Monthly Archives: May 2014

NSV Goal Achieved – Kayaking On The Potomac

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When I first starting planning for the gastric by-pass surgery, my sister and I would talk about all of the fun things we would do once I was healthy and thin enough to move around without struggle.

My sister has a kayak and her husband a boat. They went boating frequently in the summer. When I was a little thinner, I used to go canoeing. But since I had put on so much weight, these outdoor activities had become impossible for me.

Admittedly, I’m not really much of an outdoors girl. Walking in an urban center is about as outdoorsy as I get.  I really do not like the bugs and dirt, the lack of air conditioning or anywhere comfortable to sit that comes with the outdoorsy life. I am a spoiled urban chic and I love it!

That said, I have always wanted to go kayaking. I always thought it looked like fun from the time I was a kid. My sister and I kept planning that after the surgery, when I am thinner and healthy, we would go kayaking.

We’ll, yesterday I finally did!!

 I had so much fun! At first, I was apprehensive. I slowly got into the kayak. My brother-in-law held the boat in place and my sister helped me in. It was very wobbly and I was nervous about sitting. My brother-in-law just kept saying, “It’s ok just let your legs go. There’s only one place for you butt to go and that’s in the seat…or the river. Either way, don’t worry, we got you.”

I was not comforted.

I did manage to plant my butt in the seat with no problems. They handed me the oars and made sure everything I had with me, my bottle of water, my keys, my cell phone…because you know,  you gotta have a cell phone in the middle of the river…were safely placed in the sealed compartments and pushed the boat with me in it out into the river.

I felt very unsteady for a few minutes and thought to myself, “This was a mistake!” I wobbled around for a few minutes, absolutely sure that I was going to just end up in the river.

I never used to be afraid of such things. When I was younger and would go canoeing, we had no problems getting wet, splashing each other, laughing at other people falling into the river. I had the distinction of never having tipped a canoe. That was until I proudly bragged about never having tipped a canoe. Then of course, that very same day I did.

It was actually kind of scary. It had rained a lot and the river was kind of rough. There was a downed tree at the edge of the river and we were heading right for it. I held out the oar to stop my head from bashing into the giant root of the tree. The canoe came to a sudden stop and tipped over. My butt hit the riverbed. I had a huge bruise for months. All of our stuff floated down river. A group of canoers sitting on the bank jumped in and managed to get everything, except one sock.

Somewhere out there, is a picture of me all soaked and looking like a drowned rat. I’ll have to see if I can find it.

I digress…

I started using the oars to steady myself. Slowly, I started going up and down the river. In no time at all, I was whizzing by the picnic site yelling, “I’m kayaking! I’m kayaking!”

My sister and her husband just laughed and laughed. I had no idea why.

I was out on the river for about an hour. My arms HURT today. A lot. But I had a blast.  It did not feel like I was out there for an hour. It felt like I was out there for about 15 minutes.

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Later that night, my sister told me why they were laughing so hard. They showed me this clip of Bill Murray from the movie “What About Bob?”

I just cracked up.

I did manage to get one picture of myself and one picture of the front of the kayak to prove that I was in it. My sister sent me this cool picture of turtles to put on the blog. I did see turtles on the river. I had no idea that there were turtles in the Potomac.

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Anyway, I did it! I went kayaking and did one of things my sister and I planned on before the surgery. If nothing else good had happened to me, being able to kayak made it all worth it!

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Some Good News At Least – NSV

Trying to remain positive about weight loss when it’s been six months since you’ve lost any way can be very difficult. My weight has not changed. The good news is I haven’t gained any.  Sometimes the scale fluctuates and goes up two or three pounds, but it always comes back down to 171. I’m told not gaining weight is an accomplishment in and of itself. I know it, but I do not always feel it.

That said, I had some really great health news this week. A few weeks ago my work did an employee health screening where they brought in the vampires and asked people to join in the process. They offered Amazon gift cards and free salad bowls if people signed up.

I can get free books? I’m in!

I received the results this week. My blood pressure was slightly elevated at 140/89. Not great, but a damn sight better than the unregulated 210/125 it was just a couple of years ago. I used to have to take three different meds to bring it down to the 140/89 range. Now I take none. I will share that number with my doctor when I go in July for my annual physical, and if she feels a mild medication is in order, I’ll consider it.

The better news is this.

  • Blood Sugar – 89
  • Cholesterol – 173
  • HDL – 52, (should be a little higher, but this number is vastly improved).
  • LDL is 101, (should be a little lower, but still a huge improvement).
  • Triglycerides…wait for it…97!

I am astonished by the triglycerides number. Heart disease runs in my mother’s family. All of her siblings, (and she has 8 of them…8!!), have experienced some kind of heart problem, either open heart surgery, bi-passes, blockages, etc. My mother has high bp and high cholesterol, but to date, no major issues, thank goodness.

One of the reasons I did the bariatric surgery was my fear of heart disease. My blood pressure was out of control, and my other numbers were totally out of whack. My triglycerides alone were well over 200.

I have been trying very hard to raise my HDL number and lower the LDL number.I eat ample quantities of nuts and peanut butter…maybe that explains the weight loss stoppage. Hmmm. 

I make sure that I use canola oil, sesame oil, and other oils that have monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fat. I do not use margarine ever! No trans fats for me. If I’m going to have bad fat, I’m going straight for the butter. Honestly, there is no substitute. At least saturated fats are natural fats and your body does need them!

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I really do not eat so much fat that I need to worry about a little butter now and again. And besides, what isn’t made better with butter?

But I digress…

I am really happy with those numbers. I’m sure my doctor will be thrilled to.

Update on my spring walking tour of DC…

I have accomplished everything except the walk to Roosevelt Island. I have a friend coming to visit me this weekend. I may try to do that with him. I know I am going to drag him to Eastern Market early Sunday morning for breakfast and shopping. I went there this past weekend and I got two really cool skirts and some fresh fruits.

 

New Summer Challenge!

I am thinking of doing a blogging challenge every day in June. This will take some planning on my part. And I’ll have to think of something to blog about every day. I’m going to be returning to the gym in an attempt to lose some of 46 pounds I’d like to lose. But if anyone has ideas on new subjects, please shoot me a message or comment after this post.