Muscle Weighs Heavier—No Really.

A while back I posted about how I’ve been doing Zumba a couple of times a week in hopes of trimming some flab.  Of course, all that gyrating was thwarted by my lack of willpower, coupled with a big, fat chocolate cake.  And so, I was a little anxious about the upcoming weigh-in & measuring session, scheduled for the first of the month.  Since I was nearly dying every Tuesday and Thursday night, I was going to be really disappointed if I found out that I’d gained weight. 

 The good news is that I did not gain weight or inches.  Whew!  In fact, I lost 1½  lbs, in addition to ¾ of an inch.  (Shut up!  Something is better than nothing.  Besides, I’m building muscle, which we all know weighs more than fat.  So there.)  Jamie, my Zumba instructor, tried to encourage me by saying things like, “That’s not bad.”  But when I lamented that I’d hoped for a little more, she was quick to point out that if I’d just stay out of the chocolate cake, I might see more progress.  Some folks might have been offended by having their fatness thrown back onto their own lack of willpower, but I just laughed.  Yup.  I know.  Chocolate cake—bad.  Zumba—good. 

 I’m apparently the kind of girl that makes folks feel like they can just tell me about myself.  Because this is a fairly regular occurrence these days.  Just the other day I was talking to Molly and had a similar experience.  Molly is one of my besties, and our relationship is pretty much one big long episode of telling ON ourselves to each other, and telling each other about herself.  So in our conversation the other day, I was griping to Molly about how I’d picked up this new shower cleaning stuff because it was on sale, and it didn’t work very well.  “I hate that!” I griped, “I spray it on, and it’s supposed to cut through the soap scum, but it doesn’t!  I’ve done it, like, 6 times and it’s barely made a dent.”  To which Molly replied, “Well, I think that stuff works if you don’t wait ‘til you’ve got ¾” thick soap scum before you decide to clean the shower.”   

 Wow.  So, between Jamie & Molly, I’ve gathered that I’m both flabby and nasty.  Go me!

 It’s actually been almost another month since that weigh-in, and I’m feeling a little more confident this time because I think my pants are looser.  Not, like, a size looser or anything, just looser than they were.  And I feel like I’m just all around less flabby and more firm, which is good because it indicates that I’m building muscle (see, I told you that was why I only lost 1½  pounds!) which is important to anyone whose been through breast cancer treatment.  All the surgery and chemo and what-not tend to cause an increase in body fat.  In fact, evidence has shown that chemotherapy changes body composition—causing a loss of lean body mass.  Muscle being replaced by fat!  And more body fat increases the risk of cancer.  So this exercise thing is way more than just vanity for us, girls.  And I’m only half kidding when I talk about that muscle weighing more than fat thing—I really AM building, or rather re-building muscles lost to treatment.  So, if you needed another reason to exercise, here it is…now get your Zumba or whatever on and don’t give The Cancer a chance to sneak up on you.

Zumba vs. Chocolate Cake

I’ve been doing Zumba.  Much to Mini Me’s dismay, this has resulted in me gyrating at random intervals throughout the day.  I’ve always been a dancer.  Not in the coordinated, classically trained ballet dancer type of way.  Not in the Fame–I’m gonna live forever kind of way.  More like, in the shake your booty like you think you don’t dance like a white girl sort of way.  Only now it’s worse, because in addition to my old school 1980’s dance moves (think Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Aire at best and Bruce Springstein at worst) I have now added my Zumba moves including, but not limited to: gyrating, lassoing, Charro-style booty shakin’, and this strange tippy-toe mambo thing that is just fabulously fun when used while pushing a shopping cart.

 Oh yeah.  Because when I say at random intervals throughout the day, what I mean is at home, at the grocery store, at church, at a yard sale, in Susie’s pool, or any other place that I might hear music.  Or not.  Don’t really even need music.  Just having someone ask about Zumba is enough.  Or mention Dirty Dancing.  (Nobody puts Moody in a corner, heh heh.) 

 While it IS fun, the goal with this Zumba thing is to get in shape.  It’s supposed to burn, like, 400,000 calories in an hour or something, which is almost enough to counteract The Great Chocolate Cake Disaster of Last Week.  Because, friends, Moody has no will power.  None.  And so she usually tries to keep the danger items out of the house.  Things like Hostess Orange Cupcakes, that I like in spite of myself.  Things like really good bread.  Any form of chocolate.  When Mini Me asked, “Mom, can I make a chocolate cake?” I should have known that no good could come from saying “Sure.” 

 So, she made the cake.  A whole 9 x 13 inch pan of it.  And frosting, too.  And we ate some.  Then Hubster came home and hated on the cake, “I don’t like chocolate cake” he said.  Looks like it’s just Mini Me and I tackling this thing.  Again, no good can come from this. Mini Me and I ate some more cake after supper.  The next day, we had cake for breakfast.  Cake with lunch.  Cake as a snack.  Cake after dinner.  The following morning, Mini Me ate the last piece of chocolate cake for breakfast, proclaiming to me that she’d done it to save me from eating any more of it.  I am blessed to have such a selfless child, am I not?

 One cake.  Two people. Approximately 36 hours.  Did I mention that no good could come from letting her make a chocolate cake?

 As you can see, eating sensibly is just not how I roll.  Oh, I do alright most of the time.  In fact, I really probably eat better than most folks.  But man, when I fall off the wagon, I not only fall off, buddy I hit the ground running in the opposite direction, my chocolate smeared face contorted by maniacal laughter.  Anybody remember Mike Myers’ Hyper Hypo character?  That’s me. 

 So, if a girl like me wants to lose some weight, exercise in some form is a must.  Preferably something that I don’t totally hate.  Because I’m pretty good at avoiding things that I hate.  But Zumba has been great because it’s actually fun.  I’ve been doing it 2 times a week for about 4 weeks now, and the instructor is doing monthly weighings & measurings, so next week I’ll be able to let you know if all that booty shakin’ has been enough to counteract The Great Chocolate Cake Disaster.  Stay tuned.

Speaking My Love Language: Disco Therapy

So the dreaded wire localization wasn’t nearly as bad as the last time. It was also done differently, but I don’t think that’s why it hurt less. I say that because this time instead of using ultrasound to guide the needle into place, they used mammogram. Yeah, you read me right—they put my boob in the mammogram machine, squashed it, and THEN inserted various needles, wires, etc. through a little window that was cut in the plate just for such purposes. At one point, the nurse told me, “You can breathe normally, Moody.” Uh, no, I really can’t because you’ve got my boob in a vise! Hello! But, like I said, it still wasn’t nearly as bad as the last time. In fact, it really didn’t even hurt as bad as some regular old mammograms I’ve had.

Part of this was, I’m sure, because when I told the nurses how awful the last experience had been, they decided to call Dr Dicke (pronounced dickie). Dr Dicke uses lots of numbing meds. Dr Dicke is also a woman. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not hatin’ on male doctors. All of my regular doctors are male, and they’re great, love ‘em to pieces. But, I think that when it comes to something like having your boob placed in a vise, and then impaled, a woman doctor might be able to empathize a little better.

And so, my experience was no big deal at all. When they told me I was done and asked me how I was feeling, I said, “I feel great. You rock, Dr Dicke!” I had to wait for films to be printed, so I went to the waiting area, which is where I logged on to give you the update yesterday. The nurse came out to give me my films and told me how well I did. (And after my whining about last time, too.) I asked her, “Do you normally have people freaking out?” and she said, “Oh yeah.” I was wondering how that plays out with someone who has her boob in a vise. Not like she can go anywhere. The first thing it makes me think of is in high school when I worked at the animal hospital and had to bathe cats. We had a little slip lead that was mounted to the wall that you slipped over the animal’s head to keep them from jumping out while they were being bathed. It worked great for dogs, but cats tend to freak out. And since they were tethered to the wall, what transpired was that a freaked out cat might climb the wall, pivoting around the anchor of the leash repeatedly, in big, wet, hissing, clawing circles. The other mental image was of Flick getting his tongue stuck to a frozen flagpole in A Christmas Story. I’m sure somewhere in between those two scenarios lies the description of a mammogram freak out.

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Surgery was no big deal. You know, I was asleep for that part, so it was pretty uneventful as far as I was concerned. Won’t have any results for about a week. One of the fun things yesterday was that Nina came to see me before surgery. She had an appointment with Dr Birhiray, so she used her bounty hunter skills to hunt me down like a dog at the surgery center.

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I feel good today. In fact, I went to the Y earlier and walked three miles with Susie. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to shower this morning, so I’ve got a nice layer of funk going right about now. Makes you all wish you could be right here with me, doesn’t it? Thanks to everyone for their prayers, and to my friend Tanya for the disco therapy cd. I am very blessed to have you all along with me on this ride.