Back to work(out)

I may be going home next week but I’m still here this week and doing therapy. I had a rough night due to lower back/SI joint pain on an uncomfortable bed, and was feeling wobbly this morning when it was time to go to PT, so I rode down instead of walking. I made up for that by walking a lot with OT in the afternoon. Arm and leg bike time, parallel bars for standing leg exercises, standing endurance batting around a ball while holding on to the walker with one hand, sitting leg exercises, and the ever popular “move the rings from point to point while side stepping at the bar.”

This afternoon we walked outside which was an adventure; the goal was walking on different surfaces. I’m usually doing carpet or smooth floors, while outside on pavement it feels different. I actually found it easier than smooth floors since I didn’t feel that things would roll away from me too fast. Oh, and I did some rollator work, too, but I still don’t think I’m ready for that. I know it’s coming but I’m not there.

I’ve been buying stuff I’ll need at home using funds received when the club returned half of my initiation fee following the sale of my house. First thing up was to contact Sleep Number and find out for sure that I only need to buy an adjustable FlexFit base to go with my current bed to make it adjustable. Too bad I can’t HAVE it until November 2nd, but I couldn’t buy it until I knew when I’d be going home. It will make it a lot easier to get in and out of my bed plus generally it’s a good idea. I also ordered wheelchair and walker accessories that Medicare doesn’t pay for, and a set of new taller chair legs to go on my recliner to make it easier for me to get in and out.

I’m also plotting the sale of my car, since I want to sell it before insurance renews on October 19th. I’ve run it through the Blue Book and Edmunds and have an offer from CarMax in hand that’s higher than either of the others. My brother and sister-in-law will be here to help me navigate my return home next weekend and I’m hoping I can add the car to their projects. It would be a big weight off my mind to have it resolved.

My brain is whirling with house things to be sorted out – rearranging closets, moving furniture, unpacking boxes, hauling the stuff now here in rehab and trying to figure out where to put it all. And of course some serious de-furring of all the furniture since the cats have had free rein of the apartment for 2 months and have generously shared their fur with everything. Oh yeah, I also ordered more cat toys of different varieties. No, they’re not spoiled.

But what I really need is rest and a good night’s sleep. Will work on more stretches between now and then, trying to work out some knots.

I Secret Santa’d Myself

I had no idea I needed a cordless vacuum until my housecleaner used one on a visit before Thanksgiving. My 13-year-old Dyson works great but is heavy, cumbersome, and, well, has a cord that I have to move multiple times as I clean. I need cleaning to be easier to do or I put it off, and with the cats shedding fur everywhere, I really need to whip around and sweep the floors more often than I’d been doing.

So I Secret Santa’d myself and bought a Tineco A10 Hero+ after doing some research with Consumer Reports (I’m a librarian, I can’t help myself; research is in my blood). Tineco is the highest rated brand and the same one that my housecleaner used and raved about. And it was on sale at Amazon! It arrived in 2 days and I absolutely love it. Easy to carry, much quieter than the Dyson so the cats aren’t terrified, and it does a great job collecting cat fur.

Actually, I Secret Santa myself quite a lot. I don’t really NEED stuff as much as I want it. So anything that would be an impulse purchase gets saved to a Pinterest board so I can find it again if I’m interested – clothes, earrings, stuff for the house, ideas for other people. At least half of those items are mysteries later – why did I think THAT was something I wanted? – while others I buy and still others just sit there awhile longer. During these Covid times, I really appreciate online shopping, even with paying for shipping costs, because I do less in-store impulse buying. Just because something is cute and I like it doesn’t mean I need it or want to spend money on it. Have a central place to pin ideas helps me keep track of what interests me.

The cordless vacuum, though, was worth it. Now I think there’s a pair of earrings calling my name.

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?

Baby steps

Yesterday I weeded out the pantry of a whole boatload of things that I had no idea were there – and it didn’t look that crowded! But there were plenty of outdated canned veggies, enchilada sauce (why did I have that?), chopped olives, packets of oatmeal from boxes tried once but that I’d hoped would taste better another time, and too-old cartons of chicken stock. I think I’d planned to use them back when I started Noom back in January and then forgot they were there.

I pruned 30 cans of cat food left behind when the cats moved on to another kind of fishy food and turned their noses up at the old stuff, and hauled it today to Petco to be donated to a shelter. Then I consolidated half empty boxes of Ziplock bags and reorganized the shelves. It looks beautiful.

Then today I went grocery shopping, but not much went into the pantry. I bought broccoli and apples, sweet potatoes and meat, milk and lemonade, protein drinks and carb-balanced spinach tortillas, and of course, cat toys. The pantry still looks beautiful but now the fridge is super-crowded until I get organized on what to next with stuff in there.

I have plans. Tonight I’m cooking pork tenderloin and sweet potatoes, serving with steamed broccoli. Adding 1/4 C. of unsweetened applesauce to the potatoes, I will be 100 calories under my calorie budget without feeling hungry or deprived. It will be Day One to be strung together with other days to come to get myself back on track. Today I listened to my body and ate differently, and I feel better about myself and my choices.

Tomorrow I’ll do chicken teriyaki in the crockpot, with added onions and peppers, pineapple and water chestnuts. It’s one of my favorite meals served over a small portion of rice. I’m throwing out that frozen riced cauliflower; I’d rather have a smaller bit of something I actually enjoy.

After running around all day and spending money like water, it feels good to be still for an hour. Time to write, time to read, time to rest. I have Noom articles to read but I also have a book that’s almost finished. I think that’s up next.

How Do I Know What Fits Me?

I shop for clothes by myself and I have no idea what I really look like in what I wear.  It’s not a good combination.  I’ve read that it takes a year for the brain to catch up with every 25 lbs lost, and that certainly resonates.  Oh, I understand that I’ve changed and that I’m different, but the eyes  don’t recognize what properly fitting clothes look like on ME.

After watching Stacy and Clinton for years, I know a lot about what styles and colors work best, but the FIT doesn’t make sense.  My brain knows that tight = too small, and loose = fitted, which doesn’t always translate to looking right.  I’ll try on a top and see nothing clinging to the lumps and bumps, and think it’s a good fit when it’s really baggy.

Since many plus size ladies also shop alone, we give each other feedback and can see “too big” clothes on other people that we don’t recognize on ourselves.  And sometimes, sure, they are wearing “too small” clothes because they are blocked by the sizes/number and not by how things fit.

But yesterday was totally different.  I went looking for some casual pants for fall, mostly just to see what was out there.  Catherine’s is no longer an option for me, since everything in the store is too big, too long, too boxy, or just not my style.  Or maybe all of the above.  So I went next door to Lane Bryant, a store I usually avoid because I don’t like the clothes.  They do have lots of pants, though, so it seemed like a good idea.

Over the course of the next 45 min, three sales women of different ages and 2 customers gave me feedback on how I looked in what I tried on.  I mostly stayed in the dressing room while they brought me pants in different styles, colors, and sizes.  My job was to put them on and come out and model.   Mostly I tried on jeans or pants out of a denim or denim-colored fabric.  I haven’t worn jeans for at least 20 years.

One pair felt as though it was painted on, which caused my watchers’ jaws to drop.  They thought, to a person, that the pants were too loose, which totally shocked me.  It happened over and over.  They made me stand in front of a mirror and said, “Look at yourself. See yourself as you are NOW.  You are not the same size you were before.  These clothes FIT.”  And they were right.  Stacy and Clinton were mentioned frequently 🙂

I ended up coming home with 3 pairs of pants, in 3 different sizes, all on sale with coupons for extra savings.  One is a pair of gray knit pants that will work for the office and for casual wear, size 14/16.  Another is a pair of jeans in size 16, and a third a pair of “jeggings” in size 18.  I’m not completely sure about the jeans, but know that as I lose more weight, I will feel more comfortable wearing them.  Plus I will practice at home before I let anyone see me.

What this reinforced is that I need to go shopping often now – not to buy, but to try on sizes, colors and styles and really see what I look like when I try the same thing on in different sizes.   The sales floor is often quiet mid-week, and taking an afternoon off to shop should let me have extra help and feedback.

I’ll be choosy about what I actually buy; I don’t want/need a lot since I know my size will change, though it’s going slower now than it was earlier (which doesn’t bother me at all).  But as the new season approaches, I know I have next to nothing that fits and I refuse to start the fall in baggy clothes.  The trick is knowing what’s baggy and what’s not.