Thursday, March 16, 2017

Catching Up

Hi, all!

It has been over a year since I last wrote a post. I am ashamed of myself, and a ton of things have happened since January 18, 2016. The person I am today is not who I was during that post. In fact, I cannot even believe how different my life is now compared to then.

Let me take you back to January 2016. I was living in Seattle, in my second quarter of grad school, and single. Life seemed fairly decent back then, there was not much I had to worry about besides school. I had amazing friends out in Seattle that I met at school and life was good. Then on May 31st I met and started dating this guy named Zak. Little did I know then that he would turn my world upside down, in positive and negative ways. He was volunteering at Safeco Field, working in one of the concession stands with a bunch of other guys. Some of my classmates and I just so happened to be going to a Mariner's game to reconnect before summer classes would begin. The thing is, Zak and I met online, so I had never seen him before in person, but that day in June we finally met. During his break, we met up and were able to spend a few minutes together before he had to get back to work. It was incredible to finally meet him after texting and daily phone conversations for a few weeks.

Zak and I moved in together about a month after we started dating. We had a whirlwind romance for the first few months. We were doing everything together, except when I had a few weeks of summer classes. Honestly, we were both very much in love, and we knew that we had a future together. Zak as had some problems with substances in the past but he had worked through all of that and been clean for over 9 months, so I did not mind. We all have baggage, and his just happened to be substances. Unfortunately, in July he had a relapse, and that threw a damper in things a little, but we worked through it. In August I brought him home to meet my family, we spent two weeks with them before we had to head back to Seattle so I could begin my second year of grad school.

After we had got back, I started my second year of grad school and began interning at a Residential Treatment Facility for Pregnant and Parenting Woman who have had substance use problems. It was definitely hard work because I was working with a challenging population. And it definitely impacted my relationship with Zak, I had school full-time (2 days/week) and internship part-time (3 days/week). It was hard for us. We went from spending all of our time together to very little time together. And around this time I developed Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Also around this time, Zak relapsed again because he was trying to cope with all of the changes that were happening in our life. That relapse lasted for probably 3-4 weeks, and it drained most of our finances.

Then in November, I began having some health problems. I went into the emergency room and found out that I had strep throat, a kidney infection, urinary tract infection, and gallstones. So I saw my family doctor because I was in lots of pain because of the gallstones and he was no help what so ever. Then two days before Thanksgiving, Zak took me into the emergency room again and it was decided that they wanted to admit me to the hospital and that I will need gallbladder surgery. On November 23, I had my gallbladder removed. My mom flew up to be with Zak and me, and to help me recover from my surgery. It was an incredible blessing to be able to spend Thanksgiving with my mom and Zak.

December rolled around, and I went back to internship and school after recovering from my surgery. Then on December 9th, Zak asked me to marry him, and I said yes. So we told our families and friends, and then I began planning the wedding. We went back to Wisconsin for Christmas, we were only able to be there for 4 days, but I was incredibly thankful to spend that time with my family. The day before we had to head back to Seattle, my mom and I went wedding dress shopping. Amazingly enough, we found my dress! We also found my veil, the bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, my bouquet, and my bridesmaid bouquets. It was truly a fantastic trip.

After getting back to Seattle, real life began for us again. I went back to internship, and then in January, my classes started up again. Unfortunately, at the end of January Zak relapsed again. At that point, my anxiety was through the roof, and I was experiencing anxiety and panic attacks sometimes. Not only that, we were fighting a lot. We were trying so hard to get Zak's substance use under control again. This is the man I love, my fiance, and I did not want to see him destroy his life like that, not to mention our life together. But on February 21st I broke, in every sense of the word. This is hard for me to admit, but I had a nervous breakdown. I called my parents and told them that I needed to come home because I could not live in Seattle any longer. My anxiety and panic disorders had gotten so bad that I had to drop out of school and internship and move home. Zak had a few things to take care of out in Washington, so he moved here at the beginning of March.

We turned a new leaf now. Wisconsin and especially my hometown is a different way of life. Seattle was big, loud, and fast-paced. My hometown is the exact opposite of that, it is small, quiet, and slower. Not to mention that Midwestern people are nicer all around. For me, it is refreshing to be back home, and for Zak, it is a lot different, but he feels at home here already. The midwest can do that to a person though and I am glad that's how it is for him. My anxiety and panic disorders are still here, but now I have a larger support system surrounding me, and I am getting help. Honestly, sometimes you just need your mom to take care of you, and that is how I'm feeling right now. I am incredibly thankful to have such a loving, caring, and nurturing mother. And Zak is great through all of this too. This is a new thing for him, and I can be difficult to deal with when I am in the midst of an anxiety or panic attack. Honestly, I will never understand why he is still with me through all of this because this is not what he signed up for when we started dating. Either way, I am thankful that he is still by my side.

All of that being said, I have not stuck to a fitness or nutritional regimen since before Zak, and I started dating. Honestly, I have not done much exercise or eating right in a few years. Needless to say, I gained all of the weight back that I had lost and gained 15 more pounds. On March 6th Zak and I joined a gym and started working out the next day. Our gym offers some great things in our membership costs, including fitness evaluations every 30 days and program development. We had our fitness evaluation on the 8th, and my numbers were a tough pill to swallow. I weighed in at a staggering 330 pounds, with a body fat percentage of 46.8. During this evaluation, I learned how many pounds of fat I have on my body and how much lean body mass I possess. As of the 8th, I have 149 pounds of body fat and 177 pounds of lean body mass. Honestly, the lean body mass number surprised me. The trainer I worked with told me that if I wanted to be 22% body fat, if I did not gain any lean body mass (which is unlikely), then my goal weight should be 226 pounds! I was astounded by that number. When I first began my weight loss journey in 2011, my goal weight was 160 pounds because that was in the "healthy" range for my height. I had no clue that my goal weight could not be attained, and in fact, I should be at a lot higher weight than that. At this point, I just cut 66 pounds out of the weight I need to lose. Do not get me wrong, I still need to lose 104 pounds, but that is a lot more attainable than 170 pounds.

I have been tracking my food intake and fitness since the 7th, and I am proud of what I have done so far. My calorie goal to lose 1 pound/week is 2400, and I have been at of under that goal every day besides yesterday. And according to my scale at home,  on Monday I weighed in at 324.6 pounds. That is a loss of 5.4 lbs in 5 days. I have also logged 261 fitness minutes since the 7th, and that's including 3 off days from exercise. Honestly, I cannot wait for my next fitness evaluation next month to see how I have progressed.

Yesterday was an incredibly rough day for me, my anxiety was high from the moment I woke up in the morning. Zak and I didn't go to the gym, and in the afternoon I had a small binge. I did not track my food that afternoon or evening, but I am hoping that it was not too bad of a binge. Today is a new day, and it is going much better. I have tracked all my food thus far, and Zak and I hit the gym. We did cardio and strength training today. My legs and arms are killing me but I love the burn, it means that I worked my muscles hard and they are repairing themselves so they can grow stronger.

Well, I think that my short novel here will be catch up enough. I am going to try to start blogging more again. Not only will it help keep me accountable to my fitness and nutrition, but I am also hoping that it will help me work through some of my anxiety. Until next time!


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