New Goal: Happy and Healthy

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I have been overweight for a long, long time. Actually since I was 11, I have been aware of my weight, on some kind of diet, with various results, only to gain it back. Bariatric surgery has changed that. I’ve been spending the last five months frustrated with being in a stall, holding fast at 135-138 since January. This week following a visit with my surgeon, we decided I’ve arrived.  I’m a good healthy weight, and with all of the exercise I have done with Kaia Fit and weight lifting, I’ve put on a good amount of muscle.  So, while my BMI of 27 still says I am overweight, I’m comfortable enough in my skin to say Fuck You, BMI!

So, I have declared my goal weight 136 and will work to maintain within a 2 pound range of that for now.

So the mindset of not trying to lose weight is completely different than how I have spent the last 40 years. Logically in my head, I know that being at goal for a bariatric patient doesn’t really mean that much. I am pretty much going to eat the same way the rest of my life. My target calories are 1000-1100, 50 grams of carbs, and 80-120 gm of protein with plenty of healthy fats. But now it’s going to get interesting. Let the games begin.

I am starting my program at Institute for Integrative Nutrition next Monday, so I have been immersing myself in learning more about how important nutrition is to overall health and about eliminating (or crowding out) toxins from my life.

This weekend I was also lucky enough to go on a tour of Nugget Market in Woodland with my Kaia Fit group. Nugget has an amazing selection of organic produce and specialty foods, so they walked us through the store pointing out where all of the ingredients for most of our cookbook recipes are.  It was awesome! We got a lot of samples and gifty type stuff to take away.

So I am learning about superfoods (and there’s so much more to learn).

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This morning I made a chia pudding with the Spectrum Warrior Vitality mix of chia seeds, maca, and cacao nibs. I mixed some pumpkin pie spice protein powder with almond milk and 2 tablespoons of this amazing stuff.  It was way more filling than my normal breakfasts and full of fiber and protein too.

I also decided to more or less follow the Kaia detox week plan of having smoothies, soups and salads this week.  I’ve been having a bit of stomach pain the past few weeks, which may be gastritis, so I’m taking carafate and omeprazole to get this under control, but also backing off on the crunchy raw vegetables for a while.  I had been adding raw red cabbage and shredded carrots to my kale salads and I think that may have been a bit much for my tiny tummy to handle. So I will be doing my green smoothies before Kaia (supergreens, almond milk, maca to replace flax I was using, frozen blueberries and protein powder), soup for lunch, and salads for dinner.  Kaia’s recipes are pretty much vegan so I will be supplementing my protein with protein powder or eggs, chicken, and string cheese. I also got some sauerkraut, which while raw, is a probiotic and should be good for gut health. I am pairing those with chicken sausages for dinners too. I’m not quite ready to go vegan, mostly because I worry about getting the protein I need from food sources and keeping my carbs low, but I am adding in some vegan foods like tempeh for some variety.

I made this Curried Cauliflower Stew out of the Kaia cookbook, which should serve 4, but for me will be 12 servings. I used all organic ingredients, and it was vegan until I added some chicken stock to thin it out a bit. I actually decided to hit it with the immersion blender which made it like a chunky puree (not photogenic, but very tasty). The carb content on this is pretty high, so the serving size is 1/2 cup, but that’s perfect for my pouch. I’m going to pair with eggs and chicken this week. I will probably end up freezing half of this since I don’t think there’s any way I can get through all of it.

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So I’m looking forward to this new life of maintenances and wrapping my head around that whole concept.  In the meantime, working towards happy and healthy, getting my stomach pain under control, and eating some nutritious and delicious detox food this week.

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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Transformation from within

Let’s start with this Instagram Post:

Old Marilyn would never say this, but I am so proud of myself. I have made a lot of sacrifices to be where I am today. Cutting negativity from my life. Focusing on what is positive and in my control. This is my new size 6 dress from the Loft. My wonderful husband encouraged me to order a 6 instead of an 8. When I took it out of the package I was sure it wouldn't fit, but it did. Along with a pair of size 4 jeans. I can honestly say I am happy where I am. I'm not done, but if I didn't lose another pound I would be perfectly happy here. Loose skin, saggy boobs and all. But I'm on fire, so no stopping me yet! #progressnotperfection #rnylife #gastricbypass #rnycommunity #happiness #hardworkpaysoffs #rulefollower #almostnormal

A post shared by Marilyn (@marilyn_unraveled) on

Friday night I came home from work, excited about the weekend and excited to see what goodies arrived from the post office. Since I am starting to run short on clothes, I took advantage of post-holiday deep discounts and bought myself that dress. I’m continuing to be surprised when things fit me. I still struggle with thinking of myself as being as small as I am, which is why pictures are so helpful.

After writing that post, I realized that’s the most positive I have felt in a long time. I have worked hard to get there. I journal daily. I find a daily affirmation every day. I write down 3 things I am grateful for every day. I am more aware of my negative thoughts and I try to catch myself before I say anything that’s not constructive. I am working hard to avoid drama at work (not 100% successfully, but making the effort) but making the move from management to being a worker bee has contributed to this improved state of being.

I have made so many changes in such a short period of time, but still more work to be done.

Next topic: Kaia Fit. Last week, I completed my first full week of Kaia Fit in probably over a year. I started in May 2014 and was consistent until things in my life started to fall apart around me.  My dad was sick and in and out of the hospital starting in September. Somewhere in there, I stopped going, stopped caring about myself, and gained 40 pounds. In a really short period of time. I just gave up.  And I was sick for months with whatever cold, flu or other crap was going around. It was horrible.

Fast-forward to now. I am smaller than ever and still getting used to moving with this body. I managed to get through my 4 workouts pretty successfully. I couldn’t do everything full force, like burpees — I forgot how much I hate burpees. But I did it, and the thing I love about Kaia the most is you get really strong, really fast. And it’s fun. The hour goes by fast and I know that by 7:00 am, I’ve gotten my workout in. It is a very satisfying feeling. Plus, this gem came from our Flow class on Friday and it stayed with me.

Then there’s the food part. I have such a routine around food. Since I can only eat so much at a time, I need to make sure I am getting good nutrition in. I had to come up with a good routine to make sure I can take my vitamins, medication, get a protein shake into me, put my lunch together — all before getting to my 6 am class. Food prep is critical.

I think I actually thrive on the routine. So it’s Sunday. Got a bunch of food prep done (it’s actually pretty easy with teeny tiny meals).

Since I started Kaia, the scale stopped moving.  I think my body thinks I am trying to starve it again. I just need to stay with it while my body keeps transforming.  Looking forward to my weekly measurements to see the progress.

 

Welcoming the New Year

Welcome 2017.

Welcome to the year where I will meet my weight loss goal.

Welcome to the year where I will work towards being more positive, judgement free, and kinder to myself and others.

Welcome to a year where I can continue the great habits I have put into play since my surgery.

Welcome to a year where I don’t need a resolution because I’m just living my life and working towards making every day better than the one before; making myself a better me than I was the day before.

Welcome to a year that I’m starting off with Kaia Fit, not because I was “bad” during the holidays, or because I ate cookies or other crap.  It’s just that the next session starts January 2.

I will challenge myself, be brave, and power on.

And last but not least, this will be the year I will teach myself to sew! Can you say alterations?

Happy New Year!