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SHRINKING_SARA's Recent Blog Entries

Cardio! Woo hoo! Wait, ouch!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So I started back with my cardio. I'm a month post-surgery so I have no restrictions other than being lazy and out of shape. A week prior to surgery I did 3-10ks. A month later, I'm huffing and puffing after 30 minutes. Pouring in sweat at a low speed. It's crazy how fast your fitness disappears! That was Sunday.

Cut to yesterday when I thought, I can do better. I got up to 50 minutes at a 5% incline. Not too shabby. I also upped the speed a bit more to push myself. One weird thing happened though. When I was really pushing my heart rate up, my forearm started to hurt. Not bad. More like, hmm, that's uncomfortable and not normal. So I'm going to watch it to see if it keeps up or if its just a temporary thing while I get back into shape. Regardless I'm going to bring it up to the plastic surgeon at my appointment in four weeks. Hopefully by then I'll know if its a problem or if I have the go ahead to just keep using it and its not an issue. (And hopefully in four weeks I'll also be below 180).

I was afraid after my weekend binges that I would magically be at like 190. Nope -- 183. I don't know why I'm so afraid that any little slip up will magically add 25,000 calories worth of weight to my body. I'm four pounds higher than my pre-surgery weight, and with the 12# of fluid gain and not really exercising for a month, I am A OK with that. Hopefully this metabolic reset will let me push past my plateau.

I've been planning ahead on meals this week *go me! I cut up 2 cantaloupes, 1 pineapple, 1 honeydew, 2 pounds of strawberries, and a quarter pint of raspberries and doled it out into containers in my fridge. I spent a hour doing it though... and only two knife cuts at the very end. But now my fridge is jam packed with fruit that I have to eat before it goes bad, so I will not be grabbing chocolate or some other filler.

I also stocked up on egg whites and chicken breasts. I am being a boring old hag when it comes to my food lately, but it seems to be working. I know last summer I lost most of my weight by eating grilled chicken and veggies every night. Now that I'm tracking my calories, its a big *no duh* moment. I had been slacking with my calories, so now I'm focused. I want to look damn good with my new arms. They cost enough, so why not show them off, lol. *as winter approaches and I bundle up*

That's basically it... some crazy drama with online dating. One guy turned stalker-ish last night... haven't had that happen yet. New guy tonight. I'm trying to be all non-chalant about this. I am the queen of first dates.... and not in a good way.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JELLEN726 9/28/2012 1:13PM

    Gotta kiss a lotta toads....You will get there. But be careful of those crazies!! emoticon emoticon

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CHSHULER89 9/26/2012 4:32PM

    Great job mentally and physically!! It's amazing how our bodies work! Good job on your food planning! Rock on!! emoticon

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GIRLAWESOME 9/26/2012 2:40PM

    Good job on focusing on knowing what works. I find that when i do the "boring eating" it seems to work the best because i am being so cautious.
You bundle up those arms this winter and work them strong, and then BAM come spring when its back to tank tops people are gonna FREAK OUT about how amazing you look.

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BUTT0N 9/26/2012 1:29PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Photo story from a woman who lost 160# in a year

Monday, September 24, 2012

From NPR:
At the end there's a link to her personal website showing more NSFW nude/art photos of her transformation. The article has a safe slideshow.

Losing 160 Pounds, One Photo At A Time
Categories: Daily Picture Show
05:00 am

September 24, 2012


After her wedding in 2009, artist Julia Kozerski decided to drastically change her lifestyle. She lost 160 pounds in one year — and documented the transition with her iPhone.

Her series — called "Changing Room" — was shot in various dressing rooms in 2010 and 2011. Her body was changing so rapidly that she kept trying on clothes as a way of exploring her identity.

Courtesy of Julia Koze
At the time, Kozerski was attending the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and working on a nude portrait series called "Half." She never intended to publish the photos — they were simply a personal exercise. But a year later, she decided to share the "raw, uncensored and unrestricted 'behind-the-scenes' look" of her transformation.

As for how she lost the weight? She stopped eating junk food, started walking and biking daily, counted calories, and weighed and measured her food portions. (You can see a BodyBugg armband in many of the photos.)

I recently caught up with her by email to ask a few questions about the project:

The Picture Show: You say that this was not an intentional photo series. What do you think about when you look at the photos now?

Kozerski: "Even though these images were taken years ago, when I look back at them, I become extremely emotional. I can still remember the experience presented in each image. I recall the thrills of trying on smaller sizes and the satisfaction of feeling more attractive, even sexy. More so, I remember the devastation of not recognizing the person reflected back to me in the mirror."

These photographs, and others on your site, are very personal, and quite revealing of your physical body. What are your motivations for revealing so much of your private self in your photographs?

"When I began my physical transformation, it was a very private experience. I never intended to share such revealing and personal details with anyone.

"One day, I printed a seemingly abstract, close-up shot of my skin, stretch marks and all, and posted it on the wall during a critique in college. My instructors and fellow students were intrigued. Everyone was very supportive, and I was encouraged to continue my visual explorations.

"... I began taking more risks. More skin was shown, then more of my body, then my face ... It was gradual. Eventually I became comfortable with seeing myself, having others see me, and speaking about my experiences."

Was the act of taking these photos inspirational for you as you worked on your weight loss?

"As I worked toward losing weight, the iPhone photos were mainly ways for me to pause my progress (even if only for a split second). I lost over 160 pounds in one year. It was a full-time job being a newlywed, a first-time homeowner, a full-time college student and a caretaker for my ill parents. Needless to say, that time in my life was overwhelming. Looking back, I needed these photographs. These images allowed me to outright see that I was making progress. Without them, I am not sure I would have had the motivation to move forward."

What message do you hope that viewers will take away from your series?

"A sense of motivation. We all have things we wish we could change about ourselves or our lives. Big change can happen; start small."

View the entire set of photos from "Changing Room" here.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNNIERN 9/26/2012 8:54PM

    Thanks for sharing the info. Her work is very interesting and I loved watching the transformation during the changing room series.

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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 9/25/2012 11:50AM

    Thanks for sharing!!

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BESCAIFE 9/24/2012 10:32PM

    Isn't that amazing? Very inspirational, and it makes me wish that I had the forethought to take more pictures through my progress. She was actually on SP right when I started in 2010 but left the community shortly thereafter.

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BEXXYOH 9/24/2012 9:51PM

    Beautiful and haunting- thanks so much for sharing.

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I ate like a fat kid...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ugh. I ate like a fat kid all weekend. And I feel like crap today = coincidence? I think not.

I went home on Thursday to spend the weekend and pick up my new laptop. It was also my grandma's 93rd birthday so I went out to dinner with her and my parents. So she's 93... losing her memory, very frail, kind of like taking care of a 3 year old when it comes to eating. I basically did that. My mom was on some terrible anxiety crab fest, and my dad was stressed out and annoyed so I tried to make the best out of the situation.

Then we tried to get dinner. I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries -- it was one of the best looking things on the fried, country fried, and slathered in grease menu. Then it came. The bun was MASSIVE people. Like comically so. So I took one bite, thought --its not worth it... then tried to eat the chicken. Blah blah blah -- it was bad. So were the fries. So was the dessert I ordered.

Cut to the country store. I bought a blackberry pie and custard to share with my friends later that night... People, I ate three slices of that pie and a ton of custard. *gasp* my calorie counter just died a little. And I guarantee it was partially stress eating from being around my parents but it was also a bit of, holy crap PIE! (the fat kid in me saw pie... and couldn't resist).

Then the next day I got up -- ate egg whites (after a slice of pie *blush*) and got my shop on. I need tights. I bought all these cute skirts and I don't want to stop wearing them just because its going to be freezing outside soon. Buuut I'm 5'10". I had a love/hate/hate/hate relationship with tights. Being both tall and a size 22 made finding tights impossible. I often used to break or bust my tights just putting them on since I had to stretch them to the max to get the height right.

So I bought tights this weekend at H&M, Nordstrom Rack, and Target. I'll see what works, but I kind of went overboard on the whole buying tights thing. Now I actually need to wear them! As a tip for other talls, I am still buying plus size tights when I can just to ensure they're long enough. I had a cashier look at me, look at the tights I was buying and ask me if I got the wrong size. I was in 3" heels though, so she went, or is it a height thing? Most tights stop at 5'10" and 160-175 pounds... I'm over that, so I upsize the tights as much as possible.

I also did some more shopping. I got a few sweaters from the Banana Republic outlet and a new pair of skinny boot cut jeans from the Gap. I'm actually going to try and rock jeans IN the boots this year. I didn't last year because I thought my waist to hip ratio would make me look funny... I don't know what I was smoking, but my ratio hasn't changed that much and I can't wait to get out my boots this fall. I may even wear tights with boots with skirts! Haha, its a whole new wardrobe and if you can't tell = clothes + fashion = LOVE.

After I got home I ate preeeetty badly again. I didn't have plans for that night so I stayed in with my parents and my new laptop working on getting it in order and transferring my old computer over. I thought I'd be spending time with my mom so she wouldn't complain, but she hid out away from me... She's turning agoraphobic again, so I'm trying to not let that stress me out too much.

Saturday was a big *bleh* why did I eat that day. I got up early to go to a Farmer's Market. I bought some kettle corn there *cause its crack cocaine in popcorn form, some fresh bread for my parents, and some really good teas. Then I had breakfast out with friends, I tried to get good options, then we hit up a cupcake store. They were getting some for later... and somehow I walked out with 4. 4 gourmet cupcakes. I ate three of them this weekend. +one that my friends bought. So I ate 4 cupcakes this weekend and a third of a pie. WHAT AM I DOING?!!?!

I could blame Shark Week for this but I'm not going to. This was all me not being prepared and falling prey to peer pressure. I think its official. I can't move back home or I will gain all of the weight back. I think having my own space away from my old friends (that I lived with during my fat years aka my whole life before 23) is beneficial.

Literally the first thing I did when I got home was throw everything out of the car, breathe, change, and get on my treadmill. I haven't done that since the surgery. I bought a tight fitting long sleeved running shirt to compress my arms. I went slow and could only do 30 minutes, but it was a start. I felt like pushing myself after all of the crap I ate this weekend, but I know that wouldn't be the best for the long run. So yay, cardio! *cough, cough* I am so out of shape!

Today I need to get some work done, go buy a cable for my new computer, and go get healthy groceries!!!! I am in desperate need of a detox after this weekend. I did get a lot of "holy crap you look great" or "daaaaayuuumn" from people I saw from high school at my hometown street festival. That was pretty encouraging, and it reminded me to keep on and get back on track. I look good now. I want to look even better, and I want to stay that way.

Exercise and diet are the keys for me moving forward. I'm a month post-surgery tomorrow and I'm getting back into my old workout routine ASAP! I need it. It's my therapy. Exercise is my drug and I'm an addict! Now I just need to clean up my kitchen and I've got this in the bag.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERENEART 9/24/2012 9:25PM

    emoticon I understand where your coming from.

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CHSHULER89 9/24/2012 7:27PM

    Know the feeling... Ready this week to get going! Too many bdays and fall comfort foods. My y weight meetings start back tomorrow nite after off for the last month. I've done ok, but the #'s will tell. I feel great, love getting those wonderful comments. Also enjoyed the shopping, a new slender jacket and tried on jeans i and can fit a size down! We can do it so keep up that positive attitude!! U rock! emoticon

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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 9/24/2012 7:04PM

    What was with this weekend?? I too, could not keep the food out of my mouth!!

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LEB0401 9/24/2012 2:10PM

    1. Don't you absolutely hate it when something you order at a restaurant is neither nutritious nor tasty? What a waste!!! That keeps happening to me more and more, I've almost sworn off restaurants all together. Like.. I could make better and healthier food at home thankyouverymuch.

2. I too ate like a fatty this weekend. Beer, pumpkin bread pudding, and white chocolate chip brownies. I'm now in detox mode.. we got this!

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Carpet Burn from too many crunches

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My arms are sore from yesterday’s strength training exercises, or from the fact that the back of my arms are so numb I may have given myself carpet burn doing crunches because I couldn’t feel it… whoops… the weird things I’m going to have to get used to after brachioplasty…

In other news—I’m working to get my Abs back! Those suckers started to disappear after three weeks away from exercise. I want them back ASAP!

I just updated my Tumblr with about a week's worth of recovery photos... I think its getting better. I'm still not ready to rock my scars in public yet, but its getting better. They don't hurt. The pain I have is from exercising my muscles back into existence which is much better than surgery pain. It's pain I feel that is accomplishing something. I'm going to stupidly try to really weight train my arms before my next doctors appointment right before Halloween... 1) to look good for the Doctor and show my dedication to getting some guns and 2) to rock a sleeveless look on Halloween no matter how freakin' cold it is!!!

Last year I wore a fitted t-shirt on Halloween and was proud of myself. This year's goal = sleeveless. Plus awesome scars are kind of praised on Halloween right?! Haha... that's one way to look at it anyway.

For the pics go to my Tumblr:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHEEKY1000 9/19/2012 9:30PM

    Okay Who-Sister, I just saw your photos and OUCH! Maybe the bruising wasn't painful, but it looked like it. I think you look fantastic--adorable! Woot woot!

Glad I read this. I was contemplating skipping my workout because I am sooooo not up for cardio, but that doesn't mean I can't get in some abs and arms. Thanks for the reminder/guilt-trip. LOL

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SHRINKING_SARA 9/19/2012 9:17PM

    Thanks. I am taking it slow. I just didn't realize how far spread my numb areas are. It's almost making it feel like my arms are suspended in mid air and not touching the ground. It's like some kind of weird phantom arm skin thing... I'll adjust but I'm definitely going to be more careful next time.

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LISA_FRAME 9/19/2012 9:11PM


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SUSIEGKORN 9/19/2012 9:03PM

    Just checked out your pics on your other blog. Your arms are looking so much better! The scars look good (healing wise:) and the bruising and swelling is diminishing! Woo-hoo! I worry about you over-doing it though. Please be patient and don't push too hard, too soon. I care about your well-being.....listen to what your body is telling you. Promise?

Comment edited on: 9/19/2012 9:05:38 PM

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MJ7DM33 9/19/2012 8:44PM


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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 9/19/2012 8:38PM

    Good luck, don't push too crazy hard!!

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LATTELEE 9/19/2012 8:34PM

  Good luck

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Dear Abs, please come back.

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNA5281 9/19/2012 10:08AM

  You are doing a wonderful job getting back on your feet. I like the"tiger stripes" idea.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/19/2012 10:10:05 AM

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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 9/18/2012 10:27PM

    I like the "tiger stripes" thing too!! Makes me feel better about these stretch marks. I'm glad you're so happy with it all!!

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CHEEKY1000 9/18/2012 8:23PM

    Like you, I tend to prefer repetitive exercises. It's the only time during my day that I get to zone out. Maybe that's why I don't mind a treadmill like some people do. I don't have to pay attention to traffic or anything. Just focus on whatever movie I have playing DVD workouts annoy me too because I have to pay attention. LOL So, I'm totally with you sister.

I love the quote about the tiger's stripes. I see my stretch marks as battle wounds. I'm fighting one tough enemy, and I deserve to claim them as battle scars. I have difficulty remembering this all of the time, but when I do, it helps.

Glad to hear you're healing well! Woohoo!!

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