Thursday, July 30, 2015

Not a Successful Day

Yesterday was not successful re: my goal for the week of exercising for half an hour a day. You'd think that half an hour a day is doable on any day of the year. Yesterday however was hot here - 102F hot! That's hot for where I live, although I am sure it's not as hot compared to other places in the world. In any case, I worked late and then it was too hot to exercise. Excuses? Maybe - I was tired. Also, I considered doing a workout video at home, but it was hot inside too. Since it doesn't really get that hot here where I live in Oregon, it is not common for homes to have AC. I could have really used AC last night! Exercise apart, I managed to eat well, and am satisfied with that. Today is supposed to be hotter - 104F. :-(
Greek Yogurt w. Caramelized Almonds

Nacho Party at Work. Some one made tofu taco crumbles. They were amazing!!

I worked late, so ate some leftover from the nacho party for a snack

The snack made me lose my appetite for dinner. So, I just ate a couple of plums.

I woke up ravenous in the middle of the night and ate a protein bar.
Lesson learned: Never go to bed having had a meager dinner.

None today - goal not accomplished for the day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Another Successful Day

Yesterday was successful as well. I went to the gym right after work and got 35 min on the elliptical and 10 min on upper body weights. I wanted to do longer, but Don and I were invited to a church potluck by a friend, and I needed to shower, get dressed, buy something for the potluck and get there. So, upper body weights were cut short.

The potluck was great fun. I met 4-5 interesting people who were seated at our table. It was at the Unitarian Universalist church, which is a progressive church. However, apparently they have no dogma. I have never been to a church without a dogma, so it was very interesting. They also don't have a God. They just have spiritual journeys which they decide for themselves. The church stands for civil rights, and many other social justice issues that are dear to my heart. Having grown up Catholic, some of their concepts such as having a church with no dogma were very very new to me. I managed to do well at the potluck - and to find plenty of vegetarian food, which in my past experience has been hard to do at church potlucks which are usually meat-rich.

Today's challenge: goodbye nacho-party for lunch at work for one of our interns who is leaving.

Homemade Granola, FF Milk

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup; Artichoke-Broccoli Quiche

Cinnamon Walnut Rugelach; 1/2 Chocolate Rugelach

Potluck. I had another slice of watermelon.

Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl Icecream

35 min Elliptical 10 min upper body weights

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Successful Day One

Yesterday was successful. BG levels were good for the most part, I ate well and in controlled portions. I remembered to take pictures. I exercised - more than I had meant to. And I slept hard.

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I got an alert than a gunman had been observed near my workplace. A few minutes later, another alert that the suspect had been on the move. I was a little stressed at the prospect of going in to work, but about 10 minutes later I got another alert giving the all-clear saying that the situation had been resolved. Not sure if the person was apprehended or it wasn't a gun and there was a misunderstanding. Either way, I was relieved.

I skipped breakfast because I didn't know if the doctor would prescribe a fasting blood draw.

Salad w. Spinach, Edamame, Carrots, Noodles, Peanut Sauce, Yumm Sauce; 2 Plums


Moong Bean Dosa and Sambhar (x3). The Dosa is made of soaked and ground Mung Beans made like a crepe. The sambhar is a veggie and lentil soup. Low carb meal!!

2 squares of dark chocolate

35 min cardio
20 min upper body weights
1 hr bachata class (leisurely pace)
Pre- and post- workout snacks : a plum each

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Check-In

The challenge week disintegrated on Friday evening. First, Don and I went to a wine tasting. I got a bit drunk on just the tasting wine (I am a lightweight when it comes to drinking). Then, we were impulsive and overindulged in grilled cheese and chips and salsa. Then, on Saturday, Don and I had a big fight and I stress-ate. Although we made up and were soppy turtle doves by Sunday, I threw caution and the challenge to the wind. I didn't eat terribly. But I didn't test regularly, didn't eat enough vegetables, didn't portion control, and didn't take pictures.

So, when weighed in this morning, the scale read 222.0lbs. Not really surprising. I have decided that challenges with multiple goals don't work for me at the moment. I lack enough willpower to do all items on a checklist. So, this week I am going to stick to one - exercise. That is the one thing that I find hard to get started on and constantly find excuses for. So, my only goal for this week is to exercise at least 1/2 an hour each day starting today.

Now for the good news: I had my doctor's appointment this morning. It has been almost 3 months since my diabetes diagnosis. They did another A1C hemoglobin test. This is a test that tells you what your blood sugar has been on an average for the last 3 months. When I first got diagnosed, it was 11.2%. Normal is under 5.5%. This morning's test showed that over the last 3 months, it was 6.9%. Not normal, but still almost a 4.5% drop compared to May.

My doctor had wanted to prescribe me insulin at our last meeting, but I had asked to wait till today's appointment to see if I had to. Today, he said that with this improvement, he is not prescribing me insulin right now. If at our next meeting 3 months later, it is still in the high 6's, he will. I am ecstatic!!! I feel really REALLYmotivated to continue to manage my diabetes.

I also gave him some feedback about his assistant who had told me that Type I was better. Read about that here. He was very sympathetic and understanding. He apologized and said he would have a word with her. I feel better after having passed the feedback on. I hope that this will prevent other patients from being shamed/confused/angered like I had been.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Thursday: Day 3

I started the day with pampering myself. I woke up about an hour before I usually wake up, made myself some tea, and read for a while. It was nice and relaxing. I always find that starting the day off calm and relaxed helps me throughout the day. Unfortunately, this does not frequently happen. I am usually sleeping in till the last possible moment and then rushing to get ready. Must do this more often.

In the afternoon, I went to renew my driver's license. On the application, I indicated that my weight is 210lbs. That's 10 lbs lower than my actual weight. I know I am not the only one who does this. My next mini-goal is to be at my DL weight. :-)

Scrambled Eggs, Tea

Snacked on these most of the day at work: Veggies, Golden Plums

Brown Rice, Chickpeas, Tomato, Cilantro, Cheese, Goddess Dressing
Home-made Fig bread a coworker brought. Then I had another piece

Tea w. Milk and Splenda

Lemon-Peanut Brown Rice, Garlicky Green Beans. This rice is my favorite when made with white rice. With brown rice, it's tolerably good, but not really that wonderful. I had a second smaller serving of rice and beans after this.

More blackberries from the hedgerow


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wednesday: Day 2

Day two of the challenge went well. But, it was challenging. :-) I started the day off strong with a bowl of 2/3 cup homemade low-sugar granola with fat free milk. I filled the bowl on my desk again with carrots and wild plums, so just reached there when I was feeling "munchy".

The challenging bit happened when I went to a work related party at 3:30. That's an odd time to have a party, and they shouldn't serve much food at that odd time in the afternoon. I knew I was going to eat dinner at home later, so I stuck to a piece of a veggie wrap, some veggies with no dip, some fruit, and a few slices of cheese. Not bad.

One of my resolutions also was that I would do something to pamper myself each day. Yesterday, I chose to go to bed at 9pm. It was still light out, and it was weird going to bed so early, but I had a wonderful night of rest and woke up really refreshed this morning. This way, I did both pampering and going to sleep before 11pm (another resolution). Yay!

Homemade Low-Sugar Granola w. Fat Free Milk

LUNCH 1: String Cheese, Edamame. I did not eat the yogurt

LUNCH 2: Veggie Wrap, Veggies, Fruit, Cheese

Whole Wheat Chapatis, Eggplant Curry

Don picked more blackberries for dessert

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tuesday: Day 1

I woke up this morning really excited about the 7-Day Challenge. I briefly considered whether I should call it a "challenge". On the face of it, it does not seem like much of a challenge - it's just being more mindful of how and how much I eat/exercise. I am not cutting out anything drastic and so on... Then I realized that it is only Day #1, and I already have challenges. My eating habits and self-control are often terrible when it comes to eating out and eating junk food. Add to that that I had two occasions when I would be "eating out" today - lunch with a co-worker, and our anniversary dinner date. Challenging already...

Then I made a couple of choices I am proud of. Firstly, I didn't throw my hands up and say, "Well, today is doomed anyway. I'll start the challenge tomorrow." Secondly, I asked my co-worker if we could eat in our offices instead of going out. She was very amenable to this. We both had some lunches in the freezer, and we ended up eating and then taking a 15 min walk after that. Sadly, it was a microwaveable lunch and not something less processed, but I did avoid going out and eating a humungous portion of something that I didn't know had how many carbs/sugars in it. I also saved some $$.

When I came to work today, I put some carrots and some wild plums that Don picked for me into a bowl and left it on my desk. I figured if I had some fruit/veggies on hand, then I am less likely to dip into my cracker stash should I want a snack. Easier to stick with the challenge this way. Here it is:

Dinner was really nice. We went to an Indian restaurant. Following dinner, we went to watch a movie Ex Machina. We both really enjoyed it and would recommend it. It's thrilling, but also quite depressing. Then we stopped at McDonalds and picked up an apple pie and icecream for dessert. McDonald's dessert has got to be the most non-clean-living thing ever. But this was my treat meal, so I don't care. :-)

Scrambled Eggs with Tomato and Onion; Milk Tea

Microwaveable lunch; Carrots

Masala Tea w/o sugar; Rice, Naan, Paneer Tikka Masala

1/2 an apple pie; 1/2 small icecream cone.

Forwent exercise for Ex Machina

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday: The Day Before the 7-Day Challenge

did some prep work for the seven day challenge by buying some veggies, etc. Today was Don and my 2 year anniversary for our marriage. We have another anniversary date for when we did our wedding in church about a year later. In any case, we have been married now for 2 years - together for almost 4 years. It's nice. However, other than open some wine at dinner, we didn't really celebrate. We both had busy work days and then a bachata class in the evening, so we decided to postpone the celebrating till Tuesday. Nothing big - just dinner and a movie. I'll post about that tomorrow. 

Humongous Egg and Veg burrito. This was delicious and HUGE! It held me over till late afternoon.

I was still full from breakfast, so did not eat lunch and then around 4:30pm, I snacked on rice crackers and string cheese
And Pepper Cashews

Enchilada Casserole with Corn, Rice, Tomatoes, Black Beans, Cheese w. Pico de gallo
Sweet Rose Wine

Don picked blackberries while I made the casserole

50 min Bachata Class.

7-Day Clean Eating/Living Challenge.

Weigh-in this morning was 220.0lbs. That's a 1.8lb loss since last week. Not bad at all, considering that I only exercised 2 days and was not watching what I ate.

But that begs the question - why am I not watching what I eat or exercising purposefully? I go through periods of a surge in activity and renewed energy and commitment to healthy living, fitness and weight loss. When I hit 237lbs and started this blog, when I gained some more weight and got to my 240s, when someone said I looked like my sister's mother (she is only 4.5 years younger), at the start of the year, when I found out I had diabetes, etc...

I go through a cycle - I get excited about health and weight-loss. Then for a few weeks that is all I can think about to the exclusion of other things. I will put off work and browse health and fitness websites at my workplace. I will read about a hundred weight-loss blogs and get inspired, take pictures of everything I eat, I will go diligently to the gym for about a week and a half, I will meal plan and buy ingredients to make healthy meals, my kitchen will look like a bomb hit it and I will daydream about new healthy foods and exercise while doing the dishes. Then about 2-3 weeks in, I will lose motivation, I will forget to take pictures, start eating out more frequently, forget about portion control, will not log food, will make excuses to not go to the gym and fall off the wagon! I've been off the wagon for about a month now.

I need something to look forward to - not something big or something that will take too long. It needs to be reasonable and focused on health not weight-loss. I've mentioned a week of clean eating to D. and he is all for it. (Of course he would be because all he has to do is sit back and eat - I'm the one who has to do the prep and cooking because he is rubbish at making food.) But he is very supportive, and won't groan if I make healthy meals. So, here is what I am thinking of doing for the next one week starting tomorrow:

- Only home-cooked meals (with the exception of one dinner out on Tuesday that's already scheduled)
- Will eat breakfast every day
- Will regularly monitor my blood sugar and take my metformin and multivitamins
- Only fruits, veggies or nuts for snacks and dessert
- Will exercise 4x
- Will take pictures and post every day
- Go to sleep by 11pm each night
- Do one thing to pamper myself each night (because it's not just about the body)

And there you have it. I am going to do my darndest to stick with that plan. But I won't be perfect and I won't sweat it. For instance - I will limit how much processed food I use in my home-cooked meals. I mostly cook from scratch anyway, but I might end up using store-bought tortillas or canned beans even though they are likely to be processed. This isn't about completely rejecting any processed food - it's about enjoying the process of cooking and knowing (mostly) what I am putting into my body. Also, if I end up eating out or forget to bring my lunch or something, I won't declare this week to be a failure. I'll order a salad and move on. Any comments are welcome. I need all the help and feedback I can get.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Queasy Tummy and Blackberries

My friend Lisa and I go for a walk and then dinner every Thursday. It's a time I look forward to - we chat and have fun and walk - it's always fun to exercise with someone else, especially when we are having fun talking. Yesterday, we started off with dinner at an Indian restaurant. I didn't remember about pictures until we were done with our meal, so sorry about that. Anyway, we went walking afterwards, and I felt really really queasy. Not sure if it was the meal or not - but I felt weird. I did recover by the end of the day and am fine this morning. However, I decided to go ahead and walk despite the queasy/nauseous feeling. And I was glad!!!

Last year, we walked down a path and Lisa remembered that there were blackberry bushes growing wild there. We decided to walk down there again and found an even bigger patch of wild blackberries. They were HUGE and quite tasty. There were so many that we ended up picking the ones that were really ripe. We will go back and get some more over the weekend or next week. And they didn't make me feel queasier at all! Let me take a minute to talk about my love/hate relationship with blackberries. The kind I am talking about are the ones that grow abundantly here in the Pacific Northwest. They are an invasive species of blackberries that grow over everything, frequently destroying whole trees in the process. They are very thorny - which makes then hard to manage, and they are extremely hard to get rid of! It is the only plant I know of that have thorns on their stem and also on the underside of their leaves! It is a nasty, nasty plant! However, the berries are heavenly. They are plump and delicious and wonderful. Since they grow like crazy in the wild here, they are abundantly available and are likely to be organic (unless whoever the land belongs to is spraying them). Here are pictures:

And here's the food for yesterday:

Homemade Granola and Fat-Free milk.
My sister made this low-sugar granola for me. Just a touch of sugar, and lots of nuts and fruits. Very yummy. It is so easy to make, it beats me why people buy the stuff! My sister is awesome!

I had packed a lunch, but forgot to bring it. So microwaveable lunch it was!

Mary's Gone Crackers; Cracked Pepper Cashews
Single Serving Potato Chips

Unphotographed dinner at Indian restaurant, and then a bunch of blackberries we picked.

Leisurely stroll with L.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Hello All

I am back from vacation. The plan for vacation didn't go at all like planned. :-( This is what I said before I left:

"I'll post as I can while I am away, but regular posts will be back when I am too. In the meantime, I'll keep a written food log. I will also make sure to exercise as I can. Lots of food will be involved, and I will talk about what I did to manage things when I got back. Weigh in yesterday was 218.2lbs."

Well, let's see - I didn't post at all! I was having way too much fun just relaxing and doing nothing - sorry about that! I didn't keep a written food blog. About half the days I was gone, I ate well and moderately. The rest of the days involved eating out, eating meals others had cooked, celebrating my birthday, etc. I could have chosen to stay on track these days, but decided that I wasn't going to, and I am perfectly okay with that. I had great fun. What was not so good however, is that I was not regularly checking my blood glucose levels. Exercising happened a few days - maybe 3 in the last 3 weeks. Not much, sadly. And finally, it is no surprise that I gained weight. I gained 3.6lbs. That is not a tremendous weight, and I think I'll be able to get it off in about a month.

I had a few NSV's when people I met on vacation noticed that I had lost weight. My sister who did not see me for 9 months, definitely noticed the difference. I also wore a dress - I don't like wearing dresses much because although I LOVEEEEE the idea of wearing dresses, I don't often find dresses that fit me, and dresses frequently highlight the part of the body that I dislike the most - my midsection. But, I wore a dress. And although I was not a 100% comfortable with it, the folks I was with kept telling me I looked good in it. That is good enough for me!

Now, it's back to non-holiday food and portioning my meals and checking BG regularly. Here's the food from yesterday:

Moong Dal Dosa and Gongura Pachadi my sister sent home with me.

Santa-Fe Rice and Beans

String Cheese, Mary's Gone Crackers

Veggie Chilli and Herbed Mashed Potatoes. I ended up eating only half of these mashed potatoes.
Handful of freshly picked blackberries (unphotographed)