Walk/Run – A First Try

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Exercise continues to be my difficulty. My weakness. I do not have discipline in this area. I am continuing to loose weight, but at a slower pace. I have had a rough winter, health-wise. I had extended stays with my parents to help out in Florida. Then a sinus infection, which went into an ear infection. Shortly after, I had a major allergic reaction to something, probably a med. For several weeks I was in pain and itched! The meds for it were worse than the rash. I had a cyst removed from my underarm. Then a molar pulled. And then a virus that turned into bronchitis and another ear infection. My immune system has been under attack!

All that to say, my meager exercise routines got trashed during the last few months and I am trying to get back into routines. I am doing Pilates, which I really like. My core muscles are starting to respond with some strength! It is not cardio, but I really feel like I’ve had a workout! I’m trying to get out walking. Last week, when I was walking in the neighborhood, a bee kept buzzing around my head. I walked faster. It kept up with me. Then I did something I haven’t done in many years- I ran away. And it felt good, so I kept running. It wasn’t far, but it caused me to think of what has been the impossible for me- to run for exercise.

So what do I need? How do I start? These questions came up in my therapy session (I am still dealing with food issues, mindless eating occurrences, emotional eating and the like) and I was told all I need is a sports bra and running shoes. The suggestion: walk for a while, set as goal to run when I get to an object I’ve picked, and then run until I get to the next object I’ve picked. That’s what I did today.

I started out in the neighborhood on pavement. I chose the cul-de-sac intersection on the next block for my first run, and chose the traffic cone as my stopping point for that run. And so it went, setting small goals, working on running short distances, and walking fast in between.

First mistake: not planning a route. I ended up on a forest preserve path that took me quite far from home, making it quite a walk to get back. Second mistake: forgetting a bottle of water! Duh!

But, on the whole, I did what I started out to do. I ran. I walked. I set small goals. I achieved most of those goals. What gave out first? My lungs. Given I’ve just gotten over bronchitis, that shouldn’t surprise me.

I was out running/walking for over an hour! I remembered to start a stopwatch so I’d know how long I was out. I had my Striiv pedometer to track steps, effort, running steps, climbing and calories burned. (4 miles, 717 calories, 9200 steps including 1500 running steps). Part way through I remembered I had an App that would chart my run, speed, distance and the liked and started it. It charted 17 of the 60 minutes.

About 45 minutes into the walk/run, my hip and knee on the left side began to hurt. Not injured-hurt, just sore and tired hurt. So the last 15 minutes was walking at a normal pace. I am now home with ice on the hip and knee. Sigh.

What did I learn? Overdoing it isn’t the best way to start. Walk/running is actually enjoyable. I need shorts or light weight capris. The shoes are a good fit. The sports bra actually worked. I might do this again, but in a bit more imited, controlled exercise until my lungs and hip/knee are stronger.

So, after 40- some years, and minus almost 60 pounds, I am starting to run. For exercise. I have no delusions about becoming a marathon runner, or running long distance. But for daily exercise? This may work.

My current plan: Pilates once a week. Bike once a week. Walk/run once a week. That sound almost doable!

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Four months banded

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The lack of posts and updates is evidence of not only a busy holiday season, but also an extended trip to help my parents!

I went for a Lap-Band check up today. I lost 9.7 pounds in two months! I’m now down 52 pounds and over half way to the goal I’ve set. The weight loss has slowed but continues. I did not get a fill today as the surgeon feels the band is working. I feel satisfied with three meals a day and no snacks. I’m getting in my protein and water. I’m loosing, but could loose more if I got my exercise routine discipline working for me.

I’m happy with the weight loss so far, but do realize I can’t get it all off without physical activity increasing. I’m battling congestion in my ears and head and it is hard to motivate myself to get moving!

It was a stressful three weeks in Florida. I did well on my eating but much of my time was needed to help with my mom. I needed to let my dad get a break from the 24/7 care. I enjoyed my time with them, lost four pounds while there, and lived through some stressful medical issues without turning to food!

I’m home but overwhelmed with all that I need to do and totally unsure of where to begin, or what needs to be done first. Tomorrow I will work on my list of things to do and prioritize. I hope to go to the cardio class for the Bariatric Group to see how that might fit in my schedule, I could try to get some strength training in if I’m not dizzy like I was today. This ear congestion makes me want to sit and the eye and head congestion makes me feel fuzzy.

I’m eating about 1,000 calories a day now. I have yet to try bread, rice or pasta. I tried pistachios today and I think I will not have nuts for a while yet as it felt a bit uncomfortable. I can only do pork tenderloin, not loin chops. I’ve had beef tenderloin and stew meat. Chicken and turkey if not cooked dry are great, but my favorite is salmon! Tilapia and shrimp don’t seem to keep me feeling full long enough so I stay away from them.

While in Florida, I got some new clothes. I’m amazed at the sizes- some 16, but also a few size 14! My goal of a size 12 may be too modest! A lot of people are noticing my weight loss and say I look good, especially when I’m wearing clothes that fit instead of the baggy look I’ve had after surgery.

I find I’m still having trouble when I’m eating with a group. I must eat faster or not chew enough, cause I’ve had that breastbone pain that sometimes results in vomiting my meal. It has helped to go to a liquid diet in those cases until my stomach calms down.

I’ve added coconut milk fudgesicles to my evening time a few days a week. Something cold does feel good at night. I found that Meyer lemons are wonderful in hot tea with honey. I resurrected my old tuna fruity salad (recipe to follow) and it was a wonderful lunch. I got a subscription to Cooking Light to get new ideas for meals.

So, I’m not working. Probably a good thing given my need to help my parents and be available when my kids are around. But work did add structure to my day, I had to drop my photography class this semester. That I will miss. Now I just need to get organized and productive with tasks here at home!

Tuna Fruitty Salad

1 5 oz. can tuna, drained (I use white albacore)
1 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple in its own juice, not drained
2 tablespoons light mayo
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Mix all ingredients. Split into two servings. Nutritional data: 197 calories, 4g fat, 1g saturated fat, 31mg cholesterol, 27g carbs, 14 g protein, 254 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 12 mg vitamin C, 2mg calcium, 3mg iron.

An Expulsive Power of a New Affection

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I am struck by the words expulsive, impulsive, compulsive and propulsive. All have to do with a driving force.

I have impulsive and compulsive habits. Some of these habits are related to food.

The love of God can both expel the love of the world from me and impel me to move toward His love. He can compel me to seek Him. His power can propel me to holiness.

In me are many driving forces in me to do actions: to satisfy my desires, to covet things of the world, to want to change, to seek God. What is driving me? Is my driving force God’s love or the love of the world and it’s pleasures?

I’m reading the sermon by Thomas Chalmers, “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.” It is new words for a truth I know, but have not applied recently. It is not enough to get my bad eating habits out of me. (And I can’t even do this by reason or personal strength.) I need an expulsive power from outside of me to force those food affections out of me AND to impel me to move to God so that He can compel me to seek Him. I need to be propelled forward to new habits and behaviors that are God-pleasing.

I know these things. But I don’t KNOW them. I need that expulsive power of a new affection to both remove the affections I have for food AND to supplant these desires with new ones: specifically, a greater love of God. He needs to mean more to me than worldly desires.

All these words come from the Latin, pellere, which means drive. I need to understand what drives me, motivates me, compels me to action. And I need to give these drives to God and ask Him to supplant them with the drives that will cause me to seek Him, to love Him, and to desire Him, above all else.

So Yahweh, this is what I ask for a Christmas present. That You would expel the affections I have for food and the world by planting in me a greater affection for You. That You would impel me to seek You. That You would give me compulsions that are God-ly. That You would drive me, propel me, to Your heart.

I give You my bad habits, my compulsions for food, my impulsive behaviors. I ask that You give me a new affection: a passion for You.

Amen and Amen!

A New Christmas Sweater

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When you make the decision to have Bariatric surgery, you don’t realize all the implications. I knew I’d have to deal with not having candy in my stocking. I knew I wouldn’t be able to pig out on food while watching Christmas movies or eat a whole large popcorn at the theater. I didn’t know I’d have to deal with dressing up for the holidays. Sigh!

There’s something special about decorating yourself for the holidays. Whether its the lapel pin or a fleece jacket with snowmen, it’s just fun to wear special clothes. I have some if these clothes, but all of them are 2-3 sizes too big. Should I wear them one last time and look a bit baggy, not wear any special clothes this year, or buy a new Christmas sweater?

I fully recognize that this is a want and not a need. The practical side of me knows that anything I would buy this year should be too big next year. Isn’t that a waste?

Yet when I was Christmas shopping yesterday, I found myself looking for a sweater I liked (I didn’t find one.) and it caused me to ponder these unexpected consequences of the decision to have Bariatric surgery. Like Sunday, I was at church and knelt during worship at one point. And I had no knee pain! I just had thought I was getting old and hadn’t realized it was all that weight loaded on my knees causing the pain.

I read a Christmas devotion today that connected God’s command to decorate the tabernacle with the decorations we put up for Christmas. Aren’t I a temple of God? OK, I’m not using that as an argument to spend money. I’m just pointing out that decorating ourselves with jewelry, pins and clothing that is special may have other meanings.

So, should I buy a new sweater? Maybe go to a used clothing store to see if there’s a gently used one for sale? Wear the items in
my closet one more time?

Decisions. Decisions!

Two Months Banded

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I just had my second fill, and a bit of chastisement as well. Seems I’ve been creeping up on my food portions and pushing the boundaries. I lost another 5 pounds in the last 5 weeks which is OK but on the slow side of weight loss.

So, a big reminder to eat smaller portions, eat slow, chew well, and don’t go for the ‘can’t eat another bite’ feeling.

I realized this weekend that I feel better. I think the post-surgery healing is complete.

What I need most to do is exercise!

Don’t get me wrong- I’ve been watching what I eat and measuring and eating slowly. But I could eat slower. And just because veggies are good, don’t eat more than my portion. and don’t feel I have to have a starch at every meal.

I did have a weeks vacation, a week end in the city and Thanksgiving to mess things up. And coming soonis Christmas and New Years.

I want to do this well and I want to succeed! Lord, help me. I cannot do this on my own!

Week 7 Banded

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I lost another 3 pounds between my fill and my primary doctor’s visit last week. Yeah!
I did buy a few clothes (on sale) so that I don’t look like I’m wearing bags.
I’m feeling much better, trying new foods, having more energy than in the past few weeks.
I’ve tried regular pork chops, quinoa, salad, peppers raw and cooked, little village tacos, and this morning- melon. That is not settling so well though. Either I ate too much or melon isn’t good for me right now.
I feel like I’m moving better. I realized I haven’t had any arthritis pain in my hip for a while now. I’m still a but confused on how much weight I’ve lost- where do I start? I’m tempted to go back to Feb. when I decided I needed to deal with my weight. Many start with the Pre-surgical diet. Maybe I need two numbers?

So: 40 pounds lost since Feb.
20 pounds lost since I prepared for surgery. 14 pounds lost since surgery.
60 pounds left to go. Whew! Round numbers are best.

People are starting to notice. I haven’t been this small for 25 years!

I’ve eaten out. Mostly positive. Understanding restaurants are appreciated! I tried the ‘give me the doggy bag now’ request. Nope. They wanted to package leftovers after. I’ll need to be more assertive.

Mostly I feel this is doable. Sometimes I look at what is left to lose, but mostly I look at what I’ve lost. I feel like I’m still on a honeymoon, coasting on the effects if surgery. But I’ll enjoy this time!

Surprising Behavior

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I just realized that in the past week, since my fill, I have reached for that afternoon snack or night time snack, only to pause and think, but I’m not hungry. And I don’t have the snack! Three meals a day with no snacks and only liquids in between seemed so undoable a few months ago. But here I am.

So I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw this new behavior. I am “full” between meals!