blogging, Uncategorized, Writing

This Little Person

There’s a little person gently snoring in the little bed beside of mine.

He’s on his side with his arms flung wild and his perfect mouth so still that I can trace the tiny cupid’s bow just like his mother’s.

Fingers wiggle at the end of chubby arms as if he’s conducting a symphony in his dreams.

How is it that fraught with lack of sleep I can’t close my eyes to this little mystery?

The tiny up-and-down of his chest, the scent of his hair, his button nose, so like mine, are all things I must drink in, I must record, I must never forget.

Sleep, sweet baby, and I will watch in fascination.

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Anxiety, blogging, emotional eating, Exercise, finding balance, fitness, Food Addiction, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, optifast, problem solving, Tips fot weight loss, Uncategorized, weight loss journal, Writing

The Ups and Downs of Weight Management

It’s been a very long time since I’ve given an update on my weight loss and fitness levels I know those of you on Optifast are probably wondering how successful the program has been more than a year beyond the original use of the product.  I know it differs for everyone, but here’s my experience.

I began my weight loss journey January 2014 at 230 pounds.  I’m small framed and am 5’4″ tall, so that was quite a bit of weight to be carrying around. I had a myriad of health issues; prediabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and asthma.  I used a CPAP to sleep at night and took a pile of medication each day. My rock bottom came one night when I was lying in bed attempting to read and realized that my own neck fat was cutting off my air supply.  The next day I called my doctor.

I completed 18 weeks of a medically supervised Optifast program (800 calories a day/5 shakes).  During this time I took weight loss classes and participated in cognitive behavioral therapy to change my binging and general eating behaviors.  I also enrolled in a weight management program at our hospital’s wellness center and worked out 5-6 days per week.  After the Optifast products, with the aid of a dietitian, I transitioned to a high protein/low carb diet of 1200 calories.  This diet is much like the diet that those with diabetes are instructed to follow.  Within approximately six months my weight was down to 131 lbs. (a 99 lb. loss).  All those medications and the CPAP were things of my past.

Once the weight was gone, the tough part began; MAINTENANCE!!! Instead of weekly check-ins with the doctor, I began seeing her monthly, then quarterly.  I also was in charge of eating real food in the real world.  For the first year, I religiously stuck with the program and stayed around 135 lbs.  My doctor kept telling me that a 10-15 pound gain would be normal during maintenance, but I refused to believe her.  I was determined to not go over 135lbs.  Then, sometime this past fall, I began, as the Pentecostals would  say, “back-sliding.”  I could blame it on being too busy to follow my meal plan, or on the holidays approaching, but truth be told, I made the choice to fall off the wagon.  For the past six months, I’ve pretty much eaten what I’ve wanted, when I’ve wanted it and I haven’t made fitness a priority.  I’d love to say that miraculously I’m still fitting quite comfortably in my clothing from last spring and summer, but I can’t.  My recent weigh-in shows a gain of 15 pounds.

The good thing about gaining 15 pounds is that it’s ONLY 15 pounds.  When I was staring down the barrel of 230 lbs. with nearly 100 pounds to drop, weight loss seemed daunting.   Now, with the proper tools and knowledge, it’s not so scary. My doctor and I made the very realistic goal of dropping ten pounds by the end of July.  I’m back to seeing my weight loss counselor. I’ve purged my pantry of sugary, carb-laden treats and I’ve dusted off my gym equipment.  I know that weight maintenance doesn’t end when the last pound of your goal has been lost.  I have to keep on keeping on.

How has everyone on Optifast or other weight loss plans been doing?  Updates, please! 

 

 

 

enjoying family, honoring mother, Mother's Day, Motherless Daughters, Thankfulness, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Writing

Happy Mother’s Day

I am away from home on Mother’s Day, but my heart is satisfied because part of home is here with me; my eldest daughter and grandson.  I should more rightly say that I’m here with them.  My daughter has nearly finished her intern year as a physician and is rotating for two months at a major state hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit because our local medical center doesn’t have one.  I’m along as Nana, caring for “Li’l C”, as my daughter works grueling hours caring for children not as healthy as her little one.

Today, my thoughts are on the sacrifice that all that moms and their “villages” endure to make sure their precious offspring are healthy, happy, and sound.  My other thoughts are of my own mom, who died at 48.  Few days go by that this 52-year-old  doesn’t think of the special moments that she failed to experience.  Though they never met her, my own children share so many of her characteristics; perseverance, strength, kindness, and the desire to help others.  I may not have parented exactly like her, but my goals were the same; to raise people worth knowing.  Despite odds and obstacles, I know I’ve done just that.

Happy Mother’s Day to moms and their villages everywhere!

 

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It’s possible that my grandson is the cutest baby on the planet?!

 

 

blogging, Crafting to lose weight, dealing with food cravings, enjoying family, food and family celebrations, Having fun, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, public relations, setting goals, strength training, the law of attraction, Uncategorized, weight loss journal, Writing

Goodbye, Sweet Sugar and Thoughts on a New Year

The clock is ticking!  What are your New Year's goals? (Photo by me "The Hugo Clock" @ MOMA)
The clock is ticking! What are your New Year’s goals? (Photo by me “The Hugo Clock” @ MOMA

Stevia-laced coffee and a healthy bowl of Fiber One cereal; this is my usual morning.  However for the past three wake-ups, holiday elves (let’s blame it on them) have been treating me to slices of pie or Christmas cookies and a lovely coffee topped with whipped cream.  Those silly “elves” have also been sabotaging my other meals, too, and “forcing” me to eat Christmas dinner leftovers.  Yesterday, I called their bluff and took the leftovers to my daughter’s house.

The good news is, that three days of feasting hasn’t taken much of a toll on my progress or success.  I decided to not give myself any restrictions this holiday.  Restrictions make you feel like you’ve failed when a sugar cookie “accidentally falls into your mouth.  Truth be told, given carte blanche in the kitchen actually helped me this season.  I can’t pack it in like I used to, and didn’t really end up eating the copious amounts of food that I thought I would.  It takes the consumption of 3,500 calories to gain a pound.  Fortunately, a health metabolism burns those calories, and as of this morning, I only weigh 133 lbs.  Holiday victory is still mine!

Today, it’s back to the gym and “so long” to sugar!  Will I indulge on New Year’s Eve?  Of course!

Speaking of New Year’s, I began working on my new list of goals for 2015 last night.  2014 was such an amazing year that I expect 2015 to be even better!  So far, I hope to:

  • Find an awesome job
  • Rid myself of debt
  • Get  physically stronger
  • Create my crafting business

So what about you, dear readers?  Did you thoroughly enjoy your holiday treats?  Have you made any goals for 2015?  Tell me about it! 🙂

blogging, Uncategorized, Writing

Safeguarding the Soap

Why the hell do they lock up Tide?
Sorry, thieves, you’ll have to pick that lock to smell like a rich person!

When I was a kid. my mom washed all of our clothing in Tide detergent.  I can still conjure up the fresh smell of sheets and tee-shirts, straight from the dryer or clothesline.   A few years ago, in my suburban area, I noticed the trend of locking up Tide Detergent bottles in secure cases that require finding a store manager with a key to release them.  I thought that was odd until my best friend, a social worker by profession, told me that Tide’s code name on the streets is “Liquid Gold” and that people steal and resell it, or trade it for drugs.

Yesterday, while grocery shopping, I noticed another product encased in little plastic locked boxes; Dove Body Wash.  I normally purchase the Target version of this soap, but, I had a really good coupon that made the real stuff a few pennies cheaper than its generic counterpart. Unfortunately,  I was in a hurry, and didn’t feel like seeking out a manager to unlock a box, so I once again settled for the off-brand version.

Though it was my choice to settle for “less,” mostly because of my personal impatience, I fumed for a few seconds over the injustice of being inconvenienced due to the crappy actions of a few dishonest people. I silently cursed soap stealers, and their low-life customers, who are most likely running around with softer skin and better smelling clothing than I am.

After my inward hissy-fit, I began noticing the other store items on lockdown from thieves:

  • Axe Body Spray: I personally think this one’s a good call.  This product is an assault to the senses–ask any middle school teacher who’s had to sit in a room of pubescent boys drenched in this stench.
I know why they lock this stuff up and I commend them.  It smells cheap and terrible.
I sort of commend them for locking up the Axe Body Spray.
  • Replacement blades for electric razors:  Generic manual razors are cheap. Use them, or grow a damn beard. I’m tired of wasting my time waiting for a manager with a key just so my non-thief husband can shave.
  • Name brand contact lens solution: Too expensive for me, I use generic.  If you simply must have the name brand stuff and have to steal it, or purchase it on the black market, I suggest you stick with glasses.
  • Some cold medications: Last winter, I actually had to sign a release and show my driver’s license just to buy some Sudafed D.  Little did I know that crystal meth makers either steal, or purchase, tons of this stuff for making their “product.” I rarely get a cold, so I hadn’t experienced the joy of digging my ID out of my used-tissue-filled purse until then.   I wasn’t in the market to create a sequel to Breaking Bad.  I just had a stuffy nose.
  • Drain cleaner: Also for the aspiring methamphetamine  engineers. Who knew meth was full of such good, wholesome ingredients?
  • Condoms: I know store owners and condom companies have to make money, but couldn’t we just do society a favor and  let this one slide? Unless these stolen condoms are being used as party balloons, they might actually prevent the birth of future Tide thieves, and I’m alright with that.
  • Baby formula: Apparently, baby formula is another hot ticket item for resale and drug trade on the streets. Stealing formula is just sad, especially with programs, like WIC, here in the US that  provide formula to a rather wide income range of needy moms.  Just my humble  opinion, but if you have to steal, or are buying or trading stolen formula, you probably should have stolen some condoms about nine months back.  Oh, wait!  Silly me!  I nearly forgot that they keep those locked up now, too.

I have very little experience with thievery.  Other than maybe accidentally walking off with someone’s pen, the only thing I ever purposely snatched was a Tootsie Roll.  This happened when I was five, and I had no intention of selling it on the streets. I wasn’t even good at concealing my contraband and tried to eat right it in front of my mother, who promptly marched me back into the store to confess my crime to the owner.  My lack of robbery intuitiveness  causes me to ponder how the street selling transactions of these goods occur.  Does some guy, or girl, walk around in a trench coat with formula, electric razor blades, or Tide strapped to the coat’s inner flaps?  Do they flash their goods when a potential buyer passes and say things like, “Is that baby you’re with hungry?”  or  “That goatee’s really not working for you, dude. Check these out,” or “Want your clothes to smell like rich people?”

I know that locking up items targeted by thieves, saves consumers money and prevents the exchange of stolen goods on the street.  It also encourages people to purchase the store’s brand of the product, making more money for the corporation.  Even still, when I have to spend time searching for a manager to unlock the soap, I feel like a well-behaved school girl forced to miss recess because the rest of the class was talking.   Thankfully, most generics are just as good!  (End of rant 🙂 )

What’s the weirdest store item that you’ve ever seen under lock and key?  Am I the only one annoyed by this?

blogging, Uncategorized, weight loss journal

From Clean to Cluttered in 70 Pounds (And Back to Clean Again!)

What!?  You think I should help clean up my extra fur?  Perhaps you're forgetting who's in chargein this family!
What!? You think I should help clean up my extra fur? Perhaps you’re forgetting who’s in charge in this family!

A year ago, our house was probably one of the cleanest in our neighborhood.  I had a daily routine that caused it to be picked up, scrubbed, swept, scoured, and dusted to perfection by 10:00 am, without fail.  This left me with the rest of the day to do as I pleased. Unfortunately, the thing that I pleased the most was sitting on my butt, eating, watching television, and playing on the internet.  My house was pristine, but I was a total mess.

Last night, during our evening walk, my husband and I happily met some new neighbors.  Like us, they were pleased to meet another couple in their same age range and we soon fell into very pleasant conversation that led to a tour of their newly renovated home, and gorgeously landscaped yard.  After we said our good-byes and finished our walk, I began to feel sort of mortified at the prospect of giving a reciprocal tour of our home and yard.  In the past seven months I’ve changed pretty drastically.  I no longer sit around eating, watching TV, and playing computer games for hours, and my daily scrubbing, sweeping, scouring routine has dwindled to, maybe, once a week. It’s not like our home looks like a pig sty, but it definitely looks more lived in and cluttered, especially with the new crafting hobbies that I’ve picked up.

A shift in my priorities and activities during my weight loss caused me to place a lot of focus on my own health and appearance. My cleaning, and siting on my rump routine, was replaced with daily workouts, spending time with friends, swimming, crafting, and generally, being on the go.  While keeping busy is a good way to keep away from the temptation of my fridge and pantry, I need to find a way to be more balanced in my activities.

So today, I decided to take a break from myself and give my home some much-needed attention.  I did lots of picking up and putting away, and an abundance of sweeping, scouring, dusting, and scrubbing.  My house is sparkling from top to bottom, and I even have dinner planned and started.  I can’t promise that my home will stay like this for much more than a few days, but for right now, I’m going to enjoy it and not worry if the neighbors come calling.

Do you have a cleaning routine?  How do you balance your time?  Any suggestions would be great! 🙂

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!! 🙂

blogging, cats, Uncategorized

A Tail of Two Kitties

I’m sure my title’s been used a million times, but I thought Sunday would be an appropriate time to share the two fluffy, quirky, shedding, seat-stealing loves of my life with you.

This good-looking girl is Sophie.  I first met her when a handful of students ran my way on the playground, excitedly insisting that there was a snake in the grass by the fence.  That “snake”  was a very tiny kitten who had been scraped up by a lawn mower.  A quick run home during my planning period to get my cat carrier, and a night spent at our vet for fluids revealed only superficial wounds.  Twelve years later, she’s top cat of our household.  She certainly lets us know if things aren’t going her way!

What?  You'd like your desk chair back?  Perhaps you need to redefine "your."
What? You’d like your desk chair back? Perhaps you need to redefine “your.”
No, I won't move so you can do your silly ritual of making the bed. The wrinkly quilt feels fine to me!
No, I won’t move so you can do your silly ritual of making the bed. The wrinkly quilt feels fine to me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahh, your lap is the warmest, comfiest on in the house.  Oh, you have to pee?  Did I mention how warm I think your lap is?
Ahh, your lap is the warmest, comfiest on in the house. Oh, you have to pee? Did I mention how warm I think your lap is?

 

 

This dashing young gentleman is Porchie.  He’s a transplant from my daughter’s first two years away at medical school.  He was a stray, who hung out on her porch (mostly because she gave him plenty of wet food).  Eventually, one day he wandered into her apartment and decided to stay.  We find his kittenish antics endlessly entertaining and are hinting that we’d like for him to stay after my daughter and her husband move into a new home.  I hope you enjoy a glimpse into the lives of my two special furbabies today!  Happy Sunday!!

I'll gladly play dress up if they insist.  After all, they do keep the chow dish nice and full!
I’ll gladly play dress up if they insist. After all, they do keep the chow dish nice and full!
I'm sometimes nicknamed "The Count" because of my distinctive smile.
I’m sometimes nicknamed “The Count” because of my distinctive smile.
Yes, I specialize in being cute!
Yes, I specialize in being cute!