Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Month of ClassPass'in

It is no secret that I am a lover of all things sweaty.

I had ClassPass for quite some time but put it on hold when I was marathon training, then injured and then moved and was trying to save some money as I figured out my new routine.

Then the IBD diagnosis came and running really was put on the back burner and I needed some variety in my routine. My gym that I joined by my new place is kind of ‘meh’. It does what it needs to do but the class times are mostly inconvenient (there is literally ONE class early morning during the week, they definitely cater to the stay at home/older set). And while it has Body Pump one of my most favorite classes it fills up quickly (you have to register) is only a couple times a week and again the times are not the greatest. I needed to get out of the zone out on cardio routine and quick.

So I took my ClassPass off of hold finally.

Best. Decision. Ever.

This time I started to fully take advantage of it. Last time around I didn’t branch out to new places really I just used it at my old favorites. This time I made it a point to try out new places and get out of my comfort zone.

Let me break down what a good investment it is financially (for someone who has finally put herself on a budget for real).

Classes in NYC are not cheap. Even when you buy packages you are usually paying upwards of $20 per class (and that is conservative).

And to continue on the conservative front let’s say that a single class is $25 to drop in.

My first month back on I went to 20 classes which comes out to $500.

ClassPass is $99 a month. Umm hello. That paid for itself multiple times over!

And in that month I also found a few new places that I really love. Some of my favorites:

Mile High Run Club – cannot say enough about this – for a runner that likes to zone the hell out being forced to run intervals and hills and have someone else time those intervals is awesome. I still have issues with running and IBD but I try to get there as much as possible.

Peloton – I LOVE their bikes and also their Live DJ ride. Do it. Trust me. It’s amazeballs.

Pace for Success – great quick classes – the space is no frills but the workouts are fantastic – strength circuits and intervals that leave you burning and sweaty.

Crunch – Athlete’s Workout – I loved the opportunity to go to the actual gym (they have gym time or classes that you can sign up for) this class is an intense 45 mins of rotating between cardio and strength nonstop. I LOVE the instructor Justin (Tuesdays 19th Street 5:30pm) his energy – he is bouncing off the walls and the workouts leave you burning!

Drill Fitness – I have only done the Bootcamp Ride class but it was a great interval workout – the wearing of the HR monitor kind of kills me competitively because my max HR is always lower than normal (my resting HR is 50 or below so getting to even 170 is a challenge) even when I my watts were 100 over what was being called for – BUT fantastic workout that is more drill oriented vs tempo/rhythm of Flywheel / Peloton

Om Factory – I have had classes with a couple great instructors. I cannot wait to try an arial class though!

YoGanesh – very no frills studio but I have had a great experience here so far as I try to get more consistent with yoga

In the past several weeks I am losing weight and also noticing some positive changes in my body composition which I can definitely attribute to getting out of my fitness comfort zone. I have a list of studios on my “to try” list like Flex, Tone House, Surf Set, Barry’s (one day I will man up) but they are the harder ones to get on the schedule (although Mile High is always a feat in itself! I am proud when I manage to get into the class I want!).

My weeks basically revolve around planning out classes. I love it and I definitely recommend giving it a try if you have not or were on the fence! You can put it on hold for a fee if needed (and still take one class!) but it is a fun way to really put your fitness to the test and try out different places throughout the city without spending hundreds of dollars. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It's Okay, To Not Be Okay.

Yesterday, was not a good day.

Things on the IBD front have just gotten worse. I am in a holding pattern of waiting on authorizations for new medications.

Monday night was miserable – or rather par for the course. I basically wake up at some point each night after midnight and go back and forth from bed to bathroom for a few hours.

By the time I got to sleep my alarm was going off for work. As I was in the shower all I could think of was just how crappy I felt – totally drained on top of the stomach woahs. I made the executive decision to go back to bed for an hour and a half and  go into work late. It was that or fully call out sick.

The sleep did help.

Once at work I called the pharmacy to find out if my prescription was ready to find out that they still had nothing on it. Then back into the cycle of calling my doctor’s office. 5 days of this back and forth and I was done. I sadly started crying to the MA at the doc’s office.

As I am attempting to compose myself I get a call from my boss to find out that I will be taking over the duties of someone who is leaving the company since HR over the past month has not bothered to begin looking for a replacement.

Mind you this person is not even in my department.

At this point my frustration hit an all-time high and I 100% started bawling (not in front of everyone but took some alone time with my coworker).

And you know what – I felt SO much better. Back in December I had a minor meltdown when everything was unknown and my first doctor was not communicating. But since switching doctors things have been looking up and my trust in him helps my trust in getting to remission.

I guess the moral of the story is that crying doesn’t make you weak, I am always trying to put on a good front and am totally ashamed when being emotional but you know what – the past 6 months have been really fucking hard (sorry). I am in pain every day without fail. I cannot live normally and can’t plan life fully. I hear I look tired constantly and I AM tired. I know I will get better but I am in a waiting game (and banking on remicade to help when lord knows if it will).

I am not proud that my meltdown happened at work, but I am happy I just let it go finally. Holding on to that was clearly not in my best interest. I am not weaker for giving into my emotions and by the end of the day my attitude was back in its rightful happy place.

But this pretty much sums it up:

Now let’s say some prayers that I get the authorizations already and something works.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Weight Watchers Week 7

I am going to be honest I don't think these numbers are right: 

Weeks weight loss = 1.6 lbs

Total loss to date = 12.6 lbs 

It has been a tough week on the IBD front - and I think I am dehydrated today. I actually anticipated a gain. 

I have been attempting to eat a "low residue" diet as suggested by my doctor - which to me just sucks. 

I love my greens and eating #allthevegetables but in an attempt to maybe help my digestion have been easing up on it. We all know those leafy greens and grains like quinoa (okay it isn't exactly a grain but I treat it like one) are great for helping you remain full and getting the fiber you need BUT that is kind of the exact opposite of what my system needs right now to try and heal itself. Those harder to digest foods just wreak havoc on my gut. 

That means I have been eating more starchy foods than I normally would (still eating proteins as normal). So figured more carbs = more water retention = higher weight. I feel like next week it will show in a gain on the scale but we shall see. 

I am more or less eating the same amount of points. Maybe more of my activity ones this week. And totally used up the weeklies - Monday night was another wine class this time with food. Two words: pork belly. Worth every damn delicious bite. I enjoy having them reset for the weekend. I kind of use them up for fun in the beginning of my week and then am totally on track during the work week. That works for me. 

I love feeling way more comfortable in all my pants now. Some being even a little too loose which is very nice. I don't think I will ever have the flattest of stomachs (never say never though, right?) but losing a couple inches makes me feel SO much better. The change is significant enough where people are noticing as well. 

The best part is that I am not overdoing anything. I am not training for races so I am not running a million miles. I am doing "normal" workouts, one rest day (some times two) a week. A nice mix of strength, cardio and yoga. ClassPass has me on studio overload (I have a couple posts about how much money I have saved and new favorites in the works). There is nothing that I am doing now that I cannot sustain in the future. I am eating treats (jelly bean addiction is going strong) indulging in alcohol when it is worth it - hopefully this weight will stay off (it took a couple years to gain the 8-10 pounds to get back to a high weight that spurred this reality check). 

All good things!

Happy Friday! And happy *slightly* warmer weather :) 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Weight Watchers Week 6

A month and a half in and going strong. 

At this point the meal planning, prep and allotting my points each day is pretty much second nature. 

It is all made easier by my "no spend Lent" so I have to be prepared each day with meals or else starve. And I do not like to starve. 

After a gain last week, on one hand I anticipated a loss but on the other thought that it wouldn't really amount to much since I skipped both Wednesday and Thursday workouts (because cold, snow, IBD, doctors appointments, winter cold and laziness - like my excuses?) which I figured wouldn't bode well the couple days prior to weigh in. Plus I just started prednisone and am interested to see how that interferes with the weight loss path. Low and behold I had a pretty good loss:

Weeks weight loss = 3.6 lbs

Total loss to date = 11.0 lbs 

With that, I lost another PP value and I am pretty close to when I was my lowest weight back in 2012. 

Just goes to show, yet again, that what you are putting in your body really matters more than the workouts. Yes obviously they help but you cannot eat crap and expect results. 

Considering I am not THAT overweight (in fact my BMI is "normal") and still having this kind of weight loss proves that a) its not rocket science and b) my body is not meant to be at the higher end if I am eating properly. 

As a calorie counter in between my time on WW I have to say that I enjoy this 150% more. I can post on that another time but worrying about macro targets and analyzing calorie intake on vegetables and stuff drove me batty. This system is much simpler. 

And my diet is by no means perfect. I still went out to a few dinners. I drank (looking at you wine class). I ate too many starburst jelly beans (they are my kryptonite at the moment) but that is balanced by lean proteins, a million and one veggies and some fruit (I try to keep my fruit at 1-2 servings a day and more veggies). 

And the best news is that most of my clothes from my leanest time are fitting pretty well now. Skinny jeans are comfortable once again - which is part of what drove me to get my shit together once and for all. My body was definitely more muscular when I was around this weight but I am working on it. 

My workouts are more weights/circuit focused than cardio based (thank you IBD and no long running sessions or really many running sessions at all) and it is fun to get some muscles back! I have some baby triceps coming and just might by bikini time have some baby abs. 

And the journey continues...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

From Bad to Worse...

So yesterday I had the most fun day off from work ever.

And be warned may be TMI in here, but TMI is my life these days :)

Tax fun in the morning which took entirely too long for a simple return.

Followed by needing to prep for another procedure (flex sigmoidoscopy) and then the procedure itself (similar to a colonoscopy but less invasive and no sedation).

And not eating until 5pm which was definitely the hardest part for me! Don't deny me food. Ever. 

I had been waiting for my doctor to return from vacation the past couple of weeks to finally get this done as things have progressively gotten worse.

The fun part of the procedure was that I was awake this time and got to watch the camera output. The former pre-med student in me found it interesting and you know something to focus on instead of what was going on.

Basically things are now labeled “severe” as a result of what he saw.

And my doctor is yet to distinguish if it is Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis. My colonoscopy had him 90% at Crohn’s but based on yesterday more symptomatic of UC. The gist of it all is that treatment is not working and also he said based on seeing this (he didn’t do my initial colonoscopy he is going on another doctors findings) there is no way in hell that Asacol would have put me into remission.

Things have managed to go from bad to worse in the meantime while the anti inflammatory meds are not working. 

So as of now I am on prednisone – I wanted to avoid steroids (because, vanity and knowing some results can be unpleasant) but I will really do anything at this point.

I will be going back to him next week with hopeful improvement. But if things don’t start to get better soon, he wants to discuss going on remicade (IV infusions every 8 weeks or so) which again not thrilled about but it is what it is.

I am on more than 5 months of this flare and kind of want my life to get back to some sort of normalcy. I am no longer woe is me but it does kind of suck to feel shitty most of the time.

So here’s hoping that I don’t get a puffy face and acne, but that my gut does start to heal itself and stop bleeding. And not worrying about where every bathroom in NYC is located.