Milestone!

I hit a milestone today. I've logged my food, water, and exercise on My Fitness Pal for 750 consecutive days. That's more than two years!

Logging my exercise helps me to keep track of how many times I'm exercising each week. And I love that I don't have to remember what weight I use for each machine, plus I get stoked when I get to increase my weights.

I find it very helpful to log my food. Sometimes when I feel like eating more food, I think, ooh, if I eat that, I have to log it and see all those calories add up. Or I think, gee, I haven't eaten enough protein, so what can I eat that will help me balance my macros better?

Even if I still just decide, oh what the hell, I want to eat more carbs or go over my caloric limit, at least I've thought twice about it.

Logging my food has made me more mindful, which puts me in control instead of food controlling me.

Keeping a daily food log has also helped me reverse pre-diabetes in about seven months time back in 2015, and I've kept my blood glucose normal ever since. I've also lost about 64 lbs.

My next goal is to lose 30 lbs.

Weekend Update


Well, thought I'd check in, use the new WordPress editor, and say hi to everyone. Let's see, what's new?

How about medial malleolus bursitis? That's ankle bursitis to you. It's getting worse on my right ankle, and it's even starting on my left. So I'm going to have my right ankle x-rayed on Monday, and my PCP put in an authorization so I can go to my knee ortho for consultation. It's starting to affect my walking… now I've started limping on my right leg when I walk more than ten minutes. 😢

Next Tuesday, I get to consult with my shoulder ortho about my left shoulder… so much winning. 😜

I'm still going to physical therapy for my right shoulder. The range of motion isn't too bad, but I'm still too weak. But hey, I get to use 1 – 3 lb. weights now. That's an improvement!

Such a fun week… This past Tuesday, I had just gotten on the freeway when I heard a weird sound and the car didn't feel quite right. That's when I realized I had a flat. I limped off the freeway, turned right and pulled into the first driveway.

I parked in front of some gun shop. It consisted of a small lobby and a large warehouse in the back. They did gun engraving or some such nonsense. It was 2 p.m., and I was dying in the heat. Do you know that the jerk wouldn't let me wait inside for help to arrive?

All the guys in there acted very strangely—makes you wonder if they were engaged in illegal activities or something. 🤔

Oh, btw, the darn rear passenger-side tire was shredded. So much winning. Again. 😳

A healthy habit improvement

I've been exercising more lately and drinking lots of water. I didn't realize it, but I've been mildly but chronically dehydrated for years. Now I drink at least 92 oz. of water daily and one day, I drank a gallon of water!

Once I added lemons or lime, mint, and strawberries to chilled water, it made all the difference. Now I enjoy drinking water! To my delight, my tiny veins have even plumped up and I can kinda-sorta see them. That'll make my phlebotomist happy. 🤣

Yay!

Fighting Anti-Intellectualism 

The dumbing down of America has never been more apparent and, as such, is highly concerning. More and more Americans spit, metaphorically speaking, at intellectuals and attempt to denigrate them by calling them “elitists.” 

But ignorance is not something to be revered or admired; it is lamentable. Ignorance fuels fear, hatred, and bigotry. Ignorance is now driving our politics and is responsible for America’s descent into populism and isolationism.

I grew up thinking intelligence and intellectualism were totally cool. But I was brought up by parents that considered the arts, intellectualism, and reading to be invaluable. We kids were dragged to many museums throughout Europe and the United States, and yes, we were forced to watch opera on TV by my mother. We also were taken to see live theater and classical concerts, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

But Dad was the one who made education and reading fun. I started reading the classics by age eight (Dumas, Scott, Dickens, etc.) because Dad had told us that he had loved those thrilling stories as a child. 

Dad knew more about a wide variety of subjects than I could ever hope to know. It wasn’t until I became involved with computers in the 80s did I finally find a subject in which I surpassed him.

I remember I once gave Dad an ancient computer (it had a: and b: drives) and my old university book about programming in Basic. He actually taught himself how to program in Basic while in his 80s and wrote financial programs for himself. 

Then my sister gave him her old computer with Windows 95 on it. Dad enjoyed mastering the GUI interface. I’d visit and teach him about email, Word, Excel, etc. He only had difficulty managing the mouse. It was funny watching him shove the mouse across the pad. 

Dad was 85 at the time and dying of COPD, but he never stopped learning. My beloved father retained his curiosity about the world around him until he fell into a coma and died.

We must always strive for more knowledge; intellectualism should be cherished, and ignorance must be overcome.

Where You Get Your Protein Is Important 

Eating an apple can help curb your cravings for sweets.

This article addresses why getting too much protein from animal sources, especially high-fat sources, bacon and anything processed with nitrates, is harmful. And fructose (not the kind that’s added into processed foods but the kind that is naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables) may have some benefits.

I’ve been logging my food into My Fitness Pal for over 600 days and have found that my sugar intake is often over 50g. But my only source of added sugars is from breakfast cereals, bread, jam, plus a teaspoon of sugar that I add to my mug of herbal tea that I drink at night. I strive to buy the healthier cereals, I try to limit myself to two slices of bread/day because of the need to restrict carbs and calories, and I just add a dab of jam to my PB. The main source of my dietary sugar comes from fruits, veggies, and dairy.

I always strive to eat more veggies than fruit, I get my protein from varied sources such as beans, legumes, dairy (especially Greek yogurt), eggs, some chicken, and once in awhile, salmon.

If you’re on a budget, eating primarily vegetarian really stretches your food budget. I have to be careful not to over-consume beans and lentils, however, because of the high amounts of carbs and calories, both of which are detrimental especially for someone who had been pre-diabetic. I’ve reversed it, but once your body becomes insulin resistant as mine was, I believe that insulin resistance is something you always have to guard against by limiting carbs and calories.

In comparing black beans to split peas, lentils, and great northern beans, I’ve found that black beans win hands down. Black beans are lower in carbs and calories. Guess I’ll be buying more black beans again. My weight loss has stalled since my surgery, and I’ve got to get it going again.

I’d be interested in hearing from y’all about any healthy weight loss tips!

I’ve Had Better Days

I’ve also had better weeks. And worse weeks.

Saw my knee ortho (PA) yesterday and shoulder ortho today.

Knee: PA advises cortisone shot. I tentatively scheduled it for May 10. Weirdly, the knee buckled slightly when I stood up at the shoulder ortho today. But, it held. 

I went swimming the other day. Could do a great scissor kick while on my left side for the first time in I don’t know how long. That was amazing! But I had great difficulty doing the side stroke on my right side because of my shoulder, so I couldn’t test out my scissor kick there.

Right Shoulder: Random hardcore pain in R arm. We’re talking a 10/10 on the pain scale. Ice is highly effective in stopping the pain. The pain started two weeks ago today, out of the blue, which is why I scheduled my follow-up with my ortho a couple of weeks early. 

The surgeon tested it. The shoulder is now grinding and clicking, and there’s a smaller range of motion than there had been up until two weeks ago. The arm is also a bit weaker. 

The ortho is requesting a new MRI with dye to see if it’s torn (which would require another surgery) or if it’s just inflammation. This is freaking me out because they have to start an IV on you, and I just don’t trust the techs to do a great job, especially since my veins run, hide, roll, and collapse at the sight of a needle. 

From what I’ve read, failed shoulder surgeries are all too common—plus my original tear was large, requiring four anchors. But from what I’ve read, having a failed shoulder surgery is not good news because it won’t ever be as good as it could have been.

Left Shoulder: Having an open MRI Thursday to see why there’s grinding, weakness, and pain. MRI’s are not invasive, but no one loves them. You have to lay completely still for forty minutes or so, the darn thing is noisy, and the place I’m going to doesn’t give you headphones with music. At least I’m having an open MRI. The closed ones really suck (hence the cute cartoon).

Anyway, the staff had messed up the order (wrong shoulder and closed machine), but I think I’ve got that straightened out. If the imaging center doesn’t receive the corrected order in time, I’ll reschedule it.

So after today’s news, I was very depressed. Feeling better now, thanks to messaging with a BFF. But I will definitely require hand-holding. You all know by now how much I hate needles! 😱

So please keep your fingers crossed that I won’t need any more surgeries. Frankly, the novelty has quite worn off, thank you very much!

Spring Madness 

Spring is here, and the days are getting warmer. So what does that mean here in SoCal? The community where I live has opened the pool. Unfortunately, the pool is solar heated, which means the water still isn’t warm enough. But it’s supposed to reach the high seventies later this week, so hopefully I’ll get brave enough to take the plunge.

I’m looking forward to going swimming and gaining back some more strength and mobility. And cross training is supposed to help with weight loss. At least I sure hope so. So besides going to the gym, I’ll work on my breast stroke. Freestyle and water aerobics will have to wait for many months until my shoulder is completely healed.

In case you’re wondering about the main photo up on top, I had found the original, free image of the swimmer and then had fun tweaking it in my latest app discovery, Painnt. I’ve been spending hours playing with various filters… I love photography and special photo effects. I’ll have to showcase some of my favorite photos in the coming weeks. Here are some of my favorites:

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Quinoa gone wild.

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Dockside garden.

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Happy puppy.

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Beautiful flowers.

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Secret garden.

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Flower garden.

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Tabbies at play.

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Jewels good enough to eat. These berries look like sparkling gems.

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Pelican spreading its wings on Huntington Beach pier.

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A black and white photo of the famous bandleader, John Philip Sousa (center), and his band gets loaded up with color. My great-great-grandmother’s brother, holding his clarinet, is seated next to Sousa on the left. Musical talent definitely runs on my dad’s side of the family—now we know why.

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Sunset photo turned into sunrise colors in Painnt. Newport Beach.

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Sea bird. Newport Beach.

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Boating. Newport Beach.

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The seal lifted his heavy head to stare at me as we passed by. Newport Beach.

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Reflections. Dana Point.

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The bridge to peace and quiet.

Rare rainy day in SoCal.

Pretty pitty goes for a car ride.

Sketch created in Painnt app.

Dried flowers.

The Cottage. San Juan Capistrano.

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Got the Midas Touch… at least where flowers are concerned.

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Cozy outdoor fireplace.

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Stairs leading to beautiful cove and solitude. Laguna Beach.

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Mission San Juan Capistrano.

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Meditation.

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Textures and shadows.

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Classic brown tabby morphs into a jewel-toned kitty.

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Elegant baby shower.

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The Eternal Flame. Photo of lit candle with a black background was transformed into a beautiful mosaic.