Good heavens where do I start... Last time I was here and active on the SP front, I burned out after a few months. I still have my vision board, though I may redo it to better fit me as well as give myself time to really dig deep into myself to have the images reflect me more accurately. I unfortunately gained back the weight I had lost, and then some, so while my original SP starting weight was 208, it is now 214. It could be worse, but even 6 lbs. more than where I started originally isn't any good.
My last blog was written and posted just 2 weeks before my family's world changed. August 14 of 2011, that evening, my mom started having difficulty breathing and my dad and sister drove her to the local ER. I waited a few minutes before going to meet with them so that all the needles and such would be taken care of by the time I'd arrive (I have this thing about needles and blood, I can smell it and more often than not I'll pass out). One thing led to another, and as it turned out, she was having a minor heart attack, which had a snowball effect and led to dialysis treatments. Her diabetes had ruined her kidneys and everything happened much quicker than we'd anticipated. For about a year after that, she was doing what is referred to as hemodialysis, in which techs connect you to a machine that draws out your blood, cleans it, and puts it back into your body. The shortest time frame for the treatment is 3.5 hours per treatment, 3 times a week. Last summer she had a procedure done that allows her to do what is called peritoneal dialysis (PD), which can be done at home. With PD, there's a small tube that sticks out of the abdomen that connects to a different type of machine that fills the peritoneal cavity with a dextrose solution, allows the solution to dwell in the body for some time, and then drains it out. This cycle is done several times throughout a session, each treatment lasting about 10 hours and done every day. My mom got into doing PD for the fact that she can do it at home while she's in bed at night and doesn't have to worry about finding a ride to the hospital for dialysis. She's doing much better with this form of dialysis, as it allows her just a bit more free time, and should there be a power outage or something goes wonky with her machine, she has the ability to perform her dialysis treatment manually. Her diabetes is still a factor, but she's doing a great job of keeping it under control.
In other news, 2 months after mom was in the hospital and began dialysis, my sister discovered she was pregnant. She had an overall good pregnancy, with no morning sickness or other symptoms that can occur, although she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Several months later she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Miguel, who has captured my heart and makes me squee every single time I see him or even a picture of him. Here's a pic of him last September, just shy of 4 months-
While all this is going on, I decided to go back to school. I started college in 2001 but never had the dedication or determination to actually continue and graduate in the normal 4-5 years. After almost a year of no work, I chose to take advantage of the amazingness that is my boyfriend, and after plenty discussion we agreed that I could make the return. My first day back in the classroom was a week after the hospital thing with my mom, and as of right now I am 2 semesters away from graduation. If all goes as planned, I'll end 2013 with an Associate's Degree in graphic design, which at some point will be followed with a Bachelor's in computer animation. While in school, as part of my required courses I had to take a class in photography. One thing led to another there, and I'm now doing photography as something of a side job to make money and save for later.
So now I'm here, in January 2013, probably 2 years to the date since I first started with SP. After watching my mom go through all that she has to do, including regular doctor visits because she's on the kidney transplant list, and after watching my sister get diagnosed with diabetes and watching her still have to take medicine for it even after baby, I'm sufficiently freaked out enough to want to truly do something about my health. I finally got health insurance thanks to my parents, and have seen a doctor a little over a week ago. Currently there's some concern over elevated liver enzymes, but the first tests run for diabetes has come back normal. So far so good, there will be another test run next month concerning the liver issue, but I think I might be able to fix it. I have an appointment tomorrow morning with a sleep specialist to determine what's giving me issues with my sleep (I can't seem to sleep for longer than 4-5 hours at a time, which is great for morning workouts, but probably not healthy regardless.) With all that said, I've decided to make 2013 the year I get my health on track, including my weight. I made a conscious effort to NOT make weight loss my resolution. Meaning my official 2013 resolution is to get my health back to normal. My boyfriend bought me a monthly membership to a nearby gym, so I'll be doing Zumba and other group classes, as well as traditional exercise with weights and treadmills and the like. Just so I don't burn out, I've chosen to start off with purely cardio for 2 weeks or so to build some amount of stamina. As time goes, I'll begin incorporating weight training and tweaking my cardio to avoid boredom (with the exception of Zumba, cause that's never boring to me as a dancer!) I've decided to look at exercise as my way of getting healthy as opposed to losing weight. It is no longer about me looking great in a swimsuit (although that is a perk), it's about me avoiding the health issues my family currently has and changing my health destiny. I've also decided to (for the time being), only track my fitness. I'm using SP for this for the calorie detail, but I'm also using Fitocracy, as I am a gamer chick and enjoy the idea of gaining XP when I track my exercise and leveling up as I gain XP. They don't refer to it as XP, but that's how I see it so it works. I'm not tracking my food right now because I've been having a bit of a digestive issue lately and have been going in several directions with my diet in an effort to make my stomach agree with food as it did before. That will change as time goes as well, for now what I'm doing is what I know I can handle in addition to school and life in general.