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Friday, September 27, 2013

Giving in to fall

I'm giving in to fall.  I am still not over summer being over.  A typical Portland summer doesn't really start until late July, and lasts until mid-October.  This year we got all our heat in May and June--very unusual--had a slightly warmer July, and then a cool August and crappy rainy September.  I want a refund.  It didn't help that I didn't get enough of my requested vacation time off to actually go on vacation this summer.  But, it's been raining for a while, and thoughts are turning to tea and quilting and cozying up.  The fireplace is on.  It's not so bad.  But I do still hope for some sunny fall days before the winter gray settles in.

Last Saturday I went to my usual trainer appointment at the gym, but my trainer did not show up. This was unusual for him to just not be there or respond to my text.  I did my workout and went home, and later texted him to see what was up.  Turns out that the gym fired him, and didn't notify me.  He said he was late and the new manager just fired him, like that.  Now, of course, I don't know how much more of the story there is.  All I do know is that my dealings with him were very professional and he was a fantastic trainer.  I've written all about what a great trainer he is before.  Not only am I pissed that I lost my trainer, but I'm pissed that the gym didn't bother to tell me.  So I am supposed to be hearing from the manager on Sunday.  It's a hard situation.  I have 3 or 4 sessions left that I paid for, but I don't want to work with a new trainer.  I want my trainer. I don't really even want to go to that gym anymore, but it is about 1/10 of a mile from my house, so it really eliminates a lot of excuses. And it's a nice gym, and affordable. I'm just pissed about this situation.  It feels like from what I know of the guy, it cannot be a justified firing, but again, who knows.  He is going to tell me what gym he ends up at, but the odds that it will be a practical fit for me are low.

So this left me in this week-long funk about working out, which goes well with my weeks-long funk about my plateau.  I finally ran today after about 4 days of no workouts.  I just didn't have the heart for it, frankly.  It did feel good to run.  I'm sure I will get back to the gym.  But the weight funk persists.  I have finally lost a couple pounds again, but they are pounds I've lost before.  Food journaling at this point is useless for me, because I have tried everything I can think of: anywhere between 60-120g protein per day, 800-1500 kcal per day, more water, more fiber, more carbs, less carbs.  Seriously.  I average 1000 cal when I don't journal (that is, when I have just eaten and added it all up at the end of the day).  My body is just not gonna budge right now.  So, fine.  Body, do your thing.  I guess as long as I'm not gaining and I'm still doing the right things, it's going to have to be okay.  I have an appointment with the surgeon in about a month, maybe we can come up with something.

Lucy's birthday is tomorrow--she will be 3.  It's really amazing how quickly the time goes by.  At this very time 3 years ago, I was only a few hours into my home labor, and unbeknownst to me, just 2 hours from suddenly needing to race to the hospital before she appeared.  I had a fast labor, especially for a first-time mom, and a pretty precipitous delivery.  It sounds a bit foolish that I was still at home when I was ready to deliver (and no, I didn't plan a home birth) but everyone tells you over and over that the first labor takes much longer than you think it will, you should stay home as long as possible if you don't want "interventions", etc. I never intended to wait until the last second.  I had exactly one contraction that felt like what was described as "transition" (from 7 cm to 10 cm dilation) and decided to get some clothes on to go to the hospital, because I was wearing a night shirt.  I went upstairs to get clothes on, and by the time I got up there I was having very hard, very fast contractions and could no longer walk. By the time my doula helped me down all my stairs (I had to crawl down them because I couldn't stand up), half an hour had elapsed and it was time to deliver, which I knew because my body started pushing and I had to try not to push, with the help of my fabulous doula.  I still had to get myself into the car, though, which was very hard.  We did make it to the hospital--with my hubby driving and my doula coaching me on not pushing--and Lucy was born 15 minutes later.  It all went perfectly, in retrospect, but we did cause quite a fuss when we got there, and the whole hospital knew about it by morning.

My mother did the same kind of reminiscing every year on each of our birthdays (yours probably did too), and I didn't quite understand why as a kid, or even really as an adult.  But childbirth does change you forever; you become a different person, and I'm sure with each subsequent pregnancy and delivery you change yet again.  The first time reveals to you what you are capable of, and it doesn't matter what kind of birth you had or what you did or did not do--it's yours, in the end.  The birth of my daughter definitely did change me forever and let me know what I could do physically and emotionally.  It has served as a reservoir of strength for me since then.  And of course, all of the changes that have come with becoming Lucy's mother have revealed much more to me.  It's been so fun getting to know the person she is and is becoming.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I had a good night.  Today was hot, after a week of fall weather--gray and rainy--last week.  This week is hot, 96 degrees today, and I am happy.  I need the heat.  I got off work a little early, picked up my daughter and husband and took Lucy to the Jamison Square fountain, a tidal fountain in "the Pearl" neighborhood of NW Portland that she (and every other kid in Portland) loves to play in on hot summer days.  There is a place to buy a slice of pizza and an ice cream shop on the same block.  She played in the fountain with all the other kids, until a fire engine showed up and drew half the kids over to check it out.

I wanted to post a little update about it on Facebook, but instead saw an update from some good friends who have a son about Lucy's age who has been very sick.  He was born with a birth defect that they thought would be the worst of his problems, but he sailed through Pierre Robin syndrome without needing a trach or any interventions.  He was fine until his 1 year check-up, when his mom pointed out some pinpoint red spots on his body (called petechiae) to his pediatrician, and his slightly more frequent bruising.  By that evening he was in the PICU being treated for a severe and rare form of infant ALL (leukemia).  He has endured 2 years of brutal chemo that did put him into remission.  But now the chemo that cured his cancer has destroyed his immune system.  He has been in the hospital for much of the last 6 months with infections and systemic reactions to drugs meant to keep him from getting pneumonia, and he's now caught in a catch-22 that it has become apparent he won't survive.  So his parents posted to their friends, bravely, that they have decided to maximize the time he has, do the things that allow him to be a 3 year old boy for as long as possible, and keep him out of hospitals and stop treatment.  At this time, he has energy and is playing and laughing, although he needs IV nutrition because he isn't eating.  They are continuing those kinds of things that add to his life without subtracting a measure of misery.

It takes my breath away to imagine what his family is going through now, and has been for this entire time, contemplating losing him, desperately trying not to lose him, and then seeing that the trying isn't working and the best thing for him is to stop subjecting him to painful treatments that don't seem to be helping him.  It has to be especially painful that they wanted so badly to cure his cancer and they did, but the treatment is killing him anyway.  His parents are both nurses--I used to work with his dad in the ICU before I continued my training--and have been incredible in their ability to roll with this journey, and keep things as normal as possible for this little boy and his older brother.  They have both helped countless families through end-of-life decisions, and now have to make these decisions all to soon for their baby.

As I savor a lovely evening with my healthy and happy only child, my heart is also with my friends, who are savoring a late summer evening with their little family, trying to make the time slow down.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Lets try this again...

Well. I have been training with my personal trainer for about 3 months now. He is awesome, I am stronger and leaner, and it's been good. But I still am not losing weight. This whole time, no weight lost. Yes, I have lost a lot of fat and look and feel better, and I'm not losing sight of how huge that is or how much work I have put into this. But I do actually need to lose weight still. 

The last two weeks, fatigue and disappointment have really set in. Especially fatigue. Today's workout was terrible. I bonked almost immediately and had to be dragged through it. Finally, I asked my trainer to sit down with me and tell me what he would tell anyone about nutrition with no surgery or restrictions. He was very basic: more calories, more good quality carbs, more protein. I need fuel. I'm scared to do this, knowing that my metabolism has been so poor. But with more muscle to work with and more to do, I do need the fuel. So I decided to just follow it, and not weigh for one whole week.  Keep my food logs, but wait on weights and measurements. 

I am working a lot more. I'm tired mentally and emotionally when I get home, never mind physically. And I miss my daughter. Being a working mom often sucks. Finding the time for myself is difficult, as it is for everyone. Sleep is usually adequate, but stress and exhaustion take their toll. Yet there has to be a way to make this work. I'm reminded that sleeve-after-band is often a slow road, slower than it is for those who only have the sleeve. The loss of muscle mass from the first weight loss has made things slower this time. I'm trying to stay motivated, but I need to see some progress for this to work. 

Just 20 lbs, that's all I ask...