Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Am Bummed.

Found out this week that the half marathon weekend that Jamie and I had been planning won't be going down as planned. He won't be able to do the race because school gets out too late on Friday for him to make the drive. I am sad. We did this race when I was 14 weeks pregnant with the boys, and went back last year and both PRed. I was hoping to make it an annual thing, but we're losing this year. I was so looking forward to it, too. 4 days away...just us (and our friends). Now it'll be just me (and our friends).

So my consolation? When he's done with school we're going to Vegas for a week. By then I should be lean and mean. I already know where I want to stay :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I bought $500 worth of cycling stuff.

I'm taking my road bike in for a "tune up" and a new set of tires. I am going to start bike commuting when my husband goes back to school, and I "needed" some new bike shorts, jerseys, etc. In my defense, I don't own any padded bike shorts, and if I'm going to be commuting 14 miles a day....well, I'll need the padding.

I'm kinda stoked about this. I have about 14lbs I'd like to drop in the next 3 - 4 months (I gained 5lbs from stress eating before my surgery), and 60ish miles of biking a week on top of my half marathon training schedule can't hurt. I'll be able to go back to eating normally again! Woo!
Bonus: Now that all my hanging bits are gone, I can really lean over the bike without banging my knees on my belly.

I plan to use swimming as cross training this winter, and all that cycling and running should put me in good enough shape to not want to crawl in a hole when people see me in a swimsuit.

So my dear husband is going to paramedic school starting August 19th. Our lives are about to get crazy. I'm sure he's going to do really well. He's a smart guy to begin with, and also very level headed. He's been an EMT for about 6 years now, and is itching to take that next step. His boss told him that if he fails pharmacology he's going to get a kick in the balls. (I'm a clinical pharmacist). I'm looking forward to helping him study and learning a few things myself.

On the child front, Lily (who will turn 4 on Saturday) managed to faceplant on our driveway and give herself a big blue knot on the bridge of her nose and road rash on her cheek. It's really awesome to take a bunch of banged up kids to the childcare center at the YMCA. "No, really, we don't beat them! I swear! She's just, um, clumsy! Yeah! Clumsy!" We got her a sandbox for her birthday. She's going to love it :)

I think the boys are getting teeth again because they are droooooooooooly and also craaaaaaaaabby. I can't wait until our fence is installed, the sandbox is filled, and the swingset is up. My ass is taking all those little jerks outside and letting them run wild until they collapse from exhaustion.

Incidentally, did you know that 2 fruit Newtons are ONE HUNDRED CALORIES?!?!?! I did not know that, and gave each of the boys about 6 of the damn things one night (which they greedily snarfed down and begged for more). That's 300 calories. That's a crazy lot for a 25lb kid.(Well...or a 160lb mommy. Not that I ate 6 of them. Or 10. Just sayin' is all.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

An Ode to my New/Old Running Shoes

O Mizuno
How beautiful is your Wave Nirvana 6
How sprightly the colors
How happy the midsole

Shining and new
You arrive from
So much better than your version 7 sibling
With your failure to clip-clop clip-clop

Where shall we go
O Wave Nirvana 6?
What roads shall we conquer together?
My feet encased in gleaming silver mesh?

How I loved your forerunner
My flaming orange Nirvanas
They served me well in snow and mud
Then, reborn, live on as recycled track

I shall love you
I shall help you meet your destiny
You shall help me meet mine
O Wave Nirvana 6

My Brilliant Idea!

So as I was scrambling around for something to feed my ravenous spawn, I had an (brilliant!) idea. Perhaps (just perhaps), if I planned ahead (brilliant!), I wouldn't be so desperate for meal ideas all the time (brilliant!).

Oh, in case you're not getting it, I am totally referencing that Guiness commercial (brilliant!) from a few years back (brilliant!).

Anyway, I was surfing around Amazon and considering my many (many, many) cookbooks when this (brilliant!) idea dawned on me: If I buy a dry erase calendar, I could (gasp!) write my meals down in advance. This amazing plan would not only allow me to make a grocery list (brilliant!), but also allow my husband and me to both see what the children (well, and us) had for dinner on any given night. Meaning? Less repeating, and more actual meals vs. tossed together hodgepodges (brilliant!). So now my kitchen houses a spankin' new dry erase calendar. I went through my (many, many) cookbooks and made a list of about 12 recipes to sprinkle throughout the month. We'll try to find favorites, and rotate new meals in every month.

I'm excited! Because my life is crazy boring!

While I was surfing around Amazon, I also ordered myself a new running journal. I love running journals. I have kept them since I started running (all those many long...or 4...years ago), and they make me happy. I can see my training taking shape and can track how I'm progressing. It's like a regular journal, without all those stupid feelings. If you know me, you know I don't do feelings.

I have decided to give Hal Higdon's Intermediate training plan a go. It will begin on 7/25 for my 10/15 half (I'd put it on my race schedule ticker thing if I could figure out how). I'll be cleared to run on 7/6 and will just try to reclaim my cardiovascular base for 3 weeks, then start. This schedule should allow me to begin a cycle of P90X at the same time, since it calls for strength training several days a week. I wrote the whole damn thing in my fresh new training journal and I am seriously itching to begin. All this forced inactivity is making my just bats. So far, I plan to to the Jerebek Challenge in August, and I need to find a 5K and a 10K in the fall to round out my training plan.

I couldn't be happier with my surgical results. The steristrips are coming off and the incision looks really good. I should be able to start doing scar treatments after seeing my doc on 7/6, so I'm hoping by next summer I'll be rocking a two piece without self-conciousness.

And also? Brilliant!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's For Lunch?

I seriously ask this question every day. Not for myself, generally, because when I'm working I eat one of two lunches. Either a grilled chicken salad with lots of veggies and fat free ranch and buffalo sauce or turkey on a whole wheat croissant with lettuce, tomato, and dijon. Boring, right? Here's the thing. I loooooooove those two lunches. Love them. That's one reason I eat them every day. The other reason? I know their calorie content by heart, which takes the guesswork out of the weight loss thing. Variety is for supper, lunch is for happy comfortable food.

I ask the question every day for the kids. I hate getting meals ready for the kids. I am fine with repetition, but too much repetition for the kiddos equals bad eaters. They get tired of stuff and won't eat it anymore. Which I guess I understand. My husband can't fathom my daily turkey sandwich! Right now I know what's for lunch. Chicken helper. Exciting stuff. The boys will be up in about 40 minutes and I'll start cooking food from a box. Sigh. I wish I was more motivated to cook, but it is nearly impossible to cook anything with two 15 month old babies in the kitchen. They are everywhere at once. Can't use the oven, can't use the stovetop...little bodies and fingers everywhere! And the shreiking! As soon as they see food, they freak out. Freak out. They become like giant baby birds. Mouths open, they advance. It's a little frightening.

Then there is Lily. Lily who used to be a human garbage can, but now spends and hour and a half listlessly picking at her meal. It's more like an art project or science experiment for her. Poke the food, tear is apart, mash it into nothingness, dunk it in milk. It's a nightmare. Things she used to love are now unacceptable. She won't eat squash because "it's too orange". She won't eat sweet potatoes because (I'm not kidding) "they're too sweet potatoey". She has to be bribed to eat meat. Crazy. She'll eat snacks of all sorts, but meals? Excruciating. Sigh.

Since I'm home today, I have no idea what I'll eat. Maybe some chicken helper. Who knows.

Went for a 10K walk with a friend on Saturday, my first real exercise since surgery. I was sore afterwards, which is sad, but it felt great to be out in the fresh air and moving. Yesterday I did 30 minutes on the treadmill (walking) at the Y, and I plan to do that daily until I'm cleared to run (7/6!!). I've had a pretty easy recovery so far, a little swelling with activity, but that's normal. I'm hoping to have continued success. I'm trying to log my stuff with dailymile (as you see) but I can't figure out the website...can't seem to figure out how to get my races on the board. Frustrating.

Ok. Time to start lunch so I'm not cooking when the little monsters awake!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Plastic Psurgery is not for Psychos

I understand how people could become "addicted" to plastic surgery. Once you "fix" one thing, then another "flaw" rises to prominence and you feel the need to "fix" that as well. My surgeon asked me a lot of "Hmmm...are you a psycho?" type questions when I had my consult. You know the you have realistic expectations, are you seeking a result that is physically impossible, that kind of thing.

I can assure you that I am done having procedures (barring some kind of disfiguring accident). I also realized that having this surgery has removed a nagging shadow from my mind. I didn't think my saggy belly was so present in my psyche, that I thought about it as much as I did...until I didn't. Sure, I think about my incision and keeping it clean and protected, but I don't think about my appearance related to it anymore.

The change is really amazing. My stupid belly isn't the first place my eyes go when I step out of the shower anymore. It isn't the first thing I think about when I'm getting dressed in the morning and the last thing I think about when I crawl into bed at night. That's a hell of a thing. Even when I stand and just let my belly "hang out" (not that I do that...every former fat girl knows you ALWAYS hold in your belly) it doesn't really "hang" anymore.

I'm really looking forward to this positive change in relation to my running self. There were days that I would put on and pull off three or four shirts because the way the waistband of my skirt hit made me look like I had front butt (you know, that saggy pooch that women get that looks like an ass on the front side) and a jelly roll above the band. Or it made my belly look like it stuck out farther than my boobs (wait...I guess it looked like that becuse it did that), or it was tight accross my squishy belly and loose over my chest (that is a HOT look, btw). No one should feel like a big fat freak before going out and running in public. That is not the way to build confidence. Add a Fuel Belt to that picture? Now we're talking sexy. I am so looking forward to the day when I can just pull on any old thing and go run. What an incredibly freeing moment that will be. Three weeks and counting!

So one of these days I will stop whining about myself and my psychological issues and talk about my kids more :) Here is a Lilyism to start us off:

Dear Husband: This is an orangutan, can you say "orangutan"?
Lily: Monkey.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back to work.

First day back at work!

Having the drains out kicks a huge amount of ass. I can move around, wear regular clothes, and best of all? I don't look like I'm smuggling grenades! So glad to be back to my regular routine.

So my doc was all "If I pull these drains and you get a fluid collection, don't say I didn't warn you" with much wagging of fingers and tut-tutting. Today I had a post-op before my shift started and he said "Let's check for fluid since you coerced me into taking out those drains."

Guess what? No fluid. HA!.

Everything is looking good and healing well. When the steristrips start to let go, I've been cleared to just remove them as they loosen. I'm excited for that, because the damn things itch like crazy. I'm also happy because that means I'll look more like a person and less like an arts and crafts project.

The best thing I heard today? I am cleared for walking and light exercise, and after my next postop (in 3 weeks) I should be clear to run! YeeeeHaaaaaaw! Just in time to train for my next half. I'm sure I'll be painfully slow, but I'm excited anyway.

I'm hoping the new bras, underpants, and sportsbras I ordered are on my doorstep when I get home...can't wait to have new, non-ratty understuff.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Drains out today!

Woo! I'm off to the doc to get the drains out this afternoon! I am so excited! In case you couldn't tell! by the overuse! of exclamation! points!

I'm planning to start walking on Sunday (maybe with at trip to the zoo...the weather is supposed to be pretty nice), with an eye to running the first week of July. In the early morning, of course, as the heat is not my friend.

In the mean time, the kids are off to the grandparents for the next couple of days, and my dear husband is doing the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. He's been heavily involved in Special O for the last few years and is on the state committee. He really likes this event because it combines two of his favorite things: Motorcycles and running. Opening ceremonies for the Games are on Thursday in Stevens Point if anyone is going to be out that way. My husband is the handsome guy in uniform on the motorcycle.

So I'm left with about 2 days with nothing to do. Plan is to see a friend tomorrow, but I don't know what I'll do besides that. Maybe take myself to the movies? I have some free passes I haven't used. Any suggestions on a good one to see?

After I get my drains out this afternoon, I'm making a pilgrimage to Victoria's Secret for a couple of new bras and underpants. I'm still wearing my ratty old pregnant pants, and that simply has to stop. Also, I need some regular bras to wear when I go back to work. Sports bras are not going to cut it!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

First look in the mirror!

Took a shower today (with the drains still in, which was weird), and got my first look in the mirror sans binders/dressings.

Holy flat stomach, batman. When I went to the office on Friday, yeah, I could tell it was flatter, but I just got the top view and I was more concerned with the incision and the drains. After actually seeing the full view? I am FLOORED at the result. My stomach is flat! Even with all the "swelling" (which I don't notice), it is SO MUCH BETTER than it was pre-op. Like freaky better. Miraculous better. The incision is big, and obviously really visible (including the belly button which is also stitched up and kind of odd), but I don't even care. It seems higher than other incisions I've seen, but I'm fine with that, and I told the surgeon that I'm not really the "itty bitty bikini" type. I was more concerned with the overall look than the ability to wear an inappropriate bathing suit.

I am just thrilled with the result so far...and I'm not even a week post-op. I feel really good, too, which is a relief. I can't wait to lose these drains, because they are annoying and my boys have the uncanny ability to find the tubing even under my clothes. I will definately be able to wear my scrubs comfortably when I go back to work.

What I really want to do? Run. With my skirt waistband firmly in place. I also really, really want to do craploads of ab work...because I may actually see the results! That's a few weeks off, though. I think I'm going to do a round of P90X once I'm back to running regularly. I can't wait to see what that program will do to my body without all the extra squidge.

Delicious, ridiculously healthy recipe of the day:
1/2 block of firm silken tofu (the lite if you really want the protein bomb without the calories)
1 container plain, fat free greek yogurt
1 c. skim milk
half a bag of Dole tropical frozen fruit mix, still frozen (then you don't need ice) or whatever fruit floats your boat. Frozen works better than fresh, if you like your shake thick.
Blitz until milk-shake consistency.
This makes a giant, awesome shake (seriously, like 24-30oz depending on how much fruit you use).
Pre-op I would drink half before my run and half after. Today I'm just drinking the whole thing and calling it lunch. It ends up being less than 300 calories depending on the fruit. With just a mindblowing amount of protein.

You're welcome.

Also want to shout out to my fabulous husband who made an awesome dinner last night (steak and zucchini on the grill) and an awesome breakfast this morning (steak/spinach/potato/tomato/cheese frittata). He is truly the best ever.

Oh, and two Vicodin taken at bedtime? Feels like flooooaaaaaatttttinnnngggg...

Friday, June 3, 2011

So THAT's what 7,000 stitches looks like...

Just back from my post-op appointment, and the good news is everything looks great and is healing nicely. The bad news is I have to keep the drains in for at least a few more days. Blah.

I can ditch the boobie binder and start wearing a non-underwire bra, though, which is nifty!

It is so strange to see and touch my belly. It's my belly, I have sensation, but the sensations seem....miswired? Like when I touch below my new belly button, it feels like I'm touching the top of my stomach. Odd. According to Dr. Z, there will be numbness for a while, along with some swelling. He also said that my boobs will drop a bit and soften up, but they seem pretty damn great to me right now, so if they start to look/feel even more "natural", well yippee!

I haven't seen my boys since Tuesday morning (I was afraid they'd pull out the drains/rip open the incision) but I can pin the drains higher and cover them with my shirt. Also, after seeing the 7,000 stitches holding my guts together, I'm pretty sure nothing's going to rip that puppy open.
I miss my babies, and I'm looking forward to seeing them tonight when my husband brings them home from daycare. I hope they remember who I am...

Back to work on 6/13, and back to walking at that point, too. If it goes well, then back to running the first week of July! I hope everything heals quickly and completely...I need to run again! I miss it so much!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Post-op Day 1

Well, I slept well in the recliner last night. The vicodin might have helped some with that :) I didn't really need it, but I figured it would make me drowsy and if I moved around too much I wouldn't wake up sore.

This morning I feel pretty great! No pain at the belly incision, and just a teeny bit of soreness at the boobs. I really, really want to peek under my binder. But I won't, because my husband scolds me. He said "No peeking or poking! You better not screw this up for me!". I'm trying not to look....

The drains are weird, they just hang like little grenades on tubes. I'm not really conscious of them until I get up to move around (or go to the bathroom). I have to empty them and record the volumes until Friday. So far I haven't been draining much, I'm hopeful I'll lose at least one of them on Friday.

My husband has been so great. He's taking good care of me and the kids. I am very lucky :) At the rate I'm going, I should be more than ready to go back to work in two weeks. If all goes well with the return to work, I will try running the first week of July (gotta get on that training plan for the Whistlestop!). I can't wait to run again...without that big flap of skin bouncing my pants down.

My husband is gearing up to run the Bellin next Saturday. I'm hoping I'll be able to get out and watch him. I envy his speed. I don't envy him running the Bellin. It's too crazy for me. It is fun to watch, though.

My daughter has been giving my husband grief at suppertime. He reports that she will not eat squash because it is "too orange". She will not eat sweet potato fries because they are "too crispy and sweet potatoey". Can't argue with that logic! Mostly because it's not logic. Sigh. The joys of a nearly 4 year old.