The Incredible Shrinking Krista

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Week 4...In the books

So, I just finished the 4th week, my Saturday workout and got weighed in.  I feel compelled to share some information about why this particular week carries a lot of emotion for me, so bear with me, if you would.

When I made the decision to have Weight loss surgery 5-1/2 years ago, not everyone in my immediate family was supportive or excited about that decision.  My Nana, though, told me she just wanted me to be as healthy as possible for me, my future and to be here as long as possible for my children.

Once the surgery was over and I start losing weight, she was very supportive, and then, when I got to about 195 pounds or so, she told me that "enough is enough" and that I didn't need to keep losing weight.  I was going to get too small (I have no idea how nearly 200 pounds could be too small, but I guess it's the perspective of what I was coming from).

Fast Forward 2 years, my knees were jacked up, I couldn't run, and the weigh was creeping back on.  The very last words I remember my Nana saying to me were, "I'm worried about you, you're gaining your weigh back and I don't want you to have done all of this for nothing."

Now here I am, 3 years later, again knocking on the door of 195 pounds.  Looking like I may be the size I was when she passed in the next week to 10 days.  What is interesting is, that 195 pounds was not a fit and toned 195, it was just a number on a scale.

I've spent the last 4 weeks totally changing my diet.  No fast food, no coffee creamer, no sugar.  No process crap.  My entire diet and everything I'm putting in my mouth is much healthier than I have ever eaten, even right after my weight loss surgery.

I feel healthier than I can ever remember feeling, and I am proud of how I'm doing this.  I have 2 more weeks left in the challenge, at which point, I will be allowed to go to a different meal plan that is not so restrictive, but I don't see the draw to doing so.  There is NOTHING unhealthy about what I am eating.  The other plan would maybe let me have some bacon once in a while or things like that, but I am seriously thinking about keeping this meal plan going with an infrequent "splurge" toward some of the items allowed on the other meal plan.

I want to continue to lose weight, get healthier, and find the best possible version of me!  There are 2 more weeks in the challenge officially, but my challenge will continue long after that.

I have 6 weeks until I board a cruise ship and I want to feel comfortable on that ship, in my bathing suit, etc.  It seems I'm averaging around 2.5 pounds per week so far in this challenge.  If I continue on that pace, I would be around 183 on that day, maybe a bit more, or maybe a bit less.  That isn't really the most important part about this.  What is important is how I'm building habits of going to work out.  I'm building habits of eating healthy food, even in the face of Super Bowl snacks tomorrow.

Anyone want to join me??

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

I feel liberated....

There is something liberating, and quite frankly, beautiful, about falling in love with yourself.  It would almost be funny if it weren't so sad that it took me nearly 44 years to get here.  I'm allowing my heart to guide me this year, and saying yes and no to things that I determine either do or don't fit into my future.

I started the body transformation challenge with high hopes of getting healthy, and as a bonus side effect, maybe dropping some of the extra pounds I've been carrying around, specifically the 38 I had regained from my lowest weight post weight loss surgery.

As with any goal, it is not a success only journey, but the question is, when faced with adversity, how do you handle it?  How do you respond?

Last week was difficult.  I hurt my knee during Tuesday's workout, nothing major just really inflamed since I have no cartilage in there, and can't take anti-inflammatory medications to help my body handle the swelling after that.  I was in pain, my knee was tight with swelling, so I wasn't able to work out the rest of the week.  I could barely walk, quite frankly.  So I did what I could, and stuck to the meal plan for the most-part, but then when I started to get down, I gave myself permission to fail....but only for a little while.  I knew I wasn't going to lose as much weight as week 1 (5.4 pounds), but I also knew I had no reason/excuse to GAIN weight.  So I did what I could.

One of the interesting side effects of eating whole foods instead of fast food and processed crap is that my body is processing foods the way it should be.  I hadn't made the connection before, and while this is TMI its part of my reality, so I thought I'd share.  I have been taking medication for 2-1/2 years to allow my intestines to process food probably and have some kind of output from my body other than urgent trips to the bathroom with loose bowels.  I haven't taken that medication, nor do I need it, for the last 2 weeks.  I feel good, my body is processing food the way it should, because I'm giving my body what it needs to do so.  I'm down to 1 pill per day which has to do with my clinical depression, and that will likely never go away!

So when I got on the scale last night, I wasn't totally shocked to see I had gained .6 pounds.  I would be lying if I said I was surprised, because how could I be?  I didn't work out and I didn't stick to the meal plan 100%.  My coaches are amazing and super supportive and informed me that week 2 of these type of lifestyle changes is often the hardest.  Rather than throwing in the towel because, "It obviously isn't going to work" I've doubled down and continued to pursue and chase the healthy lifestyle I know I need.  I have all my meals for the week planned and prepped but 1, and I'm pushing myself to do everything by the book.

As for workouts, last night I did my CrossFit workout at CrossFit Brave, then when I got home, I finished setting up my Peloton bike that got delivered yesterday and took it for a bit of a spin.  It was fabulous, and fun, and oh so hard!  It's a different kind of hard than CrossFit which is good.  I was sweating my butt off in the first 10 minutes, and had to convince myself to stay in the ride for the whole 30 minutes.  No CrossFit for me tonight, but I'm going to find this Dirty Dancing Peloton ride I keep hearing about and give it a whirl.

I've found that the longer I stay on this plan, the better I feel, the less I hurt, and people have actually approached me to tell me that I look good and I appear happy.  I hope that's a sign of how well I am adjusting to this new lifestyle.

I am NOT on a diet, I'm changing my life.  I'm hoping these changes lead to a bit more weightloss over the next 7-1/2 weeks until I board that cruise ship and I get on the boat around 185 pounds....As of yesterday, I was at 205.6, but I'll be back to my Saturday morning weigh in this Saturday.  Hopefully my cycling workouts on CrossFit off days will help me continue to see a smaller number on the scale.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Why is this time different?

I keep asking myself this.  What is going to make this time different?  I came to a huge conclusion about this answer on Saturday and wanted to share with you all. 

I have, for many years, made resolutions that required me to lose a certain number of pounds.  I had weight loss surgery 5 years ago, and still wasn't able to stick to the very strict diet required.  Once I got comfortable, I went back to my old habits, so the million dollar question is:

 "Why do I think this time is going to be different?"

Here's the answer I have come to, with some background as to what led me to said answer. 

So, on Friday morning last week, 1/11/19, I walked out of the house without my prepared breakfast, and had to figure out what to eat.  Skipping breakfast is NOT an option on this meal plan, nor is it ever healthy.  For a split second I gave myself permission to indulge in my guilty pleasures, drive through and get sugar laden coffee with a danish or something like I would before I started this process (AGAIN).  Then I snapped back to reality and asked why I was willing to allow myself to fail?  Yes, I admit, I am the queen of self-sabotage, but why?  So instead, I stopped at Starbucks, ordered Sous Vide Egg-white bites with red peppers and a plain oatmeal.  Both things are definitely on my meal plan, and while not necessarily in the correct proportions, it was better than a donut or whatever else I may have caved and eaten. 

Then on Friday night, the CrossFit Brave coach posted the workout I had signed up for on Saturday and it scared me to death!  It was going to be a partner WOD, but we would be doing 3 different CrossFit Games workouts from previous years.  CrossFit Games workouts are BRUTAL!!!  I almost cancelled the class and decided to sleep in, but decided instead I needed to stay in, and not cherry-pick the workouts I was willing to go to. 

On the way home from my workout, I realized something that seems like semantics, but so isn't.  In the past, my resolutions, my weight loss efforts, my weight loss surgery I always explained the same way....."I'm tired of being fat!"  While that is a good motivation to get started, it doesn't keep you honest once you lose the certain number of pounds you had thought of, or decided you had lost enough weight.  This, I believe, is why diets don't work!  Instead, this time, my motivation came from a totally different place, "I want to be healthy!"

Why the change?  I have found 2 lumps in my breasts in the last year.  My doctor was testing me for Auto-Immune disorders last fall because I was exhausted, constantly fatigued, having headaches daily and couldn't fight off a simple cold for 3-1/2 weeks. I cared for my dying mother-in-law last February.  I watch my father suffer with dementia, COPD, and A-fib every day, and I watch my mother struggle with Multiple Sclerosis.  High Blood pressure and High Cholesterol run down both sides of my family, as to heart issues and Strokes.  I cannot continue to shove unhealthy crap in my mouth and expect my body to resemble anything healthy. 

This time, it's about health.  It's about putting good food into my body so it can function at its best.  It's about moving my body and challenging myself so that I don't end up with osteoperosis or other degenerative diseases that run in my family because I made unhealthy decisions for too long.  The difference is that instead of a # on the scale, I'm working toward healthy living, and as we all know, health is NOT determined by the lowest number on the scale.  Weight loss will likely be an exciting side-effect of the healthy eating and working out, but it isn't the focus of my journey! 

So, this year, I started this journey to health at 210.6 according to the scale at the gym last Monday. 
On Saturday at the gym, I was at 205.2.  Down 5.4 # in 6 days. 

This week, I'm definitely working out 3x, maybe 4.  I have all my meals for the week prepped and packed through Friday, so I just have to grab them and go. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

2019---the Journey Continues

It's been over a year since my last blog post, and honestly, 3 years since I posted consistently.  The thing is about a weight loss journey, is that it's like anything else.  When you are super focused on it, and chasing a goal, accountability is key, and makes that goal attainable.  I never reached what I had claimed as my weight goal before my Sleeve Gastrectomy in 2013 (my stated goal was between 145 & 155).  I got as low as 172#, and then life happened.  Sick parents, in-laws, and grandparents.  These things required me to eat at the hospital, or eat out.  I slowly allowed myself to fall back into old, unhealthy habits.  Fast Food, Starbucks fru-fru coffee drinks, sweet tea, bigger and bigger portion sizes. 

In the first 3 years after my surgery, I was running fairly consistently and was able to keep the weight to a healthy level, but in 2016 I was dealt another blow and told to stop running.  After 20+ years of obesity I have literally ZERO cartilage in my left knee.  This is why after my 2 half marathons ins 2016, both time my left knee swelled up like a cantaloupe.  I have also broken my feet and ankles many times, those have led to arthritis that gets worse, not I gave up.

I gave up, and quit exercising and continued to allow myself to fall back into the old habits, and go further and further down the rabbit hole.  I allowed my frustration over not being able to run to lead back to me sitting on the couch.....NOT GOOD. 

Sometimes road trips have detours, and that's what I've been on.  Basically I detoured from my post-op healthy eating and let myself just wallow in the "I guess I'll just be fat again" pity for a while.  But the thing is, just like detours end, this one had to as well.  It still haunts me that the last thing my grandmother said to me was, "You're starting to gain your weight back and I'm worried about you."
For whatever reason, my brain jumped on board with ending this little detour and I'm back at it. 

I find blogging to be therapeutic.  I like it because I can share what/how I feel, and also hold myself accountable.  My 2019 New Year's Resolution is not one I'm used to.  This year I am focused on being more mindful and healthy in every way; Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually and Mentally.  To that end, since I can't run, and my other favorite workout is CrossFit, I found one near my work, and I LOVE them!  CrossFit Brave is right by my school, which means I can't go home to change clothes before going to work out  (It'd be about 45 minutes round-trip).  That means I have to bring my clothes to work with me in the mornings and be prepared to go work out after school.  That also means I can't go home with the best of intentions of "coming back to work out later" and getting too comfortable snuggled up on the couch.  As part of joining I decided to participate in a 6 week/42 day Body Transformation Challenge.  This means that I also get a meal plan to follow, accountability, weekly weigh-ins and coaching.  I'm finishing up my first week, and I love how it's going. 

I meal-prepped on Sunday night and packed up most of my food for the week.  It's good to just open the refrigerator, grab what you need and go for the day.  Today, that kind of got wei-leid as I left my healthy prepared food at home.  For a hot second I thought I might just cave and buy some of that greasy fast food that I love (But have figured out this week that my body hates).  Then I decided that speed bumps didn't have to mean failure.  I drove through Starbucks this morning, and rather than a fru-fru coffee drink and oatmeal with a crap ton of brown sugar (My go-to) I ordered classic oatmeal with no toppings and the Egg-white Sous Vide bites with red pepper.  They were DELICIOUS, and fulfilled the protein portion of my breakfast.  Sadly, the folks at Starbucks didn't see fit to put the hot water in my oats to actually make it oatmeal.  It's all good though.....I just kept rolling.  I'm short on veggies and carbs for today, but that's fine. 

Now, the working out part, that's a whole different beast.  My body loves and hates CrossFit simultaneously.  I love how it makes me feel, my body seems to naturally move the way it should, but it's been YEARS since I've lifted.  I worked out Monday and was still struggling to walk yesterday, but still went to work out again. 

Strength--Find our 1-rep max back squat. 
I'd have to look back to see what mine was before, as I can't even begin to remember, but I was concerned so I started out with the 35# bar only.  I ended up maxing out at 115#, which felt FABULOUS!

WOD: Our WOD was insane, and I'm still sore!
3 rounds, count how many reps of each movement you do

1 minute front squat (I used dumbbells since I'm not quite up to par yet)
1 minute sit-ups
100 meter run in 1 minute (this only counted as a rep if you got back into the building before the minute was up)

1st round I got in 39 reps---and yes, I made it back into the building on the run
2nd round I got in 36 reps--yep, made it back into the building again, so the run counted, but only barely
3rd round I only got 27 reps.  My quads were burning like mad, felt like I might vomit on the sit-ups, and the nausea got worse on the run.  Nope, didn't make it back this time for the run to count.

I got in 102 reps.  It felt AMAZING, and while my body HATES me at the moment, I'm SO GLAD I'm getting to do CrossFit again. 

I'm going to be blogging regularly again this year, as I get back on track for this journey.  I've set a few small goals:

In the 6 weeks of the challenge, I'm hoping to average about 2 pounds of weight loss per week.  That would put me right around 196 on my bathroom scale at home, on Sunday mornings, before eating anything.

I plan on continuing this meal plan/working out for an additional month, leading up to our Cruise in March.  That would be 11 weeks, and thus, 22 pounds of weightloss.  On my scale at home, that would mean I'd board the cruise ship around 184 pounds. 

After the cruise, I plan to continue a similar, but not as restrictive meal plan, and work outs, so that I can continue to lose weight.  I don't have a specific number in mind, but I figure fit and healthy sounds like a good goal, right? 

I hope you'll join me on the continuation of this journey and help to hold me accountable. 

Here's to Healthy accomplishments in 2019!!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

4 years ago today

Four years ago today, I underwent Gastric Sleeve surgery.  I had amazing success that went on for nearly 2-1/2 years:

I started my pre-op diet at 265.8, I went into surgery at 255.3, and today, I'm at 253.8, so I have lost exactly 12 pounds since I started the pre-op diet.

2 week check-up and was please to hear that according to their scales, I have lost 23 pounds.

10/31/13:  Yesterday I was one month out from having Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery.  I went for my follow-up with my surgeon and he was very impressed with my progress.  According to his scale, I weighed 239.5, having started at 268.8 before I started the pre-op diet on September 16, meaning I have lost 29.3 pounds in 6 weeks.

11/18/13:  and I have lost 35.0 pounds exactly since starting the pre-op diet.  I have 88.8 more to go to my goal of 145.

12/30/13:  In that 3 months, I have lost 47 pounds, and quite a few inches.  I've gone from a size 22 to almost a 16

1/29/2014:  Today, I weighed in at 210.6 pounds.

3/7/14:  I'm down now to 202 pounds, just barely outside of "one-derland".

4/3/14:  I started this journey knowing that my highest weight ever was 270 pounds....and today, I weighed 194

5/1/14:  I am down to 189.2 pounds, a total loss of almost exactly 81 pounds from my heaviest weight of 270 pounds.  I have gone from wearing a size 22 to wearing a size 14 and my bra size has gone from a 44DD to a 38DDD.

8/3/14:   I have reached a the dreaded weight loss plateau.  I have been staying right between 182 & 185 pounds.

10/12/14:  On September 16, I started a pre-op diet at 265.8 (my highest weight I ever saw on a scale was 270).  After 2 weeks on the pre-op liver-shrinking diet, I was wheeled into the OR weighing 255.8.  last Friday at my 1 year post-op visit, I weighed 171.  I am VERY close to losing 100#.

Here I sit 4 years later, and I've started to regain my weight. There are a lot of reasons fro my having regained this weight. After running 2 half marathons in 4 months, I found out I had zero cartilage in my left knee, thus making it extremely painful to run, and causing uncontrolled swelling with any amount of exercise. I had about a 6 week period where my father-in-law, my father, and then my Nana were all in the hospital. My Nana ended up passing away and then subsequently travelling for her funeral, etc. That's when my weight started to go up. The last words my grandmother spoke to me were, "You're gaining your weight back, I'm worried about you."

Here's the reality of things. The battle against obesity isn't something that is ever Won, or Lost, in reality. It is an ongoing battle that will truly never end. I got on the scale this morning and I weighed 208.6 pounds, back up to where I was at 4 months post-op 4 years ago. I NEED to stop the weight gain and start getting it moving in the other direction. My weight has crept back up over the last 2 years to the point hat I would again be eligible for weight loss surgery, which I have no desire to repeat, so I am going to be trying non-surgical options. My friend, Faith told me about Body by Obona, which affords me the opportunity to work with a personal trainer and get a workout and personalized Diet/meal plan to help me start losing weight again. Today, I will go shopping for my new meal plan and do my meal prep for the next 6 days. I haven't posted very regularly in a while and life has just gotten in the way. The thing is, when I let life get in the way, I end up disappointed in myself. I need to reign this in BEFORE I lose control of it, again.

I start again tomorrow, just like I did 4 years ago. I start again as dedicated to success as I was 4 years ago. I'm going to win this battle over obesity, even if I have to fight the battle EVERY DAY of my life, until I take my last breath. It's worth it to continue to fight.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Health Scares and life changes...

Good morning, strangers!

I haven't been around much, and posting on my blog, to put it bluntly, I got comfortable, and a bit lazy with my health.  I injured my knee a year and a half ago and I haven't been able to run since then.  I tried to go back to cross-fitting, which I LOVE, but a knee with zero cartilage is just NOT conducive to squatting, with or without weight.

Right after that injury to my knee, our family suffered some serious health issues.  My father-in-law had a pacemaker put in, immediately after returning from helping them, my father was admitted to the hospital.  2 or 3 days after my father was discharged from the hospital, my Nana was admitted and subsequently passed away.  With all that travel, time in hospitals, eating out, and travelling for my Nana's funeral, I gained back 20 of the 98 pounds I had lost (and kept off for 18 months).  Over the last 15 or 16 months, I've gained an additional 12 pounds due to basically getting "comfortable" and not having a way to workout that I loved or quite frankly, was even comfortable with.  I've also allowed myself to go back to some of my bad eating (and drinking) habits.  No, i don't often, if ever, drink alcohol, but I'm addicted to coffee and sweet tea like some are addicted to stronger drinks.

All of this has contributed to me getting back above 200 pounds for the first time in over 2 years.  While I'd like to cry about this revelation, it is my own fault, and not something I can blame on anyone or anything but myself.

Well, a few weeks I got myself a MAJOR wake-up call that has made me take an honest look at my decisions and take inventory of what I'm doing in my day-to-day life.  It's been just over 3 weeks (I think), maybe 4(?) that I was working before school care and out of nowhere, I had a horrible pain in my chest.  Then the pain was in my shoulder, I thought I would throw up, or pass out, or maybe both.  My hands started to sweat really badly, I told the lady I was working with that I was having chest pain and as SHOULD happen, they called 911.  I spent Monday and Tuesday in the hospital being checked for all manner of heart issues and blood clots.  Then I ended up in the ER again on Saturday with a blood clot that went from my wrist to my elbow.  The only test left to be completed was a stress test.  I completed that on Monday of this week and was told that my heart was healthy.

I was also given stern lectures by the ER doc and the cardiologist that I needed to get back to exercising.  I need to find a low-impact exercise (for my knee) that I can enjoy and get my heart rate up and increase my cardiovascular health.  I need to do this and fix my eating habits so that I'm putting healthier food into my body.  All of this is going on around the same time that my 10yo daughter is struggling with her weight as well.  My husband had some bloodwork done.  My Husband's blood pressure is a bit on the high side,  His last few sets of blood work have shown high cholesterol and triglycerides. Everyone in our family is in need of a much healthier diet.

What's interesting in all of this is that just recently I've really come to accept my body as it is.  For the first time in my adult life I'm not disgusted with myself when I look in a mirror.  I don't feel like a failure or like something has gone horribly wrong in my life making me a failure.  So while I know that losing weight will likely be a product of my healthier diet and exercise, it's not my goal.  My primary focus and goal is my health.  I'm looking at this as an honest-to-goodness lifestyle change.  I don't EVER want to experience the fear, pain or anxiety that I did that morning at school.  If that wasn't a heart attack, which they tell me it wasn't, I don't want to know what one feels like.  Yikes.

I'm going to go back to blogging on a regular basis, because it keeps me accountable.  While I have no weight loss goals, I'll still be keeping track of my weight, and measurements, to be sure I have a way to track progress.  I'm going to go back to food logging on My Fitness Pal, and I'll be wearing my FitBit every day as well.  If you are on either platform, and would like to follow and help support me I'd appreciate any help and support.  I know for sure that when I started this weight loss journey in earnest years ago, I know I was told repeatedly that it would be a life-long battle.  If there was anything in my entire life that I had hoped would be wrong, that little tidbit I hoped would be wrong.  It appears that nothing was ever truer, and this crazy journey to health and fitness is one that I will struggle with for the long-haul!

I appreciate everyone's love and support over the years.


Monday, January 2, 2017

I'm BACK!!!'s been nearly 6 months since I have blogged, and quite frankly, this was not surprising to me.  I remember everyone telling me before my weight loss surgery that even once I reached my goal, it would be a daily struggle to stay at my goal weight and keep it off.

In November/December of 2015 we had 3 consecutive family members in the hospital, followed by the death of my beloved Nana.  I had been at 95 pound weight loss from about July of 2014 to December 2015 if memory serves me correctly....and then the hospitalizations, Nana's death, hospital food, fast food...and well, 20 pounds crept back on.  I have a few family members that say they are happy with this weight gain because I was "too thin" for a while, but I couldn't disagree more.  I was drastically smaller than I had been in over 20 years, so I think people aren't really used to smaller me.
Add to all of that the realization that I have a bum knee, with absolutely NO cartilage in my left knee.  The doc says I'm not ready for Knee Replacement but I most certainly will be in the next 10-15 years.  I let the knee pain get the best of me and just threw in the towel there for a while, both physically and mentally.  I was over it...I wanted to just say, "Hell, I'm 41 years old, I'm not getting any younger, and I've run two half marathons...why keep pushing?"

Well, the why is simple...I'm neither happy nor comfortable with where I am.  I understand that other people have opinions, but just like I refused to allow those to make my decisions for me when I was overweight, I never gave people's opinions power over me and my decision making when I was morbidly obese, why should I give them that power now?

So, I have re-dedicated myself to my health and wellness goals.  I got weighed tonight after Boot Camp and weighed 203.6.  I swore I'd never be above 200# again, but here I am.  So, I also got my measurements done this evening, including my body fat percentage, which was at 37%.  The trainer said his goal would be for me to be below 30%, but I'd still like to be around 25%.

My health goals are pretty straight-forward:

155-160 pounds (I have between 43 and 48 pounds to lose to get there)
25% body fat

My workout goals:
Work out at Burn Boot Camp 4-5 times/week
Run 3 days/week

My food goals:
eat clean 80% of the time
Cut out sweet tea
cut out fast food

I'd like to ring in 2018 feeling like I achieved all aspects of health and wellness.  I don't have to reach the number goals, per se.  Will I feel like I failed if at the end of 2017 I weigh 165 pounds, absolutely not!  I will have made a great deal of progress.

I've said all along this was a journey--there is no end point, except health and whatever form that shows up.  But I gave up last year, and I won't be doing that anymore!  I have this body, and have worked for it.  I'm going to continue working as long as my body will allow me to.  At whatever point that my knee does give out and requires knee-replacement I'll slow down as much as I have to to maintain the health of that knee...but in the meantime, IT'S ON!!