One snail

One snail

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Snail creeps down another pound...

Well, finally another pound!  I've lost 15 total now, in about one month.  Still wish it was faster, but I'll take it!

On another note, the pain in my hip got so bad today that after grocery shopping I had a huge melt-down.  I couldn't walk on the treadmill, which made me even more frustrated. :-(  I am used to a certain amount of constant pain, but this went over my tolerance level.  Not much I can do except take pain pills (which I did) and stay steady with the weight loss & exercise.

I was looking for a picture on my computer today, and found this very cute photo of my dog during one of our infrequent snow storms, so will end with it, even though it's not winter yet!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Frustrating Week

Well, it's certainly been a snail's pace week for me.  I am frustrated because I am doing the same things I've done for the past few weeks, and even stepping up my exercise.  I lost 3 pounds last week, and so far the scale hasn't budged since Sunday. :-(

I am getting so close to the first hurdle (5% loss) that this slow-down is distressing.  I have to move at a faster pace (maybe like a super-energized snail!) if I want to try to get my chosen surgery center and the best timing for my teaching schedule.  I think I will try some calorie-controlled frozen meals (found some good vegetarian "lean cuisine" type ones) and try to make inroads into the protein shakes and powders I've collected.

I hope to see some movement soon!  Would love to be at my goal before my next phone consult with my nutritionist on Thursday next week.

Oh, and I've really cut down on coffee!  Go, me!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Another snail step with nutritionist

On Thursday I had my first "phone visit" with the nutritionist assigned to me by my insurance company's program.  The first thing I asked about was whether she was familiar with a vegetarian diet, as I had requested that with my payment.  She told me she's been vegetarian most of her life, and vegan for the last 22 years!  Wow!  She and I are both excited to be working together...seems a great match.

She took a medical history, asked what I was currently eating and whether I was exercising.  I explained my use of and told her I'd already lost 11 pounds of the 17 required.  She ended up saying there was really no reason to make any changes to my eating/exercising plan at this point--why fix something that was working?  We agreed I'd need more help in transitioning to a new eating plan after surgery.

We did talk further about vitamins.  She was happy to see me taking iron and D--was okay with the biotin, although the research isn't conclusive about its helpfulness with reducing hair loss.  She does want me to add B-12 and calcium when I am able to get them in without the "side effects" I have been having with the iron.

She did talk more about compliance with a multi-vitamin.  I told her I have a raw multi I take, but it has to be refrigerated and so is kind of inconvenient to carry with me or remember to take.  She gave a few suggestions (considering I'm vegetarian):  Opurity or Celebrate.  I am looking at both and will order one after Tuesday's payday.

The only really sad direction (which I am not TOO surprised about) is that I need to get totally off of coffee before surgery, and for at least a month after.  YIKES!  I've stopped drinking diet coke, but am really a coffee lover.  At least I have a fair amount of time to try to reduce it slowly, hopefully to avoid headaches.  It would also help if I can force myself to get enough sleep that I don't need it to get going in the morning!

(Yes, I like Starbucks...yes, I live in Seattle...yes, it's kind of a stereotype, but what can you do?)

It looks like I'm really racing along to my initial 5% loss goal!  She set an appointment with me for 2 weeks from now, but said to call her if I reach the goal before that time.  I won't let myself skip even one day of exercise (even though I walked on the treadmill at 1:30 am!) and only allow a little treat from time to time (i.e. I had one Starbucks cake pop yesterday).  Woohoo!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Recently I had my blood tested (see previous post) and Monday I had my appointment with my regular doctor.  She explained "iron saturation" to me--it's how much of the iron you have is actually "sticking" to the blood cells to get carried around to the various parts of your body.  (This is the non-medical description, lol.)  Mine was low, and she confirmed she wanted me to take iron supplements.  I've been taking one per day (due to some constipation).  She wants me to start on Benefiber so that I can get up to taking two per day.  Also apparently the calcium I need to take can cause the same problem!  Argh.  I'm continuing with the D and biotin, and adding B-12, and eventually the calcium if the Benefiber helps.  Anyone taking Benefiber or something similar?

Tomorrow is my big first phone consult with the nutritionist (required by my insurance).  I'm already 9 pounds down (verified on my doc's scale) and to be at my 5% loss, only need 18-20, so it feels like I must be doing something right!  However, more information is always good.  I printed out my food and exercise diaries from because I think I need to send them in (another insurance requirement).

I've been back at work for 4 days now, and have packed my lunch every day!  I'm using my bento box (see previous post).  Today I passed on the staff BBQ, and tomorrow I plan not to attend the union luncheon.  I know I need to learn to go to those types of events and make good choices, but right now I'm going to skip them.  I also turned down a lunch out opportunity (it helps that finances are so stretched also--another reason not to do that right now!).  

Need to go and get on the treadmill! :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ten Things Thursday

I've seen some of you doing this thing called "Ten Things Thursday" and thought I'd give it a try.  (I don't know who started it, so sorry I don't know who to credit for it!) (UPDATE: I learned that the credit for starting this goes to Laura Belle of Beer, Dogs, and Getting Healthier!)   Here goes...

1. I swept off my deck yesterday.  My arms are really remembering it today!  It needed to be done, though, and I have been putting it off for weeks.  I even worked out last night too!

2. I go back to work tomorrow.  I teach at community college, and it's the start of Faculty Return Week.  Yes, on a Friday.  No, I don't know why.  (Well, it's probably our union contract.)  I'm worried because I am newly on my eating plan (to lose 5%) and I haven't had to deal with the stresses and temptations at work yet!  That leads me to...

3. I got this totally cool bento box for bringing lunches in.  I had been longingly looking at Shelly's at The World According to Egg Face and broke down and bought one.  I'm excited to try packing it.  Here's a picture below.  You can find it at  bento box lunchbox lunches
4. It's sunny but cool here today.  Definitely fall in the Pacific Northwest!  Fall is my favorite season. :-)

5. My snails are back!  Guess they were laying low while we had higher temps here (without rain, go figure).  But they came out for some new lettuce leaves last night.  (See pictures of my snails here on my page.)

6. I'm going to plan something to go in my crockpot tomorrow morning, so it'll be ready when I get home from work.  I have to do this...I'm going to do this!

7. My organic farm box comes today!  I hope there are some good veggies in it.  Last week I got multi-colored carrots!

8. My dog jumped on me and repeatedly licked my face this morning until I got up.  She's a border collie/Australian shepherd and quite persistent!  Here she is:

9. I need to go through my work clothes (see #2 above).  I don't have a lot left from last year, so my co-workers and students will be seeing a lot of repeat outfits, lol.  However, I'm not going to buy anything new until I can buy a smaller size!  I'll make do with what I have...creative combinations, anyone?

10. Who should I tell about my (hopefully) upcoming weight loss surgery?  Should I tell my boss?  Should I wait until I have a set date?  How about my co-workers, especially my department team?  I know there are pluses and minuses to telling vs. not-telling.  I guess I'll play it by ear for now.

Well, look at that--I thought of 10 things!  Hope you enjoyed it.  I'm having fun reading other blogs and if you find me, you are welcome to return anytime!

Monday, September 10, 2012

New crockpot!

I have recently been trying out a cute crockpot--it's only 1.5 quarts!  It's the perfect size to make 2-3 servings of something. So far I've been making bean, chili, and vegetable.  Preparing the soup is super easy.  For the vegetable, I just put in a cube or two of vegetable broth mixed in water, and a couple cups of chopped veggies (carrots, celery, green beans, onions, etc.).  I did add some fresh basil.  Then, turn it on (I used high setting) and in 4 hours or so it's ready!  (Of course, there's a low setting also, which will be handy.)  Here is a picture of it:

I bought it from amazon for about $20 (almost half price!):

I know I'm not the first one to use a crockpot. :-)  I am getting ready to go back to work on Friday, though, and really need some ideas for easy-prep dinners.  I sometimes teach classes that are 2 or 3 hours at a stretch, and my arthritis often flares up, making it hard for me to be enthusiastic about cooking when I get home. I know this contributed to our less-than-healthy eating habits in the past year.

Any other ideas are appreciated! We're vegetarian, doing low-carb/high-protein.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Step by step

Another small step along the path:  I mailed off the check to the nutrition program yesterday.  Now the ball's in their court--waiting for them to call me to set up my first phone "appointment."  I'm interested in what they might have to say, as I've just been counting calories and paying attention to protein intake so far.  Oh, and trying to up my vitamins.  I have lost 5 pounds since I started about 10 days ago, which isn't a bad beginning.  I know I need to lose at least 20 pounds to get to the 5% with a little "cush" room for the doctor's office scales.

I got my blood test results back also.  Here are some of the current results:

  • Cholesterol = 188 (an okay number)
  • HCT (hematocrit) = 35.4 (not good--should be at least 37 to be in normal range)
  • Glucose = 92 (okay)
  • Hemoglobin Alc = 6.1 (not good--diabetes is 6.5 or higher)
  • Iron level = 46 (okay)
  • Iron saturation = 15 (not good--should be between 20 and 55)
  • Vitamin B-12 = 476
  • Folate = over 20.7

Yikes! The doctor's note says only "iron saturation is low" and directs me to see my regular doctor.  I'm glad I have started taking an iron supplement already!  I did suspect I'd be anemic, since I have been on and off for many years (perhaps jointly from heavy periods and not paying enough attention to my vegetarian diet).  Anyway, I will definitely talk to her about some of the other numbers as well, so I can be doing all I can to prepare for eventual surgery (I hope).

On a more positive note, I've been "treadmilling" it on a pretty consistent basis!  Made it up to 20 minutes at a fairly slow speed, but considering just a week or so ago I was hard-pressed to do 8, that seems pretty good to me.

That's the news from here!  Oh, I haven't seen much of my garden snail friends--we have had a record-breaking streak of "no measurable rainfall" here in Seattle!  I think we are at 46 days total.  Anyway, I hope they are just keeping it cool and will return when it's wetter. :-)