Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Reflection of My Progress So Far

So I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately. I'm not sure if it is because my birthday is approaching or if it is random but it could be a little bit of both. So yesterday I was waiting for my breakfast burrito to be made (I usually eat yogurt but my yogurt was bad so our office has a cafe and I ordered the breakfast burrito and ate the inside with the egg, cheese and bacon and left the tortilla alone) and I saw a butterfly. It was so beautiful and I can't remember the last time I had seen a butterfly. I then began some deep thinking and came to the conclusion that my life mimics that of a butterfly as well. I started as a caterpillar when I was born and then as I got older I spun my cocoon (which to me was the fat that I felt protected me just like a cocoon protects the caterpillar). Then the caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly which is me shedding my weight turning into a butterfly. It made total sense to me at least.

Tomorrow is my birthday and I remember one year ago getting that call with my surgery date. I remember that being the best birthday gift ever. But honestly, having the surgery was the best gift I've ever given to myself. I really wish I would have done the surgery sooner in life but they say timing is everything. Maybe I would have had the surgery but maybe I wouldn't have been as successful due to where I've been. I came from rock bottom and thus maybe I learn more and don't take things for granted. So I try not to reflect on those sort of things.

My trainer reminded me today how far I have come. She asked me what it felt like at my heaviest. I couldn't even describe it. I couldn't even fathom just how I was able to walk around with so much extra weight on my joints and having to move that weight around. My Grandpa told me a few weeks ago that I was carrying him on my shoulders (he apparently weighs near what I've lost). That really put it into perspective because I've always seen my Grandpa as a big guy. Not fat but just a big guy (he's quite tall) and well he's German.... he's a big guy. It makes me realize just how strong I was physically. Of course my upper body was really strong because I definitely used my upper body a lot to get me up but my legs had to move the weight around. Now I understand why my knees hurt so badly. It is amazing to me how things are so different when you are at a different spot in life. In the moment things don't make sense or they aren't clear. Once things are in the past and you have a different perspective things begin to become much clearer. It is like I had smudgy glasses on and now I have brand new smudge proof glasses, much better!

Another thing I was really thinking about is how close I am getting to being in the 200's again. I can't remember the last time I was in the 200's. I think the last time was possibly in high school. It has me giddy thinking about when the scale says 299! I'm only about 38 pounds away. I should be seeing the 200's this year! WOW! To think I started in the 500's last year!

I am beginning to see changes in my body both the good and the ugly. The ugly, of course, is all of the excess skin and it just isn't in my stomach. It is in my arms and my thighs and possibly my backside too but I don't see that. I probably would be at least 1 pant size smaller than I am now, if not more, if I didn't have all of the extra skin. Extra skin is not pretty...saggy, wrinkly and just plain ol' yucky. Definitely doesn't make me feel good about myself. But I look at it for now and try to think of it as battle wounds. It is the scars from what I've been through so to speak. But then there is the good which is many things. I actually have a shape now which is a pear shape versus being a round blob. My wrists and arms have really thinned out too. My trainer pointed out the shape of my upper arms. Yes, my upper arms (top part) are toned and have sexy curves. It is the stuff that hangs below that isn't so attractive but again the top part is looking good. The muscle, yes that is right I do have muscle, is starting to become more pronounced. My legs and and my core are also getting stronger but it is harder to see the results behind the loose skin.

My 35 year old body has been through some things that most people won't go through in a lifetime. I've really beaten it up. I'm learning to love my body. One of the things I treat my body to is massages. I LOVE massages and for my birthday I am buying myself a 90 minute massage because I deserve it! I'm not concerned about going out to dinner or eating. For me it is more about doing what makes me feel good and food does not make me feel good any longer. I will eat dinner, of course, but I will make it a healthy meal and take it to the beach and sit in the car and eat. To me that is the best birthday ever. Maybe I am becoming simple at my old age (hahaha). Maybe I have finally realized that there is more to life than food. Or maybe I am really tuning into to my body to figure out what my body likes since I've abused and neglected it for so long.

So as I sign off I want to remind you all what a positive influence you have all been in my life. Whether you've been in my life for a lifetime or only for a brief moment all of your support collectively has led me to where I am today. For that I am grateful! Thank you!

Good night.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Learning Curve

Dearest Family & Friends,

Well I have had a rough five weeks. The news about my knee needing to get replaced, then exactly a week later I got news that I have significant hearing loss and I need hearing aids. Between those two things I really felt like my body is that of a 70 year old. Definitely not 34 (almost 35) years old. It definitely was a lot to take in all at once. I never imagined either things to happen so soon in my life but I firmly things happen for a reason. It has definitely taught me to take better care of my body, which I am now, but sometimes it is too late and the damage has been done. Maybe that is the message I am supposed to share with others and have them learn from my mistakes? I don’t have the answers right now but I am sure one day it will make sense. I am a bit embarrassed by it, especially the hearing aide thing. That is why I’ve taken so long to expose it for everyone to read. I’ve told some people but admitting it on my blog is a whole new level of honesty and coming to terms with it. I had to come to terms with it myself. I have been and I am on the search for hearing aids. They are very expensive and I am told they last only about 5 years. What a bummer! So I already went to once place and will be going to Costco in a few weeks (I have an appointment) and then will decide from there. I definitely want to get them sooner than later (financially willing) because I do know I am missing out on quite a bit. Plus I am frustrated with having to read lips and telling others they need to speak up. I get so embarrassed.

I’ve also had a hard time with my weight loss. I was on a plateau for about five weeks that I would fluctuate between 3 pounds but never getting down past that certain number! My trainer is aware as well and was hoping that adding in the personal training component would help as it is a change that my body isn’t used to. Well something finally worked and I stepped on the scale yesterday (a fluke) and I had dropped two pounds. Then I stepped on the scale today just curious to see if my body was going to fluctuate and I actually dropped another three pounds. So five pounds in two days makes me extremely happy. I know another plateau is inevitable but I just hope it doesn’t come again for a very long time! So I have lost 236 pounds total and 159 pounds since surgery. I am approaching my one year since surgery very soon (in another 2 months). I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by.

The plateau actually gave me some time to experience what it will be like when I am at goal. Not seeing those numbers move may be something that will take some getting used to especially since I have been seeing those numbers move quite rapidly. I will definitely have to focus on something else so it did give me time to “practice”. But when you aren’t near goal weight it is very frustrating and I know it has definitely affected my moods and my overall well being. I felt like when someone asked me how I was doing I was negative or I lied and said I was ok. But it seems like my knee was hurting, or I was feeling sick, or this hurt or that hurt. It wasn’t the normal me that is for sure. So I now know I need to work on not letting my weight loss (or lack thereof) affect me and my moods.

My personal training is going great. She had me do some things at my last session that I was definitely scared about doing and didn’t think I would be able to do it. But I did it and I lived through it. She admitted she wasn’t sure about it either but gave me the confidence to do it. That is what trainers are for. They give you the confidence to do things you probably wouldn’t otherwise do. She is still impressed with my upper body strength. Quite frankly, I am too. She is also working on getting my leg strength back as well which I can tell she is working the muscles as my legs and even my butt have been very sore. Who am I kidding… my arms have been very sore too. But of course it is a good sore. She even has me sweating in just 30 minutes. The last session we did a lot of weights and core training.

I’ve had to work through a lot of things that aren’t familiar to me lately. When I wasn’t losing weight I began to worry that my metabolism had slowed down (which could be true) and that maybe I needed to increase my intake of calories from my average of 900 a day. So I had to get creative. I know it isn’t good to drink your calories but in my situation it is a little different. So I have a hard time taking pills. I have lots of them to take (vitamins due to malabsorption issues). I take one pill at a time and even sometimes those get stuck and are too much. So to increase my calories and to help the pills go down easier I take them with milk. So I am not only getting the benefits of having a creamier liquid to help them go down I am getting some extra protein, Vitamin D, Calcium in addition to a few extra calories which I consider healthy calories. I do the organic milk boxes so I make sure I am only doing a serving. It is hard to get my mind around it eating more calories though. My entire life (for the most part) has been focused on eating less calories. So this is the opposite extreme which is very hard. I am just getting creative. I eat a 60 calorie pack of prunes everyday (3 prunes) which help keep me regular. So I eat things that have other benefits rather than just eating something that has calories and no other benefits for me.

I want to say thank you to everyone for such great support you’ve given me. having people check in on me and giving comments and feedback really does help me to move forward in both good and bad times.