Monday, January 31, 2011

Do you know how skinny you are?

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent :)

Kids are great! Today at school one of my students came up to me and was tapping me on the shoulder over and over AND OVER again until I finally said, "Yes, Star". Here's how the conversation went:

Star*: "Mrs. F, do you know how skinny you are?".

Me:  "Thank you. That is very nice".

Star: "Do YOU KNOW how skinny you are?".

Me: "Thank you".

He persisted..."Mrs. F- DO YOU KNOW how SKINNY you are".

I realized that he was not going to give up.

Me: "Yes, Star, I know how skinny I am"

Star: "Ok"

Star walks away....

Ever since my chat with Star I've been looking in the mirror and I have to say that I am starting to look good! Now, if only I can always look at myself through Star's eyes. He doesn't see the excess skin, the pouchy stomach, the achy muscles. He sees a healthy, lean body. May I spend my time looking at all that I've done instead of what still needs to be accomplished!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stupid fluid!

With a 5 year old at home our most recent battle is over the word "stupid". Her brother is stupid. Homework is stupid. Mommy's rules are stupid. I have had it up to here with stupid, including this stupid fluid retention problem I seem to have!

If for just one day, ONE DAY, I don't drink at least 64 ounces of water and eat higher sodium foods (eating out anywhere!, ordering pizza, dinner in a box...) I find myself 5-7 pounds heavier the following day. The weight will drop off in a few days, but it is so stupid. Ugh! You might be thinking, "Well, um...why don't you just drink your water and stay away from those foods?". It's not really that easy. I've worked hard to balance my healthy lifestyle with being normal. Normal people eat out occasionally. Normal people have days where they don't drink enough water.

Here are my questions~ Do normal people retain fluid at this rate? Do I retain so much fluid because my body is not use to the excess sodium? Should I just walk around with a water IV for those days that I don't get enough water?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Plastic Surgeon Visit

I did it! I actually went to visit a plastic surgeon. If you've been following my progress at all you already know that I have excess skin. It's very common with drastic weight loss and there is not a lot of options when it comes to getting rid of the skin outside of surgery. Let me set the scene....

When you enter the office you can hear a waterfall in the background. You approach the desk where the beautiful lady sits that makes you want to re-do every single part of your body.
You are welcomed and offered a bottle of water. As you fill out your paperwork another person comes out and asked you if you'd like a coffee or a nice warm cup of tea.
There is beautiful artwork on the walls and the whole place smells of lilac. 
There are mommy type magazines displayed in perfect order on the table.

I had to wait about 20 minutes to see the doctor, but in an office like this I'd be willing to wait even a bit longer. :)  I went to the office hoping to be able to get my excess skin removed AND get it covered by insurance. After talking with the doctor for a few minutes I quickly realized that I would not be able to use insurance to get what I want. The insurance would (maybe) cover a Panniculectomy which is a skin lift from the belly button down to the bottom of the stomach. If I had the Panniculectomy that would make half of my stomach tight and flat and the other have giggly and not so flat. The doc said that he would be willing to do it, but wanted to warn me that I wouldn't be happy with the results. He suggested a Abdominal Dermatolipectomy which is just a fancy word for a tummy tuck. My insurance won't cover a tummy tuck. He then looked at my arms and suggest an arm lift. Insurance won't cover any part of the arm left. So much for my whole insurance plan! The doc showed me some before and after pictures and I was amazed at what can be done. He told me that I was an "ideal candidate" for both procedures since I have strong muscles and am very healthy. The recovery time isn't that bad and I could get it done in May and still have the summer to play.

Here are my concerns in no particular order.....
  • The cost~ These surgeries aren't cheap and I think about all of the other things we could buy- half a new car, a VERY nice vacation, a semester at college for one of my kids.
  • It is surgery~ What if I die because I want less skin. As my husband would say, "There are way cooler ways to die".
  • Vanity~ Am I doing this just because I want to look nice? Is that wrong?
  • What if I gain all the weight back? I know, I know. I won't gain it back. What if I do and I've spent all of this money?
  • Am I cheating? I've always been a big "no surgery required" kind of girl. I have lost every single pound through healthy eating and exercise. No pills. No surgery. Does this break my no surgery rule?
Here's what gets me excited....
  • I could buy clothes in the correct size- not just to fit my arms or stomach skin.
  • I would no longer feel my stomach flap while running (TMI?? Sorry  :)    )
  • My arms wouldn't hurt from the pain I feel because of the pulling skin when I am trying to box or do any sort of jumping aerobic activity.
  • I won't spend the next 60 years being frustrated that I've done all I can to correct the damage that I've done to my body and it still is not quite there.

So... What do you think? Am I cheating? Is it worth the cost? Should I wait until I've kept my wait off for a while?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Hear Voices

Today has been hard. I started the morning at the same weight that I have been at for the past 3 weeks. Since increasing my calories to slow down my weight loss I have hovered around the same weight + or - a pound. It's exhausting to maintain! I don't have the thrill of seeing the scale move down. I need some sort of validation that what I am doing is working.
How do people live at a consistent weight?

When the scale is not moving here's what I hear:
- You are never going to lose those last 20 pounds to meet your healthy goal weight.
- The weight will start creeping back on if you don't continue to lose.
- Your success is over~ you aren't meant to be at a healthy weight.

These voices are driving me crazy. I go to step class and I can't concentrate because each time I look in the mirror I see a 356 pound girl who can't fit into booths at restaurants. I end of overeating at lunch because I figure, "What's the point? I'm not losing weight anyhow". I haven't had my water intake for the day and start thinking, "I won't meet my goal, so why even try". These voices are not new to me and I can even identify what's causing them. I haven't been sleeping well, we recently had a death in the extended family and it has caused me to relive many of the emotions that I experienced when my dad passed away, and my schedule has been out of whack at work.


I don't want to live my live as a slave to the scale! I know that my weight is just a number and that my overall healthy/fitness level is way more important. I am struggling to be content with that number and focus on just my overall well-being.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I've been mulling this post over in my mind for several weeks. I'm not feeling very beautiful today and will, in an attempt to both encourage myself and you, push through that and share about what makes me beautiful.

I started thinking about being beautiful earlier this week when my 5 year old daughter asked me to paint her nails so that she would "be pretty like the other girls in her class". Not to brag, but my daughter really is quite beautiful and doesn't need nail polish to be pretty. My hope for her is that she will grown-up with the confidence she needs to say, "I am beautiful" and believe it!

My mom never taught me how to "be pretty". Because of this I am 35 years old and never wear make-up, have a hairstyle that requires only a hairbrush, and am still struggling with compliments that others give me about my weight loss and new clothing.

In addition to my mom not being into "being pretty" I stopped taking pride in myself early on in childhood. I remember in 4th grade thinking that I was fat and needed to lose weight. I wasn't fat in 4th grade, but I was tall. I was always the tallest kid in class until 8th or 9th grade. I was easily 5'8" in 6th grade. Tall does not equal fat or BIG! It's taken me 20 months and 161 pounds to figure this out. I am tall, but I am not big.

The only beautiful you are allowed to be when you are overweight is a "pretty face". I spent my entire teen and young adult years being told that I had a pretty face. That statement always made me cringe. I didn't want to have a pretty face~ I wanted to be beautiful. So...what makes me beautiful????
  • I am beautiful because I am dedicated to my own personal health~ I have made serious commitments to nutrition and physical fitness. These commitments don't change because I'm in a bad mood, would rather sit on the couch, or just plain don't want to. Through this weight loss journey I have discovered a determination and level of commitment that I never knew was possible. 
  • I am beautiful because of my commitment to family~ Family is a top priority to me and I work hard to foster relationships with my immediate and extended family. I am a darn good Mommy, wife, daughter and sister.
  • I am beautiful because I am great friend~ I don't have a lot of close friends, but those that are close to me know that I will be there in times of joy and times of sorrow. I am an encouraging and supportive friend. I love to see my friend succeed and I mourn with them when they struggle.
  • I am beautiful because I don't wear make-up and still look darn good~ That's right! I don't need a ton of make-up or fancy curls in my hair to make me physically beautiful. Have I mentioned my collar bones? Those are beautiful! I also have very shapely calf muscles. There is nothing wrong with physical beautiful. My point is that physical beauty is not thing only thing that makes us beautiful. Let me say that again~ Physical beauty is not thing only thing that makes us beautiful!
  • I am beautiful because I am a child of God and He doesn't make junk. :)
What makes you beautiful?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My FIRST Little Black Dress!

I remember once our church was having a banquet that was suppose to be a dress-up type of event and I had nothing to wear. It was torture! Back then they didn't make dresses in plus size that were also appropriate for women in their early 20's. My friend and I joked about me wearing a black trash bag to this event. Deep down inside I hurt because I just wanted to be normal.

Guess what? I am normal! I bought a little black dress at Target today. I wasn't even looking for a dress, but found one on the 75% off clearance rack. Did I mention that this dress was a size 12?????  Almost 2 months ago I wore my first size 14 and today I slipped on a size 12 dress.  I feel really uncomfortable in the dress because it is nothing like anything that I've ever worn before. Most people buy a dress like this for a special occasion. My occasion? Today I also hit the 160 pounds loss mark. I let hubby know that he would need to plan a size 12 Little Black Dress worthy night out. I think I might even need to get me some cute shoes to go with the dress. :)

Here's my dress.....

 Look at those collar bones!!! Look at how small my waist looks!!! I have curves!!!  I felt like the girl in What Not to Wear in the dressing room. I could hear Stacy and Clinton saying, "Look at those broad shoulders. See how this dress emphasises your small waist."

I'm still unhappy with my arms and my stomach region, but they will continue to shrink and tighten up as I continue to work towards my overall fitness goals. Plus I keep hearing about these bodysuit shapers that I am planning on checking out very soon.
I feel AMAZING in this dress.
More important than that~ I feel normal!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Calorie Balance

I'm a week into increasing my calories to slow down my weight loss and am feeling out of control! When I first started increasing my calories from 1200ish to 1640 it was so hard. I struggled to eat enough calories and found myself filling my caloric needs with not-so-good for me foods. As I've decreased my calories during my weight loss journey it's been easy to cut out the crappy foods and stick to around 1200 healthy choice foods. When you only have 1200 calories to play with you really do find the best food that gives you the most bang for your caloric buck.

During this past week I've noticed that it has gotten easier to meet my 1640 goal, but only by adding sweets, unhealthy fats, and eating even when I am not hungry. I need to figure out how to increase my calories with healthy foods that will help my body and improve my fitness level. This all feels really unbalanced and out of control! It's like I can either (a) eat a minimal amount of calories and easily stick to my goals or (b) graze all day in an attempt to meet my higher calorie range and struggle to stop eating when I should. It should be EASIER to follow my goals when I have more calories to consume. Why is it so much harder???

PLUS the scale is not moving. I know, I know~ it's not suppose to be moving. I know I am getting stronger. I know that the scale is not the only way to judge healthy living.  This is hard! I am use to seeing the scale move a little every day...not a lot~ a quarter to half a pound each day and now it is just plain stuck. Will my body adjust to the increase in food or will I start to actually gain weight because I am eating more? Am I destined to eat 1200 calories a day for the rest of my life?

Tomorrow is a new week at work and a new day to make healthy choices to meet my nutritional needs. When I first started learning I would enter all of my food for the day on SparkPeople before I even ate breakfast. This would help me to see what other foods I needed to add. I suppose that is how I learned how to eat at 1200 calories. I am going to go back to planning my food for the day and see how that goes.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Excuse me, you are in my spot

A letter to all of the people that have joined MY gym since January 1st:

Dear New Members,
                 I'm really glad that you have decided to join the gym and take care of your body, but you are in my spot. See, I have parked in the same spot for over a year~ 4 spots from the end of the row on the right side of the building. Tonight there was no where to park and I had to park on the street where my daughter was nearly sideswiped by the cars rushing by. I couldn't park in my spot because you were in my spot. This week I went to go set up my weights, but had to use a different size since SOMEONE had taken all of the size 8 weights. Lockers...let's talk about lockers...I really like the lockers closest to the showers so that I can watch TV while changing and quickly get dressed after my shower. Just this week I went into the locker room and there were no lockers in my isle available. SOMEONE had their stuff in each of the lockers. During one of my classes this week (a class that I arrived to 20 minutes early just to get MY spot!) you put your mat within a foot of mine. When working out people need space. If you are going to continue to come to the gym you should know that you can't get that close or you are going to get dirty looks AND might get kicked when I someone is doing mountain climbers.
                            One more thing... The gym should be fun, but I'm not there to play. If I see one more set of girls giggling or primping their hair while I am sweating out half of my day's calories I am going to scream. Yes, the classes are hard. No, that doesn't mean you should just stare at the instructor. It will not get easier by standing around. Get in there! Do it! Get sweaty! Take a quick break if it's too hard, but then get back at it. No one cares about your new cute shoes, your new sweat suit, or how your legs look in the mirror.
                 I hope you stay at the gym. I wish you continue health. I love the new energy that visitors bring to the classes, but could you please get out of my spot.

                                                        Thanks! :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Bones and New Measurements

A few days ago I discovered a new bone in my ever-changing body! I'm not sure which bone it is, but it is at the end of my collar bone in the shoulder area. When I rotate my arm in circles I can feel the bone move up and down. :)   I've spent all day long feeling and poking at my "new" bone.
Even with the discovery of this new bone I've been feeling dissatisfied with my body- extra skin, lumpy spots, and disappearing parts of my body that aren't suppose to shrink! I decided to have hubby take my measurements and here are the results.... 
Body part- November 29, 2010- January 5, 2010
Waist- 42.25in- 39.5
Hips- 46in- 45
Neck- 13.5in- 13
Thigh- 22.5in- 22
Arm- 14.25in- 14.25
Chest- 38.5in- 37.5in
Weight- 206lbs- 197lbs

I'm super pleased with these numbers! My measurements today are a great example of a time when the scale is not the only indicator of success. Before Thanksgiving I had set a goal to not gain any weight between Thanksgiving and New Years. I am happy to report that not only did I not gain any weight, but I actually lost 9 pounds during the eating season. I start 2011 with great anticipation and a little bit of fearfulness. I look forward to seeing my body change and grow as I near maintenance mode and I am terrified by the fact that I have no idea how to maintain. Happy New Year!

About Me

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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.