Monday, October 31, 2011

The Story of the Walmart Pants

In 2007 Pete and I were going to the gym everyday.  I'd spent 40 minutes on the elliptical machine and I was watching what I was eating as far as portions, but not content.

After a couple of months I bought some smaller clothes.  It was awesome!  Then Pete and I had the idea to but clothes 1 size smaller than we were so that we could work into them.  So I bought I pair of Walmart jeans.  $9.  Perfect.  If I never fit into them it's $9 bucks.  If I fit into them, it's $9.

You know where this is going, right?  Those pants stayed in my closet on the shelf for the last 4 years.  Occasionally I'd pull them out and try them on.  At times they'd fit over my thighs, at times they'd only come up to my knees.

Yesterday Pete was cleaning out his part of the closet.  As a joke, I tried the pants on.

They fit.  They fit.  I was shocked.  They are a size smaller than I've ever worn in a long long time.  They're not exactly in style and they're not exactly flattering, but they fit!  YAY!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Celebrating Halloween

Weird huh?  I mean who celebrates Halloween?  Indulge me....

As a kid and even now as an adult, Halloween has always been special to me.  As a kid I'd come home from school and hurry up with any homework.  I'd don my homemade costume of a pioneer girl, Raggedy Ann, a M&M or whatever my Mom sewed for me.  We'd get into the car and drive a few miles to my Grandparent's house in town.  Not that we lived out of town, but they lived in a proper city with blocks close together and lots of neighbors. 

We'd arrive and as soon as we got out of the car my Grandma would fly out of the front door and tell us to pose for a picture.  When that was done we'd run inside to the smell of tacos.  When I was an adult I learned just how much taco meat my Grandma made; 10-15 pounds!  As a kid all I knew was that the smell of taco meat was enticing.  We didn't get tacos at home much because my Dad didn't like them.  It was also special because we got to make them ourselves with things like black olives, lots of cheese and crushed up Doritos for the shells.  We'd each make our dinner and head to the table to eat. 

Inevitably, while eating, the doorbell would start to ring, signalling the start of Trick of Treating.  We'd glance at all the costumes and eat quicker, knowing it was our turn next.  After saying hello to some of the neighbors that had dropped by to both see us and been seen with their grandkids, we'd head off to collect our share of candy.  Up one side of the street, down the other, over to the next block and do it again.  The pattern stayed the same every year.  And every year you could count the houses that would have "good" candy and "bad candy.

We'd return home with heavy plastic pumpkins or bulging plastic treat bags that snapped at the top.  The adults would ask if we had fun and which were the best costumes.  We'd yell as we ran through the house to the TV room in the back.  There we'd dump out the candy and finger it all.  Then we'd start picking out the best ones and the ones that we'd trade away for what we wanted.  Sated with candy, we'd sit back and watch the Peanuts Halloween or Charlie Brown Halloween cartoon.  Soon it would be time to go home and sleep.

As an adult I still love this day.  But for different reasons.  I love going to my Grandma's house early to help her set up the taco bar.  We sit and talk about life while chopping tomatoes and onions.  Once done we sit at the kitchen table, looking out the front window and waiting.  We wait for kids to come in cute costumes.  We wait for neighbors to come and catch up.  We wait for family to arrive with kids all excited.  About 15 years ago my Grandma was known for taking pictures of kids in cute costumes.  More recently she stopped because she was concerned that parents would be fearful of where to pictures went.

All night long we adults would sit, stand and hand out.  Kids would ring the doorbell and we'd take turns answering the door with the massive amount of candy that my Grandma buys.  Giving out one item and watching as Grandma opened the door and couldn't help but give out 2 or 3 when it was her turn.

My Grandma is 86, about to be 87 in January.  She's had some health scares in the last 18 months.  She had a stroke last year.  This year she's spent time in and out of the hospital and in a rehabilitative nursing home.  She's not able to host Halloween this year, even though it breaks her heart to break the tradition.  For me, it's a happy and sad time.  Happy because I still enjoy the Halloween spirit and I have a new puppy to dress up in costume (insert evil giggle).  Sad because this is the first year that I can remember not being at my Grandma's house the whole night.  My sister has decided to continue the tradition at her house, but it's not the same.  I'm planning on visiting my Grandma with the puppy in costume.  But it's just not the same.

So as many say in various times, hug your Family members and enjoy them in the here and now for you never know when it changes.  Happy Halloween to you and yours!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mid Week With Pete Update

I thought it pretty fitting, since this is a Wednesday, to update you on Pete. 

50 weeks since he started trying to lose weight.
34 weeks since he had the gastric band placed.

Highest weight:  327 pounds.
Lowest weight: 205 pounds.
Current weight: 209 pounds.

Most working out:  January--March of 2011; 1-3 hours a day, 7 days a week doing cardio at the gym. 
Least working out:  Currently; 2-4 sessions a week, mostly weight training.

Most food:  honestly I don't know.  There were times that he could eat most of a rack of ribs in one sitting with a side of fries.
Least food:  definatly after surgery when he was eating 1/2 of broth, 3 times a day.
Current food:  a piece of toast in the am for breakfast with a protein drink, 1/2 cup of baked beans and 1/2 hot dog for lunch, 1 mini cupcake sized homemade chicken potpie or 1-3 inch by 3 inch slice of meatloaf and 3-4 cheeseball sized potatoes.

Pete and I talk a lot about his journey.  He goes through everything that a woman goes through, even though for some reason I thought a man doing this would be different.  He's struggled with working out, with clothes fitting, with over eating, with eating the wrong things...everything you can think of.

So where is he today?  He's currently about 209 pounds.  Originally he was told that he should be getting down to 165 but anyone who sees him now (including himself) can't imagine him much below 200 pounds.  He's lost a huge amount of fat and had very defined arm, shoulder and back muscles.  His chest and leg muscles are are defined, just not as much as the rest.  His tummy area has what he calls extra fat, but I've been telling him that it's excess skin.  It took the doctor telling him this for him to believe it.  (And for the record he had no interest it getting it removed after seeing/reading what the procedure is like.)

He's struggled with continuing to lose weight.  The goal in the back of his head was always that he would be below 200, even if only for a day and even if only at 199.  I think he's realized that between 207-212 is were his body just naturally wants to be.  He's a size medium/large for shirts (he's be a solid medium if it wasn't for the belly skin) and a size 34 pants.

He's struggled with how to continue to workout.  He has no issue with the motivation to lose, but has never figured out what it takes to maintain.  This is a lesson that he will continue to learn the rest of his life.  He's was down to  lifting weights twice a week and didn't like that he was gaining a little back.  After meeting trying to convince him to set a schedule or 30 minutes of running and 30 minutes of weights several times a week, that's what he's trying currently.

His band is filled to 10.25 cc.  The most it can be filled to is 11.  He's comfortable where it is now.

When I ask him if he'd do it again, knowing everything that he does, he says he would. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sleep Study - Check!

Had I know what was going to occur with the sleep study I would have been a lot more freaked out than I already was.  Do you want to see most of what I had to sleep with?

Go ahead - Giggle!  I slept an hour in the shower getting all the electrode goop out of my hair...

Seriously?  I had electrodes everywhere.  No wonder Pete smiled at me before I left and said, "Let's video call each other before bed."  He wanted to get a good giggle.  And he got one.  I have to admit that the ridiculous of it all made me giggle too.

Anyway, I slept horribly and at one point the nurse came in and said that we'd have to start thinking about staying for the day time study.  Thankfully I figured out how to get some kind of compfortable and sleep for a few hours.  I left after asking about the study and being told that I'd have to wait for my doctor.

But here I am, post-sleep study.  What's changed?  Nothing.  Nothing.  I got past it and all the importance that I placed on it and nothing has changed.  I still need to jump back onto my path to healthiness.  All that lead up to nothing. 

I am doing pretty good with the things that I can do.  Portion sizes are still good and I've been drinking lots of water.  My weight hasn't changed at all either.

My next goal is to step back into the gym.  Just go for something and try to get back into it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Can I Do?

I keep thinking that I need to get back into the healthy journey, but can't quite figure out how.  It's amazing how something can throw you so far off track and you can struggle with how to get to where you were before.  It's also dawning on me that I don't need to get back to where I was before, I just need to get back on the journey somewhere. 

So while doing some heavy thinking in the shower this morning I decided that I can work my way back to my journey. 

I noted in a post earlier this week that my skin is horrible because I haven't been drinking water like I need to.  So my goals for the next week:
  1. Drink at least 75 ounces of water a day.
  2. Eat breakfast lunch and dinner.  No skipping meals.
  3. Be aware of portion sizes and eating until satisfied, not stuffed.
3 simple things.  But I think that they're 3 simple things that can make a big difference and get me back to thinking about healthy.  Back to a rhythm of being healthier.  Back to realizing that doing these things makes me feel better.  Back to my journey.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Orange Theory

No, it's not about eating oranges or even orange colored food.

It's Orange Theory Fitness
Orangetheory Fitness has been featured in The New York Times as an effective new plateau-busting workout in which participants can burn up to 900 calories in a 60-minute session. Backed by the science of post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), our heart-rate monitored training is designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy.

The result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours after your workout!

Have you heard of it?  Pete and I went to the Twin Cities Marathon event fair and found this workout group there.  It sounds kind of nuts.  It also sounds kind of fun. 

I'm thinking that Pete and I should try this out.  A new way to exercise may be the motivation that I need.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sporatically Posting

Is sporatically a word?  Hope so.

It's been almost 90 days since I've tried the gym. 
I've been eating okay.  More whole foods and less boxed/packaged food.
I've been struggling with getting my water intake and my skin is going nuts because of it.
I've been more active around home because of the puppy and cooking more.
Life is still stressful.
Work is nuts right now.

I think I'm on a healthy living hiatus.  I'm in limbo still until the sleep study is done and I can figure out my next step.  I'm kidding myself when I say that I'm not gaining weight.  Because in my mind I know that I'm losing some of the muscle I gained and likely gaining fat.

I have to admit I never thought it would be like this.  I thought that I'd make changes, do them for a period of time and they'd stick.  They'd become habit.  And while some things have, not all of them stayed obviously.  Do I miss the gym?  Yes and no.  Do I miss counting calories and fat grams and all that?  No.  Do I miss the feeling that I have when I leave the gym after a good workout?  Yes.  But it's not been enough to motivate me to workout. 

I realize that I'm placing a lot of pressure on this sleep study.  A lot.  And it's either going to go really really wrong or really really right.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Over the Over Emotional...

I think I've made it through to the other side.  I think that the combination of the life stressors and the PMS, (which is like when stars collide) meant that life was just way too overwhelming.

I have my sleep study scheduled for 10/23/11.  I have to be there at 8pm to get started.  If they don't get the data that they need overnight, they require that you stay the following day and take 5-2 hour naps for them.  I keep they want me to sleep for 8 hours then get up and sleep for another 10 hours?  I' so nervous that I won't sleep so the doctor gave me Ambien to try for that night.  And that makes me even more nervous because of the crazy things that I read about people doing on that med.  At least there will be someone to watch me...

I'm both fearful that I have sleep apnea (because it's a serious diagnosis) and that I don't have it.  It's like I'm balancing on a line and I could fall either way.  Another reason why I feel like I'm in limbo right now.

As for the healthiness journey...I think it's on pause.  That's not to say that I don't think about it.  I limit my portions and I try to eat healthy with veggies, fruit and whole grains.  But I'm not going all out and I haven't returned to the gym.  I do hover take Nico for walks almost every night so I'm getting 1-2 miles of walking in most days.  My goal is to get the sleep study done and return to the gym to start up something by 11/1/11. 

I'm getting better about meal planning/grocery buying.  I've been using this free printable planner from Vertex to help me.  I sit down each Saturday or Sunday and plan out a weeks worth of meals from what I have on hand.  Then I use the grocery list to add what I need.  It's cut down on waste and I feel much more organized.  I keep a few of these in the household bills binder that I made after seeing it on Echos of Laughter organizing blog.  When I'm done making my list and shopping, then I pull it out and hang it on the front of the fridge so Pete knows what's on the list and can help.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Lungs, Moonlight & Motorcycles and a Goal

I think some weight (pun intended) has been lifted from me and for various reasons.

1.  The Lung Specialist:  Yesterday I had my appointment with the lung specialist.  The nurse rooming me had no bedside manner, but that's beside the point, right?  Anyway, he was a nice man (why do I feel the need to place everyone into he nice/not so nice category?).  He listened to me talk and breathe and asked all sorts of questions about my sleep, my days, no breathing, symptoms...  Then he said that he thinks I have sleep apnea.  People with this stop breathing anywhere from 5-100 times an HOUR at night.  So he scheduled me for a sleep study and I'm waiting for the place to call me back for a time.

I'm a bit relieved because somehow I had decided that if I didn't need a breathing machine at night, I didn't have apnea.  This is false.  So my hopes of qualifying for surgery are a little increased, but I'm not all in yet.

2.  Moonlight and Motorcycle:  Yesterday I sent Pete a text asking him to take me for a ride after dinner so I could hug him close and feel the wind on my face.  My mind seems to settle on the motorcycle.  It races through all kinds of subjects almost like a word association game with myself.  I spent the first 20 minutes with my arms around his chest, my chest leaning into his back and my head on his shoulder.  I could smell the cologne he was wearing, the hot fall day, the dust from farmers in the fields, the engines of vehicles passing me by...  Little by little my mind calmed down.  I won't lie, I shed a few tears behind my sunglasses, but I was more peaceful than I had been in over a week. 

Later on in the ride, the coolness from the low areas and the bodies of water that we passed seemed to wake me up and shake me up. By then it was dark and the moon was up and shining on me.  And I stared at it intently and wondered where it would take me if I could ride it.  I wondered how many other people were looking up at the moon along with me.  I wondered if the pull of the moon was pulling me out from my feeling of overwhelm; if it would heal me slowly as I stared at it from the back of the motorcycle. 

When we got home I was strangely peaceful as though the wind had blown away some of my worry.  I slept better last night than I have in a while.

3.  Goal:  My goal is strange.  My goal is weird.  My goal is almost an experiment to see what happens.  My goal for this weekend is to cry it out.  Shed the tears as though they are baggage to me and need to be released. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Figuring it all out

Monday I had a really hard day at work.  I shared on Friday how disappointed I was in a work related issue.  I did my best not to think about it all weekend and was pretty successful.  Only by Monday it was so huge in my head that I had a hard time staying at work and couldn't concentrate at all.  I'm realizing that I should have through more about it over the weekend and talked it out with Pete or someone so that it wasn't so HUGE on Monday.

So I left work early on Monday and decided to hit up HomeGoods.  I had decided that I deserved to make over my office.  Now it started out innocently as I really had been thinking all summer about how I could make organizational and decorative changes to my office to kind of lift me up while I'm there.  I have a need to change and it's been stifled while here as I really can't change the layout of my office and I dislike stagnant spaces.  However, my plan was to hit up Salvation Army and the Goodwill for pieces that I could make over and bring in.  Bright pops of color that would make me happy to see them and new organization for keeping things in place.

Only what I did was buy this:

Metal basket, Wood organizer, Wood magazine holders, statue, silver cup and frame, plus more...
I spent $150 without even blinking.  And I put it on the 'emergecny credit card' because I didn't want to take it out of my short supply in my every day bank account.  Oh I walked out of there excited to try it all out in my office, but went home instead.  I spent the evening planning out in my head how it would all work out in my office.  I bought wall stickers/rub ons to add some modern decoration.  I bought spray pant and a drop cloth to change the color of the metal basket above and to paint my filing cabinet, among other things.

Yesterday I was still out of sorts, not quite in the moment and feeling down.  So I brought all the pieces in my office, one by one.  In the afternoon I shut the door and rearranged my desk/computer desk area.  I spent an hour cleaning and decluttering and then placed the new/exciting pieces where I wanted them.  I rearranged and rearranged until I decided on a layout.

Then I sat down and looked around.  And you know what?

 I wasn't any happier.  I wasn't any less out of sorts.  I wasn't any more in the moment.  I wasn't any less sad and disappointed.  I wasn't any less overwhelmed by my life right now.  And what I realized was that I not only use food to help me out of an emotional bind, but I use shopping and new things to do the same.  But neither one works. 

So I went home, all emotional last night and struggling.  I expected to find Pete there so we could have dinner and I could just relax.  But it didn't go as planned and we ended up miscommunicating and I ended up in tears.  And as much as I want to make myself better, Pete wants it more.  He hates to see me cry.  I had to remind him that telling me not to cry doesn't help.  He held me as I tried to settle down and stop crying.  But I can't help thinking, even today, that maybe what I really need is that good cry.  I need to get the emotion out of me and into the world and experience it.  Then and only then I can see if I'm ready to move on and get into a better place.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I'm still floating

My head is all kinds of messed up.  I'm admitting defeat for now.  I need to figure out how to get my head situated again so that my body can follow suit.  I am hoping that tomorrow's appointment with the lung specialist will help me set something in motion.

In the mean time I'm still here.  Floating along, doing the best that I can for now.  I get lots of puppy snuggles, lots of Pete snuggles and I'm indulging in what keeps me calm and peaceful.