-Signed, the girl who is constantly yanking her jeans UP.
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This is that moment where I put my tail between my legs and come to you and say it -- because this is what I Need To See - Proof That A Thing Works?
I have a very literal type brain. (More on that later this year. I promise you. My next appointment is Valentine's Day.)
Figure out where Beth's seizure focus is?
I must have proof of a thing in order to believe it. I do not blindly follow anything without seeing results, documents, charts that show me "IF YOU DO X, Y will be yours." This is why I am a hard "sell" and you rarely see reviews here anymore. (More on that, coming, too.)
In 2012 I was in a regain pattern and found myself hitting a high weight that I could not imagine after RNY.
I refused to allow it although I know realistically it is possible. I've been there before. And knowing that I need to eat food -- I realised I needed to do something different because obviously eating as much food as I want/need to and not moving my ass was no longer working.
I added a little bit of exercise -- and I saw a little bit of endurance increase. And I struggled to keep going, and keep at it and now I finally see body results.
The scale is in solid maintenance mode. I see range of up 5 lbs down 5 lbs up 5 lbs down lbs every single month. But I guarantee my muscle mass is increasing. I will get a new assessment done at some point to ensure this -- and see because I am interested in knowing the percentage of change.
This is where those people who used to scream at me to MOVE MY ASS get to say, "WE TOLD YOU SO." I did not listen. I was (...somewhat, but not really) lazy. I thought I could get away with just "eating okay" and being relatively active.
Nope. I am proof it (...sitting on your ass) doesn't work.
As a disclaimer, I have always watched The Biggest Losercasually as someone might watch The Super Bowl for the commercials. I enjoy making digs at the product placement, the commercials, etc. This pleases me #broughttoyoubyziploc #subway #extragum #whomever
This year, however I was taken in a little more, sucked in, even after saying things like: "I'd never watch that crap," and "How dare they publicize weight loss competitions!" I am sure I have said MANY choice things over the years about this (...and other shows) as an online weight-loss blogger, even as product pitches aligned with this show were tossed my way. I still watch for the product placements. I also watch for the exercise -- WHAT?!
This year, I started a (...word warning) "journey" nine years after I started my massive weight loss path.
I began exercising in earnest. I dropped some lbs and gained muscle. I have endurance!
I found that The Biggest Loser gave me some "Actual Motivation" if only for ideas of What To Do To Move My Butt. It's the reason I tried the "Jacob's Ladder," guys.
Or, even just for a frame of reference in body-size for someone like me: a former morbidly obese individual whom had been 320 lbs now 144-150 lbs and maintaining my bodyweight while learning to create health, and gain muscle and make exercise a habit. If you have not been living in a 200, 300, 400 lb body - you must know - the body dysmorphia that comes along with the change from your super-morbid or morbidly obese self to your "normal" self can last for years. It may not be until you see another person whom is "wearing" your "body" size when you realize what you look like, and only sort of.
That said -- The Biggest Loser's winner, Rachel. And please remember that I can only relate to what I know to be true, and to what I see in relation to the hundreds of women (... and some men) I read about daily in my weight loss groups for bariatric surgery.
She went too far, and sometimes that happens.
I hope that it was simply because she was pushed to far for the "trigger" of money -- and will find balance in health.
In the weight loss surgery world, we have a hard time with talking about weight. We don't like to talk about "how much weight is too much to lose." We don't like to discuss "too far," and we say things like "well, you called her fat, now she's too thin and you hate her for it."
No. It's not that. You/we really have to stop thinking that way. It is just the same as having bariatric surgery WAS for YOU. It was supposed to be about your health and saving your life. There is not a stitch of hate in the words. It is out of concern for the person, and the people watching: like our daughters and sons.
Going on The Biggest Loser was about stopping this person's journey through morbid obesity and saving her life, and getting healthy again. However, dropping to an underweight body-weight and publicizing this for all of us on TV and creating this huge social media #thinspo out of it -- is WRONG.
Where were the trainers, Biggest Loser Team, producers, etc. when she hit the red flags? Where was the psych team? Where is her help? Is this really just about prize money and not health?
I talk all the time about having enough money to open gyms for all-sizes-and-levels. Regardless of my size, I am still 320 lbs in my head and I am more comfortable surrounded with women of size.
It's one of a number of companies and organizations that are marketing fitness to people who are overweight or obese. It's not a bad business strategy, considering that 69 percent of American adults fit in that category, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Planet Fitness chain touts its "Judgment Free Zones". In Omaha, Neb., Square Onepromises you won't find "size 2's in sports bras sprinting on treadmills." This gym, started by Marty Wolff, who competed on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," says it is for "people of size." And many YMCA facilities feature photos of the faces and bodies of actual members – "real people" – instead of supermodels or body builders.
Schrantz used to be a chronic gym quitter. She'd sign up, go once and never return. The looks she got at other gyms made her uncomfortable.
"My thought on that is why are you looking at me when I got off of the couch, I got off of my bed and I'm actually doing something about it?" Schrantz said, during an interview at the gym. Still, she says, "It's hard."
As she said that, she began to tear up. Other members of the gym came to comfort her. They put their arms around her while she cried.
Here, members sweat together – and shed tears together.
Kishan Shah is the CEO of Downsize, which has hundreds of members across the U.S. They weigh anywhere from 200 to 700 pounds. Shah used to weigh 400 pounds and have a 62-inch waist. Today, he's half that weight and always finds time for a yoga or cardio class in between business meetings.
Fitness is about a lot more than just looks, Shah says.
"So you're a blogger, are you going to write about this?"
"If I told you..."
I might have already put it on Facebook because I have compulsive posting issues.
I had my Very First Fitness Profile At A Gym yesterday.
Just Because Someone Has Bariatric Surgery - It Does Not Make Them A Magical Athlete Who Runs Marathons, Lifts Weights Or Even Gives A Flying Fuck About Doing These Things.
"But all the people on the Facebooks -- they post photos of the try-athelete-a-thons -- and the Things They Can Do Just Six Weeks After Surgery, and all their new muscles and how they can make it rain, and Why Can't I?"
No. It is not *typical.
Here comes Beth -- pissing on your surgiversary parade again. Boo-hoo. This is my opinion only. If you do not like it, fine.
However individuals that have bariatric surgery -- they are tore up. One does not go from super morbid obesity to Athlete! *with added sparkles and instant motivation* overnight. It just does not happen that way.
Sometimes it takes a very long time to get some any motivation, inspiration to get your butt off the couch and do something anything! In my experience over the past ten years post weight loss surgery: motivation comes cyclically and there's always an underlying trigger and goal.
For a select few post WLS patients, just losing weight is enough of a motivation to get going. You see this in the "honeymoon stage" of weight loss repeatedly - people get all sorts of excited during the rapid stages of weight loss and sign up for their gym - get into a class - buy a piece of equipment for home use - sign up for their first walk, run, "I did my first 5K!" These kind of things are all common.
For me, this happened ever-so-briefly. I got out and walked miles and miles and miles to the Black Eyed Peas - it was 2005. I reached to my "goal" weight. We joined the YMCA. Things were going swimmingly in All Things Weight Loss!
But you know what - life happens sometimes.
"WHAT IS THIS THING YOU CALL LIFE?!?! HOW DARE IT INTERFERE WITH MY SIZE 6 PANTS?!"
Shit happens. You deal.
I threw away my size six pants, bought maternity pants, and she's now seven. (And cute. We'll keep her.) However that wasn't the only Life That I Got. My life imploded at about the same time - and I haven't had a normal living/working situation since.
Again, I'll say this:
Shit happens. You deal. (OR. You don't. And it's pretty obvious when you aren't.)
It looks like a bad ride on the rollercoaster until about one year ago.
And you know some health-coach-wannabe posted that on my weight chart a few years ago - and I nearly tore her head off. It was truth.
My weight chart reflects that I was not dealing very well with my shit.
That kind of honesty hurts sometimes - and I am sorry if it bothers you. But we - as former current-always-cycling-obese folks (...I will always be a big girl) wear our issues. When I stop weighing myself, checking in with my jeans-that-should-fit, eating as I know I should, I need to check MYSELF.
Weight is very personal. Let me repeat this. When I stop weighing MYSELF - it means something is out of balance. It means FOR ME - that I have made a choice to stop doing something right elsewhere: usually my eating choices. To be perfectly honest, it takes very little change in calories or types of food to increase my body weight at this stage so I notice upswings immediately.
(This is when the trainer reading this realizes he got way more than he bargained for. Why did I ask for this URL!?)
A little more than a year ago - I was in a regain pattern. I saw a number on the scale that frightened me. (Personally. We ALL have a number. Your number may be different than my number may be different than her number. I am five foot three, and my personal number was the qualifying number for WLS again.)
I knew that something had to change and I knew that I had to do something different because I was stuck in a rut of this pattern up cycling up so many pounds and back down so many pounds.
I have been a weight loss patient for many years - I know how to lose weight - goodness knows I can regain it - but - maintaining is different. I had to think about it: what haven't I done before?
No shit, right? Nope. My exercise motivation over the last ten years has been apathetic. I have more excuses than most of you, honest. I still do, and it's hardly worth throwing them out there because there are people out there with much bigger challenges than you or I - that are busting their butts - and we aren't.
"What do you mean, EXCUSES, Beth?"
I can't drive a car, when I was diagnosed with intractible epilepsy I had to lose my drivers' license, I can't get to the gym on my own, I am not supposed to exercise near the road, I can't walk on my own, I have four kids, begging them to go is a pain... yadda yadda yadda...
And, the worst of all?
I. am. *lazy. I have always been lazy. I may always BE lazy. I may never really enjoy Exercising On Purpose. It may always feel like work to me.
"Just put in a DVD."
That's where lazy comes in. See? That has happened maybe five times in my life -- and each of those times I ended up blogging about the video instead of working out. TV + Me = No.
So, there's that - I started moving my ass just a little bit.
It worked. It did not take much. I don't try very hard. *See above, lazy. I lost every pound of the regain, plus some, and I have maintained the loss for six months.
As for exercise - if you have been following me on Facebook - I try to get to the gym at least three days a week or more - it is increasingly difficult with my husband's work schedule and six of us in this house but we do what we can. When I do get there - I aim for a full sixty minutes of cardio on a cross-trainer or elliptical machine, and sometimes another fifteen to thirty on another machine or treadmill at a lower intensity.
I was not able to do that much exercise right away. It was overwhelming to me -- which was why I started to write this post to begin with. I started with FIVE MINUTES on the machine, many months ago and pushed through to where I am now. Because you know what -- six months ago -- had you told me "Go do an hour on that machine --" I'd have laughed at you.
That is why I am sharing - because - it's NOT too late to start. I was nine years into my journey when I started "again."
#2 - Food journaling, eating of Le Crap.
*GASP! What do you MEAN the Bad Girl Does Not Actually Eat Cupcakes?*
I cannot validate the caloric-cost. Sorry. I never really have. To be honest: I don't know why that was really ever equated with ME - because - I HATE CAKE. If you knew me at all, you'll know that if we go to the local cupcakery (1-2 times a year) they sell frosting shots, I buy ONE. I put it in the freezer. It's about 2 ounces of pure butter and sugar. It's enough carbohydrates and fat to put a horse in a coma. I am a SUGAR-CRACK-HEAD. I dump on sugar. Therefore, I can't, I don't. But I would if I could. I know myself. I do not purchase nor eat much in the way of junk.
Let me rephrase that: I eat a fair share of what I consider crap, I purchase none of it and I try hard not to allow a lot of stuff in my house. I have a harder time avoiding it if it's in my face, I try to make choices based on what's left in my alloted calories for the day. I do okay.
I aim for 1200-1400 calories, I land around 1400-1600 most days, some around 2000 calories.
I journal about 60-75% of the time lately, days where I am distracted by stuff get forgotten (yesterday was totally lost...) and holidays tend to be screwed the heck up, but overall I have done okay with assessing my intake and my weight has stayed the same.
Where am I now? Where do I "start?"
I passed everything except flexibility - which may have sucked because I just had a brain angiogram and I have a plug in my groin. LOL. (I didn't tell the trainer that.) However, that sit-reach thing brought back awful memories of elementary school and the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. Blech. I couldn't ...
I find this quite amusing -- the suggestions were to lose "two pounds of body fat" to be in the "fit" range, which I did by taking off my clothes and going potty this morning.
I'm fit. "I fit."
And, to add resistance training - because my personal goal is to gain muscle mass and retain health. This is my start.
It's not too late. Have you done a fitness profile?
I do not run. I am not a beginning runner. I am not even a jogger. I may be inclined to say that I am a skipper. I don't understand that "runner's high" that runners describe when they get moving long-term and feel their endorphins push through - because I haven't gotten that yet. I am a walker. I can walk for miles and miles. I almost never feel the urge to run. How is that for honesty?
But. I may or may not have told someone that I like the svelte look of a runner's body. (And that maybe someday I could try?) Runner's legs are the shit. Not runny shit. Runner's legs. You know, all tight and muscley.
I saw this plan online today and realized that I could probably, maybe, perhaps handle this plan. I do not need to run a 5K, a half-marathon, or ever become a triathlete, but two or three solid minutes in a row of jogging without DYING the DEAD? Might be nice.
Exercise after surgery is absolutely imperative, and it may be the most important factor that can help a patient achieve long-standing and successful weight loss.
Start walking from day 1.
Increase your walking each day. Add other aerobic exercises like swimming and bicycle riding as your surgeon permits and as you feel so inclined.
Start light weight training and sit-ups as your surgeon allows. Increase weights and number of reps gradually. This type of exercise will increase muscles mass which improves strength, increases bone density, and increases metabolism.
Consider using a personal trainer to educate one about exercise, improve motivation, and help assure proper routines.
Independent of what phase a patient may be in before or after surgery, there are certain basic safe and reliable rules to follow in regard to exercise:
1. Consider your goals and how you want to accomplish them. You can achieve it!
2. Use exercise in combination with weight loss surgery to maximize results.
3. Remember everyone starts from a different state of physical ability and strength. Gradually increase your activity and exercise capacity. Mild discomfort from exercise is acceptable, but pain should be avoided. Ignore the cliché, “No pain no gain.”
4. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
In addition to loss of fat mass, there are other numerous benefits to exercise. These benefits include prevention of loss of muscle mass when losing weight rapidly after surgery, and improved overall weight loss. One’s immune system is enhanced by exercise and this will help maintain overall general health. Exercise may also reduce a person’s appetite. Fatigue, which sometimes is problematic after surgery, may be reduced. Finally, there can be improved balance, improved self-confidence, and overall improved sense of well being.