2017 was quite a year for my family and I; full of plenty of highs, lows and lots of in between.
New Year 2017
New Year 2018
We (Tomi & I) are -150 lighter between the 2 of us as we start this year. We became homeowners this year. We have lost a few family members & friends (may they RIP) and gained a few new ones. We have both been working toward maintaining/ reestablishing familial relationships that have faltered along the way (such a long story-perhaps in a later post). The end of 2017 was particularly busy for us with traveling. We saw a lot of AMAZING concerts last year; the highlight of which was seeing Earth, Wind & Fire.
2018 won’t be quite as busy as last year for us when it comes to traveling but we have a few trips planned. Our oldest grandbaby (the only boy) graduates from high school this year. One of our daughters is getting married this year. Lord willing, we’ll celebrate another birthday and anniversary this year.
For me, 2018 will be a year of being intentional and consistent. I am really good and being consistently inconsistent. I’ve perfected over the last 20yrs or so. This year, I plan to step my game up and be more intentional about life as opposed to just letting life happen. I know that comes with being consistent. Some would say that it’s about time but I say that every day is a good day for a new beginning. Can I get an AMEN?!? I have been making lists, making plans and setting short/long-term goals. I’m trying to do an overhaul by making small changes (I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew) in several areas of my life where I want to be more consistent; working my business, blogging, skincare, continued weight loss, cleaning house, clearing debt.
This will be a year of fostering, maintaining or releasing relationships. I’m reaching out to those that have previously fallen by the wayside, I am putting in the work to maintain those and that are hanging out there by a thread and I am releasing, with love, those relationships that no longer serve me. I’ve learned that it’s OK to let go of those that don’t want to be a part of my life (and not take it personally) and also to allow myself to be let go of by others. I am going to be more intentional about fostering my relationship with God; spending time in fellowship with Him and in His word.
I’ve also been trying to adopt the action of doing little things with big love. Doing things for others and even for yourself does not always have to involve a grand gesture.
I’m stomping into 2018 with a new look, a new attitude and a new vision. I’m excited to see what this year brings.
The title was not my attempt at being clever. This post is going to be about my face.
If I’m being honest, most days, I don’t think a whole lot about my face. I get up, wash, tone, moisturize (with SPF) and then repeat the process before bed. That’s more out of routine than anything else. Lately though, I think about my face a lot. I pay it a lot of attention and it makes me feel sad. I’m sad about the signs of aging that I’m starting to see waaaaaayyyyyy more of. The breakouts I’m having since the year I turned 40 would bring a teenager to tears. And where the hell are all these moles and freckles coming from? Plucking, twerking and waxing could be a full time job at this point. With all the time I spend on maintenance, just trying to maintain my baseline, I wonder how I ever found time to get up and put on a full face everyday. I guess I’m really starting to really appreciate the ugly side of keeping it pretty 🤓.
I know! I know! I’ve been missing in action lately (about 2 months) but I’ve got a good excuse; I’ve been busy living life. Work has been CRAZY busy, my wife and I both had birthdays and I put together a stellar birthday weekend with lots of travelling, we bought a house (we signed papers last Thursday and get the keys Monday after work) and I’m helping one of our daughters with wedding planning.
I am one busy lady!!! I wanted to make sure to write on the anniversary of my surgery though.
I had my Lap Band surgery on July 29th, 2016. I was almost 500lbs. I had severe chronic back pain and sciatica, lymphedema of the legs, difficulty with movement and breathing and was always just generally uncomfortable. I didn’t get that way overnight. I definitely had an unhealthy relationship with food. I was as n emotional eater and developed an addiction; food was my drug of choice.
Fast forward 365 days…I am down -90lbs and holding. I have been at this current weight for about a month which is A-OK with me. The weight loss with the band has been slow and steady; about 2-3lbs loss per week on average. I’ve learned to have a different relationship with food for sure. Mental health counseling and medication helps me with finding healthier ways to process emotions, anxiety and depression. I’m able to eat about a shot glass amount of food at a sitting so what I choose to eat is super important; nothing too starchy or too fibrous. I also have to be cognizant of how quickly I eat; I have to make sure everything is chewed REALLY well. Because my stomach has limited space, gas or sort back up from eating too quickly can’t be expelled by a burp; I am literally unable.
This journey has been frustrating, scary and quite indelicate at times; for me and for my wife. She deserves an award. I had to learn to eat for sustenance and not allow my ‘eyes to be bigger than my stomach’; literally and figuratively. I had to learn that there are going to be things that I will never eat again and embrace that. Pancakes, waffles, bread…just a few of the things I used to love that I simply can’t have since the surgery. I also have to avoid other favorites like bananas and pineapples, asparagus and broccoli; anything too high in sugar or too stringy/fibrous. Totally worth it though. If i have the unfortunate incidence of food getting stuck on the way down or getting an air bubble trapped while eating, I get one of two results. If I’m lucky, I can stand and walk or put my arms over my head or drink a little bit of a warm beverage and coax it on through. What often happens (here’s the indelicate part) is that it gets stuck and my body forces it back out the way it came. Sounds simple right? Well, because the size of my working tummy is greatly reduced, it’s probably one of the most uncomfortable and excruciating things I’ve experienced.
Looking back would I make the decision to have the procedure again? Absolutely!! I have been able to completely discontinue 4 medications. I no longer have pain and swelling in my muscles and joints. I find that I am a lot more adventurous because I can walk and move for longer periods of time without having to rest. We’ve been on hikes and to festivals and sporting events; I’m experiencing a lot more of my life as opposed to being an observer. I’m able to buy clothes of the rack which I’ve been too big to do for years. It feels AMAZING to be able to walk into the store and try things on. Most importantly, I’m starting to have more days where I feel good in my skin. Not every day but most days and that is a good feeling.
This has been one of the most amazing years of my life!!!
It’s gonna be short and sweet this week. I gained 3 pounds. I was a bit upset about that but it is what it is. It’s my cycle week and on weigh day, I was on day 3- 4. I’m bloated and retaining water and emotional. That’s all I have to say about that.
So, life has been happening and I have been crazy busy with living it. Unfortunately, my consistency with blogging has suffered but I am here to get you all caught up.
I got a fill about a month ago and then ended up at the hospital the next day because my band had been over-filled and I couldn’t ingest anything; not even liquids and barely air. That was a bit scary. I was afraid to eat for the next few days and sustained myself on protein shakes and soft foods. I got back to a regular diet but didn’t have nearly the loss that I usually do after a fill. I was OK with it though because I was fearful about getting any fluid put back in. When I went for my fill for the month (Tues 5/2), I managed to lose -3lbs for the month which isn’t as much as the 7-11lbs I should have lost but was more than I had expected so I was good. I was super nervous about it but I got my fill. I took it easy and went back to my liquid prep diet for a couple of days and things seems to be alright this time. I did my weigh-in on Friday, as usual and was down by -10lbs from the previous week. Woohoo!!!
What else is new? Tomi and I took an impromptu trip to the Oregon coast (Newport, OR) last weekend to see her cousin who is currently stationed there. Her cousin Ava works for NOAA and is a Crew Chief for them. They haven’t seen one another for over 40yrs. It was a short visit but it was fun playing catch up. We’re planning a trip to Mobile, AL to see Ava and even more family sometime during the holidays.
What else is new? We’ve started house hunting. When we came here originally, our plan was to be here temporarily. Here we are 12yrs later; it’s time to put down some roots. We got pre-qualified for a home loan and our realtor has been on the hunt ever since. It is definitely a seller’s market right now. Houses are sold almost as quickly as they are listed. So much so that we have only gotten to look at two houses. The first one we looked at was nice. It was built in the 40s and definitely needed some work but it was a good house. Our realtor had us look at another home yesterday evening and we like it so much that we withdrew our offer on the first house and put an offer on this one. It’s smaller than what we wanted and it will need a little TLC as well but I fell in love as soon as I walked in the door. If all goes according to plan (God’s and ours) we will be homeowners by the time our birthday’s roll around at the end of June. That will be an amazing birthday present!!
Otherwise, we have just been working and living. I will get with you guys after weigh-in on Friday and I will try to do better with being consistent (y’all pray for me on that one)
It’s been two weeks and I have lost 2lbs. I’ve been having a bit of a hard time with my eating; lots of eating out. I feel like I’ve gotten back on track and I managed not to gain any weight so I’m happy. My diet is back to mostly protein and vegetables, low fat and limited carbs.
My beverage cleanse? I lasted sick days. I had developed a bad cold and had a hot toddy or 3. I think I might try it again so that I can do the whole 10 days but I made it further than I thought I would. Coffee is life!!
I’m interested in seeing what this next week brings as far as weight loss goes. I started taking my phentermine at the end of last week. I’m interested in seeing what effect it has; any noticeable difference.
I am down -.2lbs this week!! Yes, you read that right. I am going to celebrate it because it is my ‘cycle’ week and I am a bloated, emotional mess and I need a reason to celebrate. In all seriousness, I usually gain 3-5lbs during my lady time to fact that I had any loss at all makes me want to shout from the mountain tops.
For those of you keeping track, it is day 5 of my beverage cleanse. I have not had any caffeine withdrawal headaches like I thought I would so that’s a plus. One thing that this is helping me realize is that I really like coffee…and wine. Also, I miss how comforting it is to have a warm tasty beverage when you’re not feeling well or when you want to relax at the end of a long day. 5 more days to go and then I will give the run-down of my whole experience.
This past Thursday, I had my monthly appointment with Dr. Fox. I am down 7lbs for the month. I opted not to get a ‘fill’ because I seem to be doing well. He gave me a prescription for phentermine. It will help with my appetite thereby boosting my weight loss numbers and give me more energy. I did my regular Friday weigh-in and found I was down 3lbs for the week. That made me happy because I had no weight loss the previous week.
The energy boost will come in handy because I will be off caffeine, at least for the next 10 days. I read an article yesterday on MindBodyGreen by a woman who drank only water for 10 days. A beverage cleanse; it is effectively a tastebud cleanse. She said, she experienced food and non-water beverages differently after the cleanse. Plus, there were skin and body benefits. I love a good challenge and I can definitely stand to drink more water. I start tomorrow. Cheers!
Last week, I took on the challenge of not complaining; about anything. Some days were definitely easier than others but I made it. It took a concentrated effort in some cases and made for what seemed to be a longer week than usual.
I’m going to do it again this week. We’ll see how it goes.
Two weeks ago, I had my monthly appointment with my surgeon and I express to him my concern over the fact that I have not had any weight loss for a month. His response was not to admonish me but simply to say that my plateau may not be my fault. It could just be a matter of needing to tighten the band more than we had in the past. So that’s what we did. in the two weeks since then I am down 8 pounds. It has been an adjustment because I’m able to eat even less than I was used to eating because my pouch filled up even more quickly.
Slowly but surely, I’m learning what I can and can’t tolerate with the pouch. Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet), cheese, yogurt (Carbmaster), cottage cheese, eggs, fish, veggies, apple sauce, soups; most of what sustains me. Also, I drink 2 Premier Protein shakes a day. Most importantly, I chew everything thoroughly so big chunks don’t get stuck and I eat slowly so my body can register being full. An over full pouch is EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I also learned that I am allergic to MCT Oil. My wife uses it in smoothies for long-acting energy. We added some to our protein shakes and it made my mouth and face numb and tingly and I was sick and vomiting all day.
My body has changed in a lot of ways but my face is where I see the most significant change as it pertains to my weight loss.The pic on the left is from when I was close to my heaviest and on the right is last week at work. 👀
I’ll leave you with this; blew my mind. 5lbs of fat is equal to the weight of a standard brick…
Keeping that in mind has been let for me to put my weight loss in perspective. I have lost the equivalent of 14 bricks. 70lbs=14 bricks. Imagine carrying around 14 bricks for years. It’s crazy to think about but for the better part of 3 yrs, I had been carrying that around. My goal is to lose 26 more bricks.
I’m feeling stuck…again. My weight this week was exactly the same as last week. That was a little deflating but I’ll take that over having a gain. I’m going to have to be more consistent about hitting the gym and eat way more veggies and a few less carbs.
This weekend, I posted a pic of me in my Mickey Mouse leggings. Two body shots in as many weeks? I’m feeling myself! I love them and felt like I look ok in them. It’s an extremely vulnerable place to be in for me, sharing myself. I find that in my vulnerability, there is strength. Luckily, I have an amazing support system which helps when I need a bit of shoring up.
I got to visit my home town this weekend. I got to see my parents and our youngest daughter (She just turned 26 on 1/23). I miss them so much so it also makes me feel ‘full’ to see them and be around them.
I also got to see cousins and countless others I have known my entire life who’ve become ‘family’. I’m glad we have our life in the the Tri-Cities and for all the ‘framily’ (friends that are like family) we’ve gained over the past 12yrs but there’s no place like home.