Post-Op Week 66 Progress Report: Achievement Unlocked–Misses Size Pants

image This week saw me lose most of the gain I had last week.  How, I don’t know.   This was a good week for the most part, though.

This was a big week in several ways.  The biggest accomplishment this week was this: image Inside this bag is a milestone.  There are two pairs of corduroy pants in a misses size 16 inside.  That’s right: a misses size 16.  I’ve never been able to wear misses sizes in pants as an adult, ever.  So imagine my surprise when I tried them on and they actually fit.  And better yet, they looked good on me.  I wanted to cry tears of joy in the fitting room, but I’m not a crier like that.  Sometimes I wish I were that way but I’m just not.  Needless to say, I was thrilled with the revelation that I would no longer need to shop in the plus size section of any store.  This motivates me, because to keep wearing the sizes I’m wearing now, I have to make good choices most of the time about my eating and my exercise.  I’ve already invested a significant amount of money in my wardrobe and I don’t intend to go UP in sizes.

Fully crossing the plus-size threshold into misses territory has been a very big deal to me because it means now I have even more choices when it comes to finding clothes.  I was kind of a clotheshorse before I had surgery, but had extremely limited apparel choices.  Kind of tough to look as awesome as you’d like when anything above a size 24 is shapeless, clingy, and just plain ugly.  I spent far too much of my adulthood dressing to hide, even though I didn’t really want to hide from anything.  But my clothes sure did make it seem that way.

Now that the sky is practically the limit, it’s easier for my style and personality to show.

The rest of the week felt more disastrous than it actually was.   I missed a workout Monday night because I was out buying a new car.

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Me and my new baby.

Tuesday nights are rest nights as usually I have therapy, but this week I had a school function.  Wednesday night I worked out and got hurt (right knee, again), ironically, doing the exercise meant to strengthen the joint that was hurt (side shuffles).  I stepped to the right, planted my foot, heard the crack and immediately stopped what I was doing.  I skipped the remaining shuffle set (there was only one left) and finished the rest of my workout.  I figured that’s what G (my co-teacher/trainer) would want me to do were he there watching my form.  After I finished the calf raises from hell, I rode the recumbent bike for 20 minutes, then hobbled home.

Thursday night, I went swimming for almost an hour, wearing my knee brace.  I skipped the gym Friday night but went yesterday morning instead.  I know I didn’t stick to my MWF routine this week, but I did at least get in my three sessions of strength training this week!  It’s paying off too–I am starting to see definition in my arms, shoulders and thighs.  I saw the heads of my quads last week, and am also starting to see a significant indention where my obliques are.  G said that I would feel the results before I would see them, and he was right–the workout has now become far too easy, and it is about time to change things up.  I’m curious to see what he’ll have me do for the next three weeks instead of what I have been doing.  I am getting stronger, and the proof is the fact that the workout is getting to be too easy.

Because I hurt my knee this week, G had me change a couple of parts of my current workout.  Instead of the side shuffles and fast step-ups he had me doing, he had me substitute wall sits–literally sitting on the wall with knees bent at a 90-degree angle for 30 seconds to start with.   He suggested this because he didn’t want me to further injure myself, and apologized for not asking me about previous injuries before designing the circuit.

After telling me how to do the exercise, he said, “You probably won’t be able to make it for 30 seconds, so just do it for as long as you can.”  Before we parted ways he said, “You’re not going to like me after you do them.  You’re going to sweat and your legs are going to shake, and you’re going to cuss.”  I tried it against the door in my classroom to show him so that I could make sure I was squatting down far enough (disadvantage of not having him there when I work out–I don’t know if my form is good or not) and indeed, I said, “I don’t like you” and laughed.  So imagine my surprise when I got to the gym yesterday, got to the part of my workout where I swapped in the wall sits, and was able to hold the position for longer than 30 seconds:

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Sitting on the wall for 30 seconds, knees bent at 90 degrees? No problem!

I texted him the above photo and said, “These actually weren’t that hard.”  So we’ll see what he says when I see him at school tomorrow morning.  I get these two feelings about the program he designed for me:

  • He has no idea how strong I actually am, which is why the wall sits were pretty easy for me to do.  My legs are actually quite powerful for a fat girl.
  • This next workout circuit will be much more difficult and challenging.

I do like that he is pushing me, though.  I need that.  I need to be challenged, or I will get bored with what I’m doing and quit and I told him that.  I also need to feel like I’m competing, even if it is only against myself.  And that’s how I feel about the circuit when I go into the gym to do it–I push myself to finish the max number of repetitions of each exercise because I would feel like I’d done less than my best if I don’t.

My eating this week wasn’t the best either–I didn’t plan as well as I should have for meals, and I didn’t make great choices some days.  So today I’ll be cooking a few things for breakfast and lunches, and a couple of dinners in.  I think this week will be better but we’ll see.  Stress levels are through the roof at the moment as I’ve taken on another big new project outside of school that will require a significant time commitment, but that will be great for me professionally.  I just don’t want it to cut into the time I have set aside for exercise and self-care, because that time has increased exponentially and I’d like it to remain in the proportion that it exists in my current schedule.  I know eventually I’ll have to be in the gym/pool 6 days a week and right now I’m just one day away from that.  I really can’t take on another big project now…

I really do need to learn to say no every once in a while.

It is also the end of the grading period and that’s always stressful.  I am really trying hard not to eat my stress, but it has been tough.  Just because I had 80% of my stomach removed doesn’t mean the stress eating part of me went away too.  Finding new coping skills has been critically important so that I DON’T Eat!  All!  The!  Things! as a means of self-soothing.  Swimming has been good for that.  It is a very relaxing thing for me to spend time in the water, so I plan to squeeze in time at the pool as much as possible.

I miss my weekly group support meetings but can’t go as they conflict with Rotary meetings that I need to be at since I am the secretary.  I haven’t seen my therapist in over a month due to school event conflicts, but that’ll be remedied this week, thank goodness because I have a bunch of crap rattling around in my head that needs to come out and quickly.

I had a professional photo shoot yesterday by this awesome lady for a feature piece my university’s alumni relations office is writing about me.  I’d never had one before, so this was something new for me.  We chatted about why the university was writing about me, and I shared my story of transformation with her.  I showed her my -229 photo.  She was blown away by just how different I looked and said, “You don’t even look like the same person!”  I explained that I got that a lot from people, especially lately.  I also explained that I get a lot of, “You’re so tiny!” from folks, which is hard to hear because I just don’t believe it.

My husband says it all the time, G says it, everyone says it, but I don’t believe it.  My brain has yet to catch up to my body, and I wonder sometimes if it ever will.  I guess because I’m not wearing a size 8 or whatever–maybe that’s what leads me to believe that I’m not as small as I actually am.  Or maybe it’s because I still weigh over 200 pounds–not by much, though.  I’m getting closer and closer to the vaunted Onederland that all my fellow former fats seem to be excited to achieve.  I’m anxious to get down under 200 but I wonder if will I feel any different than I do now?  I don’t know.  Or will I be disappointed that I’ll most likely never weigh what “normal” is for my height?

I get asked a lot if I’ve reached my goal, and what is it and how much further do I have to go to get there.  There are days when I seriously doubt if I will get there because I still feel so big.  And it makes me wonder if this mental block I have about being as small as I am will keep me from getting there.  I’ve always been the biggest, the fattest, the roundest–and now I’m none of those things.  While being all of those things were nothing I was proud of, they were what I was for my whole life up until now.  Now I’m just average.  I don’t do well with being just average.  I suppose I need to learn that right now, being average is okay.

I always say that the most important part of this process is getting through all the mental and emotional issues one has with their weight if they are going to be successful in losing it.  I’m carrying around a ton of psychological baggage tied up in my lost weight, and I really just want to shuttle it so I can get past the 200 mark into 199 territory and beyond.  Thank goodness I get to see my therapist this week because I really need it!

This week’s challenges:  G’s new strength training workout for me, which I am positive will be more difficult than the previous one was especially since I haven’t had issues finishing these last few sessions; time management; planning for meals better than I did last week; squeezing in more time at the pool, and stress management.  I think I am equal to the task, but we shall see.

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