Archive | October 2019

Daily Bread #82


Despite the power being out for 3+ days, I managed to eat fairly healthy meals as we cleaned out the fridge and freezer to save as much of the food as we could.  This was last night’s dinner – shrimp w/hot sauce and sesame oil, beets, and Brussels sprouts.  I had to boil the beets and steam the sprouts rather than roasting them like I prefer. We have a gas stove, but the oven is electric.

The house was freezing so I probably burned some extra calories just keeping warm.  Although my knee still hurts and I missed being able to ice it after exercise, I have been able to take long walks again, mainly in the morning when the smoke from the fires just to the north of us has been a little less.

It has been a dramatic and traumatic week, the kind of week where it would be really easy to get off-track, both with eating and with exercising my knee so that it keeps improving.  I am happy to say that I think I did very well.  At least I did not lose any ground in either area.

Another impact of the fires and power outages was that the facilitator could not make it to the 5 PM meeting tonight, so the meeting was cancelled.  Unfortunately, I did not learn that until I had driven there.  No worries, in the scheme of all that is happening, it was only a minor irritation.  I hope everyone is doing OK.  It hasn’t been a good week for California, but people helped each other as best they could to get through it.

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 44826 steps last week for 18.8 miles.  I ate approximately 9457 calories and burned 14030 for a deficit of 4573. My average weight this week is down .2 pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 149.


Daily Bread #81


This week at the knee class, I remembered to snap a pic.  It isn’t as fancy as the one I found a picture of on-line last week, but it does the job.  I lost 2 degrees on my knee bending, down to 128 instead of 130, but no worries as 120 is the goal and I took it a bit easier on some of the exercises the last few days because I have apparently strained my adductor muscle.  The physical therapist couldn’t figure out quite how I did it, but he worked on it for awhile with massage and said to not do anything that makes that muscle hurt.  It too will heal.

I am completely off the oxycodone now and drove myself for the first time on Tuesday.  Freedom of the road – even if it was only 2 freeway exits from my house and it felt great.  Since the surgery was on my left leg and we have an automatic, it was easy.  My pain level is back up without the drugs, but it is tolerable.  I see the doctor later in week and hope to be able to start using naproxen again rather than Tylenol.

I also did a walk – outside – without even cane!


It has been a very long time since I have taken a walk without using a cane.  It is a little scary, but is also quite wonderful.

As hard as it has been, I am amazed at my progress after the surgery.   Even more incredible is how I have continued to lose weight during this time, even without putting much effort in.  Until this week, my exercise has been very minimal, so my “calories out” have been low.  But without the long walks and other exercise, I haven’t been as hungry so haven’t really needed as many “calories in.”  Keeping track of both my exercise and food intake helps my brain and body communicate with each other.  I understand the signals better.  A few nights this week, while weaning myself off the pain meds, I didn’t sleep well at all. During the days after those lousy nights, I felt hungry, but it wasn’t food I needed, it was energy.  Naps were in order.

Since I am now able to drive, I was able to attend the group this week.  It was good to see people!  The quote of the day was, “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” (Laurie Buchanan).  I liked it, although not everything is within our power to change, but like in the serenity prayer, that is where wisdom needs to come into the equation.

Speaking of math, I have decided to choose to change how I record my weight statistics in this blog.  The Kaiser meetings are on Wednesdays which are the official “weigh-in days).  I also weigh myself each morning at home, the results of which go into my Fitbit app which also calculates my average weight for each week.  The Fitbit (and Lose-it) weeks are Monday-Sunday, so it is making less sense to use the Wednesday weigh in number.  So as of this week, I am going to use the average Fitbit number instead. It will be more accurate in the long run I think, as an average evens out minor fluctuations and it will also match my calorie-in, calorie-out, weeks, which will let me know how accurately I am estimating some of my calorie intake.

Even with the kaiser numbers, I lost 6.6 pounds in the 6 weeks since my surgery.  Not too bad. It helped that I couldn’t have any alcohol with the medications.  Once I can switch from Tylenol to naproxen I will have at east one martini!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: I am still drinking about 96 ounces of water most days.  My Fitbit report shows 35723 steps last week for 15 miles.  I ate approximately 9289 calories and burned 13307 for a deficit of 4018. I am down .2 pounds for a total loss of 148.8.

Daily Bread #80


I forgot to snap a pic of the actual knee class I went to this week, but it was in an actual gym at the medical center which looked kind of like this one. For an hour, under the guidance of a physical therapist, I worked on knee strengthening exercises along with 6 or so other people also recovering from knee surgery.  We used a knee press, a leg lift machine, stepped up and down off of wooden blocks, and rode an exercise bike.  I focused mainly on the other equipment as I have a bike at home.  I was definitely tired afterward, but was quite proud as my surgery was more recent than anyone else and my flexibility (both straightening and bending) was the best of the group there that day.  I can bend my knee 130 degrees and can get my leg perfectly straight – zero degrees.   (My leg may be the only thing straight about me!) All the work before and after surgery is paying off.  I no longer need a cane at home and my pain is improving even as I am decreasing the pain meds.

Other victories:  I no longer need help in the shower or with dressing, I am also able to cook meals that don’t require a lot of standing.  I know I will be back to walking the neighborhood before very long at all – we did a short almost loop yesterday.  My Fitbit shows that my steps, miles, cardio minutes, and calorie burn are all dramatically up from last week.  I expect to be off of all of the pain meds except Tylenol in just a few days.  My knee still hurts, but I want to be able to drive.  After weeks of being so dependent, the freedom and power to do things for myself is very important to me.  Self-determination, agency, is what I crave, but I would not call it self-reliance as I know how much I will always need the support of others.  My friends and family cheering me on during the recovery process (just like they have on my weight loss journey) has really made it all a lot easier.

My support system has proved the grist, but the grit I suppose is my own.  I do know that success in meeting one challenge can help make other challenges feel more attainable.  I am seeing the rewards.  Hard work can pay off.  Luck and grace also never hurt.

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: I am drinking about 96 ounces of water most days.  My Fitbit report shows 27165 steps last week for 11.4 miles.  I ate approximately 9415 calories and burned 12848 for a deficit of 3433. I am down 4.2 pounds for a total loss of 148.6.


I am a preacher by trade

I believe in the Word

Whispered or shouted

Depending on whether

A still small voice

Or a loud proclamation

Will serve the Good better.

If you have ears,

Give me a listen

Reading my lips is also just fine.

I’ll use the mic too,

If I can find it

Up where the tall people live.





Daily Bread #79


I am back up on the horse.  Um, back up on the bike.  It was really rough for a few weeks after my knee replacement surgery, but now, a full month later, I definitely feel like I am on the mend.

I was able to bend my knee 129 degrees last week, only 3 weeks post surgery.  The end of rehab goal is 120 degrees so I am already there.  My home physical therapist was amazed and impressed with my progress, particularly because I had a very hard first week with 3 E/R visits and passing out twice.  I am now using a cane rather than a walker and am starting to wean myself off of the heavy-duty pain pills.  I even go on the exercise bike 15-20 minutes a day in addition to the 6 specific physical therapy exercises that I do 3 times each day.  My life is awfully routine.  Wake up, eat, take pain medications, exercise, ice and elevate, a little time on the computer, repeat and repeat again.  Read for awhile, maybe watch a little TV, and then bedtime.  I also find time to take a shower each day, mainly around when Anne is how to make sure still I don’t fall – or I guess so she can call the paramedics if I do.

It all feels so much better, though.  I have turned my Fitbit hourly movement reminders back on, and try get the 250 steps per hour in for 10 hours of each day. I still have some significant pain, especially after doing the exercises, but it is becoming more manageable. I am also now doing out-patient physical therapy, including being scheduled for a “knee class” which involves using gym type machines to strengthen my leg muscles.

I really miss the weekly group meetings and hope to get back in another couple of weeks when I can drive again.  On-going support and accountability partners are so important to this lifestyle change.

I am back to what feels like easy losing.  My exercise is increasing and I have been keeping my calorie intake to a reasonable level.  I am not feeling hungry, but look forward to when I am burning more calories each day and am off the pain pills.  Then I can indulge in an occasional martini again. I really miss the olives!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: I am drinking about 96 ounces of water most days.  My Fitbit report shows 6634 steps last week for less than 3 miles.  I ate approximately 8827 calories and burned 10752 for a deficit of 1925. I am down 2.24 pounds for a total loss of 144.4.


Daily Bread #78


It finally feels like I am recovering.  It has been 3 full weeks since my knee replacement.  They keep saying it is major surgery, and I am not disagreeing.  I still have a lot of pain, but I am even beginning to think it might be close to the time when I can start tapering off the narcotics.  I asked when I can start taking ibuprofen again, rather than Tylenol.   Tylenol has never provided sufficient pain relief for me.  They said 6 weeks after the surgery. Everything is 6 weeks it seems, including being able to drive.  I will be practicing patience in the meantime, which is not my strongest attribute.

I tried walking with a cane rather than a walker, under the supervision of my physical therapist.  Scary, but I did OK.  The fear of falling is real, but I am (slowly) getting my balance back.  The knee bending exercises are going very well.  I am almost at the 115 degrees they want after 6 weeks and it has only been three. I may be pushing too hard, which of course increases the pain level,

My weight is now down to my pre-surgery number.  It helps that my surgical leg is no longer swollen to twice the size of my other one.  I am still recording what I eat, but not stressing about it.

As I get better, I am getting grumpier about all the things I still can’t do.  Like I said, patience is tough.  I can only hope Anne has more patience with me than I have with myself. We went for a drive this afternoon, and it felt good to get out of the house, even if I did not get out of the car until we got back home.

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: I am drinking about 96 ounces of water most days.  My Fitbit report shows 5600 steps last week for less than 3 miles.  I ate approximately 9219 calories and burned 11068 for a deficit of 1849. I am down 3.4 pounds for a total loss of 142.2.