Weight loss update #2

So, since January 3rd of this year I’ve lost 24 pounds total.  I lost 10 of it in January, slacked off for a while, and lost the rest since after July 4th weekend.  I’ve been eating pretty good for the most part and I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since July 8th.  I haven’t been on a strict low carb/paleo diet but I’ve been watching my carbs and when I do eat them, I save them for the first part of my day and I try to make them fruits.  I eat rice or bread maybe once a week and I’d have to think real hard about the last time I had pasta.  If I have sweets it’s only a bite or two of my boyfriend’s dessert, or a dark chocolate square.  I’ve been drinking lots of tea with stevia and I switched to coconut milk creamer (only 10 calories/tbsp) and stevia if I have coffee.  The thing I’ve found most challenging (other than not drinking) is to stick to a lower carb diet while also not eating a ton of fat.  It’s really hard!  Most high protein foods also have a lot of fat unless it’s baked chicken breast which is boring and dry.  So I’ve been supplementing with some high protein/low carb, plant based protein drinks.  I have one now that’s vanilla chai flavor and it’s actually pretty good.  Also, the whole willpower thing has been hard but I’m doing it.  I say “no” A LOT.  It’s hard where I work.  My co-workers and clients are always bringing us food like brownies, and cookies, and muffins drizzled with icing, but I stay away.  As my friend Ali once said “I know what it tastes like.”

I’m back in school so it’s been hard to go to the gym every day, but I still go and sometimes I work out from home.  I also got a Groupon with a co-worker of mine for some Aerial Silks/Aerial Yoga/Yoga classes.  I’m kind of hooked.  I want to move into a place with higher ceilings so the old man can install me my own rig.  Next we’re gunna get a deal for some Barre classes.  I’ve heard they’re hard so I’m up for the challenge.

It hasn’t quite sunk in yet that I’m only four pounds away from my goal after trying for so damn long.  Like years.  And once I reach that goal I’m not going to stop.  It was a realistic goal I set for myself and once I reach that I’ll set another one.

Saturday is Tim and I’s 6th anniversary so we’re going to dinner Friday night at DoveCote.  I bought a dress (I hope it fits!), I have an appointment to get a blowout (I can’t do my own hair), and it’ll be my first alcoholic drink in 85 DAYS!  I. Cannot. Fucking. Wait.

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Weight loss update #1

It’s been about 3 weeks into this losing weight thing.  As of yesterday morning I’m down almost  7 pounds and back to where I was the day I left for New Orleans on February 4th.  Which is good, but it could be better.  As far as food goes, I’ve been sticking to a paleo diet about 90% of the time.  I’ve had a couple bites of lumpia, I’ve had some crumbled goat cheese on a salad, and a few glasses of milk.  Just little stuff here and there.  As far as drinking, I’ve been sticking to vodka/soda/limes.  Sometimes I’ll add a stevia packet in there if I’m drinking at home.  I’ve been really good about not drinking at home but I’ve been out a few times and did drink a lot. And of course when I’m drunkypoo I don’t care about what I drink so I have had several beers.  I don’t have any plans other than this Sunday’s Salsa Fest so hopefully the excessive going out and drinking will dicipate. 

I’ve been going to the gym for cardio 3-6 days a week.  If I can’t make it to the gym I try to get outside and walk/jog.  Usually I bring Hippo along.  I’ve also been doing calisthenics at home for 10-20 minutes and I just bought a pretty neat resistance band set off Amazon for $22.  

I’m currently writing this while on a break in jury duty. I really hope I don’t get picked for this case. The trial could last a week and I really don’t want to sit in a courtroom for 8 hours a day for 5 or 6 days. Fingers crossed!

My goal is to lose another 7-10 pounds in 3 weeks when I update again.

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My weight loss journey….

Since I started dating my boyfriend in 2010, I’ve gained over 30 pounds.  I feel very guilty about it.  Like I’ve let him down, but more importantly, I’ve let myself down.

I’ve tried many times to lose weight, and I’m usually pretty successful at it, but after a month or two I give up and go back to not working out and eating like crap.  In January I lost 10 pounds.  I know what I need to do to lose weight.  Then I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and gained 6 pounds in 5 days.  Pretty depressing.  That’s where I’m at right now.  I haven’t lost, I haven’t gained.  I’ve been doing the bare minimum to get by, to not gain any more weight.  So, I guess that’s a little better than completely throwing in the towel.

But I’m pretty ready.  March was a bad month.  My birthday, my best friend’s birthday, another friend’s birthday, a huge brunch event, etc.  But now I don’t have shit planned other than the tapping of a newly released maple bacon beer on the 9th.  So, starting tomorrow I’m for real back on the wagon again.  Tomorrow is meatless Monday which will be a good segway into the juice cleanse I’m going to do Tuesday-Thursday.  I’m not doing it to lose weight (I didn’t lose weight the last time) but to reset my damn taste buds.  That was the biggest benefit I got from it the last time.  Right now the only thing appetizing to me is burgers and carbs.  I want to like to eat fruits and vegetables again. Then I’m going to do a Paleo-ish diet.  I mean, I’m going to stick to it as much as I can, but I’m going to drink a beer or two and eat some cheese and maybe drink a glass of milk every now and then.

I’m going to post my progress on here.  Not that I have any followers, but posting it on a somewhat public forum might make me feel accountable.

I took a before pic.  I’m sure as hell not going to post it here.  I don’t have the balls.  I’ll keep that to myself as motivation.  But I will disclose that I weighed myself today and it was a hundred and fucking sixty nine pounds.  I’m sure it’ll be more in the morning cause’ as I’m writing this I’m drinking a Dos Equis Amber and about to go to Smokey Bones.  Won’t be doing this for a while :\

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Long time no see. Here’s a recipe for some Mole’ pork.

I got a sweet deal on some country style pork loin ribs.  $3.27 for 2 pounds, to be exact.  As I was thinking about what to do with them, I remembered that my mom gave me this black cocoa powder a while back.  A plan was born.  Mole’!

I made a rub, rubbed the meat with it, seared it on all sides in a hot pan with olive oil, then threw it in the crock pot.  Here’s the rub recipe:

The only thing I measured was the black cocoa powder, so it’s in order from most to least

1 tbsp black cocoa powder (use regular if you can’t find it or mix regular with some espresso grounds)
Kosher sea salt
brown sugar
black pepper
garlic powder
paprika
ground red pepper
cayenne pepper
cumin
Ancho chili powder
rubbed pork

After I threw the meat in the crock pot , I deglazed the pan with an entire beer (I used Abita Strawberry but use whatever’s in your fridge), let it reduce a little, then poured it over the meat in the crock pot.  Then I threw in all the veggies and other stuff.

Here’s the other stuff (don’t worry about cutting them up all pretty cause’ they’re goin’ in a blender later)

1/2 onion
2 carrots
1/2 celery stalk
1 small jalapeno
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup tomato juice
juice from 1/2 a lime

I put it on low and let it do it’s thang until the meat pulled away easily from the bone, about 4 hours.
pulled pork

Take the meat out and set aside.  Pour all the delicious juices and veggies into a blender or food processor.  Add 2 tbsp of peanut butter and a palm full of raisins to the mix.  Blend untill all saucy like.  “Pull” the pork with a fork. Take off and throw away any giant pieces of fat and cartilage.  Put the pulled pork and sauce back into the crock pot on low for another hour.
mole simmer

Serve as the base for a delicious taco or as I’m doing tonight, on top of black beans and rice with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilanto 🙂
mole pork

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My dog has a cancer called multiple myeloma.

First thing’s first, my dog is like my kid. I don’t have kids so I don’t know what that feels like, but I imagine the feelings I have for Stinky are similar to those of having an actual human child.

I’m writing this down because multiple myeloma is pretty uncommon in the companion animal world, and if Stinky’s story helps just one dog get and earlier diagnosis than he did, something good could come from all this bullshit. And that’s exactly what it is.

I’m a Vet Tech, so, sorry if I use medically words. And also, what’s that saying? The cobbler’s children have no shoes? Yeah. As hard it is for me to admit, I didn’t do the things that I’ve been educating clients to do over the last twelve years, for my own pet. Specifically, annual blood work for any dog over the age of 6. Well, I did do blood work on Stinky in 2012 when he was 6 or 7. That’s when he was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. But other than T4s to monitor his thyroid, I haven’t done any full blood work on him until July of this year when he started having issues.

One weekend in mid July, Stinky was drinking a lot and peeing a lot, but otherwise completely normal.  He had started to get a little fat a while back so we cut his food back so he could lose a few pounds.  He did, and I was thinking that maybe because of the weight loss his thyroid medication dose was out of whack.  So, Monday I brought him to work with me to do blood work.  My plan was just to send a CBC/Chem/T4 to the outside lab, but as soon as I saw his blood go into the syringe, I could tell he was anemic.  So I ran a CBC in house.  He was really freaking anemic.  His hematocrit was 22%.  20% is when  transfusion is recommended.  So I told my boss……oh wait! Side note: two weeks before this happened, his doctor got a job at another clinic.  I was super bummed, but not too bummed because the clinic she went to work at is literally 500 feet from my house.  And I truly believe that if she had been at my work on July 15th when all of this went down, he may not have gone blind in one eye.  But I keep telling myself that everything happens for a reason. I know it’s crap but it’s the only thing that keeps me from lashing out at other doctors and putting my fist through a wall.

Ok, I digress.  So I told my boss about Stinky’s anemia and he got super serious and had a sense of urgency and told me that I needed to do all of his blood work in house and take x-rays of his abdomen and do a urinalysis.  His x-rays were normal but his blood work was not.  His globulin levels were 16.8! That’s insanely high.  Normal is around 2-4.  His urinalysis also showed that he had a UTI.  My boss had left work at this time so I went to another doctor and showed him the results. (I was panicking a little at this point.)  He seemed pretty nonchalant about it and basically told me he didn’t know why his globulins were that high but it could’ve been due to the inflammation in his bladder from the UTI.  I have since had a few doctors tell me that that is incorrect.  I had one doctor say “the first thing I would’ve thought about with globulin levels that high are multiple myeloma or tick born illness.”  I was like “great,  where were you two weeks ago?”  Because nonchalant doctor told me to put him on antibiotics and recheck in 2 weeks.  Well a week and a half into his antibiotics he went blind in one eye one Wednesday afternoon.  By Thursday he wouldn’t even open either of his eyes and seemed like he was in a LOT of pain.  So I brought him over to his doctor at the clinic 500 feet from my place because it was my day off.  She had to sedate him just to get pressures of his eyes and he had raging glaucoma in his left eye and moderate glaucoma in the right.  She started him on glaucoma meds and told me to go see the ophthalmologist in Maitland.  That was a bad night.  He wouldn’t even eat.  When Stinky doesn’t eat, there’s a big problem.

So we went to the ophthalmologist and she did a thorough exam of his eyes.  She found that he had hemorrhaging in the backs of both eyes, had completely blown the retina in his left eye and partially in the right, and had really bad glaucoma.  I also brought his blood work with me and showed her.  All of the information combined, she was really suspicious that there was something more systemic going on, so she sent me over to the internal medicine specialist.  It was there that they told me they were suspicious of multiple myeloma and some more tests were needed to confirm.  Long story short, I did the tests, they confirmed it, and he’s been on chemo and prednisone ever since.

He feels good other than that damn left eye.  He’s had several problems with it.  And there’s so much other stuff I didn’t put in here but I just wanted to get this posted.  I want anyone that has a dog or cat that’s reading this, that if your pet has weird symptoms and blood work and your doctor kind of just shrugs their shoulders and doesn’t even bother to open a book or go on the internet to figure out what’s wrong, or if they say words like “I think” or “this may be it” or “this is possible” or “I don’t know”, take your pet somewhere else.  QUICK.  I also blame myself for not doing any research.  I just thought “he’s a doctor, he should know” and I believed him.  I have since learned my lesson about that.

Even through all this crap, Stinky continues to be happy and wag his tail.  He has a great appetite, no vomiting or diarrhea, he’s happy for the most part, and he hasn’t lost any weight.  So for now, we’re good.  I’ll continue to keep this post updated.

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Update 10/07

Mr. Stankins is doing pretty good.  He had a reiki session that was pretty cool.  Who knows if it did anything but I’ve never seen Stinky so calm and comfortable with a person he’s never met before.  He almost fell asleep with her touching him.  She was supposed to come back in a week but his damn eye ruptured again so we’re waiting a little until it heals.  Which, speaking of, his eye is doing great! It looks like his cornea is starting to heal/scar, which is what his ophthalmologist wanted it to do.  He has an appointment tomorrow to go see her, so hopefully we get some good news.

His globulins haven’t decreased much at all, despite being on chemo every 3 days, so his oncologist wants me to give it to him every day for ten days and see how that goes.  We are holding off on that at the moment until his eye is a little better.  We don’t want to suppress his immune system so much with the daily chemo that his eye gets worse.  I sent out blood work on him today to see where all his levels are at.  Hopefully, better.

Two weeks ago when I did blood work oh him his white cell count dropped as well as his hematocrit and hemoglobin, and some other stuff was out of whack.  I pulled out all the stops as far as everything I could do naturally to support him.  He’s on a cottage cheese and flax oil mixture, he gets an orange slice after his breakfast and dinner because vitamin c helps with iron absorption, he gets coconut water three times a day because his potassium was low, he gets milk thistle because of the tumors on his liver, a wheatgrass pill with dinner, and he gets Essiac tea twice a day. Plus all of his meds. Last week when I did his bloodwork, his white cell count went back to normal, his hematocrit went up a little, and his electrolytes were a little more balanced.  So, yay!  Hopefully tomorrow when I get results they are the same or better.

My bestie, Megan made a gofundme, for me.  Here’s the link if any of you would like to see/donate/share.  http://www.gofundme.com/erhhz0

Thanks 🙂

 

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My first day of Phlebotomy school

I hate getting my blood drawn. Like, it’s a totally irrational, intense fear.  When the nurse went to put in my IV before I got my wisdom teeth pulled, I cried. Like a bitch.  And made her stop.  I don’t understand why I have this fear, but I do.

I calculated this evening that I’ve probably drawn blood over 8,700 times on animals in the last 11 years.  Sticking needles in other things is totally not a problem with me and I’m really good at it.  Having needles stuck in me – big problem.

So my first day of Phlebotomy school, I sit down, and when class starts the instructor starts going over the syllabus.  I, of course, start reading ahead.  I get down to: WEEK ONE LAB – PRACTICE VENIPUNCTURE ON STUDENT PARTNER.  I immediately start to panic.  I knew this was going to happen but not so soon.  I start sweating.  The first 3 hours of the class is the lecture component, we go on break, and when we come back the classroom turns into a lab.  When we got back from break and the teacher started showing us everything in the lab that we’d be using, I felt like I was going to pass out.  I felt really hot and light-headed.  I had to look away.  My fear was so intense that I almost told the teacher that I wasn’t sure if I could do this.  But I knew I couldn’t do that.  Surprisingly, the drive I have to get out of my current place of employment and provide better for my little family, far outweighs this stupid needle fear.

So the teacher asks for a volunteer.  The girl who’s been bragging the entire class about how hard her veins are to hit, offers to go first so the teacher could show us, on her, what to do.  The instructor can’t hit her vein.  And she went fishing for it too, man.  And she’s a Phlebotomist for a living!  Nothing.  The whole class is like GREAT.  Because the final practical is the teacher puts all of our names into a hat, pulls two out, and says you two draw blood on each other.  If you don’t get blood, you fail.

The teacher asks for another volunteer and this time she got blood on another girl.  Then she talks for like 10 minutes and while she’s talking I’m not hearing a damn word she’s saying.  I’m just psyching myself up to go sit in that chair.  So I go.  I throw my arm out and close my eyes and say “Do it.  Hurry up.  Get it over with.”  The instructor asks the class who’d like to poke me, and horrible veins girl volunteers.  She puts the garbage can in front of me because it apparently looked like I was going to vomit.  I apologized to the class that I had been sweating for the last three hours and that I probably smelled.  I asked another girl in the class who I’ve never met before in my life to come over and hold my hand.  Jeez.

So shitty veins, cocky girl pokes me and can’t hit my fucking vein.  Great.  The instructor calmly but forcefully told her to take the needle out of my arm.  I think she knew that if homegirl had gone fishin’ for my vein, I would’ve flipped.  So that was it.  It was over.  I felt so relieved but I was still shaking.  I lived.

The teacher let a few more people go before it was my turn to draw blood.  She wanted to give me some time to relax.  So, since Bad Veins poked me, it was my turn to poke her.  I was really ok with it and actually kind of excited because I love a challenge.  First stick I get blood.  BOOM!

That is all.  Thank you.

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