What has two thumbs and an excellent lipid panel?

THIS CHICK!!!

You know your life has done a 180 degree turn when a fantastic lipid panel can get you excited and pumped for the day LOL.

I’ve never had high cholesterol, but it’s never been super great either. I was actually getting worried in October when, despite being 200 lbs down from my heaviest, my LDL numbers were getting higher and my HDL numbers weren’t really increasing!

I credit the change in the last 5 months to my hitting the gym! Up until about 4 1/2 months ago, I was walking but not really exercising too much. Now, I do some light weight lifting and running. At that time, I started to eat more veggies rather than eating straight protein all day.

So, here are my numbers:

Triglycerides: 56
HDL: 61
LDL: 91

BOOM!

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So…. I may be the “jerk” of my support group!

Ok… so maybe “jerk” isn’t the right word, maybe I’m more like the “Debbie Downer” of the support group?

I say this because I’ve noticed in the last couple of support group meetings I’ve attended there have been a couple of patients about 4 months out that have talked a lot about how their “relationship with food is completely different” and that they see bad food “all the time” and they “pass on the bad food all the time and it doesn’t even bother them – they don’t even think twice about it!” These people have literally used the word “easy” when making these statements – and of course, it is at this point that I see the eyes of the pre-op patients light up. 

This makes me uncomfortable because I too felt this way for a long time. I felt this way during the six month supervised diet (with a full stomach) and I felt this way for probably 7 months after surgery as well. But, it doesn’t last. I don’t know that I’ve come across a single vet on any of the forums I frequent say that this kind of feeling lasts – really it’s all a part of the “honeymoon period” people talk about – you know, the period of time after surgery where not only it is easiest to physically lose weight, but it is also the easiest time to exercise willpower. (Side note: this is exactly why it is so alarming to see people talk about going off their plans within the first few weeks or months.)

So, anyway…what have I done during the last couple of support group meetings when this happens? I instantly jump in after these statements and tell everyone how it does get more difficult and the ease of resisting temptation doesn’t last forever. I say things like, “Well, I felt that way too… but being a bit further out, I can tell you that it changes” and things of that nature.

I feel like it could come off as me just trying to contradict the newest post-op patients when I do this, but I think it’s REALLY important for people to understand that it’s not a permanent state of being for most, if not all people. I want these pre-op patients to know that it’s hard work and these feelings don’t last forever. At the same time, I don’t want to seem like a “Debbie Downer” or jerk. I certainly don’t want to come off as unsupportive either. However, I think support is letting these people know the good and the bad of this whole process – and most newly post-op people seem to only be highlighting the good points.

I think I would rather be the “jerk” of the support group and be “real” with them, than painting a picture in their minds that somehow our relationship with food has magically changed forever. I think the newly post-op patients are going to see (very soon) this picture is just a mirage – and unfortunately they probably won’t come to support group anymore. Just to give you an idea of the support group participation – I’m 10 months post-op and the 2nd furthest out “regular” attendee. Scary!

Changing up my routine

I just passed the 10 month post-op mark. Woohoo! There isn’t much to report for this month, as I’ve had a not-so-staggering weight loss of exactly 1 lb! Yikes! In that time, I did go down to a lower pant size; however, I know the fluctuations in my weight have been from a lack of tracking (when I go off-track) and not staying on course as far as eating goes. Tracking (which means weighing and measuring food too) = success for me without.a.doubt.

I’ve decided to change my eating plan to increase my calories. NO, NO, NO I am NOT increasing my calories because I think it will “break a stall” – I’m not in a stall. Overall, I have been consuming almost a maintenance level of calories because I’ve been trying to go “hardcore” and eat low calories – but I feel miserable and hungry on those days… and it leads me to an unhealthy behavior of going (what I like to call) “off the rails” and eating wayyyyy too much in a day. Just how much, I do not know… because I don’t track when I go off the rails (bad Nikke!!); however, the scale doesn’t lie and it’s enough to impede weight loss. I may be “hardcore” for 3-4 days in the week, but eat so much the other 3-4 days that it ruins the work I’m doing.

So again, I am stopping my weight loss, I am not in a stall. I think it’s really important to point this out, because I think sometimes people say they are in a “3 month long stall” and I don’t know that I believe stalls of that length really exist. I think at some point, you’re not stalling – you’re maintaining. But, I’m no expert or vet, so what do I know (seriously) lol

So, I’ve upped my calories and decided that weight loss will come when it comes. While I’m still very dedicated to losing weight, improving fitness, and getting to a goal (even though I’m not sure what that should be anymore), I am not as dedicated to getting to that place as fast as humanly possible. I have to face the fact that at least at this point in time, I do not have the same willpower I had in the past to lose at a super fast rate.

Upping my calories, at least for the last week, has led to more consistency for me and the consumption of less calories over the entire week (because the off the rails days have stopped). Surprise, surprise… I am 4.2 lbs less than I was one week ago (but, that was after my weight jumped up 2 lbs from 2 days of poor eating lol). Mentally, I’m much happier now because I’m not often hungry and I’m still losing. Win-win.

On a much more fun note, I’ve signed up for the local Autism Speaks 5K on April 5th. This is my 2nd 5K (walked the Color Run in September) and my 1st attempt at running. I really hope I can do it!! Getting nervous!! It’s crazy to think that 18 months ago I could barely get out of bed in the morning and stand for 5 minutes without pain… and yesterday I ran 3.1 miles on the treadmill at the gym. I’m SO grateful everyday for the gift of good health!

 

I DID IT!!!!! I RAN UP THE HILL!!!!!!

If you haven’t read the story about “The Hill” yet, then you might want to do that or this post won’t make a whole lot of sense to you lol!

I’m sure most people who have struggled with their weight can appreciate just how difficult a lot of everyday tasks can be. For me, it was walking up a large hill on the campus where I work. I dreaded that hill – and the first time I walked up it on March 1, 2011 when I started my current job, I literally almost got sick, fell over, and passed out. When I started this blog, I wrote the story of that day and vowed to someday run up the hill.

To be honest with you, when I wrote that sentence, I never actually thought it was an attainable goal. I felt helpless, hopeless, and at the time the possibility of achieving something like that wasn’t even something I could comprehend. Over the past 16 months, I have lost slightly over 245 lbs and in the past 3 months have started working on becoming more fit and running. Last week, I finished the Couch25K app, ran a full 5K on the treadmill, and vowed to run up the hill during Spring Break, which started today.

My amazing husband ran with me so that he could capture it on video. I’m so proud and excited to share it with all of you. Without the support I’ve gotten from friends online, I never would have been able to achieve half of what I have so far! I am so grateful for this second chance at life. There is nothing someone could say and nothing that could happen that would make me regret going through with surgery. You can say I took the easy way out, you can assume that I haven’t worked hard… but I know the truth, as do so many other people that struggle with obesity. This is battle I’m going to fight for the rest of my life. Maybe I’ll be successful in the long-term…. maybe I won’t… but at least I’m appreciating every healthy, happy, and momentous step along the way. Life is good and I’m not sitting on the sidelines watching it as it passes by anymore.

Thank you all!

 

NSVs: Present and Future!

I’m feeling really good today as I finished the last “day” of the Couch25K training app! There are 9 “weeks” of training and I believe I started about 3 1/2 months ago, so I guess that’s not too bad! The last week has you run for 30 minutes straight, although today I felt like I could have gone for a few more. I’m hoping that I can keep the momentum going so that I can actually run a real 5K sometime in maybe April?

In other exciting news, I booked my flight for a wedding I’m going to in Florida in April. I’ve only flown one other time in my life to Las Vegas in November 2011, at my heaviest weight of 444 lbs and a year before I started the supervised diet. It was NOT a pleasant experience and of course, I had to buy a second seat. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like flying as a normal sized person. I can’t figure out why it is that I STILL feel anxiety about whether or not I’ll need a seat belt extender – or if I’ll fit into one seat. Maybe it’s just because I’ve never flown before without the anxiety? It’s irrational, but it’s there!

It’s great though that I’ll be able to cross a few things off of my “30 by 30” list. It’s amazing to me that I’ve already crossed off a decent amount of things – and that I’m looking to cross off #s 1, 4, 5, and 13 by the end of April! The NSVs are flowing and I’m hoping they keep on coming! Life is good!