Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Saturday Chat

I just feel like a little Saturday chat today.  How about you?  It's kind of a dull time of the year, isn't it?  I was going to take some pictures here at the house yesterday, but when I tried to cut my camera on, the battery was dead and I couldn't find my spare, charged battery.  I think I spend half of my life looking for things that I've put down and can't remember where I put them.  Sigh.  I have a certain spot where I keep that battery, and it beats me why I didn't put it there.  Where were we -- oh yes, a Saturday chat. 
 Since I couldn't take any pictures yesterday, I'll just share some older pictures of our roses.  I'm starting to dream of spring a little bit.  I was content to make the most of winter until we had some unseasonably warm days earlier this week.  In fact, we slept with our bedroom window open Thursday night, and we both slept like logs.  It sounds like many parts of the country have had some warm days this week.
A topic I never discuss on my blog, and don't really discuss a lot anywhere is the subject of weight and weight loss.  That's because it's something most of us don't like to think about or talk about.  Thank you Captain Obvious, right?  Anyway, here's my story.  Almost a year ago last March, I had my regular, six-month wellness visit with my doctor.  I went for my lab work the week before, and boy, my numbers were terrible.  As I recall, my blood pressure was fine at the doctor visit, and I've been struggling with high blood pressure for almost 20 years now.  When it was first discovered, I was as thin as a rail, and my previous doctor was shocked.  I just didn't fit the profile.  I had never smoked and never been overweight.  I think it was probably genetic.  At any rate, we tried so many different blood pressure medicines over the years, and some of them would work for awhile, but the high blood pressure always came back.  
About five years ago, my doctor retired and an interim doctor had me try a new beta blocker medicine, and it worked beautifully.  It continues to work beautifully, and I'm really thankful.  However, in the meantime, my cholesterol started creeping up until it was way too high.  I was also putting on weight and eventually weighed more than I ever have (except when I was pregnant).  It wasn't fun.  I started avoiding the camera, hated to go clothes shopping, and especially hated summer because I couldn't wear clothes to "cover up" like in winter.   
Last March, my doctor read me the riot act; my triglycerides were way too high.  He gave me a scare (which I think he meant to) and I left the office determined to change some things.  You see, my whole life (at least until I turned 40) I was able to eat anything I wanted and my metabolism just burned it right off.  My dad used to say I had a tapeworm when I was growing up.  😀  Well folks, the tapeworm died, and I had to learn some willpower.  I love food; my husband and I are both foodies, and I thought, "I'll never be able to do this."  
But I've surprised myself.  I started off slowly with little changes.  I'm not an advocate of fad diets.  I don't mean to step on any toes, but I don't think much of Atkins Diet or Keto Diet (both of which some of my family members have done).  I'm not a fan of the paleo diet or going gluten-free, although I totally understand people who have celiac disease need to follow this diet.  What I think is that people have to do what works best for them, and there's no one-size-fits-all diet.  I'm not a believer in leaving out certain food groups and eating all I want of others.  Because of that, smaller portions and everything in moderation is the plan that works best for me.  So, I started weighing and measuring everything at breakfast and lunch and just trying to be sensible at dinner.  I have yogurt and a small serving of cereal with one percent milk, and coffee at breakfast.  For lunch, I have a sandwich on whole wheat bread, chips, and a few cookies.  Because potato chips have always been my big weakness, I weigh out the exact serving size and the same with cookies.  You'd be surprised at the difference this makes.  Before, I ate a bunch of chips at lunch because I was being lazy and not trying to be sensible.  I try to drink six to seven glasses of water a day, as well. 
In addition to making eating changes, Hal and I went back to the "Y"and started walking, increasing our distance each week.  I also got a fitbit, which doesn't force you to be more active, it just lets you know when you're being active and when you're being a couch potato.  😏  The result of this is that by Christmas 2018, I had lost 13 pounds.  Now I'm only five feet tall, so as you can imagine, 13 pounds makes a pretty big difference for me.  However, I need to lose about 30 pounds total, so I've got to keep at it.  And of course, I gained back two pounds during the holidays.  The good news is that last September after only losing ten pounds, my cholesterol numbers had come down a decent amount.  They need to come down more, though.  
Mr. Forest Manor needs to lose weight, too, and our doctor strongly recommends the DASH diet, which is a combination of all the food groups and concentrating on lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and healthy protein.  No foods are forbidden, you just have to use common sense and willpower.  We've checked out a book on this diet from the library, and I'm trying to put together some meal plans.
  I imagine my weight loss will still be slow because I want to make changes that will last; I don't want to yo-yo back and forth on weight loss.  I know it's something I'll always have to be mindful of -- watching what I eat and exercising.  Whew, that was long; sorry about that guys.  This is why I usually don't write about such a boring subject.  Real life isn't always exciting though, is it?
Moving along, I'll quickly share that I'm gradually spending my Christmas money.  Our parents are very generous with us at Christmas, and the money we get means a lot to me because since I'm not working, I try to keep my spending down during the year.  One thing I've purchased is this book --
Many of you already have this book; I've been eying it for awhile, but I was cringing at the price.  I found a "Used -- Like New" copy, with free shipping, from a third party on Amazon and saved about $15 off the Amazon new book price.  This book is interesting and has lots of big, glossy pictures.  For the most part, I really like Bunny Williams' decorating style, and I do love old, historic houses.
I also bought a pair of Staffordshire dogs on eBay; I've been thinking about those for awhile, too.  I'm glad I took the plunge because I like the way they look in our den.  Hopefully, I'll have pictures for you soon. 
I'm sorry this post was so wordy, folks.  I'd love to hear your input on losing weight and keeping it off.  What method has worked best for you?  Do you periodically fast or "cleanse?"  Thanks so much for visiting and have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Do you read Karen’s blog “Life is Good.” She has the same philosophy as yours regarding food and she keeps a very trim figure. She also walks six miles a day.

    I struggle with weight and have all my adult life. Oh well... I always thought of myself as fat even when I was thin. That’s a problem of another variety.

    Wishing you the very best with working your plan!

  2. It is a constant battle for me! Getting my kiester out of the sewing chair and onto the treadmill does help. One word of unsolicited advice from a long time health care provider, if your health care provider hasn't recommended a sleep study, you should ask for one. Sleep apnea can occur in thin people and is the #1 cause of blood pressure elevations in all people, not just the overweight as thin folks can have it too.

  3. Like you, I never had to worry about gaining weight until I was about 52. It gets harder as we age, that's for sure! Now I find I have to eat less than I did, and focus on fresh vegetables and fruits. Potato chips are a real temptation for me, too. Good luck with your weight loss and exercise plan.
    Love that rose photo - I'm looking forward to getting out into the garden!

  4. Denise, I'm so glad we had this chat. I used to drink 1/2 and 1/2 and eat bowls of ice cream to try to put weight on in my younger years, then I turned 50 and things were a different story. I am lucky that I kept "some" of my earlier metabolism and don't gain a ton of weight, but I do have to be more careful. My problem is that I hate to exercise and don't as much as I can! Meds are keeping my numbers good, which a lot don't agree with, but it works for me..Happy Weekend..Judy

  5. Denise, though I usually blog about comfort food, I have written two posts that I think you might be interested in. Like you, I don't believe in diets. You can't expect permanent results from a temporary diet. The two posts are: and -- you might find them encouraging. The first one is something I've been doing for several years and will never stop, and the second I've been doing for well over a year now and will never stop (though I eventually switched to 15/9, a slightly shorter fast, because I didn't want to get too skinny).



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