Monday, November 21, 2011

So Grateful!

I really do have so much to be grateful for. I could go on and on and I may bore you so I'm not going to put you through all of that; but with that said, I am grateful for my new life. I really believe I was born again on June 14, 2011. I feel like that is when I became alive. That is when everything began to change both mentally and physically. I am so grateful for my surgeon and his staff. I'm grateful for such loving and supportive friends, family, co-workers and for my virtual support which is those that have never met me but yet continue to support me through my journey.

A lot has happened this last week both good and well I'm not sure if the other item is good or bad yet but I will explain that.

So the first thing is I am officially in the 300's. Yes, that is right... I went from the 500's to the 400's and now in the 300's. It is so exciting to officially see that first digit on the scale move. What a victory for me!

That same morning I was getting ready for work and realized after I put the shirt on that it wasn't my shirt but it fit. It was my husbands shirt but it fit me just fine. I will be honest and it was a bit big in the upper section but the lower section fit! Not that I plan on wearing my husbands' clothes but it was just another thing to celebrate. I ended up just wearing the shirt because it was a unisex shirt and well I was proud of the accomplishment! Honey, if you are reading you don't need to hide your clothes. 

Yet again the same day something else ironic happened. So after I jumped off the scale I thought to myself "I really need to get a personal trainer. Maybe I will post for people to send me referrals." I didn't post it (and I still haven't until now) and later that day I got a message from one of my favorite teacher's in high school. She stated her daughter is a personal trainer and she really wants to talk to me about my weight loss as she just got a new client that is over 300 pounds. Is this going to be my trainer? Who knows. But I thought it was so cool it presented itself to me. Not only that but really my passion is helping others. My goal is to be able to inspire and motivate others to make healthy choices and life decisions. That is what I want to do for my job. I love Real Estate don't get me wrong but I think I've finally realized what my passion is. We will see how things turn out.

The last thing I have not yet categorized into good or bad news. But on Saturday night I found a lump on my stomach (lower left side). When I woke up Sunday it was reddish and purple. I thought it might be a boil. But I woke up this morning and it seems to have moved away from the skin or maybe it got smaller or it could all be in my head. But my husband definitely confirmed there is a lump. I see the doctor Tuesday morning and will determine from there. I'm sure I am fine but all prayers and positive vibes are appreciated. I will keep you all updated on that.

It is hard to believe I am where I am today in regards to my weight and my health. I took a picture of myself in hubby's shirt to send to him and I didn't recognize myself. I haven't really looked at myself (full body shot) in the mirror in 5 months. I noticed how much my upper part of my body has gotten smaller (considerably) but I've also noticed how my hips are not as wide as well. I'm definitely a product of my Mom so I know I will always have hips but it is so crazy how small I am looking. Don't get me wrong I'm not small by any means and I still have a ways to go but seeing myself shrinking is definitely amazing.
I'm so grateful for being able to live in this life and to share my journey. If I can just save one person by sharing my story then I am truly fulfilled. I love this life!

Friday, November 4, 2011

100 pounds post-op!

It is official.... I am now 100 pounds down post-op (177 total). It has been 17 weeks since I had my surgery and my eyes are filled with tears of joy. I would have never thought I would be where I am today. The weight has come off pretty quickly although I do have days and even weeks where I don't lose and sometimes I feel like I see the same number too often but 100 pounds in 17 weeks is absolutely amazing. Even more amazing is 177 pounds total. I've lost an "average" sized human.

I must admit this has been a roller coaster for me. Right after the surgery I would wake up every morning for about 3-4 weeks and wonder if I did the right thing and would sometimes wake up with regret. Looking back what I realize was that I was having a hard time dealing with all of the changes. My mind and my insides weren't connecting. My mind was still back in the unhealthy, OMG this is not enough food Shanda. The healthy Shanda was very upset with the unhealthy Shanda and so there was a war. There were consequences of the war which was lots of throwing up, nausea, some pain and lots of frustration but in the end healthy Shanda has won. Unhealthy Shanda will rear her head on occasion but overall I think she is dying. She is melting away revealing the healthy Shanda.

I can't believe how much my mind has changed along with my taste buds. When I had my surgery they only rearranged my insides ( have the scars to prove it) they didn't do brain surgery nor did they alter my taste buds although those have definitely changed. Once my brain caught up and connected to the new healthy Shanda things have been a lot easier. I don't have unhealthy cravings. I strongly believe it is due to the detox of sugar. Sugar is very bad and I remember the first few weeks when I did without it, I really did feel like I should be in rehab. Sugar was my drug of choice and I remember crying, yelling, getting depressed and just an overwhelming fear for those first two weeks. Now I don't care about sugar and I definitely don't crave it like I used to. In fact I've had sugar free candy and it tastes okay but definitely not something I need daily. Occasionally a piece is okay but chocolate isn't really appealing to me. I know... I'm weird. Chocolate used to be a favorite of mine... I mean I am a girl... of course it is. But not any more. I've totally detached myself from food. Nothing ever sounds good, I'm never hungry and when I do eat and I eat only because I know I need to nourish my body. I no longer run to food when feeling sad, happy, angry, depressed, etc. I've learned to reward myself in ways other than foods.

So for instance, to reward myself for 100 pounds post-op I am going all out and pampering myself. I'm getting nails back on (something that used to make me feel really good about myself before), pedicure and in a few weeks I have a 2 hour massage scheduled. There is no amount of food that could make me feel as good as pampering myself makes me feel. If I am feeling down I turn to a friend, journal, play a game, read a book or listen to music which are just a few coping skills I've enjoyed. Again, these fulfill me more than food would. Food was a temporary fulfillment that turned into a downward spiral of regret and frustration. The other things fulfill me without having a downward spiral. It is so amazing how much food really controlled my life. I was in complete ultimate denial that I was in control of food. Quite the contrary is what I have learned. 

With all of this said I am not perfect. There are times where I think about food and then think about the consequences. Due to the consequences (throwing up) I have not yet chose to indulge in food. This surgery really has changed my life. I know at least think about it before just indulging. It is like I was replaced by a totally different person. I am so proud of myself but this time (versus last time when I lost 115 pounds) I am not cocky about it. My ego is completely out of the equation and I am focused on getting to my goal. Once I get to my goal then I continue to do what I am doing. Knowing this is a lifestyle change versus a "temporary diet" makes all the difference in the world. So many people go on "diets" and do lose weight but they get to their goal and don't know how to eat and function and so they gain all of their weight back. That is exactly what happened to me when I did medifast. It was a great program to help me lose weight. But once I went off of it I gained weight back (and fast) and then I was completely and utterly out of control. I think if you are losing weight you need to find a lifestyle change. You need to find something that will help you lose weight but will also be something you can continue to do when you get to your goal. 

My next goal is 12.5 pounds away. I will then be at my 1/2 way point. Yes, it means I will be 1/2 way to my goal. I can't believe that is only 12.5 pounds away. With that said I know the reality of as I get closer to goal it will be harder and won't come off as fast is approaching. I still have a lot to lose but I'm thinking the last 100 pounds will be the hardest. But I am just living day by day eating right and exercising and it will come off one day or the next.

I must give thanks to all of you who have been supporting me through this process. There are many of you that have been following me since 2006 when I started medifast and your support then and now has really been my strength in all of this. It is amazing how much we can accomplish when we have people holding us up to reach our goals. I know for a fact I could not have gotten this far with all of your support. Whether it is those reading my blog, support on twitter or Facebook, those of you on my email list, my weight loss surgery group , friends at the gym, co-workers, friends or family your support has been helpful in my recovery and my success. I truly could not have done this alone. With all this said I look forward to sharing with all of you when I get to my 1/2 point in 12.5 pounds from now.