Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Renting Verses Owning

My thoughts for this post come from reading a post at "Cranky Fitness." She discusses how different things are when you are renting verses owning.

I have owned my condo for just over four years. There are many upkeep type things that I now worry about that I never once gave a second thought to as a renter. For example, one thing right now I need to schedule is for my carpets to be shampooed. This is something I would have never given a second thought to when I was a renter.

How does this relate to my body? For most of my life, I have been a renter, not a owner. It has only been since having my DS, that I've really worked at starting to take ownership of it. What I put into my body matters. Yes, I make mistakes, but I make them far fewer than before. I have given up Coca Cola for good. I read labels more closely. I am working on making exercise a consistent part of my life.

I could have continued to view my body as a rental, but at what cost? At the rate I was going, I would have been on permanent disability within five-ten years. I have no clue what health problems would have began to compound. Would I have even made it to my 40th birthday? Many questions run through my mind.

I could continue to live in denial, and go back to my old ways of thinking that my body is a rental, but it will eventually catch up with me, and I will have to live with the consequences. Every moment I am making decisions on which way I view my body.

My Virtual Model at 145 Pounds

Here I am in the virtual world at 145 pounds. Now, if I can only get there in the REAL world.

I have tried several times to post a You Tube Video, which I know how to do, but it is not working properly. I wanted to show a video of a ZUMBA class. Since I am waiting for the next Fitness Boot Camp to start, I have decided I want to give these a go. I am going to my first class on Saturday, and hope to get to attend one on Sunday too.

My Sister and These Last Few Pounds!

I was talking with my sister after work today, and she was telling me that mom was going to bring her Weight Watchers books. I asked her why, and she is starting a diet. I wonder if this has anything to do with me being smaller than she is now.

These last few pounds have been a bear. I so want to be done with losing weight, and go into maintenance mode. I wish I could push the fast forward button right now.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dexa Scans (Bone Density Scans)

DSers need to get a Dexa scan one year after their surgery (for a baseline), and then every other year following.

Diana Cox reminded DSers tonight it is extremely important to watch our trends with these tests as well. She had lost 6%-8% of her bone density, even though she had excellent numbers, this is still something to be worried about.

Thanks for reminding me of this!

What a Day!

I had a great day today. I just got in about 15 minutes ago. I spent the entire day with Ben from 8:00 this morning. We went to church together, then to watch a dinner theater production of Beauty and the Beast. I helped him clean up his apartment, took a nap, had a late dinner, and we took a nice walk.

Today when he hugged me, he said I can tell you are getting thinner when I hug you. I have lost around 15 pounds since we have been talking, but that baffles my mind. Can just a few pounds really make that much of a difference? I guess I have a hard time noticing the difference in just a few pounds. From friends that have been thin for most of their life, they talk about how they can really notice when they pick up five to ten pounds. I am just not able to see how losing a few pounds can be so tangible to someone. The compliment was so sweet though.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

16 Months Post Op

This dress is a size MEDIUM! :)
I will try to post pictures of me in a form fitting top and pair of pants too.

I cannot believe it has been one year and four months since I had the DS! The further I get from surgery, the faster time seems to fly. My life is so full now, it amazes me how fast the time passes.


* I lost 6 pounds this month. I would have liked to have seen this number higher, but considering I went on a trip for nine days where I ate VERY carb heavy (because I didn't like most of the food, so I had tons of bread), I am pleased with the weight loss.
* My current weight is 161 pounds.
* I have lost a grand total of 232.6 pounds.
* I have lost 59% of my body (from my surgery weight until today.)
* I have lost 93.5% of my excess weight.
* I am 3 tenths of a point from a NORMAL BMI!!!
* I am 16 pounds to my pre-plastics goal.
* I wear mainly medium in tops (8/10), and do not see me getting smaller up top until I have some type of plastics work done on my arms.
* As for pants/skirts, I am in a size 10. I still have a few pairs of size 12 that fit, but most of my clothing is a size 10.

In thinking beyond the stats...

I am continually amazed at what my body can do. Even some simple things truly amaze me. I have so much more physical stamina. I am stepping out of the comfort zone I have lived in for so long with running, and soon this Fitness Boot Camp. I am also going to start going to a Spinning Class at a local church.

I am also amazed at how small my bone structure is. I have really began to notice that the past few months. Looking in the mirror is still something that trips me out. I really do not recognize the girl that is staring back at me. At the end of dancing last night, we did a line dance. This was the first time of the evening I really had a chance to get to watch myself in the mirror. I didn't really look different than all the other female dancers that were there. I wish I could maintain this rational level of thinking all the time, but the mental war still rages on.

I saw my sister yesterday on a family outing. I know for certain now that I am smaller than her. Please don't misread that statement as me being competitive with my sister about weight. It is just that I have always been the fat one, and it is nice that I am the smaller one for a change. I had many many years of being the fat sister title, and I am certainly ready to give that up.


I have spoken frequently about the mental battles that come from shedding over 200 pounds, and the smaller I get, the more fierce the battle in my head seems to be.

While we were ballroom dancing, I was making an intentional effort to NOT look at my feet, but to actually look at Ben. (Trust me, he is much more appealing to look at than my feet, but I want to work on my footwork, so it is hard!) I told him I was worried that I would step on his feet accidentally. He said, "It's ok. It is not like you weigh that much." Hmmm...I scan the room to see if he is talking to someone else...wait, he is saying that TO ME. I still see a huge person when I look in the mirror. I still think I am much bigger than people who are 3-4 sizes, or 60 pounds heavier than me.

The other comment Ben said to me tonight was, "What a lovely silhouette you have." I do cherish this sweet comments, but trying to let them sink into my head is very hard.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dancing Tonight and Fitness Boot Camp

I am gonig ballroom dancing tonight, and I cannot wait! I really do enjoy going. I would love to become really good at it. It is certainly a challenge, but I do not feel overwhelmed, like it is something I cannot do.

Speaking of new challenges:

FITNESS BOOT CAMP (Click the words for the link to the site. Links are very hard to see on my blog.) I am going to do the next Fitness Boot Camp that they offer. This is set to begin sometime in August. I watched the You Tube video on the site, and I want to try it out. I have lots of fears that I will be the slowest and most out of shape, but I am not going to let that hold me back. There will never be perfect circumstances, and I can make this happen from where I am right now. What an accomplishment it will be to say that I completed the ten sessions.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Driver's License 2004 (Above)

Driver's License 2008:
WOW...What a Difference!!!

Sorry for the poor photo quality, but I think this captures the difference quite nicely.

Some Statistics

I had mentioned a few weeks back that I am reading "Raising Fit Kids in a Fat World" by Judy Halliday and Joani Jack. (I am actually in the midst of SEVERAL books related to weight type issues right now.) Here are a few statistics that I wanted to share with you all:

* Currently one out of five children is overweight, impacting nearly half the families in this country.

* Children's clothing comes in plus sizes. (Unfortunately, I know this from personal experience. I needed the plus size clothes as a child.)

* We are now testing for diabetes in children as young as two years of age.

* If one parent is overweight, a child is three times more likely to be overwieght; two overweight parents and the child is TEN times more likely to be overweight. (I liked that the authors go on to say...."Children are affected by the genetics of their parents, but they are equally affected by what they observe their parents DOING.")

* From 1963 to 2002, the number of overweight children aged 6 to 19 quadrupled. Children whoa re overweight or obese now represent 30 percent of those aged 6 to 19, and 20 percent of 2 to 5 year olds.

* A recent study indicates that a significant percentage of children exceed the weight maximum for their car seat, with few, if any appropriate alternatives.

* Portion sizes have sky-rocketed in the past 40 years. Cookies now exceed USDA standards by a whopping 700 percent and cooked pasta by 480 percent.

The authors challenge you to look at the impact of the words associated with being fat, then goes on to tell this startling story:

How does our culture feel about those who are overweight? An unsettling answer to that question occurred during the Obesity Treatment and Prevention Conference in Seattle, Washington in 2004. During a lecture, the speaker passed out blank index cards to HEALTHCARE professionals and asked each person to complete the following sentence: "People who are overweight are _______." The responses were absolutely stunning. While a few were positive, many were negative -- and some were downright mean: "Pigs." "Ugly." "Unhappy." "Hopeless." "Unmotivated." "Lazy." "Scary." "Impossible to Help." And these answers came from healthcare workers who wanted to learn how to help those who are overweight!

When a group of 10 and 11 year old children were asked to study pictures of children with varying disabilities and rank them in order of acceptability, the obese child was rated below all the physical deformities, including a missing hand and facial disfigurement.

How Sweet!

Tonight I went to see Amos Lee in concert with my friend Michelle. He gave such an amazing performance!

On my way home, I talked with Ben. When I was getting out of my car, I locked my car keys in the car. Ben came out to my house (which is about 25 minutes from his place), and waited with me for AAA. I am not used to someone being so sweet and sincere, but I am certainly enjoying it.

Two Quotes from Back in Skinny Jeans

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back from Holiday

I enjoyed my trip to Colombia South America. It is always eye opening to visit another culture, and in many ways realize how blessed you are. I will post some pictures within the next week or two.

It was hard being in a culture where the majority of people are much smaller. Not just in weight alone, but their actual bone structure seemed to be smaller than ours. I felt like I really stuck out quite a bit. Again, the mental battle rages on.

A Few WOWS....
* No problems with physical stamina.
* I borrowed the jacket of one of the guys on the trip, a size medium, and it fit me.
* There was no questioning whether or not I was able to go zip lining, as far as my weight. (I chickened out, and did not go.)
* I was very comfortable in the airplane. I could cross my legs, and had tons of room to spare with the seat belt.

Ben picked me up from the airport. I really did miss him. He said that Colombia had treated me well because I came back even prettier. (Is he not a doll?) When he hugged me, he commented that he could tell I had lost weight. The next thing he said was, "Not that you needed to lost any weight." He said there was nothing but bones on my side. I know the conversation about my weight loss surgery needs to come up soon, but I really want to hold off and just be a normal person for a little bit more.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to Change is Good ... Changing for Good!

I am in Colombia South America now, but I set this post up in advance. I just wanted to say thank you for everyone who has read my blog this past year. I appreciate all the advice and encouragement that I have been given. Having a blog has been something that has really helped me in my journey. I especially appreciate the added accountability that having this blog brings to my life. Reading other blogs by DSers and those struggling with weight loss really helped me make my decision for WLS, and as I made the journey day by day.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Leaving for Colombia Today

I am leaving for Colombia in a few hours. I am looking forward to the trip, and I'm sure that I will have a few "WOWS" to report when I get back. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to travel on this trip.

On Saturday I went to Shakespeare in the Park with Ben. We saw Pericles. We got to watch about 90% of it, then a huge rainstorm moved in. Ben and I waited it out for some time, and the rain slowed down, but it had far from stopped when we decided to make a run for it. He took off his shirt so that I could wear it over my head so I would not get as wet. (What a sweetheart!!!)

I spent the day Sunday with him, and he got to briefly meet my parents. He volunteered to take me to the airport, and pick me back up. Typically that would not be as big of a deal, but he is taking me to the airport in Cincinnati, so that is an hour and a half drive one way. I really really like Ben.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Not. Super. Woman

I didn't run the 5K this morning. I slept, and it was good. I have really been running myself ragged, and needed some good sleep. It was nice that my body actually cooperated, and let me sleep in, instead of having me wide awake at 7 or so.

I was asked yesterday to be a night manager at one of the GED locations. I am not exactly sure what all my responsibilities will include, but I know I will be supervising 4-5 teachers. I really like working with GED students, so I'm excited to see what becomes of this opportunity.

Ben and I went out last night to celebrate him finishing up classes. We ate at Huber's Restaurant in Indiana, then went to the planetarium for some laser light shows, and finally to see Wall-E. It was such a great night. This week has been so busy, it was nice to just relax. He asked if he could take me to the airport on Monday. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Busy! Busy!

I am trying to catch my breath. I have so much to do before going to Colombia! I need to shop some, PACK, get cash, make several phone calls, etc. I also get to have two dates with Ben before I go, and I'm running my first 5K on Saturday. (WOOT WOOT!) I hope to be able to volunteer at Bates Community Church after my 5K on Saturday too. I will certainly be able to sleep come the plane ride from Houston to Colombia.

This afternoon I went to one of the nursing homes that Ben preaches at. I got to spend some great quality time with two of the residents BJ and Joe. It was very nice.

On my energy level: Every day from around 11:00-1:00, give or take an hour, I am hitting a real energy LOW. This is more than I'm tired after eating, I truly just want to climb in bed and take a long nap. I hope this passes soon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Quote From Back in Skinny Jeans....

Formal Dresses

So this afternoon I pick up the formal dress I will be wearing to Mandi's wedding. We had previously gone with a different dress that was much more lose fitting, but it was not in stock. She said she took our measurements we gave her, and ordered a different dress. I am fully expecting to see a size 12 dress when I open this box. Imagine my freaking out when I see a SIZE 10 dress inside this box.

The whole rest of the way home, I am completely panicked, thinking this dress is NOT going to fit. We are also at a time crunch right now, as far as if it would be feasible to get a replacement dress in before the wedding. I also think back to 2005 when I was the maid of honor in my sister's wedding. From this same company I got the BIGGEST dress that they made (size 32), and it barely fit.

The dress fits wonderfully. It looks very flattering on me. I cannot believe it. Mandi also told me that I am the second smallest in the wedding party. The smallest girl is her sister, and she had to get a size 8.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Elastic Waist Pants: Just Say NO

I was talking today at the office with another girl who is going to be co-presenting with me tomorrow and Wednesday. We are about the same age, and she had expressed how she was unhappy with the weight gain she had experienced in the last five years. She was saying how she needed to wear more pants with zippers/buttons, but how she always seems to resort back to the elastic waist type ones.

I told her I absolutely agreed. I am NEVER going back to elastic waist clothing (except PJs and exercise apparel). The elastic waist allows the illusion that things are still ok, that you are not getting heavier. Especially if you are not weighing yourself daily, you could easily gain 10-15 pounds in some of those type pants, and it not look "that bad." The further out from surgery I get, the more I realize it is indeed small choices daily that add up to the big messes we are in. Elastic pants, AKA "Fat Pants", are no longer a part of my life.

My bridesmaid dress is in, I just have to go over to the post office tomorrow and pick it up. I am hoping it fits just fine, but secretly, I would love for it to be too big. I'll post something about it tomorrow night.

Happy 29th Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday! :) What a year it has been! This time last year, I weighed 310 pounds. I currently weigh 164 pounds. I have lost 146 pounds this past year!

I've learned that my body can indeed do things that I never had before dreamed possible. I've went skydiving, I've taken up running, I exercise on a regular basis, and I went horseback riding. These are things that were closed off to me as a 393 pound person. My energy level and zest for life is amazing. I am so thankful that God opened the doors and allowed me to have the DS surgery.

I'm looking forward to a great 29th year! Who knows what will be in store this year! :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Quote I Found Tonight

"Someday someone is going to walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else..."

I don't know where things will go with Ben, but this quote puts things in perspective about relationships for me right now.

Horseback Riding!!!

Ben took me out for my birthday surprise day today. We went horseback riding first! He said he remembered that I wanted to go do that, and decided my birthday celebration would be perfect. I was nervous about getting on the horse (and staying on it too!), but Ben helped me get on the horse. After a few laps around the ring, we went for about 2-3 miles on a trail through the woods. I did not fall off the horse! It was so much fun. My butt is so sore though!!!

What really strikes me about this picture is that I look normal. I don't feel like I often look "normal," I still feel like a really fat disguisting person. Then I see pictures of myself, or my reflection in the mirror, and I am floored.

Next, we had dinner at Red Lobster. From Red Lobster, we went to see Oklahoma put on by the Jewish Community Center. We ended the night with a walk through the park. For my birthday he gave me a C.S. Lewis book, and he also got us both the book "Love and Respect." We are going to read and study it together.

Today was AMAZING. BEST birthday celebration EVER!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Scale Moving Down

The scale moved down three pounds this morning! I am down to 164 pounds now. The biggest thing is that I saw my BMI was 25.7. I am ALMOST to a NORMAL BMI!!! Oh Happy Days!

I wanted to mention that I have not forgotten about measuring my inches. I have decided to wait awhile until the next time I measure them. I am now getting to the point where the changes are not going to be "drastic" anymore. I really don't have the need to measure each month now. I measured at the beginning of June, and will probably measure again at the first of August/September.

I have decided to bump my goal weight down to 145. When I was really heavy, I used to think that I was "big boned" which I guess many a fat girl thought. The truth is that as more and more weight sheds I realize that I am much more petite than I ever would have imagined bone structure wise.

Second 4th of July Get Together

I went downtown to meet some friends of mine from church. I was excited because a guy who we all used to hang out with was back in town with his wife. It was great to meet her, and to see him again. He was very interested in my weight loss. He asked in a very sweet way, and was very complimentary. I am really not used to the attention though. I like remaining in the background when it comes to things really personal. I can't wait in a few years, when people who have known me really adjust to the concept that I am a thinner person, and my fat ghost doesn't resurrect itself in many conversations.

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July Cookout

I wen to a Fourth of July Cookout with Ben's friends today. I did pretty well in this social situation, much better than I would have done 226 pounds heavier. I still have a decent amount of anxiety of being in these type of situations. The first thing I did was size myself up with the other ladies. There was one lady who was bigger than me. Next, I wouldn't hardly allow myself anything to eat. I had one chicken breast and 5 crackers. I refused cake when it was offered to me. (How I wanted to eat that cake...but I didn't want to feed into the stereotype of no wonder she is so big, look at that big piece of cake she is stuffing in her mouth.) I did really push the fluids down like no tomorrow. I drank a TON of water.

On the way home, I got to thinking, why do I place myself so much more below these other ladies. Seriously, at best I am 30 pounds heavier than they why am I letting myself get mentally beat up over my size? I am working on this mental stuff, but boy is it ever TOUGH.

Ben told me last night that he loved me! I am so excited about my birthday surprise tomorrow. I am certainly brining my camera to take pictures!

Now, it is off to see fireworks and hear some live music! Happy 4th everyone!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ah Well

I couldn't think of another title for this post, perhaps because it is early, and I am tired. Ah Well will have to do.

There was a mix up with part of my labs, so after working in my classroom yesterday, I had to go back over and have blood redrawn. Apparently, two tubes of my blood were supposed to be frozen, and they were not. When I got home late last night, there was a message about my labs, so I need to call today to see if some of the results have already come in. I also made a stop to get a paper signed saying that I have 20/20 vision, so I can get my vision restriction taken off my license. I had Lasik done in 2006, and have not taken the time to get this done.

I met Ben yesterday at 3:00, and went to the nursing home with him. (He is a volunteer chaplain at two different nursing homes.) I used to do nursing home visitation in college, and forgot how much of a delight it is. It was also the first time that I got to hear him preach. It is so amazing when you get to see people doing what they love, and are obviously called to do.

We sat through two different dinners while doing visitation, and I had forgotten how insistent elderly people can be about eating. I didn't eat anything, but it certainly was not for lack of them trying to get me to eat. Then at the second dining room, there was only one chair at the table, so Ben let me sit down, and he stood. One of the ladies, who knew that we were dating, suggested that I just "sit in his lap." He chuckled about that not being appropriate, but how he would like that. The whole time I am just floored that someone actually thought I was small enough to sit on a man's lap. (There is NO way that I would do this, as I still weigh 167 pounds, but still!)

After we left the nursing home, we had a bit of a drive to get back to campus. He starts talking to me about my birthday surprise. He says that I need to start off wearing jeans, but that I need a dress to change into. He said he has bought me two gifts. One gift is for me, and the other gift is for "us." My imagination has been running wild.

Ben also mentioned how eager he was to meet my family. I told him that my sister only lives a mile away from him. We dropped by, and he got to meet her. I really stared my sister up and down last night. I honestly feel that we are EXACTLY the same size. I am not ready to stop losing, and it will be strange from this point forward being the smaller sibling, as I have always been the HUGE one.

When Ben met me at my car last night, I was reading "Raising Fit Kids in a Fat World." This is a book that interests me for many reasons, because I was an obese child, because I teach children, and because I would like to have children myself. He commented on the book, and was curious as to why I was reading a book on obesity. I found that interesting. I wonder if he views me as a normal sized person, who has always been at a semi-healthy weight. I just told him that I am reviewing the book for my blog (which I will be doing), and left it at that. I know there will come a time that I will want him to know about my whole WLS journey, but right now I'm just enjoying that he likes me for me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pic of Ben and I Together

Thoughts on Skinny B*tch

Ok, I'm not really impressed guys. I've read about 2/3's of this book, and it is not doing a whole lot for me. I also feel more things in this book are backed up with the opinion of the authors rather than actual facts. There are a few gems I want to share....

"Brace yourselves, girls: Soda us the liquid Satan. It is the devil. There is nothing in soda that should be put in your body." (AMEN)

"Junk food will never go away. It becomes more alluring by the minute with laboratory-developed aromas, artificial flavors, chemical food colors, toxic preservatives, and heart-stopping hydrogenated oils. We know these are all impossible to resist, but no one ever got skinny on junk food. Use your head. Candy bars, potato chips, and ice cream taste like heaven, of course. But they will pitch a tent on your hips and camp out all year."

"Simple carbs suck and are nutritionally beneficial as toilet paper."

"And no matter what, don't fall prey to clever advertising used on the packaging. The companies that call their products 'wholesome' or 'nutritious' can be the same ones that add hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, or synthetic preservatives. Just read the ingredients of everything you buy. It's not a big deal, assuming you are literate."

More to come later when I finish this book!


I I talked with Ben for about an hour last night. I know that he is planning something for my birthday, and we are going to celebrate it on Saturday. Imgaine my surprise when he said that celebrating my birthday Saturday was going to be an "all day affair." I felt awful saying it could not start until 3 pm, because I have my final GED class. I'm looking forward with great anticipation for what will happen on Saturday.