Why is my vision worse when I drink soda – HaliPawz

Why is my vision worse when I drink soda, or for my Michigan friends and family, when I drink pop? It’s a random question, I know, but the optician in me has been bothered by this question for a while.  

Since I have been trying to lose weight, I have not been drinking as much soda.  I still drink it, I just make sure to include it in MyFitnessPal calories, so when I do drink it, it is usually one can of Coke followed by one or more glasses of water. On rare occasions, I have a “I don’t care” day and don’t track all of my calories. These days are usually when I have plans with friends and I just want to enjoy myself.  Last night was one of those nights.  I had plans to go out with friends so I was careful to not eat too much during the day, keeping my available calories on the high side. 

Our plans changed slightly, so we ended up going to a local bar I had never been to before. They served Pepsi, not Coke. I would usually opt for water with lemon, but I wanted something more and didn’t feel like drinking alcohol. I had three glasses and no water for the night. 

I fell asleep on the couch watching tv, nothing unusual, but Bella, my Mastiff, woke me up at 3am. I still had lights on, the tv was loud, and I had to throw a load of clothes in the laundry, so I stood up to fix all of it and go to bed.  I looked out my patio door to see what the dogs were doing and noticed halos all around the lights.  My eyes felt heavy and dry, I couldn’t focus clearly on the clock. Since my LASIK surgery, I hate when my vision is blurry but I know it’s temporary. I really hate halos. I always notice them more after I’ve consumed a larger amount of soda (last time was after leaving a movie theater). 

I saw the pattern, the question still loomed as to WHY….now, common sense tells me it is because I’m dehydrated and dehydration affects your whole body, including the vision, but I wondered if there was more too it.  I began my Google search, since there is always an answer in Google, it might not always be right, but there is always an answer.  First five results were about caffeine affecting your vision.  Great! There are answers.  Until I started reading them. The answers were about a study showing where consuming coffee daily can affect your vision health. I’m not a coffee drinker but kept reading because I thought it might be the same thing, until I get to the line….

Researchers found that participants who reported drinking three cups or more of caffeinated coffee per day were at a higher risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma. The results were interesting though in the fact that they linked coffee consumption to exfoliation glaucoma, and ruled out other drinks and foods that were caffeinated.

The optician in me was interested in learning more about this study, but I wanted to stay on track. I found a blog where someone noticed worse vision after sugar binging since they went paleo. Of course, everyone went to diabetic conclusions, which I have been tested often for diabetes and I do not have it, plus my vision isn’t affected when I eat chocolate, only when I consume soda.  Still no answer.  

I then when to my scale, not that I wanted to check my weight after a “cheat” evening, but my scale also measures BMI, body fat, and water. 3:48am and I’m stepping on a scale. 26%. I knew it was lower then my typical percentage of anywhere from 33-37% but I realized I had no idea what it should be. Back to Google.  

Google Results for what should my water percentage be


50%!?!? I was currently at 26%. First thing I did mentally was set a goal, not only for weight loss, but to also get to 40% water; steps to the goal of 5o+%. After reading a couple articles, I realized my water percentage should go up as I lose weight, but I still need to step up my water intake in general. 

I think it’s safe to conclude consuming so much soda isn’t the sole contributor to my halo vision, but the lack of consuming enough water to counterbalance the soda consumption. I’m dehydrated, clearly, and my eyes are warning me to do something about it before it affects more of my health. 

Health through eye exam, hazel eyes
As an optician, I understand your eyes are the window to your health, so it is important to listen to what your eyes are telling you.  When your vision changes in any way, process what was different in your day, if you can conclude what the cause was, great, if you cannot, make an appointment.  It could be your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. 

So now I know, if I’ve consumed a large amount of soda, I need to make sure I also drink plenty of water. If you are someone who notices a lot of halos at night, you might want to check your water percentage. For now, I will drink a glass of water, put some Refresh in my eyes and get a couple more hours of sleep.

Optician PSA: Even if your vision is perfect, get an eye exam ever 12-18 months. It truly is so much more than just a prescription for glasses or contacts. 

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Carginia Cambogia, my experience with it -HaliPawz

I am trying to lose weight.  I was at the doctor’s office, stepped on the scale, and was saddened by the weight they were recording.  I had gotten off track and it wasn’t good. I’ve always been overweight. Sometimes it bothers me, most of the time it doesn’t but this time, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I needed to do something NOW. I really needed something to help me kick-start my weight loss. I had read about Garcinia Cambogia before but honestly, I thought it was a gimmick so I brushed it off. I went back and started doing more research.  It seemed to have mixed reviews. One thing that seemed consistent in all my reading is the purity of the product really made a difference.  I looked at the product at Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart but it was only 50% pure.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I have been using Amazon more and found a product that claimed to be 95% pure and had a 4 star rating based on over 1600 reviews. I decided to dig a little deeper about this product.  Let’s face it, they couldn’t buy that many positive reviews. It was worth reading a few of them.

I was pleased with the reviews, found them to be credible, and decided it would be worth the $20 to try it. I spoke with a co-worker who decided she wanted to try it as well, so we ordered two bottles.

The day I placed the order, I decided to start watching my caloric intake before the product arrived.  I logged into the My Fitness Pal app and updated all of my information. It calculated my daily allowance of calories at 1732 based on my current weight with a desire to lose 2 lbs per week with a sedentary lifestyle.  I decided I was going to start realistically and then any exercise I did would just be a bonus.

About 2-3 days after ordering, I received an informative email telling me how to get the most out of the product.  It stated to take 1-2 pills 45-60 minutes before eating on an empty stomach. Of course, my skeptical mind thought….oh sure, just a gimmick to get me to buy more because my “month supply” just turned into a 15 day supply if I wanted to “Maximize” my results.  I decided it didn’t matter, I was going to follow their instructions and track my results.

The product arrived and I started taking it on February 24, 2016. The bottle looked just like the pictures.


The capsules were fairly easy to swallow. The only complaint I have is, since they are gel capsules, they sometimes seem to lodge themselves in your throat and you have to drink 2+ glasses of water to get them down.  This doesn’t happen all of the time and I can’t explain why it happens sometimes and doesn’t others.

I knew I was stopping at Chipotle for dinner so I didn’t really eat lunch that day.  I had a handful of cashews with sea salt for lunch.  I needed extra calories because I wanted to be able to have chips with my dinner!  I took 2 pills in the parking lot, went in to order dinner, then headed home. To be honest, I didn’t notice a lot of difference.  I ate my normal Chipotle meal. I was full when I was done, but I usually am. (Side note….I LOVE Chipotle and could eat it 1-2 times a week…am I the only one who wishes they have a “frequent diner” type card?)  To be fair, I had only waited about 35 minutes because I didn’t want my food to get cold.

The next day, we had a meeting at lunchtime and we were having Panera.  I ordered a salad along with some Macaroni & cheese.  I took 2 capsules 45 minutes before the meeting was supposed to start.  It ended up starting a little later, so I was closer to the hour before I started eating my salad.  I finished my salad and started on the macaroni & cheese.  I couldn’t even eat half of the first container! (Panera puts the to go Mac & Cheese in 2 containers). I was shocked.  I closed it up and put the two containers in the refrigerator.

After the meeting, I went back to work and had no desire to snack on anything during the afternoon.

Over the weeks, I tried diligently to keep my calorie count under my daily goal. I tracked every mint, every tootsie roll, etc. I still drank my Coke, I stillate my Chipotle and chips, I would still stop at Culvers….but I also cooked more at home, made smart decisions to balance my calories for the day.  I would have 1 day a week where I wasn’t as careful and would have about 2000-2200 calories but I would also have days where I only had 800 calories.  For the most part, I stayed around 1500 calories.

Some things I noticed during those times….I didn’t have cravings.  I wasn’t starving, even on the days I did the lower calorie counts.  I would balance the number of pills I took based on the size of the meal I was going to eat.  For example, if I was going to sit down and eat a full size meal, I would take two pills, but if I was just going to run through McDonalds and order a Crispy Chicken Snack Wrap, I would only take one. I do have to say, if you need something quick and tasty, those are one of the best 350 calorie items.  They are tasty, they are filling.  You can also order them grilled for a few less calories.   I think by balancing the pills, planning my meals, I was able to maximize on the effectiveness of them.

One day in particular was especially evident.  I had been taking the pills for 3 1/2 weeks and noticed some pleasant changes:

Saturday March 19, 2016

I spent the day with friends at Horsefest in Springfield, MO. I took my pills but I did not take them while I was there due to time constraints with meals and just not planning efficiently. I had also decided I wasn’t going to track my calories for the day. Here are a few things I noticed.  I wasn’t in the back of the pack struggling to keep up with my friends.  We went down a flight of stairs to look at some vendors and I noticed when I climbed back up them I wasn’t winded or felt like it was a struggle to do so.  Does this mean I am gaining more lean muscle like it claims? I’m not sure. What I do know is I felt better about myself and my movements.

We went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse (you can read about a previous experience here) and yes, I ate a few of the rolls. I said I wasn’t keeping a calorie count for the day, I was out with friends and I wanted to enjoy myself.  The interesting thing is….I wasn’t able to finish my steak dinner! I took about half of it home. In the past I would have ate 3-4 rolls AND finished my steak.  The less meat consumption was even with me not taking any pills all day, so it is obvious my stomach has shrunk slightly. Even with the additional calories and not taking the pills, I only gained 2.2lbs from the day before.  I will admit though, I had a difficult time losing those 2.2 lbs.  Seemed to take me 3-4 days.  Makes me wonder if it would have been that difficult if I had taken the pills before eating that large of a meal.
Here are the results after taking for 4 weeks (28 days) exactly.

14.6 Lbs lost

2.5 Inches lost in my waist

1 Inch lost in my hips

0.4 Inches lost in my neck (no clue why My Fitness Pal tracks the neck but it does)

Now, those changes aren’t overwhelming, by any means….but they were done simply by taking the Garcinia Cambosia and watching my caloric intake on a track designed for 2 pounds of weight loss per week. I wasn’t perfect with that track. I probably had 6 cheat days, including one where I drank a can of Coke and ate 5 Girl Scout caramel delight cookies….and let me tell you, they WERE a delight! But I paid for it in the calories that day!


So I consider inches lost and pounds reduced to be a win. I am continuing with the Carginia Cambosia.  I am getting ready to spend a week in Orlando, going to Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World where I do not plan on watching my calories as closesly as I have been, but I do plan on continuing with the Garcinia Cambosia.

I have also recently read that they work better when you pair them with Pure Green Coffee Bean Extract which I have decided to order from Amazon.  I did see some at Wal-Mart where the percents were too off, so I will be trying them while I’m away but won’t share my true experiences until I have tried the strong, purer, product.  I will be sure to share them.

I do want to say at the time I am posting this, I have currently lost 19.8lbs.  I wish it was more, but again, for only taking a little over 4 weeks and not including any major exercise, I am pleased with the results.
Have you personally tried Garcinia Cambosia? Have you tried the Green Coffee Bean Extract?   I would love to hear your experiences, both good and bad.

 

Gallbladder surgery….years later

I had my gallbladder removed quite a few years ago. I still remember the time leading up to it. I was diagnosed up in Michigan. The doctor said he could remove it and I would be back to normal. I remember thinking that it couldn’t be that easy. We must have it for a reason??? Taking something out of the body as if it was never there? Never had a purpose? Why do we even have it??

I put it off. Months passed and I found out I was being promoted and moving out of state. I moved and the surgery was pushed out of my mind. I didn’t have a doctor in the new state. I didn’t have the time. I was trying to prove myself.

I pushed the symptoms to the side. The doubling over in pain. The never knowing if it was safe to eat something for fear of getting sick. I always had to allow myself 30 min after eating to see if I was going to get sick or not. Most times, I did. After a year or three of hiding it, causing problems with my job because I was too afraid uncomfortable to tell them what was going on. I never really told anyone.

Then one day, the pain overwhelmed me enough that it had me doubled up in a fetal position. It even hurt to breathe. I went to the doctor and told them I was diagnosed up in Michigan as it being 80% damaged. This was over 3 1/2 years later! Needless to say, it was already done working. They couldn’t believe I had waited that long.

I went in and had it removed. I could not put it off any longer. I looked forward to having my life back pre-gallbladder failure. No pain. No waiting 30 minutes after eating to see if I was going to get sick.

I was WRONG!!! They don’t tell you how your body reacts after the surgery. The stomach pains that stab you as punishment for eating the wrong things. Yes, you have to be careful what you eat or you will regret it. Even that would be ok if you could figure out WHAT is the wrong thing! It never made sense. It was never the same thing. One day I could have a salad and be fine, another time and I would be sick for 2 hours. There were some things I learned to avoid. French fries at Cheddars. I would be fine anywhere else, so I’m guessing it had something to do with their oil but I cannot say for sure. After 5-7 trips there over a span of time, I decided it wasn’t worth it to eat there and I haven’t been back.

I’ve done more research and learned that “most” women are affected for a short time but only a small percentage are affected for longer periods. I think that is a lie. I don’t believe those numbers are accurate. I believe there are more like me. Overweight, mid 30s, that still suffers on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. I reference overweight because I think overweight women are less likely to share their embarrassing symptoms. All too often, the doctor’s response is, “Well if you’d lose weight, you wouldn’t have ______________________ (fill in whatever item to talked to them about). It gets tiring. Sometimes you want to say….NO, I know skinny women that have this problem as well! Instead, you just don’t mention it. It isn’t killing you, so you survive and deal with it.

As I’ve been losing weight, many things have changed. I am still overweight. It’s going to be a long process, but guess what HASN’T gotten better???? You guessed it, stomach pains, unexpected & unplanned trips to the bathroom, sometimes hitting you so fast that you get chills (similar to a fever) and goosebumps down your arms. Sometimes so sudden you don’t thing you are going to make it to a bathroom.

No, this topic IS NOT easy to write about but I’m writing it to be the voice of the women that aren’t willing to say it. If you are a woman suffering with this, tell your doctor. Swallow the embarrassment and talk to him or her and let them know how you’re feeling.

Still not ready to talk to them….here are some tips I have learned help me.

1. Breathe! Deep breaths. When you feel the stabbing pains, take nice deep slow breaths. It had helped to give me some more time.

2. Shut off the phone. I can’t explain it, but if I feel the pain and shut off all sounds and just concentrate on silence while I’m breathing, I can even get it to pass.

3. Pay attention to what you drank as much as you pay attention to what you ate. I have learned that some foods are fine as long as I drink water and not Coke. That’s not as hard now because I’m drinking more water. It sucked before I started my weight loss, but it was better than the pain.
(So the two things that ARE easier now that I’m losing weight really did not play a factor in it being better or worse).

4. Pay attention to what you ate AROUND your meals. For example, too much chocolate can trigger a reaction when you eat your next meal. Again, not a problem as I’m losing weight.

5. Give those around you a little heads up. Yes, it’s embarrassing but you don’t have to give them details. I used to explain to my co-workers that I don’t digest foods properly so sometimes I have to step away shortly after I come back from lunch. That way they knew I wasn’t just being a slacker and taking off for a few minutes so soon after lunch but they didn’t know the full extent.

6. Don’t let it stop you from living. Plan ahead and choose your meals wisely if you feel like it might be a bad day, but still enjoy life and have fun.

Recently I read that there is some medicine available for those that continue to suffer after their cholecystectomy. I have decided that I am going to mention it to my doctor the next time I go in.

If I do and I try it, I will update this post.

Most importantly, for the women that are like me and carry extra weight. I know it’s easy for your doctor to tell you it will be better if you lose weight. If that is their standard answer for EVERYTHING then it might be time to find a new doctor. Make sure that are really listening to you and your symptoms.

I will close with….had I known how bad it was going to be afterwards, I don’t know if I would have jumped at the surgery but then I remember the pain that had me doubled over at times. It’s a lose lose either way. Ugh!

My Water Carafe

I have been trying to lose weight. I didn’t want to diet or use the word diet, but develop a healthier lifestyle. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Losing weight should be simple. I know gaining it is. Common sense says, fewer calories in, more energy out. It’s not always that simple though. It’s so easy to lose track of your momentum.

I have been tracking this journey internally and with a small core of friends, but I am ready to make it more public because I know others must struggle as I do.

I’m an apple-shaped 39-year-old woman. It’s not easy being an apple. You ALWAYS look overweight because you carry a fat roll right in the middle of your body. If you took a picture of just my legs, you would never guess they belong to an “obese” woman. Yeah, I used the term. We have to accept it.

Apple women have boy hips. I know they aren’t REALLY boy hips, but that’s what it feels like. Our hips steal our ability to have an hourglass figure. Even the Cosmo articles tell you that men like hips. You can be overweight, as long as you have those sexy hips. So for us single Apples….there goes another reason men aren’t drawn to us. Cosmo says you need to have hips for men to look at you and Cosmo is always right, isn’t it? (Said tongue in cheek) Ahhh, to have hips.

So I started losing weight. Started in January. I have lost 30 pounds and seem to be stuck. My friends tell me not to get frustrated because I’m still losing inches, which, in reality is more important….but it still sucks! Losing inches makes me proud, but guess where I am losing the most inches??? If you guessed the hated fat roll, you would be wrong. If you guessed the boy hips, you would be right. Are you kidding me? Not only do I have the dreaded boy hips but now I’m losing inches faster there??? Ugh!! Life isn’t fair. One day I took my measurements and my hips and waist were the exact same! Now that wouldn’t be so bad…I would just look like a plank, except the two are divided by that lovely roll that is the slowest to change.

I know my hips shrinking are due to my new favorite activity; swimming, but I don’t want to stop that because it motivates me to stay active. I’m not the most graceful person on land, but in water I feel like I can do anything. I don’t just swim, I do water fitness, I do crunches, sometimes I just have fun and play in the water. I was afraid of the water as a child so I explore the different things I can do. I spin, I float, as long as I stay moving, I don’t care what I’m doing in the water.

I tried a detox. 21 miserable days. I did great for about 14 of the 21. Maybe even 18 of the 21. I didn’t do great the whole 21 days though. I learned some things from it though. I learned that raw nuts with sea salt are a healthy alternative when I’m craving something sweet. I learned that I like mixing my fruit when I eat it. I now cut up my fruit and eat different types at the same time, especially melon. I also learned that I don’t need meat with EVERY meal. I’m still a red meat carnivore though! That will never change. I think that’s the thing I hated most about the detox. I knew it wasn’t reality for me. I knew I would never continue life without meat after I was done with it.

I slipped for a while. Mostly all of June I lost a lot of focus on my weight loss. I didn’t gain, thankfully, but I didn’t lose. I owe the not gaining to my new active personality. I swim, I cut the grass, I take the dogs for a walk ….I LIKE being active. I noticed the high humidity doesn’t affect me this summer like it did last summer. I FEEL healthier even though I am still way too overweight according to the scales.

One day, shopping at Wal-Mart, I saw a carafe. I have always wanted a carafe. I can’t explain my fascination with them, but I have always wanted on…especially one that sealed. Here was the perfect one. I was excited. Then I debated….would I USE it? Should I spend the money (less than $10). How many ounces is it? Will it serve the purpose? Did I really care? No! I wanted that carafe. The color choice was light blue or sea green. I went with the light blue. I put it in my cart. I know it’s strange, but I was excited.

Carafe

At home, I filled it up then dumped it into my scale. It was 35 ounces. I filled it again but stopped at the neck. 32 ounces. Perfect! Two of those a day would be my 64 ounces.

I hate getting up to fill my water when I’m working and I like ice water, but when you fill a large glass with ice, you end up with less water, so you drink it quicker and have to get up to refill it. It’s a never-ending dilemma. This carafe was the answer I was looking for. I filled the carafe. I added two small slices of lemon. Grabbed a large glass. Filled it with ice. I poured the water into the glass and set off to go to my office. As I drank my first glass, I refilled it from the carafe and kept working. Ice was slowly melting but I managed to drink almost three glasses before it melted all the way.

The carafe was a WIN! The best thing is, I’m drinking my water!

Five days later, I am still drinking a lot more water. If I want a coke, I have to still drink my 64 ounces. Only one day did I fail but that was partially because I wasn’t home and didn’t take water with me. It is 11:39am and I already have almost one whole carafe gone. I am down three pounds since I started using the carafe.

I just have to continue to remember, it’s not all about the weight, it’s about the health!

Carafe and glass