Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quick Update

Hello there!  My heartfelt apologizes for letting this blog go since my doctor wants me to limit computer use (as in typing) to only 2 hours a day- and it needs to be used for work.  Work is important, people!

I've been struggling with unexplained vertigo for the past week and a half....yeah you read that correctly.  I think it is finally getting better, I've had very little dizziness today and drove quite a bit around town and even to Towson and felt fine.  It's been a more traditional case of vertigo than my last case (when I was in the hospital for 3 days in June), which is good in a way- but it feels like it's lasted forever.  After finally seeing a doctor about it on Friday and receiving some meds it's been slowly dissipating, but still comes back at times so I am making sure to do a few things to help my body along:

  1.  Lots of water- gotta stay hydrated
  2. Many small, healthy snacks throughout the day to ensure I don't feel lightheaded and that my body is getting all the nutrition it needs throughout healing my elbow from surgery
  3. Taking it easy
For real!

Number 3 has been tough, especially mentally.  I need my activity to feel not just normal physically but mentally as well.  So, for that reason I was THRILLED that on Wednesday I was feeling well enough to join Adrian at the gym after my weight watchers meeting.  My whole body must have really needed a serious rest because the pain in my elbow has gone WAY down, even when I tried a few jogging steps.  Up until yesterday, even a single high impact step was like a knife to my incision area.   My first Occupational Therapy (OT) appointment was on Tuesday, and Linda had mentioned that before I try running again, I should ensure that first the elliptical was pain free because it has been as well.  So, with that in my head, I hopped on the combo elliptical and ended up working up my usual sweat and heart rate for 20 minutes until I started having some pain.  When the pain started, I stopped and moved onto to a lower body strength training circuit (mainly machines this time) to finish out my first good workout in a week. Since I got my cast off on the 18th, until Friday, I have been spending as much time as I can walking and on the recumbent bike.  It's been a good alternative and I've been able to get my heart rate in my zone, but I just don't enjoy it the way I do even using a stationary bike.

And to top it all off- I have been OFF pain meds (not even Tylenol!) for 3 days!  I'm so thrilled with my pain management and glad to be off those possibly addicting meds.

So with that, I would like to throw out a question for my lovely readers, all 3 of you:   
How do you deal with having to take a prolonged break from your workout routine?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Wahoooo I am officially at goal!! I've actually been hovering around this weight for the past 5 months, which is what made me finally realize that it was where my body wanted to be. My doctor set my goal as 180 lbs 2 years ago, but I really wanted to hit that 160lbs that would mean I was a healthy BMI. I have finally come to terms with 180 lbs being healthy for me, and most importantly, I feel GREAT! Although I've technically been at this goal weight (179 lbs was what I officially set) for about 5 months, reaching goal feels no less awesome!


FINALLY, after over 3 years and 257 lbs- I AM AT GOAL!! 

In other news, I'm sorry I've been away so long- with the elbow surgery, computer work has been challenging and exhausting, so I've been limiting my time.  I will try to update again soon!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Tuesday was my tennis elbow surgery... therefore I am writing this entry with only my left hand- talk about dedication. Or perhaps boredom, lol.

First off, I am forever grateful to my mom who was there with me every step of the way.  She came Monday night for dinner and stayed over night to take me to the hospital in the morning.  She was wonderful throughout all the waiting...which was substantial.  When I scheduled the surgery- they said it was an 11:00am surgery and to be there at 9:00am.   We got there and checked in right at 9....and I didn't even start getting prepped for surgery until 11:15.  Then more waiting...

But in the end of course it all worked out!  I remember all the joking around in the surgery suite and all the prep, then I was waking up and they were asking me questions.  The pain was the sharpest right after waking up and they kept pumping me up with meds until my pain was a 5 (0-10 scale).  The entire staff was funny and kind, and I felt like they all cared for me as a person.  I was at Union Memorial Hospital, which is the same place that I go for my sports med doctor and of course the Curtis National Hand Center where I see Dr. Segalman, the surgeon who worked on my elbow. 

Before the surgery, Dr. Segalman came in to cover what he was doing- which was de-breeing the area and shaving down the bone (sounds scary!!) so the tendon could reconnect.  We also talked about my left elbow pain and he suggested having marcaine (think novacain) mixed with my own blood injected into my elbow.  We went for it- and holy cow is there a MEGA bruise there- hence the reason why I've been icing both arms.

I wrote most of this entry in many small stints yesterday and then some more today and am having a hard time finishing being so painful and drowsy..... so enjoy a visual of this huge soft cast and icing my other arm while I get some more meds...

Ding watching over me!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

So much to celebrate, part 2!

As I said on my last post, the end of this year has been chock full of lots of celebration!  In continuation...

December 24th:   Had a lovely brunch with Jen H.  We've been friends since Mrs. Carlin's 4th grade class and whether it's been a day or a year in between seeing each other, it always feels like just yesterday. 

Adrian and I ran a couple errands afterwards and got some last minute Christmas gifts.  I didn't do a dedicated workout because I felt like I really just needed to recover from the wedding, I was so exhausted.  We met up with Evan, Jen, and Alex for a little Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange at Olive Garden in Newark.  It was great despite the fact that the service was atrocious.   Like...some of the worst service I've ever experienced.  The waitress messed up several different orders, kept blaming the kitchen for everything (I HATE it when servers do this, huge client experience pet peeve), and worst of all encouraged us to tip her well despite all the mistakes.  No bueno....  After dinner, we headed back to Jen and Evan's place for marshmallows by the fireplace and games- more good times! We stayed until I was literally almost falling asleep.  Good times!

Christmas:  Another BUSY day!  I started off the morning with Insanity Pure Cardio because I knew there was going to be some MAJOR food being eaten.  And there was for sure.... We started with some time at Adrian's parent's place and watched most of "A Christmas Story."  It just wouldn't be Christmas without seeing at least some of that hilarious movie!  We then headed over to the Hughes' place for lunch and a pink elephant style secret Santa gift exchange.  It was such a blast!  This was when Adrian wanted to exchange gifts- he likes an audience in his own words.  And frankly, he deserves one- he is awesome at making Christmas and my birthday special each year.  Somehow he truly makes each day it's own event, which is tough to do with them being only 4 days apart.

For Christmas this year- we are going to see Tom Hanks' (one of my favorite actors) Broadway debut in "Lucky Guy" in March!! I can't wait! And he also gave me one of the most beautiful rings I've ever seen....

Pretty butterflies!

I've been on the hunt for a beautiful, feminine, understated elegant butterfly ring to use as an anchor.  I've been struggling to find one that fit into all those categories and be wearable everyday and with any outfit.  Somehow he found a beautiful and perfect ring!  The butterfly is symbolic to me in many ways but primarily it symbolizes transformation.  Over the past 3 years or so I have transformed my body by losing over 255 lbs, but more than that, I have transformed the way I see myself from the inside out and that's even more important and critical to my health and happiness.

I gave Adrian an autographed Cal Ripken Jr. baseball from the 1983 World Series and some baseball cards to go along with it.  He loved it! :) We finished up the day with a nice turkey dinner at the farm and more desserts.  Lots of good family time all the way around and one of the most relaxed, happiest Christmas' I can remember in a long time. films.

Dec 26-28:  These days kinda blended together with lots of workouts, some errands and chores around the house, and 2 trips to the movies.   We saw Les Miserables in Newark with Jen C on Thursday.  It was an incredible movie and well worth seeing in the theaters!  Then in true vacation fashion, we saw Django: Unchained on Friday in White Marsh with Evan and Jen.  It was totally awesome in a different way.  I think I enjoyed it more because I'm not a big musical fan but they were both great.

December 29th- BIRTHDAY!  Totally awesome day of course!  Started off the day with Shaun T with Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs.  Over an hour of sweaty, hard fun with mr. hotness himself.   After cleaning up and brunch time- Adrian wanted to shower me with gifts, which I was all too happy to oblige him! ;)  Adrian went WAY above and beyond the normal call of duty this year! He started off with this awesome container symbolizing my weight loss journey- with one paper clip in it for every pound I've lost on my journey! So it was filled with 260 paperclips!! And he decorated the jar with puppy stickers and colorful markers. Rad!

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"Triumphant Colleen"
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"Weight Loss"
Then the big tamale of all gifts... An incredible day at the spa together!!  This actually took place the next day, on the 30th and was the most romantic and relaxing experience of my life.  We had a private suite with a big soaking Jacuzzi tub complete with serene music, candles, and rose pedals everywhere.  After the tub, we then had an hour long couples massage followed by a delicious light lunch and more soaking in the tub.  I finished the experience out with a lounge in their relaxation lounge, nice and comfy by the fire.  Then I sat in the steam room for a bit and sweated any remaining toxins from my body.  It was a life altering experience and we were very impressed by the beauty, luxury, and professionalism of the spa.  I highly recommend Robert Andrew Spa!

Saturday night we had a blast out at La Tolteca with friends to celebrate my birthday, and then headed to Roonies in Wilmington to chill for a bit and then some DANCING!   No birthday is complete without some dancing, in my humble opinion.  We got home pretty late, so it was good that the main thing on the list for the next day was the spa.  Mmmm spa....

December 30th-  The spa was the main focus.  Afterwards we were so beat that we ran some errands to keep awake because if we had headed home it would have been straight to bed for a nap.  Which was good that we didn't because that night the family got together with Kate and Imad at the farm to celebrate their anniversary (Dec 30th), my parents anniversary (Dec 28th), and my birthday.  I told you there is too many things to celebrate in my family at the end of the year! We had a nice dinner and played a fun game of "Apples to Apples" after cutting into this incredible cake that Kate and Imad created, it was train, complete with railroad tracks and little rocks! So creative, and very tasty!

It's a train cake made of fondant!

December 31st:  New Years Eve!  Party time! We had a good time at Thea and Nigel's party, played some games, and ate too much food.  Somebody had made muddy buddy... If you have never had this, I caution you from it because it is like CRACK.  It is probably one of my favorite foods on the planet and it's addicting and hard to just eat a small amount.  For that reason I haven't eaten it for years.  I hope I keep away from it for another couple years because I think I ate enough last night to tide me over that delicious and addicting and it makes me lose all senses completely except the desire to eat lots of it!

 Muddy Buddy

What an amazing 2 weeks of celebrating to end a great 2012!! Happy New Year and I hope you were able to thoroughly enjoy the holiday season!