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Here's what I said...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A gal I knew in high school and I have hooked up via Facebook... and she wanted to know my weight loss story... so here is what I told her...

"Thanks for the compliments! It's been an interesting year, I must say. I'm happy to share my story and hope it will be helpful to you in some way.

I am so sorry the lap banding hasn't worked for you in the way you had hoped. Weight struggles are something that so many of us share... and so few of us want to talk about.

I understand the weight loss struggle. I actually lost about 30 lbs in 1988 when I wanted to go into the Air Force (went from about 170 to 140 using exercise and stringent calorie restriction... I know better now.) However, after I lost the weight, it didn't last because I didn't change how I ate or thought about food. Then I got pregnant with Madie and didn't really think about weight loss that much and it slowly crept up. I did try taking up aerobics in the early 90s and enjoyed them, but I didn't change how or what I was eating. Then we moved back to the States and Alan came along... I was nearing 200 during the pregnancy and was about 182 after he was born. My weight never really came back down after that... and it kept creeping up. My highest was 215 in 1999 and I got back on thyroid meds and almost instantly dropped 15 lbs, I'm hypo, by the way.

In 2001, I had my heart surgery and my cardiologist wanted me to lose some weight and I did manage to get down to 190 by watching what I was eating a bit more closely. But then I went back to my old bad habits and it started to creep up again... and I got up in the 200-205 range, staying there for several years.

I hadn't noticed how I was avoiding mirrors and pictures and scales... but I really was. I think one thing that really helped me turn the corner were the pix from the two trips I took in 2007. I thought I looked nice in my dress at a nephew's wedding and now I am horrified! And then the pix from the Vegas trip with some coworkers in Oct 2007 added to my reality check. However, it still didn't bubble up as huge YET, but it added to my pile "sick of this".

Then I was at a training for the WIC (Women, Infants & Children) program... and I got to wear a crown because I admitted I was a couch potato and preferred to knit... (somehow standing out like that for being unhealthy hit me pretty hard).

Additionally, I had had shifts in my appetite over the previous year or so, eating smaller portions & trying to make healthier choices was already becoming habit. I also was worried about my blood pressure creeping up... especially since it had always been low. And then there were fears of developing diabetes and heart disease. Having taken care of folks in the hospital who were terribly overweight and seeing how bad their health was had a big impact on me in that arena.

So there were a lot of subtle shifts during 2007... I really didn't even know they were happening and I literally woke up on 30 Dec 07 and decided that 2008 was going to be my year to get rid of the weight I'd put on over the previous 20 or so years. (Not that I was skinny in high school... but I certainly didn't weigh over 200 lbs!) It was very weird, I woke up and knew that I was going to concentrate on eating 1 fruit and 1 veggie serving per day and try to exercise 1-2 times per week for a month. So I printed up a calendar and hung it on my wall here at work and tracked my goals. I also knew that I would count calories since that had worked for me before going into the Air Force in 1988. I had a plan that I knew I would step up gradually to change my life, not just take off the weight.

So I looked around for a free online calorie counter and tried several and eventually ended up on www.sparkpeople.com. It had EVERYTHING that I was looking for: calorie & exercise trackers, positive & supportive community, solid information, goal setting tools, support groups of people of like interests, etc. I have a blog page there too: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=OAKBORN

I started at 204.6 lbs on 2 January 2008 and reached my goal on 2 September 2008. I am now in the 142-144 range. So it took me 8 months to lose about 60 lbs... an average of 1.6 lbs per week (right in the recommended range of 1-2 lbs per week).

It really takes focus and dedication to yourself to get the job done. It also takes patience with yourself, you can't beat yourself up. I have used lots of tools and helps. One of the biggies has been making small goals that are achievable... sort of like the individual steps that make up flights of stairs. (One great thing I learned in nursing school had to do with creating small achievable goals for patient care plans... it really worked for me with my weight loss.)

The journey has been more than just weight loss, there has been a lot of weird emotional work that I wasn't expecting either. I am finding that my financial situation is tied in, as is the cleanliness of my house. It's like peeling back the proverbial layers of the onion... there is always more to discover in there.

I am also finding that the journey doesn't end when you yell, "GGGGGOOOOOOAAALLLL!!!!!!!!!" The balancing act continues everyday. The mindfulness must continue everyday... knowing what you are eating, knowing that you must exercise.... in short, knowing that the things that got you to goal are the things that will keep you in MaintenanceVille.

Funny thing is that I have no boobs anymore and my butt looks like the saggy baggy elephant. My stretch marks are from the weight and two pregnancies (my mom was tiny and had crazy stretch marks from the 5 of us!). I look great in clothes and sort of like a wadded up old paper sack without them. I am honestly considering surgery at the one year point just to tighten things up... if I can afford it... that being the problem with elective surgery. I also need to get my wedding ring resized... I can't wear it anymore and that breaks my heart... and I was maybe 160 when I got it.

Funny thing is... all these years I have claimed 155 lbs on my driver's license... what I weighed at 16. I guess it just got to a point that I couldn't fool myself any longer. I had my "perfect storm" and decided to make a change. I never had a clue that I could do

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it! I highly recommend SparkPeople.com. Tools like that cost a great deal of money on other websites and it's free there... and they keep offering MORE all the time... I love them.

Best to you! If the avowed couch potato can do it, I KNOW you can! I mean that. It's not easy, and I was luckier than most... but it CAN be done. If you join SparkPeople, I'm "oakborn" on there."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IVORYGIRL1776 1/31/2009 10:59PM

    Thank you for sharing your story with such a heart of compassion. You are wonderfully humble and inspiring!!!

May I add you to my friends?

Ivorygirl emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/31/2009 11:43:40 PM

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    I'm e-mailing this to my best friend!!! Thanks for sharing your journey!!! Jackie!!!

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JILLWILSON2102 1/29/2009 3:08PM

    It is so wonderful to have you share your story. You always inspire me with your gracious and honest manner.

Thank you - Jill

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ANNIEONLI 1/29/2009 7:29AM

    I LOVED THAT!!!! Great job! I just told a HS friend about my weightloss on facebook too, but the super duper abbreviated short version with Sparkpeople tagged in the comment. Comisserating about wanting elective surgery too - the wadded old paperbag comment cracked me up!

You're awesome Oak!!

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DARKLING56 1/28/2009 11:10PM

    Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational.

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It's all good...somehow...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wow it seems like it's bad juju week at work. KO's car was in the shop Monday to get 2 hoses replaced and while it was idling, the neck of her radiator blew up.. so she's waiting for a new radiator and then they will figure out if her transmission needs flushing & filling or rebuilding. SL's car has a blown cylinder. My car is only mildly rumbled and the other guy's insurance will pay to fix it, I just can't get it done until Feb 2nd.

We owe a lot in taxes... I mean a lot. We had to pay for hubby's doctor visit... my work insurance is too $$. Son's private orchestra has to be paid for. Etc Etc Etc. It really seems to never end.

Weight is maintaining and that is a good thing. I am keeping up my exercise 6 days per week... about an hour per each of those days. Some days it's REALLY hard to get up the motivation! I'm eating lots of veggies and fruit... but like carbing out like mad... but I guess if I'm burning it...

I am still pursuing going into the Army as a nurse.

That's moving along.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNIEONLI 1/28/2009 12:53PM

    Car problems stink - I'm doing the same thing here...wondering when the beast is going to die forever...but at least it's paid off.

Keep your chin up! It's been a few days - I hope things have gotten better!


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It's been a few days....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A lot has happened since I last blogged... not so much in number, but in importance.

Weight is maintaining... hubby wants to see me gain back up to 145, so I am eating everything in sight to make it happen, but my body seems happy where it is. He just doesn't seem to get that and it's frustrating. He thinks that my catching the stomach bug at the first of November and the cold at Christmas is because I didn't weigh enough... and that I was sick all throughout the holidays. To me, a nearly 6 week separation of illnesses was just that... I got the brain-sucking virus last spring when he did and he said nothing about it having to do with me being too thin. BAH!

I went dress shopping with a friend yesterday and it was so much fun. We are going to a wedding in San Diego in March and I thought to take advantage of the change of season sales... I'd been shopping several times and found nothing... but it turns out that I needed a second set of eyes to point out possibilities that I might not have considered before... and that is exactly what happened. I ended up with a SIZE 6 dress with a bright turquoise & black abstract print and the cutest shoes EVAR... for less than $60. I look and feel fab in the ensemble. I think I am going to knit up a nice little black shrug to go with... the wedding is going to be on/adjacent (not sure which) the beach... but definitely outdoors. I will look simply SMASHING, as the Brits would say! Can't wait to debut the dress for real! Not sure whether to wear neutral hose or black... the shoes are black... and jewelry.... well those are details for another day!

Other stuff, had a great meeting at church yesterday with my spirituality group. We were discussing how our actions affect others and it really got me thinking about how I spread my weight loss and health message. Though I want to be zealot and run around "telling" people about my experience and what worked for me, I know that they have to find their own way on their own journey. It's just hard to watch people, like my boss who weighs over 300 lbs, struggle repeatedly... and just not get the keys that seem so simple to me: consistency in calorie counting and exercise, being conscious of what you eat and how much you move, etc. I just have to keep living it and Spreading the Spark as people seem receptive to what I have to say... and it will help maybe 1 in 20, or 1 in 10 if I am lucky.

Let's see... in other news... I got rear-ended and shoved into another car at a stoplight on Friday the 16th. I was sitting behind a cute Ford Escape (yes, I'm Jonesing for one of those) and wondering whether it was a 2007 or 2008 model when the next thing I knew I was hit and getting shoved into that cute car I had been admiring. Nobody was seriously hurt (if at all) and I think all the cars (all Fords-a Contour, my Focus & the Escape) are drivable... so that's a good thing. I'm just torqued because I was just sitting there minding my own business... AND was going to give a friend a ride to the garage to pick up her car after a repair. It was snowing, but aside from a slick spot or two, I'd noticed no problems on the main thoroughfares... so I don't know if the guy spaced out or had a ministroke (he looked large, unhealthy and about ready to keel over from a heart attack). We'll get our car checked out ASAP... but it is driving just fine and just appears a bit "rearranged" on the front and back ends since it got squashed. I just wonder how fast he was going... I think it was faster than I thought since he pushed me into the other car and then a bit further than that.

The other big news is that my 17 y.o. daughter (aka Miss M) joined the National Guard this week. Her drill weekends start next weekend. She will go to basic training this coming summer (she leaves Jun 10th) and then will do her advanced training after she graduates from high school. Then she plans to do ROTC in college. My daughter will be wearing combat boots... very soon. I'm proud and nervous, of course... that is healthy. This is also the first time in her life that she admitted she was afraid of ANYTHING...

I'm also listening to Jillian Michaels' radio show streaming live on the 'net right now! I don't have to wait until the Tuesday Podcast!!

Speaking of Jillian Michaels... my personal fitness goddess... I love her because she is tough, but really cares. I ordered a set of her older DVDs (The Biggest Winner) and I am just LOVING them! I have done each of them at least once already. If you are interested in these and have Netflix, you can preview them and see if you like them too!

The other great news is that I saw my cardiologist last week and he gave me a cleaner than clean bill of health! I have a cardiologist because in 2001 I had an aneurysm (weak spot) between my aorta and right atrium that ruptured and had to be repaired with open heart surgery. But anyway, I'm still perfect, except for a slight delay between the lub and dub of my heart beat that is because of the surgery that created a slight slowing of the electrical impulse through my heart. However, that is not a problem!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASMPD2 1/23/2009 3:30PM

    Thanks for sharing all these updates on your life, it's good to hear (not the car accident, that's not so good!). I haven't had time to blog on SP in weeks myself, because it's been hard to get the time since I've returned from the holidays. I am sticking with the basics, though: calorie tracking and exercise. I try to connect with my SP friends when I have time, but it's been fewer and farther between.

Your reflection about your discussion with your spirituality group is an interesting challenge. How does a person help others... by example? by sharing constructive advice? by motivating? A cynic would say, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink." I think the best things we can do is to lead by example and offer to "lead them to water" if they seek help. Personally, I find it very hard to influence people's thinking, but you have that certain something, maybe it's charisma. Stick with it... you've motivated and inspired so many people in your life and on this site, you should be proud!

Take care!

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ANNIEONLI 1/23/2009 9:40AM

    ok....so that's what you've been up to! WOW!

#1 - YAY on the dress! I rarely do fashion advice, but: Don't do hose unless you need them (my sister says they are so passe) and if you step onto the beach, you're screwed. I'm paler than the underbelly of a fish, and the last time I dressed up, I bought Sally Hansens' spray on hose in the lightest color - it's like a spray tan...they have a shimmer one also which I wished I bought...so easy!

#2 - UUUGH about the car!!! You need that like a hole in the head. Glad you and all are safe.

#3 - Too funny about hubby's comments, at least you are listening to him and not getting obsessive, which is very easy to do in our mindset.

#4 - God bless your daughter! Wow! She's in my prayers for safety in all she does. Be very proud!

#5 - Bravissima!!! with the cardiologist!!! YAY!!!!

#6 - with others and weightloss - "you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink" is what comes to mind...I have my own people I look at (my husband in particular) and put 2 cents in, but once it's said, it's on their plate, so to speak, I'm done.

OK - Long one is over! Glad I swung by today! Stay well, friend, stay well!
Always smiles!
emoticon emoticon

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PANDORASBOX820 1/19/2009 10:53AM

    hooray! that is EXCELLENT news from your doctor's visit! way to go!

while i'm sorry for your misfortune, I had to giggle at your retelling of the car accident... i love that you were admiring the Escape and then, BAM!! i've always been a fan of irony. Glad you're ok!!

oh, and my vote would be nude hose for the dress.... the outfit sounds cute!! and a size 6-- that's fantastic!!

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Dwelling in the now... what I do today is my future...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I had a grand surge of energy and inspiration this evening and promptly went downstairs and did Level Two of 30 Day Shred. I just love Jillian Michaels, she keeps me fired up to the max. She is a hardass, but also very down to earth. She tells the truth but doesn't hurt people. She simply tells them the truth and is generally right. I listen to her radio show online every week and that just helps keep me going.

I am so excited about the fact that her 5 DVD set is on the way. It's a lot like the stuff you find in 30 Day Shred, but kind of reassorted. Keeps it fresh. I did my first Cardio Kickboxing this week and find that I LOVE it! I also did it in the first bootcamp workout... great stuff. Gets my joints moving in new and interesting ways!

The fact that there is no finish line, that this is my life, this active & exciting life is fabulous. That gets me fired up to keep going too!

Before I reached goal, I sort of knew it, but now it is meaning so much to me. On my NextFitness workouts, they often say "there is no finish line" and that has sort of become my mantra. I worked hard to get to where I am now... and that is what I need to keep doing to stay where I am and not return to where I was.

In the meantime I do have frustrations... my NextFitness keeps erroring out on me and has been for a week. I have sent them two e-mails and have received no reply. I also have been having trouble getting my netflix instant watch videos (I like to do exercise vids this way) to play on the TV, somehow I changed the settings on my computer and can't get it to display on my TV. It seems like I have plenty of weird little barriers to exercise lately... argh.

But I will keep going.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNIEONLI 1/8/2009 2:10PM

    ooo - I like that title!! Good blog Oak! BTW - love the new pic! you look wonderful! Was it a weird Christmas for you being a different person than the year before? Now that it a blog to think about!

You'll be glad to here that things here BACK ON TRACK!! I'm sticking to the plan (gained a little, but not over goal too bad) and I set a new goal of 140 for my birthday in March. I need a goal to aim for, or otherwise I'm lost a little. Tracking exercise only this time, because that's where it's hard for me...the food tracking is a joke at this point - I know what to do, duh, and I eat the same stuff all the time. If it doesn't work I'll track the food again...we'll see...

Haha - my turn to be wordy on a blog response! LMAO!!!!

You're my inspiration! Keep on rockin' that treadmill! emoticon

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WIFEALF 1/8/2009 2:05PM

    Good for you working out you are a inspirational to me..Good for you!How much time do you spend on excerice a day????How many days a week do you excerice???Keep it up you are look great!!Hope your luck with your computer and tv works out some days are hard..But they seem to work out in the end!!!!Thanks for the blog comment means so much to me...

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Doing the New Bootcamp.... good for refocusing...

Monday, January 05, 2009

I'm on day two of the new bootcamp... the chance to win $500 is nice, but I like having a new focus and new goals too, apart from the weight loss anyway.

I really did slack off the intensity over the holidays what with it being a) the holidays and me being b) sick... I'm still coughing crap out, especially when I get on the treadmill. I also still have laryngitis a little, it comes and goes, I think that choir may be iffy this week since my singing voice is still coming and going.

I'm really glad that the holidaze are over. I had a great time the days that I was off... but I really wanted and needed more... and more contiguous ones. I will have a 4 day weekend over MLK weekend by adding a comp day to it. Then I will have 5 days off in February with a comp day and the way the holidays fall. In March I'm taking a whole week off.... and going to San Diego for a niece's wedding.

In the meantime, I have many many many many creative projects that HAVE to get done... first is the shawl for my Mother in law... then the stole for the pastor at my church celebrating his 20th year... then the wedding gift for the niece getting married (an afghan). I have also promised a knitted hoodie for another niece.

If I get a chance to slow down, I'll let you know.

I hope all my friends are well and looking forward to a lovely new year!


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