Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Game Never Changes

I've been working on my self-esteem and self perception lately.  I find that I worry way too much about what I think other people think of me, which is just ridonkulous.  Honestly, if I dig deep and really think about it, I've been worrying about this my whole life.  I stress about it, fret about it, base a lot of what I do and decisions I make around it.


Because I like people to like me.

One key point I've been missing is that I don't have to be someone different to have people like me.  If I'm myself, my friendly, weird, goofy self, the people I want to have in my life will be in my life.  And if they aren't, then they weren't meant to be in my life.  Why waste so many of my minutes and hours trying to please everyone?  Also, why has it taken me 33 years to figure this out?

We all works in progress.  I am a work in progress.  I want to grow everyday, making myself a strong, well rounded, education, nice but kooky woman.  I want to be someone that my daughters look up and say "Hey, my mom was pretty awesome".  I don't want them to remember me moping and not being all that she could be.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Transformation Tuesday

This isn't exactly the kind of Transformation Tuesday that everyone expects, but it's the kind I wanted to do tonight.  My goal is over the coming weeks and months to have some progress to show...but for now...

This is a picture of me midway through my hospital stay a little over two years ago.  Thank you, pulmonary emboli and undiagnosed Factor V Leiden.  I would love to say that physically I've come a long way from this photo, but I really haven't.  I mean, I can speak a whole sentence without having to pause for air, and I can walk without being short of breath (sometimes).  Mentally, I'm still a little messed up.  Every little pain I get in my lungs, I jump to the conclusion that it's happening again.  A random pang in my calf?  I must have a clot in my leg.  Headache?  Stroke.  There is no blissful, carefree living, really.  It could be so much worse, but I'm constantly second guessing everything.  If I bump into something, I know I'll have a ginormous bruise the next day, or even hours later.

However, to the opposite end of that, I know that life is short.  I know that my little bit of time here on Earth is fleeting.  If I don't do something NOW to keep my body in somewhat decent shape, it will fail me.  I mean, I'm walking around with a greater chance of something happening to me, so sitting around and collecting more weight isn't  helping things.  Months ago my hematologist told me that my biggest risk factor for throwing a new clot is my weight.  What's the ONE and ONLY thing I can change about my risk for clots?  Losing some weight.  So yeah, I might get obnoxious with all this gym stuff and healthy eating stuff, but I figure I need to make it work however I can.  I've taken pretty bad care of myself for years now, and it's showing.

In the meantime, how cute were these kids back then?  :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Back to Basics

I had a really REALLY hard time getting out of bed this morning.  I didn't feel good, it was raining, I was tired, etc.  The list goes on and on and on.  So, instead of getting over myself and getting up to go to the gym, I tried to sleep in.  I felt guilty about it all day.  I felt like crap today at work.  I did contain my eating even though my instinct when I'm feeling bad is to stuff my face full of food.  I even powered through a mini-panic attack without loading my gullet with cookies and candy.  That's HUGE for me!

I did NOT want to go to the gym tonight.  It's cold and rainy.  I made myself do it.  I wasn't going to take a class tonight.  I made myself do it.  It was something new, and a dance class (choreography and I don't mix, thanks CAPD!) but it was a good workout.  A lady I chatted with last week at the Build and Burn class was there again and was very friendly.  It's nice to have a partner in sweat at the gym.  :)  I should have stayed and did arm weights, but I think they got a sufficient workout.

Goals for this week:

Continue to eat clean
Drink MORE water!
Continue my love for the gym

All the other stuff is butter if I'm following number 4 on the list.  What are your goals for the week?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Grumpy Days

I pigged out on processed junk Friday night and earned myself a sudden, horrible migraine.  Ended up at our local urgent care and got a combo shot of Phenergan/Demerol in my rear.  Of course it knocked me and the migraine out (yay!), but it also made me drowsy for the entire next 24 hours, which I wasn't planning on.

Yesterday I spent most of the day in and out of sleep.  When I wasn't sleeping, I was eating.  Eating LOTS of contraband stuff:  pizza, sandwiches, cookies, candy, etc.  Horrible!  But you know what?  I was happy that I woke up this morning feeling much better and ready to get back on track.  Made breakfast for the girls (scrambled eggs and fruit) and sunny side up eggs with sesame bread for me.

I'd love to get back to the gym today, but we are getting some nasty weather right now--ice and freezing rain.  YUCK!  Maybe a little bit later today, I'll have a chance to sneak out and get some cardio and strength training in.

In case anyone was wondering, here is my "plan":

I eat "clean".  Nothing processed, nothing unnatural.  That means no artificial sweeteners, no preservatives, nothing on ingredient lists that I've never seen or heard of.  Lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein and complex carbs.  Now, that doesn't mean that I eat clean perfectly, as I'm still learning, but it's a process.  On the days I follow my plan closely I feel 100% better than when I eat processed.  I NEVER thought I would be one of "those" people who eats this way and says food makes a difference, but here I am.  I don't starve, I'm rarely hungry after meals.  I eat MANY small meals a day.  Cravings for most junk foods are gone.  It's not an overnight thing, it definitely takes work.  I do meal prep on Sunday afternoon/evening.  Failing to plan for the week will end in eating failure for me, so I make sure I have everything ready to go.  I also make sure I'm drinking a TON of water throughout the day, especially when I've worked out.

I do thirty minutes of cardio and thirty minutes of weight lifting for three days, then one day of "active" recovery.  I try to change it up so it doesn't become a chore.  One day I might do just a straight 30 minutes on the stationary bike with 30 minutes of circuit training.  My favorite (love/hate) class right now is American Family's Build and Burn, which incorporates weight lifting with cardio.  It kicks my butt, but gets everything in that I need in an hour.  Being in a class like that keeps me accountable, and I'm less likely to wimp out.

So far, I've lost 12 pounds and 4 inches (in my waist).   I'm expecting the weight to start to taper, especially as I continue the weight training.  We all know that muscle weighs more than fat, so while I might actually be losing weight, I'm gaining some muscle and I'm STOKED about that!  That's why I'm keeping track of my waist size.  A little extra motivation.  :)

I'm very new to all of this, but if you have any questions, please ask!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

My Adventure

My hope is to be able to post my "story" of how my Keys to Recovery Adventure went.  It's going to be a long process.

I'll start with what I feel like summarizes the whole trip and my feelings.

This guy, this amazing athlete, Blain Reeves, allowed me to attach myself to his hip throughout our adventure. For whatever reason, unknown to me, his unwavering presence kept me going through three very physically and mentally challenging days. We spent many hours paddling in the ocean, with Blain controlling the boat in the back and literally towing other boats with his body, while I talked his head off about anything and everything. On the bike, I struggled. I had never ridden a kayak, but had biked, so I assumed that biking would be my strong point. I was wrong. Blain never gave up on my ability to hang with the pack. When I needed a push, his hand was on my back to guide me into my own. Even when I repeatedly told him to EFF OFF, or gave him the middle finger, he stayed with me. Jokingly, I wanted a photo of me pushing him. The tattoo on my back is in the spot where Blain continued to push me, and where the most painful, largest blood clots I had rested in my lungs. I will do "whatever it takes" to continue to make myself into the person I know I can be. I can never repay what he, or any of the other crew on this trip did for me. From Ernie Villanueva and his constant hugs and belief in me (and awesome massages), to Robyn Benincasa and her badass ability to "Shake N Bake slingshot" me ahead of her, to Andrea Randle who had the balls to put me in the boat with Blain, to Jeff "HoneyBunny" for just being the SHIT--this group is a well oiled machine. I am so incredibly lucky.

I would never say that I'm glad that the clots happened to me. But if they hadn't, I fear that I never would have experienced this beauty. The other women on this trip are amazing. I can't even begin to go there. The beauty and grace of this group, it's just...overwhelming and so, so lovely. I love you all.

Here's another part of what I wrote on the Project Athena Foundation page about this photo and our group.

This guy is a class act. Incredibly humble, (just like everyone else on the PAF team), never complains, pushes to the point of absolutely hating him but loving him for the challenge at the same time. He never gave up on me, even when I had given up on myself. This is the hardest thing I have ever done--not just physically, but to emotionally let go and let others love and support me and carry me there--to the mental finish line and beyond. I consider myself a VERY lucky soul to have been part of this adventure. Not just today, for for every day, the rest of my life. The diverse group of people I met on this adventure have each changed my life in these intricate little ways that I can't explain, but know that my life is infinitely better because of them. It isn't just about being a "survivor" and pushing yourself to do something you never thought you could do, it's about breaking down ALL of your walls, finding out how to love yourself and let others love you. I've never loved myself in an unconditional way, or really at all. Through the eyes of all of these amazing warriors, I see that I have a beautiful soul, a crazy loud personality, a strong spirit and a HORRIBLE trash mouth! Thank you so much to anyone and everyone who made this adventure happen for me and all of the other Athenas. Much love.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dragging along

I injured my knee a few weeks ago, so I'm limited to swimming now.  I did sneak in some laps before work this week, and it felt good.  I have my WW weigh in day on Sunday, and I'm down 1.6 pounds this week.  Not too shabby!  I definitely need to work on being more on track this week--I've been bad about tracking.  Honestly, I just need to hold myself accountable.  I have ALL of the tools to do this and do it well, but I just get lazy.  And hungry.  I had two hypoglycemic episodes this week, from not eating soon enough.  When that happens, I eat EVERYTHING in sight.  Not cool.

So, goals for this week are:

  • track EVERYTHING
  • continue drinking over 100oz of water a day
  • stay ahead of the hunger--drink water at first sign of hunger, then eat a small snack if hunger does not fade.  
  • Fitness swim at least 3 days this week
There is nothing on that list that is not doable!  I make a LOT of excuses for myself, so part of it is sucking it up and just forging on.  :)  Can't wait to see what this week has in store for me!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A lengthy break...

I can't believe before today the last time I posted was April of last year.  Pathetic!  I rejoined Weight Watchers two months ago.  I've also started going to the gym more, and completed a 10k last month (not running the whole thing, of course).

I was going through my old medical records the other day and realized I had forgotten how much I weighed at my most during my pregnancy with Q.  I've lost 50 pounds since then.  Since I've started *really* trying this year, I've lost 20.  More exciting is that I'm able to fit into nicer, smaller clothes now!

I recently took a new job at the hospital and that has been an interesting transition for my eating habits.  Also, I'm not on my feet like I was at the office, so I know that's taking some getting use to.  My hope is to start getting more active this week and continue going to the gym several times a week.  I still have issues with tracking everything I eat, especially at the hospital.  The cafeteria has some yummy food!

Instagram has actually helped to keep me accountable.  I post photos of my food creations and how many calories I burn at the gym with my Polar watch.  I have a legion of WW friends there that also do the same and are very inspiring.  I make it a point to check IG at least once a day, or when I really need a boost.

Of course, every once in a while I turn back to the old blog to keep me going.  I'm hoping that I can continue to post now that I'm back on track!