Arthritis, Pneumonia and the Damage Done

Tonight I met with my trainer. We normally meet twice a month, but with my tax return I bought extra sessions so we have been meeting weekly. I think we will be meeting weekly though the end of May.

As you may know, I have been having problems with my hands since late November, early December, and while trying to get a correct diagnosis there, I was diagnosed with pneumonia at the beginning of February after being sick for 2 weeks and was finally cleared of that March 5th. And then on March 7th I  got into an arthritis specialist who diagnosed me as having some rare kind of osteoarthritis that has a fast onset, and is often misdiagnosed as Rheumatoid arthritis. I am now on meds that they give to Rheumatoid patients (and it is actually an anti-malaria med).

So it’s been a bad winter, more or less. Through all of this, I never missed a session with my trainer, though at the height of the pneumonia we might have postponed a week. My trainer, Amanda, sets up programs that we cycle through. One week is Stability week (the dreaded Bosu ball), then endurance week and lastly strength week. Today was the first time we have gone to strength since the beginning of February (right before the pneumonia diagnosis). Strength basically means that we are doing a smaller number of reps (10 instead of 15), at a higher weight and at tempo. Tempo means that you are pushing out at a 1 count and then back in on a 4 count.

I can’t believe what a toll being sick has done on what I can do. With the arthritis there were many weeks when I couldn’t grasp a dumbbell or a kettle bell, and so we often just focused on lower body, or water workouts.

Tonight I had to do inclined chest press with dumb bells. I could only do 12lb whereas 4 months ago I was doing 25lbs. Lat pulldown went from 65 to 50. Seated row from 65 to 50. However my legs all went up:  one leg seated leg-press went from 90 to 95 and single leg seated hamstring went from 45 to 50 – which is what everything should do on Strength week.

It has really been so frustrating. I know that the strength will come back once my hands get better, and I can build up the muscle again, but hate the feeling of regressing. All I can do is keep doing it.. keep on keeping on.

I also have to take in my food diary, which I am horrible about. I quickly printed off some pages from Lose it, and took those in. Unfortunately they were from the weekend which is when I struggle the most with nutrition. Her note written over it were “VEGGIES!!!!!!” and “PROTEIN??”

My work day is structured enough, that it makes it easier to make sure I am eating correctly. Get done answering phones, have my morning protein. Wait for the mail.. have my cranberries and nuts. Done with the deposit, heat up my lunch.  Without that structure on the weekends, I suck at eating correctly. I am not sure what I can do to change that. I need to do something to trick myself into eating right. The sooner, the better.

Just gotta keep on keeping on…


Just a week ago…

It’s seems like just a week ago that I had a little baby fit. I held my breathe, I jumped up and down shaking my fist. I cried. I turned red, then I turned blue, then a little purple.  All the time screaming “I don’t wanna… I don’t wanna…. I don’t wanna“.  (Yes, I was screaming and holding my breath and crying all at the time! Talented!)

What a baby!

Oh hell, it happens to us all, doesn’t it?

However I went last Monday night (yes it was a week ago!) and talked to my trainer… using up way to much of our time on my piddly little problems.  I am an emotional eater, I am! And apparently I am pretty emotional- like all the time!  I talked about going back to Weight Watchers, however my trainer isn’t a fan. She doesn’t think that counting points is a good way to set me up for a life change, nor does it help with the emotions. She did however whisper the word “Therapy”.

As in “Have you ever thought that maybe you should deal with this issue in therapy“. The “therapy” whispered of course. That made me smile a little.

I think hypnosis sounds way better.  Hypnosis won’t make me cry and say how mean my mother was (She was! She was! I’ll blame her!) I tried to look on line to see if there was someone in the area that practices hypnosis, but I got sidetracked by a free download for my computer.  Then once I had that downloaded, I got sidetracked by falling asleep trying to listen to the little compute man hypnotize me. My computer was on my lap when I started, and it was turned off and closed, sitting on the table when I woke up. Had I been hypnotized to shut if off? Or, more likely, was my body rebelling against the idea of hypnosis and it turned off the computer? It’s my body saying it will eat donuts and pizza as much as it wants, damn it.. nothing is going to stop it!

So I shall get back to that web search.. we need a professional.. software (and maybe the fact that I am just too tired in the evenings) will not overpower my body’s – well my mind’s- needs!

I also ordered a book from Amazon called Shrink Yourself: Break Free from Emotional Eating Forever by Roger Gould. Will it work? I don’t know. I do know that until I charge up my Kindle, I won’t find out.

So what have we learned this week?

1-      Therapy is word that should only be whispered and then avoided at all cost.

2-      My body has practically superhuman ability to control me even though hypnosis. Now maybe next it could clean house while I sleep.

3-      Someone needs to charge up their Kindle and actually use it.

I really need to do the last one, because I also bought a Madeleine Wickham book, and damn it I need my chick lit!

Anyway, I am about to go change into my work clothes and head out over to the gym. And work out my lower body. Arg. But I am doing it. I am going. I plan to whine to myself the whole way there. That will never change. No hypnosis or self-help book could ever change my amount of whining! Not Therapy either!

And I also wanted to thank my friends who commented last week. Having support means a lot, especially when you are in the trenches and there is no skinny little daylight looking back at you. Thanks guys!

To Stop & Give Up

I have to meet with my trainer in 30 minutes and all I want to do is go home.

I have been sitting here for about 45 minutes trying to think of excuses to stop

and give up. To stop and give up.

I have to weigh in tonight and have probably gained about 7 lbs this month alone. I am at the

exact same place I was almost 6 yrs ago when I gave up as well. I don’t think I have lost any

weight in 6 months and the only inspiration I can come up with to walk in that door tonight is

that I can get done 30 minutes later, go home and have a pizza and maybe some donuts to

go with it. Seriously. This is all I can think about.

I don’t know what the F**K to do, except give up.

In two hours, I doubt I will feel this same way, but I am sure I will be eating a pizza by then.

I just don’t know how to get past this point and get back to it. I haven’t figured it out for

the past 6 months and truly believe that I just simply won’t.

Just Simply Won’t

Procrastination and Change

You know how it is right?

You take a semester off of college and never go back.
You take some time off from working out and you never go back.
You take a week or so off from blogging and then just can’t get inspired to start again.

I’m two for three.
I am still working out.
4-5 times a week.

Still working out with Amanda twice a month. Still haven’t lost any weight since November.

Oh and Doughnuts and Pizza. Don’t ask. Some things just aren’t quittable (a new word!). Arg!

It’s hard to write about working out and getting fit and losing weight, when out of those three things, all you are accomplishing are the working out part.

Getting to where I wanted to be by the time I turned 50 in July isn’t going to happen, unless a large part of me get amputated. Some things aren’t amputatable (another new word!).

London has been postponed. If I come into some big money, then it is happening in October, if not, then next spring. The Year of Susan has been postponed… no delayed… no… maybe elongated. It’s gonna be a long year. Yep, it’s gonna be a long one! Hopefully not too long. Still, too long.

Anyway, I have been thinking about changing this blog a little bit. I will need to come up with a new name for it, however it will still feature stuff about my weight loss struggle. I just want to incorporate other things in it as well. I have another blog, practically long forgotten called “Watching Bad TV” and I think I will probably do away with that blog, and when some show drives me crazy, just write about it here. I have also been planning to do a blog on my going through my family tree at and  since I couldn’t find a good title for it, it never happened. So I will write about that too.

Basically, this blog is going Multipurpose. I will tag all of my weight loss and working out stuff with “Fit for 50” so if that is all you are interested it, you should be able to ignore everything else and just find The Fit for 50 tag.

The big question is.. what do I change the name of this blog to? No one knows yet. It’s a mystery.
I would like something 3-4 syllables and maybe some alliteration as well. I’ll be thinking about it.
If you have any ideas… use the comments.

Thanks… and see you around.
Sooner than later.
I hope.

Look, it’s me!

This post is one that is a little hard to make. I don’t let myself get photographed and I certainly don’t let anyone see the ones that happen!

Well my trainer has asked me to write a testimonial for her. She also wanted a picture of me before I started working with her, and a current one. I didn’t know if I could find a “before” picture, since, well as I stated, I don’t believe in having pictures taken of me. However I went through my files and found one. I think this was taken about January/February 2009. About 4-5 months before I started working with Amanda. Get ready.. this is a hard one to post…

Yuck. I really should have made that a thumbnail! But there I am. Fat. Fatty McFatterson.

And here, taken today by my niece is also me. Not quite as horrifying!

I see a difference, and I hope that others agree, so I am not just kidding myself about it. As I keep saying, I still have a way to go. Hopefully soon, I can update this with an even better picture.

Now I just need to hit publish and go to bed, hopefully forgetting that at 2:55 am, I posted these pictures. Oh well.

The truth is *now* out there.

Living a Life of Fear

I am struggling today, and lately in general with a lot of fear and worry. My struggle today is trying to step away from one small part of that fear.

Zumba -isn’t that foolish? I am scared and worried about Zumba.  They are just starting to offer this at the gym this week and if they have a lot of interest they will put it on the regular schedule.  I have really wanted to try this class. Yet, taking a class scares the hell out of me. A few years ago a girl I worked out with talked me into taking a step class with her. Week after week I tried and failed. I couldn’t keep up with the steps and ended up marching in place or up and down my single step. People would come up afterward and tell me how great they thought it was that I was trying.  My insecure little mind read that as “everyone is watching you”.  A fat girl’s worst nightmare.  I don’t remember how long I lasted in the class before I finally stopped going. Self torture, that was.

Fear, Worry, Insecurity. Three words that probably describe a lot of overweight people.  I think  that  many people believe that if you are fat, that’s your own fault. Just quit eating, you fatty.  However food isn’t just food. It’s much more than that. I look at my two food vices. Chocolate frosted cake donuts and pizza.  When I really think about it, I can trace back to exactly why those two foods have such a hold on me.  And yes, I am about to blame my mother. I am a cliche! My mother wasn’t an affectionate person. I don’t remember her ever hugging me, but I remember how she brought me a bag of chocolate frosted cake donuts from the store bakery every time she went to get some groceries.  The more worried or scared I am about something, the more I need cake donuts. A few of them. And there has been a lot of fear lately.  As for pizza, that means independence. When my mom was active in a single parents group she would be gone in the evenings a lot and leave us money for a pizza. So I think grabbing a pizza is my way of showing my independence. I guess. Maybe that one is totally worked out yet! That excuse seems a bit lame. I think maybe I just really like pizza.

So getting the courage to take this class tonight means something more than just taking a class.  About 6 weeks or so, I was offered a chance to go to London. This is something I never contemplated that I could ever do.  First, traveling for an overweight person is scary in itself. Will I fit in the seat? Will I be forced to buy an extra ticket. Will the seatbelt fit? On and on and on.  Someone asked me if I was scared that the plane would crash, and I laughed! That’s the least of my worries! I mean I can’t stop obsessing about who will feed my cats – even though my brother has already said he would.  By the way, have I stated that this trip isn’t until next August?

I have tried really hard to push every worry that has come to my mind right back out. I try to remind myself of these things:

1- I am fifty pounds lighter than the last time I flew. I didn’t have to buy an extra ticket, and only had to asked for a seat belt extender once and then just because it was about half an inch too small to snap close.

2- My brother will feed my cats. My brother will feed my cats. My brother will feed my cats.  (This issue alone is causing the consumption of a lot of donuts!)

3- I am fifty pounds lighter and will be more so when I get to London. I can walk. I can do things. I can make it.

I can do this right? I can go to London. I can travel on my own and once I get there I will do fine and not anger my friend because I need to sit down once in a while, right?

If I can conquer the small fear of a Zumba class, then maybe, just maybe I can actually go to London.  Maybe….

So tonight I will go to Zumba and every time I miss the footing or feel like I am about to literally throw in the towel, I will say to myself  “My brother will feed the cats. My brother will feed the cats”.

I can do this right??

By the way, I read a quote on twitter the other day and have been thinking a lot about it:

“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.” – Charles Kettering



Part One: BodyBugg didn’t want me…

So it’s been almost a month since I wrote my last entry. Whether to buy the Bodybugg or the Fitbit? I tried to weigh the pros and cons. I looked at the Facebook page for each to see what customers had to say.

I was still torn.

The Fitbit was smaller, less expensive, and use of the website was free, unless you upgraded.

The Bodybugg seemed to be more popular. My trainer said she was trained in it and could help me set mine up.

There wasn’t much out there about the Fitbit. No sites offering reviews.  Was it something that would last? Also it seemed to be back ordered and their site said it would be after Oct 1st before shipping.

The Bodybugg was on a band you had to around your upper arm, all the time. And after 6 months you had to pay to access the online website.

In the long run my biggest concern with the Bodybugg was wearing it all the time on my arm as opposed to the fitbit that you clipped on your waist band. My biggest concern with Fitbit was how long it would take to get it from them.  My need to get things right away won out… I was buying the BodyBugg.

So a week ago Wednesday I sat down to make my order. I went to the Bodybugg site and you have the option of going in through Apex or through 24 Hour fitness to place the order. I clicked on 24 hour Fitness.

The Jennifer Chat Half Human-Half Bot came on and asked if she could assist me. I asked about the comfort of wearing it around the arm and she told me that after a couple days you don’t even notice it is there. She offered to walk me though the purchase. So I let her.

It was on sale for $175 and I had a code to get another $10 off and it seemed as if shipping was free. I set up my account and placed my order. I hit “Place my order”.  A receipt page came up and oddly I decided to print it. I never print these things. I normally wait for the email receipt and just save that. Ah.. but the email confirmation never came. That was my first clue something was wrong.

By the next day when I still didn’t get an email confirmation, I checked the 24 Hour Fitness site and while they had my account there, they showed no orders outstanding for me. What did that mean? No order was place or that it had shipped so there wasn’t an “outstanding” order in that sense. I checked my bank account online and there was no charge.  I didn’t have the print out of the receipt with me at work that day, so I waited until the following day, Friday, and I brought the printout with me. I checked the website. Still nothing for my account. I checked my bank account, still no charge.

I went back to the 24 Hour Fitness site and clicked on “chat”. Jennifer the half human half bot came on and I typed out everything.  Jennifer the half human half bot couldn’t assist me with that and gave me a phone number.

I dialed the phone number and went through the call tree. A man came on and I told him my story. He asked for my account sign-in and I told him. He showed no account. He asked if my account was with Apex or 24 hour Fitness. I told him it was with 24 Hr Fitness and of course he was Apex. He couldn’t help me.  He gave me the phone number for 24 Hour Fitness.  I hung up and redialed. A woman answered and I told her the story. She said “Hmmm…”  “Okay….” “Hmmm” and then informed me that she was unable to handle customer service problems of this nature. I would need to go through the 24 Hr Fitness website and hit “Contact Us”. So I thanked her, hung up and went back to the website. I had to search around and finally found “Contact us”. I wrote out the whole story.. once again, and hit sent. The site said it would be 24-48 hours before someone would get back to me.

I wasn’t happy.

Later that afternoon, I was checking my email on my cheapy little non-smart phone and had an email from them telling me that they had no order from me and I would need to replace the order. Thank you for you business… whatever.

Obviously BodyBugg didn’t want me, and after their “fine” customer service, I knew I no long wanted the Bodybugg.

So early in the evening I was looking around the internet at the Fitbit and was reading their Facebook page to see what people were saying about it. The main complaint was shipping.  Once they got it, everyone seemed happy with it.

Then I read a comment by someone who said he bought one at Best Buy. So over to Best Buy’s Website I went. I signed in and checked my local store and it was the only one in the Des Moines Area that had them in stock. Suddenly that shipping problem was no longer a problem.  Of to Best Buy I want.

About a half hour later I was home, with one of the two Fitbits that my local BestBuy had in stock.

Coming next: The Fitbit.