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I suck at dieting

or is it just that dieting sucks… Besides my foray with the South Beach Diet two years ago, I have only dieted one other time. Way back when, Weight Watcher’s Low Fat-High Fiber Diet. I lost five pounds, and not a pound more, and was so cold all of the time, I gave up on it. I have done the two-week Phase 1 of S.B. for three weeks–no carbs/fruit/sugar/alcohol, lean protein, non-starchy veg. I lost six pounds the first two weeks and gained one pound back this week. Feels like a BIG FAIL. People will say, it’s because of all the walking, muscle weighs more than fat. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Don’t care–it does not console me in the least–I still can’t wear more than one pair of zip-up pants. Lesigh.

Since I put the salt shaker away, my average blood pressure is 94/69. That’s a BIG WIN. (We’ll see what it is in the doctor’s office…)

I was so desperate to get a jump start this time, that I considered forking out the money for South Beach Diet food delivered to my door. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners are used. Besides the fact that I can’t stand the taste/after taste of artificial sweeteners and am allergic to some of them, I have never known anyone to lose weight by consuming drinks/food with artificial sweeteners (or non-nutritive additives). In fact, here’s what Dr. Joseph Merkola has to say (take it with a grain of sugar) (wordpress link-er still not working–I’ll get it fixed some day):

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/23/artificial-sweeteners-confuse-body.aspx

For me,  I just avoid sweets and food items with added sugar, which is pretty easy to do if you read labels. Oops–forgot to check the Chobani with Black Cherry on the Bottom (evaporated cane sugar?). I just wanted something portable for when I leave the house–there isn’t much that’s healthy out there if you’re serious about losing weight. SAVING MONEY: HUGE WIN. This was tasty but all I could think was to add in some chunks of high-quality dark chocolate. Can I get a WOO-HOO?  I also throw 100-calorie packets of Emerald cashews/almonds/dried cranberries in my purse–not too sweet and not salty. My blood sugar tends to go in the cellar if I go too long without eating or after a long walk, not to mention getting hangry. You won’t like me when I’m hangry.

Supposedly just losing six pounds means 24 pounds of pressure off of my knees (WebMD, for people with osteoarthritis–why, is there a difference for those of us who have RA?). That’s another BIG WIN. I have routine labs in three weeks–with all the healthy eating and walking I’m doing, the cholesterol and blood sugar better be down in significant numbers. Alright, I’ll settle for any drop in the numbers.

The other reason I suck at dieting is that now, nothing tastes good and I could care less about eating. I force myself to eat because I know I need to. I guess I don’t have to like this to do it, but how long can I stick with something that doesn’t produce more positive results? Color me IMPATIENT.

If you really want to get depressed, watch The Magic Pill on Netflix. Eye-opening as far as government’s thinking on nutrition for the general populace and indigenous peoples worldwide. The difference in a child with autism who would previously eat nothing but junk food was totally amazing after her diet was changed from carb focused to fat focused. We’re talking LARD here. BRAVE PARENTS.

I’ll be back with an update at the beginning of June. I weigh myself on Fridays and Mondays but only haul out the tape measure once a month. A person can only take so much failure at any given point in time. I’m not giving up yet. After being laid up for four months, it’s wonderful to get out and move. My hip is pain free most days if I stretch and walk. Only 55 more pounds to go… Remember, sitting is the new smoking.

Enough of this. I skipped the walk today and have declared it to be Fun Friday in my studio.

QUILTING TIP OF THE DAY (yes, we still quilt here): If you have a small wallhanging and know how to crochet, crochet around a 1-inch curtain ring with single crochets. I had a little ball of #10 crochet thread, Rit-dyed along with some fabric before I got serious about hand-dyeds. Also note my plug for labeling your quilts! Someone may care someday.

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Take a few anchoring stitches under the ring (see above) and then sew the rings on the back of the quilt, going through both loops of the single crochets. Leave the top of each ring unsewn.

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P1120511Measure the distance between rings from center to center, place two straight pins in the wall and hang your art! VOILA.

NEXT TIME: I’ll be working on some small projects, a block exchange, a mug rug swap, another biscornu pincushion, and a cover for my camera strap. The leather is showing wear and now that summer is here (no collars), my strap is uncomfortable walking in the heat. In the meantime, don’t just sit there–do something, even if it’s wrong.

ART FOR THE DAY: Flowers That Bloom Now, Yoyoi Kusama, 2017, stainless steel and urethane paint, as seen on the North Forest Trail, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Kusama is one of my favorite artists, having learned about her in an online class on Abstract Expressionism from MoMA. She sometimes has interactive art, inviting museum-goers to come in and cover furniture and walls with dots (her signature) in varying sizes. How fun is that!

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Back in the land of the living…

or how I almost gave up quilting (and everything else). I live with chronic inflammation and pain from rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Basically everything I do hurts my back, but I was in excruciating, almost constant hip pain for four months. Then one day after pretty much overstretching trying to relieve a spasming piriformis muscle (near the sciatic nerve), I got up and my hip gave a loud pop–and relief. I started doing these exercises which I had found in the Parade insert of the Sunday paper, Move Away Your Pain by Mary Sauer. Go to the links below and remember to consult your doctor before bending at the waist (thank you, Rita Rudner).

http://www.omaha.com/eedition/sunrise/articles/move-away-your-pain/article_2773cb9a-051b-58aa-b330-ae317a1afd2c.html

https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sciatica/piriformis-muscle-stretch-and-physical-therapy

Speaking of doctors, I asked to be referred to the rheumatologist who originally diagnosed me in 2008 (he moved away and returned, but after three years, you’re a new patient). I thought perhaps the AS was progressing. My primary care sent two referrals–they didn’t get them. I hand carried the referral myself–still no response. Since I had no response after leaving messages, I decided I will just fix this myself. About the only thing I can do to help myself at this point is lose weight. Four months of being sedentary and eating Lays Wave Potato Chips, Swalty Popcorn and drinking cokes put on another ten pounds. My blood pressure was up. Now I am on a quest to lose 60 pounds. Most people who know me here have never seen me at my normal weight. I was underweight or normal weight until age 45. An underactive thyroid, total hysterectomy and being misdiagnosed started the weight gain. I still cannot walk without my hip going into spasm, but hopefully that will improve. I am going to stick with this South Beach diet until people start asking if I am sick. Right now, as far as I am concerned, you cannot be too thin. I have one pair of zip up pants that I can wear. I don’t eat much bread but I love white potatoes. The first week has not been hard except that I really don’t get enough to eat some days. If I have a headache or feel lightheaded I have carrots (sugar/starch). I have added tortilla chips (carbs) to my salads. I do not feel guilty. Results after one week: lost 2.5 pounds and 1.75-inches. My blood pressure is back down to 117/70 (I also put my sea salt away). It’s a start. And the quilting? I finished quilting my current project, wove in all the ends, and have to decide whether I need to block it. I didn’t get Less is More finished for my local quilt show but I’m going to enter it in the Modern Quilt Showcase at Houston International. Deadline for entry is June 22. I can do that. I am back to #doonething. This week: finish/recycle reading pile and get rid of the last dregs of paperwork. It’s all good.

P.S. I had a large post in draft and last edited it on March 3. Two days ago, I tried to edit it again and it was all over the place so I decided to just start over. I. Never. Give. Up. Next time, I’ll post all about Less is More–back to quilting posts. In the meantime, have a great weekend–it is finally spring here and supposed to quit raining, so I’ll leave you with a new dogwood photo.

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