- My highest weight of 315 was recorded in September 2012 at Jenny Craig.
- I accomplished this weight loss while staying smoke free since August 2010. This was my biggest hurdle, because I used to smoke when I was stressed, upset, angry, etc, and once I quit smoking, I replaced food with smoking, and turned to emotional eating. It took a LONG time to work past this. This was the main reason it took me 2 years and 9 months to meet the weight loss requirement.
- I developed plantar fasciitis in the fall of 2012, which hurt my progress because it really limited my workouts.
- I lost 15 lbs while on Jenny Craig (from September – December 2012). This was a very expensive 15 lbs, and while it set me on a losing path, I wish I hadn’t spent that much money.
- It wasn’t until January 2013, when Tinkerbell and I really started supporting each other, that my weight loss really took off.
- I’ve lost 35 lbs since January 2013, 12 lbs since surgery 2.5 weeks ago.
- The eating plan that worked? Following Kaiser’s pre-op plan.
After trying everything under the sun for two years and 4 months, I finally went back to where I began, following Kaiser’s pre-op weight loss plan. I’m not into regrets, and I really do believe that everything happens for a reason. So I was meant to follow a long and very challenging path to this weight loss. Those many, many months of trying this and that, having so many weight loss stalls, losses, and gains led to incredible frustration, but they also showed me how strong I am. How determined I was. How much I persevere in times of trial. It taught me how STRONG I am.
But really, if I was advising someone else, I’d say to just follow the plan that Kaiser outlined. 1200 calories a day, high protein, good carbs. Well balanced meals – protein, fruit, veggies, complex carbs. 3 meals a day, no snacks so that pre-op patients can get used to the lifestyle they’ll be living post-op, when grazing leads to weight gain. I veered from the strict “3 meals a day” plan with the nutritionist’s blessing because of how early my day begins. I rearranged the 1200 calories so that I could include two snacks – one between breakfast and lunch and the second between lunch and dinner. Exercise 30 minutes, 6 days a week. My own exercise averaged more like 4-5 days a week, 45-60 minute sessions. But Kaiser’s overall point is to make exercise a daily part of life.
You guys know that I crave variety in my life, and especially in my workouts. So I made a point throughout this journey to keep my exercise creative and fun. I’ve done all sorts of activities to get my calorie burn in:
- walking (most of the time with Sofi!)
- elliptical machine (I adore this machine, because it’s easy on the joints, and makes me feel like I’m running on clouds)
- recumbent bike (this was a godsend when I developed plantar fasciitis)
- On-Demand workouts – I love Jill Coleman’s kick boxing workouts
- Yoga (Bikram is a fave, but I really enjoy the free classes at my local Lululemon, too)
- Aqua aerobics
- Swimming (all summer long!)
- Hot Hula
I am excited to get back to the gym and to all of these activities. Of course, some of them have to wait until I’ve recuperated a bit more. I’m even more excited to get to the point where I can start working on some of the things on my Fitness Bucket List. Long after I’ve made my weight loss goals, fitness is going to be the thing that keeps me engaged. It’s what will drive my strong competitive side. I love seeing what I can do, and I know that fitness will bring me tons of NSVs for the rest of my life. I may never become a marathoner (no desire), but I will become as fit and active as I can possibly be.
Another huge factor in my weight loss was logging what I was eating on MyFitnessPal. I have tried so many different online tools for tracking calories, and none of them can compare to MFP. I love the sense of community and support that I find on there. Many of my friends on MFP are also WLS patients, so they understand exactly where I’m coming from. I like the ability to see my friends’ food logs so that I can get good ideas for my own meals. When I see friends logging exercise it spurs me on to get my steps in before the end of the day, too. I can’t recommend the tool highly enough! You can click here to friend me on MFP, just make sure to write a note and let me know how you found me.
When the scale doesn’t register a loss no matter how hard I’m working, the thing that keeps me sane is support. My family and friends are tireless supporters, who put up with every calorie I count, every miniscule weight loss brag, every crying jag when I had a down turn. The support I get from writing this blog amazes me on a daily basis; I’ve made true friendships with people I’ve never even met in real life. Watching YouTube videos of other WLS people, as well as those who are losing weight without surgery, have inspired me immensely. I even started making videos myself. When I started to go to the WLS support group at Kaiser in January, it lit a spark in me that continues today. There’s nothing like the freedom of discussing all the changes we’re going through in a forum that feels comfortable and safe. Even FB has given me support in the form of the Sassy Sleevers group I’m a member of. I’ve learned lots of tips (like the GasX that saved me post-op), and I’ve been incredibly motivated by the successes shared in that group.
These first 50 pounds lost were incredibly challenging, but they led me to the steps that will take me all the way to my ultimate goal. And looking at them from the other side, I can say that each hard-earned pound was worth the effort.