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Posts Tagged ‘physical changes’

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Yesterday began as a very difficult day, but after I ‘fessed up, I felt so much lighter.  And it must have shown, because I had two separate NSVs.

First when I was at my parents’ house dropping something off, my mom said, “you know, Bella, I  can really see the weight loss now.  To be honest with you, I didn’t see it until today.  I know how hard you’ve been working, and I have been so proud of you, but now it’s finally becoming really noticeable.”

And then later, my friend AD came over with her new, 10-week-old puppy, Riley.  As Riley and Minnie (my sister’s dog) were playing, AD said, “Bella, you look fantastic.  How much weight have you lost?” I hadn’t seen AD since before beginning Medifast.
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Which showed me that even though I had a setback the night before, it doesn’t take away from the fact that I’ve made incredible weight loss progress in 9 weeks.  And hearing these comments fuels me to keep going, keep striving, and not let anything (including myself) stop me from reaching my mini-goal.  I’m even more determined now that I was before.

As a gift to myself after this realization, I decided to bring some of the gorgeous flowers we have in our garden inside the house.

The freesias were the bulbs I planted in November in flower boxes. The cala lillies are ones that LC planted for me from her old house.

These next three photos come courtesy of the roses in LC’s garden.  She transplanted them from her old house, and after a lot of hard work in December, they are coming in beautifully now.  I am thrilled that we’re going to have roses throughout the spring and summer.  The funny thing is, I never really appreciated roses, thinking they were so trite and overdone.  But seeing how much care and tending LC gives them, I can’t help but appreciate them.

I absolutely adore this photo. Something about the lighting and the contrast of the colors is just so striking to me. The roses look so dainty and beautiful, and they match my bathroom decor perfectly.

These blushing peach-colored roses are called Marilyn Monroe. They are so delicate and delightful, aren't they?

Since today is the 3-week anniversary of Lulu’s accident, I thought it was appropriate to put them on the table in what I now call “Lulu’s corner.”

It feels like it’s been 3 months since Lulu’s been gone, not 3 weeks.  I miss her so much, but the rawness of the pain only hits me once in a while now.  Seeing Minnie & Riley playing yesterday was so good for me.  And thinking about the new puppy I’ll get in June, Sofi, is also a comfort.  Nothing can replace Lulu in my heart, but there is definitely room for another puppy in there.  And I think Lulu would give her wag of approval for sure.

Yesterday I decided that I was going to take photos of all of the things that make me smile this spring.  As a celebration of life, as a way of “living in the moment” that Lulu taught me, and as a way of appreciating the beauty in every day.  I posted an album on my FB page, if you’d like to see.

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I’ve been making videos on YouTube infrequently for the last 10 months or so in order to document my journey to Lap Band Land.  I also thought that the videos would be good for anyone else who was using Kaiser to have their surgery.  I hadn’t found much information about Kaiser and Lap Band on YouTube, and it would’ve been helpful for me, so I figured it would be nice for me to make the videos and pay it forward to someone else.

With that said, it had been over 2 months between videos.  Life got hectic, stuff happened, and I’d much rather write on this blog than make videos.  Anyway, one thing that struck me was that I’d lost quite a bit of weight in between videos.  So I did a quick screen capture of each one, and I definitely see a difference.

Taken February 5th, at 311 lbs:

 

April 10th, at 286 lbs:

I can see my dimples a lot better in the second shot, and my double chin is smaller.  Also, my face just looks less puffy than it did in the first shot.

What do you think? Can you see the 25-pound weight loss between the two images?

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As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been feeling a bit of the blahs this past week. Part of it is boredom with the plan, part of it is missing Lulu. But I am happy to say that I never once deviated from my meal plan, and that’s saying quite a bit. Instead of focusing on all that I’ve been missing, I’ve been trying to keep my spirits up and focus on all the positives that are happening in my life right now since losing over 20 pounds. And it’s been working. I feel better. So let’s see what the scale has to say this week:

Which means I lost 2.4 pounds this week, for a total weight loss of 25 pounds in 8 weeks.  Another milestone down! I’m very pleased with the steady progress. It’s reliable, consistent, and fairly predictable. So if it’s a bit boring, so be it. Nothing’s perfect, right? And I’m proud to be able to show off this new badge:

I'm Down w/the Sisterhood

To counteract the routine of my eating, I’m going to start doing more things with friends. I really do need to make more effort to see the people I love, and even though our schedules are hectic, I know that if we make it a priority, we can find the time to get together. Carina had a great idea for a non-food get-together – the movies! I love going to movies and although I just saw a movie last week (Hop with my niece on Sunday), I haven’t seen a really good flick in a couple of months. So, for those of you who like movies as much as I do, what do you recommend that is in theatres now?

Spring Break is coming up for me next week, which means I’ll have some extra time (all day!) to check out some new classes at the gym. I’m not sure exactly which ones I’m going to try, but I can tell you I’d like to hit at least 2 new classes.

And lastly, I briefly mentioned yesterday that I’m teaching a “credit recovery” class after school for students who are trying to make up credits so that they can graduate (nothing like a last ditch attempt, right?). I’ve designed a curriculum of non-fiction articles, movies, and clips all centered around the obesity epidemic, nutrition, health, and fitness. I figure that since I am interested in it, it will be fun to teach some of what I know to the kids. And if they have to show competency in writing and reading, it might as well be something fairly interesting. We all eat, after all, and food is usually a universal topic. We had our first class yesterday afternoon and the students seemed really engaged, which was encouraging.

I’ve already got a lot of it planned out including literature circles around reading Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, lots of non-fiction articles, and watching films like Super Size Me, Fat Head (I’ve got a great debate planned after we watch those two), Food Inc., and King Corn. And of course a few episodes of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. But I’d love to hear any and all suggestions you have for other movies or articles I should look into using. Please leave ideas in the comments. I have eight weeks (48 classroom hours) to fill, and I prefer to be over-prepared rather than under.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!!

I feel as though I’ve been absent from my blog for a while, although it’s really only been since Friday.  I’ve been feeling really uneasy for the past few days.  Nothing specific, but just an overall sense of boredom and a bit of complacency.

I’m getting tired of being on Medifast.  I miss eating sushi and pasta and other carb-heavy things.  I want to have a glass of wine.  I’d like to have some popcorn when I go to the movies.  I’ve been on Medifast since February 8th and really, really doing it strictly since the beginning of March.  And I’m losing steam.

I’ve been sticking to it, though.  The thought of giving up hasn’t really entered my mind.  I remind myself of what great progress I’ve had so far and I know that I wouldn’t have lost this much weight if I wasn’t following such a strict program.  Medifast is great in that I don’t have to worry about my breakfasts and lunches.  Less planning and shopping.  The fact that I only have to figure out dinner (or one meal a day) makes that meal all the more thoughtful and creative and enjoyable.

And my life has suddenly gotten a lot busier – I’ve taken on teaching an extra ‘credit recovery’ class after school on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3-5pm.  It begins today, actually and will run through June 2.  So for the next 8 weeks (minus next week when we’re on Spring Break), I’ll have a lot less time to myself.  So not having to think too much about food preparation and planning is a good thing.

Plus I feel really good right now.  I can fit into most of my clothes and I’m really enjoying dressing nicer.  Especially now that this spring weather allows me to wear skirts and dresses.  I always feel more “put together” when I have chosen my outfit with care.  If I hadn’t lost this weight, many of the clothes that I’ve been wearing simply would not fit.  And that would be depressing.

Since I hate wallowing or feeling lost, I really want to shake myself out of this mini funk.  I’m just going to remind myself that the end is near and by the time school gets out in June, I should be at my mini-goal weight.  I can do it for 9 more weeks.

One thing I want to try to do for the next 9 weeks is to focus on seeing my friends more.  LC made a great point to me a bit ago when she asked me how often I contacted my friends and asked them to hang out.  I had been complaining that I never saw my friends and that they never called me up, and then she turned the tables on me and asked if I had been reaching out to them.  And I realized I hadn’t.  So that is going to change.  Beginning this weekend I want to make plans with friends.  And hopefully we can figure out non-food related things to do – walks, bike rides, coffee.  Seeing friends should definitely help lift me out of the blahs I’ve been feeling.

So while I’ve had a bit of the doldrums lately, I’m picking myself up and moving ahead.  My short-term destination is within my sight and there is no way that I’m going to get off track right before I get there.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy  Tuesday, everyone!! It’s a thrill to know that I’ve almost (like 0.6 lbs away) earned this new badge.  🙂  My official weigh-in day is tomorrow, so check back then to see exactly how much I’ve lost in 6 weeks.

As I mentioned on Sunday, it’s now officially the spring season, yet the weather forecast for my area is rain, rain, and more rain all week.  And not just a little drizzle, but huge downpours.  It  can be depressing, especially when we’re all ready for the sunny, warmer weather.

But just as “all clouds have a silver lining,” all rainy days eventually lead to sun, and that was true yesterday when I look Lulu on a walk during a break in the weather.  It was actually a really long break, and the sun shone brightly.  It was so nice to feel the warmth after a cold, rainy day that I took a few photos.  Walking along and noticing all the beauty around me made me feel so lucky to be in that moment.  I wasn’t worried about what the weather would be like later, I just wanted to enjoy the sunshine and the walk.

A sure sign of spring if I've ever seen one.

Cala Lillies are one of my favorite flowers, and they're so prolific this time of year.

And sometimes all you need in order to lift your spirits is to simply look up.

Living in the moment and enjoying the here and now has never come easily to me.  I’m a planner, as you may have guessed.  I like having a goal to strive towards, and I’m always looking at how I can improve my life/myself.  The risk in looking too far ahead is that I miss all the joy that I have NOW.  So this has been something I have been working on for a couple of years now.  And I have written before about how much better I’ve become at enjoying today once Lulu came into my life.  Dogs just force you to enjoy the moment, because that’s how they live.  And it’s been great.

Lately I’ve been trying to apply this “live in the moment” philosophy to my weight loss journey.  Of course I have an overall goal – losing over 150 pounds.  And I also have a short term goal – losing the 45 pounds necessary to qualify for surgery (less than 25 lbs to go!).  In between those two, I have all the weight loss milestones that will come my way.

But today, right now, I want to appreciate all that I’ve done up to this point.

  • I’ve lost over 20 lbs in 6 weeks.
  • I’m feeling lighter in my own  skin.
  • I’m on Day 22 of my #30daychip challenge.
  • My clothes are fitting looser.
  • I can notice my face getting thinner.

And because of all of this, I’m taking more time to put outfits together.  I’m having fun exploring my closet and pulling out garments that have been too tight for too long.  It’s fun to figure out each day’s “look” now that I have a little less of me to work with.  😉

Today’s Outfit:

Sorry for the bad lighting, it was early in the morning when I took this.

A closer shot, to show the colors.

This pride in TODAY isn’t going unnoticed by others; many people are commenting on my outfits, happiness, and my overall attitude.  I’m usually positive, but they’re picking up on what I’m feeling – pride in this moment.  Pride that I am accomplishing what I set out to do.  Pride that I can stick to a goal and not become distracted by temptations.

I’m trying not to concern myself with how long it will take to lose the remaining weight.  Or how soon I’ll be able to get the Lap Band surgery.  I’m focusing my efforts on today, Day 22.  And before I know it, I’ll have accomplished each and every goal I intended.  I know this just as assuredly as I know my own name.

I have a clarity that I haven’t felt for so long, and that’s amazing!

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I was excited to get on the scale today, because I was thisclose to hitting another weight loss milestone, and I was hoping today was the day.

Which means I lost 2.2 pounds this week, for a total of 19.2 pounds overall.  *Sigh*  Just 0.8 pounds from having 20 pounds gone!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed by not losing that 0.8.  20 lbs off is just such a nice, round number.  But I know it will happen next week, and I’m not in that much of a rush.  Plus, yesterday was a really emotionally draining day for me, so I’m sure the stress alone kept the weight on.  Not to mention the fact that it’s TOM, too.  And actually, in the past I would always gain when I had TOM, so the fact that I lost 2.2 lbs this week is quite an achievement.

I’m thrilled with the results I’m getting from Medifast, but it is definitely a sacrifice.  I’ve gotten used to eating the meal replacements, but I am looking forward to the time when I can go back to eating three meals of real food.  Not to mention being able to imbibe from time to time.  And eat fruit and/or grains.

I was telling my sister last night that once I’m able to call Kaiser and say, “I’ve reached the required weight for the surgery, get me on that list!” the first thing I’m going to do is have a glass of wine, followed by a bowl of mangoes and blueberries.  🙂  It’s the little things.

Because as much as I am grateful to Medifast for this program that offers consistent and predictable weight loss, I’m not fooling myself into thinking this would be a lifestyle or a way to sustain long-term weight loss.  I know it’s not.  But it has been a wonderful way for me to drop the pounds in a quick time period, which is exactly what I needed.

And I am enjoying all the benefits that come along with weight loss – the loose clothes, the lighter feeling as I move through the world, and the sense of achievement that strengthens with each passing week.  What I’m looking forward to are the compliments on my weight loss from people who don’t know I’m following a program. When people are finally able to notice on their own that I’ve lost weight, and begin commenting on it, it’s going to be such a nice feeling.

19.2 pounds down, 25.8 to go.

 

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Last night I was “shopping” in my closet, looking for something to wear. We were supposed to wear pink, because one of the groups at school is promoting a Body Image Awareness and Acceptance campaign this week.

I found a pink sweater that I haven’t worn in over a year, because even though the tag says it’s my size, the fit is close to the body, and I haven’t liked the way it looked on me. I thought I’d give it a try, and while it was still hugging my curves, it wasn’t squeezing them anymore.

Then I spotted some wide-legged knit pants that were popular a few years ago. I’ve kept them in my wardrobe rotation because they’re comfortable (like wearing sweats or pjs), and they’re really flattering on me. They help any outfit look a bit more dressed up.

And then I was looking for something to add a little pizazz to the outfit, and I remembered that a dress I bought had a slim, patent-leather belt that I’ve never worn. Even though I have an hourglass figure, and I should be emphasizing my smaller (in comparison) waist, I have never really worn belts. I really like the way they look on other people, but I never thought they looked that good on me. I was wrong.

I decided to wear boots to give the look a bit of an edge and tights so that the boots didn’t look strange and also for their control top properties. Plus, the weather report called for rain today, but it’s actually a nice, sunny day outside. Still, the control top properties are worth the added layer.

To top the outfit off, I added a beret. Not as much for the fashion aspect as for the I-should-really-wash-my-hair-today-but-I-woke-up-too-late-this-morning aspect.

The result? Judge for yourself:

I think I look pretty good. When I look at the photo I don’t pick apart all of the “flaws,” I celebrate how happy I feel in this outfit.  And I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my normal jeans and a sweater “uniform” that I’ve worn all winter long. In a way, I guess I’ve really embodied the Body Image Awareness message of loving yourself as you are. Even though I’m hoping to completely transform my body through weight loss, I’m glad I can embrace and accept it for the way it looks now, and make the most of it with nice outfits.

Plus taking the time to choose and put together an outfit makes me feel like I’m taking the time to care for myself.  When I look better, I feel better.  And the image that I project to the outside world has a lot to do with the way I feel on the inside.  And all that positivity is bound to show up in my goals on the scale.

Added bonus? I have gotten a TON of compliments today. From students and colleagues alike.  It really made me feel special.  Talk about an ego boost! 🙂

What outfit makes you feel great when you wear it?

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Yesterday I went to the doctor, and I walked out with more than I’d bargained for.

The initial reason for my visit was because I’d been having fairly severe lower back pain as well as numbness in my right arm, from my shoulder to my fingertips.  After examining me, the doctor said that she wasn’t at all concerned with my back (the pain had significantly subsided in the last couple of days) and she thought that the problem was a muscular strain.  She said that I could ice it and take Advil if the pain returned. That unless I got numbness in my lower extremities,  it was really nothing to worry about. I agreed.  The arm numbness, however, was a concern to her (and to me).  She said that it could be caused by several things – carpal tunnel or an issue with my neck or chest.  She had me move my shoulder and arm several times and saw that I didn’t have any sort of strain or pain in that area.  She ordered x-rays of my neck and chest, and said that she’d also like me to start wearing a wrist/hand brace day and night to see if that offered any relief.   If it does, then my problem is most likely carpal tunnel. If not, or if the x-rays show something, the problem is more likely a disc or pinched nerve or something.

I tend to think that this is  being caused by some sort of disc or pinched nerve because the numbness has been occurring much more frequently and often comes on when I’m sitting.  It happens in the car when I’m driving to and from work.  It happens when I’m sitting at my desk or at the kitchen table for too long.  And it happened yesterday while I was sitting on the examining table.

The x-rays themselves were very awkward.  I had to wear the “old-fashioned” type of gown (two of them – one facing front, one facing back) to make sure I was covered.  I cannot wait until I’m “normal sized” and don’t have to worry  or be embarrassed by my hugeness. I didn’t like being without a bra in an x-ray room with just the x-ray tech.  He was a very nice person, and he was completely professional, but it was so strange having him move me into these various contortions so that he could do the imaging.  I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious, which is never a great feeling.  But, if the x-rays show something, it will be worth it.  I should know more in the next couple of days, and I’ll definitely keep you updated.

Since I was there, I asked my doctor if she’d order a TDAP for me, because my surgeon requested that I get it before the weight loss surgery.  A TDAP is a vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping couch) and mine had expired long ago.  Since we’ve been experiencing an outbreak of whooping cough in my area (especially with those who deal with little children), I figured that was a good vaccine to get anyway.  I’m trying to get all my ducks in a row so that once these 30+ lbs are gone, I will have nothing standing in my way to get on the list for surgery.

The last bit of health news wasn’t good.  My blood pressure is high again, although part of it might have been caused because the first blood pressure machine I went to wasn’t working, so the assistant ushered me down the hall to the next one.  We didn’t walk really quickly, but maybe quickly enough to get my blood pressure up?  Honestly, though, I’ve been going through quite a bit of stress at work lately and things at home have been so out of the norm that I’m sure that’s throwing me off, too.  My doctor seemed extremely concerned about the blood pressure and told me that I really had to calm down and not get so stressed out.  So I am taking that to heart.  I really need to remind myself that the parts of my job that frustrate me are small things that don’t matter in the scheme of life.  Sure, this has been a challenging year with two of my classes, but so what?  I can’t take it all so seriously.  Plus, I have taken steps to alleviate some of the burden, so that should improve.  And in terms of things at home, I’m sure once we all get used to this new routine of watching my nieces and helping my sister I will feel calmer and more relaxed.

On my drive home last night I did get a bit depressed about the situation.  I wasn’t thrilled with the number I saw on the scale, especially when I compared it with the last number I saw several months ago when I was there.  But I did remind myself that in those 5 months I’d given up a terrible habit – smoking – and it was the holidays, so some weight gain should be expected, if not accepted.  And that’s just it.  I don’t accept it.  I want it gone, and I need to make sure that I’m taking the steps so that it is.

It’s so obvious that working out will help me in all areas – not only will I be able to burn calories, but I’ll also be able to relieve some stress.  Now that the doctor cleared me to workout, nothing is stopping me.  Last night instead of wallowing in self-deprecation, I did steps on the Wii for the first 45 minutes of BL.  (Thank you to HealthyLoserGal for tweeting that you were going to do this, because you inspired me).  And even if I wasn’t burning that many calories, I definitely burned more than I would’ve just sitting on the couch.

Doing the Wii steps was something that was so, so easy to do, and I felt really proud of myself for doing it.  I didn’t even track the exercise, because I did it more for the act of moving than for worrying about the calorie burn (last night, at least).  So from now on I’m going to do the Wii step for at least 30 minutes each night while I watch t.v. (this is in addition to whatever else I do for activity during the day).  I always watch t.v. for a little while at night, so doing the Wii step while viewing will be a really good way to make sure I’m doing something active each and every day.

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For about a month now, I’ve been having quite a bit of pain in my lower back, on my left side.  I’d get a  terrible twinge each morning when I would try to rise from bed, and when trying to get up after sitting in one position for too long.  I attributed it to getting older, being obese, etc., and didn’t really think much about it.

Until Thursday morning when I woke up and the annoying pain was much more severe and my right arm from shoulder to fingertips was numb and stayed that way.

That was scary!  I can handle pain, in fact I have a very high threshold for it, but the numbness is something that worries me A LOT.

I made an appointment with my doctor and I’ll be going in on Tuesday.  Until them I’m trying to manage the pain and numbness as best I can.  Most of the time the paint is more like a dull ache, similar to bad cramps, but every so often I’ll move a certain way and I get a zing of pain.  The numbness can come on at different times, too.  It has been happening every morning when I’m going to the bathroom (sorry for the TMI).  But it’s actually happening right now as I sit at my kitchen table and type this.  So I get up, move around a bit, and the numbness goes away.  If I stand too long in one spot, the pain rears its ugly head.  It’s terrible.

I’m trying to figure out what caused this in the first place.  I know that it all started right around the time I was working out with the trainer.  I’d feel a twinge in my back like I needed to stretch out the muscle, and he’d give me a few stretches to do and didn’t really make it out to be a big deal.  But it was only happening when I’d first wake up in the morning (trying to get out of bed) and sometimes if I had been sitting for a long time, like in a movie theatre.  I did move a few heavy boxes recently when I was helping my sister pack and then again when I was putting all of my Christmas decorations away.  And so I’m wondering if the combination of the two actually made the problem more severe.

Either way, I’m looking forward to going to the doctor and figuring out what this is.  Because this?  Is not something I want to live with.  I can’t bear it.

So until I start feeling more like the old me, I’m going to be careful with my workouts and limit them to mainly walking and aqua aerobics.  Just bending over to clean the house this morning was painful, so I don’t want to take a chance with anything that’s higher impact or more intense.  Plus, I’m doing well on the scale, so as long as I keep strict with my food intake, I should be just fine in that area.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

This week has been going so well – I’ve been sticking to my calories (with some indulgences on Saturday), working out regularly, and tracking all of it.

I came to some hard truths about myself on Thursday, and while it was difficult, self-realization and the honesty that comes with it is worth it. I won’t go into too many specifics, but suffice it to say that being a perfectionist has it’s drawbacks.  Yes, it makes me push myself to be the best I can be and has helped me attain the level of success I enjoy in my career.  The other side of it is that I don’t want to show my imperfection to anyone and tend to hide the truth about myself or my actions from people if I think knowing the truth would change the way they think about me.  I’m not a dishonest person, I just don’t always let people see my flaws, which can be considered somewhat dishonest, I suppose.  Now that I’ve faced some of this, I am making a concerted effort to be more honest, flaws and all, in lots of areas in my life.

Going along with that, I’ve always been what I would call a scale avoider.  There are those among us who are addicted to the scale, jumping on it several times a day to see what the number is.  I was the opposite; I’d stick my head in the sand and do everything in my power to avoid the scale so that I wouldn’t find out the ‘bad news.’  I had to force myself on the scale each week.  And then I just told myself that I was  being silly.  I may be avoiding the numerical readout on the scale, but I can obviously  tell by how loose or tight my clothes feel whether I’ve gained or lost weight.  So why avoid the scale?  Why not start using it as the tool it’s meant to be?

Which is exactly what I’ve done this week.  I started weighing myself every morning and it has been such a great way for me to stay on track all week.  Knowing that I’ve been consistently losing weight all week (minus that slight gain on Sunday morning after the Napa wine trip) helped me so much.  It was positive reinforcement at the beginning of each day.  It made me think twice before I indulged in something that I really wasn’t hungry for.  And it helped me know that I needed to kick it up a notch in my workout in order to see better results on the scale the next day.  Over time, seeing the ebb and flow of my daily weigh-in results will help me notice patterns that I can either break or understand better. Basically, I love my scale now. (It helps that I’m down a significant amount this week, although tomorrow is my official weigh-in day).

How often do you weigh yourself?  Do you feel like it’s too much? Not enough? Just the right amount?  Why?  Do you use the scale for feedback?  How so?

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