Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Crazy Summer

It's been a month and a half since I last blogged. Things have been a bit crazy around here. We are still living with my mother and father-in-law. They are so sweet to let us stay here until we get on our feet. Retiring from the Navy left us with benefits, but not much in the way of money. Don't get me wrong. We do get a monthly retirement check. But once the care payment comes out of it, it doesn't seem like much. LOL I had a job for about a month. I won't go into details, but lets just say that my co-workers and I had different ways of handling issues with the children. It was frustrating beyond belief, and I was so stressed out that I was getting physically ill. So, I've spent the last month trying to find a job, without much success. But I'm not giving up.

Ryan has found two part time jobs. One he loves. It's in a gun shop, and he gets to play with guns all day. A man's dream job right? LOL The other job is in a large chain store, and he doesn't care for it much at all. But there is hope on the horizon. While working at the gun shop he met a customer who happens to be the son of the owner of an oil field company. They got to talking and it turns out Ryan has some skills they can use in their training and/or safety departments. He has an interview on Friday, but it sounds like it's just a formality. Ryan spoke to the owners son again this week and while he wouldn't come right out and say it, he seemed to be hinting very strongly that Ryan already has the job! It will be a huge blessing and will mean that we can finally find a house and get settled! Yay!

This week I'm working on getting the kids enrolled in school. Steven will be going to Ryan's old middle school and Tori will be going to our old high school. I'm excited and nervous for them. Now if I can just get all the required paperwork rounded up, we will be in good shape!

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten to update you on my weight loss progress. I'm just saving it for last. :) As of today I have lost a total of 99 lbs! I actually spent about an hour and a half going through clothes my sister passed on to me as she was losing weight, and it seems my size has changed once again. At the beginning of the summer I was wearing a 16w/18w in pants and an XL in shirts. Now I'm wearing regular 16/18s (the 18s are getting kinda big though) in pants. And I'm wearing a large in tops! I'm so excited!!

This past weekend was our 20 year high school reunion. I had an outfit picked out from my closet for the Friday night meet and greet. On the day of, I tried them on and they were swimming on me!! So I went into panic mode trying on things that were cute enough to go had drinks with people I hadn't see in 20 years, but not so loose that I'd lose my pants before the night was over. Luckily I found something...a size large blouse I had bought in a REGULAR store at the mall, and a pair of capris passed down from my sister with some cute accessories and sandals, I was good to go. For the Saturday night banquet I bought a new dress. It was a 14/16, and showed some leg. I got compliments all night long! I'm seriously not used to that!

I did NOT lose this weight to look good for my reunion!! When I made the decision to have he surgery, our reunion was the farthest thing from my mind. But losing almost 100 lbs in time for it was a huge bonus! It made going to he reunion into something that was truly fun!! I danced! I talked to classmates that I've been in touch with the last few years as well as classmates that I hadn't talked to since middle school and classmates that I had never talked to before. There was a streaker! there was dancing, there was an after party. We had an amazing time! And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I had gone to this reunion with those extra 100 lbs on my body, I would not have had nearly as much fun. I wouldn't have danced. I wouldn't have talked to hardly anyone. I wouldn't have gone to the after party, etc. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun! I've made new friends and reconnected with old. I knew that moving back here was the right idea!!

Exercise. It's like a dirty word. Not just because I've never liked it, but because with my fibromyalgia it can leave me in pain for days. But, I have a new plan of attack to keep me moving, limber, and strengthen my muscles. I'm going to start a beginner's yoga class the first of September. One of my old classmates is a yoga instructor here in town and she's familiar with fibro. I'm so excited to have her help with this!! Thanks, Angie!

I think that's about it for now. I've got some other things to talk about, but haven't decided if I'm going to blog or do a video. Either way I'll try to have it out next week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Video Update

Getting Settled

Hi, Everyone! It's been a while since I posted. Things, as you can imagine, have been crazy and hectic with the retirement and the move. We made it through the retirement and have made it to Oklahoma, but we are still trying to get a house. Meanwhile we are living with my husband's parents. They are wonderful people, and I love them like they were my own parents, but as you can imagine having 4 extra people and two dogs in their typically quiet house has been an adjustment for them. And living in someone else's home has been an adjustment for us. But we are settling in and making it work for now. We have our eye on a couple of houses. We just have to work out a rent-to-own option or a mortgage. Wish us luck!

As for the post-op weight loss journey, it is going great! I am 4 months post-op tomorrow, June 21, and have lost 82 pounds total. That number includes the 18 lbs I lost before surgery, so I've lost 64 lbs in 4 months. I've gone from a size 24/26 in pants down to a 16w/18w. I'm anxious to be out of the plus size pants, but it will happen soon enough. As for shirts I'm down from a 22/24 to an XL in the ladies more plus size tops for me! Yay! I will have to go back later and calculate the inches I have lost. I'm very happy with my progress so far!!

Now, I want to take a moment and stress something to all of you. This is something I have to remind myself of often. DO NOT compare yourself or your progress to anyone else!! All of us are different in so many ways that we can never expect to have the same type of results. We have different bodies, different metabolisms, different health conditions that can affect our progress. We have different doctors and nutritionists giving us different instructions on everything from protein and calorie intake to what type and how many vitamins to take. All of this alone can affect our progress in positive and/or negative ways. Add in our own personal situations with family, work, finances, etc and you have a whole new level of factors. Then we add in our personal likes, dislikes, and struggles with food, what we can and can't eat at certain stages, and trying to plan our meals on our busy schedules and we have even another layer added to the process. So please, don't compare your progress with weight loss to me or anyone else. Take a look at where YOU were, and where YOU are. If you have made progress, then be proud and happy about that. If you've had some stalls, take that time to evaluate what you've been doing, let your body catch up with you, and start with small changes to see what gets things moving again. Remember, this is YOUR journey, not mine, not someone in your support group, not someone on's YOURS and YOURS alone!!! Be proud of you and your progress, and take the pressure of yourself to be just like someone else. We don't need you to be someone else. You are wonderful and amazing all on your own. I think maybe that will be the topic of my next blog...learning to love and accept yourself.

I'm going to go for now. I want to record and post a video before I head to work. So, go over later and check out my YouTube channel and see what I've posted. Once it's up, I'll post a link on here and on my FB pages. Thanks to everyone for reading. I'm so glad that my journey can help others. But remember...I'm only human, I'm not a doctor, and I'm just sharing my experiences and opinions. Please, don't take anything I say over medical advice, or over what you feel is right for you. Love you all, and have a fabulous summer day!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hello, hello, hello! I am still here. I've been wanting/needing to write this post for a while, but just hadn't been able to do it. I've been struggling a LOT lately with fatigue and body pain.

After surgery my main focus with my meds was getting them down. Some I had to crush, some I had to open the capsule and add it to yogurt, some were chewable. I have a medicine organizer to make sure I get all my meds at the right times in the right combinations. So I was very aware of meds and vitamins post op...and I still am. But one thing I didn't think about, and was not brought up with me, is changing dosages.

In the 12 weeks since surgery I have become increasingly tired and sore. This is due to my 3 main health issues...severe depression/anxiety, hypothyroid (under active), and fibromyalgia. All 3 of these conditions cause fatigue and 2 cause insomnia. The meds I take were working great before my surgery. I had energy, I rarely hurt, and I could sleep.

Now, they aren't working at all. Or at least that's how it feels. I think the reason for this is the malabsorption factor with RNY. So, my ass has been dragging for weeks!! The funny thing is, in some ways I feel better and more energetic...due to being practically 60 lbs lighter. But it comes and goes in small spurts.

I find myself being able to do more and more things without the added effort I used to have to put into it, without huffing and puffing, and being able to actually FIT places I didn't before. So even though I'm struggling with the meds, I'm loving this!! And I have an appointment scheduled for Wednesday to get the doc to make some changes for me. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll be feeling much better.

So what about the crazy part of this blog? That would be this month in general! This month is the last month of school...lots of events and activities going on for me as a teacher and the kids. It is also Ryan's last month in the Navy. His retirement ceremony is next week!!! And his parents will be here a couple of days before the ceremony. They are staying in a hotel, but I still have to have the house ready for company. In addition to that, we live on base so we have to be out of our house by May 31st...the last day of school and last day of Ryan's official enlistment. That means making sure EVERY closet, drawer, cabinet, dresser, etc is ready to be packed. They all need to be purged and organized, It's craziness! Add to the mix that we are both looking for jobs, we don't have a place to live yet when we move, and I'm so tired most of the time that I just want to veg, and you've got a crazy month.

So, if I'm not blogging regularly, please forgive me. LOL I'm doing the best I can. But I need to get my butt in gear and make sure everything gets done that needs to be done.

Before I go, let me share my progress with you:

Weight: Total loss: 59.6 lbs!! Pre-op loss: 18.2 Post-op loss: 41.4


Neck: -2
Waist: -3.75
Hips: -5.5
Thighs: -3
Calves: -1
Upper Arm: -.75
Upper Abdomen: -2.5

Total Inches Lost: 23.5!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Where In The World Is Michelle?

Well, I'm still here in San Antonio. I just looked back to see when my last post was and it was 3 weeks ago!!! Aaggh!! I didn't realize it had been that long...a week, maybe two tops. But to see that it had been three weeks was a shock! So, what has been going on in those 3 weeks to keep me from blogging? Well, thinking back I can blame PMS for the first 2 weeks. Yep. It can be that bad folks. It's not a weight loss surgery thing, I've just been like that for years. So I apologize for letting that get the best of me. Last week was just a crazy week!! My theme at school was Fiesta. We did confetti eggs, a piƱata, and a shoebox parade. Friday I was off, but found out that morning that we had won tickets to go see the Zac Brown Band...and have dinner with them at their Eat and Greet before the concert!! That was a fun day!!

I will try to do better about blogging more regularly, but the next month or so may be sporadic. We have one month before we move, and that means LOTS of work to do!! I have closets to clean out, baseboards to scrub, etc, etc, etc. But I will try to post at least a few short things each week to keep you updated.

This is going to be a quick post today, because I have a lot to do this afternoon. I will try to post more tonight. But before I go I will give you a quick update on my progress. I've lost a total of 56 lbs, and I've dropped form a size 26 pant to a 20. I've also dropped from a 3X to an XL in tops or from a 22/24 to an 18/20. I'm really excited about my progress!! I'll update you more later!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nesting Doll Syndrome

One of the benefits of military life has been getting to see parts of the world that I might not otherwise have been able to see. We lived in England for three years and Spain for about a year and a half. As you might guess we purchased many things from the countries we lived in as well as countries that we visited. But another great thing about military life is that while we were over seas, they would bring other countries to us! You would walk into the Exchange (kind of a cross between a department store and a Wal-Mart for military people on base), and they would have tables set up selling pottery from Poland, Love Spoons from Wales, and once in a while they would have Russian nesting dolls. We bought several of these dolls some for gifts for friends and family, some for ourselves. We even have a Winnie the Pooh set where each doll is a different character and the smallest one is of course, Piglet. Many of these sets have each doll decorated as a different character of some kind.

You might see a Star Wars Set:

Or a Beatles Set:

Maybe you'll find a family set:

Or even a fairy tale set:

But most of your traditional sets will have dolls that are basically identical as far as the details painted on them:

As you can see, the only real detail that is different is their size. Their shape is the same, the colors are the same, the face is the same, and even the flowers are pretty much the same.

So what does this have to do with weight loss? Well, I've lost 48 lbs in about three months. I'm wearing smaller sizes. My bras are too big. People comment on how much I've lost all the time. And sometimes I can see it too. But other times, especially if I've just gotten out of the shower and see myself nude, I see exactly what I saw before I started all this! I still see the same body shape, the same fat in the same places, the same proportions. I look just like I used to!! It is hard from my mind to comprehend. How can I wear smaller clothes, lose 48 lbs, have people comment almost daily on how great I look, even the tape measurer says I'm smaller....and yet, I still look the same in the mirror?

Well, I've decided it's the Nesting Doll Syndrome. I look basically the same. Same body shape, same proportions, same skin....just smaller size. That's why it's so important to take pictures!!! And measure!! Our eyes can fool us! Our brain can trick us! They will have us thinking we are still the biggest doll in the set, when in actuality we are getting smaller and smaller all the time. So, don't fall for this trick of the eye and mind. Document for yourself with pictures and measurements. And when you get discouraged and start seeing yourself as the big doll, pull out the pictures of the old you, and compare them to the new you. Let your eyes and your mind take it in that this is real and it is really happening!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fat For Thought

Take a good look at these faux globs of fat!! Now think about how many of them you have lost...and be proud of yourself!!

I've lost an elephant heart and an ostrich about you?

1 pound = a Guinea Pig
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs
3 pounds = an average human brain
4 pounds = an ostrich egg
5 pounds = a Chihuahua
6 pounds = a human’s skin
7.5 pounds = an average newborn
8 pounds = a human head
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year
11 pounds = an average housecat
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs
16 pounds = a sperm whale’s brain
20 pounds = an automobile tire
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super premium ice cream
25 pounds = an average 2 year old
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds = a cinder block
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds = an elephant’s heart
50 pounds = a small bale of hay
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner
60 pounds = an elephant’s penis (yep, weights more than his heart!)
66 pounds = fats and oils an average American eats in a year
70 pounds = an Irish Setter
77 pounds = a gold brick
80 pounds = the World’s Largest Ball of Tape
90 pounds = a newborn calf
100 pounds = a 2 month old horse
111 pounds = red meat an average American eats in a year
117 pounds = an average fashion model (and she’s 5’11”)
118 pounds = the complete Encyclopedia Britannica
120 pounds = amount of trash you throw away in a month
130 pounds = a newborn giraffe
138 pounds = potatoes an average American eats in a year
140 pounds = refined sugar an average American eats in a year
144 pounds = an average adult woman (and she’s 5’4”)
150 pounds = the complete Oxford English Dictionary
187 pounds = an average adult man
200 pounds = 2 Bloodhounds
235 pounds = Arnold Schwarzenegger
300 pounds = an average football lineman
400 pounds = a Welsh pony"