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Friday, December 28, 2012

2 year bandiversary....and final post

Hello chickadees!
...or should I say chickadee in the singular since I'm sure no one checks this blog anymore?  That is ok - you've moved on and frankly, so have I. Which means its time for me to shut this blog down.  I've just hit 2 years since getting banded and this seems like a good time to mark the milestone, wrap this phase of my my life up and say good-bye.  In an uncharacteristically Chloe move, I am even going to publish pics of me & my family.  Hope you enjoy it :)
I know conventional wisdom is that people stop blogging about WLS because they've fallen off the wagon and gained a bunch of weight back.  Happy to report that this is not the case for me.  I'm still bouncing between 146-148lbs just like I have been for the past 8-10months.  I wear a size 6. :)  Still love the sound of that.

So, what does maintenance look like?  Funny enough, its not very different. Much wiser band warriors have noted that there is no finish line.  Too true.  I still workout 8-10 hours a week: sweaty cardio, some weights, yoga and more sweaty cardio.  I don't drink my calories - tea, water, soy milk & protein shakes are my liquids.  I eat my protein first - no pasta, rice, bread.  Good carbs and good fats like nuts & avocado.  I still plan out weekly menus & do most of our cooking at home. I still eat off little plates, just order appetizers at restaurants and don't drink when I eat.  I'm not nearly as strict with my diet as I was during active weight loss, tho' and I no longer track my food... but I'm still a sugar addict and always will be.  I confess to lots of xmas cookies.  Also, I drink alcohol a bit more now which I had pretty much cut out during active losing.

Words of advice to new or struggling bandsters?  I've learned that active weight loss is almost all diet-dependent.  Yes, you really do have to consistently eat clean 90%+ of the time to drop pounds.  No, you can't have a glass of wine or a martini several nights a week and expect to see smaller numbers on the scale.  If you are not prepared to pass on the booze, soda, chips and fast food then you are NOT.GOING.TO.LOSE.WEIGHT.  (yes, I am calling out Dinnerland, Tessie Rose and even Amy W...but they already know the truth of this.  They're just not willing to live it.)

On the other hand, I believe exercise is the key to successful maintenance.  It provides more wiggle room in the diet to still keep the scale steady.  I do think exercising does help during active weight loss as a distraction.  If I go to the gym for 2 hours then that is 2 hours I'm not near my pantry.  Plus all the toning really helps lift the booty and the confidence.

How's life with the band?  I knew when I shelled 10 grand out of my own pocket to do this surgery that I was ready and willing to make big changes.  I knew I could lose weight - I had a million times before. What I didn't know was if I could keep it off.  Now that I am maintaining, I find the band to be at its most helpful.  It does something I'd never been able to do on my own - it keeps my portions in check.  I haven't had a fill in nearly a year and I still can only eat a little bit at a time.  I think Cat just had a post about how the band helps level the playing field between her & food.  Yes. Exactly.  Ditto.  But as you know, the worst foods slide down so easily which means I gotta bring some willpower of my own to the table.  The band can't do it all for me....or for you.  Own up to that fact. people.

Any unexpected changes after losing the weight? A huge change for me has been how integral fitness has become in my life.  Somewhere during this process going to the gym stopped being a chore and became a relief.  Sweating became more critical for my mental health than my physical health.  My version of happy pills, I suppose.  My husband & I are just so much more active today than in the past.  We did a 4 mile Turkey Trot at Thanksgiving.  There is a Resolution 5k on NYE plus a Commitment 5k on New Year's morning that we're going to run.   A good friend who is a big cyclist just came through town and he'll be back in May for the Elephant Rock ride.  E-Rock is the unofficial opening of racing season here in Denver.  I was agitating for the 62mile ride since I doubt I'll be able to get much outdoor training time in before the race but the guys want to do the full century right out of the gate...that's probably what we'll do.  Also, I want to do the Copper Triangle ride with my husband this summer - 3 mountain passes, 6000 feet elevation gain and 80 miles.  Plus, I'd like to do an Olympic distance triathlon, do Venus de Miles century again, blah, blah, blah....

Turkey Trot 2012
Another big change for me is learning to deal with my emotions when I actually experience them.  I can no longer eat my feelings but have to learn to process them instead.  This is not always easy.  For days after the Sandy Hook tragedy, I couldn't turn on the TV without crying.  I would not have been able to feel that sorrow 80lbs ago.  But there are happy tears, too.  We just had a meeting with my daughter's therapist team at school and they were telling a story about working with smells with her and how strongly she responded to the scent of lavender.  The team was quite pleased to get such a strong reaction out of her since her responses are so limited.   Tears were welling up in my eyes when I told them that lavender is my favorite scent - I use lavender soap, lavender lotion, lavender satchets in my closet, etc, etc, etc.  I've planted oodles of lavender all throughout my garden and my daughter keeps me company when I'm cutting it.  My daughter is not mobile, not verbal and at 10 years old, she has the capabilities of a 4 month old.  She will never come running to the room, jump in my lap, throw her arms around me and say "I love you, Mommy." As a mother, I will never know this.  not ever.  So, it was a revelation that, in her own way, she knows me and recognizes me.  I would not have been able to feel such happiness 80 lbs ago, either. 

Learning to bare my emotions and face my feelings - both good & bad - has been the hardest part of the struggle for me.  I think it will be this way for the rest of my life.

How to stay committed? Other than wanting to still fit into the thousands of dollars in gorgeous new clothes I've filled my closet with (for the first time ever, I even let my husband buy me clothes), I believe all of us on this journey need a "powerful why" to help us stay on track when the motivation inevitably dips.  Getting healthy and staying healthy so I can be around to take care of my daughter for many years to come is my most powerful why. What's yours?

My daughter - my powerful why

Halloween 2012 as the Flintsones
My love bugs!
My 40th bday
Xmas 2012

Hubs bought me a great, sexy dress for Xmas!

What's next?  I don't think I'll ever be done with this journey but I'm proud to say I've met my goals and now its time to move onto other life projects.  Thankfully, the hubs has fully recovered from his medical scare over the summer.  whew!  My daughter's health is starting to get a little precarious, tho'. Her scoliosis has dramatically worsened in the last few months and we're facing spinal fusion at the end of January.  Its a 6-hour surgery where they will open up her back from neck to butt crack, fuse the vertebrae and insert rods, wires & screws to straighten out her spine.  After surgery, she'll be in ICU for a few days, then in the hospital for about 10 days, then home from school for 4-6 weeks and then recovery will take 6months - 1 year.  Its as scary as it sounds.  She's had several surgeries in the past but this one will the most extensive and invasive to date.  I'm a wreck!

Also, I am deeply unhappy at work.  I need to muster the courage to dream big dreams and make a big leap in my career.  My best friend suggested "ChloesClimbUp" and I really like it.  No reason not to act....look at what I am capable of!
Where I started - never going back!

Merry Christmas.
Happy New Year.
Wishing you success, peace & joy.



Vanessa said...

Wow! You are an inspiration! Congrats on closing this phase of your journey!

Ronnie said...

So awesome to see how far you've come in your journey, babe. I know you'll do great things! xoxox

vickyd said...

What a great way to close out your blog...and it's great to finally see a full picture of you and your family. You've come such a long way since we "met" over at LBT and I know that you will continue to stay on the ball! Good luck to you in the future and I'm sending lots of prayers for your daughter's surgery.