My Progress!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Checking in :) I'm still alive and haven't been back to the hospital!!

I apologize for not updating my blog this past week. By Monday, I was deeply depressed. I still wasn't 100% and my arm was killing me and didn't seem to be getting any better and I was just really down that I wasn't able to go to Indiana to see my family. I had a horrible dream about my mom Sunday night so when I woke up, it all just hit me and I actually had a 5 minute crying jag where I felt super sorry for myself. I thought about getting on and blogging about it, but I just didn't want to allow myself to "wallow" in how I was feeling if that makes any sense.

As the week went by, I started feeling better both physically and mentally and was looking forward to going to my SIL's house for Thanksgiving. I even made buttermilk pie to take over (no, it wasn't low carb) and then spent most of the night "hemorrhaging" (my gynecological issues) which meant we had to cancel that outing :( I just didn't want to risk having a problem while over at her house and honestly, I was exhausted as I had been up all night in and out of the bathroom. The good news is that the last two periods, while having their heavy moments, seem to be lasting about 5-7 days and then resolving the way they are supposed to. I'm hoping the hemorrhaging I experienced was somewhat due to the lovenox I'd been on in the hospital and had continued at home trying to resolve the issues from my IVs. Since I've had to discontinue the birth control pills, it would be nice if my gyno issues would normalize as I don't want my next trip to the hospital to be to have a hysterectomy :S

We hadn't planned on having Thanksgiving at home so Erik ran to the store and bought some fried chicken and french fries and we threw that in the oven lol. I had a few fries and a few bites of chicken and even had some pie later and did fine. I didn't gain any weight and this morning I'm back down to 335 (I had gotten back up to 347 while in the hospital...all that darn fluid!).

Now, I'm feeling much better and seem to be on the mend. Just keep your fingers crossed for me that I don't have a relapse with the vasculitis! Right now, we are just struggling with how we are going to get our bills paid this month after several weeks (both of us) that we were out of work without pay while in the hospital. I'm sure we will be fine, but it just sucks that this is all happening around the holidays.

Tanner seems to understand that we won't be able to buy him anything this year and honestly, he's kind of been annoying the heck out of us as far as money goes...just not really understanding that we can't go to the movies, rent video games, etc right now so maybe this is a good lesson for him. I'm even thinking about trying to work on some volunteer projects or something where we help deliver gifts to other needy families so that he can see that there are many other people in our city who have it much worse than we do. IDK, but this kiddo definitely needs a reality check when it comes to finances...our fault though for spoiling him a bit when he was younger.

One good thing is that he seems to really understand when I share stories about my own childhood with him. I never really wanted for anything because whatever my mom couldn't provide, my grandparents made sure I had, but I grew up watching my mom work several jobs and still struggle to pay bills. I've told Tanner that when I started working at 16, I would actually turn my paychecks over to my mom because it made me feel better knowing that I was helping to alleviate some of the stress she was under and that I would much rather give her the money than go and spend it on something frivolous and watch her continue to struggle financially. A few years ago, none of this would penetrate as far as Tanner was concerned. He just wouldn't generalize this story to his own experience, but I could actually see him comparing situations and later, he brought me $6 of his allowance to "help" us pay rent bless his heart. I told him to keep it, but to try and keep in mind how hard dad and I were working and how stressed we were this month and to try to give us a break. For the most part, he's been better about it, but we still have a few moments here and there where he gets upset about not being able to do something that costs money.

Anyway, all things considered, things are looking up. I hope to be blogging a lot more this month, but this past week, with the illness, not being able to go on the trip, thanksgiving kind of being a bust and then the anniversary of my mom's death (jan 28th) I just kind of decided to give myself a break and get through it all. I'm sorry to have worried some of you! Thanks for checking in on me, it makes me feel good and thankful to have your support :)

My goals for this month are to get back to walking regularly, continue to track my food each day and STAY OUT OF THE DARN HOSPITAL!! What goals are you setting for yourself this month?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Back from the hospital..yes AGAIN!

I'm sure some of you were wondering what happened to me. What about the interview, my upcoming vacation, etc. Well, nix everything because I ended up in the hospital again. It was the same problem I had a few weeks ago with my stomach; most specifically, my small bowel mesentery . For whatever reason, the mesentery and vascular network is getting inflamed which causes the small bowel to thicken and hurt like you wouldn't believe; I can only compare the cramping to childbirth as the pain builds to an unbearable gut-wrenching pain, radiating throughout your stomach and back and then subsides only to recur a few moments later. I don't even remember the first two days in the hospital because I was so drugged up on pain medication.

I'm still pretty wiped out so I'm going to keep this short (the previous post was written before I got sick). I went into the hospital on Wednesday and just got out yesterday evening. They wanted to keep me through Monday, but they couldn't find anyplace to start a new IV (for some antibiotics they have me on mainly) as I kept blowing them. When this last one blew, I refused to be stuck again as they had literally tried about every vein in both forearms and were discussing putting in a picc line. At the moment, both forearms are swollen, the right more so than the left...I'm a little concerned about it actually as it is a bit inflamed and warm to the touch..I'm guessing it may be cellulitis, but I'll call the doc. I'm on two high powered antibiotics, so that should help.

They basically checked me for any and all diseases that could cause vasculitis, many of which I'd never heard of (Whipple's disease) and some I was familiar with (Lymphoma, Lupus, etc.). Every test they ran came back negative and the small bowel study just told them what they already knew from the CT scan....that the mesentery and small bowel was inflamed. The radiologist that did my small bowel study happened to have just read an article that Lisinopril (my blood pressure med)had been linked to vasculitis so they took me off lisinopril and put me on some other med.

Like last time, I began to get better in the hospital before they really started any treatment other than IV fluids. The pain started to lessen and my white count went back down before they made the decision to try antibiotics, so essentially I was improving on my own which got me thinking. I don't think it was the lisinopril because I continued to take that in the hospital last time and after I was released and I was fine. However, I remembered that I had started the birth control pill my gyno had put me on, Low-ogestrel, about a week before being hospitalized the first time. While I was in the hospital, I didn't take it because I didn't have it with me. When I got out, I had missed so many days, I just decided to wait a few weeks and start the next one when I would have had I continued with the initial pack. I started the new pack almost a week to the day before getting sick again. Both times, I finished about a week's worth of this medication before going into the hospital. I mentioned it to the doctors, but they didn't seem to think it was a likely culprit. Maybe not, but at the moment, it makes the most sense.

They wanted to do a biopsy tomorrow, but honestly, I don't know if that will give them anymore information and I was READY to go home. I figure IF I get sick again, I'll let them do the biopsy at that point. For now, I have discontinued the lisinopril and the low-ogestrel and I'm hoping for the best.

The very big downside to this is that we won't be going to Indiana to visit my family which is a huge disappointment to Tanner and myself. I'm very happy to be feeling better, but we were really looking forward to this trip. I also obviously didn't get to do the interview with Dr. Duperier which was also disappointing, but oh well...maybe some other time.

Another activity idea Tanner and I are exploring...

Ok, so most of you know I have been brainstorming lots of ways to remain active. I know that the only way I’m going to continue to lose weight and, more importantly, keep it off is to not only incorporate exercise into my daily life, but to change my LIFESTYLE. I am also trying to have enough variability that Tanner doesn’t get bored with what we are doing. I mentioned that we are looking at the Kinect and the adult trikes, but we have also talked about taking Karate lessons together (there is a karate place right up the road that we could easily bike to).

Out of all the sports, I’ve probably always had a little more interest in baseball, both as a spectator and as a player. Not that I’ve ever really played all that much outside of PE, but I got to wondering about getting some equipment (a bat, mitt, etc) so that we might brush up on our skillz. I was thinking if we could improve Tanner’s maybe we could see about having him join a local deaf league.

I think I’ve mentioned my love for “fantasy shopping” before and I recently discovered and it has become a favorite for that sort of thing for sure! They have everything lol. Tanner and I started doing a little fantasy shopping of our own and decided to see what sort of bats they recommended. We found the Easton SV2 first and as we started looking around that particular website, never realized how many different kinds of bats there are; tee ball bats, fast pitch bats, etc. Not sure what is different about them all as they all seem to look the same, but I’m sure there must be a difference.

We have a great backyard so I wouldn’t have to worry so much about Tanner sending a rogue ball flying into the next door neighbor’s window. Of course now that I’ve said that, he’ll find a way to damage something lol. I should probably outfit him in something like these youth catchers gear outfits to keep him from braining himself lol! I think I’ll do myself a favor though and skip the nike baseball cleats , those just seem like asking for trouble to place a pair on Tanner’s feet. He gets his coordination from his momma!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weigh in. I am no longer stalled!

I had Erik snap a picture of me yesterday and thought I'd share it. Not a huge change since my last round of pictures, but I'm slowly getting happier about what I see staring back at me!

When I stepped on the scale this morning I was at 338!! I'm really loving THAT! I honestly don't think I've been this weight since 2000? Just amazing! Hopefully the coffee calamity I discovered last week was the problem and now that I've adjusted things, I'll keep losing at a regular pace. I'm a bit behind my goal due to the three week stall. I was supposed to be closer to 319 by about this time, but I'm just happy to be losing again!

I'm looking forward to the TV interview this Thursday. If there is an online version I can share with you (and I haven't said anything to embarrass myself, I'll share it with you!). Still need to decide what to wear.

Before I know it, Monday will be here and Tanner and I will be off to Indiana to see our family! I can't wait :) Hopefully we won't annoy them too much. The only downside to visiting family is I've begun to fantasize and crave all my childhood favorites. My grandfather makes these amazing homemade noodles that we usually spoon over mashed potatoes...yes, that is nothing but carbs, carbs and more carbs. Seriously, they are delicious. I may have to allow myself some at some point. I'll just have to make a small batch because they are definitely a trigger for a binge.

I'm not going to sweat what I eat while I'm up there too much. I didn't want my aunt stressing about making me low carb options when I can only take about 5 bites at any meal. As long as I'm not grazing all day, I don't think I can do too much damage. I'll try to make as many good choices as I can and indulge a bit on Thanksgiving.

How are you guys planning on getting through Thanksgiving without wrecking your diet?

If you are a seafood lover like me, this might be of interest to you!

Many of you know that seafood is a popular protein of choice in our household. Heck, when we last ate out (which doesn’t happen often due to finances), we ended up at Red Lobster where all three of us were in Seafood Heaven.

Since my surgery, fish and shellfish has definitely become at least a once-a-week addition to our menu. Some of our favorites are orange roughy fixed several ways; Tanner’s favorite is Orange Roughy with Citrus Sauce. We also love salmon and just about any kind of shellfish.

Because we have increased our fish and shellfish consumption, I started thinking about how I could ensure we were getting the freshest seafood as some of the selections we had purchased from our local market seemed less than fresh once I went to cook it. Since I do so much online shopping, I began to wonder if there was a way to order fresh fish online.

Honestly, I thought it was probably a shot in the dark…I mean, if you can’t get fresh fish from your local market, how likely is it you are going to be able to order it online? Imagine my surprise when I came across an online fish market that offers a wide variety of fresh fish and shellfish. Not only are the prices competitive with local market prices, but you can buy from them knowing that you are purchasing from a source that specializes in providing sustainable seafood (this means that they have my eye on their Bay Scallops as I found this recipe I'd love to try with a few adaptations to make it more low-carb friendly. I will get back to you guys when I give it a try!

What is your favorite kind of seafood?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tofu Shirataki Pasta Review and my growing obsession with owning a Kinect

I just gave tofu shirataki noodles a try. I’ve had some fettuccini noodles and some spaghetti noodles for a few weeks now, but I think I’ve been a bit scared to try them. I’ve heard mixed reviews and I guess I just really wanted to like them, but was a bit scared about what they were going to taste like.

Apparently, they are made by blending the root of the Konnyaku, which is a member of the yam family, and tofu. A four ounce serving is just 20 calories and has 3g of carbs. They arrive packaged as you see them above in some kind of liquid. From other reviews I’d read, I knew to rinse them in some warm water prior to eating, but apparently they don’t really need to be “cooked.” Some people mentioned cooking them for a few minutes in hot water to improve the texture, but I figured for the first go ‘round, I’d just try them without boiling them first.

They look just like fettuccini noodles and to my hands (as I rinsed them), they felt like pasta so I was hopeful. I made some low-carb alfredo sauce using this recipe and cooked up some shrimp (which we LOVE!) to go along with it. The alfredo sauce came out great and I mixed a small amount in with the noodles, spooned out a small portion for myself, a slightly larger portion for Tanner, added the shrimp and rang the dinner bell.

My first bite was kind of …hmm. The consistency is kind of like a clam only not as chewy. It is like biting into a clam in that it is kind of slippery against your teeth and has a tiny bit of resistance as you bite into the noodles; very little resistance, but enough to realize you aren’t eating pasta. Tanner slurped it up, but I don't really think he chews his food. He didn’t get or ask for seconds, but he isn’t feeling great so that may be why. When I asked him what he thought of the pasta, he said “It was kinda good” so take that however you want to. I still have the spaghetti so next time I will boil it for a few minutes and see if that improves the texture and update you guys. For now, I have to say I’m not in a hurry to buy it again. If you want to try them for yourself, I bought mine at The Low Carb Connoisseur for $2.84 a package.

While we are talking about Tanner, I wanted to let you guys know that he has lost 4 lbs since we started him on the low-carb diet! He was so excited yesterday when he weighed himself. He also attributed it to the workout he’s been getting when he and his class visit Best Buy and use the Kinect there.

Speaking of Kinect, I’ve decided I have to have one of these! I had decided that I was going to get a Wii Fit when I got under 330 since that is the weight limit, but a friend of mine recently bought Kinect for the Xbox and shared a video of herself (apparently it can take pics or video as you work out with it) playing one of the dancing games. I have to say…it was HIGH-larious!! I can only imagine how freaking funny it would be to video Tanner and I working out as we both have ZERO coordination. I’m not sure when we will be able to afford it, but I definitely want one! This definitely looks like the toy of the Christmas season by the way as many places already have them on backorder so if you or your kiddos are wanting your own, you better get on the ball and purchase one now! What a fun way for us to get some exercise!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Michelle's Recipe for SUPER FREAKING HARD boiled eggs.

This just in... I can't cook.

Michelle's Recipe for SUPER HARD boiled eggs:
1. Fill perfectly good pan with water.
2. Add eggs.
3. Place on stove on medium high.
4. Distract yourself with something for the next two hours.
5. Remove from stove when eggs start exploding and smoke alarms start going off.
6. Toss pan and eggs in the trash.

Nutritional information: Zero calories, Zero carbs, Zero Fat (unless you are gross and actually eat them)

I won't be adding this to my Bitchin' Kitchen!

BLAST my inadequate food journaling!!!

Ok, so I woke up today and I am STILL at 347! I've been stalled for what 3-4 weeks now and I'm not lovin' it! I stay positive most of the time, but darnit! I want to get into the 330's!!

So, I looked at my food journal. Lately I haven't been putting in certain things like the coffee I have in the morning with agave nectar and this belgian toffee creamer thing Erik got and hated. I figured I'd go ahead and use it in my coffee, how bad could it be? I eat so little, a "little" (I don't really measure, but I like my coffee creamy so it's probably more than the average bear)creamer in my coffee and a "dash" (i usually take the top off and pour a little "gloop" of agave into my cup) of agave nectar. I think there may have been a little voice in my head saying "Micheeeelllleee, you may want to rethink your creamer and sweetener choice or at least post it in your food log" but nay...I ignored this voice. My morning cup of coffee is my little piece of heaven...I was really enjoying this whole combination of belgian chocolate toffee flavored goodness mixed with the no-aftertaste agave. *sigh*

So, today I decided to go ahead and log my coffee concoction just to see if it might be the reason I'm stalling and lo and behold, it may very well be the reason I'm maintaining. I figured 2 tblsp of agave (not sure if I actually use that much or not, but I will sheepishly admit that it probably isn't out of the realm of possibility) is 120 mother freaking calories and 26 fracking carbs!!! Then I moved onto the serving is 4 tsp and I would say that is a very modest estimate for how much I put in my coffee. Cha-Ching! This adds another 60 calories and another 9 carbs. I basically drank and entire day's worth of carbs people!

I can't really think of anything else that I'm doing that might be impacting my weight loss right now so I'm going to start with my coffee (probably using almond milk or heavy cream...which has fewer carbs than creamer or lighten it up and truvia to add a little sweetener and I will LOG it in my journal. Hopefully this is the problem and we'll see better numbers next week, but let this be a lesson to all my fellow diet kiddies out there...JOURNAL EVERYTHING YOU PUT IN YOUR MOUTH!

Apart from not losing anything in several weeks, I must say that I am looking pretty darn FABULOUS! I'll try to get some pictures taken even though there probably isn't much change from the last group.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My current top 10 things I love about my life post-surgery

1. Being able to stand for as long as I want to without my calves screaming in agony.
2. Walking without the limping gait I sported 5 months ago because my knees hurt.
3. Going out in public and "blending" in. I'm still a big girl, but like Chris noted in one of her comments, I'm more like all the other fat people in the world. Instead of being freak show fat, I'm more your average fat me, after experiencing freak show fat, you can be grateful to be just a fat American :)
4. I love that when I go to get a pedicure now, it is actually relaxing! Before, just getting a pedicure was like a pilates workout for me as I often had to hold my legs in awkward positions for periods of time while they filed and buffed, etc!
5. I love doing my hair and makeup now because when I'm done, I actually SEE the pretty me emerging. Before, I'd go to the trouble to make myself up and look in the mirror and see what a waste of time it was. Typically, the effort of getting ready would have me sweating so my hair and makeup would be flat by the time I got done.
6. I love that every time I take time to make myself up, put on something other than a ratty t-shirt and workout capris Tanner asks me where we are going. "Nowhere, I just wanted to look pretty :)" He usually gives me funny looks like I've lost my mind, but that's ok.
7. I really love the moments when Tanner comments on my weight loss. The time we went walking and he was behind me and just popped out with "Wow mom! You are doing great! We've walked a long way" Another time, I came out wearing a new outfit and he said "Wow mom! You are getting skinny!" It just dawned on me that he probably doesn't remember me at this weight. The last time I weighed under 350 lbs he was probably 5, if that old.
8. I LOVE that my progress seems to be motivating Tanner as well. I see him thinking more about his food choices and tracking his weight and I'm proud to finally be having a positive impact on his relationship with food and developing a more active lifestyle.
9. I love the fact that I mostly eat to fuel my body now. I still have the occasional craving, but I can often satisfy it with a tiny taste of whatever it is I'm craving. With all the halloween candy that was in our house, I allowed myself the tiniest bite of a snickers bar Tanner had (I'm talking miniscule bite). It was the first "cheat" I've had since surgery. Not only was I completely satisfied afterwards, but after the bite my reaction was kind of "meh, that was unnecessary." The old me couldn't have stopped at one candy bar much less one bite! It's awesome to not be ruled by my appetite/cravings anymore.
10. I will NEVER get tired of the sense of hope and excitement for my future that I have now. When you have lived several years basically resigned to the fact that you probably will never get the weight off and you really are DONE living at the ripe old age of 38, 39, have that hope back is indescribable.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My 15 Minutes...

Last night I went to set the alarm on my phone (of course forgetting about the time change which means I was up an hour earlier than I should have been this morning…don’t you hate when that happens?) and saw that I had three voicemails that I hadn’t listened to. I’m horrible when it comes to listening to my voicemails. If someone calls me, I’m more apt to just call them back without listening to the message…I know, it’s annoying for most of my friends because when I call THEM, I ramble on until the voicemail gets rude and breaks in with the “Let’s wrap this up because you only have 30 seconds left on this message” message.

So, I call my voicemail and listen to my messages. The second one is from some woman who does the PR for my surgeon. She said that the local TV station is going to be doing an interview with Dr Duperier on the 18th highlighting the VSG and how it can help people with Diabetes. She goes on to say that when they asked him if he had a patient he might like to interview with, he thought of me immediately! Wow! I was pretty floored, but honored that he would think of me for an opportunity like this.

I called the woman back this morning and she explained that they really wanted someone whose life had been dramatically changed by the surgery and of course I confirmed the amazing changes I’ve experienced in the 5 months since my own surgery. I told her that I would be happy to do the interview with him so it looks like it is going to happen November 18th!

I’m scared to death because I tend to get diarrhea of the mouth (I know, shocker) when I’m nervous and any filter I might normally have between my brain and my mouth disappears. This condition has been loosely diagnosed as Foot-in-mouth disease. The segment is going to be rather short (1-2 minutes) and I’m sure Dr Duperier is going to do most of the talking so how much trouble can I get myself into REALLY? If you know me, don’t answer that!

Overall, I am very honored to know they thought of me and I am excited to share whatever I can about how the VSG surgery has changed my life in such a short period of time. It is exciting to think that someone might see this segment and how it has changed my life and possibly motivate them to begin their own adventure down the same path.

Just call me "Grace"

Note: I meant to post this Saturday so keep that in mind reading this post.

Well, I seem to be recovering from whatever ailment I had last week. I had a minor setback yesterday at lunch though. I had some buffalo wings left over from a Pizza Hut order the night before and had three at lunch. You know how much meat is on those things (not much). I’m lucky if it was an ounce of chicken between all three, but I honestly think 2 is my absolute limit. I hadn’t had much that morning (just a protein shake, coffee and some crystal light) so I figured I’d throw one more in there to get more protein in. I ate too fast and I think it must have gotten stuck because 10 minutes later I was in the bathroom with the “foamies.”

Basically, the “foamies” are when you get nausea and vomiting, but nothing really comes up…just kind of foamy spit (lovely I know). I had to log out of work a few hours early so that I could lie down. I tried to stick it out, but it soon became apparent that I might actually end up retching while I had a customer on the line which probably wouldn’t have been good for business.

When I woke up later, I was good as new so perhaps my stomach/intestines are still sensitive. They could actually still be a bit swollen which may mean I’m more likely to have things get “stuck.” I’ll just have to be careful and chew really well I suppose.

Prior to the chicken getting stuck, I had another exciting thing happen while trying to give our stubborn black lab his twice a day meds. He has gotten so stubborn that now, even if I manage to hide his pills in a pill pocket, piece of cheese or bread, etc. he will chomp it until it breaks apart and then eat everything BUT the darn pills; this from a dog that we have to keep from eating his own crap. Somehow his own crap is more appetizing than a few teeny tiny pills, go figure.

Lately, I have had to resort to forcing his mouth open, shoving the pill pocket back as far as I can and then closing his mouth and massaging his throat to get him to swallow. Yesterday, he somehow managed to spit it back out and Paxton (our pain in the rear Pomeranian) snatched it up and ran for my bedroom (he has a hoarding problem and keeps all his “treasures” under my bed where nobody can follow him…he needs help). I jumped up out of the chair to run after him and somehow managed to trip over my own feet falling knee first onto our ceramic tiled floor…yeah, felt great!

I must have scared the crap out of Paxton because he spit the pill pocket out and hid under my bed. Poor Thunder came over to check on me while I was trying to get over the worst of the initial pain and stayed with me until I pulled myself up. 5 months ago, there is NO way I could have pulled myself up off the floor UNINJURED and here I was, feeling as if I’d been hit by a semi yet able to get back on my feet without any special assistance. It is nice when you can find the positive in a painful and embarrassing experience isn’t it?

Today, my body literally aches all over. I’m bruised and battered, but doing surprisingly well considering the impact my poor knee experienced yesterday. I can only imagine how bad that fall would have been 5 months ago!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bike update and the trials and tribulations of converting our family to a Low Carb Lifestyle

I just got off the phone with the guy we’ve been talking to about our bikes. I think I’ve decided to get both Tanner and I adult tricycles. Tanner has to have one because of his balance issues (from the meningitis) and I think that initially, it will work better for me since I have a history of back problems, etc. I also think it will be helpful since we will most likely be using our bikes to get around our immediate area at some point (get to the grocery store, local shops, maybe even to some karate classes down the street) and the tricycles will have a nice big basket on the back that can be used to transport groceries or whatever else we might need to take with us. I continue to lament being a single car sucks.

Initially, I found an adult trike at Walmart that was around $250 and I thought we could probably just purchase that for both of us and save us quite a bit of money, but I recently learned that the trikes Walmart sells are only a one speed. Due to Tanner’s low muscle tone (also due to the meningitis...not to be confused with the general low muscle STRENGTH that comes from being just being lazy lol), he really will need the 3-speed. I’m thinking that initially, a 3-speed would probably be better for me as well as I work on increasing my own strength. The 3-speeds are going to cost us around $430 a piece of which I have $200.00 saved so far (some of that is money my grandfather gave Tanner for his birthday to put toward his own bicycle).

I would really like to get the bikes purchased in the next few months, but we’ll have to see. Something always seems to happen whenever we get ahead a bit financially which is frustrating, but that’s life. This recent hospitalization means I was out of work without pay for a week and Erik also was out of work (his night job) without pay. However, the good thing is that Erik’s second job (the day job) has him in a fairly consistent placement through the end of the year so we can count on his income to make up the difference. I also have another job I can work a few hours a day (it is monotonous as hell) that will help make up the difference so I’m sure we’ll be fine :)

On another front, our entire household is trying to convert to the low-carb lifestyle. I have to say that Erik has been fairly resistant to the whole switch (he’s always hated low-carbing because he is such a carb-o-holic) so it has been frustrating for me. He seems to be making more of a concerted effort now, but I can tell he really is not embracing the whole switch. Tanner isn’t exactly in love with it either, but has agreed to give it a try for at least the next month. We’ve had a few minor meltdowns when Tanner learned he couldn’t have mac and cheese, but I’m going to be trying some tofu shirataki noodles in the next week or so; we’ll see what he thinks of those.

I suggested trying to have us ALL on a lower carb diet because I really think it will help Tanner. He is on medication that makes him hungry all the time and I'm hoping that low carbing will help curb his appetite to some degree and give him more energy. Several years ago, the neurologist prescribing these meds indicated that he should probably be on a low carb diet, but at the time, we had bigger behavioral fish to fry. Right now, I'm mainly concerned about the fact that he hasn't been on a low carb diet but has been eating the meals I make in the evening and snacking on some of my low carb foods at other times. As most of you know, when you are on a low carb diet, you basically are changing the way your body metabolizes food and fat. While a low carb diet may be higher in fat, because your body is actually metabolizing it differently, you can still lose weight. As a matter of fact, trying to do a low carb, low fat diet often results in mediocre weight loss at best because you need to eat fat to burn fat when low carbing. However, if you are on a low fat diet and eat the occasional low carb meal (which is likely higher in fat), you are going to gain weight. My worry has been that Tanner will probably begin to put weight back on if he isn't low carbing with me. So we are experimenting and will have to see if the guys in the family survive. You'd think I was STARVING them with the moaning and complaining they've been doing lol! I'm hoping it will get easier as they get over their carb withdrawal.

I'm trying to make it easier on them by trying new recipes and I've actually had some success with quite a few so far. I made some banana nut flax seed muffins that turned out pretty good, but Tanner wasn't a fan of the banana flavor so I'm going to try and adapt it to a blueberry muffin or chocolate chip peanut butter muffin (made with SF chocolate and SF peanut butter of course) and see how he likes that.

Before I went into the hospital, I made some flax seed foccacia bread using this recipe, but I tweaked it a bit (I added some italian seasoning, minced onion and sundried tomatoes) and it tasted very similar to stove top stuffing so it may be a good holiday substitute for us this year. Yesterday, I made this mock baked potato casserole that I adapted from a sparkpeople recipe and Tanner went back for seconds so it is nice to know that he will accept some of the mock substitutes now and then. I made it with more green onion and didn’t include the bacon (mainly because I was lazy and didn't feel like cooking the bacon...I also had Tanner breathing down my neck for dinner lol). Honestly, it was a really flavorful substitute for mashed potatoes. The consistency was a bit off (a bit “softer” than I would like) so I may try to make it again and tweak it a bit until I’m happy with the consistency and then I’ll post it on my recipe blog.

On the weigh-in front...I'm back to 350 today so headed back down again which is good. Doing my best to stay hydrated. So far, so good!