Canoeing and having fun with friends

by Christine on May 16th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

Calories burned canoeing (moderate) = 413 per hour (130 pound woman)

Calories burned canoeing (vigorous) = 708 per hour (130 pound woman)

Well, I can’t say that I really canoed all that moderately. While we have gone whitewater canoeing before, we did not this time. Mostly I sat back in my chair and sipped on a diet coke and laughed at friends acting goofy. We were out for about three hours. But it was rather chilly out, so perhaps I made up for the lack of exercise by shivering? I also helped haul the canoes on and off the cars and in and out of the water.

Read about last autumn’s canoeing trip with my cat here!

Thursday after work I went to the driving range to work on my golf swing. Man, it was a good thing I did because I was seriously out of practice! I hit two big buckets of balls and spent about an hour and a half swinging. I’ve been incredibly sore since then, mostly in my quads (100 squats!) and my back (swinging).  On Friday I played golf for work and mostly sucked, but had a great time anyway!

Calories burned at the driving range = 177 per hour (130 pound woman)

Calories burned golfing with golf cart = 207 per hour (130 pound woman)

It doesn’t sound like a lot of exercise, but it adds up!  My point is this: You don’t have to be miserable sweating behind a treadmill to get some exercise! You should find some excuse to get outside and PLAY! Have fun! Giggle a lot.  It’s funny how exercise creeps up on you while you’re doing that!

I’m excited for my upcoming trip to Las Vegas! This is my reward for reaching my goal weight, and I’m proud to say that since reaching my goal in December, I have managed to keep my weight off for five months! That’s something to celebrate!

I also bought a new pair of downhill skis at a garage sale this weekend! $25 for a really nice, only gently-used pair of skis. I can’t wait to take the out for a whirl this winter!

I should get my rollerblades back from the cycling store this week, too. I desperately needed new wheels put on them. I haven’t replaced the wheels since purchasing the blades 10 years ago in Paris. I can’t wait to rollerblade at lunchtime when the weather gets nicer!

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An update from Emily

by Christine on May 13th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

As for me, I’ve been a total headcase. This week I had an ultrasound done which was far more…invasive…and uncomfortable than I would have imagined. The ultrasound technician asked me a number of questions that made me uncomfortable and then left me with zero indication of what might be wrong, what they might have seen, etc. I know this is typical protocol for ultrasound technicians, but the experience as a whole has left me ringing with anxiety.

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Panic! at the Doctor: A Girl’s Saga

by Christine on May 10th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Yesterday was a terribly traumatizing day for me.  But it involves a little bit of backstory, I guess, in order to understand why I was such a headcase. This information is not easy for me to share–I really would prefer to keep it private–but if I can help even one person who is going through a similar situation, then I will consider it worth while sharing my experience.

…deep breath…

While we were on our vacation a week or so ago, I experienced an irregular period. It came 2 weeks early (so I didn’t have anything on hand) and there was a lot of bleeding and clotting. A LOT of clotting. Enormous amounts of it.

My lovely girlfriends here online, on my forum, (who do such a great job of looking out for me, thank you so much for all you do!) suggested strongly that I go to see my doctor to discuss this strangeness.

Now, I have the most awesome General Physician (GP) on the planet. Truly, the woman is amazing and dispels all the myths of modern-day, uncaring doctors.  I do not, on the other hand, have a OBGYN doctor. I have never been to an OBGYN. I’ve never had a pap smear or any other girlie-exam.

…deep breath…

I’m terrified to, to be honest. When I was younger…much, much younger…I was abused. Emotionally, physically and yes, even sexually. This abuse absolutely and positively has to do with my disordered relationship with food. My abused past has a direct impact on my past weight gain.  Because of my bad memories and PTSD, I have avoided going to see a gyno. Oh, certainly a great deal of my anxiety is natural–I’m worried about being embarrassed, about it hurting, and about what they might find while they’re down there investigating. God forbid something actually be wrong down there! I know, my past is even more reason to see a gyno, but whenever I have picked up the phone to make an appointment, I’ve had a total breakdown and panic attack.  I can’t do it.

I’ve talked to my GP about my fear before, and while she has voiced her concern about my adamant refusal to see an OGBYN, she has also been incredibly understanding and supportive. A few years ago she offered to do the exam herself because I thoroughly trust her, and she also offered to sedate with me to make me a little more comfortable. I thanked her for the offer and told her “no,” that I wasn’t ready for that.

Well, with my funky period–not to mention being hugely overdue for a routine exam–I think it is time to face my fears.

Yesterday I made an appointment with Doctor Awesomeness, my GP, to tell her what happened and to ask her what I should do now.  I feared that she would want to do an exam right there, right then, but I was mentally prepared to let the exam happen. I am ready to face my fears. All day at work, I had one anxiety attack after another. I was shaking, hyperventilating at times. I broke down with uncontrolled tears a few times; I got diarrhea from my nerves.  I kept telling myself to calm down, that it is “no big deal” and reminded myself that I didn’t even know what Doctor Awesomeness was going to tell me.  I tried to eat some chicken noodle soup for lunch, but had zero appetite. I dry heaved in the bathroom.

Finally, at 4 pm, I had my doctor’s appointment. Doctor Awesomeness held my shaking hands as I told her what was going on. We had a long conversation about my fears, but I told her I was okay with letting her do the exam. She was so accommodating–she wrote me a prescription for a sedative, offered to come into the office even outside of regular hours so long as it accommodated my schedule, told me exactly what I could expect and what would happen. She is very straight-forward and honest, but also incredibly empathetic and understanding. She never once belittled or diminished how I felt. She never told me that I was being irrational about nothing. No; she just held my hand and gave me options, promised to take care of me, and offered to do anything she could to make me comfortable.

She told me that the funky period sounds like a miscarriage, but it could also be fibroids or something else happening on my girlie-organs. She wants me to go in for an ultrasound as well, just to see if there are any growths or abnormalities going on down there.  She will also do a blood test because she said the thyroid could possibly cause irregular menstrual cycles, and I do have a history of having a wacky, under-productive thyroid.

In the end, all of my worrying yesterday was for nothing, but now I have two more appointments to panic over. I will be very glad when these doctors visits are over with.

I surprised myself with one enormous change in mindset yesterday. When I was younger (in my teens and 20s) and adamant about never seeing a OBGYN, my mindset was this: “If I go to the OBGYN and nothing is wrong, I had to go through enormous amounts of emotional trauma for absolutely nothing, which is ridiculous. If I go to the doctor and something IS wrong, it means I’ll have to experience more and more trauma, more and more doctor’s appointments. I would honestly rather die than go through that emotional nightmare!”

But that was then. This is now. My mindset yesterday was, “I love my life, I love my husband, I love my new self, and I want to do everything I can to make sure I’m here to enjoy tomorrow, even if it means going through a little emotional distress.”

That’s a pretty significant transformation, and I really think my weight loss has a lot to do with it. I feel like I value myself more in this new body. I’m happier, too. It’s really amazing to see the ways in which weight loss affects you, and not just physically.

By the way, today is my 3rd wedding Anniversary! Happy Anniversary, Husband! I love you very, very much.

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A nice relaxing weekend & a fashion change

by Christine on May 9th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition, General Information

Wow, I don’t often get to say that I had a relaxing weekend, but I did! Now, I wasn’t lazy (not by any stretch of the imagination!)…I got a lot of work done, but I also got plenty of R&R time in as well.  Friday I went to the mall for a little “me-time,” followed by a grocery store run.  Saturday I did a ton of yardwork and got my vegetable garden started. In the evening we watched the Boston Celtics kick some basketball butt. On Sunday we took my Mother-in-Law and Father-In-Law to Olana, an historic home near Hudson, New York.  It was Mother’s Day as well as a my Father in law’s birthday! We did the house tour followed by a picnic outside on the grounds. It was very nice! Last night we had friends come over to watch A Game of Thrones HBO mini-series.

A fashion change

This past week I was sitting on the couch catching up on some Biggest Loser re-runs. I keep saying that I’m going to stop watching TBL, but I can’t seem to let it go. I think I have a hard time giving it up because I still relate to the mindset of the contestants going through this major physical change. I’ve lost the same amount of weight as a lot of the female contestants on the show, and it’s a big, big change!  This year the makeover show really did a great job…the women looked better than ever in their ballgowns! I remember the change, when it became possible to wear beautiful clothes and finally feel pretty in them. I was a bit overwhelmed and cried my head off on the couch.

Mostly, I remember shopping for my wedding dress.  I really wanted a beautiful wedding dress that I would look amazing in. Instead, I was so fat I couldn’t fit into any of the dresses in the store.I never felt so completely ugly and worthless as I did when I was shopping for my wedding dress. In the end I sold myself completely short by getting a JC Penny Prom Dress. When I was watching the Biggest Loser Episode, I remembered that miserable dress experience, and I was so happy that they all looked so beautiful in their formalwear.

On Friday night I went to the mall to go shopping. I’ve been fitting into a Size 2 or 4 lately, and it’s been so exciting to buy clothes in this ridiculously small size. Trying on clothes is a radically different experience these days, too! I can pick anything off the rack and it fits; the question is now “Do I like this item of clothing” instead of “does this fit me okay?”  It a much different shopping experience.

On Friday I bought a dress in a Size 6, and for once I was actually okay buying something a little bigger than I normally wear. I mean, don’t we all get wrapped up in what size we are and the number on that tag? I remember when I was bigger and I was wearing a Size 22, there was no way in hell I would buy any piece of clothing bigger than a 22. No way jose. I couldn’t bring myself to accept the fact that I was REALLY a Size 24 or 26 (at least in that particular style of clothing). No, it was either a 22 or less; no comprimising on that subject.

These days, the size on the tag is becoming less and less important to me. I know I look good and I feel healthy. I’m active and I can do all the things that I like to do. My clothes fit me; I haven’t gained any weight. The Size 6 doesn’t define me: it doesn’t mean that I’m gaining my weight back.

It was a very strange mindset change when it comes to fashion!

Really, this whole past year has been quite revolutionary for me when it comes to fashion. Probably the biggest change is that I CARE: I do my hair every day, even do my makeup a few times a week. I wear cute clothes and accessorize when I can. When I was overweight I felt ugly, and that definitely reflected in my fashion image. I was lucky if I showered at all; I just put my hair up every day. I never did my makeup, and I wore big baggy clothes that were comfortable rather than clothes that actually fit my body shape.

Lots of changes!

Food and diet updates

I’m still doing okay with my food and diet.  Friday I had had a salad for lunch and ate my leftover salad for dinner. (One “normal” size salad order at a restaurant can last me 3-4 meals!)  Saturday I made meatballs & sauce for lunch, then we had ice cream for dinner.  Sunday we had a picnic for lunch (I had hummus & pita bread, a few vegetables, a little fresh fruit salad, with sparkling grape juice) and for dinner we made homemade pizza (I had 1 slice).  Fresh popcorn (no butter) for a snack!

My weight goes up and down, but still stays within the range.

Here are some photos of our outing to Olana yesterday. Aren’t my in-laws adorable???

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Cinco de Mayo Factoids

by Christine on May 5th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

  1. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the day Mexican forces defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  This was a big deal because at that time the French hadn’t been defeated in 50 years. The French had double the amount of troops & better weapons but the Mexicans beat them anyway. Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico’s independence day.
  2. People in Mexico don’t really celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I think Americans do mainly because it’s an excuse to drink, but also because had the French won the battle in the 1860s and established a territory in Mexico, they would have supplied our Confederate troops and eventually helped to tear the USA apart during our Civil War.
  3. Time Magazine reported that Cinco de Mayo as a holiday gained popularity in the 1940s during the Chicano movement, but the United Press International claims that it didn’t gain popularity until the 1970s or 1980s when the food and beverage industry really latched onto it.
  4. The island of Malta in the Mediterranean is also a big supporter of the Cinco de Mayo holiday. That’s kind of random, isn’t it?

So there you go! There’s some Cinco de Mayo trivia for you today.

Are you going to celebrate the holiday today? If so, how?

What are you doing to stay on track with your dieting today and during all the upcoming holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc)?

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