Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dear Facebook

Dear Facebook,

Enough with the mobile updates every other day FFS!

1) While it's updating, AGAIN, I can't get on Facebook to bitch about the fact that Facebook is updating. AGAIN.

2) Something like ten updates in the past two months and it is STILL the only app I have that doesn't switch to landscape orientation when I turn my phone sideways.  Get with the program!

3) During the long updates I want to yell at my phone "WHAT THE HELL IS TAKING SO LONG???"

4) During the short updates I want to yell at my phone "REALLY?  You made me update for THAT?  What was so important you couldn't add it to TOMORROW'S update?

5) Enough of this nonsense....give me my money back.

Love, Me

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I Told Me So

How many times do I have to tell myself "I told you so!" before I start to listen to me?

This stupid foot injury of mine.  It started out back in late October when I helped a friend move.  Knowing I'd be doing a lot of walking I wore my most comfortable shoes.  Unfortunately they're not the most supportive and at some point carrying boxes across her gravel driveway I started experiencing searing, blinding, mind-blowing agony some discomfort.  I might have twisted it.  I'm not sure.  I'm so uncoordinated that nearly falling on my face doesn't even register in my memory anymore.

The pain continued for a couple weeks until I finally called my foot doc.  Unable to return from her vacation just to see moi, I settled on my family doc.  He diagnosed me with tendinitis in my foot, which seemed entirely reasonable since I've already had it in both elbows and both shoulders.  He sent me home with orders to stay off it for a week and a note for work saying I had to wear tennis shoes basically forever.  He refused to put an end date on it, saying that he did not understand why businesses insist that people wear shoes that are unhealthy for their feet.

Preach it Brother!!!

So I stayed off of it for a weekend, and I wore sneakers for a couple weeks, and everything seemed better so I went back to business as usual.

But roughly mid-February the pain returned.  I actually went to the foot doc this time.  She took x-rays, saw nothing, and got on board the tendinitis train.  She told me to stay off the elliptical, wear sneakers, and try to stay off it as much as possible.

I stayed off the elliptical and wore sneakers.  I kind of forgot about the last part.

I went back in two weeks and told her I didn't think it was tendinitis.  I'm far too familiar with that bitch, and this aint her.  She assured me it was, because my x-rays looked fine.  She offered me a cortisone shot, which I refused.  It was a temporary fix for my elbows so why would it help my foot?  I continued to wear sneakers and stay off the elliptical.  I tried to stay off the foot but since that meant making The Boy actually, yaknow, DO stuff, it was difficult and frankly more unpleasant than the pain, so I continued to do far more walking than I should.

And it kept getting worse.

So finally at my third biweekly appointment, after saying once again "This does not feel like tendinitis.  It feels BROKEN", I agreed to the cortisone shot.  And I agreed to keep it elevated, stay off it for all but the barest of necessities, and I worked from home for the remainder of the week.  Who am I to argue?  I'm not a doctor.

Except that it continued to get worse.

My physical therapist was the one who finally encouraged me to seek a second opinion.

So when the radiologist at the orthopedist's office said "Want to see?" and I hobbled around the protective wall to look at the screen, what to my wandering eyes should appear but a break that any moron could see.  But not being an expert I pointed and said "Um....what's that?" and the radiologist replied "Well I'm no doctor, but it sure looks like a break to me"

Yep...the foot is borked (adj.- broken so entirely that the word to describe it is also effed up.)

The doctor explained to me that I have a Jones Fracture, to which he added "When they name a fracture, it's never good".

WHY doesn't anyone, including me, listen to me??  Why didn't I get a second opinion earlier on?  And why am I resisting the urge to hobble to my foot doc's office and plant my crutch firmly in her...

Moving on.  Violence is never the answer.

Now the new doc said that even if I had come to him in the first place he probably wouldn't have seen the break on the original x-rays.  These types of breaks often don't show when they're new.  And what we're seeing now is not so much the break but more the new bone formation.  His protocol would have been to send me home with exactly the same instructions I received from my foot doc, BUT when I returned two weeks later reporting continued pain, he would have taken new x-rays, at which point the break would have been visible.


The theory is that it was a very slight crack back on October, which caused comparably little pain and healed in a few weeks.  BUT there is a 30% to 50% re-injury rate with Jones Fracture, so I re-broke it in February, gradually making it worse until recently when I finally started staying off it, at which point it finally started to heal.

From here on out I need to wear supportive shoes more often than not and I need to continue to lose weight to keep it from re-breaking.  Or is it re-re-breaking?

So anyway, I'm on the mend, in a boot and on crutches.  Going on day four and the foot feels GREAT...the rest of my body feels like it's been hit by a bus.  You guys walking on crutches is HARD.  I have bruises on my upper ribs under my arms and the muscles in my chest, arms and even abs feel like I've been abducted and tortured by Jillian Michaels on her period.  I spent a good portion of yesterday sitting around feeling sorry for myself because the automatic air freshener in the laundry room has run out and it's just too much trouble to go to the store and get a refill.  Seriously EVERYTHING is hard.  I sit here in my jammies right now because getting ready to go anywhere feels like an ordeal on par with construction of the pyramids.  But I do need to undertake this endeavor because The Boy will be home soon to take his invalid mother out to lunch and to the grocery store.

I'm not sure if it's the fact we now know it's broken or the fact that I could take him down with the swing of a crutch but The Boy's attitude toward helping me has improved and he's no longer accusing me of "milking it" (oh yes he did).  So hopefully we can have a nice lunch and get the shopping done without either of us leaving the other at the restaurant or store.  We're going to need to figure out how to get along soon because come the end of May we will spend 7 days on a very big boat together, sharing a very tiny room at night.  Here's hoping the doc's prediction that I'll be healed by then comes true, and The Boy and I are still talking to each other when the cruise is over.

Today's lunch...something from First Watch.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Not You, Not Lazy, Not Crazy

It's funny how the exact same experience can teach you something entirely different when you do it a second time.  When I did The Ultimate Reset last summer I found it immensely rewarding, and I lost 14 pounds, but I pretty much immediately went back to my old ways.  Yeah, I had a couple of new recipes under my belt, but the first non-reset day I went out to eat, and overdid it, and within probably a month I had gained back every ounce and then some.

This time around I found it much easier, probably because I knew what to expect and none of the recipes were new to me.  But I also learned several new lessons, and they stuck with me this time.

I learned that hunger doesn't have to be scary.  I learned that my body does not process carbs properly.  I learned that a meal without meat doesn't have to feel like deprivation.  I learned that sugar is my enemy, not just in what it does to the number on the scale but in how it makes me feel.

I also learned that I was filling a hole with food.  And when I didn't have enough food at my disposal to fill the hole I tried to fill it with things.  And when I stopped trying to do that I started trying to fill it with experiences.  I haven't quite learned how to just be comfortable with the hole, but I'm not trying to plaster it over with mashed potatoes, purses or facials any more either.

I lost 15 pounds in three weeks this time around.  A pound more than the last time.  But this time I learned that there is less pleasure in a big loss if you're sure you're going to put it all right back on again, which I was.  I was terrified!

So I found a therapist, who really didn't work out.  She taught me some tricks, but tricks isn't what I wanted.  I wanted to learn why I stop at Burger King on the way home from a dinner date, or why I spend an entire evening making trips to the kitchen every 10 minutes or why I can't go to a party, have ONE glass of wine and a small plate of food and be done with it.  Her answer to everything was "just take Lean Cuisine with you".  I wanted to find out how to eat like a normal person and she tried to make me even less normal.

Coincidentally, at just about the same time, I also reconnected with a dear friend who knows everything there is to know about eating disorders, because she's had one her whole adult life.  She has been a greater help than the therapist and she doesn't even charge me $75 per hour.  She keeps me accountable and she understands what it's like to be ashamed of your body and what you put in it.  And I can tell her exactly what I ate and she won't judge me, but she will help me figure out how to do better next time.

In the ten weeks since finishing The Reset I've lost eleven pounds.  Those eleven little pounds carry triple the pride and sense of accomplishment of the previous 15...because my own decisions made them happen, and because by ten weeks out after the last Reset I had undone all of the hard work and un-learned all of the lessons.

It helps that for about eight of those weeks (before I hurt my foot) I was going to the gym.  Even now I'm tempted to say "only" 2 or 3 times a week.  Which brings me to what was a pretty big decision for me.

I quit Beachbody.

I got to the point where I felt like a failure because I was "only" working out, at the time, FIVE times a week,.  In spite of all of my new found habits, my hard work, gained muscle tone and yes a little lost weight I didn't have that before and after bikini picture to show for it so it all meant nothing.  I didn't WANT to inflict pain on myself on a daily basis to get the kind of success my peers had.  I just wanted to be healthy, and that didn't feel like success.

There is a "no pain no gain" mentality that permeates the coach culture.  The motivational sayings posted all over Facebook, the "thinspiration" photographs of sculpted abs.  The "Whether you think you can or you think you can you're right" and "You can have success or you can have excuses but you can't have both" and the "The only thing standing between you and your goals is the bullshit story you tell yourself" attitude.  The proud status updates of people who just "shredded" their legs, or "destroyed" their upper body. The attitude that if you want it bad enough you will bleed for it if necessary.  I bought in to all of it.  So when I had pain, I pushed through it.  I told myself to quit my fucking whining, cowgirl up and matter what.   I lifted until I couldn't any more.

When my doctor told me I couldn't lift for six weeks I was crushed.  I felt like I was finally making progress and I had been kicked back to the bottom of the ladder.

In an effort not to start gaining weight I joined a gym.  I met with a personal trainer who showed me which exercises I could do without hurting my shoulders.  And for the first time someone took some time to talk to me about my abs.

When I was 19 I was cut open hip to hip because I had a cyst on my ovary.  Then when I was 30 I had The Boy.  I gained 50 lbs, stretching the heck out of my stomach, and I had a c-section to boot.  Ever since I haven't been able to do a single crunch, much less a sit up.  I can't do the hundred, I can't plank.  I just...can't.

I've left exercises classes in tears.  I've cried right through Beachbody workouts.  I've told myself over and over again that the problem is just that I'm not trying hard enough.

My personal trainer took time to work with me, rather than just saying "try harder".  She showed me several exercises, and asked me where I felt each one.  My answer was always "In my back".  Finally she said "I'm stumped.  I recommend you talk to a physical therapist"

Since I was already getting weekly physical therapy for a foot injury I asked my PT about my stomach.  She had me lay back, she poked at my stomach a bit and said " have diastasis recti.  The last thing you should be doing is crunches or planking.  You're making it worse every time you try"

Who knew...I'm not lazy and I'm not crazy.

Now I have a whole new set of exercises which should help close the gaping hole in my stomach muscles and help strengthen them.  BUT I also have orders from my PT to NEVER try to do crunches again.  She says she wouldn't recommend them to ANY client over 40.

So one day when one of the coaches who actually has a few certifications under his belt posted something about how a workout should cause discomfort but not pain, and my first reaction was to want to reply "Really?  Someone should tell the rest of the company!!", it occurred to me that I might not be in the right mindset to be selling these products.

Will I ever go back?  Maybe.  The products are good.  I still swear by Shakeology and the workouts are great when done within reason.  I'd love to coach MY WAY, sensibly catering to people my age.  The "KILL that workout no matter what" mentality may be perfect for twenty-somethings but for those of us pushing 50 it can be dangerous.

But nobody wants to buy fitness products from the chubby chick.  I can go back in six months if I want.  If I keep up the way I have been I may actually have that before/after picture by then...though it will be MY kind of before/after.  No bikini.

Since I'm still using Shakeology, and since my most recent weight-loss success was sparked by The Ultimate Reset, I will have no qualms about crediting my success to the company when I finally have that side-by-side photo.

One of my favorite coaches has a saying.  Be you, but make it about them.  I liked that.  Be you.  It flies in the face of "Find someone who has what you want and do what they do".  It says that you can have success YOUR WAY.   Because I'm not you.  And as it turns out I'm not lazy and I'm not crazy.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dear Healthy Choice

Dear Healthy Choice,

As I find myself imprisoned in my kitchen working from home this week, I don't have the same array of choices for lunch as I enjoy when I get to actually venture out to a real office with real grown-ups, so Today I was forced to consume your Homestyle Salisbury Steak for lunch.

First, my congratulations on the staying-power of whatever chemicals create the flavors in the meat-like product which you call salisbury steak.  In spite of the thick layer of ice which enveloped this entire entree, it remained a passable approximation of ground and cooked animal flesh.  Bravo.

I do have one question.  Of the 320 calories this meal is reported to provide, how many of those calories should I subtract for the impressive amount of "gravy" and "dessert fruit topping" which remains in the container after the meal is consumed?  While I would imagine there is some sort of mantra in the diet food industry which probably equates to "dry is bad, add more juice", providing so little meat-like-substance and frozen potato bits that one could not consume all of the gravy if each solid bite were eaten with a ladel of liquid, and allowing the fruit dessert pieces (Apples?  I'm just spitballing here, you tell me) to float in such a pool of syrupy liquid that I imagine them flailing and yelling "Can't Swim!!!" in their little fruity voices....well it's just a cruel, cruel joke.

I mean I'm not a proud woman.  I have been known to lick the frosting off the cellophane film atop a Weight Watcher's dessert, and I regularly crunch the ice that comes with my iced coffee lest a little bit of creamy goodness be lost, but I draw the line just short of drinking gravy out of your microwavable plastic handy disposable cookware.  I do have my standards.

So I suppose I can only guess how many calories I actually consumed.  Let's estimate based on the enjoyment of the meal and say.....50.  Yeah, that feels about right.

Love, Me

Today's lunch...all but this.