Six Months–Shrinking

This, my six month sleeveversary, post is dedicated to all the newbies, the still deciding, and those who just need to take a step back and really see how far they’ve come…because like I always say:  This journey will eat your brain if you let it…
As most of you know, I was sleeved 8 March 2016 so I just passed my six months. I do not ‘celebrate’ my surgery day because that’s just the surgeon doing his job.
Instead I celebrate my first full day home from the hospital because that’s the day it’s all on me now.
That was yesterday. 
Of course, I have been extra contemplative. 
It’s only natural. 
Extra contemplative, however, to the point I have written this six month post more than three times already. 
This journey cannot be contained in a reasonable amount of words so I decided to pick the ones that would likely help others as much as they have helped me.
Anyway…
I scooted out of the house yesterday before taking my measurements. This morning I was half dressed before remembering and stripped back down just to mark the occasion. But, not before debating if I really “needed” to take them.
Thankfully, I decided that since I have to be out of the house before 8 a.m. tomorrow that I had better stop now and record the numbers. It only took me about five minutes and then I got dressed so we could go out to breakfast.
 
It wasn’t until coming home that I was actually able to reflect on the numbers and compare my progress.
“Whoa!!!”
 
All the “big” body parts–chest, waist, hips, thighs–have shrunk more than one inch for every month I am post op.
 
A whole inch.  Per month.  Minimum.  Per body part.
 
I am six months post-op so that means I am at least six inches narrower than I was. To give yourself and idea go find a ruler and look at six inches.
 
But here’s the thing my chest (bra band) was the smallest shrinker at 7.25 inches.

My waist: 9.75 inches.

My hips: 10.25 inches.

My thigh: 6.25 inches (right leg only because I’m right handed…some people measure both but I don’t).

All the ‘little’ body parts–neck, bicep, forearm, calf, ankle–all shrunk from 1.5 to 3.75 inches.
Actually one of the things I am really loving about my journey is I am shrinking in nice proportions.
 
What I really want to stress especially to you newbies is thanks to the ‘joys’ of thyroid disease I am a slow loser by comparison. I try not to compare but most post-ops lose so much faster than I have so I’m only mentioning it to give you an idea that my results are slower than what many people experience.
Slower.
But, still awesome…and it feels great!!!!
be-proud-of-yourself

Now take a look at that ruler again.
Put it up next to your body.
Make yourself see it.
Half of a foot, at least.
 
Six months.
So what have I been contemplating?
Well, like I said I cannot contain it in a reasonable amount of words so I have decided my focus thought for September is: “Self-Reflection.”
I have changed in more ways than size.
Thoughts I had at the beginning no longer matter.
Things I never thought to think or at least thought I would not be thinking about at this point are flooding my brain.  The only logical thing to do is let myself think.
My journey has always been about becoming rather than losing so one of the big questions I am asking myself is: Who am I becoming?
So far, I’m liking the answers.
Plus, I’m still waiting on my thyroid retest results anyway and since my body is clearly unimpressed with my efforts of late now is the perfect time to think.  I am sure my doctor will be lowering my thyroid medication so it will be a few more weeks before my body is rid of this stupor.  Instead of driving myself bananas I am just going to sit right here and be…(and by sit right here I mean while doing all the things I know I am supposed to, to elicit results).
Skinnier…by at least half a ruler and close to a full ruler at the widest part of my body.
nobody-sees-the-number-on-the-scale
 

August Goals: Be The Moon

My August plan is rather simple: Be The Moon.

No, I’m not sleep deprived.

Wait, yes I am but I thought of this before I woke up at 2 a.m.  So ppbbbttt!

Be the moon?  What does that mean?

The moon seems so mystical and mysterious but she’s really not.  She hangs out in the sky doing her job.  She orbits the Earth and in doing so she pulls the tides.  Her consistency is so predictable you can time her efforts.  The moon is never frittering around with things that don’t matter.  She knows her place in the Universe and she does her job.  Simple.

Be the moon!!!  I can do that.  I know the work.  I know I can do it.

Here’s how I am going to be the moon…

Liquids, minimum 80oz
Protein, minimum 70g
Fiber, minimum 20g
Supplements, daily
Prescriptions, daily
Movement, daily

That’s my job as a post-op weight loss surgery patient anyway, right?  Yes, right!

If I just produce my average results, I could hit 199.9 by the end of August.

But…199.9 is not my goal.

My goal is to be consistent.  Like the moon.

When I do it, goals are crushed.

That damned ol’ scale will fall but I don’t need to arrive at the end of the month at the same time as a particular number.  The number will happen…as long as I am consistent so the more predictable and moon-like I become the faster I’ll get to see it.  It’s not a race, however, it’s a commitment to doing all the little things.

Excuse me while I put myself into orbit…

In My First 100 Days

I have planned this post for quite some time but I’m just finishing it up this morning.  It’s too hot to sleep with the desert southwest under a heat advisory–111 degrees today–so I might as well wrap this up before I decide too much time has passed and it feels lame.

My 100th day home from the hospital was Saturday June 18.

It seems unreal.

When I had 100 days before surgery, it felt like time was crawling.

But isn’t that always the way?

So what has the first 100 days brought me?

Let’s start with the obvious:

50.9 pounds of weight lost
3.8-percent body fat lost
25.25 inches lost (measuring right limbs only)
4 jean sizes down
3 shirt sizes down
3 dress sizes down
1-1.5 shoe sizes (yes, for reals and depending on the shoe)
2.25 pounds of muscle GAINED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Those are all measurable outcomes and they are completely mind blowing to the point I knew I had to frame them in this context.  I needed to write this out because I need to see it so much more than I need to share it.  I know my fellow WLSers totally understand how the brain and body are so out-of-sync especially at the beginning.

But what else have I seen, done, heard, and felt in these first 100 days?

The inside of a swimming pool…
I can hold Tree Pose again…
“Slow down…you’re walking too fast.”  (It’s hilarious to me actually)…
I have little baby abs starting to poke out from under my ‘melon’ of belly fat…
My rib cage…(but when I lay on my back there’s a good size depression)
My son said, “Mom…You’re getting some guns.”
I can do a forward fold and put 3/4 of palm on the floor…
I jumped across a small ditch but it was wider than my leg span so it was a full jump…
Realizing just how utterly amazing my nutritionist is…
My commitment to keep my goals health-focused rather than scale focused is stronger…
I can wash my whole back…(with a jacked shoulder this is a big deal)
A greater sense of confidence in the whole of my journey…
I trust my body…(so weird after all these years of putting in the work without reward)…
Less to almost zero acne …(46 years old and I can FINALLY stop using zit cream)
The positive changes it’s had on my family’s attention to their own health…
How many times I did NOT resort to food when faced with unimaginable stress…
That I actually learned to like water…(most days, most days…lol
That I haven’t needed to be perfect one million percent of the time…
I want to do squats…

I could probably do this for an hour or more but I think this is a good list to hold on to.

My point is having weight loss surgery does change the number on the scale but it also changes you and those around you in so many ways that cannot be quantified or anticipated.  I am grateful 99.99-percent of the changes in my body, life, relationships, and world have been positive.  So grateful!!!

It has definitely not been all sunshine and daisies.  It’s been a lot of hard work and making choices I would have rather not like getting that next bottle of water to go down or fixing myself a meal slightly different than the one I cooked for my family.  But, isn’t that the junction of success…doing the things you know are wise and prudent even when you would really rather not?

I love this quote by Jim Rohn and think it absolutely applies to the post-op life.

Jim Rohn Quote

This Month Was Better

In case you don’t remember, last month my home-from-the-hospital anniversary ended up being rather emotional.

My progress was stalling.

My body felt off.

The old, familiar feelings of “WHY, WHY, WHY…isn’t this working?” were swirling.

Thankfully, I recognized and honored those feelings and decided to share them with my seriously amazing nutritionist.  Through a chain of emails we pinpointed the suspected culprit in my diet and eliminated it immediately.  Ten days after discontinuing the preservative-laden lunch meat my body felt like it was getting back to normal–yep, a protein…a legal, nutritionist-approved protein–knocked my body out of whack and ground my progress to a halt.

I didn’t assume I was in a natural stall.

I listened to my body.

I did NOT listen to people who were telling me I should just ‘be happy’ with my progress so far or that I was being too hard on myself.  They haven’t lived in this body so there’s no way they could know but I couldn’t help but wonder maybe they were right.

Instead, I asked for help with confidence I was right something was wrong.

I found solutions.  Simple, simple, simple solutions to get me back on track.

I’ve been trying to lose weight for over a decade and have experienced a similar scenario more times than I can count but I have never had the level of professional support I have now and for me that is what is making all the difference.

Yes, having a vertical sleeve gastrectomy helped.  A lot.

BUT…

Without the custom attention of my brilliant nutritionist, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

I like it here.

I like the success I’m having.

I really like how almost predictable it is.  It’s only almost predictable because let’s face it…autoimmune disease is a roller coaster of crazy body blowouts…but I have been able to wrangle my body back into submission faster than ever.

I like having confidence in myself and my body.

I have never experienced any of this on previous attempts.

This…weight loss surgery…was the right tool for ME.

After last month’s experience, I also learned something new.  Despite my attempts at non-nonchalance, the remembrance of the day I came home from the hospital does matter to me.

It is a natural benchmark.  But, there is no requirement for me to have any emotional investment whatsoever.  I certainly do not need to be freaking myself out with goals, celebrations, photos, or anything else.

After last month, I decided I didn’t want to do that to myself again.  So, I didn’t.

This month instead of piling a heap of expectations on the day I barely let it register including moving my three month check up from the day before ‘the day’ to the week after.

You know as well as I do had I driven to Las Vegas the day before my body would have swelled up like a toad.  It always does.  Bodies with chronic venous insufficiency do not like to be captive in a car.  I would have stepped on the scale the next morning feeling defeated.

Seriously, who needs to ‘celebrate’ what has become a very positive step in recapturing my health with feeling betrayed by one’s own body?

Not this girl.

Not any more dammit!!!

Instead I realized I am super close to some milestones and so I tightened up my eating and made sure I was really holding myself to the line and I lost the most last week. 3.2 pounds, since lunch meat decided to go rogue in my guts.

Let me just tell you…

THAT FEELS BETTER!!!!

Not just because 3.2 pounds is nearly SEVEN TIMES what my non-wls surgery good weeks looked like but because I focused on what I could do.

Such a simple, subtle change.

I am now exactly one pound from losing 45 pounds since coming home from the hospital.

I have never, not even when I was lifting over 100 pounds in the gym, have I lose 45 pounds in a single year.  Probably not even in two years.

Then I’m exactly 8.6 pounds away from achieving my lowest known adult weight.

In between, there’s the 50 pound milestone.

It’s not just the poundage.

I’m down 3.4-percent body fat too.

For most people, you need to lose 7-12 pounds of body weight to lose 1-percent body fat.  What that means is I am losing mostly fat and retaining my metabolically active tissue aka muscle.  What that means is even though some people might call weight loss surgery the ‘easy way out,’ I am managing to keep my body’s metabolism from being destroyed by rapid weight loss (Have you seen the Biggest Loser studies?)

And, I sashayed into Old Navy on Friday and could zip every single pair of size 18 jeans I pulled even though while in the act of pulling them I was steeling myself for disappointment.

No more ‘big girl’ clothes!!!!!

I did take a peek at my measurements a few days ago but stopped when I saw I had lost over an inch from my waist since my last check three weeks ago.  I was trying to surprise myself…and I did…but now I want to wait until the day before my check-in for the full surprise.

I owe myself that much.

Do you know how crazy cool that feels to know and accept it too?

Adoring Your Body

 

 

Time. Real Change Takes Time

11 Days…It took ELEVEN DAYS for my body to get back on track after discontinuing the lunch meat for my body to say, “Okay, we can lose again now.”

First, I’m thrilled!!! I knew things would start moving again simply because they had been going so well. In some ways, these 2.2 pounds feel better than the some of the 40 I’ve already lost because they’re the first I really had to work for.

Second, my the big point I want to make is even when you identify things that might be slowing your progress and you make the necessary positive changes you have to be extra diligent and patient while your body is healing from the ‘damage’ you have done. It all happens so innocently enough too. For me, it was lunch meat.

If you’re struggling there IS a reason and it’s a whole heap of work to figure it out.

Do it.

Don’t quit.

In my case, it’s been a lot of reasons over the course of 14 years. But I haven’t given up.

Not that I’m a fan of the BMI chart but I’m also under 40 for the first time in I don’t even know how long.

Of course I also owe my amazing nutritionist a huge thank you!  She is literally changing my life!  Yes, I know I’m doing the work but to not be fumbling around in the dark trying to figure it out on my own IS life changing.

So many people interested in weight loss surgery focus on the surgeon and having a good surgeon is important but if the rest of the practice especially the nutritionist is not fully invested in your success you could end up with a less than stellar experience.  Your nutritionist should be your lifeline as you learn to navigate the post-op world.  It is her or his job to help you through those stuck moments.

Are you reaching out?

Are you listening and responding to your body?

My surgeon created the tool that is a vertical sleeve gastrectomy.

My nutritionist is the one schooling me in the fine art of using it to my best advantage and helping me take my complete medical history into consideration as I make food choices.

Knowing the difference is success like I have never known it.

Weight loss surgery was THE BEST DECISION I have ever made for my health.

Ever.

Hands down.

Even before the scale moved, yesterday was my best, healthiest feeling day in two weeks.

Yesterday, I hoped the scale would move but I was also sure it was going to move. And, I have to admit it caused me to pause. I have never felt this much confidence in my body’s ability to lose weight in my entire life.

I’m so glad the scale is catching up to the work I’ve been putting in.

I cannot fully express how amazing it feels.

The changing numbers are awesome but to being doing the work AND getting results was elusive, at best, before surgery.  Now, I have confidence.

Amazing!

 

The Day Matters

I can’t help it but it does.  As much as I have gone to decent lengths to not put too much stock in celebrating milestone days for whatever reason the day does matter.  At least right now it does.  Maybe in time I’ll barely bat an eyelash.  Hopefully.

Yesterday 10 May was the second month anniversary of the day I came home from the hospital.  I’m already adamant about not celebrating ‘surgiversary’ or ‘sleeveversary’ days because that puts all the power in the skill of the surgeon.  I also gained almost seven pounds in the hospital.

For me, the day I recognize is my first full day home from the hospital.  You know the day when asking for artificially sweetened, and flavored zero calorie gelatin food-like substance is not me “not sticking to my diet” as one of my nurses put it.  I’m still rolling my eyes over that one.  My throat hurt dammit.  Don’t start my journey telling me zero calorie not-fit-for-human-consumption foodstuff is me falling off the plan.  Okay, rant over.  The day I came home from the hospital there was no nanny telling me what I could and couldn’t do.  All decisions were mine to make and mine to own.  That’s the day of power.  One of the first, was to never resort to giggly zero calorie chemicals in a cup.  In truth, I made that decision long ago.

Anyway…

Let me just say the above rant is indicative of how my yesterday went.  Minus a smattering of swear words.

My body was not cooperating with the ‘celebration’ of the day.  Ten days ago I was so close to losing 40 pounds in two months it was, in the context of weight loss surgery, a slam dunk.

And then…

Last week blew up in my face…in all the best ways.

One of our home businesses has quadrupled in the last 45 days but last week was particularly busy.  I was all over the map, literally.  I personally drove over 400 miles and was a passenger for at least half as many.  And, I stuck to my plan thank you very much.

But, I didn’t hit the 40 pounds lost mark yesterday.

Hold up…If I was sticking to my plan, why didn’t the weight come off?

Well since you asked…

All three major veins in my left leg were damaged by an injury-induced blood clot in 2009.  Excessive sitting, especially driving, allows fluid to pool in my tissues which cranks the scale up.  To help dispatch the fluid my job is to move and take a prescription water pill.

Except…

When your life is that busy taking a pill that makes you pee three times in one hour is not exactly possible.  So I didn’t take it.

I worked hard.

I ate the right things.

I avoided the wrong things.

Hell, I even drank my water and wore my stupid compression socks.

And, I didn’t lose an ounce.

In fact, I think the highest my water gain climbed was 5.25 pounds.

Because of the fluid issue, I do weigh every day but I do not record the numbers.  It can be a mental minefield.  However, I do know it’s also the best thing for my body, my health.  Taking on too much water can be life-threatening.

Once all these very wonderful business moments settled down, I did take the pill.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough to time to eliminate all the water by yesterday morning.

So I missed the 40 pound mark by three miserable tenths of a pound, or a small fast food burger including the bun and condiments.

So I was a little grumpy yesterday…

No, I was a ranting, raving, almost screaming woman who did not pause to breathe for at least 30 minutes explaining all this to my very saintly, patient hubs.

And do you know what he said?

“Do you know what I’m not hearing….All the positives.”

Do you know if I didn’t think it would hurt so much I probably would have jumped out of our moving truck and walked back home?

Positives.  When I’m pissed off?  NOT HELPING ME AT ALL DUDE.

Of course, that’s a lie.

He was helping me.  I just didn’t want to hear it in that moment.  There’s a difference.

The truth is there’s nothing he could have said yesterday to soothe me.

I learned the day does matter to me.

I want to be able to set goals.  Meet them.  And celebrate.

It’s also only been two months so I’m not supposed to have everything figured out.  I’m supposed to be having moments where things aren’t working.  It’s part of the process.

So after we took care of business for the day which, by the way included me scoring another vendor contract with a local store, I came home and took the damned water pills.

As of this morning, I moved on to 40.5 pounds lost…in two months and one day.  I cannot say today feels so good as to erase yesterday but it does feel good.

A day matters.

The day matters.

So does finding balance and moving on…

On Never Giving Up The Hunt For Simple Solutions

Isn’t it funny how sometimes the most obvious and easiest solution is the most oft overlooked?

I have hinted here and there that I have been working with a nutritionist for the past few months.  One of the things she puts an emphasis on is supplementing with whey protein.  She was delighted to learn I have been doing so for the past 15 or so years.  She said one of the biggest battles she has with clients is convincing them certain bodies, especially those with chronic medical conditions, need the extra nutritional support.

For people with fibromyalgia the cheapest, cleanest, easiest way to infuse our bodies with the glutathione they so desperately need is with whey protein.

Except there’s a catch: Most national brands of flavored whey protein contain chemical sweeteners which can send a fibro body into a full-on temper tantrum.

Not all patients understand why the whey which is supposed to be helping them is not.  As a consumer, and a health and patient advocate, it is a source of great frustration.

I’ll avoid ranting excessively other than to say I cannot wrap my head around the sense of doing healthy things for your body only to be battling artificial sweeteners at every turn.

Pure whey protein is nourishing and healing.

The chemicals in artificial sweeteners are potentially disease-promoting.

Isn’t this a case of multiplying fractions imitating real life?

Remember, sometimes numbers cancel themselves out when you multiply fractions.

Whey
X
Artificial Sweetener
Not doing any good whatsoever

However in case you have yet to taste plain, unflavored, unsweetened whey protein it is fairly vile on its own therefore ingredients do need to be added to make it more palatable.

Ingredients NOT chemicals.

There are a few brands gaining national traction which contain non-chemical sweeteners but they also come with a bit of sticker shock.  In some cases, the price is more than triple.  I don’t know about anyone else but my wallet cannot absorb triple the price for the convenience of a ready-to-mix flavored powder.

The other drawback to the pre-naturally-sweetened varieties is they are often so sickly sweet I cannot bear to drink them.

My solution has been using unadulterated whey and blending it with fresh fruits and vegetables.  I rarely add a sweetener.  Simple.  Inconvenient.  Time consuming.  Messy.  Good for me.

Healthy is as healthy does though and my body has responded wonderfully.

I really do try to keep doing the things which coax my body to respond wonderfully.  It’s just good practice for us all, don’t you agree.

Yet, I am always on the hunt for ways to simplify or even add a little convenience for the days when life is overflowing.  Remember, I have been doing this for at least 15 years so I have had a lot of time to not realize I can mix my own whole ingredients to make my own mixes.  Two days ago I found this great blog with recipes for homemade whey protein powders.

Seriously?

Like, really…where was my brain?

SO SIMPLE?

After I tested her “Gimme Chocolate” recipe I started thinking of all the ways I could expand on her concept to bring other flavors to the mix.  Those thoughts sent me down a four hour research hole.  I’d love to tell what I found but I’m keeping it a secret until I can order some supplies and make some mixes.

The recipe was PERFECTION, by the way.  Intense cocoa, lightly sweet, easy, convenient, and from jar to glass was six pure ingredients including the water and ice.

Pure ingredients have no other ingredients: for example, my cocoa powder contains only cocoa powder.

Please do not be fooled with convenience recipes which say they have a certain number of ingredients when the truth is each ingredient has 3, 8, or 27 items listed on its own packaging.

SIX INGREDIENTS.

That’s it.

And, it tasted great too!

The journey to this point has been wonderfully worth the effort.

I can pat myself on the back and say it takes a lot of courage and determination plus a healthy amount of stubbornness to hang in there as long as I do sometimes.  When it comes to health and healing, those qualities are crucial.

Remember:

It’s not supposed to be easy because if it was everyone would be healthy.

However:

We also do not have to go out of our way sometimes to make it so damned hard.

“Just eat real food.”~ Michelle, my nutritionist.

(She has helped me lose 11 pounds so far even with a 10-pound water weight gain nightmare.)

 

 

 

 

 

Week 46–The Difference Between Feeling And Knowing

Monday morning I marched myself to the gym like a good girl.

It had been two whole days since my personal trainer had seen me.  The gym was quiet at the mid-morning hour.

“So how’s it going…have you noticed any weight loss?”

“Well honestly, I’m sure you want to hear something great but the truth is I’ve gained two pounds.”

And the very next sentence was…

“Have you been cheating?”

Fortunately my filter was fully intact.

I must have had enough coffee and a decent breakfast or something because I usually go off like a Roman candle at this particular question.

“No…this is Tanya’s body 101…I had a little extra pain the past few days…pained muscles store glycogen…so I took a big deep breath said, “What. EVER.” and moved on…happens all the time.”

She just blinked at me.

Despite being fully fed and caffeinated, I did not feel charitable enough to explain it could be a month or more before my body shows an sort of real result on the scale and how I have spent my entire life coming to terms with this normal-for-my-body occurrence.

Now, I’ll spare you the blow-by-blow, play-by-play of the rest of the week other than to mention this is one of the calmer interactions I have had all week.

Because one of the blows is so personal, I’ll just say it was bad enough that for the first time in a very, very long time I dove head first into what was left of the bag of Doritos from the week before and a huge bowl of ice cream (the first ice cream in our house in probably six months).

Oh boy I did not care.  Open mouth insert chip.  When the chips were gone, I remembered the ice cream.  Our bowls are ‘normal’ sized but my portion exceeded the rim of the bowl.

So I ate my feelings.

Big deal.

Instead of getting too down on myself I just shook it off and dealt with the avalanche of nonsense.

I also went to the gym three times this week, took a walk, and exercised a little at home…and I actually drank water plain.

Honestly, were it not for this blog I wouldn’t even mention the chips and ice cream…not because I feel the need to hide them…but because instead of letting them be a delicious slippery slope to more self-loathing behavior I had my moment and then I moved away.

I moved so far way that while I am writing this I am enjoying licking pumpkin protein pudding off a spoon like a little kid and sipping black coffee like a grown-up.

And do you know what I’m feeling right now?

Grateful.

Grateful for my journey.

Grateful I have figured out how to not be the meanest mean girl to myself.

Grateful I do not mind licking homemade pumpkin protein pudding off a spoon not just because it’s good for me but because I like it.  I like the way treating my body with love and respect feels.  Licking it off the spoon is much more fun than eating it the proper way anyway.  Plus it almost has a baked pumpkin pie filling texture and that is one of my all time favorite foods wrapped up in a nice, clean, healthy package.  Score.

So how did a free fall into junk food land translate on the scale?

I LOST 3/10ths of a pound from my real weight which is the one not including the two I had ‘gained’…looks like they were extra glycogen and my ability to shake it off worked.

That folks is the craziness of my body.  I worked hard last week for a gain.  I stuff my face with chemicals, sugar, and crap and I lose 3/10.  Thank you body for not punishing me in my momentary lapse of reason.

HOWEVER….

Because I know this, I also know I have to respect it.  I cannot take it as a lesson to eat junk.

A healthy body is not just a number on the scale.

A healthy body is properly fed with food to deliver the right nutrients for maximum health and energy.

Giant bowls of processed food no matter from whence they came bring disease…eventually.

On one hand 3/10 doesn’t feel like victory…unless I take a deep breath and look objectively at everything I have been through in one tiny little week.

When I do…Pumpkin protein pudding and black coffee are victorious.

Pumpkin

Week 41…What A Difference A Year Makes!!!

This week has been all about letting myself gently look back to this time a year ago.  You see it was mid-October when the first wisps of thyroid rebellion were showing up in my life.

Tomorrow is actually the one year anniversary of my lowest weight since fibromyalgia joined my life.  On 20 October 2015 I weighed 239.2 which was just 2.6 pounds above my pre-fibromyalgia, pre-Lyrica, pre-Cymbalta weight.  Getting to that number was a huge milestone and I was almost there.

And then…

My body…

Grinded…

To a….

Screeching…

Halt.

But in my eternal quest to be transparent…

I can now see…

I…

Dropped…

The…

Ball.

Shit.  Really.  Dammit.  Are you freakin’ kidding me?

Look here’s proof from last year’s blog:

“Seriously, thyroid.”

“You’re throwing a hissy fit because taking 180 mgs of Armour all at once was making you all sorts of twitchy and hyper???????? so I decided to be nice to you and split the dose?????”

“Bitch please.,,whyyyyyyyyyyyyy do you have to be so damned temperamental.”

There it is…The one teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy thing I changed was asking my doctor to call in 60, 90 milligram tablets so I can more easily split my dose to keep from feeling hyperthyroid.

Yep.

That’s it.

That’s all it takes.

One tiny little toe out of line and the hormones go flying everywhere and the scale just laughs at me.

About three weeks ago, I stopped taking my 180 mgs all at once and started splitting my dose in an attempt to keep my body from being HYPERthyroid in the morning and dead in the afternoon.

Well will you look at that…This was posted 12 October 2015.

But I can be somewhat kind to myself for missing it.

What is “IT”???????

IT is the fact that my INSANE–Oh look there’s that word again–body GAINS weight when it has too much thyroid medication.

How do I know I was getting too much?

Allow me to redirect you to the last bolded paragraph because there it is in strong black…I was feeling “HYPERthyroid in the morning”.

Oh HELL!!!!!!!!!

I’ve never been full on HYPERthyroid and since it’s supposed to induce weight loss I never considered the possibility that myyyyyyyyy bodyyyyyyyyyy just HAS to be different.

Really…UGH

I have been floundering for a whole year with these extra 21ish pounds…A WHOLE YEAR.

However, now that I think we’re on the right dose my body has randomly started losing again.  I say randomly because I’m not really doing much to force the issue.

I haven’t Carb Cycled since I, and hundreds of other people, caught a huge mistake on the official Carb Cycling Facebook page that the Powell’s not only refused to correct but defended when there is no substantiating evidence to support the claim.  It was a huge letdown for me personally and I know it impacted many of their followers.

I’m also not exercising in the traditional sense of the word.  I mean I do move every single day because I know it is good for me but I am not “exercising”.

But, here’s the other thing I see…

I have also stuck in there trying to figure it out.

It wasn’t until July that I bothered to have blood work and was in a state of utter disbelief when the results did show I was HYPERthyroid.  After some research, I learned it is rare to gain weight while there is too much thyroid hormone coursing through your veins.

This is me…so of course.

In a weird way, I am not the least bit surprised…I am weird like that.

Between my broken finger, buying a house, the move, the recovery from the move, and all the other ‘minor’ life moments, it does feel like my body is starting to be back on track again.

I hate these 21 extra pounds…with a vengeance so it is time for them to go.

I am grateful for blogging and having tenacity and for believing in the “impossible” and for course corrections, do overs, and moving forward.

The Year of Accountability

Week 4–

Man, I don’t even know where to start.  I guess the best way to describe this week was a roller coaster–emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually.

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a bad week just full.  Very full.

There was a whole lot of me working on building my patience and tolerance for my body’s shenanigans.  However, I also came to the realization that I’m fighting my body in an unhealthy way.  I’m not ‘doing’ anything bad but I am feeling bad about what I have come to know is just part of my normal.  Yes, I am referring to the bloated, puffiness that has been hanging around for weeks.

Here is where I want to stress the importance of keeping your tribe, your circle, your influences positive and solutions-focused.

As most of you know this blog started as I prepared for weight loss surgery and how I later changed my mind.  As I discarded my plans, I kept one of my online weight loss surgery support groups because they are so solutions-focused.

Weight loss surgery breeds creative food solutions that really can work for anyone who is looking for nutrient dense, power-packed meals.  And for anyone who thinks surgery is the ‘easy’ way out I suggest you spend some time in the world of a post-weight loss surgery patient.

Well, in that group a successful loser posted her concerns of some post surgical weight gain.  She gained 12 pounds just having surgery.  I was able to respond to her.  I told her to be patient.  I told her to keep her protein up.  I told her to keep her fluids up.  I told her to move as much as she was able.  I told her the weight loss wasn’t real fat gain.  Even though I had been telling myself all those things, I wasn’t really listening. I go through unearned weight gain several times a year when my body starts crapping out.

So I started asking myself why I wasn’t listening.

Here are my answers:

I’m tired.  I’m tired of my body playing sick jokes (all pun intended) on me.  I’m tired of struggling so hard.  I’m tired of watching other people do what I have yet to convince my body to do (reach a healthy weight).

Then the surgery friend said, “I’m sure we’ll just look back on this and laugh.”

And what felt so good as I reassured her and listened to my own good advice suddenly became this angry moment.

She is going to recover from the temporary weight gain of surgery.

I am not.  No matter what weight I am my body will randomly gain weight and I will go through this again, and again, and again.  Now perhaps with time I’ll learn my body even better and find a level of control over my Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism (autoimmune disease with low thyroid) that I have yet to enjoy which will reduce or eliminate these episodes.

Used without permission from 15pictures.com

Used without permission from 15pictures.com

That’s just one turn on the roller coaster.  I’ll spare you the other twists, turns, and loop-d-loops.

You’re probably thinking I had a bad week, right?

I wouldn’t call it bad.  I would call it a week of growth.

I’d also call it a week for shrinking because I lost………

2.6 POUNDS THIS WEEK!!!!!!

I’m sure a good part of it is some of the water I’ve been retaining because I’m not quite as puffy.  By the end of the day my ankles only look like they’re wearing doughnuts instead of inner tubes *rolls eyes*

So here’s my best advice:  When you have these types of roller coaster weeks, hang on to your plan.  Do your part.  Put in the work.  Put in the time.  When your world is spinning and you’re just not sure what to do just hang on.  Stick to your plan.  Let your plan bring you a sense of peace and order.

Where this is my year of accountability, when I felt like a tornado on the inside this is what I did to use my plan to help me reach my goals:

As much as I was all over the place emotionally, my food was on point.
I made sure I was weighing everything.
I focused on nutrition rather than food.
I took extra steps whenever I could.
I made sure I was getting enough sleep.
I made sure I was drinking my water.
I kept reminding myself that even when my body storms out of my control I am worth the effort.And I remembered the advice of my dear friend Jerry, “Enjoy the ride.”

Hang on…roller coasters only last a few minutes…then they’re over and you move forward taking the experience with you.