another goal reached!!

I have been a bit lax in the weighing in of late, mostly because I find that if I weigh in too often I get discouraged, and I fall back into bad behavior.

It’s been about three weeks since I last stepped on the scale, and I figured it was probably time.  So this morning before coffee, I stepped on the scale.  I’ve had a loosely defined goal in my head for the end of July/beginning of August.  I get on a plane on July 31st for a trip to Austin.  I wanted to be wearing a size 18 and I wanted to be under 200 pounds.

While I’m not consistently in a size 18, some of my pants are still size 20, this morning’s weigh in put me at 198 pounds.  Take that medium term goal!

The only down side is finding things I can wear for Pride next weekend.  I may have to improvise.  I prefer capri pants or shorts, because the day can get super hot.  Right now I only have one pair of shorts (with pockets, because I need pockets for Pride) that fit comfortably, so I may need to see about picking up a cheap pair before then.

weight loss 62319

I don’t know why photoshop did that with the number and pounds, which I entered properly, but whatever.

For now I need to get moving, finish my coffee and such, as I’m headed out to spend the day with my mother.

Have a great Sunday!

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lots to celebrate

This week has been filled with victories!  I weighed in at 203 pounds this week, which is an incredible 117 pounds down from my heaviest weight, and almost 75 since before the surgery.

I put on a pair of non-stretch denim jean shorts that are a size 18 and they fit beautifully. A friend purchased me a dress in a size 20 and it really shows off how much I’ve lost.  My niece gave me a 1X shirt she has shrunk out of and it fits nicely, and will fit even more nicely in another ten pounds.  This size 2X tank top is falling off my shoulders!

In measurements, I’ve dropped a total of 27 inches since before the surgery:

  • 4 from my chest
  • 3 from my under-chest
  • 9 from my waist
  • 9 from my hips
  • 4.2 from my thigh
  • 2.5 from my upper arm

I am 8 pounds ahead of my projected weight at a 3 pound loss per week.

All in all, things are great!  Now, if I could just land a job before the 15th, that would be awesome.

the lies my mirror tells

There were a number of changes this week for me that had nothing to do with numbers on a scale:  I wore a size 18 jeggings, I was able to lay comfortably on my stomach for a rather lengthy period of time, and yesterday, when I had gotten dressed and gone out for a walk to the grocery store, I noticed that when I looked down, I saw my chest, and not my stomach.

It’s a weird thing, how disconnected my vision of myself is from my physical reality.  When I’m sitting down particularly, all I can see is my stomach, and it doesn’t seem to be shrinking at all.  I hate looking at myself in the mirror because what I see there doesn’t mirror the reality.  I mean, at least I know this, but knowing that what I’m seeing isn’t real doesn’t really help the way it makes me feel

And, I have to police my thoughts pretty heavily lately.  I’ve had whole days where I couldn’t drag myself up out of the dark places because of what I was seeing in the mirror.  I keep telling myself that the numbers don’t lie, from the numbers on my scale to the ones of my measuring tape, to the sizes of the clothes I’m wearing…they’re all going down.  But anytime I look in the mirror, the numbers go away and there I am, just as fat as ever.

*sigh*

It’s part of why I take so many selfies, why I take pictures of me in front of the mirror…somehow the camera manages to bypass my disconnect and lets me see me as I am, not as my mirror is trying to tell me I am.  Today, in my memories on Facebook, there was a selfie of me in 2015 and I know that woman, I see her in my mirror everyday.  Except I really don’t, because the woman in my mirror today is more like the selfie on the right from just a few weeks ago.

natalie 2015 to 2019

They aren’t perfect comparisons, seeing as they are different angles and my hand is hiding my double chin in the more recent pic, but it helps to see it.  It really helps a lot.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to see me as I am when I look in the mirror.  For now, I’ll keep taking pictures to remind me how much has changed.

Photo by Alex Lopez on Unsplash

laying on my stomach again

I haven’t really been focused on where my weight is or how much exercise I’ve been getting as this week has been largely about the job search and going to interviews, though I did hit almost 15K steps on Monday.  Yesterday I interviewed for a job I would really love to have offered to me, and I’ve spent today constantly poking the “get mail” button in hopes to see a job offer.

But, I did decide that I would get dressed in something other than pajama pants and an old worn out t-shirt, you know the uniform of the laid off, and I pulled out a pair of jeggings and slipped them on.  They’re a size 18, from Torrid.  I’ve put them on before, but they weren’t comfortable.  Today I can sit, stand, lay in them with no problems.  In fact, I can even lay on my stomach!

mirror selfie 18

I’m also wearing a shirt I haven’t worn comfortably in years and it’s practically falling off my shoulders.  I may not have a job right now, but I look damn fine today!

Once my fedex arrives, I will be grabbing my rolly cart and walking to get some groceries.  I could use the exercise.

 

a long road from there to here

I didn’t post yesterday as I was distracted with job hunting, and yesterday was one of those go-go-go days.  I did manage to get out for a 3 mile walk yesterday though, and today I went for a 2.8 mile hike up in the Acalanes Open Space here in Walnut Creek.  It’s quite a hike, up and down some pretty steep hills and by the time it was over, my legs were like rubber!

I see my surgeon on Monday, and I wanted to have a comparison photo to show for it.  On the left is me at my largest, 320 pounds.  On the right was me today after my hike (pardon my very dirty mirror).  I’m hovering between 226 and 230 the last few weigh ins.  That’s almost a hundred pounds.  It’s another whole person.  A small person maybe, but a person!

My test results have all looked good, well within normal ranges, so that’s going for me too.  That picture up there represents 3 years, some of it up and down.

I’m never going back to that.  Not ever.

It felt really good to get out there today.  That first hill wanted to send me packing, but I beat it, then the next one, and the next one.  Coming back to my car was difficult, that last hill took me forever to get up, but I got up.

I hope I can hit it again tomorrow, since Sunday I’ll be heading up to spend the day with my mother…but I’ll wait and see what I feel like tomorrow.  I got the feeling I’m going to be sore!

thinky thoughts

If you’ll pardon the pun, weight loss is such an up and down struggle sometimes.  This week is a perfect example.  The scale shows significant improvement as of Sunday, but somehow I don’t feel it.

Some of that, I know, is all in my head…the same crap that’s kept me trapped in my ideas about how I look, the same crap that convinced me at 13 that I was fat, just because other people called me fat.  I wish I could reach back through time and tell that little girl not to listen to those evil bastards.

I had some friends when I was growing up that I thought of as my best friends at the time.  Looking back, I can see how a lot of my self image was formed by the opinions of them and their family.  Their grandfather used to call me “Fat Nat” when I was as young as six or seven.  I suppose he thought it was cute because it rhymed.  But it really did a number on my head.

I was convinced that I was hideously fat as I entered puberty, and there was an element of just giving in to it that happened as the normal filling out of puberty happened.

natalie 12

 

This is me at around 12 or so, playing softball at a multi-family picnic with my father’s friends.  That’s my dad with the bushy hair in blue to my right.  That little girl is not even overweight, let alone fat.  But you wouldn’t have convinced her of that.

 

natalie 16

 

Here I am at seventeen, still not extremely overweight, but already I had given into the idea that I was the fat one, and I had completely embraced it.

It’s little wonder then that over the next 30 years I would yo-yo up and down, packing it on to a top weight of 320 pounds at one point, but dropping as low as 150, and usually hovering somewhere in the mid 200s in my 30s and 40s.

Oh sure, I tried lots of diets, some of them even sort of worked for a time.  I did the cabbage soup diet.  I did the yogurt diet.  I tried Atkins.  I tried fasting.  I tried heavy exercise.  Inevitably, as soon as whatever fad had run its course, I went back to eating the way I always had, and whatever weight I’d lost came back with friends.

You hear it all the time from people like me, but no body listens.  Fat people, like everyone else, desperately crave validation and affection, but we’re convinced by the society in which we live that we are not worthy of it until we conform ourselves to the skinny standards of beauty that our society currently embraces.

Fortunately for me, somewhere along the line, I learned that I was whole and valid and worthy of my own love.  I learned to see the beauty, even in my fat.  Sure, I’m not perfect at it and there are days I struggle.  A lot.  Sometimes the struggle is daily.  Sometimes I’m convinced I’m ugly and worthless, and the only validation I’ll accept is the number on the scale.  I celebrate when it is smaller than it was before.  I hate myself when it’s not.

This week, as I sat on my bed getting dressed, with that big floor-to-ceiling mirror in front of me, I tried to tell my reflection that she was beautiful.  She wasn’t listening.  She told me instead about my fleshy, fat thighs and the jowls on them.  She pointed out my expansive belly and told me that nothing had changed, and the number on the scale was lying to me, that the smaller sizes weren’t actually smaller, they just changed the numbers on the tags.  She showed me how fat I still am and told me that dying my hair and putting on makeup didn’t fool anyone.

I still tell her every morning that she’s beautiful and that I love her.  One day, she’ll believe me again.

Photo by Leon Biss on Unsplash

weigh in time

This morning, I weighed myself for the first time in about two weeks.  If I’m honest, I’ve been struggling a lot and feeling down and hating on myself a lot, however I told myself that today was the day.

So when I got up and took care of the just out of bed business, I stepped onto the scale.

I was pleasantly surprised by the number it showed me: 226.4 pounds.  This means I have officially tipped over the 50 pounds lost since January and since my heaviest weight, I have dropped over 86 pounds!

I think that is really helping the things in my head this morning.  I’m hurting this morning, after spending yesterday helping my mother move rocks and paving stones and bags of dirt and other fun things, and my head can sometimes be an unfun place when I’m in pain.

But I think this helps.  A lot.  I feel pretty good right now.  Not sure I have it in me to do measurements today, but this is enough for now.  I think my next goal is to get down to 200 by the end of June, which is just shy of 3 pounds per week.  Beyond that, I’d love to be in the 180s by the time I head to Austin in August, which is just over 3 pounds per week.  I need to up my exercise game and be more conscious of my food choice (which to be fair will be a lifelong issue with me).

I have some errands to do later, and the never ending laundry, but I may reward myself with a second viewing of Avengers later, if I think I can sit that long when my back, glutes and thighs hurt the way they do.  I also need to swing over to Ace to pick up some garden soil and succulent soil, because I came home from Mom’s with a bunch of containers and some gladiola bulbs.

For now though, coffee, and meds and some nice, slow stretching of the owie places.  Happy Sunday!

gobble gobble

Yesterday, as I was sitting on my bed sans clothing to put some lotion on, for the first time I noticed significant changes to the consistency of my stomach.  I mean, it’s still big and all that, but for the first time, I noticed that it was saggy, that it wasn’t full skin stretched to it’s limit.

It was kind of a surreal moment.

I mean, I’ve seen saggy skin in other places since the surgery/weight loss.  My double chin, for example, is all saggy and looking like turkey neck, and my upper arms are all wobbly, but this is the first time I’ve seen it there.

It was a happy making moment, to be sure.

This week, I am refocusing my exercise efforts and attempting to get into something like a routine.  I’m thinking that on my work from home days, I will be getting myself out of bed as if I were going to work, and starting the day with a long walk.  I also need to up my other exercise so I need to plan out an arms and abs day as well as a legs and abs day, and plan out what those exercises look like.

The plan is to be in the office Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week, so I’m thinking Tuesday and Thursday will be early walk plus workout video days, with added arms & abs on Monday and legs and abs on Friday.  Eventually I’ll get to a place where I’m doing those things more often.

My workplace is participating in this year’s Relay for Life event on May 4th, supporting cancer research, and I’d like to be able to do at least 4 miles over the course of the day, though my current limit at one go is 2.  That’s when my foot starts to cramp up and my back starts complaining.  Hopefully, a nice sit down and what not will allow me to jump back in a few hours later.

Anyway, still avoiding numbers to avoid bad behaviors, so no weigh in today.  Hopefully by next week I’ll have my head on straight again.

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bad behavior

I’ve been noticing some bad reactions to my weigh ins over the last two weeks.  My weight has fluctuated a lot, in both directions over that time, and I have opted to stop weighing in for at least the next week.

When I dislike what the numbers say, I react either by refusing to eat at all or stuffing my face with food I know I shouldn’t be eating.  Not looking at the scale for a while is usually a good way for me to break that cycle.  So, I haven’t weighed myself at all this week, and I won’t weigh myself again until I think I’ve gotten past the issue.

My next official weigh in with my surgeon is on May 13th, and it is my hope to get down into the 220s by then.

I’ve got other goalposts I’m looking forward to hitting as well.  In August I will be traveling to Austin for a weekend (plus a few days) to attend a weekend of shenanigans with some of my favorite people.  My last pictures with these people show me at nearly my heaviest and I’ve always wished for some of that stomach to just disappear.  Well, now it actually is.  My goal for that first week of August is to break into the 200s.

In September, a friend and I are going to Universal Studios and Disneyland.  The last time I went to a theme park with her, she was disappointed because I couldn’t get on any rides.  My goal for September is to be able to ride some of the rides (yes, I’m 50 years old, I still like rides!).

In October, I am going to a conference in Denver.  My goal for October is to feel comfortable in costume for the big party, even if I haven’t decided what that costume is going to be.

I should get busy with the work stuff…and another cup of coffee.  See y’all later!

Photo by Gardie Design & Social Media Marketing on Unsplash

doctors and pain and periods, oh my

I missed posting yesterday…partially because I didn’t feel like I had anything to say, but also because I was pretty miserable.  My period started on Wednesday, and the accompanying pain was terrible.

Fortunately, I was already working from home yesterday, because I had an appointment with my new primary care doctor for my annual physical.  I managed to get myself up and dressed and out to her office, but I was in so much pain in my lower back and all the usual period pain places that walking was difficult, and I mostly just wanted to curl up in a ball.

Unfortunately, with having had the gastric bypass, I can’t take the usual meds.  No NSAIDs for me!  It really limits what I can take, and that leaves me hugging heating pads and trying to stretch away the pain.  It doesn’t help that I am also very bloated due to water retention, and when that happens, nerves get compressed and that adds to the pain.

I have a great primary care doctor though, and really, a great team of doctors who all communicate with each other.  Beside my primary, I have a new gynecologist, my endocrinologist and my surgeon, and when I saw my doctor yesterday she had been actively in communication with all of the others in the last week or so.

Together we talked through the pros and cons of giving me a shot of toradol to help with the incredible amount of pain I was in and ultimately I decided to try it because I was facing a long day of pain without it.

It gave me enough relief I could go to the store and pick up a few things I needed, and get through my work day without having to go lay down with my heating pad.

Thank the gods for good doctors!  I should also mention that three of my four doctors are in practices that are only female practitioners.  And I think that makes a huge difference in them actually hearing what a woman is saying when she says she’s in pain.

On that note, I’m in the office today, and there’s work to do and coffee getting cold.  I should get to that.