It is a relatively quiet Sunday morning and I sit here in my pj’s realizing how many things there are that I have not had a chance to blog about. I’ll try to hit a few of the highlights.
I’ll start with probably the most important item. Blood work! As much as I hate going to the doctor, seeing Dr. Ziltzer so often has pretty much eased my doctor visit anxiety. It is time to go get my annual check-up done with my primary care physician. I mostly keep on top of this so I can get the referral for my mammogram (breast cancer in my family so I have been pretty good about at least getting that done every year since I was 35). I made my appointment but requested to have the order for my lab work done ahead of time so I would know where my numbers were going into the visit. Before starting Optifast, my cholesterol and triglycerides were measured but they have not been tested since then. In reality, this is the most important part of the weight loss. I hoped that my overall health improved as my jean size went down.
My lab report before starting is riddled with BOLD PRINTED FLAGS drawing attention to the readings that were outside of the normal range. But now <drumroll, please> here are my new and improved lab results:
|TEST||Normal Reference||Prior to Starting Optifast||Current Reading (4/12/13)|
|Cholesterol, Total||100-199 mg/dl||233||161|
|HDL (good cholesterol)||>45 mg/dl||49||62|
|LDL (bad cholesterol)||0-99 mg/dl||133||87|
My fasting glucose levels have never been flagged but they dropped from 94 mg/dl (normal 65-99) down to 85 mg/dl. They were a little closer to ‘high normal’ than I guess I realized. I am most excited about the Triglyceride level because that was the one most out of line. I remember several years ago when we got my life insurance policy, I had to get a “high risk” plan because of those numbers. I might even go back and try to get a new policy now that everything, including my weight, are within healthy guidelines now!
And, let’s see…
Thursday evening I met up with an old friend from high school (hi Eric!) Since I have had an interest in playing tennis again, I asked him to get into our cabin next time he was up north (his family has a place near ours now) and bring my racquet back down to Phoenix. Eric discovered his gift for running later in life and now has completed countless marathons and also crazy ultra-marathon 50+ mile distances, etc. He even ran 100 miles straight once! Anyway, he has been uber-supportive of my weight loss and running. Even though we hardly ever get to see each other, we get a chance to check-in once in a while and catch up. Since his son had a practice near my son’s football practice, we were able to exchange the tennis racquet AND go for a quick run and walk near the practice field areas. He knew I had to get my mile in anyway. I haven’t done a lot of non-treadmill running, mainly because I wanted to get my breathing/asthma issues under control first in a more controlled environment. I think road running is more difficult so I usually get my distances done on the treadmill first and then move it outside. Dr. Ziltzer suggested that I move the incline on the treadmill to 1.0 just to give a similar feel to road running, and I have started doing that. It is fun to take the incline back down to 0 for the last 1/10th of a mile or so – it feels SO easy then! But, Eric and I ran about 1/2 mile … and I talked a little simultaneously … and I didn’t die. We continued to walk another 1.5 miles or so.
So, short story long, that kinda gave me the idea that maybe I could/should just go ahead and participate in a 5K charity race this weekend that I had not decided if I should try or not. I like doing this race mainly because friends and families that we know well from the kids’ school and neighborhood are very involved with the charity – the Phoenix Crisis Nursery – and I wanted to support them. It is a relatively small race and the spirit of those participating is a lot less serious. My oldest daughter wanted to run too so we both signed up early Saturday morning before the race. We had a super busy day planned so this was a charitable way to get my ‘mile of the day’ done anyway. I didn’t have much of a plan going in but decided I would push myself a little and see how it went. I don’t love this particular race though because it is out in Reach 11, a chunk of desert north of us that has been turned into a City of Phoenix park system with tournament quality fields (mostly soccer, lacrosse, etc.). A lot of it is still desert though and the race course ran through desert for about 90% of it. So, adding kicked up dirt, rocks, gravel, and uneven paths to my outdoor run was a bit more challenging. Anyway, I pushed through the first mile straight and my time was around 11:30. This is a better time than I have been running on the treadmill so I was happy about that. Unfortunately, I then came across my daughter (she had run way ahead of me) doubled over in pain and near tears with cramps. I stopped running and stood with her for a while. Then I got her to start walking slowly … selfishly thinking about precious race clock minutes ticking away. But, the mother in me stuck around for a while and she finally convinced me she felt OK enough for me to continue ahead. Well, before too long, she started running again and then the stinker passed me and finished the race 2 minutes before me. To top it off, she got a medal for finishing 2nd in her age group – although we later realized there were only 2 kids IN her age group. I really pushed myself hard for the last 1/10th mile and was struggling when I crossed the finish line but, wow, that is such a nice feeling!
So, here I am….racer bib #680:
136 MARTHA KAISER 680 42 F 12 40-44 41:30.5
I am pretty OK with this time. I think about 3 years ago when I actually trained for a 5K (but was much heavier) my time was over 43 minutes….and I ran that whole thing non-stop … on pavement. Yesterday I only ran the first mile, stopped altogether, and walked a ton between that and the last 1/2 mile. So, shaving off 2 minutes is pretty good! I finished 12th out of 20 in my age group and 136 out of 296 overall. Our lovely morning was capped off by not one, but two winning raffle tickets – a massage at a local spa AND an envelope with $100 worth of gift cards for some local restaurants.
Our busy yesterday continued with a basketball game on the west side of town. The boy scored an all-time high 10 points, so that was nice to see. We came home and got the little one ready for her inner-squad gymnastics meet. This was the last meet before the state championship next weekend. Parents were not really able to watch yesterday for some logistics reasons – which was A-OK with me. I’ve sat through enough of those things! Here are a couple of pictures of her “flying” last weekend at another local meet.
And later in the evening we got together with some old friends for a pool party/barbeque. It was fun to finally catch up. They had not seen me in over 6 months so the weight loss thing was a big topic. I don’t mind sharing my experiences but, in a way, I’ll be glad when I don’t have to rehash it all every time I go somewhere new. It has been wonderful to share, and I especially love when my sharing, in turn, leads to others making changes…but sometimes it is nice to just run into people and talk about other stuff.
I won’t officially weigh in for another couple of weeks – most likely not until I am about at my goal weight. Unofficially though (according to my bathroom scale) I am within about 5 pounds now. So excited. I know what I need to do to get there so there is not much point in going back in until I’m ready for the next step – Transition and Maintenance!