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I had said I was going to keep updates on my blog as I worked through my running class but apparently I didn’t mean I was going to do that often. I’ve been to all the classes so far and I’ve been trying to keep up with the workouts. Because I am me the process is going slow because I don’t want to hurt myself. At first I ended up with some minor knee pain but that went away after switching to walking for a bit. Now I’m having on-going hip issues to the point that I’m going to see the doctor tomorrow and just make sure it’s nothing too serious. It’s possible it’s related to my sciatic nerve or it’s a muscular issue, I really don’t know.

I’ve also been doing my 3x a week work outs with my personal trainer and I’ve been able to make good progress there. After what seems like about a month long of not seeing any weight loss I finally saw a loss this morning. I had become a bit to lax in my food tracking and that had to have effected my losses. Now I am back on track 100% and will work to keep it that way.

On July 4th my friend and I went on a nature hike/scavenger hunt at Pioneers Park Nature Center which was a lot of fun but I ended up coming home with 6 ticks, which was less than fun. Then Saturday night I met friends in Firth, NE to watch the fireworks show there and it was really fun.

I’ve been reading a lot too and making good use of my public library. I just need to be careful I don’t check out more books than I can read! Also last month I had the first meeting of the book club I helped start and it was a lot of fun. The next couple months will be interesting as I am doing a 6 week work rotation at the Apple Retail Store in Omaha. That’s going to be a lot of driving but it will be worth it for the training and experience.

Hopefully everyone else is doing well!

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I know it’s not really called the Dinosaur Diet but I’m going to call it that so it sounds more awesome. I was motivated by Steve’s 30 day paleo diet to go ahead and join him and do the challenge myself. I have been reading about the paleo diet and it’s actually a fairly sound set up from a clean foods stand point. I’m a big fan of clean foods and I think this 30 day challenge will help me get back into eating the way I actually enjoy.

I’m planning to easy into paleo for the first few days though and probably won’t go 100% paleo but rather stick to the 80/20 rule. I mostly plan to make an exception for yogurt (quality yogurt with clean ingredients  and possibly milk because I need a source of vitamin D supplementation due to a known deficiency.

Today I bought a grill pan at ShopKo so I can cook up my veggies and meat grilled style which is how I really like my steak and asparagus. I can’t wait for the farmers’ market to start and hope to get most of my foods there.

For those that don’t know the paleo diet the following are the basic foods you eat:

  • Lean meats including eggs
  • Seafood
  • Healthy fats
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

Anything that doesn’t fall into that list is considered non-paleo. This means no dairy, legumes, sweets, salty snacks, or grains. It’s going to take time to adjust to not eating cheese or grains but I know I can do it.

I still need to go shopping and start meal planning to make this easier. I see eating a lot of eggs for breakfast but that’s something I used to do all the time, but this time there won’t be cheese involved. I’m really interested to see if this will help with some of my health problems, especially my fructose malabsorption.

Adding fructmal restrictions to paleo isn’t too difficult, just can’t eat some types of fruit, especially apples for some reason. The fruits I do best with are oranges and berries so I’ll still have some I can eat. Mostly I need to fill up on vegetables because most of those are good to go, except maybe tomatoes and onions but I’m still not positive.

I read somewhere about how everything in life is just a series of choices. Each choice that we make either furthers us on towards our goals or sends us off on the wrong path. These decisions are neither right nor wrong, they are just different. I have been making choices that take me down the wrong path for too long and it’s time to turn around. I want to keep going on this journey and the only way to do that is to solid my resolve and make the decisions that best support the outcomes that I want.

I tried to do the 2 week goal plan, and I still think it’s a great idea, only I’m not so great at setting proper goals. I need to take some time to focus on what I really want to be doing and then make goals that lead me in that direction.

One of my current goals, however, is to start keeping this website updated. I need to be accountable to something. From now on I’m going to consider the decisions that I make and hope I start making the ones that take me in the direction I want to go.

My time schedule is finally evening out but it leaves little flex time and even less time to get to a gym. I’m debating just suspending my gym account and doing workouts at home. I’ve added volunteering two afternoons a week to my already full schedule so that doesn’t help. My issue with the gym is that it adds at least 30 minutes to my workout time just in getting there and home again. I have not made a decision on this yet though.

A sample day for me, a Tuesday:

5:30 – 6:30 AM : get ready for work, feed animals
7:00 AM – 3:30 PM : work, lunch
4:00 PM – 6:30 PM : volunteer
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM : study, take exams, homework, feed animals, eat dinner
10:00 PM – 5:30 AM : sleep (I rarely get to sleep this early though)

Last week they had an event at work about wellness and one of the service offered was a free wellness check – I got the results back today:

Glucose – 83 mg/Dl – normal range: 70 – 105

Cholesterol – 132 mg/dL – normal < 200

Triglycerides – 66 mg/dL – normal < 150

HDL – 48 mg/dL – normal > 40

LDL (Direct) – 66 mg/dL – normal < 100

Looks pretty good to me!

It’s a new day, it’s a new plan, it’s a new deal!

Over the past few weeks I have been regrouping and thinking about what I want out of life. I don’t have a lot of answers yet but I have come up with a new plan of action.

Monthly Weighing

I decided, for my own mental stability, that I could no longer be so scale/weight oriented. Yes, I want to lose weight, but it’s not the deciding factor in this journey. I was going to go with weekly weigh ins but I need to make a break. I am going down to monthly weigh ins because I’ve seen it work well for other bloggers. It’s a healthy approach because I still keep tabs of my weight without that number becoming more important than it needs to be.

Calorie Counting

For the last year and a half I have spent a lot of time counting every calorie in and trying to estimate my calories out. This is an exhausting approach and it was starting to wear on me. I still think it’s important to know what you are burning so you can compensate accordingly, for health reasons, but I want to focus on something I can maintain for my whole life. I cannot maintain counting calories so I need to learn how to make good choices without tracking everything I bite. I know what I need to do so it’s just a matter of doing it.

Fitness Plan

I’m still trying to work out a new fitness plan but what I do know is that I need to slow it down a little and be smart about it. I get over committed to the things that I am doing and I end up either injuring myself or getting burned out. The things I enjoy are walking, biking and weight training. I think I got to aggressive with the bike riding and started putting in too many miles for my actual level. I am still dealing with post-surgery rehab, to some extent, but I’ve also created a new problem – hip bursitis. Now this new injury probably began from my bike accident (which I forgot to blog -oops) but my near unwillingness to rest has created a bigger problem.

My thoughts right now are to back down a bit from the crazy fitness and focus on a normal level of exercise. I’m going to start with keeping my treadmill times to 20 mins and using weight equipment when I have access. I’m back to debating if I should join a gym again and have been eying Anytime Fitness. The nicest thing about Anytime Fitness is there is one in the town where my brother lives and I’d be able to go there too.

So my focus is on keeping up with recovery while moving forward with new plans. I really want to start running and once my hip issue seems cleared up, I can start training. My physical therapist even gave me a plan to try that should, hopefully, keep me from injuring myself. I’m going to basically be doing a couch to 5k type program and will chronicle that here when the time comes to start. I’m hoping to be able to start at the end of November or beginning of December.

The Blog

I really want to work more with my blog and start posting more often. I’m still trying to figure out what I want from my site but I know that I have some amount of value to add to the world, I just need to figure out how. Hopefully good changes will be coming soon.

Life Plan

My life planning has taken some turns and I still don’t know what it is that I really want to do. I applied to the Medical Assisting program at Southeast Community College and I’m still waiting on confirmation that I was accepted for March 2011. The problem now, though, is I’m not sure that’s what I want to do. I would like to do Physical Therapy Assistant but I’m wait listed for that program until July 2013. I’m now leaning towards not doing the MA program and just focus on my current journey while waiting to get into the other program. I could save more money this way and spend more time figuring out a good plan.

What I want to do, really, is work with people and help people. I want to motivate and cheer on others and help them see whatever it is they are trying to accomplish. I wonder about other things too – personal training, coaching, sports related fields, etc. I want to do these things but I think it’s important that I finish working on myself first and I’m still a work in progress – but then again, aren’t we all?

I haven’t blogged in awhile because I’m still trying to figure out how this blog fits in with everything else I’m tracking online but I thought it would be good to give a quick update on my post surgery status.

It’s been an up and down journey so far but I finally seem to be on the better side of healing. I’m out of the walking boot and doing quite well walking around in two shoes. It’s taken me a lot of physical therapy, including biking, to get to this point. I had a few minor set backs when transitioning out of the boot including some tendinitis and a possible ankle sprain. Those problems seem to be cleared  now though and I hope it stays that way.

I don’t see the doctor again until November 1st and I still need to go in for physical therapy some but I’m not going in at all this week which is a nice break.  I know that post strayer procedure my calf muscle isn’t the same on the left as on the right and it is a little weird. There seems to be a large build up of muscle tissue around the actual cut and the upper part of the muscle is taking its sweet time in strengthening back up. I’m having occasional massage done on the calf muscle to see if that can help smooth it out but it might be something I just learn to live with.

I wanted to make sure and post an update in case someone planning to have this surgery wanders in here looking for others in the same situation. At this point I can say that getting the surgery done was worth all the rehab because it finally seems like the original heel pain is gone now. It’s just down to finishing up the strengthening and I can handle that pretty easily.

I’ve been trying to live a different life for awhile now – since April of 2009 and every day it still seems like a struggle. I want to do the right thing, make the right choices and live a healthy life. I watch videos on YouTube of all these inspirational people who one day woke up and decided to do something about their life. They go out and start running or something and soon they are running more and more, eventually conquering marathons and tris. I do enjoy these videos but at the same time, in the back of my mind, I get that nag. Why does it seem so easy for them? It’s not possible that it was easy but still.. they make it look so easy.

I would love to start running, it’s a dream of mine, but I can’t seem to get past the injuries and overall poor status of my body thanks to years and years of not caring. My body is broken and I’m doing everything I can to fix it but that all takes a lot of time. I’m still learning to walk again following my latest surgery so any running I might want to do is far off in the future and that’s frustrating. I can’t even go for long walks or hikes, which is something I truly enjoy.

I pull the bike out now a lot, and while that helps – it’s not the same thing. There’s this drive inside me that I can’t seem to satisfy. This need to be doing things my body just simply isn’t ready for. Maybe I just need more muscle building first or something but I have to run. I have to do this and I have to find a way to stay focused so I can.

Rehabbing after any injury is frustrating because it’s never linear. You have lots of ups and downs and just when you think everything is getting better something else gets injured. Apparently spending 12+ weeks without using your foot can cause a lot of issues with the tendons and muscles and you can’t rush anything. Riding the bike is helping a lot with the rehab but, like I said before, it’s not the one thing I really want to be doing.

I hope in six months I can look back on this post and say, hey, I finally did it! Right now it seems like a long time out though.

It also doesn’t help that, apparently, in the last week I gained almost 10 lbs (according to my scale). I’m sticking with weekly weigh ins for the time being but I’d like to wean down to every 2 weeks and finally end with monthly weighing. I need to become less focused on the number on the scale and more on how I feel.

The last part of this puzzle is nutrition and all of that is still up in the air. Am I allergic to something? Am I not? I won’t even find out more on that until next week. I’m also tired of tracking calories and writing everything down. I want to trust my body and mind to tell me what to eat and what not to eat. There is no long term satisfaction in become so obsessed with food that I can’t enjoy life.

So while things might seem easy on the surface, they aren’t. I want to see more stories about the struggles because otherwise the picture isn’t complete.

I was debating whether or not I wanted to do a blog post about my latest fray into health care but I figured if anything it would be a good experience to chronicle for later. So here it goes…

About 3 weeks ago or so I started having some real problems with sleeping and breathing as well as pain in my abdomen. I finally went and saw one of the doctor’s at my PCP’s office (not my PCP but on-call doctor) and he said it seemed like I was hyperventilating due to tight upper muscles possibly from the crutches. I told my physical therapist about this and he showed me some stretches but overall the muscles just didn’t seem that tight. The PCP office doctor also prescribed me ambien to help with my sleep issues but I took it one night and it freaked me out so much that I never took it again. Also, it didn’t actually work.

A week later I’m still not feeling well so I called back and got an appointment with my PCP. We talked and he did the standard examination things and agreed with me that something wasn’t right. His first option was to send me for an ultrasound exam to make sure there wasn’t a problem with my liver/whatever. That ultrasound came back clear so when I called back again later I mentioned the idea of a food allergy. The reason I’m wondering about food allergy is that I had started eating a lot of soy again – soy milk and the likes. With that in mind he had me start a “elimination diet” to try and figure out what was going on as well as referring me to a specialist.

For the elimination diet I had to start out eating a very bland diet of mostly rice, bananas and apple sauce. After I few days I was able to add in another food and was instructed to add foods back in one at a time and see how it went. I was to avoid fresh fruit, most vegetables, greasy, fatty, spicy foods and all soy and milk products. Pretty much avoid all the big 8 food allergens to start. So far it’s been pretty boring and eye opening about how much processed food contains things you wouldn’t think about.

The Big 8 Food Allergies

  • Cow’s Milk
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Egg
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Seafood

I actually have two referral appointments coming up – one with an allergist and one with a gastroenterologist. The GI specialist couldn’t get me in until Oct 20th and the allergy appointment is for Oct. 6th. I’d really like to just get the testing over with so I can move on with life.

Once you have been on the elimination diet for a few days or more, basically once the symptoms have subsided, you can start doing “challenges” which basically means eating something and seeing what happens. On Sunday I decided to try some scrambled eggs and though I can’t directly connect them I did have the return of my weird inability to sleep that night.

This hasn’t been easy and the hardest has really been on my social life. It’s not a lot of fun to go out to eat when you aren’t suppose to eat anything out of your control. I was able to irk together an OK meal at Village Inn by ordering the fresh fruit, apple sauce and a plain baked potato. I also learned that Village Inn uses soybean oil to cook all their foods.

The scariest thing that seems to be happening is that feeling of being unable to breathe will sometimes happen when I’m at the grocery store, especially near the bulk food bins. It’s also scary to know something isn’t right but not be able to figure out what it is or why. Hopefully one of those doctors will have an answer for me.

I am still alive, which is good, but I haven’t been feeling much up to writing in the blog. There’s something about recovery that I didn’t expect and that was set backs. When I had my knee surgery everything recovered quickly and I don’t remember having major setbacks. With this foot and ankle surgery I haven’t been having as great a time. I get filled with doubts as to whether I should have even done the surgery. The foot still hurts and I still don’t have the muscle strength back like I’d like.

Last week I was actually back in two shoes and walking around, with crutches mostly, but still it felt like progress. We were doing a lot more at PT and I could actually get back into some amount of an exercise routine. Then it all fell apart last Friday when my foot decided it couldn’t handle it any more. The pain was high and it became clear that I was going to need to wear the boot again for awhile. I made that decision with some advice from PT and now we are “re-grouping” and going to start again.

To add to the fun my calf muscles, which have a history of problems, decided it was time to act up again. So part of my time spent at PT was getting the muscles massaged out and that has helped. Now I have to focus on keeping them stretched and started using my heating pad at night to keep the muscle warm.

With all this my mood has defiantly been down and I haven’t been able to sleep very well. I wake up about every hour and I’m guessing I’m also batting either a virus or allergies. I haven’t worked much this week because I just don’t have the energy and I’m having issues keeping up with pain management. I know I need to pull myself out of the funk but it’s really hard to keep doing it because each time it’s a bit harder than the last.

I’m going back to PT on Friday afternoon and hope we will have a new plan in place. While I know the doctor said this could drag out to 6 months I just couldn’t understand how that would be possible. It’s been 9 weeks since my surgery and I really thought I’d be much further along. I guess there’s nothing I can do but keep up with my rehab and do things to improve my mood.

It has been close to 7 weeks since I had my surgery and I haven’t been doing to well about keeping this blog updated. Here’s what’s changed since I last posted.

6 Week Follow Up with Dr. Swanson

Last Monday morning I went in and saw the doctor for my 6 week follow up without any idea what my next steps would be treatment wise. I was still pretty reliant on the crutches and pain medications. The appointment started with a standing x-ray which required me to climb a few stairs, without my boot. That was probably to worst part because that hurt quite a bit. It didn’t help that their little stairs were wobbly too so I could hop up them like I’m used to doing with stairs. Everything was fine on the x-ray, thankfully.

Dr. Swanson came in and talked with me briefly, poked my foot a few times and that was about it. He said everything was looking really good and that it was time for me to start physical therapy. He said to keep using the crutches and boot and work with PT to get off the crutches and back into shoes. He said the best case scenario would be me coming back to see him in 6 weeks wearing both shoes.

Physical Therapy

After my appointment with Dr. Swanson, I called my physical therapy office (Proformance) and asked about setting up an appointment. It happened to work out that he (Matt) was able to see me that afternoon so I got started right away. He did a lot of measuring of my flexibility and strength and said the flexibility was pretty good considering everything. I can only do some pretty basic strengthening exercises because everything is still really weak and needs to be rebuilt. He has me doing a set of exercises at home a couple times a day and I’m doing my best to do them. I know that if I do them I will progress through quicker and hopefully get back on my exercise routine. Here’s a sampling of what I get to do:

  • Towel Scrunches – lay a towel on the floor and use my toes to pull it towards me in sets of ten, then I pull the towel side to side for additional sets of 10. This one isn’t too bad but it can get a little sore near the end
  • Ankle Alphabets – use my foot to spell out the alphabet, I do this one because it’s good for my ankle but I find it pretty boring
  • Ankle Pumps – he gave me a nice yellow theraband that I can use when I pull my ankle up and down to build some strength
  • Leg Lifts/Hip Abductions – laying on my side, lifting leg in the air. This is another one that I’m not a big fan of but I still do it.

The doctor wanted me going in 2-3 times a week so we decided on twice a week at this point, depending on how things go. I had my second session on Friday and even though we didn’t do a whole lot I was pretty sore Friday night. I also made the mistake of trying to get off my pain medication in part because it’s keeping me from being able to drive but also because the doped up feeling is getting a little old.

My goals at this point is to get off the crutches at least. I get tired of dragging them around but I know that that help and keep the pain down. I just miss being able to do things without even noticing, like shopping and such. I still can’t shop by myself so all my grocery and etc needs have to be coordinated. I went to a couple stores today and by the end I was pretty tired and my foot was getting sore, it made me a little sad.

I have been doing my crunches though and some wall push ups when my hands aren’t feeling too bad. One side effect of the crutches is bruising on my palms so the push ups aren’t easy to do but I’ve been trying out some workarounds like other people have suggested.

The other day I had a dream that I was riding my bike – it was the best dream ever.

Vital Stats

Name: Angela
Age: 36
Height: 5'8"
Total Weight Lost: 46lbs

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