Days of Rest: Honoring Your Body

Today, while casually perusing Facebook, I came across two great quotes:  “Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends,” and, “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”  With these thoughts in mind, I decided to take off from exercise both today and yesterday, because I am sick.  Rather than push my body when it is unwell, I have decided to honor it by resting and allowing it to recuperate.

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Also, as I was thinking of motivational inspiration this week, I realized that I am a visual person.  I write my goals on index cards and post them around my office.  In order to have a visual reminder with me that is a constant, I have decided to purchase a Pandora bracelet and grant myself purchase of one charm per 10 lbs lost.  The first three “charms-in-waiting” that I purchased are the butterfly, strawberries, and cheerleader charms.  The butterfly is for 30 lbs lost and represents beauty and transformation.  The strawberries represent my place of employment, where many people are cheering me on.  The cheerleader charm represents my new role as cheerleading coach, where I want to set an example of healthy living for the young ladies on my team.

The aspects that I have found challenging thus far have surprised me.  I enjoy the exercise and pushing myself to do new things that I’ve never done before.  I’m even considering signing up for a one mile charity run at the end of May with a friend.  It scares me, but I think I can do it.  The thing I’ve found most challenging, is, believe it or not, eating!  I’m finding it difficult to eat every two-to-three hours when I’m not hungry.  Those protein bars do not go down easily and feel like a brick in my stomach.  I think it’s almost kind of humorous, because my biggest fear when starting this lifestyle change was that I thought I’d be hungry most of the time.

My hope is to feel well enough by tomorrow that I can resume exercising and start working towards those charms!

Taking the First Step

Well, yesterday was the big day:  The date of my first appointment at the bariatric clinic.  I was nervous when I walked in, but then quickly realized that everyone in the waiting room is here for the exact same reason:  We all want to lose weight.  For me, not only do I want to lose weight very badly, but I need to lose weight to positively impact my health.

The first thing they did was weigh me and determine my body mass index and water weight.  I was surprised to learn that 98 lbs of me is just purely water!  It was determined that, according to the body mass index, I am morbidly obese, which is not a surprise (This kind of reminded me of the situation all overweight people go through when they go to the doctor:  They are weighed and then told by their doctor that they are overweight.  No kidding!  I am convinced that overweight people already know they are overweight).

Then, they drew blood work for labs to test my thyroid level and other important factors that are being used to treat me.  I received a B12 injection and purchased a shot card for 5 more injections to help with my energy levels as I embark on this new journey.  Unfortunately, due to previously existing medical conditions, I am unable to take the phentermine prescription or the caffeinated supplements that speed up one’s metabolism.  However, all is not lost, as I generally prefer the natural route to things anyway.

After meeting with the doctor, I got to meet with the staff nutritionist.  She showed me that my target calorie range is 1,500 calories per day to be spread out among three meals and three snacks.  Each of the meals and snacks is to be eaten between two-to-three hours apart, so that the incremental eating will speed up my metabolism.  The meals will consist of about 50% protein, 20% carbohydrates, and 10% fruits and other sugars.  I purchased two boxes of protein bars to take care of my three required snacks for each day.  I also decided with my nutritionist which supplements would best aid my weight loss and replace vitamins that may be lacking during my induction to this new way of eating.

I am currently logging everything that I eat and drink, both on paper and in two apps on my phone.  I believe that the apps My Fitness Pal and Water Lite will help me keep track of my intake.  I can’t wait until my VivoFit2 comes in the mail next month, so I can monitor my activity levels and track them on My Fitness Pal.  Until then, I am committed to exercising every day.  Yesterday, although I knew I wouldn’t be able to fit in a gym session due to my appointment, I was able to take the dog for a mile and a half stroll around our neighborhood.  It wasn’t an intense workout, but I felt good that I was able to get some physical activity in for the day.  Today, I am looking forward to swimming laps at the gym this afternoon.  I plan to do a half hour of breaststroke followed by a half hour of kickboarding to work on my legs and abs.

I had my husband take my “Before” photos last night, as I plan to blog each step along the journey.  Here is the “Before” in all my 260 lb splendor:

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Continue to follow me as I embrace this journey to a healthier life!

The Journey: Beginning a Weight Loss Experience

As I have promised on my Facebook page, I am going to document my weight loss journey towards better health.  If you remember, I chose the word “health” as my word to live by for 2015.  I’m pleased to announce that my spiritual health is the best it’s ever been and I continue to grow as I read Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book, “Building Your Self-Image.”  However, I’ve finally decided to make the decision to go to a bariatric weight loss clinic for help to lose over 100 lbs over the next 18 months.  I will be working with both a doctor and a nutritionist to create a workable plan towards lasting weight loss.  In addition, I will be exercising 6 days a week at our local fitness center.

Why now, you ask?  Well, honestly, it’s because I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I know that my 5 foot 8 inch frame should not be supporting all 260 pounds of me.  Before my pregnancy I had lost 30 lbs and then the weight loss stalled.  For months I would lose and regain the same few pounds.  Then, during my high risk pregnancy, I developed cholestasis and began experiencing cravings for pure sugar.  It wasn’t unusual for me to eat a whole package of bakery cupcakes in a day.  For what should’ve been a ten pound maximum weight gain turned into a 50 pound weight gain.  And then there was the blood clot after my c-section.  Despite taking lovenox injections religiously, I developed a DVT in my upper right leg, the same place where only a year prior, I also had a DVT develop.  When I went to my hematologist and obstetrician after my hospital stay, the first thing both of them said was, “You need to lose weight.  You are putting yourself in danger by remaining overweight.”  The question then has remained, “How?”  It took a lifetime to put on this weight, but how does one go about taking it off safely and effectively?  That’s what I’m looking forward to learning as I work with medical professionals to help me along this journey.

While my husband states that he loves me regardless of a number on a scale, and I know this to be true, it’s a matter of my loving myself and being proud of who I am.  It’s time for the inside to match the outside, and let the world see who I really am.  I invite you to join me as I blog about my weight loss journey here on The Middle Shelf.

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