Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Cardiac Rehab: yes yes yes

This morning was my first day of the cardiac rehab program. Today was not the actual class which starts next week. It was my assessment day, the day where I got to confront the exercise machines and feel like a total ass. First I met with my case manager, who went over various and sundry medical tests I had to take before entering the program. Everything was well within the range of normal for cholesterol, heart rate, oxygen sats, and even blood sugar. Some things weren't great, but they were all in the normal range, which was very positive.

Then I got moved to the exercise guy, who wired me up and then made me walk the treadmill until I was tired. Once I finished with my pathetic little attempt on the treadmill, I got to ride a recumbent bike, and that was markedly easier. But I'm so freaking out of shape. I know I can't feel badly about it because I'm starting off this entire program with a positive outlook but it did make me wince to see how little exercise I can tolerate.

Once the exercise portion of the program was over, I got to meet with the nutritionist. We went over my current 'diet' which is beyond bad, and discussed how I can make myself eat more small meals instead of starving myself all day long. It's hard for me, I'm just not hungry most of the time, but I swore I would eat almonds and fruit and veggies during the day. I came home and ate 45 grams of Kashi GoLean, which is cardboard in funny shapes. That stuff is nasty. But it has protein, fiber, and whole grains and this is what I must eat, dammit!

The interesting thing about this whole appointment is when the nutritionist wrote down my weight goal for the 13 week program (1.5-2 lbs/week weight loss), she put down my goal weight as 1.5 lbs lower than I am right now. So I'm already REALLY successful. Yes, I did confess that I'd lost more weight and now we're going to adjust my goal weight down another 10 lbs. I'm glad to keep seeing my weight drop, I honestly am, but it's starting to freak me out. It's been 16 years since I've weighed this little, and that's my starting point for this latest effort. I think that's amazing but a bit scary because I'm already wearing clothing that is now 2 sizes too big. I'm going to have to buy new stuff and that freaks me out.

Wearing smaller sizes exposes me. People can see more of my body when my clothing fits. Granted, my body looks a lot better than it did when this whole experience started last year, but the thought of clothing clinging to me, showing how much I still need to lose, well that's too much exposure for my taste. I look better, I know I do. My face is a totally different shape. I have my cheekbones back. I can look down and see my feet. I'm happy to be working on this approach to better health and I like that by becoming more heart healthy, I also get the added pleasure of watching my body shrink. This is all good stuff. But someplace in my psyche is this little part of me that is scared by the change. Does that make me nuts?

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Blogger Fratzels said...

It doesn't make you nuts, it makes you normal. Weight loss is great, once you get to the goal weight, getting there is scary and full of "in-between" when nothing fits quite right.
Sounds like you are off to a fabulous start and will be successful.

3/1/08 2:17 PM  
Blogger Jendeis said...

Go you on starting exercise again!!

Have you tried GoLean Crunch? I like it better than the regular cardboard. :)

3/1/08 5:28 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Ditto on jendeis' comment about GoLean Crunch-it is SOOOOO much better than the regular stuff (doesn't the regular stuff it look suspiciously like some stuff swept off the forest ground and then packaged?)
I totally get how you feel about weight loss,better fitting clothes and feeling "exposed". I've been up and down for years and when I'm thinner (well really not as fat) I feel exposed. I guess I use my extra weight as a type of shield from people and when it's gone I feel totally vulnerable.

3/1/08 6:14 PM  
Blogger Daisy said...

Ditto: it makes you normal, whatever "normal" means. And the Kashi cereal? Definitely, golean Krunch is better. Look for deals on Amazon (really!). You can buy a case of it and save bundles, if you catch it at the right time.

3/1/08 9:00 PM  
Anonymous bethany actually said...

I second the GoLean Crunch!

3/1/08 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't forget you can alwys wear baggie clothes and hide a bit until your comfortable in your own skin! you getting healthy for your family too, who knows maybe you'll end up with a rack of undies like your daughtersomeday!

3/1/08 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Lisse said...

Yea, I can comment again!

OK, forgive my ignorance, but is the cardiac rehab supposed to do more than just help you lose weight? Does it help your heart? Is this new for you and if so, why haven't they put you on this before? Is this to help prepare you for a transplant, or simply help you manage what you have?

4/1/08 12:11 PM  

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