Monday, June 6, 2016

The Weight Loss Journey

I've been on this weight loss journey for a few years and have been doing well. Of course, the lifestyle changes I've made have a huge impact on my health both physical and mental. One thing I've discovered is that it can be stressful to weigh significantly less than one has, just like being obese is stressful. I had not imagined that would be the case. It's difficult to accept the changes that come with aging. Adding the droopy skin that comes with weight loss can take a toll on self-image. However, I do not advocate putting on weight or staying heavy to avoid wrinkles. The drop in blood pressure and the increase in mobility that accompanied my weight loss are nice benefits and those benefits are of immeasurable value.
I had mentioned in my last post that I was contemplating a tummy tuck. Now I have made the commitment to do it. I spend time over at the Real Self website. I am not sure if that site makes me more nervous or less nervous about the procedure. I do see that a high percentage of folk who have plastic surgery done are happy. Folk with adverse outcomes, actually folk who did not get the exact result they wanted even when surgery objectively was very successful, are extremely vocal. I hope that my expectations of surgery are more realistic than those. Not every operation I've had done has been exactly to my liking, but I think all has gone well, and my friends say the results are excellent; and, as I honestly evaluate the procedures, I'm delighted. Dr. Hugh Vu in Stockton is a very accomplished surgeon. I also like the skin care treatment I've received from Laser & Skin Surgery Center in Sacramento.
I mentioned the weight loss journey earlier, and it is a "journey." I seem to follow the profile of the typical person involved in a diet plan. I hesitate to use the word diet as the emphasis is on lifestyle change, not a temporary "diet." Spark People is a resource I've used, along with my Kaiser Permanente weight loss program, to help me towards my goals. The coaching track at Spark People is superb. As I was saying, there does seem to be a pattern people follow. At first restricting calories, feeling confident, gradually increasing exercise, getting overall more active and making exercise a part of every day, and then a focus on making not just low-calorie choices but healthy ones. I'm at that point now. I love the good food that I am cooking that I've ordered from Sun Basket. Lots of vegetables and so many new tastes, too. I started researching in my Joy of Cooking cookbook to find the location of pages with recipes for all the tasty seasonings; maybe I'll even learn actually to cook. I like to think that following the explicit directions on the Sun Basket meals is real cooking, but it is rather scientific, like baking. I love all the flavors that the chef at Sun Basket assembles. Urfa Biber? You know the dinner table was a spot full of laughter as Cal and Joe's sense of humor awoke over the name of this delightful pepper flavor! I am discovering all sorts of new recipes and flavors I had not tried before. Perhaps, out of this savory adventure, some cooking skills will emerge; and, I'll have a few "go-to" recipes.
As I looked this blog post over, I realized it told part of my story. Telling one's story was an assignment at Spark Coach today. I've come a long way. My physical and mental health were shattering around me six years ago, and I've been picking up the pieces. This path is difficult and even painful at times. Nonetheless, this journey to health is a great adventure. I suppose I will post before and after photos, though I want to go through my files and erase all the "Fat Karen" pics. Still, they are a good reminder of where I do not want to be. I also realize that a lot of current pictures are not full body shots. I'll need to get some. I do have this photo taken when I'm playing on the floor with my grandson that gives a pretty good idea of where I am now.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Inspiration and Encouragement.

 Salin Designs Recorded
Fonts: Brannboll F, Traveling Typewriter

Challenge from Scrapalicious Group at modified with template: GIS templates Emily Pitts, Make it Mean; Kit: Destinations, Blagovesta Gosheva; Paper Clip: More than all the Stars, Two More Days; Frame: Piggy Bank, Studio Dawn Inskip Fonts: Traveling Typewriter, Bebas

I have mentioned Spark People as a site I use to help me manage my weight. It works very well to document my daily food intake, exercise and progress. I like the support from the Spark Coach program at the site. Spark People is free and Spark Coach costs $50 for a year, then $9 per month.
It's been very helpful.
One thing I discovered recently is a scrapbook group , "Scrapalicious", on the site. Monthly challenges that have pretty liberal guidelines. I like that. Fun to make a page without having to struggle!
It's helping to increase my creative efforts.
I've posted a couple of the layouts I've made for the challenges so far.
So, help losing weight and a group to push me to more productivity in scrapbooking.
A winning idea!

Montreal - A Girdled Porcupine (reflections on a reunion in 2013)

Forty years, unbelievable and yet, a reality; that it's been that long since I graduated from McGill with my M.D.;C.M. and a l...