Monday, February 28, 2011

The Plan

So here it is in all it's glory.  What? you can't read it.  *sigh* I figured that.  It was hard to get a good picture of it.  I ended up sitting down yesterday and thinking about how I need to use some of the things that Pete does in my journey.  I need to learn from him in more ways that one.  So I'm taking March and planning it out with exercise and a goal to lose 10 pounds. 

I started out today at 238 which is very weird because I was down to 234 last week and my appetite hasn't been the best so I've been eating small meals.  My plan is 6 days of exercise each week and one rest day.

Mondays:  5:30am-6:30am; 30 minutes Cardio
Tuesdays:  5am-6am; One of the last 4 workouts from my trainer.
Wednesdays:  5:30am-6:30am; 45 minutes Cardio
Thursdays:  7:30pm-8pm 20 minutes Cardio, 8pm-8:30pm TRX Class
Friday:  Off
Saturday:  7am-8am; 50 minutes Cardio
Sunday:  7am-8am:  50 minutes Cardio

I figure that since my normal working out time is in the morning before work, I need to take Friday as my rest day since I'll be working out at night.  This is be a big change for me.  I already signed up and paid for the TRX class so it's a push to go.  I'll need to plan accordingly with eating dinner earlier on those nights so I'm not trying to work out on a full stomach.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The best laid plans

Will end up changed for one reason or another.  I had plans 2 weeks ago to go back to the gym.  Only I was coughing up a lung.  I had plans to go back to the gym last week.  Only I couldn't hear out of my left ear and I couldn't figure out how to balance myself, oh and I was still coughing up a lung.

So here I sit.  Sunday again and I have plans.  And I can sometime hear out of my left ear and my lung appears to be staying in my chest for now.  So back to my plan...

I keep seeing bloggers who have calendars.  Ann from Twelve in Twelve and Jen from Prior Fat Girl both have shown calendars in the last couple of months.  So I think my plan is to calendar my workouts for the month of March.  I'm done with my training sessions so I don't have the push of a trainer.  I want so badly to get on track with a couch to 5K plan.  And after thinking about this for the last week, I think it's a strategy I need to try.

So I'll get together a calendar for March and then take a picture and post it here for some accountability. (you all can help me with this - right?)

And I'm challenging myself again.  I only got to 4/7 kettelbell classes because of the great influenza debacle of February 2011.  Have you ever heard of this:  TRX Training?  The Y is offering a session of it starting this week and I think I need to find a way to work this into my workouts.  I think one day of this, one day of a past workout from my trainer and then 3-4 days of cardio? 

Anyway, this is what's in my head.  Good idea?  Bad idea?  Suggestions?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dreaming & 235

235 again.  Hello lovely number...  And yet I take it with a grain of salt.  Not only did I have the real flu for 2 weeks, but I now have a sinus infection and my lungs are irritated and inflamed from all the coughing with the flu.  Back on antibiotics, a steroid inhaler and my nemesis - prednisone.  I say nemesis, because while I know that I need it, I dislike it with a passion.  I'm hyper on it, it gives me headaches and fatigue (contrary as it may be), it makes me hungry and thirsty all the time and I use the bathroom like I've drank 10 gallons of water in one day.  So the 235 may likely be loss of much of my water weight that everyone carries around.

I have to admit that I have a million things running through my mind on a regular basis.  It's why I have insomnia.  I lay down at night and when the rest of the world is silent and drifting off into sleep...I am awake running through what I got done, what I didn't get done, things I could do, things I need to do, things I have to do, things to do next week, things to do next month, things to do next year, things I did 10 years ago!

Get the picture?  It's almost as if there isn't something actively taking up my brain, it scatters to make lists.  While I hate this about myself, I also love it.  I think it's why I can "write" wonderful blog posts while taking long trips on my motorcycle or on the back of Pete's motorcycle.  I think it's why I have such a love for books because I have a great imagination.  I think it's why I have a technology obsession.  lol

Anyway, Wednesday was no different.  I was working work, when it suddenly occurred to me that not only is Pete's life going to change with the surgery, my life is too.  For about 6 weeks he will not be able to eat what I eat.  And even after that 6 weeks, his eating patterns and items will change drastically.  My first thought was HOORAY I can make all those meals that Pete never liked.  Things like creamy pasta sauces with artichokes and cheese filled tortellini, pasta and potato salads with veggies and mayo, chicken with lemon sauce and capers, thick pea soup with bacon, homey hamburger hot-dish from from my youth, LASAGNA!

Then I stopped.  Did I really want to do all that?  Well, yes.  But when I think about it from my goals standpoint, do I really want to take 6 weeks and indulge all the things that I don't eat just because Pete can't eat?  Yup.  "No, Michelle, do you really want to do that?"  And I thought long and hard.  And honestly my answer is still yes.  Only I need to figure out a way to do it moderation.  To make the things that I like and only have small portions or make lighter versions of it.

Then, my mind kept travelling...Even after the 6 weeks my life will change. He won't be able to have big green salads with lots of fresh crunchy veggies - but I love them and can still eat them.  He won't be able to have 'dryer' meats like chicken breasts, pork and steaks - but should I?  He won't be able to have dessert/sweet items - but I can.  He won't be able to have crusty bread - can I?  And that is truly what it came down to.  Can I/Should I continue eating what I'm eating, even though he won't be able to?  I need my brain to keep thinking about this.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I need to address some things...

I want to address some things here. Jen over at Prior Fat Girl talked last week about the FDA and the requirements for Lap Band Surgery being lowered. It seems like I can't turn anywhere lately without seeing Lap Band since Pete starting going through it.

Lap Band is a tool. It's a choice.

I've seen many false things written about the Lap Band process. Some is likely because of misinformation the person was provided. Some is likely not knowing the whole story. And the last is likely a fear of it.

Pete's process (as you can read if you click on the Mid Week With Pete Tag) was quite intense. He's been thinking about this for 2 years while trying to lose weight in all manners of ways. Actually he's been trying to lose weight his whole adult life. He first went to his regular doctor and sought his advice. He went to see a doctor at the surgery center. Then he went to an information seminar (much like Jen talked about in her blog). Then he signed up to go back to the surgeon for an hour + appointment to discuss this and what it would take to qualify. Then a sleep study. Lose 13 pounds to show dedication & for a safer surgery. Meeting with a nutritionist. Meeting with a psychologist for a psych eval & approval (4 appointments). Weekly phone in counseling with the health insurance company with tasks to complete. Then another appointment with the surgeon to discuss it all and determine if it was still something he wanted.  Then getting the insurance's approval.

It's never been easy or simple. Ever. It's never been a decision that was made at the spur of a moment. It's never been a quick thing. He understands that this is a lifetime change. He hopes that other people understand it too. But if they don't, that's ok. Because it's his journey, not theirs.

Yes, he has lost 40+ pounds in 90 days, so he can lose weight. Why have the surgery then? Because the way that he can lose weight is not sustainable for him. It's 1000 calories burned by running/walking over several hours every. single. day. It's eating 1 cup of Cheerios and 1 cup of milk for breakfast and lunch every. single. day. It's beating himself up if he can't get to 1000 calories when he works out, even if he's sick or has hurt feet or has a migraine. It's beating himself up if he has eggs for breakfast instead of that cereal. It's beating himself up if we're out of town and he's unable to get his workout in. It's beating himself up if he has too many calories at dinner.  So his pattern of losing 70/80 pounds in 6 months, then gaining it back and repeating that a year later is taking a toll on his body. His high blood pressure is taking a toll on his body, even with medicine. And the mental damage of losing and gaining is taking a toll on everything.

So to my trainer, who keeps telling me and him that he shouldn't do the surgery because she can get him on track...To some of my family who thinks that it's too drastic and he should just keep friends and others who think that it's the easy way out... It's his journey. It's his decision.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mid Week With Pete

Pete's down over 40 pounds.  I think the last time he said 43 pounds.  He does something different than I do with goal setting and maybe I need to take a page from him.  His goal is to lose 10 pounds.  Always 10 pounds.  Once he loses it, he congratulates himself and sets a new goal to lose 10 pounds.  Yes, he has a bigger number in his head, but the 10 pounds seems very doable in the short term and something that he can manage.  His goal was to lose 50 pounds by the time he had his surgery.  It's way more than the 13 pounds they asked him to lose to qualify.

He won't get to 50 pounds though.  He has rubbed the back of one of his ankles raw with bad socks and too long of a workout.  So since last Friday he's been unable to work out.  Just wearing socks with his big snow boots and snowblowing caused the patch to rub off the scab and bleed again.

He also won't get there because his surgery is scheduled for 3/9/11.  How appropriate that it's on a Wednesday since that's when I post his updates here!  I know he's a little freaked out about the whole thing now.  Almost as if he never thought he'd get to this point.  But he'll get through it and then we'll both be off to figuring out his new "normal" afterwards.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The unexpected

I did something today that I don't normally do.  I weighed myself mid week.  I don't know why.  Maybe it was to see if I was all out of whack with eating.  Maybe it was to convince myself that I don't need to work out to maintain.  Maybe it was to reinforce that I really do need to work out.  Maybe it was to see if the loss that I've had was just a fluke.  I don't really know why I did it.

At any rate, I'm 236.  Not bad.  But I can't help but wonder again what that number would be if I had been working out this whole time.

I've had some other unexpected things - taxes for one.  Instead of a hefty return (yes I know it's bad to do this, but it works for us) we're paying in this year due to a settlement from the Army for Pete's Dad that we received last year.  We had planned for it partially, but didn't take into account that it put us up into the next tax bracket. 

So if you have some spare good thoughts, prayers or whatever you do, could you send them Pete's way?  He's still unemployed and job seeking is getting hard for him.  This is the 3rd unemployment since 2007 and it's wearing on us both.  He is frustrated about not being able to find a job and actually feels better when he's working.  I'm frustrated and anxious about him not having a job and trying not to put that on him.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I feel like a slug (cough)

So I'm still coughing.  Not as much as before and I think part of it is habit and part of it really is the inflammation in my lungs.  It's been officially 2 weeks since the last time I was at the gym.  My training sessions are down to one left and I missed 4/7 kettlebell classes.  All due to being sick.

I feel like a slug.

I know with great certainty that I could not spend any length of time on the treadmill.  I can feel it in my lungs when I lay down, the inflammation that prevents and full breath out and in turn prevents a full breath in.  I'm thankful that I am in tune with my body enough to realize this.  But I am irritated at my body because I feel like it continues to fail me.  Continues to let me down in my effort to make it more healthy.  I work so hard and see results and then my body puts a halt on my progress.  Sadly.

My goal is to get back to the gym by the end of the week.  I also have to decide about purchasing further training sessions.  $350 for 7-60 minute sessions - .83 per minute or $50/session.  Yes it's expensive, I realize this.  But when I think about not doing it, I look at my upper arms.  At the definition in my shoulders and upper arms.  I would NEVER have achieved this without the training sessions.  I think that there will come a time when I won't rely upon them so much, but for now I think I really need to continue.  This time, I think I'm going to try to do every other week sessions.  The sessions will last for 14 weeks and I can do the workouts more than 1 additional time. 

On the food front...Pete did a wonderful job of cleaning out the fridge, the freezer and the cupboards while I was sick.  He depleted the meat when I never think to look in the extra freezer.  He used up the veggies and the items in the fridge that I somehow overlook when I buy it.  I am really proud of him.  And he did it buy cooking great meals for us.  I made a trip to Costco Saturday and loaded up on fresh veggies & fruit.  We're going through them quickly lately and they have the best price.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I have to admit that I feel like I've been in a coma for about 2 weeks.  I believe that I am addicted to technology.  I check blogs, read the paper online, check message boards, read articles....  And I did none of this while sick.  I'll never catch up on my blog reader - ever.  I miss seeing what's happening with all the blogs I follow.  I feel like some of the news is just happening, when it was really last week.  Yes, I am addicted to the techie things of this world.

235!  So I've not been to the gym in 2 weeks.  The week I was sick I ate hardly anything because I just didn't feel like it.  This week I've been eating more, but not where I was.  It's like my stomach has shrunk to the size it should be and I'm getting fuller at meals.  Because I've had this happen before, I know that it will likely stretch out again. 

Pete's been making dinners and I'm really glad.  For a couple of reasons.  One is that I felt overwhelmed sometimes with having to get home and make dinner.  Two is because I want him to know what a healthy meal looks like, both from the combination of foods and the portion sizes.  And he's learning.  A protein, starch and veggie.  He's done this several times this week and made things in good portion sizes for the two of us.

So this weekend is back to normal of the everyday errands and shopping and such.  I think I'll be waiting until sometime next week to try the gym though. (cough).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm alive

I have the best workout for you all! Ready?  Coughing.  It works your abs, your back, your arm to cough in...

I'm still coughing.  Unable to workout because let's face it, who wants to be on a treadmill next to Coughy McCougherson?  No one.  That's who.  I'm hoping that by next week I can do some light workouts and by the week after be back into it full swing.  I'm afraid to get on the scale tomorrow.  I was down when I was sick and didn't feel like eating.  But since I've been better, all I want to do is eat.  And since I'm the grocery shopper, it's slim pick'ins at the Michelle & Pete household. 

As for Pete?  He's finished the behavioral meetings with the psychologist.  She said that he was different than  a lot of people and almost strangely wary of his answers.  But after talking with him she realized that he's just a really positive person who is secure in his beliefs.  He has to wait until next week when the report hits the surgery center for his next phase.  I think he said that they send a request to the insurance to approve it and while they're waiting for that, they have him attend some classes to prep him for the surgery and afterwards. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

the ugly, the bad and the good

UGLY:  Me after no shower for 4 days and a fever.

BAD: Feeling like I've coughed my intestines out.

GOOD:  234 on the scale at the end of this.

Likely not an appropriate way of losing weight.  Not something I'd suggest, at all.  I still can't sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time and I'm dizzy when I stand.  I'm hoping I'm better after the weekend.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I'm down for the count

I'm posting this from my phone so forgive and mistakes.

I have the flu/influenza. Just to clarify, I'm not taking about the stomach virus that a lot of people incorrectly call the flu. I'm talking about the respiratory illness that we get shots fir in the fall.

102 fever, body chills, burning chest, coughing so hard my abs and ribs feel like they were used as a punching bag, dripping nose, sore raw throat and headaches. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

So I'm down fir the count for thenext week and won't be posting until I feel better.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Before & Afters

I have an admission.  I've never taken before & afters.

I follow a bunch of fitness/workout/healthy bloggers and they all seem to have these before & after pictures.  They even have during pictures.  All posted in various areas of the blogs.  They reference them and return to them to show how far they've come.

I certainly have pictures of me on my blog.  But none of them were taken with the intention of before & afters.

Oh I have good intentions.  I tell Pete that we should take before, during & afters to show progress.  But I never take them.

I keep wondering why?  I wonder if the pictures would help?  What happens of there isn't a change in a certain amount of time?  Would it have negative effects?  I should just do it, right?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

I'm full out jealous

And I'm going to admit it.

Pete's clothes are too big on him.  I'm full out jealous of that.  Don't get me wrong, I'm happy as can be for him.  He's worked hard, sometimes too hard, to get to this point.  He came down the stairs in a sweatshirt that I got him last Christmas.  It was swinging on him around the waist.  I told him that the sweatshirt is getting big.  And I love the smile on his face as I said that.  You could tell that he appreciated the compliment.

But inside?  Inside me was jealousy.  I want that too big feeling.  I want to see results like he is seeing.  I'm working, but not like him.  I'm doing 2-3 days of weights and 2-3 days of cardio.  I'm also not limiting my food intake at breakfast & lunch to cereal and milk only.  I'm also not working out 2 hours a day to the tune of 1000 calories burned.

Different.  I need to remember that he is going to see big results with the way that he is working.  I'm going to see smaller results.  And I do see results.  It's not that I don't.  If I'm honest with myself I want the big results, but I can't do a plan like that.  I won't do a plan like that because it sets me up for failure later in life when I can't sustain it.  I need to remember this post in the future after he has his surgery, because it will be like this for a long time.

So, inside I'm jealous, outside I'm happy and tomorrow is another day to work out and make good choices for me.

Friday, February 04, 2011


I don't know whether to be defeated or more motivated.  I think I'm choosing motivated.  240 on the scale today.  It may be because I indulged on a tiny kid sized can of root beet last night or it just may be that I gained weight.  Who knows?

I do know that the journal thing isn't going to work if I don't have it with me.  So I put it in my purse and I'm trying it out today.  I created a menu & shopping list in it this morning.  If nothing else, it's allowing me to plan for the grocery store this time, rather than punt (get the Superbowl reference?) once I get there.  I didn't shop last week in an effort to clean out the cupboards & fridge.  I miss fresh veggies!  Oh how I miss them.  I'm super excited to hit up Costco & Trader Joes on my way home from work today.

Have I told you all about my calf?  It's the latest in a long string of things that seem to be roadblocks in the journey that I'm on.  I injured, pulled, hurt my right calf 2 weeks ago while working out with the trainer.  Initially I thought it was just sore, but the soreness hasn't gone away.  I've tried to run.  Oh how I have tried to run.  But it hurts.  I can fast walk with little pain, but the elliptical and stair stepper and the running are no good.  I did kettlebells this mornings and it was ok, other than not being able to do the burpies. 

It's a journey, right?  And I'm validated by knowing that it's MY JOURNEY.  I just keep plugging along because that's what I do.  Stopping is not an option and sooner or later I will get there.


On 10/23/10 I went to the first Prior Fat Girl Event.  At the end of the event I was inspired, but still a bit reluctant to let my inner self get too excited.  At the end Jen had us write letters to ourselves.  She said she'd mail the letters out sometime in the future. 

My letter came yesterday and this is what it said:

Dear Self,
You deserve to be happy, wherever you are in your journey.
You should be working out to feel good, if for no other reason.  You deserve to eat well, even if it costs more.  You deserve to experience your journey as yours and no one elses.  You deserve to put yourself first - don't worry about others. 
You deserve to be you.  You now, you later and you past.
Remember your journey.  Remember your goals of 70 pounds by 2/1/11.
You can do it.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

I want new clothes

Simple as that.  I want new clothes.  I think part of it is, it's coming up to the time where spring clothes are in the stores and they look so appealing and have the promise of warmer weather approaching.  So I want them.  I neeeeeeeed them.

Instead I fondle them, I browse them, I pull them out and turn them around, I carry them with me in the store (but put them back), I try them on, I linger over them, I put outfits together, I find matching earrings, I imagine me in places out in the world with them on, I smile at them, I imagine them with things that I already own.

Seriously.  I must look like the biggest nerd in the store.  And by store, I currently mean Target or Old Navy.  I'm at that stage where I'm not investing in clothes, they're a temporary stop and I don't want to spend a lot on them.  Is that a bad thing?  I'm being serious for a second.  Sometimes I wonder if I refuse to spend much on clothes because I don't think that I'm worth it.  Other times I think that I'm just being frugal and can't imagine spending $100 on a pair of jeans. 

Remember my goal?  The one where I said that I could buy new clothes if I lost 15 pounds by 3/22?  I'm still working towards it.  Let me restate - I'm still determined to reach that goal.

So instead of buying a few new tops here and there or a new pair of work pants or whatever, I browse.  I try on.  I think.  Then I put it all back and leave the store.  Go ahead.  Laugh.  I do it when I put it all back.  But I also smile a bit inside.  I'm sticking to this goal.  I'm remembering the goal when the mood strikes to shop.  And I can see how far I've come by the sizes that I fit into.

So, it's all good.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Mid Week With Pete

Pete's down over 30 pounds 32 pounds!  His goal is 40 pounds before the surgery.

I have to tell you that my trainer thought he was a wimp.  Really.  He'd come in with me to the gym at 5am and do about 20 minutes of weights and then do this shoulder machine that is geared for people who have to learn how to live with a wheelchair.  I've seen it in rehab centers for shoulder injuries.  Anyway, she thought it was a wimp because that's all that she saw him do.

Then he told her (as I had previously) that he goes home and does an hour on our treadmill.  4-6 miles in a n hour.  She no longer thinks that he is a wimp.

He has the 2nd of 4 appointments with the psychologist for the behavioral assessment for the surgery this week.  He has to take the MMPI and then the next appointment is a follow up interview from the test.  The last appointment is the final summarizing appointment.

The sleep doctor appointment was late last week.  The doctor told him that he has mild-moderate sleep apnea on his back.  If he was a back sleeper, he would need a machine.  However, as the doctor pointed out, the study tech had to keep asking Pete to turn on his back when sleeping.  So it's not an issue.  In fact, it's likely that it would all clear up after he loses the weight from the surgery.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Half Way

My weekly goal - the 5 times to the gym...I'm half way there.  Since I weigh myself every Friday, I start my gym week over again on Saturday morning.

Saturday:  Walk/Ran 2.25 miles in 35 minutes at the gym.  Then came home and spent an hour vacuuming.  I'm only counting this as exercise because I actually produced a sweat!  lol.  I was scrubbing the stairs with the comb attachment.  Then I was always moving with the 3 kids on Saturday.  A.L.W.A.Y.S.

Sunday: Day off

Monday:  Fitness test with the trainer & 2 miles in 30 minutes.  I haven't lost a whole bunch of weight.  But I'm more toned, have better balance and am definitely stronger. 

Tuesday:  1 hour strength training with trainer.  556 calories burned/22% fat in 65 minutes.  (smile)

I'm more than half way there to my 5 times.  My plan is to go tomorrow and try the treadmill.  I have a calf issue and I'm going to wrap it and see if it makes a difference.  Thursday will be my second day off.  Then Friday I'm going to do 30 minutes on the treadmill and my 30 minute kettlebell class.

It's a plan!