Thursday, August 29, 2019

Another Weight Loss Story

I haven't shared this lately but in June I went to my GYN appointment and stepped on the scale to be shocked.  Honestly, I wasn't as shocked as I should have been, but the scale was 249, and I am being truthful here.  I knew I was hurting and struggling to even walk around the house, but again I had my  head in the sand.  Another thing was that I was eating a ton of fast food, and LYING to myself about it.  I pulled into Sonic one day and the carhop said to me that I wasn't in my usual spot....WTF!  Plus my blood pressure, which is good now, but that is with meds.  I want off the meds.  It was time to drastically take some action.  
I mean look at that caboose going on there.  It is obscene.   So I started some research on different kinds of plans, cost and types of food.  I've done Weight Watchers, and it has worked for me.  I've done the no carb thing, and that works.  But for me, and my lifestyle lately, I needed prepared food, in portions that I don't really have to think about.  Grab and go, portion control, those were top on my list of what I needed to try and make this weight thing GO AWAY, or at least get manageable.   

I will NEVER have this kind of body again, but I can be comfortable and more able to walk and deal with life.  I opted for Nutrisystem and have been quite satisfied with it so far.  My first delivery arrived in two different batches of frozen foods and regular stuff.  It was a lot of food because I chose three meals and snacks a day, and you add stuff like veggies.  Then, after a bit you add  power fuels and smart carbs.  The first month was very, very limited at 1000 calories.  I really wasn't hungry much and I tried to have salads and lots of frozen veggies (my favorite broccoli.)  There are also shakes but after a couple of months I started wanting to throw them up.  They taste good but for me it was a texture and milk-like (milk I hate) quality that was getting to me.  I've stopped them for awhile.
Those were the days...sigh...

The weight slowly started dropping, and dropping.  It's a slow process but it was a slow process to get into the shape I'm in.  I was in no rush to lose it fast, because I don't want my butt or tummy hitting my knees with extra skin!
17 pounds down

The calorie count now is 1200 calories and I try to stay under but closer to 1000-1200 everyday.  Now I'm doing mostly breakfasts, lunches and snacks and opting to fix dinner for The Hubby and myself.  But that's not much different as it's a protein and veggies.  I do eat out a lot at dinner time and have to deal with the lake experience but I try not to overdo it and get right back to the routine.  I'm making better choices when we go out to eat but I am NOT going to punish myself over what I want.  I've been good, except for last Monday night.  I truly TRULY was craving Mexican food, our old haunt El Rio Verde, and I told The Hubby that is what I wanted for dinner.  Cheese enchiladas, rice, beans, guacamole, chips and a good old diet Pepsi was my dinner and I did NOT feel ashamed, I enjoyed it and the next morning was back to my portion control breakfast and lunch. 

This will be a long journey and I've made my goals achievable.  My total goal is 50 pounds.  After I reach that then I will re-access and probably make new goals.  As of this morning I am down 17 pounds and I know that's a lot since June, but I have a lot to lose, and I'm trying to really tow the line here.  I hope to be 25 pounds down by Christmas.  I may slow down, but if I keep up the workouts it will help me to reach my goals.  In reality I will probably reach the 50 sooner but I'm not going to stress myself out over it.  It is one day at a time.  I have a lot of things I want to do in my life and I need to be mobile to do them.  
I'm also dealing with some arm issues and finally got into the orthopedic last Friday.  Lots of x-ray's and talk (I love the doctor) to find out I have some cervical issues in my neck, like degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis of my spine with radiculopathy (pinched nerve) and acute shoulder bursitis!  Oh BOY! This is not fun.  I've been getting chiropractic care, intense massages and now on steroids and nerve meds to try and take the pain away.  It is affecting my art in a bad way, like NOT wanting paint and can't, because of the pain.  But, as of today I've taken the last steroid and I am better.  It's still there a bit, but it's like 95% better, livable and I can sleep!  

With this kind of pain going on I could just give up the weight loss journey, but I WILL NOT let this impede my success.  I have a new granddaughter arriving very soon and I need to be able to sit on the floor with her to play.  

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Busy Life, Or Is It

This week was kind of free week for me.  I really didn't have to go into the office much, just step in to make a deposit or type a quick quote.  This meant I could go to my happy place, my studio.  Oh, forgot that Monday I did go to the chiropractor, my Daddy's and then a luncheon (ladies from my high school days!)  The luncheon was wonderful fun and even had one show up that had NOT BEEN BACK in 45 years!  It was awesome to see Jodi.  

You know as I looked at the calendar for the week I was incredibly busy.  Later that evening I picked up my studio partner and we attended the business part of one of our art groups.  I had book club this week, and we went to see Hamilton on Tuesday evening with friends.  OH MY GOODNESS, that was an awesome show.  More chiropractic visits and yesterday a visit to a orthopedic specialist in sports medicine.  You see, I'm having some issues with my shoulder.  I woke up one morning in June and could hardly lift my arm and the pain was excruciating.  The fear, as an artist, at that moment, was that it was rotator cuff.  I was having such an issue sketching even.  I've been dealing with the pain by taking Aleve, my trainer stretching me a lot, the chiropractor and massage therapy (my girl is AWESOME!)  It is better, but I needed to make sure it wasn't RC.  Yesterday I got in and they took tons and tons of x-ray's and the doctor (I LOVE HER) said it was NOT RC!!!!!  Hallelujah, BUT, I have some neck spongy disc issues.  For one thing my neck spine doesn't curve the right way, the exact opposite and with some of the discs deteriorating a bit she suspicions a pinched nerve and bursa inflammation.  So the first course of action is to continue chiropractic, massage, stretching and now steroids on board and something (can't remember the name) for the pinched nerve.  We're going to watch it until I get back from LA next month and proceed if it isn't any better with higher dosages or injections.  YIKES! 

The good thing is I did step away from the sketching and started applying some paint.  Long ways to go on this one and I will continue on with my self portrait series.  

You know looking at this photo reminds me how very young I was.  This was taken at The Hubby's house in the front yard, where he grew up.  It was summer and we were dating.  It was probably July or August and from the rumpled look, well, use your imagination!  We were young and in love and getting married in a few months.  I don't know why I like this picture but I do.  It just reminds me of being in love, young and seeing a new future ahead for me, one that I did not see on the horizon a few months earlier.  I still had an innocence in my look, yet not.  I was on the doorstep to a new future.  

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Urge To Purge

It's been a minute since I've posted but I've been very busy,  busy with sketching that is.  After writing the last post about "ME" I started looking at the photos and wanted to sketch them, then paint and hopefully make an entire show around the world of "ME" and my evolution from baby to adult (so far.)  

This one I used to also reference my anger, disappointment, and utter deflation on finding out that I was yet again turned down membership in Women Artists of the West (WAOW).  I have entered no less than three times and just knew that the third time was the charm but I was sadly mistaken.  I mean, really, what does it take.  Good grief I juried into one of the biggest show around in NYC!  Well, I'm not giving up and will again enter in the fall.  
Then it is back to sketching... 

Today, Saturday I decided it was finally time to yet again organize my closet.  You know, since we have been married, 43 years, we have moved every 10 years so I at least clean out and get rid of every 10 years.  But, we have been in this house 14 years and WOW, it does accumulate.  I've had the incredible urge to purge lately.  Probably because Brother and his wife built a new house and have moved and my studio partner, Linda and her hubby bought a new house (after 25 years) and moved and is purging.  It just put me in the mood and I needed to do it before fall.  Last night when I went to bed I told myself, "Tomorrow it is clean closet time," and this morning after coffee that is exactly what I did.  I purged clothes to go to Goodwill (or other) and my purses, OMG, my purses.  Really I have a love-hate relationship with them and there were some that I had not carried since 2013, (there's proof with receipts in them.)  Plus they are not cheap, my love-hate relationship is with Coach purses.  EGAD!  I also know Sister loves Coach, so, I sent her a text asking if she wanted, and guess what the answer was, YES!!!  Yeah, they will go to her house on Monday and I only kept a select few that I more than love.  I got rid of at least 15 purses guys!!! 
Part of my clean out agenda was to go through every single purse and pull out the trash, receipts, notes, fingernail files, my pocketknife I lost, gum, change, a $10 bill and lots and lots of fortunes form fortune cookies that I collect.  One of these days I will use them in one of my paintings, maybe one of the self portraits.  

Saturday, August 03, 2019

MY Life in the Fast Lane

At our art show/opening the other night a friend commented to me that she didn't know how I did it all.  I honestly haven't heard that from anyone since my girls were young and you, well, you have children and work and some sort of a life.

My oldest is in that world right now, going and going and going.  The youngest is getting ready to jump into the world of motherhood, the roller coaster of parenthood.  It's a world where you can get lost in the daily minutiae of life in general, the me is no longer.  I remember those days, I want to say fondly, but not really.  It was hard work getting them to and from their lives and trying to work and trying to find a smidgen of a second for me.  

I thought that when they were grown and gone that life might slow down, and it did in a way.  So, why not mask, you have a few minutes...LOL!
When they were little there was of course all the school to and fro, the after school activities and I did a bit of volunteering at the schools.  Plus I was also still working at the office but often brought it home in the evenings to do spreadsheets or pay bills, etc., after everyone was in bed.  When they were older and my driving time was not necessarily needed I went back to school myself.  I traded the running around with them to me and my head stuck in a book.  I really never had too much down time.  

Then they flew the coop, we moved, I was still working, and then dealt with the losses.  What to do but PAINT!  The other night I realized that I traded a lot of those tasks for yet another aspect of my life, my art journey.  It takes a lot of time and effort to not only create works of art but, if you want to sell, compete or make a name, it is hard to do.  I am constantly looking at the various venues to have shows, or online on the websites that broker the art shows all over the country.  I can spend days reading the prospectuses of the ones I want to enter and then you have to fork out entry fees, have the right size jpeg scans of your images (after you take them to scanners - another cost).  It is almost full time, plus I'm STILL working at our office.  I go there and pay bills, payroll, meet with accountants or insurance people.  I luckily don't have to actually be in the office as much anymore, thank goodness but it's still time away from what I really want to do.  Yet our business is what has allowed me to do my painting, enter shows, and travel to workshops. 
Whew, I need the weekend to just relax my mind sometimes.  Hammock time, rats it's raining, so screened porch it is.