Tag Archives: healthy

What I know For Sure…..

 

In my Oprah voice… What I know for sure, having a sarcastic sense of humor
is definitely helping my come to grips with the fact that in a few hours, I
will be splayed out on the operating table.

What I also know for sure, don’t eat a lot of salt and not drink water
before going in for pre-admission testing, but more on that later.

Last Monday was pre-opp day, or “sign your life away day”. I
spent the better part of my afternoon signing consent forms, vitals and blood
taken, and playing an awesome game of hurry up and wait.

First stop, my GYN. We went over the surgery, how Frankie and his lovely
companions will be removed. Blah, blah, blah, and finally then questions came.
How long will it take? Will I need stitches removed? How long will I be out of
work for? For the first time ever, I didn’t have to get dressed after we were
done. A quick elevator ride and it was off to Pre-Admission testing, the last
stopper before my surgery next week. After waiting for what seemed like
forever, I was finally called back to the desk. I was asked to verify
information, give names of people who will be able to call the Nurse’s station
and sign more forms. Then off to the exam room. My blood pressure was taken yet
again and it was still high. The nurse asked me if I was anxious. And with a
smile and twinkle in my eyes I said, ” Why yes, I am in a hospital talking
about surgery.” Her reply, ” You are going home today. There is
nothing to worry about”. Can someone please tell me if anyone has normal
blood pressure when they go to the doctor? Mine is always high and the doctors
and nurses look at me like I am about to explode. I do not have high blood
pressure, just serious aversion to doctor’s offices and hospitals.
Anyway, it was only after my appointment that I realized that I had grits,
with a lot of salt, coffee, and orange juice or breakfast, which along with my
anxiety, could have caused my pressure to go through the roof. Note to self…
don’t ever do that again.

Anyway, while going over reservation form (yes, they call surgery a
reservation. Who knew), Nola, the wonderful Nurse Practitioner noticed a
discrepancy in my form. Here is a piece of the conversation:

Nola: What procedure are you having done?

Me: Exploratory, open myomectomy

Nola: You are not having an ovary removed?

Me: Excuse me? No I am not.

Nola: It says right here but not which one

Me: I am not having an ovary removed

Nola: Let me call your doctor’s office to confirm….

Let’s just say that didn’t help my blood pressure go down. After an EKG,
another blood pressure check, and “day of” instructions, it was time
to have my blood taken. Zakia was amazing and we laughed about the number of
vials that she was going to take. She said that she was not going to drain me
and she would leave me enough to drive home. After a pleasant, as much as a
blood draw can be pleasant, she wrapped my arm in a stylish ace bandage instead
of that God-awful white tape. I felt pretty fancy.

Then
there was the conversation that I was waiting for. My chit chat with the
anesthesiologist. He is not going to be my doctor on game day, just the one
that was on call during my appointment. He explained to me the entire “general
anesthesia” process, which is pretty intriguing:

 

Doc:
When you come in, we will put monitors on you to check your heart, a clip on
you to measure the oxygen in the blood. Then we will put an IV in your hand,
and give you Propofol

Me:
Wait… isn’t that what they gave Michael Jackson?

Doc: Yes,
but luckily for you, Dr. Murray won’t be in the room. Propofol has been used in
general anesthesia for years and you must be monitored and watched. I don’t
have a clue what he was thinking.

Me:
Great

Doc:
Because you will be asleep, we will put a breathing tube in your throat.

Me: I’ll
be asleep when they put the tube in?

Doc:
Yes. You will be asleep when we put the tube in and take it out. You breathe in
a mixture of oxygen and anesthesia which will keep you asleep during the
procedure. Once the doctor says that she’s finished, we remove the tube, and
your body naturally starts to wake up. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

Me: I
didn’t realize that you wake up so quickly.

Doc:
Yes. Some people wake up in the operating room. Some wake up in the hallway.
Some people wake up in the recovery room. That about covers everything so if
that sounds like a plan, please sign here.

Me: I
guess I better sign since I don’t want you cutting me while I’m awake.

After
one more signature, Frankie’s fate was sealed.

In a few hours, Frankie will be served with his papers…. And I will be on the
road to recovery.

 

Frankie’s Being Evicted

You know that moment when you know you have made the right decision, all the parts are in place, everything is order, but you still feel like Alice when she goes thrown down the rabbit hole?

Frankie in his natural habitat

That is me, right now. At first I thought that my expanding tummy pooch was due the fact that I had fallen off the wagon with my clean eating and workout habits, but when I started to feel pressure in my stomach and my clothes no longer fit, I knew that Frankie was getting his revenge. It takes a lot for me to willingly schedule a doctor’s appointment and even more for my to call the “girly doctor” on my lunch break. I had a week before my appointment to wrap my head around the possibility that my doctor would tell me that I needed surgery. If you have weak constitutions, please for the Love of Pancakes and Chocolate Chip cookies do not google the terms, Fibroid removal and/or myomectomy. If you do, please don’t search images. You have been warned and I do not take any responsibility for your reaction.

I must admit, at the beginning of the appointment, my doctor was leaning towards renewing Frankie’s lease. But after being ultrasounded every way possible and examined, it was abundantly clear that Frankie was getting his eviction notice. I was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. I had done enough reading and video watching to know what I was in for. What I was not prepared for was my doctor informing me that there is chance I need vertical incision. Yeah, Frankie #1 and #2 (seems that one of my other fibroids decided to have a growth spurt as well) are so big and I am so small, that I need to sliced open.  And I just got a cute new Fendi bikini. There is a chance that this will change when I am splayed out on the operating table, but for right now, one piece swim suits and a Scar Away are in my future.

 

Damn you Frankie

Honestly, the hardest part of this entire process has not been telling people. That truly has been a piece of cake. My family and “circle of trust” have been absolutely amazing. I don’t know what I would do without them. Getting the phone calls, letters, and emails from the hospital have been the worst.It makes everything so real, like “yup, you are going to be under anesthesia, sliced open, crap removed from your uterus, stitched up like Frankenstein and sent on my merry way to spend Thanksgiving convalescing at my parent’s house. While I know that this is a necessary procedure which will improve my quality of life and chances of having kids one day in the very not so distant future. I just want to get everything over and done with. Just yank the bandaid off already and be done with it.

Another thing I am not looking forward to… 4-6 weeks of recovery. The most I have not worked out has been a week, but even then, I would walk at lunch and to and from the train station. What is a girl to do? I guess I can catch up on my knitting, reading, and Netflix binging. Bring it on!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end. Pre-Opp appointment with my doctor and pre-admission testing at the hospital, then one last weekend hoorah before the big slice and dice. Until then, it’s all happy thoughts of unicorns, rainbows, glitter, pixie dust, and blue skies up until S-Day (surgery day) and beyond. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you all in the loop about my surgery and recovery!

Later Days
B

Time for a Refresh

I must say, this summer I have had impeccable timing when it comes to vacations. Somehow, the Universe has aligned so that I have had back-to-back vacations. And this week is no different. I just got back with from a wonderful weekend in Winchester, VA filled with laughter, wine, bread, pizza, beer, grits, and Steak and Shake. It was a wonderful time. However, thanks carb overload, I’m not looking swim suit ready. I leave Thursday morning which does not give me a lot of time to tighten up the ship.

Enter the 3-Day Refresh…

3 days of shakes, fruits, veggie, Fiber Sweep (digestive drink), working out, and drinking lots of water. Sounds doable right! I’ll also be doing casto

You’re in luck! For the next three days, I’ll be blogging about my experience and share with you the final results.

First up, the before stats:

Weight: 150.4 lbs and flufftacular

Day 1 Menu:

Breakfast: Vegan Strawberry Shakeology with blueberries
Mid Morning Tea: Yerba Mate Tea
Fiber Sweep (digestive drink)

Lunch: Vanilla Refresh, baby carrots, a peach, and almond butter
Mid Afternoon Tea: Yerba Mate

Dinner: Vanilla Refresh, Cucumber Tomato Salad
Dinner Tea: Camomile or Sleepy Time tea (I can’t make up my mind)

Seems simple enough right? The trick for me.. NO SNACKING! Gotta stick to this plan!

So here goes nothing!!

Check back tomorrow and see how Day 1 went!

Later Days!
B

Brunch Be Damned

Insert Drool Here…
In
a couple of weeks, I will be heading to, what seems like second home of Virginia to
visit my dear friends for the weekend. I am so looking forward to this wonderful
outing, especially the adult beverages and food. The food that I do eat.
Frankie has caused me to become someone who eats only fish, fruits, and
veggies. Still a work in progress, but I have significantly reduced my meat
intake. I’m not vegan, and I’m not vegetarian so I guess I’m FFV… We’ll go with
that. But this makes eating at restaurants a little tricky. Especially brunch.
Breakfast
has always been kind of an issue for me. See, eggs and I don’t get along at all.
I can eat eggs baked in cake, cookies, etc, but boiled, scrambled, fried, and
or in omelets sends my tummy into a tizzy. It’s not fun. Trust me. Before, I
would get pancakes or waffles and sausage for breakfast. Since meat is off my
menu, my breakfast choices have been diminished, which reduces my brunch
options even further. Sometimes a girl wants more that fruit and oatmeal, ok.
But
where there is a will, there is a way! There is nothing wrong with asking the
waiter to take something off of your food! I used to eat around things that I
didn’t like. Now, I ask them to take it off. It is so liberating! You are
eating at a restaurant, order what you want! It took me awhile to grasp this
concept for myself. I didn’t want to be that customer with the crazy order. But
now I am the “no egg, no cheese, dressing on the side” queen. My go-to Greek
salad: lettuce, onions, olives, tomatoes. That’s it. Order what you want so you
can eat with peace of mind.
And
yes, I have already scoped out the menu of our potential brunch spots and it
will be tricky, but I gotta eat something if there are bottomless mimosas!
Eat,
Drink, and order what you want!
Later Days

 

B

Death to Frankie

Well it finally happened. Someone asked me if I was pregnant… I chuckled and and said I had too much food at lunch, but it shook me. Did I really look pregnant? See for yourself…

Yeah…..

To be absolutely clear, I AM NOT PREGNANT! Please do not start any rumors people. This is all Frankie, the not so little bastard. And I was sucking my gut hard when I took the picture. It seems that as I get smaller, Frankie appears bigger. See what I am up against? It’s been about a month since I began my vigorous vitamin regiment to rid him from his happy home. However, he is putting up quite the fight as you can clearly see. But Rome wasn’t built in a day and it is obvious that it will take some time to win the war over Frankie. And I am prepared to fight.

Youtube and Pinterest can be extremely helpful and a great way to lose hours of your day scrolling and searching for everything under the sun. They are quite addictive. After a lot of clicking, watching, and reading, I did find some additional weapons of Frankie’s destruction.

I ran out and got a different brand of DIM (Women’s Way – the one suggested by shrunkfibroids.bolgspot.com) and red clover extract. A woman posted a Youtube video about how she shrunk her fibroids will red clover alone. Her stomach looked like mine and is now flat. I have nothing else to lose, what’s another 2 pills on top of the 9 I am already taking? Plus, my doctor added Vitamin D to the mix. Grand total….11. You would think swallowing pills would get easier, but no. It’s still a struggle. Especially if I am running late. And the two big horse pills that smell do not help. I think I have reached my pill quotient so that’s it for the oral supplements. This is in addition to becoming vegetarian. It’s a lot, but you see what I am up against right! I gotta bring out the big guns.

Another Youtube score.. castor oil packs. You basically take a washcloth soaked with castor oil, wrap it in plastic wrap (the pack), take the pack and place it over your uterus and warp your stomach in plastic wrap and then place a hot water bottle over the pack for 20 minutes to an hour. Haven’t tried this yet. Still have to get a hot water bottle and cloth, but I am intrigued. The castor oil to supposed to rid the body of toxins and breakdown the fibroid tissue, shrinking it. Again, Frankie ain’t getting any smaller, so why not give it a shot.

For now it’s loose fitting shirts and high waisted bathing suits to hid Frankie. Most websites say that for larger fibroids (Frankie is currently the size of a grapefruit – large), it will take 3 months to shrink.

Here’s hoping and praying that I win the war… Frankie is going down.

Later days
B

Thalassemia – The Verdict

What up Peeps! When we last left our heroine, she was in search  of, or confirmation of the cause of her ridiculously low iron levels. Sorry, I had to got there. At times during the past few months, this journey has felt like a soap opera. I haven’t been to the doctors this much in my entire life. Well after months of taking iron pills, revamping my diet, and adding more vitamin supplements than are humanly possibly thanks to Frankie (7 pills), my iron levels are amazing! And my addiction to ice is gone! Like completely non-existent. Talk about a complete 180.

By now, I am a professional at getting blood taken

I went from 6.2 (should not have been unconscious) in January, to 9 in April, to a whopping 13 yesterday. My doctor was shocked at how much my levels increased. She even said my numbers were “beautiful”. Say what?!? I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I am only taking one iron pill a day instead of two. Whoops! Let’s keep that between us shall we? I’m still on iron pills for another 4 months, but after that , long medium size red pills that are not covered by insurance!

She was so impressed with my numbers that I had to remind her about the whole Thalassemia thing. And guess what??? I have the trait!!! Why am I so hype? Because I finally have confirmation that there is something funky going on with my blood! It’s one thing to assume that there is something going on, but it’s totally different and liberating to have confirmation. Now if I go get some blood work done and my iron count is low, they won’t call me frantically at work telling me to
go to the ER and then be told that I need a blood transfusion. Hooray.

There is one caveat. Of course there is always something right? If I so happen to meet someone who also carries the trait, our potential children could have Beta Thalassemia, the actual disease. I won’t go into specifics but it’s not good…

So there you have it. I’m just a girl with the Thalassemia trait living in the real world. It’s just another thing that make me, me!

Later Days
B

I Eat So I Don’t Pass Out

 

My sister cooks. She can spend hours making sauces from scratch,
complex stews, soups and other deliciousness. We won’t even go into the octopus salad
adventure, which included an actual octopus.
Julia Child I am not. Although I could
spend hours, and I have, watching her make aspics and coq au van; the only
reason I cook is to eat. And I only eat so I don’t get hangry or pass out. Pure
and simple.
The simpler the better. If it has more
than 3 ingredients or involves advanced
Culinary terminology, I will not make it. I won’t even read
through a recipe if the ingredients are complicated. Yeah, I have issues. And
just like my simple ingredient list, I have simple cooking techniques. Sautéed,
bake and microwave. Again pure and simple. So when I find a recipe that is easy
to make, tastes good, and I can eat for a week without getting tired of it, I feel like I have won the
lottery.
Case in point…. Bean salad. I had this two weeks ago at a pot luck
dinner and it was amazing. So amazing that I knew that I had to try it. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
I could not keep this stuff out of my mouth!! I honestly ate it
for 4 days straight and could not get enough off it. Only problem? I ran
out of tortilla chips and had to get more!
This is so easy to make that I even a kid can do it. And total
prep time… 7-8 minutes. Less than that if you are a fast chopper and have an electric
can opener.
 Want to know how to make it? Here ya go!
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 1 can of chick peas – rinsed. (need trick – rinse them in the can! Mind blown)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes chopped
  • Oregano, salt, and basil to taste
  • Dump contents of can into a big ass bowl. Add oregano, salt, and
    basil to taste. Mix well and refrigerate.
  • Eat

 

 That’s it.
I made another batch this week and added another can of chick
peas, garlic, and finely chopped (thanks to my Veggie Chop) red onion. My taste
buds are still singing and I have 6 Tupperware containers full. Oh and I
remembered to get another bag of chips!!
This is the perfect appetizer for a summer cookout or gathering.
Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!
Later Days!

 

B

Frankie on Fleek

Frankie (my fibroid) is on fleek. After a few weeks of eating meat
and not necessarily watching my diet, I started to notice that I was getting
fluffy in the mid-section, which tends to happen when one completely falls off
the diet wagon. But something wasn’t right. As soon as I ate something, my
stomach would become extremely bloated and start to hurt. I was waiting for
people to ask me when the baby was due.
No I am not pregnant.. I swear
And then it hit me. Or I hit it. Frankie was growing…
That alien thing on the left…. That’s Frankie!

It got to the point that I was seriously considering talking to my
doctor about surgery. Like cut this out of my now considering it. I reminded
myself that surgery was that absolute and final option for riding my uterus of
its unwanted inhabitant. Although Frankie is not causing any physical
discomfort; no matter how clean I eat, how hard I work out, or how much cardio
I do, my stomach will not get flat thanks to Frankie. Which is extremely
disheartening especially in prime swim suit season.

Therefore, Frankie must die.
I scoured the medical encyclopedia (Google) for natural fibroid remedies
and found a wonderfully helpful blog, shrunkfibroids.blogspot.com (how
appropritate). It is written by a woman who had fibroid surgery twice, only to
have them come back, so she decided to treat them naturally. With success. Her
battle plan, a vegetarian diet and vitamin supplement regime. Sounds simple
enough and since her fibroids shrunk, I figured why not give it a try. I have
nothing to lose. I quickly went to vitacost.com (the mecca of all things
natural) and filled my cart with my arsenal, most of which I had never heard of
before. And by the way, besides being extremely affordable (except for the $30 Whole Food vitamins), Vitacost constantly sends your promo codes for 10-12% off you next purchase or buy one Vitacost brand product, get one free. That’s how I scored a free bottle of DIM. Here’s my new vitamin regime and daily servings:
The Whole Food Vitamin (4 capsules daily)
Mangosteen Juice (1-2 ounces)
Decaf Green Tea Extract (1 daily)
DIM (1 daily)
Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar (1 ounce in 6 ounces of water)
The weapons of Frankie’s destruction

My supplements were waiting for me when I got home, but I bought
the apple cider vinegar this weekend. And since Frankie isn’t getting any small
(yet), there is no time like the present to start my attack. So, as
recommended, I drank 1 ounce of vinegar with 6 ounces of water. A dirty martini
it is not. It is not good at all. Like gag me with a spoon disgusting. And warm water did not help. I’ll try it
tomorrow with some honey any let you know how that turns out. Maybe you get used to the taste…

So here we are. No meat, no dairy, a whole lot of vitamins, and apple cider vinegar.
Frankie is going down!
Later Days

 

B

You’re Invited!!

I‘m so excited and I just can’t hide it! (such a gratuitous Saved By the Bell reference, but I don’t care)  I am please to announce my first ever Fit Camp! AHHHHHH. Seriously, I am so excited that I am bouncing in my chair!!! Can you tell!!! I hope so and I hope you will join me!

Since this is my first ever fit camp, I figured why not get people started off on the right foot with, wait for it….

First Steps to Fitness Fit Camp
(If I could make the words flash, I would. Trust Me)

Sound interesting??? Let’s see if this the group for you:

  1. Have you wanted to start a fitness program, but don’t know how?
  2. Intimidated by the number of fitness programs on the market and don’t know where to start?
  3. Want to clean up your diet but don’t know how?
  4. Have you started a fitness program but quit because no one was there to keep you accountable?
  5. Are you ready to make a change?

Did you answer yes to any other these questions? Then First Steps to Fitness is the group for you!

What is included in this amazing group?

  • 4 week program
  • 30 minute workouts that you can do from the comfort of your home according to your schedule
  • 30 Day supply of Shakeology, a Super Food Meal Replacement Shake that helps you with your sweet tooth cravings
  • 30 Day free trial of Beachbody on Demand (Beachbody’s streaming service)
  • Support and Accountability in a closed Facebook Group coach (Hooray!)
  • Me as your personal accountability Coach
  • Meal Plan, Nutrition Guide, and sample grocery list
  • Workout tips and tricks
  • Prizes
  • Tons of Fun
No, you don’t have to go to a gym. No heavy equipment required. Nope, you don’t have to live near or in Philadelphia (it would be cool if you did so we can meet up!) You just need 30 minutes a day, a positive mindset, and the desire to make a change in your life!

Why am I doing this? Because I want to help you like someone helped me. That’s it. I just want to help you. Two years ago, I was totally lost, depressed, and couldn’t figure out what was going on with me. Then I found my Coach. With her support, motivation, and amazing attitude, I finished my first workout program ever and laid the foundation for my fitness journey.  Now it’s time for me to pay it forward and do the same for you!

Ready to get started? Logistics are below:

Start Date – July 6th (Yup, right after the holiday!)
Interested? Click this link https://beebeehart.wufoo.com/forms/m1qvx33u0kg6fcb/ and fill out the form (Will take you 2 minutes tops to complete)

Or feel free to email be directly at bshart@gmail.com. You can also email me if you have any questions or would like more information!

Can’t wait to start this amazing journey with you!

Later Days!
B

Cizing Past Fear

Taking a break from Insanity this week so I can work on my
dance skills! Beachbody is having a contest for the best video of people doing
the routine “You Got This”, from the amahzing Shaun T’s new workout program,
Cize. Cize isn’t even out yet, but you can preview this awesome workout on
Beachbody on Demand.
Now it’s on like Donkey Kong. I never took any formal dance
classes when I was kid. I did participate in Airband in college. But I am up to
the challenge of seeing how close Bianca can get to Beyonce by Saturday.
Saturday June 20th is the day that I will record and post my video for
the world to see in hopes of winning, wait for it… $1000. Yup a cool grand is
at stake and the grand prize winner gets $5000. That’s something to shoot for
right? Damn right.
So why am I doing this…. That is a very good question. I’m
putting myself out there to get over my fears. I have been stuck in neutral
with my Beachbody business for a while because of this little thing call the “What
if’s”. You know, what if I suck at helping people? What if no one responds to
my invites? What if I can’t make it through this work out? What if I can’t
stick to this meal plan? What if I don’t lose weight? What if everyone thinks I’m
nuts? What if people get sick of all my sweat selfies on Instagram? What if no
one reads this blog? Wait what!!! You are reading this right? Ok good! That’s
one what if crossed of the list!
The “What if’s” are fear’s way of stopping me. Stopping for
going out on a limb and going all in with my business. Dancing like no one’s watching,
posting it on Facebook and hoping that someone likes it! Even if it is just one
person. What if no one likes it? So what!
Insanity is on the back burner for a few days while I get my
Beyonce on. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t be getting a workout. Oh Honey!
Cize is cardio on fleek! You don’t realize that you are getting an amazing
workout until you realize that you are dripping with sweat! I even had to take
a couple of water breaks. Dancing is an awesome workout! And so much fun. Shaun
T breaks down and cues the moves incredibly well, that by the end of the
workout you can go all out and “Cize It Up” with attitude. Yes, girl!
It’s finally time to feel the fear and do it anyway. And I
need you to keep my accountable! If you don’t see my video on Facebook by 8pm
Saturday night, I am giving you permission right now to call me out on it! Text,
post on my Facebook wall, anything to make sure that video is up!
Time to punch fear in the face and do it anyway. It’s finally
time to clear the what if bullshit out of my head and go all in!
Let’s do this!
Later Days!

B