Dignity in Aging

There’s no dignity in aging that is for damn sure. Along with radiation, isolation this pretty much describes the last couple months of my life. You may recall that I tore my tendon last summer while running. It was a complete buzz kill and put me on a boot and scooter for ten weeks. The injury, a tear in the posterior tibial tendon, was a surgical injury. Unfortunately, in my pre-op blood work they found that my thyroid had gone rogue. I went back two weeks later to ensure it wasn’t an anomaly and sadly it was not.

Now I was sidelined with a torn tendon and a rogue thyroid. I guess they weren’t lying when they said there’s no dignity in aging. Since my thyroid was hyperactive, I was no longer a candidate for surgery, so I opted for the controversial and expensive stem cells injection. Further complicating matters it the fact that our tendons ability to heal is heavily influence by the thyroid. Thus its unlikely that I’ll see a full recovery in the tendon until my thyroid has stabilized. #winning Nonetheless, between the torn tendon and the hyperthyroidism, I’ve been unable to do cardio since late July. It’s been quite the adjustment both mentally and physically.

My visit to the the endo was pretty straightforward. We were both confident that was the culprit behind my hyperthyroidism given that Graves Disease runs in my family. She did stress that I was lucky to have found the disease early as it progresses quite rapidly. Moreover, she laid out a plan of action to confirm our suspicions: more blood work and a thyroid scan and uptake test. If the diagnosis was confirmed, we proceed immediately to RAI (a.k.a. radioactive iodine) treatment. The nice thing about my endo is that she does’t make me come in to get test results or discuss next steps. Naturally, I have my appointments, but it’s nice not having to go into the office each step of the way.

Once my blood work came back abnormal the second time, my GP referred me out to an endocrinologist. Apparently, in South Florida they’re in very high demand. I initially made my appointment in early August for late October. I was none to pleased with that timeline. Fortunately, an appointment opened up in early September.

 

In late October, after more blood work and thyroid scan/uptake test, she called to confirmed that our initial suspicions were correct. It was Graves Disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland causing it to be hyperactive. My next step would be the RAI treatment. Fortunately, I was still able to go overseas and enjoy all that Sweden, Finland and Denmark have to offer before completing the RAI treatment. Admittedly, I was far from 100% during the trip, but I still had the most amazing time. (I’ll be sharing more from the trip in the coming days.)

Once I was back on the continent, the appointment was set and my family I prepared for the three days I’d spend in complete isolation. (Fellow moms, I know what you’re thinking – complete silence and alone time= complete gift. You’re not wrong.) This was also the run up to the Purple Stride event and I was serving as Chair for team and personal development for the first time. We had to buy a lot of disposable plates and silverware, since my dishes couldn’t co-mingle with the family’s dishes. I also bought a lot of cough drops and throat spray as throat pain is one of side effects of the treatment.

Early November 19th, I headed over to DCA where they’d administer the RA-131. By this time, I was anxious to get it over with and get back to normal. They called me back and then there was a problem. When they called to schedule, they neglected to tell me that a negative pregnancy test had to be on file. At this point, I was quite aggravated and not willing to move my appointment. It was, after all, their mistake.

Fortunately, I was able to negotiate a compromise with the tech and radiologist. I quickly left DCA and headed to CVS where I bought the cheapest pregnancy test I could find. I hurried back to DCA, took the test, handed it to the tech and got my RAI. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the mini-keg the pill came in. I did have some trepidations as the tech handled the keg with thick lead gloves as she pulled the pill out of a thick glass test tube from within the keg.

The following days were quite uneventful. I worked from home effectively only missing conference calls since my throat hurt and my voice was weak. I binged watch all of the shows and movies I can’t ordinarily enjoy in a house of boys. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed that my neck didn’t glow. I had grandiose plans of making a video of me singing radioactive with a glowing neck, but alas that couldn’t happen. Since the boys were off that week, they took times dropping off water and food to my room. By the end of the three days, I was ready to see civilization again.

 

As I mentioned, the boys were all home from school that week. You would think that while I was in insolation things like the dishes, sweeping, and putting away clothes would have been taken care of, but alas they were not. No sooner had I left my isolation than I was already willing to go back into it.

It’s been almost six weeks since the RAI and my thyroid should be slowing down by now. However, my thyroid, as mentioned before has gone rogue. It is now more hyperactive than it was before. Needless to say, I’m quite disappointed. I cannot go back to working out until my thyroid is no longer hyperactive. So say a prayer that when I go back to my Endo in six weeks, my rogue thyroid has been reformed and on it’s way to being normal or hypo.

In the meantime, I’ll continue taking the beta blockers and trying to adhere to a sedentary lifestyle that’s miserable. The disease has made watching Goalielocks in net a bit perilous. Fortunately, the beta blockers keep my heart rate and rhythm from being totally ridiculous. Thankfully, the Mayor is a second year peewee and not in a checking league, so his games are still pretty relaxing for me. (You know I had to bring some hockey into it!). I’m utterly exhausted day in and day out, which is a major downside of the disease and the meds I’m on.  Sleep is hard to come by when your thyroid is hyperactive. The beta blockers make it even more difficult. One thing is sure, when this is over and it will be soon, I’ll be quite grateful for good health and the ability to be active. I cannot wait to run again!

 

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It’s That Time Of Year

It’s that time of year folks: it’s Girl Scout cookie time.   To be honest, it’s a bit cruel to start selling these delectable cookies a mere 3-4 weeks in our new years resolution.  Who can resist a Samoa, Thin Mint or Tagalong?  These sweet, little morsels of evil come around just a we’re starting to hit our “new year, new you” stride.  Frankly, they’re cryptonite to those of us with a sweet tooth.

While they may have derailed me in the past, they will not this year.  This year I have a plan.  Oh yes, my strategy is to leave them out, grab 1 or 2 and let the boys finish them off swiftly.  I bought a paltry five boxes, which in a house of 3 teenage boys will probably last me about 24 hours.  In fact, I’ve been home no more than an hour and already 1.5 boxes are gone.  #Winning

Unfortunately, these cookies aren’t calorie or sugar free, which is a total bummer.  Moreover, some are so sweet, I feel a cavity  and 10 pounds coming on as I eat them.  This, of course, is why my master plan is so important.  Thus far, I’ve only had one.  Can you see me patting myself on the back?  Because I totally am.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be headed to Circuit Burn in the morning and Zumba in the evening.  The two-a-days will also help counteract the evil doings of the cookies.   I’ve been off the gym for a week due to the sinus infection, Goalielocks’ almost procedure and my ankles.  Consequently, I’m looking forward to getting back to hitting the weights and the TRX.

Tonight’s song performed by Three Doors Down is “Krptonite.”

National Eat Your Kid's Halloween Candy Day

Happy National Eat Your Kid’s Halloween Candy Day

Guess what day it is!  Not only is it hump day, we’re over half way there, it is National Eat Your Kid’s Halloween Candy Day.  A little known holiday that’s a bit of mystery outside of the parenting circuit. Nevertheless, it is a very important one.  As a parent, we’ve earned the right to pilfer their candy.  If we left it to them, we’d only get the raisins, pencils or pennies.  We can’t have that nonsense!

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Back in my day, you hit the mother load when you got a full size candy bar in your bag.  Oh how we have raise the bar!  Goalielocks came home with several king sized bars last night.  Could you have imagined that back in the 80s and 90s?  If this seems excessive, it is.  However, it does help mitigate the loss of candy to National Eat Your Kid’s Halloween Candy Day.

 

In order to mitigate the extra calories, I headed back to the Barre for more fun.  It was another fabulous class. Truly,  I can’t recommend Adam’s class highly enough.   Let me tell you, Xtend Barre is a lot harder than it looks.  I felt the first class for almost a week!  You can imagine my horror when I got to class and the dreaded Bosu was back.   Literally, the last time I did the class on the Bosu, I couldn’t laugh, sneeze, cough or move for like 5 days.  It hurt my abs to simply exist.

Unfortunately, I’m battling a nasty cold.  I am praying that I’m done with the coughing fits before the pan of tonight’s class hits my abs.  Otherwise, sweet mother of Jesus,  there will not be enough Aleve in the world to cure my ills.  If I’m looking at the bright side, the good news is that class is superbly effective.  I guess that’s what keeps bringing us all back now isn’t it.

Tonight’s song “I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow

 

Jus Cleanse Bandwagon

Jus Cleanse Bandwagon

I admit it, after much consternation I jumped on the Jus cleanse bandwagon.  After struggling to lose both the Norway and Hurricane Irma weight, I figured why not try it.  I researched several cleanses.  I quickly realized that I would need a cleanse with more than just juice if i was going to be successful.  Fortunately, I found a cleanse on Groupon from a reputable company with tons of good reviews.  It was reassuring to see numerous people write that they didn’t feel hungry or fatigued while on the cleanse.

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Consequently, I bought a 3 day cleanse from Jus By Julie.  The cleanse itself was came with nine juice and nine soups.  The juices were Sweet Spin Juice (kale, spinach, pineapple, rice milk and mango), Spicy Pomegranate (think master cleanse with pomegranate), and Berry Chia.   I enjoyed each of the juices including the Spicy Pomegranate.  These juices are blended not cold pressed, so there is considerable pulp in some of them.  I don’t mind pulp, but if you’re not a pulp person these juices probably aren’t for you.

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In addition to the juices, the cleanse came with 9 different soups.  There’s too many to name here, but some of my favorites were: split pea, carrot ginger, red lentil, coconut pumpkin bisque and the detox broth.  Each of the soups, like the juices, is vegan, gluten free, kosher, non-GMO and dairy free.  If you have sensitivities to any of the aforementioned items, this cleanse will be perfect for you.  While the soups have no dairy, gluten or animal products, what they do have is a lot of good flavor.  I was honestly impressed with the quality and flavor of all nine of the soups.

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Was I hungry on the cleanse?  Absolutely, but I’m always hungry.  I could eat sixty four Thanksgiving dinners still be hungry.   At the end of each night, I was hungry, but I wasn’t dying from hunger.  In fact, I had expected to be much hungrier at the end of the day.  From a calories perspective, it wasn’t super low calorie, which is good.   I felt it kept my calories at a safe level without being too high or too low.  Unquestionably, the most surprising aspect of the cleanse was how I felt on the cleanse.  Surprisingly,  the cleanse left me feeling energetic and amazing.  While teaching Zumba on the cleanse, I felt great and full of energy.  This was a truly pleasant surprise.

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Confession time.  The cleanse directions state that  you’ are to give up solid foods and coffee creamer while on the program.  I have no problem with the food, but admittedly I couldn’t give up my Dunkin.  Nonetheless, the cleanse was still effective for me even as I continued to drink my cream laden coffee.   I know there’s a cacophony of differing opinions on cleanses, which makes it difficult to truly evaluate their worth.    However, at the end of the three days, I was down four pounds and feeling fantastic.  It is definitely something I will buy again and something I’d recommend trying.

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Where can you buy it?  The best option is via Groupon as it sells it for $59 plus shipping vs. the list price of $125 on Jus By Julie’s website.  They ship the juices and soup to you frozen at a cost of $20.  Jus By Juile packs their products into a Styrofoam cooler with a generous amount of ice packs.  I was impressed that the cleanse survived being delivered to sunny South Florida in the early October heat.

Groupon: click here
Jus by Julie: click here

 

 

Affiliate disclosure: Some of the links of this site are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earning a commission if you click through and purchase.

simple Saturday

Simple Saturday

Today was a nice, simple Saturday.   I was beyond exhausted after the craziness of Irma and work.   I ran a little over three miles last night, which marked the 5th straight day of running for the Piggie and I.  We haven’t ran outside since before our Norway trip, so it’s been a bit taxing for me as we recreate our running habit.  Like many in S. Florida, I’ve been fighting off a cold/sinus bug since the storm.  Consequently, I slept like a baby until almost 11:00 am and it felt amazeballs.  My sinuses, however, do not feel amazeballs.  giphy (19)giphy (20)

I had the distinct honor and privilege of grocery shopping once I finally got out of bed.  I’m not even being sarcastic here.  I got to have a normal, sort of, Target run today.  This trip wasn’t an emergency hurricane sustenance run, but a get our normal Target stuff run.  Except it wasn’t our normal Target run because they still haven’t been able to restock their perishables fully.  I got as much as I could at Target, and more (thanks Target), but have to make a trip to Publix and BJ’s to get  our perishables.

I was loving my newly found freedom to be out and about..   After being caged up for the weekend, which felt like years, it was awesome to be out and about.   I made a Kohl’s run.  I had to pick up some new sheets for our bed.  There is nothing more tedious or boring than shopping for sheets.  In addition, to the boring sheets I had to buy I had to pick up some casual shoes with better support for my foot.  Who knows what I did to it, but it hurt like a mother pucker this morning. I obviously had to buy a pair in both black and brown.  A girl has to have options.  Nevertheless, it should be an interesting run tomorrow….

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Dinner tonight came courtesy of Goalielocks, who found a recipe for cheeseburgers made from chuck roast online.  Goalielocks cut up the chuck roast, grounded it up and formed the patties.  I have to say I was impressed with his ingenuity and his drive to make these tasty and flavorful burgers.  Moreover, I’m happy to see another one of my boy’s cooking independently – their wives will thank me later.   As for the burger, it was delicious.  Goalielocks really impressed me with his culinary skills, however, it looks like a burger bomb went off in my kitchen.  Baby steps….. 

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The Trouble With Travel

The trouble with travel is hockey is trying to maintain healthy eating habits when the majority of your weeknights are spent at the rink and your weekends are spent driving across the state to other rinks.  Hockey season doesn’t have to be a diet killer if you’re well prepared.  Just like you would take the time to prep our meals for the work week, you have to take the time to prep your snacks  and meals for the road.

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After hundreds of miles on the road, the ease and quickness of fast food is alluring.  If, however, you’ve planned ahead and prepped your snacks and meals for the road, it is easy to drive by or skip out on the fast food.  Removing the temptation and not wanting to waste food will go a long way to keeping you on the diet wagon.

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Here are some great ideas for healthy snacks and easy meals for the road.

  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Stringed Cheese
  • Apples or apple slices
  • Peanut butter or almond butter
  • Oranges – clementine’s are perfect for road trips as they are very easy to peel
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Popcorn
  • Baby carrots
  • Protein Shakes
  • Protein bars
  • Granola bars
  • Yogurt
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Celery sticks

If you carpool with other families, be sure your snacks align with any food allergies that may be present in your carpool group.

These snacks are easy, convenient, healthy and relatively inexpensive especially when compared to the cost of eating at a restaurant every trip.  For tips on how to indulge in an adult beverage or two without calling your waistline, see my tasty, but light on calories recommendations here.

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Finding Balance

We all have an Achilles heel that can trip us up as we pursue our fitness and health goals.  Sometimes, it is only a minor slip up that causes our healthy habits to start to taper off.  If you’re like me, a cheat meal can easily converts into a cheat week.

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So how do we stay the course without driving ourselves nutty?

  • Allow yourself latitude to miss a workout or eat a treat. It’s okay to not be perfect.
  • Don’t cut out whole food groups completely. Ditching carbs is certainly effective, but not practical long term.
  • Don’t give up everything you like. I can give up almost everything, but don’t make me give up or change my coffee!
  • Have a battle buddy.  Together you can keep each other on track and disciplined.
  • Sign up for a race or event, so you have a milestone to work towards.
  • Practice yoga, it will reduce stress (and stress hormones) and help you avoid injury by keeping you flexible.

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These are just a few tips you can use to taper off your unhealthy habits and convert them into healthy habits and on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

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A Harsh Reality of Adulting

One of the cruelest realities of adulting, by far, is portion control. Who knew that as a women as soon as you turned 25, your metabolism would start slowing to a crawl? That burger you could eat once eat without even thinking about soon gives you pause. The large plate of spaghetti you once ate, turned into a medium plate, at 30 it turned into a small plate and at 35 it turned into a plate of carbless noodles. Doesn’t that sound appetizing?
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Seriously consider the portions you get at a restaurant. Some our 2-4 times the recommended serving size. Depending on the day and the discipline level, this may work for you. As one meal could turn into 3-4 meals that wouldn’t entirely kill your waistline. On a bad day, it could undo weeks of disciplined eating and hard work at the gym.

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If you look at your diet and you’ve cut a lot of the junk out but still aren’t losing weight, take a look at your portions. Many of us eat pretty healthy, but portion control can trip you up. Even if you only eat healthy fats like almonds or avocados to excess, the end result will be the same. You’ll gain weight as your calorie intake exceeds the calorie intake. One of the best ways I have found to counter this is by tracking what I eat and holding myself accountable. My kitchen scale, measuring spoons and cups are my best friends in maintaining healthy portions.