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August 2013

July 2013

Less rumbly in the tumbly

Just a quick update: The acid madness seems to have turned a corner and I'm feeling much better. Some things I'm keeping in mind as I plan my meals:

No "giant" anything: No seconds, no huge smoothies, no big salads. I'm staring at my balled-up fist and thinking to myself "nothing bigger than this at mealtime." 

Pass on the hot sauce for now: As much as I adore my Cholula, I'm turning the spicy factor down for the time being.

No coffee all day long: Just one mug in the morning. 

Wheyprotein_vanFind another flavor: All my favorites seem to be acidic -- lemon, tomato, coffee, spicy. So I'm rethinking my meals and going for the vanilla, literally. I made a smoothie this morning with So Delicious Almond Plus, half a frozen banana, a scoop of my new favorite protein powder -- Twinlab Clean Series Whey Protein, in Vanilla Wave. The ingredient list is amazingly short and there's nothing artificial in it, plus a scoop is only 110 calories for 23 grams of whey protein. Impressive, eh? I also added a couple tablespoons of uncooked oats. Oats, you say? Yeah -- they're a great addition to smoothies. They add fiber, thicken the smoothie and at least for me, keep you fuller longer.

I was expecting the rebound reflux but yeesh! 

This girl is on fire (and not in a good way)

Test pattern
Well, oops. This is what happens when you have a Withings wi-fi enabled scale and you get a new Internet gateway and forget to update the scale -- no weigh-in screenshot today.

Anywhooo, I stayed the same this week but I was once again playing "Mr. Wizard's Chemistry Set" with my digestive system. After last week's iron supplement fiasco, I thought I'd start weaning myself off my Nexium because I thought I didn't need it anymore and it's hella expensive, even with an insurance co-pay. 

{Insert rueful laugh.}

Here's what happened:

Stomach cauldron
When you reduce or eliminate a PPI (proton-pump inhibitor) drug, you can get a rebound effect, or a Mount St. Helens-like surge in acid production. 

Super fun. 

I switched from Nexium to Prevacid and my stomach is still rebelling a bit but I'm starting to use the threat of GERD as a pretty solid reason not to eat after dinner.

I asked the Weight Shrink on Monday if I was punishing myself with this tactic but as a fellow weight loser, she thought it was a novel idea. 

So I've been doing much better not eating after dinner because the consequences are much greater than not seeing the scale move. 

But all that stomach discomfort had me reaching for Italian ice and watered-down Coca-Cola -- two foods not conducive to weight loss. I also found it difficult to workout because after the first horrible day, it felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.

On a positive note, my sister has lost 5 pounds since bunking with us a couple weeks ago while waiting to move into her new condo. It's been fun having The Shrinking Sisters together to plan healthy meals, and she's reaping the rewards.

So today, I laced up the sneaks and went for a great 3-mile walk, listening to Jonathan Bailor's Smarter Science of Slim podcasts. Yes, I own his book but no, I haven't read it yet. And after all the digestive weirdness over the past two weeks I think I need to look into his non-neurotic way of eating and working out.

I'm totally up for trying something new because whatever I'm doing now isn't really working.

Lady and the tramp(oline)

After last year's Fitbloggin' I became intrigued with the JumpSport fitness trampolines. So after a particularly large holiday-season discount and some Amazon credit, I bought one last fall.

I put it together, jumped on it a little tentatively and propped it up against a wall in the guest room, where it stayed until a couple weeks ago. 

I was afraid of it.

I had a little mishap with a Bosu ball, flying off it and bruising the crap out of my upper arm so I figured I'd send myself flying off the trampoline.

At this year's Fitbloggin' I told the JumpSport representative that I had a trampoline but was afraid to use it and she decided to help me out with "training wheels."

OK, it's not wheels but a handlebar that attaches to the trampoline so that I have somewhere to grab onto.

The handlebar was waiting for me when I got back from the Pacific Northwest, and I promptly rolled that trampoline back into the bedroom (my exercise sanctuary) and attached the bar, which was simple.


Fitness trampoline
Before and after 'Trampoline Helper.'

 Handlebar in place, I was finally able to do the 30-minute DVD that came with the trampoline -- and like I suspected, it was fun! 

I'm still not flying up in the air or anything but just knowing that I have a place to steady myself makes me more confident to use it, and I plan on adding it as a regular part of my rotation. Not only is it great cardio, it helps with balance, which is crucial in, ahem, older folks.

Sometimes you just have to suck it up and admit that you need help.

Thanks to JumpSport, which provided me a handlebar. (I purchased the trampoline on my own.)

Possibly my most ridiculous weigh-in post ever

I knew the scale would be up this morning because of my weakness for delicious gummy supplements.

No, I didn't go crazy with Flintstones vitamins. I received a bottle of children's iron gummy supplements and thought "Hey, these look interesting. I could probably use the iron and it's a child's dose so what could go wrong?"

Iron gummy
Iron gummies! Get it? I slay myself.

Ha! Lemme tell you, via WebMD:

What are the risks of taking iron? Side effects: Taken at normal doses, iron supplements may cause upset stomach, stool changes, and constipation.

So, OK, yeah. Bingo!

And here's another bit of information I should have read before I cracked open that bottle of delicious iron candy:

Risks: Don't start taking iron supplements unless your health care provider tells you that you need them.

All week I've been a bit backed up. (TMI? Well, duh!) Consider this a cautionary tale.

I even did a trampoline workout yesterday to get things moving. (More on that Monday.)

I'm feeling somewhat better today because I stopped taking the iron a couple days ago. 

But here's the ridiculous part -- I had absolutely no desire to eat between meals or late at night. And I'd love to be able to harness that feeling, just without the stomach pain.

Feeling satiated is elusive for me. I'm not talking "full" because that's not the goal. It's feeling good after a meal and not wanting more food. When your stomach is full and it's stretch receptors are activated and the food isn't going anywhere, your stomach doesn't growl. 

So, this week's weigh-in? Not all that concerned. And that 6-pound drop in fat? I have no idea if that's accurate but perhaps I'm continuing to build muscle and lose fat, which is the whole point of this thing.

Onward and downward.

The long, scary road to Friday

See_sawOh, man, my Weight Shrink has my number. She knew why I didn't weigh myself on Friday. Why I was thrilled with the Wednesday number and let it ride.

It wasn't my proclamation that:

I'm taking that sweet Wednesday weigh-in and using it today. It's close enough to Friday and it's great and I'll weigh myself next Friday.

No, it was because 235 is at the bottom of the seesaw and I know how this seesaw works. The real reason I didn't weigh myself: I didn't feel like seeing the seesaw go back up.

Yep. I'm a "scale chicken," and I felt my old nighttime-eating ways creeping back so I figured the scale wouldn't be going down.

Oh, if I only had more faith in myself!

But it's only Monday (barely Monday; it's just about Tuesday) and Friday is a few days away. so I need to suck it up and do well. I need to dig more into the book "Thin Side Out," which I've mentioned before. Author Josie Spinardi talks about "gasping for food," which is exactly what it feels like late at night when the head and the gut are both screaming for food.  

This is the mother of all sticking points and I haven't gotten down below 235 in more than 15 years so vigilence is key.


The one about my pre-wedding fat-farm trip during a riot

Gail and Terry, July 11, 1992.

I bought my wedding dress a size too small.

Why? Because even though I wore a size 12 in normal clothes, the evil Wedding Dress Gods didn't believe in "vanity sizing" back in 1992.

So to avoid paying extra for a plus-sized wedding dress, I crossed my fingers and ordered the 14.

There was still about an inch of me coming between the tiny buttons and the button holes and the big day was a couple months away. So I booked a weekend at the Oaks at Ojai. I called it a "fat farm" but actually it's a great, affordable spa in beautiful Ojai, Calif., about an hour or so from where I was living. I figured a weekend of super healthy food and lots of hiking and working out would help propel me toward getting that dress closed.

It just so happened that the weekend I drove up was the same weekend after the Rodney King trial verdict came down, and all of Southern California was thrown into turmoil.

I headed up the 101, practically the only car on the road as fires smoldered on either side of me. When I got up to Ojai, I still couldn't escape the news because I was in Ventura County, where the trial took place.

News junkie that I am, instead of meditating in a yoga class, I was glued to the TV in my room.

But events settled down, and I soon found my om, and powered through the salt- and caffeine-free meals, the nature hikes and aerobics classes.

Despite the unauthorized evening escapes to the frozen yogurt place down the street, I managed to lose 10 pounds that weekend.

Sponge cool story broBy my wedding day (21 years ago today), the dress fit -- but I had to jerk my arms backwards to get those buttons shut.

So, "Cool story, bro" you say, but what's the point?

Thinking back on that day and how I sweated my ass off to get in that dress, I still thought of myself as a "fat bride." Because back then, all that mattered was the number on the scale (and home scales didn't measure particulars like muscle and water and fat).

So while today is my usual weigh-in day, I'm taking that sweet Wednesday weigh-in and using it today. It's close enough to Friday and it's great and I'll weigh myself next Friday.

And today I'll proclaim ...


I hit pre-baby weight a couple years ago and stayed there about 5 minutes. I'm not going to do that again. I'm there now, so my next milestone is ...


Thank goodness I wasn't one of those skinny 20-somethings who wore a size 2 wedding dress. No, instead I was 30 years old and 190 pounds.

That's 45 pounds away, which is kind of a big chunk but I will get there. I'll take it 5 pounds at a time, so my immediate goal is 5 pounds.

Let's do this!