Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Just some thoughts...

Hello all you beautiful people who read my blog. Im so thankful for each and every one of you, for my last post there were eight hundred views, thats amazing!! It hasn't been such a long time since I have written but I thought now was as good a time as any to update you some things. I have encountered one of the dreaded side effects of this surgery, but as with most things in my life and timeline I am encountering it quite late in the process... HAIRLOSS!!! Along the way I have had some thinning going on here and there and my amazing hair dresser has suggested a wonderful product. Redken Intrafoce (for any of you dealing with the same dilema) but like with everything else in my life I slacked off using it, mainly becuase of cost, and havent used it in a few months. My hair was doing well and I was getting my protien and fluids all in so all was ok. Well this morning I got up and this had happened A BALD SPOT!! I have been out of surgery for over a year and now is the time my hair decides to turn against me and fall out... all in one spot! I really think its still able to be camouflaged yet. I never really noticed it until i straightened it. I have been wearing it curly for a while because it gives the illusion of fullness, and also I can get away with out washing it if I curl it in the morning! So if you see me with curly hair chances are it could very well be dirty too... just kidding, I was washing it way too much which was not helping with the thinning process. So here I am with a bald spot, but guess what I am not doing, I am not stressing about it. Its only hair. Im feeling amazing and energetic and on top of the world and im not letting a little bald spot get to me (i said little though... if it gets any bigger me and my hair are going to have a problem!). I had a moment id like to share with you all, for a moment I thought I would keep it to myself but I think it puts some things into perspective so I will share it with you. I was at work one afternoon and pulled up my laptop screen while it was turned off, and the screen was black, because of this I could clearly see my reflection. For a second I thought "I look pretty today" that was a monumental moment, I have never uttered those words to myself in my life time, and certainly never when I was having a bald spot day. Things have changed for the better. I still get frustrated with some things (slack skin) but thats for a whole other blog, but on the whole my life looks so much better than it did before. I did make another huge discovery recently when I started feeling a feeling of anxiety that I had never felt before, I have lost my life long coping mechanism now so my ability to handle stress has changed I I felt a physical reaction to stress the other day and I think its because I had always numbed my stress before, eating copious amounts of food was my coping mechanism but that is gone now. I recognized that and I can deal with it now that I know its there. I would like to wish you all a very merry chirstmas. Everyone who reads my story is going through this process with me in some form, and I thank you all. If you are reading because you know me, love me, found me on twitter or instagram, or out of pure curiosity, you are all going through it with me. So merry christmas to you all!! Ill leave you with a the Christmas pics of our little men who are having are the sweetest things ever. I know their faces would make my Christmas so ill share them with you!! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season. From my family to yours!! oh and we cant forget these two

Friday, 5 December 2014

My Official One Year

So I met with my team yesterday for my one year follow up appointment, actually its four months late because I have had to keep rescheduling it. It went really well. Im pleased at how pleased they were. I do feel somewhat disappointed in a few things though. let me explain, I have lost one hundred and thirty two pounds since the day of my surgery. I have lost one hundred and forty six since two weeks before my surgery. I have lost one hundred and sixty six pounds since before my referral. Its amazing and when I write it I cant hardly believe it, but yet I am disappointed. I look down and still see a stomach that annoys me. I could be referred to plastic surgery but my BMI is still too high so I told the team not to bother yet. I have sixty pounds to lose to reach my goal. That sixty pounds is so small compared to the one hundred and sixty I have already lost, but its still between me and my goal. I checked my BMI the other day.. a number that is very important to weight loss surgery patients before surgery because if its too high you cant have the surgery until it is lowered (and i started out at a bmi of 67, seven points too high for the surgery) and the bmi calculator told me that to get to my optimum weight I still need to lose between 23 and 60 Kgs. KILOGRAMS!!! that's well over a hundred pounds. Its disheartening. I lost sight of the point that I have lowered my BMI by by twenty six points. I mentioned this to the team and they told me these calculations do not take into account where I came from. I know that from here on out things will be harder. It will be hard to lose weight again. So Im kind of disappointed and kind of not disappointed if that makes any sense. proud of where ive come from but not quite happy with where I am. Maybe I may have to let go of the idea of perfection in my head. There is a weight and a look that I want to be... and realistically I may not ever achieve it... but I have achieved a one hundred and sixty pound weight loss. I realized today what my body has been through... its been through a war. I have abused it for thirty six years, then I cut out over half of its stomach, made it survive on less eight hundred calories a day, filled it full of scars, shocked it completely by working out after spending years not walking further than my house to the car, Its been trough a lot, and who am I to abuse it further by not embracing where it is now. Sure Im not finished, but I have come a long way. So if you are like me and are in the midst of a life change and your body hasn't caught up to where your mind sees it, don't be too hard on it, love what you have!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

So... how come people have changed?

Hello all. Its been one year and two months since the sleeve surgery that changed my life. I'm going to write about something that I have noticed along the way that is puzzling me. I know that since my surgery I have changed drastically. There are people that know me really well that don't even recognize me sometimes! That's a bit of a thrill each time it happens. Its my new super power... I'm INCOGNITO GIRL!! Ok I really need to rein myself in, i"m just rambling now. When I weighed almost four hundred pounds I rarely made eye contact with people, and people did not make eye contact with me. They did however, look me up and down a lot. This has become one of my biggest pet peeves. People who really don't care that you know they are sizing you up, judgmentally. I take issue with this. My sister in law told me to take it as a compliment, so that's what i'm trying to. I have lived many years with people not looking me in the eye. Recently I have noticed that lots of people are making eye contact with me, and smiling at me, and holding doors open for me, oh yeah and people who work in stores are being super helpful. You would think this should make me feel better. Well let me tell you something... it doesn't. It makes me angry. When I was in counselling after my surgery I was told that I may grieve my past self. Well lately when people are nice to me and do things they didn't do for that other girl, I do have a very strong feeling for her. I hurt for her. I feel bad for her. I feel kind of broken hearted for her. Why didnt she deserve the same respect that this amanda did. When people that dont know me go out of their way to be nice to me I feel sad for the girl who was embarrassed by her appearance and didn't like to go in public because of how she was sometimes treated, or how she thought she would be treated. Im still that same girl. Bill and myself have had lots of discussions about it. The other day we were talking about it again and I told him how bothered I was by the niceness. (i am beginning to sound very ungrateful) He thought about it for a minute and said, "But you aren't the same person, you put yourself out there more, you are more confidant, you throw yourself into everything and people are reacting to a different personality than before. (he has his insightful moments.) And hes right. I do things that I would never have done and would never have had the confidence to do. Im pushing myself in ways that i couldnt before. Im still so thankful for this gift and miracle that is my life, a life that I now love and am trying to grab every second out of. Im not sure if any of you rememebr my blog about living in some tomorrow land when i am skinny, and dreaming about that time. I dont do that any more. I live for today now. (and believe me I am in no way skinny, but I am happy) I have joined two fitness classes and a yoga class. Ill be totally honest my weight loss has slowed drastically. I haven't lost in ages so i'm trying to kick start some more loss. Only sixty pounds to go to reach my ultimate goal!! Sixty pounds seems like nothing in comparison to the one hundred and sixty that I have lost already. In conclusion I guess you could say I still have lots of issues. My head still likes to take over in the night time and FORCE me to eat bad foods. I still struggle emotionally about eating. I guess i'm going through a little of that grief process I was warned would come. Im not greiving food, im grieving for that girl. I was talking to someone the other day that hadnt seen me in a few years. She made a comment that surprised me. She said, no offence about the surgery or anything but i thought you looked really nice before. This statement really touched me, I actually choked up a little bit and had to swallow a lump in my throat, and i felt glad for that other girl that someone thought about her and still appreciated her, but a part of me was sad, that girl is gone. I was just re reading this, and it sounds something like an obituary! oh my, I want to end this blog on a more positive note and with a statement. I am grateful!!! (oh yeah, and please please please don't stop being nice to me hee hee!) Thanks for reading, Ill keep you posted. Here are some of our pictures that our girl Melissa and her boy Ben took for us. Please go check them out at Ben J. King Photography on facebook. They are amazing!!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Happy Surgiversary To Me!!

It's my one year surgiversary today!! Its been quite a year, A 150 pounds less, healthier, more active, living life to the fullest kinda year!! I don't have much to write about because I already wrote an update blog recently but I thought id share some pictures with you. First Ill share a before surgery collage and then I have a couple collages of this year. Its kind of all crammed together, and there are tonnes of friends, family, and pets included. (and about one hundred selfies!!) Hope you enjoy my surgiversary pictures... I know I had fun putting them together. Here are the before pics... and here is my year in a nutshell. Happy Surgiversary! And thanks for joining me on the journey, there will be more to come!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Setting Me Free

Well its time to write about another mile stone. Its funny sometimes when I sit and think about all of the things I held my self back from when I weighed a hundred and fifty pounds more than I do now. I was saying to Bill last night that last year I felt like a muted version of who I am now. I felt like the real Amanda was in there but she was being slowly buried by weight, and My true self was suffocated by my own insecurities. Yes, I have lost one hundred and fifty pounds, but am I at my goal, not by at least fifty or sixty more pounds. Am I happy with how I look, some times. Am I where I want to be, no. I say all this to bring up the actual purpose of this blog. I did something last night that I haven't done in at least twenty years. I rode the rides at the fair. I have been too scared to get on them before now thinking that the seat belts or bars wouldn't close on me. And I would be way too mortified to put myself through that embarrassment. But guess what, Thomas Amusements was at the Pepsi Center last night and my bff and her family were staying with us, so we decided to take a trip to the fair. You know how you have that one friend that you don't live close to any more but you are closer to than any one else, that friend that you laugh with no matter what, and the one that always has something encouraging to say even you are venting and crying, the only friend who knew you weighed almost four hundred pounds because you told her even though you didn't tell anyone... well that's my Carla. We were having our annual visit and the fair was here so we had to go. Last year I was also at the fair. I would shuffle from those metal benches and sit down and watch my boys having fun. Watching bill get on rides with them, trying to find a bench close to where they were so I wouldn't have to stand long. I had to sit because my legs and my back hurt so bad. I remember being so uncomfortable and sweating so bad that there was nothing enjoyable about the experience at all. The only good thing about it was seeing my boys happy and laughing. Did I want to be up and walking playing games and riding the rides... of course, but I physically couldn't. Back to this trip though... Well when we found our place to park at the Pepsi Center me and Micah ran... yes I said RAN to Carla's truck and then it all started. We went and bought our tickets (expensive!!) and got in line. I wasn't tired in line, I wasn't sweating, but I was nervous though that old thought kept creeping in,, what if the belt is too tight what if im too heavy. Guess what... I wasn't! The bars and belts fit just fine and I have to say I laughed harder and louder than I have in years. When me and Carla got on the scrambler the seats were really really high. So I had to pull myself in with one foot on the ride, I could never have done it last year, it was too much weight to pull. But I did it. And I have to say again, I laughed so hard my stomach is still hurting today. That sad Amanda that felt buried by weight, and felt that she was being buried alive is finally getting to breathe and be who she is. Im not saying that being overweight means you cant be who you are, Im still overweight (for now) but Im saying how I was feeling for the past years. Well I don't feel that way any more. So that's where I am right now. Ill leave you with a picture of the cutest little people. They had fun at the fair too!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

just a quick update

I know it was only a little while ago that I posted a new blog (my favorite one yet by the way) but something happened last week that needed to be blogged about. I went with my cousin Rhonda to the DMV and since I was there I thought id change the address on my drivers license since we had moved (INTO OUR OWN HOUSE!!) When I got to the teller, about six or seven years after we got there, seriously though block off a full day when you need to go there, anyway I got off topic... When I got to the teller and pulled out my license I took a look at the picture. This picture was three days less than a year old and it looked nothing like me. I showed the pic to the lady and she suggested I get a new one. So I thought today id share another before and after with you... drivers license from July 2013 and new one from July 2014. Stay tuned to hear about my up coming hike of Gros Morne mountain... and I may or may not share with you my most embarrassing experience of my life!! Ill throw in a couple more pics for your viewing pleasure as well!(the first two are before and the last one was last week on a sunny day here in pasadena) Thank you all for reading, the last blog had the most people read so far, over fourteen hundred views, makes me happy!!!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Monumental day

So I have had another monumental day today. Last year around this time I had reached my highest weight and felt really bad about myself. I didn't want to go out in public, I hated looking in mirrors, I found it difficult to drive my standard because my stomach hit the steering wheel making it difficult to reach my clutch to change gears, I found it increasingly difficult to go to work because the thirteen stairs I had to walk up and down made me short of breath and on one occasion gave me heart palpitations, I couldn't wear a seat belt, and the list goes on and on. One thing I didn't add to this list is I felt sad when my husband hugged me because he couldn't get his arms around me. Well this morning my twelve year old had to write his first ever final exam. So we started the day off by going through all the rituals of sharpening pencils, taking a bunch of pictures, drilling him on terms, and of course our morning hug. I hugged him really tight because my big boy was growing so fast. It seems like yesterday I was getting ready to write exams and my parents were getting pencils ready, mom drilling me on terms, running out the door, dad getting his tea as I repeated over and over we were going to be late, (but we were never ever late) So I squeezed my boy extra tight (and he is so sweet and affectionate he was squeezing me too) and at the same moment both of us looked at each other as we realized what had happened. My small twelve year old with his short little arms had hugged me and clasped his hands behind my back. It was a glorious moment. Both of us burst laughing at the same time without either one of us saying a word... of course me with a instant build up of tears, what a awesome feeling. My whole family has been going through every moment of this amazing roller coaster. Me and my little man got to have one of the coolest moments ever because of it. And then we did a little happy dance. James just said WOW! Oh how my life has changed in the last ten months. I now love to go out in public. I LOVE looking in mirrors. I pull my seat as far ahead as I can in my jeep with tonnes of room to spare in my seatbelt. I run the stairs at work just because I can. And getting hugs from my boys, all three of them, is the best feeling in the world. What a gift I have been given. I hesitate to put up the picture I am about to put up because I hate absolutely hate how I look in it. But it gives some perspective about how far I have come... so here goes my newest before and after picI just wanted to share this moment with you all who have been travelling this journey with me. Ill be keeping you posted! Oh!! and I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family, meet Habby!! Isn't she adorable... and yes bill named her after the Montreal Canadians.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Weight Prejudice

Hello all my friends. I trust you are doing well. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading my blog, the traffic has tripled in the past few months because of all you amazing people reading! I'm doing awesome. I have reached the hundred pound since surgery mark,over one hundred and thirty all together, but what is more amazing is that I feel better than I did when I was 20, and believe me I'm significantly older than that! My birthday is in a couple of days and I keep thinking about my birthday last year. Big ol pity party sitting in front of my bowl of cream of mushroom soup. Well for this birthday I could care less if I eat or not! Again i'm so grateful for this life changing surgery and my new lease on life. So that's my update about me, but that's not what this blog is about. I would like to throw out the topic of fat discrimination. It seems I have become way more sensitive to it than I was when I weighed almost four hundred pounds.I think when I was creeping up to that four hundred pound mark I had numbed myself to that feeling so much it would just roll off of me, now not so much.(it seems I have also become very analytical about my feelings... not sure if that is a good thing or not, maybe its the counselling) I get offended for myself and everyone else. I notice that its everywhere. I see it on tv, I hear my children being taunted, I see it on their games, its unbelievable. I will give you a few examples. My twelve year old came home from the playground the other day acting very quiet and blue, so I asked him what was wrong and he told me that a child kept calling him hippo. Really, are we still in the stage where children call each other hippo? I wanted to go and tear the playground up. But my over reacting is what probably led my very gentle twelve year old (who is not overweight) to go and hit this child a few days later. (that was a fun call from the principal) Then just yesterday my boys were playing xbox, the game was ghost busters, a game that James earned by babysitting for me. I was just puttering around when I heard one of the ghost busters say to peter about an obese ghost "peter you should take this one" to which peter replied "so now i'm a chubby chaser? Take out one plump girl on a date, like her personality and you never hear the end of it"! Really, really!!??!! What year are we living in. Why is it not ok to discriminate against people, but its ok to discriminate against weight? Why are we people noticing if someone dates a "Plump" girl? Why are we defining a person on whether they are plump or not?SO when I heard this I just stood in the middle of the living room staring at the television, while everyone else stared at me with a blank look on their faces. Bill said "what?" so I said, didn't you just hear what he said? It was obvious that no one else noticed so I got James to back track on the game and there it was clear as day for my little children to hear. It is unbelievable. Again I ask, why is it not ok to discriminate against anyone... that is unless they are fat. Those are the things that make young girls starve themselves and throw up till the point of death, and those are the things that make young girls eat themselves to the point of death. I have been doing a lot of research on eating disorders through my counselling and on my own. while i was at work the other night I picked up a book written by a doctor about her two daughters who had anorexia. She got them to write their feelings about themselves in a diary and while reading it I could have been reading my own thoughts. It seems that eating disorders follow a similar thought pattern whether it be binge eating or anorexia. It all comes down to the duality of hating food and loving food, this leading to the hating of ones own self. I am facinated by it. An eating disorder is really a disordered mind, so we really don't need members of society making us feel like we should be ashamed to walk out our door. SO there is my rant for the day. feel free to chime in on it, id love to hear your opinion.By the way, if you feel you have an eating disorder and feel the need for some help the hope program is a great resource that i have been make aware of recently. There is help out there. This is a link to the hope program

Friday, 28 February 2014

Fixing Me... All Of Me

I know it wasn't that long ago that I posted, but I felt that I needed to post again. Counselling is probably the best thing I have ever done for myself. Its wonderful and eye opening, its making me actually think about my recovery. I get to read lots of information and actually do something about it. Im really learning why I do what I do, but most importantly Im learning how to control it. Am I cured? Far, far from it, however, I am more aware, and awareness can bring about great change. I have decided to take an holistic approach to my recovery/healing, holistic being defined as "relating to or concerned with complete systems rather than with individual parts". (websters online dictionary) So I plan to focus on my physical, emotional, and spiritual well being, not just my compulsive tendency to eat. I have been an emotional eater all of my life. I eat to deal with whether I am sad, happy, depressed, desperate, vulnerable, you name an emotion and it causes me to eat. When I eat I stuff down the emotion and I never truly deal with it or even feel it. Food numbs it. How unhealthy is that!! Not all emotions are bad, but im eating and numbing out the good ones too because my emotional eating dictates how I feel and eating always makes me feel one thing... bad. Let me explain to you the cycle of my life. I feel bad, so I eat, I then feel good for a quick moment while im eating, then I feel bad for eating and losing control so I beat myself up emotionally, this makes me feel bad, then I eat to numb that, but when im finished I feel bed again... can you see a pattern developing? Its my terrible cycle. In my life I talk about cycles a lot, the cycle of abuse and violence. This is my cycle of abuse. I do not say this lightly, because this is a topic I have very passionate feelings about, but in this cycle I am abusing myself, and I have been for a very long time. Id never let someone else hurt me or hold this power over me, but I have yet to stop my own self. This was my epiphany for the week, I have given all of my power to food, and its time for me to take my power back. I was encouraged to write a list of accomplishments, document how far I have come, so here is my list -I can walk 5k as opposed to five houses -walked a trail and my children couldn't keep up with me, when i turned around at one point this is what I found -bought two regular sized shirts in a regular store (two of them for under twenty dollars... what???) -can cross my legs -can sit in chairs with arms... with lots of room -can go to movies comfortably -decided to take part in zumbathon (again... WHAT???) -tried yoga for the first time (my own version of yoga where I meditate with prayer) -took small second job because I have tones of energy (a one month cleaning job) So things are changing. I still eat emotionally and maybe I always will have a tendency to do that, but at least I am aware of it, and as I said earlier, awareness births change. Thought I would share a pic of me today, notice Im wearing horizontal stripes again! (oh yeah and I dont think you can see it in this pic but I have collar bones!!)

Friday, 14 February 2014

100 pounds down!!!

So since the last time I posted I have reached a huge milestone in my journey. I have lost one hundred pounds since july. I have actually lost one hundred and two now since july 19th. If I were to count from the beginning of my journey I have lost 123 pounds. There are days when I feel very accomplished and proud of where I have come, but that old Amanda is still in there. The Amanda that is never satisfied with herself and tends to punish herself mercilessly for the way that she works. I can only eat small portions (about a cup full some days, and others not that much) but I still have the same compulsions to pick and over eat. I wonder sometimes if that will ever go away. I have started counselling to help me through the fact that my problem isn't simply over eating. I have an eating disorder and have had one for as long as I can remember. I have never had a healthy relationship with food in my life. I have been reading a book recomended by my counsellor called "life without ed", ed being an eating disorder. I have come along the full spectrum when it comes to eating disorders, whether it be obsessively controlling every mouthful that goes inot my mouth to compulsivly eating and not being able to stop. I have come to realise that one of the hardest things to say when you are overweight is that you have an eating disorder. I always think people will laugh if I said that, but without a doubt the way I eat, and think about food is not normal. But i'm becoming more aware of how it is affecting me and how it has affected me. I cant stress enough that the surgery is simply a tool and it dosn't change the core of who you are. I am still that person with the eating disorder, I simply have a smaller stomach. I have to work on the main problem with my eating and use the surgery to help me lose weight. I have been trying to be very honest throughout this process, it keeps me accountable. I know there are others who sturggle with this too and I know that maybe reading my story may be some help. I found out this week that binge eating has been officially listed as an eating disorder, I wish I had known this earlier in my life. So I have lost a hundred pounds, but more than this I have gained some more insight into the bigger issue that lurks under the surface and that has always lurked under the surface. So I will keep you posted throughout the journey, but I know that the journey is not only about weight loss, its about self acceptance, self understanding, self realization, and a whole lot of hard work. Thanks again for reading, I hope some little tid bid helps you along your journey to self acceptance. Ill leave you with a before and after pic, hope you like it!