Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Weight loss stats

This is kinda weirding me out because I don't reveal my weight to ANYBODY. Maybe my size, but never my weight, but just for the sake of someone out there who might need some enouragement, here you go. Remember Days 1-3 are considered innefective injections as the hormone has to build in in your system.

Day1 (03/27/09): Weight 233.3 lbs or 106.05 kgms
Day 2 (03/28/09):This was my most shocking day. Weight 238.1 lbs or 108.23 kgms
Day 3 (03/29/09): Weight 237.2 lbs or 107.82 kgms. Though I started the regular diet this day, you don't see the results until day 4. I know...lamo!
Day 4 (03/30/09): Weight 231.8 lbs or 105.36 kgms
Day 5 (03/31/090: Weight 229.6 lbs or 104.36 kgms

For me, I weigh myself in the morning, then inject myself at night before I go to bed. It seems to be working okay for me right now. Guess We'll See.

Monday, March 30, 2009

And the hunger sets in

Okay, not really hunger, but the craving to eat, even if you're technically really not hungry. I found this cute picture and thought it was apt.

Do you think that might work? I'd give it a try. Right now I'm chugging down water and that helps to cut some of the hunger cravings.

Today was my first day on the actual 500 calorie diet. For the first 3 days, you're supposed to gorge yourself. I didn't quite manage that, but did eat a lot more than I usually do. People who have done it tell me that if you didn't eat enough during the loading days, you tend to get hungry during the diet days. Oh, well. I have some Hoodia pills I can take.

On the up side, the diet isn't as restrictive as I thought it would be. I thought I was only restricted to apples, grapefruit and strawberries for my fruits. Turnes out I can eat apples, oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, fresh peaches, fresh plums, cherries and dried apricots.

My real worry was the veggies because I'm a really picky eater. I thought I could only eat spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage. I hate cooked spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, raw tomatoes, fennel cucumbers and would rather not eat asparagus. Good news! According to my booklet, not the internet, I can have Broccoli, Celery, Fennel, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Green or Red Peppers, Spinach, Green Beans, Cauliflower, Radishes, Zucchini, mushrooms, onions, garlic, lettuce, chard, asparagus, eggplant and tomatoes. Much better! I adore broccoli, Green and Red Bell Peppers, Green Beans, Cauliflower and eggplant (sometimes).

The way the diet goes is you generally do not eat breakfast, only drink coffee (I don't drink coffee), tea (sometimes herbal) or water. You can only have 1 tbsp of milk per day and can only sweeten the drink with either stevia (A wonderful, wonderful products) or saccharin. You can also have up to 1 tsp of agave nectar for cooking if needed.

So I had some water for breakfast and was starting to get hungry at about 11:oo, not relishing what I could eat. I looked at the cookbook included with my instruction booklet and found some really good recipes! I decided to make fajitas and they were yummy! I even made my own fajita seasoning! It was great just as it was, even without tortillas. I also had some slightly questionable apples. We buy the pre-sliced organic apples that come in individual bags with the right serving. Well, if you don't eat them quick enough, they start to spoil. Some of my slices were like that, but it didn't matter because I was full.

Tonight, I think I'm going to make oven fried chicken. No oil, just chicken coated in seasonings and some crushed up crackers and backed. Yummy. And probably some broccoli and cauliflower and maybe a plum. Yum!

Anyway, so far, so good! Tomorrow, I might be brave and post my weight loss...if there is any!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Embarking on a Diet

I've been overweight my whole adult life and most of my adolescent life. Since I turned 12 years old, I don't think I've ever been smaller than a size 14. When I was 23-ish I had a life changing event (diagnosed with fibromyalgia and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and lost over 70 pounds, taking me down to a size 14 again. Slowly, over the space of 6 years, the weight has come back. Part of that is due to a lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle. Part of that is a side effect of taking the prednisone for my eczema. Now, I'm back to the weight I was when I lost it all and I hate it. Though I could stay this way, it's not healthy and it causes more health problems for me.

One of my fellow student/friends mentioned a new diet she had gone on to lose her baby weight. I consulted my doctor and she gave me a few precautions, but said she thought it would be a good idea if diet and exercise weren't working well for me, which they weren't. It's called the hCG diet. This is a pregnancy hormone that they render from pregnant women's urine. Gross, I know. The theory is that this hormone saturates your blood with your stored fat and helps you reduce the unused fat in your body.

This diet consists of (for me) 30 days of injections. For the first 3 injections, while the hormone is building up in your blood, you do what is called loading. You gorge yourself with food. Literally. They advise you to force-feed yourself the most fattening, highly caloric food you can to saturate your blood with food. Then after the 3rd injection, you go down to a 500 calorie, high protein, low carb diet. You don't add any fat to the diet and can only have 1 tbsp of milk and the juice of one lemon. You can add all the seasoning you want as long as it doesn't have added sugar, including vinegar. Yes, select fruits and select veggies are part of this diet.

One of the instructors at the school started this diet while I was still enrolled and I found out today he's lost 17 pounds. Very promising. This diet continues for 3 days after the injections, to allow the hormone to be removed from the body, then you resume eating normally with no starches and no sugar for 3 weeks afterward. Then you can begin slowly adding the starches and sugar back in moderation, monitoring your weight closely. If you gain more than 2 pounds after your weight stabilizes, you remove whatever you added or reduce it until you're back to your baseline weight.

I'm excited to start this! I think this just might be what helps me drop the pounds, get my weight back into line and help me become more active, so I don't need a "diet aid" when I try to lose more weight. Wish me luck!

I'm a Twilight Freak

Yes, that's right. I'm a Twilight fan. I actually read the whole series earlier this year and loved it. Though the books were quite wordy for my tastes (I thought it could have been covered in 1-2 books, personally, but hey...I'm not an author), I loved the writing style and witty passages that made me laugh when I was the only one in the room. I loved the vision of the author in her imagined world of the vampires. I love that she made them more human and less animal. I love that she has an awkward heroine. I love the diverse experiences and knowledge that I inadvertently gained by reading these books.

I love reading romance novels anyway. I don't have any romance in my life, so I figure I can live vicariously through books and boy, did this one deliver. I found myself slightly frustrated as I was reading, wishing Edward would just break down, but secretly egging him on to stay strong.

So when the movie came out, I had to see it. I love the movie and it's been on my TV constantly for the past week it's been out. Things are obviously different from the way I saw them in my head, but I think the director did an awesome job. Though I hated Rosalie in the book, I loved her small part in the movie. Emmett cracked me up to no end in the movie, he's just like a little kid, excited at every aspect of life. Alice looked a little different than I pictured her (I envisioned a pixie cut, not the longer style they sported), but visually her overall character was dead on. Jasper was a slight disappointment. I wish they had portraid his "power" more and had shown him a little more relaxed. While I though him awkward with the other characters in the movie, when they showed outtakes, he fit in so much better as he acted more relaxed. Yeah, I realize he's struggling with his thirst, but I never envisioned him so stiff. I imagined Esme different, but loved the character in the movie. And Carlisle...wow. He's better than I imagined in my head. One of my favorite lines from the movie is when they're playing baseball and Bella calls Rosalie out and Carlisle taunts her by saying "Nice kitty." Hilarious!

Perhaps my biggest struggle with the movie was Edward. I love Rob Pattinson as Edward and don't think they could have cast it any better. But at times I see him in the movie and think, "He's just not that attractive." Then he smiles or cracks a joke or just relaxes slightly and I can see the hotness factor. And yes, I probably will see the new movie he's in, even if it is a scary movie. I don't do scary movies. My mind works overtime with those kinds of things. Probably why I love the Romance genre so much.

I have 20+ movies on my iPod, but this is the only movie I've watched since it came out. I was the same way with Pride and Prejudice and Another Cinderella Story (hold the mocking, please). So yes, I am a Twilight Freak. I'm okay with it.

Friday, March 20, 2009


So...Girl with Curl made a valid comment on my last post. She asked whether a second opinion might be warranted and I figured I'd combine this post with the brainstorming session I had with my parents last night.

I don't think a second opinion would change the outcome for me. I'll explain. This problem of getting staph infections in my fingers is kind of a compounding problem. I've been taking prednisone to supress my immune system to keep the eczema flairs down. With my immune system supressed, I can't fight off infections, therefore allowing the staph infection a head start and my body can't fight it off like a normal body could. Besides...the side effects of prednisone usage are horrible. Among the worst I experience is: hair loss by the handfuls (I've lost probably 1/3 my hair mass in the past 2 years of taking this stuff intermittently. My cousin, who was on this stuff at very high dosages and for an extended time period took approximately 5 years to recover her hair mass), insane insomnia, depression associated with said insomnia, intense increase in appetite (I'm already...oh...about 100 lbs overweight...I don't need any assistance in that arena) and big-time illness after I go off it...like go to the hospital illness. I've learned that my body kinda goes into an adrenal shutdown after taking the prednisone, so I now take big quantities of herbal supplements to keep my body from doing that, but it's only so effective. Other long-term side effects are bone density loss, increased hormonal imbalances, adrenal issues (already seen some of that), and more. It's not a pretty drug.

So my parents and I were brainstorming last night because my dad has finally seen how much I enjoy what I'm doing. He made a suggestion that I simply wear gloves whenever I am doing hair. I mentioned that I can't feel the hair like I need to and gloves tend to pull on the guests hair. My dad is nothing if not logical and sometimes, I want to strangle him for it. Last night, I could have kissed him (we're soooo not that kind of family). He made the valid point that surgeons do very intricate work with gloves on and manage to compensate with the feel. He simply suggested that I purchase some lightweight gloves and see if that would solve the problem. He agreed that I need to follow doctors orders and take a leave of absence for a bit to get the eczema under control and see when I go back if I can do everything with just gloves on. Hey, it's worth a try. Especially because I believe that part of my flare-ups are due to the sulfates and silicones in the products we use. If I provide a barrier, that might solve the problem.

In other news, tomorrow, I'm supposed to cut my brother-in-law's hair and my sister's hair. Guess we can give the glove-test a try with family members. My sister has a really hard head, so she can tell me if it's pulling on her hair more than usual and my brother-in-law's hair is short, so it'll help be know if I can have a good feel with gloves on. I guess we'll see.

At least I have some options, which is better than just feeling like I have to give up on my dreams.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Down and out...

I'm frustrated and a little bit down. I went to go see the doctor for the 2nd time since starting school about the eczema on my fingers. My eczema on my hands has been out of control since I started and she told me today that I need to take a leave from school to determine if it's school that's making my hands so bad or the change in the seasons. We argued (I'm nothing if not stubborn) about me staying in until after the seasons are finished changing because I want this so bad, but this is time #2 that I've had a staph infection in my fingers. Not cleanly for haircutting and not good for me, either. I've been taking prednisone, a horrible if wondrous drug to keep my fingers under control and it still isn't doing the trick. And it has too many side effects to keep taking it like I have been.

So, this blog will change slightly into more of a life and/or hair accounting until I'm able to return to school. If I'm able to return to school. Yeah, I'm frustrated. Yeah, I'm mad. Doesn't do me any good, so I'm just gonna go be frustrated and mad for a while on my own.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Men's Cutting

This week, we have our floor tests for men's haircutting. Too bad we've only had about 3 hours instruction on it, if that. It feels a might daunting, I must admit, but the instructors will be there every step of the way to help us, which is a relief. Plus, I'm cutting my brothers hair. He can't exactly explode if I make a mistake, right?

The rest of the night was spent in our lunchroom on product knowledge. We covered the Color Care line, which is a great line. They also gave us a sample of the Super Strong leave-in or something to that effect. Too bad it has silicones in it, because it's supposed to be protein rich and my hair loves protein. Oh, well...I'll go ahead and give it the old college try. After all, it was free...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I got my test results tonight and I passed. My evil plan is working and I get to move on to the next stage of classes, which is protege. We mirror a student who is further along in the program for 2 weeks, then we're on our own.

We might be going out Saturday night to celebrate getting past the "hardest" part of school! Notes to follow, I'm sure.

Tonight, we witnessed a manicure and a pedicure and a mini melt-down from one of the younger students. She wanted the pedicure and another classmate suggested that since she had had her eyebrows (I think) waxed, that maybe she should let another classmate do the pedicure. A full-on fit ensued including the one wanting the pedicure calling the responsible one "mom." Grow up, people. Grow up. And she "got even" anyway by going and having something else waxed during the pedicure. Lame. I'll be glad when she's out on the floor and I can distance myself from her.

Tomorrow, we have our celebration with a movie night, pizza and potluck. It feels like a huge hurdle we've reached here and we are ready to move on!

Written Test Ovah!

I don't know if I passed or not. I'll find out tonight. Why is it that everything you know immediately flies out of your head when you're taking a test?! Seriously! I couldn't even remember the color wheel. I had to come back to it.

Did you know there are 19 steps to doing a perm? 19!!!!!! And I had to list them all in order! I think I got that right.

I have blisters on my toes from the floor test (yeah, I was dumb and wore heels). I lanced the liquid last night and took the skin off one of the toes...BIG mistake. I'm hobbling all over the house sans shoes. Imagine what it'll be like with shoes tonight.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Floor Test Ovah!

I finished my floor test tonight. I'm pretty sure I passed. Thank goodness! I'm sure I'll find out tomorrow. I also get to make up my written test tomorrow. Can you see me jumping for joy?

I asked my sister to come and be my female model. We had to do 16 foils, 8 weave and 8 slice foils (trust me, I know most of this is greek to you). Then we had to pull those out and resection the hair and do color applications. I figured my sister would be an okay model because her hair was about to her chest. Wrongo, people! It probably hits her bra-strap! And it's THICK! I think I ended up putting 1/3 of a gallon of conditioner on her hair for the color applications. My sister made the hilarious comment that we should have weighed her before doing the color applications and after!

After getting through the color applications, I was to rinse her hair and roll 6 perm rods. I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and still didn't get all the conditioner out of her hair! I rolled the rods (which were a pain because she has layered and thinned hair), did the pretend application, took them out and finally washed her. We were judged on the head massage. She said I did a good job and I have some fierce competition as her stylist does a fabu job with the head massage. We rinsed, conditioned and then I had to dry her hair.

I finally got it dry, then completed my barrel rolls and spiral rolls (or whatever they're called on the side) and was given permission to use the smoothing iron on her hair. By that time I was soaked in sweat (seriously, I was) and even with half-assing the job, she loved it. Or at least she said she loved it.

So...the floor test is over. I'm happy, shaking from the cold because I stripped off all my clothes and am sitting in damp underwear writing this, and my feet hurt.

Day over! Whew!

Totally un-hair related...

My nephew is famous! Well, at least in the Austin area. Well, one of my nephews.

My youngest nephew (so far) was born with some prett significant health problems and my brother and sister-in-law have ended up spending the better part of a year in a childrens hospital. They've staid at the Ronald McDonald House (Bless whoever came up with that idea!) during the time and tried to manage my older nephew (the now famous one).

The older nephew, Conner, is hell on wheels. He is always on the go, so excited to do everything, see everything, has a memory like nobody I've ever seen and everybody at the hospital absolutely loves him. His enthusiasm is infectious and you can't help but smile when you're around him.

During Halloween (poor family has spent pretty much every holiday at the hospital this year), he was Superman and was flying around the hospital ward, cracking everybody up. He was so cute, someone at the Ronald McDonald House took a picture of him.

Well, every year, the Ronald McDonald House has a ball for fundraising and my brother's family was kind of chosen to attend and be in the video promoting the fundraising. Rather than explain it, I'll just link you so you can read the story. This brought tears to my eyes. The whole blog is quite inspirational, so if you decide to, please feel free to read the whole thing. I think you'll get an idea what an amazing family I come from, even though I complain sometimes about them. This is my closest brother (In age and emotional attachment), so it's especially poignant for me how well they land on their feet with no family around. Thank goodness for family friends they've made down where they life (2 hours away), church members and the fabulous hospital staff.

The staff at the hospital has been wonderful and have really gone the extra mile for my family. So, as they say in their post...whenever you're at McDonald's and see the little change slot for the RMHC, chuck your change in there...it really makes a difference in many people's life's but especially my families life. I did stay there when I went down there to help and the rooms are amazing. Just like a home away from home. And there are numerous was to contribute if you're inspired to do so!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Yes, that's right. I have been sick...all week! Well, truth be told, I've been sick for longer, but it finally came to a head when I figured out what was wrong with me. I have a freakish body and no doctor can ever find out what's wrong when I tell them my symptoms. So I've taken to searching the internet and going back to the doctor and asking them if this is the problem.

Warning...this will contain a rant. I have been sick for the better part of a year with one thing or another. I have fibromyalgia, which is enough of a challenge to get up and do stuff every day when your body hurts all the time. Then I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, so my reproductive system is all out of whack and I periodically have ruptured cysts, always on the left lower quadrant, so they think it's appendicitis. I've been in the emergency room 6 times this year. Twice with abdominal pain, which turned out to be a hernia from chucking so hard. It took them 6 weeks to find it. Then because I had been on serious pain medication for that long, when the surgery happened and I didn't hurt anymore, I went through withdrawals and was let go from my job because I was missing too much work and didn't have any leave. I can't blame them. There were only two of us in the department and my coworker needed help. Then this hellish economy happened.

No problem, right? Just collect unemployment. Great. No job offers. I have a sick nephew who was in the hospital for months. My mom and I went down to Texas for a few weeks to help them. Then my Grandma decided she didn't want to live anymore and I drove up to go help out up there. The night before, I developed a really uncomfortable pain in my lower back. My dad was driving with me, luckily because it turned out to be a kidney stone. Ended up in the Emergency Room with the pain from the stone. They originally told me it couldn't be a stone because of the location of the pain. Many useless painkillers later, a CT scan and an x-ray revealed...ta-dah! A kidney stone. So they sent me home with more painkillers and other things to help me pass the stone.

Then...between myself and my doctor (thank goodness she listens to me when I bring something up!) determined that the prednisone I take in pulses to keep my finger eczema under control was sending my body into an adrenal fatigue, which caused another bout of sickness and pain. So I hopped on the bandwagon full of nutritional supplements to help the adrenal glands recover.

Now...I have a bacterial infection, pain in my lower abdomen (which luckily she didn't send me for ultrasounds or anything because I've had 7...count them...7 CT scans THIS YEAR! And I don't have insurance right now due to my jobless state) because she was pretty sure it was a cyst on my ovary. Fabulous. I was sent home with painkillers (thankfully not heavy narcotic ones, but I'm about to hop on board if it doesn't go away soon!), and birth control. Then when the pain didn't subside and I noticed other symptoms I won't mention because they're gross...I figured out it's a bacterial infection. Great, she called me in a prescription. My fingers broke out and I ended up getting a staph infection because of the open sores on my fingers.

Seriously...will I ever be well again?! Because I've had about enough!

Anyway. That's why there have been no posts this week about school, because I haven't been! But I have my floor test on Monday. Wish me luck!

At least life isn't as bad as my poor brother and sister-in-law down in Texas dealing with their poor son, who has been in the hospital for probably 3/4 of his life and he's a year old. Prospects aren't good, so if you could send some thoughts and prayers out to them, that would be great!

BTW...don't you just LOVE it when hormones rage out of control?! That is probably the source of this whole post. Because goodness knows...I'm usually not this negative and/or boohooey! Forgive the moment and your regularly scheduled post will resume on Monday!