Friday, January 18, 2013
I have an appointment to consult a plastic surgeon on Monday morning. I'm nervous. Beyond nervous... I'm kind of a wreck. Perhaps I'm putting too much weight on this one man's opinion. But I feel like I have a lot riding on it.
You can not lose 183# and NOT have excess skin. (If you do.... wow, you have some FANTASTIC genes!) Throw in that during the time it took to lose that weight, I aged 10 years, had a baby, 2 miscarriages, and 7 abdominal surgeries. Yeah.... my body is showing some wear and tear.
In some ways I've been very fortunate. I have very little excess skin on my face.... and the waddle I am starting to have under my chin *may* have something to do with my age rather than weight loss. But as I've lost, I have "melted".... and most of it has settled in an apron of skin and fat hanging from my belly. And it has become excruciating.
I have been struggling with skin infections in skin folds for years... it has only gotten worse the last few months. My measurements on my entire body are DECREASING, but the measurement around my abdomen is INCREASING.... as I lose, more skin in hanging there. I have awful, chronic back pain. There are times that I am on the elliptical and feel as though my lower back will rupture from the pain.
I feel as though my options are:
1) revert to a sedentary lifestyle to reduce the pain (NOT a valid option for me. I've worked too hard and come to far to give up!)
2) Continually see a physician for skin creams, antibiotics, and narcotic pain pills (using narcotics while working in my profession is a pretty stupid idea... I rely on my instincts and being aware to keep me safe)
or 3) Remove the approximately 20# of weight hanging from my stomach, recover, and continue my weight loss journey.
I am not concerned about the excess skin on/under my arms. The damage done to my breasts can be camouflaged by a good bra. The hanging skin from my legs can be covered by cute jeans. But pain? I can't hide that with pretty fabric.
This procedure is often seen as cosmetic, and denied by insurance companies. I am extremely worried about this. What my insurance company may not understand is this:
1) I already have a 14" scar running the length of my abdomen
2) I already had to have my belly button surgically removed during a surgery (I plan to get a cute tattoo where it SHOULD be at some point, just because I think that would be hysterically funny)
and 3) a good looking tummy would be wasted with the rest of me sagging.
This isn't about looks. This is about pain. And reaching my goals. And being healthy, happy, active, and living with JOY rather than pain.
So.... wish me luck and say a prayer. I'd really appreciate it.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
When I was a kid, I often worked along side my dad (hardest worker I've ever met!). He would tease me, always saying the same thing... "She's like a donkey. The closer we get to the end, the faster she goes!" It never failed to make me laugh. And it really is a true perception about my personality. The closer I get to the end of tasks (particularly distasteful ones), the more I tend to focus and just get it done. This particular trait drives my laid back husband NUTS! "We do NOT have to paint the whole house in one day!" "You don't have to clean the kitchen now.. jut let it set". "Do you REALLY plan to lay this whole patio in one weekend?" ... you see how those conversations go.
Part of this is my OCD... it is physiologically difficult for me to walk away from something unfinished. It causes huge anxiety. But I think part of it is just personality.
Several months ago, I was talking to my trainer/friend and told her that I think the reason I never joined a gym or took the fitness route is because I LOATHE to fail, and I LOATHE to not finish things. Frankly..... I'd rather not try something than to fail or not finish.
And somewhere along the way in my life, I gave myself thousands of excuses to validate my decision to simply not TRY to get fit and healthy. But the truth? I would rather not try than fail, or not meet my goals (remember... perfectionist here).
10 years ago, I lost 170#. And then 4 years ago, I gained back 70#. Why? Because I never did the really hard, emotional work that I'm doing now. I did the dieting. But I didn't solve any of the problems with ME. And they crept back up, unresolved.
And so here I am, with those 70+# back off me. Today I looked in the mirror and realized that this is the thinnest I have ever seen my adult face... and I'm almost 40! And I AM finishing! I AM meeting my goals! I realized today that I'm not really excited about how my body LOOKS yet, but I am LOVING what my body can DO now! I am strong, and flexible, and most of all... courageous. I'm willing to TRY things knowing that I might fail. Today in the gym, I did some step/jump exercise I'd never done. And I fell. So my trainer lowered it, and I tried again. And I did it! These are lessons that are building on each other. And I'm realizing that I didn't fail 4 years ago when I regained the weight.....
I simply wasn't finished yet.
The failure is in not trying again.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
I don't think the scale has caught up to my body yet. I see/feel changes in the past week that are NOT being reflected on the scale.
According to the SCALE, I have lost 3 pounds in the past 2 weeks.
According to my clothes, my eyes, and how I feel.... that number isn't representative. Yesterday I noticed hollows and contours in my face that were not there 2 weeks ago. Pants that fit a bit uncomfortably 2 weeks ago were perfect today. Sad to say.... the favorite bra I've had the past few months is getting too big (you ladies know how frustrating that is!). Shaving my legs last night, I noticed that my cankles aren't quite as cankle-ey. These things tell me that my body is changing and responding to what I've been doing.
Have I been perfect? Oh, HUGE NO to that one (let's not re-visit the cinnamon roll incident, K?). What I have been is consistent. I have consistently gotten my butt to the gym and moved. I have consistently weight trained. I have consistently gotten my water in. I have consistently chosen healthy, nourishing foods. I have been consistent in limiting my "junky" calorie intake. Consistent. Not perfect.
"What's the difference?" someone might wonder. Consistent means that my efforts are NOT derailed by a slip up. It means that one lunch with friends will not cause you to gain 10# back. It means that I have FREEDOM to live as I want to.
I was extremely consistent for years, and the effects on my body were evident to the world. I was consistent in eating high-calorie, nutrient deficient food. I was consistent with sitting 99% of my day. I was consistent with eating to deal with any uncomfortable emotion that I had. I was consistent about being dishonest with myself.
I don't make this distinction lightly. I am a perfectionist by nature. I like things orderly and in their place. I struggle with OCD, and seem to even (hate to admit this!) be passing this along to my daughter who lines her crayons up in perfect order. I have a mental picture of how things are supposed to be done, and struggle when people deviate from it. I admit it... I'm a control freak. But this process, this JOURNEY, is teaching me that you do not have to be perfect to get to your destination. You have to be consistent.
Imagine that you are on a road trip, and you are consistently driving at 60 mph. You'd be making decent time, right? What if you made a wrong turn along the way? Do you forget about the destination you were aiming for? Or do you turn around, find your way, and resume your speed? See... that's the thing. You may have to stop the car, and turn around slowly. But once you're back on the freeway, you'll pick up speed. You may reach your destination 15 minutes later than planned, but you still reached it.
For 20 years, I said "screw the directions!" and drove around lost in the city. But this girl has gps now... when I take a wrong turn, I'm gonna slow down, make a U-turn, and head back in the direction I want to go.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
I've never seen myself as a success story regarding weight loss. Never. Yes, I've lost 182#, but I tend to focus on the 70 or so excess pounds still to go. I'm kind of a glass half empty kind of girl.
However, my blog post "WHY I am doing this" received an unexpected and amazing response. And I have read and cherished every single comment. Every one. And I was shocked at how many times people called my story one of success. It gave me a lot to think about this past week.
But here's the deal... even those of us that have lost large amounts of weight successfully have bad days and struggle at times. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I did well in the morning, making smart food choices. But as the day wore on, my frustration with my husband and my unending "to do" list became overwhelming. Then he went to work for 10 hours and left me with our 4 year old (and my parents for a while). My dad was preoccupied with a game. My mom's dementia/forgetfulness was particularly trying, my 4 year old got ink all over her hand, etc., etc., etc. I felt like I was going to break.
I got my parents fed and sent back to their house across the street. I got my daughter fed, bathed, and in bed. I got the ink cleaned up from random places it had landed. I sat down and felt the overwhelming frustration.
And then I went to the kitchen and took my frustration out on myself with cinnamon rolls.
I read a blogger here on SP once equate these falls with getting a traffic ticket. If you get a ticket, do you spend the rest of the day running red lights and speeding? No. So why does a diet slip up avalanche into a full day/week/month/year of bad choices??? It doesn't have to.
Today I'm doing better. I have some spiced up veggies roasting in the oven for lunch as I type this. Hubby is home today and spending some MUCH needed time with the little person, allowing me a bit of time to decompress. And life goes on.
Without the cinnamon rolls.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
I get to the gym whenever I can make time in my day. It differs from day to day, unlike a lot of people at my gym who seem to have a routine. Yesterday I went in the late afternoon and it was BUSY! Nearly every piece of cardio equipment in the women's gym (where I hide out most days) was taken, as were a lot of pieces of weight equipment. There were also a lot of new faces, puffing ladies, and loudly clanking weights from inexperienced users.
This morning I went and it was just myself and 2 other ladies. I was chugging away on my elliptical (reading some sappy romance on my kindle) when the lady a few feet away spoke up.
"I'm so glad there aren't any "resolutionists" here today!" She said.
I just looked at her (a little annoyed because my hero had just met his brother's mail order bride at the train depot and sparks were flying - I wanted to keep reading, not talking). "Resolutionists?"
"Yes, those people who aren't really going to get healthy, they just made a resolution to lose weight. They join in January, come for a few weeks, hog the equipment, don't clean it off.... you know."
"You don't think people should set new goals to get healthy?" I was somewher between annoyed and confused (I really wanted to get back to my book!)
She huffed, and said, "I've just never seen one stick around!"
Now... usually this is where I would choose to be quiet rather than offend someone. But I remember that hostile feeling from fellow gym users last year. That feeling that I didn't belong. So I put my beautiful heroine and civil-war scarred hero on hold to say, "Sure you have! Last year I joined on the New years special. And then I lost 70# to give me a total loss of 180#."
Her face dropped a bit. "But I've seen you here before".
I just smiled. "Yep, I'm here a lot. But last January I was one of your "Resolutionists". "
She gave me a confused look, and I returned to my book.
This encounter made me wonder if I was welcoming last night. Did I smile at anyone? I know I didn't offer to help anyone struggling with the equipment. I should have. Next time I go I will if I have an opportunity. Every gym member had a first day, a first week, a first month. Heck! My first day I literally fell off the elliptical! Oh how this lady would have laughed and rolled her eyes at me.
So... if you are a "Resolutionist", GOOD FOR YOU! Keep it up! Ignore those of us that are rude, or oblivious to you as you learn the equipment. Some of us don't mean to be... we are just focused elsewhere. But go back tomorrow. And the next day. Ask a staff member to teach you about equipment you want to use. Because before you know it, you'll be a "regular", and no longer falling off the elliptical!
And if you go to my gym, and see me working away as I zone out in book, feel free to interrupt me and ask for help. Just beware that I may feel compelled to share the plot of whatever trashy romance I'm reading at the moment with you.
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