"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~ Anonymous

Thursday, January 22, 2015

One Year Post Op - Emotionally Speaking

Thankfully, as I sit to write today's post I am not as upset or depressed as I was a few days ago.  In fact, it's almost hard to sit and repeat the level of frustration that had me in tears the other night as I mumbled out to my husband something like this...

"I was supposed to have surgery last year, heal and get back to running with my new smoother stomach.  I was supposed to get back to exercise feeling so much better without my flabby stomach bouncing everywhere.  Then my mom died and I never had the chance to simply recover."

Yes, one year ago today I received a phone call in the evening telling me my mother had passed away in her sleep.  It was exactly what she would have wanted, but not exactly what I was ready for.  She had been ill, but not deathly ill and her death was very sudden for all of us. 

I couldn't even cry very good because of the pain from my surgery, and that made me want to cry harder.

Needless to say, the stack of books I had planned on reading as I recovered stayed unread as my days of recovery ended up being spent planning a funeral with my dad long distance, between naps and recovery walks around the living room.

My husband took good care of me, my kids had some snow days and we enjoyed some lazy days together, but I had to begin to work through the grief from the worst day of my life.  And looking back, I'll never know what it's like to simply have a major surgery and heal from it.

On top of my mother dying, a month and a half later my then 13-year-old son was in a major ski accident breaking his femur and tibial growth plate.  He was on a youth ski trip with our church.  We drove five hours to be with him in the hospital, watched as they took him back for surgery and as he came out with a rod in his thigh and pins in his knee.

We brought him home as carefully as possible, where he began his recovery here at home.  My husband had to take some days off of work because I was unable to lift my son since I was still healing from my surgery.  (Talk about frustrating.)

After an infection at one of the pin sites and finding a torn ACL in the fall he is still going to physical therapy three days a week to heal and strengthen his leg from that accident.

Unfortunately, those two major events in my life left me somewhat reeling.  My faith in God helped me not fall into a depression like many do, but I suddenly had to deal with more grief and struggle than I really have had to in my lifetime.  

I was still able to continue my regular life commitments, take care of my family, run a 10K in May and October and keep going, but I suddenly felt like my life had been turned upside down and I couldn't maintain my healthy habits enough to keep my weight down.

I think you get the point by now, so I won't go into any more details.

Let's just say about last fall my husband had to remind me that the year started out bad, but it wasn't all a bad year.  But when I wasn't able to get back on track and being losing the weight I had gained I began to feel like the worst failure ever.

When I knew my one-year followup was coming and I still hadn't lost any weight, plus I'd had to stop running and doing any intense exercise last November due to my foot and knee injury I was even more vexed.  I planned on going back to my doctor with nicely healed scars (yes) and a nice fit, smooth body (like I had at the preop, but minus the flabby skin. ..didn't happen.)

However, *deep cleansing breath* I have had to sit and remind myself I am not a failure.

I'm a woman who has had a failure this past year, but not without some fairly good reasons behind it. It's not an excuse; it's the facts.  

The other night I was melting down because I felt like a bad example of a healthiness lady for having allowed these facts derail me for a time from my healthier living.  At the same time, a friend of mine reminded me a few weeks ago that I did care, I didn't not completely give up, because I've only gained 20 pounds back. 

And that is why I made myself write a just-the-facts post the other day about how well I've healed from my surgery.  Because when I look in the mirror I see a slightly pudgier middle than a year ago post surgery, but I need to choose to see that it's only 20-pounds and not the whole dang 70 pounds.  

So, maybe when I go to my one-year followup surgery I'll be embarrassed that I'm that slightly pudgier abdomen, but oh well.  

It is what it is.  I healed up great, I'm happy I had the surgery and it's time to move past the regret and take the emotional energy I've spent last year in sadness and turn it back into something healthful in my life. 

Tears will still come at times with regards to my mom I know;  however, my son is well on his way to healing and I have everything I need to lose this weight and get back into my new normal again.  

And until I'm completely where I'd like to be I'll continue making the choice every day to do what is best for my body instead of giving in to unhealthy choices because "I just don't care since ___ happened."  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

One Year Post Op - I Healed Great!

One year ago today I had skin removal surgery on my stomach, technically an abdominoplasty and more commonly known as a tummy tuck.  (Though I hate saying "tummy tuck" because it sounds so superficial and mine was after a long, hard journey getting healthier...not just because I didn't want to deal with a pudgy tummy, but I digress..)

Today I am going to share exactly how I feel on a physical level with regards to healing and scarring; and another day I'm going to share how I feel about this anniversary on an emotional level. 

One year later and my scars are doing just fine.  I do have some pudginess on my sides and my tummy feels "soft" due to the 20 pounds I have gained, but I still have a relatively flat stomach.  (note:  It makes my thighs and chest look bigger!! Sometimes that's good and sometimes not. lol)

Right away I was confident I had done the right thing and I have thanked my husband many times over the last year for financing this surgery.  Prior to my surgery I had maintained a 70-pound weight loss for over a year and the only thing I disliked that I couldn't seem to get rid of was my stomach that just hung down in my pants and almost touched the floor when I did planks or the like. 

Well, it occurred to me, after watching a weight loss show, that my stomach might be more of a skin issue than a weight issue and a consultation with the doctor confirmed that.   I was delighted and after my husband returned from a deployment we went ahead with it. 

I had no complications whatsoever and everything healed up just as it should.  Next week I go in for my one-year followup and I know he won't find anything wrong.  It was a long slow process of healing, but I was well prepared for what was coming, followed my doctor's orders and I healed just fine.  

Having the excess skin removed from my abdomen was like a dream come true for me.

If surgery would never have been feasible for me I would have been able to be content without it.  However, having surgery was like the proverbial icing on the cake of my weight loss success and I feel tremendously blessed to have had it done.  

One thing I have really enjoyed over the last year is wearing dresses without a full body girdle to keep things smooth.   And when I tried on an empire-waist dress and it didn't look like a maternity dress due to my little pudgy belly I was thrilled.  

I will try and post pictures by the end of the week.  I was supposed to have my daughter take some, but got I got distracted that day and forgot.  Photo proof is always nice for me, a visual learner, so I will not leave you hanging either.  :)

Have a good day! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Water With Dinner

It's a small thing really, but something I must share.

A short time ago I found myself thinking, "I used to feel fit, strong and healthy, but look at me now. " and I almost started thinking I'm never going to get back to that lady I had become as of only a year ago and who was I thinking to think I'd be a fit woman.

I was never that lady before, so who was I to think it was going to stick.

Before you worry too much, I tell you honestly I nipped that line of thinking in the bud as soon as it entered my mind.

Nope.  I am not going back to that way of thinking, nor to the life of an overweight, unhealthy person.

I may feel fatter with these extra 20 pounds back on, but I am not giving in to the "I was never meant to be thin." mentality that so many revert to after a moment (or moments) of frustration.

I refuse to give in to that, so I didn't allow my mind to dwell on those negative thoughts of self doubt.

Instead, at the next meal when I had run out of Diet Pepsi (on purpose, because I was drinking too much of it at home) I had water with my dinner.  It felt right.

I may not feel back to my old, healthier self just yet, but I will.

Something as small as drinking water with my dinner reminded me I can get back to the old-new Leah who didn't mind making healthier choices.  She kind of got lost among the upsetting year of 2014, but she is not dead. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Nuun Year: No Limits Challenge

Well, it's official.  I have signed up for the AMR 13.1 Challenge - Nuun Year: No Limits. 

The $100 has been paid and today I've announced it on social media and my blog. 

No turning back now.  :)

I thought about doing the 10K challenge just to make my 10K nice and strong, but I really wanted to do a half marathon this spring.  So, I figured this was a good way to get some awesome training and get that race done.  I know I can run 10K; 13.1 miles is a little more work.

This will be my second half marathon and the only reason I'm a little nervous is the niggling knee pain.  However, I talked it over with my husband last week and made the decision to go for it.  It is a challenge after all, which means it will be work.  My pain has never gone above a 2 on a scale of 1-10, so it's not like I'm facing knee surgery.  Since I don't plan on facing knee surgery I will take care of it. 

This challenge offers a sweet looking swag bag at the beginning of the training full of all kinds of goodies to help us along on our training.  Plus, there is a special challenge group set up on Training Peaks and Strava and regular emails from a running coach with hints and tip and to answer questions over the 15-week plan.  

Towards the end of the training a t-shirt and medal will be sent out, just in time to wear the shirt to my race and wear the medal afterwards.  :)

You can read all about the challenge by clicking here.  If anyone decides to join this challenge let me know.  I'd love to find out a fellow blogger is doing the same challenge.  

You can also look me up on Strava as MyNewEnding and I believe by the same on Training Peaks.  I've never used anything other than my Garmin and Map My Run for my running, so I have some to learn about those two apps being used during this plan.  

I'll be posting weekly updates about how the training is going.  The race I hope to run is on May 16th and I'll post when I've officially signed up.  

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by and have a good weekend!  I'm hoping for some good weather so I can get out for a run tomorrow while my teens watch this little miss we've been babysitting.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Feeling Much Better

It's amazing what prescription medications can do for a body.  I don't know if it's the antibiotic, the Tessalon pearle prescription cough medicine, the Delsym, the allergy medicine or the combination of everything, but I started sleeping better after just one day of taking all of the above.  

Glory!

I don't get sick often, but when I do it seems to hit hard, so I'm grateful to finally be on the mend.  We didn't have insurance for years while my husband was in school, so I don't think to go to the doctor when I can't shake something.  This time I was reminded that sometimes they know about the little something extra we can benefit from to heal.  

I'm grateful. 

This week we are babysitting a friend's three-year-old little girl while they are out of town.  So, I have not made it back to the gym.  Honestly, I haven't even exercised at home.  My foot and knee are feeling better, but still niggling a bit.  I had planned on getting on the elliptical or bike now that I'm feeling better, but it will have to wait until next week. 

Today I think I will make myself get a Jillian dvd done.  I do have time for that and I need to do what exercise I can instead of putting it off until ____ is over.  Sickness is a good reason, a very well-behaved little girl is not.  So, I shall make myself do it.  

As I've had more time post holidays and been recuperating from this cold I've been perusing health blogs again.  I find such encouragement in reading about you all who continue to fight the fight all these years.  Thanks guys! 

Have a good day!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cough, But No Flu - Yay!

*cough* hack*hack* [properly covering mouth]

"Excuse me, I don't have a fever and the mucous is clear, so I don't think I have the flu, but this darn cold won't go away. "

I've repeated that sentence a few times this week when coughing fits interrupt my daily affairs.  

Today I finally decided to go to the doctor and I'm happy to say I do not have the flu, but I do need some antibiotics and OTCs to help clear up this crud.  

YAY ... no flu!   
Yay ... stronger cough medicine that will hopefully allow me to sleep through the night again!!  
Yay .. insurance and money to buy more medicines!  
Yay ... no one else is sick in my house!  
and Yay ... I have nothing pressing that the cold is keeping me from at the moment!

The only thing it is possibly "keeping" me from is exercise.  However, since I'm still letting my knee and foot recover I decided I could use the extra rest and I've let the running and intense exercise go to the side for the week. 

And I'm okay with that.  I've been careful about my eating and I know I'll get back to all of that when my body is in better working order. 

In fact, yesterday, today and tomorrow I've been participating in an online Photoshop course to better my digital scrapbooking skills and it has been very nice -- a break from my regular routine.  

We have seen some drastically low temperatures this week, but beautiful sunny days.  It's a lovely start to my 2015 and I have no complaints... Well, except the cough, but it's going to heal quickly.  

Thanks for stopping by!  I'm going back to Photoshop now...

Friday, January 2, 2015

Going Ahead with 2015

Quite honestly, I was scared to set any goals for myself this year.  Last year I had a plan and before the first month of the year was over with all my plans went to the wayside.  It may sound crazy, but I seriously was nervous to commit to anything this year for fear of feeling like a failure.  

However, I also have had this nagging feeling the past few days/weeks that I didn't want to quit.  I didn't want to live in fear of something negative happening and thus not put myself out there to try and complete some things that have been on my mind.  

So, when I saw the ladies at Another Mother Runner came up with this neat 2015 Goals sheet I thought it was perfect.  A neat place I could gather my thoughts and plans and then print it out and put it on my dresser mirror (like always) and remind myself of what I'm working towards.  


The photo on this sheet is me the day before my half marathon in September 2013 -- when  I felt my best.  It's my inspirational photo for this year. :)  

Also, you'll note a comment about a summer move....yes, we know for sure we are moving this summer to another state.  My husband's Navy orders are up this summer and we've made the decision to get out of the Navy and settle back in Oklahoma, where he went to dental school.  This is a huge decision for our family that involves him getting into practice in the civilian world.  We are all very excited about this move, but it means some major changes ahead for my family and I.  :)

As always, thanks for checking in.  Once again, I'm encouraged that it's not over folks.  I may have had some setbacks in 2014, but I will press on this year, because I'm never giving up on my healthy lifestyle.