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We are not a number!

Last Flex Friday before hernia surgery!

Might as well Flex Friday while I can before the big scar appears in the middle of my stomach next week!

We can appreciate this day and count the blessings in spite of those who don't like you, because in the end who lives your life for you? The few who care are the few who matter. Life is precious.

Each day is precious. And even though the other #selfie pictures were more perfect, this one was the one with the #kitty photo bomb so it's the best and most perfect because even our pets don't last forever and are precious.

The surgery is finally is scheduled for next Friday. I'm so relieved to have this done before the fall semester at the end of the month. Next Monday I get a pre-op EKG and that will be part of documenting this whole adventure. I had an incredible outpouring of love and prayers on my FaceBook posts and it took nearly an hour yesterday to respond to everyone! Thank you!

I only have two weeks before the next semester starts, this is how I get to spend it.

Even though I did not feel like, at all, I did a video stepping on the scale right here in this spot for my YouTube. I talked a little about what the body weight scale can do to your mindset and why I ditched it years ago.

If you want to continue to see the short updates you are welcome to subscribe to my channel on YouTube.

In the previous day 0 video I talked about the hernia a little and why it needs to be taken care of before I can lift weights again.

Oh but funny story about scheduling the surgery. The surgeon said no EKG needed. Haha, it's pretty obvious why right? But the surgery center nurses freaked because of my age and said it must be done. Fine. It will be part of documenting this adventure.

Now you get to see how so not perfect I am. I'm not afraid of that. The video in my backyard was moments after my last picture I posted at the beginning of this post. I'll be doing these short videos and documenting what happens.

I can lose a few pounds of fat and still be healthy so I will try to eat at a deficit; just slightly as that's the way it works best. My maintenance is around 1500-1600 calories because I'm pretty small. That doesn't leave much margin of error as eating at or below 1300 makes me feel sick. I'm lucky if I can eat 1400, so I shoot for 1400-1500 and a workout as many days as possible. The other days I'll eat 1500 and try really hard not to go over 1600. You know how hard that is right? It's freakin hard. No one said it would be easy.

food temptation

Let's talk about eating disorders and disordered eating for a minute...

Diet is always the hardest part. I will still be tempted every day like everyone else. We swim against the tide! Everyone tends to feel alone in this battle, but it’s the battle of modern society. We all face this battle, the differences are mainly in how we choose to deal with stress.

Disordered eating can be defined as mild and short-term changes in eating patterns that occur in response to a stressful event, and illness, or a desire to modify the diet for health and personal appearance reasons.

The problem may be no more than a bad habit, a style of eating adapted from friends or family members, or an aspect of preparing for an event. It rarely requires in-depth professional attention, but in our hectic modern schedules it may not be obvious when disordered eating stops and an eating disorder begins.

Many eating disorders start with a simple diet. Stress and lack of appropriate coping mechanisms, dysfunctional family relationships, and drug abuse may cause dieting to eat out of control. Stress of life and circumstances may escalate the behaviors.

Eating disorders are not due to a failure of willpower or behavior. It is a real, treatable medical illness that requires complex profession intervention that must go beyond nutritional therapy.

There are so many classified eating disorders now that they have now professionally included a category called “EDNOS” Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

You are definitely NOT alone! Do not be afraid to seek professional help if you need it.

Here is any example:

Beginning behavior - finishing an ample dinner – sitting in a favorite easy chair – watching a lousy TV show – feeling bored – going to the kitchen – opening the refrigerator – eating cheesecake – feeling guilty – wanting more cheesecake – Terminal behavior.

Sometimes you need to analyze your situation and simply break the chain. Separate the link (snacking while watching TV).

Stimulus control is altering your environment. Store foods out of sight, avoid the path to the vending machine. Positive stimulus is keeping low-fat snacks on hand or placing walking shoes in a convenient visible location.

I'm not allowed to take any of my vitamins or other supplements except protein for 10 days prior to the surgery. Apparently it causes excess bleeding. Some of you asked about the procedure as most of the modern surgery is laparoscopic. In my case it will be the traditional open surgery and will include mesh for strengthening the area as well as a sewing the abdominal muscle back together (something new they added to the recent procedures).

My sweet alternatives are making things with delicious protein powder and egg whites. I make a variety of things to keep me on track, protein ice cream, protein waffles, protein pancakes, and protein custard. The pancakes are the easiest because they are just egg whites and protein powder. The ice cream is pretty easy too because it's just blended frozen fruit with almond milk and the protein powder. The strawberry protein in the picture is AMAZING with frozen strawberries and almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk. Regular milk will work too.

For more information on protein and amino acids here's a post on Animal vs Vegan protein and why BOTH are good for you!

Back to changing habits...

Cognitive restructuring can change your mindset regarding eating. Instead of using a difficult day as an excuse to overeat, substitute another pleasure or reward such as walking with a friend.

Contingency management prepares you for situations that may trigger overeating (social events) or hinder physical activity (rain or heat).

Self-monitoring is tracking foods, when, why, how you feel, which physical activities are done. This is why myfitnesspal and the monthly calendar visual is important.

So for me, along with monitoring my food intake, doing light cardio, and putting daily stars on my monthly calendar, I will monitor my weight and measurements and take pictures front, side, and back.

I could not find a tape measure for the measurements so I went to the grocery store and found one! I will make my next YouTube video about how and why measurements are important.

I'm stuck with cardio for now. Already I can't do kickboxing or running anymore because of the arthritis in my hips. I can do those if I have too, I just don't train in those sports anymore because it makes me limp around for days. See, as we age we have to roll with the punches. I never talked about that much because I just roll with it. Those of you who have followed me a long time used to see my running and kickboxing videos right? Not anymore unless it's an old video or picture and that's okay. We roll!

So let's do it. Roll, evolve, love, laugh, live life and "We are not a number!" hahaha, just like the Bob Seger song I Feel Like a Number... haha. NO, we are not numbers! We are people!

The Venus Summer Challenge ends next Monday, the same day I get my EKG pre op test. I will spend a few days digging up all the final entries from the database.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Email me when you submit your final pictures! If you don't, well I have hundreds of entries in my database and I am merely human like you...

Venus Challenge Mission: To change your body, lose fat or gain muscle or both.

Show it in before and after pictures.

Support and encourage each other in the group.

DATES: Venus Summer 2017: May 15 to August 7 I need your before pictures submitted on or before August 7th AND you also must email me letting me know the name used on the TransPhormation site. There are hundreds of entries and only a few of you will finish, so EMAIL ME so I can go get your pictures. Make sure to include your age, height, starting and ending weight, and for measurements at least your waist circumference starting and ending. Front/side/back wearing whatever you want, but it must SHOW a change. Lose and baggy clothing won't show the changes.

Hold a newspaper or the DAY CARD on the site.

Write your Age, Height, Weight, Size, Waist and anything else you want to say in a text editor. Then copy and paste it under the pictures in the caption on the site.

Join and Participate in the FB Venus Factor Workout Accountability Group. Even if you don't have the Venus Workout you are welcome.

Feel free to forward this article to any friend who wants to join the Fall 2017 Challenge:

Next up will be Venus Fall 2017: August 28 to November 20

All the FB groups are:

Nibbles Fitness

Roberta's TransPhormers

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