F*** It, I’m Going to Start Smoking

OK, I’m exaggerating. Aside from the damage to your health, smoking is just plain gross!

However, I do feel like everywhere I turn, there’s something damaging to my health that I wasn’t aware of. Worse yet is the feeling that I can’t fix it. I can’t escape it. I can’t resolve it.

That’s very frustrating.

Recent cases in point:
1. American sunscreen doesn’t protect you. We don’t know what does. Skin cancer rates are going up & we don’t know how you can reduce your risk.

Awesome. (Yes, I’m exaggerating, but honestly, only slightly!) This one stressed me out in particular considering my husband and I are pale people with pale children. DH’s maternal aunt died in her 50′s of skin cancer that matistizied in her brain, so there is a family history there, making me extra paranoid. This article felt like a blow…

2. Tilapia is poison for you and the planet.

Again, only a slight exaggeration. And I had recently made this great 5-Spice Tilapia recipe to use scallions from my CSA.

The article states, “Compared with other fish, farmed tilapia contains relatively small amounts of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, the fish oils that are the main reasons doctors recommend eating fish frequently; salmon has more than 10 times the amount of tilapia. Also, farmed tilapia contains a less healthful mix of fatty acids because the fish are fed corn and soy instead of lake plants and algae, the diet of wild tilapia.

…Environmentalists argue that intensive and unregulated tilapia farming is damaging ecosystems in poor countries with practices generally prohibited in the United States —”

Thankfully I like salmon & have a decent seafood store nearby at which I normally shop. Even better yet, we know some people who enjoy fishing and give away or sell their catch – so you know for sure it’s wild caught! So I’ll have to make more of an effort to stock the freezer with known-wild-caught fish. Good thing we made that investment in the freezer.

I will say it was interesting reading that a diet of corn and soybeans makes the tilapia less healthy of a food for human consumption. Hmm… exactly like beef… Hmm.. but corn and soybeans are good for us to eat directly (or as food additives in the form of corn syrup, etc….)

Point being: It’s nice to read further points that, in my mind, confirm paleo is the way to go!

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Easing back into lifting post-cortisone shot

This is part 3 of the saga. Here’s part 1 The Shoulder Degeneration Saga + MRI and part 2 What the ortho said about my shoulder arthritis

Following the doc’s orders, after 2 weeks of no lifting, I eased back in with light workouts, & avoided overhead pressing even longer. I’d usually use 35# dumbbells for chest-presses, sometimes even 40s, for sets of generally 8-10, sometimes less (although not often more.)

Well, now I started with 15# DBs, sets of 25, then 20, then 15 reps. I felt OK lifting. Had a bit of a lump there that did make some people recoil in horror, but I felt OK.

I called and spoke with the PA (Physicians Assistant) about the lump and he said if I felt fine to not worry about it. Although it was quite the amusement at my Mother-in-Law’s house at Christmas. My Sister-in-Law suggested I have a little face tattooed on it. That cracked me up. I dubbed it, “My Horn” and DH said I was going to charge people with it, like a rhino.

Well, I continued lifting. I stayed with lighter weights in Nov & Dec, then gradually increased weight in Jan / Feb.

And then the pain came back…

Yeah! Pain again…

Even with a week or 2 of no weightlifting, I was still feeling pain. Taking a half-gallon of milk from the top shelf of the fridge would hurt. Folding laundry and shaking out a shirt to lay it down to fold would hurt. Not a lot, but just uncomfortable, like a small, bad bruise. What was left to do but go back to the ortho. And what was left for treatment but surgery? Yippe skippe! It’s fun to feel “broken.” Not to mention guilty. Did I really do such crazy lifting that I broke myself?

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What the ortho said about my shoulder arthritis

Part 2, here’s #1: The Shoulder Degeneration Saga + MRI

When I arrived in the office at Union Memorial hospital, they sent me for an X-ray right in the same office. After that I waited about an hour to see the doc. Not all that bad. First a student talked with me and did a minor exam (“Press against my hand. Does that hurt?”) I’m assuming he was a med student, but now I’m thinking he was an undergrad. Don’t med students get called “Doctor Smith” even before graduation? He introduced himself as “Gary.”

Anyway, nothing Gary did really hurt. I was honestly starting to doubt why I was there. Was I just being a whiner??!

Then Dr. Hinton came in and had me touch the top of my right shoulder with my left hand, lift my left elbow slightly, then he pressed on my shoulder at the tip of my collar bone and let me tell you, OW OW OW OW OW. Yes, that’s exactly what I said as I winced and struggled to escape!

VINDICATION! I no longer doubted that I shouldn’t be there.

His diagnosis: AC joint arthritis. He said pretty much every male weightlifter he sees over the age of 40 has some degree of AC joint arthritis, even if they don’t have symptoms. It’s not as common in women since most women don’t lift heavy, but it’s common in lifters.

So… I got the cortisone shot. Having the injection hurt, but not that badly. Afterwards though, driving home, it hurt quite a bit. He said to not lift for 2 weeks, then ease back into it.

Next: Easing back into lifting post-cortisone shot.

Posted in Misc Wellness, Strength Training | 2 Comments

The Shoulder Degeneration Saga + MRI

My shoulder starting hurting back around August. I took a week off from lifting and it didn’t improve. When it started waking me up at night, I knew I had a problem. I saw the physical therapist who helped me with my tennis elbow. He said my rotator cuff was weak. I told him that surprised me. I’m strong enough to do pull-ups unassisted! I thought if you did compound movements, working large muscle groups, in a variety of exercises, you would have good overall strength and not weaknesses in the smaller muscles.

He replied, essentially, ‘Yeah, that is true, most of the time. Except sometimes it’s not.’

Awesome.

So I started PT (Physical Therapy) for rotator cuff. After about 4-5 weeks, I actually had MORE pain. He said that while my rotator cuff was getting stronger, the posterior shoulder capsule seemed to be exacerbated. He suggested I go for an MRI.

The MRI Experience

Odd. Wow, just so odd. I had heard that it’s like being in a coffin & many people can’t stand it. I didn’t have a problem with the tight space. I’m generally not claustrophobic and, of course, I only had to be in until my waist. My brother-in-law also pointed out that it’s a much tighter fit for him – being much more broad in the shoulders. I hadn’t thought of that.

They are very noisy and, despite wearing ear plugs, it felt at some points like someone was banging pots together in front of my face – like the noise was resonating through my face. That was definitely the worst part, but I’ve always hated loud noise.

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Results said “a little bit of arthritis.” Yes, a “BIT.” WTF does that mean? I don’t know. But I knew I wanted to discuss it with a specialist. Luckily for me my PT is awesome & recommended a great ortho, Dr. Richard Hinton. Some highlights:

“Dr. Hinton’s practice is concentrated on knee and shoulder conditions and involves athletes at the recreational, scholastic, collegiate, and professional levels of play. … Dr. Hinton began his sports medicine career as a physical therapist and certified athletic trainer. … Dr. Hinton has served as a team physician for the NFL Baltimore Ravens, Towson University, Loyola University, …” 

Next: What the ortho said about my shoulder arthritis.

Posted in Misc Wellness, Strength Training | 2 Comments

My Abs are Sore – From my Chest Workout?

*Originally written in July… guess I never posted since I didn’t get around to adding a photo. Here it is now!

I’ve been posting a ton of food-related stuff for a while, so I feel overdue to talk about the fact that I do still lift weights. ;)

Tuesday was chest & shoulders day. I did 4 sets of each of the following exercises for  about 7-9 reps.

1. Push-ups with hands on the rings (set so they’re just a few inches above the floor.) First few reps on toes, then going down on toes, dropping to knees to push-back up.

2. Push-presses with 80# 2 sets, then 75#

3. Push-ups with one hand on 12# medicine ball. Again, first few reps on toes, then the down-toes, up-knees modification.

4. “Fly/ Cable Cross-over” type movement with band around the pole that holds up my house. Band down low, so the fly motion was coming UP a bit.

5. Military press, strict – all upper body. Only 45#, was quite spent by then!

So obviously the 2 sets of push-ups, particularly with all of the instability from rings/ hand on med ball were a good core workout too.

Since sitting is so bad for your health, I decided to bring my stability ball up to sit on while working. (OK, I’m still sitting… but marginally better.) While leaving a customer a voicemail, I rolled back a touch & almost fell.. LOL, couldn’t contain the laughter in my voice. SMOOTH!

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Well, my abs were SO SORE Wed night! Not sure if the stability ball contributed, or if it was exclusively the Tue workout. I did some ‘flips’ with DD (me on my back, her on my shins, lift legs so she goes head over heels & lands on her feet above my head, facing away from me.) It was KILLING me… then she asked for ‘horsey.’ LOL, OW OW!

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That Saying about When you Assume… Icky Craisins

You know the saying. “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” Helps remind you how to spell the word. Ha!

Seriously though – Craisins are nothing but dried cranberries with added sugar. I’ve been unable to find dried cranberries without added sugar, or I would have bought them. I don’t eat them often, but DH likes them in his salads & DD likes to snack on them sometimes too.

Well, when I saw “lower sugar” Craisins, I assumed they were simply dried cranberries with less sugar than regular Craisins.

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I mean… c’mon! That seems to me to be a very reasonable assumption.

  • Craisins = dried cranberries + sugar
  • Reduced Sugar Craisins = dried cranberries + less sugar.

Well, clearly I was wrong or I wouldn’t have been writing this. So guess what else is in the lower sugar Craisins. Go on, guess!

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SOLUBLE CORN FIBER!
WHAT THE BLEEP!??! I guess so they can claim they have added fiber to make them seem “healthier.” & the funny thing is that I thought they tasted a little ‘off.’ I think I’ll stick with the regular ones next time.

I still say this is downright wacky. Who on earth would have guessed this?! Not me, that’s for sure! Corn… ick!

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Low Carb Eating Eliminating Blood Sugar Crashes

UGH.. WHY do I EVER deviate from paleo? <face palm> What is WRONG with me?!

The other day I had coffee then a piece of toast with butter around 7:00. Around 9:00 I was crashing dreadfully. A feeling I haven’t experienced much the past few years. I remembered it – but it felt like something from the distant past. Man, I have to get back to my ‘mostly’ paleo ways.

For years, I’ve had issues with blood sugar crashing when I get too hungry. I feel AWFUL & homicidal. Just a total energy crash, sometimes shaky. Well, when I was paleo, I didn’t get that. Even if it had been a while since I last ate. Even if my stomach was rumbling. I never felt that “crash,” shakiness, & mood swing-misery I used to get.

This is one thing I don’t remember really noticing back when I did go paleo. I don’t think it can be a ‘placebo’ effect because it isn’t a benefit I was expecting from paleo! DH figured it out, just like he noticed I didn’t clear my throat as often when I avoided dairy.

DH said the other day, “Are you ever getting back on the wagon? I don’t think this wagon exists anymore. I think you totaled it.” I laughed. His analogies crack me up. I said it had sunken to the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay. Maybe we can salvage it. Maybe blogging will help. Fuck, even if there’s a slight chance it’ll help, it’s worth trying, eh?

Back to eggs in the morning!

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Posted in Motivation, Nutrition | Tagged | 1 Comment