A week of tears

In my sophomore year of high school I took  American Government and Politics AP. As a total science person this class was something I just took to learn. I actually enjoy the class- it was with a small group of my friends and whenever we finished our classwork early we watched The O.C. Even the guys in my class watched! I enjoyed this class until after we took our midterm. The exam was 70 multiple choice questions and after I finished I joined the rest of my classmates who were setting up a card game.

Two days later in the middle of my English class my American Gov teacher pulled me out of class and told me that he knew that I had cheated on the midterm.

His reasons:

1) He hands out the answer keys every year- and because I had older friends I clearly had gotten my hands on them

2) I was HAPPY when I finished the exam.

3) I got questions right that he had not covered in class.

4) My grade on the exam was a C

This was 5 years ago and can still feel the tears as I type this out.

I had to go to a meeting with my guidance counselor who told me that there was nothing I could do to prove that I was innocent. The teacher had been working here for years and no one would believe me.

This was the first time something like this had happened to me. There was no way I had cheated on the exam and I could not even even prove it. It was his word against mine.

I even had my parents come in for a meeting- they were told the same thing. I should not make a big deal about this, otherwise my teacher would write a letter to my future college telling them about my academic mis conduct.

(Looking back I can see that they just told me this to make me go away)

I had the option of dropping the class- with a grade of an F or staying in the class and get a final grade of a C no matter how well I did on any other assignment.

I stayed in the class. My teacher did not even look at me. I would raise my hand to go to the bathroom and I was ignored. I left the class in tears everyday.

This was a big deal to me- I was well liked by everyone and to have someone especially a teacher treat me this way was awful.

I no longer wanted to go to school and my parents understood and let me stay home until I felt better about going.

The only person who I could talk to was my English teacher and she believed me- even after I graduated high school I would still e-mail her for advice. Sadly she lost her battle with Colon cancer last spring- I sometimes wish I could e-mail her for advice. I really do miss her.

5 years later: I wish I could have said something. Even now I still find it difficult to stand up for myself when I am in a situation where I am not treated the way I want to be.

I need to remid myself that I do have a voice and that I can use it!

I need to end this post this is a major tear subject for me.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Valentine’s day!

Thanks to everyone for their lovely comments on my last post ❤

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Dear bloggy readers, (148)

Dear bloggy readers,

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy days to come hangout read my little bloggy. I love being able to share my thoughts and feelings with everyone. More importantly I am inspired by everyone. Your excitement over my good news- makes me love everyone even more. I share mostly about my health and fitness, but some days I just want to blab about my personal life. Blogging sometimes feels soooo good! Just getting your thoughts and feelings out there and having other people being able to relate is a positive experience.

There are so many things that happen to be that directly impact what I eat or if I even workout that day. Even with some changes in my personal life that took me  off guard I stuck with my plan to run. I could have easily decided to take some personal time for myself but I knew I had a goal and I stuck with it.

( For those of you who have not read my previous posts I have been injured for the most of 2009)

I am following the couch to 5k plan but modifying it on how I feel physically.

Plan for Week 1:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

What I did:

20 mins on the acr trainer at ( cardio program level 5) I wanted to avoid running for as long as possible- I was super nervous about getting started)

Treadmill warmup 5 mins: incline 5 speed: 3.0

I was gearing up to breakout into a run at 4:41 when I looked down and saw that my shoelaces were untied. The last thing I needed was to slip and fall flat on my face.

I finished out the plan ( with tied shoelaces). Boy do I need those 90 secs of rest.

Running is hard. But it feels good. I have done this workout twice this week. I gave myself 3 days to recover because of how sore I was.

As you may or may not know I have been watching what I eat for the past month. No calorie counting, just eyeballing and stopping when I am full.

Results?? Lets see them

Compare with 156.5

Dec 31st                            Feb.9th

Arms: 12.5 inches    Now: 11

Bust ( w/ double bra): 37 inches Now: 36 inches

Abs ( around belly button): 37 inches Now 33 inches

Butt: 40.5 inches  Now: 40 inches

Biggest part of Thigh: 23 inches Now: 24 inches

Height: 5 feet 2 3/4 inches

Weight as of Dec 31st 2009: 156.5 Now: 148

BMI: 27.2 ( I put myself in as 5′ 3”)  Now: 26.2

Overweight = 25-29.9

Pictures?

Front:

Before:

After


Back

Before:

After

Side:

Before:

After:

I am so happy with the results, but more importantly with the progress that I have made. I am HEALTHY and I am RUNNING again. Sure it is slow, but it is progress.

What now?

If you have not been watching the news the baltimore/DC/ east side has been getting hit with blizzards

We just got done with 28 inches from part one and tonight starts part 2. I want to resume my training ASAP but mother nature has other plans.

I have signed up for the First step Striders 5k training program! Starting March 3rd at 6:15am at my old high school!

– I am excited to be able to run outdoors and get my training on 🙂

So in conclusion to this long and winded letter, please keep reading my bloggy. I am trying to get back into school with 19.5 credits- so things are a bit rough!

Love,

ME

Spring semester 2010

I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off!

My semester just started on Wednesday and I am already booked solid. This does not even include school and study time.

I had some paper work to do for my internship, I love being an intern and I will do pretty much whatever needs to be done. Which is why I ended up with the task to enter clothing inventory for 70 people into a spreadsheet.

It’s seriously been taking me forever. But I have to just suck it up and do it.

I have been having some AMAZING eats.

The wonderful lovely people at Pom Wonderful sent me a few samples of  100% Pomegranate Juice.

Despite all the amazing antioxidants the juice contains I had a hard time adjusting to the tart taste of the juice.

So I decided to mix it up a little.

Clear Splash+ Pom Wonderful = AMAZINGGGGG. It was sooo much better than soda. My taste buds had a field day.

I hope I don’t start looking like

[Source]

Because I have been killing some serious spinach.

Burrito style

Corn+ Tabouli+ Plain non-fat yogurt+Potatoes+ Spanish ( cooked)+ Peppers + Corn

Wrap style

Tj’s horseradish hummus+ Spinach and potatoes combo

And my fav combo

FETAAAAAAAA

I am obsessed. And when I get obsessed with something I eat it for three days straight…

Speaking of an obsession. Have you all tried Popchips?

[Source]

I snagged a bag at Costo last week- and I am SERIOUSLY obsessed! They taste AMAZING and the best part is that they are HEALTHY.

“We don’t fry it (unhealthy). We don’t bake it (undelicious). We take wholesome potatoes, add a little heat and pressure, and pop! It’s a chip. The only thing added is a flavorful blend of seasonings for a snack so delicious and crispy, you won’t even notice it’s (we hesitate to say) healthier.” Popchips

Obviously being at school does change my lifestyle I have all 8 am classes and I have not been going to bed till 2am most nights. This gives me about 4 hours of sleep, I don’t like to make a habit of this but my body will have to adjust. I have been sticking with my plan of watching what I eat and it’s been amazing so far. This month I have lost 5 pounds.

This is bringing me closer to my goal of having a healthy weight.

I may be eating less, but I don’t feel less full. My body lets me know when I am not eating enough- through the form of headaches. Not sure if this happens to anyone else, but it is annoying. Even if I am late eating a meal.

I have been hitting the gym everyday with low impact exercise, my injury is still feeling great. I am aiming to start running mid-feb.

Until then it is cycling and power walking at 4.5 with an incline of 5.

When I workout I feel attractive.

Happy Friday!!!!

Are you doing anything exciting this weekend?

Who am I?

In life I play it safe. I avoid confrontations, I like nothing more than to stay at home with a good book and a warm cup of tea.

You won’t find me out on a wild adventure or out doing something illegal crazy.

Last semester I heard about a research program to study healthy living in Switzerland. I knew this was the program for me. I had never traveled out of the country( do Canada and Mexico count?) before so I was nervous.

In 1997 I went to Las Vegas and threw up the entire 6 hour flight. Let’s just say people requested a seat change.

So I figured I would just apply for the program, and if I did not get in, well then I would not have to go.

But I GOT INNNN!!!!!

I will be in Switzerland from June 28th-July 4th

[Source]

I have not decided where I am going to go after, I am meeting with my classmates next week and we will take it form there!

What will I be doing there?

“This program will be useful to undergraduate and graduate students considering careers in health and aging or who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle in a fast-paced culture.

Exercise, stress reduction, and diet have been identified as key components in maintaining health for people of all ages. These factors are central to the prevention and management of chronic disease. The risk for chronic diseases increases with age, however, the sedentary, high stress, fast-food life style typical of student life and common for all ages in the US has contributed to an epidemic of related health problems. Switzerland is distinguished by low rates of chronic disease, compared to the US, and a geography and culture that fosters out-door activity for all ages. This experiential learning program applies an ecological framework to examine case studies, international best practices and participant experience to better understand how public policy and clinical practice can help individuals initiate and maintain healthy life styles.

Switzerland, a country of stunning mountain vistas, truly lies at the crossroads of Europe. For our academic program, we stay in Kandersteg, nestled in the Swiss Alps. Participants venture in to nearby cities to conduct their field research, returning to home base for an evening meal and to discuss the day’s experiences. Highlights include options for day trips to Geneva, Zurich, Berne, to see a glacier and Alpine hiking.”

*Does anyone else have air sickness? If so what do you do to deal with it?*

152- Me, Myself and I

156.5– Dec 31st

This is not a diet post.

January has been a lovely month so far. I am on break till the 27th and other than going to the gym and spending time with my family I have not been doing much. With that said I have spent a lot of time thinking about my life and where I am going for my future.

I have not started 2010 with many of the friendships that I had in 2009. For reasons unclear to me, I can’t seem to maintain friendships. I asked a casual friend of mine who I know would be honest with me what he thought of me. Without much hesitation he responded, ” you are a very nice person.”

I am a nice person, I care a lot about the people in my life and try to show them that. Apparently, I am still not getting it done. Truthfully, friendships stress me out.  There is a lot of expectation when it comes to being a friend. I fear I may never be able to have a lasting friendship. There is a art to having a healthy friendship, one that I have not yet mastered.

With that being said, there is one friendship that I have been working hard on and that is the one with myself.


I want to have a strong relationship with myself that lets me get through the good and bad times.


I want to be able to feel good about myself even when I don’t have a good friend around me. It may not be something that I had control over. People come and go.


I want to be able to maintain healthy eating habits that last a lifetime. I feel like this month I have been able to come up with something that works for me. I don’t want to feel like I can’t enjoy the foods I love because I am not at my “healthy weight”. I trust that my body will tell me when I have eaten enough or not enough.

Thanks for reading my injury posts I and II I have come along way from being in pain and it was truly a testing journey. I am so blessed at the ability to be healthy.


I have been hitting the gym everyday. Non impact exercise is something that I have never done in the past. But cranking out on the elliptical and stationary bike is rewarding when I can see results in my weight.

I don’t count calories– because I want to be able to use my judgment when it comes to eating. I have never counted calories and I don’t plan on it. Food gives me the energy to carry on my daily activities. As a biochemistry major I know it is a very vital part of my bodily function. I can’t put a number on that.

What I can put a number on is my weight. Because that is what I am. When I get to a “healthy weight” I won’t have to keep track and know that I am just that. Healthy.

Being at the age of 20- I feel like I have my entire life in front of me. The choices that I make in the next few years will shape my future. I don’t want to look back and have any regret.

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Food bloggers have some staple food items we all know what they are OIAJ?

I have some of my own.

#1 Fennel Seeds

[Source]

– I mainly use this as a digestive aid, it is known to reduce bloating and cramps. I for some reason an obsessed with them, whenever I have a stomach ache I always have a small handful. I also eat them after most of my meals. There are other benefits to these seeds, however this is the only reason I eat them. They taste like faintly like licorice. You can find these seeds in most grocery store.

#2 Cranberry Juice

[Source]

– 100% Cranberry Juice is useful in preventing urinary tract, bladder and kidney infections. It can have a tart taste so some you may want to mix it with something else. I have always loved cranberry juice and I prefer it over soda or anything else.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Monday off! I am off to the gym !

Follow me on twitter @simplysana- I love tweeting with my readers.

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“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” ~ MLK

Part II- The injury

Missed Part I?

Summer 2009- So while taking two summer classes ( Physics and Organic Lab) as well as teaching boot camp.

I started physical therapy for my ” disc” problem- I was going 2X a week. Along with back extensions to move the disc back in place I was getting ice and electrode therapy.

I was disappointed that nothing was helping, but I decided to stick with it because it might work out in the end.

Meanwhile my symptoms were getting worse, I could not sit or walk for long. Sitting for long like driving caused a tingling nerve pain down my legs. And bending down to tie my shoes was out of the question

I went back to my spine surgeon at the end of the summer for some more options.

Option #1 MRI

Option#2 Steroid Pack ( to reduce nerve inflammation)

I went with the open MRI.

[Source]

Yeah- it looks totally harmless- but I had a panic attack in the middle and I wanted to stop. I did not have my contacts on so I could not see that I was not as trapped as I felt. However, there was noway to stop the test and have me come back another day. So my mom came in and sat next to me and I was able to finish it.

The results of the MRI showed that I had Spondylolysis (Pars Fracture of the Spine). This is not the same thing as the disc problem I went to PT for. In fact all the exercises I was doing- worsen the condition that I do have.

Well my doctor called me over the phone and told me to exercise by walking up hill and that I should be better in 6-8weeks.

6-8 weeks later– I was NOT better and still miserable and so I went back to the doctor.

Here were my options:

Option #2 Steroid Pack ( to reduce nerve inflammation)

Option #3 Back brace

I went with the back brace.

I name my back brace turtle !

With the help of a good friend I wore this bad boy for 6 weeks. I even got over my fear of pills and took the steroid pack.

Today- I am 91% better! This was a long journey- but getting better is soo worth it. I spent most of the year feeling sorry for myself and gained 20 pounds. I was not focused on what I was eat- I ate whatever made me feel good. It was not until Jan 1st that I started to watch what I ate.

Just by tracking what I eat daily I have lost 3 pounds.

– I have also been working out: I am going to stick with non impact workouts till March, because I still feel pain in my back every now and then. If in March  I am feeling 100% better I will start training for my first 1/2 marathon in October.

I will wear my back brace every now and then, when I feel like I need it.

Moral of the story: Keep going back to the doctor until you get the RIGHT solution. Being injury and pain free is worth it.

The injury

Life before December 2008:

12+ years of:

5x a week of:

Teaching cardio box+ 5 am bootcamp= Spondylolysis (Pars Fracture of the Spine)

[Source]

I did not come to this diagnosis until 10 months later.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Dec. 2008– I was sick for a week with “mono” ( quotes because I had the symptoms but the test was negative)

– I felt some pain in my lower back, but I was laying down for a week I figured it was nothing.

-I was busy with finals week oh did I mention I also had bronchitis?

We were good friends with the Dr. at this point and we realized that we did not like her. Due to insurance conditions we could not switch doctors if we had seen them within a month. Because I kept getting sick I had to stay with her.

Finally when it hurt to bend down and brush my teeth I went to my doctor- after pounding my lower back she sent me home with a prescription for 800mg of Ibuprofen 3X a day. And muscle relaxants….

– I don’t like taking drugs for anything but cramps- I had a bad reaction to a cough medicine and I am now terrified of any sort of medication.

I decided to take one pill a day and I felt a bit better until the effects wore off.

At this time I was also seeing an infectious disease specialist and a surgeon. For my larger than life lymph nodes in my neck- They were literally sticking out and my classmates enjoyed touching my “lumps”. I promise it was not as weird as this sounds. ( No one knew what my lumps were- they kinda went away after 9 months- medical mystery?) I can still feel them, but they are much much smaller.

So for a few months my problem was put on the back burner (literally)- I had other medical problems to deal with, along with a full semester of classes I was pretty busy.

At this point, I had stopped doing my own workout- but I was still teaching cardio box…. ( Mistake)

I would feel my back in pain when I did jumping jacks- or anything that required impact. So I would demonstrate for one or two reps and then cue my classes to continue on. This worked out pretty well, I was able to keep teaching and not “hurt”

-Not sure if this was a good idea but, it worked.

I went back to the doctor and she sent me to a spine surgeon, after more poking and pounding my spine I was “diagnosed” with a bulging disc  and sent to physical therapy.

At this point I was having trouble lifting my legs to put pants on, sitting and using my laptop hurt. I would have nerve pain down my legs. It was not a burning or tingling- it was an uncomfortable sensation.

It honestly felt like I had broken my butt or something…

My general doctor also wanted me to have an MRI- but the insurance denied this because I was not in any sort of car accident or other trauma.

So enter Summer 2009 where I started physical therapy- biggest mistake of my life…..

I will finish up my story in the next post Injury Part II

Thanks for reading- writing this has brought back some not fun memories but I want people to learn from my story and not make the same mistakes.

* Feel free to share any injury stories you may have*