Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Milepost 5 on the Road to Wellness

December and January were tough months for me.  On January 29, 2106, I was weighed at my dietitian’s office. I ended up at 370 lbs. I struggled with dietary choices and keeping up my exercise regimen. Part of it was holiday indulgences. With my weight goal from a total weight loss of 50 lbs by January changed to 50 lbs total weight loss by April, things seemed more possible. My depression was also affecting my choices. Compared to a year ago it was still a marked improvement.

In January 2016, I did not eat as much fruit or vegetables, I also had a tooth pulled and had to lighten my physical excursion to minimal for almost a week. In February and March 2016, I increased my vegetables. I worked my best to add vegetables to every dish. With my daily yogurt, banana, and fruit smoothies I had fruit under wraps. To help with my digestive heath, I added chia seeds and flaxseeds to my smoothies.

I tried several new vegetables, in February 2016 (calabacitas/Mexican zucchini, and piquillo peppers) and in March 2016 (chayote/Latin American squash, and taro leaves). I chose Cuban style yellow rice over Puerto Rican Style. Puerto Rican yellow rice had rice, seasoning and annatto oil. Cuban yellow rice had garlic, onion, peas, and red bell peppers. I was choosing dishes with more vegetable matter than those without.

              Paiche fillet with corn & roasted poblanos

I have limited how much potato chips I eat. In January I made nachos and used pre-made chips instead of making my own. As a holiday gift I received some Omaha steaks. Those probably did not help. I did increase my seafood intake. In December 2015, I had my stocking stuffers (canned octopus, sardines, and oysters), tonnato sauce (tuna, anchovies, lemon juice, olive oil, and capers) with cucumber noodles, and my monthly sushi. In January 2016, I made California roll nachos and had my monthly sushi.

In February 2016, I started making bagels and lox (cold smoked salmon) sandwiches and added shrimp to my family’s 7 layer salad recipe. In March 2016, I made inarizushi with shrimp, avocados, and spicy Japanese mayo. In April 2016, mom, who was visiting, bought some paiche. It is an Amazonian freshwater fish. It is huge, meaty, and delicious. I made several dishes with it.

The end of March 2016 and the beginning of April 2016 were eventful for my health. I had tried to get a more consistent mental health care. I had two choices the county and Lutheran Community Services. The county for the initial mental health evaluations were daily but only a handful a day. They were also first come first serve. With my depression getting up early to get there was difficult. The depression was causing me to experience insomnia. With open ended appointments, I fell victim to procrastination. I do better when told to show up at a specific time and date. I decided to go with Lutheran Community Services.  

   Pan seared paiche with spicy avocado sauce and greens

The end of March 2016, I got my mental health evaluation. I finally got a diagnosis. I suffer from severe depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. I am getting treatment. I am on a waiting list to see the clinician for pharmaceutical treatment. That is still better than what I had last year with no possibility of that kind of therapy. I have had tons of support from friends and acquaintances about my diagnoses and work to get treatment. I am currently looking to apply for disability in order to get out of my living situation. My depression, anxiety, and insomnia are making my job search difficult. I am not looking into permanent disability, just long enough to get me out of my situation and on the road to mental health.

At the end of 2015, I was encountering localized sourness on the left side of my chest. I had this happen in 2002. It turned out to be gynecomastia. This is the development of breast tissue in men. The first occurrence was due to medicine. I had another mammogram done in April 2016. I was clear of cancer. 1% of all breast cancer cases are men, so if you find a mass or have localized soreness, get it checked. I am very embarrassed by my gynecomastia. My ex was brutal in emasculating me about it. Now instead on being unilateral, it is bilateral, meaning I am no longer one sided. I would rather have my diagnosis than breast cancer.

In January 2016, I had my broken molar removed. I followed the directions to the letter and was able to avoid dry socket. The previous pulled tooth resulted in dry socket. I also had my problem wisdom tooth removed at the end of March 2016. I once again avoided dry socket like I did in January. It was not as painful as I had thought it would be. I think it having a cavity made it easier to remove. My jaw was sore and I had a dull ache for weeks. With my problem teeth removed, I should be doing better with eating. With the two problem teeth gone, I have any possible cavities left to deal with. My dental health is much better.

                         Puerto Rican pastelón de amarillos

I was supposed to see my dietician at the end of March 2016. She is no longer working for the hospital where her office was located when I saw her. I found out the day of the appointment. The hospital somehow did not inform me of the change that occurred two weeks earlier. This made me feel depressed. I backslid and ate three Hershey’s Whatchamacallits. The three candy bars in a sitting made me sick. I no longer can eat like I used to.

At the end of March, I was weighed by my primary care physician. I came in at 363 lbs. I was 13 lbs short of my yearly goal. Still I was able to lose and keep off 37 lbs. My goal weight for April 2017 continues to be 300 lbs. I had my ups and downs. I have had my lapses in following my dietary regimen lately. Overall, I have made to serious long lasting life choices. I am working on getting back to the better choices. 

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