Friday, October 23, 2009

Food Sheets, Week End, 10/23/09

Click on Image to enlarge:

Well, I made it. I am now only 10 pounds over my QVC pic weight. That's good because I had set a small goal for myself to be within 10 pounds by Sunday when I will be participating in a filming for Richard once again. At one point he and I were discussing this small disparity via e-mail; he counseled me not to be concerned and I am not. All that is necessary to do is look at my "before" picture and know that I am three years post goal to know that I am successful by any definition of the term. If I need outside validation, count the number of men who hit on me last night while I was walking the dogs at the park.

What I have done in terms of weight loss; and also in terms of ordering and changing my entire life is basically unheard of. Very little of the old me exists; I do have to be ever-vigilant not to let her back into my life because she tries, but as long as I value integrity, honesty, and ethics above everything else and know how those three things change everything, there's not going to be a problem.

All that being said, I am having a much easier time maintaining my food sheets now, even with the blips (highlighted in yellow). I do need to work on keeping healthier options prepared and ready in my home and those will also go away, but the bigger issue was just recording my food. I think I'm mostly past that issue now.

Some of it has to do with Eric. He is remaining diligent and faithful in maintaining his own records. He is still losing weight. And this weekend, he's away at his man-retreat, probably losing even more weight. He is inspirational to me.

Also, the fact that he is finally on board about not needing to go to really high-calorie restaurants helps. As soon as I'm led to water, I absolutely drink.

So filming on Sunday, food sheets now becoming easier, I know the next task. But there is a problem. I am slowly but surely getting very sick. I have not been to Slimmons in a week, and I intend not to go tomorrow (Saturday). I want to maintain what strength I have for Sunday so that I do well when the cameras are on.

Nobody is sure quite what the root issue is with me. Is it the Crohns which is acting up badly? Is it the fibro? I am also having a heck of a time breathing, and my lung capacity is getting less and less. I tried to get in to see my Pulminologist today on an urgent basis; his front office couldn't fit me in. I have an appointment on Tuesday but have a feeling I may not make it that long before a trip to the ER is required. Is this the my Restrictive Lung Disease, Asthma, or maybe a virus? I spoke to my Internist a couple of days ago and we both agree that it does not sound like Swine Flu.

Also, though, I had my Flu Shot last weekend. Suspiciously close to this breathing issue beginning. I don't believe that the injection gave me the flu, but could there be something in this year's serum that I'm allergic to? Or could I have caught something else that's rare and going to be difficult to diagnose? I don't know.

The fatigue that goes with not feeling well is making it difficult to shop. Add Lucy's continual need for movement and I don't have enough time to rest. (Lucy, Sunny & I walked two miles this evening and she wasn't even the least bit affected and it's amazing how quickly Sunny has re-acclimated to walking and is gaining in strength and endurance daily... there's a lesson in there for me somewhere.) Again, unless something has changed significantly by the morning, I will not go to Exercise Class. It just doesn't make sense when I have an important commitment on Sunday.

My goal this week is to get to Valley Produce and bring in a whole slew of vegetables, and prepare them in advance. I'd really like to see what happens to my eating if I have healthy options immediately available to me so that I don't end up going for cereal or pancakes or whatever is really fast and convenient. Also, it will be interesting to see what happens to my Crohns Disease if I base my diet on veggies. If it becomes horribly explosive over the next week, I know for sure that this is flare based. If it doesn't, it doesn't mean that it's not mostly a flare, but we need to be looking at other options too.

Other than bringing in fresh food, I'm not going to make any other goals right now. Just keep doing what I am doing and see where my health takes me.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Food Sheets, End 10/17/09

Double Click on Food Sheet to Enlarge:

No question that it was a better week as far as food choices go. Cosmos is gone, and with his departure, the grief and mourning continue, but the stress of imminent death which I could not avoid has abated. Also, all the food that I was keeping in an effort to get him to eat is gone. I have not replaced it.

Additionally, because my Crohns Disease is flaring and I am obstructed, I am losing some of the food that I am taking in. This is not good news. I hurt my back during one of my throw-up sessions, making exercise impossible. Additionally, I can feel myself starting to get dehydrated. During these times, experience tells me that no amount of drinking water is going to make up for the fluids I am losing. I have a feeling that I will be getting IV fluids next week for the first time in a while.

I am walking dogs, though, so it's not a period of time with no exercise. It's just way more moderate than it should be.

I did lose weight again... back down from 167 all the way to 163.5, so there's that. I'm officially 1/2 pound over 10 pounds from the QVC pic; my goal for the infomercial shoot next week. I'd like to keep it there or maybe go down by another pound or so. But my body is going to dictate what's happening right now. I will need to be patient and see how the week progresses.

I was not completely faithful in keeping my food records again, but they were easier than ever to recreate because there was little junk food eating. I highlighted in yellow - as always, - what I really should have avoided. Blue Highlight means that I might have been able to do a little better, but I was in a situation where I chose to eat what I did as the best option available,so I'm not stressing about it.

I am not going to put down goals here other than to keep food records. A lot depends on my body; my body doesn't know what it's going to do right now. But I promise not to bring the high-fat foods back into my home again.

Eric is now down over 20 pounds. His mini goal is to lose another 14 pounds by his birthday, Dec 4, two days before mine. I only worry that he is being too hard on his program and will give up because it's not do-able, but when I look at his food journals (he sometimes offers them up), while they're stringent, they're not unreasonable. So it's not unreasonable that he makes his goal. Having him so focused makes me feel odd. It's not exactly a competition, but I'm used to being better than him in this department. I'm still struggling to pick my good habits back up. On the other hand, with him so focused, he's not tempting me by offering to take me out for meals so often, and also, the meals that we are having outside of the home are much healthier and lower calorie. That feels VERY good.

What I really look forward to is the day that he wants to join me on a dog walk or other form of exercise.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Food Sheets, End 10/9/09

Double Click on Food Sheets to Enlarge.

It has been a very stressful week. I lost my poor Cosmos after such a brave battle to stay with me. A good friend had major knee surgery (I worried, even though I know that it was a good decision and he will be more than fine). Eric's mother was admitted into ICU in critical condition with an abdominal bleed; she is 87 and for a day or two, nobody knew if she was going to live or not (she's apparently going to recover just fine from this incident). My Cimzia shot was last Tuesday and this time, the side effects - which vary - were fierce. Eric's divorce trial was scheduled for yesterday; at the last minute it was delayed for another six weeks. And my Crohns Disease is flaring something awful. I am plugged up and in constant pain; I can feel the food that is not digesting like a hard lump in my stomach and can't even bend over without causing further pressure and pain. Additionally, I think that my Rheumatoid Arthritis may be in play, if the incredibly severe joint pains that I am experiencing are not Crohns induced. I'd be surprised if it's not a RA flare... I'm experiencing pain in joints that are not usually involved in Crohns.

Because of how I am feeling physically, my exercise has been curtailed drastically. I missed several exercise classes this week, and when I went, I was unable to participate in any meaningful way. Instead, I was even reduced at times, again, to going to Slimmons but ended up laying in the dressing room instead of moving.

Additionally, my Adderall prescription ran out and as usual, the doctor's office that handles the prescription gave me grief. The girl that runs the front office is a bitch, and takes delight in power plays, no question about it. She purposely does not return calls, and delays filling the prescription until just after it runs out so that I have to scramble and often miss a pill.

I did not keep consistent food records this week. I lost it right after Cosmos which I consider acceptable; there was another day that I also did not do well. However, unlike previous efforts, I did get back to them quickly. I'm feeling more committed to them than before, and have made more alterations to my eating patterns again this week. I have had several meals now that featured steamed vegetables, and my refrigerator has many more available. I will continue to keep the sheets and tailor my choices until I get back to eating where I belong.

Eric is putting me to shame in the food department (He's been on program for 6 weeks now) , and that is weighing on my mind too. I LOVE that he is focused on what he is eating, and is receiving the support that he so richly deserves from his man-group. He is turning in his food journals in to them on a daily basis, and they are giving him positive feedback pretty-much immediately. He has lost over 20 pounds already, and is going strong. It's not that I don't want him to succeed... OF COURSE I DO! It just kills me that he is suddenly able to do all the things that I did in the past, and I find it such an effort to do them. I want us BOTH to be able to do them together.

For example, I no longer seem to be able to pass goodies by in public forums. Eric was very proud of himself this week - rightfully so - at not partaking of the cookies at the Honda Dealership. (I didn't go in, so I didn't eat them.) We talked about it. I remembered that I used to have a policy by which I decided whether or not a given treat was worth it. Basically, if passing up the treat would be something that might bother me a week out, I would eat it. That gave me permission to eat the cake at a birthday party, for example. But if it was something that wouldn't matter in 7 days, I'd pass. This was something I had forgotten about before the conversation with Eric. The conversation was a good thing, as it put another piece of the puzzle back into place. I just don't know what's wrong with me that I forgot it in the first place!

"Practice Patience" Not only is this something that Richard preaches, but it was "my" step in Love Yourself and Win. Actually, as frustrated as I feel at this very moment, I think that overall I am being patient with myself as I figure out what behaviors I abandoned and am trying to pick back up. I've succeeded at the following:

1.) Generally keeping food journals. It's still a struggle, but not quite as hard as at the beginning, and when I stray, I'm coming back to them a bit quicker.
2.) Being more aware of what I am eating. I highlight on my own what could have been done better, and am thinking about ways to improve.
3.) Bringing more vegetables into my home. This is an issue, though, as vegetables make my Crohns worse during a flare. But right now, I need to continue and see if this flare is momentary and stress related or harbors something more insidious.
4.) Thinking about what I used to do to be successful, remembering attitudes and tips and implementing them.
5.) Keeping the dialogue open. Now that I have people who are finally willing to discuss my issue with me again, I must keep it in the forefront.
6.) I gave away all the high-calorie, high-fat foods that I had in place for Cosmos. They were gone on Wednesday night, and I didn't put any of them out and eat them since his death.

My goals for this week are:

1.) Keep a full set of food journals.
2.) Exercise to the best of my ability.
3.) Take Sunny for daily walks.
4.) Prepare at least 4 meals in advance, via crock pot cooking (thanks Richard, for today's MOD.... I'm about to put something in the pot right now!) or baking, or grilling chicken for use in salad, or preparing vegetables for future use.
5.) Emphasis on passing by sample treats in markets and Costco. Remember that if passing them won't be on my mind in a week, they're not worth eating. (Thank you Eric, for helping me remember this.)
6.) No more dried fruit as part of my daily snack pack. Dried Fruit is for use in recipes only.

See, I AM doing better, even as my weight does not reflect it and I don't feel it. This is the longest list of goals since starting this blog. I don't think any of them are unreasonable in expectation either.

Last week was so horrible that this week just has to be better. It will be in the food/weight department too.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Food Sheets, End 10/2/09

I don't have a lot to say: I'll just copy the letter to Richard here, and post my food sheets.

Good Morning Richard:

Well, we're back to the issue of a few weeks ago. Cosmos is really on his last legs now. I almost had him put down yesterday morning, then Risa (our friend and animal sitter) came by and because he wasn't in any pain, suggested that we do one last ditch effort at getting him to eat. I picked up two syringes of the Appetite Shot from the vet yesterday, gave him one mid afternoon, and he ate last night. But today, no matter what I offered him, he barely took anything.

Risa came by this evening again, and we agree that I'll try one more shot tomorrow night. I've added yet another anti-nausea med to his regime, and am flooding him with IV fluids, but hold out very little hope. My formerly obese dog is a walking skeleton; he looks at food like he's hungry and interested, but when it comes time to eat, he just can't. Typical end-stage renal failure.

Of course, this means that I'm cooking things like bacon and hot dogs and such, and when he refuses to touch them, I'm back to them going into my mouth. Richard, I could pretend that I was going to try not to do it over the next few days which with all likelyhood will be Cosmos's last, but that would be a lie. I'm going to continue to cook all these horrible foods in the hopes that he will start eating again for a week or two, and if he doesn't, I can't imagine the stress not getting to me and me not eating them myself. I'd rather be honest about it. Once Cozie is gone, anything that is left is going into the trash bin.

I did track my food although I admit to several days where I had to go back and fill in the day around midnight, but I think I caught all the high and low points. I also realized that I was not incorporating enough vegetables and fruits into my diet, and am trying to get more in. Hence the 5 pound bag of broccoli florets that I bought from Costco that are nearly gone.

My weight stats did not change from last week. No weight gained, but none lost either.

Here are the stats:
Weight this week - 164
Weight last week - 164
Highest recent weight - 173 - down 9 pounds
QVC Pic Weight - 153, 11 pounds to go
Very highest known weight - 358; Down 194 pounds.
Best former goal weight - 148 - 17 pounds to get back there.

I can hardly stand watching Cosmos like this, but feel like I have to give him one last chance at life. The problem with the whole situation is that he is completely mentally acute and aware, and I know that he knows that life-and-death matters are at hand. He doesn't want to leave me; he keeps trying to eat, but just can't. I don't know if I want him to go on and continue living like this for a few weeks more, or just let him go.

Risa - who also loves Cosmos but since he isn't her dog, she can see things more objectively - agrees with me. I will go with the next appetite shot tomorrow night. If he still can't eat on Sunday/Monday, I will probably take him in either late Monday or early Tuesday. I love and am bonded with this dog more than any dog i've ever known, but the situation is torture for both of us. I can't stand the thought of living without him, but can't stand watching him die slowly day by day either.