Tuesday, August 12, 2014

7 1/2 Weeks Post Op - 185lbs

It's been almost 8 weeks since my surgery.

I never thought I would see this day! The aqua therapy and physical therapy has paid off (as well as the surgery). My leg and back are pain free. Yesterday at my last physical therapy appointment I hopped, skipped, jumped and ran on the treadmill for 2 minutes! Pain Free!!! I never thought I would hear myself say the words: "I ran". My recovery time for this surgery was a lot tougher than the surgery I had last year. It feels like I can start to move forward.

Unfortunately during my recovery time for comfort I've done a lot of eating. When I was actively exercising/running I would get a runners high. I think that was a big help to keeping me on track with my eating. The endorphins gave me a comfort high. However when I feel stress and lack of control and running isn't an option I tend to gravitate to food. Food and the pleasure of eating it is something I can control. Unfortunately there is a down side and that is weight gain.

Right now I feel like I'm in my old body. I haven't gained all the weight I lost but I'm now a size 16 and I weigh 185. That makes for me needing to lose 45 - 50lbs.  Now that I have the go ahead to start running (very slowly and gradually) I'm going to follow my running plan that I designed for a class presentation last semester. The presentation was on a training program for a first time runner participating in a 5k. The prerequisite?  To be able to walk 30 minutes easily.

Here is the program I am going to follow in addition to other strengthening exercises and stretches:



My immediate and main focus is getting my exercise routine in order and slowly get back to being disciplined with my diet. As the endorphins start to kick in things will only get easier. I hope. No matter what!  One day, one minute, and one pushup/situp at a time.

What helps you stay on track? I would love to hear your success or what you're doing to make a positive change in your life!






Tuesday, July 1, 2014

10 Days Post Surgery

I'm trying to type while laying down. If my writing seems short/to the point it's because I'm somewhat irritable. Unfortunately my leg is hurting and the only way I get relief from the pain at this time is when I lay on my side. I'm able to walk around and do light house work and sit for short periods of time.

Ten days ago I had surgery. I had a discectomy as mentioned in my previous post.  I had this same surgery in October of last year on a different disc. The recovery was easy compared to after this surgery. I felt no pain post op in my leg last year.

It's difficult being a parent when you're trying to recover from surgery. I see things that need to get done around the house and I want to do them (grocery shop, prepare dinner, weed the garden or clean the windows). Thankfully I have a great support system of friends and family. A friend of mine put together a meal train for me. Friends took turns dropping off meals so that I didn't have to worry about preparing meals for my family. I am so grateful to receive help from some amazing people. My husband has also been a huge help and support for me. He is doing a lot around the house and for our boys. He fortunately has a home office so if I need him in a pinch he can help. He's been driving the kids to playdates and camp as I can't drive while being on the pain med/muscle relaxer. He's also taking them out on the weekend to keep them active. Plus he's been taking over on my usual responsibilities such as cooking.  

Yesterday I felt the need to get out of the house so I went to my nephews birthday party. The car ride there was fine (45 mins - More than I should have been sitting in a car). I walked around a little bit then I laid down in my brother and sister in laws bedroom. Thankfully I brought my pills to be sure I kept up with pain management. The ride home was not pleasant. My hip and calf were tight and in pain. As soon as I got home I went strait to bed. Total relief to stretch out! Needless to say I'm going to be very careful about how much time I spend in a car from this point forward.

My post op appointment is this Tuesday and I'm looking forward to hearing what the Dr. has to say about when I can start physical therapy. I would like to start doing exercises or stretches to help speed or aid in my recovery but I want to do it safely. Fortunately with the first surgery I didn't need any PT.

When it comes to my diet I've been eating really well. Lots of veggies and fruit with lean protein and some grains. I wouldn't be surprised if I lost some weight as my portions are much smaller and healthier. I did a lot of binging before my surgery. I thought of every food I haven't eaten in at least a year and I went out and ate it. Needless to say I needed to buy some clothes in the process :-/ Stupid.

Overall I'm trying to be patient with my recovery. I have a limited amount of energy in which I can do things so I have to choose wisely. If I choose to help my 5 year old make cookies or if I choose to do some light housework I'm done for the day. I push myself to move around just before or at the threshold of leg pain then I lay or sit down. I'm working on recovering while keeping my eye on where I want to be in the future. One small step at a time.

Note: My brain is a little foggy with the drugs so if you read something that doesn't make sense or my writing seems 'choppy' it's the drugs.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Life

It's been forever since my last post. I've often thought about things I would like to write about but somehow life gets in the way. It feels like I have a million things I want to accomplish but there are only so many hours in a day. Today I had a Drs. appointment and he asked me what my plans were after the surgery (something that has developed since my last post). I told him my plan is to get back to where I want to be physically.

Rewind.....
Over a month ago I had a nasty sinus infection and chest cold. During that time I didn't do any cardio due to a my lung capacity. I was coughing for about a month (which only made my leg hurt more as it push pressure on the nerve). I vowed to go back to taking spin on Friday mornings once I felt ok but my leg pain has been acting up more (especially during the coughing episode - thankfully I'm not coughing but it doesn't take much to aggravate the nerve.).

I finished physical therapy about a month + ago and it was recommended I get an x ray and an MRI. The x ray of course didn't show anything but the MRI did. I have a ruptured disc L4-5. Surgery is in a couple weeks and I can't wait to get this done. As I told the doctor today I want to get back to my fit self. I've been doing lots of comfort eating knowing I shouldn't but frankly I don't really care at this point. I know what it takes to lose the weight and I will get there. I will do it again. I know I can.

On my way home from the Drs. today I heard about a car accident where a husband and wife died. They had just dropped off their child at daycare when the accident happened. It saddens me to think about what their child must be going through today knowing that his/her parents are dead. I can't imagine how horrible it will be for the person who has to tell the child what has happened. Gone forever. It's moments like this that make me want to hug my boys that much more. It also puts in perspective how lucky I am. I may see myself as fat but I have so much to be thankful for. I have hope. I may never run again but fingers crossed I will. If I can't run then I will count my blessings. It just means my course has changed and I need to figure out a new plan. I need to put down the spoon and pint of self pity and start again.

Friday, March 28, 2014

This Feels Like Forever

This feels like forever as I sit here typing. Forever since I've run. Forever since I've felt strong and confident. Forever since I've fit into my clothes that I purchased after working so hard to lose 80 lbs.

I feel like a hamster running on a wheel and I'm going nowhere.

As the days and weeks go by I am going to PT for my most recent back injury. I have pain down my right leg that's being caused by my sciatic nerve being pinched. I'm in a really negative mood. I miss my 'old life' of running with friends and feeling strong and powerful. Now I feel like the old fat me who is trying to crawl out of this hole in the ground. I want to be who I've worked hard to be. The fit and trim not the overweight Sonya.

Some may say this is sort of a mid life change up. I'll be 42 this year and my goal is to be a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. I want to help people who want to change their life for the better. While I want to do this I feel like I can barely help myself right now. On the upside I'm doing well in my Exercise Physiology class and I find it fascinating and interesting how the body works to create energy for exercise/motion. Understanding the science helps me understand the why. The "why it's so important to eat carbs"; "why it's so important to stay hydrated" and the how. How our body's systems work together for energy output and how foods are processed and stored as fat or used for energy. Another plus is one of my medications has been dropped. This one medication in particular is known for people to gain weight on. I'm hoping my metabolism bounces back.

I'm trying to look forward and tell myself this isn't forever. This is just one day. All I can control is what I do today. I have choices. I just need to make the right ones. I think I'll be passing on the pizza my family is eating tonight and have a salad instead.

Waiting for the day that doesn't feel like forever.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

172 lbs

Yesterday I weighed myself after skipping a weigh in the week before. I was pleased to see the number on the scale but I wasn't surprised. I had the privilege of going away for 5 days during my spring break. Thankfully my husband was able to take care of the kids while I spent time on the West Coast visiting my close friend (the one I ran the Bay to Breakers Race with a few years ago).

Not unlike what many people do on vacation I posted some pictures during my trip on my Facebook page. It's funny how there are so many perceptions based on our Facebook photos. I know I've said to myself: "they seem to have it all together!" "They look like they have the perfect life!" "look at all the activities they are doing with their friends, family and children!" "I hope I'm doing enough for my boys. Maybe what I'm doing isn't enough?" And the insecurities can come flooding in.

One of two meals I had during my trip.
This was at Suppenkuche.
A beautiful beach on Route 1. Missing my boys and husband
when I took this picture. Wished they were with me.



Finally getting out for a nice walk in the Sunshine while
feeling quite nauseous.


In thinking about what to write about for this blog post I thought why not right a little something about Facebook and our perceptions. I decided to use my trip as a perfect example of that. 
Based on the pictures you would think I was having the time of my life! Well sorta. 

Was I enjoying some time away from my responsibilities of being a mom and partaking in the day to day at home? OF COURSE! However there's always another side to every picture. 

The day before I was scheduled to leave I started to feel anxious and nauseous. I was traveling alone and even when I'm traveling with someone I get a little nauseous until I'm actually on the plane and I reach my destination.

As part of my travel bag I packed oyster crackers. I know I was going to be hungry at some point so I decided to play it safe and pack something that wouldn't upset my stomach. 

I anxiously made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. The flight went well and I had a 3 1/2 hour layover in LAX. Unfortunately there were no charging stations to be found anywhere but fortunately I had plenty of battery juice left for my cell phone.

As the day went on I wasn't feeling any better so I stuck to ginger ale and oyster crackers. By the time I made it to my destination (San Francisco) I was hungry and felt like I needed to eat something substantial. My friend and I made it out to a great German restaurant named Suppenkuche. I had eaten there before during my last trip to San Francisco and the food and beer are always great! During dinner I had no problems drinking a beer and having a stuffed portobello mushroom (German style). It was really tasty! Shortly after finishing my meal my tummy started not feeling so well again. Lets just say I made it to my friends apartment just in time. I spent many hours in that bathroom including most of the following day. 

My friend had to work the following day so I drove her to work for the use of her car. Upon returning to her apartment I parked the car and spent the day not too far from the bathroom and watching movies. After several hours I left the apartment to go pick her up. I was about to get into the car and I  noticed a bright orange sticker on her drivers side window. It said that her plate was written down and the car would be towed if not removed. Thankfully I was able to peel half the sticker off. As I was peeling off the sticker I noticed a guy peaking in on me behind a gate. He then came up to me and said "Thanks a lot!! for taking my space!". I then realized I had parked in space 129 instead of space 126. I said: "I'm sorry, I'm from out of town and I just arrived yesterday. This is my friends car and I accidentally parked in the wrong space." He then walked off in a huff and waited for me to move the car so he could have his space back. 

As I got close to my friends work I rolled down the window so no one could see the sticker. I then told her what happened and had her roll up the window. I felt really bad but she took it in stride and we were able to get the rest of the sticker off - thankfully!

Eventually after a couple days with some Immodium AD I was able to live outside the bathroom and spend some time outside of the apartment. We spent time along route 1 going to Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. The whole time I was surrounded by amazing wonderful fresh food. None of which I could eat. - my definition of hell! I was nauseous the entire time and was able to finally have a meal out on my last day (a bowl of really good Ramen). My nausea is finally gone as of today.

Was my trip great! - Yes because I got to see my good friend but no because I was sick the whole time!

Nothing is always as it seems and there's always more to a picture than we think.  

Thankful to have enjoyed the California sunshine and thankful to be home with my boys.

Monday, March 10, 2014

173 lbs

I weighed myself this morning and I've lost 1.6 lbs.

However I don't feel like celebrating.

I'm having a down day. I tend to be really hard on myself and today I'm not feeling great. I'm feeling hopeless as I go through the motions of keeping my food journal and making appointments to get my back injury figured out.

I went to my primary care doc today and got a prescription for physical therapy. I'm fearing that I'm going to go through the motions of PT and in the end need surgery again.

It feels daunting at best to try to stay in shape and do what I love doing. Running with my friends. For now running isn't in the picture and I have to accept that. Hopefully someday I will be able to participate in a 5 k. Until then I need to find my 'new way' of doing things no matter how difficult. One of the things I've learned in school is the best form of exercise is one that you love. Unfortunately that's not in the cards (running) so the best form of exercise is the one I like the least and that's swimming. There's a lot for me to get through when it comes to swimming. A fear of drowning. It makes no sense as I do know how to swim but it's a fear that I have. After I start PT I'm going to get in touch with a swim instructor to help me overcome that fear by working with me on improving my swim strokes.

Since my post yesterday I have a couple of friends in the same boat so I'm hoping to connect with them once I get through my fear.

No matter how daunting. No matter what.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

174.6 lbs

Last Monday I gained. .6 lbs .

Time to move on.

I've been dreading posting on my blog. I've been keeping track of my calories and I was starting to get back on track with my exercise. I was taking a spin class 3 x a week and one of those classes was a 90 minute class.  In addition I was doing cardio on my own via a spin bike 2 other days for a total of 5 x a week. For weights I was starting to do more upper body work in addition to sit ups and pushups etc...and then I pushed myself too hard. I was doing a combination of two exercises. I was laying on a bench with my butt at the edge. I was doing leg lifts in combo with a reverse hip lift. I did 25 of these combinations and then when I went to stand up I felt a twinge in my back. :-/ Since then it's been ice, heat, advil, stretching, PT, muscle relaxers and oxycodone sp? (the prescriptions I had from back surgery in Oct). There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to be able to lose weight, have a great workout and feel strong. I miss my old me (my fit and 4 sizes smaller me). This back injurry happened a week ago and I've been doing my best to make progress and it has been working but I'm worried.

What am I scared of/worried about? That I have a ruptured disc again. I have pain from my sciatic nerve that is running down my hip all the way down my leg. Very similar to how it felt when I ruptured my disc last year leading to surgery in October. I have an appointment tomorrow with my Dr. so we'll see where I go from there. In the mean time I'm going to try and do things differently. I'm going to try swimming (yay! I get to shop for a swim suit! :-/ ). Something I've been holding off for a long time. In my mind (I'm studing Health and Exercise Science) I know what is best for me but I'm my own worst enemy. Panic and anxiety sets in once I get past the line in the pool that goes from shallow to deep. I feel like I can't swim fast enough to get to the edge of the pool. Something I'm going to work on as my body is craving the endorphins from cardio and a full body workout. Swimming seems to be the best bet for a no impact full body workout however I have some work to do. More mental work than anything. I'm not sure if I'm going to get some swim instructions or a personal trainer. I need to keep moving forward even thought I feel like it's one step forward two steps back. I can't give up.