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~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 🙂 🙂  So its not like I’m down THAT small yet.  Some day!!

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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. 🙂

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!

4 weeks post op, travel next week, another book review

21 Jan

Well, I can’t believe I’m already 4 weeks post op.  I have 4 more days of softs and then I get to move onto regular bariatric diet.  Which is just in time, because it is looking like I will be traveling for a quick trip for work leaving on Wednesday to go to Franklin, TN. Not sure yet though.  I am kind of looking forward to it happening, not for the stressful situation that I will head into down in Franklin, but rather to see the seatbelt fit (I hope) without an extender.  I have to think with the pounds and inches I’ve measured away that I should be a bit more comfortable in an airplane seat now.  That’s cool to think about.  My incisions all look good, the one that was problematic still has a large scab that isn’t letting go, but no further issues from it.  This was my first almost full week back at work, monday was a holiday.  I have the flexibility to work from whereever, but on Tuesday I actually went in to my local office and tried to get back in the work mindset.  The last time I was in the office was pre-op, and I found it interesting that I felt like I could walk a lot faster than I used to–at lunch I walked all around the inside hallways (its a very large office) and felt energized afterwards.  Weird!

I am finding myself falling into a habit with breakfast being a premier protein drink.  I hope that is ok.  I’m not much of a breakfast person, I know its important though.  It seems like the premier protein gives me a really good start with 30 g of protein and a lot of other vitamins and minerals.  Is it really terrible if I continue to do this long term?

I also worried myself with a meal that I feel I was able to eat way too much.  I took a 5 oz can of canned chicken breast, a T of light mayo and pureed it in the bullet, and also had about 2 oz of cottage cheese.  I was able to eat ALL of this.  Folks on VST seemed to think that since it was pureed (and it was quite liquidy) that even though it was chicken it might not have been that far off of liquid so was able to pass through rapidly.  I hope so.  This evening though seemed better, we went out to a chinese buffet (what a waste of money for me, but everyone else wanted it) and I had about 2 oz of really soft cooked honey chicken, 2 oz of cottage cheese and half a hard boiled egg.

I really am able to drink very well and don’t have issues with eating anything. Nothign has upset my sleeve so far.   I do feel when I start to get full, and that is wild to me.  Preop I would have had to have the mother of all binges to feel anything close to physically full.

last week I was doing a good job of getting my steps in and this week I’ve just sucked it, other than that one day I was in the office.  Exercise really is a mental block for me.  I can give myself every excuse in the world for not doing it.

As many people seem to experience, I hit the three week stall right on time, with the scale not moving (except for up, as  the days went on without poop…LOL) this week.  It did gradually at least get back to where I was, but I am hoping now that the movement will continue on down.

The book I started this week is Beck Diet Solution, which I think is finally the nirvana I was looking for in terms of an eating focused cognitive behavioral approach.  Its a six week plan compatible with any eating plan to retrain the way we approach, think and feel about food, and hopefully then impact our actions related to food.  It has a nice format in breaking down each day into something to do to take a step forward.

The first day had me writing an “Advantage Response Card” — a card to remind me of all the advantages of losing weight.  I’m not much for paper any more, so I am using the flashcardlet app on my phone instead.  I am also supposed to write it down in one other place, so that will be here.  I used a lot of what I wrote down pre-op but here are the things I am looking forward to (and one or two already there)

1. I can fit in an airplane seat comfortably without an extender.

2. I won’t feel like I need to use the big stall in the restroom to feel like I have enough room.

3. It will be easier to be clean, shower, shave and etc.

4. I will hurt less during and after being active.

5. I might be able to try new activities or sports.

6. I will be able to enjoy amusement park rides more again (an old favorite)

7. I will fit in restaurant booths easily.

8. Maybe I can ditch the CPAP.

9. My diabetes will improve or resolve.

10. I can tie my shoes easily.

11. I can easily paint my toenails.

12. I will have energy to play with my kids.

13. I can buy pretty clothes and even <gasp> lingerie.

14. My wedding rings fit (already!)

15. I can kneel at church without leaning back.

16. My bed and furniture won’t sag permanently where I sit and lay.

Incision Troubles, the post WLS Blues

9 Jan

All in all, I should be super happy.  scale is dropping (48 lbs gone total), feeling mostly pretty good.  Two issues at this point.

First is I have an incision that is givign me trouble. The 2nd incision from the left (I incorrectly thought this was the one that was oozing a bit in the hospital, but it is not, now that I think about it)  is giving me some trouble.  It’s been fine ever since surgery, no issues.  A few days ago, it pops up open and lets loose some mostly clear ooze.  Hmm.  No fever, no real pus, minimal redness (a few millimeters) around the incision.  Call the on-call doc and he thinks its a seroma.  So basically fine, just pay attention if anything is worse.  Today, after a shower I look down at it, and the scab that had formed had fallen off and the incision is gapped open a bit, and seems redder, and has what looks like more serious looking goo, but maybe that is just from the scab falling off.

The pictures below are TMI, so if you are squeamish, look away!

Saturday:

Today 1/9/12 after shower — water must have loosened the scab off and washed it away?

So that is that.  Yum, huh?  At the moment, no one but me seems to be having kittens over it despite two calls to the doc.  I have a just in case appt on Thursday, in case it gets worse.  They told me to put steristrips back on it to reclose where it has opened in the middle.  So now it looks like this:

In other news, I’m wondering if I need to put a call into my primary care doc to up my antidepressant.  I’m not sure at this point if I’m just expecting too much in recovery or whether I am getting depressed, because I just feel like holing up and doing nothing.  Work feels like too much right now, everything is sorta blah.  I have anxiety, mild depression and SAD, so it could be I need to get more sunlight too.  I have a SAD light, maybe its time to use it again.  Hmm.

Two weeks post op

6 Jan

I think my body has finally let go of its death grip on every calorie I’m eating.  The scale is starting to move.  I wish it had started to move sooner, but hey, I’ll take it. 

Yesterday, one of my incisions’ steristrips came undone after shower, and this AM, I sat down and noticed something felt weird.  The incision is gaping on one side just at the skin level. Boo.  No infection or draining, just peeled apart a little bit, about 1/4 of an inch.  I called the doc’s office, they told me to go get wound closure strips and put it back together.  So that is what I did.  I hope it heals correctly!

Today was also my first day back at work, at least a partial day, about 6 hours.  It went fine.  I am lucky enough to be able to work from home as much as i want.  In fact, most all of my team, spread all across the country, works from home.  I actually do usually go into the office three days a week, to see other humans and feel connected somewhat to my employer.  I don’t actually work with any of the people I sit with, so its kind of weird, but I sit just down the hall from my brother, so that is cool, since he is a cool brother.  😀

generally I feel better each day, still have twinges and pains now and then, and have difficulty bending down to pick stuff up off floor.  I was able to take my longest walk yet, and no nap.  So a red letter day, I guess 😉  As far as what is going on recovery wise — still on full liquids until next Wednesday, when I start 3 weeks of soft foods.  Have settled into a sort of general routine that gets me about 600 calories a day, and 70 grams of protein, and all my water so that is good.  one nice thing about working at home is that it is easier to manage all this stuff from home.

I am doing lots of reading about other activities for self soothing rather than food, and also trying to meditate more.  its helpful.  Meditating, reading, and knitting are saving activities right now.

I had a good time yesterday calling into my first WLS support conference call with Tracy Stevenson of mytinytank.net, mandapanda and squeeziemama.  It was good to talk with others who have been down this road and learn from them.  The topic was non scale victories, and I am happy to say I’ve already seen some of these.  It got me to thinking about all the things that led up to me finally deciding on WLS:

1.  Trip to DisneyWorld in July.  For a morbidly obese person, that should be ’nuff said.  I was chafing and miserable, but still enjoyed the park.  I had to make a run to walmart to buy leggings that would keep my legs from rubbing together under shorts.  Just what a fat sweating lady needed, is an additional later of clothing. Each night, I would have to peel down to undies, use a chafing ointment and lay in the bed just trying to recover from the pain.  I had ordered some moisture wicking type shirts and packed them in their packages right into my bag.  One was a columbia size 3x, andI was so disgusted that it didn’t fit, it was gapping open and tight, I couldn’t wear it.  I wore it two days ago — it was loose.  That was an awesome NSV.

2. Traveling frequently — having to ask for a seatbelt extender each time I got on a plane.  I am sure that the next time I get on a plane, I won’t need one!  I barely needed it, but i bet now I won’t need it — NSV to come!

3.  In september — broke one of our dining chairs sitting on it.  Yes. you heard me.  I was so mad and embarrassed.  No NSV to match that, except to say that most chairs have a 250 lb limit, and I am now under that, so feeling safer.  You just haven’t lived until you’ve BROKEN something you were trying to sit on.

4.  I am getting my waist back!  Up until about the 240 lbs mark, I am lucky enough to still have a waist.  I haven’t had a waist for a LONG time.  But my hubby noticed that I once again have a waist that goes in instead of just being straight down. That makes me feel more womanly. 

Ok, so that is all I can think of at the moment! 

One last thing, spare some prayers for my BFF.  She just let me know that her dad is in critical condition and they are likely going to have to make the terrible decision to take him off life support within the next day or so. I am so sad for her, and for him.  Prayers going up for Denny.

1 Week Post Op, How did I get so fat musings?

30 Dec

Well, I had my first week post op visit, it was pretty uneventful.  I had my staples removed, and the PA put on steri-strips.  Got a prescription for actigall, which I am supposed to start taking one month post op to protect my gallbladder.  Wish he had just pulled the darn thing at the same time 🙂  I only lost 2 lbs according to them, but my my home scale says I lost 6.  I think its somewhere inbetween.  I was wearing jeans and a sweater because I was cold, and that is a lot more than I’ve had on at past weigh ins.  Not exactly the huge amount I would have hoped for for having spent a whole week on clear liquids consuming less than 250 calories a day.  Hmm.  But I know it will start coming off.

So how am I feeling?  Pretty good!  I’m off the heavy duty pain meds, as of yesterday.  I still have twinges and pulls in my incisions, particularly when getting up, but I am walking about 5k steps a day so that is probably ok.  I need to gradually start increasing the walking.  I have not experienced any nausea or acid issues or vomiting or any of that stuff <knock wood>  I have had some things that kind of didn’t like going down, but the feeling passed quickly.  I do have a headache this afternoon, but all in all, not bad.  I miss my friend Advil, because that works so much better for me than Tylenol.  Boo.  My incisions all look good.  One was getting irritated, the top middle one, from my bra rubbing against the staples, but its much better now that all the staples are out.  The worst one is on the far right side, which is opposite of what most people say.  My doc said he does all the hard work through the one on the right because he gets a better angle on the stapler.

I was telling a fellow VSG buddy, FavoredOne, that I have this little stinkin’ thinkin’ thought that I will be the one person for whom sleeve doesn’t work, right?  Doesn’t everyone have these thoughts?   I have to step back and look at it and try to break it down.  I came home from the hospital having lost a bit, so its not that.  I spent a week on clear liquids with less than 250 calories a day.  I got in all my fluids and protein each day.  I did what I was supposed to do.  So I just have to wait and see, the weight has to come off sometime, right?

I started full liquids yesterday, and it is a lot better.  first day out, I went to P.F. Changs and got my favorite, hot and sour soup, and they blended it for me.  1 7 oz serving has 80 calories, 3 g fat, 9 g carbs and 7 g protein.  I love it.  I got the large bowl, and just measure myself out a small portion for lunch and dinner. One bowl that cost $5.95 will last me about….6-8 meals?  Amazing.  It fills me up really quickly.

I will admit to a couple of cheats and really weird behaviors.  I let two cella liquid center cherries melt in my mouth slowly on christmas day, and spit out the cherry itself.  I also had one tiny piece of potato chip and ground it to bits and let it go down with a drink of water.  then the weird(er) stuff.   I have chewed up some things that I liked, and spit them back out and rinse my mouth out with water after each bite.  I just wanted the taste and the sensation of chewing.  I can’t be the only person ever to do that. I know its stupid, but….I figure its better than actually eating it.  B

I find it interesting how different the advice on post-op diets are.  I am a member of verticalsleevetalk.com, and there is such a continuum.  I talk to people who are on clears for 14 days.  I talk to people released from the hospital on full liquids, and one who was released from the hospital on soft foods! FOr myself, I have 1 week of clears, 2 weeks of full, 3 weeks of soft and then by week 6 resuming to normal diet.

I read a great memoir last night, called ‘Designated Fat Girl” by Jennifer Joyner (jenniferjoyner.com) and it was really interesting, so many of the ways she described her food addiction, her thinking, her rationalization, her food binge choices mirror me.   It was a quick read and made me think.  She describes these behaviors as self-destructive.  which, ultimately, eating the way I have for all these years, is destructive.  I also have at least one other fairly socially accepted addiction that is self destructive, but I don’t make the link between why I have done what I have done/do what I do and wanting subconsciously self-destructive.  I just don’t get what my reasons for doing what I do are.  I don’t get it.  i have spent time in 12 step groups, but havent’ had a great enlightenment.  When does that come?

Yes, I have sexual abuse or molestation or whatever you might call what happened to me between ages 4-5, but on the scale of how bad those things can be, mine wasn’t as bad.  I have talked about it in therapy, I know its not my fault.

I always FELT fat.  When I was a kid, I was a little chubby, but not overweight.  teenage years as I shot up and was active in school stuff, I thinned out.  When I started college, I had an extremely obese roommate, and I think apart from major personality issues (she thought it was ok to have a 1.x GPA and never go to class, I was a “square” who had a 4.0 GPA that first year)  I think I was scared to look at her to know what I could (and have) become, as I already could binge like no one’s business.  That year, I didn’t gain the freshman 15, I lost about 10 lbs, because every time I would see her in our room, binging, often on my food, it disgusted me and I would go to the gym to exercise or run out on the trails.  I got married after my freshman year weighing 132 lbs and in a size 9, and still imagined that I was a fat girl.  What I would give to weigh that now!

My weight started to balloon up after I got married.  About a year after I had been married, I went to weight watchers for the first time.  I weighed 152 at that point (still, would kill to weigh that)  I gradually just gained and gained and gained.  A lot of people assume I can blame my weight on all the babies.  But nope. I was 250 before I got pregnant with my first, and have been bouncing up and down from that point for 15 years.

So I guess I am supposed to figure out why I do this.  I’m not sure, is it necessary to know why?  Will that keep me from doing it in the future or at least understanding it more?

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