Saturday, May 31, 2008

How fun is this?

I got this red shirt out of the laundry tonight and as I picked it up I realized that my clothes are starting to look smaller to me. I laid it out on one of my best shirts from my heaviest days. I had to take a picture. The difference was amazing. The pink one is size 30/32 and the red one is size 18/20. Now it may have tightened up a bit in the wash, but just to make sure it hadn't really shrunk significantly I put it on and it still fits, so this comparison is legit.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

For the first time in a really long time. . .

. . .I had a picture taken of me that I liked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

60 pounds gone!

I reached this milestone this morning! Amazing. I am truly blessed to have been able to have this surgery and such consistent success with my weight loss.

Hannah weighs 61 pounds. I've nearly lost Hannah. Rachel weighs 75, so together, they're just 5 pounds short of my ultimate goal for weight lost.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Living more

As I'm becoming less (physically), I'm living more. Today I mowed the lawn--on a riding mower. Brad had to finish up and do the edges and stuff, but it was so much fun and so out of my previous comfort zone. I was also out there picking up twigs blown down from our tree in the last storm with the kids. It was not physically hard at all. These are the kinds of things that 58 pounds ago I would not have participated in. It really felt good.

I wore my contacts for a few hours today, too. I need to get used to them again in order to wear them all the time.

Here I am mowing the lawn. The look on my face in the closer-up one is totally genuine. If you click on the picture, you can see it better. I wasn't hamming it up for the camera. I had just turned a curve and was laughing at the fun of it all.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

In which I come out of hiding

I'm home from church today with a sick Adam. He's sleeping now so I actually have some good computer time.

A few days ago I tried on some old jeans for the heck of it. They're size 20. I was a size 30/32 at the beginning of this journey. I stopped buying jeans after the size 20s, so I haven't had any on in years. I had tried these jeans on a while back, but couldn't get them past my thighs. Well, this time they made it past my thighs and if I sucked in pretty tight, I could get them buttoned and zipped. I was actually wearing a size 20 jeans! Amazing. They have no give to them, so I couldn't even really sit down in them. I took a picture and emailed it to my sister, Cyndi. Our conversation was very enlightening. She lovingly told me that I look smaller in my jeans and that I don't look much smaller in my baggier clothes. Even the new things I recently bought are kind of baggy.

I realized that I was still hiding inside my baggy clothes. If they're baggy, then people can't see my flaws and the parts of me that are still fat. For example, my upper arms are a real source of frustration for me. They have gotten less fat, but much more wobbly and they're still very big. So most of the time I'm dressing in baggy things, I think I'm trying to hide flaws.

So, since Cyndi lives hours away and can't come shopping with me (that would be my ideal setup) I took my entire family with me to Wal-mart and I tried on some new jeans. I picked up the 22s because that's what size I am. Oh, I guess not. I'm actually a size 20 in some of them. So I ended up buying a size 20 pair of jeans with some stretch to them. They are snugger than I would have picked, but Brad said they looked the best on me. Besides that, I'm getting smaller all the time, so they'll work longer. Hannah gave me a hoot and holler every time I emerged from the dressing room. My family is great on my self-esteem.

I found that the size 20 was consistent with shirts I bought as well. So without realizing it, I had gone down another size. No wonder things were looking baggy. They were baggy to start with and I am getting smaller.

Yesterday I also received a very generous gift of nice hand me downs from a friend who has also had the surgery. (Like four big boxes or more.) There are things I can wear now and for the next two or three sizes down from here. That was huge for me.

After sorting through the new things, I cleaned out my closet of my old things. What a catharsis. I had a whole stack of things that weren't even worthy of passing on to someone else. That went straight to the trash. I'm in the process of giving the rest to people who are still at that point in their journey.

It is like coming out of hiding to wear things that actually accentuate my figure. It's nice having a figure to accentuate. Or at least the beginnings of one.

Another thing I did that's part of this whole coming out of hiding theme is get a lot of my hair cut off. I got several inches cut off. I do like the new do, and it's good to not hide behind lots of hair.

I'm trying to work up to wearing contacts again. Another thing I hide behind are my bold, dark glasses. I like them, but they are a shield of sorts. I have contacts to wear, so I just need to do it. It feels good to not be hiding anymore.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Here are some of the pictures I was talking about in my previous post

Deleted these because I don't want to look at them anymore. If you didn't see them, they were just ones from my fatter times.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I have a lot I want to post about. I've been doing a lot of thinking. Here are some things I'm dealing with:

First, I've been looking back at old pictures, trying to figure out when the last time was that I weighed about this same weight. I haven't really figured that out, but what I did find is that I'm really surprised at how heavy I was during our whole time in St. Louis. In fact, I'm quite embarrassed to look at those pictures of me. I just look so big. I'm embarrassed for myself at that time. I'm glad I didn't have this same perspective about myself then, or there's no way I would have been able to function in life. I would have avoided social situations even more than I did. I wouldn't have gone into public at all if I could have helped it.

So after being embarrassed to see these old pictures of myself, I made another realization. That is that I have to be kind to myself, even my fat self. I can't lapse into old-self loathing. I need to accept that that's who I was at that time and that's okay. I did a lot of good things during that time, and the fact that I was so heavy doesn't negate those things. I spent a lot of time with my sister and her family who are so dear to us. I mothered my two sweet daughters. I taught a great bunch of kids in seminary for two years. I made a lot of great friends who like me in spite of that weight. It's sad to me that weight makes such a difference to me in how I perceive myself, but the reality is that it does. I am just trying to process all of this from this new perspective of not being that same size.

So the second big thing that is on my mind is trying to come to terms with the fact that I have lost a significant amount of weight, but that I still have a lot left to lose. I'm trying not to dismiss my success by looking forward at how far I still have to go, but still being realistic that even though I look a lot better and feel a lot better that I am not finished. In this weight loss marathon, I still need to keep jogging, not slow down for a walk, or even sit to rest.

I go back and forth feeling beautiful and so much smaller to seeing myself in a mirror and being reminded that I'm still very heavy and feeling sad about that. Mostly I'm feeling good about the progress, but that emotional back and forth is not something I had anticipated.

I had a good chat with my surgeon's new nutritionist last week. After talking with her, I was able to recommit to making great choices in my food. I had let a few things creep into my diet that probably aren't conducive to weight loss at this point for me. So right now, I'm at a really good point in my food choices and feeling in control of things. Of course, having good restriction from my band helps immensely.

I did have what the lap-band forum people call a PB tonight. It stands for productive burp. I was having meatloaf and steamed cabbage for dinner and only after 3 or 4 bites I realized I had either eaten too fast or not chewed enough and that this food was coming back up. I went into the bathroom and it came back up. It's similar to vomiting, but not quite as traumatic. So now I'm on liquids and very soft foods until tomorrow evening. The stoma (opening to the stomach where the band is restricting) can get swollen after a PB episode, so it's best to take it easy and let it calm down otherwise it can become a cycle of eating and PBing to the point that you can't keep anything down, even liquids. I have read a lot of experiences and hope to learn from others mistakes. :)

Life is crazy-busy right now with daycare and family and church. We're having a talent show/potluck on Saturday that I'm in charge of. I'm also playing my flute for it. It should be fun. We'll have to see how it goes.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Monday, May 5, 2008

New pictures

I'm going to post this picture in the body of a posting so you can click on it to enlarge it if you'd like. I don't know why the other pictures aren't clickable.
By the way, my ankles are swollen tonight for some reason, so they are actually smaller most of the time.

We took official progress pictures (in that same outfit) and there are only some subtle differences this month, so I'm not going to bother posting them. Instead I'm posting a couple of pictures of myself recently in regular clothes. Enjoy!