Sleep Apnea

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My aunt in Simi Valley and my other aunt who lived in Palmdale at the time (2002 – 2004) both told me when I visited them that I gasped for air in my sleep and that I snored REALLY loud. I never took the snoring issue seriously because I’ve always snored loud, at least that’s what people always tell me. I remember when I was 19 and lived with my sister and her husband in Tujunga and I fell asleep on the floor while watching TV and my snoring actually woke me up lol.

When we lived in the little house next door in 2004, I would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air. Not like a little gasp and being able to breathe like normal, I mean I was choking and I could not get any air at all. It was frightening, to put it mildly. Just imagine not being able to breathe for several minutes and feeling like you’re going to die soon. What happened was, when I was sleeping, my airway would close, causing me to not be able to breathe. Try as I might, I could not get any air. I would even vomit during this. Vomit was able to leave my mouth, but then my airway would close up again. Eventually the airway would open and I could breathe, and then I would have really bad acid reflux. My doctor gave me a inhaler, and that would help until I could get a sleep study referral, which took a long time to get.

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2005. They told me at the sleep study that I would stop breathing for 25 seconds, then breathe for 35 seconds (or maybe it was the other way around) and this went on every minute. I don’t recall if they told me that I gasped for air or not during the sleep study, but I’m sure I did. Thankfully I didn’t vomit lol.

I received my BiPap machine in September 2005 and I used it faithfully every night until 2013 when I lost 70lbs. I was told that if I lost enough weight, I wouldn’t have sleep apnea anymore, and for the last 18 months I didn’t. The last week I’ve had to start using my machine again because I would wake up in the middle of the night with really bad acid reflux, which is always an indication that I need to use my BiPap machine.

One of the concerns I have is that if I don’t use my machine, I could die of a heart attack or stroke in my sleep. My mother was overweight and she died of a heart attack in her sleep. I don’t know if she had sleep apnea, but I do remember that she snored really loud, so I am only assuming that she did, and that was how she died. I was told that sleep apnea is genetic, and that the reason I got it was because a family member had it. My aunt in Palmdale moved to Texas and was also diagnosed with sleep apnea. She and my mother have the same father, but different mothers, so perhaps this was bestowed upon us by my grandfather, who also gave me the gift of male pattern baldness lol. I’m not complaining, I wouldn’t have it any other way, and every time I look at it in the mirror, I see him and it makes me smile because I loved him.

So I called Monitor Medical today and told them that I was using my machine again, and they made a note in my chart. I would really hate to leave this world and leave my partner because I was dumb enough to stop using my BiPap machine. It’s very irresponsible of me! I hate that I have to use it, but it keeps me alive. I would love to go back to losing weight, but it will happen if it is meant to be. In the meantime, I was continue to use my machine until I don’t have to use it again, but honestly, this is probably going to be with me until the day I die.

If you or someone you know has really bad snoring issues and they might gasp for air, tell them to get to their doctor for a referral for a sleep study. Sleep apnea is a matter of life and death, so when you see someone snoring, don’t laugh at them or ignore the problem, tell them to get to a doctor stat! You will thank me later.

Oh and by the way, the machine at the top, that is a stock photo, but it is the machine that I have. And in case you are wondering about CPAP vs BIPAP, the CPAP uses one pressure and the BiPAP uses two. These two pressures are called inhalation pressure (IPAP) and the exhalation pressure (EPAP). Everyone I have spoken to who has sleep apnea uses a CPAP and they tell me they’ve never even heard of BiPap before. So now you know.

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Getting FAT

My partner and I went to the movies today. We saw Into the Woods, which by the way was a really good movie. I had to pee so bad by the time it ended, so I went to the restroom and well, took a piss lol. When I went to wash my hands, that’s when the realization hit me that I am right back to where I started 2 years ago when I started my diet when I lost 70lbs.

I had really bad sleep apnea back then, and when I had lost all that weight, I couldn’t use my BiPap machine anymore because the pressure was too high, and I actually didn’t even need to use it for the last 18 months. The CPAP company told me I could bring it in to have it readjusted to lower the pressure, but I had it in my head that I finally don’t need it anymore, so I never did anything with it.

The year that I had lost 70lbs, I stopped losing weight in July and I never could figure out why. I was doing everything the same, I was eating the same portions and the same calories, but the weight just stopped coming off. Actually, when I first began losing weight in January of that year, the weight was coming off really fast, but then gradually it went from say for example 5lbs a week down to 4lbs, then 3lbs, then 2lbs, then before you knew it I was only losing half a pound a week until there wasn’t any weight loss at all. The weight gradually started climbing back up and I could not understand why.

You know how when you plateau, then get so frustrated that you say screw it, I’m going to eat something bad. Then once a week you start eating junk, then twice a week, then 3 times, etc. Next thing you know, you are gaining the weight just as fast as you lost it. Sometimes you just need that “AHA” moment, and that was today.

After the movies, we went to the grocery store and my partner asked if I wanted some valentine’s candy, but that is the last thing I need right now.

I have the Dr. Phil 20/20 diet that I pre-ordered in December that arrived on my Nook last week. I have been meaning to read it, but with all the Minecraft and other video games taking up all of my time, I just haven’t been able to read it yet, but I think now is the best time to start reading.

So I guess what I am saying is, this is day 1… well, perhaps since the day is almost over, I will make it day 0, epiphany day, tomorrow can be day 1 lol.

I can always do something if I set my mind to it. I have the Noom app, the SparkPeople “The Spark” on my shoe to count my steps and cardio along with a SparkPeople workout DVD, bicycle trainer and the Dr. Phil diet book. I also have the PlayStation 4 which I will save the money for the camera so I can use it to dance with a dancing game lol. Hey, all I know is the cabbage patch, it would be awesome to know more than that, I mean, not that I really go out dancing.

I have been very lazy, but I need to discipline myself because I don’t want this sleep apnea and I don’t want this fat face again. I’m done with that, so wish me luck.

The Spark of Fire Under My Ass

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This new gadget that lives on the laces of my left shoe has really lit a fire under my ass. Now I know why it’s called The Spark. Every day since I’ve had it, I’ve been walking to the store and walking longer distances when walking the dog, and I’ve been riding my bicycle on my trainer in the patio. The first couple of times it was all I could do to stay on it without dying from the pain in my thighs, but since I’ve had the Spark, I’ve been using it for as long as I can. Yesterday I only got off of it because my show was coming on. Today I woke up early specifically so I could spend as much time on the bike as I could. I was only on it for 36 minutes, but I’m working my way up to a longer ride.

The goal they gave me for steps is 6000. The first day I barely made it to the goal, the 2nd day was basically the same, but the 3rd day, well, that you can see in the image above. Of course, that’s not all from walking, most of that was from the bicycle. You see, it doesn’t just log my cycling, it considers my pedaling to be steps. My nutritionist wanted me to walk 10,000 steps per day, well, here you go.

Sometimes I buy something and feel real good about my purchase, while other times I feel like I have made a huge mistake and regret it. I am so happy that I found this because it got me off my butt and made me think about how much time am I going to spend walking today, and how much time I’m going to ride the bike today.

IMAG0747SparkPeople also sent me a workout DVD called Total Body Sculpting with Coach Nicole. The exercises look pretty good. I haven’t started using the DVD yet, but I plan on soon. I want to buy the weights first. They have workouts that are beginners, intermediate and advanced. They also give you a week planner so you aren’t doing the same exact workout every time. The SparkPeople website even has these workouts available in the list of exercises so I know what to log. All I have to do is watch the video and then when I finish, log it with the exact amount of time I did it and I get the calorie credits. Cool, eh?

So I feel so much more motivation than I did before. If I ever get to the point where this DVD isn’t working, I mean when it becomes too easy and I plateau, then I will have to buy another one that is a bit more advanced. I will also have to step up my cardio as well. Perhaps I could do the 2 hour bike ride and then 2 hours of exercise DVD. Hmmmm… I better not count my chickens before they hatch lol. We will see how it goes, yes?

So… until then…

The Spark Activity Tracker

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Diet and exercise are very important to me. Since I have Scoliosis, I prefer cycling over any other form of cardio exercise that might hurt my back. I have a mountain bike on a bicycle trainer in our patio and I have a bicycle computer connected to the back wheel. I also use the Noom app on my Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ tablet to log my diet and exercise.

The Noom app added a new feature that allows you to connect your Google Fit account so it can copy all of the cardio information from your Google Fit tracker. I didn’t have a Google Fit tracker, so I went looking for one, however they are very expensive. I went looking for an alternative and found The Spark Activity Tracker from Spark People for only $29.95. It attaches to your shoe or your belt or wherever you want to attach it. It logs your steps and all of your cardio from walking, jogging, running, cycling, elliptical and even when you are just working or shopping. It comes with a USB Wireless Sync Point that allows The Spark to sync when you are in range of your computer where it is plugged in. Once it syncs up with your SparkPeople account, you can then see your progress. It shows daily steps, activity minutes, calories burned and distance covered.

imageUnfortunately The Spark doesn’t connect to the Noom app, but I will be able to use the information from SparkPeople to log my activity to Noom. Perhaps this will be more accurate since it is much newer than my bicycle computer. If The Spark is permanently attached to my shoe, I will never forget it, and the battery will last for a year, so no worries about having to keep it charged. I can also edit the steps in the Noom app so they are the same as in the SparkPeople website.

What I was not expecting was to receive a SparkPeople Exercise DVD that will give me complete weekly workouts for beginners, intermediate and advanced. I am considering buying some weights to go with these workouts. I watched a few of them and they aren’t bad either. I don’t have a lot of space in my bedroom, but I might have just enough to do these workouts.

I was curious to see if The Spark would know the difference between walking and riding my bicycle, and it knew exactly what I was doing because it logged 22 minutes on the bike as “Cycling”. Although, the 2nd day I used it, it logged it as general exercise. I had to reclassify it, and that also affected my steps on the SparkPeople website and app, which gave me more steps. A little strange that I had to do that, but that’s fine.

It’s also interesting how The Spark works. You tap it 5 times and it will show lights to show you how you are doing. If it only has 1 light on the top, you haven’t done anything yet, if it shows half, then you know you’ve still got a ways to go. If all the lights come on, and they blink, then you still have a few minutes of exercise to go. You know you’re finished when all the lights glow and they don’t blink. That’s when you can sigh and say I’m done! And if you meet your goal for the day, the week or the month, you get a trophy. The image at the top of this paragraph is my first trophy which says I met my goal of 6000 steps. I got the same trophy on my 2nd day using it. The trophies are a fun way to encourage you to meet all of your goals. Although, you don’t get an actual trophy, but if you do all of the work and eat right, you get a flat tummy, and isn’t that worth all the trophies in the world?

I was motivated by the Noom and SparkPeople apps, and I was motivated by my bicycle and the bicycle trainer, but even though I had all of those things, I wasn’t 100% motivated. I do feel that this Spark will light a spark under my ass and get me back to work so I can lose this weight. I hope it does.

Spinning

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Oh boy, this bicycle trainer has got me spinning… A sad pathetic attempt at humor lol.

Spinning 11 12 2014

So here I am today compared to yesterday. Yesterday and every other day that I used my bicycle trainer for exercise, I only used 1 gear and I had the unit resistance roller on 1 twist. Well, that’s not going to help me get the exercise that I need to lose weight. If I want to get a good workout, I need to mix it up a bit, so I twisted it 2 more times and started using my gears.

The last post I talked about not being able to use my gears because I installed my bicycle on the trainer wrong because it wasn’t connecting to the wheel since it couldn’t reach the nut, so I put a new nut on there from the front wheel. Now that it is stable on the trainer, I can use my gears.

Yesterday I rode for 14 minutes and rode about 3 miles or so, but because my work out was low intensity, I only burned 187 calories. Today I rode the same amount of time and the same amount of miles, but I switched my gears and rode a bit faster or slower depending on the gear I was on. I considered my workout medium intensity today, and that was 262 calories burned according to the Noom app.

This is what I did. I have 15 speeds on my bicycle. The right gear has 1 – 5 and the left one just has an indicator which is thick with an H to thin with a L, which I assume is high and low. I’ve never really been a gear person. Anyway, what I did was I put the left one all the way to the H, then I started out with 1 which is basically easy, like down hill. Then I switched to 3 which seemed to be like going straight on level ground, then 6 which seems to feel like going uphill. So I would start out 1, go to 3, go to 6, go to 3, go to 1 and so on for 15 minutes.

I honestly have no clue what the hell I’m doing lol. I watched a spinning video last night on YouTube and OMG that guy was doing a warm up for 5 or 6 minutes and that was basically my workout today. That was all I could do. I’m just not in very good shape. When I got off the bicycle, I had to go take a shower because I was drenched in sweat, and I felt nauseous.

Sure, 14 minutes is not a lot of time, but I have to work my way up. When I first started riding my bicycle on the bike trail I think in 2010, I could only ride 1 mile and I was dead lol. I worked my way up to 2 miles, then worked my way up to 5 miles, which actually took me to the bike trail, but I couldn’t actually get on the bike trail because I was too tired and sore. I would have to take a 15 minute break just to heal my legs up so I could ride back home. Eventually over time I was riding my bike 22 miles every day on the bike trail and would come home and wouldn’t be sore or anything. That’s how it has to be with this bike trainer. I will start out slow, but eventually I will get to the same point that I was with riding the bike on the bike trail, but since I’m at home, perhaps I could just do half of the ride in the morning, then the other half in the afternoon. I think that is doable, but I have to work up to that point.

So this is a great start and I will keep working on it.

Ascent Fluid Trainer

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My Ascent Fluid Trainer from Nashbar arrived via UPS on October 29. Setting it up was a breeze and my bicycle looks really nice on it, but there is a huge downside, and that’s the noise it makes. Holy crap that thing is loud. It’s not really that bad if I have music playing in my ears, but everyone else can hear it. You get used to it after a while.

I installed my bicycle computer on the back wheel and reset my computer so it can start over from scratch. I rode on it for a few minutes and burned a total of 19 calories lol. But let me tell you that this trainer is so good that my thighs were on fire. I had to stop and start again, again and again and OMG.

It was definitely worth the money that I paid. I was hoping this could be something that I could do in 30 to 60 minute intervals throughout the day, like after every meal or something. I was hoping to clear a space in the dining room for it, but that’s totally out of the question because of how loud this thing is. I wanted to put it in my bedroom because I can watch TV in there while I’m on it, but I don’t think that will happen any time soon. If I had a 10 speed then that would be one thing, but I’m not bringing my mountain bike in the bedroom because I still need to use it to go to the grocery store every now and then, and it’s too much of a hassle to walk it through the kitchen and hallway and through 4 doorways. If it’s not a permanent fixture, then it’s not going to work out. If by chance I do find one, then that would be awesome and I will try it.

One thing that I didn’t realize about this thing is that when I switch gears, my back wheel moves and hits the right side of the resistance unit roller. I did that and found it was especially difficult to ride, so I got off and looked and saw a bunch of black dust on the ground. I was grinding the rubber off my wheel. Oops! Well, so much for changing gears. I read that you are supposed to position the wheel on the back of the trainer so it provides you with the resistance you need, then switch gears on the bicycle to make it easy or hard. Well, that’s not going to work with my bicycle lol.

IMAG0728The next time I rode my bike on the trainer, I noticed that as I was riding, the bike would move and the wheel would slide on the roller and it would grind the end of the roller as if I had switched gears, but I hadn’t. I would get off and move it back into position, but it would do it again and I didn’t know why. I then thought that perhaps it was because where it screws onto the axle, it didn’t have anything to hold on to. There is an Axle Support Cup that wasn’t able to grip onto anything. The right side has the nut in the Axle Support Cup, but it wasn’t able to grip the nut on the left side. I was having a difficult time thinking of how I was going to fix this if I didn’t have a 2nd nut to screw on to the left axle. My partner suggested that since my front wheel doesn’t move, why not take one of the nuts from the front, and use it on the back, so that’s what I did and it worked. Maybe I can switch gears now.

I’m glad he suggested that, because I could have continued to ride the bike without that nut on there and with my luck, I could have broken either the axle, or the trainer itself, and perhaps I would end up having an accident and end up breaking a bone. Wouldn’t that be just my luck? That’s all I need lol.

Anyway, I hope to get a lot of use out of this thing because I need a lot of exercise. If anything new happens or I get new information I will blog about it.

Nashbar.com / Fluid Trainers / Ascent Fluid Trainer

I bought a trainer

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Well I finally did it, I bought a trainer for my bicycle. I say finally because I’ve wanted to buy one for years, but could never afford it. Thanks to this secured credit card, I finally could. I have 3 months to pay it off before they start charging interest, and I don’t plan on paying interest on anything.

They had a coupon code for saving 22% and I took advantage of that. It was 22% on one item only, and I used it on the trainer. I also bought a riser block for my front wheel. My bike is too high as it is, so I will have to use a block to get on the bike now lol.

I read all the reviews for this trainer before I bought it and they were all good. The description of this trainer says 26” to 29” wheel and it doesn’t matter if it’s a road bike or mountain bike.

This is supposed to be a quiet trainer, but some of the reviews say it is loud, and I don’t expect it to be quiet. I’ll probably be using it outside on the patio where it is not a pretty view, not as pretty as the view of the bike trail, but considering I haven’t been going out on the bike trail, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I ride my bike for exercise daily.

I love going out on the bicycle, but there are a few things I don’t love about it. Like for example I don’t like people to see me riding my bicycle because I’ve been made fun of for the way I look. A woman LITERALLY pointed at me and laughed. That was why I stopped riding when I was 260lbs. You may tell me “Oh, she wasn’t laughing at you.” Did you not see where I said she LITERALLY pointed at me and laughed? Another thing I hate is the thugs who hang out in the parks along the bike trail. I feel as if they are going to ambush me and cause me to have an accident and take my bike.

Then there is the fear of an accident on the way to and on the way home from the bike trail. I’m afraid I will get a flat tire, which has happened. I’m afraid I will suddenly have to go to the bathroom out in the middle of nowhere… which HAS happened… number 2 lol. Yes, I’m 44 and I still use numbers.

This Ascent Fluid Trainer from Nashbar will alleviate all those fears. I can also stop if I am too tired, unlike if I get too tired on the bike trail, I can’t just stop, I still have to get home.

Here is my order summary which shows the sale prices and discounts.

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I look forward to this trainer coming because I really need to get back on the bicycle. I am so sick of being overweight and I really have no excuse for not exercising. When I get this, I REALLY won’t have any excuse for not exercising. I just hope I can bring it in the house instead of having to use it outside on the patio. It’s too hot in the summer and it’s too cold in the winter, it’s just right in the house.

Oh, one more thing, I didn’t buy the trainer computer because that was way too expensive, but I do have a bicycle computer that I am sure would work. All I would have to do is place the magnet on the rear tire and then place the computer wire on the trainer so they match up, then attach the computer to the trainer and just ride. If it doesn’t work for whatever reason, I will buy another computer, preferably a wireless computer. It would be cool if they had a Android app that I could use lol.

This will take 5-7 days to get to me, so when it does I will probably blog about it again.