Shhhhh….

I haven’t posted since August? Where did September and October go? I promised myself that I wouldn’t let myself be a gastric bypass blog that stopped after reaching goal. 

In fact, I don’t want to be the weight loss surgery blog that shares the sunshine, rainbows and unicorns but not the ugly stuff.

So let’s get real.

I was on a roll. And then insert kidney drama. 

I was maintaining my weight up until then. And then I couldn’t exercise at all for 6 weeks while my body healed. And it was all good for a while then the number started inching up. So I was 7 pounds over my high goal range. And stuck. I started back working out after I was cleared. And I was still stuck. I had to go all the way back to basics and scale back to 3 mini meals and 2-3 protein shakes. The truth: it’s hard. Even though I had gastric bypass, I still am in the same boat where I need to eat 900 calories a day or less to lose. 

The good thing is that being strict helped me to reset my hunger impulses. I’m working my way back down. I will not let obesity win! Being 4’11”(ish) you just can’t hide 7 extra pounds. 

My message: don’t give up. Every day is a new chance to start over. I have tapped into my network of amazing support peeps, some from my Bariatric Support Group, and some “regular” folks. My health coaching program is the best opportunity for me to practice what I preach. I’m getting focused on balance, sleep, stress reduction, and nutrition. 

I’m building up my health coaching business which is incredibly exciting, so that’s where my focus has been. I will make an effort to check in here more frequently as I have a lot to share about my experience. Life in maintenance is a whole different game. And one you don’t read about that much, so I need to change that. 

✌️ 

The Good Life

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I just completed the first module of my first week as a student in the Health Coach Training Program through Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I have to confess the whole thing is quite intimidating. There are people from all over the world, many of whom already have their own businesses up and running with perfect blogs and Instagram accounts, and clever names, and videos of them cooking perfect food in their perfect kitchen. Quite honestly, our 1974 Harvest Gold electric stove top has one working burner (yes, getting a new stove is on a really long list of things we need to do). Frequently heard in the kitchen, “Are you going to be using the burner, or can I?” Makes for some fun collaborative dinners.

This week’s assignments included working on a mind map for our big goal and an intention statement. The good thing is that I know that this program will help me refine my intention paragraph to be a bit more concise and focused, but I already know my niche – to work with other bariatric surgery patients to help support them on their journeys by sharing my experiences and knowledge. I hope to one day be able to articulately talk about so many of the concepts we’re learning.  It’s week one. I am cutting myself some slack.

One of the exercises was to find a creative outlet to document the school journey and to help process the new information we’re learning.  Hence, blog. I also have my journal, planner, and a variety of notebooks for my lists and notes and random finds.

I’ve found one person who is also interested in working with bariatric patients, and one who had a gastric bypass as well, so it’s great to be among people who know and understand and don’t judge.

Side note: I am ruminating on the power of intention this week and the law of attraction.

  1. Create daily affirmations for what you desire.
  2. Feel the emotion of having already received it.
  3. Let go and trust the universe will deliver.

There it is. Right there. I’m digging in and the universe will deliver its abundance.

I know that I am starting to say things like this and people are looking at me like I am some kind of hippy freak. But really, positivity attracts positivity. It’s true. My life has improved so dramatically with the changes I am making.

Another exercise was to think of words and feelings associated with my intentions.

The last one was to great a Good Life Jar. This entails making a list of the things that I think make a good life. So far my list includes loving, learning, relaxing, connecting, moving, and listening. Each week I will create an activity associated with each of these words so I can actively experience each one. I think this will be a fun thing to do on a weekly basis, just to stay connected to how good this life really is.

The goal is to coach myself this year. Make myself the best Marilyn, no matter how unraveled I become. The more I put into it, the more rewarding it will be.

Another piece of the puzzle

Being a rule follower, I have been diligent about exercise since my surgery. I use my Apple Watch as a gauge for activity, but up until the new year, I’d only been walking. Granted I was walking a lot, and running a bit with my Nike+ app, but as I was getting closer to goal and the weight loss was slowing down, I knew I needed to mix it up.

I’ve mentioned that I joined Kaia Fit at the beginning of the year. Three weeks in and I can feel myself getting stronger, pushing myself harder, and having fun.  The workouts can be hard and you definitely feel them afterward, but I think this push is what I need to get me the rest of the way.

And the rest of the way has gotten a little shorter. My goal changed from 120 to 130, per my primary care doctor. I went to see her to check in about my medications since I was getting close to goal. I wanted to make sure the doses were still right for my weight and see if I moved any of my lab results to come off some meds. I ended up reducing 2 meds, and coming straight off of 2 others. I still will need to take medication for my pituitary tumor and thyroid, but I’m more than ecstatic of making other improvements in my health besides weight. Weight is just one piece of the puzzle; it’s a metric like my body measurements, body fat, and other health indicators.  When I first met with my surgeon, we set 120 as a goal, which sort of seemed like it was out of my reach at the time. At 135, I feel amazing. My clothes fit, it’s so much easier to buy clothes (I need to stop!), and I’ve made some big moves in my health. I asked my PCP for her advice about goal and she thought 120 was too low, and even though 130 wouldn’t get me to a normal BMI, that’s the number we picked. I would love to get lower — 126 would make 100 pounds total lost. I’m just going to keep working my program, pushing myself, and enjoying my new life.

I am grateful to all the Kaia coaches who aren’t judging my journey (or if they are, I’m not feeling that way) and are supporting me in this next chapter. Today I did burpees without dying.  It was an awesome feeling.

I leave you with this though, to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Seemed fitting for where I am, and where I am going.

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Thoughts about goal weight

I am 15 pounds from my goal. It may take me a while, but I am so sure I will get there. 

I have been thinking a lot about what getting to goal means. I’m really not going to change how I eat. I will never be able to go back to eating the way I did, and that doesn’t make me sad. It’s just a fact. 

In talking to my nutritionist about my goal weight last week, I told her I was thinking about making it higher because I wasn’t sure whether 15 more pounds would be too much. 120 is still at the top of the normal range for my height at 4’11”. She said that your body finds it’s equilibrium when you continue to eat following the program. 

I am definitely eating more. I can eat a cup of food now, although I try to keep my servings to 1/2 cup unless the extra is a salad or some other kind of raw vegetables.  I am experiencing various levels of hunger and trying to find the foods that keep my satisfied longer. 

Basically I am not going to worry about my goal weight. I am buying clothes one size down thinking by the time I am at goal, that’s where I will be. 

I am starting Kaia Fit on January 2 and expect that I will have good results in reducing my body fat some more. I am around 31% right now. I think 25% would be a reasonable goal. I am continuing to do my weekly measurements and seeing slow progress there too. 

I think the key now is patience and perseverance. 

I will continue to journal. It’s been great to go back and look at some of the things I said. Like when I ordered size 6 jeans and said they won’t fit for a while, and when they arrived in 2 weeks, they fit perfectly. 

I will not allow myself to be driven by clothes sizes. I have a range of things from 4-8 that I am wearing. I just want t feel comfortable in my skin.

Skin is a whole other issue. I have plenty of it. Hoping Kaia will tighten it up a bit, but I am thinking a breast lift may be in my future. Mike is saving his pennies. 

Wishing my readers a very happy holiday season, however you celebrate. Enjoy these cute pix of me and my pups. 

We are too cool for school. 😎
Me and the Nugget bug.

Goals and Gadgets

Apple Watch Nike Plus model
Gadgetry for Geeks

I struggle with coming up with the right rewards for the right goals. Now that I am almost two-thirds of the way to my goal, I decided to increase the stakes. 

I already have an Apple Watch but it’s the first version. Now that Apple has launched this new model, I’ve declared this to be my final goal reward. I’m a data nerd and the Apple Watch has been an important tool for my journey, between timers, tracking workouts, the activity app and other features, it only makes sense to upgrade as part of my upgrade. Extravagant? I’m worth it.