NOTE :It’s exactly two years ago today (well yesterday because I lost this post once!) that I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy and started my weight loss journey. Today has been a bit of a reflective day, so the tone of my blog might reflect that. I never undertook the decision to have surgery lightly but am so, so pleased that I did and that I have made positive changes to my life as a result of that. Surgery has never, in my opinion, been the easy way out, but if you think that, then you are entitled to your own opinion. I just know that I have worked extremely hard throughout every step of my journey to get to where I am today and I do not regret having surgery at all.
If you’ve read some of my earlier posts on this blog, you will know about the weight loss surgery I had and that I lost 72kgs in weight – exactly half of me – oops – now I’ve just revealed my current weight to you all – and surely no lady reveals her weight, it’s as bad, if not worse, than revealing your age ! 45 in case you are wondering ! There you go – the awkward bit is out there !
When I started my weight loss journey (exactly 2 years ago today) regaining weight was one of the things that really weighed heavily on my mind (excuse the pun!). I was adamant that I didn’t want to undergo major surgery only to regain weight at some later stage. Sadly there are people who never reach their goal, or who do and then regain significant amounts of weight – there are even some surgeons who tell their patients to expect this and in a way it feels like they give them permission to do so as it’s to be expected ! But equally there are lots of success stories of people who lose the weight and keep it off – and these were the stories which inspired me when I was doing my research.
The people who lost the weight, reached goal and maintained their loss – were the people who, in my opinion got ‘IT’ ! Whatever ‘IT’ was – they GOT ‘IT’ and I wanted to plan to have ‘IT’ in place by the time I reached my goal.
My goal when I started losing weight was to be able to wear a UK size 16 clothes so that I could expand my shopping experiences beyond the few plus size shops and to reach a normal BMI as well as to be healthy and fit – but I didn’t have a clue as to what this meant in terms of goals or targets. As I started losing weight I started to track things and I became a bit of a numbers junkie ! If it was a number which could be measured in any way – then I was going to track it and chart it (boy I love Numbers on the Mac – it’s so clever !)
Amongst other things I tracked :
Nutrition – calories in, grams of fat, carbs, sugar, protein
Measurements – my vital statistics, weight and BMI, dress size, shoe size (yes my feet got smaller!)
Body Composition – % fat, pounds of lean mass (muscle)
Pictures – I took monthly pictures to show my progress
I became an ‘expert’ in all things that could be counted, tracked or measured and it really helped me to be focused and stay on track. Sometimes I couldn’t see a change on the scale but I could note that I lost inches, other times when the weight loss slowed down I was able to try and workout should I modify my eating or exercise plan etc using the information I had to hand. But mostly just having this information at hand was a constant reminder to me of what progress I had made and equally how much work there was to still be done. The combination of all of this helped to keep me on track.
It also allowed me to reassess my goals and to refine them as my journey progressed. For instance I became less focused on what the scales said compared to how my body composition was changing in terms of gaining muscle and losing fat. And as my exercise increased I became more focused on increasing my exercise intensity and complexity rather than how many calories I burned each session. I also set myself exercise goals – to run a 10k and to run a 1/2 marathon which I achieved 10 months after my surgery whilst still overweight (and of course I ran them again this year and will probably continue to do so).
As I lost weight I made big changes to my life :
I started to think about food in terms of fuel or nutrition for my body with an emphasis of clean eating
I started to enjoy exercise and to miss it when I didn’t do it (who would have thought I would do that!)
I broke the cycle of habitual celebratory/commissary and frankly mindless eating and the sugar cravings associated with that.
I started to enjoy the ever changing shape of my body and how I felt (definitely more lean and toned and energetic, but also more confident, and more sexy too)
I became an ‘expert’ at quick food shopping – it doesn’t take long when you only visit about 10 aisles in the entire shop !
Heck – I even started to enjoy shopping for clothes and accessories which is something I didn’t enjoy when I was larger.
But most importantly I became more conscious of ME
As a result of doing all of the above I’m not at a point where I truly believe that I have GOT ‘IT’ – my own version of ‘IT’ that works for me. Whilst the changes I had to make were dramatic at the start of my journey I’ve now adopted them as ‘just the way I do things’ and they are far more intuitive now.
So what is ‘IT’ for me ? – Well it’s not just one thing – it’s a combination of the following :
I’m not quite the numbers freak that I was ! – though I still weigh weekly and keep a check on my body composition – but to be honest the fit of my clothes is just as good a measure for me now.
I know how much I can eat without having to weigh or measure or track it on-line although once in a while I will diary the odd day or two just to see how it is in reality.
I eat clean, because I like the way my body feels when I do this and I don’t like how it responds and feels when I don’t.
I exercise regularly and am constantly challenging my body to do more with lots of variety in terms of where and how I do my fitness.
I eat consciously and make adjustments to allow for the odd sugary treat or alcoholic drink or two (hey I am only human after all !!
I am learning to work with a completely new body shape – I have to dress to make curves now rather than to hide lumps and bumps !
And a result of this I have maintained my weight loss and am within my goal weight range (I have a 5lb acceptable tolerance range).
And in terms of the other numbers (well you didn’t think I’d completely forget about them did you ?) :
my body fat has reduced from a truly cringe worthy 49% to 22%.
My resting heart- rate has reduced from 109 to 52
My BMI is almost a perfect 25 – just a little above
I wear size 10/12 clothes !!!
My shoe size dropped down a size !
My bra size has reduced significantly
And as for my vital statistics – well – they are a secret ! but they are getting closer to Marilyn Munroe numbers compared to those of a beached whale !
And in true me blog style – here’s a little reminder of some of my progress from March 2010 to today (and in even truer me style – most of the pictures are still taken in full length mirrors in the gym or washrooms !)