Friday, October 29, 2010

Update: Food, Work, Life

So my life is having ups and downs. I'm trying to breathe and just take it all in stride. I can only control what I can control.

I can control what I put in my mouth. I can control if I write it down and track the points for it. Now, have I been? No. Not really. I actually haven't done too bad though. Yesterday I stopped eating dinner when I was satisfied. I knew I really didn't need to eat the rest and I was going to be fine.

Also the late night phone calls/messaging with a certain someone in Nebraska makes me forget about eating at night. That's a plus! :)

And I have been stepping on the scale to see where I am this week. My official weigh in day is tomorrow but so far, the scale is looking ok. I may have only stayed the same but I'm confident I shouldn't have gained anything. Not bad considering I haven't been tracking.

So I can do better in the food department but at least I'm being mindful of what I'm eating and how often I'm eating. It's kind of the way "real life" works with food.

What can I say. This is an area that I can't control. I can only control how I perform at work but can't control the management's decisions.

A friend at work was fired. She was part-time. The one attorney here never liked her and wanted to fire her when she was pregnant but couldn't legally. I liked her more than anyone else at this stupid place!

Today, I came into work to be told that "things are going to get much worse around here." Yeah, thanks. Don't they know you can get more bees with honey. I just don't get it. But again, I can't control it. I can only control the fact that I can look for a new job!

My cousin is having a house warming/Halloween party tomorrow night. Unfortunately, a tree fell over during the storms in the Midwest earlier this week and knocked their power out. Hopefully Mr. Anonymous will check in here and let me know if they have been able to have it restored. Fingers crossed!

I have been having an internal struggle regarding my personal dating life. I'm an over analyzer. I think and rethink and dissect everything in my life. I do it to the point that things aren't fun anymore but a huge struggle. I'm trying to rid myself of this behavior. Sometimes you just don't have to think. Sometimes you should just do. Life is about having fun!! Not thinking so much you're depressed and your head hurts and you want to curl up in a ball and never leave the house!

So, Ken called (guy #1...the one that lives near me) and asked if I wanted to do something next week on Monday or Tuesday. I said sure. I mean, I don't dislike Ken. I like him, he's nice. I had fun the last time we went out. Maybe there aren't "sparks" there right now, but that's ok. I told him I wasn't sure where I was "at" with this and we agreed to take it slow and get to know each other. Then Ken asked if I wanted to go out to dinner later in the week for his brother's birthday. way! I'm not going to meet the family! lol. Hm...sigh!

Then we have Matt (guy #2...the one that lives 450 miles away in Nebraska). If I said that we "got along", that would be an understatement. We clicked from minute one. Of course, it's only phone calls and chat messaging. This is where my internal struggle has been coming in to play. I talk to him for hours, then the next day I think to myself that I don't want to talk to him anymore. I don't want to because we live hours away from each other and I don't want to like him!

I've decided that I'm not going to fight with myself about it. It's ok if we talk and get along great and have fun via phone/computer. There is nothing wrong with that. Why do I have to think so much? He is coming into town the weekend of November 6th for my cousin's party. We are both really looking forward to meeting each other. Hey, if nothing else, I have a new friend. I didn't "waste" my time by talking to him for two weeks. If we meet and there is really something there, then we will have to make decisions. But right now, there are no decisions to be made. I just need to remember that.

So that's my Food, Work, Life in a nutshell! I've learned through all of this that I can be a bit of a control freak. I think it's out of fear. But sometimes you have to just let go and just live life.

Are you a control freak??

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Running Goals

I added a section to the side, see... ---------------------------------------->

that tells me what runs I have coming up that I've paid for and are definitely running.

Some people have the cool tabs on the top of their page to post things like this on. I don't know how to do that :(

I think maybe I can't do that with blogger?? Does anyone know?

Anyway, I'm signing up for so many more runs than normal that I feel as though I might forget them all. I do, after all, have early stages of Alzheimer's! Those with family members that have it, I know it's hard, so please don't be offended by my joking use of the term.

I sometimes feel as though I have it! I know I don't. I do like to joke around though. My grandmother did have dementia in the late stages of her life. My dad took the test and it was determined that he does not. I'm saying it is skipping a generation! lol. I forget EVERYTHING! :-p

Back on topic...I'm doing more runs and I like to keep track of them. I thought that was a good way to do it. Post it on my blog!

I'm doing the 15k in 1.5 weeks. I'm kind of excited. It's less than a half marathon, which is good. And I know with the half marathons, I pretty much hit a wall at around mile 9! So this run is 9.3 miles! Perfect! But I have a huge party to go to later that day so I'll be in a hurry!

Then I have 2 Turkey Trot 5k's. The first one (Tinley Park) is one I'm running alone. I haven't run a 5k on my own in so long! Normally, I run with other people to encourage them along on the 5k. I'm pretty interested to see what my 5k time would be on my own!

When I first started running, I ran 5k's in about 35 mins (sometimes more, sometimes less). I think the fastest I ever ran one in was 32+ mins. I think I can do it under 30 mins now. What do you think? I'm anxious to find out!

The second Turkey Trot (Beverly) I'll be running with Nick (Mr. Anonymous on these boards!). Go Nick! This run was the his first one ever last year! He wants to beat his previous time! I know he can do it! He just needs to find his running shoes after he moved...

And today, I signed up for the Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus, OH in May of 2011. My nephew lives there and I thought it would be an easy one to go to since I can stay at his house and he can pick up my packet for me (hopefully).

Runs that I don't have on the "scheduled" list that are either definites or maybes are the Chicago FULL Marathon next year (definite!) and the Atlantic City Half Marathon that a few fellow bloggers were thinking of doing as well. That one would be difficult for me as I would need airfare and a hotel, but if I plan ahead, it may be doable!

I have a Goal for the Half Marathons. I thought of this myself but have since seen this as many runner's goals. I want to run a half marathon in as many states as possible. So far, it's been just Illinois. Next year, I'll add Columbus at a minimum!

I'm not even going to get into my guy troubles. Sigh. Maybe in another post. :-/
Actually nothing has changed. I'm just in a "I-have-less-stress-when-it's-just-me" mode!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Party

I haven't been posting much. I have been doing what I'm supposed to be doing lately in terms of eating. I wasn't tracking, I wasn't planning my meals, heck...I didn't even go grocery shopping! In hopes of sparing the men on here some uncomfortableness, it was a "female" issue.

I hate using that as an excuse though. It's not! I need to learn to manage and control myself during certain times!

Starting Saturday though, I've done much better. I still didn't track, but I'm paying more attention to if I'm hungry. We had a Halloween party at my cousin Angel's house and her husband Brent. They have a party every year and it's a theme party. This year's theme was a nursery rhyme/fairy tale theme.

Unfortunately, we only got the invites a week in advance. And I really wasn't feeling the theme. I'm poor and didn't want to spend $50 on a costume and didn't have much time to improvise.

I decided to be Little Red Riding Hood. I was Red when I was like 5 years old. I used the old cape and just added ribbon in the front to tie it together. I carried a basket and put flower pins in my hair. Then I just wore a black shirt and jeans.

What was funny was that half way through the night, Brent's coworker showed up as The Big Bad Wolf from the story! OMG, we were dying laughing. This was not planned. I didn't know him. But it was perfect. He completes me! lol

And I did pretty great on not overeating! So pleased!

Here are a few photos from that night...

Me and my cousin Andrew. He was a smurf. And the next picture is the 3 blind mice.

Me and my Wolfie friend! :) I'm such a bad actress.

My cousin Angel and Brent. She always has to be the star of the show!! They were Hansel & Gretel. Then there was Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter

Also, Old Mother Hubbard and the dog made an appearance!

Nice legs Uncle Jan! lol

Then on Sunday, we celebrated my Grandmother's 81st birthday. My grandparents look so great for their age! We just went to my parents restaurant for lunch. Nothing big. But we did make her cry!! :p

**Off Topic Personal Life Dating News Report: Um...Um...Houston we have a problem! I really like this guy in Nebraska that I've been chatting with online. My cousin knows him and introduced us on Facebook. Since Friday we cannot stop talking online! I didn't get to bed until 3:30 am on Saturday night because of this! I don't talk to anyone for that long (over 4 hours straight). Oh dear! And he is coming in town on Nov. 6th for a huge family party (even though he isn't part of it). It's my cousin's party and since she was meddling trying to get us together, she invited him.

I was HUGELY resistant on even talking to him on facebook in the beginning. I mean, he lives two states away! We have been FB friends for a few months, but not until Friday did I really say anything to him. But he is SO NICE! Yesterday he told me that talking to me was like a "breath of fresh air." Swoon! We will call him Matt (because that's his name!).

And yes, Ken is still waiting in the background. I'm not making any rash decisions until I meet Matt. But I will tell you that I would SO much rather talk to Matt then Ken. Oh dear, when did I start juggling two guys! Since I'm not officially dating either one of them, I think it's ok. Matt knows about Ken (although Matt did tell me to break up with Ken!! lol). And there is nothing to tell Ken about Matt right now. I'm playing it by ear. And when/if there is something to tell, I will.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Run Picture Update

In the beginning of October, I ran the Cougar 5k with my cousin Nick. I got a few pictures from the run and thought I would post them. I'm actually smiling in them which is rare. Normally I have my normal running scowl on my face! But I knew someone at the finish and was smiling because of it.

I'm in the green shirt and Nick is in the red hat. Nick frequents my blog and harasses me later in email! Hahaha! Yes Nick! I posted your picture for all the blogging world to see! Take that! Oh...sorry, moving on.

Um, in other Off-Topic news...the guy I went on a few dates with is growing on fungus (good fungus, of course). We shall see.

I'll try to remember to bring and post a recipe tomorrow. I forget and it's at home.

Again, I have not been tracking my food. Exercise is ok though. Stepped on the scale at random times and it's showing ok numbers. Hopefully that will last until Saturday when I weigh in for real!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Does size really matter?

I signed up for more runs in one month than ever before! I signed up for two turkey trot 5k's and just signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15k. All in November. I googled what a 15k is and it's 9.3 miles! Yikes!

I usually don't run more than 6 miles on my own unless I'm doing a half marathon!

But since I have decided that I will definitely (yes, I said definitely!) be doing the Chicago Marathon next year, I need to pick up the mileage on my runs starting NOW!

The Hot Chocolate 15k is on November 6th. They have an awesome goodie bag including a nice running jacket! However, since I registered so late for this run, they do not have all sizes on the jacket available. I could opt for a sweatshirt but I really don't need a sweatshirt. I liked the jacket!

Unfortunately ALL of the women's jacket sizes were gone except the XL. Since I have pride in the fact that I'm not an XL, I thought about getting a Men's small. Good idea except the Men's small is bigger than the Women's XL. Really? Really. They have the measurements listed on the site.

So after much debate, I succumb to getting the only available women's size jacket, a Women's XL.

Actually that should be fine because you don't want the jacket too small anyway. It's just a matter of pride in the fact that I lost over 90 lbs and still have to get a XL! I'm over it though. It will be nice!

Another thing too. I hate spending money on these runs! I'm over that too and worked it into my budget by taking money out every month to support my running habit! :p

How do you feel about buying clothing sizes that are too big for you?

On a food note, I'm not doing great. I did great most of yesterday but the end of the night was an epic failure. I know what to do and what not to do, I just don't do it! With the holiday's coming up, I'm having a mini-freakout. I know how EASY it is to gain 5 lbs and how HARD it is to lose it.

I guess I just have to take it one day at a time. Track, track, track is the key! I need to write down EVERYTHING that I eat and just track it and move on. I'll start today!


I'm back and better than ever! Well, maybe not so much better but I'm moving on! I'm getting back to the point of my blogging...which is Healthy Living!

What!?! You don't believe that was the original topic of my blog? Really it was!

I know, I've gotten all sentimental and delved WAY too much into my personal life! But sometimes we need to get it all out in the open in order to deal with it.

Now that I've (still not really) dealt with my personal stuff. It's healthy living blogging ALL THE WAY!

So what happened to me over the weekend? Basically, I was MIA due to no computer! But it gave me time to regroup. Now, I'm back!

Friday, I took a mental health day at work (a.k.a. sick day). I lazed around all day. I woke up late (around 10:30), watched some tv, raked some leaves, watched more tv, ate some food, watched more tv, then went to the gym for my 2 hour classes of kickboxing and weights/abs. LOVE FRIDAY CLASS AT THE GYM! Then went home and watched more tv!

Since I lazed around most of Friday, one of my running club girls Becca wanted me to join her and a new running club girl Michelle for a Saturday morning run.

Well, if you know me, I do not (I repeat, DO NOT) like to get up earlier than I have to on Saturday! I get up early all week for work, Saturday is my one day that I can sleep in until my WW meeting at 10:30! So that means I typically get up around 9:15.

But since I completely slept in on Friday, I thought, what the heck! I'll do it! I met Becca and Michelle at 8:00 a.m. for a nice 3 mile walk/run. It was good and nice to meet Michelle. Nothing else exciting happened on Saturday (I know, I'm boring).

Sunday, my parents and I went out for breakfast (I know! Getting up earlier than normal again on a weekend!) We tried a new place and were not pleased AT ALL! We almost got up before we even ordered our food but we stuck around. I got a veggie omelet with egg beaters and salsa, hashbrowns and wheat toast, not buttered. It was fine. Nothing extraordinary and we will not be going back!

Then my dad and I went for a game of racquetball. Now, we are self-taught racquetball-ers. We are NOT good and we NEVER play anymore since my parents bought a restaurant.

Also, my dad usually beats me the majority of the games so I was completely siked when I won the first game! Go Mandy! Go Mandy! It's your birthday! lol!

Uh, the fun ended quickly when my dad won the next FOUR games! Sigh. My victory was short lived!

I decorated a little for Halloween, got crabby about having to go to a Halloween party at my cousin's next weekend (since I just got the invitation and only have 1 week to try to dress up)! Whatever, I'll deal with it. This is not part of the healthy living blog and therefore, will keep it to a minimum! :p

Again, nothing else exciting. I'm still boring!

Tomorrow, I'll share a recipe I made on Saturday that was pretty good. Might have been better if I had all the right ingredients! :) It's for an Apricot Chicken from a Light N' Tasty cookbook.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Off Topic: Crazy Lady Reporting!

I've come to the conclusion that I'm crazy! Yes, it's true. I was in denial but I'm not anymore!

I will also apologize for my off topic postings lately. I was gearing this blog towards "healthy living" and foods, etc. but well, life happens and I need to talk about it.

The topic of the day? Dating.

Oh dear, you are tired of hearing about it, huh? So sorry! Maybe I'll stop being crazy and get back to food!

I even posted my concerns about dating on the weight watchers message boards to get other people's opinions. You can read all of their comments and mine here. If you are interested of course, no pressure.

So my dilemma in a nutshell is this. You may remember my previous post about going on a first date with "K". We were set up, yadda, yadda, yadda. We got along fine but I wasn't "feeling it" you know? There were some physical things that were bothering (height, etc.). I decided to give it another chance.

Yesterday, we went mini-golfing and dinner. I actually had a pretty good time. Conversation was good. I wasn't really bothered with some of the things that bothered me before. But still not sure that I was "feeling it." So I was trying to figure out if I should play the "friends" card. I would mean it, not just a way to get rid of him or anything.

Anyway, after all the discussion on the WW boards, I have some to the conclusion that I'm crazy! I add all this pressure to myself that doesn't need to be there. Why do I have to figure it ALL out right now?

What I really need to do is RELAX! Chill out! Just go with the flow! Why do I have to be such a crazy person! If this is what I'm like after 2 dates, imagine if it went further! Oh dear!

I should have flashing lights attached to my forehead saying "Danger! Crazy Person! Get involved with at your own risk!" I'm just sayin'. It might make things easier.

Well, at least I have my eating under control! Or do I? Oh that's right, I don't! Dear God, does it ever end?

We will be back to regularly scheduled programming next week!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicago Marathon

I have new inspiration. The Chicago Marathon was yesterday. Every year I'm in awe of the ability of people to run 26.2 miles... at one time, not over the course of a week! :)

There was a time, not so long ago (2006 to be exact), that I said I would NEVER run a full marathon. I said that after running the half marathon for the first time! I think 13.1 miles is just enough miles to cause psychological damage!

Then in 2008, I said again, "I would NEVER run a full marathon."

In 2009, I said, "I doubt I could ever run a full marathon because I don't think my knees would hold up. I mean I can barely finish 13.1 without whining for 4 days!"

In 2010 before and after the half, I said, "Man I would love to run the full marathon. Maybe I could do it for next year? Lots of training. Can my knees handle it? I don't know. Hm...what to do, what to do!"

Funny how things change over the years!...Never...Never...Doubt...Love! lol.

So for the last several months, I've been debating on whether I should train for the full marathon in Chicago. I thought it was sort of funny in that the 2010 marathon hadn't even happened and I was thinking of 2011. The reason being is that you have to register for it fairly early as it closes out fast!

So I'm seriously considering training for it. It would require a lot of dedication on my end. I see all the inspiring stories of people on these blogs training for it!

The charity group that I run for for the half marathon has people that do the full Chicago marathon as well.

I here about all of these amazing and inspiring stories! How can it not make you want to run!

I have been trying to run more days out of the week right now. That's hard for me. I really only ran 1 or 2 times a week. I'm working on doing 3 days most weeks, with one longer run. Next year when I am officially in training for the Marathon, I'll work out a more finalized schedule.

So what do you think? Think I can do it? I've run 4 half marathons. I'm running two next year (not just one). I'm running one in Columbus, OH in May (my nephew lives there), and I'll run my standard one in August.


On another note, I lost 1.2 lbs at weigh in on Saturday! I'm good with any type of loss these days!

I also made a Tangy Pulled Pork recipe in the crockpot last night. I'm eating it tonight so if it's good, I'll share the recipe. I'm kind of mad because I forgot to buy rolls for it so I'll be heading to the store tonight before I eat.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Goals for the Week

Thanks for letting me dissect my "meeting/date" on here for all the blogging world to see. Sometimes it helps for me to get it out in this forum and helps me think and make sense of things. It also does help to get other people's perspectives on the matter, even though it's ultimately my decision.

It also helps that most of the people that read this blog are strangers to me. It might sound weird but sometimes I feel that I can tell strangers more about my life than the people in my life. I feel the comments are more objective than if you really knew me in my personal life. Does that make sense? Do any of you feel the same way? Or do you have a lot of friends and family reading your blog? I only have about 2 people from my personal life that may read my blog on any given day. No one else really knows about it.

Now, let's not tell him that I dissected our meeting on here! He might not appreciate it as much! :p

So let's get back to how I have been doing in my healthy living journey.

Um...Well...maybe we shouldn't. I've been struggling a bit. It's funny how some weeks, we can have really good weeks and some weeks, it all falls apart.

I was trying to figure out the reasons for my struggles these last two weeks. These are not excuses, they are just reasons why I may have chosen options that were not as healthy as I should have. (This sentence doesn't seem correctly worded. I'm just having a hard time and I don't want to say "good" foods or "bad" foods, since there really aren't such things).

1. I've been much busier at work: busy work = more stress = not concentrating on what I'm eating.

2. Life has been busier recently: working last Sunday at my parent's restaurant + helping cousin pack for move + success story speaking engagement + meeting/date = not as much time to work out = more stress = not concentrating on what I'm eating = also equals emotional eating.

3. Since life has been busier recently, I didn't go grocery shopping: No grocery shopping = no food in the house = munching on processed food that I do have in the house.

I've also gotten lax on the good goals I created one week that really seemed to work for me! I wasn't eating anything except veggies or a glass of milk after 9:00 pm. I've definitely let that go these last two weeks.

So my goals for this coming week starting tomorrow (Saturday):

1. Go grocery shopping.

2. Plan to make at least two recipes for next week so I have food in the fridge to grab for work lunches.

3. Implement the "no eating past 9:00 pm" rule again.

4. Take time for myself to fit in my exercise routine for the week.

I think that should cover it. I don't have much planned for the weekend. I may go to a friends house one day but she hasn't gotten back to me, so that's up in the air. But I'll make the most of tomorrow if I'm home to get much of the grocery stuff done so I have no excuses.

I also don't have any Halloween decorations since this is the first year I've lived in my own house. I'm so weird when it comes to money. I've stared at Halloween decorations for the past two weeks but I can't seem to fork over any money! Now everyone is starting to sell out.

I think I formulated a plan in my head of what I want to do now. Hopefully the stores have the items I want for my Halloween decorations.

Do you decorate for Halloween? Do you dress up even as adults?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How did it go?

*Mostly off-topic blogging follows in the post below. Read at your own risk.

I'm sure you are ALL dying to know how my date went on Tuesday! First let me apologize for not blogging as much. We are so busy at work right now that I've had to cut back on blogging and reading all your amazing blogs!

For those that didn't read my other post, I had a date on Tuesday. Some background information on this date first. My cousin "T" and his mom work together. They thought it would be a great idea to set us up, even though they had never met us! Well actually, my cousin has met me and his mom has met him but him mom never met me and T never met him! :)

Are we all on the same page now? Good! I'll continue.

This all started sometime in the summer, maybe around June. The meddlers (T & his mom) gave him my email (with my permission). He emailed, I emailed, he emailed, I emailed, etc. We became friends on facebook so we can see each other pictures. I went on vacation, he didn't email after that.

Two months went by (maybe 1.5??), I was going to drop the whole thing. I figured he wasn't interested. I saw "T" and she said he told him mom he was going to ask for my number when I got back from vacation. Um, hello?? I've been back for almost two months now! I still wasn't going to email him but decided to give it one last chance. Maybe he figured I wasn't interested.

I emailed, he emailed, I emailed....he finally asked for my number. We set up a date. Now, I'm weird. I wasn't calling it a date. I was calling it a "meeting." I'm just going to meet someone new! It's not a date! I like to play mind games with myself!

Fine, it was a date. Are you happy now? I did see his 1 picture on facebook but he had on a hat and sunglasses and was on vacation. Not too much help. And actually he was shorter and smaller than I had anticipated (pictures are so deceiving). I generally like tall guys but since I'm not shallow, I wasn't going to let that ruin it.

We went to Buca Di Beppo. They serve food family style so we are expected to share. He got a salmon dish and I got gnocchi. I love gnocchi! And it was delicious! I hate fish but did try his salmon and it wasn't bad at all (for salmon).

We talked for a long time. We have good conversation so that's not lacking. We are different and similar on many things. The things we are different on, we are SO different! The things we are similar on, we are SO similar! There's no middle ground! lol. But nothing we are different on is so huge that it would be a deal breaker.

So, what happened? Did I drag this post on long enough? I don't really feel any kind of spark, you know. Very much a "friendship" vibe going on. But it was only 1 "meeting". I guess too, he didn't compliment me at all. I tried to look nice and I got nadda! Geez, what does a girl have to do to get a compliment! lol.

But he did ask if we could go out again. I decided I would give it one more shot. You never know. If I don't feel a "vibe" next time, I'll tell him I don't get that connection with him. I think if nothing else, we could be friends (I know guys love to hear that)!

I will keep you updated.

ATTENTION ALL RUNNERS: The Rock N' Roll Marathon peeps are having a special. Register on 10/10/10 for any Rock N' Roll run between the hours of 10am PST and 10pm PST and you will receive $20 off your entry fee. Awesome! I'm planning on it. Thanks RNR peeps!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Weekend Update and More

Well, I've been slacking on posting lately! We've been really busy at work and I was pretty busy on the weekend. I'm also a blogger without a home computer which makes it rough! I know, I live in the stone age! Hey, it's one less bill to pay! I may get one in the near future, but who knows.

Saturday started out with the Cougar 5k run. It started out cold and rainy! I so hate running when it's cold and rainy!

But it cleared up (at least in the rain dept, not in the cold dept) so that was good. I was running this run with my cousin Nick. I was there to support him, so I wasn't running the run for a personal best for me, but I wanted to help him get through it. I was there for support! :)

I was very proud of him! We ran the whole way and didn't stop. From what it seemed like to me, we were making about 11 min. miles at most! That's great!

And we did! We finished in around 34 mins (34:03 for me and 34:04 for him...Haha! I beat you Nick!). You can see some official pictures here. I'm in the green shirt and Nick is in the red hat. Someone that was there will also be emailing me some he took so when I get those, I'll post them too.

Then I went to my weight watchers meeting. I wasn't going to weigh in since I had eaten something, run, drank water and was wearing two shirts! But I did and I gained a few pounds. Since I know the whole thing wasn't a true gain (think I probably gained only 1 lb or so), I won't get too discouraged about it.

Saturday night, I went to Nick's house to help my cousin Jessie (Nick's wife) pack.

Sunday, I ran about 6 miles in the morning, then mowed the back lawn. Holy tired! So then I took an hour nap! Much better!

After running a few errands, I had to work at my parent's restaurant in the evening from 6-10 pm. It was busy in sections throughout the night. I was glad when I got to leave!

Monday, I had that success story meeting after work for weight watchers. It was set up as an open forum and anyone there could say something.

When we got there, they made us sign in and also put our weight loss to date. At the start of the meeting they announced how much the people in the room (minus the leaders there) lost. There may have been about 40 people or so there and they said we lost over 1,400 lbs! Wow! We were all in shock!

The meeting was actually kind of fun. I enjoyed myself. Everyone that spoke had great things to say. Some people were SO FUNNY!

When it was my turn, I immediately got up and told them I get stage fright so they have to be nice to me! My talking was ok but my legs were shaking like crazy! I forgot some of the things I wanted to mention but it still went good.

Here is a picture of me afterwards at my cousin's house. It's a new shirt that I kind of think looks pretty cute!
So that was my weekend/Monday in a nut shell. Today, I have my "meeting" with that guy. We will call him "K". Should be interesting! Will keep you posted.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Surgery - 1 Year Post-Op

1 year ago today, I had surgery. Why am I bringing this up on a healthy living blog? Because if I hadn't lost weight, I wouldn't have known that I had a tumor in my head!

Now, the tumor was NOT cancerous (thank god!). Let me start from the beginning of my little story.

In August 2009, my mom noticed a lump on the side of my face (?), upper neck, right next to my jaw bone and right by my ear. After a visit to the regular doctor, who then referred me to an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat Doctor), and after a CT scan, he found it was a tumor in the perotid gland. Here is a picture of the lump. This picture was taken surgery day and my mom was making me laugh so hard!
Quick medical info: Per my doctor, tumors in the perotid gland are most always not cancerous. He said I could have it removed (surgery) or leave it in and monitor it. He said there is always a chance that they could turn cancerous but it's unlikely. I opted to have it removed.

He told me that per the CT scan, the lump was rather large...3 cm X 3 cm. He said that the lump had to have been there growing for at least a couple of years to get that large! I had just noticed it though. Then I said that I lost a lot of weight and my face was much thinner. He said that is probably why I didn't notice it before but did now.

Wow! I thought that was pretty amazing! What if it was a cancerous tumor?? If I hadn't lost weight, I might not have known it was there! Again, thankfully it wasn't a cancerous tumor. It was benign.

So long story...long! On Oct. 1st, I had surgery to remove it. The surgery lasted about 3.5 hours (it was expected to only last 2 hours). I ended up having to spend a very uncomfortable night in the hospital. I had to go home the next day (Friday) with a drain tube. Then back to the doctor on Saturday to have it removed! There was a chance of facial paralysis! My whole right side of my face could have been paralyzed! There was a high tech nerve monitor lady there and everything!

The bandage they wound on my head was SO TIGHT that it ended up cutting into my forhead and left the space between my eyes swollen! The incision at the hospital didn't even hurt, it was the bandage on my forehead that hurt. I was in so much pain from that that I woke up every 1/2 hour that night. I was nauseous. I couldn't eat ANYTHING. I had to have a nurse go with me to the bathroom every time I needed to.

Afterwards, at home, I took only a few days (plus the weekend and Monday) off. I could barely walk from the train to work. I couldn't turn my head from side to side for a few weeks.

I wasn't supposed to lift ANYTHING or do anything that could cause my heart rate to increase for at least 2 weeks. So I didn't walk or go to the gym or anything for 2 weeks! Then when I did go to the gym, I still couldn't turn my head or jump around so I did very low impact moves in my classes (toe taps instead of jumping jacks, etc.).

I couldn't sleep on that side of my head for months! My ear was numb and the skin around the area was numb. I couldn't talk on the phone either.

Now, I can sleep on that side but my ear is still partially numb and so is the surrounding area. I think it is 80% better than it was immediately following surgery. I still don't like to talk on the phone on that side, which is really annoying!

I don't have any facial paralysis now, which is a very good thing! I do have an indentation from where the bump was removed but the scar is just a thin line.

Would you like to see some hospital pics now? Yes, I brought a camera and this was before my blogging days! And my dad, true to form, knew I wanted pictures and came into the recovery room while I was feeling completely miserable and started snapping pictures of me! Thanks Dad! I wanted to rip that camera from his hands and bash it into his head! :)

Thanks Dad, these are super pictures! lol
In this one was as I was getting ready to leave. One of my cousin's was checking to see how I was doing. And there is that wonderful drain tube that I had to keep with me at home for an entire day! I was just happy to have that darn bandage off my head!

This was about 2 days after surgery. The stitches are in there but you can hardly tell. It actually looked really good. The surgeon did a fabulous job. The incision went in my ear (in the front), then down and around the bottom of my ear, then down my neck as you see in the picture.

So are you super excited I shared my surgery story with you all? I know you are! But the purpose for me sharing it was for health reasons! Losing weight can help with all kinds of health issues: diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, etc. But in my case, it helped me FIND a health concern and take care of it.

And what happened to my weight during this time? I was 168 before surgery. I lost 5 lbs in the 2 weeks following surgery (best diet ever! lol). I couldn't move my jaw much and was on pretty soft foods for a few weeks! Then by the end of the year (2 months later), I had gained 12 pounds (175 lbs)! So yes, I was discouraged but I blame the surgery. The important thing was I was able to get back on track in the new year and eventually lose that weight!

Moral of the story: Take care of yourself. You are the only YOU you have!