Saturday, January 17, 2015

Long Time No Post 2014 in a Nutshell

So I haven't been as diligent as I would have liked when I began this.  BUT!  I don't give up so I'm stopping by for a little catch-up.  

Let me continue to be honest about this whole thing.

1.  It is not easy.

2.  It is not easy.

3.  It is worth it.

4.  It is not easy.

5.  My weight-loss slowed a bit last February,  and then again in November.  I'm not complaining, just letting folks out there know it's not all roses and sunshine up in here. I have lost a total of 168 pounds to date.  Slow loss is still loss.  I am more comfortable in the body I have now than I have ever been in my life.  i am so much more able to DO, and BE--this is a win in my book.

6.  I have had a few fails.  Okay, let me clarify, not complete fails, but I could have made better   choices.  But really, I should have been making these better choices all of my life, learning new habits is not easy, and it's not always comfortable.  I'm still managing those feelings in real-time, and learning how to handle the challenges that arise.

7.  I have actually had a few conversations with myself about what I am eating, or planning for my meals where I actually have to remind myself to make the better choice.  I find I have a harder time when I am having a lazy day, relaxing, or just generally not really doing anything.  I fall back into that "eat 'cause I'm bored" pattern.  This is a continual struggle.  Planning my day, having a purpose, and daily goals has helped me immensely in this area. 

8.  I have been having a better time at listening to my body and not my head.  I think I am really starting to figure out what it feels like to be hungry, and/or satiated.  This is a really big deal.  Really big.

So, what have I been up to Since December 2013 you ask?

Here goes...


Began my second semester of grad school, I am studying for my Master of Science, Art Therapy and Counseling degree.  This IS gonna happen!


Spent lots of time on dates with my Stone Cold Fox.


Ran my first race ever...  Monument 10K in Richmond, VA


Made lots of art


Finished my semester and celebrated, traveled to ATL and FL


Traveled to and through CT, MA, VT, NY, MI, dropped lots of Free Art Surprises, hiked with my honey, built cairns, and attended an awesome painting workshop.


Hiking, Hiking, Hiking, mountain biking (and lots of falls!), I also started running regularly and doing kettle bell workouts! Traveled to NC for a super fun wedding, and generally began challenging my body beyond anything I had ever done.


Lots more running, hiking, the WORST canoe trip EVER, a free public interactive art installation, and internship and classes started back up too!


My birthday celebrated with a 5 mile Muderella Mud Run, a little hiking, internship, more running, plus, my capstone project got into full-swing.

Camping trip in VT so I could attend another painting workshop, hiking, running, a halloween 5k, trip to visit Gramma, pumpkin painting party, Jayhawks concert and an Amy Schumer show.


I ran, and completed my FIRST HALF-MARATHON!  I NEVER could have done this 16 months earlier.  This was the most insane accomplishment to date.  I don't know what else happened this month...or this is all that really matters in this journey...


Finished out my semester, celebrated lots with friends and family, did some running, and reflected on the last year while setting goals for 2015!  Oh!  and I may have run my SECOND HALF-MARATHON! whaaaaaat?  yup.

Happy day folks!  Looking forward to sharing more in 2015!

Post-op 5 Months + 17 Days

Maybe I should just say Happy New Year!

Here are the first few things I am looking forward to in this new year... I couldn't possibly make a list of EVERYTHING I am looking forward to, but these are some pretty big ones.

+traveling to see an old friend and his beautiful wife

+starting my 2nd semester of Graduate School

+beginning my internship for the semester

+ participating in my first 10K  (I am sure I will walk most [all] of it but at least I am committed)

+making more art every day

Monday, December 30, 2013

Post-op 5 months + 15 days

Hello there friends!  I has been a long time since I’ve checked in here…but that doesn’t mean anything other than I have been B-U-S-Y finishing my first semester of grad school.  And I made it out alive!  Better than alive really.  I thrived this semester in ways I hadn’t in a long time.

Onward!  My progress has been great so far as far as my doctor is concerned I’m doing really well.  This makes me very happy.   I think I'm doing pretty great too!
Drum Roll please… to date I have lost 117 pounds.

WHAT IS THAT??  That’s crazy really.

It’s great, but it’s crazy too.

5 months out from surgery and my brain is still trying to keep up.  I’m doing better, but it is still a struggle to see myself as I am.  Here’s the problem.  I don’t feel like I look any different, but I do ( I mean maybe I do a little bit seeing as though I chopped my hair off and bleached the shit out of it—love it!).  The thing is-- MY BRAIN is telling me “This is what you always looked like” when I look in the mirror.  Guess what…I DIDN’T.

We took the picture on the left in May 2013, the one on the right this month-Dec 2013.

Looking at old pictures I’m actually shocked at how fat and unhealthy I was.  I am doing so much better now, so much.  
+ My high-blood pressure is under control with the help of one medicine, not three.   
+My sleep-apnea has become more manageable (I even fell asleep the other day without my mask on…and did not gasp).  
+I am able to walk for as long as I need to.
+My husband and I have begun hiking again, and not just the really easy ones.  

At Mary's Rock Summit in the Shenandoah National Park

+We have been riding bikes in a few local-ish places, trails near the quarry in town, and in the battlefields.  In fact, we went on a ride Christmas day and decided that was a new tradition for our little family!  (my husband & I)
Me riding (and almost running my husband over as he took the picture) on Christmas day 2013

+++We are having more healthy fun than we have had in years…all because I am ABLE to participate again.+++

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Post-op 3 months +1day

I can hardly believe it has been 3 months. This is a good thing!

So far---
+I have lost 61 pounds since surgery.
+I have lost 87 pounds total since January.
+Today I bought jeans 4 sizes smaller than last time I bought any.
+My husband surprised me with a fancy new mountain bike to celebrate, and we have been going on big rides each weekend together, we have been hitting trails and doing between 6 and 16 miles.
+Everything is more comfortable, my knees, my back, my feet, sleeping, walking, riding, everything!
+I continue to measure and weigh everything which is really helpful, because the few times I haven't I've had...lets say bad experiences, about 3 times.

OH!  I have been so excited about all of this I completely forgot I set some goals and rewards for myself!   Too funny!  The only reward I need is seeing those pants get too big!
Okay, okay, I'll skip the massage but get sneakers and a new talked me into it, twisted my arm!

Here is a picture from about 10 days ago.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Post-Op day 49

It has been 49 days since my surgery.

How did 49 days go by so quickly?  Kinda nuts really.

I have lost 39 pounds since surgery and  65 pounds since my first visit to my surgeon.

Let's look at that again....39 pounds in 49 days!!!!!!!!!  What is that?  How does that happen?  Well, I guess we know how that happened, but man my head just can't keep up!

I can't SEE a difference in the mirror, but I can certainly feel it.  My husband and I were able to do some hiking 2 weeks ago that I would have never been able to do before this.  That was such an exhilarating experience!  I am beginning to feel like the real me again!

I can tell a difference when I look at pictures side by side, and I can feel a difference in the way my clothes fit...I am down 2 dress sizes.  THAT IS HUGE.

I hope that I will continue to lose and feel well, but even if I don't lose another pound, I feel 100% better than I have in years.