Wow, it’s been 3 months since my last update…

And a lot has happened. In May I had a weigh-in that showed a large (8+) weight gain, and it kind of kicked my ass into gear. From there on out, I immediately started low-carbing again (60 grams and under) AND decided to cut out processed sugar. I did that for a month and dropped 14 lbs. The next weigh-in I had lost another 3 lbs, wasn’t happy but was glad it wasn’t a gain, by then I had started plateauing. On Wednesday, I went by my doctor office and did a weight check. I lost ANOTHER 10 lbs…my total weight loss since late October of last year is now at…<drum roll, please>

47 pounds.

You read right. 47 lbs of weight loss. It’s unreal. My goal was to hit 50 lbs by late October. I am THIS close. 

Right now, diet is the only way I am controlling my weight loss. There is no planned exercise involved. I had to drop my gym membership due to two reasons: My body aches/pains (more on that to come) as well as financial (more on THAT to come as well). Despite it, I have more activity in my life than I did 47 lbs ago, and now I am not only using MyFitnessPal, but synced it up to FitBit on my phone as well. It’s super helpful.

Let’s get to my body aches and pains. My weight loss doctor did some pressure point testing on me and concluded my suspicion of Fibromyaglia was correct. Not sure if I posted about this before, but I thought I would share anyhow. This summer has been brutal. Despite warm weather, I am in the worst pain and having horrible flare-ups. It’s unbearable at times, and I will be discussing Gabapentin (generic for Neurontin) with him, as my insurance won’t cover Cymbalta. How are you supposed to go exercise regularly when everything in your body just HURTS? So I am doing all the research I can on Fibromyaglia and even had a theory, because so many people I know who are very large (super obese, if you will) and have lost a good amount of weight, end up in so much excruciating pain. My PCP wrote it off as my body rebelling, but I honestly felt like he was dismissive. It was after that that I discussed my pain with my weight loss doctor, who determined it is FM. Nothing you can do for it, as most people know. I talk with my friend who has lost over 200 lbs due to the LapSleeve and has FM as well. She has been suffering horribly this summer as well. She gave me some good information on how people with FM should avoid ANY vegetables or fruits in the “Night shade” category. The three are: Tomatoes (not a problem, they irritate my GERD), Potatoes (I’m meh on this, we don’t eat them often anyhow, and this is EVERY type of potato), and Peppers of all kinds (This one KILLS me. I LOVE bell peppers…it’s gonna be tough). Apparently they make the inflammation worse. Lots of learning to do for me.

As for finances, it has been a rough summer thus far. My daughter will be going into high school this September, and with that, she will be doing both band and sports…at the same time. It’s costly. To top that off, I no longer receive child support, as my ex-husband was fired from his job in mid-June. I had to add her to my health insurance policy, which is now costing me $50/paycheck extra than I expected. To top that with the loss of child support has been incredibly tough. I have been incredibly stressed out, but we’re okay. We do everything we can. The cost of living has increased, gas prices have risen, food prices as well, but I still have managed. It is what it is.

 

 

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On a brighter note…

I forgot to add to my last blog, I bought some clothes last year before our local Avenue closed down. I had a dress that I knew was too tight and wouldn’t ever wear because of it. It was a “goal dress”. On a whim, yesterday I put the dress on, and now, the dress is loose in the waist, stomach and strap area. I cannot say how good this feels. This is another reason that keeps me going.

I have re-read my blogs and it looks like I yo-yo a lot, and maybe to the readers I make excuses. It’s easy for someone who hasn’t been there in the body of a super morbidly obese person’s to automatically assume that a person who has reverted back to old habits is doing so because they are making excuses, or are weak, or can’t hack it. We ALL have our moments where we can’t do what we want to do, and it brings us down. For me it’s the pain that has intensified despite the 30 pound weight loss. When pain is involved it is tough to make yourself exercise especially if that pain is debilitating and you can hardly move. 

Another thing that I recently realized is that I cannot continue the use of the Phentermine. I consulted my doctor, and he advised me to go off the Phentermine for a few days after I had problems with severe acid reflux. I already have GERD and have been on Prevacid for years. That coupled with watching what foods I eat has helped the acid reflux to lessen. However, starting the Phentermine led to severe acid reflux to the point where nothing was helping. I was drinking milk, taking TUMs, my Prevacid, but nothing helped. It was uncomfortable and downright tough to deal with. It lead to other uncomfortable problems as well. I have not been on the Phentermine since last week. I am afraid to start it up again. Since I stopped it, I have had little to absolutely NO acid reflux (and taking my Prevacid daily as usual). This is a bit of a bummer, but I must deal with it. It led me to another realization – my stomach is incredibly sensitive and fussy to a lot of medications and supplements that I cannot take a lot. How am I to know my stomach wouldn’t react this way to a Lapsleeve should I get one in the future? That was another reason I did not look into it in the past. Colon cancer, ulcers, and diverticulitis runs in my family (maternal side) and every last one of us have sensitive stomachs. I am screened every 5 years for colon cancer as it killed my mother’s sister at age 29. My last colonoscopy was last September and they found a couple of polyps but all was well.  My GI said that if there are no recurrences of colon cancer in that family in the next couple of years, we can stretch my next screening out to 10 years. Since my aunt died in the mid 70’s (before I was born), no one has been diagnosed or died from colon cancer. I truly believe my sensitive stomach is why I cannot take a lot of medications or supplements.

But the fact that some of my “goal” clothes are fitting is tremendous. I need to start throwing out my “fat” clothes. They make me feel huge in them. It’s hard to deal with when I wear them. I haven’t been able to part with them, and they are over 5 years old…

If this doesn’t motivate you , I don’t know what will…

I saw a re-tweet on Twitter from an article about a man who lost nearly 400 lbs due to inspiration and encouragement he received from someone he met online. The article can be read here:

http://wgntv.com/2014/04/28/man-loses-nearly-400-pounds-after-meeting-inspiring-friend-online/

I will admit that due to the debilitating pain I have been dealing with for the past month or so (with last week being the worst week for me), I have not had much motivation. I went to physical therapy on Friday and wasn’t able to do my normal 12 minutes on the NuStep recumbent bike. I got to 8 and a half and that was all I could do. My left knee is starting to give me more trouble than normal, even with 30 lbs gone. I have been hobbling everywhere I go. I have iced and heated my knee with no relief. I have used BioFreeze on my knee and it keeps swelling up and popping. I have no clue where this is coming from. It has made me feel despair, anguish and anger that I won’t be able to get further in my goals. I know it’s just a bump in the road but a massive bump, pothole…and I don’t want to deal with getting a knee replaced just yet so I am hoping that I can strengthen my ankles up enough to walk more.

I haven’t been to my gym since March 12th. My work-outs have consisted of physical therapy recumbent bike work outs and walking here and there. The larger part of it is due to lack of time and no vehicle (my boyfriend and I share one vehicle and that vehicle has to now have its damn transmission checked – BRAND NEW CAR too…thank god for warranty but really? I digress). And it is also in large part of the fear of the pain. When I work out on the recumbent bike, my left ankle mostly is the one that is bothered, the outside of it, since I pronate when I walk, my ankles are very weak. I have to get back, but finding the time right now with my busy schedule is very hard. So I need to do more walking or whatever else I can do.

I don’t want to gain the weight back. I want to take an additional 30 lbs off…I want to continue to see results. Seeing that article gives me hope that I can get it done. It’s just a matter of getting my crap together. For one, by stopping with eating the wrong foods, which I have been for the past week, and two, by getting more activity in. I am no longer really monitoring my carb intake, instead watching what I eat and how much of it I eat. I haven’t been using my MFP app either. I want to see if I can continue to lose weight by doing that instead of low-carbing. But I need to do it, lol.

Weigh-in update

Last Friday I went into my doctor’s office for another check up. I’m down another 2 lbs for a total of 29 lb weight loss in 6 months time. I would round it up to 30 lbs considering the shoes I wore are pretty heavy and I did not take them off for weigh-in. I have to say that I look at a 30 lb weight loss as a HUGE milestone for me. I haven’t lost 30 lbs in a very very long time. So my progress may be slow but I have never showed a gain since the second weigh-in prior to my nutrition plan/counseling. That’s consistent weight loss. If we divide it into months, that is 5 lbs/month. Slow and steady but a good amount of weight has been lost. It’s definitely something I am incredibly proud of.

I am still going through the motions with the pain I am dealing with right now. My body in rebellion mode from the increased activity and the loss of body weight. I looked at my BMI and I have dropped FIVE BMI points from the 30 lb weight loss. Incredible, but not without some repercussions. My guess is that my body is used to the extra 30 lbs and is trying to adjust to the lack of it. Some days the pain is better than others, and I wake up ready to spring out of bed, but those days are far and few in between. I think it is a mix of both the weight loss and Spring playing tricks on me. My joints hurt especially during rain. 

I just finished Physical Therapy for my neck and shoulder but am back in PT again for my ankles, which are and have always been weak. When I was about 4, my left leg was broken in a freak accident. At my PT evaluation, I found out my left knee has a deformity where it is pointing towards the insides of my thighs instead of straight out. My PT told me that eventually I will need a knee replacement as it is not something that can be corrected with PT. Same with my ankles, so we are focusing on strengthening my ankles with exercises and resistance bands. PT is going well for now. I just haven’t been able to fit in gym time outside of my exercise at PT. I do tend to take walks at work otherwise, but I haven’t seen the inside of my gym since March 12th, and got an email from my gym (auto-generated, I am sure) showing concern as to why I haven’t been at the gym in over a month. Life happens.

I am still pretty happy with my progress so far, though I am not being strict on my nutrition plan or exercise. Hopefully with summer I will kick it more into gear.

Wow, it’s been a while, no?

I admit it, I stopped blogging. I lost my mojo. Between my injury to my shoulder and falling off of the wagon I just couldn’t get it together. Then there’s Spring, which is my worst time of year. For the past couple of years Spring hits me very hard. I fall into a crippling depression, my body hurts and I have zero motivation. It took me last month to realize that Spring is my Winter. So I went to see my doctors and we discussed this. First my weight loss doctor on the 18th, and to my surprise, I dropped another 4 lbs, putting me at a grand total of 27 lbs of weight loss since late October. Then I saw my exercise doctor last Friday, and finally my primary care doctor on Monday. 

With my weight loss doctor (who is brilliant), he wanted to run a complete blood count on me to make sure my levels on everything was okay, and we discussed going on Phentermine for the continued support of weight loss. I had been iffy about it in the past because I really did not want to use pills to lose weight, but my doctor had mentioned the use of Phentermine to help with mood and depression, so I was willing to try it. I am on a half pill of 37.5 mg a day, under doctor supervision. At first the side effects were massive bloating if I ate too many carbs, and no appetite whatsoever. Now it’s not a problem. No constipation…yet. Yeah, TMI I know. We will see how it goes. Last Friday I went in to see my exercise doc (same place my weight loss doc is at) and my weight loss doc pulled me aside to go over my blood panel with me (this is what I appreciate about him – I don’t have an appointment with him but he takes the time to see me to show me – what a doc!), and everything looks good. Progesterone is on track but I need to keep taking my Progesterone pills to keep my hormones in balance. So we will continue to monitor that and with the help of the Crave Arrest (amino acids) and Phentermine, I will continue to lose weight. We also decided to change up my nutrition plan – no more than 95 grams of protein a day, which is so much more doable for me, and under 100 grams of carbs a day (ideally 80). This doesn’t put so much stress on me. The doctor said if I can still lose weight without really sticking to the plan and the exercise has helped, then there’s no need to go super low carb. Yes, I am losing weight slowly, but there is progress made every month. Small numbers, but no gain since I started. That is a great sign.

When I saw my exercise doctor I told her how I had been doing with my physical therapy with my neck/shoulder. I am just about done and doing better, but will have to go to PT throughout my life here and there for it. It’s been an on-going issue for years. I told her I have had trouble with the recumbent bike. It leads to really bad ankle pain that makes me jump off of the bike…and so she had me walk for her…and I found out that I pronate or supinate on my left ankle, and I roll my right ankle as I walk. She suggested that I see an orthopedic doctor to see about getting some good orthotics. I told her that weak ankles run in my family and I have sprained my ankles numerous times, in fact, I nearly BROKE my ankle (left) years ago. I compensate with my left side, and put all of my weight on my left side, so something needed to be done.  She also wrote me up a new exercise plan after I told her I hopped on an elliptical (for the hell of it) while we were staying overnight at a hotel…told her it was tough but fun. I tried the elliptical at work, but it was too hard so I didn’t do it. She said try to do the elliptical at 5 minute intervals 2-3 times when I am at the gym. Goal is 2-3 days/wk, but my primary care doc says otherwise (will explain below). I have been working out on a NuStep recumbent bike at PT that is SO much easier than a pedaling recumbent bike – plus you have the arms which is nice.

Then on Monday when I went to see my regular doc, I told him what my exercise doc said, and instead of seeing an orthopedic, he wants me to go to physical therapy (GROAN) for my ankle and wrote me up a script, to see if I can get assessed there first, which makes sense, and rehab my way of walking. When I was very little (like 2 years old), I was put into leg braces for walking funny and according to my dad, it did nothing. Over the years, like I said above, I have sprained my ankle (left a few times, not sure about my right ankle) numerous times. So I hope that PT for my ankle will help me, and maybe some good insoles/orthotics might help. I wear Nikes and while everyone is giving me their unsolicited advice about buying expensive shoes or going to a specialty store to get fitted for specific shoes, I am hoping that the Nikes I just bought will be helpful and maybe I can get some orthotics that will work with them. I don’t necessarily have the money to spend on new shoes at the moment… Also, my primary doctor said no more gym until I am done with rehabbing my ankle…so…there is that. Which sucks, but I haven’t been to the gym since March 12th, and have strictly worked out during PT anyhow…

Overall I am still on track. Some days are better than others. 

Changing my nutrition plans

I have spoken with quite a few people this weekend about my nutrition plan and how unhappy I am with it, and my concerns about the amount of protein I am consuming.  I have decided to change a few things about my nutrition plan without my doctor’s advice. One thing that was brought to my attention was that the plan I am on is geared towards getting those who are wanting a weight loss surgery prepped for that surgery. Because I have opted out of the surgery, this is no longer a necessary move. My appointment with him was pushed out to April as he had to cancel my appointment. I am bummed but I refuse to see the bariatric nurse there. When I see him next, I will be discussing a new plan of attack and making it 100% clear that I am not going to see his nurse anymore and I did not agree with her methods at all.

What I have been concerned about is my risk for problems stemming from needing to consume over 135 grams of protein a day. I felt this was excessive and unnecessary. I spoke with a friend who studied and is registered in fitness nutrition and she thought it was excessive as well. She was concerned because I had a total hysterectomy four years ago and was concerned about the repercussions of that. She recommended no more than 100 grams a day. I am going to be switching to that. As for carbs, she said that the emphasis on carbs in total is ridiculous and I need to find a balance between good and bad carbs. I am aware of the difference. My goal now will be no more than 80 grams a day, but to stick to high-fibrous and “good” carbs. I’ve been so restrictive in my attempts that I think that this is why I am failing at staying on task. Let’s be honest here, if you feel you are stifled to the point where you cannot stick to it, you’re going to be bound for failure. I’m not good with this low-carb crap. I hate it. That being said, this is a necessary evil. There are reasons why you should watch your carb intake, but it is equally important to make sure you are consuming more good and whole carbs and not processed carbs (which is what we do). There is a lot to be said for the low-carb frenzy, but the thing I have learned about it is that it really is vital to make sure you are completely aware of what you are putting in your body. The more awareness I have, the smarter choices I make.

Since I started my journey last late October, I have eliminated the following carbs: any type of pasta at all (with the exception of a VERY rare outing to an Italian restaurant), no more brown potatoes, no more processed foods, no more breads at all, if I am going to have bread, it will be something like an Ezekiel bread, a nutty bread. If I really want a roll, it will be sourdough, but we haven’t gotten to that point yet. I don’t miss bread. I don’t even miss brown potatoes or pasta. It’s that strange. But there are things I am finding to replace those with that work well for me.

Yesterday was a very busy day for me, I managed to meet up with a couple of friends, run some errands, and hit the gym. I am still only able to get 20 minutes on the recumbent bike, but I think that is fantastic. With time it will become easier. I really love the gym. I know so many people who loathe it, but I do love it. I find it to be an adrenaline rush. I promise I won’t go trying to lift anything anymore, though. Ha ha. Speaking of, I have my physical therapy assessment tomorrow. Hopefully all will go well.

I think besides the good comraderie and the great advice given by my friend, it was nice to hear from her and a couple of other people how they actually SEE the progress I have made. This leads me to believe that this isn’t solely weight. I know that inches tend to go fast on me more than weight, but yes, I have dropped about 4 pant sizes and 4 top sizes. Yesterday I put on a pair of one of my brand new pants that were washed and accidentally dried (which is not good, because our dryer shrinks EVERYTHING). I amazingly got into these pants fine and they fit perfectly. There is progress! This is a great sign! It gives me hope. I know we tend to take too much stock on what our scales say, but inch loss is good as well. However, that being said, I NEED these pounds to go. I need to get it together. I keep saying it.

Snow snow go away…

I shouldn’t complain. I have followers in the hardest hit states right now dealing with unimaginable cold temperatures. We here in Whatcom County in Washington State just experienced a very very rare late winter snow dumping that stalled life as we know it. Sunday we started seeing snow accumulate at a fast pace. Before we knew it, parts of our county (including where I live) were under a foot of snow. We NEVER see that much snow here. Typically it’s 2-4 inches, but never a foot. My friend who lives more out in county saw 2 feet of snow. Unbelievable. While the kids loved it and were so excited to have snow days, us adults were scrambling on trying to decide if we go into work and brave the roads which were in horrible conditions. We’re talking snow drifts, poor visibility, no road visibility, ice, you name it. Tons of roll over accidents, tons of vehicles in ditches, and the worst I had heard of was several semis stuck on the road and going nowhere. Tons of semis in ditches, some roll-over accidents. You do not mess around in this type of weather. I begged and pleaded my boyfriend to return home early on Sunday night, he worked a shorter shift and left around 7pm as the roads were starting to get treacherous. He is from Wisconsin so this doesn’t faze him. I’m from California! It’s a national emergency to me, and he laughs. Everyone is different…

So I was stuck in the house until Wednesday afternoon. I wasn’t able to get to the gym until today. The sun is out and the snow is all about gone, but only to turn around and find out that we have another snow system moving in from Canada. Lovely. One minute they’re reporting it will be like last week, the next minute they’re saying it won’t be like last week. The weather models change so fast that I won’t even rely on them anymore. I just hope that this weather stops  with this snow stuff soon. We didn’t have much of a winter to begin with, so it hitting so late in the season is very strange. Typically we will get snow all the way into April but we’re talking a dusting here. Not a foot. Not even more than 3 inches.

Due to my neck injury I canceled my appointments with my weight loss doc and others, so I wasn’t able to get weighed last week. I drove in today for a weigh-in. Good news? I didn’t gain any weight. Bad news? I didn’t lose any weight either. I am at a standstill. I have literally lost 23 lbs in total since early October and we’re almost in March now.  I told the nurse that I was going to keep it real and admitted that I have NOT been following my low-carb plan at all for the past week or two. All this yo-yoing is making it hard to lose the weight and I do realize that. There are no excuses for it. The thing I am starting to realize is that maybe I need to stop with the high amount of protein they want me to ingest (because frankly, 135 grams at the very least per day, is far too much in my humble opinion). Carbs? I’m lucky if I can keep them under 60 grams a day. I’m seriously considering going to a nutritionist who is not affiliated with my weight loss doctor. I don’t like his “nutritionist” who is basically a nurse trained in bariatric surgery. I don’t care for the advice I am given, I don’t agree with protein shakes being the only saving grace for me, etc. I think a lot is being lost in translation as I went in originally doing a prep for weight loss surgery. Now that I have decided against the weight loss surgery, this diet does not make sense. I need someone who can steer me in the right direction because I feel like maybe I am sabotaging myself.  Please do not get me wrong, I do care. But sometimes I feel like what I have been doing is all for not, and I am not 100% on board with the nutrition plan they gave me in late October. Not anymore, anyhow. Something needs to change, and fast, but we are lacking nutritionists in this area. At least it seems like it.

A friend who is trained in fitness told me that I am possibly plateauing because of the exercise as well as being more active, but I just started exercising about 2 weeks ago. I would think that is too soon to build up muscle to the point of not showing a weight loss, would you? That being said, I love the gym. My problem is finding the time…so I am going to work out at work at our gym when I can when I am in office.

I recently went in with my boyfriend on a gym membership for my daughter for her birthday which is coming up soon. She will be 14 years old and will be in high school next year. She’s always mentioned how she wanted to work out, and loves the elliptical, so we bought her a gym membership and today she went and worked out with me. Her legs are hurting pretty good, needless to say, but I expected it as she was pushing herself way too hard and going too fast to begin with. I had to tell her to slow it down and ease into it.  We were only able to do a 20 minute workout because her father  was going to pick her up from my home for his parenting time. I got through my workout a bit more easier than I thought, but the last 5 minutes were tough. I decided to turn on the TV on my recumbent bike and watch it to keep my mind pre-occupied from the pain and it worked! Nothing like watching a bunch of idiots fighting on The Real Housewives of Atlanta to keep you working out and not paying attention to the pain! (Hey, it is a bad vice, I admit it, but I do love this show…)

Here’s to another great work out tomorrow…

Frustration

Dealing with frustration with my weight loss attempts…from constantly being sick to this neck injury that won’t go away, to my problems with staying on the low-carb bandwagon. I feel like the 20 pounds I have lost (last weigh-in was mid or late January) since late October aren’t enough to prove I have gotten far. I’m frustrated with having to answer to my health coach and set stupid goals, and frustrated in general about answering to anyone. I keep trying to tell myself that this is part of the weight loss plan, but it is hard to live up to sometimes.

Another thing that bugs me is when I am done working out on the recumbent bike and I hear “that’s it?” Seriously? For someone who hasn’t worked out in years, to get past 15 minutes doing cardio at this size is pretty damn good. I know they mean well, but I am not 130 lbs soaking wet. I can’t move my body in the ways that they can, and to assume that it is as easy for me as it is for them pisses me off. There is a lot of weight to be moved here, it isn’t as simple as working out for more than 20 minutes for me at this point. I have to build up to it. That being said, I feel like a complete failure this week as I have worked out once and that’s it. I was supposed to go to the gym today, however, I took too many muscle relaxers and pain meds last night so I am loopy, plus it is due to snow hard, and I am not comfortable driving in the snow especially with a bad neck. My boyfriend is working so that is not an option. What am I supposed to do?

The guilt of not being right or not staying on track is driving me insane. Something isn’t clicking for me at the moment and I know I need to, or 20 lbs will be all I see in terms of weight loss. I just want people off of my back and I need the willpower to know I can do this. I was so confident before, but being plagued with illness and now this neck injury makes me cranky and feeling like a failure. I have to start physical therapy for my neck as well, because this is happening far too often.

Nasty weather and an unforeseen setback

We are going through a deluge of extremely windy and wet weather here in Washington State. I know what you’re thinking…that’s news? Well, out here it is nothing new, but the winds are the worst I have encountered in a very long time. Gusts up to 60 mph, very large gusts of wind consistently blowing to the point where it sounds like my sliding deck door is going to blow right in. It’s rather unnerving, and I am not the kind of person who is unsettled by windy conditions, hell, I don’t mind driving in them, but this is for the birds. We’re also dealing with a deluge of rain, and when it’s windy, rain will go sideways and create havoc on the roads. From standing puddles of water to clogged gutters to zero visibility, it’s pretty scary out there. 

Now onto my setback. Remember my last blog entry? The Work Out Game? I felt so great, and so full of adrenaline. Then I woke up with very sore muscles the next day from choosing to go onto the circuit and lift weights that won’t allow you to go below 35 lbs. Can you see where I am going with this? So on Saturday I went for my deep tissue massage and I knew it would hurt. Went to the gym to work out and this time it was harder than I anticipated. The last 5 minutes of my 20 minute work out I really struggled through and hit a wall I never expected to hit. Sunday went okay, it was my rest day.

Fast forward to yesterday…woke up, nothing out of the norm. As I was putting make up on, I had this sharp shooting pain start at the base of my skull on the left side of my head. It shot all the way to the top of my head, centralized on the left side of my head. I couldn’t continue putting make-up on, and told my boyfriend I was hurting horribly. The next thing I knew my left arm felt numb. The first thing I thought to myself was, I am having a stroke. So I went ahead and looked up the symptoms and had my boyfriend do the FAST test on me. F= Face, A= Arms, S= Speech, T= Time. I passed them fine, but called my doctor immediately. It took a while for them to get back to me, but they got me in for an appointment. While we waited to drive to the doctor’s office, I lost balance and fell forward, on my knees. By this time I was damn near a panic attack stage, so I asked my boyfriend to keep me calm, and he did a great job. I was scared of what was going on with me.

We got to the doctor’s office and it wasn’t a stroke, but a pinched nerve in my neck. I have had neck problems and nerve problems in my neck in the past, but lifting those weights when I was not ready to is what caused me to end up with a pinched nerve. This is what lead to the numbness in my arm (and a little in my face) as well as the shooting pains in my head and the tenderness and pain in my neck and lack of range of motion in my head/neck. So now I am on a regimen of Methacarbomol, which is a muscle relaxer. I refuse to use Cyclobenzaprine, I have been on it in the past and it made life miserable. I hate muscle relaxers as it is. I am also on Vicodin for the pain. Neither are helping with the shooting pains in my head, but they sure do knock me out. I am working today but luckily from home. I cancelled all appointments for this week, including my weight loss check up, which is now extended out another month as my doctor is very booked. I will likely drop by there and get weighed for my own knowledge when I am feeling better. But I cannot drive and I am not taking the chance on that.

So now because of this, I am unable to get to the gym to even do the recumbent bike. It’s a lesson learned but such a let down. The health scare of a potential stroke was a frightening ordeal yesterday, and all I kept saying was “why?? I have been trying to do everything right, I am too young to have a stroke, it’s this goddamned weight”. Well, if anything, it just pushes me to continue to do what I have been doing. I am very disappointed in not being able to work out. I might be able to get a workout in on Friday and Saturday if I am feeling better. We shall see.

The Work Out Game

I am about 95% healthy now and doing great. Last Saturday I ran to the gym I signed up with to get my keyfob and had a short introductory work out on the recumbent bike for about 5 minutes. I went on Monday for my first work out and it was tough. 25 minutes on the recumbent bike, following instructions from my exercise doctor. 10 minute “warm up”, meaning that I am pedaling slow to get my legs going. It hurt bad at first and my calves started tensing up as if they were going to cramp. Once I got through that at the 10 minute mark, I got a second wind and extra needed burst of energy to start pushing myself to pedaling harder and faster (without resistance, per doctor’s orders). I made it to 17 minutes and had to get off of it as I hurt too much and just could not do anymore. I took a 1-2 minute break then got back on for another 2-3 minutes and that was all she wrote. For someone who is very inactive, I was proud of myself and I think I did well.

My orders are no more than 3x a week and 20-30 minutes on a recumbent bike only. She did not say anything about or against conditioning to tone myself up. Today I went to the gym for my 2nd workout for the week, and got my chair back into a good position where I wasn’t as scrunched up as last time. One of the hardest things is getting into the straps for the bicycles, it is so tricky. It’s almost a work-out in itself. Once I got into it, I noticed my legs had more ample room to start my warm up and this time, the warm up was not bad at all, and I made it to 20 minutes without a break and did well. After that I decided to start the circuit and do a couple of machines. I used to this at another gym years ago. WOW am I out of shape. I couldn’t even get 2 minutes worth of reps on each machine and my muscles in my arms are hurting good. I don’t want to push it too hard so I stopped when I noticed it was too much for me. 

Right now I am working on hydration and resting as my muscles are seeming to cramp up in my arms. This is not easy by far but it gives me such an adrenaline rush and I feel GREAT. Crazy what a good work out can do.

As for my low-carb, high protein diet, I have been beyond good, but bored on it. I am trying to find ways to spice things up on my menus. The amino acids I am taking help tremendously, but I am still dealing with cravings. I’m trying to substitute fibrous fruits for the starches (cake, etc) I have craved. However, last night I had a cupcake and I felt it immediately. The amount of sugar and carbs completely wrecked my stomach and that pain led all the way into this morning. It is with this realization that the changes in my life are finally working, but it’s also realizing that I cannot eat what I used to eat. If I am going to splurge, it will have to be a small bite, instead of an entire cupcake or an entire piece of cake or an entire brownie, etc. 

I am feeling pretty good right about now.