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Back on the Gift List...

May 13, 2010 - 0 comments
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gift

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years

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Thyroid

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Weight

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Bleeding

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spotting

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medication

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pills

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hormonal

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Birth Control



It had to happen sooner or later...

Though my menstruation cycles have NEVER been regular, even when I was on the pill, I knew for a fact that they ceased to exist altogether once my weight rose above 220 lbs. And so that proved to be for at least 2 years straight --- minus the bleeding that was caused by my thyroid medication.

Now that my weight has dropped BELOW 220, the rusty old gears of my reproductive tract have begun to crank and screech their way back into motion again...albeit only halfway.

I always envied the women who thought they were complaining about their 3 to 5 day cycles as though the only thing that lasted longer was the fossilization process. These women would go out of their collective minds if they were forced to sit through the up to 23 days of "spotting" I get from my substandard hormonal processes. My "short" cycles don't go any lower than 9 days. Long cycles, such as this one, can drag on at minimum bleed for weeks to months.

The birth control pill, which caused more problems than it solved, couldn't force my body into a schedule for long. My cycle, like an iceberg, drifted further and further away from the "off" week on the pill until there came a time when the cycle wouldn't start until a few days after I resumed the pill again after the "dud" week was over.

No doctor has really shown that much of an interest in this phenomenon, since the question of my having children was off the books for other reasons. The main sacrifice, of course, is intimacy...since even spotting is an irritant to the body and makes one feel sore and lousy for as long as it's going on. Guess I'll have to join a bowling team ;)

Mind over Mutter...

May 02, 2010 - 0 comments
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mind

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test

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Health

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Weight

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Weight Loss

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food

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Eating

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Exercise

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nervous

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Affirmations

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skepticism

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gimmicks

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commercials

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fads

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Diet

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progress

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Rehab

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Rehabilitation

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Life changes



Now 11 weeks into my re-education of my eating, I've loosened up a bit and some habits and choices are becoming automatic for the most part. Once every so often I sample a CRUMB of cake pinched between my fingers, feeling a strange combination of instability and terror as the now intense blast of sugar and fat brings back more EMOTION than flavor. I know, with a very nervous conviction, that I am still far from able to put gooey desserts in proper perspective. A lifetime of bad habits and 100 extra pounds was built on those foods, and while some experts insist that we MUST have desserts in small amounts to prevent bingeing as a result of total abstinence, there are times when it is definitely advisable NOT to test fate before you're psychologically prepared to. When a crumb of cake stops making me nervous, I can move up to a forkful.

It doesn't really matter much, since I do just as well on sweet fruits (and the occasional diet soda or sugar-free hot cocoa) with a strong compliment of vegetables and proteins alongside some simple enriched grains. So far, they've been serving me well.

I still keep an ear to the ground and keep a casual watch on what the expert of the moment thinks we should be doing to make ourselves healthier, while marveling at the conflicting commercials promising wonder-cures for weight loss using the same, tired old methods that have failed so many of us in the end. Pills, delivered diets, magazine diets, health clubs, exercise gurus, all using every gimmick they can to separate us from our sanity...and more importantly, from our MONEY.

The latest gimmick that has me rolling my eyes is the idiot machine that waggles our back ends from side to side as though we were wagging our tails in blind obedience to the company which promotes the crap that makes looking like an idiot seem really productive. I do a few simple stretches and bends, the occasional few minutes of aerobic-type exercise, and leave it at that.

Past a certain weight, any signs of loss pretty much have to double in amount before they are physically noticeable. Though I have dropped 26 lbs in a little over 11 weeks, no one seems to have caught on yet that anything is different. I've lost 3 inches from my hips alone, which makes certain areas of my clothes bulge out in places LESS than they had previously, but I am still in the ballpark of my original clothing size from the waist up, which kind of hides most of my progress thus far. Oh, well. That won't last :)



Strange Ways...

Apr 23, 2010 - 0 comments
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strange

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ways

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Health

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Insomnia

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Weight

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sleep

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Weight Loss

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food

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Exercise

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muscles

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Research

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danger

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metabolism

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plateau

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crash

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Diet

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constipation

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wisdom

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Knowledge

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cardio

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calorie

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restriction

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counting

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reduction

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heavy

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slow

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Frustration



Weight loss is a tricky balancing act that doesn't take kindly to swinging too much in any direction...even if the direction seems healthy.

I'm always reminded of this fact whenever progress slows down to a halt and I'm left holding the bag of vegetables wondering what the fudge happened.

When my weight loss stalled for 2 weeks, I initially defaulted to "automatic health-patrol pilot" and went through the motions I always go through: thinking about cutting down (or cutting out) some foods or stepping up physical activity. Inevitably, whenever I follow my default-setting "get -out-of-this-rut" advice handed down to me from decades of crash diets, it only seems to prolong the problem instead of eliminating it.

The night before this plateau broke, I gritted my teeth and made the risky decision to eat a little more than usual (but well within my range) and to step back from cardio, opting instead for calisthenics such as simple push-ups, stretches, and bends for about 8 -10 minutes. The next morning, the weight began to drop once more.

Fitness expert Covert Bailey once said of someone in a similar situation, "When I finally stopped pushing myself so hard, I started to get fit." Words to the wise.

Time and again there is endless medical research dating back to the first and second World Wars that proves that the body views certain situations as triggers to slow metabolism, retain calories and water, and burn muscle tissue as an alternative fuel to preserve FAT stores. My personal experience can back a lot of that research up.

1) CUTTING SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF CALORIES is an immediate red alert for the body to poise it's hand over the "reduce metabolism" dial. Just as whenever we lose a job, we spend less money to make our resources stretch, the body shuts down the "bank" if there aren't enough calories coming in to replace most of the ones going out. If the body is also feeling stressed or hungry as a result of the calorie cut, constipation can also set in. Not really a bonus.

2) HEAVY EXERCISE OR LOTS OF CARDIO can put the body in a panic if there isn't enough "down time" to balance it out. It's like washing a shirt every day without even wearing it. The color fades, and the fabric gets stressed. So does the body if it is worked to its limits more often than it is allowed to relax. What will happen more often than not is that the body will try to "ration" its energy by burning muscle first, and fat only as a last resort. DEFINITELY a bad thing to happen.

3) NOT GETTING ENOUGH WATER & SLEEP is comparable to driving a car constantly, only stopping to fill the tank halfway before driving again. The body's "engine" overheats, starts to stall, and wears out much more quickly. Some bodily processes, such as immune system activity and healing, only work the night shift when your body is closed for the evening. If you've still got lights on at 3am, the overnight crew can't do its job, and you end up feeling only half charged or barely alive the next day.

I have insomnia as it is, and a partner who seems to wake up fully only after midnight. I know that a lot of things improve when I sleep a full night, but it is difficult as anything. Naps in the daytime don't seem to count.

All this information was as much to remind MYSELF as anything, since my mind seems, on a whim, to deny its former knowledge whenever it seems more convenient to act perplexed. Gemini. Nuff said.

Relax, relax, relax....

Apr 21, 2010 - 0 comments
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relax

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Weight

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stress

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Weight Loss

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loss

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think

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focus

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plateau



Okay, weight dropped 1/4 of a pound (227 - 26.8). And with that, I shall put the scale in a cabinet for a while and just monitor with a measuring tape till Monday.

It will be easier to focus without haranguing myself constantly over what I think I'm doing wrong. The Celebrity Fit Club adage "The scale doesn't lie" sits on my conscience a little too heavily and I start stressing over it...and stress inhibits weight loss.

Okay, well, here we go again!