What Happened?

It’s been too long, but there really has been nothing to write about. Most of you know I was injured back in January. What you may not know is that apparently (according to the doctors) it’s a pretty serious injury and it pretty much had me stalled for a while.

For those of you who don’t know, it’s a rotator cuff injury and elbow injury. Without being too technical basically all the tendons in my elbow are detached. And the shoulder has a tendon issue as well. To make it even more interesting both doctors I am seeing have said they’ve never really seen an elbow injury like mine. To put that in perspective, the specialist that only treats from the elbow down and is about 2 days older than dirt is perplexed by the injury saying he’s only seen one other. So I’ve been in a state of limbo. PT, no PT, elbow injection, PT for the shoulder without aggravating the elbow, no PT, shoulder injection, more PT.

Meanwhile don’t lift, push, pull, drag, twist…UGH! And it’s my left arm which would be great if I were a rightie, but I’m not.

It’s been a learning process for sure. One doctor told me “Just use your right arm.” Ok. Sure. Sounds easy, right? Ha! I’m quickly learning it’s not that simple, that you have to reverse your thinking too. I’m hoping since I have to use both sides of my brain I’ll end up smarter? Well, it sounds good in theory.

Then there was mourning. Sounds silly, right? Maybe it is, I mean it’s not like I LOST a limb right? But it’s quite frustrating to watch life go by and you can’t participate in the things you love. If you know me, you know I’m hands-on. We cut down 2 trees and normally I would’ve been out there, chainsaw in hand. It almost killed me. Luckily my work crew showed up with spouses and they kept me occupied. But it wasn’t the same. I just feel so damn helpless…

So I’ve started to move past that. Started. I still have my bad days. But decided to get back on the stupid bike this week and get my self back together. I’ve gained 10 pounds because if I can’t exercise I have no motivation to eat right. Not that I was eating terribly, but didn’t hold myself as accountable as I should.

And I still struggle. Is it worth busting my butt to be sidelined in a few months if they decide surgery for the elbow? Is it worth it at all be cause every time I get a good start and feel really good about it something comes along to knock me down? Is it worth the extra aches and pains to go along with these 2 big ones?

It is. I’m going with the mindset that IF I have to have surgery, I’ll recover much more quickly if I’m in better shape. And anything I lose will be a loss and that’s a positive as long as the scale creeps in the right direction. It’s going to be a long road, I know. The elbow doctor says it could take more than a year. I will overcome this, one way or another.

So I’ll keep pedaling. Maybe not as fast or far but pedaling none the less…

*Side note: I made a choice to not take any pain medication other than over the counter or a mild prescription medication. So my pain is as controlled as it can be without getting in to the heavy duty stuff. I went through that with my back and refuse to do it again. Please don’t judge me for this choice, it was very personal for me.

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Discoveries ~ It’s Been Awhile

Well, the path to hell is paved with good intentions. I have intended to blog for a LONG time, but always find some other more interesting thing to do. And besides, there isn’t a whole lot of new stuff to report. I mean I missed my 2,000 mile goal for 2013 by quite a bit because of a piece of glass block that busted the sidewall of my tire (and thankfully a student’s dad rescued me and brought me back to my car!). Then the weather. I mean really, when did south Louisiana decide to have an actual WINTER?!?! As if that was not enough drama, there’s “the injury” – not bike related, but keeps me off the bike since it involves my elbow, neck, and shoulder. 

 

Which brings me to my discoveries: first and foremost- I am NOT right handed. I suck at it, and I can’t wait for whatever this is to get resolved because my right hand is useless. 

But that’s not really the discoveries I’m talking about. I have some positive stuff (besides the fact that I’m positive I was never made to be right handed). 

At this point my overall weight loss stands at about 45 pounds. And when most people see me, they don’t notice because (I think I’ve said this before) once you get SO big, you’ve got to lose a lot for people to notice. It’s almost like fat is fat, there’s no “just a little fat.” Or maybe I’m crazy, which is a possibility. 

Being 45 pounds lighter I’ve discovered a few things. Little things, but kinda nifty. 

I fit differently in seats. Kitchen table, car, truck, auditorium, etc. I love that I don’t overflow anymore!
Speaking of seats- seatbelts fit differently too.

Old coats and jackets have a lot more real estate. Like I can wear sweaters and sweatshirts under them now and still have plenty of room.

Old clothes. You know, the ones we hold on to because we will fit in them again? Even better than fitting in them again is when you finally work up the courage to try them on- they’re too big! Funny thing is, some of the clothes are pre-2005. So I’ve been a big girl for a while. But had to give my favorite Levi’s capris away after I wore them again for the first time in about 7 years (yeah, we’ll talk about hoarding later) because they were so big they were falling off. Now that’s cool!

Fitting in “normal” sized spaces. Like the gym equipment 🙂

And best discovery of all: while I’ve always loved outdoor activities, I’m much better at them now! 

Oh, and I’ll never take a prolonged break again, like the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I gained 6 pounds and then had to lose it again. I completely undid all my hard work. That won’t happen again!

And I’ve discovered I can maintain. I’ve managed to maintain since right after Christmas without having to over think it. I know what I should and shouldn’t eat and try to stick to it, even if I can’t exercise (all the more reason to stick to my eating habits).

Hopefully the next blog post will include something about a long bike ride. I hope. And pray. I miss it so much!

Till then,

Life is GOOD! 

 

Busy busy busy

I have intended to blog every weekend, and it never happens. Life has definitely been in the way. Many of you may know that we now have kayaks, well I don’t have one but the boys have them. And that has taken a lot of my time even though I don’t go with them. When they kayak, they bring home fish- which means I get to package and cook fish. Yay. I don’t really mind other than the weekends never seem long enough to accomplish what I set out to do anyway, so throwing in an added task is a bit of a pain in the boondoggle. 

So here it is, another edition of me telling everyone how great life is since I implemented this “lifestyle change.” Well, you’re probably going to be disappointed this time!

I would like to talk about some questions I’ve been asked (a lot) lately. The biggest one of which is “Have you heard of/ tried Plexus/ Slim Quick/ Advocare (or insert any other weight loss/ health product here)? So and So tried it and lost a TON of weight!”

The answer is yes, I’ve heard of them- no I have not and probably will not try them. Why you ask? Because I feel if you have reached the point in your life that you REALLY want to lose weight/ be healthy, you will commit to the whole “eat less, move more” philosophy. Most people you see that are hugely successful with these products are also implementing that philosophy. I’m going to throw out a big cliche here: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And frankly if all this stuff works the miracles they claim- don’t you think the “obesity epidemic” would be non-existent?

  Now I know I am about to get slammed with people who are going to very mad that I am downing the products, but I’m not really downing the product. If that’s what it takes to spur someone to change, then good for them! Let’s just think for a second though…have you EVER seen anyone post/ comment/ testify that “_____ product didn’t work for me, I gained weight!” Probably not. I do know a lot of people who tried these products and were not successful, but you will never see that on a webpage because the companies don’t want you to see that. Like anything else it’s all about the advertising. 

I believe everyone has to find what works for them. For me it was tracking my intake and exercise every single day. Yes, I’ve hit bumps and had set backs, but that’s what happens with everything you try. I know equally as many people who have had gastric bypass that have regained weight- that doesn’t mean it’s not effective, it means that it wasn’t successful for that person. Whatever route you choose is only going to be as good as the effort you put forth. And ALL of these methods require some level of effort and investment. If you’re not really ready and committed you are probably setting yourself up for failure, and the more you fail the less motivated you will be. These products often give people the motivation they need to start, and then small changes follow: cutting back on carbs or fat, taking a walk, not going back for seconds, no fast food- all part of a healthier lifestyle.

So whatever way you choose to get there, make sure you’re ready to be there and be committed. And never, ever, ever make too many changes at once- that will almost guarantee failure. If you’re not ready to exercise, cut back sugar for a few weeks (like soda). Then maybe start taking a walk in the evenings. Be sensible. If you try to do it all at once you will burn out and not be able to maintain the changes. As you see success you will become more committed because you will feel better.

That said, I have to get back on track. I have not been on the bike in over a week (or done anything else for that matter). I had a goal of 2,000 miles by the end of the year and it looks like I might miss it by about 300 miles 😦 I had a plan, but that’s OK.

Numbers:

Scale number: unchanged

lost 1 pant size

cabbage consumed (I still can’t eat spinach): about 2 bags/ week

Celery eaten: 3 stalks/ week

Life is good! 

OH! Technology…how I (sometimes) hate you…

I use a few apps to track food and exercise and listen to music. This whole “smartphone” thing is a splendid idea, why didn’t anyone come up with it sooner?!? All of this nifty stuff you can do, it takes multitasking to a whole new level! Oh, how I love all of these neat things like taking pictures while tracking my ride and uploading my calories burned directly to my food tracking app! It’s so freaking awesome!!!!

Until it doesn’t work or your battery dies. UGH!

I have an iPhone 4S and I do really like the thing. Apple really had me sold because of ease of use (handy when Senior is trying out the whole technology thing) and the many apps as well as their process of screening new apps- no bugs on MY phone! But recently I have been having trouble with battery life. Like draining so ridiculously fast that I’m charging it several times a day. And like that wasn’t bad enough, along came iOS 7 which completely vexed me. Not quite as much on the phone as it did on the dang iPads- but nerve wrecking has no real degrees, the total aggravation of losing my contacts and the panic that ensued was just cruel and unusual punishment when they magically reappeared 15 minutes later. It’s almost as if Apple is thumbing their nose at us because they know that our phones are our lives now. Grrr…

That said, I have found some pretty nifty apps to use along with my workouts/ rides/ runs/ whatevers. I WAS a huge Pandora fan until they implemented that whole “listen too much and we start charging you” thing. Ruined the experience for me. Y’all know I’m cheap and ain’t paying for no music. So I switched to Spotify, which was OK but I found I didn’t get the same level of personalization (yeah, yeah, I should just suck it up and pay for Pandora. Uh, NO!). And then came iTunes Radio. I LOVE the dang app, except once I used it and loved it, it quit working or crashed. Now that I have fixed that problem (more on that later) I am back in love with it. I get the personalized music and more choices of stations, plus the option to buy the song (I don’t buy them, but it’s nice that I have the option should I ever want it). And I can save my stations to a little “favorites” kind of area and it’s easy to navigate- us old folks appreciate that!

Another app I use is iBiker. There is also iRunner, which is what I started with- they are the exact same app. You choose the exercise you are doing and it tracks it. I like that it provides the route you biked/ ran/ walked, averages, calories burned, duration, splits, elevation, pretty much everything you would want to track. Plus you can sync a heart rate monitor via Bluetooth and it will share my workouts with other apps. 

Then there’s Lose It. I know most people use My Fitness Pal, but before it was Lose It- and I originally started tracking what I eat a few years ago and this was what was out there. I’m used to it, it’s simple and does what I need it to do. 

I’ve tried Map My Fitness and I’m just not a fan. It has some things I like, but I really like the “dashboard” display of iBiker- it’s easy to read, especially while riding. Map My Fitness just doesn’t seem as user friendly to me. 

And that iOS update? It sucked. I think Steve is doing back-flips in his grave knowing that his company sent out an update with as many bugs as this update has! One day I was one the phone, hung-up, and went to make another call and all of my contacts were gone. Nothing like a mini heart attack while you are in the middle of something important. I figured I was going to have to post on Facebook for people to send me their contacts because I have not memorized a phone number since 1999 (hangs head in shame). So I turned it off and on a few times, fiddled in settings, and finally they magically reappeared. And just the look in general of the update- I just don’t like it. Buttons got moved, the process of deleting things was changed, forwarding messages changed, the battery life got worse even after I turned off the whole motion thing. And it was double the nightmare on the iPads. One of my students didn’t get to read for a week because his reading program kept crashing after the update for the app. Hopefully Apple figures out how to fix this and I can be happy with Apple again. 

Also, remember the Yurbuds I got a while back? I have to tell you the more I use them the more I like them. I also wonder why more people don’t use them when they are on the levee. You can hear noise around you plus hear your music, something I think the walkers should consider. Especially the ones that like to walk in the middle of the path with headphones in and don’t know you’re behind them, much less hear you yelling “passing left” 15 times. These headphones stay. Period. And they are comfortable and the cords never tangle. Plus, they are reasonable. I was looking at a Bluetooth set for about $80, but I only paid $29 for these. They do have higher end ones that cost more, but I figure the more I’m outside with them the more likely I could lose them. They do what they need to do- I don’t need $80 headphones. 

Well, no new numbers really. Just trying to keep going, but the scale is not. Some of my clothes are looser (Do NOT tell me muscle weighs more than fat- I don’t want to hear it) but still no change in numbers lately. I’m trading field greens for a chopped mix this week, and am still having the insatiable hunger- luckily not as bad as it was, at least now I can control it.

So until next time~

Life is GOOD! 

 

Time flies…

Even when you’re not having fun. And there hasn’t been much fun around here. Many of you know I’ve been sick. And because in an asthmatic a cold can’t be “just a cold” I got knocked down pretty good. Luckily I work with some fabulous people who know I’m sick before I do. So after going to the doctor and getting 1 med for the nebulizer, 2 different inhalers, an antibiotic, steroid, Singulair and Zyrtec, I’m back on the road again.

And I broke 1,000 miles! Apparently I broke it the ride before last but have been so caught up in life that I forgot to check. When I checked today (and took away today’s ride) it became clear I broke it Sunday. Go me! That’s 1,000 miles since the end of May, and while it’s not a world record, it’s still quite an accomplishment for me!

I’ve also started the %$!@ Couch to 5K. It sucks, but that’s probably because I HATE to run. Hate. HATE! But I’ve decided to suck it up and give it a try so I can change things up a bit. I’ve only done it twice so far and the second was better than the first (especially once I take all those inhalers!). I doubt I’ll run any marathons any time soon- and no, I’m not doing any triathlons.  

I did sign up for the Tour de Jefferson though! I plan on doing the 35 miles, which I know I can do- not fast- but doable. So if you have nothing to do on 10/20 at 7:30am, come on out and cheer on the boy and I as we make our way from Bayou Segnette to Lafitte. We (I) need all the moral support we can get (and probably a side of beef and 5 pound sack of potatoes when I’m done!). 

Speaking of beef…I’m hungry. All. The. Time. It has been a horrendous week- I have eaten everything that has crossed my path- good, bad, and even ugly. I’m not sure why- I’ve taken steroids before and not had this happen, but the hunger has been insatiable. And nothing is off limits. All I could think was how much weight I was going to gain this week and how much I would need to exercise to prevent any gain. I would have been happy to maintain. Funny thing though, I LOST 8 pounds- and I don’t feel good about it. I don’t know what went wrong. Any of you diet gurus are welcome to weigh-in (pun not intended) on this little phenomenon because I don’t understand. I have been off the steroids for 3 days now and am still hungry constantly. It’s not boredom that’s for sure because I have had plenty to do. Thoughts? Anyone?

So here we are- by the numbers:

Miles ridden: 1017.6

Miles run: about 2 (told you, I ain’t running no marathons!)

Shirt size: Large or MEDIUM (!) 

Pant size: same (yeah- why pant sizes won’t follow the shirt size trend I have no idea. More proof I have a very large derriere)

Weight: 198 (it only took 8 weeks of 202, 208, 196, 204, 206, 201, 200.5 to break that dang number)

No spinach- currently on a field greens kick (and have consumed about 5 pounds in a week)

Favorite snack: whatever is handy lately, goes back to that whole hungry like a hostage thing. Hopefully it passes soon! 

Sorry- nothing exciting. But stay tuned, life is about to get way more interesting in the coming weeks! 

Life is GOOD!

Where’ve I been?

Yep- for the 2 of you who have been dying for a new post, I’m back!

Haven’t really been anywhere, just the usual: work, home, play, workout, etc. Which has left little time for much else. School has consumed my life the last 3 weeks and I’m just praying I can make it to Thanksgiving!

Anyway, I’ve been trying to keep on keeping on which has proved to be quite difficult these last few weeks. It finally looks as though things might be becoming more routine and hopefully I can implement a riding schedule of sorts, because I think I can make that happen after it not happening, ha!

And as far as riding goes, nothing really new to report other than I’ve had trouble getting out there and getting some serious miles is. I did change a tube for another lady rider a few days ago. She had a beautiful Fuji that maybe weighed 3 ounces and got a flat on my end of the levee. I stopped and she asked if I could change it, and of course I asked her about having the fancy bike and all the stuff and not knowing how to change a flat. The response? “My husband usually does that.” Ha! Took about 10 minutes to fix it and she and her friend were gone again. They invited me along but since I may as well have been riding a Schwinn with a banana seat next to their rides, I let them go on. I didn’t want to show them up and make them feel bad when they saw how fast I could go on my 10 pound bike 😉

So how’s the rest of the journey going you ask? Numbers? Hmmmm… numbers have been a real battle the last 2 weeks and I had all but given up- I was frustrated, irritated, and frankly pretty darn hacked off. I gained FOUR!!! And there seemed no end in sight (PS- why are we so dang scale obsessed???). Suddenly I get on and BOOM! Lost EIGHT! I don’t get it, really. So numbers:

Weight: 202

Pant size: who knows? That’s a whole other post! Somewhere between an 18 and a 14- mostly 16 unless Saturn aligns with Jupiter and it might be a 12. I guess you just can’t get all Sri Lankan child laborers to use the same ruler…

Miles: 887

Calories burned: 83, 288

Pounds lost: 40

Spinach consumed: none lately, got sick of it.

New Favorite Bar: Kind Salted Dark Chocolate

And that’s it till next time when we delve in to women’s clothing sizes…

Sugar, Sugar

So. It’s been a heck of a few weeks. Never home for more than a day or so and even when we are, we are on the road. And now summer is almost gone. *Sigh*

And in these last few weeks I was very discouraged because I had actually gained weight. Only a pound, but a gain is a gain. I ran into a friend in Academy one day (she’s very thin, but trying to build muscle and be healthy) and we began talking about what we were doing in terms of “diets” (those of you who know me know I abhor the “D” word). She said that she has a whole new respect for overweight people now because it is HARD to follow a diet plan and workout, AND count calories, AND resist temptation. Can I get an amen?!? She’s right you know. I log EVERY SINGLE THING I eat EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I log my exercise and then I have to subtract the exercise and the calories consumed to see where I came in for the day and week. Or, if I look up a food that is only listed as “serving” instead of a number of the item or ounces, then I get in to the whole “I’ll never use algebra in real life” and now I need it and can’t remember it. It’s hard y’all!

So in my struggles the last couple weeks I have been trying to balance what I eat, making sure I have enough carbs to fuel my body on long rides yet make sure I don’t consume too much sugar at the same time (that’s an algebraic expression on it’s own). Not too much red meat (my Sunday “treat” so to speak) and not too much processed, no artificial sweeteners- ugh- my head is hurting just writing about it!!!

So I decided to switch things up a bit. I cut my carb intake to 70  or less per day. Easy right? The USDA says the recommended daily allowance is 300! And you Atkins people get this because y’all get even less. But I read that the sugar is what goes to your gut and that happens to be my problem area right now. So now I’m stuck- do I go back to the dreaded, cancer causing, it’s gonna make you fat artificial sweetener in my coffee? Or do I just not drink coffee (yeah, that ain’t happening and don’t even THINK of telling me to drink it black!!) or what do I do?? My morning breakfast of 1/2 cup of granola and 2 tablespoons non-fat plain yogurt fresh raspberries or blueberries- gone. Wholly cow! I can have all the darn meat I want. Jeez! So I did it. For a week. And I lost FIVE pounds. But, like with Atkins, is it sustainable?? I don’t know. I guess I’ll just keep trying to tweak it and continue to pedal my ass off on that darn levee…

And that’s only a snippet. My entire life is consumed with “eat this, or that?” and “what can I cook for dinner that the family will eat and I CAN eat without cooking 2 different meals?” and when do I fit the workouts in? Consumes. My. Life. And now, no sugar. I’ve given up bread and pasta months ago. I’ve given up sleeping in during the summer (I get up at 5:30 every morning so I can fix the hubby’s lunch and go do some miles). I’ve given up being able to sit comfortably and sometimes walk comfortably because by the time the old bruises heal, I have new ones from falling off the dang bike (I WILL get the hang of the darn clipless yet!!!). I’ve given up being a sloth during the summer. The list goes on, and on, and on…

So the next time you see an overweight person, remember- it ain’t easy. I absolutely got myself here, and I’m working my butt off to get away from here. And it certainly is not easy when you are married to someone who can eat a half gallon of ice cream before bed and never gain an ounce. 

So here are the numbers:

35 pounds total

No new pant size or shirt size yet

70 or less grams of carbs/ day last week

1 bag of spinach last week (I’m getting tired of eating it- time to change it up)

All the broiled shrimp I could possibly eat yesterday 🙂

 

Life is good!