Sunday, October 23, 2016

One year

Yesterday marked one year from my surgery date.
I have lost 115 pounds.
I started at a size 26/28 and am now in a 12/14. I don't ever remember wearing this size. I didn't have a goal to begin with aside from becoming healthier so the clothing sizes are a wonderful surprise.
I, unfortunately, did not take measurements. When I go to my year follow up appointment on the 31st, they will measure my waist. Once I implement a better workout regimen, I will take measurements as my goal will be toning and building muscle.
I am happier. I am able to do more things physically. I was never not confident but I have more confidence now.

Here is a side by side comparison photo. The picture on the left is from 1 day before surgery last year. The picture on the right is from last week.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Comparison Photo

I made a comparison photo.
 
I used a picture from a time where I was happy with life, but was unhappy with the way I felt about myself and my weight caused struggles. This picture was prior to surgery, but I wanted to do something that showed me where I came from and where I am today.
I still have work to do and will every day, but this was very helpful for me to see and very motivating to continue moving forward.

 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Accomplishments

I feel often like there isn't much to update when it comes to my surgery journey. Most days I feel like the actual surgery journey is over. I know this is a lifelong alteration, but I almost feel as if I didn't really have surgery.
  • There are no foods that I have trouble with. I attribute this to waiting a little longer to try new things after surgery. I kept to a strict regimen of food for a few months out. I am coming up on 6 months out now and have no issues. I do eat sweets occasionally. I most definitely have to limit those. When I overdo sugar I feel like crap (overdoing it is nowhere near like I did prior to surgery - for example, eating a whole Reese's Peanut Butter cup is bordering on too much for me in one sitting). I have not tried ice cream, but really haven't had the desire. I have had blended fruit and frozen yogurt/milk.
  • I still don't drink enough water/fluids. I have always struggled with this and, I'm sure, will continue to struggle with it. I do really well for a while and then I fall off the bandwagon and deal with minor constipation and irritability from being dehydrated. I do not get sick, but I do feel miserable until I get the water balance back in my body.
  • I have major support from my boyfriend still. He has adapted his portion sizes so that we split a lot of things. He will make one steak instead of two. I will eat my portion and he eats the rest. It is still, by far, healthier than the portions either of used to eat before my surgery. He has since had his gallbladder removed and the smaller portions are helping with weight control and him feeling better.
    He also compliments me on my outfits. No, not every day. No, not every outfit. There are some that he just really likes and he mentions it. This came from a discussion about the need for me to not be the only one noticing any change. He also has commented that I just seem happier (even when I complain that some of my clothes are too big and I have to change them before going to work - yes, I still have some that need to be altered (learning to alter clothing is on my to-do list for this summer) and some more things to purchase in the right sizes).
  • My mom and I are sharing a journey with a different timeline. She had her surgery 2 months after I did. It is still very interesting to see the differences in our journeys and be able to talk about anything related to it.
  • As of today, I have lost a total of 84 pounds since the day of surgery. I do not feel like I've lost that amount of weight, but I also know that I have more to go. My hours are changing at work and I will have more time and more room (buying a house) to be able to workout at home in order to boost the excess fat loss and tone the little bit of loose skin that I do have.
  • I periodically still notice random things that I wasn't able to do prior to surgery. I can bend down under my desk and come back up without struggling to breathe or pushing my belly out of the way. I can walk up and down stairs at work and at home without being winded. I can sit with my legs crossed, comfortably. I can sit with my knees together. I can wrap my arms all the way around people when I hug them. Sex is easier and more fun. Yes, I went there. Energy levels are higher.
  • I can wipe myself more easily. Yes, this was a struggle prior to the weight loss. I can reach behind my back and undo my own bra. No, I could not do that before. I can bend over to tie my shoes and only worry about moving my boobs out of the way instead of struggling to breathe and reach the laces.
  • If I don't track my food intake, I don't eat as well as I should. It is very important for me to log everything that I eat.
  • I am able to shop in the non plus size clothing sections which means I have a better selection of cute clothes. I receive more compliments than I ever have at work. I enjoy them, but I also find it sad that it took losing the weight and being able to find cuter clothes to get those compliments.
Life is settling down for the moment. I have the summer off from classes. My work schedule is going back to five 8-hour days (from four 10-hour days). I am able to spend more time crafting which is relaxing to me. We will be buying a house soon (not sure exactly when as we are waiting on the appraisal and the offer from family). Life is wonderful and I am absolutely thankful for my body alteration.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Dresses and shopping with my mama

My mom had the sleeve surgery in December so we've been sharing our journeys together. My surgery was in October so I had a few months of learning and losing ahead of her. We decided to go shopping for clothes together today. I can't remember the last time we did that. I needed a new bra and am always looking for new, smaller clothes as the weight falls off. She needed some new clothes and new bra as well.

We met at a boutique where they do special bra fitting. I had dropped a few band sizes but the cup size was the same. I ended up getting one bra from there and I'll order some less expensive ones online. I'm not sure when I'll need to order a different size so I don't want to spend a lot of money on them yet.

We went to Cato - one of my favorite places to shop. Their stores are set up like Fashion Bug used to be where they have smaller sizes on one side and larger sizes on the other. Their clearance prices are wonderful (dresses for $6, pants for $4...I find some great deal there). I walked in and found a super cute spring outfit (black and bright yellow) hanging on the wall. I just had to try it on. I found all the pieces and tried them on and bought it. I rarely pay full price for clothing, but I just had to have that outfit. I did not take a picture, but I will when I wear it. My mom had some trouble finding things that fit well, so I just wandered and tried more things on. I was trying on a lot of size 14/16 in the larger section, so I asked the manager there (she's amazing too) what the difference was between the 14/16 on the larger side and the XL on the smaller side. She said they were mostly equivalent. I hopped over to the other side to see what was over there. Mostly the same styles, but there were some things that were not on the other side. A whole new world opened up for me.
This is one dress I bought (on clearance)...from the smaller sizes section of the store:


I just love the fit of it! It is actually sort of a sweater material.
Again, I forget most of the time to take pictures, so I don't have a picture of the other dress I bought.

We then went out to eat at TGI Fridays. I had a small portion of the wings (Parmesan Garlic). They were pretty good. They were a little greasy, but the flavor was delicious. I didn't have any trouble with them.
We went to Avenue after that. Mom was able to find a great shirt to go with her favorite leggings. I realized that the sizes there are all too big for me. Time to scratch that store off my list.
We had a great day shopping together. I spent the next day at her store helping and trying on clothes (like I always end up doing).

Here are a couple of other dresses that I have worn recently (I'm really digging wearing dresses):

This black and green dress was given to me by my mom.


This retro-style dress was one I purchased from Cato (in a size just a little too tight for me at the time) a while back (on clearance, of course). And, of course, the work bathroom selfies.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Onederland

Today is the day I officially hit Onederland.
Onederland?
Apparently it's a term used for when overweight people (weighing over 200 pounds) reach a weight of under 200 pounds.
My official weight today is 197.6 pounds.
It has been a long time since I've seen anything under 200 on the scale.
This makes a total of 74.4 pounds gone from my body.
That is a large number to me and I feel wonderful. I have much work to do to tone my body, but that will change when my work schedule changes at the end of April. I will be going to the gym with my boyfriend and riding bikes with him as well (as long as the weather cooperates).
I catch myself sneaking glimpses in mirrors and windows as I walk by them. I genuinely feel cute a lot of days. Life is good!

I have been terrible at taking pictures for milestones and did not take one on this day.
Pictures to come though.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Cooking day with a friend

One of the supervisors at work is having the sleeve surgery this summer. We have become rather close while talking about the surgery. She is also a great mentor for my career as I plan to pursue a supervisory role at work in the future as well.

In preparation of her surgery, she has altered her eating and has implemented healthier choices and has been tracking her food. I can't stress the importance of anyone preparing for this surgery to begin by making small changes prior to surgery. Reading labels, tracking your intake (water, nutrients, protein), and cooking more at home can really open your eyes to how your life will change after the surgery. Yes, the sleeve helps with your eating choices, but ultimately it's up to us to make good decisions. It's up to me whether I want to have cake or not. The sleeve helps me not eat too much of anything, but it's up to me what I put in my body.

Anyway...we pulled a couple of recipes off from Pinterest, made a grocery list, and went shopping. We had to stop at a couple of different stores because the first one didn't have a spaghetti squash.

Here are the recipes we made:
Ricotta Bake 
Mashed potatoes and cauliflower (We didn't really follow a recipe for this. We boiled a few potatoes, threw the cauliflower in toward the end of the potatoes cooking, drained them, added a little Fairlife milk, a little butter, and a little garlic powder, and then blended with a hand mixer.)
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan, Spinach, and Mushrooms - I think this would be amazing with some grilled chicken or even tofu.
Turkey Meatloaf Muffins - The flavor of these was great, but they were very dry. I will make these again but with alterations. I will add more egg whites (maybe throw in a full egg as well) and something more for moisture (perhaps some worcestershire sauce as well). I may cut down on some of the oats as well or find a recipe that calls for quinoa instead. So many options!

Here is our food:


This was definitely a fun day and I look forward to doing another one in the future. Perhaps after her surgery would be better. Our schedules don't line up currently so we'll see what we can come up with.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Casually cute for the hockey game

I won tickets from work to a local hockey game this evening. I love live hockey! We (my boyfriend and I) got to sit in my work's suite which was super nice. Free drinks (water and soda) and time with people I work with. It was so much fun!
Before I left work, I sneaked a picture of my outfit:


Yes, this is picture of me in the bathroom at work. I don't have a full-length mirror at home so this is the next best place for me to get a picture.
This is the first time I've worn tennis shoes to work in a long time. I think I had on jeans that I finally didn't have to wear a belt with. The shirt was purchased at one of my local Goodwill stores. I don't shop there often, but occasionally I find something I just have to get. I love the print on it. The scattered triangles have a mix of white, pink, green, and light blue. It's just such a fun geometric print. I realized after wearing it tonight that I need to wear a tank top underneath it to make sure the "girls" don't pop out and say hello. I have just the light blue cami with lace on top to wear under it too!