Meet my 6 pound Uterus!

Standard

*Warning, this post contains images some may find disturbing. Don’t keep scrolling if you are sensitive to medical photos.

So here goes nothing, I’m putting it all out there. Here are all the gory details.

Recap of how we got here to this moment: years ago I was told by my family doctor I had fibroids in my uterus but was never told how they could/would evolve or even if it was something I should keep an eye on. All I ever worried about was getting pap-tests to make sure I didn’t have cancer. I didn’t have cancer so, in my world all was good.

Then over time, my lower stomach area got bigger and bigger which I thought was all part of getting older. WRONG. Plus, I have never been flexible so when bending over got more challenging I blamed myself for not keeping up with stretching or my lack of dedication to yoga. WRONG. Then my period, it was always “normal”, always every 28 days and no issues until the last 2 years where it became all consuming, BUT again I brushed it off because everyone said “you are perimenopausal”. WRONG!

And then there was this photo shoot. We were taking pics for work and I decided to wear IMG_2106a fitted dress and honestly in my head I said “It’s OK that your stomach isn’t flat anymore, embrace who you are and you are OK with who you are” which is how I try to live my life every day but to be honest, in this picture I am also wearing 2 layers of Spanks. Look at my stomach, this  picture is unedited and you can clearly see my stomach area looks pregnant even with heavy duty compression.

Then there was my bunk gallbladder, thank you for being terrible! Without you I wouldn’t be here! Thanks to the stones in my gallbladder it triggered an ultrasound and the discovery of my extraordinary uterus. I had my gallbladder out the week before Christmas 2018 n an emergency surgery because the stones had gotten infected and then on January 23rd, 2019 I would have my hysterectomy surgery where I believed I a single fibroid thatt had grown to 10 cm.

Here is the play by play of my hysterectomy.

My husband and I arrived at the hospital at 10am, by 1pm I was in the OR holding area, my doctor came to chat with us and Derek (my husband) asked him “How big is the fibroid now?” to which Dr. Sheridan replied “It’s about 21 cm now” WHAT!!! OK that was not what I thought but it’s all starting to sink in that perhaps I am actually sick. *Note nervous smile below.IMG_6323

The surgery lasted about 3 hours, when I got back to my room I was super drugged out and in terrible pain. The nurse told me the incision was bigger than originally planned and that there were over 25 staples holding me together.IMG_4166

The next morning at the crack of dawn in walked my doctor and the first thing he said to me was “Boy, do I have a story for you….wanna see some pictures?” UM YES! As it turns out my uterus was HUGE! 6 pounds huge, over 30 cm huge and had grown up and over my belly button. It had pushed my bowels out of place and forced all of my lower organs out of their comfort zone. Dr. Sheridan said in the 27 years that he’s been a doctor he’s only ever seen one has big as mine. In a surgery like this they use a cork screw (yes, like the kind for opening a wine bottle) to pull out the uterus, they had to use 2 to get mine out (something her had only every had to do once before). He said they tugged, tugged and tugged thinking after one pull it would just pop out, nope! To put it in perspective, the average uterus weighs between 5.5 to 6 ounces and should look like an upside down pear. Mine had grown completely out of control and he said it was like I was pregnant for years. Here she is!IMG_4160

That first day post-op was a revolving door of doctors and nurses who were in the OR with me and they all had the same question “You felt no pain? You had no idea that was living inside you?” and the answer was NO! But now looking back the signs were all there!

Trouble bending over, constantly feeling tired, upset bum all the time, never feeling good were all not as I thought “just getting older” or “not taking working out enough” – I had a monster growing inside me.

It’s been 5 weeks since my surgery and it’s still tender, I am not quick yet to go from sitting to standing but I am so unbelievably excited for the future. I realize now, I haven’t known “healthy” for years and I can’t wait to see myself in 6 months from now. The human body is amazing and watching the changes in the past few weeks has been incredible.

I am not grossed out by my 6 pound uterus, I am impressed with myself that I kept running marathons, mountain biking with 6 pounds of dead weight hanging off of me and most of all that I didn’t let the norms of society make me believe I didn’t belong on TV, big belly and all.

Be Kind,

Fiona

IMG_1007

 

 

Cracks in the foundation – return to Sociology class

Standard

I have been deliberately not writing my blog in fear of just writing about how incredibly sad I feel 24/7 and getting placed on a psych hold or worse, writing about how my life is super-awesome which would be a lie.

Here is the deal, I have cried almost every day for the past 3 months – change is hard and new is exhausting. It’s not that Toronto is the worst place on earth, far from it, it’s just I have been bogged down with guilt over leaving Manitoba, consumed by a death in the family coupled with major family stresses and then I got injured (dislocated my hand and put my back out)…it hasn’t been great.

So, how do I rally back? Thanks to a sociology class I took in 1992 at the University of Manitoba I have all the tools I need to re-group – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to the rescue! When times have gotten tough in the past  I have always returned to this pyramid to find me.

maslows-hierarchy-of-needs

Here’s how it works – you make a list of the actual basic priorities you need to create balance in your life, you start with the base (the biggest part of the pyramid) and start building up. My basic needs are: good sleep, healthy food, working out, prayer and friendship. Once those are in place I add in adventure, sex and creativity (They are all exclusive of each other, easy does it you perverts! LOL) and so on. Then hopefully confidence and inner potential will return (I miss you old friend). None of this happens over night but it will work – here comes strict bed times, good nosh and consistent workouts, then phase 2.

Just a note to anyone who I may have lost at “prayer” -if you are a none believer that is totally cool – just try, just once, laying in bed and thinking about all the things your are thankful for – no amen necessary! It feels good to think of good things before you sleep.

On to other business!

Fun:

I went Axe throwing today and it was super BAD ASS! It was harder than I thought it would be and actually a good core work-out because while you are laughing your butt off! Ok, I will admit I was a little jacked up because they had ACDC on blast and you know that fires me up!

Food:

Apparently the new super food trend to watch for is “Lucuma”. It is a fruit from Peru which looks like if a mango and an avocado had a baby.  I bought it in powder form from pulpa-de-lucumaBulk Barn ($13) and it has a very caramel-like flavour. You can use it as a sweetener in smoothies, baking and to make ice creams.  It has a super low glycemic index so insulin spikes won’t be a concern. I liked it, didn’t love it, haven’t given up on it yet.

Fitness:

I have been working out at home a lot lately which is fun because I get to play MY music crazy loud but it’s also a little lonely – I can’t wait for spring and daylight lasts past 5pm! But at the moment I am obsessed with the dumbbell squat presses. It gets me super sweaty and works the whole body!

Check out this video for technique:

Fashion:

I am in love with the white blazer with ripped jeans look! The best one I could find was at Le Chawhte blazerteau, it is a bit of budget buster at $139 but it is totally gorgeous!

http://www.lechateau.com/style/jump/Ponte+Open-Front+Blazer/productDetail/Blazers/345274/catwfr10030?navAction=jump&navCount=0&categoryNav=true&selectedColor=Off+White

Oh and as I am heading to the Cayman Islands soon I have become obsessed with rompers! Yes, rompers! It’s all in one and they feel like pajamas! I bought my first one from Old Navy http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=112879022&vid=1&locale=en_US&kwid=1&sem=false&sdkw=jersey-knit-romper-P112879&brandCvoSid=MDA2DT2764ZZ&sdReferer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oldnavy.com%2Fproducts%2Frompers.jsp

My search for a Toronto hairdresser specializing in big hair is my task for the week! I need this mane tamed!

Be great!

F

fighter

 

Here they are! My P2P round 2 photos are in!

Standard

My goals for “Push ups to pin ups” round 2 were simple, push the limits and get super strong, reduce the cellulite on the tops of my thighs and biceps and fall deeper in love with the process. Check, check and check!

I truly loved every second (minus the last 2 days pre-shoot) of this journey. Round 2 was so different than the first time. I trusted my body more, I believed in the process more, I met and made new friends and it challenged me when I absolutely felt my lowest. I was so committed to the 12 weeks that while I was working 15, 16, 17 hour days at FIFA I would still came home and work out because I wanted change more than I wanted sleep. I did box jumps and lunges in my backyard in the middle of the night with a stupid grin on my face, I loved it! And it paid off, I am down 35+ pounds and I now run 12k in 55 minutes!

And here is the other fact, Jason, Jeff and Erica (the owner/ trainers at Aspire) have taken me in as one other own when I without a doubt needed it the most. To say the last 8 months have been personally challenging would be an understatement, it has been one poo-emoji sandwich after another and every time they picked me up, dusted me off and said “see you again tomorrow” which was incredibly powerful to my soul. They have been my angels dressed in dry-fit and hoodies, I call them my #FitFam.

Anyway, you don’t want to hear all my life nonsense, you want the pics! Once again a big thanks to photographer Kelly Morton, hair and make-up from the team at Essentique Spa Salon, the cotton candy kiosk at the Forks and a big thanks to the “just a hint” of liquid courage (Mmmm Kraken rum!).

Deep breath….be kind with your comments, I am feeling vulnerable here.

Fiona and Jason candy

Jason Penner, Owner of Aspire Fitness and all around great guy!

P2P Round 2 Bent over row black and white bench black and white bent over row close up black and white close up white shirt Fiona and Jason candy 2 Fiona headshot 2 Fiona headshot Fiona side 2 fiona side profile tossled hair white shirt glassesBe good my friends

F

3 months

Happy to give February the finger!

Standard

Is it just me or does February always suck! I did everything I could to not get the winter blues or cabin fever but

I lost a couple days in February to just laying around in bed. It was both magical and sad.

I lost a couple days in February to just laying around in bed. It was both magical and sad.

once again February got the better of me. You sly bitch! The last week of January was no great hell either but February took me to a new level of dark. But just like that it was March and I don’t know changed…perhaps it’s all the sunshine, or the fact that I haven’t worn my parka in days but I feel lighter, brighter, happier and hopeful!

So, what did I do over the past couple weeks? I ramped up my work-outs at the gym but by doing that I aggravated my delicate little liver (mental note: I still cannot nor will I ever be able to do

This will never be me!

This will never be me!

advanced yoga moves – my doc says I can eat as many pretzels as I want, I just can’t contort my body into one!). I have been trying all sorts of killer paleo meals and this one for cabbage rolls was freakin’ awesome/easy! Give it a whirl, I ate these for 8 straight meals and was still not sick of them! http://stupideasypaleo.com/2013/01/30/golumbki-cabbage-rolls/#more-1230

I also fell in love with doing mountain climbers with wash clothes under my feet and weights on my back – it takes things to a whole new level. Here is a vid of what I am talking about…for the record I do not know this person, she seems cool! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HXn2AiAsmU&t=23

As for shopping, since I have been on a restricted budget due to my current lack of employment I have made a list of things I will buy once I get working again. The first thing I will buy when I get a job are these work-out tights! Do you love em? I do! Have you noticed I am crazy for tights! http://www.albionfit.com/bottoms/go-capri-black-1

Speaking of my lack of work – I have been for a couple interviews this past month which was a great feeling but nothing firm has come of any of them yet. I also worked on a new demo  which has given me a new, badly needed boost of confidence. Please let March be the month everything changes!

Be good my friends!

F

hills

The photo shoot and the days following!

Standard

Oh my goodness, where has the time gone?

My Push up’s to pin up’s photo shoot was on December 2nd and I apologize for taking so long to give you the whole low down!

On the Sunday leading up to the shoot I went to South Beach Tan and Travel and got a spray tan. My recommendation to you is, if you are fair skinned like me go with a light spray tan but be sure to ask for a smell added to your tan because spray tan solution doesn’t smell all that great (I went with Vanilla) and I also added the bronzing enhancer. With the Aspire Fitness P2P promo it cost $28. Now that my tan is gone, I miss it desperately! http://www.southbeachtravel.ca/

The photo shoot day started off great! Derek was flying out of Winnipeg super early so I was up and at ’em by 6:30am! My appointment at the hair salon was for noon so I got to lounge around and feel super rested (hahahahaha I was actually busy cleaning my house and packing my photo shoot bag). I arrived at Puressence Spa and Salon and was quickly whisked away to get my hair all done up (long loose curls) and then I was off getting my make-up done (side note: They use Aveda products which smell and feel amazing). It was really nice feeling so special and pampered, the staff are super nice plus they have 2 salon dogs which are totally adorable! For my make-up I wanted it to be natural but I did opt for the false eyelashes – let’s go diva! Here is the before and after of me hanging out on the couch at home to all cleaned up at Puressence! before and aftersalon picAfter all of the primping I then rushed home and picked up Ruby and Lewi (my dogs), Jason from Aspire had asked for them to join us for some pics. The photographer for P2P is Kelly Morton and let me tell you a couple things about Kelly; 1. his studio is cool as hell! 2. he is super easy-going and patient 3. he is super into surfing as am I so we immediately bonded and 4. he is a crazy talented photographer! Check out his work here: http://www.kellymortonphotography.com/

I did multiple wardrobe changes (5 I think) and I had also bought a couple prop type items (no spoilers – you will see them later). I did get to see a couple pics as they were being taken and I couldn’t be happier about how they turned out! I did at one point feel a tad narcissistic and felt like the Winnipeg version of Kim K (minus the butt photos). It will take a couple weeks before all of my pictures are back but Kelly did send me a couple just to wet my whistle! So, here they are!!

My ladiesBeast ModeTrust me, I did not do all of my photos with the dogs and yes, I love these 2 little fur beasts way too much!!

After the photos were taken and the false eye lashes were removed we headed out as a group for our post-P2P celebratory dinner at Earl’s. I had a burger, truffle fries, one apple cider (which totally gave me the giggles) and a piece of chocolate goodness! Moments later I did feel completely horrible and promised myself to never do that again…ok, that was a tad dramatic but it was a great reminder that full fat food is not my friend!

Overall, it was an incredible experience and I am so excited now to move onto “Custom fit” at Aspire! I have also had a couple occasions lately to indulge in carbs and each time I have deeply regretted it. I am still eating paleo 90% of the time but I have allowed the odd handful of pretzels back into the line-up (I love pretzels almost as much as I love Benedict Cumberbatch -good God he is sexy).

Once the rest of my pictures come back I will be posting them here and thank you so much for all of your notes of encouragement. This blog has kept me accountable and for that I am grateful. If there is one thing you take away from this post is, for all the excuses I had come up with (I am too busy, I am fine the way I am, this program is too intense for me, I might get injured) I couldn’t have been more wrong! I now feel strong again, confident again, unbreakable again and well….happy again! Added bonus, I met some really cool ladies! This old dog does have a couple tricks still left up her sleeve! Be good and bring it!

reinvent