Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Literally the next morning after my last blog entry, I woke up with the horrible pain in my abdomen. I made it to school and was waiting in the hallway for my teacher to get there, as I'm more often than not about an hour early for class. However, the pain kept getting worse and I put my sunglasses on to hide the tears. For the most part, my classmates kept teasing me to wake up (apparently wearing sunglasses indoors means you're asleep) until the one who happened to be directly in front of me noticed the tears coming out from behind the lenses. One thing led to another, teachers started making phone calls, and before I knew it I was in an ambulance being taken to the ER. Mind you, my concern wasn't so much the pain, as it was the fact that it was less than 2 weeks till the end of the semester and I was about to miss both my classes that day, potentially the class the next day, and I had a project due for that next day class. The stone, as it turned out, hadn't actually passed and I had no signs of infection. However, it was in a position where it was causing the pain and discomfort, and while I was given the option of holding off on surgery and being released with pain meds, the surgeon who came to discuss this with me pointed out that I'd had the pain the day before as well as that day and she wouldn't have been surprised if I wound up right back in the ER the next day anyway. I figured I'm already there, I already had an IV in my arm, and while I did miss classes, I only missed one of each class, so unless something huge was announced in one of those sessions, I wasn't gonna fall too far behind. So I had the surgery to remove the stone and gallbladder. I was starving when I went in, and I was starving when I came to in recovery. They kept telling me that I couldn't eat for at least an hour due to the anesthesia, and I learned the hard way why that was when I had maybe 2 sips of cranberry juice and went all exorcist on them about 10 minutes later.
All in all, everything is now better with me. I've since been cleared by all doctors to return to my normal routine and exercise, building my way back up slowly of course. My sister just this past weekend was in the hospital for a similar reason; evidently she has a stone and it passed, only it was stuck in the connection between the gallbladder and her pancreas, leading to pancreatitis. She was released sunday morning and thus was able to spend her first real mother's day as a mom with her baby, but will have to see her doctor in a few weeks and a surgeon in about a month for her surgery.
So much fun for this family! All is okay though, as I said. My sister's on a strict diet due to her situation, and I'm back to normal, although I've discovered that food passes through my system a bit quicker now, so I'm hungrier more often and when I have to go to the bathroom I really have to go. That said, I'm apparently still losing weight, even though I'm not entirely trying. Good perk to having had my gallbladder removed? I suppose so. I have to admit I feel much healthier now, with the exception of the current head cold I'm fighting. Without thinking about it I've also drastically changed my diet to healthier fare (I have a newfound craving for salads, it seems)
NOW I can get back to work on this!
Note: I managed to finish out those classes well, the project I'd had to turn in late got a 100, and my final projects that I was stressing so much over both got 99's :) No news on final grades yet, but I may have pulled off 3 A's and a B, potentially all A's though
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Alright, since my last post, I was attacked with school project after project. Clearly, that meant I couldn't update this as frequently as I would have liked. For the most part, my time has been pretty uneventful. I kept up with my regular exercise and started a training program from a site called WorkoutBOX. Basically for 6 months, I'm given a new routine each month with repetition and set variations weekly so that my body can't "get used" to any specific workout. Everything was going great until Easter sunday, when I woke up with a fever and sore throat. I took that week off to recuperate and intended to return to the gym the following week. Unfortunately, that following week, I had a very strange pain in my throat. Aside from that pain, I had no symptoms- no cough, no hoarseness to my voice, no phlegm/sinus issues, nothing. Except pain. I went for a short walk to see if the pain would interfere with anything, and it made inhaling hurt but only a little bit, though just enough to keep me paranoid and I again stayed away from working out although I did make a more concerted effort to eat clean so that I wouldn't regain any weight. Come to find out, even my doctor couldn't figure out why there was pain because I tested negative for both mono and strep, though what little symptoms there were would imply I had mono. In any case, I got antibiotics, everything went peachy, and I returned today to the gym.
I planned to start off slow, to get myself back to the point I was at prior to getting sick, so instead of my usual elliptical deal, I chose to walk things out on the treadmill. About 15 minutes into it, I felt a sharp pain on the right side of my abdomen, just under my ribs. I drank water, thinking it was a side stitch from the exercise; I'd had plenty of those before as a dancer, so I didn't think too much of it. Water and just a little slower pace and all would be well, right? Right?! No, not so much... The pain slowly got worse and I lasted just under 30 minutes total before I decided I couldn't work through it after all. Made a phone call, met with a doctor, and long story short I now have an appointment friday morning with a surgeon to see about having my gall stone(s) removed. That I know of I only have one stone, but there could be more, I suppose.
With all that said, I'm taking it easy in terms of exercise. I'd rather not make things worse by exerting myself too much, so until I know more, I'm sticking to walking only. Because of my effort to keep my diet in check, I thankfully managed to not only maintain my weight loss, but continue it. At my last weigh-in I had lost a total of 7 lbs. and I managed to lose another 2 since then. Again, my weight loss may be slow going, but the point is that it's going.
I've got this. My health is important enough to make every effort I possibly can to keep it in check. So far so good, thankfully
Sunday, March 10, 2013
I'm still around. You know how you're driving and all of a sudden you come across a few potholes and you find yourself either swerving around them meticulously in an effort to avoid hurting the car, or you drive right over them and semi hate yourself for it? Well I'm apparently in swerve mode. About a week and a half ago, I had a full ultrasound of the abdomen to determine what issues I'm having that's causing my liver functions to go haywire. As it turns out, I do have fatty liver (which I didn't want but I expected it after the initial blood tests) and I also have gallstones. THAT was something I wasn't exactly prepared to hear. I know it's not a huge thing unless there's an infection, and I know the surgery is generally an outpatient deal, but even so. In any case, call it a bad case of hypochondria (my bf calls it as such) or just extremely weird coincidence (my theory), but a few days after finding out those results, I woke up with a severe pain in my upper right side, near my ribcage. The pain had me so paranoid that I scheduled a last minute doctor's appointment to check it out and make sure everything's okay. Long story short, it very well could be a stone issue, but more than likely it was intestinal.
For some inexplicable reason, last sunday I had a hugely intense craving for macaroni and cheese. I had a tiny microwavable easy mac for lunch, only I wanted more of the stuff, so I sent the boyfriend to the store (I was getting over a slight head cold so me going outside wasn't wise) and he got a box of the stuff. I wound up having 2 bowls worth, PLUS bread. Super carb binge. I wasn't depriving myself of carbs, I'm not following a low carb diet or anything, but I hadn't had them in a while. The next morning was when I felt that pain so I can only guess it was an intestinal thing, because the rest of the week, I ate clean and while the pain remained to some degree it did become more bearable. By thursday the pain had pretty much disappeared completely. Because of that pain though, I chose to take the safe route and avoid the gym just to be on the safe side and avoid injury, and I've chosen to forego my weigh in this week.
This was a bad week for me, with painful potholes in my day to day life, but I'm staying strong which is something new for me. I'm eager to get back in the gym, as it's become a habit for me now. I skipped the weigh in only because I wasn't doing my normal exercise and I didn't want it to reflect on my scale; if my weight went up in any way I'd rather not know because I'm afraid I'd throw in the towel, and I could very easily have just maintained for the week but I didn't want to risk seeing something I didn't want to see. Normally I only work out mon-sat due to my gym being closed on sundays, but tomorrow I just might get outside and try my hand at running again. Seeing changes in my body overall is keeping me motivated, and knowing that losing weight and lowering my body fat percentage overall will help me avoid further issues with my liver is more than enough to keep me going.
In other news, school is going well. Those potholes included me missing a few classes, which put me a little behind on projects, but I'm back in the swing of things and am working hard to keep my progress going there. Thus far all my assignments have received A's, and as long as I can keep everything above a B in that regard, I'll be set.
I've got this. It's a long and slow process, but I'm trusting myself and my body more and more each day. This time, I just might succeed in my weight loss journey. Time will tell, and I'll keep y'all updated often. Thanks to those of you who make the effort to read my entries and cheer me on
Sunday, February 24, 2013
I initially came back to this site and whatnot with the intention of not only tracking my exercise and thereby my calories burned per week, but also with the intent to post a weekly blog update. That clearly didn't pan out as planned, but I've learned more about myself in not keeping up with that intention. Before, I would have beaten myself up and wanted to start over with everything and I'd try to do everything in my power to keep up, even if it meant ignoring other things going on with my life. Now, I'm just like hey whatever. I'm still keeping up with my exercise tracking, and I'm glad to say I've been very consistent. I even went to Office Depot and got a pack of gold star stickers, so now for every day that I go to the gym, I place a gold star in my planner for that day. They say it takes 3 weeks to build a new habit, and I'm proud of myself for sticking with this new habit for 5 weeks so far.
I had some bloodwork done recently to test for diabetes, which thankfully I don't have at the moment, though I do have elevated liver functions. I do have a theory on that though, and it's not really wishful thinking either. For the month preceding the initial blood tests, I was taking raspberry ketones regularly in an attempt to jump start my weight loss prior to joining the gym. I only did it for that one month, and decided to stop afterwards only because I was tired of taking so many pills per day in addition to my birth control and my vitamins. I've decided that my ill-fated attempt is what's causing chaos with my liver. I could very well have fatty liver, which I will accept if that is indeed the case, but until my doctor says that that is definitely the case for me, I'm going with my theory. I have no pain or any other symptoms associated with fatty liver, unless you count my weight. In any case, I'm scheduled for another appointment in about 2 months to see what changes there may be with the results, and as far as my doctor is concerned, I'm doing exactly what she would recommend anyway- exercise, eat well, and lose weight.
In other happier news, my ticker's moving again! I've always been that girl who looked lighter than she actually was, so when people thought I was say, 110 lbs. I was actually 120. I've also been one to build muscle pretty quickly, especially in my legs, thanks to my dance life. I re-started my health journey a little over a month ago and have only last week begun to lose weight in terms of the number on that scale. However, I've definitely lost a few inches and have begun noticing some muscle definition in my legs. I'm apparently the type of person who doesn't immediately being losing weight when implementing a real lifestyle change, and for once I'm okay with that. I'm not overdoing it on the exercise, and am doing so for about an hour to an hour and a half a day, and I alternate my weight training. Every other day I do lower body, and on those other days I do upper body, adding in core work based on time permitted on whatever day. I haven't made core a primary focus mostly because I figure if I train other parts of my body and do regular cardio work, my core will naturally follow suit. So far so good. I also haven't changed my diet aside from healthy swaps here and there (who knew Greek yogurt would be so amazingly versatile???!!) so I'm not feeling deprived of anything. If I want pizza, we'll do pizza from the store and if we order out it's okay too. I'll just handle it in the gym the next day, no big deal.
So far so good, and I'll keep updating here as much as I can, when schoolwork allows for it. I'm on the right track this time, and I'm not using any weight loss supplements to do it!
Monday, January 28, 2013
The boyfriend and I went to the grocery store Saturday morning in lieu of my gym outing. I had originally planned to go to the gym, and had gotten dressed, only there were other things going on that day and I didn't want to feel rushed. Plus, we'd been saying we'd go to the store just about every night last week and we just never did either because he'd get home late or I'd get sleepy much earlier than usual thanks to my 5am wakeup time. So, I gave myself an extra rest day to let my legs heal. At the store I got plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as some extra items like greek yogurt and milk, and at the checkout I realized just how much stronger and more energetic I've become so far. I used to get very easily winded and moved a bit slowly, depending on the movement. Saturday though, I started putting our purchases on the conveyor belt, and very quickly at that. By the time I had finished loading the belt so that the cashier could start scanning, I was barely breaking a sweat and I was completely dumbfounded at how easily I moved everything. Our items were bagged in a total of 4 large-ish paper bags (thankfully, cause that would have been a LOT of plastic bags to get rid of) and I carried 2 at a time easily inside my apartment. Before all this, I would have been dripping in sweat, and I would have had a very difficult time carrying even one of those bags. It's amazing how quickly little things like that can change. I was so proud of myself, and so was my love.
I decided to add on weight training to my cardio goodness. I was doing a fair bit of treadmill work, but that was getting old much more quickly than I'd anticipated, even with the changes in speed and incline along with my trusty Kindle. With my membership at the gym, I'm allowed a free initial fitness assessment, which I redeemed last tuesday morning. As it turns out, I'm more out of shape than I thought I was, especially in regards to cardio. The theory though, is that I didn't have enough to eat prior to the assessment, as opposed to that very first day I went and did the one hour Zumba class when I'd eaten maybe 30 or so minutes before. In any case, she gave me pricing for personal training sessions, but not much else. At this time because of school, adding on scheduled sessions with a trainer on top of what I'm already doing just isn't going to work. Enter Sparkpeople! I discovered the new fitness tracker and got slightly annoyed that there's no workout generator like the old tracker had, so I reverted back to the old tracker, generated a strength training workout, printed it, and went back to the new tracker. I figure if I keep using the new one it'll eventually get easier to work with, although at the moment I'm having difficulty finding certain exercises without having the printout near me. In any case, I've added weight training to my cardio regimen, and have ventured into the world of elliptical machinery. I lasted much longer than I'd expected the first time around, so that's promising. I found out this morning that I'm getting to that point now where I have to exert myself just a little more in order to get my HR up where it needs to be, which is pretty cool. I don't remember ever really noticing small improvements like that the last time I tried the gym bunny thing, so that little discovery was a very new experience for me, one that I'd like to see more of.
My diet is still being untracked, partially by choice, partially due to time. This semester is going to be packed with projects and other assignments, so about 90% of the time I'm on a computer it will be because of school. I am venturing out of my comfort zone in some ways, which is good I suppose. We went out to dinner recently for my sister's birthday and I (amazingly) tried a bite of my boyfriend's fish plate. Not a fan. Seafood and I don't go well, and although the texture of that particular fish was similar to chicken, I couldn't get past the taste. Hey, at least I gave it a shot. At the store the other day I picked out a small tub of greek yogurt to use in place of mayonnaise in chicken salad. I poached the chicken yesterday in water and lemon pepper seasoning so that I wouldn't have to use canned chicken, which can taste a little funny. Helps that I have a whole pack of chicken breasts in the freezer for this purpose. Anyway, after shredding it, I mixed it with the yogurt, some applesauce, red onion, celery, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and a handful of dried cranberries for the sweetness. Good heavens that stuff is awesome! I got the recipe from sparkrecipes (I wanna say it's called Crunchy Chicken Salad) and adapted it to my tastes since the original recipe called for jicama and I'm not really big on the stuff.
No weight loss just yet, just a little more energy and apparently better sleep. So far so good, right?
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