Friday, April 18, 2014
I went to the gym yesterday so that the trainer could show me how to use the lower body strength machines. That is where I need to work on my body the most, the lower half, LOL. It's all jiggly and wiggly and not in a good way.
I'm not jumping in with exercise and going full force as I don't want to harm myself or do anything that would set me back after my surgery, but I am shocked at the things I am able to do. I'm not hard core yet (that's a very long ways off for sure) but instead I'm taking it just like I did with my weight loss journey 4 years ago, I'm challenging myself but making baby steps so I'm not overwhelmed.
I have always preferred cardio vs. strength exercises so avoided those, but now that menopause has hit (according to one doctor but not the other one) I know I need to make sure I have good muscle mass or at least I don't lose what little I have, LOL.
I can definitely feel the soreness in my leg muscles from working on the lower body machines yesterday, but I know it's because they are under used and therefore I need to get them to working more.
I was at the gym for quite awhile so had to get groceries last night, which I normally don't do, but saved quite a bit of money with coupons and sales matched up.
I also went to JCP because I had some short dated coupons for $10 off $25 and wanted to get my son some nice sweaters they had marked down and also use my coupons to save even more. I got myself a pair of jeans since I needed some since I'm only wearing two pairs that I have due to the weight gain (not from food but rather my metabolism went nuts back in January and even with lower calorie intake and exercise; can't lose back down to my maintenance weight) for $10 after coupons.
I'm not sure what to do to get back down to my maintenance weight that I had maintained for 3 years. It changed suddenly in January and won't go back down even with the added exercise and deduction in calories. :-(
I'm not happy about that only because I'm short and just 5 pounds make a big difference in the way I look as well as I always go up a pants size since I'm pear shaped and my bottom is bigger than the upper half of my body.
A friend of mine tells me that I need to "shock" my body and eat bad, high calorie stuff one day but I honestly don't want that type of food. Fried foods are not something I want/crave and neither are white bread/sugary type desserts.
I'm shocked that with given the option to eat those, I really don't want them.
I'll figure out something as I am willing to try anything to see if things will change with my body, but I'm wondering if my body will reject whatever I do (exercise, calorie reduction, etc.) and decide it wants to be the weight I am now.
I have tons of clothes in a size smaller that I bought over the years since I was maintaining so well, but now nothing is working.
Sunday, April 06, 2014
I'm trying to get back to a normal life again but still have a few hurdles to get through before then, but I definitely have made a lot of progress since my surgery last June. I've been told that it takes at least a year for recovery, and I whole heartily agree with that, particularly with it being done abdominally. I still have pain in my incision area as well as ligament pain in that vicinity, but really can't complain too much compared to how I felt and what I was dealing with months ago.
I did something that I was wondering when I'd be able to do yesterday. A friend and I and our kids went to a local amusement park and I got to ride a few roller coasters.
I was really worried about the bars and other things that hold you in causing me major issues, as well as all the jostling and bumping, etc. Knock on wood, I'm doing fine this morning! I figured if I was able to work out at the gym and do strength training, the treadmill, etc., I hopefully would be able to walk my legs off and ride some roller coasters, LOL.
It's a major challenge getting to the gym although I miss it when I don't get to go. Their weekend hours are not good and with our homeschool group now planning events on the weekends too, it's hard to get there all the time.
I purchased some at home dvds for that reason and really like them a lot. I'm trying hard to start off slow and steady and not go crazy as I certainly don't want to hurt myself after being in a situation for so long where I was unable to walk up a small hill due to back spasms and hurting so many places from the surgery.
I feel half-way normal again and that's great! Before the surgery, I was very sick and unable to do much of anything. Even going to the grocery store was a challenge. I was anemic and in terrible pain and basically miserable. The surgery took a lot more out of me as well so although my head wanted my body to do all kinds of things, my body said "NO!!!", LOL.
I want to eventually purchased my own roller skates and get to the skating rink with my kids again and enjoy that type of activity. Of course we have the gym membership too so definitely trying to take advantage of that too. I actually love the strength training and never thought I would say that in a million years!
I was exploring the gym the other day and let my husband know that they offered way more than he even realized. I noticed there was a spinning machine room, weight lifting room, zumba classes, yoga, etc. Now just to find the time to get there and do it all!
I have to order our tests for the state soon (homeschool children in my state have to take yearly tests), finish up all our 4-H projects, our co-op projects, etc. I have a class I'm teaching in our co-op (owl pellet dissection) coming up soon so have to get ready for that as well.
We have a play coming up for our drama club so we have to make sure that we get plenty of practice time in before our actual play occurs in May, so on top of homeschooling, running the co-op, running the group, running the 4-H homeschool group, running another 4-H group (not homeschool related), piano lessons, working out, taking care of normal day to day activities (cleaning the house, cooking, grocery shopping, etc.), extra-curricular social events for the kids, volunteering, etc., I am struggling for extra time just to breathe. :-)
Friday, April 04, 2014
I recently started receiving a few congratulations from some Spark members regarding being nominated one of the Spark motivators of the day, yesterday. I literally had no clue and thought for sure that they were mistaken as it wasn't me and some one else, LOL.
Wow, I'm so humbled and appreciative of that honor.
It's been a long journey for me to get to where I am today and definitely not an easy one; but if it was easy it wouldn't mean as much.
I've battled health issues for years but ended up last year having an abdominal hysterectomy as I felt I had no other option. My life was dictated by my body and no matter how healthy I ate, it didn't change the female issues I was dealing with.
In some ways it was the best thing I ever decided to do (besides of course having my children, marrying my husband, and taking time for "me" and this path to a healthier body and lifestyle). In others, I at times wish I hadn't but the positives are definitely there as I can finally live a "regular" life again.
I had a lot of setbacks after this surgery including back issues (that so far seem to be fading away), inability to do much of any exercise including walking up small hills (which there are plenty of where I live), etc.
I was cruising along doing great even with being very inactive during my recovery period, but I continued to track my calories. Even when I was unable to measure my food portions while recovering for months, I had my family do it for me and I kept tracking everything on Spark People.
I went to specialists for my back issues (that started right after my hysterectomy), had x-rays taken, and was going to get a MRI when suddenly I noticed I didn't have to take the pain relievers anymore and it was getting better. Well, wouldn't you know that as soon as that irritant left me behind (hopefully for good), a new one started.
All of a sudden I noticed that my back was getting irritated by my bra strap, my stomach was swelling again (I knew with an abdominal incision that it would swell) and my weight started climbing for no reason as I was still following the calorie intake suggested by SP and I had not wavered in tracking it on a continuous basis. I was also very fatigued all the time (which part of it I realized was the surgery) even after getting groceries.
There were/are days I feel I can't do much of anything except very small things like getting a shower, making meals and that's about it. My family dr. did blood tests and they came back that my estrogen was fine but that my FSH levels said menopause so he sent me to my gynecologist (who did my hysterectomy).
The gynecologist said they didn't look at estrogen levels (mine was normal) but looked at FSH levels instead and I was definitely in menopause. So that explains why I started gaining weight almost overnight (literally), feel swollen all the time, I'm irritable on a frequent basis, and I'm so tired.
Since I'm not having horrible hot flashes (although I don't sleep well at all) or sweats (knock on wood, but I'm sure it will be coming soon) that often he didn't put me on hormones so I'm dealing with the weight gain, fatigue, etc.
My husband decided it was time to improve his health (he has diabetes, although he's not overweight nor does it run in his family) as well as all of our health, so we joined a gym and all of us have been working out.
I'm doing strength exercises now, but doing them at a gentle and easy going pace. I've lowered my calorie intake but haven't noticed too much of a difference in my weight. I'm frustrated with that as I had purchased lots of clothes in my lower size since it seemed my weight was stable (give or take a pound or two) but now not so sure where I will end up.
Menopause has been a positive thing in that it has caused me to get off my "behind" and start working out as I should have been doing, but life was busy and I felt I was doing great just tracking my food religiously. Now just food tracking doesn't work.
I'm still tired (one test didn't show thyroid issues, but I'm still wondering if the blood tests were inaccurate as one of the tests showed I had low white blood cell count and a second one showed it was normal), I sill feel "bloated", and while the exercise has helped some of my irritability, it doesn't seem to help with my sleep issues.
I was so intimidated by the weight machines in our gym and they looked so menacing. I met with one of the employees of the gym and had him show me a few of them so I would know how to use them correctly and now they are my favorites. I'm smacking my hand against my head and thinking to myself, "What in the world took me so long????!!!". LOL. I never looked to exercise as something fun really, but knew I had to start as I want to make sure that my bones, heart, and muscles are healthy.
I may weigh in the 120's, but feel as I get older that I'm saggier (because I am, LOL), I'm not toned, and as this menopause has hit me, I'm flabby looking in a bathing suit.
I'm getting there though and doing all that I can to get through this challenging time of life for a woman. June will be one year since my surgery (I've been told it takes at least a year to recover from this) and I'm looking forward to that day.
Thank you so much for the support over the years I've received from so many wonderful people on SP. Thank you also for this wonderful honor of motivator of the day!!!
Thursday, March 27, 2014
I have not blogged in several months due to so many factors including health issues, lack of time, stress, etc. but wanted to post since it has been about 3 months since I did so.
I've had a lot of emotional and stressful situations come up including dealing with health issues as I get older. I have also been dealing with a sudden weight gain out of the blue starting in January. I have had testing done to see if I am in menopause (since I had a hysterectomy, I have no idea) but my estrogen levels show that I am not.
I have another appt. coming up this week with a different dr. and I'm sure he will want to do a follow-up of those blood tests (which are costing me quite a bit of money to add to my stress levels, LOL).
I have cut down on my calories even more (that were working to keep me at maintenance level for 3 years with no issues) and we joined a gym and I've been trying to work in my exercise, but have found no change in weight decrease. I'm incredibly frustrated right now to say the least.
My nightmare has come true that I always worried about, my body taking over and me not being able to do anything about it. I'm not sleeping well (woke up at 4:30 a.m. again) and no one has answers to help me. I don't drink caffeine after breakfast, I exercise, I have a cool temperature in my bedroom, eat great, etc. and still having issues. I take melatonin every night but nothing seems to help.
I know stress levels can have a lot to do with certain issues so I'm trying my best to slowly lower my responsibilities since I have so many with two teens that I'm homeschooling (one of which has a learning disability) in the high school years, I'm running not only a homeschool group but a co-op, and two 4-H groups. I'm planning to drop one of the 4-H groups after this year is over as I'm basically doing it alone and no one wants to help. It's just not worth the stress and time involved but I will fulfill my obligation that I agreed to although others have not.
I've been working hard to get others to take on some of the many jobs I have been doing in our homeschool group, which is going very slowly but I am determined that others need to help as it is more than a full time job (with no pay, LOL) doing just that one obligation.
It's been a very stressful year for me with recovery from my surgery, being so busy, dealing with back issues (which thankfully seem to finally be gone for the most part), dealing with issues caused by the surgery, etc.
On the positive today is my daughter's birthday and she is such a blessing in my life (as is my son), my husband is taking care of his health (finally) and he's still here with us, my father is doing well (he had his 76th birthday yesterday and is doing well after being diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer), etc.
I am determined to be less stressed out this year and while I realize it will be difficult, I want to learn to have more "me" time and not have so many obligations demanding my time as I am hitting major burnout.
Friday, December 20, 2013
I have had so little time for relaxing since recovering from my surgery back in June once I half-way got back into "normal" life again.
I've been to a specialist for my back issues (started after my surgery), had testing done on my daughter several times for some health issues she's dealing with, organized and set-up a homeschool Christmas party, co-lead our new homeschool co-op which is starting up again in early January, teaching a class in our co-op, pretty much am running our homeschool group, involved in 3 different 4-H programs (2 of which I am either leading or co-leading), piano lessons for my daughter, etc.
It didn't help that we had yet more drama in our homeschool group a short while back and so have dealt with the stress of that on top of all this other craziness I'm involved in.
I found out that BI-LO is tripling coupons for the first time in my area and in all the meetings and appointments I've had every day this week, managed to squeeze that in some how.
What that all means is that I've had to Christmas shop either online or on the crazy weekends when the crowds are high and traffic is terrible, but other than a gift for my niece, think I'm finally done.
I managed to squeeze in our Christmas party (which again, I organized and set up) and we went to a wonderful orchestra, hand-bell, and ballet Christmas event that a few of our friends were involved in (well their children were anyway, LOL).
My daughter has her Christmas piano recital tonight so after yet another meeting today, a run to the grocery store for triples, and then home to hopefully FINALLY getting my house in somewhat of a semi-organized manner after months of it being ignored, I hope to finally relax somewhat before my parents come by Sunday on their way to the mountains and after my daughter's recital.
I've had zero time for making cookies, seeing Christmas lights, etc. and I am simply exhausted, but hope to at least enjoy the week of Christmas since my husband is taking it off from work.
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