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Medical Issues

Sometimes it’s hard to talk about medical problems, but if it can help me put things into perspective and help others then why not?!

I guess I’ll put things in chronological order here.  Over a year ago I noticed each month my periods were becoming heavier, lasting longer, and more painful.  I’ve always considered myself pretty strong and not one to let a little pain bother me, so I ignored it!  Why not…I’m getting older.  It only comes once a month, so what’s the big deal?  Well the big deal was the fact that this problem didn’t go away nor did it stabilize.  It got progressively worse!  More bleeding (soaking through tampons), extended period duration (I went from menstruating 3-5 days to 7-10 days or more!  Sometimes I’d even stop and start again), increased pain, growing PMS and irritability, and fatigue so bad there were some days I could barely drag myself around the house (this is coming from someone who walks at least 3 miles a day and sometimes 5 and 6).

I tried to convince myself I must of hit a terrible plateau in my life where maybe everything was going downhill.  At the ripe old age of 37 I resigned myself to these awful episodes and that it must be all downhill from here.  LOL an old maid and not even 40 yet!  I invested in more pads, tampons, ibuprofen, coffee, and energy drinks.  Talk about trying to fix a fatal wound with a band aid!

I plugged along though, until a few months ago when I noticed my weight was at a stand still.  OK, lovely, a plateau.  This isn’t fatal, just something I need to muddle through.  I kept eating right and exercising and I knew eventually it would work itself out.  Well 6 months later and I’m still at a standstill I knew something had to be wrong.  Not only was I not losing weight but day to day my clothes would sometimes fit and other times seem tight…but only in my belly.  Some days I felt terribly bloated.  I had two CT scans done when I complained of the pain and each time nothing, except for an excess of stool in my intestines (sorry, it’s gross but true).  So with this knowledge I start to think…not enough fiber, you need to eat more fiber THIS is why you’re not losing weight!  So then I started drinking Metamucil.  Every day, maximum dosage.  Did it help?  Well…a little.  Did my weight go down?  Initially yes (water weight I assume) then back up again.  Did my clothes fit better?  Hmmm…sometimes but most times it was still hit or miss.

Next up I started shaking up my diet…eating more, eating less, more fiber, more protein, more water, more calories, less calories…you name it I did it!  I also began exercising more. I never wanted to be someone who’d exercise for HOURS each day, but what else could I do?  Did any of this work?  Nope!

So finally I resigned myself to weighing around 190 forever.  It’s not a bad number…I just knew I had the potential to go lower, and my inabilities to lose weight were puzzling.

Now to our present day.  My periods have still been in a nutshell awful!  I finally made the time to schedule an appt with my gyno.  I was so nervous and embarrassed.  You’d think I’d be over all that by now, but I felt childish complaining of pain, bleeding, tenderness, etc.  Immediately though the nurse practitioner noted the tenderness in my belly and pelvis and ordered a pelvic ultrasound.  The results?  Fibroids!  Nothing lethal but definitely troublesome…especially when they are ignored!  I still need to follow up with my gyno with the results, but finally it answers some of my medical issues.  Until I can get some direction I did invest in some iron pills and vitamin c in hopes this crazy tiredness can be managed.  I finally have an answer to my weight issues.

I’m going to continue to post updates here on my situation.  Hopefully this will be the start of me getting my health back, getting my period and pain under control, and hopefully losing some weight along the way.

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Denial

I’ve been fluctuating between 195 and 189.  It’s been going on for a few months and it’s very frustrating :(  I think I’ve been in a bit of denial though over how much and how well I’m really eating.  I do lean towards low carb high protein because of my blood sugar issues.  Lately I’ve been eating what I have on hand and eating more frequently.  For some reason I’ve been super focused on food?  Maybe because I’m eating things I shouldn’t and just not feeling satisfied.  I also recognized that as I’ve discovered some great low carb recipes I’m going a little crazy experimenting and overeating.

Today I had to refocus.  One thing I did in the past that REALLY helped was making a meal and only eating half of it and saving the other half for a few hours later.  This gives me the satisfaction of mini meals without adding extra calories.  I’m also refocusing on good protein.  I bought a package of chicken, pounded it out, brined it, and prepared it for later meals.  I also purchased more fresh veges.  I sometimes forget how satisfying cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, etc. are and that I need them to complete my meals.

Sometimes I think I’m not worth the extra money when funds are low.  Then I have to look at the big picture and say “Are you not worth a $5 package of chicken???”  Sometimes too it’s a matter of making better choices.  I may easily spend that money on a lottery ticket (unsure thing!) instead of investing it back into myself.  No more excuses!

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Store Mirrors

This is going to be short and sweet.  I walked past a store mirror today.  Normally I scurry past it not wanting to see myself and how bad I look.  Today I paused…is that me?  Really?  Wearing yoga pants (tasteful ones), my workout hoodie, and my hair pulled back and actually looking…good?  I’m embarrassed to say I stared for a minute.  Could that normal sized girl with hope shining in her eyes really be me?  Yes, yes it was!

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Running Outside

Harder than running indoors for sure!  I didn’t feel like I broke any records, but it’s a start!  Just like walking I’m setting up goals and trying to increase each time.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever be a full time runner, but I won’t know unless I try.

Today I walked over 3 miles at the park.  Each time I circled around I’d come to a certain tree and start sprinting.  I made it my goal to run on that side until I got to a manhole cover a little piece down the trail.  I’d say when it was all said and down out of that 3 mile walk I ran about 1/4 mile (probably less).  But, that doesn’t matter.  I did it!  Next time I’ll push myself a little harder and go a little further.  This is a work in progress, so I’m not setting up unreachable goals that will only frustrate me.

Everyone is talking about spring around the corner and how they are breaking out the shorts.  LOL I’m not quite ready for shorts but maybe if I keep up with my walking and running I will!

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Running

Never ever could  I run.  My throat would be ragged from heavy breathing within SECONDS of starting.  My legs would give out, just too darn weak to carry my weight.  Didn’t matter even when I got down to my lowest weight.  Running was still somehow out of reach.

After my last regain, I decided I wanted to be smarter about my weight loss.  First I had put on 35 lbs (ish) in about a year’s time.  I made a firm decision that it took me a YEAR to put it on, so there was no rush to lose the weight quickly or set unrealistic goals.

Secondly I decided I had to change up my exercising.  Previously I lost a lot of weight simply walking.  It’s amazing when you walk an average 10-15 miles (on some odd days even 20!) how quickly the pounds drop off.  Was this a bad thing?  Well, the weight loss was great.  In hindsight though, maintaining a 10+ mile goal 7 days a week was not reasonable at all!  Sure I was capable of walking that far, but at what cost?  I decided I didn’t want to spend MORE time exercising, I wanted to exercise more efficiently!  I know people who spend HOURS at the gym.  That’s not me!  Don’t get me wrong I love to exercise, but for me the goal is to strengthen my body to do fun activities not spend more time at the gym :)

So here I am now.  Got back into walking, but I shoot for 5 miles a day average.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.  I do not beat myself up about it!  I also added strength training to my routine.  Boy was that scary!  My flabby arms,  jelly legs, jiggly belly.  I solved some of those problems…bought a nice workout shirt with long sleeves that keep my arms in check, purchased good walking shoes that eliminated my foot pain, and invested in a nice tummy controller to stop the belly wiggle :)  So the firs time of weight training it’s sobering to set the weights and realize 15 # is a struggle for my arms, and in spite of thinking my legs were super duper in shape I struggle with leg strengthening.  I didn’t let it stop me though.  See, when you realize you are physically weak you need to push through those fears and disappointments and see this as a journey.  At 15# I had uncovered the first stone.  As I continue to do this and uncover more stones I will find greater treasures and success.

I set no lofty expectations for what strength training would do for me.  I went into it with the hope I’d simply get a bit stronger and more toned.   You can imagine my surprise when the other day I’m putting on my nightgown and suddenly notice my arms.   Hmmm…not so flabby.  Beach ready?  Probably not, but noticeably tighter and more well defined.  Do I also detect a firmness to my waist?  Slightly more definition?  I don’t think my eyes are deceiving me because my jeans fit better.  Lastly, as I’m walking yesterday I suddenly get inspired to run!  Can I run?  Have I ever ran?  No no only failed attempts that left me too tired and breathless to even walk.  Yesterday I set a goal to run 1 min.  So I’m running, listening to my music, and smiling, as I hit the 1 minute mark and continue to run.  5 Min later I stop, my heart is racing, and I am still smiling.  I can feel my heart pumping and I feel absolutely wonderful!

I don’t know if I’m ready to run a 5K yet, but it’s suddenly a possibility!  What a great feeling!  When I think back at my heaviest weight, 352 lbs, I can’t believe how far I’ve come.  At my highest weight I used to gasp for breath sitting at my desk.  I couldn’t find clothes that fit.  I hated myself…how I looked, how I felt.  It was the saddest loneliest part of my life.  For being so large, I felt so small.  I’m so glad I’m not “her” anymore.  I love being able to do normal things that people take for granted.  Breathing normally, shopping for clothes, running, and most importantly loving myself!  This has been an amazing journey!

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Predictable

I continue to do what I’ve been doing most of my life…I begin a diet (for lack of better word), I stick to it, I lose weight, I feel great, I slack off, I gain weight, I give up, I gain weight back and sometimes more!

After all these years you’d think I’d “get it”.  I’ve mentioned lifestyle change in the past but don’t think I really understood what that meant.  I’d say the words but not live by them.  My last big goof was a few years ago when we had a weight loss contest at work.  How motivating!  I had already been losing weight, so my expectations weren’t too high that I’d lose very much.  I proved myself wrong my consistently winning challenges and helping other members stay focused and on track.  Where did I fail?  Well,  I started off eating right, walking daily, and I joined the gym.  I started to slip when my other team mates were not making their walking goals and I decided to be a hero and walk steps for them.  It started off innocently enough, I thought I’d only be adding a few thousand steps here and there to help out.  Boy was I wrong.  I was walking 10,000 steps for me, 3,000 steps for another girl, about 3-4,000 for another team mate, and then another 1,500 or so for another.  It got to the point I was walking an average of 20,000 steps a day (about 10 miles/7 days a week).

I became obsessed with not only meeting my goals but helping everyone else out with theirs.  I wanted our team to win, and our steps were calculated on a total basis.  Near the end some people weren’t even trying to meet their goals.  They gave up, which pushed me even harder.  That’s all I did, all day, walk, walk walk.  Walking on breaks, lunches, in place, up the steps, down the steps, at home, up the street.  I started walking miles to the grocery store.  All to get those steps.

I can’t argue the weight came off.  But at what price?  About a week into this I hurt my leg.  Strained a muscle pretty bad.  I didn’t care, I walked through the pain.  I dealt with massive pain in my leg for over a year.  Even when I eased off on walking it still hurt.  How many nights I couldn’t sleep.  Even now it’s hard for me to sleep on that side.

In regards to my weight, I had never thought I’d get under 200 lbs.  It was always my plateau weight.  This time around I got down to 175.  Phenomenal!  On my 5′10″ frame I felt I looked the best I ever had!  Once I eased off on exercising it all came back though.  I didn’t get on the scale but within a few months I was no longer anticipating fitting into those size 10 jeans, I was barely squeezing into the 12’s.  I had the 12’s so stretched out I finally had to break down and buy a new pair of jeans and ended up in a 14.  14’s were still OK to me but it was a big indicator that I was gaining weight.  I finally had a reality check when I had to go back to my 16’s.

So here I am…older…wiser?  I hope!  There is part of me that wants to bust out and start walking a million miles a day to get back to 175.  I’ve been stuck at 189/190 for a couple of months and sometimes I think this is just the weight my body is meant to be at.  Having had a taste of 175 I want it again though!  It wasn’t just the number it was everything that came with it…my clothes fit, after years of being largely ignored I’d have men open doors and pay me compliments, and mostly I felt confident and free!  I was suddenly in a body I wasn’t ashamed of.  Sure I wasn’t perfect but I felt wonderful!

I’m in the midst of this journey now, and with spring/summer fast approaching I’m just trying to keep a level head and understand what my goals are.  I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to hurt myself to get there.  No number is worth that!  I just want to feel confident, wild, and free again!!!

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Bat Wings (oh I’m back too!)


LOL I know I’ve posted about this before as many others have too. I just had to share this…

I’m ashamed to admit I’ve always been resistant to toning exercises. Maybe because my first time on them I realized how truly weak I am. You know when you set the weights to 50 lbs only to realize you can barely do 10?! I finally realized that I was approaching this the wrong way. See when I was at my highest weight and started cardio and walking it was “hard” and “I didn’t think I could do it”, but I pushed myself a little each day and proved that I could do it!

So for the past 3 weeks I’ve adding toning exercises to my routine. Nothing crazy just slowly adding it to my routine and trying to increase bit by bit. Well last night I’m getting ready for bed when I notice my arms in the mirror. Are they incredibly fit and tone now? After only 3 weeks? **** no! BUT, I did notice my bat wings appear just a bit toner, not so flabby, maybe just maybe sometime soon ready for short sleeved shirts! Honestly I had given up on them many years ago. I figured they would just always be an “eye sore” and now I’m realizing I do have the potential to improve their appearance! I certainly don’t expect them to look perfect (yes I have stretch marks, loose skin, etc.) but honestly though they look so much better!

I probably should of started this out by saying…I’m back!  Fell off the wagon, but here I am again.  I figure this is self evident though.  I’m hovering around 190/189 and am working to get back to 175.

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Am so ashamed…:(

I’ve really lost control.  I still eat “good” foods but haven’t been keeping track and exercising like I should.  I jumped on the scale and have gained a good 10 lbs.  I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing wrong and decided I have to start logging my Fitday again, I have to get back on my exercise ball (I’ve still been walking), and I have to stop cooking so many goodies and then indulging in those goodies!  I did invest in a good pair of Curves walking shoes (the kind with that’s supposed to work your muscles more while you walk), and I did buy another exercise ball after my last once got a hole in it.  I also need to start drinking more water.  I’m sure some of my weight gain is water retention.  Even though there is ton of snow out there Spring is just around the corner and I want to start it off with a bang!  When I’m able to buy spring/summer clothes I want to be smiling not crying!

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MIA

This humid weather has been kicking my butt.  I haven’t been exercising as much the past couple of weeks.  My pants fit a bit tighter so although I haven’t gotten on the scale I KNEW I had to get back to my plan.  Starting today, I ate a very sensible breakfast (1/2 arnold flat bread, 1 serv egg beaters, 1/2 slice cheese, lettuce, and 1 t dressing).  I also walked for 30 min at my favorite track, so I feel like I’m really heading in the right direction.   Later today I will bounce on my exercise ball to complete my workout for the day!

I don’t crash diet but do like to occassionally make cabbage soup (LOVE the taste!) and just use it as a filler with the other things I eat.  I know it really only helps you shed water weight but since I pair it with a 1/2 sandwich for meals I know I’m still eating well and getting filled up on less calories.

I didn’t weigh myself today but will do so tomorrow.  It’s hard seeing the #’s especially when they creep up on you but life is about facing facts and then moving on!

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Down some more!

I am now down to 191!  So great just 2 more #’s and I’ll be in the 180’s.  My Friend Susan told me at work today that I looked great the way I was and didn’t have to lose anymore weight.  I was beaming :)  Of course I know what my goal weight is so I’d definetly like to lose some more.  My size 14 pants are getting a little lose around the waist.  I used to pull them out of the dryer and they’d be a bit snug and I’d have to stretch them out a bit.  Now the fit fine out of the dryer AND by the end of the workday I’m tugging them up!  What a great feeling.  Little things like this are what motivates me to keep going!  I have NEVER in my life fit into a size 12 so that’s what I’m working towards now.  I”m not sure if my goal weight of 185 will get me to that size but we shall see.  As I’ve said before I might lower my goal weight by 10 more lbs, but for right now 185 is my goal.

I’d like to buy some toning cords out of my paycheck this week.  I found some greating toning exercises for the arms and legs in a magazine and can’t wait to try them.  I know I can’t tone “skin” but I feel if I could build the muscle underneath it would all around improve the appearance of my saggy arms.  I also have a sag between my legs and would like to try some exercises to improve that.

I haven’t given up hope on my belly but my expectations are low knowing there is only so much you can do to tighten those areas.  Currently most of my excess fat is stored there (yeah I know that’s bad) but I know if I keep dropping weight it’s about the only place I could continue to lose—other than my boobs!!!  Oh god I hope I don’t lose them!!!!  That would be horrifying!

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