Saturday, August 28, 2010

Stay in school kids!

I'm slightly overwhelmed by the fact it will take me longer to become a registered dietitian than it will have taken me to lose the 185 pounds.  


I was such a _____________ in college.  Too fat to fit in the seats and yet to ashamed to do anything about it.  Such a cycle that was, semester after semester.  Add in some surgery and my GPA is a disaster from CU Boulder.  Sad thing is, when I went to class, all A's and B's.  The F's show up when I stopped caring.  Fastest way ever to tank your GPA.

When my husband and I decided that I would go back to school I never dreamed it would take me this long.  Science in college would have been helpful, but that's life.  Getting laid off a couple of weeks earlier would have helped moved this along by a whole year, but what can you do.  Life happens at its own pace, even if it is that of a snail.  

I was never a math and science kind of girl.  I know that now, now, I can do it.  I can even hold my own with the over achievers of the world as evidence by the fact that I've taken almost all of these science classes at the Harvard Extension School.  Since it's still Harvard and they have a name and reputation to protect these classes are not your regular continuing ed types. Alas Harvard doesn't do nutrition, at least not at the Ext.

Enter UNH.  Turns out that I don't actually have to get the masters right now to be an RD.  You can get an accredited university to sign off on your course work, do the internship, take the exam and get credentialed.  I can do this at UNH and I am super excited that I am finally at the point where I can take actual nutrition related classes!  I have 16 left and can do this in two years taking course credit load and financial limitations into consideration.  I am excited to have a plan in place (that doesn't involve rejection) and to be moving forward.

So this semester is my last class at the Harvard Extension School-- Biochem.   Trying again, I dropped it last fall after an unfortunate flu shot reaction and nasty fall cold that cut into a lecture before the first exam in week three.  I'm actually glad I dropped it as I'll get a ton more out of this class now that I have taken Organic Chemistry and Anatomy and Physiology.  For the nutrition classes I'll be commuting to UNH three times a week and they include, Clinical Perspectives in Nutrition (Here's what you can do with this degree type of thing), US Healthcare System and Nutrition Education & Counseling. 

Someday I'll have a shingle with my name on it.  This process, like the process of losing weight, while long and drawn out can only have goodness at the end.  I know it's cliche, but anything worth having is worth working for.  And for me, the journey is just as important as the destination.  

But that's another post. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thigh lift scars

Ouch, I have to say that my scars, especially when I sit cross-legged, are a bit on the painful side.  We have reached the point where they are tightening up before they let go again.  They are also pulling in a weird way and I'm not sure if that has to do with how I am healing or if it's just swelling that's makeing me feel tight.  I haven't had a follow up since before vacation-- I should make that call.  I'm curious if all the bike riding I have been doing is contributing to the change in the way the scars look (and how I am staying together) or if that's just what is supposed to happen.  I knew the scars weren't going to be pretty but it's a noticeable difference.  At least to me anyway, I've posted a picture after the jump.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I bounced

All the way to 167!  I'm off a few from that now, back in the low 160's but it happens, still, and I suspect that my weight will continue to fluctuate.  I think knowing that allows me not to freak out.  It's a range, my clothes still fit (although some better than others) and when I bounce like that I am still the same me.  The me who has lost over 180 pounds and kept it off for almost six years.  So this is me, giving myself some credit.  

Oh and also, random post plastic surgery thought.  I have a crotch now.  Kind of crass to put it that way but it's true.  This last surgery really made that apparent to me.  A lifetime of not being able to see those parts...  you notice when they are visible and readily accessible.  

Monday, August 16, 2010

I saw Moose

Another reason why my knee is doomed. From an article in the New York Times,  Moose Offer Trail of Clues on Arthritis by Pam Belluck

The arthritic Bullwinkles got that way because of poor nutrition early in life, an extraordinary 50-year research project has discovered. That could mean, scientists say, that some people’s arthritis can be linked in part to nutritional deficits, in the womb and possibly throughout childhood.

Let's add nutritional deficiencies to the list that also includes;
  • obesity
  • ACL problems
  • surgical trauma
  • general trauma (car accidents, falls)
  • genetics
  • being a girl
  • infection

Ouch I need to brain dump

I'm having a rough day.  Life seems up in the air at the moment but it's really not because I know that whatever comes will have a process, something to work through.  I am the biggest procrastinator.  I used to blame it on my weight, but I am kinda lazy sometimes, especially when I hurt or am overwhelmed.  And that's me today, physically hurting and overwhelmed.  And I have no business being lazy with the summer coming to a close.

I smacked myself in the eye last night with a glass hummingbird.  Yes, you read that right.  Today I had to pack off my husband for a trip to the left coast for a depo, woke up early in pain but got to see a happy twin sis, ran some errands and then came home and cried.  My face hurts, my heart hurts and it's cloudy.

Ouch.  Hoping 3 hours of immediate icing keeps most of the bruising at bay.

Tomorrow is a new day and I am making plans.  Fall semester has come together and I will apply for programs this fall come hell or high water.  I fear rejection and not having good enough recommendations.

Today is really about being lonely I think.  I have this life, that I love, but I still crave interaction and I really wish that I had gotten more of a head start on it.  Comforting myself with the fact that I have already done so much only gets you so far.  I just have to keep moving forward, even if I'm all teary.

Boohooing gets me nowhere.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What if?

I'd take back all that skin for a knee in good working order.  Pain is a weight I don't feel I'll ever escape.

Where I'm at with my thighs

I'm super happy with the results but I do wish that the incision on the inside of my thighs went further down.  I feel like there is still too much skin (and now with even less up higher) just above my knees.  It's hard to explain, but when I stand or sit even you really can't tell.  It's just when I kneel and really, how often do I actually do that?

Our first hike on vacation and it was already apparent that this surgery is a WIN!  It's such a different experience to walk from your hips and not your knees!  I think I must have mentioned at least 20 times on vacation how pleased I am with the results.  All that excess in the way is just gone.  I took a couple of pictures when I was in the hotel in Bozeman.  Hard to see... but that's the point right?

I'm done with surgery for a while.  I need to work with what I have and although this body is not perfect, it's never going to be tight and there are parts of me that will always sag, I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to fix myself up a bit.  I am struck by how much easier it is to be "skinny" in this body.  I tried hard not to let the skin bother me, but now that it's gone it's apparent to me that it's a mental weight that never really lets you go.  Scars don't weigh on me the way the skin did and I can't imagine stretching myself back out.  No way.

A few vacation photos...

Said Iceberg in Iceberg Lake

Husband and I at the Lake

Campsite at Grand Teton.  Be nice to your knees folks!

From the Highline Trail on the way out to the Chalet.

View from the Chalet at midnight!
On the way down from the Chalet.

10 miles in the heat.  But there were Moose!

Being silly after drinks at the Jackson Lake Lodge.

This is the personal sized sundae!
I wish you could see the mosquitoes circling my head here.

Most.Favorite.Geyser.Ever.  This is Grand.

Deep Fried Avocado.  Best thing all vacation and it was on our last night at the Montana State Fair.  

Vacation is Over

Alas.  So we spent two weeks out west, Montana, Wyoming and a drive through Idaho just so I could say that I had been there.  I've been home for a week and miss my husband like crazy already.  I'm also back in pain.  We hiked a bunch on vacation...  well, a bunch for us.  In Glacier we hiked out to Iceberg Lake, 5 miles out and 5 miles back,  it had some elevation gain, but nothing too crazy.  I managed and in the end it was so worth it to wander through hillsides of wildflowers and to see an ACTUAL iceberg in a lake.  Neat.  Not so neat was the poor guy that we passed on the trail on our way back that had to be airlifted up and out.

Our next hike was out to the Granite Park Chalet.  Literature says its a 200 ft elevation gain, that's net, not actual.  I was distressed at one point when we came around a corner and had to go up over a haystack and across a snow field but I just kept going and I am so glad I did.  About half an hour from the Chalet and about 15 minutes after we had passed that point some rocks broke off the cliff, bounded down the hill and smashed into two teenagers.  They are going to be ok, but they also had to be airlifted up and out.  We spent the night at the Chalet and then the next day hiked back down.  You had to go up to go down and in the end it was about 2300 ft. of actual down.  DOwn is easier in someways, cardio mainly, but it' a bit rough on the knee.

We took a break after that, spent the day in Missoula and then it was off to Grand Teton.  Only one big hike there and it was all flat.  About 80 sunny and gorgeous we were hoping to do a lollypop trail but it ended up being more of sickle.  We had to back track as there was no bridge over a creek.  Earlier in the season it had been closed for bear management.  The mud looked like it would suck us right in so we turned around.  Worth the effort however as there were two moose just chilling about 250 yards away.

After that it was up to Yellowstone. We've been a bunch and this time took in oldie but goodie sites.  Walked the 350+ stairs down Uncle Toms Trail in Canyon to get to the viewing area for the lower falls.  We hiked up to Inspiration point to see Old Faithful go off.  We wandered our favorite boardwalks in various geyser basins and in generally recouped from our first week.  We also bailed to Bozeman, after watching mother nature kick peoples ass already (also climbers struck by lightening at Grand Teton and a drowning at Yellowstone) I was kind of done when that Grizzly bear ate that poor man in a campground just north of the park.  I don't know why that bothered me so, but nature is no joke out there.  I feel very lucky that I only had one oops moment.  It was in Yellowstone and we were coming off of Inspiration point and my left foot slid.  I could literally feel my femur scrape across my tibia.  Yikes!  But I didn't fall!  This was huge for me.... and I know it is a result of the strengthening I have been doing.

That was almost two weeks ago and since then the knee has been going down hill.  Fast.  The Synvisc has worn off and I am sad to see it go.  The past week has involved some mental gymnastics.  Amazing to think about all these things I've just listed and I did them PAIN FREE.  Now I wince when I get out of bed in the morning.  I wish it wasn't so up and down, but what can you do.  Live.  And that's what I did.  I iced whenever I could but mostly I just did my thing.  It was awesome and freeing and I can't wait for the day that's me all the time!