Can't Ignore This Issue, One More Pound, The Tattoo Story, and More!
This is way too long to go between blog updates. Oh my...wow. A record of sorts, that I'm certainly not happy about. I sincerely appreciate the support and understanding many of my friends have expressed during this incredibly busy time. Not only has it been busy, but I've been dealing with a medical issue that I've kept very quiet about.
The effects of sleep apnea have had a profound effect on me lately. My needs have obviously changed in regard to the settings of my old "sleep machine," and now--a restful nights sleep is hit and miss at best. I can't waste any more time and do any more damage to my internal organs before receiving proper treatment. I really thought that my sleep apnea was 100% caused by my obesity. And it's strange, because after losing the first 100 or so pounds, I was completely free to sleep---machine free, and feel completely rested every morning. But something changed. As I celebrated my freedom from this disorder and continued losing more weight, the symptoms came back. It was sometime after crossing the 200 pounds lost point, that I noticed the return of the old and familiar effects from this exhausting killer.
I'm happy to report: I'm scheduled for a sleep study on the night of December 30th. I cannot continue wishing it away or convincing myself that I can lay in a certain "symptom-free" position. The doctor said something I've been worrying about almost constantly since---He said that the return of my symptoms could have something to do with damage to my heart caused by my years of morbid obesity and the lack of oxygen as a result of sleep apnea. He almost ordered a stress test--but after listening to my heart, considering my exercise ability, and whatever else he took into consideration---He, we---decided to wait on that test. Instead--we're doing a sleep study. If you suffer from sleep apnea--trust me, it's nothing to mess around with...and in the spirit of 100% self-honesty--I've messed around with it a bunch lately. It's about time I do something positive to correctly treat the problem.
This is the worst possible time for me to feel like an exhausted wreck everyday. With my radio schedule and the manuscript weighing heavy on my plate--I must be alert and productive. I haven't been lately, at all. And my slow progress is proof.
I made my way to Stillwater to weigh-in the other day. I didn't make a big deal about it--It was just a check up for me. I've lost another pound, despite my beautiful grandmother's request that I "not lose another pound!" Sorry grandma---229 is what I weigh today.
I still have some weight/excess fat to lose and I'll naturally and gradually make my way to whatever that number will be. I also have some weight to gain---as in, with muscle--in the new weight training area of the YMCA. So really--the number isn't going to matter as much as how I feel and how my clothes fit my smaller body. If I'm fortunate enough to have excess skin removal surgery next year, that too will effect the number. But again---I can't get focused on a number, ever. It's not about that now.
I've allowed myself "extra" calories over the course of the last month---gradually increasing to about 1800 per day. Some days I do, some I don't. It just depends. I still find myself spending way too many calories on loose snacks in the kitchen at the studio. The other day, I consumed about 350 calories worth of pretzels and nuts. That's a little much. The solution?: Preparedness. I simply need to make a point of stocking the kitchen with the kind of snacks I enjoy so I'll feel good about the calorie investment I'm making.
You want to hear a very cool story?
In March, Amber and I traveled to this tattoo shop in Southern Kansas to get our very first tattoos. My "505" tattoo is obviously very important to me--and it has been a wonderful experience to have and show people---especially people that never knew me at 505. It's certainly a conversation piece. Well--now the story gets even better.
The incredibly talented tattoo artist that evening was assigned probably one of the easiest tattoos he's ever completed. "505," nothing fancy--simple block numbers, that's all I wanted--and honestly, all I needed. He was a heavy man himself--I really liked him, and he was of course, interested in the story behind the number. So I told him all about my weight loss and this blog. We had a wonderful conversation about weight loss and our experiences with losing and gaining weight over the years. I'm sure that if we had talked longer, we would have found much more in common...a bunch more, no doubt.
He completed the tattoo and we were on our way. I ran into him not long ago at a remote broadcast and he told me that he was losing weight by eating wonderfully and exercising regularly. I think he had lost about seventy-something pounds at that point. Well--now--it's time for an update:
A recent message from my tattoo artist friend: "Great news to report!!! In the last 6 months, thanks to diet and exercise, I've lost over 140lbs!!!! Feels amazing!!!!! Thanks for the inspiration my friend!!!"
He's out there being consistent in every way---he's redefining his relationship with food and he's exercising everyday. He's taking back control of his life and leaving obesity behind. Talk about choosing change!! I had to ask him the question. Will he get a special tattoo someday, inspired by his amazing weight loss? His answer:
"Yes, a tattoo is definitely in order once I hit my target weight!!! I started at 460lbs, my goal is to get down to 200lbs. Just too feel this great again totally outweighs any desire to eat "bad food"!!! I feel so alive!!!"
I love that story. Thank you, my friend for allowing me to share.
I was back in the archives tonight--reading from December 2008, when I ran across this excerpt:
I was fasting overnight in preparation for my blood work today. By the time I arrived at the doctors office it was nearly noon. Lucky for me they got what they needed on the first stick. The other day they stuck me several times to no avail. While they were at it they decided to give me an EKG. My heart rate was 59. They said between 60 and 80 is perfect. They also said it wasn't a big deal that mine was 59, in fact the EKG looked great. The blood work was going to take a couple of hours to get back from their lab. That gave me a little time to think.
“What if my numbers are bad?” I thought. I don't know how they could be, since they were pretty good to begin with. I seem to never pass up an opportunity to worry about something, even if there's no immediate reason for concern. When I made the call for the results I was very happy at what I heard. My cholesterol was in the 180's before I started losing weight, and that was good. Now my cholesterol has dropped nearly 40 points to a super nice level of 147. It's nothing more than a genetics blessing. Like I've said before, except for the last 103 days, I've done everything in my power to give me horrible cholesterol. I'm just real fortunate to have a 147. My triglycerides were 102, anything below 150 is good. My blood sugar was 99, well below the 119 limit of normal. My LDL was 96, under 130 is great. And my Vldl was 20, which is in range. I guess “in range” is good. They said everything was in range, just perfect. How crazy is that?
I told you, I've been hiding an athlete under all this fat! I had to lay down and pull my shirt up for the EKG. It gave me a perfect opportunity to ask a question I'd been real concerned about.
A month or so ago I was laying down on my bed feeling my ribs. I'd never done that before. I came across a hard bump at the base of my rib cage where the two sides meet. It was very hard, a bone no doubt, but it was sticking up a little. I immediately wondered if this was normal. So there with my shirt up laying on the table at the doctors office, I had my chance to find out. “Is this normal?” “Uh, yes, that's your sternum.” OK, wow, silly me, of course. I was hiding a sternum in there all this time, I just never could feel it, or bothered to notice. I wonder what else I'll notice as the weight continues to melt? I might end up having a tail bone, that would be cool.
By the way, the doctor I mentioned on day 2 of this blog, you know the one that brought me to tears while describing how easily I could die at over 500 pounds? She was there today. When I saw her I proclaimed, “there's the doctor that scared the heck out of me not too long ago.” She smiled and said “It worked didn't it?” Yes, it did, and it's continuing to work everyday. She was just brutally honest, and I'm thankful for that honesty and thorough description of what my insides were going through at over 500 pounds. I'll never forget her. She really made a difference in me.
Since that day---I've discovered a tail bone, a bunch of ribs, and hip bones too! I'm thrilled!!!
AOL's www.thatsfit.com has included me in an "update" story. I'm in wonderful company too. If you check out the link below--be sure to read all of them if you can---including the entries featuring my friends Jack, Lyn, and Susan!! Here's the link: http://www.thatsfit.com/2010/12/14/best-weight-loss-success-stories-of-2010/
The Ponca City News just released a wonderful write up all about me hitting my goal. The story was such an awesome blessing. A big thank you to Beverly Bryant and the PCN!! If you live outside of my local area--you can still read the article by clicking the special link below. The story is on two different pages of the below Ponca City news PDF link. The front page of section C---and then scroll down to page 3C for the rest of the story---including an extensive question and answer interview segment. Here's the link: http://www.poncacity.com/news/docs/mw/mw.pdf By the way--This PDF link will only be available for a week---so if it's after the 29th, it's probably not active.
I recently received a message from a gentleman who just started his own weight loss blog. It turns out, we have much in common. Please check out his blog if you have the time! The address: www.505point8.com That's right---he started at 505 too!!!
I sincerely wish you a warm and safe Christmas with plenty of everything you need. Peace, love, family, and friends. Thank you for reading. I've promised myself that I will not go so long again without posting something...after all--Not every post needs to be a giant post. Look for an after-Christmas post coming soon. I have four days off in a row---and I'm looking forward to every single minute. Goodnight and...
Recent picture with my youngest daughter Courtney. She's doing so well!!! Love you sweety!!!
This is a big before picture--Over 500 pounds---at Christmas 2007!!