Friday, May 28, 2010

Sleep Study Results Ar In!

I've got Severe Sleep Apnea. In every 30 second window I only breathe 2-4 times. The rest of that 30 seconds is spent trying to breathe, and failing. Sheesh. No wonder I'm exhausted!

We're now waiting for my insurance company to give their approval for me to have the cpap machine. When that's approved a medical supply company will come out and set me up with my new bestest friend.

The difference between the graph when I was sleeping without wearing the machine and the graph from when I was wearing it...amazing! It explains why that hour and a half sleep I got while wearing the machine actually felt like 3-5.

Really hoping the insurance company approves it soon.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Can't blame this binge on PMS.

Earlier this week I started to struggle.

The euphoria from being able to workout on the Wii Fit ebbed and my annoyance with its focus on BMI grew. I wish there was a way to put the default screen to show Fit Credits instead of BMI. As it is, every time I log in, I watch my graph go up and down, all the while trending upwards. The first two weeks it had trended down a whole five pounds, then all of a sudden I was back up two and a half pounds. (There's a reason I switched to only weighing once a month!)

I let the scale do my head in and I cracked the shits. Monday and Tuesday were binge days. Not huge amounts of food like I used to eat, but certainly more than I eat these days. Eating without being hungry also took place. And I binged on a t.v. series marathon.

But, being angry at the scale was only part of the issue. I'd had too much caffeine which kept me awake for twenty four hours. Plus, I was furious that I'd need to have the sleep study, and even if I lose weight, there's no guarantee that I'll get off the machine again.

Sadness. Frustration. Anger. Fear. These are the four major emotions that I hide behind a shield of food.

This evening after a long tiring day where everything I did seemed to be the wrong thing to do or say, I had a short nap on the couch. It refreshed me slightly and soothed my headache and neck ache enough that I could finally give in and cry. You see, I'd forgotten two key lessons I learned a long time ago.

(The following two excerpts come from a post I wrote back on the 2nd of May, 2007. I'm only including the points that are pertinent for me to be reminded of today.)

1) The scales:
"The number on the scale lies you see. It said I've gained only a little. But what does that mean really? All the scales can tell me is the gross weight of my body. Just like I was a packet of sausages you'd buy at the butchers. It doesn't tell me my “nutritional breakdown” ie how much fat, lean meat, water, fillers etc are within my casing. But, unlike that packet of sausages, I'm more than the sum of my parts.

Scales (mine at least) don't show that I've lost muscle tone and gained some fat over the last four weeks. My clothes and the mirror show me that.

The scale doesn't tell me how I'm progressing with my healthy lifestyle. The amount of time I spend doing activities other than binge eating or obsessing about food are a better gauge of that.

A set of scales has no clue about how much improvement I've made in learning to deal with the situations in my life, and my emotions about them. My family, friends and myself are the reflection of my emotional balance."

2) Emotions: "In the earlier half of the month I was cheating. I assumed that because I had acknowledged that I was scared, angry, fearful etc that I was done with those emotions. Acknowledging them isn't always enough. I have a full range of both positive and negative emotions. That's what makes me more than a sack of meat. And if I want to continue to be more than my organic compounds, I need to feel those emotions. Express them. Not hide behind an intellectual analysis of how I'm feeling.

Feel my emotions. Release them. Laughing, crying, shouting... these are all things that are easy to do when happy. But, to cry, shout, quiver, punch an inanimate object, or however you express yourself when angry, that's considered a lack of control.
Myself personally, I've come to consider it a better expression of control if those emotions can be expressed. Especially if it's in a constructive, rather than destructive way. Pressure needs to be released, else the system explodes. Many machines are built with safety valves in them. We have one too. Our emotions. "

I released another bit of the pressure today with my crying fit. I'm betting there's more to come. Hopefully I can let it out as it needs to be, instead of bottling it up so tight.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Week Two Recap: McFart Challenge.

Nary a glimpse of hummus this week. But oy vey, the bean salad. I was hooked on it!

Day 8: Started off the week with a Japanesy-hawaiianish meal; edamame, Asian-style coleslaw and a pineapple teriyaki, ahi tuna, rice noodle and veg stir fry.
Day 9: A lebanon bologna, havarti, miracle whip and cucumber sandwich with bean salad.
Days 10 and 11 were bingeish days and I couldn't be bothered taking photos. Funny how those two seem to go hand in hand. But I did eat bean salad on each day.

Day 12: Yep, more bean salad. Along with a roast chicken and salad sandwich plus watermelon.
Day 13: A simple classic, baked beans egg and toast.
and in the evening a bean salad, tuna, avocado, sun dried tomatoes and pasta salad.
And to give me two weeks McFarted, beef and bean tacos.

And I ate fish three times this week, there was another meal of the pineapple teriyaki ahi tuna stirfry. This time with wheat noodles and slightly different vegetables


Saturday, May 15, 2010


Events moved faster than anticipated, and I'm having my sleep study done this evening.
Wish me luck!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Challenge update and a WooHoo Moment.

Funny thing, it worked out that I ended up eating chickpeas in various forms six days out of the seven.

Day One: We had a picnic lunch.

Day Two: Was a chickpea salad.

Day Three: This falafel sandwich I threw in my face after arriving back from shopping absolutely starving.

Day Four: Lunch was falafels. Dinner? Mmm, mexican food! Black beans and rice on tacos.

Day Five: Leftover black beans and rice mashed with egg and breadcrumbs then made into a burger.

Day Six: A snackish kind of day.

Day Seven: Starters and some pasta.

We'd planned a few different meals, but the days didn't always play out like we'd hope and often it was go with the easiest legume option possible. It helped that the start of this challenge coincided with one of our hummus kicks. ;)

I also exceeded my fish expectations for the week. :)
On Day Two I was really in the mood for fish, at lunch and dinner time.:

I'm elated, despite being slightly sore, to announce. . .this evening I walked 2 miles. WOOHOO! I haven't done that since just before I got pregnant. I'm also very excited that even with taking it nice and slow it only took us 57 minutes to do it. I'd expected it would take over an hour. :)


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Cooking With Kada!

(Double posted at Kada Noms, my food photo blog.)

One of my favourite pasta dishes I learned to cook as a chef is Penne Pasticciate: chicken, mushrooms, avocado, pesto, cream, and a dash of Napoli sauce. When I was in the midst of hard core calorie counting, there was no way I would ever make that dish or Quattro Formaggi. So, I figured out a way make it lower fat. I used fat free cream cheese and fat free evaporated milk in place of the cream, and added a couple of finely chopped sundried tomatoes on a whim when we had no pesto.

Over the years, once I switched to intuitive eating and stopped counting calories, I've slowly perfected the balance of flavours. It no longer resembles a pasticciate but instead has come to be its own dish. Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Pasta. It's become our Go To dish when we want some lusciously rich and creamy pasta rather than a tomato-based sauce. It also doesn't leave the lingering fatty aftertaste I find I get these days from cream-based sauces.

Figuring some of you out there might like to try it, I finally took the time to measure out the ingredients, rather then going by eye.

And, here's the recipe.
(Serves three-six, depending on your appetite and if you eat it by itself or have sides with it.)

1 organic* chicken breast, diced small
half a pound of mushrooms**, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, sliced, chopped, crushed, however you like it.
sundried tomatoes in oil and herbs, approx 10-15 halves, chopped (about 1/3C chopped)
1 tub chive and onion cream cheese
1 can fat free evaporated milk
1 avocado, chopped
Whatever shape pasta you like to eat, cooked to your preference. (Although, angel hair and small macaroni tend to get lost in the sauce, and pappardelle and gnocchi are too rich, plus have the wrong mouth feel.) We've successfully used farfarlle, penne, spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, radiatori, spirelli, gemmeli and many more.

*Often when using Tyson's/Foster Farms/non-organic I'd have to use 1.5-2 breasts because they pump them that full of broth there's not enough meat when the liquid all cooks out.
**baby portabellas in this case, regular buttons will do.
(LOL The garlic WAS resting on the can, but fell down between it and the mushroom container.)

Step 1: melt 1Tbs olive oil and 2tsp butter in a frying pan/skillet. Add mushrooms and onion and cook until onion starts to go translucent and mushrooms are half cooked...only just starting to go brown.

Step 2: Add the chicken, tomatoes and garlic. Cook until chicken is half cooked..still a little pink in some spots.

Step 3: Throw in the evaporated milk and cream cheese, then stir to combine. Have to get in there and smoosh up the cream cheese really good with your spoon. One it starts to bubble, turn to low heat. The milk can stick on the bottom and burn, if the flame's too high.

Step 4: You're ready to add the avocado when the sauce is halfway to coating consistency. i.e. It hangs on the spoon a bit but still mostly drips off.

Then plop in those delish green morsels. Like olives, avocados get added towards the end, we only want to heat them through, else they go bitter.

Step 5: When the sauce gets to coating consistency it's time to add the pasta.

Step 6: It may or may not need another minute or two to really get the sauce coating the pasta. Once it gets to the point when stirring it around parts the waves, so to speak, it's done.

Step 7: Use a pair of tongs to pull out the pasta and put it in pasta bowls or on plates, then divide the remaining meat/veg/sauce between them. (Little restaurant secret for dishing up good looking piles of pasta.)

Buon Appetito!


Thursday, May 06, 2010

Non-Scale Victory.

My post-caeserean non-scale victories have been a little more basic than any physical ones in the past. I've gradually increased the distance I walk in the pool. I've begun to be able to swim very short distances again. I've moved into a slightly shallower area of the pool for my pool walking, which increases the weight I'm actually bearing. I've also increased the speed at which I walk, driving through the water now instead of gingerly ambling along.

Yesterday, because we rushed out of the house in time to get to the pool before they closed for cleaning, we only had limited time to get any exercise in. That's minor NSV One; previously we would have said, "Fuck it, it's too late, let's go tomorrow."

I got in the pool with forty minutes til closing time. Kiddlywink was snoozing in her stroller/pram on the side, where I could keep an eye on her, and knowing a) she could wake up any second and b) time was of the essence, I pushed myself harder than I've done since her birth.

I busted out 700 yards in 25 minutes. That put me on target to complete a mile in 60 minutes. Ten minutes faster than any previous mile. Although, I'm sure if I'd kept going it probably would have only ended up a minute or two faster, but still!

Then, we had a full day of grocery shopping, errands, cooking, and no naps. Then, sometime around 9:30pm I felt the need to do some more exercise. Not in reaction to what I'd eaten during the day, but because my body felt like it had been shortchanged on exercise. So, I got out the wii fit and proceeded to do the Wii Fit Plus training routine/Lifestyle/Warm up. Something I have done several times and enjoyed since we purchased it. THEN! I did one that has intimidated me the last few weeks, Wii Fit Plus training routine/Health/Over-Indulged. It's a more intense cardio workout and two minutes longer than the Warm-Up one. But for some reason I'd been terrified to even try it! Somehow I had it in my head that I couldn't do it.

Wait a minute! Late last year I was so thrilled when I achieved the NSV of being able to walk down a flight of stairs gingerly, but in the normal one foot in front of the other fashion. Now, here I am, not only doing that scary routine, but completing it in the same day that I'd done my fastest pool walk yet. And to do so...actually avoiding watching the last ever episode of a series we'd been watching on Netflix recently. And THEN helping with some more chores before we went to bed.

I'm a little sore in my ankles and lower half of my calves this morning, other than that I seem to be okay. A little woozy. That's my own fault though. I was so excited to share the news, I had to get up after not enough sleep and tell you. Now I'm back off to bed.

EditedToAdd: Nope. Didn't go back to bed just yet. Felt good enough to stay up and make a large batch of banana pancakes.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Recall for Children's Pain Relief Medicine.

I know there are some of you out there with young'uns, so I thought I better pass it on just in case, like me, you hadn't heard yet.

Don't know how many of you this will affect, but I came across this today quite by chance. Sadly, every single opened and unopened bottle we have of Children's Tylenol and Motrin has to be recalled.

Don't know if anything any of you have will be affected but here's the info just in case: Pain Medicine Recall Link.


Monday, May 03, 2010

30 Day Farty McFarty Challenge.

It's been a long time since I've had a challenge of some kind. In light of that, I'd like to start things off slowly. This is a physical challenge, but not in the usual sense. There'll be no committing to certain amounts of exercise a certain number of times per week, I'm just not up for that, yet.

What I am up for is adding in more types of protein to my diet. With organic chicken and turkey so expensive, and my inability to eat organic pork, that leaves me eating a lot of beef and cheese for my protein. Both are good sources of saturated fat. While my cholesterol is all fine, my triglycerides are elevated, according to my very recent physical.

I've been trying to think of ways to reduce the saturated fats in my diet. I didn't realise it, but while pregnant I switched to cooking mostly with butter, it tasted so much better than the olive oil, and I've continued that practice. Cutting down the amount of butter I use is helping, I'm sure. This last week, I'm back to sauteing in olive oil. Today our toaster oven broke, so I toasted my sandwich in a skillet like I do on occasion....but without any butter on the outside of the bread. It toasted up deliciously!

Yesterday I thought of a new way. Nothing crazy! I'll include more legumes in my diet. So here we are with the Farty McFarty Challenge. A 30 day challenge to eat one meal every day that includes legumes.

I'll be trying to eat a new legume recipe once per week. I'd also like to include a fish meal once a week. However, I'm not setting myself up to fail if life gets busy. Those last two are merely things I'd like to do, time permitting, not part of the challenge itself. Why, yes, I have learnt something from all those previous challenges. LOL


Sunday, May 02, 2010

Sticking With It.

I've had an emotionally tumultuous week. Every day this week I've sat down to write a post about how blah I'm feeling. How sad I am that crap is happening with my extended family. How Nan is getting older and more infirm, as is Scruffy, and I may not see them again in person before they die. How I'm worried for my mum and wish I could be there to help her with Nan's decline, and help in a general sense as well. How playing degrees of separation with the blog rolls of people on my blog roll has led me not to inspiration like I'd been searching for but to jealousy and sadness. Instead of writing those posts, I've talked to my husband and done a lot of thinking, and some emotional eating.

Usually when I start feeling like this, and bemoaning my lack of readers or at least feeling jealous of all the comments other people get, it's because I'm avoiding another issue; I'm scared of something I don't want to face. Also it's usually a large hint that I'm getting cabin fever and in need of social contact. On the other hand, I've been feeling happy about how much and what kinds of activities I've been able to do on the Wii Fit.

At a few points in the doctor's office my voice became quavery as I held back my tears while we discussed my sleep history and need to have a sleep study done. Part of what I've been bottling up lately is my deep-seated hatred of all the medical yuckness that has happened to me in recent years. Possibly having to have a CPAP machine represents all of that.

Not only am I slightly claustrophobic and worried about how I'll cope with actually wearing the machine, not to mention making it to the toilet in time of a night if I have to delay to take off the mask, but I'm frightened that my body may never be normal again. And that, my friends, is what I've been avoiding. Reading all those blogs where the women have worked hard and had success, despite whatever has been going on in their lives at the time, only made me feel more angry and afraid. Pleased for them, but also jealous that they could lose their excess one hundred pounds in 1-3 years.

I'm so frustrated and sick and tired of working so hard only to have things happen TO me, things out of my control, which have these awful effects on my body. Effects that even IF I lose the weight may or may not disappear. Years ago I thought it was a simple solution, deal with my emotional issues, lose weight, get on with life. The point that I nearly lost it completely with the sleep doctor, was when I got up the courage to ask the hard question, "Because this came on while I was pregnant, and I'm anatomically predisposed to having sleep apnea, does this mean even when I lose a significant amount of weight, this may not go away?"

That's right. Even if I lose weight. Even if my life is so much better in many other ways, I may still have sleep apnea and my body may still be numb, and I may still have incontinence. The pity party started the minute I got home, as did the battle with my need to spew out into the blogosphere all of the awful things I was feeling. Instead, I went hunting for validation and hope, but found only my own inadequacies.

But then, I clicked on a link that Shauna had included in her Friday Link Feast. Reading that article, plus the pressure of all the positive things I'd achieved recently, turned me around to face a new direction. A new realisation. There are probably people out there who are just as jealous about the good fortune I have in my life. My medical issues could have been so much worse. I could have died, not only with the pregnancy but also with the antibiotic reaction. I could have died and Kiddlywink may never have existed. Every thing after that epiphany is gravy!

It's also the start of a new month. The days are getting longer. It's another month closer to December. This month my baby girl turns one! Alaskaboy and I'll be celebrating our seventh anniversary. And Mother's Day is next weekend.

That epiphany doesn't negate my feelings, but it's giving me a different perspective on how to work through them. Instead of being AS afraid of the CPAP machine, I'm at least now wondering how much my quality of life will improve once I'm getting more sleep. I know how much more alive and in the moment I feel now than I did in 4-6 weeks, once we get the approval from our insurance, perhaps I'll feel a whole lot better again.

I've also switched to reading and thinking about other women that I know and admire, Shauna among them, who also took many years to lose their weight and did so despite physical and mental ailments during the process. Up and downs are part of my life. Those other new blogs/women I found were fortunate to be able to lose their weight so quickly. Good for them. I wasn't so fortunate in that way. BUT! I'm still here, alive and able to continue my journey. I'd forgotten that important fact.

This fabulous post over at Did I Just Eat That Out Loud also helped me realise that the journey is about having the heart to continue, even when it gets difficult beyond imagining.

Unlike the Tin Man, I do have a heart. Unlike the Lion, I do have courage. Those, along with my brain, plus my support network, will see me through: No matter HOW long it actually takes. LOL