Friday, 19 October 2012

Still recovering from surgery

Well, I had my LPAO on June 25th and, unfortunately I'm still on crutches almost 5 months later.
My pelvis currently looks like this;

So, as I'm sure you can imagine, I haven't exactly been training (or doing much of anything). It was a pretty full on surgery, I spent 10 days in hospital, had 2 blood transfusions and was transported home via ambulance.
Unfortunately, although I am definitely making gains, it appears that my bone growth may be slower than normal (what's known as "delayed bone union") which is why I am still stuck on 2 crutches so long after the procedure. I am back for another x-ray and visit with the orthopedic clinic at St Vincent's on the 19th of November and I am really hoping to be given the all clear to move to one crutch or even a cane. But I definitely won't be going back to house painting this year... if ever, as I need a few more surgeries on my pelvis an climbing ladders doesn't exactly go with all of that.

It's been hard, no doubt about it. I went into the surgery feeling so positive and was pretty upbeat for the first couple of months post surgery, but as time goes on and I lose weight and can't work, as I get poorer and find myself in constant, low-grade-but-always-present pain it is hard to keep my chin up.

But, at the end of the day it is what it is and I need to accept that- but goddamn, do I miss training ;_;

When I have more to update I will do so. I am planning on going to the gym next week- I figure that I can at least do upper weight training as I am fully weigh bearing, I'll just have to be careful not to whack people with my crutches or do any squats haha, so I'll let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, I am seeing my Dr on Tuesday to try and manage my pain more effectively- the methadone has killed my appetite and has also made me quite prone to aggression, neither of which are good for me (or my daughter). I need to eat to grow bone and being shitty 24/7 is only likely to trigger depression or some sort of relapse into unhealthy coping behaviour/s. So fingers crossed he will approach things from less of a "recovered addict" aspect and more of a "genuinely in need of pain management, let's deal with weaning you off obviously required narcotics when your bone has regrown and those screws are out" aspect. One can always hope ;)

Stay strong,

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Achievements and setbacks

Well I have to say, I'm rather pleased with myself right now. I've been going to crossfit for just on 3 weeks and on Thursday I did this- twice;
Pictured; not me

I'm pretty happy with 2 full rope climbs, although I do wonder how much my years being a pole dancer helped ;)  It was intense and very tiring, especially in my forearms (they felt so pumped, so full) but I managed to touch the rafters on both attempts. Considering my upper body strength is shit and I'm scared of heights I reckon that was quite an achievement. I also scored some wicked bruises and a little bit of rope burn but it was so worth it.

So that was the good. Now the bad;
My surgeon is going away on sabbatical for 6 bloody months in the 2nd week of June and he might not get to me in time. That means my surgery that was supposed to be done by June might not happen until freaking January ;_; And because of the progressive nature of OA (osteoarthritis) there's a good chance that my hip may no longer be healthy enough to be saved by a PAO (periacetabular osteotomy), which is news I'm really struggling to deal with.
There's a lot of reasons I don't want this surgery done in January of next year- it's the height of summer, it's tourist season, it's 9 fucking months away and puts off my recovery until the middle of next winter, when I'm turning 42. I don't want to wait another year and a half to start my life again, I want to do this now so I can get on with getting well. And the idea that I might ruin my hip in the meantime scares the living crap out of me... I am so scared that they'll open me up next year only to find that my hip is beyond saving and that I will have to get a THR (total hip replacement) instead. So yeah, this is bad news. It also means I might have to shelve training too, as deadlifts, squats, olly lifts and so on all put incredible stress on the hip and it could hasten the OA. On the other hand training helps me to manage my depression, so I'm really caught between a rock and a hard place right now.
I've also had to back off the paleo eating as it's just too expensive for me to maintain. I know people go on about how much they save by not eating out but I never do that anyway as I can't afford it (and I have no social life). People also say stuff like "but think how much you'll save in the long run with your health!" umm, dude, I can't put petrol in my car to get my kid to school if I eat like this. In other words, I don't think these people actually understand what it's like to live on the poverty line.
I am, however, very interested in the I.F (intermittant fasting) approach to getting lean as it sounds similar to the way I like to eat- I was told for so many years that I needed to eat breakfast or I'd ruin my metabolism so I forced myself to eat, even though I really struggled with it, and here's a method that advocates doing what I did instinctively. It also allows grains and so on which would also suit my financial situation better than paleo too. So we shall see...
And just to prove that age is no reason to quit, here's a lady who is still a bad ass, blue rinse and all;

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Paleo, eating disorders and raising healthy kids

I haven't blogged for a few days as I've been flat out working, training, looking after Sophia and generally trying to fit 24 hours worth of activity into 12. But I really feel a need to put this out there as I'm feeling a bit conflicted at the moment.
To be honest I've been feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole paleo trip; I feel like I've never cooked so much or thought about food so much in my life. The last time I was this focused on my eating habits I was in the midst of an eating disorder and I do worry that this is veering rather close to the obsessive attitudes I had back then.
I am also struggling with the idea of raising my daughter in this lifestyle for a number of reasons, some of which I've outlined below;
First off, we never drink soft drinks (soda) and we don't go heavy on highly processed foods, we're not big on lots of dairy and try to eat a healthy, well rounded diet (by Western standards). So it's not like we are coming from a place of take away food and cola.
On the other hand we both enjoy the odd chocolate biscuit or lollipop, my daughter has the odd drink of juice (too sweet for me) and sometimes we eat some chips or popcorn, but it's far from being the bulk of our food intake and we're just as likely to have watermelon or greek yogurt with raw honey and nuts for a treat or snack.
My daughter gets multigrain or wholemeal sandwiches for lunch and toast for brekkie, she enjoys my pasta dishes (and no wonder- I'm a good cook) and she loves rice. I have recently cut out grains in my diet but it's so expensive eating high protein that I don't know how long I can afford to maintain it. The reality is that pasta or rice can stretch 1 chicken fillet into 3 or 4 meals and that's kinda important when you live on 22k a year (and rent alone is around 12k).

Another thing to remember is that my daughter was a severe IUGR baby, weighing in at less than 1400 grams at 36 weeks-  she was actually the size of a 29 week gestation baby when she was born.  So, physically speaking, she has always been on the small side.

Hell, she wasn't even on the growth chart for the first year of life and remains a very slender girl at 8 years of age. I mean, she's not scrawny at all, she has good muscle mass, but she's pretty lean and always has been.

In other words neither of us are obese or anywhere near it and my daughter's IUGR means that she is unlikely to ever be so. So is it fair of me to restrict her dietary intake of things like brown rice, legumes, pasta and bread because I want to drop body fat?

And speaking of body fat levels, do I want to risk going back to this? because the physical ideal I am striving for may have more muscle, but she's still lean as fuck.
Is it even possible to reach these goals without engaging in disordered behaviour?

So I feel very torn at the moment;
Do I want my daughter to fear sugar? Do I want her to see food as "good" or "bad"? Because that's how I saw food when I was starving myself and that's one legacy I don't want to pass on- I don't really know how to overhaul our eating habits without demonising certain foods, and that worries me.

I guess what I am trying to figure out is where do I draw the line? At what point do my personal choices regarding diet impact on my daughter's right to enjoy a "normal" childhood?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Wednesday; hump day or pump day?

I am pretty busy trying to get this whole paleo thing organised- I feel like I've spent the last 2 days cooking ;)
I made an amazing, kick arse pumpkin and sweet potato soup which I tweaked with a little bit of freshly grated ginger, garlic, garam marsala and all spice. It was amazingly yummy (pics to follow when I get my shit together).
Then I cooked up about 1 1/2 kg of free range chicken fillets, a beef stew, chicken meatballs and sliced up a heap of veggies. I must admit, it has made life easier having so much stuff prepared beforehand.
My biggest stumbling block is breakfast. I have had a piece of sour dough toast and vegimite with a cup of tea every day for years and rarely do anything more filling or complex than that but now I am having to deal with eating something early in the day when I don't really feel like it.
Breakfast today was a banana, organic almond milk, WPI, a dash of maple syrup and a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa and it was pretty bloody yummy but I don't know if I will be able to handle something like that every day. So we shall see.

Anyway, I did my second crossfit session today and feel great. It's funny, I feel so exhilarated after a work out, I just want to turn around and do it all again!
Looking forward to tomorrow's challenge.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Pumpkin soup

Ok basic pumpkin and sweet potato soup-
Dash of olive oil
Diced onion
Freshly grated ginger (around an inch or so)
A few cloves of garlic, crushed
Chicken stock or veggie stock (water's fine if you prefer, just adjust seasoning accordingly)
1 or 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into evenish sized chunks
1/2 to 1 medium sized pumpkin (i used 1/3 each of butternut, jap and some other variety) cut into chunks
Garam masala, all spice, sea salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper to taste

Saute onion in olive oil over low/medium heat until soft and transparent, add garlic and ginger, stir
Add pumpkin and sweet potato, stir
Add stock/water, stir and reduce heat
Bring to very slow simmer and stir occasionally until pumpkin etc is soft
Allow to cool and then blend until smooth
Place back in pot to heat and add spices, salt and pepper to taste
Serve hot with a bit of crumbled bacon on top :D

Tip; I buy cut pumpkin because i can see the colour, which should be rich and deep

Monday, 9 April 2012

The crossfit journey begins

Well goddamn, blogger just ate my entire entry.
Quick recap because I'm not typing everything out again (ffffffffuuuuuuuuuu!);
I did my first crossfit session today and did pretty well I guess. I squatted 60kg (my body weight is around 60-62kg), did 20/15 wall walks which just killed me and 20/15 box jumps of a massive 12" haha, I am seriously uncoordinated ;) Plus a heap of skip rope.
I also managed to achieve my first crossfit related injury too- I copped a 6kg medicine ball to the collar bone which, not even gonna lie, hurt like a motherfucker. I am developing quite the bruise too!
And, to top it off, I even managed to eat pretty clean too- homemade pumpkin and sweet potato soup, zuchini "spaghetti" with bolognese (my spelling is terrible btw) sauce and some chicken tenders etc. I did eat a dark chocolate hot cross bun but fuck it, I'm still pleased with myself.

So, to keep things ticking over nicely here's some hot crossfit women :p


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Here we go again...

So, I'm blogging again. I love my livejournal blog but I kinda want to keep that life separate from this one, for now anyway.
This blog is more about my journey back into fitness, exploring crossfit and paleo and documenting my upcoming surgery.
I'm not sure how long I will be able to attend crossfit at this point in time as I am scheduled to undergo a  PAO or Peri Acetabular Osteotomy. 
Unfortunately, in part because of my age, my surgeon is expecting me to be on crutches for around 12 weeks, using a cane for a further 2-3 months and not being up to training or working for anywhere between 8 to 12 months! I am a house painter by trade so carrying ladders, climbing up and down ladders, squatting, lugging around tins of paint and so on are obviously going to put a lot of stress on the hip socket so I suppose that is part of the reason he has forewarned me that I might be unable to go back to work for such an extending period. I am hoping that I will be able to start some upper body exercises maybe 3 or 4 months post surgery, because sitting on my arse for the next 6 months will drive me crazier than I already am.
I reckon one of the cool things about the surgery is how mad the x-rays look;

Plus my femoral head is pretty wrecked so they might also do this;

Told you the x-rays look full on! Who needs a terminator when you have this much metal?

When I found out I needed the surgery I guess I got scared as I stopped training- I was really frightened of making things worse and ending up having to have a THR (total hip replacement) instead. And even though the PAO has a much longer recovery than a THR it's a better option in the long run as I won't have the sorts of physical restrictions placed on me that come with a THR.
Mind you, I have been told that my right hip (the one that actually gives me all the pain) may blow out due to the extra weight bearing it will have to do while my left hip recovers, and I have been warned that I will eventually need a THR on both sides, but if things go well I can postpone this for 5 or 10 years. But hey, at least I have these options under our public health system, so in that way I consider myself to be very lucky.

As to how this will effect my foray into the world of crossfit, well, I guess I won't be doing it for long, but I am hoping to get back into it as soon as I can post surgery and I'm aiming to go into this operation in as fit a state as I can manage over the next 4-6 weeks.

Tomorrow is my first full crossfit session and I assume I'm going to be feeling similar to how I did when I trained at PTC (power training centre) - the people there are very heavy lifters- Markos and his wife are full on, she uses a 90 kilo freaking kettle bell ffs!  When I trained there Markos snuck the weight up to 80 kilos during my deadlift set, which isn't huge but is a fair bit when you haven't been back into deadlifting for more than a few weeks ;) The next day I had to hold on to the shelves at the supermarket when I went to get letric salts... I was so bloody sore, I have never experienced DOMS like that before. So I'm kinda expecting a similar state post crossfit, at least at first.

Anyway, this is getting ridiculously long, so I'll end this for now.