Sunday, September 11, 2016

Lose Weight Fast?

Is it just me or are the "airwaves" flooded with "Lose weight fast" ads.  One ad appearing in my email, promised a 35 lbs loss in a matter of days.  Then, there is the 21 day diet which I've heard touted.  And of course, there is the nuclear option, surgery, which includes cutting up your stomach and throwing away most of it as in the gastric sleeve (nevermind that the stomach is a critical digestive organ as these medical providers DO learn in school and probably doesn't work to digest a bunch of the 100 nutrients and micronutrients we need daily --after it's cut up) or cutting off most of the stomach to make a "pouch" (isn't that cutsie)... attaching this to the bowel, bypassing the business end of the small bowel (where the rest of the nutrients are digested) and this is supposed to kill your appetite and the pounds just "drop off" ... as in the gastric bypass.  Well, after surgery when you feel like you've been hit by a train, you aren't very hungry but I know plenty of gastric bypass post ops who weigh over 300 lbs (those who LIVED that is... 1-2% of them die within 30 days of surgery - we never hear about this on TV of course).

None of this works of course, because the appetite centers are in the brain, not the stomach but everyone is looking for the quick way out.  There IS NO quick way.  As Beverly Sills, the opera singer has said "There is no quick road to a place worth going!" Even the Dr Nowzardian shows which greatly romanticize the weight loss surgeries, include a disclaimer "less than 5% are successful in keeping off the weight on the long term."

   Mild calorie restriction and counting your calories every day, will cause a weight loss and keep it off - as long as you count your calories - they have good web clients which are free, like "My Fitness Pal".

Overweight is 60% genetic, so say the experts.  And the American lifestyle consisting mostly, of fast food and high fat foods, is not only fattening us up but also clogging our blood vessels.  The hospital where my husband got 5 surgeries to unclog his major blood vessels (including the coronary arteries, 4 out of 5 which were completely blocked), has lots of folks who are aging and either missing limbs or pretty sick.  We don't see this on TV either.  My hubby has been in the hospital since Jan 2016!  As of this writing (Sept 2016) that's pretty near 8 months (he was home for the month of June)

In the early 1990's, Dr Dean Ornish who had come down with heart disease when he was 45, did a lot of research and wrote a book called "REVERSING HEART DISEASE".  In it, he detailed 10,000 patients (including himself) who had reversed heart disease eating a low fat diet (10% fat) and exercising cardio at least 30 minutes a day.  The surgeon general of the USA agreed and wrote a few papers to that effect, also.  This was mostly ignored by the public despite the evidence based research and sadly, few people heard from their medical providers that this was good advice, leaving only a handful of us, often labeled "health nuts" to believe Dr Ornish (kind of a no brainer that what he was writing was true).  

In 1994, at the age of 49, I went on the low fat diet and started exercising cardio, daily.  This made me healthy but only took off 19 lbs.

In 2008, by serendipity I discovered that mild calorie restriction not only made my GERD go away but made me lose weight.  I ended up losing 110 lbs and keeping 107 lbs off, ever since.  And yes, I count my calories daily and I still exercise cardio 6 days a week.

And I, despite heart disease running in my family, and despite my getting pretty close to my 72nd birthday, am NOT in the hospital getting my arteries unclogged, .

Don't have the time to read Ornish's book?  Here's a 3 minute video giving the Reader's Digest version - by Dr Ornish himself, still going strong, unlike his Dad who died at the age of 49. 

Photo is of myself and hubby just before all the surgeries and what hubby looked like when he came back from getting a quadruple coronary bypass.  Hubby is finally realizing that exercise should be a part of his life and exercising on his own (walking his wheelchair down the halls of the hospital).  Photos of him are reprinted by permission.  A word to the wise should be sufficient.  "Who does not study history, is doomed to repeat it!"  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Monthly Weigh In

So with the WW website community going away, I guess I fire up this blog.

Today was my monthly Weigh In and meeting. I basically stayed the same which is a good thing since I'm significantly below goal.  And I enjoyed the meeting as usual. Always enjoy chatting and sharing with other members and enjoy what our leader shares also. I never weigh at home or seldom, and just weigh at the meeting.

We had a lively group at the meeting and I always learn new things there, which is fun.

I look forward to my monthly meeting! And now to watch the Olympics! :)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jan 2016 update

(My favorite game of late - CrazyKitchen!) :)

Weight Watchers has a new program called "Beyond the Scale" and I approached with trepidation, after all, it's very new and different from the "Points Plus" program I've been following for years.  But after I'd read the new material and studied it, I realized it's the best program yet, because it warns you about unhealthy foods by assigning them high points value and steers you toward healthy foods by assigning lower points values, and also because it's the only program that I know of, which incorporates fitness right into the program as an integral part.  That's something near and dear to my heart because I feel regular exercise is pretty close to being a lifesaver.  They have an "app" for iPhones and the like which helps members work fitness into their daily lives!  So after really studying the materials carefully, I decided to embrace the new program and I _totally_ love it!  As for foods, you can still choose anything you want but now you can, before you eat, know exactly what you are getting.  I've stayed away from fast food and food high in saturated fats because of a 2 year research I did on the subject which included things like studies, testing the blood after eating foods high in saturated fats and seeing fatty deposits in the blood etc.  Since fast food is a big seller, this is underplayed on TV but Weight Watchers hopes to protect members from falling into the fast food jungle.  (Fast food is very high in calories also - I notice that most of the very overweight folks on the TLC TV show "My 600 lb life" ate lots of fast food.  That's not the only reason they got so large - Obesity scientist, Rudy Leibel states that obesity is at least 60 % genetic/physical (metabolic etc).

Bottom line, I'm very happy with the new program and I don't know if I've lost any weight because I weigh once a month at my Weight Watchers meeting, but I'm on maintenance anyway and several members who have weighed in, said they not only, saw nice losses but feel better than they have felt in a long time because of eating more healthy foods.  I've been maintaining my weight, several lbs below goal now, since March 2010.

PS: when they talk about eating for stress etc, I know about that - had to find new mechanisms for handling stress - it's not easy but can be done.

PPS: (referring to the graphic above) I only chase donuts in computer games - I pass by them in real life! :) :)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Injury - update August - Sept 2015

Me with youngest DGD who had her 18th BD in July

So I got a bit too exuberant in walking. Went with DGD to see youngest DGD and oldest DGD at the store where they work (so for one thing, could give youngest DGD - she was 18 this Birthday - her card and gift. They got DH a scooter but couldn't easily find another one for me so I walked in the store.  That night, I woke up at 11 PM to cook veggies and moved my left leg a bit to the side, felt a "pop" and horrible pain.  DS said it was a muscle strain but it might have been a ligament issue also as I've had a similar injury before - had a mini stroke in 2008 (I'm almost 71 now!) and it took some nerves or whatever out of the left leg - right after the stroke, I was off my feet too.  Anyway, after this injury couldn't walk at all and had to use a scooter around the house.  I believe I've said I'd fought depression because went from being a princess (DH spoiled me) to being a Cinderella (after DH's 3rd stroke when I became caregiver).  Well, what I learned from this injury is there are worse things than being a caregiver, like being a caregiver confined to a scooter.  Doing everything I ordinarily did, became difficult.  And that lasted several weeks. Injury happened Sept 6 and I'm just getting back on my feet now - beginning of October but still wearing my soft brace. (Maybe I should have been wearing it all along?)  Have been a bit depressed (my e-bike is down for the count - the shop lost their mechanic and I need a new front wheel - the bearings are gone on the front wheel on the bike now).  But in the last week I've been able to ride further on my pedal bicycle and that was a thrill. Yesterday DH lent me his e-bike and I rode to an errand and enjoyed it!  And am doing my cooking and cleaning on my feet.

  Most of all, I've learned to be grateful for what I have instead of mourning what I no longer have and ironically, have in the last week or so, been happier than I'd been since Feb 2014 when DH had the third stroke.  It's been good for DH also - since I couldn't wait on him as much with the injury, he's been walking better (because doing more of it).  I think God hit us both with a brick and sometimes those bricks hurt but we end up better for it.

My weight has been staying around 160.  That seems to be where my body likes to be. I got a bravo from our WW leader this AM for "getting" maintenance.  I'm 20 lbs below my doctor set goal so that gives  me some breathing room.  That's it for the update - for now (August was a hard month because we had a power outage for 5.5 hours and also I had two molars break off - crowned teeth, they required surgical extractions.  So not fun!)   Onward and upward! :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 2015 update

I still ride my bicycle a lot albeit also ride an electric bicycle :)

As usual at this time of year, we are watching the Tour de France.  DH either has gotten more return or I've gotten used to the "new him" - probably more of the latter - I help him dress and we have made other changes which work better (he can do some stuff but needs supervision).  We ended up getting a new car and I am shocked to experience where technology has progressed since we got our other car in 2007.  This one has a push button start (no ignition key - I carry a "FOB"), automatic "climate control" and wonderful shocks --- unlike our other car which wasn't really bad but the front end of it disconnected and when I went to the dealership to get it fixed because last time that happened, our mechanic said we needed to go to the dealership.  But at the dealer, a car salesman swooped down upon me and talked us (well me) into a new car. Actually he just let me drive it and I was hooked.  So now we have "car payments" again.  ** sigh **  Sometimes life feels a bit unreal to me - I still miss the strong protective man, DH was - now he's just different... like getting used to a new guy.  He's nice but different and I am left with making the big decisions (like the new car) on my own - I've never done this in my life and it feels very different and uncomfortable. DH kind of, is not all there - quiet and often sits - he still eats normally though... Through all of this, I have kept all of my weight off though - actually losing slowly like one lb a month (I am told I am in the 5% who can keep over 100 lbs off for several years).  Truly I do not have the appetite I used to have, probably due to the big changes in my life (some of which are a bit scary).  But I know if I didn't make good food choices, I could be back where I was in 2008.  Weighing in at my monthly Weight Watchers meeting, is definitely helping me to remember to stay "on program". I do suffer depression quite often but try to deal with that through exercise and prayer.  Depression because losing my lifetime companion in a sense is hard - especially as the years between his retirement in 2010 and his 3rd stroke in Feb 2014, were some of the best in our marriage.

Friday, January 9, 2015

January 2015

Happy New Year!  It's been a while since I've updated - DH has gotten back more return - it's slow but the improvements are exciting.  I got an electric bicycle and we ride all over the place on those.

I've kept my weight at an even keel, 17 lbs below goal! I'm still working out daily.  I got a skimpy little workout outfit for Christmas and I love it wearing it!  I've been below my Weight Watchers goal since March 2010.  And yes, I do count my points plus every day!  Now the Weight Watchers mobile site is pretty awesome so I can conveniently count my points plus on my iPhone and iPad...

While I don't look like a model (who ever heard of a 70 year old model, I don't look bad!  Here I am in my new workout outfit!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Things are looking up

DH is getting some return in cognition but it's slow.  He works - does an online puzzle every day and still does his 30 minutes on the stationary bicycle.  I lost some weight when he initially had his stroke and have been losing about a lb a month but think I'm leveling out now at 15 lbs below my WW goal weight.  I know I'm more active than before because I do all the cooking now and DH can no longer safely drive (although he still does ride his electric bicycle.  At the age of 70, my bicycle speed is comfortable at 5 MPH which is average for my age. (although I remember being in my 50's and questioning the "slow speed" of senior riders).  We are watching and enjoying the Tour de France at present. Yesterday DH did the online puzzle in 20 minutes which is half the time that he took a few months back so progress is happening.  I'm getting used to the "new life" where I am alone often as DH doesn't chat the way he used to before stroke 3. (has some trouble enunciating words)  photo: like this church, we are rebuilding DH's cognition...