My journey began on May 6th, 2010 while suffering from a 9mm kidney stone that formed inside me the previous September. I'd finally gotten health insurance where it could be taken care of and not a moment too soon. The pain I was in was so erratic that it was hard to know what might cause it to flare up, and I lived with that fear every day. I was able to walk around Disney World pain free for 2 days with DH but a 30 minute trip to the grocery store put me in agony. I could eat a whole bag of cookies but my Cheetos vice put me out of commission for the night. In the final month before the surgery that would remove this intruder from my system, I finally truly HEARD what the doctors had been telling me the entire 8 months I'd been dealing with this. My first small victory.
I started drinking more water and less sodas. Anything that was high in salt I didn't even buy when I went grocery shopping. I stopped drinking coffee a week before my surgery, 2 days before I had to be rushed to the E.R. via ambulance due to the stone trying to pass and blocking the path out of my kidney. May 6th was my first Urologist appointment leading up to all this and when I saw the scale stop at 325 pounds, I decided enough was enough. When my Urologist told me that I was too heavy for the shock treatment they usually use for cases like mine, I started crying right there in the office. That was when the reality of how bad my weight had gotten really came crashing down on me. I heard that doctor's words in my head for the rest of the day and it really messed me up. But it also WOKE me up that there was no magic cure for the disease called obesity. A much needed victory. The weight wasn't going to just go away on it's own, the same way that stone didn't just go away because I wished it to.
The week after my surgery, that same Urologist cleared me to start taking Alli capsules. I dropped 4.2 pounds in the first week and promptly celebrated with McDonald's drive-thru and a bag of Cheetos. I spent most of the week celebrating, save for a single day I went to the gym on a 7-day free trial pass. There isn't a doubt in my mind that the only reason I actually lost a pound that week was because of that workout. I gained almost all of it back the following week thanks to that fun monthly thing the good Lord has given us women and giving in to every craving for salty and sweet food I had. I think another part of it was finally being able to eat all my old favorite foods without pain. I was ecstatic about that! V!
One night (after I'd had half a bag of bbq chips) I started feeling that familiar pain in my kidney region and began to have a freak out. If you've never had a kidney stone it's very difficult to explain how painful it can be. Some compare it to childbirth but I disagree with that assessment. I've been through childbirth and it has some similarities (mostly pressure on the lower back) but it's not the same. Imagine being sucker-punched in the kidney area both in the front and in the back while something sharp is trying to fight back. I dealt with that pain for 8+ months, so grateful when it went away but scared to death about when it might come back. I was NOT about to do that song and dance twice. I have bought ONE bag of Cheetos since that night and it took a week for me to finish it, only having a handful at a time and always with a full bottle of water to flush the salt out. Small victory.
In the interest of both my kidney and my weight, I've exchanged my Cheetos addiction for Smart Pop Kettle Corn. I kicked my coffee habit and now have apple juice with my Fiber One instead of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, in 1% milk instead of whole. The only soda in the house is for my husband and we now own a Brita water pitcher that I refill no less than 2 times a day. Turkey has replaced our usual ham and now I buy low-fat cheddar or part-skim mozzarella instead of New York Sharp Cheddar. I have WW choc. chip cookies for my occasional sweet craving and my husband has Chex Mix instead of Chips Ahoy. Small victories, every single one.
We joined a gym at the beginning of July and that's where my biggest victories are. I was able to sustain 20 minutes on the elliptical when I couldn't even last 30 seconds a year ago, and just today I spent an hour on the treadmill. The more I get into the gym, the more I find my body craves the workout. I'm already able to lift 20 more pounds with my arms than I was able to when we first started going a month ago! And the feeling I get when I complete a good workout? It's an addiction in itself - a combination of pride, accomplishment, exhaustion and being high on life all rolled into one. Victorious!
In the 9 weigh-in's I have done since I started keeping track I've only had 2 weeks where I've gained some weight back, the most recent was 7/16 and I gained 2.6 lbs. But then I turned around and lost 0.4 the following week while I was on my monthly, which sure beats the 4.2 lbs I gained the previous month. As of this morning, I've lost a total of 9.6 lbs and I really feel like I'm finding my groove. The exercise is helping to push my metabolism up so it's easier to burn off the occasional double cheeseburger from McD's or my mother's oh-so-yummy mashed potatoes (loaded with whole milk and butter). Just tonight I got in the car and aimed it towards McD's and changed direction at the last second and went to Subway instead. Count the victories as well as the blessings.
So now I pose this question to anyone who has made it this far in my novel of a post (sorry about that by the way)...
What have you done today to make you feel proud?