Category Archives: DIET!

Icing on the Cake

Life Love and Sugar

I’ve told you that my husband and I decided that we needed to do everything we could to get and stay healthier. We know we can’t control everything – by far – but there are things that we can do that will improve our quality of life and hopefully allow us to spend many more years together.

My husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a couple of years ago. We adopted a low carb diet and each of us lost some weight, but we needed more help. We decided to try Nutrisystem in April, since they had a program that was geared for diabetics (although my husband denies he has diabetes. He calls it a ‘sugar problem.’) Whatever you CALL it, it had already resulted in pain in his legs and feet and double vision, among other symptoms.  He was turned down for term life insurance. We had to go for the no exam type for low coverage and high premiums.

We had our quarterly doctor’s appointment in August. My husband’s A1C was almost NORMAL. (Isn’t that a lovely word?)  The doctor says if he keeps improving the way he’s been going, he might be able to stop taking the blood sugar medicine altogether in the future! Besides losing weight – since he has tried to cut out as much sugar as possible – the double vision is gone. The pain in his feet and legs is gone.

My blood test numbers were up to 65 points improved in all areas. I had been high in everything, even on the low carb diet, so this was a huge improvement. The doctor was really pleased and said I didn’t need to come back for 6 MONTHS!  My husband has one more 3 month appt in November, and if he has continued to do well, he’ll move to 6 MONTH appts, too!

The icing on the cake – and peace of mind – is that yesterday we found out he had been ACCEPTED by the insurance company for a 10-year level term life insurance policy!!! WOO HOO!  The policy we had was due to skyrocket in premiums in November on his birthday….

So losing weight, watching what we’re eating, and trying to get used to what a normal portion is, plus trying to move more (and in MY case, do some real exercise) is improving our quality of life and our chances for living to enjoy it for several years to come.

My husband is almost to his weight goal. He’ll decide what he wants to do when he gets there, but I’m hoping he’ll stick to the Nutrisystem while I’m on it, at least. I still have a long way to go on weight loss – between the low carb and now Nutrisystem programs, I’ve now lost a total of 35 lbs or so and 24 inches – I have a good start.

Lifestyle changing is no picnic. You have to fight the fight in your head and really want to get healthier. We think it’s worth it.

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

Now We’re Talkin’

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Pound 24 came off today!  And 23+ inches gone. I feel as if I am definitely off to a good start now.

I had that happy news and then got to go for a heavenly massage, so I’m feeling that today is a stellar day.

We have eaten more ‘flex’ meals than usual because our Nutrisystem supplies were almost gone. (We got our orders today), so I’ve been worried that the scale and the tape measure would both start backtracking. We held our own and made progress. Hooray!!!

Another happy note – we may be seeing a sliver of light regarding the computer issues that have really been character-building exercises recently. My husband’s motherboard has been sent back for repair or replacement. I ordered another motherboard – a different model – and that should be on its way to us now. Today I FINALLY reached someone on chat at NewEgg who found our order for my previous refurbed motherboard and said she would contact the seller to give us an RMA # within two business days, and – if they didn’t get back to us – that NewEgg would handle the return and refund for us. I had almost given up ever reaching their customer service department.When I tried to use the chat, I was told I was number 75 or so in the queue. When I tried to call, the wait time was 36 minutes or so. I couldn’t just send it back because we had no order # or any paperwork to go with it. This lady – Olivia at NewEgg helped us out tremendously.

Even though we’re still in the trenches as far as working regular computers go, things appear to be improving.

I hope YOUR day is good, too!

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Encouragement

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I’m feeling encouraged this morning in my weight loss efforts. I had gotten to this ‘decade’ on the scale recently – put my hands up in jubilation – then apparently ate some lead that day because I gained a pound. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to get that off again. Finally, this morning, I got that off and a bit more. Hooray!

Losing weight is always hard. Losing weight when you are age-challenged, as I am, is even harder. Getting the lard off when you are overweight, old, and are happiest when you are sedentary is the hardest.

My husband and I are making progress, though. And we intend to keep it off once we get to our goals. People are starting to notice that we aren’t carrying as much lard as we used to, and that’s really encouraging. The fact that our doctor noticed because of significant improvement in our latest blood work is even more encouraging. She said that, at the rate we’re going, we both may be able to stop taking some prescriptions!

My husband isn’t exercising at all. I would like it if he would do something he enjoys to get some, but I choose my battles. He’s almost in the normal range on his A1C now, after a high of over 16. I’m so happy for him and proud of his efforts.

I am pushing myself to keep moving more each day. Today I’m starting with the elliptical trainer in the garage, and then I’ll either do yoga, the firming exercises from my walking video, or both.

The biggest thing is that we’re changing our lifestyle. We are on Nutrisystem for the second time after a whole lot of years. Their program has improved, not only in better choices of food, but also encouraging us to prepare our own meals or eat out in the real world for one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack each week. They call these “Flex Meals.” This has given us the most trouble – since we tend to gain weight with these. The whole point of this, though, is to learn how to cook in a healthy fashion, which foods now fit with our lifestyle, and most of all, portion control in our controlled environment at home and then out in the real world.

An example is that I cooked scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning – our flex breakfast for the week.  Before we changed our lifestyle, we would have eaten 7 or 8 scrambled eggs between us, two pieces of toast and jelly each, some bacon, plus orange juice and coffee. This morning we shared 5 eggs (my share 2, my husband 3). He had sugar-free hot apple cider. I drank a bottle of water with breakfast and am now having a cup of coffee.

We won’t get any prizes for fast weight loss, but we are slowly getting healthier. We feel better as we shed the lard. I am having less pain in my joints and am working on strengthening my core and improving my balance.

One day at a time.

taolife.com

 

 

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Getting the Lard Off – Report 9/7/2018

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As of today, September 7, 2018, I’ve lost 23 pounds and 23-1/2 inches. I’m really trying to get to 25 pounds of – as my next interim goal – since the round number sounds so much better than just 23.

The 23-1/2 inches off has resulted in much more comfortable clothes, and – in some cases – giving REALLY too-large clothes to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith.  This is mostly jeans and slacks, since I really like loose tops, and a LOT of the ones in my closet were too tight for my comfort level. Now most of them are feeling roomy, and that’s a good feeling. Most of the time I can simply pick a top I’d like, not having to worry about whether I can get it on at all or feel comfortable in it. :0)

 

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My exercise is going better now, too. If I can get out to the garage early enough, I am doing 20-30 minutes on my elliptical trainer. I’m looking forward to the change of seasons, breaking the back of our still-too-hot-and-muggy weather so I can try to do the elliptical every other day.

I’m doing yoga every day because I’m beginning to feel a difference in my flexibility. I am now finally able to touch my fingertips to the floor when bending over – after breathing into it and giving my body a chance to ‘give.’ In a seated position, leaning forward and the soles of my feet touching each other, I can ALMOST touch my head to my feet. One day it will come. Best of all, when I finish all my stretching, I FEEL BETTER. My muscles aren’t cramping and there is much less pain in my joints.

When I can stand it, I either walk one mile or two, and do some firming exercises with my “Annoying Leslie” DVD. This is Leslie Sansone, who looks really good and know of what she speaks, but is annoyinlyg bubbly, too enthusiastic, doesn’t stop talking for 2 seconds in a row and has a terrible laugh. Working with her is doing me good and I’m grateful I have the video.

I find I stiffen up if I don’t do some exercise each day, so that encourages me to keep on keepin’ on. There is no way in the WORLD I can keep up with my sister-in-law in Charlotte, who routinely walks and dances her way past 10,000 steps a day, but she is kind, as well, encouraging me to move my lard each and every day.

Hopefully, I can report a nice, round number of loss next week!

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The Big Picture

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that my husband and I have been trying to lose weight and get healthier.

We were on a low-carb diet for quite awhile. We both lost weight, but we decided we needed more structure to attain our goals. We were on Nutrisystem years ago, and decided – due to the changes in their program since then – that we would try them again.

My husband is a Type II diabetic. Through our weight loss efforts (and cutting out as much sugar as possible) his A1C has gone from above 16 to 6.2. He is almost to his goal weight, unless he changes his mind for some reason.

I look at my progress 2 ways: The loss from my highest/largest on the low-carb diet and the loss from Nutrisystem so far.

Nutrisystem loss:

  • 22 pounds and 17-1/2 inches so far. (my triglcerides, etc. are significantly better, as well)
  • From my highest/largest:  37 inches and 35 pounds

I have a long way to go, but I’m feeling good that there is a positive improvement.  The fact that Nutrisystem teaches you to make healthy meals on your own while you’re on the plan with access to counselors, recipes, etc., make this a lifestyle change, rather than a diet that we will go ‘off’ at some point.

I’m also doing a bunch of exercise for an old, sedentary broad, trying to build my strength, stamina, muscles, and flexibility.

  • I’m doing a session of stretching via yoga daily.
  • I’m either walking a mile (or maybe 2) with Annoying Leslie Sansone. (Even though I find her perkiness and laugh quite annoying, I have to admit this is really good for me.
  • I am also taking advantage of some toning and firming exercises she offers on the video, so I’m walking one day and doing the exercises the next.
  • When it’s not over 100 degrees in our garage, I’m walking on the elliptical trainer
  • I’m also doing over-the-door shoulder pulley exercises, plus a weight exercise that is supposed to ease the pain in my neck and shoulders.

I figure if I just keep on keepin’ on, and hold my mouth right, I may meet my goals before I croak from old age. I would like to be in good enough shape that I can do whatever I want and not have to limit activities unnecessarily.

I’ve also told you several times in my blogs that I’m trying to continue learning new things in order to keep my poor brain going as well as possible. The trying to keep going on the laptop computer while my regular computer is waiting for a motherboard necessitates so much concentration and learning how to get around problems that my brain is getting a fine workout. We also changed Internet companies and went back to DirecTV this morning, so my husband and I are trying to leap through hoops together to make everything work and cancel all the services we don’t need anymore.

I hope you’re not having quite as much drama in your life as we have, and that you’re getting closer to achieving your goals.

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Delightful Surprise

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We enjoyed going to Brunch Bunch today, catching up with our good friends, talking, and laughing a lot.

A delightful surprise was that Kay baked a SUGAR-FREE (mostly) Mt. Dew cake for my husband, who has Type II diabetes. He LOVED her regular cake, but couldn’t eat it anymore, so this was a doubly nice surprise. The only sugar is from the actual Mt. Dew in the cake, so he can eat it at any of our snack times on our Nutrisystem plan without guilt, as long as he doesn’t eat TOOOOO much in one day …

I loved watching his eyes light up when he saw the cake sitting at his place in the restaurant. He sat down, grinned at Kay and dove right in, eating a piece before he even ordered his lunch. He even said that if I were good, he would allow ME to have a piece…

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I’m Making Progress

Progress Report:

  • Down 20.6 pounds
  • Down 20.4 inches

I made it through the 1st mile on the Annoying Leslie walking video today. My hips were talking to me, but not as badly as yesterday, and I didn’t have to walk in place a couple of times while the people on the video did the more challenging (kicks and knee lifts). I’m still having to force myself through it, holding my hips at times, but I’m getting there!

I won’t win any prizes for speed of weight loss, either, but I received my purple bear with “20” on it in the mailbox recently, and that’s 20 lbs gone so far, plus a happy, tangible reminder every day that I’m taking better care of myself.

My husband is 5 or 6 pounds from his weight goal now. If I weren’t addicted to him, I would slug him for making weight loss look so easy, while NOT drinking the water he’s supposed to be, NOT exercising, and just waiting for me to bring him his meals and snacks each day, along with making pulled pork for him, since Nutrisystem discontinued the item and teed him off.

We’re both still delighted that our blood test results were SO much better. There is a chance that my husband’s blood sugar number (A1C) will be NORMAL next time, and the doctor says he might be able to completely stop the blood sugar medicine in time. My lipid profile was the thing most improved this time, with each part dropping 60 to 90 points. My husband goes back in 3 months and I go back in 6 months. Here’s hoping our results will be even better!

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20

 

We received the non-frozen portion of our latest Nutrisystem order this morning. We got everything put away, but something was missing! I finally connected with the CHAT portion of the website and waited to talk to a counselor. RebeccaL looked up my account and confirmed with URL that it said the bear had been shipped separately and that it had been delivered! The URL said it had been delivered to our mailbox.

We had errands in Fort Smith, and stopped at the mailbox at the bottom of the driveway on the way. And there it was! A sweet, lusciously purple small bear who said, “20” on his lapel, indicating that my second milestone has officially been achieved and recognized.

I feel a bit embarrassed that I was SO disappointed when my bear wasn’t included in my new box of food, but it’s true. I LIKE getting pats on the head when I’m finally losing the lard (albeit slowly).  With what I still want to lose, I’ll hopefully have a whole ROW of these sweet little bears by the time I reach my goal!

On to the next bear!!!

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Good Afternoon!

I’m late getting to my blog today because I enjoyed a glorious massage!

If you live in the Greenwood/Fort Smith/Hackett and more area in Arkansas you should contact Lynn Moody at lynnmoody42@yahoo.com and schedule an appointment. Time with Lynn will be the very best present you can give yourself.

Dribs and Drabs and Details Updates:

  • The pulled pork recipe last night was a success and it couldn’t be simpler.

I bought a pork loin the day before yesterday. Yesterday morning I browned it on all sides and then put it in my slow cooker. I didn’t go by a recipe, but added tomato soup plus a can of water, a chicken ‘booster’ packet, a bit of seasoned salt and pepper, onion bits, and garlic. I set it to low for 10 hours. When we were ready to have dinner, I turned off the slow cooker and put the pork loin on a platter. My husband and I grabbed a handful of forks and had great fun pulling it to shreds. We then got out our scales and divided it into 4 oz portions in freezable and microwaveable portions, putting a tablespoon of the remaining liquid from the slow cooker in each.

My husband deemed it ‘very good!’ I was relieved because this can take the place of the pulled pork item that Nutrisystem discontinued recently and probably won’t have again. This was my husband’s favorite item, so this is a big deal for us. It was also quick and easy to prep for cooking. This meant a lot to me because I’ve never tried pulled pork before.

He did ask that we find another BBQ sauce because it would add more flavor, so I found one today, with the help of a good friend, that has 5 grams of sugar per serving. A serving is 2 tablespoons, and we’ll only use ONE, so this is good going forward. We’ll probably have the pulled pork as a staple of his/our new eating plan going forward.  He can eat some whenever he wants for dinner or lunch, since he is near his weight goal now. I’ll probably use it as a flex dinner because we’re eating it on a hamburger bun.

  •  I’m almost ready to start adding some fur or feathers to the drawings I traced recently using my new 4 LED Tracing Board (light box). I did find another drawing I want to try (a fawn) , so will try to get that one added today.
  • I managed to do some yard work last night WITHOUT getting stung by red wasps or ants! I did find that the red wasps had built a nest INSIDE the mouth of the metal peacock critter we built who sits in the planter. My husband squirted the wasps and we ran for the house just before we finished our yard work. Hopefully, with relocating the peacock, the wasps will decide to live elsewhere.
  • I’ll do a final tweak on my closet clean out and reorganization project today and call it finished until I move things in the fall.
  • My husband’s blood test numbers were SO much better that I sent them to a friend who has been trying to get term life insurance for him. (He was turned down 2 years ago, and the policy premium we have now will skyrocket on his birthday.) She submitted the numbers to the underwriters who were super impressed with the improvement and agreed to consider him for a policy! We’ll apply next week. Fingers crossed.

That catches you up on the exciting lives of the Arkansas Lewises. I hope things are going well with you, too.

 

 

 

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Filed under DIET!, Gardening, Lewis Art, Nutrisystem Flex Meals We Like, Organizing/DeCluttering, quality of life, taking care of yourself

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

OK, My Day is Made

This is my husband. He would HATE it that his picture is on my blog or that I’m talking about him (though he’s very supportive of my blogging efforts – treating me to lobster tail dinners when I hit landmarks on numbers of subscribers.)

I told you earlier that I was able to shed a size in my jeans, and that it felt good that it was something TANGIBLE in my efforts to get the lard off. I told my husband, of course, feeling really encouraged.

When we were going through the day’s mail later, standing by the dining area table, all of a sudden he looked over at me and said, “You ARE looking slimmer.”

If you knew my husband, you would know that this is rare, indeed. I could shave my head, or change the color to blue and orange stripes and he wouldn’t notice. He’s a wonderful guy, but he’s not very observant. Plus, living together and seeing each other every day makes it less noticeable when there are changes.  And, to be fair, he says “he loves me no matter what size I am,” – but NOT something I want to hear NOW…

To have him say this quiet statement this morning made my day.

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Something Tangible!

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I’ve lost almost 20 pounds now (not officially yet) and almost 18 inches down so far with the help of Nutrisystem and exercise.

I’m a ‘pear-shaped,’ ‘no-spring chicken’ (a kind description) and have been way too sedentary in the past several years. I have a long way to go in my efforts to lose the lard in order to be as healthy as I can be, but today I enjoyed another TANGIBLE sign of progress.

I like my clothes loose. This has always been my choice, even when I wasn’t trying to cover my lard. For the past several years, my sizes of jeans have increased as my “pear-shape” increased. I would have to unbutton or unzip my jeans in the evenings to be comfortable watching TV or a movie. My husband did, too.  I also wear pretty large, loose tops. This has always been comfortable to me, and the same clothes I’ve had in my closet are the ones I’m wearing now, so no changes there. In fact, some of the ones I have  are STILL too tight.

Today I put on a clean pair of jeans and noticed that they were definitely baggy. I rooted through my stack of  jeans and finally found a size smaller. I grit my teeth, thinking this was an exercise in futility, but not only could I pull them up, I could fasten them – EASILY!  I’m sitting here typing and am completely comfortable. No wanting to give myself ‘breathing room’ by unfastening them!

So, today I’ll gather up the size I had been wearing (please don’t ask WHAT size) and will take them into the guest room closet. I’m not confident enough yet to actually put them in the donation bag for the Disabled Vets yet, but if I continue to get positive signs, they’ll go there soon!

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Long-Term Goals

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I’m about to hit another milestone in trying to get the lard off – almost 20 pounds gone. I’ve lost almost 19 inches overall.

A good friend asked me what the next goal was – and I immediately responded, “40 pounds off.”

But that’s not really what my long-term goals are.

One quote I love says, “Old age is always 15 years older than you are.”  

I don’t want to live forever, but I would really like to feel good enough to do most anything I would like to do until I croak. Since they haven’t come up with pills that do it for you, it’s up to ME to try to

  • get my excess lard off
  • exercise to strengthen my muscles and bones
  • do whatever else I can to become/stay as healthy as I can

I don’t really know how much weight I want to lose. I would like to be in the normal range according to BMI charts. If I keep on keepin’ on, eventually I’ll get there. I’ll see how I feel when I get there and then make more decisions. I have high blood pressure that is now finally reading normal WITH medication. I would love it if I can one day stop these. I would like my blood test numbers to be all in the ‘normal’ range one day. (I never really appreciated what a delicious word “normal” is before. We’ll see the fruits of my efforts so far at our quarterly appointment with our primary doctor Monday.)

 

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After better health, it would be really nice not to have to avoid clothing stores that don’t carry clothes large enough for me, having to head for the ‘fat lady section’ in the limited stores that do. It’s not really a vanity thing. It’s emotional. I would like to be able to choose something I like off the rack and know it should FIT, but only to be concerned if I like the way I look in it. When I have to avoid stores altogether, or have to only be concerned about it being ‘large enough,’ it chips away at my feelings of self worth. I will enjoy feeling much better about myself.

SO –

  1. Good health
  2. Feeling normal about finding clothes without taking a hit emotionally.

Anything else is gravy.

First short-term goal is getting the 20 off officially so that I can get another ‘bear’ from Nutrisystem – hopefully in our next order!

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Feeling Encouraged

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I had a bit of trouble reading Tia’s writing, but she’s saying what I’m feeling – “I feel comfortable & empowered & strong. It’s encouraged me to work out – a pretty incredible feat. And it’s helping me lose weight & feel better.” – Tia.

It’s a day early for my progress report, but I’m feeling like I’m finally making a difference with the help of Nutrisystem and exercise. My husband and I went for blood tests this morning and our quarterly appointment with our primary doctor is next Monday. I’m hoping that those tests will also show we’re serious about trying to get healthier.

I’m down almost 19 pounds this morning. And down almost 18 inches. 

I don’t think I’ll ever be a ‘workout person,’ but I AM trying to do the abdominal exercises for pear-shaped people (0-6 Pack Abs DVD) every other day, yoga stretching every day, and either the elliptical trainer or the ‘annoying Leslie’ walking DVD the days I’m not doing the ab exercises. When I get comfortable with these, I’ll see what else I want to add to the mix.

taolife.com

 

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A Little Here, A Little There…

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Progress Report to Date: – I’ve lost 18 pounds and 17.3 inches.

I still seem to be off my weight loss plateau, so I’m happy about that.

I mailed Nutrisystem Customer Service yesterday, asking what can be done about them discontinuing my husband’s favorite lunch (and dinner) item – BBQ Pulled Pork. I also mailed a letter to management in Pennsylvania, hoping that if customer service can’t or won’t do anything, maybe someone at management cares and can. Things are calm for the moment, but we may need to make drastic changes after the next order. We’ll see.

I did the 12 Phase 1 exercises on the 0-6 Pack Abs DVD this morning. Today I must have been doing better about breathing and position because I definitely felt my stomach muscles trembling! It seems to me that that means I’m getting the attention of some of my core muscles. I did several reps of each of the 12 exercises slowly and carefully, watching them and listening and then trying to replicate. I plan to do this same level daily for the next couple of weeks before trying the Phase 1 Workout session. I want to concentrate on doing each position as correctly as possible.

I also did my yoga stretches for another half hour of exercise, so I’m happy with my efforts. Tomorrow I’ll do both of these and try to add something else.

It looks like it MIGHT actually rain this afternoon! Because it’s now overcast, I’m going to head out and see how much progress I can make on weeding the flower planters.

My mantra is ‘KEEP MOVING!’

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Pet Peeves – Short Rant

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I’ve told you that my husband and I are trying to get the lard off and get healthier with the Nutrisystem program. We did this years ago, quitting because my husband was able to order fewer and fewer things he liked due to NS discontinuing his favorites. It’s happening again! :0(

Yesterday I spent a LOT of time contacting NS via email and then chat, trying to find out when the BBQ Pulled Pork lunch would be back in stock. They finally told me that it had been discontinued.

On the website on our previous order, it had said something similar to, “Due to high demand and popularity of this item, it is temporarily out of stock.” To find out this month that it has been discontinued was almost a deal breaker for my husband. He isn’t the most flexible person and doesn’t adapt well. We had a tense hour or so while we tried to figure out what to do. He doesn’t care for many of the lunch choices, so he wanted to eat the alternative “BBQ Seasoned Chicken” for lunch AND dinner. It’s only offered for dinner. We finally decided to order only 4 items for his lunches, order other choices for me to use to make flex meals for us, and then order 20 a la carte BBQ Seasoned Chicken items (having to pay extra) and order a bunch as part of his dinner items, as well. WHEW!

The discontinuing of an item that is out of stock ‘due to high demand and popularity’ doesn’t ring true for me. That seems like stupid business – plus you’re teeing off your customers. I would think a company as large as Nutrisystem could either make a deal with the current supplier, find another supplier who makes this, or figure out a way to make it themselves.

The NS program is expensive, but worth it when you’re trying to make a lifestyle change. To have to buy a la carte because my husband has tried, but doesn’t like a lot of the lunch items is really frustrating.

I will try to contact someone there who might be able to do something about this. I really want to stay on the program. Just a couple of weeks ago, my husband was saying he didn’t see why we couldn’t stay on NS essentially forever – but this was before his choices were being discontinued.

END OF RANT

Madeleine Jacobs

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Frustration

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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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Getting the Lard Off – A Bit Afraid to Hope

The Little Engine That Could said something like, “I THINK I can, I THINK I can,” enabling him to get to the top of the mountain. I’m feeling cautiously confident that MAYBE I’ve broken through the plateau from Hell I’ve been on for a couple of months now.

The chat counselor was helpful, looking at my NuMi log. She said, (I’m paraphrasing and putting a bit of my own spin on what she actually said) –

  • It didn’t look like I was eating enough (I had skipped the Powerfuel serving at breakfasts, for example)
  • My snacks didn’t have enough calories many times, giving my body the message that it “needed to store fat for the winter”
  • It might be a good idea to switch lunches and dinners – giving me ‘heavier meals with slightly more calories earlier in the day

I did these, and they helped a bit, but didn’t actually impress the scales or the tape measure much.

The message I’ve gotten is that I need to shake things up some, since doing the same thing each day expecting different results is stupid.

I’m changing WHAT I’m eating for snacks, thinking that the variety will cause my body to take notice, rather than acting like a slug. I’m doing my yoga each day, but I’m also changing some of what I’m doing for exercise, thinking that will also get my body’s attention for the better.

I started these changes 3 days ago and I’ve lost weight the past two days. It’s early to think I’ve found the answer, but at least it seems to be PART of the answer for me. I’ve been old and sedentary for a long time. I’m still old (and hopefully getting older!) but I CAN do something about shaking things up and moving more effectively.

“I THINK I Can….”

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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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Holding My Own, But Not Blazing Trails This Week

This picture makes me laugh. I love the creativity of the person who thinks like this AND the expertise of the person who did the photoshopping to create it.

I had a stagnant week, ‘getting-the-lard-off-wise.’

Progress to date is 16 pounds off and 17.3 inches off.

I’m frustrated that I can’t report any improvement this week, but I’m pleased that I ate three of the four FLEX meals we’re supposed to eat and didn’t gain anything. I enjoyed a FLEX SNACK of a scoop of chocolate ice cream from Braum’s after bowling with friends; a FLEX LUNCH of the salad bar with “Breakfast Bunch”; and a FLEX DINNER of chicken fried rice from our favorite Chinese place. (I got a ‘small’ portion, but I ate the WHOLE thing.)

I can report that I AM doing yoga every day, but the bulk of my ‘exercise’ has been sessions of working in the yard. With our heat index above 100 (our actual temperature will be 102 today!) just walking around in the heat is work for me, much less the weed whacking and spraying of stuff toting 2 gallons of liquid – several half hour sessions per day.

I have become a camel, glugging down water to a fabulous degree, over and above the 64 oz I’m SUPPOSED to be drinking.

So – I didn’t lose, but I didn’t gain – holding my own. I’ll ‘keep my head down’ and ‘keep on keepin’ on,’ and will hopefully be able to report some progress NEXT week.

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I Missed the Whole Thing!

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I waited, hoping for a chance to go out and celebrate some much-needed rain. I finally gave up, read awhile, got sleepy and took a nap in my chair. When I joined my husband in our office later, the window was wet! My husband said, “You missed a nice rain.” :0(

In the evening, when we went bowling with friends, they were envious because they didn’t get any rain at all, and live only on the other side of town from us. It was so humid last night it was like wading in pea soup. The bowling alley was nice and cool with a/c and fans. We walked outside to be enveloped by a blanket of suffocating air again. We were wet by the time we arrived at our truck. Thankfully, we either celebrate or console our bowling efforts with a scoop of Braum’s ice cream afterwards. I got the best flavor: chocolate, of course – (my Nutrisystem FLEX snack for the week!)

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Feeling Encouraged

I went for my monthly massage with Lynn Moody this morning. I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to it. I was stiff and sore in my lower back and Lynn made it feel much better, as usual.  I’m so lucky to have found her.

I’m feeling encouraged because Lynn said she could tell I’ve lost weight! I’ve lost 15-1/2 pounds so far, and two people have noticed: Lynn today and our wonderful hair stylist, Michael, yesterday. They might just be being nice, since they know my husband and I are trying to get the lard off, but they didn’t have to say ANYTHING.

Officially, I’ve lost 15.5 lbs and 17.3 inches.

I wish I could tell you that I feel so much more energetic, but I don’t. Maybe in another 15 lbs or so. I’m still old. I still have to push myself to get onto my elliptical trainer, do my yoga stretches, over-the-door shoulder pulley exercises, and weight exercise for my shoulders. I’ve added one new exercise called, “The Oyster” which is supposed to be a really good, effective exercise for people who are essentially pear-shaped, like me. It is supposed to strengthen whatever the muscles are that go horizontally around your core, rather than the ones that run vertically, as most abdominal exercises do.

The Oyster

You’re on your back. You pull up your legs so they’re bent. You come up with arms straight in front of you. You push your lower back into the floor as you do this. You come up so your hands are even with your legs and hold it for a count of 5. You do as many repetitions as you can.

I’m still waiting for the 0-6 Pack Abs DVD I bought. I’m standing on one foot and the other to get started with these because the exercises are especially for people like me, who need to strengthen the horizontal core muscles in the right way for my body type so that I don’t injure myself or make things worse, making my belly stick out MORE. These exercises are also supposed to lessen the pain in my back as I strengthen the core muscles, which makes sense.

I know, it’s hard to listen to me being impatient when I hate to exercise, but I’ll stay with it if I feel it’s beginning to help me.

I’m hoping that each time I get my hair cut or go for another massage, there will be noticeably less and less of me!

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I’m Flexing

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The Nutrisystem program encourages you to learn how to cook and eat in a reasonable fashion (unlike what we’ve been doing) by having us eat or cook one breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack on our own each week, preferably each on a different day during the week. They call these “FLEX” meals.

I really like this idea. We were on Nutrisystem before years ago before they added the flex meal idea (or frozen food choices) to their plan. We lost weight and then gradually put it back on because I went back to poor cooking habits from the past. This time they’re encouraging us to plan our flex meals for the week and work this idea into our new lifestyle.

So far, I’m having two problems:

  1. I’ve prepared a couple of flex dinners from their Leaf Recipes section. We each ate a serving of it and I froze the rest in individual portions so we can pull them out, nuke ’em, and eat.  This is complicated by the fact that I’m eating “dinner” for ‘lunch’ at the counselor’s suggestion, trying to work my way out of a plateau on my weight loss. “I” pull out a flex dinner for lunch one day a week, but my husband either doesn’t think about it or the idea doesn’t appeal to him for HIS dinner.  We can only eat ONE of these flex dinners per week, so the ‘reruns’ are lasting weeks and weeks!
  2. When I cook completely on my own,  or we get something out, we gain weight back. Example, Sunday evening I cooked two 4 oz steaks. With them we had little bitty potatoes with a little bit of butter and no salt, plus cut up fresh tomatoes. I thought it was a good dinner and my husband thought it was ‘wonderful,’ but we were both up on the scales Monday morning. Last night we went bowling with friends and had a scoop of real ice cream afterwards as our “flex snack” for the week. We were both up AGAIN this morning. Friday we’re due to eat our flex breakfast (or lunch) at a restaurant with the “Breakfast Bunch.” This gain isn’t only for one day, either. It seems to take the whole week to get back to where we were.

My first reaction is to quit eating the flex meals because they’re messing us up. But then the more grown up part of me realizes that this is the whole point of the program. We’re supposed to be learning what a ‘portion’ is, how to choose foods more wisely when we’re out, and incorporating the ‘new’ healthier eating style into our lives as a regular thing.

I’ll probably get online and talk to a counselor about this, since I’m determined to learn the lesson and make it a larger and larger part of the way we live. Right now I’m frustrated, but hopefully a nice person at NS can guide me on a better path.

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Nutrisystem Orders

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Our orders to Nutrisystem finalize at 6 pm this evening.

I love the fact that we can go online to our account and see what our choices are for the coming order and change them at any time. They also send me emails reminding me of the cutoff date so I have all chances possible to make my decisions.

My husband and I are still trying lots of new items, although our choices for the NEXT order are narrowing to the things we like the most.

On evening snacks, I like the ice cream bars the best, looking forward to mine all day long. :0)  I love both the fudge bar and the orange cream bar. My husband’s choices for snacks are much more varied than mine. He’s into their cookies, particularly the white chocolate chunk ones, but is ordering about 4 or 5 different ones he really likes.

I’ve changed from lots of egg type breakfasts to cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, and cold cereals. My husband likes their Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal the best.

Lunches and dinners vary, although this time we’re opting for more NON-frozen entrees than frozen.

I’m trying to zero in on our flex meals more and more.

  • “Flex Breakfast” is our brunch meal with Breakfast Bunch each Friday.
  • “Flex Snack” is ice cream after bowling on Mondays with our good friends.
  • “Flex Lunches” and “Flex Dinners” are more fluid. Tonight, for example, for “Flex Dinner” I’m grilling us little bitty steaks and we’re having little bitty baked potatoes.  “Flex Lunch” kind of got lost in the shuffle this week. It’s harder because we have very limited choices for eating out in Greenwood that go with our new diet, and we don’t want to completely blow it. We usually concentrate on lots of veggies and a small amount of dip with our NS Lunch anyway. I’ll work on it.

 

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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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“Lunch Bunch” is Renamed “Breakfast Bunch”

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A nice counselor from NutriSystem (NS) helped me work through a plateau in my weight loss efforts recently. The chat facility is one of the things I really like.

She suggested that I NOT skip anything on the list of what I should be eating for the day, and that I should try swapping the NS lunches and dinners for a week to see if that helped. She also told me to make sure that the powerfuel and smartcarb snacks each had 80 calories.  I’m really happy that these suggestions have worked!

I went for a celebration FLEX  lunch this week for getting to 1100 subscribers to this blog. :0)   I had a delicious lobster tail, steamed broccoli, wild rice, and a Red Lobster biscuit. I don’t get many celebrations, and I LOVE lobster tail, so I threw caution to the winds and enjoyed every butter-soaked mouthful. AND gained 2 pounds. 

I lost one of the pounds yesterday, but today we’re going to ‘Lunch Bunch.’  We like their fried chicken fingers.  I’ve tried counting this at a FLEX ‘lunch,’ but we eat this too early for it to be ‘lunch,’ for us, really making a mess of the rest of our day, so today I’m going to call it a FLEX ‘breakfast.’ This way I’m hopeful that we can do more or less our regular eating schedule the rest of the day.  We skipped our NS breakfast and our FLEX breakfast will take the place of that AND a snack at 11:30. We’ll have a snack at 2:30 and then we’ll be back on schedule. At least I HOPE that works for us.

The FLEX thing is the hardest for me to work into our eating. We need to be able to do our normal social things with friends we love. We look forward to real ice cream after bowling on Monday evenings (FLEX snack) and then our “Lunch Bunch” (FLEX breakfast) on Fridays and fried chicken fingers. If we can make this work, we’ll be home free on the rest of it.

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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….

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“1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables”

“1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables” Flex Dinner

Yesterday I made this recipe. I didn’t finish it in time for lunch, as I meant to. (I’ve been on a plateau and the Nutrisystem counselor suggested that I swap dinners and lunch for one week and get back to her, among other things.)

I ate one serving of this for my lunch, along with some raw veggies and a little bit of salad dressing. I was very pleased. The dish could have cooked longer, getting the brown rice a bit more done, but I used a large skillet and had it on a large burner on the stove. Next time I’ll use a smaller skillet and put it on a smaller burner so that it doesn’t tend to cook all the liquid out before it’s done.

The taste was very pleasant. Many times recipes use more herbs and spices than we like, so I was a bit leery, but this tasted good. My husband will try it tonight – already warned that the rice was a bit ‘chewy’ and the changes I’ll make next time. He’s very forgiving, pleased with me for trying new recipes. I know – he’s definitely a keeper!

I have found when posting recipes in my blog that a lot of the people responsible for the good food would rather I post a URL to their blog and NOT post the entire recipe. With this in mind, the source for this nice recipe is

Nutrisystem, The Leaf, Flex Meals & Snacks, Lunches and Dinners

Easy Weeknight Meal: 1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 2 Extras

Makes 4 servings

282 calories per serving

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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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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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I Ate a Mangosteen!

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I told you a week or so ago that our son arranged to send us some Mangosteens from a place in Miami. He lives in Thailand, and this is one of his favorite things.  I had never heard of them, but found out that pharmaceutical companies are going nuts making supplements from the powder. I actually bought a bottle and am taking the supplements, but I haven’t felt any difference, and don’t look a thing like Julia Roberts yet, so I probably won’t order another bottle.

The mangosteen fruit came really nicely packaged in a styrofoam box with a dry ice type thing in it. We looked at all the fruit, but all of them were really hard, like billiard balls. We put a few on the island in the kitchen to ripen.

I’ve been testing them each day, eager to try one. Finally, two of them ‘gave’ a tiny bit when I pressed them, so I followed my son’s video, sticking my thumb in just under the green leaves at the top and pulling the top off. I then pulled all the purple part off, exposing the nice, white fruit inside. It looks just like this photo! The purple part is fairly hard to get off, but I think this is mostly because I was hurrying things a bit, anxious to try the fruit. The first mangosteen I opened didn’t have white fruit, so I threw that away. The second one looked JUST like the one above, so I carefully separated the white sections, which are remarkably similar to an orange.

They are, indeed, delicious. I ate three sections – which were very small – and took the other three to my husband to try. He said, “These are nice, but not something I would travel far for.” I can’t wait for more of them to ripen. I put six of them in a paper bag, taking the suggestion from Marsha, a good friend of mine. We’ll see if that works. The rest are still in the fridge in their styrofoam box. I certainly don’t want them all ripening at once!

What a fun experience!

 

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