Friday, April 23, 2010

Dieting and other stuff

This dieting is an interesting adventure. Once I get over the idea that I MUST eat everything in sight and I DESERVE it, not eating too much actually feels good.

Before I started my diet, I sometimes had coughing spells I couldn't stop. I would occasionally even cough until I threw up. I found out from my doctor that, rather than post-nasal drip (which I sometimes still have), I have GERD.

Many nerves are in the lower esophagus. Some of these nerves are stimulated by the refluxed acid, and this stimulation results in pain (usually heartburn). Other nerves that are stimulated do not produce pain. Instead, they stimulate yet other nerves that provoke coughing. In this way, refluxed liquid can cause coughing without ever reaching the throat! In a similar manner, reflux into the lower esophagus can stimulate esophageal nerves that connect to and can stimulate nerves going to the lungs. These nerves to the lungs then can cause the smaller breathing tubes to narrow, resulting in an attack of asthma.

GERD is aggravated not just by spicy food but by putting too much food into the stomach as well as being overweight, which doesn't leave much room for the stomach. I started a regular regimen of omeprazole and began eating Tums Smoothies like candy every time I had a coughing fit. After 3 months, I've cut way back on the Tums because I cough much less.

The side benefit is the diet. I had already decided I needed to lose weight. I looked at a video of myself doing a tai chi form and didn't recognize that fat lady with the gray hair. Yuck. And, my biggest pants no longer fastened. DINGDINGDING. Time to take it off.

Before the diet, I would eat because I thought I was hungry. I think (totally unscientific thought) the GERD was triggering a nerve that said I needed to do something to stop the icky feeling in my gut.

Now, with a stomach that is much less full, I don't really feel hungry. If I think I do, I chew a little sugarless gum (not much because of the laxative side-effect) or drink more ice water. When I do feel hungry, it's usually time to eat anyway.

And, best of all, I'm down 13 lbs. and one pants size. Goal: another 37 lbs. by Christmas.

Oh and I'm finally knitting up Ruby's yarn. Ruby was a lovely golden brown alpaca. She is becoming my first knit sweater since I became a yarn snob and learn a better way to make the stitches. Pictures to come.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


After two weeks of dieting (yes, I know that's not very long), we went out with friends for dinner last night. Today I'm enjoying (?) a mild case of food hangover.

Years ago I would go on a crash diet every January to prepare for the skimpy clothes of summer. I'd only count calories and limited myself to 800 per day, Monday through Friday. Saturdays and Sundays I could eat however much I wanted.

My current diet is similar, but I have a 1500 calorie limit and am averaging about 1000 per day. I'm calculating the fat, fiber, carb, and sodium amounts but not working too hard to control them. Same schedule of dieting M-F with weekends free.

Once I replace the battery in my scale, I'll start tracking weight.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Who is that fat lady?

So far, in a week and a half, I’ve unofficially lost about 8 pounds. Instead of “Desperately Seeking Susan,” I’m desperately seeking myself. I’m in here somewhere trying to get out.

When I could no longer do tai chi chuan without my bulging stomach getting in the way, I got annoyed with my weight, but I wasn’t willing to stop eating all the yummy foods available to me.

When I started really having trouble getting my pants to close, I wasn’t yet willing to stop eating.

When I found out that my nagging, hacking cough is the result of GER (Gastroesophageal Reflux—I don’t think it’s GERD yet) because partially digested food/vapors backing up into my esophagus were triggering nerves shared with my trachea, causing my trachea to think I couldn’t breathe, well, I decided I really had to do something about it. Too much fat in the gut area leaves too little room in the abdomen for those important things, like organs.

So, I’m using the Calorie Counter app on my cell phone (I could just as easily use the little calorie/carb book I found at home under a stack of other things) to count calories, carbs, fat, sodium, and fiber. I’m trying to stay below 1500 calories (succeeded all but one day), 15 grams of fat (I have yet to come anywhere close to that amount—no Alli for me), and 2400 mg of sodium (I missed that mark twice but I’m out of Jolly Time Better Butter popcorn now) per day.

To keep me on track, all I have to do is look at the videos David took of Sifu and me doing the 2-person form. I don’t really recognize that fat lady in the movies. She isn’t someone I want to be.

Check back next month (or sooner) for an update.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Southern California, 2010, Part Deux

This is the pier at Oceanside, California. There were surf warnings over the weekend.

The surfers were happy. We watched several of them playing around. They were all wearing wet suits. Air temperature 60-63 F. Water temp, unknown.

This is a view from part way out onto the pier. There's a cute little cafe called Ruby's that is sort of a 50s style eatery on the end of the pier. We just had dessert but their salads and burgers looked delightful.

Along the pier there were a couple pelicans resting on the railings. We could get amazingly close.

Walking back from the pier I spotten a McDonald's that isn't open. Maybe it's a weekend or summer thing.

Southern California, 2010


Knitting is allowed on the plane. This is another NORO Silk Garden 1x1 scarf. I may have it finished by the time we return from California.

David has relatives and business here in Carlsbad/Oceanside/Vista so I tagged along with him. It's a balmy 60 F.