Dis-Courage

I admit it. I’m a wuss. A coward, even.

Well, maybe not a coward. It’s not that I’m “afraid” to go back to exercising with my friends…or am I?

One thing’s for sure: I’m definitely discouraged. Between the month or so we all took off to prepare for Estrella war and my work schedule, I was off the wagon for too long, causing me to regain almost all of the weight I had worked so hard to lose. Couple that with the new exercises that we’re doing that require more coordination (which I highly lack) and you have a recipe for relapse. I just can’t make myself go anymore. I think about it. I try to psych myself up for it. But in the end, most days I end up staying home and wallowing in self pity.

Am I doomed to be obese forever? I used to be skinny; as early as ten years ago I was skinny. Then the move to Arizona happened, and the stress of not knowing if I’d have a job and having to make new friends got to me, and I stress-ate like a madwoman. I moved into an extended living facility (basically a hotel that has a pseudo-studio apartment for a room) and it was a lot of frozen dinners for me. That didn’t help. Then I met my husband who feeds me quite well, and I just ballooned. It’s been an up-and-down battle for years, one that I feel like I’m losing.

The most recent weight gain is the most depressing yet. I had worked so hard to lose that 10+ pounds only to have almost all of it back within a couple of months. I almost feel like “What’s the point? I’ll just gain it back in weeks the second I stop this” and I’ll end up quitting. I guess I kind of almost have quit already. I have no more motivation, no drive. I’d rather sit at home and wallow in self pity than get out there and exercise with friends.

I guess I’d better sign off for now. The cats keep walking across the keyboard in an attempt to get their morning wet food early, and I’m tired of deleting the jibberish they type.

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Counting my losses

Having just finished week….uh…three of exercises after work a few days a week, I am already seeing an improvement, and it’s kind of startling me in more ways than one.

First off, I have noticed that I’m less sore the next day. I’m taking this as a good sign that I’m building up stamina and strength. I can, for the most part, do the individual exercises longer or for more reps. It feels pretty good, especially for a girl who never, never has been physically fit. Not really.

Secondly, I’m less winded. Again, I think it’s part of my general physical fitness improving. I’m wheezing less after exercises, which feels great (and there’s less chest pain from the wheezing, which also feels great lol).

Another improvement–which is more quantifiable–is my actual weight. I have lost more than ten pounds in the past couple of weeks. I still need to lose a substantial amount (damn near a whole person, or at least a small person), but that is more improvement than I’ve had in quite some time. My surgical scrubs at work fit better, and I’m not having to do the “pants dance” to get into them as much.

The best part? I’m still motivated!! Normally I’d have given up by now, at least on my own. With my friends and husband joining in and encouraging me, I have no desire to stop. Instead, I look forward to the Monday/Wednesday/Thursday workouts. I’m even truly disappointed if I have to miss an exercise session because of work. Disappointed that I can’t work my ass off! It kind of blows my mind a bit.

I’m really glad that my husband and our friends are there to help and encourage me. Without them cheering me on, I don’t know that I’d be able to do even ten seconds of planking, let alone be pushing a minute some days. Yeah, I’ve only made the whole minute I think once without having to drop to my knees or drop down altogether, but just the fact that I can make it even half a minute is amazing. I can do more push-ups than I ever could before, and exercises that used to have me almost in tears are becoming easier.

Bottom line: I. Feel. Great! If I’d known exercising could have been like this before, I wouldn’t be as obese as I am now!

 

Bye-bye cravings?

A couple of months ago, I started on a new medication to try to help me lose weight. Now I don’t know for sure yet if the medicine has taken effect (because I haven’t weighed myself in a good couple of weeks), but in the past week or so I’ve noticed that I’m eating much less than previously, to include not bingeing, eating smaller portions, and not eating as many high-calorie or high-sugar foods. I even saw a huge container of homemade cupcakes in the break room at work today and found myself having no desire to take one.

I’m really excited to weigh myself soon and see if there’s a difference. Between the decreased hunger and cravings and the increased exercise, I think I might start making progress. My clothes aren’t really too much “bigger” (except maybe my surgery scrubs) but even if I haven’t lost actual poundage I am feeling better about myself and not feeling as gross, fat, and sluggish. Sleep is still a foreign concept to my body, apparently, but otherwise I’m feeling good about my physical health lately.

Now it’s a matter of keeping it up. Maintaining. Telling myself I can do better and consciously avoiding the bad stuff. Going to exercise as often as I can. Basically, keep up what I’m doing and maybe I”ll lose some weight finally. After a couple of years wayyy up there, I’m ready to be down to at least a reasonable weight. Like, not obese. That would be nice.

Is it the medicine or just coincidence that my cravings are falling by the wayside? I don’t know yet, but I’m damn sure gonna keep doing what I’m doing. This will be great for my self-esteem and overall health for sure.

Ironing out the details

Once again, I must get cracking on my husband’s cosplay coat. There’s just one little thing that’s halting my progress the past couple of days:

Ironing.

It’s not that I don’t know how to iron; it’s just that my most productive time of day is first thing in the morning, and sometimes I’m too tired to be productive then. Like, so tired I should not be operating an iron. Burns = bad.

Once I get the interfacing all ironed on the pieces it goes on, though, it’s gonna be crank-out time. Sewing away in the mornings and on the weekends, busting butt to get it done.

My husband is working on a leather bracer, a sort of “flamethrower” for my costume (since Dark Phoenix is all about the telekinetic flames). It’s great that we have some friends who are willing to help us out with our cosplays, because without them we’d have been lost on the leatherworking with these latest costumes. Our skills have increased since we began this project, though, which has me feeling pretty good about things.

Having a circle of friends again (after having gone so long with no one really to hang out with) is weird. Like, all of a sudden we have a social life. Plans. We’re going out and doing things. With other people. Who like spending time with us. Weird.

I gotta admit, it’s a little exhausting, especially with all the cosplay work (and the day job) on top of the new social activities. Suddenly we’re doing something on almost every day off–and even some workday afternoons–and it’s a little overwhelming. Not that it’s not fun; I have a blast hanging with our friends. It’s just, like…surreal.

The funny thing is, the most fun I have is when we’re doing rapier practice. Yeah, I get bruises out the wazoo, but it’s exercise that I actually enjoy. And it’s a blast. Fucking swordfighting in the 21st century. Wicked. I wish I’d known about this when I was younger, before age caught up to me and my metabolism ground to a halt. Maybe, if I’d been fighting with rapiers earlier, I wouldn’t be the fatty that I am now. Yeah, yeah, big is beautiful too, but I want to be comfortable with my weight. Which I’m not at the moment.

And I just realized something that has my cosplay panic revved up to a new level of panic: We’re going to have house guests (apartment guests?) after Comicon for a couple of days. I have to clean up the craft room as soon as I’m done with hubby’s coat.

Crap.

Health of a different sort

It’s that time again! Yep, I have my 3-month psychiatrist checkup today.

How fast those three months fly by. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was there? Okay, maybe it hasn’t flown by quite that fast…but it doesn’t seem like three months.

I’d like to think I’ve been doing okay. Aside from not having the motivation to work on cosplay, which I don’t think is related to the bipolar disorder, I think I’ve been doing okay. I haven’t had any severe manic or depressive states that I can recall since my last visit. Been pretty stable.

There is one thing I want to discuss with my doctor, though: a new weight loss prescription I saw a commercial for not too long ago. It’s a combination of two psychiatric drugs, and I’ve been on one of these drugs before. I really think it could help me cut my cravings and stop just stuffing my face all the time.

I don’t trust most (okay, all) over-the-counter weight loss supplements/drugs. A lot of it isn’t FDA regulated like prescription meds are, and there’s no telling how they’d react with my prescription medicines. I’d rather, if my doctor would allow, take the new prescription and try that. So fingers crossed!

I saw my rheumatologist the other day and learned that she thinks I need a chest x-ray. Yep, the cough is still here, though it’s getting better every day, and she is I think concerned that it could be related to one of my RA meds. Fun. Except x-rays can be expensive. And it’s the beginning of the year, so of course I haven’t even come close to meeting my deductible. Yuck.

We’ll see how the cough does in the next week. If it’s still there, I might get that x-pensive ray. Maybe. We’ll see.

The Great Weight Debate

I’ve been morbidly obese for probably close to two years now, and while exercise is fleeting at best (going out walking in the winter sucks), hunger and cravings are exponential. Especially the cravings.

There’s a new drug on the market that I’ve seen commercials for…well, not new-new, but a new combination of two older drugs that have previously been used to treat addiction and mental illness. Hell, I’m already crazy and I’m addicted to food and caffeine, so why not give it a shot?

Next time I’m at the doctor’s (which is sometime this month), I plan on asking about this prescription to see if it’s something I can try. I mean, can’t hurt, right? I’ve even been one of the two meds before (for OCD behaviors like cutting and picking at my skin). So it’s likely safe to take with my other meds, and if the other part of the combination drug might interact with my other meds the doctor would be able to tell me.

Here’s where the PSA comes in: do not take diet pills or any such medications without consulting with a doctor. Seriously. Don’t do it. It’s dangerous as shit and most of the over-the-counter stuff isn’t really FDA regulated as strongly as prescriptions are. Some OTC stuff isn’t even FDA regulated at all, meaning there’s no QC as far as how much of what is in it or the quality of the ingredients. Even prescriptions can be dangerous, so talking with a doctor is a must. Talk with your pharmacist, too. Licensed medical professionals. People with medical and pharmaceutical degrees. Not your second cousin twice removed’s best friend who you kind of know on Facebook. Not even me. Half the time I’m talking out of my ass, but here I’m serious. Talk. With. Your. Doctor.

If you’re overweight (or even think you are), you need to see a doctor on a regular basis anyway. Get your annual physical, get weighed (as much as it sucks to do), get tested for diabetes and heart disease and any other things that can be affected by weight gain.

A lot of people try to recommend over-the-counter stuff to me for weight loss, and I flat-out turn them down. I mean, I take enough meds as it is between the bipolar disorder and the rheumatoid arthritis…do I really want to take some random OTC drug that may or may not severely interact with one of my other meds? Uh, no. I do not. I want to stay sane and safe.

I risk enough drinking as much caffeine as I do. I take a prescription stimulant to stay awake during the day because I have a tendency to nod off at random times if I don’t. No lie–they even tested my blood for narcolepsy years ago because of this. No narcolepsy associated antigen was found, but lemme tell you, if I don’t get my prescription and/or don’t have any caffeine, I’m zonked. I fell asleep a few times watching Rogue One recently. A freaking Star Wars movie! How can I do that? Well, I didn’t drink any caffeine before going to the movie. Zzzzz. Oops. But that lends to addiction, and to risk of heart problems because my pulse rate is usually sky high even at rest. So another PSA: don’t be a dumbass like me and OD on caffeine.

Anywho, to make a long story even longer, be smart about medications. Even if you think you have no other choice besides OTC “miracle” meds or miscellaneous herbal stuff, talk with your doctor. I want y’all to be safe. I want me to be safe. So I’m taking the plunge and asking about this new medication. It may be costly (most new meds are, sadly), but if I want to get serious about losing this weight I’ve got to cut my cravings, and I just do not have the self control for it. Who knows, maybe losing the weight will help me sleep better…maybe it will amp up my energy enough to where I don’t need the caffeine as much. Maybe I’ll fit into that corset for Phoenix Comicon a little better.

Lotsa maybes, but nothing’s certain until you try.

Just try responsibly.