Pizza crusts counts…

Woke up this morning a bit depressed. Still processing information from yesterday that has me doubting everything. I feel uneasy about things. Not sure what is going to happen always leaves me uneasy and when I am uneasy about things it leads to depression. When I am feeling the depression coming on I feed it food. Lot’s of food, mostly carbs and very little veggies.

Here is how my day played out (food wise)

Woke up had coffee and creamer, two cups. Also had a cup of hot cocoa.  Made breakfast for hubby and I. Six slices of turkey bacon (hubby didn’t want to eat his so I had to help him out) two slices of toast with spreadable butter, two scrambled eggs with cheese. The eggs were cooked in olive oil.

Lunch was the rest of the salad from last night with the balsamic dressing. Had a slice of pizza. The hubby had two slices then gave me his crusts. He is very giving that hubby of mine. I have to count the pizza crusts I eat too, right?

Met up with a friend today around 2PM at a coffee shop. Had a 20 ounce double shot dirty chai latte.

Dinner tonight was one of those roasted chickens from the store. I ate ALL the crispy skin while I was making dinner. I made chicken fettuccine alfredo. I used large egg noodles instead of fettuccine noodles. The sauce was made with milk, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. The secret ingredient was cauliflower. So I guess I did have two servings today after all.

Water is at 125 ounces.

Did expansion core yoga today. Makes me feel a little better.

How did you do?

Then there is this morning…….

There are mornings where I get up because I know that I can have a good cup of coffee if I do.

There are mornings when I get up because I have to. I have to water the yard. I have to do my workout. I have to do my homework. I have to go to work.

There are mornings, more of them lately where getting out of bed is difficult. Not because I am tired but because I physically struggle with it.

There are mornings where I overslept and have to rush around getting lunches made and shoes on, and out the door in record time.

There are mornings where I wake up from a dream that seemed so real that for a moment I am unaware of my surroundings.

Then there is this morning. This wonderful delicious morning that I am reminded that I have been fortunate enough to wake up one more time and be alive.

One more time for a good cup of coffee.

One more time to get the chance to take care of this yard we have earned One more chance to make myself stronger from a workout. One more chance to do homework that will make me a better, more confident and free person. One more chance to work hard at my job and be a good example to others.

One more time that even when it is hard to get out of bed I CAN GET OUT OF BED.

One more time that I can get ready in a pinch if I have to. I like being low maintenance.

One more time to understand my reality is beautiful. I have the husband who adores me, a son who hugs me and shares with me, a home that we own that makes me smile and never feels like work.

One more time to be thankful.. I am a fighter, survivor, mother, wife, sister, friend, neighbor, co-worker, dreamer.

This morning reminds me I have one more day of life that last year was questionable.

This morning reminds me that all things are possible but to focus on the points that really matter.

This morning is beautiful.

 

 

When you leave the frozen gelato in the organic peanut butter aisle….

My son is coming over for breakfast tomorrow. I am planning on making a German pancake with bacon, apple sausage and cider Mimosas. I walked next door to the natural food market to get the bacon and sausage. The meat is organic and nitrate free and from local farms. I walked by the freezer and saw that they had the gelato my husband loves on sale, so I grabbed a pint. I also needed more raw almond butter for my protein shakes. I put every thing down so I can fill my cup up with the freshly ground almonds. Hop over to the register and head on home. A few hours later I am frantically looking for the gelato! I can’t remember if I put it in the fridge or the cabinet instead of the freezer. Turns out I left it on the shelf by the almond butter machine. Hope they found it before it melted all over the floor.

The hubby and I have decided that we need to get our eating back under control. I can’t lose weight, he wants to. So the plan is to eat cereal for dinner. Doing the dishes tonight I realized that we either have too many spoons and bowls or not enough.

Went to the gym twice this week! Got on the treadmill, or as Paula from Never A Dull Bling calls it the ‘dreadmill’ I actually enjoy the treadmill. I got on and started with a walking pace. Several times I bumped it up and jogged! That was huge for me. Tonight I went back to the gym with the same intention. Turned out much better than I thought. I actually ran for half the time on it. Feeling pretty good from that and since I was the ONLY one at the gym I also used the ‘machines’ for some arm and leg strength workout. I am sure I will be super sore on Monday but for a Saturday I am feeling pretty proud of myself.

My heart is hurting for some friends. My friend Paula lost her mother this week. My friend Janice is going to lose her mother shortly. I find that I struggle with dealing with other people’s struggles now. Not that I don’t care and worry and pray for them. I just find that I have a harder time remembering to. I don’t think that is quite right either. I have a hard time getting my brain to wake up and be a thoughtful person.

I messaged a fitness friend of mine that I met via Facebook. I guess friend is a strong word. I found her on YouTube doing Zumba dances that I would learn and use in my classes. then I started stalking her on Facebook, joined her workout group online. She always chats with me like she wants to be my friend. She is a Beach Body Coach so she is trying to get me to sell stuff for her but I think we have connected on a higher level than that. I messaged her about goal setting and new ideas and such. My message to her was just as convoluted as this paragraph trying to explain it.

My hair is another weird phase again. It is finally longer over my ears so I have less wing action going on but have more wild hairs. I am still unsure what I am going to do with it but I have heard that I have two more phases before it is really my hair. So I wait and close my eyes and wear hats often.

Home from my workout, dishes are done and now enjoying a classic movie ‘Woman  of the Year’ If only I could find that drive and passion with a little more compassion and sensitivity than Tess.

 

 

 

Confessions of an out of shape fitness instructor.

 

I have a belly. I have a big belly. I have large and in charge thighs too.Even when I was down to 128 pounds I still had thighs. The thighs rule my closet. The thighs determine what pants/skirt/dress I can wear. The belly determines what shirt/pants I wear.

Funny thing is I am a licensed fitness instructor. Does this mean I am fit? NO. Should it? Probably. Does this mean I have figured out how to eat right? NO. Does it mean I have the tools and knowledge to eat correctly? YES. Do the thighs and belly stop me from moving forward? NO. Does that mean when I get on the scale I don’t cry when I see the number? NO. Does it mean that I know better than to get on the scale? YES.

Tonight I did my Cancercize with Renee B video and wore a crop top. A CROP TOP!! What the hell am I thinking? My belly kept popping out all over the place. I referred to it as my Big Bertha Belly.

Truth is my belly was starting to conform, behave actually. All because I was watching what I eat. What?!?! a fitness instructor admitting that eating right works better and faster than exercise. Sigh, yes it is true BUT you have to keep moving so your body keeps up with the weight loss and you don’t look like a baggy sack of stretchy skin. Besides, working out and moving helps your energy levels and mental stability. Food can’t always do that for you. Bleh it is all about balance. But I digress, we are talking about the belly and thighs….

I often wonder if I am actually doing more harm than good when I do these online workouts with my body shape. My energy levels and strength are lower than I am willing to admit. It is harder to workout and my ten minute Cancercize videos are all I get in on most days. Do I have the right to call myself a fitness instructor with how I look today?

I do you know. I studied and passed the national exams. I went to the training classes and put my time in. I AM a fitness instructor. I AM not perfect. I AM not in the best of shape. I AM trying. I AM a work in progress. I AM what most people are. I do have the right to teach classes and be online and have a Work it Out fitness group. I am real. I am honest. I have bulges. I have low energy. I struggle with a hard workout. I modify all the time. I have food struggles and issues. I have thighs.

Anyway here are some old pictures of me. Hope my friends don’t mind that I shared these. But you can see my thighs and belly in all of them.

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Oh you know, when…….

your husband can’t sleep in the same room as you because you have to turn the loud fan on in the middle of the night.

you have to change your pjs because you sweat so hard they are now wet and cold

your oncologist office forgot about you altogether and when you call they realize it but then turn it into your fault so they are off the hook

you want to beat all your Fitbit friends and find you can barely hit your preset goals of 10,000 steps per day

work is such hostile environment it stresses you out and you have a dozen hot flashes every day there because of it

you can’t quit your job because you need the insurance because of stupid ass cancer and all it’s lovely and hidden side effects

you want to workout more and eat better so on your last day of debauchery you eat a double hamburger on a Krispy Kreme doughnut bun…and that is all you want to eat forever and ever.

you do really well at eating better. no added sugar no bread. then get so stressed out from work and hot flashes (I’ve mentioned them, right?) that you make yourself a personal chocolate cake in a coffee mug and enjoy every warm chocolate flour sugar filled bite

you are craving melted butter on a warm biscuit but have delusions you are still are making good choices (before the chocolate cake idea) so you bake a sweet potato just to have an excuse for eating melted butter

you plan a party then realize how messy and dirty your house really is

you want to stay up late Friday night so you can hang with your friends for bad movie night. Especially when you found out the bad movie is Mighty Morphing Power Rangers.

made plans in your head to hit the treadmill and it turned into watching Hercules on the new channel that just showed up on your t.v.

you really want revenge on your stupid cancer ruined body, yet you give in each time. It truly makes me mad. I am stronger than this. I can work harder than this. I can eat better than this. I can revenge my body and revenge my health!!!! Bleh!

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk about heat stroke….

Okay, what I really want to talk about are hot flashes. My husband calls them heat strokes. When they strike I kind of have to agree with him.

For me I can usually feel when they are coming on. I often feel nauseous, like I ate something bad, then I flush and flash. Jury is still out if it is a good thing to have a warning sign.

I was told that there are triggers to hot flashes and night sweats. I haven’t been able to find a connection yet. EXCEPT for when I sit here on the couch with my laptop on my legs… that is a trigger.

I don’t understand that the moment I lie down in bed I get a horrible hot flash. I also don’t understand that the moment I get up I have a hot flash. Is it the movement? The body adjusting to lying down and standing up?

A blogger that I follow told me she drinks enough wine to sleep through the night sweats. I find this intriguing. Another friend told me that vodka triggers her flashes. Conflicting.

Yesterday I had flashes ALL DAY LONG! I could barely handle it. I was losing my mind. I was also under a bit of stress at work. Does stress trigger them? That is a stressful thought.

I do not know if I will ever adjust to this ‘new normal’ brought on by surgery and chemotherapy.

The other day I had one come on while hubby and I were at the grocery store. He could hear the heavy breathing and discomfort noises I was making. Yes, hot flashes are noisy. He started blowing on me!! Ha ha he was hoping it would help me. It made me laugh but the slimy sweat was still there.

Anyone out there with advice? Coping mechanisms?

Signed: so tired and sweaty

Weird and Random Renee Thoughts…

I am absolutely in love with the word ‘foobys’ right now! Get it? Fake Boobs!! Ha isn’t it a wonderful ‘Renee’ word? I used to make words up all the time as a kid. This is right up my alley.

I am in a Facebook group for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 people. Many women on there had the pre-mastectomy/reconstruction done to help lower their risk of breast cancer. They post pictures and updates of recovery and other challenges. One lady posted a picture of her breast tattoos. Yes, tattoos that cover her brand new foobys! I have NEVER been a fan of getting a tattoo (terrified of needles) but hers looks so beautiful and it hides that she no longer has nipples (I only have one left) I showed the picture to my hubby. He always told me that if I ever got a tattoo he would leave me. I used to joke around that I have an out. He  liked the idea and was so impressed. Now it is something I may consider down the road.

I was at a BBQ last weekend  visiting with a friend in her swimsuit and all I could do was stare at her breasts. Not in a creepy way, but in a ‘man I wish I had gone bigger way’. I sometimes regret that I stayed the same size. My plan was to never tell anyone about the cancer and surgery so the more ‘normal’ I looked the better. Of course it is too hard to hide the effects of chemotherapy. So much for keeping it to myself.

I went to the gym a couple of times last week and it felt wonderful to be moving on the treadmill. I wrote about how emotional it was. I have not been back since. Funny how life gets in the way. The ironic thing is I need to workout so I can keep my life. It keeps me moving, keeps my mental state stable and brings the focus back to getting revenge.

Last week I ate vegetarian for every meal during the week. I had real food on the weekend. I didn’t mind it at all and it was pretty simple. I liked trying to find ways to incorporate plant-based proteins into my meals. This week I don’t seem to care so much. I don’t know if it is the heat, or that I am fighting off a cold, or the lack of a good nights rest. I just don’t care and have been eating everything! Revenge on my body is hard!

Just when I think I am in control, I am not. Just when I think I have things/life figured out I am reminded that I don’t. I just have to find my new normal and run with it. Learning to embrace the journey of finding the new normal…..hmm.

 

emotions…

Today I went to the gym.

This is not a big thing to most. Today it was the biggest thing for me.

It wasn’t a PR.

It wasn’t heavier weights.

It wasn’t a run.

It was me, on the treadmill having a moment.

Let me back up a bit. I was at the same gym on Monday. Same treadmill. Same goal.

Tonight was different.

I started my treadmill. Set my pace (slow) turned on my tunes and tuned out.  I tuned out thoughts of fear, depression, worry. I tuned out the pain of my swollen arm. I tuned out the fact that I wear my survivor/fighter shirts to the gym so others won’t judge me for only being on the treadmill. I tuned out that this is my new ‘normal’. I just tuned out.

With all this tuning out the emotions began turning on.

Fighting back tears. Tears of frustration? Yes. More importantly tears of shear joy that I am capable of going to the gym, getting on a treadmill and mostly that I am  moving. Moving my feet in a perfectly timed cadence. Moving forward.Moving my thoughts to emotions of victory.  Moving, moving, moving.

 

 

 

Inconceivable…..

“Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!”

Today I have decided this is going to be my new go to motto. I know, I know, I am not Sicilian, at least I don’t think I am. Yet, I still feel very drawn to this statement.

The statement in my mind has become: ‘Never go in against a cancer fighter when death is on the line!’

Just hearing the words ‘you have cancer’ almost instantaneously feels like a death sentence. No matter what type, what stage, it feels like death is on the line.

This is when you learn that you are Sicilian.

I started this blog several weeks ago and couldn’t get the words to come out right so I saved it for a little later.

Since then I have lost this enthusiasm and drive. I had a really hard week my first week back at work after the oophorectomy. It was so hot and my whole body ached. I mostly spent my days at work trying not to cry and to pretend that I knew what the hell I was doing.

I am not hurting anymore, at least not like that. Thank goodness! But I still haven’t found this inconceivable drive. I know it must still be in me. Somewhere.

There will always be fears, doubts and pains. I know this. I know I worry about recurrence. I worry that my foobs will always feel like defrosted ice packs. I wonder if I will ever have my energy return. I worry mostly that I will never be myself again.

Then I remind myself. I work, full-time. I go out and do things. I have great friends. I actually went to the gym and did the treadmill. I still do my daily Cancercize videos. I have plans like bike rides, anniversary celebrations, BBQ’s and dancing.

I am in a slump. An emotional slump that is manifesting itself physically. This too will one day be inconceivable! I know one day I will focus less and less on the cancer and the toll it has taken on my mind and body. I will be the Sicilian.

Until then body, as you wish.

 

Endurance

I know it is hard to tell from this picture but this is a hill. A hill I tell you! My neighborhood is either all uphill or all downhill depending on which direction you choose to walk first. In this particular spot the sidewalks are all jacked up from tree roots and such. I always pretend that it is  a ‘Cross Fit’ training sidewalk. Gives my body different movements as I walk along it.

Yesterday I went for a morning walk. I have been struggling with my mojo. I did my Cancercize video and was feeling strong so out the door I went. It is so therapeutic, plus I had just received my new iPod touch and I wanted to use it.

I downloaded the Runkeeper app on it so I could have my music and a running commentary on how far that I was going. It was a great walk

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I was telling my husband what a victorious walk I had! I walked over 3 miles in 45 minutes!!! The Runkeeper app told me so as I was going. Then eventually reality settled in. There is no way that this is accurate. My FitBit said I went about 1 and 1/2 miles.  My Runkeeper app is obviously not working right. Also, isn’t it weird that the picture of calories burned has a picture of a burger in it?

Anyway, while I was walking up this hill I kept telling myself to keep moving. I can do this. Endurance is an act, a purposeful task. It doesn’t come from thinking about something it comes from doing something. I tackled that hill with many thoughts of endurance. I was going to go up further than I have since the surgery. I was going to push myself no matter what. Halfway up the hill I saw two pairs of running shoes sitting neatly on the sidewalk next to each other. I thought to myself: these people were determined to endure this hill too, no matter what!

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I may not have gone 3 miles but I did get up and go. It gave me enough energy and motivation to try driving too. It had been two weeks since I had driven. I worked out, I drove, I visited friends, I picked from a garden. It was a day of me proving that I have endurance.

At the end of the day according to FitBit I did get a total of 3.5 miles in. So I did walk 3 miles yesterday just not in a row.