McButterpants 2.0 in 2016

COMMITMENT AND REFOCUS

I am so ready for 2016…I am going into 2016 ready to take care of myself physically and mentally.  I’m feeling so motivated and excited for the new year.

I’m finishing 2015 on a high note – I went to a 5:30 am hot yoga class which was amazing.  I am going to a new studio that offers many different types of classes – this morning’s was traditional hot yoga and I learned some new poses.  We also did about a thousand planks!    I even tried “flipped the dog” pose – I am sure I looked absolutely ridiculous!

An update on the appetite suppressants – they are working.  I’m not snacking as much and they are really helping with the head hunger.  I’m trying to stay off the scale because I’m back to exercising and we all know that your weight can and will probably go up when you first start exercising.  I think I’m down about 4 pounds, but I can feel a difference in the way my body feels.  Between the eating better and exercising, I can feel my body is changing again – I feel strong and more flexible.  And for me, exercise is great for my head – I feel better mentally and emotionally when I work out regularly.  I also change the way I eat when I am working out – I don’t want sugary or fatty foods – and I drink more water, which helps with the hunger.  In summary – exercise = good.

So out with the old…no more negative thoughts.  And, in with the new…making goals, being happy and content and living life.  2016 will be the making of McButterpants 2.0.

will you

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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!

 

Two years ago…

Two years ago today, I decided to have weight loss surgery.  In one way, it seems like a lifetime ago and in others it seems like it was just yesterday.

I remember walking into the doctor’s office for the consult feeling very vulnerable and scared.  Then I stood on the scale and saw that number…256 pounds?  How can that be? How did I allow things to get so out of control?  I started to cry right there on the scale in the middle of the doctor’s office.  I spent a lot of time talking to the doctor about options and the different kinds of surgeries.  I left the office knowing I had to make a change – that was the day my life changed.

I haven’t blogged much in the past couple of months and I haven’t visited the on-line forums like I used to.  I think it’s because I feel less and less like a weight loss patient.  My life is so busy now and I don’t have time like I used to have.  I have a “new normal” that keeps me busy and active in my own life.  I love helping people and sharing my experience, but sometimes finding time is difficult.

This has been such an amazing experience and I feel so fortunate to have the support from my family.  There have been countless ups and downs, good days and bad, tears of happiness and tears of frustration.  I would not change a thing…

Too much travel!!!!!!

I’ve been home 5 days out of the last 26 days…I’ve been traveling more for work, then took a working vacation with Mr. McButterpants to San Francisco.  I leave again in a week for two weeks.  I told my boss that I need to limit travel starting in April because my son plays baseball and I am not willing to miss any of his games.  She was so nice about it, “No problem, I understand completely.”  Refreshing since so many bosses I have had in the past would not have been that understanding.

Our time in San Francisco was awesome.  We rented an apartment about 8 blocks from the ocean.  We have always stayed downtown or in Nobb Hill…this year we ventured out to the more residential, Outer Richmond.  We worked during the day and explored in the afternoon and evening.  It’s largely residential, so we didn’t have the sirens and city noise we have had in the past.

We walked, walked and walked some more.  We explored Lands End and Golden Gate Park.  We logged over 56 miles in a week…17 miles in one day!  OMG, I could not have done that 75 pounds ago.  I was tired, EXHAUSTED, but I was really proud of myself.  Though we were tempted at times to call a cab, we just kept moving and finding new sights to explore.  It was a beautiful day wondering through a beautiful city.
seals
(One of my favorite spots at Fisherman’s Wharf…I could watch the sea lions for hours!)

We rented a convertible one day and hit the road.  We stopped in Pacifica and went for what was supposed to be a little walk.  It ended up being a 45 minute hike up a cliff.  It was beautiful!  Again, something I couldn’t have done 75 pounds ago!
pacifica
(Our car is parked in that parking lot…)

I started back at hot yoga when we returned from San Francisco – it had been over three weeks since my last practice.  Wow, it was hard.  I didn’t feel good for a day or two after that first practice.  I have gone two days in a row now and am getting back into the swing of things.  I leave again next week, so I’ll lose it again!  Ugh!!!!

The power of the buddy system…

I never really bought into that work-out buddy theory.  I always thought I was good enough motivation for myself, but that really didn’t work out for me as evidenced by the number of times I would hit the gym hard, then give up after a few weeks.

Since reconnecting with my lifelong friend, we’ve been making appointments appointments to exercise.  We actually put our hikes in our work calendars and we plan our hot yoga sessions in advance.  Knowing she will be there is a good motivator to go.  I rely on her to be there and she relies on me to be there.  We both slack off a little when we know the other person won’t be there.

Last night we were texting with her sister-in-law that is doing the 2,015 for 2015 that I mentioned last week.  They were sending me their miles for the week and both were higher than mine because I didn’t put in any miles that day.  I said, “Underachiever here, I didn’t do anything today!”  Her response was, “The day’s not over!”  That did it for me…I got my ass up off the couch and went to the gym and got in 4.8 miles.  I felt better about myself and about helping the team.  I was amazed at the power of those four words.

I’m now a believer in the buddy system.  I know that my friends will be looking for me at our 5:30 am at hot yoga class.  I know I don’t want to make the call to say, “I’m not going hiking today.”  Or now that we’re doing the challenge, “I’m not going to get to my mileage this week.”  Call it friendly competition, call it peer pressure – it doesn’t matter, it’s motivation for me!

Confidence…

My boss got himself fired finally…He was arrogant, chauvinistic, and quite frankly, an ineffective leader.   I worked for him for about a year and it was torturous. I don’t like to see people lose their jobs, but this guy had to go. He didn’t do anything in particular to get fired, he was just incompetent and management finally realized it and fired him.

So I went down to Florida to spend a week at the home office last week to meet my new boss and help chart the course to get our department whole and well again. This will be a huge task and will require a lot of effort and hard work. I am not opposed to hard work, I like my job and most of the people I work with, so I am actually looking forward to the challenge.

I was approached by my new boss and her boss about a new position they are trying to fill and they asked if I would be interested in being considered. Wow, what a welcome relief – my old boss would not have approached me about this. I felt like I was finally being recognized for my hard work and effort over the past few years.

Then I got to thinking…I wonder how this would have played out if I was still morbidly obese – 73 pounds heavier. Would I have even been considered? Maybe I’m a better employee now – my mind is sharper, I have more energy, I’m more positive, etc. Are people reacting to my newfound confidence? Maybe I’m letting the “real me” show.

The comparison game…One person is always going to leave that conversation unhappy.

You can compare salaries, square footage of your house, cars, clothes, handbags, etc. It will always leave someone feeling inadequate. A weight loss journey is no different.

It’s called envy.

envy     noun
a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.

My life is mine and mine alone. I don’t share it with anyone else – it belongs to me. So why would I want someone else’s “advantages, success, possessions, etc.”! I have my own “advantages, success, possessions, etc.”!

I haven’t always thought like this. I’ve looked at tons of bodies and thought “I would be happy if I looked like her.” I’ve looked at other people’s houses and said, “I wish I could live there!” I’ve looked at someone’s car and proclaimed, “I would look awesome behind that wheel!” But things are different now.

I don’t recall a time in my adult life that I have felt true happiness or contentment. I don’t recall a time where I wasn’t searching for something – it could have been a bigger house, a nicer car, a smaller body, a different, more attractive face, longer hair, etc. Searching, searching, searching and never finding the “it” I was looking for.

I have identified “it”…”it” is called PEACE.

peace         noun
freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquillity; serenity.

I see glimpses of peace – I am learning to be at peace with myself. Learning to be content with my body, my life, my surroundings and my possessions.  Some days I get down on myself because I haven’t lost as much as I hoped or as much as other people who had surgery at the same time…

I definitely have more peace today than I had a year ago.