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Still hanging in there

I weighed myself again the other day and still no loss, but I’m not upset.  My pants are fitting better, bloat is gone, and in general feel wonderful.  I haven’t given up at all, but I truly realized after my hysterectomy that recovery happens in stages.  The doctor just gave me clearance to walk again so I’m easing back into that.  Due to financial problems I haven’t always been able to buy good foods but that too recently changed, and I’m happy to say that fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and other good for you foods have made their way back in my house.  I also set up a fitness goal through a website so that I can refocus on how much I’m eating and exercising.  I’m very excited to see where my weight loss journey takes me.  Right now I am up to 220ish.  I’m shooting for 190 lbs.  I know I can do this, it will just take time.

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Avoiding the scales Post Op

When I didn’t see an immediate weight loss after my surgery I started avoiding the scales.  I thought I’d have a hysterectomy, heal in a couple of weeks, and boom be power walking 5ks the following week.  Not!  I’ve been told by my doctor, nurses, and friends who had this done it’s actually a long healing process.  You can feel fabulous but a lot was done inside that needs to heal.  I finally got clearance to walk to my hearts content but cautioned to stop if I feel pain or discomfort.  Suddenly seeing #’s on a scale go down are not as important as healing my body.  Interestingly enough I notice my jeans are fitting looser 🙂  Nothing drastic just suddenly realized the “bagginess” through the legs and I can fasten the waist with ease (no glaring bulge over top!)  Sometimes when we relax a bit good things start to happen!

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I got on the scales twice since my hysterectomy.  Gosh I seriously (not really) thought my uterus weighed 50 lbs and I’d wake up from surgery many lbs lighter.  LOL that didn’t happen!  I went to the gym twice since surgery so I could take some nice easy walks on the treadmill.  While I was there I couldn’t help but jump on their scales.  I hadn’t gained any weight, but no weight loss either 🙁  Disappointing.  I took a step back though and reminded myself that my body was still healing and obviously my metabolism is working pretty slowly.  At this point I’m not putting any pressure on myself.  Once I heal I can refocus.

Now onto my first day back at work.  I was off for two weeks so I was nervous returning.  Can you believe that morning I woke up and realized I had NOT put out any clothes to wear!  I didn’t even know what fit anymore (keep in mind pre surgery I was gaining lots of weight for no reason so each day was roller coaster ride).  You can imagine my delight when I put on my jeans and they fit!  Not only did they fit but that insane bloat WAS GONE!  Before no matter how hard I tried I had at least a small pooch of fat rumbling over the waist band.  Now don’t get me wrong, I still have a large belly but my jeans fit and I now have wiggle room!

I guess this is proof positive that even if the scale isn’t moving you can still be losing inches!  It was so nice to sit at work and not be uncomfortable.  Before I had surgery and when I was first diagnosed with fibroids I would sit at my desk and suddenly my pants would become tight beyond reason!  One of the bad side effects from the condition.  It was to the point I was going to request a doctor’s slip to wear stretch pants to work…for medical reasons!

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Post op from 3rd Surgery (3 x’s the charm)

Last year I suffered from horrible periods, terrible pelvic pain, unexplained weight gain and constant fatique.  Conservatively my gyno did an ablation (this required first essure implants then the novasure procedure).  The bleeding decreased but all of the other symptoms remained 🙁  I waited nearly 4 months hoping I would feel better but it never happened so I took the next step and had a hysterectomy.  It wasn’t an easy decision but deciding between losing my uterus or living with life long pain and uncontrollable weight gain I decided to go for broke.  So glad I did!  Immediately my pelvic, side, and back pain were gone!  After a year of stabbing pain I can finally walk straight and not stagger in pain!  PMS symptoms are gone and already I’m eating better and noticing a decrease in waist line bloat.

I’m still recovering but looking forward to losing weight and exercising again.  Can’t wait!

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Recovering after surgery

I’ve been suffering with a fibroid for roughly 1.5 years.  Kept putting it off thinking the symptoms (bleeding, pain, weight gain, etc.) would magically go away.  That didn’t happen, so I finally went to the doctor and after months of tests, waiting, more tests, waiting, procedures, more waiting I finally had novasure done.  If this doesn’t work then it’s a hysterectomy for me.

So far so good, but I’m so frustrated over my weight gain.  I was doing all the right things 1.5 years ago…eating right, exercising, and my weight loss completely stopped.  I tried re-adjusting everything, I tried eating more, eating less, exercising more, exercising less, drinking less coffee, more water, etc. and nothing worked!  I kind of gave up when I realized I had a true medical problem.  Normally my body doesn’t tolerate sugars or carbs but my fibroid kicking my hormones (pms) into overdrive and suddenly I craved them like crazy!

Once I had my novasure done I was sure I’d wake up a brand new woman and the weight would start falling off again.  Boy was I wrong!  Illness or no illness I was still overeating!  I’m struggling to get my mindset back into healthy eating.

That’s why I had to update my blog today.  There is nothing like putting things in “black and white” to remind myself that I can do this and TODAY is the first day of this journey (I’ve been on several!).  First hurdle was passing up that eggplant Parmesan for breakfast!  I had it on the plate ready to warm up for breakfast when I reminded myself that this otherwise health vegetable was batter dipped and fried in oil last night!  I heated it up, took it out of the microwave, and as I looked at it reminded myself that this was not the way to start over!  I put it aside for a much healthier flax wrap with egg, onion, and a slice of cheese.

I’m so determined to lose the weight I put on!  I want my pants to fit, I want to stop feeling bloated, and I want to feel comfortable in my own skin!  My pants fit so tight these days and everytime someone takes a picture of me all I can see is that double chin popping out!  I worked so hard before to lose weight and I will do it again!

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Medical Issues

Sometimes it’s hard to talk about medical problems, but if it can help me put things into perspective and help others then why not?!

I guess I’ll put things in chronological order here.  Over a year ago I noticed each month my periods were becoming heavier, lasting longer, and more painful.  I’ve always considered myself pretty strong and not one to let a little pain bother me, so I ignored it!  Why not…I’m getting older.  It only comes once a month, so what’s the big deal?  Well the big deal was the fact that this problem didn’t go away nor did it stabilize.  It got progressively worse!  More bleeding (soaking through tampons), extended period duration (I went from menstruating 3-5 days to 7-10 days or more!  Sometimes I’d even stop and start again), increased pain, growing PMS and irritability, and fatigue so bad there were some days I could barely drag myself around the house (this is coming from someone who walks at least 3 miles a day and sometimes 5 and 6).

I tried to convince myself I must of hit a terrible plateau in my life where maybe everything was going downhill.  At the ripe old age of 37 I resigned myself to these awful episodes and that it must be all downhill from here.  LOL an old maid and not even 40 yet!  I invested in more pads, tampons, ibuprofen, coffee, and energy drinks.  Talk about trying to fix a fatal wound with a band aid!

I plugged along though, until a few months ago when I noticed my weight was at a stand still.  OK, lovely, a plateau.  This isn’t fatal, just something I need to muddle through.  I kept eating right and exercising and I knew eventually it would work itself out.  Well 6 months later and I’m still at a standstill I knew something had to be wrong.  Not only was I not losing weight but day to day my clothes would sometimes fit and other times seem tight…but only in my belly.  Some days I felt terribly bloated.  I had two CT scans done when I complained of the pain and each time nothing, except for an excess of stool in my intestines (sorry, it’s gross but true).  So with this knowledge I start to think…not enough fiber, you need to eat more fiber THIS is why you’re not losing weight!  So then I started drinking Metamucil.  Every day, maximum dosage.  Did it help?  Well…a little.  Did my weight go down?  Initially yes (water weight I assume) then back up again.  Did my clothes fit better?  Hmmm…sometimes but most times it was still hit or miss.

Next up I started shaking up my diet…eating more, eating less, more fiber, more protein, more water, more calories, less calories…you name it I did it!  I also began exercising more. I never wanted to be someone who’d exercise for HOURS each day, but what else could I do?  Did any of this work?  Nope!

So finally I resigned myself to weighing around 190 forever.  It’s not a bad number…I just knew I had the potential to go lower, and my inabilities to lose weight were puzzling.

Now to our present day.  My periods have still been in a nutshell awful!  I finally made the time to schedule an appt with my gyno.  I was so nervous and embarrassed.  You’d think I’d be over all that by now, but I felt childish complaining of pain, bleeding, tenderness, etc.  Immediately though the nurse practitioner noted the tenderness in my belly and pelvis and ordered a pelvic ultrasound.  The results?  Fibroids!  Nothing lethal but definitely troublesome…especially when they are ignored!  I still need to follow up with my gyno with the results, but finally it answers some of my medical issues.  Until I can get some direction I did invest in some iron pills and vitamin c in hopes this crazy tiredness can be managed.  I finally have an answer to my weight issues.

I’m going to continue to post updates here on my situation.  Hopefully this will be the start of me getting my health back, getting my period and pain under control, and hopefully losing some weight along the way.

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I’ve been fluctuating between 195 and 189.  It’s been going on for a few months and it’s very frustrating 🙁  I think I’ve been in a bit of denial though over how much and how well I’m really eating.  I do lean towards low carb high protein because of my blood sugar issues.  Lately I’ve been eating what I have on hand and eating more frequently.  For some reason I’ve been super focused on food?  Maybe because I’m eating things I shouldn’t and just not feeling satisfied.  I also recognized that as I’ve discovered some great low carb recipes I’m going a little crazy experimenting and overeating.

Today I had to refocus.  One thing I did in the past that REALLY helped was making a meal and only eating half of it and saving the other half for a few hours later.  This gives me the satisfaction of mini meals without adding extra calories.  I’m also refocusing on good protein.  I bought a package of chicken, pounded it out, brined it, and prepared it for later meals.  I also purchased more fresh veges.  I sometimes forget how satisfying cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, etc. are and that I need them to complete my meals.

Sometimes I think I’m not worth the extra money when funds are low.  Then I have to look at the big picture and say “Are you not worth a $5 package of chicken???”  Sometimes too it’s a matter of making better choices.  I may easily spend that money on a lottery ticket (unsure thing!) instead of investing it back into myself.  No more excuses!

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Store Mirrors

This is going to be short and sweet.  I walked past a store mirror today.  Normally I scurry past it not wanting to see myself and how bad I look.  Today I paused…is that me?  Really?  Wearing yoga pants (tasteful ones), my workout hoodie, and my hair pulled back and actually looking…good?  I’m embarrassed to say I stared for a minute.  Could that normal sized girl with hope shining in her eyes really be me?  Yes, yes it was!

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Running Outside

Harder than running indoors for sure!  I didn’t feel like I broke any records, but it’s a start!  Just like walking I’m setting up goals and trying to increase each time.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever be a full time runner, but I won’t know unless I try.

Today I walked over 3 miles at the park.  Each time I circled around I’d come to a certain tree and start sprinting.  I made it my goal to run on that side until I got to a manhole cover a little piece down the trail.  I’d say when it was all said and down out of that 3 mile walk I ran about 1/4 mile (probably less).  But, that doesn’t matter.  I did it!  Next time I’ll push myself a little harder and go a little further.  This is a work in progress, so I’m not setting up unreachable goals that will only frustrate me.

Everyone is talking about spring around the corner and how they are breaking out the shorts.  LOL I’m not quite ready for shorts but maybe if I keep up with my walking and running I will!

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Never ever could  I run.  My throat would be ragged from heavy breathing within SECONDS of starting.  My legs would give out, just too darn weak to carry my weight.  Didn’t matter even when I got down to my lowest weight.  Running was still somehow out of reach.

After my last regain, I decided I wanted to be smarter about my weight loss.  First I had put on 35 lbs (ish) in about a year’s time.  I made a firm decision that it took me a YEAR to put it on, so there was no rush to lose the weight quickly or set unrealistic goals.

Secondly I decided I had to change up my exercising.  Previously I lost a lot of weight simply walking.  It’s amazing when you walk an average 10-15 miles (on some odd days even 20!) how quickly the pounds drop off.  Was this a bad thing?  Well, the weight loss was great.  In hindsight though, maintaining a 10+ mile goal 7 days a week was not reasonable at all!  Sure I was capable of walking that far, but at what cost?  I decided I didn’t want to spend MORE time exercising, I wanted to exercise more efficiently!  I know people who spend HOURS at the gym.  That’s not me!  Don’t get me wrong I love to exercise, but for me the goal is to strengthen my body to do fun activities not spend more time at the gym 🙂

So here I am now.  Got back into walking, but I shoot for 5 miles a day average.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.  I do not beat myself up about it!  I also added strength training to my routine.  Boy was that scary!  My flabby arms,  jelly legs, jiggly belly.  I solved some of those problems…bought a nice workout shirt with long sleeves that keep my arms in check, purchased good walking shoes that eliminated my foot pain, and invested in a nice tummy controller to stop the belly wiggle 🙂  So the firs time of weight training it’s sobering to set the weights and realize 15 # is a struggle for my arms, and in spite of thinking my legs were super duper in shape I struggle with leg strengthening.  I didn’t let it stop me though.  See, when you realize you are physically weak you need to push through those fears and disappointments and see this as a journey.  At 15# I had uncovered the first stone.  As I continue to do this and uncover more stones I will find greater treasures and success.

I set no lofty expectations for what strength training would do for me.  I went into it with the hope I’d simply get a bit stronger and more toned.   You can imagine my surprise when the other day I’m putting on my nightgown and suddenly notice my arms.   Hmmm…not so flabby.  Beach ready?  Probably not, but noticeably tighter and more well defined.  Do I also detect a firmness to my waist?  Slightly more definition?  I don’t think my eyes are deceiving me because my jeans fit better.  Lastly, as I’m walking yesterday I suddenly get inspired to run!  Can I run?  Have I ever ran?  No no only failed attempts that left me too tired and breathless to even walk.  Yesterday I set a goal to run 1 min.  So I’m running, listening to my music, and smiling, as I hit the 1 minute mark and continue to run.  5 Min later I stop, my heart is racing, and I am still smiling.  I can feel my heart pumping and I feel absolutely wonderful!

I don’t know if I’m ready to run a 5K yet, but it’s suddenly a possibility!  What a great feeling!  When I think back at my heaviest weight, 352 lbs, I can’t believe how far I’ve come.  At my highest weight I used to gasp for breath sitting at my desk.  I couldn’t find clothes that fit.  I hated myself…how I looked, how I felt.  It was the saddest loneliest part of my life.  For being so large, I felt so small.  I’m so glad I’m not “her” anymore.  I love being able to do normal things that people take for granted.  Breathing normally, shopping for clothes, running, and most importantly loving myself!  This has been an amazing journey!

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