Saturday, November 26, 2016

Update on Life

At the request of many, here is an update. 2 days late... Sorry. Life got in the way.

Four years ago (I know, I can't believe it either), I had my right leg amputated below knee. I thought I would never survive. Even after all the other stuff, I thought surely that would kill me. Turns out, no. It only motivates me to be a better me. A more mindful me. A happy me.

I went through many trying times. I thought that there's no chance anyone would ever fall in love with me and all of my flaws. However, my boyfriend found me and does. He loves my quirky, my crazy, my heart, mind, soul, and body. He doesn't care that I'm not perfect. He loves me for me.

Yes, that means everyone who reassured me of that was right. I admit it. That's really hard to see, though, when your whole life gets turned upside down.

I have a wonderful job where I get to work with kids and the most amazing people. I am constantly inspired by those around me. I was worried (this day some years ago), that I would never be able to have a job where I'm on my feet. Turns out I can do that, too!! I teach; that's my superpower. Teaching is not how it used to be. I'm on my feet about 8 hours a day.

I hit about 8-10,000 steps a day. I make diner after work. I keep up with the housework. I grocery shop (still my fave). I overcome.

I know I've come a long way, but I'm just doing what I have to do to survive. I may have lost my ankle, but I've gained SO much more. I have a love for life and all the eccentricities that come with it. My life isn't perfect, but it's perfect for me. It's nothing like I thought it would be. I make the best out of everything and still take strides to beat the odds.

Now, I still have those "why me?" days, but they are few and far between. I'm on my 7th (8th?) prosthetic. I am in a whole new system. It's an Ottobock vacuum system and I LOVE it!!! I still find pieces of glass in my hands and arms. Wednesday, I had a "big" piece removed. I saw my favorite doctor and he dug it out. I was in pain, but it's worth it!!

My life is not perfect, but I love it!! If you told me 4 years ago my life would turn out this way, I would never have believed you. However, it's just right for me.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

One Year and Counting

It has officially been one year since I've had my gastric sleeve. My surgiversary passed on April 1, which happened to be a really stressful day. However, I am finally getting a chance to write about everything that's happened in the last year.

I have officially lost 111 pounds!! I'm not done losing weight, but I feel incredible. I'm not thrilled with the lack of elasticity my skin has, but I love that I can fit into jeans that are 5 sizes smaller, shirts that are about 5 to 6 sizes smaller, I'm getting a new tiny leg, I can walk for an hour on the treadmill, I get about 10,000 steps every day, I have energy, and I am successful in everything that I do.

For those of you who may not know, I recently accepted my first teaching job. The teacher's place I took got promoted to an assistant principal, and I inherited her class. This year is hard, but I really love teaching! I can also stand and do all the walking involved with being a teacher. Teaching is no easy feat, but with my new found energy I know I can give it my all!

I still track my food and water intake every day. I have a streak of 389 days on MyFitnessPal. I have the Fitbit Charge HR to track my steps, sleep, and water. I seriously think these two things have been the most important tools to my success, other than my doctor taking 3/4 of my stomach out. I try to be honest when I eat and track my food. I think having that accountability is really helping me continue to lose weight.

Here are some random, fun pictures. Please ignore my messy room, but please enjoy these hilarious pictures! 

These are the pants from my first picture! I can squeeze into one side of them. 
111 pounds GONE!!!
Working those jeans!
My face is so different! 
One of my more awesome days!

And that's life...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Work baby, work!

This is a very honest and unorganized post. Enjoy!! Ha!

Before I had my surgery, I tried to imagine myself skinny (or even healthy). What I came up with is nothing like what I am currently. I wondered what I would notice. Would my knees look weird? Would my feet lose weight? What would my "assets" do? I just couldn't imagine any of that, and thought that I would be the only person ever that this surgery didn't work for. However, I am pleased to say that is nowhere near the case. Am I down to goal weight yet? No. Am I closer than I've ever been? Am I happy with my results? Yes and yes.

I have to remember sometimes that I started out at a weight much higher than some people. Losing 100 pounds won't make me skinny, it'll just make me less fat and more healthy. I'll say it again; I wish I would have done this when I was 18. I look down at my wrists and get this weird trippy feeling because they actually look cute and small. I can't wear any of my rings (even James Avery) because my fingers are so much more slender. I can squeeze through a crowd with relative ease because my hips and butt are so much smaller. I still have quite a bit of work ahead of me, but I'm so much closer than I've ever been before.

It's hard to always see the weight loss. I see myself everyday. I mean, my clothes fit better (or not at all in some cases), but I see myself without clothes. That part is not cute. Let me assure you. No one should have skin like mine so young. I hope to one day have the plastic surgery to "fix" what has now been fixed with the weight loss. That means I have to get down to my acceptable weight and maintain that for a bit, but it will happen in due time.

Now onto more exciting things. I have been going to the gym almost every day most of this year. I can't believe how dedicated I now am. I go on Saturdays and Sundays. I go after school. I am actually... looking... forward... to going. Who am I?! I am learning about a whole new me. Learning to eat well and treat my body well. I have truly changed my life. However, it has been a major learning curve.

Not this weigh in, but the last one I had plateaued. I wasn't eating as well as I should have been and I paid the price as it were. I easily slipped back into old habits. I ate what I wanted in tiny portions, but it eventually made a difference. It was a much needed wake up call. I redoubled my efforts, started the gym, paid more attention to planning my meals, saving my calories, eating all of my protein (including shakes), etc. I am happy I plateaued so that it made me pay attention again to what was important. It made me focus. It gave me determination. It sucked, but it was the push I needed; so it was worth it.  

I am, however, in desperate need of a leg. We are working on this, but seems to be moving at a snails pace. Uggghhhh!!! I just want a new one. Now, please. Thanks!
(My favorite comment so far!!! Hahahaha!)

And that's life...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New year, better me.

I am starting this year off over 100 pounds lighter than last year!!! I will not be a "new" me this year. Instead, I am resolving to be a "better" me. I mean, I'm pretty awesome already, but improvements can be made. Ha! I spent New Years Eve amongst friends and New Years Day with family (yes, I consider all of y'all family). So far 2015 is shaping up to be incredible!!
There is an 18 month "prime time" for weight loss with this surgery and I've gotten a little bit off track. The honey moon phase will end soon, and I'm so not done losing weight yet. I am going to try to cut out carbs and alcohol until April. I don't need either and they're both bad for me. I'm putting this on here so I can keep myself accountable, not for your comments or suggestions. And, no, I do not have any transfer addiction or anything like that (trust me that would have already happened with the whole leg situation). I just want to be a little healthier and lose more weight!

We are thinking about getting a gym membership for this year. It will greatly help me if I can go right after work without stopping at home, collecting $200, etc. I have noticed once I'm home, I'm done. It's soooo much harder to get motivated once I've already made it home. So I am going to commit to working out during the week. I'm not promising to go every day or walk 12 miles or anything crazy, just that I go at least once a week to start off with, then more once my routine is good.

I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for me. I already wrote the date correctly, which is a pretty big deal... I am hoping to get a big girl job this year and finally feel like I'm using that degree. I know it's been a rough couple of years, but I'm excited for positive changes and new opportunities.

We found out via our lawyers that my old insurance (since I'm 26 I don't have any right now...) will pay for all of my leg expenses. That being said, I should be up for a new leg this month!! This one, along with most of my clothes, no longer fits. Woohoo!!

I've had a lot of people ask why I can't eat when I drink. I think this video will help to explain it. I skipped to like 2:00, but you can watch it all if you'd like.

Here are a few hilarious pictures in case you missed them, plus other random ones. Enjoy!

And that's life...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Life in Numbers

Countless bruises, stitches, and scars
28 surgeries or procedures
92 pounds lost 
9 months of no walking
7 units of blood
6 months of physical therapy
3 external fixators
3 ICU visits
3 prosthetic sockets 
2 feet
2 rehab stays
2 wheelchairs
1 amputation

I have come farther than I ever thought I could. I have come farther than I ever thought I would. I am inspired in life by the small things. I  enjoy my life to its fullest extent. Although the last couple of years have been pretty tragic, I am beyond blessed.

This is my first blog post. No, I don't read my posts after I post them because they make me sad and, usually, I cry.  

I have THE most amazing friends!!
Here are some pics you might have missed. 
Comparing different days of wearing the same outfit. 
I fit in my senior prom dress!! And the costume I used it for. 

Yesterday was my 2 year ampuversary and today is my (about) 8 month check up. I've lost 92 pounds!! Woohoo! The doctor said I'm pretty much perfect (she really did). I spent yesterday tutoring and hanging out with one of my besties and her family. We had dinner, I chased around her 2 year old, we watched a movie, and I did the stairs like 3 times; nothing holds me back!! Today I went to the movies with another best friend and we ate pizza. I have gotten to do so much cool stuff and I owe it to all the crazy changes in my life.

While I will always wish I didn't have to lose my leg, I am equally grateful it gave me the push I needed to get my life back on track. I am a better me and the best parts of my personality shine brighter than they ever have. I love my life and am happy to say I am content. Please don't read this as I'm done losing weight, because I'm not! However, I am immensely happy. 
Progress pics.

And that's life...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

6 months, baby!!

So I hit the 8 month mark today. I feel awesome!! I walked 1.5 miles in 30 minutes earlier this week and am trying to walk every other day. I am learning to love food in a more nutritional way rather than in a "soothes my soul" kind of way. Eating right has become second nature to me and I enjoy "winning" my calorie goals and such. Oh... Did I mention I've lost 81 pounds? No? Well I did!!! I've also lost 23 inches (I think- this is hard to measure the same every time).

I am so proud of myself for doing this and sticking with it. I don't look like a super model... yet. It's really only a matter of time. I have to find clothes to fit me (blessing and curse) and am enjoying being thinner. I enjoy not losing my breath after a flight of steps. I enjoy watching my friend's 2 year old and being able to keep up with her. I enjoy life.

Every day isn't perfect. I don't feel like I'm smaller, but I know I am. I sometimes eat things I know I shouldn't, but have learned to eat them in extreme moderation.

I feel incredible!! I have a ridiculous amount of energy and love feeling good. I still have a fair amount of weight to lose, but I know I will reach it because I can SEE results!!

I'm even learning to not cringe when someone takes a picture. I took a selfie the other day once. Yep, that's it. Once. I have more confidence than I've ever had. For those of you who know me, you know that's a feat. Anyways, the point is, I am starting to LOVE myself and that is an important goal to me.

If you have ANY questions about anything, please ask. I am an open book about almost anything. I also promise to be honest. Ha!

P.S. Tomorrow's Throw Back Thursday (#tbt) will be awesome!!! 

And that's life...

Monday, August 11, 2014

4 Month Progress

So I've finally hit 4 months and feel amazing!! Seriously, why didn't I do this earlier? Oh, right. Because I thought it would change my life. It has, but in such a positive way that I do not regret it. At. All. I will post my progress pics in case you missed them on Facebook. A lot of my clothes don't fit well, which is a blessing and a curse. It's an expensive problem to have. Ha! Luckily I've gotten a lot of "pass-it-on" clothes from friends. 

Dad had some issues a couple weeks back with his kidney. This severely stressed me out. What did I do? I ate. But, and here's where I've made progress, I ate half a sleeve of graham crackers and some cheese. That's it. Even my stress snacking has become healthy. Who am I? Oh yeah, the 64 pound-lighter-version of me!! Woohoo!!

So my progress, other than my brain which has changed dramatically, is a total of 64 pounds and about 13.5 inches (I'm probably not measuring the inches right, but whatever)!! I think about what I'm eating now and how it will impact my calories. I take my vitamins (I did this before, too). I drink most of my water most days; I have a new addiction to tea. I still track ALL of my food. I drink 2 protein shakes a day.

Let's talk about this protein thing for a second. I am losing hair. Like handfuls of hair. Not like, oh that's a little more than usual. Like in amounts that I'm surprised I'm not bald yet!! Jeez! So I upped my fish oil, biotin, and protein. It's not so bad. I think it's also working, which is GREAT!! I don't think my hair is growing anymore, just thinning. What?! Is the surgery still worth it? YES!!!!

I constantly see people and want to tell them how awesome I feel and how awesome they can feel, too!! Have the surgery if you're contemplating it. Do it. Do it. Do it. It makes EVERYTHING better! I can actually go grocery shopping in a store with little sweating (for super long trips I still can't, but I'm working on it). I will be able to stand up in my friend's wedding. I can walk up a flight of stairs and still breathe. My seat belt has more space; I can lean up and get something and the seat belt doesn't lock me out. It's amazing what changes. DO IT!!!

Now for the important stuff: exercise. I'm about to start exercising. For real. I don't cringe quite as much when I think about it anymore, yet I haven't started running marathons either. Dad and I are going to work on exercising. I need to shake up my routine if I want results, I guess. If you change nothing, nothing changes. Right? So I'm going to start actually trying to exercise. Why is it so hot, though? It's actually been a mild summer, but it just started getting REALLY hot. Suck it up, I know.

I did have a little melt down the other day in the car. I saw a black car that had just been in wreck and had the front in all smashed up. I stopped breathing for about 2 minutes and then cried until I got my heart to start working again. It was awful! It felt so close to what my car was like. I was instantly flooded with all the images of hospitals, ambulances, amputations, etc. Just writing this is giving my goose bumps... I prayed for like 3 minutes that everyone was ok and that they would quickly recover. I hope I don't have to see a car like that again. I know better than to look, but I was talking and wanted to get home and looked- like an idiot. I will try not to look ever again. Ugh.

Other than that, my life has been peachy!! I went on 2 mission trips this summer, I've seen most of my friends, my cousin came to town, I've lost weight, I swam a few times, I did/do yoga, I've discovered tea, I'm awesome!! What more could I ask for?
And that's life...