Saturday, October 30, 2010

Photo - 2 Year Weight Maintenance Anniversary

Dinner last night was fun. I went with the Apricot Chicken and it was tasty :-)  Everyone had a great time. Photos are up here.  

Also, I finally got my 2-year pic for my goal weight maintenance anniversary... Had Bill take it.
Chelle Stafford - After photo, 2 years of goal weight maintenance.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eating Clean When You're Eating Out

Happy Birthday Shiloh! :-) 17! Wooohoo!

We'll be heading to Olive Garden tonight. I've narrowed down my choices to either the Grilled Salmon (calories 510; total fat 26g, with 6g sat fat; 5 carbs and 760 mg sodium) or the Parmesan Tilapia (calories 590; total fat 25g with 10g sat fat; carbs 42g; sodium 910 mg), or the Apricot Chicken (sodium is 1420! Yikes! Calories: 380; Total fat: 4, sat fat 1.5; Carbs 32g; Fiber 8g). While the sodium is highest in the Chicken dish (and these are the lowest sodium dinners on the menu!), the fat is lowest, fiber highest (out of my choices). The carbs would be inline with the protein, so despite the sodium (my whole day's worth!), it's probably my best choice, nutritionally. I can combat the sodium by drinking extra water and having a banana when we get home.

While the published nutritional information is not always accurate, it's better than going in blind. Had I not looked up the info already, my "blind" pick would have probably been the Seafood Brodetto... looks good, not a cream based dish, at 35 g carbs it balances with the protein content, and has 7g of fiber... it also has 2250 mg of sodium!

When eating out, if you can research the menu ahead of time, you're ahead of the game. I know the compromises I'm willing to make, and the ones I'm not. I'll take the extra sodium in the Apricot Chicken, but not the 110g of carbs in the Shrimp Primavera. I'll take the 8g of fiber in the chicken dish instead of the 27g of fiber in the Chicken Parmigiana because I don't want the 1090 calories, 49g of fat (18 sat fat) and 3380 mg of sodium that go with it.

Making good choices involves looking at all the data... on the surface, the lowest sodium dinner item is the Herb-Grilled Salmon, but that low sodium comes with 26 g of fat and only 2 g of fiber. You've got to know going in what you're willing to compromise on, and how far you'll compromise. You also need to know that you have the right to special request, and insist on, a meal made your way... You can order the salmon cooked dry (no olive oil or butter), or lightly oiled, and not salted, you can order the veggies without salt or butter... you control it, to a certain extent. Don't be afraid to order off-menu. I've gone into restaurants and requested a single chicken breast cooked in 1 tbsp olive oil with dry & unsalted steamed veggies. I've gotten what I've wanted. It's not a big deal. You're paying them to cook your food, don't be afraid to be picky.

Now.... that said.... It's also ok to have a celebratory meal, a treat. Even if it's full of fat, sodium and whatnot. A treat (by definition: rare) will not undo your work or your lifestyle. A treat will not derail you, and might even help shake up your metabolism by making it deal with things it doesn't normally have to. Rock the status-quo!  This dinner tonight is for my daughter's birthday, and I am totally comfortable going in there and having "whatever I want" knowing that it's a treat. However, frankly, the Apricot Chicken looks the best to me :-) Plus, I had ice-cream cake last weekend. Lol.

I don't need the saucy pastas or breadsticks. I do need to have a relaxing dinner with my family celebrating the life of my beloved daughter at her favorite restaurant.

Eating the way I eat isn't difficult, it's not a burden - not on me or anyone around me. Who cares why I choose the Apricot Chicken? It's not a matter of "I can't eat this or that", it's simply my choice. I could choose to eat something else, fully understanding the consequences. But, since I can't go jump on the treadmill tomorrow (not that doing so would entirely erase a treat meal) because of my current knee situation, I'll choose something that I don't have to work off. I'm thinking it'll probably be pretty tasty, too. :-)

Some of you who read this blog often might be wondering, Hey, wait a minute... don't you do date-night once a week? Isn't that a treat meal? That's not rare, it's weekly! What's up with that!?

Allow me to explain...  :-)   As I've progressed in my clean eating lifestyle over the last several years, the choices I make for treat meals (including date nights) have improved. I can eyeball a menu fairly accurately, deciding what I'm willing to splurge on and what I'm not. Because our favorite food is Mexican, I'm fairly safe choosing black beans and a soft corn tortilla taco over a breaded & fried relleno... but on occasion (there's that "rare" thing I was talking about) I'll get the relleno because I love them and sometimes I'm ok with splurging on the fat. I don't do the relleno every friday. Also, my activity level allows me a certain leeway to enjoy more treats, than when I was actively losing the weight. It's a benefit to maintaining my weight loss and active lifestyle. It's also an area I have to adjust as situations arise... like my knees and new reduced activity. No relleno's for me for a while. And that's ok, too, because I like the tacos :-)

What's your attitude towards dining out? How do you make your choices, and why?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First Day of Physical Therapy for the Knees

First day of physical therapy. Didn't know what to expect going in, but it certainly didn't include being there from 7:45 to 10:10! When I dashed back home to pack my cooler and run to work, I was rushed and missed a protein source. Crap. My bad.

Therapy went well. I was told that they rarely see such excellent form on squats (kudos to the WGT, Tabitha! [worlds' greatest trainer]). I go back Friday, then I'll schedule for the following week. On the OUCH side of things, it's $100/session. Mega OUCH! I'm supposed to do this 3x/week for 4 weeks! I guess we'll see. Both patellar tendons are tingling and stinging right now. The heavy focus is on my quads, as it's the quad that controls the tracking of the patella. Also discovered that my patellas (kneecaps) are tilted, which accounts for some of my discomfort/pain. One thing they did was hook up this little contraption that zaps my quads, literally. It's bizarre and feels like a whole bunch of tiny needles hitting you at once. It forces the quad to contract, and when it does, you squeeze that contraction harder, essentially re-training the quad to work the way it's supposed to. Interesting, for sure.

I felt really strong afterwards, but as I get farther from the session, my knees are feeling more wobbly. I suppose that corresponds with the "relaxing" of the quads post-exercise. Good news is I can do "anything" in the gym (with good form) that doesn't hurt. I like that directive :-) I like it very much. What I don't like is that right now, almost everything hurts. <sigh>. Oh well. It's temporary.

Ran around like crazy people last night working on finishing up costumes. Crazy. I ended up having to rent some of mine. I can't tell you yet what it is, but I'll post pics afterwards. :-)  Tab has an awesome costume she and a buddy are doing and I can't wait to see it! Bill and Shi (my 17 year old) are doing a duo costume, which will be hysterical, and Bethy is a witch (and adorable!). I have no idea what Ariel is doing, and Joey is heading to CA to visit friends. Our party is Saturday.

Shiloh, my middle baby, is turning 17 tomorrow. We'll be heading to her favorite restaurant, The Olive Garden... I need to go online and examine their menu to find myself some choices.  Joey just turned 19, and Bethy will be 15 in December. Where does the time go?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Have The World's Greatest Best Friend!

What a wild ride today has been! I had a class for work in Chandler, so that meant I didn't have time to do yoga today (booooo!), grabbed Red House (steamed chicken, veggies & brown rice - all clean) on my way back to office at 1pm, then had to run out and take pics of a listing, then back to scramble and get everything done. It's been crazy! I'm just now sitting down to eat the other half of my lunch. Tonight I plan to do some yoga at home and study. Bill is out of state (booohooo!) but will be back tomorrow night, late.

Last night I went to Tab's full body conditioning class. Wow, my butt got kicked :-) Great workout, and today I am sore! From my shoulder blades down to my hamstrings! Plus my abs, oh my aching abs! Wooohooo! And, there was no undue stress on my knees.  I love her classes, the way everything just flows and is fun. It was fantastic, and I'm looking forward to next Monday!

I wanted to show you her birthday present to me. I was crackin' up when I opened it! How awesome is this? You know, I'm sure, that the trifecta of bff time for us is our mall days when we hit up Nordstrom Cafe for lunch, then shop hitting the Holy Mecca of Sephora, then Chocolate... at Godiva.    Here's my present:

Step 1: The box...

Wishes 1 & 2....

And the kicker... Wish 3!

Does Best Friend World get better than this?  :-)  It's a Girl-Day in a Box! Wooohoo!

Monday, October 25, 2010

40th Birthday & 2-Year Weight Maintenance Anniversary!

Woohoo!!! This weekend saw two major events for me... my 40th birthday and my two-year anniversary of maintaining my goal weight!  My birthday was fun, had a surprise party and ice cream cake :-) And much, too much rum. My recovery the next day included tending to some bruises, as when I consume too much rum I believe I am a UFC fighter and rumble. LOL. For the record, I AM NOT A UFC FIGHTER. Lol! And I should really stay away from the rum! Prior to my ill-advised rum-scapades, I had a fun time shopping at my favorite consignment shop, My Sister's Closet. I even found a pair of palazzo pants! I've been looking for those ever since I hit goal weight and had to give away my old pair! Yay! These pants are fabulous since they completely hide my twin-beasts (knee braces). Now if I could just figure out how to make them stop creaking when I walk. Lol!

I'll have Bill take a photo asap, to get that up on my home page. I am thrilled to have maintained my weight for 2 years, and look forward to maintaining it for the rest of my life. I love this lifestyle!

These beautiful roses were from my folks in Sacramento  :-)Aren't they gorgeous? And they smell as good as they look!

Food is good, I am planning to reduce my calories though, to compensate for any activity loss over the next four weeks. I'm going to track this week, and see what my calorie needs will be, then implement that next week. Today I have Tab's Full Body Conditioning class after work, Tues/Thurs is yoga, and I begin physical therapy Wednesday (and will do that 3x/week). Once I know about where my exercise burn will be, I can adjust the calories in my food.
My main goal right now is to get through the next 4 weeks with my knees still attached to my legs, lol. Once I'm rehabbed and on the other side, I'll set more goals to keep me going until I celebrate 3 years of maintenance :-) 

Happy Monday!

Fun for the morning... My son decided to give us a surprise when we opened the fridge....

Friday, October 22, 2010

And Then There Were Two... Knee Braces

Is it the weekend yet? Please?

So... had my Dr appt this morning. Remember The Beast? Now there are two.

Not only have I not gotten better, but both knees are worse. :-(   And, he added to my diagnosis: Patellofemoral Syndrome. Are we having fun yet? Oh, and I have to wear both braces pretty much all the time. AND, I have to do physical therapy 3x/week for the next 4 weeks. AND I'm on almost total rest. Bleh. New buzz-word for me... Modification!

Food today is all clean, though I missed snack 1 while sitting in the Dr's office. I'm back on track now, eating my lunch of grilled chicken breast, steamed portabello, crockpot beets (see my recipe page), and 1/2 cup of quinoa & rice. Dinner tonight will be Chicken Enchilasagna.  I made the shredded chicken & lean ground beef on Sunday, so it'll be a simple matter to toss it all together and into the oven. I plan on having a very large glass of red wine with my dinner.

Off to work & scheduling physical therapy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rushing Around

I am so ready for the weekend. I had to skip yoga this morning (booooo) to try and catch up on some other things. I don't know if I'll make it to the gym this evening, though I hope to. My food is all on track, clean & whole. I'm still buried at work, which is carrying over into home. I have my follow up knee doc appt tomorrow, then will form my gameplan from there.
Gotta run.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Injury Requires Adjustments

I want to share this link with you. The story by CNN is about a friend of ours. We met John, his wife, and daughter nearly 10 years ago, and they're wonderful... the kind of folks about whom you say "good people".  Over the last many years, John has been fighting cancer, and his journey is an awesome thing; both inspiring and terrifying.  John is one of the most amazing men I know, and I'm honored by his friendship, humbled by his greatness.

Craziness continues. Briefly... no workout this morning, used the time to catch up on studies. Food is noted on the Cooler page, I've still got to figure out dinner (bowling night), but figure I'll do a veggie wrap w/feta, as I'm low on carbs & fat. Dinner last night was super yummy stuffed peppers. Been craving them! Green peppers stuffed and baked with (lean & drained & rinsed) ground beef & chopped mushrooms, orange & red peppers, onion, zucchini & yellow squash. I've got one in my cooler today for snack :-)

I'm still trying to work my head around the adjustments I need to make to my fitness lifestyle due to the conditions in my knees. Part of me says, Hey! No adjustments necessary! Look at all you've managed to do with torn tendons, rapidly degenerating kneecaps & arthritis! Keep going!  This part of me is then whapped in the back of my head with a 2x4 when the more sane and logical part says, Hello! That's why you've got torn tendons, rapidly degenerating kneecaps & arthritis! So my dilemma is in deciding how much I can reasonably do, daily & weekly, while taking steps to prevent further damage and increase repair & regeneration. Every time I get in the gym, I want to Go Big or Go Home (hence the repetitive contact between aforementioned timber product and my posterior cranium).

I did cardio on Monday... a chill 35 min session on the elliptical. Somehow I managed to give myself a shin-splint! Really?? Maybe that's an indication that it wasn't such a chill session (and seriously, how do you get a shin-splint on the elliptical?). Yeesh. Yoga yesterday was wonderful, I felt strong and today my muscles are sore. Go Yoga. I need to get in more cardio this week, plus weights and one more yoga session. Maybe somewhere in there I'll find my "chill" methodology and actually proactively prevent further decline.

On that note, a great book I just read is helping me a lot. If anyone out there is dealing with arthritis, check out Dr. Bob Arnot's "Wear & Tear"

Ok, nose back to the grindstone... I'll check in later.   :-)
PS.... I updated the workout music page with my current playlist.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Still utterly buried. I will get a decent post in asap. Quick update... Cardio done yesterday morning, yoga this morning. Yoga went better than last time, I think because I was focused on doing what I could do (while wearing the knee brace) as opposed to fussing over what I couldn't do. I'm awaiting some lab results from my doc, and I also see the knee doc this friday, but I'm not real hopeful. Both knees have really been hurting. I am focusing on moving to a more purposeful anti-inflammatory diet to aid in dealing with my arthritis. My food is already clean, but there are things I can limit or eliminate. Wheat being at the top of the list.

In the meantime, my oldest, Joey, turned 19 on friday (wow!), and the kids are all every-which-way. Everyone is super busy. My birthday is sunday (40) [which also marks my 2-year weight maintenance anniversary!], Shiloh will be 17 on the 28th, then my mom has a birthday Nov 3, Bill's mom's is Nov 4.... a seriously happenin' time of year for us, lol! Somewhere along the way, I've got to plan a Halloween party (my very favorite holiday, woohoo!!!!), too.  My experiments in cloning myself are not going well, their heads keep exploding. <sigh>. 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Still Swamped

Back in the office today and WOW am I swamped! I gotta dig myself out here, but when I do, I will be back to post and update!  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Yoga Story was Published!!

I'm Back!! Wow! What a great getaway! The trip was fantastic, and while I chose to not workout, I got plenty of exercise :-) Everyone had a fantastic time. I've got pics but haven't had time yet to resize them. I'll post them asap. Sun, Sand & Sea - the triumphant trifecta of stress relief!

We got home and were unpacking when I got a call from Tab:

Tab "Hey! Why didn't you tell me??"
Chelle "Tell you what?"
Tab "That you got published!"
Chelle (thinking hard, well I've been published several times but that was years ago, in my previous life, and while my goal is to be published again, it hasn't happened  yet, so....) "Huh?"
Tab "Yeah! You're published!" She then proceeds to read me the title, byline, and magazine & issue....
Chelle  "WHAT????!!! Are you serious????!!! OMG!!!!!!"

Awhile back I'd submitted my yoga story (about my first class) to a local fitness & health magazine, but I'd never heard anything from them so assumed it wasn't a fit. I have a subscription to the magazine, but hadn't yet received my copy when I was in the prosthetics lab a couple weeks ago getting fitted for my brace. They gave me the copy of the magazine to take with me, as I was reading an article on make-up (never underestimate the power of a good coverup!). I took that magazine, in my purse, to the mall where I met Tab. I opened the magazine in Sephora to check for recommended brands, then put the issue back in purse. I never flipped through the whole thing. Then I got home, had gotten my copy (which comes in a large envelope) and had put it in a stack of stuff to read "later".

Later turned out to be this afternoon, when Tab informed me my story was in it! LOL! How me! I walked around for several hours with that magazine and had no idea I had a byline!
Needless to say, I'm completely over the moon! The perfect cap to a great vacation/getaway! Woohoo! - October 2010 issue, pg. 32.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Heading to Mexico

Who's goin' to Mexico? I'M goin' to Mexico!! Woot Woot!! :-)  I'm so ready!! Finishing up the last minute packing, etc. Bill's dad will be staying at our place and keeping Nakki company. Really wish we could take her with us again, but rules are rules. Bummer. The kids are flyin', we're flyin'... the excitement is palpable!

I was in the gym twice yesterday for lifting - yeah, I know, but I did try to take it easy the second time. Legs in the a.m. with Tab (killer workout, btw... awesome job, Tab!), then in the afternoon I was back for some whole-body stuff, with a focus on abs & upper body. Tried to give the knees a break. I had planned to do cardio this morning, but the knees said no. I hope to get some in while we're down in Mexico, but I'll play it by... knee. ha ha. 

I really want to thank you guys who have emailed me tips on dealing with arthritis. It's helping, so keep 'em coming :-)  I've always been an ibuprofin girl, but was steered toward Aleve, and darned if it's not helping! A lot!

Got a killer playlist for the trip down, and of course a long-play for while we're there. Oh, I can't wait! Shiloh is taking her SAT's, and once she's home we are on the road!

I will be back online Wed/Thurs. Have a great weekend!! Hasta!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yoga, Zumba and the Knee Brace

9am.  Quick post before I run out the door. Evidently I am a brute. My indestructible brace, The Beast, I have destroyed. :-(  Yep, I broke it. I'm heading over to the prosthetics lab to see if they can fix or replace it. Dagnabbit!

On another note, I did learn there are 2 more yoga poses I am not able to do (or should not attempt to do, lol)... Pigeon and yogi squat. Oops - my bad.

Yogi Squat Pigeon Pose, upright

5pm... Runnin' out the door again. I have Zumba tonight with Tab & Erin. We'll see if I get any better at shakin' my booty... or if I'm still just a'rattlin' my teeth :-) Tomorrow is Leg Day... Tab's got a workout for me that'll allow me to continue to strength train without doing further damage (have I mentioned how grateful I am for Tab? 'Cuz I am!).  Tomorrow is also a whirlwind of last minute errands and packing. We leave Saturday as soon as Shiloh is back from her SAT's.  Woohoo! I can't wait!! MEXICO!!!!!!   We are duly registered with the Dept. of State for our trip, reservations are confirmed, and we are so very ready to go! It's our first trip away from home in more than 2 1/2 years.

Because we're taking so much food with us, most of my meals will be clean and on track, allowing me to really enjoy the treats :-)  Ah, tacos and Pina Coladas! Woohoo! There is a gym... I am undecided on working out. Originally, the plan was to work out every day, but with my knee situation.... I'm packing my stuff in case I decide to, but rest may be the better choice. We'll see.

I'm have a new brace. This is certainly a lesson in finding, and honoring, my limitations. My "Go hard or go home" mentality will not serve me well, and I have to adjust. I do not like to adjust. I do not like to back off. But if I don't, I will not heal. My concern is about that healing... let's say the tears in the tendon heal, the wearing & pitting in the kneecap is not something that will heal, nor is the arthritis... where will that leave me? The last three years have been a constant battle for fitness, for strength. Will I be physically capable of continuing the battle, or is the battle destroying me? At what point do I cross the line from strengthening into breaking down? How do I recognize it?

While I try to stay light and bright, laugh when I can, I am haunted by what's to come. I don't know how to adjust.  Now that I am being honest with myself, I recognize that the pain I live with is not normal. It's not the pain of becoming a better athlete. I wake in the mornings, and ignore that it hurts almost unbearably to walk. I ignore when my ankle throbs, and my shoulder bites. I rub creams on my hand when it aches so badly I can't use it to type, and then I ignore it. I've told myself to suck it up, push through, keep moving. And I've made it worse. Why have I done this? How have I not seen that this is not normal?

Now I'm taking steps, I'm seeing doctors, wearing a brace, following (mostly) instructions... but what damage have I done by allowing this to go untreated for so long? I guess I'll be finding out. And, exploring another life-lesson from yoga... modification. I need to accept and understand that modifying does not make me weak.

I am very afraid of being weak.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Very interesting article today on nutrition/weight. A nutrition professor is challenging his student's view on weight loss and health. It's a fascinating read, and while I wouldn't personally choose to do the same, I understand and agree with his basic premise. Weight loss is simply a matter of mathematics. More energy out than in will create loss. This is why so many of us count calories... it's a proven tool to aid in weight loss & maintenance. This professor's perspective is that weight loss can be achieved through any "diet" as long as there are fewer calories in than out, and he illustrates this by consuming a diet full of junk food for 30 days. The results were illuminating. Though he does not encourage others to do the same, he hopes to challenge folks to re-evaluate their relationships with food. 

Logged my cardio this morning... 50 minutes on the elliptical. Have I mentioned how much I dislike steady-state cardio? Oy. However, especially with The Beast (knee brace), I am sticking with the elliptical for at least a couple weeks, until I can work my way back up to the treadmill (and hopefully, the stair-master). Knowing what's wrong with my knees, I'm pulling back a bit as opposed to my usual "Push Through, You Pussy!!".  Pushing through this pain will not net me my desired goal, but rather, will cause more damage. This fluctuating line of when to ease back and when to push is more than a little frustrating and confusing, but I will figure it out. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tweaking the Nutrient Ratios

Ha! Hey AZ, we've got rain! You know that line from the movie Twister, where she's sitting in the back of the truck on the verge of a tornado and say's "I gotta go. We got cows!" Well this rain is just about that unusual! Thunder, lightning, heavy downpour! We Got Rain!  Wooohooo!!!

Worked out with Tab last night. It was awesome! :-) Came home and had a tiny baked potato covered with taco meat (from sunday's food prep) topped with cottage cheese, and 1 1/2 cups of steamed green beans. This morning was yoga, bright and early. The Beast was a bitch and made several poses either impossible or distinctly uncomfortable. I've got a lot of adjusting to do. I've also got an appt the friday after we return from Mexico to have the rest of my body checked for arthritis.

On the topic of adjusting, it's time to tweak the diet. I'm now moving back toward my 33/33/33 split of protein/carb/fat, and aiming for 1600-1800 cal/day. Because I'm working out first thing in the a.m. before eating, I'm adding in a starchy carb with my dinner (to fuel my early morning workouts). I had a potato last night (small), since I'm out of sweet potatoes. I'll have to stock up on those. 

5 days until Mexico! Here's my book as promised...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Theme Song, Food, and More Food

I'm heading out for a green tea. Need to clear my head; I've got html and RGB color codes whirling like dervishes in my head. Lol. FYI, I forgot to mention, I have a theme song for my current situation... Linkin Park, Somewhere I Belong. :-) Yep, I have songs for everything, lol!

9am.... I made it through the weekend. Did lots of research, trying to find options, or at the very least, more information. The outcome, for now, is that I'll wear the brace and follow instructions (most of them), then attend my appt on the 22nd. BUT... I'm also seeking a good sports medicine doc who will focus on keeping me moving and maintaining my lifestyle. I want a doctor who will put ME first, not his own philosophy of what women of certain ages should be doing. I refuse to allow either my condition or my doctor to stop me from reaching my potential.
Saturday was my baking day... I made 2 loaves of banana bread for the family (froze one for next week's vacation), 4 loaves of the maple-seeded bread, and a batch of coconut chocolate chip cookies.  Healthy Eats! Grilled Mahi Mahi, Asparagus, and Whole Grain Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce.We also had a yummy dinner... taught me to make a reduction sauce out of a roasted red pepper & tomato soup, and it was excellent! I put it on chicken for the family, and mahi-mahi for me, served with asparagus and whole grain pasta. It was a hit! Basically, you just put 2 cups of the soup in a pan and simmer until it's reduced down to 1 cup, then spoon it over your meat & pasta. So very good! Per Elana's recipe, I used Pacific Natural Foods brand.

Sunday was my usual food prep day, and the Counter of Chaos continues to reign.  :-)  I grilled chicken, browned beef, chopped veggies, etc. I also have been picking off items from the Vacation list, and storing them separately from my other groceries. We're on the 6 day countdown!!! I can hardly wait! We're planning to do the majority of our meals in our condo, to help cut costs, so I've been squirreling away food :-)  I have half a batch of bison chili in the freezer, several loaves of bread and banana bread, hamburger buns, pre-mixed & shaped bison bacon burgers, various veggie fare (for our resident vegetarian), plus the cereals, granola, munchies, etc.

And those of you who know me really well... YES, I do have a book. LOL :-)  I will take a pic of it and post it tomorrow. Everything from our reservation confirmation to the itinerary, to the emergency contacts, menu, etc... it's all in there. Mexico here we come!!!! Breg knee brace
Having rested both saturday & sunday (I was a good girl and wore the brace to do my grocery shopping), I woke up stiff this morning and ready for the gym. I did 45 minutes of steady-state cardio on the elliptical, wearing The Beast. I've been icing my knees off and on since, and I took a dose of ibuprofin with my breakfast. I plan to return to the gym this evening for weights, though I'm not sure yet what I'll focus on.  By the way, there's a photo of The Beast to the right...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Falling for Kathy Van Zeeland - Literally

 First of all... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STACEY! I LOVE YOU, SIS!!!!   :-)

Ok, so I've spent the last day in a pity party. It's time to stand up and move on. Here's the situation.

I saw the doctor yesterday, got film, got examined (oops, flinch-kicked the doc, my bad), and got the news. The patellar tendon tear from 3 years ago is still an issue and I've got patellar tendonitis. The degenerative condition in my kneecaps, causing the underside to wear away at an accelerated rate is continuing to progress, but now instead of just wear, I also have pocks in the cap. And the final kick in the teeth... the situation I've been experiencing, particularly in my right knee, is "significant arthritis".

Immediate treatment: I have to take anti-inflammatories, which I will bolster with an increase in dietary anti-inflammatories. I have to ice my knee regularly. And I have a brace I've named The Beast - I feel positively bionic in this thing. It's huge, bulky, not comfortable and greatly reduces my mobility (more on that in a moment). Finally, my gym activities have been greatly curtailed. No lunges, squats, leg extensions or any movement that places my knee at a 90 degree angle. I was not banned from the stair-master or treadmill, though I also did not inform the doc that I use those machines. Lol. I go back on the 22nd to plot a plan of action.

Short term treatment - I can allow the doc to go in surgically and remove tissue and smooth down the underside of the patella (kneecap), though this is truly short term, as the condition will continue to deteriorate the cap, and the surgery will significantly limit my mobility. Not an option.  The doctor also strongly recommended I reduce my activity and exercise to nearly nothing. Also, not an option.

Short to Long term - full knee replacement. Eventually I will need this in both knees, though the one progressing the fastest (or deteriorating the fastest) is my right knee, and the growth of the arthritis' severity, according to the doctor, "doesn't look good". There's no indication as of right now, of how long I have until this will be necessary.

Immediate ramifications - I will not reach my goal by my 40th birthday. While I will have successfully reached my 2 year anniversary of maintaining my weight, I will not be where I wanted to be. And yes, being the uber-mature, calm and easy-going person that I am, I spent most of last night either crying or on the verge of tears and feeling very angry, fearful and sorry for myself. Happy effing 40th to me.

Enough of that.

Tab is already at work creating a leg-workout for me that will not further damage my knee, but allow me to continue training and moving forward. Have I mentioned lately how very much I appreciate Tab? I didn't ask her to do that. It hadn't even occurred to me yet, as I was still wallowing in my "I can't do this, I can't do that" mindset. Seriously, there was nothing anyone could say to make me feel better that could compete with her text: "No worries. I have a plan.  :-) "

Back in '07 when I blew out my  knee, after seeing the doc and getting his diagnosis, I drove straight to the gym and sought out Tab, who was my trainer at the time. I sobbed, sure that my journey, which I had just begun, was over. She hugged me and said, "No worries. I have a plan."  And a plan she did indeed come up with. She found creative ways to keep me moving forward while not using my leg. She was amazing. So, Tab, if you're reading this.... I am so grateful for you, and to you and  your "plans"!  :-)

Yes, I still want to cry. Yes, I'm still afraid. No, I'm not going to dwell on it. I'm going to move forward. I'm already learning lots of new stuff, and have plans (though still in their infancy) to combat the arthritis and the degenerative condition. Another thing I've learned is about my new brace. You see, I mentioned that it reduces mobility. It's actually supposed to help prevent me from bending to that 90 degree angle, though that didn't completely register when the tech was fitting me with it. Want to know how I figured out that little gem of knowledge? Well, after the doctor, I went to get fitted for The Beast, then met Tab at Fashion Square. I had to wear The Beast to begin breaking it in, so me and my newly bionic leg were tromping around throughout the mall. Tab and I came across an amazing shoe sale at Dillard's... I got two pairs of sketchers for $8 each (I love a good shoe sale!), then we headed over to the purse department.

Let me explain that one of my favorite purse designers (though I don't own any, lol) is Kathy Van Zeeland. So we're wandering around checking out the sale tables, when what do I behold but a lovely black, sparkly, darling Kathy on the bottom shelf! I must look! I must touch! I bend, squatting down quickly to grab up this little beauty,  and wobble... and wobble... and grab for the shelf... wobble again, and THUNK! I hit the ground. 

While I had bent to reach for the bag, my right leg wouldn't complete the bend, and I teetered to the left, struggled to balance, trying not to drop my bag with the 2 boxes of Sketchers, and my purse, then finally gave up and just hit the floor. I sat there and all I could do was laugh while the poor saleswoman asked frantically, "Is she ok?"   Tab, also laughing, assures her that I am indeed ok, while she quickly moves to my side... "Really," she says quietly, "are you ok?".  Assured that the greatest injury was to my pride, we both continue in our mirth while I (so much less than gracefully) finally regain my feet.

Thus I learned the inescapable truth that The Beast limits my mobility.

So today, I am resting. Icing off and on. I will do my baking, as soon as my daughter returns with my car so I can go get more flour (can't believe I didn't realize I was almost out!). And I will relax. What I will not do is feel sorry for myself anymore. Though when it comes time to knead the dough, I might feel sorry for the dough :-)