Monday, January 24, 2011

Small Victories

I realized this morning that I forgot to blog about one of my small victories! Shame on me!

Before starting this new way of life, I was pre-diabetic. My once very low blood sugar levels were steadily rising. It used to be nothing to test and get a 98...suddenly I'd test and be at 140 - while that may seem low to some, it was devastating to me. I had always been very happy that diabetes was not something I had to deal with. When that started to change, it really hit me. I've watched Karl struggle with it - I've watched him take numerous pills - and then move onto insulin shots. The idea that that was what I'd be facing sooner than later, was extremely sobering.

Since we've started this new WOL (way of life), my blood sugar levels are returning to normal. The highest I've seen it since we started was 110...but usually it's in the 90's now...the lowest being 91.

I am loving the fact that this is reversing...that I am taking control of my health and stopped this dead in it's tracks before it had completely taken hold of me. It's such a great feeling!

You know ever since I was a kid, I "spilled" sugar into my urine...I mean like literally every time I was tested I'd have amounts of sugar in my urine, yet my blood sugar previously had been fantastic. Doctors could never understand or explain it. I bought some test strips a week or so ago and tested and since cutting out all the junk and watching our carbs, I am no longer "spilling" sugar in my urine. Another small victory!!! sweet!

And while I am on this note, I should add that Karl is seeing his numbers starting to a point where depending on the results, he's been able to skip shots because the number was so good. I am extremely confident that as we continue this road, Karl will be able to get off most, if not all, of these medications. And that my friends, will be something to celebrate in a huge way!!!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Week 3 in Review!

Well, we've managed to complete three full weeks of our new eating lifestyle!

This has been a crazy week for me - I haven't been showing any loss - actually I've been fluctuating a pound or few ounces every couple days and I've been working hard to not let that get me down.

So where does the crazy part come in? Well, I've lost 3 inches on my waist - go figure! Despite the scales not showing a big loss, I am loosing inches!

And then here is the kicker - I went to the doctor on Thursday and their scales showed me down 2lbs and yet my scale at home isn't showing any loss. I don't get it. But I am not going to officially count that two pounds because I am not sure what is going on. I go back again this Thursday to have a little procedure done and I admit I am kinda anxious to see what my weight is then.

Despite all that, I've still not had any caffeine - woot for me!

So my three week total stands at 12lbs lost and 3 inches gone from my wait!

So that is about it for week 3 - encouraged going into week 4. Hope next week, I will have another positive update!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Simple Changes!

I don't know about you, but we are settling into the new year quite nicely here. So far, we haven't really had any sickies, no major catastrophes (though we did have a car scare - ugh), no trips to see specialists, etc. It's been relatively quiet and calm. 

I was given the opportunity today to blog about simple changes that we all can make to better our lives in this new year. As you know we are on a journey to get healthy here in our house, so a lot of these tips will be based on that. 

So without further ado:

1. Reduce your caffeine intake. Or cut it out completely! I was a die-hard caffeine addict. There were times where I would drink a whole pot of coffee myself. Then last year, we got our Kuerig and having cup after cup of coffee or iced coffee, was that much easier. I was totally caffeine dependent. I lived and breathed caffeine. But, it's been 15 days since I've had regular coffee. I've switched to decaf and actually, I only have coffee now a few times a week. I've made the switch to more decaf tea - esp. green tea. 

2. Cut out the soda. In addition to being a caffeine addict, I was very much addicted to diet soda. I had alluded myself into thinking that because it said "diet", that it was OK for me to drink. But that isn't the case. It's still full of man made ingredients that just aren't a necessary part of my diet. I've had maybe 3 glasses sodas in the last 19 days. 

3. Water! Water! Water! So, in cutting out the soda and coffee, I am drinking a lot more water. Besides all the obvious benefits, one that really stands out is how much clearer my skin is - my complexion is definitely improving thanks to all the water. 

4. In taking better care of ourselves, I've chosen a word for the year. This year my word is "no". That may seem like a strange word, but by saying "no" more to others, I'll be saying "yes" more to myself. I've got to stop spreading myself thin trying to take on everything and focus more on myself. Let's face it, stress isn't good for ones health, physically or mentally. 

5. Not only do I want to take care of myself better physically, and mentally, I want to feed myself through learning and enrichment. I want to read more. I joined, and now I get "free" books. It's a great way to recycle books I've already read and get new ones that I want without going broke. I've got 6 books on their way to me right now and 3 sitting here already just waiting for me here now.  I find reading such a great way to keep my mind healthy and active. 

6. Get active! I am finding being active doesn't mean having to join an expensive gym. It can be taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further from the door when going to Wal-Mart, walking the mall, playing a game on the Wii. I've been getting a great workout in playing the Wii boxing game. Next month we hope to get a treadmill and then I will be walking/running every day. I am finding I feel so much better and sleep better after I've been active during the day. The days I lounge around and do nothing, I don't sleep good, and I am more apt to make poor food choices. 

So there are some changes we are making here in our house and really these are changes that anyone could make. Have some other ideas you'd like to share? What changes are you making? I'd love to hear what they are! 

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Simply Orange® blogging program. If I am one of the first 65 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 Target gift card and a gift pack that includes a Simply Orange® cooler bag and logoed fleece."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fake Potatoes or how I lie to my children!

So, as you know (or maybe you don't know, but you will now) we, as in Karl and I, are following a low-carb lifestyle. I hesitate to call it a diet, because we all know that "dieting" implies that you'll go back to eating the same old junk once you've gotten the weight off, and I'll be damned if that is going to happen this time.

So we were looking for an alternative for mashed potatoes. I admit, I am not a huge potato fan...until you take it away from me and then suddenly potatoes seem so attractive.

So, we now enjoy fake mashed potatoes - cook cauliflower till very soft, toss into the food processor and add any ingredients you normally would in regular mashed potatoes - eg. milk/cream/salt and pepper/sour cream/chives/etc. Karl, who isn't a cauliflower fan at all, absolutely loves them! I no longer miss mashed potatoes!!

So, by now you are wondering where the heck the whole lying to my kids comes into play...well, sit a spell and I'll tell ya. I know, I know, these days it is a total faux pas to lie to your children - yes, lying to my children about things like Santa and the tooth fairy and where babies come from well undoubtedly send my children into therapy as adults...pffbbtt!

Trevor is extremely picky these days when it comes to food - and I know a good part of that is due to his special needs. So when he saw the fake potatoes and asked what it was, I lied. Yes, I said it - I lied to my child. I told him they were regular potatoes, because I knew if I told him it was mashed cauliflower it would have been a struggle to get him to try it. So I lied and he ate it. And yes, he said they aren't his favorite potatoes, but he ate them twice now without complaints and in this house that is nothing short of a small victory.

There you have it...I lie to my kids! Sometimes it's small things like this or sometimes it's big things like believing in Santa because *I* feel kids deserve to have something a lil magical in their sue me!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 2 in Review

Week 2 done!

I wish I could say I am coming to you today full of cheer and happiness, but the truth is, the past couple days I've really struggled. I've lost 12lbs so far - 12lbs in two weeks. And I know that is awesome and wonderful and the logical part of my brain tells me I should be jumping for joy - 12 glorious pounds have left my body and won't return!

But the irrational part of my brain is pissed of, depressed, and angry. See, I lost those 12lbs by the beginning of this past week. Wednesday hit and it's been a stalemate since then - even fluctuating ounces here and there. And I am damn angry. I've drastically changed my diet - seriously, I used My Fitness Pal to track what a typical day had been (I am just going to say it, holy shit) and compare to what I am doing now and it's freaking major difference. And I am getting frustrated to think that I've made such major changes but the scales aren't moving. Realistically, I know the weight didn't just happen overnight and so the harsh reality is, that it's not going to come off overnight, but when you are this overweight and trying so hard, it's so very disheartening to not see the numbers on the scale change.

I know I could come here and blow smoke up every one's ass and pretend like I am just so freakin' happy right now and that things are going marvelously, but I can't do it. I have to be honest in this journey. I have to tell my feelings like it is. I have to be honest with myself.

I've done so well up till today when I caved and had a small slice of fresh from the oven banana bread - I made it for the kids, and the smell was intoxicating (and perhaps if you aren't a foodie, that won't make any sense) and all my frustration and I walked right over and took a slice. Do I regret it? Yes and no. Yes, because I was doing so well with myself - staying so strong despite all the temptations. But no because I know that I am going to just pick myself back up and get right back on track for the rest of the day. The fact of the matter is, I am human. I am going to have good days and bad days. I am not proud of myself the past couple days - while up until today I stayed on track, I've just let this nearly eat me alive and that isn't good. I've obsessed - I've jumped on the damn scales at nearly every turn - I am torturing myself - if I didn't know better, I'd think that subconsciously I am trying to sabotage myself - give myself a reason to say it's OK to quit and I can't do that - I can't let this become stronger than me. I won't let it.

So I am going to dust myself off - pick myself back up - move right along.

Every day is a new day.

And I am going to rejoice in those 12lbs that are forever gone.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Week in Review

It's Saturday again - this week has pretty much flown by! I think the first weeks of changing your eating/exercising habits are the hardest - getting over the cravings - building up your will power - getting into your groove. So, I feel like I am half-way over the big hurdle.

I meant to take my measurements this week and never got around to it. I wanted to be able to see how the loss was stacking up that way as well - I think I'll do that today and just track that from here on out.

One big change that I've made this time around, is tracking my foods. In the past I never did it and I can see now how beneficial it would be. I found on some days, I was really struggling to get my calories in - and it was nice to see where I was at with my fats/carbs for the day. I've been using a site called, My Fitness Pal, to keep track of my food intake and my weight. I've really found I've got to hold myself accountable for everything. Even something as simple as a piece of sugar free gum needs to be counted - because it's not really sugar free - there are still carbs in it. Truthfully, I don't want to waste my carbs on something like a piece of gum - I'd rather have those carbs in the form of some yummy veggies or fruits.

So I got on the scale this morning before doing much else and was *extremely* happy to see a loss - since I started, I've lost 9.4lbs. Now, as I was saying the other day, I know this is primarily water weight esp since I was on my cycle for most of the week and I always retain water, but the thing is, a loss is a loss, and any loss is encouragement and the motivation I need to keep on keepin' on! But I also know that I've worked really hard this week, and that has to count for something.

I have a doctor appointment this coming Wednesday, and I am anxious to see what she has to say when she sees my loss. This is the first time in a long time that I'll be OK with getting weighed at the doctors office - I want her to see that I am indeed making some progress.

I am almost half-way to my first goal and that is so exciting to me. I can already tell there are good things in store for me this year! 

Oh, I've weaned myself completely off caffeine and I've greatly reduced the amount of diet soda I am drinking, and really upped the amount of water I am drinking.

So to recap this first week:
9.4lbs lost
Completely off caffeine

Here's looking at week 2! See you next Saturday for another week in review!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mid Week Check

today is day 5 of our new, healthy eating so I thought it might be a good time to do a mid week check in.

We are both doing really well - we've kept on track - haven't gotten off track at all. Aside from yesterday, I am finding my energy seems to be returning. (Yesterday I felt "off" , Karl felt "off" the day before - seems everyone we've talked to around us has had a day or two like that - thinking something must be going around.) I did step on the scale this week. I promised myself I'd only weigh myself once a week - I didn't want to become obsessed with it, but damn it, curiosity get the best of me. I am happy to say that there is indeed weight loss. I won't say how much yet - I want to save that for my Saturday blog, since that is my official weigh in day. Now I am sure that most of it is water weight, but you know what? I'll take it! Because right now seeing any loss is such a huge motivator! It's been that time of the month for the last week, and I always retain water, so I imagine that my first official weigh in will be higher than normal because of it!

My mother noticed a difference in my face the other day - she said it looked slimmer. Karl said my jeans looked looser. And I noticed that my jacket felt a bit looser. So something is happening - things are working!

We've been having some great meals - I must say that I really am enjoying the addition of salad to my lunches and dinners - I missed that. I won't lie and say that I haven't had any cravings, because I've had, but I've plugged along and not given in! Yay me!!

I am actually looking forward to weighing in officially on Saturday! So, how are you coming along? Keep up the good work! We can all accomplish our goals this year!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

So, how about those changes?

Last nights post I started talking about how this was going to be a year of changes - so here I am to continue where I left off.

Karl and I have decided jointly that we are going to get healthy this year. For me, that not only includes body but mind too! I am a hater - hater of myself. I am much harsher on myself than on others. I know a lot of that comes from the upbringing I had, but nevertheless, it needs to change.

I've put on so much weight - since we moved up here on March 30, 2008 - not even three years - I've gained 30lbs. Now, some of that has just been plain ole' bad eating, but there's also been some depression and stress in the mix and when you combine all of it, it's surely a recipe for disaster. At this very moment in time, I weigh more than I did when pregnant with either of the kids. Something has to be done. I am prediabetic, my blood pressure is starting to climb, I ache all over, I have a torn ACL in my right knee...need I go on? But not only is my weight wrecking havoc on my body, it's controlling my mind - I refuse to go out with friends because of it - I don't like to do certain activities - I'll be honest, I don't even like to or want to go out with the kids and play - I am embarrassed about my size and I can't keep up with them.

This is no way to live.

This isn't living ...this is just getting by. Trust me, there is a difference.

Karl, being a diabetic who is on numerous medications, wants to loose weight as well. He'd like to get his diabetes in control enough that he could get off most, if not all of his meds.

So yesterday was day one...I hesitate to say what we are doing, because there is always controversy about it and I hate feeling like I need to defend myself. But the truth is we are basically following Atkins. Karl has been advised by every physician since being diagnosed with diabetes to follow a low-carb lifestyle, which is why we've chosen this.

Now let me clear up a couple misconceptions:

1. We are not giving up all carbs - that would be next to impossible. Atkins does *not* require you to forgo all carbs.

2. We *are* cutting out all the bad carbs - you know the processed, refined, white stuff - rice, potatoes, sugar, flour, cookies, cakes, breads, chips, etc. The carbs we are eating are natural carbs - carbs found in things like fruits and veggies.

3. This isn't an all meat - all fat type of thing. We don't sit around like Neanderthals eating dinosaur sized turkey legs and drinking lard. 

For example, last night's dinner consisted of baked salmon with bok choy and roasted red pepper puree, garden salad and green beans. Nothing about that sounds like a fad or far-fetched or impossible to eat regularly, does it?

This morning for breakfast I made a southwestern omelet packed with veggies - used Egg Beaters. Lunch we had tuna on a bed of lettuce with other veggies. Dinner tonight will be steak with roasted asparagus and salad. (For the kids, I do cook some sort of starch - pasta or rice or potato.) But as you can see it's very healthy foods.

In addition to eating better, I am trying to wean myself off of caffeine and diet sodas and drink more water. This is harder for me because I am not a big drinker to begin with but I am trying.

So, here we are coming towards the end of day 2. I am proud of myself.

I know you may be sitting there thinking, "so what? two days? big deal!".

But this is such a struggle for me...and if I don't take it one day at a time, I'll never make it.

The house is full of holiday candy and I haven't once touched it. Even last night when I was sitting here bored and normally would have turned to that candy, I didn't - I had a string cheese and went about my scrapping.
This is the kids candy haul from Christmas!

This is to show just how big that bag is - the first picture might be deceiving - it's huge! 

It's all about the baby steps! One day at a time!

So, let me prepare you - I'll probably talk a lot about this journey in between my other ramblings - you've been warned. :-) I may even share recipes and pictures! Gasp! LOL!

I will say I've decided that Saturdays are my weigh-in day - so I'll definitely be posting on Saturdays - hopefully with losses! Once a month, I am going to have Karl take my picture in the same outfit each time, so that I can chronicle my progress in photos - but I am no where near ready to disclose those or my actual weight number.

So here is to a new tomorrow - a new year - a new me.....



I've added a little note on my right sidebar that will list my savings to date - every time I use coupons or get a good sale/discount, I'll add the amount I've saved to it - I am doing this to see just how much I can save our family over the course of the year! Should be interesting to see it add up - I am actually kinda excited about this!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year - New Everything!

Happy New Year!!! Hard to believe it's 2011. I was just speaking to some digital scrapbooking friends about how it seems like just yesterday that everyone was in an uproar over Y2K and how the world was going to end - and look - 11 years later and the world still turns on its axis. A lot has happened over the last 11 years - we've moved twice...errr...three times - we've had two children - Karl's changed careers - the kids have started school - so much change and yet on the same hand, so much still the same.

I've been neglectful of this blog over the last month. It's hard to keep up with everything going on during the holidays - there is baking to be done - decorations to be hung - stocking to fill - gifts to wrap - relatives to visit - cards to mail out - all the while still maintaining the house and laundry and of course, the every day goings-on of ones family. I let my blog slip to the side - I thought about blogging several times but it was a fleeting thought.

We had a wonderful Christmas! The kids slept in till 7:00a.m. - which is practically unheard of in these parts of the Casey family! I went down stairs first so that I could be ready with the camera to take pictures of their little smiling faces as they saw the bounty that was under the tree. And trust me, it was so well worth it! After opening gifts (which we were greatly blessed this year - between family, friends, Trev's case manager, his behavioral worker and a very real secret "Santa" - we had more than we could have ever imagined.), I went to make breakfast. Unfortunately, in the middle of making said breakfast, I dumped a bowl of bacon grease over and it spilled onto my hands, giving myself a pretty nasty burn. I had to finish making breakfast, make pies, prepare dinner, bath Vicky and take my own shower and wash dishes all while my fingers continued to burn. We laugh now though - it's not a holiday till I've either hurt myself or some other catastrophe!

Karl's mom joined us and we had a lovely Prime Rib dinner - followed by pie and coffee. The kids loved having Grammy over for the day. And the also enjoyed their new gifts.

It's been a long week with both kids home from school. The kids are absolute angels - true joys - when they are alone with me - just one on one. Get them together and it's a constant battle for attention - complete with screaming, yelling, horns and fangs, pushing, kicking, etc. Sigh... I love having them home but I won't lie and say I am not looking forward to Monday morning. I have every intention of seeing them both off on their respective buses - locking the door - turning off the ringer (actually our new cordless phones have a 'do not disturb' feature which is so cool) - and climbing back into bed till I have to finally get up to get ready for Vicky to come home at 11:30a.m.

Vicky has actually been home for three weeks now - she had her tonsils and adenoids out on December 14th ...finally!! Surgery went very well - she responded fabulously! Her recovery has been nothing short of amazing. When they said kids are resilient and bounce back, I had no idea they literally meant "bounce" because this kid came home from the hospital and you'd never have known she had surgery - she was bouncing around - up and down the stairs - chasing Trevor - yelling - giggling - you name it! She complained it hurt only a couple times and that was at night. I suspect that her throat had started to dry out while sleeping. She's back to eating normally now - no more gagging/choking on food. She sleeps so much better - again, no more gasping for air while sleeping, she no longer stops breathing, she sounds like a kitten purring if anything. She's done so well!

So here we are - 2011.

I've decided that this will be a year of change. For starters, I was reading Ali Edwards blog and she talks about having a word for the year. You can read her full entry here. And I thought it was a fabulous idea!

So my word for 2011 is:     NO

Yep, I choose the word "no".  I realize it sounds awfully negative but I promise you it's not. See, I have a hard time saying "no" to people.

"Can you take me to the store?"
"Can you take me to the Dr.?"
"Can you design xyz?"
"Can you go here?"
"Can you look xyz up for me online?"

Those are just a few of the examples of times I have a hard time saying "no" - even though these things end up impacting my whole family - these tasks may seem small, but they take time away from my family - precious time away from my kids. I need to have a backbone - I need to say "no" more to them and "yes" more to me.

When my kids ask,

"Can we play a game?"
"Can we watch a movie?"
"Can we go to the park?"
"Can we play outside?"
"Can we read a book?"
"Can we play Play-Doh?"

I want to be able to answer with a "yes" without feeling guilty that I let someone else down. Guilt is a nasty little emotion I tell ya.

But the buck stops here! I will no longer be anyone's whipping post and gopher girl.

Well, I think I should end now...tomorrow I'll continue about the changes in store for 2011...for now I bid you "goodnight"....