Tuesday, April 21, 2015

OMG! LET'S CANDY!

You guys, I have a problem.

OK, it isn't a real problem. Not like a "I need a kidney" problem or a "I've Been Locked In a Closet for Two Days and Need To Use the Bathroom" problem.  Nonetheless, it's a sort of problem.

I like candy.  I like it a lot.  It used to just be chocolate that I'd hoard and eat whenever no one was looking (although I don't really consider chocolate candy, per se. It's too important for that,) but now it's all kinds of candy.  I blame Steve.  I'm not sure why. 

Anyways, you can look at me and tell that I like candy, but my fondness for it has mutated recently. Over the past couple of weeks, I've been buying Japanese niche candy. I've bought that kind of candy before and I've even talked about it on this very blog.  But now I have a whole lot of it. More of it than a grown up, child-free woman should own all at once.  I'm not sure why, either.  It's like a compulsion! I think it has to do with the Japanese videos that I watch. So, in a fit of what I can only assume is some kind of fever, I Amazoned myself a whole lot of strange Japanese candy.  Some of it is straightforward, pull-it-out-of-the-box-and-eat-it kind of stuff and some of it is way more complicated.  No, seriously, you have to mix things and put things in the microwave.  Also, to be honest, I'm not exactly sure what some of it actually is.  It's all written in Japanese, so I can't even Google it.  I'm just going to have to do my best.

Of course, I'm bringing you all with me!  I can't help it.  I feel less guilty about buying candy when I can talk about it on here, so you will get to see it all, if not taste it all.  Yay!  So stay tuned for what I've dubbed:



Tuesday, April 07, 2015

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) If you follow me on Twitter, I'm sure that there are times that it looks like I'm having a one sided argument that consists of nothing more than me berating someone.  I'm sorry.  Actually, that's sort of what it is. There are times when I am in a situation where I'm hearing things that aggravate me so badly, but I have no business chiming in to say what I'm thinking out loud.  Could I just not say anything at all?  Probably, but I'm kind of mentally wired to express myself, and if I don't, I might explode. True story. I usually do this with my Twitter account because not many people who annoy me enough to be the subject of one of my random tweets knows I've got an account.

Ugh. It doesn't make me feel very nice, but it's better than saying mean things to people who don't know I can hear them, right? RIGHT?

2) We had such a fun visit with our Georgia family!  Steve and I drove over to Waleska to spend the weekend with the Pucketts and McGees!  Amy's birthday was on the 28th, so we combined a birthday visit with a "fix Aunt Brenda's computer" visit!  We had a really great time!  We got there Friday evening, and had dinner and birthday cake with everyone.  I brought a special candle for Amy's cake that sounded really dangerous, but also fun.  It was one of these:


These are very cool, but because I'd never used one, I didn't know what it would do exactly.  The instructions said it would spin, play music, and there is a sparkler in the middle that lights all the candles on the petals.  It says to keep everyone about 3 feet away from it when you light it, so I was expecting a small explosion to happen when it was lit!  Alas, it was a little less spectacular than the video I saw, but still a cool candle.  Also, it didn't set anything on fire, which is always a plus!  I'm also extremely jealous that my niece, Katie, has such pretty purple hair and I can't dye my own to match! :)

Saturday we visited and had dinner with almost everyone for Amy's actual birthday-day dinner, and visited some more when we got back.  Sunday we got to visit with everyone else again until we left.  It was very chill and a lot of fun to see everyone who could be there.  I also got to meet/play with Beau, Aunt Brenda and Uncle Garry's giant black lab, who is the size of an elephant, but still only a puppy, really.  He's so sweet!  We played tug-of-war, chase, and sticks, and we brought him chew-sticks, so he was our friend immediately.  It made me miss Butler and Bear a lot, but I guess if I can see Beau occasionally, I'll be ok!

Steve and I left around lunchtime and drove into Atlanta to eat at Big Chow, which is one of his favorite restaurants.  From there, we went to IKEA, which was both terrifying and fun.  It's terrifying because the place is huge and maze-like, and I always have a sneaking suspicion that you can get lost in one and never be seen again.  It's fun, because they sell a lot of neato stuff, and now I want to buy a lot of furniture that would look terrible in my house.  The line to pay was it's own special brand of hell, though.  You think it's bad when Wal-Mart has 230 checkout lanes and only 3 cashiers?  Imagine that in a place with eight times as many people who are buying furniture. We stood in line for a solid half-hour. Boo!

After that, we finally got on the road and headed home.  We got stopped for about an hour by a huge traffic jam just outside of the city because of road construction, but once we got past that, it was gravy.  Good times.

3) I still don't like my hair.

4) I swear, I think my co-worker just barked.  The pastor barks all the time (well, howls like a beagle, but that's his thing.) My other co-worker never barks.  I'm scared.

5) I'm bummed.  I may have mentioned this a while back, years back even, but one of our former pastors went missing several years ago.  He was the pastor at my church when I first joined, and while he didn't marry Steve and me, he did say a blessing over us at our wedding.  He was a very sweet man and I liked him a lot. However, his wife was a horrible person.  I mean that.  She was not good a being a person.  They'd been at the church for a year or so when she told him she was going to visit family, and then surprised him with a divorce.  He literally had no idea it was coming.  It rocked him, obviously. So much so that he was placed on leave so that he could get himself together.  It wasn't a mean or malicious thing the church did by placing him on leave, I swear. It was really in his best interest, because he wasn't handling anything very well.  During that time he just up and left. He didn't tell anyone, including his own mother, where he was going and no one had known where he was for about 11 years.  He was a legit missing person, with the police involved and everything.  We found out yesterday that he had gone to Mexico to became an English teacher, which was a relief, because we had imagined all kinds of horrible things.  However, as glad as we were to know where he'd been, the reason we had been contacted was because he had died last September.  They didn't tell us how, other than he'd been sick.  I just hope that he was happy when he was in Mexico.  I hope he found some kind of relief and joy and I hope that whatever sickness he had didn't make him suffer. He deserved better than he got, I think.

I hope his ex-wife has nightmares.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) When I was sick at the beginning of the year, I spent a LOT of time lying around feeling miserable.  To keep myself occupied, I started watching a series of videos on YouTube called "Begin Japanology."  I can't be certain, but I think it's an actual show, and not just a YouTube series, that explains various aspects of Japanese living.  I have no idea why I'm so fascinated by these videos, because honestly, they are a weird kind of thing to get wrapped up in.  Each episode deals with one particular subject and it tells the history of whatever it is, the folklore (if any exists) and how it's done there currently. I now know a whole lot about Japanese pickles and Fugu blowfish. 



I honestly think it is the host I like to listen to.  His name is Peter Barakan, and his voice is so darn soothing.  I won't necessarily recommend these videos to you, but if you are ever bored, you can always learn the history of ramen noodles!

2)  I took my stress test last week.  It wasn't a fun thing.  I was referred to a cardiologist after the panic attack I had at the doc-in-the-box to "ease my mind."  I'm actually really embarrassed that I freaked out so hard that I was sent to a doctor.  To be honest, though, it probably didn't hurt that I went, what with my family's history of heart problems, but still...  I actually had two visits.  My initial visit was to have an EKG and talk to the doctor.  I did find out that my blood pressure is higher than it should be, which I think that has a lot to do with the weight I've gained, but the EKG was normal. 

The doctor is Indian, and his accent is so heavy that I couldn't understand anything he said to me.  I felt bad, because I usually do really well with accents, but his just baffled me.  He had me on a table listening to me with his stethoscope, and he said something I couldn't understand.  I just stared at him, hoping his meaning would kind of seep in, and he wound up repeating himself.  I still didn't get it, so he held up his hand and said it again. So I held up my hand, thinking he was asking me to do that so he could hear something better (imagine how someone holds up their hand while swearing on the bible) and he looked at me really strangely and said very slowly and carefully "I said Breathe Normally."  I felt like an idiot, but to be fair, that is really not what it sounded like he said.  *shame* 

I thought that would be all I had to do, but they said I also had to do a sort of pared down stress test. I was ok with that, since I figured it was just walking on a treadmill.  I do that all the time!  So I showed up the day they told me to and immediately had to strip down to my waist and put on a hospital gown. I wasn't expecting that, since I was told to just wear a comfortable, two piece outfit.  Then I was lead to a room where a man gave me an I.V.  I had actually been told I wouldn't be given drugs, but not told that I'd be given some kind of dye, so I hadn't been expecting needles!  He didn't have much trouble getting the needle in, but when I looked back at my arm, I was covered in blood.  I don't know what happened, since I had my eyes closed, but I had to be mopped up.  Gross.  Then I was taken into this very cold room with a treadmill in it.  The nurse who came to administer the test was actually really, very nice.  She must have seen I was nervous, so she kept me talking while she wired me up.  That nurse got REAL familiar with my left boob. Real familiar, y'all.  Once I was all hooked up, I had to walk.  It wasn't bad at first, or at least not as bad as I'd thought it would be.  The only thing is that she kept talking to me, which was distracting.  She made me told on to the bar, and she kept ramping the machine up until I was running. The thing was inclined so high that I felt like Batman scaling a wall. 

Like So.

I have a whole new appreciation of sports bras now.  After this, I thought I was done, but they sent me into a waiting room with  a bunch of other people (similarly topless underneath hospital gowns which were not all cinched as closely as my own.  Yeesh.) I have no idea how long I sat in there, but it was long enough to watch Meredith Veira (?), The View, and part of Kelly and Michael.  I'm not sure if that was part of some kind of endurance test or mindless torture, but that was the hardest part of the whole day.  I would have rather been running at a 90 degree angle with no sports bra again.  Next they took me in for an electrocardiogram, which was fine and normal, and then I was put into some kind of CAT scan machine and I had to lie still for 15 minutes while the thing rotated all around me.  I wasn't told what was being done to me at that point, so I just assumed I was being pumped full of gamma radiation for hulking-out purposes.  After that, the X-Ray man/Gamma radiation tech pulled the IV out of my arm.  I have no idea what he did when he pulled it out, but my blood actually shot all over the wall.  Not from my arm (I don't think my blood pressure was that high) but from the thing he pulled out of my arm.  I had no idea how to react to that, so I just sat and stared at it until he told me to go.  Again, gross.  

Turns out my test results were normal, which I figured they would be, but hooray just the same.  I've been told to lose weight and hopefully I will never have to do any of those heart things again. Fingers crossed for both of those things, please!

3) I still have no idea how to deal with my hair.  It won't do anything I tell it to!  I've decided it makes me look like the perkiest counselor at a summer camp from hell.  That seems very specific, but very apt.  I can't explain it.

4) The other day I pulled out the hand vacuum and was trying to clean up a very messy mess.  It didn't seem to be working, even though I could see that stuff was being sucked up into the thing, but I didn't seem to be making much headway getting stuff off the floor.  I thought for a moment that I'd broken the machine, but it turned out that the latch on the canister was open, and I was just redistributing the stuff I was cleaning up all over the room.  This is why I don't clean more often. 




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

QUICKY

Apparently, my boss is annoyed that I don't remind him of when my birthday is.

Every month, I give him a list of people in our church that will be having birthdays so that he can send cards and whatnot, but I never include my own name in there because it seems weird to me to remind someone of my own birthday.  It feels tacky.  The thing is, though, that I'm fairly certain that I have told him for the last couple of years when my birthday is (he's asked) and he never remembers.  Never.

Today he was teasing me again about not telling him when it was, and I said "I've told you, I was born on Valentine's Day! How can you forget that it's on Valentine's Day?"  He says back "I'm not thinking of you on Valentine's Day!  You aren't my sweetheart!"  So he turns to the music minister (Jim, who was walking by at the time) and asks "When you think of February 14th, what do you think of?"  Jim says "Valentine's Day?" So the pastor says "What else?" Jim, bless him, says "Oh, that's Kelly's birthday, right?" 

Cue smug face.  See, I'm memorable enough to some people!

After that he said "Ok, you aren't my sweetheart, but you are my sweet-Tart." He finds me fairly sassy, so I'm ok with being a sweet tart. At least I come by it honest.

Anyways, I'm going to continue to not remind him of my birthday, because it's more fun this way.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1)  Yes, I had a lovely birthday, thanks for asking!  It actually was very nice and kind of busy.  The pianist from our church got married that day, and she had asked me if I would run the sound, which I agreed to do.  I thought it was going to be a nightmare of songs and microphones and stuff, but honestly, all I did was make sure that the musicians were set up and the sound recorded loud enough to be picked up through our video system.  It was a very low key wedding, as both bride and groom has been married before, but it was very sweet.  They had some amazing musicians there, too.  The bride is a music teacher (violin and piano) and some of her students played for them. It was lovely!  We didn't stay for the reception because it was crowded and loud and everyone was breathing all the air, so we went to lunch a little late.  The first place we tried was actually closed, but they forgot to lock the door, so we stood there like a couple of muppets while we waited for someone to come and seat us.  Someone had to come and tell us they were closed, which was embarrassing since the times were on the door (but I hadn't seen them) but we found another place to go. No worries!  We went home for a bit before we headed back out and went to the VBCC to see Brian Regan perform!  Steve apparently caught the ticket sale right at the beginning, because we had front row seats. I thought that meant front row, audience area, but it actually meant front row, orchestra area.  I've never sat that close to a stage in my life.  Luckily, Mr. Regan isn't the kind of guy who picks at the audience.  We had so much fun!  He's very funny.  I want to sit up front at more stuff!

We ended the day at home just watching TV.  It was nice.  I also got the Facebook birthday messages, which I realize are somewhat obligatory these days, but it was still sweet for people to say it. I always enjoy people saying happy birthday, because you never know what year people will stop! :)  There was only one, tiny thing that kept it from being perfect, but I'm not going to talk about that. It was out of my control.

I also got to have lunch with my mom and sister the day before my birthday, so it was just great all around.

2) I got a hair cut and I think I have PTSD from that visit to the salon.  My hair has been long for a while now, and because it kept getting tangled around the chain of my necklace and having to be pulled free, it was a mess of split ends. I knew I was going to have to get quite a bit of it cut off to remedy that, but since my hair was halfway down my back, I knew I could get a lot cut off without it being too severe.  I decided one morning that I'd go after work and get it cut at Master Cuts (which may have been part of the problem.) Although I think there are some people who won't believe me when I say this, I actually kept having little twinges of "Maybe I shouldn't go today" feelings all day.  I had actually decided not to go at all at one point, but felt like I was being silly, so I made myself go in the end. I should have listened to my twinges.

I walked in, and there were two ladies there, so when I told them I wanted a haircut, the older one said "Are you comfortable with her cutting your hair? She just graduated from beauty school." I was all, "Sure, why not?" because she had graduated and everything.  I sat down and told her what I wanted, which I think confused her a little, but mainly I told her I wanted it cut no higher than my shoulders in the back, slightly longer in the front, and textured. All of those things are normal haircutty things, so I didn't think I had confused her, but I was wrong.  She starting cutting right at my shoulders, and after taking the first big chunk out, she got slower, and slower, and slower.  I figured she was just being careful.  She asked me to tilt my head forward, and she started cutting very slowly again.  I don't think I started getting nervous until she kept cutting the same section of hair over and over.  I thought she was just evening it out, but she wasn't.  All of a sudden, the other lady walked over and took the scissors from the girl and started cutting very fast.  She kept cutting and cutting, and my hands started to sweat, because it was then that I realized how short the girl had cut the right side of my hair.  The lady was panicking, I knew, but she was cutting so fast and so much that I was scared to say anything.  She was saying "You wanted it longer in the front, right?" and pulling on my hair as if she could make it longer, but I just kept saying "It's fine, don't go any shorter. It's fine." I think I said that like 3 times before she finally leaned down and said "You don't owe us anything."  I felt so sorry for the new girl, who also apologized to me, and I didn't want to make things worse, so I told them I'd still pay, but the other lady just kept saying "No, no...it's ok."  I didn't realize until later that she was trying to get me out of the salon as quickly as possible because there were other people waiting to get haircuts and she didn't want them to see what had happened.  It wasn't a terrible haircut, but it wasn't even in the same galaxy as the haircut I'd asked for.  I wasn't mad at all, but I think I was in shock.  I literally have no idea what to do to my head now.  It's not even long enough to put in a ponytail, and it's too short to pin back.  It also has the habit of sticking out the absolute wrong way on the right. Sometimes it's big and fluffy, and sometimes it is flat, and no matter what I do to it, it doesn't feel like my own head.  It's very strange. People tell me it looks nice, but I can't tell if they're just being kind.  At least I have a lot of hats.

3) I'm losing my mind, you guys.  Last night I put a pot of water on the stove to boil so that I could make oatmeal for the next morning.  I turned on the stove, walked out of the room, and completely forgot I'd done it.  It wasn't until I smelled something hot (I can smell everything) and walked back into the kitchen that I remembered what I'd been doing. It actually scared me!  If my X-Man mutant smelling powers hadn't kicked in, I might have destroyed the kitchen.  I also sent a text message that was supposed to go to Steve, it was about some clothes I'd left in the car, but instead I clicked on the name of our youth minister.  His wife happened to see the message and asked me why I was leaving clothes in her husband's car and it got very weird, very fast.  Now I'm paranoid about sending text messages to the wrong people, because as I told my dear friend, I like my eccentricities to be localized. I don't need randoms knowing my quirks. I also forgot to hang up the house phone yesterday and just left it on,  face down on my desk without hitting the "end" button.  People tried to call us.  I guess I was just getting it confused with my cell phone.  I feel like I'm going insane.  I know I'm scatterbrained, but this is getting out of hand.  It's because I'm an old woman now, I bet.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

HEART TO HEART

I was sick for a month and a half, but didn't know it!

Well, actually, I knew I didn't feel well, but I didn't know just how sick I was for weeks.  I'd gone to the doctor two days before Christmas and had to get shots and antibiotics because of my lungs.  The doctor never told me what was wrong.  I assumed it was a respiratory infection, but it wasn't terrible so I wasn't worried.  We went on our short vacation and I felt ok, so I figured I was over it, but apparently I wasn't.  In my posts about the Nutrisystem program we did, I talked a lot about how tired and weak I felt.  I still believe it's not a great program to be on, and I still believe the lack of food caused some of it, but I believe now that one of my main problems was that I had walking pneumonia again. I honestly had no idea because I wasn't coughing or anything.  I'm almost embarrassed to tell you how I found out I had pneumonia, but since we're friends here, I'll explain.

Let me preface my story with this: I'm not a hypochondriac. I hate going to the doctor and being on medication isn't fun.  I may complain about not feeling well, and I might whine if something hurts, but I don't spend a whole lot of time believing I've got some kind of incurable disease.  The only thing, health wise, that scares me stupid is that something might be wrong with my heart.  We all know I'm paranoid about my heart just...fritzing out.  After what happened to my dad, I worry about that sort of thing.  He'd never had heart problems until the day he had his heart attack and died, and my heart frequently does strange things, so I'm pretty sure my fears aren't unfounded.

Anyway.

Sunday morning, about a week after the diet debacle, I was sitting in church listening to a woman talk about her husband, who had just survived a massive, damaging heart attack.  Like, the kind of heart attack that killed some of the muscle in his heart.  It was scary, and the story spooked me.  It probably wouldn't have bothered me so much if I hadn't been having chest pains all morning and my left arm hadn't gone numb.  I'm not kidding.  I'd been sitting there trying to convince myself that I was fine, that I'd be in a lot more pain and distress if it was my heart (as I've learned to do), but it didn't work.  Against all attempts to keep calm, I went into one of the most insanely intense anxiety attacks I've had up to that point.  If you don't get anxiety attacks, let me explain something: This isn't just being nervous about something.  It isn't having a "bad feeling" that won't go away, this is an all over, absolute conviction something is wrong and it doesn't matter if you try and think rationally, it doesn't work.  I can only assume that it's some kind of out-of-whack chemical thing in your brain that does it, but it's very real and completely terrifying.  I didn't say anything, though.  Well, at least not until after lunch.  I couldn't calm down or breathe, my chest was still hurting and my arm was still numb.  I just jumped into the car and went to the doc-in-the-box.  I think I still had a bit of rationality left in me because a) I didn't ask Steve to come with me, b) I didn't go straight to the emergency room, and c) I managed to calm myself down enough to sit quietly in the waiting room until I was called back. Once I got into the exam room, though, I was so scared that I started to cry. I told them my chest hurt and my arm was numb (it totally was) and that my dad had died of heart problems and that I was scared, which got me fast tracked into all kinds of tests and being hooked up to things.  I happened to mention that I was pretty sure I was having a panic attack - mainly to explain the crying - and that's where things got confusing.  The doctor said "yes, I believe you've been here complaining about chest pains before." I have, but I never thought it was my heart. I'd been there 3 times over a period of five years, maybe, and only a couple of times it was some kind of upper respiratory thing, so I'm not sure what she was talking about. Then the doctor asked if I was stressed and told me that being stressed would damage my heart, even if nothing was currently wrong with it.  The EKG was fine, thank heavens, but the other tests showed I had pneumonia, which explained the pain in my chest. Still have no idea about my arm, though.  Also, because I'd been sick and hadn't been slowing down or getting treatment, it apparently affected me mentally, which happened the last time I'd gotten pneumonia; panic attacks and all. It's all very strange and tangled up, but I understand it better now than I did.  At any rate, she gave me prescriptions for the usual stuff and told me she was also going to give me something to help keep me calm that I needed to take every day. Here is where I am still really confused.  As I said, she seemed to remember, or at least think she remembered, me coming into the clinic a lot about chest pains, but she also seemed to think I'd been in a constant state of panic every time I'd been there.  I thought that was strange, but who knows? Maybe she remembered me and thought I was over-reacting every time.  So she gives me a prescription for something that I thought was like Xanax, or at least some kind of tranquilizer, because she was so worried about my anxiety levels.  Once I found out my heart was fine, I felt so much better. I was shaken, but no where near as afraid as I'd been before, so I didn't take one of those mystery pills until the next day.  I figured that I needed to try it out and make sure it didn't put me to sleep, but it really didn't seem to do anything at all. In fact, it wasn't until I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I was dying that I even thought to look at what I'd taken.

Imagine being dead asleep and suddenly bolting up, fully awake and in such a state of panic that you literally jump out of bed running.  That's what happened to me.  It made the panic attack I'd had the day before look like a case of the hiccups.  I'd asked Steve to sleep in the living room because I knew I was contagious, but I ran in there and shook him awake and told him I needed to go to the ER, that something was wrong and I didn't feel right.  My skin was crawling and my heart was beating so hard that my hair shook.  This wasn't just Crazy Town stuff, this was full on terror.  It's hard to explain, but I thought my chest was going to explode.  If you've ever been startled, imagine that feeling of being startled not going away and only getting stronger.  I grabbed the BP cuff we have and put it on, (that might have been some Crazy Town stuff) and my blood pressure was up higher than it had ever been before in my life.  Steve was trying to calm me down (bless him, his brain was on straighter than my own) he told me I needed to be still and figure out what was wrong.  I wasn't in the mood to be rational, though, and I probably would have jumped into the car and taken myself to the ER (sans pants) had I not woken up enough to realize that I wasn't in pain and I could breathe. I also remembered that I had taken a pill I knew nothing about, which I immediately looked up online.  It hadn't been a tranquilizer at all.  That doctor had given me a prescription for an antidepressant!  What?!

I'm not a doctor, but I do know that you need to know a little bit more about a patient than "Has Occasional Anxiety Attacks" before you put them on antidepressants.  Don't get me wrong, the doctor I see in the Walk-In clinic is a great doctor, but I don't see her on a regular basis. I might go there once a year, if even that, and it's for things like sprained ankles that don't heal on their own, or sinus infections or whatever. Antidepressants are no joke. I've been on them before and they did bad things to me, but I have no idea what made her think that was the right thing to put me on. I am convinced she had me confused with another patient. So I spent the rest of the day trying to keep calm and not scratch my skin off.  My blood pressure eventually went down and in the process of reading about the pills, I found out I'm not the only one that they affected that way. Apparently, you're supposed to keep taking them and just deal with the violent panic attacks until the medicine itself eventually drains you of feeling.  I'm paraphrasing WebMD, of course, but still. Screw that noise.

At any rate, I took my medicine and got over the pneumonia, only to have it replaced by another respiratory infection, and folks, let me tell you, I can't wait to be able to breathe normally again. Sucking on a inhaler is no fun.   So that's the story about how I thought my heart was killing me, when in fact, it was my lungs.  I'd really like it if we had indicator lights on our bodies that tell us exactly which organ groups are giving us trouble.  It'd save me a lot of anxiety.

PS: This took me a long time to write and I can't remember why I went into such a lot of detail.  Sorry about that. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NUTRISYSTEM FAST 5 - CONCLUSION

**This was mostly written late last month, but I didn't finish it until recently. I have my reasons! Why do you have to be so judgy? Guh...

Before I ate lunch on Sunday afternoon, I got on the scale.  I was actually scared of weighing myself because if I hadn't lost anything, the whole week of miserable food and being hungry would have been a waste. A week of feeling tired and weak, and not being able to open bottles myself and not going to the gym because I didn't have the strength, and almost crying in target because I wanted a chicken finger and couldn't have it. Not to mention the weird lightheadedness and over bright lights I'd dealt with on a regular basis.  All of that would have been for nothing.  So I weighed, and the scale showed that I'd lost 4 pounds and 12 ounces.  I should have been thrilled.  I was glad, to be sure, but I was also pissed.  The program was a success, I lost some weight, but was it worth it?  Not really.

This program only claims to allow you to lose 5 pounds in a week, and I suppose if I'd been willing to follow through with it to the very bitter end, I technically I could have lost the last 4 ounces to reach the entire 5 pound mark.  I know this and I'm not complaining about it.  In fact, good for Nutrisystem for keeping their word!  However, after going through this process, I have to be honest: The provided food is not really good, I don't think the diet is balanced, and I'm not completely convinced that it's entirely healthy. I DO know it isn't sustainable at all, but more on that later.

Of course, I'm not a nutritionist, so I could be completely wrong about it not being healthy.  However, just what I learned while going to see a nutritionist, something about it seemed fundamentally wrong.  Your lunch, dinner and the two shakes are supposed to be eaten along with a serving of vegetables. Theoretically, you could have all those things and not be hungry, and you can also probably get most of your vitamins and such.  But there is no dairy, very few (if any) complex carbs, little to no sugar (either natural or processed, and believe it or not, you do still need some sugar from time to time) and tiny portion sizes.  I actually counted the calories, and if you take just what was in the box, on a average day, you were only given around 830 calories. If you were to add the vegetables, you might get another 150 to 200 calories.  Might.  Depending on which vegetables you chose and how (if) you cook them, you could have as few as only 30 calories added on.  Once I counted the substitutes and snacks that I'd personally had, every day I was barely over 1,000 calories.  While that might be great for losing weight, it is not good for either feeling well or healthy.  If you go to bed so hungry that you can't sleep, that's bad.  If you don't have any energy, and you don't have the strength to do normal things, much less exercise, that's also bad.  You might be losing weight, but you are probably missing something important that your body needs. I was taking a multivitamin and still felt like I was sick the whole week.  It could have just been me and how my body reacted with the program, but as far as I know I'm healthy and shouldn't have had any bad reactions to cutting back on food.

Here is where I get indignant.  The Nutrisystem 1 week program only claims to help you lose 5 pounds, and as far as I can tell, it's telling the truth.  If you eat their gross, not-quite-food-flavored-food in the miniscule amounts that they dole out to you on a daily basis during the week, you will lose weight.  I'm not going to deny that or say that they are falsely advertising.  Maybe if you can stand it and decide to keep on with the monthly Nutrisystem plan afterwards, you can lose more weight. Gobs of weight. Whole peoples worth of weight even.  But if you think for a second that doing this Fast 5 thing is going to help you lose weight in a sustainable way, you would be wrong. You know how I know this?  I'm writing this entry on Thursday morning, after stopping the program Sunday afternoon.  Between Monday and Wednesday, I'd already gained back 3 of the almost 5 pounds I lost. (EDIT: I gained back all the weight by the Sunday of that week.)  I haven't been gorging on junk food either.  Yes, I had a hamburger on Sunday night, and I finally got some Goldfish crackers on Monday, but 3 pounds in 3 days?  Unless I have some kind of weird metabolic disorder (which I'm pretty sure I don't) or I'm eating more than 3500 calories a day (which I KNOW I'm not) this shouldn't be happening.  This is a perfect example of what happens with the popular, restrictive diets where you have to leave whole sections of the food pyramid out of your diet.  You can not cut things out of your diet and expect to keep the weight off unless you never go back to eating regularly.  Restrictive diets, and by that I mean restrictive by the omission of something like sugar, carbs, whatever, are not long term solutions to losing weight.  Yes, you may lose some weight while you're on that diet, but going back to eating sugar, carbs, or whatever, will undo it all.  I'm not even talking about just eating junk, I'm talking about eating NORMALLY.  This Nutrisystem diet is not sustainable unless you decide to pay tons of money to continue on with their program, and even then, you'd have to reduce your calorie intake even further after a certain point or you'll stop losing weight.  You can exercise, of course, and that would make you lose weight, but if you're anything like me and you don't have the energy to work out after eating the provided food, you won't be doing yourself any good  because you wouldn't be able to work out in a useful way.

So, what did I learn through all this?  Well, number one, I guess, is that the Nutrisystem diet food is mostly gross.  That is my own personal opinion and I'm usually not that picky when it comes to food.  There were a few things I didn't mind eating, but for the most part, it was inedible.  Number two, you might lose some weight, but don't expect it to stay gone unless you decided to carry on with the regular, monthy program which is incredibly restrictive and, just FYI,  prohibitively expensive for most people.  Number three, I've realized that cutting things out of your diet isn't very useful in the long run.  Granted, yes, if you want to eat better, you have to change your diet, which might mean cutting out junk food/candy, but cutting out whole food groups or nutrients is bad.  You need sugar and you need carbs, and as long as you are eating the better kind of those things, you won't be missing anything.  Number four, you really shouldn't rely on programs like this if you really want to lose weight and be healthy.  Yes, the program is convenient, since you just pick up what you are supposed to eat that day instead of wondering what you will have to make, but convenience rarely equals quality.  Plan out your meals.  Make them ahead and freeze them or store them and then grab what you want.  This program is really not worth the convenience it affords.  Look, I'm not a health nut, and I'm nowhere near as healthy or thin or whatever as I could be, I know this, but going through this program has proven to me that losing weight the right way is far better than trying to do something like this.  You may not lose weight as fast, but you'll feel so much better in the long run.