Two years since surgery? It’s not all sunshine and lollipops…

The struggle is real…

I’m at the two year mark.  I’m scared and I’m worried.  I’m struggling with some weight gain.  I’ve allowed old habits to creep back into my life – Mindless snacking and making excuses to not exercise.  Up until now, I didn’t see the impact of allowing these habits to return  –  it has become real with a 17 pound weight gain.

I had to verbalize that number…17…seventeen…SEVENTEEN…when I went to the doctor this week with a suspected gallbladder problem.  I had to say that number out loud – it brought back memories of August 20, 2013 when I stepped on the doctor’s office scale and cried.  The day I decided to have weight loss surgery.  I felt defeated.  I felt  like a failure.  I knew what was going on – I was procrastinating making my two-year follow up appointment.  If I didn’t go to the doctor, that number was still just in my mind – saying it made it very real and very scary.

While I absolutely adore my doctor, I didn’t want to see her.  She’s not judgmental – I take care of that on my own – I guess I wasn’t ready to face her or my weight gain.  The gallbladder issue forced my hand.  She is so gracious and thoughtful – there was no judgment.  She asked what a typical day looks like from a food perspective – yes, I’ve been grazing a lot (my restriction is still really good, but I’ve learned that 30 minutes after I eat, I can eat again…taking in way to many calories).  She asked about exercise – I’ve been busy with work travel, I haven’t been able to exercise on a consistent basis.  In all honesty, I haven’t made it a priority for the past 3 months.  Her response…a cleverly stated, “Exercise is not an optional activity.”   We also talked about appetite suppressants…queue the doomsday music.

“I thought those days were behind me!”  Meaning, taking an appetite suppressant is what I used to do prior to surgery – one of those things I didn’t think I would ever have to do again.  It felt “diety”!  Her response was, “Maybe this is what you need to get a jumpstart.  This could just be a short-term solution to get you back on track.”  We talked about my daily meal plan (3 meals with food and 2 shakes daily) along with the appetite suppressants.  I reluctantly agreed and scheduled a follow-up appointment for six weeks.  I went home and felt sorry for myself for a few hours.

I networked with some folks on line and did some research.  Then I had an attitude adjustment with myself  –  I thought about how I’ve been eating, my excuses for not exercising, how I’ve lost my focus.  I was taking my surgery for granted.  I reminded myself that this is a lifelong commitment and that I still have responsibilities to take care of me and live the right way, I was relying way to much on my sleeve.  I got defiant – fat was not going to win!  I need to put verbs in my sentences and regain control.

So, the timing is great – a new resolution for a new year!  2016 is my reset button.  I have some lofty goals with regard to physical activity:  1008 miles (a friend of mine and are doing a “run the year” challenge, our team of two will do a total of 2016 miles in 2016), 120 yoga practices and 210 days of at least 10K steps (trying to keep up the activity level, not doing a lot miles in a couple of days).  I am also vowing to blog at least once a month in 2016 to show my progress – accountability is key.

I’m feeling energized again.  I’m feeling like I’m working towards my goals again.  In fact, I’m looking forward to 2016 – maybe this is McButterpants 2.0!

 

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Get your skin checked!

Here’s my public service announcement for the week…If you haven’t seen a dermatologist lately or have never been, please make an appointment to get your screening done.

I have been negligent in making my yearly appointment with my dermatologist.  I’m four years late in my annual exam.  My doctor knows my family’s history of skin cancer, including my mom’s melanoma.  She scolded me for not seeing her annually especially since I’ve had multiple blistering sun burns and I used tanning booths in my late-teens and early-20’s coupled with family history.

I had three “suspicious” moles removed including one from the side of my nose.   To say I’m not nervous or worried would be a lie…It scares me and brings to light that this journey is about so much more than weight loss.  It has become a journey of overall health and well being.

So, please, make your appointments with your dermatologists or general practitioners.  This goes for your yearly physicals, mammograms, prostate exams, etc.  Take care of your body, so it can take care of you.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Hot Yoga…who would have thunk it!

I recently reconnected with a lifelong friend after a couple of years of very little contact (when I say lifelong, I truly mean that…I’m a little over 2 months older than her and we’ve been friends since her birth). We went for a hike and she mentioned she has been doing hot yoga, I told her I was looking into yoga, but not he hot variety, that worried me a little. She persuaded me to go on “bring a friend for free Tuesday” the following week.

That first practice was brutal. It was hot and very humid (usually between 100 and 105 degrees) and I got sweaty; the poses and routine were difficult. Probably the hardest thing was there is no talking in the studio – I had to avoid eye contact with her because I knew I would bust out laughing if I did. I didn’t drink enough water during the practice or after and I got dehydrated and felt bad all day. I was seriously questioning whether hot yoga was for me.

My friend gently nudged me to go forward and by an unlimited two-week pass for $20. I reluctantly agreed and showed back up a couple of days later. The second session was better and I made sure I sipped water every five minutes or so and I took breaks during the practice as I needed (a break is laying down on your back or in child’s pose on your knees with your head on the mat and arms over your head – it’s more comfortable than it sounds).

Before my fourth session I was talking to one of the owners and I mentioned I feel a little weird after practices – a little light headed, it’s hard to regulate my body temperature, fatigued, etc. She said, “I guarantee you the fourth practice is magical!” I was a little leery of that “magical” statement considering the first three were a success only because I was able to get vertical after the sessions were over and walk out of the studio on my own accord. But, she was right…the fourth session did it for me. I felt invigorated and energized after and the practice was a little easier than the first three. I felt great for the rest of the day! The next session was even better – I knew the routine and I was getting better at the poses. I was getting better at listening to my body – I drank when I felt like I needed to and I took breaks when my body said “Enough”.

I finished out the two-week trial and ended up signing up for a six-month package. I actually miss it on days that I take off or cannot go. I feel amazing, I can feel my body getting stronger and more toned, I am more calm and able to handle stress better, and I have 80 minutes to focus on me and nothing else (even if that 80 minutes starts at 5:30 am!).  This is time simply for me – no cell phones, no incoming e-mail, no to-do lists, etc.  This is my time and mine alone.

If you would have told me a year ago (or even six months ago) I would be doing hot yoga and truly loving it, I would have called you crazy. I would never have had the confidence to walk into a class of sports bra and compression shorts clad women and felt comfortable.

What kinds of things are you doing that you would have never thought possible? I’d love to hear from you!

Namaste. And have a great weekend, too!  😉

 

Long week of work travel…and…I’m loving the Pilates challenge

I saw this picture on Facebook and thought it was funny…I’d like a mug like this!
happy
Long week of work travel…
I have a long day ahead of me traveling back home.  I won’t get home until about 11:00 pm.  It’s been a long week in some respects.  Being in the office can be stressful and it makes me thankful that I do not have to work in that environment every day.  It is easier to cope when you 1500 miles away and over the phone or the internet.  Don’t get me wrong…I love most of the people I work with, it’s the culture that is bad and negative.

I’ve managed to do pretty well this week with my eating, considering I ate out almost every lunch and dinner.  I even had lobster one night – it was good, but it’s a lot of work for the little bit of meat you get out of it, isn’t it!?!?  I get a little worried when I eat out with people that they might comment on what I eat or how little I eat.  I got an odd look when I ordered a Cheesesteak with no bun, I just said, “I’m cutting carbs.”  He shrugged and ate his pizza.

Exercise was good.  I’ll talk more about the Pilates challenge later.  I’ve gone to the hotel gym every day except one and that was poor planning on my part.  I’ve logged a lot of miles on the elliptical and treadmill and I feel great.  I don’t know what the scale will say when I return home…that’s a little daunting!

With the good comes the bad…I did not do well with my water intake.  I don’t know why it was so difficult to drink water.  Maybe because I was in a lot of meetings and didn’t take my bottle of water with me.  I only had one coffee drink per day – my morning Starbucks stop on the way in to work – so I didn’t drink a lot of coffee instead of water.  I need to get back on track with that.  Getting dehydrated is not fun!

I’m looking forward to getting home to my family.  I miss them terribly!  I am also looking forward to getting back to my routine – one that includes lots of water!

Pilates challenge
In my last post I mentioned I was going to do the Pilates challenge by Robin Long of The Balanced Life.  I love this!

You spend 5-10 minutes doing a Pilates routine and on her blog she gives you a mental challenge as well.  It’s awesome.  I feel great afterwards and she’s given me some ideas on making my journal more substantial.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Business travel…and…Pilates challenge

Business travel…
I am spending the week in Florida for work, visiting my company’s headquarters.  My husband always makes fun of me when I say, “I’m traveling” when I stay in the same location every day.  When he travels, he visits a different city every day.  Still, I’m away from home all week and would much rather be there than here!

I am going into the week with specific goals to keep myself on track.  Being away from home can be difficult with eating at restaurants, drinks with friends, and, if you’re like me, lounging on the hotel bed watching TV!  I wanted to focus on my eating and exercise.

I traveled for 10 hours yesterday and had a tight connection in Minneapolis – I knew time would be tight, so I packed some good, sleeve-friendly snacks…beef jerky, almonds and a protein bar.  I also packed a couple of Crystal Light packets.  I ended up getting a great burger in Atlanta – just the burger and cheddar, no bun.  I did have a few of the fries!  Don’t judge!  🙂

As for eating while I’m here…it’s pretty basic:  stay on plan with my protein rich diet and don’t eat those unhealthy carbs and snacks.  I packed my magic bullet so I can make a daily shake – I went to the grocery store and got some fresh strawberries and banana.  I did well today – for lunch, a friend and I went to a Chinese buffet.  He said, “I am a meat eater, so that’s what I fill up on.”  I said, “Awesome, so am I!”  No weirdness (he doesn’t know I had weight loss surgery) and no questions about how little I ate or what I ate.  It was perfect and delicious – honey chicken, BBQ chicken and a couple of bites of beef with peppers.  I left completely satisfied and I wasn’t hungry all afternoon, so no snacking!  Not once did I think of that big jar of M&M’s that is always full and a couple of steps away!

One improvement to do for tomorrow…I didn’t do well on my water intake.  Something to focus on for tomorrow.

What I’m most proud of is my exercise so far…I exercised last night for 45 minutes after I arrived at the hotel (prior trips consisted of a trip to Chili’s and a date with some chips and queso!).  I also got up at 5:30 am this morning and got it 4 miles on the elliptical and treadmill before work!  I’m planning on doing the same tomorrow morning since I have plans to meet a friend after work for dinner and catching up.  I felt energized all day after that work out.  I worked up a great sweat (Florida in the summer will do that to you!).

Pilates challenge…
I’m doing a free Pilates ab challenge called #mindbodymat (www.thebalancedlife.com).  The host, Robin Long, posts a new Pilates challenge every day.  Today was the first day and it was short and sweet…I’m still feeling it one hour later!  I haven’t done Pilates in about 10 years – I really do enjoy it…I’m looking forward to the next 3 weeks in this challenge. Check it out!