Wednesday, March 8, 2017

310 Better Together

So, here I am again! Yay!  Two years later and back up 100 lbs.  Well, if I was down to 217 and now I'm 310, it's really what?  93 pounds?  Okay.  Here's what happened.  I got pregnant and the plan went away.  Dr. Tague helped because I had a plan that was figured out for me.  All I had to do was buy the stuff and stick to the plan.  I got really good at improvising within the plan, substituting lean proteins for meal replacements, getting all of my fruits and veggies in. . .etc, but there was still a plan.  Once I got pregnant, I was afraid that the plan wasn't enough to feed my baby, so I went off script.  It took me two years, but I'm up over 300 again.  I could use this whole post to moan and complain about the weight gain.  I could go on about how the cards are stacked against morbidly obese people who lose weight, but we've heard that song and dance before.  I'm going to start here and talk about how I'm coming back.

So, I knew I was gaining all through pregnancy and beyond, but I wasn't too worried about it while I nourished my son (pregnant and nursing).  The moment I stopped nursing was the moment I decided to start weight loss.  Dr. Tague was the obvious choice since it worked so well the first time.  My husband pushed against the idea because of money.  We have a kid now and we are trying to save up to buy a house.  We also had struggles with him feeling left out or left behind during my weight loss journey and when I stopped to be pregnant, he sighed an almost audible sigh of relief.  I still called and set up a free appointment.  What I learned was that Dr. Tague no longer takes insurance.  The new cost of food and dr visits varied b/c sometimes my bloodwork could be run through my GP's office and therefore be covered and sometimes not.  We were looking at possibly $500 a month some months and less others.  That $500 stuck in Rick's brain and freaked him out.

I had kind of had this mentality of "Dr. Tague or NOTHING AT ALL!!"  So when Rick offered to do a cheaper weight loss program with me, I was strongly opposed.  In my brain, Tague was the only method that worked for me and everything else was a waste of time and effort.  It took a few minutes of discussion before I heard him say "I want to do it WITH you."  When I finally let that reach my brain, it awoke something in me.  I realized, I could do this if he came, too.

We looked into Jenny Craig and Nutrisystems.  Both had their benefits and pitfalls, but we finally landed on Weight Watchers.  The big thing for Rick was finding something that would teach him about eating healthy.  I work best if there's a plan, but he likes to figure this stuff out for himself.  I had tried WW before in the past and I know it didn't work for me because I didn't take it seriously.  Sonic grilled cheese and diet limeades were within my points range, but they did not make healthy choices.  I feel like this time I'm better equipped to be successful because of what I learned from Dr. Tague.  Weight Watchers gives me a number, but I choose how I'm going to divide that number up.  I know now how important proteins and fibers are.  I know how to get fruits and veggies in, and thanks to a change in WW, most fruits and  veggies are zero points!  Brilliant!  Now I don't have to choose between a carrot and a slice of bread!

I think the best part is that Rick is doing this with me and he is EXCITED!!  He's going on and on about his points and how he uses them to me and I think it's awesome.  He's learned about tuna (0 points!) and reduced calorie chips (3 points).  I told him this morning that he already looks thinner to me.  His reaction was to weigh himself.  The scale didn't show a difference so he was a little bummed, but we talked about how the scale doesn't always show every victory.  It's strange and new to share this with him.  He's always been so uninterested in all of this and now he's a man obsessed.  I love watching him learn.

He was on the phone with me last night singing the praises of his new 3 point bag of chips.  He said "maybe they taste so good to me because I've given up carbs?" and I laughed inwardly.  We just started this whole thing on Monday.  It was Tuesday.  I had just seen him eat almost a full bag of Southern Style Biscuits and Gravy Potato Chips on Sunday.  He had gone two whole work days without carbs.  Lol!  The struggle is real, folks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

217.2 Aaaaand PREGNANT!!!!!

So. . . .Weight loss has taken a back seat these days because I am pregnant!  Yes!  The whole process of going through the Dr. Tague program worked and I am finally knocked up!  I'm 9 weeks along and as far as I know things are fine.  I go in for my first appointment with the OBGYN next Thursday, so I guess we'll learn more then.

I'm finally thinking to write in here because I have been reading blogs about the very deliciously sexy Tess Munster and how we need to love our bodies as they are and not buy into the whole "Body Currency" idea where you get life points, I guess, when your body looks a certain way.  Apparently, people are mad at Tess for skipping the "achieve the perfect body" step before getting signed for a top modeling agency and finding love with a really nice looking guy.  According to some, she shouldn't be allowed to live a full life until she sheds some weight.

Well, that's bologna.  I can tell you that I achieved my dream job (Elementary Music Teacher) and met and married the man of my dreams all while I was 260-330 lbs.  It was after I found myself in a place of happiness that I was able to drop over 100 lbs.  I hadn't gained the weight out of self loathing, and I didn't loathe myself because I had gained the weight.  I just didn't know where limits were in regards to food.

Now, as far as not buying into the whole weight loss game, I definitely did because I was trapped and I needed help. My body was literally breaking down.  Bad knees, low energy, fatigue, gross little varicose veins, etc, were all plaguing me.  Mostly, though, I wasn't able to fulfill my lifelong dream of having kids.  That was what really pushed me over the edge.  Yes, I was large and in charge and living life to the fullest, but bringing a baby into that body was dangerous.  Dangerous for the baby and for me.  SO!  Things had to change.

I am now down to 217!  I haven't been this thin since college and I LOVE it!!!!  Now, since I've gotten preggers, my boobs have swelled up and I have put on and lost some weight.  217.2 was my thinnest, but I have since gained 3 lbs and lost 1 lb.  I don't really know how much I weigh now and with what I've been eating, I wouldn't be surprised if I've gained a couple more pounds.

I don't want to use pregnancy as the vehicle to get me back to where I was, but I have to eat for the baby.  I need to find a balance.  While I loved myself fat, I'm really enjoying living in this "not as fat" state.  I know I'm still a chunkers to those who never knew me before, but I really love being able to move freely about places.  I love being able to look at a chair (any chair) and know I will fit in it.  It's good to know that if the chair breaks, it's not my fault.  It's good to be here.

Friday, December 5, 2014

233.2 Living in transition: Body issues that come with losing weight

I haven't checked my weight in almost a week, so it's entirely possible I have lost 100 lbs since JUNE!!! That's six months, people!!!!  Well, I'm amazed.  I'm a little overwhelmed, too.  Yesterday, my sister and my friend, Jenelle, were on Voxer with me and the question came up about my self image and how much it had changed.  Jenelle says it's a big problem for people who lose a bunch of weight very quickly.  I don't know if I have changed my view of who I am as a core individual, but I do feel different.  All of my clothes are too big on me.  I can squeeze into tighter spaces.  Jumping, jogging, and movement in general no longer intimidate me.  My knees don't hurt anymore, except for the occasional rainy day. . .  My back hurts all the time, though.  Wonder what that's about?

Well, for all the good weight loss is doing for me, I will say I still have body issues, maybe even more than I had before.  See, before I never really looked at my body unless I was trying to convince myself it wasn't so bad.  I would look at myself, pick up my rolls and jiggle them around a bit, slap my butt and watch the waves of fat ripple, and I would say to myself, "Well, Rick still finds this attractive!" and go on with my day.  I never burst out into tears or was saddened at all by what I saw.  It was just me.  Now that I've lost at least 97 lbs, I'm more conscious of what my body is doing.  I'm still overweight (of course) but now my fat is just limply hanging there instead of making me shapely and curvy.  My boobs!  Oh, my boobs are so deflated.  They look okay when I'm wearing a bra, but I'm going freestyle, they just lay flat against my upper stomach.  My arms look thin at first glance, then you see the wiggle hanging below.  My thighs are sagging, too.  I don't know, it's just a catastrophe right now.  It would help if I would work out, but I'm going through my "I don't feel like working out" phase of the year.  I'll come out of it in January, surely.  I don't know, it's like the thinner I get, the more disappointed I am when I look in the mirror.

Okay, pity party over!  I'm now in my 230's and life is great!  Really.  I promise!  Dr. Tague's diet has really worked wonders.  I feel better equipped now to lose weight, and I feel like I really can keep it off.  I also feel like I have a backup plan for if or when the weight starts to creep back on.  I know what to do to lose it again.  8 servings of lean protein, 5 cups of raw veggies (1/2 of that for cooked), 4 servings of fruit, per day.  Actually, I'm not all that scientifically accurate about the fruits and veggies because I feel like I shouldn't limit the good for me foods, but I pretty much stick to the plan.

Friday, October 31, 2014

248.2 Holy CRAP, do I miss eating!

That wasn't a question, that was meant to be a statement.  But yes, I miss eating.  I mean, that's a dumb thing to say because I eat all the time.  What I mean is that I miss eating without reserve.  I'm on the "Caring Diet", which means I have to have 5 cups of raw veggies (or 2.5 cups cooked), 1.5 cups fruits, and 16 oz of lean protein a day. Do you know what's missing from that list?  EVERYTHING ELSE.  No rice, no potatoes, no bananas, no nuts, no grains, no sugars, no cookies. . . .  Okay, let me back up and explain what inspired this post.  My husband went to Lawrence, KS last night.  For anyone who does not live in the Topeka, KS area, Lawrence is the slightly smaller and much cooler/hipster/leftover hippy town about 20 minutes to the East of Topeka.  It gets to be cool because it's a college town.  Anyway, Rick went to Lawrence to hang out with his brother and help him install a cable cord or something like that.  Afterwards, they went out to eat and Jeff took Rick to a bakery and bought him what I can only assume was a dozen cookies.  There are about 6 left.  I came downstairs this morning to weigh myself to see that bag of cookies on the coffee table.  Let me just insert a little factoid about myself.  I love baked goods.  I haven't been able to have any for almost 5 months.  Anyway, I waited a long time before I peeked inside the cookie bag and saw the Snickerdoodles.  Oh crap.  One piece was broken off a cookie, so I let myself take the tiniest of nibbles.  I savored the flavor of the cinnamon and baked goodness, being really proud that I could take such a small bite and be satisfied.  That was until my brain said, "no, that's not what I care about."  My food problem has never been about enjoying flavors.  I mean, I do, but the real problem was that I enjoy the feeling of a full mouth.  I don't know how else to explain it.  I'm a big bite girl.  Always have been.  To me, "eating" is cramming as much food into my mouth as possible, chewing it up, and swallowing in big gulps.  That tiny bite isn't what my body was craving.  It wanted that whole piece mushing around in my face.  I didn't DO it!  Instead, I got on here to vent.  Maybe that's an equivalent to an alcoholic who doesn't drink for the taste, but for the rush of feeling drunk? I don't know.  I still get to stuff my face, it's just with 5 cups of raw veggies (or 2.5 cups cooked), 1.5 cups fruits, and 16 oz of lean protein a day.  I've been getting really good at making egg white omelettes.  Maybe I'll go make one right now.  It'll wash the Snickerdoodle taste out of my mouth.

Friday, August 22, 2014

277.6 Rewind the Future

This ad hits home for me.  I know people are up in arms because it seems to be taking a strong stance against parents, but that's not what I see at all.  I see my own life flashing up on the screen.  Well, my life up to a point.  If the video isn't working, search "Rewind the Future" on youtube.  Here's the video's description:
Meet Jim—the character in our Rewind the Future video—he is a man whose life flashes right before his very eyes, unhealthy habits and all. You'll get a shocking sneak peek into the future to see what life might be like for a child who carries unhealthy habits with him into adulthood.
I was not shocked by the idea that fat people can end up having serious health problems.  I was more jarred by the familiarity of his flashbacks.  Getting winded easily, finding myself sitting in front of the television most of the time, hearing the warnings from doctor after doctor telling me I am pre-diabetic, ordering pizza, eating delicious birthday cakes, drinking soda like it was water, trading my apple for someone's cupcake at school. . . this has been my life.  I will say that my mom tried to encourage  us to eat vegetables and to leave the sweets alone, but I was not convinced.  Mom didn't seem too worried, either, because I was never THAT fat growing up.   Up to a certain age, I had doctors telling me that while I was big for my age, I was healthy as a horse.  That little tidbit took me well up into the 200's.

My problem has always been reactionary.  I have a feeling, emotional or physical, and I reach for unhealthy foods to make it better.  I don't wax on about food or think about it constantly.  I really only ever think about it when I feel something.  That's why this diet is helpful to me.  It gives me something to reach for when I feel hunger.

Being 53 lbs down has been nice.  Clothes that used to be to tight started fitting again, and now are starting to get loose.  All of my jeans come off me without having to unbutton them.  My hips go straight down now instead of balooning out. I'm still look like a fatty fatso, but I FEEL skinny.  It's pretty great.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

294.1 Addressing Overweight Issues

This video made my day.  I can say with confidence I don't feel like this when I work out anymore, but I am no stranger to these thoughts.  The very end when they both are chowing down on greasy burgers. .  yep.  That was always my problem when I would exercise in the past.  I would get SO HUNGRY and I would tend to over compensate.  Then when I would focus on dieting, I would be tired all the time and unmotivated to move.  Anyway, I didn't want to post this for analyzing purposes.  I just thought it was funny and relatable.  
Here, let's judge and over analyze THIS video:

Okay, to be fair, this is HER journey and her experience.  I do believe she's trying to be honest and helpful and she may even BE helpful to someone.  I don't know, I didn't check the comments section.  Also, this is the first video of hers I've seen, and she's apparently made several regarding her journey, so I'm not getting the full story.  The video is 11 minutes long, and she talks.  A lot.  She's got the video split up into sections using title screens, so I ended up skipping to the next title and listening to a bit of what she had to say and then going to the next title.  I'll address each title.

Crossing My Legs:
She's right, as a 300 lb woman, I can't cross my legs.  I don't think.  Here, let me try. . . Well, I suppose I can, but it's not comfortable.  I can't say I miss it or have found myself envying women who can.  I remember a few years back when I had lost weight enough that I could cross them with ease again and I remember the feeling of pride I had, but my over all life experience hasn't been tarnished by this lack of dexterity.  I do miss getting up and down off the floor with ease.  A couple of years ago, I worked out enough that I was able to sit criss-cross applesauce (Indian style) with the kids again, and that was nice.  I don't know.  I'm sure I'll be proud to have it back, but as of right now, I don't miss crossing my legs.

Hugging Without Feeling Self Conscious:
Is this a thing?  I tend to feel I give the best hugs BECAUSE I'm overweight.  I was at an airport once in the area where people come off the plane and their loved ones rush to meet them.  Well, I saw a really skinny girl come through the gate and a really skinny guy rushed to give her a big hug.  I'm sorry, but to me, it looked like two sticks banging together.  I literally wondered if the bone on bone contact was painful for them?  I don't know.  When I feel like giving a big hug, I have no worries about giving it my all.  That's my experience.
I will give this much to her, though:  when I was a teenager or maybe even my early twenties, I did experience the fear that someone would touch my rolls and be grossed out.  Then I got my first boyfriend and he didn't care at all, so I got over it.

Wearing "Normal" Sized Jewelry:
I think maybe she wore her fat differently from me.  She said she wore a size 11 ring and had to wear men's watches.  My ring size is 9. . and a half?  And I don't find many bracelets that fit me loosely enough, but I always attributed that to my bone structure.  I don't know.  When I was in high school and got my weight from 190 to 178 (my mom likes to refer to that time as "when you lost all that weight", but it was only about twelve pounds), I noticed my shoe size went down from between 10.5/11 to 9/9.5, so maybe there's room for shrinkage, but I'm not really a jewelry person, so I don't notice it so much.  I am in a community choir and we have to wear these necklaces that hang loosely on most people but tend to become a choker on me.  Maybe that will change?!  I would like to wear BELTS! That would be fun.

Wearing "Cute Strappy" Shoes:
Okay, I'm going to say I relate to this one the most.  She's talking mostly about heels in this section and I'm going to say I know exactly what she's talking about.  I do not do heels.  I've even gone all the way to the other end of the spectrum and purchased orthopedic shoes for myself.  You have to when you're overweight and you stand on concrete all day.   My first couple of years teaching, I experienced heel pain from improper shoes, so I bought Crocs.  Not the big ugly ones with holes, but the cuter ballerina flats.  Then I broke my ankle at the beginning of year three and my other knee had to over compensate, so I had knee problems.  My answer to that was Orthaheel shoes.  I do have some regular ballerina flats for church and flip flops for summertime wear, but no heels no way.  My ankles are to weak to support all this weight and the heavier you are, the more heels HURT your feet.  I'll try heels when I get closer to the 200 mark.  As far as the "strappy" shoes go, they just don't look good on swollen ankles.  My answer has always been long pants to cover up my feet/ankles whenever possible.

Getting Dressed Each Day:
She waxes on about how she dreaded getting her outfits together when she was fat.  Blah blah blah.  Find cute clothes that fit and it doesn't matter what size you are, dressing in new clothes is always fun.   I just never seem to have the funds to allocate towards clothes, so all my stuff has hidden holes and buttons and seams that have been mended.  No matter my size, I've always liked to wear bold colors.  It's just part of me.  Now, I am in no way a "fashionista", but I do okay.

Overall, her "motivation" does not work for me.  She puts down being fat in such a negative way, and sorry, if you are now skinny, you don't get to go there.  It's like my friend who had been single with me for years and then found herself in a relationship, but wanting to still shout out to her single friends on Valentines Day.  It just doesn't go over well.   Being fat has challenges, yes, but it isn't the nightmare she was waxing on about.  I tend to face my fat challenges with humor, not shame.  Anyway.  That's where I am today.


Monday, July 7, 2014

304.7 Walking in the Rain, Harley Pasternak, and the Evils of Fructose!

I woke up this morning and put on my exercise clothes just like I've been doing every morning for the past few weeks.  I waited around while my husband got ready so I could spend as much time as possible with him and when he kissed me goodbye and opened the door, we both saw it.  Rain was saturating my neighborhood.  Rick looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said "Have fun walking in the rain!"  I knew what that meant.  He thought my plans for walking were squelched.  Well, think again, Mister!  Years ago, probably in the 2005-2006 range, I got serious about walking every day.  This was mainly thanks to my friend, Shawna.  We lived in the same apartment complex, so I would walk over to her place every morning at 6:00 and we would walk around the complex for about an hour.  I remember the first time we encountered rain on our walk.  Shawna wasn't phased, so I kept my mouth shut.  I also learned from her that if your shoes give your heals blisters, walk through the pain and it eventually goes away.  You have bloody socks to show for it, but you also have a hard, painless scab that falls off after a while.   She also taught me to keep walking in the cold.  Yes, you start out freezing, but the harder you work your body, the warmer you get.  Because of her, I gained the confidence to walk the 2 miles to my work one Saturday in 32 degree weather.  I never would have done that before.   So, when I saw the rain this morning, I did pause momentarily.  Then I opened the door and waved to my confused husband as he drove off to work.  The rain was actually cool and refreshing, and it was the best time for me to be walking today because NPR said that the humidity will rise today and cause the temp to feel like 105.  YUCK!!

Okay, I need to take this moment to give a shout out to Harley Pasternak for putting out a GREAT Wii workout.  I picked it up at KMart for $6.00.  Not too shabby!  I like Harley personally because he's just a down to earth kind of guy giving good tips while he asks you to push your limits.  There are short videos of him giving health and nutrition advice, but you work out to a (somewhat poorly done) CGI version of him and two women doing the workouts with his voice superimposed over it.   The (I don't know what to call it.  Disc? Game? Wii program?) works in this way:  He's got 28 workout segments that you can do individually, or you can chose a 10 week or a 5 week program.  I chose the 10 week program and every day, I get new workout segments to work different parts of the body.  It's like having several workout DVD's without having to switch them out all the time.  You either hold the Wii remote or put it in your pocket (I have to tuck it in my underwear bc I don't have pockets--Eww, I'm suddenly realizing how gross that sounds) and the Wii will pick up your movements and give you points while it counts your reps.  I usually have time to get more done than the program says, but sometimes it doesn't pick up what you do, so it tends to balance itself out.
 You don't do the number of reps it tells you and then stop, you do as many as you can in a set number of time.  I like that they give you a little countdown at the top so you can see how much longer this torture will go on.  Of course, just like everything else technological these there are charts so you can follow your progress.  The disc cover says there's a diet program on there, but I think it's just short videos of him giving nutrition tips after your workout.  When I bought it, I thought it might be like a calorie counter,  but no.  
He's very positive and easy to relate to in the workouts, but he will yell at you if you stop (or he thinks you stop because the remote didn't pick up your movements.) I've learned that a lot of times, the Wii doesn't want you to mirror him, it wants you to do the opposite.  I'm not proud of it, but this morning, while doing double crunches, I cheated.  I did the required amount and then some, but to keep him from yelling at me for stopping, I just laid there and pumped the Wii remote up and down over my head.  Gotta strive to not do that.  I read some reviews about this program on Amazon before I bought it (thank you, Age of the Smart Phone!) and one reviewer said the workouts were too easy.  I would say for a 300+lb woman who has worked out extensively before, it wasn't easy.  I would call it accessible.  It wasn't the extreme rubbish I came across the first time I tried to do Yoga.  Oh, and one more thing:  It's made for Wii Fit, but you don't need a board to do any of the exercises.  The board is just there to track your weight, which it won't read above 300 lbs.  I found this confusing and a bit insulting, but oh well!  Wii Fit is keeping track of my weight in the regular program.

Okay, so I totally spent an hour and a half this morning watching a video about fructose.  
He looks like George W. in this still, doesn't he?  Well, he isn't.  He's Dr. Robert H. Lustig and he's got some interesting things to say about obesity.  The video is set in a lecture hall and it is an hour and a half long, but Dr. Lustig is a great speaker.  He sucked me in and held my attention through most of his presentation.  At one point, he says if you've had biochemistry he will blow your mind, but if you haven't he will put you to sleep.  I fell asleep.  Only for a few minutes and only because he was going WAY over my head.  The rest of the lecture was completely fascinating.  There's a lot of information in there, but in its most simplistic form, it can be boiled down to this video.  Be warned, it's pretty gross:
Oh, I'm going to finish this incredibly long blog post to address some concerns I had the last time I wrote.  I was worried about not losing weight, and the nurse practitioner said it was normal and will happen a lot through the course of this program.  I asked her about working out and she said the more the better.  I guess they give really small goals in the beginning so people who aren't used to working out won't get discouraged?  I guess?  Also, I did not cheat at the wienie roast.   I stuck with my packets of food and drank my water and took everyone else's word for it that the quarter pound Hebrew National hot dogs we got were really good.    Funny how I didn't eat the food but I still had a great time. .