This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'm back. I had the best time on the cruise. It was fabulous. I honestly cannot remember a better Thanksgiving. Oh sure, I like the cooking and family bonding and eating. I like the traditional dinner and all the fixings. But, spending time on a boat with no where to go but be with each other was  wonderful.

Of course, I did gain some weight, but not too bad. I was very active and made mostly good choices. I drank too much alcohol and I ate more than I should have. I am still retaining water and I wonder if it wasn't from the medication I took for the motion sickness.  I'm still adjusting to being back on land. I'm really sensitive to motion. I get car sick really easy.  On the ship I did great except for the first day when I was adjusting,but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't get sick once.

There were moments that were bitter sweet. The first night at dinner as I sat looking around the table and my cousin wasn't there.  Thanksgiving dinner after the blessing and as we toasted to him. I shed a few tears, but very few. It was actually very nice and a bit of closure for us all.  Life goes on. Although we miss him, we have to move on. Not forget, but move forward.

I've got tons of pictures and I'll share a few here.
The boat
Sailing away.

Stupid kids
Enjoying sunrise with my son. On the way to the gym.

Lounging on the deck after dinner

Ruins in Progresso, Mexico

Yes, I did climb all those steps. Twice.
View from the glass elevators that enchanted my girls.

Said elevators

Oh yes. I did watch Thanksgiving day football on the big screen!
At port, Cozumel
My view for Thanksgiving Day
Not a bad pic for a 5 year old. Dress I bought in Cozumel, one size DID finally fit all.

Adjusting to being home has been harder than on most trips. Mainly due to dizziness. I'm tired, but overall I'm doing well.  It sure was nice to sign up for excursions without worrying whether I could do them. Times sure have changed. no way I could have done those steps 2 years ago.

I'm determined to get back to working out. I have a belt test this Saturday. I'm kind of freaking out about it. No I haven't shopped. No the tree isn't up. No I'm not ready for the holidays. BUT, I'm happy. And I have some really wonderful memories.

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's not the turkey.

Thanks everybody for your thoughts on my last post. Sometimes just letting those feelings out is all you need to feel better. Right after I published that post I felt so much better. I woke up the next day and actually felt like facing my day and was in a good mood. I feel much, much better. Not perfect, but better.

It helped that this week I've gone to TKD class. I just feel better when I move. Wednesday we had a special self-defense class for women only. It was a lot of fun because we're practiced some "real world" scenarios. Outside, in the dark carrying groceries or purse. Attacker with a weapon, that kind of thing. Good info to have to apply what I'm learning in the traditional classes.

Tuesday night I went to a medical staff meeting (boring). We had the best filet (yummy), steamed green beans (tasty) and mashed potatoes with bacon (ok, I had one bite).  There was also a salad with a light citrus vinaigrette and it was yummy as well.

Monday I took my car in and had to get 2 new tires. Yesterday, I had to get it aligned, oil changed, inspection and the timing belt replaced. $1000 later........sigh.....

My husband left yesterday for Michigan. Somehow it seems unfair, but he's going to the Michigan v Nebraska game with some buddies. I'll be picking him up in Houston this weekend on our way to Galveston to catch the cruise ship. Last night I was home with just me and the kids. Is it bad that I enjoy it when my husband is gone sometimes and I get to have quiet alone time after the kids are in bed?

Yesterday I attended my youngest's  Thanksgiving program and dinner. Well....I wouldn't call it dinner. Lunch is at 10:15 am. Turkey and dressing at 10:15? Whatever. Then of course I stayed for my 2nd graders lunch at 11am. Of course I didn't eat again.  I took off for the morning for this. They were very excited. The kindergarten program included the kids dressing as Indians and pilgrims and singing songs. We made her costume out of felt that she colored on with fabric crayons and markers. It's not perfect, but so cute since she and I made it ourselves.  They were all so cute singing their songs and dancing. (sniff sniff)

Tonight my Aunt and cousins arrive from Oklahoma. I still have a lot to do to get ready for our trip. I haven't packed yet. Luckily I'm pretty quick at packing since we do it so much. I have to get to the bank. I have to pick up prescriptions. Getting ready for vacation is hard work, but it's all worth it.

I'm attending TKD again tonight.  I've been 4 days this week. Trying to get ready for my test since I'll miss a couple of classes next week. Last night we were "pre-testing". I'm happy to say I know all the material. I got thrown last night, landed on my side and now my hip is bruised. ouchy.  I don't mind. It will be fine. Not the first time I've gotten hurt. My right foot is still bruised from the kid that landed on top of it on his knee last week. That's the price of being a martial artist. I'm willing to pay it. Tomorrow we plan an hour of practice. So I'll have exercised 6 out of 7 days this week.

Haven't been eating great, but not terrible. I'm not sure what the scale is doing. I decided to stop weighing for a bit. I do know I wore some black pants, size 12 from last fall and they fit way better than last year. I'm going to be working out on the cruise. I hope to have time to go get some new running shoes. I really need them. I love the idea of jogging around a track at the top of a giant cruise ship. Definitely gonna give that a try.

I probably will not be able to post next week, but I'll definitely check in when I get back and let you know all about it.  Tuesday my baby boy turns 14. FOURTEEN. Can. Not. Believe it. Found out he's been texting a girl from school late at night. We had a discussion about that. Sigh.......here it comes. My baby girl turns 6 on the 30th. Boy am I getting old. Good news is older AND better.

Again thank you all for your support. Spend sometime reflecting this week on the good things in your life. Tell the people you love how much they mean to you. You never know when they might be gone. Don't wait to say it. You might not get another chance.  Appreciate your friends. Appreciate all the things that really matter in life.  It's not the turkey. It's not the pumpkin pie. None of that matters. What matters are the people you love and that love you. The people who make your life better, rich and full. Never, ever forget that.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Emotions.....eating me up.

Depressed. Frustrated. Stressed. Overworked. Over scheduled. Discouraged. Worried. Nervous. Anxious. Angry. Guilty. Sad. Mad. Tired.

That about sums it up. I have so much going on in my life right now I'm completely overwhelmed and just plain worn out. There is no quiet time for me right now except the gym or maybe during TKD class. There are so many emotions swirling through me right now. I'm finding it really hard to focus on my diet. Not focusing is bad. Clearly. I've made a few bad choices lately. Not a lot. But enough that I'm mad at myself. Again.

I haven't gained weight, in fact I lost a pound when I weighed in on Friday. I haven't weighed since the weekend when the bad choices took place. I'm trying to get my mind straight and focused before the cruise. I know.  A lot of you are probably thinking, what is she complaining about? She's got this vacation coming in just a few days.

The cruise is very emotional for me. My cousin,who died in March and was like my brother, and I had always talked about going on a cruise "someday". Of course that day never came and never will since he died so young. Now, our whole family is going for Thanksgiving. It is sort of a tribute to him. Don't wait. Love your family now. Don't put things off. That sort of thing.  We're going with my Aunt and her other son, his wife and daughter. My Mom, God mother and my husband and kids of course.  I am looking forward to the cruise. Some time to just rest and relax, but he will be on my mind. This first holiday season without him will be very very hard.

There are a lot of things about his death I am still struggling with. I know some of you are probably sick of this subject. But, it's my blog and if I don't get to write about my feelings, I won't be able to handle my eating.  I have a lot of guilt associated with his death. For reasons I cannot discuss here.   Intellectually I know it is misplaced. But, emotionally I'm trying to handle it. I miss him. And even now there are moments that I forget he's gone. Like the other day when I was starting to make a Christmas list and wrote his name there before I realized I won't need a gift for him this year. 

I've dealt with death before. I've lost people I loved.  But this one was different. For many reasons. For one thing he was a year younger than me. He was my friend and "brother". He had a lot of health and emotional problems that I tried to help him with.  I felt responsible for him. I wanted more for him. I feel like maybe I could have done more. I'm a doctor for goodness sakes. Of course, I did everything I could and his death was not my fault. But, those feelings are there. And they weigh heavily on me.

And then I'm worrying about my god-mother who is battling breast cancer. Luckily a cancer found when it was small, but unfortunately a very aggressive type. Her chemo treatment started. She's doing well considering. She's started losing her hair. And she's feeling pretty bad from the drugs.

On top of those very heavy topics, I am in the midst of a big computer conversion at work. It has to go well or after January our claims won't be paid and that would be BAD. So that is very stressful. Plus, I had to fire an employee and another one quit recently so we're short handed. People in the office are stressed because of all that mess. Plus the current political climate and uncertainty about Medicare and health reform are weighing on me.

Plus it's the holiday season. I have 2 kids who have birthdays and Christmas, neither of which am I in ANY mood to deal with. That produces a significant amount of Mommy guilt which just makes me feel worse.  My anniversary is in a month. 16 years and 21 together. I should be happy, but right now it feels like just one more thing I have to deal with.  Add to that stuff: TKD test coming up. School plays and parties. Yearbook orders and pictures. Boy scout activities. Blah, blah, blah.

So my mom asked me the other day if I was depressed. Apparently my Nanny has mentioned that she is worried about me. Now people are starting to notice and that's worrisome. Depressed? Probably. And that worries me since we're just now entering the time of year when my seasonal depression kicks in. I'm doing all the right things. Trying to sleep, exercise, talk and write about my feelings. I'll be OK. I've been here before. But, I'm worried I'll lose control and gain weight and that would just put me over the edge.

Yesterday I worked out with my trainer. Boy I dreaded going, but after 15 min on the elliptical my body felt good. It was a very difficult workout and I enjoyed it. It's nice to just focus on your body and I felt less stressed afterward.  I've been hungry this week. Really hungry. I don't know if it is the stress or maybe the carbs I ate over the weekend, but either way, I'm having trouble keeping my eating in control. I'm tracking, even the stuff I wish I hadn't eaten, including pumpkin bread and a brownie. There I said it. My calories were not overly bad, not more than 1300.  For now I'm staying the course. I suppose I'm learning as I go. 

I'm not giving up. I'm going to keep going and I'm not going to give up on my goals. What do you do when you are hungry and having trouble controlling it?  Or maybe that never happens to you.  Some of it is emotional, but some of it is actual hunger. Like stomach growling hunger. Are you an emotional eater? I definitely am. Especially sweets and soda. Will this ever get easier? I guess that is some of my frustration. After losing 85 pounds and 18months I am still struggling with this issue.

And now, I'm going to get back to work. Getting behind won't do anything to help my stress.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just so Sick

Those of you that have been around my blog know I love sports. Love em. Especially College football. The events this week have just hit me hard and I am so upset by the scandal now going on at Penn State. So today's post is not really about my weight or diet, but about something far more important.   I just had to get these thoughts out.
For those who do not know, a former coach has been accused of child sexual abuse.  There is a grand jury indictment against him.  At least 8 boys so far and there are apparently many many more coming forward. The really upsetting part is that an assistant coach witnessed it, reported it to the head coach, Joe Paterno, who in turn reported it to his supervisor, but no one called the police or child services. That assistant wasn't even the only witness. There were others and still no one call the police.

On top of that, the guy accused was still at the school up until last week. He had an office there, worked out there with football players and was frequently on the side lines.   He ran a youth charity that was supposedly helping disadvantaged boys. And even they knew of accusations and an investigation as early as 1998, but he still was involved with the kids.

As a parent I am horrified, but sadly not surprised. This should remind all of us that PEOPLE THEY KNOW are the people our children are most at risk from.  We teach our kids about strangers, but sometimes we forget that it is almost ALWAYS a trusted person that preys on children around us. We all need to learn something from this mess. Of course you'd think the same sort of scandal in the Catholic church would have taught us already.

First we need to spend real time talking to our children about how to be safe and how to protect their bodies. We need to make sure that our kids understand that even if it is someone that they know and trust, even someone in their family, if they are touched in any way that makes them uncomfortable, they need to tell someone. The really sad part of this Penn State mess is that the first boy told and nothing happened.

Second, we as a society need to wake up. Children are hurt and abused every day. It is a sad fact and we all need to do everything we can to protect them. No matter how respected. No matter how successful. No matter how upstanding a person may appear to be, we have to take ANY accusation of abuse very very seriously.  It must be reported to authorities. The child comes first, not the reputation of the person accused. Not the institution they happen to work for or be associated with. Anyone that was involved in this coverup, knew of the abuse and did not get it stopped must be fired and no longer in charge of kids.

Even Joe Paterno needs to be gone. He knew. He knew and didn't get it stopped. I mean come on, one time you might fool yourself into believing your buddy couldn't do that, but more than one? AND you have a first hand witness that says he saw that bastard in the shower with a child and you didn't make damn sure he never touched another boy? I don't care how long you've coached, how many games you've won, how much good you've done in the past, this is inexcusable.

My son walked into the room this morning while I had on ESPN. He heard a little of the reports. I turned the TV off and we talked about this. We talked about being safe. Not being afraid to speak up when you see something really wrong. How to protect himself, even from people he knows. I encourage you to do that with all of your kids, at an age appropriate level. Don't fool yourself into believing that sort of thing doesn't happen to nice families in nice neighborhoods like mine. Don't fool yourself into believing you can recognize a pedophile by looking at them. You can't. Protect your kids.

I pray that some good comes from this by raising awareness.   I pray that those poor boys will have some comfort knowing that the bastard is going away forever and will never, ever touch another boy.   I pray that God has a special place in hell for child predators.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

HOLY Crap! Earthquake!

What an eventful weekend I had!  It started out like any other football weekend with me driving to Oklahoma to see the Sooners play football. I was very excited because I was able to attend this game with my BFF and spend some girl time with her.

The drive up was uneventful. Thank goodness for DVD players. I had the girls with me as Daddy was home with brother at his band contest.  I arrived in Norman, dropped off the girls and went to pick up my BFF. Before the game we needed some lunch. We ended up at a deli near campus and I had the best soup and salad. It was so tasty. The weather was nice, a bit windy, but nice. It was a really fun day and it was that much better because I maintained control and ate on plan. On top of that we did our usual 2 mile walk there and back, so plenty of activity that day.  Of course it helped that we won the game.

Saturday night we hung out at my Aunt's house watching football and visiting. It was a good time. We had chicken wings for dinner, not the best, but I was able to resist the worst of the food. I enjoyed the football, as there were several big games that night.

Just before my BFF and her kids were ready to leave, the house started to tremble, then shake and then sway from side to side. Earthquake! That is something I never thought I'd feel and I hope to never feel again. It was so bizarre and scared the holy shit out of me. Luckily no one was hurt and there was no significant damage. We found out that it was a 5.6, the largest earthquake in Oklahoma history. Creepy. I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep after that to say the least.

Sunday morning I woke up with an asthma attack. This is getting really old. Today I'm still congested and coughing and now likely have developed a sinus infection. I had just finished my steroid taper and my ENT will likely want to start another. Sigh.....It's asthma season. What can I say?  That means I'll be skipping TKD today at noon. Just can't breathe well enough today. Hopefully by Thursday.

This afternoon I have a consultation for Lasik. I've thought about it a long time and now with all the working out I do, especilaly TKD, the glasses get in the way so much. I want to find out if I'm a good candidate or not. If not, I'll have to think about contacts or something at least for TKD. I don't wear contacts every day because of my allergies, my eyes get too itchy.

My weight is up 2 pounds from Saturday. I think it is water and fluctuations from coming off the steroids. Plus I had too much sodium over the weekend. I do not think it's "real" and I hope to see it back off which would be a 2 pound loss when I weigh in tomorrow.

I have 10 days until vacation. I'll be going on my first cruise. I'm excited and nervous about it. We decided to go on a cruise for the holidays. We know it will be a hard time as it is the first year without my cousin. We spent most holidays together. It will be fun traveling with my Aunt, Cousin, his wife, their daughter, my mom and my god-mother. My god mother has started her chemo, she'll just complete her first cycle when we leave. So far she's doing well. It will be a time to just relax and enjoy family. I'm nervous about the food, but I know I can make good choices and I'm looking forward to working out on the ship with my son. He wants to work out with me and go running on the track around the ship, which I think is most awesome.

I'm wondering if any of you have been on a cruise before.  Any tips or suggestions in general? Any ideas on how to handle the food. Everyone always says "oh the FOOD!" when they talk about cruises.  Hope you all have a great week. Stay on track!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Here come the weekend....Scale question.......Exercise goals

Friday is here.  Good news/bad news situation. Love that the weekend has arrived, but there is so much to do. Sigh.  This weekend my son has a band contest. Plus I'm headed to Norman for the OU vs A&M game. Should be a good one and that's always a good crowd. Add to that the fact that it's likely the last time we'll play them as they head for the SEC. (If you don't follow college football, Texas A&M won't be in our conference anymore)

I am planning to head up to Oklahoma tomorrow. My husband is staying here with my son and I'm going to the game with my BFF. Really looking forward to it as I haven't spent much time with her since our trip in August. She's been busy with school as she teaches high school Biology and Forensics.   Her daughter turned 16 last week and I am still in shock. I must deliver the gift, ie cash. What else would you give a teen?

Looking ahead at my schedule for the next month, I have meetings and classes nearly every day. All leading up to our big computer conversion at work. We're not changing software, but we are upgrading our versions and we have to learn how to use the new stuff. Looking forward to it as I'm hoping to start using my ipad and that means lighter tablet to haul through the office. 

On top of the work chaos with the computers it is of course flu season and people are really getting sick. Good for business, but bad. Lots of stress with the current politcal climate and uncertainty regarding proposed Medicare cuts and such. (don't get me started)

PLUS, as I mentioned in my last post I'm on my way to my purple belt in taekwondo. For those of you who don't know purple is just 3 belts from black. I have right at a month until that test.  Luckily I've been working hard and I know most of the material, now it's just a matter of getting good at it. I have to work on my jump 360 round house kick. That's a turning kick in the air. Holy crap it's hard for my old body. It's so annoying how the little kids can just spring off the mat like jumping beans and I have to work to do it. BUT, I am learning how and that amazes me.

Yesterday I once again attended 2 classes one a noon and one after work. The evening class is the same as my daughters' class so it's fun to be in class with them. After our class, my son has class so the girls and I spent some extra time working on forms while we waited on him. That means I worked out yesterday for 2.5 hours. I have class again tonight and I can't wait. So far I've kept up with my exercise every day this month goal and in the last 4 days I'll accomplish nearly 7 hours of exercise. Cool.

Today I'm wearing size 16 jeans from last year that were snug. They are form Kohl's in the "normal" section and I remember being so excited to be able to fit into them. Today they are loose which made me smile. I haven't measured in a while as I've been irritated with my up and down weight, but I plan to measure at the end of this month. I've also updated the weights on my blog and I'll be posting them again. Accountability is one of the purposes of this blog after all. I haven't done it in a while because I just didn't want to show my lack of progress, but it is what it is. I'm headed back in the right direction. That is what matters.

I have been using my fitbit ultra the last few days and I remember why I loved it. I also love the new App for my iphone, so much better than before. I think it will help me track my exercise. I have decided to use it as I think the LoseIt app may overestimate my calories burned.   Of course I still will not eat back those calories. I'm keeping my calories at around 1300 on my most active days, 1200 and under. Fitbit says I got a calorie adjustment of around 1200 for yesterday.  It adjusts for calories you burn in excess of your basal metabolic rate or the amount you burn just on a regular day, no exercise. No way I could eat an extra 1200 and lose weight!

I've got to get some new running shoes and a few more socks. I want to get back to running again on my off TKD days. I'm going to try to do that today at lunch. Also lately I've been thinking of getting a Withings scale. Does anyone have one?  It is a wireless scale that will automatically track your weight and it has a interface with LoseIt.  It looks pretty cool. Plus I saw there is a new scale that is for your iphone/ipad connected wirelessly to record weights. I find this interesting.  It certainly would prevent my habit of not recording weights I don't like.   Anyway, if you have one of these nifty newfangled fancy scales, let me know what you think of them.

And now I've GOT to get back to work. I'm trying to keep up with blogging and reading and commenting. I love hearing what all of you are up to. If I'm not following your blog, please leave a comment with a link!  What are your plans for the weekend? How much exercise have you done so far this week? Have any new exercise goals?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Let's get Started.

Can't believe it's already Wednesday night. My life is so hectic and busy these days! Halloween was relatively painless and I made it through with out much of a problem. The house is still filled with candy and so far I've resisted temptation.   The kids had a great time trick-or-treating. Of course what's not ot love about running around the neighborhood in the dark and getting free candy.

Tuesday was difficult to get the kids around, but eventually I was able to get them off to school. I attended TKD class twice on Tuesday. Great day for diet and fitness. I have about a month until my purple belt test.  Lots to do and get ready for. We'll be gone the whole week of Thanksgiving and that means I have to get as many classes in as I can. It feels really good to be able to exercise that much. Two hours in one day!  Not something I could've done in any sense of my imagination a year ago.

Today, I had a session with my trainer. We did a lot of work for my core today. Reverse crunches, lunges, squats, etc. The worst was one leg weighted squats. That is freaking hard! My legs and but are sore and burning tonight and tomorrow will probably suck. But that's what ibuprofen is for, right?   Tomorrow I plan on 2 more TKD classes.

I just can't emphasize enough how important it is to find an exercise you enjoy and love. Something that challenges you. Something that you look forward to doing. I never thought I'd have that. I never understood "runner's high" even though I knew all about the physiology. Now I've experienced it myself.  I was telling a patient that exercise was never my thing, but after doing it regularly for a while, I look forward to it. I get upset when I can't workout. She looked at me with the same expression that I used to get when people told me I needed to exercise. The glazed over, "here we go again" one.  Oh how I wish I had listened before now.

I have decreased the amount of carbs in my diet significantly. I have been reading the book Wheat Belly and I find the ideas there interesting. I certainly know that the more of these foods I eat, the more I want. It cannot be a mistake to limit them. I have been eating only carbs from fruit and even then, I am sticking to few and lower glycemic index fruits. Luckily it's apple season. And pears. Yummy. Nanny baked some apples with just cinammon and a little splenda last night. It was so tasty. Like apple pie and I didn't miss the crust at all.

Tonight she make pizza for the kids. Of course my instinct was to dive in head first. But, I didn't eat any. instead I warmed up chicken breast from the night before, steamed veggies and water. I was full and happy. Still am. Evening is a problem for me. It's my snacky time so I have to be on guard. I have been tracking my food. I still track my exercise, but I don't eat back any calories. I am starting to see the scale move down again and it is a welcome sight.

That is an accomplishment considering I'm still on steroids and I had gained a few pounds from that.  Staying away from carbs has been a struggle while on this med. It sure messes with you, but the more I avoid them, the easier it gets.  It seems like I keep learning. As time goes on and things happen, I have to make adjustments, role with the punches. That's life after all and this is a lifelong journey.

I bought the new fitbit ultra. I couldn't stand it anymore after my old one got washed twice it died.  I've missed it ever since.  The new version is purple and black and has some new features that I haven't figured out yet. I will start using it tonight.

My goal is to exercise every day this month.  Whether it is true workouts or a walk with the kids, I really want to see if I can do this. We did this in June as part of a challenge. I've found that when I work out or exercise, I'm much more likely to eat right. 

I hope all of you are staying on track. We have to steel ourselves against the oncoming onslaught that we call the holidays. This is a very dangerous time of year for healthy living. Been on guard. Give some serious thought how you're going to navigate yourself through. Planning ahead will save some serious damage. Have you thought about how you'll handle the holiday season? If not, get started.

Progress to TouchDown and GOALLLL!!