Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Most Epic Throwback Thursday Ever

One Year

12 Months

52 Weeks

365 Days

8,760 Hours

525,600 Minutes

31,536,000 Seconds

Countless opportunities pass us by.  Opportunities to reach out.  To make the right choice.  To do something that will last.  To do something that will change your life forever.

A year ago today, I underwent gastric bypass surgery.  After a very long process to become approved by insurance, the day had finally come.  I was nervous.  I was excited.  I was prepared.  Most of all – I was desperate for a change in my lifestyle to become a better, healthier example for my children.  The surgery went smoothly, the worst complaint I have about the hospital was the chest pain I had when I woke up and then the taste of the blue dye.  I went home to begin healing and learning how to cope with this new stomach that I so lovingly call, “my pouch”.

The first few days were hell.  I’d gone from consuming 2,000+ calories a day to less than 500 on my clear liquid diet that all tasted like crud.  I was miserable, but in good spirits knowing that “full liquids” were right around the corner.  When full liquids came, I was able to deal a little better, but still struggled to get in my protein and fluids with my new 2 oz. processor.    After a full week of that, I graduated to soft foods.  People loves, let me tell you that “soft foods” is just a really nice term for “bane of my existence”.  Sure, scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes are super in their respective times and places, but when that’s really all you can eat and in small portions with protein powder mixed in…ugh.  Then after a few weeks of that nonsense, I was finally able to start consuming REAL food again.  In moderation.  Since then, I’ve grown to know what I can and can’t eat.  What causes my pouch to get grumpy and exactly how much my pouch can handle.  Me & my pouch, we’re getting along just fine.

On top of that, I work out 3 – 5 times per week.  In the beginning, I started walking ASAP per Dr’s orders.  I even did an obstacle 5k about 8 weeks post-op.  I didn’t run at all, but I completed it.  Since then, I’ve completed another 2 5k’s.  The Turkey Trot in November and then the Run for Your Luck in March.  Also, I started going to the gym.  I found a class or three that I liked (Splash, Body Pump & Kickboxing) and I started fitting them into my schedule.  I was doing Splash every Monday and then BP or KB every Saturday.  Then, Mondays didn’t work, so I started doing a double feature of BP & KB back to back every Saturday.  Also, 8 weeks ago, I started the Couch to 5k program.  I run 3 times a week and LOVE this program b/c it builds up your endurance.  I’m now running about 2.5 miles without stopping.  The important thing here isn’t what I can do now, it’s the fact that I’ve worked up to it.  Small changes here and there to fit these priorities into my schedule. 

So, I bet you’re all wondering – HOW MUCH HAVE YOU LOST?!  Well…I had a goal.  With a starting weight of 390.2, I wanted to lose a cool 200 pounds by my 1 year check-up.  At my 9 (more like 10) month check-up, I realized that the 200 lb goal was unreasonable.  I was down 164 pounds and had my 1 year check-up less than 2 months away.  My new goal was to lose a total of 175 pounds by my 1 year.  Well…I had my check up with my doctor on Tuesday and literally stripped down to my skivvies practically in the lobby (there was no one there but the nurse and receptionist!) to step on that scale ever so nervously.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only had I met my goal, I SURPASSED IT!!  In the red corner, measuring 6 foot and a half inch tall and weighing in at 213.1 pounds, I demolished that goal and then some by 2.1 pounds!  That’s right my sweet friends, this past week I lost another 5.9 pounds for a grand total of 177.1 pounds lost in a year!  GOSH, what a journey full of encouraging friends and family this has been.

Dang, it feels good to be a gangster!
Can I tell you a secret though?  The best part has nothing to do with me.  The absolute best part is when a dear friend messages me and confides in me that they’ve been struggling with their weight and I’m able to speak into a life.  God, may Your wisdom always speak through me.

Love always,

PS - Here are some amazing photos done by the one and only Antoni Hanlon to help me commemorate the occasion.  Hair by Mother Nature.  Make up by the beautiful Shalisha Kerr.

Look Ma!  I can tie my RUNNING shoes!

25 minutes straight at 5 mph?!  No problem...

This is my, "I'm going to hit goal" face.
I'm not excited at all, hmm?

I may have a ways to go, but I have come SO far!

From a 26/28 to a 12/14...

Plenty of room in these bad boys that used to be TIGHT on me!

And she even let me play a model for the evening!

I was threatened not to cry after seeing some of these on site.

Shalisha is THE best at make up!

Feeling every bit as glowy on the inside too...

Know of anyone who needs a plus size model?!  :)