georgmi: Camping on Shi Shi Beach, WA (Default)
( May. 16th, 2011 02:06 pm)
Got my biopsy report back. "The lesion removed surgically shows clear margins."

In other words, they got all of it, and before it turned into melanoma. Can I get a "Whoa, early detection"?

Lesson learned: even if you live in Seattle, even if that weird (new or changed) mole is in a spot that never sees the sun, have it checked. I almost didn't mention mine to my doctor, because I wasn't sure that the mole hadn't always been there, and I'd already asked about a whole lot of other things. And he was "pretty sure" it was OK, but his policy is "better to check".

So I'm going to have a scar, but only M. is ever going to see it, and she says better that than the alternative (some stats I've seen say that the fatality rate of melanoma if it *isn't* caught before it spreads is 85% or higher).

(ETA: That's not a typo. Fewer than one in six people survive advanced melanoma. I'm not looking for sympathy, or recognition as a "cancer survivor" because I *did* catch it before that became my prognosis, and I know plenty of people whose encounters with cancer are much more significant than this slight brush. I'm just having a hard time wrapping my brain around the stats and how fortunate I was.)
I seem to have hit my plateau. 192.5 yesterday morning, up a pound from last week, even having had two solid climbing sessions.

I did remember (or rather, M. reminded me) to measure my stomach--38.5", down 1/4" from the last time I measured in early March. Hard to call that progress, though, because I'm not sure there isn't at least that much error built into the measuring procedure.

Climbing continues to go well, though--I end my sessions having worked up a good sweat and with my arms feeling like wet noodles. Climbing is not very aerobic, though, and I really need to get out and walk during the week. It's tough to get out of the office during the day, though, especially as the weather continues inclement.

It is possible that I am being less careful about how I'm eating, too. I don't pay that much attention; I'd probably better start.
Bleah. Climbed once. I'd've gone twice, but nobody else could make it on Monday. Thursday, three of the four other folks in the group were out of town, and the fourth cut her hand and couldn't climb, but she came out and belayed me anyway. Thanks much, L.

No walking during the week, and we spent the weekend wondering whether the cat was going to die*, so there was not a lot of motivation to get on the elliptical.

Weight holds steady from last week at 191.5. Not bad for a week with minimal exercise**.

Forgot again to measure my stomach.

*He did not, and indications are that he's recovering rather better than we originally thought.

**It took me fifteen years of more-or-less determined sedentary living to put on the fifteen or so pounds that my doctor wants me to drop, so I'm not actually surprised that the progress has been as good as it has been, given the minimal changes I've managed to put in place. Obviously I have a great future ahead of me in writing diet books: Lose Weight By Becoming Slightly Less Lazy. I'll sell millions. :/
georgmi: (Gurren_Lagann_Simon)
( Mar. 21st, 2011 10:38 am)
I am beginning to get tired of posting these things when all I have to say is, "Did essentially nothing", but I guess that's the point--to make myself acknowledge when I haven't done what I need to do.

Had another no-exercise week. Monday, I was planning to climb, but everyone else in the group had other commitments, and I'm not comfortable going solo and asking strangers to belay me.

Then on Tuesday, my mom's mother died of lung cancer, and instead of climbing on Thursday, M. and I flew to Salt Lake City for the funeral. Flew back home on Friday. Could have done the elliptical on Saturday, but neither of us was really feeling it. (Hell, we barely managed to vacuum the house over the weekend, let alone anything more energetic than that.)

With the stress and not eating very much, I dropped two pounds on the week, to 191.5. The variability is beginning to bug me, not because I think my actual weight is fluctuating that much, but because it's becoming clear that there's just that much noise in the system. Raw weight is a stupid measure of health*.

I plan to climb tonight, but haven't heard whether anybody else can make it.

*I am not here suggesting that I don't need to get into better shape; I clearly do. I'm just saying that within an actually fairly large range, weight qua weight is a meaningless statistic.
Climbed both days last week. Feel good about that.

Still not walking on off days. Should be.

Skipped the elliptical again on Saturday. Probably a good thing, as we've been watching Farscape while we exercise, and decided to watch the episode "Throne for a Loss" from the couch instead. And it was boring, so would not have been a good accompaniment to exercise.

Up another 1.5 lbs, to 193.5. I expect this is the end of the flu-recovery weight gain, though.

Forgot again to measure the stomach, but I'm still on the tightest notch of my belt and comfortable, so I don't seem to have lost any ground there. I might need a new belt soon. Which is okay, because I've had this one a long time, and it is not really black anymore and hasn't been for a while. Still recognizably intended to be black, though, so that's something. I guess.

Surgery on Friday, probably, to remove the rest of the melanoma-wannabe. Then I have to take three weeks off climbing, to keep from ripping the stitches out. Not happy about that, but I'll take it over the whole cancer thing.
Thanks to the flu, my dress slacks, which were a significant effort to get into at the wedding I attended in October and the funeral in January (as in I'm not sure how I didn't rip the button off, also, ouch), now fit me the way they did six years ago when I bought them for job interviews. Which is nice because interviews are back on my agenda starting this fall.

Saves me a hundred bucks or so, I think, allowing for both pairs of slacks.
Exercise: Climbed once (out of two opportunities), walked not at all, and couldn't summon the energy to do the elliptical. Not good.

Food: Found my appetite again, and put back on some of the weight the flu took. No surprise there.

Continued flu aftermath: I didn't mention this in last week's update, because I didn't think it was serious, but my final coughing fit after climbing on the 24th strained a muscle in my chest. It wasn't too bad last week--I was able to climb again on Thursday, after all, and it didn't seem to affect me--but yesterday I sneezed pretty hard and I think I made it worse. I've been taking ibuprofen and that's keeping it under control, but I am not sure I'm going to be able to go climbing tonight*.

On to the stats!

Weight on Sunday morning was 192 lbs., up 1.5 from last week, but still down 6.5 from when I started tracking in late January. I sort of expect to be up a little more next Sunday.

More importantly, my stomach (not waist) measurement was 38.75, down an inch from Valentine's Day. It suddenly occurs to me that it is highly appropriate to begin documentation of the (hopefully) shrinking of my "love handles" on 2/14. Again, I don't know what my goal is here, but I do know that I will know it when I see it.

*This Thursday is my bellwether. If it's still preventing me from climbing on Thursday, I'll have to call the doctor and get it looked at.
The flu-related weight loss continues, as my appetite still has not really recovered. Down another 2.5 pounds in a week, to 190.5. Which technically puts me halfway to my nominal goal, but I did not get any more fit these last two weeks, so screw you, BMI.

Forgot to measure around my stomach yesterday, but M. thinks it looks smaller, and with that in my brain, it seems like my belt fits more loosely, too. But I am fairly suggestible, which is why I prefer actual measurement.

Missed climbing because of the cough on Monday, but went on Thursday and had a pretty good session--I was sore enough afterward that I took 2 Aleve instead of the usual 1. Did the elliptical on Sunday for twenty minutes (usually I do 30). So not great, but we're reestablishing the pattern, which is important.
georgmi: (climbing)
( Feb. 21st, 2011 04:12 pm)
A short update this week. Flu hit me last weekend, kept me home from work on Monday. (And that never happens, so you know I was fsilly sick.)

Did not exercise. No climbing, no walking, no elliptical.

The flu left me with a residual cough which was so bad that I twice coughed so hard and long that I vomited. Ate almost nothing all week and weekend, tried very hard not to move at all.

Weighed myself this morning. 193.0, down 4 pounds from last weekend. I suspect I'll be gaining some of that back once I'm back to normal, and I also suspect that the loss was more lean mass than fat. Does call out the silliness of tracking weight as a raw, contextless number, though.
Friday, I had a followup appointment with my doctor. He had the X-rays back of my knees, and the biopsy on the mole I had him remove on the 4th.

My knees hate me. They always have. Now I know why. I have calcium deposits in the tendons that attach my quadriceps to my kneecaps. The joints themselves are fine, the cartilage is in great shape. Calcium deposits in tendons are, apparently, the result of chronic inflammation, which could be a natural result of the way my legs are put together and how much I've abused them over the last forty or so years, or could be the result of one of those nifty immune-system disorders you hear so much about--lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis, or who knows what. Fortunately, there are blood tests to look for that sort of thing, so I spent an extra session in the lab being stabbed to within an inch of my life. Have I mentioned here that I'm not very fond of needles? Because I'm not.

Anyway, I got a call today from the doctor's office--all the blood work came back negative, which is bad because that means I just have to live with my knees and won't be able to do as much low-angle photography as I'd like to. But it's very, very good in that I don't have lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis, or who knows what else. I'll take it.

On Friday, the biopsy on the mole was that the mole was "evolving toward cancer", which is sort of scary, but hey, if it wants to evolve toward cancer, I'm much happier it does that in a Petri dish than on my leg. Again, as of Friday they needed to look at the results some more, and I got another call today from the dermatologist--she wants to go back in and take out a bigger chunk of flesh, to make sure they got everything that might be thinking about being cancerous. Again, I'll take it. Sort of feeling like I dodged a bullet there.

More generally, between lunches with coworkers and potential coworkers, shooting pool and climbing with friends, and an unfortunate incident involving the world's most boring vindaloo recipe, I did not have a single home-cooked meal between Sunday and Friday, and when I weighed myself on Sunday morning, it showed. 197.0, up half a pound from last week. Food for the week, D+.

I did go out climbing twice, though, and had a good elliptical session on Saturday. But work was hectic and I didn't get out of the office for a walk. So exercise for the week, B+.

Bought a measuring tape, to start tracking the belly fat directly. 39.75" around my stomach, measured level with my navel. And plenty of squashy to burn off to get down to the sixpack.

And now I have the flu. Spent Sunday sitting around the house going 'eh'. Couldn't sleep, turned the alarm off and worked from home. Dosed to the gills with pseudoephedrine and ibuprofen, I was actually pretty productive.

Now I'm going to bed, and when 4:30 am rolls around, we'll see whether I'm capable of standing up.
...but not in Margaritaville.

Last week ended up better than it started--I walked almost a mile on Wednesday after all, and had a good session at Vertical World Thursday.

The weekend was not so good, though. Bailed out on the elliptical, Friday because I was at the doctor's office having a mole removed, Sat. and Sun. because I slept poorly and had no energy, and other obligations conflicted. Yeah, I know that's not an excuse.

Still, weighed myself this morning: 196.5. To the extent that a) weight matters, and b) two pounds is indicative of anything, given variability of, ahem, inputs and outputs, this is a good score for two weeks in.

Reminds me, I should probably actually measure my stomach and keep track of that. Tracks closer to the actual goal (lose the spare tire), and is probably less susceptible to noise in the measurement. Dunno what the goal there will be in inches, but I'll know it when I see it.

The upcoming week looks good. Hoping to get some climbing in tonight (two of the three others in my climbing group have bailed already), and the weather's supposed to be nice for walking tomorrow and Wednesday.

Looked at starting a yoga class at Vertical World, because core strength will help both the climbing and the general health issue, but the 10:00 am start does not work with the work schedule. Maybe in May when I have my weekdays free again.
The problem: Doc says I'm insulin-resistant. With my dad having recently been diagnosed with Type II diabetes, this is a concern. Also, I am carrying around some belly fat which in the first place contributes to (causes?) the insulin resistance and in the second place makes me less sexy. Not that I'm not still outstandingly sexy, but more is better, right?

The solution: Get more active, burn off the belly fat. Nominally, drop 15 pounds, but I'll be just as happy (or even happier) if I can instead convert most or all of that weight from fat to lean muscle.

The program: I know you don't really care. :) )