Wednesday, January 7, 2009

MY physical odessy

I have always been a big girl. The ONLY time I wasn't the "big" girl was in utero, and perhaps at birth. Oddly enough I was my Mom's smallest baby at 6 lbs. something oz. But, I made up for it with reckless abandon from there on out. I was solid muscle, but A LOT of it. I spent my growing up life feeling like the fatty freak. I remember EXACTLY how much I weighed from 4th grade on, because it's impossible to forget that number when you're in the nurses office, in front of your whole class doing class weights and they yell out your number. When you're in 4th grade and you weigh 98 lbs. and everyone else weighs in the 60's and 70's, you feel a bit freakish. To be fair, I was also a good 4 inches taller than most of them, but that doesn't help. In fifth grade when I was 5'3" and weighed 113 lbs. mean Ben called me a 113 lb. elephant the ENTIRE year. Of course, that isn't all that overweight, except that when you have a fifth grader body that hasn't redistributed the fat and become "womanly" yet, it IS big. I went on a diet that summer, and I grew an inch, and I remember being 114 lbs. and 5' 4" in 6th grade (clearly i gained weight between the 5th grade weigh in and the summer). By 8th grade I was 5'81/2" and weighed 184 lbs. So yeah, I was BIG. Thankfully I wasn't rolly, just BIG! But again, when all your friends are skinny, 3 inches shorter than you and have boyfriends, you tend to get some issues. I did every diet there ever was....Overeaters Anonymous, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig (loved it), Diet Center (loathed it), Herballife, slim fast, grapefruit, salad, whatever. The problem is, I LOVE food. I have this ridiculous "need" to have something in my mouth. I remember sneaking food allllll the time as a kid. My Mom was thin, she NEVER had crap in the house. We never even were allowed to have sugar cereal. So, exactly what I was sneaking and how much I got, I don't remember. But, I did sneak, and I did eat and I did get fatter. In the midst of being a fluffly girl, I was also a kick A swimmer. Every summer we did swim team and in spite of the fact that I was hefty with huge boobs, I was pretty dang good. I made it to championships every year. So, during the summer I would maintain, or lose a little weight and then during the school year, I'd gain up another size or 2 in clothes. My poor Mom, it was so traumatical for her. I even swam Varsity at Westwood, but quit after my Jr. year 'cause I hated messing my hair up every day, and it was getting more embarassing to wear a suit. So, the years went by, more diets, more weight gains came and went. I managed to still have a healthy amount of self confidence, thanks to a great family and friends. I also managed to get married, in spite of my ever growing girth. But, the weight just kept piling on, and it was truly getting out of control. Like I said, in spite of being very large, I was always active and able to move and do so much. Until.........I hit the wall. I became this:

Puffy, bloated, swollen, tired, aching, sore, miserable! When I look at "this girl" I don't even recognize her. Except that I Know it's me because I still have that outfit hanging in the back of my closet as a reminder) I'm sad for her, because I know the excruciating pain she was in EVERY single day. Walking from the door to teh car, grocery shopping, sleeping, wiping my booty had all become next to impossible to accomplish. It literally felt like I woke up one day and suddenly couldn't function anymore. I could never stop sweating. My sleep apnea was so bad that I would literally fall asleep like a narcoleptic ANYTIME I sat down. I fell asleep driving, teaching lessons, talking to friends, you name it. It was awful. I distinctly remember 2 weeks before I had surgery. Our friend was having a birthday and she rented a suite at The Point. Everyone wanted to go swimming, so we headed for the pool. It was NOT far from the room, but I literally thought I was gonna die just trying to walk to it. I had to stop, my hips were screaming in pain. I somehow made it to the pool and pretty much just collapsed. I wasn't living, I was barely existing. No ONE should have to feel that way. And then a miracle happened. I was given the GREATEST gift anyone could get. I got to have gastric bypass. People may have their differing opinions on it, but I am telling you, it was THE BEST thing I have ever done. I would do it again tomorrow. I was extremely blessed, I never had one sick day. I've never barfed from it. I think my surgeon was too brilliant, 'cause the only food that has ever bothered me is milk or ice cream. But, it was a fascinating process of losing the weight. And just over a year and 1/2 later, I looked like this:

This picture was taken in December, a couple of weeks after we learned I was pregnant with Maggie. It's the ONLY picture I know of that shows me at my smallest. I had lost 200 lbs. at this point, and I still wanted to lose 50 more. That would put me at my goal, however by others standards, I should have lost 70 or 80 more from this pic. But, that's not the point....the point is...I have NEVER felt better than I did here. I felt like I could hike mountains, run marathons, swim oceans. I felt sassy, I loved to wear clothes, shop, etc. And, by the worlds standards I was still fat. I still wore a size 18, but I felt, and frankly think I looked "skinny." It's all relative right? Without gastric and this weightloss, I would never have been able to have my 2 beautiful children. I would not be experiencing life. I had found that I LOVED to work out, I loved to exercise and it felt good. Then, I had 2 babies in 2 years and ummmm, it takes a toll on your bod. I now look like this:

My fat found my ass again. I swear I gained 90% of my weight in my butt, thighs and hips. You get stretched and the fat redistributes, and well, it's not pretty. Essentially, between the 2 pregnancies, I gained 105 lbs. and have lost 50 lbs. So, right now I need to lose 50 to be where I was when I got pregnant with Maggie. That seems attainable. It makes me sad that I have that much to lose, but at the same time, at least it's not 150. Right now, I'm looking at it as, I have 20 to lose to get back to where I was before Max. I can DO 20. Then, I get to tell myself, I only have 30 lbs. to lose. What is my point in posting these pics and talking about this? Well, as you may know, I've signed up to do a triatholon. It's ridiculous and scary, and it's EXACTLY what I need to do to lose those 50 lbs. It's what I need to do to be held accountable, to get back in the swing of working out and feeling good. I'm telling you/showing you, so you can all help me be accountable to make it to the end here. My body has begun to hurt in ways it did when I was heavier. I feel like I've become too sedintary, and that is not cool. I CAN NOT, WILL NOT EVER go back to that girl in the top picture. I want to see my children grow up, I want to be a good example to them, I want to prove that you can lose weight and keep it off. Weight SUCKS! I mean really, it just pisses me off that this has to be a lifelong, DAILY battle for all of us. The fact that you can't ever let up is just really irritating, but ok, I get it. You really CAN'T eat 8 cookies at a time or a bag of M&M's and expect to get or stay thin. Whatev.

This week I began my training and you know feels good. Well ok, sitting on those stupid stationary bikes does NOT feel good. My butt has NOT been a fan, but knowing that I'm doing something, burning calories, toning fat, WORKING toward something, THAT feels good. This morning I jumped in the pool at the YMCA and swam. I haven't been in a real 25 meter pool in 20 years. I have done some laps here and there in my parents pool, but that just is not the same. So, at 5:30 this morning, in the freezing A cold, I jumped in and I started swimming. And guess what...I swam 40 laps. FORTY laps with not that much resting. That is a 1000 yards. The triatholon requires an 800 swim. So, I did 300 straight, then rested for a minute, then another 300, rest. Then, I asked Dixie to race me, 'cause I wanted to see how badly she'd beat me, and have something to gauge my success with in the end, when I kick her skinny butt in a race. Ok, probably won't happen, but I know I'll stay closer. I didn't lose THAT badly, I was proud. So, we did 2 races, and then I did a 150 cool down. Yea me! I'm so excited. Now, don't worry if there are no updates tomorrow, as my arms may just have ceased to function for a while. It's all good! Three days down 120 to go.
Thanks in advance for being a part of my physical odessy (totally borrowed from brother Erics blog) and helping me along the way. Can't wait to take a pic in the end and show how much smaller my butt is. Well ok, perhaps someone could cough up the 10 grand for my tummy tuck, butt lift....any takers? hahahaha

Goggles and baby bears,


ZippityDoDaw said...

Allyson you ROCK! That was some serious swimming, wow! I have my work cut out for me swimming today to keep up with you!!! I still have 3 for 3 on days off soda, no easy feat! Thanks for the encouragement.

It is not fair that you made such excellent success and then had to gain weight with 2 kids, but such is the pregnant life. How amazing that you became Mrs. Fertile! What beautiful kids. You will see excellent results.

We are doing it. Have the plan and work it! Go Allyson, it's your birthday!

Greg and Tammy said...

Thanks for the amazing post Allyson. You are really an incredible woman and I am so impressed with your triathalon training. You GO GIRL!!! You keep it up. I've got 40 to lose... so we'll be in this together, OK?

Court & Julie and kids said...

Oh Great! Just when I think I am getting close to attaining your greatness you have to throw this out there!

When is the official event? I want to come cheer your soon to be reduced size "a" over the finish line!

jen said...

I wouldn't even have known that was you in the pink pictures. I remember when I met you that you seemed so miserable when you moved, but I had forgotten. What an inspiration you are. If anyone can do it, it's you. Good grief! I'm surprised it's 50 pounds, I would have thought less than 40. Wish I could be involved in the race, but now that I know what an awesome swimmer you are, and what a horrible swimmer I am, I'll have to rely on the ole injury excuse. Actually, if I could, YOU KNOW I'D BE THERE.
ps I thought you meant me when I started reading your last post, and I thought it was weird to have a post for me, ah narcissistic girl. How could I forget have the world our age is named Jenny!

Sarah S. Foote said...

Allyson I am so proud of you girls! I personally am such a wimpy about fitness.
I love that you shared your whole story. I am amazed by how closely it resembled mine.
Might I add to your self esteem quota: you also have a voice like an angel and mad piano skills growing up.

I personally hate that weight is a battle for some of us more then others. At least we are in good company w/ Oprah.
You so inspire me! After bashing on Triathlons earlier this week (on by blog). I think I've had a bit of a change of heart. Between going to the gym w/ Wendy & your story....
I'm going soft. If only the water in Tempe Town Lake wasn't so yucky!
Love you!

Erika Gunn said...

Rock it, girl!

LanaBanana said...

I guess it's the pregnancy hormones because I was tearing up like crazy when I read that post. It was really cool and inspirational. I love that it has come so far--the weight loss, the babies...everything. The "after" pictures still great, both of them. Thanks, in part, to some great hair. :) You do look fantastic still and I'm excited to see how you'll transform after Dixie's wicked boot camp. WELL DONE on the swimming this morning. Seriously. Wow. :) Thanks for such a great post. I love you a million and I'm so happy that you're not trapped up inside the feelings of the first girl anymore. Here Here Erika, Rock it Girl!

Nikki said...

You are amazing and you are beautiful and have a beautiful family. All you girls doing this is such an inspiration. Good luck, you can do it.

Sabrina Bodine said...

You go girl!!!!!! I have to say despite your weight... You have always dressed awesome. I know I've told you that before. I miss you!

Andrea said...

I am so excited for you to do this triathlon! What a wonderful goal and accomplishment when you are done. I look forward to following your success story along the way.

P.S. I totally forgot that you were quite the swimmer. I don't think I ever realized that you swam varsity for Westwood. Didn't you just love the feeling of racing again?

Mel said...

I think you look great friend. I can so relate to much of this post. I can't wait to see you feel like the woman I see when I look at you. Love you.

Andersonland said... I am totally bawling right now. You and I were the same girl growing up. I was the same, tallest, biggest, first to have boobs and whatnot as a I became neurotic because of it.

And I have to say too, that I wish I had your courage to do a triatholon....I am just still trying to find the time to excercise, hehehaaaa...whhaaa! I hate that it's cold here right now, otherwise I'd be outside moving around, but alas...

Anyway...I wish you all the sucess in the world as you kick Dix's butt..haha!

Erock! said...

Until you see the picture it's hard to remember how "FLUFFY" you were, and how different you look now. Amazing. I am thrilled that you are on the Odessy. Great tale!

The Maxsons said...

allyson, you are amazing! I am just now seeing this post and I am so glad you posted it. I am in awe that you would train for a triatholon, never in a MILLION years do I even want to think about one, and I really do love to excersise! You'll be incredible. Love ya!