Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcoming 2011!

It's New Year's Eve! Where did 2010 go? It's been a tough year financially, but personally, I had some high points. I celebrated my 2 year anniversary of goal weight maintenance. I was published in a health/fitness magazine. My best friend and WGT (world's greatest trainer) Tab joined me on the website. Toward the end of the year, I had some challenges. My knee being first and foremost. In September I began battle earnestly, struggling to maintain my active lifestyle, and failing. It soon became clear that surgery was my only recourse. I ended this year with many weeks of limited physical activity, a deep frustration fraught with fear for my future fitness. But along with that low, came the high of coming through surgery with flying colors. I'm healing and mobile way ahead of schedule. My clean eating lifestyle has saved me from weight gain during this time, and when I get my doctor's approval, I am ready to hit the gym again.

Instead of ending the year with a big question mark looming over my fitness goals, I am back up and looking forward to progress and potential. Additionally, my family is whole and healthy and keeps me on my toes. My life is full, challenges and joys. I am ever expanding my interests and education. I am happy, I am healthy. I have a blog that has introduced me to wonderful people like you, who further add to my life. I end this year feeling very blessed. And very thankful.

My goals for 2011 are in line with what I've done in 2010.

  • Continued clean eating - excellent nutrition for myself and my family
  • Continued fitness - living an active lifestyle
  • Continued education - completing educational pursuits and continuing education in the field of nutrition
  • Continued publication - build my by-lines and writing resume within the genre of health & fitness
  • Continued blog/website growth - I want to continue to grow the site, moving it to its new URL ( and offer more cohesive resources and new services to help people reach and maintain their weight/fitness goals, including incorporating video. All the info on this site will be just the same on the new URL, free, as always, with the addition of new resources and services. [Current website is]

Toward these goals, there are many milestones to reach. Rehabbing my knee is top of the list. Each goal has mini-goals. For example, once rehabbed, I have goals to take an aerial fitness class, do indoor rock-climbing, complete a zumba class without injuring myself or anyone else. Another goal is to run again. I guess that one is more of a wish, than a goal, but I'm going after it as if there is no question I can achieve it. Should it become a choice between the health and longevity of my knees and reaching that "wish", I will bow to health, but until that is a reality, I will pursue my desire to run, even if it's just on the treadmill.

A further personal fitness goal is to reduce my body fat. I am at a very healthy weight. I am well nourished. But my body fat continues to plague me. I am fully aware that the loose skin I have will have to be surgically removed, and when money allows, I will do so. However, I think there might be more I can do to reduce the body fat. Thankfully, I have the WGT to keep an eye on me and keep me thinking straight while I pursue that goal. Body dysmorphia is very real, and very insidious. I don't want to be caught in its trap.

Professionally, I am passionate about nutrition and fitness, helping others reach their goals. I was incredibly blessed to have Tab in my journey. She was my coach, my mentor, teacher, cheerleader, accountability, and my ass-kicker. When I had no support, she was there. My professional goal is to pass that on. What she taught me, the encouragement she gave me, those are jewels of indescribable value. My tools for doing so, are this blog, the forums I belong to, my writing, and my daily living.

I do live what I write, and that's important to me. My credibility I value. I'm not a fitness model. I'm not paid to blog, or exercise, or anything else. My daily job (full time) is as an administrative assistant and webmaster for a real estate company. I have a family, and a life. I plan, shop for, and cook my own food. I do my own workouts.  I struggle, I triumph, I fail. I'm real. I'm sure you've heard it before, but truly, if I can do it (lose the weight, get fit, reach goals and maintain them), so can you. I'd like to show you how. That's what this blog and website are really all about.

My journey to lose weight, to free the person inside me, was long and tortuous, with many highs and lows along the way. Every low was worth the accompanying high. I hope that here, you find even just one piece of information that will help you in your journey.

I wish you great success in 2011, and I hope you'll allow me to share the journey with you.
Best Wishes!!

Knee Surgery Update with pics

 Surgery recovery photos...

December 19 (surgery was on the 16th) - bandages off. Rubbing alcohol finally got the last of the betadyne off, though the ink took a lot longer (and lots of rubbing with emu oil!)

December 20th - 4 days post surgery. Swollen, but not bad.

My trusty ice packs

December 22nd - 6 days post-surgery Just two tiny stitches and some swelling.

December 31st - 14 days post-surgery. In this first photo you can't even see my scars!

Here's the first scar... see that tiny pink spot?

here's the second scar... it looks a little purple

 My right leg is on the left in this pic... a bit of swelling, but really not bad. Would you guess I'd had surgery on this?

physical therapy at home:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

There are Snowballs in Hell!

It's Official!   There are snowballs in Hell! It's snowing, in Scottsdale! LOL! How crazy is that? It's actually snowing! I looked out my window and thought, that's funny looking rain, stepped outside and couldn't believe it! We have snow! :-D

I put together my new "door gym" (pullup bar) last night and tried it out. Awesome! So excited! I've never done regular pullups, just the ones on the assisted pullup machine at the gym. I surprised myself by doing 4! I'm looking forward to being able to start my P90X :-) 

I feel great today. I've gone up and down the stairs (normally!) several times. I'll do my exercises later today. So far I've spent the day alternating between working (my incredible boss has allowed me to work from home while I'm recuperating) and studying. I'm hoping to hit the grocery store in a couple hours, and I'm really hoping to do the driving!

Bad news... the hubby is sick. He got slammed by a cold/flu yesterday, and is laid low today. I love him beyond words, and hate that he feels bad, but if he gets me sick I'm gonna have to take him out. Lol. I've got him dosing on EmergenC, and resting. On my grocery list is lots of fluids for him. And lots more Grapefruit for me! We're having crazy weather here in AZ. Well, we're having weather. Lol. Rain, wind, freezing temps. Almost like it's winter!   Weird! Hopefully we'll not have sickness sweep through the house. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Goin' Down!

Physical Therapy went well.    My regular therapist was back from vacation. He worked with me before, when we were trying to avoid surgery (and did so, successfully on my left knee), and I was really glad to know that I'd be back as his client post-surgery. He was very pleased with my healing and progress, and said there's no need to move to 3x/week for therapy. Yay!  I am still free of knee pain (double Yay!), and my focus is on rahabing the quad, and preventing the scar tissue on the lateral from becoming "tight and short". I'm using the foam roller daily now, toward that end.

Additionally, I had a woohoo moment tonight! I came down the stairs at home NORMALLY!  No side step. No penguin walk. NORMAL! Yeah! Remember, the fill-in therapist told me it'd be a  month before I could do that! One Month, MY BUTT! HA! It's been 13 days since surgery! And it was  pain free! Hell YEAH! Wooohooo!!!!  :-)

Food... I'm very low on caloric intake, but the vast majority of my food is whole and clean. I did have a slice of my caramel apple pie last night :-) With that, I think my total calories in yesterday were around 1300.  Too low, I know. I'm also struggling with drinking enough water. I will focus over the next few days on upping my intake, both food and water. This weekend I will do my regular food prep, then be back at work on Monday with my trusty cooler in hand. I return to my doctor on the 13th, and hope to be fully cleared for gym time then.

Thankfully, I've gained no weight during this down time. The prep I did before surgery both in making meals and freezing them, and making careful grocery lists, really helped me keep clean healthy foods at hand. A huge help! But I'm ready to return to my routine :-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Home Alone

Physical Therapy went well. I had an issue with the fresh scar tissue on the lateral, and that had to be worked on. Incredibly painful, but it's worth it. My range of motion is good, my mobility is good. I even got on the leg press! Woohoo!  I have zero pain in my knee now, though the quad is making up for that, lol. I never really paid attention to the lateral of my quad before, it was just there. Now I'm VERY aware of it, lol.  The therapist released me from some of the exercises I do at home, and added others (basically trading knee flexion for quad). I feel good and I'm fighting to hit full recovery ahead of schedule.

The house is quiet with all the kids gone. 3 are in CA, and Ariel went snowboarding yesterday, so it was just Bill and I. We got on the Kinect and had a great time! I loved Joy Ride, though figuring out the steering is still an issue for me, lol. Then I about threw out my back on a dodgeball type game (way too fun), and slid and jumped for a rafting game. I didn't last long because of the leg, but it was truly a blast. Bill kept playing and did several rounds of a bob & weave type of deal that was awesome! Love the Kinnect!  Can't wait to try the zumba and dance games!

I'm working on my goals list for 2011. Have you started yours? I'll post mine when it's ready.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Recap and XBox Kinect

Hope everyone who celebrated yesterday had a great holiday! We did. Though things were really tight this year, we did manage to do one large gift for the whole family. We got the XBox Kinect system. If you haven't seen this thing in action, go to the microsoft website and check it out. It's awesome! There are no controllers! The system reads your body and YOU are the controller. Bill and the kids had a ball with it, and I loved how active they were :-)  I can't wait until I can play!

Of course, being me, I overdid it from  Thursday through yesterday. Yesterday, I was on my feet from 7am until about 6pm. My whole leg swelled up, toes to hip. :-(  

The kids left this morning at 6 to drive to CA, so while the house is so quiet, I've spent the vast majority of the day with my leg elevated, icing off & on, and doing my  physical therapy exercises.  Bill and I had leftover breakfast burritos for dinner, and I had my single slice of killer cheesecake :-)  For Christmas dinner, I'd made both my cheesecake and the caramel apple pie, but didn't have any myself. The cheesecake was absolutely amazing! I think it was the best one yet :-)  Now I've got to give the rest of it away before it becomes a temptation, lol!

Tomorrow I'm back in physical therapy, and I hope I haven't messed anything up by my over-activity this week. Here's the recap:  Thursday was my post-op with the doctor. He was very happy with my progress and healing. The stitches came out and were replaced with steri-strips. I'm to wear them until they fall off. I have a tiny issue with that, lol, as after a day, they look "dirty" and it gives me the heebies. But they're still on, and I will allow them to come off on their one.

After the appointment, Bill and I headed to Fashion Square to do a bit of quick shopping. I moved ok at first, but quickly hit the wall. Had to get the shopping done, though, so I pushed through. From there we hit WalMart then over to Target. All in all I was on my feet for about 4 1/2 hours. Got home and immediately got everything wrapped and moved under the tree. Then I iced like a fiend, lol. Later that night, I had some serious issues with my quad which I think is from the malfunction of the stim machine on Wednesday. I felt like I'd been hit by a bus. Then as I stood up, I felt 2 explosions under my kneecap. It was very, very painful and came out of nowhere. By today I'd developed a dark bruise in the spot of one of those "explosions". Very odd.
Friday, I began the food prep for Saturday. The quad continued to ache and spasm. 

We had Christmas Eve dinner with friends, and following that, had our annual family poker tournament. Bill won this year. He thinks the cookie monster hat (which matches Shiloh's) is his good luck charm, lol. While they played Texas Hold 'em, I finished up the cheesecake, and put the apple pie together for baking in the morning. Then I cooked the beef & brown mexican rice for the breakfast burritos. Finally hit bed at 2am.

Christmas morning, I got up, moved the stockings downstairs, baked the pie, started the spiced cider (2 64 oz containers of apple cider in the crockpot with a cheesecloth bundle of cinnamon sticks, 1 tbsp whole allspice & 1 tbsp whole clove), cooked the potatoes for the burritos, then we opened our stockings. After, Ariel picked up Grandma Goldie and brought her back while I finished up the burritos and popped 'em in the oven. We all enjoyed breakfast, then opened presents. The Xbox Kinect was the big hit we'd hoped for, and they played for the rest of the day. At 2:30 friends joined us, and food was plentiful.

It was a fun day, and by the end, the kids were all packed up and ready for their road trip. Bill and I snuggled in and watched his new DVD of The A-Team (I loved it!). The kids left at 6 this morning, made good (safe) time to Fresno.  I miss them already. Joey and Shiloh will drive home Wednesday, and Bethy will fly home on Saturday.

And that was our holiday! :-)  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hat's Off to Dr. Martin of AZ Bone & Joint

I only managed one session of the PT exercises yesterday. I did them, and did them properly regardless of the discomfort and/or pain, and promptly swelled up to the point one stitch began to bleed. No bueno. Ice, compression and elevation the rest of the day. And pain. I pushed through it, worked on my computer, watched Desperate Housewives (onto season 7 now), and felt sorry for myself. Damnit. Finally gave in at 10pm and took a couple vicodin, slept through the night (mostly) and while I'm hurting this morning, it's nothing near the levels of yesterday. Though, to be honest, I'm still fighting my attitude.

I have physical therapy this morning at 10:45. Shiloh will be driving me, then hopefully, I can get some holiday grocery shopping done in a quick blitz so that all supplies are ready when I am. Tomorrow is my Post-Op doctor appointment. Regardless of my nasty attitude, lol, have I mentioned that my doctor did an amazing job on the surgery? Because he did. While I might be frustrated with my own limitations, I am thrilled with the quality of care I've been given, and with the speed of my recovery, lack of bruising, etc.  It may seem like a little thing, but having had several surgeries, I've woken more than once to discover vicious bruising where I had been handled roughly while "out". None of that here! So Thank You, Dr. Richard Martin of AZ Bone & Joint.

All right. Time to kick my ass. I'm heading to the shower then therapy.

Oh! Forgot to mention! I actually saw the shape of my knee this morning! It's been round and this morning it was less puffy, and I actually saw some definition! Progress!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Breakfast Burritos - YUM!

This morning started rocky. Lots of pain. I'm sure it was from the therapy yesterday, along with the "massage" to break up forming scar tissue. I thought I might have to take a vicodin, but ice did the trick. While I'm stuck on my rear with my leg elevated, I am able to get some work done, though I kind of dread doing my exercises, lol. But... do them, I will. Along with that "massage". I'm able to go up the stairs normally (somewhat, lol), but going down is another story. I still can't quite manage the down-step. 

I've been busy planning our Christmas food. While Christmas Eve (Bill & the kids' annual poker party, lol) is fraught with nasty processed junk, I try very hard to simply turn away and not think about it. Come Christmas morning though, I'm back in charge :-)   We're having Ebelskievers (stuffed pancakes) and breakfast burritos. The ebelskievers are these tiny little pancake balls with goodies inside, then drizzled with frosting. Actually there's a million different ways to make them, but the cinnamon-bun style is my family's favorite. I use whole grain naturally white flour and sucanat to prepare, so while they're still a once-a-year treat, they are clean. The breakfast burritos, I discovered when going over my traditional recipe, are also clean! Huh! Again, these are an item I prepare once a year, but even so, they are clean.  The nice thing about burritos is you can put pretty much anything you want in them!

Here's my Breakfast Burrito recipe:

   12 flour tortillas (either make your own, or purchase the cleanest you can find)
   12-24 pieces of thin sliced bacon (I get it from the Whole Foods butcher counter, it's uncured, so there's no nitrates/sulfates/preservatives/additives. It's clean)
   1 can black beans, drained and mashed
   1 can diced green chilies
   2 large potatoes, diced and cooked (you can microwave, bake, grill, or pan fry in EVOO or coconut oil or even real butter. I use butter)
   1 lb of ground beef (or bison or turkey) browned & seasoned with Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle
   Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
   Plain Greek Yogurt
   Salsa or Taco Sauce and/or Sriracha sauce
   12-18 eggs

Scramble the eggs & set aside.
Brown the beef & set aside.
Make the bacon and drain & set aside.
Make the potatoes & set aside.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9 pan (I use real butter, which is a MCFA-medium chain fatty acid and actually good for you!). 

In a large bowl, gently mix together the cooked potatoes, green chilies, cooked beef and the scrambled eggs.

Add about a tablespoon of mashed beans to each tortilla and spread it around. Add a scoop of the potato/egg/chili/beef mixture. Add 1-2 slices of cooked bacon. Add 1-2 tbsp of grated cheddar. Roll up and place in pan, seam-side down.  When all tortillas are filled, sprinkle a few more tbsp of cheddar over the top, then bake for about 20-30 minutes.
Serve with the greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), salsa, taco sauce etc. I like to mix a bit of Sriracha sauce with greek yogurt and drizzle that over the top.

Want a heartier burrito? Make a batch of spanish-style rice and add a tbsp or two of that to each burrito. You can also serve with guacamole or chopped avocado.
This dish can be prepared the night before & refrigerated until you're ready to pop it in the oven. Just bake until they're hot all the way through.

I'll be serving these alongside a crockpot full of apple cider & cinnamon sticks :-) 
Christmas dinner is somewhat potluck as our friends are all contributing to the meal. The kids will help me prepare a few dishes, and it's going to be an easy-going buffet style with an emphasis on enjoying our time together - good food, great company. This is a true treat day, so two deserts will be served which do not, nor will they ever, fall into the "clean" category, lol.  My apple pie (see the recipe page) with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, and the cheesecake I make (once a year) that my friends and family demand. This thing is a beast. It takes two days to make. It contains a ton of white chocolate, raspberry jam, fudge, cream cheese.... No, it's not by any stretch clean.  A serving is a tiny little sliver, because that's all you can handle. Seriously. It's decadent, and once a year, it's a spectacular treat. 

Why do I keep saying "once a year"? Because I really want to emphasize that there's nothing wrong with enjoying holiday treats. You're in control. You're always in control. You CAN enjoy, guiltlessly, seasonal treats and still stay on track. Eat clean, exercise, and enjoy the season.  You can have a cookie or two. You can have a brownie, or serving of cheesy mashed potatoes, stuffing, whatever. It's one meal, once a year. Send leftovers home with family and friends. Or if you keep some for your family, leave it to them. Enjoy your treats, but don't make them your lifestyle. You've established, or are establishing, a healthy relationship with food. Keep it. You're in control.

Ok, food lecture over. Time for the pain. Lol. I'm off to do my exercises.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Post-Surgery Eats

Physical therapy went really well. They were really surprised by my range of motion, general mobility, and lack of pain. I was able to do the full set of exercises they gave me (I was there for 2 hours). It felt terrific! Well, ok, it didn't FEEL terrific, lol, but I felt terrific!  I've been given my daily exercises to do on my own, and a massage technique to help break up scar tissue on my lateral to keep my kneecap loose and where it belongs. I have to say, it does give me the heebie-geebies to roll my kneecap around, lol. And the massage is no fun, really hurts, but it's required so I do it.

I did have a no-grace moment this morning when I was walking from the bedroom into the bathroom and somehow got my right foot tangled in Someone's pajama pants that were on the floor instead of in the hamper. I went tumbling into the bathroom counter, but apparently did no damage to my knee. Yes, the klutz is still here. LOL!

The bruising on and around my knee is slightly more pronounced, and I certainly feel more of it, plus I have this funky zing down my shin bone every so often. The therapist said it was probably a tweaked nerve and will go away when the swelling goes down. I'm looking forward to that.

My food... well, the  Chicken Enchilasagna is just a fond memory, lol. The family gobbled that up quick :-)  My chicken stew from a few nights ago will be my dinner again tonight, as Shiloh is cooking up a chicken alfredo deal for the rest of the fam. I've been enjoying my greek yogurt with ground flax & fresh berries, my hard boiled eggs and apples, my grapefruits, bananas, and steamed veggies. My caloric intake is definitely low, but I'm ok with that for now. As I get more active, I'll add more calories. Shiloh and I went on a quick Whole Foods run today to get a new supplement, so I picked up a Thai Chicken wrap for lunch. I ate half, plus a bowl of steamed veggies, then later had a banana.

My supplements... I'm back on the Fish Oil/Flax/Borage pills, the calcium, and the Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM. My therapist added a new one today, to help fight inflammation and get my swelling down... Hyaluronic Acid.

So, that's my update :-)  

Day 4 Post-Knee Surgery

I'm astonished at how well this is going (knock on wood). I went all day yesterday without any vicodin, and mostly slept through the night. By bedtime last night I was able to get up from seated without needing a hand, and I was walking with little pain. Today I'm able to bend more, and there's very little pain, more stiff than anything. I have physical therapy at 10am. While I'm not ready to dance on any tables, I am really surprised at how well I feel. So far, Saturday night was the worst of it.

I took off the bandages yesterday and saw very little swelling... I mean, it's swollen, yes, but not nearly what I expected. Just a couple tiny little bruises, two tiny stitches, no bleeding or draining. I'm rubbing emu oil into the whole knee (anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, promotes wound healing - good stuff!).

Anyway, I'll post when I get back from therapy.  :-)

Oh! And the grocery shopping? Shiloh did awesome! Got everything on my list, exactly as I wanted. She couldn't find one or two items, but no big deal. No junk food found it's way into my pantry! :-)  Way to go, Shi!  :-)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 3 Post-Knee Surgery

Well, I finally had to break down and take a vicodin yesterday at 5pm. That took me through until about midnight, when I needed another. Last night was rough. Up every hour on the hour, ice helped a lot but I did have to take more pain meds. Then this morning, I bottomed out. I hate that about vicodin. All of a sudden my blood pressure dropped, I got cold sweats (profuse), and it took about 30 minutes to regain my equilibrium. I'm fine now, icing, no drugs. We'll see how the rest of the day goes. I'm feeling a lot more in my knee, and am looking forward to taking the bandage off in a few hours and seeing what it looks like. Still no more than very minor swelling in the leg, and though I felt quite a bit of heat in it last night, today there doesn't seem to be any inflammation.

I did want to mention, that I had forgotten 2 things in my surgery prep... throat lozenges and kleenex. I had spaced that when I've gone under before, I always have some minor sinus stuffiness for a day or so afterwards, and I had forgotten that my throat is very sore for about 18 hours after surgery (from the breathing tube). Thankfully, I had a pack of Halls Bursts handy, and Shiloh ran to the store for me to pick up kleenex. Once this is all said and done, I'm going to put my surgery prep list up on the site for anyone who might find it helpful.

At the foot of my bed are my resistance tubes and bands.  I think I'll start working with those in a few hours. Once my stomach settles back down.

One kind of funny thing through all this... you might remember I have a big klutzy 70 lb boxer. She's 4, thinks she's human, and is a cuddler. She sleeps in our bed, right between Bill and I when she can get away with it, and is the reason we were so excited to move from a queen size bed to a king. I had been concerned that she might cause me some trouble during my recovery... did I mention she's big, klutzy and a cuddler? On the contrary, Nakki has amazed both Bill and I. She knows something is wrong and she has been so incredibly gentle and slow-moving. She stands guard over me whenever someone is around. It's been astonishing. She's such a sweet dog :-) 

Anyway, there's my wandering thought patterns for the morning, lol! I'm sending Shiloh out soon to do my grocery shopping. Wish me luck!  :-)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Post-Surgery BOREDOM

 I'm back. I think I've still got some surgery drugs in my system so if I ramble, I'm blaming that. Lol.  Surgery went well. No complications. Bill and Shiloh took me to the surgery center, and waited for me. The center was well organized and the staff really friendly. I had no issues with the anesthesia, and went out like a light. Woke up numb, and ready to go home. Got the teeth-chatters on the way out, which surprised Bill, but I'd had that before, and it passed shortly. Home and to bed. For some reason I wanted coffee more than anything, and Bill made me a pot.  I sucked down quite a bit of water, too, but the coffee tasted like heaven. 

Tab came by and hung out with me :-) and she brought Despicable Me with her (Thank you Santa!! Lol!).  Later I had some chicken and a few bites of potatoes. The nurses had told me to regularly move my foot around to keep circulation going, and sometime during the night it was hard to move my foot, and I realized it was starting to swell, so I added a pillow under my foot to get it higher than the knee. Did the trick, the swelling disappeared and hasn't returned.

Friday, I got up, cleaned up, had some coffee & hard boiled eggs and was bored mindless by 8am. I took my 2 aleve, but was still numb from surgery, so didn't take any vicodin. I spent the bulk of the day in bed with my leg propped up. The rest of my nutrition was an apple, greek yogurt w/flax seed & berries, then dinner was the crockpot chicken stew/soup.  As I'd passed the 24 hour mark, and hadn't taken any pain meds I got to enjoy a glass of red wine. That was very nice. I had spent the day catching up on season 6 of Desperate Housewives, then Bill and I watched NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles, and a few episodes of Chuck last night. Crashed around 10pm. Did I mention I was bored out of my mind by 8am? Lol.

The surgery center called about 3 or 4pm to check on me, and they were surprised I wasn't taking my pain pills yet, that I wasn't feeling any pain yet. Hmmm. Kinda feeling like I know the boogey-man is going to jump out and get me, but I don't know when. I hate waiting for the pain to start.

The numbness didn't wear off until 4:30 this morning. I woke up and felt a little pain, just twinges, and thought "here it comes", so I popped 1 vicodin and re-iced then went back to sleep. But the pain hasn't progressed past those twinges, so I've not taken any more pain pills, other than my aleve. From what I understand, the pain (the real pain) is coming, so I'm a bit anxious about waiting for it. Afraid it'll sneak up on me, but I also don't want to take pain pills I don't need.  I'm still icing, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Still keeping it propped up. I have been up and around, moving, getting cleaned up and dressed every morning. I feel like I'm doing good. My caloric intake is low, but it's all solid nutrition.

Today, I've spent a few minutes on the patio enjoying the  sunshine, washed my hair, tried very hard (and unsuccessfully, again) to remove the betadyne from my leg. Anyone knows how to remove that stuff, please let me know!  Ariel, our oldest, said I look like I got a bad spray tan, lol.
Dinner tonight is  Chicken Enchilasagna. I pulled it out of the freezer yesterday, so it should be ready to pop in the oven tonight.

Thank you, for all the warm wishes and thoughts & prayers. I deeply appreciate it.
Tomorrow I can remove my bandages, then Monday I begin physical therapy.  At the risk of jinxing it, lol, So far so good!

Wow, I really did kinda wander through this post, lol. I blame Thursday's demerol.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day Before Surgery, Prep is Complete

Wow! My hamstrings are screaming, my shoulders are weeping! I got a fantastic workout at cardio-kickboxing last night, even with my lack of grace/coordination and need to modify. Fun class! I can't wait until I can participate fully in the things I love so much!

Dinner last night was a woops-moment for me, lol. I was so tired after class that I walked straight to the crockpot, shredded the beef, dumped in the 2nd bottle of bbq sauce, then realized I'd forgotten to drain the crockpot first. Oy. Funky. Definitely requires draining before adding fresh sauce. Definitely. Lol!

Today is the day before knee surgery. No food or drink after midnight. No moisturizer or lotion in the morning (gasp!!). I've had several surgeries (2 laparoscopies and a hysterectomy), yet I am still nervous. I realize this is all very routine to the doctor and the surgery center, but still... I get butterflies. Additionally, I'm concerned about the no-smoking. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you remember that I had actually quit smoking for 8+ months, then started up again. Bill, my hubby, never quit. Now, we'll both be quitting. Cigarette smoke inhibits wound healing and increases scarring. Quite the silly reason, all in all, to quit, but hey... quitting is quitting. I've got a box of nicotine patches ready for Bill. I'm going to give it a few days before I decide if I need them or not.

Today after work I'll be hitting the grocery store for dog food (sorry Nakki! didn't realize we were that low!), then heading home, then over to the bowling alley to hang with Bill & everyone. I've got my book (yeah, I'm that anal) all ready for the family... it's got all the recipes, grocery lists, directions, etc in it, along with the calendar showing what happens when (including meals). I've got a stack of library books beside my bed, along with a stack of dvd's including season 6 of Desperate Housewives (lol!), Witchblade, Alias (all 5 seasons), and a bunch of movies. I've got a whole basket of yarn and my knitting needles ready. And I've got my yoga mat and red resistance tube nearby for some upper body work whenever I want, and as soon as I find my dumbbells (Shiloh, give 'em back!) I will have those ready, too. My prescription (vicodin) is beside my bed along with my big bottle of Aleve. Water bottles in my fridge, food prepped and ready. Lordy. I don't think I'm missing anything, but I'm sure something got overlooked.

Hopefully Santa will put a couple more movies in my christmas stocking... The Long Kiss Goodnight (Geena Davis) and Despicable Me are at the top of my wish list :-)

I have yet to do my christmas shopping. Other than the kids' big group gift, I have bought nothing  :-(   Hopefully, I'll be on my feet to do that myself, I know mentally I'll be MORE than ready for some mall-time with Tab :-)

Anyway. I think I'm rambling because I'm nervous. Lol. I will be updating my blog, periodically throughout the holidays, so I'll let you know how surgery goes.

I wish you a happy, warm & loving holiday season.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Want Minions!

Class last night was great :-) Even with modifying, so as not to aggravate my knee, I get a terrific full body workout, and my butt is sore today! :-) I'm sure other body parts will make themselves known over the next 24 hrs.  LOL! Tab starts teaching a new class tonight at our gym... kickboxing! I'm planning to go. Tab and I talked about it last night and she suggested several modifications I can make. I wish (wish wish wish!!) I could do yoga, but I just can't hold poses with any weight on my right leg. That's at the top of my post-surgery bucket list... yoga!

Anyway, dinner last night after class was  Taco Salad... The family enjoyed theirs the "normal" way, lol, on a bed of chips (Tostitos Natural Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips), while mine was on a bed of shredded cabbage and topped with lowfat cottage cheese :-) Yummy!

Food today is much the same as it's been, greek yogurt with ground flax & berries for breakfast, 2 eggs and an apple for snack 1, lean pork, steamed asparagus & brown rice for lunch, and lean pork & steamed snowpeas & tomatoes for snack 2. I've also got a small grapefruit for wherever I need it. Dinner tonight is cooking as I type... crockpot bbq beef. The family will have theirs as sandwiches, while mine will be on that ever-present bed of shredded cabbage :-)

Oooh, mid-back is starting to get sore. Woohoo!!! :-)

Totally unrelated, Despicable Me is released today!!!!
I want minions!  :-)
Despicable Me Minions - Chelle's weight loss, nutrition and weight maintenance blog

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday Food Prep

Saturday was my daughter's 15th birthday party... houseful of teenagers, lol! She had a great time.

Sunday Food prep is completed... my last one for I don't know how long. I made a pork roast (drizzled olive oil then sprinkled on Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb), and sliced that up into 4-5 ounce servings. I boiled 24 eggs, shelled and bagged in twos.  I also browned 1lb of lean ground beef for tonight's Taco Salad. I washed & chopped broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, snow peas & cherry tomatoes and filled my Ziploc steamer bags (add 1 tsp coconut oil & a sprinkle of Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb). My grain for the week is brown rice. Breakfasts are Chobani 2% greek yogurt (plain) with ground flax seed & half a cup of fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries and raspberries). Other fruit in the house: apples, bananas, clementines, grapefruit.

Once that was all done and put away, I prepped the two crockpot soups/stew.  I chopped chicken breast, potatoes, carrots, onion, mushrooms and placed in a large ziploc, then added the seasoning and contents of one small can of diced green chilies, sealed the bag & tossed it in the freezer.  Took another large ziploc and added my 2 lbs of stew meat, chopped veggies & seasonings, then placed 1/2 cup of pearl barley in a smaller ziploc and added that to the larger bag, zipped and tossed in the freezer.  Now all the hubby has to do is toss the bag contents in the crock pot, add the broth, and turn it on.

Tonight's dinner is the taco salad, as I mentioned, then tomorrow is BBQ Beef sandwiches (my beef will be on a bed of shredded cabbage, no bun), Wednesday is leftovers, Thursday before I head to the surgery center, I'll put the chicken legs and bbq sauce in the crockpot so the family has dinner that night (along with salad). Friday is Crockpot Chicken Soup, Saturday is Chicken Enchilasagna.  That should take care of all the meals and leave lots of tasty leftovers. 
I've done all the laundry, washed the sheets, cleaned up my room, finished the food prep, printed the food instructions, filled my prescription, laid in a supply of books, yarn & knitting needles... I think I'm ready.

Now, as long as I put it out of my mind, I won't feel the nervous butterflies.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Menu Planning for Surgery Week

Again with the identical cooler contents today, lol. Do I get bored eating the same things day in and day out? Nope. Not really. It's just fuel, though it is very tasty. When I do finally get bored, I can easily switch it up... oatmeal w/protein powder instead of greek yogurt, quinoa instead of brown rice, chicken instead of pork, shrimp instead of chicken, etc. Fruits and veggies are all seasonal anyway, so that changes up on its own.

Last night while Bill was bowling, I was cooking & prepping food for post-surgery. The Chicken Enchilasagna is in the freezer, along with 3 loaves of banana bread (they love that stuff!). Sunday I'll be doing the usual prep so I'll have food on-hand throughout the week. I weakened under the begging and purchased a Stouffer's lasagna for them, and it's in the freezer too. I've also printed out directions for cooking all the food, working the dishwasher & washer/dryer, etc. Yes, they all know how to use the dishwasher and clean their clothes, but we ARE talking about a husband and several teenagers. Anything can go wrong.

My crockpots will be seeing much use over the next several weeks. Either I or anyone in the house can load up a crockpot and turn it on. It's easy meal-prep that results in clean & yummy meals for everyone. Here's what's on the menu:

Chicken Enchilasagna (already made & in the freezer, ready for the oven)
BBQ Chicken Legs (one of the kids' favorite meals!) with steamed veggies.
Crockpot Chili Verde with cornbread (I have a clean recipe at home to try)
That'll get us well through the first week plus we'll have lots of yummy leftovers. Next step is to plan out Christmas day food. There will be between 10 and 17 of us for Christmas dinner, and lots of food! :-) Our family will celebrate in the morning and enjoy our traditional decadence, lol. We'll begin with my breakfast burritos, then move on to filled pancakes (they're little pancake puffs with stuff inside like cinnamon/sugar, caramel, chocolate, fruit, etc). Apple cider will be warming in the crockpot, and we'll enjoy our family time. Then later, our extended family (friends) will join us for much more food & fun. I'm really looking forward to it.  :-) 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Quick Update

 Food today is identical to yesterday. Just saves time, and I don't have to worry or think about it... just toss in the same stuff. :-)   My lists and plans are coming along for surgery/post-surgery. I've got lots of errands to run in the next few days, while I try to get it all ready.

I'm also scouring the internet for healthy and low-sodium soups that I can hopefully wrangle Shiloh into making :-) Lol!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Surgery Pre-Op Appointment

Pre-Operative Doctor Appointment was today... The doctor was fabulous about answering my pre-op questions. I now feel forewarned, forearmed, and ready to plan.

The surgery itself will take about 45 minutes. Sounds like my greatest enemy will be swelling. Because he is cutting the lateral retinaculum (which is actually an extension of the quadriceps muscle) I will experience more swelling than "normal" for a scope. It will also be more painful, for a longer period. BUT... I start physical therapy two days post-surgery, get the stitches out on the 23rd, and as long as I can keep the swelling in check, my mobility and activity is only mildly limited. I will not need crutches, or a special icing sleeve (good old fashioned ice packs or gel packs will do the job), and I should only be on pain meds (prescription) for a couple days.

If all goes well, I will be preparing Christmas dinner, though I might not do the grocery shopping for it. I can live with that.   :-)  I'm feeling greatly relieved to have the info, to be able to plan.

On another note... I made it through full body conditioning last night :-) My lower body work involves mostly very careful squats, lunges and reverse lunges. Anything else hurts. Upper body was intense :-)  and today I am very sore! I love it! I miss being sore! Silly, right? My back (mid), abs, triceps, quads and glutes are all screamin' Tab's name :-) Lol!

Food today is exactly the same as yesterday. I'm on track and sticking right between 1200 and 1400 cal/day. I'm a bit concerned about my calories dipping too low during surgery recovery, so I'll be making sure that my foods are nutritionally dense throughout that time. Lots of greek yogurt, fresh fruit, steamed veggies, and lean protein. I may not take in a lot of calories, but I want the ones I do, to be excellent. The body burns extra calories during recovery (fueling repair), so I need to be on top of making sure I'm giving it what it needs.

Ok... I'm off to make lists :-)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Food Prep and CPR Bruising

The day is flying by! I'm awaiting a call back for scheduling my pre-op appt, but looks December 16th is solid. I spent the weekend making lists, and lists of lists, lol. Food was being prepped, along with my regular Sunday Food Prep, and I should have lots of clean meals for the family while I'm down. Still trying to work out some kinks, but I'm sort of stuck until I have that pre-op appt and get more info. I need info! :-/

Saturday I had a CPR/AED class, and can you believe it? I bruised my mouth! LOL! Only me, right? I left class, got in the car and went to put on lip-gloss, when I saw these weird purple and red marks under my bottom lip... I looked closer and sure enough, I'd managed to bruise it! I guess I take my CPR very seriously, LOL! The marks are fading, but thank goodness for foundation & coverup! :-)

So, food prep... this week my proteins are: crockpot chicken breast (shredded), roast pork tenderloin, and ground beef. All are cooked and ready for what I need them for. Veggies: Broccoli & Cauliflower, Zucchini, Snow Peas & Tomatoes, and Green Beans.  Fruit: Bananas, apples, blueberries, raspberries & blackberries, watermelon, and grapefruit. Grains: Brown Rice & Quinoa.

Activity... I'll be getting in a workout this evening at Tab's Full Body Conditioning class. Other than that, I'm hoping for some light yoga.

This weekend is my baby's birthday... 15! So Friday I'll be doing the grocery shopping for a horde of teens :-) I'm also hoping to hit the mall briefly for some christmas shopping (since I'll be unable to shop after surgery). Then Sunday will be my last food-prep day until I'm back on my feet. Gulp! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Crossed Wires and Burlesque Inspiration

Major crossed-wires last night. Over the weekend I'd made plans with some friends and my daughters to go see Burlesque this week. I thought it was Wednesday, as the guys would be bowling. Shiloh thought it was Tuesday, but I didn't hear from anyone so I figured I was right. Yesterday morning I got an email from one of the gals saying they'd meet us at 7. So off we went. We got there early and grabbed seats, then I texted my friend, who informed me they'd been there the night before wondering where we were! 

Turns out her computer had crashed without sending that email the day before, so I got it a day late and there we were. Crazy!

Movie - Burlesque with Cher & Christina AguileraIt was a bummer to miss the group girl night, but Shiloh, Bethany and I LOVED the movie! Absolutely fantastic! I'll definitely buy the DVD! Amazing dancing, and do I really need to talk about the music? Cher & Christina Aguilera... yeah... INCREDIBLE!  Loved it! The girls have informed me they're going to be burlesque dancers. Lol. This of course horrified Bill, lol, but it got me thinking.

Burlesque show, August 2009. Scandalesque and the MYLF class.For years I had major body issues. I called it shy and conservative, but honestly it was severe insecurity and discomfort in my own skin (thin or heavy). I do NOT want that for my girls, and burlesque dancing is certainly something that doesn't allow for it! My own experience with burlesque opened my eyes, expanded my world, and gave me some needed confidence. I also learned that burlesque is an art, it is NOT "stripping", and it's sexy, feminine, fun and beautiful. The burlesque fitness class I took, the show I did, made me feel that way, too. With the exception of the show (lol) I'd do it again in a heartbeat. And it's on my post-surgery-rehab-bucket list. Maybe I'll sign the girls up too :-)  I got notice that Scandalesque is now offering a Burlesque Aerial class... how fun is that?! There's also a different aerial class I've been wanting to take, that the girls would love, too... I think I'll put that on my list! :-)  And there are some fun burlesque fitness DVD's out there... just might have to pick up some!

So... question. What would you do (or have you done) to feel more comfortable in your own skin? Have you (would you) forced yourself outside of your comfort zone? If you did... how did it go? What did you learn?

On another note... my knee. You probably know that I have some pretty deep fear going about my knees. I don't know what the future holds for me in relation to what I had planned. My fitness lifestyle and goals are all on hold while I await surgery and hope that it works, hope that rehab will make me better. I'm struggling with accepting the changes and the possibilities. As I watched the movie, Burlesque, last night, I heard the words to a song Cher did alone. And I was inspired. I may be down, but I'm not out.  

"You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me"
 Cher (Burlesque Movie Soundtrack) - Listen on iTunes

 Feeling broken
 Barely holding on
 But there's just something so strong
 Somewhere inside me
 And I am down but I'll get up again
 Don't count me out just yet

 I've been brought down to my knees
 And I've been pushed way past the point of breaking
 But I can take it
 I'll be back
 Back on my feet
 This is far from over
 You haven't seen the last of me
 You haven't seen the last of me

 They can say that
 I won't stay around
 But I'm gonna stand my ground
 You're not gonna stop me
 You don't know me
 You don't know who I am
 Don't count me out so fast

 I've been brought down to my knees
 And I've been pushed way past the point of breaking
 But I can take it
 I'll be back
 Back on my feet
 This is far from over
 You haven't seen the last of me

 There will be no fade out
 This is not the end
 I'm down now
 But I'll be standing tall again
 Times are hard but
 I was built tough
 I'm gonna show you all what I'm made of

 I've been brought down to my knees
 And I've been pushed way past the point of breaking
 But I can take it
 I'll be back
 Back on my feet
 This is far from over
 I am far from over
 You haven't seen the last of me

 No no
 I'm not going nowhere
 I'm staying right here
 Oh no
 You won't see me begging
 I'm not taking my bow
 Can't stop me
 It's not the end
 You haven't seen the last of me
 Oh no
 You haven't seen the last of me
 You haven't seen the last of me

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Where'd November Go?

Is it just me or did November go by awfully quick? Wow. Welcome to December! Not quite so cold this morning... my coffee took 10 minutes to go cold, lol.

I'm STILL waiting to get the details for my surgery. The doctor's office gave me his price (upfront, gulp!), and referred me to the surgery center to get theirs, but the surgery center referred me back because they don't have my paperwork. So very frustrating. I've got another call into the gal at my doctor's office, and hopefully this will be settled quickly so I can know for sure I'm having surgery on the 16th (purely an upfront money deal).

If I am, I need to prep the house and family... cook and freeze extra food, etc. If I don't, left on their own, my family will live on pizza while I'm down, and there's no way I'm going through recovery with the scent of pepperoni pizza in the house. I plan on making a batch of the Chicken Enchilasagna and freezing that, maybe a batch of my Leftover Turkey Burrochiladas, too. I'll have the recipes and supplies for Shiloh (who wants to cook some of the meals) for Tomato Soup, Taco Salad, Crockpot Chicken... that kind of thing. Easy stuff they can forage for without me having to put it together for them. I think my diet will be heavy on the greek yogurt & soup style stuff. I don't do well with solid food after general anesthesia, so I'll make sure I'm stocked up on that. I'm really not sure how long I'll be down. The kneecap is generally 3-5 days before I'm up and around, but with the lateral release, the recovery could be greatly extended. I'll find out more when I have my pre-op appt (week before surgery).  [fyi, all the recipes I mentioned are on the recipe page -click to view]

I'm a planner. Ok, I'm a ridiculously anal retentive planner. Everything from food to housekeeping to where I'll be sleeping during recovery is up in the air while I'm waiting to get all the insurance/out of pocket info. Part of feeling like I have some semblance of control is tied up in my planning. If I can't plan, I feel out of control. I'm feeling very out of control.

**Random info :-)  Current favorite holiday song... Gettin' In The Mood (For Christmas) by The Brian Setzer Orchestra.   Way too fun! :-D

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lack of Activity but Excellent Nutrition

No workout last night. Oy. This newly sedentary life is driving me batty. Anyway. Went outside this morning for my morning coffee and it was freaking 32 degrees! My coffee went cold in like 5 minutes! Crazy! Since when is Scottsdale this cold? I was all bundled up in my chair and Joey's dog (Winchester, a 6 month old brindle pit mix) jumped up in my lap to cuddle... my dog, Nakki (a 4 year old brindle boxer who's 70 lbs) was jealous; she can't figure out how to get up into my lap, LOL! She kept head-butting my chair. Funny!

My food's been averaging just right... around 1300/1400 calories each day.(View my daily food on my cooler page:  I'm not getting in 6 meals, usually 5, but that's just fine. As long as my body is getting the fuel it needs, when it needs it, everything is good.  I'd really like to try yoga, but I just can't bear the weight on my right leg. Frustrating.

On a high note... it's Christmas Music Time!!! :-)  Yes, I am that person. The one who LOVES Christmas music :-) I've got (as of right now) 921 holiday songs in my iPod... that's 2.2 days worth of non-stop, no repeating Christmas music :-)  What's your favorite album?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving & Food Prep for the Week

How was your turkey day? :-)  Ours was fun. My turkey turned out picture-perfect, the pie was awesome, and the stuffing was incredible. Yay! I've posted the recipes, and also my own recipe for leftover turkey burroladas (super high in protein, and very yummy!). After all the bread I ate this week, I needed the protein boost, lol!

We picked up our Christmas tree yesterday, and the kids & Bill decorated it (and the house). Joey came by for dinner, and it was so nice to have the family all just hang out :-)

Still next to no activity because of the knee. It's degrading fast. You know how you pop the top on a can of paint? Get the screwdriver wedged under the lid and pop? Feels like someone's got an ice pick in my knee trying to pop off my kneecap. All the time. It's inflamed (again), and is sensitive to touch (even just the material of my pants). Gawd, I'm ready to get this fixed. We're scrambling to get our financial ducks in a row, so I can have surgery Dec. 16th. It's hard to justify the out of pocket expense during this season, but if I do it then, I don't have to take off any work. The next New York payment  is due next week for Shiloh's theatre trip, my youngest has a birthday in 2 weeks, then we've got christmas, as well. I'm really struggling with feeling selfish. Hopefully the next few days will give us a clearer picture of the situation, and I can make the final decision.

Anyway... food prep for the week is complete. I made my usual chicken breasts, and sliced up a bunch for sandwich meat for Bill & the kids, browned the beef for taco salad, crockpot'd a beef stew and a batch of beets, then chopped all my veggies for the steamer bags. I cheated on the grains, and bought the Seeds Of Change bags to just nuke as needed. Fruit this week is blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples, grapefruit, bananas, strawberries (though I doubt I'll get any of those, the kids gobble 'em up!), and red seedless grapes. Veggies: broccoli, yellow squash, snow peas & tomatoes, asparagus; salad greens: shredded cabbage, spinach, kale, salad bags. Additionals are lots of greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and hard boiled eggs, plus Newman's Own Organic Pretzel sticks for the family.

A funny thing happened this weekend. I was at a party, and someone mentioned to someone else how I'd lost a bunch of weight and kept it off. The person got all excited and chased me down to ask how I'd done it. I said, "I changed the way I eat and added exercise."  "Oh," she said, clearly disappointed, "I was hoping it was some miracle pill or something." And she walked away.  She walked away. Sad. Then just a few minutes later, I had a conversation with a really neat gal who'd lost 100 pounds! Wow! All through nutrition. Very cool, and fun to chat with someone who understands just how powerful our relationship with food is.

Anyway, Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Preparation

I've got the turkey brining, have to remember tonight to flip it around, then tomorrow it goes in the oven :-) Have you ever brined a turkey? It's pretty cool, and the result is incredibly tasty. Very moist and flavorful (yeah, turkey! flavorful!). The first time I tried it a few years back, I was afraid it would lead to a very salty tasting turkey, high sodium and all that, but it's actually very low... very, very low! Nice! Plus I get the turkey that has no sodium added, so the whole deal is awesomely low-sodium but full of herby flavor :-) Me likey.

I'll be out of the office shortly and heading out for last minute groceries (how'd I forget the rosemary??), then back home to prep for tomorrow. In a surprise turn of events, I will have all my kiddos for the holiday (and won't be driving to Coachella and back). It's nice to have all my kids in one place.

Anyone planning to go see a movie this weekend? I'm hoping (hoping hoping hoping) to go see Burlesque. Woohoo! Can't wait! I just downloaded the soundtrack (which is awesome), but am so excited to see the film! I had so much fun doing last year's burlesque class (and performance!), and look forward to seeing Cher & Christina Aguilera on screen.