Friday, March 9, 2012



It's been a long time since I updated my blog, and there is no time like the present to bring you all up to speed on my life after losing all my excess baggage - all those pounds that made me miserable. I believe that I have the tools and knowledge necessary to manage my weight and also enjoy the sensuous nature of the foods that I so much enjoy.

Bob and I just returned home from a glorious week in San Francisco. The purpose of our trip was to visit Jack - but we were able to spend a lot of time just walking around San Francisco and enjoying the gorgeous sunshine and the tourist spots for which San Francisco is famous. The things that we did that I COULD NOT have done two years ago were many.

First, we took advantage of public transportation rather than cabs. It is amazing how many people can be moved on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). However, it does require being able to walk from point A to Point B in order to catch the trains. I was able to make those connections with very little effort. Most of the stations offer escalators to different levels, but not all of them. I am slow going up and down stairs, but again, I am able to negotiate them. It is about 12 blocks from the BART station to the condo that we stay in, and San Francisco is not known for its level terrain. We only had back packs, and Bob generously packed both of them so I only had to get myself up the hill, but you guessed it! Not bad at all!

The concierge suggested a hamburger shop that is known for the "best hamburgers in the city". It has been almost 2 years since I have had a good hamburger and I was ready for one. We walked to the hamburger stand and I consumed a 1/2 pound hamburger and half a basket of fries and onion rings. I was determined to use this trip as a trial for our Disney trip coming up. Maintenance is different than being on the first phases of the program. I am supposed to be able to go off program for special occasions like vacations and then lose the extra pounds with a return to phase 1 until I am back to my desired weight.

What happened after our hamburger surprised me more than ever. We were only .9 of a mile from China Town. Since that was one of the places that we had planned to tour, I (that's right - me) suggested that we walk there. We walked a little over 2.5 miles to and from and through. I thought my feet would kill me. I was stupid! I wore my dress shoes instead of my walking shoes. After that trip, they stayed in a corner of the room and all my walking was done with shoes that were designed for walking.

Jack came into town that night and spent the weekend with us. We toured the Golden Gate Park, walked the beach, drove a loop through wine country, all of which involved walking. And meals at some very good restaurants.

Bob and I rode the BART to Berkeley to visit Jack on three occasions during the following week. Walking to his house on the first trip, and through campus on one, and meeting at a restaurant for dinner one night. All in all during the past week, I probably walked a little over 50 miles.

I was up about five pounds before we left on this trip, and added another five during the past week. So, I have around 10 to lose to get back down to my goal weight before we leave for Disney World the first week of May. I don't think it should be that hard.

"But before looking to the future, let's glance back at the road we've traveled these past two years because that is the source of much of the optimism we are all feeling about the future." Linda Lingle

In August, 2010, I began the Ideal Protein program. I weighed in at 350 pounds. I knew the program worked because I had seen results in others.

As I began to realize that if could change my body, I I could also change my mind. There are things about myself that I really didn't like, so I theorized that if I didn't like them, probably others didn't either. I have shared previously that reading positive attitude quotes became a daily habit - one that has helped me stay on track and be successful on this weight loss journey.

I have also come to realize that the past is past. Only today and tomorrow are in my grasp. My past is part of me that will always be what it was. I can beat myself up for letting myself get into that condition in the first place, or I can use that part of my life as experience that will help me shape my future.

"Forgiving (yourself) does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future." Lewis B. Smedes

So many people have asked me if I have kept off the weight that I lost. Although I am 10 pounds heavier today than I was on the day that I met my goal, I can answer "yes!" Because I know that all it takes is a return to program for whatever amount of time it takes to get back to that magical number. The secret is to never accept 10 pounds as okay. I know that I possess the tools - both physical and mental - to maintain myself.

"There is abundant reason to believe that optimism – big, little, and in between – is useful to a person because positive expectations can be self-fulfilling." CHRISTOPHER PETERSON

The next thing that I have been asked about consistently is the surgery to remove the excess skin around my tummy. Was it successful? Would I do it again? Was it worth the cost? Did it hurt?

I had the surgery on January 6. I have never had any surgeries before so didn't really know what to expect. Thankfully, I have a wonderful daughter-in-law who came to be with me for the first week following the procedure. She made me take the pain pills when I thought I could get along without them. She kept saying, "Take the prescribed number of pills for at least the first two days following surgery - if you let the pain get ahead of you, you will regret it. It's hard to catch up if you don't stay on top of it!"

So, I dutifully took the pills for the first two days and then began to wean myself from them. It wasn't as bad as I had expected. It was uncomfortable, but I was never in what I considered a lot of pain. It was uncomfortable to cough or clear my throat, etc. Right after the surgery, I had drain tubes from the stomach area into little reservoirs attached to the tight band that I wore around my mid section. I had them for the first week until the excess drainage stopped. During that time, I did sleep on the reclining chair rather than in bed. And, Bob slept on a cushion on the living room floor in case I needed anything during the night. "Thank you, Hon!"

A disappointment after the surgery is that I did not lose weight. I wrongfully assumed that because they cut 3 - 4 pounds of excess skin off my body that I would lose a corresponding number of pounds in my weight. Not so! I was starved following surgery - and so dry. I drank over two gallons of water each day and retained every ounce of it (or close). And, I was eating everything in sight. I actually gained between 3 - 5 pounds. I guess it is normal to retain fluids following surgery - and, your body is working to repair itself, thus requiring calories to do so.

Does my tummy look better? Yes! It is still swollen from the surgery and still slightly numb. My doctor told me it would be close to a year before it is what it will be. I think my belly button isn't quite in the middle anymore. Hoping that as the swelling disappears, that will correct itself. It isn't too far off, but enough that I notice it at times.

What is worth more than any monetary cost is the new life that I am living with my husband. As we were sitting in the sunshine in Union Square, he looked at me and out of the blue said, "Thank you for losing all that weight - it has made our lives so much better and so much more worth living!"

"Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior become your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny."
MAHATMA GANDHI, Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: A Book of Eastern Wisdom

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