I don’t want to “adult” today

Both upper arms have been sore all week. Well, actually, for about 2 months but they’ve gotten progressively worse. Walking with a walker hurts because of the pressure applied with every step; standing up uses the same pressure on the wheelchair arms. Putting on my AFO’s hurts because I’m hauling the legs around using upper body strength to get them positioned into the brace and shoes. And using the NuStep also requires hauling the legs up into position on the pedals.

Physical Therapy decided I should not do any of those things this week (well, except standing; that’s necessary) to give my arms a rest while we figure out what’s going on. Instead of e-stim on my legs, I got e-stim on my right bicep followed by ultrasound, and I think it helped a lot. There’s still soreness, a deep ache, and arm weakness. So I’m off to the doctor tomorrow which is an adventure in itself.

My left thigh has been twitching and the neuropathy in the right foot is worse, or at least it seems worse. The “stocking” sensation makes it feel as though it’s in a cast. The right ankle hasn’t improved at all since August and my hip flexors are incredibly weak. I’m doing exercises, but my limits make it hard to get in a good position to work them properly. It’s very hard to pull my leg back and almost impossible to get it up on the footrest far enough to keep it from falling off. And my right foot/leg are very puffy from edema in spite of elevating them as much as I can and taking diuretics and drinking water. I think we’ll be talking about it tomorrow at the doctor.

And I’m feeling really fat, because I am. Although I can’t get on a scale, I know from the way clothes fit that I’ve gained back much of what I worked so hard to lose on Noom. Lots of explanations for that – obviously much less mobility, boredom, excellent food that I don’t have to cook, and needing comfort. Food has always provided that for me, much as I know it’s false comfort and that I’ll pay for it later. I’m really, really tired of feeling as though I need to diet and watch food all the time. I’ve done it my whole life and I’m still fat. Maybe I need to just accept it with its limits and move on. I did throw out most of the processed foods in the kitchen, which really wasn’t that much anyway, and am trying to make better choices. I know how to eat better; I just need to do it. Maybe that will be enough.

I don’t feel as though I have a lot of years ahead of me, which could just be that I just don’t want to have a lot of them with my limited mobility. I’m finding it hard to stay and be positive, and even harder to stay focused on doing more exercise. Sometimes it feels like that’s all I ever do now – exercise, go to lunch, and therapy. And this week, without the extra exercise, I feel like a slug. So today I’m just indulging in that and not adulting. I know for my mental and physical health that’s not good to do often but for today it’s fine.

My Patience is Wearing Thin

I WANT PATIENCE AND I WANT IT NOW Poster | carson.c.smith | Keep  Calm-o-Matic

I don’t have much patience for much of anything these days, springing up from a variety of sources including but not limited to politics, social media, body aches, cold weather, rain, weight loss stall, bad hair, gray wet skies, and covid stress. Isolation is probably a factor, too, although I don’t feel all that isolated since I go to work and talk to people every day. Still, it’s been exactly a year since Covid was first discovered in the U.S. and it’s changed everything we do and how we do it.

Today specifically I was ready to bite the head off of people in my Facebook group for people with much to lose. I know that January is the month for starting diets – I started Noom last January, too – but it’s making me crazy when I see post after post after post talking about how they are “stuck” after not losing any weight for 3 or 5 or 7 days following a 10 lbs loss in two weeks. This is called NORMAL. It’s a body adjustment. Losing 10 pounds in two weeks is wonderful and motivating and not in the least sustainable. Yet they keep asking and don’t read other posts from people who are asking the EXACT SAME QUESTION.

I think my problem here is really one with social media a.k.a. stupid media. And it’s generational. I don’t pop onto a group and ask a question without doing a simple check to see if anyone else had asked it recently. If so, I read their question/answer and if I still have questions, I’ll ask. I don’t think most people do this, though, and it both puzzles and saddens me. And then it makes me mad at myself for being annoyed.

I’m the oddball and yet I expect others to use this tool the same way I do. I suspect my librarian friends do because we are good researchers and don’t like wasting other people’s time. Though maybe I’m just an old fart there, too, and would find that Millennial librarians do the “pop up and ask without checking” approach, too.

I’m also impatient with my poor technology skills. Oh, I’m good on the computer but I still haven’t figured out how to set up my TV for Internet streaming. It can’t be that hard and I’m smart but the longer I go without using a stick or streaming service or whatever, the more annoyed I am with myself. I have a smart TV but am not a smart TV owner. I don’t do well just reading instructions. I do better when I can watch and ask questions. YouTube lets me watch but not ask. Maybe I should hire a teenager to explain all this to me.

My patience for just plugging on losing weight is pretty low right now, too. I’m just really so tired of thinking about food every waking minute. And I’m tired of seeing all of these new dieter people chime in with their starting weights about the same as where I hope to end up after losing another 60 lbs. It’s not a competition, I know that, but it can get discouraging to think that no matter where I end up, I’ll still be fat, at least in my own head. And naturally that makes me want to eat chocolate if I can find it, even if just a little. It’s not a good solution and I can do better.

Maybe I need to give myself permission to take a year or half-year off from trying to lose. There are other ways to mark and celebrate change and progress than the number on the scale. Whether I lose more or not, I want to MOVE more and to enjoy it. To WANT to go to the gym and to be able to do things with people when Covid settles down enough to make that real. I’d still like to learn how to line dance, though with the knee I know I need to be careful. I’d like to try Pilates and to find a bathing suit that fits and use the pool without feeling embarassed. I can do those things if I let go of the fear and just take the first steps

In Between Week

The week between Christmas and New Years is weird. The world of academia calls it Intersession, the time between the fall and spring semesters. Students have the time off to play, sleep late, visit friends, shop, have Christmas. Librarians never were quite that lucky and I usually ended up working during that weird empty week when I could turn up the volume on my music, wear relaxed clothes, and plow through piles of stuff.

It’s also the week In Between Christmas excess and New Year’s endless commercials for diet plans and exercise programs. When you are reminded that you ate too much for the last two months and it’s time to buckle down and lose those pounds again. Those resolutions are usually excessively optimistic, at least mine have been, and they fall by the wayside sometime by the end of January.

Last year I ended the year signing up for Noom on December 31st and started January 1st. My goal was to get healthier. I didn’t have a weight goal in mind but I’m ending the year down 65 lbs from where I started. But I’ve been in between on that, too. I went great guns in the beginning and the weight fell off. Things derailed in June after I injured my knee and I’ve been v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y losing more. I mean V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y. But for the most part, I’ve at least maintained the weight loss and gotten comfortable in a smaller size. I picked up two 20-lb jugs of cat litter today and could hardly lift them; knowing I’ve lost yet ANOTHER one is hard to imagine how I moved.

But I’m tired of just being in one place. And I do have a goal for 2021: to lose 25 lbs. That’s one pound every 2 weeks, and that’s doable. It won’t happen by just thinking it would be a good idea. Monday I’m stopping at the gym to get set up with 6 weeks of physical therapy for said bad knee. I’m counting on this to help jump start a more active year, knowing what I can safely do to strengthen my muscles and do more cardio with less fear of further injury or falling.

I’m no longer doing Noom, instead using MyFitnessPal to build and track recipes and food. But I still have an active subscription and I’m going to ask my goal specialist to restart me at Week 1 *again* since the articles are full of rah! rah! enthusiasm and motivating energy. I continue to wear my pedometer and pay attention to steps.

In 2008 I wrote: “I don’t want to diet. I want to eat sensibly in moderation, to enjoy a variety of food, to ease the stress on my knees, to be comfortable in my body and with myself.” Those words still apply. That’s what I want. I want the weight of The Weight off my shoulders so I can just BE and not be obsessed with food every waking minute. I’m not there, but I’m closer.

Here’s to getting out of 2020 – the pandemic Covid isolation year – and moving out of In Between Time and going back to making progress.

Feeling the Covid fatigue

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

When I’m stressed, I either eat or shop. I’ve been trying not to eat, although I’ve had a couple of iffy days lately, but I’m going great guns on the shopping. Ask me about velvet pumpkins, my new computer, and leggings. I went a little nuts on leggings.

No, I haven’t lost any more weight and in fact, have gained back a few pounds. But since I know I didn’t eat as many calories as would make those pounds actually stay attached to my body, I’m not particularly worried. But it must be stopped and I’m doing it.

Physical activity has come to almost a crashing halt. I can walk just fine in a store holding on to a cart, and try to do that several times a week, although that does open me up to the “Oh, we must buy something in this store” mentality. But the bad knee is very sore when I try to do other things, and now I think I pulled a groin muscle doing something or other. Clearly I need lessons in how to stretch better so I don’t do this crazy stuff to myself. It is completely logical that this lack of movement is the reason for my basically stagnant weight situation. I’ve heard nothing from the guy who measured me for the super expensive custom knee brace; I think it’s time to order a cheaper one from online to see if it could help.

There is good news, though. My A1C has dropped from 6.1 to 5.3! Still higher than I’d like, but way better (and finally under pre-diabetic) for the first time in years. I thought I’d get updated cholesterol and triglyceride levels with the last blood work but surprise! they didn’t do those. I don’t know why. My arm was there and filling up blood vials nicely. They could have taken more!

But then there is bad news. The back is still a problem. The left side neurotomy was quite effective and only twinges pain a little now and then. But the right side, the bad side, is only about 40% better. Maybe 50%. When I get in the car, I can get about 1/3 of the way to town before it starts to hurt instead of 1/2 mile. And I can do things without wanting to cry. But I’m not getting in a car anytime soon to go on a trip or just get “windshield time,” as my brother calls it, because it hurts.

So instead of doing much, I’m sitting in my chair after work with ice rotating on various body parts, doing gentle stretching, and working on puzzles with the cats. I’ve noticed that my temper flash point is very low and my patience for criticism and correction is almost non-existent.

I’m tired of sore body parts. I’m tired of coronavirus and people who don’t wear masks. I’m tired of being stressed. I want my scalp psoriasis to calm down. And I want Purina to NOT discontinue Emma’s favorite food. And I would really, really like for the election to be over.

Did I mention I put a Biden sign in my yard?

When the Pounds are Just Visiting

My Boston Weight Watcher leader Arlene Lewis was inspirational and motivating, and I loved her. She sent out weekly emails with motivational tips and recipes to a huge mailing list. In that time before Facebook groups and omnipresent cell phones, it was an important way to stay connected and on track on the week between meetings.

One thing she said often was that if you gain some pounds but get right back on track, those pounds are just visiting and will leave soon. If you pretend the gain didn’t happen, those pounds settle in and stick around.

This morning I stepped on the scale to see a 4 lb. drop from yesterday. While it was hard when those pounds jumped on this week, I buckled down and made good choices for the last two days, even though my ability to exercise was limited by back and knee pain. Today I found that those pounds were indeed just visiting. I admit it was a relief to see them gone.

I miss Arlene and this week discovered that she passed away in 2018. How did I not know that? The best way I know to honor her memory is to remember her and the things she passed on. Now is the time to put them into action. Her many WW recipes are easily adaptable to Noom and I have bunches of them here on this blog.

If you’re interested, check out some of my early posts with Advice and Recipes from Arlene.