Sunday, June 22, 2014

It really is a journey.

Every step I take down the "diet" highway is a step I'm taking towards self knowledge. Everything I've tried so far has taught me something about myself, my relationships with others and about how me and food get along. I don't look at any step so far as a failure. I look at it as slow increase in knowledge. Just like an author writes drafts or a scientists does experiments..negative results are still information, still a result. Still progress. I still know more about msyelf than I did before.

My latest step is Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers: Joined online date 7th June, first meeting 11th june, 1st real weigh in 18th june: weight loss 200g/ half a lb.

Thoughts: Skim milk gives me heart burn. full cream milk too creamy. 2% milk better, 1% is best but can't get in uht form any more. I look at it like a glass of wine, people who love wine budget for it within their daily/weekly allowances, I allow for real butter and 2% milk and full fat greek yoghurt, because that's what my body likes at the moment.

First week showed me VERY clearly how much I binge of a night. It also taught me that sticking too closely to the points system, without balancing my meals (aka binging at night, whether it's on zero points food or not) means a great weight loss, but feeling sick, head spins, and iron depletion by mid week. So I ate the meat my body was craving for (Turns out the quarter pounder with cheese and fries was exactly what my energy depleted body was craving. and then steak for the next three nights running lol)

Second week taught me I binge because I wasn't eating a balanced breakfast. Most mornings I wouldn't eat enough, and then other mornings I'd eat way too much. My body likes a slice of toast, a bowl of cereal, some fruit or veg, and a protein. I mean REALLY likes it. I feel full and satisfied for ages. My current favourite cereals are all bran, berry weetbix bites and Heart 1st. (The first you never used to be able to get me to touch with a 50ft pole! Slowing down and chewing my food a minimum of 20 times has allowed me to appreciate the sweetness inherent in the bran.)

I like balanced meals in general, all too often I would go in binge cycles, a lot of meat this day, a lot of carbs this day, cheese, sweet stuff etc. By structuring my meals a little...but still within the intuitive appetites, my energy levels are more consistent throughout the day. I'm ready for bed at a decent hour and waking up at 7am. Wow. Sleep apnea still plays a part, but my body isn't also struggling to digest the mountain of food I used to eat in the few hours before bedtime, so I think that's helping.

This third week has made me realise that there's a really good chance that I will be able to stick it out using this method. Counting calories didn't really work for me because I'd become obsessed with the numbers. WHether it was making sure I got as close to the daily total, or feeling down because I went over the total, or trying to justifying juggling the numbers at the end of the week/month to make them fit somehow.

The advantage with the points system at WW is that I'm finding I'm reaching more for fruit and veggies, because they're 0 points. I don't have to count them, only add them, nor do I have to think about it. If I'm hungry I'll reach more for a piece of fruit or a vegetable as a snack now because I know that it's 0 points. I reckon that first week I ate my body weight in pumpkin and bananas. LOL I now bulk out my meals with salad and when I say salad I mean ALLL the veggies my god I never knew salads could be so filling, soup, fruit, etc. I'm also finding that because of my increase in fruits and veg, my skin feels better, I'm more refreshed, even though I'm still sleeping for shit. I actually had the energy to cook up a heap of dishes for midweek dinners yesterday, AND hang out washing on the line! OMG! I CAN NOT remember the last time that all happened in the one day. Well, I'm sure it was sometime last year anyway.

Week three also taught me that I don't like the WW snacks. I bought two different kinds, a fruit muesli cookie and a mint toffee bar. They tasted fine, but for the 2 points per bar there are SO many things that I could eat that would satisfy me for longer. And when I do want an indulgence, I'd rather budget the points and have the traditional version of something, than the low fat version, and thoroughly enjoy it. Real food with real flavour without all those emulsifiers and fake ingredients. YUM! I can see how they work though for other people, especially if they're on the run and don't have time to make their own biscuits, or do really like the light flavour. I remember when I DID used to love the low fat snacks, my body has simply changed it's mind on what it wants put in its mouth in regards to sweet indulgences. Chips on the other hand, the more chemical numbers and powdered food like substances the better. LOL

I'm even eating better quality meats now. Less easy sausages and quick convenience frozen fish etc. Roast topside, mince, chicken breasts, even offal again because they're rich in nutrients but lower in points. Definitely eating much better proportions of carbs than I ever have.

I'm not too keen on having to weigh in every week, so I'm kinda just using that as an information plot point. I'll be looking at all the other indicators I would normally use to judge success, fit of clothes, energy levels, etc.

So all in all a good start to the next step in learning about how to eat better for me and my health.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Stuck

Exercise, I ADORE IT! My body however does NOT like to exercise the way a normal person does. It's been a painful realisation these last few months that trying to exercise ot lose weight like a normal person is NOT for me. All those times over the years I've felt fabulous and enjoyed my exercise challenges nad moved forward with my fitness..all I was doing was causing exercise-induced relapses. Stress, even the kickarse endorphin high kind, is still stress.  And my body does NOT handle stress well at all.
I've been REALLY angry sicne my latest relapse in February. I'm still angry. frightened, Miserabe. Sad. Not only does my body not work right but now my cognitive functions aren't woking right either. I always thought it was because my brain goes too fast for my fingers to keep up that I've typed the word the as teh for so many years. Not, it was the mildest form of cognitive disfunctiont hat Ms was giving me. Now it's much more obvious, as you;d see if I left this pos completely unspell checked. (Actually I think I will leave it unspellchecked)
I feel like this disease is slowly stealing away who I am.
I love words. I love exercise. I love cooking. Heck, I even have come to realise I like living in a tody house. All thes thing sI've berated myself for over the eyars haven't been my fault. It's this invisible insidious disease that steals my energy nad makes me feel like a failure.
Which I find even more heartbreaking because it;s not something I CAN change, No amount of exerise or diet or motivation will change the fact that my body is eating itself alive. ANd I fucking hate that. I'm a fixer. a solver I'm fucking fantastic at solving problems. And this isn;t a proble I can solve.
I feel alive when I am exercising when I'm builiding muscle eating right and being the healthy person I am on the inside. It's a sick fucking joke that what I love to do, the way I love to do it, is not conducive to good health for me.
It's a sick joke that my tongue curls now and I cannot use my sleep apnea mouthguard anymore. My fatigue has triple as a result. MS fatigue plus Sleepapnea fatigue equals my body constantly feeling like I've just gotten out of the dead sea and back onto dry land..or I'm in a space ship whose grav controls have gone all wacky and turned it up to 2G.
I'm constabtly tied. and angry and whiny. Being my normal self takes effort. constant hard effort.
I'm worried that having a lovely weekend this weekend could have trigered another elapse for fucks sake.
My eyes dont work right os I can't even enjoy books, I can't write as wellas I used ot EVERYthing takes so much more effort. It's debilitating and depressing.
BUt, I have to start blogging again, it's the only way I'm going to work through this mire of shit that my feelings have become. I have to admit how shit I feel so I know how long a rope I have to use to pull myself out ot if.
So, expect some rnty angry sad posts for a bit.
Off ot blubber now for a bit, getting this out has triggered the sads/ Good right? At least it's lancing now and not festering anymore,

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

The right size for the right quality.

Months ago I bought a tin of Quality Street chocolates.
a) because I liked the colour and unusual shape to the tin
b) because I hadn't had them in over ten years
c) Alaskaboy and Kiddlywink had never had them
d) It was Easter
e) There was a LOT of us to share that big arse tin of chocolates.
f) I had a vague idea the tin might be useful for storage

After we enjoyed the contents, the tin sat around cluttering up our bedroom. For awhile now I've had the notion I'd like to use it for a jewellery box. The one I've had since I was twelve, while beautiful, doesn't hold all of my jewellery anymore. But then we realised how little money we had so I put the idea on hold.
 

Until today.
Spring has well and truly sprung thus I no longer need my extra fleecy tracksuit pants.
I really don't want them either because they're now too big to comfortably wear.
I held them in my hand and debated putting them in the donation bag. I held them awhile longer and considered the cost of a sheet of felt large enough to suit my crafting purposes, and just how soft and fleecy these pants were, in fact.
 

The penny dropped.
 

A big arse tin of chocolates needed a big arse pair of pants to cushion the inside.
(It's not quite finished yet, but I'm letting it percolate through the ol' brain tissue just how I wanna do the inside walls.)

Some craft glue, some scissors, some time and patience and soon enough I'll have a jewellery box that will cocoon my bling as snugly as the pants used to encase my body

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Measurements

It's been awhile since I started my Stick It To Summer Challenge. Many months and changes have gone by since then. But, I finally have made progress on all the points I measured way back then, so here's an update!

Fitness has increased so much there's no point even comparing. Plus with my recent relapse I'm still learning what my body can and can't do as compared to a month ago.

Hips
Start: 144 cms
Oct 8th: 130cms

Thighs
Start: Right: 68.2cm Left 71.8cm
Oct 8th: Right: 68.0cm Left: 70.5cm

Waist
Start: 117.3cm
Oct 8th: 114.5cm

Bust
Start: 125.7cm
Oct 8th: 122.5cm

Weight
Start: 112kgs/246.9lbs
Oct 8th: 107.5kg/236.9 lbs

I know some of my measurements were even bigger before I started those challenges, my waist has definitely lost 6.5cms over the past 18 months. Since I didn't have all the measurements from back then, I'm going from when I started the challenges and began to make real strides towards turning my life around for the better. :)

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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Immediacy Of Hunger

I wrote this last night, then let it digest a bit before posting it today. I wasn't sure if it was just for me, or to share, For the bare handful of you that are left that read this blog, I hope you're still enjoying it. Oh, and this is a long one. :)

I've always felt an immediacy to my hunger, even as a child, which has led me to eat with a voracious appetite. I usually have a keen sense of what food I am wanting and that leads to my stomach sounding very much like Veruca Salt in its insistence of being satiated straight away. “I WANT the deliciousness and I WANT it NOW!” The depth and the sharpness of my hunger led me to believe that I not only had to have food right away but I had to have a lot.

Surely, something that felt so all encompassing had to be huge in truth. Right?

Tonight, I have learned that this isn't always so.

Sure, there are times when my hunger is of an immediacy that requires food straight away. Often when I haven't been paying attention and too much time has passed, or my nutrition hasn't been adequate, and my sugar levels have dropped dangerously low thus it's either eat or have a migraine, or fall over, or gag uncontrollably, or sometimes all of the above.

But as my body has taught me, not all hunger is created equal.

My workout hunger is best satisfied by a carbohydrate snack within an hour of starting a workout, followed by a protein snack after I finish exercising. Failing that, a balanced meal of protein, carbs, fat, and veggies or fruit within an hour and a half before starting the workout. (But then, if I misjudge the meal or the timing of the start of the workout, I'll need a couple of bites of banana or nut bar to be able to sustain the workout.) I've learned this over the last six months of consistent exercise. And it works for me.

PMS hunger. I've been working on this one for decades. It makes sense. PMS hunger means my body is working hard to make a hospitable home for any pregnancy that wishes to take up residency in any given month. And that takes nutrients and calories and salt and fluid. So my calorie intake goes up drastically. It's only for a few days a month and my weight follows a predictable pattern...I lose weight during that time and then go back to my regular weight as soon as I start to menstruate. Without fail. Whether I'm 65 kg or 115kgs. There's also usually one day of hormone-induced rage/tears/emotional turmoil, that's not a hunger story though.

But it does lead me nicely to emotional hunger. Name an emotion and over the years I've substituted feeling it with eating food. Numbing. Avoiding. Denying. Celebrating. Because I can. Because it's the best I can do in that moment. Because I need soothing to take the sharpness out of the emotion to be able to express it adequately. There are many and varied reasons I've used and abused food. Admittedly, there are times it's healthy and normal to soothe myself with food...but not every time I feel something that makes me uncomfortable. Or before I can even BEGIN to feel uncomfortable. I've taken a vital, protective behaviour and let it get out of control. It's no different than covering a kid in cotton wool. They'll never learn how to cope with anything, if they feel nothing.

And I was so frightened of being uncomfortable or feeling anything bad that I felt nothing real for a long time. Not emotionally or physically. Not even true hunger. I felt plenty of sensory hunger though. Something tasted or smelled delicious and I'd continue eating it far beyond when I'd had enough, simply because it tasted so good.

My true hunger can express itself in different ways. I've learned it can be a thunderous growl, or a nauseous feeling, or a headache, or crankiness, weakness, lethargy, even an inability to concentrate. (And sometimes, those things mean I'm thirsty instead.) Tonight it happened while we were out and about running errands. They took longer than planned. We were already running late to pick my dad up, and Kiddlywink's dinner time had passed half an hour ago, so we decided to get take away.

Fast food was something we spent an obscene amount on during the last year. We only found this out when we did our budget a couple of months ago. I haven't eaten from a fast food restaurant since. My body feels better for it. After eating it fairly regularly for several years..then going cold turkey for two months, I bet you can imagine how I was tantalised by the delicious smell when I pulled the car up to the drive thru window, ordered for Alaskaboy and Kiddlywink, and then passed the food back to them.

When I opened the bag to ensure the order was correct, my mouth flooded with saliva and my stomach roiled with anticipation. Once my hand was in the bag, my brain urged me to take one chip...just one chip, they smell SO good. It was in that moment that I realised that even though I was hungry—ravenous, in fact—I wasn't hungry for this kind of food. I rolled the top of the bag back down and handed it to Alaskaboy, leaving all the contents intact.

It was torturous driving a further 40 minutes with the smells, sights and sounds of two hungry people thoroughly enjoying their dinner. I happily talked to them about what they were enjoying, and how I'd enjoyed those meals in the past. I even refused their kind offers to give me tastes of their food. I wasn't being masochistic. I simply wasn't hungry for it. And I knew I would be home soon enough and could find something there I would want and enjoy more. Believe me, if I HAD wanted the food, there would have been nothing stopping me from enjoying my own take away meal also.

There is a time and a place for take away. It is a Sometimes food after all.

We arrived home and I remembered we'd promised Kiddlywink to stop and get a particular ice cream on the way home. Unfortunately, we were out of time to go back to the shops. Kiddlywink was understandably disappointed. After brokering a deal wherein I'd get the ice cream and she could have it for her bed time snack, if she was bathed and in her pyjamas by the time I got back from the local supermarket, Kiddlywink, Alaskaboy and my dad went inside.

When I entered the store, I was struck by the sight of this particular white cauliflower. I swear it was already perfectly lit, but it was missing the accompanying upswell to the soundtrack. Oh wait, it's not a movie, it's my life. Seriously, the cauliflower looked so delectable it could have been a prop for a movie. But, I ignored it and focused on the fridge section, where I'd planned to scoop up a healthy preprepared soup and devour that when I got home. The selection was good, but it was not the soup I was looking for.

And like Luke barreling his X-wing fighter along the canals and gullies found on the death star, I manoeuvered my way back around for a final pass at the thing that had my R2 unit's head all swivelly. This WAS the cauliflower I was looking for. That, and the bag of baby spinach leaves in the cool store section. I grabbed those, the icecream bars and hotfooted it out of there, after dashing through the self-service line like any intrepid adventurer would do! Or, you know, someone in desperate need of dinner.

I made it home to a bigger fanfare than Han and Luke received, but I didn't get any fancy gold medallions.

What I did get was the satisfaction of seeing my daughter enjoy a meal and a dessert as the treats they rightly should be. As a Sometimes food. Not the Quite Regularly Indeed foods they'd become.

I was in the mood for soup, so was Dad. Good old cauliflower soup; cauliflower, potato, onion, garlic, and veg broth all simmered for about 15-20 minutes, then whizzed. I felt kinda decadent tonight so I plopped spinach leaves in the huge soup bowls, covered them with piping hot soup and crumbled in some goats feta and added a twist of lemon. The textures and flavours had us making the same omnomnom noises I'd heard an hour and a half prior in the car.

I enjoyed every spoonful of that soup. From the piping hot start where I had to balance my hunger with the need to not burn my mouth to the dregs where it was quite cool and I had to guage my need to be fully satisfied against the tastiness of the soup and the size of my stomach.

What was it that I learned tonight? The immediacy of my hunger is not always an indication of how soon I must eat.

Sometimes, even when I'm very hungry, I can in fact wait to eat.

Sometimes, it's okay to feel my hunger and move beyond it. Especially if it's in search of what it is I truly want to eat. If I'd given in and eaten those burgers and chips because it was convenient, I wouldn't have sat with my hunger long enough to identify what it was I was truly hungry for. And I would have binged continuously throughout the evening looking to find what it was I needed..and probably not succeeded and ended up eating thousands too may calories.

Sometimes, it is necessary to eat something that isn't what I truly want. Sometimes there are other factors involved that don't allow me the luxury of choice. But when I do have the luxury of choice, I now know that being hungry is something I can survive. It's not the end of my world...I'm simply hungry.

Tonight, I was hungry was for this soup. YUM! 



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Friday, August 09, 2013

A Vested Interest In Myself and My Health.

Last winter, the thought of going out late at night to walk never even occured to me. Not only because I didn't have jackets to fit, but also because I was too unfit and lazy to consider it. Sure, I'd go out during the day, sometimes. But of a night? Forget it! (To be fair, my Nanna, was getting up every hour on the hour to pee..four nights a week. This winter she sleeps right through for the four days we have her, so we're no longer exhausted.)

Today, due to a mix up between appointment times, I was dropped off first, then, voluntarily, left high and dry at one place. My appointment took longer than anticipated. Instead of being picked up again as expected, I had to walk 3 kilometres to the place where the car had ended up. I did the walk, in cold blustery wind, while wearing only a long-sleeved t-shirt and thin tracksuit pants. Without a drink of water. I did eat a nut bar though, that I'd had in the bottom of my handbag.

Last winter I wouldn't have contemplated walking that far at ALL. In fact I would have been astonished if someone suggested I do so. No, pissed off. Whiny! And I would have demanded them to come back and get me.

(In all honesty I did wait for the bus for six minutes Trying desperately to stay out of the wind behind a narrow timetable sign. And when the bus zoomed straight passed me, I wasn't going to wait another 6-15 minutes for the next bus to arrive..it was warmer to keep walking. And when the next bus finally caught up with me, only a couple of hundred metres before my end destination, I singsonged out loud "Fuck you, I didn't need you, I did it all by MYSELF! I didn't neeed you. I DID NOT NEED YOU. I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF!" I even gave it a bit of the old Evil King With A Physical Defect kind of salute.)

Last winter I was excited when, for a few brief weeks, my beloved Alaska fleecy vest zipped up. Then the lazy kicked in and it stopped fitting me again. Again, earlier this winter it started to fit and I've been loving wearing it. Tonight, the jacket I had bought three years ago, suitable for winter in Minnesota, was too hot. But all my other tops were too cold. And no one else's jackets fit me either. So, I put on a hooded tracksuit zip up top...and then out of desperation attempted to zip up my vest over the top of that.

It fit. With ease. With room to spare.

And then I went for a second walk for the day. To accompany my mum, because she hadn't walked yet. Because this week we made a pact I'd help her to walk a minimum of 20 minutes per day.

A second walk!

I'm still the same weight I was last winter. If not a little heavier, in fact. My cholesterol has gone from 4.6 to 4.4. I'm the same weight but I'm much healthier.

I shall call her, Healthier-Me.  lol

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Health Update.

Bad News: Neurologist says I'm not allowed to do the volunteer work at the childcare anymore, because "Your health comes first. But, we'll reassess in 6 months when you're fitter."
Apparently between getting healthier/losing weight, looking after Nan, raising my family, and doing household chores, etc, that's enough of a job for me for the moment. When I told him all I'd done in June he said, "That made even ME exhausted, and I was only listening to it!" Apparently, I'd felt so good that I'd done a few things too many, and pushed too hard. Sound familiar to anyone I know? lol

Better news: All the stresses of June, both good and bad, cause me to have a flare up. That means some of my symptoms are slightly worse than they were, especially the numbness, and now when I relax my head tilts to the left a bit, but my disability scores haven't changed. :)

Good news: He's pleased with my progress, happy for me to keep taking the same meds and continuing the exercises I've been doing. BUT sticking to 2-4 times per week, and to not overdo my life in general.

Best news: It wasn't a relapse. There are no new lesions. Nor are the ones I've got enhancing.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Muddling Through.


I've spent the last 5 days forcing myself to rest. Also felt the need to check out of the world for a little bit, so I borrowed some Supernatural seasons from the library and had DVD marathons galore! I also increased my vitamin D intake and am feeling steadier. Lots of crying. Lots of dealing with how I'm feeling. It definitely helps knowing what's going on this time, and having a support network.

I arrived at the gym today at 7am, for my prearranged appointment. Felt all virtuous with how early I was there. Felt slightly less virtuous when I walked in just as a class was FINISHING. LOL

We worked out my personalized program...and yeah I was definitely overdoing it last week. It was through excitement at being back IN a gym, but still overdoing it. Not enough rests between sets, too much cardio, weights slightly too high on some things.
So, it feels encouraging to start properly, but also good to know my leg strength has improved even since last week. (weight stayed same but increased number of reps and added another set.)
Very impressed at how they listened to what my requirements were and what my goals are and that they're working with me and my limitations. (Added to my file straight away that I'm not allowed to overheat.)

I'm trying to muddle my way through this, without making myself crazy with what I can or will not be able to do in future. I'm working with what I can and will do NOW.

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