Apr 212015

Last week Bell and I were flying solo! Michael spent a few days in Seattle visiting his friend and going to the Faith No More show in Seattle. Bella and I went for walks in the sunshine, rolled around in the grass and cuddled on the couch. :)




There were only a few times where Miss B moped at the window, wondering where daddy was. 😛 She was a good cuddle partner while he was gone. Then Michael got back Friday and we went to see Faith No More in Portland!

It’s his favorite band. Like of all time. They haven’t toured in like 20 years or something like that, and Michael said he skipped the last tour because he hadn’t liked that current album and he said he’d regretted skipping it all these years. I was excited to go to the concert because I’m a casual FNM fan but I’ve heard they are amazing live and I knew it would be a fun experience.

I took a half day off from work Friday and went swimming and by the time I got home Michael was back from Seattle. We got ready to go and went out for dinner before the show. We ended up at Slow Bar and got a table outside in the gorgeous sunshine.



Michael got the happy hour fried chicken and hush puppies and I got the curry chicken salad sandwich with a salad. My sandwich was great! It was so tasty. It had onions, grapes, raisins and currants in it. I was not a fan of the herb vinaigrette salad dressing, but I still ate the salad because I was craving greens. The toasted and spicy nuts on the side were a nice addition, too.

I’d been fighting off a cold or something for a few days and it was mostly a sore throat, which sucked, so I stuck with iced tea and didn’t have anything to drink. After eating we drove downtown and met up with some friends of Michael’s. Apparently he’d run into an old high-school buddy at the Seattle show who was also seeing the show in Portland, so we met up with their group. It was funny–Michael was running into SO many people he used to know and hadn’t seen in decades. It was kind of cool.



The show was at The Keller and it was a really nice venue for the show. The acoustics were amazing and the band sounded great live! I love it when bands sound pretty much the same as their albums live.


We were sitting with our good friends Mike & Susanna (whom we went to Hawaii with a few years ago). They’d gotten a babysitter for their two kids and were out on a date night! It was fun hanging out with them.

So the show…they played all the biggest hits and some of the new songs, but mostly they played the favorites. I posted a few short videos on my Instagram if you want to check it out. They played a bunch of my favorites (including “Easy”) and Mike Patton pulled up a pregnant woman from the audience up on stage and danced with her while he sang it. Then he made a joke at the end of the song that he might have gotten her pregnant during that song. LOL It was pretty cute and man, what a cool story for that lady! You can see the set list here. And you can see better pictures that mine here.

One thing I was bummed about…they didn’t play “our song” in Portland (but they did play it at the Seattle show and Michael texted me about it from the mosh pit LOL). It’s “This Guy’s in Love With You” (it’s a Burt Bacharach song) and we had the song play at our wedding when we cut the cake. 😀


Mike Patton asked the audience what food cart was the best because he wanted to get some food. 😀 And when he was in Seattle they ate at Dick’s. Of course.

I can’t get over how amazing they sounded! It was such a good show! It ended around 11pm after they did a few encores and the four of us decided to go out for a bit.

We ended up at Luc Lac downtown. It’s a super popular Vietnamese restaurant that always has a line, which is why I’ve never been. I’ve wanted to, but you know me and standing in long lines for food… 😛 It was nearly midnight and the place was packed. It’s kind of a weird place–you order and pay first, get a number and your drinks, then stand around and wait for a table. There’s really no where to stand, either, so it’s kind of annoying. They have a ton of rules around eating there–you can’t order until everyone in your party is there, there’s no saving seats, etc etc.


It’s a cute little restaurant, though. Cool wallpaper, tons of parasols on the ceiling, hip music. It’s a neat place for sure and the food was outstanding.


Mike and Susanna shared some Pho and a steak roll and Michael and I shared two appetizers–the steak roll and the crispy vegetarian rolls. Holy cow were those crispy rolls fantastic. I could have eaten a dozen of those babies!

I think Mike and Susanna wanted to stay out late and party since they had a babysitter and I wish we could have but both Michael and I were ready for bed! I was sick and he had been staying up late in Seattle because of the show so we left after eating. Kind of a bummer, but hopefully next time we can party. We got home around 1am. Ouch!

Apr 202015

After taking some time off from working out, it time to get back at it. I ended up taking a few days off, not a full week, from the gym to let my back calm down. Part of me was bummed about not being able to do my normal routine but for the most part I was okay with resting. I felt like my body needed it.

My chiropractor suggested I keep active while I’m healing and suggested swimming and the elliptical. He said to take a break from yoga for a few weeks, which was okay with me because a few of the poses (downward dog especially) killed me!


I waffled back and forth between going swimming and taking one more day off. In the end I decided to give it a try because swimming was something that never really hurt and I promised myself that I would stop swimming if it hurt, even if I hadn’t done much. It was a decent swim. There were only a few times my back kind of bugged me and that was when I did the breast stroke. So I decided to skip that move and just do freestyle.

I was glad I went. I felt good the rest of the evening and my back actually didn’t hurt! When I got home I had a sensible dinner that was pretty low in calories. Leftover ham, some rice and Brussels sprouts. I think it’s a good plan to take it easy on the foods while I am not 100% at the gym. It sucks, but that means cutting back on calories.


The back felt okay until I went to bed and then it started to ache and feel uncomfortable. Saturday morning it was still a little achy but once I got out of bed and moved around, it was alright.


Saturday is usually my “big” gym day. I spend a little more time than the normal hour in the gym and the focus is more on weight lifting and body weight exercises. Since I was taking a break with this, I decided to just stick with the elliptical and then round out the workout with walking on the treadmill at an incline. Thankfully during this whole thing walking never hurt.


The rest of the day the back felt pretty good. I was hoping that I was on the mend! Dinner was baked salmon with lemon pepper and dill seasoning, plus leftover rice and Brussels Sprouts. More healthy foods. And wine, of course. :)



Michael and I watched a few episodes of “Girls” after dinner and then I called it a night. The wine had definitely gone to my head!


Sundays used to be my swim days! It was nice because I could sleep in on Sunday mornings and I was usually sore from the Saturday weight workout so it was nice to swim. I switched to doing yoga on Sundays because I liked the teacher that taught that morning class. Since I can’t do yoga right now I’m going back to what I know: swimming.

Swimming is the best exercise if you hurt. Any kind of pain–joint pain, sore muscles, if you are over weight and other exercises hurt your body, try swimming. It’s always worked well for me; it’s relaxing, it feels good, and it’s a good exercise.

This particular Sunday I slept in pretty late for me and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast (complete with coffee AND orange juice) and when I went to the pool it was near empty. I love that. I love when the pool is empty. I did my swim, which started out not so great…I felt slow and like I couldn’t catch my breathe (which is abnormal for me) but then I warmed up and felt pretty good. I relaxed in the hot tub, enjoyed the sauna and the pool was super empty. I was so tempted to go back in just because it was EMPTY! An empty pool is bliss to me.

Anyways, I was feeling pretty good most of the day and I went for a walk with Bella to round out of my fitness for the day.


Next up: I went shopping for new hiking boots! The last time we went hiking I kind of started to wonder if the boots were how I bruised my feet and started this whole thing…My boots are amazing. I love them and they’ve been great but they are like 15+ years old. I think it was time to invest in some new boots. I went to REI and used the 20% member coupon + Michael’s dividend + my dividend + a $25 gift card from a friend for our wedding! I essentially got the boots for 50% off! I also love that they are called Gargoyle/African Violet. 😉




I can’t wait to try them out! I love REI. Not only did I get a great price, the guy helping me was nice and honest about another pair I was considering (he said they were terrible) and they guarantee the boots for a year. A few years ago Michael got me some new boots and I tried for months to break them in and they just didn’t fit right. I ended up limping on hikes. :( So I’m happy that REI has this guarantee even if I wear them out hiking and decide they don’t work.

Back to the Chiro

Monday after work I went back to see the chiropractor. Over the weekend I had had several good “moments” where I wasn’t in discomfort or pain and even FORGOT about my back issues. The chiro said that was a good sign. It wasn’t going to be magically fixed, but the fact that I had some relief several times since the last appointment was good. He also suggested that ice the crap out of my injury. I asked him how often and he said, as much as you can tolerate it. Hourly, if I can.

I spent about 25 minutes on the amazing massage chair with the TENS device on. That thing is amazing. Then I saw the chiro for my adjustment. It wasn’t as easy/smooth as the first time, but I hope it does it’s magic and gives me some more relief.

Physical Therapy

A week later I finally got to go to my Physical Therapy appointment. It took a few weeks to get the appointment and in the meantime I stuck with taking it easy in the gym, icing obsessively and going to chiro.

The therapist did an exam and asked me a bunch of questions. And while I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what happened to make my back act up, the answers I gave her and how I described it gave her a good idea of what was going on. She determined that I had a bulging disc, probably L4.

I have to admit, that freaked me out! It sounds scary. It sounds like something that needs SURGERY. But she assured me that wasn’t the case and she said that when it comes to backs, this is actually best-case scenario. She also said that because of some of the improvements I’ve already shown and the fact that certain movements she had me do made me feel better she thought I’d heal pretty quickly from this. Okay….


She show me what a bulging disc looked like.



She said the disc part was kind of jelly-like substance and that when it bulges it kind of squeezes out. If you have nerve pain (sciatica) it’s because the bulge is pressing on the nerve. Thankfully I don’t have that! In that second photo, the bulge popping out and touching the tubey-thing (that’s the nerve) is the bulge. So that’s what she thinks I have.

I asked her how this happened and she couldn’t really give me an answer but she did say that sitting was probably part of it. I sit all day at work and while I do get up a lot and walk around, it’s not good to sit all day.

She told me to keep swimming, do the elliptical, I can do upper body weights as long as it doesn’t cause pain in my low back (so basically stick with things like chest press, bicep curls, etc and no overhead pressing). She said to wait 2 more weeks before I do yoga or running again. I got back to see her in 2 weeks as well to get more exercises.

I have mixed feelings about this diagnosis. Part of me doesn’t think this is it. Time will tell. I’ll continue chiro and physical therapy and hopefully one or both will do the trick.

That night for dinner I made a salad with tons of veggies, a Trader Joe’s Marsala veggie burger and sauteed Brussels sprouts (I’m addicted). And a glass of wine (not the whole bottle lol):

I steam the Brussels Sprouts and then sautee them in coconut oil with seasonings. They are so delicious! I tried to relax (and ice my back again) even though I was kind of worried about my diagnosis. The therapist was upbeat and positive about it but I’m still anxious…