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Another Chronic Disease, O Boy June 17, 2014

Five years into being diagnosed with type II diabetes, I finally felt like I had come to some sort of peaceful relationship with it. I felt like I was managing the best I could, and was really pleased late last year when my endocrinologist decided to discontinue my oral medications. I hadn’t even been considering that as a goal, so when she suggested it, I was both surprised and happy.  She said I was doing great. YAY ME!

I was interviewed (and photographed) by Diabetes Health Monitor magazine (a staple in endocrinologist offices everywhere!) and feeling pretty darned good about it all.

Then, a couple of months ago, things started changing. My blood sugars started bumping up. Then they bumped some more. They went higher than I’d ever seen before. I panicked. I called my endocrinologist and begged her to let me resume the medications.  She said okay, and resumed my lowest dose. Sigh.

Then my weight started inching up at a steady rate, despite my doing basically nothing different than I had in the past five years. Now, I’ve been doing Weight Watchers for a long time. And I’ve learned that when I see a surprise gain at the scale, there’s always been a reason. An indulgent weekend. A sedentary retreat. Any of those things. But I’ve always easily been able to right the ship, and come back on course within a very short time.

This time, not so much. I mean, not at all. That in spite of all my best efforts, the ship was not righting. Every few days I’d step on the scale, and every time, it was higher than the time before.

I was starting to freak out. I was starting to dread my WW meetings (which I LOVE) for fear of being called out as fraudulent, bogus, the works.  I was getting frantic that my clothes were getting to be terribly ill-fitting (or non-fitting). My torso was starting to resemble that of a 2nd trimester pregnancy. And I wanted to sleep, like, ALL THE TIME.

What the hell!

For a while, I was in silent paralysis. I couldn’t discuss it or deal with it at all, I was so freaked out. But then I called my doctor(s) who recommended thyroid testing. (and: lo and behold, thyroid problems can cause out of control blood glucose!) An ultrasound revealed an enlarged thyroid. Next step: blood tests. I had the tests last week and this week, while on vacation with my family, I received emails from both doctors. Normal TSH levels are .5-5, and mine is 9. Bingo.

Diagnosis:  hypothyroiditis, or Hashimoto’s disease. Then I nodded. I had about 90% of the symptoms. Weight gain. Puffy face. Fatigue. Brittle hair and nails. Memory issues. Joint pain. Weakness. Vision problems.

Wonderful.

Sigh.

Well, damn.

I’m trying not to be all WHY ME? about this, but damn. Come ON. Okay. So what do I do. I start taking thyroid supplements. I start figuring out how to manage THIS chronic disease.

Part of me is really, really pissed off. But part of me is relieved. That it’s not worse. (it can always be worse, right?) And that this condition has a treatment. For which I am very grateful. I can’t wait for it to start WORKING! (this could take weeks–>months)

As I did when I first started this blog, and basically with every time I’ve every struggled, I know that reaching out with the struggle is better than struggling alone.  I know that finding community and support is better than flailing around alone.

Even thinking about writing this post has made me feel better.

 

Workout Clothes? For meeee??? (and you!) October 24, 2012

When I was at Fitbloggin’ I got to meet the cool people at PVbody. They were giving away some pretty nifty fitness duds, including this top which looked kinda silly on me…especially over my pajama top.

me and the best, goofiest roomie ever

but pretty awesome on Junior.

that’s my girl

Anyway, they have a great deal going, which reminds me of getting a weekly delivery of CSA veggies-in-a-box. You never know what you’re going to get, but it’s pretty awesome to be surprised. Instead, they send a beautifully wrapped package of workout clothes each month, for not much $$. You know how expensive workout duds can get, right?

I got my first box yesterday. I was jumping up and down. All pretty, wrapped in tissue paper, like a present.

Is it my birthday?

I open it up and it’s a beautiful top! And some pants that looked, possibly, frighteningly too small. Oh well, it’s free returns/exchanges. These are seriously high-quality workout duds.

The V-neck top is made by ALO (Air Land Ocean) and is super comfy and flattering.

I love the cut of this top.

The bottoms are made by Nux. They are all scrunchy at the bottom (ruching?) and I feel a little dubious.

scrunchie-bottomed pants

But I put them on, and …. woweee! They fit!

I like the scrunchies!

O boy! I like these clothes.

Mr. McBody came through after I tried them on and said, “O boy! What are you wearing?!?” Needless to say, he approved. :-)

They are comfy. They are nifty. I’m all excited! And I get another box next month??

So, this is the deal. You, too, can get a box of awesome workout clothes every month. I can vouch for the super high quality. They are worth about $150 per box, but you pay less than $40. ANNNNNND… as a friend/blog reader of yours truly, you can get an extra 20% off. How cool is that. You fill out a little quiz where you indicate your size, the kind of sport(s) you like to do (running/yoga/cycle etc), your favorite colors and styles. Then voila, they put together a box for you, and when it arrives at your house it’s like your birthday. But every month. If something doesn’t fit, it gets returned super easy and free. I was sure those pants were not going to fit me, but I was wrong.

Click here for the special Foodie McBody deal!

 

Triathlon: the STUFF (or, Having a Gear Meltdown) October 15, 2011

Wow, doing a triathlon sure involves a lot of STUFF. Stuff to keep track of, and in the right order, and… aghhhh! Want to know what’s in my pile?

  • wetsuit
  • tri suit
  • sports bra
  • Bodyglide
  • silicon ear plugs
  • swim cap
  • goggles
  • bike shoes
  • socks
  • bike helmet
  • GU chomps
  • water bottle
  • bike gloves
  • running shoes
  • hat

Tomorrow is our coached super-sprint practice triathlon. What is a supersprint? It’s more than a sprint and less than an Olympic: 1/2 mile swim, 17 mile bike ride, 4 mile run. EEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

I had ordered a special Team in Training two-piece tri suit for the big event, and we found out this week that it will NOT be ready by tomorrow. So today was all about scrambling for stuff to wear. Until now, we’d been doing leisurely transitions involving locker rooms and bathrooms and such. But tomorrow we are going to be learning all about Transition (what some people call the 4th sport of the triathlon, and also what I remember as the most painful part of labor and giving birth).  We are not going to go into any locker room, we’re doing it all out in the Transition Area, just like we will for the Real Event. Coach Haakon sent us this video to study. Which made me kind of nauseated with anxiety.

First thing I need to attend to was getting a tri suit. I asked my friend Mary if I could borrow hers. She had just gotten one and WON in her age division in See Jane Tri, her first triathlon, (!!!!!!!!!!!) and I knew it had a bunch of good mojo in it. I went and picked it up around 4pm today. I held it up. Squinted at it. Hmmmm. I suddenly felt a rush of doubt. I went to my local sports store. They had NOTHING I needed. No tri equipment. No springy shoelaces. No Bodyglide. OK, that store SUCKS.

Then I drove to the big discount store (*cough* Sports Authority *cough*) about 20 minutes away. This place is huge and yet it is full of useless crap. Again, NO tri wear whatsoever. Come ON.  I brought Mary’s tri suit into the dressing room and confirmed that NO WAY was it my size. I mean I could zip it up if I did not breathe at all, but I was in danger of splitting it wide open if I so much as moved one muscle. I was getting really upset at this point.

I realized that I was used to the phenomenal thorough wonderfulness that is Sports Basement, which also gives TNT athletes a nice discount, and I could not believe the lameness of these other stores. I checked my phone. There is a SB in San Francisco (8 miles away but during rush hour! Over the bridge! NOOOOOO!) and one in Walnut Creek (14 miles away, also gnarly traffic). I felt very discouraged and overwhelmed and my sense of preparedness was out the window. I texted Lily. She recommended REI, which is in Berkeley. Brilliant girl!!! But first I called them. They were great. Not only did they have tri clothing, it was on SALE.

I went up to north Berkeley. There was a nice rack of discounted tri clothes at REI. I decided to get a 2 piece because the unitard style just looks insanely horrible on me. I also got some new silicon ear plugs and some elastic shoelaces.

I made my little/big pile. I ate my pasta dinner and drank a bunch of water as directed. I’m going to bed at 9:30pm and reading a bunch of the Mental Training book as bedtime reading. Then I get up and Do the Damn Thing, as coach says.

I was going to write about how freaking nervous I feel but decided to do some positive self-talk instead.

I am prepared.

I have been dedicated at completing my workouts as instructed.

I trust my coaches.

I am ready.

When I am in the water, my father will be with me.

I am going to DO THIS tomorrow.

 

What Size Am I? Ummm…. February 23, 2011

Filed under: clothes — Susan @ 1:05 am
Tags: , , , ,

Image from Flickr: doyoubleedlikeme

This has been one of my pet peeves forever! The answer is: I have clothes that are size 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, Large, Medium and Small… and they ALL FIT. At once. Isn’t that crazy? I saw someone posting on Twitter recently that they were “between sizes” and it made me laugh. “Just try a different brand!” is what I have to say about that. To prove my point:(all these pics were taken within a few minutes of each other)

Here I am in my size 10 pants and my size 6 shirt.

Size 10 Coldwater Creek pants, Size 6 Fleuret top

Here’s my size 8 pants and my size 14 jacket and size Medium Tshirt.

Ann Taylor size 8 pants, size 14P jacket

Here are my size 6 pants and my size XL cami!

Tommy Bahama size 6 pants, size XL cami

And finally… my size 4 jeans (yeah what?) and my size XL American Apparel shirt.

Size 4 Gap "boyfriend" jeans, size XL Tshirt

So there. So am I a size 4? A size 14? I guess I’m all of those. Which make clothing sizes just… plain… ridiculous!!

Speaking of clothing, I recently discovered this awesome site called the Great Clothing Exchange. It’s a wonderful place to share (and to find!) clothes. If you’ve got clothes that are too big, send them to the GCE! and if you’re looking for new stuff in your new size, ditto. I just donated my infamous “Before” shirt. That shirt to me has become iconic with my Before self. I’m not going back, so I’m ready to pass it on. Go check it out!

 

Nonscale Victory: Running Shirtless October 31, 2010

It’s really good and important to take note of NSV (non-scale victories) when the scale is not feeling particularly victorious. I had one today.

I didn’t do it on purpose, I swear. But what happened this morning is that I left the house prepared for super chilly weather. It was like 50 degrees up by our house. Mr McB and I decided to check out a new (to us) route where he could bike and I could run and we could meet up and wave at each other and all that. I was very excited!

So we drove down there and WHOA it was easily 20+degrees warmer at the trail. I was wearing a hot, long sleeved t-shirt (that I usually wear cross- country SKIING or in super cold weather) plus a hoodie sweatshirt. I knew it was going to be awfully uncomfortable. Then I realized my pockets in the sweatshirt (my only pockets) were super shallow and this meant that my keys and phone were going to fall out.

My chivalrous spouse offered to let me have HIS jacket with the nice zippered pockets. He was just wearing a T-shirt so he didn’t need the jacket. But I could not deal with the long-sleeved shirt PLUS the jacket. Right then I decided to strip off the shirt. In the parking lot. I was like, it’s okay! I’m in my sports bra! And then I zipped up the jacket.

My plan was to run 6 miles, or to see if I could get anywhere in that range with a combo of run/walk. It is just now dawning on me (ha ha ha) that this Las Vegas half marathon is like five weeks away! and I better see what’s what. I wasn’t putting a lot of pressure on myself, and keep saying it’s fine if I walk it all, but I don’t WANT to walk it all because it’ll just take too damn long. I’m hoping for maybe a 50-50 ratio, and… getting in around the 3 hour range? I have no idea.

So I take off at a fast walk. After a couple of songs I felt nice and warmed up and started running. By the time I got to 2.5 miles, I felt like I was running with a soggy X-ray vest on my back. It was just sooooooo uncomfortable. And I decided to whip off the jacket and RUN IN MY BRA.

Now, I know people run in sports bras ALL THE TIME. But not me. I mean, I have always been way envious of those sports-bra type runners with the 6 pack abs (no, I have NO pack, or a one pack, or maybe a mini-keg). And I wasn’t actually baring my belly. I wrapped the jacket around my waist, and I pulled my pants up past my navel, quite dorkily, so that there was maybe two inches of skin exposed. But STILL. I was RUNNING IN MY BRA.

La la la! It felt really breezy and free and wonderful. The sun felt awesome on my skin and it was just great. And I felt pretty sure that I was not offending myself or any passersby.

It was an incredibly gorgeous, clear sunny day and I was running by the bay feeling just ecstatic. Until a couple things. 1. I realized I (don’t hit me! I KNOW!) forgot to bring water. AGAIN. FAIL.

2. I really, really, really had to use a restroom. Like really badly.

So my six-mile run got cut to five miles and the last 1/4 mile I was DYING of discomfort. (Shout out to Karen, whose recommendation of John Mellencamp’s “Human Wheels” literally kept me going instead of writhing about on the ground) I luckily did found a public restroom but then I needed to text Mr. McB to come rescue me. I was exhausted. But I was happy. I’d run at least five miles (maybe more? maybe close to six?) and it had really been great up until the bathroom moment.

I took a picture of my sweaty self in the parking lot. Feeling pretty pleased.

Viva Las Vegas!

PS. And just because of this post and the “Exposed” one below, NO it does not mean I’m going to be showing up in a bikini anytime soon. This is the end of taking my clothes off online!

 

Changing Goal Weight??????? June 8, 2010


Vintage bathroom Scale

Originally uploaded by totalrod2

So I’ve been virtually at the same weight for almost a year now. YAY.

And now that it’s been a year, I’ve been pondering/musing/obsessing over the idea of changing my goal weight. Ie, trying to lose the “last ten.”

I have some major ambivalent feelings about it. But it’s been on my mind a lot. It’s sort of like declaring a major, you know? It’s a commitment. And it’s not something I want to commit to unless I am sure.

Why do I/would I want to do this? Well. A few reasons. One, I’m beginning to realize that I’m not quite as fit and trim as I used to think I was. I mean, for much of the past two decades I would have DIED of HAPPINESS to be at my current weight. In fact, it did not even seem remotely in the realm of possibility. In fact, it did not even seem possible to weigh what my driver’s license says. (which is 13 pounds more than my current weight)

But now I’ve been hanging out here for a year. It’s good. It’s fine. I wear clothes that range from size 4 to size 12. (and yeah, I fit into all of them. How crazy is that) Also clothes that range from size S to L. I’m within a “normal” BMI. But that’s the thing. I’m very close to the ceiling of that range. Once or twice I’ve come close to hitting my head on it.

I weigh 10 lbs more than I did on my wedding day. I was hardly SKINNY on that day. I was like, regular.

I still have something of a spare tire. I still can grab large handfuls of belly fat, wayyyyy more than “pinching an inch.” I know that belly fat of any kind is not good for one’s health, and especially for diabetic people. So I think the less of that I have, the better. It’s never gonna be flat and i’m never wearing a bikini again. (those days were over 35 yrs ago)

Is it health? (a little) Is it vanity? A little. Is it a combination? Yeah.

That’s what I’m struggling with. I have problems with vanity dieting. Which I have said before. At the same time, I cannot deny the pleasure of shopping for and finding cute clothes that fit me. So vanity has become a weird part of my life.

It is weird when people MY HEIGHT come in to Weight Watchers. They weigh the same as me. Or LESS than me. And they are all, “UGH! GROSSSS! HOW DID I EVER GET TO THIS POINT!?” We are trained to be supportive of every member no matter their height or goal, as long as it is within the Healthy Range. But inside I am cringing and thinking, this person will never have faith in me. How can I be a leader or role model when they are so freaked out to be MY weight? I don’t say a thing. I support them. But still.

I’m never going to be at the bottom of the range. I don’t know if I will ever even be in the middle. No, I don’t think that’s in the cards either. But if I could get my head just a little fraction of a distance away from that ceiling, it would probably be a good thing.

The thing is, I’m nervous. (as if you couldn’t tell) I’m afraid of upsetting the apple cart, tipping the boat, you name it. I’ve actually gotten pretty comfortable with maintenance and I am afraid to get back onto the weight-loss road again. What if I fail? What if I try to lose and end up GAINING because I’ve put too much pressure on myself? What if I can’t do it? And my head goes smashing through the ceiling AND the roof?

All these things make me ponder. Should I let sleeping dogs lie? Should I make peace with my belly fat? Should I Go For It? (losing the last ten)

I know that people will probably have all sorts of ideas about this. And at the same time, I know that the only person who can ultimately answer this question is me.

 

Anatomy of a Wedding Weekend June 7, 2010

I knew this weekend would be challenging, but I was not exactly sure how. In looking back on this past few days, I look at the ups and downs, the many small choices and challenges I faced, and what I learned from it.

I went into the weekend feeling I had not much wiggle room to spare. I wanted to come out of it maintaining where I was at before I went in. I’m not going to weigh myself until tomorrow or maybe even the next day.

Friday morning: Got up in the dark to get to the airport. Had coffee. Got to airport and headed straight to Starbucks for my new favorite breakfast, Perfect Oatmeal. It was perfect. Good way to start the day. Got onto plane #1. Slept. I am grateful that not only am I “able” to sleep on planes; in fact, a plane seat hits me like a tranquilizer gun and I immediately pass out into a deep, drooling coma the instant I feel the wheels lift off. I think this has something to do with a period when I was deathly afraid of flying and I literally learned to hypnotize myself into sleep so that I would not freak out. I don’t freak out so much anymore, but I think it’s because I’m passed out.

Layover: Las Vegas airport. We only had 10 minutes before boarding the next flight and I ran around frantically trying to find something suitable for carry-on lunch. Seemed there was nothing but Burger King and chocolates. Finally found a place that sold sandwiches. Whole wheat baguette turkey sandwich. 470 calories. With nothing on it! Blech! But I was desperate. Grabbed it. Ate half of it on plane. It was awful but I was very hungry. Had a packet of Ritz cracker cheese sandwiches courtesy of Southwest, which immediately transported me to my children’s unfortunately unhealthy childhoods, where they and I consumed mass quantities of those things. I am addicted to them.

Arrived at destination.  Went to hotel gym and spent 45 minutes on elliptical! I was so sweaty and proud of myself, especially after having spent all day in vegetative state on airplanes. Went to awesome hotel restaurant and had a wonderful dinner of 2 deviled eggs, a spinach salad from heaven, and a little bowl of polenta and spinach. That would have been quite fine. It would have been perfect if the evening had ended there, but alas, it did not.

Went to post-rehearsal-pre-wedding reception thingie hosted by groom’s parents. LOVELY home, all catered event. At first all I saw was wine and some platters of strawberries, brownies and cannolis. I was full from dinner and not tempted. I took a teeny nibble from my mother’s brownie & cannoli; both were way too sweet and thought, good, I am home free! Big basket of potato chips. Not tempted. THEN they brought out the gourmet cheese tray thing. I faltered a little. Then I got into a conversation with some relatives who asked some very kind but probing questions about the state of my Writing; something I am NOT feeling good or confident or happy about these days, and the cheese dam just broke.  Gorgonzola and Muenster and Brie and baguette slices and some salami rounds and it all just VANISHED into my mouth. I lost my mind. I lost it completely. I actually could not quite believe it, but there it was. Kablooey!

The next morning I woke up with a cheese hangover and….. a severely throbbing ankle. Apparently it had not been super charmed by my killing the elliptical like that, brace or not. I was very sad. I decided not to return to the gym but instead went to  a street arts festival with my sister in law. I walked around for several hours, but at a relatively slow pace. Better than nothing, right? Still, my ankle was throbbing even more after that. I took a very brief trip to the gym and tried to find something that did not make it hurt. I did not find anything. I was sad.

I had another spinach salad. (sooo good) Felt fortified for the wedding. Got dressed. Squeezed self into Spanx and then into dress. Went to wedding. Short and sweet, followed by reception. I resisted all appetizers, including another cheese plate (this cheese was not nearly as good as Friday’s). How did I do this? I constantly texted my WW BFF with the choices that lay before me. I sent some pictures. It was actually easy. If only I’d done that during Friday night’s cheese debacle! I gleefully reported how I passed up some deep fried raviolis in little dishes of marinara. Yay me! The wedding dinner itself proved quite easy: seared tuna and snow peas, which I’d pre-ordered. They came with wasabi mashed potatoes, which I did not eat, because that sounded like a horrid combination. Lucky me. Then the cake!! At first I wasn’t going to eat any. Then a little bit. Then I decided that the dinner had been so healthy I could go ahead and have a piece. It wasn’t a very small piece. Later, in the hotel, I looked it up: 16 points! Sixteen points for carrot cake! If only I’d know. Oh, the power of knowledge. Next time I will use my WW iPhone app and figure this out before I lift fork to mouth. If I’d known, I would have had like two bites. Which would’ve been fine.

People told me to DANCE at the wedding, but I really didn’t. This was the first wedding in which I was of the generation older than the wedding couples, and I felt weirdly old fogeyish, my ankle hurt, and my mother (even older than me) realllllly wanted to get out of the loud loud loud venue and go back to the hotel. So we left when the dancing began.

Oh well.

So, today: more drugged sleep-of-the-dead on the plane. More Ritz crackers. Another missed lunch. I was so happy to get home to beautiful unmuggy weather, I pledged to go out and walk. But I did not. I just…… didn’t.

Thus, the weekend got away from me, and I pulled it back, and it was a tug of war back and forth. I don’t know how to score it overall. An overall failure? Overall victory? No. I’d say it was a learning experience.

As we say at WW, it’s either a losing week or a learning week.

I learned:

  • prepare/bring lunch for plane ahead of time. Go to grocery, bring something from home, whatever. Make like a Girl Scout and be prepared.
  • When in a highly charged emotional situation, TRY to have a moment of consciousness and reach out: Twitter or text a friend who can keep you grounded and away from large quantities of cheese.
  • Look up calories/points values of items BEFORE eating so you can at least make an informed decision. I was assuming the carrot cake was about half what it was.
  • Get out and take a walk before catching up with Facebook and blogs, or you’ll never go.

So… I probably got a C- in the weight loss/maintenance arena, and maybe a B+ for learning. And, it was a lovely weekend, a beautiful wedding and great to see family for a brief little time.

EPILOGUE: I did not get a C-!!!!!! Just weighed myself (Monday morning) and my weight is…. UNCHANGED! to the ounce! from when I left. Which was my goal. It’s a new day! It’s a new week! YAY!!!!

 

 
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