Friday, December 27, 2013

This Blog She Is A Moving!

For those of you who haven't hear yet, I have a new webpage! All future blog entries will be posted on my new site and no longer posted here on blogger. Please feel free to follow me in my new blog home, I would love to have you and please bring friends, the more the merrier!

The new webpage is located at

Please let me know what you think of the new page and subscribe and show the love!



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter is here

I realized the other morning that I was a few days over due on getting my new month new goals post put up. Trying to find the right balance between work and relaxation and spending time with my family, it's been hectic to remember to write. However this morning I was motivated and I took my measurements, so here's a recap of my goals for November:

November Goals:

  • Learn more at work so I can become a better employee. I have definitely done that, I usually work the closing shift and people like working with me because of how clean I keep the place. Guess being a clean freak pays off at work!
  • Lose that stubborn inch off my waist so I can fit into the size 12 pants I've had my eye on. Well I've definitely lost the inches, but I have not purchased a size 12 just yet. The work pants that I bought recently are still a size 14 and I noticed last night that the waist is gapping open when I wear them. 
  • Lose weight, yes I finally did that too!
  • I have not yet invested the money to get my hair colored. Not sure I'm going to do this at this point because everyone at work keeps telling me how pretty my hair is. I think I might just leave it alone for now.
  • I have not bought a pair of cute boots for winter yet. Hopefully I will do so soon, if not then I guess it's not the end of the world. 
December Stats:

Waist: 34.5 inches (loss of 2 1/2 inches)
Hips: 42 inches (loss of 2 inches)
Bust: 37 inches (loss of 1 inch)
Arms: Left bicep 13.5 inches (gain of 1/2 inch) Right bicep 13.5 inches (loss of 1/2 inch) *Both arms are the same size finally!*
Weight: 176 (loss of 6 1/2 pounds)

December Goals:

I have to say that I am so much happier with my results this time around. I have a total loss of 6 1/2 inches off my body and 6 1/2 pounds of fat gone. What did I do different you might be asking yourself. Well I work at Starbucks, so I'm always moving, cleaning, lifting gallons of milk to make drinks basically getting little mini workouts every time I work. I also stopped counting my calories and stopped tracking my food intake. I had done that for over 2 years religiously and I was sick and tired of my app telling me that if I continued on that healthy pattern I would weigh in the 160's in a few weeks. Well those weeks came and went and that scale never budged. I felt restricted, I felt judged every time I had to add food to my journal, I was no longer happy with being so organized and not seeing the results I felt I deserved. 

So now if I'm hungry I eat, I don't write it down. If I'm not hungry I don't force myself to eat just to meet my daily calorie goal. Some days I have a decent appetite some days I don't. I did start drinking more caffeine than I was, I drink chai tea lattes at work. They don't contain coffee at all but chai tea naturally has caffeine in it. I have it made with soy milk so the dairy doesn't kill my stomach. I have made time to destress and relax on my days off or after work. Whether it be playing on the computer, watching tv or reading a book, I do a little something for my mind to allow some calm into my life. 

I cannot allow myself to have my weight be my sole focus in life anymore. It was causing more problems than it was solving. Now that I have taken a much more relaxed approach to my health, look at my results! I am not doing additional workouts on my days off right now due to weather not being warm enough to go outside and work out. However, our spiffy new smart TV in our family room has a huge selection of fitness stuff on it and I may give some of it a go. Right now I'm enjoying leisure time and not having to constantly be focused on numbers and calories. I will admit I've eaten meat (other than seafood) in the past few weeks. I had turkey at Thanksgiving, I've eaten baked chicken at work during lunch, I've had orange chicken from my favorite Chinese food place. I don't eat it every day and when I do eat meat I realize how heavy it makes my stomach feel. I let myself go on a meat eating binge for awhile and last week I felt pretty horrible about it. I decided that I wasn't going to allow my extremist mentality win. I was going to tighten the reigns and reel myself back into a healthy reality that didn't include such regret. I took responsibility, I knew I ate bad, I knew I went overboard, so I acknowledged it and now I'm moving on. However, even with all that meat, I still managed to lose weight, which is always a plus in my book. 

Focusing on feeling healthy inside is making me much happier than focusing on my weight. When I start feeling down I go over my checklist in my mind, asking myself questions to figure out why I'm feeling that way. Most of the time it boils down to a hormonal imbalance, which in time will correct itself. If there are times when it's something I can control then I fix the issue at hand and move on. If it's something that I cannot control, then I let myself be sad about it briefly then move on. I can't dwell on my emotions anymore it makes me sick to be unhappy. Acknowledge the feelings then move forward. That seems to be working for me so far this past few weeks so I'm going to keep going with that and see where it takes me. Eat when I'm hungry, sleep when I'm tired, get out of bed if I can't sleep and find a way to engage my mind, keep drinking my fluids and smile more. 

What are your plans for December and are you looking forward to 2014?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

New Month New Goals

November is a month when people give thanks for the things in their lives that make them happy. Well let me tell you that when I did my measurements on November first I was definitely not happy with my results. I set goals around the first of October and I was thinking that with starting the C25K program my goals would be easier to reach. Most of the goals were, but some were not. My word of the moment seems to be frustration but I'm not going to let this ruin my month. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing because I know that my lifestyle is healthy and I can see that my body is changing even if the numbers don't reflect the change that I thought they would. 

Recap of October Goals:
  • Lose 5 lbs
  • Manage my eating so I'm eating clean and healthy
  • Drink more fluids (water and tea are my choices)
  • Get a job
  • Buy some new clothes that actually fit me and figure out what size pants I really wear
  • Update my blog at least once a week (unless I have more to say of course)

Well I have managed my eating and have been pretty spot on with my food choices so that one is definitely checked off. I have been drinking much more fluids lately, the colder weather means it's tea season and I'm loving it. I got a job at Kroger in their Starbucks kiosk. I love coffee even if I can't drink it and serving people makes me happy. (Plus the paychecks aren't bad either). I did buy a new pair of pants and I can almost fit into a size 12, I need to lose about another inch off my waist for them to close comfortably. So technically I'm a size 13, but since they don't make those in most brands, I'm wearing a size 14 currently. I have not been blogging at least once a week, shame on me. I have been playing The Sims 3 way too much recently and it is a time suck that I have to admit is like an addiction. It's creative and fun and those Sims have way better lives than I do, lol! I did not lose 5 pounds in the month of October, not even close.

November Stats:
Waist: 37 inches (no change)
Hips: 44 inches (3 inch gain)
Bust: 38 inches (2 inch gain)
Biceps: 13 inches left (1 inch loss) 14 inches right (1 inch gain)
Weight: 182.5 lbs (4 1/2 pound gain)

I was told by numerous people that my gains have been because of muscle growth. I seem to be putting on quite a bit of muscle in my legs from running and all the extra activity that I do now that I have a job. I'm hoping that at some point I will see all this additional muscle start to burn the little bit of fat that I have left so I can be lean and no longer lumpy. I know that this process takes time and I've only been actively working out for a month since my surgery so I'm trying really hard not to throw my hands in the air and give up. However when I see that much gain in a month it's a hard pill to swallow. I can't stop now though. I have to see this through for myself and my health. I've lost too many loved ones over the years and I don't want to put my family through that because I wasn't willing to take care of myself when I had the chance. 

November Goals:
  • Learn more at work so I can become a better barista and get more work hours.
  • I would like to lose that inch off my waist so I can fit into the size 12 pants that I've got my eye on
  • I would like to lose some weight, but I'm afraid to attach a number to it at this point. 
  • I would like to get my hair colored again for the upcoming holiday seasons
  • I want to buy a cute pair of boots for winter so I'm not stuck wearing athletic shoes all the time
I'm looking forward to seeing where this month takes me. I'm still progressing through my C25K program and I'm currently working on week 3. Due to my work schedule I have to skip some days during the weeks so I pick it up on my days off so I'm not overworking my legs. Pain in my body telling me I've done too much. I'm hoping that I will continue to thin down even if it means more gains this month. I can definitely tell what parts of my body are gaining muscle because I can feel it when I work out. Muscle weighs more than fat, it's true but yet it's one of those concepts that as a woman is just really hard to wrap my head around. Always number obsessed and never happy with the results I get. That's just who I am and how my mind works, so don't give me the lecture about changing my way of thinking. I've been there tried that and while I'm a lot more positive now, I still have my hangups. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I decided that I wanted to incorporate jogging back into my exercise routine, so yesterday I tried jogging while I was out doing my walk and I wasn't very successful. I made it 1/2 mile before I got too tired to keep going, so I walked the rest of my workout. My best friend suggested that I download a C25K app and follow the program. I figured it couldn't hurt but I was scared that I may not be in shape enough to follow the program for it. I downloaded the app last night and took a peek at what the program would entail and I was really surprised. It starts off gentle, easing you into running and builds up your stamina every week. It's a 9 week routine and at the end I should be able to run for 30 minutes straight with no walk breaks. At this point that is hard to imagine, but if I stick with this then it will happen.

Here is what the breakdown of the routine consists of:

Week 1:
Brisk 5 minute warm up walk. Alternate 60 seconds of jogging then 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 2:
Brisk 5 minute warm up walk. Alternate 90 seconds of jogging then 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 3:
Brisk 5 minute warm up walk. Do two repetitions each of 90 seconds jogging, 90 seconds walking then jog 3 minutes and walk 3 minutes.

Week 4:
Brisk 5 minute warm up walk. Jog 3 minutes, walk 90 seconds, jog 5 minutes, walk 2 1/2 minutes, jog 3 minutes walk 90 seconds jog 5 minutes

Week 5:
Brisk 5 minute warm up walk. Jog 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, jog 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, jog 5 minutes.

Week 6:
Brisk 5 minute warm up walk. Jog 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, jog 8 minutes, walk 3 minutes, jog 5 minutes.

Week 7:
Brisk 5 minute warm up walk. Jog for 25 minutes.

Week 8:
Brisk 5 minute warm up walk. Jog for 28 minutes

Week 9:
Brisk 5 minute warm up walk. Jog for 30 minutes.

Each of these routines is done 3 days a week only. So I have chosen to do them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Since I didn't do this yesterday I went ahead and started my week 1 day 1 today so I could get on track to do the other two days this week on Wednesday and Friday.

The intensity of this routine picks up quickly. I'm hoping that my stamina keeps up and that I can complete this because the idea of being able to jog for 30 minutes without stopping sounds amazing to me. Right now when I jog I feel very bottom heavy. I feel like my legs have a lot of weight in them and that's why I am moving so slowly. I'm sure that's not the case and it's more likely the fact that I haven't jogged since July I think. I have to build slowly and I'm hoping this app allows me to do that and maybe I might even lose a pound or two.

So this is what my exercise regiment is going to consist of for my outdoor portion. I'm also hoping to add in my workout DVD soon so I can get in some alternate cardio for my upper body. I'm not going to look very good if my lower body is tone and nice and my upper body looks like jello. I want the total package!

**the app I am using for my android phone is called Simple C25K, it was a free app that will take me through the entire 9 week course with no ads and no purchase necessary**

Sunday, October 13, 2013

One Month Post Op

When I woke up this morning I realized that today marks one month since my surgery. I have to say that I have healed fairly quickly. I'm back to all my normal activities and I should start my new job next week, well at least the training for it. I don't feel like I'm still recovering from surgery anymore and my pain is very minimal. There are still some internal things like hormone imbalances that I'm dealing with but that's to be expected.

It's very strange that my body can be put through so many changes and it's trying very hard to adapt. I had my ovary and fallopian tube completely removed but I also have an IUD for birth control. With an IUD you are not supposed to have monthly cycles but because my roommate is female, my body decides that it's a competition and that it needs to keep up. Yet being minus one ovary and having and IUD, it's at a disadvantage. Hence where the hormone imbalance is coming from. I don't ovulate anymore but yet I have all the symptoms of a monthly cycle. Food cravings, fatigue, mood swings and even cramps. It's definitely not something that I look forward to every month by far, but I guess it could be worse. Eventually my hormone levels will right themselves and my symptoms should go back to being very low or non existent as they were the previous time I had the IUD birth control. This is the only way that I can see that I am still "healing".

My weight is still a bone of contention with me. When I use My Fitness Pal to track my food intake at the end of the day I always get the "In 5 weeks you should weight this much" prompt and I hate it. If that app was anywhere near right I would already be in the 160's weight wise. I'm simply not getting enough of the right kind of exercise to burn the existing fat I have and I must be building muscle still because I'm not losing a darn thing. Despite walking 3 miles every day this week and eating on my schedule and not overdoing it (except for yesterday at the sushi buffet). I think it's time to increase the type of cardio I do in order to see the slimming results I want to see. Time to bust out my Pink Method workout videos again.

The first time that I did the Pink Method program I was still eating gluten, I was still consuming dairy and I was over 200lbs. The workouts were killer and I couldn't even keep up with the video. It was making my feet and back hurt like hell and eventually after about a month of doing it I stopped all together. I had seen results and was losing inches and a few pounds. I wasn't in the right frame of mind to do it before. I made excuses and I hated working out back then. I would "try" but give up easily. I set myself up to fail that time.

Now I am 179 pounds, I don't eat gluten, I don't consume dairy and I can walk 3 miles daily with ease. I think I could definitely keep up with those videos now and probably get quite a good workout from them. I know that in order to achieve my results there has to be exercise in my life at least 5 days a week structured and some light stuff on the weekends. It has become a way of life for me and it's no longer something that I'm "trying" to do, it's something that I do, daily. My mind wants to be healthy and strong. I want to slim down more and not have this excess skin around. I need to firm up those areas that are problem areas to see if this is truly excess skin or just me having fatty tissue left in those areas. So it's time to put a plan of action into place and stick to it.

Going back to work might pose some interesting kinks in my plans. I love to work out first thing in the morning before I start my day. However with having to get my son off to school and potentially having to go to work in the AM, I might have to get up earlier to get in my workout video and go walking in the evenings possibly if I have time after dinner. With the seasons changing and it getting into the colder times, it's getting dark sooner. I don't want to be out at a park walking through the woods in the dark, I've seen that horror movie and I'm not sure I could out run a killer chasing me with a chainsaw right now, ha ha! I may have to face the fact that my workouts will need to be indoors and I'll just have to accept that. As long as I continue to make an effort to go in the right direction then all should continue to go well for me. I'm looking forward to seeing the number on that scale move soon because it hasn't moved in months at this point. Thankful that I'm not gaining weight, but irritated that I'm not losing either.

All in all, it's time to get real. It's time to step it up. I'm healed, I'm not having any issues post op and I need to get on track. I refuse to let seasonal depression win this year because I'm going into the cold season with a positive attitude, a new job, clean eating and a plan. I know what I am capable of physically and I know what I can accomplish if I actually put a little effort into it. Why wait for New Year's to make changes in my life? I think I'll get a jump start on the new year and start early so while everyone else is fretting over eating too many Christmas cookies, I'll be sporting my cute little slimming outfits and my chocolate flavored chai tea (non dairy of course)!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Number Haunts Me

As I begin my second week of October I made a mistake first thing this morning. I decided to step onto the scale to see if I'd lost any weight. I look so much smaller and I feel like I could have dropped at least a pound since surgery, so I stepped up with a positive attitude. I walked 5 days last week and by the end of the week was up to walking 3 miles. I knew that something good would come of that, right?

Well, once again the scale has disappointed me. I have gained a pound! I'm now back up to 179. Seriously? So exercise and eating right makes me gain weight? Don't feed me that "muscle weighs more than fat" line either because I'm sick of hearing it. That's what you tell fat people when they don't see results and need a positive affirmation so they won't give up. So from now on I'm only going to weigh in at the beginning of each month when I do my measurements so I can track my progress that way. Stupid scale!

I know that it's the inches that matter, I know that my overall health is excellent. When I went in for surgery and they were taking my vitals prior to anesthesia, the nurse was shocked that my vitals were so good. She said I had the vital readings of an athlete. Perfect blood pressure, perfect oxygen saturation etc etc. She said I should be proud of how healthy I was. I certainly didn't feel healthy being there to have a tumor removed. Now that I think back on it, maybe she has a point. My body is healthy even if I have some flabby parts and I'm not the weight or size I would like to be. I will continue to work on it and hope that my results will reflect all the hard work that I intend on putting into my health. However it's still just really frustrating that I'm doing everything right and I still don't see that number on the scale move.

There was a meme going around on facebook recently that said "I wish I was as fat now as I was the first time I thought I was fat." If that were the case I would be 120 pounds. Not that I ever want to be that thin again because I was a recovering anorexic at that point (I'd gained weight from 99lbs), but to be under 150lbs would be super. I think I will always have that anorexic mindset of "you should be thinner, you can be thinner." I'm coming to realize that in my 20's, sure I could get thin at the drop of a hat. However in my late 30's it's going to take more than just walking around and eating right to achieve this goal. I'm going to have to work harder than I thought I would because my body isn't a high school girl's body anymore that can just become whatever I want it to be that week. I have a woman's body now. The body of a wife and a mother. The body of 37 years of life with all it's struggles, mistakes, heartaches, accomplishments and successes. I should love my body for what it has accomplished, for the health it has bestowed upon me and for the beauty that others find in it. I'm my harshest critic and I know that I am capable of something more. I was thinking that a 5 pound weight loss goal for this month might be reasonable but I'm thinking now that it might be a little too lofty. Maybe I should have set a 2 pound goal instead. All I can do is my best at this point and see what my results will be at the end of the month!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Goals

I have decided that today will mark day 1 of my healthy lifestyle changes. I have made a few goals and I took my starting measurements that will let me see at the end of the month if I am making progress or if there are things I will need to change.

I am currently using Endomondo for my fitness tracker, I have found that out of all the fitness tracking apps, I like it the best. I am also tracking my food daily with My Fitness Pal. Please feel free to add me as a friend if you use either of these apps because making this journey with support is by far easier than trying to go it solo.

October 1st Numbers:

Weight: 178lbs

Waist: 37 inches

Hips: 41 inches

Bust: 36 inches

Biceps: 14 inches (L) 13 inches (R)


  • Lose 5 lbs
  • Manage my eating so I'm eating clean and healthy
  • Drink more fluids (water and tea are my choices)
  • Get a job
  • Buy some new clothes that actually fit me and figure out what size pants I really wear
  • Update my blog at least once a week (unless I have more to say of course)

I think that these goals are reasonable and that I should be able to achieve most of these quite easily. So tune in for updates and celebrate with me when I make my goals! 

Dusting off the workout gear

Yesterday was my 2 week post op appointment with my doctor. She gave me a clean bill of health and two thumbs up to go ahead with my normal activities. I am completely healed and my stitches will finish dissolving over the course of six weeks. Of course now that I have the green light from my doctor, that means that I can get back on the healthy bandwagon and that starts with exercise.

This morning I had to dust off my workout clothes and shoes and find my headphones for my phone so I could head to the park to walk. I was so excited! After a couple of months of being sidelined I was eager to get back into my fitness routine. I got to the park with no expectations on myself, I was going to take it as slow or steady as I needed to in order for it to be a workout but not over taxing for me. Well my legs sure knew what to do and before I knew it my arms were at their 90 degree angle and I was striding right along with my music. Before the illness caught up to me I was striding at between 15 min 30 seconds and 16 min 20 seconds for a mile. Well my miles today were at 17 min 20 seconds. Not too bad, being out of the fitness loop for a couple of months only added about a minute to my time. I was going 5 miles a day before I got sick, today I happily did 2.5 miles before my body told me it was done. So half of what I was accustomed to before I got sick. I don't think that's too bad at all. I will slowly build back up to where I was and hopefully be able to eventually add jogging back into the picture as well. 

In order to also mix things up and not just depend on walking to help me firm up those not so firm areas, I have some workout dvd's that I want to get back into the routine of using. I'm hoping that by walking and incorporating some cardio and light weight work, I may be able to blast through this plateau and lose the pounds I'm wanting to lose. 

My diet has been kinda iffy lately. I have definitely not been eating as healthy as I was. I have had a few days where I hit up the sushi buffet and went overboard and I went way over my calorie limit for the day. Since I was healing and dealing with health issues, I didn't let it bother me. I recorded what I was eating and continued to track even on days when I knew that I was going to be over my count. Now that I can bring exercise back to the table I plan on tightening up that food intake belt and making sure that I can feel good about everything I am putting into my body. Exercise is great but without the diet being in check it's all for nothing. 

So, October first is my beginning. Day 1 in the many days ahead that will lead me to my goal weight, my goal body and my healthy outlook on my life. I may not be able to control everything, but the things I can control I plan on doing so with a positive attitude and my best efforts!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pre-Op visits complete

Yesterday was the lovely day known as pre-op visits with my doctor and the hospital where my surgery will be performed. I was expecting a ton of paperwork and having to sign my name a million times. Honestly it wasn't that bad. I had a few papers and consent forms I had to sign but nothing that was over the top. My hand wasn't clawed or hurting after I was finished from writing so much. Most of my time at these places was spent waiting for the people I needed to talk to to become available. I need to remember next time to bring my e-reader with me so I can read while I'm waiting. Everything is a green light for surgery on Friday and the time is almost here.

The recovery period was raised by my doctor. She originally told me 5 days but with the size of the mass she has lengthened that time to 2 weeks. It does not have to be a "bed rest" 2 weeks at all though. Just taking it easy No lifting, no pushing, no pulling, no carrying, no working etc. Luckily my roommate has agreed to step up and take care of the housework for me and do the cooking. The yard work will be done if needed by the hubby. Once my two weeks is over and I'm feeling up to it I can resume my life as normal. The first thing on that agenda is getting a job.

Surgery is not cheap, nor is it free as many people know from first hand experience. Now my surgery is not nearly as finance draining as some, but it still was a financial burden that we were not prepared for or expecting to have to cover this year. Juggling the monies around we made the magic happen but now it's time for me to step up and go back to work so we don't spend the rest of our lives in debt to my doctor and the hospital. The faster bills get paid off the better for us and the quicker we can start saving money for things that we might actually want to do in the future (like a family vacation).

Most of my questions were answered yesterday by my doctor. She is pretty certain that this mass is not cancerous (but she is having tests run on it after removal to completely rule it out). She did mention that there are many other types of cysts that this could be and just as many reasons for it to have formed. Until she gets in there and sees what she's working with she can't really pinpoint the exact type of mass this is. She briefly mentioned endometriosis, but I'm pretty certain that is not the case because I've known women with that condition and they are in extreme pain all the time from it. My pain though uncomfortable is not extreme in my opinion. So it is still unknown what "Ted's ethninticity" is. It will be determined soon and answers will be mine.

I'm still feeling pretty crummy most days though I'm pushing through it to get stuff done. There is still some housework that needs to be finished and I have to do our laundry. I'm planning on working on those things for the next couple of days so this weekend there won't be much for anyone to do for me. (Other than let me sleep). I will be on pain medication after surgery so I'm sure that I will probably sleep through most of the weekend. I will have some dissolving stitches in my belly button area from the laporoscopy which will dissolve in 6 weeks. No special care will be needed for those. By the end of September I should be starting to feel like my old self again which will be a nice change from the way I have been feeling for the past three weeks.

Which means that depending on what type of job I get and what time work will start for me I will be able to take my walks outside during the nice fall weather. Fall is my favorite season and I love all the colors and smells and of course Halloween. I'm looking forward to decorating our house this year and handing out candy on Halloween and taking Dakota trick or treating in the surrounding neighborhoods. It will be a whole new area to explore and have fun in this year. I want to make pumpkin everything and drink cider and make yummy smelling soups. I hope that I can find time to do all this and still work a full time job. I may have to employ my super woman powers to achieve everything I want to achieve but I think it will be worth it!

Two weeks of healing then I can start exercising again according to the doctor. You know that was the first question I asked her too. I want to start walking again and slowly building back up to jogging because it was totally working for me. Then my body decided to do other things and well you know how that ended up. On top of walking I also want to start my exercise DVD's again. I have a ton of them and I need to work on more of my body than just my legs and glutes. I want to whittle my middle and define my arms so I can get rid of the pelican jiggle under my biceps. I know that comes with age, but I'm not ready to accept that yet so I'm going to change it if I can. I'm not that old yet and I shouldn't look it either. It does no good to have a youthful face if you have an aging body that gives you away at every turn. I'm wanting to be healthy and fit for the first time in 11 years and I know that with the proper motivation I can make it happen. I have the diet and food portions under control now the rest is up to exercise.

Two more days, then I can move forward from this setback. I have plans, I have goals and I plan on getting organized, healthy and fit!

Friday, September 6, 2013

One week to go

Today marks one week away from my surgery day. I'd be lying if I said that I was approaching this completely calm. It's a little scary because until the doctor gets a scope in there she isn't entirely sure if this will be a simple or complex procedure. We don't know yet if the ovary will have to come out as well. We don't know if this mass is completely benign or if there is a possibility that it might be cancerous. There are still just too many questions that I don't have answers to yet and will have to wait for those answers to be revealed. I'm incredibly over this waiting game.

I have an appointment on Tuesday to meet with my doctor and the hospital to sign all the pre-op paperwork and ask any questions I may have. I have written my questions in my composition book so I don't forget them and I'm sure that I will get plenty of written instructions on what to do. They won't let me go into this surgery blind per se, but surgery is still something that is not to be taken lightly.

I'm looking forward to not having a fever all the time and not being tired by noon. I'm looking forward to the bloating and swelling from the inflammation to go away so I don't look so fat. I'm looking forward to being able to start exercising again so I can start back down the road to reclaiming my health and longevity. I'm even looking forward to going back to work and hopefully finding a good paying office job. (Medical debt adds up quick). I have plenty of things to look forward to after "Ted" is gone and at this point those things are where my focus is at the moment. I just want to feel normal again and not like some sort of host for this alien growing inside of me. It's really not a cool feeling at all.

This weekend will be spent getting the house in order and making sure that the deeper cleaning chores get done. If the weather holds out, I'd also like to get these yards finished up. The front isn't bad but we never finished the back completely and it's ridiculous. Wishing we had better equipment to do the job, but we work with what we've got.

Feeling anxious waiting for everything to fall into place as it should. Just one more week! Then I will be "Ted" free and on my way back to the healthy life that I deserve and will work hard to have.

Friday, August 30, 2013

2 weeks to go!

So today marks the point where I have two weeks until my surgery. The past couple of days I have felt like total poop. I've been running a fever and feeling nauseous and just not wanting to do much of anything. I only want to eat foods that are cold because when I eat hot foods it feels like it raises my temp by like 100 degrees. Granted, it's been fairly warm outside lately, but that is not the reason for my discomfort. The reason is of course "Ted". If I didn't know better I would swear I was pregnant. I'm having symptoms of pregnancy and it's really weird. Some of the side effects of having an ovarian mass is that your body might go into a "false" pregnancy state and you will begin to have symptoms of pregnancy. True story indeed. I have to potty all the time, I'm having food cravings (mostly sushi), I sleep odd hours and I feel like I'm hotter than the sun on the inside. (And no I'm not talking about my sparkling good looks either). It's making me feel very blah about this whole situation. I cannot wait until this is all done and over with because it sucks having symptoms with nothing to show for your suffering.

I have also decided that until after my surgery I am not going to pursue exercise. When I do I feel horrid the next day and can barely move. It's just not worth the discomfort for an few calories burnt. Plus with all the inflammation and bloating I'm not currently losing weight as it is (I've gained two pounds). I know it's a process and I'm trying really hard to wait it out and just roll with the schedule but I have a feeling this is going to be the longest two weeks of my life. Lord I hope I start feeling better soon because I don't like the idea of spending two weeks in bed.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I shouldn't have done that

So I finally broke down yesterday and got onto the scale. I really shouldn't have done that. I have gained two pounds back. I know that doesn't sound like anything to freak out over but I'm back up to 180 pounds and it took me like three months to take those two pounds off in the first place. That did not make my day at all.

I did some online research into what the side effects to having an ovarian cyst are and I wasn't surprised by the answers. Most of the symptoms I've had at one time or another with some of them being an everyday thing. I was relieved to see that weight gain and expanding girth around the midsection were quite common for woman suffering from this condition. So all this extra weight and bloat (caused from inflammation) that I am carrying around is because of "Ted" (my mass). I am seriously hoping that once this mass is removed and my hormones and system even back out I'll be able to start losing weight and being able to get healthy again without any further delays. Two weeks and two days until surgery day and I'm counting down and wishing it would just get here so it could be done with.

I have been really down and out about this extra weight on my belly lately. I seriously look pregnant. I know I haven't eaten gluten or dairy recently so I have no allergens to blame this time. It's frustrating that a mass that is only 4.3 centimeters in diameter and probably only weighs a few grams can be causing this many crazy side effects. The funny thing is I can still fit into my size 14 pair of jeans and they are a little snug, so once I drop the inflammation weight I'm probably going to need to go buy new jeans in a size 12 possibly. My size 16's are all way to large for me and I constantly feel like my pants are falling down. I guess that's not a bad thing at all.

Moving onto better news, I have a job interview on Thursday. With all the upcoming medical expenses and my son being in band for the first time this year, we are going to need every bit of extra income I can make. I applied at the local Kroger grocery store to work in the Starbucks inside the store. I have worked at a coffee shop before so this will be nothing new to me. I can no longer consume the drinks at Starbucks, so I won't be sabotaging my diet with those added calories daily. I'm hoping for part time work, but if all they have to offer me is something full time well then I'll take it and make it work. I usually have a hard time finding a balance between working a full time job and managing to get things done at home daily but this is something that needs to happen if I want to keep us out of debt and make sure that my son is able to be in band. I remember how expensive band is and I know now as a parent that it is an investment and I'm more than willing to make whatever sacrifices that I need to make in order for him to be part of something that will change his life and celebrate his love for music.

So basically on this hump day I am feeling fat and wishing we had more money. Gee, I sound like I'm whining again don't I? Everything will work out in due time, I just have to be patient. (Not something that I'm very good at).

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fatigue, too tired to be angry

Recently one of the major side effects of mine and "Ted's" relationship is that I am tired all the time. It's very frustrating when I think about how just a few short weeks ago I was so active and had so much energy but that over the course of "Ted" getting bigger I am getting exhausted. I am still trying to figure out how to deal with this because I'm not sure what to do. Pushing myself past my limits and forcing myself into activity just doesn't work, I found this out yesterday.

My hubby, my son and I decided that since the rain had given us a break yesterday that we were going to take advantage of the weather and go outside. There are plenty of parks in our area that we haven't explored yet so we decided to go on a nature day. We went to the first park that we chose and it really wasn't as great as we had hoped so we spent a short amount of time there letting my son play on the playground but ultimately we left for another park. We went to Historic 4th Ward Park in downtown Atlanta. It seemed interesting and it too had a playground for my son to play on and climb and get out some of his pent up energy. We stayed there most of the afternoon. He played on the playground and splash pad (kids and water always good time). While he was playing the hubby and I decided to try to do some walking around the sidewalk that encircled the play areas. It was hot out so I didn't want to go too fast so I set out at a pace that felt comfortable to me, turned on my Endomondo app to track my progress and off we went. It took me 28 minutes to walk a mile! That's almost double my normal walk speed. I really felt like I was jamming, like I was going pretty quickly, I was even sweating like I had done some extreme cardio. 28 minutes? I was crushed. Even when I first started walking in March I was doing a 23 minute mile and that was around 10 pounds ago. After that mile I was exhausted and had to sit down. I drank some water and shortly after I had some lunch (I packed up a picnic for us). That made me feel slightly better but I still didn't feel well. I just wanted a nap, I felt the need to sleep.

I'm not sure why "Ted's" symbiotic relationship with me would cause fatigue. I mean he's not living in a system of my body that I would think would impact my daily life. Sure the reproductive system is important but it's not like he lives on my heart, or lungs, or liver etc. He resides on my ovary and I didn't realize just how prime that property was for making me feel like doo doo for doing barely anything. Today I tried to get some housework done and I made a grocery run to the market. After I had some lunch I went in to watch some television. I finished what was in my queue of shows to watch and I started reading. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep and took a two hour nap. I didn't really feel that what I did today constituted napping, I mean seriously it wasn't like I was out doing manual labor in the yard or anything. I am just so confused as to where all this exhaustion is coming from.

When I get tired like this it's not like I can choose to not acknowledge it or do something about it either. I don't believe it's from depression (even though I have been down more often lately than not). I don't feel like I'm sleeping to escape something or because I'm bored or because I feel bad about myself. I am sleeping because I don't have the energy not to. I could see if I was undergoing some sort of treatment why I would be tired, subjecting my body to such harsh realities. However I am not subjecting my body to anything harsh, or intrusive. I am taking my vitamins and supplements like I need to be. I'm eating right and drinking my fluids. There is no logical reason for me to have the energy of an elderly woman. I'm stymied about it. I have no answers. So for now, I will treat it as I can and hope that after "Ted" is evicted and out of my life for good that I get back to feeling like me again and not some sort of broken down version of me.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Reality

I've tried to take some time this week so I can reflect on my reality and realize that there are going to be changes and there are some facts that I need to accept. Three weeks from today I will be at the hospital being prepped for surgery. "Ted" (the mass) will be removed and the healing process will begin. However the world does not stop simply because I'm having to have surgery. There is still housework to be done, grocery shopping to do, my son has homework to work on nightly, all the joys that come with being a stay at home mother and wife. I've been keeping myself busy with as much as I can but the countdown has begun for me, three more weeks.

In the past month or so I have not been exercising as much as I used to. Due to complications that "Ted" is throwing at me like back pain, phantom leg pain and side stitches when I walk too fast. I usually only walk maybe once or twice a week and some weeks I don't go at all. Plus the weather here in Georgia has been rainy and not something that I would want to work out in to begin with. As I was laying in bed last night I noticed that I seem to be carrying some extra weight in my middle again. I felt my mood drop when I saw it. At this point I don't know if it's bloating from "Ted" or inflammation, did I accidentally consume dairy or gluten recently? I honestly can't give a definite answer to that one. It's frustrating because I was getting so thin and when I laid down my stomach was flat, I know that doesn't mean much to most people but to anyone who's ever been overweight that is a huge accomplishment. I'm afraid to get on the scale because if it reads more than 178 I know that I will beat myself up over it and that I will be depressed and freak out because I'm "getting fat again". As much as I try not to be number obsessed, it's hard. It's hard because from the time we are young girls that number defines everything. It defines our appearance and self worth even though we consciously know that it shouldn't. Sometimes, I really hate being a girl. If a man has some extra weight it's not near as bad for him socially, unless we are talking extreme obesity. However let a woman get a little in the middle and she's criticized for every extra ounce. I've heard the whispers, I've been asked when I was "due", I've seen girls look at me when I walk into stores and snicker because I'm bigger and shouldn't shop there according to them. The thing that hurts me is I wasn't always this way. I used to be thin, weight was never an issue for me growing up in fact it was hard for me to put weight on because I was so active. I stayed thin through my early 20's but then once I had my son, my body changed and I didn't listen to what it needed me to do in order to keep it healthy. I began to comfort myself with food because I couldn't deal with what was going on in my life and the fact that I was extremely unhappy for a long time. Now that I'm working on changing all that, I find that it's so much harder to correct 11 years of bad habits.

Recently I was chatting with a friend who over the course of a couple of years has lost a significant amount of weight. They were talking about wanting to eat like a fat kid and just not worry about what they were consuming. I mentioned that I understood that sentiment. Then they commented that with my allergies to certain foods it made it easy for me because I couldn't eat those things. Logically yes, that is true, but trust me there is nothing easy about having to eliminate whole food groups out of your diet. If you haven't noticed dairy and gluten seem to be in everything these days (well everything packaged that is). Just because I can't eat those food types doesn't mean that I don't crave foods from those groups constantly. It's one thing to crave something and be able to "cheat" and eat it anyways. I crave something and I literally cannot eat it and will never be able to eat it again because my body can't handle digestion of it. How do you get over that? They say eventually you get over it and your body no longer craves those food types. I'm still waiting for that miracle to happen. I still crave fresh baked bread, I crave Hawaiian rolls, I crave flour tortillas so I can eat a real burrito, I crave chocolate, I crave cheese. The chocolate and cheese I have found dairy free substitutes for but still when you walk by the cheese department in the store and can smell all those wonderful aromas, it's hard not to want it. I can no longer just grab something off the shelf and buy it or eat it, I have to really look at the label to make sure it doesn't have gluten or dairy and now I'm trying to eliminate high fructose corn syrup too so I try to watch it as well. So many changes that I've had to go through this year and it seems like my journey for change isn't quite over yet.

Talking things over with my doctor and my husband we have come to the decision that I will not be having any more children. There is too much risk involved and with my age as a determining factor now too, I don't want to run the risk of complications. That really bothers me. I was blessed with having one child already after being told by three different doctors that I would never be able to conceive a child let alone carry one full term. Well I did and now I have a sassy eleven year old to show for it. I am so glad that I was able to experience that at least once because I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could. I really wanted to have another child though. When I was younger I wanted four kids, as time went on and after having my son, I narrowed that down to wanting just two kids. Now I'm having to be happy with just one. There is always going to be that longing for another child with me, the "what might have been" feelings. I know that there are options out there for us (adoption) that would allow me to have another child and I'm thinking about that maybe in the next couple of years or so. However it won't be the same as having another child that I carried, that has mine and my husband's DNA, that is something I created. It's a principle thing for me and I know that my hubby's family would love for us to have a child together so they could have another grand baby to love. Coming to terms with this is hard for me, I get a point where I think I have accepted it and then I get emotional and the sadness creeps back in. It's a day to day process and all I can do is move forward and try not to feel sorry for myself.

I'm looking forward to this surgery being done and my recovery process to be over so I can get back onto my fitness bandwagon. I'm seriously worried about my weight and I would love to be able to start working out regularly again without fatigue, pains or bad moods to keep me down. I don't have far to go on my weight loss journey so I'm anxious to get to my goal weight and celebrate that I did this on my own. It's something that I've been looking forward too for a number of years now and I'm close but I still have that last little bit to go. At least my goal weight is in sight now and it's not just a dream to me anymore. When you are over 200 pounds at 5 foot 6, it's a dream to think of being anything but heavy. Now I'm in the 100's and I'm looking at it like "Hey I might actually be able to do this thing!" So once I'm healed and the doctor gives me the green light I want to start power walking and building myself back up so I can start jogging again. I might also try to do some of the workout dvd's that I have over the winter if the weather here doesn't permit me to take my workouts outdoors.

One day at a time. Trying to get things organized so that my household is in an orderly fashion before my surgery. I don't want my husband to have to do everything for those couple of days that I'm in bed and drugged up. Trying to get myself mentally to a good place of acceptance and understanding so I don't go into this surgery with regret and sadness in my heart. It's a tall order to have completed in three weeks time, but I'm going to do my best to get there and start back on the road to healthy. This was just a minor setback, I'm ready to move forward. My goal, I will be able to wear a bikini by next summer!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Surgery, I'm not sure how I feel about that...

Now that I finally have some definite answers to things I guess it's time that I address the issue at hand. I have to have surgery and I'm not sure how I feel about it. August has just not been my month and it doesn't look like things are going to be getting any easier for me any time soon. Let me start at the beginning...

When we moved to Georgia in February I sought out an OBGYN. I found one relatively close by and I made an appointment to have my yearly check and to talk about birth control options for me other than the pill (which I kept forgetting to take). She is a wonderful woman and I decided to get a Mirena IUD (I've had one before and I liked it). Well at the post insertion check they do an ultrasound to make sure that the IUD is in place correctly and that everything looks ok with it. When they did my ultrasound in May they discovered that I had a small mass on my ovary. The doctor wasn't concerned right away and she scheduled me for a follow up appointment in August to check the mass again. Well I had that appointment this week and the mass has gotten bigger (double in size) and it's darkened up so it's almost completely solid now. Knowing that every woman from my mom's side of the family has died of cancer I wasn't taking any chances and I asked if I could have it removed. The doctor agreed that this was the best choice of action because if it's growing it definitely doesn't need to be in there. I made the arrangements to have my surgery done on September 13th and all of my pre-op paperwork is scheduled for September 10th. This was the first available date that she had to perform the surgery. She is hoping to be able to do it laparoscopically and not have to make an actual incision in my bikini area. However if she goes in laparoscopically and the mass is complex and cannot be removed easily she will have to back out and make the larger incision to guarantee removal. There is also a chance that my ovary will have to come out as well if the mass is attached to it and cannot be separated. I told her to do what she has to do in order to remove this from me period.

You know it's funny I'm sitting in her office on Friday afternoon and at first I felt like someone awaiting their sentencing for prison. The cold grey examine room was full of dread and uncomfortable feelings for me that day. I knew what was coming, I knew that surgery was the only option I was going to allow her to give to me, yet I felt like I was in someone else's life for that brief period of time. As we discussed things and I talked with the scheduling nurse I was calm and very matter of fact about it all. After I left the office I had errands to run and I managed those without even shedding a tear. Then I got home and fell apart.

I've never had a major surgery, I've never had to be cut open for anything. If this can all be done laparoscopically then the recovery time from it will only be about a week she said as long as I give myself a few days afterwards to just rest and recoup. The recovery period if she has to make a larger incision will be a little longer but not much. My doctor will then have to monitor me to make sure that more cysts/masses do not appear over the next few months. She is also planning on testing the mass for cancer once it has been removed.

I can spit out the medical terminology and sound very intelligent when I talk about things like this. However when I think about how I'm truly feeling inside, that's when I have a issue. I'm terrified. I try to make jokes like calling it "Ted the tumor" or try not to think about it at all. I'm submerging myself into whatever I can to pass the time and not allow myself to seriously think about it. However, in the long run that is not going to help me at all and I know that is simple avoidance behavior. I don't want to be another family statistic. I don't want to have the doctor say well, you have ovarian cancer so now we need to talk about treatment. I'm seriously hoping it's just a freak accident that I got this crazy mass and that the C word isn't involved with it at all. Women in my family don't survive having cancer and the possibility that this might be the beginning stages of it do not sit well with me at all.

Yes, this is causing me physical pain. All the problems I've been having with my back are more than likely related to this mass. My horrible mood swings and extreme depression is probably also related to this as well as my fatigue, digestive issues and bloating. Who would have thought that a small mass would cause some many problems? I am very stressed out at this point because this could not have happened at a worse time. Finances are tight already with my son's medication being over $600 every three months. With me not having been working since we moved I'm not bringing in any income to throw towards my surgery. My husband is feeling like he doesn't make enough money to take care of me now and that's not true at all. This wasn't something we could have planned for or even knew was coming. So now we have to find ways to make all the finances work in order to have the surgery done when it needs to be done because I don't want to have to postpone it and allow "Ted" to get bigger and become more complicated. I've got so much going through my head, I don't feel good, I'm tired, I'm scared and this all just totally sucks!

The only thing positive that has come of this is even though I haven't been able to exercise regularly for many weeks now, I'm not gaining any weight. I've been able to maintain my current weight with just my diet and the little bits of walking and exercise that I can manage. Hopefully after the surgery and recovery I will be able to get back on track and start losing weight again. I don't have far to go maybe only around 30lbs or so. I'm trying to stay positive but there are some days when I just want to give in the the pity party and feel crappy because this situation wouldn't really fill anyone with a motivational happy light. I will eventually need to accept it for what it is and work through it, which I'm working on currently, but with no one to talk to that understands or has been there done that, it feels very much like I'm just whining and I need to get over it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Healing takes time....too much time!

On Wednesday this week I woke up with extreme back and hip pain to the point that I could barely walk. I had enough and called a chiropractor and made an appointment to get seen that afternoon. I hobbled into my appointment and talked with the doctor about what had been going on and what previous conditions I had been diagnosed with over the years. My back has been an issue for me since 2005 (when I had my car accident) and I've never really had it properly treated because I never had the money to do so. I get what I called "spot" treatments, but I've never been able to continue care past a certain point. The doctor didn't seem surprised at all by my conversation with her and she began working on me after our talk.

First she applied electric stimulation to the regions of my back that were giving me issues. My lower back and hips. She also placed the electrodes on my upper back so the stimulus would complete a circuit. While the electrodes were gently working on my muscles, she placed an ice pack on my lower back and hip area on my right side. I had some extreme inflammation there and in order for me to start feeling better that inflammation had to go down. She wasn't able to do an adjustment that day because I had too much swelling. She recommended some good stretches for me to do first thing in the mornings and right before bed at night to avoid stiffness and muscle soreness. After the electrical stimulation and ice was done she applied some biofreeze for my drive home and gave me my instructions for the evening. She wanted to see me the next day to reassess the inflammation and to see if my mobility had gotten any better. I left the office feeling decent, at least I could walk without pain (probably from all the ice and numbness). That night I rotated ice packs on my back for the rest of the night and laid in bed. I woke up Thursday in agony and was glad I had an early appointment to see the doc.

I once again hobbled into her office and I must have had a washed out look on my face because she knew instantly that something was wrong. I explained the pain that I was having and told her I just felt sick mentally and physically. I got onto the table and she once again did the electrical stimulation and ice pack on my right side. She also put some electrodes on my left shin which is the one I injured jogging the week prior. I relaxed into the table and I think I dozed off for a bit. When the stimulation was over she used what is called an activator to do some light adjusting. The activator is an instrument that gently pushes against the vertebrae to start them in a natural movement back into the position they should be in. She does not "pop" your back because that can be dangerous for someone with as much inflammation and back issues as I have. Once she did the adjustment and had me stretch a bit I felt much better. She put some biofreeze on my left knee and shin area to help with the pain there and told me no exercise for the rest of the week and to keep my activity light but that I could do some things around the house. Obviously no heavy lifting or pushing or mowing the lawn (which needs to be desperately if it would ever stop raining). I could do dishes and cook dinner but if I got sore, to take a step back and rest. We agreed on a treatment schedule for me which will consist of 9 weeks twice a week of treatment, then 9 weeks of once a week treatments in order to get my back into position and order again. 18 weeks of treatment? Oh my. Sigh. I guess if that what needs to be done in order for me to function. Numbers and finances started going through my head and I had a small anxiety attack when I realized how much this was going to cost us. Luckily we were able to work out a budget that would allow us to make the payments to the chiropractor and continue to pay for my son's medication. Monday I plan on calling and talking to the doctor's office and asking them if they would be willing to work with me on the payment schedule that my husband provided me so we don't end up once again having to cancel my treatment because we simply can't afford it right now.

Yesterday I felt pretty good. I had some muscle stiffness in my hips and lower back but I figured that was part of the healing process. I did my stretches, drank plenty of water and made sure to eat at my scheduled meal times. We headed in Chattanooga to go to a baseball game with my husband's co-workers last night. We ate at one of our favorite restaurants Genghis Grill. I love that place because I can still eat vegetarian there and there are plenty of non meat protein options (tofu and egg are what I chose). Huge bowl of deliciousness and a gentle walk around the block before heading to the ball field for the game did me some good. We got to the ball field and realized that there were some stairs to climb. I didn't realize that there was an escalator option so I attempted the stairs. It was hard. My hips got tired quickly and my back started to ache (now I know why the doc said no exercise). Once I got inside the stands and stretched a tad it felt better. However sitting in stadium seating for 3 1/2 hours was brutal. My mid back was what was hurting by the time the game and fireworks got over from being pressed into the back of the seat for that long. Hard plastic chair stadium seats suck (but are better than bleachers any day). Luckily the pain was temporary and by the time I got into the car and settled into a cushioned seat my back started feeling better. We made our way home and got back into Georgia way past our bedtime but it was a good night out with friends.

My muscles are stiff again today but not too bad. I'm really regretting not being able to workout. It's driving me nuts to just sit inside and not do anything. I just know that after an extended period of not working out I'm going to start gaining back all my weight and be back at square one. I had to take 5 days off from workouts last week due to shin splints, now I'm taking another bit of time off because of my hips and back. There are times when I think that I'm just not supposed to be thin. It seems like every time I get into a good routine of working out something medical comes up and I have setbacks and restarts. I get sick of it and it causes me to feel very disillusioned and depressed. Hopefully next week when I go back to the doctor she will allow me to start walking again. I won't be able to power walk or jog I'm sure, but I have to do something, I can't just sit here and expect the weight to fall off because I did that for years and it didn't happen. I got on the scale yesterday because I couldn't take it anymore and I knew I had gained back some weight. To my surprise, I hadn't. It still said 178. So even with having to take time off from my workouts I have been able to maintain my current weight. I'm not a panicky today about it but it still bothers me to not have the option to go walking if I want to.

So it's been a week of frustrations and healing processes but I'm sure that eventually I will be where I need to be in order to continue on my healthy living path. I miss my exercise but I know that in order to be able to get back to that level of physical being I have to heal first or I won't be able to challenge myself in the ways that I want to. Patience is still not a virtue that I possess willingly but I'm working on it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What just happened?

So it appears that I have suffered my first major "injury" while jogging yesterday. I went out for my morning run like I always do. I got to the park, I stretched my legs a bit and I started jogging. I was going along pretty well, the humidity was pretty thick but I live in the South so I'm used to it at this point. About 1 1/2 miles into my jog something weird happened. I was unable to move my left leg. I couldn't lift it, I couldn't move it, it was like it was dead. Of course that caused me to stop jogging and take a moment to try to figure out what I had done. I don't recall twisting it or stepping down too hard or anything out of the ordinary. I was confused. I rubbed my calf and it felt fine but when I tried to touch the front of my shin it hurt really badly. I assumed that I had just done too much and I was going to walk it off, so I continued on the path.

As I went along I got slower and slower. Every time I put any pressure on my left leg it felt like my shin bone was coming through my skin. My ankle started to hurt as well and my poor right leg was having to try to keep me balanced. I was halfway around the mountain at this point so I pushed on and figured that I would get to the car eventually. I was still able to move so nothing was broken or fractured. At this point I was getting more and more frustrated.

By the time I finished and got back to the car I was walking a mile in almost 20 min. My usual walk time for a mile is between 15-16 minutes. I was mad. Luckily I don't use my left leg to drive so I was able to get home. I got into bed and elevated it. There was no swelling, no bruising, nothing that would indicate an injury. It just hurt and I wasn't able to put pressure on it. I went online and looked up some information on the runners world website for shin injuries while jogging. Two of them sounded like what I was experiencing. It was either shin splints, which is a common injury in runners or a stress fracture of my shin bone. Neither of these conditions requires medical care and there is very little that you can do for them other than to let them heal on their own. Both instances had symptoms that were what I was experiencing. It did say that if it was shin splints that it would continue to be sore the next day and would take several days to heal. There are stretches you can do to help bring the tendons back into a non compromised state but that's about it. If it's a stress fracture it will not hurt unless you are using that leg for any length of time. If you are sitting or lying down and not utilizing it there is no reason for it to hurt. Well let me tell you my stupid leg has hurt all day yesterday, all night and now this morning it's sore. I'm leaning more towards believing that it's shin splints.

After reading about the causes of all of this I have come to the conclusion that jogging on hills is not something that my body can handle right now. I've been trying to do it now for just over a month and I think it is simply too much for my legs. Luckily I have found another park nearby that does not have any hills and is very pretty. I think next week when I go back to jogging (given my leg is better by then), I will use the new park so I don't continuously push my muscles beyond what they are capable of at the moment. My brain is in "you can do it" mode all the time but my body is struggling to keep up at this point. It's time to admit that I'm not an Olympic athlete and take things at a much slower pace. I am getting stronger but it's a process to build new muscle where muscle never existed. It takes time for all of these physical changes to kick in and I have to allow my body that time. One cannot simply depend on their calves to carry all of the burden, especially when jogging.

So for the next few days I'm not going to do any structured exercise. My son's best friend is here through Sunday to celebrate my son's birthday with him. I'm sure with two eleven year boys in the house I will be kept pretty busy, I'm sure I won't even miss the exercise. Wait, who am I kidding? It sucks that I won't be able to go jogging/walking, it's part of my morning routine now. Changing my routine throws everything off and makes me feel like I've forgotten to do something all day. Embrace the change, become the change....*insert whine here*.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Exercise is my new comfort food.

In the past when things got hectic or I would get into arguments with people that left me feeling less than super I would turn to food for comfort, especially chocolate. I would eat those emotions knowing that I wasn't doing anything good for my body, but just not caring at that moment. Now that I have had to limit what I eat (no gluten, no dairy, no meat, no caffeine) I do not have the option to comfort eat, nor do I want to. Now when I get frustrated, angry, upset, or just need to clear my head before making rash decisions, I go walking. However as I discovered recently walking when you are angry can be more difficult afterwards than it is while you are doing it.

Emotions have been running high in our house and it seems like all of us adults have been dealing with PMS or some sort of emotional baggage the past couple of weeks. Short tempers and irritability have led to a few conversations that have ended on a sour note. Sunday was one of these days. The hubby and I were in a disagreement over what seemed like everything and I reached my breaking point of wanting to just throw in the towel. I laced up my walking shoes and took off out the door. I only took my phone and my house keys with me and I was going to walk until my mood got better. This led to me walking a total of 6.85 miles. I've trained my body to do 5 miles easy, however that extra 1.85 miles was quite an effort, especially since on the way back home I had this huge incline to go up and my legs were starting to give out on me. After I got home I felt exhausted. I was drinking water and making sure I was replenishing what my body had used. I had pulled my back muscles the night before so forcing myself to walk that far was a bit much but I didn't care. I needed to do something. I needed a distraction so I could refocus and be able to have an adult conversation that wasn't flooded with emotions and hormones. I walked not to escape the situation but to allow myself the time I needed to be able to confront the situation with a clear head. That in itself is a huge deal for me, those that know me understand this.

Food is no longer my go to for anything other that nourishing my body so I can get stronger and healthier. I will admit that I did buy some soy dream gluten/dairy free cookie dough ice cream and it took me 2 days to eat one of the small containers of it. Normally in the past I would have devoured that whole container in one night without a second thought. I may not have followed the 4 servings per container rule (it was only 2 servings for me) but the fact that I can put it down and only eat a certain amount that is less than I normally would have consumed shows me that I have made steps and gained willpower. Last night we got Chinese food for dinner and I only ate half of it. I ate slowly and stopped the minute my stomach said to. I love Chinese food and at one time would have eaten the entire portion of dinner and then eaten dessert, then probably a "snack" before bed or while watching TV. Now I eat to nourish not to comfort. Even though there is a very different kind of comfort in eating right and nourishing your body. Goodness knows that I have experienced the benefits of this and I love how being healthy makes me feel!

The benefits of being healthy and watching my body change are unreal. I'm so impressed by what I am able to do now and how much my body can handle. The other day while I was jogging I looked down at my stomach. I was thinking about how amazing my stomach looks when I'm engaging my abs muscles and holding it in. Then I realized that I wasn't holding it in. Without tightening my abs my stomach no longer hangs over the tops of my pants. I cried a bit when I realized this. My legs and abs no long flap when I jog and my thighs are barely rubbing together anymore. I can wear shorts to work out in and tank tops and not feel the least bit self conscious. Guys stare at me when I jog by and it makes me blush because I know that they are enjoying the view but it's hard for me to believe that I have become in shape enough that they would even want to look. It makes me giggle inside when I notice it (especially the older men). I am wearing a size 14 pants now and a large size shirt. I no longer have to shop in the plus size section and sometimes I find myself still trying to grab those extra large clothes out of habit then I realize that it's way to big for me and that I need to get a smaller size. The only time I am bloated is when that time of month rolls around and even then it's not near as bad as it used to be by far. I remember when I would get on the scale during that time and I would have 3-5 extra pounds on me from water weight or something. Now I gained 1/2 a pound and that went away quickly. Cutting dairy out of my diet has helped tremendously and I'm glad that I finally decided to make that decision.

I'm going to be 37 years old in a couple of weeks. There was a time when that number would have terrified me. I'm getting old, I'm going to start getting ugly and wrinkled and OLD. Now I realize that age is just a number and it does not define who you are or how you look. If you allow it to get into your head and control your outlook on life then yes you are going to age poorly. I am in the best shape than I've been in since high school now and I'm improving little bits every day. I don't look my age, I'm not wrinkled or old at all. I feel amazing and I'm hoping that the coming years will be the best because I am taking care of me for a change and not ignoring myself because I'm putting other people first. I have time enough to take care of everyone but overall I have to do what I need to do for myself first and foremost. I'm looking forward to getting tattoos once I've lost a little more weight, I'm also looking into getting some more piercings. I've always put this off because I was overweight and I didn't want the tattoo or piercing to look distorted or stretched on my big girl body. Now that I am comfortable enough with the healthy path I am travelling I don't have to make excuses anymore to not do the things that I want to do. Don't worry I'm not going to go totally crazy with it but I need to express who I am. My inner personality would like to come out and introduce herself to the world, she has been locked away for so long and I think it's time that she make a grand entrance back into the land of the living.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Conversations with my body

I will totally own up to the fact that for the past six days I have not done one ounce of structured exercise. Despite falling off my exercise bandwagon I still managed to lose a pound, the scale happily reported the other day that I was 178 pounds now. I was a little shocked considering that I haven't been doing my daily workouts but I'll take it! This morning when my early alarm went off I hadn't gotten much sleep so I ignored it and went back to bed. I finally drug myself out of bed at 9am and started my morning. A little before 11am I decided that I needed to go exercise. I reluctantly got my workout clothes on, laced up my shoes and headed to the car. I arrived at the park for my 5 mile endeavor not feeling very motivated. I got my Endomondo app started and turned on my music. I had planned on only walking today since it has been six days since I last worked out and I didn't want to over do it. However the moment my feet hit the pavement of the trail I heard this little voice coming from my legs saying "Run?" I decided to address them and I asked myself "Are you sure you can handle a run today, it's been a few?" My legs answered quickly "Run now, need to run." So I did.

I have been researching jogging and reading plenty of fitness tips and how to's so I can prevent injuries and make sure that I am building the proper stamina and strength that my body needs to get stronger. Many of the articles I have read said that at first if you are slow as a snail don't sweat it. There is nothing wrong with jogging at your own pace and unless you are going to be an Olympic runner, speed shouldn't be your focus anyway. Speed will come over time and what the main focus should be is proper form and stamina building. Learning to control your breathing and distance ran. So I started out today and jogged slowly. At first it felt really weird because it was just a tad faster than my walk speed when I'm power walking. I continued at this pace and wasn't feeling tired or winded at all. My breathing came easily and I was certain that this is what I should have been doing all along instead of worrying about long strides and speed. I got to the first incline of the roadway and I slowed my jog down so my leg muscles could switch gears in preparation for the incline. I made it over that hill easily. I made it over 3 more hills just like that one. I was feeling pretty accomplished and proud that I wasn't hurting or having difficulty breathing or feeling like I was doing to pass out. However at about 1.68 miles into my job I got an urgent message from my lungs. "Hey, legs, we appreciate your enthusiasm and we respect your need for more but this humidity is doing nothing for us and if you want to keep this body moving we need to slow it down a notch so we can actually function at a comfortable rate". My legs reluctantly realized that they were not going to win that battle and I took it back down to a power walk rate. The humidity in GA is ridiculous especially since it's been storming for days now and all that moisture is just hanging over us like a wet blanket. Mind you it wasn't raining when I was working out today but the storm hit right as I got into the car to head home after my workout. I walked the rest of my workout today and felt pretty good when it was finished. I know it's a good workout when my shirt is soaked and my shorts are almost completely soaked as well.

Feeling better after having worked out. I'm not sure what my issue has been the past few days and why I just haven't felt like working out. Over the 4th of July weekend we were busy and rarely home so that is fine. However Monday and Tuesday I was at home and totally able to workout in the early morning and I just didn't do it. My mind was not in the mood for exercise or anything really. I just wanted a break from all the structure and effort that I have to put into my daily activities just to keep myself healthy. It's such a chore and it doesn't seem to get an easier the further along this journey I go. I'm stoked to be losing the weight but sometimes I wish there was an easy button so I didn't have to make such a grandiose effort. I am going to get back onto my exercise bandwagon and make sure that I move my five days a week like I'm supposed to. I've had my pity party now it's time to tighten the belt and move on.

Speaking of tightening of my belt, I discovered that I can now fit into a large top and a size 14 jeans again. My size 16's are so huge on me it's hilarious when I walk and they slide down. If my hips were a little smaller I'd lose my pants altogether. I suppose that by the time fall gets here it will be time to update my wardrobe and buy smaller size clothing that actually fits me and doesn't look baggy and sloppy. Oh no, shopping for a new wardrobe, oh the horror! (said no girl ever!)

Friday, July 5, 2013

How the other half live

In celebration of the 4th my family and I decided that we wanted to get out of the house and do something fun. It was going to be raining all day long so our planned visit to Stone Mountain Park was not going to happen. Instead we opted to go to Lenox Mall in Buckhead GA and walk around the mall, eat and wait for the fireworks display to begin. At the time we planned it, this sounded like a great idea and I was a little excited to be getting to go to a mall and hang out. Then we arrived at the mall and let's just say I was completely overwhelmed.

Buckhead GA is the part of Atlanta where the wealthy people live. The homes in this area are huge and very much not something that I see in my day to day life. The mall in this area is also for the wealthy. We walked in and as I was looking around I was completely taken aback. Stores like Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Prada and Monteblanc were a few that I recall off the top of my head. We made our way to the food court and found a nice little place called the Fresh Basket to eat. As I stood in line looking at the people around me I felt judged even though I know I wasn't. It was obvious I didn't belong in "that" sort of place. I don't look like I have money or come from money. Here I am, my tomato red blouse on with my blue jeans and my black and hot pink Nike sneakers, hair not done and zero makeup. There were women walking around that place whose whole outfit was probably more expensive than my entire wardrobe. On the other side of the coin though there were normal everyday folk like me walking around with the same awed expressions waiting for the firework show to start and keeping out of the rain. I started to feel a little anxious because there were a lot of people there and I was in a new surrounding that I knew nothing about. I took a few deep breaths, found a table and ate my vegetarian lunch.

After lunch we walked around the mall some more taking in just what kind of stores were there. It was vastly different from the "poor people's" mall as I was referring to it. There were only a couple of stores that I  went into. Bath and Body Works was the first one I went into because it was a store that I see in every other mall. I was grasping at normalcy and not feeling totally inadequate in such an upscale mall. I got to smell some of the new scents that they have and I found my inner girly happy again. I went into Williams and Sons kitchen store and was floored by the amazing gadgets, cookware and unique stoves they had in there. It was like something out of a magazine! Dreams of what I would do if I won the lottery began to flutter around in my head as I planned my dream kitchen. I also quickly went into a store called Free People. It looked to be a "hippie-esque" sort of store with natural fabrics and neutral colors. However when the hubby pointed out that most of the blouses I was looking at were over $100, I simply walked right back out.

As we were walking through the cosmetic section of a Macy's there was a woman who was completing her purchase and the cashier said her total was $750 and change. My jaw hit the floor. How in the heck do you spend that much money on cosmetics or perfume? Seriously, people do that? I had the sudden urge to find the closest WalMart or Target and hide. Maybe my thoughts would be different if I had money and spending that much money wasn't even an issue. I'd like to think that there are so many better ways to spend that kind of money though. We made our way back to the parking garage and sat in the car for a little while, I tried to decompress from feeling so uptight and completely out of my element.

Rain prevented us from doing much walking around outside the parking garage. We spent a vast amount of time sitting in the car, playing with our phones or playing little imaginary games with my son who at this point was bored out of his mind. When the fireworks started we were having a pretty good time. I had forgot to bring our camp chairs or even umbrellas so I was hoping that the rain would pause long enough for us to enjoy the fireworks. It did. We stood there watching and then everything stopped. Due to technical difficulties they had to stop the show for a bit while they fixed whatever it was. When they finally got things started again it was pretty but my heart just wasn't in it anymore. I was tired, hungry, overwhelmed, damp and my legs and back were killing me. The website for the show said that it was the largest display in the Southeast and it was easily over 20 minutes of fireworks. We got maybe 10 minutes of bang and that was it. What made it worse was the hellacious traffic in downtown Atlanta after the show as thousands of people tried to make their ways back home too. We finally arrived back home around 11:30pm and I crashed hard almost immediately. What a day!

Today I am going to go to stores that I feel at home in and can afford. It's time for a little bit of retail therapy and a much needed brow wax (it's been quite awhile). I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th celebration!

Monday, July 1, 2013

I have more willpower than I thought

Recently I have had to make some necessary diet changes again in order to be able to be comfortable and not suffer with stomach issues every time I eat. I have completely eliminated dairy from my diet now as well as caffeine. Wouldn't you know that the moment I did so and my body adjusted to it, I've been fine ever since and haven't had a single stomach issue. That should be great news and I should be super excited to have "normal" digestive health now, but I'm kind of sad. That means no more cheese, yogurt or chocolate. No more coffee beverages either. I can't help but feel sorry for the little voice in my head that keeps pestering me to "eat the cheese or it's just one chocolate bar", because that little voice has no control over me and I'm not going to eat or drink something that I know is going to cause me discomfort or pain. Does that mean that I no longer want these things, no, I still want them. However I have learned that by accepting the fact that you want them, allowing yourself to think about it for a moment then redirecting your thoughts elsewhere is very rewarding in itself. I have not given in to temptation at all since cutting these foods out of my diet and I don't intend to either.

The other morning when I got on the scale I was surprised to see that the number kept bouncing between 179 and 180 pounds. I'm beginning to think that the excess weight I was experiencing was from bloat due to the dairy products in my system. Now I don't have that issue so those couple of stubborn pounds might be gone for good. I would very much love to see myself in the 170's because I haven't weighed that since I was about 3 months pregnant with my son. It would be nice to know that all this exercise and eating right are keeping me going in the right direction.

Emotionally recently I have been doing well. There have been days when I have been outright exhausted but that's from me pushing myself way too hard physically and wearing myself out. There was a day last week when I walked my 5 miles around Stone Mountain Park then I came home and spent over an hour mowing my front yard. I learned some very valuable lessons that day. Lesson 1 is never mow your lawn the day after a storm front passes through Georgia. The grass is wet, thick and virtually impossible to cut and will manage to clog up your lawnmower with each pass. I spent more time cleaning out the undercarriage of the stupid mower than I did cutting the grass it seems. Lesson 2 is never listen to my brain when it says "oh c'mon it's just a little physical exertion, you totally got this!" Yes I did finish the work but afterwards I was spent. I could barely walk and I spent the rest of the day feeling very disconnected. I had burnt over 1300 calories that day and that is definitely not something that I am used to doing normally. Lesson 3 is never rub your eyes when sweat runs into them. Holy cow I was in agony for a few moments because of this. I was sweating so bad and it was so humid outside that day that my sunglasses were fogging up and making it very difficult for me to see what the heck I was doing. I blame some of the crooked mow paths on this. It was like doing an insanity workout only I didn't have a trainer screaming at me or telling me to suck it up and get it done. However I was picturing having Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser giving me a pep talk. Whatever it took to get the job done I did. Stupid wet grass!

I have to understand that I am not a machine, I am a human being. I am older and my body is not that of a young person anymore. If I push myself too hard and something goes wrong, I'm going to hate the fact that I wasn't more careful when I'm laid up in bed on bed rest. However, I am a competitive person. I am always trying to best myself and go further, or faster or longer or harder. If I have a young mind then my body will be young too right? I can only hope. So far I haven't killed myself doing anything excessive so I guess it's not too bad. I'm chasing the body that I know is under this small layer of fat that I have left that is just refusing to go away.

Today I did some much needed housework and got things done. I didn't exercise outside today so I'm feeling very pent up right now. I'm hoping that tomorrow morning when I go out to work out that my body will comply and I'll be able to get in some good cardio. It's very strange that exercising is so much a part of my routine now that when I miss days I feel empty and like something is missing. Who would have thought that I would ever have that mentality? Yet here it is. I would really like to make jogging a more routine staple in my exercise plan but to date my jogging has been mediocre at best. I can do about a mile then I have to start walking it out. To me that's not acceptable, especially since I've been doing 5 miles 5 times a week since April. I should be able to jog more than I walk now but I just can't seem to push past that mile mark. It's like the moment I hit a mile my body shuts down and I simply can't run anymore. It's frustrating but I'm going to keep working on it and add techniques as I learn them to see what works best for me. Running burns calories really well and I would love for this weight loss to pick up a little bit of speed.

 Hopefully all these changes will give me something to write about more often so my poor little blog isn't so neglected. I would love someday for more than a handful of people to read my blog and to relate or be inspired by it. Hey a girl can dream can't she?