Wednesday, 28 January 2015

When your trainer breaks...


Trainer Jamie is broken.

A week ago today, he tore his bicep doing a 'human flagpole' - something that looks super-impressive but is a typical move for my superhuman husband-trainer.

Needless to say it's been a long week.

Wednesday was spent in the hospital waiting to be seen.  After 8 hours, two ultrasounds, and many ice packs, it was determined that his distal biceps tendon was completely torn off the bone, and there was muscle tearing as well.

My first thought was, "Man, is this guy ever tough.  He rips a muscle right off a bone and calls it a 4/10 for pain."

Selfishly, my second thought was, "What the hell are we going to do without our trainer?  What the hell am I going to do at home without his help?"

Thursday went without incident most of the day.  Jamie was home with his arm up, waiting for the call for surgery, which we were told would come between 7 and 10 days,  Privately I wanted to strangle the doctors - how can they even think of making someone wait that long?? - but outwardly I remained calm.  Between sleeping and taking his pain medication, Jamie was in good spirits.

Thursday night, however, was a different story.  Suddenly, at bedtime, his hand began to go numb.  The colour of the arm, which had been normal until that night, was beginning to look purple and constricted, and his fingers were growing colder by the minute.

We rushed back to the hospital and were seen right away.  The doctor on call (bless her heart) had enough sense to realize that Jamie was at risk for having compartment syndrome, a condition that is rare for the upper limbs, but extremely serious.  If he indeed had compartment syndrome, he would have to undergo emergency surgery to relieve the pressure built up in the arm, or risk losing tissue.  Worst case scenario would have him lose the entire limb, said the doctor.

While we waited frantically for the head orthopedic surgeon to arrive, the nurses packed Jamie's arm in ice and elevated it.  My heart pounded in my ears as the doctor finally came in; opening up Jamie's arm now would mean an even longer wait for biceps surgery - not to mention extra scarring, a hospital stay, and potential for infection.  I could tell by Jamie's stricken face that he was scared; not a common emotion for him.

The surgeon, thankfully, decided that the swelling in Jamie's arm had come down enough to delay surgery.  Sigh of relief.  We hadn't slept in over 24 hours, but we headed home hopeful that this was the last of the drama.

Fast forward a week.  Jamie is still house-bound, and going a little stir-crazy.  He felt human enough to go out for dinner for his birthday over the weekend, but we had to cut it short because his arm began to swell again.  Things are going well, though, and his surgery is scheduled for tomorrow.

I haven't slept much these last seven days, what with changing ice packs and doling out meds every 4 hours, checking swelling and blood flow in the arm, parenting and working, and (annoyingly) dealing with the cold I caught during our overnight stay in Emergency.

But there are two silver linings:  One is the fact that our trip down south, scheduled for this coming week, may not have to be cancelled after all.  Jamie spoke with the nurse this morning, who said that it's the doctor's decision ultimately, but that flying shouldn't be a problem.

Second is that this past week we have really learned to appreciate each other. He has a hard time asking for help, and I'm not usually the mother-hen type. But we have filled our respective roles well so far, and have been able to appreciate the extra "us-time" (even if most of it was waiting in Emerg waiting rooms.)

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I'm hoping for the best. In the meantime, the girls and I are banging the weights, waiting patiently for our amazing Trainer Jamie to come back to us.

To be continued... Thanks for the good vibes, everyone :)

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Back after the holiday break!


It's been way too long! Are you still out there?  Because I'm still alive and kickin'... and still following the plan :)

Christmas was... hard.  In the food department, anyway.  The first week I was great - I avoided most temptations and indulged when I felt it was appropriate. I didn't ever experience the Oh dear lord I'm so full I'm going to explode feelings, which I also count as a win. 

 The second week of holidays was harder.  I am such a routine-oriented person! I realized more than ever that I need to have a set schedule in order to adhere to the plan. My inner voice gets crazy if not... Hey, you should eat that! It's ok, eat THAT! Exercise? Meh- go read instead!

So I'm glad the holiday wonkiness is done.  And at least I got a hot yoga class in.

The ladies and I are back on track and into a muscle-building phase, and we have tightened up the diet:

We are still carb cycling, but now we skip post-workout fat, as well as pre-bedtime fat in our meals. Plus any dairy we ate is out of the picture. Not a huge deal for me as I only had cottage cheese on occasion. I still get to have coffee with almond milk, so I'm a happy girl.

But the cardio is starting to make an appearance. Ugh.  Only two, 30-minute sessions a week, but I know that will increase soon.

Now I'm all caught up. Pictures to come soon, I promise- we still need to do an updated pic (although whether there is any visual change I don't know- you can be the judge of that).


Monday, 15 December 2014

Here comes Santa Claus... and a whole lotta crap food


I'm getting my period.  Yeah, yeah, TMI.  I know.  But couple PMS cravings (which happen to the best of us... popcorn, anyone?) with the Christmas holidays, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

So... much... food...
I've never been good at doing things on the fly.  Especially eating - if I don't have a plan of action, I will always always always pick and munch and eat way too much of all the wrong stuff.

I really like to eat. Did I mention that?

Anyway, I asked Trainer Jamie about how to go about this coming week.  We have friends over on Saturday. I have a girls' dinner Sunday.  My dad and brother and family come over Christmas Eve for the usual tortellini, and then there is Christmas itself, which is always full of bacon and eggs, toast, and then Christmas Dinner.

"So what should I do?" I asked, figuring this week would just be a write-off and we'd start again on Boxing Day.

"What do you mean, what do you do?" Trainer Jamie asked, looking at me like I Just Didn't Get It.

"Well there are all these things happening," I said, "Should I just-"

"What do you usually do every week?" Jamie asked slowly, cocking his head at me, an amused expression on his face.  I could see where he was going with this.  I was hoping I wouldn't have to punch him.

"Well... I eat clean all week and have one cheat meal."

"Ok," he said, as if the matter was settled.

I wound up to punch him and realized he's about 100lbs bigger than I am, with three black belts.  I revised.  I whined a little,

"But baaaaabe..."

A stern look came over him.  "Jenny,"  He said, "you just have to change your perspective.  Christmas doesn't have to be made memorable by stuffing your face and feeling over-full and like a failure.  You can still hang out with people and eat what you're supposed to.  It's in your head."

I hate it when he's right.

So here is my plan:  Saturday with friends is easy - I eat clean.  Sunday will be a cheat meal (hopefully pizza!) with the girls.  Christmas Eve, the tortellini night, I will make salad like I would anyway and skip the pasta in favor of tuna (with goat cheese, yum!).  And Christmas day I will just measure my turkey and skip the stuffing.  It's really no big deal.

I say that now, but of course I will be tempted.  Picking is a huge hurdle of mine, so I will have to plan and make sure there are lots of veggies to snack on instead of cheese and crackers.

I can do this.  Bring it on, Santa!

Why it takes a village

I'm back.... and feeling a little more humble and at peace since I last blogged.  Some of you where kind enough to reach out and send your support and kind words.  Thank you. You are now officially part of my village.  You made me realize that it's not about the race, it's about the lessons I'm learning along the way.

Trainer Jamie, in his usual amazing way, put things into perspective for me today.  I want to share that with you.  Even though I know this, it's important to hear it again and again until I actually "know" it.

He told me that you never learn anything by winning, but you learn so much more by losing (struggling).  It's the lessons along the way when you are struggling with whatever you may be struggling with that is the whole point of anything.  Getting on stage, or not getting on stage is not the point of all this.  It's the lessons I learn about myself. 

So what lessons am I learning?  Or should be learning if I'm paying attention:

1. I'm way way too hard on myself.  I hold myself up to extremely high expectations and I don't celebrate the small victories.
2. I try to hard to prove myself to others and myself. My ego needs a break.
3. I see my inability to succeed at everything as a failure.

4. I need to chill the hell out.

And he reminded me that I'm actually at a really wonderful point in all this.  How so?  Well, weight has always been an issue with me. Not a huge one, but something I have wanted to change for most of my life.  And through this process, I am learning that it's definately not the excerice because that I can do extremely well and I love it.  It's not my diet because I have been working on that and it's a science at this point.  So what's left?  The stress.  Stress is keeping me from getting to the goal.  This is a huge piece of information that I now know because of the "failures/struggles" I have faced so far on this journey.  This is actually great news if you think about it. 

Through the process of elimination, this is I am left working with and it's going to be the toughest climb of all.  Why, because I have a busy life like most people and I need to get a handle on my stress or it will kill me at some point.  So getting the stress under control will help me in so many ways and make my life so so much better.  So, this is good.  I know understand what I need to do, and I just need to do it.  Period.

So thank you to all the members of my little village, who I know love me, support me, and keep me going.  It really does take a village.  And thanks for reading our blogs as well. It's nice knowing that my/our collective struggles may be helping others out there.  Peace and until next time........

Strive for progress...not perfection.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Today I want to quit. Period.

Today sucked.  My spirit is broken, I feel like a big fat failure, and I really don't want to be doing this anymore.  This is the toughest process I have ever gone through, mentally.  Every avenue I take to try and get things moving the way they need to, ends up at a bunch of nothing.  I move a tiny bit, then stay put for another long and painful period of nothing happening. 

The fact that I have lots of muscle, am strong as an ox, work my ass off at the gym, means nothing if I can't shed the weight.  Maybe short Portuguese girls weren't meant to do fitness shows.  Maybe.  I swear that I'm trusting the process, I really am.  I listen intently to Trainer Jamie and do as I am told. I don't even do cheat days really.  I don't waver, I don't cheat, and I stick to the plan.

I guess I just really suck at this.

Today I was also a shitty team player.  I wasn't there for my girls and wasn't there to congratulate them on their victories.  Not cool on my part at all.  I spent an incredible amount of energy today during our workout holding the tears back.  Bailey and Jen are doing amazing things with their program and are an inspiration to me every day.  So, good job girls and I'm sorry for being such a pussy today.  I really did suck today on so many levels.

I want to quit. period. Go back to eating what I want when I want and stop weighing myself every week.  Not sure my soul can take it much longer.

Will I quit?  Anyone who knows me, knows I'm as stubborn as they come.  I am not going to let this beat me.  Yes, I'm in the middle of a huge pity party as I write this, but perhaps this will help me through it.  I can't wallow in this much longer as I have 2 kids coming home from school in an hour who look up to me in many ways.  Need to put on my "it's been a tough day, but I'm good" face.  Sometimes that's the toughest part of all.

Apparently, stress is an issue that may be keeping the fat on.  I know this and feel it, but how to fix that is another question. I can't just up and leave my life to rid myself of the stress.  So the next step in this shit show is to figure out how to un-stress my life.  Breathe, Ana, breathe. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The road to success is paved with ....well lots of bacon


Some days I feel like I'm on a treadmill going nowhere.  It's been tough losing the body fat. It must be the fact that I'm just around the counter from 50 or that my body is as stubborn as my head is.  There are times that I swear I can hear my body screaming "no, it's mine, it's mine and you can't have it. piss off and leave me alone."  My body has been carrying around this fat for such a long time that it doesn't want to part with it, or so it seems.

So, what do we do?  We dig deeper.  For the last 2 weeks, I have been on a diet of solely protein and fats.  No carbs at all.  This is to try to get my body into Ketosis (where it starts to use my stored fat as fuel).  So I'm allowed to eat as much protein and fat as I want for 2 weeks. Sounds like a great gig doesn't it?  But it's not, not really.  I can do without the starchy carbs, but no fruit has been really difficult.

And with that, I am confronted with an ample case of the "stupids".  Which some days is hard to handle when I'm trying to finish a difficult task, like say,  photocopy some things at the office.  Seriously, it's amazing how a lack of carbs makes my brain not work so good.   So trainer Jamie told me to eat some salad over the weekend....and I did.  But I waited to long to do so and literally had an all out crying fit into my salad bowl as I tried to keep it down.  It was a gong show.  My partner Trevor, God love him, just stood there and watched the crying mess.  What's a supportive guy to do?

So, I know what you are wondering?  Is it working?  Hell ya it is.  Down 3 lbs, up 2 in muscle and down 2% body fat.  Is it fun?  no.

And we continue on the path, still trusting the process and keeping positive.  I am seeing some changes albeit they are slower than the other girls, but that's ok.  One day at a time.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Burn baby, burn... the Tale of the Tape


We are into Burn Phase.  And carb cycling.

What does that mean? Well, effectively it means that my legs and glutes are perpetually on fire, and that I have to hold the counter to sit down on the toilet.  It means I'm hungry one day, good the next, and stuffed the day after that. It also means I'm really starting to see my abs, which is great, because I could use some motivation!

Looking over the Tanita Tapes (the printouts of body fat, weight, water, etc) over the last 6 weeks, I was shocked to discover that my numbers have not changed a whole lot.  I've dropped some fat (2.6% to be exact), and gained some muscle, but my weight hasn't changed more than 2lbs since we began: I started at 127 and I'm down to 125.
Every week we weigh in and get a printout.  Looking back, numbers really don't tell me a lot.

Thank goodness for perspective, however.

Looking at these numbers alone, I would be discouraged.  2 lbs over six weeks is, well, sucky, really. Even when I didn't start out being "overweight".  Even if I did screw up a little here and there (remember the not-planning-well incident?).  Seeing only a 2 pound loss would be discouraging, if I didn't have the awesome Trainer Jamie and the Girls to keep me going and point out things like:

- I now fit into pants that I haven't fit into in awhile
- I don't suck in my belly anymore during the day. It now seems to suck itself in.  Bonus!
- I'm waaaaay stronger already (like, incline benching the 50's stronger. Oh yeah.)
- My bicep vein is making an appearance, as are some small striations in my back.

These developments, coupled with the fact that Christmas is approaching rapidly and I really want to get through the holiday eating frenzy unscathed, is keeping me going.

I will post some progress photos soon (if I ever remember to bring in my shorts).  Then you can see for yourself if I'm wasting my time or if things are really happening!

Until then, off to train.