******* BE ENCOURAGED ********

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


FACT ONE: The thyroid controls how quickly the body burns energy, makes proteins, and how sensitive the body should be to other hormones.

These are the results of my test:
---- T3 - 29 pg/mL .... (normal is between 30-35)
---- T4 - 9.7 mg/dL .... (normal is between 10-12)
---- Free T4 - 2.8 NG/DL .... (normal is between 3.5-4.0)
---- THS - 3.05 .... (normal is 0.4-3.0 (being over is not good)

Hormones? ... practically non-exsistent:
---- Estradiol - 26 pg/ml - (normal is 90-250)
---- Progesterone - <0.5> - (normal is 8-10)
---- Testosterone - <20> - (normal is 40-60)

NO FREAKING WONDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And this is interesting (part of this article


The thyroid gland is the body’s internal thermostat, regulating the temperature and controlling how quickly the body burns calories and uses energy. If the thyroid is overactive and secretes too much hormone, the condition is known as hyperthyroid. If the thyroid is underactive and secretes too little hormone, the condition is called hypothryroid.

Hypothyroidism affects about 13 million people in the United States. About 90% of these are women. Thyroid imbalances are not always easy to recognize. Stress, depression, anxiety, tiredness and other emotional or mental states can mask a thyroid imbalance. Minimal imbalances in the thyroid gland can significantly affect mental and physical health.
Symptoms of thyroid imbalance include: fatigue or exhaustion; irritability and impatience; feeling too hot or too cold; depression, anxiety, or panic attacks; dry skin or hair; hair loss; mood swings; frequent memory lapses; inability to concentrate; unexplained weight gain or loss; loss of enthusiasm for life; and insomnia.

Women from 30 to 50 years of age are the most likely to develop hypothyroidism. The most common reason for hypothyroidism is estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Estrogen interferes with thyroid hormones, while progesterone facilitates normal action of the thyroid hormones. As women approach menopause, they have a tendency to cease producing progesterone, the hormone that balances and complements the estrogen produced by the body. Even though estrogen levels in the body are lower during this time, it the ratio between estrogen and progesterone that is important.

gaaaackkk... so now that I am digesting this, I am waiting for the meds to kick in.

Gonna feel better any minute now.


What is the purpose of a blog?

Is there a reason to suppose that anyone reads yours?

What makes it relevant?

What makes it MORE than just a journal?

I suppose it needs to be informative, up to date, and worth spending the time reading.

BUT if you are just an average person, with an average life, does it really do any good to post?

I suppose for my own "history", it is okay. I can see the changes through the years.

I view other blogs because they have a variety of different things - recipes, news reports, and activities. So that is kind of cool.


Well, that didn't work.



Right now my challenge is my thyroid. So I think I will blog about that for a while.

Okay -- that is done.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reflections of the Years Gone By

Since Kimkins... Since turning 50... I have had a really hard struggle with my weight.

Last week I went to a Health & Wellness center where they did some blood work for thyroid function and hormone levels.

I have low thyroid numbers, and even lower hormone levels. NO WONDER I HAVE FELT SO LOUSY!!

I started taking meds for these things and hope that within a month I will feel like my old self again AND begin to get the weight off. I have been "doing" low carb for the most part, except for those times that I throw myself huge pity parties and invite the Sugar Monster. BUT seriously for the most part, I have been strict with my low carb regimen. NO losses - weight or inches. It has been VERY frustrating.

I have been eating between 1,200 & 1,400 calories per day (sometimes a little more) which is good for my height & age & activity level. I make sure that I get a good balance - 60% fat, 10% carbs, 30% protein (usually within 5% margins). I drink plenty of water.


Surely the thyroid and hormone issues will get under control and the scale will start moving again.

I AM NOT GIVING UP -- Even when I get there.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ABOUT THE PEOPLE -- wonderful & amazing

I just didn't think I would meet a nicer bunch of people from the 2007 group! 2007 cruise was VERY special. I was a little bit nervous because we had mostly ALL NEW people on the 2008 cruise and most of them I had never had any contact with online. They were strangers to me.

They were GREAT!

So now my goal is to get both groups together! hahaha


MARCH 6 - 12, 2010 -- out of JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA --

Start saving your money now!

CRUISE REVIEW - about the ship

This was my 3rd group cruise with Carnival on the Ecstasy. The past two cruises were excellent. We had perfect service, friendly staff, and wonderful food. I am sorry to say that this year’s cruise was VERY different.

I am the group coordinator and had some communication problems with my travel agent from the beginning. I will NOT use that company again. I also NEVER met the Group Manager on-board until the last day at sea when I went and FOUND her and introduced myself. She acted offended when I asked her if she was the Group Manager. Previously, they always came by my cabin and introduced themselves. It was just very different.

In Carnival’s defense I will say that they have JUST returned to the Galveston port after Hurricane Ike and they are also getting ready to launch the Carnival Conquest to sail out of Galveston. These two issues probably played a factor in these problems.

So, the first issue was that the ship was late getting to port. All of the travelers had to sit around the terminal until after 3:00pm before we were allowed on the ship. Most of us had arrived a little before noon anticipating the GREAT food on the Lido deck. There were NO food services or even water. Since the hurricane had closed many of the facilities around the port of Galveston, the only place for the 1,000 plus passengers to go was the small Starbucks across the street. I was glad I had brought a jar of nuts to snack on.

I remember the first time I went on a cruise and stepped into the Atrium lobby. It was a magnificent sight and I was in awe of the size of the ship. For some strange unknown reason, THIS time we boarded on a different level and were not greeted with the usual “party” atmosphere. I thought perhaps it was because there was some sort of trouble causing the delays, etc. USUALLY there were waiters with pretty trays of drinks and music playing and lots of smiles. Did not see that and I was a little dissapointed.

By the time we got to our room, grabbed the life preservers, and finished muster, we only had 30 minutes to get ready for dinner. So the first evening meal found many tired & gritty passengers. Comparing the service THIS time to my previous experiences, it was more “distant” and impersonal. On my previous Carnival Cruises, we got to know our waiter and his assistant and anxiously tipped them well. THIS time we had to wait for our orders to be taken, call for the wine steward (several times) and wait for the order, and it seemed like a longer than usual time for our food to arrive. AGAIN, I thought perhaps it was related to the initial ship delay and would get better the next night. Our waiter was nice enough, but he just wasn’t “there” all the time like before. The food was good, but often cold.

Previously the Cruise Directors were a little more vocal and visible, but not so much this year. It’s kind of interesting that the first cruise director was “perfect”, second cruise director was TOO much, and this third cruise director was invisible. Just an interesting observation. Most of the time I did not know what was going on and had to be SURE I did not leave my cabin without the schedule of events.

Concerning our room steward, again the room was always clean, but we never saw them. On previous experiences the steward introduced himself and was always available to answer questions and help out. We NEVER saw our steward – only evidence that he had been there. To some people that might be ideal, but I missed the personal touch.

I did have a GREAT time at the Spa. This was the first time that I had my hair done onboard and it was wonderful. Previously I was nervous about letting someone fix my hair because I did not know their experience level. I was hesitant to waste money on something I might not like. That was a totally wrong perception because I watched them do hair on other guests, including my own and everyone was very happy with the results. I LOVED my hair and especially the treatment I received. THEY made me feel special and it felt like the “other” cruises! This is something I would do again! GREAT experience.

Our first port was Progresso. I was surprised that we had to be back on the ship by 2:30pm. That seemed way too short of a time. I wondered about some of those LONG excursions (like Chichen Itza) and hoped they would make it back in time. We did hear a rumor that 10 people did NOT make it back and had to ride on the other cruise ship that was in port to meet up with us in Cozumel.

My opinion was that January was too early to cruise because the water was too cold to enjoy. I loved the shopping and just walking around town, but I would have preferred to go a month or so later when it would have been a little warmer. We went to the same restaurant we went to last year because they had a wonderful dish of grilled calamari and garlic. They waiter told us they had it and we all sat down and ordered. THEN the waiter came out and said that they were out of the calamari so we had to change our orders. The food was okay… but again, the atmosphere was different. This was also probably due to it being too early in the season.

One day we all decided to go to the dining room for lunch instead of the grill. I ordered the fried fish. I was disappointed that it was 3 “fish sticks” – the kind you get from the grocery store. I will not do that again. Other people got the ribs and said that they were good. Generally though, it was another bad experience with slow service, grouchy lunch companions, rude waiter, & cold food. This is VERY unusual for this cruise ship.

Well, this was not the BEST cruise I have ever been on, BUT it will not stop me from going again. Next year we are all going to try a different port and a different ship. I just choose to think that everyone has a bad day occasionally – and this was the Ecstasy’s bad week.