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Friday, December 30, 2011

Time for Mom to go home

Well today Mom went home.  Adam went with her, so he could keep an eye out and he loves spending time with great grandma.  He is growing up so fast.  He will be 8 on the 20th of January.  Nichole took them, because I am working and Alan stayed home with Cole.

I am certain that she will be OK, or I would not have let her go.  But, she is a basket case because of the steroids that she is on, and I had to let her go.   I will be glad when she is totally weened off these bad boys.  They make her crazy literally.  Her emotions are all over the place and I get that she needs to be in her own space.  Her life was turned upside down, and she nearly died.  That is a lot to take in with the holidays and her birthday all wrapped in there with it.

I will be glad to go home and be able to relax a little bit.  Nichole and I are going to work out tonight after work.  It is feeling good to be back into working out, I have to stay focused so that I can reach my goals.  It also helps a lot with the stress management.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that I did not gain, and that I even lost over Christmas.  I could not even begin to tell you if that has ever happened in my life, but I am certain not before I was banded.  I am looking forward to my support group meeting that will be the 9th.  I have to keep going back, for me and for them.

I am thinking about the end of 2011 and all that I have gained this year.  I gained the ability to work through my food addiction to the point of stopping my downward spiral back into the pit of obesity.  I worked through some really hard emotional problems that have plagued me since I was little, through therapy I was able to put those to bed as well.

I was able to find this little blogging community, and began to blog about my reinvention of myself.  I know that I have done amazing things since being banded.  I lost 80 pounds in the first 14 months, and was the leader of my lap band support group, I was looked up to as one who was succeeding.  I fell, and lost sight of my band and through reading the blogs here and finding these amazing women, I was able to regroup, stop the madness and excuses and get back on track.  I went back to the Dr. and I got a much needed fill in July.  I have now lost and additional 61 pounds since seeing my surgeon in July.  Which brings my total pounds lost since surgery in Nov 2007 to a whopping 141 pounds.  WOW, where I would be if I had not slipped.  I have proven this year, that yes, it is possible to NEVER think it will be you who regains weight, but that when it happens, you have to just face it, and get right back up.  Follow the band rules you learned in pre-op and post-op and get back in line and see that doing that the pounds really will come off.

I am glad that I did, and even though I spent valuable time to some wasting the band, I actually learned a great deal.  Not only about myself and why I choose food to comfort me, but what I love and cherish about myself.  Why I love me even at 229 pounds.  It is not the loss of weight that will bring me happiness, I have to find that before the weight comes off.  I feel I have been able to do this much better.

I went to BOOBS 2.0 and am certain I will be at BOOBS 3.0 and having a grand time with the women who I feel are truly incredible.  If you are thinking about going, do whatever you can to make it happen.  You will not be sorry.  The motivation that you get while being with them, will carry you through some rough rides.

I look towards my NEW YEAR with excitement for what lays ahead.  I am hopeful that, by staying the course, that I will see Onederland this next year for the first time since probably 1997 or 1998.  That will be a huge thing for me.

I am ready for whatever comes my way!  I am with the band!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The right and (Wrong) ways to snack.....really!

While some people trying to lose weight happily accept when someone suggests a snack, others feel pangs of guilt when a nibble is merely suggested. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with a bite between meals. In fact, snacking might be the missing ingredient that will help you reach your weight loss goals. YIKES could this possibly be true?  YES IT CAN BE.

But how can this make sense, since snacking theoretically adds calories? Snacking doesn't serve to replace a meal. In fact, you should spread meals and snacks out by an hour or two, and snacks should total a couple hundred calories or less.

Munching between meals can actually reduce your overall caloric intake by curbing overeating at your next meal. By controlling later binging, snacking can help you stay on track. You can actually use this to your advantage. If you know you are going out to a big dinner with friends later, for example, make sure you have a healthy snack before you head out so you're less likely to order (and finish) a large meal.

There is definitely a wrong way and a right way to snack..

How You Snack Can Make or Break Your Weight Loss Effort!

There is definitely a wrong way and a right way to snack. You should avoid sugary items like candy and soda, and shouldn’t be consuming enough calories to constitute a meal. Instead, steer towards foods that will satisfy you and keep you feeling fuller longer. Fruits and vegetables are always a safe bet because they are low in fat and calories. (Just be sure to avoid high-calorie dips.) Greek Yogurt, fruit smoothies, handful of nuts all make great snacks during the day. Combining lean protein, some healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates will help you feel fuller longer.

Mini Meals
Many experts are recommending several smaller meals throughout the day instead of the usual three. By eating at regular intervals, your blood sugar levels (and therefore your energy levels) remain stable. So, instead of that mid-afternoon crash, you’ll be full of vigor through dinnertime!  I have found with my band even with great restriction, that it is best if I have a snack between meals it keeps my body "happy".  Eating every few hours (especially if you chew on fruit and veggies) can also help add extra nutrition that might be missing from other meals. I have always had trouble being able to get in fruit and veggies with my band.  By the time I eat my protein there is little room for these, so if I had them as snacks I can get them in.

Snacking Isn’t Grazing
Mindless eating is often the downfall of many of us. You may start with only a handful of your favorite crackers, only to finish the entire box, without even thinking about it. Obviously, this example isn’t the healthy snacking that can help you reach your goals. Our bands can help us  not do this, but with foods that slip right through the band it is of little help.  So here are some tips:
To avoid grazing:
  • Fill a small plate or tiny cup with your snack, and leave the kitchen. Just walk away. When your plate is empty, snack time is over. 
  • Never bring the entire container with you in front of the television or computer. Enjoy your snack without distraction and you won’t be tempted to reach for more.
  • If you stand around the snack table chatting at a party, you may find yourself reaching for food when the conversation lulls. This can often lead to an unintentional binge because you simply aren’t paying attention to what you are eating. 
  • Limit yourself to a single serving.
  • Plan out your snacks just like you would a meal. Is one cookie worth the calorie cost, when you could eat a plate of fresh fruit instead?  

Practice Moderation
As with the rest of your food intake, moderation is crucial when snacking. Make sure that you are adding every snack to your Nutrition Tracker, along with the larger meals you eat during the day. If you don’t keep track, you might add excess calories and fat to your diet without realizing it.

Don’t sabotage your progress with unhealthy nibbles throughout the day; stick to nourishing foods whenever possible. If you know you have a weakness for junk food, do yourself a favor and don’t purchase these items next time you are at the grocery store. Then you won’t have to fight the temptation of ice cream or potato chips when hunger pangs hit.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Last day of vacation...back to work!

Tomorrow I return to work and it has been a great five days off. I feel like Bah Humbug having to leave my family. I have had the best time with Mom and the boys.  Mom is still with us and will be, through the weekend.  She is feeling so much better, and has had no more wheezing.  I am so thankful and glad that my prayers were answered.

I am also thrilled to report that not only did I not gain weight this holiday season but I lost three pounds.  I am so happy about it, I cannot tell you.

Nichole and I went to the club this morning and swam and it felt great.  Tomorrow night is Zumba.  I know it will kick my ass because it has been awhile since I went.  But I am ready for it.  

I cooked all weekend, and made some amazing food for my family and friends.  It was a great feeling to be around the sweets and the rich food and not indulge.  Did I have a few cookies, yes I sure did, did I stick to band rules, yes I did for the most part.  I did not drink enough water, but other than that I was very careful with my choices.

I have proven once again that temptations can be over come. You have to motivate yourself to stay the course, is it easy, sure the hell not.  It is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but it is not impossible.

I am so ready for the new year and seeing onederland this year!  I am so excited.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Dear friends;

I hope that your Christmas holidays with your families are blessed with memories and love.  My mother made it home from the hospital just in time for Christmas.  It was the best present that I could have received.  The boys had an amazing day, the presents were opened and their faces reflected the excitement and joy of getting just what they had asked for.  It certainly reminds me that there is nothing more wonderful than seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child.  Mom said last night, doesn't it bring out our inner child, and I so agree that it does.  The food was really good, everything was superb.  I did really good, I did not over eat.  Thank you God for my band.

Today the boys are gone and with their dad, they will be back tomorrow night.  I am off until Wednesday and am looking forward to seeing them.  The hustle is over, and I do not care if I see another store for 6 months.  I have a mission, and it is to get back to working out harder than ever before.  I am anxious for tomorrow and getting to the gym.  I got some wonderful things for Christmas, but my favorite present was my new Nikon Coolpix camera.  I cannot wait to learn all the things that it can do.

I promise to post more pictures these coming months now.  I did not get my snow that I had hoped for, but that is ok to.  I know it is easier for people who must travel on the roads without storms.  I have to do some homework, but will wait til tomorrow.  I want to get it all done so I do not have to worry about it.

I am thankful for all of you this year, that you came into my life and my band life.  I know that your support has been extraordinary and mattered so much to me.  I can only imagine how wonderful it will be to see you all again and spend time with you.

A new year is upon us, and I am looking forward to it so much!

Merry Christmas



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

A big Happy Birthday goes out to my mom who is 76 young today!  She is still in the hospital and I hope she will get to come home today or tomorrow.  We will have to see.

She was moved out of ICU on Tuesday night and has been doing really well.  She told me this morning that they tried to take off her oxygen last night and she began to wheeze.  So they put it back on.

I really want her home before Christmas if at all possible.  We have our family Christmas on Christmas Eve, always have.  So we still have a couple of days to play with here.

I have last minute things to do, and have no idea when they will get done.  I came back to work yesterday because I did not want to use all of my personal time if at all possible.  I am off tomorrow til next Wednesday.  I am thankful for that.  I need some down time from all of the stress.

I have been so bad, I ate some crap, because I have been so stinking tight.  I actually had some ice cream at the hospital.  What the hell, I mean that is unacceptable. I told myself that I cannot do shit like that no matter how stressed I am.  So today is a new day for that, I will not allow that back into my system, it is my trigger food big time and I know it.

I am looking forward to time off, but hope it will not be spent in the hospital.  

God Bless everyone, and I hope you all have safe travels to where you are headed for the holiday.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mom is Still in ICU!

Mom is still in ICU.  She started wheezing again last night, but hopefully today they will move her out of ICU.  I am hopeful that they will and the first step closer to having her back home.

I slept in the ICU waiting room again last night, wow those beds, cots are so uncomfortable.  My back really hurts, but at least it is a place to lie down.  Being able to stay with her was so very important.  She was really scared and upset when the wheezing started again, and she began to sob.  She asked me to please not leave her.  I told her I was not going anywhere.  

Nichole is coming up this morning, she will sit with her while I go home to shower and check on the house.  Alan is coming home from work at 11 to get Cole off of the bus, and be there when Adam also comes home from school.  I think once they move her today, I may let Nichole stay tonight and I will go home to get some sleep.

I cannot tell you, how tight I have been.  I have not been drinking enough water, and I have been trying.  I have tried to eat something but am really tight.  Stress and the band I suppose.  This is the first real serious stress I have had since being banded, and it is true what I have heard that stress makes us tighter.

Looks like there may be a chance for snow for Christmas, I am excited about that.  I just have to get mom home.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday such a scary day

I speak occasionally here about my mom.  She is my best friend.  Her birthday is this Thursday the 22nd.  She will be 76 years old.  My mom has Asthma and has had issues over the last couple of years controlling it when she gets a cold.  

Mom has had an upper respiratory infection since around Thanksgiving, that just was hanging on.  I picked her up on Friday afternoon and she sounded terrible.  Wheezing and could not catch her breath.  I asked her how long she had been like this, as I was unaware.  The joy of the elderly living alone.  That and she so tries not to worry me.  She said a few days, so I immediately called the Dr and they wanted to see her.  She did not see her regular Dr as she was off that day.  They prescribed an additional antibiotic and sent us on our way.  They were unable to hear any wheezing, because I had made her do an albuterol treatment right before we left for the Dr.

She went home on Friday night with Adam, he had been so looking forward to spending the night with her.  I picked them up at 11am on Saturday.  We had planned her birthday party for that evening.  My good friend Linda and her son Elijah and niece Breanna and all of us took her to Carlos O'Kelly's one of her favorite places.  We had a really good meal and a fun time.  It was late and so she stayed the night with us.

I cannot tell you how very glad that she did.  I woke up at 5am to do homework and take a test in my Health Information class and around 6am mom came walking out into the living room wheezing something awful.  I had her do her nebulizer and then her rescue inhaler and it continued to get worse, I should have taken her to the ER right then and there but she told me she was not going.  I continued to monitor her, she ended up getting worse and we have moved her to my bed and she began really struggling to breath and I called 911.  They took her to OSF (my hospital) and Alan and I followed her and when we arrived they began working on her it was so scary.  I was in the room with her, they were throwing everything but the kitchen sink in her, she was able to say "Please help me, I cannot breath" and she looked at me with a horribly scared look on her face.  It took awhile but they were able to bring her back.  

The Dr. told me she was close to complete respiratory failure and that we were lucky.  She has to have an asthma care plan for when to come to the ER as we waited way to long.  She is in ICU and I stayed with her last night.  I slept on a cot in the waiting room.  I am with her now, and she is so much better.  She is no longer wheezing, they have her completely opened up now.  She had  a good night, and slept really well.

I just hope we can get her home before Christmas.  Please keep her in your prayers.  I cannot imagine my life without her, and I know at her age anything can happen.  I am very grateful that God did not see fit to take her from us yesterday.  Adam Mikael loves his great grandma so much and it would just devastate him.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mom's Birthday Snowman Cupcakes Done!

I certainly hope that she loves them, they were fun to make but not as easy as it looked!

Looking forward to the day with my mom!  I love her so much and at 76 years young she is still my best friend and biggest supporter!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fabulous Gym Experience

I finally made it to work out last night.  Yeap, I ventured out into the cold and blustery weather with Nichole.  Last night I decided to ease back into it, so I just treaded water for 45 minutes, let me tell you that is one kick ass workout.  Constant moving legs and arms in 9 feet of water, really wears your ass out!  Especially when I have been MIA for a couple of weeks.

It felt good, I felt accomplished when I got home.  I am very glad I went, I have to work at making it the habit that it had become once again.  I will be at the gym today after work, tomorrow at 5am for my 50 minutes of laps, and then Sunday is a weight training day for me.  Zumba on Monday and then I will take a couple of days to rest, and back at it on Friday!  I have no intentions of NOT working out over Christmas,  I have 5 days off from work and I will be at the gym every day that there are actually open.

This morning I get to work, and there is fricking food everywhere.  Can you say CRACK!  It is like my co-workers have lost their minds.  We have two huge hams I think they must be 15 pounds a piece, we are only feeding 20 people LOL.  We have crock pots of potatoes, green bean casserole, sausage rolls, biscuits and gravy, donuts, bakery sweet rolls, cake, cookies, fudge, my god it looks like HELL from where I am sitting, everyone is oooing and ahhhing over how heavenly everything tastes.  All I am doing is smiling, because I had some Greek yogurt and a spoonful of sausage gravy and I am good.  I do not feel the need to graze as the savages I work with are doing right outside of my cubicle.

It is indeed times like these that I am so thankful for the band!  Most of what they are eating today, I will not even spoon onto my plate, why you may ask?  Because, it is not healthy and I am about healthy choices.  That is where my life with the band has taken me.  If I expect to reach the goal I set for myself, I have to continue on the path of healthy versus what may look and taste divine.  Now, will I have a spoonful of the delicious pretzel salad? Will I have a teaspoonful of mashed potatoes?  Will I eat the veggies that were steamed?  You betcha I will.  I will also have a cookie and that will be my POTLUCK extravaganza for this banded babe!

I am armed with the best protection a girl could want, my BAND!  Onward and downward I say, let the onslaught of Christmas parties and food commence I am ready for it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 15th and 100 Posts

I had no idea when I began this blog back in July that I would be here today.  I did not know where it would take me, I had no real expectations.  I knew from reading Catherine's  blog that I hoped to make this a journal of my reconnection with my band.  I had no idea that I would make some of the most wonderful friends and meet these incredible women face to face.  But I did, and I have.  BOOBS was super duber incredible!  You all must attend this coming year!

So what words of wisdom come from 100 Posts.  I have no idea, I just know that I try to be as honest as possible when I post here.  I do not think about who may sit in judgement of me for what I write, because I started this blog first and foremost for me, in realizing that my story may help someone else who has fallen and regained weight, has been an incredible feeling of worth.  I cannot begin to tell you, when I get the emails asking me questions about how I turned it back around, makes me feel.  I don't have all of the answers, hell I am not even sure I have a few, but I know that it took a lot of soul searching and tears and therapy to get me where I am today.

I am amazed that I have 61 people who follow me.  I am grateful that they enjoy reading what I have to say.  I follow so many blogs here and am being introduced to new bloggers each and every day.  There are so many terrific reads.  So going into the new year, I will document what I am most thankful for 4 years later.  I know that I am truly thankful for all of you, who listen to my ranting and ramblings and occasional advice or informational posts and take it all in stride.

I have had many changes this year, new job, new location, and a new body forming right before my eyes.  The inner me is still the same Kristin, but she is happier, smiles more and laughs more.  I miss Adam this time of year so much.  I know that if he were here with me, he would be my biggest cheerleader.  He keeps me plugging along, and keeping my head held up high. Having Nichole to work out with, has made this an even  better year.  I love her so much, no mother could ask for a better daughter!  I am so very proud of her, she is losing weight right along with me, and she is unbanded!

I also see numerous blogs where folks are posting about not knowing what to say, or worrying or stressing over their posts.  I have never felt this way, as this Blog is for me.  So I just say whatever is on my mind that day or in the moment.  If someone does not want to read it, I will still post it.  Having people read it is icing on my cake so to speak.

Looking forward to tomorrow, I am leaving at noon and will be making snowman cupcakes for my mother's birthday party on Saturday.  It will be so much fun.  I also am making chocolate coated pretzels with Adam this weekend, so it will be a fun time.

The answer to the above is yourself, be honest and do not be afraid!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Testimonial

So it is Tuesday and one more day closer to Christmas...yea!  I am so ready.  I have horrible patience, I am like a little kid when it comes to this.  I love giving, and it is the highlight of my holiday season.  To see every one's face's when they open their gifts.  I am truly like a little child in this respect.

Today is my office Christmas party and we are going to a location away from the office for a catered lunch.  I am not at all worried about the choices, as I know that my restriction has me at a level that it is impossible to over eat.  Although, I have been PBing a lot lately when I do try to eat solid protein, I know it is simply that I am getting to hungry and not taking my time and eating slower.  Nichole and Alan are both mindful of this for me, and try really hard to remind me.  

My visit with the surgeon was pushed back to January 3rd because I had strep. I am not dreading this appointment at all, even though I did not reach my goal yet set for myself for this appointment.  I wanted to be lower than my lowest before I regained all of the weight. I still have 10 pounds to go.  It is totally lack of exercise as the reason that I am not there yet.  Being sick totally removed that from my life once again.  So I am making the effort to get back in gear.

I had a nice NSV this morning,  I put on one of my OLD favorite blouses, plunging neckline that I have not had on in two years as it was way way too tight on me.  I decided to try it today for my party, and vwala, it fit nicely once again.  It is not tight anywhere.

It is times like these that I am so thankful for my decision to be banded.  Yes I have 65 pounds to go to get to my personal goal for myself and 60 pounds for my surgeons goal.  Still, I am happy and healthier than I have been in many, many years.  I am able to run, swim, and be active without hurting and crying in pain.
I have been enjoying my fellow BOOBS "that was then...this is now" posts of the past few days.  I know that true transformation is possible and that even 50 pounds can be huge for some of us.  It is not in the numbers as much as it is in how you feel about yourself.

I did not get banded for anyone else, I did it for me.  I must be the one who is happy with me.  I get compliments at work everyday from someone who says...."my you are sure getting skinny"!  The truth is I am far from skinny, but I am getting there.  Slow and steady wins this race.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!

I am back at work and wow I was only out for 3 1/2 days and I got back to over 400 emails, plus mounds of charity applications.  I was so busy on Friday.  Did I tell you all though, that I love my new job.  Amazing!

I feel so blessed in so many ways.  The boys are at their dad's this weekend.  So yesterday morning Nichole and I got up and went to the gym.  YIPEE! I am back in the saddle again.  I swam for 25 minutes and it was so hard.  It felt great though, to be back in the water and finally doing some activity other than walking around the house.  Looking forward to getting back to it full boar.

I did some shopping yesterday, went to Sam's to get my wrapping supplies.  I love them for their beautiful papers, bows and tags, and I go there every year for them.  It's tradition.  So now I need to do some wrapping today before the boys arrive back home.

Nichole's Ham
Nichole made this amazing meal last night, she made a ham, sweet potatoes and asparagus and rolls.  I so enjoyed the flavors but what I enjoyed even more was not being able to eat much.  My restriction is still fantastic after 5 months of this fill.  I have to say that this is why I got this band in the first place to keep me from over indulging at meals like this.

I got my homework done, and another week is behind me.  I am looking forward to my Christmas break from school.  It is the only time since going back to school that I have had off.  So no classes will be nice.

Mom, me and Nichole
Mom was with me yesterday.  I have not seen in her in nearly two weeks.  When we were all sick, I did not want to risk bringing her around.  It was great getting to see her, she looks good and seems to be feeling really well.  Her birthday is the 22nd and I am doing her party next weekend.  I always try to make a big deal about her birthday, it is so close to Christmas, as a child it was always sort of looked over, and incorporated into Christmas.

I am wanting a white Christmas so bad.  It is 40 degrees here today and this week, last year this time we had 9 inches of snow on the ground.  What a difference a year can make.  It is the one reason I love the midwest, cold and snowy Christmas time.  I can wear my boots, and my leather coat and not be too hot.  It is balmy here, what is up with that?

I have to get my pictures downloaded from my camera so that I can blog them.  I have so many little things to do and I need to get started on some of them.  I am looking forward to spending quality time with the boys over Christmas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday and recuperation!

So it is Wednesday and December 7th.  Today is my brothers birthday.  Happy Birthday Paul Lee.  I do not give my blog address to my family, but still wanted to put that out to the universe.  It is also Pearl Harbor observance today!  

I am on the mend with Strep Throat, and I am just now beginning to feel somewhat better.  I can finally say that my throat is not like sand paper anymore.  I am so ready for it to exit my home.  I did get everything washed and Lysol sprayed yesterday in hopes of combating this damn bug.

I do not want a repeat of last year, right here at Christmas.  Next week is our Christmas party and secret Santa at work, I would like to feel good for this.

I still have a couple of things to get for the boys and one possible thing for Alan.  I believe that for the most part I am done. But I am sure I will pick up some odds and ends.

I am looking forward to Christmas this year because I will actually be off on the 23rd through the 27th.  I never take this much time off at Christmas ever.  It will be so nice.  I like being home.  I do know that my inbox will be overwhelmed when I return however.   

For those of you wondering, I did not make my surgeon appointment yesterday, with Strep throat I thought I should reschedule as to not expose the office to this nasty crap.  They were much appreciative.  So I go see him on January 3rd.

I have been stuck at this weight now for a month, yes a month, I have not lost anything.  I know, I have not gained either so that is at least something, but it is not acceptable.  I have goals and I demand my body listen to me and let go of this damn fat!  LOL  It is not my restriction, as I still have issues with  solid protein getting stuck, so I know my fill level is good.  It is just lack of actual exercise.

I believe that it is in that mode of thinking, my body has figured me out, and what I put into it, and as to what kind of exercise it is going to get from me as well.  Which I admit, has not been like it was.  I know, I know, I have to work it, to get the results that I need.

It is so hard to want to get out into the cold and go, but  you bet when this damn bug is gone, I am there.  Cold or not, I need to swim, my muscles are crying, my brain is mush, and my body is wanting it's fix of movement more than anything.
I do hate when life happens and gets in the way of the habits that we have created.  Why is it when it does, the first thing we let go of, is the one thing we need the most, exercise?

I am looking forward to Christmas break from school very much, it is hard to stay focused when you are sick.  I still have to function and do my homework and it quite frankly sucks. I am thinking of taking the summer off.  I am in no hurry to finish really, and I am getting so burned out as I have been going non stop now for 18 months.

Today will be a lazy day, hope to just rest and not do a whole heck of a lot.

Monday, December 5, 2011

From Strep Throat and Pink cookies!

I have not felt great since Wednesday, when my throat was bothering me.  Not horrible just slightly sore.  Friday it was a full blown sore throat with fever.  So when I left work on Friday I went home, grabbed Nichole who also had a sore throat with fever and actually looked far worse than I felt, and went to Prompt Care.  Her eye was also bothering her and was swollen, and she wanted me too look at it, but I told her to just have them take a look when we got there.  Alan stopped and be looked at it and used his fingers to see if there was something in it.

Low and behold, I have merely a virus they told me, no Strep.  Thank the lord because I had Strep at this time last year and was very sick.  I lost my voice with laryngitis and was unable to do all the singing that I do this time of year with my work choir.  Nichole was not so lucky.  She had strep and also pink eye!  So we picked up her prescriptions and headed for home.  We both ended up in bed feeling just awful.

Saturday we awoke and Alan had left for work and I was thinking about doing my homework, but could not bring myself to do it, I was still feeling like crap.  Mid morning I get a phone call from Alan, his eye is all swollen and red, I told him to head to Prompt Care and he did.  Sure enough, the doting father has pink eye too!  So he came home, and we all just sort of thought wow, a couple of weeks of sicky icky stuff at our house for sure.  I did not see Mom this weekend, did not want to expose her to any of it.

Was suppose to finish some Christmas Shopping, nope that did not happen.  Oh well, not like I still do not have some time.  I am at work today, but my throat is still hurting like crazy.  If it is not better by morning I will call my doctor.  Nichole is worse today, so she is calling this morning, I am not so sure the Z-Pack they gave her was a good choice for Strep!

I did make the cookies for my cookie exchange at work yesterday, though it was apparent how badly I felt.  I completed the first batch of my great great grandmothers Oatmeal recipe and just knew something was not quite right.  Low and behold I forgot to add the Oatmeal.  LOL  I did fix this and made another batch, but I have to admit they were delicious without the oatmeal, I thought about calling them the Kristin's!

I will say that I did not make the goal I set for myself for my appointment with my surgeon tomorrow.  However, I know that he will be pleased.  I am down 67 pounds since 7-5-11 so he has to be right?

I am concentrating on moving more, but it is so hard when you do not feel well.  I was told to not work out til this virus is gone.  What the hell!!

Virus Virus, go away, I need to get my ass to the gym!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Carbohydrates are they truly EVIL?

Everyone has heard the bad press that Carbohydrates has received over the last 10 years.  How could you not have followed the Atkins craze or the South Beach Diet, or the Zone that allot of Hollywood stars rushed to try.  With all of the press about Carbohydrates I have learned through all of my medical courses in College a few things that I wanted to share.

Carbohydrates are the bodies ideal fuel for most functions.  Yes you heard right.  They supply the body with energy needed for the muscles, brain and central nervous system.  In fact your brain relies solely on Carbohydrates for its energy.  So when you are thinking of going on a low carb diet please keep this in mind.  Your brain does not function well without them.

Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy products, foods made from grains, and sweeteners such as sugar, honey, molasses, and corn syrup.

There are three basic types of carbohydrates; simple carbs that are broken down quickly and complex carbohydrates that are broken down slower over time.  There are indigestible carbs that are considered fiber.  Simple carbs are the ones that can cause extreme surges in our blood sugar, and increase our appetite.  These are the ones that our bodies store as fat.  The complex ones enter our blood slower and actually can control appetite and increase our sugar levels more slowly, which lowers the amount of sugar that is stored as fat.  

Some of you may have had a nutritionist through your surgeons office that helped you to understand this concept, and perhaps some of  you did not.

I just want to say again to everyone, Carbs are not all bad or evil as they have been portrayed.  The simple carbs need to be monitored very closely, the others you need to add and eat each and every day.  For those of us who have gone on low carb diets, you found that certainly you will lose weight.  In fact, it will melt away.  Why is this?  Well there is a scientific reason for it.

With no glucose available for enegry the body uses protein from food for fuel. Therefore this fuel is no longer available for more important functions such as making new cells, tissues, enzymes, hormones and antibodies and the regulation of fluid levels.  When carbohydrates are lacking our bodies cannot burn fat in the proper way.  When carbs are lacking the body incompletely breaks down our fat and a by product is produced call ketones.  When the body begins this process you are thrown into a state of famine.  The body believes it is useless to  search for food, and will waste energy so your appetite goes away.  You will get bad breath, become dehydrated and nauseous, dizzy and extremely fatigued you will even become constipated.  Your work outs will not be as productive either, you may find you do not have enough energy to complete the workout.    A person that is on a low carb diet will also be at higher risk for kidney stones and heart disease and even cancer.

So bottom line is to eat your carbs, just keep them in check with your daily allowance and be sure there is a variety of them in your diet.  It is hard for people with the band to eat carbs, when we are instructed to eat our protein first.  We usually become full,and have trouble getting in those vegetables, but it is so imperative that you do.

So the next time you hear the TV ads and see the books and spokes person for that wonderful low carb diet, think again!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"The Heart Of Christmas"

The Heart Of Christmas

 The movie premiered in Peoria last night!  This story will touch your heart like no other.  Two years ago in our community a little boy who had been diagnosed with AML Leukemia 18 months earlier taught us what the true meaning of Christmas is all about.

Julie, Madeline and Austin ( Santa hat)  in the crowd from Daxs' movie The Heart Of Christmas

I think that Alan and I were initially drawn to Dax Locke and his story, because of our own journey with a child with cancer so many years ago.  Perhaps it was that our son was diagnosed on Christmas, perhaps it was that our boys were so close in age, perhaps it was that we had just observed October 16th Adams death day, maybe it was that our stories were so similar.  I really am not certain what it was that lit the spark within, but we both were compelled to follow the story thru to the end. Even though we knew that Dax was not going to make it, we had to follow his story.

I signed up for the Caringbridge journal updates from Julie, little Dax's mom's journal.  I listened to how a community on my birthday, Halloween, instead of Trick Or Treating, put up their Christmas lights so that this little boy could have one last Christmas.  Alan called me one day on the way home from work.  His voice was strong, but shaky.  "have you heard about Dax?" I said yes, I am following his story through his mom's journal, I replied.  Well I think we need to put up Christmas lights this year.  I nearly crashed my car.  Let me explain, Alan hates Christmas, it is like stabbing him in the heart, this holiday reminds him only of what he lost.  He was never a big fan before Adam's diagnosis, but after Adam's diagnosis and death the holiday began to eat away at him and he hated it, dreaded it like taking a beating.
So to hear that he wanted to put lights on the outside of our home for the first time in over 21 years, well to say "it made me cry" is quite frankly an under statement.

Dax Locke

So we did, we put up our Christmas lights on the outside of our house and we put up our Christmas tree, and we felt wonderful for doing so.  We talked about Dax, our grandson Adam who was 5 years old, also had heard about Dax at school.  He became very interested as well, in this little boy.  He also told us that Dax was so loved by everyone.  This was so true.  From Facebook, to the world news, Dax became an overnight sensation.  People from around the world were following his story and hoping he would indeed make it to see Christmas.

Dax did live to see Christmas in 2009, but he was very very sick, and he passed away on December 30, 2009!  He proved that these little children have strength beyond compare.  I was awake that night in the middle of the night, I am not sure why I was awake now, but my cell phone notification went off and it was an update from Julie on the journal.  She was letting us know that Dax was "gone"!  My heart exploded with emotion, I recalled so well that moment of my own with my Adam. It brought back all those memories from time gone, and it felt like it was that night in my own living room when Adam took his last breath.   I wanted so badly to run to her, and hold her, and tell her what I now know today.  That he was not gone at all, but that he lives within me, in my heart., and that Dax would too.  That he would never be gone from her or Austin's lives really.   I knew these words would not comfort her......not yet.  The pain was too raw.

Dax's Video

Alan and I went to the memorial service for Dax together.  It was so hard for both of us, especially Alan.  After it, we walked up to Julie and Austin and we hugged them.  And we told them  what we had been wanting to tell them that we had survived and that they would as well!  We wanted them to know, that the pain will always be there, but that you can move forward and you can find peace.  I told Julie about Adam and that Dax had helped to heal my husbands hardened heart!  She cried, I cried, we all cried.  It was emotional, it was one of the best moments I have had since Adam's death.  I felt so connected to Adam in that moment.

Adams grave October 2011

I have come to know Julie and Austin over the past two years, I have volunteered for Dax's foundation events and it has been wonderful watching how Julie has grown from this unimaginable pain.  Last night felt like the culmination of two years with his big screen debut!  The movie will be televised on Sunday, December 4, 2011 on GMC!  Please take a moment out of your busy lives to watch this movie with your families!

It will change your lives! It did ours!

"Cherish Every Moment"

Adam taught me many many things in the 10 months that he fought his battle.  But what I remember most is that life is short, and you must live it to your fullest.  He also taught me that family is what is most important and we are to cherish every moment with each other as we never know when something will change our lives forever, and that being happy is not a place of being but a state of mind, that we have to take control of it ourselves.  No one else will bring us happiness we must do that on our own.