Life These Days

It's been a long time since my last update. Life has gotten hectic. I work for a huge holiday retailer, and this time of year is hell for me. I'm looking at 80 hour work weeks (which, it ok, since I work at home), but it makes finding time to work out really difficult. However, all the OT pay this time of year really comes in handy.

My weight loss is soooooo slow these days. I'm 20 lbs away from losing 200 pounds. TWO HUNDRED POUNDS. That's just. Wow.

I saw my OB/GYN a few weeks ago and she asked me what my goal was. I told her I'd like to be able to say "I have lost 200 pounds". That's just 8 pounds away from my goal. However, she told me that I could probably stop 10 pounds before my goal because of skin removal. Yeow! So, I've got 20 pounds left to go. They say the last 20 are the most difficult. 

I've replaced my daily Starbucks coffee with Fit Frappe Mocha Coffee shakes. I still get Starbucks a few times a week, but not daily. Once a week I allow myself a "cheat" and I'll even get a chocolate croissant or a slice of loaf bread from the 'Bux. I never cheat otherwise, so I'm ok with this.  I've also replaced my lunch with a protein shake. The Fit Frappe can be made 3 ways: iced, hot or blended. On days when I go to the gym, I start with cereal; my body needs carbs to fuel me at the gym. After the gym, I'll have a Quest protein bar, because these are just amazing. Lunch is a blended frapp. 130 calories and 20 grams of protein. My restriction has been AWESOME the last few days, and I chalk that up to the shakes. Today my restriction is super awesome. Usually in the afternoon, I'm wanting a snack. Today not at all. There are no words for how happy this makes me. To know that this far out I can still have restriction THIS good.

What else? Oh yea! So, I've been noticing as the weather has cooled that my size 18 capris are too big. Like oh shit, they're falling down too big. My 16 jeans were starting to feel loose on me too. Last week, I went to a thrift store and just for fun, I purchased three pairs of jeans, size 14, juniors 15/16 and juniors 17. The size 14 fits the best. Wait...what? I fit into a size 14? Seriously, this is real like and I love it, and couldn't be happier. It's unreal to me. 

I STILL struggle with seeing myself as the old me. When I try on pants, or anything, I still expect it NOT to fit. I am a Disney Frozen addict. I was at Walmart and they had a pink Elsa tee-shirt, but it was a woman's size large. I knew it wouldn't fit, but I bought it so that one day, I could wear it. Just for shits and grins, I tried it on and holy amazon crap balls, it fits! Things like this still blow me away. I just wish I could see/feel it.

I don't feel confident at all. I still feel like the same old girl who doesn't allow people to get to know her easily because she's afraid of being judged, all the time. I wish I had the confidence to go to the pool and swim laps by myself, but I don't. I wish I had the cajones to take this class at the gym, that my old trainer teaches, but I don't. **for the record, I'm still not confident that I could even complete the hour-long class, but I'd sure like to try.

Ugh. It's just frustrating. My husband tells me I'm small. Friends call my "skinny minnie" and I'm like, what? Stop it.

This weight loss deal...still fucking my mind, daily.

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A half

The other day, one of my girlfriends sent me a text message and said she thought we should train for a marathon and run it together. Ha. Me. Run a marathon. That's hilarious. We had a good laugh, then decided we should really settle for a half instead. It's always been on my bucket list to run a half, especially at Disney. This is something that I could really look forward to doing, but being that I'm always a) broke and, b) already going to Disney this winter, I don't see a Disney half in my near future.

It's almost funny to me to think that I could run a half marathon. I can't even run a full 5K yet. Yet. I'm trying so hard. I've always wanted to be a runner. Always. I was never able to. I remember in high school gym class, we'd have to run around the track. I would always start running, but could never finish the whole track. I was so envious of everyone who could. Hell, I was envious of every athlete at my school, because I wanted to do all the things they could do. 

Last year, I TRIED to finish a 5K. And I don't even mean running it; I'm merely talking about just walking it. I couldn't finish it and it was a low blow for me. I beat myself up over that, big time. Since then, I've finished two 5K's. Did I run the whole thing? No. Do I actually run? No. I jog. Slowly. But I'm trying. When I first started the C25K program, week 1 kicked my ass. I just finished week 3, and am moving on to week 4 this week. My problem is now it's taking me forever to finish a week because my son can no longer run the distance/time that the program allows for, and I don't like leaving him in the dust, so I only do it when I'm out alone. I have another 5K this weekend and I would REALLY like to try to run as much of it as humanly possible. Also, there is an 8K we're doing on Thanksgiving morning that I'm really looking forward to, and another possible 5K this October (the one and the same one that I failed at last fall).

Back to my half marathon. I figure, it's taken me an entire year to train and get right, to the point where I can finish a 5K. Granted, I REALLY want/need to be able to run a full one, and then, I will feel like I have accomplished something. Sure, the first time I walked a 5K, I felt pride. Because it used to hurt me, physically, to even walk the grocery store. But I cannot stay stagnant, I need to keep improving myself. So, I need to run a full 5K. Then, and only then, can I start to seriously train for a half marathon. And I have just the right goal in mind.

Today, I got an email about a local half marathon, in Niagara Falls. I thought...well, that would be perfect. It's a yearly half, so while I'm not ready this year, and will not be registering for it, next year, I WILL register for it, and I WILL finish it. This is my goal. I have a year to achieve it. 


I have found that a lot of things have changed in my life, since undergoing my weight loss transformation. I've lost a half pound shy of 170 pounds now, and that, to me, is staggering. Sometimes I still cannot believe that this is my life. I'm so different, now.

Physically, I'm smaller. I can see my collar bones now. I can feel my ribs and my hip bones. I no longer have cankles; I can see my ankle bones, and foot bones, and see veins in my hands and arms I never could before.  I can move my seat up in my car, because my ass no longer takes up the amount of room it used to. I no longer have to reach for the largest size on the rack, to ensure that whatever I'm trying on may fit me.

I no longer tire walking around the mall. Actually, I've amped up my walking/jogging, and am up to about 7 miles a day now. There is a cemetery a block away from my house. Walking from here, to there, and around the perimeter is 3.5 miles. I have become addicted to doing this twice a day. I live in Buffalo, NY, and pretty soon, fall, then winter will be here. I've got to get it in while I still car.

I am no longer afraid to meet new people. A month ago, we moved into the apartment we're at now. One of my husband's co-workers helped him out a bunch and helped us move. My husband had spoken about this guy a lot; they became fast friends. My husband told me that we were a lot alike; he was like the male version of me. My husband thought we would either really hit it off, and become fast friends, or hate one another.

*side bar - a year ago, I would of refused to have met his friend. I was much too self-conscious about my body and what I looked like. I was ashamed about myself and didn't want any one to see me.

My husband was 100% spot on about me and his friend. We instantly hit it off. Shortly after meeting, we were Facebook friends. We would chat often about random things, but we soon discovered how much alike we truly are. This guy is awesome. I cannot explain our bond, but I just adore him. Last week, my husband had to come home right from work one night, and go help his friend with something. It was nearing 11pm before I had heard from my husband, who was still out helping. I was being a brat, and I was super irritated, so I was giving them both the silent treatment. The following morning, I still wasn't really speaking to my husband; me and his friend had a war of words, and it was just a fucked up, sucky situation. The friend said some things to me that were really hurtful...

*side bar #2: a year ago, this wouldn't of bothered me. I would of gotten pissed off, told his friend he was a fucking asshole, and never spoken to him again. That was my attitude back then; cast them off before they can do it to you. Reject them, before they can reject you...

By my own admission, I was really at fault in this situation. Things were done/said by me, and I was acting really immaturely. However, his friend said some really hurtful things to me. Now, being that I'm NOT the same person I was a year ago, I was stunned. Then, hurt. I cried. Which - I don't do. Ever. I was hurt over what he said, and hurt over losing such a good friend. I tried to apologize, but he just wasn't having it. I literally moped around my house all weekend long I was so upset.

Monday, as I was swimming laps in the pool, I had a revelation. I decided that I was going to go ahead and forgive this friend. Even if he wasn't sorry, I wasn't going to let my anger and that hurt hold me hostage any longer. I told my husband that I was going to forgive him, and then sent him a long message. It turns out, he was also forgiving me. He, too, felt horrible about how our conversation escalated. He, too, was choosing to be forgiving. We both apologized, and we both felt better. We agreed to start fresh. 

The weight that was lifted off of me, when I decided to forgive - it felt amazing. I NEVER would of done this before. Not for anything. I was always like well, if they burn me, fuck them. But there is just something special about this guy - we just hit it off and have a very strong friendship bond. It's pretty awesome, actually :)

So that's been my week. It started off horribly bad, and ended being just awesome!

Same Girl...Different Girl

I remember this one time back in high school, there was this guy I had a major crush on. I would of loved to have been his girlfriend. Hell, I would of loved if he would of even knew I was alive. He was the type of guy, though, who would say something like "just lose 50 pounds and I'll go out with you." As if it was that easy - to just drop 50 pounds. And PUH-LEEZ! As if I'd still want you if I lost 50 pounds.  

Anyhow, this memory got me to thinking about weight loss. Would I really be the same person, if I lost a lot of weight? I used to think so. I mean, I have an ok personality. I'm very stubborn, very tactless (I tell it like it is, and people get their panties in a twist, but I'm VERY honest). I'm funny and sarcastic. And I'm very VERY loyal to those I care about. So surely, if I lost weight, I'd be the same, right? I've had to take a long hard look at this, to find the real answer. And the answer is, no.

I am no where NEAR the same person I was before my surgery last year. Back then, I stayed home all the time. I didn't want to see people and I didn't want to be seen; I was too ashamed of my weight. I didn't want to go out to eat with my husband, so instead we'd hit the drive-thru so I could eat on the couch at home. I wasn't physically able to go places with him, because all my weight just - well - weighed me down. It hurt to walk around. And I was always out of breath. And! Ugh. I always got hot so fast because I was lugging around so much extra weight - all fat. I was miserable. I was so self-conscious of anyone looking at me, or talking about me. I just wanted to be liked so desperately. But the sad truth is that I was miserable - all of the time. I was just very very skilled at faking it, and faking a false confidence I assure you, I did not have. I didn't care about myself, or what I put into my mouth. I didn't look at calories, fat, or carbs. Hell, I didn't even know protein would be the most important thing I needed to eat. I thrived on a diet of pop, alcohol, donuts, fried foods, pizza and candy. I didn't care about the gym, fitness or getting in shape and I damn sure didn't care about nutrition.

Am I that same girl now? Oh hell no. I've become someone new. I've shed all these layers (literally), and am just someone new. I CARE about nutrition. A lot. I'm religious about logging everything that goes into my mouth. I count calories, but also monitor my protein, carbs, fat and sugar. I make sure to try as hard as I can to meet my protein goals for the day. I try to eat clean whenever possible. I don't eat a lot of processed foods and never, EVER eat fast food. My biggest sin is my near-daily Starbucks habit.

And, I care about fitness. A lot. I went from someone who would trudge to the gym once a week and half-ass a workout, to someone who works out every single day - sometimes twice a day. I love to move my body. I love to sweat. I love to feel the burn as I lift weights. I love lifting to failure. I love squats and lunges and box jumps and running. I love monitoring my progress. I love that a month ago, jogging for 10 seconds was something that took effort and yesterday I ran for 90 seconds and was ok. I love that I am improving. I love that I am hopefully building muscle, losing fat, and sculpting what will ultimately be the temple I reside in for the rest of my days.

No. I am not that same girl. I am not that same shy girl who hated when people looked at her. I'm not that same girl who hated fitness and nutrition and hated herself. I have so totally changed, inside and out, and I truly hope that comes across to people.

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Out...and things that bother me

This is me. On the left is me shortly after my surgery...I don't know the exact date. God, look at how unhappy I looked! My face - it just disgusts me. Look at that stomach. Why oh why did I let myself go like that? Why couldn't I love myself enough to not get like that? I can't go back, so these questions are pointless. All I can do now is love myself and respect myself enough to never, EVER go back.  The right is me a few days ago. Again, fitting into something new, something smaller. That feeling NEVER gets old. Not ever. Every single time I put on a smaller size my heart is flooded with pride, and I have a hard time containing that pride. I am proud of myself. I'm proud for having the courage to change my life. I'm proud of my success. And for once in my life, I'm not ashamed to have a photo of myself put on Facebook for all to see. But...

Then the comments come rolling in. Things like "you look amazing - so skinny!", or "You are such an inspiration..."  And this is where I have a problem.

This won't make sense to many people (if any at all), but I'll try to explain it the best I can. As an obese woman, I would look at people who lost weight, at their before and after pictures and become SO overwhelmingly inspired. I would dream of the day when I could look like that - good enough to have a before an after. People who cut out junk food, started to exercise and got turned on to a healthy lifestyle - those are the people who inspired me, whose stories gave me courage to write my own weight loss transformation story. That to me was inspiration. Flip the table. People tell me that I'm inspirational and I'm like - but why? All I've done is had 85% of my stomach removed, stopped eating junk food and started to move my fat ass. Why or how is this an inspiration? Which brings me to my next issue - being "out" about my surgery. I am not "out". I can probably count on two hands how many people know I had surgery (not counting other WLS people I'm friends with). I've never been comfortable discussing it, and I'm not about to shout out to the world "HEY WORLD! I HAD WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY!" Mostly, because, I'm ashamed. Ashamed I was so morbidly obese that my only option was to remove a majority of a major body organ just so I could stop myself from fucking eating. I'm sorry, that's not inspirational, or courageous or bold, that's disgusting. I feel like such a fraud when people tell me I look good, or that I'm doing so well, or even ask me for eating/fitness advise. 

And being told I'm skinny? That just irks me. I wish I was skinny. I wish at this weight I still wasn't considered obese, but I am. Being called skinny is an insult. It's insulting. Isn't that silly? Many don't "get" it. I guess compared to what I used to weigh/look like, I am skinny, but I'm not anywhere near where I want/need to be.

I always tell anyone who asks about my diet the truth - which is - I eat a high protein diet. Protein first, always. I eat lean chicken, beef, pork and fish. Secondary to protein is fresh fruits and veggies. Very rarely, whole grains. Never bread, pasta or rice. Very rarely sweets. These things are not lies. These are truths. The only information omitted is that I only consume 800-1000 calories a day because that's all my stomach can hold. When people ask me about my fitness routine, again, I tell the truth. I swim laps 3 days a week. I walk/run 7 days a week. I hit the gym as often as I can. All true. 

But I am nothing but a fraud! I may give people false hope...that if you eat like I do, and exercise like I do, you too can lose 167 pounds in just over a year. But I'm too ashamed and too embarrassed to tell the world my truth. I've come out to a few different friends, and they've all been SO supportive of me, so I don't know what it is exactly that I am afraid of. If people don't like me, or don't support me, I honestly do not care. This is my life and my health we're talking about here. But still... The truth haunts me, and nags at me. It's a huge, heavy burden I carry around with me. It weighs on my shoulders like a two-ton block. It feels so heavy and I know, I know if I let it all go, I will feel such relief. But I'm still just too scared.


Man oh man, life got away from me. I've been so busy here lately. We moved. Yeoow! Where we lived before was in a semi-decent duplex, however the area was kind of sketchy. There were drug dealers who lived across the street, meth-makers who lived next door, a hoochie mama down the street, a lady next door with 700 foster kids, and other various trash. It was quite the experience. We had stayed there nearly 5 years, always paying rent on time, keeping our lawn looking decent, etc., but they decided to raise our rent. The complex was overrun by government assisted apartment dwellers who would move out in the middle of the night and it was just nasty. I am SO happy to be gone from there. Where we are now is utopia baby!

Now? I can walk through my neighborhood without crossing a major street that was very traffic heavy. My son has a yard to run around and play in. And I've got all kinds of side streets and places to walk, bike and explore. Also? I'm literally 1 minute away from the aquatic center, making it even more convenient to go swim. I'm so so so happy!!

I have 5 pounds to lose to hit a MAJOR milestone; a weight I haven't been in  - I don't even know. I cannot even recall a time when I saw this particular number on my scale, so I'm super excited. Moving, packing and not eating as well as I should have (meaning not enough calories), really did a number on my body, because I dropped 5 pounds last week. I'm SO close to this milestone that I can taste it! I cannot wait to get there!

What else...oh yea! Signed up for another 5K. Originally, we were going to do the Color Run in August, but then signed up for the Biggest Loser 5K which is 2 weeks after it. So, we did Color Me Rad back in June. However, it was so much fun we decided to go ahead and do this one as well. I am so excited! I'm still not up to par with jogging; I get winded SO fast, but I'm going to keep on pressing forward!

Also, we joined a new gym, and are having a hell of a time cancelling our old gym contract. We've called the gym, and they say "come in to cancel." We go to the gym and they say "oh sorry, no one is here, come back", which is bullshit, because I could see into the director's office and could see her sitting there. Best Fitness - definitely not the best. Also? I haven't been to the gym in over a month now. I've tried calling, texting and emailing my personal trainer, multiple times. I've begged and pleaded for them to perform the duties of their contract - 5 thirty-minute training sessions per week. I've told my trainer I can come in any day, any time. He'll respond with texts at 8:30am like this "I can see you today in an hour"....and then when I say that it doesn't work for me, he'll ignore me for a week. It's now been three weeks since I've heard from him. Nice.

So that's life in a nutshell right now! Busy busy busy!!

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Running is pain...

Yesterday at the 5K, we walked. I would say, 98% of people walked it. It was nice, non-competitive and mostly, fun. As we were nearing mile 2, we passed a mom walking with her son. I'd say he was probably 6 or 7. He was complaining about it being hot (it wasn't, it was a lovely 70 degrees) and he must of mentioned something about being tired. His mom said to him "running is pain. You don't have to like it, you just need to do it. Mommy runs because she doesn't like being chubby."

At first I thought to myself, that's a great message. It really it. Running is pain. You run so you're not chubby. But then the more I thought about it, the more what she said irritated to me.

For me, yea, exercise can be painful. But it's not all of the time. If I'm lifting a new weight, or adding more reps, or working muscles I haven't worked in awhile, it hurts. And I always strength train to failure, so at the end, I'm like yep, done. But I'm not in pain. I'm just exhausted, and completely exerted. I may be sore the next day or two, but I'm not in pain. It's not what I would consider painful.

Yesterday, I didn't wear my running shoes. I knew I didn't want to risk staining them with the color bombs from the 5K, and I also knew there would be some stones and uneven ground to walk on and my running shoes have deep ridges I don't like getting stones and what not into.  Anyhow, I wore my regular gym sneakers (**more on this in a minute), and my feet were killing me. I could totally feel the difference in not having my normal running shoes on. But it wasn't painful.

So why did this lady have to associate pain with running? To me, that gives it such a negative vibe. It shouldn't be painful, in order for you to do it. I mean, if you've got joint problems or other issues, then yes, I can see how it would be painful. But wouldn't you logically pick another form of exercise? And also, trying to motivate my child, I've found that making things fun and positive motivates him. If I told my son "running is painful, we don't want to be chubby" he'd probably laugh in my face. I felt like this lady was fat shaming her son, who wasn't even fat. Maybe I'm just being picky, but it really kind of annoyed me.

Now, back to my shoes! I have a pair of hot pink Nike's that I only bought because they were pink. They are super comfortable though. The soles are not at all flexible. They're a very sturdy, solid shoe. They're lightweight and comfy, but not meant for walking or running. I use these sneakers for strength training days at the gym, and never ever for walking or jogging. I'll wear them on bike rides too. I have another pair of Nike's for walking and running. They are the most flexible, lightweight shoe I've ever owned. I was never one of "those" people who needed different gym shoes for different purposes. I thought people who did that were crazy, but it legit makes a HUGE difference. Maybe the above woman was in pain because of her shoes? I don't know....


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