Hello, this is reality with your wake-up call!

If you’ve ever read my blog over the last couple or three years, you know I’ve been fighting my weight issues.  I thought I was taking it seriously, but apparently I wasn’t as serious as I thought.

I just spent the last week, roughly, in the hospital, being treated for diabetic wound issues and cellulitis. You’ve heard of “Scared Straight”? The program where they take kids into prison and scare them into realizing what it’s really like “inside”? Well, I’ve just been “inside” and now have a clear understanding of what my life might be like if I don’t get my act together and get rid of the sugar.  And I’m scared.

This all just kind of came up out of the blue, so to speak.  I thought I was dealing with gout (which is bad enough) but after about a week of things not really improving, my husband talked me into an ER trip.  I, in turn, twisted his arm into stopping and getting some books to take with me — as you know, if you’ve ever had to deal with a trip to the ER, it can literally take hours.

To my immense surprise (and concern), I was in registration, triage, a room and admitted to the hospital in about a half-hour, with brief stops for an x-ray, a shot of morphine (which left me feeling like Curly Bill Brocius in “Tombstone” after his trip to the opium tent) and an IV full of antibiotics.

Making a long story short — it was brought home to me in a way I couldn’t ignore that I am not immune from the side-effects of bad decisions, and at 51, I’m not going to magically be younger and able to heal in moments the way I used to.  There’s still a chance that a bone in my foot is infected and that’s scary because the word “amputation” was bandied around — and I’m attached to my toe (and foot), thankyouverymuch.

So I appreciate the UHHS folks for giving me a headstart on the changes that are going to have to happen in my life.  I lost 6 pounds in the course of my hospital stay, hard though that is to believe (some of it is no doubt water weight) and I’m finding it a lot easier to turn my back on temptation.  It’s not a matter of aesthetics any more — it’s a matter of what’s more important: some kind of sweet that will give me very temporary pleasure, or the continued existence of my limbs as permanent parts of my body.

So, yeah.  I heard the bell, Mr. Donne, and it’s most certainly tolling for me.  And believe me, I got the message loud and clear.

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Weight Loss II: Back to the Future

The weight loss has stalled. I’m where I was at my low point in the Summer of 2010 and while I’ve lost a few more inches, the pounds aren’t budging.

I’ve decided that there are three reasons for this (I think):

  1. Some occasionally BAD eating choices (get thee behind me, lasagna! [note: and it did, trust me…])
  2. Not doing as much weightlifting. This time around I’m doing more swimming and water aerobics. I need to work weight lifting back into the routine.
  3. Having developed the bad habit of waking up in “fight or flight” mode and then laying awake worrying about the hole in the ozone layer and lots of other similar things I have no control over and no way of solving. This is a problem for two reasons: one, I’m not getting enough sleep, which every weightloss/fitness expert in the known universe says is critical and two, I’m sure I’m generating enough cortisol to drown a small island nation, which is also supposed to be a problem, especially with weight around the middle. Sigh.

I want this so badly — to keep seeing the pounds come off, even if they do it slowly.  Just to see the scale drop and keep on doing it. So I’m considering Tom Venuto’s “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”.  Not that I have any secret yen to look like a female bodybuilder (somehow I can’t get the image of Jim Carrey’s “Vera De Milo” character from “In Living Color” out of my head)

Jim Carrey as Vera De Milo on "In Living Color"

but a lot of people seem to have used his plan safely and seen results, so maybe I should give it a go.  It’s ultimately my choice about how low a BF% I hit (assuming I can get things kick started). So — onward and downward, yet again?

(since 11/4/2011: +/-0.00%; since 3/1/2011: -5.74%)

Weight Loss, Round II: Oh, and by the way…

By good rights, I should be posting this on Wednesday, but I anticipate a strange week this week, so I probably won’t get a chance then.

So… I’m pleased to say that my (very gradual) weight loss continues.  I haven’t had a particularly good week or so eating wise, and I’ve (not intentionally, but due to circumstances) not been working out as much, but I am definitely down. Right now, I’m just below where I was at my “low water” mark last summer, so now it’s “onward and downward”, so to speak. It’s my intention to work out at work this week, plus I hope to get a ‘second shift’ in at the Y on Tuesday and Thursday.  I’ve managed to get to a couple of water aerobics classes and liked them very much.  It was funny — the first time I went, I got out of the pool thinking, “Gee, that didn’t seem as hard as I expected,” a sentiment that lasted until I got up the next morning and realized how much work I had really put it.  The water carries some of the load, making it a rather deceptive process.

Saturday I came to work briefly and walked on the treadmill/did the elliptical.  I’m sorry, but no one is going to convince me that the elliptical is easier and less work than the treadmill.  I just don’t believe it.  I’m working longer and at a higher level on the elliptical than I did before, and the stupid thing’s trying to tell me that 20 minutes on it (I split my 40-minute workout between the two) is about a third of the calories of the treadmill workout.  Not a chance. I mean, with the elliptical, you’re moving your arms as well as your legs. I don’t see how it can be less work.

Oh, well.  In the meantime, I think my fantasy football team lost again — at least this week it was closer.  My fantasy hockey league drafts on October 3, and I’m looking forward to that, if only because it also means we’re just three days away at that point from the real thing starting. I<3 my Habs.  (I suppose I should post a warning on Twitter and FB for the non-fans… )

Still praying for my friend.  Really storming heaven on this one.  The thought that I might lose this person is absolutely devastating to me. Please help this special being, Lord.

And for all the rest of you, hope you are well, too.  Always have time to listen and care if you’re not. {{hugs}}

(since 9/7/2011: .97%; since 3/1/2011: 7.11%)

Weight Loss, Round II: Week 2

(I will try to blog about something else occasionally! :))

Well, here we are, week 2. The good news is the number went down again … not a ton, but more than just a little. The bad news (if there is any) is that I didn’t get to exercise much last week, due to a combination of being exceedingly tired for some odd reason and being at home and away from facilities.  However, I did sign up at the Euclid Y and plan to get the schedule and go to the Lyndhurst Y also. And since I’m back at work now, after 4 days of working at home, I’ll be able to get out and about, either walking out or walking on the treadmill.  Also, I’ll have weights here and hopefully some better equipment at Lyndhurst Y.  The best Y would be Avon’s, since it’s brand new, but that’s way too far to go.

The other good news is that I have been able to keep on my eating track, which is way (weigh? :)) better news, seeing as how that’s always been my bête noire. Every week – no, every day – that I succeed in passing up something I shouldn’t have and I stick to the plan is a victory for me, and seeing the scale  go down and not up, or not stay put, is exciting and a very happy thing.

I’m hoping that the Canucks can put the Bruins away tonight – someone will be hoisting Lord Stanley tonight and I really don’t want it to be Boston, both as a Habs fan and as an honorary Canadian. 🙂 Long past time it came back to Canada. Just sayin’.

And in other news: I have joined a group of other unpublished authors to do a “publicity” e-book of our work. We call ourselves the Clan of the Flying Pens, and our website is at: www.theclanoftheflyingpens.weebly.com. This is going to be FUN!

(since 6/8/2011: .73%; since 3/1/2011: 2.54%)

Weight Loss, Round II

My new company has had a contest this year, from March 1 to June 1 and now until September 1, to encourage us to eat better, exercise, et al.

I didn’t do much with the first half of the contest, to my everlasting regret. I don’t know if I couldn’t get serious about it or if the outside forces on my life worked against me, but when I got “officially” weighed on June 1, I had lost a whole .8 of a pound. Yippee.

Now, though, I seem to have found my second wind.  I am walking 2.2 miles four workdays a week (Wednesday is a no-go unless I can get in early) and on Saturdays. I hope that beginning Wednesday I will be able to go to the YMCA in Euclid 2x a week to do water aerobics or swim and maybe even more than that, if I can ever get out of bed early – I’d love to have a full set of weights, etc., to do lifting.  We have dumbbells and a Bosu Ball (or whatever they’re called) and I do what I can, but I’d love to have access to an Ab-bench, a Universal machine and some barbells, too.  If we go to the Y on Wednesday, I’ll have a better sense of what’s available and take it from there.

The best part is that I FINALLY seem to have my eating under control.  For the past two weeks, I’ve been able to 1) stick to eating what I bring with me, and 2) bypass what I shouldn’t.  I’m proud that I’ve been able to walk by things that tempt me and not give in.  I’ve also enlisted the help of a co-worker who gives me the evil eye to keep me on the straight and narrow – LOL. I’m keeping track of food and exercise on http://www.fitday.com: http://fitday.com/fitness/PublicJournals.html?Owner=jmacleve. You can see what I’m eating and how I’m working out (at least during the week when I have internet access). I’m being completely honest.  There’s no point in lying about this. I’m totally serious about my efforts and according to the same scale I was weighed on last week, I’ve lost almost 2%. It may not seem like much, but last year when it was just working out and not getting the eating under control, I never saw that kind of change. I was toning, but not really losing a lot of weight. I am encouraged by this.

In addition, there’s this ongoing debate about water and it’s role (or non-role) in weight loss. I have a 2-quart pitcher full of water on my desk, and I’ve been drinking 2-3 of them every day.  At home, I have a 2-gallon container with a tap and I keep a 1 liter bottle full so I drink water and not milk all the time. I think this helps, if only because it seems to kill my appetite. If it gets boring, I drop a flavored tea bag in it and that helps, too.

Now. I’ve studiously avoided putting a “real” picture of me up from any time recently on the Internet.  I have elementary school, jr. high and high school pictures of me up all over the place (especially on Facebook) and there’s that troublesome avatar that I’ve been using. I decided to put this one up. It is of me at my best weight loss period last year. I have a long way to go, since I have to get back there and then keep going, but here it is.

The only thing I reserve mentioning is my actual weight.  I’m not secure enough to do that.  In fact, from now on, I’m going to mention my percentages when I weigh in once a week (which is what we’re supposed to do for the company competition). When I’m done, I may regale you with a real number. Until then … 🙂

From June 1 for June 8:

(1.73% this week; 1.97% overall)

Keep on keepin’ on …

If happen to be in downtown Euclid and you see what looks like an extra from “Night of the Living Dead” lurching down Lakeshore Avenue wearing a Canadiens t-shirt, don’t be alarmed. It’s just me.

I did my first full workout in over a week and various body parts are complaining loudly. My personal trainer says if you feel as though you can do more of whatever you’re doing, you should. Last night, as I was contemplating 60 more pulldowns (working the biceps), my arms convened in plenary session and I was outvoted 2-1. (Hee). But I did a lot of other stuff and had a nice 35 minute treadmill walk. I plan to continue that from here on out, along with dealing with my food and eating issues.

My Combat! group had our Recon last week and I saw myself in the pictures. Boy, do I ever have motivation to keep on keepin’ on!

And In The End …

Well, Calicon is more or less officially over, at least for me. I leave from Burbank today.

Those who are leaving from LAX decamped last night to another bivouac location more convenient for tomorrow’s manouevers. 🙂 I’m standing lone picket (so to speak).

This morning, I stood looking at my room as I closed the door for the last time. It occurred to me that we leave behind little bits of our lives everywhere we go; this room, that home and so on.

I know I learned some things about myself over the last few days — some of them good, some not. After seeing all the pictures that have been posted, I am insistant even more about losing weight. It scares me. If I look this bad NOW, after I know I’ve lost weight and inches and sizes, what in the name of all that’s wonderful did I look like THEN? Gee whiz! Still, I’m going to keep the pix around and remind myself that this is not who I am or want to be or look like.

The hardest thing is dealing with how things are going to be when I get home. I have to find work. I have to deal with the fact that I have lived on the hope of this weekend for the past year, and as much as I did enjoy it, there were some unmet expectations that I will likely never have the chance to fulfill. Dreams die hard and I will be doing some mourning for them. I’m already creating a new expectation by aiming for Montrèal in February — getting to see the Habs in Bell Centre. I need something.

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Dumbledore tells Harry that “It does not do to dwell in dreams and forget to live.” Sound advice, I suppose, but what do you do when dreams are all you have?