Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pounds, Tests, Ribbons...

Some NQR and some QR...

Last week I lost 5 pounds, that's 13.5 total so far.  It is rough, but seeing results really helps.  I am no longer a grande muffin top, I'm more like a homemade muffin now.  Here is a photo I took for my photo-a-day challenge.  That days challenge was "how you feel" -- well, most definitely, lighter!  Sorry, but to show the weight loss I was unable to keep my head attached!  And I honestly can't get over the weight loss in my feet (really!), all my flip flops are flopping right off!

So..... last week I also went through a nuclear scan on my thyroid.  I have a 2 cm nodule on the right side of my thyroid..  The preparation for a nuclear scan was rough!  No, I didn't glow from the radioactive pill I took...  I was put on an iodine-free diet for 72 hours.  Let me tell you, there is iodine in a lot of foods, especially green vegetables.  With my no carb, no sugar diet I am eating mostly vegetables.  So for most of last week I was only eating egg whites, greek yogurt, cucumbers, and carrots -- rough!  So the scan is actually three visits over two days.  Finally on Friday my diet returned to normal -- I never thought I would be excited to add vegetables back into my diet.  I don't get the results until I see the doctor on the 23rd... I will surely keep you all informed.

Now on to the ribbons... LOVE hearing that word!
Last week was MQX-East (Machine Quilters Expo) in Providence, RI.  I was lucky enough to have "Wonderlust" accepted for the show.  I didn't place, which is fine, I am just soooooo happy to be included in such an awesome show!  I haven't yet been there in person, but it is on my list, really close to the top too!  So I sat reading the list of winners and congratulating everyone.  So many beautifully amazing quilts this year and that was just in the winner list.  I can't imagine how much fantastic beauty was hanging at the show.  See, like I said, happy to be included!

BUT, to make things even better.... Teri Lucas sent me a photo she took of my quilt - with a ribbon!  Yay, I had received a Teachers Ribbon.  Teacher Ribbons and Judges Choice are two of my most favorite ribbons.

I was beyond thrilled, until I realized I would have to wait until the show package came back (as MQX was shipping my quilt directly to MQS) to see who had awarded the ribbon.  Pffft... me wait, patiently?  In less than 4 hours it was driving me insane.  It was all I could think about, really!

Well, I managed to get through Monday, and on Tuesday, Margaret Solomon Gunn posted a picture of the back of my quilt while hanging at MQX.  This was great, I love that MQX hangs the quilts so that the really cool backs are visible.  Thanks Margaret, it is always great to see your quilt hanging at a show, but now it stirred up the wondering all over again... (hehe, and you all are probably wondering how "Wonderlust" was named.... I wonder, one of my most famous sayings).

Who... who had awarded "Wonderlust" a ribbon?  Not like knowing would change the world, just calm my mind.  So I waited, again.  Me waiting translates into me driving my entire household and half of my speed dials insane... it is not pretty.

This morning I sign on facebook and have a notification from Teri.  It tells me that I should really read her blog today.  Which, of course, I would have, but now I am super-curious.  I started reading before I even sipped my coffee.  Yippee!!!!  It was Teri, she picked my quilt as her favorite -- and she picked it from the back, OMG... !!!  You can read all about it here, on her blog.  So now my mind has calmed and I can go on with my day...

Happy Day quilty peeps!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Weight Loss - Week 1

The first week has gone by, they say that it is the hardest.  I tend to not think so.  I am so full of hope and excitement during the first week, it is usually during the second and third week that I tend to falter.  But, still being the little optimist-that-can, I won't even entertain those thoughts!

Big news... I am down 8.5 pounds.  Crazy right?  But, when I think about the amount of carbs and sugars I was eating I'd have to expect that there would be significant weight loss once I removed them, and there was!  I know I can't expect these results every week, but I am thrilled with my first week!

I am also amazed that I survived this week.  My dog, Mabel, also had life changing events.  She is now diabetic and started insulin the same day I started my diet.  So while I'm eating every 2-2.5 hours, she is drinking water (every hour) and then going for a potty walk (every hour) and getting shots twice a day (glad both me and her are okay with that).  It's pretty much insane here, I haven't gotten much of anything done other than food prep and potty walks.  My front door reminds me of a clown car at the circus -- in and out, around and around.  I guess it is a good thing I work from home.  Well, usually work.

Between all the food prep and potty walks I did managed to squeeze out one little project this week.  I'm sorry but I can't share it just yet, but I will, no worries.  Oh, and I did manage to press, starch, restarch, and cut into strips about 5 yards of fabric for a kaleidoscope class I'm taking.  Now I just need to sew ten sets of strata before tomorrow morning!  That and get my tushy back in gear on customer work.

More soon... have a wonderful week quilties!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Weight, lumps, and hormones...

With that title I'm sure you realize this post is not quilting related (NQR).

Let me start a little over three years ago.  I was a smoker, a very heavy smoker, so was my husband.  On March 26, 2009 we woke up and became non-smokers.  It was rough, very rough, we rediscovered our taste buds -- wow, we were missing some really good foods over the past twenty-some years.  All that food was great, but... yep, with every bite I was putting on weight.  I know, I was told to expect 10 or 15 pounds, I was prepared -- it had to be better than smoking, right?  Well, if you don't already know, I am an over-achiever... I didn't stop at 10, 15, or even 20... over the past three years I have put on over 60 pounds, 68 to be exact!  That's a lot of weight!   It was progressive continual weight gain of about 1-3 pounds per month, way beyond any quitting smoking poundage.  I'd do weight watchers, walk on the treadmill, run on the elliptical and maybe lose a pound over the course of a month.  Something was NOT right.  In the meantime I developed this strange lump in my throat/neck.  It made me cough every so often, then it started making me choke every so often, then... all the time, coughing, gagging, choking, sleep was almost not existent.

So last week I went to the doctor.

He ordered a plethora of blood work, as I am also peri-menopausal, depressed, have lower self-confidence than normal, etc. and also ordered an ultrasound of my neck as we are pretty sure it is a thyroid issue.  Great news, we can fix all of this!  The doctor explained to me that he can balance all my hormones to their proper levels and correct the thyroid issue and I may drop 5-10 pounds, BUT (damn that dreaded but), the rest of the weight is all mine until I lose it.  Lose, what a word, I lose my keys, I lose my grocery list, weight - I know exactly where it is!  In other words, I must get rid of it.

So... here comes Monday.  I started (as suggested by my doctor) a NO carb NO sugar LEAN protein diet.  Hello, my name is Karen, I am a carb/sugar addict.  Do you know how hard it is to find NO carb recipes... very hard, you need to look in Mother Nature's recipe book, because they are called vegetables!   Now this diet isn't permanent, the doctor is trying to shock my system because right now it is storing everything I eat.  But, it is also a serious change for me... I love bread.  I love whole milk.  No breads, okay, got it, I'll adjust.  My milk choices are skim (ewwwwww) or unsweetened Almond Milk (okay not too bad).  None of this matters -- I MUST LOSE WEIGHT!

Here's a picture of me a few days after I quit smoking.  My Mom, so proud of my accomplishment, treated me to highlights and a new haircut.  I was at a good weight -- not high school skinny, but normal, no double (triple) chin, healthy cheeks, normal upper arms, no inner tube belly, not even a muffin top (you can't see, but I know)...

Here is me now (ugh, in all my unedited glory).  But hey, that's what I really look like, well, what 68 extra pounds looks like.

So, here begins my journey of weight loss, hormone balancing, and thyroid corrections.  Have fun sharing it with me, along with all my ups and downs, mishaps, goofies, and crankies!  Oh, and by the way, I wasn't supposed to weight myself til Monday (1 full week), but this morning I peeked -- three pounds in less than 3 days.  I am keeping totally optimistic knowing I have no other choice!