Friday, January 18, 2013

Six more weeks!!!

Six more weeks.  It will be spring, maybe.  (You never know in Wisconsin). We will be getting close to Easter. There will be warmer breezes, and maybe even a few tulips braving the cold to give us hope that spring is just around the corner. I really don't mind winter. I actually love staying home on a really cold, snowy day, with the fire going and a big pot of soup or chili simmering.  And sewing.

Another thing that will have to happen in six more weeks is a new blood test.  I got back my results from my lipid panel yesterday, and all I can say is Rats!!! Darn it!!!!  It wasn't pretty.  I knew it was a little high, as it has been the past few years, but I felt that was due to the extra weight.  Last year it was 230, but now it came in at 251. Yikes.  And I have actually lost a few pounds over the last year.  I would love to post nothing but happy, wonderful things about my happy, wonderful life all the time, but as we all know, everyone has challenges and difficulties.  I will never pretend to be anything but who I am. This is just a little, teeny, tiny, dark cloud on my horizon.  But that's ok, I'll turn this  negative into a positive. . . and perhaps inspire someone else to take a second look at their lifestyle.  

I am one of those people who is always waiting  to lose those last ten or twenty pounds.  "Once I lose my weight I'll feel better.  I will finally be able to fit in all those clothes I have been saving. I'll feel like exercising more because I will be lighter and stronger and won't feel so blah."  The list goes on and on.  Always starting the next Monday with a new resolve to be healthier.  I truly did believe I would somehow lose those dreaded pounds. Now it looks like I really have to, or go on a medication.  Oh, I know, I know, tons of people are on meds for high cholesterol - including my mom.  I also know that with every med you take there are potential side effects, and I would rather not take a medicine if I don't have to.  Of course, if I need it, I'll take it. I need thryoid meds so I take them.  When I have my every-other-month ear or sinus infection, I take antibiotics. Simple.  
I have never had a weight issue, except when pregnant.  With the first pregnancy I stopped weighing a week before giving birth and I had already gained 51 pounds. I was literally eating for two - two adults that is! The second baby was just 20 months later so I didn't gain quite as much, probably due to running around after baby #1. The third baby, 2-1/2 years after that, well, I think I only gained about 32 pounds. Finally, 4 years later with baby #4, I only gained 26 pounds and looked like one of those cute pregnant women who only gained weight in the front.  It was great.  Hardly any weight to lose after the baby, and nursing took care of that little bit! Gosh, I was pregnant for about 8 years! It was well worth it though.

Years later, my doctor put me on Paxil.  I have struggled with anxiety issues all my life I suspect. I think my dad and grandma also did, so some of it is probably genetic.  I imagine having 4 kids in 8 years, although wonderful, contributed a little bit of stress. 

I actually wanted about 6 or 8 kids. 
I wanted to be one of those women who lived on a farm out in the country and survive year round with food from my bountiful gardens, canning and freezing the surplus for winter, making my own bread, raising chickens for my own eggs. I would hang clothes on the line, cook from scratch, make handmade quilts and dolls and clothing for my children, create handmade gifts for Christmas and birthdays.  Maybe I'm just a little crazy. I guess I shouldn't have watched so much Little House on The Prairie.

I also was not in a happy marraige, and I guess the combination of everything just set the stage for anxiety problems.   I did get to have four wonderful kids, and actually did spend my life crafting and creating and hanging clothes on the line.  I still make homemade bread and jam and eat from my garden.  I finally was able to have chickens!  I never did get the sheep to spin my own wool.  

So, now what?  Well, since I don't want to go on another drug, I will take matters into my own hands. I will give myself 6 weeks to try to bring the number down.  If I can't do it - well then I guess I will have to go on the meds. Honestly, if I was going to go on anything I would go on something for the anxiety, but I continue to struggle with it and try to find ways to handle it that don't require meds.  I think I am more afraid of getting off a med than being on it.  I don't want to be addicted and have to have something. Going off the Paxil was absolutely horrible for me.

I don't think I have a lot of weight to lose, but I am definitely heavier than I was.  I was very thin at times. I wasn't trying to be thin, I was just such a busy little thing I didn't sit still for long.  Here I am at my normal thin weight when I first married John, in 1998. I weighed 117.

I went on Paxil for the anxiety, and within a few years I was up to 189.  Wow.  I just calculated it to be 72 pounds. Yikes.  Here I am with my HaileyBelle at my highest weight. Looking at this picture it is hard to believe I gained that much, but I know I did.  And I felt absolutely awful, both physically and emotionally.  After being told I was now diabetic, my cholesterol was up, and all my joints were complaining carrying the extra weight, as well as having stomach issues and asthma, I made the decision to get off Paxil. The doctors and drug companies claimed Paxil did NOT cause weight gain, but clearly, for me it did. All I wanted to do was eat, and any efforts to lose weight were unsuccessful. 

Fast forward to today.  I weigh 145 right now, down 44 pounds from my all time high. I definitely could lose a little weight.  I don't care to be runway model thin, or hate the way I look.  I look alright.   I just can't wear some of the cute clothes I used to wear because I don't like the muffin top hanging over.  I also have Dunlap disease.  Have you heard of it?  That's when your belly done lapped over your pants!   Sorry, I couldn't resist. :) This picture was the party after Baby Ellie's baptism last month.

Starting today, I am going to eat a much healthier diet, and am searching for natural ways to reduce cholesterol. I have found a few I can incorporate right away. Cinnamon is supposed to bring down your cholesterol.  Of course I wonder what putting it on toast with lots of butter and sugar will do? Just kidding. :)  I'll put it in oatmeal, another good thing to eat to reduce cholesterol.  I'll try to eat the right foods and cut down on red meats and baked goods.  I will  exercise daily. A friend of mine went to a nutritionist who recommended red yeast  rice as a supplement instead of regular meds and she DID INDEED bring down her cholesterol. My only challenge is that whole grains, raw fruits and veggies, and fiber do not agree with my stomach, so it is going to be a bit tricky to find the right foods I can tolerate.  Even an apple can put me in misery, but maybe just eating a little at a time and gradually  increasing might work.

So here I go, and I am bringing you all along for the ride. If you want to get off that's quite alright, I would totally understand.  I am truly hoping that I can do this. I am also hoping that some of you out there might get your cholesterol checked, because you just never know what you might find out. I was really unaware of how high my levels were. You know the expression, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Well, I would like to prevent any further health problems.

 Do you want to hear something funny?  I have anxiety about so many things, dumb things, things that normal people wouldn't think twice about.  But the one thing that most people dread, getting blood drawn, or needles in general, doesn't bother me a bit.  You could take my blood every single day and I wouldn't even blink.  I just think that is so ironic.

So six more weeks.  I hope that I will have lost enough weight to bring down that cholesterol number.  I have a lot of people, and animals, depending on my being around for a while.  I encourage all of you reading this to keep up your yearly mammograms, paps, and physicals.  Find out what your numbers are, and if they need improvement - get busy!  I hope that you all will be able to encourage me and be my moral support as I start my new, healthier, lifestyle. 


  1. Oh Julie....
    Paxil DOES cause weight gain, my husband was on it after his Mom passed also causes a "I don't care" attitude...he was really easy to live with but ate constantly!
    I can so relate to your story...and I will be back to see how you are doing...:) Sandy

  2. I just love reading your posts. You are so open and I find that so refreshing. We have a lot in common. Even the weight thing (sort of). My dream weight at this time is your all time high weight. HA! I'm working on it. I've lost 25 pounds in the last 7 months. During the summer I had a great walking routine but of course as it got colder outside, that diminished. Now we have a stationary bike. I also wanted a bunch of kids but only had 1. I married an alcoholic at a young age and that's when I began to pack on the pounds. I've been out of that marriage for over 14 years and have been happily remarried for 5. I would not change a thing though because I can't imagine my life without my daughter. Enough about my stuff (sorry). Just know that I relate. I wish you all the best with your healthier lifestyle. You can do it! You can!!!

  3. You look FAB!!! I wish I was only 145 lbs!!! YES, Cinnamon, oat meal and red rice will or should lower your numbers!!!It lowered my hubby's and now I'm doing the same thing. No red rice tablets, just the cinnamon and oat meal for breakfast. Along with other healthy food choices as I need to lose 20 lbs...You CAN DO IT!!! Prayer also helps!

  4. I agree with Garage Sale Gal that you look FAB!!! I too, wish that I was only 45lbs. I started working out 2 weeks ago and that inches are falling off. I am doing T-Tapp. The workout is only 15 minutes and it works from the inside out. I encourage you to check it out. I have five kids and often felt like I should be more energetic to keep up with them and all of the other day-to-day stuff. Four of my kiddos are boys and they are energetic. T-Tapp has been the answer to my prayers. Also, your food issues sound like mine a few years ago. Whole grains are really, really hard to digest. I found out that I was celiac and went on the gluten free diet as suggested on I really hope you get your numbers down in 6 weeks. Good luck and God bless.

  5. Yes, keep researching and trying different things! I'd encourage you to look into doing a natural colon cleanse. It used to be that my stomach couldn't handle fruit very well but now if I cleanse yearly, I can!

    I didn't feel any better after losing my weight. I know I looked better but I didn't have increased energy or any plus like that. I know I'll never be my pre baby weight- unless I become very ill! But that's okay. I'm not a teen anymore- I'm a gramma! ♥

  6. Thank you for being so opwn ans honest. A lot of us share your health, weight, eating issues and it helps to talk about them. I lost 55 lbs in 2012 - so I know how tough it is. I want to continue to lose - another 20 lbs would be great - but it seems to get tougher. I was able to get off all blood pressure and cholesterol meds. I'll be following your progress and rooting for you!

  7. My thoughts and prayers are with you pretty lady. I've still got 30 or so pounds to get rid of before I really get excited about my recent weight loss of 45 pounds. Best of luck, and I know you'll get it done.

    Big Hugs,

  8. Good luck on your journey! I hope you are able to reduce it naturally :o) And I blame some of the way I want to be a 'country mom' on Little House too! Lol.

  9. This post is very inspiring, including all these comments. I woke up this morning feeling that I must get back on track. Over the holidays, I ate lots of things I don't usually eat. One thing that helps me is that I listen to "Livin' La Vida Low Carb" for support - He brings on lots of doctors and scientists to talk about weight loss. It helps to keep me motivated. Still - 145 is AMAZINg!

  10. Hi, I just stumbled on your blog and read your post. I was in the same situation a year ago. My doctor threatened to put me on statins if I didn't get my cholesterol under control. I read a book called "Wheat Belly" by William Davis and decided to change my eating lifestyle according to the book. Six months later, my doctor was amazed at my cholesterol level. My husband went along with it too and lost 45 pounds! Better yet, he is off his meds. I am not advocating this eating style, but it worked for us. Oh, I lost about 6 pounds, I could lose another 10... Anyway, good luck on your journey! :-)

  11. Good luck!! Like most of the gals who have posted before me I too need to lose weight!! Prayers and lots of exercise and good food choices!!


  12. I certainly can relate to your struggle, Julie. I, too, need to lose weight and to commit to a healthier lifestyle. I have a lot more weight to lose than you do, and I've been taking baby steps to healthier habits, but now that I'm on my feet at work, I can see how I really need to step it up to the next level, since I REALLY hurt by the end of the day. I also struggle with anxiety, and, unfortunately, overeating has been my coping mechanism. I hope you're able to achieve your goal, and I'll keep you in my prayers.

  13. Hi Julie, it's Cindy, your Florida cheerleader! Yep, I'm down here cheering you on! You should be so proud of yourself for admitting your challenge, sharing it with others, and publicly stating that you're gonna conquer it! All of us out here in Blogville are sending you lots of support:)

  14. Hello Julie, I think most of us had a weight problem one time or is hard to lose weight once yu've gained it. I don't know how true this is but I was told a teaspoon of vinegar a day really helps.....Although I do not do this ...I sort of believe it....because years ago I had a bad habit of getting hoagies every day for lunch and I always smothered them with red hoagie vinegar and I couldn't believe that at that time I didn't put any weight on. In my sidebar picture I don't look bad but that picture was taking before I put some weight on. I am small framed so when I gain 8 lbs it looks like 20 lbs on me..... I will pray that you will find the strength to lose what you need make you feel better and more healthy. It is very hard today with all of the additives in food :(

  15. Wow, Julie. I had to read through this whole thing twice, I swear I thought you were writing my exact life story!! Even the four kids (I had two in one year-Jan. and Nov.)! And I have Crohns Disease so I can't eat raw vegetables or wheat without it hurting my stomach too.
    Bless you, I know you can do this, you are so beautiful! I wish I was back down to 145... I'm still above 200 and borderline diabetic. And I hate needles. You are being true to yourself and there is no way you can fail! You are so inspiring to me, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Dorothy @

  16. Just catching up with you and thought I would pass on a few supplements/vitamins I know to be helpful, maybe they'll work for you, too?
    -Lecithin helps break the fat/cholesterol down into smaller more slippery chucks so it doesn't cling to your blood walls as badly. (This is what they put in soups and all kinds of other foods to keep the fat in the food from congealing into one big glob! Check your labels and you'll see, usually called soy lecithin. Its just Lecithin at the health food/vitamin store, though.)
    -Vitamin E, known to help with external scarring, also helps with internal scarring(which contributes to that cholesterol clinging problem).
    -Calcium and magnesium, together, in a good supplement are an all natural Chill Pill. Many hyperactive children and moody women are really just deficient in this combo. My mom says she can't even stand herself when she forgets to take these pills for a few days! :)
    Anyways, I'll also be cheering for you to get those numbers down. But I also have to agree with several other ladies and say I think you look fabulous already! :)

  17. I have that dunlap disease too! I've gained so much since Christmas... was doing so much better with controling it all this time last year, don't know what went wrong. Time to try again. I tried low carbing last time... and although it's hard for me, that route is easier than weighing and measuring. Are you on a particular diet?

  18. New to your blog from a quilt pattern on Etsy. I too have weight to lose and wish you the best of luck. Thank you for you openness and honesty.