet.

The good news. Damn, it works. Perhaps a little too quickly (based upon how I'm feeling). Since last Thursday I have lost 16 pounds. Yes folks, this is where I put the brakes on. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing that number drop so dramatically, and never in my life have I seen such a drastic change on the scale in such a short period of time, but averaging over a 2lb per day weight loss explains the weakness, dizziness and zombie like feeling I've had in the evenings. Not to mention the headaches.

Tomorrow, I'm making some adjustments. I'm increasing my calories and adding a bit more balance. I appreciate (and somewhat envy) those that could tough this plan out and make it work for them. But, just like I need to learn to listen to my body when it is full and I'm pushing forward to overeat - I feel like I also need to listen to my body with this. I want to feel better, not feel sick. So, I'll celebrate the loss of the week and push forward with the knowledge I have - moderation and balance work best for me.

At least the scale is moving again!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Own Medical Intervention

I'm not even sure how to start this entry, honestly. I considered not even firing the blog back up again - but I have really missed blogging. So, here I am, again.

The last few months have been rough, as far as weight loss (or gain, I should say). It's been this little nagging voice in the back of my mind saying, "stop it, don't eat that, you shouldn't do that. . ." yet I continued to pick up the fork.

I was at a crossroads. I needed help and I needed to gain control, again. I could either return to Weight Watchers and start tracking my points or I could do something different. The problem I've had, since being diagnosed with diabetes, is I still tend to fill my points with carb heavy foods. My diabetes medication had been increased and even then I was having high blood sugars - I am extremely carb sensitive, it seems (and insulin resistant). Consequently, I would be starving, eat more, have high blood sugars which then triggered high insulin levels, which then triggered the hunger feeling, so I would eat some more. . .the cycle continued. So, I wasn't really sure if Weight Watchers would be the best plan for ME to start using again, right now. I really needed to give up this dependence on carbohydrates. I'm not saying Weight Watchers won't be good for me again, but right now, I'm at a critical point. I needed the help of a medical professional.

So, I started to do some serious searching. I scheduled an appointment at the local hospital to get information about lap band - thinking perhaps I've finally hit the last straw and should consider surgery. But, I really didn't want surgery. The more I read about it, the more I hated the idea. Liquids for the first few weeks. Placing your food in a blender after you are finished with the clear liquid stage. Having the worry of being "stuck" as part of your lifestyle after you did finally get to eat solid food. I also had it in the back of my mind of successful co-workers who had visited a bariatric physician and dropped their weight successfully. I decided I would give that a shot, so I scheduled my appointment and cancelled the surgery consult at the hospital.

My appointment with the doctor was really fantastic. She provided a plan, that while strict, works with my diabetes. I'm in day three of the plan and am feeling fantastic. While my diet is extremely limited (as it should be with diabetes) I am extremely satisfied. The best news, I woke up this morning with a fasting blood sugar of 119 - and that was without taking my second dose of diabetes medication last night. She predicted at my appointment that within a month I should be able to go off the medication. When she said that, I wasn't convinced. However, to see that kind of result in just three days - I think she may just be right!

I am fighting back, again. While I did gain 25lbs before I found help - I am proud that I didn't gain back the entire 55lbs I had lost on Weight Watchers. That, alone, is something to celebrate. Years ago, the cycle would have been to gain it all back and then some - and then finally face the reality of the problem.

This first week is tough, but not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I seem to be out of the sluggishness felt when a drastic reduction of carbohydrates and sugars takes place and my body seems to be adjusting.

I will continue to update as I visit the doctor and I look forward to being on the downward trend again!

This week, my starting weight was 348. I will be going back to the doctor on Thursday and I'm looking forward to seeing a lower number on the scale.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I am struggling. I won't hide it. It seems the last few months it has been blow after blow. It isn't that I don't have the will or the want to do the right things. It isn't that I have a lack of knowledge. It truly is a lack of time.

I know, I know, everyone says they are pressed for time. When I was going to school full time in the evenings and working full time I felt pressed for time. However, even that does not compare to life right now. I feel like I just have to write about all that has taken place. Perhaps having it out there will muster up something deep inside to pull out of this dark place I feel I'm in right now.

The beginning of the year started off with a bang. My husband had back to back knee surgeries. That consumed much of my mental and physical energy, but we made it through with flying colors and I was doing pretty well. My graduation soon followed. It took a lot of hard work that final semester and it was a joyful but stressful time.

Soon after we received notice of a personal business matter that forced us to make the very difficult decision to seek out an attorney and file bankruptcy. Certainly, in these economic times we aren't the first or last that were faced with looming financial devistation. But, it didn't make it feel any better. We lost our home and moved forward to a better life in truly a better home. So it wasn't all bad.

At the same time, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. At first, we thought it was early, small, all the words you seek out to find comfort in the grave diagnosis. Then reality hit. Her surgery followed. We have been battling with chemo the last few months. Life has been changed and we look forward to "normal" again. Her last chemo is December 30th and once through January we will be finished with hell weeks!

I was diagnosed with diabetes. I seem to have taken the diagnosis a bit harder than I expected. I hate this disease. I'm pissed off that I have worked so hard to change, yet it was too little, too late. I hate that so far I don't have it under control which means I will need more meds. I HATE DIABETES!

In the last two weeks we have had two more blows. We received news that my sixteen year old stepson is going to be a father. Additionally, he hasn't been to school for months. He is now living in our home, is back in school, seeking employment to take care of his new responsibilities, and that feels right, but it doesn't come without its own set of major stresses.

Last night, after 6pm, I received that dreaded call.

"No one is injured."

It was my husband. On his way home, with our three youngest children in the car, a drunk driver hit them as they were getting off a major expressway. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the same cannot be said about our kid mobile. We suspect the minivan is a total loss. We will be surprised if it isn't.

So looking back at all that is going on, I understand why this has been the year of struggle. I understand why I have little energy to plan my meals, get creative I'm the kitchen, drag myself out of the house to make it to my early Sunday meetings. I understand it. I don't excuse it. But with this understanding, perhaps I can come up with a means to not give up. I flounder. I stumble. Hell, I have fallen down a few times. But, each time I manage to keep getting up and keep trying.

Right now, I'm doing the very best I can do. It isn't perfect. I don't see losses each week. In fact, I've been seeing yo-yoing and juggling mostly. But, I'm doing SOMETHING and that is more than the old me would have done.

So, we keep moving on. Eventually the black clouds will pass and if I just keep trying I will eventually do well again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week 80 - Weigh In (Thanksgiving Week)

I'm a little late posting about my weigh in this Sunday. Life's roller coaster just continues to jerk us around turns with major ups and downs. Not that I thought our life could get more complicated, but surprise, surprise . . . it can!

But, enough about that. My weigh in this week was great. I lost 2.4lbs. I'm now only 8lbs away from being where I was when I received my mom's cancer diagnosis. Only 8lbs to go! So, if all goes well, I will have a net loss for the year. I'll be thrilled if I can be less in January 2012 than I was in January 2011. I'll be happy if i can be the same as I was in January 2011. And, I'll settle for being only a couple pounds heavier. The point is, no matter what that first weigh in shows in January of 2012, I'm far better today than I was over a year and a half ago when I changed my life. I am healthier. I weigh less. I am happier. I feel better. For the most part I am capable of making good choices and my food addiction is under control.

Over the next six weeks, I would like to lose at least 3lbs which would make me weighing less than I did at the start of this year. I believe I can do far better than a 3lb loss. Certainly, I would have loved to have seen a loss of over 50lbs (avg of 1lb per week) for this year. However, this year has been an extraordinary one. If I maintained the first 50lbs lost. . .that gives me hope that once I am at my goal weight, I will be capable of maintaining it.

This week I am thankful for so many things. i'm thankful for my family. They are the most amazing people I know. I'm thankful for my children, which are never ending sources of joy in my life. I'm thankful for the scientists who work in medical research. They make it possible for my husband to remain active, after suffering from JRA since he was 12. The drugs are harsh (a chemotherapy drug) but they give him life. I'm thankful for the doctors and nurses that saved my mother's life this year. While she is still battling through chemotherapy due to Stage IV breast cancer, she is alive. I'm thankful for my husband's family, who are an extended family of my own.

There is a special place in my heart though for the individuals that attend my Weight Watcher's meetings and read my blog. The support system in place that we have for each other is second to none. I love these friends. We laugh, we cry, we battle similar problems and we walk together fighting something that has plagued many of us for years. We are doing this, we are winning, and we share our journey, together.

So, for all my Weight Watcher's meeting buddies and readers. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me. I could not be doing this without you. I need each and every one of you and I feel privileged to be needed by all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.