Saturday, May 12, 2012

I only did this one little thing ...... not!

This is me - in April of 2011 and again April of 2012
No surgery. No drugs. Just changed a couple of things.
Since posting on my personal Facebook page that I have lost 30 pounds since December, many people have asked me for my secret. Fact is, I don't have one. I did joke on Facebook that all I did was follow "this one simple trick" -- basically, making fun of all the ads that say the same thing, but when you click on them, they never tell you what the secret is unless you send money.

But back to my situation. Yes, I am excited about my loss, but even more so about losing more. But I haven't. I've been at a stand still again. I say again because this happened when I hit a 25-pound loss. Thus the reason I finally decided to "come out" and post some before and after photos. Not for you, but for me! To encourage myself to keep going and not fall back and regain any of it back. The way I see it, if I admit the weight loss publicly - I will be more determined to keep it off. And, it's nothing miraculous I did and yes, I will share with you. But first - I want to share some info from my childhood.

SKINNY as a skeleton
I was always thin. Very thin. Too thin. I  literally got knocked over on super windy days. I could hide behind a telephone pole and not be seen. I was the kid who would cry every Valentine's Day because my little Valentines bag would be filled with every skeleton-picture valentine found in each sold box. Once, in fifth grade, I got 18 of them - "I can feel it in my bones - be my Valentine" they all said. I laugh now, but I cried back then. It was cruel and not funny. I was also tall - so I also got the giraffe valentines. I was teased and yeah, bullied, because of my thin frame.... probably the reason I was always so quiet. I tried not to bring attention to myself.

High school was different and fun - since I marched with the school band - first drill team, then banner girl, and my senior year as an Orange Blossom - I was the first "L" in "PORTERVILLE!"  I loved those years. I was still thin and tall - and still got occasional mean comments from mean girls, but I survived.

By college, I finally managed to get up to 110 pounds and loved it! I was very active too. I got brave and tried out and made it as a PC cheerleader. I also ran on the cross country and track teams for Porterville College for two years.

After PC, I attended Barbizon School of Modeling in San Jose (Any of you ever guess I used to be a model? ) For a short while I was - once earning $600 for a 30-minute modeling stint in Vancouver, Canada!  I was photographed a few times and then walked down a walkway twice - wearing nothing more than a fur coat and heels. But I was a good Christian girl and modeling required doing things I didn't feel comfortable doing. I talked to my pastor who agreed I shouldn't be there and I decided to let it go. I don't regret getting out of it - I'm sure life would have been a lot different for me had I stayed in that environment but it wasn't for me. When it came to big cities and modeling, I was a timid, shy, small-town girl. I didn't have the necessary personality for it. No regrets.

Fast forward - marriage, children, returning to school, single parenting.......
Not totally sure when I started gaining weight. Whenever it was, it happened gradually - over years.

But last August - during a wonderful Florida vacation with my three girls, I injured my right knee. I managed, in pain, but each day it got worse - not better. Finally getting to the point where I could not walk up stairs.

After I returned home - and to work - I was at a local high school for a story and I could not go up the stairs. (GHHS Pyramid) I stood there, with the high school girl looking at me, asking if I was ok. I said yes, but I wasn't. I told her I had an old leg injury and I was slow but I was fine. I told her I'd meet her at the top of the stairs (at least 20 of them) but she didn't leave. She took one step at a time with me. It was humiliating for me. That was when I knew I had to do something and went to see Dr. Tindall.

My orthopedic doc said I had a choice - surgery or lose weight.

Losing weight would be simpler and healthier. But too hard for me. Or so I thought. I was thinking exercise program and such -- something I never had time for since I work long hours, commute, and take care of handicap sister and my elderly mother with little help from anyone else.

In October my blood pressure shot up again - to 200/100 (normally it runs very low - almost too low) so for me it scared me. I did not want another Bells Palsy incident.
I got myself to Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara and restarted my medication - being careful to monitor my blood pressure - not because it could go high - but from going too low - which makes me super light headed when it happens.

I also decided I'd get a full physical. The physical involved not eating for a day and since I hadn't had time to eat prior to leaving for my 3-day full checkup - I was without food for 2 days. The next day, I just couldn't eat and by the fourth, fifth and sixth day - I just couldn't eat much. So I got a head start on a diet I hadn't really planned much for.

I just continued my new eating habit. It's not a doctor-recommended one -- so that's what I meant when i said to some of you that it worked for me but it's not necessarily a healthy choice I recommend. I guess this is where I say "check with your doctor first." But if you do, be prepared for him to say this is not good. :)

An APPLE a day:
From December to April and to present: Pretty much (except for rare occasions) gave up french fries, tortillas, bread and mexican rice.

Breakfast: I have always had coffee only in the mornings (an occasional bagel) - but mainly just coffee.

Snack/Lunch: I have a banana around 10 a.m., an apple at noonish (sometimes with a walk around town) I would have another apple and a Starbucks' Misto at around 2 p.m. and another banana on my way home around 7 p.m.

Dinner: A real dinner- mainly consisting of Tilapia fish, with vegetables and steamed rice. Or grilled chicken breast and a little pasta. Lots of spinach salad - love that. And, I've never been a dessert person, so I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.

Late night snack: Cornflakes! which I happen to love! (but not too often - usually I just have coffee at 7 or 8 p.m.)

But I started noticing that certain days, I'd feel real light headed. So by April I changed my lunch to include an apple, string cheese and/or a small yogurt - and if I felt weak, a sandwich - no mayo, just mustard.
I do have an occasional lunch out - it's not like I can't. When I do, I just adjust and have cornflakes for dinner or late evening.

TricksI like placing my apple on the top of my computer at work - it motivates me and reminds me to eat healthy.

A banana on my way home helps me not to get home starving and munching. Drink lots of water - very important. And you must do some kind of exercise. I do wii dance at home - and while watching television, try to remember to do arm lifts - bending at elbow for biceps and above head to work on triceps with weights.  I've got a long way to go but feeling better.

So that's it. That's my secret. See, I told you it was not really a secret and not anything big. But it's been working for me. Yes, there are days I am hungry. And if it's close to lunch or dinner, I eat. That's how it works. So far I'm not starving all day long, but if I want something - there's always an apple.

The above photos are real photos. Not the best but it was two that showed the difference - and both were taken in April. The first one during our town's - Porterville Corporate Games 2011 - and the second one a year later, to the day, while I was at Diamondback's Salt River Fields at Talking Stick - Spring Training in Scottsdale, Arizona with my girls. I love baseball and spent a couple of weeks out there.

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