Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week 3 Profile by Sanford and another Skoolie update!

Again, my Profile weeks run from Wednesday to Tuesday, since I started on a Wednesday. So this is from January 18-24, 2017.

The week had fewer challenges as far as eating out, but man did I feel hungry a lot this week. I wasn't hungry, but I just wanted to eat. Which is part of why I wanted to do a very rigid program like Profile by Sanford. Because the meals are already laid out for the day, I don't have to think about it. I know I can have a ShapeWise chew or an additional fiber drink (water soluble fiber for a feeling of fullness) and not go off-track. Saturday we did go to Q'doba and I had a chicken salad - I may have gone over on protein and fat just a bit for the day but still far better than I could have done!! So, without further ado....

Up in a couple spots inches-wise, but that's okay. We measured in the morning versus the afternoon and so that might have made a difference, too. Progress is still progress! My coach is pretty fantastic - he put a hand-written note of encouragement in with my order this week! And an NSV (non-scale victory) this week! Last fall I had purchased 2 pairs of jeans from Avenue online. Now, this store was the first store in years where I could walk in to the store and get jeans off the rack that fit and fit like I'd been wearing them forever. That nice, cozy, comfy feeling. So imagine my disappointment when these didn't fit!! I couldn't zip the blue pair up and the black pair didn't want to go on hardly at all past the hips! Well, last week the blue pair zipped! And were mostly comfortable but by the end of the day I needed to change out of them. This week? Well, last night I forgot to change out of them! Next week, pending measurements, I'll be trying that black pair on!!

I'm expanding my horizons a bit - I got their peppered chicken gumbo and their homestyle beef stew, as well as their vegetarian chili and sloppy joe mix. I believe these are meal replacements, so in lieu of the shake at lunchtime, for example. And for evenings, I did get a box of the chocolate fudge cake. I have PB2 powder to add for chocolate peanut butter, too. Or strawberry syrup or caramel syrup...yum!! I also got a sample of the pancakes and cheesy fiesta pasta. To go with the pancakes, I ordered from Walden Farms syrup and chipotle ranch dressing and packets of dressing for eating out - I can tuck those into my purse. So lots of fun things to try!

On the Skoolie note - we did pick up the hardwood flooring at Menards, and the underlayer. We also splurged a bit there and got a version that also added a bit of insulating factor - every bit will help in the winters!! We've decided on the wall board, but didn't pick it up - we'll need a bigger truck for that as it's 4 foot by 8 foot. The cooktop came in and it's bigger than we pictured, even after drawing up measurements from the schematics, but it's not too big -it's a more functional size, actually. And the heaters arrived, too! Busy week for FedEx at our house! The heaters were also a lot bigger than we thought, too. But they tried the one and it puts out a fair bit of heat so with one on each end of the Skoolie we'll be nice and cozy!

Sometime this week my aunt and uncle are going to be here for a visit - I think the spiralizer will get quite the workout as we tempt her with zoodles!! (She has celiac so probably hasn't had noodles in years!) Looking forward to seeing them again - especially since the last time we saw them I had started that elemental shawl and this time - well, except for blocking it will be done this week!!



Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week 2 Profile by Sanford & Skoolie update

For ease of simplicity, I'm going to refer to my weeks on Profile by Sanford vs days. I'll try to remember to put at the beginning that my Profile weeks run from Wednesday to Tuesday, since I started on a Wednesday. I weigh in the morning and we do measurements at night. This week we got a better tape measure so the measurements felt a bit off kilter but not too bad and certainly nothing to fret over. Next week they'll be back in sync with the new tape measure. I did decide to continue the app, Weight Track Assistant and in the "forearm" part I'm putting my calf measurement. My blood pressure is in a Blood Pressure - MyDiary app as well.

So. Week 2 results:

Certainly no complaints there! There were a couple of challenges - and there always will be - Friday night my first childhood friend invited us to her home for dinner and was very accommodating of my needs. We had a lovely time with her family and I'm hoping we will get to spend more time with them. Casey and her oldest daughter had a great time talking about knitting and I foresee several knitting-on-the-back-porch sessions! We went out to eat a total of 3 times (2 planned, 1 unplanned) - and I did really well, I think. Friday night we went to Chilis and I got their Ancho Salmon with broccoli - I swapped the lime-chili rice for asparagus and tomatoes and that was a lot of food for not a lot of calories and zero loss in taste. And Casey helped me clean my plate, which also helped! :-) (Although in hindsight, still about 570 calories...and that's off the "ligher fare" menu!)

Saturday we did a town run. It's really hard to look for things for the Skoolie after work and I really wanted to see "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." We planned on lunch at Panera and I got the Spicy Thai Chicken Salad, half size. I swapped the edamame and wonton strips, chose the more greens option for lettuce, and had the dressings on the side. About 260 calories all told. And water to drink. It was a packed house and a couple sat next to us and asked about bussing tables (it was so packed people were sitting at tables before the poor staff could clean off the tables!). I noticed the scarf she was wearing and asked if she knit it - she had! Lovely conversation later, we made hopeful new friends, too! (And look for Brim Collections on Instagram - knitting patterns and yarn coming soon!)

We then went to the Restore Store and got some things for the Skoolie - the kitchen sink, included! We got new seats for the benches - the pieces look like they're from a corner bench table set and they'll be a lot more comfortable than the plain plywood - these have the gentle curve for sitting and they're a good, solid wood. We got a toilet set because it was shell-shaped (and only $1.50!!) so we can start plans to build the composting toilet too. (And I have an excuse to buy octopus stuff! Ha!) We got a very ornate towel holder - the wall-mounts look almost Victorian, and we found some lovely drawer pulls, too. All in all, $50! We did look at hardwood flooring but felt that was an area we didn't want to skimp on and what they had was kind of rough. (Menards quite conveniently put some on sale today along with free underflooring with mail in rebate! Guess where we're going tomorrow!) The stove top is on order as are the EnviHeat heaters. We're still deciding on the size of the shower (we have it marked off at 36 inches square but may be able to go smaller) and then countertop. They had some nice counters at the Restore store, but the holes were for a double-sink and ours is a single sink. So we'll look for that next, I think, plus wall paneling. It's exciting to be getting close to being done - and to being able to find a place to park it to live in for awhile!

We went to the movie and I was not at all tempted by the popcorn - even after walking up three floors to the screen the movie was playing! And he got me a large water, so I was good there. We went to the 4:00 show and it was 6:15 before it was done. We decided to go to IHOP for supper. I don't think we'll be going again. It doesn't look like upkeep is high on the owner's priority list - it's not a very old building but it looks like it. Our server also left a fair bit to be desired. I asked for water and he asked for coffee. Over 5 minutes later she came back with 2 coffee cups, a carafe of coffee, and no water. She apologized, and it took close to another 5 minutes before she finally brought 2 glasses of water. That probably should have been a clue to just leave. A salad at a fast food joint would have been better. I ordered the white-egg veggie omelette, swapping the avocado for mushrooms, sourdough toast as the side (for Casey), and a salad. Casey ordered a steak omelette with hashbrowns for his side. She brings me the omelette (made correctly) with the fruit cup and toast (so 2 sides instead of 1) and Casey's omelette with hashbrowns. I said this isn't right because I can't have fruit. "Well, this is what I wrote down" as she's looking the printout - "Oh! You ordered a salad! I'll be right out with it, I'm so sorry!" She said she'd cover it, which was nice. I ate the omelette, started on the salad pulling out the occasional "slimy" pieces. Not a big deal, it happens. Except I looked closer at a speck to see if it was bad or just a spot I could remove - and it moved. Casey pulled over the other waitress (who we've had in the past and is fantastic) and pointed it out to her, just politely saying that they may need to check their stock and I declined another salad as I was quite full and she immediately went back and told our server to take off 20% of the meal. So they made it right for the most part, but overall it left a bad taste in my mouth - literally as well as figuratively.

So lots of progress this week - we sat down and did a basic menu for the week trying new recipes that hopefully won't bore Dad. hehe Wednesday night his lady-friend will be cooking for us, and will be baking chicken and making a salad. She works in a hospital so Dad is confident she can accommodate my needs. We've never met her before, so it will be an interesting evening!

Until next week!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Profile by Sanford Days 4-12

My weigh ins are on Wednesday mornings, and then because we have no spare time in the morning, I do my measurements that night. So as of Wednesday:

Weight: -8.15 lbs
Neck: -0.50 inches
Chest: -0.50 inches
Waist: -0.00 inches
Abdomen: -0.50 inches
Hips: -0.50 inches
Thigh: -1.00 inches
Calf: -0.50 inches

Total of 7 inches which is pretty impressive. And it's the first time I've ever seen the calf measurement go down! My coach said to expect about 2-3 pounds per week from here on out. I am still trying to find an app that will let me log everything in one place as far as measurements. I'm just not happy so far with most of the free ones. I want to track all of those measurements (and my blood pressure once I get a monitor again!) and it seems most of them limit you to only a few. The one I'm using I may use the "Forearm" for my calf - we'll see.

As far as shake flavors, I've decided to order just the chocolate and vanilla. I purchased 2 bottles of sugar-free Torani syrup and 1 bottle of DaVinci sugar-free syrup, so I have caramel, strawberry, and hazelnut. Those and peanut butter powder will give me a lot of variety. The bars I'm going to continue with the variety pack for now. Of the flavors, the chocolate almond and the fudge graham are probably my least favorite. The cinnamon is a lot better than I thought it would be! The lemony tea has grown on me and so I ordered both flavors again. And I'm not needing the ShapeWise chews hardly at all anymore.

Figuring out the veggies is the hardest bit but we're managing. I've been having a mock caprese salad at work - small tomatoes with a string cheese and a drizzle of balsamic (1/3 cup of tomatoes per day only) and then 1/3 cup of sugar snap peas and 1/3 cup of sliced carrots go on to my salad mix which is spinach and baby greens I think. I'm struggling with the bitterness plus those bags go bad pretty quickly. It has been interesting to see that the stores are "jumping on the bandwagon;" we've purchased a cauliflower/broccoli rice and I've seen several others in the freezer section. We splurged and got a spiralizer and a cookbook this past week and I'm really looking forward to playing with it!

I am now getting receipts emailed manually by my coach (although there was one in the box this week, too) and it sounds like they're really overhauling their systems this year to get them all interconnected and more user-friendly. That has to be good news for them, too!! I also splurged a little bit here and got their January promo which is 2-20 ounce blender bottles, a Profile Member Journey Book, Profile Cookbook and 1 box of drink enhancers. Since I already have the cookbook, I did say he could give that to someone else. But I've been seeing pictures on the Facebook page of the Journey Book and thought I would love to have that - it's a journal of sorts, if I'm understanding it correctly.

Water water water. Still getting my 52 ounces in before lunch and refilling the 16-ounce glass twice after lunch plus sipping my Diet Dr Pepper throughout the day.

I've had 3 challenges this week - we went out to eat twice and went to the movies with my nephews! First out-to-eat was at Perkins and I had their build-your-own omelette with tomatoes, spinach, mushroom, and onions. I then had my normal lunch of veggies and meal replacement (with extra veggies to make up for lunch) for supper. Then the movies - everyone but me had popcorn but after the initial desire to dive right in, I did fine. Which is super impressive for me because I LOVE me some popcorn!! Today Dad and I went in to town and we went to Wendy's for lunch - I had their side salad with the pomegranate dressing and water to which I added my meal replacement. So we shall see what we shall see on Wednesday! I also bought a nice lunch tote and containers more geared toward the 21-day whatever but I'm going to start making 2 of my meal replacements into puddings to take to work and these will do the trick nicely. I also got a plastic utensil set: fork/spoon/knife/chopsticks with interchangeable handles, and a big bowl that I can use to either microwave food or put my salad in.

So that's this week - let's see what the next week brings!!

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Profile by Sanford Days 1-3

Well, it's been interesting! From everything I'd read online, including Optifast clients' blogs, the first 3 days are the hardest. I won't say they were easy but they were not, thankfully, as hard as I thought they would be. The biggest challenge time is between my 2nd meal replacement and lunch - and so I've started to save my ShapeWise Chew (basically an appetite curbing piece of candy with milk minerals and conjugated linoleic acid) until then and that helps.

Of the 5 flavors of shakes I got, the chocolate, chocolate hazelnut, sweet strawberry, sweet berry, and vanilla, the one I can drink the easiest is the plain chocolate. And yes, the water HAS to be very cold. So what I'm doing is making 1 shake before we leave as the water from the fridge is really cold plus I add some crushed ice to it and drink that on the drive in to work/gym. When I get to work I put water in the other blender cup and put that in fridge and then I alternate blender cups so there's always one with cold water in the fridge. That's been helping. They're still a little chalky tasting but tolerable.

One thing I tried is to make a pudding out of them. I did this Thursday night at home with the vanilla and let it set in the fridge during supper time and had it a bit before bed. Not too bad! The chocolate hazelnut I did at work and it also was much better than the shake version. Friday night I added a 1/2 tsp of sugar-free cheesecake flavored pudding to the vanilla shake mix and made a pudding with it - YUM!! Today I'll add some of that to the berry shake as a shake and see if that helps. I did also get some fat-free whipped cream (on the free foods list) to try with a berry pudding and I have some sugar-free Torani caramel syrup to add to something as well as powdered peanut butter. So tweaks to help make them better tasting! Definitely definitely cold cold cold water, though!

The fiber drinks come in Tart & Tangy mixed fruit drink and a Lemony Tea. The first time I drank the tea it tasted so BRIGHT. There is no other way to describe it. Just wow - it was a lot of power! The fruit drink the next day was tasty! I was a bit concerned as it smelled like Kool-Aid but it tasted like a fun beverage out on the town! I bet it'd be really good if I had a Soda Stream..... The second time I drank the tea it was much more palatable - and I think that means my palate is already changing a bit.

The meal bars I've had so far (I bought 2 variety boxes): I started with the cinnamon bar and I wasn't sure I'd like it but it was really good! Thursday was the Smores Bar - another winner! And Friday was the Caramel Cocoa - definitely no lack of chocolate for me!! All very good and I'm looking forward to trying the rest, too.

Suppers have been fun, too. Well, for me. Maybe not so much for Casey...but he's a really good sport! Wednesday night we had pork and a zucchini/squash/bell pepper blend (and don't tell anyone, but these bells? I may have not actively disliked!). Thursday was similar but with a fajita flair. (He asked me to get fajita seasoning, chicken and cheese and I forgot the chicken and cheese.....) Friday night we tried a Profile recipe, Roll in a Bowl. It's basically your meat and a coleslaw mix for the vegetables. Casey added he thinks 7 red pepper flakes from a spice jar - the kind one puts on pizza. Holy MOLY did that make it HOT HOT HOT!! But really tasty and I foresee this one being a favorite. Dad, bless him, has been all on board with the healthier suppers. He mentioned something about having gained a bit of weight since he retired... And he brought out some oatmeal cream cookie sandwiches and chocolate cakes for him and Casey last night but said if it bothered me he'd put them away. So that helps a lot - instead of joking/teasing he's trying to help. And I'm fortunate that generally "not within reach" means I won't be grabbing for the sweets. They kept them back by them and I enjoyed the cheesecake pudding.

I really thought the 64 ounces of water would be the hardest part - I don't like water, I much prefer my Diet Dr. Pepper. But I borrowed Casey's Bubba Keg - it holds 52 ounces!! and when I get to work I fill about 1/4 of the way with ice then top it with water to the top. It's been empty either just after lunch or before lunch! I have a 16-ounce glass at work that I then fill with again a small amount of ice and water and even that's been gone before I leave for the day. Now, it does help that it's bitter cold out and furnaces and heating systems and wood stoves are in full force so I'm super dry but it's still pretty impressive.

Thursday was my first coaching session and it was with Troy, the same coach I did the initial consultation with in November. He said he was glad to see I got signed up and was overall really nice. These can be scheduled on my lunch break at work and so that helps a lot. When the local branch opens up it might be trickier but my supervisor has already offered up 1-hour lunches if I need them. (I have a GREAT supervisor!!) We went over the basics and we'll dig deeper next week. I did forget to ask about invoices again but when I order next week I'll definitely remember!

I did get the lab results back and, as I suspected, they were not as good as we wanted. I'm borderline diabetic, my blood pressure was high (I was definitely dehydrated plus the machine was being wonky but still), my iron is low, and my cholesterol levels were high. So for now, an iron supplement + iron-rich foods, fish oil, and diet and exercise plus monitoring of my blood pressure. So when I go back in a few months it will be interesting to see the changes!!


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Okay, so here goes for Day 1. I'm at work drinking the first smoothie, Sweet Berry shake. Now, it could be that the water isn't cold enough from the dispenser seeings as how even with ice in my water glass it isn't very cold, but at the moment the smoothie is leaving a bit to be desired. For my next one in a couple of hours, I'll add ice to it. The shakes can also be prepared as a pudding using less water so I may pre-prepare a couple and put in the fridge overnight.

They did call me Monday and reactivated my account and got the scale synced as well as set up my first appointment and did a quick plan review, so that made me happy. I forgot to ask about an invoice so I'll do that tomorrow. The nice part about this is that I can do the coaching over my lunch break which will hopefully make it easier to schedule.

Lunch is 1 cup of spinach/baby greens with Walden Farms Ranch dressing (calorie/sugar/fat/carb/gluten/cholesterol free-gosh, it almost makes me wonder if there's anything left!), 1/3 cup each tomatoes (golden tiny tomatoes!), sliced carrots, and sugar snap peas - so that's 2 of my 4 cups of vegetables. My fat is 3/4 oz cheese - 1 string cheese - and then we got honey infused balsamic vinegar so I'm making a caprese salad! The carrots and sugar snap peas are in with the salad.

I took it upon myself to get some pre-plan bloodwork done. Complete Metabolic Panel, lipids, A1c (blood sugars), and I think complete blood count. That was done yesterday and I should have those results today or tomorrow. My blood pressure was a little high - we're thinking part of it was the machine (the cuff was too tight on my upper arm and it took 2 tries for my wrist) and part of it was I was definitely feeling dehydrated. My doctor wants me to keep an eye on that given my family health history, so I'll either get a Profile by Sanford BP monitor that syncs or get a plain one and see if my coach can enter it manually. I'm hesitant to purchase PbS products because while I can use them without an active profile, it'd be nice to have something I can sync to my Sparkpeople account, for example. We shall see.

Here's to Day 1!


Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy 2017!!

Another year has gone by, and what a crazy year it was!

Quick recap: Bought a Skoolie in February, got jerked around by a well-known truck service company in Ohio for a month, but managed to leave Ohio and end up in South Dakota in April. Our intent was to get to Washington state but that's on hold for a bit. Got good jobs, Dad and Casey are kicking butt on the Skoolie renovation (it had already been converted to a motorhome but now it will be a much cleaner, safer, nicer one!), got a new used car, and have had great times with family and friends!

Biggest change for 2017 is weight loss. And a lot of it. I had been talking about Optifast previously, and while I still feel it would have been a good fit for me (as always, consult with your physician for what will work best for you), I was able to take the delay in finances and do some additional research. Optifast ends at either 12 or 18 weeks, whether you're close to goal or not. That had the potential to be a major downside given the amount of weight I need to lose. I had seen a commercial for what I knew was a gimmick product but I'm always curious about the "claims" they make so I did some digging, read some reviews, and one of those reviews mentioned Profile by Sanford. My ears perked up a bit as I know the name Sanford, as in Sanford Health, very well having previously used their health insurance plans offered through employers in the Huron, SD area. And so I did some digging and it is very similar to Optifast but with a few noticeable differences. One, you're not meeting with one of their doctors - which is okay with me as I much prefer meeting with my regular physician anyway. Labs are not included - which is also okay because getting those done through my doctor means they apply to my deductible instead. You still get weekly coaching sessions for up to 18 weeks, but your subscription is for 1 year - and so you have access to the tools for one year plus you can always pay for another year if you want. Also included in that is a wifi scale and network bridge that syncs to your account automatically. And while they are primarily located in Eastern South Dakota, MN, and that area, they have a virtual option so that's what I'll be doing. It does sound like they're planning on opening one near me this year, but it is nice that I don't have to wait. They do offer education as well, which is a big deal for me. I need to relearn a lot when it comes to eating habits, especially emotional habits.

So, after talking to a coach for an initial consultation in November, I placed my order on December 26th. Keeping in mind it is the holidays, I did experience a bit of disappointment which I will be bringing up with them. I did not get a confirmation email for my order, and along with that, no tracking information. All I knew was that they took my money. They did pre-honor their $99 pricing that wasn't to go into effect until the 1st of the year, and I did add the cookbook (pricing as of right now is $10). But I really would have liked an invoice, even via email since there wasn't one in the package, of how that money was utilized. I don't know what the cost of the meal replacements were, for example. I'm sure had I gone in person I would have an itemized receipt and frankly, I expect no less when I'm purchasing online. I also have no access to my profile on their site - it needs to be activated, and I received no information on when I can expect my first coaching session nor when they want me to start the program. That being said, when I did my initial consultation, he had laid out what to eat and about when, and how to read the grocery list, so I am planning on starting meal replacements Wednesday, January 4th. This is because I have a doctor's appointment Tuesday for blood work and I want that to be pre-plan. This will give me solid starting numbers that are not dependent on a scale or a tape measure and will be additional data for me to help keep me focused. The only other issue is that they don't have hours for the virtual program as far as when you can call if you have questions - they have store hours for their physical locations, but even so, calling during those hours I've had twice where they've answered and twice where I've left a voice message with no indication of hours. These are, though, small things that will be worked out over time.

We are hoping to have the Skoolie done by spring and plan on finding a place to park it and live in it - at least over the summer/fall to test it out. The finance company where we got our car sounds like they're pretty picky on customers leaving the area owing them money (understandable as they are loaning to high-risk customers) and so we need to be a lot closer to having it paid off before we can head out of town again. My hope is to find a mobile home park but we shall see what we shall see. We picked up the fridge yesterday and it's in the house waiting to be installed. Our biggest concern right now is a heating system - we'd like a convection-style wall-mount system and we did find one that we think will do the trick - we'd need 2 units and if it doesn't, it's a 15% restocking fee on each one, plus the cost of shipping both ways. Before we can do any interior framing and building, we need to tint the windows which would be a good time to test any heating system due to the frigid cold we're experiencing!! We have a layout in mind, and it's even been taped out on the floor so we have an idea of what to expect. I was rather surprised to see we would have room for a 36" shower - and told Casey we can definitely go as small as 28" if we need to. It's looking like we may still have a small bit of closet space where the old closet was, which will be nice. Any extra space will be nice!

It's looking like we'll have a busy 2017 - may it be a wonderful year to all of you!