Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions Shmesholutions

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Happy New Year from the most awesome self-rescuing Princess of all time (and space!), Princess Leia! I just love this hoodie. My best friend gave it to me for Christmas and it's my personal version of a "power suit." It puts a little "kick ass" in my mindset and a bounce in my step. Also, it's a size down from what I was wearing before, so BONUS!

Today marks the end of the New Year. It was a big weigh-in day for me. On November 1st, I was 200 lbs and today, I'm 177.8 lbs. 22.2 lbs down in two months! I'm pretty happy about it considering my rampant neurosis about facing the holidays with a healthy mindset for the first time ever. I won't say it was easy, but I will say for the first time, that it was successful! All I wanted to do was show a loss in the end and stay on track, and it looks like I managed to do that!

Tonight, a lot of people around the world will be making resolutions to lose weight in the New Year. Last year I was one of those people. Though it took me months to make good on my New Year's promise to myself, I finally did and here I am... 72.2 lbs lighter (or as a my friends like to point out, a fourth grader thinner!). For years I've been making that resolution and then ignoring it in the harsh light of day- the scalding reality when it came to facing the year+ of work it would take to lose the weight and the following lifetime of dedication to maintenance. I was completely lost and starting Nutrisystem allowed me to learn, bite by bite and work-out by work-out, what it takes to get the job done. I've learned so much about portions and balanced eating, let alone what I'm capable of. I'm really grateful for the opportunity that this program has given me to reclaim my life, but mostly, to make me feel like anything is possible with perseverance and an open mind. 

So this year, I'm not resolving to "lose weight," I'm resolving to meet my GOAL weight. I'm already more than half way there and I know it's not an unrealistic goal. I can't believe that it finally feels like it's IN SIGHT. It's always been a distant pipe dream for me. 

So that's my wish for all of us this year- The knowledge that we are completely capable of reaching our goals. It is possible and it will be worth all of the challenges that rise to meet us.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Shopping in My Closet!

My parents mailed me all my old "thin" clothes. I don't know if you're like me, but as I got heavier, I sorta kept some things around because I hoped one day I'd fit into them again. Whenever I saw them, they depressed the hell out of me so I left them at home when I finally moved out to NYC for good after college. Yet, whenever my parents tried to get rid of them, I'd put up a fight. I guess in my subconscious I really wanted to get healthy. My body and my will just had to catch up!

Well they all arrived yesterday and with very few exceptions, everything fit! I was pretty amazed since I think I always have a sort of distorted view of my own weightloss. It really put everything in perspective when I fit into things I have seen pictures of myself wearing and thought, "If only I could at least fit into that again, I could be a little less FILLED WITH SHAME, DESPAIR, AND SELF LOATHING." Haha! Well, folks! Time to puff out my chest and accept my own AWESOMENESS. Victory lap. Sadly a lot of the stuff is more for summer, but that just means it will fit even better by then! Heehee!

One big thing I noticed is that when I'm thinner, I wear SOOOO MUCH MORE COLOR. 


RAINBOW DASH COSTUME UPDATE! My pink contacts came yesterday as well as my shorts. I bought two sizes based on the measurements on the site. I wasn't sure I could fit into the smaller shorts, but it turns out I can! They'll look even better by the end of march, but I'm pretty confident in them looking good. Sidebar: I hope I don't FREEZE TO DEATH IN THIS SKIMPY COSTUME! I have finally assembled enough of the base pieces to line everything up and see how the whole costume is shaping up, so I thought I'd snap a pic and share it here with all of you!

I still need to style the rainbow wig, sew on rainbow details for the shirt and shorts, make the cutie mark design on the shirt, and get rainbow shoelaces! Oh... and make my boyfriend's costume. LOL! I've been working out a ton to prepare for the wearing of this costume, but I'm still thinking of wearing opaque tights or leggings with the shorts (for warmth and also because I don't want my legs to look crappy and ugly!)... but if I did, I'm not sure what color they should be. Anyone have any thoughts based on the palette here? Hopefully I live up to my own expectations! <3

Healthy Holiday Greetings

By Maria Clapsis
I've been spending the last week in recovery from my gallbladder surgery and it's been going pretty well. I spent each day slowly working my strength back up to what it was at the gym. I started just walking outside for half an hour at a time, then moved on to doing that on the treadmill so I could monitor heart rate and speed. Then I kept ramping that up in time, incline, and intensity every day until yesterday I finally was able get on the elliptical and do a 45 minute cardio session. After I see the doctor for my follow-up on the 27th, I'll probably get the ok to do high intensity interval training again. 

I've been eating 100% healthy this week since I've been stuck at the apartment which has been really nice. Not a lot of temptation out there- what luck for the holidays! I am headed to Connecticut to spend time with family for the next two days and I've heard that our Christmas Eve dinner promises to be pretty healthy. Filet mignon, spinach, and sweet potatoes. I'm bringing some Nutrisystem food to supplement throughout the holiday, but for the most part I'm giving myself a pass to splurge a little since I've been so good the entire season. I figure if there's ever a day to splurge, its the REAL CHRISTMAS DAY! 

It's weird. I think this is the first holiday season that I've successfully been able to lose weight. Oddly, it's not as hard as I feared- just takes some planning and a bit of will. It's easier to hold off on the little temptations when I know I'm going to have a treat looming on the horizon. :)

Well, I'm off to the gym! Not sure when my parents are arriving so I want to make sure I get in one last good workout before we head to Connecticut. Happy HEALTHY Holidays everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Post Operation Weigh-In

I had my first post surgery weigh-in today. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I figured my greatest loss would have been in the hospital where they didn't let me eat for about 6 days, but that didn't seem to be the case. I guess it wasn't until after my return home that my body finally decided to react to all the stress. I've been able to get my appetite back and stick to the program over the last few days and I'm pretty sure that jumpstarted my metabolism or something. Whatever it did, it gave my body what it needed and I dropped 4.8 lbs this week! I was all:

I know it's sort of not real and that I'll probably fluctuate or not lose at all this week, but my main focus is to just get back to normal physically. I want to stick to the program, since my appetite really hasn't been what it once was, and I want to work up to getting on the treadmill at the gym.

I've been trying to stay busy at home. I create little to-do lists for each day so I don't go crazy. I have to call to make some follow up appointments at the hospital today and check in with my health insurance to make sure everything gets pre-certified for the follow-ups. Luckily, once all that is done, I'll be able to spend some time playing Skyrim on my new gaming desktop. But first! It looks like the rain has let up so I'm going to go for a nice little recovery walk whilst the weather holds.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Road to Recovery

Well I got back from the hospital on Thursday afternoon after having surgery to remove my gallbladder on Wednesday morning. I can happily say that all went well aside from the doctor having to work around some scar tissue that had accrued from letting this go on so long.

Luckily my dad arrived on Tuesday night. I'm so lucky to have him. I was getting really tired of being too drugged to make informed decisions or being unable to fight for things that I needed because I was connected to an IV and weak from 6 days of no food and all the morphine being pumped into my system. I did have some wonderful nurses who I appreciated a great deal, but going through hospitalization all alone was a little scary and lonely and I was filled with relief when Dad got there. 

The only thing that made me super angry happened right before surgery started. They had the IV in my hand and were starting to prep me/put me out. The drugs going into my veins started to REALLY hurt and my heart-rate started rising and I begged someone to help me because it hurt so bad. They just kept telling me I was fine and going about their business- and when they got tired of listening to me, they smashed an oxygen mask onto my face. The next thing I knew, I was screaming in pain after surgery and crying my eyes out. I was so mad because I was helpless in that situation and even though I was in pain, they just shut me up till I was knocked out and they wouldn't have to listen to me. Not cool.

After surgery, I spent some time in recovery where they injected me with all sorts of pain killers and soon enough they took me to my room to sleep it off. Later in the evening I decided to try and walk a little bit, since that's one of the things they say helps with recovery the most. It was hard, but I did a few laps around my floor and soon enough I was able to move around unassisted at a reasonable speed. Of course, I was pretty full of drugs for the pain, but I felt good about my progress and my Uncle Jack came to visit me as well.

Best of all, they finally let me eat and drink. This was my reaction:

First, they gave me water and apple juice, and I swear it was like MANA FROM THE HEAVENS. I drank sooooo much water. My thirst could not be slaked by any amount of it. Later they brought me some fish, green beans and soup. They brought me a ton of other junk too, but I tried to eat light so that I could take it easy on my body. After all, without a gallbladder, my liver will be taking over some responsibilities. 

I had some trouble sleeping that first night, but I ended up just going for walks whenever I couldn't sleep. The next morning the doctors signed off on my discharge which I was ecstatic about going home. My dad made sure I got there alright and then stayed with me for a few days to help nurse me back to health and make sure I had everything I needed to stock my house for recovery. We went on a few walks and he helped me do some chores that needed doing around the house. My boyfriend came to stay as well, which was interesting since they had never met before. It was sort of adorably domestic watching both of them take care of me. I felt very loved and well looked after. I'm very lucky to have them. We all made an outing to see The Hobbit on Friday since I was disappointed that I had to miss the midnight release viewing plans that I had with my friends on Thursday night. We had a lot of fun, though of course the movie had its flaws. I had a little trouble concentrating because of the painkillers so I'll probably want to go see it again.

Funnily, the biggest struggle with recovery was... ::drumroll please:: Pooping. I know, I know, TMI, but HEAR ME OUT!The painkillers they give you make it hard to go and I hadn't been in over a week. Of course they give you medication to help, but it takes a while to kick in. It became PAINFUL because there was no room for more food (even though I was justifiably hungry after days and days of not eating), and because my organs had been jostled about quite a bit and they didn't take kindly to being shoved out of the way in favor of my body's refuse. Hahahahah! Sometimes I imagined that all of my organs were brawling over who deserved to annex who's apartment most in the new space in my abdomen, only to be thwarted by my intestines at the last moment. Anyways... I found it amusing, though it could be the oxycodone. For that reason, I've been trying to limit my doses of painkillers to times when I REALLY need them and that's seemed to do the trick. Yesterday I only took one dose after getting a coughing attack (which obviously really hurt) and today I've been pill free so hopefully I can pull through without them. 

My goal is to be back in the gym on Wednesday (a week after surgery), just walking on the treadmill to get my heart-rate up for a half hour. I've been building up bit by bit by taking a few easy 20 minute walks a day and hopefully I can stay on track that way. I don't want to let this episode distract me. I've been right back to my Nutrisystem diet as well now that I'm home, so at least I know I'm eating right even if if I'm not as active as I'd like to be. It's a little frustrating because this feels like a set back, but I'm trying focus on the positives like how much harder the surgery would have been to perform if I were still at my starting weight (not to mention a harder recovery), how willing I am to jump back into being active as soon as possible, and how positive my doctors were about my recovery process whilst I was still in the hospital. They all seemed surprised to see me up and about as much as I was. So, I have to be careful not to push myself too hard, but I also need to stay on track.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Adventures in the ER

I ran from my health issues for as long as I could, but they finally caught up to me.

I finally gave in and checked myself into the ER for severe abdominal pain after 3 months of intermittent suffering. After a Friday and Saturday of the most monumental pain I've ever experienced and not being able to keep meals down, I cracked and took a cab to the hospital. It's a good thing I did because it turns out I have gallstones and I need to get my gallbladder removed. The pain was being caused by stones being released and then getting stuck resulting in bile building up pressure behind them, which caused intense pain that lasted anywhere from 15 minutes to 15 hours. 

How did this happen? Well, my friends; extreme weightloss. My doctor told me weight gain or loss can cause this and when I told them about my success with my diet and exercise, they said, "Congratulations! ...But yes. Your weightloss definitely triggered this."

Why is my body betraying me after all the work I've done for it!? Curse it and its sudden but inevitable betrayal! Well at least it's not because of weight GAIN. They did a mini operation yesterday to clear out all the stones that were stuck in the tubes, but the big operation should be tomorrow. I'm shakin' in my boots because I've never had surgery before.

I have to say that the worst part is not being allowed to eat for the past five days. They said they might allow me liquids yesterday, but not till the doctor OKs it and with the operation this morning, I doubt they'll let me eat any solids. That will be almost a week without food and water if I can't eat till Thursday. Obviously I have an IV but there's a rock of hunger building in my stomach and its constantly growling. Meh!

Anyways. That's what's up over here! May your gallbladders remain stoneless and the odds be ever in your favor!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sick and Irritated

Well I spent the entire night writhing in agony like Luke on the Death Star with severe abdominal cramps or pain or something. I don't know. I've gotten this "illness" about once a month for the last three months and these "pain sessions" usually strike every three hours for 24 hours and each session lasts about 30 minutes (and no, not during "that time"). This thing is so intense, I can't even put it into words. I'm not religious, but I'm reduced to just sitting there and praying to every higher power I can think of with tears running down my face. It's like an iron vice wraps around the center of my rib cage and slowly starts cinching in more and more until I'm seeing stars. If I move to try to relieve the pain, it sends the pain up or down my back and shoulders so there's no escape.

Well last night this pain gave me NO respite. Normally this comes in those half hour waves but nothing would get rid of them this time around...until I finally jammed some muscle relaxers down my throat this morning in desperation (this is pain so incredible that I can think of or do nothing else whilst it is happening), annnnnd promptly vomited until there was nothing left to give. Pro? The pain immediately subsided. None of the other times have caused that to happen, so I'm not sure what that's about. I ate perfectly on plan. None of this started happening till I started my diet, but I really can't believe one has anything to do with the other. Needless to say, I'm confused and I don't know what to do. Well, technically, I should go to the doctor... Ha. I hate hospitals. I'm worried about my health coverage being able to take care of whatever this is. 

Seeing a doctor could BANKRUPT me if my insurance doesn't cover whatever this is because I'm one of those starving artist types. So... awesome. I get to suffer- literally-for my art. Not sure what I should do about eating today so I'm just gonna wait till I feel some appetite coming back and then keep it simple with meals. I'm giving it an hour and if I still feel fine, then I'll head to the gym.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's My Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday and my weigh in day! I can proudly say that not only am I 27, but I've FINALLY broken into the 180s! Over 60 lbs down and so many aches, pains, and swollen feet eliminated. Needless to say there was much celebration on all accounts. I was surrounded by friends I love and we laughed the night away playing on the WiiU and carousing till the wee hours of the night. I can't believe how far I've come in such a short time and to top it off, I'm nearly halfway to my goal weight! Just gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other :)

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As far as eating for the day, I pretty much had breakfast, my coffee with skim milk and Splenda and then had low sodium ramen for dinner and the fattest most delicious cake known to man. My best friend made me a Mint chocolate Icecream cake. People. This cake. Holy frak. So good, but here's why I fasted for the day: This cake= two layers chocolate cake, a middle layer of mint chip Oreo fudge swirl ice cream, and thin mint/dark chocolate icing. It was my birthday, so I can hardly be faulted for the indulgence, but clearly I didn't want to derail my progress completely- hence the fasting. WORTH IT. Heehee! I weighed myself this morning out of curiosity and I'm down half a pound so that worked out nicely! Now it's back to the plan and full steam ahead. No cheating till Christmas!

Lately I've been down on myself about this plateau I've been trying to push myself over and at the recommendation of friends both on Nutrisystem AND in my everyday life, I've been doing my best to find other ways to measure my achievements in weightloss besides the scale. I really think it's one of the healthiest things I've done in this whole program. I got out my measuring tape as so many of your comments suggested, I really tried to challenge myself at the gym to see how far my fitness level has come, and of course I kept track of comments made by friends and coworkers. Sometimes when we don't believe in ourselves, someone else comes along who does.

I work at Radio City Music Hall, and let me just say, when a Rockette doesn't recognize you at first and then says, "OH MY GOD Anne! You look incredible!" while dripping with 3,000 Swarovski crystals and glowing with glamor for the Christmas Spectacular, it feels pretty damn good! Someone else at work mistook me for a skinny co-worker and then was surprised to find it was me. I've also received a bunch of Facebook messages and Tweets from people who have been inspired to make a commitment to their own fitness and health because of what I'm doing- many congratulatory, but some calling me an inspiration! That seems so nuts to me, but it feels really good to know that what I'm doing for myself is helping other people face the same struggle we're all dealing with. It's always nice to know that you're having a positive effect on people and I'm grateful for that.