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Old 01-08-2015, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default A Return, and Some Thoughts...

Hi everyone. I'm assuming there are a lot of folks I will recognize here, and even more I won't. The short version...I joined here in 2005, lost 135 lbs or so, maintained it for a few years, became a moderator, had a baby, and then kind of dropped off the face of the earth.

So, where have I been? Well, my life fell apart drastically and thoroughly. My grandfather went into a pretty fast decline, went onto hospice, and passed away last July. Sarah and I were still adjusting to her being a stay at home mom, and there was definitely more tension in our relationship than we had ever had before. So it was already HARD.

Then in September 2013, our house burned down, and we lost it and everything in it...my wife, son, and I weren't at home, but our dog and our cat were, and neither one survived. We ended up staying with friends for a month, then moving into a rental for a little over a year, then back in with the friends, then finally, finally into our rebuilt home last month, after 15 months of rebuilding and homelessness.

In January, my dad was diagnosed with cancer, and in March, he had surgery at Stanford to remove it. He is thankfully doing well. In February, I took a different role with lots more travel and a lot more pressure at my company, because nothing says "I am ready for a new career challenge" like your life being an utter wreck and being in the middle of a gigantic house construction project.

In June, after 5 years of struggling with neck/shoulder pain after getting thrown off my elliptical trainer (freak accident), I finally found a specialist who identified the problem, or at least thought she did. Several months of testing and scheduling later, and I ended up having surgery to repair a severe tear in September. I have only gotten range of motion without pain back in the last month.

There is more, but those are the big ones, and honestly it started going into "so ridiculous as to be unbelievable" territory.

My son is now just over two and a half years old, and I've still got about 25 lbs that honestly, I thought I would have lost by now. But I didn't.

With that said, though, I am going to give myself some credit here. Yes, I have 20 or so lbs of weight that can't quite be called baby weight anymore, now that I have a BOY, not a baby. BUT. All of those things happened. A LOT of things. Like, a whole whole lot of things. And what did I do? I maintained.

When I had no kitchen to cook in, I maintained. When I literally had no mental energy to track anything, I maintained. When I really wanted to drown myself in chocolate to deny the fact that my life was a wreck, I maintained. When I couldn't do any physical activity for 2 months or so post shoulder surgery...I maintained. I'm still in the same jeans I bought for myself the day after the fire when I had no clothes.

So do I want to make progress? I sure do, that's why I'm back. For one thing, I lost a TON of muscle not being able to use my left arm for 8 weeks, and I'd like that back. And part of me debated posting in the Maintainers forum at all, since after all, I'm about 35 lbs higher than my lowest and 20-25 lbs from my happy weight. But you know what? I'm still a maintainer, because I MAINTAINED.

And so I'm back and can't wait to get to know all of the new folks and contribute a little more.
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Goal Met - 10/28/07 - My Progress Picture Collage - My Goal Story - Where Have I Been?

No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch!

Maintained Oct 2007-Sept 2011, then got pregnant. Our baby boy was born in May, 2012...now to lose the baby weight!!

Last edited by mandalinn82; 01-08-2015 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:53 PM   #2
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WOWZA - Super Welcome Back, mandalinn82, You've been missed.

Sending supportive thoughts for your regaining your feet after so many loses.


(And, when there isn't anything else to do, is there a more recent picture of the boy?)
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:12 PM   #3
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Welcome back
Wow, sorry for the losses. It's good to see you back here.

I second Bill's request
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:20 PM   #4
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So glad to have you back!
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:43 PM   #5
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mandalinn82, so glad to see you here! Wow, what a story! I remember that accident with the elliptical--it really was bizarre. I'm glad you found someone who could help.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:13 AM   #6
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Welcome back Mandalinn82! I'm so sorry to hear all you've been through.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:28 AM   #7
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Wow! Welcome back. I'm so impressed you maintained through all of that! You just inspired me!
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:24 AM   #8
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Awww, thanks guys. At the time it seemed a little like failing, to me...the thoughts running through my head were of the "you aren't making any progress!" variety. But when I sat down to list those things, I realized...in the midst of all that, maintaining was ENOUGH.

But now my arm is back to 80% or so, I have a rebuilt house, and I have mental room to work on me a bit. So that's what I'm going to do.

Jay, on the freak injury, it turns out that when I flew off and hit the wall, my shoulder dislocated and tore off the ring of tissue that holds it in place, so my muscles around that shoulder seized up trying to hold my arm in socket. You'd think the orthos who looked at me right after would have realized that, but you'd be wrong 5 years later and I finally have an explanation for the constant pain, as well as a fairly easy surgical fix (it's a fairly basic surgery, even if the recovery is 6-9 months), so I'm glad we figured it out.

For those who asked for an updated pic of little man, here he is, on the counter in the new house.

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Goal Met - 10/28/07 - My Progress Picture Collage - My Goal Story - Where Have I Been?

No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch!

Maintained Oct 2007-Sept 2011, then got pregnant. Our baby boy was born in May, 2012...now to lose the baby weight!!

Last edited by mandalinn82; 01-09-2015 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:02 AM   #9
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Wow! Amazing! I hope I can be as strong as you when I finally reach goal and become a maintainer.
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:13 AM   #10
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Welcome back, Amanda! It's good to see you again. Nice boy!
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:28 AM   #11
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WOW! I'm going to put your post up on my bulletin board. You truly went through h*ll and back and you MAINTAINED!

Glad to see you Amanda and back!

Dagmar
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:18 AM   #12
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Hi mandalinn82, I'm someone you don't know from before. What a staggering succession of losses, and what a tale of strength & resourcefulness to overcome. That fact that you maintained is over & above that. Thank-you for the inspiration. Fwiw, even under normal circumstances, your regain is small relative to your weight loss...sounds like you will rock it getting back to where you'd like.
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:34 AM   #13
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Welcome back, I am so sorry for everything you have been through. I was a Yolo resident for many years, first Davis then Woodland. Your house fire, and the loss of your pets, is so awful on top of your other struggles and hardship. Congratulations on meeting the challenge of maintaining your weight throughout. That is huge!
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:30 AM   #14
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Wow, Amanda. You brought me to tears this morning. Just wow. I don't even know what to say. What an incredible amount of "stuff" to go through. You're amazing, strong, resilient.... a few pounds to lose? That's nothing!

I had my "baby weight" for 16 years! And I'm still up and down to some extent.

I'm so sorry for your losses but hope that you're on the other side of the darkness now.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:02 AM   #15
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Welcome back Amanda!!! I'm so glad your shoulder is FINALLY doing better. You can join me in the "not sure I can call this baby weight anymore" department as another person with 25+lbs to lose.
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