Yes, You Can Lose Weight!

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Don’t You Dare Quit!

I know that right now, someone is reading this article that wants to quit trying to be healthy. You have tried and tried, only to come to yourself half way through a brand new carton of ice cream that didn’t even make it into the fridge when you unpacked it from the grocery store because the soft part around the edges just kept calling your name, or you caved in and ate the mile high, frosting bomb cupcakes that a saboteur left at your workstation on the job. That was then. This is now. Today really is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it good, It’s up to you.

How Do I Know?

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That’s an old picture but you can see that it is me. I have some pictures that people don’t even believe are me but this one shows my “girth” pretty good. While I am far from skinny now, I am a healthy power builder at age 63 and I have a defined waistline and I weigh about 60 pounds less now. I was addicted to sugar my entire life before coming to David’s Way. Although my weight fluctuated, I would always regain the lost pounds in just a few short weeks or months because I would eat more and more sugar until I thought that I couldn’t go through the day without cake or ice cream. Nobody loves that poison more than I did. I promise you. If I can get control of my eating, so can you.

But How?

First of all, decide right now if you truly want to lose weight. If you don’t want to lose those extra pounds, no amount of encouragement or money spent will do it for you.  This website is free. We have the Calorie Counter Pro that can help you figure out how many calories to eat. Cut out added sugar and eat whole foods within your calorie allowance. Visit our Home Page to read all about us. We do this because we believe that people can be so much healthier than they are, overall. As a population, our habits are killing us. Before beginning any weight loss program always consult your physician.

Stronger Than You Know

A common response that I hear when talking with people about weight issues is “But losing weight is HARD!” Well, yes, it is. However, I know very young people who have life-threatening health issues that their physicians have told them would be helped by weight loss. The conditions that they live with are also very hard. They spend countless dollars on medical costs and have a quality of life that is way below what they should have at their young ages. Of all of the young people that I know who are dealing with these problems ranging from fatty liver to sleep apnea bad enough to warrant a pacemaker in a 20 year old, only one of these precious young people is actively trying to improve her health. She knows who she is and she has my utmost respect. After losing 35 pounds with more to go, she is pressing forward. Guess what. It’s hard for her too but she is doing it. Like me, she loves to eat and likes about everything. She has abandoned her Deep South sweet tea habit and is conscientious about everything that she eats. It’s work and she’s doing the work. She’s listening to her doctor and her health is slowly improving. Although she has found the journey difficult at times, she is into her third month of improved nutrition and it’s becoming natural to seek out healthy options. She had the strength to do this all along but she didn’t find it until she made the decision that she wanted to improve her health. With rare exception, we are born with the strength to accomplish whatever we need to accomplish, like the “Prego” spaghetti sauce commercial, “It’s In There!”

Take Care of Yourself

We are given this one body. It will be our place to live as long as we inhabit this Earth. Do you want a highly functional, clean, healthy place to live or do you want a shell of a human body, riddled by sickness and pain? While everything that can bring suffering to a human being is not entirely within our control, so many of those things are greatly affected by our decisions. The list of diseases and disorders that are adversely affected by overweight, obesity and poor nutrition is endless. You have heard the adage, “You are what you eat.” Well, guess what. Most of the time, we are exactly that. We also need rest and exercise and a low stress environment. If there’s too much stress in your life, figure out where it’s coming from and fix it. I’m not telling you to do anything that I have not done and continue to do myself. I regularly make all kinds of sometimes drastic, life-altering changes to decrease stress in my life. Some of those changes have made people doubt my sanity, but I have peace in my home. Think what you will. If you don’t take care of yourself, I promise you, no one else will because they can’t. They may do all that they can but only you will decide what you put into your mouth and  how you live. What ends up in your mouth is entirely to your credit or your dismay. When you soar, victorious, into good health it will be your victory alone.

The Hard Times

When you decide to get healthy and leave some bad habits behind, there will be moments of great difficulty and even sadness as you part with your substitutes for real life and fulfillment. The substances, people and habits that drag us down that we keep going back to are just that, substitutes for true peace. As long as we have no control over our actions we are unstable, and instability is a hard way to live. In an unstable environment we are always trying to find a balance that forever eludes us. As we long for our heart’s desire more and more and our habits move us farther and farther away from it, we become double-minded. A life filled with the contradiction of who and what we want to be and who and what we make ourselves is almost unbearable. Again, how do I know? I’ve been there. Although a great deal of effort goes into my health initiative now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I haven’t missed a day of work in years and I am the sole supporter of my household, working full-time at an age where many are living on Social Security. I have a special needs family member and two dogs. I keep a hectic pace and still lift heavy weights four days per week and walk as much as the weather allows. The hard times pay off. If you have hard times because you’re unable to work or your health fails due to your habits, that’s a whole different kind of hard. Usually it’s entirely up to you. Choose your hard. Choose wisely. You will live, or die, with that decision.

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Low Carb Cheese Shell Steak Tacos

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Nutritional Info

Serves 3

Calories 547

Net Carbs 9 grams

Fat 42 grams

Protein 31.2 grams

Ingredients

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 packet taco seasoning (no sugar added)

12 ounces New York Strip steak

1/4 stick butter

diced tomatoes

6 Tablespoons sour cream

1/2 sliced avocado

sliced jalapeno to taste

lime zest for topping

Directions

Preheat oven to 375F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Set out four glasses and rest a wooden spoon over each pair of glasses to shape tortillas.

Divide cheese into three mounds on top of lined sheet pan.

Use your hands to flatten and spread the cheese into circles spaced 1-2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese appears lacy and is golden brown on the edges.

Use a spatula to carefully drape tortillas over suspended spoons to create tortilla shape.

Allow to dry and harden.

Meanwhile, sprinkle taco seasoning over both sides of the steak.

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high. If using a grill pan, melt butter over the top and allow to brown slightly. For medium rare or medium steak, cook for 2-3 minutes. Rotate the steak 90 degrees using a fork, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Flip steak with a fork and repeat the process. Remove steak onto a plate and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing into thin strips against the grain.

To assemble, fill taco shells with a pinch of lettuce, 4 ounces of steak, 2 Tablespoons of sour cream and a bit of diced tomatoes and avocado with jalapeno and lime zest to taste.

 

 

Weight Loss Confidence

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The Secret to Success

Long ago I noticed that being confident of my skills and abilities made anything that I attempted much easier to achieve. If I truly believe that I can do something, I automatically make small tweaks in my daily routine to accomplish that goal. I also make major changes to ensure my success, whenever they seem like a good idea. If we follow through on our positive mindset with positive actions, we are much more likely to see our dreams come to fruition. The belief that we can accomplish what we set out to do is called self-efficacy. It’s the difference in those who achieve and those who don’t. It’s a skill that can be developed, or learned, over time.

Like-Minded Individuals

It’s important to have a healthy support system when you undertake a difficult task. If your family and friends don’t support you fully in your weight loss initiative, seek out others who are like-minded concerning health and fitness. Seeing someone else fighting and winning the same battles that you are fighting will help empower you to success. We’re always here for an encouraging word either in comments or on our “Contact” button.

Be Your Own Best Friend

Be mindful of your inner dialogue. Always think to yourself the way that you would talk to a dear friend. Be careful to never think that you can’t lose weight! That’s a bit ridiculous. Anyone can lose weight. Tell yourself that you will reach your goal, that it will take some time, but you will do it! Change any negative talk to positive and watch yourself change what you do.

Always a Student

Be aware that physiology is a complex topic and you still have a lot to learn. David always says that “You don’t know what you don’t know.” This is so true! When I first began lifting, I wanted to know how long “It” would take. I truly didn’t know what I didn’t know, that “It” would take the rest of my life because it’s a lifestyle. It’s not a temporary diet or exercise program. I was, and will always be, willing to learn and actively seeking all the information that I can ferret out of research and practice. I am constantly learning about the Iron and how to apply it to my life. Without a willingness to learn, I would have given up a long time ago. Keep your mind open and stay hungry for information concerning your health and fitness.

Be Proud!

Always be proud of your accomplishments and celebrate them regardless of how big or small. If you were challenged in any way and you learned how to successfully navigate that issue, glory in it! Every Personal Record that I set, every barrier that I break through, is an adrenaline producing, endorphin pumping high! I feel like a total badass when those walls come tumbling down. I live for those moments and glory in them. If you accomplish one thing that you set out to do that is a positive action for your health, bask in it! Don’t let anyone rain on your parade.

Seriously

Above all, keep your goals realistic. If you struggle with getting any exercise whatsoever, set an attainable workout goal, with your doctor. Don’t think for one minute that you will go from no exercise, to huffing and puffing your way through a gruelling two hour HIIT program every day. If you don’t like eggs, don’t plan on eating eggs every morning for breakfast. Set small, achievable goals and watch your self-confidence soar and your goals will begin to come into view. Then set a slightly bigger goal and do it again and again until achievement is your default. Then you will be living the goal-oriented, results producing, lifestyle that will carry you into good health for the rest of your life.

It Didn’t Happen Unless It’s Written Down!

Make a list of your accomplishments and add to it daily. I keep a written record of my lifting sessions. This will allow you to see how far that you have come. When we’re in this for the long haul, it becomes as natural as breathing and unless we write down our victories, we may forget how hard fought they were and get discouraged. Look back to see your progress but always look forward to new goals and celebrations. Remember, it’s the rest of your life, enjoy!

As always, consult your physician before beginning any weight loss program.

 

 

 

Low Carb Jerk Chicken

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Nutritional  Info

Serves 8

Calories 187

Carbs 0 grams

Fat 11 grams

Protein 21.9 grams

Ingredients

1 bunch green onions, plus more thinly sliced for garnish

2 cloves garlic

1 jalapeno, roughly chopped

Juice of one lime

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon brown Swerve

1 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt

8 pieces bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs

Vegetable oil, for grill

Directions

In a blender, combine onions, garlic,  jalapeno, lime juice, oil, brown Swerve, allspice, thyme, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 Tablespoons water and blend til smooth. Set aside 1/4 cup.

Put chicken in a shallow dish and season with salt. Pour remaining  marinade over chicken; toss to coat. Let marinate in fridge, turning once or twice, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

When ready to grill, heat grill to medium high and oil grates. Grill chicken, turning occasionally, until  chicken is charred in spots, about 10 minutes.

Move chicken to a cooler part of the grill and brush with reserved marinade. Grill, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 10-15 minutes more.

 

Low Carb Italian Chicken Roll-Ups

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Nutritional Info

Serves 2

Calories 613

Net Carbs 8 grams

Fat 18 grams

Protein 60 grams

Ingredients

1/2 cup cream cheese

2 Tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

black pepper

1 pound thinly sliced chicken breasts

olive oil spray

8 ounces canned tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup grated cheese

Fresh oregano or basil, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375F

Prepare filling by combining cream cheese, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and pepper.

Put a spoonful in the end of each thinly sliced breast and roll up and place in a baking dish sprayed with olive oil.

Mix the tomato sauce and oregano and pour it over the chicken.

Roast for 30-40 minutes or until internal temp has reached 180F. When the chicken is at 170F, sprinkle with the grated cheese and return to the oven to finish cooking.

Spoon sauce over the chicken when serving and garnish with fresh oregano or basil.

 

Don’t Die Too Young My Friend

Last week, a lifelong friend of mine had a heart attack at 56 years old. He went to the doctor for a stress test of his heart and did not pass. He had a heart attack while on the treadmill and was wheeled straight into emergency surgery where it was discovered he had a 99.9 percent blockage. Thankfully he was in a hospital already and the doctors were able to put in a place a stent to save his life. If he had been home or on the job, this could very well have been the sad end to a good man and a great tragedy to his family and friends who all love him dearly.

Take action now!

This concept is not rocket science; no matter what you might think, a healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease. This concept is nowhere near as hard as you may believe it to be!  You do not have to die young and cause pain and anguish to your family and friends, you can make smart choices to change the overall pattern of your choices that will make improve your heart health. Make the simple steps below part of your life for long-term benefits to your health and your heart:

Quit consuming excess, empty calories and lose some weight!

  • Start by knowing how many calories you should be eating and drinking to maintain your weight. Nutrition and calorie information on food labels is typically based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. You can learn your daily caloric needs simply by going to our Calorie Counter Pro menu where you simply enter your age, gender, weight, and activity level to see how many calories per day you need for your goals whether they are weight loss, gain, or maintenance.
  • If you are trying not to gain weight, don’t eat more calories than you know you can burn up every day. This is a simple concept, eat more than you burn, and you gain weight. This is true for everyone. By eating only 500 calories per day in excess of your caloric needs, you will gain one pound of fat per week. Conversely, if you eat 500 calories less than you need, you will lose that one pound of fat.
  • Increase the amount and intensity of your doctor approved physical activity to burn more calories.
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity (or an equal combination of both) each week. What ever you do, do not over rate the intensity of your exercise in order to be able to eat more. We have seen it time and again where people will rate their physical activity as intense when it was moderate at best. To rate your intensity remember this:
    1. Intense exercise will have our heart pounding hard and you will not be able to breath or speak. The odds of you doing this for more than a minute or two if you are not a trained athlete are very slim.
    2. Moderate intensity is where your heart rate is elevated and your breathing is deep and hard, but you can still carry on a labored conversation. This is a great zone to be in as this where fat burning takes place. It takes the average person twenty minutes to burn through their glycogen stores before burning fat, so try to go at it for at least 30 minutes at a time.
    3. Low intensity means your heart rate is not elevated and you can breath and speak easy. While this is better than sitting on the couch, you should work yourself up to where you can enter the moderate intensity zone.

Make everything you eat count towards good health!

You may be eating plenty of food to satisfy your immediate hunger, but that is not enough. Being full does not equate your body getting the nutrients it needs to be healthy. Nutrient-rich foods have minerals, protein, whole grains and other nutrients but are lower in calories. They help you control your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.

Quit eating calorie dense, low nutrition foods!

The right number of calories to eat each day is based on your age and physical activity level and whether you’re trying to gain, lose or maintain your weight. You could use your daily allotment of calories on a few high-calorie foods and beverages, but you are not likely to get the nutrients your body needs to be healthy. Do not waste your calories on sugar filled junk foods that will only serve to drive you crazy with cravings for more later in the day. Eliminate, or greatly reduce foods and beverages high in calories but low in nutrients in your diet. Also limit the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium you eat. Read nutrition labels on your food choices very carefully – the Nutrition Facts panel tells you the amount of healthy and unhealthy nutrients are in a food or beverage.

  • Eat a variety of fresh, frozen and canned vegetables and fruits without high-calorie sauces or added salt and sugars. Replace high-calorie foods with fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose fiber-rich whole grains for most grain servings.
  • Choose poultry and fish without skin and prepare them in healthy ways without added saturated and trans fat. If you choose to eat meat, look for the leanest cuts available and prepare them in healthy and delicious ways.
  • Eat a variety of fish at least twice a week, especially fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (for example, salmon, trout and herring).
  • Select fat-free (skim) and low-fat (1%) dairy products.
  • Avoid foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
  • Limit saturated fat and trans fat and replace them with the better fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. If you need to lower your blood cholesterol, reduce saturated fat to no more than 5 to 6 percent of total calories. For someone eating 2,000 calories a day, that’s about 13 grams of saturated fat.
  • Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
  • Choose foods with less sodium and prepare foods with little or no salt. To lower blood pressure, aim to eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Reducing daily intake to 1,500 mg is desirable because it can lower blood pressure even further. If you can’t meet these goals right now, even reducing sodium intake by 1,000 mg per day can benefit blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day if you’re a woman and no more than two drinks per day if you’re a man.
  • Follow the American Heart Association recommendations when you eat out, and keep an eye on your portion sizes. (1)

Do yourself and your family a favor and get your health together today. Follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we freely provide all the information you need to live a healthy life. Subscription is free and easy, join us today and get each of our new articles straight to your email inbox. Please feel free to comment or ask questions in either our comments section or privately through our contact menu. We answer everyone and encourage conversation!

(1) American Heart Association

Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

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I Feel Your Pain, Seriously

There is nothing anymore frustrating than expecting to see that cursed number on the scale drop and hopping up there and either have no change or, God forbid, GAIN. I have fought this battle for a long time. My anorexic mother placed me on my first diet at age four against the doctor’s advice. I struggled with my weight for about 56 years before, at the age of 61, I discovered David’s Way. I manage my weight well now by daily maintenance. After doing every diet that you can imagine and being a lifetime member of a major weight loss corporation, I have discovered a lifestyle, not a diet, that works for me and it’s free. I don’t buy special food and I can always find something to eat. I don’t have to go to meetings or check in online. I just live it every day of my life. I don’t eat sugar and I eat whole foods. I count my calories and stop when I eat them all. The truth is, some days I find it hard to eat them all because whole, high quality foods fill you up and stay with you. I am seldom hungry.

The Mysterious “Plateau”

Water

When we first start to count our calories, there is usually an initial loss if water because we are eating less volume. Along with that volume, comes less sodium. Many of the high calorie foods that pack on the pounds are also high in sodium. Chips of all kinds are a common culprit in overweight and obesity. Almost all chips, and other empty calorie snack foods, are sodium bombs. Add the volume that we consume into the equation and you can just imagine the sudden release of water from our bodies when we cut these nutritional nightmares from our diets. Sugar also causes us to retain water as our bodies attempt to dilute the sugar for us to achieve a normal blood sugar. So, while we do lose fat in those first weeks of a weight loss program, we are losing a lot of water along the way. At some point, if we continue on with healthy habits, we will stop losing water. Then the scale will reveal our actual fat loss each week and if we are on a healthy program, that will not exceed 2 pounds per week. Any more than that is an indication that we are not eating enough calories. So, your first “plateau” may just mean that now you are seeing how much fat you are losing rather than fat and water.

Accuracy

Again, at the beginning of our program a decrease in calories will yield fat loss but, unless we accurately count our calories each day, the scale will stall or go the other way. I have tried “I know what I should eat.” thinking. That’s where you think that you don’t have to track your food because you just “know” what you should be eating. Seriously? If we did what we know to do, we wouldn’t have a weight problem in the first place. Tracking makes us accountable. If we track every bite, we are much less likely to grab that extra handful of almonds or add an extra pat of butter to our oatmeal. Little things do mean a lot. All of those BLT’s (Bites, Licks and Tastes) add up. Track your food for success. “Pre-tracking” works best for me. Plan, track and then eat. If you eat anything other than what you pre-tracked, make sure to track that also.

Honesty

This has got to be one of the most common and ridiculous habits that we can possibly employ in our weight loss journey. It is common for people to over-estimate their calorie burn during exercise. One of the groups that I was a member of for many years had a system where you earned points, or calories, that you could “spend” on food. Oh. My. God. I knew a woman who swore that she earned the equivalent of about 4,400 calories a week that she could eat. She never lost weight and surely enough, began to gain and just quit trying to lose at all. Those 4,400 calories every week were causing her to put on over a pound every week, after her initial weight loss at the beginning of the program. When anyone tried to counsel her concerning the absurdity of her so-called “earned points” and how that would affect her weight loss, she violently disagreed. She would say, “But I EARNED those points!” No, she didn’t. She couldn’t have earned that much extra food if she worked out 12 hours a day. She was over-estimating her level of difficulty. She counted every activity as being high exertion. Unless you cannot talk and can barely breathe, you are not exerting yourself at that level. I work out hard, with heavy weights, for two hours at a time and I don’t even count those calories burned. Do you want to lose weight? Don’t lie to yourself.

Progress!!!

Yes! Progress towards your goal may be one reason that you are not losing! As your weight declines, so do your caloric needs. You can calculate your caloric needs as often as you like with our Calorie Counter Pro. You can have the results sent to your email for losing or gaining 1-2 pounds per week or to maintain your weight. This is a free service to our readers. Take advantage of this great tool. We strongly advise losing only one pound per week. Slow weight loss is better on your skin. You are less likely to have sagging skin than if you lose fast and slow loss is safer overall. You can also adjust your personality as you go when you lose slowly. Otherwise getting slim quickly can be like waking up in someone else’s body with no idea how you got there and unable to maintain that new body. Slow loss enables you to truly change your habits over time so that they become ingrained in your life, a lifestyle, not a diet.

“You Can’t Out-Exercise a Bad Diet” David Yochim

This is an ongoing topic of discussion here at David’s Way. While we both work out hard and regularly, we also know that we MUST track every bite and be selective about how we spend our calories. Quite often, people who are athletic or active slip into thinking that they can just run another block or Zumba one more song and burn up that hot fudge sundae. No, you can’t. I had the revealing experience years ago of joining a new gym to swim laps and gaining weight like mad! Boy, was I upset! The problem was that the new gym was on the other side of a great frozen yogurt shop. Almost every time that I went swimming, I stopped for yogurt. I just figured that ALL THOSE LAPS had earned me a sugar cone…full of yogurt…a big one. It had not. Although I was swimming like an Olympian, I gained weight. Just work out because it’s healthy and count your calories according to how many it takes to lose. Trying to squeeze in every extra bite that you possibly can, will sabotage your efforts to lose.

Scale Obsession

While the scale is a great indicator of over-all progress, it is also a bit fickle. Salt, lack of sleep, carbs, stress, heat and so much more can cause us to retain water in our bodies. Our weight will fluctuate accordingly. Hard workouts cause inflammation in the body and then the body heals and creates muscle. While that’s a little over-simplified, the point is this, you may be doing everything exactly right and the scale may say that you have gained weight. Sometimes, if we are too dependent on the scale as the measure of our success, we will just give up if it appears to chastise us, especially if we truly believe that we are doing everything right. Weighing once a week at the same time of day in the same clothes will give you your most accurate weight. Don’t obsess about daily fluctuations. If you know that you are constipated or retaining water due to a hormonal issue or salty food, just wait a few days, until the problem has subsided and then you will have a more accurate idea of your progress.

Quitting

If you quit trying to lose weight and be healthy, you will gain weight and be unhealthy, most likely. If you fall down, get up. Don’t quit. That’s why it seems that you never lose weight. You try a while and get a craving or a mood swing and quit. The only difference in a winner and a loser is that the winner got up one. more. time. Get up. Don’t quit. Keep going through all the hurdles and you will win the race.

 

No Hill For a Climber, The Infection

Hurry up and wait!

It appears we will be in this holding pattern for maybe the next couple of months until Loraine has healed from her mastectomy enough to begin her radiation treatments. She has had a set back with a deep infection to her incision that was discovered by the wound care specialist that Dr. Butler had referred her to a few weeks back. For all intents and purposes, Loraine’s healing appeared to be coming along fine, there was some dead skin at the incision site, but that was not unexpected and did not look abnormal to either the surgical or medical oncologists that had been seeing her. Dr. Butler, the surgical oncologist thought it would be a good idea to have some of the dead flesh removed by the wound care specialist, Dr. Matson, solely as a precautionary measure to facilitate a speedier healing process. There were no indications of a deep infection from the outside when Loraine went to see Dr. Matson, therefore it was quite the surprise to find out there was actually a very significant infection brewing under the surface within the deep tissues. Visually, there was no indication of redness, swelling, pus or any type of foul smelling discharges from her incisions. We had thought radiation treatments would be able to be started within the next couple of weeks. It is just another thing learned when dealing with breast cancer I guess..

It has been about 4 weeks ago that Dr. Butler prescribed Loraine Silvadene which is a cream that is supposed to help prevent and treat wound infections. She prescribed this solely as a preventive measure as there were no indications of infections in Loraine’s incisions. We applied this cream daily after Loraine’s showers before applying new bandages over the incisions. It turns out that Silvadene is not a medicated cream that Dr. Matson thinks should be used on these types of wounds as according to him, it inhibits the healing process instead of helping it along. When Dr. Matson cut away the dead skin from Loraine’s incision, there was a very foul smell and a bunch of pus lying underneath. He told Loraine to quit using the Silvadene and to now use SilvaSorb on the site instead. He told Loraine that he wished doctors would not prescribe the use of Silvadene on these types of wounds as it slows healing. I only bring this up, not because I think Dr. Butler was wrong in prescribing the Silvadene in the first place, but to give you information to bear in mind should you ever be presented the same situation. You might want to inquire whether the doctor means one or the other, since the names are so similar and the the two medications are both silver based and do similar jobs. Breast cancer, or any type cancer for that matter, is a great learning experience as you will be faced with so many unknowns. While we always knew infection was a possibility, we did not expect the extent of this one Loraine has been hit with. Dealing with this type of thing is not for the timid or those with a weak stomach. Whether you are prepared or not, these types of things just have to be dealt with in the home.

I have to admit, the first dressing change after the dead skin from Loraine’s incision was cut away revealing the infection was tough. There is a hole that you could fit a quarter into that is at least one fourth of an inch deep. The underlying muscle tissue is exposed along with fatty tissue and pus which must be cleaned out with sterile saline solution before applying SilvaSorb ointment and new bandages. I do not have difficulties in seeing sights like this on others, yet seeing it on the love of my life was quite hard. Changing these dressings and nursing the wounds is not a job for the squeamish at all. Once I clean out the pus, I find myself scared to death of causing Loraine any type of pain as I spread the SilvaSorb into that deep pit. Loraine has dealt with serious infections and bedsores in her work as a home health care attendant, but this was too much for her to bear looking at. Therefore, nightly dressing changes has been my job before leaving to work in the evenings. I can’t blame her one bit.

Today’s visit with the wound care doctor.

I took Loraine to see Dr. Matson this morning to have the wound looked at. The doctor took measurements and pictures which were entered into her records and compared with last weeks. Fortunately, the wound is a little smaller yet still has a long way to go before being fully healed enough for her to begin radiation treatments. After  the measurements and pictures were taken, he then cut away dead fatty tissue and debrided the wound. Thankfully, they used a good numbing gel and Loraine does not have full feeling there yet, It looked painful. And then, smart guy me, I just had to stand where I could watch and did not notice that I was standing on the seat controls that raise, lower and leans the seat. I felt like a real goober when the doctor looked at me and told me I was standing on the control. I was so enthralled with watching the procedure that I did not notice the seat was rising as he was trying to work on her. He was friendly enough, but I know it probably had to chap his ass this happened. I know it would mine. Lesson learned is to keep my ass back. Once he was through with debriding the wound, the nurse packed it with a new medicine that he wants her to use instead of the SilvaSorb. This looks kind of like a bandage except it dissolves when in the wound. It is a collagen and silver based medicine. I hope we see more healing next week, the week after and after…

Most women do not get infections after mastectomy.

From BreastCancer.org

  • More than 1 in 20 women (a little higher than 5%) developed an infection at the site of the incision after breast surgery.
  • The risk of infection was different depending on the type of surgery that was being done:
    • 4% for mastectomy with no reconstruction
    • 12% for surgery with implant reconstruction
    • 7% for reconstruction surgery using skin and/or muscle from the belly area
    • 1% for breast reduction surgery

When you are preparing yourself for a surgical procedure, odds are you are only thinking of getting fixed, or getting your diseased parts removed from your body. There is an overwhelming amount of emotions that will flood your mind when dealing with breast cancer, it is almost impossible to think of everything you might need to ask the doctors involved in your care team. If surgery is a part of your treatment for breast cancer and you’re concerned about the possibility of infection, talk to your doctor about:

  • How often infections occur after the type of surgery you’re having in the hospital you’ll be using.
  • How that infection rate compares to the infection rate at other area hospitals.
  • The possibility of your surgery being done as an outpatient procedure or with a short hospital stay after surgery. Many infections after surgery happen because of germs in the hospital environment.
  • The steps that will be taken before, during, and after surgery to reduce the risk of infection. For example, some doctors recommend that people scheduled for surgery use a special washing procedure before coming to the hospital. Other doctors may prescribe antibiotics before or during surgery to lower the risk of infection.

It’s important to remember that most women having breast surgery will NOT develop an infection. If an infection does develop, it usually can be treated successfully with antibiotics. Together, you and your doctor can develop a plan that is the best for YOU.

Use Your Stress for Success

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What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

What’s bothering you? Ah, it’s a loaded question, isn’t it? “Botheration” is a real word that means “effort, worry or difficulty”. If you can identify the cause of your bother, you are well on your way to solving it.

Two Threads

Bother is caused by conflict, so every bother has more than one cause. (1) If you want to be slim, strong and healthy but you also want pizza, beer and cake four times a week then you have conflict. The number on the scale or the way that your yoga pants don’t fit or the mirror may be your bother. Your bother may be in the form of a wake-up call at the doctor’s office when your blood pressure or your blood sugar is in a dangerously high range. The point is, at some time, this conflict will cause bother.

Warring Factions

The key to resolving the conflict is to follow the path of the stressors to their source. In the case of the ongoing struggle between a desirable body fat percentage and binge eating, the source of the stress is overeating. The two threads of the conflict have that in common. One thread is allowing the behaviour to continue and one thread is a desire to be healthy. Supposedly, these two threads have a common goal. While it seems far-fetched to imagine that these two profoundly different thoughts and behaviours have anything in common, they do. The commonality here is a contented mind. We allow ourselves to self-medicate with food to achieve a level of satisfaction that always eludes us when we resort to gluttony to solve our problems. We also believe that a healthy body will give us the satisfaction that we crave. So, both behaviours are intended to produce the same result, a contented mind. No wonder that we feel or seem crazy to those who just don’t give a damn.

Resolution

If we want to resolve this conflict, which is necessary in order to meet our goals, then we must decide what is truly important. I have been told by more than one person that being overweight “doesn’t bother me”. Well, then I must ask you this question, does heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, depression and an increased risk of cancer bother you? This is a partial list of only a few of the things that are exacerbated or aggravated by excess body fat. In this artificial, pretentious world of social media that we inhabit, where so much of what we see are false images, it’s easy to look at a plastic, Barbie doll model or a man who is so ripped and gnarly that he looks like a gargoyle, and just decide that we can never look like that and toss all healthy habits to the wind. What we so often forget is that looks are only a part of why we need to be healthy. A long, productive life that is lived to the fullest is the main reason to achieve excellent health. If we are going to ever achieve our goals, we must resolve the conflict of the two threads of thought and behavior. Realizing that both behaviours are trying to achieve the same result can sometimes give us the motivation to decide which path we want to take to the desired end, a contented mind.

Which Is Better?

There is an axiom that I love, “Being overweight is hard. Losing weight is hard. Choose your hard.” This is the core of success. At David’s Way we tell you “Don’t eat sugar. Eat whole foods. Count your calories.” While this is simple, if you are addicted to sugar, there will be a difficult time of withdrawal. Learning to be accountable about what you eat may be hard for you. I remember when I realized how many calories were in snack cakes and I  nearly died. I could not fathom that only two or three, or so…, swiss cakes in a day could make that much difference, but they did. In the beginning it’s hard to be accountable. So, in deciding which route you will take to a contented mind, you must decide if you want the temporary contentment of swiss rolls and overweight, or the long-term, lifetime contentment of good health. Both paths are hard but only one is ultimately rewarding.

Use the Stress for Success

The next time that you feel the conflict of your habits not aligning with your goals, follow the two threads of conflict to their source. Think about the goal that both behaviours are pressing towards and what version of that goal each behaviour will create and then determine which outcome you really want. I believe that if you are honest with yourself, you will decide that if the pathway is going to be hard either way, you will most likely choose a long, healthy life over short-term satisfaction.

 

 

 

Plantar Fasciitis

One of the first things we military veterans learn in our military careers is the importance of foot care. We would spend our days marching from place to place for our many different training evolution’s.  During our early days of preparing for combat operations, we would be on our feet from sun up to sun down. Foot care was imperative to our success as young troops. However, proper foot care extends into our civilian lives too. If we do not care for our feet, we lose our mobility. Once we have lost mobility, we begin losing our health too. Plantar fasciitis is a debilitating condition that can cause you to lose your ability to remain mobile.

Plantar fasciitis can occur for many reasons, it is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).

When you have plantar fasciitis you will experience a deep stabbing pain that can damn near cripple you with your first steps in the morning when you get out of bed. Once you get up and move, the pain might decrease some, but it might return after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting. While plantar fasciitis is more common in runners,  people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support  have an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis. If you are morbidly obese, plantar fasciitis can finish off your ability to walk on your own.

When you develop plantar fasciitis you are typically going to experience a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually the worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or when you get up after sitting. The pain is usually worse after exercise, not during it. When you have it, you might find yourself hating life each and every time you have to get on your feet. It will seem that nothing you do will ease the pain when you try to stand and walk.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Your plantar fascia is in the shape of a bowstring, supporting the arch of your foot and absorbing shock when you walk. If tension and stress on this bowstring become too great, small tears can occur in the fascia. Repeated stretching and tearing can irritate or inflame the fascia. Although the cause remains unclear in many cases of plantar fasciitis some factors can increase your risk of developing this condition. They include:

  • Age. Plantar fasciitis is most common between the ages of 40 and 60.
  • Certain types of exercise. Activities that place a lot of stress on your heel and attached tissue — such as long-distance running, ballet dancing and aerobic dance — can contribute to the onset of plantar fasciitis.
  • Foot mechanics. Flat feet, a high arch or even an abnormal pattern of walking can affect the way weight is distributed when you’re standing and can put added stress on the plantar fascia.
  • Obesity. Excess pounds put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
  • Occupations that keep you on your feet. Factory workers, teachers and others who spend most of their work hours walking or standing on hard surfaces can damage the plantar fascia.

Some of the risk factors such as age, foot mechanics, and occupation you have might have little to no control over. In regards to foot mechanics and occupation, it is imperative that you buy shoes that are correct for your foot type. You can also have orthotics custom made to give your arch the proper support they require.

A Factor You Can Control

You can control your weight!

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. This is a simple common sense fact. If your ideal body weight should be 150 pounds and you weigh 300 pounds, this is akin to you at a normal weight carrying around a 150 pound back pack 24 hours a day. That added weight is a huge strain on  the connective tissue in your feet. Simply put, people who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. The more weight you allow yourself to gain, the more you risk losing your mobility. Loss of mobility and obesity becomes a vicious cycle that feeds upon itself.

You can, and should, break the link of obesity. When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet. Obesity can create a flat foot posture to develop as the excessive pressure on the feet from supporting the excess body weight can change the structure of the foot. This leads to an unhealthy distribution of weight on the feet which leads to improper foot movements while walking. As the foot arch flattens, the plantar fascia ligament which runs through the bottom of the foot, stretches excessively and causes one to suffer great pain when supporting their body weight.

See Your Doctor

No matter your weight, if you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, go see your doctor who can assist you with getting set up with  “orthotics”. These are shoe inserts that support the arch and cushion the heel. The inserts range from basic, off-the-shelf supports to expensive, custom-made versions that will help your feet to get better over time. It may be pricey as you may need to see a podiatrist for this. However, the price of a loss of mobility is even worse.

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