E.o.t.T.: New Updates

August 2, 2013

So where am I at on my journey to get more physically fit and stay healthy?

I am still going to the trainer 3 xs a week. If I miss, I really miss it. I’ve plateaued at the same weight for over a year. But in that time I had a PBR of a 135 bench press. I can run for longer periods of time and can run .8 of a mile in 8 minutes. (On a good day… today was not a good day.)

In the summer of 2011 I got to my lowest weight in years. I was just three pounds shy of my wedding weight. I was so excited. I had no idea my world was about to be knocked end over end as the symptoms of PsA (psoriatic arthritis) began presenting while I was at summer camp. I began taking steroids for 7 months. I am extremely fortunate that I ONLY put on 12 pounds. I had doctors complementing me that I didn’t have “steroid face”. Actually right about the time I stopped the steroids and began Enbrell, I put on most of those 12 pounds and was starting to round out my face.

Enbrell gave me freedom and mobility. Any aches and pains I have come from age, injury or over-use, not from the PsA. I was able to start adding back in the cardio that had been missing from my workouts. I got off 6 of the 12 pounds relatively easily within about 5 months. But I’ve been that weight for over a year.

So this is where I am at: in March I started having fatigue. April and May saw me having more heart episodes (SVT, supra ventricular tachycardia) due to stress and over-consumption of caffeine in the form of Green Tea Extract and over-use of decongestants. Stopping those two items actually helped with the fatigue but it is still there. In May I had a friend stay at the house before the local half-marathon (also a 5 & 10 K option). I got to thinking as I watched people of all fitness levels, age, weight, and ability run the race that maybe I could tackle a 5 K. Surely I could do 3.3 miles… maybe it will get me over my plateau.

I mentioned this to my trainer. Unbeknownst to me, he started subtly modifying my cardio to build my endurance and prepare me for running longer distances without interruption.

I’m not sure where I saw it but I looked at the link of Dr. Oz’s page about Raspberry Ketones. I looked at several over websites because if it was going to do anything to my heart it was out of the question.

My weight was fluctuating but not in a good way. Was the fatigue getting to me? Was my age catching up to me? Was I just going to have to accept a shot metabolism? I saw my GP and he ran the usual and unusual tests for the fatigue. Good news is my glucose and my cholesterol levels have stayed down (and I am now off my cholesterol medicines). All the other 7 tests were normal or negative (I now have to get the HepB vaccine). I didn’t tell him I wanted to start the Raspberry Ketones…

So I am still looking at possibilities that it could be adrenal fatigue. Considering I have lived with PTSD and above normal cortisol levels for the past 20 years, I imagine my adrenal gland could be burned out. I will have my GYN look at testing me for this later this month because to other usual hormone tests were normal.

So I got the stomach flu. It hits hard and fast when you have a compromised immune system. I made better food choices at camp than I usually do–nothing like being worried you’ll toss you cookies. One week of not weight-lifting left me weak. I struggled to get 120 up. Thankfully the running didn’t take a hit too.

I started taking Raspberry Ketones.

I saw my PsA specialist and confessed to this Dr. Oz recommendation. Thankfully my doc feels it is a harmless supplement. “It’s probably a placebo effect but I’m not snacking as much. Kind of seems silly to snack when I’ve taken a pill.” But I have lost three pounds. I also told him my running plans–a 1 miler in October, a 5K in November and the 5 K in May. He gave me some anecdotal advice that without a severe caloric restriction, most people training for a marathon will either plateau or gain weight. I’m thinking my trainer is working the whole “change things up to confuse the body thing” and this is what is getting me over the plateau.

I am currently fighting a virus as evidenced by the return of mouth ulcers associated with the psoriasis. My runs this week have been dismal but I did a decent job on the 120 bench press today. My trainer said that I should expect a change in strength as I 1. lose weight, and 2. as I train to run in the races.

My workout consisted of 120 bench for 4 sets of 4 (I managed 3 sets of 4 and 1 set of 3); 30 lb dumbbell flat presses for 4 sets of 10; band-assisted pull-up going all out: 20, 14, 12 (with #11 & 12 looking pretty pathetic); back raises for 2 sets of 15; face pulls with a band (not sure of weight equivalent) for 2 sets of 20. Run .8 miles trying to stay at 8 minutes… I got 8:34. It was bad.

My girls were with me when I went into GNC to look at Raspberry Ketones. As with the training, I talked to the girls about health, not dream numbers or skinniness. I explained my plateau keeping me from my goal weight (we’re talking just 10 pounds … and by BMI charts that is still considered overweight). I also explained taking the supplement wasn’t a magic pill. I still had to go to training and I still had to eat better. They also know the doctors took me off cholesterol medicine because I’m exercising… not because the medicines magically fixed things.

So maybe it is a placebo effect. Maybe I do feel fuller. Maybe I am choosing not to eat after 8 PM. It is a good feeling to see that I’ve taken off 10 of the 12 steroid pounds. It is a good feeling to be so close to my wedding weight again. I will have to remember this as we go on vacation again next week. I will pack my running shoes and plan to do push-ups. I don’t want to struggle doing a 120 bench again.



  1. I’m gonna look at getting that supplement. Good luck with your training, you’re doing a great job!

    • My specialist said there were only a few things Dr. Oz promotes that he takes issue with but RKs are not one of them. Main concerns were heart issues or drug interactions so it was nice to hear I can continue to give them a try. Most “quick” dietary supplements and energy drinks out there have caffeine/Green Tea and I can’t take those any more. There are some RK formulas will combine with those so I had to ask at GNC for just an RK formula. I have to remember to take the RKs with meals (lunch & dinner) so I carry some in my purse when I’m out. Thanks for the support!

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