A couple of days ago, the strangest thing happened. My dogs were outside and kept sniffing the cover of the pool filter.
The dogs were very interested in the filter, which isn’t “normal.”
My husband and I thought there was probably a dead animal in there, because that’s happened before. We found a dead baby gopher in the filter a while back.
My husband went out to see what was going on, and when he took the lid off of the filter, there was a live bird in there! We think it was a pigeon.
What the heck? How did it get in there? We were so confused.
The bird was alive, because the bird’s head was above the water line. It was big enough that it didn’t get hurt, because there wasn’t enough room for it to flap around in there. So, it just sat there with it’s head above the water.
I have no idea how long the bird was in the filter. My mom, (who lives with me), is very familiar with birds, because she has owned three of them. She got the bird out of the filter and sat it on the grass. The bird was shivering, because the pool water is cold and of course, the bird was soaking wet. I ran and grabbed a towel so my mom could dry the bird off a little.
We blocked the dogs in the house and sat the bird in the sun so it could fully dry off. The bird sat in the sun and slept for a few hours. It was probably a little traumatized.
My mom put some food and water out for the bird and it started walking around.
After walking around for a few minutes, the bird flew off into one of the big trees next door. We were happy that the bird seemed okay and was able to fly.
I don’t know what would have happened if we didn’t have dogs that alerted us to the filter. The bird was quiet and we wouldn’t have found out that the bird was there until cleaning the filter, which may have been too late.
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.
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.
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.
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
There is a lot to learn, but I am going to dive in and give it my best shot!
“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’mgoing 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!
“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.
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 high–maintenance. 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.
Just yesterday I blogged about starting a diet a week ago and staying on track.
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.
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?
Ican’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.
A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about starting to eat healthier and told you that I signed up to start receiving healthy, heat-and-eat meals from a meal delivery service.
That didn’t work out so well for me.
I signed up and paid, because they make you pay BEFORE you select your meals. I opted to get 15 meals a week (5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 dinners) and paid an additional $15 to add snacks for the week.
I have food allergies, so I had to read the ingredients for every food item to make sure they were safe for me.
As I read the ingredients for the snacks, I saw that every snack offered (except for fruit smoothies and jerky) contained at least one ingredient I am allergic to. (I am allergic to peas and all types of nuts.)
I called customer service and spoke to someone who noted my allergies on my account so I wouldn’t be sent anything I’m allergic to. I told the customer service representative that I did not want to purchase any snacks again, since there weren’t many choices available for me.
I selected my meals and waited.
About 4 days later, on a Thursday, I received my first shipment. They came with a few sheets of paper, which included a letter saying not to start eating the meals until Monday, to start the week off fresh.
Okay, sounds good. I knew that the deadline to order new shipments of food was on Wednesdays, so I figured I’d try the food on Monday and if I didn’t like it, I’d cancel my subscription before Wednesday. That should work, right?
Monday morning I heated up a cheese omelet with turkey sausage. It was very bland. I didn’t care for it, but I still had several other entrees to try, so I tried to stay positive.
Lunchtime came around and I heated up another meal: chicken meatballs with green lentils. Were those lentils or little rocks? I couldn’t tell the difference. After 3 bites, I threw it away and tried another one. It was some sort of jambalaya. It was horrible! All I could taste was heat, if that makes sense. I could not taste anything, but my mouth was burning from peppers. The jambalaya joined the chicken meatballs and lentils in the trash.
Later that day I got an email telling me that my next shipment was sent. What?!?!
I panicked and called customer service, who told me that new members only had until Sunday to place a new order or cancel, and they could not stop the shipment or refund my money.
That’s what I get for not reading the Terms and Conditions. Ugh. Everything I saw on the sight said Wednesday is the day for orders or cancellations, so I thought I was fine waiting until I tried the food to decide.
I was upset. I told the customer service representative that the letter I received with my meals said to start the meals on Monday, so they didn’t even give me a chance to TRY the food before sending me MORE food! I also told her that I did not like the food.
I let her know that I have food allergies and prefer to choose my own food. She replied that they had notes of my food allergies on my account and I would not receive anything I am allergic to.
Frustrated and annoyed, I canceled my subscription.
A few days later, I received my second shipment of meals, WITH the snacks that I asked the first customer service representative to cancel.
I sorted through the meals and found that one of the meals they sent me was SPLIT PEA SOUP. So much for checking the list of allergies on my account.
I ended up trying a couple more of the meals, but did not like any of them. I didn’t even bother trying any more of them. They went straight to the trash.
I spent hours reading up on the different food delivery options out there and finally signed up for WW (formerly Weight Watchers) online.
Even though I struggle with being able to cook every night due to chronic pain, it works better for me. I don’t have to worry about food allergens or whether or not the food is clean, organic, chemical free, or processed. WW is also MUCH cheaper than having prepared meals delivered.
I’ve officially been on the WW online plan for one week and have lost 3 pounds. It’s slow, but if I stay on track, eventually I will reach my goal.
I keep hearing people with fibromyalgia ask about problems with their teeth and gums. Is this normal? Has this happened to anyone else?
The answer is yes.
I’ve always taken good care of my teeth. I floss every day. I have always had easy dental checkups with no problems. My teeth cleanings are usually quick and the dentist has always said I’m doing a good job.
At my last dental cleaning, the dentist mentioned that my gums had a problem, one that is caused by inflammation. I didn’t worry about it too much, because I take care of my teeth and have no pain or bleeding. The dentist referred me to an Integrated Medicine Doctor.
I went to see the Integrated Medicine Doctor, who sent me to the lab for several blood tests. When the results came back, the doctor said that my inflammation marker was very high. It should be between 1 and 2, but it was at 8!
Inflammation is almost always present in a person with fibromyalgia. Changing your diet by eliminating foods that cause inflammation can help.
Sugar is one of the worst things you can eat for inflammation. So is junk food. The best thing you can do to reduce inflammation in your body is to eat clean food. No processed food, junk food, soda, sugar, or artificial sweeteners.
I’ve changed my diet and eliminated sugar and processed foods. I eat organic fruits and vegetables, grass fed beef, and free range chicken as much as possible. I eat mostly fish and poultry and very little red meat.
In a couple of months I’ll have more blood tests done to check my inflammation marker, but do you know what? My gums are already better.