Moving on down

So I have finally, finally broke the scale freeze and it’s moving. Slowly, by inches, but at least it’s not 178.4 any more! It’s 173.8. Whew-thought I’d never see the damn thing move again…

Honesty Check:

  • Still not meal planning. But I am making mostly good choices. 
  • I am running well. I get better every time. I can now run a whole 2 mile stretch without having to stop and walk for a minute or two.

I am getting ready for Vegas this weekend and am so excited I can barely sleep.  I have a crappy cold I can’t shake though-been hanging on over a week now. I am just hoping it will clear up before Friday…
I’m so pissed at work right now I could spit. So my performance review was amazeballs “you are amazing g and exceeding all expectation and your metrics are through the roof” BUT I am considered a new employee for a year. So the best rating possible for me because of my time is “progressing”. Which only entitles me to 50% of my annual bonus. And it will be prorated at that. Worse-just got the email tonight that of course bonus payouts are over 100% for every other fucking rating above ‘progressing’. Excuse my language but isn’t that just a salt rub on the stab wound? I could really have used my entitlement this year folks. I have surgery loans to pay off!

Ok there’s my rant for the evening… Xoxox 

Ramblings

I have no particular train of thought to share tonight. More like a random trail of what’s-on my-very-over-worked-brain tonight…

Had to take my car in for repairs today. Let me just tell you, the only warranty I believe in and will vehemently recommend to everyone I know, is the extended warranty on a car.  Seriously, it has paid for itself 4x over.  I found out I have only 2000 more miles to go before mine’s up. Can I get a “whew and thank you Jesus!”  And I’m trying to see if there’s such a thing as an extended extended warranty because I’m buying!

I have thought it was Thursday All. Freaking. Day.  It’s not. 

I have 5, five days of school left. Work is mad busy. So my bum hurts from sitting in my office chair for 16+ hours a day for the last week. And days since I last ran…10…I’m doing a run on Saturday dang it, my paper can wait an hour or two!

My scale is still stuck at 180.2.  What the what is happening here…I had a total freak out last night in my head about all of this. What if I fail? What if I stay at this weight for good? What if I gain all of my weight back? Blah blah blah. I was in a total dark place. Husband made a very good point about it though. He said I have battled my weight my whole life and it’s just crazy to think that fear is just going to go away. So true!

My pants are hanging off of me. Husband has started calling me “droopy drawers”. (Yes we’re southern). I need to get in my closet next week and see if I have any smaller pant sizes in there. Good problem to have…

I’m sure that, due to my stress level being so high right now, I am fighting major food battles.  All I can say is, thank heavens I work from home and have no crap food in the house!

I am SO looking forward to Tuesday. That is when I officially get back my Sunday’s, Monday nights and Thursday nights back!  I am going to train so hard!! And get back to meal planning! 

And writing much more-interesting-than-this blog posts. ūüėú

10 Things I’ve Learned So Far

Taking a page from a friend and fellow blogger, I wanted to reflect on the top-10 things I’ve learned since having my surgery in September. 

  1. Every journey is unique. It’s so easy, and c’mon, so natural for us to compare our losses and successes to others like us-those who have had the surgery or are going though the process. Just like every single doctor that each of us have, the plans are not the same. Our bodies and medical conditions and personal battles with food are not the same. We will each go through this uniquely. 
  2. I am not a patient person. I know this about myself, so maybe this really doesn’t count as things I’ve learned. But patience is key. You cannot just wake-up one day without a food addiction.  This has been such an eye-opener. Look I didn’t expect that I would, truth is I never hyper-focused on my very real addiction until after my surgery when it really showed itself in true colors. But now I want it gone. Like, yesterday. I fight every day and will keep fighting, but I can’t wait until the fight doesn’t feel like a scene from Spartacus. 
  3. My confidence will be restored. Whether it’s all of the endorphins from working out, the healthier food, or the clothes that no longer fit, I feel good. My husband and friends have noticed a huge difference in my interactions with them and in public -I am more myself again. Light, funny and not apart. I didn’t really realize that I had effectively made myself a bit of a recluse. More somber, quiet, no longer life of the party, no spiritually enlightening conversations, or brainstorming the possibilities of life and the hilarity that comes from doing that with friends you’ve had in your life for over 12 years. So I see a little more of myself every day in the mirror.  The face, eyes and smiles that have crept back into my psychie. I am starting to like me again. 
  4. Future clothes shopping (without buying) is fun. I have an Amazon addiction. More importantly, I have ‘Wish List’ addiction. Exploring the possibilities of wearing very different colors, patterns, and rocking a new style is fun.  And all I have to do is click ‘save to wish list’. It’s like personal vision board for clothes. It’s cathartic to me.
  5. Meal planning is the only thing that works. Whether your planning you family’s menu for the week or planning you own (you should do both) it is seriously the only ritual that must be done in order to keep you on track. You might get to a point as far into the journey where you can wing it-you’ve got it down pat-I’d still recommend advanced meal planning. When you walk out of your office hungry and are faced with your favorite chips as the first thing you see, if you already have a meal prepared in the fridge or lunchbox-already you’re 10x less likely to nibble on those chips. Let’s not forget you’re ensuring adequate nutrition for the day by having a plan. 
  6. Progress moves. Whether it’s a scale loss, stall or up a couple of pounds you’re still moving forward. Measurements, exercise, good food choices, proper water intake, NSVs- you’re moving. And it’s progress. It moves all around you like water in the ocean, swirling from all different directions but ultimately pushing you to its destination – the wave making it to the glorious sand – where you’ll finally sink in your feet and raise your eyes to the brighter sky. 
  7. NSVs are 10x more potent than SVs. When you finally break through that which was impossible, or holding you back, or situations that plagued you, those are the ones that make you squeal with delight and make you feel like “Yes!”  Bet you dont quite get that from just a pound or two loss on the scale this morning. 
  8. There is no reason to mourn food. You are not depriving yourself-this isn’t a diet. It’s a way of life, a way to health. Relish the idea that one day, if you keep it up, you won’t want to choose the crap you once craved. Emotional eating may still be your battle but instead of pastries and alcohol you’ll feed it with fuel food and herbal tea. Kale will be your candy! Well, maybe not, but either way you’ll want to eat the good stuff. White bean chicken chili is my new comfort food, especially in this cold weather. 
  9. Daily meditation and self-reflection is critical. Getting right with yourself everyday is as essential to your spirit as prayer and worship of our Lord. You have to get in touch with yourself to understand where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going to keep yourself-not just focused, sure-but that you’re still you and that you love you. You must find that love, even if you don’t think you’ve ever had it before. All the more reason to do this. I have a wall heater in my bathroom, and carpet in the main area. I sit in my spot in front of that heater every night, turn on my relaxation sounds, and reflect. Very effective for learning to love myself again. 
  10. I am not alone and I CAN do it! Whether it’s support from the people around me or from those who read and comment on my blog (thank you) and inviting me into their own journeys to share and celebrate their triumphs and success, this community is everything. We can’t, nor should we, do this alone.  I know I can do it, because I am doing it, and have an awesome support system that’s got my back even when I trip. You all rock!

While I’ve learned so much more than these ten things, these are those that reflect what’s top of mind for me right now. My motivational quote for this week: 

Look in the mirror. The only competition you have is you.

This is specifically speaking to my workout goals for this week, BUT I can see the appropriateness of this  quote for our journeys as well. Either way, you win. Embrace that!

Off to my heater and meditation time! See you soon,

Amanda ūüėė

    All things being equal…

     

    A very personal post tonight, a glimpse into my family life…

    Today was a day full of challenges, for sure. And they weigh heavy on my heart tonight and for a long time to come, I’m sure. 

    Parenting is not a cake walk, never thought it would be or should be.  But there are times, many times when you wonder if you’re doing everything right by your kids.  Ever feel like your feet are dangling, and then you don’t know that when you put your feet on the ground what direction to you’re to take?

    I have three amazing little people I brought into this world. Each one is so very different, and in many ways we parent each to their own individual personality. Yes there are standard principals and rules and consequences and morals we apply evenly through the home, but each child is guided based on their individual needs. Not all things are equal in this house. And right now, I’m struggling with that with regard to the challenges we currently face. 

    I had a parent teacher conference with ALL of my son’s teachers today. I was mortified by the fact that I actually started crying. Yes, during the conference.  Dammit! Now, it’s not like what they were saying was incredibly horrible, at all.  It’s because he has a problem and I, as a parent, was not sure in those moments in front of these people, how I was going to help him.  Hence, the waterworks. 

    Now I understand this is a controversial subject. I’m not here to debate it, I was a cynic myself until I had children.  I see value and shortcomings in ALL of the arguments on this subject-even my own take on it.  Be that as it may…

    All three of my kids-each one with very very different learning abilities-have their father’s genetics of having ADD.  Behavior has never been an issue for any of them.  My son might be a bit hyperactive, but it’s more related to his self control abilities and not disciplinary behavior issues.  He’s a good kid and the teachers reaffirmed that to me today.  He’s respectful, polite, compassionate… and brilliant. I don’t say that beilliant part because I’m his mom, trust me-but my daughters, me, my husband-all of us are in a totally different ball field than him when it comes to his brain.

    The reason for my heavy heart tonight is not because of his problem, per se, but because of the measures my husband and I are taking to hopefully alleviate some of the contributors to his problem in an effort to help him take control (sans medication). Special diet, chiropractic care, and quite possibly home school so he can control the environment he so desperately needs to control…(that’s him – not us or the teachers, it is actually his number one issue). I’ll save you the details because it would take a page or 5 to describe my sons personality and inner workings. That’s not the point tonight really. 

    The point is however, that we (my husband and I) have been thinking in a tunnel I think. We’re only focusing on one child right now, when all three battle with the same affliction. Homeschool is not an option for my oldest – would not be beneficial to her at all. My youngest, that remains to be seen as of yet. We’ll have to cross that bridge soon though I’m pretty sure. She needs the live, hands on approach. But that’s not here or there for this post.  But…

    What about the diet changes and chiropractic care? We didn’t even talk about that for my daughters. Why? Why are we not talking about those things for them too?! They each require very different ‘treatment’ options- they are not the same and this cannot be equal. But drastically changing their diet and taking them to a chiropractor renowned for improving the afflictions of ADD-those are just basic home-grown medicines we can give to all three of them to help, right?  To minimize the battle they fight every day in school as much as we can-so they can learn better in school. We can make these changes throughout the household easily, expense ignored.  And see if it actually does help one or all three of them. It can’t hurt to try for all of their sakes, surely… This one can be created equal in this house.  Will it help, I don’t know. My son will/does give 100% honing in on himself to take ADD by the balls without medication, which he vehemently opposes and we respect that (he is 13 and has a mind to determine that for himself). But what about my girls? My oldest has tried the no-medication route and it is not for her. My youngest is in the midst of evaluation so we dont know if that’s a tool for her yet. 

    So I think that this has to be equal in this house- the diet and chiropractic care. Maybe the girls can be medication-free too, who knows. That would be like diamonds falling from the sky if that were the case. I don’t like medication for my children. But suffering from my own affliction (bi-polar) and seeing the positive change in my life because of medication, I can’t discard the value in that for my kids own afflictions either. It’s a very tight rope we walk on the subject. And one we take very seriously. 
    All things in life are not created equal. Parenting is no different. 

    But this one, this one might help all of them. 

    Advise is welcomed, especially with regard to homeschooling in which I have just begun researching. Bashing is not, so I thank you for not doing it here. 

    And thanks for the ear tonight…

    Strength & Confidence

    “Remember when we used to sit on our asses and smoke?”

    That’s what one of my dearest friends said after a run in the park together a couple of weeks ago. I laughed my head off and still giggle everytime I think of it. Because it’s so true…We would sit on my front porch, yammering about everything while smoking our cigarettes. (I miss that house…but I digress…)

    Wow, life is so different than it was then. So what happened next? Let me see….my husband went through two layoffs, I got laid off 6 months later, we started a business, lost our house, cars, and retirement, closed down the business, moved to a farm, started raising cattle (our new retirement plan), husband changed careers, I went back to school, almost got a divorce, I¬†started a new career… Whew! That’s my life for the past 6 years in a very breif nutshell. ¬†Now that’s getting personal!

    The point?

    I look back at all of this – all of the pain, the turmoil, the stress, just the hurdles life has thrown in my path – and I look at myself in the eyes today. I. Am. Badass. ¬†And I am PROUD of myself. I didn’t just survive these things, I fought the battles, and I conquered them. ¬†Looking at where I’m standing today, I am holding the flipping gold metal!

    I am not just rambling on to pat myself on the back to y’all. Thing is, I want to remember these things and hold them in my memory on purpose. ¬†Lessons to learn, absolutely. But more than that, proof that I have the strength to overcome and persevere. ¬†Self-confidence hasn’t been the easiest thing for me, like ever. ¬†But reflecting on these things makes me realize I am strong. I should be confident in myself. I can look in the mirror and see pride. ¬†So, as I look to kick off a new year tomorrow, I am going to remind myself of these things every day. I refuse to see failure in the mirror any. more.

    I urge each of you to maybe do a little reflection of the obstacles you have likely overcome in your life as well. It’s enlightening – and dare I say liberating – to realize where your strength has guided your path, and maybe you don’t really¬†realize it until you look back…

    Don’t walk quietly into 2016. Jump for joy into it and make it the best year yet!

    Happy New Year All and¬†let’s do¬†this –¬†with no inhibitions and full of confidence!

    A Brand New You, Effective Tomorrow

    Reflections and Resolutions

    As I reflect on the year of 2015, I truly am blown away by all of the changes I have personally made in my life, in just this last year. Not in any particular order…I changed careers, I took control of my health and gave myself another tool so that I might finally be successful, I started this blog, and I took a focused look inward to realize my strengths and weaknesses to tackle what I need to celebrate and what I need to work on in the various aspects of my life.  I did good this year. All of the things I set out to do this year I did, and more. 

    Now I have to admit, I met 2015 with a battered heart and a lack of faith in myself, really walking adrift and aimless at the beginning. For most of 2013 and all of 2014 my sole focus was on my marriage and keeping the kids oblivious to the turmoil. With the dust settled, doors closed, and new foundations being constructed by the end of 2014 I took a look in the mirror last New Year’s Eve and, while I was hopeful, I was damn tired. Drained. Like swimming in the ocean for months and months and finally making it to the shore, success!, but no more gas in the tank, know what I mean?  I didn’t have a plan for my personal goals and growth.  I couldn’t even tell you what those were. Yes I was in the middle of grad school but just pushing the paces to get me through until graduation.  

    It wasn’t until February when I was sitting in a 3-day summit meeting at work when it hit me – dead in the face – what in the hell am I doing here? I hate this industry and there’s no where for me to grow or even do something different!  I made a plan then and there. I was going to bide my time, finish grad school, then go on the hunt for something inspiring and ideally from home. My kids are getting into their teenage years and my constant presence in their lives would be even more vital than ever before. A week later a job popped up in my LinkedIn profile bar, and it was with a company I desperately wanted to work for and had wanted to for 3 years.  I didn’t go lookin for it either-in my mind I wasn’t ready. But there it was, right in front of me. I took a chance and applied. 7 weeks and 5 interviews later I was offered a position with this company and I haven’t looked back. More money, I work from home, and the growth opportunities are endless. And I absolutely love what I do now and the company I work for. 

    Meanwhile, I took a strong hold on my health. Diet and exercise, Crossfit, personal trainer, c25k, weight watchers, I was in the war zone – and losing. Discouraged and depressed I turned to food and self-sabotaged every effort I was making. But I didn’t stop the efforts, just obviously couldn’t break trough. I gained 40 lbs in 6 months. Enough was enough and VSG was going to help me win over depression and self-sabotage. I committed and was/am all in now. Best decision ever.  

    I started this blog. Both to meet fellow WLS Angels and to keep myself accountable. A bonus would be if I helped others out in their journeys too. It’s been amazing so far, living my journey and sharing with others and becoming friends with people who understand just how hard this really is. 

    Those are the highlights-the big stuff-and just know there were so many other changes in my life I was making too. 

    So, when I look in the mirror on Thursday I ask myself what I will see. What will I do? What do I want and How will I do it?  I want answers and plans on Thuraday-a list and a plan. 

    So what is your New Year’s resolution?  2016 has a whole host of changes coming my way-those that are already seen. Student loans, financial planning, the logistical stuff yes, but things that need to be tackled for sure. 

    But what about the me part? I am a mom and a wife and I am not by any means a selfish person. But 2016 is going to be focused on me. Selfish? Maybe. But the better I make me, the better I am for those impacted by me.  

    I bought a Passion Planner.  I oogled and googled and found the right one for me. I’m very excited about receiving it. It may not be here for a few weeks but the site allows you a free download so I printed the directions and a few weeks to get me started for when I get the book. And I am excited. I am looking deep to find my true passion.  I am making an action plan, that incorporates all of my life goals and tasks to make my way towards them into my daily routine. My New Year’s resolution? To diligently USE my planner everyday, to capture my thoughts and be accountable to my dreams and what I am doing to make them a reality. I won’t accomplish everything in one year,  I know, but at least will be driving the bus to a destination of my own design. 

    No more aimless days of just getting through the logistics of daily life. I will walk with purpose. And I will have yet another tool in my Arsenal to help me get there. 

       
    So what are your resolutions? Your passions? I’d really love to hear…

    What to blog?

    So I think of a million things I want to blog about everyday – do I write them down? No. So here comes the night time when I have the time and want to blog…and I’m blank…

    I have all of my Christmas DONE and only one more present to wrap when it arrives (hopefully) as scheduled on Wednesday!  Feeling very spiritual and excited about this time of giving and prayer. 

    I look back on my 2015.  It was a year of major changes, job, career, VSG, marriage, faith. All good and my cup over-floweth with joy! 

    A friend of mine was asking for recommendations for a life planner.  I was so inspired by that idea! I downloaded an app that might be good. I’m going to try it for a couple of weeks and determine if a written planner/journal would be best for me instead of an app though. I am still a notes girl even though I do use OneNote.  We’ll see and I will update which I go with in case you’re interested too. I would love to lay out goals for 2016, inspirations and journaling my progress. Not just with weight loss but with all areas in my life. (And blog ideas!) 

    So here are my Stats:

    • HW: 240
    • SW: 230
    • CW: 189

    Have to tell you I felt like I would never see 180’s again. And to think…in 3 more months where will I be? It’s exciting!  

    So that was a quickie for tonight. More tomorrow.  Until then, shine on!

    Amanda

    PS-made an appointment with my therapist finally and looking forward to that! It’s been 3 months!  4 by the time I see her in January.  

    2 Month Surg-aversary 

    Today marks exactly 2 months to the day from surgery. I have mixed emotions about that because I am not where I’d thought I’d be at this milestone, but overall am proud of the progress I’ve made so far. 

    I’m down a total of 30.8 lbs. I just literally broke the 200’s – but barely. I know the doctor said I’m  progressing just fine but I have put it a LOT of effort here with running and eating and just though I’d be closer to the 40 lbs+ milestone right now. 

    Which speaking of food- I’m getting so bored with my diet. I am going to have to really start delving into some recipes to get some variety soon, or trigger foods are soon to become a real problem. I do well avoiding the kids after-school snacks but they are looking more and more enticing as the days of baked chicken, hamburger patties, and protein shakes consist of my daily diet. I did make a chicken and white bean chili tonight that is less spicy than the last batch I made-which was so good but my pouch can not handle anything with a semblance of spice yet-not even salsa for eggs.  Hope it’s a yummy change that I can handle.  Fingers crossed…

    I’m a bit ambivalent these last weeks about my journey so far. Not in a bad way- I feel like if I focus less on the scale I am less stressed about the progress I am (not)/making and I can focus on the daily activity and routine of my food and diet. Plus, I’m just sort of tired of worrying right now-it’s taking away from some of the real progress am making on a daily basis.  That’s not to say I am not. I’m still thinking about it, just not obsessing about it. I hope that makes sense.  

    Enough about WLS for right now. Some life and NSV wins

    • I’m killing it at work. Just started this job in May-my dream job/company- and I am kicking ass.  Hope this trend continues as my client load becomes more complex in 2016.
    • I found some workout skorts I love to workout in on clearance for $5 each and was able to get a Large! Not XL- large. And they fit well!
    • My old company is paying me premium to come in for two days this week and week after Thanksgiving to do some things I’m the only one who could do-which is really much needed cash. 
    • I’ve been killing it at C25k training and additional running training. Very proud of myself and the progress I’ve made. My goal is to run 3.5 mikes without stopping by my birthday and like an omen found one 5k race the day after in my town.
    • Husband notices BIG differences in my body. Happy!
    • Did I mention I only have 9 papers (not counting assignments) until I’m done with school forever?!
    • Relationships in my life are becoming more rich and I am able to reciprocate more than I ever have been able to (time management issues in the past).

    I’m trying to dedicate more time to everyone’s blogs and stories because I really love this WordPress community and want to know others victories. I’m sorry I’ve been behind and promise to be more present going forward. I think about you all many times a day and wonder how each of you are doing. Just haven’t been able to catch up on my emails.  So sorry my responses will be delayed but I am reading and catching up over the next couple days. You all are so inspirational and just wonderful people- I’m so thankful to share your friendships. 

    See you in the posts soon. Much love!

    -Xoxox 

    What will I do with all of my time?

    My husband asked me tonight, “So what will you Do with all of your extra time when you’re done with school?!” 

    Well. Good question. 

    • I can definitely get more food prep in. 
    • Keep the house cleaner through the week (I hope). 
    • Maybe up my fitness training. Get 10,000 steps (running or walking) a day religiously. 
    • Throw in a painting once a month like I’d hoped to do when I got my mini-studio for Christmas last year.
    • Actually have time to do some volunteer work with church. 
    • Incorporate reading back into my life. The great fiction kind that doesn’t involve in-depth analysis and brain freeze paper writing. 
    • Write better blog material that doesn’t just involve WLS.

    The simple fact of the matter is, I’m going to revel in the freedom of doing nothing for at least a couple of  weeks. 

    Any great ideas-that don’t involve taking a class, lol?