Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cleared for Take Off...

185.4  lbs. Yeaaaah, I’ll get to that

So, second session with Dr. Best and he has cleared me for take-off! Popped that right kneecap like a champagne cork (right after he had given up on it, bent the knee and BLAMMO! It actually popped. Loudly. Had I been 12 years old and home among my family again, my older sister would have grossed out completely).  I have done weight training twice since last I saw him and started employing his suggestion (lighter weights, more reps). He confirmed that the back muscles have begun to improve. Just a little bit, but noticeably. I am okay to hit the elliptical again or spinning (I should but it’s SO tedious), but no Rotating Staircase of Death (WAH!) and no flat or downhill sloping treadmill. I learned something from him about the treadmill and joints (and I know I don’t have the quote exactly, but I think I can convey the gist of it): going uphill, the effort/strain/work is being done by the muscles. Flat or downline (decline? Maybe), all the effort/strain/work is on the joints/tendons, vulnerable points that he’s having to adjust. The more you know, right?

Huzzah. Now, it’s a matter of finding the time…

He also tried some acupressure on my sinuses (Ralph the Renegade Sinus is taking hostages again and has tried to recruit Larry the Left Sinus to join his evil plot). Dr. Best was pressing on the bone of the upper eye sockets for a couple of minutes and explained that it should drain the upper ones. Except, I don’t have upper sinuses. If you know an ear, nose and throat doctor you want to confuse, bring me in and have him X-ray my head. And those of you waiting for me to say, “Nothing there”, forget it. I have baffled two different otorhinolaryngologists in this fashion. Two of them.  Anyway, I share this piece of information with Dr. Best and he blurts out, “You’re built weird.” Swear to God; that’s what he said. So much for bedside manner. However, he did show me how to press down on the bone on the lower part of the eye socket (next to the nose. It feels kind of flat) and drain the lower, actual sinuses. It works; I just looked like I had two black eyes for a few hours.

And I am the proud winner (earner) of a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, faux signed by Drew Brees and Dominique Dawes. It may cheapen it a bit to have to print the damned thing yourself, but I earned it. Active for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week and for 6 out of 8 weeks.  

Here ‘tis:

At this time last year, I thought it was a vast improvement over the year before becauseat that time, if I walked up and down a flight of stairs twice a day, I thought I was doing far better than I had before. I improved on that.

I need to hold on to that thought. From the lowest low (so far) of 177 lbs., my progress has done a 180 and, well, you see the header. What’s interesting is that old “tapes” have begun playing again. You know, those habits and criticisms and voices you hear or things you tell yourself and have for years. I thought I had broken and buried those attitudes. Nope. I’ve gotten off the scale, looked at what was in the refrigerator and caught myself saying, “To hell with it. Just eat what you want.” The “Great, once again, I’m failing at this” thoughts have begun to surface. This is the point where, 27, 28 years ago, I began eating sweets and too many of them again.

I have made the mistake of subtly complaining about this setback to friends. I say it’s a mistake because, Folks, let’s be honest: nobody likes a whiner. I’ve said so and I mean it. One friend looked at me and said, “You have to be happy about where you are first.”

There is some truth to this for the simple reason that my emotional eating tendencies have been coming back into play. Boredom and on-the-job frustration are big triggers for me (boredom with waiting for document images to download so that I can review them). On the job frustration? I have to sit in VERY bad chairs for hours at a clip to do this job, I’m putting a ton of pressure on myself to excel and falling somewhat short, and so on and so on.  What I said before about old tapes? This is what I mean; no matter how far I may think I am from those old habits, it is downright scary how quickly they’ll come back and ruin my good work.

There is a concept called “synchronicity” (also the title of an album by The Police, but Sting is not part of this discussion) :

Noun: The simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.

Now, the way that I understand this, from a New Age/metaphysical standpoint (and yes, I do follow that stuff. “There are more things on Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy.” (Shakespeare, Hamlet)), it is the Universe or God or whatever Higher Power you may believe in (should you believe in one) trying to get your attention. On two different radio shows (I listen to a lot of NPR during the day. And podcasts. And baseball games), there was a discussion about food; how fast food companies create and exploit eating triggers and studies on eating and weight loss. I was just looking for them online to provide links but I can’t remember what shows they were (could have been local ones). To wit, eating triggers and fast food. We know but we don’t consciously think about what we see in ads for Burger King or McDonalds or Arby’s, etc. That is, until we’re driving by one and see the signs for whatever the special is that they’re promoting. Trigger installed, then pulled. My ancient trigger is “my mind is not fully occupied, better put something in my mouth.” I have been fighting that particular demon for years. And I just brought in an ally: gum. Sugarless teeth-whitening gum in the large economy pack. I’m going through it at a good clip.

The other piece was pretty much a symphony of “Well, duh”: Eating less is not just a matter of fewer calories. WHAT you’re eating is a huge part of the picture as well. In: veggies,fiber, fruit, whole grains, lean protein, monounsaturated  oil. Out: sugar, refined starch, saturated fatty foods. I will try to find links to those interviews.

I needed to hear these things today. I needed to be reminded of the stuff that I’ve learned that got me as far as I have. And you know, even though I’ve put on 8 unwanted pounds, I’ve come a long way from where I started. Hey, even with the weight gain, I am no longer obese.

My Net Diary, however, is not helping. Because I gave it a weight (125 lbs.) and a goal date (01/10/12), it calculates a recommended calorie intake. Reality check is not part of the programming: today it told me I should eat 875 calories total. To put this in perspective, the Nazis calculated they could feed the concentration camp inmates 800 calories a day and still get a full day’s worth of work out of them. Dr. Best said that if you eat less than about 1200 calories per day, your metabolism slows down as a defense mechanism. This is not the first time I have heard this.

So, this is what we’re going to do:

1.    Take the end date out of My Net Diary for now.

2.    The sugar that has crept into the diet has to be leached out again. I just don’t buy the damned stuff (Hey, look: if our country decided to turn our sugar beet and half the sugar cane output into ethanol, it would be a good thing. As delicious as they are, we really don’t need cheap Snickers bars).

3.    Get back to the strict account keeping of what I’m eating. That kept me honest and on target.

4.    Short term goal: lose 11 lbs. Reward: a trip to the RobB salon in Studio City for a mani/pedi. That place is amazingly clean, it’s an OPI Concept Salon and it’s the best place in LA for mani/pedi. Never mind the place further up Ventura Blvd that has a reality show. I will not use a foot basin that once held Snooki’s feet. No.

5.    Coffee okay (Dunkin Donuts Cinnamon Spice flavored. I have gone to the dark side and voluntarily drink foo foo coffee). Creamer, not okay.

6.    Get back on the big water intake program. It was flushing out my system pretty nicely.

7.    6 to 8 hours sleep per night. Even if I’m not inflicting myself on co-workers, cranky is no way to go through the day; it triggers more emotional eating.

8.    Keep up with the 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week activity level. Just because I got the certificate, doesn’t mean it’s time to give up.

9.    When I get cleared by Dr. Best, get a jump rope. $6 for a good one.

10.  Just relax; who we really are is shown in how we deal with setbacks. I don’t like being a quitting candy-ass. That’s for other women. Ones who, say, don’t know basic American history or pretend their family’s completely normal or like to eat moose nose jerky (Frankly, I think noses are better ON the moose).

It’s almost 9, so about those 6 to 8 hours…

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