Tuesday, June 28, 2011

1 year later

One year ago today I took a huge leap and had the Duodenal Switch weight loss surgery. I was at my wit's end regarding my weight, and life in general. Something HAD to be done. I was sick & tired of being sick & tired. And sometimes drastic times call for drastic measures. I truly thought I was about to die...and I probably was. As I've said before, I just kept thinking "I just have to make it until surgery and then maybe I'll be okay." It's really crazy to think back on that time and how I felt. I'm so happy to say that in the last year I have lost 173 lbs! Amazing! I never knew this would be possible. I hoped it would. I prayed it would. I liked to entertain the idea of it, but I'm not sure I truly believed it. After having failed the lap-band I was unsure as to how another weight loss surgery would turn out, but I had to do something.

*Hover over the pictures to see when they occurred!*

This has been an incredible year. I can't believe how fast it's flown by. I find it amazing to look back at pictures from the last year. Yes, I see the changes in the mirror, in my clothes, in the compliments I get from others, but it's just amazing to compare the photos, even just months apart.

For the first time in my ENTIRE life I'm losing weight, but also working on my mind regarding that. I've told you I started going to counseling back in March. It has seriously been the best decision I have ever, ever made. I don't talk about it on here much, mostly because it's so sensitive for me. I cry nearly every session. When I decided to finally go to counseling I still didn't really think I'd need it over a month or two. I'd get this mental thing "fixed" and I'd be on my merry way. Wow, really? No way. 31 years of deep rooted weight issues is not solved over night...or in a few months. It's amazing how my counselor will mention something and I start pouring my heart out and the tears roll. Weight has ALWAYS been sensitive for me. Always. It's always been the elephant in the room (pun kind of intended) but I tried to overlook it. Let's not talk about it and it's not really there. I just can't put into words how great it is to finally delve into these feelings, hurt, thoughts, lies I tell myself, images I have of myself and truly start to work on them. I'm nowhere near "cured" and will always have this to deal with. But I am starting to learn ways to deal. Do I have it down? Uh no. It's a daily struggle for me to make more appropriate food choices, not let my emotions or different situations send me into a spiral of bad ones, and to just plain deal. Food is everywhere and it's HARD. This is the hardest thing I've ever done.

This is also the first time I'm incorporating God into my weight struggles as well. That too is a sensitive subject, full of questions I have for God. Why? Why do you allow things to happen? Why do bad things happen to good people? The list goes on. This too is a process and I'm definitely a work in progress, and I feel I'm just at the start of this journey. Yes, surgery was a year ago, but it's really only been a few months that I've actually tried to start to really make life-long, lasting changes. I fail daily, but I'm never giving up...on any of it...ever.

The non-scale victories are crazy...in an awesome way. I'm currently in a size 16/18. Um, heck yeah! My rings, watch, bracelets, shoes, & undies are all too big. lol! It's 100 degrees in Texas in June and I am NOT dying. Can you believe it?! I'll be around people and they'll talk about how hot and humid it is and it catches me off guard because I really hadn't noticed. Don't get me wrong, I know it's hot, but it's NOTHING like being 173 lbs larger in the middle of a Texas summer. Nothing. I don't sweat at the drop of a hat now. A-MAZ-ING!!! I'm not winded as I walk through stores, parking lots, my work. I can get in the car and shut the door like a normal person. It makes me tear up to think how I was shutting my car door a year ago. I would wedge myself into the seat and then would have to reach out to the closest part of the door, which wasn't the side of the door where the handle is, and would swing it toward me, all the while feeling all my fat as I did this movement. Talk about sad and ridiculous. :( Flying, flying isn't awful because guess what?! I fit in the seat WITHOUT a seat belt extension. Nothing is more humiliating then having to ring the attendant and ask for one of those. I can sit in camp chairs now and they don't fold like a tooth pick. I can go into Target and ALWAYS walk away with an item of clothing that...wait for it...fits. I was NEVER able to shop at Target 173 lbs larger. I can wear dresses and shorts, which I hadn't done in AGES! And I actually enjoy it! Heels...I can wear heels and I'm not afraid they won't hold my weight. Yeah they still hurt the balls of my feet because let's face it, it's not natural to walk that way, lol, but I'm doing it. I don't have to think twice about using the REGULAR stalls in public bathrooms. I don't need all the extra room of the handicap stall. I can wear a 1X t-shirt from Wal-Mart. I said 1X, not 4X. :-) I can wear hand-me-downs. You KNOW I love that!!!! I get tons of compliments all the time...from boys too. Ha! I CAN CROSS MY LEGS! Yes, just like a regular person. And OH, guess what I discovered at church on Sunday?! My bible can sit in my lap and I don't have to hold it there. That's never happened before because there was always a HUGE stomach in the way. I have these bones that I never even knew I had before. Did you know your butt has bones in it? I can freakin' feel them now. I was sitting on the stairs at work today talking on the phone on my break and my rear actually hurt because the bones were digging into the steps! OMG! And get this, I keep cutting myself as I shave lately. Hello, I didn't just learn how to shave, what's the deal? I figured it out. There are these bones in my legs now that stick out and I cut the skin on top of them. Before my legs were just big puffy fatty bags and I didn't have to worry about that. I can see my collar bone. BEST EVER! And get this, I may not be big-boned, as I've always thought. My shoulders actually look kind of smallish. Holy cow. I could go on, and on, and on. But considering this is already a novella I'll stop.

As I said, I'm a work in progress. I don't have this all figured out yet, far from it. But I'm working on it. There are days when I do feel bad because of my surgery. But it's because I've eaten or drank something that I shouldn't. And therefore my body is telling me "Are you flippin' kidding me?" I don't always listen to my body. Again, work in progress. If I had it to do all over again would I? Yes. I would. Never in my entire life has something worked for me like this. Never before have I realized that the problem is much deeper than just food and that needs to be worked on. I'm learning so much about myself through this journey. It's crazy. And awesome. And scary. And worth every minute.

I love you all. Thank you for the tremendous support through the last year. Thank you for the prayers, compliments, hand-me-downs, accountability, and love. I have the best friends & family anyone could ask for. Thank you God for that.

I'm not done with this journey. I'm not at the size I want to be and I don't have this all figured out. So stay tuned. There is lots more to come! ;-)

*Oh, and I was WAY too lazy to take my post-op pics tonight. I'll do that probably next week! Ha! ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Who Wears Short Shorts?!

My sis and I had a shop 'til ya drop Saturday a few weeks ago. A lot of that time was spent trying on clothes at Lane Bryant. She too has lost weight recently, 34 lbs since January, and we both needed new clothes. We also needed to try on different sizes to figure out which one fit the best now. It was lots of fun. I've never been able to shop with someone before and then swap the items in our dressing rooms to see how it looked on the other person. It was greatness and something to not be taken lightly. I'm excited to say that I was able to buy size 16 clothes. Hallelujah! AND I bought my first pair of short in probably 10+ years. The last time I recall wearing shorts, in public, was in college. I remember wearing them to class one day and thinking "I am way too big to be wearing these." and that was it. I stopped and exclusively wore capris in the summer after that. But I am excited and proud to say that I bought a pair of size 16 shorts because the 18's were too big. I wore them for the first time today and LOVED it! My sis told me my legs were really white, she's so nice, but I couldn't care less. I was wearing SHORTS!

I also tried on LOTS of dresses at Lane Bryant that day. I'm really into shopping for dresses lately. I love it. I've NEVER been a dress wearer and am so excited by the fact that I can now, and enjoy doing so.

I bought the dress above in an 18/20, as well as the dress below. They are pretty much the same style and I really liked it, so of course I needed two in different colors.

I actually tried it on in a 14/16 (below) but it was a bit too close fitting. I wouldn't have been comfortable with it hugging my stomach rolls and booty that closely so I opted for the larger size.

I tried the next two on, and liked them, but not enough to get this time.

Unfortunately I didn't come home with any capri's after that shopping trip. I really liked these, but the 18's were too big and the 16's were too tight. I wasn't in love with them so I decided to try to be a little financially smart and pass on them all together.

I did go home with the purple shirt though. It's my fave color and was on clearance so that was pretty much a no-brainer. ;)

I loved these wide-legged, black pants. They felt very slimming so I came home with them as well. The shirt however was a bit too snug and didn't leave enough to the imagination so it got left behind.

Last, but not least, I got these size 16 jeans. I really liked them, however, I admit I've only worn them once so far and that was to work. After sitting at my desk all day they felt WAY too tight and I was pretty miserable. I do not do well with clothes that make me feel huge and gross. That's a bit too familiar. So I've set them aside until a few more pounds come off and they are a bit more comfy for a 9+ hour day.

Shopping is SO fun now! Used to I would have some pretty miserable shopping trips that would only end in disappointment. Now I can always walk away with something and the dropping sizes thrill me!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


We had Mavs Mania Spirit Day at work on Friday. I love dressing up for all our work events so I headed to Wal-Mart Thursday evening to buy a Mavs shirt. I found a few that I liked the looks of, but wasn't sure what size to buy. I took a 1X to the dressing room and tried it on. It fit! It was a little too close fitting for my taste, but I figured I could stretch it out a little and it'd be perfect.

After I dressed for work Friday morning I realized I didn't even really need to stretch it out. How awesome is that?! I got lots of compliments too, which I loved. I still was self-conscious of the mid-section roll, but all in all I was happy with the way the 1x fit. I've never worn that size before, or at least not in any type of recent memory.

I ended up winning 'Landsafe's #1 Mavs Fan' as well, which is pretty hilarious if you know me and my 'I could care less' attitude regarding any and all sports. Don't get too excited for my win though. It was only between my friend Diannah and I. Everyone else were party poopers, but we still enjoyed our Mavs Mania Day. Go MAVS..and 1x shirts!

I had another exciting non-scale victory this week with the shirt below. My sis gave it to me back in the winter because she didn't like it, but when she gave it to me it was too tight. The buttons all pulled and I was NOT comfortable wearing it. I tried it on again this week and guess what?! It fits! Actually, it's big now! Yay! Love it!

Front view - Yes, I took pics in the bathroom at work again. Ha! And I cut my head off due to my lack of make-up Wednesday. ;-)

Side view - It's very full now and actually makes me look bigger than I am.

Same Side view - This is a little blurry, but I pulled the shirt on the opposite side to show how full it had been.

I love victories like these! Sometimes it's nice to not focus so much on that number on the scale. ;)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

11 Month's Post-Op

It's been 11 months! Can you believe it?! I can't! Where has the year gone? I'm a bit late taking these 11 month pics, but figured better late than never. I did weigh last Friday, June 3rd. I had put it off for a few days because I was afraid to be disappointed. Ha. I was definitely, pleasantly surprised when I weighed. I'd lost another 10 lbs in the past month. That makes my total weight loss a whopping 170 lbs. I can't even believe it. That's a whole person, plus some. How in the WORLD was I lugging that around?! I have no idea. I'm just glad I am no longer attempting to do so.

I still struggle with weight issues. Will I eat well today and make appropriate choices? Will I track? Will I exercise? I've come to realize that I will always have these struggles, but I am learning to make better choices regarding them. Counseling is really helping me in this area and so is my accountability partner. Most weeks canceling my counseling appt or ignoring that text or email from my accountability partner crosses my mind. It just does. I don't want to face the area where I haven't done my best that week. I always feel better after facing it though and talking about it. Funny, huh? And then I dread it the next time it comes around. Ha.

This struggle has been much harder than I ever thought it would be. Yes, I have lost 170 lbs, so something is going right, but this whole mental thing...yeah, it's so crazy when you start picking it apart. I thought I'd go to counseling for a few weeks and be "fixed". It doesn't really work that way. 31+ years of being over-weight and the mental toll that takes on you doesn't disappear overnight. I am working on it though. This is the first time EVER that I have worked on it. Maybe that's why my attitude is different this time. Even when I stumble I'm getting back up and not giving up. I'm never going to give up.

I pinned my clothes back this month so you could see the weight loss a little better, but ultimately I just need new clothes for these monthly pictures. I'll see what I can do for the one year ones later this month. ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011


I've had some amazing milestones lately in my weight loss battle. For the first time pretty much EVER I wore a sleeveless, above the knee dress IN PUBLIC. Yes, really.

We celebrated Joy's 30th Birthday at Sfuzzi's in Uptown on May 13th and I bought a dress at Target for the occasion. I thought I'd probably wear a little sweater or something to cover up my arms but the more I thought about it the more I decided I'd go without. I did bring it along, just in case, but didn't put it on all night. I hate my arms and will definitely want all the extra skin cut off one of these days after getting to goal weight, but it was exciting to go bare. ;-)

Lindsay, me, Joy, Leigh Ann, & Leah

I've always been very self-conscious about my legs too. I haven't worn shorts in public in probably 10+ years. I decided it was time. I've lost so much weight that they have to be smaller than they used to be. I slapped on some Jergen's tanning lotion to hide them a little more and just went with it.

Another milestone came this weekend at Relay for Life. I was able to sit in a camping chair for the first time probably ever! I had avoided them like the plague. There was no way my booty was going to calapse one of those things in public. When Mom, Court, & I went to purchase them at Wal-Mart I was thrilled to see the weight limit on them. I was under it. I didn't even have to purchase one with the larger weight limit either. I was still scared as I bent to sit in it on Friday night and was elated when it was just fine! Whoo hooo! I quickly made Court take a picture so I'd have proof! ;)

I LOVE milestones like this. They thrill me and help me to see how far I've really come. I still struggle daily, no hourly, with food and my relationship to it. It's hard and sometimes I definitely feel defeated, but it's things like this that show me that it's all worth it and to keep pushing ahead. As First Place 4 Health says, "Choose the next right thing.".

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Yay, I've received new hand-me-downs!!! It's a good thing too, since the other ones are starting to get big! My recent treasures came from Keelie when she came over to visit/talk accountability this week. It was wonderful to check-in and have her help me to get back on track with eating well and tracking. And I got unexpect clothes out of it too! Yay! And as I've said, I love hand-me-downs!!!! It's the best feeling ever to be able to wear someone else's clothes when you've never been able to do so your entire life.

I got these black pants from her. I'm not sure if they are supposed to be gouchos, but they are on me. Oh, and I LOVE THEM. They are stretchy and so comfy! And, wait for it....they are a size 14/16!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven't been in that size in....pretty much ever.

Then I got this shirt and vesty thing too. I thought the shirt was too tight on it's own, and hung to closely to the back fat rolls, but the vest covered that up terrificly. And the vest is a LARGE. Whoo hoo. I couldn't be more excited. I was told today that these size 20 pants look terrible. I'm pretty sure this was a compliment on my weight loss, and a not so subtle hint to never wear them again. Matter of fact, I believe I was also told this was the last time to wear them. They don't even look that bad to me. lol.

And yes, I was taking pictures of myself in the bathroom at work. lol. I had to be quick because you never know when someone will be walking in. I'm pretty sure they'd think I was strange if they caught me taking pics of myself. Ha.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Heels & Hills 5K

On May 1st I participated in the Heels and Hills 5K. Keelie & I participated in the Heels and Hills and Him 5K back in September and had a great time. It's nice to participate in an event that is centered on women's health and fitness. When Keelie told me she, her mom, and friends from her First Place 4 Health bible study were doing the event May 1st I decided to join them.

Keelie & I outside the restaurant.

After packet pickup at the Holiday Inn, we headed to dinner at Pappasito's. I was VERY proud of myself for not eating the chips and salsa or the tortillas. It helped that everyone else said the chips were pretty disgusting. That worked to my advantage! ;-)

Keelie with her sweet momma, Mary.

We turned in pretty early Saturday night after a trip to ghetto Target to get some must-have items for the Race, like ponchos and sports bras. Ha. We were up before the sun and headed out to the race site around 6:15. Of course it started to sprinkle, as forecasted, the minute we pulled away from the hotel. We got parked and made our way to the portapotties. It was starting to get pretty cool outside and the sprinkles were a bit heavier now. Keelie decided to not wear her poncho, since it would probably be pretty restrictive during her half marathon run, so I jumped at the opportunity to wear it. We tried to stay out of the weather as much as we could before race time.

Showing off our event shirts and rain gear.

The half marathon, 13.1 miles, started at 7:30 am. Keelie & Lindsey both participated in the half, the first for both of them. We saw them off and then got ready for the next race to start. At 7:35 am Mary & Laura headed out in the 10K, 6.2 miles. Me, Norma, Stacie, & Ruth Ann were next up in the 5K, 3.1 miles. We headed out at 7:45 am. It was ridiculously cold. Then of course about 5 minutes into it the rain started to pour. I saw some women up ahead get out of line and head back to where we started. EVERYTHING in me wanted to do the same, but I just couldn't let myself. I knew everyone else was out here experiencing the same thing and they were doing even more miles than I was. I kept thinking about Keelie running a half marathon in these conditions so I kept chucking along. The poncho helped some, but my windpant capri's were soaked and sticking to me. My shoes and socks were completely wet. I tied my poncho hood down and trucked along. I was trying to walk this 5K as fast as possible. For one reason, I just wanted to be DONE and out of the awful conditions. My hands were so red, chapped, and cold. It really was bad. But I also wanted to beat my time from September. My tennis shoes kept slipping around on the roadway. I was kicking myself for not having used the Groupon I bought for $50 worth of shoes at Run On! I was also worried about my phone. We'd bought snack size baggies at Target the night before to put our phones in incase the weather got bad. Of course I had put my baggie in my pocket and hadn't put it on my phone yet. When I used the portapotty if rolled out of my pocket and onto the floor. I wasn't about to pick it up and use it after that. But a tiny part of me wished I had so I wasn't worried the weather would ruin my dang iPhone. I was making pretty good time despite all the conditions. I had walked my first mile in 15 minutes so based on that I estimated I'd be done with the 5K in around 45 minutes. I was slowing down by the time on my watch thought. Dang it! And then of course my car key, which I'd tied onto my shoe so I wouldn't lose it, started coming lose. Ugh. I was really afraid I'd lose it somewhere on this course. At one point I had to jump over into the median and tie it up tighter. I was so bitter. Then not 5 minutes later my laces started coming completely undone. At that point I had to jump over into the median again, and this time I took the key off and quickly re-tied my shoe, of course losing even more time. Ugh! I carried my key the rest of the way, along with one of my earrings which I'd accidentally ripped out while trying to fix my earphones. I was a mess and so ready to be done. Finally I crossed the finish line!!! I knew I'd finished in under an hour, but I wasn't sure of my exact time. The times were later posted and my chip time was 51:59.0 min, compared to September's time of 52:27.2 min. Bleh. I think it could have been much better minus the weather and my shoe situation. lol. I also came in 29th out of 38th of 5K women in the Athena division, which is women over 150 lbs. It really excited me to not be last. Ha.

After finishing I found Alicia, who'd come to cheer everyone on, and we waited for everyone else to finish. We cheered Mary across the finish line. She ended up coming in 3rd in her age group in the 10K. AWESOME! Then we had quite awhile to wait for Lindsey and Keelie to finish the half. We hit up the breakfast area that had been moved out of the conditions into the garage. It was still freezing in there unfortunately. We found a breezeway by the elevators where we huddled up by the wall and found a little relief from the weather. I huddled in my poncho and was SUPER glad to have it. We knew how fast Lindsey said she'd be running the half so when we thought it was around that time we headed back to the finish line to cheer her on. She crossed pretty soon after we arrived and then she told us they had actually stopped the half at one point because lightning was seen. At that point Keelie called my cell to say she was stopped in a pavilion for the 2nd time and would probably be another hour because they had told them they'd be stopped for 30 min this time. Then all of a sudden Keelie shouted "WE'RE GOING AGAIN!" and then the phone hung up. We knew she was off and running again. We warmed up for about 15 min in Stacie's SUV and then headed back to the finish line to cheer Keelie in!!! It turned out the event cut the half a little short because of the weather, so it was actually more around 12 1/2 miles, but either way Keelie & Lindsey completed it and could have gone another 1/2 mile so they were half marathon finishers in our book!

Yay, we finished!

Medal finishers!

We did it! Stacie, Mary, Norma, Ruth Ann, Keelie, Lindsey, & me

I love this Las Colinas clock/landscaping down the street from the event and Corner Bakery.

After stopping at Corner Bakery to chow down on some much needed food and a warm atmosphere, we headed home.I unfortunately got some pretty good blisters on my feet from my wet socks & shoes. I also got this nasty little blood blister on the corner of my big toe. It was pretty sore for a few days. Now it's just kind of black. Hope that's normal. Ha!

We had a great time yet again at Heels and Heels. Definitely check out Keelie's post about her first half marathon! I consider she and Lindsey rockstars!!!