Fresh to Death

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Just a quick post, because my life is insane. Yes, I admit this to you, and the world at large, because the truth is that I can’t even find a minute to get my eyebrows waxed this week, let alone eat right. But I did want to share this awesome deal in the Philadelphia area on fresh organic food. Living Social is plugging a great deal for a little produce box from Suburban Organics, that will be delivered right to your home. A good friend purchased something similar from Groupon and had nothing but great things to say about Surburban Organics and their foods. And it’s DELIVERED for free to the Philadelphia metro area (NJ and DE included)! For a gal on the go like me, I can’t afford not to take a deal like this on healthy, fresh food.

Thanks for reading – and I promise I’ll catch up soon. 52 days and counting until my big day!!! – A

March 14, 2012. Tags: , , , . 2012. Leave a comment.

15

You’ve heard of Adele, right? I loved her back when virtually nobody knew about her, back when it seemed absurd for a white British girl to sing like a soulful Southern black woman, back when I was fat. And God love her, she’s fat too so I felt this camaraderie. Well, now I’m not fat, but I still love her. And one of the things I love about her, besides the fact that she is incredibly talented and so gorgeous!, is that her past two albums have been titled after how old she was when she wrote them – sort of an homage to where she was in life at that time. So in that vein, I’ve titled this post 15.

Why Fifteen? Great question! Let’s explain. The past month or two I’ve been in this holding pattern, where my weight was back and forth between the same 5-pound range. It was infuriating. Yes, I’m aware that water retention, hormones, time of day, etc. can change all this. But based on  consistent factors, I was going in circles on the scale. On top of that, I am so CLOSE to my “Never in a million years will this happen, but I wish it would” goal of being both a size 8 and weighing in the “normal” section of the charts doctors post that you look at and think “Who actually fits into these ranges?”

Well, in 15 short pounds I will fit into that range. And this morning when the scale told me that, I literally squealed with delight. No, I’m not normally that girl, but this happened to coincide with a change in the second number of my weight that I hadn’t seen before and I was happy about it. It’s weird, looking back at all of this, how my body has changed and how people treat me now. I feel like the world is open to me now, which is odd because it’s not as if there was a big “Do NOT Enter” sign in my way before.

I’m still amazed by what this tool has done for me. I am slightly less terrified that I’ll screw it up, given that I’m obviously not gaining weight back and it’s been 16 months. Clearly losing another 15 is the big goal, and maybe the grand supreme of all impossibilities, a bikini, will happen in Summer 2012. I’m trying to lose a solid 5 pounds (though I’m really shooting for 9) by Christmas. I have just over five weeks to accomplish this. Ok, now that I said that out loud to myself, maybe the 9 won’t happen. But I’ve also been SO busy I haven’t really worked out in the past few months so I’m hoping that when I start hitting the gym a bit harder that things will move a little quicker.

No matter what happens, I’m still so thankful for what this process has done for me. I’m happy that I will feel like a beautiful bride and when people tell me that, I will believe them. I’m happy that I can feel my fiancée able to touch his elbow with his opposite hand when he hugs me. And even if I, for some reason, never lose that 15 pounds and technically remain in the dreaded overweight category of the chart, I have achieved so much so I think I can live with that too.

Thanks for reading! – A

November 18, 2011. Tags: , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

Beach Belly

13 Months ago I had a life-changing procedure. And now, I can lay on the beach in what is technically a two-piece and feel at ease. Nuts, right? I spent 25ish years hiding from myself and now I’m able to just enjoy who I am. Yes, I have loose skin. Yes, my body is still working out the after-effects of losing 120+ pounds. But on a nice beach day, sometimes you just want to soak up the sun and let the world (read: wedding stress) wash out with the tide.

I get a lot of questions about the scars. It’s weird that us fatties spend so much time covering ourselves up, but the first thing we worry about is what our bare skin is going to look like after the procedure. I was fortunate enough to have my surgery laparoscopically, so I have six tiny scars from the incisions. The biggest is about an inch long, pictured in the upper right. I was vigilant in slathering them with Mederma MANY times a day within the first few months, so they’re pretty decent. In the pic you can only see five of them, but theres a smaller one that’s vertical, about half a centimeter long and directly in the center of my body just where my bathing suit top ends.

I’m happy that I can show you this, and I’m even more happy that I feel confident enough to do so. I know I may not say it enough, but I am so grateful for how this surgery has changed my life. If looking at my pasty-white belly has helped you make the same decision, awesome. And if not, don’t hate – just let me enjoy the sun. 🙂

Thanks for reading! – A

August 30, 2011. Tags: , , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

“Change is a challenge and an opportunity, not a threat.”

Prince Phillip of England said the title quote, and I doubt he was saying it about some girl in the US. Still, the sentiment really hits the nail on the head when I look back at this past year and what I’ve gone through. I’ve been trying to write this post for two weeks because you, as a reader, deserve to read this. I have lost 107 pounds. 108, by now actually, but the pic shows me 1 pound heavier and 1 day late from my surgical anniversary. On July 15, 2010 I woke up at 4 AM and hustled down to Temple University Hospital in the ‘hood of North Philadelphia to go through a major surgery. You can see the vacancy in my eyes that day as I was a million miles away in my worries. One year and one day later I just came back from a run where I attempted unsuccessfully to clear my mind of all the stress that planning a wedding and managing insane weight loss entails, and I ironically looked equally vacant while lost in my thoughts. I find it interesting that though everything changes, some things never will.

This past year has shown me what I am made of. I am running 5k’s. I am wearing mediums, and even smalls. I am doing pull ups. My motivation and drive are only matched by my fears, which are still there. I am afraid I’ll drop the ball and gain this weight back. I’m afraid that this amazing gift I have received will go out the window when I get pregnant in a few years. But I think that same fear turns into jet fuel in my veins and keeps me powering through. I have been given this amazing opportunity to have the life I always wanted. I feel so incredibly lucky to have this tool that changed my perspective.

Months ago I expected to feel some sort of momentous accomplishment on July 15th this year, like I had climbed Mt. Everest. The day sort of came and went. I had a margarita in celebration, something I’m sure my surgeon would have an issue with, but that was about it. But looking at it a few weeks later I feel grateful that it felt like any other day because it means that this is my life now. Yes, July 15th is the anniversary of my rebirth. But it’s also just one more day that I need to work out. It’s one more day that I need to chew my food to a liquid consistency. It’s just another day in this new life.  

I’m so thankful for everything that’s happened this past year. I lost 100+ pounds and met my goal. The first number of my weight is a 1. I started a new job at a wonderful place. I became engaged to a man who is strapped in to ride this roller coaster with me for the long haul. And I started telling all of you about this. This hasn’t been easy, but I feel like nothing worth having usually is. I’m excited to continue moving forward in life, and I’m so glad that I can invite you to share in my successes and even my stumbles, because I feel that continued challenge to change. And thankfully, I’m up for the challenge.

Thanks for reading. – A

July 26, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

Is Overweight Overrated?

I was at the orthodontist the other day. Yes, I’m aware that I’m not 13. I am an adult with braces because the options to cure my TMJ were this or surgery. This one gave me a prettier smile, so I went with it. Anyway, since the girls there see me every 6 weeks or so, they get a nice little view of my weight loss progress. One of the assistants, Michelle, who I’m very friendly with mentioned that I was looking great. I told her I wanted to lose another 30-40 pounds and she seemed shocked, saying that I looked healthy as I was. I said I was in the 190’s and she said she couldn’t tell. Kind, yes, but this girl is also a pretty ’round the way-type of chick and she tells it like it is, so I wanted to believe her.

When I got home, I plugged my weight into a quick BMI calculator that I found online and got an interesting surprise. My BMI is 29, which means that I am just under the line to be  considered obese. Yay! However, it does mean I’m at the very top of the range for overweight. If I lose 35 more pounds, I will juuuuuuust make the cut-off to be “healthy”. I began thinking about what Michelle  said. She, a naturally thin girl, was looking at me and saying that I looked good, that I shouldn’t really lose much more. Yet medicine says that I’m still a fatty, just not a super fatty.

I wondered how jaded we’ve really become when it comes to being overweight. Back in the day, women like Marilyn Monroe were celebrated for their curves. It has been said that she was a size 16, though according to her dressmaker, that was a British 16 which translates to a US size 12. Clearly, she had a little size to her, but her published weight was 118-140. Assuming the studio downsized by 10 pounds, that’s still 128-150 – and by today’s standards (and the BMI chart for that matter), she’s still pretty healthy. And what’s more, we’re celebrating bigger women now. Girls are so much more “bootylicious” and proud that Marilyn is starting to look a little waify. So are we just so desensitized to the fat is fab movement that we’re okay with it?

Having been big for so long, I was obviously a supporter of the big & beautiful movement. I said I wanted to be accepted for who I was, but the reality is that I was unhealthy and unhappy. I made a change, and I’m so glad that I did. And I’m not saying there aren’t some GORGEOUS big girls out there – all hail Queen Latifah! But I am saying that even as a former self-declared fabulous big girl, I longed to be thinner, no matter how many affirmations I had that I was still considered attractive. It wasn’t just about looks, I just felt so sluggish. And even though I’d exercise I still felt like I was surrounded in this cocoon. Now I just sort of feel free, and that’s a feeling I’m really enjoying.

I think being overweight is now a lot more socially acceptable, but even as a person who struggles with it I find myself seeing people who are morbidly obese and I feel terrible for them. I wish that they could feel the sense of accomplishment and relief that I have every time I perform magic fitting my body into the same size as Marilyn. The same size that’s actually getting a little big. 🙂 I think the difference now is that I am willing to speak out. I really want to be an example for others out there that it is NOT hopeless! Yes, the surgery is extreme. But here’s a wake-up call for you – If you are 5’5 and weigh 250, you’re twice the person you should be and I think that’s a little extreme too.  It has been said that losing just 5% of your excess weight (so for our example person that would be 6 1/2 pounds):

  • Lowers your body’s cholesterol levels
  • Can improve blood sugar control
  • Reduces aches and pains
  • Improves mobility
  • Can improve your breathing
  • Helps you to sleep better
  • Reduces the risk of sleep apnea
  • Helps prevent angina – chest pain caused by decreased oxygen to the heart.
  • Decreased your risk of sudden death from heart disease or stroke
  • May stop the need from regular medication
  • Reduces the risk of certain cancer

How could you not want all of those benefits for such a small price? 6 pounds? That’s less than a gallon of milk! Anyway, I’m not here to be preachy because that’s not what this is about. And Lord knows I had my share of people tell me I should back away from the onion dip. I’m just saying that what I’ve been so blessed to have has changed my life and my perspective for the better. The only regret I have is that I didn’t have this surgery sooner. I’m going to continue to keep fighting the good fight, and I’ll continue to be an example for you. And if you’re fighting with me, let me know about it. We can discuss over a post-run yogurt smoothie. 🙂

Thanks for reading! – A

July 22, 2011. Tags: , , . 2011. 1 comment.

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