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Week 3 of 25

Sunday, February 11, 2018

OK, so Week 3 was successful, but I don't feel very excited about it. I'm exhausted because I had a bunch of hard work to do, and sticking to any kind of exercise or anything was really hard. I had a really bad heart incident at the beginning of the week, where I could not get any oxygen and was breathing really fast just laying down for 3 days in a row. I hard a lot of trouble getting it back under control, because the medications weren't working. So it's awesome I didn't go backwards at least. But even when I'm making progress, the progress is so tiny, and I'm still more than I weighed just a few months ago, so it's hard to get really excited about it.

I lost another lb, so finally am at least 1lb down since starting this 25 week program. So that's a START!

I only did yoga once this week, where I did it twice last week and was aiming for more. But that's all I could manage. And admittedly, my body is in a lot more pain and much more stiff for the lack of it, so even though I don't at all feel like I have the energy, I'm going to try to do some today. Would be really great if I could increase to 3, or even 4 times this week.

I did manage to increase the hula from once a week last week, to twice this week, for 20 min. each. That was hard to do, but it was good that I did it, because it definitely does help with muscle definition in my legs and abs. I'd like to increase to 3 times a week this wk, but I'm not sure if I can find the energy or not. Depends I guess on how my heart is doing.

I held steady at just 5 lunges on each side, twice this week. It was too hard to increase because my hips hurt so much... which if I could stick to the yoga, may be less of a problem over time. But I was surprised to make a lot more progress in my pushups, increasing all the way to 10 3x/wk, whereas last week I could only do 6 one time, and 7 a second time. So that's a really good sing if my arm muscles can improve more rapidly, since this disease is really holding back my muscle development in other parts of my body. The upper body is really, really hard to develop, because every time I try to do something it puts too much strain on my heart and causes me to almost pass out. So considering this was such a difficult and busy week for me, and I had really bad heart complications on top if it, it's surprising I managed to do anything improved over what I was doing last week. So I'll take it. I hope to hold steady at 10 pushups this coming week. I would love to increase to 10 lunges on each side, but let's see how bad the hip pain is. I hate that my body is like an old person when I'm still young, but hopefully I can still turn back the clock a bit in these 25 weeks, so I can feel a bit more normal for my age, despite the disease.

In other news I struggled extremely hard twice this week, for multiple hours, with my boat. That was unexpected. I was too ill to paddle to kayak this week, but I really need to have some fun sometime! So I thought I would set up the boat, which has been in storage since the hurricane damaged my house. I REALLY miscalculated what that would take. I thought it would be super simple, just 20 minutes of medium level work, and then put the motor on the back and then all I would need would be enough energy to pull the cord - which I thought if necessary, I could even set it up one day, and then rest and actually USE a separate day. But I was so, so wrong. Because my heart wasn't working, dragging the boat and its gear was next to impossible, even though I didn't have very far to go. I couldn't breathe at all, and collapsed in the sand a bunch of times, gasping desperately for air, which never came no matter how long I laid there. Then I couldn't get back up in the house. I tried again at the end of the same day to fix part of it that had gotten broken, and no matter how hard I struggled with it, literally pushing my entire body weight trying to get things to line up, I could not match up holes that need to get lined up to fit screws in. The metal was bent out of shape. Once again, my heart almost gave out, and it took an hour to be able to crawl back into the house, still unable to get in enough oxygen, still pouring with sweat and trying not to vomit.

I had to lay down all the next day, and then I went back out and tried again. I got my neighbor to help me with the metal part. Then I got the rest of it sort of set up so at least it wouldn't sink if I went out, even though it wasn't totally ready. But I was so desperate by the 4th day to have any fun, I thought let me just throw the motor on the back and go out - I'll just be out for 20 minutes, no big deal that it's not totally ready and secure. It's ready ENOUGH to be safe for that long. But when I picked up the motor, which hasn't been moved since the storm, it seems that the storm damaged it - it was POURING oil out the bottom! Ugh, god... I was so disappointed I almost cried. That motor is brand new. I did not have the energy to find a good mechanic, take it in, pay yet MORE money, and then still go out. So I gave up for the week. No fun at all this whole week, only work, no kayaking, barely any time even outside of my room except for the part where I nearly killed myself struggling with the boat.

And yes, I did lose a lb. And I did have tiny improvements in some of what I could do. But, it was a miserable week, and for all that trying, I still weigh 7lbs more than I did at my lowest on this long journey, a few months ago. So it's hard to keep my spirits up, when you get such small victories in such a looooooong time of hard work. I've been working nearly every day of my life on this for over 2 years. And still technically I am 4lbs into the "Overweight" category today. Which makes me want to kill myself. Lol

But oh well. What I have to remember about all this, is years ago when I first got sick, I was close to this same weight. I used to be really thin and athletic, but at that particular point in my life I was on a major upswing in my career, had just moved for a new very prestigious job, was working 80-90 hrs a week, and the stress of it and the constant busy-ness just left no time for me to work out, and I was emotionally overeating. I also, to be honest, was eating late at night just to keep myself awake because I was working almost around the clock and had no tim for sleep, and I found that stuffing my face with something was one of the best ways to keep m eyes open while I kept working (not the smartest idea I've ever had!). Plus, I had a recent back injury, and that limited my activity, and the muscle relaxers the doctor put me on caused me to gain weight on top of it. So that year I had put on some 30lbs. It was just really poor timing then that I got sick, which what I initially thought was just the flu, or maybe Mono, and turned out to be something way more serious and life-changing. BUT, I wish I had stayed calm in all that, and just done my best to MAINTAIN my weight, and NOT allowed myself to gain more. To an extent, I couldn't help it, because my metabolism got destroyed with the way the disease works on my cells, and the medications caused a ton of weight gain. And I was not emotionally eating anymore, and was actually vomiting a lot. So I don't know if I really could have done anything to stop what was happening to my body anyway. But it would have been sooooo much easier, nonetheless, to have just stopped THERE, not gain anymore even if I did lose all my muscle mass from being bedridden for a few years, and not gained an additional 40lbs.

So I have to stay calm now, and remember that the takeaway from that is, even when I'm having $@%##y weeks or months now, I worked very hard for a long time to lose the first 46 lbs. And even though my weight crept back up a bit, I can stay here, or lose those new lbs in a fairly short amount of time. Even if I never lose another lb, because I become too sick to make any further progress, it's really important that I don't gain all that back - or like what happens to most people, to gain it all back PLUS added weight! I got this far. If I never do anything else, it needs to be a priority to maintain. And if I ever start to feel better again, then I can pick right back up and make progress again on the journey. It may not sound like much of a goal, but I really don't want to die here, and have whoever eventually finds me have to deal with a really heavy body they have to dispose of, or to need extra equipment the way they do for morbidly obese people. I want to donate my body to research for the disease, and it's important that it's easy for them to transport my body out of here. And I guess it's dumb, but I don't want people looking at me when I'm dead and thinking, "Oh sure she died, she obviously doesn't take care of herself." Like, all I do all day every day is take care of myself and this illness! But, you know how people think. I gained the weight BECAUSE of the disease, and I'd be dead because of the disease - I didn't become diseased because I gained weight. Even at the point when I first got sick, I was only a few lbs techically overweight for my body frame. That doesn't cause catastrophic organ failure. But people are dumb - even medical people. And I just don't feel like being judged, even when I'm dead and don't care anymore, at a point where I can't defend myself.

I have very little pride to cling to right now. So, that is the thing I have control over. Maybe I can't control my life. But I can control if I'm a big or a small person when I die. It's not the most important thing of course. And that says very little about what kind of person you are. But right now, that's all I have that makes me feel like I have some amount of say-so in my own life. Maybe other people would relate, to feeling like there is not a lot of control over other circumstances in life, whatever they are. And so if you can't control LOSING weight, at least trying to MAINTAIN is always worth the effort, because it is WAAAYYYYY better than gaining a ton and having to start this stupid journey all over again!!

I would really like to be successful in losing more though, because it would be really great to be able to wear some of my old pre-illness clothes again by June or July of this year. That would feel like SOMETHING. I don't need to be super small. Or perfectly muscular. But, I would like to have SOME muscle, for things to be easier, and to be able to wear some of the clothes I want to without having to worry about how they fit or if they're flattering or not anymore! Jeez, I just want to be able to wear a pair of shorts or a tank top on these islands when I feel like it, and not worry if I have a stomach sticking out, or ripply thighs sticking out the bottom, or fat arms... you know? So superficial - but in a hot climate, it matters that you can feel normal and confident, and like you can pass for healthy sometimes socially even if you're not so on the few times you feel well enough to leave the house you can actually meet people easily without anybody looking at you weird, and also that you can have choices in clothing that allow you to be comfortable and cool. Having fat thighs rub against each other, or fat arms rubbing clothing or fat sides, is painful, and causes heat rash. Plus you're way hotter than thin people at the exact same temperature. So the thinner I am, the more comfortable I would be to live here. And then I can also go snorkeling or swimming when I feel up to it and not worry about looking good in a bathing suit. The essentials of island life! :)

Would so like to lose 26lbs from where I am now, which for my size will be thin, but still within healthy weight and not underweight. I know that weight is a good one for me, where in the past I have looked really healthy. It was not alarming like the lower weights were when I was anorexic, and not chunky like the higher weights look. Just fit and toned, and capable, and kind of in the middle. I just want to be HEALTHY! And when I get there, I don't want to obsess one way or the other about every lb. I just want to stay roughly within the size of my clothes for a long time (unless I were to actually get healthy enough to get pregnant, of course), and settle on whatever weight ultimately works best for me where I am the most physically comfortable, can do the most, and don't have to think about it or work too hard. Just stay active, and stay roughly at that weight and muscle tone. Maintenance is certainly easier, and I do wish back when I was getting over the anorexia, that I had stayed around that weight to begin with, and not overcorrected to become heavier, so I would not have had so many times in my life where I have had to gain a bunch, lose a bunch, gain a bunch, lose a bunch. That's not good for people's hearts to do that, and it's not fun either, either on the way up, or on the way down! But I do not ever want to go back to being anorexic, so I'm trying to be very careful in this last phase to go slowly, and keep me common sense about me! This is not a game. This is just to make my life happier, and healthier, and more balanced than it has been. When I lose the balance, it loses the fun.

Another lb, another week...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for sharing. You are certainly committed to your goals despite your health limitations. I do hope you are getting input from your medical team about exercise which is safe for your medical condition.

    744 days ago
    Thanks, PHEBESS, but this is a standard part of my medical condition. If doctors knew anything about how to fix it, I wouldn't still have it. This happens frequently - it's part of the symptoms of the disease. It makes exercise or losing weight very, very hard. So they certainly know. But there are many, many diseases out there for which there is no cure yet! People with my illness frequently die ultimately of either heart attack, severe spinal inflammation, or cancer. I have been very fortunate so far to have been able to mitigate these issues so that I am still alive. But none of us have forever. We each just do the best we can to enjoy what we've got! I'm lucky to have something that makes me appreciate the moments I have, and my body when it does work... because I remember when I was healthy I didn't appreciate it as much, and took a whole bunch of things for granted. Not everybody gets a warning before it is too late. So in a way, that makes me fortunate. Even though sometimes it also sucks! :)
    745 days ago
    I don't know much about medical stuff, but if you were having that much trouble breathing and your heart was being that much of a problem and your medication wasn't doing what it usually does, do you think maybe you should contact your dr? I know you don't want to go running to the dr every moment, but it sounds as if maybe this was the kind of incident that your dr should know about in tracking your condition.

    Hope this week is better!
    746 days ago
    746 days ago
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