Weight loss and life updates

So, it's been a minute since I've really sat down and wrote something of substance other than my normal recipes and what have you. This year has been nuts. I feel like every year has been as of late. My last real update was me sharing the news about my husband and I buying a house last fall - which has simply been amazing. We are finally settling in, making it our own - getting used to everything that home ownership entails (including frozen pipes this past winter - which was less than fun).

We set up a hot tub - which we have yet to use because we need to have a wire replaced. We got ourselves a nice picnic table - and bought a canopy because, I'm a redheaded albino that can't be in the sun. The canopy was awesome. It has zip up sides to keep bugs out - because I hate bugs.

And then... a fucking tornado came through, and wiped out my canopy. I am so disappointed. Yes, a literal tornado. You can't make this shit up.

And, of course, my cats are finally settled in and loving their new home. They are the kings of the castle.

The beginning of the year was a little scary for me. I've talked about the problems I've had with my legs in the past on my blog - but this year it came to a head. I was in constant pain. And when I say constant pain - I wasn't sleeping. I couldn't walk, sit, stand, or lay down without constant pain. The veins bulged, and throbbed 24 hours a day. The reflux was so bad that my legs were almost consistently filled with fluid, where even elevating them was not relieving the pressure. Neuropathy in my legs and feet began to worsen, and it became where all I could think about was the pain. There were a few days the beginning of this year where I had to call out of work because I couldn't walk. I was terrified. Terrified because I knew I was doing it to myself by letting myself fall off the wagon, regain a shit ton of weight - and add to the problem. And I knew what the doctor was going to tell me. Do something now - or lose your legs. I know that is what would be next if I were to let this go, and continue packing on the weight.

In April I had my first of two surgeries with Dr. Wrobaleski. He is a great surgeon, and has the most kind and caring bedside manor. He kept me calm from start to finish - and he was incredibly patient with me - because I was so completely freaked out at both surgeries. I had both inner thigh veins ablated, and the surface veins that had ruptured removed. In total from both legs - I've had near 60 veins removed. This has helped in the pain department. Not to say the surgery was easy - as it was not, and the recovery was not fun at all. But being able to finally sleep without laying on a bulged vein that was throbbing has been wonderful. This isn't a cure - I will more than likely have to have more surgeries in the future - as I am already developing new ruptured veins. My primary believes it may be because of how hard I have been training (We'll get to that shortly).

When I went for the first consult with my primary and surgeon about my legs - I knew I had to stop fucking around, and get back on the wagon. Last year when shit hit the fan again at work - I let the old habits take over, and I just completely let myself go. Eating clean and healthy was the last thing on my mind, and exercise was an absolute hell no. I allowed myself to balloon back up to 363 lbs. That's... horrifying. And ridiculous. And stupid. It's no wonder my body was revolting. It was shutting down because I had given up.

The first week of April I went back Strict Keto. I stopped drinking. I was also on blood thinners for the many clots in my legs, that helped inspire me to stop drinking. I had to cut off everything cold turkey - and it really wasn't as hard as I was expecting it to me. Maybe because I knew this time it really was a life or death scenario. I know that seems dramatic - but when you're this obese - and your body is literally shutting the fuck down on you - and your doctors are all telling you - YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW OR YOU'RE GOING TO DIE... pizza and booze don't seem that appetizing.

Somewhere along the line - I started to drop the weight. And it came off rapidly. Then, it finally happened. I have battled for what seems YEARS to get to that first goal. And June 29th, I finally hit it.

I was finally under 300 lbs. From 426 lbs my highest ever weight. I finally made it under 300 lbs. I was ecstatic, so happy that I cried. Cried because it was a relief - and cried because I fought for that. I fought MYSELF for that. Anyone who has ever struggled with severe morbid obesity understands the mental struggle is almost worse than the physical. Constantly having to tell myself to keep going, to keep pushing, to keep fighting. Constantly having to beat my own demons down every single day. It was like going to war with myself on a daily basis. But I was finally winning. As scary as it was, I decided to share this picture of my scale and weight on my facebook. I shared it because I was proud of myself, and because it really was a turning point for me - and I wanted people to see that it doesn't matter what the number says. The scale doesn't dictate who we are as people. It doesn't tell the story of who you are, and of your heart. It's a number. And not one that we should be ashamed of. So I put my fears aside, and I posted it. And I was happily showered with love and support from my family and friends. I don't know why I ever thought it would be something other than that - but that little voice in my head always said that it would be a negative response if I ever told anyone "that number". I couldn't have been more wrong. And their positive encouragement and support has kept me going.

This side by side is from the same party - but obviously different time periods. The left is when I regained almost all the weight I'd lost - encroaching that 400lb mark again. The picture to the right is from a little over a week ago, at 285 lbs.

Besides my own personal achievements this year - my husband has made huge strides of his own with his journey. And he's done such an incredible job. I don't know where I'd be without his support. The fact that we are able to do this together, to keep each other motivated and encouraged has been priceless. We know so many people who are in relationships where their partners are disinterested in their partners goals - and that has to make it hard. I believe a lot of our success has been because of our support of each other. BJ has struggled with his self image and his weight through the last several years as well. While he's never had the same morbid obesity issue I have had - his weight did peak at over 300 lbs when he started his journey - and he is now floating around the 210 lbs line. I'm incredibly proud of him, and love to see him become more of the person he's meant to be as he becomes more confident in himself.

Something we hear a lot is how much younger we both look. It's not something you really think about when you're living it - but when you see the pictures - it really is undeniable. We don't look like the same people. And I suppose it's because - we really aren't, anymore. You couldn't have convinced me two years ago that I would be that person who gets up at 5am to work out before work - and watches the sunrise. But now that we have our gym 99% complete with all the equipment we need, and I have zero excuses to get my ass up and moving - I get to watch the sunrise from my gym windows, and have a beautiful view of it.

But, doing what we're doing is what will get us to our goals. And taking progress pictures is so important. There are still days I look in the mirror and I don't see change. I still see me as I was 145 lbs ago. I still buy clothes thinking I am bigger than I am. It's retraining my brain, now, that is going to take some focus. Because... I'm not 426lbs anymore.

The day I was able to fit into that dress on the right - I was thrilled. I have had that dress for years as a "goal". I could never get into it. I bought it on line - and of course, it came from over seas, and it's not American sizing - so you don't even really know what size it is. I just knew it didn't fit. I couldn't even get it over my head. I can't describe the feeling I had when it zipped.

Now, I have to find myself another goal dress. My next goal is 250 lbs - and our friends Sarah and Joe are going to NYC with us to buy all the cheese. I found this cheese emporium in NYC that I want to visit - because cheese is life - and cheese is keto. My 250 lb mark I get to have cheese. And a new goal dress. And maybe low lights in my hair - we'll see. But the cheese is a must.

We've spent a lot of time this summer with our friends - and making memories - which is also new for us. It's also been nice to feel like we're part of something, like a family. Time spent with friends is never wasted, and we've had such good times with them. This summer really has been great - even thought it feels like we work all the time. Looking back at all the pictures - we really have done a lot of awesome stuff with these people who have become family to us.

So, the next few weeks I have the goal of reaching 250 to go to NYC to get all the cheese - we have a wedding to attend in a couple weeks for Bj's cousin that I need to find a dress for, because I want to look smashing. I have another potential trip to Vermont in October if finances allow it. My 10 year anniversary is this October as well... which is a huge milestone in any relationship. Bj and I have been talking about vow renewal. I would love to do that. Neither of us were physically where we wanted to be when we got married in 2008. Having a vow renewal would be wonderfully beautiful on a marriage level - but would also mean so much to us on a personal and spiritual level as well. We're not the same people we were when we married in 2008. We are different in almost every way. And we should celebrate that. And we should celebrate that with all the wonderful people who are now part of our lives that were not back then. I don't know what the next chapter holds for us - where our path is going to lead - but I know it's going to be beautiful. I know we have goals, and dreams that feel truly attainable now that we have clawed our way out of the spiral we were in. Here's to the next ten years, and all the wonder that it will bring.


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