OH Conference in H-Town...

Nov 17, 2008

Just got back from the conference. I felt that content-wise it was one of the better ones I have been to, but then again it could be because I am in a place in my "journey."

Jeremy,  fitness guy, gave me an hour of his time one on one to talk about my exercise and nutrition. There could be several things going on, so he made some suggestions.

First I'm going to lower my protein intake (I was getting up to 180 g's per day.  He suggested between 120 and 130 is plenty, and that at 2 years out absorption  is not as much of an issue. In lieu of the protein I'm cutting, I'm going to add some carbs. I'm going to cut my cardio down to 2 HIGH intensity interval sessions a week, plus a 30 mile bike ride. Weight training will remain, but it will be a consistent 4 times a week.

The caloric breakdown will be:

125-130 grams of protein/ 520 cal
150 grams of Carbs /600 cal
30 grams of fat/ 270 cal

I'm pretty comfortable getting in about 1300 to 1400 calories and with the suggested changes in my workout, it might help.

But... I also found out, and I can't believe I didn't realize this: In spite of my 212 lb. body, I sit at 34% body fat. I'm on the cusp of being of healthy body fat (25% to 32%). Jeremy suggested focusing on that fact and forget about BMI. I told him what I'm most worried about is my waist measurement, as I am apple-shaped and carry my weight in the middle. I told him I want to lose 6" on my waist. And truly, I don't care what the scale says I'm at if I get to that point.

Then I did the most unexpected thing. While watching a plastic surgeon's presentation I saw pictures of bodies that looked like mine... my double cottage cheese stomach that looks like someone hung it from a coat hook. I saw a few more pictures, and it got me thinking..."Could that really be my stomach?" It sure looked like it. I was brave. I signed up for a free consult. I felt kind of stupid because I figured he'd think I was nuts coming in with my 200+ lbs.; but he didn't.

What he did say was " You did an excellent job with your weight loss. Your back looks great." He said, "I don't recommend a circumferential body lift, but instead an extended tummy tuck." "Huh?" I thought?  I was stunned... still am.

As he's got my pannus in his hands, he says "...all this will be gone." I was stunned. I asked, "About how many inches would that take off my waist?" He said "4" easily, possibly 5" or 6." Of course he had to qualify that because it wasn't a detailed consult, but he "felt very good about it" and said again that I definitely don't need a full body lift.

So, in the end there's really not a whole lot I can do about my pannus. I never ever thought I'd be a candidate for plastics, but as I understand it at the moment, for my body this will be the only way to get my desired result.  Now I understand why plastics are so important to post-ops. It kind of wraps everything up in a bow; it help complete the journey for you.

Knowing that, coupled with the fact I'm so close to being in a healthy body fat % range really makes me feel better about where I am. Add to that no longer being Diabetic and no longer experiencing sleep apnea and it's a pretty good deal. :)

So unlike my previous post, although I'm not yet a member of the centruy club, I'm feeling much better about what I've achieved. :)

2 Years Out...

Nov 17, 2008

So my 2 year will be here on Saturday and I have very mixed emotions.

Quite honestly I don't know why I haven't had the success others have experienced and it is frustrating -- I have to admit it. I eat right, God knows I exercise. I've talked to several professionals but no one offers any answers -- they say, "eat more", "eat less", even "don't workout so hard." Still at 2 years out I've not hit -100 lbs. (since surgery). It's like my body is taunting me, holding me pretty much the same at -95 lbs. I know folks who break the rules daily, or totally disregard them and don't exercise -- even they yield better results! And yeah, it pisses me off sometimes... I feel cheated and admittedly, childish, at times. It's pathetic sometimes.

I can't let this be something that saddens me though. Do I regret my choice? Hell no -- just for the simple fact I am no longer Diabetic is reason enough for me. Knowing I won't face the same fate my Grandmother did, losing limbs -- or having to inject myself the rest of my life (and still have issues) makes it worth while.

I am in better health now, more than ever, and I can't believe 2 years has passed so quickly. I have done so much and accomplished so many things I thought I'd never do. Simple things, like being able to fit comfortably in chairs, to challenges like the MS150.

Like I said... "time flies when you're having fun.", and I am.

Do I still think something is wrong? Yeah. How can I create no less than a 1,000 calorie deficit a day and not lose... even to lose s-l-o-w-l-y would be more than welcome! I have to get to the bottom of this. This was exactly the same problem I had pre-op. Exactly. I got to a certain weight, but never could get lower than that.

Sometimes I don't feel like I can be an active participant in communities because of my lack of generally perceived success. I try focusing on what I achieve, and use that as my personal barometer, but it's not the same. Peers look at me puzzled, as if I'm hiding some dark truth about what's really going on behind the scenes. My blog is really my only outlet and I've really not met someone else like me to talk with and share information in an effort to figure out what is happening with my body. I participate on OH occasionally, but just don't feel like I belong.

Ugh... enough! I knew this wasn't going to be an easy road... I just thought that since I had already made certain changes, I wouldn't have as big of a challenge as others. I know how to eat right and exercise. Most of the time I can keep my head in the game, unless I'm purposefully reflecting on past progress, or lack thereof.

At this point I'm not even targeting a certain weight... I just want my hip-to-waist ratio to be healthy and that means just 6" off my waist and hips. Just 6"! I know in my heart I'll get there, but it will take more time and more effort, which is fine. Luckily I like this thing they call exercise... and plan to continue to do it for the rest of my life. :)

So here I am... definitely looking better than pre-op, but still have a long way to go.


LiveSTRONG Challenge Pictures

Oct 27, 2008

First Solo Triathlon - Done!

Jun 24, 2008

I came... I tri'd... I finished!

I did it! I finished the tri. We could not have asked for better weather, but by the time the run started it was getting HOT!

The lake was fairly calm and instead of an in-water start, they did a time-trial start, every 5 seconds. I really liked that. The swim was a challenge, but not nearly the chaos I had prepared myself for.

I crossed the swim start and had to wait as the lifeguards were actually bringing an athlete back. This guy was cut and buff... I was so curious as to why he didn't make it to the first bouy; of course it could be anything. That kind of made me a little more nervous. Anyway, my time had started, but I couldn't get in the water until this guy was in.

Darren took some video of me swimming; I couldn't believe it was me. Except for my droopy elbows, I was doing pretty good. About half-way I back-stroked it to get a rest to try to pull it out the last third.

I didn't try to speed through my transitions, I was just steady and took my time.

The bike... not to be tootin' my horn, was a joke after doing the MS150 in April, that was a breeze. The run on the other hand... oiy! The first mile seemed longer than the last. I probably walked a mile/jogged a mile total.

The total elapsed time was 1:15 when I crossed... that's from start of the entire race. I was one of the last couple dozen swimmers to jump in. I'll get my official times tomorrow.

I feel very accomplished right now. I feel like I could do it again and I definitely won't stop the swimming. I can only imagine how well I would have done if I had enough pool time under my belt!

Anyway... that's it. I'll leave you all with some pictures:

MS150 - Done!

Apr 14, 2008

Well, I finished! And yes, I am proud. I'm also very grateful that everyone was so supportive, as their generosity gave me (and 13,000 other riders) the opportunity to experience something very special. The time on the bike was as challenging as it was fun... and at times even meditative.

Despite the fact that I always did things that were active in nature pre-op, the MS150 was one of those things I secretly feared; I could never fully commit to to it. In fact, I'd swim before I'd commit to riding 150 miles!! So completing the tour really makes me proud and it is like beating an old fear.

See the rest of my MS150 pictures in my photo album!

Space Race! Done!

Apr 07, 2008

That's me finishing... stick a fork in me I'm so done! Really... I'm a crispy critter from lack of sunscreen.

The Space Race was sponsored by Ronald McDonald house... so guess what waiting for us at the Finish: Hamburgers! LOL

It was a fabulous day for riding. Winds were 8 to 10 mph from the East. Of course at some point we were going right into the wind, but I was still able to maintain my speed. I was all excited to see my average of 16.2 through 2/3's of the race, but then the wind came. :(

I did 60 miles in 3 hours 40 minutes with a final average speed of 14.6 and a high max speed of 20-something mph.

FYI, burned 6,887 calories, according to my heart rate monitor. Body-wise I feel good today (physically). If it weren't for the sun burn, I'd just feel like I had a hard workout. I'm ready for next weekend!

I also learned that PowerAide does not like me... had a small foaming episode; luckily it didn't turn into vomiting. I also learned that while I can't palate GU, I can handle, slowly, the PowerGel.

Just another thing to check of my "I'm gonna..." list. 

And last, a family pic. :)

Where, oh where did my gall bladder's function go?

Feb 11, 2008

Oh where, oh where can it be???

15 months out and my gall bladder goes bad? it took long enough; I thought I was in the clear!

I went to the ER last night with some severe back pain. I really thought that maybe I had hurt myself at the gym doing stiff legged dead lifts or maybe even when I did my one rep max on the chest press. I lived with the pain coming and going for 4 days - I have a pretty high threshold for pain.

But on Sunday I knew that something was not right. We went to Galveston Island for the day and I started with some fruit -- I had some pineapple which is pretty acidic... I started hurting no long after that. At lunch, I allowed myself to have one of the grilled cheese burgers we were making. I had about 3/4th of it... then the pain set in. I was hurting from about 3pm until 10pm that night. At 5:30, I took myself to the ER.

Because the pain was in my lower right back, I didn't even think about my gall bladder. They did an x-ray and CT. The CT showed the "sludge in my gall bladder". They referred me to a surgeon... just like that.

I called my PCP today, and he said we need to run more tests to be sure, but I have the symptoms indicating such. We'll see what comes down the road.

Other than that.. the scale is still moving. And sounds strange, but I"m glad to know something was wrong and that I was in tune with my body, as opposed to there being nothing wrong. I started to think I was whimping out on myself!


Jan 28, 2008

Happy News!
It's no secret that I get extremely frustrated by the scale. It just doesn't move for me, in spite of doing everything right (well, okay, I'm human... 95% of the time).

I haven't had anyone do my measurements for a while, so as you might imagine finding out on Saturday morning that my waist is now under 40" inches was something to behold. I was surprised at the 2.5" difference because the scale has not moved much since October. At 39" I know I'm no Barbie, but my waist has not been 39" since probably 8th grade.

My new trainer is excited for me. He's going to put me on a very specific food plan to see if the change will yield some new results. I'm also going to try to add some mid-day cardio to mix things up.

All other measurements stayed the same, but that's perfectly fine with me :)

Frost 50 = Done!
Yesterday I rode in the Houston Frost 50 bike ride. Let me just say, that the title is literal. It was a foggy, 42 degree morning in North Houston and I felt every bit of the cold. When the fog's dew accumulates on your face and then freezes, it looks like you have a frosty beard. It was so wild to see!!!

I just have share this too. There was a guy there who actually had his dog with him. HIS DOG. He had a covered basket-type thing that he carried him in (of course he was wearing a sweater... the dog, that is) and would walk him at every rest-stop. Oiy! I understand pet-love, but yesterday was borderline abuse for an animal.

What's next? The Gator Ride! 43 miles of hopefully warmer weather and a challengeing climb over over the Fred Hartman Bridge.

Oh, and it goes without saying how grateful I am that I can even ride a bike comfortably now. It's amazing how shedding almost 90 lbs. can make you feel. I take nothing for granted.

The ride itself was not challenging climb-wise, though there was one hill in the lat 4 miles. Average speed was only 13.2 and a average cadence of 69.8. My riding partner has a metal plate in her leg, so needless to say the cold weather was more than a challenge for her, but she was a trooper. We did not focus on speed or Cadence, but stayed together (especially since my partner was struggling); misery loves company, you know? That's not to say I didn't fire my legs from time-to-time, but I really believe that when you sign up together, you stick together.

13 months ago....

Dec 13, 2007

At the School..

Nov 15, 2007

Me and my Cass-a-frass celebrating "thanksgiving" -- little does she understand yet how much Mommy has to be thankful for!

About Me
League City, TX
Surgery Date
May 09, 2005
Member Since

Friends 45

Latest Blog 35
OH Conference in H-Town...
2 Years Out...
LiveSTRONG Challenge Pictures
First Solo Triathlon - Done!
MS150 - Done!
Space Race! Done!
Where, oh where did my gall bladder's function go?
13 months ago....
At the School..