I Won’t Try That Again

Last fall I was in my doctor’s office with a list of problems only a hypochondriac could appreciate. Topping that list was my chronic fatigue, brain fog and my inability to lose any weight. My most bothersome symptoms raised enough red flags for her to explore more. She ordered a battery of blood tests, including thyroid, A1C, B-12, and vitamin D.

The results from the blood tests were fairly unremarkable. My thyroid was normal, my A1c was sort of within range, my B-12 and vitamin D levels were both low (as they have been historically).

To address the lack of weight loss, she advised I visit a nutritionist and recommended the book The New Sugar Busters: Cut Sugar to Trim Fat. I was already familiar with the book. In fact, I read an older version years ago at the height of the no-carb craze. She also mentioned a new weight loss drug called Contrave and asked if I was interested.

Feeling desperate – and if I’m being honest, also depressed – I was definitely interested.

She explained that Contrave worked differently than previous weight loss drugs that had once been FDA approved. Contrave was made up of bupropion and naltrexone which affected the brain chemistry and not the heart. She even thought that the naltrexone would even help give me a boost in energy.

I picked up the prescription and put it away in my medicine cupboard. I wanted to read the pamphlet and research the internet to see if anyone had any early experience with the drug. Admittedly, I was worried about taking bupropion again. Bupropion is an anti-depressant and while I didn’t have nearly the problems weaning from Bupropion XL as I had from Effexor XR, I was still apprehensive in messing with anti-depressants again.

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But, I woke up Thanksgiving morning and decided that it was time to start the Contrave. I had just received the blood test results and that A1C level really bothered me. But that’s for another blog post.

I took one pill as advised and set forth on our day. The plans for Thanksgiving were a lazy morning, a long family walk, small lunch and early dinner with family.

I felt great at first. I don’t remember eating breakfast that morning but guzzled a coffee while out on our walk. By lunch, I was hangry and a little bit nauseous. I chalked it up to not eating anything. An early Thanksgiving dinner ended up being later than expected and I felt downright miserable. Even after eating, I remember feeling just plain awful. I suffered silently the whole car ride home and just wanted to get in bed. Nauseous and dizzy. I lay in bed that night telling myself that I would feel better by morning knowing that what I felt was not normal.


That experience made me feel awful enough not to take Contrave again. Until last weekend.

Like childbirth, we are able to forget horrible feelings. I knew that my first experience with Contrave wasn’t a great one but maybe I did something wrong. Like, not eating breakfast. Drinking too much coffee. Or waiting too long to eat dinner. I definitely knew I would try again but wanted to make sure it was a day that I didn’t have commitments, in case it made me feel yucky again.

Last Sunday morning, I decided it was the day to try it again. Desperation and depression continue to be really great motivators for me.

I ate a good breakfast and popped one pill. I didn’t drink any coffee that morning. I felt tons of energy at first, did a bunch of house chores and then sat down to work on the computer. After about two hours, I started to feel a little bit shaky. I noticed it was close to lunch. I wasn’t feeling hungry but knew I’d better eat something considering my last experience.

Well, lunch came and went, if you know what I mean. I was dizzy, sweaty, and horribly nauseous. I was so sick the entire rest of the day. There I was again, laying in bed, vowing to never take Contrave again.

There is something about my chemistry and this drug that just do not work together. The Contrave site does list the side effects with nausea, headache, dizziness and vomiting being the most common.

In the end, I should have known better. I know that there isn’t a quick fix for weight loss. There isn’t a magic pill, even one prescribed by a doctor. It’s maybe time to visit that nutritionist and exercise regularly and stick to a plan.

Do Nothing

I was listening to a health and wellness podcast last week and the host posed a question that stopped me in my tracks.

She asked: “what if you do nothing, what happens?”

She was talking about taking chances. Asking someone out on a date, trying a new hobby, or quitting your current job for your dream job. It was all very thought provoking but then she put it in the following context. She said “what if you’re unhealthy and you do nothing? what happens? do you stay a little bit unhealthy or does it get worse?

Boom.

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I’ve recently joined up with Revolt Fitness and today is the beginning of the July Uprising.  I’m really excited and terrified about Nichole’s program. I’m fearful I’ll flake out, get lazy, or won’t stay committed. I’m holding on tight to the idea of doing nothing and where that will get me. That paired with Nichole’s tips to create a vision which includes a self contract to “suck less,” creating a vision board, and visualization exercises. Oh yeah, a pretty strict diet and some hardcore daily workouts. I’ve seen some amazing before and after photos from regular moms like myself.

It’s about writing a new story, isn’t it? So let’s go get after it.

Watch Nichole’s story below and come back every Monday if you’re interested in following my journey. I’ll be updating my Facebook page too with exclusive content and would love for you to follow along with me there!

This is a non sponsored post which means I was not paid to write about Revolt Fitness. I did received 8 weeks free membership to the Revolt Fitness program in exchange for documenting my journey.

I Seek Comfort through Eating – Whole Lotta Love Linkup

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Today I’m working with a bunch of other bloggers in an attempt to improve website traffic to my little part of the internet.  Gigi at Kludgy Mom is running a fun linkup from February 14 – 28 called Whole Lotta Love where bloggers are resurrecting posts that received little or no action from readers.  I pulled a gem from last Spring.  At the time, I was hosting a weight loss challenge on my blog.  I had this idea that I would actually get motivated to lose 25 pounds if I was competing for a prize.  It ended up being a colossal fail –  for me, personally – but not for the winner who ended up losing something like 30 pounds.  I learned a lot about myself and my habits during that challenge and I’m sharing with you today when it all became crystal clear: I seek comfort through eating.

 

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It started Sunday night when I treated myself to a cookie, or two, with the promise that Monday I would be back on track especially because Tuesday morning was weigh-in day. That kind of late night weakness is usually where every other diet has gone to shit. And that damn promise to myself. I promise I’ll be good tomorrow. I promise I’ll work out harder tomorrow. Does anyone else make these promises?

Yesterday started out like any other Monday morning. But, I was off. Instead of kicking the day off with a smoothie or something that would give me some lasting energy, I opted for a bagel and coffee. First bad choice. I was rushing to get out of the house and trying to corral the 4 year old who always seems to have other plans and wants to battle at the most inappropriate times. The vet appointment we had turned into a two hour shit storm. I was stressed out and livid at the news from the vet (but that’s an entirely different post), irritated that my kid wasn’t cooperating during the appointment, and bothered that the doctor seemed annoyed that I had my child in tow. Deep breaths. On the drive home I secretly wanted my girl to say she wanted Chik Fil A for lunch because I was ready to ditch my “no drive-thru edict” for a crispy chicken sandwich.

And then it hit me…when my life feels out of control I seek comfort through eating. Truth be told, I’ve kind of known this about myself for a long time. But it was crystal clear today.

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Did this realization stop me from pigging out when we finally got home? No. I should have just made myself lunch but I ripped open a package of cookies, a chocolate bar, tortilla chips, a Twinkie, and a shit ton of almonds (which are supposed to be reserved for my healthy snacks). All that junk made me feel like crap. And I was still reeling from the vet appointment. I didn’t know what to do with myself or how to manage my emotions. It was such a bizarre day. To top it off, I was feeling extremely guilty which left me in a funk all night.

Do you ever have days like this? How do you manage?

Percentage of Weight Loss | An Update

This is what I’ve got for you today. My absolute pathetic percentage of weight loss in the last three weeks.

0.79%

I’m waiting for your swift kick.

Jabs, Praise, and Shingles

The women participating in the #iwillrockthis weight-loss challenge are some serious contenders.  We’ve completed two full weeks and I am so impressed by how freaking fantastic everyone is doing.  I’m almost jealous at some of the tremendous losses.  Not almost.  I am definitely jealous.  It’s not like I haven’t been trying. More on that in a second.

It’s very likely I won’t be wearing this bikini bottom this summer.  Sigh.  I AM NOT GIVING UP.  I got an earful of shit last week after my junk food binge.  Yes, sometimes getting jabbed and told I can’t do it makes me want to prove you wrong.  But, really…don’t we all work better with some praise?

Last week I felt WAY off.  I was dizzy and light headed and I thought it was from consuming so much crappy food that one day or  eliminating sugar and caffeine. Then I broke out in a gnarly rash the size of a deck of cards on my back.  My first thought was that it was a staph infection.  My dog had been recently diagnosed with MRSA – the flesh eating bacteria – staph in her ear and of course I thought I had it too.  I noticed that the rash was spreading in a linear manner across my back around front to my rib cage.  And because I tell everyone everything about what’s wrong with me, I told a friend who said, “I wonder if it’s shingles” (and her point of reference was an old episode of “Nip/Tuck” – for real).  Well, hot damn, she was right!  After about four days of cortisone cream, I went to the doctor who confirmed it was indeed shingles.  Holy crap!  I’m 37 years old.  I thought shingles was an older persons illness.  Oh wait…that’s what I thought about breast cancer too.  Wrong again.  Anyway, shingles is a virus and it causes those flu-like symptoms.  Needless to say, I didn’t do a whole lot in terms of exercise last week because I was beyond wiped out.

It’s been about seven days now and I’ve probably got another seven before it’s totally gone.  I think the worst has passed so I can’t use it as an excuse anymore.  I’m really shooting for a 2-3 pound loss by next week’s weigh-in.  I’ve been near the bottom of the standings – and while I technically took myself out of the competition as being an actual winner of the prizes – I still want to been seen as a competitor.

So are you ready to see some BEFORE photos?  I’m hoping some of the others will allow me to post some before photos of them but this time it’s just me.  Me in my horribly messy bathroom and wearing some super unflattering lounge-around-the-house clothes.

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wendy-will-blog

I’m really hoping by July 1st you’ll see difference.  Fingers crossed.

Jabs or praise?  What do you got for me?


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Weight Loss Challenge Details | Join the Competition

Before I get into today’s post…just a reminder that April 26th is Clean Up Your Pinterest Boards Day! If you’re a pinner then get to Spring cleaning and organizing those boards! Especially work to making sure your pin-links are all valid and working!

i-will-rock-this-competitionSo…earlier this week I announced that I will be hosting – AND PARTICIPATING – in a weight loss competition I’ve dubbed “I Will Rock This”!

I cannot believe the interest from around the way. Tonight over a bowl of ice cream (yes, truth) I finalized the details of the challenge. You know, the nitty gritty stuff: how to sign up, what to expect, what you’ll win. Yes, what you’ll win!

The grand prize winner will win cash money.  Did you hear me?  Cash money!

  • $200 is the guaranteed minimum that the winner will walk away with.
  • On top of that – a $100 gift card to everyone’s favorite red bullseye store!  Amazeballs.
  • A trio of naturally indulgent body products from J.R. Watkins Naturals.
  • Two three-packs of Eyedews – the under-eye rejuvenation treatment formulated to help you look and feel great!
  • A two-hour personal shopping experience with Nicole from The Wardrobe Code!
  • And many more other fabulous goodies to be announced!

The competition begins MAY 1st and will end on July 1, 2012.  Participants will be ranked based on percentage of weight lost – not by pounds!

The last day to enter the “I Will Rock This” competition is April 30th!

If you’re interested in hearing more about the details or how to sign up, leave a comment below (with your email address…don’t worry, it won’t be published with your comment).  If you know that you’re definitely IN you must email me or message me via Facebook.  Got it?

Let’s rock this!

My Time on the Casting Couch

I KNOW you’ve all just been dying to read about my on-camera interview for ABC’s The Revolution, right? My apologies for keeping you hang longer than I had planned. Life interrupted, you know? So…the casting couch. Yes, there was one. When I asked how comfortable I could get on it, one of the girls who was getting the camera ready joked that it wasn’t “that kind of casting couch.” I meant could I sit criss-cross-applesauce or not. True story.

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It was just how you would imagine. The room was no bigger than a broom closet. Two casting directors sat behind a video camera. One took notes while the other asked the questions. I sat on the green love seat and tried to “keep the energy up” – sage advice from my dad who once auditioned for The Dating Game. The casting directors were very sweet and showered me with lovely compliments like “the camera loves you.” Uh, I’ve seen myself on home video and love has nothing to do with it! We talked at length about my goals and what I’d like to do after my revolution. My shallow answers included 1) wearing a bikini (mind you, I have not worn a bikini since I was probably nineteen and I don’t know if I should have been wearing one then) and 2) play in the pool with my daughter. The latter is more important than the bikini as I explained how I turn down play dates and birthday parties that include a pool because this fat ass does not do bathing suits around my slim friends. Thus, my girl misses out.

The hardest part of the interview was remembering to answer in complete sentences. Like anyone, I’m used to just responding to the question asked. But answering in complete sentences – such as Q: Why do you want to be on The Revolution? A: I want to be on The Revolution because… – is a better clip for the producers to use in editing. And speaking of editing, fingers crossed they don’t edit me into some nutty housewife!

We hugged it out after it was over and I was sent home with an assignment. I am to record a home video day-in-the-life-diary of myself to send to producers. I just don’t know how exciting house chores, doctor appointments, and grocery shopping can be.

photo source

Who Wouldn’t Want this Girl?

On a total whim I applied for the new ABC daytime show The Revolution. Have you seen it? It’s hosted by Ty Pennington (Extreme Home Makeover), celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, therapist and relationship expert Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry, women’s health expert Dr. Jennifer Ashton, and “Make it Work” style-guru Tim Gunn (Project Runway). I never expected to hear from them, but guess what? Yep, they called.

ABC-The-Revolution-It's-About-You

I couldn’t believe it myself when I got the voicemail from one of the casting directors. OMG, OMG, OMG! I even debated not calling back because I was afraid of the possibility of actually being chosen. I think I initially applied because I thought they’d never call. But, there I sat on the floor of my bedroom texting back and forth with a girlfriend who said I had to call back immediately! Peer pressure (and loving support) never hurts.

After a ten minute phone call with Amy, I found myself with an appointment for an on-camera interview the very next morning at their production offices. What?!

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If you haven’t seen the show yet, they introduce you to a woman on Monday and show her progress over the course of the week. A week’s worth of footage is actually five months of filming. The women are looking to revolutionize their lives. Most – if not all, so far – have weight loss goals coupled with other issues that may or may not be keeping them from achieving those goals on their own. My favorite has been Mercedes Ramirez Johnson from Texas. She survived an airplane crash years ago that also killed her parents. She’s lived with survivor’s guilt and severe injuries which had made exercising difficult. I was in awe of this woman. She’s a motivational speaker who shares her story and teaches her audience how to overcome life’s obstacles. This chick is a real hero.

Oh, the weight thing. They are looking for women who need to lose 50-100 lbs. While I don’t have that much to lose (thankfully), I think what they liked was my story. A full time SAHM turned cancer patient turned survivor. Amy told me she liked my spirit and my positive outlook on life (she caught me on a good day!). And while I thought her words “weight loss is a life or death situation for you, isn’t it?” was a bit dramatic at first, I think now this statement might forever sit with me.

Everyone knows – well, maybe everyone knows – that breast cancer survivors have a better chance at staying cancer-free with a healthy diet, exercise, and a low BMI. My specific cancer – ER/PR+ – is fueled by estrogen. Though I don’t have any ovaries that produce estrogen, I do have LOTS of fat and that’s estrogen’s favorite hang out. And my cancer cells love estrogen. I’m allowing breast cancer to metastasize if it decides to do so. I’ve created the environment within my body for estrogen and cancer cells to have a crazy party. If my cancer comes back, it’s on me. It’s my fault this time.

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Come back on Friday and I’ll fill you in on my experience on the casting couch and what is required of me next!

Forgettable Fat Mom

I’m in beat up mode so bear with me.

Nearly six months ago I wrote a post about being a fat mom. And last week, on our annual friends and family vacation in Palm Desert, I again was the fat mom I dread so much. When I couldn’t find an excuse not to hang out at the resort pool, I sat in my usual place at the edge of the pool and watched my husband and daughter play in the water. When I did get into the pool, I made damn certain my towel was close by for my exit and went into complete panic mode when someone else swiped it for their own.

The first day out, I sat next to my husband at the kiddie pool and said “you should be ashamed” referring to how fat I was compared to the other bikini-clad moms we were with. He scoffed and said “have you looked around?” He was right. I certainly wasn’t the biggest but I definitely wasn’t the smallest. I was somewhere in the middle and maybe that’s even worse. Forgettable.

Today, I was chatting with a friend who recently spent a weekend away with girlfriends – all which are skinny or really fit – and she was talking about how she was the only one there in a tankini. We laughed about it and I told her she was silly but I felt her pain. I hate wearing a tankini. I hate wearing stupid swim shorts because of the way they cling to my every dimple when wet. I hate that I search endlessly online for a suit instead of confidently cruising into Target for a cute two-piece. I hate that my bathing suit bottoms are the size of granny panties and that ever since I had my daughter — and breast cancer — I can’t find a bathing suit top that doesn’t have underwire and support for days. Pre-baby, my boobs were my saving grace in a bathing suit. Not so much anymore.

For six months I could have been doing something about being a fat mom. I could be eating better instead of binging at night on sticky sweet treats. I could be using that fancy gym membership I pay dearly for each month. But instead, I bitch and moan about how I look and feel. I secretly criticize friends and other women wearing adorable bikinis or even one-pieces and jealously wonder how the hell they manage all the things in their lives and still take care of themselves. I wonder thoughts like “I’ve only had one baby and she’s had three. Why does she have a flat belly and I don’t?” For six months, I’ve done all this and not a damn thing else.

The other thing I get hung up on is that I don’t want my friends and family to look at me and think “wow, Wendy really doesn’t take care of herself.” So, I suck my tummy in or wear Spanx to smooth out my dimples but know inside that I am not fooling anyone. I am not taking care of myself. And it’s showing – badly.

I need a plan. I need a jumpstart. I don’t want to be in this place next summer or the summer after that.

Do you ever feel the same way? Are you successful in managing everything else in your life including yourself?