Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Dear Abs, please come back. I noticed my wonderful abs have left me. Well in three weeks I went from crazy strong abs, to *wibble, wobble* barely hold myself up abs. So last night BAM 500 crunches on my ball. I didn't have a lot of time so I just did a few. I would have done more, but then again, I'm a crazy person. I usually do 500 up on a ball, 500 on the floor with my feet away on a ball, 500 on the floor with the ball against my legs, then another 500-1000 modified crunches. You know. 'cause that's what I was doing. (Trust me I started with like 20 -- I just scaled it up over a year) I'm a fan of doing a repetitive exercise while watching TV and then just repeatedly doing reps of 100. Its not for everyone -- my technique probably isn't great, but my abs were strong.
So three weeks post surgery *officially today* I am not letting my arms be an excuse. Well other than buying some cute new coats for winter (nothing worse than not being able to buy a cute jacket than your arms were too fat). Now that that is not an issue, I can also start weightlifting. Apparently some of my pain in the arm problems were the stitches, they're gone. Some of the pain was me being a pansy and modifying how I was using my arms -- kinda like how you hurt your leg muscles compensating for a blister -- and *possibly* there could be something internally pulled too tight. But until my check up right before Halloween -- I will not know.
So now in five weeks what can I do to my arms?! I want to work these puppies out and put some guns in my after photos at the plastic surgeon! Tonight's goal is to whip out the 5# weights (I'm starting slow) and just see what movements don't hurt and which ones I can easily keep doing. I was up to 20# with stuff like curls, and I had just upgraded myself to a 25# kettlebell for side bends (oh how I miss side bends for my obliques -- I'm such a weirdo!). Maybe I'll throw in some sidebends with my smallest kettlebell. It's more of a stretching myself back out again. I can touch my toes if I go slow. If I go too fast, I overextend and pull on the healing incision sites. Trust me... not a fun thing. They're healing really well though. I only have like three scabs on the entirety of the wounds. I don't know what I was picturing, but they look pretty darn good. They're bumpy and ugly and scarry though -- but I read an inspirational photo that hit home:
I am not disfigured, I am a tiger that has earned her stripes.
I like that. My told my friends that were over this weekend that I wanted to come up with a funny story to tell people if random strangers come up to me and ask me about my scars. My friend Erin basically said: well why not the TRUTH. I dunno... telling strangers that you had cosmetic surgery after weight loss is pretty heavy. I haven't gone sleeveless yet and luckily for me Winter Is Coming = long sleeves! This will help with keeping the scars down too = sunlight is the enemy for them right now.
So I am tracking -- I am working out slowly but surely... And I feel great. Someone commented the other day about how I looked 22. Really? I'm 27 so that was a great compliment, and I honestly think the eating healthy and getting proper nutrition is one of the best ways to keep yourself looking young. So I'm going to go home -- grill some chicken for grilled chicken tonight, and grilled chicken paninis for the rest of the week -- yum. I just need some avocado and tomato and I'm set!
So my goals for the rest of the month:
1) keep eating healthy
2) start punching my ticket to the gun show
3) don't be hard on yourself when you slip
4) get over this stupid head cold!
5) learn to be a tiger who earned her stripes instead of a woman who feels damaged
6) oh and actually get some dang work done at work and get off Spark!
Monday, September 17, 2012
So now my excuses are gone. The doctor said on Friday I have no restrictions. At all. I can weight lift and run a marathon (haha, as if). It still hurts when I jump/bob so no running for a bit. But now I feel like I'm using the surgery as an excuse to not workout. I need to reset my brain and get it in gear!
It is okay for me to workout. My arm will not rip off if I pick up a handweight. I'm all good. I got my stitches out on Friday so YEA! I think the stitches might have been in too long. They were starting to get grown over (yikes) which was probably causing some of my pain. So now they're gone and I can move. There's still a bit of tightness and numbness in my arms that I'm getting used to with my arms, but I was able to touch my toes yesterday. I've been reaching more for things -- thank god I'm tall or this would have killed me sooner.
So tonight I am going to try to do something, but I honestly feel like I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. Friday I worked, had lunch with a seminar speaker -- I was the only one who ate dessert (really?) at the fancy place we go for lunch. The desserts are like two bite thingys = tiny and so good. I felt like a hoss, but I went for the dessert anyway.
Then a Halloween party. Yes. In September a Halloween party. One girl that a girl I know, knows (follow me) is leaving for Africa to join the Peace Corps and was sad that she was going to miss Halloween = Halloween Going Away Party. I of course whipped up a Tardis cardigan (tardigan!) to wear over a really cute dress I've had in my closet for awhile. It was SHORT and tight, but it fit and I felt cute. I added tights to be decent and they may be my new secret weapon to not feel so negative about wearing clothes that show off my thighs/legs.
I also had to whip up my outfit for the next day's tailgate. I waded through the crazies at the bookstore to get the required bits. A flag with all of the mascots on it and some beaded tigers hairpins. Once I got home I cut out the tigers logos from the flag and glued them onto a Rock'N'Republic jacket I got at Kohls for $12 after all the clearance and sales and coupons. Original price $90. Flag = $16. I paid more for the silly appliques than the jacket! But it turned out cute. Then I glued the tiger hair clips onto my Converse high tops = custom Mizzou shoes! Then I had to rush to get ready for the party.
Then Saturday morning my scratchy throat turned out to be a cold = this silly thing is going all around town. I managed to finish crafting... I turned a build a bear outfit into a dog harness for my Chihuahua Beaker. This poor dog won't wear clothes, but I made it fit like a harness and it was apparently okay for him to wear it? Dogs are so weird. Shirt = no good. Shirt + reinforcements and a loop for a leash = perfectly fine.
So off to tailgate #1. I parked pretty far away since i wanted to get in a good walk. Too far for the chihuahua though. I had to end up carrying him a bit after awhile. Hung out with my Biochem friends and a girl's family who bought the spot. Then my friends showed up from out of town. We went to two other tailgates = of course on the opposite side even further away from the 1st tailgate. So more walking. Then we had to get back to the cars walking against the crowd of people going into the football stadium.
Then back to my house to drop off the pooch and change. My J-crew pencil skirt was coming unraveled. Apparently I have too much awesome for the skirt (or I need to lose weight to be able to sit in it). Then back downtown for dinner at Flat Branch with my friends. We got a table pretty quick outside since there were no TVs to watch the football game on. Then right after dinner I got to go to a free comedy show office party. I was avoiding this place since I didn't want to bump into a guy.... which I did within 5 minutes of going into the place. But I may have a date with him tonight, so... we'll see.
Then after the comedy show, Sparky's ice cream. So good. So not on my approved food list. But... soooo good. Then back to my place (after a stop a a liquor store) to get some beers for my friends and a surprisingly good strawberry cider for me. Then only to get home to watch Doctor Who. They hadn't seen the last one (dinosaurs) so we rewatched that while they drank and fell asleep... so productive!
haha... then Sunday we got up for Brunch at a local place. Back to my place to actually watch the new Doctor Who episode. Then back into town for a movie at Ragtag (Celeste and Jesse Forever), then sushi which I hadn't really had before = actually good... Then froyo -- Keith got Sparky's again... then walked around the quad and watched some undergrads play Quidditch, I kid you not.
Then back downtown for an outdoor concert with Wilco. Then back to my place to watch SNL and fall asleep.
I woke up earlier than they did to have egg whites and fruit for breakfast... I can't eat out that much! They left and I got ready for work. I'm still sick, and my boss is breathing down my neck. *sigh* I had to go to walgreens to get some cold meds... and somehow chocolate made it into my hands at the register... and now its all gone... I'm alternating between chloroseptic drops and gum at this point to keep me from eating. I don't know what it is. The first two days of this cold I wasn't hungry at all. Now I'm STARVING. Like bottomless pit type of hungry. And I'm hydrated so I don't know what the deal is.
No weigh in today. I just didn't want to. Plus I started wearing jeans again as of yesterday. Um... yea... they were tight but they still fit. I was worried. Skirts and loose waistbands are not enough of an inducement to exercise. Struggling to pull up jeans sure as heck is!
So Monday is here. Work e-mails piled up to the roof. A huge chocolate fix... possibly a date even though I have the sniffles (that's okay right -- I blew him off twice before so I was surprised he even asked me out)... and I need to get back on track and WORK OUT. No More Excuses.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
This was my status this morning: SHRINKING_SARA is okay guys... I'm going to go step on the scale for my 2 week post-surgery, no-exercise break from the world. *I will not hate myself, I will just change what I see.
I went into my weigh-in with that mindset, and I was down another 2# of fluid from the surgery, so I'm only 5# above my pre-surgery weight. I'm going to ignore the 2# they cut off ;-) Isn't it weird. The days we step on the scale going, "I-kicked-butt-I-ate-well-I-worked-out-I'm
-awesome" are usually the days we get on the scale and say, "Wait, WHAT?!?!" and the days where we take a small breath, admit we weren't perfect and then step on the scale = it usually isn't that bad or better than we expected. If my bathroom wasn't so steamy I'd make a scale motivational board, lol.
So today I'm at 185. Not horrible. Way better than I used to be, and mentally so much tougher. I've been using reddit lately while avoiding Spark. Its weird to be giving out advice over there on r/loseit and cheering people on in r/progresspics but one of the funniest things is how much motivation I have to give people on r/tall. Tall people are just as insecure as overweight people -- let me tell you... Add being overweight + tall = you just can't hide and feel that everyone is looking at you. Now I've got tons of confidence and keep telling girls--who cares if you're tall, wear heels, they are CUTE! I'm going to post a blog of just my shoe collection. And just fyi -- I'm 5'10" and will be wearing 3-4" heels today like I've done all week ;-) So I'm actively NOT hiding in public anymore.
That's one thing I've come to realize. I haven't had many scale victories lately, but I've been killing it with the mental stuff. When I used to go out in public I used to always think, are people staring at me because I'm tall or because I'm fat? It was never are they looking at me because I'm pretty, or my clothes looks good, or even heck I'm in the way and they're looking behind me. It was always negative. Last week out with my mom for some reason I saw a bunch of people staring at me. (I was wearing a skirt -- which I never do) I asked her, you know now I wonder if I'm getting checked out (not started at, checked out people) because I'm really tall or if I'm pretty. Being my mom she of course said, well you were always pretty even when you were... *pause* ;-) So now after going on reddit.com/r/tall I've gained the tall confidence. Spark helped me gain the confidence to feel better about my weight and the positivity here just keeps me moving forward.
This past weekend at tailgating I felt like the attention seeking pretty girl in me was just waiting to get out. I never got this in my early twenties, teens, well heck EVER. So now the fact that I'm seen as a female, and apparently a pretty female from the male population is such a trip. Also I was wearing 5" heels at a tailgate (we just joined the SEC) -- so according to some of my friends "oh no, you're one of those girls now!" I had a ton of fun. I swear I don't know if I would be the person I am today if I didn't struggle with my weight for the first 25 years. I may have ignored my homework for dates, followed a boy around like a puppy, partied too much, made bad decisions, and not had the mental strength to achieve the things I have done. Now I feel like I need to not forget who I was, and just use the body I have now to keep moving forward. And I'm not done fixing it up yet either. I'm in this for the long haul.
I also measured my arms today since they were getting less puffy = 13"! They were 17" pre-surgery and 20" when I joined Spark and probably ~22+" when I was at my highest weight. Holy freakin' crap people. I have normal arms now. I put on a baby doll cut t-shirt yesterday and went to go grab a cardigan to cover myself up -- but then I looked in the mirror.... and I didn't need one. I didn't need a cardigan to cover up my arm fat or loose skin... I just had arms. Arm, arms. So I for one can say I am completely happy with my surgery. I have a minor revision coming up soon, but other than that, holy crap people.
So this is a positive day. Work has been less than stellar, there have been a lot of problems lately -- but thankfully I have a great excuse. And my boss just assumes I'm being a weak female recovering from a surgery I didn't need instead of a girl who's at home perfectly fine and working remotely to avoid him ;-)
Yesterday I needed a distraction to keep me from an emotional binge (I know a lot of people may have yesterday as well) -- so I turned to crafting. I made a TARDIS cardigan. I was planning on wearing it today but my skirts from Old Navy haven't gotten here yet. It's CUTE! I'm also working on a Halloween costume for Friday. Someone is moving to Africa next month and she's bummed that she's going to miss Halloween, so her going away party is a Halloween party! How freakin' cool is that! I get to have two halloweens! My favorite holiday! SO I'm going to attempt a TARDIS dress and a TARDIS mini-hat (hello by this point, if you're not a Doctor Who fan you're SO LOST). So I may continue crafting and avoid work. As a grad student I think it's okay for me to goof off every now and again... especially when my arms still hurt. It feels like my ligaments right now. In my forearms of all places.
I still have in all of my stitches and nylons. My aunt had minor brain surgery the Friday after I did and they already took out her stitches. My family keeps asking me why I still have mine in... I just have to keep reminding them my arms are literally being held together with stitches... You know when you think about it like that -- I'm only two weeks post surgery and I'm doing WAY TOO MUCH. I'm nuts. I haven't gotten back into working out like I said I was going to. But its okay. I will. That's the point.
I'm going off one of my medications (for irritable bowel syndrome). Guess what folks. I've cured a disease I've suffered with from the age of 17 with just diet and exercise. In the process though the doctors just kept prescribing me more and more drug. So I'm completely addicted. I've been lowering my dose, since I don't need it, gradually -- I'm a biochemist after all. But silly old me, I dropped it too low too quickly in the last week. This drug has basically put me to sleep for the last nine years *as one of its side effects. So last night I was up at 3am... cross stitching. I finished the cardigan and went to bed. Only to wake up at 7am like normal. I went back for another 2 hours, but that is not enough and its definitely not in the right time frame.
I need to get my sleep back on schedule, heal, and get back to working out. But I will give myself time and every time I step on the scale from now on, I'm going to :
2) Take a deep breath
3) Repeat: I will not hate myself, I will just change what I see
4) Realize that I am not a number, I'm just a really awesome person
Monday, September 10, 2012
Post surgery exercise restriction was killing me mentally. I tried to keep going on Spark, but I turned into a weirdo. Instead of being inspired by everyone working out and eating healthy I was jealous.
Green eyed monster jealous. But tomorrow will be 2 weeks post surgery and now I need to get back to that woo hoo workout mindset. I'm not doing any lifting, but there's no reason I can't do a 5k -- slowly -- on a treadmill, with barely any incline... right? I still haven't figured out the whole how the heck am I going to wear a sports bra for awhile (all of mine go over the head tightly) -- and running DOES hurt, so I will have to walk slowly...
So I'm thinking that I'm officially going to just work on my butt, legs, and abs this month. If its below the belt, its going to be stretched and toned and sore. Hey, the 5" heels I wore all night are still making my calves hurt today -- does that count as a workout ;-)
If you've noticed my absence, that's why. If you didn't notice my absence... well then... Hello. My name is Sara, and I'm back to Sparking so you'll be seeing a lot more of me.
Sunday, September 09, 2012
Okay to make this a bit easier on myself I’m just going to post links for the individual days. Its just easier to post photos on my Tumblr than on here. Also some of them are gross, so if you have a weak stomach you might not want to see the first week.
As I mentioned in a previous blog I had my brachioplasty on the 28th. So I’m just shy of my two week mark. The surgery itself went okay. I was just nervous excited for it to happen. Oh and IV in the neck people. Yea. Apparently the arm surgeries require an IV in the neck. Thankfully that didn’t go in until after I was asleep. I was in an out – one drain didn’t work… as soon as I got home I had blood pouring out of one of my incisions, so back to the surgery center we went… I’m kind of a smart a** so I walked in the front door (after calling ahead) and said – “I’m back, they screwed up.” – in the lobby full of patients waiting and their family members to go back into the surgery center. That got me into the back QUICK.
So post-surgery I got all weepy – bleeding everywhere, like everywhere in the back. They unwrapped my arm, added some more tape, and rewrapped the arm all up. Then back home. So I basically looked like this for the first two to three days:
Then on the following Friday I went back to say adios to my drain. I say drain because I cut the one out of my left arm because it didn’t do ANYTHING in over a day. My doc is still giving me crap about that… And here it is as my arms were unwrapped, right before they pulled it out: shrinking-sara.tumblr.com/ima
The one thing I was not prepared for was the edema. All in all the surgeons removed about 2#, one from each arm – more than even they expected. I had a lot of loose skin and fat, and muscle underneath! *holla*
Here’s a bit of a rant I had on day five post surgery. Day of surgery I weighed in at 179.4# — a low number for me! Yes! I was excited.
Cue to four days later post surgery (and four days of constipation later) I now am weighing in at 190!
Eep! I know a lot of it is in my guts and fluid buildup. I’m drinking a lot, but honestly the scale scared me a bit when I stepped on it. My mom asked me if I was going to eat crap while I recovered and then go back on my diet.
But hey — my arms are a normal size now. The scary scars are another story, but honestly those don’t bug me. Well they hurt like heck right now, but I don’t think I’ll let the scars bug me.
So right now all I’m wondering is how long will it take for my system to flush and let go of all of the inflammation and fluids its retaining? Cause I know I didn’t gain 12 pounds in five days — 10# gain and 2# of skin and fat removed.. *sigh* Silly body — go back to being amazing.
I can’t wait to seriously train. Being sedentary is like a prison sentence.
I was pretty black and blue that day: shrinking-sara.tumblr.com/ima
Then I started to decide to take pictures every day of my arms – aka part of my Tumblr project.
Six days after surgery, they started to look better! I was able to shower. It was good.
Taken with the right filter on instagram though and everything looks nasty: shrinking-sara.tumblr.com/pos
How I looked seven days post surgery… shrinking-sara.tumblr.com/pos
I managed to go into work for a bit in the morning. Now I’m working from home, and taking my group shots. My right arm does NOT want to go up in the air at all. I about died taking the pic the first time. But now I’m preeeeeetty yellow. No green yet, that should be coming soon.
This is exactly one week post surgery. About this time last week I had just gotten home, and blood started pouring down my side from one of the incisions, so we went right back to the doctor… braless, in a tanktop that barely kept me in… but with the bleeding and all I didn’t really care. So one week later, my mom is still here… but she’s cleaning everything, so… yea. She can stay.
Day 8: shrinking-sara.tumblr.com/pos
SO I forgot about taking a pictures until AFTER I got my cardigan on… and yea. Let’s just say getting dressed today took about fifteen minutes and the cardigan was a good seven of them. I’m in no way taking that sucker off just for a photo. Plus I need to get outta the house. I’m going to a trivia night in town.
Also my mom’s comment: You’re going to wear that?!? Now let me ask you — doesn’t this look cute together? Seriously moms… I’m hoping the cardigan would act a bit as a compression sleeve. Let me just say I am wearing a small cardigan — buttoned from H&M. I freakin love this store. The sizes are all way off compared to other stores — but in a holy-heck-that-makes-me-feel-amazing kind of a way.
Day 9: shrinking-sara.tumblr.com/pos
Last day *hopefully of the steri-strips and maybe stitches? I need to get a list of questions ready for my doc to be like — okay when is this stuff going to clear up.
As you can see — my right arm is a lovely shade of mustard. This is the arm that the drain didn’t work in — so obviously the painful drain in my left arm did its job marvelously.
I’m officially on my own. My momma went home today and cleaned my house before she left ;-) I’m still just going to keep sleeping on the couch propped up — the bed just hurts *there’s another question for the doc. I’m a side sleeper, so right now that’s torture…
I’m still in a lot of pain, but its probably my fault for doing too much.
Also not exercising has led to shopping and using reddit. Both bad habits. I will now own a gazillion skirts. *But I have been VERY obviously checked out walking in said skirts… so… maaaaybe this is just the time that I graduate out of my denim into said flowy skirts. Today’s leopard tank was matched with a blue cardigan and black pencil skirt. And 3” heels ;-) in the Animal Sciences Research Center where I work. I look like an alien down there! Cute mullet dress to come tomorrow!
Day 10: shrinking-sara.tumblr.com/pos
Yesterday I saw the doc… and did a lot of other stuff including getting downpoured on… hailed on… shopping… party… and a late night date. Lots of stuff! But you’ll see what happened at the doc in the next post… Plus I had a tailgate the next day so I had to do really cute nails ;-)
Day 11: The steri-strips are gone!!! Yes! The stitches and nylons are still in. My doc was mad that I cut one of my drains off because it wasn’t working and was getting in the way… so I secretly think he’s leaving the nylons in to see if I cut them off. These nylons stick out of my skin about 2” and look like fishing line. My fear is that someone will see it and pull!
I did that. So, never doing that EVER again. The doc says I’m healing well. My scars look really good and he’s going to fix the weird side boob scar thing on my right arm once the swelling goes down.
Plus today is a Tiger Tailgate Mizzou vs Georgia. I’m all decked out — I have a grey/black stripe cardigan to wear over my arms. Oh — and ridiculously awesome tiger nails ;-)
BTW—the spots on my arms are the leaves from the bush outside my window – not some crazy spots.
Day 12: shrinking-sara.tumblr.com/pos
So yesterday was the tailgate… I tailgated. Carried my chair and my bag… and took Pippa in a tutu – she was ADORABLE. I have pics of that on my Tumblr.
Then after tailgating I ran home with my friend Christina to clean up a bit and go out downtown to watch the game at a local bar. *GREAT IDEA*
Not so great idea today. I got a little drunk, danced like a fool, got hit on, got my arms bumped into way too much, wore 5” gold heels all night so I was 6’3” (holla tall girls!), and stayed out late. No bad decisions were made though, so I’m good. Well some were. You know when you drink and stuff doesn’t hurt as bad as it does when you’re sober (ie 5” heels for hours). Yea today I thought my arms were going to fall off. Well… let me rephrase. I WANT my arms to fall off they hurt so bad.
I only showered because I had to try on a dress to figure out how I’m altering it for a Halloween party this Thursday. Hahaha… it’s a theme going away party for someone so I’m so excited. If Hobby Lobby was open on Sunday’s I’d probably already be crafting. I swear to god I am so excited for what I’m about to do… But *Spoilers*
So I’m 12 days out – if I wasn’t as stupid last night I’d probably be feeling a bit better. But yesterday was SO MUCH FUN. I’m going out again next weekend – let me know if anyone’s coming to CoMO to tailgate!
I just took my last valium and I'm going to call it a night soon. My arms hate me. Seriously. It feels like they're trying to come off and hit me. So dumb move on my part thinking that less that two weeks post surgery I could be back to normal.
I did get a good walk in on Friday, and then obviously too much in on Saturday... I really can't wait to get back to training. I've taken these two weeks off of tracking my food. I'm using this traumatic surgery and food excess (well not restriction) to see if I can reset my metabolism and get over my plateau of 180. I have lost half of my fluid it seems, so once I get back to training I hopefully will kick butt and have some rocking arms. Is it bad that I still haven't posted a before photo? I guess I should. Its probably the valium talking, but here's a link to the before photos, the night before the surgery... shrinking-sara.tumblr.com/pos
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