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. 

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.

“I’ve only known you as a big person”

These are the words that came out of my daughter’s mouth yesterday as we were discussing my weight loss and everything I am doing. It wasn’t a dig, it was just an observation and an awe-inspiring moment with my daughter. All her life all she has known me has been as a big woman, from the moment she was born. To see me lose more weight, and to see me get down at least 100 pounds is going to be different for all of us involved. That is the goal…I’m down 20 pounds. Well, 23, but I’ll say 20 as those 3 were gained early on, so 80 lbs to go. I will get there.

Today I have been feeling slightly better, until a coughing fit hit me. I am pretty sure it’s all sinus related. I had an acupuncture session yesterday that really opened up my channels to my sinuses and helped tremendously. I went into the office with massive pressure and pain on my left side, and left the office open and clear and feeling relief. It’s amazing what acupuncture will do. I am a true believer of acupuncture. I feel like it is the only thing that has truly helped open my sinuses and helped with my migraines. 

So today I went out and got quite a bit done, even though I had originally planned to stay at home. I took my daughter for a haircut, took her shopping for some clothes, went shopping for a new bed for her, went to my new gym and picked up my keyfob and even got a 5 minute work-out in with the owner. I definitely felt it but I am so pumped. I received so much support from the owner and am really excited to begin working out. I also found out what times were dead and hopefully I can make it work out, I will and there is no excuse to keep me back, short of sickness, of course. I’m still coughing pretty good and I don’t know what to do to stop it. We’re doing Mucinex D now that Sudafed Maximum Strength stopped working. Argh. All three of us have a nasal thing going on.

Good and bad news

Good news first? I finally signed up with a gym. Bad news? I haven’t worked out yet. Signed up on Saturday, which proved to be a busy day. Was stood up by a friend who was to meet me for coffee. Later on told that she thought we were getting together on Sunday. I roll my eyes because this isn’t the first time it has happened. It will be the last. I am tired of trying, and find myself facing this with 80% of my “friends” (mostly former colleagues) who whine about how they miss me, only to bail on me or not show up at all when we make plans. I can’t stand flaky people.

But I digress.

More bad news. I think the crud is coming back. I woke up feeling really icky, it started last night after the Superbowl ended. My friend brought her German Shepard over, but I am not allergic to dogs, and I don’t have a problem with pet dander, and her dog is well groomed (despite her being a total furbeast! But I do love my niece, yes, I call her my niece). I woke up with a ton of sinus pressure and sore throat and coughing. So yeah, the crud is back. I am on Mucinex, Zyrtec, and used my Astepro nasal spray to combat this. So far no relief except for a icky woozy feeling. I have also had to use my rescue inhaler, which is a steroid – Symbicort. When my allergies kick up, so does the asthma I just developed a year and a half ago. I am dreading Spring and the grass pollen I am allergic to, but I am having issues with breathing now, so Symbicort had to be used, and helped immediately. I originally was on Qvar, but I don’t find it helps as much as Symbicort does, so I have to talk to my allergist about that.

Between feeling sick and trying to stay on the plan and path to committed weight loss, I am starting to feel overwhelmed as my work duties and work load have just gotten a bit more intense, with trainings and new responsibilities (which I am glad to take on, because monotony kills me). I am concerned about what time will be left for me to work out, when I will work out, and if I will be able to use the recumbent bike. I opted for a gym in my town with a small amount of recumbent bikes, because I simply do not want to drive out of my way to work out. I hope I can get a momentum going because right now I am completely overwhelmed with everything. Things never slow down in my life, it’s par for the course.

Life is slowing returning back to normal…at least health-wise

I am almost over this nasty crud. I am still coughing up gunk and coughing, but not as much. I am constantly clearing my throat. Now that I am feeling better, I am doing more and able to get back on the low-carb bandwagon. It has been rough, obviously, with some days better than others. For example, my appetite was completely out of control yesterday, I couldn’t stop eating, I was so hungry. Today I am the opposite. I have had to force myself to eat because I have not been hungry. It’s a vicious cycle.

On Friday I went to my weight loss doctor and had my exercise assessment done. I lost TWO pounds despite the holidays and my sickness! Color me surprised. That being said, it was a relief. My visit with my doctor went well, and he has mentioned (like before) about me using Phentermine to prevent my appetite from getting out of control. As of now I do not have that problem, but I am leery about using that type of product. As it is I am already on Topamax for depression (which he knows) and it suppresses the appetite. I have also started a regimen of Amino Acids called Neuro Replete to help with the cravings. Something else I will be purchasing is Bilberry loose leaf tea to help with that as well.

My exercise assessment went very well, and I was told how to breathe when exercising, and what I should do. What I will be doing is using a recumbent bike at a local gym (which is a tough search, I will go into detail shortly), no more than 3x a week for 20-30 minutes each time. She explained to me that a “Warm up” is not stretching, but slowing easing into the exercise. My concern is trying to remember to do the breathing while exercising. Right now I need to be more concerned about finding a gym that has more than 3 recumbent bikes. I want to work out locally, but I live in a small town and two of the three major gyms here have 2-3 recumbent bikes. The one gym that has 3 has reviews that the recumbent bikes are always in use and it’s a 45 minute-1 hour wait to use one and there’s no time limit for someone to use it. I don’t want to spend money on annual fees and sign up fees and a monthly fee to find out I cannot use a recumbent bike. If I decide to go with this gym I don’t have to sign a contract, but I have to pay that annual fee, which is ridiculous, and it won’t be refunded. I really don’t want to drive out of my way to go work out, but there are bigger gyms in the bigger city by me. It might be something I might have to take into consideration. I need to come up with a solution fast, as I have a check up with her on the 21st of next month.

So things are moving. Right now too slowly for me, but it has been very busy since I have started feeling better, and I haven’t been pacing myself well enough, because I am still very tired. I’m sleeping a LOT, but it doesn’t feel like it is enough.