Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Frustrated

Well it look like I found another sport to suck at.  I am so fat, weak, and slow that I can't even get out of my own way.  I am so frustrated by my lack of grace or ability that I want to quit.  I cant quit though.  I am locked in for a year, and it would be a bad example for my kid.  Nothing seems to work and not only am I fighting my opponents, but I feel like my own body is hindering me.

The last thing I want is a participation trophy, or promotion.   I don't feel like I know or can demonstrate any more now than I could when I started.

I am starting to wonder if there is anything I am good at beyond feeling sorry for myself and eating.  I went and fucked up the eating part with WLS.

Friday, February 27, 2015

8 years

This isn't intended to be a pity party, but I'm sure it will turn into one or at least come across as one.  Really I just have a lot of thoughts running around in my head about my weight and my food consumption that I thought it might be good to just put it all out there.  Maybe it will help me focus.

Before I get into the things that are weighing on me right now, I want to say that I would absolutely do the surgery again and I wish I had done it earlier in my life.

So after all of these years food is still my major failing.    So many of you know I used to weigh 441 pounds at my heaviest.  I had tried so many fad diets and exercise routines that I should have invested in their stock plans.  All of those attempts were met with initial success then followed by failure and a rebound to an even higher weight.  About 8 years ago I had bariatric surgery to help me with my weight problems.  This surgery and the results were spectacular.  However it hasn't been without a little pain and suffering in the process.

The first setback I had with my Weight loss surgery journey (WLS from now on) was that I had issues with my gallbladder.  I had to have that removed after the surgery.  This seems to be a very common occurrence with patients post WLS. 

The next setback was I had an intestinal block caused by twisting of the intestines.  That was a serious emergency that required immediate surgery.  Let me tell you that hurt so bad, that I thought I was going to vomit.  It felt like someone had a knife in my stomach and they were slowly twisting it.  The doctors said it was likely related to the weight loss.  Thinks move around after the surgery.  Things that my have been supported by fatty areas before were now unsupported and allowed to twist.

The third problem that will be with me for the rest of my life was probably also caused by the surgery either directly from trauma of the surgery or again as a result of the weight loss.  The portal vein in my liver occluded.  This causes portal hypertension.  High pressure in the liver area.  So I am on medications for that now.

I also have bouts of reactive hypoglycemia ( is a medical term describing recurrent episodes of symptomatic hypoglycemia occurring within 4 hours[1] after a high carbohydrate meal (or oral glucose load) in people who do not have diabetes. It is thought to represent a consequence of excessive insulin release triggered by the carbohydrate meal but continuing past the digestion and disposal of the glucose derived from the meal.)  Never had this problem prior to the surgery.

Early on I would also have episodes of being light headed and dizzy.  It would be caused by a drop in blood pressure when moving from a prone to standing position and it was intermittent.  The doctor indicated this was also related to the WLS but that it may resolve itself with time.  For the most part it has.   I still occasionally have this issue but it is very infrequent now.

In addition to that I have had a couple physical accidents.  Now that I wasn't fat and exercise didn't "hurt", I was able to start cycling and running.  Well I had two cycling accidents and 1 running accident.  I broke my collarbone riding (entirely my fault, I wasn't paying attention and hooked my front wheel in a rut, which tossed me on my head and shoulder.)  The second injury was a result of being cut off at an intersection by a car this caused me to fall on my knee, breaking my knee cap.  The running injury was a partial tear to the Achilles tendon (stupid barefoot running trend).

But for all of those physical problems, it is the mental ones that are the toughest.  Yes I miss food, yes I still desire to overeat and indulge, no I can't seem to break the cycle.  Like I said I started at 441 pounds, I had to lose 100 pounds before the doctor would do the surgery for me.  My final weight loss had me down to 188 including all the loose skin which the doctor estimated at 8-10 pounds worth of extra skin, so if I could have afforded the plastic surgery, I may have actually been under my ideal weight for a while. 

Well 8 years later and I have gained back 42 pounds, and I am struggling to get it under control.  I am capable of eating way more than I should.  I am still an addict to starchy things, and fat things.  I'd take french fries over chocolate any day.  Yay for fried things with cheese.  The only way to keep myself from having those things is to not have access to them.  This is hard because my family still continues to eat them and I am exposed to them on a regular basis.  But this isn't on them, it is my problem.

Today at work one of the very nice ladies I work with brought in two big boxes full of sugary breakfast treats from one of the best bakeries in town.  Here I sit with my egg beaters while everyone else is enjoying the food I really want.  Someone once said that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.  Well that is a load of crap.  Skinny never felt anything to me good, bad or indifferent.  I will however agree that fat felt bad.

I have managed to stay out of the pastries, but they are in the copy room and I am going to have to go past them every time I need something from the printer or some supplies.  So it will be a constant test today.  I am not one of those people who can have just one bite and be satisfied.  If I give in and take a sample, I will be back in there all day long until the food is gone.

I am worried that I am on that slope to becoming fat again.  I am not happy with what I have allowed myself to do.  I had put in so much effort to get this weight off.  I had hopes that this would be the real deal.  But like they say, the surgery is on our bodies, not on our minds.  The flabby skin and the ugly body that I am left with is very disheartening.  I thought that once I lost the weight I would be happy with my physical appearance.  Well since I can't afford to have the extra skin taken of (and to what purpose vanity?) I am going to have this wrecked body.  I still don't take my shirt off at the beach, I don't even like to see myself in the mirror.  I still wear clothes that cover my appearance.  My wife says it doesn't bother her, but how could it not?  I know she just doesn't want me to feel bad about it, but it isn't physically appealing.

I had hopes of getting to be just like everyone else and that is never going to be the case.  I thought that at some point I would get to eat like all my friends, but as soon as I start to do that, the weight goes on.  I track my calories and I don't know if it is a result of my body adjusting to the new me or what, but as soon as I get my calories over 1200 a day, I start to gain weight again.  Everything I read indicates I should be able to eat more than that, especially when I am doing a lot of exercise, but that hasn't been the case for years.  It certainly isn't now since I have been pretty sedentary the last 2 years.  It is amazing how fast the weight comes back.  One day the pants require a belt, and the next you are considering going shopping for larger pants.

I guess the point to all of this is that I need to refocus.  There is no escape from this for me.  It is something I will be battling my entire life.  I need to get up and get moving and I need to diligently track my food.  Not every other day not every couple days, but every bite, lick and taste that goes into my mouth.  I have proven that I am not good at winging it, I need structure or a forced regiment.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Race Review

First thing - I want to thank all my family and friends who have supported and encouraged me.  I love you all!

Well my attempt at Vineman 2013 is nothing to write home about, so I figure I'll put it here instead.
It was an interesting day to say the least.  I thought I had done enough training to get through it.  It was never my goal to be competitive, but rather to just finish the race.

Don't take any of the things I list here as excuses, because the truth is I didn't train hard enough.  There is no excuse for not being able to have completed this race.

The race festivities were to start Friday morning with  packet pickup.  The only thing wrong with this is that my body decided to require a hospital visit first.  I woke up Friday morning and I was urinating blood.  When I arrived at the hospital the nurse took one look at my urine sample and said, "Oh, you are sick".  Anyhow the doctor said it was either an infection or kidney stones.  He gave me 4 prescriptions two for pain, one antibiotic and one to reduced the urge to void sensation.  I asked him about the race on Saturday and he said OK as long as I wasn't taking the pain medicine.  He was concerned about me swimming or cycling while on pain meds.  I was good with that as long as I wasn't having to stop and pee blood every 5 minutes.  The medications worked great, I was able to get almost instant relief, and by Monday I was 100% back to normal (still have 4 more days of antibiotics to take though).

I made it safely through the expo at the event (that means I looked at all the stuff for sale but didn't burn up my credit card buying stuff I don't need)

Saturday morning I woke up at 3:45 after a good nights sleep.  I went to bed early and got almost 8 full hours of sleep.  It still feels weird getting up when it's dark out.  I probably could have slept 3-4 more hours easy.  I figured I would have had a fitful nights sleep filled with anticipation but it wasn't there.

Breakfast was steel cut oats with cherries and cashews, and a cup of yogurt.  I ate about half of my meal and then just couldn't put down any more.  My swim wave was scheduled to go off at 6:39 a.m.  We live about 1/2 hour from the start of the race, and they were recommending that you arrive 1 hour before your start.  We nailed it on the timing and everything was going great until we got to the event site and things started going wrong.  While we were probably a mile away from the event and looking for a parking spot, I got the sudden and immediate urge to go.  I don't think there is any nice way to say this, but between the infection and trying to stay hydrated, I had to use the restroom and the only thing I had was an empty bottle.  I wasn't going to make it to the event or the restroom.  The side of the road or a bush was out of the question because the place was full of people walking into the event, so empty bottle in a moving vehicle it was.

When we finally get into the event, I go to rack my bike and setup my T1 area.  Jeez all the racks are full, I had to wedge my bike into a spot and setup my stuff under my front wheel.  Just as I finished racking my bike I got the urge to go again.  The lines for the restrooms were horrible, but I made it through.  The only problem is while standing in line I started doing a check list, food, drinks, electrolytes all packaged up and ready to go. Then I looked down and realized I didn't have my timing chip on.  Dump my backpack out 3 times looking to make sure I wasn't missing it.  I know I had it in my hand when I left the bike rack, but somewhere along the way I had lost it.  Now I'm freaking out because it is getting very close to go time.  I still had a bunch of people in line in front of me for the restrooms and I didn't even have my wetsuit on yet.

I finally finished the restroom line and I start looking for my wife.  I tell her I can't find my timing chip and I was going to ask her to help me look for it.  Megan told me that they had just made an announcement that they had extras at the info booth.  Just then they started the first wave of Pro swimmers.  I was scheduled to go 9 minutes after them.  I hurriedly put on my wetsuit, well almost put it on.  I was freaking out so bad, I put it on backwards, stripped it off and got it back on again.  Luckily Megan was there, I was fumbling so bad at this point, I never would have gotten it zipped without her help. 

We hurried over to the info booth and got me another timing chip.  They said I would still be #380 that they would just reprogram this one to be 380.  Well I don't think that ever happened because I can't find any of my results online at this time.  I managed to get the timing chip on just as they called my age group into the water.

The swim felt terrible, I could not get into a rhythm.  Between getting kicked, hit and pulled under by my legs, I just couldn't get anything smooth happening.  I tried to stay calm, I even stopped swimming for a little bit to let everyone go by me.  I would have been happy to be the last swimmer if I wasn't going to be drowning.  The only problem is that I think my swim lessons had actually worked because every time I swam, I would catch people or pass people, then end up in the middle of the hitting and kicking again.  I'm not saying I was fast by any stretch of the imagination because I was caught by people who started after me, but there were people who were a lot slower than me as well.

The Russian River at Johnson's beach is really shallow, it's more like Johnson's Creek.  It is so shallow in some locations that you can actually hit your hand on the bottom during your swim stroke.  Other places it is 6-7 feet deep.  I wasn't getting anywhere in those shallow places, so I actually got up and walked (this would later turn out to have been a BAD idea)  I should have suffered through trying to swim with a gimpy swim stroke.   The rocks on the bottom did a good job of tenderizing my feet.  When I finally got out of the water I figured I had to be the last one from my age group still swimming, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of bikes still on our age group rack.

Transition felt like it went pretty well, and I got onto the bike feeling pretty strong.
I had setup my Garmin to beep at me every 2 miles to remind me to drink and every 10 miles to remind me to eat.  When I got to the first bike aid station, I stopped, and grabbed 2 bottles of water.  I filled my drink bottles with this water then reached into my back pocket for my electrolyte drink and tablets.  They were gone.  I was going to have to live on Gatorade and water from the aid stations.  That pouch also contained some Band-aids for blisters and a couple spare gel packets. (I would later find out that during one of the 3 times I dumped my backpack out looking for my timing chip, I must have stuffed them into the backpack.  I have real issues with cramping in my legs on longer bike rides and this turned out to be the case here as well. 

Somewhere between the second and third aid station, I almost wrecked.  There was a rider on the side of the road with a broken bike.  I slowed down and asked if he needed anything.  He said no.  Well taking my eyes off the road, also took my bike off the road.  I ended up sliding through the gravel.  I managed to keep myself upright and get slowed down enough to put a foot down and save myself and the bike.  I walked the bike back up onto the road and kept riding.

My ride was going pretty well until I hit Chalk Hill.  I had been averaging 16.4 mph.  My goal was 15, so I was pretty happy.  I decided to granny gear it and try to save energy for the miles after Chalk Hill.  I just can't climb worth a damn, even the little rollers seem to take it out of me.  Flats and downhills I'm great, I can put my head down and power through, but hit even the slightest hill and I'm done.  So about the time I get to the top of Chalk Hill, I start to cramp.  I back off and the cramping sensation goes away, but my average speed had now dropped to 16 mph.  As we are nearing the end of the first lap and getting ready to head out on the second, I ran over a piece of plastic bag (grocery bag)  The wind blew it right under me.  Well guess what it got sucked up into the rear derailleur.  I had to get off the bike and get that plastic mess out of my gears.  By the second time I finish getting over Chalk Hill my speed had dropped to less than 14.9 mph.  I have just lost 1.5 mph average speed, which means that my second lap was sucking hard.

By the time I finished the second lap on the bike, that walking time in the river was haunting me.  My feet felt like someone had been beating on them with a tenderizing mallet, and I didn't have any of my first aid supplies.  When I got into T2, I took some extra time to dry my feet and make sure they were OK.  I figured there was still enough time to walk/run the marathon if I could keep up a 4 mph pace.  My legs didn't feel to bad, but my feet were killing me.  I tried to run a couple times but I just couldn't keep up any sustained effort.  I was still on pace, all I had to do was average above 4 mph and I would finish.  The first 4 miles were OK and I was on pace.  That's when the G.I. distress hit me.  Every time I started to run, it felt like I was going to have a bathroom emergency.  I stopped and used the restroom, but that didn't alleviate the problem.  I visited several more of the restrooms along the way back to the turn around, but this put my time in jeopardy.  When I finally hit the turn around I realized that I wouldn't be able to finish (I was a half hour behind the cutoff time) unless I could run, I was done, and I just couldn't run at this point. I crossed the timing mat at the finish line and walked off the course.

I know everyone is nice and supportive.  Everyone tells me I'm not a failure, and they are proud of me and look how far I have come.  It is so hard not to get down on yourself after setting a goal and then failing to complete it.  I know in general I'm not a failure, but this activity was a failure and I'm the one responsible for it.  This was a huge commitment of time and energy and when it came down to execution time I sucked.  For non competitive age groupers like myself the only competition is yourself.  I know I am slow and will never be able to race with the faster athletes.  My whole goal is to test myself and try to finish.  It isn't like being beaten by a better athlete, it is losing to yourself.  I can't even say well today Joe was better than me he won the race.  All I have is the loss to myself.

People have asked me when or if I am going to try again.  I don't know.  On race day I would have said absolutely not, never again.  Even if I had finished the answer would have been no.  Today the answer is more hazy.  I don't know if I have the dedication to train for it.  Everyone seems to have the desire to win, but the people who are willing to put the work into it are the ones who realize those goals. 

Again, thanks to everyone who supported me for this attempt.  I am very grateful to have such a great family and friends.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Slacker

So it has been brought to my attention that I haven't posted in a while and I must admit this is true.  I have been a bit of a slacker when it comes to documenting what I am doing.  This is mostly due to the fact that I haven't been doing anything exciting.

I have been busy encouraging my son to get some exercise, we have been going to the gym together 2-3 times a week and working on the c25k program, which he did complete.  I didn't tell him that he finished it, I just moved us on to the couch210k program which is basically more of the same with increased running intervals.  We have signed him up for the kids triathlon that takes place on August 4th 2013.
He has been a pretty good sport about it, even running on days when I have had to work.  His mom has taken him to the gym and he does the routine I have setup for him.  I'm really impressed that he has stuck it out.

So what have I been doing.  Well I have been focusing on my swim because I feel like it is my weakest link.  I have had a few private lessons which really have helped.  Hermine has been extremely positive and very helpful in getting me to swim.  I still don't swim like a fish, but I am not currently fearful of my ability to finish the 2.4 mile swim.

I have been out to the river for a swim of the course now that the damn is up and the beach is open for use.
I was trying to get some higher intensity workouts during spin class but that has taken a hit as I have started a second job, and it conflicts with spin class.

My run is coming along, nothing stellar, but it is happening without too much pain.  Last years knee fracture does still seem to flare up a bit, and I'm positive it was the contributing factor to my other knee hurting.  I think I was favoring the old injury and putting too much strain on the healthy knee because of the change in my stride and attempts to protect the injured knee.

I have a 100 mile ride scheduled for this Friday July 12, 2013.  The next two weeks will have some focused workouts, followed by a week of tapering and just trying to keep everything loose and ready to go.


So that's about it for now.  I should have another update on the long bike ride and how it went, but after that, you probably won't hear from me again until after the race with a report on  how it went.

Scott

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Enough hours in the day or days in the week

Well I have completed 1 full week of my 1`/2 marathon training runs.
Week 1 was (2) 5 mile runs and (2) 3 mile runs Saturday February 2nd - Saturday February 9th.
We have our longer runs on the weekend.
This week the 11th-16th we have (2) 4 mile runs during the week and (1) 6 mile run on the weekend.
Starting in March we will have track workouts on Mondays.  I'm looking forward to this with some fear and excitement.  I'm notoriously slow so I'm not looking forward to getting outrun by everyone else, but I am hopeful that they can teach me something to help with my form and maybe give me some increased speed.

My knee is still not 100% and I'm not sure it ever will be.  It was pretty stiff the other night after my run.  I hadn't experienced that before.  I have had aches and pains while running, which go away with a little walk break.  It still feels like it isn't moving correctly or fluidly. I'm sure my running for is not great because I am babying that knee and altering my stride.  It still feels weak and I'm leery of hammering away at it.  I also don't like the feeling of running downhill.  It feels like it is one misstep away from locking out and hyper extending.

The good thing is the weather seems to be improving.  I'm looking forward to some outdoor bike rides pretty soon.  I'm sure the rain isn't done yet, we generally get a lot of spring rains, but I'm hopeful.

Take care,

Scott

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Just another day

So not a whole lot to report, still just trudging along at the gym.

I got in a 60 minute spin class yesterday.  I like having different instructors and different plans.  It seems to really break up the drudgery of the same workout all the time.  It's amazing how all the workouts can be hard but in their own special way. 

I may have one workout that has never ending really short high intensity intervals, with short breaks in between.  Nothing long enough to make you fail, but never enough rest between the intervals to allow you to fully recover.  Or a workout that may go 10-15-20 minutes at a constant steady state where you are struggling to hold on the final couple minutes, but then you are rewarded with a break that is long enough for some serious recovery, only to get hammered with that long interval again.  I'm not sure which one gives me the better workout, I know that when I'm done I have put in some work, but they are each a different kind of tired.

I'm looking forward to February 2nd, it's the start of my marathon training group.  It will be nice to have someone else to train with.  I just don't find that solace or calm in running alone.  I get more benefit being out there suffering with others.  I like the camaraderie much more.

Tonight goal after work is 3 mile run and then 3 miles on the elliptical trainer.

Hope everyone has a great day.

Scott

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Good morning!

Well I didn't get my swim done last night.  For some reason my stomach decided that it didn't like me any more and all I wanted to do was go to bed.  In bed by 8 and asleep by 9.  Sounds like a good nights sleep.  The only problem is I don't sleep worth a damn.  Of course I see almost every hour go by on the clock.  It seems like the only way I can get a good nights sleep any longer is to take P.D.D's (performance decreasing drugs)  I wonder if they will take my USAT card away from me and impose a multiple year ban on me.

I never have any problem falling asleep.  I could do it right now if I wanted to.  It's staying asleep that is the issue.  I think I fear the alarm clock going off, so I anticipate it all night long.  I constantly wake up and look at the clock.  If I turn the display off on my clock, then I'm rolling over to my wife's side of the bed to see what her alarm clock display is showing.

I have tried several different prescribed drugs from the Dr's office but the thing that seems to work the best is Tylenol PM.  The only problem with that is I am a zombie the next morning.  It takes forever to wake up and when I am asleep, I am dead to the world.  The house could burn down around me and I wouldn't know it.

Anyhow I made it to the gym this morning, I got in my 30 minute run, followed by about 25 minutes on the elliptical machine.  My goal was to go to spin class tonight, but I was reminded that my wife has school tonight, so I need to be home to watch my son.  I'm glad I told my wife I was going to the gym otherwise we would have had a minor disaster tonight.  I am contemplating riding the trainer tonight since I won't be making it to spin class, but I'm always so tired at night that I just can't get motivated to work out.

I think I need to go back to taking a nap during my lunch break.  I need to do something to make sure I have some energy at some point during the day.  The only times I feel awake and alive are during my workouts, and when I'm playing video games.  Those two things seem to sharpen my mind, or at least give me something to focus on that pushes the tired feeling away.

I'm taking all my vitamins, I'm getting daily exercise, I'm certainly eating enough calories, I just don't know what is up with the lethargy.  My lab work always comes back within normal levels......

Maybe I'll send my doctor an email asking if there are any other things we could check for.  Maybe there is some non standard lab test that might shed some light on my lack of energy.