I finally got the results back from my comprehensive lab panel I had done electively. It only took them a month. The results are all pretty and color coded and have really shed light on some questions I've had for a while. At the doctors office, they might do a test and say "Looks good. Your results are normal.", but what they don't tell you is that "normal" doesn't necessarily mean "good". You can be at the very bottom end of normal and they will still say everything is fine. In reality, there is a very big difference between "normal" and "optimal". The place I had my labs done gives you both the "normal" and "optimal" ranges and shows you on a scale where each of your results fall. So while my doctors office my say this or that is just fine, this lab will say it's low because it is beneath optimal range.
I'm going to call on Monday and try to get an appointment at the clinic to review the results with a doctor (the mega panel comes with a credit toward a one hour appointment to review your results and figure out a plan). Basically my results say that I'm low in B vitamins, D vitamins, Omegas, and a bunch of other things. All the surgeries have depleted my stores which is why I've been so bloody tired all the time.
Also, at my husband's suggestion, we're going to try the Mediterranean Diet. It's less of a diet and more of a set of guidelines based around a cultural way of eating that is generally much healthier than the standard American diet. It is comprised of boat loads of vegetables, whole/ancient grains, fish/seafood, healthy fats like olive oil, and the occasional low fat dairy. It limits the consumption of red meat, full fat dairy, and sweets to the rare treat. Plus, it allows for a glass of red wine per day (much to my chagrin it is only a 5 oz glass).
So with a new dietary plan and my lab results in tow, I'm continuing to tackle my exercise with determination. I set a goal of finishing my Unicorn race in 48 days, and if I stick with my current pace, I'll finish in 44 (I'm 40% done with 121 miles). Wish me luck!
I didn't make it to the gym this morning because my arms refuse to lift one more thing. Over the weekend, my husband and I did a touch of remodeling upstairs, and let me tell you, gray is a hard color to paint over - especially with shades of yellow (and I even got the good paint). We started this last weekend and it turned into a two weekend project. We laid flooring, taped, painted, moved furniture, and in the end, found a really happy place. I never thought about what a workout it would be, but I guess that's a side bonus. I'm up to 43 stickers now and am pushing hard for 100 and that trip I promised myself in May (check out our group The Sticker Revolution on Facebook).
I've also found an awesome incentive app called "Yes.Fit". It does cost money, but the money pays for your rewards. You sign up for virtual races, and choose a medal or T-shirt as a finishing prize. Along the way, you get to see Google Earth shots of where you are on the trail and you can compete with your friends. I set a goal to finish the Unicorn race across Scotland in 48 days (it's 121 miles at about 2.5 miles per day). So far, I'm ahead of goal which is awesome. I just keep taking my goals one day at a time and striving to be better.
This time last year, I was very sick and going downhill fast. Now, I'm finding strength I never knew I had emotionally and physically. Stick around to see my awesome unicorn medal!
Planet Comicon in Kansas City was amazing! I got to take my picture with Carry Elwes and even in the rush, he was super polite so that made the long wait in an even longer line totally worth it. Despite having been sick for most of the week prior to the convention, I managed to hold my own and walked around for more than 5 hours without sitting down (major accomplishment for me). I'd never been to something like this before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. My husband and I dressed up as apocalypse survivors circa 1987 and any reservations I had were totally unfounded. People at the Con were dressed up as every character you can imagine. I even stood in line behind some gals inspired by Tank Girl. It was so much fun!
If you've never been, I would describe the whole event as a giant craft fair for nerds. It was positively massive and filled with vendors of every kind. Comic books, original artwork, t-shirts, stuffed animals, toys, games, and everything in between. They also had panels on a variety of topics, many with celebrities (whom you could stand in line and pay a fee to take a photo with). Unfortunately, I didn't have time for any panels this trip, but next time, definitely! There were amazing costumes too. Right before we left, I saw Chewbaca standing by the escalator!
I'm so glad I got to have this experience and am even prouder that I was able to do so much. Less than a year ago, I was walking with a cane and couldn't make it to the back of Hobby Lobby. I might not be where I want to be, but I'm making all kinds of progress. Oh, and yesterday at my check up, my doctor told me that she could tell I had been working out because my heart sounds very strong. I'll just keep hanging on to the positives and moving the mountain one stone at a time!
Creating my own sunshine 🌞