Tag Archives: health

The Things I Do For Love

Long-time readers of this blog, or knowers of me, are well aware that I have a severe needle phobia. Actually, to call it a needle phobia is an understatement. I have a crippling fear of any kind of medical work which involves me, my blood, pointy objects extracting my blood or touching my skin, and doctors in general. So, deciding to get pregnant was the ultimate in forced therapy. After a few months of actual cognitive therapy, some intensive internal work, and good medication, at 28 weeks pregnant I was able to accomplish my first ever blood draw. And I mean ever. Nearly 30 years of life and I’d escaped with no more than a finger prick or two and no shots since middle school.

After jumping that hurdle, I thought when my nurse midwife told me I should get a Tdap vaccine to help protect Baby G from pertussis (whooping cough), that it would be no sweat. Then, she told me they didn’t offer them at the birth center due to requirements around storing vaccines, so I could just pop into a CVS or Target – really any pharmacy, and just get one. That’s when I started to get nervous. It is one thing to face your fear in a nicely decorated room with a nurse midwife you’ve been bonding with over the past few months, some relaxing music, effective medication, and your husband squeezing your hand. It is another to walk up to a Publix pharmacist and ask them to perform a procedure on you in the middle of a grocery store which is literally the thing you fear most in the entire world. Like, seriously. I can’t undersell this. I’m so okay with child birth, and totally terrified of a tiny needle. Why? Because one is totally my body going into action and doing something it was programmed to do. The other is trusting someone else to inflict pain on my body for ultimately good reasons. It’s a mental thing. Totally mental.

So, yesterday was the day. Although he probably didn’t need it, I asked Brian to go with me and get one too. I then asked him to go first, totally chickened out myself, violently ugly cried, and told him this wasn’t happening. Poor Publix pharmacist. Probably the worst day of work he ever had. He was super nice and patient though. Mad props to Publix. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to do it, honestly, except for the nurses I’d been working with at my birth center. So we left the pharmacy area. I was so mad at myself, but just couldn’t face my fear. We go to check out (because we also came to buy groceries, duh), and I’m just mentally berating myself. The check out lady starts looking at Brian like he is a horrible person because my face is all red from my ugly cry. I can’t stand to hear her kindly asking if I’m okay, so I stalk off to the bathroom to give myself a pep talk.

“You can do this,” I say. “You will not let your baby be 1 of the 20 who die each year because you can’t handle a stupid prick which will take less than 5 seconds of your life. You are going to get back out there, walk up to the counter, and let Ryan (the pharmacist) give you this damn shot.”

And I did. Because already, I love this damn kid more than anything in the world. And although the chance might be a tiny one, whatever I can do to protect him where I can, I’m going to do it. And, just like my dad and mom used to do for me when I got those shots back in the day, I treated myself to ice cream after.

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On cleansing – Day #4 and post-cleanse

For lunch this afternoon I incorporated meat, cheese, and pasta back into my diet all in one go. I’m anxiously (and a bit nervously) waiting to see how my body responds. It has been about half an hour, and so far so good. 

So how’d the cleanse go? Well, I lost 7 lbs all said and done. I thought I’d plateaued at day 3, but the morning after day 4 I was down another 2 lbs. Most juice cleanses are recommended at three days, but I’d certainly recommend four days. I probably could have gone the full seven, but this was a nice introduction to the process. Most undoubtedly the majority of weight lost was water weight, but I haven’t felt this good about my body since high school. I know I’ll have to make smarter decisions to keep it this way. I’m excited about the prospect of a healthier diet combined with my normal exercise regimen. This process has made me more confident in the knowledge that I really can have the body I want – as long as I exercise discipline, consistency, and smart decision making. 

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First day post-cleanse I stuck to the plan and ate a mostly plant-based diet. Breakfast was an Activia yogurt, mid-morning snack was a small apple, lunch was a field greens salad hold the cheese and dressing. I used a ‘dipping’ technique to use very little dressing, but I did need a bit for flavor. I mean, let’s be real, chewing on lettuce just doesn’t taste good. The heirloom tomatoes in my salad had an amazing burst of flavor. I suspect my taste buds are a little more sensitive to natural flavors now. Had the salad had more tomatoes and cucumbers, the dressing may not have been necessary at all. Throughout the evening I snacked on sliced fruit and threw in a handful of nuts for some fat and protein. I felt good, but a little hungry. It is amazing how having a juice (or, I suspect this would work with a small meal/snack) every 90 minutes to 2 hours really kept hunger at bay. 

So here I am post-cleanse, and I’m tentatively back in the realm of deciding what to eat. It is a bit scary out here, and given I’m at the start of a week of business trainings (full time job and Mary Kay) where food is provided for me, I’m limited in my options — hence the whole meat, cheese and pasta experience. When all you have available is deli sandwiches and tri-colored tortellini pasta salad, that’s what you eat. Or, you become the weird girl who only ate cucumbers at lunch. Or, alternatively, the snob/health freak who went across the street to the juice bar. And so, sandwiches it is. I am proud to say I avoided the Doritos and Oreos. Small victories. For breakfast I ate a small plate of fruit and a blueberry pastry. Man, what a sugar rush! I felt completely buzzed for all of an hour, and then felt a noticeable crash. It is amazing how little you notice the impact of foods high in sugar when you eat them all the time. Suddenly my constant fatigue, mid-afternoon crash, and inability to leave my couch after an ice cream binge all make much more sense. Tonight I’ll be choosing salad for dinner to help bring back the balance to my diet and give my body the nutrients it’s come to love these last five days.

If you have any burning questions I didn’t touch in this overview, please post and I’ll answer in the comments section. I hope my personal experience may encourage others to give it a try for themselves. 

To your health, and happy cleansing! 

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Setbacks

I’ve been pushing myself harder than I probably ever have before. Since the start of January I’ve increased my weekly workout volume from about once or twice a week sporadically, to 3-6 times a week consistently. That was a big jump.

This weekend was my first competitive race of the year. I ran the Krispy Kreme Challenge in Raleigh, North Carolina. An NCSU tradition, it involves running 2.5 miles to the local Krispy Kreme, downing a dozen donuts, and then running 2.5 miles back. After completing what I thought would be the hardest part — eating my weight in sugary, fried dough — it ended up being my knee and not my stomach that gave up on me.

So I’ve faced my first major setback. I’m limping around with an injured knee. It hurts to go up stairs, it hurts to come down stairs. It hurts to walk for any extended period of time. My boyfriend has given be the endearing name of ‘hobblit’ — which is more appropriate than you may know (I happen to be a ginormous nerd and hope that anyone who reads my blog is too.) I have an appointment tomorrow with an orthopedist, and I have a sinking feeling I’ll be out of commission for awhile — maybe even a surgery in my future.

I’m frustrated, and mad, and disappointed, and discouraged. I was making incredible progress — reaching levels of both dedication and fitness I hadn’t before. I was creating habits, and sticking with them. Now my ambitions are derailed because my body was just too weak to keep up. But I won’t give up. Running and hiking might be off the menu – at least for now – but I still intend to push my yoga practice and maybe even add something new to my repertoire. Maybe spin? More time on the elliptical? A greater dedication to strength training?

It’s only a minor setback.

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