Alive and Kicking (Stream of Consciousness Post)

10 May

Contrary to unpopular belief, I am still here. I just haven’t had much to say lately.

Unfortunately, my 50 Book Challenge has gone a bit off the rails. I’ve not gotten through many books this year, but I’m still reading, albeit very slowly. I don’t know that something like the 50 Book Challenge is suited all that well to me, as I tend to read in spurts. But I shall keep plugging away.

I’ve also gone off the rails with regard to Weight Watchers, and have gained back almost all the weight I lost. Our final WW at Work session is this Thursday, because we weren’t able to scrounge up the required number of members to keep it going. For a company of our size (about 120 employees at our Brookfield, Wis. location) we had a great run.

For me, the end of Weight Watchers has meant the beginning of Sparkpeople. It’s enabling me to track things like the amount of cholesterol and sodium I take in each day, I’ve downloaded an app for it on my Blackberry, and best of all … it’s FREE! This is a terribly difficult and bumpy road I’m traveling on, but I’m determined to see it through, no matter how long it takes. Something our WW leader said at a recent meeting has stuck with me, and I’m trying to use it as my mantra when things get hard.

You are what you repeat.

How much more simply can it be laid out than that? While I’m obviously not the poster child for perfect, sustained weight loss, I’d like to think I am banking some sort of karmic interest for at least trying.

I had my first appointment with a chiropractor tonight after work. A co-worker recommended him to me, and I really like him, even though he’s a bit chatty and some of his thories seem a bit “out there” (or at least warranting investigation on my part). I have all kinds of little issues that could potentially benefit from chiropractic, like headaches, sinus and digestive problems, lower back pain, neck and shoulder aches, ad infinitum. This first appointment was pretty long, but he did some adjustments that seemed helpful, including clearing out my sinuses a bit.

I treated my visit with him much like I would a psychic — chiropractic is somewhat otherworldly to me, not really a field of medicine I’m familiar with or understand. Therefore, I tried not to lead him in one direction or another by giving away too many of my body’s secrets, and instead waited to see what he would find as he examined me. I was pretty impressed that he was able to find my hiatal hernia without me having to tell him (it took my regular MD a barium enema and an X-ray to figure it out).

When he began to discuss weight loss through chiropractic was when I got a bit skeptical. If it were as easy as making abdominal adjustments to aid digestion, why weren’t fat people like me lining up outside chiropractors’ offices? While I have to admit he did bring down some bloating in my stomach with some of the abdominal adjustments he made, I think I will still continue to watch my calories and cholesterol. 🙂

Though I’ll let him continue to make those adjustments, because it certainly can’t hurt!

Exercising has been a big issue for me lately as well, in that I’m not doing it. I briefly toyed with the idea of canceling my membership and either working out at home or hiring a personal trainer, but I didn’t think I could keep it up or afford it, respectively. In an effort to make it more of a habit, I made note of some classes at my gym that might keep me interested in fitness, and my goal through the summer is to get to the gym and participate in a class at least twice a week, if not more. By the end of the summer, if working out has not become a habit, I’ll re-evaluate.

Since I’ve gained back a lot of weight and am not in as good a shape as I was, most of my choices have focused on water exercise. Last Saturday morning I went to a half-hour class called “Aqua Tone” that promised a good resistance workout with water weights, and that was pretty enjoyable (I’ve only been to that one once, me being a lazy ass prevented me from going again this last weekend). Then last Monday I tried something called “Water Walking,” which turns out is an unstructured free hour in the exercise pool where people 30-40 years older than me walk laps in the pool. The night I showed up for that “class” I’d only brought my swimming suit, so I made the most of it and actually got a pretty decent workout (couldn’t go tonight because of my chiropractic appointment). Tuesday was regular water aerobics, which I’ve been to before. It was a new instructor, and she was great! I’m really looking forward to going again tomorrow night. Then last Thursday was a class called “Core Bodyworks,” which is basically exactly how it sounds: 30 minutes — non-stop — working all the abdominal muscles. I wasn’t even remotely able to keep up with the instructor but, while I didn’t do the moves exactly as she did, I did some sort of ab work for the entire 30 minutes (pats self on back). However, I think I tore every single abdominal muscle I have and until yesterday wasn’t able to sit up from a laying position or stand up straight without wanting to cry out in pain.

I won’t be going back to that class for awhile.

So I think for now I’ll stick with the water classes, and supplement that with either walking, or doing my pyramid weight routine at the gym.

Someone on another, more private, blog I have asked me if I had considered lap band surgery. I told them that I didn’t think I was overweight enough for that, but according to a friend of mine who has had the surgery, I am. I don’t think I could ever do that, though. I’m not so overweight that I can’t get around and live a normal life. And I also feel like I’d be taking the easy way out — while I know that many people have tried everything they possibly can to lose weight and have failed, which is what brought them to the surgery, I don’t think I have tried everything. I’m ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Though I must admit, a small part of me is thinking about looking into the weight loss drug alli. If there is anyone still out there that reads this blog, please comment and let me know if you have experience with it or know someone who has. I’d love to get feedback of real-world use, not just basing my decision on what their marketing materials say. :p

Okay, I’ve written enough here for one night. I’ll try to be better about posting on here, I swear!

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