Before…

I had my 9 month check up appointment today with my Dietitian Val.  She is awesome and very smart.  Going to these appointments have been a bright spot on my journey.  They have given me something to work for and look forward to.  In the beginning you are seeing your dietitian frequently.  Once you have the surgery, you see them 2 weeks after and then every 3 months.  Typically the appointments are quick check-ins where you get weighed and then discuss with the dietitian what you are doing and what is working – or – not working for you.  It’s a long drive down Route 9 for a 20 minutes appointment…but it is so worth it.  I am beginning to understand that having a good support system of professionals around you is really vital for success with this surgery.

At today’s appointment they tested my metabolism.  This was sort of a crazy test.  You have to plug your nose and breath into a tube for 10 minutes.  It was uncomfortable and a little noisy but, I got it done.  The purpose of the test is to see if your metabolism is fast or slow.  Also the data collected allow the dietitian to conclude how many calories you need to consume in order to lose weight and how many you can eat to MAINTAIN your weight loss.  The phrase – MAINTAIN your weight loss – terrifies me.  I am so worried about maintaining.  I have flashbacks to the times in my life when I was successful in my diets and it was so short lived.  These times really make me feel terrible about myself.  To be so successful and feel so good about yourself and then to slowly watch the scale climb upward….such a personal defeat.  To be honest, I can not even tell you how many diets I have been on in my lifetime.  I’ve done it all – Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem,  Slim Fast, etc. etc. etc. Every time – I was successful for a short period of time and then just like that….gained it all back.  There is nothing worse than trying on the new jeans in the smaller size and realizing that you can’t zip them up.  THE WORST FEELING EVER!! This time is different though, this time I haven’t just changed what I am eating….I have changed my lifestyle and the way I choose to live.  I am absolutely determined to be successful with my new tool (the Sleeve aka Sleevie Wonder).  I do not deny myself foods that I want – I just know that I need to enjoy much smaller amounts.  I will continue with my exercise even if I have to slow down some over the winter months!!  This is my plan and I intend to stick with it.

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Here I am having the metabolism test.  I imagine this is what it was like filming Stranger Things!!

I wanted to share with you all some of my before pictures.  Sometimes I look back at these pictures and think to myself – “Good Lord…what in the world was I thinking?”  I really didn’t think I had that much of a problem.  I always told myself that I exercised and I moved and I was healthy.  WRONG.  My blood work might have shown that I was marginally healthy – but my blood pressure was creeping up, my self esteem was non-existent, and I was in a lot of pain – it hurt to carry around the access weight.

All of this said – I am still very proud of this woman.  She battled a lot of adversity over the years and never truly felt comfortable in her skin.  She accomplished a lot.  Went to school full time, got a Master’s Degree, worked multiple jobs to support herself.  She made friends, memories to last a life time, and built a life for herself.  She met and married the love of her life, had two amazing children, and became the head of her department at school.  She is accomplished and, possibly, an over achiever.  I respect her so much and am so grateful for seeing life through her eyes….honestly, I admire her.  It is hard work to get up and put a smile on your face everyday when you really do not want to.  It is hard work to put yourself out there when you would rather be hiding out of the way.  But, she did that…she put on a smile, hiked up her big girl panties, and put herself out there and I am very proud of her.  I will always keep her in my heart and mind and as a constant reminder of what I can achieve.

I need to explore this before phase in order to really appreciate the after phase.  This journey is so much more than just having surgery and losing weight.  For me, it has been finding out who my true self is.  In the 9 months that I have been on this road I have learned a lot about myself.  I have figured out, as cheesy it sounds that I am like Dorothy from the Wizard of OZ.  I have had the power to be what and who I wanted to be all along…I just needed a push, some encouragement, and this tool.  It’s so important to see where you have come from – so that you can really appreciate where you are.  So – here she is – the before me:

before1

Here I am at the last football game of the 2015 season.  This was before I decided to explore weight loss surgery.  Always in sweat pants and a sweat shirt. 

before6

This was Dress Like a Super Hero day at our school.  My student dressed like me – which of course made me cry.  October 2013.  She pretty much nailed it!!

before4

This was an awesome day.  My students and I dedicated a Peace Pole to our school community.  This was May 2015…a month after I started the program.  I had lost about 10 pounds.  Always something covering what I’m wearing – trying to hide myself. But so very proud of these kids and that Peace Pole – Let peace prevail on Earth!

before2

Me and little boo bear.  He had Hand Foot and Mouth at the start of last school year…perfect timing – September 2015.  It was nice to stay home and spend a couple days with him.  My grandmother always told me I had a beautiful smile – I hated smiling because my eyes look closed!! 

My body has been through a lot – 2 babies and countless yo-yo diets.  I have weathered the storm and now I have made some real change.  I am actually understanding that it is NOT just changing your food it’s changing your lifestyle.  This is way harder than I thought it would be, but I am enjoying the ride.  I am not starving.  I am not miserable.  I am not hiding…I am me, under construction.

I learned from my appointment that I am on to the next stage of this weight loss journey – Maintenance.  It is a scary place to be on the threshold of.  Imagine after spending your life with people telling you that you need to lose weight – you’re at a place where people are telling you to stop losing weight?  What the what??  This means eating a little more and keeping up with my exercise.  I know that I need to stay focused and keep living!!

Something that I have found is helpful and encouraging is seeing how far I have come. One Instagram they do something called #TransformationTuesday.  I have never participated before, but now I see that it is motivational.  Somedays I feel bloated, lazy, and like I’m not doing a good job.  Somedays I look into the mirror and see the “before me.”  It is hard to wrap my head around it some days.  I still look for XXL sizes and get annoyed when I don’t find them – but I don’t need them!  I have to remind myself that I only had surgery on my stomach NOT my brain.  However, when I look at how far I have come – it really helps me to put this transformation into perspective.  You’ve seen some pictures of me on this blog already – but here are a few more TransformationTuesday worthy pics…

 

Going forward…I am easing into maintenance and will continue to be positive and focused on my goal of being healthy! It’s hard work, but it is work worth doing.

As always, I hope that you have found something that you can use here.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask, leave a comment, and share with someone that you think might like it!!

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4 thoughts on “Before…

  1. Jamie says:

    So proud of you Mathy! I’m almost 8 years out and I’ve gotten to the phase where I need to lose some weight again! But it’s nothing like before and I’m so glad I did it. And you my friend are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bonnie says:

    I had no idea that you didn’t feel self confident! Really! You really hid it successfully. I can understand that you feel anxious about maintenance, but anytime you feel really scared, just read through this blog! You really can do anything!

    Liked by 1 person

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