I’m all over the place

Oh yeah… I blog.

Must have forgotten. Honestly I have started several posts that just didn’t get finished. My mind is a tad scattered & seems to drift in every direction at once.

Just been busy with living life & for the most part enjoying it more than ever. Savoring the final days of summer. Had a blast doing the Color Me Rad 5k with friends & am looking forward to joining DeAngelo Williams & the other Williams Warriors in a few weeks for the Race for the Cure. Panthers are back on the field so Sundays are again fun days filled with football! Keep starting various books & finding even more I want to read as soon as possible. Caught up with a few friends. Made a few new ones. Watched in awe as my nephew keeps growing and trying to join in on his enthusiasm for every little thing in life. Starting a new internship with wasn’t what I expected but so far I adore it. So much to learn yet feels good to be able to actually put what I have been learning to a bit of use assisting.

Plus finally got around to jumping in on Game of Thrones. No clue what took me so long but now I may be hooked.

With the start of the internship & a couple of nearly embarrassing moments in public I finally reached the point of sucking it up & admitting I needed clothes that fit. My size is down & nothing fits the same. I’m honestly scared to spend money on clothes in smaller sizes for fear that as soon as I do my body will balloon up again. Still losing my pants in public isn’t a memory I want & baggy saggy isn’t a professional look for a law office. Missing my pastel colors of hair, but the old clothes I don’t.

So shopping. Lots of shopping. Trying on & trying to figure out what works. As much fun as it always sounded to go out & buy new clothes, frankly I can’t stand it. I feel lost with sizes. I don’t want to even look at them right now. I don’t want to think about it. Sick of the hassle of it all. A few things here & there are fun. Spending money on finding all new stuff, not so much. Especially on an unpaid internship student’s budget.

Honestly I am tired of trying to figure out everything. Dating has been fun but after a few that just didn’t sparkle I’m taking a break. Thankful for friends who rock & keep me company when I need it.

yes even he gets pumpkin spice treats this time of year

yes even he gets pumpkin spice treats this time of year

& Baxter. Cuddles from this guy are always bliss. What ever would I do without him?

Later this week I go back for the next round of blood work & I’m scared. Not just of the needle for the blood draw, but for the results. The diet changes have stuck & now feel normal but what if they aren’t enough to lower the readings? Not sure I could do much more. Insulin injections and frequent testing are not things I want to have to do.  Just nervous. Fingers crossed hoping the hard work pays off.

The weight certainly is improved over the last visit. After consistently losing, I hit a plateau. A couple of weeks I stayed at one number. I didn’t understand it because I still was eating less & while I didn’t stress over it, it didn’t seem right. I’m still more than I should be ideally according to all the charts. Hopefully at some point I will level off and maintain a healthy number but I expect I still have a little ways to go. What to do? Turns out the answer is EAT.

I don’t buy much into the your body goes into starvation mode concept when I am eating several meals a day & snacks, but the calories were lower than they should have been total. A couple of days of adding in some extra stuff (like pumpkin spice M&Ms and a big burrito out with rice and everything!) and suddenly the scale is back to going down. Doesn’t make a lot of sense since I am staying fuller than I ever thought I would be. Guess I still have a lot to learn. Still struggle with reminding myself this is healthy & not a relapse into old bad habits. The goal isn’t avoidance but focusing on eating what is nutritious and what will help my body work the way it should instead of acting all wonky.

Thankfully I do have clothes that seem to fit now & didn’t completely go broke getting them. Feel a bit like the start of a new school year when you got to go get a few new outfits to start the year off. Excited for the new clothes and wanting to wear them all at once but having to wait for a new day for each. Ridiculous but of you can enjoy the little rushes of joy once in a while you aren’t living.

Hopeful that with this round of tests I will get confirmation that I am doing what I need to do to be healthy or if not get the doc’s take on what I should be doing.

Either way I am enjoying my days so much more lately. Feel like no matter what, even if it isn’t where I expected, this is where I should be right now. Which is a great feeling indeed.

A Modern Man’s Tale

Once upon a time…

there was a man and his dog. Everyday they walked miles. When not walking they enjoyed watching deer occasionally from the safety of inside their castle. Daily he fed the various birds that lived all around and delighted in identifying the variety of species that visited. Chipmunks, squirrels, owls, hawks, lizards, frogs, snakes and even coyotes once in a while made appearances. They loved the life sharing their wooded lot with animals of all kinds. The woodland characters entertained him and everyone lived peacefully together.

UNTIL…

One day after a long walk the man discovered two ticks on the dog. Most likely the ticks mistook the dog for one of the deer that they tend to feed on.  The man quickly escorted the wayward ticks into their next life but later that night he woke to find one of their relatives had attacked in revenge. He had experience in guarding his home and showed the tick exactly who was in charge but he did note that it didn’t seem to look like the ticks that he normally crossed paths with. Not thinking much about it, he removed it although it had been firmly in place dining presumably most of the night. The battle ended. The man slaying 3 ticks in one day for the win!

Or so we thought.

The next day he started to feel a little off. Tired, headache, sore… which didn’t seem too out there. He easily could have picked up something & thought he was getting a cold. It got worse & a fever joined the other symptoms. After a few days he also noticed the site on his leg where the tick had bitten was red and inflamed. Not good.

Basically he was a stubborn man & rather than getting it check out to be safe, he just dealt with it. Still he just thought he was going through a cold. After the bite started growing larger, turning a dark black & swelled up to the size of a baseball he FINALLY decided to mention it. The following day he had an appointment with his dermatologist so he waited again. At first glance the doctor forgot the man was there for a simple check to ensure that the skin cancer had not relapsed & asked what the red spots, now covering his entire body, were. The red streaks going out from the initial bite up & down his leg that were extremely tender also alerted the doctor that this wasn’t an average bug bite. No kidding.

Unfortunately this isn’t exactly the end of the story. While the doctor has assured us that after some rest and a lengthy round of meds to treat the infection, the man should be back to normal – probably. With one lasting change.

He may never be able to eat meat again.

Yes this guy who has battled type 2 diabetes and won by cutting down on everything he eats and limiting carbs, may have to limit his food choices even further.

When the tick was attached to his leg it secreted a chemical that is also found in red meats. Under normal conditions this substance stays in the digestive tract & is broken down and used by the body without any problems. However the body isn’t used to having it anywhere other than the digestive track. The tick introduced it into the blood stream where being so foreign the body started to attack the chemical. Now the body has labeled it as bad news & is on alert. So there is a huge chance that the body will no longer tolerate it ANYWHERE in the body.

At this point we wait to see. Some lucky people exposed do not develop the allergy & some do. The more times someone is bitten by this particular tick, the more likely they are to become allergic. After he gets in better shape, which thankfully is quickly happening due to the medications, we can test to see if there will be any reactions. It could take a few hours to a few months for his body to either be allergic or decide the chemical is still ok as long as it stays on the food side of operations.

If he does develop the allergy it will mean he has to completely avoid all red meat & anything that has come in contact with it. Luckily it seems that fish and poultry seem to not have the reactive chemicals, so at least he will have that still. Basically it will be as serious as a peanut allergy. Anything around or that has touched something that has touched meat, could send him into anaphylactic shock and could result in a hospital visit or worse. An epipen will be his new side kick.

Joy.

Fairy tale? Hardly. Unless it is the Stephen King version where the humans are killed off and the insects take over. Let’s hope for a happier ending.

Now if you are anything like me after hearing this tale you now itch & are paranoid that every little gush of wind that blows by your skin makes you feel like you are getting crawled on. Especially around bed time when the lights go out.

As far fetched as this all sounds, sadly it is a true story & the consequences of that tiny bite are very real. So we wait & hope. Because quite frankly my Dad just isn’t the vegan type. He could surprise us as he has done with changing his diet in response to the diabetic diagnoses which he has reversed. Just never know.

The moral of the story: even the smallest little things have the potential to change your life in very big ways.

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As of now.

Crazy to think that 2014 is over half over already.

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My final (hopefully) semester has started. Stores are starting to make space or put out holiday decorations. NFL preseason games are underway & less than a month til the season officially starts up. Life just keeps flying by with no sign of slowing down.

At this point eating the “new” way (reduced carbs, avoiding refined starches & sugars counting calories & watching portion sizes – more fresh, less fast food) feels right. I have managed to lose 25 pounds in the process. I don’t have a goal weight or size & am not focusing on the scale, but am very happy to see it go. My body will stop shedding when it gets to the place it is comfortable. Strong & healthy. The biggest goal is getting a better result from testing to be done in September. I know I will need to keep eating healthy to maintain the good results, but more than anything I want to be in a better place by my next birthday!

I will be.

Signed up for two 5ks in the next few months & will be volunteering at a 3rd!  Going back to the one that started it all – the Electric Run! Not sure what I will be doing, but it just felt right to volunteer for this one. Excited to get back into the swing of it all.

As for THE distraction list, no where near where I thought I would be. Guess I have distracted myself well enough without it. Still hoping to strike off more by the end of the year. Still 21 out of a 100 isn’t bad.

One big distraction continues to be reading. Have completed 34 out of my goal of 40 for this year. Looks like I will surpass my goal again this year! Sad thing is there is just too much that I want to read. I will never have enough time to get through them all and each day more are released. Add in the homework needed for class & my eyes are threatening to go cross eyed.

Life feels a little surreal with the fear and chaos in Ferguson, death of Robin Williams and the conversations about suicide and depression it has spurred and recently a friend I went to high school with lost her mother, which brought up old feelings. All normal & I can recognize that. Wish I could change any of them, but all I can do is stay true to me. Grateful for the safety and good times I have, the help I get in maintaining my own sanity as best I can & the memories that make me smile.

Life will keep speeding up as the days get shorter, but there are still 24 hours in each of those days. Luckily I’m still able to shape them in whatever way feels best. Which means more beach days & time with my nephew….

& PANTHERS football!

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons