Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Never Say Diet

I am almost at the end of month one of the unofficial, no particular program, just trying to count calories and eat more mindfully thing. 

My only real tools are a food scale and a nutrition app on my iPhone. I am not weighing or obsessing. Been there. Done that. I don't know how much weight I have lost. I do know that my face looks a bit thinner, my clothes are getting slightly looser, and my knees are not hurting as much. 

I am not doing anything drastic. I portion out my snacks in single servings, put them in baggies, and keep them in a basket on my counter. I have the calorie counts of each baggie programmed into my app. I have unsalted almonds, pretzels, gumdrops, and even chocolate chips ready when the need for a snack arises. I eat out, but I am eating child size portions in restaurants that offer them. Cracker Barrel has a child plate serving of grilled chicken tenders that is just the right amount. The child's menu at McAlister's offers smaller, but still tasty items. Even Fox's has a "bambino" pizza that is very reasonable, calorie wise, if not loaded with high fat toppings. That said, I will be going to Billy's tomorrow to have the chicken parmesan. It will be most of my calories for the day, but he has been closed for weeks. I need my fix. 

I don't have a goal weight. I figure anything I can get and keep off will help. 

Stay tuned. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Dads

It is hard to believe that it was only a month ago that we laid my father-in-law to rest. Even harder to believe that my Daddy has been gone for over a year now. 

Daddy and Mr. Sanders had the same March 28th birthday. Often this was celebrated on the nearest Saturday with a cookout at Daddy's Thompson Lake place. It was usually a bit chilly. but that never really mattered. 

I used to joke that, between them, they had the "Old Man" look covered. Khakis, Members Only jackets, slip on deck shoes or sneakers that closed with velcro, plaid shirts, and Daddy with his fishing hat. The uniform of at least 80% of men their age here in the South. 

Since I have been trying to eat less, I am beginning to realize how much I depended on food (especially late night snacking) to ease the pain of losing my two Dads. I did not really have time to mourn the loss of my Dad when Mr. Sanders became ill. Now, I seem to be experiencing the grief of both losses at once. 

I refuse to continue assuaging my sadness with food. I am just going to have to feel it. I don't like feeling it. Nobody does. 

I used to tell my patients that there were no real shortcuts through grief. Sooner or later, grief is going to surface. It may be days or it may be years later. But it will have to be faced, felt, and dealt with. 

And that time is now. 

Sunday, January 06, 2013


Yes, I am counting them tonight.

Due to some difficulties with my van, my husband was reluctant for me to go to Hermanville this morning. So, I stayed close to home and spent the day visiting with friends in three different hospital and nursing facilities.

The first visit was to "Miss Mary", who "kept house" for my Daddy until her health no longer permitted it. She is having her left leg amputated in the morning. Her right one is already gone. Instead of bemoaning her fate, she asked about my entire family and expressed condolences on the loss of my father-in-law.

My second visit was to Promise rehab facility to see my friend Sharon. Over the past few days, it has been my privilege to witness a miracle. Sharon had a stroke the day after Christmas, was unresponsive for days, and when she woke, was unable to speak. Today, she is talking, walking (with a walker for now) and rapidly getting back to normal.

The third visit was to a local nursing home to see "Big Bad John" as I call him. BBJ has been in intensive care, a rehab hospital, and now a nursing home since September 7th, after suffering acute respiratory distress and atrial fibrillation. He very nearly did not make it. I rejoiced as I watched a video his wife took of him walking (with a walker) down the hall to the nurses station, to the cheers of staff and residents alike.

My legs don't always work well, but I still have both of them. I sometimes have to use a walker, but I have never had a stroke. And I can't imagine being hospitalized in some fashion for 4 solid months.

After I finished visiting, I called 5 year old Mylie and took her out for a frozen yogurt. I felt like celebrating my friends and their triumphs.

And counting my blessings once again.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Photo a Day

A few months ago, I read about a "photo a day" challenge, sponsored by an Australian woman on her blog "Fatmumslim." Every month, she puts a list on her blog of an object or concept for each day. For example, this photo was inspired by the prompt "House." It does not have to be MY house. It can be any house. Creativity is encouraged!

These photos can be shared on her blog, her Facebook page, Instagram, etc. All my photos are taken with my iPhone camera and posted on Instagram. I share them on Facebook and Twitter from there. 

I have been a bit surprised at how much fun I have had doing this. Even on the busiest and most stressful of days, this challenge gives me something else to focus on during my day. The link to the blog with the guidelines is below.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The "D" Word.

To quote "Garfield", Diet is DIE with a "T."  

I have got to figure out a way to lose at least some weight. I know most people have this as a New Year's resolution. However, I have some obstacles that make it extra difficult. I am going to have to figure something out. 


1. My neuromuscular disease makes me exercise intolerant. My muscles are atrophying. They do not build up or gain strength. The more I try to use them, the weaker they get. 

2. Extensive food allergies:
Shellfish, ocean fish (tuna, salmon, cod, etc.) 
Oats and barley
Legumes (beans and peas) Also having trouble with peanuts now. 
Leafy greens (lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, greens, etc.)
Squash, zucchini, pumpkin, cucumbers
Most fruit: Strawberries, melons, apples, pears, grapes, bananas, kiwi, cranberries and anything in those families. 

Yes, I did the elimination diet. Yes, I reacted to EVERYTHING on the list. 

3. Food intolerances
Milk, ice cream, yogurt, citrus, tomatoes, soy, beef, rice, peppers, and  corn: Can have these only occasionally due to reflux. Yes, I have had surgery and take medication daily. I still have reflux. 

4. Something in most of the "diet" foods gives me bad stomach problems. These do not get better over time. The frozen dinners are the worst. 

5. I have been warned not to overeat the fruits I am not allergic to, cherries, pineapple, blueberries, and peaches, because that could cause me to develop allergies to them later. 

6. Eating out (especially for lunch) is a big part of my social life since I had to retire. I need to have a reason to make myself get dressed and out. It would be really easy to sit on the couch. Lunch is when I connect with friends. 

7. I am essentially left with whole wheat bread, cheese, freshwater fish, chicken, pasta, potatoes, ground beef, pork, eggs, cashews, almonds, pecans, and onions that I can eat on a regular basis. 

8. Major pitfalls are a small freezer, grabbing snack food because it is easy, especially at night, when I am tired and don't want to cook, a husband who is a junk food junkie and very hard to please, and a deep and abiding love for chocolate. 

I am fairly fortunate that, despite my weight, I have no problems with blood pressure or blood sugar. But, I need to get some of the weight off my knees! There has to be a way to do it with my limited food choices and no exercise. The key for me is going to be portion control and limiting late night nibbling. 

I can do this. 

Mystery Meat

I have recently become reacquainted with a substance I have not voluntarily encountered since my school years.  Mystery Meat  I brought ...