Well a lot has happened since my last post in 2017. First, I would like to apologize for the long hiatus. I’ll explain in detail why I took such a long break. I’ll also provide an update on my weight loss journey and reveal a new plan to reach my goals. Spoiler alert, I did not come close to reaching my goal from 2017 until now. Here’s why…
2017 was a rough year. My grandmother, who helped raise me in a lot of ways and who lived within one mile of us for over a decade, began to experience some serious health issues. My mother was the sole caretaker for her for years and things took a turn for the worst in the early part of 2017. Complications from diabetes, along with many other ailments ended my grandmother’s life journey on Memorial Day that year. I still get teary eyed as I think about it. She was 86 years young and we all miss her very much. We look forward to seeing her again in Paradise (Luke 23:43) when Jesus calls her name in the resurrection (John 5:28,29, Revelation 21:3,4). Until then, I find comfort in this time for her to rest peacefully with no pain.
This loss was extremely hard for my mother to deal with and I had to be a strong support for her as she grieved and worked through her anxiety and depression. Needless to say, all of that grief threw my weight loss plans to the side. I ate whatever I needed to be comforted as I worked through my own grief with God’s help (2 Corinthians 1:3,4) .
I thought 2018 would be the fresh new start I needed to get back on track. However, that year was worse than 2017. It was as if the Devil was trying to take me out with one thing after another. First, in January of 2018 my brother dislocated both of his knees (don’t ask how that happened) and I had to take several weeks off of work to take care of him. I honestly tried to keep exercising but I just didn’t have it in me. My brother was in so much pain and discomfort after the surgery on both knees that I got a workout just trying to get him to the bathroom. It was quite an ordeal physically and emotionally and it took a lot of prayer to get through it (1 Peter 5:7). I was also monitoring him to ensure he didn’t get addicted to the opioids that were prescribed. Thankfully, he was able to deal with the pain so he only took them as needed. As he began to heal he took them less and less and finally stopped them all together.
The next ordeal was taking care of my husband. I noticed in February/March he started vomiting after every meal, even sometimes after drinking a soda or water. He didn’t have any fever, trauma or any other symptoms. After begging him to go to the doctor, I finally found a specialist and scheduled the appointment myself. It turns out he had a mild form of Achalasia which is a rare disorder of the Esophogus. Basically, a pocket formed in his Esophogus that made eating food feel like it was draining slowly into his stomach instead of going down normally. This pocket would expand as he ate and force food to come up. He had to have a Heller Myotomy. This surgical procedure is designed to improve this condition but it includes several side effects and is not a guaranteed cure as there currently is no permanent cure for this condition. After 6 hours of surgery my husband came out okay thank Jehovah.
His recovery required a liquid diet for 2 weeks and soft foods for another week or two. After a month he was allowed to eat normally. My husband was already thin and stuck to a vegan diet. After those 2 weeks of liquids (soups and smoothies) he lost 20 pounds and some muscle mass. Since then, he’s gained some back but not much and he still vomits here and there. I’m still monitoring him but I’m just grateful he’s alive and functioning well. You would think that I would have lost some weight during this time. However, the stress of his surgery, his mother coming to visit to help me take care of him and preparing liquid meals while still working full-time caused me to eat more and exercise was non-existent to say the least.
Work was absolutely crazy at this time and I was studying diligently to acquire a certification that was hard for many people to attain. Some coworkers were studying for years to take this test and were too scared to schedule their exam. I was studying for 3 months and took the plunge. With everything going on I failed the exam by 1 point the first time. I was determined to get this certification by the end of the year so I took some time to regroup and prepare to try again. The exam stipulates that if you fail you have to wait 3 months to retest. I studied day and night for the entire 3 months. Thankfully, I past the exam the second time around. In addition to this exam I had to recertify as a Notary Public and this requires taking a test as well. I was able to study in a shorter amount of time and passed that exam too.
My family mostly lives in Florida and Hurricane Maria was about to hit their area. Several family member evacuated and came to stay with us for a while. My mother and mother-in-law both evacuated to a shelter. Their homes had very little damage and they got through it ok but I was so worried.
During my studying for my exams, I got some more bad news. My other grandmother (my father’s mother) was in hospice and she didn’t have much time left. I did whatever I could to support that side of the family. However, I also received a letter from our landlord stating that he wanted to renovate the home we were renting and we had 60 days to relocate. I was shocked!!!
I’m sure many of you would agree that moving is one of the hardest most frustrating tasks to complete. Trying to find a place that’s suitable, affordable and in a good location often brought me to tears. I was so stressed out during the later part of 2018 and prayed often for God’s help to manage everything going on. However, I knew that Jehovah God never allows you to be tempted beyond what you can bear and always makes a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13) so I took things one day at a time. I created what I call a “Stress Schedule”. I decided when and on what days I would stress about something. It sounds crazy, but it works. Putting your stressors down in writing along with timelines tricked my mind into obeying that schedule. If I was supposed to stress about finding a place to live from 5pm-8pm that day then that’s when I worried about it. After 8pm, I moved on to the next thing I had to do. If you try it let me know how it works for you.
We eventually found a place, moved in November 1st and met our 60 day deadline with a few weeks to spare. My other grandmother was laid to rest shortly before.
So that’s everything I’ve been dealing with. We are now nearing the end of 2019 and as I reflect on this year I’m so grateful I was able to get through all of that. My mind has calmed down from all of the previous activity and I’m focused on my weight loss journey again. I actually gained 5 pounds between 2017 to now which brings me to 170 pounds. I would like to lose 20-25 pounds in the next 6 months. I no longer have the goal of looking like a body builder. I don’t want to be super skinny. I just want to be toned, strong, and healthy.
I will be working out at least 5 days a week. This will include the following:
- 30 minutes of cardio each day
- 30 minutes of strength training 3 days a week
- 10 minute intensive ab workouts 2 days a week
- At least one HIIT workout a week. Maybe 2 if I can find the strength
I still have my Shaun T and Body Beast videos which are all apart of the BeachBody family. I’ll do those sparingly so as not to hurt myself like I’ve done in the past.
My strength training will include work with strength bands instead of free weights. I’ve hurt myself too many times by picking up or putting down weights incorrectly.
My cardio will be a mixture of my trusty spin bike, jumping rope and running/walking. It all depends on the weather and my level of motivation for the day.
I’m striving to set small goals each month and mini goals each week all of which I’ll share with all of you. My triumphs, failures and frustrations will all be recorded and I hope it can motivate and encourage at least one person.
Until next time.