A fat girl’s quest to freedom

Recommittment

So…it has been about 5 years since the last time I posted and my life has completely changed. I had a lot of personal and financial upheaval in my life and I coped the only way I knew how….food. And lots of it. I was in this state from 2013 through 2015. I started having problems with my knee in December in 2015. No matter how much I weighed I have always been able to walk and walk far. It had never been an issue. But then my ankles started hurting and I started limping. I couple of months after that I started feeling sharp pains in my calves. It felt like my there was a sharp piece of bone scratching the inside of my leg and any minute it was going to burst through the skin. Then my left knee started bothering me. Most nights by the time I walked to my front door, I was in tears. For the whole month of December, I spent every weekend laid up in bed trying to rest my knee so that I could make it to work. However I did not change my eating…at all.

 

My best friend got married at the end of December in 2016. The weeding party were dressed in traditional sari’s. The pictures that we took for the wedding just devastated me. My face was on point and so pretty but from the neck down I was huge. I had no idea what I weighed and I knew how bad my eating habits had become. January was fast approaching and I thought that it was time to get back on track. My last known weight was 345 lbs and I had not weighed myself or been to the doctor in about a year so I thought maybe put on 20lbs or so. I was confident that I would be able to take that off pretty quickly. So on January 2, 2016 I went out to Walmart and purchased everything I needed to start my diet as well as a scale. I stepped on the scale and nearly fainted. The scale read 395lbs. I had accepted that I was over 300lbs but I knew that I would never get over 400lbs. For some reason, that number was my rock bottom. As I sat in the bathroom staring at the scale I looked up and saw myself in the mirror. The look in my eyes was heartbreaking. I was so disgusted with myself. Not just because of the weight but even though I had just bought all this stuff to start my new diet I was still planning on having a cheeseburger. This was a huge turning point for me. I stepped of the scale and stripped and really looked at myself. I had been telling myself for years that while I was overweight, I was not that big. I realized that I could no longer afford to lie to myself and had to face the truth. I was morbidly obese, I was a value meal away form 400lbs and my knees were starting to go. I knew if I became immobile that that was it. I was going to be like one of those people on my 600lb life. I would not let myself get there. I started my diet and for 7 days I ate healthy and worked out no matter how much it hurt. I knew when I stepped on the scale on Sunday I was going to see a big loss. That Saturday, I worked out like my life depended on it and I ate my healthy meals. I woke up Sunday and stood on the scale and smacked into my new reality. I had only lost 3 ounces. The years of playing fast and loose with my metabolism had caught up to me and I had to accept that losing this weight was only going to get harder. But I persevered and kept going. Although I had a few bad meals along the way I had managed to lose 15lbs by March. But my legs were still bothering me and I was getting discouraged. I went to see my PCP on March 27, 2016 and she asked me if I had ever looked into weight loss surgery. I had when I was in my twenties but decided then I could lose it on my own. Now I was 40 and I had high blood pressure, getting closer to being pre-diabetic and to top it all off my mom was dealing with health problems and she was going to need me. So I decided to do the surgery.

I met with the bariatric surgeon on May 5th 2016. I weighed in at 378. I qualified for the surgery but before they would do it I had some things I needed to accomplish so that I would succeed after surgery. I had to get down to 351, pass a psych eval and attend a support group. I was put on a 1200 calorie diet and given a sample menu plan to help me stick to it. I had to completely understand what was wrong in my relationship with food and start creating a healthier relationship in regards to eating and exercising. It sounds difficult but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had to get real with myself. If I did everything they told me to do I would get the surgery and save my life because I knew that my days were numbered. If I did not, I was not going to get my surgery and I was going to end up being a burden to my mother, who was barely dealing with her own health issues, or I was going to die. I fought so hard against this reality but once I no longer had a choice, I got it together mentally pretty quickly. I was going on vacation at the end of  October and I wanted to have my surgery at the end of December. Vacation was awesome and I put on 10lbs due to the drinking and eating but I was prepared for that. When I got back home I got right back to it. By November 15th I had dropped the 10lbs I’d gained and had lost another 5. I was now at 360. You can only schedule your psych eval once you are 5lbs within goal. I just had to make it through the holidays and lose another 9lbs. That meant some sacrifices had to be made. My family was very supportive of me and the changes I made but they had no responsibility to adopt those changes themselves which meant Thanksgiving was going to be a food extravaganza. Now…I can have cakes and cookies in front of me and still stay on plan but I knew that there was no way that I was going to be able to deny myself old fashioned home cooking on a holiday that is geared to excessive overeating. So…I spent Thanksgiving home alone. I made myself a small dressing, heavier on the meat and veggies and light on the bread and a small sugar free banana pudding minus the cookies. I kept going and breezed through Christmas. On January 1st, 2017 I weighed in at 353. I had scheduled my mammogram for January 5th and walked myself into the bariatric department to get weighed and schedule my psych eval. I weighed in at 351! However my psych eval was a month out. So I kept going. At this point, I could not gain any weight, if I did I would have to start over and THAT was unacceptable. I buckled down and knew that as long as I kept going, I was going to get my surgery. I passed my psych eval and they called to schedule my surgery and pre-op appt. My surgery day was March 27, 2017, exactly a year from the date that I decided to do the surgery. My preop was 2 weeks before that. I went into my preop appointment and weighed in at 343. I was under my surgery weight, which gave me some wiggle room. As long as I did not weigh over 351 on surgery day they would still do the surgery. Day of surgery, my mom and best friend went with me for support. I weighed in at 341, which my surgeon was very happy about. I spent a night in the hospital and was ready to go home the next day and get started on a new chapter of my journey

 

Surgery saved my life but it did not nor will it keep the weight off. I am now 1 year and 4 months out. I have lost a total of 146lbs but I regained 15lbs. The first year is wonderful. In the beginning not only could I not eat alot but I was never hungry, there were no cravings or head hunger. It was wonderful. However once you hit a year out, you start experimenting with what you can and re-introducing carbs back into your diet. Head hunger and cravings come back. But this is also an opportunity to use everything that I learned before but did not really need after surgery since I was not hungry nor tempted. I still have about 77lbs I want to lose (not including the 15 I regained). So as of today, I have recommitted to not only eating more on plan like at the beginning but also blogging about to keep myself accountable. Even with the regain, I feel amazing. I have tons of energy, I am more outspoken and brave. My confidence level has shot up and I always speak up for myself now. I have never been a doormat but I would let some things pass because I did not want to upset people. Now I refuse to allow people to trample my feelings, including myself. I still have a ways to go but I know I will get there. The only thing that can stop me is me.

Mentality

I had promised myself that I would do more in 2014. I don’t just mean activity, I mean living. Getting out there and really experiencing life. I don’t know when I became a hermit but I have become this woman that sits at home 90% of the time. I am sick of that woman. I want to be the woman that is out enjoying life. My major roadblock is my weight…I don’t like the way I look. I found some initiative and decided to eat healthier and started doing some activity. When I was invited to participate in a race with my company, I decided to go for it after second guessing my first instinct to say no. I even took the plunge and registered before I could change my mind.

After finally registering for my race, I started to panic. This is a race….with people. They are going to see if I fail or succeed. I will be out there…in front of hundreds. What the hell was I thinking?!! This would be when the eating would start…except this time I went on a hike. Yes…I hike. Instead of crawling into my cave with a pizza I went to Land’s End and walked….everywhere. Being near the ocean has always been cathartic for me. When I’m looking at the ocean I can’t help but notice how vast and endless it is. Whatever problems I have just don’t measure up. I walked until I had calmed down and could think rationally. It wasn’t until later that I realized that I had broken a habit that I thought I would never break…emotional eating. I know I have a long way to go but it makes me feel more positive about journey and finally making it to the end.

Hard Core Restart – The Road to Rugged Maniac 2014

It has been a while since I blogged about my weight loss or better yet my failing at weight loss. 2013 was a year of gains and losses but not really making any inroads to freeing my inner fit girl. 2014 is a year of change. I have finally gotten serious…I mean really serious. No excuses, no rationalizing…just plain cold truths:

1) I am going to die young if I don’t change.

2) There are thousands of things that I haven’t accomplished yet.

3) I don’t want to reach the end of my life with regrets of not living a full life.

This really left me no choice. I was either going to keep slowly killing myself or I was going to do whatever I needed to do to have a happy, fulfilling life. I did not wait for New Years to do this. I started on December 27th. My first step was to figure out how to eat healthy without starving myself or dieting. This is a lifestyle choice…no more salad days or fasting. Eat healthy and keep to portion sizes. I didn’t worry or second guess myself. I just started paying attention to what I put in my mouth and I documented it. I would not allow myself to side step but I would also be realistic. There are going to be days that I will eat a little off my ideal but those days will equal longer workouts. I won’t go crazy…one meal only. I also wanted to start working out. I don’t want to be thin…I want to be FIT. I pulled out my wii and my Zumba and I started working out. I started small, 3 days a week, but I would work my way up to 5 days a week. By day 14 I was so proud of myself. I hadn’t overeaten or binged nor was I tempted. I had covered an wall in my room with positive and motivating messages. But I was missing a short term goal.

At work last week, some of my coworker were talking about doing Rugged Maniac. They wanted me to do it with them. I automatically said no but I decided to check it out over the weekend so I could them why I wouldn’t do it. Rugged maniac is this crazy 5k race (that’s right, 5K) that includes 20+ obstacles. Obstacles like crawling on your belly in muddy water under barbed wire, scaling 12′ walls and trying to climb up steep, muddy hills…with all this freaking running in between. It’s freakin insane. But as I watched the videos…I don’t know. I wanted to be one of those people at the end…who were bruised and muddy and….VICTORIOUS! They were tired but they were happy because they did it. Some were hardcore OCR runners but most were there to challenge themselves and have fun. So after a while….I just went for it and in 4 months and 4 days I will compete for my first race…ever.

Since I want a record of this journey I will blog as I prepare for this. There is a six-week training program that I will do leading up to the race. But I need to get in shape for that, lol. So I will be working out 5 days a week for the next month to build up my stamina.  In March I want to incorporate some hard core strength/endurance training leading into the six-week training. Something like P90x (terrified). I am ready to do this!

SUCCESS!!

I did it! I ate completely health yesterday! I feel great and I am looking forward to today!

List 5 reasons that keeps you motivated to continue working out and eating right:

1. I blog and re-read my posts so I can remember all the emotions I have experience during this journey and stop living in denial.

2. I use my Wii to keep myself interested in working out because the gym can get boring.

3. I think about my DC/NYC vacation this fall and how I want to be able to walk around and see everything without getting tired or drenched in sweat.

4. I look at the dress I want to wear on NYE. I haven’t worn a dress in years and I have never gone out on NYE. Excited!

5. I want to live a long, happy life. I know of I don’t get myself together and get healthy and fit, I won’t have lived up to my full potential.

Not as easy as it seems…

Yesterday I had a really good start, healthy morning. I bombed at lunch because I started snacking and I snacked all the way up to dinner. A couple of chips here, a couple of cookies there. I bought everything I would need to work…but went to the store and bought chips. Really disappointed in myself but it’s a new day and I’m starting over. Round 2

I have to figure out how to keep motivated and not get distracted by everyday issues. I feel great right now but I dont know how long this feeling will last and if I can get through the next bad moment without shoving junk in my face.

The scale is on the move!

Today marks my first weigh in and I have lost 5lbs! Very happy right now and this keeps me motivated to keep going. I have found a great fountain of support and I hope it will helpe during the slumps.

It’s day number 7 and I’m doing good but I can do better with my eating. But I’m not going to get down on myself about it. I’m will keep excercising and counting calories. I think we(big girls) have such a rigid attitude about dieting and excercising that we tend to set ourselves up for failure before we even start. No one eats perfect, completely healthy meals 24/7 365 days a year. If you are looking at a diet and you can’t honestly say you can eat this way for the rest of your life you need to reexamone your eating plan…at least I did. I want to lose weight and be healthy but I also want to live a normal life and not have food as the major factor. I plan to be brutally honest with myself regarding my food intake and my expectations.

Healthy Restart

It has been a great start to my new commitment. I am on Day 7 and I am proud to say that I have worked out on 6 of the seven days. I still have a way to go to but I’m just proud of myself for getting up every night and doing it after working a full day. My food intake could be better but it is a work in progress and I know that I will get it down. I have a specific goal in mind…I am going on vacation to DC and New York this fall and there will be a lot of walking around. I want to be in better shape by the time I go. I want to get to the point that I don’t sweat after leisurely walking and I don’t want to be so exhausted after minimal excercise. I will not focus on a clothing size or weight as an ideal which I think will take a lot of the pressure off and will hopefully cut down on my habit of self sabotage.