Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Weight Loss Journey: The Next Steps

This last October marked my 2 year "surgiversary". It's been two years since I had the gastric sleeve weight loss procedure.  I've lost 115 lbs. I feel great! I look pretty great, if I do say so myself. At least with clothes on.  With clothes off I'm a little unhappy with where my journey has led me.  Don't get me wrong.  I'd do it all over again in a heart beat, but there are parts of my body that I am very unhappy with.

I have very saggy boobs, and that bothers me.  There. I said it. Body image is a bitch. I shouldn't care what I look like, it's what's inside me that matters, blah, blah, blah. But I *do* care what I look like from the outside.  And I've worked pretty damn hard to get to where I am now. So I want the body to reflect that.

I also have a very saggy belly (it's called a pannus, if you want to be all official about it). Sure, the right underwear hides it, sort of, but I see it. I have to lift up that saggy belly and apply coconut oil to fend off rashes and bacterial infections.  I want that bitch gone.

Then there's my arms. They're like bat wings. I raise my hand to say hello or goodbye and my arms flap away.

So I'm starting the next step(s) in my journey. Plastic surgery.  It's one of those issues that people tend to have very strong opinions on one way or another. My opinion is I worked hard to get to where I am now, why the hell shouldn't I be able to have the body I've always wanted?

December 19th I'm going under the knife.  Being a teacher affords me random breaks through out the year. Winter break is coming up. So, I'm getting the boobs done. I will have boobs that will stand up with out the help of padding and fancy Victoria Secret bras. I used to have these boobs. Now I will have them again!

In June or July I will have a lower body lift done to take care of the saggy belly. It might also combat some of the wrinkly thighs that I'm not so concerned about.

Want to hear something funny? I'm more scared that I'll come out with some Dolly Parton boobs than complications from the surgery itself.  I'm not scared to go under the knife. I have respect and feel secure in the doctor I've chosen.  But I'm scared everyone will notice my new look and judge and laugh at me for it.  Low self esteem is a bitch.

This is the post to get this out there. I've not told too many people for fear of the "you look fine" reaction. But this is my choice, and I could really use your support. I will follow this post up with before and after pictures.

So here we go! 8 days and counting until my next significant step!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Take that, cancer, you asshole.

Friday, March 21st, is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. What's Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, you ask? Let me tell you.  A friend of mine, whom I've never met, died of Melanoma. It was crazy fast. But he wasn't going to let it stop him from enjoying life to the fullest.  He was diagnosed four years ago, on March 21st (can it be four years already?).  During his battle he decided he would create this Ice Cream for Breakfast Day to teach us all to enjoy life.  Life is precious, life is short.  Sometimes you should just eat ice cream for breakfast.  The first ICFBD was set for the one year anniversary of his diagnoses.  He died nine days before that.  Now, as his family has picked up their pieces and moved on, we still remember him and his spirit on our Third Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Bruce, I never knew you. But I think of you often. And I think of the mark you've left on this world.  So, everyone out there, whether you knew Bruce or not, celebrate LIFE and how precious it is.  Have some ice cream for breakfast with us. (You might want to practice through out the year, as well.)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Breaking up with Facebook

I recently decided to take a Facebook break.  All of a sudden I felt overwhelmed by all the negative posts, the "my life sucks because of this" posts.  As you may know, I've been exercising a lot lately and it's finally making changes to my mental health.  I feel good about things.  Life isn't just "meh", it's good.  I'm able to see the negative in my life and am working on changing it - either by changing my views on it or changing what is causing the negativity.

I toyed with the idea of leaving Facebook for a couple days.  I didn't think I could do it.  When I finally made the decision it felt good.  It was like a burden was lifted off of me.  However, I'm finding that that unburdened feeling is seeping away and other feelings are coming up, like loneliness. And minor panic (I might be missing something important!) And this was all on the first day.  I've lost an entire group of friends all at once. I sometimes wonder if they're talking about me.  Then I fear they're not.

I've made a lot of friends over the years through online groups like The, iVillage message boards and my local Mothers Club. Not to mention the several friends I've made in the more intimate private Facebook groups.  Most of these people I only connect with over Facebook. Although I haven't deactivated my account and I can still be reached through messages, I still feel completely disconnected from them now.

Back in 2006 a very good friend of mine died.  For months afterwards I would think "Oh, I need to tell Karen XYZ" and then realize I couldn't.  Leaving Facebook is similar.  While I certainly can log back in and tell my Facebook friends XYZ, it completely defeats the point of leaving in the first place. My point is there's a sense of sadness and loss when I chose not to log back in.

A couple times I've had to log back in to check the dates of an event or post in the Virtual Running group and I'm almost afraid to even look at the news feed.  I get a little anxiety over seeing one of those posts that pushed me over the edge.  But I'm even more anxious over seeing a post that will suck me back in.  Breaking up with Facebook is hard.  It would be so easy to go back, fall back into the routine.  But I know over time it will get easier.

(Part of me doesn't even want to share this blog because if I cave and come back to Facebook again, then I'm afraid you'll all think I'm a hypocrite.)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I am a runner.

Six months ago I would have said, "if you see me running, you better run, too!"  And, if you had said "you should try running", I would have laughed and laughed at you.  Me? Running?? Hahahahaha!

But secretly, I wanted to be a runner.  I daydreamed about running along the waterfront like I see so many other people do.  I noticed all the cute running attire.  I saw posts my friends made about how far they ran or what race they completed.  But I was far too self conscious.  What if someone I know saw me?  I resigned myself knowing I was a walker and walking was just fine.  Walking was great exercise, too.

One day I tried it.  Just for fun.  When no one else was around.  While heading downhill.  It was kind of fun.  Exhilarating.  At that moment I decided I needed to stop caring who saw me running.  Who cared if they laughed all the way to work and told all their coworkers about that crazy lady they saw running.

So, I started the Couch to 5 K program.  I cannot speak highly enough of this program.  You can literally be someone who has never run before and this program will turn you into a runner. I went from knowing I could never run to running over 3 miles several times a week.  I feel good, too.  I have so much more energy that just walking didn't give me.

And now I'm in the club.  I'm one of "them".  I understand memes like this:

I nod my head at passing runners because we're both in the same club.  I love that stuff.

So any of you who ever thought you might like to run, but just *know* you can't: try it! You CAN! If I can, you can.  So get out there and get moving!