Sunday, June 28, 2009

If You Do What You Always Did, You Will Get What You Always Got

I've been thinking this thought a lot lately. Several situations have come up lately that have had me repeating this phrase over and over again.

The first situation is hearing from someone who has had gastric bypass surgery and doesn't understand why so many of us are so obsessed with eating right, etc... She has managed to loose over 100 pounds and still goes to fast food restaurants 7 or 8 times a week and still does not exercise. Her argument - if she could have done it with eating right and exercise she would not have needed the surgery. HHHHHMMMMMM. My argument - I needed the specific guidelines and rules of WLS in order to eat right and exercise like I knew I should. The thing with gastric bypass is that pretty much no matter what you do - you will loose weight. You are given this "magic window" of 18-24 months where you will loose weight - you have to because of what they have done to your stomach and your intestines. The question is - what happens after that magic window? Your body will eventually adapt to your new intestines re-routing. And if you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. If, instead, I take advantage of this magic window and make the changes that I know need to be made in my life - maybe, just maybe, this will be a life change for me, not just another failed diet. I am determined that I am not going to fail at this again. So what changes am I hoping "stick"? Eating smaller meals, eating healthier meals, and my new found love of exercise - running in particular.

Another instance that had me repeating this mantra in my head was meeting up with family that I haven't been around since the surgery. I got a lot of comments like "You can't eat this? Not even a little? That's crazy!" Yeah - I know. And I do miss some of my old friends like pizza and soda, in particular, but if you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. I also got some comments about my "new will power". If I had that kind of will power, I would never have gotten as fat as I got (getting what I always got). I obviously don't have will power - that is why I had this surgery. I needed the strict rules surrounding what I could and could not eat to make this change in my life.

And so while it feels good to have people acknowledge the change in me, part of me is still stuck with the thought that I had to get to the point of needing such a drastic change in my life. There is part of me that still feels shame at how big I got, and part of me that is stuck in that shame and in my "fat suit". I think it will just take some time for my mind to catch up with my body. I wonder if it isn't a bad thing that I hang on to some of that shame - as a way to remind myself where I came from and where I never want to go back.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Water Park

I am on vacation this week. It’s the first vacation I’ve had in a while – particularly since WLS. Today we went to a water park. Normally, this would send me into a panic. In a bathing suit? In public? All day? Seriously people? What kind of torture do you expect me to undergo on my vacation anyway? Isn’t this supposed to be relaxing? I would have done it to appease my children, but I would have been miserable. Constantly thinking about what I looked like – what are people thinking of me? I would have been out of breath having to climb the stairs to all the different rides with the kids. I would have been frustrated by having difficulty getting in and out of tubes all day that were never made for a person of my “girth”.

But instead, I had a great day – so much fun. Playing with my children – being able to keep up with them – run up the stairs with them – help them on rides that they may have been too scared to go on by themselves. I still find myself worrying about what I look like and what others are thinking of me. I did not even wear a full bathing suit to the water park. I wore shorts and the top of a tankini I have.

The other thing that I was still struggling with is how I still have such a strong association with food when I am at a place like this. And yet, I can’t have the food that I still associate with it. I want it – I want it so bad. Frozen lemonade, dippin dots, soft pretzels. I swear if I heard one more ice cold soda open in front of me I was going to scream. But I survived. I had a little too much at lunch and subsequently paid for that in the bathroom shortly thereafter, but other than that I had a great day. My whole family is exhausted – it’s not even 10pm here and we are all in bed already. Thoroughly water logged and crispy fried from a day in the extreme heat of Missouri. It has been a great day.

P.S. Ladies, I plead with you – I am begging you! Find a friend – a good friend – someone who you trust to look at you and tell you if what you are about to wear out in public really looks as good as you seem to think it does. Because some of you ladies are out there wearing bathing suits you have absolutely NO BUSINESS wearing in public. Just because it is in style does not mean that style looks good on you. I am convinced that if some of you just had a decent friend to lovingly tell you that you look ridiculous – the world would be a better place.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hello, my name is Pam and I am addicted to my scale ...

So we left for our Family Reunion vacation this morning and I am already having fits that I can't get on my scale. I think I have a problem! I haven't even been gone 24 hours and I am already worked up over not being able to get on the scale. Between not being able to get on the scale and not being able to exercise the past 2 days - I'm about to go into the shakes. I won't be able to do anything about not being able to get on the scale till after vacation, but I hope to be able to run or workout on Sunday morning. I'm hoping this gets easier the longer I've been gone, because I know I sound like I'm joking, but I'm very serious - I am having a hard time with not being to weigh myself. I never did that when I was overweight - in fact, I would avoid my scale like this when I was so much heavier. Even while I was in my stall I couldn't NOT get on the scale. I am hoping that this will pass as I get my accustomed and acquainted with my new way of life.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Products I Love

I forgot to mention a few things that I got for my birthday this year that have become Products I Love.

The first is my Sportsline Heart Rate Monitor. My parents bought this for me for my birthday. I love it because it doesn't have a chest strap with it. This means I have to check my heart rate during my work out - but it is so fast and easy to do - I don't mind doing it at all. I just have to press the button on the face of the watch for a few seconds and it takes my heart rate. It has EKG accuracy. It also tells me if my heart rate is too low and I need to pick it up, or too low and I need to slow down. It has several different modes - regular time, a timer, a countdown timer, and a calorie burning mode. That one is my favorite. I start it at my work out and it shows me how long I have been working out and how many calories I have burned (which is accurately calculated based on your heart rate).

The second thing I got for my birthday that I love is my Sony Walkman. No, don't think those walkman's we all had in Jr. High - the tape recorder with the big headphones. This is 2009 people. I know the gold standard in MP3 players is the iPod, but honestly - I only use the MP3 player when I run and I just didn't have the money to put into an iPod. I looked at the Shuffle, but I still wanted to be able to have an interface that I could see what I was doing. I found the Sony Walkman (in pink even!) and I have loved using it. It does MP3 songs, but it also holds pictures and videos just like an iPod. The 2 inch screen is big enough to show what I need. Being a Sony Walkman - it also has FM Radio which I didn't think I needed, but has come in handy several times. My lovely husband also bought me a black neoprene case and armband for me to use while running. The case protects the Walkman from the elements and can be used separately from the armband. I love it all. I have gotten to the point that I can't run without my tunes. They help me zone out and not fight my brain while I'm running. I am able to run farther and farther these days. The one thing I will say about the walkman is that the earphones that come with it are not designed for running at all. You will need to invest in some different earphones that stay on your ears better when you are running. I bought some Phillips ones that wrap around my ears and they work great.
That is all for now - check back later for others! :)

A picture says a thousand words

I know in my head that there is a change - I know because I am a different size and the scale says so, but I find myself still looking through plus size clothing when I shop - unable to make the jump to the normal clothes even though I KNOW they fit me. It's like this forbidden land that I can't seem to bring myself to. So I tend to rely on pics to SHOW me the difference. Here is my latest compare:

A friend of mine gave me the little t-shirt - one of those tight fitting ones - when I had my surgery and asked me to take a pic of myself in it when it fit and send it to her (we don't live near each other). After finally stepping into Onederland today I had the guts to try the shirt on. Can you see that humungous smile on my face????

Monday, June 15, 2009


I am hoping that I have broken my stall. The scale is finally moving again - in the direction it should be. And to top it off ... I have entered the all-elusive One-derland!

Now I realize that this may sound like an obscenely large number to some of you reading this, but I have to be honest - I haven't seen this number since college. And you should have seen me this morning. First I ran back into my bedroom and jumped on the bed - waking up D and scaring him half to death. And when he said "WHAT?!" I couldn't even get the words out - I just started crying. After I finally got it out and told him - I ran back in the bathroom and I kept getting on and off - making sure it wasn't a fluke.

I also can officially claim that I wear a size 14. I had a couple of items that were 14's, but now most of the clothes that I am wearing are size 14. It has been a long time since I have worn that size, too. When I got married I rode the 14/16 line. I now only shop in regular sized clothing sections and stores. But that is a huge adjustment. I automatically am drawn to the plus size clothing - I still see myself in a size 24. I hold up a 14 and I can't wrap my mind around the fact that I fit in that. I hold up a size 24 and feel "comfortable". Clothes shopping has become somewhat stressful in that regards. I was hoping it would be fun - but I'm still dealing with some mental stuff surrounding that. I hope that will change soon.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Panties In A Bunch

I went to a dear friends graduation today. I know that she and her family have been looking forward to this day for a long time. She has become a beautiful young lady in the time that I have been privileged to know her and be a part of her life. Thinking about what God has in store for her as she starts this new chapter in her life gives me chills! Her family isn't the only family that is going to miss her tremendously when she leaves for college in August. My prayer for her is that she learns to always keep her eyes and ears tuned to be looking for and listening to what God is doing in and around her life in such a way that she instinctively opens her heart to become his hands, arms, feet to those around her. I can't wait to see what adventures she embarks on as she leaves home soon.

With that being said ... my panties are in a major bunch! There was much "ado" about this graduation ceremony being "dignified". There was a flyer that was distributed in the program that encouraged everyone in the audience to hold their applause until after all seniors had received their diplomas. But it went beyond that. No yelling, screaming, crying, or dancing allowed. That if all seniors as well as all of their guests complied with this rule, they would receive a FREE DVD of the graduation ceremony.

To take it a step further, when it was time for the diplomas to be confered, the principal took another 5 minutes to admonish the audience not to make any noise and to continue the tradition of a dignified graduation ceremony for the school.

Now I know that I have a skewed view of graduation, etc... I went to a small Christian school. I graduated in a class of 22. But can I just tell you - that my graduation ceremony was longer than this one, and there were over 300 graduates? And I was good with that - because it was personal. It meant something to us and to our families - it was memorable.

But this made me so angry that the graduates and their families were not allowed to celebrate this momentous occassion that they had waited so long and worked so hard for. I asked several people - what could have possibly happened in the past to make them swing so far in this direction as to not allow any celebration whatsoever? Apparently nothing happened - they just have graduations every 2 hours for 3 days or so to get through for the county and they can't afford for the ceremony to go longer than an hour - they have to turn things around for the next graduation. Seriously? Why can't they all have graduation in their own football field - you know - like we all did? Why do they have to have it at the civic center? It's a big deal that you only get so many tickets - not enough room. Well, over half the room was empty at this graduation! There could have been plenty more people.

And why do I care? Well, dang it! I was so excited for Kelsey! I have been planning for years what I was going to do when she walked across that stage ... I was going to scream and shout and let her know just how proud and excited I was. So my panties are in a bunch because I had to reserve my excitement for when she left the civic center. Everyone was so proud of me for behaving myself - but I was disappointed - not just for me - but for the graduates and their families. They deserve to have this time to revel and to celebrate in this huge milestone in their lives.

Ok - I'm done with that.

Kelsey - you rock, girl! I am so proud of you and excited to see you take off for Asbury College soon!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

2nd 5K

I have been neglecting Pamelot again. I apologize.

I ran my 2nd 5K this past weekend. And I took 5 minutes off my time! I couldn't believe it! My friend from work, Jen, ran it with me again. She was immensely helpful to me. I feel like I could have taken more time off my race if I hadn't had to go to the bathroom so bad after the second mile! You would think that having to go to the bathroom would make you run faster, but it does not! I had to slow down to get myself under control.

I came in 441st out of 529 racers. 76th out of 96 for females in my age group. My goal again, was to not stop and to not be last. I also added the goal of improving my time. My 1st 5K I wasn't last, but man was I close. :) This time I actually ran in a pack and I had plenty of time when I crossed the finish line.

So now I feel as though I may have found my cross-addiction from food - running. I can't even put words to it - I love it. And the races - I can't wait to do another one and improve my time yet again. I almost signed up for one this weekend (Race for the Cure), but I have so much to do to get ready for a vacation we're going on soon.

My knees have been taking a hit from the running. I have moderate arthritis in both of my knees from the years of being humungous. I went to my family doctor to discuss it with him. He specializes in sports medicine and is a triathlete himself. He was very excited to hear that I had caught the running bug. He said that he would not tell me to stop running because the benefits far outweigh the cons at this point. But he does want me to stick to the hard and fast rule of not running on consecutive days. On the days I don't run I should focus on cross-training - strengthening my quads and hamstrings in order to make things easier on my knees when I do run. So I have taken to using my dad's elliptical machine to cross-train on my days off from running. I can already see it helping. Yesterday when I ran I did an 11 minute mile. That may sound slow to you, but in my first 5K my pace was almost a 15 minute mile. My second 5K pace was 13:07 per mile.

So I would like to put a goal out there of doing 1 more 5K where I improve my time again - and then to do a 10K some time in the fall. I can't believe I even just said that - it's ridiculous.

Things you don't even realize you think about

So this morning I had a big meeting at work. A big wig from corporate was in town to give a talk to the troops. I got there a little late and most seats were taken when I got there. I found one next to my boss - a seat next to him was open - someone was sitting in the seat one away from him. All I could think was "I don't want to sit there - these seats are small and there's not enough room. I won't be able to fit in that chair. No one wants to sit that close to me." But I needed to sit and stop bringing attention to myself. So I scooted in and sat down. And to my surprise - it wasn't so tight! I could sit there just fine and didn't feel like I was encroaching on my boss's personal space. And I wasn't super uncomfortable. I could even cross my legs and take up even less space! And as I was sitting there wondering to myself "Does anyone else even think these things in a situation like this?" These are the kinds of things that I have been obsessing over in my mind for years! Every social situation I'm jockeying for position to make sure I'm not put in a position that would make me look stupid. Now I'm feeling like I'm hitting a new phase of Freedom in this journey.