Monday, May 12, 2014

Almost 2 Years - Reality Check - Time to Re-focus!!!

This coming Thursday will be my 2-year anniversary since my gastric sleeve surgery. It's kind of unbelievable how the time has flown by. 

I'm sad to report that I've re-gained 21 lbs from my lowest weight. Back at the beginning of September 2013, I was down to 178.0 lbs. Not long after that, I started getting away from "the basics" and the routine of three meals a day and only protein drinks or water between meals. I started snacking. Most of the snacks were fairly good, but they were still snacks and it meant that I wasn't drinking as much and I stopped going to the gym regularly because of a busy schedule. Then I discovered that I could drink ICEE's from the corner store and got pretty hooked on them, especially when I was stressed. My old habits of eating when stressed and eating in front of the TV when not really hungry came back. I still feel my choices were more conscious than before surgery, but the underlying addiction is still there and it won. I had too much going on with school to fight the food/exercise battle too. The odd thing is that I consciously knew I was choosing to snack & choosing to have ICEE's and choosing to not follow the basics. There were many times when I'd say, "I need to start again. I need to get back to basics," but then I wouldn't do it because of stresses of school. 

I had my last final exam on Saturday, and I'm graduating this coming Friday. I have to return to school in the fall to do my student teaching semester, but I don't have many plans for the summer, so this is the perfect time to re-focus. 

I have reset my starting weight and date on MyFitnessPal to today. This morning my weight is 199.8 lbs. Today is a new day. I have 14 weeks until I start the professional development time at the high school I'll be student teaching at in the fall. My goal is to AT LEAST lose the 21.8 lbs I gained since last September, and ideally I'd like to lose even more than that. I am getting back to basics of the three meals a day and only protein drinks or water between meals. I'm getting back to logging EVERYTHING on MyFitnessPal. 

It is time for me to start over and take back my life. -- Despite my back-slide, not a day goes by that I regret having this surgery done. It has changed my life forever and I am eternally grateful for the changes it has helped me make in my life. I'd still do it again in a heartbeat! This back-slide just shows me how real my food addiction really is in my life and how conscious I need to be to win over it. 

Highest Weight (in 2008): 310 lbs.
Weight Before Pre-Op Diet: 279.6 lbs. 
Weight on Day of Surgery (5/14/2012): 267.0 lbs.
Lowest Weight Since Surgery (9/3/2013): 178.0 lbs.
Current Weight: 199.8 lbs.
Goal Weight: 150 lbs.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

16 Months Post-Op ..... down 100.8 lbs!!

My official 16-month mark is next Saturday, the 14th, but this past week I hit a huge milestone - being down 100.8 lbs since my pre-op diet, so I decided to go ahead and do pictures & measurements today. I still have about 20-30 lbs to go to hit my own personal goal, but I'm so happy to see the scale at 178.8 lbs now!!! 

I used a different camera, but hopefully the difference is still seen. :)



Here is my new favorite outfit...... a size 16/18 blouse & actually a size 14 skirt (with one of my favorite Paparazzi Accessories necklace sets - check out www.thriftytrinkets.com for my Paparazzi products)!! 



I still struggle with my body image and sometimes get hung up on the last 20-30 lbs, but I have to keep reminding myself how far I've come and how much more awesome my life is now! We went to Sea World as a family last month & I never would've been able to spend the day there & fit in the rides & be comfortable at the shows and never could've walked around all day without being completely in pain and wiped out for 3-4 days later when I was 280 lbs! It was a tiring day, but not overly so and I wasn't in pain after walking all over the place for 12 hours! I'm so happy with how my life has changed & know I'll eventually meet my own goals even if it takes another 6 months or more to do so. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Incredible Shrinking Chin!!

Some of you may remember a while back when I mentioned the It Works Ultimate Body Applicator - an all-natural body wrap - that I had started using. I used about 5 wraps back in October/November 2012. I stoppe using the wraps because I started using the It Works vitamins, which I absolutely LOVE too. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford both products, so I've been using the vitamins instead of the wraps. 

Well, I decided to use the wraps again this summer.  I decided that I'm going to wrap my chin/neck area every Thursday and my stomach every Sunday. I'm also using the Defining Gel twice a day on my chin/neck, tummy, and upper arms. 

Last Thursday was the first time I did my chin/neck area. I am AMAZED by the results after just one use and using the Defining Gel.  I know I'm not quite the same distance from the camera in each photo, but I was trying to do a self-photo with my iPhone so it was really hard to get it exact. However, I still think you can see the difference.  


I'm going to do my second wrap on my chin/neck area tonight. I've still been using the Defining Gel twice a day too. The Defining Gel is the same botanical gel that is on the wraps, but it's a lesser concentration, so it can be used daily to help continue to tighten, tone and firm the skin. The wraps work in your body for up to 72 hours, which is why I did the second picture 3 days after the first. 

If you'd like any other information about It Works wraps, vitamins, supplements, skin care, or other products, feel free to comment here or visit my Facebook page for the business - FB Wrap Texas Skinny - or my website for the business - Wrap Texas Skinny. I would love to help others improve their health too! There are also great benefits if you sign up to be a Loyal Customer! The wraps are awesome & I also love some of the vitamins and other supplements. I haven't felt this amazing in a long time!!! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Year Surgiversary!!!

A year ago today, I was in surgery having my vertical sleeve gastrectomy done. So much has happened since then that it's hard to even remember without going back and reading my own posts from that time. 

Here are my current pictures. I don't have the same camera as I did a year ago, so I look further away from the camera now. I took the tape off the carpet a few months ago, so my feet aren't exactly in the same spot, but I tried to guesstimate and I lined up the floorboard in the pictures. Hopefully you can still get the idea! 




Here's my measurement chart . . . 

Week Week 0 Week 52 Change
Date 05/13/2012 05/12/2013 52 Weeks
Weight 267.0 187.4 - 79.6 lbs
Neck 15.50 14.00 - 1.50 in
Right Arm 16.50 13.50 - 3.00 in
Left Arm 17.00 13.50 - 3.50 in
Bust 50.00 41.50 - 8.50 in
Chest 42.50 35.50 - 7.00 in
Waist 54.50 41.75 - 12.75 in
Hips 55.00 44.00 - 11.00 in
Right Leg 26.50 21.75 - 4.75 in
Left Leg 26.50 22.00 - 4.50 in
Total Inches 304.00 247.50 - 56.50 in

Looking back, I've only lost 10 inches since my 6-month mark. However, I haven't been working out as much as I thought I would the last semester of school. I'm not taking classes this summer, so I'm really going to try to focus on exercise more for the next 3 months. If I can get a good routine going, it will be easier to keep up when school starts even with the craziness of school. 

Overall, I am absolutely thrilled with the decision to do surgery last year and I would do it again in a heartbeat! It has changed my life immensely. 

It has not completely solved the food addiction. I still make not-so-good choices sometimes. However, I'm still learning and tackling things and it's a much more conscious decision when I make those not-so-good choices. Also, I can now only eat a handful of Goldfish instead of the whole bag! It is definitely still a journey and will be for the rest of my life. I have to keep looking at how far I've come because when I look at how the weight loss has slowed down or at how I still have 30-40 lbs I'd like to lose or look at all my extra skin, it is easy to get depressed again and start putting myself down again. That emotional side is much harder than the physical side of things!! The surgery has helped so much and has helped me change the physical side of things. Now I need to work harder on the emotional side of things! 

Even with dealing with the emotional stuff more now, I'd never go back to 280 lbs again! I'd never want that life again! I'm so happy with how far I've come and how much I have changed physically and even emotionally so far and I know I'll keep moving forward in both areas! 

It's truly amazing to me that it's already been a YEAR!!!!! Sometimes it seems like yesterday! 

Michelle

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Accepting Myself . . . for now

As you can see, I haven't been posting the past few months. School and family have taken over my life. That's not bad, but it just means I haven't been posting. I haven't been tracking my food. Although I haven't been going over my calories, I haven't been making the most wonderful choices for food sometimes . . . especially as things get stressful with finals coming up. Granted, now I can only eat 2 or 3 Oreos instead of the whole package. However, I really shouldn't have even the 2 or 3. 

Lately I've been getting more frustrated with myself since I haven't made the best food choices and since I haven't been exercising much other than the few short walks I take on campus. It's frustrating when I know how much more I still have to lose and also when I see people who had surgery after me who have lost more than I have now. 

I've tried to re-focus a few times the last couple months, but life keeps taking over. I'll only work out for a few days and then get tired and stop so I can focus on homework or family. 

This weekend I finally decided that I need to just stop worrying about it. I need to take each day as it comes and try to do better with my food choices, but I need to not worry about school and exercise and family and trying to fit it all in. I've decided that I just need to finish the semester and then go from there! I'm not taking any classes this summer, so I'll have plenty of time to swim and go to the rec center and do other things with the girls for exercise and fun. I'm positive that I can achieve my ultimate goal of losing another 40-50 lbs from mid May through September. Even if I can't get the exact goal of the 40-50 lbs, I know I can get close! 

Next semester will be just as hectic as far as studying goes, but I'm actually only going to have classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, so I'm hoping if I can get a good exercise routine going in the summer I'll be able to keep it up at least 3-4 days a week once school starts again too. 

I just need to give myself a break - and as Richard said the other day, losing 80+ lbs in a year is awesome anyway! I have to keep reminding myself of that fact! 

Michelle

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Struggling All Around

After my last post, I had all intentions of adjusting things and sticking to my goals. However, life happens and it's been a lot harder than I thought! I had started working out more, but then our older daughter was sick all last week. I could've gone to the gym by myself in the morning, but I slept in instead. The rest of us could've gone to the gym at night without her, but we didn't. We let tiredness get in the way. Lately I've had a sweet tooth, even more than before surgery, and even though I haven't always given into it, I have had a candy bar a few times. I've let my frustrations from school drive me back to sweets and/or Goldfish crackers. I haven't gone over my calorie goals, but I haven't been making the best choices for food either. 

The last month or so it has really sunk in how much surgery was just a tool and not a complete solution to the food addiction like it seemed the first 6 months. I know a lot of people have these issues come back a lot sooner than I have, and I'm grateful for the 6-7 months I did have where food wasn't an issue, but I really wish it never became an issue again!! School is so stressful right now that I wish I didn't have to deal with food crap too, but I guess it's just all part of the journey. 

Right now I'm kinda stressed about actually reaching my ultimate goal by my surgiversary on May 14, 2013 (14 weeks from now). I really need to make the effort to put in the work now because without the exercise and right food choices, I won't even get close to my goal. I would love to meet my ultimate goal, but even more importantly I want to be healthier. If I'm exercising and eating right, I'm not so concerned with the numbers on the scale. Right now I haven't been doing those things though, so the numbers are really bugging me! 

Time to take things day by day - and sometimes hour by hour (especially when the frustrations creep in)!! 

I'm still so glad that I had surgery and have changed my life. Now is the hard part of continuing toward the better life instead of returning to the old one! I know I never want to go back to that point again!! 

Michelle 

  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Remembering My Focus

This is a cross-post with my college/family blog because I feel it applies to all aspects of my life and shares where my mind has been recently . . . 

It is very easy to get lost or lose focus when there is so much going on . . . or when there will be so much going on starting tomorrow! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about staying focused and on trying to make sure I don’t start putting myself down again. I will probably end up making this a duel post on my weight loss blog because it entails things from that journey as well as other aspects of my life. 
The last couple weeks I’ve been thinking about the new semester and how crazy life is going to be and how hard it will be to focus on my family and my weight & exercise and my classes & grades and my spiritual life. I will, unfortunately, admit that many times when everything else gets crazy I tend to leave the spiritual stuff behind. However, then I get overly stressed and start putting the spiritual back into my life because I know I should’ve never stopped in the first place since I feel so much better when I include God in the chaos!
Anyway, as I thought about this and thought about my starting goals for the new year and how I wasn’t doing them much, I started telling myself I’d start them when the girls went back to school. Then last week came and went and I started saying that I’d start when I started school again tomorrow (1/14). Then, part way through the week, I decided to make sure I was doing at least some of the things on my goal list and tried to make myself do at least one thing each day instead of telling myself, “don’t do any of it because you forgot your morning prayer.”
Throughout the last 12 years of being overweight, I’ve put myself down – A LOT! I wrote a post back in June on my weight loss blog called “Learning to Love Myself Again,” where I talked about how I came to the realization that I started putting myself down to save myself from the hurt of other people doing it. That habit of putting myself down quickly spread to not only my weight, but to my friendships and relationships and pretty much every aspect of my life. I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t friendly enough. I wasn’t spiritual enough. I wasn’t a good mom. I wasn’t a good wife. I wasn’t a good housekeeper. I wasn’t a good medical transcriptionist. No matter what other people told me, those are the things I kept telling myself. Since having my gastric sleeve surgery and losing weight, I’ve started to love myself again. However, I’ve recently found that it’s so easy to fall back into that bad habit of putting myself down instead of looking at how far I’ve come. It’s so easy to say, “Oops, I forgot my morning prayer so why bother with the evening one.” It’s so easy to say, “Dang it, I yelled at my kids this morning. I’m a horrible mom.” It’s so easy to say, “I ate a handfull of Goldfish crackers, no wonder I’m still fat.” It’s so easy to say, “I’m not fluent in Spanish, so I’ll never be good enough to teach it.” Now . . . deep down . . . I know these thoughts are just the old habit . . . I also know . . . deep down . . . that they’re Satan telling me I’m not good enough and hoping that I’ll believe it enough so he can keep me negative and keep me down and keep me from pursuing my dreams and keep me from believing in myself and keep me from saying my prayers and relying on God. B-U-T . . . although I know that deep down . . . it’s so easy to forget it!!! It’s also so easy to forget – especially when in that crappy state of mind – to remember that I have the power to step on his head and crush him in his tracks!!!! It’s so easy to forget that I’ve lost 80 lbs. and have gone from a size 32W to an 18 regular. It’s so easy to forget that I did say a prayer. It’s so easy to forget that I drove my kids to school and told them I loved them. It’s so easy to forget that I gave them hugs. It’s so easy to forget that we provide food to eat and a roof over their heads. It’s so easy to forget that I don’t have to speak Spanish perfectly because I love it so much and that love will translate even when my words aren’t perfect. It’s so easy to forget that I’m doing great for being 37 and going back to school. It’s so easy to forget that I worked out for an hour, which probably completely obliterated that handfull of Goldfish crackers in my system. 
As I was thinking about all of this last week, two of my friends from church shared an article on Facebook called “Drops of Awesome.” I read this blog post with tears running down my face because it expressed everything I was thinking recently . . . except that I didn’t know how to recognize the good things because I had been kind of wallowing in the old bad habit of putting myself down again. This article was what I needed to start to get my head in the right place again and to adjust my focus. The day I read that article, I said my evening prayer even though I had forgotten a morning one. I thanked Heavenly Father for the inspiration of others & for being able to read that article. I even thought about thanking Him for my obsession with Facebook in a way because if I hadn’t looked when I did, I wouldn’t have seen the article – but since I’ve also been trying to cut back on FB, I didn’t actually thank Him for that! I am grateful I saw that post though and read the article. 
I’ve thought about the article a lot in the days since reading it. I recently won a $20 Amazon gift certificate from a book blog giveaway I entered. I had put the gift certificate on our Amazon account, but hadn’t bought anything with it yet. I was looking at Kindle books, but then thought it was kinda crazy to look into more books when I have about 200 on my Kindle already and don’t have any time to read them (especially once school starts tomorrow). Then, I remembered commenting to my sister-in-law that I needed to look on Amazon to see if more LDS books were there because every time I get a Deseret Book catalog I want stuff from there, but don’t want to order it and wait for it to arrive & such. Therefore, I took out the recent Deseret flyer I got in the mail and looked at it. I had circled a number of books that I thought I’d like eventually. I started looking to see if they were on Amazon. I found a few and started looking at them more closely.
I finally decided to get Becoming His: A Daily Journey Toward Discipleship by Emily Freeman because it seemed like exactly what I need right now. The book is set up in a way that you can focus on one chapter each month. The introduction explains that some people will go through it faster or slower than others, which is fine too. I just started reading it yesterday and feel I made a great decision to buy it. I hope that I will put in the effort to go through the book because I’m only a few pages into it and already feel it is awesome and could lead to some great changes for me. The first part of each chapter has something to “consider” and the first chapter says to “Consider . . . You Are Worth It,” which goes along completely with what I’ve been thinking about and with the Drops of Awesome article. 
I am looking forward to going through this book and trying to discover drops of awesome in my daily life. A long time ago I remember doing an “accomplishment” journal where instead of things I had to get done, I wrote things that I did get done. The drops of awesome reminded me of that accomplishment journal. There may be 50 things I do wrong in a day, but the focus has to be on the 10 things I do right instead of the 50 things I do wrong. Thinking more about the fact that I am worth it and focusing on my own drops of awesome can completely change my life each day!
 . . . . I just wanted to add . . . as far as the weight loss journey goes, it's much easier for me to get discouraged when I'm not eating right or not exercising regularly. Now that I've started exercising more and being more focused on my food than I was during the holiday break, I don't care quite as much if my body is stubborn with the pounds because I know it will eventually give up and let them go!! 
I also signed up for an account for my BodyMedia FIT device again so I can tell exactly what I'm burning each day, especially since we've been doing more exercise now. That helps a lot in my motivation and tolerance for the stupid scale too!