That is the length of time I have been on my weight loss fitness journey.
When I think back on the time that has passes, it doesn't seem very long.
But what has transpired in that time has been life changing.
On January, 1, 2010, I started a weight loss journey that would test my strength and determine whether I would have more productive years to live.
I weighted 335 pounds. I suffered from high blood pressure. Was pre-=diabetic. I had to use a C-Pap machine to sleep at night. I would stop breathing over 50 times a minute. I only had 65% lung capacity due to the fat squeezing the lungs. I was choking on food , due to the throat closing up with too much fat. I couldn't lay on my back to sleep, couldn't breath, had to be propped up or use a recliner.
There were other hygiene issues too, but I won't go into them. Just believe me when I say, that being morbidly obese made everyday life difficult.
These are the photos that the doctor took to record my weight and how I looked.
They are not the best, but you can see I was obese and very much out of shape.
I had to under go tests to determine if I was healthy enough for a weight loss program that would reduce my eating, from 3500 calories a day to 800 or 900 hundred. This would be a doctor supervised program. And even though I would have advise, classes,and learn about nutrition, it came down to did I have the drive, the determination, the willingness to follow through and stick with the program.
You can have all the help, pills, lotions, potions, even surgery, but it still comes down to you following the plan, changing eating habits and making it work,
Since at that point in my life I was hardly living. I had to make this program work, if I didn't the doctor said I wouldn't have long to live.
When you have the choice of lose weight or die, it's wasn't hard to choose.
I passed all my tests. I attended classes, I learned about portions. What foods were good for me, what foods I had to eliminate from my life. maybe not forever but in the beginning there were lots of foods that were off limits.
Jan. 1, 2010 was the beginning of the rest of my life. A journey that has had its highs and lows, one that had been spectacular in what I have achieved and one that I will continue on for as long as I live.
Here is a photo of my at 335 lbs taken on Xmas eve 2009. One week before the new life was to start.
The first few months of the program were a little tough. But I was determined to not fail, I gradually saw results.
With each week, each pound lost, encouraged me to strive for more loss the next week. I never set goals, just worked on ten pounds , when that was lost, I would work on losing ten more pounds. I gave myself small rewards. Never food.
By May 17, 2010, I was down to 285. That was the day I joined Spark.
About this time I was starting to do more exercises. I would lay on my bed and use resistance bands to raise my legs, then sit ups. I had small weights, I worked out to the TV exercise programs.
I had two bad knees, couldn't walk without a walker. But I used it to walk outside. It had a seat so I could sit if I got tired.
Once a car stopped and asked if I need help. I was sitting in the middle of the block, I guess I looked kind of lost and in need. But I reassured him, I was OK, just getting my breath.
In June my grandson graduated from South Salem High. The graduation is held at the sports field. The guests sit in the bleachers.
My daughter had failed to make handicap reservations for me. So it was up to me to climb the bleacher steps if I wanted to see him graduate.
I did it. It took all I had to pull myself up those steps . I couldn't go out on the fie;d afterwards but I was so proud that I had master those steps and achieved a milestone that night.
Went to the gym, but was too self conscious of my appearance to feel comfortable in a swimsuit. Even though there were other women bigger than I was.
I continued to workout at home, Had a big purple stabilizer ball, had lots of fun bouncing around on that.
Sometimes I would slip into the gym pool, I would go when it was not so busy.
By November 6, 2010 I was down to 230 and was able to wear a size 18 outfit I had bought months earlier. My sister in law had a birthday party.
Here some photos of that night.
The pretty women with me is my lovely daughter, Michelle.
I wanted to be under 200 by the New year. I had over 30 pounds to go and less than two months, plus it was the holiday period.
My dietitian suggested I try for 210 pounds, so not to be disappointed when I didn't get under 200 lbs. But I was stubborn , I wanted under 200.
This was probably te only time I really worked special hard to lose a certain amount.
January 1, 2011, my weight was 197 pounds.
I did it. Now I had ONLY 52 lbs to lose. Little did I realize those 52 lbs would be the hardest.
I was going to the gym five days a week. Taking water aerobics, exercise class , zumba, yoga, I would workout 4, 5 hours some days.
I had been in need of knee replacements. My doctor wants his patients to weigh less than 225. Well I was way less than that, so the knee replacement operation was scheduled. The right knee would be operated on April 19, 2011.
Here is a photo of me at the pool , I finally felt good enough about my appearance to pose for a photo in size 16 swimsuit. How far I had come.!!!
My knee replacement went very successful. My recovery spectacular.
I was finally able to walk , I still limped some, used a cane, for I still had the left knee to replace on September 19. But in the meantime I bought a pair of stappy black high heel and wore them feeling very sexy,. The first time I had a pair of heels on in years. I bought red high heels, red boots, I was one red hot mamma.
When I was morbidly obese I couldn't bend down to fasten shoes. So for years I wore a pair of black slip on's and one pair of wide strap brown sandal's.
I had thought I would be at my goal weight of 145 by July 15. But I didn't make goal till Aug 1, 2011.
I bought myself a new swimsuit, size 10.
I thought I might lose a little more, maybe 10 pounds. set a new goal of 135 pounds.
On September 19, 2011, had my left knee replaced. Another very successful operation. I was driving in a few days and walking with just a cane for the next week or so. The nurses and my physical therapists said they had never seen anyone recover as fast as I did.
I credit it to all the workouts and yoga , pilates, water aerobics I had been doing.
Later in the fall I did a 5K . First time walking any distance with my new knees.
In later months I have done two other 5K's, and a 10K. A couple of hikes and cross country skiing.
In December at 135 pounds , I attended a party wearing leather pants and jacket. Call it my "Biker look".
I have a walking buddy, Titan , my Yorkie who might be small in size but big in heart and spirit. We walked 247 days straight. Even in the snow.
January 1, 2012. I weighted 133 pounds
Trying to maintain 133 was hard. I seemed tired, I didn't like the bony look I had.
I talked to my dietitian and we decided to go back up to 140 or 145. That would be my normal weight.
I was also experiencing difficulties with what I was eating.
The next few months were a trial and error in choosing what foods to eat. I ended up cutting almost all starchy carbs out of my diet. Hardly any grains, .
I am gluten intolerant so that made it even more difficult to choose what to eat at times. But it comes down to lots of protein, fruits, veggies. I don't miss the bread, potatoes, rice, pasta. I can still have some, just once in a while. Found some corn pasta, so once in a while I can indulge .
Later in the Spring I attended a lunch, wore some skinny jeans and looked very slim.
I was finding maintenance harder than losing. There isn't as much inter action with other Spark members when you no longer are recording weight loss.
It's almost like you dropped out of sight.
But thank goodness I have some wonderful Spark friends who commented on my fitness minutes, or some little thing I posted. That kept me connected. I began to feel more comfortable with my new status. I changed my ticker to record my weeks on maintenance instead of pounds lost. I started to feel like a success story.
I under went carpel tunnel surgery in June 2012. In July I had reconstruction surgery on the thumb joint on my right hand.
All went well but it did prevent me from working out at the gym . I had been doing weight training. Besides the water aerobics.
In August 2012, I was asked to submit story and before and after pictures for People weight loss issue. This is the after pictures I had taken. Used the Xmas one as before photo.
I wasn't chosen for People. I don't fit their readers age. I would fit more into Good Housekeeping. People readers are from teens, to 40, or so.
The only reason I would want to publicize my weight loss is to reach out to other women in my age group. Ones that think it's too late, that they are too old.
I was 68 when I started , I am now 71, and believe me it's never too late.
Throughout 2012 I continued to monitor my food, I track everyday. I exercise in some form daily.
I have my fat and muscle ratio measured every four months. Just had it done last week and I have gained another pound of muscle. Only have 7 more pounds of muscle to regain and the doctor says I will be where I should be for a women in excellent shape, at my age. I told him I will get there in the next two years . So even though I don't have a weight loss goal, I am setting other goals to reach.
As the months have passed I find my choices come more naturally. I don't have to agonize over choices like in the past..
I still keep a before photo of me on my car visor, so when I think about driving through a fast food joint , I look at me at 335 lbs and I quickly drive home for a healthy meal.
I know I will forever have to watch what foods I eat. But with moderation and planning I don't feel deprived. I enjoy myself where ever I am. No one has to hear me moan about not being able to eat certain foods.
Some one asked me what motivates me to stay so committed. It's simple . I am VAIN. I love to look good. I didn't feel or looks good at 335 pounds.
I was old beyond my time. I looked 80 felt 90 and just the thought or a glance of me before compared to now, it's plenty of motivation.
I love wearing normal sized clothes. Here's a photo of the difference of 5X verses size 8.
January 1, 2013. Weight 143.6 pounds.
Starting the fourth year living the life I was meant to live.
Made it through the holiday season, didn't gain a pound. I might gain , but because I weight every day, I can correct it right away, so during the week there is no gain. I don't know how some people can not weigh themselves . You can't rely on clothes to tell you 2 or 4 lbs have latched on to your waist and hips. Clothes stretch, .You need the scales. The scales can be you friend. It won't lie,.
I know if my jeans don''t fasten easy, It's time I do more sit ups and crunches.
On January 21, I under went reconstruction surgery on my left thumb joint.
All is going well. Am in a large brace for 6 weeks, then a small brace for 2 months. But if I have the same fantastic results as I did with my right hand, it's well worth the inconvenience. I can use my thumb with no loss of motion, feeling. No more pain.
I make jewelry , not being able to use my thumbs was devastating. I recently made a few pieces, I am gung ho to get back to designing and selling my one of a kind designs. Here are a few of my designs.
So now you know how I keep busy with the Tub repair business, my jewelry business, my volunteering, my fitness, I really don't have any time to be bored or lonely.
I am surrounded by wonderful family and a dear close friend. Plus all the other friends I have here in person and my wonderful supportive Spark friends.
I really am living the good life, I feel like I have it all.
I took this photo this morning after 30 minutes of Pilates. Just before I left for the gym.
The photo of me in hand made scarf taken a few weeks ago. The smile on my face says it all, I am very Happy.
So my dear Spark friends, I close this up date on my journey with the thought that it isn't easy, but it's so worth it.
Peace and Love,