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."
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.
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!
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.
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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