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300 days and counting, healing and moving forward

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

At the beginning of this week I was panicked about losing my exercise streak. Consecutive exercise has been a theme for me and a way to keep linked to my journey to a healthier me. After the first 100 days, I was down 40 lbs and had inspired several other to join my 100 day challenge. Now over 200 days later, many people have successfully completed the 100 day challenge and are now inspiring others. What began as very difficult for me, became routine over time. Before I go to bed every night I think about when I am going to exercise the next day: do I have to get up early to do it? Do I need to bring gym clothes to work? Do I need to do five 10 minute segments at different times during the day? No matter what challenges the day offered me I was always able to get it done. The hardest days were days I was feeling sick (interestingly though, it never made me feel sicker, it is just harder to motivate yourself when you don't feel well). Most days were enthusiastic, but yes, there were plenty of days I was just doing it to get it done.

So when I found out I needed surgery one of my first thoughts was: oh no! what about my exercise? I talked to my surgeon about it and her suggestion was that I exercise the morning of the surgery before coming to the hospital and then the next day in the evening so that I would have some time to recover. She also gave me strict limitations: no running, no jogging, no elliptical, no lifting weights, no jumping jacks, no sit-ups, no jumprope, no swimming, no true core strengthening activities. What does that leave: walking... So that is what I did. The morning of my surgery I got up super early and put in 45 minutes on the elliptical. It was a great workout because I knew it was my last killer workout for at least 2 weeks. Next came the surgery and it's complications which I have already blogged about. Waking up and being told that your heart stopped during surgery is truly scary. Other than a broken rib from CPR, and small scars from the laparoscopic surgery, I feel the same. After initial heart workup was negative, I was cleared to walk. So days 305 and 306 (today and yesterday) I walked...5 miles yesterday, 7 today. That leaves exactly 59 days to make a consecutive year. I may just make it yet....


Here is me today, post-op day 2 from my laparosopic gallbladder surgery. Belly is still really distended and tight, but look how small the scars are! Small broken rib is on the lower right side near the last cut. I feel lucky to be healing so quickly and I think it is largely due to being fit. My journey toward health has been so much more than weight loss.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IPATRICIA 5/30/2010 6:05PM

    Well Done..what can I say, what can anybody say. This is commitment.WOW. When I returned to Sparkpeople with all my weight back on, it was your page that inspired me most so I joined your 100 day challenge. I failed 3/4 times, I really believed that I had an excuse each time, but after seeing what you have gone through, and the commitment to let NOTHING come between you and your commitment, has me humbled.You have led your team from the front. So I start again tomorrow, I am not waiting for the 1st of June. Tomorrow I start Day One again.

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MIRIAM1709 5/28/2010 4:57AM

    You are such an inspiration!

I love that you let nothing get in your way of achieving your goals!

Hope you will recover quickly!

Miriam
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SMOKINGUN 5/27/2010 6:49PM

    Someone else mentioned it and you did not emphasize the truly amazing feat you have acomplished. You are a truly amazing young lady. I know your recovery from the heart stoppage and your ability to progress with the continued exercise is due to strong committement you have and the success you have had in becoming a truly fit and trim young woman. You already know how proud i am but you will never know how happy I am the outcome of the surgery was successful. Continue your venture and be successful everyday in no matter what you do. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RENEEW2010 5/27/2010 6:30PM

    emoticon

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SHRINKINGRACHEL 5/27/2010 5:47PM

    You motivated me to get off my can, even though I had a crick in my neck and something pulled in my shoulder, and get on my treadmill! I mentioned you in my blog, I hope that's ok.

Anyway, thank you so much for inspiring me so much! The next 59 days will fly by, and after that, the next year as well!

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MEEBELO 5/27/2010 5:06PM

    You're an inspiration!!

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TEENY_BIKINI 5/27/2010 4:51PM

    You are simply amazing. Your determination and gutsiness is sheer inspiration. I would have never even thought about the exercise, but you are a true warrior in every sense. I am so proud of you.

You rock.

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ATROTTIER 5/27/2010 12:55PM

    Very impressive - you are a true motivator!!! =)

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SOOTHINGGLOW 5/27/2010 8:20AM

    Congratulations on your streak and it is so inspiring to see that NOTHING should stop any of us from getting our exercise in every day no matter what.
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LULUTHELEO 5/27/2010 7:45AM

    What an inspiration you are!!! emoticon

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SHANTRA 5/27/2010 7:36AM

    You look so good and your pick up is great but my goodness.. you just died and came back to life.. be careful!

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HIPPICHICK1 5/27/2010 7:26AM

    You're awesome!!

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FRENCHTOSD 5/27/2010 3:17AM

    I think those pants are too big :)

You are amazing and you continue to inspire me.

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BRENDY_28 5/26/2010 11:46PM

    awesome! :D

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NEWME0519 5/26/2010 11:32PM

    Awesome! You are definitely going to make the next 59 days!

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COACHDNUKE 5/26/2010 10:55PM

    You seem to be able to impress me every day.

ENJOY THE RIDE (walk)
Dennis

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ANNE7X7 5/26/2010 10:24PM

    My streak is what keeps me going too!! I am currently at 143 days, and I really hope I can keep it going! You are a trooper for pushing through despite the hurdles!

And you looks absolutely AMAZING!!

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PENGUITO 5/26/2010 10:15PM

    Wow! You are truly amazing! Surgery: for you, it's just a little speedbump :)

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HARMONYBLUE 5/26/2010 9:10PM

    LOL when I scheduled my surgery earlier this year, that was the first question I asked "When can I start exercising again?" I am impressed, girl. And yes, tiny scars for a TINY waist. Your belly is so flat! So glad your healthy habits are allowing for such a speedy recovery.

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JEANNETTE59 5/26/2010 8:58PM

  You continue to amaze emoticon emoticon and emoticon

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CALLIKIA 5/26/2010 8:52PM

    I'm so, so, so happy you came out of that surgery and are still able to continue with your goals. You've shown us all that (if we consult with our doctors first) there are no place for excuses!

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SHRINKINGRACHEL 5/26/2010 8:38PM

    WOW! How wonderful that you are able to continue your exercise! One whole year of being active will fly by! And I agree, time for some new shorts!!!!

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KITHKINCAID 5/26/2010 8:01PM

    Wow. A friend of mine just had the same surgery you did, but she certainly wasn't walking 5 miles the next day. You are truly amazing!

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LOOZINITNOW 5/26/2010 8:00PM

    You are truly amazing! I really look up to you for motivation and inspiration. By the way, those pants look slightly big. You are so skinny!!! emoticon

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13-1GIRL 5/26/2010 7:44PM

    you are SUPERWOMAN, I can't believe you walked post-op day 1 with a BROKEN rib..YOU GO GIRL!!

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BARBARAROCKSIT 5/26/2010 7:42PM

    I'm putting my money on you Hollynn!!

You are awesomeness.

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Happy to be Alive

Monday, May 24, 2010

Today I am thankful to be alive.

I was scheduled for a routine laparospopic gallbladder surgery today and had a rare complication when they put air into the abdomen: my heart stopped for over a minute. Both of the surgeons operating on me are friends of mine and I think their hearts stopped as well. I rec'd CPR and medicines to restart the heart and it started seconds later.

I don't think I have totally processed this event yet. It is a RARE, unpredictabe event. It is a chance to reflect on how lucky I am for so many blessings in my life. I realize that 93 lbs ago my body may have reacted very differently, so most of all I am grateful to be the healthy person I am today, healthy heart and a chance to wake up and continue on my journey today. Life is the ultimate reward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADVENTURE-GIRL 6/21/2010 11:27AM

    I am so glad that you are okay.
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JAN1031 6/7/2010 5:07PM

    I'm so glad your feeling better and you are ok, I'm thanking the good Lord you are back on your Spark page and what life is, a miracle by the minute. You never realize how short it can be.
Many Blessings my friend,
Janis emoticon

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MYLUCKCHARM 6/1/2010 5:56AM

    I am so thankful you made it through your surgery. I'll keep think of you and stopping by your page. Crazy, we both had our gallbladder out within a month of each other. I wish you a quick recovery and don't try to do too much to fast like I want to do! I don't take life for granted or forget to say I love you to my husband everyday. Life is a Gift enjoy every moment.

Comment edited on: 6/1/2010 6:00:07 AM

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JSTCHLIN 5/28/2010 9:13AM

    OMG! I just got back from vacation and read this. I am so happy to hear everything is OK now and you are even back Sparking.

Take care and stay healthy
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SPUNKYDUCKY 5/26/2010 5:59PM

    Thanks for all of the well wishes. I am feeling a bit better today :)

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COACHDNUKE 5/26/2010 2:15PM

    WOW
Like my routine/simple surgery, this makes us realize ITS STILL SURGERY and surgery can be dangerous. I am thankful that you are well and getting stronger. You have been an amazing inspiration to me (I know I have said it 1000s of times, but its for real).
THANK YOU
Dennis

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SBHPATRICK 5/26/2010 8:20AM

    Oh, thank goodness you had wonderful care. Thinking of you.

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DJS-DEBBIE 5/25/2010 11:03PM

    Glad you are OK!

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MAGNORK517 5/25/2010 10:54PM

    Oh my! That is so scarry, I am so happy to hear that you are ok. Losing this weight may have truly saved your life- it's hard to know how the heart would have responded with an extra 90 lbs. Take it easy!

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JEANNETTE59 5/25/2010 8:25PM

  We tend to forget how fragile life is, and to give thanks everyday. Today I am thankful that you are now on the road to recovery emoticon

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LESLIES537 5/25/2010 5:14PM

    WOW! Thank the Lord you are okay! Things like these bring a lot into persepective, huh? You've got angels watching over you. emoticon

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SHRINKINGRACHEL 5/25/2010 4:47PM

    Someone was watching your back! So glad that you're alright! I agree completely, 93lbs adds a lot of stress to your body, and there's no telling what might have happened!

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LESLIES537 5/25/2010 4:12PM

    WOW! Thank GOD you are okay! emoticon emoticon

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BRANDI0074 5/25/2010 3:59PM

    So thankful that you are ok! Hope you are feeling better soon!!!!

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GLAMIT 5/25/2010 3:58PM

    WOW girl that is crazy. I am so glad you are still here with us. Take it easy.

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AMANDAEA129 5/25/2010 3:53PM

    Thank goodness you're okay emoticon

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DIGBOI 5/25/2010 2:04PM

    Glad to know you are doing ok. emoticon emoticon

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ATROTTIER 5/25/2010 11:23AM

    Now that is something everyone cannot blog about - so happy to hear that everything worked out. Good point about the extra weight could have had made for a different outcome, so scary to realize that. Best wishes - take care!!

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MCOGHLAN 5/25/2010 10:05AM

    Wow, thank god you're okay. I'm sure it really makes you glad that you decided to start this healthy journey.

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LCHADBOURNE 5/25/2010 9:56AM

    Oh my GOSH, that is so scary! Glad to hear that you are OK!!

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JOOLIE3 5/25/2010 9:36AM

    God Bless and Godspeed on a safe recovery. Gratitude on the heels of panic is a heckofa thing.

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SHANTRA 5/25/2010 9:34AM

    Oh WOW. I was horrified to read this and so happy you made it through. And I agree almost 100lbs ago the outcome might have been very different. Wonderful for you to realize this and celebrate life! emoticon

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ANNE7X7 5/25/2010 9:25AM

    So glad you are okay! That is scary!!

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POOHLA711 5/25/2010 9:00AM

    Thank goodness you are ok!

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ANEILSON 5/25/2010 8:34AM

    So glad that you're ok. emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 5/25/2010 8:11AM

    So glad to hear that you are okay. Hugs!!!! emoticon

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LOSINGITALL4ME 5/25/2010 7:58AM

    Thank goodness your good friends were able to save you. How scary! Now you can move on to recovery and getting more health every day. Glad you are okay!

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DEE845 5/25/2010 7:40AM

    It is probably both scary and comforting to know that there are bigger plans for your life. So lets LIVE it no one else! emoticon

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IPATRICIA 5/25/2010 6:24AM

    emoticon Well thank God you made it through. You are a 'Spunkyducky'.

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 5/25/2010 5:09AM

    It's wonderful that you are able to recognize the miracle of every day! I'm so happy to hear that you are ok! Have a wonderful week! emoticon

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FRENCHTOSD 5/25/2010 12:33AM

    ...and she blogs on the same day!

You are a true miracle, Hollynn. I'm so glad you are feeling strong enough to tell us about it. I'm praying for a very speedy recovery.

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SWEETNEENI 5/24/2010 11:50PM

    Thank God you are OK! emoticon

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BRILLIANTAQUA 5/24/2010 11:00PM

    I'm so happy that you made it through!! and are doing well enough to Spark! Hope you have a quick recovery!

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LAWRALOO 5/24/2010 10:52PM

    I'm sooooo glad you're okay. I can't imagine how scary that must have been for you. Take care of yourself and keep us updated! *hugs*

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13-1GIRL 5/24/2010 10:48PM

    Sooo GLAD YOU ARE OKAY!! It is the CURSE of being a medical professional!! I know you know what I mean!! ((hugs))

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BRENDY_28 5/24/2010 10:45PM

    That is some scary stuff. Thank God you're OK. :)

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HARMONYBLUE 5/24/2010 10:43PM

    I am so happy to hear you are well enough to Spark and happy you had such talented surgeons and such a healthy body to bounce back today!

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HIPPICHICK1 5/24/2010 10:35PM

    Holy Toledo! That is some scary stuff sister! I'm really happy to hear that you're alright.

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Public Service Announcement - Read this!

Monday, May 17, 2010



So I have been speeding forward on the weight loss train until recently. Then two months ago I started having stomach pains. To make a long story short I found out that I have gallstones. Since I am a certified ultrasonographer and have seen my (previously empty) gallbladder many times on ultrasound, I was shocked to see those stones. Where did they come from?

Interesting answer actually. How many of you knew that high rates of gallstone formation are associated with low calorie diets and significant weight loss? I didn't know it and I am a physician. So I did some research on this subject for my Sparkies. In contrast to the general population in which many gallstones are asymptomatic, persons with gallstones secondary to weight loss are much more likely to be symptomatic and require surgery. Caucasians and women are especially high risk for development of gallstones. Other risk factors include increasing age, pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives or estrogen replacement, family history of gallstones and ironically, obesity (can't win if you are heavy, can't win if you lose weight - not fair!!!)

Symptoms of gallstones (cholelithiasis) include right sided upper abdominal pain, sometimes with pain radiating to the right shoulder or to the back between the shoulder blades. Pain usually occurs withini 60-90 minutes of eating and lasts for 20-30 minutes in mild attacks and then gradually improves. People may have nausea and vomiting. Pain does not improve with antacids, positional changes or vomiting. Severe attacks can last for hours. Fatty foods are more likely to cause attacks.

Can gallstone formation be prevented in weight loss? The answer is maybe... A medicine called Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) 600 mg one daily at night can reduce rates of gallstone formation according to at least one study (Annals of Internal Medicine 1995: 122:899). I am not giving medical advice here, simply suggesting that if you have lost > 20% of your body fat and are still losing more, consider discussing it with your doctor.

So where does that leave me?
Yup, surgery next Monday, May 24th to have my gallbladder removed. Ultrasound shows over 40 stones in my gallbladder so it is too late for me to prevent it. On the upside - I bet it weighs at least 5lbs with all those stones in it :)

Closing thoughts: I was complaining to one of my friends about having to have surgery and how unfair life can be (shouldn't I get rewarded for losing over 30% of my body weight?) Here is what my friend replied: "Which would you rather have the stones or the weight?"

Easy answer...I'll take the stones every time

This is just a bump in the proverbial road!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 10/18/2011 9:25AM

    I had never heard of this, but I am sitting in the Hospital right now with a Diagnosis of Pancreatitus (sp?) and Gall Stones. Most probably surgery later this week.
emoticonActually I wouldn't change a thing, and I am glad that I didn't know this ahead of time. I would have been afraid I was imagining the pain.

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RICCILYNN 7/22/2010 4:23PM

    I know that was something they checked for before lapband but have not been concerned about it since I've lost my weight... could be an issue, but not yet - thank God! Hope all is well for you!

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FELICE73 7/22/2010 11:47AM

    Stones also come from pregnancy hormones! I had mine removed in 98 after the birth of my daughter!!

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DIGBOI 6/11/2010 9:37PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge about gall stones with us. emoticon

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NZGODDESS 6/7/2010 11:19PM

    Thanks for sharing that Hollynn. Hope you're feeling much better!

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CHRISGETTINGFIT 5/24/2010 10:48PM

    Thanks for the information!!

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SMOKINGUN 5/21/2010 7:09PM

    Thank you for telling everyone of the possibilities so they may take preventive action while continuing on their journey through weight loss. You and Ron are great inspirations to all sparkies and I am proud to be one of them. I definitely will be thinking of you on Monday, as I do daily. Love you Dad

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COACHDNUKE 5/21/2010 6:20PM

    I think I will be making an appt with my Doc SOON. Thanks for the info, I havent had any pain yet, BUT...

What buzz words should I use so they will do the test to see if I have developed stones yet???

Ultimately I agree Weight or stones, I will take the stones.

Dennis

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BATTISTOLI 5/19/2010 3:24PM

    you look great for all the work you have done. good luck on your surgery! thank you for the advice and knowledge!

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MYSHERIANN 5/19/2010 1:19PM

    WOW- Thank you so much for sharing!!! Love how you are using this experience to SHARE, THINKING POSITIVE, AND LOSING 5LBS! :)

I will be sure to talk to my doctor about this......thank you for helping others during this time!!!

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OCEANS241 5/19/2010 10:42AM

  Gorgeous picture of you!
I hope your surgery goes well and you have a very quick recovery :-) emoticon

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KARVY09 5/19/2010 8:40AM

    Best of luck with your surgery and recovery. You'll push through!

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RUNNINGNP2B 5/19/2010 8:39AM

    Good luck with your surgery!!!

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LOOZINITNOW 5/18/2010 10:11PM

    OMG Hollynn! What weird timing. I am going in tomorrow morning for an ultrasound on my stomach because I have been experiencing some symptoms. I hope it's a false alarm. Prayers you get to feeling better and thanks for the info!

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SHERBERT28 5/18/2010 8:32PM

    Thanks for sharing that information!! Good luck with your surgery! You look absolutely fabulous!! emoticon

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JEANNETTE59 5/18/2010 1:37PM

  Thanks for the research and the sharing. Love your friend for helping you find the silver lining. emoticon emoticon

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ATROTTIER 5/18/2010 11:39AM

    Wow - thanks for sharing the information. So sorry you have to go through this, I think I will bring this up to my doc when I see him next. I'll be thinking great thoughts for you next week!!!

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MEGSFITNESS 5/18/2010 11:13AM

    That's pretty scary :(

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PIR8CHIK 5/18/2010 11:05AM

    Thanks for the great info!

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CALLIKIA 5/18/2010 10:55AM

    Dang! Can't win, can we? Well, thank you for the information and wishing you the best with your surgery!

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SHANTRA 5/18/2010 10:39AM

    I had heard that gallstones could happen if weight loss is too rapid. On the other hand I had a gall bladder attack last month and haven't lost much at all. But I am not surprised you think it is worth it, you look absolutely fabulous! Best of luck with the surgery sweetie.

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FAITH0405 5/18/2010 10:35AM

    You are doing so great with your weight loss!! I hate that you ended up with gallstones because of it! We will be keeping you in our prayers next week for your surgery, and a fast recovery! HUGS!!

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GERIKRAGH 5/18/2010 10:35AM

    I had gastric bypass and had to be on special meds for gallstone prevention. It was explained to me then about rapid weight loss and gall stone formation. Otherwise, I wouldn't have known about it.

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PSHANKEY 5/18/2010 10:25AM

    Keeping you in my prayers. I agree it doesn't seem "fair" but I like your friends comment and totally agree with your answer! Keep us posted.

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MSSUNBUG 5/18/2010 10:16AM

    The moniker I always heard for risk factors for gallstones was something like "the four f's": fat, fair, female, and forty(ish) (most of which apply or almost apply to me). I didn't know they develop from a low-calorie diet. It's good to know though since I do, in fact, have gallstones sitting in my gallbladder. They don't presently cause me pain of any kind, but I have dealt with my fair share of chronic nausea and GERD over the years.

Anyway, I digress. I wish you the best on your surgery and hope you feel much better when it's removed!

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HARMONYBLUE 5/18/2010 9:52AM

    Thanks for posting this. My hubby discovered he had gallstones a couple of years ago but stopped having attacks after he cleaned up his diet. But since he has also lost a lot of weight in the last year, I will let him know it may be a good idea to get checked out for good measure. So sorry you have to go thru surgery. It doesn't seems fair when your health goes out of whack when you have been making such significant strides to get healthy! Good luck on Monday!

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MLW0421 5/18/2010 9:41AM

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

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NOW2DAY 5/18/2010 9:37AM

    Thanks for all the great info. My brother had trouble with his back when you had to get that lovely scar across your body. I think his was almost ready to rupture, I know the surgery was done after an incident. Then he had that foul odor from the drainage. Good luck with your recovery.

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SPIFFYCAT 5/18/2010 9:23AM

    No I didn't know that thank you for informing us and than you Crispini for the further details...

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HIPPICHICK1 5/18/2010 9:09AM

    That is some very good information to have, Thanks so much for posting. I hope your surgery is a breeze. Sending you good thoughts and well-wishes on Monday!

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TINARENA2 5/18/2010 9:07AM

    I had my gallbladder (such an icky name) removed in 1992 after having lots of episodes with it during my pregnancy in 1991. The laproscopic surgery was a piece of cake and the recovery was very easy for me. The worst part of it was that I couldn't lift my infant son for a week or so.

Trigger foods for an attack for me were any acid -- tomato sauce, oranges and also fatty fried foods and mayonnaise.

Best wishes for a smooth surgery and speedy recovery!

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CRIS76 5/18/2010 8:58AM

    I had my gallbladder removed in 1999 (got them due to pregnancy) - yup, it hurts. One attack would last a good 1-2 hours and I was being told it was because I was pregnant. "The baby must be up in my ribs".... no excuse after the baby was out LOL

So, nice to know that my weight loss won't (can't?) give me gall stones LOL

You'll be up and moving in no time flat!

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JBMT08 5/18/2010 8:25AM

    good luck with surgery. If you lose the weight slowly, is someone still apt to getting the gallstones anyway? emoticon

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JSTCHLIN 5/18/2010 8:11AM

    Thanks for sharing this information. Good Luck with your surgery Monday.

Take care and stay healthy
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JOOLIE3 5/18/2010 8:09AM

    Great information, girlie...but I bet you will be glad to be feeling better on the other side of things!

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MOONLITCHELLE 5/18/2010 6:56AM

    VERY interesting. I had no idea that gallstones were common with weight loss.
I'm sure you'll sail right over this bump in the road, and come out better than ever.
Thank you so much for sharing this information! And best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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CRISPINI 5/18/2010 6:41AM

    Thanks, wow, this is interesting. I went and read up on it some more. I'm sure you know this, but for everyone else:

- The gall bladder stores bile which is made by the liver. Bile is used to digest fats. Bile causes partially digested fat in food to emulsify. (This made me think of making salad dressing, haha.) The bile that is stored in the gall bladder actually becomes more concentrated than the bile that comes out of the liver.

Some snippets from Web MD:
- They develop when there is too much cholesterol in the bile for the cholesterol to remain dissolved or when the gallbladder does not empty as quickly as it should.

On prevention:
- Try not to skip meals. Eat on a regular schedule. And eat meals that contain some fat (which causes the gallbladder to empty). This can help prevent gallstones. Eat plenty of whole grains and fiber. And be sure to often have servings of foods that contain calcium (milk products and green, leafy vegetables). Limit saturated (animal) fat and foods high in cholesterol.

Best wishes on your surgery!

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 5/18/2010 5:54AM

    Great way to look at things! Goodbye Gallstones and hello to an even healthier you! I have no doubt you will recover quickly! Sending positive thoughts youre way!

emoticon Helene

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PENGUITO 5/18/2010 1:27AM

    So not fair! :(
Prayers for a speedy recovery!

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BRENDY_28 5/18/2010 1:17AM

    i never thought weight loss is associated to gallstones. i hope you can have a quick recovery after the surgery. good luck.

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 5/18/2010 12:09AM

    Those stones are no joke. A friend of mine suffered from them and now that I think about it, she lost a ton of weight. She attributed the weight loss to the stones but I think they came as a result of the weight loss. Scary and painful thought. I will be keeping an eye on the symptoms you mentioned above and will contact my physician should anything remotely like this happen. Thanks for sharing Doc.
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FRENCHTOSD 5/18/2010 12:06AM

    Oh my goodness! Well, as a fellow gallstone sufferer, I thank you for this information. I know I have stones, but I don't know how many. I guess it's time to find out! My Dr's have advised me to ignore them for the time being, but maybe we should revisit this decision.

Like you said this will be a bump in the road, but I'll be praying for your quick recovery. Be sure to keep posting for us so we don't worry.

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LOVEMYBOY64 5/17/2010 11:53PM

    I had no idea that losing weight would cause gallstones...sorry you have to have surgery :/

Prayers for a quick, easy, & fast healing :)

thanks for all the info

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MEHOPEFUL2 5/17/2010 11:52PM

    Good information! I've been worrying about a fatty liver which I had a ultrasound test for a week ago. But I still have a concern about my Gaul bladder just below. We'll bring this up a my next Dr. visit. Thanks for the info. emoticon emoticon

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I DID IT! I DID IT!! and so can YOU!

Sunday, May 09, 2010



I did the impossible today: I ran an entire 5K race!

February 19th I posted a blog about running. I had just accomplished my first 6 minute run and I felt like I had conquered the world. Later that week I joined the Couch to 5K team and started training in earnest. I always thought people who ran (on purpose) were crazy and here I was setting out to do it myself.

My next running "breakthrough" was making it for 15 consecutive minutes on March 10th. I remember putting the movie Top Gun in and turning the sound all the way up. The time passed quickly and I started to believe I could do it.

So onward, onward...but I was a treadmill girl only. I made up excuse after excuse for not running outside. Too hot, too cold (you would think I was Goldilocks waiting for the three little bears to come home)...And as I was coming up on the end of training for C25K, I still had not selected a race. Again, more excuses (I am going out of town, the race is too soon, the race is too far away). Completion of the training period came and went and still no race day planned. I had to admit to myself I was intimidated by the prospect that I might not be able to do it. What if running outside was harder? ( I think there are HILLS out there and hills look like they might hurt!) On top of it all was the fact that I have not been feeling well, so I was not really even running on the treadmill for the past 2 weeks much (more on this fun little issue in my next blog)...

Then, this past Tuesday night I got really fed up with myself.
I did NOT run all those hours so that I could NOT run a race. I trained to run a race and I am not interested in excuses. I am not interested in the limitations that my innner whiner wants to place on me. I yearn to feel that sense of accomplishment and joy that other Sparkers have described when they completed a 5K. And most of all, I do not want to give up.

Spontaneously that night I signed up for a race only 6 days away - the Pittsburgh Race for the Cure. My goal was not to run the whole thing. My goal was toTRY to run it - because not trying was not acceptable in my mind. Trying is WINNING. Trying is saying "Hell NO!" to limitations and TRYING is what I committed myself to doing.

Fast forward 5 days...Yesterday my DH and I arrived in Pittsburgh, checked into a hotel and decided to pick up our race shirts and drive around the race route. GULP...it starts at a base of a hill? (my brain feels scrambled...why would anyone start a race on a HILL...hills are evil). The hill goes for the first 0.5 mile and then downhill (ok, I am thinking, this is more like it)...around the corner...is that another hill? Ummmm...Ok, now we are on a straightway again but where is the halfway makrer? Oh...wow, is that only 1.5 miles (seems farther doesn't it?) Turn onto Serpentine Road (ohhh...ohhh...ohhh, this is definitely a hill, with swichbacks, isn't that fun?)...and then down to the finish line

After my initial panic, I remind myself of my goal: to TRY to run the entire race. And it really does relax me because I realize that by trying I will meet my goal of proving to myself that I AM NOT AFRAID.


Here I am at the start line at 8:30 this morning. It is 40 degrees out and I am ready to go! It feels surreal to be standing in the crowd. I felt so PROUD to wear that little blue racing bib - I am a runner! Even if I only make it up the first hill. My husband promises to verbally cheer me on every 50 feet or so (and god bless him, he does it). 5....4....3...2...1...GO!

As the crowd surges forward, I try to find my pace. And I totally ignore the hundreds (thousands?) of people passing me. I find a rhythm and just focus on breathing...is that the 0.5 mile marker?- wow- I have passed the first hill...running. The next part was easy and I caught my breath, then onto to hill 2. I am feeling more confident now (I actually even bet my husband I can run all the way to the half way marker...) The crowd is thinner, but I am surprised to find that I actually pass people from time to time. I ask my husband where the halfway marker is and he tells me we passed it a few minutes back. I am ELATED! Ohhh...ohhh, look at that hill coming up. My husband reminds me it is the LAST hill on the course. Surely I can make it up one more hill? Lot of people walking now (some of them as fast as I am jogging -never said I was fast) but I keep going. One foot in front of the other. I can barely breathe, but I am RUNNING. And then it happens...I reach the top and I know that I am homefree. I barely remember the rest of the race because I was filled with joy and excitement. We sprint for the final 100 yards I am pass the finish line nearly in tears.

Am I a winner because I ran the whole thing?. Nope, it is a bonus (huge bonus), but no. I am a winner for commiting to the race (finally) and for not giving up. I am proud of myself for TRYING to run a race this morning, the fact that I actually ran it is secondary (but also pretty cool).

So there it is...the story of my first 5K...I did what I thought was impossible.
So can you...



Me grinning after crossing the finish line!



Finally, I want to finish with thanks to my husband, Ron. Ron, thank you for supporting me in this journey every step of the way (emotional steps and the physical ones). Thank you for believing in me. You rock honey!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WICCANCHICK73 5/27/2010 5:12PM

    Awesome story!!!
Thanks for posting...
You should be PROUD of yourself!!!!
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VISITORX 5/15/2010 11:34PM

    Wow! This is great. Thanks for posting. You are an inspiration!

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WOODMOM 5/13/2010 8:40AM

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It is so motivating! My first 5K is just two days away and I'm nervous and excited. I hope my experience is as good as yours!

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HARMONYBLUE 5/12/2010 11:24PM

    You make we want to sign up for a 5K. You really do. I have been full of excuses on why I shouldn't start running again (sprained my ankle last year and am still shy of getting back on the horse) and this blog makes me realize I am not interested in excuses either! And when you thanked your hubby, I teared up. We are so fortunate to have the support of our partners! Congrats on passing this huge milestone!

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LEELEEPOO 5/12/2010 1:01PM

    WOW That really was inspirational! I just completed week 1 (I'm stretching it out to 12 weeks, doing 4 of each instead of 3) and I am feeling good.

I'm really proud of you. Great blog, great story. Thank you!

Pat

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LAWRALOO 5/12/2010 11:14AM

    Amazing! You are so made of awesome!
I'm so proud of you!

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FRENCHTOSD 5/12/2010 3:04AM

    This was great to read. What an exciting moment for you. I'm so proud of you - you have accomplished so much with your efforts this year. Way to go and many more races to come.

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MONIKALW81 5/11/2010 5:05PM

    Congratulations on this great accomplishment!

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COACHDNUKE 5/11/2010 4:35PM

    WOW
I just cant get over how awesome you are.
Thank you for continuing to inspire.
I just teared up thinking about crossing that line after running the whole thing. I may just go run the course this weekend because I just cant wait for the 30th.

Thanks again
Dennis

I have 19 days until I will run in a 5k race. TIC TOC

BTW - I will be accepting the offer in about 2 minutes to be a co-leader and help you on the 100 day challenge team. Thank you for asking.

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THINNER_AMES 5/11/2010 3:26PM

    I was so inspired by your post! Congratulations!!!

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JOOLIE3 5/11/2010 2:30PM

    That is sooo awesome - I ran my first one May 8th, but honey, let me tell you that my own pictures were scary and yours are GORGEOUS! Congratulations, you are AMAZING!!!

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MYWALK2FITNESS 5/11/2010 1:33PM

    That's wonderful! You have done so amazing! I wish you all the best!

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JAKESMOM10 5/11/2010 12:59PM

    that's great! keep it up!

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LESLIES537 5/11/2010 12:51PM

    emoticon You are such an inspiration to us beginning runners. You are a WINNER!! Good job and congratulations! You should be really proud of yourself...YOU ROCK! emoticon emoticon

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ATROTTIER 5/11/2010 12:15PM

    I love your story and most of all your acomplishment!!! You have inspired me and I really want to train for something like this very soon - it must have felt like nothing else you have ever felt before! Truly amazing! =)

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CMDOUBLE 5/11/2010 9:03AM

    WOW! Great story and great accomplishment. You are an inspiration to me, and i think a whole lot of others here! Thank you!

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JEANNETTE59 5/10/2010 1:54PM

  emoticon absolutely wonderful, bring on the hills!

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SWILLIAM621 5/10/2010 12:05PM

    emoticon your blog was so awesome! Just completed the program myself and had my first race on Saturday. Did not run the whole thing but finished in my goal time of less than 40 mins. I was so glad there were no hills on my course but had been running outside the last few weeks and had some small hills just in case. So wonderful you had your DH to cheer you on too, what a bonus! emoticon

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FOXYTINA 5/10/2010 11:48AM

    You are my hero! It is so awesome you finished! You geared up for battle and faced it head on.

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JMEPAYNE 5/10/2010 11:06AM

    congrats! that's so awesome! i just signed up to run a 5K in september (and am just starting training). i can only hope to have a success story like yours!
thanks for being an inspiration! emoticon

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GABBYANNIE 5/10/2010 10:42AM

    Great Job!!!! I just ran my first 5K on May 1st also. Wasn't it wonderful!!! Just knowing you accomplished something you set out in your heart to do is an awesome feeling. Way to Go!!!! You look great too. Love that smile!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GLENNYB 5/10/2010 10:20AM

    Congrats! Races are a great way to track your progress! I remember when i finished my first 5k. I was totally stoked to do another one.

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RAINYFRIDAY 5/10/2010 9:36AM

    Congrats!! You're awesome and such an inspiration!

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SPIFFYCAT 5/10/2010 9:20AM

    WELL DONE.. just look at that huge grin on your face

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COMMELESCIEUX 5/10/2010 8:58AM

    Congrats! That is AMAZING!! emoticon

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MEGS4148 5/10/2010 8:57AM

    That is amazing! Great job on running the entire thing!!

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 5/10/2010 6:30AM

    emoticon to your amazing accomplishment! You are a great team together - running for a great cause too! emoticon emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 5/10/2010 6:16AM

    Yay! And you look fantastic even at the finish emoticon

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LAGREBE 5/10/2010 5:13AM

    Fantastic!

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VAEMPYRESS 5/10/2010 2:44AM

    Congratulations!

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MSNIKE 5/10/2010 2:10AM

    emoticon Way to go girlie! Congratulations!!!

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PAPAMIKIE 5/10/2010 1:55AM

    Way to go!

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SFARRINGTON65 5/10/2010 1:37AM

    emoticon
Thats the spirit!


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LOTUSFLOWER 5/9/2010 11:44PM

    I am so proud of you!!!!!!!!!

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NEWME0519 5/9/2010 11:39PM

    Great job! I'm so glad that you were able to accomplish a goal!
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FLYSOHIGH 5/9/2010 11:35PM

    It's so great!!! Congratulations!!!! Also, I am now awake, it's 5.35am and THIS was THE blog for me as I am off for my morning run now. I have no excuses after reading your blog!:-D

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GLAMIT 5/9/2010 11:20PM

    You ROCK!!! emoticon

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CADEYSMOM 5/9/2010 11:09PM

    Great Job...you have really motivated me to try. I am like the old you, making all kinds of excuses why I can't run, to hot, to busy, ect lol. I'm going to add you as a friend so I can remember that you did it and I can too! emoticon

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REBECCA9306 5/9/2010 10:58PM

    Awesome story!! Definitely gives me motivation to complete the C25K program!! Congrats to you!!

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BARBARAROCKSIT 5/9/2010 10:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Yay Hollyn and Ron!!!

Keep rockin' the journey you crazy runner you!!!!

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You are awesomeness!

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FRENCHTOSD 5/9/2010 10:47PM

    Wow! I'm so happy for you. It sounds like the best day ever and I know this is only the beginning for you.

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SHERYLDS 5/9/2010 10:45PM

    Congratulations...You Did It!!!
And you look FABULOUS Doing It!!!
You're getting better and better all the time.

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ALESHABEE 5/9/2010 10:38PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I know you feel great and you are definitely gonna sign up for another one. Trust me it only takes that first one to get you hooked...it's like a drug, but a good one, lol

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CRIS76 5/9/2010 10:32PM

    This is a great race report! You did fantastic! So, when is your next race? :P

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AASMITHHISLER 5/9/2010 10:25PM

    omigosh congrats! What a great accomplishment! I myself am also training with the c25k program, and I hope that I can do it just like you!

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CALLIKIA 5/9/2010 10:08PM

    A great blog! A great grin! Congrats, girl! You are amazing! (Like I even needed to tell you that..)
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KA_JUN 5/9/2010 10:02PM

    Awesome, awesome, race report...incremental gains, you did it!

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SPARKGIRL32 5/9/2010 10:00PM

    WOOHOO!!!

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HIPPICHICK1 5/9/2010 9:58PM

    Awesome all around!!!
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SCHENPOSSIBLE 5/9/2010 9:54PM

    Even through your sickness your confidence won out and you knocked that race outta the park. Congratulations on putting your best foot forward and running towards your goals!

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Recognizing Myself: 9 Months & counting...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010



Today was the best day in years...

Not sure how well I am going to be able to communicate this, but at the beginning (exactly 90 lbs and 9 months ago) I didn't recognize the person in the photo above (left). Yesterday, when I was looking through my photos from Ghana the same thing happened...I did not recognize the person in the photos as myself. In fact, I felt guilty posting the one I did post (in the green shirt) because I didn't think it looked like me. It was simply a great picture in my mind (undoubtedly shot from an impossible angle). Someone commented how "teeny" I looked and I commented back that it was just a "great pic" and not what I really looked like in person.

Then something happened today...

Today is my 9 Month Sparkversary (July 27 --> April 27) and I always take pics on my monthly Sparkversaries so that I can see and document progress. So today I went out on the back deck and had my husband take the photo on the right above. He took 15-20 photos and I was excited to see them. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that I looked smaller in all of the photos...I actually looked thin-ish (is it possible??) I wonder if part of this lack of self-recognition is the fact that I haven't seen a mirror much in the past month while on medical mission in Ghana. However, if I am honest, I know it is more than that. I still have a mental and psychological picture of the fat girl and it is hard to overcome. Much of this journey is psychological, which means I need to accept this new person (no hiding behind my weight, no using it for excuses). I think I am ready to do that...

Usually I have a nice reward for myself for reaching a milesone, but I think the understanding of who I am becoming and what a struggle it can be is reward in itself.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JBMT08 5/18/2010 8:38AM

    you look awesome!!!! Keep it up girl!

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MSNIKE 5/10/2010 2:08AM

    WOW! You're truly an inspiration! You look so beautiful and have done an amazing job! Keep at it girlie! (((hugs)))

Danielle

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STRONG-FIT-GIRL 5/7/2010 11:55AM

    You look REALLY GREAT!!! My brain hasn't caught up with my body yet. How can the pictures and my friends and the scale all be saying one thing...even the mirror on occasion...but my mind still screams "fat girl!" ? I'm working on it, lol.
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A-NU-ME-N-2011 5/6/2010 3:18PM

    U look beautiful and skinny and yes girl say it to yourself

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SUPERDUCK79 5/1/2010 3:18PM

    I totally sympathize and YOU LOOK GREAT! Keep it up! emoticon

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BYEBYEADIPOSE 5/1/2010 12:45PM

    emoticon
You look WONDERFULLY FABULOUS!!!! I totally know what you mean about how you "see" yourself, or don't! You are doing a GREAT job...not just for weight loss but for the emotional change as well! WAY TO GO!
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13-1GIRL 5/1/2010 12:20PM

    YOU ARE DOING AMAZING!! Thanks for being inspiration that it can be done!! hottie!!

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SENORAHACHE 4/30/2010 9:08PM

    Well, I don't need to be the billionth person to tell you how great you look (which you DO!) but I would like to tell you how impressed I am with your progress! Like you, I love being outdoors, especially hiking, but I have let being heavy (and the related foot troubles) keep me off the trails. I love that you have a monthly hiking goal, and may steal that idea for myself!

I notice that you have a lot of WV paraphernalia. Were you a mountaineer? I ask b/c my husband is... Anyway, thanks for the inspiration! And congratulations on your many milestones and recognition, especially for DONE GIRL! You have helped me to replenish my motivation to face another weekend!

~Annie in SC emoticon

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WANNABTHIN53 4/30/2010 8:19PM

    You look marvelous.

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KARVY09 4/30/2010 10:49AM

    You look fabulous! I know what you mean about your brain taking a little bit to catch up to your body. I still find myself looking at plus sizes even though I'm not there anymore. But that is YOU up there. And you are doing it!

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LAWRALOO 4/30/2010 10:15AM

    I know EXACTLY what you're talking about with the mental and physical image of being the fat girl. I look at my jeans before I put them on and swear they've shrunk because 'there's no way these tiny things are going to fit me'....except they do, and they're baggy. I see pictures of myself now and think...who is that girl? I'm amazed that it's really ME because that is NOT how I see myself in my head.

YOU are looking great. Your waist line is so defined I'm jealous!
Keep up the great work. We'll get through this..and THEN we'll have a glass of wine to celebrate. :))))

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DRAGONFLY_AUM 4/30/2010 1:30AM

    You are doing a fabulous job and look amazing. You have been such an inspiration for me the past few months!! I hope you see the beautiful woman transforming that I see on your updates. I look forward to watching your progress!!

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MOM2MXKE 4/30/2010 1:00AM

    You look amazing!!!! Keep up the great work. Can't wait to get to know each other through our journey of losing the weight and keeping it off (:

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CALLIKIA 4/29/2010 4:48PM

    You look absolutely amazing! Keep up the wonderful work and thank you for inspiring me to continue on this path...seeing the rewards I can gain is...invaluable!
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IPATRICIA 4/28/2010 6:05PM

    You look stunning! You deserve to look stunning because you are doing what is required, simple as that, you deserve the reward. emoticon

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SB1398 4/28/2010 4:00PM

    You look awesome!!

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TEMPLE_CHANGER 4/28/2010 2:02PM

    You look great!! Very encorageing to me.

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MAWMAWTAMERA 4/28/2010 1:04PM

  You look fabulous! You absolutely have rewarded yourself with your efforts. Congratulations!!

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PENGUITO 4/28/2010 12:38PM

    You look absolutely amazing!
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JEANNETTE59 4/28/2010 12:36PM

  emoticon you look fantastic!

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OCEANS241 4/28/2010 11:54AM

  You look fantastic (you did in the before pic, too) - 90 lbs in 9 months is an awesome feat! Keep up the great work and congratulations on reaching onederland :-)

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LCHADBOURNE 4/28/2010 10:07AM

    Wow, you look amazing! What a wonderful and from the heart blog. I agree completely, this is such a mental journey as well and is so hard to grasp. You put it into words wonderfully.

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ANNE7X7 4/28/2010 8:00AM

    Hun, you look simply stunning!! Look at that tiny waist!! Congrats on 9 amazing months! You have come such a long way, and you should be so proud of yourself!!

I know what you mean with the psychological thing though. I still see myself as the "fat girl", despite what the pictures and the scale says. They say pictures don't lie, but I exactly like you do: "not what I really looked like in person"... I think that eventually I will probably reach the point where you are, and a accept that I am where I am. I'm no longer defined by my obesity!!

Good luck as you continue your journey! You have rocked it so far, and I know you will continue to do so! You are amazing!!!

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SHANTRA 4/28/2010 7:07AM

    You look wonderful! I think a lot of us with weight problems have that kind of discrepancy between how big we feel we are and how big we actually look. Both me and my daughter have the same problem in that we don't see a very big person in the mirror but photos shock the heck out of us. Keep on looking at those photos.

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 4/28/2010 4:50AM

    emoticon on your 9 month anniversary and the 'birth' of the NEW you! It does take time to adjust psychologically and sometimes it takes people on the 'outside' to tell us that we do look thinner and the pictures certainly confirm this!

emoticon emoticon You look Radiant! A shining NEW person - born on this 9 month Sparkaversary!

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KITHKINCAID 4/28/2010 1:06AM

    Such a beautiful pic. You look fantastic!

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NZGODDESS 4/28/2010 1:00AM

    Yes it is you! And it's inspirational to see the changes. Not thin-ish definitely thin! ...and still going...
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HIPPICHICK1 4/28/2010 12:20AM

    You look really fabulous - like a new woman!!

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FRENCHTOSD 4/27/2010 11:49PM

    "Thin-ish"?

Laughs hysterically!

Shakes head.

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Comment edited on: 4/27/2010 11:49:44 PM

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ANDMAYBETOMORRO 4/27/2010 11:48PM

    You look amazing! Congratulations on coming so far in such a short time! emoticon

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DABINEXIAN 4/27/2010 11:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

for reaching that conclusion. I don't think you ever lose that feeling that you're the fat girl and that's not such a bad thing because you need to remember that feeling so that you never go back. But you also need to start thinking like a thin person because they do things differently than fat people. They go out in public with confidence. They have energy to do things. Enjoy your new life as a skinny person!

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JUSTME444 4/27/2010 10:59PM

    WOW! CONGRATS on your awwesome success! You look fabulous. I'm sure it does take a while to get used to the new you - and the stares from strangers you're getting - LOL

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 4/27/2010 10:53PM

    Regardless of your size, you were always pretty and radiated confidence and beauty. You have not only changed your body, but you've reinvented yourself. Now you can be the woman that you've always knew you could be, but probably didn't feel comfortable because of the extra weight. You're an inspiration and motivation to the rest of us Done Dolls. Keep up the excellent work!

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GOROSIEO 4/27/2010 10:52PM

    emoticon
It's nice to look thinner, but most of all it's nice to have your face back! emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 4/27/2010 10:51PM

    This is really you and you look hot! It does take our mind time to catch up with our bodies, but you might as well get used to the fact that you are a skinny girl now. emoticon

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