Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ahhh summer :)

I love summer vacation! I love spending time with my kids! I love the fresh fruits! I love being able to exercise in the morning!

I love where I am at in this part of my journey!

My eating hasn't been great, but I have been sticking with my exercise plan during vacations. I don't know what I weigh (too scared to check...), but my pants still fit. I've decided that as long as my pants fit that it must still be ok.

I still want to lose a bit more. I'm "suppose" to be at 174.
I'll get there, but for today my pants fit and that's good enough for me. :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

High-speed Withdraws

Getting ready for vacations can be very stressful. I couldn't find the charger for my camera this morning. Ugh! I must have been horrible a bit cranky because he pretty much pushed me out the door for my run. I complained that I didn't have time to go and he insisted. Exercise really does bring clarity to foggy situations. On my run I remembered where I had stored the camera cord for safe keeping. Hurray!

I will be away from the computer for 4 whole days! I have to admit that I'm a bit worried. No blogging. No Facebook. No e-mail. No SparkPeople. Ohhh this can not end well. I might find a hot spot along the way to check my e-mail. :)

I've packed my running shoes!
Healthy snacks are in the cooler!
Everything is going to be ok.
Have a healthy weekend.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Those" friends and Sweat

Do you have "those" friends? You know, the ones that you only talk to every few months (years....) and yet each time you reconnect it feels as though no time has passed? I have a great group of "those" friends and we call ourselves the "Old Maids Club". We've known each other since high school. Now, let me be very clear- none of us are old and most of us are no longer maids. :) We are a group of amazing, young, vibrant ladies that once upon a time thought that we were destined to be old and unmarried- thus the name. Each Christmas we get together for a few hours to catch up, swap old stories, and reconnect. This past Christmas we got together and they gave me an unexpected gift. They honored me and my weight loss by giving me a gift certificate to a spa. Hurray for massage therapy! I usually go once a month to get a massage for lower back/hip issues, but hadn't used my gift card. Today I was able to go get a massage and it felt great. Usually I go to a medical place (my insurance does cover it after all....), but today was at a real life spa. I felt like a queen. I even got a goodie bag when I left. It was cool!

Thank you ladies for giving me this wonderful gift
and for your life-long friendships.

As a side note- did you see Jen's blog today over at Prior Fat Girl? She is featuring men and women getting sweaty. I am the third one down. :) Thanks again to Kelly for taking the great picture of me rocking the kettle bell.

Off to sit in the sun and bask in the afterglow of a great massage....


Monday, July 18, 2011

Maintenance is HARD work!

Here's how the conversation went....

Friend who only means the best: "Are you still losing weight?"
Me: "No, I haven't lost in a few months"
Friend: "Oh, you've hit a plateau"
Me: "Um, I guess so" (I exit feeling frustrated, inadequate, and embarrassed that I didn't have big weight loss numbers to share.)

Here's how it should have gone....

Friend: "Oh, you've hit a plateau"
Me: "No, not at all. I am running faster than I ever have. I have been able to maintain a weight loss of nearly 170 pounds for OVER 6 months. I am working out harder each time I hit the gym. I just started a weight lifting program. I feel amazing!"

Maintenance is hard work! I have been known to tell people that maintenance can be more difficult than losing weight. I need to remember this the next time I am feeling inadequate about my own progress.

Have you stopped losing?
How do you answer when people question your progress?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Eating right and gaining strength

Before my surgery I had started lifting weights and was really pleased with the progress that I saw in such a short amount of time. I found under a pile of clothes grabbed my book, "The New Rules of Lifting for Women". This book is divided into stages. I had completed Stage 1 before my surgery and decided to pick up where I left off and start Stage 2. I don't *know* that this was the best decision, but yesterday I found myself starting Stage 2. Two parts of Stage 2 really stuck out during my workout. The first was the front squat with an overhead press. I nailed the squat part, but when it came to the overhead presss it was TOUGH. I ended up lowering, and lowering, and lowering my weight until I only had 30 pounds on my bar. I just couldn't lift more than 30 pounds over my head. (BTW- it hurts to pick up my coffee cup this morning...)

Another part of this workout called for holding plank for 60 seconds. I *thought* that this would be easy. Ummm, not so easy, but I DID IT! I held plank for 60 seconds TWICE! A few months ago I couldn't even do one full push-up. Yesterday I did 5 real push-ups (X2) and 5 modified ones.

Eating has been much better this week. I started tracking again on SparkPeople and feel fantastic. I have been eating between 1500-1700 calories a day. I will need to increase my calories next week since I am back to full time exercise and need to fuel my muscles. I am also happy to report that I dropped 4 of my vacation pounds. :) I am at 191.1 this morning. My next goal is to get to 185. When I get to 185 I am going to order a Prior Fat Girl t-shirt. Have you seen this blog? It's super! Go check out those Prior Fat Girls.... Off to meet Thomas the Train for Bug's 4th Birthday!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The "Cool Mom"

Do you ever use Groupon? You can get great deals on local activities at a fraction of the price. I LOVE a good deal. Several months ago they were running a deal where you could get 3 visits to our local jumping house for really cheap. I picked up one for each of the kids and tucked them away for a rainy today. Today was a rainy day. Yep, it's the middle of July. Yep, it's raining in the Pacific Northwest.

We got to the jumpy house for pop-in playtime, watched the not-so-informative safety video and were taken to the jumping room. Once in the jumping room the kids took off their shoes and were off and jumping. I settled in with the other mom's on the bench. Magazine in hand. I was ready to wait out the next hour. I didn't even open my magazine before the thought crossed my mind- I *could* jump for a little bit with Bug. Before I knew what was happening I was sliding down giant blow up slides, tackling kids in the ball pit, and racing through the bouncy maze. I was playing! I was jumping! I was that mom. The one that I use to sit on the sidelines and watch. The one that I started out this journey to be. The one that my kids can look forward to playing with at jumpy houses. I was feeling pretty great about this whole experience and then.......

As I was crawling out of the ball bounce house this other mom caught my eye. Her daughter had been playing Ring Around the Rosie with Bug and I. She looked right at me and said, "You are the cool mom". I AM THE COOL MOM! Can you believe that?

Losing weight is hard. Jumping around in blow up toys is super cool. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

2 Months Post-Op

2 Months!?!?!

On May 9, 2011 I had plastic surgery to remove my excess skin that I developed after losing 170 pounds through healthy eating and exercise. I have so much to share and will try my hardest to be a succinct as possible.

~ Exercise- After 2 weeks I was given the OK to return to walking. I had to wear my binder from weeks 2-7 during exercise. If I didn't wear my binder there was a lot of pressure on my stomach incisions. I was given clearance at 6 weeks post-op to return to normal exercise. Vacations have hindered me from totally returning to normal routine, but I have been able to take several classes at the gym and have returned to running. Pre-op I was able to run nearly all of my 3-mile runs and yesterday I ran 2/3 or the way. Not too bad! I love running and not feeling my stomach bounce against my legs.

~ Clothing- This is a tricky one! Before surgery I was rocking my size 14 pants. Now the 14's are falling off of me, but the 12's are uncomfortable. I am confident that once I get back into regular exercise that I will be good in the 12's. I love how my shirts fit now. I actually have room in my arm pits! Dresses also have a much more flattering fit now since I don't have an extra thickness hanging near my hips.

~ Arms- My stitches are healing nicely. When I first had my surgery the skin was really tight near my arm pit. That has loosened up quite a bit and I no longer have discomfort when stretching or reaching for something on the top shelf. They are white and thick- probably about the thickness of a permanent marker. I have a spot near my elbow that is poking me every once and a while. I think that I have a stitch that is waiting to come out. Later this week I'll call my PS's office if the poking feeling doesn't go away. My scar is long, but it is not really noticeable when my arms are at my side. I have to remember to always keep sunscreen on so that I don't burn my new skin. I lost a lot of muscle during recovery and look forward to rebuilding my arm strength.

~Stomach- I love my arms. I can't really say that about my stomach. My stomach looks good, but not great. The big issue (excess hanging skin) has been corrected. I would need to get that vertical cut to make the corrections that I think I need for my stomach to look great. At this time there are no plans to have any additional surgeries. I am hoping to return to weight lifting and work on developing some definition in my abs. I've always had a big mental block when it has come to core work. Pushing through this block is an immediate goal of mine. I've also put on a few pounds since the surgery and I am sure that once I drop those that I will notice a difference in my abs.

I am so glad that I had this surgery! It's not perfect, but it is so much better. Some people have the arm lift and are really self conscious about the scar. The scar really doesn't bother me. To me it's a badge of honor! When people ask about it I see that as an opportunity to tell them about my weight loss experience. Recovery has gone quickly and I really do feel pretty much back to normal. Overall there is still some tightness and puckering of skin around the incision sites, but it seems to be getting better every day.

Whew! I think that's it. Feel free to ask any questions. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I've been overeating lately... Nope, I haven't gained back 170 pounds, but I have gained 5 pounds. School ended 2 weeks ago. Over the past 2 weeks I have spent 10 days at the ocean on vacation, gone to the movies, spent the day at Wild Waves, and have fallen completely off of the healthy eating and regular exercise wagon.

It's not pretty. I don't feel good. I feel stuffed all the time and I don't like how I feel. I miss feeling hungry. I've been eating way too much.

I've learned through this journey that the emotional reasons behind my weight loss (and gain!) are way more significant than the actual act of overeating or lack of exercise. The lack of exercise is easy to explain.  Since my surgery I was only cleared to return to normal exercise last week. When I'm not at home it's difficult to get to the gym. I'm out of my exercise routine because I've been out of my normal living routine. I'll get back to my gym routine in no time.

The eating piece is a little bit more troubling. I know that I can't just eat whatever I want and still maintain my weight. I'm not that girl. I also know that I feel better overall when I am making healthy food choices. Even though I know all of this, I have found myself overeating and eating the wrong foods. Have I just gotten lazy with my choices? Am I bored? I'm not really sure. I do feel like I've lost a little bit of motivation. I've decided that I'd like to lose another 10 pounds. Truth be told I'm 2 pounds over my pre-op weight, plus the 7 pounds that they removed. 10 pounds would put me right about where I *should* be at this point after my surgery. I've updated my SparkPeople goals and am ready to reclaim control over my food choices.

What about you? Do you have summer goal that you are working towards? I'd love to hear about your goals and steps that you are taking to meet your goals.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Long Beach Vacation

Yesterday afternoon we rolled into town after a week long visit to Long Beach, WA. We had a fantastic time! The sun shone on our trip and there was only one day of really icky weather. If you know anything about the ocean in the northwest, you know that the weather can be very ticky at any time of the year.

I am now able to cross off another activity on my "Must do now that I am skinny list". I rode a horse on the beach!
Getting ready to ride the horses....

My daughter is in the pink jacket!

There is so much that I can say about being able to ride on a horse... I kept thinking, "This horse has no idea that I use to weight 356 pounds". Sometimes I wish I had a sweatshirt that said, "Hey, did you know that I've lost all of this weight?" People are starting to get "use to" me being an average weight. Life goes on after losing the weight. People forget. The horse doesn't care. I just smile to myself secretly because I know and that's what really matters.

Other highlights of the trip include hiking a "difficult" trail to Cape Disappointment, playing in mud puddles on the beach, getting in 4 really good runs on the boardwalk, eating yummy ice cream, and loving each and every moment that I was able to be active with my kids in ways that were not possible two short years ago. I'll leave you with a few parting pictures.

We even built a campfire in the rain. I told Sissy to say "cheese" and she said, "miserable". :)

Playing in a huge "mud" puddle on the beach.

The family at our condo


About Me

My photo
On June 19, 2009 I started my weight loss journey. It has become quite the journey! As of today (2-1-11) I have lost 162 pounds and have gained a whole new life. This blog is a continuation of my journey. I hope to inspire and encourage others through my process.