Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How do I do it?

(** Disclaimer- In no way do I intend to change your religious views with this blog. My faith is just part of me and to be entirely honest and to make you a part of my journey I must share some of my believes with you**).

I believe in the healing power of God. I believe prayers are answered and I believe I am stronger because of Him.

Those who know me, know that I have been living in constant, sometimes agonizing, pain for a while. I have to take meds to survive my day and especially my nights. I limp and running or jumping it's just impossible for me. People ask me if I exercise. Yes, as much as I can. I go for long walks with my husband 3 times a week. I do upper body with my 5 lbs weights at home and I do abs. When we go for those walks I push myself to such limit, I can barely get out of the car when we get home, going up the stairs in my house is a nightmare, I am usually unable to sleep and I am complaining all day the next day. Yes, that's my life and yet I have been able to loose all those -65 lbs (isn't that a bit miraculous?).

As you've read on my blog, I can't carry my son for more than a minute, let alone run or do much with him. I love to dance, but haven't been able for a long time (I may be able to dance on the same spot but not go crazy and shaking my tail feathers, as I like too).

Yesterday, I decided I was NOT going to take my meds. (Shhhh, don't tell my husband!!) I wanted to have FAITH... I wanted to believe He has listened to all my prayers and all your prayers. I wanted to know if through my faith I can feel better! Maybe not a 100%.. believe me I'll even take 30% less of the pain!

As you read on the blog and Facebook page I had gone out to Old Navy to buy my first size 18 jeans few days ago. Well, I had to go back yesterday to exchange them for a size 16!!!! (You need to know this before you continue reading. I have not shopped in a regular store in YEARS. I have bought everything online. Why? fear to be seen, not being able to stand for a long time, and I the anxiety of not finding my size).  So, as I am browsing for the jeans and some blouses I noticed I was able to bend down without any pain (don't ask me why the bigger sizes are always at the bottom of the shelves!!!).  I said to myself  "Hmm, can I do more than this?), As soon as I got home my son (who is amazingly attached to mommy) wanted to play! Usually our playtime consists of me putting music and telling him "baila" (dance) and I sit down holding his hands as he dances. I usually crawl on the floor and make funny noises. That's about it!

Well, yesterday I just had enough!! I put some Salsa music on, grabbed his hands and said "baila con mama". His face lit up!!!! He started dancing and went CRAZY!!! Then I started chasing him around the living room, tackled him, kissed and hugged him every time we bumped against each other. I danced with him in my arms, I rolled around the entire living room floor with him and he laughed SO MUCH!!!! My husband was sitting on the floor staring at us with a huge smile on his face. I just wish you could have seen his expression.  He was AMAZED! Mommy and RD were playing and sweating!!! Our baby boy was so happy. I couldn't believe it myself.

If I showed you what my X-rays look like, how deformed my hips are and how badly damaged my lower back is, you wouldn't believe I was able to do all that last night.

I bet your next question is: Were you able to sleep last night? The answer is: I slept like a baby :)
If you ask, How are you feeling today? I feel a bit of pinching and pressure on my left hip, yet is not even 1/4 of the pain I usually have.

Was this a free pass for one day? I don't know.  What I can tell you is this: I am not taking my meds today either. I believe God's power is greater that any medication out there. I am not saying that if I need them tomorrow I won't take them, of course I will. But I also need to give the Big Man the space to show me His greatness.

As I told you in the first blog. I will have my good days and I will have my bad days. I will share my entire journey with you in the hopes that something I write may be helpful to you. By no means do I think I am perfect! Actually, I will tell you a little secret. As much as I like to share my new pictures and get compliments, I find myself being overly critical about my looks than ever.  Another secret: I had some harsh days this week. I sometimes feel that this metamorphosis is happening too fast and  I see a new person every day in the mirror and I freak out. I lashed against those who love me because, for some very weird reason, I feel out of control and I apologize immensely for such behavior.

So you see. It is not all peaches and cream! This decision is one of the toughest one I've made in my life. Trying to lose 100 lbs and keeping sane through pain, not being able to exercise properly, motherhood, upcoming surgeries, doctors that won't help, a body that keeps changing every time I see it on the mirror, not having friends or my family near me, has NOT been easy.  But it is certainly possible!!  I keep telling myself this every single day (and twice on Sundays, LOL ). I hope that it helps you as much as it has helped me:

"I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me"

Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Size, does it really matter?

When one is loosing weight it is all about numbers (especially if you are a girl). We are on top of body measurements, weight, bra size, pants size, shirt size. Knowing all this makes us feel in control of what we are doing.

I personally celebrate every time I shed a pound, every time I feel my clothes loose and especially every time I drop a pant size. That is a huge milestone for me! That's why about a week ago I posted on my Facebook account I am no longer a "plus size girl". Well, to be honest, I can still shop at plus size stores, but my size 18 is also available at "normal people" clothing stores.  I was thrilled knowing I went from a very tight size 24 pants to an 18 and from 3X shirts to now XL. I was overjoyed and wanted to share this with anyone who was willing to celebrate with me.

This same week I went in for one of my doctor's appointments. The nurse that took my vitals noticed that I was all excited about getting weighed. I asked her what was my weight the last time I was there (exactly a month before) and she gave me my numbers. I had lost 10lbs in exactly a month... I started to do my happy dance, then she asked: "are you dieting? Is that why you are so happy? and of course I told her my story from A to Z (she asked, LOL).

..... Now, allow me to do a parenthesis here. (The nurse was big. I would say she might have been heavier and bigger than me before I even started to diet at almost 280lbs. Same body type as mine. Not that there is anything wrong with that, as you know I have been big for a while).  But, what she said next, BLEW MY MIND!!!  This is how it all went down:

Nurse: Are you exercising?
Me: I go for walks and do upper body exercises. I can't really exercise much to due my condition (which I had to explain to her in detail).
Nurse: Have you considered Zumba? I started my Zumba class a month ago and I went from a size 20 to a size 16!!
Me: (absolute silence and probably my jaw dropped wide open).
Nurse: Don't worry honey, you'll make it too!!

(LOL!!!!) Ok, I felt I was in the twilight zone! First, I thought "Is it physically possible to go from a size 20 to a size 16 by only doing Zumba in only a month?". Second, I really didn't think that she could be that size. I mean, a skinny girl might not know how big is a size 16,18,20,24, but ME, Oh!! I know!!! ....And third, I thought: is not bad enough that "bigger people" are patronized by society but we are now Fat vs. Fatter????

She took me to the examining room and I sat there thinking about all this..... Why was I so offended by this? Why did I feel like I had to compete? Why did I feel like opening the door, go interrupt her if she was with another patient and telling her I was finally an 18!!!!!!? Then, I found myself making fun of her in my head and I felt so bad!! Why was my reaction towards her so NEGATIVE? (most of you know I am a Christian. This is so not the way I should be reacting)...  So, I kept quiet and took it all in. I have been doing overtime in my head thinking and thinking about this. Some one taught me the other day: Evaluate not only Why things happen but think What is the purpose behind it  ...

As I sit here this morning thinking about this girl I can tell you this: I Wish I Was Like Her!!!
Yes, you read right. I wish I could see myself the same way the nurse sees herself. BEAUTIFUL. Better than what she probably is to others. Not as a big person, size twenty-whatever, trying to get skinny. But to have the self confidence to say positive and uplifting words about my own self.  She gave me a life lesson.

So, I pass this onto you all:  Don't wait until people give you the compliment you think you deserve. Tell yourself every day how amazing YOU KNOW YOU ARE.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I <3 Me, You Should Too

After finding the courage to write my first blog I asked myself, where do I go from here? I decided that it would be nice for all of you to know: How In The World Can You Gain 100lbs???

Let me start by telling you a little story...  Amazingly, through Facebook, I reunited with a high school friend (I'll leave her name anonymous until she is ready to tell you her story) and, to my surprise, she was struggling with weight gain as well. We were on the same boat. I couldn't believe someone, close to me, could understand exactly what I was going through.

Via text messages we began to share our dirty little secrets: what we ate when "no one was looking":

Full bags of cheesy or ranch Doritos with mild cheddar cheese dip
20 chicken nuggets with a small cheeseburger on the side and a DIET COKE (of course)
My old time favorite- (4) 16oz glasses of chocolate milk made with Nestle Quick (5 spoons full) daily

... Yeah, you know... those munchies, comfort food, "gustitos".... They start as a small snack and they end up consuming every one of your thoughts. Then, you start lying to yourself- "It's only one time", "This is the last time", "I am not going to gain weight for doing this just once in a blue moon".. lies and excuses go on and on until you step on the scale and SURPRISE.... Now it's all gotten out of hand!

You may ask yourselves, were both these girls involved in unhappy marriages? Were they verbally or physically abused by their husbands? What's the reason? What's the excuse?

Well, that's the thing. we both have very supportive loving husbands. Not one of us was living in an "unhappy" marriage. What we both understood, as we decided to get healthy and take control of our lives, is that there should be no reasons, no excuses, no whys to allow oneself get this way. Your love for yourself has to be greater than your love for your significant other, greater than the love for your kids, greater than your love for FOOD.

This great friend of mine has lost over sixty-some pounds. She even texted me that she is finally 1 pound lighter than her husband. For us that is HUGE. (I am still waiting to be able to text her back the same great news about myself!!) Our husbands have joined us both. They have lost a bunch of weight as well even though they may have not been "over weight". We have been blessed with a support system that consists of family and friends... BUT we cannot depend entirely on them. This is OUR battle. This is OUR journey. This is OUR responsibility. No one else is responsible for eating or not eating that damn fried chicken but us!!! Now we know!!!

Is there anything in your life that you know is not good for you? Do you smoke to "calm your nerves" or "to go to the bathroom"? (Yeah, I used that excuse before), Do you drink excessively to "forget about your problems"?,  Do you eat "for comfort", or maybe because it "brings the family together"?   Those things we think help us get through life struggles are really killing us.  Those are the silent killers we need to get out of our lives IMMEDIATELY!!! Not because society tells you to. Not because there is a non smoking sign in a restaurant. Not because you need to save money and booze and cigarettes are too expensive.... You must do it for YOU! Because you know they are not good for YOU!

Who am I doing this for? MYSELF!! Because I love ME. Because I want to enjoy MY life next to the people that LOVE ME. Because I want to be a good example to MY son!

Put yourself first! It's so much easier when you do things for the right reasons!!!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Do I have to come clean?

**(This will be the only really long blog. I guess, that to understand my story, I need more than a few paragraphs)**

So, do I really have to come clean to start this blog???

The answer is: YES.

"Professionals" say the first step is to admit the truth. How else could I earn your trust or help others? Well, here it is....

My name is Larissa and I am fat and sick! (here is where you all say: "Hi Larissa").
I have been hiding behind my Facebook page for years (you can  post a picture from 1997 and not many will know).  But, I have decided that in order to get healthy outside, I need to start from the inside.. and get the ugly truth out there and put my mask away.

Let's talk about "FAT" first-

I have never been the skinny type. I've always had a big butt, big hips and big boobies... there, I said it! Where I come from all those curves are attractive.

While in high school and college my weigh fluctuated between 160-180 and I had my share of admirers, LOL.   But, after a horrific heart break and depression I let my self go. When I say I let my self go, I mean I let myself go eat whatever the heck I wanted!!! Food was my friend, food understood what I needed, food "never hurt me".

I will never forget the day I moved to Ft. Lauderdale and my mother picked me up at the airport. I was wearing khaki pants, beige shirt, my hair was tricolor and a huge ass! When I met my mother face to face she had tears in her eyes.  I guess she didn't agree with my 210lbs. I never realized I was big, I was blinded by fried chicken!

Those who know my mom know she was not going to allow this self destructive behavior. Immediately, she helped me get back in shape (credit to my stepfather who helped as well) and I got back to a healthy 169... I looked good!!!!

Another heartbreak, bad friends, living on my own, working and going to school and too many Wendy's and Papi's NY Pizza started to show again.

I met Ray, my VERY supportive husband, in 2004 at 180lbs. That year was the beginning of "the end"... Between 2004-2010 I gained.... wait for it...... 100lbs!!!!  In 2010, having no babies and a unhappy husband, I decided to get my butt in gear. I lost 60lbs in 5 months!!!

 I finally got to visit my mom after a few months and when she saw me I saw how proud she was. I was still "gordita" but looking good. I always look up to her approval and her eyes told me she approved ...  Then she said, " Cuidado que ahora no te pren~es" "Careful you don't get pregnant now"!!, Little did I know, Rey David was already on his way!!!

May 6, 2011 - The day RD was born I had tipped the scale - 290lbs!!!  I am 5'2. Can you imagine? Almost 300lbs in a 5'2 frame????

December 2011 - 275lbs- Considering gastric bypass.

February 2011 - 273lbs - "I've got to start somewhere".

May 6, 2012 - 257lbs - (RD's 1st birthday) Intervention Day - My stepfather, mother and husband decided enough was enough! They sat me down and told me I was never going to enjoy my son being as unhealthy as I was. I guess the key sentence was - You are killing yourself. You are going to die. Ray will eventually re-marry and Rey David will have another mom. - I got it. I joined weight watchers that following Monday.

Where am I now?

I am now weighing 213lbs. No more high blood pressure, no more high blood sugar, no more high cholesterol. Yes, I still have a long way to go. This is why I would like you all to be a part of this journey and of that next chapter of my life. The "healthy part" of my life. That moment when I get to say i did it!

Now, let's talk about "medical stuff"-

Some people battle with weight all their lives. I got a double whammy, and I not only battle with weight but also with my health.

I was diagnosed with Perthes Disease and Avascular Necrosis on both hips when I was 14 years old.  Got very little treatment back then. Now at 33, things have become REALLY complicated and I am fighting my way through the health system to find SOMEONE who is willing to perform the bilateral total hip replacement I need to enjoy a pain free life.   I have been told I will never run again. I have been told I will need at least 6 more surgeries in my lifetime.... blah blah blah, I don't like to believe any of it.  What I do believe is that GOD will take me through it all!

My insurance company and the "beep" HMO are making my life very difficult. The more I wait, the more pain, the more time I don't get to carry my son, and the more time it will take me to loose all the weight (I can't exercise much).

So this is it!!! This is my battle... this is MY road to a healthier ME and I want all of you to be a part of it. I would like you all to spread the word, share this blog, and comment whenever you feel like it. I don't know how my story, my reality and my process can help you or anyone else out there.... but if at least it helps one person know they are not alone, that is enough for me.

I am not a writer. I am not an intellectual. I am a person pouring my heart out to anyone who cares. I'll have my positive days. I'll have my meltdowns. I will be as real as this pain that runs through me is ...
One thing I can guarantee all of you  is:  I WILL CARRY, PLAY AND RUN WITH MY SON!