Sorry I’m late. But the result is from a June 1st weigh-in.
The past couple of months have been a dietary disaster. I didn’t think that state of the world was having that much of an impact on me, but I guess it was. With hindsight, how could it not. In any case, I just didn’t realize the extent to which I was stress-eating because of all that’s going on. Until I stepped on the scale the first of the month. Wow!
One thing about the news over the past day or two … and it’s a positive thing finally … is that humanity seems to be showing signs of making a comeback. Is there a glimmer of hope to be found in little outbreaks of kindness that we’re seeing these past few days?
We can but hope. No idea how this month will go, from a human perspective or with my weight loss, but I’ll try to fess up on time next month. Meanwhile, I’m going back to figuring out how to contribute something positive.
So far, I still haven’t smoked during the month of April. No doubt, for me, fear of COVID-19 was a contributing motivation to quit. I’m not delusional enough to think that a few weeks of being smoke-free is going to counteract a lifetime of abusing my lungs but hey, quitting can’t hurt & every little helps, right? And if I find myself without income during these turbulent times, it will certainly help if I’m not financing a smoking addiction too. That said, I know I’ll always be a smoker. Long term abstention is the best I can hope for. Even right now, writing about it, I’d kill for a smoke with my cup of coffee! 😁
A COVID-19 article in yesterday’s New York Times (article link) really caught my attention. SpO2? A pulse oximeter? What’s that & who’s got one of them?
I do! Or at least I had … until an update took it away!
I’m a big Samsung phone fan & I also love the Samsung Health app. Doesn’t every obese smoker want to know how screwed up he is!?! Along with monitoring heart rate, steps, & my lack of exercise (😜), my Samsung Note devices have a built-in pulse oximeter. That sensor used to measure my oxygen saturation & that is what the New York Times article is talking about. Unfortunately, some time back, the function vanished. I don’t know why but a new version of the Samsung Health app overwrote the old & the ability to measure oxygen saturation was gone.
Yesterday, after reading that article, I knew I needed it back. And at the risk of giving my phone a dose of a digital virus, I downloaded an older version of the Samsung Health app from a 3rd party website & I’m now measuring my SpO2 levels on my Samsung Note again. Woohoo!
The pic above shows my current O2 level & that number looks pretty good, well into the green zone. After only 3 weeks of not smoking, my heart rate is down & my oxygen saturation is better than my old “normal”. I’m a lifelong data gatherer. I’m not all that scientific with most of it, I just like to know where things are at, typically, & as a baseline. That way I can see when things are running adrift. If Dr. Levitan is right, this simple little tool on my phone might help me to decide when to call that emergency COVID-19 number to schedule a test. I sometimes worry whether I should, or should not, call to see if I need to get tested. Normally, I try to stay away for the doctor’s office & I run the risk of doing that for too long. Now, if my SpO2 numbers go lower than I’ve historically seen them, even when smoking, I think I’ll be motivated to make the call. I will be keeping my eyes open for further insights on what constitutes a low oxygen saturation number with respect to COVID-19.
Of course, this isn’t the only symptom we need to pay attention to. But monitoring oxygen saturation levels might be one more factor behind getting some of those more stubborn individuals in your life to see their doctor in a timely manner. And it might be useful data to share with your physician. It is just one more tool in our COVID-19 Toolbox.
I don’t want anyone to ruin their phone by going back to an old version of the Samsung Health app from a 3rd party website so please be careful & do your research before you decide to take that route. As an alternative, you can also buy the little finger pulse oximeter gadgets online & at your local drugstores & healthcare outlets. They are relatively inexpensive & they may help you establish a baseline for everyone in your household. No sharing outside the home would be recommended, I’m guessing! Should those baseline numbers change, you’ll know you’re doing the right thing when you call the doctor’s office. Or when you make the call on behalf of that stubborn member of your household!
Just to finish off on a dietary note … how’s that whole weight-loss thing going anyway? Especially now that I’m not smoking since the beginning of the month?
In a word … brutal! LOL
Needless to say, not having the opportunity to stuff a cigarette into my face twenty or more times a day, I’m stuffing all sorts of other things into my mouth instead. I’m like an eating machine & the scale is giving out a loud shriek every morning when I crush it! And to make matters worse, I read a few reports on obesity being a big contributing factor to some folk not fending off the bug well.
Oh well, one thing at a time. And we’ll see what the official weight damage is on the first of May!
Stay safe, all!
PS … if any of you learn anything more about the oxygen saturation thing, as it relates to COVID-19, please let me know.
Lying on a beach, under the shade of a palm tree, cold one within reach … now that’s calm-inducing, stress-alleviating & the best kind of meditation, & medication, I can think of. Can’t do that, in Canada, during the Canadian winter, without some serious risk of frostbite!
But there must be an app for that, right?
I tried a few meditation apps & they just didn’t work for me. Worse, I actually found them stressful to listen to. First one I tried starts out counting a breath in on one, out on two, in on three & then this soothing voice tells me to carry on doing that up to twenty. On my own! Is she kidding me or what? Am I going at the right pace? Maybe she counts more quickly than I do? Will I get all my breaths in before she’s back with the next activity? What if she’s slower? Do I have to hold my breath ’til she catches up? OMG, I’m hyperventilating, this is driving me nuts!
I was a trembling wreck by the time I got to twenty. Enough of that nonsense, let’s try another one.
This time it’s a guy. Great voice. Calm, soothing, very relaxed & reassuring. We’re going to do this body thing, a routine that goes from the head to the toes. With some pretty peculiar internal organ stops along the way, I might add! But this turns out to be even more excruciating. First, he tells me to get comfortable & relax. Next he’s telling me it’s okay to move uncomfortable body parts. Pick one for cryin’ out loud! I know it’s really not okay though, & I’m just screwing up, am I not? And he’s just saying all that to make me feel better about it. Right out of the gate, he knows that I’m no Zen master & that I’ll almost certainly have to move. Maybe even all the time. That’s exactly what I did, of course. I just kept squirming. And I hated every second of that little medication exercise. Next!
Then I tried this one with an irritating little bell chime thing. I’m sure if you had a real bell, while sitting cross-legged in the Himalayas, it would work far better. You know what I mean, you’d have the right atmosphere for meditation all the way up there. With the monks & robes & whatnot. But the mind-numbing consistency of a mathematically accurate & repeatable digital ding just did my head in.
I know, I know … I’m probably doing it incorrectly. I know I should probably chill out & just try it again. But my heart rate is up, I’m sure my blood pressure is too, so I’m going to resort to something I have more practice with. Something I know works.
A slice of deep dish cheesecake. With a big blob of whipped cream.
And afterwards, when I’m cheesecake-calm, maybe I’ll try that meditation thing with the sound of the waves lapping on the beach. 😜😁
PS … Happy International Women’s Day to all the ladies out there. And to the National ladies too! 🤪😁
Is this a diet that is beginning to fail or do I have a good excuse for such a modest loss in this, the 5th month of the program?
I’m going to claim that I’ve got a good excuse! And I will use that same excuse for being almost two weeks late in posting my weight loss for the previous month. I think I’ve just come through the most harrowing couple of months of my life. I’m not talking the extreme stress that might be the consequence of the loss of a loved one here. Nor am I talking financial ruin, nor any major health issue. What I am talking about is taking one of those life-changing decisions that saw me pick up all the dominoes & just toss them in the air!
In a nutshell, we decided to move to the coast. At the 11th hour, following a vacation, we changed direction & switched coasts! Our house sold quickly. With a short closing. And the maelstrom began. I won’t bore you with all the details but let me share one anecdote from the adventure that that typifies how totally upended our lives have become. En route to our new destination, we left our hotel room to eat. When we returned, the cat was missing! We were stressed enough already, this was just too much. Had housekeeping opened the door to let our moggie escape? After half an hour of searching the room, wandering the lobby and corridors of the hotel, we finally discovered our missing pet. She had, somehow, found a hole in the fabric of the box-spring and made her way inside the box-spring base of the bed!
Amid all the turmoil of fast-closing houses, finding a replacement home with a short closing was a huge challenge. Scheduling movers, cancelling services, signing up for new services, & all the stuff of moving are challenging at the best of times. Doing all that over long distances more so. Having to do everything under the pressure of such short, & tight, deadlines gave me an enduring dose of stress the like of which I had not experienced before. And it’s not over yet.
Needless to say, eating well ceased being a priority. And yes, I’ve eaten all the bad stuff you could imagine over the course of the past six weeks. I’ve had fish ‘n’ chips, Chinese take-out, & I’ve even eaten pizza, bread base & all. I’ve munched cookies & sucked on sweets to keep me alert as I’ve driven through snow storms. I’ve fallen down so many times that I can barely recognize which way is up any more. Mea culpa.
On the bright side, since I started this whole exercise, I have learned a lot about what & how I should be eating. And I seem to have developed a penchant for doing the right thing. Even under such pressure, I have a noticeable bias towards making better food choices. While bread is so easy to eat on the road, I veered towards better eating following every bread binge. While the sugar fixes kept me going on long drives, I tended to avoid sugar the following day. The upshot of it all is that I was down two pounds in a month of some serious stress, some serious dietary abuse, along with a total lack of routine & familiar surroundings.
All in all, given the circumstances, I’d say that my two-pound loss wasn’t all bad for that particular month.
Now, in advance, I’m trying to come up with an excuse for this month’s possibly disastrous outcome! And if our new appliances aren’t delivered before Christmas, it might be a turkey sandwich picnic on the beach for Christmas dinner! 🙂
PS … I carried the scale with me on the drive to our new home. The weight recorded is the weight on December 1st. My intentions were good!
And I’m now a little less huge after 4 months of this DIY hybrid diet!
Only avid students of diet might understand how big this is but let me see if I can explain.
This past month, the 4th month of my weight loss attempt, probably qualifies as one of my top 10 more stressful months. The physiological response to stress inhibits weight loss. And as most overweight people can attest, one of our typical responses to stress is to seek comfort in food. And I did that. I lost weight while under a burden of stress, and I was stress-eating. But I still lost some weight. If I wasn’t so stressed, this would be cause for great jubilation and celebration. Instead, this morning, I am simply grateful.
The other big thing about this is that I lost weight in the 4th month of a diet. Many of my previous weight loss efforts resulted in a plateau far earlier in the attempt. More often than not, the first plateau hits after about two months. Many times, this is justification for bailing on the diet. On those fewer occasions where I successfully made it past the 2 month mark, there is less doubt that a stall would have occurred in the 3rd month. And it was pretty much guaranteed to have happened by the 4th month. But not this time. And I’m not being cocky here, quite the contrary, I’m now stressed about when that stall will finally happen!
My regular reader might attribute this month’s loss to that 4 day fast I did during the 2nd week of the month, but that’s not the case. Whether it was stress, or a reaction to the extended fast, I pretty much binged ’til I regained almost all the losses resulting from that fast. And I then spent the rest of the month getting to this morning’s weight. Which is still slightly above my post-fast weight. I’m not discounting the value of an extended fast for weight loss. But I think I’ll wait for a more serene month before attempting another!
I should also disclose that I didn’t eat particularly well this month. There were more French fry days than I would have liked. I was adding more chocolate, much of it not the dark stuff, to my home made ice cream. And there were more ice cream days than a better planned month might have had. My body was screaming out for something green and I think I had my first salad of the month yesterday! Looking for the positives in all this chaos, the program seems pretty robust. If I can lose weight during times like this, while eating that poorly, this might be a good diet for me. Real life carries on, regardless of our weight loss goals. And we need a diet that can handle real life.
I’m not taking it to the bank yet though, who knows what pitfalls lie ahead. I’m expecting November to match the past month for having to worry about things. Hopefully, some solutions will fall into to place and all will turn out well. But if not, I hope the diet continues to do its thing for the next month regardless.
Wish me luck!
Speaking of luck & diet … I don’t think I’ll go Trick-or-Treating tonight! 🙂