VSG Anniversary coming up!

On May 16, it will be two years since my Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy in Mexico. I’ve not posted here or at YouTube in quite some time, simply because I am very stable and not much has changed. I hit a hard plateau at 180 pounds which translates to size 12 jeans (actually like a half size below that) and 12-14 dress. I’m fine with that. Without surgery, I’ll never get rid of the belly flab, and I’ve decided against tummy tuck surgery. It is HORRIBLE to recover from and I just don’t have time for that shit. Or the money, honestly. And there are things like Spanx to deal with it!!

In addition to that, Nick’s 45th birfday is May 10. It’s a Thursday, so I’m not sure what we’ll do.

And, of course, we’ve got the pub thing ongoing. I’ve been working on the menu, trying not to FREAK OUT that there is no real estate available.

And on top of all this, my friend Kenny dropped dead of a heart attack on Friday April 13, so that has been rough. Friday 13 has always been a good day for me, but now, not so much. Sigh. He was my age, too. He had untreated heart issues and literally dropped dead. At least he didn’t suffer. The memorial was yesterday and of course: it sucked. His wife Carole has stage 4 ovarian cancer, so it’s all just really terrible. Sigh.

So, as you can see, the VSG anniversary is not very important to me with all this other stuff going on. I’m still grateful I did it and I still feel FABULOUS, and I still recommend it if you’ve been struggling with your weight your whole life like I did. It is absolutely worth it. Save yourself the agony of US healthcare and just go to Mexico. You, too, can have a new life in 4 days and $5000. Fuck your insurance company and their bullshit “plan” that forces you through hoops for a year then offers you no follow up care. Just DO IT.

I think I will lose that last 10# when I am crazy busy with the pub. I did lose 5# when I was working 7 days a week there for a month. But whatever, I’m not dieting and I’m not getting plastic surgery, so it is what it is. I’m happy with the way I look in clothes, so it’s all good. :)

I’d like to wish Nick a Happy Birfday in advance and myself a happy VSG anniversary!

Workout Update!

So, since HeroesCon and all the jackassery from that, I’ve fallen off my workout schedule. This week, I’m back on. OWIE! I’ve changed up what I’m doing a little; here are the deets:

Treadmill 30 min programme, about 1.5mi (that FitBit Alta NEVER gets right)
Jog at 4-4.2mph for 5 mins, about .34 mi (ditto^^)
Leg Extensions, 70#, 3 sets 15 (not hard enough, going to add 5# more)
Need to add leg curls back, 35#, 3 sets 15
Shoulder press, 10# hand weights, 2 sets 15, going up to 3 sets
Need to add rows and triceps back, 3 sets 15 with 8#
Bicep curl, 8# hand weights, 3 sets 15, going back up to 10# soon
Need to add squats back in, 70#, 15 reps
Sit ups, standard legs bent, 50
Sit ups, pedaling, 25
Leg lifts, lifting bent legs for lower abs, 25
12# medicine ball side lifts from sitting/legs bent position for obliques, 25

I’d like to point out that most of this is done with simple hand weights. You don’t need to have a bench to get a good workout with weights. Rather than the extensions, do lunges with 10# in each hand. You’ll feel it, I promise! I try to avoid lunges since I’ve got weak knees. I have to be VERY careful with squats, too, or I’ll blow out my trick knee, which I did a couple of months ago. Get creative! You can do most weight training w/out fancy equipment. I also recommend Kathy Smith videos if you’re just getting started. She is just fair at weight lifting technique, but it’s a good place to start – the Staying Strong one is good for a beginner.

I do this big workout 2x week and I do cardio 3x, but I need to up that to 5x/wk. More challenging cardio (JOGGING! GAH!) will help me lose this last 10-15# I need to lose. As will beefing up (no pun intended) my weights. What I do is divide this workout into 2 and alternate arms/legs. I do the abs and squats every workout. That way I can get it done in 45 mins or so. I get VERY bored and 45 mins is about my limit for boring workouts. :)

Summertime and the Conning is Easy!

Not really, cons are HARD when you shlep arcade games! LOL

We’re in the middle of our 6 weeks of cons. MomoCon is in the can and it was AWESOME!! The fan base is excellent, the staff of Momo is nice and responsive – we were treated very well. Even the dock of the GWCC was great! They let us drive the truck right onto the floor to our area and unload! It took 15 minutes! SAHWEET!! Even with $900 of expenses (truck and hotel), we made a little money.

Speaking of trucks, if you use rentals as much as we do, I highly recommend setting up a business account with Penske. We get a great rate on the rental, plus uber cheap mileage and we can pick up the truck the night before. Very handy!! We use 16′ trucks with liftgate currently, it’ll probably go up next year when we have more games. We had an issue with a truck last weekend – nails in tire – but they got us fixed up and back on the road in about an hour and credited us for lost time. The Penske truck yard is next to Nick’s work, so that helped. If you use trucks often, get a business account. It will save you hundreds!

I’ve finally broken the 185 barrier. My current weight is 184.2, but we all know that it’s probably 188 today, since that’s the way my weight goes. I’m happy that it’s moving again. Cutting back on the vino and starting harder exercise is probably helping.

Speaking of exercise, I’ve got a weight routine going. Sadly, I blew out my left knee with squats yesterday, so those will be skipped for a week or so, but hopefully I can still do extensions and curls despite my knees being little bitches. Here is what I currently do 3x/week:

Treadmill: 1 mile walk/jog warm up (or a full 30 min routine depending on my mood)
Free Weights:
60# leg extensions 3×12 (sets/reps) [this one needs to go up to 65-70#]
35# leg curls 3×12 [might go to 40# for this]
50# squats 3×12 [if my knees will tolerate them; we shall see]
8# bicep curls 3×12 [need to get 10# weights]
8# tricep rows 3×12 [need to work on form for these]
10# medicine ball core side to sides 25 sets

That’s it currently. I’ve got to go back on turmeric for my crunchy knees and see if I can convince them to allow me to do squats. ::fingers crossed:: Squats are really very good for what I need: leg strength. They work the whole upper leg as well as glutes and core. I’m going to dial back the weight to 30-40# and see if that helps, but I’m not feeling confident. Stupid knees. Stupid marching band. Ugh.

Other than conventions and exercise, not much going on around here. The usual insomnia problems, etc. I’m trying to keep Nick on an even keel by providing good food and a calm space for him.

We’ve got Southern Fried Gameroom Expo next weekend, then Heroes right after that. SFGE is an unpaid con, so we’re taking whatever we feel like. Heroes is our vacay con, no worky! We are taking promo material to put out, but that’s it. We plan to take it easy and drink our way through the weekend! We’ve got dinner plans with some folks we rarely get to see but other than that, NO PLANS and NO SCHEDULE. Aaaaaahhh!

Once we’re back from vacay, we’ve got commissions to do and more games to prep for DragonCon (Labour Day weekend).

We have tickets to Heroes and Villains con in November. There was a special 2 for 1, so I picked up a pair. We’ll see what this con is all about! [It sucked. BUT Barrowman made the whole thing worth it! -A]

So that’s our summer! If you’re at Heroes, HOLLAH! We’d love to hang out!

New Workout Progress

Or: how I made myself crippled AGAIN. Oy! [UPDATE: This workout cured the soreness! So for me, it appears that doing a lighter workout when sore is the key to getting through it! Yay!]

So I started doing the Kathy Smith weight training (Ageless with Kathy Smith: Staying Strong) on Tuesday and did both the 15 min arms and 15 min legs after a mile or so on the treadmill. OOF. I’ve been doing the arms one for a while, so that was not too horrible, but the leg one kicked my ass. Ha! Leg kicked ass! As with most of Kathy’s stuff, the actual exercises seem pretty simple when you do them, then the next day you are DEAD. OMG. It was not as bad as The Tabernacle Incident™, but OW OW OW.

I rested for a couple of days and just walked on Thursday, which was fine. Today I did 1.5 miles on the treadmill (jogged a little and didn’t die!!) then I did a modified version of both the arms and legs workouts. Hopefully I did not do too much, but I’m sure I’ll be sore again. ARGH.

I don’t know how bodybuilders put up with being sore all the time. ARE they sore all the time?? I just know that I MUST get my strength back. And I’ve still got at least 20# more to lose, dammit. I’m stalled at around 190 and it’s really pissing me off. I think that I’m going to have to work to lose any more weight. Since I started off relatively light compared to most people who get VSG, I think my overall loss is going to be less. Which means I’ll have to work for the last 20#. One of the youtubers I follow had the same problem. UGH. I still won’t diet per se, but I’m hoping that upping the calorie burn will do the trick.

So that’s what’s going on in my world. Lots of OW OW OW. :)


Update on Exercise After VSG

I learned a valuable lesson this weekend about exercise after VSG (or any big weight loss). While I’ve been thinking that I’m doing great since I walk/jog 2 miles and can do Kathy Smith, this, apparently is not actually true.

We went to a show at The Tabernacle (Atlanta), which is an old church with multiple levels. ALL STAIRS. We were in the top level, natch, so much stair climbing ensued.

Going up the five or six flights of stairs to our seats, I noticed that my leg muscles were complaining, but I wasn’t winded or anything, so I just ignored it. Then I had to go to the bathroom, which is three floors down from our seats. Again, I noticed that my legs were complaining about going down the stairs, but what could I do? I had to pee!

THEN I had to go back UP the stairs to my seat. This is when the fun really started! My legs started actually failing – as in: no worky. I’m sure everyone thought I was drunk (I had been drinking, but was not drunk), but it was complete muscle failure. Luckily I did not fall or have to sit, but it was close. I pretty much pulled myself up with the railing. On the way out of the venue, Nick had to help me down the stairs, with LOTS of rest stops. (It never occurred to me to ask if there was an elevator. Derp. I just checked: NO. ADA is floor ONLY.)

I know it seems silly that I wouldn’t recognise muscle failure when it happened, but I don’t work out like that (until muscle failure), so I was truly puzzled by it. Once I got home, I realised what happened and started working on a new exercise plan.

Sunday and Monday I could barely walk. I really shredded what little muscle I have in my legs! I was creeping around here like a 90 year old! I did some research to refresh my memory on which exercises are best for building leg muscle (squats, lunges, extensions on the weight bench) and I will integrate them into my workouts. We’ve got an elliptical that bores me to tears (because I can’t read while doing it; something I’m going to try to fix), a weight bench and stairs, so I’ve got the tools to fix this issue. I will reclaim my body and get my muscles BACK!!

So, weight loss people: make sure to have strength training in your workouts! No wonder my legs are so slim: no muscle!!

I’m also adding back in a protein bar every day to bump back up my protein. You MUST have enough protein in your diet to support adding muscle and I know for a fact I can’t eat enough meat for that.

Just a little PSA (warning!!) to my fellow VSGers! Strength training is KEY!