Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Way too long...'s been a really long time since I've posted.  Life has been good and bad at times since I last posted in 2014, like everyone.  We all have our good and bad patches.  It just seems that 2015-2016 has been a lot of personal challenges.  But I feel like I'm finally over the mountain of stress and have been at least downsized to a "wee" hill, as the kiwis would say.  Still a lot going on in my life, but it feels more manageable.

Well one thing that is frustrating that I feel comfortable about saying to the general public...I'm up 50 lbs from my goal weight.  That sucks. I hate it.  I miss my old number, size, feeling.  It was a struggle to maintain, but at least I did so for a solid year.

But ya know....stuff happens. Like injuries. I had a weird one in addition to my past stress fractures and tennis elbow...winged scapula.  I had a damaged nerve in my back that was causing my scapula to wing off the rest of my back like a bird.   In case you are wondering, it looked as weird as it sounds.  My entire right arm would vary from one giant cramp (holy cow that hurt!) to being all numb and tingly.  Of course, forget upper body strength training but it also meant I couldn't run, the elliptical and bike hurt my back, and even swimming was challenging.  Lower body strength training was hard too because it involves stabilization of your core, which involves your back.  I could walk gently basically- which I did as often as possible.

Thus started my gentle creep up.  Thanks to physical therapy that injury is healed and only occasionally flares up again when I really overdo it or sleep weird.  But I put on that first 10 lbs.  And then it just kept slowly going up until the stress that is the giant C word hit my family again: Cancer.  It's a scary monster and has been a constant background in my life since 2009.   Between the diagnosis of my stepdad and an eventual divorce.....the weight just kept going up.  Even though I was going to weight watchers and exercising I just didn't seem to care as much about what I ate.  I never went hog wild but my body gains weight easily and quickly.  Such is life!

So after months of trying to get back on track I feel like mentally I have been back these past few weeks.  The scale is not rewarding me, but I know that I feel better physically and mentally so I know the loss will show up soon.  I've been exercising more regularly again and with more energy.  I'm back to a regular 5 days of exercising in a week.  I'm consistently strength training twice a week. I know this is so important for me and I'm proud of myself for getting back to this routine.  I also started the couch to 5k training program again.  I've used this several times to work back into running and increasing mileage and stamina.  I'm in week 2 and feeling good so far.

So I'm going to try this blogging thing again when I feel the urge to post and update.  Maybe it will help me keep focused like it did before.

I need to remember- I've still lost and kept off 200 lbs since my heaviest!!  That is major.  I can't forget where I came and that I'm never going back to that.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Hello again from the air! There is something about writing on an airplane that just feels natural to me. Even though you are surrounded by people, you often times feel alone, which is nice.

Yes, this is coming from a self-proclaimed "extrovert" who finds energy in talking with others. During the first hour of the flight I was chatting with my seat mate off and on about all sorts of things, and loved.

I just get frustrated at what the stereotype has turned into, though. So many people see introverts as the more thoughtful, smart people and extroverts as just party people. That's not only offensive to myself who enjoys both, but just untrue. I got into a discussion about this with a colleague who was complaining about a situation with a coworker she just couldn't understand. In her eyes, this other person is an extrovert so therefore she couldn't shut up and she moved really slowly with setting up for tomorrow's presentation because she was distracted with being social.

I had to interrupt her and interject. Just because that person is an extrovert does not mean that all she knows how to do is talk. Perhaps this person is just chatty and moves slow?! There are most definitely times when I have zero desire to interact with another human being. I get mentally, emotionally, and socially exhausted, too! I love exercising, horseback riding, cuddling with Ding, or just sitting down with a good book can really help me feel rejuvenated. Does this actually make me an introvert that has trained myself to be more social? Who cares? Labels are just that- labels.

So, I would love to hear what you have to say about this subject! What do you identify yourself as?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ice and acupuncture!

Helloooooo! I hear an echo....from so much time in between posts...

This is what I just finished doing, might look familiar...

Hello Ice!

I'm icing my left because of this:

Photo: I'm not sure how this happened....any ideas?
Last night

I have this weird bruise on the side of my left big toe- and I'm not sure why exactly.  It presented itself after I got done riding- in well broken in boots where I was wearing supportive a little confused how this happened.  But ice did help, the color is less red and more blue/purple now.

And my right foot has been bothering me a little bit- across the top like before when I had stress fracture issues- so I figured ice couldn't hurt it, I might as well double ice!

I did something really cool yesterday that I've been wanting to do for a long time- acupuncture!!  I'm really happy with the acupuncturist I worked with- she was very friendly, calm, and gentle.  It was a relaxing experience and afterwards I felt so calm and centered.  I even have some ear candy to remind me of the experience- some points she kept on my ear that are low intensity points meant to stay on for 1-2 weeks.

Photo: I'm curious if anyone has had acupuncture treatment? I had my first consult and treatment yesterday with a new friend, Laura, who was awesome!  Part of treatment was leaving these longer lasting points on my ear- fascinating! Have you had acupuncture before? Share!!!
Left ear looking sexy

Have you had acupuncture treatment before?  Tell me about it!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Yes, I'm alive!

Long time no blog!

I've been distracted with another injury- I know, it's hard to believe, but true.  A few months ago I got slammed with crazy pain in my right shoulder that wouldn't go away.  After x-rays, massages, and 2 doctors- I got a script for steroids and BAM the pain went way down.  It was wonderful to have less pain, but the steroids had some crazy side effects if you have never experienced them before.  This is how I felt on my second and third day of steroid treatment: was weird how I felt like I was just a bundle of energy inside.  As if at any moment I was going to explode.  I was able to keep pretty well in control from an outside perspective, but on the inside I felt like a rage machine.  Very unsettling, and I was glad when that side effect diminished.

The final diagnosis which didn't come until after an MRI and lots of physical therapy- winged scapula.  It's getting a lot better with physical therapy. My key is to keep with it.  I guess it was caused by a trauma of some sort to my shoulder- which we can't seem to figure out what that was....and an issue with the nerve being impaired.  The important thing is that the pain is minimal now which is awesome

In running news....I have been building up my walking mileage over the past couple months and received the go ahead to work on running again! Wahoo!  Yesterday I did couch to 5k week 1, day 1.  I used the free app on my phone and it was nice to be able to have it tell me exactly when to walk and run.  It made it super easy and kept me from getting obsessed about my pace- which is way too easy for me to do!

My feet still feel good the next day, so since the is so nice, I plan to go for a hike or walk- just not sure where

What's new with you on this beautiful May day?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Back to basics

So the scale...we are still fighting.

Yeah....this was exactly how I felt after my weight watchers weigh in last night.  Last week I had lost 1.8 lbs after that disastrous 7lb gain and then this week...I gained 1.6 lbs back.   I was so shocked, that I was PISSED.  Angry.  Frustrated.  I wanted to throw a temper tantrum.  Did I have a perfect week?  No....I had an absolutely awesome time drinking at Kevin's birthday party Saturday night.  It was fantastic- and I tracked it all- including the tequila and chocolate cake.  And then I kicked butt in the gym and ate awesome on every other day.

I guess what frustrated me so much was because I knew in that moment what I needed to do.  And I really didn't want to.  So instead I lived in angry, denial, border line temper tantrum land during the meeting until a good conversation with a few fellow weight watchers.  Ultimately, I knew that I needed to...

Yeah, the dreaded and terrible D word.  The irony is not lost on me that to spell diet you first have to spell "die."  I know that I have forever changed my lifestyle- and that's how you make lasting and steady change in your health and weight.  I will NEVER step foot into a fast food restaurant again.  I will never binge again at Golden Corral or some Chinese buffet.  It's not going to happen.  I simply and plainly refuse.  Those are my red lines in the sand- I won't cross them again.

But the reality is, I am 15 lbs over my goal weight.  15 lbs!! That is NOT ok.  Ever since my foot injury, my weight has been very slowly creeping up little by little.  At first just a couple ounces, then I would lose it.  And then this winter happened....between all the terrible weather keeping me inside and continuing to say yes to all those delicious holiday treats like my sister's crack cookies (for the record they don't legally have crack in them, but somehow they are more addicting).

So, I am going back on a lower daily points total and gosh darn it, I am going to use my food scale obsessively again and go back to the basics of what worked for me.  Darn it, I've lost 250 lbs!  I know how to lose weight.  My body knows how to lose weight.  After a great conversation with my sister today, I was reminded of this.

I don't have drastic things to change, but I do need to mix things up with my exercise, tighten up my eating plan (like not taking shots of tequila chased with chocolate cake), keep up with strength training, and get my head out of my ass.   The reality of my body is that I have to be constantly vigilant to keep the weight off.  I need to break out of maintenance mode and get back into full blown weight loss mode.  Colleen knows weight loss mode.   I flipped that switch while talking with Brianne today and I stepped back into the game Tony Horton style with some P90X.  I did Kenpo X and Ab Ripper X- and felt deliciously tired and sore afterwards.

You heard Tony....It's time to BRING IT!

How are you going to bring it?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bad scale!

I weighed in at Weight Watchers on Wednesday and my weigh in showed a gain....

of 7 lbs!!

This was my reaction:

yeah....Even factoring in that I was probably wearing an extra lb or 2 in heavy clothing after a busy work day without being able to change into weigh in clothes- and I haven't weighed in for 2 weeks.....7 lbs is nuts.

I busted my tail while in Phoenix- with double workouts nearly every day and I did 2 strength training workouts during the week, including 2 ab ripper X from P90X!  This is a great improvement over my lackluster strength training routine over the past couple months.  Overall I did a good job with my food choices.  I only had desert once a day, if that- and I tried to walk as much as possible when not sitting.  Also, I was feeling thin all week- and kept hearing from everyone how great I looked.  I can usually tell when I'm a few lbs over in the way my clothes feel- but not at all here!

I felt like I had literally been punched in the stomach.  Quite literally, actually.  I was nauseous all night that night- not sure if it's from the stress or those peanut butter M&Ms at my work meeting on Wednesday (yeah, I had some candy- but it was in moderation!)

I am trying to keep my head on straight this week, I'm doing a week of simply filling- which focuses on eating whole, clean foods.  Something I already do, but with the simply filling program you only count points for the food that is NOT a power food.  And power foods are foods I typically eat a lot of- fruits, veggies, lean protein, fat free dairy, whole grains, etc.

What do you do when you see something you weren't expecting on the scale?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Interesting morning....

I'm sitting in the BWI airport right now waiting for a flight and I just had a totally bizarre experience...

Suddenly I began experiencing some of the worst stomach cramps I've had since before being on Prilosec. (It's an amazing drug)  I immediately start rewinding my morning in my head and start frantically thinking- did I take it this morning?  Most definitely.  My routine with taking Prilosec then brushing my teeth is as solid as my habit of eating breakfast every day.  Aka- nearly flawless.  So, my mind is racing as I double over and try to give my stomach some relief.  It's cramping so bad my back hurts.

A couple minutes later, as abruptly as this bizarre spell came on me, it dissipated.  I look around in a bit of a daze and realized with a start that the person sitting right next to me eating a fast food breakfast sandwich had walked away.  I hardly noticed her sitting there eating it, but when she got up to leave it was a reminder that she had been eating one of my old standby breakfast feasts.  My brain had registered that for a split second when she sad down and I had immediately dismissed it.  Apparently my stomach didn't dismiss it and wanted to starkly remind me that it wanted NONE of that crap.  I heard you loud and clear- thanks!

Say no to fast food!

As I sit here pondering what just happened, I'm realizing how startling different my life is than it was just 4.5 years ago, before starting weight watchers.  This past October marked my 4 year anniversary with weight watchers. Wow.  That is absolutely incredible to me sometimes.  Just 5 years ago, I was a depressed, morbidly obese, desperate shell of a person.  I was going through the motions of my life, sitting in the backseat and watching it go by.

Now I'm the pilot. I'm in control of my destiny- and I'm loving life. 5 years ago if I had a flight delay I would be like that woman that just stood up- I would be eating fast food and inwardly dreading the nightmare that was about to face me on the plane.  If I was still 400 lbs I would be sweating nervous buckets of sweat waiting for the inevitable humiliation that IS flying when you are morbidly obese.  The pain of the seats, the emotional anguish and embarrassment of having to use a seat belt extender.  And that terrible discomfort of sitting next to a stranger that wishes there was any other seat on the plane to sit in, but beside you.

Now people want to sit next to me on planes.  Women talk with me comfortably, with plenty of space for themselves.  Men hit on me.  I once had a young man chose a middle seat next to me when there was plenty of other seats available, including a window seat nearby.  I was really But I was polite, and chatted back with him for the majority of the 3 hour flight to Chicago (I think it was Chicago? lol).  He told me as we were leaving the plane that he had seen me in line and had to try to sit near to me because my face was mesmerizing and he wanted to see if my personality matched.  He said it did and then asked for my number.  Wow.

Last night I was having a blast trying on all different combinations of dresses, shoes, and jewelry to match to figure out exactly what to pack for this week.  I have a closet full of size 10 clothes that fit me.  Even some 8s in there. Never could I have imagined 5 years ago that I would be here.  And I've been here for over a year!

I'm so grateful for this new life I've made for myself. And proud of myself. I DID THIS!

What are you proud of?