Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bronchitis Saved Me From Spiralling

I have been without a voice since Friday, and worked through it, despite my throat feeling like it was being sliced by razors every time I was forced to speak.  Yesterday was our big "vision expo" at my work, where we gave out prizes and sold our glasses for ridiculously low prices.  I was required to work nearly 13 hours.  Without a voice.  So I did the best I could, but decided enough was enough, and went to the doc today.  I was relieved when I found out it isn't strep, but I've been unable to eat or drink much due to the extreme pain.  It turns out I have a severe sinus infection and bronchitis-again.  I have begun antibiotics, and should start feeling better shortly.  Today, I took the day off to rest.  It was absolutely necessary.
My diet, since swallowing has been agonizing, has been consisting of a lot of ice cream, and ramen noodles, and oodles of cough drops and over-the-counter drugs.  It's interesting how my "cravings" have all but disappeared since I can't smell or taste.  I think my only fluid intake yesterday was 8oz of water at best, which I forced myself to drink despite wanting to. 
Today at the doctor, my wieght was 158, but I know a lot of that has to be due to me not eating and drinking as normal.  I have been so off track that it should be far more than that.  My blood pressure was still within the normal limits, but a bit high.  While the doctor was upset that I'd taken myself off my meds, he did say the blood pressure was probably elevated due to the infection and pain.  So, he demanded I have my blood work done again in a couple weeks when I'm feeling better, and another appointment to discuss treatment options, if needed, in about a month. 
Immediately something clicked in me.  A bit of fear, mixed with a bit of "I'll show him" and I knew that as soon as I start feeling better, I am going to get back on track, have that stinkin blood work done, and he will see that I am just fine without it.  That is going to require me to be pretty dedicated to my health in the next month, which will be just the push I need.  Since going off my meds, there has been no one to hold me accountable for my health, and I have just been running free and wild, most likely undoing the good work I'd done.  But if there's one thing I have learned about this particular diet, it's that once I get back on it, I start to feel better and my bloodwork comes back to normal levels fairly quickly.  I don't want to be back on meds.  I will be sure to start taking my niacin supplement every night at bed time this month, and together with the clean diet and exercise, I think I can prove that, if I stay on track, my health is just fine.
Today is about rest and recovery.  Tomorrow is the funeral service, which will involve some travel, and I'm sure I will be emotionally and physically exhausted afterword, but then Friday is just a normal 8-5 day at work, and then the glorious weekend will be here.  One day at a time.  I believe I will recover quickly from this virus.  I'm actually looking forward to the way it feels to be eating clean and taking good care of myself.   No matter how far off track I get, I always know the way back.
Hope you are enjoying some wonderful fall weather!  Have a good finish to your week. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Beautiful, Elusive Sleep

After several very restless nights of sleep, I finally got a few good hours interspersed with some more restless sleep.  It is starting to worry me, because this is exactly how I felt when I was first diagnosed with hypertension and high cholesterol.  I know stress can be a huge factor in not sleeping well, and I can say I have my share of that.  On top of it, I am coming down with a head cold that has a constant tickle at the back of my throat, and was forced by my work to get a flu shot yesterday (it was either that, or wear a mask from now until the end of May) which left my entire upper arm sore and gave me a fever that had me tossing and turning. 
Right before bed my husband showed me his latest photos, which had him posing with a topless girl in very provocative manner.  I knew that's what the shoot was, and that the model is a lesbian, and I gave my OK because I don't want to hold him back.  It does still effect me emotionally to see it though.  He is sensitive to my feelings and wanted to keep the photos from me, but I told him it would only make me think they are worse than they are.  I didn't know she would be topless, so that took me by surprise.  He assured me that when he is on a shoot, all he thinks about is how he looks, and pays very little attention to anyone/thing else.  And he looks at the photos from a purely artistic standpoint, the lines, the lighting, how great his muscles look.   I am trying to be as supportive as I can, but it still bothers me.  That is my own hang up I guess.  It didn't help me sleep though.
Today is the day my grandma is taken off life support.  I have chosen not to see her in that state because while I wasn't extremely close with her, I remember her so warmly, always smiling or laughing at herself.  Since my grandfather passed away a few years ago, she always felt like a burden to my mom and her siblings who cared for her, and the smile dissappeared from her face.  She has been telling her children that she is ready, and I feel it really is her will.  It makes it easier for me.
I know once I am through this little spell of sickness, death and stress, I will be stronger on the other side and better able to get back on track.  I am starting to see the negative impact of my bad choices already, by how I look and feel, and how that affects my mood.  I feel old and achey and jiggly.  But, knowing the family history of heart issues and cancer, and knowing that I am already a candidate for heart issues, I know I can not continue to let things slide.  If I let things go for too much longer, I will end up back on medication, and then they might as well add an anti-depressant because I will feel like a complete loser.  And not the good kind.
I know that, mentally, the only way I am going to deal with my husband's new found love of being photographed and adored is to make myself stronger, and stop reacting so emotionally to things.  Once I begin to make healthy choices, everything else will fall into place.  I can't control what he does or how it makes me feel, but I can control how I feel about myself, and that is where strength comes from.  It's almost like starting over for me, because right now I am in the same place I was for years, thinking to myself, wow, you really need to make some changes, but not feeling strong enough to do it.  But, just as I always knew I could and would do it someday, I know now that I will be able to get back on track and see it through to fruition.  I knew this journey wouldn't always be easy.  I knew I wouldn't always have iron-clad resolve.  It is the realization of those truths that has shown me that just because I'm not strong one day or one week, doesn't mean I will never be strong enough to do it.  I am still on my way, I just needed a little psychotic break. 
I am looking forward to a low-key weekend with my family, including some extra rest, and a bunch of fresh, fall air.  Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Woe is Me

Yesterday I found out, via Facebook no less, that my last remaining grandparent is in the process of passing away.  She will be taken off life support tomorrow, and will mark my third grandparent to pass away from heart complications. 
In logic, one would think that fact would be enough to make me straighten up and take care of myself, but in reality, it just the latest in the string of things leading me to comfort/stress eating.  I am not eating bad all day every day, but I find that I reach a breaking point, that one event per day that just sets it off, and then I have some garbage.  I feel like a total mess right now.  My marriage is at a low point, there are continued problems with our daycare situation for our autistic kids, my grandma is passing, my mom's a mess, my car is falling apart and I can't afford to fix it nor get a new one.  The list goes on.  And it makes me wonder how my resolve was so strong when I began this journey.  It isn't like I have more stress now than I did then, just different things to stress about.   The difference is, when I was new to this, I didn't let things get in my way or derail me.  I had such a strong sense of purpose and direction, and was rarely swayed.  I feel so weak in comparison right now.  And I know some of it has to do with my once-greatest supporter being a lot more emotionally available then than he is now, but I have to remind myself that it was ALL ME doing the good stuff, and right now, it is all me doing the bad stuff.  Every last bit of it is a choice.
For now, I am just trying to muddle through this phase, trying to make sense of how I let things (including my self esteem and self worth) slip, and how to avoid it when I make a fresh start.  As always, I am still on this continuum, and not far off the path I was on, I just need a little breather and I'll be right as rain.
Hope you are all fairing well.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Good (re)Start

Exactly FOUR pounds of junk left my body yesterday, that is amazing to me.  My husband reminded me that carbs make the body retain water, so when you take them out of the equation, your body has no choice but to flush the excess water out.  Boy, did it ever!
I did a shoulder, chest and tricep workout before work, and despite having the normal amount of caffeine, felt a little sluggish most of the day.  Probably the combo of the weight session and not having any carbs with my breakfast.  I am eating chicken for lunch and lean ground turkey for dinner, and sticking to low fat dairy and nuts for snacks.
It is really interesting what eating clean does to my mind.  I felt taller, thinner, stronger and more in control of whatever came my way, just by being so in control of what I was eating.  And it felt like I was doing the right thing, which made me happier.  Then, when I started to think about when Phase 1 ends (in two weeks) and I start to add good carbs back in, it is going to feel like such a treat.  The hard part for me, will be the weekend, when my family is looking to eat out.  There are plenty of on-plan things I can eat, and my husband is aware that I am going to reign in the diet, so he has agreed to be more conservative as well.  We have decided to go back to one cheat meal per weekend, and for me, I am going to start elliminating the sweet treat that usually follows.  At least with the cheat meal, there is nutritional value, where the sweets are pure junk and can only lead to a mess where my cholesterol is concerned.
So, I continue to learn about my body and my triggers, and in the midst of it all I have learned that nothing is unchangeable, even my messed up mind!  Going back to Phase 1 is reassuring me that I have what it takes to go the distance, no matter how off track things may get.  Life is always going to be complicated, how we chose to handle it shows what we're made of.  I haven't always handled things with grace, but I always fight my way back from a setback.  That means more to me than the times when this was easy; these are the times I will remember and be most proud of when I finally reach my goal.
Enjoy your day!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rewind

This weekend was a diet disaster!  I allowed myself to be extra stressed out about things that were not really in my control, and I ate and ate and ate like the world was ending.  I had McDonald's three times between Friday and Saturday, ate popcorn and candy and ice cream, you name it.  My stomach was in horrible distress, my mood was so foul, and I felt like I wanted to put on a baggy pair of sweat pants and curl up in a corner somewhere, fetal position.  What a mess.
Somewhere in the midst of that I decided that I need to get back to square one, start fresh from Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet, break the sugar addiction/blood sugar roller coaster, get rid of some of the excess water and junk weight I'm holding, and get back up to three weight sessions a week.  When I stepped on the scale this morning, I was horrified to see it at 162.  I've been out of the 160's for months now, and there it was, slapping me in the face.  But at least I am doing something about it now, before it gets too far away on me.  I have been releasing that excess water weight with little effort already, I know this will help to cleanse me, and even though it will require me to put more thought about what I'm putting in my mouth, that will also help me to refocus. 
I need to find more productive ways to handle my stress, or I can just go ahead and sign back up for the prescription drugs I had worked so hard to get off of.  I don't want to be going in that direction, I have already learned that it's not the way that's right for me.
So, this is a fresh start, and I am feeling really positive about it.  I can only go up from where I was last weekend.  This little rewind will be what saves me from spiralling, and it's just in the nick of time!
Hope you all had a relaxing weekend and your week is off to a great start!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Working For It

Last weeks success really helped me start to feel better, mentally and physically.  It jetted me out of feelings of apathy and depression, and put me back on top of things.  I regained my belief in myself and what can be accomplished, and all of it together, helped me to be less of a drama queen where my home life is concerned. 
This weekend was pretty lax for me in terms of my diet, but I had a chance to do a lot of thinking about the events that have taken place for me in the past few months.  I spent some time leafing through some Oxygen magazines, looking at the muscular physiques and when I compared my current body type to those in the magazine, I realized that where I am at is not a happy stopping place for me, but simultaneously realized that if I want to look like the women in the magazine, I can.  That was a huge moment for me.  To go from seeing that as completely unacheivable to completely posible was my "aha moment". 
It was nice to do cardio outside in the morning over the weekend/holiday, when the sun was up.  It was still chilly outside, but I have always liked this time of year, when the sun seems golden, like how the movies always depict the sun in Italy.  The crisp air helps me wake up nicely, and the cardio feels good.  I think the outside cardio will be limited to weekends for me from here on out, as it is pitch black outside in the mornings now, and it is a bit eerie of a feeling.  My hunt for a treadmill is in full swing, as I hope to hit a few garage sales in the coming weekends, and check out the thrift shops and used sporting goods stores. 
Yesterday, I was uncommitedly thinking about doing a weight session once I'd gotten my cardio out of the way and had breakfast.  Before I could talk myself in or out of it, my husband got on the home gym and did an incredible workout.  When I saw how hard he was pushing himself, it made me realize how much I don't do that.  Once he left to go visit a friend, I had an amazing back and bicep workout.  It has been years since I've been able to properly hit my back muscles, and the burn felt so good.  And today I am reaping the reward of that feeling of sore muscles, which always makes them feel huge and hard, putting me in a great state of mind.  My image of what I want is transforming, and it is pushing me to work for it.  No matter what the scale says, no matter how insane it makes me to walk back and forth like a caged animal in my hallway for cardio, no matter if my kids are trying to climb me like a tree or fighting over the computer, no matter if my husband is overextending himself and being adored by throngs of horney women (and gay guys).  It is my time to do this, and I am not stopping until I look exactly how I want to look, and of course, the feelings of complete gratification will come along with that. 
The detour that I had been on for the past few weeks, was completely self-imposed, but I learned from it.  And it didn't stop me.  I am beginning to finally see that, if I keep dusting myself off, and working toward my new ideal, nothing can stop me but me.  That is the most powerful feeling.
Have a great week!

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Good Week

I have been doing so great with my diet this week, and have done cardio every day except today, despite feeling like I am catching the headcold my kids brought home.  My metabolism is really revved up and I am feeling a lot more energetic from eating clean.  I am starting to see a little bit of normalcy again.  At least, the kind of normal that I have been seeking for a long time.
I did a weight workout only once this week, not enough to warrant me having that huge contraption I call a home gym taking up my dining room, but I will get back to it with the weights too.  My last workout was for chest, shoulders and triceps, and using the home gym really gave me a fantastic workout.  I feel really fortunate to have the equipment.
Today I had quite a triumph.  I was thinking about letting the diet slip a little, to include an off-plan lunch, since my husband will not be eating a cheat meal until late Sunday night.  Then, I came across an ad I tore out of my Oxygen magazine.  It is of Jamie Eason lifting weights with her back to the camera, her shoulder and back muscles look absolutely amazing to me, and the caption reads, "How about some guns to go with that little black dress".  All desire to eat junk dissapated when I saw that photo.  What an inspiration her physique is to me, especially when she is shown in a very muscular pose.  The visual inspiration is not always effective for me, but this one is.  I hung the ad up in my office, to help keep me on track, even when I'm bored and want to eat to pass time.
I will probably reassess my diet soon, to make sure I continue to move forward, as I seem to be stuck in the mid 150's for a long time.  Now that I'm back on track, at least with cardio and diet, I should see things moving in the right direction.  As far as my measurements, my waist continues to shrink, while my lower body and upper arms are staying about the same.  I did actually gain some muscle in my calves, not where I would have needed it, but there it is. 
So, just a quick post to say I am still here, and it has been a good (albeit chaotic) week.  And I feel great being back on track!
Have a great weekend!