Saturday, June 21, 2014

the trying-to-be incredible shrinking woman

I'm working really, REALLY hard on the new me, which also entails trying to reach into my own gray matter for what ails me.  As anyone who has read my once yearly update (shameful!) here knows, I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) September 7, 2012.  Here's what that looks like:
Late 2011 through May 2012, I was dealing with some hellascious knee problems that resulted in me, at the ripe old age of 35, using a walker to get around because my knees would not support me.  Here I am in May 2012, 5 days out from having my right knee scoped (5 days before THAT, my doctor took 29cc of fluid off my knee so I would quit contemplating blowing my own brains out):

So, about 3.5 months after this photo was taken, I went under the knife again, driven finally by desperation and pain, the desperate measures so often found at the end of desperate times.  I lost 100 lbs in about 10 months and have lost another 20 in the time since then.  What I didn't know until just here recently, when I joined a VSG support group on Facebook, is that there is a "honeymoon" period that lasts anywhere from 8-12 months after surgery and that is when you will get the majority of your weightloss accomplished.  After that, your appetite, hormones, and body catch up to you and you feel relatively normal again. 

I pissed that away.  I made no attempt to exercise (like I was told to by my surgeon, my nurse, my nutritionist, Marvin the Martian, my cat, my brain, and everyone else on the planet who knew more than I did),  I was weak and got tired easily because I could only eat about 1/2 cup of food at a time, didn't deal extremely well with the cold in my newly (somewhat) de-blubberized body, and just generally felt like I was losing weight so quickly that it couldn't possibly matter that I wasn't exercising.  And my knees.  Oh yes, my beautiful, didn't-know-they-were-even-there-anymore, painfree knees!  I was pain-free for the first time in several years and it was like a narcotic, that absence of pain.  Here I am this past March, at the Public Library Association conference in Indianapolis:

I always take the stairs when they are available. I can run up the stairs from the basement to the 2nd floor at work and barely even breathe hard.  I can walk anywhere I want to go.  I'm developing biceps for the first time in recent memory.  I have collar bones!
I weigh myself every Monday morning and record that weight here and on  At my 1 year surgersary I noticed I hadn't really lost any weight, looking back over my entries.  I'd steadily been buying smaller clothes, month after month, so the numbers just didn't really set in until I was consolidating my Weight Loss Journey sidebar section here on Blogger for 2013 from every week down to one entry per month, getting ready for 2014.  It was an eye opener.  All that to reiterate, I pissed away my honeymoon period. I've been stuck in the mid 200's for over a year now and there's no one to blame but myself.  

But as I began with, for about the past (almost) 2 months I've been exercising 45-90 minutes per day, different exercises everyday and doing pilates (or as I like to call it, rolling around on the floor and grunting) my rest days or when my knees just don't feel up to doing anything.  I threw/gave away all the non-complex carbohydrates in my house.  If I want to snack, it has to be something I make.  Very little processed foods.  In my fridge right now are protein shakes, eggs, and fresh fruit and veggies.  The freezer has fish, chicken, soy products, veggies, fruit, and ( not sorry) vodka.  I do make popcorn for snacks but it's the plain kernels, with a teeny bit of coconut oil, thrown in a brown paper sack, and microwaved, sprinkled with a little bit of salt, not Orville's sodiumfest.  

I've lost about 7 pounds in that time, but my measurements haven't changed all that much.  I'm going to be patient though, because I know how my body has always been.  Pre-surgery, it usually took 8-10 weeks of supreme effort before I saw any real results, so now that I'm back to pre-surgery hormones and whathaveyou, I anticipate it will be the same.  I'm eating between 80-100 grams of protein and 800-1100 calories per day and burning (according to an app, soooo grain of salt and all) 3800-4100 calories per day, so those numbers are fine.  I'm not starving myself, just eating high protein, low calorie meals, so no one (as if anyone is reading) panic.

Okay, I've said it and said it and said it and said it, but this time, I MEAN it.  I'm going to start writing here again.  Pre-Facebook, I used to love it and tried to sneak it into my day whenever possible.  I miss that.  A lot.  And it was good for me to get all the daily effluvia out of my head and give it you (possibly nonexistent) guys. I need it and it's good for me so as I've rededicated myself to my weightloss journey, I'm rededicating myself to Blogger.  As if that isn't enough, I also recently joined Twitter because, you know, I'm impulsive like that.  And I'm SO addicted to it so feel free to find me there @HolleysHouse.