Monday, February 6, 2012

Getting to know me :)

My name is Michelle and I live in Minnesota!

Hi there.  I've been intending to start a blog for awhile now, and am happy to finally have some time to devote to getting it up and running.  The main focus of my blog will be healthy living - encompassing diet and exercise, trials and tribulations, successes and failures (or learning opportunities) and whatever else happens to pop up along the way.

Here's a bit of history about me.  I'm a married, 43 year old mother of three girls (7, 8 and 12), and we live up in Northern Minnesota.  I've fought a battle with food and weight ever since I was about my oldest daughter's age.  I never really appreciated my body for what it was back then - strong, mature, curvy and resilient.  All I knew was I definitely was not a scrawny little scrapper like a lot of my peers at the time - thin as a rail, able to participate in whatever sport they wanted, and of course could wear whatever the latest fashion trend was with ease - or at least this was my perception.  I can remember being in 7th grade and being weighed for gym class before our swimming unit and being mortified that I was 132 pounds - and of course they announced that out loud - so much for privacy back in the 70's.  I can remember being roughly 155 by the time I graduated from high school, and although I felt that was a bit high, I was still able to do the things I wanted to do - given the situation.  I lived with my mom until the middle of my junior year of high school.  She was clinically depressed with major anxiety issues, but refused to seek treatment.  I had finally had enough and went to live with my father who had since remarried.  It was a better situation, but not ideal.  To make this introduction short, I gained the normal "Freshman 15" and then some during college, gaining about 40 pounds total.  I jumped around from just under 200 pounds down to 145 once during a semi-successful attempt at weight loss through Weight Watchers.  During my 3 pregnancies, my weight also bounced around, but I hit an all-time high of 275 at the height of my 3rd pregnancy.  I lost some after the birth, but I just never really found my groove.  We moved to Northern Minnesota for my husband's job and it was definitely a hard transition for me.  I made many attempts at serious exercise (hired a trainer) in conjunction with Weight Watchers - but it never really clicked for me.  My last attempt with Weight Watchers was April 2009 where I weighed in at 270.  I was mortified - my husband knew I was unhappy and I just couldn't find the answer.  I lost about 5 pounds and of course just coasted along.

My turning point really started with an appointment at the Family Medicine clinic at my husband's hospital on June 1, 2009.  We have a Family Medicine doctor that also has a keen interest in bariatric medicine (not surgery).  He was in the process of getting board certified when I met him and I decided to see what his program was all about.  Basically - I had a myriad of blood tests to make sure I didn't have any big health concerns; stepped on a body composition scale to see where I was (details to follow); listened to a presentation on the nutrition information that he provided to me; and then had a short physical exam to complete the appointment.   Here's what the scale had to say:

Current Body Weight:  265.2 Lbs (120.3Kg)
Total Body Fat:  46.4% 123.5 Lbs (56.0 Kg)
Fat-Free Mass:  52.6% 137.1 Lbs (62.2 Kg)
Body Mass Index: 46
Body Fat Displacement:  Torso 54%; Left Leg 35.5%; Right Leg 33.1%; 
Left Arm 53.0%; Right Arm 51.6%

I never really took any "before" pictures for the sole purpose of seeing progress, since I was really  unsure that this attempt would be any different than the previous ones.  So, the picture above is from a trip to Disneyland in September 2009.

I'm going to split the introduction/history into a few posts as to not be too cumbersome.  More to follow :).

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