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Reflecting on 2012; Looking forward to 2013

Posted Jan 01 2013 8:49pm
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This time of year it is always good to reflect on the previous year. Both the good and the bad. What changes do I want to make? What do I want to be different? Customarily people do New Year's Resolutions but I feel like resolutions are quickly forgotten about 1/3 way through the year. I think goals are more realistic as it is something you can work toward through out the year. A resolution defined is a resolve or determination. Which is definitely needed. But a goal is the result or achievement in which effort (or resolve or determination) is directed. Very similar but still different.
December 2012 - approximately 290 pounds gone

In 2012 there were some things that I achieved and some others that I still have to work on this year. There are some things that are always a work in progress and sometimes a really hard work in progress. I'm not perfect and I don't claim to be. I just want to be me but I want to be a healthy me. I also am hoping to inspire others so they don't get in the very depressed place that I was at my highest weight. I want them to know that there is hope if they are in that depressed place. It seems hard and sometimes it seems impossible but there is nothing you can't do as long as you put your mind to it along with some effort. 

Some things I achieved this last year (2012) are as follows (some may seem small to others but were big to me):

  1. Loosing 292 pounds total and lost more than I weigh - That is something I didn't ever think I would achieve. I see others doing it and admired them so much. But now I am one of those people. I didn't have doubts in myself but that number is such a big number and can be quite frightening. This last year I've lost 90 pounds. My weight loss slowed down the last 6 months of the year but I also gained quite a bit of muscle (and muscle weighs more than fat) so I have to take that into consideration as well. I still can't believe I have lost more than I weigh. I am still not thin by any means and I still weigh quite a bit. But I've lost one of me. Even I am amazed at me but yet so proud of what I've been able to accomplish. 
  2. Crossing my legs - I never ever thought that would be a big deal. It was on my goal list just to say I could do it but I haven't really done it most of my life so it wasn't really a big deal to me at that time. But now it is most comfortable and natural for me to cross my legs. I am shocked at how much of a big deal to me it has become and I feel so confident about it. So odd how things really affect us.
  3. Getting to the 200's (pounds) - This was a big goal of mine since my goal weight is 200 pounds even. Getting into the 200's meant I had less than 100 pounds to lose. To some people that seems like a lot. But after loosing over 200 pounds it really seems much more doable to me. I do know that it will probably be much harder because the closer to your goal weight the harder it gets to lose the weight. But I am not going to quit fighting. This is a battle that I know I will be fighting my entire life. I know that when I get to my goal weight the war has not been won. It just mean the war has just begun. I am determined to win this war though and with determination I know a lot can be achieved.
  4. Walking / exercising more - At my highest weight of 579 pounds walking was a chore and it was a big chore. Add to that the fact that I was bone on bone in my left knee (at the time I didn't know that). So walking was PAINFUL. I didn't want to get up ever because just getting up was painful. But now that I've lost some weight my knees are much happier. Now that isn't going to change the fact that I need a total knee replacement on my left knee. Also, I'm still in pain but the pain is much less with 1,172 pounds of pressure off of my knee (4 pounds per every pound of weight lost). I have good days and bad days which is much better than before when everyday was a bad knee day. This was the first time I've actually calculated the pressure off my knee and it is quite an astounding number. No wonder I'm able to walk better! But I can say my knee does hold me back from walking and exercising as much as I want to. I can't walk as far as I'd be able to without being in extreme pain. So I just stay grateful for what I can do and hopefully as I lose weight I can do a little bit more and when I get my knee replacement... WATCH OUT WORLD... I'm going to really WALK A LOT! I am still in my routine of doing water aerobics though. I do that about 3 times per week. We added two new members to our family this year (dogs) which really forces me to walk (we don't have a backyard so forced to constantly walk them). They have been a blessing in regards to exercise (and in many other ways which I will talk about later on). I started seeing a trainer in March of 2012 and she has really helped me build some muscle and gain some confidence in the way I move. Ann Rockeman at Integration Fitness in San Diego has really helped me to gain muscle so that I can burn that fat quicker. Not only that but has helped me to move in ways I didn't think were possible. I think everyone needs to hire a trainer when they are losing weight just to give them the confidence to do more and better. But not only that the muscle helps to burn fat which helps with the results we want. Plus muscle does look much sexier than fat or saggy skin. Saggy skin is still an issue for me but I know it would look much worse than it doesn't if it weren't for the building up of muscle. I sit here sore from my workout with my trainer yesterday but I am reminded I am alive. Although being sore isn't fun being sore helps me remember that I'm moving my muscles and body in ways I'm not used to. It also means creating of more muscle which means more fat burned and that I am grateful for. I jokingly complain about it but I truly am grateful for being sore. At my highest weight I didn't get sore much (other than my knee) because I couldn't move. Now I am so grateful to be moving!
  5. Adding two new members to the family (dogs) - Yes, we weren't expecting to do this but it just sort of happened. We adopted two dogs in July from Rancho Coastal Humane Society . We adopted Scrappy who is a 7 year old male Corgi/Terrier/Lab mix. He is a really good dog and really loves to play ball and actually his life mostly revolves around the ball. He has recently become much more of a cuddler as well and I think it is just because he is finally adjusting to his new home. The second member to our family is Chloe who is a 7 year old female Lemon Beagle. They call it a Lemon due to her coloring (I never knew that or heard of it until we got her and they are the rarest type of Beagle). Although Chloe is a Beagle she is actually quite good compared to the stereotypes of that of a Beagle. She is a princess for sure. She LOVES nothing more than to cuddle up to me or my husband. She has anxiety issues when we leave that we are still working on. She loves to bark at other dogs when they are playing as if to say "Can't we all just get along". We really don't know why she barks but my husband and I joke about it. She is quite shy around other dogs but with Scrappy around she is starting to come around a little bit. Adopting older dogs makes it hard in that you don't know what their environment was previously and they take some time to adapt to their new environment. Took some time for us to adjust too because we have 2 cats who are so much easier to take care of than the dogs. But we are finally all synced together I think. They have brought so much joy to our lives already and we look forward to many more years with them. The cats have done much better with them around than I expected. They don't love the dogs but the cats aren't afraid to jump up in our lap with the dogs around which is great. We still love the cats as well and are so grateful that they are so easy to take care of.
  6. Fitting in chairs - This is a biggie for me. My entire morbidly obese life I have stressed about social situations. I have to sit (I couldn't stand because the pain on my knees was too much) and finding chairs that were sturdy to hold my weight and big enough to fit in (arms of the chairs got in the way) was one of the top things I stressed about being morbidly obese. One shouldn't have to stress about something as simple as sitting down but I was. I learned this year that the stress was also passed on to my husband. He told me he was worried about me breaking the chair and hurting myself and/or being embarrassed  So he would scan where ever we went to look for the most solid chair that I would fit in. It really upset me when I found this out because my weight was really affecting others. It is one thing when it affects you but it started to cause undue stress on his life as well which was so selfish of me. I'm so grateful for #RiverMacomber and his support. Now I am happy that I don't even think about this. I fit in chairs. Some are tighter than others as I still have large hips and thighs but I fit. No more worries or stress about going out in public. 
  7. Socializing & going out in public - I had another fear of socializing and going out in public due to my size. Most people judge on physical appearance and I was so self conscious about it that I tried to avoid most social situations. I'm trying to be more social and I have been but it is still a hard one for me. I know people still judge which doesn't help but I am also shy when meeting with people as well. I always have been and am just not that social person that I envy. I think a lot of people may also take me wrongly due to it. They could easily see me as "stuffy", "snobby" or for a lack of a better word a "bitch". People that really know me know that I am a nice person and very non-judgmental but I struggle with feeling comfortable around people. Again, I consider this an achievement because I'm not totally avoiding social situations but it is still a work in progress.
Goals for 2013
Here are some of my goals for 2013:
  1. Reach my goal weight - Yes, this will be a biggie for me. I think I can do it although I know it will be a lot of work. I consider my goal weight (with my skin) to be about 250 pounds. With skin removed that will make me about 230-210 pounds which will make me ultimately 10-30 pounds from my goal weight. But I don't know how much skin there is to be removed and I want to get to 250 which is when my doctor will refer me to the plastic surgeon. I am hoping some form of miracle will happen in terms of being able to afford it. It can be very expensive and I can't financially afford it right now. I know there are payment plans available to those that qualify (I should be able to qualify) but then I worry about the payments. The payments will probably be that of a car payment (if not more). But I have faith that God will provide and make it all happen somehow. My angel will show up.
  2. Reach out and inspire/talk to others - This is really big for me. I really want to help others. My heart is really set on that. I want to talk to people and coach them along the way. I want people to know they aren't alone. This goes for anything though not just weight loss. The principals apply for any kind of addiction whether it is alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, etc. I know some people say food isn't an addiction. I strongly disagree. I used food the way everyone else abuses drugs or alcohol etc. I know I've heard of many people inspired by me but I want to talk to these people. I want to make a difference. I want to help people walk through the entire experience. So please feel free to reach out to me by email or give others my blog that you think could benefit from my story. I think the best part of achieving something is being able to help others in the process.
  3. Continue to push myself in regards to walking/exercise - I want to really push myself this year. I need to lose this weight and getting closer to my goal I know that exercise will be extremely helpful in achieving this goal. Walking even more is going to be my goal but I am not going to put myself in immense pain either (knee). If that doesn't work then I will definitely be going to water aerobic classes more often.
  4. Continue socializing - I'm going to continue to push myself to socialize and meet new people. Also to find some new friends. I have several friends but a lot of them live in another state and the ones that live here are busy with their lives and different lifestyles. I really am best with having a small tight group of friends. I'm sure it will come as I know I'm not a horrible person but I need to open up more which is going to be a challenge for me but I know I can do it!
  5. Be grateful - I am very grateful for everything but this year I am going to work on being even more grateful. I have so much to be grateful for and I am often taking advantage of it.  
Life has treated me very well lately. My life hasn't been all bad, I've just had some really dark parts of my life but I am now really seeing the light and understanding how life is meant to be lived. It is meant to be lived to the fullest and enjoying each and everyday as it comes. I am very grateful for what I've learned on this journey. I know that this journey isn't over though...it has barely just begun.

I am Shanda and this is my journey.
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