View Sidebar

Archive for category: Healthy Living Tips

Health Quest – Part 2 – The Pain Of A Changed Body

Health Quest – Part 2 – The Pain Of A Changed Body

As you read in my previous post, Health Quest – The Beginning, I had a really hard year, about 2 years agocostcocartride when I faced 2 major surgeries back to back.  After both surgeries were complete we were in the dead of winter and nearing the holidays and I just had no energy at all.  Rylyn, my youngest, had his second birthday and I barely had the energy to have a family party for him (this coming from the mom who LOVES to throw fun home parties).  By the time Christmas rolled around I had been living on my couch for months resting my foot, and my neck, eating any type of food that my friends and family were happy to bring over, and being pumped full of all sorts of over-the-counter pain medications.  Thankful for God’s provision, I had a non-stop revolving door of friends and family helping me with my kids and driving me all over to run errands.  I even had to use those “special” motorized carts whenever I would go grocery shopping…that was actually fun, but so frustrating and slow!  I wasn’t able to do any sort of strenuous activity for close to 6 months and I felt like my body lost itself, and got a lot bigger in the process.  Talk about frustration.

I actually enjoy exercise and love to run more than anything.  I have vivid dreams fairly often about being an amazing runner, it’s to the point of being silly – I’ve also had dreams lately of being a Duggar…yes, I’m totally serious – I dreamed I was one of their 19 kids.  I really do love to cook and try new recipes – but I also love to eat.  Lots of eating and no exercise don’t mix well, I’m sure you can guess where that left me.  I know being fit is hard and I don’t mind hard work, but I despise hard work when I don’t feel good, or when I’m tired.  I was all of those things, tired of being tired, feeling lazy – but not wanting to be lazy, feeling boot_Kenzoverall just crummy and on top of it all – fat, and there was not a lot I could do about it.  I was beyond frustrated.

At the 6 month mark I was allowed to start exercising again, but told to take it easy.  I slowly worked in running again, but my foot took more than a year to work back into any sort of shape that I could run on it.  I had no idea just how totally changed my foot was from surgery, and the race my husband and I chose to train for was doing more damage than good.  As one month ran into the next, I was still tired, still fat, and still easily stressed out.   I kept telling myself that I’m just recovering, that my body still needs time to heal and get better post surgeries.  I think my docs liked that excuse too, because they all kept saying the same thing – you’ll feel better, just give yourself time.

In August of last year (put me at 1 year post foot surgery) my husband and I decided we needed to run our 2nd half marathon.  I think I did it because I so badly wanted to feel normal again, and to prove to myself that I just needed to will myself to be better and just get over it.  We trained all summer and we never missed a workout – we get really into it – we do a very intensive 12 week training schedule and I love every minute of it.  It’s hard, but so worth it.  During training a new symptom showed up – numbness in my toes on my surgery foot.  This started about half way through training and was terribly painful – I would hit mile 5 and my toes would be completely numb.  I visited my foot doc and his only solution was to do cortisone shots in the nerves or I could once again have surgery to remove the dead nerve.  I cried – mostly out of pure frustration.  I was mad at God – I mean a bunion of all things – the least I could have done was have a much more glamorous injury like breaking my foot while trying to save a puppy or something?!!!  To see how far reaching that bunion was in my body…my goodness!

I got cortisone shots and continued on with my training and tried to “champ” my way through it.  The daymarathon2 of our race dawned and I was excited, but nervous.  I felt good, knew I had trained long and hard, and was ready.  Oh my gosh, it was TERRIBLE!  Our first race was AMAZING!  We had so much fun, I felt great, and I ran my full 13.1 miles without stopping even once.  We crossed the finish line hand and in hand and celebrated like we were royals!  This second race, I got altitude sickness at mile 4 (which I have never had before) and thought I was going to throw up.  By mile 6 my feet were starting to hurt so bad.  By mile 7 I was begging my husband to run ahead of me and I would walk (like a good man, he stayed with me and pushed me along).  By mile 9 I was in tears, and the rest of the race was a complete blur of wailing, screaming, anger, tears, and so much pain and numbness in my feet that I thought nothing could be worse than what I was going through!  I’m not a quitter, but oh did I want to quit this race so bad, it was complete torture!
I’m happy now to say I didn’t quit, I did finish that race, kicking and screaming, but I finished.  Besides knowing that I really disappointed my husband,  I also knew that unless something changed, there was no way I’d be running any more races.  I knew I needed to figure out what was going on and finally get healthy, or so I thought…..

Stay tuned…I’ll unfold more later this week.  Next Monday, April 6th, is the beginning of our change!

Share this post:
March 31, 20150 commentsRead More
Health Quest – The Beginning

Health Quest – The Beginning

denverhalfmarathonIt’s been a very rough 2 years for me and my health.  Some major stuff has happened and some silly stuff, and now two years down the road, I’m still not totally back to normal and am absolutely sick of it.  My husband and I got to spend a ton of time outside this weekend with the kids enjoying the sunshine and fresh air and we talked a lot about the state of my health and how we both are ready to see me being “me” again.  The me of two years ago loved to be outside ALL the time, I loved to run and had no problem training for half marathons (never a full one – but maybe someday), working out 5-6 days a week and still chasing my three young kids around all day.  I didn’t feel the need to take a nap every single day to just get through my days, and was always able to handle a lot of activities and chaos without getting a stress headache and or blowing up at my kids.  Today, I’m the icky person I just described.  I’m tired even after a full 8 hours of sleep.  I feel the need to take a nap every day to just get through the day, and if I don’t, then I’m a mean, crabby lady at 5pm.  I get stress headaches on occasion, but feel like I get them even when I’m should be able to handle my stress.  I don’t get 5-6 days of exercise in because I’m usually just too tired, and sometimes when I do workout, it makes me so much more tired that I know that I’ll for sure need a nap that day to get through the full day with my kids.

I’m sure you are asking, what happened 2 years ago? Right?  Well, 2 years my kids were ages 1, 4, and 6,legoland and we were planning a surprise trip to Legoland, California for the 2 oldest to celebrate their birthdays (which are only 15 days apart).  We planned this trip on a whim and we had such an AMAZING time!!!  It was their first time on an airplane and their first time seeing the beach.  Was truly awesome!  We had a great time on this trip, but my foot started to hurt on the trip.  So totally odd how it just started to hurt all of a sudden.  I didn’t injure myself that I can recall, but as soon as I got home I called a podiatrist.  Upon evaluation it was discovered that I had a bunion.  I know, gross, right?!  Ewww!!! I thought that only old people got bunions – not me, I was only 32 – how in the world did that happen???  Well, it was sort of a freak thing because it was not there before our trip and was mysteriously there after our week long trip – and it was big – and it really hurt.  I had no other option but to let it grow or surgically remove it.  I opted to get rid of it as soon as possible.

I scheduled surgery for a couple weeks later, and I honestly had no idea how bad this surgery was going to be on my poor body – I’m still glad I did it, but it was so much worse than I thought.  Before I could be approved for surgery I had to have a doc give me a full physical to make sure my body was in good enough shape for the actual surgery.  I figured it was just a formality and that I would be approved an on my way quickly.  I had just finished my first half marathon a few months earlier and was feeling fine.  I didn’t even have a GP (General Practioner) doctor – I had only been to my Gynecologist in the past 5 years when I was having kids!  I just didn’t have a reason to go to a doc.  So, it was a huge surprise to me and my family when I went to my GP for my surgery approval physical and she finds a very large mass in my thyroid.  I went to the doc for a quick physical for my FOOT surgery and came out of there needing to go to a whole bunch of new appointments to try to figure out why I had such a huge mass in my thyroid.  Great.  Help me Lord.

bootNow I was in a whole new world of scary.  I was given a great doc to go see about my thyroid who specialized in thyroid surgeries, but of course, I had to a wait a few months for my first appointment with him.  In the mean time they did an ultrasound on my thyroid and it confirmed a very large mass on one side and a couple smaller ones on the other side.  I was starting to get scared, but I had my foot surgery to deal with.  Despite my thyroid issues, I was approved for my foot surgery and it went ahead as planned.  It truly was awful.  Foot surgery is really hard to deal with, especially when you have little kids and a 1 year old that likes to get into everything.  I couldn’t drive, I was in a huge boot – it was hard enough to even walk, going down the stairs was comical.  I had a giant boot on my leg for 8 weeks and it was terribly uncomfortable.  I did get through it though and now I have a few extra pins in my foot and some stiffness, but I had no idea how totally differently my foot would operate and function from the other one.  I have run another half marathon since surgery and that is a whole other story for another time (needless to say, it was AWFUL).

I recovered, and after meeting the thyroid doctor I was told I needed to have immediate surgery to remove the mass that they feared might be cancerous.  Yes, CANCER.  Freak me out.  They told me to get into surgery as soon as possible and they would know as soon as they cut me open if the mass was cancer or not.  Talk about scary!!!  I got the boot off my foot the weekend of my birthday in October and the following week I was having thyroid surgery.  I wasn’t scared, because I knew the Lord had my life and my health all in His plan.  I went into surgery without fear.  My husband knew before I woke up from surgery that the mass was NOT cancerous!  Praise the Lord!   This surgery being only a few months from the last was exhausting, but much easier to recover from – as a result I do have a nice 2 inch scar right over my throat though.  J  My surgeon did a wonderful job and a week later I was feeling a ton better.  I followed up with an endocrinologist and have been told that even though my thyroid is half gone, that it still functions just fine and that I don’t need to be on any medication.  Now 2 years later, I’m a totally different person than the day I was wheeled down the long white hall to my surgery room.  I’m tired – and for a while I thought that was just because I went through 2 majors surgeries back to back, but after 2 years, I can’t use that as my excuse anymore.

About 6 months ago I met a lady who has really changed my life and caused me to look at my health in a totally different way and over the next couple months I’ll unfold more of my health story and my journey that I’m preparing to go on.  Stay tuned, I’m hoping for some great things to come of this!

During this process I’m clinging to this verse, this is who I want to become again!  I can’t wait to laugh again at the unknown!  “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”  – Proverbs 31:25

Share this post:
March 22, 20150 commentsRead More
Are You A Stress Eater?

Are You A Stress Eater?

browniesI love to run. I’m not great at it, but I love it.  I also love to eat, I love food so so sooo much – I love mexican food, salsa and chips, hamburgers, sourdough bread and most of all, BROWNIES!  When I have a really stressful day, either with my kids, or with work, I have a choice between eating a huge, chewy, chocolate brownie (which I love more than you will ever know), or jumping on my treadmill and running a couple miles.  I hate to admit it but, more often than it should, the brownie wins.

It’s so crazy because I’ll catch myself pulling a box of brownie mix from my stockpile whenever I’ve had an unexceptionally stressful day.  It’s like I’m on auto pilot; if I have a misunderstanding with a good friend, or too many arguments with my oldest son over his homework, or if my youngest (who is potty training), has repeated accidents, I automatically reach for a box of brownies to fix it and make it all better. That’s how I know that I’m absolutely a Stress-Eater.

Yesterday was one of those days where it seemed like every corner I turned I was putting out a fire or getting frustrated at my kids. I was trying so hard to be patient and “super-mom” all at the same time and I failed miserably!  Me and the kids has just spent the last hour trying to make glitter-snow playdough that left cornstartch all over the kitchen and the all over the kids, and don’t even get me started with where the glitter ended up.  By 5pm I Kat_Run2was about to chow down on every Christmas cookie that I could stuff into my mouth! I was exhausted and totally ready for a break.  I was stressed to the max and ready to indulge! But, You would be proud, I laced up my running shoes and hopped on my treadmill and ran a couple miles instead.

I’ve just recently been able to recognize that one of my poor food habit triggers is stress.  Now that I know this, I’m trying to replace the desire to eat something that I may regret later, with an activity that can relieve my stress instead. Tada! Running is perfect for this! It’s a great was to melt stress off my body and it’s great for my mood!  It’s not rocket science, but it’s hard to make a good choice when you want that instant gratification that comes from indulging in a yummy treat!  I’m trying to be better at this and recognizing my triggers is the first step!

What are your triggers? How do you deal with stress?  If you are anything like me and tend to turn to food when you are stressed, tired, exhausted, or emotional then consider these tips before you take your next bite:

  • Identify your triggers
  • Make a list of your top triggers
  • Find some type of exercise that you enjoy – walking, running, dancing, zumba, exercise video, karate, etc.
  • Make a list of the exercises you enjoy
  • Hang that list on your refrigerator where you can see it every time you are about to “stress-eat”
  • Actively choose one of exercises from your list next time you are stressed instead of indulging in a treat

It sounds really simple, but it’s actually really hard – for me at least! But I know you can do it!  Let me know how it goes! Good luck!



Share this post:
December 22, 20140 commentsRead More