Thursday, July 2, 2015

Big Bertha is PISSED! Tales of my Inner Fat Girl

Whew!  You know I am stressing when I am driving home and all I can think about is blogging about what I am feeling right now.  Cheaper than therapy and somewhat as effective??  At least I hope so.  And before you get lost in my sea of thoughts, don't fret... there are lots of pictures halfway through.

As I wrote before, I am on a fitness and weight loss quest to get back to my goal weight.  Well guess what folks... I made it.  And guess what else... it's not good enough?  Wait... WHAT!?  Yeah you read that right.  It's not good enough.  I want to be thinner, to be more fit, and to push myself harder.  I foresee this being an endless cycle in my life, and I am not sure how I feel about it.

You see, when I got down to my thinnest I believe I was 133lbs and nearly a size 2....I say nearly because I have hips and unfortunately bones just wont get any smaller!  But I could squeeze.  Anyway, that isn't the point....the point is that at that time I was happy with myself and weightloss was not even on my mind.  I was more interested in living my life in a healthy way and enjoying it. Then the dreaded regain happened and threw everything on its ear.

I have been visiting a weight loss clinic and monitoring my weight for the past 2 months.  I had been losing pretty slowly but steadily and 2 weeks ago had a 3.8lb loss.  WOW that was so amazing to see on the scale.  And after month one, I had built skeletal muscle mass, lost fat and inches and was feeling great.  Very very motivating!  Well yesterday I had my month two weigh in.  Yeah....not so motivating.  I gained 2lbs of my 3.8 back, and lost .4 in skeletal muscle mass.  Ironically the muscle mass issue (my inner athlete?) is more upsetting to me than the 2lbs because I feel like I have been trying really hard to exercise and include weights.  Needless to say, that hung a rain cloud over my day yesterday.  Here is a pic of my progress from February until mid June:
June 2015 v. February 2015
Now, when you put your life out there for the public like I do, you also have the benefit of making friends with random people over the internet.  And every now and again certain people stand out and make an impression.  One woman is a fitness fanatic and after I had posted a picture of my progress and mentioned my slow at first weight loss, she reminded me that it isn't a race, it has to be a lifestyle.  So that has been replaying in my brain for the past 24 hours or so.  And when I look at the picture above, I can't help but be proud of my hard work....but what I see in that photo is not necessarily what I see in the mirror.

Today I was determined to still work out, and eat better (more protein.... can't have more muscle loss!).  I went to my morning class (used to be Dailey Method, but the owner bought out.... basically be a barre class) and once I was home, I randomly decided that I should try on my "skinny clothes"...the ones I still couldn't fit in.  Here is me in May trying to fit.... close, but not close enough.
May 2015
 Well my friends, THEY FIT!  They were snug, and certainly didn't glide right on like they used to, but I could button them and I didn't have fat hanging over the sides. So that was a win.  Then I was curious as to what else might fit and sure enough, a pair of white jeans that I had worn in July 2012 fit just fine!  Here I was back then, rocking the heck out of them.
Gilroy Garlic Fest 2012
You'd think that fitting into clothes I hadn't worn in years would turn my frown upside down, but nope.... it sure didn't.  Yes, I was happy, but for whatever reason I was still glum today.  I had a pretty mellow day, and I made sure to go to zumba tonight.  If anything could cheer me up, that would be it.  It is fun and productive.  But nope, and here is why.  My inner fat girl, who I have affectionately named Big Bertha, decided to have a tantrum. And not just a little tantrum, one that messed up part of my workout!

For whatever reason, I decided to wear these shorts with built in capris.  I don't like wearing skirts or shorts at zumba because I know myself, and I don't like seeing my cellulite and loose skin jiggle.  Yes, that is my insecurity blaring loud and clear.  Well, I did not like what I saw in the mirror tonight either.  I even made Brian take a photo of me in them once I got home because literally all I could think for the first 20 minutes of dance class was how fat I looked in them.  Pretty sad really.  I was even messing up steps because of it!
Did the 80's throw up on me?
Thankfully I was able to get my crap together and accomplish a great workout... I was DRIPPING in sweat!  Take THAT Big Bertha!
Remember my mention of random people that I have become friends with who mean a lot to me?  Well there is a woman who has been my "internet friend" for over 10 years.  Yes, you read that right, over a decade!  She has seen the weight and husbands come and go and she and I have always connected on our sense of humor.  Well, recently she decided to change her life and have weight loss surgery as well.  She just so happened to text me on my way home from zumba and I was telling her that I had a tough day despite my goals being reached.  Our conversation was so meaningful to me that I want to share it.

 There is no greater gift than kindness folks.  Her kind words mean so very much to me and also motivate me to keep going.  And also to keep sharing my experiences as they happen.  My ex used to tell me that I was so self absorbed for writing a blog and maybe to an extent he was right, but the other part of my writing is that people can connect with my experiences.  The greatest gift is knowing that she found the courage to change her life because of me.  That is what makes my feathers poke out all proud and makes me wanna smack the crap out of my inner fat girl.

So, with that said, I am resolving to be proud of myself, to be kind to myself and others, and to keep my goals in sight.  I can do this.  I will do this.  And I am so very lucky to have the support of my friends and family.  Everyone has been absolutely amazing these past few months.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Getting back to basics.... and it's working!

Well, it has been 4.5 years since my sleeve and life certainly does go on.  I have had weight gain, weight loss, plastic surgery, emotional ups and downs.....and I have come to the conclusion that if I want to weight what I want to weigh....I have to get back to basics...and stay there.

Brian and I are getting married on August 8, and that was definitely motivation to take my situation of "I feel ok" and make me want to say "I am at my best!".  So.... I knew a visit to my surgeon was in order.  He was very direct with me and was somewhat upset that I was 15 lbs up from my lowest weight (I didn't have the heart to tell him that I had been about 15lbs higher than THAT...eeks!) and told me that no, it wasn't a catastrophic amount, but the only way I was going to successfully lose the weight and keep it off, would be to go back to the way I was eating right after surgery.  I guess that lifestyle is tried and true and although it is painful at works.  High protein, greens, extremely low carbs, and tons of water.  My sweet tooth needs to go away and stay away....that is probably my biggest weakness!

Another change in my life is that last year I started substitute teaching, and by the end of the year this year, I am pretty much a permanent fixture in the kids' school.  It is fantastic because a) I love it and b) I get to see my kids throughout the day! See....lunch with the kids on a random day :)
 In fact things went so well that I ended up taking a long term position in a fourth grade classroom for 2.5 months.  Crazy!  It was definitely a wake up call into how lucky I am to not have to work full time right now.  And the biggest thing that suffered (aside from my laundry basket) was my fitness level.

You see, the one thing that I have pretty much always stayed true to after surgery has been a commitment to fitness.  I go on binges, where I will work out 5-6 days a week, and then at other times maybe 2-3, but either way, I am still always trying to be active.  And for someone like me, who looooooves snacks, it is ESSENTIAL.  I gained 8lbs in the 2.5 months that I was working full time and I felt like crap at the end of it..... and that is how I ended up back in Dr. Cirangle's office as mentioned above.

I have been really lucky to find a few activities that don't seem as painful as simply going to the gym.  I still walk the Stanford Dish (4 miles with lots of incline) with friends, and I also take barre classes a couple times a week which are miserable, but man do they work!  And then last but certainly not least... zumba.  My one true fitness love.  And mainly because of the lady below: Asya.  

She was a competitive gymnast in  Bulgaria and I met her when she was teaching zumba at a studio 2.5 years ago.  She has since moved on and I have since followed her.  And now she is more of a friend than simply a zumba instructor.  I adore her class and the fact that I leave dripping in sweat.  But it is more of a party than a workout which is just what I need.  As far as HER fitness level, Asya is at a 10.... not an ounce of fat it seems, and as she gets hot while dancing she takes off her tank top and dances in her sports bra.  There have been plenty of sweaty days where I wanted to join her but have been too self conscious to do so.  But yesterday I said screw it.... my shirt was bugging me and I was hot.... so I finally braved dancing "topless".  It was....different.  I was still slightly self conscious of rolls etc while dancing, whereas normally that is not an issue.  But I am proud of myself for doing it!  AND while wearing crazy pants?!  Who am I??!!!

So, aside from all of my crazy dieting and fitness I have been busy with a trip to Las Vegas, which was awesome (and not conducive to weightloss!!!)  But I felt great!

And my little bro graduated from high school.  Life is going to be very odd with him gone all year.  Our last activity together was walking the Stanford Dish though so hi five for family fitness!  AND I did love my outfit for his graduation ; )  Dressed for winter in summer in the Bay Area.  Typical!

 And last but not least, I was driving myself insane trying to find a wedding dress.  I found one right after Brian and I got engaged as a bridal store was closing, but something deep down kept telling me it was pretty....but not what I was meant to wear.

Nice, but not "the one"!

So I have been to countless bridal salons, online looking at used name it I have done it.  The one below was not "the one" either, but it was pretty!
Can't spoil the surprise by posting it online...but there will definitely be an update with wedding pictures!

So as for my quest to reach my thinnest point, the wheels are turning and my body is appreciating my efforts.  I lost 6lbs last month, and I lost 1.5in around my love handles and .75in around my natural waist.  Extremities all stayed the same, which isn't's only been a month.  But I FEEL a ton better, and people have started making comments about my looking thin or thinner, and that of course is always a welcome thing!  I am about 1.5 inches from buttoning my skinniest skinny jeans....but I did get them over my hips!!!
Life is good my friends, life is good.  I am so blessed in many ways and I am really enjoying the life that Brian and I have together.  The kids are growing so quickly and become more fun as the years go by.  They are both healthy, happy, and crazy smart.  My only wish is for them to stop arguing! :)