Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bariatric Betty Apologizes and has big news!

First, as all of my readers have no doubt noticed, I have monetized my blog with AdSense.  This is an experiment that may not continue.  I was very upset to see ads for some oral substance that is being advertised as a substitute for gastric bypass on my page.  I have gone into my ad settings to block pharmaceuticals/ medicine ads (as well as some other objectionable things) and hope that I can get it blocked on my page.  I do not want my blog to serve to advertise any FDA approved medicines, let alone NON-FDA approved ones.  Meanwhile, if you see something objectionable popping up on my blog's ads, please let me know so I can continue to tweak the controls.  I was hoping for ads for things like workout equipment, clothing, etc.  I apologize for this sorting-things-out period.  If it proves too difficult to restrict the types of ads on here, I will drop the AdSense stuff altogether.

Now, on to other news.  DRUM ROLL PLEASE......

Bariatric Betty is no longer obese!  I have hit a new goal; having a BMI below 30 - and now fall into the "overweight" category instead of "obese" (or previously "morbidly obese").  I have lost 77 pounds total (47 since surgery) and I am hoping to lose another 20 - 30 pounds.  Right now I have lost what my surgeon determined to be 52% of my excess body weight since the day of surgery.  I will NOT be going down to 123 pounds (ideal weight based on those same calculations) - neither my surgeon or I think that would be reasonable to aim for.  My goal is to get to between 140 - 150 pounds and stay there.  That will put me into a BMI between 25 and 26, which is still officially overweight.  Given the muscle gain I anticipate, my extra skin, and my build, I think that is actually a healthy weight and is one that my doctors think would be great as well. 

This brings up another tool I have started to use.  A body fat loss monitor.  As I become more muscular I wanted to have additional things (other than a scale) to give me empirical measurements to measure my progress.  I have been using a tape measure to track changes in my size, but wanted something else.  So I got a monitor that had good reviews and have begun measuring myself.  Right now I am on the "normal setting" instead of "athlete" (although that will be changing) and my body fat percentage is 36.2%.  For my age and sex they suggest normal is 24-33.9.  So my next goal will be to reduce my body fat percentage to 33.9 or less!

One of the ways I am working to achieve this is by starting Couch to 5K training (see www.couch25k.com  ).  I was very nervous about this - never having been able to run before.  I have bad knees that have "popped out" several times in my teens resulting in knee braces and long periods on crutches.  However, my leg muscles are super strong after all the walking I've been doing, so when I heard about other non-runner WLS patients trying this program I thought I would give it a shot.  My job as a monitor at my son's elementary school was great exercise, adding 5000 steps a day to my totals on average.  Now I am unemployed over the summer and needed to find a replacement for all that 2 hours of walking M-F.  Also, I wanted my kids to be more active and thought "How cool would it be to be able to jog a 5K race as a family?"  So last Friday my boys and I started the 3 times a week training.  So far it has consisted of 5 minutes of brisk walking followed by alternating 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for the next 20 minutes.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not hard for me.  I don't even start to sweat for the first 10 minutes of jog/ walk alternating.  Of course, I'm not jogging FAST - that hurts my knees.  My jog is probably about 4 mph (hmmm, I should check that on a treadmill) with my feet staying close to the ground to minimize impact. 

The first day was difficult emotionally because my 9 year old son was throwing a tantrum almost the entire time.  He doesn't enjoy most changes to his routine.  Add hot weather and flying bugs buzzing around his head (a major fear of his) and he was in tears for about half the training, but he also found out that I meant business - we ARE going to do this.  A little carrot-and-stick later, yesterday we did the 2nd training day (inside on a track at our rec center - a/c and no bugs!) and he came through like a champ.  My 11 year old son is totally on board and enjoying himself.  The program is 9 weeks long (although it will take us 10 weeks because of a upcoming vacation to Colonial Williamsburg) and then we should be able to jog a 5K!  I'm aiming for a Komen Race for the Cure in September in Cleveland, but might do something else if I can find one sooner. 

We've also been going to the pool and local waterpark a lot.  That brought up a need - a swimsuit that fit!  I tried ordering a size 16 petite that I hoped would work, but my bottom half is so much smaller that the suit was flopping around and providing WAY to much of a view of my nether-regions.  I ended up spending over an hour trying on various Land's End tankini combinations and found that my correct size was an 18 top with a size 10 bottom.  Yeah, it's kind of obnoxious.  I know most women are not perfectly proportional, but for the guys out there, imagine if one of your legs was only 1/2 - 2/3 the size of the other and then trying to find jeans that fit.  This was something I didn't deal with as much when I was larger - my waist was much bigger and I looked more proportional (although obese and unhealthy).  But this is how I was created, so as long as I don't get plastic surgery I have left the land of one piece swimsuits for good.  :( 

This is a good time to remind myself that losing weight doesn't bring the body you want - it brings the body you have been given.  It's up to you to make peace with that body and accept it.  I will embrace any body that allows me to live longer and be healthy & active with my family. 

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