Weekly Digest 49: Hurdles Won’t Slow Me Down

Yet another week as gone by.  We are into July now and the summer heat is here. Some days are hot and sticky.  But you know what? I am perfectly fine with that. I think back to how oppressive and depressing the long winter was …how I couldn’t wait to be bike riding again …and here I am!  So, I will take it …no complaints. Even with last week’s bad wreck, I am still on it and going.  No excuses. 

veggies
This weeks haul from the Farmers Market

I worked hard last week.  My diet was pretty good, and my exercise level was outstanding even recovering from the injury. So all-in-all I felt I had a great chance to break the plateau and get moving in the right direction again.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I had not only NOT broken the plateau, I had actually GAINED 1.8 pounds.  I was stunned. I thought, for sure, that I as going to make progress this week.  After 4 weeks of not seeing any change, and progressively digging-in, I felt I had the winning combination lined up.  This was not the case, apparently. 

I was discouraged, initially. Really frustrated, in fact.  But over the last two days I have come to realize that number isn’t that big and I still don’t know what the effects of the injury are on my weight loss.  It could be that he body went into protective mode and has been retaining fluid etc.  I just don’t know.  What I DO know is that this number isn’t that big of a deal. I feel good and I know I am getting stronger and more capable. So all I can do is soldier on.  I will.  And I will beat this plateau.  To borrow a sports metaphor, I only need to get up off the canvas one more time than I get knocked down.  

Feeling Good About Me:

knee 1
The knee now. Not too bad in this pic.

Over the last month I have been working out and biking regularly.  I can feel myself getting stronger, putting on lean muscle and being more active on a daily basis.  That is another reason I am so thrilled with summer being here – it enables being active.  My step counts have been going up on the pedometer, and I feel great doing more things around the house.  Also I have been doing more work with my hands in terms of small projects and working on guitars. The duration of how long I can be active without needing a break has also increased significantly.  All of this pleases me and serves as a great example of another non-scale victory!  My quality of life has increased exponentially after losing so much weight.  And I am loving it!

The Injury Report:

knee 2
The knee today – this side does not look so great, but better than it was!

I spent no time on Injured Reserve this week.  The knee joint seems fine so as long as it wasn’t raining on me, then I would be biking.  Well, at least not raining TOO hard! Although at this point, I recognize my klutzy self is liable to crash at the slightest provocation, so perhaps biking in the rain is not a great idea! 

Despite the lack of internal damage – the surface is pretty banged up. I was surprised to find that I had bruising all the way down the leg.  At this point there are just remnants of that left. There is a still a significant bump under the patella, so I am watching that and giving it some attention.  It looks like that will just take more time and I need to be patient.  This is not a strong suit for me when it comes to injuries.  I tend to see them as a massive inconvenience and just want to get them healed. 

Intake:

pb me
I ran out of peanut butter powder for my protein shakes! Tragedy!!

The intake chart looks pretty good.  The calories were between 1400-1500, except one day at 1688. I was inexplicably hungry that day.  Alcoholic drinks were up on the week with 7 total. Most of these were vodka and soda or gin and diet tonic.  So they were reasonably low cal given that alcohol is mostly empty calories and gets burned before fat. All in all, I am quite pleased with that.  The contents of my calories were sticking with my plan – 2 protein shakes per day and a 500-600 calorie meal for dinner.  The snacks were not bad – there was still some peanut butter in there, and only a couple crackers. I would call my week reasonable and practical.  I’m happy with that. 

Additionally I did a two-day cleanse. This is essentially not eating for two days other than a few small snacks and drinking a nutritional supplement to provide the body everything it needs to keep going.  You could call it a nutritionally supported fast, I suppose. The idea being that by giving your digestive tract a break from digesting food, it can work on clearing out whatever resident toxins and whatnot exist in your system.  I am a big fan of clearing out those pesky “whatnots”. 

Exercise: 

Despite the recent injury, I felt good and kept grinding away on the biking this week.  I went at it with gusto – part of me didn’t want to lean on the injury as an excuse for not putting in the work.  Normally I would always heal up first, but the knee joint took no damage it seems – just most of the outer areas. So I managed 70 miles of biking this week, and one vigorous 40 min weight lifting session.  I am very pleased with these results!  I feel great and I am dedicated to continuing this plan! As long as the weather cooperates, I plan to be out there grinding away!

My Take-Away:

You know what I am going to say.  What else can I say with this kind of week?  I have no choice but to stick to my plan and keep grinding it out.  I ordered some protein bars that should be here near the end of the week so I can switch up snacks and try that protein loading I talked about last week.  For now, however, I am going to end with a story of a courageous kitty who deserves a mention. 

kitty
Onyx

Mr. Onyx: Champion of Hearts

My best friend lost her sidekick this week. It was his time to go, and sadly, we have to bid him adieu. I got to know Onyx well and I have to say I loved him too.  Onyx is an amazing example of resilience, determination and bravery. That big black kitty won hearts wherever he went. 

To me, the story that I most love about Onyx is perhaps the one that demonstrates what an extraordinary kitty he truly was.  Living in the mountains of Colorado with a house full of family and other cats, Onyx had a great home.  He and my best friend shared a special bond.  During my many trips out there I witnessed his fierce loyalty and unquestioned love. One day I learned that he got out of the house and ventured off into the wilderness.  Understand, reader, that the mountains of Colorado are no place to be wandering around if you are a domestic cat. In effect, you are just about the lowest element on the food chain out there.  A cat has a short life expectancy in the wild.  After aa week of not returning home, most of us were left to confront the only reasonable conclusion – that he did not survive the wilds. 

Fortunately for all involved, Onyx does not brook the odds.  (Remember Harrison Ford as Han Solo?  “Never tell me the odds…”). Mathematical probabilities of survival were not in his lexicon. With equal dedication and love, a certain owner refused to give up on him.  She refused to accept his demise so she kept looking – in the neighborhood, on the mountain, in facebook, on Craigslist …everywhere. One day an ad on Craigslist caught her eye – a black cat had been found.  In AURORA! 

Ok …for those that don’t know, Aurora is a LONG way from the mountain …it’s down in the flats south of Denver. But this cat looked familiar – so she went to see. Much time had passed – I want to say it was months.  He was leaner, stronger, and reserved. When she saw him, she was fairly certain it was him.  But he had changed so much it was hard to be 100% certain.  But I think Onyx knew – he came up to her. He recognized her and purred. Within the next few days he was exhibiting behavior that only Onyx, in a house full of cats, would exhibit previously. It was him. He was home!

As near as anyone could tell, he likely hopped in the bed of a contractor’s truck and rode down the mountain into Aurora somewhere.  Then he was found by a compassionate family, and made his way back home.  It is still the most amazing pet story that I know. Fitting for as amazing cat.  May his light, love and resilience be a lesson to all of us.  Rest well, brave Onyx.

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