Tag Archives: honesty

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?

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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.

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.

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?

Am I an emotional eater?

28 Sep

I saw a great post on emotional eating today shared by a twitter friend and really felt like I identified with it, but then I started thinking about it.  I clearly have a problem with food, but I was not able to identify any emotions that I felt like I was stuffing.  Is that denial?  I mainly use food as an anecdote to boredom, as entertainment and as a reward.  I know these are bad things indeed, but  its not like I can dig to identify a stressor and see that I ate in response to that stressor.  I am having difficulty trying to sort out if any feelings beyond boredom and entertainment are involved.  I break my behaviors around eating into habits/rituals and boredom relief.

A request of my my non morbidly obese friends who may read this, please don’t hate me. I put all of this out there with great trepidation.

First -habits.

For a long long time, I had a terrible ingrained habit of stopping through the McDonalds drive through every morning for a sausage mcgriddle or egg mcmuffin and hash browns and a large diet coke.  since I’ve changed where I work, the mcdonalds is no longer on my way, and because I’m ultimately a huge lazy ass, my morning visits have been minimal.  While my kids were out of school for the summer, we did go into mcds on days I worked from home, but now that they are back in school, my visits to McD’s this month might have been 1-2, when up through May, I typically ate breakfast and lunch at McDs (I know, horrible…).  In summer, I went twice a week, sometimes still breakfast and lunch, but still dramatically less.  I think it was toward the end of the summer when the cashier innocently mentioned about me being one of her “regulars.”  She of course meant that in a nice way, but it hit me in the stomach.  Yuck, I don’t want to be known as a regular at McDonalds.   Now in the last month, only 1-2 times total.  I have a cafeteria where I work now, so its a lot easier for me to either get two hardboiled eggs and maybe some ham or bacon and be good.

2nd habit — Dinner out.  I get done with work, and have run out of steam.  Dinner out is a soothing ritual where I get to sit down and have someone else take care of me and wait on me.  That is a huge part of the appeal.  I don’t have to clean up, I don’t have to come up with ideas for what to eat.  This is still an active habit.  In the last month, I’ve changed where and what I am eating, but I am still eating out.  I have had a couple of really shitty eating out experiences since I’ve changed what I’m trying to eat.  I’ve learned that at some places, it is incredibly difficult to find low carb choices.  I also have found out that some of the places I considered my nemesis (buffets) are actually easier for me right now when doing low carb.  They offer a wide variety of choices, still a lot of shit, but at one local place, I can get a steak made to order, have roasted chicken, have fish, have seafood with no sauce.  A huge salad bar.  As long as I can keep myself from eating the bad shit, I walk away a lot happier.   Places that SUCK to me are breakfast restaurants, particularly when everyone else in your family is enjoying a nice stack o’ flapjacks. 

Bedtime binges

I would say that at bedtime is the time I am most susceptible to a binge. The kids are all in bed, honey and I have some alone time….and you think this is going to get dirty?  Not the way you think.   I don’t binge like I used to when younger, but this bedtime dangerous hour is when I do if I am going to do it.  Pre all this, it would not be unusual for me or hubby to go out and get an assortment of snacks, fun size candy bars, pringles, nuts, chips, etc.  We ‘d stack them between us and graze on this stuff while watching tv, downing a couple of diet cokes with it.  DH is of normal size and quite active, and he really would eat less than I do during those sessions. In the lats month, those sessions have dwindled, and if there is one, they are comprised of different things — turkey jerky and almonds have been popular, or a couple of nights ago I made kind of an trailer trash antipasti plate with salami, cheese, pickles and pepperoncinis.  Portions are a lot more limited.

2nd category — rewards and boredom

One example of reward eating I can think of, i guess maybe does relate to stress. maybe, but I still link it more to boredom.  When I am travelling, which is a lot more frequently now, on the plane or at the layover airport, it has been a common practice for me to eat my way through the flight to keep myself entertained.  I buy the snack box on the plane, (the cheese/fruit/cracker plate being my favorite)  Then at the airport, I find the food court and get a meal to help pass the time. 

Another example might be the afternoon vending machine run.  This often would result in a candy bar purchase (or sometimes even two).  Lately, I’ve cut down my runs to 1-2 a week, and when I go, I will get jerky or nuts. 

So is eating for boredom, entertainment/relief of duty, and reward emotional eating?

I will report for the last month, I have generally stayed within my weight watchers points, so things are doing a lot better.

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