Friday, December 27, 2013
Wow, so much has happened during this past year. And a big big thing for me....a 365 day log in streak - yes, one year ago today I started logging in daily. Here is how it all happened. On November 27, 2012, I had surgery called Nissen Fundoplication. It is surgery for the lower esophageal sphincter - not a common surgery, it is done for those with severe acid reflux disease. My gastro doctor actually defined mine as severe regurgitation disease. It was affecting my health and getting worse. Once he recommended surgery I waited a long time but as my health got worse, I decided I needed to do it. So I had that surgery. Commonly after the surgery there is a pretty good weight loss - maybe 20 pounds. I think it is different for everyone. But I also had heard that just about everyone gains it back. I had my surgery and within a month had lost the 20 pounds. I was starting to get scared. Two things - I didn't want to gain the weight back, and I also was afraid my body would go into starvation mode because I was having a really hard time eating after the surgery. This surgery is accompanied by lots of swelling so swallowing is difficult and I constantly felt full even though I was eating little. I was off work and decided I needed to start tracking calories. Years back I had been on SparkPeople but hadn't utilized it fully as I was also doing Weight Watchers at the time. I didn't remember my password or user name but I figured that all out and the rest is history. I randomly set my goal weight at 145 because that is a weight that would put me out of the overweight zone and it wasn't far off from 140, a weight that I had been and maintained for short periods in the past. After the surgery my doctor recommended daily walking and I started out as soon as I came home from the hospital. I was very weak and my husband accompanied me. I got as far as the next door neighbors' house and I had to turn back. But by the time I started sparking I had built up to a mile. It was winter and cold but I only missed a couple of days when the rain was just too much. I started tracking my calories daily and at first I had the hardest time getting in the minimum 1,200 calories - thank goodness for (real) whipped cream on pumpkin pie, that helped me get my calories up. I had to eat six or seven times a day, very small meals and even then I would be short on calories. But I made it work and my weight loss started to even out to about two pounds a week. I continued to exercise, and started a boot camp challenge. I was so scared at first to do that - I thought it would be way too hard for me - but I found that the ten minute videos were very doable and offered modifications if needed. In January my DH and I decided to go to a national park and do some hiking - which I was able to manage just fine! When I went back to work I walked every day at lunch time. I remember back then that I didn't go as far and some of the hills seemed pretty challenging. March came along, and we did some more hiking in the National Park. I did a summer shape up challenge at the fitness center at work, and did very well at that - it was based on exercise minutes. Exercise had become a way of life. I realized that I needed more strength training and so even though I was terrified to do it, I started going to a Power Sculpt class at the fitness center at work. Yes, it is challenging at times, but it has been beneficial to me. I go twice a week. I started going to step aerobics and in late August I started doing a Couch to 5K training program. I am taking a lot longer to master this than most but I am still proud and happy of how far I have come! In late August we took some vacation time and we visited some state parks for hiking, rented some bikes, and generally had a fitness week. And I reached my goal weight! Wow, this is so incredible and I am so happy and proud. Last time I tried to lose I got within about ten pounds of my goal and I just gave up and gained it all back and lots more. This time, success! Don't get me wrong, the fight is just beginning for me because every time I have lost in the past I have gained it back. I have to keeping working for this, exercising every day, tracking every calorie. If I can keep it off for two years, the likelihood of keeping it off goes up. If I can keep it off for five years, chances are that I will keep it off for good, but it will probably always be a struggle for me. I like to eat and I like to eat big portions. I get overwhelmed with busy-ness and I let things slide - eating junk food and not exercising. I have to keep that in check or it will come back and bite me! One thing about this time around is that I have found such wonderful support here. It is incredible. There is so much encouragement, empathy and understanding - and some accountability too! Two years ago I was in so much pain and pretty much just sat around on the couch all winter long. This winter - I walked five miles yesterday, I did Hot Yoga two days ago, four days ago I did running/walking intervals. I have come so far and I don't want to go back. Here is to 365 more days of Streaking! Cheers!