Captain’s Log


Yep, it’s been 10 days since the last update. I haven’t been doing well, but I haven’t been doing terrible either. I haven’t lost any weight, I’m still eating too fast, but not necessarily too much! The other day I actually cut a pizza in half and did NOT eat all of it. I have eaten out a few times over the last week and a half, and I’ve indulged in a bit of wine. But I haven’t overdone it. I missed out on 10,000 steps twice, one day was almost 6000, the other was Monday when I stayed home from work flat on my back. Walking is easier on the whole in terms of cardio, shortness of breath, etc. However, the pain is not easing up. my right foot is very painful, injury painful (without swelling or bruising) and my lower back is causing sharp shooting pains down my thighs. I am moving faster, however, with fewer consequences. So that’s progress.

I need to go back to eating though and my minor eating hangups. Yesterday I went out to eat with some friends at lunch, and only ate half of it – then I went back to my office and ate the rest by myself. We had fun talking, though. And then last night I went out to eat with my husband and a friend, a Japanese restaurant. Good time, thick Udon noodles, a little splashing, but no real difficulties. So 50% success rate yesterday.


It’s Tuesday which means aqua zumba. I did pretty well with it last week, so well it sort of knocked me on my butt. That’s actually good news. As I get more energetic, it’s going to be easier to go too far. I’m pushing myself a little too far at times already, so it’s time to be a bit careful about how much I do. One of the most frustrating things about fibro is the mindfulness aspect. It’s a vicious circle. You can’t just do what you want to do – you have to be mindful so you don’t overdo it. But when you think about how much you hurt or pay too much attention to your physicality in general, it emphasizes the pain, and you hurt more, so you have to be mindful…about being mindful. It’s always in the back of your mind. Like a mosquito in a tent overnight on a camping trip buzzing in your ear just as soon as you get comfortable. Get up and move, but not too fast, keep in mind not to overdo, but don’t think too much about it. It’s easy for people who have not dealt with the conundrum of fibromyalgia to not understand the psychological aspects of fibro, the constant stress, knowing, even when you feel well, that you have to plan for the pain, but if you plan too much, then you don’t move enough. I’m old, so I grew up watching Kathy Rigby at the Olympics, doing one of the first backflips on a balance beam. It seemed miraculous and a little impossible. That’s really what we do everyday, the impossible. We do everything we can to stay on the balance beam.

Lunchtime: Salad Bros. I can’t walk past that place. Well, I can, but not today. Tuna salad sandwich and chicken wild rice creamy soup. Not great for me, but dinner will be light and I’ll have a lot of exercise. My balance between calories in and out is a little odd. It’s out of whack one way or another. I either eat too little or too much. I think I need to concentrate on evening it out, preferably on the under side. However, I think it peaks and valleys because I get hungry. When I’m actually hungry, watch out. So eat more less often. I’ve heard that before.

At the same time, I’m wondering if my near-fear of eating in front of people has to do with my increasing anxiety about crowded places. There is a definite correlation between eating too quickly and too much when I’m in or have gone through crowds to get food. Sitting and eating with people usually includes the noise and crush of a crowd Sometimes it’s finding a place to sit down. Sometimes it’s trying to understand what people are saying to me. Sometimes it’s feeling like people are waiting for me to get up and leave so they can have my seat. It’s a strong possibility that there is an element of paranoia. The odd thing, is I usually feel so swallowed up and invisible, I can’t even actually imagine people noticing me unless I’m walking where they want to walk, sitting where they want to sit… Often people nearly mow me over and don’t even blink. I sometimes pinch myself. I’m there. I’m sure I’m there.

It was busy and crowded out there today. I ran a couple errands, got my food, and ran back to my office to eat. It’s quiet in my office, the door is shut, my heart rate is normal. And I just ate a large tuna salad sandwich and gulped down soup in just a few minutes. The hypervigilance doesn’t let go easily.


And another failure. Not in steps. I’ve done really well getting my 10,000 steps in. I did pool exercises twice last week. I didn’t gain weight, and in fact I lost weight – 0.5 pounds! At least I didn’t gain, despite chocolate chip cookies on Friday, dinner out to a Mexican restaurant with giant margarita on Friday, lunch out at Arby’s on Saturday, and Dominos Pizza on Saturday evening, And then a different Dominos pizza on Sunday. All that!! So there you go. Bad bad Sue. I’m not off track. But I’m not completely on track either. I am feeling a little better. I’m walking easier and quicker. My back is still really sore, but I do think I’m on the right track with something more sustainable. I’m going to get weight down and see if I can blame pain on weight. It’s just a thought.


Today was my first real failure. I didn’t make 10,000 steps. I’m at 9145, and I just can’t do more. I overdid it yesterday to the point I didn’t write last night. Yesterday I hit 12,208 steps, went to Aqua Zumba, burnt 3207 calories, and ugh. Not today. Overdoing it one day is not the way to succeed. I didn’t try to overdo it yesterday, but I did. So task #2 today is to give myself a much deserved break. If I shame myself over not doing 855 steps, I won’t be doing myself any favors.


Weigh-in today. I’m down to 233 lbs from 242. I’m sure that I’ll plateau off, but so far I already feel better in terms of weight – I’m still really sore. Walking and weight loss is not necessarily – yet – helping with pain. I’m leaving my mind open, however, in the hopes that it will kick in.

Again this weekend I didn’t count steps or calories and did really very well. I did have a little chocolate that was sitting out on the counter, but not to excess. There is still, unfortunately, chocolate sitting on my counter. I think I have a better chance of making this work long term if I have those couple days off every week. Those are the days that I hone my mindfulness skills and don’t go crazy.

All that being said, I tripped today. Yep. On a Monday. First thing this week. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. It was really quite necessary. Not really, and I’d like to blame the hand that grabbed it and put it on my plate, but no, it was all me. I just wanted it. So I counted the 440 calories and adjusted eating and disregarded the badness. It happens. I was week. At the same time, I got my 10,000 steps in with ease and kept calorie intake underneath output. Yay me! Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie or not.

And popcorn. I got the munchies. So I had popcorn. It confirms that when you eat junk, you overeat because it’s not ultimately satisfying and you need to balance out the junk. So you eat more. It’s a theory. I didn’t feel good at all after eating the OCCC this afternoon, and I still haven’t balanced it out.


Yesterday ended my first full week with my not-a-bit-fit. Monday I’ll find out if I lost any weight, but I am more mobile than when I started, and I’m starting to feel better about my relationship with food. I am, however, sitting in Caribou Coffee and drinking a dark hot chocolate with a shot of mint and eating a cranberry-orange scone, and my tummy is hurting. However, I will not chastise myself for the lapse. It’s good to remember why I have to make these changes to my lifestyle. And my tummy’s reminding me right now.

I made 10,000 steps each day this week, with two days breaking 11,000. I’ve figured out how to do with without feeling like I’m working really hard at it. My caloric intake has been under 2000 all week, and my caloric output has been over 2000 all week. My caloric intake has NOT involved anything like a dark hot chocolate – it’s been decent foods, sugar in the form of yogurt. In theory this is a good recipe for getting smaller. So far it’s mostly painless. I am, however, craving a pizza. I may have to give in to that.


Today was lunch with out with a friend. As it turns out, it was lunch in a quiet space, where I could hear what she was saying. Sometimes quiet is as difficult just because then I worry about how loud I’m chewing, but it was fine. Importantly, I ate reasonably. We decided to order from Jimmy Johns, where I would normally have a #15 Giant Club Tuna sandwich. I knew I was going to have to track those calories, though, so I looked. And I discovered how many calories I was actually eating with my favorite sandwich. Still in the mood for tuna, I checked out the regular #3 Totally Tuna sandwich. A third fewer calories, not as fun to eat, but I did it. And I was satisfied. I didn’t get chips or, heaven forbid, a cookie. Just ate the sandwich and came into dinner with a decent number of calories, despite eating out. And thus I pat myself on the back.

As for steps, I honestly didn’t think I’d make it today. My legs are really sore, in particular my right ankle and knee. Swelling in my legs, shin splints. And I just wasn’t in the mood to do it. I did it anyway. I’m a little later than usual, and I had to pace a little in the house, about 700 steps, but I’ve hit 10,159. Again, pat on the back for me, and now… off to bed. I’m whooped.


Really not feeling well today. Overdid it yesterday, and the side-ache really saps a lot of energy out of me. My legs are very painful when I move. Everything else is painful when I don’t.  On top of that, my sleep was disrupted by a barking dog. It infiltrated my dreams so while I was trying to yell at a salesperson who didn’t want to let me buy something without my husband’s credit information, a dog was barking in the background the whole time. Tonight will be better though. Hopefully I don’t have to yell at any salespeople.

I’m on target, however, to get my 10,000 steps in with 4514 so far today. I’m learning to simply go the long way around. It really doesn’t take that much extra time, but it definitely add to the amount that I move. I’m no longer the crow flying. Now I’m more like a mouse scampering. I haven’t scampered in years.

Tomorrow is lunch with a friend, so I have to prepare myself for that. I’m trying to remember “princess bites.” That’s what the people on the food channel take so they can talk and eat at the same time. Or at least so they don’t gnaw at their food too long….


I wasn’t feeling well last night – massive headache, fibro flu, the pain in my side is back… – so I didn’t get on here and report that despite not feeling well, I met all my goals. I actually only had 300 steps to make when I got done with work and a little shopping. Yesterday moving was the only thing that saved me. Sitting at my desk was very painful. Overnight my wrists swelled, so when I woke up, my FitBit was biting into my skin. I have several unhappy skin spots, not quite blisters, but close. I’ve switched wrists for the day. It’s just a plastic wristband, probably not the best for constant wearing.

I’m sure the problems I’m having are related to staying at a friend’s house to take care of his dog and horses while he’s visiting his mother who’s not doing so well. It’s a dirty and dusty house, and I feel its effects right away, but it’s important for him to be able to get away, so I do it. This time, however, is extended, and I’m on my second week. So I’m starting to cough, like I need to cough something up, and I’m sure it’s dirt. It’s the same feeling I get after working in the garden on a hot windy day with dirt swirling.

My theory is that if I keep moving and try to up my circulation and oxygen, I’ll make it through better because my body will be able to get rid of toxins better. I’m really leaning toward the idea that fibro has to do with circulation and the ability of the blood to deliver oxygen and process toxins. Yeah, I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’m leaning that way…. Until later.

PM – I’m an overachiever today
Steps: 11, 665
I did Aquatic Zumba, very poorly, I’m afraid. I just can’t get the steps, but I can feel it working muscles and I get tired, so that’s good.

I’m supposed to be talking about food… I’ve stayed under 2000 calories and burned more than 2000 calories consistently. Unfortunately, the food I’m eating is rather dreary, lunch especially, which has been consisting of low fat sandwich meat in a whole wheat tortilla and reduced fat Swiss cheese. Yep, dry. My treat would be yogurt. I did indulge in granola and a bag of baked pita chips that really weren’t very good. The main thing is, I managed to indulge in both of them without eating them all at once. I managed to sort of eyeball servings and eat reasonably. The real test would be to get something I really like and see if I can do the same thing. I am learning, slowly, that I don’t have to eat until I don’t feel good to feel full. Making it about something other than the sensation of eating, keeping me accountable, is making all the difference in changing how I think about food and my appetite, what satisfaction is.

I’m sort of doing a cognitive behavioral diet plan.


I took the weekend off, both in terms of counting steps and tracking food. I tried to be “good” and not go crazy but went ahead and ate what I wanted. Spaghetti was probably the one thing that made me feel a bit sick. If I can regulate myself pretty strictly during the week, focusing on high veggie and protein content and keeping the caloric intake/output balance on the right side, and then if I can relax a bit on the weekend, maybe I can slowly train myself into mindfulness about eating. The relaxing is key. I know it sounds like a cop-out, but if I feel stressed or forced or deprived, this will not work. Mostly, I have to constantly remind myself that if I mess up, I’m not a bad person. I’m just someone who likes bacon.


So food speed. I’m a little concerned about how quickly I eat food. Ever since I got my first job at McDonalds and had to eat a Quarter Pounder with cheese and take the time to scoop the pickles and onions off all in 15 minutes, I’ve been a speed eater. It’s never really bothered me until lately, mostly because when I eat quickly I have a tummy ache. I don’t usually remember that I’m going to get a tummy ache until it happens, however. Like this afternoon. I just ate lunch. I’m done eating a sandwich in about 3 minutes flat. Not only is my tummy starting to ache, I don’t actually feel like I’ve eaten anything. I’m not saying I have to eat until I’m tired, but I do need to acknowledge in my head that food has, indeed, gone past my lips and into my tummy. Otherwise, it’s just a bellyache and maybe I need to eat more.  This is definitely an issue in terms of portion size and where learning to enjoy food, slow down, choosing foods I like the taste of, pausing to appreciate the taste, consistency, smell, the look of food – the whole nine yards. Instead of scarfing it as a bodily function. The satisfaction is rarely there. The only time I feel really satisfied is when I go out to eat with my son. He chooses interesting places with excellent food, and then we sit and talk over the food. I’m always done first, but the conversation level slows the rate of eating. Therefore, making food a social event – as much stress and distress as that usually causes (with the exception of eating with my son or husband) – is possibly a way to slow down, enjoy food, and ultimately eat less. Possibly.

Now I have to go walk. I have a half hour to put some steps on or I’ll be pacing the house this evening to get up to 10,000. It’s been a meeting morning. Sit-on-my-butt morning. So here I go.


I just discovered how many calories from fat are in walnuts. Walnuts, however, are good for you because of the omega 3 oils, etc, but let’s face it, I had no idea I was eating so many calories when I eat them. So far with this week starting to actually track movement and calorie intake, without a whole lot of effort, I’ve been able to up my movement and lower my calories, even with the walnut discovery. In theory, I’m doing all the right things to lose weight. But like life, it’s just a theory. I don’t like the calorie tracking, but it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. On the whole it’s like a video game and I’m the gamemaster and Mario-dude all in one.

I’m behind on my steps, but have plans on how to increase without a lot of effort again. Basically, I just take the long way everywhere. Yesterday I ended the day only 400 short, and paced in the house a few times to get it up to 10,000.

PM stats
10140 steps
4 flights of stairs
2189 calories burned
1940 eaten – ate extra for dinner, but still under burned, so good as a guideline, whether or not it’s effective.

I do feel a little bit… smaller. Nothing drastic, but I don’t feel quite so tight. Swelling is decreasing a bit, so my knees are a little more defined, I can make a fist of my right hand, which really wasn’t bending well – still some pronounced swelling in my ankles, and my feet are terribly sore. Now whether the improvement is better food with controlled quantities or the exercise – I should say movement – I don’t know.


I don’t think I ate enough yesterday. Woke up with pretty bad tummy pains. It didn’t feel like hunger pains, and my tummy wasn’t growling, but lots of burping, some nausea. I did get back to sleep and it was better this morning. I took a Prilosec this morning, so hopefully that will keep things in check today.

It’s going to be a long day with a rank meeting tonight. I need to eat regularly, and I’ll probably exceed my calories burned today since we’re having dinner delivered. Nupa, Greek food. The food itself isn’t a problem for me tonight. The problem comes in trying to eat with everybody else in the room. I think I’m developing a fear of eating with people. Eating has become so much of a function instead of an enjoyment that it’s hard to relax, chew my food, talk while I’m eating, be civilized. I worry that I’m making noise. I worry that people will see what I eat and judge me. I worry about dropping food, about being the only one in the room to clean my plate. There are a lot of things I worry about with eating in terms of eating with people, but I worry more about the effects of eating. The gas, the bloating, the weight gain, the pain. I get frustrated by the limited diet I have, by the arrogance of foodies who insist that mushrooms are a good thing to eat and that there’s something wrong with me because I don’t like seafood.

There’s just so much going on with food right now that I’m having a hard time even thinking about it. One by one, I need to work through these issues. Identifying them is the beginning. My battery is dying, so tonight, I think I’ll start off by exploring eating with people and why I’m getting so darn neurotic about it.

PM: Today’s stats:

10190 steps
5 flights of stairs
2334 calories burned
1580 (appr) calories eaten – probably more, we had Nupa for dinner and this is just based on a similar meal online

So a dinner meeting. So awkward. Everybody jammed around a table and all I can hear is myself chewing. And people digging through containers and bags and clacking. It’s just not very pleasant. But that’s not even the problem with dinner meetings or eating in front of people. I think the biggest problem is I have forgotten how to take dainty bites. I feel like I’m shoveling food in my face. I’m not sure I ever took dainty bites. I remember reading a book when I was a kid and two people were arguing about whether or not you should eat a banana in big bites or small nibbles. For me it was big bites all the way.

I think it’s one way that I overeat. I can shovel more food in my mouth in less time. I don’t stop eating because I don’t give myself a chance to feel full. It’s a behavior and a habit, but at the same time, eating slowly and chewing small bites… is it that the food tastes better in big bites or that eating slowly and chewing small bites takes so darn much time? Maybe both. Bananas definitely taste better in bigger bites. Most food does. At the same time, I’m consciously eating quickly because I want to finish up and get on with something else. Eating is nothing more than something to do to survive; food just stops the hunger pains. I will eat something mediocre just to get it over with and move on to something I want or need to do. Priorities are a little out of whack, maybe.

  1. Prioritize food – don’t settle for just anything to get by
  2. Savor the food – maybe take bigger bites, but slow down chewing and tasting
  3. Try to make food itself a pleasure – think of the cooking shows and how much those people love food.
  4. Cut down on portions, but have better.


Yes, I’ll get going on this tonight. In the meantime, here are my noon stats from my not-a-bit-fit:

5300 steps (2.29 miles)
5 flights of stairs
1324 calories burned
600 calories eaten (I skipped breakfast, and it’s a good thing because I discovered I had forgotten my purse and didn’t have any money on me!)

I’m planning on going to Aquatic Zumba tonight, which I’ll record as just swimming for 45 minutes, but getting to the pool and then to the car should be another 3000 steps at least.

As I was typing this, I went up to 1333 calories burned. Yep, this could be a little bit addicting, like a video game. If it makes me more mindful of what I’m doing (or not doing) then that’s a good thing.

Ending the day exhausted.

10,574 steps (4.56 miles)
2632 calories burned
1220 calories ingested (I’m a little hungry – probably more like 1500 calories)

I managed to eat decently for dinner tonight, a quinoa kale veggie blend with a bit of reduced fat mozzarella cheese. There are lentils in it for protein; makes for a nice meal, if not exciting.

Lately, things have been flying out of me as fast as they go in. Today, however, it’s been the opposite. We’ll see how this settles with my stomach. I’m on a course of Prilosec to see if my stomach will settle down a little. I’m starting to have some concerns about my relationship with food. I don’t know how else to put it. I’m off balance, out of control completely. Eating too much or too little. I need to explore my eating choices to figure out what’s going on. I’m too tired tonight and my tummy is starting to rumble. I’ll try tomorrow.