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....


My 5K

So today was the day I have been looking forward to for months now; the Color Me Rad 5K. You may recall that back in October, I attempted my first 5K. I didn't finish it. I couldn't. I wasn't really exercising as much as I am now, and of course, I was only down about 90 pounds at that point, whereas now, I'm down about 160.  I've been trying to build up to 3 mile walks for a while now, so that going into my 5K, I know I'd be able to cover the distance.

Late last week, I threw my back out. I have pretty much been laid up for the past week. I didn't exercise or go to the gym at ALL this week. I went on a mile walk the other day with my son, and I had to stop and sit down twice because my back pain was just insane. I was so worried about today. I wasn't feeling very positive about it.

BUT IT WAS AWESOME! Oh my God, it was the most fun. If you're not familiar with Color Me Rad, it's an untimed fun run/walk. And there were more walkers that runners. We actually walked the entire race. There were people of every size, shape and was truly awesome. You start off wearing white and as you make your way along the path, you get color bombed. First was yellow, then orange. We walked through the blue color bomb station, and I actually thought it was water at first, but it turns out, the blue bomb was liquid color. It came on like blue vomit, and looked disgusting, but lightened up and looked so cool. Then we walked through the pink, then purple stations. At the end, you go tot he finish line, and everyone gets a bag of color. You count down from 10, and everyone releases their bombs. It was a BLAST! I wish my son would of been there, because he would of has such a good time.  Here's some photos from today:

My hubby and I after the color bombing party!

Me, pre-race. If ever there was a photo to perfectly capture my personality, this would be it!

Pre 5K

Me, on the ride home.

I cannot WAIT to do this race again next year, hopefully with more people in tow. For real, this one would be a "more the merrier" type of event. If Color Me Rad comes to your city, DO IT!!!

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Walking...and my bad back

Nearly 160 pounds ago, walking was hard. Before I was married to my ex-husband, I was working on losing weight and getting into shape. I moved in with him and my diet and exercise went to hell. And thus began my decade long weight gain, going from around 200 pounds, up to 317 when I had my baby, down to 250 after doing Weight Watchers, and then constantly fluctuating, up...down...up...down...up up up to the dreaded weight I was pre-op.  As I gained weight, my back pain became worse. It got to the point where I was throwing my back out all of the time, and I was afraid to lift anything because I didn't want to trigger spasms associated with my back pain. I'd walk around the store and my back would go numb from all the excess weight my body was carrying. It was so bad towards my surgery that even walking around the grocery store was a chore, and I'd do anything to avoid it.

Now, I walk as much as humanly possible. I love exercising, and love sweating, and love when my muscles are sore. It tells me that my body is working like it should be. Anyhow, last week, after my session with the new trainer, I was feeling really stiff and threw my back out. Normally, I'd be down and out for a few days, but I'm going on a week now, still in pain, and that ain't cool. I haven't been able to do my walking, which I was doing twice a day. I haven't gone to the gym, and I ridden my bike and I haven't swam. And I've had so much to do - we're moving in 1 week. ONE WEEK! I've got a house to pack, shit to toss, things to do and places to go. But I'm in pain. Oh, and did I mention my 5K Saturday?

Today before I got my son from school, I put on my gym clothes and decided today's the day - I'm going back out to my nature trail to walk. And I did. Except I was only able to do a mile. It took a little over 20 minutes, which is still on pace for myself - It usually takes me 50-55 minutes to do a 5K. We had to stop twice so I could sit down, which we never do. I feel like my entire spine is out of alignment, which sucks. I don't know WHY I'm still hurting, but it's so annoying :(

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Back Pain, Personal Training and a 5K

It has been a very long, hectic, crazy week.

First things first. I'm moving. In less than 2 weeks. It's sudden, we don't have but about 20 boxes packed so far, and I've got just a few days to try to find movers. To say I'm stressed out would be the fucking understatement of the year.  To make matters worse, I threw out my back last week, and I'm still hurting. Normally, I don't hurt for this long, so I don't know what I did, but it hurts.

I'm stressed out about my back, because for 1, I am trying to pack up a house. It's tough to move around, lift, bend and pack with back pain. For 2, I have a 5K on Saturday. I've been looking forward to this race for so long now. And I've been walking/jogging my ass off, trying to prepare. But, this past week, I haven't been able to do much of anything, other than use my TENS unit and sit on ice. I'm miserable.

And, I haven't been back to the gym. Here is how my scenario with the new trainer panned out. I was scheduled for my second session with him Thursday. I threw my back out that morning. Now, with my old trainer, I felt completely comfortable with her, and the last time I threw my back out I went to the gym. She worked with me to stretch me out, and massaged me with a rumble roller and a day or two later, I was completely better. I'm not comfortable with my new trainer yet, so I asked him to reschedule. Friday AM around 8, he texts me to tell me he can fit me in, in an hour. Seriously? I'm sorry, I cannot just leave work whenever I feel like, at an hours notice, to work out at the gym. So I replied that that wouldn't work, and did he have any time for me this week? Never heard a single thing back. And since we're not gelling together anyway, I'm not going to bother trying to chase his ass down just so we can half-assed work out.

I feel so fat and lazy, not having worked out much this past week. You have no idea. I feel like my old 368 pound self, and it's a disgusting feeling. My size 18 capris are falling off of me, but yet I still feel disgusting. I hate this feeling.

I don't mean to moan and bitch, but it's been a miserable week. All I wanna do is work with my old trainer, have her kick my ass, and go for a 3 mile walk. Is this too much to ask?

I am sad about how things worked out - or actually didn't work out, with this trainer. I want a trainer to care about me. One to push me. One to encourage me. One to cheer me on. Dan is not that for me. Theresa was that for me. Ugh, I'm still so bummed!!!!!

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I'm tired

I'm tired. Exhausted, really. And I don't just mean in the physical sense. Though, sure. I am tired in that sense. Today I worked with a new trainer at the gym, and he put me through the paces. Though now that I think back, we really didn't do a LOT, we just did a lot of body weight exercises and those are always tough. Working out, lifting 20 pound dumbbells is awesome an all, but working out, using your own body weight as resistance? I'll take that anyday! Ask me tomorrow how I feel about those side planks, though!

I'm tired. I'm tired of tuna fish. Yes, this is a completely random thought. I ate a packet of Starkist Lemon Pepper tuna after the gym today. I needed the protein, obviously. And I'm sick to death of tuna. SICK OF IT. It's easy and convenient. It's 80 calories, sure. It's tasty, ok I'll give you that too. But I AM SO SICK OF TUNA FISH. Ugh. It took everything I had in me to choke down my lunch today, seriously. It was that bad. I need to work out a decent menu plan for my week. If I liked cheese and eggs my life would be so much easier. Seriously. But alas, I do not like these things. So tuna, for now, you're my go-to guy!

I'm tired. I'm so sick of all these people on Facebook or Twitter or blogs or support boards who have lost weight and think they can tell everyone else what to do or how to eat. You know what? Here is my confession of the day (and actually, it's not a's a known fact if a) you know me and b) you follow me on IG). I AM ADDICTED TO STARBUCKS. Hopelessly addicted. I loooooove a skinny mocha. Hot, iced, I do not care. I love them. Sure, they've got carbs and sugar. And protein! And they're delicious. And did I mention that I'm addicted? But someone mentioned how people post stuff (like me, on IG, I'm sure, always posting my drinks) after they've had the surgery. You know what? In one year, I've lost just under 160 pounds. 160 MOTHER FUCKING POUNDS. You know. A regular size adult MAN? And I've done that working my ass off in the gym, cutting a load of bullshit out of my diet and yes, DRINKING STARBUCKS. I wish people would just SHUT THE FUCK UP. Sure, I bitch about people too. But the people I bitch about are the whiners who eat pizza and chips and say "ohhhhhh boo hoo why am I not losing weight?" Really? You don't know?  If you treat your body like a dumpster guess what you're going to feel like?

I'm tired. I didn't get enough sleep last night. Hubby and I binge watched Orange is the New Black all weekend long. I think we have like 3 episodes to go. Saturday was season 1. Sunday was the newly released season. I AM  LOVING THIS SHOW! Loooooove it!

I'm tired. So goodbye :)

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Today, we (when I say we, I mean, me, my 11 year old son and today, my husband) took a walk. We combined our walk with Day 3 Week 2 of Couch to 5K.  My son has been doing this program with me, as I get ready for a few 5K races I have coming up in just a few short weeks.  I've been alternating between walking a 3-mile route (close to a 5K, which is 3.1 miles), and working on building my endurance and doing the walking/jogging intervals, like with C25K.

Thus far, the jogging is really kicking my ass. I made it through Week 1 ok. Jogging for 90 second intervals was tough for me. This makes me really sad. I mean, I've lose 154 pounds. I WANT to just be able to command my legs to run. But, I get out of breath so quickly. I guess I should be proud that I'm doing what I'm doing. But I still feel so out of shape.

I REALLY have to give my kid mad props - seriously. There aren't a whole lot of 11 year olds that I know, that will walk that far or endure all the "torture" I put upon him :) He's been a trooper and he's been an awesome exercise buddy.

So today, we're on mile #2, just about to start the C25K portion of our walk. My hubby and son had to run to the rest room, so they took off to a porta-potty and I had a seat on a park bench. A lady on a bike was riding by and asked me if that boy was my son. I said yes. She told me she thought it was awesome we had him out there with us, walking and jogging (Seriously, I have NEVER seen other kids out there with their parents. Ever.)  She said it also looked like I was doing an awesome job.

Seriously, if she knew how good that made me feel...I can't even tell you. I thanked her and she was on her way, but her words carried me the rest of my run/walk. Truly.


The Domino Effect

You know how it happens. You push a domino, and pretty soon, they're all falling down. That's the kind of day I had today. It wasn't a bad weigh-in day. Or eating day. It was just a bad "lots of personal shit going on" day.

I had what I would find out to be my last session with my personal trainer today. A few months back, she was promoted to fitness director. She enrolls all the new members, and gives tours and does payroll and all that other fun gym shit. But, she decided to keep on a few PT clients, and I was one of them. My trainer is awesome. She motivates me and pushes me. She knows what fuels me. She knows my story. She knows about my surgery and my struggles and she just knows what works for me. So today she broke the news to me.



I am crushed. Truly.

So, she asked me if there was anyone specific I'd like to work with.

Well, maybe.

When I started at the gym, I worked with Dan. Dan used to be over 300 pounds, so he knows the struggle. But when I started working with him, I was also over 350 pounds. He had me walk on the treadmill one day for 30 minutes and I thought I would die. He tried to push me, and be supportive of me, but I wasn't having any of it. I was SO far out of my comfort zone, I quit. I quit on Dan, I quit on training and I probably stayed out of the gym for an entire year. I avoided the gym because I wanted to avoid Dan, because I knew if I saw him, he'd try to schedule me for PT. And I didn't want that.

So, I'm nervous. I'm scared to work with him again. I know he'll push me out of my comfort zone. But this time, I think I'm better physically able to handle it. But still. Ugh. 

So between my shitty day and that, I did something today I just don't do. I cried. I did. I sat at my desk and just put my head into my hands and had myself a little pity party, complete with Atkins peanut butter cups. Oh, yes I did. I ate my feelings today. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL MY FRIENDS! The struggle is real.


Hangin' in...

I haven't updated here lately, but I haven't had much to say....or had any free time for that matter. In addition to my full time job, I'm trying to juggle taking my son back and forth to school each day, working out with my trainer at the gym, mall walking with my hubby, swimming laps at the aquatic center, biking on the bike trail and working on Couch to 5K. Literally, I am spending so much time exercising. And now that it's hotter out, so much time showering.

Not that I am complaining. Yesterday, my hubby and I took a 3 mile stroll along the bike path. A year ago, the thought of even trying that would of killed me. I would of refused. I would of made ANY excuse. I was tired/crampy/back hurt/head hurt/not in the mood. I would suggest any other number of activities that we could do, that were NOT physical. Now? I'm the one wanting to get out of the house and be active. I was the one wanting to jog yesterday - not my hubby. And when he didn't wanna, I just jogged ahead and let him catch up to me. 

Who is this person? It's me, version 2.0. I just wanna move. I want to keep losing weight, and I'm having to work so hard at it. And really, it's a catch 22. The more active I am, the more I'm burning up calories and the more hungrier I become. I cannot win. I am losing weight at a snails pace. I am gaining muscle. This is for sure. I can SEE the definition in my calves and arms. And, I can see the skin loosening even more. But I live and die by that fucking scale, and I really shouldn't.

So anyhow, that's why I haven't been around. I'm too busy living my super-active life :)

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Just awesome

I'm a pretty private person. I haven't ever divulged, publicly, on my Facebook page that I had weight loss surgery, but I have discussed my weight loss (hey, I'm proud), and I have shown some of my before and after photos. I've come across a lot of people or pages of people who just inspire the hell out of me. They work hard, they look awesome, they look REAL, and they just exude this personality, this inspiration...

Today I came across someone else who just has me so inspired. I found her page courtesy of a friend of mine who posted a link about her. Check this out:  10+ Reasons I Love My Ugly Body

Firstly, oh my God! The things she can physically do? I'm in awe. Literally in awe. I wish I was that flexible and strong. I've come a long, long way, from how I could move when I weight 368 pounds. At 215ish, I move a lot better. But man oh man, I am no where NEAR as flexible or strong as this chick. And? That makes her bad ass!

Also? I would hardly call her body ugly. I would call her real. And um, in case you haven't seen her, she's hot. Just look at her! She's beautiful and so strong! She's just awesome, and she's my inspiration of the week, so please go check her out!

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1 Year Surgiversary

Exactly 1 year ago today, I embarked on a life-changing event. At that time, I didn't realize how weight loss surgery would completely change my life. Sure, I figured I would lose some weight. But I didn't know that it would completely just transform me as a person.  Below are some photos.  Sorry for the blurriness.  On the left is me, 1 year ago and 153 pounds ago.  I was a sad, sad person. I was in constant back pain because of my weight. My blood pressure was out of control. My cholesterol was out of control. My eating was out of control. 

These jeans? I couldn't even freaking wear them a year ago. They were too tight, and made me uncomfortable. Seriously??!

Me 1 year ago: I hated to exercise. Walking around the grocery store was physically painful. My back would go numb before we were out of the produce aisle. I avoided large department stores, because I knew it'd be too much for me to walk. Also, I'd get over-heated really quickly, and get all hot and sweaty. To say that I was miserable is putting it lightly. I hated going out in public, because I hated how people would look at me.

Me now: Big store? No problem. I actually walk the malls now, for fun (ok, and fitness, too!). I never balk at the chance to do something physical now. Even having my son say to me "Mommy, wanna go for a wallk?" Now, I say yes and usually beat him out the door. No more back pain when I walk. No more numbness from exercise.  I feel like a whole new person.

Me 1 year ago: Hated shopping for clothes. Always had to reach for the largest size on the rack (tops were a 30/32 or 4X/5X. Pants were 28 or 30). Everything I tried on felt too tight. I wanted shirts that were baggy to cover up my tummy.  Half the time, I'd try on several things and leave the store sweaty and miserable. And I hated standing in line for the cashier; it would kill my back.

Me now: I can wear a men's XL shirt. Size L in Victoria's Secret pants. Jeans size 16/18. Tops anywhere from men's XL to a regular XXL. Not plus size...regular size. I can walk into Old Navy and buy right from the rack. I tried on an XXL gym top there that was TOO big. I don't even have to buy the biggest size now. It's an amazing feeling.

Me 1 year ago: Fantasized about food. ALL THE TIME!  I ate fast food several times a week. Drank a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke each day. My favorite meal? From Chipotle...a burrito bowl with extra rice and meat, and chips with salsa. I also drank a lot of wine and beer. Just empty calories.

Me now: Protein first. I can barely eat 3 ounces of meat at a sitting. I don't touch pasta, rice, breads or white potatoes. Rarely eat sweets. I no longer touch donuts or bagels. Sugary beverages are a no-no. I don't eat candy bars or ice cream. And if I do get a bowl from Chipotle, I get 5-6 meals out of it, no chips. My biggest guilty vice now is Starbucks.

Me 1 year ago: My husband would always ask me to go to the gym, and I'd make every excuse on why I shouldn't (cramps. Headache. Backache. anything!). I hated walking into the gym, because I was literally the elephant in the room. I felt so gross and so out of place.

Me now: I'll proudly walk into the gym by myself now. I have worked my ass off to lose over 150 pounds. I have muscles now, that I didn't have a year ago. I can wear tight gym pants and show off my calf muscles and be proud of how far I've come and how hard I work. My body is far from perfect. I have tons of loose skin and lots of problem areas. But I'm working harder than everyone who is just sitting at home.

Seeing my surgeon earlier in the week was great. He told me I have done an amazing job over the last year. All my blood work came back fine, in regards to protein levels, vitamins, iron, etc. My cholesterol is going down, with no medication. My blood pressure is going down, and I'm off one med, and have had the other med cut in half. I am physically active 6-7 days a week, sometimes more than once a day. I don't even feel like the same person that I was a year ago.

To think that it took me so long to make this decision - it seems like I wasted so much of my life being the fat girl. I am so done with that crap.  I will never EVER EVER go back to that. I never want to look, or feel like that ever again.

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Self Image. And snacks!!

This entire weight loss journey has been so bizarre. When I began, all I could do was think and dream about how I'd look after dropping weight. I never considered how I'd feel. Sure, I thought I'd probably have more energy. I thought I'd probably have more energy. I never once expected that I'd still see myself as the same old morbidly obese person.

I thought I'd undergo this fantastic transformation; like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. And in a sense, I have. My body has been transformed. I have a smaller ass. A leaner waist line. Slimmer hips. Hell, I have ankles now! But, I still see myself as the old me. The 368 pound me. Despite dropping 150 pounds, I cannot see myself as smaller. I have people telling me they can see it, and I STILL can't! I'm unsure why this is such a problem for me. Maybe it's because for 38 years, all I ever saw was the fat me, and I don't know any other way to see myself.

On to another topic - snacks! I had my one year follow up with my surgeon earlier this week (more on this topic tomorrow), and I had a lovely chat with the patient coordinator. We were discussing snacks. I don't like experimenting with snacks, or purchasing foods I've never tried, because 1) snacks can be expensive and 2) it feels like such a waste of money if I hate the item.  I posted awhile ago about the protein snacks I purchased, and I tried a new one with my lunch today.  

The product was Sea Salt and Vinegar "Protein Chips" by Health Wise.  I purchase those here:  AmBari Nutrition. I wasn't too sure how I felt about these upon first bite. But I ate a second. And then a third. And then yes, this entire snack size bag. And I have to say, they were really good. I would normally feel guilty, except, I didn't. And, it was 10 grams of protein for these. It definitely satisfied my chips craving, guilt free. You can check out the nutrition and ingredients labels below.


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Weight Loss and Depression

Oh weight loss, you are a funny little thing.  I've lost over 150 pounds now.  Woo hoo, right? That's awesome, right? I mean, that's more than some adults weigh. I've lost an entire person. So, you would think I'd be a lot happier about that. Except I'm not.

I feel like I should look better than I do. I know I've been down this road before, and have bitched about this before. It's to the point where I am ashamed to tell people "yep, I've lost 150 pounds." You tell people that, and they think WOW! You must look fantastic. Well, no. Actually, I don't. And I've got at least another 50 pounds to lose. Then I think well shit, I've lost 150 and I'm not happy. Why will 200 pounds lost make me happy? What if I'm never happy?

I'm a size 16/18, depending on the pant. And for a long time, this was a goal of mine. I said I'd be happy if I got that "small". I'm here now. And it's not small. Not even close. I feel fatter than ever these days.

I don't FEEL fatter. Ok, that's a lie. Because 150 pounds ago, when I was fatter, I couldn't bike 5 miles along the bike path. I couldn't go for TWO walks a day. I couldn't jog. So physically, I am way more active. But I just feel so disgusting. I look terrible. I do not look like someone who has lost 150 pounds and that terrifies me. How much will I have to lose to be happy? 

And now, I'm a year out from surgery and my weight loss has slowed to a crawl. I am still eating under 900 calories a day, and working out 1-2 times a day! Why is it so slow? I'm really starting to get depressed about this and worried about how it's making me feel, mentally. I'm ashamed to run into people I know or friends who know how much I've lost. People get this impression like "hey, bet we won't even recognize you." Oh yes, you will. I don't look that different. I fucking hate this part of weight loss.

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So every month, I make goals for myself. Weight loss goals. Usually, I strive for 10 pounds a month, but the past few, I've been content with 8. In April, I only lost FIVE FUCKING POUNDS. I know what I did wrong. Not enough protein. Too much Starbucks. Also, I haven't been able to swim like I want to. I hurt my finger on a mandolin slicer and wasn't able to get it wet, and hubby's work schedule doesn't allow us to swim the length we've been swimming. And nope, I sure as heck won't swim by myself. But on a positive note, a bunch of other good things have happened. For one, I was able to shop off the rack at Old Navy, and they don't carry "plus sizes" in the store. Nope, I just bought regular plain old women's XXL sizes and they're perfect. Actually, my compression capris could be XL, but I tuck my tanks into them and wanted more flexibility for my runs.

Oh yea, and I took up jogging. Sort of. I'm working on the Couch to 5K program.  So far, so good.  And so far, I fucking love it.

Then there is this photo below. Fitting into one of my husband's tee shirts. Very cool. My wardrobe just doubled y'all. And even better? Waking up this AM, weighing in, and realizing he now weighs more than me. Mega score.

I'm still managing to put a good bit of my old clothes on eBay. Last night I was taking photos of jeans to list and came across these. I remember these pants. They never got worn, because they never fit me well.  Check out how they fit now.  Hehe.

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A Review: Tasty Bites Party Mix

Sooooooo, in my never-ending protein quest, this weekend I spent some time on a few web sites searching for some protein-rich snacks, meant specifically for bariatric patients. One web site I found, AmBari Nutrition had several tasty tidbits I ordered. I was probably most excited to try this snack from Robard, Tasty Bites Party Mix.  It comes in pizza flavor or the party mix flavor. I haven't had Chex Mix in a long long LONG time and figured what the hell, how bad can it be?  Here's the photo from the web site:

And here is the item out of the bag. You can see how HUGE these things are.  When you open the bag, they smell just like Chex Mix, which was important. And I could immediately taste the seasoning and Worcestershire, which is important. I ate one and my first thought was oh yea, score! And then I ate a few more. Aaaaaand, decided they're not for me.

First, the good. The portion is freakin huge. These would be a slider for me I think, so I think I could probably eat them all, but then again who knows. If you miss having a big snack to really sink your teeth into, this'll work for you.  

Nutritionally? Not horrible.  For the whole bag, you'll give up 140 calories.  There's 20g of carbs but 10g of protein.  I like that.  

Here's the ingredients:
Potato Starch, Soy Protein Concentrate, Vegetable Oil (Contains one of more of the following: Mid or High Oleic Sunflower Seed Oil, High Oleic Canola Oil), Pea Fiber, Maltodextrin, Sugar, Salt, Worcestershire Sauce (Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Tamarind, Natural Flavor), Garlic Powder, Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Natural Flavors, Vinegar, Spices. 

I could definitely taste the potato starch. A few bites were all I could do though; I'm not sure if it was the flavor or the texture, but I just didn't fall in love with these.  I would definitely try the pizza flavor to see if those are any better.  

Would I buy these again? Doubt it. My husband loves them though, so he's eating the bag right now.  Out of 10 stars, this snack is going to get a 5.  It's not awful, but not my first choice. If I was craving something like party mix, I'd feel better reaching for this, that the calorie laden real deal.

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Let's Talk About Protein...

Oh, there's that "P" word again. You know the one. PROTEIN.

Protein is something that I sometimes struggle with. I don't always want it. Sometimes I want fruit, or anything, really. Just...well, not protein. But, I'm striving to become a better me, and have really upped my activity level, so it's time to up the protein quotient.  This weekend I ordered a shit-ton of samples and here's what's on my list to try in the coming days:

HealthSmart Protein Chips - Sea Salt and Vinegar
Oh Yeah! Ready to Drink in Chocolate Milkshake flavor
Kay's Naturals Protein Pretzel Sticks
Celebrate - ENS Multivitamin, Calcium and Protein shake - Chocolate Milk flavor
Chike Protein shake - Chocolate Bliss flavor
Double Potato Bites - Cheddar Cheese flavor
Tasty Bites - Party Mix
HealthSmart Protein Chips - Pizza Crunch
Crunch O's in Sour Cream and Onion, and BBQ flavors
Big Train No Sugar Added Mocha Latte
Caveman Foods Spicy BBQ Chicken Jerky
Nectar in Wild Grape
About Time Protein Shake - Mocha Mint flavor

I will post photos and reviews of every single item I try, along with links where you can also purchase these goodies :)

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Weight loss is a funny thing.  It's an awesome thing, don't get me wrong. But it's also a funny thing. I guess maybe since I've lost so quickly, I'm having a harder time wrapping my head around it all.  I don't always see it, and I'm still conditioned to view my body at 368 pounds. Even today at the gym, my trainer had to talk me into doing something because I was like nope, I can't do that.  So here's some photographic proof.  My new photo is at the bottom.  These are all photos from shortly before my surgery.

After I posted this last photo on Facebook as my profile photo, I got a bunch of comments that pretty much blew me away.

"You look amazing"
"You look awesome!!!"
"Oh wow...I didn't recognize you! Looking awesome, lady!!!!"
"Holy shit I didn't even recognize you!!!"
"Wow, you're doing an awesome job"
"You look SO DIFFERENT! I didn't recognize you at first!"

"You're my motivation!"

Is this real life?  Surely I cannot look *THAT* different. But then I look back and maybe I do? I know I carried a lot of fat in my face. Truthfully, I carried fat all over. But I always hated my face. I was so self-conscious about how I looked, and so unhappy.  but to have three people tell me they didn't recognize me? That's UNBELIEVABLE to me.  Just unreal.  

On another note, I'm still on the high from doing Couch to 5K the other day. I'm so looking forward to doing day 2.  I can tell from the gym today that my legs are going to be wasted tomorrow, but the more active I am, the more active I want to be every day.

And yes, I'm adding another NSV today!  Previously, when trying to plank at the gym, I've been able to plank for literally, 5 seconds and I'm just tanked. Today we did planks at the very end of my session, and I did three 20-second planks and it felt awesome. The stronger I get, the more awesome I feel. If I only knew this would feel so good, I'd of done this years ago!

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Couch to 5K

So last October, after not even yet 100 pounds of weight loss, I thought to myself, hey, I want to run a 5K.  It was something that was always on my bucket list. I envy runners. They always look so free, as they run along. They inspire the ever-living hell out of me. They make me want to be more fit. I watched the finish line footage from the Boston Marathon for quite some time and was in awe of every single one of those kick ass people.

I didn't train for my 5K. I started to, but then I began working with my personal trainer and cardio took a back seat. Actually, I was pretty much only doing swimming as my cardio, and just working on strength training in the gym.  So, I got in no training. When 5K day came around, I was ill prepared. I made it around the course once (which was 2.7 miles), and didn't wind up finishing. 

Today, I decided ok, it's time to begin training again, because I've got a 5K coming up at the end of June and another one in August, and this time, I want to kick its ass.  One of the big problems I've had with wanting to start to run is fat and loose skin. It shakes and shimmies and claps for me, and this is noooooo good.  A friend of mine told me about compression wear from Old Navy. Friday I went to check it out, and wound up getting a few compression tops and capris. I tucked my compression top into my capris and pulled up the pants to keep everything covered, and threw a tee on over that.  I'm happy to say that everything stayed in place today, no cheering from the fat/skin section.  That's victory number 1.  Victory number 2 was completely day 1 week 1 of Couch to 5K today.

I feel amazing.  Like, super amazing.  

This smile should tell you how amazing I feel after getting that done today.  I had to have a friend pop-talk me into trying to even do it. I am always so afraid of failure. I'm afraid to try things, because I think well why bother, I've always tried before and have yet to be successful.  Fuck that way of thinking!  It's gotten me nowhere.  I punched fear in the face today!

I'll admit, I was REALLY scared to try. And scared of people on the bike path watching me, but after my first round of jogging I stopped caring. So what if people watch me? I'm out there, moving my ass, and I'm at least trying, which is more than the people at home sitting on the couch are doing.  I feel soooooo accomplished today and it's an awesome feeling!

This article...

Someone on one of my weight loss boards posted an interesting article today.  You can read it here.  I have my own thoughts on the points the author made in the article.

1. Power
Sure, I had enough power, 145 pounds ago, to sufficiently hip-check any asshole that came into my path. It was great in large crowds, trying to make your way through, and being able to just shake my hip to the left or the right, and send someone on their way. But, I surely didn't have the power to lift anything heavy. I had too much weight on my frame, and my back was in constant pain because of it. I didn't have enough strength in my muscles (which mind you, were buried under a thick layer of fat) to consider myself strong. So yea, I had power. In a 368 pound body. Move anything that heavy and you'll have "power". But I didn't have strength. These are two completely different things, in my opinion

2. Comfort
I've always needed extra pillows to sleep; now AND 145 pounds ago. I sleep with two pillows under my head, a pillow in my back for support and I snuggle my big fluffy teddy bear at night too. Hey, don't judge. I have never slept on my belly, because it hurts my back to do so. So sleep wise, nothing has changed, EXCEPT! I find that some times I'll roll on to my back to sleep and I can actually sleep that way without snoring myself awake. I do notice that when sitting in a chair, if my legs are crossed, my ankle bones rub together and that can get painful after a bit. Also, my tailbone now has so little padding on it that sitting for long periods of time is really uncomfortable. But, so many things are MORE comfortable now, than they were before. Moving is more comfortable. As is exercise. Movement. Sex. Everything.

3. Perspective.
I kinda have to agree with everything the author stated here. I did notice that I could wear the same size through high weight fluctuations. I was in a size 26 for a very long time, and then into a 28. But, getting closer to my surgery there was so much in my closet that DIDN'T fit, because I had gotten so big. And by the time I got around to trying a lot of stuff on again, it was like whoops, not it's too big.  (On a side note, I have fallen in love with eBay.  I've sold over $800 in old clothes. Apparently, there's a big market for plus size clothing on eBay!!)

4. Friendships
I've never made friends easily. I am very shy and quiet when first meeting someone. (As anyone who knows me will say though - once you get to know me, that's all out the door and I'm VERY loud and VERY open). That being said, for so long I worked from home so I didn't have the opportunity to meet anyone new. Finally in 2010, I got my first "brick and mortar" job that I have had in about 8 years. I have met a wonderful close group of ladies that I am very close with. It was very easy forming these bonds with these women, and they've been through my surgery and weight loss with me every step of the way. Actually, they are some of the very few who know. I have a girlfriend that I've been friends with for 30 years now, and she doesn't even know I had surgery.  I honestly cannot compare forming friendships prior to and after my weight loss. I am more open of a person now though, and less afraid to talk to people. I feel less judgement. But, I also don't give a fuck. If you're judging me, you aren't worth knowing.

5. Presence

YES YES and YES. My personality, my body and my mind do not match. After losing 145 pounds, I should be proud. And some times I am. Some times I can look at my reflection in the mirror and say ok, you don't look that bad. But then I think shouldn't look like THIS for losing the amount of weight you've lost. In my mind, I still have the figure of a 368 pound person. I'm still round and squishy and disgusting. Though, I'm not. I can see my collar bones, and my knees, and my ankle bones and tendons in my hands and feet. My feet aren't as fat as they used to be - I have shoes that are loose now. And I have ankles - not cankles any more! I often feel like a thin woman trapped in a fat body. I never truly felt as big as I really was. I didn't see how big I had truly got until the weight started coming off and that was a sickening reality check.

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Check one off my bucket list...

One thing that has been on my bucket list, while losing weight, is to be able to shop like a normal person. For instance, I've been lusting after those cute Pink pants from Victoria's Secret. I've wanted to be able to wear something from that place FOREVER. Everything there is so cute, so girly. But, being an obese woman, I wouldn't even dream of going into that store before. It would just be humiliating.

One of my friends sent me a gift in the mail today, and I have to admit, I had a really good laugh when I opened it. Inside my package was a pair of boyfriend lounge pants. FROM VICTORIA'S SECRET. But, it doesn't stop there. What makes this story even funnier is that these are not a size XL. Nope. These pants are a size L. L as in Large. L as in "holy shit there is no way they will fit you, you gigantic lady".

So, I took my pants upstairs, locked myself in the bedroom and took a deep breath.  One leg in, the other leg in, up over the butt. HOLY-SHIT-THESE-PANTS-FIT-ME-WHAT-KIND-OF-ALTERNATE-UNIVERSE-IS-THIS-THAT-THESE-SIZE-LARGE-PANTS-FIT-ME?!?!?!


Size Large.

From Victoria's Secret.

This is my life now. And while it's completely awesome, I still cannot wrap my head around it. Not only do I get to cross something off of my bucket list, but let's just go ahead and add "wear something in a size large" on my list and cross that off too.

Me.  Wearing Victoria's Secret.  Wow.


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