Friday, October 1, 2010

242 lbs

WOO HOOOOO!!!!!  It's finally official!  Down 50 pounds!!!!

Can't take a lot of time to blog this morning, but do want to do a brief catch up.  To make a long story short, I've learned that I have an allergy to potatoes.  They really do a noticeable number on my knee - swelling, pain, weakness.

I decided on Tuesday to make myself eat clean (as in no foods that could possibly cause allergic reactions) just to see how the knee would do.  I thought if food could make it so dramatically worse, then I wondered how much better the knee might get if I eliminated those foods.

I was shocked.  Not just by how much better the knee got, but by how fast it got there.  On Tuesday, I ate a parfait from Whole Foods about 11 am, but after that I had a steak and a salad made with lettuce, raspberries, and red bell pepper.  The salad dressing I made myself with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Then I was busy the rest of the day and didn't eat again.

So Tuesday night my knee was painful and too swollen to straighten all the way.  By Wednesday morning I could only detect very slight swelling on only minor discomfort.  I could straighten it completely and it felt pretty strong.  Stronger than it had in a long time.

So Wednesday I made a roast and had roast beef and another salad for lunch.  For dinner I had roast beef and a coconut milk smoothie.  Yummm.  Delicious and fast.  I also had to switch to my skinny jeans as the other ones were starting to fall off.  And I'm thinking I'm going to need some new bras as well. 

So I'm really curious how much weight I could lose if I can manage to eat this clean for a week.  I'm going to give it my best shot even though I start hospice this evening.  However, this is my last week on call.  After this I start my new job at the inpatient center.

Oh, another thing I noticed is that the eczema at the corner of my nose and the patch on my right eyelid cleared up pretty fast.  I still have areas on the back of my hands and on my forearms and the skin around my lips is quite itchy.  It had been better yesterday so I'm wondering if there was something in few slices of deli ham I ate yesterday that made it worse.  Also, I realized that I probably shouldn't be eating bell peppers as they are a nightshade just like potatoes are.  Will keep experimenting and let you know!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

247.4 lbs

It's been way too long since I've posted here.  These last couple of months have been so very busy and I've gone no where with the weight loss, but at least I haven't gained any weight back either.

I'm still in a holding pattern, working with the physical therapist, trying to get this body to the point where I can exercise without it breaking down in some fashion.  We are making headway, but not quite there yet.  I don't have time now to write about it, but I am making a concentrated effort to cut back on the carbs enough to start losing weight again even without exercise.  Thus the need to post my weight again.

Friday, July 16, 2010

245 lbs

I've finally decided to stop putting the number of days in the heading.  It's been so many now that it's become meaningless.  This is no longer an experiment or 'diet'.  It's just how I live.

Once again it's been 2 weeks since I last posted.  I'm just too crazy busy on the day I start back to hospice to blog and the week doesn't get any better from there.  I was at 247.6 last week still so am very glad to get the new lower number on the scale this week. 

I'm now officially down 47 lbs.

That's a great number and I'm very happy about it.  I continue to see changes in my body.  I was able to buy 1X shirts for the first time this week.  I've been a 2X forever so that was really cool.  I can see the curve of my waist starting to return near the bottom of my rib cage and the rolls on my back are much smaller.  Can't really call them rolls anymore.  More like speed bumps! :-)  Still, here it is the middle of July and I have yet to hit 50 pounds lost when I was hoping to make that number by the end of May.

Oh how I long for the days when I was losing 2 1/2 pounds a week!  On average, I've only been losing half that much lately.  Oh hell.  Actually that's not too bad.  Just gives my skin time to keep up with the weight loss.  My stomach and butt seem to be doing quite well in that department.  My upper arms and thighs are another matter entirely though.  I'm hoping weight training will help with that down the road.

Speaking of weight training, lots to report on the knee for the last 2 weeks.  Last week the knee was terrible.  It never got better on my week off of hospice like it had done in the past so I started my hospice week with an already swollen and painful knee.  I didn't even attempt any of the PT exercises last week as I didn't dare make it any worse.

By Monday (4 days ago), it was as bad as I've ever seen it.  Luckily I had set an appointment to see Chris (the guy I went to for the Rolfing sessions) that day.  The plan was to see if he could help me with my remaining trouble areas - mainly the knee, lower back and neck/upper back area.

He started out working on some myofascial release in the knee/thigh area, but it was too painful so he switched over to a technique that I don't know the name of, but it was essentially all energy work.  He would just rest his hands lightly on various areas (calf, knee, all along the adductor that I have so much trouble with, etc) and just leave them there for a while.  Not massaging, just resting/holding.  You would think that not much would happen from such a simple technique, but that wasn't the case at all.

It all started out so innocuously.  Chris had his hands around my calf (I think.  It's kind of hard to recall at this point.) and I started to feel twinges of pain in various areas of my leg including my lower back/gluteous area where all the pain was when I hernieated that disc 3 years ago.  Occasionally there would be a sharp pain.  Almost like an electrical shock.  These were mostly in the inguinal area if I remember correctly.

Not long after he started I felt sadness start to wash over me.  It felt odd because I hadn't been thinking of anything that would make me sad.  In fact I had been enthralled by the sensations in my leg and the fact that I could feel the energy moving around in the leg in various areas and various rhythyms and it was even more cool that Chris could feel the same rhythyms as I was.  It was a whole new way of communicating with another person.  Very hard to describe.

I'd worked with Chris enough to know that it is not unusual for his kind of work to release emotions that get stored in the body, but that's a hard concept to grasp.  I know when we did the 10 series that he mentioned it was not unusual for emotions to come up during the work, but for me nothing ever did until near the end of the sessions when he was working on my right shin in the area that has a dent in it from a motorcycle accident that I had at 18.  I started to feel an intense fear, verging on panic. While it was happening I lay there and tried to just experience it all the while being amazed that I could feel such intense emotion simply because someone was working on my shin.  The part of my mind that was panicing was sure my leg was about to break from the pressure Chris was applying.  It couldn't do that of course.  Chris wasn't pressing that hard, but in my mind I wanted to kick and pull away and make him stop, not because it hurt but because I was terrified.

Strange stuff this mind-body connection.  Usually it's just a theory, but there are realms where theory turns into reality.

The wave of sadness lasted about 20 to 30 minutes I would estimate.  I started crying, not in a sobbing kind of way, just tears leaking from the corners of my eyes.  I wasn't remembering anything in particular during that time.  My mind just kind of wandered back through my life, but the two strongest memories were of my failed marriage and my parents divorce when I was 7.

Then finally, the sadness faded and was gone as if it had never been there to start with.  It came and went like a summer shower and now the sun was out again.  I felt very languid and peaceful at this point.  I went back to paying attention to the sensations in my leg.  Feeling the pain move from area to area and back again and feeling the energy pulsate subtly.

Chris worked on me this way for over an hour.  Maybe an hour and a half.  I don't know if that was hard on him or not.  It seems like it would be very draining to me.  I don't know because I didn't ask him.

Now if the story ended there it would be remarkable enough, but it doesn't end there, not by a long shot.

My appointment with Chris was at 1 PM.  Around 8 PM that night I noticed that my knee was feeling ..... different.  Like it had turned a corner and was starting to heal.  Now mind you, Chris never once said anything to me about my knee getting better.  I mean the whole idea of the appointment was to help the knee by maybe loosening the fascia that might have been constricted and creating misalignments but, of course, after having the sadness released I was thinking that was going to be the effect of the energy work.  It really never occurred to me that there would be any immediate physical changes in the knee.

The next morning was a shock though because when I woke up the swelling in that knee had decreased by about 75%.  It was such a shock that my mind just couldn't process it.  Things like that just don't happen.  Now remember, this is the knee that just 24 hours before had been in the worst condition it had ever been in and that a week of rest had not brought any improvement to it and that it had only mildly responded to a half hour or so of massage that my PT had given it.  And here, suddenly, Tuesday morning, I awoke to find the knee undeniably improved after Chris did 'nothing' to it.

Since such a result is so far outside of the convential view of reality, I just brushed it off with a "Huh.  That's cool.  Weird, but cool." and went about my day.  I did talk to Chris and told him what had happened and briefly worried about what I would tell my PT the next day.  He was going to want to know what I had done to make the knee better.  I was praying he had an open mind.

The next morning I was surprised again.  The knee felt even better than it had the day before.  That was another shock.  It hadn't occurred to me that it would keep improving.  To me just having that much swelling disappear was miracle enough.  It didn't even enter my mind that the knee might continue to heal.

When I saw my PT later that day and explained to him that I was not a nut case and that my knee really had improved that much due to energy work, he was great.  He's been a PT for over 30 years and had seen the mind/body connection manifest in various ways before so he was completely accepting and in fact encouraged me to do more of the energy work with Chris.  The coolest thing though was how he could validate how significantly improved my knee was from the last time he'd seen me the week before.  It wasn't just a figment of my imagination!

That was Wednesday.  The knee has continued to improve.  It is now Saturday morning (even though I'm supposedly writing this on Friday, but I was too busy yesterday to get to it).  I almost can't comprehend how much my knee has healed.  (I know I keep saying that, but it is really hard to comprehend.)  Practically all of the swelling is gone.  I don't feel any tightness in the knee at all when I bend it.  It's almost the same size now as the uninjured knee execpt for some swelling on the outer side of the knee cap.  There is still some discomfort, but it feels strong again.  I have full extension in it again and can walk without a limp.  For all I know it will just keep this up until it is completely healed.  Nothing is outside the realm of possibility anymore as far as I'm concerned.  Still, I'm scheduling another appointment with Chris in a few days.  I think it will help.

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  I'm just so excited that I can now see the possibility of getting back to exercising again.  I have things I want to do and games I want to play and I need two good knees to do them!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 164 247.6 lbs

Yes, it's been 2 weeks since I last posted.  I was so busy last week I didn't have the time, but my weight last week was 249 lbs.  And now this week basically the same as it was 2 weeks ago.

I have actually been doing pretty good food-wise the last 2 weeks so I can only say that it has something to do with not being able to exercise like I used to.

I had my first real PT session a couple of days ago, so now I feel I am officially on my way to recovery, but it won't be fast.  Edward Drangle, my PT, only adds exercises one at a time so if something starts hurting then we will know which exercise is doing it.  Plus my treading water has been cut back to only 20 minutes every other day so we can see if that is hurting my knee.  I actually did my first 20 minutes yesterday and my knee has been hurting more ever since so I'm trying not to get discouraged.  At least I know I did the right thing by going to a PT.  It was all just too complicated to figure out on my own.

For example, since herniating my L3 disc 3 years ago, the adductor in my right thigh has not been right.  Right after the herniation, I wasn't able to lift that right foot up to set it on my other knee so I could put my shoe on nor could I raise it up high enough to put my pants leg on either.  All that improved so I didn't realize it still had some weakness, but that weakness has made it difficult for my right leg to keep up with my left leg when walking.  Since the adductor is weak then my body had to recruit other muscles - esp in the lower back - to get that leg moving otherwise I'd just fall flat on my face.  Just another piece of the puzzle....  Now we have to see to what extent we can strengthen that adductor again.  No telling if there is permanent damage there or not.  It sure feels like there is though.

Also it is amazing, but Edward had me feel the difference in the muscles between my two legs and while there is some tone in my left leg (what little I can feel underneath all the fat that is - ugh!), my right leg muscles are just mush.  But it was knowledge like that that let me know I found the right PT.  I have so much confidence in him.  He's very zen-like in the sense that he seems to know how to just be in the moment.  In other words, when he is working with me his focus is solely on me and then when my appointment was over he moved on to his next client and gave his whole attention to him.  I really like that.

I had to join a gym near my house as Edward is clear across town from me and it wasn't very practical for me to drive all that way so often.  This gym is just 2 blocks from my house.

So, even though the weight loss has slowed way down, I am still losing and there is still so much room for improvement that I'm not discouraged.  It's not like I'm working as hard as I possibly can and still not losing weight.  Once I'm better I can exercise again and perhaps finally start doing sprints and build muscle all of which will speed up fat loss.

I'm very happy with what I've accomplished so far.  45 lbs is nothing to sneeze at.  Even if I didn't lose another pound for the rest of the year I would have won because for so many years I faced one New Year's after another where my weight hadn't dropped or (more usual) had increased over the year.  This year I know for certain that I will end the year at least 45 pounds lighter than when I started.  I can breathe easier, bend easier, and move easier than I could in January.  So while I wish I was still losing 2 1/2 lbs a week like I did in the beginning, I'll take any weight loss I get at any rate it comes.  At least, after 20 years, I've finally figured out how to do it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 140 247.8 lbs

Wow what a week. Down 3 1/2 lbs.  I think it's safe to say I'm off the plateau.  Woo hoo!

So that makes 44.2 lbs lost up to this point.  Still can't quite comprehend it, although I did start to feel yesterday like my hips were smaller which is kind of cool.  And for some strange reason I didn't expect this slow fat loss from all over my body all at the same time.  I guess I thought the belly would go flat first and then the hips and thighs etc.  But that's silly of course.  Strange what ideas can creep in and you not even realize it.

Probably the best part about this week is that I managed the weight loss without any exercise whatsoever because of needing to rest my knee.  It's given me a sense of relief that I now know I can keep losing weight even while I spend the next 3 months rehabing my knee.  My chiropractor says it's the ligaments around the knee that aren't keeping it stabilized and in its correct position which then affects the joints above and below the knee.

One thing my last appointment with the chiropractor proved is that part of the pain with the knee is just misalignment, because about half of the pain I was having went away after he adjusted that leg and the lower back/sacral area on that right side.  It continues to amaze me how much misalignments affect me.

So the chiropractor (and I now think he is the best chiropractor in the multiverse - that's multiple universes for those who don't watch the Science Channel :-) says I'll need to wear a knee brace to keep the knee in alignment while it heals over the next 3 months.  I see the physical therapist for the first time on Tuesday so will see which brace he recommends before I buy one.

I also guess I need to go back to wearing my orthotics.  I stopped wearing them because I know I won't strengthen my feet and leg muscles enough to keep me in alignment while wearing the orthotics, but I know it's too soon.  I still weigh too much and need the orthotics to keep me stable so my knee will heal so I can exercise and get healthy so I don't have to wear orthotics!  I always have been the impatient sort, but I don't want to be stubborn about it.  I just want to get well and get healthy-er.

And for those interested in what I ate this week... I still was far from perfect.  There was that one night that I stopped at the gas station on the way to make a visit and got a package of Hostess Cupcakes and some cheetos and then the hawaiian pizza I ate one day.  However it was only a 10 inch pizza and I only had half for lunch and the other half for dinner.  A big improvement over the past when I would eat all of a large pizza in one sitting.

Still, most days I ate just a burger for lunch and maybe some meatloaf for dinner.  But even with the meatloaf I was having a slice of bread.  I just made sure I put plenty of butter on it.  And heaven help me the only vegetables I've eaten this week are the ones on the burgers I buy.  I'm so bad.  Not sure when I'll change that.

I've also had some watermelon this week too and I've stopped at Taco Bell a few times and had a couple of tacos or maybe a steak quesadilla with sour cream.  So as you can see I still eat a lot of fast food, but now I try to stay away for the drinks and shakes and the fries etc.  Without all those extra carbs I don't stay hungry so I eat a lot less.  And while I didn't manage a whole day of fasting again this week, the hunger is still under control.

Oops.  I just remembered the toaster strudels I ate.  Sheesh!  How is it that I manage to lose weight when I still eat so much junk?  Well, I know that I'm eating far less junk than I used to so that helps, but I also think the intermittent fasting has a whole lot to do with it.  The key has got to be in keeping those insulin levels down so I can stay in fat burning mode.  I'll just keep working on improving my diet but not beating myself up for when I don't eat so healthy.  For me it's a good balance right now.  I don't feel like I'm 'dieting' at all or even putting any effort into it and yet the weight keeps burning off.  I'm so happy!!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 133 251.4 lbs

(I have got to figure out a better way to title these posts other than day so and so.  Sigh.  I have no imagination.)

SOOO, I finally hit the 40 lb goal.  Only about 3 weeks later than I wanted, but it actually doesn't sound too bad when I put it that way.  The problem was the not knowing if I was just on a plateau or if I'd stopped losing weight entirely.

But that was almost a whole 2 lbs this week even though I was really bad on Sunday and ate a whole bag of Doritos and a whole container of Tostitos cheese dip.  However, Monday I pulled it together and cooked up a bunch of bacon, stopped eating all the extra carbs and got back into the not so hungry mode.  I didn't manage a whole day of not eating, but that's ok.  Just getting this experience of falling of the wagon so to speak, and then getting back on so easily has given me a lot of confidence and a renewed motivation.  (The wagon in this case is not just eating low carb, but getting the hunger back under control.)

Actually, yesterday I did try to do a whole day fast, but got hungry so ate a couple of pieces of bacon in the morning and then got hungry again when I was at the clinic where there isn't much to eat so I had a small handful of almonds and then later a package of crackers and peanut butter.  Then, by 5 PM I was hungry again, but was going to my nephew's high school graduation (and was still trying not to eat much anyway) so decided to stop at Sonic and get some mozzarella sticks.  (Ya know it would be a lot better if I ate some vegetables once in a while.)  Then after the ceremony I had a (small) piece of graduation cake, but that was kind of cool because while it tasted really good, I was actually satisfied with just a small piece which NEVER happened in my former (pre-low carb) life.

So, as you can see, the way I eat is nowhere close to perfect, but the key to dropping the weight, at least for me, seems to be keeping my carbs low enough to keep the hunger under control so that I can do the intermittent fasting which keeps my over all calorie intake for the week less than what I take in.  And I feel it is crucial that I do it low carb and not just low calorie because the low carb keeps the insulin levels low and allows my body to go into fat burning mode.

So all in all it's been a good week and my knee keeps improving, but not to the point where I can exercise yet.  I've got the name of a good physical therapist that I hope to get an appointment with in the next couple of weeks in order to get some advice on how to work with this knee to get it healed and keep it that way.

In the meantime I'm just focusing on the Intu-Flow for now.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 126 253.2 lbs

Ok, down 1 1/2 pounds this week.  I'll take it!!!  It's been a rough month weight, food and knee-wise, but hopefully this finally breaks the plateau and I'm on the way down again.

I am going to have to count on the 80/20 rule though (diet counting for 80% of the weight loss and exercise 20%) as I am still resting my knee and so not exercising.  I am trying to get back on a daily routine with Intu-Flow and I have arranged to meet next week with a professional bike rider who will critique my position on my bike and give me advice on how to fix it if I'm not positioned right.

I also figured out this week that I am doing a lot of damage to my knee just getting out of the car.  When I started back to hospice last Friday, my knee was feeling pretty good, but by Saturday afternoon after getting in and out of the car about a billion times to make visits, it was killing me.  Of course then I started paying attention to what I was doing when I got out of the car and (of course) it wasn't good.  Instead of turning in the seat and standing up out of the car in a straight position.  I place my left leg on the ground and then use my right leg to push against the floor mat and push me out of the car.  So my right leg/knee is bent and twisted.  Not good. 

I've worked the rest of the week to stop that habit and make myself turn and place both feet on the ground before trying to stand up.  It's been a battle to remember to do that, but I'm getting there.  I now wonder if doing that has been the biggest cause of my knee problem.  It would be nice if it was because now that I'm aware of it I'm going to stop it and if that knee will heal now I'll be over the moon.  I do plan to do another radio frequency treatment on it today so that should help it feel better this weekend. 

And so another piece of the puzzle is found.

Still did not manage a one day fast this week, but I do feel like I'm readjusted to the low carb again and I can hopefully pull one off this week.  I think if I can I will be back to 2 to 2 1/2 pounds per week even if I can't do any cardio.

I have not got on the Whole Body Vibration (WBV) machine this week at all due to rupturing one (and I suspect two) functional ovarian cysts this weekend.  I have gotten these about once a year for the last several years now so I'm all too familiar with the pain and my intuition felt that the vibration wouldn't be a good thing until I healed, but I will try it today and see how it feels.  I do really want to try to do it every day that I can.

Still eating on that meatloaf I made last week.  Yummm.  It makes a good breakfast!