Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Stick to your guns

How does one find the time to get everything done in just one day, one week, one month?

I think this is going to be my hardest feat to accomplish.

Between two jobs, a long distance relationship, spoiled little dog, and active social life, I find it so hard to stick to my goals.

I think with this new year, I am going to try and focus solely on those main objectives I listed in my last post (with of course some straying off into space, because it's not fun unless you go off course every now and then).

* Refocus- Focus on the goal again- to be healthy and happy. I am the happiest I've been in quite some time, but I'm certainly not the healthiest I've ever been, but much healthier than I have been in the past.

* Begin blogging again- So far, so good. I've always loved journalling as a kid, and still as an adult, find it quite therapeutic, so I don't think this will be a hard one to manage.

* Become more active- Here is where I struggle. My new job, takes up more of my time, and doesn't give me the flexibility as I was always used to when I was more active. I even struggle to get up and move around from my desk during the day. I have however, begun wearing my Jawbone UP Band alot more now (except today, since I was running a little behind for work and left it in the bathroom). I really wish I was a morning person and could get up at 5 am to go to the gym in the morning. Or that I didn't run out of steam so quickly at the end of the day to push myself to go after work. Truth is, I enjoy the gym, once I am's getting me there that is the hard part. Who wants to be my passive aggressive gym buddy and help pump me up?

* Re-establish healthy eating habits- Well, sometimes you think you are doing great, and then a snow storm hits, and you feel this unnecessary NEED to eat the entire bag of cheese puffs over two days. However, I think overall, I am doing okay. I am trying to cook more, and make better choices if I go out. This is still a work in progress however, there is always room for improvement.

* Drink more water- I think I have significantly improved on this. Since surgery I have always struggled with getting enough water in, but I am trying really really hard to just drink water, after my coffee of course.

* Focus on the positive- Hey, I might have gained some weight back, I might not be the strongest I've ever been, but you know what? I'm not on my death bed. I'm still much healthier than I was in years past. I have a good job, a good life and a great support system around me. Things could be much worse.

* Remain true to myself- I can't say I've really truly missed the mark on this one at all, at the end of the day I know who I am, and where I want to be, it's always nice to remind yourself that the choices you make in life can be selfish sometimes, and it's absolutely okay to be selfish.

The next few months are going to be pretty hectic, and it's going to be extra important for me to keep all these in mind!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Finding peace amongst the chaos

I've recently come to the realization that I have been neglectful to my blog, amongst other things over the past year. It's funny how sometimes life gets in the way...

As I was driving home the other day, I started thinking about 2014, and how so many things have changed, how I've slacked on so many things, yet feel I've gained so much and grown in so many ways.

I now have a 45 minute drive every morning, and every afternoon to reflect on my life, and plan my next steps towards getting where I want to be. I'm a little sad that I feel like I've put some things to the side line that a year or two ago were pretty important to me, but I think that's a part of life, we replace things we once held so dear, for other, maybe more dear things. The tough part is trying to find that healthy balance, something I am always struggling with.

I would have thought, that not that long after surgery, I would have "found" myself. If anyone has actually found them self, please, come find me and let's talk. At what point in life do we actually reach Self Actualization? Not for a long time that's for sure (in my opinion). We are always growing and learning and changing. We are human. Maybe that's just me though.

One thing I know for sure is you can change the way a body looks a whole lot faster than you can change the way a body thinks. As I look back on how I got to where I am today, I am so thankful (never thought I'd say that one) for the heartache, heartbreak and let downs over the past few years. And I don't even mean in the form of romantic relationships. Life in general is filled with heartbreaks and let downs.

I remember when I first moved home in 2012 I thought I was there, at the peak, knew exactly what I wanted and was almost there. Boy did I have myself fooled. Not until looking back now, do I realize I was still struggling internally with my inner demons with my relationships with people, food, myself. Still an ongoing battle, I think I have finally realized that relationships aren't going to be perfect, and instead of running away from something the second it starts to get tough, the hardest part is staying, and learning how to work together to create a healthy relationship.

I've always been the type to choose Flight rather than Fight with life. I hate confrontation, I hate having to actually discuss tough topics, and make tough decisions, I hate having to become vulnerable. But that's life. We can't always run away and ignore everything because eventually you will end up with nothing. Instead, it's okay to have a disagreement, it's okay to speak your mind, it's okay to let that wall down.

I will be the first person to say that I make quick decisions to fly when things start to get rough, or go wrong. Since 2012 I've had 5 jobs. Thankfully, since 2012 I have not been in 5 relationships, but I have been quick to jump in to dating someone and (thankfully) just as quick to jump out of dating someone.

I've made a promise to myself though, so stick things through. If work isn't going quite as planned, stick it out, look at the positives. I have a great job now with the State, with great benefits, and job security. I may have to drive a little further to work now, but I'm not spending my day driving around, and I have a purpose. I've fallen in love with my best friend. I never thought I would meet someone that I could honestly say that about. But we are. We aren't perfect, but we work, every day might not be perfect, but nothing is, and at the end of the day I am the happiest, most comfortable with someone than I have ever been before. I might not be in the best shape of my life, but you know what? 4 years ago I was 315 lbs and morbidly obese. I could barely do anything then, and now I can do whatever I want.

I'm promising myself that this year is my year. I think I've gotten things on the straight and narrow again, and there's no better time than now to really kick it in to high gear.

Here's what I promise to myself:

* Refocus
* Begin blogging again
* Become more active
* Re-establish healthy eating habits
* Drink more water
* Focus on the positive
* Remain true to myself

How do you find peace amongst all the chaos of life?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Photo Montaaaaaage!

I know you all are just as excited as am, to be able to see all my update photos in one post. You're welcome.


Day of Surgery, 300 pounds

One month post-op, 285 pounds

Two months post-op, 275 pounds

Three months after Surgery, 260 pounds
(very excited to put my weight on my licence that month)

Six month update, probably around 220 pounds
(what I weighed in high school)

Nine months post-op, under 200 pounds now!

One year post-op, sorry it's pixelated!
about 185 pounds, five pounds from my "goal" weight

Two years and one month post-op, probably around 185 or 190
(stopped weighing myself after I stopped seeing the scale go down)

Two and a half years later, 192 pounds, and kicking asses.
(why does this picture give me the world's largest thighs?)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fantasy vs Reality

I was recently having a conversation with a friend about my surgery. We were discussing how much weight I have lost, how much I weighed before and what I weigh now. I'm very open about this, heck I have a blog, that I share with the WORLD about this journey. Anyways, we were talking, and I had mentioned how I never met my goal weight that my Doctor and I set. I also mentioned that I had a personal goal to lose 30 lbs more than that. He had asked me why I thought I didn't reach either goal. I said that I have learned over time, that weight is just a number, it doesn't really have a whole lot of meaning, unless it involves rollercoasters.

I think people become so obsessed with numbers during weight loss, that they actually forget the purpose of why they (usually) decided to lose the weight in the first place. Most people do it to become healthier, more fit, or be a smaller size. It's easier though, to step on the scale and see those numbers. It takes much more brain energy to think of all the other ways we've improved.

I don't obsess over the scale anymore. When I first started this journey, you better believe I did, because it was instant gratification. I would step on every morning, and would see 3 or 4 pounds gone at a time, I was that much closer to that 180 lb skinny girl I had envisioned in my head. Once that slowed down, and eventual stopped, I had to find other reasons to motivate me to continue striving for better. Sure, I could probably be the weight I have always wanted, but what will I have to do to get there? Work out every day, drink water consistently between meals, focus my meals on strictly protein, and the worse...stop drinking. I could totally do those things, but I don't want to. I had this surgery so I didn't have to constantly obsess over food. I want to live my life happily, and being happy involves having lazy days, eating a piece of bread when I'm at Panera, and going out for a beer with my friends. I give the biggest high-five to those of my fellow WLS friends that continue to follow post-op guidelines, you are way more self disciplined than I. Not to say that I sit on the couch every night drinking beers and stuffing my face with a baguette (great picture, right?). This surgery has helped teach me portion control, and the very important balance of relaxing and being active.

Lately I've been feeling a little more down on where I am in regards to being the healthiest me, and I think today is a great day to write down some of my Non Scale Victories (NSVs).
  • I can sit in a seat, on an airplane without a) spilling over in someone else's seat and b) using a seatbelt extender.
  • I  can go to any restaurant and have a good six inches between my stomach and the table in a booth.
  • I can drive without my belly rubbing against my steering wheel.
  • I can wear a smaller size shoe.
  • I can run! Well..jog, but man can I jog!
  • I can finish a 5k and still have energy after.
  • I can go into a bar, by myself and not feel like everyone is staring at the fat girl.
  • I can shop at ANY clothing store of my choice.
  • I can sleep peacefully, without sleep apnea.
  • I can go zip lining, parasailing or on a rollercoaster if I so choose.
  • I can buy plane old wide width boots (not those special order tripe wide width).
My list is full of great things I CAN do. Just because I'm not the 150 lb girl that I fantasized about pre-op. Or even the 180 lb girl I fantasized about post op. I am the healthy girl that is real, that is enjoying life and basking in every moment of her glory.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pursuit of Happiness

What is happy?

I think happiness is different for every person, and it can change throughout their lives.

When I was a kid being happy was simple, it was playing my with toys, it was getting my own chicken basket from Country Chicken when we stayed with Gram. As I got older happiness was being with my friends, and fitting in. As I got older being independent made me happy,  being able to prove myself to...myself and others. I took great pride in my independence and accomplishments. As years went on and accomplishments became fewer and further between, my meaning of happiness became muddled.  I thought what would make me happy was having someone in my life, I thought that having someone besides my family to love me would be all that I needed. I searched for love so desperately to the point that I would take whatever I could get. I didn't care, because why should the fat girl deserve someone so great?

Moving forward a few years,  and shedding a few pounds,  I began to learn my self worth.  Not just in a relationship stand point but career wise, life wise...everything. I began to treat myself the way I always should have.  Having such poor self worth and self esteem really brings out the co-dependency in a girl. I spent so many years doing EVERYTHING for everyone else, in hopes that they would think of how sweet, funny, giving I was and not how fat I was. I began to do things for myself, to become more outspoken,  not to care if someone doesn't agree with what I said. Not to say I am completely different, I still struggle with co-dependency daily. Its just part of who I am. I find joy in doing things for others. But I've also learned when to put me first.

My happiness is the most important aspect in  my life. It has to be. If I'm not happy then how can I give 100% of myself in any situation? I've had to make a lot of tough decisions in the past couple of years in order to get one step closer to happiness.

Most recently, I switched jobs (again), and left my boyfriend (yes the one I was so head over heels for last year)

When you start to find yourself and figure out what you are deserving of, you kinda have to make it happen. I've worked too hard not to have an awesome life.  I'm always going to struggle with being happy, it's just my nature, its not easy being selfish, but sometimes it feels so darn good.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Scale- Are You Friend or Foe?

All my life, this simple little device has been my mortal enemy. At one point I just gave up all hope with it completely, leading me to become 315 lbs. Right before my operation, I decided I would purchase a new one and we would become the best of friends. And what do you know, we totally hit it off! Every day I stepped on it and it would tell me something less, this love for the scale continued on for probably a year and a half...until one day, it stopped moving.

I summed up the halt to so many life changes, changing jobs, changing states, changing relationship status'. I continued to follow the same eating habits and exercise routine, I began to feel better about myself, felt like I was  getting smaller, and feeling more fit, but the scale, just wouldn't budge. I was okay with this since I was feeling so good. Then more life changes happened, changed jobs again, changed where I lived, and now my boyfriend moved in with me. This all happened within a few months, so I allowed myself to be okay with the fact that the scale might have gone up a couple of pounds, I was going through a lot, and it wouldn't help if I was so hard on myself.

Well, now things have settled down, I am working a job that I am happy with, we are settled in to our new house, and I am working out again on a regular basis.

But the scale...oh the scale. It has gone up and up and up! I don't understand what is wrong with it! I've tried to ignore it, but there it sits under the sink mocking me, just louring me to step on and break my heart. 

Seeing the numbers creep up make me feel defeated, because I haven't reached goal yet, and it's been 2 years. I was so close to goal, only had 5 pounds to lose, and now I have closer to 15 to lose. I am still fitting in to the same clothes, but those numbers on the scale haunt me day and night. I fear that I am going to revert back to my old ways, and that scares the crap out of me.

I think for now, I just need to throw the batteries away, and not have the accessibility of my old friend, and really just focus on getting back on track. I don't feel like I am completely off track, but I can see how it's going that way. Incorporating life, with these choices are hard. When I go out, I want to have fun, and not worry, I don't want to have to be timing when to drink water, and when I can have something special to eat. But if that's what I need right now, then that's what I have to do again. 

I found something the other day that is now my background on my phone. It says-

START NOW by recommitting today.
DRINK WATER like it's your job.
PLAN each meal.
EAT don't make up for overeating by NOT eating.
REVISIT your food journal and repeat a good week.
REMIND yourself how far you've come.
MOVE get your sweat on.
DON'T let a bad week turn into a bad month.
VEGETABLES are your friends.
REPEAT this tomorrow.

This shall be my mantra until the scale can be nice. 

Have you every hit a stall? Or gained? What have you done or wish you did to get yourself out of this slump?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cross that 5K off my bucket list!

Today, I "ran" my first 5K.

I have been setting this as a goal of mine for quite some time now, and just haven't "gotten around to it". Running intimidates me more than a lot of things. I think because whenever I run, or think about running, I always flashback to Middle School when we were doing fitness testing, and completing the mile in 12 minutes test, and having Mrs. G yelling at me to get over it and keep running, while I was dry heaving on the sidelines.

I have this terrible fear that it will happen again. I'm sure that Mrs. G isn't going to magically appear where ever I am to holler at me...but she could.

I've tried running plenty of times...okay five. And it usually ends up becoming a walk/jog. But I've always said to myself I will do better next time. And I think I have, maybe I need to just stick with it so I can actually track my progress.

When I was on my kick about making it a goal of mine to run a 5K, the Color Run always seemed to be just my cup of tea for this task. It's objective is to have fun, not to see who can cross the line the fastest, and you end up tie died...who doesn't want to be encouraged to skip and dance across the finish line, as well as told to "drop and roll" across the color stations?

So I planned to do the Color Run in DC...that sucker sold out in a couple of hours! So, I waited...and I moved...and waited some more. Finally, the Color Run was coming to Boston! But there was no date, so I waited...Then, I saw something about the Color VIBE Run, here in New Hampshire, this was it, this was meant to be the race for me. I rallied up some friends and we signed up.

Through the next couple of months my life got a little chaotic, ending jobs, starting new jobs, ending those new jobs and starting other new jobs. Needless to say I didn't exactly find time to prepare for this Color Vibe Run...all I did was download the Couch to 5K app on my phone.

Next thing you know, the day is here. And it's 40 degrees and raining. I came pretty close to saying screw it and enjoy a day off curled up in my toasty warm bed. But no...I set out to accomplish this...and by golly I'm gonna do it!

So, I layered up, picked up my sister and away we went. We were able to meet up with some friends and start the race together, and quickly separated. My awesome sister stayed with me the whole time, we ran a little and walked a little then ran some more. It went by a lot faster than I had expected. I wish that the weather had been nicer, by the time we were done the race we were drenched, in rain and in color, and freezing. We had fun though, hopefully next time (that's right, I said next time!) it will be nicer weather so we can actually enjoy ourselves and not just run to get it over with!

Next time, I will try to prepare more though, even though we did well, I would have felt much better about myself if I had been able to run the whole time. But, 2 years ago....I would have barely made it just walking!