Category Archives: Health

A Planned 3 Workout Week (or Medication and Workouts)

2 weeks ago, I had an unplanned 3 workout week. It wasn’t easy on me because I’m getting so used to 4 workout weeks. And I knew this past week was going to be a 3 workout week so having 2 of those in a row was a bit frustrating to me. But this 3 workout week was so much better than the week before because this one was planned for and I knew what I needed to do. Of course, when I plan it doesn’t always go that way and that’s exactly what happened.

Monday’s workout was totally my best one of the week. It was an endurance day and pretty much all the work was 90 second push paces with varying base paces. The base paces were either 60, 45, or 30 seconds so it did make the 90 second push paces a bit harder. But I’ve said it before that I’ve been testing the idea of shortening my walking during my run/walk 5Ks and this was the perfect way to test out my endurance for that. I think that 30 seconds was a bit too short for me, but it’s always good to push myself and see what I can do.

The floor had 2 blocks and each block started on the rower. The first block was 500 meters and the second block was 1000 meters. I managed to somehow PR on the 1000 meter row which shocked me. It was toward the end of the workout and I was tired so I didn’t think I could do it. But I must have pulled strength from somewhere (or just was really mad I didn’t PR on the 500 meter row) and managed to get a new best time. The rest of the floor work was pretty mixed between upper body, lower body, and abs.

Wednesday was a tough day for me. I didn’t realize it until almost the end of class, but this was my first workout with the increase in medication my therapist set for me. Vyvanse raises your heart rate so it’s no surprise that I was having issues with my heart rate being super high. But because I wasn’t thinking about that during the workout and I was getting a bit frustrated. I was struggling and couldn’t figure out why. And it should have been a workout that I really excelled in.

It was a power run/row day which meant all the segments were on the shorter side. But it was a unique format that was not the normal run/row. First, we had 3 rounds of running .25 miles (I ran it each time) and between each round we had 2 different arm exercises. After that we had 3 rounds of 150 meter rows with the same 2 arm exercises in between each round. After that, it was a more traditional run/row. For the running, I started at my normal speed but our coach set goals for us to hit on the treadmill. She wanted me to get to at least 7mph at some point. I knew I would need that to be during my last round and I did 7.2mph for the last .05 of my last round.

On the rower, I kept my 150 meter rows between 28-30 seconds which isn’t a record but isn’t that bad either. But I only made it through the rowing and weights by the time we had to switch. I never made it to the last segment that was the more traditional run/row format. That was tough for me, but I know that I worked really hard.

Once I was on the floor, we had 2 blocks with a good variety. The first block was squats, shoulder swings, planks, and sit-ups. But we also had a few different times that we were told to stop what we were doing and hold a plank for 30 seconds. Those 30 second plank breaks almost did feel like breaks to me since we’ve had so much plank work and I had my plank challenge in May. In the second block, we had power jacks which I was able to do with a weight, skaters, rowing with the straps, and more plank work. I was taking a lot of breaks during that second block because of my heart rate, and I was trying to not be upset with myself. It was then that I remembered about my medication being increased so I knew that it was something beyond my control. But it still doesn’t make it easier on me when I always want to do better than I have before.

Friday’s workout was another endurance day. And even though I struggled on Wednesday with my heart rate, I had forgotten about it by Friday and struggled with heart rate issues again. But fortunately, I remembered it much sooner this time and was able to go a bit easier on myself and not beat myself up over those struggles. It also helped that I had an amazing group of friends at the workout on Friday that were next to me and keeping me motivated!

I do totally notice a difference when I’m working out in a class with friends versus a class that only has acquaintances or people I don’t know as well. I’m so lucky that I usually will have at least 1 friend in class, but to have 4 friends in class is a rare treat!

There were 3 blocks on each side and I started on the treadmill. Every treadmill block was a similar pattern. It started with a 3 minute push pace followed by a 90 second base pace. Then it went to a push pace to all out pace, but the time of the push pace changed each block. I ran all the pushes and all outs, but it wasn’t easy. Even though I know I can run longer than 3 minutes, there was something about those 3 minutes each time that seemed longer and longer. I just tried to get into a zone and not think about the time passing by. And in the 28 minutes I was on the treadmill before switching to the floor, I did about 1.9 miles which isn’t that bad!

On the floor the first block was squats to rows with weights and plank work. The second block was bicep work on the straps, plank work, and abs. And the last block was 300 meter rows with tricep work. 300 meter rows are something that I usually use to measure my progress, but these weren’t that great for me. I was tired, dealing with my heart rate issues, and ready for the workout to be done. Normally I strive to get my 300 meter row under a minute, but I wasn’t even close this time. I don’t remember my exact times, but I was around 1:12 each time. I was trying to not be upset and frustrated, but again it’s tough for me to be easy and kind to myself.

I’m glad that this past week of workouts was a 3 workout week. While this was not my worst workout week, it was a tough one and I think my mental state made it more difficult on me. I needed to take some time off so I could get back into a better head space to start this week of workouts. It had been so long since my medication had been changed and I forgot how tough that adjustment could be on my workouts. I’m glad that I remembered it but I wish that I had remembered it sooner so I wouldn’t have felt as bad in the moment. But I guess I needed this past week as a reminder and hopefully this week I can be easier with myself and happier with what I am able to do in a workout.

Another Therapy Check In (or Someone Sees Progress)

I only see my therapist every six months now, and my visit with him was this week. So much has happened in six months and I was trying to think about what I wanted to talk about with him before I went in for my appointment. I know that my time there is limited and I wanted to maximize my time. I knew that not everything was relevant to talk about, but I still took some mental notes on what I wanted to make sure we go over.

A lot of my appointments with my therapist are pretty basic check ins. He wants to make sure that I’m still making progress and doing ok on my medication. But there isn’t a lot for me to work through in therapy anymore. Coming to the realization that I just have bad luck genetically with getting an eating disorder has helped me a lot. I know that I didn’t do anything (or have something happen to me) that caused this and I just have to work on getting through it and figuring out good recovery tools for myself. Sometimes knowing that is tough, but it does make my therapy appointments easier.

The first update we discussed in my appointment was me not having the liver surgery. Even though my therapist has access to all my medical records, I knew he wouldn’t have reviewed everything that has happened lately. He was very excited about me not needing surgery and was asking what might have caused the tumors to shrink. There is really no medical explanation for it, but he agrees that my tumor visualization might have been a big part of it. Our minds are really powerful and can do miracles. He agrees that I should keep that up and see what happens when I have my next MRI in a few months.

We also talked about how I was struggling a bit with the idea of preparing for surgery for so long and then that just stopping. I told him how the unknowns unnerve me a bit and that I was finding it tough to reconnect to myself. I still struggle with a bit of disconnection with my body and I don’t know if that will ever be resolved because even if the tumors go away they could come back another time. My therapist understood why this is so tough for me, but he was encouraging me to work really hard to get through it.

He was talking about how we cannot set expectations for life and then fall apart when they don’t happen. Things can change and we have to be ok with going with the flow. And when something doesn’t go our way, we have to let go of the idea of what we thought would be and start thinking about what is. Obviously, those things are easier said than done, but I do need to work a lot on that idea. And to have him tell me that it’s ok that I struggle with this idea made me feel better because sometimes I wonder if it’s just me who seems so rigid in these ideas.

Even though there are things that I’m struggling with, the main things that my therapist was saying to me were all positive things. He said that he can really sense a change in me and sees that I’m so much happier. He can see that I’m figuring things out and I am making progress. I don’t always see the progress, but I know it’s easier for someone on the outside to see it. He knows that even if my eating disorder isn’t getting better right now, I’m building the skills and gaining the tools I’ll need to be in recovery. So eventually it will all connect and come together and I’ll be better equipped to be in recovery.

We also started to talk about the future and when I will be going off of Vyvanse. I cannot be on this medication my entire life (nor do I want to be on it forever). I am not in a place to be off of it just yet, and in fact we actually made a small increase to my dosage. But we went over how this is just a temporary tool and how I need to be preparing myself to eventually not have the crutch of the medication to help me through the day. It’s a bit scary to think about going off of it because when I don’t take it for a random day off, I notice that things aren’t as great. But to start working through an end plan is something that I know I need to do.

The biggest takeaway I had from this appointment was that I am making progress and improving even if I can’t see it yet. Getting to see myself through someone else’s eyes (and someone who has a critical viewpoint) is pretty powerful and really helped me feel more settled in what has been happening. My therapist wants me to focus on being more in the moment and accepting things as they come. If I am going to have a binge episode, he wants me to do it because I chose to do so and not because my eating disorder is putting me on auto-pilot. I’m getting much closer to that point so it’s good to know that that’s actually progress.

I won’t have my next appointment until December (6 months from now) unless something crazy happens and I feel like I need to be seen sooner. But I’m feeling much better about where things are now after this appointment. Some of the doubts I’ve been having have been reassured as good things and I’ve been given homework to try to work on over these next 6 months. Hopefully when I go back to see him again, he will continue to see progress and be happy with the steps I’ve made toward recovery.

Being Patient With Myself (or Being Ok With A 3 Workout Week)

I originally planned this past week to be a 4 workout week because I knew that this week was likely to be a 3 workout week. I’m now having 4 workout weeks be the norm and 3 workout weeks to be rarer instead of how it used to be the other way around. But this week was another one where my body was telling me stuff and I just had to listen. So I had 3 workouts and they weren’t all up to my normal abilities.

Monday was a strength day. I knew I’d be going to Disneyland that day, plus I was dealing with some hip pain and nausea, so I decided to walk the entire workout. It was probably a smart choice for me because a lot of the work was longer segments on the hills. I can do running on hills for short bursts, but I definitely can’t really do longer running on hills just yet. Most of my walking was at 6, 8, or 10% and it was tough to feel like I was getting a good workout in because I’m so used to running.

We also had one cardio block on the rower and it was a pretty fun challenge. The goal was doing 100 meters in as few pulls on the rower as possible. Doing as few pulls is tough because your brain is telling you to go super fast to get it done. But really you have to take your time and take long pauses at the beginning and end of each stroke. It’s an exercise in patience and I’m getting better at it. The goal was to be able to do 100 meters in under 10 pulls and I knew I could do that since on these pull challenges I usually average 10 meters a pull. In the time we had on the rower, I had time to do 4 attempts. 2 of those attempts were at 8 pulls and the other 2 were at 7 pulls. I’m pretty happy with myself with that effort.

Once on the floor, I focuses on heavier weights since my cardio wasn’t as good as normal. We did have rowing on the first block with 200 meter rows (I did them between 40-42 seconds each time). The second and third block on the floor was mainly arm work like pull overs, triceps, upper cuts, and raises. And the last block was all ab work like planks, crunches, and toe reaches. Even though I felt disappointed with my cardio, I knew I’d be doing a ton of steps at Disneyland and I feel pretty happy with what I was able to do on the floor.

Wednesday was a run/row day and I was pretty excited about it. I knew it was going to be a very difficult run/row, but it was a great opportunity for me to prove to myself that I’ve made some really great progress. On the running part, it started with .25 miles, then .5 miles, then 1 mile. And the rowing was 1600 meters, 800 meters, and 400 meters. I had a feeling I wouldn’t get through the mile so I put my energy toward the first 2 segments. I was able to run the .25 mile run pretty easily (it’s still so crazy to me that running that has become easy to me now) and then I headed to the rower.

I checked my records, and my previous PR for 1600 meters was almost 2 years ago and it was 8:15.2. I had a feeling I could do it in under 8 minutes flat and set that as my goal. Distance rowing is still tough, but I’m getting better at it since we’ve had some more opportunities for it. And I think the endurance I’ve been building with my running is helping my rowing too. I tried to not focus on the rower while I was rowing because I knew I’d be on there for a while. I finally looked down at around 6 minutes thinking I would be close and I was much closer than I thought I could be to being done! So I decided my new goal would be to go all out for the end and maybe be able to take a full minute off my 1600 meter row. I think I was in a bit of shock when I was done.

I did just over 1:02 faster than my old PR! That’s pretty insane and I think that it was a really great time for me. I knew I’d PR on my row, but to think I could PR by that much is mind-boggling. I was pretty exhausted after that row, but I still wanted to do my best on the next running segment. I’m not sure how I did it, but I managed to run the entire .5 mile run too. I did the 800 meter row in 3:27.5 which is less than half the time it took me to do double the distance so that was pretty great too. And I only got started on the mile run by the time it was time to switch.

The floor work had an interesting set up. There were 4 blocks and the first 3 blocks all started with a minute of timed work like squats, pushups, and rowing on the straps). After that, we had about 4 minutes to do 2 different moves. The moves after the timed work was mainly arm work and a lot of it was rowing (which seemed mean after doing so much rowing during the run/row). The very last block on the floor was timed ab work like crunches and leg lifts. We also had a 90 second plank hold to finish which felt pretty easy considering all the plank work I did in my challenge last month. I’m happy that planks have gotten so much easier for me and I’m excited to see what other plank progress I’m going to make soon.

Friday was another run/row day but it was also a strength day so that meant hills. I originally planned to do all the running as running and it started off great with a .5 mile run which was at a flat road treadmill (which is 1%). I actually was able to get my speed up and did it at 4.7 mph instead of my usual 4.5 mph. Next was a 450 meter row which I wasn’t too worried about since I was focusing on the next run segment.

Next was supposed to be .4 miles at 2% and I assumed I’d be able to do it. But my body was saying otherwise and after less than a minute I had to switch to power walking. It was disappointing because I was so set on running, but I’m really learning to be patient with myself and knew it would be best to not run. My body was hurting from some hip pain plus I had eaten too much the night before (more on that in a future post), but I was hoping that I could overcome that. But once I started walking I was feeling better so I know I made the right choice. I did the 350 meter row, the next run segment (as a walk again), and just had enough time to finish a 250 meter row when time was called. I didn’t get all the way down the run/row assignment, but I got almost done which is pretty good for me.

Once on the floor, I again wanted to do heavier weights because I felt like I had to make up for what I didn’t do on the treadmill. We started with lateral lunges and I was able to use 20 pound weights in each hand. It wasn’t easy and I had to take breaks, but I got through the entire set. I did my front raises with 15 pound weights (usually I use 12 pounds) and I even used weights for my hip bridges and scissor kicks which I usually do without weights. In the second block, I wasn’t using much heavier weights than normal, but I didn’t go easy on myself either. And we ended with a core blast with a medicine ball and I went for the 10 pound one instead of 8 pounds. I felt like I really made up for my lack of running with weights.

Leaving Friday’s workout, I had every intention of making it on Saturday. So I probably didn’t go as hard for that workout than I would have if I had known I was going to skip Saturday. But Saturday morning things changed and I knew it would be best for me to not work out that day. It’s not easy for me to listen to my body because I’m always trying to push myself, but I’m trying and I’m seeing the results when I do pay attention.

I’m a bit paranoid about not hitting my workout goal for the year, so I might try to see if I can fit in another workout this week. It might not be possible and I might have to be ok with 3 workouts for 2 weeks in a row. It’s not the end of the world, but I’m so set in my plan that it can be hard to deviate from it. But this is all a lesson in patience, listening to my body, and not being too hard on myself. It’s just tough for me to do that sometimes.

Finding Some More Control (or How Medical Stuff and Dating Stuff Are Alike)

So many times in my life, things feel out of control. Even when it seems like it’s in control, there is always something that throws me off. Most of the time, it’s my food that is out of control and trying to control it seems to make it worse. And recently, it’s been my medical stuff that feels out of control and I can’t seem to get a handle on it. Even when I think that I know the plan, it seems like things are changing and I have to keep planning again.

One of the reasons many people have eating disorders is to find an element of control. I used to think this was crazy because I feel so out of control within my eating disorder. But it does make more sense the more I’ve researched eating disorders and have thought more about my situation. Eating what I want is an element of control. What is so horrible for me is having that control feel so out of control at the same time. I don’t like that I am subconsciously using food to control my life and I’m really trying to take a step back and think more than react.

I don’t find that my eating disorder is necessarily worse during times of feeling out of control, but I’m going to try to start tracking that now. Maybe I don’t realize that I am feeling that way when I have my binges because I am using food to mask it. It’s been interesting to reevaluate this lately because I’ve felt like I’ve known so much about my eating disorder in the past year or so. But I guess there is always more to rediscover and perhaps having this realization is a sign that recovery is on the way for me.

There’s not a ton I can do about feeling out of control with my medical stuff. There’s nothing I can do until my next MRI to see what is going on with my tumors. I’m still doing my daily visualizations and that’s pretty much all I can do. Whatever is going on inside my body is happening and I will have to wait a few months to see the results. It’s frustrating to not be able to know what’s happening inside of my body and it does make me feel a bit disconnected. But I am just trying to remind myself that I had no clue that the tumors were shrinking so maybe they are shrinking again now.

I am taking the few steps I can take with my medical stuff to feel more in control. I’m scheduling other doctor appointments that I know that I’ve needed to schedule but was putting off because I thought I’d be having surgery. I need to have some of the regular maintenance appointments like getting my eyes checked, seeing my dermatologist, and going for my annual exam. I can schedule all those and that at least gives me a bit of a sense of control in my life.

The other thing that is feeling so out of control is my dating life. I’m sure that everyone who is dating feels this way, but it’s been very different lately for me. I don’t know why all of a sudden I have more luck online and am finding more guys to meet. I don’t know what changed in my life, but I’m not complaining. But with dating more, there are more unknowns for me. I’ve been ghosted and stood up quite a bit lately. I’m not too upset but it does make me wonder why it’s happening to me. I know it happens to everyone, but of course my brain wants to tell me that it’s just me. And when I do go out with someone who I would like to see again, it can be frustrating to find out if I will see them again. I’m always on top of responding to texts and phone calls, but I know that everyone else isn’t like that. Again, I’m trying to not take it personally.

It’s so weird how my medical uncertainty and dating uncertainty seem to be so similar. But I guess when anything is out of control it can feel the same. And these are the two main things in my life that seem to be out of control right now and are taking up my thoughts quite a bit. And of course when I try to not think about them I only think about them more. I can only hope that even though these things are totally out of my control, I can go with the flow a bit more and enjoy whatever journey comes my way.

Running And Walking (or Accepting My Limits)

It was an interesting week of workouts this past week. I had some really great stuff, but again I’ve been having to understand what my limits are and how to work the best with them. I’m still in such a mindset of trying to improve by huge leaps every workout, but that’s not a realistic mindset. So I need to just focus on doing what I am able to do and do the best I can with that.

Monday’s workout was a power day and we did a bit of switching. We had a total of 4 blocks on the treadmill and 4 blocks on the floor and we switched after 2 blocks. For the first half of the treadmill time (so the first 2 blocks), it was mainly push to all out paces. I was able to run all of them and feel totally fine. But when we got back to the treadmill for the last 2 blocks, I started to run and it just wasn’t feeling right. It was tough since I was doing so great with my running at the beginning, but I knew not to push myself too much. So I ended up walking those 2 blocks (which were mainly 45 or 30 second intervals).

On the floor, the first block was weight and strap work. The second block was pushups and crunches with rowing. The rows went pretty well for me, but I didn’t get any records. I was able to do 200 meters in 38.3 seconds and 150 meters in 28.3 seconds. The third block was more weights and straps work and the last block was timed work. We had 30 second intervals of pushups, squats, and running men and I figured it couldn’t be too bad. But those 30 seconds seemed to take forever to go by and by the end of that block I was exhausted.

Wednesday’s workout was a fun one. It was split in 2 and the first half was a pretty normal endurance, strength, and power workout. We had 10 minutes on the treadmill with a mix of longer push paces, short push paces, and push to all out paces. Then there was 10 minutes on the floor with biceps, froggers, plank work, and situps. And after that, we came together as a class and partnered up for a 23 minute partner challenge.

The way the partner challenge worked was the person on the floor and treadmill set the pace. We started with floor work with a medicine ball and then we went to the treadmill for a short run (.2, .15, and .1 miles). The other partner was on the rower just rowing until they were tagged and then you’d switch. I partnered up with Helena (who I’ve seen in class a ton but we’ve never partnered up together for a workout) and I started on the floor and treadmill. I did feel a bit bad because she was able to do way more rowing than I could do and I felt a bit slow, but she never made me feel bad about not doing my fair share.

There were goals in hit on the rower for that challenge. The minimum was 3,000 meters and I honestly questioned if we would be able to do that. I know we should have been able to do it, but my rowing wasn’t nearly as good as I know it can be. But I just made sure that I kept rowing and didn’t stop. I didn’t want to let Helena down and I wanted to make sure that we hit the goal. And I guess I didn’t really need to worry because we did way more than 3,000 meters!

Friday’s workout was a crazy one! It was a power workout but it was tornado style. Tornado style means that you are switching between each block and going in a circle around the room. But not only was this a tornado workout, the blocks were all only 2 minutes long! 2 minutes on the treadmill, 2 minutes on the floor, 2 minutes on the rower for 5 rotations (a total of 15 blocks). For the 5 times I was on the treadmill, I ran the entire time. Since each block was only 2 minutes, I knew I could do them as a run. Most of the time it was a push to all out pace (there wasn’t much time to do more than that).

On the floor, 4 of the 5 block was a block of 2 moves. We had squats, lunges, and plank work. But on the last block, we had a set of 30 second intervals with abs. The ab work usually isn’t too bad for me, but this time it was a bit tough. I think it had to do with how tired I already was and pushing myself to do some ab work that I know can be tough on my hip. And on the rower we had a few different things. 2 of the blocks were 2 minute rows for distance (I got about 440 meters each time), 1 block was all 30 second intervals, and 2 blocks were 200 meter rows for time with squats after. I don’t remember what I did for my 200 meter rows, but they weren’t records. I did like switching things up every 2 minutes, but it was much harder than I was expecting!

Saturday’s workout was the normal 3G workout. I was able to start on the treadmill but I knew that running just wasn’t going to be an option for me. I really wanted to run, but again I had to listen to my body and know that if I did try to run that it wasn’t going to be good for me. Instead, I worked on trying to get my inclines up a bit higher. The treadmill time was split into 2 small blocks. In the first block, there were a few different distances to do with recovery in-between. I decided that the way I was going to push myself was to not do the recovery. So I did all 3 distances without a break in-between and increasing my inclines during it. It felt pretty good and I felt pretty proud of myself. The second block was more incline work and I was able to get my incline up to 12% which is usually a bit too much for me.

Next was the floor where again it was 2 shorter blocks. The first block was strap rows and chest presses along with ab work. And the second block was chest press and hammer curls with weights and more ab work. The ab work was some of the stuff that is tough on my hips, but I was feeling like I was kicking butt at it this time. I wasn’t hurting but I did have to take breaks in the middle of the sets. And finally, I was on the rower. The beginning of the row block was to do 3 sets of 200 meter rows where the goal was to do it in as few pulls as possible. I was able to get it down to 16 pulls which is pretty good (the goal was 25-15 pulls). After doing those 3 rounds, it was rowing and squats. I was feeling pretty tired from the 200 meter rows, but I wasn’t too bad at my other rowing. I wasn’t fast, but I wasn’t slow either.

I’m almost halfway through the year and I’m more than on pace to hit my workout goal for the year. I have to focus on that and the other positives I’m having in my workouts and not what limits I might be hitting. I’m sure at the end of the year I’ll be doing better than I’m doing now, so the slow progress will be worth it.

Heat and Hormones (or Not Letting Cravings Take Over)

I’ve written about the heat from time to time on here. I don’t know why each year when it gets hot I seem surprised by it and how my body reacts. I know that my body swelling is a reaction to the heat and I understand that I shouldn’t be stressed about it. But knowing about something and feeling that way are totally different things. So of course, as soon as my body starts swelling (and my clothes stop fitting as nicely), I start to stress out.

And knowing that I’ve gained a little weight lately doesn’t help me stay rational about this. I’m working on getting my weight loss back on track, but it’s not easy to do. There are so many things that feel like they are working against me and sometimes I forget that it’s not always all my fault. There are things beyond my control at times and I have to try to manage them the best that I can.

I do have air conditioning now, but I do limit how often I use it. It’s not too expensive to run, but I also don’t want to feel dependent on it. I use it when it gets really hot and stuffy inside my house and once it feels cool and comfortable again I’ll either turn it off or adjust the temperature setting. But I really don’t need to limit it as much as I do and I have to tell myself that it’s ok if I get a bit spoiled with the air conditioning. I’m hoping that I will never feel like I always need it on and end up spending a ton of money on electricity (which is unlikely to happen with my current energy-efficient a/c), but there is a lot of middle ground between how little I’m using it now and using it all the time.

The other thing that I’m dealing with (and is probably being made worse with the heat) are the food cravings I’ve been having lately. I’m still adjusting to having hormone fluctuations and haven’t had to deal with cravings this way since I was in high school. Since I was on continuous birth control pills, I didn’t get a period and didn’t have PMS. The cravings are so weird to me and I’m working on trying to distinguish the difference between cravings because of hormones and cravings because of my eating disorder. I need to treat each type of craving differently and it’s not easy to know what to do.

I’m working on finding good and healthy options for when I do have hormonal cravings. It’s not easy when you want something that you know isn’t good for you, but hopefully I can figure out what will satisfy my body when I feel like I need something. This is all new to me, but hopefully once I’ve been birth control pill free for a year it will normalize. It’s only been 6 months and I know a lot of people told me it could take a year or two for things to be stable. While some things stabilized right away, I have to keep reminding myself that other things might not have normalized as quickly and I have to allow myself for an adjustment period.

I hate that I feel like I have these issues every single time that it gets hot and I wonder when it will stop feeling so crazy. I’m letting myself have these feelings because I know that things aren’t always in my control and I shouldn’t try to avoid feeling however I’m feeling. But it does annoy me that it feels like the heat and the cravings have ganged up on me right now and are making my life extra difficult.

But as all the other struggles I’ve written about on here, I know this is temporary. I have things in place to help me out this time. I’m in a better mental space to deal with the issues and I know what I can do to work on them. It’s not easy and I have to accept that it might never become easy. It’s all about getting through the tough times so that the next time they happen you are better prepared. I haven’t had to deal with the heat and hormone fluctuations together yet, so this time it might be a bit tougher. But that just means that next year should be better and that is what is helping me deal this time.

Another Weight Loss Challenge (or Getting Back On Track)

This past week, a new weight loss challenge got started at Orangetheory. This challenge is only for the month of June and there aren’t too many requirements for it. Mainly it’s a weigh in at the beginning and end of the month and I have to do a certain number of workouts (it’s either 15 or 16 but I know I’ll get that done). There will be a prize for the winners, but they haven’t announced what that will be yet.

I’ve done a couple of the weight loss challenges at Orangetheory and they are a fun challenge to do. I’ve placed in one of them, but usually I’m not able to do that because it’s based on a percentage of weight loss and I have more weight to work with. But I like that it’s a challenge with everyone supporting each other and that nobody is too competitive. Everyone is excited for everyone else and I am just as happy seeing someone else win as I was when I placed in second.

While my focus right now hasn’t been on weight loss, it should be again. I was trying to lose weight before my liver surgery and I didn’t do as well at that as I had hoped. And after finding out that my surgery was cancelled, I stopped stressing about losing weight and got focused on getting my life back to normal. It was important to get my life back (and I’m honestly so much happier now than I was before), but I need to focus back on my health again. And yes, I’m aware that losing weight can totally be related to getting my life back. It just hasn’t been that way in my mind recently.

I think that my exercising is pretty close to what I need it to be right now. I probably should be doing more on my days off from Orangetheory, but working out 4 times a week is pretty great. My trouble is (and pretty much always has been) food. I hate how hard dealing with food can be for me. I’ve said it before that I wished that my addiction issues were with something that I could avoid every day and not something I had to deal with 3 times a day. But that’s the hand I’ve been dealt and I just have to work with it.

I had lost quite a bit of weight around the time I found out I had the tumors and managed to keep most of it off. But it has slowly been creeping back up on me over the past month or so. I haven’t gained all of it back, so that is a victory for me. But I’m up about 10 pounds from where I was and I want to get back down to that and to continue to lose more. Ideally, I want to get to my goal weight/goal size and stay there. But I also know that this journey isn’t a linear one and can easily have lots of ups and downs. That’s how my journey has been for pretty much my entire life and I have no reason to believe that it would be any different now.

So while I’m doing this weight loss challenge this month at Orangetheory, my main goal isn’t necessarily to win. Winning would be awesome and I’d love it if that happened. But I can’t just compare myself to other people like that. What other people are able to do shouldn’t affect what I can do. And I just need to focus on myself and use this challenge as a personal one. If my personal challenge ends up winning, great. But if it doesn’t I don’t want that to affect how I feel about any weight loss that I have this month.

Hopefully, things will be able to get back on track this month and I will be back down to (or lower than) the weight I was before. I still have some big weight loss goals that I’m trying to accomplish and I know that I have to take baby steps to get there. The first step is to get back to where I was and keep going. I actually reset my weight tracking app to start at what I weigh now so I don’t have to see the recent weight gain. Seeing that gain was actually causing me to feel less motivated and even though the number is the same now, I feel much better about it. I feel like I’m starting fresh and able to kick some butt again.

Maybe in a month I’ll be sharing with you all that I placed in the weight loss challenge. That would be awesome. But to me, what would be even more awesome is if I could tell you all that I lost the weight I gained recently and am still continuing to lose. That is the best thing that I could hope for right now and I really want that to be true.

Dentist and Disneyland (or Having Fun Things To Look Forward To)

After my past few dentist appointments, I’ve tried to schedule a Disneyland afternoon. This helps me stay calm at the dentist since I’ve got something good to focus on. It’s a nice tradition that I’ve started and I’m glad that it seems to help to keep me calm. So when I found out that I had a dentist appointment this week, my first thought was to call my friend Michelle to see if she wanted to go to Disneyland. And ironically, she had a dentist appointment that day too so we decided to go after we were both done at the dentist.

I didn’t have the best dentist appointment. This was the big appointment where I meet with the dentist and get x-rays. And one of the fillings that was done 14 years ago is now chipped and I will need some work done to fix it. Hopefully that will only be another filling, but there is always the possibility that it will be a crown. This isn’t fun, but I have to do it. Hopefully since I’ve had so many more needles lately I won’t react as badly to the numbing shot. But I won’t know until I have my dental work appointment.

My dentist is a block away from Michelle’s house, so I had parked my car at her house and walked to the dentist. When I was done, I walked back over to her place and we got into her car and headed to Disneyland!

Because I had my big dentist appointment, it was a bit later than I usually have dentist appointments. So we were driving down to Disneyland in the start of rush hour traffic. There are some carpool lanes on the freeways that we take, but it still was a bit of a longer drive than we are used to. But since we were both feeling pretty chill about this Disney adventure, we didn’t mind things taking longer for us. And once we got parked, we were able to get onto a tram to the park really quickly!

The only ride we really wanted to ride was Hyperspace Mountain since that will be closing and the ride will be the normal ride again next week. But we also both needed something to eat (I don’t usually eat much before dentist appointments and I was so hungry). We thought about trying to see if we could get into Blue Bayou, but they weren’t doing any walk ups at that time. They told us we could come back later, but we were both pretty hungry so we headed over to Plaza Inn for some pot roast.

I usually don’t get this to eat, but it was pretty good and filling! And it’s always nice to sit down to eat and not feel too rushed. The park was pretty crowded between people being there after work and people celebrating graduations, so to be away from the crowds was good.

After that, we headed over to California Adventure to wait until our time to ride Hyperspace Mountain. The new Guardians of The Galaxy ride will be opening this weekend and the entire park is going to be doing a summer of heroes event. I don’t think anything has started yet, but the signs were up as we walked into the park.

I know I’ll be in the park at least once before I’m blacked out for the summer, so I’m excited to get to see what offerings will be in the park. They’ve already promoted a fun menu and I think that it will be nice to see what else is happening.

Once we got to California Adventure, we did a bit of window shopping and then headed over to the Animation Academy. My biggest issue with drawing is drawing circles. And of course, the character we were drawing was Mickey Mouse, which is all circles! But I think in the end both of our drawing look pretty decent!

We headed back to Disneyland after that to ride our ride, and I got a moment to admire how much my new key chain matches the park!

We had a good ride on Hyperspace Mountain. Our photo didn’t really come out, so I don’t have a ride photo to share (sorry!). But we were both just taking in the ride and enjoying all the fun things they added for the Hyperspace overlay. I don’t know if this overlay will come back, but I hope it will eventually. But I think I agree with Michelle when she said it will be nice to have the regular ride back. It’s had this overlay for quite some time and I think the normal ride is going to feel special again.

Our last ride that day was Buzz Lightyear since Michelle and I have our year-long competition happening with that ride. I guess I’m really lucky that one time I scored a really high score on that ride, because Michelle is always beating me! And this time was no exception. But in our year-long battle, I’m still ahead!

With the park being as crowded as it was and both Michelle and I tired from our dentist appointments, we were ready to head home. And we realized that the parade was going to start so we wanted to rush out before it started and it became difficult to leave. But even with rushing out of the park, I took a brief moment to get a photo of how pretty Main Street looks at nighttime.

It’s always magical at Disneyland, and at nighttime it seems even more magical. After getting out of the park, we made one more stop at World of Disney in Downtown Disney. There were a few things that I had been debating about getting and I wanted to look in the store to see prices and to think carefully about what I wanted to spend my money on.

I’ve been wanting the Disney ice cube tray since I had seen it months ago, and I finally decided to get it. And right next to it was a really cute votive holder that I couldn’t resist getting. And I’ve been looking casually for a new mug (the ones I have are all chipping and are pretty old) and had never found a Disney mug that I loved. But this time, there was a really cool mug that didn’t scream Disney that I had to get!

It’s a bit of a splurge to get stuff at Disneyland, but I rarely do it. And it wasn’t too expensive even with all 3 items so I figured I could find other places I could cut back this week to make it work with my budget.

Michelle and I were only at Disneyland for about 4 hours and we really didn’t do much, but it was a perfect post-dentist outing. I know I won’t be able to go after my big dental appointment since that is so late in the afternoon, but I’ve already got a Disney day planned for June. And there’s always a chance I’ll have another random Disney day before I’m blacked out for the summer!

Explaining Myself (or It’s Not Disappointment)

It’s been over a month since I was supposed to have surgery. By now, pretty much everyone in my life knows that my surgery was cancelled and the situation around that. I tried to email and text most of my friends as soon as I knew and many other people found out though here or social media. But every so often, I’ll run into someone who had no clue that I didn’t have surgery. Sometimes they are surprised to see that I’m looking so good or out and about and sometimes they are just assuming everything went fine and I forgot to tell them about it.

Each time I run into someone who didn’t know (or I meet someone new who is finding out about the situation), I feel like I have to explain the entire thing. I have tumors, they aren’t supposed to shrink, somehow they did shrink, we don’t know how it happened because I didn’t change anything in my life, I don’t know what’s next for me. And so often people tell me that I sound disappointed that I didn’t have surgery and I should be grateful that somehow I beat the odds.

It’s not easy to explain that I am grateful. I didn’t want surgery. I was stressing about surgery from the day I found out I would be having it. But at the same time, I spent 6 months knowing that I have tumors inside of my body and was excited to get them out of me. Now I only have 2 tumors so at least there aren’t 3, but I still have to be ok with the idea that there are 2 tumors just hanging out in my liver.

But even though I’m grateful, I’m still a bit skittish about this all. I am supposed to have my next MRI in about 4 months to see what’s going on (as long as there’s nothing that causes me to need a MRI sooner). Once that happens, I’ll meet with the surgery to make a new game plan. We have already discussed a bit of a plan where if the tumors are bigger I’m having surgery and if they are smaller we are going to keep waiting. But if they stay the same size as they are now, it’s a bit of a gray area.

My tumors are small enough and in a position in my liver that they aren’t as risky for me to keep as they were before. But there are still potential risks for me later in life if they stay in there. So there is this great unknown of what the next step will be or if I will be having surgery in the future. One thing I love about my OB/GYN and my liver surgeon is that neither of them are afraid to tell me that they don’t know the answer to something. But it’s a bit frustrating when neither of them know what the long-term plan for me will be.

And if I do sound disappointed about any of this, it’s because I had a plan in place. I was going to have surgery, the tumors were going to come out, and that was going to be that. Now I’m in another situation where I don’t know what my future will be and I don’t like that. I don’t know if in the fall we will have to plan for surgery and then I’ll need to do a lot of the same prep work that I had just done. Or maybe I’ll continue to be a miracle, the tumors will be smaller, and they will be small enough that there are pretty much no risks for me anymore.

The other weird feeling I’ve been dealing with is wondering at times if I totally imagined this all. Maybe I needed the surgery to make it feel real? I’ve had this feeling with some pretty intense news in the past. When I found out my mom had cancer or my grandpa died, I was almost wondering if I dreamt it and it wasn’t real. I was almost scared to talk to a friend to get support because I wondered if somehow I’d find out that it wasn’t true and would feel silly. And that’s a bit of what I’ve been feeling about my tumors. I made a huge deal about them and then it became almost nothing. I feel like I shouldn’t have made such a fuss about them (even though there was no way for me to know they would shrink). But nobody has been making me feel bad about things, only myself.

I know that most of you reading this understand my feelings. I’ve had several friends who have dealt with medical issues totally get what I’m talking about. It’s a weird feeling to want to be grateful but be worried at the same time. And hopefully as time goes by this feeling will be less intense and less often. It’s gotten so much better over the past month and hopefully the next month will make it less of an issue. And eventually, this will maybe just be a weird story that I can share from time to time without having any feelings attached to it.

Feeling Normal Again (or Happy To Be Back In Control)

My last few posts have been about getting back to my usual self. While I haven’t been writing about that too much, I think this is something that I’ve been struggling with for a while. It’s easiest to say that I’ve been struggling since I found out about the tumors because it seems like I’m splitting my life into before tumors and after tumors.

As soon as I knew about the tumors, my life got crazy. There was the scheduling of tests and planning for surgery, but that wasn’t what really got to me as much. It was the disconnect I felt with my body and life because I couldn’t understand how I could have massive tumors and not know about them. I felt out of control and not in charge of my own body and life. It’s such an odd feeling and I wasn’t able to express myself properly.

Control is a weird thing for me. Eating disorders are usually all about control. I question if mine is a control thing since I’ve likely had my eating disorder since I was a kid, but maybe it has a little to do with that. I control what I eat, how much I eat, and when I eat. While I do feel like I’m in a trace while I’m having a binge episode, maybe there is an element of control in that. So to feel out of control isn’t the best thing for my eating disorder.

And when I found out the surgery was cancelled, my first feeling wasn’t one of relief but one of feeling out of control even more. Now, not only did I have tumors and not know about them but they were able to shrink and there’s no way to know why and I can’t control the shrinking. Also, I didn’t know my tumors were shrinking so I was not able to control anything about that.

I really do feel like my soul and body have healed a lot in the past few days. I don’t know what triggered it, but getting back to my regular life is probably a lot of it. I’m a creature of habit and routine and being able to get back into my routine from pre-tumor time is nice. I haven’t had that since October (when we found out there was something wrong with me) and now that I’ve had a few days in my old routine it’s been very reassuring for me. There are still tumor related things in my life (no birth control pill, needing more medical tests, the possibility of surgery in the future), but this is the closest I’ve been to my old routine in a long time.

I’ve been having such a feeling of calm while doing things that I’m used to doing. Being back to a normal work schedule (and not having to work extra hours to bank them for time off) is so nice. I have free time 2 work mornings a week so I can do errands or just take my time getting ready for the day. I’m adding fun things back into my calendar and not stressing about how I’m spending my time after work (before, I was worried if I should be doing something to prepare for surgery instead of having fun). I’m able to get back to auditioning when opportunities come up and not worry about when the shoot dates are. And I can put the idea of my tumors in the back of my mind when I can.

I’m sure that the tumors are going to be something I worry about the rest of my life. Even if at my next MRI they appear to be completely gone, I will still be at risk for them to come back with any hormonal changes I will have in my life (pregnancy and menopause are the two biggest ones I’ll have to worry about). And if I am pregnant in the future, I will have to be monitored a bit more than most women. But I’m lucky that I have an awesome OB/GYN who has been doing so much research on the tumors and how to take care of patients with them. So I think I’m going to be fine as long as I have her as my doctor.

It’s weird how nice it is to feel like I have control again in my life, but I’m glad that I figured out what was making me feel off and how I could fix it. I’ve been wanting to feel normal again for so long and I guess it just took some self-discovery to figure out what it would take to make that happen.