Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Six Miler

Yesterday's work out gets its own post, because I am very proud of it, and because my workout summary for the week is going to SUCK and I don't want this accomplishment to get lost in the fray. :)

I did six miles (6.01 miles) in 65 minutes on the treadmill. I was so pleased! This is my longest distance yet, and I did quite a bit of running. I did it walking in two minute intervals and running in three minute intervals. I started running at 5.0 mph, then the next one at 5.5, then 6.0, all the way up to 7.0 mph. Then I had to back it down to 6.5 mph for the last couple intervals, as I was DYING. 

p.s. My new running shoes feel AWESOME when I run. So glad I bought them. 
p.p.s. My toenail is turning blacker and blacker. Now it's twin on my other foot is starting to go. Not good for the first real "sandal" day of "summer" here in Seattle, haha.
p.p.p.s I am wearing my black toenail(s) like badges of honor. 

Yesterday was a power workout day, because I also rocked it on the ab machine. For the first time, I bumped up the weight to 50 pounds. What does this mean?? I'm not sure, but 50 pounds was dang near impossible for me to move with my abs. I did "mini-crunches" at that setting, haha. But I did a bunch of 'em. And I am doing at least one set of 25 at 40 pounds, typically two sets. This is a big accomplishment, because when I started, 40 pounds was as hard for me then as 50 pounds is now. So I am definitely seeing progress. Sadly, I am not sure what the weights on the weight machine equate to in real life, because I am not sure I could do a "real" sit-up yet! Haven't tried it, though.

Today, I am having a mid-day MRI on my left shoulder. Sigh. You just know I tore my rotater cuff. This stems from an overly drunken New Year's Eve with Cappy when we were outside a bar smoking. I was wearing too-high-heeled boots, and I got my feet tangled up like a giraffe and went down like a tree. Right smack dab onto my left shoulder. I'm left handed. Six months later, it still hurts. Not so much that I am incapacitated, but enough that I am pretty darn unhappy. And worse, it re-injures easily, so I'm apt at any time to be back in greater amounts of pain.

I am soooo bummed. If I need surgery, it's really going to suck for my attempts at saving paid time off for a lower body lift. And it will cost money. And, and, and. Hopefully, though, it won't require surgery. I've made it this long without it. The doctor says I can get cortizone shots to help with the pain. I've had great success with those shots in the past. We'll see.

The main thing for me, now, though, is that I am crazy claustrophobic. Last time I had an MRI, I swore they'd never get me conscious into one of those machines again. I walked straight from the doctor's office to the drugstore and bought a pack of cigarettes and sat on the steps and bawled my eyes out. 

This time, though, I am over 120 pounds lighter. I won't have to hold my arms above my head the whole time in order to fit in the machine. I won't be inches away from the edge. Plus, they said it's a new machine that isn't quite the "open-sided" one, but the radiologist said few people have claustrophobia issues with it. And, my doctor gave me a couple Xanax. :) I don't think I'll have any issues with it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Support Group, Workout 6/18 - 6/24

Back before I had WLS, I started religiously attending WLS support groups at my hospital. The group meets twice a month, and I hit every meeting, almost without fail.

After surgery, you couldn't have MADE me miss a meeting. It was so important to me! I got wonderful support, advice and friendship. Sure, there were meetings that were DULL, and meetings that gave me a headache. In a support group situation, I think there will always be people who suck more out of the group than they put in. You know the type - endless complainers; the ones who everything is so much WORSE and HARDER for them than everyone else. And even those of us who have been through the same surgery cannot possibly understand how much THEY have SUFFERED.

But fortunately, there weren't too many of those meetings. :) Just sometimes, someone getting under your skin.

These days, I don't attend too many meetings. I'm busy, and it's become less of a priority as my post-WLS life becomes, Just life. I have a smaller stomach. I lost a lot of weight. Then I sort of stopped. :) And now I'm trying to figure out how to keep losing a bit more, and most importantly, not regain any weight. I could attend to talk about plastic surgery - my new passion! Oh, the things I would Nip and Tuck if I could. :) Talk about Franken-Julie.

It's just been less of a priority, and especially when I am working out, I reserve the right to put the workout before the meeting. But there is value in attending, and not just for me! Pre-op and as I started my journey, I was SO EXCITED when people near goal weight attended the meetings. I wanted to drink them and their success up! I try to attend now, because I want to be a source of motivation for people just getting started. I want them to see my little size four ass and know that THEY CAN DO THIS! It was quite possibly the most tangibly motivating thing for me as I was losing weight.

Well, I went to support group on Saturday morning. Granted, I had a lot to do (little did I know how my plans were about to TANK for the weekend), but there was no reason to skip the meeting, so I went. And granted, Greg called while I was there, and I really wanted to talk to him.* Perhaps my focus was not 100%.

*One good thing came out of me attending this meeting. I spoke to Greg as I had just left the meeting, and boy did he get an earful about support groups and weight loss and surgery and self-destructive behaviors. One thing that has changed in this relationship over time is that *I* am in it. The real me. (Okay, maybe not the me that walks around the house naked and lays in bed all day reading, but a very-close-to-real-version-of-me.) And Saturday proved that we could have a real conversation about what heretofore has been a really difficult subject for me to talk to him about: my weight loss. I've gotten better at it: at some point I decided if he was going to be around, then I was going to have to be myself, for him to take or leave. I feel good about that.

But I didn't walk out until the Chips and Cookies lady spoke. Or rather, until the group applauded her. Or actually, when Cheetos Lady commended her.

Chips and Cookies is three months out from gastric bypass. She has lost 60 pounds and feels great, but she was recently stressed and didn't meal plan and was hungry. So she went to the store, and all she could find were cookies that had 120 calories/serving. So she ate the whole box. Plus a whole bag of chips.

Sadly, this isn't probably all that unusual. Your weird food issues do not go away with surgery. What set my teeth on edge was when she said she was proud of herself for not beating herself up about it, and for getting back on track. Granted, she had just eaten the chips and cookies the night before, so it was a pretty short track she was on.

When the group applauded her, I was a little gobsmacked. Yay, you! I couldn't think of why were applauding. (I was not applauding.)

Then Cheetos lady, who had the same surgery on the same day, piped in her support. "That's just like last week when I ate a whole bag of Cheetos."

Okay, bless their hearts. (This is, I know, a passive aggressive phrase.) But I've got shit to do. If I had been earlier in my weight loss process, I'm not sure what that sort of meeting would have done to derail me. Maybe it would have motivated me to not be like that. And granted, I just got up and walked out. I don't know if the facilitator, an MSW specializing in eating issues, was able to get that particular discussion back on track. But I was heading to the gym: I'm working on my weight and eating issues in a positive manner, not "applaud me for bingeing without regret." And maybe I was a little jealous: for me, there is no screw-up without self-flagellation. Can you really let yourself off scot free?

Anyway, I walked out. And I don't know if I'm going back. I told myself that now, my journey is about fitness and quitting smoking and making better choices. I'm not getting much out of the meetings these days when I attend. And maybe the reason that pre-op, I wanted to drink up the people who were close to goal, is that there weren't many success stories attending! I guess it's kind of hard to work into your schedule the farther out from the experience you get. It's something to think about, anyway.

That said, I tanked my workout schedule last week. Ugh. I ended up spending the whole day at the ER on Saturday with my youngest, who is fine, thank you. Literally, he may have gotten one of his nuts in a twist. They prepped my poor baby with an IV before sending us over to Seattle Children's ER, so sure were they that he would need an untwisting surgery immediately. :( got better. If it twisted, it later untwisted on its own. It was a looong day.

Then Sunday, I spent the whole day bonding with my toilet. And just for fun, I stayed home Monday to finish the job. That one, I brought on myself. I took two laxative pills on, ummmm, Saturday night? Sometime. When you don't have a gallbladder, it's highly unusual to be constipated. I seem to be the exception to this rule, because I was starting to fear dying like that little girl from Poltergeist, of some sort of intestinal blockage. Well, it kicked in with a vengeance, and as I suspected I must have been plugged up tight, because I sure am not now! By Sunday night, I wondered if I should be getting IV fluids. When I damn near crapped my pants on the way to the bus Monday morning, I decided to stay home for the day. :) I have vowed to start taking fiber, haha.

Anyway...awful weekend. Bright spot was Greg coming up to spend Saturday night, even though he had to work early Sunday. Hmm, I'm guessing I took those pills Sunday morning, because even I wouldn't be dumb enough to take a laxative with a hot man in my bed. Sunday was spent laying in bed feeling sorry for myself and making multiple trips to the bathroom.

Workout Summary -

6/18 - 65 min and 5.5 miles on the treadmill. This was my farthest yet!
6/19 - rest, concert with Alli
6/20 - rest, Greg's house
6/21 - 65 min and 3.78 miles on treadmill. Took it easy rather than tearing it up. No weightlifting (we were under time pressure)
6/22 - 65 min and 3.38 miles, just walked. Did a fair amount of weightlifting, though.
6/23 - Nothing, spent day at ER
6/24 - Nothing, spent day on toilet

Total of 12.66 miles last week. Um, this week will be better. :) I hope. Greg is spending the night tomorrow, and I'm at his house this weekend (Fri-Sun). Hmm, did I say less time? That doesn't seem to apply to this week, after all. But it's OPENING DAY OF CRABBING SEASON on Sunday, so we're going out super bright and early in the boat. We're bringing along my Blake, who does not know we are going out super bright and early, haha. And now that I have eaten a fresh crab caught all by myself, I'm pretty excited, myself! Not as excited as Greg. :)

Okay, so I'll have to make a plan here, if I am going to amp up my boyfriend-time at the price of my fitness-time. Hmm. He has a treadmill, I suppose I could use it. Sigh. Ugh. Whine. Pout. Hmm. Think, Julie, think...

Twitter, Twitter

I just told Kim that Twitter does nothing whatsoever to capture my interest. But "twitter" about sums up what I'm doing in my own head this morning...twittering happily about love! 

Today is the four-month anniversary of when I met Greg. Lucky me! Gosh, we had some stumbling blocks early on, mostly pertaining to our respective children. I won't jinx myself by declaring them over, by any means*, but we've hit a nice balance. It's been *less* time together, but it's been *better* time together. And really, we hit full throttle there very quickly when his daughter wasn't living at home and my kids were gone half-time. 

*Just yesterday, I had a long moment of "I don't want to be around these children, and they're mine and I love them to death...why would anyone OPT to be around these children??" Similarly, I have had moments of "OMG I have three children - I am sooo not looking to take on more children, nearly grown or not."

Anyway, Greg's awesome. I'm pretty bonkers about him, if you want the truth. It has been a long time since I've felt this way about anyone! And I'm having this adult moment where I realize that more than being bonkers about him - I respect him, which is so key to the downfall of my marriage. I always respected X a lot for what he was: a good man and a loving father. But we had such differences about jobs and stability and so much else... until recently, I had no idea what a deal breaker this is for me. X wanted to be self-employed. I base so much of my security and happiness on a steady paycheck. Our financial difficulties always seemed like such an easy fix to me ("GET A REAL JOB!"). (Haha, it wasn't until later that I also applied the scrutiny to myself of "stop spending money like you're printing it at home." Self-examination isn't easy, you know.)

I say this because the universe must have known what I was looking for in a man, and threw it at me in spades. Umm, I am moderately fiscally responsible. I pay my bills (sometimes creatively or strategically), I pay into my pension plan, I don't put my account into the red before payday. But God help me if payday didn't come at precisely in-dire-need-of-cash o'clock every two weeks! Greg's not like that. If I developed some new passion for couponing (which I do not intend to do), he would be over the moon, I'll bet. 

Greg is high-end fiscally responsible. I have heard that people like this exist in the world, but we do not run in the same circles. :) I say this only because he just dropped by to say hello, and we were chatting, and we were talking about the DIFFICULTIES of parenting on a single income - my lease is up next month (we each pay $1700/mo in rent/mortgage - this is CHALLENGING on one income, I tell you). And there was an awkward, nervous but excited, oh-this-is-so-premature reference to maybe this situation changing for both of us down the road. And we laughed, and I had butterflies in my tummy, and then he said, "I'm good at putting away money. Probably more than you'd like." And I had to laugh. Yep, I believe that one, fo'sho. 

I tell you this because I am just a little giddy when I think about him. And inside me there is this little 1950s woman voice (I think I look like Joan Holloway from Mad Men when this voice emerges) that says, "Yesssssss...take care of me!" Sure, my strong, independent career-mom voice says, "I can do it my own damn self, thankyouverymuch." But part of me still says, "Protect me from this big, bad world, I am so freaking tiiiiirrreeeeeddd."

Uh, where was I going with this? I guess besides sparks coming from our finger tips when we touch, and an irrepressible urge to sit on his lap in the lobby of my building when he drops by, and WHO HAS MADE OUT LIKE THIS SINCE HIGH SCHOOL??, and just this overwhelming sense of adoration and respect for him, well, he's just a keeper all around. Love it. And because he's strong in areas where I'm weak, I am enjoying this feeling of just wanting to be a better person. Wherever this relationship goes, I'm trying to savor that feeling of wanting to do better, for me. It's cool. I like it.

We'll see where it goes. We will not be without continued challenges. I've sort of been holding my kids in my back pocket, not wanting them to get too attached to him, should things not work out. And honestly, I am frequently overwhelmed enough as a parent that it is hard for me to imagine him choosing to be part of this mess as a long-term prospect. :) But at some point, we're going to have to look at that issue a bit more closely, because a man that isn't part of my kids' lives is not on the menu. And we are heading in that direction - coyly talking about future plans and a long-term future together. The timeline may move faster sometimes than I would like. He's a planner, and I am a damsel in distress who loves being around him. I envision a real loggerhead in the not-soon-but-not-too-distant future, pertaining to places of residence. As I have probably said, I am satisfied-but-not-really-content with a long-term plan of getting his daughter through high school (in three years), then looking at where we would live. Which would be where I live. Which is a place that I love. Which is close to my work and has great schools. On the other hand, I think that timeline will be too long for him. I think he is already looking at my daughter's transition to high school in a year+ as an opportunity to move my kids. Which is not a plan I like. Which is really far from where I live. Which is in a town I do not like. Which is really far from my work. Which has comparatively bad schools. 

I'm sometimes impulsive and frequently spontaneous and occasionally impetuous. But one thing I am really good at is setting goals and putting in my time to make it happen. So, when I say we can do this until his daughter graduates in three years and goes off to college, we can do this. To me, it's a drop in the bucket, because it preserves what's important to me. And when I say I have a lot to learn from him, well, he has a lot to learn from me, too. I suspect we'll wrassle with this subject down the road, just like my easy-spending blood ran a little cold with "putting away more money than I'd like." (A part of my brain screamed in terror, "WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??")

This post wasn't supposed to be a biopsy of our relationship to date. It was just supposed to say I'm feeling a little giddy and a lot in love, with someone I respect and admire, which is a pretty darn good feeling!

Oh! Today is Day Eight smoke-free. I have to say, this Chantix is working pretty stupendously well for me. I've kept it at the low dose, I'm not noticing my emotions tanking, no dark thoughts, no nightmares. Every once awhile it pops into my head, "Heeeyyyy, time for a smoke!" but the urge fades quickly. Here's to continued success!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just Stuff

My plan to smash into my 130s was foiled this week by a super-salty sushi dinner with my daughter the other night, I think. Well, I didn't even have sushi: she's eating vegetarian, so I just split some dishes with her. Agedashi Tofu, Vegetable Gyoza, Edamame Croquettes, and a Garden Roll. Oops, and an order of Veggie Tempura. Although I didn't eat too much, I think the salt content pretty much dashed any hopes of dropping that half pound I was looking for. Oh well. Soon.

Post-WLS eating is interesting. See, when I ordered all that food, I was thinking it would be good nibbles and my daughter would get to try a variety of stuff. I know what *I* can eat, and it's not much. Although I did eat a whole piece of Papa Murphy's Garlic Chicken w/ Bacon and Artichoke pizza this morning, so I can certainly eat more than I used to do.

But what I don't think about is how much *others* can eat. I'm not kidding when I say that now, when I go to a restaurant and see those MASSIVE portions - it does a little number on my brain. It's weird to think of how much food people eat. How much I used to eat. I know my portions are quite small and I am still not losing weight: how does anyone lose weight with those GIANT MEALS??

I had a point here: it was that my daughter ate all that food I ordered. I felt badly for ordering it. Maybe it wasn't all that much, but to me it seemed like A LOT, and I felt like a bad mama for putting it in front of her. She is mama's girl, through and through. I always ate such big portions, too. Ah, I guess she didn't eat the tofu - we took that home for her lunch the next day (ew, which must have been a little soggy, but she said she didn't mind). Still. And then we had time to kill before the concert we were attending, and I split a giant cookie with her. Ah, food is love, how to break the cycle??

Tonight, we're back at the Y and I am planning to TEAR IT UP on the treadmill. It will just be Alli and me, the boys will be with their dad. I'm celebrating what I'm calling Day Four of my smoke-free existence.*

*It's not really Day Four, but it's my math and I get to count it the way I want it. I smoked Monday morning before I got the Chantix prescription. I had one or two after that, then one on Tuesday (which sucked and tasted horrible). None yesterday. So, you might think that yesterday was Day One, but you are sadly mistaken, because today is Day Four. Just let me have this. Capisce?

Today is also the day where I'm supposed to double up the prescription and take a pill in the AM and the PM. Then in a few days, the dosage for both AM and PM doubles. But my plan is to stay at this low dose.*

*I'm not a doctor, but I have seen people playing doctors on TV.

The reason I'm sticking with the low dosage (for now) is that I am DONE smoking. Boy, has it ever been bothering me when I smoke. And it was interfering with my work outs. Plus, it really sucks to smell cigarettes while you're running. And then realize it's you. Plus, I got an iron IV infusion yesterday and I thought about what a SLAP it is to go to a cancer doctor, sitting in a room where people are receiving chemotherapy, smelling like cigarettes. (I didn't, but because I was driving, I wanted a cigarette, which made me think about walking into the office smelling like smoke. Ugh.) 

They really baby you during those iron IV infusions. You can't see the juice and snacks, but I had 'em.

Importantly, I'm sticking with the low dose because I'm worried about side effects. We've all heard the commercials. "Chantix may cause depression, suicidal thoughts or ideations, bad dreams or nightmares..." Well, who wants that?? Not me. And since I'm prone to all that nastiness, anyway, well, I don't want to tempt fate. Last night, I caught myself talking in my sleep. I've always been a sleep-talker, so it wasn't a huge surprise, but it generally triggers around stress or big changes, or, oh, I don't know, prescription medication that affects your sleep. 

I tell ya, I'd forego the prescription entirely if I weren't so friggin' over this ridiculous bad habit and the sheer stupidity of fighting it for over twenty years. (Well, I did quit for over twelve years when I was ready to have babies...right up until I got divorced, but I wouldn't say I battled the urge much during that 12 years.) I just want to be DONE. Hell, I *am* done. And, God help me, please don't ever let the stupid idea of lighting one more stupid cigarette ever take hold in my brain again. I am *not* someone who can have "just one." Heck, I'm not a "just one" kinda girl, anyway.

Anyway. No smoking. Tearing it up on the treadmill tonight. I spent the night with Greg last night and I did not smoke when he did. I noticed him noticing that I was not smoking, but as is the superstitious way of quitting smoking, he did not comment on it and I did not volunteer anything. There's a high "jinx factor" in this process, I'm afraid. Ugh, I hope he will quit, too. It takes a much higher degree of resolve to be a non-smoker paired with a smoker. :(

My doctor says you can take Chantix for a few months. I don't know how long I'll take it. I've got a month's worth of pills that at the low dose will last me a lot longer (because I'll be breaking pills in half and only taking it once a day). I certainly don't intend to refill it. Let's just put some distance between me and Day One before deciding, shall we?

Oh, yesterday was my son's 5th grade graduation. :) We are very proud of him and have absolutely no idea whatsoever how he will possibly manage middle school, with seven classes and corresponding homework to attend to. Oy, that boy. But we'll figure it out. And as you can see, he is terribly cute. Here's a picture of him with his dad and me. (p.s. It's okay to tell me how much better I'm aging than his dad, and how we have beautiful children but you just don't *see* us as a couple, and whether the authorities got involved when an older man came chasing after such a young girl, and...)

Proud parents and a boy who wanted his mom to stop kissing him at school.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Inching Clllooosseeerrrr to Goal

This morning I am one pound off my original goal. One teeny tiny pound. And even though I only "count" whole pound numbers, I get to break that rule this morning and say I am only a *half pound* off my goal. :) I told my Sugar Daddy here in the office that I'd be weighing myself hourly and providing "ounces remaining to goal" updates. He implored me not to. He also said he's going to go buy me a big bowl of fresh fruit, some Metamucil, and a pot of black coffee to help me along to goal, haha.

You can *bet* my eating is going to be spot on today. :) I wannnnnttt this. So close. I shall have to start composing my poignant "Goal Post" so I have it ready. (And I'm probably jinxing myself into being stuck at 141 for another month, like I was at 142, haha.)

Exercise. WHO KNEW? I am so impressed with my efforts. I am the least exercise-compatible person I know. But once you're in the zone - well, gosh, you really do want to keep it going! I was putting together next week's Workout Update post, logging yesterday's workout...I was a little frustrated that I have two "rest" days now. Frustrated enough that I am thinking of running going to run the stairs today, just so I have something to log! Maybe a walk at lunchtime, too. Although our City Hall Farmer's Market opens today, so I'm already planning a visit there.

Okay, I can tell you here, even though it pains me to talk about it. I started taking Chantix yesterday to quit smoking. Smoking is really impeding my work out progress, and I know it. It is bothering me in a way that it never has before - I can't even stand to be around it myself *as* I'm doing it! It's time. Picking up smoking again has been a ridiculous backwards twist in my weight loss and health journey. Time to stop.

I'm so fed up with it, I don't even know if I need the Chantix. I don't right now, I know that. But quitting smoking is hard, and I want to go into the battle fully armed. Because there's a problem. Greg smokes. A lot more than I do, and when I'm around Greg, I smoke more than I usually do, too. But he's a funny one: he hates me smoking. He hates the smell, and the taste. Whenever he smokes, he scrubs his hands and rinses his mouth right away. I am hoping that when I quit, he will quit, too. I thought about leveraging that with him ("I'll quit if you do.") but I need to do this for myself, whether or not he does. And for me, it's time. And hopefully I will be SMART ENOUGH to never, ever, ever pick up another friggin cigarette when I do.

I try to cut myself a little slack when it comes to smoking. Clearly, with all the years of weight issues and smoking issues and biting my fingernails issues...I've got some kind of oral fixation that is just a real challenge for me to manage. That doesn't mean I can't overcome it, it just means that I don't get to beat myself up over it too badly. I yam what I yam.

It's been awhile since I've given you a man-update, hasn't it? We are clicking along very nicely. I am crazy about him! He's so much more *proper* than I am, I hesitate to share too much about him or our relationship here. :) I am such a big mouth, these "reserved" and "behaving respectably" things are difficult for me. But he is awesome, and we are having a great time together. I think we've struck a good balance of spending time together without overwhelming any of our respective children. Dating with kids is challenging.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Workout Update 6/11 - 6/17

6/11 - 65 min treadmill and 5.13 miles, no weight training
6/12 - rest - Alli's final orchestra concert for the year
6/13 - 65 min treadmill and 5.49 miles, weight training
6/14 - 65 min treadmill and 4.95 miles, skipped weight training
6/15 - rest, Greg's house
6/16 - rest, worked in the yard all day, though!
6/17 - 70 min treadmill and 5.40 miles, weight training

So, that's 20.97 treadmill miles last week, yay me!

This weekend, I bought new shoes. Or, I should say, this weekend, I bought new shoes that fit. I went to Foot Zone and a nice man watched me walk. He told me "you hardly pronate when you walk, you have a very neutral gait." Aw, thanks! I think! He found me shoes that feel like little pillows on my feet. They are Brooks Ghost 4:

Should I be disappointed that I see that there is a Ghost 5 on the market? Did I buy outdated shoes?? Nah, they're fine. They feel good. I did the treadmill yesterday in them and they felt wonderful.

I said that this weekend I bought shoes that fit. A few weeks ago, I bought a pair of shoes from Nordstrom Rack. They are too tight on my toes. A couple weeks ago, I bought two pairs of shoes from Costco. They are also too tight on my toes when I run. I blame my black toenail on the Nordstrom Rack shoes (they are Skechers), but the nice man at the running store says maybe not. He says wear my black toenail with pride. :) Anyway, lesson learned. I'll leave my shoe selection process up to the professionals from now on! Or, as Kim says, now that I know I like this style of shoe, I can just stick with it as long as it works.

I am sitting at 142 pounds, but happily, I am noticing changes in my body with all this exercise. My mid-section, while not tightening up to Swimsuit Edition standards, is definitely looking better to me. My legs and butt are definitely looking better. My arms and chest? Eh, maybe. I was thinking this weekend that my shoulders and collarbone-type area are looking good.

While researching "loose skin" and "plastic surgery" and such, I ran across a couple articles that said most loose skin is really just stubborn fat. Hrumph, this is discouraging, but makes sense. I know I have seen a lot of pictures and posts online where people say they have all this loose skin - but when I look at the pictures, I've thought, "No, you just still have a lot of weight to lose." There's something that happens as your body deflates. Before, your belly, or arms, or whatever are "filled," and it's easy to see that as extra weight. As you get down to the end of your excess weight, you *do* battle loose skin but you also sort of forget about the remaining extra weight.

There is loose skin - don't get me wrong. :) Under my chin there is a little turkey wattle that is categorically, undeniably empty, loose skin. My upper thighs, I would say are almost all loose skin, because I've got some pretty damn solid legs. Boobs and belly are lots of loose skin, too. But there's more to it with my belly, perhaps. Which makes sense, seeings how I am a TOTAL APPLE SHAPE and that's where the bulk of that extra weight lived.

This point has been seeping into my brain lately as I *do* notice all that belly fat tightening up with exercise. Haha! It's not tightening up like a 20 year old's belly or anything. But it is improving. And that to me says there is still work to be done here. Although I feel great at 142 pounds, the fact of the matter is that I'm still "overweight" according to BMI. Just a couple pounds, of course. But even to drop below 140 puts me at the outside end of "normal."

I'm not saying anything other than that I am pushing myself to get a second wind with my efforts here. I am sooooo close. I've got one foot in the camp of "this is great, I'm satisfied here," and one in the camp of "let's see how far we can take this." :) I want to know how much of this is something I can deal with on my own. However, I am also excited to see a plastic surgeon for a first consult next month!

Today, I'm going back to the hematologist to find out what's up with my iron/ferritin levels. I'm so flipping tired. I'm going to get those monthly iron infusions for the rest of this year, if I can. I just want to see what it's like to have sustained normal iron for awhile. I also have an appointment with my primary care doc, whom I'm excited to see. It's been awhile since I've been in, and it's fun to get weighed in on his scale and get fussed over for my success. Sadly, I'm seeing him because after I fell on my shoulder on New Year's Eve, it still freaking hurts. It had been much better, then I jarred it on a support post on a bus and it has been hurting me again. :( All these months later, it's time to find out officially what the heck is going on there.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Ugh, this day is moving as slow as molasses syrup. WHAT THE HECK, MAN?? I am ready to get outta here.

Check out Kim's giveaway of some yummy cherry drink:
Kim's Cheribundi drink giveaway

My toenail is turning black. I wanted to go buy fancy-schmancy running shoes at lunch but didn't get to it. I have read of other people's toenails turning black from running...but hey, THIS IS *MY* TOENAIL. Ack!!

Ohhhhh....will this day never end?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lose a Half Marathon

Jen at Runner Maybe gave me inspiration to join the Marathon Weight Loss Challenge. The goal? Lose 26.2 pounds in 13 weeks. (This is based off Run with Jess' friend's goal, who wants to lose 26.2 pounds before her first marathon this fall.)

Anyway! How HAPPY am I that I don't *have* 26.2 pounds to lose? CRAZY!! This is the first time in my adult life (starting in my late teens, I'd say) where I can say that. I mean, yes, at 142 pounds, I could actually lose 26.2 pounds - there are certainly lots of 5'3" people around who weigh in the neighborhood of 116 pounds. Not a priority for me, though. Except for all this loose, saggy-baggy skin (which is in the neighborhood of 10-15 pounds, anyway!), I am happy where I'm at.

Except. You *know* I wanna get into my 120s. You *know* I wanna get below 131.5 so I can say I'm half the woman I once was. :)

So I joined Jess' challenge: the half marathon version. 13.1 pounds puts me at 129 pounds, below my "half my size" mark and into my 120s. Yay! This challenge will give me something to work toward since I am busting my bootie at the gym whenever I can. It will hopefully help me avoid the day like I had yesterday (precursor excuse for myself: it was a period day) - a piece of chocolate cake, a piece of fudge, two mini York peppermint patties. Umm, train wreck eating. CHOCOLATE craving day. Isn't that funny how it really does seem to tie to your period? I haven't had one in a couple months (thank you, uterine ablation), and then yesterday I am shoving chocolate in my mouth all day...and wouldn't you know it...a little bit of bright spotting yesterday afternoon. Crazy. (And TMI, hahaha, sorry, it's my blog.)

Okay - so, my plan for success in this challenge:

- Do it. Weigh in weekly, as I'm supposed to.
- Continue exercising like crazy woman. Even when I'm tired and don't wanna go, I sure feel better after doing it
- Log back into my fitness pal. Track eating. Can I really do this? Ugh. I hate tracking. But it's so good for you. And maybe there aren't chocolate binge days in food-tracking-land. Or at least there are no great mysteries as to why your weight loss has stalled out. ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Workout Update 6/4 - 6/10

6/4 - rest, too much running around to do in the evening
6/5 - 35 min and 2.85 miles on treadmill, followed by .5 mile cool-down walk, weight training machines
6/6 - 45 min and 3.28 miles on treadmill, weight training
6/7 - 45 min and 3.66 miles on treadmill, weight training
6/8 - rest
6/9 - rest - field trip to Leavenworth, WA with Alli's orchestra
6/10 - 65 min and 5.06 miles on treadmill, weight training

...for a total of 14.85 miles last week. When I do the weight training machines, I have some that I always do, and some that I rotate. Depends on how I'm feeling, how antsy Blake is to leave, etc.

Always do:
- 100 crunches. I do them in sets of 25, and I make myself do one set at 40 lbs, and the rest at 30 lbs. I'm working toward doing them all at 40 lbs, but I'm a ways off from that goal. Whew. When I get on the machine and see someone had it set at 120 lbs or such, I am FLOORED. HOW can anyone do this? Maybe they're just putting in a higher weight when they leave, so that people like me think they're badass, haha.

- 100 back-something-or-nothers. It's like a reverse crunch. You push against the weight with your lower back, anyway. I think I do all of these at 40 lbs without too much difficulty, but 50 lbs would be too hard right now.

- 100 adductors and 100 abductors - I get these mixed up, but basically these are the machines where you're either squeezing your thighs together or pushing your thighs apart. Either way, it hurts.

Rotate through various machines, different every time:
- 30 various chest, back and arm machines.

So...a few weeks into this, I am noticing several changes, most for the better:

- My daughter is a gym rat! Boy, does she ever keep me motivated to go up there. She's got our workout times planned every night. Knows when we have to skip a night (like tonight, for her orchestra concert), and when we can squeeze it in (like last week, before Blake's band concert). She celebrates when I don't go down to Greg's, haha, because she knows it frees me up to take her to the Y. She is frustrated because her efforts aren't being rewarded on the scale, but I tell her all the time how stinking proud I am of her. The scale will catch up.
- My own weight is unchanged at 142-144, but my clothes are fitting differently and my body feels different: new and improved! I had my hands on my lower back this morning: woowoo! Whose back is that?? Getting some nice tone. Muscles are popping out on my legs...crazy.
- Ugh, loose skin. No miracle cure, here. Yesterday, when I was RUNNING on the treadmill (still amazes me!) my sweatpants were falling down. That was a nice little NSV, but what was NOT COOL is the flap-flap-flapping of my gut! Oh boy. If you could shake that loose skin off, it would be gone, I tell ya.
- There is toning and change going on under all that flab. It used to be that I REFUSED to go out without a stretch cami under my shirt. I haven't even been wearing them, my gut isn't poking out through my tops anymore. So even though it's still a mess - it is getting better. It ain't going away, though, unfortunately.
- Same with my upper arms. I'm working those puppies out like crazy. I see muscles under the loose skin, but I still see a lot of loose skin. :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


(Oh, dear, here's a post I started on but didn't might as well know I gave myself a black eye with my phone handset, haha, so I'll post it belatedly)

Last week, I gave myself a black eye with my phone handset at work. Ouch! I was on the phone with a coworker (who I now tell everyone he gave me the black eye, since I was talking to him). The cord was tangled up: I gave it a sharp tug...and clocked myself in the eye. OUCH!!

I literally saw stars.

Yesterday, while perfecting my new lifestyle as a gym rat, I somehow snapped my jaw. Without making any contact whatsoever with anything. Just opening my mouth, straining at some new weight I was lifting, and I heard an audible snap of my jaw. Today, it still hurts like a sumbitch. And that's a lot. :)

But there are other ways I bully myself, and they were a subject of conversation at my Massage/Therapy session yesterday. (My massage therapist knows all my dirt. He should charge me one copay for massage and one for counseling services, haha.) I was recapping for him "that night" with Greg, when I got up and left at 11pm to go home. And I was telling him how *MAD* I was at Greg, but when I revisited the evening later, I couldn't really think of anything inappropriate he had said. 

I gave B, my massage therapist, my self-diagnosis. If I feel badly about what I'm doing - it is very easy for you to make me feel badly about it, too. If I feel good about what I am doing, I can tell you to go take a hike if you don't like it. :) Clearly, I haven't been feeling good about what I've been doing. 

Thus, the newfound gym rat status. I hope that sticks. I'm a little nervous, because Monday was a rest day, and today will be a rest day (I'm going to Greg's tonight). Tomorrow, I am skipping drinks with the girls so I can go home and take Alli to the gym. Then Friday, back to Greg's, come home Saturday night. Bowling with the girls on Sunday.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Workout Update: 5/28 - 6/3

But first...check out Kim's Profoot Insoles Giveaway!

5/28 - rest (holiday, YMCA closed)
5/29 - 35 min and 3.01 miles on treadmill, weight training
5/30 - rest (Greg's house)
5/31 - 35 min and 2.84 miles on treadmill, but I ran almost the whole way! 5.0-5.2 mph. Weight training
6/1 - rest (Greg's house) - but we did go walk the Redondo boardwalk a few times
6/2 - 35 min and 2.19 miles on treadmill, weight training
6/3 - rest, but did bowl three games with friends :)

The workout week was filled with good stuff and lazy stuff, as you see. I spent two nights at Greg's, and thus skipped the YMCA. Yesterday I *coulda* gone to the Y, but I was a sloth in the morning, then got busy around the house, then had to scramble to get over to Seattle to bowl with my friends in the afternoon.

I was ridiculously happy to have broken 100 for the first time. Next game I got a 125! Then a 99, my usual score, haha.
On Saturday, I was in a funk, plus the insides of my knees hurt when I tried running. So I just walked the whole thing at 4.0 mph, which is still a nice brisk walking pace. Faster than I could ever do, pre-WLS! I was very proud of myself and Alli, though. I was on my way home from Greg's and all I really wanted to do was go home and "sloth." But I called her at her dad's and asked if she wanted to go to the Y with me. She did. I picked her up and we both went and got our gym rat on!

Last night she texted me, again from her dad's and asked, "Goin' to the Y tomorrow?" I am so proud of her. God give me strength to keep up with these workouts, if for no other reason than that my daughter needs it so badly and has thrown her full heart into doing it. She is awesome.

My son, Blake, on the other hand, I'm sure I'll have to drag there again. But football conditioning starts tomorrow and I think that will spur him into gear. Or make him more adamant about NOT going to the Y, since he'll be working out so hard at conditioning camp. (It is a GRUELING workout - I remember it from last year, when I'd pick him up red-faced and sweaty, and he would sleep like a stone every night, haha.)

I don't have much interesting or positive to say about dating right now. :) Greg's daughter (turns 15 this month) continues to really struggle with him dating and me being around. We dialed it back quite a bit, we are dialing it back even more. I think it is a temporary thing - his divorce is quite fresh still (split a year ago, divorced a year in September). I'm sure his daughter is still reeling. Greg and I are trying to find a balance that works - I think we will, but the process is pretty exhausting and draining. More than once (many more times than once), I have found myself wondering if I wouldn't be happier going it alone. Right now, the positives of being with him outweigh the negatives of making it work, so we'll press on! Part of my motivation is that I think these would be struggles I'd face dating any man with children; it is just a reality of being a parent and dating another parent. The fact that Greg is an awesome guy whom I care about very much...well, that makes it worth pushing through the challenges. For now, anyway. :)