Tag Archives: diet

How it feels to be clinically dead…

I say this in jest.  Measurable Progress was supposed to be about my journey down to my ideal weight.  It hasn’t been going well.  I have tried nearly everything to reduce my weight, and of course did tons of research.  I know my gut bacteria is fine.  I know that diet pills and the extra “energy” you get from patches is just adrenaline or caffeine that boosts your metabolism…amphetamines.  Legal speed, but speed.  I hate pills.  I’ll drink coffee or tea or pop (which has WAY too much sugar and tastes awful without it.)  Spending a lot of time at the gym makes me sore and fat instead of just fat… Nothing seems to work. Then I was looking at folks at the gym, and at church, and at my club meetings.  It seemed that they all breathed faster than I did.

When I sit or sleep next to my husband, I breathe once for every 4 of his.  Yup.  So I looked it up:  Normal breathing–respirations per minute–are 12-18 in a normal person over 12 years old.  12-18/minute?  How many breaths do you take in a minute?  I’ll wait.











So?  How many did you come up with?  16?  14?  Good for you. Realize it’s probably not accurate because you know you’re being observed so NOW you’re paying attention to your breathing.  If you’re over 24 breaths per minute, you may have problems…go see your doctor!!!  If you’re under 8 breaths/minute, you may have problems…go see your doctor!!!  My doctor says my thyroid is fine, my heart rate is about 60 bpm and though there’s a slight murmur, I’ve had it all my life.  However, he hasn’t addressed my respirations which are…(drum roll)  take a guess.





Would you believe, 4/min?  I inhale over 2 seconds, then exhale for about 13.  Low is 8, if you’re a trained athlete.  Mine’s 1/2 that.  So A) I’m on opioids, B) I have a brain tumor, C) hypothyroidism, D) toxins or E) a head injury.  As far as I know, I don’t have a brain tumor.  Definitely no opioids, or toxins or head injury, and doctor said my thyroid is fine.  The only conclusion is that I’m dead, and my body hasn’t decided to quit breathing altogether. 

When you exercise a lot…running, working on a farm, athlete, construction…you lower your metabolism because you strengthen your heart.  Running forces you to breathe from your diaphragm.  Marathon runners and elite athletes are supposed to be breathing about 50-75 bpm while active, but it doesn’t say what their resting respirations are.  They have to breathe rapidly to get rid of the CO2 which is the byproduct of lactic acid that builds up in the muscles during exertion.  If they don’t breathe quickly, things begin to shut down because the lactic acid builds up the acidity of the blood and that tends to make the brain a bit nervous.  Fast breathing usually happens in the torso rather than deep in the diaphragm.  The upper part of the diaphragm in this case basically flutters.

3d rendered medically accurate illustration of human diaphragm anatomy

When they finish the race or the activity, they bend over to keep from fainting, and have to force as much CO2 from their bodies as possible, so they employ deep diaphragmatic breathing.  Bending over is a bad idea as it inhibits the diaphragm from expelling as much CO2 as it needs to, but that’s neither here nor there.

Their lung capacity grows as they get more fit and their hearts get stronger.  That lowers the resting respiration rate.  But still not below 8-10 bpm.

If I exercise really hard (like those evil interval training exercises!) I can get my heart rate up to 150+ for about 10-15 min.  Then when I stop, it only takes about 5 min for my heart to go back to its 60, and my breathing to return to its 4 and that’s normal for an athlete.  I’m not an athlete, or a dancer, or a laborer.  What does that mean?  My metabolism is very very slow.  That indicates that since I cannot work out 5 hours a day like I did when I was teaching dance, if I eat over 1000 calories/day, I gain weight.  Solutions anyone?



If it moves for, it’s pro, if it moves away, it’s con.  But not every Pro has a Con.  So a Proverb doesn’t have a Converb, but a procession does have a concession.  Wait… hmmm. A procession is a group of people moving in an orderly way.  A process is an orderly set of steps.  But a concession means to give up something.  Both have the root word “Cession” which means giving up something.  If you look at it, it’s 2 sides of the same situation.  Process–moving forward to take ceded land, and concess–ceding the land to the processors.  What does that have to do with popcorn and hot dogs?  The ball games and the movie theaters allow you to have food as long as it’s theirs.  Otherwise people would sneak food in.  So understanding that people watching their shows or games want to be eating while they do this, the establishments concede that it is better for them to offer food that patrons must buy on site than allow people to bring in picnic baskets or illicit food sellers to sneak in and sell it on site.  So now they have a Process:  confiscate all incoming food, including water bottles, and sell food for people to consume on the premises.  Yes, they check your handbags.

You can have a Promotion but not a Conmotion…That would be demotion instead.  You can have Protection, but not Contection, Propagation but not Conpagation, Proliferate but not Conliferate.  Of course, to be fair, Proliferate has a different basis…proles meaning offspring.  But you can see my dilemma.  Of course there’s the old joke:  The opposite of Progress is… Congress!  It wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t true…

So for me to Progress, something else has to give.  That isn’t the case when you’re trying to reduce your weight.  Because face it, if you lose weight, you’re always looking for it afterwards and usually you find it.  All of you out there that are trying to get back to a normal weight, ok, a lower weight, ok, a really lower weight (2 pounds doesn’t count), and maintain that new weight, you and I have to CONCEDE something.  In fact we have to concede a lot.  We have to give up couch time for movement time.  We have to give up eating for fun for eating for sustenance.  If you’re only expending 1200 calories a day, you can’t consume 2000.  You cannot eat food you’re addicted to, such as bacon with everything.  a8fa-2013735-bacon-milkshake.jpg-resize-_opacity_100-frame_bg_color_FFF-gravity_center-q_70-preserve_ratio_true-w_1300_

I’m so disappointed I never tried bacon shakes…Ok, no, I’m not.  You have to give up something you have for something better…even if you love the thing you’re giving up.

Is what you’re getting better than what you have?  Will you feel better?  Will you be able to shop in the sections that don’t include tents when looking for clothes?  Will you be able to go up and down stairs, run after kids and grand-kids, bend over to pick up dropped objects, get into and out of chairs and couches and vehicles?  Does that have any significance to you?  Do these things mean more to you than the couch time and the addictive food you crave?  That’s the big question.  Put another way, I cannot progress unless I move BACKWARDS.  This is the hardest part of any self improvement program.  (Hmm do Programs have Congrams?)

In order to improve yourself, you have to be more aware of what you do that keeps you from improving.  Is it your language, your stance, your abilities, your skills…?  What do you have to give up to go up?  If going up means more to you than staying where you are, you will be willing to give up to get there.  If you are more comfortable doing the things you do now or being the person you are now, and going up means giving up something you love for something you like, Don’t do it!  You will be unsuccessful.


What if things go wrong.  You can count on things going wrong actually.  They’re very consistent.  You have a plan, you execute the plan, the plan goes off the rails, you throw the plan out.  Those are Captain Cold’s rules.  He then gets trapped in a room with a giant shark/man mutant from another dimension (Demention?  from crazy town?)  He does get rescued in time though.

I am on this weird journey to make Measurable progress in getting fit.  My 1st entry in this blog was March 6, 2014.  OMG.  I was 208 pounds then.  I’m 218 now.  Since that 1st entry, I have looked for the right combination of exercise and diet that would get me down to about 140 pounds which I haven’t weighed since my youngest was born…143 pounds plus or minus.  I remember that weight because I was 143 pounds going into the hospital as a pregnant lady, and came out weighing 143 pounds AFTER the child was born.  How is that possible?  He was 7# 4 oz.  I should have weighed at least 7 pounds less coming out!  That was the beginning of this strange journey into obesity.  Hahaha!  I can blame my boy!  Nope, that won’t work.

I cut myself down to 1200 calories a day.  I have been at 1200 calories a day for 3 years.  I have tried cutting out chocolate, then bread, then carbs in general, then colas, and at one time I existed on soup for a week.  Of course that was because I had a terrible respiratory virus that precluded me from eating solid food.  I couldn’t keep anything down but soup.  I do not recommend it.  I have exercised cardio and strength training 5 days a week with a trainer 3 days of those days, and I have exercised on my own taking occasional walks and going to the gym to work on the tread mill once a week.  I have been told I’m eating too little.  I have been told that to really lose the weight, I have to go on an 800 calorie diet and take supplements.  I have been told that all I need to do was portion control.  I have been told that all I need to do is start a running regimen.

In the course of this journey, I have had a 1/2″ kidney stone, I have broken my hip, and I have suffered all sorts of indignities that go with being too big.  I especially hate shopping for clothes.  “Here, try this tent on, the circus won’t be back until spring.”  I cannot physically get into a swimsuit because I cannot bend over to get both my feet in.  It doesn’t work like underwear.  I used to love swimming.  I used to love dancing.  I’m winded going up to the sidewalk of the gym.  I watch all the weight loss commercials and think to myself, well they wouldn’t work for me.  I think the laws of physics and biology bend around me.  I think I have ranted on this before…if you eat less and exercise more, you use more calories than you take in and you lose weight.  Unless you’re not eating enough, then they pile on.  If you are awake really late at night because you have something on your mind, and you’re moving, you’re using more calories, right?  But if you don’t get enough sleep, you gain weight.  So the laws of physics apply to every situation except when they don’t.

I HAVE NO VICES!  I do not overeat.  I do not smoke.  I do not drink.  I do not commit adultery.  I do not gamble.  I might be addicted to Longmire, but I don’t think that’s a vice since it has a definite ending point.  And yet…  I cannot find the energy to clean, or cook, or garden, or walk or dance or swim because I am so big and it takes so much effort.  I get depressed because I know I DO have 6-pack abs, but they’re so insulated that no one can see them.  I used to dance 5 hours a day.  I used to hike 10 miles.  I used to go on bike rides all over.  I used to march and play a horn for an hour a day.  I used to chase 5 kids around.  I used to be a pit pop who moved the percussion instruments on and off the field and in and out of the trucks.  I used to set field props for band contests.  I couldn’t do any of that now, even at gunpoint.

And now, I have another physical issue.  I don’t want to be in a state of always having to do something to fix something.  I don’t want to take medicine for the rest of my life.  I want it fixed.  When the light bulb goes out, you replace it.  You don’t have to monitor it every stinking day to see if there is something that MIGHT go wrong with it.  When you replace a broken window, you do it and it’s fixed.  There is no daily activity you have to do to make sure the fixed window hasn’t degraded into a broken window.  When you break a bone and they reset it, it heals and then EVERY FREAKING DAY you have to exercise the muscles around it so you can continue to use it for the rest of your life.  Because once it’s broken, it’s ruined.  Nothing will ever be right about it from that point on.  If you have a kidney stone, EVEN AFTER YOU’VE PASSED IT, you’re likely to have more.  The kidney is ruined and nothing will ever be right about it from that point on.  If you’ve gained weight, by whatever means it has happened, your metabolism is ruined and it will never be right again.  Every day, you start from 0.  It’s like Forrest Gump if he were in the Outer Limits. He starts his cross country run, runs for 25-30 miles.  He goes to sleep and wakes up the next morning in his bedroom.

As a good friend of mine says, “Oh Well.”


Water you up to?  Not much, you?

Hahahaha!  I crack myself up.  (cues laugh track)

I was looking on my bottle of tea for ingredients.  It SHOULD say water and green tea.  It doesn’t.

Water, Citric acid, Hexametaphosphate, Natural flavor (why would you have to ADD natural flavor?  If it isn’t added, why is it listed as an ingredient?) Green tea (there’s the tea), ascorbic acid, potassium sorbate, phosporicacid, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, pectin, and calcium disodium EDTA. And what is EDTA?  Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. (That’s ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid)  It is made from a concoction of poisons and chelation chemicals:  formaldehyde, sodium cyanide, and Ethylenediamine.  Yummy!

Back to water.  It has been pointed out to me that I might be suffering from chronic dehydration.  Chronic?  It means I’m consistently drinking stuff other than water.  Think of it this way.  You’re making bread.  It calls for flour, sugar, milk, salt, butter and yeast.  That’s fairly straight forward isn’t it.  Milk is liquid.  Substitute 2/3 c of dry milk and 1 cup water.  Now…Here’s where the fun begins.  Try substituting 1 cup of tea for the water.  Now try 1 cup of coffee.  Oooo!  how about a cup of kalua!  Wait.  1 cup of Mountain Dew!  I like Mountain Dew, let’s make it 2 cups!  Yum!  In any case, you’re not going to get bread out of this recipe.

The body craves water.  Simplest form possible.  If it gets something other than water, it first has to clean it to get the water out.  That’s an extra step.  When you pollute the water with flavorings and extra chemicals to maintain its color and addict you to the secret ingredient (High Fructose Corn Syrup),  you don’t get as much water as you need out of the concoction.  Your nerves need water to make sure the electrical impulses are not short circuited.  Your brain needs water because it’s the brain and it knows what it wants.  Your bones need water to lubricate the joints.  Your blood needs water so it doesn’t get too thick.  OK, so no, I don’t exactly know why all these systems need water, but they do.  But I don’t drink nearly enough water.  I bet you don’t either.  You drink sports drinks, and pop, and milk, and tea, and beer, and wine and juice.  But you don’t just drink water.  Oh we make a big deal about carrying our water in little bottles with labels that say “this here water is pure as the driven snow and melted down from a glacier in Nova Scotia…or from the tap of Mrs. Livingston in Rockwell, Ill.”  We drink the water at the gym and where ever we think someone will see us being healthy.  Then we go home and have a 2 liter Mountain dew with our pizza.  Or we have 1/2 a case of beer with our steak and potatoes.

I want to try an experiment.  Let’s get as many people to do a WATER ONLY September.

  1. Take your measurements and describe your well-being before you start, and then at the end of the month.  Let me know what you discover.
  2. If you drink anything, it has to be water.  No tea, coffee, fruit drinks, diet drinks, pop…just water.  I think the standard amount is related to your weight.  I may be way off base, but figure 1 oz of water for every 2 pounds you weigh.  So if you are 100 pounds, you drink 50 oz of water a day.
  3. You can have soup and broth, but it doesn’t substitute for water, it would be in addition to water.

I will collate the information and let you know the results in October.  It could have revealing results.


What does it take?

I went to the gym for my training session.  I was on crutches and very sore.  Here’s the thing:  When you can’t put any weight on your leg, all the weight goes on your hands.  That’s “hands” plural.  How do people on crutches carry things?  I got a back pack and a fanny pack so I can carry my books and notebooks and wallet and pens and stuff.  But how do you carry your hot dog to the table?  How do you carry your soda?  How do you carry your groceries into the house?  If you put them in a bag, it must have handles.  So you grab the handles, grab your crutches and go…but the bag hits the crutches every step.  Good bye eggs!  How do you open the door and maintain your balance with your grocery bag in one hand and the crutch in the other?  Remember it’s a spring loaded screen door…This means that UNLESS SOMEONE FEEDS ME OR BRINGS ME FOOD, I DON’T EAT.  My trainer was ecstatic!  I was down to 206!  “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it,” she said.  “You’re down 7 pounds in 2 weeks!”

I am extremely hungry, so, being me, I found a work-around.  Compensating behavior. This is the behavior that makes it appear that you are doing the right things, but you’re doing them in a different way.  Before the broken hip, my left leg was weaker than my right.  To do step-ups with weights, I simply stepped up with my right leg, but with my left, I swung the weights to give me the momentum to get up on the platform.  Now when I go to the gym, it’s shoulders, arms, back and abdominals.  How am I gaining weight then?  Oh…people bring me food.  I can drive now.  (That’s right, connect the dots.)  *sobs*  I’m eating out!  And when I’m home and hubby makes dinner, I ask for SECONDS and he gives them to me.  He’s a very good cook, and the stuff he makes is so delicious.  I should thank him, eat ONE portion and stop.  I don’t.

So though it’s measurable progress, it’s moving in the wrong direction.

Finally out in the open!

1st good day I have to walk AND I have time!  I’m so excited.  I went on the Lied trail, I’m still going clockwise so that I don’t pull stuff in back.  Much to my surprise, I had NO pain!  If not for my lesson, I would have been able to walk a couple of miles.  The clover and the roses are blooming.  What a fantastic smell!  I wanted to make doubly sure I got my credit for actually walking so I entered it in my fitbit and in my runkeeper.  I wonder if I get double credit that way… hmmm.

I am basically on the Atkins diet.  It is a “Keto” diet where you replace all the sugar you were eating before with fat.  Then the body runs out of sugar and carbs to burn, it starts burning fat.  We like that.  Today I had a super protein breakfast.  2 eggs, 2 sausage, 2 bacon, cottage cheese and coffee.  Filling!  worked and then came home and had a lettuce taco.  It’s a Romaine lettuce leaf filled with home made chicken salad.  Went back out to work, and then took my lovely walk.  Picked up a cucumber, a pepper, a tomato and some colby/jack cheese and a dozen eggs.  Got home and boiled the eggs, then ripped up some Romaine, added the little broccoli florets, some celery, 1/2 the cuke, the tomato, 1/2 the pepper, about 2 cups of the chicken I processed yesterday (boned, skinned, cubed, and grilled with seasoning salt) and about 8 slices of the cheese, and about 3 slices of bacon (chopped).  The recipe feeds 2.  Hubby and son and I had it and had leftovers.  Blew my diet then?  No!  still have 388 calories I can eat!!!  I like this diet.  🙂  We’ll see if it works.  But my carbs are way way down.  For the WEEK, I have 307g of carbs.  That’s about 1/2 of what I was averaging 2 weeks ago.  I’m astounded.   2 weeks ago, I’d eat 1 meal, check my totals and know that to stay under 1200 calories, I could only eat one more meal.  Now I eat 3 squares, and I’m still averaging between 850-900 calories per day.  Consequences:  way more saturated fat.  Fascinating experiment.

I got a FITBIT!

What does that mean?  It means that now it counts how many steps it is to the bathroom for me! I figure…2548 trips will get me 1/2 way to my 10k step goal.  *Does her math*  hmmm.  That would be 100 trips an hour if I didn’t sleep.  I don’t think that will work.  I may have to actually go someplace and walk to get my 10k.

Learned about a Keto diet.  It’s generic Atkins.  Have all the bacon and chicken with skin on and steak you want, just don’t eat peaches and bananas, and pop.  I will let you know if I can do this.  Sounds like my kind of diet…bacon diet.  There ya go!

School’s started

Now my mornings are open.  I can WALK!  I can go to the gym!  I can enjoy my day until about 3:30-4!  YAY!

No I can’t.  We’ll see after Friday.  I’m getting nervous about this laser procedure.  How long will it take me to recover?  Will I still have to pass these stones (because if it works, there will be multiple stones.)  The ESWL broke stones into 3 pieces:  2 slivers and the big chunk.  Nothing’s passed.  The pain I feel is 5-10 seconds and intense, and then nothing.  I miss going on my walks, and actually miss my torture…um trainer.

I am trying to eat mostly protein and vegies.  I don’t think it’s working much on the weight situation.  We’ve had monsoon August, so all the grilling out we were going to do became indoor cooking.  I did make some wonderful barbecue sauce.  Maybe we’ll still get some barbecuing done in September.  All that toning I did, all gone.  I have to start from scratch again.  Argh.

Worst Pep Talk EVER

So I didn’t get what I was expecting at my last training (gained weight) and was extra sore.  So what?  “Isn’t that Interesting?”  oops and go on.  But I couldn’t go on.  I sat there and stared out at my car knowing I should go to the gym and do some cardio on Tuesday, knowing I should do some lower body on Wednesday… and I could come up with lots of excuses and no reasons why I shouldn’t go.  But I didn’t go.  I’m ready to give up.  Ready to throw in the towel.  1 bad result.  How dumb is that?  The attitude is “if you KNOW you’re going to fail, why even try?  Why expend effort and emotion and all that is fragile just to be disappointed again?”  And it’s all because of some numbers on a scale.  Measurable progress.  Things to compare.  Why do I let my emotional state control my physical and mental actions?  Is this common? 

I am SO tired of setting these goals.  Any goals.  All goals.  (For this month it’s 2 pounds per week)   I set tiny goals and my trainers and supervisors ask, “Why are you shooting so low?”  “Because I can’t do it.  I set these milestones because you tell me to, but I have no doubt in my mind that I can’t do them, even the minimums.”  “OH!  Well that’s because you fail at your plan!  Work your plan and you’ll reach them.”  Then I show them my notes and my efforts.  “You did all of that and still failed?”  Pretty much.  So if it doesn’t matter, results wise, what I eat or whether I exercise, then why am I doing this?  Exercise, count calories, no carbs, 1 gal water (no I haven’t hit that either) weigh 213.  Sit and play or read, eat what I want, 1 8 oz glass of water every week if I remember, weigh 213.  Well duh.  Short term thinking.  I was 187 when I had to cancel my training sessions 2 yrs ago… I have my work outs, I can do it on my own.  (Didn’t did I…)  JUST GO!  DO!  you’re sore now, but get sore in other areas.  It’s a good sore, not injured sore.  Just a reminder of where your muscles USED to be… 

Arby’s Smokehouse

Cashew Chicken (1/2 order)

no exercise