Saturday, November 10, 2012

Self-care is top on the list

Today we had something unusual happen in Southern California ... it rained! Yes, most of the time it is around 75 and very pleasant.  However, today it pretty much poured in the morning.  When it finally let up, I decided to go for a walk to get some exercise.  I went to Discovery Lake, which is the place that Sara and I go walking on Sunday mornings, which we will do tomorrow morning.  The course is about three quarters of a mile per lap with a lake in the center. I decided that I would do to six laps for a nice extended walk. In the middle of lap four, I experienced excruciating pain in my left knee.  I valiantly tried to shake it off so that I could finish all six laps, but it just wasn't meant to be for today.  That was frustrating for me because I really wanted to walk about 5 miles.  Since I have the recent diagnosis with all the medical staff going on, I have been really trying to make an effort to listen to my body when it is in pain. So, I stopped.  One of the things that was interesting on the walk was there was this woman coming in the opposite direction who was working very hard at doing her best.  She was about the size I was when I started and I smiled at her each time we passed one another, hoping to silently give her encouragement.  I know how hard it is to put yourself out there and how discouraging it can feel in the beginning.  It feels like climbing a huge mountain, but eventually you do get to the top.  That was also another factor in me stopping at lap four ... I didn't need to prove anything to anybody.

One of the things I have been thinking about is talking to my Optifast counselor about going back to the Optifast 70 product line, which is where I would have 5-6 shakes per day.  Currently I am on the modified Optifast 800 product, which is where I have three shakes, 2 bars plus a meal of vegetables and lean protein.  The reason I had originally gone to the modified food plan was because of the weakness I was feeling in my legs and the lightheadedness I was experiencing every day. Now we know that the weakness in my legs is due to the osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia combo.  Going on the modified plan helped only slightly with the lightheadedness.  I still routinely have it almost every time I get up from a sitting position.  There is the possibility that it can have something to do with the fact that my blood pressure is on the lower side now.  They have pretty much done every blood test known to man on me and nothing has come up in that regard.  So now I want to talk to my counselor about going back to the original Optifast 70 that I started with since the reasons for the modified program have changed and I want to see more of a loss each week.  Going to a modified program significantly reduces how much a person loses each week.  Obviously I want to do what is right for my health and I do want to keep up my current exercise level, which is about 60 minutes 5-7 days per week.  I do anticipate that it will be about a year total from the time I started in February until I hit on or near a goal weight that I have worked in active weight loss mode so my interest lies in doing what is right for me.  The dilemma is going back to all shakes since I have now reintroduced food. Truthfully, it is an easier process because there's no thinking involved, but it's also difficult going back when I'm used to having a meal now.  I also get the fact that I will have meals again the future, so that isn't the biggest deal in the world.

I will follow the guidance of the clinic on this no matter what direction it goes in.  Obviously the less weight on my knees, the better for me since I feel pain in them and I want to try to strengthen them as much as possible. Gone are the days that I do this on my own and follow that thinking that got me to 420 pounds.  I really do like my counselor and the group of people I work with at the Optifast clinic and I trust that we all have the same goal, which as my good health.  This has just been on my mind in the last week.  I also feel like I have gained some weight since my pants are feeling a little bit tighter, which doesn't surprise me because three of the medications that I was put on has a weight gain side effect.  However, I am now off of those and on another replacement medication that doesn't do that.  I just want to feel like I'm losing again and moving forward.  I still have a ways to go, but I feel confident that I'll get there sooner or later.


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