Thursday, December 31, 2015

Whole 30! It starts tomorrow

I'm not sure how to do this - where to start, what to write.  So I'm just going to do what comes naturally.  Let's see how it turns out!

I was not an overweight child/teen.  I THOUGHT I was but I look back on pictures from those years and I looked GOOD!  
That's me in the floral shirt and white jeans, my 14th birthday party

I was a freshman in college in this picture - modeling a skirt that I made in sewing class.

I was a freshman in high school in this picture. 
I think I was sophomore in high school here.

But I guess the mindset was there and when I became an adult, the activity level dropped so the pounds came on.  During the first year of my first marriage I gained 70 lbs.  Over the course of the next few years (that marriage lasted 7) I gained another 45-50.  Keep in mind, while that's not healthy for anyone, I'm only 5'1/2" tall!  I went up and down during those years and many years after.  My all time highest weight was 260 lbs in September 2010.  

September 2010 - my highest weight ever - 260

What an embarrassing picture.  My knees were in horrible shape - arthritis in both knees made it extremely painful to walk, much less stand.  I would plan my day around getting from one spot to another to minimize how much pain I would be in.  The photo above was my "before" shot.  I started the Medifast program the very next day.  I was shocked with myself as I stuck to the program 100% for 7 months!  I did not cheat even ONCE that entire time.  I lost about 80 lbs.  And then I did what I always do when I feel successful.  I got cocky.  I said "I got this" and allowed myself to cheat, just a little.  It started with a bag of cashews.  And slowly, over the next few months, I started to put the weight back on.  It took about a year for me to get back up to 240.  I stayed there for the next couple of years.  

In January of 2014 I decided that I had tried everything (WW multiple times a year for 25 years, crash diets, diet pills, you name it, I tried it).  So I decided to do something drastic.  I investigated weight loss surgery.  I found a surgeon that was part of the Circle of Excellence, had done hundreds of surgeries and didn't have any complications in his patients.  I went through all of the pre-testing, the nutrition classes, learned what to expect from the surgery and the way of life I'd have to commit to afterward.  I accepted that and believed that this is what I needed in order to be successful.  I know a lot of people are judgmental about this topic so I only shared it with those that are closest to me.  Even some of them were openly judgmental and believed that I could do this without surgery.  I don't stress over it.  I know that I made the right decision for me and my husband was 100% supportive.  So in June 2014 I had the Vertical Sleeve surgery and it was the best decision I've ever made.  It certainly wasn't the "easy way out" that people think it is.  And my thoughts are - so what if it was!  If there's an easy way and it's not harmful, why not take advantage!  The bottom line is that I still had to change the way I ate but the surgery made that less difficult for me than it had been in the past.  I lost 85 lbs from June 2014 through Jan 2015.  And then I stalled.  I still have about 25 lbs to lose to get a weight that I'll feel is ideal for me today - not what I would have wished for a few years ago, but I think I'm a little more realistic today :)

This is me at 160 - the smallest I've been since 1991 before that first 70 lb gain.

So I've been comfortable at 160ish for the last year and now it's time to kick off these last 25 lbs!  I did a Whole 30 last January.  The premise is that there are foods that we eat that cause inflammation throughout our body.  At the time I was dealing with arthritis in both knees, regularly occurring headaches and migraines and after reading the testimonials I thought that this might be a program that could help with my medical issues as well as help me lose a few pounds.  I committed to sticking to it 100% for the required 30 days.  And I did it!  It wasn't the holy grail that it purported to be, I still had headaches and migraines but my knees certainly felt better and I lost 14 pounds!  I think that I may need to stick with it longer than 30 days to feel relief for my head so I'm going to think about that this time around.  My knees are already better than they were a year ago.  I had a full knee replacement on my right knee in August this year.  Just fixing my right knee helped my left knee as I wasn't relying on it like I used to.  I definitely had more energy at the end of the 30 days.  All in all it wasn't that difficult, we can do anything if we know there's an end date!  And this time I know what to expect so I think it will be even easier.

I'm starting the Whole 30 again this year in January (tomorrow to be exact).  I'm looking forward to having more energy and losing a few pounds.  Last time I just went back to my previous way of eating after it was over.  This time I plan to keep some of the eliminated foods out of my regular eating plan even after the 30 days is up.  I can feel such a difference in my body and energy it's so worth it!

If anyone reading this is also starting a Whole 30 in January 2016 - please let me know - I'd love all the buddies I can find!!

This blog will chronicle my 30 days - how I'm feeling, what I'm eating, what's difficult, what's easy.  I'll share recipes that I find (Instagram, Pinterest, Whole 30 cookbook, Well Fed cookbook) and any that I might make up on my own (doubtful haha).  

I'm also starting a new workout program called DDPYoga.  The testimonials from people that were either morbidly obese or had physical limitations and their successes are just so inspirational.  I'll be sharing my experience with that program as well.  I didn't incorporate exercise into my Whole 30 last time so it'll be interesting to see how that impacts my whole experience.

I'm excited to get started!!