The Not Even a Little Scary Update

img_8771I promised I would keep you up to date since my discharge from the hospital two weeks ago, but there really isn’t a lot to say – which is great news!

When I got home I immediate started my health and food journal where I log what I eat, when I take my iron pills/vitamins, how I sleep, and how I feel – it has been eye opening. In a good way.

Food:

I have been drinking protein shakes daily. I am still trying to find the ones I like (and I have found some that suck) and that are higher in iron. This has been great since they are super filling, and I am not getting toimg_8768 eat lunch until later in the afternoon. I have also added protein packed afternoon snacks. I have been a label reader for a few years, but never really went so far as to look at the iron content. As a side note, I did not realize how little iron is in most foods. I assume that is why I am on such a high dose of iron daily. After talking to friends who are nurses – I have added daily vitamin C to help with the morning pill and then applesauce (or baby food fruits) with my afternoon/evening pills. Before all of this, I was also taking vitamin B, D, and then Echinacea to keep from getting sick, which is still part of the daily routine.

 

img_8770Health:

It is almost shocking how good I feel! I think I have more energy than I have – EVER. Not just since before I got “sick” but like, EVER. Although I cannot go back to the gym until I have a follow up doctors appointment, I have been able to go for a walk in the neighborhood and even do some shopping without losing any energy which I had not done in a LONG time. I guess I have also been be-boppin’ through the house, because periodically Hammy will laugh and when I ask him what he is laughing about, he tells me that it was the little dance I was doing… didn’t even know I was dancing! Other than that,  I think the biggest thing I have noticed in this area is the color in my lips. I know that sounds silly, but in the hospital they were a deathly shade of gray – but not now! 🙂

 

Sleep:

I cannot believe how amazing you can feel when you get good sleep! Literally for 12 days in a row, I went to sleep and didn’t wake up until my alarm went off!! So crazy!! I am sure part of that is the less stressful job, and the fact that I am doing better in the above two categories that makes this possible – but it is still part of the progress.img_8767

I realize I still have a long way to go, but two weeks in and I doing everything my doctors and nurses have told me to do. I will continue to get weekly phone calls from my nurses and social workers to check in and make sure I am not going backwards. **Community South has an amazing support system – just a side note** I will still have to go in and do check ups on my hemo levels, but I can say I feel nowhere close to where I was, and I know I will never go back there!

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There have been a lot twists and turns on this journey, but none as scary as this, so as I continue #becomingabetterme sometimes I have to remember that adjusting how you live is must, and I would have to say, I am doing a pretty good job of adjusting this time!

 

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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and Now the Scary

I start a lot of my posts with this, but it is true. I promised when I started this blog I would share the good, the bad, and the ugly along the way… well, I didn’t expect that I would have to add scary to this journey, but I have, and here it is for you.

Let me jump back to about 2 months ago. Mid Aug I started heavy loading my calendar to make sure that I was caught up, even ahead at work since my anniversary cruise was the second week of Sept. At that point my husband started telling me that I looked tired. Well… YEAH! I was! 2-3 evening meetings a week, doing a little extra work on the weekend. Of course I was tired!

Then the cruise, dated Sept 9 – 16… for those of you who follow the weather, about 3-4 days before we were to port out there was a tropical storm/hurricane on the east coast coming in. We figured we would be fine since we were going to western Caribbean. Well, the first full day at sea was ROUGH! Not just a little, but stupid crazy ridiculous rough. So the second day when we went to port, it hit me hard. Sea sickness, the extreme heat, fatigue… I almost passed out on a wall in Costa Maya. So we went back to the ship, I took some med, and then slept. Then the next day on our excursion, I took a nap on the beach.  Don’t get me wrong, I like naps – but I NEEDED the sleep, didn’t just take them for the sake of vacation.

Fast forward to coming home. I had been back less than a week when I really started to feel crummy, so on Tuesday Sept 25, I decided it was time to go to the minute clinic. Head congestion, fatigue, dizziness, all around feeling crappy. She decided I had an ear infection (no shocker there – at least once a year since I was 5), and all of the symptoms of the ugly flu virus that was going around. She told me that I wasn’t to go back to work until I was fever free for 24 hours. OK, fine. For the rest of that week I ran a steady fever and slept pretty much 3-5 hours a day and then at night as well.

The following week, I went back to work. Walking to office winded me, but I chalked it up to the virus. Head felt swimmy, but I chalked that up to the virus as well.

Oct 10… things went BAT SHIT CRAZY.

I went back to the clinic because I was not getting better, but rather, seemingly worse. The more I tried to explain to the nurse what was wrong, the more she told me that I needed to go to the ER. She even refunded my copay for the office visit.

I called my husband and he agreed to leave work to take me. We figured, walking pneumonia or another more powerful virus. WRONG.

We got the ER and they started running tests, drawing arm loads of blood, they had me pee in a cup, attaching me to every machine there and as I am sitting there being asked a million and one questions the PA comes in and says “umm, we need to take more blood. We are concerned that we had a bad test reading and want to confirm.” I asked him what he meant and he said, “We checked your hemoglobin level and it came back at 4 and that concerns us.” I asked what that actually meant and he said, “your test came back as 4.2. Normal is 12. You should not have walked in here.” Then he started asking me about throwing up blood, blood in my stool (sorry for that visual), trauma, a car accident – ANYTHING. All of my answers were NO. Then he said it, “we have to give you a transfusion.  You are in desperate need of blood. We also plan to admit you, we are just waiting on a room for you.” I guess I should not have been shocked since my lips were a nice deathly shade of gray and my fingertips were an interesting bright white.

Admitted, 2 units(pints) of blood, 2IVs, a heart monitor, and several phone calls later I was sitting in my room waiting to see what the second unit brought my level to. It went up to 6.5.

The doctors decided I needed and upper and lower GI scan to see if there was bleeding, so Thursday I had the start the “cleansing process” (worst.thing.ever.) More blood work, an ultrasound (just to make sure the bleed wasn’t in my girlie region), and another unit(pint) of blood and I am finally over 7 (7.9 to be exact)  **side note, anything under 7 and they automatically give transfusions

Anyway, procedure done Friday morning with the only result of a hiatal hernia. The doctors had to go on deduction that I have been anemic all of my life and that a combo of a lot of things – late work nights, lack of gym time, less than stellar diet during the extra long days, being a girl and having a *cough period cough*, and even possibly having a virus that week after we got back. A lot of unknowns and a lot of speculation… but the bottom line is this:

Several of my nurses said the same thing – they had never seen such low hemo levels, and if it wasn’t for me being so healthy otherwise (being mostly diligent about my diet, going to the gym, being a nonsmoker, nondrinker, nondrug user all of my life) this could have been tragically different. Sure I have to take 650mg of iron a day for the rest of my life, and have to go in to my primary care doc to be checked periodically to make sure I am keeping my iron up, but that is a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.

I know this was a long winded story, but it needed to be shared because for as hard as I try to continue  #becomingabetterme  I was leaving out a few key elements… you have to listen to your body and instead of writing off things like fatigue and a swimmy head, I should have known that was not my norm and addressed it immediately.

As a side note: I would like to thank those who came to see me, those who sent me well wishes, and those who cared enough to remind me that I matter and I need to take care of me. That did not go unnoticed. I promise. Because of you, my journey will continue.

Not Quite Four Percent

221707D0-440A-4577-B28D-DA5922FD1B6BWell, I promised to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly of this journey – so there is some ugly, some bad, and some good in this particular tale. So, again, I follow through with my promise. You are welcome.

In the last post, I was down five lbs, right? Well, wouldn’t you know that three days before weigh in I got on the scales and of course, I gained 1.2lbs back. I know that in the grand scheme of things, that is small potatoes (like legit, it could have been, I made potatoes to go with the chicken for dinner), but when there is $20 on the line, it becomes a freakin Idaho sized potato!E6122066-1040-49EF-95BA-EEB6993B4CF8

Not that I wasn’t going to the gym as much as possible, but when your work schedule consists of night meetings and there is NO WAY IN HELL you are going to the gym before work (more specifically before coffee!), you have to make the tough decisions – and the decision was made to skip the gym when I wasn’t home before 9:30.

Anywho, back to the gym, staying strong on the diet, more water throughout the day – you know, all of the things you do to get the metabolism moving faster.

3557ED09-112C-464C-9AA9-2E215E6DFDE0So weigh in day… wear thin clothes, take off shoes and jewelry, go pee before hand (we all know we do this!) and of course I was back to a flat 5lbs lost. dang it! So close, yet sooo far!

I know it wasn’t the goal I set, I know there were other people who made it, but you know what else I know – I know I tried. I know I got back on the wagon. Most of all, I remembered how much I missed being at the gym and how good it feels to know there is a change happening. I don’t have to lose 7.6lbs in a month to be successful – I just have to know I am doing the right things and treating myself right in the process.

So… BEB048F2-42D7-4F9E-BF33-05E0EECF04DC

Good – I lost 5 lbs and spent time in the gym again

Bad – I didn’t meet the goal set out for me.

Ugly – I lost freakin $20 in the processes… guess that is the price of a lesson learned?

Either way, this journey of #becomingabetterme is no where near over, and I consider this a #nonscalevictory – learning took place, and isn’t that what life is all about?

 

28 – 1 Week

BA16272A-5CC4-45DA-A96C-4F81DA13A0FCIts one week until weigh in. Am I nervous… absolutely.  I have already stated that I do not really feel comfortable in competitions, especially when it comes to weight loss. I have had several issues when it comes to losing weight quickly. I have to really just put my head down and plow through it. Not worrying about time frames, or deadlines, or even the $20 I put in to see if I could do it… Anywho, I have tried to make these last three weeks count. I do not know if I will make it, but what I can tell you about this last 21 days is this:

I have not had any desserts (really freakin hard)

I have limited my bread intake

I have gone to the gym 2-3 times a week

I have taken the stairs 4 of the 5 days each week (exceptions are when I am with others or carrying more than one bag… too stinkin heavy)

I have had ZERO ice cream

I have been trying to do better about getting my full 7-8 hours of sleep

I have been drinking a lot of water, but I have actually tried to drink more around bedtime (which is supposed to help with digestions)

CE674883-410E-453E-959D-E069327313E1Although a short list, it is still a list of things I have done to give a try to this 4% weight loss. Even if it isn’t enough I have still lost 5lbs in this last few weeks… With only 2.6 lbs to go, I am going to give it a serious college try to get that $20 back!

On a side note… I have been on this journey for about three and a half four years now and to see how things have been going, I did a side by side of start to present…

#becomingabetterme #stillonthisjourney #Iamnotdoneyet

 

Damn, My Butt Hurts!

258DE429-E455-4F21-B142-2C198C6F5F38You laugh, but I am feeling it!

It has been a long time (too long in fact) since I actually got to go to the gym multiple times in one week. Well, with the healthy life style change at everyone at the office and the 28/4% challenge, it was time to allow peer pressure to be the foot to the butt I needed.

I went to the gym last Thursday and decided I would push (or punish, whichever word you think is better) myself with some slow and stead incline. My mile took me 22 mins because I did slow my pace, but I felt it.

Then there was the weekend… those days, lets not talk about those days.

Bringing on Monday, I didn’t want to, but I had to go with the elliptical. (for those of you not aware, please go waaaayyy back to the beginning of my blog and look up Fraidy Cat. In a nutshell, I hate the elliptical – more than I hate Monday with no coffee, and I HATE both Mondays and no coffee!) Treadmills were full and I really felt like going to the bike would be like starting over or cheating. So I got on. Not 100% comfortable with being there, but hey, you go with what’s available right? So I got to the half mile mark and nodded because I hadn’t died and I was actually making really good time. For posterity and my own reference, I snapped my picture – 14.48…what the heck? Really??!

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I stewed on it on the way home and was pretty sure I had never gotten under 14.50. When I finally had a chance to go back and look I was right! My best mile at that point was 14.51! So woot to me! I PR’d on a random Monday!

Then last night I had a board meeting… allll the way on the north side even. I knew it was going to be late, but when I got done and pulled in my drive way at 9:40, no one was home so I quickly changed clothes, hopped back in the car and scooted off to the gym again. Apparently having a “suck it elliptical attitude from the get go really gets the competitive juices flowing – I PR’d AGAIN! New one mile time 14.43!!

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By the time I got done I was pretty well spent and knew I still needed a shower and bed since it was still a work night. I got home around 10:45, hopped in the showed, dryed my hair and then straight to bed.

Kicking the elliptical square in the tail feathers really got my tail feather going. I am truly sore, but blissfully happy about it! So, for those of you looking at the clock, it is 7:49 on a random Tuesday and sore tired butt is going right back to the gym to do it all over again!

This #becomingabetterme takes some work, and I ready to do my part tonight!

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28 days and 4%

CBCD8828-E4E2-4271-AE19-20B32A46787AI have been on this journey now for over 3 years, and since the beginning, I have only been progressing. Never really put any time frames on it, just worked on me and at a pace I felt comfortable with. Well, I have taken it to the next level.

I know I have done several races and that they are technically “challenges against others” but they were more about the personal experience and how well I did each of the challenges and how after more and more 5Ks, my times got better with every race, and even more than that I could do it. I had the strength and endurance to finish without dying. OK, OK… so dying was not something that I thought was really going to happen…. but the first couple I struggled my way to the finish line. The more I did, the easier they got of course. Point is, I have never really done challenges against others.

As of Tuesday, that changed. The perk of working for a company that cares about the mental, financial, and PHYSCAL health of its employees is the fun cool ways to make the atmosphere better.  So, here is where the 28/4 comes in…

We started a challenge that is more fair than BIGGEST LOSER and less scary than P90X. At the start of the 28 days we weighed in (there was one person who saw the weight, so it never had to be posted or said out loud, then the goal is to lose 4% of your total weight. Although it is still about MY progress, the rest of the story is there is money involved… so I had to put $20 (with the bossman matching that money) as a sign that I believe I will not only meet my goal, but will be the only one to do it.

The truth is, I would love to see everyone succeed, but as always, I am scared that I wont. I know I should not be that way and have exceeded several of my own expectations, but again… those were all on my own, this time there are others involved.

So, 5 days in and I am down 3.(something) lbs.. hoping to post something new in roughly 25 days just to say I succeeded. Either way, if I am looking for silver lining, then it would be to say that I am trying something else new….

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When I Grow Up…

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You can always tell how I feel in the AM based on my level of make up, whether my hair is done just right, or even the shoes that I wear. Today was one of those days… very little make up, jeans and tennies, and my hair was (at best) brushed. Just was not into Tuesday – and no amount of coffee was going to change that.
Then it happened. My lunch with Jenn.
We opted for the Garden Table since they have vegan meals there. I was super happy about that because the atmosphere there is always open and easy.
As we started talking about the current events in our lives, our conversation took a serious turn. I would almost call it the “What I want to be when I grow up” conversation. We discussed the whys and what fors of our lives and where and how we wanted to get there…. She shared with me the arguments she has with herself and I told her about mine. With ZERO sarcasm, I can say it really was a wonderful time.

Heart to heart
Now that I am back at work (shhh… don’t tell that I typing this and not working, but I HAD to get this pen to paper so to speak), I have had a chance to breath it all in.
This journey of #becomingabetterme has basically been my WHY. When I started the healthy living, exercise, and self-discovery path, I knew I wanted to share with others the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it takes to be a better Heather, but I wanted to show the world that if I could do it, anyone could. How is that a WHY, you might ask – well to me its simple… I want to be a positive light in someone else’s life. I want to show the world that it is possible to achieve your goals – even if it takes a life time, and I want to show the world that this ol’ dog learned some tricks, and will continue to do so!
It is not every day that you get to have a heart to heart with a dear friend, and even more that you don’t get to have a conversation that makes you think seriously about who you are to the core.


I know that I am not perfect, I know that I never will be – but I am happy with myself. I still have a ways go, but I am #becomingabetterme and I am learning a little more each day about the Heather I want to be.
Thank you Jenn for reminding me to look at the reasons in life, and I look forward to seeing your perspective, as we continue on this journey of life and #becomingabetterme(s).

End of 2017 – So, I am a Procrastinator

23167755_10214107506502267_2724069446111979931_nIf I had to rank 2017 on my “Top years of my life” I would say it was not in the Top 10… Not the Top 20 even. 2017 was really a rough year for me. Especially on the heels of 2016, which happened to be freaking amazing. Do not get me wrong, there were good times, I am not saying it was all bad, but it was very challenging and there were several changes.

You already know about the cruise (highlight), Kokomo experience (low), job change (highlight and scary experience), but you dont know about is the way the year ended… including how I ended the Log Blog – Making the Miles Count. The last post was in September, so Oct – Dec are a mystery to you…. did I make it to my 500 Miles in 2017?! Short answer: YES I DID!

October was a very “walkie” month for me as I spent a lot of time with vendors walking my properties and getting quotes, so I got in roughly 65 miles that month. Then November we decided we were going to start looking for a bigger house so we started heavy duty packing, purging, and cleaning – racked up 80 miles that month. (I believe most of those steps were to and from the trash can as I purged WAY more than my hubs expected!) Then December – another crazy month! With the Christmas season we had a tree to fill so there was a lot of mall walking, and still more cleaning, and then once our house was on the market – we had to find something to do during showings, so those hours we window shopped a lot.  Grand total of miles for Dec was 68 miles.

So for my Log Blog – I succeed. I am proud of that.

What I am not proud of is how in all of the chaos and I let ME get away from me. The person who goes to the gym to release the stress, the person who take a challenge head on (even if I talk about how I dont want to do it and am scared, I still move forward), and the me who learned what it felt like to healthy and happy at the same time and not allow myself to eat my feelings… that girl got lost in 2017.

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I guess as I sit here and reflect on what all happened at the end of 2017, I have to give myself a bit of a truth biscuit to chew on… maybe a glass of water so I dont choke on the crumbs, because although I did fall back a few steps (and gained back a few more lbs than I wanted to), I did make it HERE. To the new house, still at (and loving) the new job, with new adventures in front of me. Not only that, but I am back at the gym at least 2 times a week. I am seriously thinking about finding a new Mr T… or maybe this time I will go with a Mrs T? A trainer with a different perspective on exercise, someone to learn more from – or even to build on what my 1st Mr T taught me.  Who knows, I am unpredictable after all 🙂

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I guess to sum up my 2017 – not my finest year… but hey, just like on the spartan course, there are hills and there are valleys… I consider 2017 a hill… a muddy, slopped, rocky, and never ending hill… I just need to look at 2018 as the slide down the other side and continue on this journey of #becomingabetterme and make this year what I want of it!

 

Truth Seekers…

I know, I know I have not posted in awhile… I am sorry. I have about 3 other posts waiting for me to finish. Including my Hello November and Hello December as well as a year end recap and an in between about a really good friend of mine. I promise, I will get them out really soon… but right now I want to talk about Truth Seekers.

Before I start this post, I feel it is important to mention I do not think I am a fitness expert or a dietitian extraordinaire, but what I can say is I am someone who has been there. Someone who has asked the questions and learned from doing. That is why I feel the need to share my experiences for those who might currently be in the shoes I wore at the beginning of this journey.

truth

Most recently I got an email about how a friend felt like they “failed” at CrossFit. First, my opinion is if you can handle 5 mins of CrossFit you are SOOO not a failure! You might be crazy, but a failure – you are not!

My words to my friend were simple:

Who cares if you didnt finish the full work out? If the answer is anyone but YOU then your answer is wrong. You are not in competition with anyone but yourself, therefore no other opinion should matter.

When you do CrossFit, do you do more each time you go? If the answer is YES, then you know in your heart you are on the right path.

I went on to say: If you dont see improvement, then start a journal. If this week’s CrossFit routine is 100 box jumps and 200 jumping jacks and 100 burpees (etc with the crazy work out routine) and this time you did 10 box jumps and 20 jumping jacks and 1 burpee then great. Next week when you do 15 box jumps, 40 jumping jacks and 2 burpees… well, you improved! You just bested your best.. and next week you will best your best’s best! 🙂

My friend was happy with that answer… because it was the truth and they needed to hear that.

When I started the journey of#becomingabetterme I was a truth seeker. I thought at first, I was looking for approval or acknowledgement of my small accomplishment, and maybe to start I was, but ultimately I wanted someone to point out that I was really moving forward… and this is me telling you, friend, you are moving forward. You are doing great. Just keep on moving and when it is your turn to help another Truth Seeker, just remember your journey and how you felt in this moment.

Good, Bad… and this is ugly!

23658908_10214217539653027_3554832594961421350_nI have been on this venture for over two years now and I have finally figured out the UGLY. It isn’t the pain you feel when you roll out of bed the morning after a hard work out. It isn’t seeing the most gorgeous chocolate cake with the glossiest of chocolate icing and knowing it isn’t on your diet. It isn’t even knowing that although you made it over one of the walls in a Spartan Race, but knowing you have a minimum of 6 more to go. No. its none of those things.

Its the knowledge that you let time, obstacles, and life get in the way and the scales tells you that you have seriously let yourself go. The pain of knowing that you are the only reason things are this way is YOU. Its your fault… your bad… your mistake. Its all you!!!

Yup. I stepped on the scale and saw it. All that work, all those gym trips, the disciple and strength – wasted.  It is so sad to think that I was ok with the excuses.

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Mr T kicked my butt enough for me to know what I need to do and I damn well better get back into it!

I am not saying that I am 100% on the right path, but I have gotten a new battery for my garmin, started food tracking again on Fitness Pal, and even have plans to gym it up several times this week. I cannot keep backsliding. I was far to happy seeing the positive results I was getting – and I am not throwing it all away now!

I need help people, I have to get the drive and desire to #becomingabetterme back… I need a fire under my ass, I need a push… I need someone to yell at me and keep me going – not someone handing me chips while I sit on the couch to watch a movie! I am begging you, my readers to be that! Send me a text, give me a call, challenge me! Help me get back to #becomingabetterme

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