Sunday, January 3, 2016

All The Things :: Making 2016 My Own.

August 3rd. That's the last time I shared anything here about my journey to Finding Fit. I'm constantly reminded that when I visit the blog of one of my besties and see the link to my "Boat Season" post still hangin out there all sad and abandoned...
That's a big long time people and it is certainly not boating weather anymore. 

As we've just welcomed 2016, I have to admit, I'm excited to put 2015 in the books and keep movin forward. But I want my community to take those steps forward with me.
There were a lot of ups and downs this past year, as I think a lot of us end up feeling at the end of each December.
It's just. This time, 2015 seemed to serve up a giant helping of those downs. Back in May I posted about my PIVOT to adjust my year, my attitude, my approach and my goals. Well, within a few months of that post, right about the time I last shared my kitchen follies, I felt the Lord open doors for a SIGNIFICANT pivot in my life. And I walked right on through that door, yall.

Because a lot of my closest friends are aware of this change, I'm just going cut to the chase. On Tuesday, November 24th, I had a permanent, life-altering surgery. The VSG, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, better known as the Gastric Sleeve. This is a laparoscopic procedure where they permanently remove up to 80% of your stomach, without rerouting any intestines or messing with digestion or nutrient absorption, leaving a small 2-4 ounce pouch or "sleeve" shaped stomach.

So if you've been following my journey or read my story here, you may be asking why? Why now? How did we get here?
Friend, that is a GREAT question.

I've thought for the past month how I wanted to go about sharing this part of my fitness journey, so while not being prepared to share with the interwebs, I started journaling. Yes. Like old school. Pen to Paper. Journaling. Perhaps not-so-ironically, I had this beauty of a journal I'd been waiting for the perfect topic to fill its pages with. And THIS was it. All The Things.
So at the risk of being long-winded, which let's face it, is pretty much always my game, I'm going to share exerts from this journal. The hope is to communicate why and how I got to this point...and also why I'm so excited about moving forward into 2016.
I guess it all started when my oldest sister, Jen, called me back in August and told me she decided to have gastric sleeve surgery. I was somehow not surprised. She poured over all the details of her research, accumulated documents, her Q&A sessions and the many people she called for reference points. I had no question. This was the right thing for her to do; and, for the first time, I thought it may be the right thing for me. Jen emailed me a bunch of her documents she had organized all her research into. Well, they may as well have been medical research documents. Charts, graphs, comparative data of percentages and complications all leading any reasonable person to the sleeve making the most sense.
Suddenly, I was obsessed with researching all the weight loss surgeries out there and anyone and everyone's results and experiences. It started to consume my thoughts. The idea of something being able to step in and help me for sure actually get to that light at the end of the tunnel I've been chasing for 5 years...errr...27 years. How could that not appeal to me??
Of course, I had thought of surgery options before but was just never at that point...I even had a conversation with the ole roomie at one point. I value her opinion on all of my health journey so much, and at that time, we both knew there was more for me to try do on my own. Becca said "what if you did everything you know to do and can already do for a year straight?" and that seemed ideal to both of us at the time. We both knew that I could take off what I had regained, and break through that stupid plateau. But would it be enough? I mean, I had taken off 130 pounds on my own so why couldn't I do the rest on my own? There was still a genetically slow metabolism and a body carrying a steady number of fat cells guaranteed to fight me and my efforts. So what would it take? Would it take another 5 years?
More than a year after that conversation with Becca, this idea of permanent alteration was coming up again. In the past my pride could only fathom following through with this whole "Finding Fit" on my own. My. Own.
But this time was different.

When I started pouring over all the research and talking more with my sister, I realized I was so exhausted and broken down.
The past 5 years of fighting my weight had been some of the sweetest victories and some of the hardest heart breaks. And I was just tired.

I had been doing what I needed to do. I was seeing results but I was searching for my limit...
And I finally found it.

The research made sense. The push to use this as a TOOL to aid in the healthy lifestyle I was already passionate about started to grow stronger. I finally saw the surgery option as just that. A tool. Not a fix. Not a cure. Not a solution or a cop-out. A tool that my poor struggling body needed, paired with exercise and smart eating, to find consistency in results and finality in these changes and physical victories.

Conversations with a couple close friends, and again with Becca this time, confirmed that I was indeed a great candidate for this! I already love cooking and eating clean, nutritious foods, and I certainly love working out. With this in my arsenal, I could take on all the things I longed to do and achieve physically, growing in Crossfit, becoming a runner (maybe), outdoor adventures and so much more. Having gained the support and encouragement of sweet friends, I knew this was to be my next step and I set out to make it happen.
Of course once I wanted to have the surgery, I wanted it like...yesterday.
The waiting period for my surgery was drawn out with many-a insurance hoop to jump through. I guess I could only look at it as God refining me and preparing my story for this rather weighty alteration.

Wading through the two week pre-op and the Christmas Eve feeling the night before my 5:00am check-in time, and even through a very difficult recovery after, one Psalm has stood out to me:

|| Psalm 46 ||
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fail; God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fail; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

I won't pretend this has been an easy process, a simple decision, or a fix-it-all solution. However, the God of Jacob has been my ever present help and reassurance that this was indeed HIS plan for wrapping up my 2015.
Yes, there's so much more to it. Yes, I've had to make a lot of changes. No, I don't won't be drinking for the year. No, I cannot have La Croix (there's already been a mourning period). Yes, my meal is great...but the majority of it will be coming to-go with me...for 8 more meals. Yes, I'm already seeing great results. Yes, I'm so thankful to have my sister 3 months ahead of me, to walk through this together. No, it doesn't bother me to answer questions or talk about it.

YES, 2016 is going to be a record year for me.

I'm so thankful for the unending support of family and friends who have supported me through making this decision, crazy pre and post-op diets, and walking through recovery, into a whole new life.

Here's to making 2016 my own...and finally revitalizing my little piece of the blogosphere...

More to Come in Finding Fit,


  1. Excited for 2016 and new Lisa!! Love you friend!

  2. Love that we are doing this together!

  3. YES YES and YES!! So excited to watch and support you this year. You are amazing and I love you!

    Now post again :)