Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Blood, the Dentist, and Other Happenings

Yesterday when I was at work I got a call from the American Red Cross. They had called me several times within the last couple of weeks and I had been unable to answer. This time I could answer so I did. The lady on the phone informed me that there would be a blood drive held at my church today between 10 and 2 if I was able to donate. I told her I just got a new tattoo a couple of months back so I would be unable to donate for a while. She then informed me that the Red Cross has changed their policy on donations for tattooed individuals. This is taken from their website:

  • Wait 12 months after a tattoo if the tattoo was applied in a state that does not regulate tattoo facilities. This requirement is related to concerns about hepatitis. 
  • Acceptable if the tattoo was applied by a state-regulated entity using sterile needles and ink that is not reused. Cosmetic tattoos applied in a licensed establishment in a regulated state using sterile needles and ink that is not reused is acceptable. There are 40 states that currently regulate tattoo facilities. You should discuss your particular situation with the health historian at the time of donation.
This makes me so happy. I love being able to donate blood and was so sad when I went through a period when I couldn't donate. I love making a difference and helping others out. I went and gave blood on my lunch with my amazing friend Megan. She's my blood donation partner and the last three or four times I've given blood, I've gone with her. We got there and, being as I was on my lunch, we weren't sure if we were going to have time to donate. There was a man in front of us and both of the interview rooms were full. We sat there for a few minutes and then I was called back. I got my finger pricked (my iron levels were great), got my blood pressure taken (it was okay), my temperature (normal), and took the survey. Everything came out well and I went to give blood. The Red Cross volunteers were hilarious. I apparently filled my bag rather quickly so they timed Megan's to see who gave their pint quicker. Megan did... of course. Bummer! LOL Then we went to the snack table. This time the church had chili and peanut butter sandwiches after donation instead of cookies and raisins. Margene, a really nice lady who goes to my church, got me a big bowl of chili, a peanut butter sandwich, and some apple juice. I ate that and then waited for Megan to get done. She took me back to work and went home. I'm super excited because I got my first donation t-shirt today. It's pretty nice and I'll feel good when I wear it out!

I had a dentist appointment last night. I dislike the dentist. That's not to say that I actually dislike the people there. I love my dental hygienist Kaylea. I really enjoy my dentist Dr. Phillips, but I don't like the actual process of going to the dentist and last night was no exception. I got there and one of the account managers told me the amount of my bill (out of pocket as I don't have dental insurance). I might have sobbed a bit as I told her it was fine and I would use my Care Credit card (and get interest free credit for at least 6 months). There was still a few minutes before my appointment time so I went to the little girl's room. I had only been in my seat in the waiting room for a minute or two when Kaylea called me back. I needed new x-rays done. This is one of my least favorite things. I have a small mouth and fitting the little camera thing into it is difficult. After trying not to gag as the x-rays were done, I was lead back to Kaylea's chair. We small talked a bit while she got everything set up and then she got to town cleaning my teeth. She scraped them, polished them, and flossed them. Then we updated my medical history and she went and got Dr. Phillips. He came in and joked with me. He asked if I've been starving myself like had to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. I laughed and asked him if it looked like I'd been starving myself. He laughed really big and said he was just kidding with me too obviously. Haha! He looked in my mouth and poked around with his pointy thing. Apparently a filling that they did a couple of years back (it wasn't a new filling - a loose amalgam one) wasn't good and they need to replace it. They're doing that one free of charge. Then another old amalgam filling on the other side of my mouth isn't doing its job either so they want to replace it. I said okay. Dr. Phillips gave my shoulder a squeeze and told me to have a happy Thanksgiving and left. Kaylea took me out to the account manager who scheduled me two appointments (one in a couple of weeks for my fillings and the other in six months for a cleaning). Then she charged me just under $300. This covers my exam, cleaning, x-rays, and the filling I have to pay for. Not too bad, I suppose. Because the amount of my charge was high, she asked if I wanted 6 months no interest or 18 months no interest. Um... 18 please. LOL It'll be paid off before then, but at least this bill I don't have to worry about should I decide to pay a different one first...

I have to take just a moment because my eyes have become full of joyful tears... My dad's cousin's wife has been battling cancer for quite a while. If I remember correctly, she was first diagnosed with breast cancer (this is the one I'm unsure of). Then after beating that, she was diagnosed with liver cancer. She is still battling that cancer, but it had moved to her brain. Her daughter just told us all that her scan today showed her free of brain lesions! What an amazing Thanksgiving announcement!  So excited that this amazing woman that I know has beat cancer again! YAY DEBBIE!

My Elf4Health has been going great. The first day was to go meatless and I accomplished that!!! I felt amazing after working out and eating a big salad for dinner! Yesterday was to unsubscribe from mailing lists you are on. I unsubscribed from literally 40-50 lists yesterday and this morning. It's ridiculous how much my email inbox was cluttered with junk mail! I also have a small stack of paper catalogs on my counter that I am planning on unsubscribing from soon. I haven't had the time to do it yet, but it will get done!!! Today's challenge was to try a new workout. Considering I gave blood earlier, I'm not allowed to workout today. I can honestly say that giving blood has got to be one of the best "excuses" for not working out that I've ever had... I'll get back on that train, no worries! I doubt I work out tomorrow, but my mom is dragging me Black Friday shopping with her - even though I have no money to spend - and I'm sure we'll walk miles! I'll wear my FitBit tracker and let you all know how much I walk, for sure...

I also want to give a shout out to my awesome elf buddy Ashley! She's been a great help to me these first few days with cheering me on and writing me novels (which we obviously can see that I enjoy writing, haha!). I'm grateful to have an extremely nice and talkative elf this go around!

Oh and finally to my fellow Americans:

Monday, November 25, 2013

I am alive... + Elf4Health

... but extremely busy. That's why I've been M.I.A. This is a busy time of year for me and I'm trying my hardest to just stay afloat... I still can't believe that it's been almost a month since I've written. Crazy!!!

I went back to Curves a couple of weeks ago. I haven't had much success yet, but this is only the third week. There are new owners and they changed their hours of operation so I'm unable to go as much as I liked to. Pretty much I can only go on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Tuesdays is Zumba and, while I love it, I need to get used to doing a plain Curves workout before I start Zumba. My knees are already killing me without doing Zumba. They decided to close on Fridays at 1 as well so I can't go on Fridays anymore. They are open on Saturdays from 8 to noon, but I'm rarely up early enough to go. *shrugs* Because of this schedule, the first week I made it two days and last week I only made it 1. I'm hoping that this week I can make it both available days (Monday and Wednesday as they're closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving).

I've been thinking a lot about my diet. After being treated for the compulsive overeating, I don't binge anymore, but I am definitely addicted to the unhealthy foods. I would rather eat everything unhealthy than anything healthy. It's going to be a struggle, but I have an idea... According to a BMR calculator, my BMR is 1870. This means, when I don't work out at all, I need 2245 calories per day to maintain my current weight. If I work out at Curves three days a week, I would need 2572 calories per day to maintain my current weight. Since I don't want to maintain, but I do want to lose, I have to subtract a certain number of calories per day. To do this, I take my current weight (245.0) and subtract my goal weight (150.0) which is 95.0 pounds. It takes 3500 calories burned to lose one pound. So if I take 95 pounds and multiply it by 3500 calories, I get 332,500 calories that I need to burn. My ultimate goal is to hit my goal weight of 150.0 pounds by my 30th birthday. This is in 335 days. This means, I would need to cut 993 calories per day from my diet in order to meet my goal. If I don't work out at all, I would need to consume 1252 calories per day to meet my goal. If I work out at Curves three times a week, I would need to consume 1579 calories per day to meet my goal.

Here's where my new plan comes into play. One of my good friends told me her new outlook at dieting and, ya know what, I kind of like it. Here's how it works. You decide what you want your goal calorie intake to be each day. To determine mine, I am taking my workout goal of 1579 adding my non-workout goal of 1252 and dividing by two to get 1415. This is my goal calorie intake each day. There are 7 days in a week so I will multiply that by 7 and get 9905 calories. That is my goal WEEKLY calorie intake. Now, I'm going to look at this from a fun perspective. Let's say, Monday through Friday I only consume 1250 calories each day. 1250 x 5 = 6250. This leaves me with a total of 3655 calories. This means that over the weekend I could consume 3655 calories total which brings my daily allotment each day to 1827 calories. This will allow me for "cheat days" without feeling bad about them. For some reason, this REALLY makes sense in my mind. So, this is my goal from now on...

The Lean Green Bean
Last year I participated in the Elf4Health challenge. I say participated, but I didn't really do much of it. I conversed with my buddy and that's about it. There is a daily list of challenges for the four week period (see below). This year I'm hoping to actually complete all of the challenges. Today is starting out as a doozy. I'm not a big meat eater to begin with so I figured that this would be an easy challenge. Here was my menu for today:

- Breakfast: 3/4 cup dry vanilla Chex cereal
- Morning Snack: Belvita blueberry crackers
- Lunch: egg bagel with veggie cream cheese
- Afternoon Snack: sliced fuji apple
- Dinner: large salad with hard-boiled egg, cheese, lots of veggies, croutons, and light dressing
- Dessert: small sundae cone

So, it sounds like a pretty good day... except I started my day with coffee which sometimes hits me weird. It's not all the time, just sometimes, which I don't understand. I've only eaten about half of my cereal. I didn't even drink all of my coffee. It was one cup of coffee with half a cup of skim milk and a tablespoon of sugar. I drank about a third of it and I'm feeling very weir. Shaky, nauseous, light headed... I tried to jump straight into my lunch, but my cream cheese is watery. I'm not sure if it's bad or not, but being that I'm nauseous, I lost my appetite when I saw it. It's brand new and has an expiration date of early February so I'm not sure why it would be spoiled, but it was watery and usually they aren't... So now I'm not sure what to eat. I didn't bring anything else. I had a package of crackers in my desk so I've eaten a couple of those. I'll probably find something to eat when I'm home for lunch.

challengesquare edited 1 Elf For Health 2013

If you want to sign up, you can! You won't get a buddy until the final two weeks of the challenge, but you can still participate in the daily challenges. Just check out Lindsay's blog entry over at the Lean Green Bean.