Monday, June 08, 2015

Blah blah blah

Here we are again, with no progress except for me continuing to feel bad about how my body looks.  So I'm working on it, and today I am SORE.

First, though.  I had a physical a few weeks ago.  I really like my doctor because we have actual conversations about what's going on with me.  A couple of days after my appointment, she left a message for me about a medical weight loss program at a local hospital.  She has another patient who was seemingly doing all the right things and wasn't losing weight, but has had success with this program. I thought that sounded promising.

I did some research into the program and discovered that if you want to lose more than 35 pounds, the program starts with 10 weeks of 2 liquid meals per day plus a calorically-balanced dinner.  If they had said "a sensible dinner", I would have guessed the doctor in charge used to work for Slim Fast.

You know, I'm all for taking some mildly extreme actions, such as cutting out certain categories of foods for a limited time, but 10 weeks of 2 liquid meals doesn't sound like a recipe for long-term success to me.  Besides, I've done the liquid diet thing.  I was 15, I had jaw surgery, and my mouth was wired shut for 4 1/2 weeks.  It was --- not pleasant.  Also, it was about 3 years before I could even think about drinking any sort of chocolate-flavored drink without gagging since I mainly subsisted on chocolate Ensure and chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast because all of the other flavors tasted terrible*.

So in the name of being healthy and not an insane person on a liquid diet, I'm starting (again) to work on my activity level and my food.  Saturday Jason and I went to the gym to pump some iron.  Then we did some house and garden maintenance, of which mine consisted of taking 8 bags of mulch, dumping them into a wheelbarrow, and spreading them around our garden beds (which look so pretty!). 

Maybe doing that on the same day as starting strength training again wasn't the best idea, since Jason and I have been hobbling around the house for the last 2 days.  But we feel accomplished!

*The chocolate wasn't great either, but it was tolerable.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Another Day One

I was so optimistic about those resolutions, but then we traveled and Jason started making sourdough bread regularly, and really I'm just full of excuses.  Also, there are many feet of snow on the ground.  All that inspires me to do is huddle inside with hot chocolate and knitting.

The big excuse is, I have lost my drive when it comes to all of this healthy living.  It's been gone for awhile and I keep trying unsuccessfully to get it back.  When I went to see a weight loss specialist a little more than a year ago he told me that based on my history of weight loss and gain since I was, oh, 13, and the high rate of morbid obesity in my family, he thought maybe we could get me to lose 30 pounds, but probably not more than that.  This is a guy who makes money telling people if they follow his program and buy his stuff, they will loss ALL the weight.  I told him right off the bat I want to lose 50-60 pounds (which I did before), and he told me 30 was realistic.

Which makes me think, why even bother trying so hard?  Let's just eat all the yummy unhealthy foods and sit on our bums if the end result of severely monitoring everything that goes into my mouth and working out almost every day is that I'm still fat.

I know, not a very constructive attitude.  But that's where I am.

On the plus side, I went for acupuncture for the first time a little more than a week ago.  I think it helped my shoulder a bit, and I know for a fact that it helped some other aches and pains I've been having so I'm willing to keep trying with the shoulder.  Jason warned me a couple of weeks ago not to put all of my eggs in the acupuncture basket and I pointed out to him that this is really my last resort.  After this, my option is to talk to an orthopedic surgeon and figure out if he or she can do anything for me via surgery.  I really don't want surgery.

Today is the first day of Lent, so I've decided to start again with the healthy goals.  I replaced my broken Fitbit so I can monitor my steps again, and I'm cutting out sugar, grains and Diet Coke.  So far I have an A+ for the day, so, go me.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


It's that time to assess where I am and plan for the new year.  This year my resolutions center around (1) knitting (which you probably don't care about.  The gist is, stop buying yarn until a chunk of my stash has been knitted.), and (2) health and fitness.

My healthy ways have been completely disregarded as I continued to feel more and more depressed about my shoulder hurting.  I'm a little scared that I'll never swim again.  I still need to try acupuncture, and if that doesn't work, then I guess I'll consult with a surgeon and see if he or she has any thoughts.

However, I don't want to weigh 300 pounds eventually, so it's time to do something, anything, to be healthier.  So here's the plan for January, starting January 2 (Jason is making bread to go with tomorrow's black-eyed peas, so I'm going to have that as a last hurrah):

1) 30 days without the crap.  No caffeine, no sugar, no grains.  Last night Jason and I were talking about this and he said, Well, but you could have some occasional sourdough bread that I make...  Nope.  I need to do 30 real compliant days and get this stuff out of my system.  I've done it before, it's just been really hard for me to find the motivation to stick to it recently.  But I know I can do it.

2) Walk 10,000 steps 5 out of 7 days per week.  We took a trip in October and spent the first few days walking a bunch.  It was amazing how in just that short amount of time, I felt like my clothes were fitting a tad looser, and my attitude improved immensely.  Walking is about all I can do right now, so walking it is!  My fitbit just broke (sad!), but until I get a new one I know if I can walk the path near my house, that's about 8000 steps, and getting 2000 more during the day is a given.  If it snows, then I'll go to the gym and do the treadmill or elliptical. 

These aren't mind-blowing resolutions, but then it's only January.  2015 will be the year I get all of this under control again.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Cautiously Optimistic

Last night when Jason and I were driving home from pub trivia (1st!), I commented to him that right at that moment, my shoulder wasn't hurting.  That's kind of a big thing since most of the time there's at least a slight ache there.  This morning I woke up and it didn't hurt.

Now I'm sitting at my desk and my lousy ergonomic set up is causing it to ache again, but I'm paying attention and doing what I can to adjust my arm to the most painless position.  It's better.

I had planned to get up and start PiYo again this morning, since I figured out that my shoulder hurts whether I'm active or not, so I might as well be active.  Only since my shoulder didn't hurt, I thought, maybe it's getting better.  Maybe I shouldn't put it through a stressful workout with a bunch of down dog and such and see if it keeps getting better...

I don't know if that was the right choice, but it was my instinct in the moment.  I'm going for a walk later today, so I'll get some activity, but I'm going to cool it with the PiYo for now and maybe I can heal.  That's a novel thought.  Since my shoulder started hurting almost a year ago I don't think there has been a time when I took a few weeks off from everything like I've done lately.  Maybe that's what I needed.

I'll give it a week.  If it's still feeling better, I will cautiously try to do some exercise that uses my shoulder and see how it goes.

Monday, August 25, 2014


And the MRI result is - there's no injury.  Wah wah.

I went to my PA on Friday and he told me that the MRI definitely shows inflammation, and some bursitis and tendonitis, but no tears anywhere.  Which to me just sounds like I have to learn to live with it.  He did say that there might be a surgical option where if there's some impingement they can go in arthroscopically and shave off some bone, and clean out the bursa, and that's helped some people.  He said surgeons usually like to see you've tried everything else, including more than one cortisone shot.

So I got another cortisone shot and promptly almost passed out.  I had a stomach ache Friday so I hadn't eaten lunch. Whoops.  It's actually been a few years since a needle has made me pass out, and that was when I got blood drawn.  The soreness from the shot is finally wearing off today and I can still feel that one painful pinpoint right in the front of my shoulder, which tells me the cortisone hasn't touched it.

I'm just not sure what else I can do.  I did PT for 4 months and have been on a prescription anti-inflammatory for 5 months. I've had 2 cortisone shots and now the MRI just shows vague "inflammation."  I guess the next step is to meet with a surgeon in a couple of months (after we take a trip in October) and see if that would be useful for me to consider.

In the meantime, I am so bummed out by my lack of activity.  I was so excited for PiYo, and I've had a couple of friends and teammates who worked the program for the 60 days and have seen incredible results.  Meanwhile I purposely did nothing last week just to see what happened and my shoulder is still sore.  I suppose that shows that I can work out some and as long as I ice my shoulder after, it doesn't really make it worse, so that's something.

I need to walk more, since I can do that.  I was going to wake up early this morning and do just that, but then I had a really restless night and couldn't pull myself out of bed at 6 AM.  Tomorrow!  Or maybe today after work, actually.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Had my MRI this morning.  Afterward I was wondering if experienced MRI techs know enough to read and interpret what's on the screen?  My tech was an older lady who seemed to know her way around the MRI machine, adjusting me and switching out coils to get the best image possible, and checking on me periodically to make sure I wasn't freaking out during the 40 minutes I had to lay super still while magnets grinded and ka-chunked in a huge plate about 3 inches from my forehead.  Thank goodness for open MRIs.  I can see how people get claustrophobic in the tubes.

Anyway, she casually chatted with me when I first got there about what happened to my shoulder.  Then after the MRI, she probed a little bit, asking about the trauma and the stress my shoulder has experienced to get me to this point.  It made me wonder if she saw an injury on the image.

I'll find out Friday when I see my doctor, but of course I'm impatient.  I think at this point I want there to be a discernible injury.  Something to assure me I'm not just crying wolf and that there's actually a problem.  But a fixable problem.  That's key.  I don't want swimming, kayaking, rowing, yoga, etc. to be things I just don't do anymore, because, you know, bum shoulder.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


I saw my orthopedic PA this morning and we agreed that I should get an MRI.  He asked if it shows some fraying or tearing if I would be open to having surgery and I said, definitely.  It's not that I want surgery of course, but I do want to feel better and get back to my normal activity level.  I'm so pleased when I hear my PiYo teammates talk about their successes, but I'm also a little jealous that I'm not right there with them. 

So we're working on scheduling an MRI because insurance, pre-approvals, blah, blah, blah. 

I'm not going to lie - I'm struggling.  I have been really down and snippy with Jason and all I want to do is hole up and escape in knitting and cheesy TV shows (currently making my way through Buffy for the first time).

And the PA made a casual comment this morning about how he can visually see atrophy in one of my right shoulder muscles as compared to the left because I'm obviously babying it.  Super.

At this point, I hope the MRI shows something because if it doesn't, I'm out of ideas.