2020 goal: Get more fit

I currently weigh upwards of 260 pounds. What’s amusing to me about that is when I stepped on the scale for the first time this year, the number that I got was the same number that I got at the beginning of last year. So, for not working on this last year, I did darn good at maintaining this weight.

It’s not great. But it’s something. Gonna take what I can get.

So, it being January and all, a lot of people are thinking about trying to lose weight and get more healthy and all those wonderful / awful things. And I’m no exception. I really thought that I’d be able to get my weight down before this point. I was doing so good about it back in … 2016.

I was quite proud of what I had accomplished that year. And then I hurt my knee and I had surgery and I got depressed and … I stopped trying.

But you know, I’m really tired of being painful. My back was a lot less achy when I was more fit. And I liked the items in my closet a lot more. And I was able to do fun things that I really enjoyed doing. Yeah, weighing less would be nice, but it’s the other stuff that I really miss more than anything.

Like walking? I miss walking without it hurting.

Justin told me about this thing called “don’t break the chain” for accomplishing goals. The idea is that you have a calendar and every day that you accomplish your goal for that day, you put a big X across the day. Then the next day, accomplish your goal again, and put in another X. And you get a chain of X’s. And the idea is to keep that chain going as long as possible.

So I got a calendar and Justin put it up behind the bathroom door where I put all my clothes for the day, so I can see it every morning. And my current goal (it’s going to sound so small) is to walk for 30 minutes. And if I can’t walk for some reason, do something else for exercise for 30 minutes. Just 30 minutes of light exercise every day. And just that right there is so much more than I’ve done in the last several months. And that 30 minutes of light exercise is a lot harder than it should be for someone of my age, but after I get home, I have to sit and ice my knee because I cannot bend it due to the swelling.

But, you know, everybody has to come from somewhere and this is where I’m at right now. It’s not a start or a starting-over or a “fresh start!” or anything like that. It’s just where my journey is at the moment.

What’s that like? An introduction to an idea.

I had an idea for a series of posts that I’m going to work on writing. I’m going to call them “What’s that like?” or something similar – it’ll be a description of things that I’ve done that range from the really mundane to the more complex. I got the idea after telling Grandma and Aunt Dee what it’s like to go to the airport and take a flight because they have never, ever flown anywhere and they have no idea what that’s like. And I think that’s something that’s more common that maybe expected, because I ran into the same thing another time, where someone was asking about what something else was like, I think it was a sleep study, because they had one scheduled and didn’t know what to expect and were really anxious about getting ready for it. And I thought, you know, that’s potentially something that could be really interesting to write about, while also possibly being helpful to someone who’s trying to prepare for an experience – either young adults who are doing something on their own for the first time or people who experience some sort of difficulty, like anxiety or a physical handicap, or any number of other people.

Currently, the list of things I’m planning to describe are as follows. Please let me know if you have any recommendations.

  • Going to the airport to fly to another location
  • Going to a sleep study / using a CPAP machine
  • Driving a stick-shift car
  • Scheduling and going to a ob/gyn doctor appointment and getting an in-arm birth control implant (this will have big warnings before it)
  • Going to the allergy doctor for testing and follow-up immunotherapy shots
  • Taking something to the local dump
  • Going to the dentist for a cleaning
  • Going to the eye doctor for a routine appointment
  • Going to the chiropractor for an adjustment
  • Getting a massage (including different technique information, like cupping and hot stones and Thai)
  • Getting a haircut
  • Getting a pedicure
  • Going hammock camping

I think I’ll also want to include the following “Disclosure statement” as part of that, so I’m just going to put a copy of it here so I can find it again later:

The information in these posts will be from the standpoint of a Caucasian cisgender (meaning I identify with the gender I was assigned at birth) woman aged late 30s / early 40s with no children (childfree by choice) living in the southeast region of the United States of America. It is not intended to be used for legal advice of any kind. Other people’s experiences may be vastly different from my own. This is not intended to include all possible experiences in this situation, nor is it intended to exclude any other possible experiences in this situation. This information is presented only as an example of my own experiences. Your experience may be different from my own.

Happy 2020! Now get to work.

Today is the last day of my Christmas vacation. I have to go back to work tomorrow and, like just about everyone else who has enjoyed a nice, relaxing 2 week vacation, I am not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. I have slept so much and enjoyed every minute of that. And tomorrow, I have to get up at 6:00 am and that is just too stinking early.

Also, I have not accomplished everything that I had actually hoped to accomplish during this time. There were projects that I was going to finish up and I never even touched them. I think we’ll get working on one of those later this afternoon, but we are not going to finish it in a day. Some of these projects have been sitting for more than 2 years and I’d really love to stop having to think about their unfinished state. It’s somehow mentally exhausting to think about something that I’m not even working on finishing. How does that make any sense at all?!

But I’m optimistic about this year. I think 2020 is going to be a year of positive changes for me. I’m turning 40 in February and Justin is going to be graduating from his grad program this summer. I’m feeling pretty good about it. There’s also going to be a lot of challenges and don’t even get me started right now on world news. But I’m hopeful. I think it’s going to be a good year.

Hello!

Check it out! Justin fixed my website! I got hacked. 🙁 At least, it might have been me. Justin hosts several websites on the same server and one of us got malware and then it spread around to a couple other places and it was hard to see where it started from. So he had to pull everything down, clean it up, and put stuff back up again.

Hopefully the code is all gone now, but we’re still watching to check that it doesn’t pop in from anywhere in the database.

But in the mean time, I think I can start actually working on getting this place cleaned up a little bit!

In regards to my knee

Some of you (All of you?) know that I’ve been having trouble with my knee. It’s not super interesting, but in case you were wondering, here’s the scoop on that.

Back in January, I stood up from the sofa to shut the blinds on the window and my knee wouldn’t support my weight and I fell over. I don’t remember now if there was pain in my knee before that point or not, but I know for sure that there was after that point.

We went to my chiropractor in the morning to see if he could do anything about it and he adjusted it so I wasn’t in so much pain and I was mostly able to walk on it again and I put an athletic brace on it and walked with a cane when it was really painful and iced when it hurt and didn’t do much walking on it and hoped that it would stop hurting and get back to normal. Because hey! The human body is AMAZING and will heal things that are damaged. It’s amazing to think about it sometimes: Things that are alive can heal from injury!

Um, except that in my case it wasn’t working. I thought it was, but if I walked too much or tried to exercise, the pain would come back, with swelling and not being able to walk without pain. It was getting really frustrating. When I decided that I was going to cut back on my hours at work, I also decided to start doing things to improve my health, mentally and physically, so I went to yoga and I couldn’t do it! I mean, I could, but I HURT the day following, which was ridiculous. The yoga wasn’t that hard.

So I went to my usual doctor, PA Lovato, and talked with her about it and she said that I should get an MRI and see what was happening inside my knee. So then I went to get an MRI, which was interesting. They had me lay on this table thing and take a very still nap for about 20 minutes while the big camera computer machine beeped and buzzed and made a whole heap of noise, making it hard to take my nap. And then they gave me a CD of the results and sent me away. A day or two later, my doctor got a report that said that nothing was torn or broken, but that there was swelling. Which we all knew already just from looking at my knee.

So my doctor, not able to see anything wrong, said I should see an orthopedic surgeon and get that person’s opinion. So I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Hoffman, a highly recommended doctor in Savannah, and waited a few weeks for that appointment. Meanwhile, I went to see Kamaka, my massage therapist and she recommended that I see Stuart Fife, a physical therapist in town who she and the chiropractor she works with always recommend. So I went to see him and he put these little sensors on my legs above my knees and below my knees and on my feet and had me walk on a treadmill to do an evaluation of my gait. And he said that I walk with my legs at an inward angle of 10 – 15 degrees, which is a lot, and that if I strengthened the muscles in my hips and butt, then it would be greatly improved and solve my knee and my back pain and reduce the risk of tearing my ACL (I think).

So I went home with exercises that I haven’t been doing because they’re painful and frustrating, but I know I should be doing because I paid a lot of money for that evaluation and I should heed good advice when I get some.

Then I went to my appointment with Dr. Hoffman, who took an x-ray for no good reason and then looked at my MRI and said that I have a small tear in my meniscus that should be healing on it’s own except that the swelling is so much that it’s not. So he gave me a shot of a steroid in my knee, I’m assuming it’s cortisone because it’s always cortisone, and said if it’s still hurting in 4 weeks, come back and he’s got a surgical option he could do, but we’d both rather not have to do that.

And since the shot, it’s been so much better! I’m still wearing the brace as I start increasing my use of my knee. I’m going on walks and NOT BEING PAINFUL and it’s the first time it’s happened since January! I’ll get back to doing the exercises recommended by Stuart and that will, hopefully, take care of the whole problem. I’m hoping to be back to doing my aerobic videos by July, which is good because I’ve gained back more weight since November than I’d like.

So that’s that! That’s what happening with my knee.