Monday, April 27, 2009

Virtual Route #6

Start date of this leg: 4.3.09
# of days traveled: 21
# of stationary days: 3
Miles traveled: 101.0
Hours on the road: 16
Calories burned: 4731
Miles 'til NYC: 1835.8

Overall Impresssions
I feel really good about how well I did on this leg of the journey. I've come 520.8 miles in just over 3 months - not too shabby! I'm especially proud that I only missed 3 days during the whole 24-day leg. Last week, I exercised 7 days in a row - a first since I started keeping track. Woohoo! I really thought I would have made it to Denver this time, but I guess I was farther away than I thought. Oh well. Maybe next time! I feel like I'm doing well but don't seem to be getting anywhere on the map.

In addition:
On Saturday I weighed myself and I've lost 80 lbs! I had decided not to do anything to celebrate this marker because I spent so much money on 70 and 75 lbs. However, this morning I put on my black slacks and drowned in them. I have to pull them up a little because I step on the hem when I walk. I'm thrilled with this sign of my weight loss but am also a little annoyed that I have to buy new pants. I'm not a huge shopper for clothes. Sigh. Really, though, I'm thrilled with how much weight I've lost - it's like a dream! Woohoo!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Support and a Decision

I’ve always underestimated the importance of support when losing weight.

A couple years ago, when I tried Weight Watchers for three weeks, I thought the meetings were hokey and uninformative. The thought of attending one every week didn’t appeal to me, and I couldn’t figure out why my mom enjoyed them so much.

I tend to be a tad too independent for my own good sometimes.

I still think those meeting were a little hokey and now would probably enjoy them only marginally more than I did back then, but I get why they helped my mom. It’s helpful to have contact with people who are going through, or that have gone through, the same things you’re going through.

No one in my day-to-day life knows what it’s like to have had weight loss surgery. They don’t understand the challenges I face; what it’s like to get food stuck, the gas pain in my shoulder (just keeping it real), getting a fill, or a myriad of other things that you can’t totally get if you haven’t had WLS.

The people at my support group get it. They’ve had those same challenges, are working through the same difficulties I’m facing or will face. They have words of wisdom on how to cope with gas pain, menu ideas that stay within our guidelines, and suggestions on keeping on the path to weight loss. It’s a small group, but everyone is so different and has had so many similar and different experiences that a lot of ground is covered.

I didn’t attend last month’s meeting (for a stupid reason) and have been amazed by how much I missed it. The meetings motivate me to do what I “should be” doing. If for no other reason, I’d keep going just to be able to talk with people who know what I’m going through.

I had an “ah ha” moment last night. The theme of the meeting was Personal Accountability; accepting responsibility for everything we put in our mouths and for our choice to exercise or not. It was the perfect theme for me.

Peggy, the group leader, told us a story. She had strictly kept to the diet guidelines as outlined by her (and mine) doctor for just over a year after her surgery; three meals a day of mostly protein and no snacking. Then one day she saw a solitary peanut in an otherwise empty bowl at work. Without thinking, she ate the peanut. A day or two later, she ate a few more peanuts from the now full bowl, rationalizing that the one peanut the other day hadn’t derailed her weight loss, neither would these. Within no time, she was back to her old snacking ways – all the things she hadn’t eaten in months she now ate because every time she ate something new, she rationalized that the item she ate the day before hadn’t killed her, this wouldn’t either.

I totally recognized this in myself. I’ve slowly become more permissive in the things I’ll allow myself to eat (though still holding firm to others – ice cream is still a big “no, no” to me). It started with one Hershey’s kiss a day after lunch. Then it worked its way up to two a day. Then it was a tiny slice of chocolate cake at Sunday dinner with my family. Then I ate a slightly larger slice the next time, since the last slice didn’t stop me from losing weight. Slowly, I’ve started eating the odd cookie, handful or chips, slice of pizza, and other things that are not a part of my diet plan. Yes, I’m still losing weight, but I’m also re-establishing the habits that got me at my weight dilemma in the first place.

I decided to recommit to avoiding the foods that don’t fill me up, add empty calories into my body, and don’t really make me feel good. There are so many good foods that will nourish my body, keep me feeling full for hours, and taste delicious - why not enjoy them and forget about that other stuff? Not that I won’t have the occasional treat, but the idea is to make treats the exception instead of the rule – lately they’ve been well on their way to re-establishing themselves as the Rule in my life.

We joked that Peggy’s peanut was the “gateway drug” that led her down more dangerous paths. I looked at my gateway drug – chocolate kisses – and decided to give up my daily dose of chocolate. I’d like to think that someday I’ll be able to have one Hershey’s kiss and not have it lead to other indiscretions, but honestly, I may never be able to.

It’s a price I never realized I’m willing to pay.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Virtual Route #5

Are you ready to see where I am on my virtual trip to New York City? ( Hint: if not, now's the time to go to another site.)

As always, to get a better view of the route, just click on the picture. This picture is of the most recent leg of my trip. I recently drove this road (December) and remember thinking how pretty it was. In this virtual trip, I'm almost to the point where it started to snow and became really slippery (Glenwood Springs). While towing a 40ft trailer, "snow" and "slippery" combined with "mountain pass" are not fun words.

Start date of this leg: 3.16.09
# of days traveled: 14
# of lazy days: 4
Miles traveled: 78.9
Hours traveled: 10.3
Calories burned: 3463
Miles 'til NYC: 1936.8

This segment had the most diverse activities of any other segment; I walked, biked, hiked, and swam! This sort of accounts for the lower miles traveled (along with the 4 missed days!) and definitely accounts for the most calories I've ever burned in one segment! Plus, I've been trying to push myself on the bike - going longer or at a harder level - and that has really increased how many calories I burn in one workout. I'm also really excited to get below 2000 miles 'til reaching my destination.

Now, because I want to and because I can, here's a picture of the whole route so far:

I wonder if I can make it to Denver next time? It's something to shoot for!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I finally hit 70 lbs! Even if I would have only lost 1 lb when I weighed myself this morning, I'd be thrilled to finally get off the 68 plateau on which I've been residing for two weeks, but it feels great to hit another benchmark.

Here are the flowers I bought myself this morning:

When I hit 80 lbs, I'm buying tulips even if I have to order them online! I couldn't find them anywhere. Sigh.

I bought this bouquet because it contained daisies (love 'em!) and pretty yellow flowers (love yellow!) and because the vase is square. I don't own any square vases, so it was a big selling point. I'm going to have quite the vase collection if I don't start remembering to take one of my vases with me when I buy flowers!

I pat myself on the back for thinking of flowers as a reward for losing weight; they don't add to my hips, they're pretty, they smell nice, and they make my office feel cheery - perfect!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Doctor Visit #3

I wasn't looking forward to this visit, quite frankly.

1. I gave in to internal peer pressure and weighed myself on Monday (a week early) and still hadn't lost any weight. It was frustrating. I wondered what my doctor would say when I told him I had been stagnant for two weeks and hadn't lost as much weight as last month.

2. I worried about getting a fill. I kind of thought I needed one but really didn't want a repeat of last month when solid food wouldn't stay down. That was one of the worst nights of my life.

I almost canceled the appointment. The only reason I didn't was the realization that I haven't felt much restriction from my band since I went back last month and had some saline taken out. Most of the month, I thought it was just because I was in a good eating groove and wasn't eating enough to make me feel the band. Then I went to Las Vegas last weekend and had a meal that was a good deal bigger than I should have been able to eat. I kept the appointment.

I'm glad I did. It's nice to have a professional to talk to about my worries and about what's happening. Dr. S asked me all the usual questions then asked if I wanted a fill. I told him why I thought I should (the bigger meals, feeling no restriction, not losing any weight for two weeks) and why I worried about getting a fill (the Red zone). He advised that he put back most of the saline that was taken out last month and told me that the band isn't static; just because it's a good tightness for a month or more doesn't mean it will stay in the Green zone permanently. Also, just because a fill made me go into the Red zone one month doesn't mean it will make me the next month or in a couple months. Yeah, I don't totally get it either, but he knows what he's talking about, and I trust him.

As a precaution, I brought a small piece of leftover steak to eat after the fill; I didn't want to get home and realize the band was too tight and have to go back (remember, my doctor's office is 45 minutes away). The steak went down without a hitch. And, just that little bit kept me from feeling hungry for a few hours! Awesome!

Dr. S was very pleased with my weight loss results. He considers 4-8 lbs a month a good amount to lose, so my 9 lb loss (according to his scale) in slightly less than a month is fine. He said he'd worry if I lost 15+ lbs or less than 4 lbs (at this point in time). He congratulated me on regularly exercising and comforted me by saying that plateaus are normal and counseled not to get discouraged and give up my good habits.

Have I mentioned how much I like Dr. S? He has a great doctor personality; encouraging, caring, and friendly, but professional and trustworthy, too. I didn't really research my surgeon before the surgery (just went off a referral), so I'm very grateful that he's as good as he is.

My next appointment is May 13th. At first I thought I would get tired of having monthly appointments, but for now I'm happy because things can really change in a month.