Weekend Roundup

July 12th, 2009

Well it’s been an interesting weekend. I’ve been watching what I eat to a degree, but I’m not really going hardcore with it until I find out what kind of diet the nutritionist is putting me on.  The initial packet had some general information about carb and gi intake, but I’ll post more in depth once I’m able to ask questions. I tried eating a lot of the frozen and carby foods already in my kitchen that I know I’ll no longer be allowed to have once my new diet starts. I did some grocery shopping and got chicken, cherries, peaches, asparagus and broccoli. I also picked up wheat pitas and hummus. Yum! I’m not sure if that’s something I’ll be able to continue eating, but chickpeas are healthy, right?! The chicken experience was a new one for me.  I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 5 or so years and a vegan for almost a year. I’m trying to reintroduce mega proteins like chicken and turkey into my diet to see if it will help with my carb obsession. I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw raw chicken let alone, picked up and touched one. I must have been quite a site as I threw a packet of breasts into my cart and doused myself in anti-bacterial gel all the while holding back a gag. I don’t even know how to cook it. I’m thinking I’ll just throw it on my George Forman grill and whip up some kind of peach rub since I got so many of them. Peaches and chicken. Why not?

Saturday was my first official day back to the gym. One of the things that kept me going when I wasn’t losing weight was the overall improvement in my fitness level. I started in December barely being able to run for 5 mins at 4.0 on the treadmill to 5.0 for 30 minutes by May. Saturday was definitely not a 5.0 or 30 minutes day. I got maybe 15 minutes in at 4.7 and I felt like my heart was going to explode. I slowed the machine down and walked a bit until my heart rate went down, and got off defeated. I didn’t want to waste the trip so I did weights instead. I was able to do the same amount of weight for the majority of the machines (I had trouble with one the leg machines) but I really, really felt it. I woke up this morning with unbelievably sore arms. Believe it or not I felt good about it. I hadn’t been able to get that sore feeling in a while. I had been playing around with my workout when I left, and I’m still undecided as to what plan of action I’ll take. I know I definitely want to get 3 solid days of running in, probably Monday, Wednesday and Friday (if you have problems in your rear, DISTANCE RUNNING! omg what a difference it has made!) followed by weight lifting the same day.  Before I was doing spinning Tuesday and Thursday which burns a lot, but I think I was really getting bored with it. I’m considering getting back into swimming.  I secured a national pass with my gym and one of the other locations has an indoor pool.  It’s actually still pretty close to my job (though further from my home) and really I can’t think of anything more refreshing than a morning swim. I just ordered a bike and I’ve already secured some bike dates with a few friends so I can do that on the weekends. It’s just too pretty outside to be spinning in place, you know? Maybe my opinion will change in the winter.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Oh god that’s cheesy isn’t it? But it’s true! I have a goal and for the first time I am not letting anyone or anything stand in the way of it. 

Perhaps I should rewind a bit.

After a bout of depression that manifested itself as uncontrollable annoyance at everything and everyone I started to consider my options for going back on antidepressants. I had been off and on them in high school due to side effects from various AD/HD medications. See the ADD meds led to antidepressants which led to sleep medications which led to anxiety medications and before you know it I had a medicine cabinet cocktail. I had green pills and blue pills, hard pills and soft pills, tablet and syrups. It was like Dr. Seus had co-opted a pharmacy. I wasn’t sleeping right, eating right, feeling right I couldn’t drink this or eat that. Side effects had taken over my life. Needless to say as much as I wanted and needed to be back on an antidepressant I wasn’t really looking forward to the experience. Then I stumbled across an article on the benefits of St. John’s Wart. Hmm. A “natural” antidepressant that was doctor, prescription and side effect free? Sign me up! 

I took it for a few weeks (admittedly skeptical) but as  infomercial as it sounds, it has changed my life!!! I’m much more understanding and social and my patience could go on for days.

Now with all the positivity I was experiencing from my new meds I have decided it is high time I take back control of my weight. Ugh. My weight. What happened? I was an ass-kicking svelte and sporty size 6 for the majority of my adult life. Then all of a sudden- I wasn’t. I’d love to be able to pinpoint an exact time or reason my waist, thighs and bottom expanded but I can’t. I just started to get fatter and fatter. I made various appointments with doctors and had many, many blood tests only on my insistence. My doctors couldn’t care less. The skinny SOBs would all look down smiling smugly and suggest simply that I eat less and exercise more. Wow that phD sure is helpful. Two years of “eating less and exercising more” later I am now tipping the scales at 227lbs as a size 18. Yikes. 

During my depression I was somehow motivated enough to get a gym pass good for a year last November (’08) and I went from 238lbs (my highest EVER!) to 218lbs but the loss came to a standstill around May and over the last two months the pounds have crept back on. It’s been the most frustrating and heartbreaking experience ever. You think that you’re doing everything right- exercising, eating healthy, getting sleep, drinking plenty of water- and week after week you see either no change or GAIN! I said “screw it” and threw in the towel. Why deprive myself of yummy food and kill myself in the gym to have nothing to show for it? I was pretty down and beating myself up over it. 

The St. John’s Wart has helped me tremendously with the motivation factor and then a few days ago I ran into an old friend. An old friend who had recently lost 118lbs! She recommended a doctor that specialized in weight loss. I had my first appointment this past Wednesday. They took lots of blood samples, tested my metabolic rate, measured my fat and water percentage (I’m 46% fat btw. OMG!!!) and will use the information they collected to design a diet, exercise and medication plan specifically tailored to me. My follow-up appointment is for next Wednesday and I cannot wait to get started. In the meantime I have started back at the gym and have taken back control over my eating. I’m hoping blogging my experience will help me stay motivated through plateaus and give me reason to keep it off (seeing how difficult it is now to start) once I finally reach my goals. Stay tuned…