I am not a medical professional. All recommendations made here are made based on study and personal experience, and are provided for informational purposes only. I assume no liability for any harm that may come from the use of these methods. Use this information at your own risk, or consult a medical professional.

December 1, 2013

Time To Get Off My Ass and Get In Shape

Like most everybody, I start and fail at fitness over and over. Exercise is hard and staying motivated is even harder when you have a disability or chronic illness, like I do. Still, I said that when the weather got cooler, I would start exercising again, even if it was just gardening out in the yard, so I need to stick to that promise to myself.

Since I'm doing a food stamp challenge, I'm going to make that about eating healthy and add the exercise into that. I'm not comfortable doing videos of myself, but I'll try to include pictures - sans the head, because I seriously do not like showing my face online right now. Don't really like the idea of showing my body, but if that's what I have to do, I will.

I've never been one for counting calories, but once when I was on Spark People, I discovered I was taking in way more calories than I was supposed to be. I'm going to use Spark People again, because I like their calorie counter and fitness tracker. I'll post my user name when I get set up there.

I'm not going to go crazy with exercise at first, because the other day, I worked in the garden for a couple of hours and was in intense pain for two days. I did find that step aerobics was something I enjoyed, so I'm going to start back on that, plus my walking.

Can't guarantee I won't quit this time too, but hopefully, I'll get some encouragement from readers in the comments, and maybe a few of you will join me on this journey.

March 27, 2013

Obesity, Plastic and Water Conservation

I live with a friend who is obese -- about 5'4" and well over 200 lbs. She cooks and eats constantly. She also collects the plastic containers she buys all her over-processed food in. She has a closet full of them. She is an eco-freak, so it's really strange that she buys so much in plastic containers, and since she is so "health conscious" (not true, since I am constantly finding fast food and junk food wrappers everywhere), it's especially incongruous.

The strangest thing is her obsession with water usage. It goes beyond conservative to insane, really. The thing that bothers me about this is her equally insane obsession with washing everything in the dishwasher. I've sent her all the proof that dishwashers actually don't use less water than washing in the sink, to no avail. Stranger yet -- we have to wash the dishes in the sink before they go into the dishwasher, because she will only run it on the short cycle -- to save water. When we run the dishwasher, fully 3/4 of what is in there is hers, and most of that is the plastic containers her food came out of.

I want her to lose weight. She is so fat, she can only walk -- actually waddle -- to the end of the street and back (we live in the middle of the block). She moves so slowly that it would do her no good to walk anyway, except for the fact that it would get her out of the bed where she spends most of her time. I guess any exercise is better than none, right?

I've tried every tack to let her know that even if she doesn't see it, everyone else sees that she is overeating. To make it worse, she uses WAY too much coconut oil. Now coconut oil is healthy in small amounts, and taking up to 3 tablespoons a day is good for a normally active person. Any more than that just turns to cholesterol in your body. If I am to judge by how greasy everything in the kitchen is, she uses much more than that.

I think that I'm going to confront her and use the water conservation tack this time. If she didn't eat so much, she wouldn't have to use the dishwasher so much, and thus would conserve water. I don't know what else to do. I know her health is not my responsibility, but she truly thinks that taking vitamins is going to make her well. She has chronic fatigue, and who wouldn't if they were carrying around 100 extra pounds?

I have recently started back on a diet and exercise program. So far, so good. I'm walking and eating less and doing calisthenics to build some muscle. I'm determined, so maybe if she sees me sticking to this, she will want to do something too.

It's sad to watch someone kill themselves and refuse to see what they are doing. Maybe this water thing will work. Maybe not. I have to try one more time, but this is it. No more. After this, I'm only going to take care of me. I won't be here forever, so I won't have to see it on an everyday basis anymore.

You do what you can, and then you just stop before it starts to damage you.

March 20, 2013

I just weighed myself for the first time in a year

I knew I had gained weight, but was shocked at just how much I have gained. Since I moved here, I have gained 15 lbs. I was already 25 lbs. overweight, so now I'm at a BMI of 28.3, dangerously close to being obese.

OBESE! ME???? I weighed 105 for most of my young adult life. When I moved to Florida in 1996, I weighed 117.  This is 4 lbs. below my lowest ideal weight, so this is seriously scary for me. I did notice the other day when walking past a plate glass window at the shopping center that I was developing a shelf butt. ECK! Who wants one of those??

Well, according to the People's Choice height/weight calculator, my ideal weight is actually 141. Now it's getting less scary, but still puts me at 24 lbs. overweight. The thing is, I don't look good at 140. I have a tiny bird-bone frame. The Met Life tables say I should weight between 121 and 130. I look pretty good at 130, in fact, I don't really want to go lower than 125. Most of the other alternative charts put my ideal weight between 120 and 129. I'm going with Met Life, because I know how I look at 130.

So here I am - I need to lose 35 lbs. Strange thing is, I thought I HAD lost weight, but it must have just been water weight. When I did the parasite cleanse, I lost a lot of the bloating around my middle, and could finally fit into some clothes I haven't been able to wear for a long time, so I thought I had lost about 5 lbs.

Well, I did eat salty boiled peanuts today, so maybe 5 lbs. of this is water, so I'll say I need to lose 30 lbs. 30 lbs. is still a lot. Guess I had better get my walking routine back on track and start drinking a lot more water instead of all this coffee and fruit juice. Best get myself back over to Spark People too. I have a wedding to go to in September, and I'm NOT going looking like this!

January 27, 2013

Help for Chronic Peeling Lips and Exfoliative Chelitis

With my lupus, I have developed Exfoliative Chelitis on my bottom lip. My lip is constantly peeling, despite obsessive use of lip balm. I read that chapstick type products have something in them that dries your lips further (to keep you coming back, I guess), so I don't use them anymore. I don't like using petroleum products on my body, even if they do work.

Have been trying so many different things. Something worked not long ago, and I thought it was cured, but it came back. I racked my brain trying to remember what I had done, and then I recalled...PAPAYA.

I knew papaya was a strong exfoliant, so I took some papaya peel that I had from one that I had eaten and rubbed the flesh part on my lips every day, several times a day. I let the juice dry and then patted on cocoa butter pretty thickly. Followed that up with a coat of Burt's Bees lip balm with pomegranate oil (the regular may work as well, I just have this one). Make sure to do it right before you go to bed also.

My lips were in terrible shape when I started this a few days ago. I was waking up with them dry, cracked and bleeding, no matter how much lip balm I used at night. This time, I juiced the papaya -- just a tiny bit because it doesn't last long in the fridge -- and used just the juice on my lips. After 5 days, they are not peeling anymore and the cold sore I had has healed completely. They are still dry, so I'm still doing the treatment, but this is the first thing that has actually worked in a long time, and MUCH BETTER than manual peeling.

I'm going to try freezing some juice in tiny little ice cube trays and just melting one every day for daily use and see what happens. I guess if you don't mind putting petroleum products on your body, you could use Vaseline instead of the beeswax. I found the Burt's Bees pretty cheap on Amazon. The price has gone up since I bought it, but it's still cheaper than a single tube at Wal-Mart.

This is the cheapest seller I found:

Burt's Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm Tube, .15-Ounce Tubes (Pack of 4)


I soon gave up on the papaya. I have found the only thing that works for me is triple antibiotic ointment, applied several times a day. It heals my bottmo lip very quickly, but the cycles runs about every 5 days now. My lip will heal completely for about 4 days, then it will start chapping and peeling again, then they will heal for about 3-4 days, during which time I don't have to put anything on it.  Aquaphor works well too, but doesn't heal it once it starts peeling. Still, it is MUCH better than it was before I started using the antibiotic ointment. I still think it is the parasites, because there is still the strange stringy peeling with the strings embedded at the bottom and the round balls rolling out of the lip once they are clipped off.