Dorothy & dieting

Our neighbor/friend, Dorothy, got to come home from the hospital today – and not a moment too soon. We are both terribly exhausted from the ordeal and thankful that we don’t have to sleep on hospital furniture tonight. Her medical tests that were performed yesterday revealed several intestinal problems, but nothing serious enough that it can’t be treated with medication and diet changes.

Speaking of diets, I’ve decided that I want to lose 25 pounds by May. That’s when Honey will officially walk the aisle and get his bachelor’s degree, and we want to celebrate by going on a nice, long vacation – preferably somewhere with sand and sun. Although most people wouldn’t consider me to be overweight, I don’t like the extra blubber that has accumulated around my midsection over the last four years and I don’t want to wander around the beach looking like a muffin-top.

So far, my attempts at cutting back have consisted of replacing cheeseburgers, fries, and sodas with Subway cold cuts on wheat bread and water. Dinner tonight was some low-fat, high-fiber Campbell’s soup, crackers, and a slice of cheese. I was still starving immediately after eating, so pacified my sweet tooth with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (hey, at least it’s whole grain).

This isn’t going to be easy…


Caffeine – I’ve done pretty well with cutting caffeine out of my diet. In the last week, I’ve only had two Dr. Peppers and a few glasses of tea. Other than that, I’ve mostly had water.

Cats – I’m a big softie when it comes to starving or needy creatures, so it wasn’t a hard decision for me to start feeding the skinny feline who showed up outside. She typically shows up for kibble after I get off from work, and she rewards me for being big-hearted by pooping in the driveway.

She must have kittens tucked away somewhere, as she appears to have been nursing. I wonder how long it will be before she brings the kids over for dinner?

Wal-Mart Buggies – Every stinking time I go to WM, I get a faulty shopping cart – one that squeaks, rattles, wobbles, or wants to veer to one side or the other. I suspect those smirky door greeters are to blame, since they always select which carts are up front. I bet they pick out the most raggedy buggies they can find and laugh behind their false teeth as we try to push them into the store.

Prilosec OTC – Two words… miracle drug. It’s made a huge difference in the way I feel and pretty much eliminated the pain that I was feeling in my chest. I always assumed that acid reflux would have a burning sensation, but it turns out it can feel like pressure, too.

Dr. Pepper: Not what the doctor ordered

My absolutely favorite drink in the entire world is Dr. Pepper. I usually have several a day, even though I often get picked on for only drinking half of a 12 ounce can. I think that’s because I like them very cold, and they don’t have quite the same appeal after they’ve been out of the fridge for more than a few minutes.

dr_pepper_logoI’ve been having some unexplained stomach pain on my right side over the past week, so I decided to try to make some changes to my diet to see if it improved. I started eating whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables, and even cut back on the caffeine, but saw no improvement. In fact, I went to the ER on Sunday with chest pains.

The tests they ran on me pretty much ruled out any heart or lung problems, but were unable to explain my pain, elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and low-grade temperature. I was instructed to follow up with my regular doctor.

Dr. thinks the problem might be my gallbladder, but wants to rule out something more serious first. I will have a stress test and ultrasound on Thursday. For now, I have been placed on pain and anti-anxiety medication and a bland diet.

I’ve heard the expression “bland diet” before, but thought it referred to eating healthy. Turns out, it’s a very unhealthy way of eating. After rattling off the list of foods I can’t eat – dairy, fresh fruits, vegetables, spicy dishes, sugary foods, caffeinated drinks, nuts – I was told that I could eat things like potatoes, pasta, and bread. You know, carbs.

I can live with most of the (hopefully) temporary changes in my diet, but the one thing that is driving me crazy is going without Dr. Pepper. The beautiful burgundy cans beckon to me from the refrigerator at work, but I know that I’m better off to leave them be. Maybe, just maybe, I can lay off caffeine for good.

In the meantime, I’m off to drown my sorrows in a glass of ice water.

Death by chocolate

I’ve really got to start eating better.

This morning I began my workday with one of those donuts that has chocolate icing on top and cream filling and a plastic container of chocolate milk. Nutritious, huh?

I have to wonder what role my diet has played in the health problems that I’ve had over the last year. Obviously it’s had some effect, as sugar seems to be my main source of nutrition.

Maybe that also explains why I’m so sweet…