Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring is he....oh wait no it's summer already!

As we say goodbye to another month in 2014, I'm wondering where the heck spring went!  For those of you NOT in Phoenix, I am mildly jealous, except for the snowstorm in Flagstaff last weekend. It's been hot, humid, and it's only getting worse!  *grumble*  Normally this would not be a bad thing, but that was when I was a chunky couch potato or computer chair potato if you will.  Now that I'm up and active, man this weather is not great for long periods of time. : /

April brought me a slue of emotions.  My abdominal stuff has stayed the same since my last check in, still no answers, but hopefully I'll have some more direction or ideas at my next doc appt.  I went through the "oh gosh a whole year at my job, man I hate my job, naaaaaaah it's still pretty awesome" routine.  And I was all over the place when it came to workouts and being active!

My April goals were:

I must be honest.  I struggled with each and every one on this list.  I did start taking care of me.  And if this has effected my friendship with anyone, I do apologize but I'm overwhelmed and trying to balance it as best as I can.  I did get some rest but probably not as much as I should have!  I was out of the 180's for a week and a half!  I'm back at 180 as of this morning, but that's ok!  I know why and I know that I will be able to knock it back down in no time!  As far as loving me, I love what I'm trying to accomplish, but with all my medical issues, I just can't seem to love myself.  I honestly can't blame me for what's going on since there's no indication of anything wrong!  I guess it's a process, one which I'm working on slowly but surely.

This month was busy in regards to being up and active on the weekends.  I unfortunately missed out on the March of Dimes because I wasn't feeling up to it, but I did get to participate in the #BostonStrong 2.62 mile walk and a 1 mile walk for Striking out child abuse. :)

And now to move on to May :)  I started the Couch25k training over again as of yesterday!  Boy can I tell you how excited I am?!  I blew through it like it was nothing and I am feeling really good about this time around.  I took a 6 month break due to some major hip issues I developed and in that time I picked up some serious walking habits!  It's making all the difference!

Here are my goals for the month and I think I'm aiming pretty high considering all I'm still going through, BUT I am determined to get through it all with flying colors!
  • I will be joining in on the new monthly calendar from the Shrinking Jeans.
  • I will stick to my C25K training at least 3 times a week
  • I will dance at least once a week
  • I will try to establish a new PR at my Foam Glow 5k
  • I will get back to restricting my eating out! *MAX 3 times a week* 
  • I will be recording my miles for the month for an AWESOME facebook event (this is to shoot for as many miles as you can/want) AND this AWESOME Facebook Event too (challenging you to walk at least a mile every day)!!  and for a fun Lord of the Rings project that my buddy Becka is doing! (pictures to come of how I'm doing that one!!)
Here's the calendar if you didn't click on the link!  This month is all about the Muffin Top!

I hope everyone had a great month and wish everyone the best for the month of May!  Let's kick it into high gear!  It's almost bathing suit time!  oh wait who am i kidding it already is here in phoenix...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Options and Decisions.

So, guess my suggestion to myself to post more didn't register in my head, but that's ok!  I've got a lot going on in this brain of mine.  Thought I'd give a short but sweet update on my abdomen issues.

So it's been 2 1/2 weeks since my colonoscopy and things are still not great.  I won't see the doctor until the end of the month so there's really nothing exciting or new there.  Just horrible frustration at all the negatives and "came back normal" messages.  While I am counting my blessings and know I don't have certain horrible diseases or issues, it doesn't get me any closer to where I need to be.

I took it upon myself to start 2 courses of action.  The first is the gluten-free trial.  My tests all came back negative for Celiac's but I'm convinced that this could potentially lead to an answer of sorts.  I've been on it for a week and a half and feel like it's very hot and cold.  I feel good some days and just awful other days.  I am finding this trial to be extremely difficult.  I have very low motivation to go in the kitchen and cook with all this going on and throw in a huge list of "can't have"... well that leads to issues.  I had a breakdown over the weekend when I tried to make a pizza dough (pre-packaged and gluten free).  It turned out awful and pizza dough should not have that consistency.  I am very frustrated and feel that if I want/need to eat out, all I can have is Mexican food!  That being said, I LOVE Mexican food (just look at half my recipe blog!) but I am having a hard time giving up flour tortillas.  I am also feeling a touch guilty! I'm not putting on weight from eating too much because I'm making semi-good eating out choices... but I am feeling bad in general about all the eating out just so I can get something in my tummy.  I am struggling with this and I'm doing the best I can with the little bit of hope I have left. :(  I will continue this gluten-free trial until I see the GI doctor for my follow up just so I know whether or not time had any effect on my pain.

My second action is to start picking other specialists to see.  There are a number of options I will be following but the first one is a dietician/allergen doctor!  Even though I'm negative for Celiac's that doesn't mean it's not something I'm eating and I'm just not paying attention enough to see patterns.  The doctor I've chosen specializes in digestive issues (i.e. IBS, crohns, celiac, etc).  I see her for my first "getting to know you, your problems, and your hopes" appt next week and I am praying that she can help me find something! Not one of the doctors I've seen so far have even suggested this might be some sort of food allergy.  They have all been hasty, test heavy, not so much talking, etc.  I'm glad to have the tests done, but no alternative theories have been suggested, no plans, nothing to help me through the pain while everyone takes their time figuring it all out.  So, here's hoping this allergen doctor will be one more step in the right direction!

At this point baby steps are all I have.  I'm flying blind with pain and no answers.  It's risking my job because of all the absences.  It's causing me stress, and I've given up most of my hope.  I have done everything just to make sure I stay positive even if there's no hope left inside me.  That's a big change since my last undiagnosed knee issue.  I understand doctors have their limits and things won't always be found, but 9 weeks of this and I'm getting tired of the fight.  So happy face or not, I'm doing what I can for myself since I don't feel the doctors are doing enough for me.

With all this going on, my working out has taken a nose-dive, but now that I have my new shoes in finally...

I can start trying to put some walking miles on those bad boys.  There's not much else I am able to do most days.  I really need to do core workouts but it irritates my abdomen too much so walking it is!  I need to get back to those walks where I can clear my head and know I'm doing everything I can for myself. :)  Problems or not I can't sit still for too long.  Drives me nuts!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

With Bated Breath...

After 7 weeks of doctors, ER visits, tests, blood samples, and now a colonoscopy.... I'm still sitting on my bum waiting.  Waiting for the clear cut, no strings attached answer.  What's wrong with me?  I've just about gone bonkers with undiagnosed medical issues and this is not one that can just continue without a title, a name, a label, something.

Bill after bill, sleepless night after restless morning, pain day in and day out, I'm slowly doing what I do best.  I lose hope in the doctors that are caring for me.  Why are all the tests negative or clear?  I mean yeah! That's great but that doesn't explain the excruciating pain I'm currently experiencing.  I'm not able to work full shifts, I had to completely stop working out (including my small walks at work).  I am just going nuts in my own head.  All that I have is TV, reading or video games.  (while that's not at all bad in my vocabulary.... it's not what I should be doing or even need to be doing)

This week has proved to be the absolute worst of it so far.  My pain spread and tripled after my colonoscopy.  The doctor's advice?  Go to the ER if it doesn't go away.  Well what are they going to do for me?  Run tests.  Tests that have already been run in the last 7 weeks.  #frustrated

Through all of this, I have had a lot of friends inquiring, checking in on me, etc.  I am extremely grateful for all the love!  It may even end up being a lifesaver!  A friend suggested out of nowhere that I may have Celiac Disease.  *well what the heck is that? pause while I Google it...*  Hmmm fascinating!  It's a gluten intolerance that is an autoimmune disease attacking the small intestine.  Stomach/abdominal issues run in my family and to my knowledge no one has been tested for this before.  My mother sure hasn't and it's a genetic disease.

So while I wait, horribly impatiently for my results... I've decided to do a bit of studying on my own.  Boy am I overwhelmed.  With a lot of different feelings.  I am ecstatic that this disease sounds just like what I'm experiencing and that means it might actually have a label!  I am horrified because I want to be a chef, I cook constantly, and to give up some of the stuff that I incorporate day to day is daunting.  I am sad because my pantry will be empty once I ditch the gluten.  I am worried because of the money it will cost to stock the house back up with G-free foods.  I am stressed because I don't want to impose this new diet on my bf but I don't want to be around foods I can't have all the time.  I am hopeful that this may be an amazing solution to a lifelong abdominal issue.

I will be researching in more detail for the rest of the week and will give the G-free diet a go for a few weeks as a test run while I wait for those results to come in.  I've read that there are great benefits to adopting this diet even if you don't have Celiac, but I'll cross that bridge once I have definitive answers.

To any of you out there reading this, do you have words of advice, favorite G-free websites, great G-free recipes (sugar free if you share dessert :(  I can't have that either), or thoughts in general?  I am eyeball deep in materials but I'm getting horribly overwhelmed by the big picture instead of taking it meal by meal or even ingredient by ingredient.  I did however discover that 80% of my seasonings and herbs are G-free.  That was a huge relief!

So here's to information and a new journey that may take me all over the place but it may just save my life.

Wed Weigh in #3

I know, I know, I didn't get around to #2 but listen!  I was having medical malfunctions of the body and quite frankly I just didn't have the heart to write something uplifting in the moods I've had lately.  But there are a lot of things going down with me and it's time to catch up.

Week 2 of our #SpringIntoAction challenge was to workout for 40 mins 4 days of the week.  I am proud to say that I blew that right out of the water!  *just in time I might add*  as my medical issues started getting worse the day after "Day 4 of 40."  Here's my photos of that week's adventure!

I had a blast doing it and I'm proud to say that it wasn't difficult at all for me to achieve!  Motivation WHAT?!  I'm super proud of myself.  I'm also proud of my teammate who kicked the challenge's butt too!

Week #3's challenge was to step out of your comfort zone.  This one was a no brainer for me.  I was pumped and ready for a Zumba class like a lot of you ladies out there!  I saw a lot of posts about it!  I instead ended up "stepping out" of my comfort in a way I was not happy about.  I give credit to my #chunkymonkey partner for suggesting that this falls directly in the challenge, but I feel like it was an easy way out.  I had to rest.  I had to hang up the headphones and the Polar for several days due to my medical stuff.  I had to fast for a procedure and that meant for sure no working out.  So while I was nice and comfy on my couch, feeling lazy and enjoying not working out, I was extremely unhappy with the situation because I want to work out.  I want to put forth the effort.  Rest.  There's that stupid but necessary word again.  I had to rest in order for my abdominal issues to get looked at properly.  So I'll chalk it up to a win for the challenge but I am still whining and complaining!

As for this new week!  Week #4 is to not weigh myself for a week.  This unfortunately is not an issue whatsoever for me.  I am instead choosing to take a picture of myself each day and I will add something nice about myself to help me with my self-image.  I am not quite sure where my feelings are coming from about not being successful or doing all the right stuff to lose the weight in all the right places.  I have come so far and I just discredit myself.  Well now's the time to break that habit while I'm still ahead!

I picked the #sisterhoodshots back up this month.  I figure with all that free time I suddenly have from not working out, I might as well get back in it!  I really enjoy them and love others that participate too!  Above is my Day 1: No foolin' selfie I took to let everyone know my insecurity about my image.

Have you started up April's photos?!  If not, why not give it a try!

Now on to it being Wed Weigh in!  As of first thing this morning, I am down 22.2 lbs since Jan 1st.  I am proud of the changes I have made, the steps I have taken to get here.  I am struggling but the longer I'm in the Shrinking Jeans group, the more I feel loved and supported no matter what my days or weeks look like.  I am blessed to have the friends and family I do. :)

I wish everyone luck this week in their endeavors, their goals, their struggles, and all the bumps ahead.  We can all do this!  Let's kick this week's butt!