babble, me and my medications, mental health, propoints, story of my life, weigh-in, weight loss

Weekly Weigh-In: November 18, 2014

20th November 2014
ozeri
-1lb
388lbs
+4lbs since October 28, 2014

Well, first off I’ve got to apologise: I honestly thought I’d posted the weigh-in on Tuesday night. Then I realised that no. I spent Tuesday night staring at a Word document and a piece of crochet, and a pattern, and…

It was a 3am bedtime, and I forgot that I was going to do the weigh-in post before I went to bed, except by the time 3am came around I was kind of a zombified human being and just fell into bed and almost forgot to set my alarm for Wednesday.

Yesterday?

I hadn’t realised I hadn’t posted it. Hah. I put the Bloglovin’ link in the sidebar today, went, “Where the hell is this week’s oh bloody hell I forgot to post it,” and here we are.

So I actually managed to lose something this week! Which I’m pretty happy about. I can lose weight on ProPoints! This is a revelation, because it’s the first time I’ve ever done so.

It means I’ve still got 4lbs to go until I’m back to my starting weight, but that’s cool. We can do that.

After my last post, I decided that I was going to start reducing my Quetiapine/Seroquel, by myself. Not do something so stupid as to come off it, cold turkey, because the last time I did that I didn’t get any real sleep for three weeks, and I had migraines that would kill a lesser person. So I’m cutting down by 25% this week. A further 25% next week. A further 25% the week after that. I’ll stay on a 25% of original dose for a month, and then I’ll come off it completely. If it’s all right, that is. If it’s all all right, then I’ll go see Dr. David and tell him about it, and get him to remove it from my prescription.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that maybe there’s something else I can take instead, or maybe I don’t need it anymore, or maybe I can live without it until I’ve lost enough weight or maybe the Duloxetine’ll be enough to help me cope with my brain. I just know that I need to try. As my weigh-in has shown, it’s possible for me to lose weight – my weigh-ins over the past few years, in fact – have shown that it’s possible for me to lose weight, gain weight, stay the same weight. I’m due my period tomorrow, and I lost weight this week. Last week when I stood on the scale for my weigh-in and saw that it was a 1lb gain, I said to Sheryl that I didn’t want to use my period as an excuse, or a get-out-of-jail-free card for a weight gain. I’ve had periods in time, pardon the pun, where I was eating right and I lost weight despite it being that time of the month.

I know it’s possible.

It’s the same thing for the medication. I don’t want to use it as a crutch. I don’t want to say, “Oh, but the medication gives me a huge appetite-”

But what if it does? Wouldn’t it make more sense to get rid of it, and not have that?

So yeah. I’m doing what needs to be doing.

Just… fingers crossed that it works out all right.

babble, Cauda Equina, me and my medications, mental health, propoints, story of my life

In Which Tracy’s Medication Changes

15th November 2014

FATGIRLslim | In Which Tracy Isn't Stupid Enough To Chew On Her Medication
Seriously, I am not stupid enough to chew on a medication that doesn’t come in gummy form

It’s been a while since I’ve spoken about Dr. David, mostly because it’s actually been a while since I last went to see him. This is possibly the longest time in between visits with my GP since we moved back to Scotland, probably because the last time I went to see him, was after I’d ended up in the A&E. When he shot down the whole Cauda Equina thing because haha, no, the A&E doctor totally wouldn’t have said that.

And then I had physio, and Andrew-the-physio said there was nothing that physio could do for me, so all I can basically do is to self-manage.

Four months without seeing Dr. David is definitely a record. Longest time previously is probably something like three months at most. Shortest would be three days, haha. I once went into an appointment, said, “I’ll try not to see you for at least a month!” and then had to make an emergency appointment three days later or so for my mutant leg.

But anyway, I digress. I’ve had this weird twitchy nerve in my cheek and lower left eyelid for almost two months now, and I’ve been hoping it’d go away with time and constant finger-massages whenever it came on. Nope, no luck.

My pooping and urinating functions are seriously going down the pan, pun entirely intended. Googling it, it’s looking more and more like that whole Cauda Equina thing mentioned in the above-linked post about the hospital/A&E visit could be a serious possibility. Not helped by my gaining weight. Admittedly, my gaining weight could be the problem here, but I didn’t have this problem when I weighed 449lbs. So why now?!

And the lump on the back of my head still hasn’t gone away. In fact, it has now split into two lumps. It’s no longer inflamed/sore, but it’s now two lumps. I don’t see that that’s really and improvement.

When I got in on Friday morning, I remembered to tell him about the eyelid twitch, and the head lump, and I even remembered to tell him about how the physio went (but not about what Andrew-the-physio said was the actual proper, i.e. I’ve got a fucking prolapsed spinal disc) and that I was to suggest looking at my pain medication, and maybe removing some and replacing it with something else, since I’m still in pain even while fully medicated.

Now, this is something that I’ve suggested by myself, a few times before, with no results. Behind the weight of a physio, even coming via me, it actually got a result.

In Which Tracy’s Medication Changes

I’ve to stop taking Gabapentin (which can, if you’re one of the unlucky 3%, cause quite bad bloating and weight gain as a side-effect) and now I’ve to take Pregablin (Lyrica) instead.

Now, Gabapentin has a 3% chance that you’ll gain weight.

From the Lyrica website:

Can LYRICA potentially cause weight gain?

In all clinical studies lasting up to 14 weeks, 9% of patients who were taking LYRICA gained weight, compared with 2% of patients taking a placebo.

Only 0.3% of patients in these studies decided to remove themselves from the studies because of weight gain.

*These patients gained 7% or more from their starting weight.

Oh, awesome. I’ve got a 300% larger chance of gaining weight on Pregablin, AND because I’m changing medications, there’s a chance that we’ll have to up the dose until it works… meaning I’ll still be in pain for a while.

BUT!

Hopefully it means that, once we increase the dose, I won’t be in pain. I’m also going to, maybe, next time I’m in, suggest coming off of Seroquel. I know it’s not the smartest idea in the world, for my brain, but for my body, I think it’s… uh. Kind of a necessity, if I don’t want my bones to crumble under the mass of my fat. Seroquel’s one of those drugs that I know is a terrible drug for people looking to lose weight, and Dr. Begum was supposed to be looking for an alternate for me, but nothing’s ever happened.

I’m just so frustrated right now that I’m following the ProPoints plan, tracking as I go, and I’m gaining weight?

I know medication’s only a little part of it, and a greater part is that I’m not doing as much exercise as I should be – partly down to the fact that I’m in a huge amount of pain, because my medication level isn’t high enough to cope with the spinal thing, partly because it gets worse as my weight goes up, and partly because my pharmacy is a fucking useless waste of space and I didn’t have any morphine/MST for a fucking week – but diet’s supposed to be 80% of weight loss. Surely that 80% of eating and tracking and staying within my ProPoints limit should wipe out any lack-of-exercise?

Before leaving his office today, after explaining all of the Weight Watchers ProPoints + weight gain stuff to Dr. David, he said to me:

Don’t lose heart.

I replied, curiously,

How much does a heart weigh…?”

cravings, food, guest post

[Guest Post] How To Deal With Cravings by Adam Smith

9th November 2014

Food cravings, don’t we just hate them!? Particularly if you, like me, have made a vow to start eating healthier, then you’ll already know just how much of a pain these tempting, but sinful snacks can be.

They are truly frustrating and more often than not, they come to mind like a bolt from the blue. For me, this predominantly and unfortunately happens during work hours.

Being in an office where food is often the subject of conversation, you can imagine how this plays on my mind. My mouth is often watering, stomach is rumbling and a lack of concentration occurs. It sounds a lot like the signals for hunger though, doesn’t it?

And this is often a pivotal mistake that individuals make. It is a common misconception that hunger and cravings are the same, but by learning the differences between the two, we are able to make better food choices as a result.

The differences? Let’s take a look…

By definition, hunger is ‘The discomfort, weakness, or pain caused by a prolonged lack of food’. So, in short, hunger is your body’s means of letting you know that you need food. Healthy, nutritious food that will allow us to function properly throughout the day.

There are a number of physical signals in which to look out for, as these let us know when our body requires food for energy. The stomach may start to growl, feel empty or endure ‘hunger pangs’. The brain however, may send signals such as headaches, irritability, agitation or fatigue.

When assessing how hungry you are, why not use our Hunger Scale to help you determine what and how much to eat. It really does help!

FATGIRLslim | VoucherCodesPro | The Hunger Scale
Like I mentioned briefly before, cravings on the other hand are somewhat different. If you were to lookup the definition for ‘crave’, you’ll see that it is ‘To have an intense desire for’. However, unlike hunger, this intense desire for a particular food will eventually subside, whereas hunger progressively worsens.

Emotions usually trigger cravings, like boredom, stress and sadness. But also, being in close proximity to food or having a likeness for a certain type of food may also prompt these cravings to arise.

More often than not, we’re yearning for high calorie and high fat foods. And because we’re not physically hungry, resisting the urge will play an important role in weight management and our overall health.

So maintain the willpower and say no!

FATGIRLslim | VoucherCodesPro | Say NO! To Cravings
Last month, VoucherCodesPro conducted a very interesting survey in the UK on this very topic of food cravings. If you would like to view the results, you can see them here: Food Cravings: Studies Show How Cravings Differ for Males and Females.

In a nutshell, the survey revealed that the majority of the population in Britain struggles to resist the temptation of their cravings. But as discovered, there are many reasons to why individuals surrender to these callings for food.

As the study investigated further, it unearthed that the main reasons to why people give in to their cravings were because it makes them feel good, fuels their boredom, they haven’t got the willpower to say no and are unaware of healthier alternatives.

But I believe that if we are aware of healthier choices, we will be able to banish these unhealthy food cravings from our diet almost completely. And so, to help and provide more of an insight, we produced the following infographic as a result.

FATGIRLslim | VoucherCodesPro | The Cravings Infographic
As you can see, it highlights some of the popular forms of food that a lot of us hanker for, like chocolate, salty foods, tobacco and caffeine, while also displaying to us the healthier alternatives.

It shows that although we believe we want a certain food, what the brain is actually calling for is its nutrients. So the next time chocolate is on your mind, opt for a handful of almonds instead!

Planning and preparing healthy substitutes beforehand is a fantastic way to conquer your cravings and over-indulging. I know firsthand that it’s easy to overeat. But by understanding the term ‘satiety’, you will be able to control what you eat, thus enabling you to cut back on those unwanted calories.

Satiety is the feeling of fullness after a meal. The more ‘satiated’ we feel, the longer we are likely to go without eating and this is why it can play in important role in controlling our diet. Some tips to bear-in-mind to increase satiety are:

  • Opt for high protein foods. These make us fuller than foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates. High protein foods include lean meats, seafood, eggs, nuts & seeds, and low fat dairy.
  • Include more natural dietary fibre foods, as these will enhance fullness. It plays a key role in digestive health too. Incorporate wholegrains, brown rice, nuts, almonds, dried fruit, beans, chickpeas and lentils into your meals.
  • Drink more water.

While I know it’ll be tough to kick all cravings out of our diets completely, I believe that by becoming aware of healthier alternatives to junk food, we will all soon be able to transform our eating habits for the better.

food, review

[Product Review] Slim Fruits Pastilles

8th November 2014

FATGIRLslim | Slim Fruits

Slim Fruits Pastilles

Slim Fruits are sugar free and fat free pastilles, with 40% fibre from acacia gum, that you can use when you’re trying to lose weight, by replacing some of your usual snacks with some of the Slim Fruits. The fibre will help you feel full, and should reduce your snacking tendencies! They’re currently available in two flavours: Luscious Peach Melba, and Luscious Rhubarb and Strawberry.

I had the chance to test these little pastilles out recently, in order to see how well they curbed my cravings.

Initial Impression: Flavour

The flavour was pretty much what I expected: you could really, really taste the peach in the peach melba pastilles (who can name the other flavour in peach melba?! Hint: it’s raspberry.), which is awesome because peaches are gorgeous and taste like summer. The rhubarb and strawberry ones tasted like a lovely blend of both flavours, which was quite nice (although once you’ve sucked on the pastille for a minute or so, I find the rhubarb begins to dominate the flavour a little! :D).

Unfortunately, because they’re sugar-free and fat-free, they’re made with Sorbitol, Maltitol and Xylitol as sweeteners, and they have that kind of… fake aftertaste, too. If you’re ever eaten something that’s made with a lot of sweeteners, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It sits up in the back corners of your mouth, and makes your spit glands work overtime, which is kind of annoying, because the first flavour – and even the smell – of the pastilles is really nice. To the point where I ate the first box without noticing what I was doing, really.

Initial Impression: Texture

I would say: do not try to chew these, unless you particularly enjoy having a really sore jaw. They’re not like fruit pastilles: these are hard gums. They’re intended to be sucked on, and gradually released. Not used as sweets.

And even if you do chew them, they’re still not intended as sweets.

As you suck on the pastilles, they dissolve slowly and easily, and last a long time. Even when they’re down to a thin sliver, it’s still pretty tough to chew! Just the way a hard gum should be, in my opinion.

WARNING

Let me just reiterate:

This product is not intended as a sweet. It is not intended to replace all of your snacking.

Remember what I said above, about eating a box without noticing what I was doing? And also about the sweeteners?

Yes. Slim Fruits also come with the following warning:

Excess consumption may have a laxative effect.

I will leave the rest to your imagination.

Overall

Overall, I found that when I did use Slim Fruits, while I was out and about (they fit into your pocket wonderfully!) and found myself getting hungry, that popping a few into my mouth not only took my mind off of a Mars Bar or a packet of crisps, but it helped to quell the hunger, at least enough that it didn’t bother me until my next meal.

Of course, there was the odd hiccup with trying to figure out what constituted “excess consumption” (more than 24g in a day, in my case), but that’s always going to be a personal matter, to do with how well one’s body deals with sweeteners.

Mostly, I’m pretty happy to say that I found that Slim Fruits did, in fact, have an impact on my hunger when I needed it to.

With everything taken into consideration (flavour, texture, that… laxative effect) I’ll be awarding it:

Awarded: ★★★☆☆

Two stars lost for the weird aftertaste, and for that laxative effect. If you’re going to use these pastilles on an ongoing basis, please do not use them excessively!

Availability

Available from Holland & Barrett, Amazon.co.uk and other participating retailers. Although I’m not sure which ones they are – try Google. :)

Disclaimer

I received 7 packs of Slim Fruits in order to test out this product, and received no monetary compensation for doing so. The Amazon link is a affiliate link, and if you purchase anything from using that link, I will receive a referral’s percentage, which in no way affects your purchase. No other link in this review is an affiliate link.