Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recovery journal: The Final Entry

Day 123: Physical Therapy, no more. Orthopedic doctor, no more. Today, marks the end of a long recovery journey. When I was first sidelined with this injury, I honestly had to dig down and find every ounce of internal strength and motivation to get through. I knew the ONLY way I could recover was with a positive attitude. Such as life, I had days where I let negativity in, but mostly I was able to stay focused and not hang my head too much. Okay, enough with all that here's what happened today:

I had a physical therapy appointment and after some range of motion and strength exams - I have been released from physical therapy. No more PT. Happy dance. Heeeeeeeeey. 

After PT I had my four-month post-op appointment with Orthopedic doctor and ... I have been cleared to return to all my pre-injury workouts. Yes, NO restrictions. Oh yeah, he did say he'd prefer that I didn't play basketball - too much jumping - especially with my wicked crossover. I'm able to:

  • Squat
  • Lunge
  • Deadlift
  • Jumping Jack
  • Push-up
  • Yoga
  • Zumba
  • Etc.

So as long as I feel comfortable with the exercise I am free to do it. Both PT and doctor say that my slight limp will eventually just fade away once my muscles become stronger. PT recommends I start Yoga again, it will be a great way for me to strengthening my leg and also help with balance. Ironically, I saw one of my favorite Yoga instructors a couple hours after my appointment - too funny. Anyway, the doctor feels the only real limits I will have now are the limits I place on myself. With that said, I see a kick-butt full body cardio workout beginning with a dynamic warm-up in the near future, like tomorrow.  Oh yeah, and I'm sure there will be a sighting of me at my fave reggae club getting my groove on. Watch out. It's official -- I'm back!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

300 lb. Graduate

Yesterday, while visiting my mom she whipped out some old photos. I was mortified when she started revealing my high school graduation pictures. 17 years old and 300 lbs. And what's worse is I would continue on until I reached a whopping 388 lbs. SMH. There is something so wrong with that. I know, I shouldn't dwell. It's water under the bridge. All that matters is that I am making a conscious effort now to change my life. Before I drop the subject though I have to share these photos (excuse the quality) with y'all.

Class of 1990

Monday, June 20, 2011

Eating Ourselves to Death

Last weekend, at a family gathering I watched on as my aunt piled up plate after plate of food. I thought, my goodness she would have to be full by now. I mean, seriously she had eaten enough for a full day's worth of calories. At one point, she even declared she was full. Stuffed. Just a little while later though I found her eating a cupcake. Huh? I'm confused. Didn't she just say out loud that she was full? Stuffed, even? Sadly, I know all to well about this type of behavior. Unfortunately, too many Americans know about over consumption of food. We are a country rich with resources, the land of the plentiful. Food is so easily accessible. We no longer are conscious of why we're eating. Or what we're eating. We just eat.

Watching my aunt overeat brought back bad memories of my days of abusing food. I use to eat just to eat. The food tasted so good - I just could not stop until I was so full I would feel ill. Yuck. That is so gross. I'm so glad to say, however, I NEVER overeat anymore. Now, don't get me wrong I still eat for enjoyment, but I'm always mindful of my food combinations - I am eating to live. Also, I never overindulge. No longer will I eat more than the recommending serving. One of the things I tell myself when I'm eating is I get to have more later. There's no need in me stuffing myself. If I'm hungry later, there'll be more. That type of self talk really helps me to appreciate food more. When I eat just until satisfied, the food is actually more enjoyable. 

Last summer, my daughter and I went to a French bakery where we enjoyed the BEST Almond Crossiants and Espresso. We both become full, but we had a few bites left and a swig or two of coffee. That experience was a huge turning point for me, I looked to her and said "If I eat these last bites, it will ruin the whole experience." We both left the few bites on our plates and coffee in our cup. We made a conscious effort to just stop. Realizing that we could have more later. It may not be later today, or this week, but someday we would get to eat another Almond Crossiant. 

Although, it's a rather simple philosophy, I realize it still may be hard to grasp for those who have an overeating problem. There's probably a lot of issues that have led to the abuse of food. Trust me (remember I use to weigh 388 lbs.) -- you really can eat more later. So next time you're about to eat one bite too many. Stop. Remember, eat to live. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy food. After all, it was written: "Eat, drink, and be merry." Let us not be gluttonous.

This article may be a helpful start:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fish Taco Fiesta

Wow! Tonight I made Fish Tacos for the first time and it certainly won't be the last. For obvious reasons, I opted to sautée the fish instead of the traditional bread and fry method. The results: Light, delicate tasting tacos. 
Prep work - Left: Red cabbage, cilantro, Whole Foods Chile Lime Marinated Cod

Friday, June 17, 2011

Recovery journal

Day 123: For the first time since the accident...I laced up my tennis shoes and hit the pavement walking on my surgically repaired leg. I walked about a mile and I felt pretty good. I started to limp a little on the way home -- pretty typical when I start to fatigue. Soon enough I'll be, dare I say, jogging.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eating Healthy Never Tasted So Good

Halibut and Sweet Peppers a delightful meal combination. Fresh Halibut full of protein and a great source of  omega-3 fatty acids pan seared with Olive Oil and drizzled with fresh lemon juice for the finishing touch fresh dill. A medley of sweet peppers (green, orange, red, and yellow) an excellent source of Vitamin C and A along with Vidalla onions roasted to well, a sweet perfection. The technique was very simple. The peppers and onions were sliced, tossed with Olive Oil, seasoned with Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and roasted just until tender yet firm. To add more green to the plate and up the nutrient content of the meal, roasted broccoli rounded out this fresh, simple meal.

Choose peppers with deep vivid colors and free of soft spots.

Halibut should be bought from a store that has a good reputation for fresh fish.
Smell is a good indicator of freshness.
For more information on choosing enviromentally friendly fish, check out this slideshow:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Regret Nothing

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending my daughter's Senior Awards Night and Commencement Ceremony. There were plenty of proud families and loved ones in the audience. The speeches were the typical "Go forth and prosper."

As I sat in the auditorium my heart filled with pride and a great sense of accomplishment. I have raised a beautiful young woman who speaks French and Spanish, plays tennis, volunteers, and knows how to cook, clean, and do laundry. She learned these things under my guidance, but there's a whole scary world awaiting her. I won't always be there to help her figure things out.  She'll have to learn how to manuever on her own. She has her whole life ahead of her -- they (Class of 2011) have their whole lives ahead of them. So much
promise, hope for their futures. There is only so much text books can teach them Only so much their parents can teach them. Some things, most things are learned through trial and error. What will they do with themselves? Will they seize the opportunities?

Of course, the ceremonies also made me reflect on my life and the past 21 years since I graduated from high school. Surely, I regret some of my decisions. I realize the path I've traveled whether I planned it or not was the path that I was suppose to travel. When I graduated from high school I weighed 300 lbs. and eventually over the years I ballooned up to nearly 400 lbs. Do I regret that? Yes and no. I abused myself. I let food become my everything -- it consumed me.  I realize, however, good or bad, being morbidly obese is a part of who I am. I made a very conscience decision though to change. That's the beauty of life - second chances. I no longer want to live my life full of excuses.  I want to seize the opportunities. I want to live life to the fullest. I want to regret nothing. Here's to the Class of 2011 graduates -- go forth and prosper. Seize your opportunities. Regret nothing.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Recovery journal

Day 118: It's been a action-packed week. Had a great time celebrating my daughter's graduation and hanging with my family -- my auntie is visiting from Raleigh.

Go figure. My foot swells and hurts more than my leg. I certainly still am NOT what I use to be. One good day filled with activity leads to me being pooped the next. Of course, my spirit shines bright and my mind is FOCUSED. "Do what you can."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Champion Blood

I love tennis. Nothing like a tennis match,  finesse and grit. I've long said that in my next life -- I want to be a tennis star.

This weekend, I watched one of tennis' greatest rivalries Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer play one another for the French Open championship. Both men are champions, however, Nadal is "King Of The Red Clay." Nadal got off to a shaky start and was broken by Federer his first service game. Federer looked very much in control of the first set...Until the beast in Nadal was awakened. As a spectator, I've watched plenty of tennis matches and slow starts do occur. Maybe the player isn't quite warmed up? Nervous? Who knows. The one thing I do know is great players, champions know how to win. When things get tough on the court they keep their composure and find a way to continue playing their game. Sunday's match was no different. After Nadal started off looking a little subpar for his standards. He pulled the first set away from Federer. The first set really, really belonged to Federer, but Nadal believed in his heart he could win. He had been in this type of situation before. So he saw past the fact that he was a little down. When his first service game was broken he didn't let that rattle him. Why? Because he knows he can win. His record indicates it. So being down a few points didn't bother him. He's a champion.

My weight loss and fitness journey are comparable to a tennis match. When my opponent seems to have the best of me I find ways to keep my composure and play my game. I know within myself I have a winning record and so a few broken service games don't rattle me. Instead, it motivates me, challenges me to find other ways to win. Like Nadal, I've been at this for a while and so I know within myself I can win. I have champion in my blood.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Recovery Journal

Day 108: Busy bee! Got lots done at home today. After all the foundation of everything starts at home. Feeling like the worst of the cold is behind me just a few sniffles. Leg is feeling INCREDIBLE! I'm almost sure my limp is mental. So I just have to keep reminding myself: Walk, tall Chrisetta you're a runway model. Strike a pose. ;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Talk is cheap

I've encountered lots of folks who say they are going to do something and for whatever reason they don't. They probably started off with the best of intentions, but just didn't deliver. So I've learned over the years that "Actions speak louder than words."

As I transform myself from obese to fit part of my journey involves me sharing my story with you all. In a blog post I wrote titled, "Game On," I promised myself and y'all that I would not gain a single pound and my goal was to lose at least a pound a week. Well, let's just say I did not quite meet the challenge. I'm proud to say that I did NOT gain a single pound.  I fell short, however, on the weight I wanted to lose and I currently find myself in a sort of plateau. Disappointing? Sure. Defeating? Heck no. Time to re-evaluate, make necessary adjustments, and forge ahead. As we begin June,  it's time to up the ante -- talk is cheap.

The Obesity Epidemic is REAL!

The evidence of an epidemic is everywhere.

· Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are
overweight or obese.

· Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar
medical burden every year.

· Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years

Source: CBS News