Good evening, folks! Time for a quick update while I have a moment to breathe.
It’s week 24 of 20/20, and things are continuing at their usual, frenetic pace. While we haven’t had a lot of major milestones to report since Week 22, we have had quite a few minor ones! In no particular order…
I have officially replaced my trusty workout pants! Let’s just say that scooting around on the floor for mat exercises was starting to get a little risky… or perhaps, risque! Though I was able to fit in the 14/16 Lane Bryant capris in the same style that I had before, I wasn’t super comfortable, and they weren’t super flattering, so I opted for the safer 18/20s. That said, I haven’t gotten that size up beyond the middle of my calves since middle school. I will take that as the amazing change that it is!
I’m also wearing my first pair of skinny jeans. Full disclosure: I have a THING about skinnies. As in, I HATE them. I almost cried the day Lane Bryant insisted on adding them to their lineup because they were/are so popular in the fashion world. If you’re a big lady, it’s important to accentuate the positive and avoid things that emphasize problem areas, and well… skinny jeans are designed for skinny ladies with skinny legs! Just because something fits doesn’t mean it’s flattering. Recently, however, Lane Bryant redesigned their skinny jeans, and since I had to go in to replace other things anyway… I tried them out, intending to laugh at myself. What happened after that… was a profound mystery of the universe. Not only did they fit… but they looked GOOD. I bought them, though I insisted on going a size up because I was too afraid of what would happen if I bought my real size. Guess who went back for another pair in her real size last weekend? I’m giving a lot of credit to the new cut, now that I’ve seen ladies far larger than I used to be wearing them, but it’s flattering to realize I no longer look like I’m trying to stuff things where they don’t belong anymore.
TRX class continues to improve by leaps and bounds. Each class is a new chance to try to master the things I’ve done before, and try my level best to do the things I couldn’t do last time. Once in awhile, new things come up, and it’s 50/50 whether or not I’m able to figure them out by the end of the set. Last week was the first class I went to where someone didn’t have to correct or help me with something, and this week’s class followed that up with another. I’m THRILLED by this! I have appreciated everyone’s help and encouragement more than I can say, and I don’t know if I’d still be taking the class if they hadn’t been so friendly and willing to point me in the right direction, but it feels good to be a member of the group instead of the callow newbie that still needs a lot of assistance. TRX classes are one of several that require a punch card – when you buy a card, it’s good for 10 classes (you can go to anything that accepts that card, not just TRX) before you have to buy a new one. Next week will be my final punch on my first card, which I can barely believe. The kid who slunk into her first class isn’t that far behind me, even if she’s feeling more and more like a stranger every day.
Exercise has also improved by leaps and bounds. I’ve graduated to doing two of the classic exercises that everyone has heard of and/or done in their lives – lunges and squats, with minor variations to help me learn balance and proper form. I’ve never been able to do basic lunges without supporting myself before, but I can now! I’m also working hard on things that help me to climb stairs with less effort. This usually involves either stepping up onto a raised platform of some kind and back down again (classic step exercise) or starting on the raised platform and stepping down with as little weight on my lowered foot/toe as I can before pulling myself back up again. So many of the things I’m doing at this point look simple and unremarkable, but doing them over and over again builds muscle and flexibility like nobody’s business. My current nightmare comes in the form of something called a single-leg lift, of which I can only do five per leg at a time before my core muscles implode. I pass by a circuit training class en route to my trainer sessions, and I’ve noticed them doing all the same stuff I’m doing. I still can’t tell whether the “ha, suck it up, kids!” or “I feel so sorry for you” impulse is faster…
John is continuing to improve right along with me. He has reached the point where he weighs less than I do by a couple of pounds! (I’m not jealous because I’m too tired to be jealous. I knew it would happen, someday.) Today was the final class of the six-week tai chi course he was taking, and I know he plans to repeat the class again since he enjoyed it so much. Several of the other students in his class were themselves repeat students, and they recommended doing that in order to get a good, strong handle on the basics. The Pro Club is planning to start an advanced class at some point, but for the time being, they’re going to offer the introductory course twice a week. This gives me a chance to look into it! I’m still on the fence, since I already have classes on both days they’re offering it, but I am curious. I refuse to give up TRX, and I’ve enjoyed PROjam, in no small part because it gets me through my steps and takes care of all the cardio I could ever need for the day, so I’m feeling like my needs are met at the moment. We’ll see what happens!
John’s surgery is coming up on Thursday, which is the one semi-major piece of news. He’s taken the rest of this week off of work, so that he has time to relax beforehand and lots of time to recover afterward. While I know he’s nervous (and he has every right to be,) I also know that this is going to be the same as the easier portion of what he went through last time, just with heavier anesthetic. It’s never fun having to be knocked out for something, but as far as surgery is concerned, this is going to be the quick and painless variety. It’s still laparoscopic, so there won’t be any cutting or stitching or scarring, or any lengthy recovery periods; it’s about how well he stays under, and how well he reacts to coming back out of it when the problem is taken care of. As for me, I’m refusing to allow myself to get nervous or think about the drive ahead, as the anticipation for me is always far, far worse than the actual event; by Thursday morning, I want to get in the car and just do what needs to be done. It’s important to me to stay as calm as I can, both for my own sake and for John’s. The last thing I want is to stress him out on the way to his appointment. It means a lot that he trusts me to do this for him, and I’ll honor that by doing the best that I can.
(For the curious or prayer-inclined: John will be at the UWMC Digestive Health Center in Seattle. The surgery is scheduled to begin at 12:30 PM, assuming everything stays on track. This is supposed to be a 15-minute outpatient procedure, so I don’t expect us to be there for more than 2-3 hours at the most; the vast majority of that will be managing the anesthesia. If anyone wants a text or email to let them know when he’s awake and OK, I’m glad to do that, since he’ll likely be too groggy to do it himself.)
That’s about it for us this week! For now, everything is a matter of closing this particular medical chapter of our lives, and returning our focus to the rest of what we need to be doing. As this is Week 24, next week will be our final (?!) set of measurements and our final doctor visit before the end of Phase 1. Even if I know our lives aren’t likely to change much once we finish Phase 1, it’s still exciting to be this close to the goal post. I still remember how impossible this all felt during the first month… and yet here we are, still shedding sizes and doing more and more impressive things with bodies that used to do nothing at all. It truly is a brave new world, and I’m enjoying it more with each day that passes. It’s still never easy – but nothing worth having is ever easy, is it?
With our families, our friends, our beloved husband/wife, and the fantastic people that have entered our lives at the Pro Club by our sides, we can do anything. And we are. And we will.