Tyra Takes On Weight Watchers: 1 Year and a Restart Later

FitnessFor a few weeks now I have been going back and worth with myself trying to figure out if I could still justify paying for Weight Watchers when I haven’t really gotten the results that I wanted. I can honestly say that the expectations I had a year ago about my weight loss are completely different along with the myriad of health problems I’ve has made this journey frustrating beyond belief. Needless to say I decided to stay on the program a little longer, and to rededicate myself.

During the summer I went to both my General Practioner and Dietician to see what if anything I could do about my weight loss, I was (and still am sick and tired of this plateau…. I have literally been there since I joined, and I got unexpected answers..it’s okay to be in a plateau, that’s what bodies do, and after losing 78 pounds, it’s very possible that I won’t lose a substantial amount of weight, that teamed with the fact that I am now on Prednisone for the foreseeable future, a plateau is a very good place to be. It’s been difficult for me come to terms (yet again) that my autoimmune illness is active and things are happening to my body beyond control that will affect my weight. I was also subtly reminded that after two liver transplant and years of immunosuppression drugs, my body simply will not react the way it’s “expected”. there were weeks when I got in a funk and decided, “I’m on this medication, I might as well enjoy the weight again”  and I binged and it showed on the scale, then I would get back into the groove then I would get back in a funk…..

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While all of this was going on, I remained active but the wright wasn’t coming off . I participated in several Weight Watchers sponsored 5K’s (I have a few more scheduled before the weather turns cold) and the weight still wasn’t coming off…. I had a mini epiphany, I can’t eat everything in fridge and workout, there has to be a balance…… I get it now, I’m working on balance. But the “middle” is someplace where I’m not comfortable being in, all my life I’ve had to work in extremes, and because of that I perform better, I’m learning all these new things about myself when I (along with the rest of my group gets the news that our leader is leaving; she’s off on another adventure, and this time she’s heading to Spain to teach English, I never want to begrudge a person’s growth and happiness, but a part of me, a huge part of me wanted her to stay. After that meeting was over I went to my car and cried, I felt like I wasn’t about to do this anymore, she (and the group) had become my weekly counseling session… what on Earth was I gonna do now? That following week we all said our goodbyes and we met our new leader; and like bratty children we saw our new “step mother” as an interloper; she would never compare to our mom, and we instantly didn’t like her. Weeks have passed since we got a new leader, and it’s been bumpy; and once again I had another epiphany. Leslie was not the reason I would come to those meetings, she gave wonderful advice and lead us, but I was the one that had to put in the work; and the support that I need was in that meeting room, so for the first time I took advantage….no matter where we are in our journey the nice thing is I can say “I’m struggling” or “I’m frustrated” and they understand and the don’t judge…. I decided since it was time to make a change maybe this new leader wouldn’t be so bad, she certainly wasn’t the leader that I wanted….. but maybe she’s the leader that I needed.

So this week was interesting to say the least last Friday I broke out in hives (yes I realize this is not Weight Watchers related) I was panicked, 1. No like hives, 2 This is the third allergic reaction that I’ve had since June and 3. I had a surgical procedure scheduled on Monday and I wanted to know if this was going to affect it. Went to quick care (after calling and not hearing back from 2 doctors my fear was that I was allergic to the Lovenox that was prescribed, I was told that was not it) medicine was prescribed and I thought all was well until I woke up the next morning with bruising all over my body,  Needless to say tat surgery didn’t happen, and since Monday SurpriseI’ve seen 4 doctors, increased my Prednisone by 100% (YIKES!!). So after 3 doctors went back and forth with each other my Lovenox was decreased (when I was off it for 2 days I went fine, no itching) took a dose , house later the itching started again and more bruising ….I have bruises on about 80% of my body..another doctors appointment then it was finally occurred to my doctor (cause I had been saying it all along) that I was in fact allergic to Lovenox.

 

 

Seriously, I itchy I’m bruised and any other time I would wallow in my antihistamine haze and eat. But not this time, that Prednisone increase scare the hell out of me, I know what Prednisone does to my body and for the first time in a long time I was scared that if I slide back, I wouldn’t be able to make it to this point, it wasn’t even a conscious choice, it just happed organically, I kicked up my workouts, started tracking …. honestly (yes even those things that I eat in the middle of the night) and I reached out to come of those connections I had made weeks earlier. my Weight Watchers has a Facebook page, and they have off shoot (Friends of Weight Watchers), 12027568_10153656969317792_2417940181286566140_nespecially for members were we can talk about what’s happening to us during the week, just a little added support…and just by chance someone posted something about a Challenge (I love a challenge) and Last Women Stepping ; 10,000 Steps every single day….at the same time I finally decided to be active with Girl Trek (where I have scheduled walking dates on Tuesdays, 1 and 3 Saturday and Yoga on Sundays), so I was able to be around like minded people, get outside (before the weather gets colder) and get some activity in…. So far I’m doing great with the challenge, I have hit my goal every day, Twice a week I’m walking with my cousin Michelle (who has just started her own weight loss journey) and going to the gym, I can usually hit my goal by noon; I have to be honest it feels amazing, even when I was itchy I was going to the gym, I actually went to the gym before I went to Quick Care (crazy, I know I was so miserable at the gym….I also didn’t know that activity causes histamine to rise, so I was itching more at the gym…… now I know….). So this getting up in the morning and working out has somewhat suppressed my appetite… I don’t get it, I won’t question it……so it will be interesting to see what the scale shows this week (the last two weeks have shown small losses  of 0.8 pounds and 1 pound) I’ve also gone ahead and signed up for the Englewood 5K. I’m excited….So far this week (Monday – Friday) I’ve earned over 54  activity points, stayed in my point range and will have lots of leftover weekly points by the end of the day.

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Those of you on the Weight Watchers program know that I change has occurred (and from what I hear more changes are coming the beginning of the year) and it’s all about orange

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There was nothing in our meeting room about changes coming soon, but after I got my new weigh-in book I realized something was different, while looking through it I realized that our leader had been “prepping” us weeks in advance, before we would officially start she would ask us about something that we did, for ourselves this week; that was completely separate from our weight loss, She always expressed how important it was to have “me time” How finding enjoyable things outside of your weight loss can tide you over on those weeks where you might not have success, in short…. Non Scale Victories and Celebrations…. when she first started talking about this I wasn’t ready to hear it, honestly I hadn’t fully accepted her into the fold so naturally I was blocking the information.

But I like the new changes, I like the small goals every 4 weeks and how focusing on you as a whole is now incorporated into your weight loss journey… like a lot of things recently this came at the right time. Things are not where I hoped they would be a year after I started Weight Watchers, but Weight loss humbles you, and you have to learn to be compassionate with YOURSELF….. I’m working on that…..

 

 

 

If you want to check out my journey so far: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7,Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12, Week 13, Week 14, Week 15, Week 16, Week 17-20,Week 21, Week 22-23, Week 24, 25, 26, Week 27, Week 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33,  1 Year and a Restart Later

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See Ya Next Week,

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Copyright © 2015 – Random Acts of Snark – Paying it Forward –  All Rights Reserved
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Ready, Set, Done

Writing

Writing Prompt: Today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less. (I have set my cell phone to go off in ten minutes…. so here)

Starting Over Again, and Again, and Again……

I always say everyday is  a good day to start over, and I know that’s something that sounds like a therapist would say to you to keep you positive, but what happens when it seems like you entire life is a cycle of starting over and getting knocked down? I feel like my life has been in that cycle since I was 18 years old. Every time I feel like I get to a good place in my life I get dealt with a blow (always something to do with my health) and I get knocked down on my ass.

STARTING OVER

THE FIRST TIME: The hardest part of recovering from my liver transplants was difficult, the physical took a lot of time, but the mental took what seems like forever, most people don’t know this but I suffered from Agoraphobia (I spent months on the inside, outside of doctor appointments) because it terrified me that something was gonna happen to me, I don’t know what it was but eventually it went away and I started back living , “a normal life” despite the countless bouts of rejection…. it was a new normal and the fact that I was living and breathing was good enough for me, years passed and I finally felt like I had my footing and moved away from home and everything that I knew to start a new chapter of my life. But once again my health deemed that it was time to start over yet again….

THE SECOND TIME: I had a transplant and ( months leading up to it ) I felt like I loss everything, my job, my apartment, my car,,,, my belonging… everything was left behind when I had to move back to the Midwest to receive emergency treatment, and to be honest I never felt like I got back to normal after that… so once again a new normal was created…. and yet again I moved away, a set out to start anew…..

THE THRID TIME: With a little time, I became a little self assured and learned a lot about myself, made plans about what I was going to do with my life. My life was no longer a concern, because all was well on the health front. I was getting healthy and losing weight, becoming more active and training for my very first 5K when once again my health took a nose dive and reminded me how fragile I really am… this time a extremely large blood clot underneath my heart… and while a team of doctors were trying to figure out how to treat me I gained 100 pounds of fluid all over my body.  While dealing with this I was dealt another blow with a Multiple Myeloma diagnosis…. A year later my Myeloma status is stable, and the blood clot is gone and all the weight I gained is gone as well, but now I’m faced with building my health and strength back.. I’ve started blogging and enjoying the little things in my life. But now I am plagued with the idea of starting over yet again. I’m not in the city that I want to live in, and I would like to pursue my writing…. but the idea of starting over only leaves me with fear, and

 

Until Next Time….

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Copyright © 2014 – Random Acts of Snark – Paying it Forward –  All Rights Reserved

New Dawn

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Writing Prompt: How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…).

I have never sat down and watched the sunrise, or the sunset for that matter. But for someone with a chronic illness insomnia is something that I’ more than familiar with. So while I’ve never sat down and watched the sun rise, I certainly have been awake when it has risen.

I tend  go through cycle of sleeping all day and to not sleeping at all. Any Spoonie out there will probably be familiar with this cycle. It’s not surprising that people coping with illness would will often difficulties with sleep. Pain creates significant challenges to sleep, making it difficult to fall asleep and hard to stay asleep. At the same time, being short on sleep can make us more sensitive to pain. Not to mention the stress that chronic illness causes I think I have gotten to the point where my insomnia gets too great and my entire body shuts down and I am can’t do anything but sleep.  he pain and fatigue that people with chronic illness experience has a large impact on their daily lives, including sleep. Because of their illness, they patie often have trouble sleeping at night, and are sleepy during the day. Even as I write this it’s nearly 1pm and I’m dead tired, but I know laying in the bed will not bring me what I want… I guess I’ll be quoting from Bon Jovi,
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead” and maybe the next time I’m suffering from insomnia, I’ll go sit in the backyard and welcome a new dawn.

Until Next Time….

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Copyright © 2014 – Random Acts of Snark – Paying it Forward –  All Rights Reserved

10,000 Spoons, If Only! Why the Chronically Ill Love Spoons

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10,000 Spoons, If Only! Why the Chronically Ill Love Spoons. aBodyofHope.wordpress. image by Hammered Spoons on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/HammeredSpoons

Why do the chronically ill call ourselves “Spoonies?” Why do we give one another additional metaphorical spoons? And why had I JUST previous to typing this, posted an image of a boring old spoon to my Twitter feed? Answer: “The Spoon Theory.” 

In a WordPress blogging assignment, for fun we are asked to post an entry which expresses something ironic. Harkening back to Alanis Morissette’s song “Isn’t it Ironic,” they called the assignment “10,000 Spoons.” As a chronically ill individual, I found some irony in this, and I would be hard pressed if I did not represent here.

The Spoon Theory was an invention of a young Lupus sufferer named Christine Miserandino. When she was in college, she came up with a clever way to explain to her best friend how she managed her energy by shelling out one representative spoon at a time. Getting…

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Impatient and Smoldering

Mountains and molehills

I understand that these  entry might not be up everyone alley so you may chose not to read it, this entry is peppered with LOTS of medical terminology, so for more of the lesser known ones I have include a link in case you want to know exactly what Multiple Myeloma is.

The other day I was sitting in the car and I thought to myself I have been ill more years that I have been “healthy” I guess on some level I was aware of that, but it really, really took me for a loop, and it got me to thinking, “Do I even remember what it is to be really healthy”.  I think being a two time transplant recipient you really learn about being patient with your body and learning that gratitude comes in all forms. But I admit there are times when I’m not all that grateful, there are times when I’m down right sullen and frankly pissed off that I got totally screwed in the genetic lottery. I often wonder what the hell I did I do in a pats life to make me honestly “the sickest person” I know.

There was a specific reason that I set up this section in my blog, I wanted a venue where I could vent and maybe educate and possibly connect with other who are dealing with the same thing that I was. The reason why this section is called Mountains an Molehills is simple, there are days that are really difficult and it feels like I’m climbing mountains just to get through the day, and others are a lot easier and I simply have to climb over molehills.


Well initially I was diagnosed with MGUS and at the time I simply thought, okay what else is new? I have some weird thing floating around my body… no one knows how I got it… this is totally you Tyra… you always end up with the weird stuff, after a lot more test they moved me up to smouldering; and I was like okay, I an totally deal with smouldering, considering the fact that I was laying up in ICU getting having my TPA to address the blood clot that chilling out underneath my heart and my angioplasties to address the narrowings that caused the blood clot that were nearly the  size of my palm (guess that’s why I gained over 100+ pounds…) so you can imagine all dealing with all of these issues, something in my body that was just there and not really doing anything that was not on the front burner… so my team instituted the “Watch and See Method” since my PET Scan, Bone Survey came back normal and showed no bone lesions, just my protein was elevated, and my renal levels were not good (to the point where I am now classified as having chronic renal impairment) and I wasn’t showing any outward symptoms of myeloma…. that was August.

Fast Forward to April ….renal functions have greatly improved to the point where they are normal (although I am still listed as having the CRI), same with hepatic functions.. organs are fine, I’m on very small dosages of anti-rejection medications, on a small dose of warfarin, no occurrence of blood clots… everything is great… so naturally it was seem to be the perfect time for the myeloma to start coming out protein levels have increased, there is a slight change in my bone density scan an have become severely anemic over in the past month (even though I take prescription grade iron supplement twice a day), I’m starting to become so fatigued and tired that there are days when getting up to go to the bathroom really just wipes me out, for the past two weeks, I have been limited my activity to one day because I seriously use the other six to sleep and store enough energy so that I can have at least one day to act like a normal human being. My hair has fallen out and recently I’ve been having low grade fevers every night…. in short I’m a mess

One of the major things that I’m dealing with is the fact that although the information is there, it’s very difficult for me to apply it to myself… 99% of what I read talks about the effects and the life expectancy of people much older than me, it’s hard to apply it to a person who’s 35-36 year old… you know the 1% of patients who get it… Another thing that is really bothering me is this wait and see method… it’s clear I’m progressing, my doctors know it… but I think this issue is when to start treatment, if it was up to me it would have started the day I was diagnosed. I’m not used to having something wrong with me and not being able to do something about it. I’m afraid that we may wait too long and whatever damage the myeloma causes will be irreversible

Joseph Mikhael, Mayo Clinic Arizona Myeloma Group, offered an analogy in a video which really resonated with me. He described the MM spectrum as having 3 buckets…1 for MGUS, 1 for SMM and 1 for MM.. once the MGUS bucket is full, it starts spilling into the SMM bucket, but the SMM bucket needs to fill completely before it starts spilling into the MM bucket. SMM is the Goldilocks of the MM spectrum. It is not quite MGUS (too cold/too small), and not quite MM (too hot/too big), but SMM is “just” smoldering.

Being patient is not a strong suit of mine, but right now I am learning to be patient and I continue to wait and see, today I felt like I had to climb a mountain… tomorrow let’s hope it’s just a tiny molehill…

Until Next Time

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