Friday, December 28, 2012

Wrapping Up 2012

I am glad to see this year come to a close in the hopes that 2013 will be a better one!

I leave 2012 heavier than I have been since 2010 (maybe even 2009), with no runs since July and little intentional exercise beyond that. It won't be hard to do better in that area of my life!

The BF and I are giving it another try. He was out of the house for about 48 hours, and then came back until his planned move on 1/6/13. He has to get his dog back from his best friend who has been caring for him since May when the BF moved in to my house, complete with 5 cats and a No Dogs association rule.

2012 has been very challenging. I have not gotten through unscathed. I have to once again lose the weight that I worked so hard to lose before, and I have to rebuild my fitness level as I did when I started this blog. Both are totally achievable, but I feel exhausted and find it hard to start again.

I have also deleted my Facebook account. I decided to unplug from it for 2013 and use the time that I spent on it to focus on my own life. It has been a change, that's for sure, but now my focus is on those who are actually present in my life and not just on my News Feed.

Today is my last working day of 2012, and then I am off for five days to celebrate both the new year and also my DD's 11th birthday. When I return to my routine in 2013, I will do so with renewed focus to make 2013 count in moving closer to my goals.

Have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Heartbroken

It's been a long time since I posted here, and many things in my life have changed since then. The good news is that BF had a post-chemo PET Scan this month and was diagnosed as cancer free on 12/5/12. It was an amazing day, to know that all of the tough times paid off and he was healthy again.

Unfortunately, our relationship ended on 12/15/12 and he moved back home last weekend. I am heartbroken right now, and miss him very much. The holidays no longer hold any appeal for me, but I will put it together for DD.

I also have to pull myself together. I have gained weight and do not feel good about myself. I have not run since July. I have neglected my friendships due to my singular focus on BF and the accompanying exhaustion of caring for him and also being a working single parent.

I am lost right now.

Due to the sadness of this last weekend, I have not eaten since lunch on Friday. The thought of it makes me sick to my stomach. I need to get some nourishment today. That will be my baby step for today.

DD is home sick with a high fever, which is good for me because I am still a big mess and thus have another day to pull myself together before I return to work. Returning to work tomorrow will be my baby step for Tuesday. And getting to the gym for the first time in months will be my baby step for Wednesday.

I know that time will heal this wound, but right now it is hard to imagine that happening any time soon. I don't know what to do with myself. I need to rebuild a life of my own.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Around and Around

As in my waist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDgMtvGiJ7Q

I bought myself a weighted fitness hula hoop and, for the first time in my life, was able to spin it around my waist more than once!  I counted to 125 times, but then stopped counting because I thought that was pretty darn good for a first day. :-)

A woman that I work with has lost a significant amount of weight learning to hoop and is offering some introductory tips at work now that she is a Hoopnotica instructor, so I bought a hoop and a DVD from her because I have never in my life been able to do it.  I even bought a travel one that can be made into a smaller size for my daughter because, as I predicted, she wanted to try it as soon as she saw me spin it around my waist.  I think it is a good (and fun) activity that we can do together.

Those woman can move with those hoops... and I want to do that!  It makes me feel like a kid again, and I keep picking it up every time I pass it to give it a few more minutes on my waist.  I will say that I am a bit sore in the core, and am trying to take it slow since I have had 6 major abdominal surgeries that cut my muscles something fierce... but so far, so good.

My boyfriend even gave it a spin, and he's pretty impressive!

Speaking of the boyfriend, he finished his 5th chemo treatment on Monday.  Five down, 7 more to go.  He's feeling pretty yucky today and can't seem to wake up, but I did get him to come into the swimming pool for about half an hour.  It's hard to see him like this, but sometimes I have to remind myself that I cannot fix this. I just hold his hand through it.

Well, I feel the need to grab my hoop again and give it a twirl, but I'll update you about my progress!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Another Month

It's hard to believe that it has already been a month since my last post.  It has been a pretty good month, though, so at least my silence is not because things are bad.

My boyfriend has his fourth chemo treatment tomorrow.  Each one has brought new challenges, but we have worked our way through them and things are mostly manageable.  Not easy for him, but no more trips to the ER or urgent calls to the doctor.  He even made it into work every day last week for two hours a day, which is the first time since March that he has gone in every day for a full week.  His demeanor has changed, he is awake and alert more often, and his appetite is pretty good for being on chemo, so we are hopeful that he it is working and that he is getting better.  He will have a CT Scan after his sixth chemo treatment to check the size of the lymphomas, but we anticipate good news.

I, on the other hand, have been having trouble sleeping.  I have also been struggling with my eating and have had no exercise.  I am trying not to beat myself up about it, but it makes me feel very down about myself.  I feel like I cannot do anything well at this point, and know that I need to start with baby steps again, but it is hard not to go the dramatic changes route.  Next week my goal is to stick within my points and to exercise three times for at least 20 minutes each session.  Whatever it is... running, walking on the treadmill, swimming, Wii... anything that adds extra activity to my current life.

This is also the first year that I am estranged from my father for Father's Day.  He also has a birthday coming this week.  And, although the concept is disturbing to me, I guess he has been such a small part of my life for the past 10+ years that I cannot say that it feels much different than one fewer phone call today.  That's pretty sad.  My BF has been tossing around the idea of children lately since he has not had any up to this point in his life, and it made me think about my own father and his lack of parenting other than discipline and financial support in my childhood and teenage years.  I can tell the stories of when he gave me a black eye in 8th grade for going to the Y across from school at lunchtime (not allowed to leave campus) or when he tried to kill me with his shotgun after getting a call from hotel security to pick me up from a teenage party when I was 16, but I guess I only remember the extremes because my mother has always been the involved parent in my life.  I miss the concept of having a caring father, and I am sad that my daughter does not have a grandfather (and that he could ditch that relationship so easily), but other than that I do not miss the people that he has surrounded himself with for the past 15 years.

It's bedtime for me now (oh sleep, please be my companion tonight!).  Hopefully the next month will bring even better news.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Saving All My Points for Wine

Okay, maybe not ALL of them, but I am keeping a bunch back each day for a big ol' glass of the red stuff each evening!  That case of Apothic Red is going quickly!

I jumped on the scale this morning after two days of being spot on with my points, and I was already down 5.2 pounds.  So, although the number that I saw Monday obviously included a lot of bloat from the holiday weekend, things are moving in the right direction.  I am going to stay off the scale until next Monday since I now have the numerical reassurance that I am on the way back down, but I must say that I am glad that the scary number I saw on Monday gave me the kick in the bottom that I needed to refocus.

This week I am focusing on getting my eating back in line, and I will most likely continue to focus on that as a goal next week, too.  Then I am going to add exercise back in as a second goal.  I am not going to be making it to the gym for awhile, so I have to get a new cable box for the TV in my exercise room because it kicked the bucket and I see the treadmill in my future for the next few months.

Things are very stressful at home.  Things are very stressful at work.  Life in general is very stressful right now, to a degree that I have not experienced in many many years.  But I have to make sure that I do not make it worse by screwing up the things that I actually have control over like my eating.  That's all me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Foci

I tend to be singular in my focus.  When I put my mind to something, I can often surprise myself with the changes that I can affect.

Lately my focus has been especially singular in nature, and it starts with a big ass C.  In my mission to help my boyfriend fight his disease, I have been systematically destroying myself with my weapon of choice: Food.

I have spent most of the past month and a half binge eating.  Hiding in the kitchen, eating in the dark after everyone has gone to bed kind of binge eating.  The rest of the time I have just been careless with my consumption, with a very few days of discipline interspersed here and there.  I told myself that it was just temporary, that the next day would bring reform.  And while it often did through lunchtime, the end of the day would once again include eating with wild abandon.

I woke up on Monday morning telling myself that I would get a solid four days of self-control under my belt and weigh in on my normal WW weigh-in day of Friday so as not to flip out after seeing the number on the scale after a weekend of extreme eating a la Man vs. Food.  But, as I climbed out of the shower, I gave myself a mental bitch slap and literally jumped on the scale to get that numerical taboo out of the way and face the damage that I had done to myself.

OUCH.

It was about 5 pounds worse than my worst thoughts about what the number might be.  No more waiting until Friday as usual... I immediately reset my WW weigh-in day to Monday and started the work to take the weight back off.  No crash diet, no limited food choices, just counting my points and stopping when they are gone.  No drama, no feeling sorry for myself, and no building up to an "eat whatever you want" day over the weekend.  Just some very non-dramatic realism of living the way that will bring me the healthy and slim body that I want and that feels good to me.

I cannot be as singular in focus as I have been lately.  I need foci.  I have to be one of them or else I will self-destruct.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

One Year

Today is the one year anniversary of my first date with my boyfriend.  We were planning to hop on a plane to Playa del Carmen on Thursday morning to celebrate, but that obviously had to be cancelled.  Then he had planned to take me to the restaurant where we had our first date to have a celebratory drink.  Instead, we spent the afternoon on the couch napping because he is not feeling well today, and then I went grocery shopping for food that he can tolerate eating at this point in his treatment.

This is tough stuff, both him fighting cancer (the tougher of the two by FAR) and me caring for someone I love who is fighting cancer.  But there is a silver lining in the whole process, and that is the fact that I like coming home and having him here.  I would worry so much more if he were at his home and I could not peek in and see how he is doing at any time, if I could not rub his neck or scratch his back when he is feeling sick, if I could not look to my right on the couch and exchange commentary with him while mindlessly watching American Idol.  We have "lived together" twice, and both times have been under poor circumstances: 1) When I needed help post surgery and 2) While he needs help during chemo.  But, despite the circumstances, we are both happier doing this together than doing it alone.

Our anniversary certainly is not how I envisioned it and, if I am being honest, I will admit that I am a little disappointed that we could not celebrate it other than with an exchange of cards.  But the reality of it is that I am so much closer to this man than I ever would have thought that I would be after dating for a mere year because of the events that we have encountered over this past year.  I cannot predict if we will make it another year as a couple, but I have learned so much about being in a relationship this last year.  About REALLY being in a relationship, not just during the fun times but also during the most difficult ones.  About how you can help but have to be careful not to control when someone is down, and how you can care and advise but still have to accept someone's right to make their own decisions for themselves even when you think they are wrong.  About how you can still find happiness in the day to day things even when you are in terrible circumstances.

Happy Anniversary to us... what a year it has been.  Here's to better days!

Monday, May 7, 2012

First Round

My boyfriend had his first round of chemo today.  We also received more specific information about the cancer; it is Stage 3, but his bone marrow is okay

The whole process was long, but he tolerated it well and is resting comfortably now.  He will have chemo every 2 weeks until he has completed twelve treatments, and will have a CT scan in the middle of his treatment to ensure that the cancer is responding to the medications as the doctors expect.

It is amazing how everything else takes a back seat when something like this comes along.  I am tracking my food again to keep my weight down as much as possible so that I do not dig my *own* grave with my fork during this whole process.  It's ironic how I am counting his daily calories to make sure they are adequate while counting my own to ensure that they are not too adequate.  I feel like I have a split personality.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Big C

It's amazing how quickly life can change.  Especially when the diagnosis is cancer.

My boyfriend has not been well for a few months.  It has been a source of great tension because I felt that he was not taking it seriously enough despite losing 50 pounds in a very short period of time without any intention of doing so (or any need).  Despite the fact that he was sleeping 10 to 14 hours a day, was unable to complete a full day at work, and lost interest in everything in his life (including beer, which was shocking because he enjoyed it with wild abandon).

His doctor was doing the typical routine... let's run this test and we'll call you in a week when the results are back... hmm, everything is normal so let's run this test and we'll call you in another week... huh, it's all normal so let's have you do these blood tests that are in no way related to your symptoms (insert sarcasm here) and then wait another week for results.  Wow, we think it might just be a virus that has to run its course but don't know what it is (can you say "lazy medicine").  I was freaking out and telling him to go to the hospital and get some focused attention, and he was telling me that I was overreacting and that he was not going to listen to me because I am not a doctor, blah blah blah.

I almost left several times, but in the end did not.  Finally, two weeks ago I did an intervention with him after ANOTHER day off of work with no improvement in sight, and I told him that he could go to the ER himself the next day or else I would get his parents from their retirement community and the three of us would take him like a child.  Luckily he decided not to see if I was bluffing (which I was not) and he went on his own.  He was admitted to the hospital after an exam in the ER, and less than two days later was given a preliminary diagnosis of lymphoma after his abdominal CT scan showed grossly inflamed internal lymph nodes.  A biopsy was performed, and three days later he was told that it is Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

We await the exact stage based on the results of his PET scan and bone marrow biopsy late last week, and he starts chemotherapy next Monday.  He is moving into my house tomorrow so that I can care for him as he undergoes treatment over the next four to six months.

We will be celebrating our one year anniversary on the 13th, and had scheduled an all inclusive vacation in Playa del Carmen starting on the 17th.  Needless to say, everything has been postponed so that we can focus on fighting the cancer instead.

Yes, things really can change in an instant.  And they sure did.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's All Coming Back to Me

I completed the C25K Week 5 Day 1workout today, and all is going well.

But somehow the math doesn't work. Didn't I finish Week 1 Day 1 just three weeks ago? Hmm....

Yes, after the first few workouts it was decidedly too easy, so I skipped a couple of weeks. I am still taking it easy, with my running sections in the mid to high 11 minute mile territory, but I feel ready to tackle the 20 minute run scheduled for Week 5 Day 3 this weekend. After that, I may just continue the 20 minute runs for a couple of weeks, then move to 25 minutes and then to 30 minutes when ready. That will be my weekday sweet spot for runs during the week until I sign up for an event and need to up my training.

Before my run tonight, I signed up for a consultation with a personal trainer who handles clients with medical limitations. I want to start strength training again, and the surgeon cleared me for it, but I also have to be very careful to start with low weights and to avoid moves that could cause another abdominal hernia, so I am going to get some help to create a workout plan that takes that into consideration.

All in all, things are good on the health and fitness front. No further complications from surgery. Eating very healthy 90% of the time (a girl has to live, LOL). Working out at least 3 times a week. My clothes are looking and fitting me better, and my energy is back. And the gorgeous weather here in Chicagoland has made me feel like getting outside again after a long hibernation.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Surfacing

I feel like I am getting back to normal again after the surgery, and it feels great. I am praying that I have no additional complications because I need my few vacation days for something else... a trip to Playa del Carmen in May!

My boyfriend and I have booked a 4 night stay at an all inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen in May, shortly after we celebrate our one year anniversary. I am soooooo excited! Althought I fear all things sun and bathing suit related, I am tacking this differently. I have ordered a new swimsuit (I need Tall/Long swimsuits for this almost 6 foot frame), and have also ordered board shorts as I am not comfortable exposing my legs at the pool or on the beach. They are meant to go in the water as they are made for surfers, and I frankly do not car what anyone thinks about me wearing them while I swim. I also bought a shorty wet suit for snorkeling and windsurfing as I am not going to get all burned and ruin the trip by staying in my room with aloe vera. Hurry May!

I am also excited to have finished C25K Week 1. It was not a challenge for me on a cardio level, but my muscles are still healing and I am still pretty sore by the end of my 30 minute workout. It is going to be a bit challenging for me to fit in my runs this week as DD has vocal lessons on Monday night and we have a Parent/Teacher conference on Tuesday night, but the other two runs will be on Thursday and Saturday or Sunday with no conflicts other than sloth.

I may have to change my WW weigh-in day as I am never able to get on the scale on Friday morning since I spend the night at my boyfriend's s house on Thursdays because DD stays with her father that night every week. I might move it to Thursday morning because I do not like to weigh in on Mondays. Friday really is my best weigh in date, so Maybe I have to move the scale to my boyfriend's house!!!

I am considering a consult with a trainer that can help me learn which strength training exercises are safe for me to do with my repeated hernia issues. I'll probably look into that starting in April, for just a few sessions. I want to include strength training, but my surgeon said that I have to change my lifestyle because I am so prone to incisional hernias and have had so many abdominal surgeries. I just don't want to risk this happening again.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Repeat

I went to the gym and did my first post-surgery workout. Since I lost so much endurance and still have to be gentle with the muscles that were cut in half just 6 weeks ago, I decided that I would redo the Couch to 5K program.

It was a lesson in putting my ego in check for the sake of my health.

Cardio-wise, it was not much of a challenge for me. But boy were my abdomen and back screaming about halfway into it. Early on, I was tempted to just keep running instead of stopping after the first cue, but I am glad that I let common sense rule because in the grand scheme of things it was a challenge for this poor old healing body.

On another note, my boyfriend and I booked an all-inclusive vacation in Playa del Carmen for May, so I have some GREAT incentive to try and firm up these jiggly legs!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Other Side

The surgery was a success, and I am healing well thus far. They actually ended up repairing two hernias (one was fully out and the other was thinning and just starting to come out), so the recovery was tougher than last. I also think the recovery was tougher because I am older.

My boyfriend is still here, with his 2 dogs and my 5 cats, but will be returning to his house in the next couple of days. It has been an experience living with a man again, after being divorced for 6 1/2 years, but it was mostly a good one. I could not have done it without him, nor without my mother as she basically cared for my daughter for the first two weeks. But it is amazing how I am falling into the roll of caretaker now, as it is natural for me being a mother and having been a wife before, while he mainly looks out for himself. Relationships certainly aren't any easier in your 40s, at least not for me.

I worked from home last week, and will be returning to the office on Monday. I was just cleared to drive, so yesterday was my first day back behind the wheel. Having some difficulty turning around too far, but otherwise I am making do.

Nothing exciting, I guess. I still cannot lift more than three pounds, and no exercise except for walking. I am getting the tape and glue removed from my incision on Thursday. I have been very strictly counting points since I came home from the hospital because I do not want to gain weight since I am so sedentary right now. I stepped on the scale as a sanity check on Friday and, despite TOM and the post-surgical swelling, I am down three pounds from my last pre-surgery weigh in so it seems to be doing the trick.

Now the plan is to get back to life as usual, and then the plan is to make it a more active life than I have had since meeting my boyfriend. It has been so long since I have gone for a run that I am going to do the Couch to 5K Program again from scratch. Time to put ego aside and begin with the basics again. At least I am 85 pounds lighter than the last time that I started the program!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Re-Run Time

I cannot believe that I haven't posted in 5 months. Things have really changed, both for the better and also in ways that are not as positive. Things are still going well with the boyfriend, and we will be celebrating our 8 month anniversary this Friday.

Just two days before he moves in for a couple of weeks to take care of me after I have surgery. :(

The bad news: I have another hernia. In a different place, near my groin, but an incisional hernia like the last one. This one is more troublesome because it small and tissue is stuck in it, so I am scheduled to have it repaired on Monday the 16th. So, since I have to go back under the knife sooner rather than later, I am going to have a plastic surgeon do it and also have him attempt to do some cosmetic work in the area at the same time.

I am scared, but I hope that things will go smoother this time afterwards since I have a very strong and capable set of extra hands that have volunteered to help me. He has offered to move in to take care of me and my daughter, and I am going to let him (which is very hard, to let people see me at my worst like that). My mom will also be around to help during the days when he is at work, so I hope that things will go well.

I will be out of work for two weeks and will then work from home for the next week. I am going to drive in to work instead of taking public transportation as I normally do for a month after that to ensure that I am fully healed.

Here's to starting 2012 off with a bang! Once I am healed, it is time to get some exercise back into my life because it has been sorely missing for the last, oh, 8 months or so.