Earth to Meghan

It’s time for one of those periodic check-ins that keep me grounded, healthy, and engaged with my overall wellness. It’s difficult to keep close tabs on all of this during hectic mid-semester rushes with my coursework, but this summer I’m doing an independent study and an online course, so it’s a bit easier to spend time thinking about my health & wellness.

So here are the areas I’ll be thinking through and addressing:

  • Counseling: is it time to stop? do I keep going? I started counseling right before surgery simply because it’s recommended for us. My appointments went from every week, to bi-weekly, and now they’re every 4 weeks or so. I don’t mind going, it doesn’t hurt, it’s just one more thing to keep track of. My sense is that it’s better to keep going even if I don’t think I need it. When I don’t have anything to talk about weight/body wise, I still get lots of great advice when it comes to PhD work (since my psychologist has been there, done that!) and so forth. So I’ll continue through summer, re-evaluate before things get busy for me again this fall.
  • Nutrition: I need to do some serious work on this front. Sure, I’d like to lose those last twenty pounds so I can be officially “normal” at 145 pounds. Today I’m back at 165 and this is where my body seems to want to stay! I’m not as worried about the numbers now (since I’m healthy and strong and I feel good), but I do want to pay attention to how well I’m nourishing my body. Based on the bible study at work, I’ve been learning more about the food pyramid and we’re all trying to do better as far as that goes. So I definitely need waaaay more vegetables, more fruit, and less processed crap. I will be working on reaching a balance I can live with throughout the summer, and then working off those meal ideas throughout the fall when I’m too busy to pay attention.
  • Exercise: I’ve done okay on this, but I’m down for the count right now after surgery. Beginning June 3rd after my tapes are off, I’m committing to 5 days per week in the gym, consisting of a mix of spinning, weight lifting, yoga, and whatever else I feel like. Then on Saturdays I’ll pick back up with the bike trail. It’s a privilege to be able to workout 6 days a week, and I don’t want to waste the opportunity while I have the time!
  • Supplements: I’m currently re-evaluating my supplement regiment based on what other long-term post-ops are recommending. I haven’t had many of the blood tests most people get… my surgeon only checks the CMP/CBC/and B12. I’ll be researching this and I’ll report on what I decide!
  • Relationships: It’s important to me that I make time this summer to touch base with some of my friends, my mentor (an old boss), go visit my sister in Jacksonville, etc. I don’t have time for this stuff during semesters, so I want to do it while I can!
  • Plastics: Depending on how my arms heal and how they look once swelling is done, I’ll make a decision about what I want to do next. I thought a thigh lift made sense for the next thing before we have kids, and I still think that’s the plan. But we’ll see how the arms turn out before I decide if I want to jump right in or find another surgeon, that kind of thing. Either way, I’ll want to have a decision made by the end of August so that if I’m doing it, it’s booked for December break. Just one more thing on my mind that I’d like to have resolved this summer!

So that’s where I am and what I’m working on. I’ll be focusing on each “pillar” of my health, reporting back here, and asking for any feedback you might have! In the meantime, I’m researching my little heart out! 🙂

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Happenings

So here’s what’s up.

Four of us girls at work started a new bible study / interest group on the topic of health, wellness, the body, and the Bible. I led our first meeting yesterday and we talked about our goals, what keeps us from those goals, how we can hold each other accountable / encourage each other in pursuing those goals, etc. There are two of us who want to lose 20 pounds, one who wants to lose 50 or more before trying to get pregnant, and one who is already at an ideal weight but needs help with meal ideas and eating well on a budget.

Once we had our goals mapped out, I focused on vegetables and shared recipes for really yummy veggie dishes. Despite how well it went, I left our meeting feeling frustrated. Our group member who needs to lose 50 pounds talks about wanting to lose weight all the time. But throughout our session yesterday, she was making excuse after excuse–real sugar is better than artificial sweeteners, and she can’t have unsweetened coffee, so she must put sugar in her coffee. (My suggestion for raw cane sugar was scoffed at.) Then came excuse after excuse about needing to indulge every now and then, not being able to exercise, blah blah blah. And all this? With a Dr. Pepper and potato chips in hand. That was her food choice for a health & wellness bible study snack! Suffice to say, I find this all very annoying… not because she eats non-diet foods… I say eat whatever you want! But to eat crappy food and constantly whine about not losing weight? Seriously? And she isn’t the kind of person you can just be “straight” with and be like, “dude, don’t you think an orange juice might be better than Dr. Pepper for the same amount of calories?” She cries at the drop of a dime. I’m at a loss for how to help her–she thinks she has it all figured out. I guess if she really wanted help she would ask for and accept it, so I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and hope she can learn something as we go.

So aside from all that, I’ve “assigned” everyone the task of creating a health & wellness vision board for our next session two weeks from now. I’m actually pretty excited about doing this… I think it will help me think through what I really want in terms of a healthy & balanced life, what kinds of things I need to work toward, what a well-banced, maintenance-phase ME will look like. So that should be fun!

Other than that, I just finished my 3rd conference of the semester last weekend in Rhode Island–my sister went with me and we had so much fun! She took all the pictures and I’ll post some as soon as she emails them to me.

Aaaand my body is still all out of whack from stopping birth control. I finally did take a pregnancy test just to be triple-sure, and thankfully I’m not pregnant just yet. Just waiting for my hormones to get into a groove again!

Surgery just over 4 weeks away. I’m super-excited to get it done and over with!! And I’m actually very much looking forward to my new boobs! 🙂

Family pictures at the beach on Sunday (clothed of course). That should be fun!

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Okay, so I totally forgot to take pictures at the beach. I know, I know, shame on me! I’m going back Friday and I’ll do better this time–I swear!

So how about one from the dog park after a bike ride instead? I know it’s not the same.

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Quickness

In my typical style (bullets):

  • 2 conferences down, 2 to go (Rhode Island and New Orleans). They went very well! At the conference on gender studies, I received 7 condoms in my “goodie bag.” Including banana and vanilla flavored.
  • Speaking (frankly) of condoms, I don’t need to be worried that I stopped birth control in January and still haven’t had a “lady visit” from Aunt Flo, right? Condoms are 99% effective, right? RIGHT?! I just need to be patient. It’s just my body getting back into its own, non-artificial-hormone groove. RIGHT?? Because a surprise right now is so not on the spreadsheet!
  • 7 weeks til brachioplasty/boobs. Wahoo.
  • Beach today. WAHOO! Pictures coming!
  • And here’s the biggie: I ran a mile last night. If you recall, I quit the C25K program a while back because it was just too danged hard. Last night, I took to the treadmill again and banged out a mile with no problem. Screw the C25K plan, it’s too structured. Here’s what I’m doing: every other day, I’ll do 3.1 miles… run as much as I can, walk the rest. Eventually, I’ll get up to running the whole thing and voila! 5K! (I’m aiming for this one April 25th. But no pressure, it’s just a maybe thing.
  • In the spirit of full disclosure, my 200-pound weight loss lasted all of 12 hours. But that’s my cycle–down a few, up one, down one, up one, down a few, up one, down one… you get the drift. Since I saw 164 I know it will be back. No biggie! I guess this is how “losing” works when you’re getting near the end. ??

OK, I’m off to avoid sunburn!

A Case of the Mondays

The worst thing about Mondays? It will be another 5 days until I can get outdoors and do my thang*. A tribute to my dear bicycle:

*I’d like to note that I ride my bicycle fully clothed, thankyouverymuch!

Weight Weirdness

At one point last week, I weighed in at 167. Today I’m back at 171.6. I need to take stock and figure out what the heck is going on. Contributing factors could be:

  1. Exercise has been consistently inconsistent (ha!). I’ve never dropped below working out 3 days per week, but I’m not on a very regular schedule right now.
  2. I quit birth control about 3 weeks ago in preparation for plastics. Maybe my hormones are screwy?
  3. I haven’t been to a counseling appointment since 12/31/08. My stress level is definitely higher than normal. Maybe the discipline of going to my counseling sessions helps control stress and impacts weight and blah blah blah. The next appointment with Dr. Estill is Wednesday of next week and then I’ll be back to my every-other-week routine.
  4. Lord, I’ve been eatin’ some carbs. Popcorn, cheez-its, and my sister’s homemade carrot cake. BAD MEG!
  5. I’ve also been getting less than 64 oz of water. And I’ve noticed that sometimes when I’m thirsty, I reach for a snack instead of a drink. Duh.

So. As you can see, I’ve been lax in the “follow RNY rules for life” department. In a way, I’m not worried. I know how to get back on track. It’s really not that big a deal.

However. My plastic surgery is in less than 12 weeks. I have to buckle down to be at the optimal weight going into that surgery for the best results.

So it’s protein supplements, water, vegetables, fruit, and only then can I entertain thoughts of carrot cake (and we all know that after eating all the right things we don’t even want carrot cake). It’s also 5 days working out, no excuses.

And with that said, I’ll be back on track in just a few days! 🙂

Randomness

Since I’m refraining from the unmentionable subject, I shall proceed with my standard Bulleted List of Randomness.

  • If Jessica Simpson is fat, I want to be fat.

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  • Is it weird that I’m still upset that Nick & Jessica got divorced? Doesn’t it seem like a cosmic mistake? And I remember it was announced on Thanksgiving Day 2005. I was so sad. I’m still sad. Waaa.

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  • I am now obsessed with the OH board devoted to the unmentionable subject.
  • I am presenting at a billion conferences this semester. March 6th–Gainesville, FL; March 7th–Tampa, FL; March 28th–Kingston, RI; April 3rd–Lookout Mountain, GA; April 11th–New Orleans, LA. It’s like my world tour. Lord help me survive the next few months!
  • I love my bike, but I have my eyes on another. Lee gave me the go-ahead. We don’t have the money now, but it will be very, very difficult to restrain myself if the opportunity to buy this bike does arise. I’m drooling just looking at it!

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  • I would like to join the Bobbies. A group of women cyclists? Sign me up!
  • I’m getting tingling in my toes. I’m hoping this isn’t the beginning of neuropathy. I’m going to be proactive and get on a B-complex instead of just B-12.
  • I ordered Baby Love from my local library via books by mail. I love Rebecca Walker and her famous writer mother Alice Walker. I can’t wait to read about Rebecca’s decision to “choose motherhood after a lifetime of ambivalence.” Something always resonates with me when a Walker writes, so I can’t wait to devour this book.
  • I want to get my husband eating healthier. It wouldn’t be that difficult, since I prepare all of this man’s food! I feel so guilty when I pack his lunch every day with two Orange sodas (45g of sugar EACH!) because I’m too lazy to prepare him some splenda-sweetened tea in a thermos. Heart disease, stroke, and diabetes run in his family (like many african-americans) and I have a responsibility to do what I can to prevent it. I need to find alternatives to the teddy grahams, cheetos, and little debbies. I wouldn’t feed it to myself, so why am I feeding it to him? LAZINESS. Bad wife!

And that is all for now!