See Katie Run

Just like Spot (I had a cat named Spot!) you can see me run.

Well, maybe. I am running in my first organized event this Saturday: The Color Run KC. Followed by the All-Star 5k the next weekend and the Glow Run the weekend after that. Yes, somehow I managed to sign up for 3 weekends of runs.

I’m very nervous/excited/anxious/excited/happy about these runs. (eww, don’t GO there!)

A few basic facts about running as I’ve experienced it:

  • It makes me anxious before I start
  • Most of the time, it takes a minute or two to settle in
  • Getting a good warm-up prior helps make it a smoother journey (lunges and squats are good for something other than giving you a tighter bum!)
  • People are not lying about hitting that point where you get a runner’s high
  • I can alternate between feeling like I want to quit and feeling like it’s the best thing in the world within seconds
  • Music can definitely impact motivation, speed, intensity, and enjoyment (Accidentally putting “Silent Night” in your workout mix and having that come up 15 minutes in? Not so awesome. Paramore slammin down some intensity? Totally makes me feel an amazing combination of total strength and weightlessness.)
  • Outside vs. Treadmill vs. Elliptical = all are very different

I think the Color Run will be a good first run experience. It’s lighthearted, there will be lots of happy people, it’s colorful (anyone who’s seen my house can attest), and it’s a fairly level course.

I can’t wait to amass a collection of t-shirts.

Katie Goes Shopping

Well sort of. After purging most of the clothes I owned (6 large trash bags full) that were too large, old, ill fitting, or that I just didn’t wear, I realized I had very few clothes to wear on a day-to-day basis. I was even low on pajamas that fit. (correction: am low. Gosh, I love pajamas. Can we just take a moment to breathe an “ahhhh” at the idea of great pajamas?) I currently have 2 pairs of pants in the wear to work rotation and one of them is definitely too big. I’m also wearing the same couple dresses (also becoming too big) on repeat. And t-shirts? Swimming.

So, while I was at Target last weekend I managed to see plain t-shirts on sale so I grabbed two in colors I like and hoped that I was right in grabbing “the next size down.” And I was. My t-shirts are now a size Large. NO X REQUIRED.

Riding on a workout fueled Friday happiness, I decided to tackle the notion of trying to find clothes for work that actually fit. I’m hesitant to buy a lot of clothes because realistically, my plan is that they won’t fit for very long. The problem is that gets expensive no matter how cost effective the purchases. But, I have to wear clothes. And they have to be work appropriate. AND, I don’t want to look like a crazy bag lady. Why would I spend so much time working out and being so careful about what I eat and ending up with a better figure, only to COMPLETELY HIDE IT AND MAKE IT LOOK BAD WITH ILL-FITTING CLOTHES? No. Not good for my delicate self-esteem. I know I feel better and interact better with the world when I feel like I look good. I’m challenged enough by being shy, nerdy, socially awkward and introverted. I don’t need to be constantly thinking about how stupid my clothes look. I need all my energy and focus on not saying something stupid, dropping the conversation ball, and/or spitting on someone.

Anyway, I ended up at JCPenney, which has long been a go-to for reasonably priced clothes that fit. Knowing that my size large t-shirts fit, I started scoping tops in the same size. I grabbed a few that I liked but I was distracted by jeans. One of my coworkers made an impression on me earlier with how good her jeans looked and I wanted to look that good in my jeans. So, I started rummaging (gently selecting) for “the next size down” in Levi’s and another brand that was in the same display area and looked cute. (I like dark jeans.) Arms loaded with size large tops and size 14 jeans (yep) I made my way to the delicates section because they have the best fitting rooms. They’re all purple velvety with a nice cushion, plenty of room to hang things, big mirror, and a real door with a lock. Also, they generally lack children and teenagers. [I have nothing against these two groups of humans. But kids run around and peek under doors and make bad smells and teenagers are loud and messy and in a totally different mental place than I am and I do not need that psychosis on top of my own 30-something, single self-conscious psychosis.]

Once again, I was distracted. My bras don’t really fit anymore either. And improper support and control is not only uncomfortable and aggravating, but it can make you look frumpy. I grabbed a couple of bras to try in a band size smaller than the smallest one I have and cup size smaller. (I tried on 36DD.)[I’ll cut to the point on this one. Band size seemed to fit but cups were too snug. I probably need to actually measure. I also desperately want to buy something pretty from Victoria’s Secret because I think I actually can now. And pretty bras are so joyous. And because I CAN.)

And then I took a deep breath, pulled off my cowboy boots and dress, and tried on clothes. And they fit. What the…? THEY FIT. Excuse me, but I’m still a fat girl. Looking in the mirror I still see the same contours of my belly and chest. But I grabbed mainstream clothes from the normal size section and they fit. I stared for a good five minutes.

I ended up not finding work pants – the main mission of the trip. The selection was small and size 14 was absent from the racks. As that practical reality set it, I decided not to buy anything I tried on. If I really really wanted it, I’d go back. But really, I don’t need jeans. I should use that money on something more practical like clothes for work or a bra.

Even though I walked out sans-bag and sans-debt, I did take something away. I’ve lost 61 pounds and I’m still losing. I’m not busting out of a size 22 and XXL any more. I shouldn’t feel ashamed of my body. I shouldn’t’ feel guilty thinking I look good. I’ve earned it. I’ve worked so hard for it. And I’m still working. And being a size large/14 feels like some sort of miracle. Instead of thinking about how some people would still find that fat, I have to focus on how I feel at this size – and I feel strong and hopeful, but a little bit scared.

And a little bit naked.

UPDATE on June Goals

So, I needed to do this anyway as part of goal planning and tracking is actually evaluating progress. But today I got an email from Cheryl checking in on my progress on my June goals and that served as a good gentle kick in the ass. So, here we go.

The Goals:

Keep up laundry pattern + fold and put away – wait no more than 24 hours between cycles of wash to dry and dry to fold/put away –I’m doing really well at not letting my laundry pile up but not doing so well at folding and putting away.

Keep up dishes waiting no more than 24 hours between running dishwasher and unloading clean dishes and loading dirty dishes – I could be doing a lot better at this. I’m not letting things sit forever, but it’s definitely not on the 24 hour goal

Keep w/ current exercise routine- take 1 day for rest per week and keep to 2 a day fitness a minimum of 3 days per week

  • Challenge exercises: strength and cardio – doing okay; had to add in some challenge exercises to other days
  • Yoga Wednesdays – Yes, going!
  • Workout with Cheryl 2 times per week – Yep, going!
  • Attend end of month boot camp – THIS WEEKEND!

Run 3 days week to prep for summer runs – Not doing it. Running at least once a week, but not 3 days – really trying to focus on this again this week after a couple slower running weeks

Rest properly – I was doing well with this, but haven’t been doing so great this week. I really threw myself off over the weekend.

  • Ensure minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night
  • Get up no later than 6am daily
  • Go to bed no later than 10pm each night

Do something nice for someone each week (mail West Wing, make homemade dog treats for dog owners and dispense, “pay it forward” to fellow challenge participants or trainee) – I’ve been trying to do this as well. I tried to help do some of the kitchen duty stuff at work for someone who is really busy. I try to help the other me at work where possible. Still need to step it up.

Keep to budget for month – okay on budgety stuff except I’m not doing the cash thing so well

  • Pay for groceries and food in cash thus being more mindful of spending
  • Pay bills at each pay period vs. waiting until due dates

Tie up loose ends with Mom stuff – Done and done! (Well, Bob ended up bringing me stuff from the house so that’s kind of cheating)

  • Complete and send in life insurance claim
  • Collect items from Mom & Bob’s house

Yoga – Need to focus on these more here in the home stretch. I’m getting so close to crow, but no progress on sun salutations. It would be nice to get through plank, whatever it’s called (like plank by very close to the ground), up dog, and down dog. Currently, I move to hands and knees and meet in down dog.

  • Work on sun salutations flow (used in Wednesday night class) with goal of achieving smooth flow through poses by end of month
  • Achieve Crow Pose and hold for 15 seconds

Chores – Turn Katie-Do List  into Katie-Did List

  • Replace lights in bedroom – Old bulbs are out! I’m not sure if I want to put new ones in. I have a standing lamp and table lamp and they tend to be enough.
  • Get new litter boxes and dispose of old boxes – DONE!
  • Clean basement and dispose of trash – Haven’t even started.
  • Dispose of any trash or items that needed to be given away – I’ve been working on this! I got rid of oodles of stuff and the trash men made my day when they took my extra bags of trash
  • Sort and organize clothes and purge clothes that cannot or will not be worn – DONE! Sent off 6 bags of clothes to someone. Now I just need to go through what I kept and put it all away.

That concludes my June Goal wrap-up. I need to focus on my chores, yoga, and running.

I Don’t Wanna

I don’t want to do jump squats today. I keep trying to find a way to get out of them. I’m afraid of them. I’m lazy. I’m tired. I. DON’T. WANNA.

But here’s what happens tonight when I try to go to sleep if I don’t do them:

“I should have tried. Why didn’t I try?”

“I could have done it. Right? Guess I won’t know. I could have. I bet I could have.”

“Fail.”

“I suck.”

And my favorite – truly, my favorite:

“Why didn’t I try?”

And then I won’t sleep well. And I NEED to sleep well tonight. I already modified my workout plan to account for the fact that I need to get to bed (and ultimately to sleep) earlier and to eat dinner before 8 or 9pm.

So, tonight I will not be saying those things. I may not make it through 100 – but I am going to do my best because I don’t want to keep questioning whether I can do it. I want to know.

Like on Tuesday when I didn’t make it past 30 seconds on my second and third planks. I held the first for a minute. I BET I could have gone longer on the last two. But I hit that 30 second mark and I just gave in. I quit. I didn’t push myself that extra bit further.

The extra bit is what really counts. It’s what gives me that hope and encouragement and confidence to keep going. To look down the road and not veer back toward where I’ve come from.

Constant hard work keeps me motivated and focused. So maybe I don’t wanna, but I needa.

Sunday Quickie

Sorry for those of you who clicked through because you thought this might have to do with afternoon delight (sky rockets in flight! duh duh duh AFTERNOON DELIGHT!). It has nothing to do with such things. Except that I just quote lyrics and told you it has nothing to do with it.

Derailed.

This is a quick Sunday post to report back on the posts of yore, or of Thursday night. If you missed it, it was whiney and somewhat graphic and about my ongoing gastrointestinal problems. (many people will immediately think “ewww!” when someone mentions GI problems but if I was talking about ongoing foot or heart problems, would people have the same reaction?)

Anyway, today was the first day post-procedures that’s I’ve really felt GOOD. No bloating, cramping, excess gas, pains, or nausea. NO headaches, no aches in general, no brain fog. Plus I have energy again. Maybe part of it was falling in love with Henry the Umbrella Tree and being excited about that, but I really think it has more to do with my body being clear of the things that make it sad (gluten), rest, good nutrition, and exercise.

So there you have it. That’s all I wanted to say. I wanted to go on record as saying how much better I feel today. No matter what that Celiac test says tomorrow, I need to feel confident that I am correct about being gluten sensitive. Maybe I don’t have Celiac, but I sure as heck feel better without it. (I really like empirical evidence though.)

One of the big indicators for me was the fact that I ran without any abdominal discomfort. The last few weeks have not been that way (I was eating gluten because you have to be actively eating gluten to get an accurate test result.)

Okay, that’s really. I’m going to get up and bathe now and stop adding to the sweaty butt print on my little ottoman.

Cheers!

June Goals

As part of the monthly challenges in which I participate, we have to set goals for ourselves. Last month I was not super aggressive with my goals. I set a fitness goal and a home-oriented goal. I actually did pretty well. This month, I decided to amp it up a little. As I sat down on May 31st to write out my goals, I just had so many things I wanted to do that I figured, better commit them all to paper. (or Microsoft Word.)

So, here are my goals for the month. I’ll report back periodically on my progress. I’m already doing pretty well 1 week and 1 day into the month. At the end of the month, I set my non-food reward as a new pair of running shoes. My current shoes are getting old and have a little hole in the top where my toe hits them. I figure it’s a practical and fun reward. (My reward for May ended up being a haircut. I’m not so excited about how it turned out, but it was something I’d been putting off for a while.)

Reward

New running shoes

Goals (all to be completed by end of month if not otherwise specified)

Keep up laundry pattern + fold and put away – wait no more than 24 hours between cycles of wash to dry and dry to fold/put away

Keep up dishes waiting no more than 24 hours between running dishwasher and unloading clean dishes and loading dirty dishes

Keep w/ current exercise routine- take 1 day for rest per week and keep to 2 a day fitness a minimum of 3 days per week

  • Challenge exercises: strength and cardio
  • Yoga Wednesdays
  • Workout with Cheryl 2 times per week
  • Attend end of month boot camp

Run 3 days week to prep for summer runs

Rest properly

  • Ensure minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night
  • Get up no later than 6am daily
  • Go to bed no later than 10pm each night

Do something nice for someone each week (mail West Wing, make homemade dog treats for dog owners and dispense, “pay it forward” to fellow challenge participants or trainee)

Keep to budget for month

  • Pay for groceries and food in cash thus being more mindful of spending
  • Pay bills at each pay period vs. waiting until due dates

Tie up loose ends with Mom stuff

  • Complete and send in life insurance claim
  • Collect items from Mom & Bob’s house

Yoga

  • Work on sun salutations flow (used in Wednesday night class) with goal of achieving smooth flow through poses by end of month
  • Achieve Crow Pose and hold for 15 seconds

Chores – Turn Katie-Do List  into Katie-Did List

  • Replace lights in bedroom
  • Get new litter boxes and dispose of old boxes
  • Clean basement and dispose of trash
  • Dispose of any trash or items that needed to be given away
  • Sort and organize clothes and purge clothes that cannot or will not be worn

And Now What? Let’s Get Un-Glamourous and GIddy

I’ve felt just about every emotion in the last 72 hours. If you aren’t comfortable reading things that might be considered “TMI,” then don’t continue reading this post. I apparently have no boundaries anymore.

Yesterday, I spent my morning at North Kansas City Hospital having an upper GI endoscopy and a colonoscopy. This was my 2nd colonoscopy since the age of 10 (with a guest appearance of a sigmoidoscopy at the age of 21.) The procedures themselves are easy and pretty quick – it’s prep that is really unpleasant. Back in the day it consisted of enemas, milk of magnesia and a clear liquid diet. Now it’s just 1 day of clear liquid diet and a special cleansing drink and laxatives. The goal is to liquify everything in your gut and push it all out. You will drink more water than you have probably ever drunk in your life. (You are required to drink 32 ounces after each 16 oz glass of prep liquid and 8oz of liquid every half hour you are awake. Yes, 16oz per hour. So if you are awake for 12 hours, you are supposed to consume 192 oz of clear liquid. And you will be awake – a lot. Forget about sleeping well or for long stretches. You’ll be very busy shuffling back and forth to your bathroom. At least my bathroom is part of my bedroom and it isn’t far to walk from bed. You’ll also have to get up  around 2am or so to drink more of the prep just to ensure everything is cleaned out.)

Let’s talk about the prep solution for a minute. It is the most vile liquid I’ve ever consumed. Not because of what it does (it doesn’t cause the stomach cramps that are usually associated with a heavy laxative) but because of how it tastes and how you feel immediately after drinking it. This liquid tastes like extremely salty cough syrup. And instead of a couple teaspoons, you have to consume 16 oz at a time. Once you finish it, if you are like me, you will experience nausea and feel like vomiting. You’ll work on your deep breathing and keep sucking down your mandatory water (which will be somewhat of a relief as it helps get rid of the horrendous flavor of the prep solution.) Simply put, it’s disgusting and I started longing for the old days of enemas.

The time at the hospital was really pretty good. The staff in the GI lab was pleasant, personable, and helpful. The nurses were A+ and I can’t thank them enough. I tend to have a panic problem when it comes to being sedated. I don’t like to be out of control. Thankfully, yesterday my years of dealing with anxiety paid off and I was able to keep myself from boiling over. No panic attacks. No craziness. I got naked, poked, and prodded without making a scene.

When I woke up, I was so happy to  be awake and done. Answers! I might have answers! I might finally know what causes my problems so I can figure out how what I need to do to keep them at bay. I was GIddy. When I woke up there were pictures of my insides and notes about the procedure. They took 2 biopsies of my small intestine. One for Celiac disease and one for Crohn’s disease. If I was less lazy, I probably would have scanned the pictures and posted them. That would really be TMI for some, but eh. The only hitch yesterday was that I didn’t get to talk to my doctor after the procedure. He had to leave and I woke up early. It was okay, because I had some information, my coveted pictures, and I could have water and food again. (though I oddly wasn’t that hungry – sure, I still wanted to eat all the things because I missed eating, but overall, I didn’t feel famished or sick from not eating.)

So, yesterday I spent the day feeling relieved that the procedures were done. Okay, so maybe I have Crohn’s which would not be awesome, but it would be a place to start in determining how to make myself feel better. I pushed for the Celiac test because of my symptoms and the family history. I also went gluten free for a couple weeks (and I went back a couple weeks before testing so don’t tsk tsk me) and I felt better.

Overall, mentally and emotionally I felt good yesterday. Physically, I was tired and weak and my gut hurt. I was also really bloated (I told you TMI.) Bloating is one of the worst feelings. I knew I should expect it because they pump air into you so they can see clearly. And I’m pretty sure I woke myself up by farting loudly in recovery. I figured the ick would pass and I’d feel okay today.

But I didn’t. I felt really tired. Really tired. And sad. I don’t know if it was partly latent effects of the anesthesia (depressants tend to screw up my neurotransmitters pretty effectively. One of the reasons I don’t drink a lot of alcohol anymore is because if I do, I get depressed for days after. I sometimes forget how this feels and will drink too much and spend the next week in a depressive fugue. Also, my guts hate booze. See also, liquifying the contents of my gut.) [this post is really long now. I never intended to make this post so long. I doubt anyone is still reading. Oh well. Unicorn.]

Okay, so today. Right, I feel crappy. I have weird pinching pains in my gut, I’m bloated, and I’m tired and sad. I’m trying to get through the day at work because I’ve already missed a day and half this week and I have very limited PTO. I can’t afford to take unpaid days because I spent all my savings when I quit my job and I  took a huge pay cut when I switched jobs and I’m trying to get my budget back on track. (so, worrying about all that is helpful)

At some point in the late morning my doctor calls. Good! I can hear from the horses mouth. And he tells me both the endoscopy and the colonoscopy were normal. No polyps, nothing crazy. He did find some small ulcers and inflammation at the very end of my small intestine – the type of ulcers that are associated with Crohn’s – this is why he biosied this area. Only, there was so little damage that he doesn’t think that’s what is causing the pain. (I had 2 very strong episodes of pain with sulfury burps in March and early April. The pain was 7-9 on the scale. All the research I did said it was usually caused by fatty foods, an infection, or damaged small intestine from things like Celiac and Crohn’s.) Good news right? NO. It made me so unhappy. Really? So, I don’t have an answer? The only good thing I heard was that I can call on Monday for the Celiac result. I thought I’d have to wait 7-10 days, so at least that is going to be ready sooner.

Perhaps what was worst was when the doctor said it might be reflux or musculoskeletal pain. I’m telling you right now, it is not musculoskeletal. This pain and discomfort? It is GI related. Reflux? No. I’ve experienced reflux. I was fatter and I ate like crap. And I dealt with it on a daily basis. This is not reflux.

I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. I got off the phone and I wanted to burst into tears. I was NOWHERE – again. Meanwhile every time I eat my gut reacts. I can’t get comfortable. My stomach is not happy. I decided to eat mild soft foods for lunch. My stomach hurt. So I stopped caring and ate macaroons because I was irritated, tired, sad, and my gut was going to hurt anyway. FIVE. I ATE FIVE MACAROONS. Do you know how much roughage, sugar, and fat that is? And those are a few of the things that are terrible for GI disorders.

Why couldn’t I do a better job explaining? Why isn’t there a way to record feelings and let other people use their bodies to play them? I feel hopeless. What if the Celiac biopsy is negative? Then I’m really super duper nowhere. Square one. And still uncomfortable.

So, I’m still trying not to sit around and cry. I feel whiny. I hate whining. I hate complaining. But I’m so tired of feeling gross. As I sit here now, I’m bloated and my upper GI area feels tight and painy. I’m not looking forward to getting out of bed in the morning – but I will. I feel very alone.

But I did put my pictures on my fridge. So there’s that.