Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring is pretending to arrive, although sporadically.  Today is cold and sunny, but predictions are for 2-3 days of snow starting tomorrow.  On the good side, a week from now we should be into the 40s like we should be at this time of year, and a week from Tuesday sunny and near 50.

Every winter I struggle with depression, lack of motivation to exercise, and a tendency to overeat, typically meaning anywhere from 10-20 pounds of weight gain, which I try to lose some or most of over the summer.  I'm very encouraged this year, though.  For the first time in 10-20 years, I have not only not gained weight, I have actually continued to lose weight.  And I am usually seriously depressed until around May 1st but am already regaining energy in March.  This, combined with the fact that I am now back to only driving 12 minutes to work instead of 45+, should mean that I can do more exercise earlier in the year, and my current goal is to try to reach a total of 50 pounds lost by mid-May (I have 9 pounds to go), and there is a chance that I can reach 75 pounds lost in the first year (September 1st).

As I lose the weight, it should help me with less foot and ankle pain.  And, as I get in better shape, I will probably have to talk with my doctor to reduce my blood pressure medicine.  I am already having some moments where I have to deal with orthostatic hypotension, which is a drop in blood pressure related to moving from laying to sitting, and/or from squatting, sitting, or bending over to standing.  I have to move slowly or hold on to furniture or I could pass out.  Not the best situation, but it is always a balance between that and the danger of blood pressure spikes.  In my case my blood pressure has always been more affected by my work-related stress, but since I love my job and am getting better at it each month, that stress is much reduced.

Overall, this spring is the best I have felt in a very long time.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Over 2 months since I posted last.  

I haven't forgotten about the blog (obviously), but I HAVE been busy.  Really, Really Busy.

The good news is:  I haven't let the holidays or the busy-ness stop me from losing weight.  As of this morning, I have lost over 36 pounds.  I am now under 290 pounds for the first time in years.  That makes about 7 pounds a month average for 5 months.  I like that.  I think it is a healthy rate.  I'd like to be losing 10 a month, but I know that 10 a month is not sustainable for me, and I am losing 7 a month without feeling deprived, which is more awesome than I can explain.

The bad news:  With the holidays, being sick, having family in the hospital, and preparing to teach and teaching, I haven't known which end was up some days.  Add in car problems on both vehicles, and that I was repainting the apartment and assembling furniture, I've been short on time and sleep most all of the time, and when I have time all I want to do is rest.  A couple of times I slept 12 hours and still didn't feel like I got quite enough sleep.  Oh well! 

I started teaching full time in November (PC Repair and Computer Networking), and with the 11 hour days plus 1.5-2 hours commuting each day, I haven't had a lot of free time.  And most of my "free" time  has been used up getting ready for the following weeks of classes.  On March 12 I will finish teaching my 3rd set of classes, and the next Monday (March 18th) I start teaching the same material a second time, to new students plus some repeat students that have not passed their certifications yet.  That should reduce the prep time some, but since I am teaching the same material in about 60% of the time, I do need to go back over the material and be more ready to teach with images to share rather than searching Google Image, etc.

But... The other thing that changes after March 12th is that I won't be driving 40 miles to work any more.  My home office is only about 10-12 miles away, and only takes 10-15 minutes to drive most days, especially when I am not on Day shift.  Oh, and I may be going back to 5 day weeks, but if I do, it won't be 11 hour days.  So my time will free up a bit.

So, I need to buckle down and get serious about getting in shape and getting healthy.  Being at the closer office again will mean a number of things.  In Troy, the office is on the 2nd floor, which doesn't really give me an easy place to walk.  In Livonia, if the weather cooperates, I can walk outside in less than a minute, and have a large parking lot, a park 2 doors down, etc.  Of course, this being Michigan... weather is capricious.  In January there was a 24 hour period that went from nearly 60 out to wind chill in the single digits, and one morning the temp was below zero still at 9am.  Not the wind chill.

Maybe once I can walk more often I will get up to 10 pounds a month for a few months.

At 7 pounds a month, it will take me most of 2 years to lose the weight (21.5 months).  Towards the end, I'm pretty sure I will not be losing 7 a month every month, so if I can get in a few 10 pound months during the first year, I might still manage it in 2 years.  2 years isn't really a goal.  I don't care if it takes 18 months or 37...  The weight is coming off and I am getting healthy.

Oh, and I discovered another piece of the food allergy puzzle.  Xanthan Gum.  Xanthan Gum is made from a plant disease.  It is generally grown on some type of sugary substance, so it is often grown on Corn Syrup.  Since it can be grown on so many different things, and since it isn't purified in a way that removes all of the growth medium, people with food allergies to corn, soy, wheat, and possibly other foods should not consume it.   Once I discovered how this substance is made I find it difficult to believe it can be called natural, but I guess cyanide and arsenic are natural, too.

Well, hopefully it won't be another 2 months before I post again!