Monday, April 30, 2012

Bringing down the hammer.

Looking back at my old photos growing up, I see that I was relatively the same size as many of my friends.  However, I was always the FAT one.  By college, that became the truth, but before that, it wasn't really.  When contemplating why that was the perception, I've come up with a few reasons:
  • I weigh a lot.  Currently. I weigh 30 pounds more than my mom, but we wear the same size or I wear slightly smaller.  30 POUNDS.  I was definitely always on the bottom of the pyramid.
  • I am slow.  I know now that even in the best shape I have ever been in, I can't run fast.  I think that running was such an effort for me equated to fat and out of shape.
  • I eat a lot.  It always took more to get me full.  I was always hungry first.  I thought about food a lot.

Dude, I was nerdy as hell, but I wasn't this gargantuan creature that I made myself out to be.  I'm the goober nut on the left.  :)

I think that all the things above contributed to the myth that I was fat...that and every girl thinking she is fat.  So when I got to college, I think I just let go.  I had dieted all through high school and I was still known as the fat one, so forget about it.  I'm just going to do, eat, and drink what I want. 

I didn't weigh myself much back then, but I'm guessing that from my Senior Prom to my college graduation, I gained around 75 pounds.  After graduation from the time of my surgery, I went up and down, up and down, up and down.  I weighed as little as 197 once, and 206 once.  And I was high as 265 many, many times and right before surgery ballooned to 285. 

Like many of you reading this, I dieted a lot.  Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, pills, shakes, Atkins, South Beach...and I'm sure there are many I'm forgetting.  Often I successfully lost the weight only to put it back on.  Same old story, right?

I needed so much food to be satisfied, not stuffed, but just satisfied.  I needed so much volume that in order to lose weight, my options were very limited.  I had to eat grilled chicken/fish, veggies and maybe some fruit.  That was it.  I would do fine for a while, but then I would get tired of eating the same thing over and over.  So I would quit and I would start gaining weight...even if I wasn't eating horribly.

All my life:
Diet = Deprivation.

When I got my Lap Band, that changed.  I was able to diet without completely depriving myself of things.  Because I was satisfied with a small amount of food, for the first time in my life, I could have some of what other people were having without feeling shame.  I was in heaven.  I felt normal.

Diet was no longer deprivation.  Diet = food put into my body. 

It was amazing to be able to work at it just a little and still be successful.  But, there came a time, when working "just a little" stopped working so I ramped up my exercise.  At good Band restriction, with my exercise and only slight adherence to nutrition, I have proven to myself that I can maintain quite easily.

Two problems with that:
  1. I can maintain, but because I've become so happy with my food life, I have stopped losing.  And seemingly, no amount of psyching myself up is working to get me out of maintenance and back into losing.  I try.  Well, you all know because you are witness to it here. 
  2. When I'm not at good restriction, I'm screwed.  I'm gaining.  Not a lot.  I'm just at the high point of "my range".  But I can feel myself losing control.  My fill isn't until 5/10 so I absolutely cannot wait until then to get control over myself.
What am I going to do?  I'm going to old school diet.  I have 10 days before my fill.  I get no credit for exercise because I do that anyway.  But for 10 days, I will be in my calorie range and I will drink my water.  I'm going to be hungry.  That is just going to have to happen and I will get over it.  I did a liquid diet for two weeks pre-band and I got through it.  I can get through this. 

Honestly, I just need to get myself to do this.  No rewards, no punishments.  I just need to do it.  I will worry about what to do after the fill...well, after the fill.

I'm kind of at one of those Crossroads.  I need to do something just because I'm telling myself I need to do it.  Quite honestly, when it comes to food, I don't even believe myself anymore.  And that, my friends, is a problem. 

10 Days.  Nothing more.  Will I walk the walk?  All I can say today is that I hope so.  I really, really hope so.


Friday, April 27, 2012

I have changed, but some things are the same.

It has been great the last few days thinking how much I have changed the last few years, both inside and out.  I love that I am a different person today.  I actually like AND respect myself.  It's a nice feeling.

But there is one area that remains so much the same and that is with my eating.  I hate that I just can't cut out sugar.  Or that I can't get myself to eat Paleo.  Or that I give into myself when I'm hungry or even just upset.  I hate those things.  I have battled them always.  I battle them still.  If I were a betting girl, I would say that I will battle them forever.

When I got my last unfill a few weeks ago because I was too tight, the doctor said that I would need to come back and put some back in after the swelling went down.  Because of the cost and inconvenience, I was hoping not to do that.  I would just diet like a normal person, right? 

I'm sad to say that I'm not doing well with that.  Here is my thinking:
  1. How much am I eating at a sitting?  I can't say for sure because I'm not measuring but definitely more than a cup.
  2. When am I getting hungry?  It depends.  After a reasonable breakfast, I'm hungry within an hour.  If I truly fill myself up at lunch (which is WAY TOO MUCH FOOD even if it is healthy), I can go about 3-4 hours, maybe. 
  3. I don't make good choices when I'm truly hungry.  That is why I had so little success dieting pre-band.  I do find that if I'm slightly hungry as opposed to really hungry, I can make much better food choices.
  4. I realized that it wasn't the money holding me back from getting a fill, but actually it was the inconvenience.  I just have to suck it up and go. 
So I am going.  I will have my fill on 5/10 and hopefully it will be just right to take me through my surgery.  I won't be working out for several weeks, so it is important that I take the food side of the equation very, very seriously.  I know I'm not good at that.

I do want to say that while I'm struggling, I also recognize that my definition of "bad choices" today is VERY different from my past.  I logged everything I ate yesterday and while the total wouldn't be a good pattern to keep, it is still less than a "normal" day of eating pre-band.  So, I have come a long way.  The struggle is the same, but the severity has changed, I guess. 

I think I get annoyed by this because so much of me just wants to be "normal".  I just want to eat and be full like a regular person.  When my band is set right, I forget that I can't do that on my own.  I'm very thankful for my band and I don't think I will ever truly forget that.

This picture absolutely killed me yesterday.  I laughed until I had tears.  After feeling like a badass unicorn, then eating badly and feeling like a rhino all in one day...this was perfection. 

This was my internal conversation when the alarm went off this morning:
  • Badass Unicorn:  Let's get up, time to CrossFit!
  • Rhino:  Shut up.  Go to sleep.
  • Badass Unicorn:  But it is time for CrossFit.
  • Rhino:  You said if I kept running during yesterday's WOD that you wouldn't make me go today.
  • Badass Unicorn:  I know and I'm proud of you, but it is Friday.  You wouldn't have to get up early again until next week.  Come on, Rhino!
  • Rhino:  No, I'm going back to sleep.
  • Badass Unicorn:  Don't make me do this.
  • Rhino (peeking an eye out):  What?
  • Badass Unicorn:  Dude.  You ate like shit yesterday.  Get up.  Do you WANT to gain weight?
  • Rhino:  No.  I hate you.
  • Badass Unicorn:  No you don't.
  • Rhino:  I know.
I went to CrossFit and of course, I didn't regret it for a second.  Whatever else, I know that I worked out hard this morning when my inner rhino REALLY wanted to sleep.  That is a victory.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Who am I?

This has become my new mantra.  I am a badass unicorn. 

There are many, many reasons why I'm so much happier now than during any other time in my life, but I think I discovered another one today.  Talking about judgement the last few days got me thinking. 

The other day, I mentioned being bullied when I was younger and how that got me all insecure about myself and how I pretty much became a kind of bully myself.  Remember that?  Yeah, fun times.  Anyway, I think that because I had all these insecurities about my body and my sad athletic ability, I avoided things I was bad at.  I just didn't do them.  I completely took myself out of the situation because if I didn't do it, I couldn't fail.  By the time I was in high school and college, I mostly kept myself within the known.

That alone isn't the horrible thing.  What is horrible is that while I kept myself to the things I was good at, I started to judge those that weren't as good as I was.  How easy to feel superior when you are only doing the things you do well.  Now, I don't think I was doing it consciously.  I don't think I was ever a bad person, but I do think I fell into a trap of making myself feel better by ignoring my weaknesses.

These days, I look at things differently.  I do, I try, I push at everything.  I see success differently.  No longer is being the best the most important thing.  Now success is working as hard as I can and ultimately doing better than I did before.  That is true for work, weight loss, working out, my relationships...everything. 

I'm far from perfect.  I still judge.  I still don't work as hard as I should sometimes.  I still get cranky and say things I wish I hadn't.  But I try to acknowledge that and vow to do better next time. 

CrossFit has been so good for me in that it has been such a tangible example of my life plan.  I am a S-L-O-W runner.  I know that every single time, I am going to come in last.  I'm not good at this.  That's okay.  I just keep working as hard as I can until I'm done.

Today, the workout was the "Abbate" which is one of CrossFit's Hero WOD's named for a fallen soldier. 
  • 1 mile run
  • 21 Clean & Jerk
  • 1/2 mile run
  • 21 Clean & Jerk
  • 1 mile run
Keep in mind that this guy is lifting a billion pounds and I was lifting 55#, but you get the idea.  Anyway, I finished in 42:48.  The fact is that less than 2 1/2 years ago I weighed almost 300 pounds and I couldn't run a few feet without gasping for air.

There is nothing in me that thinks I'm good at this.  When I post about it here, I'm not trying to impress anyone.  What I am is AMAZED.  I don't care that I was dead last YET AGAIN today.  I don't care that I had to walk about 1/3 of the last mile.  What I care about is the fact that 3 years ago, I wouldn't have been able to do this.  Today I did it.  I would have NEVER thought it possible.

I sometimes wonder if people get annoyed with me talking about this all the time.  But then I realize that I talk about it because it has done so much for me.  CrossFit along with Jazzercise has put me in the best shape of my life at almost 38 years old.  I talk about it because I want EVERYONE to feel like I do right now.

I'm not your average CrossFitter.  I'm just me.  I'm unique.  I'm special.

I'm a badass unicorn!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Back to Bidness

Okay, okay, excitement is over and it is time to get back to work.  I allowed myself a little stress eating over the last week or so and it is time to change back to good choices.  I'm not talking anything crazy, just bad decisions where normally I would make good ones.  Now that just about everyone knows what I'm doing (just have my support group and dinner group to tell), it is time to quit making excuses.

I wish I were one of those people that decided I was going to do something and then would do it.  Well, actually I am that person in almost every other part of my life.  But with food, I'm not.  But I do think I'm learning to live with my issues.
  1. I no longer go off the rails like the "old" days.  Honestly, I'm not sure if that is even possible with the help of my Band.  This is when I know I needed this little booger.  Even if I would have found a way to get the weight off, I know I couldn't have maintained it.  I don't like that about myself, but I'm happy that I found something to help me control it.
  2. I don't hide food.  Even if I eat something away from other people, like when I'm at home by myself, I don't hide it or lie about it.  This was a big deal "before".  I would eat in secret all the time because I was ashamed of what I was doing.  I can truly say that is no longer the case. 
  3. I am better about using my splurge calories for good, not for evil.  Meaning, I will choose things I really enjoy as opposed to eating high calorie foods that I don't even really like.  I used to do that all the time!  Especially with fast food.
  4. Speaking of fast food, I would say that other than Starbucks (which I don't count), I eat fast food (maybe?) once a month.  It just isn't part of my routine at all.
  5. I drink soda about once a month as well (on average.)
Those things really show me how much I have changed.  When I get annoyed at myself for the things I do, I have to take a minute to remind myself of how far I have come.  I'm not even the same person.  All that being said:
  1. I love when I hear people say that they eat to live, not live to eat.  I WISH I could be that way, but I'm not.  While I don't think I necessarily "live to eat", I know that I haven't reached the "eat to live" category either.  Food doesn't take up a lot of my thoughts during the day, but I obviously still make bad choices.
  2. I love food.  I do.  I love tasting something delicious and I don't think I want to live in a way that would deny me that.  I realize that there are people that think that is crazy and I don't know what to tell you.  I don't want to give up TV either.  Or drinking.  However, all of these things need to be "sometimes" things. 
  3. I do worse when I'm at home.  If there are snacks in the house, I will eat them.  I must make an effort to have healthy snacks on hand and not allow myself to buy the bad ones.  Honestly, this is when I know I'm not paying attention.  When I am, I simply don't have these things on hand.
I feel like, overall, I have found a real balance in my life.  However, right now I'm shifted to the "high" end of that balance and I need to shift it back to the "low" end before I lose control.  No biggie.  But I wanted to write this post to show that these shifts will always happen...or at least for me.  I just have to be honest with myself and aware so I can shift back when necessary. 

I'm cracking up because I just ran to the kitchen to get some water and I saw that our resident baker brought in yummies for Admin Day.  :-)  Isn't that how life works? 


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Visions of the Playground

You all know how much I love CrossFit, right?  I have come so far in my fitness and a lot of that is because of CF.  However, there are times where it can be really hard and I have to remember why I'm there. 

This morning started off normally with an interesting warm up and we transitioned into the WOD.  5x5 Good Mornings and I moved up 10# from last time, so I was pleased.  But here is where my drama started...  I went up to write my weight on the board and I realized that I lifted the same or less than every other person.  I consider strength to be my...well, strength.  So I was annoyed at myself for falling behind the class. 

Then for dessert we did 8x100 sprints.  I honestly had elementary school flashbacks.  I remember back in those days some girls trying to get me to run the 100 yard dash against them.  I would say no because I knew they were just doing it because they knew they would slaughter me. 

Just to give you some back story, I was bullied a lot from ages 9-13.  Unfortunately, it brought ugly things out in me and I wasn't a very delightful kid because of it.  I was bossy and mean.  Sigh.  It is so against who I am now that I know that it was just a bad reaction to the bullying, but I guess I should be glad that I got through it.  I did not like elementary school or junior high.  I was okay in high school and college, but mostly because I had developed thick skin.  I'm by far the happiest I have ever been and I imagine that each day going forward will be happier than the last.  As much as some of my past stinks, I couldn't be happier that it all brought me right here.

That all being said, those times in 5th and 6th grade were brutal.  I remember them telling me that they were sick or had hurt their ankle so I could probably beat them.  I think mostly I would start just to end the conversation.  But of course, after 10m, they were already blowing me away.

Today it was the same way.  I tried to stagger my start, but inevitably, they would blow past me like I was standing still.  But I just reminded myself:
  1. I am here voluntarily.
  2. These people support me.  They don't mock me.
  3. I just need to work as hard as I possibly can.  No one else matters.  If I am last by 3 rounds, but I worked my absolute hardest?  I'm proud. 
I said those things over and over in my head until the sprints were over.  I need to do them in order to get better at them.  And every single one of those people watching me finish know how hard I worked.  And if they don't?  It doesn't matter, because I KNOW. 

Which brings me to the second part of my little conversation here.  We are all good at some things.  We are all bad at some things.  Every once in a while I will think about someone, "just get off your butt and exercise."  And then I realize that judgement is bullshit. 

I'm very blessed that I have the will and ability to exercise.  It's great!  But you know what?  There are days that I eat like absolute crap.  If I were able to control my nutrition the way I control my fitness, I would be at my goal weight, no problem.  So who am I to judge the person that doesn't work out 5 times a week?  And who are you to judge me for eating like crap?

We all have our crosses to bear, the things that challenge us for all our lives.  I'm so thrilled that many of you out there have conquered many of your obesity issues and you have made it to your goal.  TRULY! 

But just like no matter how hard I push myself running, my fellow CrossFitters blow past me like I'm standing still; so do many try so hard to lose weight by every means possible only to watch others blow past them. 

There is success in meeting your goals!  But there is also success in showing up.  If I gave up because everyone was passing me, I would never get better.  I will never be fast.  But I will be faster than I was before.

Those of you out there that keep falling off the wagon.  Just get back on.  Get back on today and then get on again and then again and then again.  Just keep showing up.  Because there are always going to be people that are doing better than you, but as long as you are doing your best?  Don't worry about them.  You may never weigh what they do, but you will weigh less than you did before.

Wow...that was a little ranty.  :)  I just felt all those feelings of being bullied come back to me this morning only to realize that I was in a safe place.  Heck, Bach even asked me if I needed help after my surgery.  I have tears in my eyes this exact moment, knowing how many people would come help me if I needed it.  I have come a LONG way from that mouthy little girl on the playground.  I didn't realize that I had the power to make myself feel better all along, but I do now.  And I want everyone to feel this way. 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Recap

Good Monday morning to you!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was crazy busy, but was great!

Friday night I met my fellow Jazzercise Divas for dinner.  I told them all about my upcoming excitement with probably a whole lot of TMI.  That's how I roll...  It is great to spend time together outside of Jazzercise and we have been getting together like this for years. 

Saturday morning, it was nice to sleep in a little until it was time to meet Debi.  We went and got mani/pedis together which has become our little ritual.  We get to spend good quality time catching up and I love it.  I know I say it a lot, but I just love her so much and to think we would have never known each other if it weren't for our shared band experiences.  Isn't that nuts?

After that, I ran home and ate a super late lunch.  Then BFF & I went to Gay Bingo!  How fun is that?  Basically, it is regular bingo, but it is run by drag queens and it is so much fan and laughter.  It was slightly a bummer because we were in the overflow room so we didn't get to see all the fun as easily, but it was still a very good time.

Sunday, after church, I met up with Lizard to go see a play that our boss's son was in.  It was a short little play and the 3 actors did such a great job!  I was excited to see another familiar face.  One of the guys that often acts in the plays put on by the theater I have season tickets for apparently runs the little school.  He is hilarious and it was fun to see him in another venue.  I love theater!!

I'm a little annoyed with myself because with all this planning and new excitement for my upcoming surgery, I have let myself shift focus from my commitment for my Olympic goal.  I hate when I let myself do that because there really is no reason.  I just use any excuse to not focus on healthy eating.  It is beyond ridiculous and I know that I will struggle with that forever.  I have been gaining and losing the same 8 pounds for over a year now.  Poo poo, Beth Ann. 

You know something that has surprised me?  I have gotten little-to-no raised eyebrows about my upcoming surgery.  If people are judging it, they certainly aren't giving me no indication of it.  Don't get me wrong, it wouldn't make any difference to me if they did, although I'm beyond happy that those I love support me fully.  In fact, I really expected to get a little more Judgy McJudgerson from some people, but I have heard nothing but support and happiness for me. 

I do find it interesting that I got a lot more judgement from people when I was going in for Lap Band surgery than what I'm getting for plastic surgery.  I'm sure that there are many (both valid and not) reasons for that.  It is just interesting. 

I'm looking forward to a slower week, both at work and personally.  I hope you all have a wonderful week yourselves!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Good morning! 

First, I'm cracking up at myself because I cannot stop talking about my upcoming surgery.  I told two girls at Jazzercise last night and even as I was telling them, I was like "what is WRONG with me?"  Ha!  Oh well, just excited, I guess. 

CrossFit was extra fun this morning.  After an 800m warm up, we worked on our Romanian Deadlifts.  5 rounds of 5 reps at 125#.  I felt strong!

Then we had Gymnastics Day!  There were 4 "stations":
  • 3x1:00 Handstand Hold
  • 3x10 Dumbbell overhead inverted cross
  • 10 Pistol Rolls
  • 10 Mat Rolls
I started with the mat rolls which were basically somersaults.  I had to think on it a while, but once I did one, I was good to go.  After flinging myself through 10 of them, I moved to the handstand.  I forgot to tell my mind that I was changing movements and I threw myself into the wall.  Oopsie!  I was fine so everyone got a good giggle, including me.  I really threw myself into it!  After finishing all the rounds, we finished with a final 800m.  Great WOD!

Are any of you baseball fans?  I was a bandwagon fan for the Rangers during their two World Series runs, but I would have never said I was a FAN.  There are just too many games and I don't have enough time.  Sigh.  I'm now a fan.  I have all this TV piling up in my DVR and yet every night, the Rangers are what I watch.  Plus, they are doing so well, I can't stop now!  Darn Rangers.  You are just to lovable.  :-)

Have a super awesome weekend!!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Things are set!

I don't mess around, folks.  My surgery date is set for Wednesday, May 30th.  That is 6 weeks from yesterday and 8 weeks and two days prior to my trip to London.  Two huge life experiences within one summer is a little nuts, but I say bring it on!  LIVE!

Unfortunately, my super awesome nursemaid mom can't come during that time.  At first I started to put it off, then I realized I didn't want to.  BFF is going to chaperon me that day.  She will drive my to the surgery center where I'm scheduled as the first of the day (yay!).  Then she will stay at my apartment for the day and that night (with a Jazzercise break, of course!)  Then Lizard is going to stay with me the following night and Debi the night after that.  By Saturday, I should be past any concerns and good to stay on my.  BFF is just across the apartment complex if there is some sort of issue. 

I'm so blessed to have such wonderful friends.  I know that some people have to do these things on their own (and while taking care of kids!) so I'm very lucky that I don't have to.

My concerns:
  • That I won't be able to drive by Monday when it is time to go back to work.
  • That my arm scars will still be really bad by my trip.
  • That I will gain a lot of weight while I'm not working out for 6 weeks.
  • That the implants will be too big.
The other side of the story:
  • If for some reason I'm still bad on Monday, then I won't drive.  I will figure it out.  Doctor says I will be able to, so I have to assume that I will be able to.  I remember after my band surgery that if it weren't for my esphogeal spasms (which were a rare side effect), I would have been good after 2-3 days.  There is no reason to think that this wouldn't be similar.  And heck, I'm in WAY better shape for this surgery than that one!!!
  • If my arms still have scars, then I will wear elbow length sleeves.  I'm so self-conscious about my arms now that I would wear sleeves anyway so it isn't really that big of a deal.  Plus, it is London, not Texas.  I will probably need a jacket after the sweltering heat I'm leaving here.  :)
  • I won't be working out so I will HAVE to eat better.  There just isn't any way around that and I will have to make it a priority.
  • The surgeon worked with me and knows that I don't want large breasts.  I'm getting implants because my tissue, no matter how much it is lifted, will not provide the correct size or shape breast for my body.  I tried on samples and they looked fine.  This is just my paranoia. 
Don't you just love walking through my mind with me?  Ha! 

In other news, I went to see La Cage Aux Folles last night and it was positively delightful.  George Hamilton was one of the leads and although he doesn't have much of a singing voice, he had the perfect charm for the part.  The other lead was fan-freaking-tastic!

I'm exhausted though.  I didn't get a lot of sleep on Tuesday night because I was up super late stressing about work and surgery freak outs.  I'm guessing I will have several more of those if it is anything like my weeks before LB surgery.  Then I got up early for CrossFit and didn't get to bed until midnight last night.  But it was all worth it.  All I have to do tonight is go to Jazzercise and then home.  I do have to get up tomorrow for CrossFti, but then it is the weekend!!

Hope you are all having a wonderful day!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Have I got news for you?

I have been hit and miss lately for several reasons.  Once is that I have been uber busy at work which is why I'm writing this one late at night (although my Internet died so I had to copy and post today!)  I haven't even had a little break for a quick post and I have a feeling this will be a doozy.

So...another reason I haven't been writing much is that I have had something on my mind that I haven't been able to talk about until now. I had an appointment with a plastic surgeon this afternoon to discuss putting some of myself back together after the damage from my prolonged bout of obesity.  Here is the backstory:

While I don't judge plastic surgery at all, I never thought it would be for me.  I left the door open and never said "never", but I just kind of assumed I wouldn't ever ACTUALLY do it.  But lately, I have had a lot of frustrations with my body.
  1. Physically - my skin actually gets irritated and rashy from where there is skin on skin where there shouldn't be.
  2. Mentally - working my butt off at the gym and knowing that there are things that will not be fixed no matter how hard I work gets old to not get to see the fruits of my labor.
One thing that has really changed in my life is how I feel about being photographed.  I avoided it almost all the time "before" or I would work hard to have a good pose.  OR...I was ashamed at what I saw.  I look back at so many pictures of myself and I can still feel the shame I felt back when they were taken.  I'm very glad to say that now, while I like some pictures way more than others (like a normal person), I don't have that feeling of shame anymore.

Well, almost anymore, anyway.  Whenever there is a picture of my arms or when I look at myself naked in the mirror, I feel ashamed.  Should I feel that way?  Probably not.  Can I wish away the feeling?  Probably not.

I decided that it was time to see a surgeon just to discuss my options.  I have had small breasts all my life, and I never really thought I wanted implants.  But one of the pros of having a small chest is perkier boobs, right?  Yeah, not here.  My itty bitty bumps still manage to hang to my belly.  I compare them to ping pong balls in a stocking.  Not hot.  In addition to considering a breast lift, I was interested in discussing an arm lift.  I didn't know what could be done, but I figured it didn't hurt to ask.

Y'all know me.  I have done my research and I felt confident I had most of the information I needed to ask the right questions.  My priorities (in this order) were:
  1. What can be done?
  2. How much does it cost?
  3. What is the recovery?
I basically set parameters for each one to help me decide whether to have any procedures at all and if so, whether I would have them now, after my Olympic trip or next year.  Amazingly, once I started the appointment, I  realized that they had set it up exactly like my priorities!

First, I met with the nurse who was nice as could be.  She said that usually weight loss patients start with the tummy but since I have not 100% ruled out having kids, we agreed that should wait.  I also feel that I can hide my leg issues for the most part so if I were to do anything with them, it would be down the road.  I wanted to focus on upper body.

I explained my skin issues and how I wanted to get rid of the irritation and rashing.  I explained how I wanted perky but not big breasts.  And I expressed my desire to fix my arms.  She explained that while all kinds of breast surgeries are very popular, arm surgery is not.  She said that people often decide against it when weighing the cost/benefit.  Anyway, we went through several questions and she was just delightful!

Then the doctor came in and I ADORE him.  He talked, talked, talked and asked questions and I really felt he wanted to do what is right for ME.  While I was still fully clothed, he went over everything I thought I might want and what he thought he could do.  As we discussed my Lap Band, he said, you know, everyone always tells you what you are doing wrong, but I want to tell you what you are doing right...making the decision to have surgery and lose the weight had to be hard, but you have added quality years to your life and you should be commended.  He did not have to say that and I thought it was very nice!

Then he had me stand up and he took his first look at my unclothed arms.  I think he might have actually squealed.  Ha!  His face just lit up and he said that this is another thing I had done right.  By working out extensively, I have built up the muscle mass in my arms so it is completely separate from the loose/hanging tissue.  He said that I'm a perfect candidate for this surgery and he already knows that he wants me for a website example.  Ha!  That made my day!!

Then onto the chestal area...  (Yes, I'm 12.  I actually giggled when I held the implant samples.)  Anyway, he said that the excessive weight loss had created this excess space on top of my breasts so a lift alone wouldn't be effective.  Nor could it be fixed by implants alone.  He put me in a bra contraption that simulated each look.  Not great.  He said that in order to "fix" the damage, he would need to do both.  I knew from my research that it was a possibility.  He told me he was going to have me try on two sizes.

I tried on the first ones and gasped.  My chest was HUGE!!  He giggled a little and said that they were the small ones...full B/small C.  He said that even thought I wear a B cup bra, I'm actually barely an A in one and not even an A in the other.  Wowza.  I knew I was small, but DANG!  He had me put in the full C cup and I laughed out loud.  I felt like a porn star.  Not can do, brotha.  Small C is is.  I was asked whether I wanted saline or silicone.  He recommended saline because it would work better with my shape (or lack thereof) and help fill out the broken down tissue.  Who knew?

Anyway, he had me try on a tank top with the implants and you guys...I almost had tears in my eyes.  And that was still with my ugly arms.  I told him that I had convinced myself that this was all for shallow vanity...and quite honestly I had come to terms with that.  But he said that wasn't the case.  That he sees people that come in that want something from him that he can't give, but what I want is true restoration.  Even thought I was already fine with what I wanted to do, it made me feel even better about it.

He said that I will have anchor shaped scars under each breast from the lollipop lift.  And I will have a scar down the underside of each arm.  He said that many times he steers people away from the arm lift because of the scars, but you would have to be up close to see them after the fade.  Right now, my loose tissue is visible from very far away.  It is a good trade!

After all of that, I was supposed to talk to the nurse about cost, but she got delayed, so I talked to the Doctor about recovery.  He said that he felt with my age, fitness, & body, that I could have the surgery on Tuesday or Wednesday and be back to work in a limited capacity (I have a desk job) on Monday. 

You know my next question was about working out, right?  He said that I could get back into leisurely walking after a week, brisk walking and leg exercises after two weeks, and back to full work outs in a month.  I will probably plan for 6 weeks...longer for CrossFit.

Then it was time for cost.  I had a number in my head and his number for both procedures was slightly higher than my hope, but right at my expectation.  But I want this guy to do my surgery.  I don't need to price it out because I'm willing to pay extra for a doctor I like this much!

My final question was about timing.  I told him that I have scheduled a trip of a lifetime at the end of July and asked if I should wait to schedule this until the after.  He looked at me and asked why I would want to do that.  Good point!  I think it that moment, I knew.  I just had to work it all out in my head.  I will have to give up a few things for a while to pay for it, but if this isn't worth, I don't know what is!

I mean this is the year I LIVE, right?  So why wait?  I want to shed this last remnant of Fat Beth Ann and concentrate on Fit Beth Ann.  It is time!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sissy's is Awesome

We went to the most YUMMIEST restaurant last night!  It was called Sissy's and I ate maybe the BEST fried chicken I have had in my entire life.  Seriously.  To tell you how much I loved it, I'm up a half a pound this morning and I don't care.  I would do it ALL over again.  :) 

I had a delicious bourbon drink which has become my drink of choice at restaurants with fancy drinks.  Yumm-o!  Then I had the fried chicken (drumstick & thigh) with mashed potatoes and a biscuit.  I ate absolutely everything on my plate.  It was ridiculously good!!  And I would never want to give up enjoying that kind of meal on occasion. 

ShareBear, Rie, Lizard, Cowgirl, KK, Beth Ann, BFF at Sissy's!
Now, back to reality.  I have been logging food and using my fitbit really consistently (I did take the three days off from logging while my parents were visiting, but I was mindful) but today I forgot my Fitbit at home.  Bummer!  It is both a walking and Jazzercise day.  Last week, I made it past 16,000 steps in one day donig both activities!!!  Oh well, it isn't like I'm not going to do it, I just won't know the stats.  No biggie!

I'm wearing another new outfit today.  I have had a nude color shirt since last year that I never wear.  It is Flashdance style with the wide neck and short length.  I just didn't know what to pair it with.  I'm wearing it today with a fuchsia tank and purple jean capris.  It is definitely in line with the color blocking trend but the neutral shirt and shoes keeps it from being overwhelming.  I need to ease my coworkers into it.  Wait until I wear the red jeans with the orange tank and pink shirt!  :)

I'm hoping that I will have a moment to check in with y'all over the next couple of days, but they are going to be crazy nuts.  First, I have tons to finish at work, then tomorrow afternoon our company has a suite at the Rangers game (Go Rangers!!) and then BFF & I have Friday afternoon off for the NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway.  Please send me good mojo so I can get everything done and leave all the stress behind!!

Super big race week hugs!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Doing some work on a Tuesday.

It was a CrossFit morning!  After last week's crazy 45 minute WOD, it was nice to back to normal.  After the briefest of warm ups, we worked on our handstand walks.  I will say that there is a noticeable difference in my handstand.  I'm much more confident in my kick up and once I get my balance against the wall, I can hover a bit without touching the wall.  I even had Bach hold my legs as I kicked up out on the floor.  I still can't do handstands with no assistance, but I'm getting there!


3 rounds:
  • 10 Power Cleans (85#)
  • 50 Double Unders (since I can't do double unders yet, I did lateral hops over the bar for the first set and then over a line on the floor for the last two sets.  That is a movement that looks easy but my lungs don't like it!)
I initially set up the barbell for 65# because that is what I normally lift.  Bach looked at me and said, "put more weight on that bar."  Heh...okay.  I asked her how much, thinking 5-10# and she said to make it 85#.  Okaaaaayyyy...  I had never Cleaned more than 65# and today I did 85#.  MASSIVE PERSONAL RECORD!  Bach is smart. 

Bach took a picture, but it looks like I was just standing around watching everyone else work out.  Ha!  That's me...the one just standing there. 
After the WOD, we did tabata kettlebell windmills for "dessert."  Holy Abs! 

Work is still super crazy busy, so off I go!  Tonight is my dinner with the girls, so that will be a blast!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Weekend Recap

Hi folks!!  Hope you all had a Hoppy Easter!! 

Yes, that is the kind of mood I'm in on this fabulous Monday morning.  Wanna know why?  It's because I finally got my sh*t together and didn't sabotage myself over the weekend.  I lost 3.6 pounds this week.  Can I get a "what, what"??  5 to go for my Olympic Challenge. 

My mom is doing NutriSystem and working so freaking hard.  I watched her make good choices all weekend and struggle to lose ANYTHING AT ALL.  I don't know if her metabolism is just so super slow or what, but she does everything she is supposed to do in a week barely loses anything.  I was so inspired because honestly, all I have to do is be reasonable and take away some of the treats/snacks.  My workouts help, of course, but by making a few better choices over the weekend, I actually lost.  And I lost A LOT.  Now, I know I won't lose that every week.  But there is no reason for me not to make these small choices to get to my goal when my mom is struggling to maintain.  I can and I will do this.

You know that since my mom was in town that I went shopping, right?  I bought several new things, so I wanted to share a couple with you.  Please note the patented Laura Belle pose.  :)  I don't think the dress photographed nearly as good as it looked.  When I put it on, I just had the biggest smile all over my face.  The shorts outfit just felt fun!  I bought a lot of color blocking things like the orange shorts, hot pink burmudas, purple carpis & red jeans, then bright tanks and T-shirts in opposing colors to make it all pop.  I LOVE me some bright colors.

Saturday evening we went to see the Hunger Games.  I loved the books and I thought the movie was very good!  Sunday, we had Easter Mass and then went to brunch.  In addition to my parents and me, BFF, Lizard, BFF's uncle's family and another friend and her family all joined us.  There were 12 of us and it was delightful! 

Today my parents are heading back to Florida.  I can't tell you how blessed I am to have such amazing and caring parents.  They are fun and I enjoy being around them.  Not everybody has that and I know how lucky I am!!

Gotta get to work!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

10 Things Thursday (tm Laura Belle)

1.  Crossfit 

What I did this morning in 46:06:
  • 1000m run
  • 50 Push Presses (55#)
  • 1000m run
  • 50 Box step ups (20")
  • 1000m run
  • 50 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (55#)
  • 1000m run
What I left on the table because there was a 45 minute cutoff:
  • 50 Wall Balls
  • 1000m run
  • 50 Pull ups
I worked as hard as I could push my body for 46 minutes.  I feel confident that I couldn't have done more.  I feel victory in the fact that I showed up when there were only 3 of us this morning.  I didn't let it beat me before I even got started.  The other two people blew me away but I just kept plugging away.  Considering it takes me 40 minutes to run a 5K.  I will take it!  That was one HELL of a workout!!!

2.  My parents are coming today!!

3.  My unfill has definitely worked.  I'm able to eat and drink again.  I was hungry on the way to work, but after that workout, I should expect to be. 

4.  I am 5.6 pounds away from my Olympic Challenge goal.  (If that is all that I gain back (.4) from being dehydrated, then I'm super psyched!)

5.  I really like My "March" picture (even though I actually took it Tuesday...close enough.)
5.  Did you all read that article written by the women that feels she has a harder time with things because she is so beautiful that women automatically hate her?  I find that to be a bunch of ca-ca.  I know a lot of uber-beautiful women and I love some and dislike is about how they treat me and others that decides that, not how they look.  I suppose there are some unhappy and petty women that just hate pretty people, but I think that is the minority.  If you are a good and kind person, you will get goodness and kindness back. 

6.  My company is having a cookout for lunch today and then we get to go home!  Plus we have tomorrow off so it kicks off a nice long weekend.  YAY!!

7.  Short weeks actually make the work week harder.  Every week I want a short week and then I get one and I'm like "Oh crap, I don't have enough time!"

8.  I'm just so happy that I'm feeling good again!  Can you tell?  With all the exclamation points and everything?  :)

9.  I'm having a rough time getting back into my water drinking groove.  I'm going to need to focus on that a little more, I think.

10.  Did I mention my parents are coming??  They should be here by the time my cookout is over.  We don't have a ton of plans, but we are going to the outlet mall tomorrow for sure.  We plan to see the Hunger Games and maybe even Mirror, Mirror while they are here.  And of course, we have Easter Mass and Brunch.  What a fun weekend with my family and friends!  I wish my brother's family was going to be here too, but you can't have everything.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Storms, Unfills, and Being Committed

I am so happy to say that with all of the devastating mess from the storm, I (and all my loved ones) am safe and came through unscathed.  I honestly can't believe that there was no loss of life.  It truly seems like a miracle. 

I saw a sign on the way to work that said that you must have credentials to go into the Arlington Disaster Area.  Arlington is just south of where I live and is where my friend Lizard lives.  We were worried for her house and doggies, but everything was fine there.  The destruction is more south.  I hate it that there will be so much clean up necessary and that so many people lost their things...but I'm so grateful that no one lost their lives.

Yesterday I just decided that enough was enough and I scheduled an unfill.  Then I canceled it.  Then I made another one.  I finally went this morning and I'm glad I did.  I do think that when the swelling from the current irritation goes away, I will be hungrier than I could be, but it is the right thing for me.  It costs for me to have unfills and fills, so I don't plan to go back until I get my Olympic unfill.  I will take no chances of complications while I'm overseas.  I won't have them take all of it out, just a couple cc's to make sure there is no chance of stickage.  :)  Then I will come right back and put it in.

I have had a problem with my "diet" lately because there is so much I can't eat.  So I would make a plan and then when I couldn't get something down, I would eat crap.  I recognize that isn't good.  I'm hoping by making this change today, I can eat all of the healthy things I need to eat to be successful.

I am committed to losing these 5.2 (maybe a little more once I'm rehydrated) pounds and I will do it.  My parents are coming for the weekend and they are committed to eating healthy while they are here, so that will help things tremendously.

I will leave you with a picture of me hanging in a squat during my workout yesterday...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Olympic Challenge, CrossFit, Boiled Eggs, & March Recap

Yesterday, I had 8.6 pounds to lose to actually earn my Olympic trip.  Today, I'm thrilled to say that number is now 5.6 pounds.  I'm trying not to get too attached though because it is possible there is some dehydration in there.  I guess I will know for sure tomorrow.  But I'm always bloated on Mondays (you know, from eating like crap over the weekend) so I wasn't too surprised it went down.  I will get this done!

CrossFit this morning was crazy hard!  I hadn't been in almost 3 WEEKS!!  My last WOD was 3/14 which was a Wednesday and a week where I happened to go on M, T, W.  Then the following week, I got sick on Tuesday before I went back, and that kept me down for almost 2 weeks.  Geeze!  Honestly though, the worst part was getting out of bed this morning.

Warm up:  3 Rounds:
  • 10 dumbbell renegade rows (without the push up)
  • 10 thrusters
  • 10 sit ups
  • 10 box jumps
Renegade Row:


I used 15# weights the first round then switched to 10# and I used a small (14", I think?) box.  I was so tired and sweaty after the warm up that I was REALLY concerned I wasn't going to make it.  We had a small break for stretching which helped me get my breathing back in order.

WOD:  15:00 AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
  • 10 Overhead Kettlebell Lunges (Being realistic, I skipped the overhead part and just lunged.
  • 10 KB Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
  • 10 KB Swings
  • 200m run
We did this in pairs and while one did the workout, the other squatted.  So basically, I worked out for about 8 minutes and squatted 7 minutes.  After the second squat, I got up to do my next round and seriously almost passed out.  But I quickly put my head down and I was totally fine.  Getting up out of the squat seriously made me feel old!!!

Sumo Dead lift High Pull:

I went back and didn't die.  YAY! I plan to be back on Thursday.  Need to get back into the routine to help my Olympic Challenge along!!

So...boiled eggs.  They are a staple for me.  It is often my afternoon snack and sometimes even my breakfast.  Many bandsters tell me that they can't eat boiled eggs and I've always been baffled by that.  Not anymore!  I think I have mentioned the tightness I have had during my sickness, right?  I mean you remember the crazy pill PB, right?  Anyway, my afternoon snack of boiled egg at 4:30?  It is currently still with me.  Yeah, that sucker is still wedged in there.

I historically (well over the last 2 years) haven't really had many of these kinds of issues.  I think the only reason that I'm this tight is because of the drainage.  I think I just need to power through a few more days and I will be fine, but those days will be boiled egg free!!  I might even do liquids/mushies today.  It would baby my band AND give me a little jump start for my Challenge.  And I've already worked out for the day!

In March, even without working out AT ALL for an ENTIRE week, I average 36 minutes of exercise per day over 22 workouts.  I will take it!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Uh-oh, Beth Ann's Getting Fired Up Again!!

I think there are a lot of reasons I have been unfocused lately.  But I had an A-HA moment this weekend and I'm ready to get fired up!  More on that in a minute.

1.  Sick - I have been officially sick for two weeks now and I felt somewhat bad before that.  I just felt so blah that if I was really honest with myself, I didn't care.  So what if I never lost anything more?  So what if I gained a couple of pounds?  Well, I'm done with that now.

2.  Work - work has really taken off for me in the last few weeks.  I have taken on some new duties and I'm actually really enjoying what I'm doing!  I don't like to work overtime though, so I really focus to get as much done as possible during work hours which means I don't take time out in the morning to blog consistently.

3.  Blog - as I mentioned in #2, I haven't been blogging consistently.  I know that when I don't blog consistently, I don't stay focused on my weight loss goals.  That includes reading blogs too.  I will recommit to blogging every weekday morning regardless of other responsibilities.  I have to make it a priority!  As for reading, I need to get into a pattern at night.  I will work to do that.

4.  Personal - I have a little personal thing that I can't discuss with you all at the moment.  Please don't take this as a tease!  It is not a bad thing at all.  However, one of the cons of having people in my real world with access to my blog is that I don't always want to talk about everything.  However, I should have more of an idea on this in a couple of weeks and I will update you more then.  I think that since this is one of two things really invading my thoughts, it also kept me unfocused.

5.  Olympics - The other thing invading my head right now is my Olympic trip.  You all don't want or need to hear every detail about my plans and since that is what occupies a lot of my thoughts these days, I fear that has also kept me unfocused on my blog.

All of these things have kept my brain focused on other things and not on my commitment to lose weight.  There, I said it.  :)

This weekend, I re-organized my closet from Winter to Summer.  My parents are coming to visit this weekend and for those of you that know me, you know that means a shopping trip with my mom!!  So I wanted to see what it is that I really need.  I tried on almost every single item in my closet from the last summer season and I very, very sad to say that almost everything fit.  That's right folks, for the first time since getting my band, I have not changes size from one season to the next. 

Super Mega A-HA moment.

This, of course, is not truly horrible news.  This is the longest I have gone in my adult life without gaining weight and I'm so happy and grateful for that.  In the grand scheme of my life, it is actually a fantastic thing.  But never mind that for the moment!

My Olympic trip was my reward for losing 100 pounds.  The problem is that I haven't lost 100 pounds.  In fact, as of this morning, I'm 8.6 pounds away from that.  So, it's time.  My goal is to lose those 8.6 pounds by the end of May.  That is basically one pound a week. 

I have no idea why this "restart" will be any different than any other restart since last April, but I have to believe that it is.  April 1, 2011 I weighed one pound less than I weighed this morning.  I went back through my blogs and last year on the first Monday in April, I'm in almost the same place I am today.  :)  Reassessing priorities after a weekend bender.  Ha!

At least I'm consistent!  But I'm also determined.  I don't know what it is about hitting that 100 pound mark that is freaking me out, but it obviously is.  I have gotten as close as 97 pounds a few times, but then I always bounce back up.  Not for no reason, of course.  I'm in control of the situation.  It isn't like I lose 97 pounds and then I'm kidnapped and force fed HoHos.  It is time to seize control and remind myself what I am capable of. 

I will Jazzercise.  I will CrossFit.  I will use my Fitbit.  I will use My Fitness Pal.  I will blog.  I will drink water.  All of those things can be second nature for me when I am in the zone.  It's time to roll, compadres.  Let's do it!