Saturday, January 12, 2019

Update


It's almost halfway through the month already. I thought I should give a progress report.

I kind of expected that by now I would be biking a lot more and well on my way to taking off the 9 pounds I regained after the accident, but no. I am not biking (pain came back, had to take a break again, and have been using a different machine at PT) and I weigh 188 pounds, up one pound from January 1. I am going to try the bike again today or tomorrow.

I did go to see my endocrinologist this week. I was up 7 pounds on their scale since my last visit in September. I got a new script for phentermine and have 3 months to drop at least 10 pounds by my next visit, or that's the end of phentermine for me. I also had blood work done and my TSH level was almost nonexistent... 0.021. I find that pretty weird considering it was 7.9 a year and a half ago and has usually been around 2 over the years. They cut my Synthroid dose in half and might take me off it completely at my next visit.

Maybe I do need the phentermine to keep losing right now. I know I am pretty good at maintaining in the 180's even without the drug, so I am hopeful that when I reach a lower weight I will learn how to maintain there without it as well, especially if I am more active.

I have not been super motivated to lose more weight. I just need to get myself in that mindset (excited about losing) because right now, I am pretty content where I am. But I do know ten or twenty pounds off would feel a lot better and be better for my joints. So let's see if I can get a few pounds off before the end of the month!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

January 1, 2019: 187 Pounds... and a Plan


Happy New Year! We have had a crazy couple of weeks around here and I got so busy I missed my usual update post on January 1st. So here it is along with an overview of my last year, and a plan for the coming year.

On January 1, 2018, I weighed 217 pounds and on January 1 this year I weighed 187 pounds. That's a difference of 30 pounds... but it feels like *so* much more!! Of course, I am down 71 pounds since fall of 2017 so that is surely why I feel so much better. I spent most of 2018 eating lower carb and smaller portions. I was taking phentermine for about 7 months of the year, and I was not doing any scheduled/organized exercise except walking, swimming in the summer, and a little biking.

Here's a picture of my weight in 2018.



I hit a low of 178 pounds in October, gained ten pounds in November for a lot of reasons (car accident, stress, holidays) and spent December maintaining between 187 and 189 pounds. Now I feel ready to get back to actively working at weight loss. I'm in physical therapy now, starting to bike again in 5-minute bits, and hope to be given some more strengthening exercises at my appointment today. I also have a new granddaughter who was born this week (yay!), a family birthday to celebrate today (cheesecake), and some amazing leftover prime rib and mashed potatoes to enjoy for dinner.

I often am asked what my goal weight is, and the truth is I don't know. I do want to get the regained weight off (9 pounds to go) and the lowest weight I have seen in decades was 175 pounds back in 2010. My doctor wants me to stay out of the "obese" weight category and said that even if I can maintain around 170 pounds she would be happy with that. She suggested my ideal weight is around 155-160 pounds, but that is kind of unimaginable for me so I will just see how I feel as I reach new, lower weights down the scale. I lost 30 pounds last year so it might be good to lose 20 this year. I can't imagine being in the 160's... it has been so long... but it's definitely a possibility!

I will see my endocrinologist this month and we'll talk about what's next and whether or not I should go back on the phentermine for a bit. I feel good and my main plan for the year is to get stronger! Now that my weight is in a reasonable range, I can focus on conditioning my body for a better quality of life. I'm excited to see where this year leads!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Changes and a New Year Coming


This week I feel like I've finally turned things around and am ready to go forward with this weight loss. It's crazy the difference four days can make in one's attitude, but I've had some good things happen that have helped me so much! One, I finally bought a new car. Well, not *brand* new, but new to me and I am happy with it. It's newer and nicer than the one that was totaled in the accident in October, and I feel safe in it. That's been such a huge relief! Two, on Friday I was finally cleared for physical therapy! I had my second evaluation and they said I am ready to start. I am doing 5 minutes on the recumbent bike and starting to take short walks outside, plus they gave me some stretches to do. That's enough for now and if those things don't cause pain or swelling over this week, they might add something new at the next visit. I still can't lift, vacuum, etc but will work up to it through PT.

Those two things made me so happy this week that I find myself not eating for comfort anymore. It's easier to back off the sugar and live into my IF-style eating where I skip breakfast and just have coffee until sometime in the early afternoon, and then stop eating right after dinner. I am off pain medication and am only taking muscle relaxers as needed now. And this morning the scale was back down to 187, down from a high of 189 a couple days ago.

Yesterday I went to Panera for dinner and it was so good! I posted a picture of the meal on my Instagram; as you can see, I am not eating "low carb" but "lower carb" like I was doing for most of this year. I had a Cobb salad with grilled chicken, bacon, hard boiled egg, veggies, and Green Goddess dressing, along with a few bites of bacon mac and cheese from a shared order, and a delicious baguette with butter. I have not eaten a salad in a long time but I was craving vegetables. I am craving them still today, so will bake a butternut squash and cube it up and toss with cheese and maybe some sausage for dinner.

We have two days left until the end of 2018, and I'd really love to drop another pound or two by then. I think with the carb bloat leaving and the added activity, I'll be able to do it! But if not and I am 187 for the new year, I consider that a big win.

What are your goals for 2019?


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

After Christmas


My pants are too tight, the scale is not happy, and I woke up today not fitting into any of my jeans. I had to get out the single pair of size 16W jeans that were in the donate box and wear them today. Even these are a bit snug when I'm sitting down. I remember that when I tossed them in that box, it was because they were ridiculously saggy on my body to the point I could not wear them, even if I washed and dried them on high.

The scale's been giving me feedback every couple of days this month. When I posted ten days ago, I weighed 187 pounds. Five days ago I weighed 188, last Sunday I weighed 187 again. I remember (just two days ago) looking at the scale and then looking in the mirror at my body and thinking, this isn't making me happy. Shouldn't I be happy that I ate everything I wanted for a week and didn't have a net gain? Shouldn't I be thrilled that I ate cookies and fudge and all kinds of carby things and didn't have a massive gain? I know how it worked... it worked because I still usually do the thing that some people call intermittent fasting: I wake up and have only coffee with cream, and generally don't eat anything until noon or later, which means I am not eating anything for about 17 hours each day. That's why I didn't gain even with all the sugar and carbs. But no, it didn't make me happy. It made me kind of sad, because how I feel and how I see myself are not at all reflected on the scale. I feel big, sluggish, sloppy, and gross. I don't have the energy I had before and my body is certainly a lot mushier than it was before the accident. Yeah, I know that being completely sedentary because of injuries is a big part of it. But again, shouldn't I be happy I ate whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted, did not exercise of even walk around much, and didn't gain a ton?

I am pleased that I'm not gaining, for sure. I just know that if I didn't have a scale I would have guessed I am up 20 pounds by how I look and feel. And after the traditional salty ham dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, and pies last night, this morning the scale's back up to 189. Okay, no biggie, but my jeans don't fit. Having to wear these castoff used-to-be-baggy pants is a reminder that it's not just that number on the scale that matters... it's about more than that.

This morning I didn't wait until afternoon to eat. I had a tamale and a slice of pie for breakfast and thought to myself, when will I get it together and fix this? "This," meaning this way that I feel. Not today, I think. Tomorrow? But there are leftovers... leftovers!! Hmmm, that kind of thinking reminds me of all those years of morbid obesity that were actually just a very long string of days putting the "diet" off until tomorrow... or Monday... or after the next holiday. We have a birthday in the family this week (cake) and I kind of crave pizza and there's New Years and the whole resolution thing. But I don't go in for the set a date to begin thing anymore. I tend more towards small changes on the fly. Drink a big glass of water when I walk into the kitchen. See if I can do that 5 minutes on the recumbent bike (which was ruled out at my last PT evaluation due to pain). Give away the rest of the fudge. Have a smaller portion of carbs at dinner tonight.

I can't jump into something anxiety-provoking. I don't really have that food calm I cherished before, but I am not in that stressed, anxious state about my eating, either. I think I just need to edge back towards the calm, not restricting but making choices more like I used to make before the accident. I know I don't want to weigh 189 or more at the end of this year, and I sure don't want to be stuck with ONE pair of jeans that fit. So let's see what I can do this week to at least let the bloat go away (less salt, fewer carbs, more water) and go from there.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Two Week Update


I can't believe it's been two weeks since I posted about the regain. I just haven't had it in me to weigh except for, I think, once between then and today. I tried to eat better and started posting on Instagram again but that didn't last long before I was sitting here wondering if I should post a picture of the Cadbury Fruit and Nut bar I had for dinner that day. I decided against it and went silent.

I didn't fall headfirst into junk over the last two weeks, but I am still eating stuff that makes me feel bad. Part of that is probably an unhealthy response to feeling trapped and helpless over my pain and inability to do the things I want to do. But there is a part of me that says, no. I am not going to do this again. I cannot regain a hundred pounds AGAIN and I certainly can't lose 100 pounds a third time. That thought has been enough to reign in the eating *some.* I am working back into the good habits that got me to this point: making better choices, choosing smaller portions, and narrowing my eating window so that all I have most mornings is coffee with cream until noon or later when I eat an actual meal. And tonight I am having white chicken chili, which will be posted on my Instagram later.

I went to my counselor last week and talked to him about why I feel like I can't cope with all the restrictions and pain unless I am eating a lot. And he talked to me about the usual things people use to cope but how I can also use my social circle, friends, volunteer work, and church as reasons *not* to overeat. And that makes a lot of sense to me emotionally. So I have been working on making the choice to do well for those reasons... so that I can get back to being more active in those things, which, to me, is far more motivating than just wanting to fit in my clothes and not wanting to get fat.

As for physical therapy, I went for my first visit and they turned me away. They did some testing and an exam and said I was not healed enough to start PT. I was so disappointed. I have another appointment this week to see how I am doing and whether they can do anything to help me or not. If not, I'll just have to rest, heal, and wait until they say I am ready.

Weigh in today is 187 pounds, which is basically a maintain over the last 2 weeks. If I can stay around this weight through the holidays, I will call it a success. Soon, I hope, I will be healed enough to start some kind of exercise. But in the meantime, I am learning to enjoy the forced time off. Even though it's not my choice, I can choose to see it as a blessing and use the time wisely.