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July 14, 2015

Dang, My Uterus Did Not Weigh 20 Pounds!

Yes, you heard me.  I was really, really, really hoping it was a twenty pound uterus, but it was not.  As a matter of fact, my GYN informed me it was rather small, and it contained just a few little fibroid cysts.  I thought for sure it was root of all weight-related evil.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I recently underwent a hysterectomy.  Just a partial, though. I chose to keep a few parts that will help me on down the road as I age, and I ditched those that have been a pain over the years.  I am recovering. The first few days were the worst.  From there, my big incision became a bit infected, but that has since healed.  I also had an allergic reaction to something they applied to my incisions in the operating room, and I am covered in hives, still to this day.  They really get itchy at night, and I wake up scratching and scratching and scratching.  Ugggg.  Some parts of recovery have been painful.  Other things are simply annoying.

At the last minute, I freaked out and dropped the summer journaling class I had grand plans of taking.  With previous surgeries, things haven't always gone well during the recovery phase.  I predicted this one would follow a similar path, and now that it is all said and done, I am so, so, so, so glad I dropped it.  It is one less thing to stress out about as I scratch my hives and accidentally rip off scabs with my waistband.

I'm not all gloom and doom, though.  I weighed in a week and a half after joining Weight Watchers, a few days prior to surgery, and lost 4.8 pounds!  That put me back to being within my goal weight range, and the receptionist cheered me on and handed me my free E-Tools voucher.  I weighed in again on Friday, almost two weeks post surgery, and lost another 1.6.  I thought for SURE I would be up a bit since I still felt rather bloated from surgery.  Not to mention, I have pretty much eaten my way through the healing process.  {No kidding.  Check out my meal the morning after surgery.  I ate every bit and asked for more.  lol}  Much to my surprise, I was down upon Friday's weigh in.  I'll take what I can get.  I am down 6.4 pounds, which puts me slightly under my official goal weight.

I have a personal goal I would like to hit before Christmas.  I tend to be a slow loser, and I refuse to stop drinking things might go a little slow for me.  However, I am determined to get there.  I have been walking every day since surgery.  I could barely make it around my little cul-de-sac the first day, but I made a point to walk a bit more each day.  Arm in arm, my sweet husband would literally help me walk up and down my street those first couple of days.  By the one week mark, I was able to walk for 30 minutes.  It was a very, very slow 30 minutes, and I held my lower belly the entire way, but I did it.  By the two week mark, which was yesterday, I moderately walked 3.5 miles with ease.  (I realize that is not a possibility for everyone.  Keep in mind, before surgery, I regularly ran 4 - 10 miles several times per week, on top of multiple cardio and strength workouts throughout the week.  I went into this surgery in great shape.)

I feel grateful to have my GYN/surgeon.  She underwent a hysterectomy, and she is also a runner!  She gets it.  She knows how challenging it is for someone who never sits sit still.  Lucky for me, she gave me clearance to walk as much as I want starting day one, but I need to wait a few more weeks for running to be a part of my life again.  I have four incisions that are visible.  Those alone will take time to heal.  It's the amount of cutting that took place within the pelvic cavity, the stuff I cannot see or keep an eye on visibly, that will require my patience and dedication to taking it easy.  So far, I've done nothing to cause unnecessary pain.  Trust me.  I do not like pain.

Anyway, so much for my big plans of walking away from a hysterectomy 20 pounds lighter.  Looks like I will have to do it the way I have always done it -- with the structure and accountability of Weight Watchers. :)

June 17, 2015

Still Watching...After All These Years

Was my last post really January 10, 2013?  Really?  R-e-a-l-l-y???  Yikes.  With that being said, I don't even know where to begin, where I left off, or what to say.  I will simply do my best to catch up without writing a novel.

Most of the information on this site is old information (clearly).  Whatever you do, don't use any of the Points info.  I hit a Weight Watchers meeting this morning, and I learned all about the Points Plus plan.  It's the same as always...only different.  If you've followed Weight Watchers long enough, you know exactly what I mean.  Lucky for me, I still journal every single day.  Writing it all down is what works for me, and in that regard, I have stayed true to my roots.  Although, in lieu of writing with pen and paper, I did finally make the leap to tracking calories on my phone a number of years ago; technology is a beautiful thing.

My Past & My Health
Many of you know, I used to be a Weight Watchers leader in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I moved away in June of 2010, and my family relocated to the Pacific Northwest.  When I moved away from Cincinnati, my heart moved away from Weight Watchers.  Moving across the country was a painful move, and it was one my family did not want to make.  It took me quite a while to come to terms with such a monumental life change.  Little did I know, more change was on the horizon.  Shortly after we moved, I discovered I could no longer eat gluten (Celiac disease).  Gluten had been making me very ill for many years, but I didn't realize how ill I had become until I began to adhere to a strict gluten free lifestyle.  I tired to keep my chin up about this change, but it was a rough transition for me.  The longer I stayed away from gluten, the more challenging it became to eat away from home without becoming extremely ill.  Not long after that diagnosis, my thyroid pooped out on me.  It had been causing trouble for a few years, but my family practice doctor in Ohio continually stated all of my test results looked fine and would not treat my symptoms.  Despite any effort I made or what expert I went to see, the scale began to climb and climb...and climb some more.  I became a shell of the person I was before.  It was frightening.  In one last attempt to seek help, I found a lovely doctor who looked past all of my thyroid test numbers and recognized an autoimmune thyroid issue (Hashimoto's disease).  I have been on thyroid medication since December of 2012.  My only regret it not finding this angel doctor sooner!

When I began feeling better, I decided to go back to college.  I had been one course shy of completing my degree in early childhood education since the birth of my first child in 1998.  I was able to complete the required course online, and just like that, I had a brand new, shiny degree that was actually kind of an old degree.  I decided to continue on for another.  And now I am working on a third.  At the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, I landed a job at a local university as a morning preschool teacher.  Come winter term, January of 2016, I will be a full time employee.  (My savings account is looking forward to the tuition discount!  It can't take much more of this out-of-pocket cost for graduate school nonsense.)

I am taking a course this summer that is based on journaling throughout a lifetime, both personally and professionally.  At first, I wasn't certain how this class would pertain to my life.  However, as I read through the information my professor sent in an email today, I immediately thought of my weight management journey, this old blog, and the many years I have tracked and journaled what I eat.  I began to miss the Weight Watchers community, which was something I haven't thought of in quite a while.  I grabbed my phone (again with the technology!), looked up a Weight Watchers location, and attended a meeting, as a member, for the first time in years.  I received a brand new booklet for tracking my weight.  I am six pounds over my goal weight. I could beat myself up over this tidbit of information, but I refuse to do so.  I have worked diligently to gain my health back and continue doing what I know works for me over the years -- staying accountable.

During today's meeting, I realized just how difficult the act of journaling is for most people.  It is an act of honesty and reflection.  It requires planning and diligence.  I am thankful I stuck with it until it became part of who I am.  In a way, my journal tells a story about me, and I look forward to figuring out more about this concept during the course of the summer.

What else?  Oh, I still run.  Remember when I used to absolutely hate it?  When I first began running, I couldn't make it to the end of my tiny cul-de-sac without stopping to hurl on the sidewalk.  Now it is big part of my life (running...not hurling).  Due to my work and school schedule being so hectic, I haven't signed up for any races in the past year or two.  I am happy just running to run, rather than running for a medal.  I get a lot of thinking done when I run.  My calves look amazing thanks to all the miles I've forced them to run over the years!  My husband, Kent, still runs with me, and he still smokes past me on the hills.  I let him run ahead.  He chases the icky snakes away for me.

Hmmm...what else?  The kids are no longer little kids.  Ben, now 17, will attend his senior year of high school at a local community college next year and earn college credit while completing high school.  Riley, now 15, recently wrapped up ninth grade at a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) magnet high school, located inside of a local university.  Super smarty pants kids, right?  They get it from their father.

I snapped a picture of my lunch -- just like old times.  By doing so, I discovered I no longer feel the love for snapping pictures of food. lol

(Hummus, baked sweet potato (plain), lettuce wraps with turkey and shredded veggies, raw squash with salt and pepper.)
Until next time...