JPONCIN's SparkPeople Blog JPONCIN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community A Day of Hope For the past 5 months, I have been blogging about my foot surgery adventure; it hasn't been fun, that's for sure! But it definitely has tested me as a person in ways I never imagined possible. <BR> <BR> This morning, I went to my appointment at the wound-care center of the hospital in my town, and everything about my visit was unexpected. Here, an update on how I'm doing, both inside and out. <BR> <BR> I waited a long time, but once I got in the exam room with the nurse, I started getting ... Mon, 16 Nov 2015 19:05:27 EST After / Before Just to be crystal clear on the really horrible year I've had with this foot injury/surgery, I thought I would post before/after pics in a very different way than one would normally see on Spark. <BR> <BR> Before, in 2011, my first triathlon: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After, 2015 foot surgery: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 3 years of... Sun, 8 Nov 2015 21:20:05 EST I'm So Impatient Grrr. This week my foot doctor recommended that I go to a wound care center. It's been almost 5 months since foot surgery, and yes, the incision site is still open and draining. No infection, no smell, no pain, just very annoying that I'm going through a $6 box of gauze pads every week. <BR> <BR> Last week I got discharged from PT, which came as a surprise to me. I'm still sketchy on walking without shoes, but I think my husband's insurance wouldn't pay for any more sessions, so I kinda got ... Fri, 23 Oct 2015 21:49:32 EST Back to Work I get tons of questions from students about my knee scooter, and I hate telling everyone all the gross details. So I just say I had foot surgery, and move on to whatever they are working on in class. <BR> <BR> I love being back in a classroom with the kids! I've been in several rooms over the past couple weeks and I still like the big kids. They know how to use the bathroom, and you can have an intelligent conversation with them. :) <BR> <BR> I have 2 more PT visits! My therapist told me ... Fri, 2 Oct 2015 11:57:34 EST 16 Weeks After Foot Surgery Update Happy Weekend! It has been another exciting week of firsts. :) <BR> <BR> I started walking without my cane about 3 days ago. I have quite a limp, but going places without "health equipment" has been pretty liberating! Yesterday I spent the day at my daughter's HS, fitting tuxedos and dresses for orchestra kids, and it was my first time without my knee scooter. Then, I worked at the movie theater in the evening, which is a sitting job, but by the end of the evening I was exhausted! Parking in... Sat, 26 Sep 2015 17:08:00 EST First 5K Since... My running days are over forever, but I'm not upset about that because I can still bike and swim, and I really like doing those things more than running anyway! And I still have a bucket-list goal of doing triathlons as part of a relay team, so that way someone else is doing the running part. My family and I have talked about this for awhile, and the original idea started when my oldest daughter was taking swimming at school as part of her drivers-ed block (9 weeks of drivers-ed, and 9 weeks ... Sun, 13 Sep 2015 08:33:58 EST A Week of Firsts Happy Labor Day! We are spending it at the pool one last time before it closes for the season. I decided that next year, I won't be buying pool passes for most of my kids because they don't go enough, but I'm definitely getting one for myself! It is one of my favorite summer activities. I guess I have to face the fact that my kids are outgrowing it though. <BR> <BR> What a week it was! My PT has been going well, to the point that I traded in my crutches for a cane! There is this little offi... Mon, 7 Sep 2015 09:12:21 EST Dr Visit, Foot Pics, and More Today was my 3-month visit, and I was sure my doc was going to send me to a wound center to get this stupid oozing scab healed. But no, he was THRILLED with my progress! I can't believe it! He said he did a LOT to my foot, and especially since the incision busted open early on and I had that setback, he was expecting it to take a very long time to heal, and he wasn't the least bit surprised to see it still there. And admittedly, I've been taking pictures of it every week or two weeks, and the... Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:58:41 EST 12 Weeks Post Op There's not much new to say today, but I am getting around more and more, and that's always a good thing! I'm going back to work next Friday and I'm excited to go back. I miss being out there in the world. I was at a meeting at my kids' HS yesterday, and the administrators were astounded that I spent 2 months off my feet this summer. Yes, I did! I really did! Hopefully never again, God willing!!! <BR> <BR> One thing I'm enjoying though, is the last of my morning time with my youngest. I fixe... Thu, 27 Aug 2015 05:42:10 EST Frustrating Stuff, Exciting Stuff So my physical therapist basically let me have it for doing too much, too soon. I'm back to letting the gym be for now, and just healing this foot. I didn't even log my food this past weekend, because I feel so defeated right now, and it seems so pointless. Anyway, I'm trying to just focus on one thing at a time, and while my weight isn't where I want it right now, the main thing has to be getting my foot healed. <BR> <BR> This past weekend was also another episode of me doing too much, and... Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:29:25 EST The Bionic Foot I worked really hard at PT today, and this afternoon I'm laying around with ice on it. It's been an exciting week of being able to do more with it! But it's also been an exhausting week of pushing myself, and it's time for me to slow down and regroup. This week I started walking on it, I learned/figured out stairs, drove a car for the first time since surgery, made it to the gym to work out for the first time since surgery, and went out in public with the crutches for the first time. The crut... Thu, 13 Aug 2015 15:15:32 EST Y'All Will Get Sick of Hearing From Me This morning my daughter who suffers from insomnia drove me to the gym very early, like at 4:30. This past weekend I got my bike and trainer set up, and in the excitement of doing that, I didn't realize that in order to get on the bike, I need to put full weight on my foot, on the pedal, to mount. So, after several tries, I decided it would be easier to just go to the gym and use a recumbent bike, which I used in PT for the first time last Thursday. <BR> <BR> It was my first time back to th... Mon, 10 Aug 2015 11:44:56 EST Weight- Bearing...Yikes! At my last PT session, I started putting partial weight on my new foot, and it has been very WEIRD!!! I'm using a combination of parallel bars, crutches, and the kitchen counter, and I've never done anything so SCARY before. I am truly learning how to walk again. :( The doc changed my flat foot into one with an arch, so the first time I stepped on it, the therapist had me go from heel to toe to simulate walking...and it felt like there was no heel bone there!!! It feels really weird, and I... Sat, 8 Aug 2015 18:06:25 EST First Week of PT and Graphic Incision Pic ;) It's been a pretty exciting first week of PT! I met my therapist on Tuesday and I like her. She is about 10 years younger than me and has a baby and a toddler. She talks all about them during our sessions, which is great for two reasons; first, it keeps my mind off all the discomfort while she's moving my foot around!!! and second, it's nice to reminisce to the times my kids were that little. (Especially now that I have a HS senior this year...) <BR> <BR> Anyway, she gave me a bunch of exerc... Thu, 6 Aug 2015 09:23:19 EST Heart Disease It is rearing its ugly head again, this time with my dad. My dad is a pretty awesome guy. He is an engineer and can do complex mathematics in his head, on top of being pretty handy with home repairs. He has bailed my husband out many times over the years! (My husband has returned the favor by keeping my dad's computers running all these years) <BR> <BR> Anyway, my dad had a heart attack and a triple bypass in 2001, about 6 months before 9/11 happened. His life changed before those building... Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:26:54 EST 6 Weeks Post Op Update Well I am still Non-Weight-Bearing for a couple more weeks. It has been a crap summer so far!!! Yesterday, I hit the emotional bottom after my 3rd fall, which happened as I was trying to sit on the toilet. No damage to my foot/incision, but my knee has a nice colorful bruise today. :/ It is humbling to have your 17-year old daughter come and rescue you while you have your pants down. :( <BR> <BR> I spent the rest of the day having a pity party, while my kids and husband miserably looked o... Wed, 15 Jul 2015 21:10:10 EST Post-Op Fear, Nausea, and Relief Well, I did it! It was terrifying, and I spent almost the entire week prior, trying to talk myself out of it. The one thing that kept me from running away was remembering why I was doing this in the first place. I have been hobbling around on a hurting foot for 3 years, and it was TIME. I am staying focused on getting my quality-of-life back next year! <BR> <BR> The surgery itself went well. The doctor was planning to make 2 incisions, but only had to make one, and he told my husband that ... Sun, 7 Jun 2015 15:30:08 EST Foot Surgery Countdown and More I went to my anesthesiologist appointment on Tuesday and found out that I can't have ibuprofen or Aleve from now until after my surgery, because of their blood-thinning properties. So yesterday, I worked all day on my feet without drugs. I thought I was gonna die!!!!! :( I didn't realize how much I have depended on pain meds to be able to walk every day. The good thing about it was that it made me really force myself to have a good day and log my food and make better choices. <BR> <BR> I... Thu, 28 May 2015 07:58:48 EST Pulling it Together This morning at the gym, I finally weighed in and told myself it was time to get back in gear. I had a good swim after lifting weights, and I did a good job logging my food. I have been logging food for about 3 weeks, but I haven't been consistently "finishing" the days. I have a pretty supportive small group of friends on #MyFitnessPal that has been pretty encouraging, even when I screw up. <BR> <BR> By the way, it's interesting, the people you meet at the gym! Yesterday in the pool locker ... Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:15:42 EST Ash Wednesday Today is usually when I start starving myself in hopes of pulling my crap together. It is a time of sacrifice and reflection. But this year, I'm approaching things a little differently. Instead of focusing on giving something up, I'm simply giving more to others. It has been a very rewarding past couple of months, teaching the same kids every day and being in charge of this classroom. I love these kids, and I give them all I have, every day. It will be sad next month when I have to leave them... Wed, 18 Feb 2015 10:56:59 EST Monday I did a great job on my food today after a weekend of cheating. I'm so proud of myself for pulling it together! I also got on my bike and did 30 minutes, which was all I could stand; also my kids were coming home from school and there were backpacks and papers flying everywhere. <BR> <BR> I'm getting in a groove at school and getting used to the routine. I am exhausted though! Taking someone's maternity leave is great for job security, but the nice thing about just getting little one-day as... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 21:17:32 EST Winds of Change What a week it's been! My kids were off for snow days, and I got offered a long-term sub position! I'm teaching sophomore English until March for a paternity leave. I'm really enjoying it so far, but it is a little overwhelming!!! I am a trained science/math teacher, so teaching English, and at the HS level, is nothing like I've ever done before. But I'm doing well enough, looking at my students' quiz scores so far today. Next week the honors classes start Julius Caesar, so ask me again next ... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 14:06:46 EST Hello, 2015! I don't know what it is about a New Year that makes people commit to a healthier lifestyle, but this year it is working for me. It was just the kick in the pants I needed. :) <BR> <BR> I have been fighting a cold for about a week and a half, and today I'm finally feeling better! I went to bed last night very achy; all of my joints ached, and I've been hacking up a lung since last Wednesday. This morning I didn't wake up until 6:30am, and it was that disoriented feeling of "Where am I? How l... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 12:18:08 EST Goodbye, 2014!!! This morning I put together a Google doc with some goals for my husband and myself, and a place for us to journal together about our progress/fails/wins. Instead of focusing on weight loss, we are just going to focus on one healthy habit every week. I have all of January set up and I want to see how it goes before I make more goals for February. Dan likes to say "Sure, let's do it! I'm ready! I want to!" And then he quits after a few days. <BR> <BR> Looking back on my year, it has not been a... Mon, 29 Dec 2014 14:13:40 EST Happy Holidays Today I did a great job staying in my calories. Finally! :) I have been working 3 jobs and loving every minute of it. I have the perfect jobs for me!!! But it has also been crazy hectic and I don't have time to cook like I used to. Today I put down my phone games and said No More Excuses, and I made a good healthy dinner after staying in my calories all day too. <BR> <BR> Also, I went for a walk early this morning. My foot still feels horrible, but I took 2 Aleve before I left the house, ... Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:59:37 EST Chill In the Air What a crappy November day. The temperature has bottomed out and it is miserable, windy, overcast, and COLD. I can see I will be plastering Neosporin and Bandaids all over my fingers and toes very soon! :/ <BR> <BR> However, I'm super excited about Christmas. I got some great books for my youngest 3 kids, and I can't wait for them to open them! :) :) :) <BR> <BR> My eating this week is very good. I joined a 6-week healthy eating challenge along with one of my choir buddies, and I didn't d... Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:59:41 EST Film Scores This will be short because I'm on my way out the door, but I just wanted to say how much I like the channel my son put on my Pandora account! It is all film scores to stuff like Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Narnia, and more. I feel like a complete warrior at the gym whenever I listen to it. :) <BR> <BR> This morning I killed it! Burned 1500 calories! I needed the endorphins today for Halloween. I'm really worried about tonight. Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:36:36 EST Warrior? Or Non-Warrior? This morning I dragged my sorry self that has been fighting a cold for the past 4 days, and has a migraine, to the gym for training. I got a half hour on the elliptical too, which totally kills my feet/ankles but I sucked it up and did it. Yesterday, I got 45 min. on the treadmill before hitting the pool for some laps. Not bad this week for a person who feels like I do!!! I just can't seem to get past this cold, and sleep doesn't seem to help either. I took 2 days off work this week so I coul... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:26:52 EST Taking a Deep Breath This morning during training, we talked about all the things I want to do to regroup. My weight has stayed pretty much the same since I started training, and I know it's because I'm constantly obsessing about food and going overboard after doing maybe a little TOO good, so then I feel deprived and eat like crazy. So she is planning to figure out my calorie needs, and I'm planning to make a few tweaks that will help me get back on track. <BR> <BR> 1. I'm increasing my water. I'm supposed to b... Sat, 11 Oct 2014 18:42:46 EST Not a Great Week...But Trying! It's been one of those weeks where I am questioning everything I'm doing and why I'm doing it. My food has been better, my exercise a little on the low side, but I'm doing my best in spite of being mentally exhausted. Every day this week, I have come home and pretty much collapsed before bedtime. Yesterday, I even had a good cry before taking a nap. :( <BR> <BR> I've been working in the same middle school I student-taught in last year, and it is a rough school at times. There are a lot of k... Thu, 2 Oct 2014 09:32:31 EST Personal Training I never considered myself the type to give in to personal training. It is expensive, and from what I've seen of it, it is basically some guy yelling at you to keep going. I'm pretty self-driven, so I don't really think it's necessary to hire someone to push me like that! <BR> <BR> That said, I finally conceded to giving it a try, and today was my first session. I stuck with a female trainer, because the dudes at the gym are head-to-toe muscle and tattoos, and that's just really not me. So th... Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:27:20 EST Getting Back to it This past week, I've been working on getting my mojo back. I've been to the gym 4 days this week, marched in a Labor Day parade as a band mom watering thirsty kids, and eaten a lot better. I still had a dish of ice cream last night before bed, but my 4th grader got it for me and I taught him how much a serving is, so I didn't have too much. ;) <BR> <BR> I'm starting to find ways to really like the gym again, and that's good!!! I was at the same gym for so long, it has been hard to get used ... Fri, 5 Sep 2014 12:56:55 EST Lemons It's been a crap summer but I'm doing my best under the circumstances. Next week I start Job #3, substitute teaching, in addition to doing child care at the local gym and selling tickets at the local historic movie theater. I kind of feel like I didn't really get a summer, it's been so busy and I've been working so much. I feel like I'm making up for all those lost years that I was home with my kids and didn't make any money. When everyone was little, I thought the days would never end. I wo... Sat, 30 Aug 2014 17:46:26 EST Sunday Morning Workout I love, love, LOVE having a gym that opens early on Sunday mornings!!! <BR> <BR> It is becoming one of my favorite routines and it is one of the best things about the gym I work at. This morning, I started a load of laundry, played a couple rounds of Ruzzle, then hit the grocery store for some spinach before getting to the gym right when they opened, and I was the first one in the pool for some laps. Driving there, I played some worship music and prayed, and all while at home, my entire fami... Sun, 10 Aug 2014 10:07:41 EST Miles of Smiles This morning I woke up at 4am, was out the door by 5:15 with all my gear, and then on the road with my bike by 6am for Miles of Smiles. I finished my 68-miler around lunchtime, and had a small plate of food before quietly leaving the party that was getting started by all the other cyclists. <BR> <BR> I will never forget my first MOS ride when I did the 103 miles. I didn't have a road bike, all I had was my hand-me-down commuter bike, and I didn't even own a pair of padded bike shorts. It was... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 22:53:41 EST Depend on Yourself This is a motto that has served me well over the years, and it would do me good to remember it as often as I can! <BR> <BR> I typed a blog the other day and posted it, and then I erased it. I felt like it was too negative, and I want to stay positive as much as I can. It was about my miserable 65-mile bike ride and how hot and long it was, and how nothing went right. But honestly, I rode my bike about 65 miles further than most people did that day, so there's nothing bad to be said about tha... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:56:58 EST Swimming Update Well, I graduated May 10, and here it is 2 months later and tonight I finally had my first good swim at my new gym! There are a few issues that I've had to deal with: first, it is crowded. Second, the pool is smaller than 25 yards long. And third, the water is too warm. Only 2 degrees warmer than at ISU, but what a difference! I feel like I'm sweating in the water, it's that warm. Oh and finally, there are these jets that beat on you when you are at the end of pool, and it is hard to swim str... Wed, 9 Jul 2014 22:51:09 EST Good To Know A couple weeks ago, I had a cool experience. One of the personal trainers at the gym I work at was picking his son up from child care, and as he was packing up the diaper bag, he opened a little container of Froot Loops and gave his son a couple of rings from the container. He was in mid-conversation with me and another parent who was picking their child up, and as he grabbed a couple more O's to put into his own mouth, he stopped halfway up to his mouth and said "Whoa, what am I doing? I can... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 21:20:28 EST Wheelin' Around the Lake Yesterday I celebrated my 44th birthday weekend with 44 miles by bike at the McLean County Metric. What a perfect day!!!! I started early because we had a busy weekend, and I was done by 9am. There are 3 20-mile routes and you can any or all of them for one price, and the rest stop and starting point are one and the same. It's always a really well-organized ride. I did notice today that Routes 2&3 were not as clearly marked as Route 1, so I decided on Route 1 right away. I totally didn't hav... Sun, 15 Jun 2014 06:02:14 EST Eating Clean Since 2014 I'm working really hard on my food, once again, finally. Here's my food journal! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>poncin </link> <BR> <BR> This morning I only rode 6 miles, because I looked out my window this morning and could see the trees blowing in the wind...and I thought "No way, I hate riding in wind!" There is a small park with a lake near my house, and there is a trail around the lake that's exactly a mile long, so I rode my bike there, did a few laps, an... Sun, 8 Jun 2014 20:53:49 EST 20 Miler Yesterday morning was perfect for a long ride!!! I could've stayed out all day!!! However, I had a crapload of housework waiting for me, so I settled for 20 miles. Barely any winds, low 60's, and clear skies. WOWZA. #heaven <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The hubs just came home from a 15-miler with the group he is training with, and he is exhausted and sore. Winds make ALL the difference in a bike ride!!! I hope conditions are good for... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 17:36:38 EST Hello, Gold's Gym... Today I started my NEW JOB at Gold's Gym. The job? Child care. The reason? Free membership. I have a gym membership again, problem solved. ;) <BR> <BR> Actually, I really love the concept of watching people's kids while they work out. I was once that mom. The mom who never could exercise because she had an infant and a toddler who demanded all her time and attention, who eventually found herself nearly 300 lbs. and in need of knee surgery, because she didn't take care of herself. When I ha... Thu, 29 May 2014 21:36:43 EST Blackhawk Country Roads 2014 I'm late getting here to type about my bike ride Saturday because it's been a busy weekend, but I had a fun ride with my friend Jean! She did fabulous with her new hip and her new gear cassette, however we backed down to 30 miles after we got riding for awhile. The route was poorly marked the first several miles, and we thought maybe the town wouldn't allow them to mark the route...but that turned out not to be true, it just wasn't marked. It was also very hilly, or at least more than we're u... Mon, 26 May 2014 19:52:03 EST Life After School Today is weird because I'm home and my kids are at school. I'm enjoying every minute of it, even though I'm doing housework! ;) <BR> <BR> I had too much cake at my graduation party, but otherwise I didn't eat too badly and kept all the food choices pretty clean. Yesterday we took our kids out for pizza for Mothers Day and I didn't log my food at all, but I did log my 12-mile ride that I got in the morning. I'm working all this week, so that will give me plenty of opportunity to ride to an... Mon, 12 May 2014 12:38:19 EST SAHM...pfft!!! Today I decided since I was up at 3am cleaning my house, I would take a nap after all my kids left for school. And then, bike to the pool when it opened at 11am. But I was asleep for maybe 10 minutes when I got a text from a friend who had an extra Cornbelters ticket, so I biked there and met up with her, and we hung out for awhile! What a gorgeous day for a game. :) :) :) <BR> <BR> I got my swim done and also about 8 miles on my bike total. I just had an awesome lunch and it's almost time ... Thu, 8 May 2014 15:23:12 EST It's Over This is going to sound a lot like pregnancy/childbirth, but now that I'm done student teaching, I'm ready to get my body back!!! ;) <BR> <BR> I stepped on the scale this morning and got just the reality check I needed! I hope I can stay eating clean now. So far this morning, so good. It's nice to have a bottle of water next to me and my laptop instead of a stack of Fudge Stripes. :/ <BR> <BR> Also this morning, I got my first bike-swim-bike of the summer season, and that was fabulous and ... Wed, 7 May 2014 09:39:59 EST Tour de Exchange This morning was around 50F for my first ride of the season, a 25-miler in Charleston, IL. It warmed up nicely and was 60F by the time my friend and I finished, but the headwind coming back in was tough!!! Also, the route back from the rest stop was poorly marked, and we went about 2 miles not knowing if we were going the right way. Finally, she caught a marker and we knew we were on the path back! <BR> <BR> She was always ahead of me, and once we hit that headwind, we both really struggled.... Sat, 3 May 2014 16:10:12 EST TED Talk We have been studying nutrition and the digestive system this past 2 weeks in my classroom, and we showed this video to our 120 7th graders: <BR><BR>Y <BR> You need to c&p the link to your browser, because the "link" feature on SP doesn't seem to be working. Sorry. :/ <BR> <BR> We have looked at MyPlate, portion sizes (many thanks to Sparkpeople for your handy articles on portion sizes!), and how our bodies process food. Today I even showed the... Thu, 1 May 2014 16:15:45 EST Worse... This cold is kicking my butt, but the real problem is that I can't sleep! I'm not even that congested, just have a nasty cough and I feel like crap. I laid awake in bed for the past 2 hours and finally gave up and started doing some work for school. I'm ONE assignment away from putting this college business behind me. Cap and gown are hanging in the closet. It still does not feel real. <BR> <BR> My eating was pretty bad yesterday; I got some Easter Kit Kats on clearance yesterday, then I di... Wed, 30 Apr 2014 06:05:44 EST Not Feeling Great On Saturday I got on my hands and knees and scrubbed my kitchen floor, and it took 2 hours because it was so nasty! School has taken its toll this past year for sure! I haven't had time to clean like that in months. But then, I was exhausted and sore all over, and I spent the rest of the weekend laying around. Today is the first day I'm feeling less achy, and now I'm catching a cold. :( <BR> <BR> Anyway, I'm really excited today because I attended a bunch of teacher workshops at school and ... Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:45:08 EST