Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Getting my tires rotated

Wow. Fitbloggin15...

I don't even have the words.  It's like a family reunion where everyone is gloriously bonkers.  And yet, we're all what we need to be for each other and we find what we need for ourselves.   I love that there were a bunch of people worried about my back (yeah, I was pushing it -- but when "THE BIG ONE" can be from sneezing, you learn to use your body when it wants to be used and to give it a rest when it needs it. This past weekend was a good weekend). 

There are plenty of recaps out there (@DubyaWife, @TheDailyMel, @NoThanksToCake, @Tradledee85, @MyRootsToGrow, @AHealthyFitrMe, (among others) and of course the live blog to my session with Janet Oberholtzer -- Living With Pain, a Survival Guide) so I won't attempt to do what they've done.  But here are some fun photos of yours truly (the whole album is here): 

My favorite photo; exceptional jackassery.
I came home from Denver and both Jack Cat and I had physicals the next day.

I friggin love my doctor.  She's thorough, takes good notes, follows up on what we talked about at previous appointments, and is so awesomely tech savvy.  She emailed me today regarding some of the partial results of my blood tests:
  • Most of my results were normal ("red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets...glucose, calcium, sodium, potassium, kidney function, protein levels, and liver tests are normal"), cholesterol looks good (has improved since my ob/gyn physical in November 2014). 
  • Ferritin (iron):  "You are not anemic but the ferritin (marker of iron) is very low at 8 [ng/mL]. The goal is over 50[ng/mL]."  Eeep!  So yeah... going on an iron supplement post haste. 
  • B-12:  "The B12 is lower than last time. One of the tests to determine if this is a clinically relevant deficiency is normal and the other is still pending."  So we may consider a supplement there too.  
  • My Vitamin D levels are on the decline, so I'll be going back on that supplement too. 
My "just weighed in at my physical" weight is 15lbs heavier than my "I'm comfortable at this weight when I'm injured, but would rather not be this heavy" weight.  It's funny -- I mentioned this on Facebook and got a bunch of comments that seemed to relate beauty with my weight.  I have talked before about my weird body image issue:  until otherwise confronted with reality (i.e., photos) I don't think I'm as heavy/fat as I am.  And please don't say "but you're not fat" (though, I thank you for the sentiment) -- cause I know my body and I know this fat suit that I'm wearing.  I don't think I'm ugly when I look at a photo and think that I'm fat:  I see my injury that's preventing me from living the life that I want to live. /tangent

So my doctor and I tried to reframe the dialogue -- my goal isn't to lose weight, but it's to be as healthy as possible so I can be a good surgical candidate when the Globus Triumph finally gets FDA approval OR when I can't wait anymore and have to get the L5-S1 fusion.  If losing weight is a part of that, so be it.  But the focus is on getting my behaviors right, acing my blood tests, and focusing on my "pre-hab." (thanks Kelly for that term!)

Jack's lab results should be in tomorrow.  His vet called him "middle aged" and I almost swooned.  My little one is middle aged?  Anyways -- we're taking a close look at his urinary data to make sure his kidneys are healthy.  He's been on special food for the past 2 years or so to help avoid having bladder stones/FLUTD.

And yes, he chose to go to the vet in the California Avocado bag.  

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Screw FOMO (fear of missing out); I have LOPMIAAMO (lack of planning means I am already missing out).

In the first few Fitbloggins, I think we were all still getting to know each other and we really saw the hotel as our space to connect. In more recent times, I feel like the hotel is the cruise ship and everyone is going on shore excursions (tea, Rockies baseball game, Red Rocks, etc.).

My LOPMIAAMO usually stems from the pre-Fitbloggin dread of not feeling like I have done enough to earn my spot here cause I haven't exercised enough or lost enough weight.  Or hell, I haven't even blogged a lot/at all lately.  I know it still shocks you all to find out that I am an introvert. (No lies, I really am.)

Then there is the always-present nagging voice in the back of my head that no one wants to play with me.  Last-picked for kickball kind of stuff.  When that LOPMIAAMO sets in, I usually just wander off by myself. I have done a lot of walking in Denver cause of that.

This year my LOPMIAAMO is a bit of the above with also having had a busy month leading up to Fitbloggin15. I just didnt read any of the "ZOMG LET'S DO THIS!" posts.  I signed up for Fitbloggin and the hotel months ago and then tucked that away in my brain only to unwrap it to book my flight and get packed.

Last year the LOPMIAAMO really got me down. And this year, I didnt plan any better.  LOPMIAAMO is worse than FOMO because it means i could have done something about it and just didn't for whatever reason.

The solution is finding a way to reengage. I will get there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Pre-Fitbloggin Post

So... I don't want to surprise/shock any of you all if you see me using this at Fitbloggin.

I don't always need it, but certain things like traveling and sitting down for long periods of time exacerbate my lower back pain.  Lately, I have either had this or my big umbrella with me when travelling just in case.

I freaked out a little while ago about how people would handle seeing FGvW with a cane.  Kelly/@CurvyFitGirl reminded me that I can't control how people react.  But please don't be too worried if you see me using this prop.  I assure you that I am fighting every day to get through this.

Who knows... I may use it to up my Zumba game.
My other yearly pre-Fitbloggin post and disclaimers:

(1) my brain is a sieve when it comes to names. Please forgive me when i forget your name the first, second, and twelfth time.

(2) I am actually an introvert.  Sometimes I need some quiet or a good cry. Fitbloggin is an emotional place. But when I am out an about I am good for hugs.

(3) I back dat ass up. Beware. (Ask @DubyaWife.

Okay, almost go time. See you in Denver.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

When it rains...

I was really shocked to find out that the idiom "When it rains, it pours.®" was coined by ad execs to sell Morton's Salt.

You know how salt is hard to pour if it has absorbed any humidity? Morton's solution was to add magnesium carbonate to their salt.  It absorbed the humidity before the sodium chloride. This meant, even when it rained, the salt would still be free flowing.

This is totally different than the connotation now attributed to the phrase regarding luck -- that when either something good or bad happens it tends to trigger a deluge of the same luck.


Y'all know I've had some pretty spectacular misses when it comes to dating.  You all know that an boy damn near made me a quadriplegic.

Well... it's pouring.

Not in the whole magnesium carbonate way (well I guess in an additive sense...), but in the whole deluge of luck way.
I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but just know that I'm really happy right now. Content, cared for, adored.  I'm excited for all the possibilities.

It's raining and I'm out there dancing.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Not whether you win or lose; it's how you play the game.

I've mentioned in the past that I play this nerdy game called Ingress (join the Resistance, we have cookies!).  It's an always-in-flux worldwide game of capture the flag using your phone and GPS location. There are flags (portals) everywhere around you and you use your phone to claim (deploy) or capture (use xmps) them, get resources from them (hack), or connect them to other locations (link & field). 

It came into my life when I wasn't feeling so great about my work effort in the gym (back in December 2013).  I couldn't run as much and there were days when I could barely walk.  Ingress gave me the motivation to get out of the house and at least try to walk around the block at the very least.  Some days I was able to move more, some days less.  

You can play the game as a solo player, but the game's strength is when you start playing with other players (agents).  My teammates have been a great support at times (and sometimes a pain in my ass).  One of my favorite friends from the game even came to the hospital to visit me when my back went haywire a year ago (wow, it's been a year since being in the hospital). 

We also have these large-scale events called anomalies where hundreds of agents converge on a single location to play the game for a 4-hour block of time (with meetups before and parties afterward).  This past weekend, I had hundreds of teammates (and opponents) converging on Washington, DC for an anomaly.

I was very busy preparing for this event last week -- so much so that I walked 72 km (44 miles) from Sunday 5/24 to Saturday 5/30 while playing the game (almost 2000 km since 12/18/13).  Crazy, right?  Sadly, the Resistance lost the DC Anomaly - but I had a lot of fun playing on the NYC team (**waves to Team Cherry Bombs/Terribly Delicious Decisions**).

Now that the anomaly (and the swag orders) are over, I can start to focus on my next big event: Fitbloggin 2015.  

Much like DubyaWife, I always spend the few weeks before Fitbloggin with a certain amount of dread and self-critique:  "You don't belong here..."  And my friends spend the few weeks before Fitbloggin reminding me that if you feel like you don't belong at Fitbloggin, that's when you need to be there the most.

This year I'll be leading a discussion with Janet Oberholtzer on a topic that is near and dear to my heart:  Living With Pain:  A Survival Guide.  Both Janet and I have had some pretty fun injuries.  I think there's a big difference between suffering an injury and learning to live with one.  Living with an injury isn't about accepting limitations or accepting defeat -- it's about moving into a new phase of your life with a bit of grace, humor, forgiveness, and a plan of attack.

I can't wait to see you all there.