Struggles with Determining “Goal” and Body Fat Percentage Testing

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted because there really hasn’t been much to say! Life has been pretty busy with full-time work, consulting work, school work, and trying to remain as active as possible. The dark, cold, and snowy Pennsylvania winter days have been pretty depressing to say the least! I really wanted to learn how to ski this winter, so that I would have some kind of outdoor activity to do; however, I made a deal with myself that I would not do so until I caught up on my graduate course from the fall that I got an extension on due to both plastic surgery and gallbladder removal surgery in the Fall. Nope, haven’t finished yet lol!

As far as plastic surgery recovery goes, everything is a-okay! My scars are healing, getting lighter in some places, but still pretty noticeable overall. I’m really hoping the arm scars get a bit lighter before the summer, but to be honest… I’m not sure that it would stop me from wearing something sleeveless, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see! The gallbladder surgery went well, nothing fun to report there. I haven’t had any issues with not having my gallbladder anymore, so I say good riddance!

On another note, I have had mixed feelings about my “goal” weight for quite some time now, to be honest. My original weight goal when I started this process was to be in a “normal” BMI range and for my height of 5’9.5″ that would put my weight at about 172-174 lbs, depending on the chart I have looked at online. Currently, my BMI ranges between 26.9 to 27.7, still in the overweight category.

I’m conflicted, because my goal is to be in optimum health and be a “normal” weight, but I’m just not sure I have the dedication to get down another 11-15 lbs. You would think after losing 260ish, it would be no big deal… but as most people know, the closer you get to a normal weight, the harder it becomes. I have achieved many things physically, I feel as though I look good for my weight, and I can fit into clothing from any store. So, why doesn’t that feel good enough? Honestly, I’m not sure I would ever be satisfied, even if I were at a “normal” weight…. yet I don’t want to fall back on making that some kind of “excuse” for not achieving something. It’s a weird mental place to be in for me.

But, on a positive note – a year ago, I did a BodPod body fat percentage test – long before I had plastic surgery. I believe, at the time, that I was around 200 lbs and my body fat percentage turned out to be 36.5%. I was pretty disappointed in that number at the time; however, I knew I had a long way to go so I shouldn’t have been surprised!

A couple of weeks ago, I repeated the test and was very surprised by the results. My weight has been bouncing between 185-190 lbs since things settled from plastic surgery, with my desired weight coming in at 185-187. According to the BodPod results, I have 132.7 lbs of lean muscle mass, which at my weight that day of 189.5, left me at 29.9% body fat. I was very surprised by this number because it does put me at the very top of the “acceptable” range for body fat%. So, now I’ve been asking myself – should this number be my goal? Should it be “good enough” that I am in an acceptable body fat % range, despite being “overweight” with my BMI?

Just something I’ve been thinking about. Do I think I need to lose more weight? No! But, part of me would still like to… so I remain undecided. The good news is that I’ve been maintaining well and I feel great. I’ve included some updated “before and after” pictures – very exciting! I cut my head out of the shiftless ones because I looked like a hot mess…. though it didn’t seem to bother me in the before pictures – yikes!!

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Update! Life After Plastic Surgery, Holidays, Bikini and Boudoir Photoshoot!!

It has been such a long time since I’ve posted. Every day I find myself saying I’m going to take progress pictures from my plastic surgery and then post an update “later” and then of course, later never comes. I finally had to put my foot down and get organized!

Life has been busy, but in a good way. I have been busy with my full-time job, freelance work, and my life has become MUCH more social – especially in the last year. I can’t tell you how freeing life is without carrying around 260 extra pounds. I’ve talked about “fat person logistics” in other posts before and anybody that has been morbidly obese knows what I mean. There are so many logistics on your mind constantly as a large person that you never have to worry about when you are “normal” or “overweight” and I don’t miss them AT. ALL.

It’s been so long since I’ve had to wonder if I could fit into a chair. It’s been so long since I’ve worried about breaking a chair! I don’t have to worry about getting to meetings and other rooms early to ensure I can get a seat “on the end” and sad, but true… I no longer have to worry about the size of bathroom stalls – yikes! I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I have worried about being able to buckle a seatbelt or whether or not my pants would fit once they came out of the dryer. If I had to fly for work or personal travel, I wouldn’t be concerned at all about fitting into a plane seat – in fact, I’m thinking of selling my own personal seatbelt extender on eBay lol!

I will say that while the attention I receive has died down SOME, my weight loss and the way I look STILL becomes the center of attention at larger gatherings. On one hand, compliments are nice, but on the other hand – sometimes “compliments” can sting. Especially when people tell you, “Oh… now you look SO much better” or something like “Your husband must be SO much happier” – I mean, WTF?!

The holidays went well in terms of keeping my weight in check – and I also had to have my gallbladder removed. I did have a week where I sort of ate what I wanted without any kind of worry (December 24th – 31st) – but that came at the price of about 12 lbs. Yes, 12 lbs in a single week. Thankfully it took a little less than 2 weeks for it to come off… but it’s certainly a scary thing to see on the scale. This is certainly one of the reasons why I think it’s important to keep in mind that the “holidays” is not the 6 weeks or so between Thanksgiving and New Year’s…. but they are really just a few days and keeping your eating in check is very important.

Things are still healing VERY well from plastic surgery. I am 16 weeks post-op today and I am still SO happy with my results. It was worth the money, scars, and recovery – for sure! I believe I have made the decision to have an inner thigh lift later this year. Check out the post I’ll be making later this morning if you’d like to see my latest progress pictures. Are my inner thighs just AWFUL? No, they aren’t. I could live without doing them of course…. but they still bother me and Dr. Capella has said I would be an excellent candidate for surgery. Now, it’s a matter of making the final decision and saving the $6,300 I was quoted for the procedure!

The most exciting thing I’ve done lately is a boudoir photoshoot!! So, I bought a bunch of sexy lingerie and had professional photos taken for no other reason than BECAUSE I CAN!! haha I have seen the photos and ordered prints of my favorite and I’m beyond excited about it. The photographer posted “sneak peek” photos awhile back on her Facebook page – and you can see them here if you’re interested.

When I started this blog and called it Flirty by Thirty, I never in a million years thought I would actually come this far. I so desperately wanted to lose weight, feel healthy, be active, and then look the part of someone that was “flirty and thirty” and I definitely think I’ve accomplished that goal and I’m only 29 1/2 at this point LOL!

To leave you on a final note – I bought a bikini on eBay the other day because it was cheap and I thought it was cute. I don’t think I would ever wear this in public because I’m still self conscious about my thighs but, WOW… I never thought I would actually look in the mirror and not hate what I see and it is the product of A LOT of hard physical, emotional, and mental work!

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The Difference Two Years Can Make….

November 20th was the two year “anniversary” of sorts since I decided to live a healthier life. I had my first appointment with the weight management clinic and when I showed up there, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had assumed, at my size, they would recommend weight loss surgery… but I wasn’t completely sold on the idea. It was November 20th, 2012 when I had my first appointment and when I made a decision to improve my life – and I haven’t looked back since!

When I started the process, I was 444.4 lbs and I still can’t really wrap my head around that number. It’s only been two short years, but if I’m going to be honest… I’ve almost completely forgotten the physical, emotional, and mental anguish of being 250+ lbs overweight. I’m not sure why that is… maybe it’s because by the age of 18 or 19, I had (at most) been 25-30 lbs overweight and haven’t experienced severe morbid obesity for my entire life.

On one hand, I’m happy that I can’t remember that pain… since I have vague memories of it being complete torture and absolutely miserable. On the other hand, I worry that not remember how it felt to be that size could lead to a very gradual return to a former life that I’m trying to completely forget.

I’m not going to lie to you – life is much better. Life is easier. For anyone who hasn’t been obese, morbidly obese, or severely morbidly obese, it would be difficult for you to understand. The mental freedom I have in knowing I can fit into chairs (without them breaking), go into any store to buy clothing, be in good health, ride roller coasters, fly in airplanes, move about a room with ease, etc. is so freeing. I no longer feel like a prisoner in my own body. It’s a beautiful thing.

I’ve become happier, more social, more confident. It’s amazing to see how the world has changed around me too. My husband and I are no longer asked if we want “separate checks” when we go out to eat. People smile at me a lot more and chit-chat (mostly men), and people will hold doors open for me wherever I go. It’s definitely an interesting and welcome change.

So, today I weighed in at 192.8. The lowest I saw on the scale after plastic surgery was 189 for a day. Within the last week, I experienced some bad eating days and LOTS of swelling and actually saw 201,2 last Thursday. It scared me for sure. I’m coming back down now and I’m very happy about it! Honestly, I’d love to see 185 on the scale, but settling for 189 would be fine too. I just want to fit comfortably into any size 10 or 12, medium or large and focus now on strength training and staying active. The number on the scale will just drive me crazy…. but, I do hope to do body fat % testing again next month to see if there is any change from almost a year ago when I did it in February.

I’m going to create a separate post with my 2 month post-plastics pictures to show how things are healing and also to do a before/after comparison. I’m so happy to have gone through the process of plastic surgery and can’t say enough amazing things about Dr. Joseph Capella and his team! Email me for the password, if needed. flirtybythirty15@gmail.com.