Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And another...

This is the original post I meant to do this evening!  Phew.  Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!

I made an amazing dinner tonight!  I wasn't sure if it was going to work out or not, but it's going to be a new go-to meal.  I read on the WW message boards about doing a mock rotisserie chicken at home.  You make foil balls and put them in the bottom of a crock pot, then put the whole chicken on top with seasonings.  I didn't have a whole chicken, but I did have split chicken breasts.  I removed the skin and put them in the crock pot, covered them with a whole bunch of seasonings and turned it on low.  I made some mashed potatoes and veggies to go with it this evening and it was delicious!  It wasn't soggy, it was nice and dry (not icky dry) and salty.  :)  Best of all, it was a very low point meal.  I still have 17 points left to eat this evening!

Here's a screen shot of my food for today.  I haven't updated my water, fruits/veggies, etc intake yet today.  For those of you who are on the fence about WW or wonder how to track everything online, this gives you a good idea.  I don't go to meetings, so I do everything online.  I also have the WW app on my phone, which lets me update my totals or look up foods on the go.  It even has a listing of restaurants so I can check the points value on a dish before ordering!  

Just Keep Swimming....

So now that I've lost the "water weight", how am I managing?

Ha.  I've been a bit grumpy this week when the scale has remained exactly the same.  Today I finally gave up and decided I needed to leave the scale behind and quit focusing on it.  I started incorporating more exercise this week, which I'm insanely proud of.  I have issues with my lungs and it makes it difficult to do much that involves cardio sometimes.  Speaking of...I've been having a lot of flashbacks related to my hospital stay in August of last year and I feel like some therapy is due soon.  Stop reading if you're not keen on reading about scary hospital stays, but I feel the need to get it all out on "paper" again.

August 10, 2011:  After work that night, I had some vague shoulder pain.  I figured it was muscle pain from being hunched over a computer all day.  I thought maybe it could be related to acid reflux as well.  I wasn't too concerned about it, but it was odd.

August 11, 2011:  I woke up to get ready for work and got into the shower.  I had gotten over a cold recently and had been coughing some here and there still.  While I was in the shower, I had a coughing fit and noticed that I had coughed up some blood.  That startled me a bit, because I knew that it could be a sign of something serious, but figured it was a burst blood vessel or something small because of all of the coughing.  I finished getting ready for work and took my girls to daycare.  On the the way to work, I noticed a bit of lower left chest pain when I would breathe and called my primary care doctor.  I was told to keep an eye on it and if it wasn't better the next day, to make an appointment to come in and see her.  I got to work, took a few Excedrin and worked for 9 hours.

I left work at the end of the day and went to pick up the girls (ages 3 and 1) at daycare.  The ladies up front noticed that I looked a little off and I confessed that I wasn't feeling so great that day.  As I got the girls buckled into their seats, the pain became intensified, to the point where I started having trouble breathing.  I got into the driver's seat and sat there for almost 30 minutes before I could make a decision about where to go or what to do.  The pain was INSANE.  I had never experienced pain like that before, and I had been through natural childbirth!  I could hardly take a breath in--it felt like 500 knives twisting, turning, burning my lung.  It was isolated to only one place in my chest, the lower left area as before.  My doctor's office was already closed for the day, so I couldn't go there.  I called my husband, who was working, and told him to meet me at the hospital.  I kept thinking it was something silly like bronchitis or something...that for some reason I was just in a lot of pain.  I started driving towards the hospital and the pain got worse (was that even possible?!).  On the way, I realized that whatever was causing the pain was going to continue to worsen and that maybe I wouldn't make it to the hospital.  I knew I couldn't pull over on the side of the road to call 911--who would take care of my kids while they take me to the hospital?  The only thing I could think of was the nearby fire station--they would take care of me and keep the kids safe until Troy got to them.  That's all I could think about--fire stations are "safe havens" for kids.

As I drove as fast as I could to the fire station, I chanted "it's ok, you're fine.  It's going to be ok, you're fine.  Almost there.  Almost there" in my head the whole way.  The kids were going nuts in the back, because they were hungry and the oldest knew we weren't going the right way to go home.  We finally got to the fire station and I couldn't quite figure out where to park.  I finally veered the van over to one side of the station and there was a fireman sitting outside.  I threw the van in park and rolled down my window and just collapsed.  It had taken everything I had to drive there.  He ran over and the rest is kind of a blur.  When my husband arrived, there were EMTs and firemen everywhere.  They were in the back of the van talking with the girls, trying to keep them calm and happy (Parker was super excited about the fire trucks, I do remember that!).  They got my breathing stabilized and took me to the hospital in an ambulance.  I do remember trying to crack a joke or two about having never ridden in an ambulance before and another lame joke about if they needed to cut my shirt open.  Can you blame me for trying?  :)

When we got to the hospital, things moved pretty quickly from there.  The doctor immediately ordered a full body CT to check for clots, which I thought was crazy.  I fondly remember the radiologist telling me that the contrast material going through my body would make me feel like I had to pee.  He was wrong.  It made me feel like I HAD peed myself, all over the table.  By the time Troy got back to the ER after dropping the girls off with his mom, the doctor came in with the results of the CT.

"It's positive", he tells me.  I looked at him and asked him if it was positive good or positive bad.  He gave me a look like "lady, you crazy" and informed me that it was positive for not one, but multiple PE's.  Pulmonary embolisms are blood clots that get lodged in your lungs.  If they don't kill you, they can break off and cause a stroke, or severe chest pain, like I experienced.  So, not only did I have one of these, but my lungs were filled with them.  The biggest one, in my left lower lobe had caused the intense pain.  I was told that I was lucky I didn't die.  I was admitted to the hospital that night and stayed inpatient for almost 2 weeks.  There were a lot of issues with getting my blood clotting numbers therapeutic and various other problems, hence the long stay.  I don't think I really quite "got" it, how close I had been to not making it through and how lucky I was, at least until I left the hospital.  At the time, they weren't sure what had caused the clots--if it was a clotting disorder, or just a fluke.

Almost 8 months later, I now know that I have a clotting disorder.  There is one confirmed, but my hematologist suspects that there are others.  The confirmed one is called Factor V Leiden.  It's a gene mutation that is passed down by your parents.  I have the one-strand version, so only one of my parents is a carrier.  We still have more tests pending, but my doctor tells me that a multitude of my tests show that I also have a Protein C & S deficiency, as well as some Lupus Anticoagulant involvement.  *Don't expect me to explain ANY of that to you, because I'm still working on that myself*  :)

I am on Coumadin, a blood thinner, for life.  I have residual scarring in my lungs from the damage done by the clots.  I am lucky to be alive and well.  I am lucky to have an amazing husband who was by my side during all of it, unconditionally.  I have the most wonderful friends who kept my spirits up with good food, snacks, gossip magazines and Skype sessions.  I have so much to live for, and losing weight and getting healthy is the next step in my recovery.  If you've read this far, I thank you.  :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week Two: Done!

I've decided to go for gusto and open up about my weight in the hopes that it'll help keep me accountable.  I can't believe I'm doing this and it makes me horribly nervous, but I figure it's necessary for healing emotionally.

I started this weigh-in challenge at 235.2 pounds.  Today I weighed in at 226.5  After two weeks, I think this is a pretty damn fabulous start!  Part of my new lifestyle modification is to recognize when I'm indulging myself in little white lies.  I bring this up because in the past I have told myself that I really did the WW program for 3 months.  In reality, I really only tracked my foods for a week and a half, with some sparse tracking here and there.  The 3 months comes from signing up for the 3 month period.  I've told myself so many times that I just can't lose weight on my own--WW doesn't even work!  Really though, if I follow the plan honestly, I do just fine.  Taking the easy way out is almost ALWAYS easier than doing the hard work necessary to stick it out.  True story.

So, stay tuned for more revelations.  I hate confessing these things, but I'm finding that once they're out there, I feel like a weight it off my shoulders.  Is it possible to become a compulsive truth airer?  :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ups and Downs

Today was the first day that I've really felt grumpy, crappy and just uninterested in doing anything worthwhile since starting the challenge.  Part of the problem was me stepping on the scale this morning and not seeing a drop.  I've gotten accustomed to seeing that weight fall off every morning, but I have to realize that's not always going to happen.  If I plan on stepping on the scale every day, then I need to be ready for disappointment.  I hate to say it, but it seems like that set in motion a crappy mood for the day.  I didn't eat breakfast when I should have, then I was hungry.  I didn't drink as much water in the morning like I usually do, and then I was tired.  Instead of getting up and around, I sat on the couch and got sleepy.  Makes for a grumpy mood!

I did resist the urge to order a pizza though.  :)  I am very proud of that.  Instead, I spent the money for a pizza on a layaway order for our new porch patio set.  I found one I liked on Kmart's website and the price was perfect.  Looking forward to many mornings/evenings sitting on the porch.  :)

In other news, I finally had hubby take a series of before photos of me.  I might post them...if I ever download the pictures on the computer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Eep! It's working!

I finally felt good enough to get out in the yard and do some work yesterday, which was awesome!  Raking out the flower beds and planting some new flowers was very cathartic and helped me burn off some energy.  I'm sure being out in the sun helped my mood a lot too!

Back to the subject...I couldn't stop myself.  I had to get a new battery for my scale so I decided to try it out this morning.  At least, that's my excuse for weighing mid-week.  I don't care if I shouldn't do it--I needed that affirmation that what I'm doing is working!  I'm down another pound and a half since Sunday.

Yup, that was my for-real face this morning.  Followed by a giant shit-eating grin.  :)  I don't know why I'm sticking with this plan so well this time around or why I'm rocking it, but it's working.  And I suppose I should quit seeking the answer to that, and go with the flow.  Seeing that stupid pound fly out the window is giving me the motivation to do more, do better.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week One: Success!

Drumroll please!

My first week of the Weigh-In Challenge and my restart of Weight Watchers earned me a 6 pound loss!  Hip hip hooray!!

*claps hands, bows to applause*

Moving on, I celebrated Sunday evening by eating a LOT of crab legs.  I figured there were worst things I could binge on, and they were *mostly* sans melted butter.  :)  I'm very proud of myself for sticking to the plan throughout the week with minor issues.  I'm still battling bronchitis, so this week has been mostly focused on food and portions.  Hoping to add in some activity this week once the coughing settles down.

I was looking at our cruise itinerary this afternoon, wishing it were tomorrow, yet wishing it were further away.  I wish I had been able to get on board (pun intended) with eating better months ago so that I could be healthier/skinnier for the cruise, but there's no use in wishing for something that can't be.  I'll just have to work extra hard over the next two months!  Who's with me?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Guilt-free Dessert!

Years ago I stumbled upon a recipe that is one part genius, another part yummy and one more part guilt-free!  If you're like me, you need a sweet snack to end the day.  I love ice cream sandwiches, so when I found this recipe I was excited, but skeptical.  I mean, really, how good can a fake ice cream sandwich be?


Graham Cracker "Ice Cream" Sandwiches

8 small reduced fat graham crackers (I use cinnamon ones)
 * break the large graham cracker in half to get two small pieces
1/4 cup (or less) fat free Cool Whip

Lay out your halves and spread Cool Whip on 4 of them.  Use the other 4 halves to make sandwiches.  Place in freezer for at least one hour.  Voila!  Ice cream sandwiches.  They are approximately 1 point a piece.  And while you're at it, stick your finger in the Cool Whip tub and take a taste.  It's fat free!  :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A New Beginning

Sunday started the Weigh-In Challenge on my local mommy board, and I finally signed up to join.  It's based on the Biggest Loser contest system for the most part.  We all pay in to join and the winner get the payout.  Good incentive, right?  I'm not really too concerned about the money aspect, I'm more excited to have other people going through the exact same thing and a sounding board for my highs and lows.

One product that I've lusted after for years finally became mine yesterday!  I ordered a BodyMedia FIT band this weekend and I got it in the mail yesterday.  Charge it up last night and decided to slap it on when I got up in the middle of the night.  It tracks and measures my sleep patterns, calorie intake, calories burned, steps walked, etc.

I read a LOT of reviews before I took the plunge.  I didn't want to purchase something that wasn't accurate or up to date.  The reviews, for the most part were positive.  It guides you by telling you (based on how much weight you'd like to lose) how many calories you need to burn each day, and if you're hitting that goal.  You can also enter the foods you eat so the tracker can analyze that too.  I'll try to update on how it's working out for me.  You do have to pay a subscription fee to use the activity manager (6.95/month), but I found plenty of 12 month subscriptions on eBay for $30.00 or less, which is what I did.  If you're interested in getting one of these products, let me know.  I ended up getting mine for $40 off and free 2 day shipping!

I've been really sick for the past few days, which has stalled my workout plan at the YMCA.  Yesterday I was finally starting to feel better, but woke up at 2am with horrid sinus pain/cluster headache.  Mix that with a toddler who woke up at 6 and I'm not feeling 100% today.  Oh well.  I'm eating well and drinking a TON of water, so hopefully that'll help me out in the long run.

What are your goals this week?