The Beginning

Starting February, I need to start working on myself again. I would like to go to the gym 3 times a week, and if not, follow a DVD workout at home. That is the plan. The biggest issue is getting myself to stick to it.

I’m also going to try to start meal prepping. Most food that I’ve prepped before does not last a week. So I may need to plan for two prep days. I think that having a meal schedule will help me to utilize my time more wisely. I figured a weekly soup for lunch or dinner, will make for a quick meal if things fall apart. Then prepping things like oatmeal and smoothies, and prechopping items for dinner and snacks will make throwing the other meals together a breeze. I hope this prevents our family from idling in from of the fridge and pantry wonder what to eat!

Does anyone have any suggestions for motivation and yummy recipes?

Infection

Not too long back, I had chronic hives. These have for the most part disappeared after having the Mirena IUD removed. Unfortunately for me, because I had hives while I was on a few different antibiotics, doctors assume that I am allergic. In fact, I am listed as being allergic to all classes of antibiotics. *sarcastic confetti*

I had a different allergist (my former no longer accepts my insurance), tell me that he doesn’t believe I am allergic to anything. My last testing was done while I was on prednisone. He said if I’m only getting hives, this is probably due to dermatographism and he believes my body is attacking itself (autoimmune), but doesn’t know which autoimmune disorder could be doing it. As far as antibiotics, he said I could just take them with beneadryl to prevent the hives. Unlike my former allergist, he just wants to dump a lot of medications on my body and send me to a colleague to be hospitalized for oral challenges in a controlled environment. Yeah, I don’t think so.

I ended up with a bladder and yeast infection after the IUD removal and the doctor decided to give me 3 days of ciprofloxacin, along with the generic of diflucan, providing I took it with benadryl as directed. I took the diflucan first and waited a day as I was told it didn’t matter what order I consumed them in. I had 12.5mg of benadryl with my first dose and a massive anxiety attack. I ended up having a quarter of ativan, because I was just plain scared about having a bad reaction. After 4-6 hours, I was fine, and feeling fine. I took my morning dose without benadryl, as well as my third dose this past evening. The only issue I really feel is the anxiety, horrid dry mouth, and constipation. That’s not too bad. I have three more doses to take and I’m done. I still feel pain and tenderness, but it’s not as bad as it was two days ago.

I hope 3 days is enough to fully eradicate this infection. It hurts to sit down which is an odd feeling. Then the general cramping when I’m laying down is uncomfortable. Its still pretty sharp when I put pressure on my bladder, but I’ve had no issue peeing thankfully.

I’ve read conflicting views on vitamin c and cranberry juice. Some suggests it makes the pain worse because it causes the urine to be more acidic. Others suggest it helps to flush out the system because it is acidic and doesn’t allow bacteria to breed. I’m not very good at avoiding acidic foods and drinks especially when coffee and tea is concerned.

I just want this infection gone! I want to get to spend more time with my daughter instead of being sick.

Tracking Food Consumption

For me, tracking my food intake has been helpful far more than it has been a hindrance. I know its taught me a lot about portion control, but it’s also helped me to assess my eating habits. On days that I don’t track and try to play catch up at the end of the day, I often find that my calorie count is severely low. When I track as I go through my day, I tend to make wiser decisions and consume closer to the calorie count my body needs.

I’m not saying that everyone should track as I know it’s not for everyone. People live different lifestyles and what works for me may not work for someone else. I have personally found this tool to be something of validation through my journey to enhance my health.

As an example, I was off by 1,058 calories. Yes, that’s a lot. I didn’t eat that much portion-wise because I simply wasn’t hungry. Then I got in a workout. The first one I’ve done in a while. This added more calories that I needed to consume, thus hitting the 1,000 mark.

I need to go shopping and pick up more fruits and veggies, so I ended up consuming a fiber one cheese cake bar along with some chips and dip. 150+300+120…It still left me with a 300+ calorie deficit. I know these are not very healthy options, but I wasn’t about to cook a full meal at 11 PM. So, I enjoyed what I ate!

Sometimes it’s just not in my cards to track all day, but when I had been tracking for a while, I found if I was running low, it was usually about 200-400 calories. It’s another reason of why I need to do this again because it is an ongoing learning process.I don’t always have this definitive knowing of what my body needs exactly, so I’m going to keep tracking for a while and continue making better choices.

Buh-bye Hives

I had my IUD removed last week. I was experiencing hives just about daily which would get worse when I was spotting or having my period. I needed to have it removed to find out if it was the cause or not. I’ve already had no issues with hives since it’s removal, but there have been other issues.

I’m still somewhat itchy, but I was informed that my hormones would need to normalize before that would go away. My body has to adjust without hormones and get back to some kind of baseline. A friend recommended chasteberry which I’ve taken previously. It helped get my body back to regularity after it was messed up from taking birth control pills.

Heavy menstrual bleeding is apparently normal after removal. I already have a blood disorder where my blood is thin and takes a long time to clot. Normal clotting time is between 5-7 minutes. I usually run 9-10 minutes. I have to take iron supplements and I get anemia and bruising quite easily. It has brought on a lot of fatigue and this feeling of being unwell (which is kind of weird because I feel so much better since having the IUD taken out). There isn’t much I can do except to continue taking my vitamins, eating better, and recognizing when my body needs to rest.

I made steak for dinner because I felt like I needed it. I’ve been trying to have salad and greens daily, but sometimes it isn’t enough. I can tell when my iron level is low because of the white spots on my nails. I can also tell when I cook my steak bloody instead of well done. I hate any red on my steak under normal circumstances, except when my iron is low. I paired it with homemade mac n cheese for my daughter and a big salad.

The next issue I’m not even sure what to do about. My joints hurt. A lot. I was diagnosed with a positive rheumatoid factor and fibromyalgia, but I learned to manage the muscular pain. This joint pain started the day after the IUD was removed. I have read a few posts of people complaining of joint pain after removal of their IUDs so I’m hoping that this is only temporary. I have done well with balancing out what my body can take and I have been proud of myself for it. I’m just really confused by the pain.

I’m not working out at this point. I’m just trying to work on my eating habits and will gradually increase what I need as I begin walking and working out again. Patience is the key. I will get there.

Accountability

This is going to be long…

My daughter is almost 4 and I’m still under 200 lbs after the holidays. I didn’t document the start of this journey because I wasn’t ready. I was an emotional mess, disgusted with myself, and unable to meet the demands of my very hyperactive toddler without getting winded. At my heaviest I weighed 257 and I will now admit that I was 3 lbs more than my mother that day. We always weigh ourselves together when she goes in for appointments. I’m not sure why we started that trend, but it’s always been a quirky thing we did together. My mom still struggles with obesity and now lots of loose skin to boot. It’s something I didn’t want to allow to hinder my life, but I allowed it. This was the moment that I felt ashamed about my weight, but more importantly, I felt ashamed that I was managing my emotional turmoil with food instead of dealing with it.

A number of things happened to me and there were a number of excuses I gave myself. The other factors were people surrounding me telling me I was “thin” enough and not understanding why I wanted or needed to lose weight. Breathing aside, I was healthy. All of my levels were good. I was just exhausted and couldn’t breathe. My blood pressure even stood at a wonderful 120/80. My norm has been about 90/60 most of my life, but I would get those black out issues standing up too fast or dizzy spells often. It was time for a change and the only two people that were on board were my doctor and another friend.

I began with small changes like cutting out soda. I shouldn’t say cutting out, because once in a while I will have some. I just can’t have that much of it anymore because now it makes me feel unwell when I do drink it. Yeah, I’m that lame mom filling her cup or water bottle up with water at the soda fountain. I started drinking more water. You know what happened? My lips weren’t dry anymore so I stopped biting them. When I was hydrated, my body felt a lot better. I peed a lot at first, but as I continued having about 100oz a day, my system seemed to regulate itself.

I worked on other rules for myself like reading on my laptop while standing up. I started washing dishes by hand and I would put on netflix so I could watch some of my favorite show. I also tried cutting back on how much I ate by implementing rules like only eating at the table. No more couch and bed eating. I was able to get down to about 215 with these changes.

Then my friend and I started walking in the evenings every night. Once in a while there would be one night a week that we wouldn’t walk, but for the most part, every single night we walked for months. I still remember we started out just walking around the block a few times. Then after few weeks in we extended that to three blocks with a hill. We took turns pushing each other up the hill and would huff and puff loudly trying to catch our breath as we kept going. One day, we just weren’t breathing so heavy anymore and could each walk up the hill without much difficulty.

Once I reached the 200 lbs mark, I started tracking what I ate on myfitnesspal.com. I got my first smart phone and loved the fact that I could scan in bar codes and select serving sizes. It made logging a lot easier. I didn’t try to stay within the ranges, but try to be more aware of portion sizes. It was to help me recognize eating patterns as well as what foods affected my weight more than others. My biggest problem is eating sweets. I have to eat something salty after eating sweets and thus gorge. However, tracking also helped me learn good things! It got to the point I could pour out 1 oz of chips without weighing! It helped me to relearn what correct portions are, as well as financially because I could extend food based on servings. Its something I want to do again because I got off track.

Due to walking frequently, we garnered interest from other friends who wanted to walk with us! The only reason we stopped was due to sickness and weather. It’s been too cold to walk at night and far too slippery. Side walks are almost never cleaned off after snow and I’m not fond of walking in the middle of the roads.

There is a gym available, but I’ve got to get over my fear of being around other people I do not know and working out. For some reason I have a hard time with this as does my friend. We tried it a couple times and it just felt too weird.

The changes have helped both of us and we’ve been a source of encouragement for one another. When people say that having a buddy helps, it really does, but only if you both are on the same page.

I gained weight back after being sick. I had severe bronchitis and pneumonia. I went back to habits like sitting while watching tv and eating. I’m not drinking enough water consistently. And I was so excited that I was wearing a size 10, the weight gain has caused me to be unable to fit into those pants. I’m starting to grow sluggish and tired again, but I also had the IUD removed due to an allergy to it and I’m sure the heavy bleeding doesn’t help any.

So here I am, back at it. My doctor wants me down to 180lbs and it’s something I agree with. I will still be considered obese by my BMI, but when I was 185, my energy was so much better. I was starting to sleep better too (when I wasn’t coughing up a storm from being ill). My head was in a much better place because I would have to deal with my thoughts and feelings directly. I know I can do it, because I have done it. It also gives me a sense of freedom and peace that I need so I can better attend to my daughter’s needs. I was at 193.5 this morning, but I’m still going to take things slow. I’m not in a rush to do this. I want to learn how to make better choices and what will work best for my needs and my body. It’s about me. Not anyone else. I have to be accountable to myself.

I love organizing, decorating, trying new recipes, cooking, reading, and of fitness and healthy living inspiration! So, feel free to send me a comment and send me to your blog. ❤