The S word

So it’s been awhile. I turned 30. There were holidays. A wedding. Craziness at work.

Notice what’s missing?

Yeah.

Working out.

www.footsurgeryatlas.com

My foot/ankle situation hasn’t gotten better. In fact, it’s gotten worse.

On February 22, I will be having a lateral ankle ligament reconstruction surgery. It is as crazy as it sounds. If you are crazy like me, you will already have googled what this is. I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s a link to a step-by-step photo gallery of the surgery. Oh, and here’s video.

“Surgery involves making an incision on the side of the ankle to allow the surgeon to clearly see the torn tendons/ligaments and perform surgical repair. ” (Source: Ortho Foot and Ankle Center)

Basically, the surgery involves cutting ligaments in half, overlapping them, and sewing them back together. My surgeon is also going in to clean out the ankle joint and will remove the spurs.

I have three weeks to get my affairs in order – prep everything at work so that my coworkers can cover for me for however long I’m out of work and figure out what I need to bring to my parents’ house, where I’ll be staying during recovery.

I know I’m going to go crazy during recovery. I will need things to keep me busy. I figure I’ll sleep quite a bit the first few days, but after that, I will probably do a lot of knitting, crocheting, iPad gaming, documentary watching and reading. (So if you’re interested in one of my hats, place your orders soon!)

And, if you’re in the MKE area, please feel free to come visit. I will go stir crazy. And I’ve heard I’m fun when I’m on painkillers.

 

A new blog, a good run and a happier gut

Don’t worry, I’m not leaving Losing It! I’m just going to focus my FODMAP-related posts, recipes, etc at www.wtfodmap.com.

It’s been almost two weeks since I started the FODMAPs elimination diet and boy do I feel better. It’s amazing what a difference there is between me today and me two weeks ago.

I’m still crabby about many of the foods I’ve had to give up, but I’m thankful for less trips to the bathroom, less bloating, less gas and a more happy Amy.

Today I had a 5 mile training run. It went pretty well. I felt like my legs were heavy, but I managed to squeak out a sub-15 pace, which is pretty good for me. Of course, it’s nothing like my recent runs with paces of 12:30-13:30/mile, but I’m making progress!!!

 

Day 18: A comedy of errors

So, yesterday was interesting. As I got into my car in the Walgreens parking lot before work, I heard (and felt) my tights rip at the back seam. If I would have gone back home, I would have been late for work and I figured it wasn’t too bad so I just went about my day.

But the rip kept getting bigger. If you follow me on twitter, you know that it just kept getting worse. When I got home from work, the seam had ripped almost completely to the front of the tights. This is what I saw when I took the tights off:

Let me tell you, it was breezy up in here.

Besides being crabby and tired, the FODMAPs elimination diet is going well. Unless you count the horribly bland salads I’ve had the last two days when eating out. Last night I had to pick off the croutons. SADSIES.

So today, I had my first training session back with my trainer, John. I haven’t seen him since January because of the whole slipping on the ice and throwing out my back thing.

I walked into the gym he now owns (Bayview Fitness!!!) and walked into the locker room. I thought something looked a little different and then… I saw the urinal. Facepalm. I would have been ok (no guys in there) except for as I was trying to sneak OUT of the locker room, a guy was walking in. He looked at me funny and I muttered, “Ugh! Wrong locker room! hahahah. It’s been a rough morning. I mean day. I mean, umm, ahh.” Then I just walked into the women’s locker room.

Sometimes I think that my life could EASILY be turned into a sitcom. Days like the last two are only proof that it would be hilariously embarrassing.

Day 16: WTF(odmap)

Day 16 of marathon training, Day 2 of FODMAP elimination diet.

I’m not going to lie to you.

IT SUCKS BALLS.

I’m still bloaty, not as gassy but now I’m CRABBY AND BITCHY AND KIND OF DEPRESSED.

Top it all off and I go for a run today after work (with my new running capris) and they start rolling down my gut. Like I couldn’t run more than a block. It was horrible. I ended up walking about a mile. Then I got frustrated and went home.

I’ll make up for it tomorrow… or something.

Le sigh.

On another note, I got the sweetest, most amazing email the other day from a blog reader named Alana. Alana, your email made me cry. I WILL be responding soon, I’m just completely humbled by it.

And to Ro, your message today was just what I needed to pick my sorry self up off the floor. I <3 you.

Finally, I leave you with this. Chicken Bacon Dijon Potato Patties. It’s a nifty gluten-free, FODMAP-free meal I created tonight. You can find the recipe here.

Day 14: FODMAPs

A lot has happened in the past few days. I’ve seen the Hunger Games. Twice.

I had the MOST AMAZING RUN (and experienced “Vomit Hill”).

Vomit Hill - I almost contributed to its namesake.

And yesterday, I saw a nutritionist. I have been thinking about seeing one for quite some time and this past week I was pushed to the edge. I feel like my body is attacking itself whenever I eat.

You see, I was diagnosed with Acid Reflux at age 5; Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) at 10; Chronic Daily Headaches due to decreased levels of Serotonin at 19; Lactose Intolerance in early 20s; Hypothyroidism at 27; Gastroparesis at 28. Not to mention Asthma and Seasonal Allergies.

That’s a whole lot of auto-immune problems going on.

When you have IBS, you’re told to eat more fiber. When you try to lose weight, you are told to eat more fiber – because it is more filling than other foods.

When you’re diagnosed with gastroparesis, you’re told to eat less fiber – that fiber is one of the worst things for that condition.

So, when you have it all (aren’t you jealous?), what in the hell are you supposed to eat?

I don’t know. And that’s why I went to see a nutritionist. No matter what I’ve tried, I can’t lose more weight. I’m down 27 lbs. from my highest weight 2 years ago, but I cannot get past this hump. It’s frustrating because I work out – hard. I work out 4-5 times a week.

The appointment was very eye-opening. Rachel was very friendly and helpful. I was afraid that I would scare her off with all my problems. After listening to my history, taking a look at a food log and asking me some other questions, Rachel suggested I might benefit from eliminating FODMAPs from my diet.

I know what you’re thinking – what in the hell are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates which are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. The term is an acronym.

FODMAPs are: Fermentable, Oligosaccharides (eg. Fructans and Galactans), Disaccharides (eg. Lactose), Monosaccharides (eg. excess Fructose) and Polyols (eg. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt).

Basically, they are sugars, starches and fibers in food that some people (especially those with IBS) can’t fully digest or absorb. Because FODMAPs aren’t absorbed properly in the small intestine, “They end up in the large intestine along with water, where they undergo bacterial fermentation into hydrogen, carbon dioxide and short-chain fatty acids.” Sounds sexy, right?

Can I be honest here? Good. I can’t even explain just how bloated I’ve been lately. And gassy. Again with the sexy talk.

After researching and reading more about FODMAPs, I wonder if the size of my gut will go down as I eliminate FODMAPs from my diet. Can I blame my bloaty gut on them? We’ll see.

First attempt at FODMAPs elimination diet - salmon cakes.

For the past two weeks, it hasn’t mattered what I eat – I always feel horrible after eating. It’s frustrating. It makes you not want to eat. But I know I have to, so I keep eating. Honestly, I’m willing to try just about anything at this point. So, Rachel and I decided that I would try to eliminate FODMAPs from my diet for the next month, and then return to discuss how the month went. I am going to keep a food journal, detailing everything I eat for the next month. I will be including my energy level and other physical symptoms with each post. You can follow my food journal (if you’re interested) at http://fodmap.tumblr.com.

Initially, I’m going to completely eliminate FODMAPs from my diet. If things get better, I may attempt to bring certain (borderline) foods back in to my diet, to see which FODMAPs my body can tolerate. I’m hopeful this elimination diet will change my life for the better. Otherwise, I’m gonna be pissed to give up things like apples, pears, avocados, watermelon, artichokes, asparagus, garlic, onion, mushrooms and EVERYTHING THAT CONTAINS GLUTEN/WHEAT.

Yeah. I’m not happy about this diet, but I’m trying it because I so desperately want to feel normal. Even if it means eliminating favorite foods from my diet. Basically, eliminating FODMAPs from your diet means eating no packaged foods – it is difficult to find packaged foods that don’t contain FODMAPs, so this afternoon’s trip to the grocery store was a lengthy one – full of reading labels on EVERYTHING and trying not to feel too depressed. I’m to the point I just NEED to feel better and I’ll do just about anything to get there.

Anyways. Whew. There’s that. Here’s to new beginnings.

Here are some resources I’ve found helpful so far:

 

Weigh-in Wednesday: A day late, but better than never

I’ve been pretty quiet around these parts lately. There hasn’t been much to say. Yeah, I’ve been working out, but I haven’t been watching my food intake. Ok, so I’ve been watching it go in my mouth and into my belly but not much as far as self control and moderation.

Something snapped last week and I lost 3.6 lbs! Woohoo! I’m hoping to drop another 10 (preferably 12 or 13) before the half marathon May 7th. I’m 252.6 and it would be AWEEEESOME to be in the 230s by May. We’ll see what happens!

I also officially hit my 5lb weight loss with WW Online! Wooooot!

Health Update: Lazy Stomach

My name is Amy and I have a lazy stomach.

Ok, actually I have a “mild gastric emptying delay.” AKA gastroparesis. AKA my stomach doesn’t easily digest food. AKA my stomach is slow. AKA my stomach doesn’t empty itself into my intestines properly.

So you see why I’m calling it “Lazy Stomach.”

Figures, my stomach is as lazy as the rest of me.

Anywho, after the gastric emptying scan where I ate eggs with radioactive dye in them, my GI doctor, Dr. K, had me come back in to talk about the results. Since I have a mild case, he didn’t want to put me on meds just yet. This isn’t a health issue you can cure. It’s something you just learn to live with. Like my hypothyroidism, it will be a lifelong problem for me and if we can put off worse symptoms until I get older, we can put off adding another medication to my morning cocktail.

Interestingly enough, Dr. K says that my thyroid issues are probably contributing to the lazy stomach. He thinks that once we finally get my thyroid levels under control (they were more than double the highest end of “normal” when I was diagnosed a year ago – now, they’re just a little bit higher than normal) hopefully some of my issues will subside.

Of course, me being the paranoid expert Googler I am, I was constantly researching the gastric emptying scan and gastroparesis on countless medical web sites. One of the interesting tidbits I uncovered was that gastroparesis can be caused by prolonged usage of SSRI’s (aka antidepressants). I have been taking Zoloft for more than nine years. My freshman year of college, I got very sick. I had horrible headaches every day. They were debilitating. Many days I just couldn’t get out of bed. I had MRIs and many other neurological exams and my neurologist (Dr. V) diagnosed me as having a serotonin deficiency. Basically, people who are clinically depressed have super low levels of serotonin. Normal people have normal levels. I’m somewhere in between. For me, the serotonin deficiency presented itself in headache form. I’m also convinced that if I wasn’t taking this medication for headache prevention purposes, I would have been on it eventually for depression. I think I’m just wired for depression and anxiety issues. I’ve dealt with both over the past 5-6 years.

Ok, I’ve rambled on long enough.

So there you go. I have a lazy stomach, likely caused and/or influenced by my thyroid disorder and prolonged usage of antidepressants. Good times.

Radioactive scrambled eggs

Guess what I get to do on Monday? Here’s a hint:

I’m eating radioactive scrambled eggs, y’all.

You see, I’ve been having a lot of GI problems lately. I’ll spare you the gross details. It hasn’t been pretty. Everything I eat seems to make me sick. I’m bloated, not very hungry (i.e. forcing myself to eat) and through all this, I haven’t lost any weight, which is frustrating. I’ve had a few different tests – checking for a bacterial infection of the intestines, blood test for Celiac disease, etc. I might have a slight intolerance to gluten, but it’s not a full-blown allergy. (Whew, I was freaking out I’d have to give up beer, pizza, sandwiches and whiskey). I’m gonna try to reduce the gluten in my diet, though, because I haven’t been as sick when I eat mostly gluten-free.

Oh, so back to the radioactive eggs. I saw a specialist yesterday who ordered a gastric emptying scan. It’s not what you think. I made sure it wasn’t a test where they watch you poop. Cuz that’s just nasty. Basically, I fast the night before, then they give me toast, OJ and scrambled eggs laced with radioactive dye and then watch it move through my digestive system. It’ll take a few hours. My doctor said we’d take it from there.

From my extensive Googling, I’ve found that this test is intended to see if your stomach is rapidly or too slowly emptying into the small intestine.

Good times.

Weigh In Wednesday: Two-Week WW check-in

I forgot to blog about it last week, but I lost 2.8 lbs in my first week back on Weight Watchers (online program). I tracked every day and never used my activity points!

This week wasn’t as good. I didn’t track Saturday-Tuesday. I’ve been dealing with some GI issues (I won’t gross you out with the details, but if it keeps up I’ll be seeing the doctor).

So, I lost .2 lbs this week, for a total of 3 lbs since re-joining Weight Watchers.

I have a crazy weekend ahead – work holiday party – and will likely be using up a lot of my extra P+. The following weekend is the Super Bowl and my Green Bay Packers are playing in it, so I foresee that being a rough weekend as well. I will just have to plan accordingly earlier in the week and make sure to get my exercise in!

Weigh-In Wednesday: Welcome Back

I’m gonna be honest with y’all. I don’t even know what I weigh right now. My scale is whacked out. I always weigh myself 3 times just to make sure I’m not standing on it weird or anything (I weigh myself right when I wake up so I’m a zombie).

Well, today I had to weigh myself about 10 times because I kept getting such drastically different numbers. They ranged from 250.8 to 258.6. We’re gonna go with 256 for our purposes today. Mostly because the 255-258 numbers came up most often.

So, there you have it. I’ve gained about 10 pounds since August, but only a couple of them came in December, so when you think about it, I handled the holidays pretty well.

But, it’s time to fix what I undid this fall.

I am not upset by the weight gain, but am using it as motivation to kick ass this month in training and with my 31-day vegetarian challenge.

Speaking of which, things were going swimmingly until today. Mid-day I began to CRAVE a juicy hamburger with bacon. And BBQ. And Cheddar.

OMG are you salivating?

I got through the craving and tonight I made fajitas!

Day 5: Field Roast Fajitas

Happy hump day everyone. It’s almost over.