Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Body Confusion

I have finally gotten back into the habit of working out again and it feels good. I haven't started doing videos at all, but I am using the gym at work and at our apartment complex regularly. A coworker is teaching me and my roommate the fundamentals of boxing, I've been using the dip/pull-up machine, the elliptical and the balance ball for sit-ups.

It feels so incredible to just MOVE! My body is changing and it's an amazing feeling. Today I got the bright idea to try on my "big jeans" again just to see what the difference would be. I could fit into ONE LEG! I even took a photo.... and put it next to me actually wearing the jeans back in 2009.

How insane is this picture? I don't feel nearly as small as I look. Nor did I realize how incredibly large I had gotten back in the day. I am just barely past my half-way point and I have at least 50 more pounds to go, but this is a huge deal. This photo makes me laugh because of how silly I look in ONE pant leg. I am feeling stronger, and feeling good. Here's hoping the pounds start melting off again!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Too Far - Too Fast

When I started out on my weight loss journey I weighed approx. 315 pounds and my waistline was expanding past the size 28 jeans I wore. Over the past 3 years I have I have (very) slowly lost about 64 pounds of that weight. I am still obese, but I am far more healthy than I have ever been.

On February 17th, I had surgery to remove my left ovary along with the many many cysts that had grown there. Not 2 weeks into recovery I developed bronchitis that I am still getting over.

I have done 2 days of Dance Central and still can't manage more than about 4 songs on Medium. Tonight one of my roommates and I went on a walk around the complex. About a quarter of a mile into the walk I decided that I wanted to take it up to a sprint.

A little side note to those of you paying attention... surgery? Bronchitis? Then I try to run on my first walk since? And did I mention it was... uphill?

I am not quite to the point that I can do things that I once did. I can't imagine doing P90X right now. I think my lungs would explode.

Friday I received my gloves and hand-wraps, so I'm hoping that I will get started with boxing lessons soon.

And now? Now I am going to go and try to breathe. My lungs are still on fire.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Body Movin'!

It's been 4 weeks since I had surgery and I have been challenged by my roommate to get moving again. I have been putting it off for as long as I have partially due to the nasty cold/bronchitis I got about 2 weeks ago. But the other part of that is fear. I have no idea what my body is going to do.

Several things have changed with my body since surgery. Some obvious and some more subtle and personal. So I don't know if my workouts will change as well. I knew what I was once capable of, but I haven't worked out in probably a month and a half now. I have no idea what I'm able to do anymore.

Everlast Neoprene Heavy Bag Gloves
The good news is that while I'm a bit nervous about getting moving again, I am excited about it. One of my coworkers has offered to teach me how to really box. I have already bought some hand-wraps and bag gloves. They should be delivered by Saturday or Monday. I'm hoping that it will not only help with my fitness, but my confidence as well. Luckily the building I work in has a gym downstairs, so I don't have to worry about buying or renting any other equipment.

At home I'm going to break out the Dance Central. I realize that it's not a regimented workout, but it's a lot of fun and it will most definitely work me out! We got Dance Central when the XBox Kinect first came out and it was an instant favorite for the house. I haven't played it much since early January, but there are a bunch of new downloadable content songs we've gotten since and I'm excited to try them out.

I think using this to get back into the habit of moving is a great idea. Fun is definitely going to be a factor, considering time is a huge barrier to working out. If I have time to play 30 minutes of Dragon Age: Origins, I have 30 minutes to do this!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Escaping Stress

We all have stress. I don't think there could possibly be a more "No shit!" statement out there than that: We all have stress. Whether it's your job, or lack of a job, kids, spouses or lovers, bills, fitness, or health.... or a myriad of other more specific things in our lives... we all suffer from it.

Not all of us, over the course of our lives, have developed healthy and positive ways that deal with the stress that we face day-to-day. I know that in my past I have turned to food, alcohol, and several other things that I won't list because I am not proud of them. (No worries, they aren't go-to solutions anymore and haven't been for years.) So many people have the same issues. Addicts (food, drug, alcohol, nicotine, etc.) aren't generally born from a "hey this is fun" experimental standpoint. More often than not there is a stress that is too great to bear, and these vices help to take it all away at least for a short time.

To say that I am under a bit of stress right now is one of the biggest understatements I've probably heard this year. My workplace has become about as stable as a tumble-dry. Still have my job, which is good, but we're all just holding on so that we don't get too many bumps or bruises along the way. Money is tight. My health has been in flux now since the beginning of the year and I'm still not done with it all. My relationships with friends and loved ones are wonderful and keeping me above water right now.

I am finding myself starting to slip back into bad eating habits. Late nights are the worst right now. When I realize that tomorrow is coming at me full-steam and there is nothing I can do to stop it, I feel the need to eat. I want to do something that feels good. Food is good. Well, except when you're a diabetic trying to get yourself off meds, that is.

I have never been a person who has dealt well with stress. As I've gotten older, I have learned to reign a lot of it in, but that fluttery-heart feeling is still there every time. The stress never goes away. I still want to eat. I still want to drink. And when it's really bad, I still want a cigarette. But those are no longer viable options for me.

The biggest thing I have found that reduces my stress is pure escapism. If there is nothing I can do about the situation and all I am capable of is worry and fret... I need to get away from it.

My newest escape is video games. Spending that time being in control of something and defeating the "bad guys" does wonders for the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. My most tried-and-true method of escaping is music. And thanks to some really great friends of mine who are fantabulous as finding new music for me (I'm looking at you James and Mick!) I have found a lot of things to keep my mind busy when it's spiraling. And when things are just too much for me to handle anymore there are those that I turn to and bare all my rage, fear, panic and tears. Sometimes turning the release valve and letting the pressure vent outward is the only way to find the calm again.

I suggest finding your outlet. Find a place to put the stress that doesn't include over-eating. Or smoking or drinking or anything else that is truly unhealthy for your body and your spirit. It's hard to do. I am not perfect at it just yet and I do slip. But at least look for them, search them out, they are there.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nearly There

I have yet to get back into the swing of exercise just yet. Once I started feeling better post-surgery I was slammed with some gnarly cold-thing and am not quite up to 100% just yet.

That being said, I am excited to get moving again. I plan on starting to walk every day. I am still working out the details of when that walk may be, but I want to get it in there. I feel that it is very important to my overall fitness goals.

Once it's obvious that walking is working out just fine, I am going to start to get into my fitness videos again. I think I am going to start back up with the tried and true "TurboJam" with Chalene Johnson. I saw some great results with that and want to ease into vigorous activity easy.

I picked this video of it because it's directly from the workout DVDs. It shows that there is modification for the more difficult moves and it shows the intensity to which I plan on going towards:

Yes, Chalene is perky and blonde and all the cliches that aerobics instructors are held to... but the workouts are amazing, and she is really motivational. It's really worth giving a shot.

I am excited to get back into it. And if I did this at 280 pounds (which is where I was the first time that I tried out the videos) I'm sure that most of you reading this can get into it as well if you are interested in it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Feeling Good

On Thursday it will be 2 weeks since my surgery to have my left ovary and surrounding cysts removed. I feel really good, physically. There is still pain in the areas of my abdomen where I was cut. But otherwise, I am regaining my energy levels and somehow they are far higher than pre-op.

I am burning 2600-2800 calories per day on average since last weekend. And that is with no scheduled exercising.  I am just walking as much as I can without a pain point. I have yet to start taking the stairs yet, and my 1 mile daily walk hasn't made its way back on my schedule. But I feel good.

When I go home at night, I go right to the kitchen to start dinner. There is very little sitting on the couch and vegetating. I am starting enjoy the feeling of having a home again in this new place. Cooking has become a passion of mine. And I am even starting to make food that my 8-year old amazingly picky eater will eat.

Eventually I will get back to taking pictures and posting recipes again. Last night I made Orange Chicken which was surprisingly good. And my son ate it like it was going out of style! I am excited to make the Root Beer BBQ again too. Last time I used chicken, but this time, pork. And doubling the sauce recipe so that we can have more if we want it. It was really good and I wasn't missing the sweetness at all.

Life is getting back into the normal swing of things. It feels really good. Now to get my blog back in motion.