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The long road to recovery

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I tore my rotator cuff while snowboarding (on ice, of course) at the end of March. They cut it open and repaired it at the beginning of May.

I did PT April - September. By the time they discharged me from PT in September both arms were at half the strength of the uninjured one in March.

I wasn't even allowed to kayak on rivers again until October. I didn't start really being able to do tricep dips and pushups until this month (December).

This kind of thing can really affect body composition.

I have been in my happy weight range twice recently in my life. I'll pick the low points for comparison:

Feb 21, 2010
Trend Weight 155.55 lbs
Trend Lean Mass 129.1 lbs
Trend Body Fat 26.48 lbs (18.09%)

June 18, 2011
Trend Weight 158.98 lbs
Trend Lean Mass 116.79 lbs
Trend Body Fat 40.84 lbs (25.59%)

The difference here wasn't so much diet as it was exercise. I was doing my normal combination of strength and cardio leading up to Feb 2010. In June 2011 I was 6 weeks out from rotator cuff surgery and 12 weeks out from the injury (less cardio and all of the upper body strength training had stopped).

In both cases I was eating about 45% of my nutrients in protein, 45% in carbs (veggies & fiber), and about 10% in fat. If I'd been eating less protein I suspect my lean mass would have been less.

And just for fun, here's today:

Dec 15, 2011
Trend Weight 160.4 lbs
Trend Lean Mass 122.9 lbs
Trend Body Fat 36.74 lbs (23.41%)

I'm getting back there. It's a long road to recovery.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOATER_CHICK 12/20/2011 8:51PM

    I think that you are very fit! You rock!

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WATERMELLEN 12/15/2011 6:01PM

    Amazing numbers. And: really brings home . . . . it's not just about the pounds or the sizes, it's about the fitness and body composition.

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TRAVELNISTA 12/15/2011 4:42PM

    I think you are doing emoticon emoticon

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BREWMASTERBILL 12/15/2011 4:19PM

    Very fit soon??? I'd say you're very fit NOW! I don't remember if I knew how tall you were, but unless you're like 6 ft or taller, your current composition is pretty impressive ... 'specially for a gurl! Congratulations and keep up the good werk.

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WALIDGAZALA 12/15/2011 9:44AM

You should be fit very soon

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So close back to my legitimate goal range in terms of the moving average that I can taste it.

Monday, December 05, 2011

This has been a rough year for me.

I was all set to get back into kayaking for my second season and then tore my rotator cuff snowboarding at the end of March.

I had hopes that PT would fix it, and set a goal of getting back into goal range, with a new boat as a reward. I worked hard at it.

Unfortunately the shoulder ended up requiring surgery, which happened in May.

I got back to goal range in late June. There was no point in getting the boat since my arm was still in a sling. I was unhappy about not being able to kayak. I gained 20 lbs back over July and August, feeling sorry for myself and indulging in food.

And then I spent Sept, Oct, and Nov getting it back off again. Which was not easy.

Now I'm just about back down to my legitimate goal range (in terms of my moving average weight).

Here's a graph showing this sordid tale:

You can see it full-size here:

The red line is my daily scale weights. The blue line is the moving average, that smooths out the fluctuations.

And I did eventually get that boat.

So here we are. I wanted so badly to be back here, and now it's kind of anticlimactic, actually. I mean don't get me wrong - I'm glad and it's a relief. But I still have cravings and the Food Season temptations are still posing a threat. And I'm looking down the loaded barrel of Shark Week, which doesn't help.

I'll get there. And I'll hang onto it long enough to enjoy my kayaking trip to Costa Rica where I'll tackle those tropical class III and IV rivers. And if all goes well I'll hang onto it beyond that, happily ever after, into the sunset.

And hopefully, if all goes according to plan with my strength training and high protein diet, I'll drop more body fat and put on more muscle. So I'll have a high strength to weight ratio and be able to do all kinds of Fun Stuff that takes a lot of explosive strength and endurance. Like eventually learning to do fun things in my playboat kayak.

Like this:
and this:
and this:

With the help of my friends on the At Goal and Maintaining team teams.sparkpeople.com/maintaining and with the help of our maintenance challenges, and sticking to tracking on my iphone www.loseit.com/ I think I can do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 12/9/2011 8:45PM

    Anticlimactic? I get that. Maintaining is so much harder than losing . . . because the cravings just don't go away. Ever. Not for smoking, not for potato chips, not for . . . hmmm.

Fortunately we only have to hold onto it for about 20 minutes at a time and then the cravings fade.


Till next time.

Twenty minutes more!!

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KAYOTIC 12/6/2011 7:28PM

    Congrats on the challenge, and getting back into your range (almost!) I'm right there with you! This maintaining stuff is hard...and everlasting, but worth it.

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ANDALEX 12/5/2011 6:31PM

    you've got the right approach: dogged determination. your journey and your motivation are an inspiration to me. thank you!

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    That's a pretty tight range.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/5/2011 6:14PM

    I'm aiming for less than 3% swings in either direction... LOL

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    It also seems like you're getting this maintenance thing down. I was cherry picking data ranges and the volatility of gain/loss over the last couple of years has tightened. If you think about it, you went from 100 pound swings in the course of a year or two, now you're probably around 40 pound swings. Stands to reason that the 40 pound swings might turn to 30, 20, 10 as you learn to manage this better and better. I enjoy watching you succeed.

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According to RealAge I'm 40

Friday, November 25, 2011

I got this tradition from Don. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.as

Every year he goes to RealAge.com to see what his "biological" age is.

I did it for this year:

2011 40.5

Here are some past years:

2009 38.6
2008 46.1

My actual chronological age? 46 as of Tuesday.

While it's sad to see my "virtual" age increase now that I'm in maintenance mode, it's still nice to know that I'm 6 years "younger" than my physical self.

I think I like the answer my scale gives, better. "26." LOL

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/9/2013 6:47AM


LOL of course I wouldn't believe these results over a medical opinion. Good lord, what an assertion. They are just for fun!


Yep, I've got those records too, and they tell a very nice story! ;-)

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STRIVERONE 11/8/2013 9:29PM

    Ten minutes at the keyboard gave me ten+ years. If that assessment is only 50% accurate, I'll still be happy.

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LILY_SPARK 11/8/2013 2:41PM

    Nothing beats great, accurate blood panels BUT since you're doing this with some consistency -- and if the questions aren't changing -- it sounds like you're making healthy changes. Congratulations!

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HOUNDLOVER1 11/8/2013 12:24PM

    I did the test and was not very impressed. The way it is set up it missed a lot of critical information and missed both good and bad in my medical history. I would not rely on this. Better to talk to a knowledgeable doctor and get a thorough medical history.

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TAMIPCHICAGO 11/30/2011 4:35PM

    Not sure how accurate the "real age" site is. I took the long, long test, lol, and answered everything as truthfully as possible, and they said I have a real age of 55.8. I'm going to be 50 in a few months, and while being older than my chronological age isn't a good thing, I am certainly in a lot worse shape than what they think. LOL

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KAYOTIC 11/28/2011 7:02PM

    That's awesome! Great results!

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KHAYNES_WDE 11/28/2011 5:27PM


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DDOORN 11/27/2011 8:58AM

    Very cool GIFT to yourself! I was going to suggest you check this out since I was late to your birthday celebrations...but you beat me to it! :-)

You have so MUCH for which to be grateful this year! I don't know anyone that's been harder yet kinder to one's body than you!


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MOBYCARP 11/26/2011 9:15PM

    It gave me 49.1, compared to my real age of 55.9. I think the last time I looked, it gave me a real age of 58 or so.

I did have to use blood work results from Feb 2011. I suspect my cholesterol numbers would be better now.

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VARMINT3 11/26/2011 4:00PM

    I did this and my results are so much better than the last time I did it - 4.1 years younger than my real age - in fact, i think my real age now might be the same as it was then & it was a few years ago LOL! I give props to exercise - running and walking - really helped my numbers emoticon

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CARRIE1948 11/26/2011 8:22AM

    Way to go!

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WATERMELLEN 11/25/2011 8:17PM

    That's great to be 6 years younger!

Doing that right stuff has the right effect . . .

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FISHPOND7 11/25/2011 12:13PM

    Actually, that RealAge can be a real boost, or a good reminder to step up to the plate and start handling some issues. I'm 68 and my RealAge is 59.7. It's gotta be the rowing that helps! Keep up the good work on your kayaking; it'll keep you young.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/25/2011 11:08AM


It's a lot of questions, but one nice thing is that they save your past answers so next time you come in you can just change the things that are different.

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BREWMASTERBILL 11/25/2011 10:49AM

    I gotta say, this sounded intriguing, but I guess I didn't have the stamina or patience or whatever to complete the survey.

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Woo Hoo, back in my Happy Range! I've earned my NEW BOAT!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My current maintenance "goal" weight is 155, with +/- 3% range around it.
(150.4 - 159.7) It's here that my body fat usually settles down to around 20% or below.


It'll take my moving average tracker a few days to catch up which is why my ticker doesn't show it, but YAY. I'm going to have my happy strength to weight ratio back. Where I can really DO things.

It's funny how much the difference in athletic performance can be, between me at 165 and me at 160 and me at 155. In my goal range my body can do almost anything I ask it to. I have markedly better strength, agility, and flexibility and I can propel myself much more effectively (on a bike, in a kayak, on XC skis, etc.)

I got there this summer and vowed I'd get a new boat when it happened.

But I'd torn my rotator cuff and couldn't kayak so I deferred the reward.

And then I gained 20 pounds in two months.

And then I worked hard to get it back off. Because that's what you do, when you never, Ever, EVER give up.

And then they had the boat I wanted (including the COLOR I wanted) on sale last month and I was close enough so I went ahead and bought it, anticipating I'd get here.

And yeah, I've already been using it.

But now that baby is really MINE. ALL MINE.

And to be able to keep fitting in it and using it I'll HAVE to stay here!

I ALSO got to wear one of my new Buffs as a reward and this really WAS the first time I got to use it. Here I am wearing it, this morning, after doing the exercise class sampler at the local Y

For more information about Buffs, see here:
I like them as rewards because they're relatively inexpensive, fun to wear while working out to catch the sweat, and they come in all kinds of colors and patterns.

I buy them in batches and then use them as rewards for staying within my happy range.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZIRCADIA 12/1/2011 2:31PM


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ANDALEX 11/25/2011 10:48PM

    yayy! congrats on achieving your goals! i like your reward system--good ideas!

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REDSHOES2011 11/24/2011 11:26PM

    emoticon emoticonWell done!

Comment edited on: 11/24/2011 11:26:59 PM

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DDOORN 11/24/2011 11:22PM

    How well earned and deserved! Looking mighty fine! :-)


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WATERMELLEN 11/24/2011 8:29PM

    YAY YOU!!

You look great: positively glowing!

I'm a great believer in bribery and rewards: they work. And you've earned it!

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SEPPIESUSAN 11/24/2011 12:04PM

    Congrats! I can't wait to be back at a weight like yours!

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ETMMEM 11/24/2011 11:27AM

    emoticon emoticon

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THOMS1 11/24/2011 10:09AM


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SALSIFY 11/24/2011 9:52AM

    Never ever ever give up.


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JOAN_HEO 11/24/2011 9:38AM

    Congratulations!!!!! Enjoy your new "wheels"!

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GEE-KNEE 11/24/2011 9:02AM

    Woo Hoo! Enjoy that boat!

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Look, Ma, no paddle!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Remember when I posted my first kayak rolling videos two years ago? With a paddle?

September 2009

A roll on one side

October 2009

Rolling on both sides

Well, now I can do it in one of my own boats with NO PADDLE! And here's proof!

Did I mention I spent almost all of the 2011 season out of a boat, recovering from rotator cuff surgery? That I wasn't even cleared to boat in rivers again until the beginning of October?

That arm in the water, doing most of the bracing at the end of the roll? THAT is the one that was chopped in May.

Good job, Drs. Maloney (surgeon) and Huson (PT).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOAN_HEO 4/18/2012 2:49PM

    Fantastic!!!!!! Congratulations!

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PATTILYNN224 11/22/2011 1:25PM

    I didn't know that was possible. I thought that was one of the paddles jobs in kayaking. Pretty neat. Glad you've healed well. :)

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KHAYNES_WDE 11/21/2011 11:15AM


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SNOWHIT 11/20/2011 11:03AM

    Congratulations! Learning to roll a kayak (even with a paddle) is on the lsit of things I'd like to learn to do. I didn't even know it was possible without a paddle.

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KAYOTIC 11/19/2011 6:33PM


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ANDALEX 11/18/2011 9:32PM

    that is so freakin' awesome!!!!!!!

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TRAVELNISTA 11/18/2011 2:35PM

    You are doing emoticon

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BOATER_CHICK 11/18/2011 12:03PM

    Wohoo!!! So exciting! I can't wait to get back in my boat and hit some pool sessions so I can get my hand roll too! emoticon

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DDOORN 11/18/2011 8:39AM

    Amazing stuff! Next thing you know you'll be bringing your kayak performance to the high wire...lol! :-)


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