Sep 11, 2013
This month was such a huge transition period for me. It seems like EVERYTHING changed, for the better, I think. I am really starting to feel like Laurie 2.0. Here are some photos to get us started. This is the last set of photos with the blue bathing suit. It is huge on me and I'm surprised important parts were not hanging out. So, starting this month you will see the introduction of outfit #2. Not my best look, but I think it's important to be able to see as much as possible on these photos.
My goal this month was to lose 8 pounds. I managed to lose 12.6. Based on my measurements, I lost 8.25" total this month and an incomprehensible 35.25 inches since I started measuring at the beginning of my preop diet. That is nearly a yardstick! That number includes 9" off of my waist since I have started and 8.25 off of my hips since I started.
I had a really amazing thing happen this month, though, and it had nothing to do with the scale. I measured my body fat and lost 2.7% body fat in 2 weeks time. This was also the part of the month where the scale moved really sluggishly. So, I proved to myself once and for all that good things are very very definitely going on even when the scale isn't moving! And, this month, I was able to confirm that I am in fact a stair-step loser. For the latter half of the month, the scale doesn't move much. For the first half of the month, it just tumbles. I have been ok with that. Knowing there is a pattern there, plus knowing I am definitely losing fat while I don't lose pounds, helped me to settle down a lot. And, I almost forgot to add that I broke the 200 lb barrier last week, coming in at 199.3. Of course, my weight continues to fluctuate a bit, but I will take it. And own it. Also, I'm seeing bones come out of hiding, namely my collar bones and wrist bones. It feels like reuniting with old friends I haven't seen in a while. I can also feel far more than I can see. My shoulders feel pokey now when I put my hand on them.
Eating has become...easy and routine. I eat 3 oz of meat at a meal, generally. I pretty consistently consume between 700-800 calories. I have managed to up my protein, too, to around 80 gms per day. Carbs continue to hover around 40. I like to see my MFP graph at 50% protein, and the other 25% segments divided between fat and carbs. I prefer to have fat higher than carbs. Meals generally consist of whatever meat I am eating (thank goodness for chicken in 3 oz cans), plus some veggies (less than 1/8 cup). I have discovered a few goodies that taste great, like Beanitos chips, which have 4 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fiber in a full serving. The good news is that I can have 1/2 of a serving and feel happy. My water intake most days is typically between 80-96 oz, with 64 being the barest minimum I allow myself. Here is a typical food day picture:
This day included a full serving of beanitos, chicken, cheese, a protein drink, veggies, and some other things. I'm feeling that I'm doing ok with balancing my diet.
I upped the sessions with my trainer this month to two per week, plus two additional days of cardio if I can squeeze it in, and it's going well. I can see improved definition in my arms and legs and my abs now report for duty on occasion. I love working with him, especially when he says things like "you surprised me that you could do that." It makes me want to try harder. I have really surprised myself that I enjoy working out as much as I do. It's like little mini hourlong vacations all to myself. This week, my contract with my trainer expires and so I am reupping for 12 months, continuing to go 2x per week. It feels like a really big step, but, as my therapist says, I am worth it. And, making this commitment ensures that I will keep going even after I reach goal. Accountability isn't to be underestimated, here. As I look around the gym, I see women that look like what I want to look like, so that is really good too.
This month I started working with my image consultant. My first appointment was amazing - I feel like I came away with the secrets to the universe unlocked. We identified my colors (I am a True Summer), and she put together this awesome book that has important things like hemlines and sleeve lengths customized to my body. I have a plan for shopping for new clothes, and I can go about it in a way that doesn't feel overwhelming. She sends me sale info and so I have managed to pick up some nice new Talbots outfits for about $35 each. Can't beat that. Sizewise, I still have NO IDEA what size I am in space. Rackwise, I am in a 16/18 misses. I decided a couple of weeks ago that I can't shop in women's sizes any more. My butt and legs are simply too small. I picked up jeans on sale in both an 18 and a 16. I picked up skirts in 16 and 14 (for a rainy day). I picked up some size L shirts from Talbots that fit great, and I also picked up an XL that I swim in. Realistically, I am probably a 14 up top and a 16/18 on the bottom. I head to London next month to run some meetings, and I will be looking spiffy in my new skirts and tops I bought! Now I just need some shoes.
I had labs run at the end of August and they came back normal, with the exception of Vitamin D. Here were my numbers:
A1C: 5.3 (normal is 4.8-5.6) was 5.9 in May
Total cholesterol: 118 (100-199) was 175 in May
Triglycerides: 62 (0-149) was 198 in May
VLDL: 12 (5-40) Was 40 in May
LDL: 65 (0-99) was 97 in May
HDL: 41 (>39) was 38 in May
fasting blood glucose: 67 (65-99) was 82 in May (on Metformin)
I shared these with the surgeon at my 3 month checkup. His reaction: "Good for you - you're not diabetic anymore. Go enjoy your life." Even though I was never truly diabetic based on my A1c readings, I was certainly heading that way. Still, his comment pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?
Other people's reactions
People have started to notice my loss. A few have asked how much I have lost, but the majority just ask what I'm doing. I tell them I have joined a gym, hired a trainer, eat small portions, etc. They know that hubby is health focused too so it makes the conversation smoother. I have decided that if someone asks me straight out whether I had surgery I will tell them the truth, but because I wouldn't volunteer the information if I had had a hysterectomy, for example, why mention this? The other thing I noticed is that I receive more eye contact from strangers. I must be in the process of becoming less invisible.
The head game
I have enjoyed my sessions with my therapist and feel they have helped me. I know that my self-perception of my body is still all out of whack. I hold up clothes and think, "there is no way...." and then they fit or are even roomy. She encourages me to do good things for my body, focused on respecting it. She encourages me to stay off the scale and I have made progress, now weighing only every other day. What's most interesting is that I can feel myself settling down. She has encouraged me to trust myself and what I'm doing, and reassures me that when I am eating only 800 calories a day, losing weight is unavoidable. I think getting to the realization of my weight loss patterns and being ok with them/accepting them has helped me to stay off the scale.
I did have something funny happen a couple of weeks ago. I seem to have forgotten I had surgery and had to change how I eat. Not that I ate badly, mind you, but I did prep badly. The first incident involved oatmeal. I prepped an entire bowl of oatmeal with protein powder. It wasn't until I sat down to eat it that I remembered there was no way in hell I could eat it all. So, I had my 1/3 of a cup and tossed the rest. I didn't feel I was missing anything, and I certainly didn't want to eat more than that, but I thought it was funny that I could forget so easily. Then, later that same week, I was calculating what I was going to eat for dinner, and I calculated in a full cup of Shelly's ricotta bake like it was the most natural thing in the world. When was the last time I ate a full cup of anything? It must have been early June, I think. Again, I just adjusted my totals to a realistic number and went on with it but it struck me as funny that I would just sort of lost my mind twice in one week.
How I felt
I crossed some big thresholds this month: Halfway to goal and welcome to onederland. I think my hormones have begun to shift, as evidenced by a much heavier period this month than I can remember in in a very long time. I feel I am looking sort of funny with my clothes off - sort of wrinkly and deflated, but I can't help but look at it as progress. I do hope my skin catches up with me at some point. I love that I can see muscles and bones beginning to emerge. I did spend a week or so being just exhausted around my period, but I rolled with it, listened to my body, rested when I felt I had to, and gradually my energy levels returned. I've stayed off of the stuff I detoxed from, caffeine being chief among them, and I'm really proud of that. Brain power is generally good. Physical energy is pretty good, too.
Sometime this month, I will cross another huge threshold: no longer obese. My BMI is at 30.9 at the moment; I need to lose 1 point to get there. 3-4 more pounds should put me there. My trainer has challenged me to lose 2% body fat again, so that will give me something to work toward. Both of those will be a big celebration, to be sure. Next month's post will either be early or late because I will be heading to the UK on the 12th.