Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nutrition Journey, Part 1

Spoiler Alert: I'm doing curls with 20's in class now!

Back in May, I went to the doctor. With our home study updates, we have to have yearly physicals to make sure there hasn't been a major health change plus I like to keep an eye on my cholesterol. Our family doctor dropped our insurance late last year so it seemed like a good idea to go to this corporate physical, "prevention centered" place while we are between more personally invested doctors. We had a good experience with the group a few years ago. They monitor your heart and hearing, ultrasound your thyroid, etc. As a side note, my thyroid wasn't swollen.

At the time, I was in a fitness plateau and I hadn't lost any weight or inches despite eating around 1800 calories a day of primarily healthy food. My main concern wasn't about losing but it seemed like something that should happen as a result of the uptick in my teaching schedule. I planned to talk to the doctor about my food intake and the possible role of PCOS in my issues. I suspected I wasn't eating enough and potentially not the right fuel plus a gut is a pretty typical symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome.

The doctor wasn't helpful although he was nice. He said I probably knew more about fitness and nutrition than he did and that if I just kept on the same path, I'd eventually see results. As for PCOS, he didn't seem to even register the question. I asked him about seeing a registered dietitian, someone who would know more about nutrition than either of us. The doctor said it couldn't hurt but that he would only suggest it if I needed a coach for motivation. And then he said, "You could drop down to 1200 calories and see what happens."

I almost cried. Twelve hundred calories was 600 less than I was already eating and I was always hungry. I was tired. I was grouchy. I was struggling through my classes. All I could see was passing out in the middle of one of the two hour teaching stretches where I burn through almost 1200 calories. What could possibly be left to fuel me through the rest of my fairly active day? And then the doctor started talking about eating cereal bars instead of nuts because calories and I thought, wait. I'd rather eat a few nuts than a processed bar...the whole conversation was strange.

Although I left rather deflated, I decided quickly I wasn't going to go on a diet. I knew that wasn't the right answer. I didn't want to diet, be it fad, crash, or otherwise. I wanted a lifestyle, an enjoyable lifestyle, something sustainable the same way I have maintained martial arts and fitness as a regular part of my life all these years. People often talk about our pretty house or my clothes looking nice. I'm honest. Neither of those things have much to do with me except that I know who to ask for advice and I'm not afraid to ask. I've had a ton of help learning martial arts and fitness. It was time to get help with my food. I contacted a friend, got a name, and made an appointment with a dietitian with experience in both hormonal imbalances and sports nutrition.

Up next, visiting the dietitian! And maaaaybe, if I am brave enough, I'll post my new before photos. Maybe. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Gym Adventure: First Impressions

I love it when I see the exact moment someone realizes I am actually skilled at what I am doing or teaching.

Often in the martial arts environment (or, more accurately, every day), I have to work my way past a person's first impression. It feels much like having to climb out of a hole and it has little to do with anything except the way I look. I am small. I am female. I can make eye contact, firmly shake hands, smile confidently, speak with authority but many times none of that matters.

Not long ago, we had a visitor to the Aikido class. The school owner, Stephan, and I all introduced ourselves. Rather, I tried to introduce myself. I was last and when the visitor saw me, his eyes immediately glazed over and he turned around and sat on the bench. Stephan stopped him and introduced me as the other instructor.

This has happened more than once. I was talking to a visitor some time ago who came in while Stephan was warming up the class. I'm the administrator of pretty much everything so I handle introductions and paperwork. Also, when new people come in, I'm generally the first person they train with. While I was attempting to get his information, I could see the moment he stopped listening, that glazed eye look, and he interrupted me to ask where the man in charge was. I told him that the owner was not available and while Stephan is busy, I am the man in charge. All with a smile and a joking tone of voice. Eventually I did turn him over the Stephan who basically said the same thing. That student didn't come back.

I'm so short you can't see me pulling Matt down
by the hips. My hand is there on his left side,
Back to the more recent visitor. He was quiet during the class. I did a lot of the demonstrating although Stephan was teaching. At one point, I can't even remember what I was doing, I looked over and I saw the man squint and then lean forward and really start watching me. It happens like that sometimes. People are highly dismissive and then it suddenly hits them that there might be a reason that I'm the one demo-ing or teaching. I see it sometimes from the stage when I'm teaching strength classes. Although in that case, it's usually, "uh-oh, I assumed I needed heavier weights than hers but these are too heavy."

It used to bother me a lot more than it does now. I'm not going to lie, there are some days I do get angsty about the assumption that I'm just a martial arts decoration (Oh, where's your boyfriend? Is he an instructor?) or a gym bunny. But I am growing thicker skin. More importantly, I'm growing what I feel like is a good kind of confidence as opposed to the blustery grandstanding I am tempted to do. I'm hoping one of these days I'll be all zen and cool. Maybe this is the start. Probably not, though. I'm not sure I'll ever be the peaceful guru type but for now I'll settle for not strangling people.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Home Study Update #3

Well, we got back from vacation this week. We had a great time at the beach but there's nothing to kick us into back to work gear like a social worker visit! Although we haven't been certain about what direction we wanted to go with adoption, we contacted a group back in May about updating our home study. We figured it would be a good idea to keep our home study current. When I first called the agency about an update, July felt ages away. And here we are at July.

And, look, it's a good photo of us!

I called the social worker on Tuesday to go ahead and start the process, expecting it to take a while to really get rolling. Oh, no. Not that I'm complaining. She asked if Monday would work for the home visit and we said okay. And then reality set in. I still have the debris from my epic playroom rearrangement. All of Autumn's party stuff is still everywhere. We just got back from vacation which means all the messiness of coming home. The nursery is where everything goes when I'm too lazy to put it in the attic...


It'll be okay. As of today, everything in the playroom is back to normal except for my desk. My mom helped Autumn get her room put together. The rest of the house mainly needs straightening and dusting after being empty for several days except for Molly. I started on the nursery and Mike is going to help me put various seasonal and garage sale things in the attic.

This is from June 2010. Autumn helped me install something yesterday. She used real tools this time!

The only unfortunate thing is while on vacation Mike and I made an action list of things we wanted to work on around the house. In order: get the playroom under control; finish painting and fixing the master bathroom (this has been a to-do list item forever but keeps getting bumped for items guests are more likely to see); change out the kitchen cabinet insides to racks and drawers; and begin making changes so the nursery can function better as a guest room. I started buying some of the supplies for these projects Monday because I had coupons and didn't want the projects to languish like they have the past 4 years. So, now I have to hang and install what I found so the pieces aren't just sitting around!

One other potentially interesting item...I'm hesitant to say much about this but we applied to an agency. I didn't expect to even WANT to apply to another adoption agency but we have heard wonderful things about this one. Unfortunately, no one ever mentioned it until we had already signed on with our former agency. Plus I didn't think we fit their infertility requirements. After talking to several friends, they recommended we go ahead and send in a preliminary application. We did and it appears we do qualify. I need to get a note from my former doctor confirming my diagnosis to include with the full application. This is easier said than done. Some of you might remember our sit-in where Mike and I had to camp in the office before anyone would give us the information we needed on whether or not we could have any more biological children. I'm currently on week two of attempting to contact the doctor about the letter. Hopefully it won't come down to a sit-in.

Even beside the doctor issue, we still have the full application and an orientation ahead of us. It'll be a lengthy process and has potential to fall through. We'd appreciate any prayers or positive thoughts you might send out way. We're staying chill because, well, we're going into this with a lot less innocence than we had the last time we started. But, if it works out, we'll definitely tell you more!

Update: I just heard from the nurse I've been working with at my former doctor's office! They are working on the letter and will hopefully send it to me soon.