Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Another reality check ..... we are all walking a fine line

Warning if medical pictures gross you out .. exit now :)

It's been a year since my journey began after my new lease on life after the hysterectomy.  I have worked out like never before,  for the most part vigilant in what I eat / don't eat.  So how did I end up staring at my Doctor and swearing at her?

Well, I am a pale skinned white South African, we grew up with coconut oil tans, except I would never tan, I would burn - peel and repeat, in search of that perfect tan.  The result of the body abuse is lots of moles.  I am very good about staying on top of my health, my blood disorder has taught me that or I would be 6 feet under.  I get those moles checked out every 6 months, sometimes she takes some, they always come back benign.

Back to me sitting staring at my Doc in disbelief and asking her is she was f"ing kidding me .... I had two removed, one came back benign, one came back as a malignant melanoma, what does that mean .. skin cancer ...  you kinda stop listening at that point.

But since then I have armed myself with stats and research, malignant melanoma's are very very treatable, if caught early .. read that again .. if caught early.  My dermatologist said if I had not kept my appointment and left it for 4 months we would be having a very different conversation.  Here is a great link to stages, treatment etc. Aim at Melanoma

Ready for ickiness? .......

Below is an icky picture taken of the site that the dermatologist removed to be tested, the mole in the middle above the scar site is exactly the same shape as the one removed.

Things then started to move very quickly, two days later I was talking to a surgeon who wanted to operate 3 days later, not possible as I am on coumadin and have to go through an anticoagulation process to make it safe.   One week later my surgeon is taking a chunk out to ensure they have all the cancer cells.  If they have a circumference they are medically happy with that is clear, this it, you go on about your life, getting those little suckers checked every 3 months.

Same site as above, this picture is the day after surgery, see the huge chunk they had to take out to ensure the area was clear, but I really don't care, the surgeon did a brilliant job, the scar is incredibly neat, but most importantly they got all the nasty cells out.  

Reason for post ... Get checked everyone!  If you have moles, especially ones on your back that you can't see, takes five minutes to ask Doc to look at them.  If left to grow, even in a few months, the cancer hits your blood stream and lymph nodes, and well, lets just say .... that is not a good thing..  I will be getting them checked every 3 months going forward, it is quite unnerving to know that those little black reminders of bad tanning days are very very deadly.

Footnote:  I got the all clear call this morning, two weeks of waiting is stressful, I am very lucky, others aren't and I send much love out to those coping with any form of this insideous disease

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Martha Stewart ... I am not ....

I can cook up a storm, yip I sure can, ..... baking so not my thing.  Boxed cake pops must be easy right??!

Look at the box, those smooth yummy balls of sweetness like the WW 5 points (for the record) bite sized cake pops at Starbucks.   Yuummm

Company coming for first Christmas celebration ..... easy dessert .... NOT ... Damn you Starbucks marketing team!  Those little buggers are impossible to sculpture like your box, IMPOSSIBLE!

I couldn't even serve mine haha

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Pinterest Experiments Continued!

Ha so my blog is kinda turning into a mishmash of my health and fitness progress, and my Pinterest trials and tribulations.

After my ice marble experience ...... which is slowly melting but still looking kinda cool, I decided to make ice decorations for my outside tree.  They actually look pretty and sparkly, but I am officially done with ice and food colouring until next year!

I used trays that I found normally used to make chocolate suckers .... my freezer is full of spilt blue and red water,   so perhaps not the best idea.  I froze ribbon into the ice decorations, but also not a brilliant idea, I am sure they will all be on the floor by the morning!  But for one night looks quite pretty.

Not a before and after ...... a work in progress

Oh boy December can be such a tough month to stay on track with fitness and healthy eating.  It's not  lack of want or willpower, it's just so busy, being busy is not good for planning and it becomes so easy to just grab bad food on the run.  Finding time for gym is also a little more challenging.

So, to keep myself on track and find some motivation I decided to check in with some photos I have been keeping for my "big after reveal".  I am certainly not there yet, but I can see the small improvements. 

I decided to go with arms, even though my tummy is for sure my most challenging area.  I just couldn't do those pictures .... *-*

I love seeing women with well defined, sculpted arms, it seems easy for men to get results, I don't know, it seems to me us ladies have to work harder at it.  I have never had arms I am proud of, I want to get there, I will get there, 4 months of very solid training and the results of the in-progress me are there.  I can see some changes from Sept to Dec but the month to month not so much.  4 months from now I want those picture to be transformational, December Christmas craziness is not gonna hold me back!  The results so far are from circuit weights 3 times (on average) a week.  

No quick fixes for results, nope just the work you put in .. the results you get out ...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Fantasy of Pinterest vs. The Reality of Pinterest!

Hands up, who loves Pinterest?  Oh I get lost for hours, strawberries stuffed with perfectly sculpted grapes, cucumbers cut like whales, endless fitness advise and quotes, yip it's an addictive site!  And so as Christmas rolls around the inspiring Martha Stuart type arts and crafts are in great abundance and so inspiring .... mmmhmmmm .......

Ohhhh ice coloured marbles pretty and EASY .. yes lets do it!

"Fill balloons with coloured water."  Ok first off the instruction should be to place balloon over tap to fill, because filling it with a jug .... nope doesn't work.  It may seem obvious, but some of us do not have a Martha bone in our bodies!  My kids correct me, I place balloon over tap and fill.  See next instruction above, "add food colouring"?  Well if you let go of the top of the ballon when full to add colouring, the water sprays in your face!!!  I put the colouring in first 1 or 2 tops, oh what the hell lets go with 10 drops for dramatic effect.   Ohhh and lets add glitter, my friend thought that would be a good idea.  Mmmhmmm

Place over tap.  Next instruction should be to slooowwwllly fill balloon, cause too much pressure and you have a shitstorm of food colouring and glitter spraying all over yourself and your kitchen.

Ok filling method perfected (at least an hour into this "easy" project to make my outside Christmas decorating look like a winter wonderland).

Now we fill our freezer with these lovely filled balloons, full ... mmm ok it's below zero outside lets place our extras on my glass patio table ..... mmmhmmm

Alright leaving the creative beasts to freeze, you may be wondering why I decided to do so many, well I wanted to build a colourful ice igloo, upon reflection as I look at my dye colour hands and my glitter filled kitchen tiles, I decide I maybe being a lil overambitious, so I change my vision to an ice wall and go to bed.

After work I try remove the balloon off one ice marble, oh crap the balloons have burst and the blue water is all over the table has frozen all the balloons to the table .. crap  ...... I pour a little warm water on the table, yay one comes loose ... the contents leak all over my hands onto the table I am left with an empty ice shell .... mmmhmmmmm Pinterest this sure is easy!  (Note you need at least 48 hours for them to freeze solid!

Oh but my creative juices are flowing, I decide to put a Santa in the empty shell, weeeeee back on track.

Now downstairs to my freezer, the first two I lift up yay they seem solid, then ...... I notice disaster!  ahhhhhhhh ... doritos floating in blue water .. ahhhhhhhhh ... one of the bottom ballons has burst ... crap crap crap ...

We are now on about hour 7 of this easy quick project .......

Clean freezer, throw soaked food away ..... yay this is fun!

Plan C, the balloons still in semi frozen state are getting tossed out onto our trampoline to finish freezing.  Oh instruction for Pinterest .. do NOT fill the balloons, allow for expansion, otherwise they WILL burst and cause chaos.

72 hours later, with approximately 15 man-hours not to mention clean up time!  Here is the result ..... yip Pinterest I love you, but in true relationship style, I am really mad at you right now!

At least my Pinterest nails look good!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New favourite workout

For the first time in my life I am loving gym.  I really do enjoy it.  I was speaking with my massage therapist today about the shift on my view on fitness, she was wondering what had changed for me.

I honestly think it is the mind shift that happened for me, for the first time in my life I really don't care what people think.  Which is why my new favourite class is Zumba!  5 months ago I wouldn't have set foot in the class, why not?  I love to dance, I always have, well because I am self conscious, my fitness level has a long way to go, half way into the class I am exhausted.  But I don't care!!  I really don't I am having so much fun bopping around, I am truly not worried about any opinions.

I just know I am going to get to goal ..... this time feels different.  Yes it's slow, but yoyo dieting has done a number on my metabolism ... I am doing everything right, it has to pay off.

Hope everyone in cyberland is having a good week!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hike 3 Golden Area BC

Whoa busy, been 2 weeks since my spectacular hike and only getting to posting about it now.

My work-out / hiking buddy and I spent a spectacular weekend at a charming, rustic place called Beaver foot Lodge and did a stunning hike in the area to Wapta Falls.  We also did Emerald Lake (aborted due to rain), and a little jaunt around Lake Minnewanka just outside Banff.

The Wagon "tenting" option at Beaverfoot Lodge

Beautiful Fall colours ... on our way up to Wapta Falls

Paw prints ... we think (and hope!) dog

Lots of rain in the area made for a muddy hike

The spectacular Wapta Falls ... so worth the climb - just breathtaking

Photoshop couldn't even replicate these colours ... nature at its full glory best

We made it!  Took a lot of time to sit at the top and just take it in

Lots of downed trees

Made for a great aerobic workout

Officially a hiker :)

Our traditional hiking boot shot #3

Just before Emerald lake is a natural bridge, breathtaking

Emerald Lake - definite re-vist, it was raining and chilly

Avalanche path at Emerald Lake

Lake Minnewanka

Such a great weekend.  I am loving the lifestyle of getting out and being active, at the same time discovering the stunning scenery in this country.

Tomorrow I am hoping to update on weight loss and fitness goals.