Tag Archive | obesity

**Hit the Deck**!

I’m the primary lawn care person at our home, mostly because I’m OCD about keeping the property “manicured”. We have a really nice Troy Built garden tractor that I’ve named “Vengeance”. And because I like my grass shorter than most, we (meaning Al) ends up having to clean under the deck every time the mower is used… it just gets packed up with grass and dirt. Well, yesterday, for the first time, I cleaned Vengeance’s deck! It requires putting the front of the mower up on ramps, then crawling underneath and scraping and digging all that debris out from under. This is significant because, as early as last year, I was unable to walk from our house to our garage without being winded and having to sit down! Now I’m actually able to get DOWN ON THE GROUND AND get back up without much difficulty! Unless you’ve actually been obese and unhealthy, you just won’t get it. I have more mobility this year than I’ve had in two decades. It’s freeing. This is what we (in bariatric circles) call an “NSV” – non-scale victory!

**Okay so I’ve been honest about sharing my bariatric journey so I’ll share this too, even if a little embarrassing**
I went swimming for the first time yesterday (in my own pool) and was taken aback! First, I loved my cheap swimsuit from WalMart, even if my butt didn’t quite fill it out. But I was surprised by the way my loose skin floated and “undulated” in the water! It was so weird! Also weird was not being able to float so well ~ I’ve ALWAYS been able to float with ease! Lastly, while in the water, I was running my hands over my newly deflated body and felt something very strange in my low, low back just above my butt! Holy cow it was my tail bone! I didn’t actually know I HAD one, let alone being able to FEEL it! LOL! No wonder my behind hurts so much when I sit! There’s no padding around that tail bone at all anymore! Learning new things every day!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my journey with me.

Many blessings ~ Tamara

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Made to Crave: Background and Day 1

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 NKJV

Before I get busy telling you how my Made to Crave (M2C) day went yesterday, which was officially my first day of lifestyle changing behavior, let me give you a bit of background ~ and I’ll try not to be too lengthy.

I, as I’ve said before, have been fat all of my life. I’ve tried pretty much every diet and/or program known to Man, including the cabbage soup diet – ewwwww! It was awful! I had my stomach stapled in 1988. Not the “gastric bypass” that is all the rage now, but my stomach was stapled off so it was 1/3 its previous size. And I sure did lose weight! I lost 10-15 lbs before I left the hospital! But, boy, was I sick too! I attended pre-surgery support groups – a couple anyways. But they don’t prepare you for what truly happens along the journey to learning your new way to eat! For at least two decades, nausea and vomiting became the new lifestyle for me. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’d seriously rather die than vomit. To that end, I spent hours at a time nauseated, curled up in the fetal position on the floor or in my bed, praying to feel better… refusing to vomit to make myself feel better. But I lost weight!  All told, I lost about 120 lbs over a year before I began to put together the “tricks of the trade” to make it all come back to me, and more.

My failure came from learning that the junk food was more easily digestible than the healthy stuff. And I never learned or wanted to exercise “enough”. Still both issues for me 20+ years later. I joined a few gyms along the way, with genuine enthusiasm and good intentions. But I admit I am inherently lazy. If it wasn’t altogether EASY for me to get and go to the gym, forget it! Even in the past five years, my working hours of 8-6 Tues-Friday don’t make it easy enough to make it worth my while to go to the gym. When would I go? BEFORE work at like 5 a.m. or AFTER work which would make me arrive home just in time to go to bed? There’s even a small gym on the top floor of the very building that I work in, and I do not have to pay to use it, I just need to take the elevator 23 flights up, before or after work, or maybe during my hour lunch. But then I would be sweaty for the afternoon work… not acceptable. It’s so easy to make excuses! And no one is holding me accountable but me.

No more…

I did well yesterday, my first “official” day of learning how to pray myself through the day. My breakfast was a bowl of Chex – always a bowl of either Chex or Cheerios (plain, NEVER presweetened!). I would accurately guess the amount to be 1 ½ cups of cereal, with 1 cup of 2% milk, 1-2 tsps of white sugar (I’m trying to lighten that up) and a sliced up banana on top if I have them on hand. That’s my weekday breakfast. We’ll get to the weekend in a few days.

Lunch yesterday was a salad from the deli down the hall. Lots of greens, cukes, tomatoes, roasted chicken cubes, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and about a dozen pumpernickel croutons. I had two packets of Italian dressing on them – I know, I know! But it was a BIG salad!

I needed to have an afternoon snack, but did not come to work prepared and my work became very busy due to our Regional Awards Banquet last night, so I messed up. By the time I left to another location from work to the banquet, I was painfully ravenous, especially knowing that it would be at least another three hours before the banquet buffet would be served. Okay, I stopped at Burger King for something “small” just to stave off the excruciating hunger pangs. I got a hamburger. BAD choice, I know. I was desperate.

* Just so you know, with the smaller stomach comes the issue of hunger. Usually I’m just not hungry, because I can eat 4-5 crackers, or even half a sandwich and consider that a meal and be fine. OR, when I feel the hunger pangs coming on “gently”, and I know I need to eat something soon, if I wait even 20 minutes before putting something in there, the pangs escalate to unbearable and I have been known to gnaw on small animals (stuffed or not!).*

At the banquet buffet, I was relatively good. I ate one hot dog, half of a hamburger (no bread, only ketchup), one salt potato, 1 tbsp of baked ziti (seriously, 1 tbsp! not even “heaping”) and a 3” x 3” piece of celebratory cake for dessert. It was from Wegman’s! And I was FULL. I have given up carbonated drinks, and drink ONLY flavored water. Like I fill this “Lifewater” bottle over and over with plain water and just barely flavor it with one of those little squirt bottles of flavor that I can carry in my purse… and I dump lots of ice into it when available. That’s ALL I drink now.

I was hungry again when I got home around 10:30 p.m., so I had a cup of peach sherbet. Just a cup. It was very satisfying. And that brings me back to this morning (Wednesday).
That finishes off my confessions of yesterday. Whaddya think? Yes, I goofed up a little, but God allows for that. I just make it my business to try harder not to goof up again!

Does anyone have a decent recipe for fruit smoothies? Using real fruit – and low/no calories?

Until next time, thank you for looking in on me and lending your support. Next time it won’t be so lengthy… promise.

TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Made to Crave: Introduction to Weighty Issues ~

I am a beautiful woman, inside and out.  You have no idea how many decades it has taken me to be able to admit those words.  Admitting is not necessarily believing, but I’m getting there.  Oh, I know I’m beautiful inside, but to come to grips with who I am outside ~ well, the time has come.

My favorite picture of myself.  Thank you, Roger William Photography

My favorite picture of myself. Thank you, Roger William Photography

     See, I’m having my own, personal “coming out” party today.  As I’m sure no      one could foretell that I would be admitting that I am morbidly obese.  You didn’t notice?  LOL!  Well, it’s true.  Anyone with sight could tell.  I love myself, but I don’t like myself very much.  I guess it comes from an entire lifetime of everyone judging me because I’ve been fat since childhood.  Children are mean.  I’ve been told for over 45 years that I’m not good enough to be on the team, or too slow to run the bases, or that I’m just plain ugly.  When you’re a kid and you live this, it changes everything you believe about yourself.

However, when you become an adult and you still believe these things, it’s because it’s ingrained.  Doesn’t mean you can’t change it.  BTW, I’m not looking for a “pity party” ~ I take full responsibility for my obesity (wow!  did I use “the ‘O’ word again?!).   “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge,” Dr. Phil McGraw.  I’ve “acknowledged” it before, to myself.  I don’t think that did much good.  I think I need to get it all out there.  What the heck?  I’ve already revealed my past abortion and 90% of my chaotic history.  Why stop now?  Seriously?  You didn’t notice the multiple chins, the drooping belly and the enormous upper arms?  I think my arms must be the biggest on record in this state!  At least the county!  You didn’t stand there staring at me wondering how much I must weigh?  Well, this beautiful woman is 5’6″ and 326 lbs.  THERE!  I said it, it’s out there!  Yes, I weigh THAT MUCH!  Now, let’s see what we can do about this…

 ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^   That was then (Saturday night 7-13-13), and this is now (Monday night 7-15-13).   It’s simply amazing how much can change in only a few hours with God’s work at hand.  You see, I signed up for this fellowship “class”? of sorts through church about a month ago.  It’s called “Made to Crave”.  When I signed up for it, I had no idea what it was about, really, it just pretty much fit my difficult schedule of being on Mondays, which is my usual day off.  Today, Monday, was my first visit.  Mind you, I honestly didn’t really want to go… it has been so hot, and this morning it was 80 degrees before 9 a.m., the class started at 10:00 a.m.  I contemplated not going, but thought to myself “If I can’t give GOD one hour of my time…”  I was too embarrassed at the thought to fill in the rest, so I was on my way.

The class was to be small (intimate), just my preference.  We were to watch a video, and, still not knowing what this was all about, when the video began, I suddenly knew why I was there.  The topic revolves around craving God, but also focuses on weight loss!  No, not like any type of weight loss program you may have heard about or experience, but God-centered weight loss.  What could make more sense?!  God gave us these bodies to use during our time here on earth, but not to abuse and torture them with added weight and misuse.  I had been put into the right frame of mind beginning on Saturday to be able to jump into this fellowship today!

So, above I had stated “Now let’s see what we can do about this…” and I guess that question has been answered.  Now, let’s see who wants to help me be accountable to reach my goal?  That goal is:  to lose weight.  I’m not even putting any numbers in there… yet.  If I can start with even a pound, then maybe two in the next few weeks, I’ll consider that a successful start!   I’m putting these “weight loss” posts into an exclusive, new category called  appropriately”Made to Crave”.  I’m going to try to post to this daily or semi-daily, with what’s been going on in me reaching towards my goals ~ I’ll post things I’ve eaten/not eaten/avoided, and how about exercise?  How about prayer?  Promise to give me feedback?  Encouragement?  Admonishment?  Continued prayer?  

I’ve started my journey TODAY.  God is with me, He’s got my back.  How about my friends, family and blog friends get in on the action?  I need to hear from you.  Give me your comments, feedback and help me lose.  I want to be my own biggest loser. 

Until next time, which will be tomorrow, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Made to Crave.org

Word of Life Assembly of God