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Showing posts from November, 2009

Break's over

Well, the past few days have convinced me that rest is what my poor sick foot needs. I was alternately on and off my feet, and the days I was on (or took a long walk) meant some uncomfortable nights. The anti-inflammatory I'm taking is helping some – the burning pain isn't quite as intense, nor do the episodes last as long. But I'm not fixed yet by any means.

I didn't weigh myself this morning. We'll get back to more healthful meals this week now that the leftovers are almost gone, and I'll continue The Plan of weighing and reporting on Mondays sometime this month. Maybe even next week, although we'll be out of town over the weekend. It's always something.

(By the way, what do you get when you make turkey-rice soup out of leftover turkey? Leftover turkey-rice soup! Arghhh!)

I wanted to show you my Thanksgiving centerpiece. I stole the idea from Martha, but she used pale blue candles and Epsom salts, for a Hanukkah decoration. My candles are creamy vanill…

Camo is the new black

You city-dwellers have no idea what it's like to wake up to the sound of gunshots echoing across the hills. Perhaps you've heard the sound of handguns pinging back and forth in a back alley, something we don't get much of here in the Middle of Nowhere.

There's no comparison.

If I heard a volley of shots, I'd take that as a sure sign to Get Out Of The Way. What we hear from the mountains are booms of thunder, distant and ominous. We wear bright colors when we walk, and we keep a close eye on the dogs when they are out. One neighbor dresses her dogs' collars in bright orange ribbons. Not a bad idea.

Buck hunting season began Monday morning, bright and early. I heard the first shot just prior to 7 a.m. I've been in town both days this week – Monday was personal maintenance, yesterday was car maintenance – and the number of folks I've seen dressed in camouflage is astonishing. I felt rather out of place at the service station dressed in solid black slacks a…

Dr. Google was wrong!

No big surprise there. Unless, of course, Dr. C. is wrong. But I doubt that. Nothing is more valuable in medicine than being able to have a face-to-face – or, in my case, face-to-ankle – consultation in order to make a diagnosis.

I have a superficial vein thrombosis, which causes almost exactly the symptoms I have. I'm on a prescription anti-inflammatory and I'm to rest as much as possible, but I can still take a daily walk. Just don't push it, he said. And don't run for a while. The Merck Manual also says hot compresses are beneficial.

The symptom that can't really be accounted for is the numbness, but he told me that the vein might be pressing on a nerve, and that can cause my foot to tingle and then go numb. I feel certain it will go away with time; after all, the other one did.

Our hospital cuts their fees in half (I had to have a blood test) if you pay cash on the spot, which I did. I figured I'm not going to make it to my $3000 deductible before January 1…

My weight is like the stock market

Up. Down. Up. Down.

Today? Up, of course.

We had company Friday and Saturday, which means four days of eating too much and exercising too little. I can hear you saying, "That does not compute. Two days of company does not equal four days of no exercise." Ah, but it does, because the day before they arrive is a day of major floor-cleaning (almost my entire house is a laminate canvas for dog footprints), and the day after they leave is a day of major resting. And we all know that cleaning floors is not the same as a five-mile walk. Nor is resting. Heh.

There's another problem, though. Something I alluded to a couple of months ago has returned to throw a wrench in my plans. I had a doctor's appointment in September to check out an odd growth on my right ankle. The growth disappeared, so I canceled the appointment. In the last couple of weeks, though, I've experienced numbness on the top of my foot most of the time, accompanied by searing, burning pain in the middle …

Puh-lease

From the New York Times today, regarding the Senate health insurance reform bill, announced last night:

"Many provisions of Mr. Reid’s bill, including the creation of insurance markets, or exchanges, would take effect in 2014, a year later than similar provisions of the House bill. The delay is intended primarily to reduce the cost of the legislation."

Five years. Um, I mean, FIVE YEARS!

Get a calculator and figure out what your insurance premium is going to cost if you increase it, oh, 15% each year for five years. (And if you have employer-based insurance, you're not out of this mix, because your employer is going to raise your contribution and reduce your benefits as time goes by. And keep in mind that my insurer raised their premiums twice this year, for an effective increase of 33%.)

Then figure out how you're going to pay for it.

I don't know anyone who has gotten a 15% increase in salary lately. In fact, of the people I'm closest to, two lost their jobs…

Bag it

Okay, back to normal. Thanks for putting up with my little rant yesterday. The problem is not solved, not by any means, but I'm taking steps.

I promised two knitted bags to put in a gift shop for a holiday open house and I'm on the handle of the second one. Yeah! Once I start the handle I'm in the home stretch. I then need to felt them, create and attach some kind of tag to them and they are outta here!

Lots going on the next couple of weeks. Company coming this weekend, then Thanksgiving, followed by a short trip to Ohio to visit the triplet grandsons (and their parents!). I should probably make a list of Things I Need To Do, but somehow, whether there's a list or not, everything eventually gets done.

Food wasn't so great yesterday. Stress and anger do that to me. Some women clean when they get emotional. I bake. But I also walked, both Monday and yesterday, and plan to get out there again today before it rains. One good thing about rain in West Virginia – we rare…

Rant. Rave. Repeat.

This post has nothing to do with my personal health, running, knitting, losing weight or fitness. It has everything to do with the health of our country and our economy.

I don't care what political stripe you wear, we can certainly agree that the U.S. economy, while showing signs of a comeback, is in dire straits. One of the major reasons companies are struggling is trying to keep up with increasing health insurance rates.

The simplest solution for everyone except Big Insurance and Big Pharma is to enact Medicare for All legislation.

I've been a single-payer advocate for years, but kind of backed off when healthcare reform seemed like it was really going to happen. Something is better than nothing, I thought. I'm rethinking that stance, particularly in light of the letter I received yesterday from Aetna, who provides my private health insurance.

My premium (and yours, too, if you're an Aetna member) will be increased in January 2010. Since I became a member 18 months a…

Week Four: Stats and Results

Setting goals is helpful, but it depends – of course – on the goal.

A pie-in-the-sky goal of losing X pounds in a week is (for me, anyway) doomed to fail. If I have a goal like that in the back of my mind, I almost always will do something to sabotage my bad self and then blame my lack of progress on overserving.

Heh.

But setting a goal of not using artificially sweetened coffee creamer? Now that one worked. I also didn't buy any sugar-free ice cream. Here are this week's stats:

Stats for Week Four:
Average daily calories burned: 346
Average daily calories consumed: 1082

The result? I lost two pounds. Which means after a month of tracking calories in/out, I've gained half a pound.

That should be discouraging, but for some reason it isn't. I feel like I've been back on track for two consecutive weeks, and clearly I can never do Halloween again. Ever!

Last Friday I did something I never thought I'd do. Lately I'm all about eating not only less food, but also b…

Friday Quote Day

Luck is what happens when
preparation meets opportunity.
~ Seneca, Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD

In other words, you can't credit your good fortune to whichever way the wind blows.

It's hunting season here in the Middle of Nowhere. You will occasionally hear someone say, "What a lucky shot!" But really? Is there such a thing? I'm not a hunter, so I wouldn't know. (Remember, I'm the one who invites all the neighborhood deer to live in my woods during hunting season.) But I can hazard a guess that the lucky shot goes to the man or woman who peers deep into the leaves and branches, understands deer behavior, becomes one with the woods and happens to be toting a loaded gun.

Or consider a pilot landing a small aircraft. He or she may think that just-executed smooth landing has everything to do with luck. I'm a private pilot who has walked away from any number of landings thanking my lucky stars. But really? I was trained well, I practiced regularly …

One day at a time

The backstory is here, if you're unfamiliar with my Other Life. It's been 19 years today since I've had a drink of alcohol or another mind-altering substance. I'm grateful on a daily basis, but I'm especially grateful on anniversaries.

No matter what else happens in my life, getting and staying sober is both my biggest job and greatest reward. Without a clear head, I'm useless to myself or others. I'm certainly not perfect and I don't have all the answers, but at least I have a fighting chance, as long as I don't drink.

In AA we say the farther away we are from our last drink, the closer we are to our next one. I don't want to forget that last drink, ever. In the whole scheme of things, it wasn't particularly exciting. I didn't get arrested or have a wreck or wind up in bed with a stranger. It was just one more foggy night punctuating years of murk and gloom. I'm rather glad I didn't end my drinking with an exclamation point, or …

Ahem.

I'm not terribly worried about my results last week. Weight fluctuates from day to day; Sunday morning it looked like I was going to be able to report a loss, but I officially weigh in on Monday, so that's what I had to go with.

I've taken a few breaks over time, but for the past, oh, 10 years or so I've been trying to lose weight or maintain a weight loss. And seriously? I've been on some kind of diet or another since I was 11. ELEVEN! I used to work for Weight Watchers. I know what to do. I know what should work. If it doesn't, so be it. I'm fit enough to walk five miles a day; how many 58-year-old women can do that?

Also? Reporting results is not the same as asking for advice. Perhaps I'm being a big defensive here, but let's just all assume that I know how to weigh, measure, count, etc., and that I'm using data that a program or a device has calculated for me.

Seriously, if I write in a post the words "moving on," as I did yesterday, …

Week Three: Stats and Results

Grrr.

I stayed the same this week, meaning those 2.5 pounds from my week away from home have decided to visit a bit longer. My workouts were spotty this week, and I'm taking sugar-free ice cream off the menu for a while.

I also haven't done so well with going back to black coffee. This week's goal is to not use creamer. I might use some cream, but I'll be sure to measure it and count the calories.

Stats for Week Three:

Average daily calories burned: 383
Average daily calories consumed: 1130

You'd think anyone could lose a pound or two with those numbers, wouldn't you?

Mary's interpretation of Friday's quote is spot-on; that's how I looked at it, too. I've been buoyed up all weekend thinking about wanting what I have, instead of longing for something out of my reach. Of course I draw the line at my weight. I'll probably have a weight-loss goal until my children throw me into the ground. Which is kind of sad, isn't it?

What would happen if I were …

Friday Quote Day

Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more;
love more and all good things will be yours.
~ Swedish Proverb

Today's quote tells me to move toward the light of good living and away from the darkness of negativity. This proverb doesn't forbid anything: There are no musts here. Just encouragement to be a little more positive, a little less defeatist.

Good stuff for someone like me who enjoys beating myself up about missing (another) walk this week.

Yesterday got away from me, plain and simple. I tried to make up for the lack of a serious walk with some leaf-raking, but we all know that's not a fair comparison.

I need to reorder the words so that "whine less" is the first directive in the quote.

"Eat less" is always good advice, unless you're anorexic. (Have any of you ever, as I have, prayed for anorexia?) "Chew more" tells me to enjoy what I have, and it doesn't matter if it's reading material, ya…

Gooooooooooo, Yankees!

I haven't mentioned it much, but I'm a Yankees fan. And if I hadn't taken two Motrin yesterday afternoon, I'm sure I would have loved watching them win Game 6 of the World Series. As it was, I ended up in bed, moaning with a stomach ache, before the sixth inning. My husband kept me informed, though, walking from the den to the bedroom to announce each additional Yankee run until I fell asleep.

I have two Yankee t-shirts; last night I wore the Derek Jeter one, since the team shirt didn't work Monday night. I've hearted Jeter for years.

I grew up in Ohio and my dad had season tickets to the Cincinnati Reds, so I was a Big Red Machine fan all through my school years. That was when Johnny Bench and Pete Rose and Joe Morgan were part of the machine – good times!

My husband had the great good fortune to actually attend the Yankees World Series game in 1956 when Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. It didn't take much for me to switch all…

Oh, deer, oh, deer, oh deer

Look who joined us for dinner last night!

It took me half a minute to realize that this little deer family is the same one I've been seeing on my walks since mid-summer. The two little ladies used to have spots and were tiny-tiny. Now they're nearly grown! I usually see them about a mile from my house on a densely wooded hillside. I guess they learned of my invitation to all the neighborhood deer to hang out at our place during hunting season. Heh.

Yesterday was, as predicted, a very busy day. The bad thing is: No walk. In fact, no exercise of any kind unless you count primping in the mirror looking at my sassy new glasses and haircut. The good thing is: No overeating, because who has time to eat when you're driving, shopping and primping?

We're going to have another beautiful day today – this will be three in a row – and I'll definitely be out for a walk when it warms up a bit. This morning I'm going to work on the damage my house incurred while it was in my husb…

Just visiting

My friend Anne commented that those extra pounds from last week's debacle are "just visiting." I love that! It's just too bad that when I go visiting, a couple extra pounds decide to come home with me, along with all the dirty laundry.

I got right back on my plan yesterday. Took a 10K walk that started mid-morning and ended at noon and, while I didn't really plan it this way, yesterday was a completely vegetarian day. As a rule, meatless meals tend to be higher in fiber and good carbs and lower in calories, a very good thing to kick off the week.

We had a wonderful dinner last night. This recipe was the starting point, but I didn't have an eggplant, a zucchini or a sweet potato. Did I let that stop me? Uh-uh, no, sir, not on your life. The great thing about most stew-type recipes is that anything goes. I added three small russet potatoes, a small butternut squash, some celery and a can of mushrooms to the onions, tomatoes (I used canned), garlic, spices and chi…

Monday: A great day ...

for starting. And for starting over!

I'm only a little bummed, actually, because I had so much fun this past week. But I guess I'm not such a good dieter/exerciser when I'm traveling. Or maybe it depends on the traveling. I can imagine myself being able to keep up the exercise at the beach or, as I did in September, at a lodge. But even then I didn't rein in the food.

I gained back the two pounds I lost the first week, plus another half. I can't even begin to estimate the average number of calories I consumed or burned each day I was gone. So here we go, Day One all over again.

And that's all I have to say about that.