Monday, 2 January 2017

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year my lovely readers! I hope 2016 treated you all well, and I am hoping that 2017 will be the most amazing year ever, for you all as well as me and my family. This year has brought with it many things, one of which a long drought of writing. I have never gone this long without writing a blog since I started. I had taken a break and it seemed that so much had happened since my last blog, that it became a monumental task to try and contain it all in one post. But needless to say 2016 was jam packed! So I think I am going to try and commemorate this year with a photo memory/blog post. So here it is 2016 in a nutshell!! Get comfy, this may be a long one! (if I was reading it I would get myself a nice coffee! Here goes! If there was one statement that I spoke, yelled, whispered or cried this year more than any other, it was "I just cant do this!!" I have repeated this statement to myself and large group of supporters and friends that have surrounded me this year more than any other words. However, after saying this, I think the next constant would be me completing what I was crying and talking about. So I am going to tell you about some of my biggest moments this year, the first one being The Tely 10. I think I have already told you all about my inability to walk long, or short distances in past blogs. I could walk four houses, which is precisely the distance that bill is standing away from me if you look closely in this picture. so the thought of doing a ten mile was monumental. With some pushing and persuading from some people in my life, I signed myself (and my bill) up for the race. For five miles I was totally adrenaline fueled and still excited... at mile seven I was in tears saying I just cant do this! Amazingly a very strategically placed friend of mine that I had never met in person until this moment called out me and gave me a much needed hug of support and it was the push that I needed to finish... (much to bills relief) and I finished the Tely 10 It was in no way easy. I did cry and snap at bill, saying I JUST CANT DO THIS! But I did. For your viewing pleasure I think you would love to see my blisters (that i felt for the first time at mile seven! Next big moment I am going to tell you about is climbing Gros Morne Mountain. Such an amazing, monumental day. We climbed gros morne without me saying I coudln't do it. We climbed it. Coming down is a whole other story. There were tears, and my companions got to hear me say I JUST CANT DO THIS! But they also were with me when I finished. and seriously... the view was well more than worth it. And I got to take my boy with me on this adventure too!! So I did another big thing this year. I jumped in water over my head. WHAT!?? I have been terrified to do this for... well forever I guess. So me and my ladies took swimming lessons, and after two groups of lessons, flanked by two lifeguards, holding onto a swimming noodle, I stood on the edge of an eleven foot deep pool and said I just cant do this!! TWO LIFE GUARDS!! So one group of lessons ended without me being able to jump - and I might add that they even tried to get me to jump in four feet!(NOPE) After my second group of lessons I managed to do it. Several times. It was all about just letting go. Scariest thing I ever did. I can still feel how scared I was as i am writing about it. But I did it!! as you can see I have a bunch of people who are more than supportive in my life, I have my Billy who is by my side no matter what i do! (broken arm or not) I have a trainer who pushes and encourages me to do things I have never ever thought I could do. (and i never ever complain,... or is it that i never ever dont complain!) and there is my neice/bestie melissa and her ben... She drags/encourages me to do some amazing things too (next year Everest?? lol) and of course I have wonderful family and friends that that are dear to my heart, and the sweetest boys ever. So although 2016 has been hard, its been amazing. I am lucky to have a new lease on life, supportive people on every side, and above all, I have a life, one that i am enjoying... finally. Some other things happened this year, James became the tallest person in our house! And has become the coolest fifteen year old ever. Micah faced huge fears and made his own goals and they get more gorgous every time i look at them. How lucky can i get Seriously though... how lucky

Thursday, 28 April 2016

And so the journey continues. Its been a while since I updated... not quite sure why, maybe because for the past little while I had been anxious for a change that my body was just not ready to give me yet. I have been busy since my last update. I have gotten really serious about my food intake and my exercise and generally wanting to become a overall healthier version of myself. I can honestly say that I cant remember the last time I had a bad eating phase. I have been following a pretty strict food plan, stricter than I have ever been on (and have followed without cheating) and I have been working out six days a week, (barring any night shifts... they seem to throw me off) I have started taking swimming lessons and also started yoga. I want to be a better me. Lots of things happening, but still not a huge weight loss. I have stopped weighing all together because it is not conducive to my mental health!! I get angry, depressed and then angry again, I don't need the negativity the weight scales bring into my life. So to sum things up working out, eating right, trying to be healthier... Im on a good path. I feel good and for the most part feel good about myself, however, I still get infuriated with the bottom part of my stomach. I noticed after my last blog that people were saying I was being negative. I got several messages from people saying I was being very hard on myself. I agree, I am hard on myself, too hard lots of times. I'm not only hard on Amanda, I have been hard on a body that has been through a whole lot. I get infuriated with my body on a daily basis. I look in the mirror and see the bottom portion of my stomach and get so mad i feel physically sick. I have not been patient with my body. I weighed a couple weeks ago and had only lost two pounds and had a full on pity party and two year old temper tantrum... and that's not even the day when i gained a pound. I haven't been very patient with myself, my body or this process. I allowed someone to take out a portion of my stomach and then sew me back up, I was overweight my whole life and then took away my bodies ability to over eat, I emotionally ate my whole life and have severely limited my bodies ability to do that (i wont say i took that away, i really wish i could have.) Its been through a lot, not to mention giving birth to two children, one ten pounder with a head like a twenty dollar cabbage! And of course I cant forget to mention making it carry around four hundred pounds for years. It had a lot to deal with..When i think about my life two years ago compared to now its very very different, in lots of ways. I have so much more confidence and I feel so much better! I spend money on things to improve my life and not junk food and take out. I have thought about adding up the amount of money that i spent on junk food weekly... but im kind of scared to see the number. I need to realize the process i put my body through is taking a little longer for me. The july date is still looming over my head (july being when the plastic surgeon will see me again about the removal of slack skin on the bottom portion of my stomach, ughhhh) he wanted me to have fifty pounds gone and my body is just not there yet. So im going to try and honor my body a little. I decided to be unhealthy for thirty five years, and im expecting to be perfect now, well it took me a very long time to make my body the shape it was so im going to try and be a little forgiving of it being slow to shed this last fifty pounds... (it better be just fifty pounds... plastic surgeon im talking to you!!) I go to the gym now...thats new! It hasn't been easy for me. Funny thing is if I go with my trainer (who is fantastic, and obviously has the patience of job) I dont care how many people are there, go by myself and if one other person is there I have a panic attack... yeah gyms are intimidating. I had started going before daylight as soon as it opened when I was feeling super dedicated but I like sleeping and hitting my snooze button, a lot.(and we have an amazing gym, id love it if I wasn't forever looking around to see who was looking at me!) I suppose thats only normal too... when you spend thirty plus years avoiding a place you cant expect to go in and feel completely comfortable. I think back to my poor gym teacher, he seriously heard every excuse in the book from me, I avoided it even back then, I spent more classes on the stage watching than participating, and if i did participate i would get "injured" and have to go sit on the stage again. So here I am, working out... sweating... oh my goodness the sweat, oh here!! I have a gallery of my post workout sweaty selfies for your viewing pleasure... YOUR WELCOME!!! Its been a long road, but I wouldn't change a thing! Im doing well and have an excellent support system. Ill keep trudging on, and ill keep you posted.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Trudging On!

I have been giving myself a bit of a hard time lately. I am currently around fifty pounds away from a surgery to remove some slack skin that is absolutely making me miserable. The slack skin on the bottom portion of my stomach makes me miserable every day of my life. Getting dressed is a frustrating occurrence every morning and if I happen to see it in my clothes out of the corner of my eye in a mirror somewhere I get get really really angry at myself. The surgery I am hoping to get is called an panniculectomy. I have met with the plastic surgeon and he has given me a weight loss point to work towards before I can have the surgery. Last fifty pounds... brutal!!! I have been working hard and eating right (most of the time) and it seems my body wants to stay at this weight!! (even my body is stubborn). Also I have been comparing again, I have been googling how much people lose after surgery and seeing how fabulous and SKINNY people have gotten. I really feel that I should be skinny now and I am far from there and its annoying me! So I keep reminding myself how much more I weighed than a lot of people I follow that had the surgery (I follow and am in contact with a bunch of people who had the surgery that I connected with through this blog and Instagram),and its very difficult not to be jealous. I also keep reminding myself how that I have lost one hundred and seventy pounds and not to let that drift to the back of my mind like it does most days. My old life is quite different than the life I am living now. I went out on a date with three men this week (two different dates) the first one with the sweetest boys and the second with my love. Mine and Bills dates usually consisted of going out to eat, or going to a movie where I would eat copious amounts of popcorn and snacks, but there is no doubt that it involved eating a lot of food. We decided to go out this week and tossed around our regular ideas and finally decided to go night time snow shoeing... and it was fabulous. (both dates) The old Amanda could never, and would never have done that. It wouldn't have even been on my radar. I like my new life, I like that my clothes fit me better, and I like that the worst part of my walk tonight was the fact that the snow pants I wore last week that fit me fine were falling off me tonight. Some things are changing... may not be registering on the scales but things are changing. I took the advice of my trainer and got bill to hide my weight scales and have stopped the weighing obsession. This made things a little better. So I am working out almost every day (almost), seeing a trainer once a week who really challenges me in things I think I am not capable of doing... I came back from meeting with her one week and walked through the door and looked at bill and said "im skinny now arent I?!?" to which he replied "I dont know how to answer that question" and I took that as his answer! So that's where I am now, Im STILL fifty pounds from my goal, but my clothes are looser and people are telling me they see a difference in me again! (yay) So im not where I wanted to be at this point, but im still working on it, ill keep you posted!!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Plastic Surgery

I promised a while ago that I would discuss my visit with the plastic surgeon, and I think it has taken me this long to gear myself up to actually share this part of the journey with you. I met with the surgeon before this summer and it was a very eye opening meeting. I had been given a heads up by several people who had gone to see the specific doctor that I was seeing that he was very blunt and to the point. Not sure if all of you that read my blog can tell, but I am an often insecure quiet person who has a tendency to cry a lot. Goodness... what a way to describe myself! But sadly, its true. Before I can say what I need to say when I am offended or criticized in some way, there is an inevitable bout of crying that needs to occur. I think its genetic because its involuntary and hasn't changed since i was about ten. So I know going into this meeting that I had not lost the amount of weight I wanted to lose, also that I was not in the range that this plastic surgeon required to do this particular surgery, so I already knew the surgery was not going to happen right away. I did want some questions answered so I geared myself up and went in to the appointment. When I checked in the guy at the desk told me I had a bit of a wait and I had gone super early because I was so nervous. The waiting room was absolutely packed. I ended up having no wait time at all... i was called in in about five minutes. The guy who brought me to the room tossed a gown on the bed and said "put this on" and before I had a chance to turn around he was gone. He didn't say get undressed from here or take this off... he just left. So for a few minutes I stood staring at the gown thinking "ummmmm what now." Finally I put the gown on and waited... and waited... and waited. I think the wait was so long because i felt so uncomfortable. Nothing about this whole process from the first referral has been easy. It wasn't easy to go to my doctor and tell him I needed surgery because I weighed four hundred pounds, it wasn't easy to be put to sleep and have someone remove over half of my stomach, it wasn't easy to learn how to eat all over again, it wasn't easy to realize that all those triggers and bad habits were still in the back of my mind waiting to rear its ugly head again, and its not easy to stand in front of someone and show them your body... when you are insecure and tend to cry when you are criticized. (and when you have spent over thirty years covering your body so that no one will notice it) with that all said i did it. The plastic surgeon was very blunt and to the point, but so was I. He answered every question I had, and I had a lot. There is no point in going half way and turning back because you are embarrassed or scared of what people are going to say to you. Blunt and to the point but completely honest, I need to lose another fifty pounds for him to consider me, eighty would be best but he will strongly consider it at fifty. Whats fifty pounds after one hundred and seventy... oh about a million. Have you ever blown a balloon up really big and then put a tiny little hole in it and watch it deflate.... well that's what I felt like... also he told me that one of my major issues (my personal issue) my back fat, cant be fixed in nl. (balloon got popped) in order to have that fixed i would have to leave the province, the trunk lift is not done in NL. (remember me telling you all about the back boobies... well them.) Then just for good measure he informed me that I had a weight gain of thirty pounds. (set balloon on fire) I had a panic attack. I held my composure together and said that no I had not gained any weight and he didn't really mention it after. After my appointment with this doctor I had a visit with my surgical team who assured me that according to their notes I had not gained any weight, I was doing fabulous, I was healthy, and following the plan. In the long run that's what matters. I'm healthy. The thirty pound weight gain was due to a rounding up of my bmi (seriously rounding up!!) and who knows what else, but they have been monitoring me for two years so i trust them. But If I were to think about the apt and what I took from it... id say overall it was positive. Ok fifty pounds... its a lot, it feels like im starting from scratch again because its so much harder to lose now. I was told in my apt that it would be much harder to lose now as well. But I had all my questions answered by someone who was respectful, explained fully what is expected of me, explained to me what my skin will have to be like to have it removed, and explained why it cant be done now. I guess i cant ask for much more than that. Im pretty sure the old Amanda would have cried. Actually Im positive the old Amanda would have cried. so I am back with a new goal of fifty pounds. I have been working with a trainer who has been helping me with my food and exercise, she even designed a plan that I can do at work. (so I have no more excuses) Its game on again. I have lost five pounds of my fifty, only forty five more to go!! (that's if I aim for the fifty instead of eighty... oh my!!) Keep reading and ill keep you posted. Have a marvelous week all you lovely people.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

All The Pretty Purples

August is my anniversary month. I have two very monumental anniversaries in the month of august. On august 12, 2000 I married my very best friend, and true partner in life. 15 years later and I am more in love today than ever. We still have as much fun together as we did in the beginning. I can honestly say that we laugh more with each other, and at each other, probably more than is even normal. He is my complete opposite and perfect match. Any way, in my life and in this whole journey I started, Bill is my biggest supporter. He has been through every step, from losing weight to actually get the surgery, being there through the actual process, and helping me figure out how to live with such a life altering change. I had another anniversary in august as well. August 19th marks two years since my gastric sleeve surgery. Its been quite an eventful two years. My life is so different, and better. I cant even compare anymore because there is no comparison. So I have these two monumental days in the same month. After our wedding Bill and I spent some time in beautiful Gros Morne. One of the places we went to was Shallow Bay. Fifteen years ago we walked on the beach and wrote our names in the sand. I have a framed pic of it. (CORNY!!!!) Corny as it is its really special to me. When I went to Shallow Bay years ago I was very insecure about my weight. I wore jeans and a long sleeved shirt, rolled up my pant legs and walked in the water. I loved the beach but I never enjoyed the experience like I should have. Not to mention that I did not like long walks on the beach because physically it was not fun. Its like I enjoyed it, but I wish I could have enjoyed it on another level.(like maybe one where I wore a swim suit!) So our fifteenth anniversary was this year. 15... WHAT??!! How can I possibly have been married for fifteen years when I am so very, very, very...VERY young? Anyway, Its our fifteenth year. Both of us have been quite busy this summer, working lots (lots of nights for me) and both of us have been putting effort into working as many shifts as possible. We are trying to pay down some things and take care of some financial things. Our boys were on holiday so we had no excuse. Because of this we planned a simple anniversary day, but still wanted it to be meaningful. I was working a night shift the night before, so bill picked me up at work that morning and we left to go on an adventure. Sometimes Billy Squires has brilliant ideas... (I KNOW RIGHT... WHO KNEW??) He suggested a picnic somewhere, and we both thought of the perfect spot, Shallow Bay beach. So armed with a delicious lunch made by me, a beach blanket, and my new selfie stick,(don't judge me) we set out. Before we went to shallow bay we went on a sweet little hike to a beautiful water falls and found some tea berries, I was so excited because the last time I had any I was in grade six. Sooo yummy. Then we set out for Shallow Bay. It was so gorgeous. The pic I have does not do it justice at all. The first thing I did was write fifteen years later in the sand (SUPER CORNEY) and when I looked right in the middle of the words was a piece of beach glass. This started my beach glass hunting expedition. I cant say how many miles we walked. On this beach you can walk out in the water forever and not go past your ankles. We didn't stop. I have this plan in the near future to paint my bathroom purple. Purple is my absolute favorite colour. It has been my whole life. As I was walking all these beautiful shades of purple kept catching my attention. I ended up saving tonnes of purple shells and rocks (I felt like Micah, who is an avid rock collector.) I got to gather a purple souvenir for my new bathroom if we ever get around to painting it. its really sad that the lighting of the pic makes it difficult to see the purple colours.It occurred to me that if I hadn't had the surgery two years ago it would have been a drastically different day. I wouldn't have made it off the beach blanket. I wouldn't have walked for miles, and I wouldn't have seen all the beautiful shades of purple. I had another thought as well, If I hadn't had the surgery two years ago I do not know if I would be alive to enjoy that beautiful day. Not to be morbid but at almost four hundred pounds my heart was struggling. But I did, and I am!!!! I am more alive now than I have ever been. Now not that things are perfect. I have a slack skin issue that frustrates me to no end and seriously makes me want to scream my head off most days. I did meet with a plastic surgeon recently, however I cant get into that in this blog, I need to do another one soon, so stay tuned. Warning... not a happy ending. My weight loss has stopped, but I have lost one hundred and seventy pounds. I feel healthy and strong and above all, I am content. August is a good month. Happy surgiversary to me!!!

Friday, 3 July 2015

My Evolution

I feel like I am constantly evolving. I guess we all are. We are all works in progress and any life changes can alter us, change us. Well my life decision two years ago, set in motion a huge change that has altered me so much that there are days that I don't recognise myself, and I don't only mean physically. This surgery has changed more than my body, my health, and my energy level. I truly don't feel like the same person any more. For example, I have always had really long, , usually dark, very straight hair. this has been a staple of the Amanda look. I have decided to throw this one in as a treat for you... and you have no idea the amount of hairspray it took to maintain this look. It was quite a process, believe me!!
Long hair has always been my security blanket. It was a cover that I used to hide behind. I always felt that if I had long super straight hair people couldn't see how big my face had gotten. I had a feeling that I was hidden. I felt there was a fat roll on the back of my neck that needed long hair to cover it. I felt that maybe my hair would be enough for people to see and then maybe they would not notice what lay beneath it... goodness this blog is getting depressing again, depressing but true I guess. I made myself believe that I kept my hair long because Bill liked it that way, knowing full well that he would like what ever I did. (with that said he was a fan of long hair). I remember the first time I ever cut any length off my hair, I was in grade five and I cut it over my shoulders in a bob. For months every time my Pop would see me he would say "theres the girl with the pretty hair". that memory always makes me smile. Out of necessity since my surgery I have had to let some of the length go. It seemed to happen in stages. My hair got thin, probably because I wasn't taking in enough protein, and it looked yucky to me. So I got my (AWESOME) hairdresser to cut some of the length.
Then I felt it was still then so we went shorter.
I had made a vow to myself that If I ever lost a hundred pounds I would treat myself to blonde hair, so we did that too... cutting more off in the process.
Well now my hair is SHORT, with an awesome dark streak in the front that I love. I feel so liberated. Its so freeing to rid yourself of something that is holding you back, and for me my hair was holding me back, because I used it as something to hide behind. It was a veil. Don't get me wrong, U still love long hair and will probably grow mine out again someday, but I feel like I have stepped out from behind a curtain with this change. I cant hide behind my hair now...
nor do I need to. The veil is gone. So this is me being honest again, I always will be! I meet with the plastic surgeon at the end of this month. Ill keep you posted. Maybe a reason I loved long, straight, dark hair may have something to do with genetics though. My mom... so pretty!