From Black to Bright

Photo by Karly Santiago on Unsplash

The other day I was looking through my closet for a shirt to wear. I have my clothes hung up in order of colors, from dark to light. It starts with black, to gray, to blue, etc., and ends with white.

As I’m going through the shirts, it dawns on me that I only have one black casual shirt, and for some reason, it made me reflect.

I look for a shirt to wear every single day. I know every shirt that I have hanging up in my closet. There are probably 50 or so shirts in there. I don’t know why today was different. I don’t know why I started thinking about my old wardrobe. I just did.

15 years ago, literally all of my shirts were black, white, or gray, but mostly black. I liked the way black looked on me, plus, everyone said that black is “slimming.”

When I met my husband, he hated that all I wore was black. Slowly but surely, he bought me shirts that were colorful. He especially liked pink. Knowing that he liked to see me in more colorful clothing, I started changing my wardrobe. Now my closet is full of color. I rarely wear black anymore.

It’s funny how things change.

Her Own Person

I have an 11-year-old granddaughter who is very much her own person. By that, I mean that she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, she does her own thing, even if it’s not popular.

This girl is super smart, at the top of her class. She’s quiet and reserved. She is beautiful, too. I love how she likes what she likes and does what she wants, without trying to please anyone but herself.

Before school started, my granddaughters (the 11-year-old and her sisters; an older sister who is 14-years-old and a younger sister, age 10) all had very long hair and were talking about getting haircuts. The oldest got her hair cut all the way up to her shoulders. The youngest got a lot of her hair cut off, but not quite all the way to her shoulders. The 11-year-old got barely any hair cut off – just enough to trim the ends. She said she didn’t want to get hers cut, because she likes her hair long. It’s still to her waist.

My younger granddaughter, who will be ten-years-old in a couple of months, is very outgoing, bubbly, and always performing in some way. She likes to sing and make videos, or pretend she’s an actress. She also has a habit of asking people silly questions about what they would do for six billion dollars.

Yes, six billion dollars is the amount she’s chosen for her silly, “Would you do this or that for six billion dollars” question.

Recently, she asked her 11-year-old sister, “Would you cut your hair for six billion dollars?”

After thinking about it for a minute, the 11-year-old replied, “Probably not.”

My daughter and I are still laughing about that one.

Hello Hot Flashes

I’ve been having hot flashes for a couple of years now.

Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay 

Every once in a while, I feel hot and start sweating. It makes me very uncomfortable.

And it’s always just me. Everyone else is fine.

It’s embarrassing when I’m out in public, like at a restaurant, and I start sweating. I grab anything I can use to fan myself and my husband says, “It’s comfortable in here.”

I’m having hot flashes more frequently now, so I went the the doctor last week. He said I am going through menopause. It makes sense. It’s about that time.

So, he prescribed some hormones for me to take. Great! Now I can go out and not worry about having a hot flash!

Well, today I went grocery shopping and about halfway through the store, I started feeling hot and I started sweating. Great. The pills aren’t helping.

I don’t know if the pills take time to build up the hormones in my body, or if the dose is too low. The doctor did start me off on a very low dose. I will ask my doctor about it.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out if there is anything else I can do to help prevent hot flashes.

Does anyone have any advice?

My Weight Loss Journey: The First Meeting

I met with the Registered Dietitian today and I learned a few things.

First, I was measured and weighed on a scale that analyzes body mass. The numbers on the scale helped determine what my calorie and macronutrient needs are. I talked to the dietitian about my experiences with dieting and she said that just cutting calories isn’t enough.

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

I also got a lot of information about the requirements for completing the Weight Loss program.

I have to complete two 12-week courses that cannot be taken at the same time. Phase one is with a trainer at the gym, and phase two is with the dietitian. I also have to attend a couple of seminars and meet with a psychologist and weight loss surgeon during phase two of the program.

Unfortunately, I can’t start phase one of the program until the end of September, when the class starts again. I was disappointed, but happy to learn that I can start working with the dietitian now.

The dietitian wants me to start tracking my intake using the My Fitness Pal app on my phone. She said that she will continue to monitor my numbers and measurements and advise me on what changes I need to make to my diet. She also gave me a book that has a lot of information:

  • How to read food labels
  • Portion sizes
  • Mindful eating
  • Meal planning
  • Good nutrition
  • Goal setting

There is a lot to learn, but I am going to dive in and give it my best shot!

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Back to Square One: Starting a New Weight Loss Journey

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz

Okay, I’ll admit that this whole dieting thing is hard, especially doing it on my own.

I recently blogged about starting a new diet. I signed up for WW and followed the program.

I lost 3 pounds the first week and then nothing. I was stuck. Already? It is very frustrating, considering the HUGE changes I made to my diet.

Last week, I saw my orthopedic surgeon for a follow-up on my back surgery. When I last saw him seven months ago, he told me to lose weight. At my recent appointment, we talked about why I hadn’t lost the weight.

I told the doctor what I’ve been doing to lose weight, and he said that I wasn’t eating enough. I told him that I was following the WW diet and eating only the allowed number of points a day.

The doctor knows the results of my last blood tests and knows that my metabolism is incredibly slow and my inflammation marker is very high. He said that I need help losing weight and suggested weight loss surgery.

Ugh. I really don’t want anymore surgeries, but I told him that I am willing to talk to someone to see what my options are. He gave me a referral and I called the Weight Loss Center in my medical group.

I was told that the way it works is that I have to attend weight loss classes for eight months before insurance will cover any weight loss surgery. Plus, I have to lose 5% of my weight.

The weight loss classes consist of meeting with a nutritionist to learn how to eat and prepare healthy meals, and meeting with a trainer at the gym to learn how to exercise safely, due to my restrictions.

To me, this is great news! Great, because if these classes help me lose weight, I definitely won’t have any weight loss surgery. Instead, I’ll continue to use the tools the classes give me and keep losing weight on my own.

I think the worst thing I’ve done is give up on myself after my surgeries. I not only avoid exercise because of chronic pain, but I also fear it. Using weights is what caused the incisional lumbar hernia I got, that had to be surgically repaired.

At first, when I was told I had to complete eight months of classes, I was upset. I told them I couldn’t do the exercise part. After thinking about it, I realized that I CAN do it! I just need to learn how to do it safely. It’s important that I incorporate exercise back into my life, and what better way than to have support from a certified trainer?

I’m going to give it my best with a positive attitude.

I will share my journey, in case it helps some of you. My first appointment with a nutritionist is tomorrow and I’m excited to get started!

My Hyper Fur Babies

“Everyone thinks they have the best dog and none of them are wrong.” -W.R. Purche

My dogs have finally calmed down. The lawn guys just left, so things are quiet.

I have two Maltipoos, one male and one female.

They’re hyper and bark at nothing. I’m sure they hear something, but I don’t. When I look outside the window, there isn’t anything there.

Buster is the worst, because his bark starts off at an annoyingly high pitch. Then Bailey chimes in.

Bailey and Buster

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are when they get the most barking practice. Those days are when the lawn guys and the pool guy service our house. Thursdays is trash day and trash trucks are noisy.

Do you want to know what else they bark at?

Television commercials! The ones where someone goes up to the front door and rings the doorbell. They hear the doorbell and start barking.

I’ve literally tried everything to get them to stop barking, but nothing has worked. They’ll stop when I yell at them, but I can’t get them to stop barking for no reason in the first place. I want them to bark only if someone comes to the door. I think when my dogs bark they’re having a good ol’ time. They love running around while barking.

Bailey is my $6k dog. She is highmaintenance. She is allergic to bees, which we found out the hard way. She’s had surgery on both of her back legs, because her ligaments tore – not at the same time, but about a year-and-a-half apart. The second leg required two surgeries, because the first one didn’t take.

Bailey has allergies and has to take an allergy pill every day. I used to put the pill in a piece of meat, but she’d eat the meat and spit the pill out. Now, I get a small piece of bread, butter both sides, and fold it over the pill. She eats the whole bite every day. It’s simple and there’s no mess. I’ve been giving her an allergy pill in bread and butter for about two years now with no problems.

I think my dogs are trying to drive me crazy, but it’s okay, because they’re my fur babies and I love them.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Diet Struggles and Staying Focused

Just yesterday I blogged about starting a diet a week ago and staying on track.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

A day later, I am struggling.

That’s the problem with dieting. Change is hard.

I am an emotional eater, but am trying my best to stop being one. When I am stressed, anxious, or flaring up (from Fibromyalgia), I eat something that makes me feel good.

The problem with that, is that I only feel good in the moment. I’m not helping myself in the long run.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve had three major surgeries over the past two-and-a-half years and have been very sedentary through the healing process and beyond. That was a big mistake.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Now, I don’t have a metabolism. I have no stamina or energy. My muscles are weak. When I do just about anything, I hurt and it makes me stop.

I’m working on increasing my stamina, etc., but it takes time. Today, after walking for only 7 minutes, my lower back hurt. I pushed myself to continue on for 10 minutes, but then I stopped.

It made me feel down and defeated. I am tired of hurting.

What was the first thing I wanted to do? Eat.

But, I didn’t. I don’t want to stop what little progress I’ve made. I know that I have to push through the pain and negativity to reach my goals.

It’s still hard, though. Especially when there is other stress affecting me.

Sometimes you just have to put yourself first.

I know that losing weight will help me A LOT. If I can take some of these pounds off of my body, it will relieve some of the pain I feel.

I have to be more active.

I regret staying down for so long after my surgeries. Everyone around me catered to me. When I tried to do anything, I was told to sit down, that they would do it for me. I shouldn’t have let them. I know they were trying to be helpful and prevent me from hurting, but it contributed to the problem.

Staying down for three years hasn’t helped me at all. In addition to the weight gain, I’m weak. Why did I do that to myself?

I can’t change the past, but I can make changes to improve the future. I WILL continue to make healthy choices and push myself. I’m sure I will have more “down” days, but I’ll get through them, because I refuse to give up.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay