Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Yeah, this happened today:
I haven't weighed under 200 pounds since before my son was born in 1987. I'm 54. You do the math. I'm beyond thrilled. I'm proud. I'm feeling accomplished. I'm also very relieved because I had set my goal of being under 200 by the end of the year. Feels really good to hit it more than a week early. Since June I have lost 72 pounds. My next goal is to hit 175 by my 10th wedding anniversary on April 16th. Since I'm about at the halfway mark in my weight loss, I've been told this is where it will really slow down, so instead of 10 pounds lost per month I'm estimating about 6.25 pounds lost per month. If it is slower, so be it, as long as each month shows loss.
A couple NSVs (non-scale victories for you newbies) I've had in the last few months starting with the probably way TMI ones that only the very morbidly obese of us can really identify with:
I no longer have to worry about tinkling in my pants. My excess weight caused so much pressure on my bladder that I developed light bladder control problems. That's gone now!
I can now properly clean myself after the toilet. There. I said it. If you have never experienced the worry of bowel movements while not at home, you should count yourself lucky. Being so heavy that your arms can not reach to clean your nether regions is difficult. If you have arthritis, like I do, it's worse. It means showers after using the toilet, even if you had one an hour ago. If you aren't at home, you hold it as best you can and if you can't...well...you get really creative and I'll leave it at that. This is one of my most treasured NSVs...even if it is the ickiest.
I've lost 68 inches off of my neck, chest, waist, hips, upper arms, thighs, and calves since June.
I can reach both hands behind me and have them meet.
My 5 year-old grandson can wrap his arms around my middle when he hugs me and his hands touch in the back.
I felt something weird rubbing against my sides when I was walking the other day and lo and behold, it was my own elbows! My upper arms have always been so heavy and big they prevented my elbows from touching my body.
I can carry my 1 year-old granddaughter so much easier and longer.
I have so much more energy!
Speaking of energy - 5 year-olds have it in abundance! Spent a good part of this afternoon singing and playing with my grandson. We were singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in honor of our antler headgear when I snapped this picture.
Merry Christmas, Joyous New Year, and as always, I love you all.
Never give up - Never give in!
Friday, December 12, 2014
In 19 days we will see the end of 2014, the year of my rebirth, the year when friends, family, and total strangers pulled together to donate money, purchase t-shirts, rummage sale goods and baked goods in order to help me get the much needed gastric sleeve surgery that would give me a second chance at living a longer, healthier, fitter life.
As of this morning, I am down 68 pounds. My goal is to have lost 72.2 pounds by the last day of this year, putting me under 200 pounds and into that magical place called ONEderland. I have 19 days to lose those 4 pesky pounds. I have gotten close to ONEderland once since I joined sparkpeople 5 years ago, only to gain every pound back plus a LOT more until I hit the high of 272 a year ago thanks to steroids, my own messed up metabolism, and just plain old giving up and giving in. If you know me even a little bit, you know that giving up and giving in is SO not me, but there it is. I felt hopeless. Insurance turned me down time and again for the surgery my primary care, cardiac, and rheumatology docs all insisted I needed. Then my daughter stepped in and created the Save The She Beast campaign and...well, you know the rest. July 28th was my surgery day, my "rebirth" day. Nothing but progress since - even if some of it has been a bit slow, it's been progress!
I knew I was losing. The scale said so. My clothes were getting looser. I could see a bit of difference between the pictures I was taking to make progress. But it really wasn't until I did a comparison of my FACE that it really showed to me that I was progressing. Yes, I'm a bit dismayed by the fact that my neck is now a turkey wattle and I have a lot more wrinkles and loose flesh, but that will be fixed eventually. Vanity much? Why, yes, thank you! Plastic surgery is in my future FOR SURE! But the fact that my face is much smaller thrills me and really gave me the WOW moment I needed to realize just how far I have come since last Christmas. Here's what I'm talking about:
Here's some body shots from the last 15 months until now when I am 4.5 months post-op:
Front and Side comparisons From July 21st (one week before surgery) and today with 50 pounds gone (68 pounds total since May 1st). You should know that these are the first pictures of me in a bathing suit since 1984 - truly! Not pretty, but honest!
That's where I am so far. I want to hit that under 200 pounds by December 31st so bad I can taste it. ONEderland, I'm on my way! My goal after that is to hit 175 by my 10 year anniversary April 16th and after that is to hit 150 by my husband's birthday on August 12th. This time next year I hope to be at goal. My goal is listed as 120 pounds, but you know what? That's adjustable and debatable. If I am thrilled to pieces anywhere from 125 to 145, that's where I will stay. 145 is what my thin husband weighs. My biggest goal of all is to weigh less than him. So, we will stop where I feel the happiest and healthiest. Charts and scales may guide me to where I need to be, but no chart nor scale shall rule me.
Well folks, that's all the news that's fit to report, as they say!
Never give up, never give in.
As always, I love you all.
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Sorry if TMI, but I thought you could all use a giggle at my expense.
I had a wardrobe malfunction at the gym this morning. I've lost inches across my chest, not to mention some volume, and all of my "hold 'em ups" are getting pretty loose. I reached up to grab the bars on the stretching cage and the "girls" slid out the bottom of my bra. Yeah...this happened.
Not sure if anyone noticed. I was afraid to look around. I crossed my arms over my chest (well, thanks to gravity it was kind of "under" my chest) and went straight to the shower/dressing room and adjusted myself before fleeing the gym as discreetly as possible.
I wanted to wait until I hit ONEderland, which is only 14. 4 pounds away, to purchase new clothing and lingerie, but now... New bras? Definitely!
Other NSVs? I'm stronger. I'm more flexible. I can scratch places I couldn't 3 months ago. I can hold a plank for a second or so before I face plant. I walk faster. I sleep a little better. My seat belt fits better. I have to pull the seat up closer to the steering wheel. Many more but that's off the top of my head.
NSVs are signs of success, even the funny, embarrassing ones. Treasure the moments, and the laughs!
Sunday, October 26, 2014
If you are over 40, I bet you heard the Supremes singing the title, didn't you?
It's really hard to remember life before Spark. It seems it has been a part of me forever, even though I joined in 2010. It's just that ingrained in my life, I guess.
I'm reflecting today on the last 5 years of being a Spark member, and on the last 4 years as a Spark team leader here in San Antonio . There have been some major highs, let me tell you. I've climbed hills and dined with some of you. We have attended birthday parties, theme parties, and baby showers together. Some of you held my hand literally and figuratively during my mom's long illness and decline. Some of you were at her funeral, helping me to cope and get through. I've zip lined and tower climbed with some of you. I've trained with you and walked a half marathon with you. I've participated in spark challenges with you and I've become part of some of your lives in the flesh, as you have in mine. You've been there through my thyroid surgery, my heart stent, my many strains, sprains, fractures, and the various procedures on my back. Many of you, whether on the San Antonio team or not, have been so supportive of me during the worry about getting the funding for my gastric sleeve surgery, have gone on tv with me, have participated in fund raisers for me, and in the months since then as my real weight loss and return to health has begun you've been cheering me every step of the way. Spark and its members have been a HUGE part of my life for the last 5 years.
The way life used to be before Spark doesn't matter - sorry for the misleading title - but it is the truth. Life SINCE Spark is what is important now. I've found myself again, rediscovered that I can do great things if I want them enough, and I've finally built and will always retain a lot of very healthy habits. I'm still 2/3 of the way from my goal weight, but I'm 100% finished having to start over again with this aspect of my life.
I don't think I will ever NOT be a spark member, no matter how healthy, no matter how fit I become. What I am going to NOT be after the first of the year is a San Antonio Spark Team leader. I'm stepping down to more fully concentrate on me, my journey, and with the book and path I'm hoping to develop for myself. I'm not saying I'll be gone from leadership for very long or even that I'll be gone from it forever, but for a while at least, I need more ME time.
I'm going to leave you with just a small sample of pictures from our spark adventures over the years. The last picture will be three pictures of me in the last year that show my progress. As always, I love you all...and I love, love, love sparkpeople.com!
Zip line and Tower Climb!
Spark dinner meet ups, 5ks, and our 13.1 Half Sparkathon
Sparkers on Great Day S.A. tv show and a couple Spark supporters in their Save the She Beast t-shirts
And me in a comparison photo 14 months ago, one month ago, and yesterday. 55 pounds gone, 97 pounds to go!
p.s. If you are a member of the San Antonio Spark Team and haven't signed up for the SPICE challenge which starts this Friday, October 31st, get your behind to the team page and sign up NOW. Let's get through the holidays happier and healthier with the SPICE challenge, and help me leave leadership on a very high note!
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Today I am 83 days post VSG surgery and 53 pounds lighter. I am 99 pounds from my goal of 120 pounds. If I am thrilled with my results at 130, though...I'll stop. At 4'10, the doctors tell me 105-115 is where I should aim, but since my family has boobs, butts, and thighs I am not really listening too close.
I've been doing some very basic yoga for flexibility and strength training with weights. I've noticed I am a bit stronger and definitely more flexible. I'm in less pain than usual, which is saying a lot. I have arthritis, back degeneration, lupus, and fibromyalgia, so reduced pain and flare-ups is a wonderful thing. I give the credit to both the weight loss and being able to move more. Which brings me to a great big old I want to share with you.
My daughter-in-law started holding free Meditation in the Park classes every Sunday last year for a while and recently resumed. I've been attending. Before and after each session there is a Sun Salutation yoga sequence. I've always modified almost EVERY movement because of my lack of flexibility and my range of motion problems. My planks were non-existent - basically a flopping onto my front and struggling to then raise myself into cobra position. I would go for a plank and instead I would plunk. Every. Single. Time.
Today, though.... plank, down, and up into cobra not just once, but several times! I shocked myself! I am very proud of myself for this. There were times when I feared holding a plank was going to be too much to aspire to at my health level. I was also thrilled to be able to share this victory in person with two of my fellow San Antonio Spark team members, AvidWisher and HeidiJuneBug, who also attended the meditation session this morning. Made it even sweeter to be with folks who really know the struggles I have.
I say it all the time, and I truly mean it. Never give up. Never give in. If you keep going, keep trying, keep hope alive, you will amaze yourself with what you can do. While today's success might be tiny to some, there are those of us for whom it is a HUGE victory. Reach for those milestones, stretch yourself towards them, grab hold and celebrate. You have it within you to make it happen. Do what you have to do to get where you need to be and do not for one minute give up on yourself.
As always, I love you all.
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