Wednesday, August 27, 2014

health update

So, back in December I went to a digestive specialist, because prior to that my family doctor had noticed that some of my liver numbers were a little high.  

After the first visit, the specialist recommended that I take some weight off and adjust my diet to reduce my fat intake and increase my fiber.  You know, things that I should have already been doing, but hadn't been.  

They sent me for a boatload of blood work and an ultrasound. 

So I made some changes.  
I not only watched what I ate, but I also made changes to what I was eating.  
I cut out alcohol completely. 
I kicked it up at the gym.  The steady encouragement to try new classes and stick with them made a huge difference to my body shape.  
I started using the My Fitness Pal app.  
I shared my story. Online.  In person. In the church newsletter.

When I went for my second appointment in February, they looked at blood work and ultrasound results and had a baseline.  Yes the liver numbers were up a bit, but not worth scheduling a biopsy.  My thyroid numbers were up a bit, too.  (They sent me back to my family doc to follow up there.)  
I had dropped 10 pounds.  
I was happy to reintroduce alcohol in moderation in celebration of my 40th birthday.  

Life continued.  
As spring running returned (more regularly). 
I was gaining strength and speed and received a few medals at some 5Ks.  (Good times.) 
Training for the Hartford Half Marathon began.  

The procrastinator in me put off making my follow up appointment.  There was part of me that worried about what they would find with new blood work.  

Then August hit.  As my brother-in-law declared, August is the month to get stuff done.  
I made the appointment and took care of the necessary blood work.  

Monday morning I ran super early, with all sorts of lights and reflectors to make it to my 7:30am appointment.  

Good news, the liver numbers look good.  No biopsy needed.  The doctor said I could come back as needed.  No appointments set.  

He said, you first came in back in December.  Since then you've lost 20 pounds.  (wow)
I feel great.  At 40 I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life.  I'm so thankful for the support along the way.  

As I shared this good news with Lynn & Tim and the gym today, Lynn said, come over here and pick up a 20 pound weight.  

(This is not the actual weight from the gym, but you get the idea.)

It. Felt. Amazing!  

So I will continue to watch what I eat and maintain a healthy lifestyle. (She typed while snacking on a Twinkie.  I never said I was perfect....always a work in progress. With good days and not so good days.)  As healthy as I can be, anyway.  :) 

This is what I've been thinking about lately....that I can't say that I think everyone should lose weight.  But for me, it's been a very good thing.  I feel fit, strong and healthy.  I'm thankful that I don't need to have my liver biopsied.  I can say that I look in the mirror and think, oh wait....that's me: a woman who is strong and fit and feels good inside and out.  I feel ready to face challenges in life and work.  

I guess I just hope that all people feel this way.  You know, that they feel good inside and out and that their body is in the best shape it can be for him or her to be productive, energized, healthy and happy.  So whatever shape that is for's worth working toward it.  It's totally worth it.  
It's worth the sweat, the early nights to bed for the early morning workouts, it's worth missing out on some treats, it's worth sticking to your guns, it's worth learning how to do a burpee, it's worth trying a new class at the gym, it's worth sharing your story, it's worth explaining over and over again why you can't try every dessert at the potluck dinner, it's worth it.  

Until the next post...

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