Progress Pics

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday's Work out, Getting a (gulp) colonoscopy, and other fun stuff

The journey to health and fitness
Should be taken
Because you love yourself,
Not because you hate your body

Today was a work-out day and I DID it! Before I launch into recording that and other exercise-related stuff, let me say that when I went to my new doctor at the end of last year, he asked me if I'd ever had a colonoscopy (no), mammography (no), Bone density test (no), chest x-ray (no). And he wanted to know when I had my last eye exam (5 years ago) and pap smear (about 15 years ago, right before DH got himself fixed and I said 'goodbye' to birth control pills) (Yeah, I know, I know, PLEASE spare me the lectures. How many 430 pound women do you now who go to a gyn doc?).

And so I agreed with the doc that we'd start tackling these things one or two at a time. It was in all of the initial blood work that we discovered my hypothyroidism. So I like this guy. Anyway, I have an initial appointment tomorrow with a gastro doc about getting the colonoscopy. This isn't the procedure, it is the preliminary appointment.

Your amazon is scared. Why? Well, on my dad's side, two people died of cancer that started this way. Also, on dad's side, I had a half-sister whom I never knew. We were separated when my parents divorced when I was 3.

I searched for her as an adult--but she died of breast cancer before I found her. So, on mom's side, no one gets cancer. On dad's side, everyone does. So this and the mammography scare me. This is stupid, I know. It's not like if there WERE a problem, ignoring it would make it go away.

Anyway, my preliminary for the colonoscopy is tomorrow and my mammography is February 2nd -- ground hog day. LOL. I will post after my appointment tomorrow. Please send calming thoughts my way. This isn't easy for me. I'd rather do ten extra sets of box step-ups-- that's how much I don't wanna go. LOL

I haven't posted about this before-- I guess I was giving myself room to chicken out and not go- then none of you would be the wiser. But I guess I gotta do this and I am making myself accountable for it just like the exercise and weight loss by posting it here.

Anyway, moving on....... Quite awhile ago I read a post or a blog somewhere by a guy who had previously been really obese, then he started a weight lifting program and now looks great.

Anyway, he talked about how one of the hardest things about body building for someone coming from a high weight is that it is a LONG, LONG time before you can actually "see" the muscles you are developing because of all of the fat covering them.

You work your *ss off but have to trust that things are progressing as they should because your muscles are hidden. Boy, have I found this to be true.

Take my arms for example. When I first started working my triceps and biceps 6 months ago (with ten # weights)it took awhile, but gradually, I could feel a tiny amount of muscle there when I'd flex. Here we are now and I can hammer my arms with heavier weights--plus the push-ups and other exercises are helping. And when I flex and feel my arms, I can feel a THICK amount of muscle in the triceps, biceps, and deltoids.

Yet, when I look at myself in the mirror, my arms look the same as any other woman who has another 80 pounds to lose. No one would guess by looking at me that I can run a mile or lift heavy weights. I don't yet look like someone who can do this.

Certainly not all of the time, but some days, doing this on faith without any visual reward for all of my effort is HARD. To go to the gym and see that you are working 2 or 3 times as hard as people half your size yet don't look anywhere near as good as they do is irritating and disappointing.

I try to keep a positive and upbeat attitude and to focus on my strengths and the weight loss progress I have made, which is massive. Most of the time, I just keep looking ahead and do what I must do. But I am a human being, subject to "bad days" when I can't be a cheer leader; and on those days, not looking better than I do after all of the work that I put in really sucks.

So if you're coming from a high weight, you're going to have to accept that you will get stronger and fitter LONG before it shows on the outside. We cannot give up though! We must persist!

Today's Work out:

Warm up - Yoga stretches

Dead Lift

DB Shoulder press


Side bends with 25# plate



Leg Lifts

DB curls

I changed the way I do the cruches and leg lifts so that there are more reps per set to make it harder.

Also, with the DB shoulder press. I am simply not as strong with this movement as I am with others. I upped the weight from 20# to 25# today and I barely made it through the 2nd set. Yet, look at how much I can pull or lift otherwise.

I was looking through the NEW RULES OF LIFTING FOR WOMEN book to see what I'll be doing in future phases of the program-- and the next four stages incorporate a lot of balance work--- such as one-legged dead lifts and squats; and also compound movements that are difficult-- such as, instead of just doing step-ups onto the box holding weights, I'll have to do overhead presses at the top of the movement- which means stepping up on one leg and going into the press-- the press and the step-ups are already hard for me --when they are combined it will be killer!

I can't see myself with this kind of balance and strength but I've been told by other women who have completed the program that you vastly improve over time. I'll keep you posted. I will be half-way through phase one as of Thursday and I already feel a lot stronger.

Hope you're all doing well!

Tonight is biggest loser night. I'll be crying in front of my TV!



  1. I'll be crying right with you.

  2. I don't look like a runner either and you certainly wouldn't think I do a couple hundred pushups several times a week in Thai Boxing by looking at my arms. But you know what? Though I'd like to have Michelle Obamaesque arms, if I never get them, I KNOW how strong I am!

    Don't work yourself into a lather over these tests. Believe that it will all be OK then go get them. Ever heard of the Power of Positive Thinking? It will be over before you know it!

  3. Good good good good good that you are getting all the diagnostic tests Lori-Ann! ESPECIALLY with that family history. I bet you are clean as a whistle on all of them...but it is always good to be double sure. Catching things early are the difference between life and, I am VERY proud of you for facing these issues and getting it done!

    Your muscles are DEFINITELY in makes that last 80 pounds even more exciting to lose because instead of a soft-chewy filling under have some rock hard muscles that will come through. More power to you! Great work out!

    I did go running today instead of hitting the iron. dumb mp3 player was not I did 7.5 miles on a lovely paved trail with no music. It was ok. I went slow, and it was SO pretty and warmish (upper 40s, I mittens, no hat, and only two layers!) out...brooks, steams, little water falls...a woodpecker was flying along with me for a while (he'd go up ahead a bit, then wait for me, then fly up a few more trees....funny).

    I'll be watching BL tonight, too....doing my crying in the pacific time zone. :)

  4. I was thinking the same thing today as I pumped my 15 pound weights next to a skinny chick using 5 pounders. As long as the weight keeps coming off I'm willing to wait to see results, intthe mean time, I know I am getting stronger and healthier every single day.

    PS I've had those tests, they aren't that bad!

  5. Hi Lori Ann -

    Having all those tests can be very nerve-wracking, but I'm here to tell you the anticipation is far worse than the events! Good for you for facing this stuff...another way of caring for and loving yourself. I'm sending you all the positive energy I can muster.

  6. Amazon, your body is amazing! You are so healthy!

    Ugh, have fun with the colonoscopy. Good for you for going! I have to share a random memory. I was out at a restaurant with my dad while I was pregnant, and he launched into a very detailed monologue about his last colonoscopy. My dad's not a quiet person, so the whole restaurant got to hear the gory details. That story always makes me smile. :)

  7. Embarrassing - that last post was from me. I was logged into my other e-mail account and posted from there. :)

  8. This post really moved me. I have a sister who is quite overweight. She hasn't been to the gynecologist since her son was born 18 years ago. She was in her early 20s when she had him, but she suffered a horrible pregnancy with pre-eclampsia and the whole 9. I know that she will drop dead of a heart attack one day, since everyone in my family has high blood pressure (even the rare skinny ones).

    Every one has begged her to go to the doctor. She won't go ... not for anything -- not for herself, not for her son.

    So, I understand, just a little, about the courage that it takes for you to do what you're doing. I've seen how the thought of doctors and tests, how the worry about how they'll look at her, keeps my sister from taking care of herself.

    Chances are, you'll be fine. If not, although you already know this, catching it earlier rather than later is the best thing.

    If I saw you in the gym at 300 or 400 pounds, I would compare myself to you. I wouldn't be able to help it. All the times I don't push myself, all the times I whine about being tired, and here you are, daring to change your life in an even more radical way than me. I'm not saying that losing weight is easier for me, but I don't have as far to go.

    Just maybe, someone in your gym is looking at you in jealousy or with guilt, realizing what determination *you* must have and what steely guts it takes to take charge of your life in the way that you have.

    Maybe that person will then look at you and be inspired. Maybe they'll dig a little deeper and say, "if she can, I can, too."

    Maybe they have been watching your progress, silently cheering you on.

  9. Don't be too worried. All of these tests are positive things. I have had them all and lived to tell the tale. You will be just fine...imagine me holding your hand and being positive!!!

  10. Getting the tests done is a great thing. I know it may sound corny but without knowing what is going on you are setting yourself up to be a victim. By knowing, you are empowering yourself for success. Of course one downside is that there seems to be never only one test (they are neverending and your physical state isn't one that they are used to seeing).

    Very few people have done what you have done already. My cardiologist (someone who gave me a ton of tests that the results were "come back in a year") says that only single digit percentages have been able to lose significant weight successfully without surgery.

    I've gotten to the point myself where some muscles are starting to show where people notice (especially my legs and calves due to all the cycling I do).

    The road is long. You are on the right track. Remember that.

  11. Great job on getting to the gynecologist.
    I haven't been in three or four years.
    I know I should.
    I will.
    You are doing great. No, you can't always see it from the outside, but when you check your heart rate on the moniter and its 136, and the skinny woman next to you doing the exact same thing checks and get a get a good feeling about your cardio pulmonary system.
    No matter what your rear end looks like.

  12. Lori-Ann - This post really impacted me. I am so glad that you are going to get the diagnostic tests and establish a baseline. I understand the fear part for sure and am proud of you for moving through it.
    I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and sending you some calming energy. xoxo

  13. I completely understand being scared of the upcoming appointments, but you're right avoiding them won't make any health concerns go away. And by going, even if something comes up, then you can treat it like the thyroid levels.

    I'm sure you know from last week's Biggest Loser how important balance is. You're going to do great.

    Your tenacity is inspiring.

  14. Well done for booking these very important tests - I can only imagine how difficult it must be to go if there is a family history. Will send lots of positive energy your way. :o)

    One day, probably not too far from now, you will notice a MASSIVE difference in your arms and body in general, and it will be almost like the definition appeared overnight...

  15. You've probably had the procedure already but my calming thoughts are with you anyways-I have the same history with cancer on my dads side and had to get a test too-the hardest part is the prep for it and afterwards when they tell you that you are fine it is all worth it. Funny thing for me when they had me hopped up on pills I said to my young Dr that he reminded me of Dougie Hooser MD and he told me I had to be quiet-haha-I'm glad your dr is taking really good care of you-sounds like a good guy.

  16. Wow Lori Ann. This is such a lot of tests!

    I hope everything goes well/has gone well for you today (no idea what time you are at over there). Anyone would be nervous at having to face all of that.

    At least you know you are doing your very best you can to improve your health.

    Really hope you're OK.
    Bearfriend xx

  17. Don't be too nervous about your colonoscopy, I have found that really worrying over things that COULD happen is so tiring. But I definitely understand where you are coming from. I bet when its all done and they tell you you are healthy as a horse you will feel wonderful!

    I had to had a little sort of colonoscopy in highschool, not a full one, because they found I had ulcerative proctitis. I remember being in tears almost the whole time (but mostly out of horror for what was happening to me)

  18. Lori-Ann, I have give you the "Beautiful Blogger" award because you are so beautiful!!! Stop by my blog, when you have any time, to receive your award.

    Margie M. writes at:

  19. How was the initial consult? I commend you for facing your fears!

    Soooo, what did you think of TBL?????


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