Monday, August 31, 2015

Spanish Coat of Arms

This weekend I said goodbye to a part of my childhood. It didn’t go far and should I need to I can visit it. It’s not something that really helped me develop into the person I am. It’s really just something that’s been there from the start – well from the start of my second life with the DadUnit. 

Dad loved to travel. Before he and mom were married he had seen so many exotic places. Places I had only imagined seeing as a young teenager. I was wow’d at all the stories he’d tell about his travels. His house was full of unique and different things that he’d collect in his travels. 

And this was one of them. 
Spain was one of Dad’s favorite places. On his first trip there he bought this coat of arms. I never asked him why he bought it or what about it made him think to send it all the way home from Spain. It weighed a ton so I can imagine the shipping cost a pretty penny. Oddly that story never was told, at least to me. 

I imagine that dad just loved the way it looked. It was something he felt that could represent him and the Wraspir clan. 

This coat of arms hung over every fire place I’ve known since 1981. I used it in a Jr. High project we had to do about our family. It was the “Wraspir Coat of Arms”. In fact, I think the MomUnit drew it for my project. 

When the ParentalUnits moved to Tucson, the coat of arms went into storage of sorts. Then when the DadUnit passed it sat in storage. It always had my name on as the owner once the ParentalUnits released it. Middle brother brought it over to me a couple of years ago. And since then it’s just sat in my spare room. Never hung in my house.  While it's really not my style, I couldn't find it in my heart to get rid of them just yet.

I’m not a sentimental type, it seems, about keeping family “heirlooms”. I don’t see how they have meaning, generally. Then there’s these swords (and a couple other items). I couldn’t just take them to Goodwill. Or sale them at the family garage sales. No, they needed something special. 

Enter the SisterUnit. I also came into possession of a teak rocking chair that was bought and shipped from Thailand. It too was sitting in my spare room. The SisterUnit decided she’d like both. It was a win-win to me. Not only do I get rid of them from my spare room, but they stay within the family and I could visit them whenever I wanted to. 

So yesterday they left for their new home in Oregon. I’m not sad they’re gone, but it did make me stop and think about “stuff”, “things”, and all those items we have in our homes. It amazes me how attached we get to them. I watched a show on Katrina yesterday and watching all those families lose everything. Having to start over and buy new “stuff”. What must that feel like? I couldn’t imagine, and don’t want to frankly. I like my stuff. And yes, I think I’m attached to it – mostly.  But it is just “stuff”. What I’m attached to more are the memories. And those coat of arms are full of them for me. So thanks for the memories Spanish coat of arms.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Numbers don't lie

I was having some health concerns and finally decided I needed to get back on the wagon of healthy eating. Last time I did, I lost no weight and was super frustrated. It made me think I had a thyroid issue. It seems every woman my age or older does, so why not me?

It took weeks...WEEKS... to get an appointment. When I finally did the doctor had an emergency and I got cancelled.

Then a happenstance conversation with a co-worker hooked me up with a clinic in Woodinville that specializes with overweight people. The doctors and nurses there are trained specifically to help overweight folk. My thought was the same as to why I go to a female doctor...surely she knows more about a female body?

At any rate, my first visit there we discussed what my goals were, my issues, any medical stuff and oh yah, a blood draw for good measure. One of my major issues was I was sick and tired with thinking about food all the time.

That day the doctor put me on phentermine. A drug that helps with any cravings, or thinking about eating at all. It was part of the Phen-Phen craze of the 80's...only this was the good half of that crazy.  It also pushes serotonin through your body to keep you from being depressed. The first couple of days on it, food was the LAST thing on my mind. In fact, I ate less than 900 calories those days. NOT the way I want to do this.

I finally got into a rhythm and was able to grocery shop for decent ish food. The last couple of days last week were pretty good. I love 5Lbs that week.

On Friday of last week they asked me to do the BodPod thing, which I think I already wrote about...So those numbers in hand, I went in for a check up appointment. The Dr. had my blood work back and it was time to get serious.

Here's what I learned:
  • My metabolism is actually quite high. Which is weird considering...
  • My cholesterol is good at 161, though the "good" cholesterol could be a bit better.
  • No thyroid issue
  • My potassum is quite high. 5.4 when the range is 3.5 - 5.3. We'll be watching this number. She's not overly concerned with it and had a reasonable explanation as to why.
  • My glucose was elevated - 105 when the range is 70-99. She's not overly concerned with it either and thinks an improved diet and exercise will see that number go down. I am not at the pre-diabetic range...yet. 
  • My insulin was elevated too. She's concerned that I may be insulin resistant and she went into a long explanation about why that would be bad. Again, we're going to watch that number and see. 
  • Lastly, my vitamin D was L-O-W. 14. The range is 30-80. So lucky me gets to on some prescribed Vitamin D pills (50,000 ibus) for a couple of months. She said this is pretty common in Seattle. To which I said, "You'd think I'd be fine driving around in a convertible." 
So we have my numbers and I have a plan. 1800 calories a day. 105 grams of protein and only 50 grams of carbs (almost impossible I think). I'll continue on the phentermine for now and we'll revisit it in 3 months.

I'm both encouraged and discouraged with all this. I'm tired of the fight. I'm tired of the constant battle between me and food. My relationship with food has never been healthy and I'm full of hope (which really could be the phentermine - which I call my "happy pills") for what this might bring.

The sad, and a bit scary, realization is there will never be an end to this. There in lies the rub. The diet industry has done a good job telling us that it's only "temporary". The truth is healthy eating, and living is a way of live. I will never be "done". It'll be easier, sure. But there is no end date. And that, my friends, makes me tired to even think that.

Thankfully I have my happy pills that just lift me right back up. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Time won't give me time...

A little Culture Club for the night. How do you like them apples?'s been quite a bit of time since my last blog. And I'm happy to say there's been enough that's happened in my life to keep me happy for now. I won't bore you with all of it.

Let's start with work. Ugh. I still love my job, but my word am I working a lot of hours. I love everything about my job and I know this is temporary. I see light at the end of the tunnel and know that this won't last forever. I know I'm appreciated and valued and I know I've really added to this team and company. I just don't know, for sure, when I'll be getting help. We've started accepting resumes for project managers...thankfully.

My health is my main focus right now. I have started to see a nutritionist and really focus on the food that's right for me. Everyone has an opinion as to what you should or should not do and yet no one realizes losing weight and getting healthy are exceedingly personal and unique.

In my attempt to understand exactly where I am health wise, I went to have my BMI measured. Well, truthfully my entire body composition mapped. There's this fancy pants measuring tool called the BodPod. It's a space ship looking machine that measures your body composition by air displacement. Did I mention it was teeny tiny? Small. If you're afraid of confined places it would not be the thing for you.

The best part of this experience, and I'm sure especially special for the tech who ran the tests for me is you have to wear skin tight clothing. That's right. Skin...tight. I found myself in a sports bra and spandex. Oh and then you have to put on a swimmer type cap to contain all your hair. Ugh. What a delight.

I won't be sharing my numbers with you because for some odd reason I'm very ashamed of them. No one who knows me would be surprised to see these numbers, but suffice it to say they basically say I'm fat. Shocker. My "goal" is to gain 9lbs of muscle to lower my fat mass percentage.

My ultimate goal has stayed the same...I want to be healthy. I really feel good about the nutritionist and this program offers a therapist as well. Cuz, let's be real, if I can't get to the bottom of the emotional aspect of why I eat, then it will never be fixed.

The last in this trifecta is a small pill I'm taking. The purpose of this pill is to essentially cause my brain to not think about food or hunger. It stuffs you fill of seratonin and the end result is your more capable of focusing on making good decisions because you aren't thinking about food. And for 3 days I've not thought about food. Though oddly enough I have kinda, in that I keep asking myself if I'm thinking about food or not. It's a vicious circle.

What I do know about this little pill is it does work on me. I have eaten way less and have been WAY more aware of what I'm eating when I do.

The other side effect of this little pill is it makes you happy. Real happy. I'm a happy person in general, but even I noticed I'm way happier. I almost annoy myself with the happy. It's been a long time, though, since I've been this happy. So I'm embracing it and sharing the love.

And now it's time to get some rest. Good night my lovelies.