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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??! Just...wow.

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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