Surviving Hurricanes


Dearest Readers:

We survived the wrath of a potential Hurricane Irma. I say potential since she dropped down to a tropical storm when she visited Charleston, SC.

We watched The Weather Channel. I must compliment them on their coverage and I am so thankful we survived. We lost power for less than two hours. Amazing. I would like to thank South Carolina Electric & Gas [SCEIMG_5582G] for that!

My sister and her family who live in a rural, beautiful country area miles from Atlanta, Georgia lost their power and did not get it back until 6:30 last night! I sent them a text congratulating them on joining civilization again! There’s nothing like flipping the light switch and seeing a light come on instantly! Of course, there’s nothing more comforting and cooling than air conditioning! And, who likes cold baths? I do. I learned to like them after 14 days without power after Hurricane Hugo.

Originally, we planned to leave Charleston on Monday morning since the hurricane wasn’t anticipated until Tuesday. I booked a hotel reservation for Monday – Wednesday in Georgia. Only miles from the home of my family. Was I ever thankful we cancelled that reservation on Saturday! The silly Irma did more damage there with electricity than she did here. Whoever thought hurricanes would hit the inlands? I did. I remember Hurricane Hugo and how she tore into Columbia, SC and Charlotte, NC. Hurricanes aren’t just for the coastal areas after all!

Today, I was able to return to my Weight Watchers meeting. “I’m checking in,” I said. “But I’m not weighing in today!”

The leader of our meeting, Kathy, simply laughed and shook her head. She probably knew I was only one of the members who would not weigh in today.

Why?

I have no excuse, with exception of a hurricane…fast food – when it was available…junk food… I asked my husband to go to the grocery store once, to get us something to eat. Rule number two of a hurricane [I’ll let you imagine what rule number one is]. Do not send your husband to a grocery store for hurricane foods.

What did he bring home?

Here’s only a brief list:

Blueberry muffins

Bread (we had two loaves sitting on the counter)

Boars Head meats

Cheese

Ice cream

Aren’t we under a hurricane warning? Just what do we do when the power goes out?

“Eat melted ice cream,” I said.

So much for Weight Watchers.

Today, I’ve promised to get myself back on track. Much to my surprise, when I checked e-tools on my iPhone, I discovered I have been super negligent with tracking! Checking back to December, 2016, I discovered I haven’t tracked much at all. I must improve that! Just how can a girl lose weight IF she is negligent?

Today is a new day. The sun is shining beautifully. It is warm, but not too humid. Tomorrow I will work in the yard, picking up the debris of sticks, tree and shrub branches and I shall rake everything into one pile.

Since my dogs LOVE to play with sticks, maybe I can get them to help me collect my debris and place it in my utility cart.

On second thought – maybe not! They love to jump into the piles and chew sticks. I don’t imagine that would be a good idea for their digestive system.

At least tomorrow I’ll get LOTS of exercise tracking with my Fitbit.

Tomorrow is a new day. I’m so thankful we survived!

And now, IF I can find my motivation. Track what I eat, and exercise!

 

 

 

Returning to Weight Watchers — Now — Just Watch Me Roar!


Dearest Readers:IMG_0620_edited.JPG

After almost six weeks of missing my regular Weight Watchers meetings, I returned yesterday. As most of you might know, I’ve been sick. Very sick and weak. Normally, I do not have spells of asthma related illnesses during the summer; however, this summer, my husband had, and I quote the doctor’s diagnosis, ‘a bit of pneumonia.’ I cared for him, washing my hands daily for what seemed like a thousand times. I told him to cover his mouth when coughing or sneezing. I did not wish to get his germs. At times, my husband appears to become a child again. I call him a ‘two-year-old’ and when he is sick, he definitely is like a child. Heck, I would not even give him a morning and evening kiss! After he got well, I awoke with a sore throat. The next morning, I awoke with major congestion in my chest and when I coughed, my chest burned inside. I phoned my doctor, seeing him that afternoon.

After chest x-rays, I was diagnosed with bronchial asthma. Great. And so, I was sick for six weeks!

My doctor prescribed a Z-pack and a steroid. Not prednisone, but another steroid. I’ve forgotten the name of it, but I do know it started with the letter “D.” Steroids do strange things to me, especially regarding my cognitive abilities. I took the meds, hoping within five days I would feel better. I did not. The doctor’s office followed up to see how I was doing. When they heard my voice, they decided to get another prescription for me. With the first steroid, I did not have any side effects. Certainly wish I could say the same about the refill of that steroid.

On the third week of my illness, I weighed, losing three pounds. I was ecstatic! When I am sick, I lose my appetite. After starting the additional steroid (same steroid, just a refill of it) I noticed I was hungry — ALL THE TIME! I would eat my breakfast of yogurt with fruit, or oatmeal with fruit, and I was still hungry. I made a sandwich. Still hungry! No doubt I appeared to be a bottomless pit where food was concerned.

I phoned my husband at work, asking him to bring home potato chips and ice cream. I want Ice Cream, I said. Ice cream. Ice cream — I-SCREAM for ice cream. I had no idea why I wanted ice cream and chips. I certainly wasn’t pregnant!

My cravings for food continued. It seemed no matter what I ate — I wanted to continue to eat. And eat…and EAT!

Craving something crunchy, I opened the pantry. All we had in the pantry was a box of Ritz Crackers. I opened them — eating way too many. The serving size on the package said five crackers. Trust me, I ate more than five.

At Weight Watchers we learn to look at the serving size, along with the ingredients. Big deal. I don’t care what the serving size says. I’m hungry!

Since I was so weak and ill, I decided not to track my foods on Weight Watchers. Monday of this week, I took the final steroid. I was feeling better, but had no idea why I was eating like an elephant, or so it seemed. I got on the scales. Gaining seven pounds, I burst into tears.

What is wrong with me? I’m doing Weight Watchers. I’m sick and I don’t understand why I am craving foods I no longer eat. I’m not eating fruit every day, nor am I eating vegetables. My daily intake of food is Boars Head London Broil, Boars Head turkey, and potato chips. No fruit. No vegetable, and of course – ice cream. Did I mention peanut butter??  Just why am I doing this. Why am I sabotaging my weight loss? If I keep eating like this, I will gain all of my weight back. I made a promise to myself. A promise to NEVER gain it back and I haven’t, until now.

I looked at the empty prescription bottle. I rushed to my computer to look up ‘side effects of oral steroids.’ Among the side effects were:

blurred vision

increased appetite

A variety of side effects were listed, but those two I definitely experienced, especially the increased appetite.

Maybe I should stop beating myself up. Maybe this time, the cravings and eating are truly not my fault. EXCEPT – I am the one opening my mouth and eating these foods. Just maybe the steroid is telling my brain I need food. How I wish this would end. Why can’t I be strong enough to fight this battle?

Sitting at my desk, reading more about this steroid teaches me I have to be strong and I must stop eating the ice cream. Potato chips. (After I started Weight Watchers, I grew to hate the taste of potato chips.) Not this week.

On Tuesday of this week, I decided it was time for me to be accountable and responsible. I grabbed my cell phone and went to the Weight Watchers E-tools site. I tracked my intake. Probably the first time in maybe three to six weeks. Sabotage. SABOTAGE. Today is the day I STOP SABOTAGING MYSELF! I’m not an elephant, or a whale. It’s time to stop this insanity!

And so, yesterday, I walked into my Weight Watchers meeting, ready to admit to myself and my friends at Weight Watchers that I’ve gained weight while sick. Yes, I’m disappointed. I really thought I was stronger than that. How could I allow a drug to influence me? Just how?

Approaching the area where we have our ‘confidential weigh-ins’ I spoke softly to the receptionist. “I’ve missed six weeks due to illness. I do not want to weigh in today. I’ve been on steroids.” 

Lots of members of Weight Watchers are under the impression they MUST weigh in every week. A few years ago, Weight Watchers gave us a ‘No Weigh In’ card. I’ve used mine a few times, but I knew deep inside my heart if I weighed in, seeing about a five-pound-gain, I would be so depressed, I wasn’t certain I could fight, or find strength, or return.

During the meeting, I shared a challenge I experienced just last week. The cravings. Non-stop eating. My illness. How devastated I was when I discovered no matter what I tried, I could not stop stuffing my mouth. Since joining Weight Watchers, I’ve been extremely proud of how strong I’ve been while eating. I no longer eat until I’m full. I stop when I am satisfied, with exception of this illness and those d— steroids!

I actually look in a full-length mirror after dressing now. There is NO WAY I am allowing steroids to dictate my eating habits. No more cravings. No more stuffing my mouth with foods I actually do not like to eat!

This morning, I told myself today is a new day. I must be strong. I must not weaken. If I have a craving, undoubtedly caused due to those steroids still in my system, I will eat fruit, or I will find something else to do! I will lose the three pounds I gained (according to my scales at home), and I pray I will lose them before next weeks weigh-in.

This I do for me. This too shall pass, after all, it’s when things seem worse, you mustn’t quit!

I’ve found my anchor. WEIGHT WATCHERS!!! Now, just watch me roar!

A Wake Up Call — Missing Weight Watchers Meetings…


Dearest Readers:

To those of you who follow my blog on a regular basis, I thank you. Most of you will know, I’ve been sick for over six weeks now with a severe case of bronchial asthma. The germs were germinated to me while I cared for my husband and his ‘bit of pneumonia,’ according to his doctor at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. When they diagnosed his illness, I wanted to ask: “Hey Doc. Is a ‘bit of pneumonia’ like a ‘little bit pregnant?'”

I do not think his doctors would’ve appreciated my humor so I remained quiet — for once.  Trust me. It was so difficult for me to remain quiet. One week later, my husband was well. I woke up with a sore throat on that Monday. By Tuesday morning, there was no question about it. I was definitely congested in my lungs, burning in my chest when I coughed and off to the doctor I went that afternoon. My doctor suspected I might have pneumonia. The chest x-ray revealed a normal chest. My chest normal? NEVER!

Now that I am feeling a bit better, I have chosen to do all I can to write in my blog on a regular basis. Maybe daily??? 

Today’s topic is Weight Watchers, and what I have experienced since I have missed six weekly meetings — IF I miss this week’s meeting on Thursday. Today is Tuesday, June 27, 2017. The last meeting I attended was Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Over those weeks, I have fought just to breathe. My husband is not domestic in any definition of the word. The only thing he does when I am ill is make certain I eat. When I’m ill, I usually lose weight, without trying. Simply because I cannot taste food. I have such difficulty breathing that I really do not want anything to get in the way of breathing.

Since my husband is not domesticated, I’ve actually vacuumed the house, almost on a weekly basis, while gasping for breath. He has reprimanded me big time, telling me I ‘should not be vacuuming.’ Once when he was critical of my struggles to vacuum, I attempted to scream at him, telling him he could learn to vacuum.

His reply: “I vacuum a lot.”

Are you kidding? You must be speaking of vacuuming at another place because you cannot even turn the vacuum on in this house. If there’s another woman, you can go to her…Right now!

“I’ve vacuumed a lot.”

Liar…Liar…pants on fire!

Let’s just say, since I’ve been ill, I’ve managed to overlook the lint on the carpets. Dust on the furniture. I’ve eaten sandwiches…potato chips…peanut butter…and ice cream. If you own Mayfield Ice Cream stock, maybe it’s increasing now since we’ve eaten SO MUCH ICE CREAM!

Have I tracked Weight Watchers? NOPE. I suppose one could say, I’ve probably broken the Smart Points tracking like crazy!

This Thursday will be an interesting day. How I pray I maintain and not gain. Yesterday was a wake up call for me. While I vacuumed the house I realized I was hungry. My stomach growled. I grabbed a piece of white bread. The only bread we had in the house. I coated this piece of bread with peanut butter. LOTS of peanut butter! Eating it, I realized I was still hungry. Famished. I wanted food. OK. I MUST be getting well.

I went back to the kitchen. Another piece of bread, lightly coated with Hellman’s Light Mayonnaise. I placed Boars Head London Broil on the bread. A piece of Boars Head turkey. One slice of provolone cheese, or was it two slices? I can’t remember. I’m still sick! I sat down, gobbled the food down and wanted more.

This is not me. This is not who I am. One thing I’ve learned at Weight Watchers is not to stuff my mouth full of food, all day long. 

Now, I actually recognize how addicts must feel when they crave their drug of choice. I do not do drugs, of any kind. I am not an addict. Nor am I a food addict. I rushed to my window, glanced up at the sky and I prayed for God to give me strength. I’m not an addict. Why am I doing this to myself???

After my talk with God, I felt better. Stronger. In control.

After my illness, remaining home and not being active, I’ve learned I really cannot do Weight Watchers alone. I must return to the meetings. Missing so many meetings has not kept me pro-active and accountable for what I’m eating. I must remind myself, today is a new day. I must track every bite I eat, and when I am a bit stronger, I must return to activities.

Today, like every day, I weighed. Looks like I’ve gained three pounds since this illness. I am furious with myself. I’ve been told I  have Type A personality. I want things perfect. Well, life isn’t perfect! I want things in control. Lately, I realize I’ve been OUT OF CONTROL!

Yesterday, after my discussion with God, I realized I have been sabotaging myself. As my husband once said to me while I was ill years ago, “You just give in to illness. You don’t fight it.”

Looks like people who’ve never had asthma just do not understand. Asthma can kill. I’ve stated many times that when my time comes, no doubt my death certificate will say: “Cause of Death — Asthma!” Scary, isn’t it!

Major attacks of asthma completely strip me of any energy. It takes energy to breathe. While fighting asthma, I cannot breathe. Nor am I a pretty site to see when I am ill.

I want my life back! I want to sleep all night. Haven’t done that since childhood! I want to be able to walk…to dance…and to sing. I haven’t tried to sing any song since my illness. Wednesday nights we have a date night at karaoke. Something tells me I still cannot sing, so either we will stay home, or if we go, I will listen to others sing. Gosh. I dare my friend to even attempt to sing any of my songs! Gee. That could start a cat fight. I’m not a cat. Nor do I fight with women, so it looks like another night of watching BLUE BLOODS!

Maybe glaring at Tom Selleck will heal me. Hey! A girl can dream!

I’m almost to the point I will do anything to feel better again.

Oops. Didn’t I say this would be a post about Weight Watchers?

What have I learned about myself since I’ve missed six meetings? Lots.

For example:

I’ve learned I cannot be successful with Weight Watchers alone. No. I do not do Weight Watchers Online. I must go to meetings. I’ve established friendships at my Thursday meetings. I’ve learned to say “NO” whenever I am tempted — that is, I did know how to say NO. Now, I’m not certain and if I go to the meeting this Thursday, I plan to share how emotionally weak I’ve been. I’ve eaten sandwiches. Yes, Weight Watchers can track sandwiches. I’ve fought with cabin fever since I’ve been sick. I’ve rested. I’ve craved foods that are not healthy foods. I’ve done everything wrong! I’ve practically beaten my head against a brick wall! Why? WHY?? OH WHY???????

Today is a new day. A new day for me to be responsible. Accountable. Supportive of myself. At the meeting this week, I will probably grumble a bit if I’ve gained, and I do believe I have. I will admit my faults and move on!

Today is a new Day! I will be thankful that I’m getting better and I will be acceptable that I am human!

Here’s to a New Day!

 

 

 

Weight Watchers… Building A Bridge To A New Adventure


Dearest Readers:

Today, I will share a bit of my experience and dedication to Weight Watchers. I joined Weight Watchers in March, 2011. On the day I joined, I was mortified. Afraid. Horrified I would see someone I knew and they would share with the world that “Barbie was in Weight Watchers today…”

I’m certain some of you have acquaintances who love to spread gossip…the wicked and ugly truths some women love to share! Years ago, I referred to these ‘acquaintances’ as friends…I do not anymore! Friends do not spread ugly gossip. Friends accept you for who you are. True friends embrace you with love and acceptance, even when you are down.  I’ve known and lost a few ‘friends’ since in all total honesty — they were only acquaintances. They pretended to be your friend to your face, but turn your back and you almost feel the back-stabbing and the poisonous words they spat, and so — I keep my distance!

At my first meeting at Weight Watchers, I did not know anyone. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was apprehensive about the ‘confidential weigh-ins’ too. Approaching the desk, I did not see any curtains, or a doctor’s scale. You know the type. The weight measurements slide across until balanced, and the person who balanced the scale always leaves it to the latest weight. Everyone can see the weight of the person who weighed previously, and I cringe whenever I get on them. My newest experience with Weight Watchers was a scale sitting on the floor. I was certain others could stretch their snoopy eyes over to see how much a person weighed. That didn’t happen. The scale does not show anything, with exception of the person (a receptionist or leader) standing at the desk. Only she knows what the weight of each individual is, and they do not share the number to anyone! Believe me, the confidential weigh-in does exist!

Maybe this might work this time, I thought to myself as I approached the scales. Just maybe this time I will succeed.

I imagine you are thinking — what? Does she really think Weight Watchers works?

My reply to all of you reading this is a simple, “Yes! Weight Watchers, because it works!”

I recognize it has taken me five years to lose 35 pounds. And, in the past year, I have bounced back and forth, just like a yo-yo. Undoubtedly, 2016 has been one of the most stressful years of my life. In February, we had the roof to our home completely replaced. After that accomplishment, we searched for over two months to hire a general contractor to do the inside repairs on ceilings, walls and other areas due to the torrential rains we had in October 2015. On May 28, 2016, the repairs were completed. My husband had reverse shoulder replacement surgery on May 31. His recovery was a whirlwind of ups-and-downs. The summer of 2016 was so stressful, I found myself slipping away from Weight Watchers and everything I loved. No walking. No exercising. No writing. No dancing…No music or singing…Nothing!

Since the summer, I’ve found myself giving in to weaknesses. After all, it didn’t matter IF I gained weight. I’m happy to report, I did not put those lost 35 pounds back on; however, I have not met goal. I don’t even have a clue what my goal should be!

Today, while sitting at my meeting, I glanced around the room. Like most Weight Watchers meetings during the holidays, we had only a small group, including a 93-year-old woman and two men. Every time I see this precious, sweet and beautiful 93-year-old woman I am inspired. Many people would say, ‘at her age, why should she be so worried at her weight?’ I say, I think she is an inspiration to all of us. Yes, she uses a walker and maybe her shoulders slump a bit, but she is still full of life. To her, her weight is important. Today, she was furious with herself. She was baking cookies with her son this week, and that is why she gained a pound. Sitting in front of me, I tapped her on the shoulders. “Just look at how blessed you are to be baking cookies with your son.”

I’m so envious. During the Christmas holidays I do not see my son, even though he lives less than 30 miles from me. How I would love the opportunity to make Christmas cookies with him again. I suppose a mother can dream.

Every year since joining Weight Watchers, I tell myself the new year will be my year. I will break this plateau and achieve goal. No, I haven’t achieved my goal yet. At least I haven’t gained the weight back!

Not only have I kept the weight off, I have gained in confidence and self-worth, much to the credit of two wonderful friends I’ve made, thanks to Weight Watchers. Since I am a writer, my life is a bit isolated. I find myself spending too much time keeping to myself. Last year, before the torrential rain storms, and the storms brewing inside my home, I kept to myself. I quit walking. Now that I think about it, I realize those walks I took with my friends energized me by encouraging me to continue. Feeling the fresh air on my face, walking the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, and enjoying the views, birds, flowers and freedom of walking, I found myself inspired. Refreshed. Now, I realize, I need to take a first step again to walk, to find that inspiration and motivation. Tomorrow morning, I plan to take that first step!

Today, at Weight Watchers, I gained. Big deal! I’ll get those two pounds off again. As for 2017, I will go on record to say, my journey and adventures with Weight Watchers will continue. I will walk. I will fill my body and my mind with new energy while telling myself:

THIS I DO FOR ME!

Although 2017 is only a few days and steps away, I will not fail. After all, You only fail in life when you stop believing…and trying…and moving.

I plan to continue my journeys, along with Weight Watchers! Tomorrow is a new day and I will embrace it!

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My Thoughts About The New Weight Watchers…


My thoughts regarding “Oprah” and the changes are simply this: Those of us who are overweight have had difficulty with belief in ourselves…We have the tendency to cater to ourselves via comfort foods, sweets…temptations…etc…when we should be caring about ourselves. Instead of negative thoughts and “I’m done with Weight Watchers” posts, what we should do is say this — “We are good…We are worthy…We are strong…and together…We Can Do This!” I have the tendency for depression, and when I am depressed, nothing will stop me from eating bad things. Thru Weight Watchers, I’ve seen changes — in myself…my faith…my belief…I am strong…I’ve made loyal friends with several members at our meetings. I am blessed! Maybe I am beautiful…Maybe I truly believe in ME — now! Thank you, Weight Watchers. I believe change is good. Without change, we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we do not find success, happiness and belief in ourselves. Just my two cents worth for today! BELIEVE!!!

I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers since 2011. Four years. During my four year journey, I’ve seen changes. I am one who believes in life we ALWAYS have changes. Weight Watchers has been around for 50 years now, through many changes – everyone of these changes is for the better! I’m one of the rare people who truly believe life is all about change. Without ‘change’ we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we are not successful. So, you ask — what is the BIG DEAL with the changes at Weight Watchers.

Honestly, I cannot answer those questions. My meeting is on Thursday of every week. It is my “Weight Watchers” day. I plan my schedules around this day. No doctor’s appointments…meetings, etc. on this date. After our meeting three of us go out to lunch – to do what most great friends do together — to talk…to get to know one another…to build friendships! To support!

At the moment, people who are members of Weight Watchers are FREAKING out! On social media sites, they are asking, “what are the changes?” And — “why are they changing things?”

I suppose they want someone to tell them ahead of time about the changes. News Flash – people — Weight Watchers, their leaders and those who work for Weight Watchers are FABULOUS about keeping secrets!

No, Weight Watchers is not a secret society. They are there to help us; nevertheless, there are many changes rolling out this week. ALL of these CHANGES are to build a better Weight Watchers for all of us to succeed. They DO want US TO SUCCEED! By now, you’ve probably heard millions of complaints about the new plan…”It isn’t working…I can’t log in…” And — “Why did they change something that isn’t broken?”

Correct me IF I’m mistaken, but Weight Watchers is interested in the self-worth of a person…not only is it a corporation established to help those who are struggling to lose weight…Weight Watchers is helping us to BELIEVE IN OURSELVES!

We’ve had discussions about Belief. Self Discovery…and How We Can Break the Plateaus. Activity…Mind Over Matter…How to Cope With The Holidays and Social Events…and so on. All of these weekly discussions are building us to truly find the person we want to be. None of this is related to Oprah Winfrey. These “changes” were in the works earlier this year, not when Oprah signed on.

Speaking only for myself, Weight Watchers has changed my life for the better. Yes, I am eating healthier. I am more active – able to walk the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge…able to dance and to sing. I have found a new and better person previously locked away, deep inside my soul. In March, 2011, Jennifer Hudson was the spokesperson. I was struggling to lose more weight, and I kept telling myself — “One day, I plan to walk that bridge.” For those of you who do not know, that bridge [Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge] opened in July 2005. Just WHEN would I walk it?

In 2011, my life changed for the better, and I feel confident that the New and Improved Weight Watchers 2016 will lead the way for me to embrace the change and get going with my weight loss. After all, I have goals (secret goals) I will not share – yet. Hopefully soon, I might share a few of those goals on my site.

Today, I will go on record to say – Hello, 2016 — it is ready, and it is time for me to move on with my writing and my story, “Chattahoochee Child,” and it is time for me to get moving more with Weight Watchers. Many members are throwing their hands in the air, as if to say — “I’m done.” The question they should answer is this — as a member of Weight Watchers — online, or a weekly member who attends meetings — are you really ready to give up on yourself? Think about it. Change is good. I embrace it!

 

 

 

Welcome to Weight Watchers — What I Have Learned After Beginning The Most Valuable Journey Of My Life?


Dearest Readers:

Today is Saturday, August 29, 2015. While I struggle to lose the remainder of my weight, I would like to reflect today on what I have learned after making the decision to join Weight Watchers.

In March 2011, I sat at my desk listening to the morning news while writing. Jennifer Hudson appeared in a commercial as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. I observed how great she looked. I was envious. She mentioned she lost over 80 pounds on Weight Watchers. To say I was envious was an understatement.

That unique little voice echoed in my head. “If she can do this, so can you.”

I Googled ‘Weight Watchers’ https://welcome.weightwatchers.com/ – reading several posts, clicking on to a site, reading. Reading. JUST READING.

I was intrigued. Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2005; afraid I would need insulin injections like my husband I decided to change my lifestyle. Meeting with my doctor, we discussed my trying to get the Diabetes under control with Metformin. My doctor knows how frightened I am of injections. He encouraged me to change and shake up my lifestyle, along with my eating habits. I left his office saying to myself, “You can do this.” Little did I know how important those four words would become for me.

On that date, I chose to change my eating habits. Gone were unhealthy snacks. No junk food, especially at work. In place were healthy fruits and vegetables and healthy cooking. My doctor said he would give me one year to lower my A1C levels. Three months later, I returned to him to check my blood sugars. He noted that when I came to him three months earlier, my A1C level was over 7.0. According to his scales, I had lost 14 pounds – in three months! After lab work had returned, I was told my A1C level was 5.7! He shook my hand, saying to me — “Whatever you are doing now, let’s continue it. I rarely see any patient lower their A1C levels as quickly as you.”

After losing those 14 pounds, I struggled to lose more. Although I was eating healthy now, the pounds refused to decrease. Every three months, I went to my doctor for blood work and health check ups. I lost an additional five pounds, but I felt so alone, depressed and confused about why I could not lose any more weight.

Flash Forward to 2011:

On the date I watched the Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers commercial, I was even more depressed about losing weight. Although I tried, nothing was working. A voice inside my head said: “Get up from this chair. Go to a Weight Watchers meeting.”

I remembered the last time I joined Weight Watchers so many years ago. The way Weight Watchers worked back then is members had to eat liver. Only one-half of a banana. Just what would I do with the other half? I had no idea. I don’t remember all of the programs at that time, but I knew it would not suit my needs since my husband refused to eat liver, and I detested it too! I remember the weigh-ins back then. Walking into the room where other members stood. A beige curtain was provided, with a scale. Stepping on the scale revealed the weight loss, or heaven forbid — a weight gain. Weigh-ins during this time were not private. I detested the weigh-ins. Snoopy people at the meeting could cast their nosey eyes at the scale, and I heard whispers — something to the effect of — “Did you see what she weighs?” How I detested these Snoopy, cruel women! I quit!

As hard as I tried to ignore the encouragement from a simple advertisement on the TV, a voice echoed to me. “Get dressed. Go to the meeting.” What was the catchy phrase I read on the website? “Confidential weigh-ins?” I was intrigued. “Just what is a confidential weigh-in?”

“Go to the meeting…” Frightening thoughts entered my head. I knew I wanted to lose more weight. The question was HOW? “I can’t,” I whispered while remembering that “I can’t actually means — I WON’T!”

Reluctantly, I dressed and drove to the meeting. I had a shopping bag in my car, deciding that IF I recognized anyone, I would place that shopping bag over my head.

Just before 10:00 am, I entered the meeting. My heart raced. My hands trembled. My palms were sweaty. “Please God, get me through this day.”

I completed the paperwork. A pleasant woman with auburn hair and a most inviting smile approached me. “Hello.” She said. “My name is Kathy. I’m your leader.”

I whispered my name, refusing to make eye contact. She gathered my papers and guided me to the ‘confidential scales.’

This should be interesting, I thought.

I stepped on the scales – more of a bathroom scale than the type most doctors use. I looked down. “Where are the numbers?” I asked. “Have I broken the scales?”

The receptionist smiled. “Only I can see the numbers. It’s Ok. You’re amongst friends.”

She wrote the number down on a booklet and handed it to me. Mortified, I got off the scales, wiping tears from my eyes. “This was official,” I whispered. “You are now a member of Weight Watchers.”

The next week I practiced and studied all the information Weight Watchers gave me. I jumped on the scales, convinced I lost about three pounds. The Weight Watchers scales revealed I had lost .06 of a pound. I screamed, gathered my things ready to stomp out of the meeting. Week One and I was a loser…not of pounds…but a loser for my life.

Kathy, the leader, rushed to my side. “Every loss is a loss,” she said. “You can do this.” Her demeanor convinced me to stay.

And so — I did.

What have I learned during this four-year journey?
1. Weight Watchers is a healthy way of life.
2. I am not alone on this journey. I have made loyal, encouraging and trusting friends. Together we can do this!
3. Weight Watchers IS a way of life – NOT A DIET…
4. Exercise! EXERCISE! EX-ERCISE!
5. Without Weight Watchers, I would continue to gain — not lose.

Over this summer, I have been on a roller coaster ride with Weight Watchers. Why? I’ve asked myself that same question. At Weight Watchers meetings, I have learned to track my food intake. However, what I haven’t learned – or practiced too well – is:
Weekends. How do I survive weekends?
Friday nights – we do karaoke. I usually have one or two drinks. Last night, I had one!
Saturday and Sundays are always a test. I think I’ve actually allowed myself just to go with the flow, eating whatever I want.

The time is now to go on record to say — I will do better. How? Portion control.
I must lose the remainder of my weight. What works so well with Weight Watchers is the points system. I have 26 points to eat daily. Lately, I haven’t practiced portion control.

When I mentioned to my leader that I was having too much trouble being on a yo-yo or a roller coaster, she gave me a nice compliment. “Just look at the inches you’ve lost. Maybe for now, you should focus on the inches and not so much on the weight.”

Good advice. My body is slimming down, and I am proud to wear the clothing I wear now. Nevertheless, I am still focused on the number on the scale, not what I see in the mirror.

Someone mentioned a beautiful quote I try to remember:
When you attend the meetings at Weight Watchers, the meetings need you. When you miss a meeting, YOU need Weight Watchers!

I suppose I should just consider that my body is changing -for the better…and I WILL continue this journey. Weight Watchers is now a part of my life. I’ve met two incredible friends at Weight Watchers. One of the ladies is a beautiful dark haired Greek woman. She is lifetime now. My other friend is a lovely, caring blonde woman riding on that roller coaster ride with me. Together we are either on a see-saw or a yo-yo. Together, we are determined to do this. After all, Weight Watchers is a valuable part of our lives now. “Yes…We can do this!”

Stay tuned for more details…Meanwhile, I must go get on the treadmill. After Labor Day, we plan to walk the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. I’m so excited!

“Yes…We CAN do this!”

“WEIGHT GAIN IS NOT A PERMANENT CONDITION!’


Dearest Readers:

Today is my day to face the music…stop beating myself up…and move on with life! Why? Simple. Today is my weigh-in day at Weight Watchers. Early this morning, I felt nervous. Embarrassed…All of those negative feelings we all feel whenever we gain weight.

I confess – I have used my ‘get out of jail free’ card several times lately at Weight Watchers. You know the card – if you are a member of Weight Watchers. The infamous “No Weigh In” card. Effective today, I am not using it; after all, it isn’t helping me.

Today, when I walked into the meeting, I dreaded facing the music. After the weigh-in, the wonderful receptionist who always shares encouragement with all of us said to me — It’s OK. “Weight gain is NOT a permanent condition.”

How true! She reminded me of the weight I have lost, along with all of the inches that appear to be falling off from my body and I smiled.

“You’re so right,” I smiled. “That’s a wonderful quote you’ve shared and I shall use it wisely, reminding me that my joining Weight Watchers was a lifetime, and lifestyle, change for me.

Last weekend I was bad. Very BAD! At a graduation, I reminded myself to eat wisely and carefully — and then — I committed the ultimate Weight Watchers sin. I ate cake. I could not resist it. I requested a large piece of cake. I ate every bite. Later, I went back for a second piece. I did not work out. I did not climb my friends upstairs stairs like I promised myself I would. I did not work out at all before going to bed. As I stated, I was bad.

On the way home, you guessed it — we stopped at fast food restaurants – and I was bad again. That night after arriving home, my husband and I went out for pizza. I ate every bite. I realized my life was spinning out of control. I watched an episode of “My 600 Pound Life,” http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/my-600-lb-life/ recognizing  I would never allow myself to become one of those reality show participants. At first, I wanted to write ‘reality show freaks’ – but I am trying to be positive here. I am trying to be happy and stop beating myself up.

Why Do We Beat Ourselves Up?

My actions got me thinking… If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know my life as a child was filled with unhappiness. When I graduated from high school, my parents were divorced – sitting as far away from each other as they possibly could. When my name was called – no one cheered. After the graduation ceremony, I came home with my diploma. My mother never said she was proud of me. There wasn’t a celebration. No cake. No gifts – with the exception of a few relatives who gave me graduation gifts. While watching the pride and love in my friend’s eyes when she spoke of her daughter at graduation and at the graduation party, my mind rushed back to my childhood and how different I wish it was.

So today is a wake-up call for me. A day for me to graduate from my childhood and to move forward with my life. Today is a new day. A great day to strive for happiness, instead of sadness. After all, negative thoughts only feed negativity. Positive thoughts teach us happiness, renewal, and motivation. Today is my day to move forward — to STOP beating myself up and to track all of my food intake – just like Weight Watchers teaches us.

And now, I must take that first step to have a good day. Thank you, Weight Watchers. Today is a new day. “Weight gain is NOT a permanent condition!”

 

 

Welcome Back — To Weight Watchers!!!


Dearest Readers:

To quote my words from last night, when I was able to sing — and HOLD the notes as long as I am known for — I AM BACK! Last night at Karaoke I was fearful I could not carry and hold the notes of “I Who Have Nothing,” — one of my signature songs. Much to my surprise, I held most of the notes without interruption without another coughing attack. Gosh, it was great to finally sing again!

When I finished, after the applause, I said, “Hooray…I’m Back!”

So great to finally be living again! This morning was my first Weight Watchers meeting in exactly one month to the date! After removing my boots, a white jacket, and other things I could take off, I got on the scale with much anticipation. My leader weighed me…I waited…Inhaled…Exhaled, in anticipation of this weigh-in. My leader wrote 3.4 on my card. “What did I do?” I asked. She smiled, but she always does that, even when we gain. “3.4,” she repeated. Now, she’s teasing me….The anticipation continued until I finally said. “I’ve gained 3.4?”

“NO,” she laughed again. Her laughter is delightful. Melodic…a laughter that is welcoming and familiar. “You lost 3.4 pounds while you were sick!”

I squealed like a child. My voice is doing that sound a lot lately since I am still recuperating! So happy I’m back on track after this illness. Today is a new day!

BREAKING NEWS:

So much for the new day! After Weight Watchers we have a group joining us for lunch. On my way, I listen to music, singing again! Oh how wonderful it is to have a voice again! I glance in my rear view mirror. A black car is just a bit too close. Thinking to myself, I am praying she backs off. She doesn’t…There is nothing like driving on Hwy, 17, Mt Pleasant, SC with someone just a bit too close. When I slowed down to stop, the vehicle behind me gets a bit too close…THEN…BAM! Yes, I was in a slight fender bender today…No injuries to either of us. As for the cars — well they both need a rear end lift (mine) and hers — needs a major face lift. Thank you, God…we are safe…No injuries, and to the lady(???) perhaps I should just say — the female in the black car that had to switch lanes due to the accident – while I am on the phone with the police department…You should be ashamed for using that middle finger. It wasn’t very lady like for you to do that. Incidentally, the Police department told me not to move our cars until the police officer arrived.

Now that I am home I am calmer, so thankful that neither of us were injured. We have no witnesses to this little accident since both of us were driving in our cars – alone. When the officer arrived, he was very nice. I shared my ‘side of the story’ with him. He listened and approached the other driver. A young girl. She doesn’t get out of her car, and when I asked her if she was OK, she was in tears. No reason to cry. It’s an accident. Cars can be repaired. And that is exactly what the officer tells her as I am walking around since we have moved both cars out of the area into a parking lot. I didn’t want to sit in my car, so I walked, just to ease the stress. I’ve been ‘rear-ended’ before, so I’m accustomed to this in Charleston. Believe me, drivers in Charleston, SC LOVE to navigate almost on the bumper of the car ahead of them. What caused this accident? Traffic stopped, so I stopped. I had plenty of room to stop. Word of warning to anyone driving in Charleston, SC – please drive carefully and don’t get too close to the vehicle ahead of you. PLEASE!

REGARDLESS, IT IS A GOOD DAY…

Although my day started with a fender bender, it is a good day. I believe in focusing on the positive in life…allowing the negative to slip through my fingers. After all, my baby steps are working. I am definitely on the road to getting over acute bronchial asthma, I am losing weight once again. The pollen is flying around outside since Father Wind is gusting the world outside with fresh pollen and oxygen. Even if it is a cloudy day, my life is moving forward. I imagine there will be fog drifting down soon, covering the lawns and trees with the magical gray blanket so welcoming, and I can listen to the melodic sound so familiar and beloved by me — Fog Horns. How I love them! This morning I heard them while getting dressed.

Baby Steps, and now I’m off to rest, while I continue to improve! My cough is only an occasional raspy sound.

Yes. Baby steps while the beauty of spring time arrives as I continue my journey with Weight Watchers and Life!

BABY STEPS!

So Much For Valentine’s Day…


Dearest Readers:

Have you missed me? I’ve certainly missed writing. Please allow me to explain.

Most of you who read my blog understand that I am a writer, photographer and singer. Since February 14 — Yes, Valentine’s Day — I have been extremely quiet. My quietness started on February 12, when my husband acquired a ‘respiratory infection.’ He called in to work. When he got up, he sounded horrible. Understand I am not a doctor – although I know what ‘respiratory infection’ sounds like since I’ve had many. I backed away from a morning hug, telling him to go to the doctor now. “You seem to have a ‘respiratory infection.’

Hours later, he returns home with a gigantic bottle of cough/congestion medications and antibiotics.

“What did the doctor say?” I asked.

Phil glanced away, mumbling “an upper respiratory infection.”

BINGO!

I cared for my husband. Attempting not to get near his germs, but on Friday morning, I was coughing. Saturday morning, I felt like death!

Tuesday afternoon, feeling like I was stepping a few feet into my grave, I asked my husband to take me to Nason Medical since I did not feel like waiting a few days for an appointment at my doctor’s office. Monday night although I struggled to sleep, each time I fell asleep a horrid, raspy roaring wheezing awoke me. “What is that noise?” I listened again, setting up while struggling to inhale a breath of air. I fought to breathe recognizing the horrid, raspy roaring wheezing noise was me!

When the doctor saw me, she listened to my lungs. “You really are wheezing,” she said.

I wanted to scream “No joke” but my voice, nor my bronchial tubes would not permit me to speak. My voice was not only raspy, but a small, little voice sounding more like a small child, or someone inhaling helium…and I never do anything such as that!

ACUTE BRONCHIAL ASTHMA

By Tuesday, my husband was almost well and back to work. As for me, I was deathly ill…unable to breathe without gasping for air…and…coughing…COUGHING…Coughing…until my body ached. The doctor diagnosed acute bronchial asthma, gave me a breathing treatment and 10 minutes later, with prescriptions in my hand, we left. I could not wait to get home — to crawl back in to bed. No, not for extracurricular activities — for rest and sleep.

Now, it is four weeks later. For four weeks, I’ve been inactive. Unable to work out on the treadmill, and unable to do upper body workouts. It takes a lot of air to exercise. Air that I do not have! I’ve missed my weekly Weight Watchers meetings. Heck. I’ve missed LIVING!

Since I’ve been so ill, I haven’t written, with exception of publishing a few press releases sent to me. Last night we attended the Committees Dinner at the Elks Lodge. I found a seat, and sat. No socializing for me. When friends came to say hello, I put my hands up, letting them know I am still sick. I really doubt if I am contagious. To get acute bronchial asthma, one must be asthmatic…nevertheless, I do not want someone to get sick and blame me!

After the dinner, I did not make the rounds of hugs and kisses and goodbyes, sending virtual hugs to my friends, I struggled to walk to the car to go home. Today, I am still sick; however, today is the first day, I have not heard the little monster of wheezing inside my chest. I am thrilled that he has left me — finally. Still, it is a bit difficult to breathe, but I am now taking “Baby Steps” to health — FINALLY! Some of my friends tell me they are worried about me. “I need to go back to the doctor and get more drugs to get well…”

Give me a break! I’ve fought Acute Bronchial Asthma since childhood. I know what to do.

WHAT TO DO

*Get my nebulizer – AND USE IT — every four to six hours
*Use the inhaler
*Take cough medicine
*Rest
*REST
***REST MORE…

I’m sick of resting. AND I REFUSE to take Prednisone — the infamous ‘wonder drug’ for Bronchial Asthma!

The last time I took Prednisone, I drove my car off the road! I could not sleep! Reportedly, Prednisone increases appetite; however, when I am sick, I do not eat! I am a total zombie…bimbo…or ditzy blonde when I take Prednisone. Let’s just say — this illness does something to my brain! I cannot focus. I struggle to find the correct words to communicate and I am not a nice person…so Prednisone makes me a monster.

Have I lost weight with this illness? Beats the heck out of me, but when I am well enough to return to Weight Watchers I pray I have lost a pound, or maybe two!

Today, I am taking more ‘baby steps’ to get well. Since today is the first day I’ve written on my blog in a month or longer, just maybe I am getting better. Today, I did not awaken with another headache and the awful gasping sound of coughing. Just maybe….

Baby Steps…!

My Weight Watchers Saga…


Dearest Readers:

I’m back! Have you missed me? Frankly, I think I’ve missed myself. Allow me to explain. Three weeks ago, I awoke on my Weight Watchers weigh-in day with a bit of a stomach bug. I stayed home. Jumping on my scales, it appeared that I was gaining — again!

RATS! I screamed, choosing to return to bed to sleep off the stomach bug. Sleeping is something I embraced since I have a rather serious case of insomnia. Last week, I promised to return to Weight Watchers for the dreaded weigh-in; however, my body decided I needed to stay home. I awoke early Wednesday of that week with a dreadful migraine headache. For those of you who do not recall, I have suffered from migraines since nine-years-old. I was hit by a car as a child. All I recall about that incident was feeling a gush of wind escaping my body as I hit the hood of the car. Reportedly, I bounced around like a dog, flying through the air, landing 60 feet across the highway of a “Dead Men’s Curve” landing on the sidewalk. Don’t ask me…I wasn’t there! When I did awaken, I looked into the beautiful blue eyes of a medical technician. In those years, we didn’t have EMS, or EMT’s, only ambulances. I remember attempting to turn my head, noticing a crowd of people overlooking me. I struggled to move – but I couldn’t. I saw my parents. I do remember saying, “I can’t move,” and the medical technician with the gorgeous blue eyes picking me up. My response was, “Mommy, he’s cute!”

Yes, at nine-years-old, I was checking out the guys. Silly me. I remained in the hospital for two or three days. The doctors said I had a brain concussion and needed to take it easy for a while. I do remember touching the crown of my head, feeling it squashing like a sponge as I pushed it. The pain it created was almost unbearable! No playing. No bicycle riding…skating…dancing…Nothing! The driver of the car that hit me was only 17-years-old and drunk! I do not know his name, nor do I know what happened to him; nevertheless, I do hope he learned a valuable lesson that afternoon about drinking and driving. The only thing I do remember about this accident were the severe headaches where my head throbbed, feeling as if someone was beating my skull with a hammer. I could not stand bright lights (still have trouble with them and probably will for the rest of my life.) I could not tolerate loud noises, and when I did get a headache, I was sick to my stomach. Friends have told me they can tell when I have a headache simply by my voice. Apparently, my voice is raspier than normally. I do know that when I have one of these headaches, it is difficult for me to focus, comprehend and make simple sentences. Yes, a writer who cannot communicate due to a headache. Duh! Fortunately, those severe migraines have ceased. Rarely do I get one, but when I do — it is truly a headache from Hell! Last Wednesday, my headache remained all day and all night long, leaving me to be not too nice to everyone around, including my four-legged friends.

It appears I am rambling a bit, doesn’t it? Today, I returned to Weight Watchers after a three-week absence. Much to my surprise, when I slipped on to the scales, I maintained my weight. No loss…No Gain! I was stunned and so proud!

Next month will be four years since I joined Weight Watchers. “And you’re still going,” my friends say. “Yes…still going…and still maintaining…” BUT — not reaching my goal yet. I confess, I have not discussed my goal weight with my leader, but I will say — for me — I have a goal in mind and that goal is only about 35 pounds away.

Meanwhile, I still exercise weekly. My NordicTrack treadmill is blessed with my presence at least four days weekly. When I started on the treadmill two years ago, I used one that was purchased in 1998 for my husband. After his zipper was placed in his chest — The infamous Zipper Club — he bought a new treadmill to use – to keep active. To be honest, the only activity he gets is a remote control, to exercise his thumb so he can watch TV and the golf he plays. So, two years ago, I decided the treadmill needed to be used for something besides a place to hang clothes to air dry. In mid 2014, that treadmill said enough, when the belt decided to split. Attempting to be conservative with our funds, I bought a roll of duct tape, to repair the belt. Guess what…It didn’t work! The belt continued to split!

Fortunately, I have a generous husband. He bought me a new treadmill. “One of my choosing,” he said. I chose the NordicTrack. Now, I have it inclined at seven degrees, walking at a speed of 3.2, for 50 minutes at least four times weekly. My right leg is fighting me now, wanting me to quit, but I ignore it and move! Not so bad for someone with asthma!

Today, when I returned to Weight Watchers, I was ecstatic that I did not gain. I really expected to see a two or three-pound gain. I think I’ll take a “maintained” as opposed to a gain, shooting to lose maybe one or two pounds next week. Meanwhile, the inches are melting away and I am proud of who I see now in the mirror.

The question I have for myself is — “Will this be the year that I achieve goal and lifetime at Weight Watchers?”

I certainly plan to. Stay tuned!