Get Smart and Get Strong is the blog of The Project Manager. On these pages I write about my journey from super morbid obesity and a size 28/3x clothing size to a size 12 and shrinking. I will publish my journal that I kept the first year of my lifestyle change when I joined Weight Watchers, started exercising, eating right, journaling and therapy with my weight loss counselor. I’ll write about my gastric bypass surgery Roux-en-Y (RNY) and the other tools that I’ve put together to battle, and finally conquer, my biggest foe – myself.
Two years ago I weighed 321 pounds. For an intelligent person, that wasn’t very smart. So I made the decision to change my life and get strong.
I am “The Project Manager”: I have worked in technology related roles for over 25 years. As a PMI certified Project Management Professional (PMP) I have a lot of skills that I like to think of as my super powers.
My super powers: I know how to research, organize information, put together teams to build solutions, and then plan and implement those solutions. I’ve been doing that for over twenty years for others, now I’m finally using my powers for good for myself.
Writing my way out of the drive-thru: one of the tools I’ve used to keep myself focused has been writing. I write down my dreams, goals, plans, problems, solutions, ideas and things that inspire and motivate me. A lot of what I write about will be my road to weight loss surgery and my life long battle with maintaining that loss.
Weight Loss Surgery: WLS scared the hell out of me. It scared me before I did it and the fear of gaining back the weight I’ve lost continues to scare me everyday. I didn’t have my intestines rerouted just to temporarily lose the weight. I will not gain it back. But fear is good – as Nancy Kress said “Fear is the ancient word for respect”. I have to respect the fat girl inside me. She’s strong and she’s had 47 years to learn a lot of good tricks. The thin woman on the outside is a piker – a relative newcomer to the battle. So I need a good plan.
My Battle Plan: I’ve been overweight since I was 11 years old. I’ve tried diets. There will likely be some posts here on the various diets I’ve tried, because frankly, I think I’ve tried them all. As soon as I stopped (or sooner on some of them!) I gained it all back and then some. I’ve tried exercising and that works – until you stop. I’ve tried hypnosis and therapy and weight watchers and support groups and I’ve even gone to a fat farm. But what I never really tried was all of them at once, with the conscious decision that whatever I’m doing, I’m doing forever.
BariatricEating.com: I bought a few books and one of them was Susan Maria’s Before and After Weight Loss Surgery. She really spoke to me – her love of food and life and how she incorporated that into her new post-WLS lifestyle. I visited the board and have become a regular visitor and poster. Some of what I post here were thoughts that started at BE. I need that support and the knowledge that I can go there anytime of the day and read, write and learn.
Weight Watchers: I joined WW because my doctor suggested it. I’m glad he did. I’ve learned so much at WW and when I feel scared about gaining my weight back, I know that one of the tools in my arsenal is WW and the accountability that the weekly meetings brings to my struggle. I think that Weight Watchers and Weight Loss Surgery belong together for super morbidly obese people. We didn’t get to be MO because we had great habits and knew how to do everything. So having WLS is just one of many steps.
Exercise: I know that you can lose weight after WLS without exercising. But I know from experience that you can’t keep losing and you can’t get to your goal without it. Plus, there is no way in hell you’re going to keep it off without exercising. (And did I mention the flabbiness – I’ll get to that later!) So suck it up and do it. It doesn’t have to be boot camp with the big boys. It can be a walk or a swim or ski jumping on Wii fit. Lots of posts on going from the couch to my first triathlon – coming up in June.
My Family: my husband is wonderful. He loves, respects and supports me so much and makes it possible for me to do all that I do. He is also capable of annoying the crap out of me, so I suspect that some of my blogs will be venting about the most wonderful, patient, intelligent and caring man I’ve ever met. My son is terrific. I’m so lucky and so proud. He’s home-schooled by my husband and together they have great adventures in learning that my husband journals and I’ll probably steal so I can share them here as well.