People! People! People!

My friends — I am back!
My goodness, what a past 6-months.

On October 11th (I think it was) I wrote about my mom having been diagnosed with brain cancer. I wrote about losing my (stupid short term temp) job and I wrote about missing personal training appointment and I wrote about the possibility that I might get fat (again).

Most importantly, mom finally surrendered to brain cancer; Stage 4 Glioblastoma late January 2014. The stages in this process were rough–for all of us, though obviously mostly for her. Not going to lie to you – my precious mother was a difficult patient and until she became grounded in bed, she was angry, generally unwilling to accept help, unable to coordinate the use of eating utensils, and refused the help of hired sitters  So, it was up to me and my dad and her long time home assistant — nobody else and mom needed to be watch at.all.times.

Mom was already using a walker pre-surgery for back issues (and old age). As her illness progressed she became less and less able to let us help her getting into/onto her bed, as as well, the toilet. In trying to do things for herself, she fell and was resistant let us help her back up. In the early stages, while she was still almost strong, she fought us helping her and fought harder when she no longer had the strength to help us help her — no resistance strength from her so we had to lift her as dead weight… and this was very hard on her back which caused pain and more resistance.  Eventually she became fully bed ridden in a hospital bed; yes we had-in home Hospice.

In her earlier stages of illness after surgery, she was not able to speak; that is, could not finish a sentience. She left us hanging in suspense over the last word that never came out. I had to tease her when she’d say, for example, “I’d like to …… ”  and I’d say to her, try telling us the last word first… I am in suspense! I could joke with her, at first.

goneMoving forward, once mom was bed ridden she turned to sleep (willingly or unwilling) and did so without moving for up to 30-hours in some stretches. The last phases of the illness were quite rapid. In a highly acclaimed little booklet that Hospice provides, Gone from My Sight, it seemed that mom followed all the rules of the final stages that unfolded before my eyes. Unbelievable. I mean literally, it was unbelievable that “my” mom got sick and suffered through such a horrible time; this extremely dynamic, opinionated, confidant and once independent woman became unable to speak, communicate, write, hold a fork or feed herself.

There was no pain. The brain itself does not know pain itself although, I suppose in lay terms, it knows how to deliver it. Pre-surgery, post-surgery and through the days and final days — not once did she have pain. So, there are the agonizing and painful cancers like pancreatic, liver, lung, and breast cancer. I wonder if you had to chose a cancer, would it be the one that silences you and yet gives you no pain, or one that doesn’t silence you but is painful.

How this affected me was simple. My commitment to my mother was that she would see me most times (and toward the end, each time) that she woke up and opened her eyes. I wanted her to know I was there — always there and would be til the end and mom would never wake up alone. When she woke I’d tell her about the day, something I read, or something from the news. It was important to engage her because after all, she wasn’t dead, or dumb. She was completely coherent up until the last 18-hours of her life.I know this because she smiled at me, held my hand and asked questions, or said, “say that again”?!

In the final 2-weeks I had moved into her house and shared the room with her; her on the hospital bed and me in the twin bed sleeper beside it. Other family member(s) were not as invested in the ‘sitting’ as I was. The other primary in the family felt that if she was dying she was dying. Not being insensitive, but more like a man, he told me that she would die when it was time no matter where he, or I was at the time and life goes on. True — but on my watch… she will die with me right here.

I struggled to focus on much other than her. I went to have dinner with her most nights until later when I moved in, and promised myself that my life should not change and part of that would be going to the gym after I had dinner with her and saw her to bed. But, most nights were not easy. Her eating was atrocious and when someone tried to help she became infuriated. This fueled anger and different sets of family challenges. I’d be so upset, or emotionally worn out each time I left that the idea of taking care of myself; by going to the gym for example was so off the beaten path, so far out of my wildest imaginations — Doing so however, would have been the best thing I could have done for myself mentally and physically. But I just couldn’t pull myself together and that made me even angrier.

This next part was tricky too and this is something I MUST see past myself from here on out and forever. It’ll be hard to explain so bear with me. I was gaining weight – by the day. My step-father was losing weight — by the day. He was dieting. Last February 2013 I began personal training and aggressively lost weight and toned up to the tune of 52-lbs gone. During that time my step-father insisted (not verbally by in actions and expressions) that I could have lost the weight for free. After all, (well, lets call a spade a spade, he got jealous back then and started losing) he was losing, too. And all he did, he said was watch what he ate. Personally, I am sure there are stomach problems for him. I lived with him (while mom was ill) for almost 4-months and every trip to the bathroom was… loose and spattered.

But anyway, the more I gained the more my mom was looking at my stomach. For once, just this once I am glad she was silenced so I wouldn’t have to put up with the comments coming from her eyes. But ‘he’ kept telling me every day — and I never asked, he told company that rarely came over to visit mom – though they never asked, he told them that he was losing weight. “Another pound today”! (behind his back people would say to me, “?” and “who cares?”) and he did this constantly. But I was in this position that I would not discuss weight with him, would not compliment him because it would generate discussion about my weight and so when it was time to eat…. If he ordered pizza, I was going to eat pizza. I would not cave in and tell him I would only have a salad, for example because it would generate 2-thing: a nod to me that I had gained weight, and/or a nod to himself that he was losing. I didn’t want to hear about it let any food or manipulation on his part make me talk about it.

So I went with the flow. What I ate was off-limits for discussion and while I could have/should have been cautious and open about what I would eat and wouldn’t eat, and wasn’t going to admit I was gaining. And frankly, my weight was not my concern. I HAD been professionally trained for 9-months and when the time came I knew exactly what had to be done to lose. So when it was time, I would lose it.

I hope you guys understood that? The issue now is that I won’t go to the gym because I don’t want my trainer to see the 21-lbs I gained. And trust me, hiding from him is not helping. He is the Assistant manager at the gym and always there. So I haven’t been going. This is NOT good.

After mom passed (so tragic) I immediately switched horses to (probably) avoid the reality of her horrific death and jumped right into her Celebration of Life. It took me a month to pull it together and ultimately it was a beautiful Celebration. 80-people in a beautiful setting. I didn’t watch my weight (yet) (although I did hit the gym for a couple of days — go me) too much. I regretted having to buy a new outfit in a new size (one size up) black pencil skirt, black light knit black top and a lightweight over sweater — HATED the over sweater part — we all know why we wear them! I was stressed about finding something classy and suitable to wear that would not reveal the gain. So sad that I did spend 9-months getting to look the way I should and be exempt from these problems — but the weight gain was an epic fail and I regret not taking care of myself. But who can blame me? Should I be bouncing around in a gym while my mother sleeps and wakes and doesn’t see me sitting there? She woke at all times of the day and night. So, therefore I sat.

And now, mom has passed, the celebration of life is over, we did a mini-second service yesterday for the residents at their community and I have little reason left to have excused to not take care of myself.

I am the sole survivor of the family. My dad died in 2000, my brother in 2002. End of a era is me. For once I have NOBODY to be accountable for or to– nobody, ‘cept the guy… but you guys know what I mean…. and this new-found unaccountability and by the way, no job, has tried to turn me in a lady in the lap.of.luxury leisure (with no substantial money to back up that title — who DO I think I am?) – waking up early and getting to go back to bed, watching too much TV, running errands that turn into shopping excursions.

I understand the Psych 101 aspect of my behavior.
New found freedom can be destructive.
I need structure.
My actions are screaming for it.

So here is the plan:

If I have all this time on my hands, and I have all this discomfort and anxiety about my weight – then I’m going to have to break down and go to my gym, trainer there or not and face the music when I see him. He’ll be disappointed, but he knows the situation I’ve been in and while he is young and hasn’t lost a parent yet, he seems to understand. Still, in texts I told him I didn’t want him to see me – I was too fat.

BUT! I finally realize that the only think keeping me from going to the gym is him. And yet, he is the ONLY one who gave me structure and required accountability from me. I hated training, I hated going to the gym every day (well, not really – it became natural) but I LOVED what it did to my body. So with a great deal of free time on my hands, I do believe it must be spent in a gym — or interviewing. Period!

And I apologize for the long and poorly written and depressing story. But it’s one that I needed to tell. Stay tuned for more uplifting posts!

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What will become of me without sugar?

Postscript…Today is Thursday and I have lost 3-lbs. Today is day 5 of the 7-day week so in the grand scheme of things, losing 3-lbs  by mid- week is something to celebrate and I expect to see at least one more lbs gone by Sunday. But then again, on average I’m losing .6-lbs per day so mathematically I should show a loss of 4.2-lbs total at my Sunday weigh-in.  But there will be no 11-lbs gone this week — seriously, Jorge, just seriously? Well, he did say “up to” 11-lbs per week and honestly folks… that would be hard to do.

…and oops… 6g sugar in my breakfast. That’s what I get, I guess for not doing the research on Power Grain Waffles! I could and should probably be losing more… I should be eating more green vegetables but my favorite way of eating spinach is drinking it… and drinking it in a smoothie with protein powder and blueberries is my full days quota of sugar. So: sad face. I’ll have to work on my veggies!

Mid week status on no- to low-sugar plan

sugarpI’m not on a diet plan per say but I’m in an experiment to see what becomes of me if I cut out sugar. To recap the plan, last Sunday I vowed to keep my refined, as well as natural sugars down to less than 15-grams per day. Don’t get me wrong — I have a gazillion lbs to lose and I am currently on a mission to lose weight. I’m relying on healthy eating and exercise (the notion of it) rather than a gimmicky plan, even though I was interested in trying out what Jorge Cruise had to say about sugar and my belly. Sure, fat and processed carbs must be addressed too but the sugar (kind of) never occurred to me because anything I ate that was bad for me fat-wise, I was sure I was fat because of the fat. Now I have awakened to the notion that it has been both! Therefore for now, it’s all about the sugar.

I haven’t read Jorge Cruise’s book on the topic but I was inspired by his guest visit and demonstration on Anderson Live, last week. I understand that I understand that I can expect to lose (up to) 11-lbs per week. I know that’s never going to happen but I am supposed to see the benefits of no sugar with the impending reduction of my stomach! Today is day 4 (Jan 16th) – late evening) and thus far I’ve stuck well with the plan with my average sugar intake at 8.675-grams. Call it 9-grams.

That average is not too shabby! But with one positive comes negatives. My fat intake % is up. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is too much fat in my diet, but this means I’m consuming more fats than protein and carbs — even though the fats not necessary bad fats, it’s a bit of a slippy slope of when to say when. Like, what if ate raw almonds and fresh salmon all day; that’s a lot of good fat — but would it be too much? (Probably!).

In the image below is Tuesday’s report. Fat is 40% but there are only 44- fat grams. The goal for healthy fats is, as I understand it, 51-grams.

report

But heck!
Don’t listen to me; I’m confused too! Below is some information about fats a knowledgeable source ; “The Bottom Line

Example

30% of your total calories should come from fat:

2,000 calories * 30% = 600 calories from fat (600 calories of fat equals about 67 grams since fat contains 9 calories per gram – 600 / 9 = 66.667)

Out of those 2,000 calories, 20% should come from unsaturated fat and 10% should from from saturated sources:

unsaturated fat: 2,000 * 20% = 400 calories of unsaturated fat or 44 grams

saturated fat: 2,000 * 10% = 200 calories of saturated fat or 22 grams

For a personalized recommendation, get a free diet at http://shtrainer.com.

Eating Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat

Excess calories combined with a lack of physical activity makes you fat. Eating too many carbs or too much protein will have the same effect that eating too much fat has. At the end of the day, if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. It doesn’t matter whether those extra calories come from carbs, proteins or fats, the result will be the same.

Losing Weight

If you are trying to lose weight, avoid simply cutting all fats out of your diet. Losing weight requires that you: 1) figure out how many calories you burn each day (calories calculator) 2) figure out how many calories you eat each day (count calories) 3) create a calorie deficit, eat less calories (by about 500 calories each day) than you burn. Calories should be cut across the board rather than just focusing on one of the macronutrients (i.e. low carb diets & low fat diets).

Fats | How To’s | Articles | FAQs | Free Diets | Forums | Guides | Top 5 | Tools

The Bottom Line

Good fats can have positive health effects. By limiting all fats in your diet, you are missing out on some key health benefits. A more sensible weight loss plan can be created by cutting out only bad calories and increasing your physical activity level.

via How much fat should I eat each day?.

Still, healthy fats or not anyone on a solid diet plan would like to see their fat intake as the smaller percentage in their foods so there is work to be done in that area.

My lettuce intake is up. Lettuce doesn’t really count as a vegetable staple like broccoli or spinach would, but its a stomach filling transport of roughage to move stuff through the stomach. LOL — how very scientific of me! Eating more salads has kept my calories low.

My protein is up but not by enough. In weight loss scenarios I respond far better to a high protein diet but unlike most people who say that carbs makes them want more food, it is protein that makes me want more food. A chicken breast will actually make me hungrier than before I eat it. I’m working on adding chicken to everything including the fresh ready made salads which come with a small amount of edible chicken.

My caloric intake has been low but slowly progressing.

And finally; my water intake is way up!

The darn salads

After pouting yesterday about the fact that I came  from Costco with the Cesar salad kit instead of the Santa Fe Chicken salad (kit)  I learned that the Santa Fe salad has about; cuz I can’t remember,  8-more grams of fat than the Cesar Salad. I think the Cesar has 12-grams of fat — I KNOW (!) but you have to note that those grams include of course the small serving of dressing, the Parmesan cheese and few croutons that make the (any) salad tolerable. The Parmesan cheese is a natural cheese; that which is not a hydrogenated fat (like butter) and that makes it legal (grin).

Anyways, I found the Santa Fe salad in the grocery store yesterday and bought two — more expensive by $1.20! If I still really loved them then I’d go get more at Costco another time. I’m glad I got the Cesar’s — the Santa Fe salad was good yesterday but not as good as the Cesar and had “way more” fat. Sometimes accidents are good things.

But don’t they both look GOOD!?salads

So what has become of me since I began
averaging 9-grams of sugar per week?

I’m not much thinner yet (LOL) and if I was — it wouldn’t show (yet). My exercise is nowhere near the commitment and intensity that I used have. If I could just get this part of my weight loss plan in tact, I’d see more loss. But I have lost — 2-whole-lbs by now and 3-days to go until week 2. I do feel better, and less bloated. Time will tell and I have a feeling that the athlete in me will come out any day now.

It’s interesting that in a blog I read this morning the author talks about getting sick a lot during her first phase of no sugar. I found that in contrast since I on the other hand am feeling wonderful. She also spoke of sugar addiction and withdrawal so maybe she’s been in it pretty seriously with the sugar and at no time had I considered soda because I never ever drink it or think about it — with the exception of soda water — love me my clear fizzies!

At any rate, I was thinking of nixing this plan altogether but then the number on the scale was good this morning and my side view has improved. No sugar for me yet since this plan needs  a chance. Besides, 90% of the things I’m avoiding should be avoided anyway, always, forever.

And then there is Friday;
almost guaranteed to blow this plan out of the water

BUT IT WON’T Dammit. Tomorrow is my date with mom. Mom that never eats (unless something chocolate is dangled in front of her). We’ll be out and about doing her errands so I had damn well better take some snacks with me. Almonds for sure; although when she sees me eating them she wants some — and thank  god for that but I’d better double up on my almonds stash.

There is a slight chance we’ll go to lunch and I will know how to order appropriately.

It is a given that when the family regroups we’ll all go out to dinner. If mom and I didn’t go to lunch I’ll be starving by dinnertime and there is then opportunity to order bad things at dinner.

We’ll all go out to dinner for sure but being too hungry will set me up to fail.

As you can see, it’s hard when I’m with mom — and then there is the wine… I love wine with dinner when we go out. Oh well, wine isn’t a bad thing in moderation…. (and actually, those numbers look pretty good for any consumption! LOL!)

wine

A new rule for eating out for dinner: I’ve come to the conclusion that I should absolutely not be ordering entree’s. I should be ordering a small; adequately healthy if possible, appetizer and a salad.

Sugar starved!

No weight loss yet, but Hell, it’s only been 1-day

sundaeAnd tonight while I had dinner with friends; them eating full dinner entree’s and me with a grilled chicken salad; which incidentally, they forgot to put the salad dressing on — but that’s OK — I was fine without it, I watched the two of them enjoy ice cream Sundae desserts with extra chocolate sauce!

(So now I am the sugar police after 1-day of sugar exile?  3-days ago I’d be pouring it all over my Sundae, too! LOL!)

We talked about how good our coffee might be if we put a little chocolate sauce in the coffee. I said, “that sounds good” and then, “No! I’m not having any sugar”!

And then I bit my tongue — I don’t like people to know that I am dieting, following a diet plan or anything at all really about my weight loss plans. I like to keep my weight loss to myself sparing me from conversation that goes… as this one did tonight between the other two:  …..as he pours the (extra) chocolate sauce all over the cup of ice cream, she says, “I thought you were…” and he cut her off with, “I am, but not right now”!

(Me; I sat quietly and drank my black coffee.)

In the grand scheme of things I did very poorly on calories (way, way, way too little at 660 of 1500) so it stands to reason that my sugar intake might total all of 6.6grams. I hope this plan works because if I am to lose 11-lbs this week / 1.57-lbs per day…. then, well, my week is getting tighter and tighter as next Sunday gets closer. Doing the math; now it’s 1.83 lbs per day.

I dunno…. But I’m giving it the old college try!