3 Weeks Post-Op

August 12th I went in to have my tummy tuck. To doctor removed 4lbs of loose skin and fat!¬† I stayed pretty much on bed rest for the first three days following the surgery but then I seemed to be recovering very quickly. Now at 3 weeks post-op the worst I am dealing with is soreness from the swelling that usually occurs after a busy day of being up and running around. I have been able to get back on the treadmill walking at a 3mph pace at a 2% incline for about 30 minutes at a time. I’m afraid of gaining weight since I can’t exercise as much so I am trying to really watch what I eat and the amount. I did a lot of juicing, protein drinks and green smoothies before and following my surgery to keep my nutrition at it’s peak. I wasn’t able to do hyperbarics right away. I had a pain pump that kept me from getting in the chamber but since that was removed I have been in the chamber about 7 times. My bruising subsided really quickly and my scars are looking good. The doctor was concerned at my last appointment about the swelling. He thought I may have some fluid caught in there and tried to drain me with a need but nothing came from it so I just need to keep and eye on it to see how it goes. I am also very numb all across my abdomen and sometimes down around my hips and thighs. The doctor told me the swelling and numbness can last for months.

I am so eager to back to the gym and start sculpting my body again but I have to take it easy or I can really do damage. No only do I have the stitches on the outside but the muscles inside were also stitched up and those are the one I DEFINITELY don’t want to rupture! So until I get the go-ahead from the doc, I need to stick to the low-impact stuff.

I posted some before and after pics if you’re interested in seeing. My measurements are still the same (actually I am inch more around my waist!). My weight is around 140ish. My clothes still fit. After the swelling subsides I will probably be a size smaller. We’ll have to wait and see.

P90X Complete! 3 Weeks Pre-Op!

July 11, 2011 was my last day of P90X. In 90 days I lost 7lbs and 1/2″ off my bust and 1/2″ off my hips. I went from a size 8/10 to a size 4/6. I can definitely see a change in the way my body looks. More muscle definition and leaner. However, no surprise here, my tummy has not gotten any smaller. I do have definition in my obliques though. The loose skin in my abdomen is really starting to become an issue when I work out. I’m so glad I am going to have this surgery now because I am afraid if I don’t the loose skin will deter me from working out as hard. I will post my post P90X pics and may post some pics of what the loose skin looks like when I bend over (don’t look if you are squeamish!).

The past couple of weeks have been hard for me to keep up with exercise. I think I was suffering from over-training and now I feel like I have a touch of a cold. I still want to loose 10lb before my surgery and be in the best of health so I am going to embark on a 14-day Green Smoothie fast followed by a 7-day Juice fast. I’ve also ordered some supplements from www.MakeMeHeal.com that are good for pre-surgery and post surgery. I will also be doing Hyperbaric treatments the week before and the week after my surgery to help aid in healing. I will post pics of my healing journey.

This Saturday I have a 5k and now that we have a treadmill at home I am hoping to be able to work my way back into running ASAP after my surgery. My DH can finally get back into running after a few years of being the “sitter” while I go off to the gym. Of course…after the tummy is done my DH would like me to have the tatas done so recovery won’t be for several months. My husband met a woman the other day who had both done and she said it was the best thing she ever did. Dr. Oz mentioned on his show yesterday that plastic surgery is an investment in yourself and the joy and confidence it brings you can make significant changes in your health!

Until next time…

Reconstructive Surgery or Vanity?

I never considered myself to be vain. Growing up as an overweight child my self-esteem was shot. I envied the thin and pretty girls who got to play sports and were popular while I sat on the sofa watching TV eating a bag of chips wallowing in self-pity. If a boy told me I was pretty then that was all I needed to be “in love” with him. I craved acceptance in a world that was cruelly stingy about giving it to a chubby girl.

Things just got worse after marrying my first husband (at 17) who was both emotionally and physically abusive. He made me feel like everything was my fault. My self-hatred became so bad that I and attempted suicide. When I was 18 my appendix ruptured which left me with a huge 6″ scar down the front of my abdomen which made me even more self-conscious about my body. The bonus after being in the hospital for recovery for several weeks was that I was able to squeeze into a size 10 pair of pants for about 30 seconds.

After I left my first husband, I began to read self-help books that helped me regain my confidence. I started exercising regularly and finally found an eating plan that was working for me because I was losing weight. Two seconds later I found the man of my dream who loved and respected me and best of all, thought I was gorgeous! Well, two seconds after that I was pregnant.

My first son was breech so it was decided that I needed to have a c-section. We asked the Dr. if she could use the same vertical incision instead of create a new one. She did and tried to pull the skin closer together to make the scar not so wide but it didn’t heal that way. To make matters worse, I now had my muscles cut vertically and horizontally (internal). I decided to have another c-section with my 2nd child because I was not so sure about having a VBAC. I was informed by the Dr. that I had accumulated a lot of scar tissue in my abdomen from my first two abdominal surgeries and when I had my gall bladder removed a couple years ago, that Dr. had to go in twice to try to cut through the layers of flab and scar tissue to get to my organ!

So, now here I was a frumpy and frazzled housewife, mother of two who didn’t give a flip about my appearance. I was over 200lbs, depressed and unhealthy. I didn’t take care of myself and my relationships with other people suffered because I just wanted to hide in my house. After my liver started giving me trouble I realized that my gall bladder problems were just a warning sign of something worse going on in my body and I could not afford to lose my liver. On Mother’s Day 2010 I sat down with a pen and journal and wrote down how I DESERVE to take care of myself. I was WORTH it and my family would benefit from having a healthy mom rather than a sad and sick one. Does that make me vain?

One year later, I have lost almost 70lbs. I dropped from a size 18/20 to a 4/6. I lost a size and a half in shoes and unfortunately a cup size in my bra :o) All of my health concerns have disappeared. I am full of energy and my endurance is amazing. There is however one drawback. After you have lost a lot of weight, especially if you yo-yo diet and stretch the skin multiple times, you’re going to end up with loose skin. I have it sagging under my arms and on my thighs and buttocks but where I see it the most is in my stomach. My stomach looks like a ball of ABC bubble gum. The worse part is…I can NEVER work it off. Not only is it loose skin but underneath is a bed of scar tissue that exercise can’t work off.

I’ve been the same weight now for six months. I’ve been doing P90X plus working out at the gym at least 2 hours per day. I have been tracking my calories on an almost completely RAW vegan, gluten-free diet and kept within 1600 cal. per day average. Even though I am dropping dress sizes, my measurements are the same and my tummy jiggles like I’m carrying a bag of jello under my shirt every time I workout! After much Internet research I have found many other moms struggle with the same thing. The stomach muscles were severed, the body was stretched out and everything has been out of place since post baby. So I thought…I’m just going to have to live with it. Or do I?

My husband and I talked about what we would do someday if we won the lottery. Always first on my list was, TUMMY TUCK! Recently my husband was asking, “Why wait?”. For one, it is extraordinarily expensive, I would be in recovery for about a month, and a broad host of other scary “what if” scenarios could occur. If I was going to really do it eventually…someday…when the planets align or we win a billion dollars then I may as well say “never”. So, why wait? Honestly my worst fear is that people would think I am vain or a fraud or a cheat!

I spent my whole life caring too much about what other people think about me. For once in my life this decision should have NOTHING to do what people will think of me. This has to do with what I think of me. I have gained so much confidence and strength by having a wonderfully supportive husband who wants me to love and take care of myself that he wants me to see on the outside how much work I have put into fixing up the inside. Should I just settle for knowing that this body will be as good as it gets or can I opt for a little “reconstructive surgery” to fix it?

I’m not saying that I will never look in the mirror and have a problem with a sag here or a wrinkle there because I’m sure, like every woman on the planet, I will do this. But I am not the type to buy expensive face creams or even wears very much make-up. I’ve never cared THAT much about how I look to others in public. I care about how I look to ME in the mirror every morning and to my husband every night and I want my kids to have a happy, confident, active mom. If YOU think that is vanity, then so be it. I will just continue to do my best and forget the restūüôā

A new strategy

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post so I need to do a little catching up. I still haven’t lost any more lbs but I can definitely see more muscle and my endurance has been increasing. I am able to run a 5k without stopping! I have a 4.4 mile run coming up soon that I would love to be able to run all the way through but it is a notoriously HOT race so we’ll see how it goes. Yesterday I attended a workout called Crossfit at a man’s home here locally. I was invited by one of the instructors at the gym. It was an INTENSE circuit workout that only lasted 17 min. (5 stations at one minute each with 1 minute in between rounds for a break). It worked everything and boy can I feel it this morning. There was a cardiologist there who gave a speech about the importance of eating a healthy/clean/natural diet. I told him about my plateau and asked what could be done. His suggestion was less sugar…even fruit based! Of course, why didn’t I think of that? I cut out chips and alcohol – well…sorta…ok…I haven’t really :o)¬† but with my morning green smoothies I am consuming a LOT of sugar. My body then will naturally burn off the sugar before it attacks the fat. What he suggested was a high protein, low fat diet. Unfortunately due to my gall bladder being removed and having a sensitive liver, I can not process a lot of “meat” based proteins so I need to stick to my vegetarian diet. Adding eggs hasn’t seemed to bother me though and maybe I will add occasional fish. I haven’t decided yet. I know that even w/out the eggs I am getting plenty of protein from nuts, seeds, beans and my protein powder.

I’m still doing P90X though I didn’t hit the gym much last week since I sprained my ankle last Saturday dismounting from a mechanical bull wearing stiletto heels…don’t askūüėČ I’ve also been very stressed out. Mostly I am stressing about housework not getting done, home schooling my boys (JW fought me on doing schoolwork all last week), and bills. My husband is pressuring me to see a cosmetic surgeon to talk about options for correcting the damage done to my abdomen from a ruptured appendix when I was 18 and then having two C-sections. It’s all in love. He knows how much my stomach scar and fat bothers me and it is something that no matter how much I exercise will never correct itself. I’d LOVE to get a tummy tuck but I just can’t see spending that much money on ME. DH tells me I am worth it. I’m not sure what to do. I plan on seeing the surgeon to find out what can be done and will decide after the appointment.

Something else I have been thinking about is getting kids involved in Crossfit. During the summer the scouts and neighborhood kids can get together regularly to exercise in a circuit fashion then we can learn about nutrition and maybe even cook healthy snacks together. Like I don’t have enough to do already right :o)

Happy Anniversay & Mother’s Day!

Today is the 1 year Anniversary of me going Vegetarian and finally taking care of myself…MOM! In one year I have gone from 215lbs down to 150lbs (losing 65lbs and 30% of my body weight). I have also dropped about 6 dress sizes (from an 18/20 to an 8/10 and even a size 6 in some clothes). Today is also Day 27 for P90X and one day before I was suppose to take updated photos, weight and measurements. I will post the Phase 1 completion photos I took today to my Flicker account so you can see my progress. I can definitely see muscle tone now, even though in one month I only lost 1lb and 1″ overall. Since I first recorded my measurements I have lost 4″ off my bust, 3″ off my waist and 5″ off my hips (a total of 12″ overall). Today I start a whole new year of taking care of MOM and another month of getting ripped with P90X! This month I am going to endeavor to cut out the alcohol, chips and sugar and try to cut down on the sodium intake. The motto for the month is, “Do Your Best and Forget the Rest!” Oh…and BRING IT!ūüôā

Hello Recovery Week!

Fhew! I finally made it to week 4 of P90X which is RECOVERY WEEK! It could not have come at a better time since I started my cycle and I have been cramping like crazy. I’ve also been so tired. I felt like I haven’t lost any weight at all and I have been avoiding the scale until weigh in day tomorrow. I can easily gain 5lbs just from pre-menstrual bloating so I am going to take that into account at my next weigh in. My BeachBody.com coach told me I am overdoing my workouts. Incorporating P90X along with my regular gym workouts is “too much cardio” she said and is probably why I am feeling run down. I’m hoping after this week I will regain my energy to start anew for Week 5 which looks more intense than the first three weeks of the workouts. Recovery week doesn’t mean NO WORKOUTS, it just means no weight training. I will still be doing Yoga, Stretching and Cardio this week.

I also need to take this week to try and tweak my diet. Even though I am consuming the right amount of calories (less than 2100 per day), I don’t know if I am getting enough protein. I have also found that I am stress binging again! Last Friday my husbands motorcycle broke down and after picking him up from work we ate out which led to a Spinach Cheese Quesadilla (not dairy or gluten free), Chips, THREE Margaritas and 20 Peanut M&M’s!!! I know if I can just cut out the Chips, Chocolate and Alcohol I would lose so much more weight.

I think I need to go back to at least 80% Raw! My is that I should have a Green Smoothie for breakfast and maybe some Green Tea w/ honey, then a Large bowl of Soup (or other cooked vegan meal) or Salad for Lunch and a Large bowl of Soup or Salad (whichever I didn’t have for lunch) for supper. No chips…no chocolate.. no ALCOHOL! I better go find some recipes and prepare. It helps if I plan my meals in advance so when I get hungry I’m not wasting time wondering what I am going to eat.

Two Weeks Complete!

Today is Day 14 – I can hardly believe it has been 2 weeks on P90X. I took Easter off yesterday so I could start the week out on Monday since starting off on Tuesday was kind of messing me up :o) I also decided to keep an online journal of my meals using FitDay.com If you click on this link it will take you to my food journal. Even though I detest keeping a calorie count, I was curious to see just how many calories I am consuming so we will see how long I can keep a record. It is just so time consuming to look up every little ingredient. This would be easier if I lived on processed foods but I don’t! I’ve also been considering incorporating egg whites into my diet for more protein. Since I raise my own chickens, I am secure in knowing my eggs come from happy layers and are packed with Omega fats and protein! I did buy some Raw Protein Powder from Garden of Life to add to my morning smoothie as a post workout drink but it tastes kinda chalky…Blach! I’ll see if that helps make a difference in my performance. Starting to get really worn out. Week 4 is a recovery week so I hope I can rest up enough to really “Bring It” the weeks following. I hurt my back somehow too so I’m having to take it easier. Not tonight though…I’ve got 3 hours of exercise coming up. Or “EXTRA SIZE” as my six year old would say.

Here is a look at my Week 3:

Monday      AM Chest/Back/Abs       PM Step/Yoga/Zumba

Tuesday     AM Plyometrics                 PM Zumba/Sculpt

Wednesday AM Shoulders/Arms/Abs     PM Run 4 miles

Thursday   AM Yoga X                           PM Cardio Pump

Friday         AM Legs/Back/Abs          PM Zumba

Saturday    AM Kenpo X  and Run 5k

Sunday       Rest or X Stretch

P90X – 1 week down!

Weighed and measured myself this morning and found that I have lost 4lbs and lost 1/2 inch on both my bust and hips. C’mon waist, where ya at? Sunday was Day 6 and I did my workout before church. I was so sleepy all day and had to take a nap after an afternoon scout meeting to refresh.

mango, pineapple, banana, kale, supergreen powder

1 grapefruit

Amy’s Enchilada meal with Tostido Scoops and salsa

Steamed broccoli w/ Vegan cheese sauce on brown rice

Chocolate Cherry Bomb green smoothie w/ Hemp protein

Monday was another stressful day of getting the boys back to doing their schoolwork so I pooped out around 3pm and just watched TV until it was time to hit the gym at 5. Amazingly I made it out of bed at 6amfor Day 7 of P90x. My sweat smelled like Fritos during Step and I felt like I had too much salt in my system from the chips. The soup was delicious and I ate a LOT of it! At the gym I did 1 hr of Step Aerobics, 1 hr of Yoga and 1 hr of Zumba. My back was having spasms when I got home so I soaked in the hot tub and applied the hot pad and some Tiger Balm which helped. Wiped out tired at the end of the day.

green tea w/honey

pineapple, pear, parsley, banana, msm, chai, wheatgrass smoothies

1 grapefruit

Mexican Pumpkin Soup from the Fat Free Vegan Blog w/ Frito Scoops

Trail Mix

My back felt better this morning so I went ahead with the P90X Day 8 routine. I would like to go to Zumba and Sculpt at the gym tonight also but will see how my back does the rest of the day.

green tea with honey

grapefruit, mango, parsley, romaine smoothie

granola with craisins, 1 banana, flaxseeds and hemp milk

Large Greek salad w/ all the fixins

Mexican Pumpkin Soup w/ Fritos (just less of them this time)

I know I could lose more weight if I just cut out the chips but that is my one last remaining vice. ;-p’

Days 3, 4 & 5

Today I am going to share some of my tips for staying motivated and keeping my energy up for my workouts. First let me catch up with my diet/exercise log.

Thursday I did P90X Day 3 and that evening was 2 hours of bowling with the scouts.

8 AM Papaya, Pineapple, Banana, Coconut, Spinach, Hemp protein powder, Hemp seeds

110AM 1 large grapefruit

12PM Large Greek Salad with Chick Peas

3PM Trail mix

5PM Small potato with Vegan Cheese

Friday P90X Day 4 and 1 hour Zumba class at the gym

8:30 AM Gold to Green smoothie

11AM Walnut “Meat” Taco Salad w/ Tostidos Scoops

2:30PM Raw Mojito (cucumber, celery, pear, mint leaves, lime juice)

4:30PM Creamy Pepper Soup w/Corn and Tostidos Scoops w/ Salsa

Today (Saturday) I did not have the P90X Day 5 disc since the folks I bought it from left it in their DVD player but I should have it by next week. Instead I did Day 10 Biceps/Back/Abs then I ran a 5k and walked for about 50 min. I slept in until 8AM (the time I USED to wake up before P90X!) so that is why my breakfast was so late.

11AM pineapple, pear, parsley, cucumber, wheatgrass, chai, MSM, Perfect Super Green Food Powder, 1 banana smoothie

I plan to eat leftover Creamy Pepper Soup w/ corn and chips for lunch and another large Greek salad w/ chick peas for dinner and perhaps and small Gluten-Free Veggie pizza that I will have my boys help me prepare and share with me.

Okay, so here are my tips. These are what I have found work for me and how I have been able to lose 65lbs and keep it off for a year now.

#1 Keep a journal of what you eat every day.

#2 Try to plan your meals out in advance so you know you have what you need on hand to make the meals.

#3 Eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism going ALSO so you don’t get too hungry and overeat!

#4 Workout in the morning on an empty stomach. I did not do this all the time in the beginning BUT I know when I do I lose more weight and have more energy during the day.

#5 Drink your breakfast! A protein packed Green Smoothie for your first meal is going to be a great recovery for your body after your morning workout. Your cells are also my able to receive all those nutrients after a good workout.

#6 Don’t eat after 7pm! Late night snacking will kill a diet.

#7 Nix the alcohol. Not only does it add more calories but it goes straight to belly fat and it interrupts your sleep which will make early morning workouts harder.

#8 Don’t weigh yourself every day. I can fluctuate 5lbs on any given day so I try to refrain from weighing myself too often. I think once a week (in the AM before a workout) is good enough. Don’t forget to take your measurements also. You may not lose weigh but you could still loose inches because you are gaining muscle.

#9 Stay motivated! Tell other people what you are doing or workout w/ a buddy so you have someone to be accountable to. Find some inspiring music to listen to, watch some Mind Movies on YouTube like this one Weight Loss for Women and create a Vision Board with pictures from magazines of your goal.

#10 Eat clean. Choose mostly fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, water, etc. Cut out the crap! You know what that means :p’

And another tip…do not attempt P90X unless you have been physically active for awhile. I think too many people buy this program and think they are going to go from couch to bikini body in 90 days¬† and only last a week before giving up. Start small and work your way up. I started by simply walking 30 minutes a day three times a week. It took you years to put the weight on, it’s going to take time to take it off. Be patient with yourself. This is hard I know (I still have a hard time being patient). Good luck!

P90X Days 1 & 2

Monday night I was at the gym and did one hour of step aerobics followed by one hour of yoga. Tuesday morning I woke up at 6am (two hours before I normally wake up) and did my first P90X workout. It was a killer Chest and Back with Abs workout but I had a lot of energy all day afterward. That evening I went back to the gym and did one hour of Zumba and one hour of Sculpt (more weight training). I soaked in the hot tub when I got home and that helped with my muscle soreness. I am surprised that I am keeping up with routines but I don’t want to overdo it and burn myself out too soon. This morning was Day 2 Polymetrics. This is like the Easter Bunny on steroids! A lot of jumping up and down in all kinds of directions. Lots of cardio and with my legs still sore from the past two days, it was like trying to jump with cement blocks tied to my ankles. I was soaked with sweat and completely spent after the workout but once I showered off and had my smoothie I was back and filled with energy! The endorphins really seem to help ease my stress during the day and give me a more positive outlook. I am back to being constantly hungry¬† because of all the calories I am burning. I figured yesterday I burned almost 1,100 calories so I need to keep my food intake up to keep my metabolism going. This means I need to be eating something about every 2-4 hours. Here is what my diet has looked like since Monday:

4/11/11

papaya, pineapple, banana, coconut and kale smoothie

small gold potato with chili beans and tortilla chips with salsa

grape, mandarin orange, dried cranberry, red onion, pecan and green lettuce salad with balsamic vinegrette

4/12/11

1 grapefruit

kiwi, banana, spinach, ice, water, tumeric, hemp seeds, hemp protein, cinnamon smoothie

Large Greek Salad: green lettuce, red onion, red pepper, kalmata olives, sunflower seeds, fenugreek sprouts, tomato, chick pea salad with Tuscan Italian dressing

1 small gold potato with lots of steamed broccoli and vegan rich cheddar cheese sauce

4/13/11 Diet Plan

4 tangerines, 1 banana, spinach, hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, Vitamin C packet smoothie

Energy Soup (see recipe below) with tortilla chips

Large Greek Salad (like yesterday)

If I get hungry in between meals I can always grab a handful of almonds, eat a grapefruit or make a green juice.

Energy Soup is an awesome Raw Vegan soup that is so filling and packed with so much nutrition for your body. For some not used to cold soup it can taste a little weird. It is not very aesthetically pleasing either as it resembles pond slime but if you can get past looks you’ll be doing your body a huge favor :-p

Energy Soup

1 romaine leaf

1 handful spinach

1/2 zucchini

1 apple

1/2 cucumber

1/2 cup sprouts

1/2 cup almond (soy, rice or hemp) milk

1 clove garlic

1 Tbsp kelp granules

1 tsp sea salt (or pink crystal)

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix in blender then stir in 1/4 cup sunflower seeds.

I uploaded my P90X Day 1 photos to my Flickr photo album if you have the stomach to view them :o) I figure the more people I tell that I am doing this and have to show my before pics to, the more motivated I am to stick to it! The more often I look at those pictures the more it motivates me to tone up all those rolls and flab!

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