Archive by Author

1 year surgiversary

29 Dec

Hard to believe its been a year since I had surgery. I’m thrilled to be down between 97-110lbs, depending on when you’re measuring from. Any way you count it, it’s a whole person.

Now, as a family friend put it, with 25 lbs to go, I’m even with the rest of the world….lol. As the new year approaches and I bemoan the gain of a couple of holiday pounds, I want to get back at it, and kind of kicking myself for not killing it all in my post op year.

But still happy to have seen the following things happen this year–

I can wear normal width shoes and boots, in 1-2 sizes smaller
I feel comfortable on an airplane seat with seatbelt to spare
I got a bathrobe size S/M and granted I am sure it’s sized generously, but it fits!!
I am 5-6 sizes down.
I got my wedding ring sized down 4 sizes…and it’s still a leeeeeetle bit loose.
I am wearing clothes that have a tiny bit of style occasionally.
I can dance.
I can go up six floors (11 flights) of stairs and not die
I don’t leave a permanent dent in furniture anymore
I am not taking medications for diabetes anymore

I’ll take it all….now to see how much more I might be able to lose and then maintain.

Getting active again

8 Oct

I have not really been doing any real exercise since spring. Which is unfortunate, because I bet if I’d stuck with it I would be a lot closer to my goal weight. I have 25 lbs to go to goal weight and I would love to get that done. I could get it done in probably 3-5 months if I put my mind to it.

I have free gym access now to a pretty decent gym, personal fitness trainers and classes through my work. It’s open 24 hours a day, 6 days a week which is also nice. The big barrier? No showers! So I’ve decided I guess I am just going to go at the end of the day when I can go home afterward or go late in the evening during my witching hour when I am at loose ends and tend to want to snack if I have nothing else to do.

I am really glad the support calls through Mytinytank are starting up again too. It’s very helpful to me to get a weekly reset and focus.

A Change Anything Activity

12 Aug

here is an activity I was asked to do that I hope will help me get over the problems of snacking at night.  It is my biggest biggest danger area by FAR.

Take a minute and write down all the behaviors you do during this crucial moment that you know you shouldn’t

  • I eat sweet or salty snacks available in the house.
  • I go out and purchase sweet or salty snacks if they are not available in the house.
  • I ask family members to go out and purchase snacks for me.
  • I take the snacks upstairs to bed and play on the computer while I eat them.
  • Sometimes i don’t keep perfect track of how much of it I have eaten.

– Then next to each one, jot down why they make you feel good (or why you do them)

I eat sweet or salty snacks available in the house.

I am honestly not sure why I want to eat the snacks. I’m rarely hungry. It satisfies my sweet (or salty) tooth.  It calms me down and relaxes me.  It gives me something to do.

I go out and purchase sweet or salty snacks if they are not available in the house.

I like planning and purchasing snacks. It gives me something to do.

I ask family members to go out and purchase snacks for me.

I like it if I don’t have to go out and buy them, I can just sit and watch TV or play on the computer until they come back.  Sometimes my husband likes to get his snacks too and then we eat together.

I take the snacks upstairs to bed and play on the computer while I eat them.

Its sort of like a slumber party.  I do something I like and eat the snacks.  Sometimes my husband eats his snacks too and we watch TV together.

Successful changers find alternate activities that also make them feel good, but are more healthy such as “going for a 15 minute walk” instead of “watching TV.”

– For the last step, brainstorm a list of things that might be better alternatives. Then tonight, when you are tempted to do an unhealthy normal behavior, try a new one.

I could eat a healthier snack.

I could knit or crochet to keep myself busy.

I could go on a walk, but often its hard with all the kids to get away, and right now its really hot outside still at night.

I could blog or get on twitter and talk about it and get support.

I could read a book that will encourage me to do something different.

I could do an activity with one of my kids.

I could get something done around the house (cleaning, prep)

 

So, I have not actually DONE this yet, tried alternate behaviors.  I have in the past, but have again fallen into the trap of this behavior.  It is like a bone-deep, soul deep behavior that I don’t understand. I like to eat snacks at night.  I don’t like to do some of the things other people might say, like take a bath (not a fan) and its like there are all sorts of behaviors and barriers are all tied up in this situation.  I’m probably making it more difficult than it really is.  Maybe I need to just try it and see.  Its like I just get this “itch” about an hour or two after dinner to get my snack on.  And my mind won’t let it go until I scratch the itch, either with eating or with shopping, my two go-to behaviors.

Whats on your must read list for overcoming habits?

31 Jul

I’m over six months out and I am trying to renew my attention to improving myself.  I am trying to read some good books that get at some of the core roots of behavior change that will help me continue to lose the remaining weight and keep it off.  I really only have about 20-25 lbs to go, which is mind blowing to me, but the last pounds are really going slowly.

Any books, webinars, etc that you would recommend to help me reinvigorate?

 

I just got back from a large 11K+ person convention put on by my company and I got sick the day after I got back.  It was a great experience but I think I took back more than good ideas.  Yuck.

I’m baaaaack…..sorta.

4 Jul

Its been a very very long time.  The new has kind of worn off the wls journey, but I’m still doing ok.  I’ve lost about 88 lbs, and now have stayed here for quite a while.  I would like to get to 100 lbs, and that would be fine by me!  And that isn’t very far away.  I am not exercising like I should, I’m not doing a lot of things like I should right now.  But maybe I can get my butt back in gear.

I don’t have a ton of energy to write out a big post, but I am looking forward to having the 4th of July through Sunday off.  We have no trips planned, since we took a trip to the oregon coast last month before I started my new job.

The turmoil of switching employers sucked up most of my mental and physical energy the last couple of months.  My former employer was slowly imploding and I had to get out.  I was not laid off, but I was not hoping to be switching to a new job after only a year, but I was blessed with many different choices.  Still very stressful.

Has anyone seen any Mac or web based software that offers journal writing prompts?  I need to write more, whether its in the blog or whether I keep the post private.

Hope all of you are well!

The danger of quiet #wls #cbt #addiction

23 Apr

There is something deep within me, that cannot stand peace, quiet, sameness.  This little beast within me lives to incite change, shake things up, stir the pot.  Why is this?  What is the deep rooted part of me that at my heart can’t sit still?  Can’t enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon at home without anything to do?  Needs to eat, buy, go, move, do?  I do not understand this need, and I do not know how to stop it or what causes it.

Ironically, I’m incredibly lazy.  Its my mind that seems to need the activity, not my body.  My body gets unwillingly dragged along for the ride, used to the pull and draw of something new, something sparkly to keep my brain happy.

If I have food, I eat it.

If I don’t have food, I go get some.

If I have money, I spend it.

If I don’t have money, I figure out how to get some.

If I’m bored at work, I plot a change.

If I am worried at work, I play out all the scenarios to be prepared for any eventuality.

I’m like a CPU that is always running a bunch of unnecessary background processes and programs, keeping the computer running high and hot, without anything productive to show for it.

I don’t know what caused the patterns to form.  I don’t know what will satisfy this truly, because clearly food, money and upheaval aren’t doing it.

Why?  What will help?  I know I’m not the only one.  Whatever is beneath all these symptoms and behaviors won’t stop until I fix whatever “it” is.

I am musing all this as I try to consider the true motivations under a current change I’m considering.  Am I considering this change because of the monster within, or because there is a truly legitimate need for change?

How do I figure out WHY I behave this way?  Do I need to figure out why? How do I tell what is a legitimate need versus what is a need created by the monster?

My new reasons to lose the last 38 pounds #wls

21 Apr

I woke up this morning with a major V8 sort of epiphany.  My motivation has been flagging for a while, I’m not exercising like I was, and not being as food vigilant as I should.  I have been struggling to figure out why, beyond the general concept of the honeymoon being over and it being hard to sustain attention on something like this for such a long time (which is still a major factor of course).  Another factor is the slowdown overall in weight loss speed.  I mean, its really hard to get excited about continuing to eat only 800 calories a day and exercise every day and lose weight at the same rate when you are eating 1200 calories a day and not exercise every day.

Anyway, I woked up realizing that another factor is that I have achieved MOST of the reasons I originally set out to lose weight by reaching where I am now.  So I need to come up with new reasons.  The original reasons were:

Original Reason #1 — I will be healthier. I am dramatically healthier now.  I am no longer actively diabetic, my CPAP is down to on average 4 cm H20 per night rather than 14.  My knees feel better.

Original Reason #2 — I will be more confident.  I already feel this.  I definitely have more swagger and know that I no longer stick out in the crowd.  That is a great feeling!

Original Reason #3 — I can buy cuter clothes.  I love this!  I can now buy clothes in the “regular” sizes and have soooo many more options. Its rather unreal.  The only store of interest beyond my reach at this point in Victoria’s Secret.

Original Reason #4 — I will have more energy.  Jury still a bit out on this one. Because I traded the lack of energy of extreme overweight for the lack of energy from low iron and low calorie intake, I haven’t really seen much boost on this one yet. 

Original Reason #5 — I will be a better role model for my kids.  Oooh, this one is one I can still retain as a goal.  I was definitely being a better role model when the hershey’s bliss were out of the house and I was exercising more. 

Original Reason #6 — Travel will be easier/more comfortable. I am definitely feeling the benefits of this one.  I can travel without being exhausted and sweaty, I can fit comfortably with room to spare in airplane seats without feeling like I am spilling over into someone else’s space any more than the next guy.  This is an awesome benefit.

Original Reason #7 — Diabetes might go away.  This has happened.  A1c is normal without meds.  Yay!

Original Reason #8 — Maybe I can get rid of the CPAP.  While my average pressure has gone down from 14 cm H20 to 4, I haven’t been able to ditch it yet, and doc says I may not be able to do without an operation to correct severely deviated septum.  I am close to being able to ditch it, but no cigar.

Original Reason #9 — I will be able to move easier.  This is definitely true, but I am sure there is still room for progress.  My knees feel better and I can walk or exercise for extended periods of time without feeling like I am going to die.  I still have knee instability and fear of going down stairs because of my knees though.

Original Reason #10 — I will be able to try different types of activities.  I have added some things, like Zumba, to the bag of tricks.  I still haven’t tried things like water aerobics or things outdoors that I have avoided, like hiking, skiing or snow tubing or water skiing. 

Original Reason #11 — I will feel less self conscious about my weight.  This is definitely true.  I have always constantly polled the people around me to see where I fit in weightwise, whether i stuck out as one of the fat ones. That isn’t true anymore.  There are usually plenty of larger people in a room.  This is a ridiculous one, but its just how it is.

Original Reason #12 — I will feel better about myself.  This one is still one to keep on the list.  Because I am not engaging in all the habits I know to be the right things to do, I don’t feel as good about myself as I could. 

Original Reason #13 — I will feel sexier.  I am not sure that losing all the weight in the world could fix this.  Sexy is a state of mind that is wrapped up in so many other things, not just weight. 

Original Reason #14 — I will enjoy amusement parks more.  I know this one sounds silly, but I really love amusement parks.  And it was a great loss to not feel comfortable in them.  I know that because of the airplane progress, its logical to figure I’d feel ok on rides now.  No chance to test this out until the state fair in August.

New Reason #15 — I will have a BMI in the normal range.

New Reason #16 — I will weigh less than my hubby.

New Reason #17 — I will achieve a new physical goal (need to pick something here0

What else can you think of that I should add to the list?  What did you focus on to get yourself to go the final distance that I should consider for myself?

airport catastrophes, please @dulles_airport, call me back!!!

21 Apr

My work with a client had an earlier exit point than expected this week, so I was within 24 hours of my scheduled flight. I check on united.com and it says I can make a same day change as long as its within 24 hours of my scheduled flight for $75. I think cool. that is much cheaper than another night in the hotel and meals for tomorrow on the way home. Call united, she verifies that this is the right policy and tells me that there is plenty of space on the flight I am thinking about taking.

I arrive at the airpoint about two hours prior to the flight thinking I have plenty of time (can you tell that this sounds like foreshadowing?) I get in line and have to wait quite a while because they tell me I have to talk to a real person. I finally get my turn and she spends forever trying to figure this all out. She finally comes back and tells me that will be $150 plus some fair difference ,making it like $239. I tell her, you policy is within 24 hours. She says, “no, the policy is same day if you want the same day change fare, you have to come back tomorrow AM. I nicely explain that their website says differently as well as the person I spoke to on the phone. She says, well they are incorrect. I show her the site, she gets pissed off and tells me to go around the corner to the special services counter. So I do that. And have to stand in another line. A shorter line, but of course this is the line for the people who have problems, so each person takes a loooooog time.

By this time, I get to her, I have 55 minutes, She easily helps me, and in fact, shows me that they were wrong on the other side, I could have even done this myself at a self checking <banging head against wall. She tells me there are two choices, the one I planned on and another one leaving at 4:30 (half hour later) I look at the time, and say, maybe I better take that 4:30 one, I’m not sure I’m going to have time to get through security and to the gate. She says, “oh you’ll have plenty of time, no worries.” I say “are you sure.” She again beams at me and says, “our security here goes fast…no worries.” (hmm….more foreshadowing?)

I get down to security, and indeed, it looks like it is not too terribly terrible, but busy and long lines of course. Dulles is a weird airport for security. I get up to the guy who checks the ticket and I pull out my temporary drivers license (my new renewal is in the mail to me back home) but it says right on the paper that goes with it “valid for airport travel” or something like that. The guy at the checkpoint doesn’t believe it, so he has to call some other guy on a walkie talkie to come down and verify this. Of course, this takes forever. The guy checks it all carefully and lets me go.

At this point, the plane is now boarding. But its a big plane, so boarding takes a while. I get in one of the lines to actually go through security, a second wait, and at dulles this part always takes the longest. I am finally within range of the table to sling the stuff on and I have a guy in front of me who doesn’t start taking care of his stuff until the conveyor and table is already clear from the person in front of him and then he starts mozying to do his thing. I start gradually getting my computer, liquids and cpap into bins. Shoes. Bags, finally get stuff going through. Get through the Humiliator (the full body scan) and begin grabbing my stuff. I am golden, grabbing faster than the speed of light, throwing on my tennis shoes and putting everything in and running off.

Hmm, my backpack feels ligher than it should. Shoot! left computer! Run back as I havent gone far, and get computer, and also fitbit from same bin. Off I go again! Run past crazy amounts of people (which I NEVER could have done a year ago) get on tram to my gates. Get to my terminal and am thankful to see my gate is only a couple of down. I make it to the gate, and they were just about to pack it up. I get on, triumphant. I made it!

Get seated and begin to pull out my devices to turn them off. Where is my phone ? OMG, where is my stupid phone? Check the bag neurotically 3 or 4 times. Not there, not there! Realize I must have either left it at the checkpoint (I was using it right up to security) or on the tram. The flight attendant had JUST asked people to put away their devices. I sheepishly ask the two ladies next to me whether they could possibly Text my phone or my husband for me to start tracking down my phone. They (even the young one) start huffing about how it’s illegal, while sitting amidst a sea of people who haven’t yet powered down. Bless their integrity.

I stew for the first 30 min of the flight but take my mind off it by watching the stupid inflight movie. I still sporadically imagine a villain getting access to my email and Evernote where I store corporate and sensitive info. 😦

Land in Denver and immediately connect to wireless to ping my phone. Yep. It pings back. Smugly showing its location at Dulles Airport. Call hubby, and he tells me someone had texted and called to say they were turning it into TSA lost and found! Yay! They even provided the phone number. Hubby had talked to TSA and an iPhone with a case matching my description was enroute to central TSA lost and found. They sent him email instruction and a claim number.

Went home on last leg more relieved.

But sadly, it couldn’t be that easy. Of course not. TSA calls next day and says the phone matching my description had been claimed by a flight attendant and was not mine, that somehow they had confirmed it was hers.

So I call Dulles airport lost and found, hoping that I lost it on the tram, because then it would mean the person turned it into central lost and found rather than TSA. But alas, apparently Dulles airport lost and found is either swamped with calls to return or they just don’t feel urgency about retuning calls,because no contact back from them yet.

I hold out hope that since no one has tried to turn it on since it lost battery that it may indeed be in a lost and found bin rather than in someone’s hot little hands, but..I wonder what myriad of ways people can thwart find my iPhone….

Went and got a replacement last night using my hubby’s upgrade eligibility. Praying we still get it back ,that way it was worth it as he will have a new iPhone too.

On a separate note, backup from iCloud is a godsend. And the only bright spot? No way in HELL, that I could have ran from security to c gates in Dulles with a bag and heavy backpack a year ago!

An open letter to Judith Beck :( #wls #CBT @beckdietsolution

16 Apr

Some of you may have seen this Huffington blog post from Judith Beck to Carnie Wilson about her repeat gastric band surgery.

I am really bummed out by this, as I have been a huge huge supporter of Beck Diet Solution and my copy of  the book is always close by and very dogeared. I have even paid for a coaching session with beck institute, and seen great value.

But, this open letter is  just….wow.

In the theory of CBT, how would you have Carnie reframe her reaction to this column?  Ouch. This would be enough to make me pissed off, defiant and trigger all my bad habits.  I don’t get the logic about this at all, unless it was just to sell books, in which case, not only am I disappointed, I think that it probably backfired.  The response by the weight loss surgery community has been swift.  The problem is, Dr. Beck, your work IS the foundation of what we all need to do to change the mental part of our struggle with food.  Your work is so good, and now this post totally drags you down and will make people question your credibility.

I’m not saying that most of your points aren’t correct–of course they are.  I think a large majority of people who have WLS have food issues; I certainly do.  And our surgeons encourage us to work the psychological part of this program — its a requirement to even get the surgery.  Its how, ultimately, I found your book, upon recommendation.

What I am now left feeling like, is that the person who’s work has inspired me the most, may think that those of us who have weight loss surgery are copping out.  Maybe its only those of us who have had it twice? But now I would have to suspect that any WLS is seen as a copout.  Its just not true — the medical statistics speak to the fact that the likelihood of morbidly obese people being able to lose the weight and keep it off is less than 5%–and its not just the mental aspect.  There are mechanisms in our bodies that are simply “broke” when we are that overweight.  Our bodies physically and mentally fight against us to lose weight the “right” way.

I am not saying that I don’t question Carnie’s choices too….but the reality is, I get it.  I get her, I get the struggle.  I don’t like her trying to use it to make a career comeback.  I do think it takes a lot of courage to admit you’ve failed and have to try again.  I don’t understand how any doctor could suggest that getting a lap band again would be a good choice for her.  It didn’t work the first time, and definitely is not the surgery with the best track record out of the 4 primary WLS types.  But I do think a revision is appropriate, just not to repeat the band.  So why choose it again?  Why not pick a more permanent WLS?  Why take the way that didn’t work last time?  I don’t get that.  I’m not trying to dis the band, but the statistics seem to support a lower level of success with band than other procedures.

Anyway, so Dr. Beck, while I guess, as Carnie is a public figure and has made her weight loss issues public, its fair to talk about it, but wouldn’t a call or direct private reach out with an offer to share your considerable knowledge and approach have been more humane?  Imagine the long term payoff if your method could have been the reason carnie really kept it off this time? Now THAT would sell books.

Because I already know that the approach is best, I won’t be abandoning the principles of CBT for sustained weight loss but I am sad that this appears to be a judgement against weight loss surgery and I am sad that the WLS community will probably not dive into this important book because of this issue.

In one of the primary aspects of the beck diet solution, you’re supposed to give yourself credit for the good choices. Let’s find something to give Carnie Wilson credit for….

A bad day, low iron and identifying triggers

21 Mar

So this is all feeling rather like a big pile of spaghetti noodles to sort out.  Today was a really strange day.  It is the first day that I would say I willfully broke most of my eating guidelines and just kept going.  I also didn’t exercise.  I am trying to figure out why.  Possible reasons:

  • WLS Honeymoon is over?
  • Hubby was home and I just wanted to be like old days in having fun with him
  • Onederland is close and some part of me is not ready?
  • TOM?
  • Stress from some source I can’t really identify as a trigger?

What I can say is good about it is, despite how crap my eating was, I still logged it.  The temptation to just “skip” logging the bad stuff I ate and say I’ll start over tomorrow was very strong.  But I didn’t.  Its out there in all its shameful glory.

I know I recognize this sort of feeling.  I felt disconnected today, not with it.  I felt like I was somehow not a WLS post op.  I just wanted to do what I wanted to do, eat what i wanted to eat, and pretend like life was like it used to be.

So I can see I did this, but I can’t really FEEL that any of the reasons above is a legitimate “oh yes, that’s absolutely it” source for why I did what I did.

So I guess, more musing is required to see if I am ever able to overcome my “trigger blindness” that I seem to have.

I also got a call from the doc and learned that my iron level in my 3 month post op blood work was low, it was 24 and should have been in the range of 50-150.  So I had to go out tonight and get an iron supplement. I am not sure how soon it will help.

Well, I won’t say “back to it tomorrow” because really, its back to today.  In the next minute, i can choose to make better choices than I made in the last minute.

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