Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Loosin' It!

Pounds that is!!
108lbs 18yrs old
It has been, and still is a very slow process (three years and counting!). But as of this morning I am VERY proud to say that I have now lost 75lbs!! Yeah!!! I still have a long way to go to reach my goal but I am so very happy! This has been an unexpected and very hard battle that has lasted my entire adult life!
Why unexpected? I was always SKINNY!! Tall and skinny, no other word for it. At 18 years of age on my wedding day I was 5ft 10 and weighed 108lbs. And I had been trying for months to gain weight to "fill out" my wedding dress that my mom was threatening to stuff! LOL  A size 2 fit but was way too short so we had to buy a much bigger one and have it remade so I would have the length.

BUT...there is always a but isn't there? I was only 18 and our parents advised that we wait a couple of years to have kids. So off to the Dr. for birth control pills. No warnings of possible side effects. Just take these and come see me in six months and I'll give you a renewal on your subscription. Three months later, my hair was falling out by the handfuls, and I was up almost 60 lbs!! We called the Dr. and he calmly said that it was probably the pills that they had bad side effects on some women and I should quit taking them right away. But that I should know that with that strong of a reaction, it had been known to take 7 years to clear all of the effects out of the system!!! We were furious! As you can imagine.

My husband was very unhappy with the extra weight, as was I, but no matter what I did, I couldn't loose weight. In fact between the stress over the weight, my hair loss (I ended up with a boyish haircut), and our bickering. I became so depressed I turned to food for comfort. Which had never been a problem before, but now....I kept gaining. By the end of our first year I went from 108 to 180lbs. I was now 19yrs old and hated myself!

The next years were a yo-yo of 10 to 20 lbs up and down. I would get pregnant and happy, loose weight. Miscarry and gain it back plus more. We would fight about it and I would gain a few more. (Not because I wanted to but because I was so upset and didn't know what to do to fix my life.)

Me at 160
After 7 years we were separated and I had finally lost some weight and was down to a semi-respectable 160 (after 6 years over 200 that was good for me!!) and he tried to reconcile our marriage again. It lasted a week. Three months later, I realized I was pregnant again. This time God answered my prayers and I had a big strong healthy baby boy!! I even lost weight through most of the pregnancy because of surgery (gall bladder) and came out of the hospital weighing 1lb less than I was before I got pregnant 159!!

That didn't last completely. As the next three years of single Mom and Divorce rolled by I did some more yo-yo-ing. But kept it somewhat within reason for the most part. Until God brought another man in my life and I got SCARED!!!

I had decided (without asking God of course) that I was done with men forever. I was never falling in love again. Never trusting another man. NEVER getting married!! PERIOD! But my room mate, who was a family friend from when we first moved to Alaska my senior year of high school. Had an older brother. Five in fact...but one of them I had had a crush on when I was in high school and he had never married. He and the other "Boys" started coming over and having game night at our place once in a while instead of always at their place. My son who was 3 LOVED it! And it broke up the long weeks plus they brought supper which helped stretch our budget which was really tight!

Short story shorter...one day I came home from work and there was a NEW washing machine sitting in my living room floor! James (THE brother) had found out that we didn't have a washing machine and that I was coming home from work and was washing all of our clothes by hand in the bathtub after cooking supper, because we couldn't afford to take them to the laundromat. That night when he came over and I said something about him getting his sister (who has a bad back) a washing machine he looked me in the eye and said,"This isn't for her. This is for you!" I knew then looking in those big gentle green eyes that I was in real trouble!
This was me (second from left) the first time James met me 13yrs earlier.
Now I was over TWICE that big!
Understand my fear?

That was in Sept. '98. By October we were engaged and Feb. of '99 we were married! YIKES!! Now what does that have to do with my weight saga? I got SCARED when I realized that he was interested in me and I went back to my comfort for a while. Food. I still don't know if I was testing him to see if I got really big if he would take off and that way know ahead of time or if it was just my nervousness. But once again I ballooned up. By the time we were married in Feb. of 1999 I was 218lb. That is HORRIBLE!!!!

8 Months Pregnant with Joanna.
She was born 2 weeks later.
But he still loved me, adored me and treasured me as I was. I soon had another miscarriage which added more weight. Then I got pregnant and spent the whole pregnancy on bed rest with Toxemia and Blood Pressure through the roof. 6weeks early we had our beautiful baby girl!!

Then they found Cervical Cancer~tests - emergency surgery ~ recovery of more bed rest....
3 month checkup from Cancer (We have been told I will never be able to have any more children because of the surgery they preformed. I can no longer get pregnant.) TADA!! You are pregnant!!

BUT you won't be able to carry the baby, you have no cervix....Let's do an ultra sound. UMMM sorry to tell you this. You also have Ovarian Cancer on your right ovary. So go home. Go to bed. Come back in 2 weeks and we will redo the ultra sound and check the baby and cancer. This went on till the baby was 4 months along. The specialists were all amazed that the baby was still alive and that the cancer hadn't killed the baby or I or both. It was very aggressive and was outgrowing the baby. It had now surrounded the ovary and was taking over the baby's space so they were out of time and options so back to surgery I went.

This time, they removed my right ovary and the cancer with the baby right there in it's protective little sack that God had made for it. Then wait and see if that causes labor. Nope. Good. Home to bed. See you in two weeks. This went on the whole pregnancy. By the time the baby was viable they had a helicopter on standby to medivac me to Anchorage the whole rest of the pregnancy because they could not see any way that I could possibly carry the baby to term!! My water broke on my due date and my son was born (all 10lb 14oz of him) natural the next afternoon!

But I wasn't done with my drama's yet! They sent us home (10 days later the baby was back in NICU with pneumonia, urinary tract infection and they found out that he had broken his clavicle when he was delivered!)  to wait until my six weeks and then checked me back into the hospital for what they called a Radical Hysterectomy. I nursed my new baby, handed him to my husband, the anesthesiologist put the shot in my IV and I woke up with my stomach split end to end and in full blown menopause!

By the way, I can't take hormone replacements because of four reasons. One the Cervical cancer I had was the same gene (or genetic make up) as breast cancer. Upping my chances of getting Breast Cancer to about 87%. Two, breast cancer runs in my Mom's side of the family as does Thyroid cancer, both huge indicators. And I already have a very sluggish almost non working thyroid that I have to take meds for another 2 strikes. Those two strikes would normally put me in the 80 to 90% range. And number Three I have already had every Female cancer there is to have except Breast so that ups my chances about 75% and Finally the one every one already knows about hormone replacements have been proven to increase your risk of Breast cancer! LOL So when my Dr.s, my Husband and I looked at the we all laughed and said that's like almost 300% chance...don't think we will add to it with hormones. So I went cold turkey from hormonal breastfeeding new mom to VERY hormonal menopausal new mom with no milk to feed new baby and baby blues, hot flashes, night sweats the whole salami!!

But we made it through! Needless to say with two years (two babies and two cancers and a hysterectomy) of bed rest I had packed on some more weight and now topped out at around 250 to 260 depending on if I was dieting or gaining it back. I hated it but with a hormone-less body, depression, menopause, two little ones and a big one who thought he was the third parent in the family! :)  Life was busy, crazy and overwhelming!

At my Foundation Job
We spent two years in KY. and I tried to loose wt. there but it wasn't till the very end that I lost a few lbs. but I was healthier than I had been in a long time. Stronger. When we moved back to Alaska I jumped in with both feet and hit the ground running as usual. (Not literally) I worked at the church office, I helped a long time friend in the Child Care field start a Foundation for training and education of Parents and Child Care Givers. I was walking with my kids, sometimes up to 6 miles a day. Hiking in my beautiful Alaskan Mountains with my friends! I lost a few lbs but not many. But I tightened up and built a lot of muscle.

Then it all came crashing down. I have had a bad back for years. (too long to explain) But suffice it to say, I was hiking a two day, over night hike with some friends around Crescent Lake and on the second day, I took a head over heels tumble with my pack on. I didn't go very far down the incline. But when you are walking a trail on the side of a mountain and it is rock mixed in with brush and briers it can do some damage.
Hiking Crescent Lake - Day 1
That was fall one of the year. I didn't finish the hike and took a medi flight off the lake. Early that winter our car got stuck and I was trying to help push it and hit a patch of ice and fell backwards hitting my head and right shoulder on the ice. Knocking me out cold.
This started the migraines. One after another. They were coming so fast I wasn't getting a break in between. Sometimes as little as 8 hrs before another one hit. All of this made me dizzy and disoriented all the time but I tried to keep pushing through. Then I was so dizzy I slipped and fell out of the shower and hit my head again.
By now I was on Pain pills and got sent home from my volunteer job at the Church. I was missing so much anyway that they needed someone they could depend on but I couldn't see that at the time. To me, it was just more of my world falling apart! Then I had to quit the foundation because I couldn't keep up with that either. And slowly my whole world collapsed around me until it became Dr. visits, surgeries, bed and a recliner.
That was three years ago. I have had too many "procedures" and surgeries to count...it's depressing to do so. Swallowed truck loads of pills. And am still in my recliner and bed. The headaches aren't as bad nor near as many since this last neck surgery. Praise God!!

286lbs at my largest. The only pict.
I can find.
I hid from Cameras.
But the real subject we are talking about, my weight....When I was first sent home to bed rest from work. The depression was horrible! I cried and ate! I reached my biggest ever. I am not proud of that, but it is a fact. I reached 286lb. When I climbed on the scale at the Dr. and saw that I couldn't believe my eyes! I was 180 lbs bigger than when I got married at 18!! I was the whole person (180lbs that he had said was too big) Bigger!!! Now there were some numbers to wake me up! I was a skinny and a fat person BOTH in one body!! Not two skinny people. One of each!
That day I started (very slowly) loosing weight. I drink water. I HATE WATER!! But I make myself drink a glass of water after every thing I drink. If I drink coffee...water. A Diet Coke....water. It's not a huge change, but for me it was. I had gone years without water because I didn't like it. Now I have learned to kind of enjoy it with some lemon in it.
Bed Ridden but not done!
I also decide if I am hungry before I eat. Even if I want it. I make myself look at it and think. Am I really hungry or do I just want it because it looks, smells or tastes good? If I'm not hungry I send it back and ask them to save it for me for later when I am hungry. (Cause I can't get up and do it myself yet)  I ask for a double serving of veggies and 1/2 the meat and 1/2 the starch. When my plate is brought to me. I eat all my Veggies first. Then my meat for the protein and iron. Then I wait a few min. and think about if I am still hungry and need the starch. If not. I send it back.
This is not an every day thing. I eat chocolate sometimes, just not the whole bar. I LOVE egg sandwiches!! I just try not to have them very often. If I really want something BAD. I eat it and I don't beat myself up over it, because the rest of the time I am eating good and right. And that keeps me from constantly craving stuff that would make me bigger and bigger.
Sooooo Now we come to March of 2012. I got on the scale this morning and I weighed (DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!) 211 lbs!!!! I have now lost 75lbs and going down!!

-50lbs  
That's my story! SO FAR.....

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hardcover Feedback

I'm not sure how these sites get started. But I found Hardcover Feedback tonight and she has a wonderful site with some unbelievable giveaways going on! Wow! I would be thrilled to win one of the books listed. Who am I kidding? I dream of one day being asked by authors to read their books and give my opinion. Not that my opinion matters to anyone but me. But I have to feed my addiction somehow!
I am so thankful for the day I found Goodreads and it has allowed me to stumble on wonderful sites like this one full of information about new Christian books and when they are coming out! So check out http://hardcoverfeedback.blogspot.com or click on the button at the side of the page! You will be so glad you did!