Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 ends and a New Year begins

New Year  Edgar Guest
2013 has been an overall good year to us, and yet we look back and wonder, where did that year go.  Our health is good, we are aging well and are comfortable financially.  Jerry was dismissed by the pulmonary specialist who had been monitoring a now three year mysterious spot on his lung detected by a doc-in-the-box in North Carolina on our travels when Jerry  got a severe cold bordering on pneumonia.  Despite the tests, scans and careful watching, it remains a mystery to Mayo but has not changed and definitely not cancer, always the fear; the MD speculates it may have been a life scar after Jerry's childhood pneumonia but we wonder why the Air Force never detected it his years on flying status.  Nevertheless, he was pleased to not have any further follow ups.  

I have triumphed over a potential health challenge by getting onto the right track and restoring my heretofore good health.  As I wrote on this blog, in July at my annual, the doc cautioned me that my fasting blood glucose levels were rising and  I was carrying around some extra weight from travels over winter and that spring.  I enrolled in the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program and began to monitor and limit  my daily fat gram intake to 33 grams, while writing down everything I eat and drink in a daily journal, and added more physical activity every single day so have achieved success.  I've shed 28 pounds just since September and learned that the healthy way I thought I was eating was not so healthy for me. The calculations were that I lose 15 pounds but I have been known as an over achiever often and did so on the weight.   I have maintained the loss so far and not gained  over this feasting season of holidays, a first in years.  I am committed to maintenance. 

My doctor's follow up and retest in December left me a good to go from a very pleased MD who called me skinny and wished he could bottle my dedication for his patients who live in denial about their health conditions. I have met some new friends at the Y and learned a lot about nutrition, but the biggest revelation was that my daily consumption of  nuts and  cheese (which I love) was too much for me.  I still mourn my inability to consume all the cheese I'd like at one setting along with those delicious Wisconsin deep fried (melted) cheese curds, or my own gooey mac and cheese, any melted cheese is my weakness, but it's a small price to pay for good health.  I am better off than many who crave and eat sweets all the time or just over eat as a way of life.  I could continue with my daily wine or vodka consumption, no fat grams there, only calories which we really do not count daily, just consider. 

 I have actually enjoyed the weekly program meetings and although the scale will never be my "friend" at least I have accepted daily weigh ins, so much that we are purchasing another scale to take along in the motor coach on our travels. This from a woman who would avoid the scale every and anyway possible and monitor how her clothes felt.  Oh, more good news, Jerry suggested I do some shopping for  new clothes especially shorts for the skinnier me as we prepare to head south.  I have already purchased some skinny jeans and courds.  If I have any advice, it is accept and take action--lose the weight, live healthier, shed the tobacco....get out of the land of denial. Otherwise you pay the consequences  in the long run and are fooling only yourself.   Denial or the land of DABDA (denial, acceptance, bargaining, depression and acceptance)  is all consuming  and becomes familiarly comfortable for many. 

We had some travel adventures in 2013 and I learned that tours are not for me after our Alaskan adventure.  I have written about that on this blog all year and not much more to be said.

We will be home this New Years Eve and Day  as the doctor had one last assignment for me before we flee for the south and warmer climates, time for my 10 year follow up colonoscopy. Yuk, it is scheduled for 10:00 AM January 2 and the preparation remains worse than the procedure. So New Years Day while I take down the tree and pack away decorations, I will be fasting--clear liquids only all day preceding the early evening consumption of that dreaded, "Go Lightly" a misnomer if ever there was one. Why in this age of scans, lasers and high tech medicine must we endure this process?  Still, I anticipate  no issues and then will have another 10 years to go until the next one.  

We gained a great grandson this year in July but have only seen him through photos and Facebook, no idea when we will ever see him.  
Maxwell John Morrison 5 months
Maxwell John Morrison born to grandson Brian and wife Jackie appears to be happy and healthy and looks like his mom, especially in the face and chin.  They live in and are committed Californians, just like Brian's parents and tribe, they know no better having lived nowhere else just like that old saying, "mediocrity knows nothing above itself." We have no travel planned that direction. In fact for me, the longer I am away from California the happier I am. That part of my life was fun while it lasted but it is the past.  We thought we would always stay there but CA changed, became too crowded, hours long commutes, hours to wait in lines to eat out, hectic,crowds and crime, even in the northern part, just not how we want to live, so here in the Midwest, despite frigid arctic winter this year, we enjoy a high quality of life.  We can afford to keep our home warm and our house is built well for four seasons.  Where else do folks leave their cars running outside when they run into the grocery stores and the cars are still then when they come back out?  Where else can UPS deliveries sit on a doorstep for weeks and not be stolen when the folks are gone for  months?  That really happened here with our next door neighbors who were in Arizona, we thought their son would set them into the house but he never did the few times he came by their home to check on things. We had no way to contact him and considered picking up the package but watched instead.  


Some souls departed this earth this year beginning in April with Jerry's 96 year old mother who died a rough death as I blogged here.  December was a triple hit with a long time 98 year old father of a California friend, Carol--another friend suddenly without warning in California, and a contemporary a Pennsylvania classmate, Bev, who suffered ill health ravages for years.  May they all rest in peace.  

We are planning our January departure south, Florida and the Alabama gulf coast call; perhaps a reunion in Mississippi at the Bay St. Louis RV park where we spent last year.  Jerry is watching the roads and weather conditions because the mid part of the country seems to be experiencing far worse weather than here where we have only frigid cold, colder than any winter so far.  Sub zero temperatures a few times like last night.  Snow has been minimal and we are shielded from ice by the river bluffs.   

A Happy New Year ahead to one and all.  If I have any resolution it is to decrease my Facebook time and blog more.   Lord Alfred Tennyson sums it in his well known poem,  "In Memoriam"                                Ring out the old, ring in the new,
                         Ring happy bells across the snow:
                         The year is going, let him go;
                          Ring out the false, ring in the true. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Doing what it takes to triump in the battles of the bulges

Autumn colors different around  town.
Partial color changes, early leaf drop, 
I've  had a fairly healthy lifestyle over the years and yet it is not enough, so to step it up, I  enrolled at the YMCA sponsored diabetes prevention program at the advice of my doctor who commented that the past two years my fasting blood glucose levels had risen.  While not yet to a stage considered medically "pre-diabetic" he advised, "don't let this get away and take your good health."  I have some family history of diabetes so I do not want to go there and will avoid it with all my power. Well, I also avoid the scale like the plague but was aware of carting along some excess poundage  because my clothes did not fit as well.  My annual doctor's check up (or any medical visit) involves encountering my enemy, the scale;  I could go in with a broken arm and I would be weighed first.  The pain of reality is diminished slightly  though because the pounds are no longer visible instead a metric version is displayed these days which gives me a content moment, being blissfully unaware of my weight in metrics. That lasts until the nurse translates it to  pounds for me or leaves the chart and I see the conversion.  I am a "nosey" inquisitive person so I always look or ask her.   Well my annual check up this July followed our month long trip in the motor home to New York and Pennsylvania which involved good times, good food, good drinks, good friends. 
Mid morning "snack" of immense cinnamon rolls
at Braeburn Lodge, Alaska

There in is the culprit, the food, always. Why does so much of social life revolve around food, meals, snacks, treats.  Food is all over everywhere.  It is no wonder we have an obesity problem.  Most of us eat way too much. Our trip to Alaska involved more food than I could consume in any given  setting and less physical exercise daily than that which I routinely do, so those pounds joined my body.  But not to fear back home, again it is boot camp, baby, I cannot allow that poundage to become overly attached to me.  BTW, the other half  of this household seldom battles weight and is one of those fortunate people who can eat whatever.  Even he, did some cut back to trim back after the trip because he is very conscious about weight gain and will not go there. 

While I battle poundage, the  last maybe 20years especially, and acknowledge my metabolism is not what it used to be when I could eat half a bucket of KFC chicken and not gain an ounce. 

This is week 5 of the 16 week program; my doctor will retest my fasting blood  glucose in  December when I expect a clean slate, "ya done good girl".  This program developed by the American Diabetes Association after significant research and clinical trials is administered by local YMCA's country wide.  Like anything, results require commitment  Changing habits takes time.This multi faceted approach (food target and physical activity) involves a weekly meeting, a program lecture and participation, recording  every bite and morsel into our food journal  along with  amount of daily exercise, daily weight, any issues or concerns.  We turn these journals in at each meeting to our group leader who returns them the next week with helpful comments.  She has advised me to eat more and use those 33 grams of fat each day to avoid yo yo bounce dieting.  Yeah!  Eat more, slow down the loss which they set at only 15 pounds for me, but I set at 20. We have these dandy graphs to track our weekly weights, officially what her scale shows and yes, we weigh in every week. I still have not made friends with the scale. 

Because we meet at 6:00PM which  would be  right at  or before our dinner time.  I learned after weighing in the first time to not eat my dinner until after class.  There in is another mystery--how can I gain 3  pounds when I don't eat three pounds of food at a meal?  Yet, there's that dreaded scale lying in wait to annoy me.  There are about 20 other participants in the program with all their varying tales and excuses.    

 The sessions are interesting and I am reeducating myself in a lot of healthy food lifestyle choices.  We count total fat grams for which my daily allowance is 33 very easy to reach when eating cheeses (one of my favorite foods) and other non-essential things. My daily lunch or  midday snack was always apple, cheese and  maybe some crackers.  Now it might be a sandwich, apple, yogurt and only an ounce of cheese, that's a 1 inch cube.  I could eat 10 of those no problem.  So it is a process of learning or relearning.  I have indeed become a "fat detective" and carefully consider whether an indulgence is too costly a price to pay, in fat grams. So far I have dropped 12 pounds and the program has me stepped up to increasing my walking to many miles a day instead of just one or two, interspersing some jogging on the track, and finally  adding water aerobics, lap swimming and Zumba classes and toning at the Y where we have a free membership with this program.  Our weather has cooled down a lot so it is good to have the option of indoor classes at the Y.  
Wooly caterpillars abound; legend predicts winter by the
middle red, the head represents remaining time of autumn
and the tail the length of spring. 


So it goes with a step up in physically challenging activities and carefully paying attention to foods.  I doubt I will ever befriend that scale, but keeping healthy is my goal, healthy aging.  I love it when folks think I am much much younger than my 68 years. A healthier lifestyle, that's the choice here.  Doing what it takes.  This endeavor is requiring that we delay snow birding south until January; ironic in that now that we have no responsibilities of caring for elderlies, this old gal gets tied up in  a delay.  Such is life in retirement.