Archives for category: aging

I can’t say there is some night and day difference already, but I noticed something today. I used to joke all the time and say I felt like I was “walking through jello”. It was the best way to describe how I sort of felt like I was moving in slow motion, but I never really knew why I felt that way. I also didn’t notice that it was there all the time, until now that it’s started to go away. I’m 2 days in on my T3 medication and about a week off Microgestin Fe BCP, and about ten days off Spironolactone. I don’t necessarily have leagues more energy, but I feel more clear and alert. I’m not struggling to stay awake and I don’t feel like I need a nap (which I normally would in the late afternoon). I could get used to this :)

Heh. Curveball.

So I finally muster up the strength to announce my secret master plan after a year, finally commit to a show date and go figure- something makes it all go wonky. Thanks life, you’re a fickle bitch.

I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that something was up with my hormones for quite some time. My mother’s thyroid gland basically died in her 40’s and I always wondered if I’d inherit her adrenal issues. Over the past year as I’ve been diligently putting in gym time, meticulously watching and logging my food, calculating my macros I’d see people doing the same and sailing past me in progress. I tried to ignore it, chalking it up to them being younger, maybe they had a genetic propensity to a leaner build, maybe they were thin when they were young. Over time as that continued and my efforts never waned, I started to internalize it. Are my workouts not good enough? Maybe my 60g of carbs a day is too much? Maybe I should do two low carb days and one high. Maybe my interval training isn’t intense enough. Maybe I should do cardio twice a day…. The negative self talk was kind of inevitable when I’d see everyone else succeeding and my efforts, while seemingly equal, were somehow not enough. I’d remind myself that consistency was key and it would pay off eventually. Plus, it wasn’t that I was seeing NO results- I look and feel better than I have my entire life.

I finally had advanced blood work beyond some high level tests I had gotten a few months before. The results were a fucking drag, man. Suspicions confirmed. My hormones are kind of a wreck.

Maybe I’ll make another post about the actual results and go into detail, but here’s the short story- my T3 is very low, I have virtually no bioavailable testosterone (women need some, just like men need some estrogen), I am significantly vitamin D deficient and my HGH levels are very low. All of these things unfortunately point to my body holding on to every extra ounce of fat, me not having much energy and my body refusing to build muscle. There were several other issues but these were the ones that were likely stunting my progress.

How I felt getting these results was very confusing. On one hand, I cried in my car feeling overwhelmed that something so critical in the picture of my health had deteriorated. It’s kind of scary. Part of me also felt a little wash of relief- it wasn’t for lack of effort on my part. It wasn’t just in my head that I should be seeing more results. There was a legitimate explanation. I also felt optimistic as the doctor explained the options for treatment. Most of these issues can be managed/corrected with medication.

So what now?

First off, my goal hasn’t changed
I WILL hit that stage. I’m not pushing for very long, either. I started treatment with the doctor right away, and my workouts are remaining intense and focused.

Second, I’m going off hormonal birth control. The doctor said that it is causing a whole host of problems so no reason not to nip that promptly. If it’s poisoning my body, I don’t need it.

I’m re-evaluating who I want bringing me to my goal. I know my gym produces winners- that’s not a question. The owner is coaching more IFBB pros than anyone in the state, and is one of the top coaches in the world. But I’m not trying to go pro. I’m trying to be my best, healthiest, fittest version of myself. After my most recent iteration of my diet costing me 4lbs of hard earned lean muscle and and increase of 2% body fat in just 3 weeks, I don’t think this is the direction I want to go. I can condition my body without drastic cuts and without hour long daily workouts while on 1200 calories. Don’t get me wrong, I get competition diets are rigorous and there is a point where I’ll probably need to shred down with some drastic measures, but wasting away for 16 weeks is kind of counter intuitive. When I saw those numbers it was a wake up call and it honestly made me a little angry. I worked really hard for those 4lbs of muscle. That’s not a small amount for a woman.

So I’m keeping my eye out for the right coach and team that will be sensitive to my health while still pushing me to get me on stage sooner rather than later. My eye is on the show in September, but I’m going to wait to truly commit until a little further into my treatment to see how things go. Also, until I find a coach and get their professional opinion as to what is realistic and achievable.

I won’t lie- it’s hard to keep my game face on right now. I had a little pity party and ordered desert last night. Not good to console myself with food, I know… but old habits die hard. I’m going to focus on my health and be kind to my body and am actually excited to re-embark on this journey with a fresh perspective.

This is barely a setback- if anything it’s a stepping stone. As Max put it, we found the hurdle and now we get to jump over it.

I’ve been working out and eating right for three months now, and I’m really starting to see some amazing results. The scale has FINALLY budged and is dropping again after a pretty mind numbing plateau that lasted like the better part of two months. Its a great feeling to do things physically that I was never able to do before, and that is fueling me even more than being able to wear my skinny jeans (not that I don’t love that too, of course). I’m getting some great muscle definition in my upper body and my bottom half is really smoothing out. My butt is starting to look more like what it did at 24 which makes me happy beyond measure. I actually tried on and purchased my very first pair of shorts since before high school. Like real shorts… and I didn’t feel like a gross fat. It was pretty liberating. I’ve never felt confident with my legs, so this was a big step for me! Glad the countless weighted walking lunges I’ve been doing are finally paying off!

Most interesting of all has been the process of getting to know my body. Really paying attention to how I feel, how I react to certain foods and how far I can push myself physically has been quite enlightening and I love it. An earlier post months ago I mentioned how I was starting to feel smaller and stronger and I looked forward to what the coming weeks would bring- and this is it. I’m smaller than I have been in years, but arguably in better shape than I’ve been in my life. Previously, I’ve just done hours and hours of cardio and lifted little free weights and gotten pretty limited returns. Never before did I think I’d be able to heave 60 pounds over my head in an olympic style lift. Or deadlift 75 pounds. Or crank out 25 push-ups like it was nothing. I even took ALL the stairs at Universal Studios a few weeks ago- over 300 of them. It felt amazing. Again, I can’t wait to see what the coming weeks bring. Everything I do keeps getting easier and easier, so I push myself harder and harder.

My braces are coming along amazingly as well- they might even get to come off early. I’m six months in and they look fantastic. My bottom row is perfectly straight and the space between my back upper teeth is almost totally gone. I know it might sound silly, but I kind of feel like I’m in a cocoon right now, and this time next year I will be my best, most beautiful and perfected self I had always wanted to be. I do wish I would have gotten with the program a little sooner but I don’t regret anything. All my choices have helped shape who I am and furthered my drive and determination.

The braces are on my face. After making the decision this summer, it’s been a long road of saving money and dental visits to get like seven fillings to prepare. But they’re finally here. The excitement has tapered precipitously, and it’s been an annoying 24 hours of yogurt, soup and protein shakes. So far they’re uncomfortable but not unbearable. It’s a dull ache that is increased when I bite down. The bottom row isn’t on yet, and that comes in about five weeks. I’d almost rather have them all on at once and get over it, but I took their suggestion and am waiting it out, as apparently the bottom row is a bit more uncomfortable. Yay.

Wax has been a saving grace, and oatmeal is less braces-friendly than you’d imagine.

I’ve brushed my teeth no less than 14,762 times since yesterday.

I’ve been taking advil like a crazy person, which I’m sure my gastrointernologist would be super annoyed about, and I’ll likely pay for in awful heartburn later.

More updates as this gets more interesting.

That’s how I’m starting to feel. FINALLY. I’ve been really putting my mind to it for about the last 7 weeks or so. Give or take. Foursquare says I’ve been at the gym for six consecutive weeks. My LA Fitness check in record says September has been my most active month to date. Instagram is showing off my good food choices. I’m pretty consistently below my calorie budget, per my LoseIt App. My fitbit is tracking my steps, and I’m averaging at least 6,000 per day (which could use a little work, but hey).

Clearly technology has been a big part of this.

I don’t think I’d be able to be as clearly on point without the help of my websites, gadgets and apps. It’s really been helpful. I’m a person who lives and dies by numbers- they make things tangible for me.

Or I’m just a huge nerd.

I’ve also found myself really enjoying a bootcamp style class being offered at my gym. The class is fun, super intense, and the instructor is great. The station/circuit style of the class makes it go by quicker and keeps it interesting. The first class I was pretty sure I was going to die, but somehow made it through. Almost puked a few times, but luckily managed to choke it back. Now the class is getting a little easier, and I really look forward to it.

Feeling strong is new and exciting. I don’t have my running endurance as high as I used to, but I am faster. My sprints are a higher MPH and can last longer. With having more of a focus on lifting, I can feel myself becoming more toned and it’s so awesome. It’s really what has been motivating me to keep going. I was even able to increase the size of the freeweights I’m using during my classes.

One thing that is difficult is that I compare the amount of effort I’m putting out now versus how hard I worked years ago, and I see how it’s taking me so much more now that I’m older. If I would have worked this hard at 22, I’d be flaunting around in a bikini by now. Annoying. I want to shake the shit out of my early 20’s self. I’d say “Oh, you think you’re fat now? Just wait. You don’t even know.”

Hopefully in another 7 weeks I’ll have made even better progress. I also hope that my vacation doesn’t totally derail me. I want to work out when I can, jog on the beach in Florida, drink water, snack less. This will be a challenge, but a good one.