Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yep, Still Sick...

I woke up this morning and yep, I'm still sick. Chest is rattling when I cough. Fever all day and night. I'm to the point where I'm hoping I die soon because I hate being this sick and death seems like a nice relief to the illness. My throat is always hurting now and the only relief is when I take my medication and sleep it off. I'm so freaking sick of sleeping. I am so bored because I can't do much and being upright for too long makes me sick to my stomach and lightheaded. This is honestly not what I wanted for Christmas.

On a kinda funny note, I've been way under my calorie count all week on My Fitness Pal. The poor app keeps reminding me every day that I am eating too few calories and that my body is going to go into starvation mode. I feel like I should justify my lack of food intake with something but there is no way to do that on the app. So I giggle inside when I see the disclaimer about my starving myself and eating too little every day. Honestly I'm surprised I can eat at all, it's usually only 1-2 small meals a day just enough to keep my headaches from flaring up too bad. Soup would be perfect but most gluten free soups are just nasty and I don't like them. Who would have thought that Campbell's chicken soup could be bad for me?

Keep fingers crossed form me that this antibiotic kicks this virus soon so I might be able to enjoy my holiday even the slightest bit....thanks!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sick of Being Sick

Just wanted to give a heads up that I probably won't be on my blog much for the next few days. I went to the doctor yesterday and found out that I have a sinus infection and acute bronchitis. I have antibiotics and decongestant and was told to push fluids. I'm only up right now because I have to make sure that my son gets to school this morning. Once he's off at school, I'm going back to bed, taking my medicine and sleeping the rest of the day. I have a note from the doctor that says I am not to return to work until at least Friday but if I am still feeling bad to stay at home so I don't spread my germs. I am contagious, just be glad you are on that side of the monitor from me. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

I hope everyone has a splendid rest of the week and I'm hoping that I feel well enough to do some blogging before Christmas is actually here. Warm thoughts of health with you all!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lounge Weekend

I can honestly say that this was a total lounge weekend. I decided to decompress from being sick and tired all week and I think it did me some good. I need about another 5 days of said lounging and I think it would be perfect (preferably on a beach where it's warm!) I managed to stay on track with my food choices this weekend (sans Friday night) and I was pleased to be under my calories allotment for Saturday and Sunday. I did notice a gain of 1 pound, but that is what I call the floating pound because it comes and goes at will it seems. It could be water retention, it could be something more, who knows? I'm not going to break down over 1 little pound, but if it invites friends, then it's going to be on like Donkey Kong.

Saturday we decided to try a new restaurant that we haven't been to yet. It's called Chow's Mongolian Grill. It's very similar to Ghengis Grill downtown, but much much closer to where we live currently. I loved the small restaurant atmosphere, the pleasant staff and the delicious choices for my bowl of deliciousness. They staff even saw my son struggling to eat with chopsticks, so they took the chopsticks and added a handmade "helper" (that's what my son calls it) so the sticks were easier to control. Think folded piece of napkin and a rubber band at the end to keep the sticks together at the top and easier to pinch together to pick up pieces. It was really nice of them. After our filling and yummy lunch we ventured out to see the Hobbit. I wasn't sure my son was going to be able to handle an almost 3 hour movie, but he did just fine. I loved it. The cinematography was beautiful and the story line was just as I remember it in the book (mostly). After we left the theater, we went shopping at Best Buy and then we went and had dinner at Steak and Shake since kids eat free there on weekends. It was a great family day out with no arguments and no whining or crying from my restless 10 year old. Score one for happy times out!

Yesterday I did mostly nothing. We watched some documentaries on Netflicks, a couple of really good movies and I played on the Sims 3. I made dinner and afterwards I tackled the kitchen because I could no longer see my kitchen sink. That was an issue. I have a few tupperware containers and my steamer left to wash but I'm pretty sure I can tackle those tonight after dinner. The bulk of the dishes were hand washed and one load did make it into the dishwasher. At least I got one chore accomplished for the weekend so I don't feel like a total lounger.

Today I head back to work. I have to stay on task and on schedule this week with my house work. I don't want to fall too behind on it and end up spending all weekend trying to regain order. I am going to eat my healthy choices and I want to get some reading in as well. (I didn't touch my book at all this weekend which is a little sad). Back to basics and hopefully this week will have a happy ending just like last week did without all the crazy illness and stress of last week!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

An End to a Bad Week

This past week was definitely not the best of weeks. Feeling sick, getting gluten in my gluten free pizza and having stress about work and health make for a tiring week. I was so glad that yesterday was Friday and that I could start hopefully what would be a good weekend!

Yesterday I had my appointment to pick up my orthotics from the podiatry office. I was nervous because I've never had to walk with inserts like that and I wasn't sure how they would feel. Honestly I hate them. They are rigid, they are stiff and it feels like I am constantly stepping on something. The nurse told me this would happen. That I would have to learn to love my orthotics and that the relief from pain would come with time. She fitted them properly in my athletic shoes and I laced up my shoes and stood up. I felt like I was walking in heels because the heel of the orthotic is slightly elevated. The hardness of the insert was not a comfortable feeling. I've worn those gel inserts before that surround your feet in a pillow of comfort. However a true orthotic is not about blissful looking gels or about comfort, they are about correctly a problem and alleviating pain. I have to do this, I have to be consistent and take care of my body or when I'm older, I'm going to have to have surgery possibly or not be able to walk unassisted. Chin up and move forward.
Orthotic Inserts

I have to slowly adjust my feet to the orthotics. I was only allowed to wear them for an hour yesterday. My feet hurt most of last night from just an hours worth of the change. Today I'll need to wear them 2 hours. I'll increase my wear time an hour up until I get to 8 hours. Then I'll be able to wear them all day without problems. I have to go back to the podiatrist in 2 weeks for another follow up. They are going to check my feet again and make sure the orthotics are actually helping. Make sure the swelling of the plantar fascia ligament is down to normal ranges and that my legs are experiencing less pain after walking. This will allow me to work my way back up to being able to be physically active again and be able to hike during the warm months. I love being outdoors and I would be so upset if I couldn't explore the trails and walkways.
My New Nike's

We went to dinner at Red Robin last night. I wanted to have a nice dinner out and to unwind from all the stress of my week. Emotionally I should have chosen a more healthy place to eat. I knew that I was going to comfort myself with my food choices. I was definitely going to go over my calorie limit for the day. I didn't care. I wanted to feel normal. I wanted to enjoy my food and not worry about calories or fat content or sugar content. I wanted to be able to enjoy a night out like I used to before all my health choices and changes. I ordered freckled lemonade to drink. Each glass was 125 calories. I had 2 glasses and eyed a third one needfully (but didn't drink it). I ordered a Royal Robin burger was was 1080 calories. I ate some fries of course which was 190 calories worth. Overall my dinner was 1520 calories last night, that's more than my daily allotment! That's not counting my 721 calories for lunch (chicken teriyaki with fried rice and vegetables) or my 165 calorie breakfast. Overall yesterday I had 2406 calories. That is the most I've had since I started using My Fitness Pal a month ago. I was 926 calories over my allotment. I came home and couldn't sleep because I was so worried about my lack of self control. It's just one day but it was so easy for me to just do it and not care about the results. As a punishment to myself I started watching a show last night about people with food addictions that were extreme. Not just a love of certain types of foods, but an extreme eating disorder that required help from medical professionals. I was in shock at the amount of foods these poor people were eating. I kept thinking to myself, that could be me. I could be wrecking my body and causing health issues to myself if I didn't recognize this behavior in the future and take steps to avoid it. I can understand now where that desire to eat like that came from and I believe that I have ways to prevent it in the future. I feel fat this morning and I'm still suffering from the bloat from the gluten I consumed in my gluten free pizza on Wednesday night.

Today I'm going to decompress. I'm going to do things that make me happy and that will allow me to feel enjoyment in something that isn't food. I ate my cereal and banana this morning and an hour later I feel hungry. I know that's my body tricking me because I indulged last night and now my stomach thinks that's the new eating habit. It's not going to happen. I'm going to eat healthy choices today, lots of vegetables and lean proteins. I need to fill my body with good things not the crap that I think will make me feel better. It's hard to admit that I have a weakness for food, I never in a million years thought that food would be a crutch but it is. I am going to walk unassisted without my crutch because I owe it to myself and my family.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Back on Track, Maybe?

Yesterday was my day of rest. I can honestly say that nothing exciting happened at all. After calling in to work I slept most of yesterday. I woke up around lunchtime and having missed breakfast I was starving. My hubby made me some white rice with steamed veggies in it. Then as a treat for my sore throat I ate 1/2 cup of my caramel praline crunch frozen yogurt (my new favorite). The taste reminds me of maple syrup or something you would put on top of pancakes. I absolutely love it and it's not only low calorie but also has probiotics in it. Thank you Blue Bunny brand for making something that is semi-good for me and delicious too!

I came downstairs around dinner time and was in a conundrum as to what I wanted to eat for dinner. My husband agreed to do grocery shopping for me so we wouldn't be out of food later this week but that still left me with what I wanted to eat right then. I couldn't decided, nothing sounded good and my stomach was not feeling any of the suggestions that I gave it. I decided that I was going to order pizza and either enjoy it or have plenty leftover for lunch at work. Domino's has a gluten free crust (10 inch personal size = 6 small pieces). I added grilled chicken, mushroom, black olive and pineapple to it with the marinara sauce (also gluten free). Overall it was pretty good. I hate the fact that most restaurants slightly burn gluten free crusts because they are thinner and don't require high heat to cook through. I've learned to live with it in order to have a guilty pleasure that I don't have often. I ate 3 pieces and the rest is going with me to work for lunch today. I find this amazing since past experiences when I have consumed the entire pizza. I only ate half and felt full. Maybe it's the sickness or the tummy full of orange juice but whatever it is I'll take it!

I woke up feeling decent this morning. Not super, not marvelous, not even great, but decent. I didn't feel like death warmed over and I could actually breathe through my nose. This means that I'm going back to work and hopefully won't be too far behind from my missed day yesterday. I hate the idea of going out in the cold (it's freezing out there today) but I have a scarf and a winter jacket that will keep me warm. Now if only I could find my gloves (which I seem to lose every year).

I've been reading here and there when I am not too sleepy to do so. I'm enjoying the book one of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. It's interesting so far. Hopefully I'll be able to get more into my book as I start feeling better and don't need to sleep all the time. I put the book down for a few hours last night to play on the Sims 3. I have the Seasons expansion and I'm loving playing around with it. Now if only I could find the CTRL + SHIFT + C "motherlode" function for real life!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sidelined for a day

I am staying home sick today because I woke up with a raw swollen throat and a small fever. My nose is stuffy and I feel worse than I have the past few days. So once my son is off to school I'm going to take some more cold medicine and go back to bed. Rest and fluids for me today and probably not much else.
I love orange juice when I'm sick

My husband did all of our laundry yesterday as well as getting the Christmas tree set up in it's festive spot. I have yet to fan out the branches of said tree (being shoved in a box all year tends to make it a very bunched up sad looking tree). We have to decorate it as well, but that's definitely going to wait until I'm feeling better.

Right now I need lots of S.L.N. (sleep, liquids, Nyquil).
Mmm red death flavor

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Think I Can, I Think I Can

It's a good thing that something in my brain stopped me from calling into work yesterday because my co-worker did and if I had also been out the two new workers would have been in a hole so deep they might not ever have seen the light of day. Despite how horrible I felt I trudged into the office with my pretty pink umbrella (because it was pouring outside yesterday morning) and I helped to reign in the chaos. We were able to get completely caught up and everything ran smoothly and it was overall a very productive day. There was no need for overtime yesterday so I escaped from work at my usual 5:30 time slot and headed home.

I didn't feel like cooking so I microwaved some leftovers for the family. I wasn't a bit hungry due to having a late lunch and I decided to go upstairs and lay down. I read a few more pages in the book I started yesterday then to avoid going to sleep decided to watch a movie instead. I was trying to keep myself awake because if I had fallen asleep when I wanted to I would have been up at a ridiculous time this morning and that would have not been a good thing. After two movies my sleep mask went on and I curled up, my fever had returned so it took me a bit but sleep finally found me.

This morning I still feel crummy. My eyes are dry, I have the sniffles and my body feels like it's made of bricks. It's freezing outside and I'm not looking forward to having to go out in it. I hate the cold weather, I'm much happier in the heat and warmth of sunnier parts of the year, that's for sure. I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep until my body is over this sickness. I crave the warmth of my blankets and the comfort of my memory foam mattress. I want to be sick and not have to be responsible for anything. However, that is not the case for many adults. The world doesn't stop just because you don't feel good. I still have chores to do, work to manage, meals to prepare, a dog to take out, a child and husband to care for, laundry to do because I am dangerously close to going to work in my pajamas and I still haven't put up the Christmas tree. Just thinking about everything that needs to be done brings on a depression and that feeling of overwhelming failure because I am just not in the holiday spirit or the positive go-getter attitude enough to get anything done. My brain continues to try to shut my body down but I can't let it happen. I have to push on and be the responsible adult I agreed to be when I became a Mom and a wife. I have no idea why I was in such a hurry to grow up when I was a child, being an adult is not all its cracked up to be, that's for sure!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Surprise, Your're Sick!

I woke up yesterday morning with all these good intentions. I was going to clean up the house, do the laundry and possibly organize my bathroom. Well I wasn't feeling 100% so I decided to take it slow. I started the laundry and was playing my Sims 3 game between loads. After awhile I started feeling worse. I went and laid on the couch and tried to drink some chai tea. I fell asleep for a bit then woke up a little while later burning up. My hubby brought me some cold medicine and I gladly took it and went upstairs to bed. I slept most of yesterday so not much got done at all. I kept getting fevers that would spike and break last night. My side of the bed was drenched in sweat by 10pm and I was feeling horrible.

I wake up this morning and I feel like I've been run over by a truck. You know that feeling you get when you sleep too long because you are sick and your body feels like it's made of cement, I'm so there right now. I ate some cereal because despite how crappy I'm feeling I'm still hungry. Nothing is tasting good but I know I have to eat for my body to get healthy and fight off whatever it is that has invaded me so suddenly. After having such a wonderful Saturday, I was looking forward to a productive Sunday so I could start my work week off right. I guess now I just have to go with what I've been dealt this week and ride it out.

Nobody likes being sick, I know but I'm sick of feeling weak and helpless. I wasn't able to get to the gym at all last week because between work and stuff to do at home in the evenings, time just wasn't cooperating with me at all. My back is stiff (probably from all the sleeping yesterday) and my legs are achy. I stretch when I can to try to keep the muscles from tensing up further but that doesn't always work. Why can't I just have the time to get the things done I want to get done in a day? Is that too much to ask, really?

I could continue to whine incessantly all morning at this rate. A storm has rolled in and thunder, rain and high winds are what I woke up to this morning. Great so on top of me feeling like garbage I have to deal with bad weather today too? *insert eye roll here*. Whatever, let's just get his day over with, thanks.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Magic of Saturdays

I decided that Saturday was going to be my day of lounging and relaxing. After the work week and all the stress and chaos, I felt I had deserved a day "off" from the responsibilities of life. I gladly made that yesterday.

Now in my defense I did do one thing that was on my list of chores and that was to pick up my dog's monthly flea treatment tablet from the vet. The rest of the day belonged to me however. After picking up the dog's medicine, I went to get my brows waxed. Sure that's not very relaxing but it makes me feel better about my appearance and I feel more feminine when I have it done. After that I went to my favorite book store, McKays and decided to peruse the shelves on a mission to find some new reading material. Well due to the wonderfully cute new app that I got on my phone where I can make a list of books I want to read and their authors, I was able to find what I was looking for. I zoned in and started grabbing books from the series. It's the Zanth series from Piers Anthony. Several of my geek friends have read these books and they have recommend that I read them as well. There are 25 books in the series, I was able to get 20 of them. I was so stoked. I came home with that bag of books and my husband was like "good gracious baby, did you go shopping or what?" He was secretly excited about my purchases too I think because he wants to reread that series as well. There are several books on my "to read" list that I wanted to get but funds were not unlimited and some of the books are still in hardback and kind of pricey. I will make my way through the ones that I recently purchased first. I also picked up The Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison, the next book in the Hollows series. Then I made a purchase that I've been promising to make for a few years now. I picked up the entire set of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books. Since I saw the movie and found out there was a book series associated with it, I've wanted to read them. We were at Books a Million on Friday night and my hubby found the complete works (in one large book) and I couldn't say no this time. So it looks like I have plenty to keep me busy for awhile, which always makes me smile.

When I was young I used to read all the time. It was what I did when I wasn't outside playing. Over the years I've let modern technology and time get in the way of my love for reading. It's easier to play video games for quick entertainment. I recently decided (about a month ago) that I wanted to get back to basics. I wanted to have a hobby that was going to set a good example for my son and allow me the downtime from reality that I need at the end of a long day. In that month I finished two books that I had started and never finished. Now I'm moving along into the Zanth series. Reading is one of those things that brings back fond memories of my childhood and times that were much simpler. When I didn't have all the adult responsibilities and the only person that I had to answer to was my Mom. A nice cup of hot tea and a good book go a long way with me and that path can lead me only to inner peace and satisfaction with myself.

Last night after my shopping spree at the bookstore, we decided to go to downtown Chattanooga and watch the Starlight Christmas Parade. It was really fun and there were some very interesting entries into the parade. It's the first parade my son has ever been to in his life (and he's 10!) It brought back memories of going to the parade in my hometown every year when the county fair would come through. I looked forward to the parade and fair every year growing up! After last night's parade we went down to the riverfront and watched a lighted boat parade and the fireworks. Overall it was a night of whimsy and good times. We went to dinner afterwards which was way later than our usual dinner time but I was ok with that for one night. I came home, finished a book I was working on and promptly put the sleep mask on and crashed afterwards.

Today I have to step back into reality a little and get this house in order for the week. I have to clean the kitchen, prepare some foods for me for the week, do laundry (again) and clean bathrooms (mine needs to be reorganized again). I also need to put up the Christmas tree. I got the wreath hung and the mantle decorated last night. The tree takes awhile because it's a plastic tree and I have to fan out all the limbs before we decorate it and after being in a tiny box for a year, those limbs are very squished together and not very attractive looking. I have a huge to do list but I think I'm ready. Now the question is, what to start first?

Friday, December 7, 2012

And the Bottom Fell Out...

I arrived at work yesterday morning in a "I can conquer the world" mood. I was ready to work, I was smiling and I knew that I was going to knock out some claims that day. I had just sat down in my seat and our supervision/trainer comes bursting into the room. She had guns blazing and they were aimed at all 4 of us! She was pissed and she was handing us our asses. The yelling and condescending tones were flying and I suddenly found myself in the throes of an anxiety attack. Not the way I pictured my Thursday morning starting but ready or not it was happening.

It started with tears. Tears of feeling not good enough, tears of anger for allowing the proverbial ball to be dropped on a super important and huge account (it didn't get processed correctly and needed to be restarted so the second half of the process could run, it was due that day). My tears were flowing and I couldn't get them to stop. All those years of my mother telling me how I wasn't ever going to amount to anything because I was too stupid to know how came rushing back to me. I felt like a scolded child who had tried their best to impress their elder and it went completely wrong and blew up in their face. I bit my lips trying to control the tears but that didn't help. Withing a few moments I lost control of my breathing. It is very similar to having an asthma attack, you can't get a deep breath in and you feel like an elephant has taken up residence in your chest. I started shaking because of the stress of the breathing and crying. Yet through all this, I wasn't making a sound. It is a silent suffering and other than a couple of sniffles due to my nose running I didn't make a peep. My supervisor was only in the room for a few moments then she stormed out and I have to say that I was left feeling defeated and seriously thinking about packing up my stuff and walking off the job.

The co-worker that sits right next to me noticed what was going on and went to talk to the supervisor about it. She came back to our room and apologized for her outburst but it was business and if she was going to get her butt chewed for this account not being done properly you can best assure so were we. I didn't hear her words. I was already in shut down mode. She told me to go wash my face and collect myself. I don't remember walking to the bathroom and washing my face, I don't remember returning to my desk looking like I had spent too much time in the sun because I was red. I started itching and scratched my arms out of habit. The tears started again even though she was talking calmly and telling us it wasn't personal at all it was business and sometimes she had to be the hard-ass even though she hated to do it. "Why do you make me do these things to you? It's your fault" was all I was hearing even though that was never once said. I tried to focus on getting stuff going because work had to be done. The emotion spike had lead to what I call an anxiety dump. When all the emotions and physical effects of the anxiety bottom out and end up in the pit of your stomach as a wave of illness. The nausea hit me and I had to fight the urge to vomit. I was already fighting the urge to quit. My vision blurred and I felt like I was no longer in reality. I tried to breathe normally and it hurt. My head began to ache and I suddenly grew very very sleepy.

I didn't let my body pass out, I simply started working and focused everything I had left on doing my job. After I was able to not look like a crazed homicidal maniac (because my pupils dilated and I looked almost animal-like in the face), I went into the cafe and got some hot water for my tea. The warmth of it helped bring me down to normal again or at least what was going to pass for normal that day. I did my work and didn't say much at all. I knew I was still subconsciously fighting the effects of the anxiety dump because my handwriting changed and became very small which is not my usual penmanship at all. I did my paperwork and moved on with my day. I smiled when the conversation needed it and I occasionally answered questions, trying to let my co-workers know that I was fine.

I worked two hours of overtime last night because we were so swamped with requests. I didn't get through near enough of them despite the fact that we had been working our butts off that day. I'm not sure what my coworkers think of me at this point. Honestly, I'm not sure I care. I have a condition, a condition that has not flared up in over a year at this point and one that I weaned myself off medications for. I didn't have a pill that would help at all yesterday I did it myself. I remembered my breathing, I focused on something to take my mind off of belittling myself, I drank tea to connect to reality and when I could I sent a text to my husband and told him what had happened. I needed to reach out and talk about it with someone while it was still fresh in my mind and I could convey how I was feeling. He listened, he was concerned for my health and told me if I needed to quit the job to just do so and come home. I decided to stay the course and work through the problems and be the employee that everyone knows I can be.

Anxiety won yesterday, no doubt about it. I'm still feeling the effects of the anxiety dump today as well. I slept ok but I woke up feeling heavy and with my stomach not feeling so well. I know the side effects of my condition can last a few days so I'm going to try to take it easy today and take it slow. I have to go to work, I'll probably have to work some overtime but if I approach this with a positive calm attitude the anxiety won't win today.It will know I'm back in control and it will return to it's cave where it will wait for the next moment to spring up on me unaware. Anxiety and depression never go away, they are conditions that will always be there, but you can control them and take back your life. It just takes the willpower to not be the loser and the focus to use the strength you have. Today is a new day and I will be part of it instead of just going through the motions of it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Do I Really Need That Burger?

The past few days at work have been hectic. The workload is picking up and people are learning to work together in order for these processes to go from nothing, to a completely finished product. It's hard work and it takes a ton of communication but in the end we can all make this happen, as long as we communicate. This is a process that some people are better at than others. All this disorganization makes me crazy. By lunch time yesterday my eye was twitching and I knew that I had to get out of the office and go purchase my lunch.

I have several super healthy places close by my work that I could have gone and had a very calorie friendly healthy lunch. There are also quite a few bad places to go that is going to fill my belly with grease and fat. My brain knew that I should have gotten a salad or some fresh sushi but no, I went for that burger and fries that I justified eating by saying "I need a burger!"

Really? Did I "need" that burger? No. I could have survived on something with less fat content and more vegetation. I do say that since I have to have my burgers in a lettuce wrap because I can't eat the buns, it does bring the calorie count down significantly. However, it wasn't the calories that came back to haunt me last night, it was the grease. I went to Five Guys and order the hamburger (which is a double patty), I added the lettuce wrap, tomato (3 slices), pickle (8 slices) and sauteed mushrooms (about 2-3 mushrooms sliced total). I ordered a regular fry (which is absolutely huge and could easily feed 2-3 people) and other than a few fries that my coworker took, I ate them all. I also had a red cream soda (it is the most delicious carbonated beverage ever!) When you add all that up into the equation that is my stomach, well, I wasn't feeling so hot last night. I was gassy and bloated feeling and a little on the "stuffed" side. My stomach had gone from all those days of great eating to an afternoon of eating pure crap and it wasn't sure what to do with it.
my burger didn't have cheese

This morning I feel dehydrated. My body needs water and lots of it. I feel like I used to feel all those years when I was eating horribly and eating huge portions all the time. I remember now how unhealthy feels and I can honestly say I really don't want to feel this way anymore. There is nothing I can do to negate my lunch time decision yesterday I have to own it. I have to take responsibility and admit that I had a moment of completely and utter disregard for my body and I ate what I wanted not what I needed. I can't believe I lived with this eating habit for all of my life! I'm honestly not sure how I wasn't obese sooner but I'm glad I wasn't because that would have destroyed my self esteem during my early years. I have tons of mental issues as it is and having self esteem hang ups because of years of bad food choices is definitely one I hate admitting to anyone or even myself at times. So today, I have to reflect and know that I am in control, the food does not make the woman the woman makes the food!
comfort foods should look like this

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Body is Freaking Out!

Lately my body has been doing things that it would not normally do. The past three days has been an interesting turn of events with mood swings, depression, anxiety and bad sleep. I picked up my night time medication yesterday after work and took it at bedtime. I never woke up once. I slept through the night and woke up this morning feeling so much better. It's funny how 300mg of a medication can make all the difference. However, there is a drawback to taking this medication. It is habit forming. My husband looked up the information about the drug online and it is not only habit forming but it has some pretty severe side effects if you stop taking it without being weaned from it first. Which is why the past two days I've felt horrible because I ran out of the pills on Saturday and didn't take any Sunday or Monday. He described the withdrawal symptoms to me and I had most of them. I was so sad. How could a medication that was helping me so well, be bad for my body and even worse if not taken regularly? Needless to say I must continue to take the medication for now but a call is going in to my doctor about it and I want to discuss other medication options that are non habit forming. I don't like feeling dependent on a pill. I must find another alternative that will block the pain without the addiction potential.

Yesterday at work was ridiculous. We are getting busy now that we are going into crunch season. Nerves are stretched thin and tempers are high. Being a temp at the company means that when something goes awry with a process we get blamed first for it, since we're not permanent employees. I usually just shrug off this stress because I know how to do my job, I do my job well and I can back up and do the jobs of the other temps too if I have to. I am a professional and I've been doing this kind of work for years throughout my life. They want us to bring the A game, well all they had to do was ask and I'm going to make sure it gets stepped up a notch and that things run a little smoother in our training room of happiness. (Have I mentioned how much I hate being in a closed room with no windows for 8 hours a day?)

I have not made it to the gym this week at all. I'm not sure that I'm going to have time after work. By the time I get home, get dinner done and cleaned up, it's after 7pm. By that point my body has gone into "I'm tired and want to relax" mode and I just can't find the motivation to go to the gym. I still have Saturdays and Sundays that I can go to the gym in the mornings. Two days a week is better than nothing I suppose. I am thinking about maybe starting my exercise video that I got last year around this time. Back then the workouts were too much for my back and feet to handle but I also weight 210 pounds at that point. Now that I've lost some weight, maybe it won't be so bad. I have to do something though because without exercise to create new lean muscle, I'm not going to be able to burn through all this excess stored fat in my reserve and see significant weight loss results. A pound a week is great but I'm not sure I want to wait 50 weeks to be to my goal weight. (Wow that's almost a year!)

Feeling blah and having some back pain. The emotional roller coaster of hormones is driving me nuts. Another bad side effect of withdrawal from that medication is my monthly cycle started again. It just stopped a week ago and now it's back. If I get a choice in my next lifetime I'm so not being the woman! What am I to do? I guess just hold my head up and get on with my day because life won't pause just because I feel crappy.

this is how I feel today

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bad Sleep Strikes Again

The past two nights have been full of bad sleep for me. I ran out of my night time medication for my arthritis on Saturday and I haven't been able to contact my doctor to get a refill just yet. I didn't realize how much it was helping in the sleep department but it was. I was sleeping through the night and waking up feeling refreshed in the mornings. This has not been the case lately. I wake up all through the night either because of noise or something I'm dreaming. I don't wake up feeling refreshed or happy, I feel hung over and exhausted. I know this is temporary but man does lack of sleep suck!

I didn't make it to the gym last night. I worked a few minutes over at work last night so I could finish some stuff up, by the time I got home, made dinner then got it served it was already almost 6:30pm. Then I looked over at where my kitchen sink should have been and the huge pile of dishes that awaited me and I decided that I was going to clean the kitchen instead of going to the gym. I still got a small workout of bending over to  fill the dishwasher and scrubbing those stubborn tupperware containers so at least it was movement. I may eventually get on track enough here at home to be able to work out in the evenings, it's still something that I'm figuring out time wise.

I am starting to feel the pushes of depression around the edges of my reality. I'm not sure what triggered it this time, but I can feel it looming in the background just waiting to be given a reason to surface full on. I hate that. I think it might be the lack of sleep causing my morning sadness. I think once I get back on track with my arthritis medication I will be back in business as far as waking up in the mornings and getting stuff done. At least that is my hope. Hopefully we will be better organized at work today and the work won't feel like an all out attack on us, yesterday was quite busy and it's only going to get more busy the closer it gets to the end of the year. I totally don't mind the work, but I felt very unorganized and scattered all day yesterday and that makes my OCD go through the roof and makes me irritable. Here's to having better days so I can sleep better at night and get out of this rut of irritation that I seem to be in lately.

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Monday Already?

When I was a child it seemed like the weekends lasted forever. Those two little days of fun in the sun just couldn't stretch on any further. Now that I am an adult, I come home from work on Friday night and wake up and it is Monday morning. (well at least it feels that way). I think as adults we are getting the short end of the weekend stick and I'd like to lodge a complaint!

Saturday was spa day and it was awesome. My hair appointment was fun, we ended up going darker on my hair because the original copper/brown color that I had done last time was only to help color over the highlights I had done and the shop was out of that color this time around. Now my hair is the incredibly pretty auburn/plum color that, not to toot my own horn here, has always looked awesome on me. I loved it, it makes me feel feminine and like I'm getting attention without screaming "Hey look at me!!!" I think my glasses help in that arena too. They really draw attention to my eyes and face in a very geek chic way. My husband calls them Lisa Loeb glasses. (If you don't know who that is, Google it!)

Saturday evening was spent in the company of two of our friends whom we rarely see. He is a truck driver so it's hit or miss whether or not he'll get weekends off. Well he rolled into town and gave us a call so I told him to head on over. We hung out at our house, then went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse. The food was delicious and the company was fun as always.

Yesterday I got up early and got the grocery shopping done. My son cleaned his room and I did his laundry. I baked a delicious looking gluten free pumpkin pie and with the extra pumpkin filling (because the recipe I did made two pies but the box of crust mix I bought only made one pie) I made pumpkin squares. I never realized how healthy pumpkin was. My pumpkin squares are only 86 calories per bar, which is a bonus for me because it didn't push me over my calorie intake for the day like I thought it would. Woo hoo! The past week I have only gone over my calorie allotment once, every other day I was under and still on the weight loss track (even without much exercise).

Tonight I am going to hit the gym after I make dinner and start my evening workout routine. I have to get back to the gym in order to get in my strength training. Sure, I'm losing a pound a week right now but there will come a point where, without new muscle to burn the remaining fat, I will plateau and not lose anymore. I have to get my body stronger. The bonus is if I get strength in my back, the arthritis won't bother me as much as it does now because the muscles will help keep the spine aligned correctly and avoid inflammations. I can live with that. Plus having some definition to my body will only enhance the fact that I have curves and the lose of inches will result in smaller sized clothing eventually, which is always a good thing!

I didn't get around to getting our holiday decorations up yet but I am going to work on that hopefully some during the week and probably put up the tree on Saturday. I have OCD and my Christmas tree has to be perfectly arranged or it drives me nuts. The ornaments have to be properly spaced and the tree skirt has to sit just right. I know it may seem over the top but it's who I am and I've accepted it. (No, no no! Two blue ornaments cannot be next to each other, gimme that!)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday Morning Reflections

I have to admit that the beginning of this week was horrible, however the end of the week mellowed out and was actually not that bad. I am no longer suffering from extreme fatigue, which is always a plus. I haven't been to the gym since Wednesday because I am letting my body recover from the stress I had put on it. I can definitely feel the difference between when I am going to the gym and when I don't. I plan on starting back on Monday evening after work and trying an evening routine plan for awhile. I have discovered that over the past two days I seem to have more energy at night than I thought I did. I could easily have come home, fixed dinner and gone to the gym. It might also help with any stress that follows me home from a long work day. So, I'm looking forward to trying the new routine out and seeing if I have success with it!

I did lost 1 pound this week. I was shocked when I got on the scale this morning and saw that I weighed in at 189. I have been pretty active most of the week, with 3 days of gym time, and two days of walking about and doing some house chores. That meets My Fitness Pal goal of 1 pound per week and that makes me extremely happy. I love it when I make goals and achieve them without too much trouble. I did learn one thing this week though. On Thursday I wasn't feeling very hungry and I didn't take snacks to work like I usually do. Well between breakfast, lunch and dinner I only ate 930 calories that day. When I logged that into My Fitness Pal I got this warning in all red letters that said basically "You have eaten too little and you need to maintain at least 1200 calories a day or else your body will go into starvation mode". Holy crap did my app just scold me? It sure did. I made sure I consumed my needed calories yesterday (I probably even went over a bit) and took snacks to work, even if I only ate one of them. We were so busy at work I'm surprised that we even got to eat lunch! So now I know that with MFP if I eat too much or eat too little, it tells me what I've done wrong and makes gentle suggestions to NOT do that again because it's bad for me.

Today is my spa day. I was super excited to find out that we didn't have to work over time this weekend at work. I am going to get my bangs cut because I am starting to resemble a sheep dog with them all in my eyes and such and my hair colored touched up. I absolutely love this coppery brown that my stylist did for me last time. It's as close to my natural hair color as I'm going to get and I love the warmth of the red/brown combination against my skin tone. It's hard to see in pictures because it just looks brown, but the copper really pops in the sunlight! I am also going to get my nails done. Since I started working and have some surplus cash every now and then I've been getting my nails done every 2-3 weeks. I like the manicured look and the way my hands don't look so old. It is said that you can tell a woman's "true" age by the appearance of her hands. Well if that the case I'm surprised that people haven't thought I was much older than I am because my hands show all the years on them. Wrinkles, fine lines and a ruddiness that comes with age. Our hands do a lot and I have to admit that I should probably pamper them more than I do but for now they are getting pretty new nails because that's in my budget.

Overall this week has been good. I am feeling good about myself and most of my choices for the week. Whether it's food or exercise I can say that I haven't done too bad this time. Now just to continue to do well and hope that scale keeps losing that pound every week so I can have something to brag about on Saturday mornings!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Recovering from the exhaustion is harder than I thought!

I'll fully admit, I did not go to the gym yesterday. I am still recovering from the extreme exhaustion I caused myself over 3 days of little sleep and lots of activity. I'm still feeling a little on the hung over side, but it's started to become manageable. Yesterday was a trail and error day for me because I wasn't sure exactly why I was feeling so vulnerable and moody. I'll give you a prime example of little things that should not have mattered at all, but bothered me too much yesterday.

I am very up front about my gluten allergy with everyone, especially people I am around often. Co-workers are included into this group simply because I spend 8 hours a day with these people and I eat at least one meal in their presence so it's just common knowledge in my group of work friends. I wanted sushi yesterday so I went to Fresh Market on my lunch break and picked some up. The sushi chef there makes up wonderful  lunch packets of the most delicious sushi and it's always fresh because he makes it every day. He always greets me and smiles when I come in and I feel good knowing that I have the option to get my sushi fix when I want it because it has become a comfort food over the years and it's one that I know is healthy and in moderation good for me too! My coworkers decided to go to Subway. I can't go into subway now because the overwhelming desire I have to taste that delicious smelling bread almost kills me. It breaks me down mentally and makes me feel bad for being different. They went and brought the food back to eat in our training room because we only get a 30 minute lunch break and that's not long enough to eat at a restaurant.

I share a desk with one of my co-workers. We are in a training room that has no windows and we have to keep the door closed most of the day so our conversations don't disturb the people working in the department surrounding our room. It's like a little closet, where we work hard to make sure that commit dates are met and that things are getting time in a timely and correct manner. There are 4 of us in there daily and we have all gotten very comfortable with one another due to the close quarters. The desks are long tables that are set up with two computers on each of them. So my co-worker and I share one of the tables, which means that we are up close and personal with each other. I have absolutely no issue with that part of it at all, I love people as a general rule. Yesterday though, I was not in the lovey mood and I got my feelings hurt over something ridiculous.

The co-worker I share space with came back with chicken fingers and potato wedges for her lunch as she opted not to have Subway. She popped open her container of deliciousness and the smell filled the room. It smelled so good. I know I can't eat that stuff, one bite will send my insides into a turbulence that I just don't want to deal with ever. Instead of staring at her as she ate her lunch, I put my nose into my book. She finished her plate of breaded deep fried goodness and then opened a package of King's Hawaiian bread rolls. Those were one of my favorites before I discovered that I could no longer eat gluten. The sweet smell of the rolls hit me and I swear my vision blurred for a moment. She turned to me and asked "Do you want one?" I wasn't sure if she was just being nice and simply forgot that bread was the bane of my existence of if she was just messing with me but either way it didn't sit right. In a slow motion show of my irritation my head turned towards her and I said "NO, bread has wheat in it!" I then began reading my book again so hurt that she would offer me something that she knew I couldn't have. I almost cried.

It's one thing when you make a choice not to eat a certain way because you want to lose weight or you are trying to eat a cleaner healthier way. Then it's your CHOICE not to have these foods. I don't have a choice, if I eat anything with the tiniest amount of gluten in it I am sick for days and sometimes weeks at a time. It's not a health choice for me, I CAN'T have these things. That makes me want them even more. Admitting to myself that breads and pastas were a total comfort food to me was a big step along my gluten free journey. I would eat tons of those delicious carb filled rolls or cakes or pies or whatever and soothe my depression or anger or hurt feelings with every bite. It was not a healthy or safe place for me to be mentally or physically as I continued to gain weight. They were a passion and a love for me and I had to give them up completely when I started listening to my body and figured out what the root cause of my pain was. Does that mean that I don't still walk up the bread aisle and take a deep breath when the bakery is making new loaves? I sure do. Does that mean that I don't oogle the dessert menu and dream of a time when I could eat these things? I sure do. I am still human, having a gluten allergy doesn't change that fact. I have wants and I occasionally want bread or cookies or pasta. I know that I can't eat them so I acknowledge my want of them and file it away for later use. I really really wanted that bread roll yesterday and the fact that I couldn't have it hit me hard and I felt like a freak that didn't belong in the "normal" person's world.

So I came home and talked about it and tried to make sense of my irrational response to a simple nice gesture by a co-worker. I think it might have been due to my lack of sleep the past few nights and I was overly emotional due to that. My brain is doing some strange things lately so I have to reign it in and keep myself under control so the anxiety and depression don't see that as an open invite and make their way into my life right now. It's holiday time which is filled with baked goods and tons of food choices that will not be geared for me, I understand this, I accept this and I will be stalwart in my dedication to keeping my body healthy and not filling it with foods that will make it sick. One moment of happiness while chewing a forbidden food is not worth endless nights and days of pain and discomfort.

That's what's on my mind lately. Trying to get back to normal mentally so I can resume my workout schedule in the evenings and start to get on the fit train. Time and rest will do wonders and I will be back to my old self soon I'm sure.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Admitting defeat and changing the routine

Yesterday I hit rock bottom. At about 2pm the bottom fell out of my little health boat and I crashed into the shoreline full tilt. I immediately texted my husband and he agreed that getting up at 4am and working out, then working an 8 hour workday, then coming home and trying to cook dinner and do chores just wasn't working for me. I came home from work and felt HORRIBLE. I was overly tired, I didn't want to eat, I hated myself for feeling so defeated and all I wanted to do was stuff my face with crappy foods and sleep. I had hit the bottom of what my body was able to cope with and being awake all those hours a day is not it. 

So last night I went to bed just after 8pm and I didn't get up this morning until 6am. I feel like I have slept too long, like I'm almost hung over from sleeping. I can't seem to shake off the heavy feeling. I don't like it at all. I finally have to admit to myself that I need my rest, that I need downtime and that pushing myself like I did when I was younger is not going to work for me at this age and place in my life. I have to formulate another workout plan. Going to the gym in the evenings is my other option. Come home from work, get dinner started and head to the gym. That doesn't sound good to me either because once I'm home from work, I want to relax, not go strength train and do cardio. I feel like everything is against me losing this weight!

Now I know there are tons of people in this world who have full time jobs, families, homes to maintain and they still find time to fit exercise into their daily routines. You have to plan it out, you have to schedule it into the day (or evening). It is really no different than getting up early to go workout. You go to the gym in the evening, come home eat a light dinner then shower and go to bed. I am just scared that my motivation to do so won't be as great after I've worked a full 8 hour day as it was prior to me going to work. 

I have to commit to this however and the early morning routine left me feeling absolutely awful by the end of the day. It was like the worst case of depression every single evening. I cannot deal with that. I want to be happy throughout the day and happy when I come home from work so my mood is not affecting my son or my husband. I don't want to take my grumpiness out on either of them because I am having a short temper or quick to agitate moment. So I need to make a change for my health and for the happiness of my family. 

I will be heading to the gym tonight and see how well I do. Who knows, maybe it will be amazing and I will learn to love an evening sweat routine. I'm apprehensive about it now, but I won't know anything until I try it. 

Here we go again!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

4 AM wake up call!

I started my early morning gym visits yesterday morning. I must say it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was a little grumpy at first, getting up that early. However, I felt triumphant when I completed my workout because for the rest of the day I knew that my exercise was DONE! That alone is an amazing feeling.

I altered the schedule a little this morning and I'm back to it. Going to workout and get in my strength training and cardio before I come home and get my son ready for school and me ready for a workday. Surprisingly I wasn't as exhausted as I thought I would be yesterday. I felt sleep around 9:30am, so I ate an apple and that helped tremendously. I cruised through the rest of my workday and felt pretty darn good!

I am using the My Fitness Pal app to track my workouts and food journal now. There is even a place for water consumption on there. Guess who drank over 100 ounces of water yesterday like a boss.....this girl! That sounds like a lot but for my weight I'm supposed to drink 93 ounces anyway. I am adjusting mentally to these changes and trying to find balance at the end of the day to come home from work, make dinner and do chores. Last night not much got done, I was body tired and just didn't get off the couch after dinner. I'm sure as I adjust this will get easier. (I HAVE to get those dishes done tonight, my kitchen is scary!)

Overall I feel good, for now, I'm sure everyday won't be a winner but I'll take the good while it's coming my way!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

First day back at the gym

Yesterday morning I decided that it was time to get back on the fitness wagon and head back to the gym, since I had clearance from my podiatrist to do so. I got on my gym clothes, pulled my hair up in my signature workout ponytail, wrapped my right foot in my plantar fascia strap to prevent inflammation and put on my awesome new Nike athletic shoes. I walked in the door to the gym and immediately felt ashamed. I felt like I owed the gym an apology for not using my membership properly and being away for so long. No one was judging me but I was judging myself pretty heavily. I checked in at the desk and walked towards the elliptical machines. 

I got onto the machine and could hear the words "Don't over do it!" in my head. I tend to push myself during my workouts even on days when I know I'm supposed to be taking it easy. I stared at the glowing interface on the machine not quite sure which option to use in order to get a good workout without over doing it. I had a brief moment of being overwhelmed and I could feel the anxiety creeping up. I chose the random hill option and put it on level 1. This would allow some changes in elevation without having to use a ton of effort to "climb" the hills. I set the time for 30 minutes, popped in my ear buds and off I went.

I started off strong and felt pretty good, I was walking along at a good pace while listening to my Duran Duran (don't judge me I love 80's music). Then it happened, my calf and thigh muscles started to feel strained and tired, I must have gotten going too fast. I glanced down at the interface to see how long I had been cruising along, 9 minutes 54 seconds. WHAT?? 9 minutes in and I'm already feeling like I'm going to fall apart. This cannot be happening.

Then I got angry with myself and continued through the discomfort because I was not going to wimp out at the 10 minute mark.

I finished my elliptical workout and made my way to the Arc Trainer. I absolutely love this machine. As I hopped up on the foot pedals I once again felt that anxiety and confusion about which level and program I needed to be doing. I knew I couldn't keep up with the program I used to do so I decided to start at the beginning. I put it on program 1 level 1 so it was very simple changes in elevation and my legs wouldn't be over challenged. At first this machine made my legs sore but after a couple of minutes on it my muscles relaxed and I began to enjoy the workout again.

I did 30 minutes on each machine then happily gathered my stuff and headed home. Once I got home I was famished so I had a small plate of Thanksgiving leftovers. I also decided to start using the My Fitness Pal app on my phone and PC so I can track workouts and food all in one place. Hopefully as I am on the program more I'll make friends and be able to have folks to talk to about my fitness and daily life. Having support when you are trying to get in shape and be healthy is important.

I did have to wear my splint boots for a couple of hours after my workout because my heels started hurting. I knew this was going to happen so I was prepared. I watched TV bundled up on the couch and ended up falling asleep. When I woke from my nap I took my boots off and my feet felt better. I just needed to stretch that plantar fascia tissue that had been used for the first time in months.

Today my calves are a little tight, so I'm hoping some deep stretching will alleviate that issue. I feel good about getting back to the gym. Sundays are my "rest" day. Instead of doing gym time I spend time at home with friends while we play random tabletop role playing games. Today I am running the game and it's a Pathfinder D&D game campaign. I'm a geek and I know it, embrace it and show it off whenever I can!

Tomorrow I am going to try going to the gym in the early AM before I go into work. This will require me to get up at 4:00am in order to eat and get some water in me prior to my workout which will start at 5am. The idea of this doesn't exactly thrill me but I'm hoping that it will help me have energy through the day. I can do it, I just have to make the effort!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Falling off the wagon and chasing it down!

After I had my oral surgery and had 5 teeth removed in August I wasn't able to eat solid foods for about 3 weeks. I lived on soft foods and liquids until I was healed up enough to chew again. I dropped about 7lbs that 3 weeks and was so excited to be down to 186lbs. I fit into a size 14 jeans and was really comfortable with the new slimmer me.

Then I was able to eat solids again. Well lets just say that I ate and ate and ate some more. I was like a hungry hungry hippo and grabbing everything in sight. I was justifying my increased appetite with the fact that I was hungry and hadn't eaten in three weeks! This trend continued for 2 months though. Up until last week I was indulging in desserts (just because they are gluten free does not make them calorie free), large portions of foods that I probably shouldn't be eating (oh, Red Robin now has gluten free buns, I can eat burgers again!) and late night snacks that went well into the evening hours while I laid there watching bad horror movies on Netflicks. Halloween came and I indulged in my son's Halloween candy because those Hershey's were gluten free and I could only eat the gluten free candy. I had definitely fallen off the healthy wagon and it was moving further and further away from me with every mouthful of food I took.

About two weeks ago I went shopping for some more jeans because the one pair I had wasn't enough for my work week. I skipped into the thrift store, grabbed an armload of size 14's and headed for the dressing rooms. Well, not thinking about all those weeks of eating crap and lots of it I tried on the first size 14, it didn't fit. Well maybe it's because it's sized weird, so I tried on another size 14. It didn't fit either. Out of the 6 pairs of size 14 jeans I had in there NONE of them fit. I was pissed. How could this be. Just a few weeks ago I was slim and trim and no longer in "plus" size pants, what had happened. I took a brief moment to actually look at myself in the full length mirror in the dressing room and realized that all those indulgences had found their way to my midsection and thighs. I had let food win. I grabbed the jeans off the floor and went out of the dressing room like a kicked puppy. I put them all back on the hangars and put them back on the rack, the whole time thinking about what  failure I was and how much of a fat loser I had become. I grabbed the oh too familiar size 16 jeans that I have worn for years and went back into the dressing room, head hung low. Wow, they fit, go figure! I purchased my jeans and left the store feeling awful about myself. I blamed everything but myself for the recent weight gain. I blamed hormones (stupid period makes me eat chocolate), I blamed work (stupid job makes me snack all day), I blamed stress at home (dealing with the needs of my family makes me sneak into the bedroom and eat candy at night). I never once blamed MYSELF for what I had done. Erin could not be responsible for eating all those bad things or even the good things I did eat that were in huge quantities. Oh well at least I had pants to wear to work right?


I had returned to the place of comfort eating and self soothing with food. For medical reasons mentioned in previous posts, I haven't been to the gym since September. Without being able to work out the large quantities of food I was consuming had nowhere to go other than on my body as stored fat. I wallowed in self pity for a few days then I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself off. I got angry. I finally took responsibility for my actions and stopped blaming life for happening to me. It was time, time to arm myself with the tools I had at my disposal to track my food and fitness and get back on that wagon. I wasn't going to spend another Winter miserable and self loathing. While everyone is indulging in pies and cookies and foods of holiday cheer I want to be indulging in weight training and cardio. When New Year's rolls around I want to look at myself and know that 2013 is going to be the year that I continue to be a success story in my own life and not a failure to myself. I have to do this for ME first and then those around me get the benefit of my health and happiness too. It's time to climb back on that wagon and continue on the journey.

With all that said, I have lost 5 of the 9 pounds I gained back. I am tracking my food daily as well as tracking my water intake to make sure I get my 93 ounces a day in. I am following doctor's orders for my health issues and taking it one day at a time. Tomorrow I am going to go to the gym and not make excuses or think about how much I hate weight training. I need to strengthen my body, not just lose weight. Honestly it's not really about weight loss at all for me at this point, it's about becoming strong and happy. The weight loss will come with time and once I build lean muscle to burn off all that stubborn fat. I have to be consistent and persistent with it. I have to be an advocate for myself because no one is going to advocate for me. I need to realize that gluten free isn't calorie free and pay attention to what I put into my body. (I am still floored by the fact that 9 pounds is a pant size, I mean 9 measly pounds? Really?)

I have started packing my lunches for work, bringing lots of fruits and vegetables with me along with my lean protein for lunch and my chocolate rice cake for my afternoon snack. I am in love with apples and eat them every chance I get, at least twice a day. I am training myself to eat slower and chew my food. Not gulp it down so I can move onto what I need to do next. I take a bit and put the utensil down as I chew. This allows my body to tell me when it's had enough. If I eat everything on my plate great, if I don't it's leftovers for another time. This is a hard thing because for as long as I can remember I have "inhaled" my food and eaten fast. My body never registered full and I was eating way more than I needed to. Now that I have identified this behavior I can make the changes I need to in order to correct it.

I have everything I need to succeed in my goal to regaining my health and strength. Now I just need to use my tools!

Tests, appointments and waiting....oh my!

The past month has been a jumble of appointments, tests and waiting for results. It's been hectic and some of the tests were very uncomfortable but at least now we are headed in the right direction with my health and hopefully will have me back on track soon.

It all started a couple of months ago when I started having extreme pain in my legs and feet. This pain would come on when I exercised, when I walked any sort of distance and especially when I would try to sleep at night. It got the the point where I wasn't falling asleep until 2 or 3 in the mornings and getting up at 6am. It was not healthy and I knew something had to be done.

I started with a visit to my primary care doctor and explained my situation to her. She began ordering tests immediately. I was tested for diabetes, which came up negative. My thyroid was tested and the results came back completely normal and healthy. I had an X-Ray of my back and it was found that I have degenerative arthritis in the lower lumbar region. That was more than likely one of the causes of my back pain and could possibly be causing my leg pain, however more tests must be done. I had a nerve conductive study done for my legs and feet to see if I had nerve damage in my lower extremities. This test consisted of them shocking me with electricity to see if my nerves were functioning properly. Even though the current was tiny it still kinda hurt. Then I had needles that are similar to acupuncture needles, inserted into my nerve bundles so the doctor could listen to them to see if they were firing correctly with stimulation. This process sucked and it hurt pretty badly. Well I do not have nerve damage but it was discovered that I am missing the reflex in my right ankle area. It's simply non existent, which is rare. Even people who have damaged their ankles, have a slow reflex where I have zero on that side. My legs ached for most of that day but at least I knew I didn't have nerve damage.

I had a circulatory test run to make sure I didn't have any blockage or blood flow issues. My circulatory system is in perfect healthy with no blockages or slowing of any of the arteries.

I just recently had the MRI done on my lower lumbar region in order to determine just how advanced the degenerative arthritis is. I'm hoping it's in it's early stages and with proper exercise and back strengthening I can quell the symptoms and continue to be as active as I was previous to all these tests.

That brings me to my podiatrist. I have seen both of the podiatrists in the office I go to and they are both not only knowledgeable but extremely nice and funny. My first visit was to determine if I had any problems with my feet. The moment I started describing my symptoms the doctor was shaking his head and he knew exactly what my problem was. He then did an ultrasound of my feet to see if his hypothesis was right and it was. I have a condition called plantar fasciitis. That is when there is damage to the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from the heel to the toes. What the ultrasound revealed was that I had extreme inflammation and that was the culprit of my awful foot pain and inability to exercise or walk distances. A normal measurement for the plantar fascia tissue is around 2cm. My left foot was over 4cm and my right foot was almost 7cm. He said he was surprised I could walk at all on that right foot. My treatment began immediately. I was given plenty of information packets about the condition. I was given a cortisone shot in each foot to help with the swelling (oh my lord this was painful, needles in my feet no thank you!!!!) . I was given my lovely boots that I needed to wear 4 hours a day in order to take the pressure of the plantar fascia and give it time to be in a neutral position so it could heal. Then a follow up appointment was made and I was sent on my way.

My follow up appointment with the podiatrist was not near as scary and I had lots of questions for him since I was too taken aback at my first appointment to even think of questions let alone ask them. I was at a point where I don't have to wear the boots for 4 hours a day anymore, I just need to wear them when I have time or when I have flare ups and need to rest my feet. The more time I spend in the boots though, the healthier my plantar fascia tissue will be. (did I mention I really really really hate those stupid strappy boots from hell?) I was also cast for orthotics which luckily my insurance covers. I will have my super custom orthotics in approximately 4-6 weeks. In the meantime I will have to continue to do my stretching exercises, wear my boots as needed and invest in decent supportive footwear that I will eventually be putting my orthotic in. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that will go away with the proper preventative measures. If you don't take care of your feet, the condition will flare up and you will be miserable again, plain and simple. I now have the tools to take care of my feet properly and I will be doing so because I don't want shots in my feet ever again!

On a good note I was told that I could go ahead and start exercising again. If it was something that involved impact on my feet I'd have to take it slow and only do about 1/2 of what I was doing previously. No marathon running or super trail hiking for me just yet. I need to stick to machines with low to no impact like the elliptical or arc trainer. This means that all upper body workouts not requiring me to use my feet for anything other than a base to stand on are OK for me to do. This was a huge deal to me for many reasons. I haven't been to the gym since the first week of September so all the weight I had lost is slowly starting to creep back on. I also suffer from seasonal depression which hits me right around this time of year and lasts until Spring. I refuse to sit around feeling anxious and depressed all winter this year, I want to be able to work out and get healthy so when Spring comes I can take part in all those fun warm weather activities. I also know that if I lose more weight that my feet will have less to carry around and be burdened with and that will make the plantar fasciitis much less of a worry for me in the future.

I have answers to all those questions I had and now I know what to do in order to ensure that my future is a healthy one.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Where oh where did she go?

I promise, I have not fallen off the face of the Earth. You can't get rid of me that easily folks! I have just been busy with life, dealing with emotions and coming to realizations about myself that were long overdue. In other words....there is a really long blog post coming soon so I can catch my few readers up on what's been going on in my frazzled busy life. It may not be as epic as the upcoming Hobbit movie, but I will do my best to make it as entertaining as I can! Stay tuned......

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pushing through my blahs

Not sure what my issue is lately but I have had a serious case of the blahs. I just don't want to do anything. I have been sleeping more than usual because I am tired all the time. This could be a side effect from many different things. I am not a doctor so I'm not going to try to self diagnose myself. Despite my crummy demeanor I've gone to the gym yesterday and today. I have pushed myself to make sure I do my strength workout properly. I have even added in the ab workout now that my core is strong enough to support that sort of workout. My abs are killing me right about now, however I know that the results will be worth the sore muscles in the end.

The biggest issue I have had lately is with my legs. I'm not sure if it's poor circulation or what, but when I work out my legs are going numb. When I try to sleep at night they ache or tingle and my feet either go numb or hurt something awful. I haven't noticed any discoloration except that sometimes my toes look a little purple when I've been on my feet awhile. I know I need to get to a doctor and have it all checked out since artery issues run in my family. My mother was diagnosed with hardening of the arteries in her 40's. She had to have a complete lower aortal bypass in order for her legs and feet to get circulation. It worries me that I may have a blockage somewhere. I guess it's better to get it taken care of sooner than later, while I'm still young and my body will heal nicely. I just hate going to the doctor because I always feel like I'm just whining. I plan on making an appointment soon and will update here as I find answers. Hopefully they will tell me it's just restless leg syndrome and can easily correct it.

It's gotten to the point where I hate getting dressed these days. My clothes don't fit. My underwear don't fit. My bras don't fit. It's annoying. I love the fact that I'm losing inches like crazy and I'm getting back the curves that I haven't seen since before I had my son. Having to replace my entire wardrobe just seems tedious. Clothing is just so darned expensive and I hate spending money on myself, it makes me feel guilty. However soon enough I won't be able to wear anything in my closet and a wardrobe update will be necessary not just convenient. I guess I should start with the under garments and go from there. It's just funny because I wear all these over sized clothes all the time so I still look big. Then I get undressed at night to get ready for bed and I'm sporting a flat stomach and am not near as bulky as those clothes make me look. I've noticed that when I work out whether it be at the gym or outside that my shirts are getting in my way. They don't sit right on me and all that extra material makes me hot, which makes me grumpy while I'm working out.

My eating lately as I posted in my last entry has been portion-tastic. I've noticed that I am simply more hungry now that I have increased my activity. I had two hot dogs (gluten free) today for lunch instead of my usual one. I'm eating bigger breakfasts and trying to do smaller dinners. I have been indulging on ice cream and chocolate lately but last week was my week to celebrate being a woman, so I don't feel bad about eating desserts. It hasn't impacted my weight so I'm going to count that as a blessing and try to make healthier choices for the rest of this month.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Week of Blur

It seems like this past week flew by in a blur. Towards the end of the week I seemed to be super busy with back to school shopping for my son. He starts 5th grade in two weeks and he needed school supplies and a few more school clothes to kick off the year. I was in "gotta get it done" mode for the past 3 days. Yesterday I spent a few hours out with a friend of mine whom I haven't spent time with in a long time. It was nice to get out of the house and have a girl day. Once girl day was over though, I had to do grocery shopping and get back to my routine of being domestic.

For some reason I feel like I have missed something. I don't know why. Maybe it's because even though I've been active I haven't been to the gym lately. I'm not sure, but I feel like the past few days have passed and there was something that I was supposed to do and didn't. It's annoying and I'm sure if I ever figure it out I'll feel better.

I'm down to 191 pounds and holding. I thought I may have gained a couple pounds since my birthday because we've been eating at restaurants more than usual and my food choices have been ok but the portions have been in the "food coma" category. I feel this need lately to eat huge portions. Not sure if my body simply needs more since I upped my workouts or if it's the addict side of me that just wants it all. Maybe I'm comfort eating and don't realize it? But it doesn't happen every day. It's sporadic. Could be hormonal, I have no clue. I just thought it was weird the other day when we went to a Mexican place for lunch and I literally had to push plates away from myself so I would stop eating it. I felt ravenous and just went for it. So much cheese! Luckily my little food comas have not affected my weight any and tomorrow I can get back onto the strength training and cardio band wagon.

The end of this month I will have a meeting with my trainer for my 12 week re-evaluation. The reps for my strength training exercises will increase as will the weights for them. He may add more to my routine or choose to eliminate things. I'm not sure yet how it will all develop. I'm a little worried that I've not really tried as hard as I could have to get myself in shape. However I can't let doubt get in the way of the progress I have made. It's a slow progression. It took a few years for me to pack on the pounds and for muscle groups to weaken. It's going to take time to fix what I broke and become healthy and strong again. I am a worrier though and when results aren't instantaneous or quick to be seen, then I panic thinking I've done something wrong. Old habits are hard to break and even harder to change into positives.

On an excited note, while I was out shopping yesterday I tried on a size 14 pants and they fit! Once I lose a couple more inches off my thighs a 12 will be able to fit comfortably too. My thighs need that extra space even though a 14 is still a tiny bit big at the waist. I also tried on a large shirt and was able to get it on comfortably. It's been a number of years since I've worn a large anything. I've been in XL or XXL for too long. When I started this journey I was in a 18/20 size pants. Now a 12/14 is in my immediate future and it seems unreal to me. Inches are just falling off me like crazy and I'm amazed at how different my body looks now compared to a year ago. My fortune yesterday in my fortune cookie was "You are tasting the sweets of success". At first I didn't understand, how am I successful I'm not even employed right now? Then it hit me, my weight loss is a success, duh! I have definitely been excited about those changes recently.

Hopefully as the cooler months approach us I'll be able to keep up my motivation and not end up with seasonal depression. By summer next year I want to have that flat stomach that I know is under this little layer of fat. I want to be able to mark some more goals off my list that I made back in June. I might even enjoy the thought of bathing suit shopping if I can keep myself motivated and moving through the winter. I have quite a bit to look forward to I believe and hopefully everyone reading this will enjoy the ride with me!