Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Working it

Things have been going well.  Both my father and brother are out of the hospital, thank you, God.  My father now has about two months of recovery at home before they re-do the hip replacement.  He is in very good spirits and has such a positive attitude.  I respect him so much for having the strength to get through everything he has been dealing with without breaking down.  He had a hip replacement that got infected, had the hip replacement removed, a spacer inserted, has been in the hospital six separate times, rehab for the last six weeks or so and then has to have the hip replacement redone.  My brother has been put on new medication and they are hoping this will work instead of having a new heart transplant done.  If not, he will go back on the list in a few months.  I continue to pray daily for my family.

I started working with my personal trainer.  She is just so awesome and it was such a great decision on my part.  I'll be working with her for three months.  We will be checking my weight and measurements every three weeks.  I shared with her my experience of having weight loss surgery and my attempts of weight loss.  She was in awe of me and actually told me that I was an inspiration to her.  Wow, I had to pick my jaw off the floor.  I started a separate page on here for all of my strength training workouts if you'd like to follow along or at least get the benefit of a personal trainer without having to pay for it.  There's a link for it at the top of the page.  I'm doing things with her that has taken every ounce of courage to do in the middle of the gym.  When people work with personal trainers, others in the gym watch.  It's a very big gym so this isn't easy.  One time I was doing cardio while she was training someone else and I swear every pair of eyes was looking in the corner where she was doing the training and watching.  Yet, I don't let that stop me.  I've even done weight lifting in the section where all the men with muscles do the majority of their work.  What's been interesting for me is that they are not looking at me and mocking me for being the fat lady trying to work out (which is what I had envisioned in my mind).  Instead, they are looking at me and smiling, even checking out my legs when I stand in front of the mirror focusing on my form.  It's been so weird!  I almost feel, dare I say, normal.

I also have seen the dietician at Kaiser's Positive Choice center, which is part of a service I can employ after surgery for help with my nutritional needs.  I just have been feeling weak and lightheaded.  I wanted to make sure that I was doing the right things for my body with the increased exercise.  When I work out, I'm burning about 900-1100 calories a day with just exercise.  Given I was eating 800 calories a day, it makes so much sense that I was feeling the way I was.  The dietician told me that 800 calories a day is just not enough for a person that exercises as vigorously as I am.  He did a mathematical calculation based on how many calories are in protein and what I was taking in each day.  He told me to increase my calories to 1200 per day instead of the 800 my bariatric surgeon recommended.  He understands where the doctor was coming from, but we do need to take into account how much I'm burning during workouts.  When I asked him how I should increase the calories, he said it is as simple as making sure I'm getting enough healthy fats in my diet such as coconut oil or almond butter.  He also told me I need to take in 100 grams of protein per day now with the increased calories and to ensure I am hydrating enough.  He stated that I should try to get in as many fluids as possible earlier in the day but to shoot for at least eight cups.  He also agreed that the strength training I'm getting with my trainer is especially valuable in dealing with excess skin and having a toned body because we can lose a lot of muscle mass with significant weight loss if we are not also incorporating strength training.

So, my friends, I'm working it and taking good care of myself.  It's a long time coming, that's for sure.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A little too much going on

This last week has been a terribly difficult one, I have to be honest.  Eleven years ago, my brother had a heart transplant. When he was born, there was a leak in his heart and the left and right parts were doing the opposite of what they were designed to do.  We always knew that one day he would need a heart transplant. In fact, the doctors told our family he would not live past the age of five without the transplant. When he did eventually have the transplant, he was 33 years old.  Fast forward to this past Thanksgiving when my mother and I went out to Las Vegas to visit my brother and sister-in-law. When we were there, my mother noticed my brother had gained a lot of weight in his tummy, as if he was about 13 months pregnant.  That's not my brother. He is a very active and fit guy so it did not make sense. After a slew of tests at the Stanford, the hospital where he originally got the transplant, the cardiologist told him that his heart was being rejected by his body and he would need a new heart.  When I got the news, I was just shellshocked. I sat on my bed in stunned silence, not sure what to do with this information.  My poor mother, who was the one that told me the news, was taking it incredibly badly, of course.  No matter how old her children are, that's her baby.  He was admitted into the hospital and will be staying there until at least Wednesday.

I decided to call my dad and tell him what is going on with my brother.  My dad has been in and out of the hospital for the last three months.  He had a hip replacement surgery that caused a horrible infection.  They had to rush him in for emergency surgery after five hospital stays.  They removed the new hip, put in a spacer and were giving him antibiotics around the clock.  When I called to tell him about my brother, he told me he would have to stay in the hospital a couple more weeks himself.  Then he can go home and prepare for the redoing of the hip replacement surgery.  

Between both events, I just felt like I couldn't breathe. It took me a couple of days but the tears eventually came.  My heart was broken for them.  At the same time, I knew going to food for comfort and solice just was not the answer.  It doesn't make anything better.  If anything, food makes it worse.  

You guys would be very proud of me, though.  I've made some progress on the weight machine issue at the gym.  I decided enough was enough and the next time I was going to go to the gym, I would request to sign up for personal training sessions. With lots of resolve in my head, I walked up to the gym and got intercepted at the door by this really cute, hot guy who held it open for me and said in a bright voice, "After you!" Haha, that totally threw me off so I did not ask about the personal trainer at the desk. He made me lose focus.  I just logged in and went about my workout. I told myself that I would not be leaving the gym without talking to someone at the front desk about getting a personal trainer.  So, after I finished my workout, I went to the locker room to grab my jacket and then bee-lined it for the front desk.  Behind the counter where these two cute, hot guys as well.  Frig, what is it about these men that make me lose my focus so much?  To be fair, they were beautiful with lovely muscles peeking through their shirts.  But, with a purpose-driven heart, I walked straight up to the counter and said, "I would like to sign up for a personal trainer please."  The two guys greeted me with the most dazzling white smiles and beamed at me with pride.  I made an appointment to see a trainer the next night.

I met with her and she was so sweet. It was absolutely no pressure at all but she really commended me for how far I've come and how motivated I am.  So, I will be working out with her each week and then she'll give me assignments in between. She does want me to cut back on the amount of cardio I'm doing.  If I'm  still walking at work, that's fine but then she doesn't want me doing more than 30-45 minutes of cardio at the gym in the evenings.  At a certain point, the body just can't use everything that I put into cardio.  However, she said the focus will now need to shift to strength training,not only for fat loss but also to tone up loose skin.  So I will be limited to 4-5 days of cardio per week at the gym and we will do strength training twice a week to start, eventually moving up to three times a week.  I start training on Wednesday.  I'm so excited that she will be there to guide me and tell me what to do.  That's what I need.  I then went for a workout and, when I left, one of the hotties was behind the desk and said, "Have a good night, Kathy :)" He learned my name and said it again when he saw me today.  Uh oh, I'm in trouble with that one!

Finally, I'm nearing the end of my updates. In terms of school, I found out that I got A's in both my classes for my first quarter. Yay me!  I start my next quarter tomorrow.  My classes will be out of the area, so I'll have to drive a pretty far distance but it's only two days so it's manageable.  It does require I go into work earlier those two days, so I need to somehow manage the change.  With everything going on, I'm absolutely reminded to take everything one day at a time.  That's all I can do.