Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 140 - Finally Friday!

Friday!!!!  This has been a really long week.  But, this is going to be a great weekend.  The good news is that I got off on the right foot.  I did an hour on the bike at lunch today and then went to my yoga class tonight.  Both exercise sessions felt really good.  The lunch bike ride was energizing, and the yoga class was relaxing.  That’s exactly what I needed today.

Today’s challenge was just that I needed to make the time at lunch time to exercise.  It was a busy morning and it would have been really easy to skip lunch and just work through.  But, I knew I needed to take the time and get on the bike.  I am so proud of myself that I did it, and had a great hour on the bike.

The surprise of the day was that Steve put up the outside Christmas lights today.  So, by the end of the weekend, we should be completely decorated for Christmas.  And, we’ve gotten a lot of the shopping done already.  So, I just need to finish things up and see what is left to do.  That will make for a fun and exciting weekend.

Tomorrow is a weigh in and picture day.  I can’t wait to see how this week went!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 139 - I Declare a Holiday!

I was supposed to exercise as soon as I got home, but I wanted to watch the rest of the congressional hearing on autism.  Then, I was going to go to yoga.  But you know what?  I am so hyped and excited right now the last thing I can even think about is being peaceful and focused.  So, I am declaring a holiday in honor of the autism hearing and am just going to bask in the fact that someone is finally listening.  It was so good to see the CDC squirm under the pointed questions and have national leaders recognize that there are real, serious issues that need to be addressed.  Today I am going to hope that they are listening and that a change really is going to come.  (Tomorrow will be back to the program!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 138 - Pinched Finger, but a Pretty Tree

Another Wednesday and I’m exhausted.  Again.  Before the muscle challenge class, most of the people were comparing which muscles still hurt after Monday.  At least I’m not alone in my pain!  Then, class was really, really tough tonight.  When I was putting my weights away, I pinched my finger.  So, by the time yoga started, I was in a great mood.  But, at least yoga put me in a better frame of mind.  There is something about ‘one breath, one movement’ that is really relaxing – even when you’re sweating profusely!

Today’s challenge is just work related stuff.  I have so much going on, and it is driving me completely insane.  If I make it through the end of January with my sanity and employment intact, it will be a true miracle.
The surprise of the day was that Steve put up the tree last night while I was sleeping.  And, he got out all the boxes of decorations.  After work and before the gym, we started to decorate the tree.  It was nice.  Michael is really getting into decorating the house this year.  So, despite everything else going on, all I have to do is look up, see the decorations, and I smile.

Tomorrow is going to be a long day.  But, I am going to bed early tonight, so I am hoping to be ready for whatever happens.  Have a great night!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 137 - A Little Sick Guy

I am so glad today was a rest day!  I was sore from yesterday’s classes by lunch time.  But, it’s the kind of sore where you know you worked really hard, but it’s not so bad you never want to do it again.  Hopefully, by tomorrow evening, I’ll be ready to go again.
The challenge of the day was that Michael had to stay home sick from school.  He has a little cold and I didn’t want him to share it with the rest of his school.  He’s angling to stay home again tomorrow, too.  I guess we’ll see how he sleeps tonight and how he’s feeling in the morning.

The surprise of the day was just that he’s handling being sick so well.  He pretty much stayed under the covers and played quietly in his room most of the day.  Now, he was watching movies on Netflix and DVDs most of the time, so it wasn’t exactly educational.  But, he wasn’t whining and was actually fairly pleasant.  That’s more than I can say when I’m not feeling well.
But, tonight I am going to get to bed early so I can really be at my best tomorrow.  OK, I am just tired and want to go to sleep.  Have a great night!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 136 - Back to Myself!

Today was a much better day! I woke up in a good mood today, and it stuck for the day.  By the time I was supposed to go to the gym, I was really ready.   I took some advice and had a protein shake before I left for the gym tonight.  I mixed a banana into it, so it had both protein and carbs.  My performance in both classes was much better, and I am not nearly as cold as I have been.  This might just work!

Classes tonight were really good.  I normally do a different triceps exercise when everyone else is doing dips on the side of the bench.  Tonight, I decided to give it a try.  I only made it through 5 dips, and then my arms gave out.  But, it was better than I thought I could do.  Of course, when my arms gave out, I landed right on top of a 15 pound weight.  I should have an interesting bruise tomorrow!  But, I am so proud of myself for trying, and being able to do some.  Of course, for the second set, I went back to overhead triceps dips.

Yoga was good, too.  I had to make modifications to some of the poses, and I couldn’t hold down dog as long as everyone else, but I am definitely making progress.  It feels so good to be able to do more and more every class. 

The challenge of the day was remembering to make the shake before I left for the gym.  I had planned it all out last week, even making sure we had almond milk in the refrigerator.  But, I was so excited to get out of the house, I almost forgot.  But, I remembered and I really benefitted from it.
The surprise of the day was definitely being able to do the triceps dips.  Even though I couldn’t do as many as everyone else, I was still so proud of myself for being able to do any.  I really, really love that I am getting stronger every week.  And, I am sure that my muscles got a great workout tonight, and will be very thankful to have a rest day tomorrow!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 135 - A Challenging Day

Today has pretty much been a challenge.  I’m not quite sure why, but I’ve been really down all day.  I managed to get an hour in on the bike and an hour on wii exerbeat.  They were two decent workouts, so I should have gotten some decent endorphins, but no such luck.  For now, I’m just going to be happy that I stuck it out and followed my plan for the day. 

The surprise of the day was just that Steve and Dan finished painting the little room upstairs.  It looks really nice and they should be able to re-load the room tomorrow.  Steve has done a few minor repairs and the room is much better now.  Hopefully, we will be able to get everything set up and set up for our next round of HBOT.

I think I’m going to keep this entry pretty short and just hope that I’ll feel better tomorrow.  Have a good night!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 134 - Nineteen Week Results

Weekend!!  It feels like a really festive weekend.  For me, the weekend after Thanksgiving has always been the start of Christmas.  We were going to get out the decorations today and start getting the house ready for Christmas.  But, we had a couple major projects to finish first.  One of those projects was to paint the tiny extra bedroom that we use for the hyperbaric chamber and move some furniture around upstairs.  That is going to take the better part of the weekend.  But, once it’s done, it will make everything a lot easier.  And, it will make Michael’s room nicer.  He should like that!

Between Thanksgiving this week and some water retention issues, I was really worried to get on the scale this morning.  But, despite everything, I was still down a pound for a total of 42 pounds.  I am hoping that next week will be a better loss to make up for this week.  However, losing weight over Thanksgiving, I am happy!
I went to yoga this morning and had a really good class.  She did some hip opening poses that I was really surprised to be able to do.  I never thought I’d be able to do a pose called ‘pretzel’!  Later, when I was walking down the stairs, I noticed that it was much easier.  I really think to yoga class helped me today!  Then, while Steve and Dan were busy painting upstairs, I put in an hour on the exercise bike.  It was pretty low key, but a great way to finish up.

The challenge today was trying to keep my expectations reasonable – both on the scale and for what I hoped to accomplish this weekend.  I think I am doing OK with both.  Yes, I would have been happier to have a bigger loss this week, but realistically, any loss this week is wonderful.  And, we have an extra long Christmas season this year, taking two extra days to get the decorations put up is not that big of a deal.  If it means that the upstairs is better organized and Michael’s room is more ‘his’, that is a happy thing.
The surprise today was that Michael is getting much better at doing things for himself.  We decided to have a Michael independence day.  All day long we asked him to do things on his own that we normally do for him.  When he had questions, I walked him through step by step, but still let him do it on his own.  He was a little scared by the idea, but I think he was proud of himself, too.  He was hoping tomorrow would be ‘normal’, but I think we’re going to have him do more and more things himself and see just what he can do.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 133 - Exerbeat and Yoga

Today was a really quiet day at work.  I was able to take a lunch break and play a wii exercise game for an hour.  Have you ever played exerbeat on the wii?  It was really fun.  I did a little cardio boxing, some aerobics, and some stretching.  The hour went by really quickly.  Probably not something I want to do every day, but it was a great change of pace.

After work, it was time to go to the gym for yoga.  I was surprised that the class was pretty empty tonight.  I’m guessing a lot of people went out of town for the weekend.  But, even though it was not really crowded, it was a great class.  I noticed tonight that I am able to do a lot of the poses a lot better.  I am able to hold down dog a little longer, and my flexibility is definitely improving.  It’s nice to see improvement after all the work I’ve put in!

The challenge of the day was saying no to the leftover stuffing.  But, I know how much Steve likes it, so it made it a bit easier to save it for him.  I did eat the leftover cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.  Yumm.  I will definitely be making the Brussels sprouts recipe again.

The surprise of the day was that Michael slept in a bit.  I was able to get the day started and have a cup of coffee before he came downstairs.  It was a nice, quiet way to start the morning.  I could definitely get used to having time for coffee before morning drama!

I have big hopes for the weekend.  We are going to try to move some things around in the house and put up Christmas decorations this weekend.  It is my favorite time of the year, and I love the decorations.  I just hope we get it all done!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 132 - Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today was all about family and friends, and the Redskins!  I felt so loved and so blessed today.  Steve and I worked all morning to get the house clean and dinner ready.  Then, his mom came over, and a friend of mine from work came over.  It was so nice to sit down and relax and enjoy each other’s company.

But, the best part was that Michael actually enjoyed his dinner.  He had several items on his plate at once.  He didn’t want the food to touch, but was able to move things aside and not panic when they did.  And, he ate a decent dinner.  It was wonderful.

The biggest surprise of the day was when the Redskins actually won their game today.  They haven’t had the best season and they rarely win against the Cowboys, and never on Thanksgiving.  So, even though it wasn’t the most important of today’s happy events, it was definitely the most surprising!
Tomorrow we will go back to our regular routines and I’ll be back at the gym.  But, it was really nice to take a day and just relax as a family.  And, it was nice to eat some carbs, too.  And, now it will be time for me to get into the holiday spirit.  I try really hard not to think too much about Christmas until after Thanksgiving.  But, now, it’s time!

I guess that means that I really need to focus on my diet the next month or so.  It’s so easy around the holidays to have just a little bit of this, or to make a special treat.  But, I’ve come so far, I definitely don’t want to lose ground now.  The good news is that my family is really supportive of my program, so I know they will make sure to not offer me things I can’t have!  And, I am strong enough to say no if they do!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 131 - Freezing After Exercise?

Today was a great day.  Michael had a little incident at school, but the principal made sure we knew what upset him, and that it wasn’t his fault.  I really appreciate that she took the time to make sure we knew what happened, and that Michael did the best he could.  It is so great when the school works with us to understand and support him.  So, even though the afternoon started a little rocky, it got better quickly!

I went to the gym for my regular Wednesday night classes.  Both the muscle challenge class and yoga were a little less crowded than usual.  But, I got a great workout in both!  I really pushed myself with the weights tonight.  I have a feeling I will definitely be sore tomorrow.

One thing I have noticed is that an hour or so after my classes, I’m freezing.  I end up huddled under a blanket for at least half an hour before I get back to a normal temperature.  It’s well beyond a typical slow down in circulation after exercise.  I’m not quite sure what’s causing it, or what it means, but it is definitely something I want to look into.
Today didn’t really have much of a challenge.  It was a pretty good day at work, at home, and at the gym.  I’m just going to be thankful that it was a good day.

The surprise of the day was that Michael had a really good swimming lesson.  He can swim an entire length of the pool by himself.  It doesn’t really resemble much of a formal stroke, but he gets from one place to another.  I also really like that the teacher has him working on the breast stroke, the back stroke, floating, and using the kickboard.  Pretty amazing considering he couldn’t swim at all when he started in August!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I have so much in my life to be thankful for – my family, my health, this journey, and all the wonderful support I’ve been getting.  I am going to take the day as a rest day and enjoy spending time with family and friends.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 130 - Biking and Bedtime

Short post tonight since Michael actually wants me to keep him company tonight.  I was able to work from home today and that made it easy to get my two hours of exercise in.  I kept it simple and just rode the bike, but it felt good.

Today’s challenge was just keeping focused on things while I wanted to be planning for Thanksgiving.  But, the time of the bike gave me plenty of time, so that worked out well.  Some days are just not meant for focus!

The surprise of the night was Michael wanting me to tuck him in.  Normally, he prefers Steve to keep him company at night.  But, tonight he wants Mommy and I’m happy.  So, have a great night!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 129 - Monday, Monday

Mondays are really difficult days.  After having a couple days to catch up on my sleep, it’s really hard to get up in the morning and get back in the swing of things.  And, as Michael gets older, he is harder to get moving in the morning as well.  But, we managed to get through the morning and he went off to school and I got to work. 

I was a little disappointed when I got to the gym to find that one of my favorite instructors was out sick, so we had a substitute teacher for both the muscle challenge class and the yoga class.  She was perfectly fine, but not the same as the regular instructor.  But, I still got a good workout, and that is what matters.  And, if I am not super sore this week, that wouldn’t be a bad thing, either.

The challenge of the day was just getting moving.  Michael was a little cranky this morning, and a little slow.  But, we eventually got ourselves together.  I think I need to make more of an effort on Sunday nights to get to bed early.  That would probably help a lot.

The surprise of the day was that my boss said it was OK to work from home tomorrow.  The cool thing is that means I can exercise tomorrow at lunch time and then take Thursday as my rest day.  It just makes scheduling so much easier!  So, I guess it turned out to be a good day after all – for a Monday at least.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 128 - KEEN Picture Day!

Today was a wonderful day.  We spent a good part of the day taking pictures at KEEN.  It was so much fun, and I think the families really appreciated it.  Then, the Redskins actually won!  The only down side was that I only got in one hour of exercise. 

KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) is a wonderful program where kids with developmental disabilities get matched with a volunteer coach for several different types of programs – open gym, music, swimming, bowling, etc.. It’s a great program.  Michael has been participating with them for a few years now.  He loves going to his music program once a month.  And, a wonderful things about KEEN is that all their programs and activities are free. 
Because it’s such a wonderful program, it felt really good to do something with the families that I know they appreciated.  It’s so hard to get good pictures of our kids.  Tom, a friend of ours who is a wonderful photographer is so amazing with the kids, and got some fantastic pictures.  Even if a child was nervous at first, he won them over when he let them look in the camera and see their picture.  Some of the pictures were of entire families, some were just the KEEN participant, and some included siblings.  I don’t remember the last time I smiled so much as when I was cropping and printing the pictures!

The challenge of the day was trying to get both hours of exercise in.  Because we were at KEEN so much of the day, I didn’t start my exercise until almost dinner time.  Then, I got a headache and decided that one hour was going to have to be enough for the day.  But, even though I didn’t get in as much exercise as I’d like, it was still a wonderful day.
The surprise of the day was definitely my interactions with the parents.  I know how hard it is to get a good picture of Michael.  And a family picture is almost unheard of.  So,  it was great to be able to do this, and get so many wonderful pictures.   My heart is going to be smiling for quite a while!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 127 - Eighteen Week Results!!!

This time it really is 18 weeks.  And, as of this morning, I am down a total of 41 pounds!  I am beyond happy, excited, thrilled, and proud.  As I am edging closer and closer to the 300 pound mark, I am really starting to see more and more differences in daily life.  I love that!  But, first things, first.  Below is today’s picture.  It feels wonderful to post it!

It’s been a fairly full day.  I went out and did a yoga class this morning, then had a few chores around the house.  Then, my brother in law and mother in law came over for a visit.  He was only in town for today, so it was our only chance to spend any time with him.  It was nice to see him.  Then, after they left, I did an hour on the bike.  I was pretty tired when I started, and it was hard to make it all the way through a full hour, but I did.  Sometimes I really rely on that stubborn streak of mine.
The challenge of the day was just getting through everything.  I woke up a little grumpy this morning, and have been out of sorts most of the day.  I really don’t know why.  But, I did manage to push through everything. 

The surprise of the day was just that I had a really good yoga class this morning.  Even though I was grumpy, it was nice to do some new poses.  The instructor this morning was good.  I just wish they had more classes.  I did talk with a manager who promised they are still looking to hire new instructors.  So, maybe one day soon I’ll report the surprise of the day was added classes!  I also mentioned the lack of modifications.  She seemed interested and said it was good feedback.  I don’t know if anything will come of it or not.  But, at least I got to say what was on my mind.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 126 - Happy, Relaxing, Yoga!

What a difference a day makes!  Tonight I went to my favorite yoga class and came out relaxed and smiling.  It was so nice!  The instructor has a broken wrist, but she still managed to lead a fantastic class.  And, she used the opportunity to show some modifications that she might not have thought of otherwise.  Very nice!
After class, I came home and got on the bike for an hour.  It felt so good.  I was all stretched and relaxed after yoga, so my legs felt really strong.  The hour went by really quickly.  I couldn’t ask for a better workout.

The challenge of the day was just that it was a super busy day.  Michael and I both had doctor appointments at lunch time.  I had forgotten to put it on the calendar, so I wasn’t prepared.  I had to keep Michael home from school, and I had to juggle a couple other things to make the appointment work.  But, it did work, and it was a great appointment.
The surprise of the day was just how good it felt to ride the bike tonight.  For the first time in a while, nothing hurt, and moving just felt natural.  I wish I could bottle that feeling!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 125 - Really Annoyed with LA Fitness Gaithersburg

OK, I’m really not happy with the new LA Fitness in Gaithersburg.  I guess I’ve gotten really spoiled by how wonderful Healthtrax is.  Tonight I was rushing in to the evening yoga class – one of two classes that are offered outside of work hours.  The person behind the desk grabbed my keys when I went to check in and said I had to get my picture taken right then.  I was so mad!  First of all, it’s really gross that they want to be the one to swipe your card.  Imagine all the germs and ick that they pass along just with that one process.  Then, to kidnap my keys for a picture, when I’m already running late was beyond rude.  There is no reason I couldn’t have done the picture on the way out.

I could forgive the rudeness of the check in, if only the classes made up for it.  But, when I signed up they promised there would be yoga every day.  Twice a week is not every day, last I checked.  And, as much as I like that the class is relatively advanced, I hate that the teacher offers almost no modifications.  I’m pretty good at coming up with my own modifications, but a lot of people aren’t.  Every class has had one or more people leave in the first fifteen minutes.  It was obvious they left out of frustration.  I hate seeing people give up on a class they should love!
I know I shouldn’t be so negative, but it’s been almost a month now, and I just haven’t seen any improvement.  They haven’t added any classes, the staff are getting more rude, and the classes they do have are not exactly welcoming.  I think I’m going to find out if there are any options to quit without losing my sign up fee.  A gym is not supposed to cause more stress than it alleviates!

I would guess it is fair to say that dealing with the LA Fitness people was definitely the challenge of the day.  I did manage to ignore it all and get a decent workout in.  I am so glad that the instructors at my primary gym have taught me enough to be really self sufficient! 
And I am thinking that the surprise of the day is that I really can do enough modifications or substitute poses that I get a great workout, no matter how advanced the class is.  Since I knew there was no way I could do the plough pose, I brought my strap and did a series of leg stretches.  It felt wonderful and gave me something positive to do while others were struggling with the pose.  Independence and self confidence?  Who knew!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 124 - Completely Exhausted Yet Again

Today’s workout was both wonderful and terrible at the same time.  I was still sore from Monday, so I didn’t use as heavy weights as I normally would.  But, I did push myself really hard.  By the time the muscle challenge class was over, I was completely exhausted.  Then, I had to get through the yoga class.  Let’s just say it wasn’t my best class ever.  I was so out of breath and tired that I went to the water fountain and skipped the sun salutations.  By the time class was over, every muscle in my body was on fire and completely spent.  I guess I really did leave it all in the studio!
I came home really frustrated that after so many months, the classes are still so hard.  My belly still gets in the way.  I’m still the biggest one in class.  I was really hoping to see bigger changes.  But, I do know I have to be patient.  And, even though all these things are still true, I still go.  I still push myself.  I am making progress.  That’s what I need to focus on.

Today’s challenge was a new one – I really wanted to skip yoga.  I was so tired that I knew it wouldn’t be a good workout.  But, I also knew that I had to push through and just do the best I could.  I am really proud of myself for not giving in and going home.  And, even though it wasn’t a great session, it was definitely better than giving up!
The surprise of the day was working on a Thanksgiving Poster with Michael.  He actually had a good time answering the questions and decorating the poster.  He couldn’t wait to write ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ at the bottom when he was done.  Absolutely adorable!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 123 - Sore Muscles and Good News

After taking time off during the conference, I was thinking about skipping my rest day today.  Then, I got up from my desk and realized how much I was hurting from last night.  I amazes me how the instructor can keep finding different exercises to work so many different muscles.  It seems like every workout leaves me with different muscles aching!  So, as I limped down the hallway, I decided that rest is good.

Today was definitely challenging!  It was so hard to get up this morning and head into the office.  My inbox was overflowing, and I had 3 conference calls.  But, even though I was really tempted to find a chocolate snack, I didn’t.  That took major willpower.

The surprise of the day was a great one though.  Steve called me up at work to tell me that we had gotten Michael’s report card in the mail.  I was a little worried since he’s been having a lot of issues focusing at school this quarter.  But, somehow he managed to get straight A’s.  I was so proud of him!  So, even though it was a really long day, I’m still smiling!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 122 - Back Home, Back to the Gym!

We’re back home! As much as I loved the conference, and as much as I loved having some down time with Steve, I really, really missed Michael.  It was so great to see how excited he was that we were home.  The first thing he said was that he missed us.  He also said that next time we go on vacation he wants to come with us.  He was so adorable!

Our flight back was delayed and I was so afraid I would miss my classes tonight.  But, we got home in time to spend a little time with Michael, and then I headed off to the gym.  I have to admit that I felt a little weak after not lifting any weights for a full week.  But, it came back to me quickly.  Then, when I was completely exhausted from the weight class, it was time for yoga.  I was definitely tired for yoga, but some of the poses felt really, really good.

And, even better, Michael was really happy to see me when I came home from the gym.  It was wonderful getting a second huge welcome home!  And, I got a bonus cuddle.  Some days life is really good!

The challenge for today was definitely tearing myself away from Michael to get my butt into the gym.  It was hard, but it felt so good to get back to my routine.  Halfway through the first class I realized how much I missed it.  I was sweaty and out of breath, but I was happy.  That was a huge revelation.

The surprise of the day was definitely my cuddle with Michael.  I knew he had missed us, but he is normally pretty quick with his hugs.  Tonight I picked him up in my lap and didn’t want to let him go.  And, he wasn’t in any hurry to get down, either.  That felt so nice!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 121 - Last Day of the Conference

Today was the last day of the conference, and tomorrow I’m going back home, and back to real life.  I’ve learned so much the last few days.  And, I’ve had a great time relaxing with Steve.  The good thing is that I really do feel rested and ready to go back tomorrow and really hit the gym hard.  I am actually looking forward to getting to my muscle challenge class tomorrow night.
The challenge of the day was pretty minor, but stress inducing.  The very last session of the conference was talking about planning for our children to reach adulthood.  It is so hard to imagine Michael in 8 years.  Will he be able to live independently?  Go to college?  Find a job?  No matter what the answers end up to be, we have to be ready.  So, we left the session with a big to do list, the first of which is figuring out how to set up a special needs trust.  Then, we need to update our wills.  Not happy things to think about, but definitely needs to be done.

The surprise of the day was just realizing that the conference was over and I had a few more hours to relax with Steve.  We had a quiet afternoon, and it was just nice.  Sometimes nice and relaxing is just what you need.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 120 - No 17 Week Results

Even though today is Saturday, I don’t have any weight loss results for the week.  I am still in Florida for the National Autism Association Conference, so I am away from my scale.  I’m doing the best I can while I am gone, but I am also focusing on learning as much as I can and enjoying a mini-vacation with Steve.

Today was another great day.  We went to some really good sessions at the conference, and Steve ran into a college friend.  We spoke with one of the doctors for a while and got some great ideas on where to go next with Michael, and some advice on timing some of his supplements.  I’m really excited to go home and make some changes!
There was definitely a challenge today, and I definitely failed it.  At the restaurant, they have been amazing about our food allergies, and made sure we always have delicious, safe meals.  Tonight after dinner, they surprised me with a flourless chocolate cake.  It would have been rude to turn it down after they went to such an effort to find a dessert I could have.  And, to be honest, I didn’t want to.  It tasted just as good as it looked!  And, a treat once in a while isn’t the end of the world.  It does mean that when I get back home, I need to hit the gym harder than ever!

The surprise of the day was definitely spending so much time talking with the doctor about Michael.  He explained a couple things that we were doing wrong, timing-wise.  Basically, one supplement was cancelling out another.  By separating the two of them, we should definitely see better results.  I hate making mistakes, but am really glad to hear that a supplement we had great hopes for still holds promise!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 119 - My Brain is in Full Swing

Today was the first full day of the conference.  We’ve been going since 8 this morning.  I think we walked back and forth from the main conference area, to the exhibit area, to the room, to the car, a million times.  My feet hurt more tonight than after my two hour sessions at the gym.  I am not sure if it counts as exercise, or recovery, or something in between.  But, no matter what, it’s been a great day.

One of the most interesting sessions was talking about thyroid issues, and that you can’t always tell whether or not your thyroid is working correctly based only on your TSH number.  I have had symptoms of hypothyroid as long as I can remember, but it was never enough to treat.  In the last year or so, I’ve been on a natural thyroid replacement medication, but it never seemed to make a huge difference.  I would love to make an appointment with today’s speaker and see what he thinks of my test results and if there is anything to make my thyroid work better.

The big challenge of today was just being tired.  I’m not quite sure why I was so tired, but I was.  It could just be that my normal routine is gone, or I haven’t been following my normal exercise routine, or eating different foods.  But, no matter what the cause, I’m going to bed early tonight!

The surprise of the day was that Michael actually misses us.  At least that is what he told Dan.  Normally, when Dan watches him, he thinks it’s one big party.  But this morning he was actually wondering when we were coming back.  It’s definitely nice to be missed.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 118 - Having too much fun in Florida

Well, the conference really got started today.  We saw several people we know coming in,  and the big kick off meet and greet was tonight.  It made the entire day pretty festive.  And, I got carried away and didn’t get much exercise in.  But, we did do a fair amount of walking, so I am not going to stress over it too much.  I’ve been looking forward to this conference for such a long time, I really want to enjoy it.
It is so good to see familiar faces – both from trusted vendors and other parents.  It is always fun to catch up and find out how people’s children are doing, and find out what’s new in the biomedical world.  It’s only the first day and I already feel like I have learned several new things.  That is what I really love about these conferences – getting together with others who live the same reality every day.  Who really get our struggles and our achievements.

The challenge of the day was to stick with the exercise, and I failed.  At least in the formal exercise.  But, I did get a lot of walking, and standing in, so I am really not overly worried.  I guess when I get home and get on the scale I will know for sure.  For now, I am just going to do the best I can.
The surprise of the day was when the chef at the restaurant said that yes he could make me gluten free calamari.  I haven’t been able to have it since I went gluten free, and I really expected him to say that he couldn’t make it.  But, he did, and it was fabulous.  It’s amazing how small things can really make your day.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 117 - I Love Vacation!

I love vacation!  It was so nice to sleep in this morning and then just spend the day with Steve.  We explored the area, did a little shopping, and found two great places to eat where they actually cared about food allergies.  Not a bad day!
We did a lot of walking, and we stopped by the hotel gym to ride the bike for half an hour.  So, even though it was a low key day, I still got my exercise in.  And, people are starting to show up for the conference, which is nice.  When you only see people on facebook most of the time, it’s nice to actually see them in person.

I’m not really sure if I can come up with a challenge today.  It is vacation and I’m relaxing with Steve.  Not a whole lot to complain about!  But, I did realize that even though I’ve been doing a lot of exercise for the last few months, my legs and feet are still not ready for a lot of real world walking.  There is a huge difference between walking on the exercise machines and walking in the real world.  My legs and feet were really sore today.  But, I will get there!
The surprise of the day was waking up without an alarm clock.  It felt incredibly decadent.  It was so nice to just sleep until I was awake and not worry about the time.  I could definitely get used to this!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 116 - Traveling and Waiting

Today was a rest day, but busy.  We flew down to Florida for the National Autism Association Conference this morning, and have spent the day just settling in.  One really cool thing happened on the plane.  For the first time in a long time, I didn’t need a seat belt extender!  It was so nice to just sit down and buckle in and not even give it a second thought.  I was so proud of myself!
The hotel has a gym, so I will definitely be using it tomorrow.  I am planning on riding the bike for an hour and then dragging Steve for an hour long walk on the beach.  It will be nice to just spend a relaxing day ahead of the conference.

The challenge of the day was just dealing with all the angst over the election.  I really don’t like talking politics, and I hate seeing so many friends feuding with each other.  I will be so glad when it’s all over!  That said, I did make sure that we did the early voting, since I knew we would be traveling today.
The surprise of the day was also related to the election.  I heard a couple stories of people standing in line and overhearing parents teaching their children about the process.  I love seeing people actively engage their children in the voting process and sharing the event with them.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 115 - Making Plans

I only managed to get in one and a half hours of official exercise today, but it was definitely enough.  I did half an hour on the bike at lunch time, did a ton of running around getting ready for the trip tomorrow, and then did my muscle challenge class.  It was a really intense class tonight, so I am really happy with the amount of exercise.
Tomorrow we leave for the National Autism Association conference in Florida.  Dan will take care of Michael, so Steve and I get a mini vacation all alone.  What a concept!  I’m so glad tomorrow is a rest day.  That way I don’t need to worry about getting my exercise in while we are traveling.  My plan for the rest of the week is to exercise on the non-conference days, and just get as much walking in during the conference as I can.  I want to learn a lot, not stress a lot.  Plus, I’ve learned that a few days off once in a while really does help me recover.  I am really happy with this plan!

I do plan on keeping up with the blog while I am gone.  The focus may shift more into autism than exercise during the conference, but that’s not a bad thing.  I am really looking forward to getting away, taking some time off from work, learning new things, and spending time with Steve.
The challenge of the day was definitely fitting everything in.  I had to skip my yoga class tonight because I had my parent support group meeting at JSSA.  It’s something I try to get to every month, and I had missed two months straight, so I didn’t want to miss tonight.  But, it was a great meeting, and I am glad I juggled my schedule around.

The surprise of the day was really simple.  I interrupted Michael watching a video to ask him to take something into the kitchen for me.  He didn’t grumble, he just got up and said “I’d be happy to.”  It made my heart smile so big that he is still willing to help out, and that his language is getting more and more fluid every day.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 114 - Day of Frustrations

Today was a really trying day on a lot of levels.  I think part of it is that I am getting ready to leave to go to Florida for the NAA conference, and I have so much to do.  I am overwhelmed with preparing to be gone, packing, and with work items.  Basically, I have too much that needs to be done before we can leave.  But, we’ll get there.
I did manage to get in two hours on the bike today.  One of them was during the Redskin’s game, which was a huge disappointment. It is so sad to have such a great quarterback with no team around him.  There were definitely times when my heart rate was up with frustration more than the bike.  But, I got it done, and that’s what matters.

There were a lot of challenges today.  I am thinking the biggest one is just making sure that I get everything done by tomorrow night.  We have so many lists, and we’re checking things off.  I just hope we don’t forget something.
The surprise of the day was that Michael actually slept in this morning.  Normally, when we go back to standard time, he wakes up at his normal time, which then feels like an hour earlier.  Today, he actually slept in, and that was an amazing gift. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 113 - Sixteen Week Results

I can’t believe it’s been sixteen weeks on this journey.  So far, I’ve lost 37 pounds.  I had been hoping to have lost more by now, but I’m really happy too.  A friend pointed out exactly how heavy 37 pounds is, and I am so happy that I’m not carrying it around with me every day.  When I look back, I realize that I really have made significant lifestyle changes, and they are working.  I am no longer craving sweets all the time, and I have made exercise a part of my daily routine.  That is definitely something to be proud of.

And, as you can see from the pictures, it really is a noticeable loss.  I love the fact that my tummy is smaller, my hips narrower, and even my feet are straighter.  That is real progress and it makes me smile.  And, it motivates me to keep going, one day after the next.


The challenge for the day was making myself go to yoga when I realized that it was going to be a substitute teacher that isn’t my favorite.  I reminded myself that I could make whatever modifications I needed, and off I went.  When everyone else was doing shoulder stands and plough poses, I was using my strap and doing the leg stretches I learned in my Friday classes.  It was nice to feel a little more in control.
The surprise of the day was the support I got on my facebook page when I was discouraged about my rate of loss.  It is so nice to realize that I have friends reading this blog and that actually care how I am doing.  The support makes me feel really special, loved, and makes me realize I can do this.  Thank you!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 112 - Great Sleep, Great Exercise

Today definitely made up for yesterday.  I did two thirty minute sessions on the bike, and then had a wonderful yoga class this evening.  It felt good to have some energy again, and get back to my routine.  The funny things was when I realized that I considered the two bike sessions ‘short’.  Before I started this journey, 30 minutes of exercise was exhausting.  Now, it’s a quick session.  I like that a lot!

The challenge of the day was focused on work.  I have a conference coming up next week that I’m really, really looking forward to.  I was supposed to take off all next week for the conference.  But, because I have a lot going on, I decided to work on Monday, and then take off the rest of the week.  It was a hard decision to make, since I was looking forward to spending some time with Michael on Monday.  But, it really needed to happen.

The surprise of the day was that I think I finally have my sleep problems figured out.  For whatever reason, I seem to be really low on GABA.  Once I started taking GABA in high doses before bed, I started sleeping better.  I missed it accidentally one night and knew it immediately.  I am just so grateful to be sleeping regularly again!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 111 - Exhausted

Today ended up being an unscheduled rest day.  I had to work late unexpectedly, and was beyond exhausted when I got home.  I had planned on at least getting to the yoga class, but sat down and almost fell asleep.   And, since I’m really, really sore from yesterday, I figured it is OK to just take the day and save my energy for tomorrow.

The challenge for today was deciding if I really needed an extra rest day, or if I was just being lazy.  I even asked Steve for his opinion.  Between the two of us, we figured that if I was so tired I couldn’t stay awake and my muscles are screaming in pain, an extra day to rest would be a good thing.  So, I’m taking the day and recharging.
The surprise of the day was coming home and finding that Steve took care of so many things this afternoon, including getting Michael a bath and making dinner.  Of course, that’s how it was OK to just sit down and collapse.  But again, I needed it, and really appreciate the surprise.