Monday, October 12, 2009

First post - where it all starts...

Like my new co-bloggers, I struggle with my weight. Unlike my co-bloggers, I'm all of 5 feet tall and every extra pound shows and trust me, I have a few extra. I was fairly athletic and active growing up and didn’t start getting a little chubby until I was 12 or 13. My Dad was always bringing us treats and Grandma liked to show her love by baking – who can resist that? J By the time I was 18, I was a bit bigger than my skinny friends, but not really what I would consider overweight. Luckily, I was never teased about my weight – my height – yes, lol, but my weight, no.

I moved to the city for university and gave up most of my athletic endeavours and gained the freshman 15 (or so). A stressful relationship helped me lose a bunch of weight and left me at a svelte size 4. That lasted for a few years, until I got married.

The past 8 years have been a bit stressful – the kind of stress the builds and doesn’t really go away. Looking back, I didn’t deal with it very well at all. I have a better handle on things now, so I’m hoping to move away from those feelings. I think one of the reasons that the weight started slipping on was that even with a few extra pounds I was still quite athletic - I could go out for a 40km bike ride, go for a hike in the park, do weights, ride etc. I never felt limited by the few extra pounds here and there. That led to more than a few pounds and that combined with laziness and a good dose of stress got me to today.

I am limited by my weight a bit now, it is hard to find clothes that look nice and it is really hard in the horse world to find stuff that fits. My riding is suffering a bit too - it must be a bit hard on my horse to have extra weight bouncing on his back and I just know that my arms and legs don't quite fall in the right way. I'll save more thoughts on my weight and riding for a later post though.

The past couple of years, I have been having a recurring skin condition on my legs that causes pain and swelling. We don’t know the cause, but it eventually goes away. I had a bad flare up of that this summer and swore that when it went away, I would start back into a regular exercise program. The only slight catch in my plan was another medical problem lurking in the background.

On Tuesday of last week, I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my calf. It was very painful and swollen, so I headed in to the doctor to investigate. She was worried and sent me off to the hospital right away. A quick ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis and I was sent to the ER for treatment.

A blood clot can be quite dangerous – one form of it is called Deep Vein Thrombosis – that is what I have. If left untreated, parts of the clot can break off and head to the lungs or heart, causing major problems. Luckily mine was caught in time, so there shouldn’t be any big problems like that now that I am on medication. There are many causes for a blood clot in the leg and being overweight is one of them. So, with the pre-existing swelling in my leg, a long car/train ride on our trip last week and I had the perfect situation for a blood clot to occur.

Amazing how things can change in a week. I now have to take an intense course of medication and follow up with specialists a lot over the next few weeks. I’m still in a fair bit of pain and I am stuck resting on the couch most of the day. No riding for me for at least another week, maybe longer. The blood thinners I have to take can make a small injury much more serious, should something happen.

This small health scare is the catalyst to change my lifestyle and try to work on becoming more healthy and fit. I feel a little dumb that it took something semi-serious to really make me aware of the impacts my weight has been having on my health.

I’ve done well reducing my food intake over the past week, to make up for the fact that I can’t do any activity and I’ve lost 5lbs. It’s probably not a true 5lbs, but it is encouraging at least.

Well, I've said quite enough for a first post! I have alot to blab about on these topics, so I'm sure there will be lots of posts here! And I just wanted to add that I'm looking forward to reading the input from my wonderful co-bloggers! You ladies rock!!!!!


Anonymous said...

While all our stories vary to a degree, they are all very similar at the heart of them. Weight, unhappiness, health problems, and our horses.

You're right about stress adding to weight gain. There is science behind it and I suspect it's why I have a hard time shedding the pounds and keeping them off. (I'm in the middle of a custody battle for my eldest child- the stress my former in-laws cause on a regular basis doesn't even register to me as stress any more, so I'm more overwhelmed than I recognize. Yikes!)

Wow! We're off to a great start here!

cdncowgirl said...

Laura I am SO glad you were up for going public with me! Your posts back when we were hiding were great so I can't wait to see what you have to share.

Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

Great post Laura. I am sorry you are having to deal with that medical issue but hope it will clear up soon.

Mrs Mom said...


DVT is some wicked scary stuff, and I can think is "Thank God nothing happened to break loose while you were in NY."

And you are so not short. Your legs reach the ground, and go all the way to Heaven, right? ;)