Monday, December 31, 2007
Does that sound ungrateful? I don't mean for it to sound that way, but I think I'm different than most people having this kind of surgery. Like I've already mentioned, I wasn't looking to feel better about myself, it was simply "corrective" surgery. The damage from a couple of pregnancies as well as obesity left me with excess skin that could be removed with todays surgical technology. So I chose to correct it.
I remember when calling for my first consultation the receptionist at the doctors office asked me if I was also interested in liposuction (along with abdominoplasty), and I chuckled and said, "No, I don't think I need that! I'll bet you don't hear too many women saying that, do you?" The surgeon confirmed that, no, I didn't need any lipo! In fact the very first thing I said, (I swear) when I came to, in recovery, was, "Did you weigh the skin?". Yes they had, and it weighed 700 grams, less than 2lbs.! A hellava way to lose 2 lbs.!
Friday morning came, and my attitude was simply that of having a dr's appt @7:15am...it really was that casual. All of the medical staff was happy to have a pateint in such "good shape" in fact the first thing the anesthesiologist said to me was, "You work out don't you...you have great veins!" (If I heard that once, I heard it a dozen times that morning!) The only thing I was looking forward to was the point when they tell you to count backwards! The mask came over my face and, in what seemed like a moment, it was over.
Now, everyone that has surgery is different, but I was not prepared for the aftermath! I had drugs for the physical pain, that was not a problem. I had accepted the time off from my training, that was not a problem. The problem was the swelling and bloating. I did not expect to come out of surgery a larger person than when I went in! Afterall, wasn't part of the point of this surgery to become a smaller person, lol? I went into surgery a size 6 and came out a size 10! Even my sweatpants were tight.
And although I knew the scientific and logical reasons for the swelling and bloating it was still a head trip, especially since I'd worked so hard for the past 3 years, and was used to seeing a lean and muscular frame, all of a sudden, when I looked in the mirror, I was fat again. I was swollen from my knees to my armpits. I didn't dare weigh myself for 2 weeks, and even now I've only weighed myself one more time, at the 3 week point. (132.0 morning of surgery, 132.6, 2nd week, 132.4, 3rd week)
I also wasn't prepared for the lower back pain of having to walk hunched over. I was aware that I wouldn't be able to stand completely straight up for a few days to a week, and it was murder on my lower back! Thank God I can easily squat down and stand up, it came in handy quite a bit. You'd be surprised at how many times you have to bend over in a day, until it's painful to do and you can't do it.
I can not imagine having this, or any other surgery, in an unhealthy condition. Whether that means an unhealthy weight, just bad health (sickness), or physically weak. That's something scary to think about. With all of these "makeover" shows, plastic surgery is glamorized. I don't plan on going back any time soon!
Now the fun has begun and continues.....recovery.
The above pic was taken 2 weeks post op, my 3rd day back to work.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Three weeks ago on Friday, December 7th, I had abdominoplasty, in other words a "tummy tuck", "mommy makeover", or just plain, "I got my gut cut off!". Wow, what a trip! There's so much to say about these last 3 weeks and my decision to have this surgery...so much I can't possibly write about it all in one post. So I'm going to break it down into 3 posts, this first one covering "The Decision", the second "The Surgery" and the third, "The Recovery". I will answer any and all questions (via comments) that I feel are relevant and helpful in a positive way.
I have always known, since learning that this surgery was available, that I wanted to have it done.....way before KB's and my recent transformation. My desire for this surgery came after my first pregnancy....to repair the damage from that. I had the opportunity to contemplate this surgery in my 30's, but I hadn't made up my mind that wasn't going to have more children (at the time I had my 2 boys, and thought I might want a 3rd). After that I started gaining weight, and at that point it was no longer an option I wanted to pursue.
It's always easy to think, "Oh yea, I'll just go in for some surgery!" The decision was not that easy, at least not for me. For me there were more "cons" than "pros", but there was one big "pro" that finally made me realize that it was now or never. And that "pro" was knowing that I want to get on with the rest of my life helping myself and others enjoy good health by teaching, coaching, inspiring and motivating. That became very clear this last year....and I want to hit it full force, and to do that I had to get this out of the way.
What kept me from doing it sooner were,
First, I didn't want to take the time off from my training. Early on in my new life I was afraid that if I stopped my training I wouldn't start again, Afterall I went 10 years+ without exercising and I felt as if I was "on a roll" that I didnt' want to jepordize. I loved feeling the consistent gains in strength and conditioning.
Second, I wasn't unhappy with myself, including my body. This part was the most amazing....I was fine with how I looked, in fact I was better than fine! I love my body more now than ever in my life, extra skin and all! I didn't define myself by what my tummy looked like. I looked great in my clothes, I could wear whatever I wanted and besides, who ever saw me naked? And I didn't care anyway! I did not go into surgery to feel better about myself, I don't know anyone that feels as good about themselves as I feel about myself!
Third, timing/scheduling...never a good time. I chose December, even though it's the busiest time for my manicuring business, (that takes a back seat to KB's!), because I wanted to recover in time for January fitness rush and the February Cert hosted in my hometown, San Jose. And besides that, it's freakin freezing in our garage gym in the winter!
Fourth, the actual pain and recovery.
And finally, Sixth, I didn't want anyone to say, "Of course she looks good, she had surgery!" I didn't want all the hard work and energy that I put into my workouts and my health to be negated by anyone thinking that it was the surgery that made me feel and look my best. I got my health and fitness back the right way....this was just a little extra skin.
2 weeks post op, still carrying alot of swelling and bloating (photo below). Although I weigh only 1/2 pound more at this point than the morning of my surgery, I felt like a sausage!
First.....Yes, my mid section would be prettier, tighter, and flatter...who wouldn't want that? I could stop having to worry about my tops riding up during yoga class.
Second, if I was eventually going to have the surgery at some point in my life, I was never going to be younger...so I might as well do it now and enjoy it longer....and I was already as fit as I could be at this point...so I might as well do it at my healthiest!
Third, and most important, after realizing the first 2 pros, I wanted to get on with my new career....my lifestyle. Making health and fitness the biggest part of my life and that includes connecting with people on that level, to share feeling the miracle of reaching lifes' physical potential.
So that's how I reached my decision about the surgery. The last 3 weeks have been a rollercoatser, emotionally and physically. But all is great...as usual (!), and it gets better and better everyday. I've not regretted my decision for one moment.
The physical pain of the surgery was not much of an issue, thanks to my good health, and I've been pretty good about accepting this time off from my training to recover. I've much more to share about this experience, and I'm excited to to that! (As well as how good my husband took care of me during this whole thing...I couldn't have done it without him!)
Life is good. Health is good. Love and support is good.
PS the picture of me balancing on the stability ball, at the computer, was taken 6 days post op!
Friday, December 28, 2007
As I was writing my last post about "sampling", I knew there was another important resolution/challenge I wanted to commit to in 2008, but I couldn't remember what it was until I walked into Safeway the other night and guess what? What's almost as tempting as Free Food? Discount Food (1/2 price holiday stuff), and what's more tempting than 1/2 price food....1/2 price seasonal food that's only available for a short time, and then it's gone....last chance food!!!
I want to buy 10 bags of these cookies...I swear I do! (And eat them all!) It's taking alot of strength, and I don't know (to be honest) if I can actually NOT buy anymore.....especially @ 1/2 price! Cookies are my absolute favorite, and this year my favorite is anything ginger/gingerbready or with molasses....ugggggg. I've been desprately trying to justify buying more (fast because they could be gone soon!), like.....I won't eat them until Dec. 31......I'll eat my fill and then it'll be over......I'll eat one bag a week (on my cheat day).....I can control myself, really I can (NOT!).
I already know how it's all going down. I just don't know how many bags I can get through before I get thoroughly sick and disgusted with myself. At that point I'll get some wits about me and throw them in the garbage (or hide them for another time...it depends on how sick I make myself!). If I'm really serious, I'll open the leftover bags and dump them out into the outside garbage. If I plan on fishing some out, (of the garbage...yeah that's right...I'm not ashamed to admit it! lol) after the sugar high wears down slightly, I'll throw the closed bags in the kitchen garbage...keeping them safe for future pig out!!!! LOL
So, it's true. I eat crappy food too! 3 more days....what to do....what to do?
Life tastes good!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
....what you can do today!!!
I've never been big on New Year Resolutions, in fact for many years I only had one....to quit using the "F" word.....and I don't mean freakin'. Year after year I would succeed a little longer than the previous year, the first year I think I made it about a day (!), and the longest, maybe a month? You get the picture..I finally gave into the fact that I swear like a sailor! (Although, recently I've decided it's a habit I may have finally outgrown a bit, lol). Anyway, this next year I've decided to challenge myself and make a few resolutions and the first one is to quit taking (eating) the free samples at Whole Foods!
Did you know that Whole Foods Grocery has a policy that they call "active grazing"? It's true! they encourage you to sample, in fact you can ask to sample absolutely anything in the store before you buy it, even wine! I've admitted many times at being drawn to eating food simply because it's free, and not only do I find free food practically irresistable, but I take more, because it's free. So I found myself frequenting the "regular" sample spots (pictured) and ending up walking out ouf the store, 400 calories later, having eaten food I wasn't really hungry for, and didn't even want!
I don't need to sample anything...I already know what it tastes like...I know I'm not buying any of it...but most importantly, I don't need it!
So I stopped sampling last week, why wait? I don't know why it's so hard, LOL! But as I reached the checkout at WF today, I was faced with, what else, but a favorite...cookies, chocolate peppermint to be exact (top picture!)....and although I did take ONE peice (a big piece of course), I normally would have taken a handful and then go back for seconds...secretly looking around to see if anyone is watching....it's just stupid craziness...time to move on!
Next,is to stop eating out of the bins in the "bulk" section! Now if I could only stop sampling at the Farmers Market!
New Year Resolutions.....this could be fun!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Tracy's Rainbow Cabbage Salad
I have been eating some version of coleslaw at least 5 times a week! In fact, I often take it to pot lucks because the raw veggies hold up well prepared in advance....but I always call it "Cabbage Salad", because if I call it coleslaw...the look on peoples faces is usually one of being "put off".
Basic coleslaw is just shredded cabbage and carrot dressed with mayo. An easy and quick way to lighten it up is simply using a mayo/yogurt combination. From there you can add sweet, heat, tang (or all, like I often do) and with a protein, like diced chicken, it can easily become a maincourse meal.
To get flavor ideas I poured over cookbooks for any and all recipes for salads, especially coleslaws The first I came across, I dare anyone to dislike is "Curry Coleslaw" (recipes to follow), when anyone smells this, they come running! "Oooh! What's that?" Is what I often hear from friends and co-workers. And it's the recipe I've given out the most,
Curry Dressing (for cabbage salad)
mayo / yogurt 1 cup total (1/2 & 1/2)
apple cider vinegar, 2 tbl.
lemon juice, 1-2 tbl.
sugar, 2 tbl. (or honey)
curry powder 1 tbl. ( I like alot!)
garlic, 1 clove crushed
The veggies for this salad start out with
green and/or red cabbage, shredded
cilantro and/or parsley
I've added, diced jalapeno, and switched out the raisins for fresh grapes, a fuji apple, or pineapple (fresh) and chopped dates. And I alway make my salads main dish by adding chicken/turkey/pork, etc.. But really, use what you have or like!
The picture above is my Rainbow Cabbage Salad, I made it the day I made my Rainbow Chili. And although I could call most of my salads "rainbows" because I always use plenty of colorful veggies, this one got the name! I started with one red bell and one jalapeno left over from the chili ingredients. I decided on a slghtly sweet dressing to balance out the spicy chili.
mayo/yogurt, apple cider vinegar, sugar, S& P....simple!
green and red cabbage, shredded
red bell pepper
broccoli, (stems incuded, shredded)
Some of the other variations of coleslaw;
Waldorf Coleslaw with Blue Cheese
Broccoli Slaw w/peanuts
Cabbage and White Bean Coleslaw w/bar-b-que dressing
Sweet and Sour Slaw w/ Chutney Dressing
Cabbage and Crab w/ Orange Mustard Dressing
Etc... I could go on and on....
Life is good. Food is good. Coleslaw, I mean Cabbage Salad is good!
Rainbow chili w/rainbow chard 400 cal.
yogurt w/strawberry jam 340 cal.
pea /veggie soup w/turkey 400 cal. (extra shredded cabbage or soup)
persimmon 80 cal.
celery/ raisins 130 cal.
Peet's coffe w/cream 60 cal.
Add in morning coffee 60 cal., 5 prunes 100 cal. 10 almonds 100 cal. = 1670
Thursday, December 20, 2007
So with that said, the first huge change in my kitchen, and my cooking, has been what Fawn shared with me as her favorite kitchen tool....the pressure cooker! I love it! I forced myself to learn, by doing, and now I can't stop! I look for new things to cook in it, and use it up to 4 times a week, sometimes twice in a day! But more on that another time.
The most recent idea she gave me however is Chili. I don't think I've ever made chili before. Probably beause you can buy canned chili inexpensively, and I personally didn't eat it (my boys did, and that includes Mark!) because it's too thick and salty (canned), but when she mentioned making it, I had to try myself. I asked her for a simple list of ingredients, and based on that, I went into my kitchen and threw my first pot together!
I came up with what I call my "Rainbow Chili", because my ingredients were so colorful. I had, basically, most of the ingedients she suggested.....the most important ones being, chilis, chili powder,beans! The rest of the ingredients I threw in, because that's what I had in the kitchen! (the picture above is what I already had in my fridge and pantry. I especially loved Fawn suggestion of yam)
beans, black/pinto/white (because I didn't have enough of one kind)
spices, chili powder/chipolte powder/cumin/oregano/thyme/fennel
Here it is before covering it and cooking under pressure for 25 min. I served it over, what else but, rainbow chard (topped with stems), before deciding to then add another 1/2 c. chicken stock turning it into "Rainbow Chili Soup w/chard"
I'm making my third pot tomorrow before I go into work, but this time I'll try a green chili w/white beans, based on a ingredient list for chili verde. The most imortant part of cooking is learning the basic methods and techniques...the rest can be decided by what you have on hand.
This is what I love about chili,
the "guys" love it!
endless flavor possibilities, it is, after all, just veggies, beans (or not) and meat (or not)!
done in the pressure cooker, fast
easily doubles and freezes, if it lasts that long!
made with fresh and organic ingredients....nutritious!
My next food post will include my Rainbow Cabbage Salad I made to go with!
Thanks Fawn, you rock!
Here's Fawn Friday at the Farmers Market, one of the places she took me during my stay with her and Aaron, buying sunchokes....and what's that in the background? Chilis???
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Mark had a back injury in 2000 and has found it's been instrumental in helping rehab his back as well as being able to sit without pain. He sits on the ball in a traditional way, whereas I always kneel on top balancing on my legs and knees...I love it now and would probably find it hard to sit at the computer any other way!
Just sitting on a stability ball is passive exercise....working your abs and lower back while you're sitting! So if you've got one out in the workout room, or hanging around the house, put it in front of your computer and get to work!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Jen trains Crossfit and although I don't use that method to stay in shape, my kettlebell training has conditioned me in a way to do or try almost any physical activity with confidence. How lucky am I?
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I didn't have to spend the whole day at work, but I still had to eat! I'm so used to taking my own food wherever I go, (most of the time it's already pre-portioned!) it's no trouble to pack up and go. Here's a days food (L to R),
Delicata squash soup w/roasted squash, brussels and turkey 350 cal.
addition shredded green cabbage for soup (in baggy) 0 cal.
Peet's coffee w/cream 60 cal.
Lamb shanks w/fennel, white beans, beet stems, (shredded beet tops, red & green, in baggy) 500 cal.
Almonds 100 cal.
Fuji apple 100 cal., 1 oz Pt. Reyes Bleu cheese 100 cal.
Prunes, ( 8 )160 cal.
Total calories 1370
Add in morning cream 60 cal. = 1420
Delicata Squash Soup
I peeled and diced 1 delicata squash and cooked it in enough chicken stock to cover, until soft (10-14 min.), mashed it, in the pot, with a potato masher, season w/S& P, and then added it to 1 cup of my base veggie soup. I mixed in some additional roasted squash / brussels and 3oz turkey. and after heated, poured it over shredded cabbage. I'm, kind of, into what I call my soup & salad (in one!).
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I don't know if anyone starts out thinking, OK, I think I'll "transform" myself. I know I didn't. I just wanted to lose some weight. I just wanted to stop the craziness of shoving food in my mouth. It no longer felt good. It was time to stop joking around about it (denial). It was time to grow up. Once I made my mind up, I didn't spend alot of time thinking about it, I spent my time "doing".
First thing...stop eating so much. Second thing....keep doing the first thing until desired result!
Next...exercise. This is where I feel the miracle started for me. Exercise, moving my body, started pumping blood through my veins...exercise started pumping life back into my body. Exercise forced me to reconnect....reconnect my mind with this body in this physical life. I truly feel to lose weight without exercising, or without reconnecting with your physical body, in some way, can keep you from knowing, ultimatley, the strength and control, we all have to overcome, and to change what we think we know about ourselves. Redefine, therefore creating transformation.
I spent so much of my life "dis-connected" with my body, I had to. My body protected my feelings. My body protected my "insides". I don't need to get into, exactly, what my childhood dysfunctions are, I may know some, and I still may not know, or ever know, others...we all have own. But whatever those feeling are, or were, they once served a purpose I no longer need. That I know. And that I have peace about. My life doesn't focus on my past.
I have peace because I don't believe in accidents or mistakes. Why me? Why now? Why Kettlebells? How did I seem to figure it out (for myself)? I don't need to know reasons why, to feel peace about the questions. Every moment leading up to my transformation , good and bad, made it possible...no regrets.... how lucky am I? My life focuses on the future. I am exactly where I'm supposed to be, how lovely is that?
Appreciate the miracle of our bodies, and the strength of our minds. Feel the peace of knowing life is lovely....and life is good.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I was pretty good at Halloween....I didn't buy ANY candy, not even discounted the day after! (That's the real test 1/2 price candy in those big piles at the front of the store!) Not so good during Thanksgiving....I bought some Kraft Caramels and candy corn. And now I have to dodge some of my favorites! Which reminds me of something I might have to turn into a New Year Resolution.....DON'T BUY IT, DON'T EAT IT!!!!! Easier said, than done, right?
Guaranteed....if I buy...I eat it! It never fails! Never! I swear, I'll stand in front of something at the store....in a trance....with the mental debate going on in my head....knowing the outcome, but talking myself into thinking this time I can control it. Wrong. And not only do I buy it, I buy alot of it! It seems as if overeating is connected to over-buying! It's so cheap though, lol.
I am getting better. Many times I'll give away, or just plain throw away, crap I know I shouldn't of bought, much less eat. Sometimes I'll come home and "turn it over" to Mark, ask him if he wants it, and if he does, he better hide it....which he sucks at, BTW, I can almost always find his "hiding places"!
Sometimes I'll march right into the break room at work and "drop it off" on the counter for anyone else to eat! But that's not nice...is it? I hate it when other people do that to me! Shouldn't we all support good health for eachother? So, my Christmas gift to anyone that I love or care about, NO JUNK FOOD!
Visions of sugar plums are fine. And if you have to buy some, only buy a few, and keep them to yourself!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Peets coffee w/cream 40 cal
Sherry/walnut salad dressing (mostly vinegar) 100 cal
spinach for salad w/turkey 200 cal.
turkey jalapeno, corn soup 400 cal.
blue cheese/fuji apple/persimmon/plum chutney/crackers 400 cal.
roasted veggies (brussels/shallots/squash) for salad 300 cal. (most of the calories are in the olive oil they were roasted with)
total calories 1440
Add in morning coffee, 2 more persimmons, 200 cal,(I can't help but take free persimmons, and eat them while in season!), misc. dried fruit, 200 cal) and when I got home late from my day I treated myself to an ice cream/yogurt combination at around 500 cal. I didn't get around to eating my soup for the day so subtract the 400 cal.
Total just under 2000 cal.
Wed. AM weight 130.4
6:00am KB snatch WO
2 warm up sets of 40 transfers w/14kg = 4 min.
swing, snatch, 8 L, 8 R,w/12kg, 1 min work
30 sec. rest
12 snatch L, 12 R, w/12 kg, 1 min work
30 sec. rest
6 swing, snatch L, 6 R, w/16kg, 1 min work,
3 sec rest.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I love jalapenos....jalapenos not only add heat to a recipe, but I think they have great flavor too! I add them to almost every salad I make, and here's a way to spice up some turkey soup.
I posted my recipe and technique for my base veggie soup on 8/25, titled "Is it soup or is it stew", this recipe is the "base" of almost every other soup I make. Add,
2 Pasilla peppers ( or any mix of peppers available), sliced thin
3-6 jalapenos, sliced thin and/or diced
I cut off all four sides of the peppers, avoiding the ribs, and then stack them, skin side down, slicing them into thin strips. When using jalapenos for salads I then turn the slices and continue cutting them into a small dice.
Here are the veggies for my base soup, onion, celery, carrot, kale stems, with the pasilla and jalapeno peppers added. Saute the peppers along with the other veggies. And since this soup has a tex-mex theme, oregano and/or cumin could be appropriate, (I avoid chili powers with this one only because I don't want to add any "red" color to it), tomatillos are also an option....I just wanted to keep it simple.
When the soup is done, I add in the corn (frozen, at this time of year) and shredded turkey. Black beans would also be a good addition.
Tues. AM weight 131.6
6:00am KB swings w/12 & 14kg
80 transfers w/12kg, 2 min work
1 min. rest,
20/20 1 hand swings x 2 (80 reps, 40 L, 40 R) w/14kg, 2 min. work
1 min. rest
I alternated these 2 sets for a total of 11 sets = 33 min.
Monday, December 3, 2007
It all started Sunday morning around 6:00am.
Roasted, shallots (2lbs), Delicata squash (2), Amber Cup squash (1), Blue Hubbard squash (1)
Braised lamb shanks with fennel and white beans
Pork roast w/red beans, apple, beets and onions (Fawns pork and beans)
Turkey stock, from carcass, for soup
In between prepping and cooking I went to Whole Foods, the Farmers Market and a 3:30 yoga class! I haven't done so much cooking since, back in the day, I used to, actually, host parties and do all the cooking. And I enjoyed every minute!
I finished roasting the last of 3 turkeys....I love turkey! Plenty of meat for the freezer, and more homemade soup. Can you have enough soup?
I am digging my pressure cooker! The meat on the lamb shanks fell right off, and I was able to cook those and a pork roast, in less time than just one meal.
I went to the Farmers Market around 12noon...a little late, but I had to finish the turkey. I bought;
beets (3 bunches)
red & yellow bell peppers
tiny yukon gold potatoes
I would have to say, the finds of the day were the tiny potatoes (about the size of dimes!) and the beets with the red tops. Even though I cook alot, and I consider it my hobby, I am fairly new to the culinary world. There are many, many things I don't know about foods, and alot of things I've never seen before. One of the those is beets with red tops (picured above).
I was up this morning at 5am roasting brussels, all of the roasted veggies will go into salads this week (what's left of them, lol), straining the turkey stock, and prepping my days food.
Life is good, cooking your own food is good. Food is joyful.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
7:00am KB speed swings
5 sets misc. swing/trans w/12 & 16kg, 1 min. work, 1 min rest = 10 min.
Work sets w/16kg
12 swing R, 15 sec,
15 sec rest,
12 swing L, 15 sec.,
15 sec rest
12 2 hand swing, 15 sec,
15 sec rest
I alternated these 3 sets in this order 15 x for a total of 45 sets = 22.5 min.
Heavy fast swing ladders ( video shows set #4)
2 hand swings
w/24 x 12
w/20 x 12
w/16 x 12
45 sec. work w/45 sec rest.
I completed 5 sets before dropping the reps down to 10 for another 5 sets, for a total of 10 sets = 15 min.
Total workout 47.5 min.
My grip finally gave out, especially after those heavy, 45 sec. sets. I considered breaking up the sets to 15 on, 15 sec rest to keep going, but I have to learn, enough is enough!