Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January Goals and My Not So Triumphant Return to the Gym

As usual, I have so much whirling around my brain that I don't even know where to start with this post. I guess I just have to begin... isn't that such a problem sometimes? Just getting started? 

I decided to start off the year with a small set of goals for January, none of which are weight related. I have an idea of what I want to lose, but I'm keeping that little demon bottled up for now so I can focus on behaviors instead of outcomes. Because behaviors are what lead to outcomes, right? 

Exercise behaviors: 2 AM gym workouts per week, 1 PM workout per week, 2 home pilates or boxing workouts per week. 
Nutrition behaviors: Only water to drink outside of 1 coffee or tea per day, 3 cups of veggies per day, protein at every meal, logging foods no matter what.
Emotional behaviors: Work on my stress reduction workbook, 5 minutes of meditation per day, practice positive self talk.

Nothing too crazy, but enough to keep me busy. 

Back in August, I tore my calf muscle, and it just never healed right. I suppose it doesn't help that a month after I injured it, I walked upwards of 16k steps a day for ten days in Italy. I also kept trying to lift heavy, which was not doing me any favors. I finally had an MRI done (no tears, everything intact), and a bone scan (hello benign bone lesion!), and finally 6 weeks of physical therapy. I'll be honest -- I was dreading PT. I thought it was going to be a complete waste of my time, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. Each visit started with 15 minutes of heat therapy, then ultrasound therapy, then 20 minutes of calf massage. I actually fell asleep a couple times it was so relaxing! The exercises were simple, but I could quickly see how they were helping to strenthen not just my calf muscle but the entire knee joint support. I am continuing to do some of these at home to further my rehab. 

Yesterday marked the first day I set foot in a gym in about 3 months. It was time to get back on the horse. I decided to do some light cardio to see how my calf would hold up, so I chose 15 minutes on the elliptical and 15 minutes of walking. My calf was pretty much done with the elliptical after that amount of time, BUT no pain. I'll take it! The part I was disappointed in is that I could only manage the elliptical on level 2. Knowing what my fitness level was just last August, this was a bitter pill to swallow. But that's on me. I can get there again.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Feeling Ugh

I just got home from a night out with some work friends. I hardly ever do this anymore, and it certainly isn't the blow out that it used to be. Two beers was plenty for me. Granted, they were pints of stout and I did have a 30 minute drive home. Gotta be safe.

While I had a good time, the whole day was fraught with ugh moments. For starters, when I was trying to find something to wear this morning. The state of my wardrobe is dismal. Not even my shaping camisole can help me now.

Wait... before I let myself get too bogged down in the negative (and indirectly drag you down to), let's switch gears.

What good does it do me to wallow in my hurt feelings and negative self-image? Who is it helping? Certainly not me. Using positive self-talk is something I'm trying to work on. Sad to say, it doesn't come easily. Do you ever pay attention to the way you talk to yourself? You know, when you're brushing your teeth in the morning and noticing that it doesn't take much of a head tuck for that double chin to pop out? Yeah. Instead of, "Shit. Look at that. No sugar in my coffee this morning," I'm trying to say, "Hey, it's ok. You do the best you can do today."

I'm a pretty firm believer that what you put out into the world you get back tenfold. Lately I've been a giant radiating ball of negativity, and it shows. It's no wonder I feel like garbage all the time. Perhaps if I spent some effort towards loving myself and believing in myself, we'd be getting somewhere.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The State of Things

Well, hello, blogland! Nice to see you. Thanks to our lovely Sarah for pulling me out of hibernation J
When I last wrote, it was about a week after I had my band removed. A lot of things have improved since then, and a lot of things are much much worse.

First the good: no more vomit, no more heartburn, no more gastroparesis, no more GI issues in general. I get a little indigestion if I eat too much bread, but I know it's not good for me anyway, so I just consider it a little warning sign to eat better. Many of my vitamin deficiencies have cleared up as well. The only thing I take now is a multi, fish oil, and Vitamin D (it's practically a requirement up here in the mitten). My friends and family all say I look healthier now and that my face has some color again. Guess I was looking a bit pasty for a while there.

Now for the bad: I'm sure you can guess. I've gained like crazy. At my lowest back around 2011, I was flirting with 200. Over 2012, I had gained about 20lbs battling the gastroparesis. Finally, with the band gone, I put on another 30lbs or so. This morning I weighed in at 254. Whew. It kills me to type that, but I'll own every ounce of it.

The last few months have been a rollercoaster. I first hit 250 back in July. I realized I was quickly running out of clothes (I had gotten rid of all the fat pants a year or two ago), which prompted me to sign up for a 6 month weight loss / transformation / wellness challenge. It started off great, and I lost ten pounds over the first six weeks. Then the bottom dropped out. My tater tot started kindergarten, our schedules were turned upside down, and the stress level at work increased exponentially. I maintained that initial loss over our Italy trip (more on that in another post), but I've put it all back on over the past couple months. I've just been miserable. I've been very down and emotional, and I find myself having a really hard time being positive. It just sucks. And through it all, the coaches of my program have never given up on me, which, in my present frame of mind, just makes me feel like even more of a turd.

As I try once again to pull myself up out of this rut, I have been reflecting on what helped me to be successful in the past (besides the band). And one thing, one very big thing, was all of you. Knowing you were out there experiencing the same things, rooting for each other, and even commiserating together. I forgot how much I needed it.

Now, I'm not promising anything. If there is anything I've learned over the past few nasty months is that I have a tendency towards making sweeping grand statements that only set me up to fail. So I'm not going to tell you that I'll be commenting every day or posting three times a week.
What I will tell you is that I will be making an effort to incorporate this back into my life. Removing myself from our little community was one of the worst things I could've done. It is time to get back on the train. Until next time…

P. S. Before you ask, I promise some Italy pics and new house pics and all that stuff soon!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


It's been about a week and a half since band removal day, and I'm finally feeling back to normal. I felt pretty darn good the first couple days, but then I developed a bad allergic reaction to the glue they used to close the incisions. Not cool. I started oral steroids on Friday (which I was dreading), and today is the first day I feel pretty close to 100%. Heck, I even took both kids to Target with me, and they were so good, I took them to Mc Donald's to play for a bit. Why play inside, you ask? Well, because it's still only 35 degrees up here in the pleasant peninsula. That's Michigan weather for ya.

Anyhoodle, the rash is receding, I have some energy back, and the best part? No tummy problems. I don't want to rub it in, but man is it nice to not have to worry about getting stuck or not drinking right after eating or all that shizz. Yes, I mourn the absence of hunger, but it's been so long since I was on good terms with my band, that I really haven't had that advantage for a while. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm not doing so bad. I'm up about three pounds, but I can't really be too bummed about that what with having surgery and steroids.

Going forward, I don't have too much of a plan in place. My focus is still on getting healthy. Some weight loss would be nice, but I need to get my vitamin deficiencies under control, and make sure my esophageal motility stays corrected. I'm positive with the band gone these things will come. Yes, revising to the sleeve has crossed my mind, but I gotta tell ya, I'm loathe to have another surgery. Consider what my poor body has endured since December 2009: 1 c-section birth, 3 surgical removals of kidney stones, 1 gall bladder removal surgery, 3 EGDs, and 1 lap band removal. I think I've had enough anesthesia to last me a lifetime.

In other news, we're all settled in at the new house. We LOVE it. Now, I just need my sod in place, and my kids will be the happiest little tykes. Also, my mom and my sister and I booked our trip to Italy this September! So there is some good stuff to look forward to!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Another one bites the dust...

Six years and POOF! Gone, just like that. Yes, my dear blog friends, yours truly had emergency surgery Wednesday night to remove my band.

As you might have guessed from my sparse posting, this past year has been pretty crappy for me health-wise. Vitamin deficiencies, anemia, gastroparesis, etc. One thing after another, and it seemed like it would never end. Finally, in February, I found out my esophagus and pouch were dilated. Off I went for another unfill. This made sense as I had been vomiting a lot after only a few bites of food. Shortly after that, I had a gastric emptying study which showed that I do NOT, in fact, have gastroparesis.

I felt a little better after the unfill until this past Saturday when I suddenly got very bloated and achy. It hadn't gotten any better by Wednesday and the vomiting had started again, so I called my band doc. I was sent to the ER. X-rays showed a minor slip, so an Upper GI was next. That''s when we saw the writing on the wall. Even with my band deflated, the barium was just trickling through. Turns out I had developed so much scar tissue under the band, that my stoma could not relax and open up anymore. Me and my band were done.

When I talked to my surgeon this morning, he said things were actually much worse than they had appeared. The slip was much larger, and there was a chunk of food stuck in the secondary pouch. I'm so glad I trusted my instincts and got checked out.

I'm feeling ok right now. I know I will mourn my band a little, but I'm honestly just relieved. I just want to feel good again. There will not be another band for me. Truly, I'm not sure what my options are going forward. Right now though, I'm just going to concentrate on feeling better.

And that's all she wrote!