Monday, August 26, 2013

Shanda's Health Steward Update

SURPRISE!

 

Remember me? Some of you know me as your daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, friend, co-worker or acquaintance. I haven’t completely fallen off the grid although I do admit it has been way too long since I have posted an update. Life has sort of just gotten in the way and I’m trying hard to focus on being “healthy” as I can be.

 

So as far as weight loss goes I haven’t had a ton of progress in the last 9 months or so. My body has just been teetering between the same 5 pounds. I’ve lost a total (about) of 295 pounds which I am very proud of myself and am definitely giving myself credit for. Not many people can say they’ve lost that much weight nor can many people even say they weight that much. So that is a HUGE victory for me. I’ve learned A LOT on my journey and my #1 focus is to keep the weight off. In this process I’ve learned that maybe my goal weight isn’t a realistic weight for me. I have things to consider as extra skin, muscle, bone density, etc. I’ve learned that clothes size is a more practical measurement of where you should be. So in shirt size I’m at goal for the most part. I think once I lose more in my tummy (or get skin removed) I will be able to wear the next size down more comfortably. In pant size I’m not where I want to be. The big factor there is the skin removal that is needed not only in my stomach but my thighs. My thighs seem to be a huge problem (probably more than my stomach). I feel like I will lose about 2-3 pant sizes which will make me about 2 pant sizes from my goal size.  My personal trainer has told me many times that she doesn’t think I have a whole lot of “fat” left to lose which makes me feel a little bit better too but I do know I still have some work to do.

 

I’m still working out in my water classes. Doing water aerobics and water zumba. I’m having a blast with them especially with water zumba. It is so rewarding to be able to move in ways I wasn’t able to before. Again… I’m NEVER going back!

 

So I know people that have lost weight (a lot or a little) and have gained it back (myself included). That is why I decided as long as I don’t gain any weight I would be content at my current weight (assuming my health stays good as it is right now). I’m considered “healthy” with a few minor malabsorption issues that go along with the territory (Vitamin D, Iron). But I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am so happy I’ve given myself this awesome tool and have been able to use it to get the unhealthy portion of my life gone and gain the healthy portion of my life.

 

I encourage those of you on the fence about it to at least research it. I don’t promote this for everyone but it is a great tool for some people who are realistic about it and who have been truly trying everything else and haven’t had any luck. It isn’t magic… you have to work it…. You have to make the healthy decisions…but it does make it a tiny bit easier to make those healthy decisions and to eat smaller portions. If you or someone you know ever wants to talk to me about it PLEASE do. I know I couldn’t have made the decision without the input of some of you reading this who had the surgery before I did (you know who you are). But it isn’t about surgery really… it is about a healthy lifestyle. It is about changing habits that we get so comfortable in. It is about fighting the rebel in us that allows us to shove our feelings with food. It is about getting rid of the excuses. We need to fight for our health. We need to find that small part of us that is willing to fight it even though we don’t necessarily think so great about who we see in the mirror. I’ve been there. I’ve had to fake it for a long time and I’m finally slowly starting to love myself and see the beautiful person I am (inside and out). It is hard to see a beautiful person at 579 pounds (my highest weight) but not only physically but mentally. All I saw was death… I knew I was going down that path so my mind set was already set for doom and gloom. We need to remember we are human and make errors but now is the time to do something about your health. NOW! YOU CAN DO IT NOW! I’m so humbled by the 2nd chance I got at life. I am certain that if I didn’t do something that more than likely I wouldn’t be on this earth today sharing my story. I’m certain I probably would have had an heart attack that killed me in my mid 30’s.

 

I have friends that tell me that I have inspired them to do lose weight. I love to hear that because that is all that makes me happy now. I have my health (which I won’t take for granted) but now I want to help anyone and everyone I can.

 

With that said… a little random blurb about my skin removal. My insurance has denied me once already for the skin removal (don’t worry I’m going to keep fighting) but I do know that they won’t agree to everything that I need. I’m trying to use what I do for a living to raise money for my skin removal. So if you or someone you know needs to buy or sell real estate CONTAT ME! If you have a realtor already that you may want to use I can still receive a “referral fee” which can be a significant amount of money and you can still use your Realtor. It is NO COST TO YOU. I’ve been in the real estate field for 15 years and it is how I make a living. So contact me if you have any questions about how this works as I don’t want to beat a dead horse (and I really do hate to ask but that’s part of my job). J

 

With that said I am going to end it here. I’m happy, I’m healthy, I’m loving myself more each day and I want YOU to love yourself no matter what. Please contact me with questions, comments, concerns, complaints…absolutely anything. I am here for YOU!

 

My Best,

Shanda

 

 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Winners of the Valentines Candles & What are your hobbies?

Congratulations to the winners of the Valentine's Candles.

I decided to pick two winners and the winners are:

Drum Roll.........

Sam K samke23@xxxxx.com

Joy B redgin2005@xxxxx.com

Check your emails for instructions on how to receive your prize.

I decided a few years back to start making candles as a hobby. I love candles and thought I may eventually get to a point where I would do it for a business (a little extra cash). Last year I sort of got out of it (ran out of time/didn't make time) and decided this year that I would continue to make candles as a hobby and posting them on my blog as a prize would sort of force me to make time for my hobby.

I think it is important we all find a hobby. I think that being so obese I sort of forgot about me and finding things that are fun to do. What are your hobbies? Post them below and if you have a website I will post your hobbies and website and a future blog of mine.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Last chance to win something for FREE!

Hi all,

So I am a bit disappointed that only a few people have entered to win my contest. Really? Something for free and no one wants to enter? Even if you don't like candles wouldn't it be nice to win something? Remember most of the ladies love candles (for you guys out there) so you can give them as a gift to a wife, girlfriend or co-worker. Trust me, I'm sure you will find someone who likes candles. It is easy to win and your chances to win are pretty high since not many people have entered.

Nothing says romance like candles! Enter to WIN Valentine Candles, just enter your name and email address below. The winner will be picked by a random number generator and winner will be notified via email. Winner has 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Winner will get to choose either 4 votive candles or 8 tea light candles and a color and a choice of scent selected by me and made by yours truly (yes, that's me). Contest ends midnight on February 7, 2013. 

Please fill out your name and email address in the comments section below to be entered into the contest.

Do you want more chances to win? Please let me know in the comments section what you did so I can check and add your extra entries.

+1 entry (mandatory): enter name and email address below

+1 entry: Add me on Facebook (facebook.com/shanda.macomber)

+1 entry: Share the giveaway on Facebook

+1 entry: Follow me on Twitter @healthyshanda 

+1 entry:  Re-tweet the giveaway on Twitter

+1 entry: Follow me on Google+ (healthyshanda)

+1 entry: Post this contest on your blog


**Candles will be made within 48 hours from choice of candle scent, color and make. They will be shipped the week of Valentine's Day but are not guaranteed to be received by Valentine's Day.**

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Raise Money for Healthy Shanda's Skin Removal Surgey

Hi all,
Well I am officially launching this thing. My goal is to raise $50,000 this years to help me pay for me skin removal. There are several ways you can help me.

1. Donate to the cause. You get a prize for donating too. Please go to (click on the link) Raise Money for Healthy Shanda's Skin Removal Surgery and you will then be able to donate any amount of money. Even $1 adds up!
2. Refer me someone that needs to buy or sell. I get paid a referral fee once the transaction closes and your name will be added as donating that referral fee amount. This "could" be thousand of dollars donated by you and you get all of the fabulous gifts that are listed on the following website  (click on the link) Raise Money for Healthy Shanda's Skin Removal Surgery.

If you have any questions please let me know. I have a big goal so please send my blog to everyone you know. It is truly appreciated!

On a personal note, I'm not losing any weight but I'm not gaining either. My weight is at a stand still right now. I'm really going to push my exercise up a notch and see if I can't get my body to start losing again. I know plateaus happen but I need to try everything I can and push through this. It isn't easy. There are times where my mind wanders to the past where I was so unhappy and I want to fall back into those old habits but then I remember just how miserable I was and how stressed out I was over the smallest things and I wake up from that nightmare and remember how far I've come and how I don't ever want to go back to that lonely and dark place.

I have come a long ways. I went to the San Diego Sports Arena (each year it gets a new name from whom ever sponsors it but it will always be called San Diego Sports Arena to me). Anyhow, it made me realize how far I've come. I was able to fit in the seats. The only issue was my long legs and nowhere to put my feet and a knee that needs replaced and doesn't end so well anymore. But that will get fixed in due time. It made me feel good to be able to go up and down the stairs without being out of breath too. I've definitely come a very long way and it feels good!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Enter to Win - Candles for Valentine's Day

Nothing says romance like candles! Enter to WIN Valentine Candles, just enter your name and email address below. The winner will be picked by a random number generator and winner will be notified via email. Winner has 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Winner will get to choose either 4 votive candles or 8 tea light candles and a color and a choice of scent selected by me and made by yours truly (yes, that's me). Contest ends midnight on February 7, 2013. 

Please fill out your name and email address in the comments section below to be entered into the contest.

Do you want more chances to win? Please let me know in the comments section what you did so I can check and add your extra entries.

+1 entry (mandatory): enter name and email address below

+1 entry: Add me on Facebook (facebook.com/shanda.macomber)

+1 entry: Share the giveaway on Facebook

+1 entry: Follow me on Twitter @healthyshanda

+1 entry:  Re-tweet the giveaway on Twitter

+1 entry: Follow me on Google+ (healthyshanda)

+1 entry: Post this contest on your blog

**Candles will be made within 48 hours from choice of candle scent, color and make. They will be shipped the week of Valentine's Day but are not guaranteed to be received by Valentine's Day.**


Feeling Defeated But Looking at the Progress That Has Been Made

So there are there times where you feel defeated? Where you feel frustrated? You tried but it just isn't enough? That is how I felt Tuesday evening. I stayed at work late and didn't end up going to my workout. I came home and remembered that our complex has a gym that is free to us. So I told my husband I was going and he came along with me. I was excited for taking the initiative to do this because it was quite late and I could have easily done something else. I spent 5 minutes on the elliptical in immense pain. Then I tried the bike and the bike was worse actually. My knee is just not happy with the movement. It doesn't mind the exercise in the water (most of the time) but this other stuff -- no way. I felt defeated. I wanted to get a sweat going. I then decided to do some weights and ended up hurting my left arm lifting weights that were too heavy for me. I was feeling very defeated. But I am trying to stay positive and stay proud of myself for taking the initiative. It is the decisions in our life that lead us to the paths we are on. I am choosing to be on a healthy path which is a very positive thing for me.

I find it interesting how different my outlook is on life now versus a few years ago when I was at my lowest point. Things have changed tremendously and that I am grateful for. I'm thinking working my way into the elliptical is a possibility but I also know my knee is damaged (bone on bone) so I'm not really sure that there is such a thing as working into it in my circumstance. But I am not one to give up so I will try it again another time and see if I can stay on a little bit longer.

Life is good, pass it on!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Real Estate & Skin Removal Surgery Have Something In Common?

Hi all!

I have been brainstorming and I need your help. I haven't officially put anything together yet but will be working over the next few weeks on a plan and wanted to share with you now what I am working on.

I don't usually mix business with my personal life but at this point I sort of need to. I work in the Real Estate business and have my Real Estate license and I need skin removal. How are the two connected? Well, if you refer business to me, I get paid and I can pay for my skin removal. It is that EASY!

How does this referral fee thing work?
So, for example you are moving from North Carolina to Arizona. I refer you to an agent in North Carolina to sell your home and I refer you to another agent in Arizona to help you buy a home. I get two referral fees helping me with my skin removal surgery and you get two of the best agents in the area. Plus there may be another perk for YOU which I'm working on. That is one example but I can receive a referral fee no matter where you are moving. This referral fee is NOT paid by you. This is no cost to you and absolutely FREE to you.. The agent I refer you to pays me a percentage of their commission. Please don't forget about me!

What are the benefits of referring Real Estate business to Shanda?
Firstly, I have over 14 years in the business. So I have quite a bit of experience. My current day to day job title is Office Manager, Transaction Coordinator and Short Sale Negotiator. So basically my job is to facilitate the transaction (and paperwork) and make sure it closes! I help you out by overseeing  the transaction. This means keeping in touch with the agent I referred to you to make sure your (or your friends and family) transaction moves forward smoothly. If you have questions or concerns I'm always available. I will make sure you have the best Realtor in your area as I have a large network of different Realtors in every area. I also pre-screen Realtors for you. If you want a choice of two then I can interview them over the phone. Again this is FREE for you. If you are referring business within the San Diego area either myself or one of my associates will take care of you. I try to keep the process easy for you since it can be a stressful but rewarding process.

Again, I've never been one to promote my business to friends and family let alone people I barely know but I figure we all make a living and this is what I do and how YOU can help me in paying for my very expensive skin removal surgery. I have to ask at this point. So rather than asking you for money this is another way you can help donate money without paying a penny.

My plan is to meet with the plastic surgeon towards the end of the year and now I need to have my finances worked out by then that is why I am doing this now. Of course, this offer stands good FOREVER. I'm always grateful for Referrals!

I'm very scared and excited about this skin removal surgery. Everyone I talk to says it is very painful. I just hope I have good drugs to get me through the pain. Also I know pain is temporary. So I know it is one day at a time and at some point I will be pain free. But I am excited to have all this saggy skin removed so I can not only feel better about the way I look but be able to fit into clothes better. I have a very hard time finding clothes that fit because my waist is thin but my hips and stomach have so much skin that I need to accommodate  It gets very frustrating. I've never ever been one for plastic surgery but at this point it is necessary not only psychologically but also physically. I get rashes in between the folds of the hanging skin which is not pleasant. I'm sure some of you reading this can relate.

Please share this blog with anyone and everyone. The more the merrier! Also, continue to look for updates as I finalize my plans and what "prizes" you will get for referrals.

I'm hoping to have 300 pounds gone by the end of February. That is my goal so I am going to focus and commit to that! Thank you all for reading and for your support.

Warmest Regards,
Healthy Shanda




Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reflecting on 2012; Looking forward to 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This time of year it is always good to reflect on the previous year. Both the good and the bad. What changes do I want to make? What do I want to be different? Customarily people do New Year's Resolutions but I feel like resolutions are quickly forgotten about 1/3 way through the year. I think goals are more realistic as it is something you can work toward through out the year. A resolution defined is a resolve or determination. Which is definitely needed. But a goal is the result or achievement in which effort (or resolve or determination) is directed. Very similar but still different.
December 2012 - approximately 290 pounds gone

In 2012 there were some things that I achieved and some others that I still have to work on this year. There are some things that are always a work in progress and sometimes a really hard work in progress. I'm not perfect and I don't claim to be. I just want to be me but I want to be a healthy me. I also am hoping to inspire others so they don't get in the very depressed place that I was at my highest weight. I want them to know that there is hope if they are in that depressed place. It seems hard and sometimes it seems impossible but there is nothing you can't do as long as you put your mind to it along with some effort. 

Some things I achieved this last year (2012) are as follows (some may seem small to others but were big to me):

  1. Loosing 292 pounds total and lost more than I weigh - That is something I didn't ever think I would achieve. I see others doing it and admired them so much. But now I am one of those people. I didn't have doubts in myself but that number is such a big number and can be quite frightening. This last year I've lost 90 pounds. My weight loss slowed down the last 6 months of the year but I also gained quite a bit of muscle (and muscle weighs more than fat) so I have to take that into consideration as well. I still can't believe I have lost more than I weigh. I am still not thin by any means and I still weigh quite a bit. But I've lost one of me. Even I am amazed at me but yet so proud of what I've been able to accomplish. 
  2. Crossing my legs - I never ever thought that would be a big deal. It was on my goal list just to say I could do it but I haven't really done it most of my life so it wasn't really a big deal to me at that time. But now it is most comfortable and natural for me to cross my legs. I am shocked at how much of a big deal to me it has become and I feel so confident about it. So odd how things really affect us.
  3. Getting to the 200's (pounds) - This was a big goal of mine since my goal weight is 200 pounds even. Getting into the 200's meant I had less than 100 pounds to lose. To some people that seems like a lot. But after loosing over 200 pounds it really seems much more doable to me. I do know that it will probably be much harder because the closer to your goal weight the harder it gets to lose the weight. But I am not going to quit fighting. This is a battle that I know I will be fighting my entire life. I know that when I get to my goal weight the war has not been won. It just mean the war has just begun. I am determined to win this war though and with determination I know a lot can be achieved.
  4. Walking / exercising more - At my highest weight of 579 pounds walking was a chore and it was a big chore. Add to that the fact that I was bone on bone in my left knee (at the time I didn't know that). So walking was PAINFUL. I didn't want to get up ever because just getting up was painful. But now that I've lost some weight my knees are much happier. Now that isn't going to change the fact that I need a total knee replacement on my left knee. Also, I'm still in pain but the pain is much less with 1,172 pounds of pressure off of my knee (4 pounds per every pound of weight lost). I have good days and bad days which is much better than before when everyday was a bad knee day. This was the first time I've actually calculated the pressure off my knee and it is quite an astounding number. No wonder I'm able to walk better! But I can say my knee does hold me back from walking and exercising as much as I want to. I can't walk as far as I'd be able to without being in extreme pain. So I just stay grateful for what I can do and hopefully as I lose weight I can do a little bit more and when I get my knee replacement... WATCH OUT WORLD... I'm going to really WALK A LOT! I am still in my routine of doing water aerobics though. I do that about 3 times per week. We added two new members to our family this year (dogs) which really forces me to walk (we don't have a backyard so forced to constantly walk them). They have been a blessing in regards to exercise (and in many other ways which I will talk about later on). I started seeing a trainer in March of 2012 and she has really helped me build some muscle and gain some confidence in the way I move. Ann Rockeman at Integration Fitness in San Diego has really helped me to gain muscle so that I can burn that fat quicker. Not only that but has helped me to move in ways I didn't think were possible. I think everyone needs to hire a trainer when they are losing weight just to give them the confidence to do more and better. But not only that the muscle helps to burn fat which helps with the results we want. Plus muscle does look much sexier than fat or saggy skin. Saggy skin is still an issue for me but I know it would look much worse than it doesn't if it weren't for the building up of muscle. I sit here sore from my workout with my trainer yesterday but I am reminded I am alive. Although being sore isn't fun being sore helps me remember that I'm moving my muscles and body in ways I'm not used to. It also means creating of more muscle which means more fat burned and that I am grateful for. I jokingly complain about it but I truly am grateful for being sore. At my highest weight I didn't get sore much (other than my knee) because I couldn't move. Now I am so grateful to be moving!
  5. Adding two new members to the family (dogs) - Yes, we weren't expecting to do this but it just sort of happened. We adopted two dogs in July from Rancho Coastal Humane Society. We adopted Scrappy who is a 7 year old male Corgi/Terrier/Lab mix. He is a really good dog and really loves to play ball and actually his life mostly revolves around the ball. He has recently become much more of a cuddler as well and I think it is just because he is finally adjusting to his new home. The second member to our family is Chloe who is a 7 year old female Lemon Beagle. They call it a Lemon due to her coloring (I never knew that or heard of it until we got her and they are the rarest type of Beagle). Although Chloe is a Beagle she is actually quite good compared to the stereotypes of that of a Beagle. She is a princess for sure. She LOVES nothing more than to cuddle up to me or my husband. She has anxiety issues when we leave that we are still working on. She loves to bark at other dogs when they are playing as if to say "Can't we all just get along". We really don't know why she barks but my husband and I joke about it. She is quite shy around other dogs but with Scrappy around she is starting to come around a little bit. Adopting older dogs makes it hard in that you don't know what their environment was previously and they take some time to adapt to their new environment. Took some time for us to adjust too because we have 2 cats who are so much easier to take care of than the dogs. But we are finally all synced together I think. They have brought so much joy to our lives already and we look forward to many more years with them. The cats have done much better with them around than I expected. They don't love the dogs but the cats aren't afraid to jump up in our lap with the dogs around which is great. We still love the cats as well and are so grateful that they are so easy to take care of.
  6. Fitting in chairs - This is a biggie for me. My entire morbidly obese life I have stressed about social situations. I have to sit (I couldn't stand because the pain on my knees was too much) and finding chairs that were sturdy to hold my weight and big enough to fit in (arms of the chairs got in the way) was one of the top things I stressed about being morbidly obese. One shouldn't have to stress about something as simple as sitting down but I was. I learned this year that the stress was also passed on to my husband. He told me he was worried about me breaking the chair and hurting myself and/or being embarrassed  So he would scan where ever we went to look for the most solid chair that I would fit in. It really upset me when I found this out because my weight was really affecting others. It is one thing when it affects you but it started to cause undue stress on his life as well which was so selfish of me. I'm so grateful for #RiverMacomber and his support. Now I am happy that I don't even think about this. I fit in chairs. Some are tighter than others as I still have large hips and thighs but I fit. No more worries or stress about going out in public. 
  7. Socializing & going out in public - I had another fear of socializing and going out in public due to my size. Most people judge on physical appearance and I was so self conscious about it that I tried to avoid most social situations. I'm trying to be more social and I have been but it is still a hard one for me. I know people still judge which doesn't help but I am also shy when meeting with people as well. I always have been and am just not that social person that I envy. I think a lot of people may also take me wrongly due to it. They could easily see me as "stuffy", "snobby" or for a lack of a better word a "bitch". People that really know me know that I am a nice person and very non-judgmental but I struggle with feeling comfortable around people. Again, I consider this an achievement because I'm not totally avoiding social situations but it is still a work in progress.
Goals for 2013
Here are some of my goals for 2013:
  1. Reach my goal weight - Yes, this will be a biggie for me. I think I can do it although I know it will be a lot of work. I consider my goal weight (with my skin) to be about 250 pounds. With skin removed that will make me about 230-210 pounds which will make me ultimately 10-30 pounds from my goal weight. But I don't know how much skin there is to be removed and I want to get to 250 which is when my doctor will refer me to the plastic surgeon. I am hoping some form of miracle will happen in terms of being able to afford it. It can be very expensive and I can't financially afford it right now. I know there are payment plans available to those that qualify (I should be able to qualify) but then I worry about the payments. The payments will probably be that of a car payment (if not more). But I have faith that God will provide and make it all happen somehow. My angel will show up.
  2. Reach out and inspire/talk to others - This is really big for me. I really want to help others. My heart is really set on that. I want to talk to people and coach them along the way. I want people to know they aren't alone. This goes for anything though not just weight loss. The principals apply for any kind of addiction whether it is alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, etc. I know some people say food isn't an addiction. I strongly disagree. I used food the way everyone else abuses drugs or alcohol etc. I know I've heard of many people inspired by me but I want to talk to these people. I want to make a difference. I want to help people walk through the entire experience. So please feel free to reach out to me by email or give others my blog that you think could benefit from my story. I think the best part of achieving something is being able to help others in the process.
  3. Continue to push myself in regards to walking/exercise - I want to really push myself this year. I need to lose this weight and getting closer to my goal I know that exercise will be extremely helpful in achieving this goal. Walking even more is going to be my goal but I am not going to put myself in immense pain either (knee). If that doesn't work then I will definitely be going to water aerobic classes more often.
  4. Continue socializing - I'm going to continue to push myself to socialize and meet new people. Also to find some new friends. I have several friends but a lot of them live in another state and the ones that live here are busy with their lives and different lifestyles. I really am best with having a small tight group of friends. I'm sure it will come as I know I'm not a horrible person but I need to open up more which is going to be a challenge for me but I know I can do it!
  5. Be grateful - I am very grateful for everything but this year I am going to work on being even more grateful. I have so much to be grateful for and I am often taking advantage of it.  
Life has treated me very well lately. My life hasn't been all bad, I've just had some really dark parts of my life but I am now really seeing the light and understanding how life is meant to be lived. It is meant to be lived to the fullest and enjoying each and everyday as it comes. I am very grateful for what I've learned on this journey. I know that this journey isn't over though...it has barely just begun.

I am Shanda and this is my journey.