Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pre-op Questions

On Thursday I am going to my Pre-of visit for my surgery! I can't believe it's so close. On May 9th I will be having a tummy tuck and arm lift. Each time I see my arms in the mirror or feel my tummy giggle I get a bit giddy. :) I am expecting recovery to be a challenge, but am confident that it will be totally worth it when all is said and done.

I need your help! I've come up with questions to ask my surgeon at the pre-op, but am hoping that you will come up with extra questions to ask. I promise to post the answers. :) Here's what I've already come up with...

~ What time is the surgery? (I know, I should probably already know this...)
~ How long will the surgery last?
~ How long will I be in recovery?
~ When will I return for a post-op visit?

~ Will the drains *really* be in for 5 day? (My paperwork says 5 days, but that seems soooo long.)
~ What are my lifting restrictions?
~ I am taking 3 weeks off of work- is that long enough?
~ What foods should I stock up on that will aid in healing?

~ Should I continue to take my extra vitamins after surgery?
~ What should I wear to the surgery?
~ How much skin (weight) should I expect to lose? (Everyone wants to know this one!)
~ Can I donate my skin? (2nd most commonly asked question)
~ Where does my stomach end? (This one seems weird, but when you have a lot of excess skin it really is a bit unclear what is your stomach and what's your back...)
 When should I expect to be fully back to regular exercise? (I want to do my Free to Breathe 5K again in September and am hopeful...)

Your turn! What would you want to know? What am I forgetting to ask?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The voices are back...

So, a friend of my posted this link on my wall. It's about this amazing woman in my town that has lost 302 pounds through diet and exercise! 302!!! That is amazing!!! I *should* have been inspired by her story, but instead that ugly voice in my head started creeping in.... I've lost 170 which is OK, but it's not even 200....She is a fitness instructor- I could never do anything like that....She does Zumba 5 days a week and lifts weights twice a week- I do cardio 6 days a week AND weights 3 times a week and am still overweight...

Those stupid voices!

A good workout and a short chat with an amazingly supportive friend can do wonders for those voices. Here's the thing- I didn't have 300 pounds to lose. I don't think that I'd look too good at 56 pounds and 5'10". :) Yes, she is a Zumba instructor- I probably *could* teach a class if that's something that I really want to do. Yes, she is at goal. Did you see that it has taken her 5 years to get to that point? I am not even 2 years into my journey and am within 15 pounds of no longer being overweight. Not too bad! 

Take that you stupid voices!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Forgive me blog world...

for I have gained a little weight... Not a lot- a little- 4 pounds....

I've spent the past few days trying to sort things out. I've been lazy about recording my food. I'm not drinking the water that I know I should be drinking. I am eating a bag of popcorn (I'm not even really hungry) and drinking a Coke Zero (only had 1/2 of my water today) while writing this blog. I don't *feel* good. I *feel* heavy. I continue to not change my behavior.

I'm worried scared!

I'm scared that my surgery won't go well.

I'm scared I won't be able to get to a healthy BMI.

I'm scared that I will gain back all of my weight.

I'm scared that all of this will never be enough.

I wonder where that girl is that they wrote about in the paper that seems to have it all together. I have really appreciated all of the support that I've received since "going public" in the paper and in our school newsletter, but the support has actually increased my stress/fear/anxiety level.

I have been allowing myself to slide on making healthy choices out of fear. I don't want to gain weight so I eat- it makes no sense. This type of thinking is what caused me to weigh 356 pounds.

Ok, I'm putting on my big girl panties and setting new goals!

1. Tomorrow I will drink at least 64 ounces of water. I won't have any soda until I've had at least half of that. Feel free to ask me tomorrow how my water consumption is going. :)
2. Tomorrow I will measure and record everything that I eat.

High ho! High ho! It's back to the basics I go....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Regroup

My weight loss success has been largely centered around routine. When I lose that routine I tend to put on a little excess weight. I'm not stressed out, but after a weekend of non-routine I am up 3 pounds from Friday. I know it's not 3 pounds of fat. Most likely it's fluid. My weekend included:
  • Chinese take-out from the mall
  • Hubby sprained his ankle
  • Missed workout on Saturday (see above- had to take him to the doctor)
  • Saturday at the fair (after Urgent Care visit)- carmel apple, onion burger, no water, cotton candy
  • Sunday morning run- shorter than normal because I was sore and beat up from the fair
  • Ice cream Sundae at AWANA award ceremony at Church
  • Pizza for dinner on Sunday
  • Not enough water on Sunday either- I do SO much better with my water when I am at work and have my water bottle sitting on my desk.
I KNOW that stress, not enough water, missing workouts, and poor food choices can all lead to slight variations in weight. I feel totally OK with a little bit of weight gain. I understand the "why" behind the gain and am looking forward to a fresh start and a new week.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Shoes and Rest Days

Today is my "rest day". I do some form of exercise 6 days a week and Thursday is my day to not exercise. You many not think that a "rest day" is a big deal, but for me it is a HUGE day. Exercise has become such a part of my life that "rest days" are actually a challenge for me. I find myself wanting to *sneak* in a workout. I've worked hard to balance my exercise so that it does not become my obsession to replace food. Balance is important! At my gym there are some people that actually take multiple classes a day 6 or 7 days a week. I've limited myself to one class or one run per day. Exercise is important, but I can't let it control my life.

Just because it's my rest day doesn't mean I can't go shopping for new running shoes. :) I have big feet- size 11. I use to be an 11 wide, but am just an 11 these days. It's really difficult to find shoes that fit. I am happy to report that my local Famous Footwear has started carrying size 11's in Asics. They were even on sale today. I ended up getting a pair of Asics Gel-enhanced Ultra Lightning Tangerine shoes. Yep, you read that right- Tangerine. Some might call them orange. They are super cute!

Back to the store- The cashier asked to check my ID (Yep, the one from 170 pounds ago) and she commented that I had lost a lot of weight. I just smiled and thanked her. Here's the part that made my night:

Cashier: "I've lost some weight too"
Me: "Congratulations. How much have you lost?"
Cashier: "Like 10 sizes, but I don't look skinny, LIKE YOU!"
Me (blushing): "Thanks"

We had a good talk about how I'd lost my weight. I invited her to try out my gym and was on my way. I love that I can share with others what I've done to lose my weight and more importantly (in my opinion) share with them what they can do to help themselves.

Don't worry if you see a bright orange blur passing you on the road in the morning. It's just me in my new Asics.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Feeling Small

You'll have to excuse my rambling tonight. No, don't worry, this won't be a post about how I feel insignificant and worthless. Last night I went to dinner at Asado. The food was AMAZING, the company was inspiring and motivational. The chairs were... well, they were... normal. I sat there in this normal size chair and felt small. Not only did I fit in the chair, but I fit comfortably.  The chair was almost too large.

I'm not doing this feeling justice.

It's like this...

Nope, I don't know what it's like. I still see a BIG girl in the mirror. That girl doesn't fit in chairs, wear size 12 dresses or wake up early 3 days a week to get in her run before work. Lately I have found myself weighing myself less and less. I have started becoming OK with my weight. I catch myself as I pass a window and take myself by surprise. I'm happy with how I look in clothes. I am delighted with my cardio performance. I'm enjoying the new challenge of adding weights to my workout routine.

It's not just that I am starting to feel small. It's that I am starting to feel like what I always thought "normal" would be.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Celebration time!

Had a hard, but good run before church.

Was encouraged at church this morning!

Meeting friends for dinner tonight.

Yesterday I reached a new milestone-
170 pounds lost!
Today there was a great article in our local paper talking about my experience.

I still have a lifetime of healthy choices ahead of me.
                                      Let's go!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Frustrated to the Core

Warning... A little big of Negative Nancy visiting tonight....

My core muscle are super lame. I have modified the heck out of every core strengthening exercise know to man and I can't seem to make any progress. When I visited the plastic surgeon he assured me that I had "strong core muscles", but I don't see or feel them! There are a few things that make core work so hard for me...

- I broke my tailbone about 15 years ago. When I am doing traditional sit-ups it is a big pain in my butt- literally!
- When I am trying to hold plank there is so much excess skin that I can feel and see (when looking down my shirt) that it starts to mess with my mind. How can someone with that much fat have a strong core?
- I have sciatic issues and my lower back burns when I am trying to hold my legs up and work my lower abs.

These aren't excuses. It's where I'm at. Some of these issues would be resolved if my core was stronger. See my dilemma? Core work makes me so frustrated that it often causes my workout to derail. I get discouraged and begin to doubt my physical abilities. I almost cried during class tonight because I was so disappointed in my progress. Why is the core so hard to strengthen? I am a tough chick and am willing to do the work. I've done the work and am not seeing the results. Is it possible that this is just as good as it gets and that I am not meant to have a strong core?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hitting the weight room floor!

Last week I wrote about how I was feeling stuck. That blog led to lots of great advice! Every piece of advice that I got included one of these three words: strength, lifting, muscle.

Ok, ok. I get it! I need to increase my muscle strength if I want to continue to work towards my fitness goals. A few weeks ago I was reading a blog (if it's yours I'm sorry I couldn't remember where!) that talked about a book called The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I started looking into the book over the weekend and on Sunday I went down to the bookstore and picked up the book. I started reading Sunday afternoon and was instantly hooked! THIS is my missing piece. I am only on Chapter 4, but there are several things that have already struck a cord with me.

* If the weights are unchallenging your muscles won't grow.
* We have different types of muscle fibers- who knew? :)
* The fat the you burn during exercise matters LESS than the amount that you burn the rest of the time. I had to ponder this one, but it does make sense.
* As one gets leaner (read ME!) it becomes more and more difficult to burn the same number of calories as one did when one was nearly twice her size.

Here's my favorite....

* "You are voting for a leaner body by working out, but you're voting against it by eating too little food." Still processing this one....

On to the weightlifting. I did my first session today. Today I did:

-Squats-2 sets- 15 reps- 40 pound barbell each set
-Push-ups- 2 sets- 15 push-ups; I had to do "girl" push-ups. I look forward to being able to do real push-ups!
-Rows- 2 sets- 15 reps- used a 12.5 lb hand weight in each hand
-Step Ups with 2 risers- 2 sets- 15 reps- 12.5 lb weights in each hand,
-Prone Jackknife- Ummm- I HATE these! I was able to do the first set of 8, but for the second set I ended up holding plank for 45 second. Does anyone have any great tips on how to do these?

There you have it- my first weightlifting workout! The whole workout only took 20 minutes and I was able to do it after my Kickboxing class.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Stuck, stuck, stuck

I feel stuck!
Not just stuck-

Since January 5th I've lost a measly 6 pounds. I've gained strength and speed in my running. I've lost inches. People are still telling me I look like I am still losing. For a girl who is use to losing 8-10 pounds a month this is really hard. 6 pounds in 3 months stinks! I am still overweight. I should still be losing!

I blame my doctor. She told me to slow down my weight loss so I increased my calories with a goal of losing 1 pound a week instead of 2 (about 1600 calories a day). Here I am eating more food and not losing any weight. What do I do? I have two lines of thought...
1. Go back to 1200 calories until I get down to my goal weight- 174 pounds. I am at 191 right now- that would mean another 15 pounds.
2. Wait until after my surgery to find out what I really weigh after all of this excess skin is removed. I may be way closer to a healthy weight than I think.

How do you know when enough is enough? I've lost 166 pounds... is that enough? Is it OK to not lose for a while? I'm stuck!

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.