On the mend

Another good night's sleep has truly done wonders for me. I woke up this morning feeling considerably better than yesterday; at the very least, I didn't need to take a breather between putting on pants and putting on socks. You know it's not going to be a good day when you look at your feet and curse your legs for being so long. And you're only 5'6".

I'm not 100% yet, but I've improved mightily over yesterday, or even Monday. Made it into work and will go to my training session after work. I do kind of wish I could just have a brief nap to just recharge, as I find I'm a little fatigued, but I think I can push through it. I'd also like to shake the slightly naggy cough that's settled in my chest - it's not bad, just irritating. For now, I'm just gonna continue with my ginseng tea (which I brought with me) and water and hope for the best. I'm not willing to give up training because of a bit of a cough unless Shawn outright says no. And considering I felt worse Monday, and we were still good to go, I think I'll be fine.

So, going to hope for the best, and go make myself another cup of tea!

Heal thyself

Today's valuable lesson: surround yourself with knowledgeable people, then listen to what they tell you.

When I told Shawn that I was feeling rather under the weather last night, he suggested I might be a little played out, and sagely advised me to take today off, get lots and lots of rest, take lots of Vitamin C, drink ginseng tea, and get more rest. While I was a little skeptical about calling into work sick because my trainer told me to, when I got up this morning and exhausted myself trying to get dressed, I decided he was probably right, and even though I've used my one allotted sick day this month, I called in sick. My throat was still sore, my head was pounding, and I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I stumbled through making myself some newly-bought oatmeal for breakfast (which even in my state of illness was incredibly yummy), and then stumbled back to bed. I did have to haul myself out of bed for a chiropractor's appointment, and to straighten out a paperwork snafu at Nubody's, but besides that, I've been sleeping.

And you know what? I actually feel better. Not 100%, and still tired (I undertook a very strenuous walk followed by a nap, and then did laundry and made my lunch - exhausting, I know), but a whole bunch better than I did. I'm pretty sure I can handle work tomorrow and my training session. Very different from my usual tactic, which would be to fight through at all costs. I suspect this way is much better.

And now I'm going to bed so I can get a good night's rest before work tomorrow!

I hate Monday...

So my good night's rest didn't get me anywhere... and my long weekend in the cold caught up with me.

Woke up this morning with a sore throat, and an achy back and neck, and an overall feeling of blechyness (I just invented that - it's great word, isn't it?). Have a hair appointment at 12:45, a chiropractor appointment at 4:00, and a training session at 5:00, and work all freaking day, and all I really want to do is go lie down somewhere and sleep. And I'm still cold. I may need to pick up another long-sleeved workout top before this afternoon, I'm that cold. I'm really hoping that Dr. Mike can do something about the achy back and neck, which I'm pretty sure is caused from being so tense in the cold all weekend.

Should probably cancel my training session for tonight, but I really don't want to - after all, I'm just a bit under the weather, not all out dead. I'm sure the workout will be good for me. And hopefully Shawn will take a little pity on me.

One down, two to go....

Oh my... I'm not dead, but I might wish I was...

How to spend a GREAT Sunday:

Get up at 7 am. Go to an incredibly, incredibly cold building. Freeze your butt off for five hours whilst showing dogs. Make sure by the time you leave you are COLD, exhausted, sore, COLD, stiff... did I mention COLD?

Get home, take a brief break, then get your things packed and go to the gym for a training session. Still be so cold that you have to wear a cover-up coat over your t-shirt. Be so tired you are actually a little worried about said training session.

Decide after training session that you should totally do step class. That's a good idea.

I am so tired. And I have another session tomorrow. Shawn has said we'll do upper-body, not legs (which is nice) since I did step tonight, but I don't know how I'm going to survive. I made it through step tonight, but it was hard. By the half-way mark, I was watching the clock and dragging - a lot.

The session actually went pretty well, considering that I was tired, and Shawn was a little under the weather so we were both a bit subdued. I did manage to aggravate my wrist doing pushups, which likely never would have happened had I not spent two days grooming dogs, and my back was a bit sore, from standing on cold, horrid dirt floors. But, I'm making a fair bit of progress in weight training, and in some aspects of core work, though in my last exercise of the night, fatigue finally got to me.

Hopefully a good night's sleep will make all the difference and I'll be able to face tomorrow's session as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as usual.

On my break....

I'm taking a bit of a break, and decided to sit down and write my daily post, or it wouldn't get written. I was at a dog show all day, in a very, very cold building, then got home to run to Dartmouth and pick up the computer I bought my mother, then run over to Halifax and do some shopping. Not much mind, but a little. So I'm very tired now.

A break from what? Well from something I've been meaning to do for some time, but been too chicken to actually get started on - I am cleaning out my closet and getting rid of all of the stuff which is too big for me. Which at this point is very nearly all of it. Some is being handed on to friends, some is being tossed, and some is being donated to charity. It's just all being taken out of my house.

I did go and get a new pair of jeans to replace some of the pants I'm tossing, and for the first time in my very long memory, I'm down to a size eleven from Reitmans. I am both stunned and thrilled.

My training session last night.... didn't happen. No, the world didn't end. There was a mix-up with scheduling and somehow Shaun ended up double-booked, so he offered to make it up to me with a free session for Sunday night. This could be fun; I'm now training Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday. And I usually do step on Sunday. I might be dead by Wednesday. Or very fit. One of the two. Even without our session, Shawn didn't want to leave me high and dry (I really did find a great trainer - and it was just luck of the draw), so he gave me a copy of the program he's designed for me, and told me to go through the legs exercises he's laid out. Oh my goodness. Maybe I should have warned him that I needed to be able to walk today. Five different weight machines, all with multiple pyramid sets, plus lunges with dumbbells, plus step-ups on that wonderful YMCA step. My butt still hurts.

Anyhow, I have to get back to purging. I've never had this little clothing.... I feel rather naked really. A friend is supposed to be giving me some hand-me-downs tomorrow, so hopefully that'll fill the emptiness a bit!

It's Friday!

You know what that means!!

Fun Facts Friday!
  • Carrots might help fight cancer. According to recent research, carrots contain nutrients known as polyacetylenes which have, in laboratory settings, been observed to have some pretty powerful anti-carcinogenic effects.
  • Turn that frown upside down - for your health! A recent study of first-year law students showed that there was a direct correlation between optimism and immune response. Of course, it's long been known that stress taxes the immune system, but here's another good reason to keep looking on the sunny side of life.
  • Up to one-third of all breast cancers are avoidable with better diets and more exercise, according to recent studies. Since breast cancers are fueled by estrogen, and estrogen is stored in fat cells, maintaining a healthy body weight and eating a diet rich in vegetables and low in fat lowers your risk of developing breast cancer.
Those were fun ones. I've been having a good time reading articles this week, and saving tidbits for fun facts Friday. I hope you all enjoy them as well.

I managed to strain my trapezius muscle this week (I think on Wednesday, though possibly Tuesday - or maybe a little of both), which meant my right shoulder has been bothering me off and on. I mentioned it during my chiropractic appointment yesterday, since that was an area of concern during my initial assessment.

Oh. My. Goodness. That gave a whole new meaning to no pain, no gain. I consider myself to have a fairly high pain tolerance, but when Dr. Mike started working the tension out of that muscle it was everything I could do not to cry. I pray there wasn't someone in the room next to me, because otherwise, there were going to be very scared. That being said, it does feel a whole bunch better. There's just a little bit of stiffness at the very outer ranges of motion.

My workout last night.... was abysmal. I was useless. I couldn't get lunges right (I kept losing count, for one), I couldn't find my stride when I was running, I couldn't even hold a freaking plank. Useless. Utterly useless. When I failed on the planks, I finally gave up and called it a night before I went and sat in a corner to cry. The only thing I managed to get right were the freaking knee grabs (which I've been working on, because the first time Shawn showed them to me, I sucked mightily). Hopefully tonight's session with Shawn goes a lot better.

I have a dog show this weekend, and *so* much to get done in the meantime. I need more hours in the day. Or a job with more time off. Something like that.

Jumping for joy is good exercise!

Isn't that clever? I didn't think of it myself; I'm a quotes junkie, and came across it, hoping to be able to use here someday.

And today is a good day to use it, because I am very joyful. I am ecstatic in fact. Although I try not to be too wedded to the numbers on the scale, knowing that this weight loss journey I'm on truly is a "process" and that those numbers are the most variable part of the whole process, I was thrilled to step on the scales yesterday and find out that, for the first time in over a decade, I am under 170 lbs. I almost cried, I was so excited. I celebrated a little with my co-worker (who graciously keeps the scale in her office for my use). I smiled all day and nearly burst trying to find a way to "casually" tell Shawn when I was at the gym. He was very happy too. Even my family mustered up some enthusiasm for me.

This is exciting. This means that I have less than twenty pounds to go. Twenty is an intimidating number. Less than twenty - not as intimidating. It also means I've lost seven pounds in a little over a month. I like those numbers, considering I wasn't watching what I was eating as closely at the beginning of this as I am now, and I wasn't doing as much cardio as I am now. I'm pumped.

Part of the whole weight loss journey is, of course, dealing with my changing body, and when Shawn announced during my fitness assessment that I had lost over two inches off my bust measurement (okay, they call it chest measurement, but I'm a female, who has done theatre, and thus costuming - we call it bust measurement), I realized, I need to be fitted for a new bra. Since I didn't think it would be entirely appropriate to ask Shawn to take the rest of the measurements ("listen, while you've got that tape out anyway...") I went home and tried measuring myself, and putting the numbers into one of those online calculators. Yeah, no dice. It was telling me I was a AA. Um, no. Never gonna happen. So, I decided I'd bite the bullet, and do something else completely new. I went to LaSenza to get properly fitted for a bra.

I have learned a few things from this:
1) Measurements don't mean crap. Sometimes you just have to try on a bunch of different sizes till you find one that works.
2) Always, ALWAYS, ask the salespeople for help. They know what they're doing. And get ready to get very up close and personal with them.
3) Losing weight makes a huge difference in how you perceive your body. I never would have been able to allow anyone into a dressing room with me while I was topless before now.

So, my current size is a 38B. It's likely a "transition size," meaning when the last twenty-ish pounds comes off, I'll have to be re-sized, but it fits for now. I'm flabbergasted. I have never been a B-cup. In December, I was a 40D. And I love the bra they sold me. It is so unbelievably comfortable. And if I had realized if was only $26 and not $36, I would have bought two.

Had a great workout last night. Did a lot of weight training on my own, and lots of core work, including holding a plank for two minutes (my last assessment had me at 1:36 - I want to be at 4:00 by the next one). I find the more I do, the more "body aware" I'm becoming - knowing my positions, mistakes I'm making, that sort of thing. It's very cool.

Chiropractic appointment today, workout tonight, and going to some clothing swap with my sister after to see if I can't find some stuff to wear. Yay! Clothes are good. Free clothes are better.

Oh, and would still love to hear your thought on my tattoo idea!

I hate burpees

I don't know who invented burpees, but I'm going to create a time machine, go back, and kill them. They even have a stupid name.

For those who don't know what burpees are, they are these brilliant things used by torturers - I mean trainers - as a cardio and whole body workout. You start in a push-up position, spring your feet forward to your hands (so you're in a crouch) jump straight up, crouch back down, then kick back out into the push up position. And keep going. I hate them. I really hate them. About six and my knees will start aching. I'll start tripping as I try to bounce forward and back. And I look retarded the whole time. I'm sure they have a very useful purpose; I just don't see what it is - besides making me very sore and very miserable in a short period of time. And I'm concentrating so hard on not falling on my face, I can't concentrate on breathing.

Okay, now I'm just whining.

It was the only low point in my training session last night. I've tried burpies before, without a lot of success. Last night, Shawn decided he wanted to try them again. I hate feeling like I'm wimping out, but at the same time, I'm not real fond of being in pain for days following a session either. And for some reason, my knees (well, my left knee) seems to be the one thing that will make me pansy out faster than anything else I have to do. He kept offering suggestions on ways to take the strain off my knees (such as rolling back to my heels as I jump) but again, when you're trying to concentrate on that much at once, and you've only ever jumped one way your whole life, brain does not compute just changing it on a moment's notice. Credit where credit’s due, when I started complaining that they really bother my knee, Shawn had me stop and move on, and said we might try coming back to them when I’ve build up more strength in my legs. Maybe if I have a little less ass to try to bounce off the ground it would help too? The rest of the night went great, though. He was trying a new program, which meant lots of new things to try. I can even live with the silly squat-kick combo things he’s decided to create for me, even if I do suck at them and look ridiculous. Suffice it to say if I ever meet anyone in a dark alley – it’s a good thing I practice running so much. I *love* some of the new weight exercises and core exercises – suffice it to say, side planks will become very much a part of my daily workout, just like a normal plank – and was even enjoying the lunges. Squats – okay, not so much, but it’s more the self-conscious side of my nature not really liking anything that requires me to stick my butt out. I am really starting to enjoy this whole training thing, largely because I’m starting to relax into it a bit more. I can laugh and joke with Shawn, I can laugh at myself – I still have moments where I get a bit frustrated and have to stop and take few breaths and chill myself out, but they’re getting fewer and farther between. And I love the high feeling I get from my few successes – like when I got through thirty seconds doing side steps on the YMCA step last night and literally looked at Shawn and went “That was it?” (By the way, wrong thing to say. %$&#@%&# made me do sixty seconds for the next set. I nearly fell down. Largely because I tripped on the stability ball behind me when I went to lean on the wall.) I bought fifteen more sessions last night, and will buy another fifteen likely at the beginning of next week, once I get some more money shuffled around. Including the seven or eight I have left, that would give me close to 20 weeks of working with Shawn, on the current twice a week schedule. And, presumably, at some point I'll have to switch to a once a week schedule, when my life gets a little busier (i.e. school).

I have another chiropractic appointment tonight. I've been wondering if I'd actually be able to notice any difference in anything apart from my back pain from all these appointments - after all, chiropractic is supposed to have fairly wide-reaching applications. So far, I have to say, I'm quite pleased with the results. Not only do I find my neck and back bother me less, but I'm finding myself less stressed on a day-to-day basis, I have more energy, and I sleep so much better. That was the big one I noticed, because it was the marked difference between last week and this week. I think the regular exercise is contributing to all this as well, but the sleep patterns - I've been an intermittent insomniac since before I was a teenager, and last week, I found myself returning to tossing and turning and sleeping fitfully. This week, I seem to be sleeping much more soundly and waking much more rested. Hmmm. Interesting. So I'm, as usual, looking forward to my appointment tonight, And, of course, my workout afterwards!

Burpees still suck. I don't care how good a workout they are.

Twelve minutes!!

I did it again!

I tried my new interval training set again last night, working at a three minute run and two minute walk. There is a marked difference, I've realized, between working out first thing in the morning before I've spent all day at the office, and working out at night. Friday I had a touch more energy and was able to get through the whole thing without any real problems, always keeping my heartrate where I wanted it. Last night, on the last two intervals I had to give myself an extra thirty seconds to recover, and on each of the last two intervals, my heartrate got a little higher than I was aiming for. But, I still did the three minute run for each interval. The difference in energy levels is interesting though. I'd like to try fitting in a cardio workout before work a few times a week to see how it changes things (and to see if it might take the edge off the excess energy I have all day - if I don't soon do something, I'm going to get fired, or beaten).

Remember my talking about my fear of doctors? Well, I had a week off from chiropractic appointments, and as I was getting caught up on the week's events with Dr. Mike last night, I was telling him about my recent dentist visits and mentioned that I really wasn't very good about dentists (I didn't actually go into the whole doctor phobia thing). Coincidentally enough, he actually asked me where chiropractors rank on that list! Since I've now been seeing one for almost a month and don't have the whole "unknown" factor there, I thought should probably update my list a little. Chiropractors - pretty low on that list. Okay, first "real" appointment, with an adjustment planned, I was honestly a little freaked. That's the whole not knowing what to expect. Now, it's actually something to which I look forward. Most of my appointments are scheduled for the end of the day, and between the atmosphere of the office, Dr. Mike's personable nature, and the adjustments themselves, it creates a nice release for the stress of the work day. Last night, he was a few extra minutes getting to me, and I very nearly dozed off waiting. That would never have happened in a doctor's office, I assure you! (At the dentist's office, I spend any time left alone in a mental debate about why it would be a bad idea to run away - so far, someone has always come back before either side reaches a conclusion.)

Back to my regular schedule working with Shawn, which means I have a session tonight. Working with a trainer is great. You never really get a chance to cheat, because you never know when he might be watching (like Big Brother or something... what do you mean paranoid?) Last night, he so helpfully briefly interrupted me to tell me my position on the plank I was working on was wrong. I always do a couple of planks at the very end of my workouts, so I had already done my twenty minutes of cardio, and weight training, and quite a bit of core work by this point.... but I do know he was right. At the time, I thought my position was wrong. I was just tired and being a pansy. And that is why I hired a trainer. Of course, that mistake likely means I'm working on planks tonight. This is going to be fun.

A new perspective... and audience participation time!

I like to provide daily updates, but with my last update being last night, I didn't have much new to say this morning (which meant I actually had to come into the office and do work *gasp*). It's actually been bothering me most of the day.

So, I decided instead I'd share with you some thoughts that have been kicking around in my head since last Wednesday's fitness assessment. (If you're just wondering where the fun audience participation section comes in, scroll to the last couple of paragraphs).

I have to say, as much as that assessment was stressing me out, now that it's over, and my results are in my hands (so to speak - Shawn didn't actually give me a copy, and I'm kind of wishing I'd asked for them), my perspective is very changed.

Back when I first started this blog
, I explained how I've been a yo-yo dieter my whole life. I swung from one fad to the next, with varying degrees of dedication and success. Ultimately, as I found myself 25 years old and heavier than I had ever been, it wasn't with any real success, as none of my attempts were sustainable.

This time, even prior to my resolution, my results have been slower, but more promising. The weight I lose, I keep off. The changes I make, I stick with. And yet, throughout all of it, I never really saw myself reaching my goal. Never. I know, that sounds a little depressing, but I just figured it would always be out there, something I would never actually get to. A little like Everest. I could look at pictures and dream, but I would always have to be happy with the view from the top of the big hill in Cape Breton instead (not that there's anything wrong with that - it's a great view, after all).

Looking at those numbers on Wednesday, with Shawn showing me how far I'd come in a month - for the first time in all of this, that goal finally felt attainable. It finally felt like something I could do. The top of Everest suddenly isn't nearly as far away as it once was in my mind.

With that in mind, I went home and started thinking. It's a funny thing about goals. All I've ever dreamed about is being thin. It has been an all-consuming endeavour since I was, oh, twelve? I had no idea how to do it, but I wanted it. And now I'm getting there. Now I can actually see myself succeeding at this. And suddenly just being thin doesn't seem like much of a goal anymore. It seems a bit empty... and even shallow. After all, what do I do once I'm thin? Then what?

Being thin (or even "fit") isn't a good enough goal for me anymore. For one, it feeds into an already unhealthy body image issue. My weight, my appearance, my confidence in myself as a result - that's always going to be a problem area, and if I make everything about my appearance, I'm feeding that insecurity. Two, it doesn't give me a long-term means of sustainability. Once I get the appearance I want (provided I can convince myself it's "good enough") where's the motivation for the hard work to keep it up? How do I keep that yo-yo from falling again?

So, I decided I needed goals that were more fitness minded. I like being active, I've discovered. I really do. There's a rush to it. I love a good cardio workout, or the thrill of pushing myself on a weight training exercise, or beating a personal best. So I can see myself doing more than going to the gym to lose weight, or keep it off. But what?

The first goal was easy. I want to run. I have always wanted to be able to run. That's why I love the treadmill so much. Because I can see, in a very quantitative way, how I'm improving in that area. But yeah that is a big goal of mine. I want to be one of those people who can run for twenty minutes straight on the treadmill and make it look easy, or who can have a bad day, and just put on their sneakers and literally run away from their problems. Someday down the road, I'd love to compete in a marathon (okay, likely a half-marathon). Just to prove I could.

The second goal was harder to come up with, because it was a little vaguer in my mind. It was also something I've never considered before. I want to be capable of being a fitness instructor. Not necessarily be a fitness instructor, just be capable of it. Right now, I'm not. Not only because I don't have the training, but because I just physically couldn't do it. I barely get through the classes. But I think it would be a nice full-circle thing, to go from where I was, to actually being able to teach fitness to other people. And teaching step would be so much fun.

My other train of thought this week (I know! Two at once! It's a wonder my head didn't explode!) was less a goal than a reward. Well, something like that. I want to do something big when I do reach my weight loss goal. When I finally do a fitness assessment and all those numbers finally reach the goals Shawn wrote down when we first met. Because while I no longer want to make weight loss my only goal, it is still a huge part of this for me, and finally reaching that will be a huge accomplishment.

People have suggested trips, shopping sprees, vacations, photo shoots, makeovers, etc, etc, but I wanted something that was very big, very "not-me", and very.... memorable.

I'm getting a tattoo.

I know some of you are completely underwhelmed. Well, I don't care.

Part of being heavy (for me) is being very body-shy and self-conscious. I don't want people looking at me. Tattoos... attract attention. They stand out. They're also permanent.

A permanent reminder of what I had to do to get that tattoo. And a reminder to myself each day to continue to work for it.

This is all a new plan, but right now, the idea is for a design incorporating a Celtic butterfly (which represents transformation in Celtic lore) along with some type of meaningful flower because.... I like flowers. And flowers are pretty. As for location, I am leaning heavily towards one of my shoulders, where once I never would have had the gall to show enough skin that people would even have seen it.

But... I'm open to ideas and suggestions! What are your thoughts?

I'm back!

Did you miss me?

I skipped a whole day. I was sure you'd all be pining away by now.


Well, what's wrong with you? Don't you appreciate me?

I love having these little one-sided conversations. It's fun. Like talking to yourself, but without the strange looks.

I'm happy to report my mouth feels more or less normal, though the front teeth are a little sensitive, and I'm a little wary about brushing and flossing too enthusiastically. The left side is a little tender, but nothing major. Yay!

Decided to get the weight workout I missed Friday in yesterday morning, then realized workouts are not nearly so satisfying if you haven't sweated your butt off, so I did a bit of cardio at the end. After that, I took advantage of our gorgeous spring weather (19 degrees Celsius here) and accompanied my sister and her family, including my four year old nephew to the beach for the day. Not that we went swimming (still a bit cold for that), but we had fun picking up shells and "skipping" rocks. It's always gratifying to know your four year old nephew is better at skipping rocks than you are. No really, he is.

Today was my usual step class and yoga - thankfully, no falls in yoga, and I'm very happy to report I made it through all of step with two risers and was not absolutely utterly exhausted at the end. Tired, yes, but that is the goal. And I only slipped once. Maybe twice. I didn't fall, that's the important part.

My food diary has proved a source of frustration this week. Well, not the diary so much as what's in it. My new attempts to add stuff into my diet aren't going so well. I can't seem to balance them out with what's expected of me, calorie-wise. And, I fell behind a few days in getting my totals done, so I didn't realize any of it until this weekend. I keep falling drastically short of my target (approx 1500 calories per day) or exceeding it by about 150 calories. Neither is good. So, I kept a much tighter watch on my caloric intake today and managed to get myself to 1490-ish, which is good. Hopefully tomorrow will go equally as well. And hopefully the food cravings will go away soon. They're making me cranky.

Someone needs to invent calorie-free chocolate....

Fun Facts Friday!!

Oh My Goodness, I almost missed Fun Facts Friday!!!

Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to chronic widespread pain. Besides being readily available in about twenty minutes of sunshine, vitamin D is also found in salmon, milk, and fortified juices. Or you can always take a supplement!

Apple cider vinegar may prove helpful in weight loss. Guess I won't save it for the rare time the dogs tangle with the skunks!

Fond of your soda/pop? That high-fructose corn syrup might be more than an enemy to your battle with your scale; it could be seriously damaging your liver even as it contributes to your caloric intake.



Thank God Friday's Over?

It works for me, at least for this Friday.

So the horrid dentist appointment is past me now, and as far as I know, I don't have to endure another for another month.

Okay, it wasn't as bad as I thought. Well in some ways. It isn't as bad as I remember the dentist being when I was a kid. I can say that my dentist when I was a kid was just being freaking cranky when she used to tell me that the freezing didn't hurt when I would flinch, because you know what? It does too. I am not a kid anymore, and it still freaking hurts.

Things are very different than I recall. For one, I remember there being a much more specific plan for what was going to happen when one went to the dentist. Today seemed a little more... relaxed. Off-the-cuff. Of course, maybe that's because they had so much more to choose from, I'm not sure. But I've never had a dentist look at me and say "Okay, so what do we want to do today?"

I had to take a minute and stare blankly. 'Well, personally, I'd like to hide under the chair, but that does seem like it would be a little counter-productive.'

I didn't answer that, and I didn't hide under the chair. At the end of things, we filled the front teeth that have bothered me for so long, pulled a molar and one wisdom tooth.... and then things started going downhill. I had one premolar which had what seemed to be a very deep cavity that was bothering him, and he decided he wanted to fill it, after doing a bunch of checks to make sure there wasn't nerve involvement.

Turns out there didn't seem to be nerve involvement because the tooth was over half-dead. That means.... root canal. Yay!!

I didn't want to lose the tooth, because you can see it when I smile, so I gave the go-ahead for the root canal, cringing at how much it would cost. So he started the root canal, then couldn't figure out why he was having trouble with something and decided to get an x-ray.... and then I heard those words every person loves to hear.

"Oh... I'm going to have to send her to the specialist..."

Apparently my teeth are even weird. Isn't that awesome? I don't even want to think how expensive having a root canal done by a specialist is. Hopefully my work health coverage will have kicked in by then.

I decided I would head to the gym bright and early this morning and try to get a workout in before my appointment and work off some nervous energy. Since I was short on time, I decided on just cardio/core workout. Last time Shawn and I were discussing cardio workouts, he told me that I was short-changing myself on my interval training by only running for one minute (the original workout he had given me, which he had given to all of his clients); since then, I've been trying to workout a new program which is a little more of a challenge. The other day, I pushed myself and discovered I can run for four minutes straight on the treadmill, but I really can't work that into an interval session because I'm too exhausted by the end. Today I tried working at a 3-2 split for four intervals -- 3 minutes running, 2 minutes walking -- and I made it!! Okay, anyone standing around when I dropped back to a walk on the end of that last running interval likely thinks I'm a little mentally deficient, as I was grinning like an idiot, but I did it! When I started, it was a push to get that one minute run for four intervals, and today I made it for three minutes - twelve minutes total!! It was such a great feeling. Of course, then I wanted to die a little, but it was still a great feeling.

My mouth still feels very strange, and I'm a bit scared to pick at it much, and I'm feeling a little groggy from the painkillers I took when I got home, but hopefully tomorrow I'll be up to going in to get the weight session I missed today. Yay!

Happy Thursday!!

And post-St. Paddy's Day!!! Hope you are all recovering well!

My night didn't include any celebrations (I wore a green t-shirt to the gym - does that count?), so I'm not among the bleary-eyed today, though I was certainly with all you Irish or honorary-Irish in spirit.

Last night I only gave a brief update to let you all know how my fitness assessment went, so I wanted to sign in today and offer something closer to a real post. That, and I have the horrid, awful dentist appointment tomorrow, so I'm not sure if I'll be up to updating tomorrow.

First, I have to say how much I love my one coworker who gets all this. She was so there for me when I came in this morning and wanted to have my few minutes to brag about last night. I'm not even hiding that I was bragging. I feel good about it. I want my few minutes to brag. I want my few minutes from someone who knows how freaking hard this has been. And she does know, and has been congratulating me with every step. It helps.

Second, I have to say to anyone who is currently struggling through their own weight loss plan, and is finding it difficult or have plateau'd, I really can vouch for the value of a good personal trainer. Shawn has been absolutely invaluable. Not only does he have the expertise to design a program to help me reach my goals, he sees what I'm capable of and pushes me to reach those heights, not stop at the limits I want to place on myself. He is both someone to whom I'm accountable (and thus a motivator to keep pushing myself to improve when working on my own) and my support and encouragement when I don't feel like I'm capable of doing something. Honestly, I was a little doubtful of this at first; I can truly say I'm converted now.

Speaking of training, last night we were doing all sorts of fun new things, including working with more free weights. I've noticed this is getting to be an increased part of my program, so obviously it's important. I have to say, on my own, I'm a bit timid around the free weights. One, the area is always filled with guys who are incredibly fit, who obviously know what they're doing, and who are always using these massively heavy weights to do, like, one-armed bicep curls. Two, I don't like anything I have the potential to drop. I'm a klutz. I think Shawn recognizes this, because he does tend to hover somewhat close when we're using free weights. Not sure this is a good idea, really; at that point, if I drop it, I'm just going to drop it on him. Maybe that's the motivation not to drop it?

We were also doing those horrid body weight triceps press things again. I hate them. I really do. It's just like flashing back to grade nine gym class - which was not a good time for me - every time I have to do those things.But, I'm trying not to be so closed about them. I know they are good for me.

Shawn has also decided he's going to make me use more of the cardio machines - not hard since all I use is the treadmill - which means the last two sessions my cardio workout has been on the elliptical machine. This is a popular machine at the gym. I have no freaking idea why. It is the most unnatural movement I have ever tried to catch on to. And when you get it wrong, it's this horrid, teeth jarring moment. Have I mentioned that I like treadmills? Apparently (according to my brother) I don't run correctly, but it's okay. I like treadmills. Walking and running are normal activities for me. I've got them down. Had 20-odd years of practice.

Then again, thought I had breathing down too.

No more sessions for this week. Going to get a workout in tonight, taking tomorrow off for the horrid dentist appointment, and might try to get a cardio/core workout ahead of that. My brother was thinking on going into the city to buy some workout clothes this weekend; does it make me lame if I'm excited again?

Send me well-wishes on a painless experience tomorrow!

Report Card Time!!!

Okay, not really. But it was fitness assessment night.

I was sooo stressed. Oh my goodness. I felt absolutely retarded, but the harder I tried to calm down, the more stressed I got.

But.... the results are in....

Okay, so I'm not going to win any marathons anytime soon; not that I really expected to, but still.

So, the results of my four week assessment!

When I started I weighed 176 lbs.
Today I weigh 171 lbs.

My body fat was approximately 32.7% (this is very bad, as it puts me in one of the danger zones - women shouldn't be over 30% body fat)
Today it was approximately 29.8% (still not ideal, but a much better number)

Cardio function, via the bike test:
When I started, my heart rate @ level 7 was 161 bpm (I think I scared Shawn a little that day)
Today, my heart rate @ level 10 was 144 bpm (you want this)

Overall, I've lost over 6 inches off my measurements, including over 2" from my bust, which puts me under a 40" bust for the first time since I was like, twelve!

I have lost seven pounds of fat and gained two pounds of muscle mass. According to Shawn, most people only gain muscle at a rate of 1/4 lb per week, so my gain is really quite impressive.

I wish I had more people to share this success with, but as we all know, that's not the case. So, all you great people out in blogworld will get to share in my success with me!

The painful side of wellness

It had to be there somewhere.... it isn't all fun chats with chiropractors and getting my butt kicked at the gym.

Okay, the latter does have some pain involved.

What I don't handle especially well, is the other aspect of my wellness regime which has been getting very little airtime; my teeth. See, I haven't seen a dentist in a long time. Like, sixteen years. That means there is a lot of work to be done to my mouth. It also means all the work is a little more painful, because my gums are inflamed and sensitive. And so my mouth is sore for hours following things like the simple (hah!) cleaning and scaling I had done today. God only knows what it'll feel like after Friday's fillings and extraction.

I have a fitness assessment tonight that I'm trying not to stress over. At least I know my weight has gone down, if nothing else.

OMG, I have comments!!!

And followers!!

You guys have totally made my day!! Thanks!

Just a couple of notes: one of the biggest things I wanted to get across with my last post was that I really don't believe that you need to have a "diet" to succeed in weight loss. You just need to eat healthy. The basic Canada Food Guide (or your country's equivalent) is enough to help you along there. 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables, 5-7 of grains, 1-2 of meats and alternatives, and 2-3 of dairy. If you're so inclined, you can add a basic calorie counting formula to ensure you're not over eating, but as long as you learn how big a portion actually is (i.e. the "deck of cards" rule for meat) you'll probably be fine.

And exercise doesn't need to be the sweat-inducing, all-out fitness regimen I'm on. I've decided to hype it up for the last quarter-mile, so to speak. For the first eighteen months, my exercise was a daily walk. That was it. A walk. And I lost weight. In one of my very favourite quotes "The best type of exercise is the exercise you do." Just be active. You'll find the more active you get, the more active you're inspired to get.

Back to my fitness regimen: last night was another training session with Shawn, and I was wishing I had kicked Ambition Fairy when she so helpfully suggested I add a riser to my step Sunday night, because he decided we had been neglecting my legs lately. That meant a LOT of weight training with my legs. So much I've forgotten some of what we did. That's how you know it was a good workout. We were doing "pyramid sets" with the weight machines, which is when you start on your beginning weight, do fifteen reps, then add 15 pounds or so, do twelve reps, add another 10-15 pounds, do ten reps, then go back down 10-15 pounds, do twelve reps, then down to your starting weight, and do fifteen reps. Also known as, how to kill your legs in one hour or less. I always wanted to know how to do that. We were even doing all these calf exercises. Seriously, what do I need strong calf muscles for?

Oh, and I have decided that there is just no way to workout and possibly look graceful and ladylike. Have you ever tried doing a plie squat while holding a twenty pound dumbbell, and then "pulsing" at the end of the set? I'm sorry, the movement is absolutely obscene. Who designed these things? There has got to be a way to accomplish the same ends that doesn't look like something out of the pages of Cosmo that you read while looking to make sure no one is watching you.

No matter how much stretching I did last night, everything hurts today. Muscles I didn't know have hurt.

Shawn's decided he wants to do another fitness assessment on Wednesday. I am strangely stressed over this. I know I am far too "evaluation-oriented" for my own good; that's why I burned out as a student. This would evaluate how far I've come after a month, and part of me is just a little worried it'll take some of the pleasure and satisfaction I'm getting from this if I find out I've not come as far as he (or I) expected me to. I really wish I could find a way to shelve some of my neuroses at the door.

I'm sorry, my diet doesn't have a name....

I met up with a couple of people who hadn't seen me in a while this weekend, and of course, received the obligatory, "Oh my goodness, you look great!" compliments. I'll admit, I never get tired of hearing these. For someone who hated her appearance as long as I did, it's really, really nice to hear.

Then I got the second most-common phrase I've heard:

"What diet are you on?"

Sorry, what?

People seem flabbergasted when I can't name off the trendy, hyped-up, celebrity driven diet that's obviously fueling my weight loss. It's like I'm supposed to be carrying it around with me and can whip out a book at any interval which explains the "trick" or "secret weapon." I get met with blank stares all around with my answer. I should be cozied up in bed with Atkins, or relaxing somewhere with South Beach, or Eating Clean, or slaving away learning the key to the Low G.I. or calculating Weight Watcher points.

"None. I'm just eating healthy and exercising."

Cue the confused, slightly distrustful glances at each other..... now!

Sorry, guys. My diet doesn't have a name.

Ambition, you evil evil fiend...

Why, oh why, did you have to accompany me to the gym tonight?

In fact, why have you been hanging around so much lately at all? You've made me do foolish things like drive to West Jeddore (translated: middle of nowhere), or go for a run out in the cold air (my lungs burned for an hour), or decide to change the tires on my car single-handedly (well, almost).

Tonight, you made me decide that, gym goddess that I obviously am (scoff), I should clearly add another set of risers to my step in step class.

Now, I began step class six weeks ago. I attend once a week. When I started, I had no risers, just a step. Two weeks in, I got brave and added a riser. This is the same level the instructor works at, and the bulk of the class. Tonight, I felt I could do better. I could use two risers. After all, when Shawn has me using the step for cardio work, he has it on five risers. Yes, FIVE. Granted, I'm not moving nearly as fast, and not for an hour, but still. I can do two.

I think I might die.

Okay, no, but that was hard. And the ambitious little fairy that convinced me this was a good idea conveniently forgot that my dentist appointment this week has screwed up my training schedule, and so I have training sessions on Monday - as in tomorrow - and Wednesday - as in two days after Monday. I'm not dead yet, but I might be by Wednesday.

My back seemed better, till I fell out of one of the positions in yoga. Hopefully some ice and rest will mean it's better by tomorrow.

I need sleep now.

Saturday's fun fact....

Protein powder...

Not something you want to charge into...

This will take some getting used to. Shawn might have warned me. I think I need some stronger fruit or more orange juice. Anyone have any suggestions for making my smoothies taste normal again?


...two posts in one day. Is the sky falling?

I'm just not sure I'll get a post in tomorrow, so I wanted to quickly update tonight.

I love training sessions. I wish I could afford to meet with Shawn more often. I really do. Okay, wasn't thinking that through all of tonight's session, but I am right now.

It was hard. We did like, a billion cardio exercises (okay, possibly a few less, but it certainly felt like a billion), lots of core exercises, tons of arm and back strengthening stuff... yeah. And then he tells me to get on the bike and try the random setting for twenty minutes. (Actually, initially he had suggested I try running on the treadmill, but stupid me opened my big fat mouth and mentioned how much I disliked the bikes.... and thus, he had to show me the other kind of bike.... stupid, stupid me.) I didn't get through the whole bike thing. I still hate the bikes. I gave it a good go for five minutes, then gave up for the treadmill. I like treadmills. It was a good workout though. I was bouncing off the wall all day, and literally dragging my butt by the time I got done.

He also went through my food diary with a fine-toothed comb and commented on everything. Some of it good, some of it not so good. Some of it I already knew; i.e., there were a few days I wasn't eating enough. Protein is a major issue in my diet, so he recommended a whey protein powder which I can add to my breakfast smoothies. A lot of my dietary changes are going to be changing timing in when I eat certain foods, based on glycemic index as well as calories and fat level. Must find a website that lists the glycemic index for various foods. I did get an extra hundred calories a day, which is awesome.

Still a little bummed over the lack of support I receive outside the gym; tonight I got warned not to become a "snob." What does that mean? Having pride in myself? Having pride in what I've accomplished and wanting to show it off? Wanting to share my successes? I don't know really. And I think for now, it's best if I decide it's not worth caring about.

Eat more green things...

  • Spinach has over 800 mg of potassium per one cup (cooked) serving, and thus can help lower blood pressure and boost metabolism. It's also high in iron.

So, I've decided to make Fridays "fun facts Fridays." I come across a myriad of interesting nutrition, fitness, or wellness facts in my week, either linked to articles or in my own research, and every Friday, I'm going to share a handful or two with all of you. Nutrition has become a fairly big passion of mine, so there will likely be a lot of nutrition facts.

My back is bothering me less today, so hopefully it won't impact my training session tonight. Shawn is good about modifying exercises if I do complain of pain or discomfort, but I dislike feeling like I'm not giving 100%.

I am finding one major challenge in this that I really never thought to find. Well, it's sort of a double edged sword thing. All along this road, I've been on my own. Not to say anyone has actively discouraged me, but the support I've received has been ambivalent at best. I think most of my family thought this would be another one of my gung-ho attempts that would ultimately fail, and so they've more or less ignored it. My friends... I don't have very many friends, and those that I do have tend to be overweight. My best friend, from whom I would expect the most support - what I've received has been akin to dismissal or even hostility. I can't even discuss my successes with her because it apparently "gives her anxiety and makes her feel bad." Like my trying to improve myself is somehow affecting her well-being.

My decision to join the gym, and to hire Shawn, has meant that at least I feel like I always have one person in my corner. One person who is cheering me on every step of the way, who wants to see me succeed, and who doesn't see my success as a threat.

People don't talk about this in all those success stories. They always talk about the support of their family and friends, and how they couldn't do it without them. They don't talk about the family members who refused to give up their own unhealthy eating habits to help you, or the ones who stubbornly believed they knew more than your trainer did about nutrition, or the ones who barely acknowledged every milestone or weren't there for a bad day. They don't talk about the friends who complained that "it's not fair" that you look that good, or that you aren't free to go out because you're at the gym. They don't talk about the inconsideration of inviting you out for fast food or a night of drinking. In those stories, there's always someone with whom you share the successes.

You know what? Sometimes there isn't.

Even more than teaching equipment and crunches and making me run up and down stairs, I think this is the most important role Shawn is playing in this process right now. I also think it's a little sad I had to hire someone to find that support. But at the same time, it gives me a new resolve to succeed. If I can do this, I can do anything.

One more day...

...till Friday!!

I love Fridays. Who doesn't really? Two whole days away from work, time to myself, a whole myriad of possibilities. Plus, Fridays mean another training session, which I'm looking forward to, and Saturday, which is usually my day off, which is a nice break.

Should also have my tax refund any old day at all, which means a new pair of sneakers!! I am so sad. I used to get this excited about, like, real clothes. Jewelry. A haircut. Girly stuff. Now I'm drooling over workout pants and sneakers and coveting other people's sneakers. Like the awesome black and magenta Nikes I saw some girl wearing last night. They were pretty.

This week has been reasonably busy with chiropractor's appointments and training sessions and so on. Yesterday's appointment with Dr. Mike was really quite good. He took a few minutes to just talk to me about my upcoming plans to attend law school, and education in general, and congratulated me on the scholarships I had been awarded, which was refreshing. The past week or so, with everything coming down on me, it's easy to lose sight of the good in your life, and it was a nice reminder. A good way to end the appointment and carry on with my day.

Another appointment today, and a light workout on my own. I've strained a hip flexor, I think, and possibly a muscle in my back, so I think I'll take it relatively easy tonight. I've sometimes thought just not exercising would help, to discover the exact opposite - when I tried working out again the pain lessened. But I'll still take it easy. Did get a new office chair, so I didn't have to resort to an exercise ball or yoga mat. :)

Another article...

One I agree with much more....

Your thoughts?

Happy Wednesday to you!

Life is so much easier to handle when the sun is shining!

I actually think the sun has been shining for the past four days, but I've not been able to see it past the clouds in my own heart. So it was a very good sign when I woke up this morning and was immediately charged to see the sun shining in my window. The only downside was that I had to go to work :( . It was one of those mornings when I would have rather been out with the dogs.

Had a GREAT session last night with Shawn. Like, as bad as Friday was, that was how good last night was. In retrospect, not as challenging as Friday, since there wasn't a large cardio component, and we had to modify a few of the core exercises because my back has been bothering me, but I still enjoyed myself.

I'm also learning a lot about myself doing this. Not all things I wanted to learn, necessarily, but interesting, nonetheless. I've learned that my response to things seems to be tailored to my exposure to them; that is, if it's brand new and fresh and I've never encountered it before, I'm game. If it reminds me of junior high gym class... yeah. I just need a few seconds to consciously remind myself that Shawn is not going to yell at me, is not going to belittle me, and that no one in the gym is even watching me, and thus they are not going to laugh at me if I can't do something or if I screw up. Shawn also seems to be getting into my head a lot faster than I expected him to, and without my having told him very much. Either that, or he tells all his clients the same things, and just got very lucky in my case. Hmmm. At least I know I picked a good trainer. When my tax refunds come in (first is due in this week yay!!!), I'm going to have to set aside some money to buy a few more training sessions. And a new pair of sneakers, at this rate.

I have two chiropractic appointments back-to-back this week, then all of next week off. Not sure if this is helping, but as I'd said, life might be conspiring against Dr. Mike's efforts in this regard. Hopefully as things quiet down, and there's a little less tension and stress in my day to day world, it'll start to improve. At the very least, it can't hurt, and whether it's the adjustments or just being in the care of someone who seems genuinely interested in my well-being, I do leave the appointments feeling better. My office set-up isn't helping my back any, but short of bringing an exercise ball and yoga mat in and dispensing with the crappy office chair altogether, I'm not sure what can be done about that.

That's that for now. Found an interesting if ludicrous article in the National Post yesterday that suggests exercise is useless in weight loss. Well, my own one month four pound drop would tend to disagree with them there (yay!) but besides that, the logical fallacies in this article are just ridiculous. I mean, it wasn't lack of exercise that led these people to become morbidly obese, so why should anyone believe exercise alone would remedy it? It's part and parcel with a recent push to have the Canadian government subsidize the cost of bariatric surgeries, which I find equally ridiculous (they aren't willing to subsidize my gym membership or personal trainer, but if I want surgery, they'll do that?) on the argument it's medically necessary. Newsflash: letting obese people eat less doesn't mean they won't eat the same crap. They just eat less of the same crap. The food still does the same damage. They aren't any healthier, just skinnier, or in my favourite phrase ever, "skinnier fat people." Not a solution. Why not subsidize liposuction while we're at it?

Moving on...

I'm not mired at the bottom of that canyon now. The path out isn't easy, but I'm getting there.

I can recognize, on some level, that I am actually dealing with this somewhat better than I might have in years past. Where once I would have clammed up and said nothing, or kept to myself, or engaged in any number of unhealthy releases (food or alcohol) as a way of trying to bury my pain, now I'm using exercise and talking to friends.

I had another chiropractic appointment yesterday, and one of the hardest things about this whole thing is trying to answer that question, "So, how are you?" Honestly? Do you want to know how I really am or do you want the generic, I'm fine, how are you? Because, honestly, I'd like to find a rock somewhere and crawl under. Initially, when Dr. Mike asked me how I was, I didn't really say what had happened, though I was honest about not doing well. As we talked, I did tell him why I was so not well, though my explanation was pretty brief.

It's difficult to put into words what it really means to have lost Kelsey. I didn't just lose a pet. For nearly fourteen years, Kelsey was my best friend. The worst times of my life, he was there; when I felt like I had nobody else, he was there. That big white shawl collar has soaked up a lot of tears, his bright happy smiling face has prompted a lot of laughs, and his sunny nature reminded me that even on the darkest days, it would get better. And now he's gone.

The challenge now is not only moving on, but moving on in a way that is healthy and productive to my wellness. This has caused a few stumbling blocks in my path. First and foremost has been my eating habits (and when Shawn goes over my food diary tonight, I will deserve every reprimand he sees fit to hand me). With the added stress in my life, I lost all track of keeping calorie counts in my head, I stopped doing mid-day checks, everything - my caloric intake has been really quite bad lately, to the point of unhealthy yesterday, when I barely topped 1000 calories all day. That's bad. I can't handle emotional and mental stress if I'm not physically well. Exercise is a good escape, but not if I'm starving myself at the same time. The worst thing is, I actually ate all day - I just wasn't eating properly, or enough. That was the really frustrating thing.

Live and learn. I'm watching my calorie counts a lot more closely now. I'm eating my snacks on a closer schedule. I'm cringing thinking about going through yesterday with Shawn, but I'm not going to lie about it either. It was a mistake, and one I'll learn from.

And in the meantime, I keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other, with slow deep breaths.

Remembering to breathe...

Some of the pain of Friday is starting to fade now; there are still tough moments, but it's a little more bearable.

I have noticed how much I've changed, even in the short time I've been on this path. Once upon a time my escape from this sort of thing would have been to sleep (a telltale sign of depression), to head to a quiet, sedate activity (the movies, etc), or to turn to food. Yesterday morning, when I woke up, the house seemed empty. Too quiet. It didn't feel right.

I went to the gym.

I was still tired, and sore, from my session on Friday. I didn't get much sleep Friday night, but I went anyway. I went, and I put in a workout that, even on a good day, would have been exhausting.

I know Shawn is planning to go through my food diary with me on Tuesday, so I still ate breakfast, and a snack, and lunch; they were all healthy, more or less balanced meals.

By yesterday afternoon, stress and grief and fatigue had caught up to me; I laid down for a bit and ended up sleeping away most of the afternoon. Not something I like to do, but in retrospect, I was exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I think it was my body's way of saying I needed some time to recover.

When I got up, I got supper, and did some stretching and yoga to try to relieve the tension still settled in my back.

This morning the world was a little easier to face. I've been hiding in my room a bit; of course, part of that is having two days' worth of food diary entries to calculate calories on. Yuck. And I have step and probably yoga tonight. If Shawn is in, I might have a word with him about how badly I felt after Friday's session. Or maybe not. I haven't decided. I'm finding talking really hard right now.

I'm still upset about everything, but it isn't quite so oppressive and suffocating now.

Like Shawn told me: slow, deep breaths - in through your nose, out through your mouth.

It didn't get better....

This has probably been the lowest point I've hit so far on this path... if you imagine it passing through hills and valleys, I currently feel like I'm standing at the bottom of a canyon.

The last week has just been really, really stressful. We are still dealing with some family issues, that I'm not comfortable discussing, but suffice it to say, they're stressful. Illness in the family puts a toll on everyone, and moreso when no one knows what is causing it. In any time of stress, I'm usually the rock; I'm the one who can hold it together and get things done and function. When the health care system is involved, this is especially important, because I've worked with health care, and can answer questions and navigate when problems arise. But in the meantime, I just internalize all the stress. So for two days, I've been up at the crack of dawn. I spend all day feeling like I want to cry or bite someone's head off. It's not good.

Work threw me into a conference this week; I hate conferences. I am not a people person, and it's a drain on my personal resources to try to be around a bunch of strangers. Add to that the fact that I received virtually no information about what was expected of me at the conference, I was putting everything together at the last minute, and half of my needed materials weren't ready - yeah, it was great.

Even tired, and stressed, I have still been looking forward to my session with Shawn. I always enjoy being at the gym, and I have really been enjoying our sessions. And yet, right from the start, it just seemed like it was doomed. Admittedly, I screwed up. I should have told him about the week I was having and that I wasn't operating at 100%. But I didn't. I didn't think it would matter, and I hate sounding like I'm whining or making excuses.

I think it might have been my worst session yet. I know I kept getting frustrated over stupid things, we didn't get anywhere close to getting through the workout he'd planned, and I think he spent more time modifying it than even leading me through exercises. I actually went back to my car and cried when everything was done. I have never felt so lousy leaving a workout. I just feel like I wimped out.

Then, I got home, and my old Sheltie, Kelsey, had taken a turn for the worst. So to end my horrible week, I had to say goodbye to my best friend of fourteen years.

All I want to do right now is hide under a rock somewhere.

Two steps back?

I want to live in a bubble.

My biggest bugbear in any quest for wellness is my seeming inability to deal with stress. Apparently, according to Dr. Mike, stress is one of the many things that can cause the subluxations that can throw your nervous system all out of whack. Well, given my tendency to carry every ounce of stress in my life in my neck, shoulders, and back, I believe him. It also explains why my spinal exam looked as bad as it did.

This week, not only did work throw an unexpected conference at me, with a bunch of unexpected responsibilities there, but we ended up with a minor family emergency. And, as usual, I just internalized every bit of that stress until I was wound tighter than a ball of twine. I think any good Dr. Mike might have done on Monday was completely undone by the time I walked into his office today. One step forward, two steps back...

I have to say though, he was amazing. I didn't even have to tell him what exactly was going on, only that it was a very stressful time, and... yeah. It's hard to put into words, but the fifteen minutes or so I was in the office with him and the hour or so following my appointment was the only time today I haven't felt like I was on the verge of tears. That alone makes this all worthwhile. He recommended a good workout (which I was planning anyway) and told me he hoped things improved, and I just felt better. I've never been a big one on the whole "energy" thing, but I really do believe that the positive energy some people exude just affects everyone around them.

I did have a good workout, and even an extra chance to chat with Shawn. I did find out that my fondness for stretching (I always want to include like, twenty minutes, with every workout) is actually a good thing; I thought I was just being a lazy something-or-other who didn't want to do something harder.

And hopefully, things will get better so the stress subsides a little.


Such a simple concept. And yet, I'm sure Shawn has to remind me at least a dozen times during any session, to breathe.

Tonight, he even had to explain how.

Why, yes, I do sometimes feel like an idiot.

Don't worry, this is all good-humoured self-deprecation. We were doing some horrid stairs exercise that I'm sure he pulled from the Salem Witch Trials, and after we finished, and I was standing gasping for air, he explained to me how if I take slow deep breaths in through my nose, and out through my mouth, I won't find myself so air-starved. Very nice of him to explain after the exercise. Something else to learn, anyway. Who would think I didn't know how to breathe?

It was a great session tonight. Very tiring, really pushed me, but a really good session. I think it helps that we're starting to develop a bit of a rapport and he's starting to get a feel for how hard he can push me. He also wants to start going over my food diary with me, which I'm actually looking forward to. Having someone else to be accountable to is an even bigger motivator to make me stick to a healthy diet and make me remember to stick to the inconvenient things like eating meals.

Another chiropractor's appointment this week, and another session with Shawn. Things are picking up again!

Marching forward

March first!! Yay!! New health insurance!

Also meant my first chiropractor's appointment, with Dr. Mike at Well Within. I have to admit, walking in, I was pretty nervous. I don't really do the whole doctor thing, and despite my having researched this to death, I still couldn't find a lot to prepare me for what I could actually expect at this appointment.

That being said, it went pretty well, from my point of view. Dr. Mike is really good about explaining what is going on, and even if chiropractic is a lot more "hands-on" than I'm accustomed to, I think I can get used to that. It's probably going to take some time. It might sound strange, but I've dealt mostly with "conventional" medicine, which does tend to be reasonably "hands-off." I can't count the number of doctor's appointments I've been through where I sat on one side of the room and the doctor stood on the other, and we never got any closer than that. Even in physio, they had a lot of devices, and heat packs, and so on.... but not a lot of actual physical manipulation. So this is a bit foreign. And we tend to fear what we don't know.

But it wasn't the scary experience my brain had built it up to be. And so back I go on Thursday.

My food diary initiative is going very well. I kept a food diary for the first year of my weight loss efforts, but had weaned myself off of it. It just seems with the added stress of my new job, I'm no longer able to mentally control what I'm eating or when I'm eating it. I'm also letting myself fall prey to outside influences more than I should. Saturday was clear evidence of that. It kind of sucked. Since then I've been much better. It's harder to tell yourself that chocolate bar isn't "that bad" when the numbers are staring you in the face.

Another session with Shawn tomorrow!



Usage Rights

DesignBlog BloggerTheme comes under a Creative Commons License.This template is free of charge to create a personal blog.You can make changes to the templates to suit your needs.But You must keep the footer links Intact.