Category Archives: Changes

Quarterly Progress Report

My husband and I went for our quarterly checkup by our primary doctor this afternoon. We got blood tests last week and were hopeful that we would see some changes for the better.

I’ve told you my husband is a Type II Diabetic. His A1C last quarter was 7.6. (This was down a bunch from his original count of 16+, but still wasn’t normal.)  Today it was 6.2 (the goal for diabetics is <7). HOOORAAAAAAY!  We had essentially given up ever getting a normal reading again, and were just concentrating on eating right and getting the numbers as low as we could. We practically danced around the room!

The big difference in my numbers was in Lipid Profile (Fats in the blood, I think)

  • Cholesterol was down 107 points
  • LDL down 57 points
  • Non-HDL down 70 points
  • Triglycerides down 61 points

She said that since my husband and I are essentially eating the same foods, my exercise was the cause of my improved numbers!

She was so pleased she said I could wait to come back for SIX months. I’ve been going quarterly for YEARS, so this was super good news. If my husband keeps his good numbers in November, HE can go to every six months, too!

Tonight we’re going bowling with our good friends and having our FLEX snack for the week, a scoop of  ice cream from Braum’s. We celebrated by having a FLEX lunch, as well, enjoying a couple of pieces of fried fish from our local grocery deli. We haven’t had that for almost five months now, so it was a joyous celebration, even though we’re supposed to spread the flex meals out – one per day.

We knew we had lost weight.  We knew we had lost inches (though my husband won’t measure, he’s losing his tummy)

It was wonderful to have the doctor confirm with objective numbers that we’re improving our health. She said, as we were leaving, “I wish all my patients took an active interest in their health and worked as hard as you two have.”

A wonderful pat on the head! :0)

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Filed under Cause for Celebration, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Today’s World – Take 7

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Filed under Changes, Funny Signs - Humor, Reading is FUNdamental

Today’s World – Take 6

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Today’s World – Take 5

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Today’s World – Take 4

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Today’s World – Take 3

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Armoring Up

thriftyfun.com

I WISH our flower planters look like this. I’ve been trying to weed the three 8-foot brick flower planters that follow the slope of our front yard between our grass and the driveway. My rewards for my efforts a couple of days ago was another red wasp sting and an ugly bruise on the back of my hand I received while flailing around trying to get the wasp off me.

I’ve been resting and avoiding the yard since then, trying to get the swelling in my arm to go down and the pain to subside. After two days of feeling sorry for myself, I’m finally over the hump on pain and swelling, both on the back of my hand and my arm. I think in another day or two I’ll be back in fighting form.

When I do go back out there, I’m going to armor up. I’m going to start wearing an old long-sleeved dress shirt of my husband’s that I’ll designate as my ‘gardening shirt.’ I’ll wear my jeans, long socks, and my gardening gloves. It it’s really sunny and hot, I’ll wear my funny-looking hat. Needless to say, I’ll be quite a sight, but MAYBE I can do what I’d like to do without getting injured.

The first thing I’ll do is arm myself with a can of the spray that knocks wasps out of the air and kills them on contact, or at least knocks them down where I can squash them. No more Mr. Nice Guy around here. I realize that wasps serve a good purpose or two, but they are hereby on notice to do their good work somewhere else! I’ll also have my canister of EIGHT bug killer and will hose down the area again before I get close. I’ll take our metal yard art peacock out of the planter (maybe even ripping it out and throwing it into the yard) – in case the wasps have built a nest in it. I’ll also hose down the palette of bricks stacked next to the brick planter because the wasps may have built a nest in there, as well.

Thankfully, we’re getting some rain on and off this weekend, so I can heal up a bit more before I tackle this.  Once I feel a bit safer – armed and armored –  I’ll start trying to weed again….

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Today’s World – Take 2

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Frustration

funnyanimlz.blogspot.com

Dieting is never easy, but some things really complicate our efforts.

We are on the Nutrisystem programs. I’m on the one with most choices for women with too much lard and my husband is on the diabetic men’s program.

We were going along just fine until this past order. The BBQ Pulled Pork that my husband REALLY likes for lunch wasn’t available. He doesn’t handle this well. In fact, when we tried Nutrisystem several years ago, he (and then I) quit because they kept narrowing his choices until he gave up in a huff. This is like an instant replay.

I spent a lot of time on CHAT today trying to find out if and when BBQ Pulled Pork would be available again. Bottom line after lots of time the answer was “it won’t be.” Needless to say, that didn’t go over well with my husband. We explored various options – him huffing and puffing all the while – and finally decided to order an A LA CARTE addition to our next order for him so that he can eat the substituted BBQ Seasoned Chicken that IS available for lunch or dinner as he chooses. (He’s almost to his weight goal so he doesn’t have to worry overmuch about calories, and we’re monitoring his blood sugar on a regular basis.)

I would really like to lose my lard.  An unhappy husband, though, isn’t worth it. I’m hoping that they don’t discontinue the BBQ Seasoned Chicken. If they do, that will be all she wrote. :0(

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Encouraged

I lost a pound yesterday. I don’t know what happened, exactly, but I’m smiling today, happy that I seem to have broken through the weight loss plateau on which I teetered.

I’ve lost 17 pounds and 17.3 inches – definitely a good start.

My husband is doing well, too. He’s on the diabetic plan for men.  I don’t really see any difference in our plans, since Nutrisystem cuts out salt, fat, and sugar, still making things that taste good. Our choices each month seem to be much the same – all healthy.

My husband is to the point that he’s taking his blood pressure medicine every other day. We take our blood pressure daily, so we’re monitoring that – plus his blood sugar numbers – carefully. Since we’ve been trying to cut his sugar (before, but also continuing now with NS) he’s gone from having double vision for a scary time, shooting pains in his feet, having to have TUMS with him at all times, headaches, and high blood pressure and cholesterol, to good vision, no pain in his feet anymore, no TUMS in about 8 months now, lower blood sugar numbers and much lower blood pressure.  We’re hoping his A1C test will be normal, or very close to it this time.

We have our quarterly appointment with our primary doctor in August, so we’re hoping that our tests will show good improvement in all areas. I’m hoping that our doc will confirm that we’re on the road to better health now. A pat on the head would be nice! :0)

 

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Something to Think About

Albert Einstein-sayingimages.com

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement, Favorite Quotes

Choices

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter, via Lisa Bearnes Richey

As I get older – and older – I see that this quote is true. It IS our choices that shape our lives.

  • Do you choose to expand your life – try new things – learn something new?
  • Do you choose to actively try to get healthier?
  • Do you choose to reach out to a loved friend who needs you?
  • Do you choose to tell – and show – people you love how much they mean to you?
  • Do you choose to try to make each day count?
  • Do you choose to look at life in a happier frame of mind?
  • Do you choose look for ways to make others happier?

I’ve had several friends over the years seemingly make a conscious choice to allow their lives to implode. They resist change, refuse to learn new things, allowing their lives to get smaller and more insular until they’re gone.  It’s a pattern I don’t want to follow. I’m choosing to live each day to the fullest. What choices are YOU making?

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Another of Life’s Character-Building Exercises

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My husband is the technical person, handling computers, all things electrical, a LOT of things online, fixing things, etc. He was the one who figured out how we could cancel our satellite TV and save a lot of money. But, as he ages, his temper gets shorter and shorter – and – I admit I’m describing myself, as well.

Yesterday we had a power blip. Though the electricity was off for such a short time a lot of our things didn’t notice, it took us the rest of the day to deal with things that WERE affected.

We like DirecTVNow. All of a sudden, it wanted us to sign in with our user name and password. This is a really aggravating, laborious process of searching for one letter at a time, making our user name seem endless, and our password almost impossible due to the fact ours is quite complicated for safety concerns. I told my husband I would do the input if he would get me the password.

To make a long story shorter, we couldn’t get DirecTVNow to accept our password. My husband went into the office, then came back saying, “I deleted our Roku account because it wouldn’t take our password.” It turned out that he had confused the Roku and DirecTVNow accounts and had been giving me the Roku password. Now the account was deleted, so that meant ALL of our TV related accounts were toast.  His reaction to the problem and his temper in deleting the CORE of our TV watching ability was done in a fit of pique. He then decided to divorce himself from the problem – saying, “I don’t know,” to all my questions and not showing any interest in helping –  which had me tearing my hair out, and – at one point – going out in the back yard to yell a bit. (I wonder what the neighbors down in the valley think of the crazy woman who shrieks once or twice each year.)

I finally created a Roku account in MY name, and then got on my husband’s computer and added each of the programs and channels we had before, laboriously going from the living room to the office and back again, jumping through the various hoops each required.

We are both still alive and the TV stuff has been restored.

If you heard my head exploding or my shrieking last night, don’t be alarmed. Things are back to what passes as ‘normal’ around here.

It truly amazes me that the person I love most in the world is also the one who drives me completely nuts!

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Getting the Lard Off Report – 07-05-2018

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This is the end of Week 10 on Nutrisystem. I’ve lost 15 pounds and 15.8 inches. 

I’m a bit frustrated at my fumbling around on measuring myself. I’m following their suggestions, measuring in the bathroom where I can look in the mirror and make sure the measuring tape is level, etc., but I’m still coming up with different numbers from time to time. I guess the ‘flexibility’ in measuring can be factored in, assuming I screw up the same amount each week. As long as the general trend is downward, I’m happy.

Of course my husband, who just eats the food I bring him, not worrying about drinking water, exercising or anything else, has lost more weight than I have. I’m delighted for him, though, because he is a Type II diabetic. His blood sugar number this morning was 101. (normal is 100 or under.) His lowest reading to date was 96. I’m hoping that the A1C he has at the end of the month shows really good improvement. He told me last night that ‘it’s amazing that I’m losing weight and I’m never hungry.’ He is also really pleased that he gets to enjoy an orange or an apple each day – something he thought he would never be able to do again. His reaction so far is, “I don’t see why we can’t stay on Nutrisystem essentially forever.”

It’s a really good thing he feels this way because I have a lot of lard to lose and, though I’ve made progress, the weight is coming off slowly. I’m more pleased with the change in measurements, though there’s a long way to go there, as well. It’s so much easier when we’re both eating essentially the same thing. I’m not having to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen. I dash in, get a snack or we each grab a meal. I cut up raw veggies for lunch and a salad for dinner. Not a lot of time to think about food – always a good thing.

I will have ‘re-runs’ (a term I love that my friend Marsha uses) at lunch, and my husband will have one tonight for part of his dinner. The flex meals are still a work in progress, but we’re getting a bit more comfortable with it now.

I’ll feel a bit better when I’ve made enough progress that people begin to notice there isn’t as much of me as there used to be. :0)

 

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Lunacy

workingtruckworld.com

Recently I told you that we found a wonderful guy who is coming tomorrow afternoon to clean out our gutters, install covers, PLUS give us an estimate for taking down parts of two trees. He’ll have his chainsaw in the back of his vehicle so he can do the tree work while he’s here if we like the estimate.

Yesterday I was sitting in my comfortable chair in the living room reading when I heard a strange sound in the back yard. I looked out to see our truck backed up toward the evergreen tree that has a huge dead place in the middle of it due to the power company clearing things for their lines, cutting stuff down in a really careless way.  My husband was up on a ladder, precariously balanced on the slope that runs down to the actual tree trunk, trying to tie a nylon rope to the dead part of the tree.

I screeched silently, grabbed my sweatband and sunglasses and ran out to the truck. I held onto the ladder while my husband got the line tied. The other end of the line was on the trailer hitch on the back of the truck. Amber was in the back of the truck, looking delighted.

We tried the technique several times before we finally pulled the largest dead branch off the tree. We untied it and rolled the whole branch into the easement behind the evergreen, across from the greenhouse and the ham radio tower. We were then able to use another tool to grab another large piece of dead stuff and pull it down.  We couldn’t get all of the dead stuff, but it looks a lot better than it did.  We’re all still alive and no one was hurt.

We still have the mimosa at the bottom of the driveway that suffered a broken branch. It’s hanging down halfway onto the driveway. I’m picturing the two of us tackling THAT, too, today, ahead of the handyman coming tomorrow.  To do this, my husband will have to stand in the back of the truck and try to use the chain saw on the branch. I’ll be in the truck – positioning it as closely as possible – and then dragging the branches across the road as they’re cut and tossing them down into the ravine on the other side of the road from us.

I’m thinking that this is a pride thing, where it’s better to kill ourselves than have to admit to someone else we’re too old to do it…

Please wish us luck.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report – 6-27-2018

cliparts.co

The BAD news is that I’m still old and still don’t look a THING like Julia Roberts.

The GOOD news is that with the help of the Nutrisystem counselor, I seem to have broken through the plateau from Hell I was on and am losing weight again!

 

To date, I’ve lost 16.3 inches.

Poundage off is now 14.4.

Other GOOD things –

  • I’m getting used to drinking 64 oz of water daily, no longer feeling that my eyes are floating. (My husband – who is not even trying to drink any certain amount – is getting used to having to pause the movie several times, though, as the drinking catches up with me in the evenings.)
  • I’m getting more confident about being able to adapt our life style to the Nutrisystem program, particularly as it relates to the flex meals and our social life. We like to bowl with friends on Monday evenings, for example. We use the trip to Braum’s afterwards as our FLEX SNACK for the week. We eat with friends every Friday for what we call “Lunch Bunch.” We were counting that as FLEX LUNCH, but are finding it easier to work it into the program by having it as our FLEX BREAKFAST for the week. I’m starting to prepare some of the “Leaf” Nutrisystem FLEX DINNER recipes, having fixed two so far. One of the recipes was an “OKAY,” but the latest one, the “1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables” was a winner. Today, since I made it to 1100 subscribers – actually 1101 now) to my blog – HOOORAAAAAAAY!” – we’re going to Red Lobster for Lobster Tail as our FLEX LUNCH for the week in celebration!
  • I’m starting to look forward to some of my exercising. I’ll never become like Jillian Michaels, who seems to live for exercise, or like annoying Leslie Sansone, who keeps talking about how much FUN her walking program is and how GOOD it feels, but I AM enjoying the half hour I spend daily doing my yoga stretches and then using my cervical pillow to completely relax for several minutes. I’m trying to do my elliptical trainer for 30 minutes every other day. I’m using all the vacuuming and mopping of floors as my exercise a couple of days a week or more, since I seem to have to devote my life to it to even THINK of trying to keep up with all the dog and cat hair right now.
  • I’m starting to believe that if I keep on keepin’ on, I’ll eventually lose the lard, be healthier, and feel better as there is less of me.

My next goal is to earn my 20 lb Nutrisystem bear!  One day at a time….

taolife.com

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, opportunities, quality of life, taking care of yourself

What Color is Your Attitude?

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“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” – Allen Klein

_________________

 

My dad taught me how important seeing the world with humor can be. He lived it, giving me a beautiful example on which to base my own attitude.  I can stand back and look at what’s happening as if I’m watching a movie. This allows me to see the humor in the situation and give a big, hearty laugh at myself.

My mother-in-law gave me a reminder when we were driving her to a retirement center in Tulsa. Her whole life was changing. Her husband was dead set against the move. She was giving up much of her previous life and activities. She knew no one at the center. I asked her how she felt about the move. She smiled a bright smile, her eyes twinkling, and said, “I’m going to LOVE it!” I looked at her, silently asking her to go on. She said, again, “I’m going to love it. I’m going to make friends, find fun and interesting things to do, enjoy fixing up our rooms a bit, and make this my new home.” And she did.  Everyone soon knew who she was and loved her.

I’ll never forget this, and hope to embrace changes with this same enthusiasm. Attitude colors everything.  We can look at things with the idea of new opportunities and wonderful surprises ahead. I want my life to keep expanding. I would like to reach out, savoring what remains of my life with gusto. The more colorful, the better.

What color is YOUR attitude?

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Celebrating My Husband’s Health

I told you recently that my husband and I just celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary. We ‘renewed our option’ as we usually do at this time, but I told him that I wanted him to live healthy and happy so we could one day celebrate our 70th.

He has Type II Diabetes. We’ve been trying to get his blood sugar down for awhile now with varying degrees of success. He’s been doing better since we started Nutrisystem toward the end of April. We started monitoring his blood sugar twice a week after starting a new medication a couple of years ago. His blood sugar was in the 500’s when we discovered he had diabetes. When we started monitoring with the new meds, it was still at around 350+. (normal is below 100).

This morning it was 96!!!!!!!!!!!

He also complained of some dizziness about two weeks ago. We’ve been monitoring our blood pressure, so we noticed that his was low. We decided to have him stop the blood pressure medicine, taking his blood pressure daily and watching for any more dizziness. His blood pressure is now normal without medication and has been for a week or so now!!!!!!! No more dizziness, either!

I am SO happy for him. He is a HUGE sugar lover. (He even calls ME ‘Sugar.’)  He was kind of in a funk having to give up so many foods and drinks he loved. We were able to find some substitutes so he has a hot drink he likes and a cold drink he likes. (He will only drink water to take pills, and occasionally when he’s been out working in the yard.) The Nutrisystem choices so far have been at least “edible” and some are ‘really good,’ he says.

He only has about 12 more pounds to lose to get to a healthy weight, but the blood pressure and blood sugar differences are life-altering-for-the-better. He used to have pain in his feet, but that is all but gone now. He still has a bit of trouble wearing certain styles of shoes. (We found good sandals for the summer and good boots for the winter. He’s still having trouble finding tennis shoes that are comfortable for his toes, but he’s functional.) He had double vision for awhile, but that’s gone, thank goodness. Restless leg is still bothersome, but not often anymore.

Food and drink changes are never easy. He knows more than anybody (he thinks) and so pooh-poohs what experts say. He is having to admit that he is much better now, feeling better, sleeping better. We are both delighted to see the blood sugar and blood pressure numbers.

I hope our new primary doc will see that we’re serious about trying to take care of ourselves when we see her the first week in August. :0)

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Encouragement, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

New Recipe (Flex Dinner)

The rain has stopped, so we’re about to go grocery shopping. I’m getting the ingredients for a new Leaf Nutrisystem Flex Meal Dinner called, “1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables.”

I’ll make this when we get home. We eat ‘lunch’ at 2:30, so I’ll have plenty of time. “Why in the world would you fix a dinner in time for lunch?” you ask, having read the title of this post.

I’m trying to break through a plateau in my Nutrisystem adventure.  One of the suggestions the Nutrisystem Chat counselor made was that I should try swapping ‘dinners’ and ‘lunches’ for one week and then get back to her. I’ve been doing this, plus the other things she suggested, such as being sure my ‘Powerfuel’ and ‘Smartcarb’ snacks were 80 calories, cutting down on the salad dressing (extras), and eating everything I was supposed to eat for the day, rather than skipping anything.

The result is that it seems to be working!  I’ve lost 1.4 pounds this week, so I’m encouraged.

So, I’ll prepare our ‘flex dinner’ for the week and I will eat it for lunch, while my husband will have a serving for dinner, and I’ll freeze the remaining two servings.

Wish me luck?

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Whine and Cheese

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Today marks the end of Week 8 on Nutrisystem.  I did pretty well for an old, fat broad the first month, but I’ve stalled in the second, as far as any real difference in weight or measurements.  To date, I’ve lost 12.5 pounds and 16 inches.  I’m pleased to have any results at all, but I’m frustrated that my progress seems to have stalled. I’m fighting with the same 3 lbs.

One great thing about Nutrisystem is its online CHAT. Today I talked to Allison J.  I explained my sad problem to her. She wanted to know what I ate yesterday, meal by meal. When she analyzed it, she said

  • she noticed I was skipping my Power Fuel (PF) at breakfast. I admitted that I was skipping it, sometimes making up for it later in the day.  I didn’t realize that WHEN you eat stuff – and in what combination – is very important for your results. (Today for breakfast I ate a Nutrisystem (NS) Blueberry Muffin, and then 2 tablespoons of Cashews).
  • we decided that I was probably eating too much salad dressing during the day, since I eat it with my lunch veggies and also with my salad at dinner. I’ll cut WAY back on the ‘dip’ with the veggies at lunch and try to watch it better at dinner.
  • she suggested that I swap ‘lunch’ and dinner’ entrees for a week and then get back with her next Thursday. I’m guessing that the dinners are higher calorie and that it might be best if I ate those during the day, rather than in the evening when I’m less active.
  • she asked if each of my snacks (PFs and SmartCarbs (SCs) were at least 80 calories. I looked at my log on NuMi and found that my PFs were okay, but my SC was only 65 calories. She suggested that I eat 1-1/2 oranges, instead of just one, to bring the calories up. (Weird, isn’t it? – The idea of bringing the calories up.) I’m supposed to be eating 1200 calories each day, but I routinely came up with up to 200 short.

Thanks to Allison J., I now have several changes to try to see if this breaks through my plateau from Hell.  Hopefully, by the time I report next week, the changes in eating will have wrought some changes in ME!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, taking care of yourself

Pat on the Head

First 10 Pounds Off

My husband and I were on Nutrisystem once before, years ago. We were successful in getting a lot of our lard off, but we stopped because Nutrisystem kept discontinuing the foods my husband liked until he got fed up and wouldn’t continue. Since then, they have revamped their programs, so we’re trying again, fingers crossed that they continue providing the foods my husband likes.

One of the things they haven’t changed is a nice reward for progress. When our non-frozen items were delivered today, a cute little bear was in my box. It’s a fun, happy way to show you’re trying and you’re starting to get some results. I had saved the bears I got from the last time, so I gave one of them to my husband. He is underwhelmed, but I wanted to pat HIM on the head for his efforts, too. So here are our matching ‘First 10 Pounds Off’ Bears.

Tangible things are important when you’re changing lifestyles. For us, the biggest change is in learning what constitutes a ‘serving.’  I, of course, glanced at labels on the items I buy at the store, and I’ve noticed that many of the labels tell you the nutrition count for 1 serving, but the bottle or package actually contains at least two, if not more servings. I think almost NO ONE actually eats or drinks 1 serving of most things. This was a huge eye-opener for us. The fact that a serving of rice is 1/2 cup, for example, and one of our favorite meals was chicken chunks and soup over a large bowl of rice, meant that we were each eating enough to feed an army.

Making these changes is difficult. It’s much easier to continue on, mentally excusing your behavior, rather than stopping and really looking at what you need to be doing in order to get healthier, feel better, and hopefully increase your quality of life for as long as you’re here.

The scales are tangible, but ‘she giveth and taketh away’, making you happy one day and disappointed the next. My husband and I refuse to stop weighing every day, though, as it is one reality check that we need to keep on keepin’ on with our efforts.

The measuring tape is tangible, but as I’ve whined before, even with going into the bathroom and looking in the mirror while I measure, I’m not always accurate. I’m telling myself that even if my numbers aren’t completely accurate, it’s the DIFFERENCE I’m looking for. Any numbers showing less are welcome.

Looser clothes are tangible. Women’s sizes have always been a joke, though. You can be a lot of different sizes depending on the store where you’re shopping. Again, I’m looking at the actual clothes I have. I’m able to buy some smaller jeans and shorts now, shopping in the same stores, and usually going from the same brand. That’s tangible progress.

The cute poundage bears are a cute, tangible reminder that we’re on our way to being healthier. The more bears we collect, the better we should feel. At least, that’s the plan…

 

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Encouragement, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, taking care of yourself

Aquarium

This aquarium is very similar to the one we have on the divider between our dining area and our kitchen. It’s supposed to be a 5 gallon aquarium, but it’s mostly full after I add 3 gallons of treated water.

Lately it seems that the filter pump isn’t working right. We had made some changes in the depth of the water and the height at which the filter hung previously, because I was suspicious it was acting up. The filter was for a 5 to 15 gallon tank. I just drained the tank, cleaned everything, and put fresh, treated water into it two days ago. I put a new filter in the filter pump. Everything looked good, so I put the fish back in. (They were relieved. They don’t like being in a bowl with a dishtowel over it while I clean their home.) Yesterday the water already was clouding up.

Today we bought a much smaller filter pump and filters at Walmart and have just installed the pump. This one is for a 1 to 3 gallon tank, which seems like a bad idea, but the only choices were 1-3 and 3-5 and larger. Since I’ve been changing the filter that goes inside the pump twice a month, rather than the one time it’s supposed to need. We’re going to give the new filter pump, which has an air flow thingie to push water through the filter), some time to clear up the water. If that doesn’t work, I’ll drain the tank and change out the water again.

I don’t really care if I need to change the cartridge a lot. I just want the water clean and sparkling.

Fingers crossed.

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“Knowing” and Dealing With It Two Different Things

Okay. I KNOW that weight loss – particularly as it is reflected by the scales – is a fickle thing. The fact that it’s MORE than yesterday shouldn’t be a big thing. Maybe I retained water. Maybe I gained muscle. Yada yada yada. According to a lot of people, I shouldn’t even be weighing myself every morning – that I should only weigh once a week. Well, I weigh each morning to keep me on track and honest. This morning I weighed MORE than I did yesterday and it’s ‘weighing’ on my mind (hahahahaaha).

It’s one thing to “KNOW” the facts and quite another to deal with the emotional reaction when you hope/expect to be down another .2 lbs and find that you’re actually UP .8 lbs.  I feel that ‘someone’ snuck (is that a word?) some lead into my underwear.

Since I also “KNOW” that I ate only what I should have eaten yesterday, did my exercises, drank my water – the poundage may come off tomorrow. Since I’m old, though, I’ve also learned that it may take 4 days or more to get back down to where I was only yesterday…

Since I know, also, that I won’t get any awards for fast weight loss, and that, in fact, my body will actually do better at keeping the weight off if I lose it gradually, steadily – I’m talking to myself this morning, reminding myself of all the things I SHOULD be concentrating on –

  • feeling good that I’m down 11 lbs and over 13 inches from when we started Nutrisystem
  • that I’m not sitting around feeling hungry
  • that I like MOST of the foods we’re eating
  • that both my husband and I are getting healthier as we lose the lard
  • that our blood test numbers should show significant improvement in August
  • that we’re doing what we can to avoid the health problems we can control
  • that we’ve both gotten shorts one size smaller than we were wearing a month ago
  • feeling grateful that we are in a position to afford a good weight program

Hopefully, tomorrow morning the scales will show me something I like better than what I saw this morning. In the meantime, I’ll continue talking to myself, trying to act like a grownup. :0)

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Good Start

coolnsmart.com via David Michael McCune

 

I lost another pound yesterday, so I’m down 10.6 officially since we started Nutrisystem, and 32.6 lbs down since my lardiest.  I have a long way to go, but I’m feeling good that we have a good start now.

My husband doesn’t have much weight to lose, but he is diabetic and his blood sugar numbers have been a real challenge for about two years now. His sugar was off the chart. He had double vision and pain in his feet. He is now registering the lowest numbers we’ve seen since we’ve been monitoring AND he gets to eat fruit again! He really looks forward to his SMARTCARB snack of an orange or an apple, since it’s been two years since he could enjoy them. He also likes to have some blackberries on his cereal on FLEX BREAKFAST day. His attitude about Nutrisystem is good, and for that I’m truly grateful.

“I” am the one who really needs this program for weight loss. Several years back my thyroid was completely radiated away due to Grave’s Disease. A couple of years ago I said goodbye to my gallbladder, which then made the low-carb diet we were trying to follow a challenge, because my body had trouble handling the fat. My blood pressure is a problem, and triglycerides are high, so I’m hoping that getting the lard off and eating healthy will make my doctor realize I’m serious at our next regular appointment in August.

We both are calmer about portions since we know we’ll eat again in 3 hours. Neither of us has been hungry. My appetite has always been voracious – when we were dating my husband would say, “We need to get you something to eat!” his code for me being ‘snappy.’  My husband said last night, “I don’t see any reason we can’t stay on this plan as long as you want to.”

We quit several years ago because Nutrisystem kept doing away with the choices my husband liked. Finally, he was so upset we had to stop. Now they have SO many more choices – also adding frozen choices – that it will take us several months before we have tried everything. We like the fact they let you know when the deadline is for making changes for our programs, and that we can make changes any time we like up until then.

SO – a Good Start on getting healthier!

 

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Nutrisystem Week 5 Progress Report

Slow, but steady progress in the ‘Getting the Lard Off’ project.

  • Poundage lost through Nutrisystem to date – 9.6 lbs.  Since my heaviest – 22 lbs.
  • Inches lost through Nutrisystem to date – 13.3 inches. Since my lardiest – 29.7 inches.

I’m finding more energy gradually. This helps a lot in my exercise program. Each day I’m doing –

  1. Elliptical trainer
  2. weight exercise for shoulders
  3. over-the-door shoulder pulley
  4. yoga for stretching

FabulousTraveling

Yesterday in particular I felt better than I’ve felt in a long time. I’m having to take less pain medicine for my shoulder muscles. I’m having to do fewer ice and heat sessions. I’m feeling looser with the stretching I’m doing. I’m feeling more energy to do a significant amount of cleaning, gardening, pet care, yard work, etc.

Both my husband and I have lost about 10 lbs since we started Nutrisystem. We both have health issues we monitor quarterly with our primary doctor and blood tests. We’re hoping that the next checkup in August will be a good one – showing distinct improvement. In the meantime, we’re agreed that this is something we really need to do for our long-term health and we’re happy we’ve taken the first step.

 

 

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Moving More, Hopefully Getting Somewhere

yourellipticals.com

I wish I looked like this woman when I’m on the elliptical.  I just finished doing 30 minutes, so I’m feeling good about my efforts.

The bad part is that the elliptical trainer is in our garage – the only flat place in our home with a bare, hard floor where it isn’t in the way. The good part is that I’m not in the bright sunshine, and my husband rigged a big, square fan on the wall right in front of the machine. Otherwise, with the temperatures here in mid-summer mode already, I just couldn’t do it.

I can go out to the garage, start the machine and the fan, clip my mp3 player to my shirt, put in my earphones, hit ‘start’ and do mindless walking while listening to some of my favorite tunes. :0)

I chose the elliptical several years ago because it’s designed to be easy on your joints. This is really crucial for me. I want to strengthen everything while not causing knees, hips, and shoulders to hurt any more than they do now. If I keep at it, plus get enough lard off, I may actually be able to LESSEN the pain in my joints!

According to articles I’ve read on the net, “when you use the elliptical, you can work the upper and lower body at the same time. Elliptical machines work the legs, chest, shoulders, back and arms. With this machine, you can complete a full-body workout in as little as 20 minutes.”

As I gulp down another bottle of water, I feel good for having gotten a good start on my day. Later on, I’ll do the over-the-door-shoulder-pulley thingie (I’m doing 100 pulls a day now – sitting in a chair)

Walmart

plus an exercise with a 3 lb weight

Walmart

to ease the tightness of my shoulder muscles, and then I’ll do 30 minutes of yoga stretching

 

to try to loosen everything else! :0)

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NutriSystem – 1st Month’s Progress Report

Today we have officially finished the 1st month of Nutrisystem.

I’m particularly pleased by my husband’s progress. He is disappointed that he hasn’t lost that much weight, but he doesn’t have NEAR as much to lose as I do. He’s lost about 4 lbs, but I can SEE a difference in his tummy (though he won’t let me measure or do it himself.) The biggest thing that makes me happy is the lowering of his blood sugar number. It was 117 this morning, the lowest since we’ve been monitoring. (I saw a ‘353’ in my records). Lower than 100 is considered normal, and he actually might achieve that!

He is particularly pleased by getting to eat a piece of fruit daily. We had both given that up entirely before and it’s really a treat to welcome fruit back into our diet. There are some really nice big oranges right now at Walmart and we share one each day. We also have some apples in the fridge, in case the oranges aren’t available, plus some blackberries for fruit on his flex breakfast for the week. He has found several of the cookie snacks really good, and he likes their oatmeal. He thinks the frozen orange dream type bars better than the ones we were eating before the diet!

My Nutrisystem progress to date is 9.2 lbs and 11.8 inches gone. (My total weight loss efforts since my ‘lardiest’ are 21.4 lbs and 26.2 inches.)

Lifestyle changes other than the Nutrisystem eating plan:

  1. I gave up added salt and am buying low sodium canned veggies now.
  2. Neither my husband nor I add any sugar or alternatives to anything.
  3. I am doing more real exercise –
    • elliptical trainer – at least 15 minutes,
    • yoga 30 minutes,
    • over-the-door shoulder pulley – 5 minutes,
    • weight exercise to stretch out shoulder muscles – 5 minutes.
  4.  I’m more aware of what a ‘serving’ is – basically not enough to stick in your eye. That said, I realize that my husband and I have each eaten for 8 to 10 at each meal and that hasn’t done our health any favors.
  5. We are both consciously eating more veggies (we usually have carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes and radishes with some salad dressing with our lunch and then a tossed salad (with lettuces and spinach from our own garden!) with our dinner.
  6. I’m getting more used to drinking the 64 oz of water each day. I drink a 16 oz bottle of water with each meal and sip at the last during the day. My body seems to be adjusting to it, too. I’m not having to run to the bathroom quite so much.

We were both really happy to finally eat our way through Order #1. We were both down to things we really didn’t care for, and so cheered when we finished the last of the first order and could dive into Order #2. It was funny, though, because our first lunch we each had “White Bean Chicken Chili.” We are wusses when it comes to hot, spicy stuff, and this was almost too hot for us to eat! I read the ingredients and found they had put jalapenos in it. We could get it down by having a veggie in our mouth and then adding a bit of the chili in there, too. The flavor was nice, other than the hot, but I went to the website and took that particular choice off of Order #3 for both of us… :0)

We feel that our first month on Nutrisystem has been successful. I enjoy planning the flex dinner we’ll eat each week. (We’ll have salmon and steamed broccoli this week.) My husband is learning to put his glasses on so that he can SEE the color coded choices in his bins in the pantry and the freezer. He is also learning to actually read the directions for nuking his food, rather than just winging it. I’m still spoiling him by bringing his snacks to him (like his 1/2 peeled orange and 2 oz of nuts mid-morning) but he’s learning to be a bit independent, otherwise.

On with Month # 2!

 

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Flex Meals on NutriSystem

Nutrisystem

 

Learning to actually LIVE with a new way of eating is very different than simply grabbing a package and nuking it. My husband and I will finish Month # 1 on Nutrisystem on Thursday.  Part of the program I like is the “Flex Meal” idea, where you learn to eat out plus learn to cook meals incorporating the new things you’re learning so that you can function in the real world.  You have one flex breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each week, preferably on different days.

“Flex breakfast” –

  • My husband eats his regular cereal with some blackberries and milk.
  • I eat my old low-carb breakfast of 2 thin slices packaged turkey, a hard boiled egg, some shredded cheese, and a bit of butter, nuked.

“Flex lunch” – 

  • This was easy. We use our “Lunch Bunch” on Fridays. My husband has chicken fingers and I have a nice salad built from the salad bar, including hard boiled egg, ham chunks, cucumbers, shredded lettuce, and a sprinkling of cheese shreds, plus one spoon of dressing.

“Flex dinner” –

  • You can see from the chart above we’re supposed to have 1 smartcarb and 2 powerfuels.
  • What we are doing is cook something we’re really missing – but a lot less of it than we used to eat. Last week we got two thin steaks. (This was a big change because we usually get thick ones to grill.) We love baked potatoes with steak. Instead of the two ‘boat-sized’ white baking potatoes we usually get, we got two little-bitty potatoes. My husband was upset, but I asked him to just try it. He asked in a deprived voice, “Can we eat corn?” while gazing longingly at a nice group of ears. I said, “yes,” not really knowing for sure, but knowing that if he feels TOO deprived, he won’t stay on the new eating plan. I convinced him that we would share one ear.
  • I froze one of the steaks and cut the one I was cooking into two pieces. Lean beef is the ‘powerfuel.” I husked the ear of corn (smartcarb) and broke it into two pieces. We each had a little, bitty potato. (a starchy carb). After we ate last night, my husband came over and said, “You always do such a perfect job that I don’t think about saying anything, but the meal tonight was delicious.”  :0)

“Flex Snack” –

  • This is easy. We go bowling with good friends most Monday evenings. Afterwards, we either celebrate our good bowling or commiserate over lousy games by going to Braums in Fort Smith. We each have one scoop of ice cream and savor every bite. (Mine is chocolate.)

The Flex idea allows us to not feel deprived, keep fun social stuff with our friends even though we’re trying to get the lard off, and put the lessons we’re learning to the test while we’re dieting, so it isn’t just a mindless process, learning to eat this way the rest of our lives.  My husband is trying to keep his sugar under control – a HUGE change for him. (He even calls ME ‘Sugar.’) When we started Nutrisystem almost a month ago now, I gave up all added salt. (I used it on everything – even things that were known to be salty.) I’m hoping this will help my blood pressure numbers.

My husband’s weight loss is 5 or 6 pounds, but the biggest thing to me is that his blood sugar numbers are the best they’ve been since we started monitoring them in 2016. I keep a record, and we started with numbers like 353 (which is future amputate your parts territory). Today it was 122. The goal is under 100, but for the first time since we discovered he has Type 2 Diabetes, we feel we might actually get to the goal.

Official end of week 4 report Thursday. Next quarterly monitoring at our primary doc’s – August 6th. (After about 3 months on the program)

Fingers crossed.

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Getting the Lard Off Progress – End of Week 3

  •  After Week 3 on Nutrisystem:  7.6 lbs
  • Total Weight Loss since my Lardiest: 20 lbs.
  • After Week 3 of Nutrisystem:  9.8 inches
  • Total since my worst wideness:  26.2 inches

My husband has lost weight and his blood sugar numbers are looking a LOT better! (I’m trying not to invade his privacy by printing numbers, but I’m really happy for him.)

Exercise:

  • I’m trying to do 15+ minutes on the Elliptical Trainer each day.
  • Yoga – 30 minutes of stretching daily
  • Weight exercise for neck/shoulder problem
  • Over-the-door shoulder pulley – 5 minutes daily of pulling
  • Ice/heat daily, 15 minutes each for neck/shoulder problem
  • Serious Intention to get up and move more, such as taking break from computer, walking out to shop or garden, then out to greenhouse, sweep garden, clean something, organization effort, etc. several times per day.

Practical Differences:

  • I’m happy that I have ‘new, smaller shorts’ on this week’s list!
  • I’m having fewer instances of having to take a serious nap in the afternoon. I haven’t gotten any younger, so it has to be I’m feeling more energy due to my new eating regimen. :0)
  • I’m feeling more in control of our food now. I keep an eye on the clock so that we remember our mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, but the rest is becoming more routine.
  • We’re eating more veggies – celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes and radishes with a bit of salad dressing with our lunch, and a salad with spinach, romaine, and head lettuce from our own garden with our dinner.
  • We don’t have the feeling hungry sensation. Though we’ll be happy to finish the first month’s supply of food (choices we’ve changed in the next order) we’re feeling generally happy with our food. We’ve found some favorites, such as their orange cream bar as a before bed snack!
  • We’ve cooked one dinner, eaten lunch out, and fixed our own breakfast, and had a snack NOT on the program this week (Flex Meals), learning how to function in the real world, learning to judge portions, and more.
  • I bagged up the food left from the first order in gallon freezer bags. We got my new group of frozen food yesterday and my husband’s this morning, and we were able to quickly put both away, keeping everything straight. :0) Now waiting for NON-frozen boxes.

Week 3 has been a success. I’m feeling motivated and happy to be getting less of me!

 

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Nutrisystem Week 2 – Progress Report

Since starting the ‘Nutrisystem for Fat Ladies’ program two weeks ago, there is less of me!

  • Weight lost:  6.6 lbs*
  • Inches Lost:  5.5 inches*

*(Couple this with what I lost before Nutrisystem – and my total loss since “MY WORST” is 19 lbs and 15.5 inches.)

My husband refuses to do anything but weigh, and he’s lost 3 lbs. He’s drinking stuff during the day, but doesn’t want to even think about drinking 64 oz of water per day. He’ll eat fruit and nuts, but fusses about anything else as his PFs and SCs each day, eating some of what I bring him, but not all. He will eat a salad, but fights other veggies, mostly, so I’m doing veggies and dip for lunch and salad for dinner. He’s on the diabetic program, and his blood sugar readings, which we take twice per week, are the best he’s had since we started monitoring him!

___________________

I’m still feeling a bit obsessed with food, since I’m setting the alarm so I don’t miss one of our ‘feedings’ at the zoo, and am fixing PowerFuels, SmartCarbs and Veggies a good part of each day. I’m still needing to ‘read the list’ of what is good, but I’m getting better at it.  I’m finding it easier to drink the 64 oz of water daily. In-between, I have a cup of coffee in the morning and another during the evening. My body is still trying to get used to the different eating regimen, but I’m gradually feeling more comfortable.

My husband and I are going to sit down together at the computer tomorrow and make final decisions about what will be in our order that will ship soon for month #2. He found he had chosen several things he didn’t care for. I’ve been letting him eat some of my choices to get him through this first month and he wants me to help him choose for next month.

I’m learning some general things on how to eat so that we can keep this weight off as we go and through the rest of our lives:

  • Eating small amounts every 3 hours during the day keeps hunger at bay. The combinations keep your tummy happy and your energy on a steady level – probably keep my husband’s blood sugar from spiking, too.
  • Making sure you get enough protein with meat, dairy and nuts, and good fruit rounds out your nutrition.
  • A little bit of bread goes a long way.
  • Meat is used as a flavoring, rather than the main course.
  • The invention of turkey – as in sausage and patties – cuts way down on calories and tastes good, too.
  • Cutting out fat, salt and sugar is a good thing and quite doable.
  • Drinking lots of water is important
  • Making a point of exercise is important for lots of reasons
  • “What constitutes a Serving” is an eye-opener
  • Learning how to eat when NOT eating Nutrisystem is a life skill important to develop a little bit at a time.

I think the weight loss after week 1 is supposed to average 1 to 2 lbs per week. I would be very happy with that. I want to get the lard off and KEEP it off, becoming healthier in the process.

On to Week 3!

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Confusion Re NutriSystem Solved

urbclekki.wordpress.com

Yesterday I happily started Week 2 of our Nutrisystem plans, carefully having made note of Powerfuels (and lists of) and SmartCarbs (and lists of), as well as what each of us was to eat at the various times of the day.

I got to the point of adding dinner into my NuMi tracker records and discovered that I was going over the calorie limit at the top! I had thought that one of the perks of the Nutrisystem plan was that you didn’t have to count calories, but it was clear that I had messed up in some way. I deleted the veggies I had planned to eat and the snack I had been looking forward to eating after dinner, staying under the calorie limit.

I contacted one of the nice people connected to Nutrisystem via the live CHAT today – one of the great parts of the program, in my estimation. She said that I needed to switch to “nutrisystem’ instead of ‘turbo 13’ as the current stage of my program. (I had thought that when the NuMi page congratulated me on finishing the Turbo week, they would make any changes needed.) The kind lady switched my program stage for me and I was off to the races again.

We ate our first FLEX meal (meals eaten off the plan to teach you how to cope with the real world and not break your new eating plan). We’re supposed to eat one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack as Flex meals each week, preferably not on the same day. We ate our regular Lunch Bunch with our good friends, not wanting to change our cherished time together. My husband had his loved chicken fingers and I had a big salad and a hard boiled egg, figuring I was eating two servings of veggies and one powerfuel.

We are delighted to be eating FRUIT again!  We haven’t eaten fruit in maybe over a year, due to my husband being a type II diabetic and our trying to eat low carb. It’s such a treat! My husband’s blood sugar number yesterday was the lowest it’s been since we have been monitoring it!

We are making changes to our next order on almost a daily basis, finding things we don’t particularly care for, and other things we really like and want more of. The website makes it easy to do that.

So, my confusion and upset from yesterday was solved today. I’ll happily dive into the freezer this evening for a nice entree for each of us and probably an ice cream sandwich!!!

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