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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. ūüė¶

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!

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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.

miles, mood and multivitamins

12 Mar

Well, this past week I hit a lot of new milestones physically. I use a fitbit, and reached my “500 mile” status, and I also yesterday had a long day of walking that for the most part was fun until we reached an area of our walk that was under construction which resulted in a long walk around and not so ideal walking conditions. But the whole walk yesterday was 8.25 miles. Amazing, and I don’t feel bad today, still managed to take another decent walk today. Yesterday was something like 23,000 steps. (also got my fitbit badges for 15k and 20k steps in a single day.) I would have never been able to do that even six months ago, and if I had walked that much (which I may have done at disneyworld or the like in the past) I would have been sore and miserable. I was fine today and we walked again today!

Yesterday we did a circuit to walk to breakfast then we walked to a craft store, then we walked up through neighborhoods to a grocery store for a bathroom stop and to buy some water, then we took off up further, visited a park where the kids played, and then up to lunch and to Target and back home again. Home again got a little overwhelming for the kids — particular my 11 year old daughter. She was whining the whole way so that made the walk home not so fun.

The scale isn’t moving though, which is just insane to me. Granted I am eating more calories than I was, but on an average day, my net calories are still around 800.. 1000-1200 consumed, and 200-400 expended in exercise on average. So wtf? Its been about a two week stall again at this point. I have to just figure that at some point the scale has to move again, doesn’t it?

This week was a really hard week, emotionally, and I had a visit to my regular doc to talk about medication adjustments. I’ve been noticing post-op that mid cycle and PMS time have gotten worse emotionally. This past week was really bad, it was all I could do to get out of bed, and get myself to do the things I need to do every week. The first day of the week was ok, fine and productive, and then I just got slammed on Tuesday with overwhelming tiredness and moodiness, didn’t want to do anything. Very hard. The doc said adjusting mood meds is more of an art than a science, so he upped the wellbutrin to 300 mg a day, thought that one would be a better one to try first because it also has an appetite suppressant effect and manages my ADHD, where as my other one tends to increase appetite at higher levels. overall though he was quite happy with my weight loss. He has no need to start me on diabetes meds again at this point, which is cool. I hope the increased meds helps.

I am having problems getting my multivitamin in FOUR times a day. Do other sleevers have to take a multi 4x a day? My nut is so emphatic about only two good options for bariatric multivitamins out there that I am scared to switch. I will say when I travel, I use opurity once a day vitamins, which taste like crap but at least I only have to take one a day. Normally I am supposed to take optisource vitamins, which are fine, but I almost always miss one dose a day. So I wish I could find an equivalent formulation to optisource that could be taken 2-3x a day.

tomorrow starts the next Mytinytank six week accountability group. I really enjoyed the first round. Tracy is an incredibly smart and nice person and is so far ahead of me down the road, a wise mentor. I really appreciate what she does for the WLS community. I have to decide today on my next six week goal and I am having trouble settling on one, whether I should continue with an exercise consistency goal, or whether I should switch it something around eating behaviors, as I am seeing more desire to eat bad foods. I am still getting my required protein in, and a reasonable number of calories (I think..is 1000-1200 ok? it seems a lot larger than what some eat, so maybe not)

I had a good appt with my therapist this week, I guess I’ve settled that its just nice to have someone who gets it to talk to. She is very down to earth and kind. I have another issue that is much more tender/emotion ridden for me and we talked about that as well as eating issues. I have a different issue that again is a “socially acceptable” sort of addiction, and I am trying very hard not to let that issue pop up and become an outlet. I swear, its like a game of whack a mole. All I can do is keep going one day at a time. A worn out expression but very true.

~11 weeks post ops and my first vomit

6 Mar

I really CANNOT believe I am posting about vomit, but this is the lengths I will go to in order to enlighten you, dear reader, into the life of being a post-op WLSer.¬† I have not had the “luck” of having a single episode of vomiting or nausea since surgery, but I learned tonight what happens if I push my sleeve too far.¬† yeah, well, I learned definitively that I cannot push my sleeve, because it will push right back.

We went out to dinner to a Japanese restaurant, and chose a Hibachi table for hubs, me and our two littlest, knowing they would enjoy the “show” of the hibachi cooking and knowing that since its basically pure protein and veggies, its the perfect WLS choice.¬† We split a dinner for two among the 4 of us, that included filet mignon, chicken, salmon, shrimp and scallops.¬† Even with 4 of us, it was a huge amount and we took a very large box full home.¬† I had 5 shrimp, 3 small cubes of filet mignon, and 3 scallops, and a few assorted pieces of veggies — zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms.¬† Ate everything slow and chewed well.¬†Then the kids and hubs wanted to have dessert, so we ordered a fried banana and japanese fried ice cream. It did me in.¬† I ate a small portion¬†and started to feel bad, crampy, like I needed to stand up or stretch out. I could feel stuff in my esophogus, I presume.

Paid for dinner, went out and got in the van, and was beyond thrilled that my overly puky/allergic 2 year old has caused me to store a supply of medical emesis ring/bag things in my glove box, because dessert came right back out.¬† ugh, and double ugh.¬† I now know why they call it “the slimes”.¬†¬† Anyway, won’t do that again.¬† Shudder.

I am laying in bed, stretched out, typing this out while its still fresh.¬† What was curious is that I didn’t get my usual “tell” after the meat, which is hiccuping.¬† Usually as son as I am full, I get the hiccups, which is my clue to cut it out.¬† This time, I didn’t get the hiccups until after dessert, as we were walking out.

So my question to you — do you have a “tell” when you are full?¬† hiccups or sneezing?¬† Loved this episode of Bariatric TV that explains the hiccups and sneezing.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled update (well, painfully late update).¬† As time passes, everything settles into a new normal.¬† I’m about 11 weeks post op now, and I’ve lost close to 70 lbs.¬† I have about 60 lbs more to go. Its cool being on the “downhill” side, but there is still a loooong way to go.

In my accountability group via Tracy at mytinytank.net,(if you want to join the next accountability, group, which begins on¬†3/12, please contact¬†Tracy via her website–I highly recommend it!)¬† ¬†I spent six weeks with a couple of great WLSers focused on my goal of getting more consistently active.¬† My goal was to be consistently averaging 6500 steps at least five days a week, tracking using my fitbit, by March 5th.¬† And I did it!¬† I have gradually moved into a place where exercise is now feeling more like part of my routine.¬† I have been able to do this at least once before, so part of me is still scared I’ll fall off the wagon, so its likely in the next six week curcuit for accountability I’ll still be focusing on exercise consistency and increase in some fashion again.¬†Actually, by the last couple of weeks, I’ve been closer to 7-8k steps, which is still less than the 10k a day gold standard, but for someone who used to walk less than 2k a day most days, this is pretty good!

What benefits have i seen?¬† Definitely have more cardio endurance.¬† I’ve gone to zumba a few times in the last month, and enjoyed it, and could actually make it an hour each time without dying.¬† Sometimes I had to slow down and just march/move in place while sucking down water, but I always restarted again and got back to it.¬† I’ve traveled and been able to cruise through the airport without getting all sweaty and gross, and even decide to walk extra to get more steps in.¬† Crazy!

Overall I just feel better and like i have more pep in my step.¬† Some days, its hard to get myself going, but I always (always) feel better after I’ve done it.¬† I’ve made a habit of scheduling it into my day during weekdays, and planning for generally to be going to the YMCA and working out before i have to be there anyway to pick up my little ones who attend daycare at the Y, so its a good reason to combine the two.¬† That behavior is called “anchoring” in the behavior change world, I’d say, basically attaching a new behavior you want to do to something you already do regularly and have to do, so that it is easier to make the new behavior a habit.¬† i used to try to do things like try to get up early and exercise, and for me, that is complete and utter bullshit.¬† I hate the morning with a passion, and that just makes it worse.

So¬†I do the opposite of what most people do, I go at the end of the work day, and its working out pretty good.¬† However, on the other hand, if I got in my exercise early in the day, I could get my step count even higher through the course of the day.¬† (because i would shoot to get 6-7k in via planned exercise, and then my normal steps would add on….as it is, I arrive at the Y at end of day, and tend to quit when I get to 6-7k, rather than do a planned 6-7k.

Anyway, change is happening.¬† You can see it in my face, which now sports a pointy chin with a cleft in it (who knew?).¬† I still hate what has happened to my nose, which I swear I attribute to CPAP.¬† my nose is way bigger than it used to be.¬† So rude. I used to have a cute nose.¬† Oh well.¬† i’m excited to have bought a top that was simply an “XL” and I fit into the first pair of Levis I have worn since I was a freshman in college.¬† So that is pretty crazy.¬† Granted, i think they make levis in larger sizes than they did when i was in college ūüôā ūüôā¬† So its not like I’m down THAT small yet.¬† Some day!!

6 week post op, Groundhog day, awash in behavior change options

2 Feb

Well, yesterday I was officially six weeks post-op. I am really surprised how fast the time went. The time sure CRAWLED to get to the surgery date and through the liquids phases of the post-op diet. At this point, I basically feel like me again. I don’t have any tenderness in my tummy, my energy level is pretty much back to normal, and I am allowed to have a full range of diet options. What does all that mean? It means I feel like I am teetering on the edge of my own personal possibility of groundhog day, of either spring coming early, or an interminable stretch of time ahead of me where I continue to battle darkness, personal choices and challenges. I want spring to come early for myself, and with it the possibility of change, new behaviors and new hope. I want spring to come and bring me new confidence, increased self-esteem and higher belief in myself that I can change my behaviors, tiny steps at at time, to develop a new normal.

This surgery is sooo not about the physical and mechanical aspects of all of this. I keep thinking of other analogies in life and none of them quite work but have parts that resonate. At first I thought, its like declaring bankruptcy. But that is long before I realized the truth of the matter about weight loss surgery, about how the day of surgery is really just the beginning of hard work. Up until the last while, I realized that even a part of me felt I was taking “the easy way” out. But this is not the easy way out. Just because my stomach is smaller doesn’t change my personality, my habits, my behaviors. It is easier to stick to the post-op diet in the early phases, ironically. Honest to god, I do think its like the “rehab” equivalent for a drug or alcohol addict. The radical change in behavior, supervised medically, to ensure you don’t hurt yourself and have a chance at a do over. You don’t feel like yourself, you feel very “medical”, you fear complications if you choose the wrong behavior. But I can see that as the medicalness fades, and the risk of complications decreases over time, its just me out there. Me and the things I choose to do next to make my life different than it was before.

I started with a therapist locally last week, and I was given two homework assignments. “Stay in Today” and think about what triggers me to eat. The first assignment is better for me right now, because I can do that. I know that I have the tendency to spend my life thinking about everything but the day in front of me, and making today the best day I can make it. Imagine what the world would be like if you lived each day just focused on today? Trying to do what I can, just in the day, to make it good. After many of those days, the past starts to become easier to look back on, and the future starts to potentially become something less to worry about, if you’re taking care of each day, one at a time. I know this cognitively, but it is hard to change the behavior of daydreaming about tomorrow, in particular. When I pay off this bill I can….when I get my tax refund I can….when I weigh 199 I will….when I am a size 14 I will….What a shame that I have been living my life in suspended animation, always holding off the good stuff for later. What is going to be good about today? What is going to be good about today for you? Think about that. Because that is at the core of this thing, I think.

The thinking about what triggers me to eat is much harder, particularly because I’m post-op and everything just feels kind of different right now, if that makes any sense. I think because i have gone through my six week rehab, whatever triggers there are aren’t working the same way on me, so its hard to pinpoint what they are. I did identify the ones about travel back in October or whenever that was, for sure. So that was good, but in day to day life, I’m not necessarily seeing it. I know that at the end of a work day, I can feel pretty mentally wiped out and lazy, and that its easy just to succumb to going out. That is still true, and we eat out a lot, even now, post-op, but I am able to make good choices still when I am out. It is easier now that I have a wider choice on the menu. When i was in liquids or softs, I felt pretty pissy about eating only what I could eat. Now I feel pretty happy that I can eat a good portion of protein and try some tastes of other things. My worry is, its a slippery slope? Do I valiantly NOT have any tastes of other things, to avoid sliding down the slope, or is it better to have the tastes and get some joy out of it, so that I don’t take a nosedive off the top of the slope at some point? My guess is, that answer is different for everyone, and we have to find that truth within ourselves. Shit, I hate that answer. ūüôā

Another thing we talked about was fear being at the base of a lot of behaviors like addictions (and i consider that I have a food addiction) And she mentioned that for a lot of people with issues with food and money, that fear of lack is at the core of it. I haven’t been magically been able to put my finger on the reasons I am the way I am. Its like an elephant in the room that I truly can’t see. I know certain truths about my past that I can logically see have probably influenced my life, but I haven’t had that big “a-ha” moment that I feel like I should have.

I am working so hard right now on amassing my knowledge around behavior change. I am a researcher my nature, I love to know about stuff, and why it works. So that is pretty time consuming. I can’t blindly follow one methodology either, so I am in the midst of learning about several, including The Beck Diet Solution, Change Anything, and Tiny Habits. Honestly they all support each other, and have different steps to approaching the same thing, which is behavior change. I like comparing them and taking different ideas from them, but at the moment I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by it all. I wish God would just knock on my head and say, “here, this is the way, you’re making this way too complicated.” But honestly, I feel that I have to practice some critical new skills that come out of these methods to get to the other side and see it get easier. One of the things I liked hearing about in Change Anything is this idea of “being a scientist” — to try different approaches and after you try them, look at them to see why they worked or did not work. This is something that honestly happens in my work life all the time, so why this should be so novel to me in my personal life is kind of ridiculous, but I like the idea of framing that way. Because again, it takes out the “that was a failure, therefore, I am a failure.” thought process. It makes all of this an experiment to see what works and what doesn’t, and then a matter of assembling those things that work and figuring out how to hang them together to make a total program of change.

I have joined an accountability group for six weeks with Tracy from mytinytank.net and some other lovely ladies that hopefully will join us as we go along. The idea is to commit to a single thing we want to make a change around and be accountable to each other to report our progress, our successes and our challenges. We have a once a week brief call to report on this, and are free to reach out to the other members durign the week to ask for support at crucial moments or victories. I like this! I think two elements I’ve avoided in past attempts to change behavior is social support and exercise. So therefore, these are two areas I am focusing on the most right now to help with setting in new habits.

Phew. That was soapboxy. Thanks for reading.

What is cheating?

23 Jan

A very thought provoking post on Vertical Sleeve Talk today has had me do a lot of thinking about my definitions of cheating.¬† The original thread is here. I’m on the odd man out side of this thread, with most posters prefer bluntness and a kick in the pants if they are cheating.¬† For me, that kind of treatment makes me shut down and DO.BAD.THINGS.¬† If someone really knows me and has earned my trust and knows my issues they may have the right to give me a come to jesus about something, but not a random stranger on the internet.¬† I think the original poster was not getting down to the fine line of definition I’m struggling with¬†and in the end it may not matter, but it does make me curious.

Here are some of my thoughts pulled out from that thread.  I want to grab them here because they represent a lot of thought i have about cheating, shame and failure.

This is an interesting thread. The immediate post op time period isn’t a time for cheating for sure. But I know I have made choices in the past month that were mistakes.
This may be a bunny trail, but, the word cheating is one I have issues with. Anyone reading or read Beck Diet Solution? It talks about mistakes versus cheating. I think the majority of folks in here who talk about cheating on their post op diets make mistakes, they don’t cheat. In all likelihood, a few bites too much or the wrong thing are not going to be the undoing of our sleeve. But when we attach words like cheating to it, there is such a message of immorality and failure to it..I dunno.
I guess apart from the extreme posts like eating a burger and popcorn a couple of days post op, I’d rather see us encourage each other in getting back to doing the right thing. Many many of us got here because of emotional eating and black and white thinking, so I’d rather us offer each other support to do the right behaviors.
While we did have extreme surgery, for many of us the ability to be perfectly compliant doesn’t magically occur just because we had the surgery. Maybe I shouldn’t have been approved, dunno, but I think I am doing a helluva lot better, even with mistakes, now, than preop!! But by my former harsh use of the word cheating , I definitely have done so many times in the past month. But each time I eat I have a chance to do it better.
Eta–not upset by original post, just challenging us to think about what cheating really is and encourage us to help each other out of black and white thinking!!!!

And a second response later in the thread:

Posted Yesterday, 11:54 PM

View Post<usernamedeleted>, on January 22, 2012 – 11:13 PM, said:

Blunt is good. This is a support site right? Maybe some people need a different kind of way of support. I’m
Yeah, I think that is what I am thinking about. I have struggled with this a lot over the last year, thinking about this.¬† I guess i’ve found that I react a lot better with encouragement rather than bluntness, and that is me.¬† I don’t need someone to sugar coat it for me, I just dont’ need someone judging me, because I already do it a lot worse to myself.
A lot of people got here through denial, very true and no doubt. Denial probably plays a role in most emotional eating issues. but it may not be the biggest issue for all of us.
I got here not by denial as my primary problem, I’ve always been painfully aware of how bad what I was doing was, but unable to stop.¬† I’ve spent years continually beating myself up and being way more blunt and over critical with myself than anyone else could ever be. For me, using language that represents a judgement on an action, is very black and white when I talk to myself or someone else, and is something I’m really trying to change. So a word like “cheating” is just a super loaded word to me. Which for those of us who have this particular flaw in thinking, cheating leads to feeling I’m a failure, and then that leads to thinking why bother and more failure. But saying I made a mistake, helps me know I can do better next time.
Think of it this way….if you forget to take a dose of a medication you need to take, do you consider that you have cheated? I don’t. I don’t think I’m a failure or that I’ve completely blown it.
Taking the emotions and judgement out of things is helping me a lot in getting to a new normal.
The other thing that is interesting is how we define  cheating. The original poster, Indymom, said:

View Post<username deleted>, on January 21, 2012 – 11:18 PM, said:

… the term “cheating” to me makes me think of being on Weight Watchers and deciding to eat a medium pizza by myself with breadsticks and a 2-liter of Pepsi, and not count the points.
which is a way different definition of cheating than I have.¬† I think that if I have eaten one more bite than I should have, or a type of food I shouldn’t have, that I have cheated.¬† And I’m trying to beat that kind of judgemental feeling out of myself, because when I feel that way I feel like a failure.
I’m encouraged by this kind of discussion about what works for us.
If useful, here is a coverage on this from Beck Diet Solution, which is the cognitive behavioral based therapy approach to eating issues developed by Judith Beck, who’s father actually developed CBT.

Quote from Beck Diet Solution

No more “cheating”
The word cheat doesn’t appear again in this book outside of this box. I’ve omitted it intentionally because too many unsuccessful dieters have all-or-nothing thoughts about their eating:¬† Either I’m perfect on this diet or I’ve cheated…If I’ve cheated, I’ve blown it–I may as well continue to cheat for the rest of the [day/week/month/year]/¬† I’ve found that people who view themselves as having cheated usually feel demoralized and even “bad.” which makes it even more difficult for them to get back on track.¬† Instead of cheat, I’ve used the words unplanned eating and overeating.¬† These terms are less negatively charged.¬† People who use them are able to take a more benign view and say Okay, so I ate something I didn’t plan to eat or I ate more than I was supposed to. But they’re also able to then add, It was just a mistake, no big deal…I’ll get back on track for the rest of the day.
The other thing that I think about, is in post-op diet, what really IS cheating?¬† I mean with the super wide variation of advice on the post-op diet, those of us who research and see all this variation, you realize that there is a WIDE definition of what is considered ok during the immediate post-op diet phase.¬† My single surgeon and his plan is not the definitive be-all end-all of advice.¬† I don’t take one person’s plan and advice as my absolute truth.¬† If there were a gold standard out there, or if all of their advice was remarkably similar, then I’d say the choices i’ve made since surgery that deviated from my doc’s handout would be something to think more about why I’ve made other choices.
Example there — the Cornell VSG post op guidelines say we can have oatmeal, grits, farina.¬†¬†¬† My doc’s guidelines say no.¬† Am I cheating if I have thinned oatmeal?
All very interesting.
I *think* the original post was targeted at folks that are blatantly doing really major things that are not good for them in the post-op phase, which I support, but where is the line?  This really triggered me to do a lot of thinking! Thanks!
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