Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Silent Year and Half

Silent A Year and a Half 7/10/12 It is my 4th anniversary of weight loss surgery (7/21/12). My surgery was a life altering experience. More so than I ever imagined. I went through an elation period (honeymoon phase). I coasted for some time and then the frustration time, just like anyone else struggling with weight. Now I am hoping to get back on track, settle into this lifestyle and do it successfully, knowing I will have the tough times. It has effected every area of my life. Physically I can do so much more, yet less than I was able to 2 years ago. I have some health issues I thought would be taken care of, but for some reason it isn’t and in reality probably has nothing to do with the weight. Some of my weight issues have to do with some medication to take care of the health issues. Yet I must be honest with myself and accept a lot of the weight issues I face now has to do with my dedication to my new lifestyle, or lack of dedication. My overall choices affect my overall attitude and success which affects my overall choices. It has affected me emotionally and mentally. I remember a couple years ago a friend telling me I seemed so much more confident. At that time I did. Now I am not as confident and I know it is because of the weight gain and the way I feel physically. I know it is because of the disappointment I feel in myself. It will return when I get back on track and work this thing. Confidence will return to the level I once experienced when I lose some weight and feel better. One day at a time! I didn’t lose this weight in one day. I didn’t regain it in one day and I won’t re-lose it in one day. It is the ups and downs that get frustrating. I am an instant gratification person, like many of us and it is hard to stay focused for the long haul. Then there is spiritually. I have been on the mountain top and felt so close to God. Now I am struggling in the valley. I know God is still there and I just need to reach out and grab his hand. All of us feel that way. I relied on God to be able to afford surgery 4 years ago and I relied on God to keep me on track. Now I have to rely on him again. I am so used to thinking I can do it on my own. My prayer is I find that sense of need for Him on a daily basis and not just an event basis. I am still glad I had surgery! I would do it again if I had to. I wouldn’t be where I am today or where I was at my lowest weight if it weren’t for this surgery. God blessed me with the opportunity to have surgery and the wisdom to take that opportunity. Now I must get back on track with the wisdom I have gained from the surgery. With God beside me and me taking him with me, I will get back to where I once was, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Give me a challenger that just might have the strength to take me down, But give me the confidence to believe I will remain the champion. ~DeAnn M Cornwell~

Monday, July 11, 2011

3 Year Stats

God has blessed me! I will maintain now. There comes a point where the loss ends and stability is the key. Unless I can have about 10-15 pounds of excess skin removed, I doubt I will lose anymore pounds. I am content with that. Now it is living the lifestyle. What once was a dirty word (exercise) has become a comfort and often times a craving. Some days my enthusiasm is waning, but overall, I look forward to the time spent at the YMCA. I have maintained my weight within 5-8 pounds for the last 6-9 months, so I have decided this is where my natural body weight must be. If I did have the excess skin removed I would be at my goal weight, so I truly think the weight I am right now is where I need to be. This doesn’t mean the journey is over. By far!! Now it is a lifestyle I must live to maintain the health I have gained over the last 3 years. I’ve always said and always believed, this isn’t a diet, this is a lifestyle. A lifestyle I have come to enjoy and be content with. Maybe some of my frustration will decrease means I have accepted where I am. Who knows, maybe now I will “relax” enough and not obsess over it all and the extra pounds will be lost, but my focus is on the health end versus the pound end now. I will still have to consciously be aware of and plan what I eat and exercise as I do (well, maybe with a little less intensity). My body is telling me the intensity I have been exercising for the last 3+ months needs to end or lessen to a certain degree. So as I embark on the next leg of this journey, I pray God’s strength, guidance and support. I know He will be there every step of the way. I just have to remember to keep my hand in His and let him lead and guide me daily. Thank you to all of you that have been there for me the last 3 years offering words of encouragement and times of enthusiasm, compliments and suggestions. I couldn’t have made it this far and been this successful without you. God bless you!

2008 2011 Difference
Neck 17” 15” -2”
Upper Arms 19 ¾” 14 ½ “ -5 ¼”
Chest 59” 42 ½” -16 ½”
Waist 58” 38” -20”
Hips 61” 43” -18”
Thigh 27 ¾” 21 ½” -6 ¼”
Calf 18” 15” -3”

Weight 292 176 -116
BMI 52.8 33.3 -19.5
Body Fat 71.3 40.2 -31.1

Total Inches Lost: 71”
Total Weight Lost 116 pounds
BMI Difference 19.5 points
Body Fat Reduction 31.1 points

Size Differences
2008 2011
Shirt 4x-5x L-XL
Shorts 3x XL (16)
Pants 26-28P 16P
Pant waist 50” 38”
Sweats 3x (44-46) L-XL
Underwear 13 8
Bra 52D 42C
Shoes 8 ½ 7 ½

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Day in the Life of a 3 year Gastric Bypass Survivor

Today was a HORRIBLE day!!! I think I know for the 1st time what a hangover must feel like. I went shopping and I ate a Heath candy bar then a little later I had a Sonic ice cream cone. (the cone itself tasted great). Right now I feel like what someone with a hangover must feel like. All my energy is gone, flat out none remains. My stomach feels like it has been extended past a Thanksgiving stuffing! As for my guilt, well, we won’t even go there. Why? Why, oh why? I know better. If only I can remember this feeling when the next time comes. I am so frustrated with me! I know; it is just one day, just one slip, move on! But does is really change? Do you ever get to the point where you can talk yourself out of the want and remember the reality of the situation? I’m no different than before surgery. I am still eating what I shouldn’t. Get me back to the “honeymoon phase” when I didn’t want any of it! I know, it isn’t going to happen, so I have to find some way to rely on the tools, especially my reasoning skills. Start over from now, not tomorrow, but NOW.

I don’t even enjoy eating. Nothing tastes as good as I anticipate. It doesn’t taste as good after I eat it---maybe I should say the taste satiety isn’t long lasting and it becomes disappointing. Like today I thought a Heath bar sounded good. Now I knew I didn’t need it, shouldn’t have it and it was wrong to eat it, but I couldn’t get past the will power or lack of will power to get beyond the “need” to eat it. Or the romanticizing I did about its taste. So I had it. It wasn’t as tasty as I anticipated and the taste didn’t last beyond the swallow. So I was disappointed. Disappointed in the candy bar and disappointed in myself. Then the guilt set in. It seems to be an endless cycle some days.

So I start again from this moment and pray God gives me the strength to do better. 1st I have to rely on Him and that is where I fall. I know I can’t do it on my own, but I am too stubborn to hand it over to Him. He is waiting for me to do it. He is faithful. I know this in my head, but to get it in my thoughts and actions is the struggle. To my fellow WLS friends, sorry I am not more encouraging. Just know I understand your struggles. I feel your pain and frustrations. I know the tough-ness of the journey we walk. But we are better off since surgery than before (health-wise if no other area). Keep the faith, rely on the stability of where you are. You aren’t gaining big pounds. I keep in my foresight the fact I am fairly stable in the weight (3-5 pounds) and I may never be any lighter. Readjust, re-assess and live in today. Sounds good, huh?

I am slowly losing. Not like I would like, but I might make my goal. I don’t know that I will be able to maintain there, but I want to get there and see what happens. I’m afraid my natural weight may be higher than I want it. I refuse to knock myself out mentally or emotionally trying to stay at a weight my body isn’t willing to work with. But for now, I will shoot for the goal and give myself credit for the progress. Give myself room for the falls. Learn from them and go on. Don’t allow them to be a permanent stumbling block. No one is perfect and that is what I have been shooting for. There lies the biggest stumbling block of all. God give me the strength to allow myself the same latitude I give others. But give me the motivation to shoot for the stars.

Fortitude gets you to the finish line

Monday, April 11, 2011

Support Needed

Support Needed

After losing over 126 pounds I started going back to my old habits and gained 18 pounds back in a year. I felt like the elephant in the room (no pun intended) that everyone saw but no one talked about. It was obvious I had gained weight. I saw it, others saw it, yet some still complimented me. I suppose just thinking about what I once looked like 3 years ago and what I look like today was impressive. But in reality, I felt like a failure. No one would acknowledge or point out the falling. I no longer felt like an inspiration to myself or anyone else. It can be scary, but I think the benefits of confession, leading to healing and freedom, outweigh the fear. I have been trying to face the consequences of my unwise choices. I now admit to myself and those who have been a support to me, I gained because of unwise choices, eating the wrong things, eating for the wrong reasons, eating the wrong amount and just plain eating too often (continuously).

I knew going into this, surgery was not a cure all. But you still think in the back of your mind, “I will never have to think about all this again.” Or “I will be able to not eat what I shouldn’t eat because I shouldn’t be able to eat it and I know I can’t ever eat it again.” Or “This surgery is a tool and I will always use it.” All are deceiving thoughts in and of themselves. This life is just as hard after surgery as it was before surgery and is for those who have never had surgery, but struggle with weight issues. I have learned it cannot be done on sheer willpower. My will isn’t powerful enough for that. I must rely on knowledge, my tools from surgery, my desires, making goals, God and supporters. Ultimately it is up to me to make the right decisions. Those decisions center around food and exercise. Do I or don’t’ I?

Four weeks ago I buddy-ed up with a guy from IWLS who had surgery 11 months ago. He was struggling with all the same stuff I am struggling with. We had supported each other through occasional email and at support meetings once a month. One day he asked if I would send him my menus. From there we began to keep food logs with calorie counts, carb counts, protein counts, etc. Soon it was important to eat well in order to support and spur each other on. We email daily our eating/food log, exercise, thoughts, feelings, etc. Together we have discovered our snack calorie counts were often as big as or bigger than our meal counts. We have noted our carb count isn’t what we are happy with. This week we decided to focus on watching that carb count. Sure I knew all this when I was on my own, but to have someone else notice it and call me on it and encourage me to address it was what I needed to take things seriously again. Before I had all the excuses, all the justifications for eating what I was eating. Now I look at what I eat, I re-decide about some things I would have just eaten before. I do this because someone else is counting on me. I do it because it is important to me once again to reach that goal I had decided was out of reach. I don’t think it is. I’m going for it. I don’t know if I will hit it by target date, but I am going to give it my best shot. I am doing it for me and I am doing it for my buddy.

Support is so important in any walk of life. That is what friendships are all about. My buddy has become an important friend in my life. I think I have in his too. I know he has my back and he will tell me when I need to look at something seriously. He will encourage me through it all. I hope he feels the same about me. I know this journey is mine to walk and mine to be responsible for. I also know I find it easier to do just that with my buddy behind me. But in the end, only I can do it and I can only do it for myself.

Health is something I took for granted for so long and became 297 pounds. I started this journey at 292 pounds and I lost 126 at one time with just 16 more to go to my 1st goal. I doubt that goal is attainable without cosmetic surgery to remove the extra skin. I may not even be able to make it to my revised goal, but it is worth the try. Once I get there, maintaining will be the challenge. But for right now, I face the fear and work at it daily. I know bad days will come now and then, but I won’t throw it all away like I did this last year. As I approach my 3 year “girth-day” I will work to my goal of losing a total of 132 pounds.

Go get ‘em baby!!

Thank you to all my supporters!

"Happiness often sneaks in through a door
you didn't know you left open.
~John Barrymore~

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Look Back In Order To Move Forward

My life can be summed up in one word---circle. There is no separation of beginning and ending. 2 ½ years ago I underwent gastric bypass surgery to improve my heath. I lost over 100 pounds and I "suddenly" threw the progress away on a whim. That whim was centered on eating the wrong thing(s). It is like a merry-go-round that I can't step off of. I know what I need to do, but can't seem to take the step to do it. I know what I was like prior to July 21, 2008. I see where I could be headed if I don't get a handle on this unhealthy ride. The dizziness of the circular motion is overwhelming, frustrating and daunting. I've heard the 2 year mark can happen like this. I just never dreamed I would be part of this group of gropers, struggling to remain on top.

I don’t know for sure how to stop the spiral circular motion I find myself in. So I am changing the cycle all together. I am changing hours at work which in turn will change my routines I have come to rely on. I think the routines have allowed me to become stagnant in life and what I expect from life. It will change my working times, my eating patterns, my exercising patterns, my sleeping patterns and other areas too. My days off will change by month instead of the perpetual Sunday/Monday off I have had for several years now. This will challenge me to no longer take my spiritual life for granted. I won’t be able to attend church but one month in the next 6 months. So I will have to use other avenues to fill my spiritual needs. I have become reliant on going to church Sunday mornings and I believe it has just become a routine to me. I hope this will renew my faith and intensify my focus.

As 2011 begins I am focusing on one aspect at a time to get myself back in the race. Focusing on all things needing changed would be overwhelming and would lead to the feeling of hopelessness. So for now I will work on eating healthy. I will take specific steps to that goal. When I get that down I will move on to the next goal. I knew going into surgery in 2008 that this was not a cure all and would not be easy. I remember thinking "are they serious about only eating a cup of food at a time?" I remember thinking, “I won’t have to worry about food again.” I have discovered both are falsehoods. I can eat more than a cup at a time, so I need to be conscious of my portion size. I do have to think about food (what I eat and the amount I eat). Well, now I need to get back to the basics and get moving in the right direction. I know I can do it, I have before. My "want power" has to outweigh my "will power".

So as I move forward in 2011, I will look back at 2010 and remember where I stepped off the treadmill in forward and where it began moving backwards. I will focus my sight on the prize and attain it one step at a time. I know I will feel better and I will break the circular motion I am on. Here’s to 2011 and being realistic and dedicated to me and my health again.

"where there are no trials in life, there will be no triumphs."
~Greg Laurie~

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Remind Me

Remind me why I had surgery. As I am facing some tough heath issues again I have to look back and find the blessings. I hope it will get me through the frustrations I am experiencing right now. I have had to give up some of the things I enjoy the most in my daily workouts. I had surgery over 2 years ago because of serious health issues. I found myself on a road to death. The reality hit when I was able to look in the mirror and see a morbidly obese person looking back at me. I didn’t even recognize myself. There are times these days I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the person looking back at me. I have come a long way in 2 years. When I get frustrated I have to remember why I had surgery and where I’ve walked and at times ran. I have to remember before surgery I couldn’t even exercise. I have been doing some very limited running in the last month or so and that is probably what has gotten me into the shape I am in. So I have to give up the running, the rowing (which I love) and some of the other things I enjoy, like aqua Zumba. I hope it is just for a limited time, but at this point there is no speculation. I just have to be wise in my thinking and doing. I want to push myself harder than is advisable. I’ve always been a person who had to give 100+% and now I have to back off. It isn’t going to be easy and I know it is going to frustrate me. I need to set some new goals with lower expectations. That won’t be easy either, but if I am going to get healthy again and get past the pain, I will have to do it. Before surgery I existed but wasn’t active in life. Since surgery I have becomes very active and now I have to slow that down. God always knows what is best and I guess at this point He feels it is best to slow down some. So as I face these health issues with uncertainty and times without answers, I will do the best I can to remember why I had surgery! To be healthy and active!

It is what it is, but it will become what you make it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's About The Journey

A good friend wrote in her blog lately that it isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. I have not written on my blog/update for a month. I haven’t felt inspired. I have been looking at the destination and forgotten about the journey. I felt like if I couldn’t give a rose I wouldn’t write. I have decided the prettiest bouquets are mixed flowers. There are bright brilliant colors, subtle colors, greenery, baby’s breath and even thorns.

My life lately has certainly been a full bouquet. I have had some challenges in my work life, personal relationship life, my spiritual life, my heath and my weight loss life.

My weight has teetered with the same 10 pounds for months. It has been frustrating. It has felt much like before surgery days. I would lose some, gain some, lose some…. Luckily I have not gone past what I was willing to go to. But I also am not willing to stay where I am now. It is so easy to say ”I am going to…” It is hard to walk the walk. I am struggling with the thorns right now. It feels like there are thorns on every horizon.

I think work is leveling off some. This will be a day to day assessment. I am the only one that can influence it and stay above the water level of drowning. Of course those involved play a part, but not the starring role. I am the star and I have to play the part I want. The other people can either be the supporting cast, the villain or the audience. I can name each person in their role. For now, I will take it day by day. I will show up and perform my best.

My personal life is a little trickier. I have to decide what is best for me and go with the decisions I make. This is not always easy because the familiar is so comfortable, even in the midst of the pain and disappointments of life. As the saying goes,”Life must go on. Learn to live with it.” Take the next step and grow from there.

My spiritual life is one of my most frustrating struggles. I want to have a close personal relationship with God, but I am my own worst enemy. I want it now and I want it on my terms. That isn’t always the way it happens. Think about the many different stories in the Bible and how God dealt with people. Many times it took longer than they wanted. Reading the stories makes me think it took longer than I would have wanted. The Israelite wandered for 40 years. This was by their own doing; by not obeying God. I am in the same boat. I often ask for something then turn around and attempt to do things my way because God isn’t quick enough for me. So I have to take a few steps back and I often feel I am losing ground. I have to remember He is always there, always knows best, but also allows me the free will to choose. There lies my stumbling block—my will.

My health, well, it will go at its own pace. The medical world isn’t always on the same time frame as I am. Doctors don’t always do what I want when I want. It is a hurry up and wait situation. It is very frustrating. So for now I have to sit back, be the annoying bee in their bonnet and try to get them to move faster. In the same vein, I can’t just sit back and let the world pass me by. I have to stay focused and continue to work out and live each day to its fullest.

As The Imperials’ song says, “When the water gets high, sail on. When the wind starts to die, sail on. It’s just a matter of minutes ‘til His ship comes to get us and we’ll all get in it. …Just keep your compass set on the SON… We’ve got the Lord in control of our ship and he’ll guide us safely in.”

So in light of all these ramblings, I have come to the conclusion that everything happens for a reason. I may not understand the reasons or the timing or the outcome, but I have to have faith in myself and faith in God. My god is an awesome god. He is the only true God. His name is always in a capital letter. All other gods are in lower case. So I have to put all the challenges of the day in his hands. This is easier to write and think and say but hard to do. So for today, I pray for His guidance, His wisdom and His love to help me make the decisions I need to make in my weight loss, eating habits, determination and patience of life after weight loss surgery.

I have to look to Him to guide me at work and how I relate and deal with each person and situation. I have to look to Him in making decisions in my personal life and dealing with people I come in contact with. I pray He will give me the courage and spirit to make wise decisions. In doing this, my spiritual life will fall into place. Sometimes I think he strips all things (options) away in order to lead us back to Him.

Not every day is going to be a total success, but as long as I am working towards the goal, I am a success. It isn’t about the destination. It’s about the journey. The destination will take care of itself if you have your eyes on the right leader.

"Don't blow the chance when you have the chance to say I love you."
~Oliveia Newton-John~
But don't say it unless you honestly mean it sincerely.