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Three Years, One Month ,Three Weeks and Counting.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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,
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm just now getting back to sp since i started working full time again in Dec. I was going back to read and catch up with old friends and found your blog. You are truly inspirational. I especially liked the part of it never being too late.
    Thank you for sharing again!
    1759 days ago
    You have been one of my biggest inspirations since I became a Sparker. You have encouraged me every step of my way. I consider it a privilege to know you and to take further inspiration from your amazing story! I love your attitude and it serves me, at age 60 to keep it in mind. It is never too late!
    1885 days ago
    Your journey is an amazing thing to see, I am so happy you shared with all of us. 1-1-2010 was the same day I started my journey and 142 pounds later I am fit and healthy. It's an amazing feeling to learn how storng we are and that everyone has it in them to take control of their lives and make things better. You look incredible and for sure if I lived near you I would own some of your jewlery. emoticon

    People Magazine missed out. I hope you find a way to share your story with a larger audience, you are such an inspiration and you could help so many people.

    Keep living and enjoying your life. You deserve every moment of happiness.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1885 days ago
  • MYRTLE811
    How glad I was to come across your blog. You wrote such a beautiful, moving, motivating story. I was totally in awe of your accomplishments; you are doing better than well, my dear! People magazine missed out by not taking you as you have such a wonderful story to tell; you are an amazing, talented woman. The jewelry is unbelievably beautiful; what a talent! I am going to be 65 in two weeks and it has taken me about three years to finally finish taking off an enormous weight; like you I weigh myself every day. How I wish the last 20 would just decide to disappear; they have been the hardest to take off. I do agree with you that catching the weight increase right away is absolutely necessary for me as for so long I had been 'unconscious' about what I looked like. I had really begun to think of myself as just the voice so I didn't have to know how bad it was. You have inspired me to continue to day; thank you so much for your honesty and your perseverance! Take care and continue to enjoy your new life!
    1886 days ago
    Oh Tish, it's been much too long since you've blogged. I've missed reading about your wonderfully complete and healthy life, and was so glad to catch up and to read again about your amazing journey. That Titan is so cute. Lola (our 9-month old Bull Dog) is a good walking partner now, although she does like to lollygag a bit, especially on the way home. I don't mind too much except when it's very cold!

    Love the jewelry. Wish we lived closer, I'd come by, check it out, and probably buy a piece or two. It IS SO MUCH fun to finally look nicer, care about how we look and dress again, and like you say, it is NEVER too late to change. I love how you finished your blog--changing your life is hard, it takes determination, but it is SO WORTH I!
    1886 days ago
  • PURPLE180
    You are such an inspiration, words cannot express how happy and proud I am to have you as a emoticon , you have motivated and supported me so much during this journey. Looking at your pictures it is so hard to believe that was really you. You look so much younger (and happier) now. emoticon on a job emoticon
    1886 days ago
  • LZY0108
    Very inspiring! I love that you say it's never too late! So awesome! So amazing how much you have accomplished in so few years... Keep it up cause I LOVE reading about it! emoticon
    1886 days ago
    You are an inspiration!!!! Your weight loss journey up date is AMAZING!!! You look emoticon !!! emoticon for sharing your very powerful/inspirational journey.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1887 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your story. You always continue to inspire me. Congrats on all your success and heres to the future of good things.
    1887 days ago
    Wow what a transformation you have sure inspired me to continue on my journey.
    Now I know I can do it also. Thank you for posting. emoticon
    1887 days ago
    Love, love love when you write about your journey. It wasn't an easy one but you endured and succeeded. There in lies the lesson for all of us.....it's not gonna be easy but the rewards are going to be so awesome. Look at you....you're just such an ispiration to everyone. If anyone is out there thinking people who are 60 yrs. old (and older) can't lose weight you're a good example that it's more than possible. That old line is just an excuse now.
    Keep up the good work and please keep the Blogs coming.!!!!!!!
    1887 days ago
    Great blog and you are a true inspiration
    1887 days ago
    Thanks for the great blog, and the wonderful inspiration! emoticon
    1887 days ago
  • JENAE954
    You rock!
    emoticon too.
    1888 days ago
    Wow Tisha! You are an amazing lady and such an inspiration. You have come so far and look look fabulous! You should be so proud of yourself. Thanks for sharing your pictures and your story and providing such awesome hope to everyone else here.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1888 days ago
    Tisha, we all need a good "shaking up" every once in a while and it seems that your blogs do just that. You have done and are still doing a great job! You are a very inspiring lady. I am very glad that you are finally a happy person!
    1888 days ago
    Tisha --thank you thank you for telling us about your journey!
    You did do it ...

    just in case you didn't know there are lots of people -teams on maintenance -- just do a word search and see if you fit into one of them.

    You have done one fantastic job of losing your weight + getting healthy at that and you look marvelous darlin'
    again thank you for sharing the struggles and triumphs you have had

    1888 days ago
    Well done, Tisha!! Glad you are doing so well on maintenance, even though it is such hard work. By the way, your DD looks amazingly like you!! emoticon
    1888 days ago
    What a story Tisha! You are one strong woman and an inspiration to me! I love that you love life now and are happy...that's what I want! I hope you don't mind if I bookmark this blog so I can go back and look at it from time to time. You are my hero!!! Hugs
    ~~Gayle~~ emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1888 days ago
    Great blog.
    Your story is an inspiration to all.
    emoticon for sharing.

    1888 days ago
    Your jewelry is beautiful. So are you! I love the idea about keeping a picture in your car to prevent fast food tempations:)
    1888 days ago
    Wonderful blog. Amazing woman! Thank you for sharing your journey.

    1888 days ago
    Amazing story about an amazing woman. You are so inspiring! Thanks for sharing and the photo docs! I admire your perseverance and stamina! You may be on maintenance, but you still support your friends who are losing. And, you hold up a light for the rest of us to follow. Thank you for sharing. Love, Jackie O
    1888 days ago
    One of the most WELL DONE success pieces I have read in a long time...engaging, real, good pics...and the part I liked best, believe it or not, was when you and your dietician changed your weight range to higher than you were! Bet people never hear that! LOL

    You are inspirational...and I clicked the "Like" button on this blog.

    Many wishes for many more years of healthy living for you!
    1888 days ago
    Wow, what an AMAZING journey you've had. You're a real inspiration and thanks so much for sticking around here on SparkPeople as a maintainer to show other people that it can be done. Plus, we maintainers need all the support we can get!

    1888 days ago
  • SPEEDY143
    emoticon emoticon emoticon Tish, my favorite role model YOU are the perfect spokes person for Sparkpeople and a joy to have as a friend emoticon Your success story is always up lifting... your love of life a constant reminder that it is worth the time & effort put forth and that it is NEVER too late to embrace the dream of renewed health and happiness emoticon

    emoticon lovely lady in the red high heels emoticon Linda
    1888 days ago
  • RDEE22
    What a great blog. You are an inspiration to all of us still trying to get there. emoticon
    1888 days ago
    emoticon What a story - emoticon for sharing - also, your experience with the 'maintenance stage' emoticon emoticon
    1888 days ago
    Congratulations, and thank you for sharing! You're an inspiration!

    1888 days ago
  • POPSY190
    You'll be counting for many more years, days and weeks to come!! This is a terrific blog. The photographs of you are magnificent and a testimony to your perseverance and courage. emoticon
    1888 days ago
    Wonderful blog!!! Your journey to health was amazing!! Thanks for sharing!
    1888 days ago
    I love your story and the pictures. You look great, GF!!
    1888 days ago
  • JILL313
    I always look forward to reading your blogs as it seems no matter what you write about I find it and you fascinating. I never tire of hearing your inspiring story. You look fabulous and still young. You have such great taste in fashion and seem to me to be a gourmet cook. You have so much to offer all of us Sparkers just by sharing your incredible Journey to Health. Thank you for a much needed boost of energy. You are so right it's never too late but I do regret I didn't do something when the weight started climbing up around 12-13 years ago. I honestly never dreamed I would be the one to become so out of control and obese. . .I used to feel attractive not when you weigh over 200 pounds the most I can expect to have someone say you look or are nice--LOL! I'm still moving forward. . .Never will quit on Myself.


    Jill emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1888 days ago
    Talk about joie de vivre! You've got it in spades and I think it might be catching.
    1888 days ago
    I agree that maintenance is the toughest which is why I've started this journey all over again. I love the fact that you are an inspiration for people of any age! What a difference you've made in your own life and in the lives of others. I have no doubt you have inspired many! Count me as one of those people!
    1889 days ago

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1889 days ago
    Love rereading your story. Thanks for posting! You are one of my 5 top go-to-girls here on Spark for health, happiness, inspiration, and motivation. Keep Sparking!
    1889 days ago
  • QTEALADY20031
    Tisha, as always I never tire of reading your success story. I have been looking for your blog as I know you said you were in the process of writing one. Tisha, in many ways you are a teacher, one we can learn from.......with such inspiration and motivation. I love your jewelry especially that ladies at lunch pin. You give us hope particularly that you are my age, I will be 71 in August. I could have died 2 years ago when I had the pulmonary embolism. These kind incidents wake us up as to what is really important and how we want to live a long, healthy and active life. You are a prime example of both ends of the spectrum. Look where you were and look where you are now. Thank you again for sharing your story. So many can benefit from what you offer on Spark people. You are a Success Story and People magazine missed the entire point as far as I am concerned!! I love your scarf! emoticon emoticon emoticon June
    1889 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/20/2013 9:44:49 PM
    YOU are awesome!!! the pic with the tie is my fav. you look cool and ready to rock! LOL
    Love your smile and sure hope I can do well when my knee replacement comes up. Scared more cos my back is so bad, that I can barely get up with my knees as they are, and can't sit up in bed without hauling on myself or sheets cos of my back so not having a leg to get up with and it is my leading leg should be interesting.
    Oh well will deal when it is closer and meanwhile do my exercises.
    CONGRATS and you are so great! love the jewlery... like the bluish ones on the right.

    1889 days ago
  • DAWNESS0404
    What a wonderful blog! Thanks for sharing your story. I love all the pics also. You are very talented!! Your jewelry is beautiful. emoticon
    1889 days ago
    Tisha I just love your story and I have love being able to call you a SP Buddy. You have been so inspiring to me. Love it and love you.. emoticon Donna
    1889 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    Tisha, as always, I am in awe. Love the photos, love your story, and the jewelry is lovely - my favorite piece is the last one, the black and gold necklace.

    I cannot believe I am going to admit this, but I am going to admit this. Not being morbidly obese, just uncomfortably overweight, seems to work against me. Because, as my doctor says, "other than your weight, on paper you are perfect" (as in all my lab tests, other than thyroid function, come back showing very good levels), I don't have the pressing health issues to spur me on. I know this sounds like excuses. It sounds like excuses, even to me. I just think, at this point in my life, I am so exhausted by failing to lose weight that the idea of tackling it makes me want to cry. Sorry, I don't know why I turned your wonderful blog of your well-deserved victories into fretting about me. I think it is because I feel very inadequate when I read your blogs. You are amazing and I know it is your intention to lift people up, and trust me, you do. I feel joy when I read your blogs - your love of living shines through in each and every one. I think, for whatever reason, I just wanted to 'fess up but I certainly don't expect you to "fix me". I am just really frustrated with me, but VERY happy for you. PS People is nuts - you very much should be in their magazine. They have lots of readers older than 40, and your story would give hope to SO MANY. No wonder you like to make jewelry - you are a GEM!
    1889 days ago
    Wow you look fantastic! Great pictures and great story!!!
    1889 days ago
    You did a great job. Keep up the good work.
    1889 days ago
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