Friday, July 18, 2014

After BL.

I saw this article floating around online today.

Isabeau Miller was a contestant on The Biggest Loser back in 2007.  I don't watch the show anymore, but I vaguely remember her and the season she was on.  The article brings up valid points.

Numbers 5 and 7 in particular hit home.  We don't know what kind of demons other people may be battling, so we make assumptions.  Lord knows I've been guilty of this numerous times, and I'm certainly not proud of it.  Unless you start talking to them, you'll never really know what a person's life is like.  Or what they are dealing with.

We'll have to work a lot harder at maintaining our weight loss.  This one is not a surprise.  It does make sense, after all.  The metabolism for a person who's lost a lot of weight will not be the same as the metabolism for a person who's never been overweight.

Set a new goal that has nothing to do with the scale or weight loss.  YES.  I've been trying to focus more on strength and trying to perform the unassisted pull up.  The pull ups still elude me, but I know it'll take more focus and attention than I've been giving it.

On tap for this weekend are the usual cleaning house, farmer's market visit, and maybe a quick trip to the beach.  I've picked another book from the library by Gabriel Garcia Marquez called The Autumn of the Patriarch.  Sunday I'm going to my brother's house to hang out with my niece & nephew before my brother's family head out for their vacation later next week.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Plastic Surgery.

It's no secret that I want to get plastic surgery to remove the loose skin on my stomach and my inner thighs.  I've written about it, tweeted about it, talked about it with my friends in real life, etc.

Specifically, I'm going to get a full abdominoplasty and panniculectomy, and liposuction to remove the hanging loose skin on my inner thighs.  These would have to be broken down into two separate procedures, as my understanding is that the skin is stretched one way for the abdominal section, and then in the opposite way for the liposuction/skin removal for the thighs.

The procedures would also have to be performed a year apart, since that's how long it takes for skin to heal and stretch into its proper "placement" on your body.

Two different procedures, with hours under anesthesia, which amounts to double the hospital costs.   Hence, the reason why I decided to start a GoFundMe page.

The costs for these procedures (there would be at least two procedures) are astronomical.  I live in NY, and everything here in NY is more expensive than just about anywhere else in the States. So I set up this page.

My loose skin is result of a 120 pound weight loss.  I wouldn't trade having lost this weight for anything in the world.  It has improved my health, my life, my way of thinking - it has made me into the healthiest, best version of myself I have ever been.

And my loose skin is a physical badge of honor.  Believe me, I'd so much rather carry around the loose skin than another 100+ pounds of fat on me.

Can it be improved with more weight training and working out?  Yes, of course it can.  Will working out and weight training make the loose skin disappear?  No, it will not.

I want to be very clear about one thing.  My choosing to have surgery (and I will have surgery, it's just a matter of time) does not mean that I hate myself.  It does not mean that I hate my body.

I love myself.  I love my body.  I've worked damn hard mentally and physically to do so, trust me.

It's because I love myself, it's because I love my body that I'm going move forward with this.  Because I've worked my butt off, kicked, cried, practically sweated blood & tears to get to this point.  I've put in the hard work, and yes, I believe I deserve this.

If I hated myself, I'd be back at my starting weight now.  I love myself enough to know that it is ok with wanting to improve the quality of my life.  And my body. For me, that means having surgery.

Having loose skin is not great.  It is not fun.  My inner thighs have become darkly discolored because of years of rubbing together.  The skin on my midsection bounces up and down when I'm working out at Bootcamp, causing me a lot of discomfort, chafing, and rashes.  Clothes don't fit me properly because of my stomach skin.

If you don't live in my body, then you have no idea just how uncomfortable it can be.

I'm all for doing what a person can do to improve how they feel and to improve their quality of life.  If that means getting surgery, then so be it.

It's possible to love yourself and your loose skin enough to want to say goodbye to it.  Don't we all deserve to live in the healthiest possible form of our bodies?  Wanting to improve ourselves is a good thing, it's a positive thing, and we should all strive to be healthier versions of ourselves.

Now you - have you had skin removal surgery?   What was your experience like?

I'm all for hearing your opinions and your comments.  I just ask that you deliver them with tact and in a respectful manner.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Quick Update.

Shape has reached out, and we're in the process of holding discussions.

Interview scheduled for tomorrow.

I'm working on booking another plastic surgery consult soon - this time, I've gotten a recommendation.

I'm learning that it's ok to ask for help when I need it, and to seek out guidance from people who've been where I want to be.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dear Shape.

Hi there.  Remember me?  Let me refresh your memory, in case you don't.

Back in April, one of your staff (freelance writer, I’m presuming) contacted me about being featured on your website as a weight loss success story.  She even followed up with a phone interview after a few email exchanges, and told me she’d be in touch as to when I’d be featured.

I became excited.  Like, super excited.  Holy cow!  I’m going to be featured on a national website! - kind of excited.

I told my friends and family.  I blogged about it.  I couldn’t wait!

Then you guys dropped the ball, PR-wise. 

There was some major fall out for a few weeks because of the massive faux pas on your part.

There’s no need to rehash all that.  The story went viral, everyone knows what happened.

The freelancer who had contacted me initially was thrown under the bus, unceremoniously fired from her writing gig, quite unceremoniously might I add, and then...


I understand your publication and website had to clean up a major publicity disaster in the wake of your epic PR screw up, I get it.   You were too busy dealing with the aftermath and fallout to return my emails and my tweets in which I asked for an update about being featured on your site.  Your PR team had to go into overdrive to repair the damage. 

I get all that, I do.

You even did right by extending the olive branch to other weight loss bloggers.  That was a nice touch, and I applaud your publication for trying to do the right thing.     

But here’s where you have dropped the ball.  Again.           
I have heard nothing from you.  Nothing.

I just want to know what happened, what’s going on.  I’ve even reached out via email and Twitter, just wondering what’s going on. 


Have you contacted the other weight loss bloggers who were supposed to be featured?  My guess is no, you have not contacted them.  Have you forgotten about them?  Will they still be featured? Do they know what’s going on?  Again, my guess is no.  

Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.  This is one instance where I hope I am wrong.

Those stories matter.  My story matters.  At least, you thought so, because I was the one who was contacted by your publication in the first place.

Those ladies (I’m assuming they’re ladies, no hate against the dudes if male weight loss bloggers were to be featured) worked hard to get their weight off, and those success stories should be published.  People who are still working on their weight loss journeys should read about the success, the work that goes into maintaining a massive weight loss, how blogging about your journey helps in getting the weight off, how life changing that kind of physical transformation can be, and that it CAN be done.  It has been done, and hard work should be recognized.

Let your readers know about the success stories out there.  Shouldn’t they?  After all, your organization are the ones who contacted us in the first place!

Maybe reading our success stories will inspire one of your readers to embark on their own weight loss journeys.  Maybe it won’t.

But we’ll never know now, will we?  Not unless your organization decides to honor its original commitment.  I hope you do the right thing again this time.

Awaiting your response,

Kelly Espitia

Saturday, July 5, 2014

My Body is a Product of my Lifestyle.

That's what Roni said in my Fitbloggin discussion last weekend, Life After Goal.  And it was the single most important thing that I took away from Savannah.

It resonated with me, and it stuck.  In terms of maintenance, in terms of how long I've been able to maintain my weight loss and a healthy weight.

Every time I make healthy food choices, every time I choose to go to Bootcamp, or workout on my own, it is more proof that these choices are now an ingrained part of my life.  And, it's reflected in a healthy body.  My healthy body.

On the Savannah waterfront.  Please to excuse the humidity drenched hair.

My body composition has changed so much in the last two years, in the last year alone.  So while the scale has inched up, I know some of it has to do with having added more muscle tone.

Getting stronger, challenging myself physically, and not beating myself up if I have "bad" food versus "good" food have all been a part of my growth in the last two years.

I accept that it's taken hard work to get here.  I accept that my body is a result of my lifestyle.

I accept that I practice moderation, and I don't feel bad or guilty about it.  It's life, I'm living, and the less complicated I make it, the better.

One healthy, conscience decision at a time.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Fitbloggin' - My Family, My People.

I got back last night from a whirlwind trip to Savannah and I have a million thoughts swimming in my head right now.

I had a blast though, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I was with my people.  My family.   My extended network of support.

I laughed.  I hugged.  I lived in the moment.  And I shared.

I promise to post something more extended with tons and tons of pictures tomorrow.

For now, I'll leave you with these.

And the heart & sould behind it all.  She is so gracious.

Monday, June 23, 2014

In a Handbasket.

No sooner do I post last week, than I get an urgent call from my brother telling me to rush Mom to the ER because her primary care doctor diagnosed her with a hernia.

She had been fine until last Sunday night, when she started vomiting.  She couldn't hold any food down, and when she tried going to the bathroom, she strained too much, causing the hernia and blockage.  So when she made her way to the doctor, that is what was diagnosed.

Mom had surgery to repair it, but she's been in the hospital ever since because on top of everything else, her heart problems complicated matters.  Sigh.

Thank goodness for my siblings being there.  It's been a rough time, but I am hopeful she is back on the mend.  She is not home yet because she had bad chest pain yesterday.  So as of now, they were doing tests.

Oh, and to make everything golden, I went away to Boston this past weekend, and on Weds. I leave for Fitbloggin.

The timing is just awesome.  I've had these trips planned for months. I think the Universe is having way too much fun here, and it needs to cut it out.  Mom is in the best place possible for her ailments, and an aide is taking care of Dad during the day and part of the evening.

I have to remember to keep on rolling with the punches.  Life happens, but there's a support system in place (siblings) and what needs to be taken care of, is being taken care of.

That was where part of last week went.

I have pictures from my trip to Boston to visit Dani & Tori which I'll be posting before I leave.  If you follow me on Twitter & Facebook, then you've seen them already.  :-)

Trying to be positive, trying to keep my chin up.

Wrenches get thrown at you every now and then, and it is important to react accordingly, instead of being like me and trying not to freak out.

I'll update on Mom soon.  Please send her positive vibes and prayers - they're much appreciated!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Food For Thought.

So the other day, I was at work, messing around on Facebook, when I saw this article that a friend had shared.

Interesting read, in my opinion.

Here's what I took away from it.

It's got nothing to do so much with Weight Watchers or any other big weight loss company, for that matter.


That's what I got from it.  They just happened to use WW as an example.  They could've used Jenny Craig or Nutri System, etc.

When you're on a weight loss journey, especially if it takes you years & years to get your weight off, you'll find that your food choices evolve naturally over time.  I used to drink orange juice every single day.  I used to eat brown rice or whole wheat pasta every single day.  Now, I don't.

I prefer to eat whole foods in their most natural form (as natural as I can find them.)  That doesn't mean that anyone else is doing it wrong or that vegans/vegetarians/gluten-free/moderation is all wrong.

This is just what works for me. 

I don't have Celiac's but I find that if & when I do sneak gluten/grains into my food intake, my skin breaks out.  Not just tiny little pimples, I'm talking the cystic acne kind.  And those are not fun at all.

Read the article, share with me your thoughts.

P.S.  I'm not knocking Weight Watchers, I'll never do that.  Everyone's allowed to have an opinion. Weight Watchers helped me eat better, and it helped me get my weight off, and it helped me take my life back.

And it introduced me to some really great people and blends along the way.  I'll always be grateful for that alone!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Weekend Update

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending Rachel's bridal shower in nearby Douglaston.  Rachel is my Bootcamp BFF, for those of you who don't know.  It was held at Il Toscano, a lovely little restaurant, and the same restaurant where she got engaged!

The bridal shower was thrown by her twin sister Andrea, and Rachel's best friend, Kate.  Kate, I still remember how you DJed my favorite GnR album on Pandora at Andrea's party that night!  :-)

The shower was so well put together, and I had so much fun!  Old me would've had major anxiety about knowing only 2 people at this shindig, but I didn't stress over it at all.  Andrea & Kate did such a great job organizing everything and putting everything together.  Rachel looked like she was having a blast, too.  It was a lovely bridal shower, truly.

With the bride to be and her twin sister.  Rachel on the left in white, Andrea to my right.  I worke a calf length maxi dress, which of course I didn't get a full body shot of.

I wish I had taken more pictures, but the lighting inside the restaurant made it nearly impossible to take any good, blogworthy ones.  Oh well.

As I was leaving, there was a small wedding ceremony being conducted on the sidewalk right outside the restaurant!  How romantic & appropos, I thought.   The weather was beautiful, and the bride and groom looked so happy.  :-)  Wedding fever is in the air, apparently.

I met so many nice ladies there, but there is no way I'll ever be able to remember everyone's names.  I sat next to the photographer, a friend of the twins, who told me we met previously at Andrea's party in the fall, and that she reads my blog.  (Hi Jess!)

Seriously, why didn't I take more pictures?  Boo. 

Anywho, my week so far has been pretty routine, which I'm not complaining about.   Lots of Bootcamp, lots of walking, lots of putting my Fitbit to good use!

Til next time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Brain Over Binge.

I'm about 65 pages into this book so far, and I can tell you, I am just floored.

I don't know how else to describe it.  I'm feeling and thinking a whole combination of conflicting emotions all at once, and the only thing I can articulate properly is that reading this book has me feeling overwhelmed - but in a good way.

I have cried.  I have frowned.  I have been shocked. I have been more present than ever before.  I have reflected on my own weight loss and transformational journey.

I harbor no illusions that reading this book will solve all my eating and food issues, do not get me wrong.  But reading the book is certainly an awakening.  A catharsis, of sorts.

I find that I'm asking myself what or which voids in my life am I trying to fill with food?   Why am I doing that?  Why food, of all things?  I don't know the answers to those questions yet.  I wonder if they will ever be answered.  I wonder if searching for the answers to those questions is a life long process.

I know some of you have already bought the book and are in the process of reading it.  Some of you had never heard of it before.

Please read it and let me know your impressions so far.  If you've read it before, I want to know how it affected you on your journey.

P.S.  This is not a sponsored post.  I'm not getting anything in return for blogging about this book. The publishing company has never heard of me.  Ditto the author.  I am simply sharing what I think of it so far and how it is affecting me.  (Profoundly, apparently, but it's a good thing, I swear!)

Wow.  Just wow.

Thanks Sarah for the recommendation!