A Milestone, A Memory, And A Victory Redux–CI#94 (with video)

Here it is 25 July, the day I started Carb Cycling, the day that changed my life, the day I found my biggest key to healthy, sustainable weight loss.  What a year it has been!  From doing the work to decide to have weight loss surgery, to the work it was to take a step back on the advice of current weight loss surgery and thyroid patients,  to all of that being the reason I found Carb Cycling in the first place.

I have to be honest here.  I had heard of Chris Powell before and decided I wasn’t going to be a fan.  When the show Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition debuted I rolled my eyes at the notion of some other celebrity trainer setting normal folks up for unrealistic expectations.  I made that assumption without ever bothering to watch the show, of course.  Now that I know Chris and what he does and why and how he does it, I know he’s an absolute genius.

In less than a year, I went from that perspective to auditioning for a chance to work with Chris on the show.  That was work too.  Lots of tears, lots of shaking, lots of whiny conversations with my husband all while giving this Carb Cycling thing a go.

I was not considered for the show.

And that was work too.  A few tears and some shaking and still lots of whining–hey, I was disappointed.  Not only did I want to be on the show for me but for Chris–by all accounts he’s never had the challenge of a multiple chronic illness babe–and for all of you including the hundreds of my chronic brothers and sisters who do not know me and who go to his page asking for help.  I wanted to help Chris know how we’re different but still worthy.  It wasn’t to be and that’s okay because I know that is where my mission lies.  My journey, this journey is not just about me but it is about you too because when I am done I want you to know there is no chronic disease strong enough to stop you when you really dig deep and figure out what YOUR body needs.

In my celebration of this day and the previous 364, I decided to pull out the white jeans I wore on the day I had to fire my divorce attorney in open court while he was on the phone an entire state away and with my $1,000 retainer so I could agree to represent myself in my divorce proceedings and they fit.

Today for the first time in over five years (yes, I know the video says five but it’s really been longer than the more I think about it).  Near as I can tell it’s been at least six years since my divorce was seven years ago and my fibromyalgia hit me five years ago and I know I couldn’t wear them then.

Wait.

Back up.

“You represented yourself?,” you ask.

Yeah.

Kicked the other attorney in the ass too to the point the poor judge just kept staring at me like, “Who are you woman?”

It was one of my finest moments of badassery.

My then husband was already whoring around with his cousin (they’re now married) and refusing to step up to his kids and to me.  In the two years, I waited for that court date to arrive, I had precisely nothing better to do with my time than read Utah divorce code.  I knew it like the back of my hand so when the judge asked if I was willing to proceed without counsel my yes echoed so loudly in the quiet courtroom it startled everyone, even myself.

And, I also prayed a mighty prayer, “Dear God, please be with me…please allow me to know what the other attorney is going to say so I might have a few moments to collect myself before needing to respond.”

It was answered with perfection.

I was able to read his thoughts, collect myself, and respond with fierceness, even citing code a time or two.

I won every single outstanding issue and that smug little pipsqueak, okay both of them–my ex, his legal turkey–just stood there as white as my pants with their eyes bugged out.

Me and God and these white pants.

The linen blouse with the huge pink roses is still waiting for my core and bat wings to whittle down just a bit more before it fits too.

When fibro happened and the weight piled on so impossibly fast and when I found myself trapped in a body that was never going to be able to move the way I was used to moving it–sending 100-pound stacks of weights flying–I thought I would never be able to wear these pants again.  I almost gave them away.  The bad ass in me said, “No, you need to remember these.”

Then when fibro happened, I turned to one of the things I do best: reading.  I read all about moving bodies and how joints and muscles work.  I paid attention to Dr. Mark Pelligrino’s suggestion that body mechanics–fibronomics–are crucial to successful management of fibromyalgia.  I read about metabolism and health and fitness.  When I was done reading, I moved.

Yes, it hurt.

A lot.

At first.

But as I paid attention to all I read and learned I noticed ways to move my new fibro body better so fibro was not so much of an issue.  I started with a goal to move five minutes a day and for the whole first year I could not manage it more than three days in a row.

That was over three years ago.

Today, with the right amount of preparation and recovery I can do whatever I want.  Yes, sometimes fibro bites me for it because that is just part and parcel of the disease and not a big enough excuse for me to think I can’t move in whatever way I choose.  Sometimes, the bite is like a new puppy and sometimes a Great White Shark and sometimes I do not know beforehand which it will be but I move anyway because fibromyalgia is not a “get out of moving free” card for the rest of my life.  In fact, I know without a shadow of a doubt fibromyalgia is gives me more reasons to move than any 100 normal people I know.

Then about 18 months ago, I decided my weight was next.

I have known about my thyroid disease for over 20 years and confirmed Hashimoto’s Disease almost three years ago (suspected it for at least 15) so I read about that and when I was done reading I went to work.

I failed miserably and that is what lead me to decide to undergo a vertical sleeve gastrectomy only to change my mind and arrive here today…wearing these bad ass white jeans…the ones I just slide off without unbuttoning or zipping…what the hell is that about…a month ago I couldn’t zip them and I’ve only this week lost a single pound since the last time I tried them.

Anyway…

In case you missed it, the reason why I am succeeding now is I am actively reaching to my past, to my pre-fibro, pre-chronic babe life and pulling on every single shred of success I have ever known and duplicating the method I used to get what I wanted and applying it to fibromyalgia and my thyroid and tweaking it until I make it work with the new set of rules my body lives by.

The rules of weight loss are solid but they are not so inflexible that our stiff, chronic bodies cannot reach them.

There is a way.

It is work.

There is success…sometimes in the form of white jeans….and 31 pounds down in my first year (and when I have never, not once, not ever lost 31 pounds in a single year you better believe I’m sashshaying in these jeans and my memories of a different victory.

The bad ass…she lives…no THRIVES.

 

My “Unoffical” Weight Loss For The Year, CI#93B (with video)

Exactly one year ago today I weighed, 277.4 pounds.  Today I weighed in at 249.6…HOWEVER…and this is why I’m calling it unofficial…I’m retaining water and flaring like a beast…but on 3 July I weighed 247.4…for a total and what I am going to call my OFFICIAL weight loss of 30 pounds.

My fellow fibro gals and guys this stupid beast can pack on the pounds overnight and my best advice: Do whatever you need to so that does not mess with your head.

Anytime the scale takes a “fake” jump I just do not count it.  Nope.  Now, if I’ve been horking down the goodies I will absolutely own and record it but gains from water retention and/or flaring, which also causes your muscles to store water and glycogen, there’s no way in hell I am ever going to say “Oops, my bad,” to that.

Here’s my Fitday.com screen shot of my weight loss.  Each one of those green dots represents a day the scale moved up or down.  There are approximately 36 down dots and I’m not bothering to count the up ones (nor did I count the down ones unless they were lower than the most recent lowest dot so going up and then down did not count until it passed the previous lowest dot).

Screenshot 2014-07-09 17.55.08Just a note about the screenshot.  To give you an accurate representation of what my weight loss looked like through the year I needed to change my “goal weight” to 247.4.  Obviously that is not my goal since I do not have a weight loss goal but in the interest of full-disclosure my next “goal weight” is 236.6–the weight I was before fibromyalgia found me.  That’s right I am just 10.8 pounds away.  I had dearly hoped to reach it today but considering my recent thyroid med change only produced a whopping .8 pound loss for the month of June it just was not in the cards.  Finding that number is the ultimate middle finger to fibro.  I know I will get there but I also know right now my body is fighting my thyroid to have a functioning metabolism and until that battle is through the very best I can do is to stay me and do all the good things I normally do.

So that’s it kiddos…30 pounds in one year…almost double my “normal” average quarter of a pound a week.  Read that again.  Even WITH fibro and a funky thyroid I DOUBLED my normal weight loss.

DO NOT LET YOUR DISEASE–no matter what it is–DEFINE WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT DO.

You are better than that.  Your body deserves better than that so if weight loss is on your mind you just pick yourself up and go for a walk because that has been the “magic” I have used.  Healthy food in the right quantity and movement appropriate for my battered body is what brought me here today.

People always ask “what’s your secret” and I always laugh and say, “Hard work.”  I do find it interesting that it is rare for someone to ask what the hard work is but in the event they do I share my daily routine, no matter how much I hurt–even today–is making sure I burn MORE calories than I eat.  I hurt, I move.  I don’t hurt, I move a little more.

Flares are never an excuse to stuff my face with crap to “ease my pain” and people who do that make me entirely crazy.  People…sugar is a known inflammatory agent so when your body is going berserk it is really the last thing you should be giving yourself.

Feed your body…not your pain.

No matter how comforting that sugary food feels you are wrecking your body and prolonging your pain.

Now while there is no magic to the scale creeping ever-downward, keeping myself sane with the pace and being happy with what my fibro body will allow me to do when my soul wants to run–oh if only my body would let me I would be a 5k running freak.  My real work happens–IN MY HEAD–because the difficulty level is second only to dealing with my thyroid body’s nonsense.

Do you notice I separate them from each other and who I really am and what I really want to be?

As long as my soul soars, I will THRIVE to find that balance with my different “bodies”–thyroid and fibro but also defective hip, knee, and spine–because they are just parts of my body and my soul is all mine.  Perhaps it sounds like a silly head game and I guess it is but it is also how I cope.

I am the author of my experience and my diseases are the annoying punctuation.

Today I celebrate one year.

Today I hurt like hell and to the point I cancelled part of my day–yeah, if you know me at all how often do you hear me say that–that’s where my pain levels are and I am celebrating anyway.

It’s called THRIVING.

Use the vents in the fireplace: Multi Animal Print top, December 2012, Black Jumper, December 2013 and Brown floral print, today.

Progress

IMG_5672

*Drum Roll Please*–And How This is Going To Go Down, CI#93A

Since I’m all about giving you an honest peek into my journey, let me just say I am a hyper lil’ ball o’ spaz *HUGE GRIN*

I thought I was going to feel really bummed this morning since my year is going out on a whimper in the weight loss department but instead I am so flippin’ excited about where I have been, where I am right now–all hyper and all–and where I am going to go in the next year.

It’s THRILLING!!!!!!

So here’s how I’ve decided to let these next few blog posts play out, each Check-In (CI) is going to have a number and a letter and there will be a video in just one of that days posts and I’ll put “with video” in the title line.

Right at this very moment, I’m too spazzy to be coherent…lol…I need to make a list of the things I want to share so I don’t end up overwhelming us both.

Today is my 365th day on my weight loss journey.  One year.  One year that at the beginning I thought would have a very different end.  So much as changed about this journey–including the name of this blog three times–and none of it is bad just different than my vision when I started.

And that brings me to one of the biggest lessons I want to share…Have a plan AND be flexible.

Kiddos the truth is you can do all the research in the world to give you all the knowledge in the world to make a “right” decision about your health BUT if you’re not willing to learn, grow, and even change your mind along the way you are going to be missing out on the whole point.

Here’s MY truth:  If I had stuck to the my plan to have a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, there is more than a fair possibility I could be dead right now.

I am not about to lie to myself and I’m certainly not going to lie to you but if I had gone through with the procedure with my thyroid being out-of-control and still NOT lost weight there is zero doubt in my mind I would have been suicidal to the point I might have done something in a moment of despair.

Maybe that sounds a little heavy for someone who is bouncing off the walls but it is also part of what I am experiencing right in this moment of contemplation.  I am grateful for the wise sleeve sisters who sent me messages expressing their concern about making such a drastic change to my body without a good doctor managing my thyroid.

I am grateful I took a step back to reevaluate my plan.

I am grateful to be sitting here right now feeling grateful.

In case you’re wondering, weight loss surgery is not totally off the table.  And, I am still looking for a good thyroid manager.  Yes, I do have a kick-ass endocrinologist in Las Vegas and the truth is he is in Las Vegas and I am not.  I am still looking for someone local to me who accepts my insurance and who is interested in managing my care.  If at the end of the day, great thyroid management does not help my weight loss efforts I am fully open to talking with a surgeon again.

All of this hyper-ness AND serious contemplation IS the journey.  Maybe these details are not your journey and that’s cool but I promise no matter who you are this is going to be your pattern too.

My best advice:

Get comfortable and enjoy the ride. 

Stay open. 

Be willing to change. 

Be willing to stand up for yourself and support your decisions. 

Take confidence in your own innate wisdom. 

Take confidence in your medical team–and if you don’t have one, get one and if you do have one and you’re not confident make changes. 

Own your journey. 

Take full responsibility for every moment–not just the successes but the not-so-successful moments too because it is okay to fail “a moment” as long as you are not too proud to stand up, dust yourself off, say whoops, and move on in the same moment (yes, sometimes it takes a while to get to that point but the faster you can go to whoops to back on track the less you are going to be fighting yourself).

So for now, I’ll leave you right now with this: In this beautiful moment I am feeling everything…and it feels fine…and I’ll be wearing new clothes in new sizes today so there’s going to be a tiny little lift in my step and twinkle in my eye.

364 Days Ago I Could Not Sleep, CI#92

On this night a year ago, I knew I was taking a big step.  I was terrified.  I had been down this road so many times I was not sure I could really do it again.

I have been letting myself wander through all the memories…and Old Navy…Yeah, I can fit in their clothes now...total Non-Scale Victory!!!!

This has been an amazing year and I am so excited to let it unfold for you over the next few days.

Today was all about ending stronger than I started.

Oh I jumped in with both feet last year but I was still so nervous and timid.

Today I barreled through like it was nothing.

I’m not feeling the greatest, I feel a weather-headache coming on, and my bad hip and knee are screaming but today I know so much more about my body and I knew I would be okay…uncomfortable but okay.

 

 

Maybe It’s A Stretch…And I Don’t Care, CI#91

I have said a bazillion times throughout my chronic life talking it out is always helpful when you are talking in a positive, moving-forward sort of way.  This morning I had a moment of crystal clarity.

Yesterday I admitted to pouting about my weight-loss-aversary on Wednesday.  Honestly,  I am still pouting a little.

But…

In asking myself the tough question, “Did you sabotage yourself?” and waiting for the real answer, the real issue to reveal itself–No, the truth is the medication and dosage was damaging my body and therefore it needed changed–I also started thinking about how I first found Carb Cycling.

If you remember, I was prepping for a vertical sleeve gastrectomy when I started this blog and it was nearly a month before I even learned what Carb Cycling is.

And slowly the light dawned…

I did not start Carb Cycling until later in July.

*cue bells, whistles, and a shaft of purple glitter-filled light*

I opened up my trusty Fitday journal and went back 12 months.

My 28 July journal entry reads like this:

“Holy shit…this carb cycling thing works…three days and my plateau is busted.”
Yeah that means that even before July was over last year I had already stopped losing.

Not even a whole month!!!!

That is the kind of nonsensical behavior I have been putting up with from my body most of life.  There were so many months I would lose maybe a pound one week and then nothing for weeks on end.  My longest plateau was 11 months….YES MONTHS!!!!!!!

Carb Cycling changed all of that.

Right now is the only time I have been stuck for more than 10 days since I started using it.  And I know Carb Cycling isn’t the problem.

*insert lots of muttering about stupid doctors, thyroids, and lame medications*

*Shake it off*

Anyway that makes my Carb Cycling start date 25 July.

16 extra days.

I’ll take ’em 🙂

And I will celebrate both days because both days are a turning point in my personal weight loss journey….which may not be all it seems.

My best advice: JOURNAL!!!!  Because I journal I was able to know what I was doing a year ago, because I journal I was able to give my body 16 more days to reach that “magic” milestone, because I journal I was able to lift myself out of a funk, because I journal I was able to find hope, because I journal I empowered myself to keep pushing forward.

Weight Loss With Thyroid Disease Is Not Elegant, CI#89

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I haven’t been here in a while.  I should be smacked.  Seriously.

I do have some good reasons–the biggest one is my life took a dramatic change (mostly for the better) and my time has been compromised.  This blog and all other writing and editing kept falling farther from the top of my list each day as I was learning to reorganize my time.  In reality the changes have taken a bit of adjusting to.  The truth is that adjustment period was over a couple of weeks ago.

I think most writers will tell you that any writing stoppage, no matter how legitimate the reason, becomes this battle of wills to get started again.  Maybe to you non-writers that sounds like a giant bunch of BS and honestly maybe there is some, especially these past 10 or so days when the urge to write has been strong.  But that’s just 10 days.

I am here now and that is what counts.  Right?

Yes.

So 11 more check-ins and 10 more videos to go.  I got this.

My weight-loss-aversary is in three days and I’ll have some new photos to share next weekend.

In the meantime, I am struggling through a thyroid medication change now.  My weight loss came to a screeching halt and I am frustrated.

So not how I anticipated the last days of this challenge and year to pass.

In keeping with my personal goal of being honest with myself, the truth is I’m massively bummed to be stuck right now.  That 365th day is going to pass no matter what I do but I would be a total liar if I didn’t admit my disappointment it’s going out on a whimper.

However, my twelve years of weight loss experience has me well-versed in being a loser–not so much of weight–but of goals and deadlines.

I know, I know it’s all self-imposed.  But if you know me at all you know I love blowing past my goals and deadlines.

This just feels…blah….and I am trying to shake it off.  It’s not like I haven’t felt hostage to my body most of my life.  I admit I am pouting.  I have even considered the possibility I sabotaged myself.  I would be a fool not to at least wonder.

However, I keep going back to being in the exam room with Mr. Big Shot endocrinologist and hearing him tell me my thyroid is destroyed and that the chronic elevation of Reverse T3 is wreaking havoc on my entire body including my muscles, heart, and brain.  It’s scary sh*t!  So the reality I need to deal with is despite any weight loss success I have had over the past year, my levels needed changed and changing thyroid medication is never a one-and-done proposition.  For example, it took my osteopath and I eight months to bring my TSH from 134 to 5.86 and that is about a normal length of time.  I am trying to be very patient with the process but honestly when the medication change slammed on the weight loss brakes I really just wanted to jump up and down and scream.

Yes, I know logically and rationally it is more important to correct my RT3 level than to lose weight.  My head knows it probably better than anyone except my doctor.  But my heart, she dreams big dreams.

Besides, I am rarely accused of being logical or rational.

*smirk*

I want it all…NOW…damnit.

*deep breath*

The only antidote I have is trying to stay present.  Today is Reward Day and tomorrow I start a new week with carb cycling.  Today I am wearing a skirt that was a bit too snug and a shirt I did not even own a year ago.  Today, I am on my third attempt at gluten-free bread when a year ago I was not convinced “gluten intolerance” was a real thing.  Today I am lighter and more healthy and active than I was a year ago.

Today I am also still frustrated by my slow weight loss…oops I kinda fell off the positive train didn’t I?

But this is real.

I can talk myself up for hours and BOOM knock myself right back down again.

And….I forgot to do my measurements this morning *facedesk*

It’s not pretty but this is where I am at right now.