8 week health check-in

124 health check inI have been going to the gym for 8 weeks now, although with all the missed days due to illness or Thanksgiving break, it’s really more like 7 total weeks. Overall I have lost 27.25 inches off the 12 points I measure (neck, chest, chest+breasts, natural waist line, belly button, hips, upper arms, mid arms, lower arms, upper thighs, lower thighs, calves) and 4 total pounds. I haven’t changed my diet any, and I didn’t really hold back at all on Thanksgiving foods that week either.

I tried on those pants from the before photos over the weekend and they are so loose, y’all. I am down to regular size clothes in the next size down (from last month) and some of the super big ones from the size below that (which is funny because some of the super small in my current size are still too small. Oh the joys of size variety across brands). I emptied a new box out on the bed today and everything in it fit fairly well. This was a small box because I took the top half out just before Thanksgiving, trying to find a cute Thanksgiving outfit. Things in the next size down box are those that currently can fit onto my body, but I can’t move around much in them. So I started this effort with five boxes of clothes going from the biggest I ever was (back in September) going all the way to the size I was when I had David (17 years ago). I am two boxes down, with three left to go.

So I’m going to continue on in the gym, but I’m going to focus a lot more on my waist area, if that’s even possibly a thing (it must be). In January after the crazy eating month is over and hopefully we can start getting salads again (I haven’t been able to find one in the last two and a half weeks except at Dairy Queen, who gave me a chopped ice berg lettuce salad), I plan on tweaking my eating and maybe come up with a plan I can stick with. 🙂

Okay, that’s enough rambling about that. Y’all have a happy day!

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Another gym time update

Another two weeks have gone by. I have missed the gym twice because I was sick, coughing too hard to walk to the bathroom, much less on a treadmill.

I made some friends at the gym, a retired paramedic and her daughter. They come every weekday like I do, but they do their schedule differently than I do. I’ve been following theirs as much as I can do for the last 6 times I’ve been to the gym. They do an extended cardio every day (which I don’t because I get tired too fast) and also several ab/thigh machines every day (I have followed their lead here and it has paid off!). They are larger ladies than I am, but they are also so very much stronger than I am. The paramedic lady makes sure we are on-point with our posture and form, and is a good cheerleader for me and her daughter.

I am up three pounds, which is…what it is. I have been eating some Halloween candy, a habit I need to break. Other measurements are going better: I have lost an inch and a quarter off my chest, an inch and 3/4 off my upper waist, two and a 3/4 off my waist, 1/4 inch off my lower arm, 1/8 inch off my wrist, an inch off my upper thigh, and 1/4 inch off my ankle. Everything else remained the same. I plan on doing this update every second week until I hit my health goals, in case you are wondering.

Today I am not making it to the gym because I have two PTA/school events, a health coach phone call with my insurance company, a sick kid at home to care for, and more writing to do. I will try to get my cardio in this evening while I watch TV instead and will be back at the gym first thing tomorrow morning. 🙂

Gym Time Update

I have been to the gym every day except one in the last two weeks. That one day I had PTA stuff in the morning and then the computer died. I ended up cycling on my little floor-pedaling-machine thing for awhile in the evening instead (the kids thought that was hilarious).

So today is measurement day. I weigh about 9 pounds less than I did before, have lost 3 inches in my waist and a quarter of an inch just about everywhere else worth measuring.

I have been slowly ooching up on my weights on the machines and upping my time on the treadmill and have added some recumbent biking on my cardio days.

It is going well. 🙂

Health update for the blog

I realized that ages ago I said there would be a health update for the blogland people and I never got around to it (FB and real life friends bear with me).

So I have a lot of health issues going on right now. I’m going to post by condition:

  1. RA/Fibro: things are pretty even keel right now, which is fantastic!
  2. Migraines: apparently they are good right now, too, which is unexpected*.
  3. Anxiety/Depression: no worse than usual.
  4. Vasospasms: these are new. I thought they were migraines* at first, which delayed treatment for a long, long time. I’ve been having these weird episodes for 6+ years and one of my neurologists decided they were just another weird form of migraine, so that’s what we’ve been treating them as. I got a new neurologist and he says that this is not migraine-related, it’s a heart/brain condition that people usually get after they have a stroke. It’s a low-blood-flow-to-the-brain thing. In any case, I was put on a new medicine a month and a half ago and it was pretty terrible at first, I’m not gonna lie. It has finally started to calm down this last week or so after a month and a half of not being able to do much more than keep up with taking kids to school, laundry, and dishes. I feel like I have fallen out of my life and ended up here in this weird world where I just take care of myself and am not being a proper human.
  5. Thyroid issues: another new thing for me that might turn out to be an old thing. I’ve been having trouble swallowing off and on for many years. It feels like there’s a lump in there that I just can’t swallow past. It gets worse in allergy season when I have drainage issues, so the doctor really thought it was just that. But it wasn’t. Another doctor thought he felt a lump in there a couple weeks ago, so I had an ultrasound last week, and it turned out to be one large nodule and 5 smaller cysts of various kinds. The nodule is located in a place to be snuggled up against the big artery that connects *surprise, surprise* my heart to my brain, so there may be a connection with the vasospasms there. I am waiting to see what the endocrinologist says (once they call me about an appointment date).

 

That’s it for now. Let me know if you want any of that explained further and I’ll do so in the comments. 🙂

Getting my health back on track

Last month when I saw the neurologist one of the things he told me was that I should be exercising more in my daily regular life, that exercise would help my brain get more blood and more blood is better, and so I should do it. (Did I ever finish blogging about that? If not, maybe I will next week. Life has been so weird lately) So last week I saw the rheumatologist and mentioned it to him and he said he was only limiting my exercise because I had so much pain and my hip was not good, but if I was feeling physically better in my hip, I could start exercising again.

So this morning I got up and re-joined the gym. I’m back at Planet Fitness because a) it is close by and b) it is a known substance. I made my way around the gym, discovered that I am the weakest person on earth, did the treadmill, and came on home. Whew, am I tired! But good tired, right? Yes. I will stick with that.

My plan is to go daily on weekdays and just skip the weekends altogether. Monday is Arm Day, Tuesday is Cardio, Wednesday is Core Body (abs, back, chest), Thursday is another Cardio, and Friday is Leg Day.

Last Day of Effexor, Last Day of Therapy

So today is two big lasts: my last day being on Effexor and my last day of going to mental health therapy. It was completely random that they coincided like this.

 

So far, the drug transition has gone pretty well. I’m on week two of three. I see my regular doctor on Thursday about everything, but I think it’s gone pretty well. I had a few bad days and a few really good ones and several in between.

 

The therapy went really well, too. I’ve learned a lot more about myself and what I want and how to get there from here. My therapist was really great to work with and asked a lot of good questions that honestly if I’d been self-help-booking it I would have just glossed over and not answered. It’s important for me to have someone there looking at me waiting for an answer before my brain will provide me with one.

 

I have spent the last two weeks mostly avoiding the world, though. I haven’t done any writing at all (though plenty of daydreaming), or paying much attention to the calendar (sorry I missed a few things), and am at the whoa-nuke-my-email-inbox-and-start-over stage of emailing. Thankfully nearly all important things are texted or FB messaged these days. So if you’ve been waiting for an email response from me…well, try again through another method because I have totally just been deleting everything these days.

What else? This afternoon I start writing actual words again. Tonight I’ll work on a therapist-suggested daily schedule for writing/housework/hobbies. I’m also outlining a new chores/consequences schedule for the kids, since they have not been motivated by rewards (also therapist-suggested). Tomorrow I’ll put all that into motion.

I think that’s it. Whee! On to the writing….

Transitioning from Effexor to Trintellix

As most of you know, I deal with both depression and anxiety disorder in my daily life. I’ve been on and off meds for them since I was about 16. The drug that worked the best and for the longest has been, up until recently, Effexor. It has reached the failure point, though. I keep going up on dosage and nothing happens.

So my doctors decided it was time to get me off the Effexor. I’ve gone off it once before, years and years ago, before they knew quite what an ordeal it was. I went off it basically cold-turkey then and spent several weeks thinking I was going crazy and writing poems about pain and darkness. It was delightful, really.

Now that the drug is not new, there’s a protocol for going off it and I am following that protocol. I started this week going down a notch on it and started taking the starting dose of my new medicine Trintellix alongside it.

Day One: Euphoria. It was like I was Harry Potter and I’d just taken the Felix Felicis potion. I could do no wrong. Everything felt right and good. I did a couple doctor visits, all the laundry, and the dishes. Got it all done quick and easily with energy to spare.

Day Two: The Utter Blackness of Despair. It started even before I’d properly woken up, that feeling of doubt so deep that even moving my foot to start getting out of the bed felt like I was making the worst decision of my life. My brain was telling me all the bad things that could go wrong every second of the whole day and reminding me of every mistake I have ever made. In addition to that loveliness, I felt like my blood had all been taken out and replaced with Listerine or Icy Hot. I was literally writhing in discomfort all day. I mostly wallowed around feeling awful, but did manage to get a few necessary things done, like calling and cancelling all those things we never use, like my gym membership, magazine subscriptions, etc.

Day Three: Seems to be a little bit of a combination of day one and two. I’m back to feeling a bit euphoric, like it might be a really good idea to drive to Frisco and shop at IKEA this afternoon before driving back home and picking up kids, but tempered by the brain whispers telling me that I need to have money in the bank to shop and that IKEA takes way longer than 90 minutes. So since I seem to have motivation again, I am spending the day writing and getting some random housework done before getting started on a cross-stitching project of the Star Wars logo.

 

Phase One: Done!

I am done with Phase One of my diet.

Phase One: Complete!

Before and After Phase One

Measurements:

Weight: -5 lbs

Neck: -.5 inch

Arms: -.15 inches

Waist: -4 inches

Hips: the same

Thighs: -.5 inch

PROGRESS!! WOO HOO!!

High point of the week

After a couple days of being the crankiest woman on earth (so hungry, so tired of these 20 foods in phase one), I noticed this morning that my jacket fit so much better. A week ago, I was having trouble getting it to zip and was worried I’d have to get a new one. So I measured myself…and I’m down 5 inches at the waist! *doing a happy dance* More measurements tomorrow when I start Phase 2.

Back to the Healthiness!

So here’s what I’ve been up to since my surgery: sitting on the couch, resting, eating, resting, more eating, more sitting, more resting.I’ve gained back all the weight I lost in the fall and then some.

Sunday I bought the book The 20/20 Diet by Dr. Phil. The book is chock full of information on getting down to the why’s behind why you eat and exercise the way you do…and why it’s all not working for you. There’s a diet and exercise plan to follow. The meals seem super easy to make and don’t require too many weird ingredients (though I haven’t found rye pasta yet in a real store). The exercise plan is similar to what we do at Curves to keep our heart rate up in between using the machines for resistance training, so that’s all good to.

Yesterday I started the food plan. The first five days you have a combination of just 20 ingredients for foods. It’s to help you get past the sugar and carbs cravings, it says. I ate pretty well yesterday. You eat every four hours and I only started getting munchy the last 30 minutes or so until my next meal. If you eat slowly and pay attention to the food, it goes really well. I had one meal that I ate too fast and that’s where I got the hungriest in between.

I woke up today and felt pretty good. Starving beyond words, but not weak or headachy like I thought I might have been (there’s very little caffeine in this plan). I had my breakfast and went off to the gym for the first time in over 6 weeks. It went pretty well, but I was shaky before Zumba started, so I didn’t stay for that this time. I’m hoping to stay for it on Thursday. (My gym has changed hours, though, and I’ll no longer be able to work out on Wednesdays. 😦 )

Anyway, I’m excited to get back in the swing of things again. I think this will be good for me. Most of the foods on the diet are things I like, or at least don’t hate. The exercise plan is close to what I’m already planning to do. I won’t say it will be easy, but it is looking like something I can follow through with.