Hobbling around the summertime

by Christine on June 10th, 2015

filed under Christine's Life Updates

It’s now June 2015, and it’s been a few months, so I thought I would give an update.

So you know how the last 6-9 months have been pretty crap for me? Well, I got to add some more crap on top of it. Nothing so bad as my band getting ripped out, or my dad dying. If nothing else, those three months gave me some serious perspective. Some things just aren’t as bad as having one of your family members pass away, you know what I mean?

No. Things aren’t that bad, but they continue to be not-so-great. In February hubby and I were skiing in the Adirondacks. I was having a great ski day…you know, really getting the hang of it? And so I thought I would try to conquer a BLACK DIAMOND.

Boy, that was dumb. About 8 feet down the sucker, I slipped on some ice and trashed my knee. It turns out I tore my ACL. And, as I’ve learned, the ACL is pretty important for things like: exercise, losing weight, going down stairs, and in general doing fun things in life like volleyball, rollerblading, playing pickleball, skiing, and other such things. My doc said I COULD live without an ACL. Many people do. But I would basically need to live a sedentary life. I said, “screw that!” and so I scheduled surgery. No way am I going to live life in an armchair. There’s a lot of the world left for me to explore! People to meet! Things to do! Adventures to be had!

Thus, I got to experience my second surgery in the space of 9 months. Let me tell you….even though the general recovery time for ACL surgery is longer and harder than gastric-band-removal-surgery, the fact that this healed quickly and has been pretty textbook has been SOOO MUCH EASIER. OMG. No infection and subsequent hospital visits. Everything is cool. I can’t quite go down my stairs at home, but you know…perspective. I’m on-track, I’m doing well, and I’ll “get there” in due time.

Here is a picture of an ACL. It’s the thing that keeps your knee together, more or less.

I just started physical therapy and had my first real appointment yesterday. That was interesting. I’ll update a bit more about that in a few days.

You know, I can’t help but feel and wonder if tearing my ACL in February had anything to do with fairly dramatic and rapid weight GAIN since my gastric band has come out. I guess I’ll never know, but I can’t help but feel like there’s a correlation there.

In the meantime…I’ve actually gained NO WEIGHT in the three weeks since ACL surgery! Isn’t that something?!  On the other hand, I’m about 42 pounds up from my Goal/Low Weight. Sigh. You know what that means: new wardrobe. Chafing when wearing dresses. Fat rolls when you sit down. Bathing suit season. OMG!

The week before my surgery, hubby and I took a much-needed vacation to Mexico. He actually surprised me with the trip for my birthday? Isn’t that fantastic? Even with a torn ACL, we managed to squeeze in a bajillion fun adventures–nothing too knee intensive. We went snorkeling (I got to pet a wild sea turtle!), we went snorkeling in an underground cave, we went to Tulum, we went rappelling and zip lining, and we went deep sea fishing. I caught a HUGE 43 inch, 20 pound Blue Wahoo! Fantastic!!!  When I was reeling that sucker in, I felt my dad’s presence pretty strongly. It was cool. He would have thought going deep sea fishing was fun. Pics below…and you can see my weight gain. *sigh*

About 2 days after we got back from Mexico, I went to Manhattan with some friends of mine, including my therapist. (I know, what a weird life I lead, that I socialize and go on trips with my therapist? HAHA! But, talk about “ultimate therapy;” he can help me so much more now that we’re closer friends!!) It turns out we did about 10+ miles of walking on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And it also turns out that I was sick from my trip to Mexico (Montezuma’s Revenge + a cold + ACL torn) and it turns out that I was SO FREAKING EXHAUSTED from that trip. OMG. So much walking. I was pretty much delirious the entire time. Our hotel overlooked the World Trade Center site though, so that was cool. (I know you’re wondering, and no no. Boys in one room, Betty and I in another room!)

 

Then I had my surgery 2 days later, after all that romping around. I’m healing up now. Trying to get eating under control. Trying not to balloon up any more than I already am. Better watch out: With my new bionic knee, I’m going to be kicking ass and taking names pretty soon here!

So I wanted to mention this also: Since the beginning of the year, hubby has been losing weight, exercising, and training for a Spartan race later this fall. He’s been doing so amazingly! I’m so proud of him! I admit, I’m a little sad that I can’t be exercising alongside him these past few months, but I am cheering him on nonetheless! This weekend hubby participated in his first 5K/mud/obstacle course race thing. The team’s time was deplorable, but they had a great time playing in the mud and busting out the teamwork to finish the course. I’m super proud of hubby for doing it! I can’t wait to cheer him on at the Spartan Race this fall!

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2 Year Maintenance Anniversary

by Christine on December 28th, 2012

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

Hello Revolutionists! Is everyone enjoying this holiday season?

I realize that it has been a while since I’ve posted! The reason for this is mainly because I haven’t really had a lot to talk about with regards to my gastric band and weight loss. In fact, I seem to be holding steady with my weight loss and doing pretty well overall, which is great!

A few months ago (October/November) I started to notice a change in my eating patterns. First, I was eating a lot more quantity than I normally would, and the food wasn’t making me feel “full.” Secondly, I stopped snacking throughout the day and was relying only on 3 larger meals per day.  Thirdly, I was having less barfing episodes and blockage.

And…the scale was going up. Just a little bit, but enough to make me start to panic a little. (My “goal weight” is 125 pounds, and I was at about 133 pounds at this point.) So I made an appointment with my surgeon’s office and had a fill. It had been a year since my last fill, so he gave me about 1.0 ccs — a big fill!!

Although it’s not my “sweet spot” and where I want to be — I think I need another medium-sized adjustment to get there — it has made a big difference. I’m eating less, feeling fuller for longer.  And my weight has crept back down. I was at 127.0 this morning: right within my maintenance zone!

I still haven’t picked up my exercise the way that I should, but that’s not to say that I’ve been entirely sedentary. I’ve been doing a vigorous yoga class every Sunday morning. When I say “vigorous,” I mean, it’s a class designed for INSTRUCTORS of yoga, who know what they’re doing. We do crazy arm balances and contortions of the type that you see on magazine covers. It’s really hard, but really fun!

Other than yoga, I am not doing anything on a regular basis, but I keep busy with miscellaneous activities. This fall I was rollerblading and hiking a bit. This weekend I am going to start downhill skiing on a regular basis through the winter.

My weight has adjusted on my body; that is to say, my body shape is changing. My Size 4 pants are fitting a little tight on me…it seems that my hips and butt have taken on some weight. So it’s a Size 6 for me. I’m trying not to stress out about this because it’s not like the scale has dramatically gone up. I keep telling myself that it’s normal for my weight to re-position itself on my body after losing so much weight, like it needed a “settling in” period.  That being said, I feel like this is a less than optimal change.

And I’ve been busy with some trips this fall, too! I ran away to Jamaica for an overnight trip with a friend, I spent a weekend in San Antonio, I took the hubby to a relaxing weekend in Lake Placid, and we spent Thanksgiving in Atlantic City. We have a lot of exciting trips planned in the next few months as well: a ski trip, a weekend in Boston, a few weeks in the UK, etc. I can’t wait!

Here are some pictures of the last few months, to show that I’m still in my maintenance zone!

Last but not least…a friend of mine had the gastric sleeve surgery just a few days before Christmas! Good luck with your journey, Karen! I can’t wait to see your progress!

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My first official 5k run/walk!

by Christine on May 18th, 2012

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

Yesterday I participated in my FIRST official 5k run/walk!  I walked, so my time isn’t impressive, but what’s important is that I did it and finished it! It was a workplace team challenge, and I competed with my co-workers. Afterwards we all went out for a beer. It was a fun time!

Weight holding steady at 126. I’m pleased about that!

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Fun weekend hiking & enjoying the fall colors

by Christine on October 10th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

It was a very busy weekend for me, and I got lots of weird exercise in, which is great! It’s my favorite kind of exercise…the kind that happens by happenstance!

Saturday the hubby and I headed off to the Herkimer Diamond Mine. It’s a real working quarry where you bust up rocks and search for diamonds. (They aren’t real diamonds of course–just high quality quartz.) We weren’t overly successful and only found a few super teeny tiny diamonds. Still, the process of hammering the hell out of rocks for three hours was interesting, fun in a weird way, and great for some upper body exercise! Three hours of that burned about 1,000 calories!

Sunday we went for a hike with a group of the hubby’s friends. We went up Buck Mountain, overlooking Lake George. It was a somewhat difficult hike (very difficult for the three newbie hikers in our group), very warm, but with fantastic views at the top!  Four hours of hiking burned maybe 1300 calories for me…not bad! It was just under a 7 mile hike, 2,000 foot elevation. Not one of the tallest peaks in the Adirondacks, but it was a very steady and unrelenting climb.

I was one of the carpool drivers, and man, driving after a long hike is really tough! All you want to do is kick off your hiking boots and sleep a little! I had a five-hour energy and some carrots and tried to make do.

After we went home and showered we all met back up at one of the friends’ house. Everyone had pizza (boo, I can’t have pizza! So I had some cereal at home before going over there) and played board games. I left early because I was pretty dang sleepy!

Today it’s Columbus Day and I don’t have the day off. I’m at work, but I’m feeling pretty tired. I don’t think it’ll be a very productive day at work!

Weight today was unsurprisingly down a little bit! 127.0 today, hooray!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

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Supersize Vs. Superskinny

by Christine on September 6th, 2011

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

Has anyone caught that British show Supersize vs. Superskinny (it was on the OWN channel this weekend)? Apparently it’s been around since 2008, but I hadn’t heard of it or seen it before.  It was kind of an interesting show!

In the show, they take one underweight person and match them up with an overweight person, all while parading them in front of the camera repeatedly in their underwear for continual shock value. For two weeks they make the people swap meal plans. During that time they undergo nutritional counseling to tell them why their original diets don’t work for them and how to eat more healthfully.

The show also had some other segments, such as exploring different fad diets and exercise programs that are out there and measures their effectiveness. The show also quizzes average people about their knowledge of nutrition, such as “what plate has the most calories?”

Some things I thought were interesting:

  • Skinny people often eat crappy junk foods. They aren’t necessarily skinny because they eat nothing but fresh lettuce and veggies. Similarly, overweight people often eat a more well-rounded assortment of healthy foods.
  • With overweight people, it seems like the biggest issue that they needed to wrap their heads around was the concept of portion control. Again, their food choices were by and large pretty good, but it was just the quantity of food that was out of control. Once they embraced smaller portions, the weight started to fall off.
  • Strangely, exercise wasn’t really covered with either of the two superfat or superskinny subjects.
  • I guess I personally was surprised that the superskinny person was dissatisfied with their body shape. As someone that has battled obesity all her life, I’ve constantly quested for thin! thin! thin! It seems mind-boggling to me that a thin person might not want to be thin.  Similarly, I have a hard time seeing “too thin” as a problem. I see a dangerously bone-thin person and still feel jealous longing for that kind of body shape. I wonder if this will ever change.
  • An extraordinary number of people are unaware of how many calories are in the food that they are eating. How good are you at estimating the calories in the foods available to you at restaurants, parties, in your workplace lunchroom, etc?
  • It seems that fat diets, although risky for many reasons, including medically risky, often seem to work. In the fad diet they examined, the person lost weight. In the fad exercise, the people lost weight. The problem with these diets is that they are hard to stick to and often cause people to binge out of control because they are hungry. The fad exercise programs (such as a specialized body vacuum while exercising) work but seems too expensive for an average person to use long-term.
  • British people seem far more okay with being abused about their body shape on tv. I think American women would be sobbing for the way the tv show hosts abuse them. And they took random people off the street and paraded them in front of the cameras, too! I don’t think that Americans are as comfortable with their body shape and would not be likely to volunteer to do that. I wonder why there is such a sociological difference in our body perception and comfort level with our bodies?

Perplexingly, although the schtick of the show is to get the superfat and superskinnies to swap food while telling them how problematic each meal plan is. It seems hardly appropriate to give extreme meal plans to anyone–especially under the guidance of registered dieticians–much less people whose bodies are clearly not used to that kind of extreme change.

As we jump into September, let’s all take a moment to stop and re-evaluate how much food we are eating at any given sitting. Remember to measure and weigh your foods to keep yourself honest! Remember to eat off of small plates so you don’t fill the urge to “fill up” larger sized plates!

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