I did it!

So, if you have read my blog for any amount of time, you are aware that I had gastric bypass surgery in 2010.  (you can read the whole back story here)

One of the things that led me to this dramatic change was an increasing awareness that I wasn’t able to do all the things I wanted to do – I found myself, one Saturday, all alone at home while my family went on a hike together.

A hike I wanted, desperately, to do, but knew that, at my size, I probably couldn’t do.  (or at least, if I even attempted it, I’d embarrass myself and my family with my huffing, puffing and bajillion stops I’d have to make)

It was then that I decided that things had to change.

And soon. (you can read that story here)

The last two years have been an amazing journey.  I have been through so many changes, inside and out, and I really feel like a completely different person.

I still struggle with my eating (and why I eat) and have to maintain a constant vigil on what I put in my mouth – that will never change. (and I don’t really want it to. It keeps me aware and reminds me of why I did what I did.)

However, one thing that I haven’t attempted yet was that hike.

And I did it.

On New Year’s Day.

What a fitting way to kick off a new year.

I didn’t wake up thinking “today is the day I’m going to hike that mountain.”

I hadn’t really even thought about it.

But, as life sometimes does, things just worked out to where that is what I found myself doing on Sunday afternoon.

I had mentioned to SuperMan that I wanted to go for a walk and why didn’t we take the kids hiking. He suggested the mountain we live on (or next to, depending on your geographical opinions) and I said sure.

img_1111

It wasn’t until we were walking the trail that I realized WHAT I WAS DOING.

img_1110

HEY! (I thought)

I’M WALKING THIS TRAIL!  THIS VERY SAME TRAIL I WAS SO STINKIN’ AFRAID OF TWO YEARS AGO!

OH.MY.GOSH!

And not only did I walk it… I did it pretty quickly and with only a few stops along the way to catch my breath!

I was so excited!

img_1114

I can’t begin to tell you the sense of accomplishment and “full-circled-ness” that I had as we reached the top of the mountain that afternoon. As I stood there looking out over the valley I marveled at the fact that I had actually accomplished something that had so intimidated me two years ago that I had hidden at home in shame.  I was overwhelmed and humbled at the thought of the journey I’ve been on – and reinvigorated to go the next stage of the journey and KEEP ON GOING.

img_1132

I sat there on the rocks and just marveled at myself. I had no idea, when I started this weight loss journey two years ago, if I really COULD do this. I feared I’d have the surgery and still be a fat failure. As I sat there I realized I am a stronger person that I sometimes give myself credit for. Stronger and more determined.

img_1119

It felt SO GOOD.  I am PROUD of myself. And that is a nice feeling.

I still have some weight to lose. I am still not where I want to be. I got a little sidetracked last year when I hit a size and thought “wow! THIS is cool.” and then promptly quit doing a lot of the things I was doing.

img_1127

But, I’m reinvigorated and re-motivated. I’m ready. I’m willing. and I’m most definitely able.

The mountain may not be Everest, but it seemed that way to me two years ago. It might as well have been Everest for the insurmountability it seemed to have to me.  Now, the mountain represents something entirely different to me.

It represents accomplishment. It represents do-ability. It represents a strength I didn’t know I had.  And it will remind me of the things I can do even when I think I can’t.

2012 is going to be even better.

Just wait.

And we’re walking… we’re walking…

I love that line – not sure what movie it is from – anyone remember?

I always think about it when I’m trying to get the kids moving along and they are dilly-dallying as kids like to do…

But today it is in reference to the recent renewal of my walking habit.

I decided I’d like to drop another 10 pounds before the holidays and winter hibernation set in.  That means I have to mix things up a bit and do something different… ’cause we all know that doing the same thing only gets you the same thing you always got.

So, I’m walking.

imgp3685

Again.

The fact that it is about 20 degrees cooler outside has a lot to do with my renewed interest in outdoor activity. I have to be honest here.

And I have been loving every minute.

Sunday, we had a nice walk with the entire family – puppies and all.  Monday was the same and then Tuesday SuperMan and I walked (with the pups) in the rain. It was marvelous.

img_0335

Today the girls and I walked together after we finished our school and work day. It was really nice to be together and talk about whatever came to mind.  I’d really like to keep that going and make it a habit. I think it would be good for the girls and good for me. And great for our relationships with each other.

img_0354

Right now, I’m doing about 2 miles. I’d like to be at about double that really soon. How soon? Well, I don’t know. I think I could do more – except that my leg muscles are sore… I think once I get them reconditioned I could probably double it pretty easily. I’m not winded or tired when I get finished… just feel invigorated.

So, I’ll be “kicking it up a notch” in the next few days. Maybe doing a morning walk on my own at a faster pace (or longer duration) and then an easier walk with the girls in the afternoons.

And as long as the weather holds out, I’ll be walking – rain or shine. It’s the heat I can’t handle!

Jillian Michaels kicked my abs

Hi! Thanks for visiting!

If you're reading this and haven't taken a minute to answer the survey I've posted earlier this week, I would really  appreciate it if you did and it won't take but just a minute.

Now, on to today's post:

One of the “requirements” you are supposed to agree to when you have bariatric surgery is that you will (brace yourself) exercise after surgery.  (shocking, I know)

Before surgery, you are so anxious to get approved and have the surgery, I think you’d agree to just about anything…

“You want my first born child? Yeah. Sure. No worries. When is the surgery?”

Afterwards, in the first few weeks and months you are so excited about the changes your body is undergoing that exercising is a novelty.  Everything feels different, moves differently, exercising is kind of fun… just to see how things work again.

Then, reality sets in.

LIFE sets in.

And then you have to dig deep and find the wherewithal to keep exercising and banish the excuses that are oh-so-easy to creep into your life.

And let’s face it. Most of us who are candidates for bariatric surgery are not generally the exercising type.  If we were, we might not have been in that position to begin with, knowwhatimean?

So, as someone who has historically avoided exercise like it was plague-carrying, this has been somewhat of an adjustment for me.

Add to that the fact that it’s been cold, wet and generally nasty this winter and I will confess that I haven’t been doing much exercising. (and I’ve got good excuses for other days, too, if you want to hear them – I’m full of ‘em)

But I have decided that if I want to maintain this beautiful new body I have and maintain this vim, vigor, and vitality I have found, then I must perform some maintenance on said body.

Boo.

But a necessary reality I must face.

So, I have decided that I’m going to share this with you – for a few reasons.

  • One – it holds me accountable. I will be less likely to slack off if I have to report to you.
  • Two – it might encourage you to dig deep and find yourself a way to add more healthy movement into your own life.
  • and Finally – it should prove ample fodder for the silly side of this blog.

and, that, we know, is the most important reason of all.

Which brings us to the topic alluded to in the title of this post.

The she-devil known as Jillian Michaels.

For those of you who may not know who she is – she is the reigning Princess of Torture on the Biggest Loser TV show in the US.  She is also building a rapidly-growing empire of exercise videos and paraphernalia.

image Including this CD, which I purchased this week with the intention of giving it a whirl.

I had seen a mom doing the workout in the lobby of the dance studio the other night (while her daughter was in class in another room – and that is a story in and of itself – how brave is she to do her exercise in the lobby of the dance studio!?!)

It didn’t look too scary or intimidating and I couldn’t help but wonder if my new body could do those moves, too.

So, while I was in Target the other day, I picked it up.  The girls and I watched it first to see if we thought it would be too impossible.  They were bouncing all over the place, itching to do the exercises right along with Jillian.  I very quickly decided I needed to do it the first few times by myself so that I didn’t suffer the ultimate humiliation of crying or not being able to finish (or crying) in front of my children.

So, I got up the next day determined to give it a whirl. How bad could it be?

Let me summarize it this way. I am sure I would’ve been great entertainment if I had been doing the exercises in a room with a one-way mirror and you were on the other side watching me. I’m quite sure  you’d have laughed your abs off. 😉

I have to say, this was an awesome workout, though.  It is based on a set of rotations that are 3 minutes of cardio, 2 minutes of weights and 1 minute of ab work.  And you do that 5-minute set four times, for a total of 20 minutes.  And I don’t think you could do more than 20 minutes of this. I know I couldn’t. I barely made it through the 20!

The plan is clever, though.  She keeps you moving and just when you think you are, literally, going to die, she changes things up and you do something different. It keeps your muscles engaged, constantly, your heart rate up, and your mind whirling.

For example, I discovered today that you might actually pass out from doing jumping jacks. 

And that jumping rope doesn’t actually require a rope (who knew?)

And that there are four different forms of torture known as “crunches” (not just one – how lucky are we?)

And I learned that three pound weights weigh a heck of a lot more than three pounds after you sling them up and down about forty bajillion times while you are squatting down like you have to pee in the woods. 

Oh.my.gosh.  THAT one was painful.

As I said, I’m sure I was very entertaining.

But, you know what? I was invigorated, energized and revved up when I was done.

(I was also sweating like a pig in South Georgia in July)

And now? Several hours later?

Well, my legs are jello, my arms scream in protest when I try to write anything, and I think my abdominal muscles are not speaking to me anymore.

But you know what that means?

It worked.  And I worked.

And I love that.

So, while I will most likely cuss Jillian out yet again tomorrow (if I can get out of bed in the morning, that is) I will do it again.  And again the next day. and the next. 

If it works, I’m all for it.

I’ll keep you posted.

(unless my arms fall off during the night and run away from home – then I’ll have to dictate it to Big Girl and she can fill you in)

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go up the stairs in a sitting position because my quadriceps (thighs) are on strike for the remainder of the day.