Friday, March 30, 2012

213.0; Feelings (again)

Every morning I get up and the first thing I do is weigh myself.  I've been doing this since December.  While I resisted weighing daily for quite a long time, I realized that I would never truly know my body unless I did so daily for a period of time.  So every morning I weigh myself.  And when I come out of the bathroom Pete asks me how much I weigh.

Now in the past I've run out of the bathroom to announce my weight, when it was a good/great one.  I've come out sad and disappointed and quietly said my number too.  Since the surgery I've come out with a puzzled look.  This morning Pete asked me why I wasn't happy when I came out and I had lost another pound.

I can't quite explain it.  I don't understand it.  Maybe it's because I don't feel like I've earned the loss?  I'm not working out to lose.  Maybe it's the emotions of having surgery and adjusting to my new body system?  Maybe it's because I'm in my second period of the month and my hormones are all out of whack?  But for some reason, while I'm glad the weight is coming off, it's not the celebration I thought it would be.

I'm going to take this weekend to rest up after my exhausting week back at work.  I'm going to try to get to the gym for cardio twice this weekend plus enjoy the nice weather outside.  And I'm going on a date with Pete tonight to the Mall of America to walk around and hold hands.  And I plan on thinking about all this too and seeing if I can come to any answers.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

213: 1 week post-op

I'm waking up hungry.  It's interesting because I don't recall feeling actual hunger for a long time.  I was so used to feeding my body bad things at various times that true hunger pains rarely existed in my tummy.  Even when I was doing the liquid diet before surgery I wasn't hungry.  But twice in the last 3 days I've been woken up my my hunger.

Have you felt hunger pains lately?  The kind that rumble your whole tummy?  When they happen to me, they spasm the are where the band is and it actually hurts.  It's not good.  I've been eating about 1/2 cup pureed veggies for breakfast with coffee.  1/2 cup pureed veggies and 1/2 pureed fruit for lunch.  8 ounces of protein boosted chocolate milk mid afternoon.  Dinner is similar to lunch.  But the 10-12 hours between dinner and lunch is too long for my tummy.  I think I need to add in a glass of milk before bed and see if that makes a difference.

I saw my surgeon yesterday.  She took the tape off all my incisions.  There are 6 of them.  The port one is low on my tummy and still has sterie strips on them.  The next largest one is right on my left rib area and painful still.  It's got a large bump there that isn't normal.  She said that they use a netting in the hold to stop the bleeding and the netting may have popped out because it's so close to my ribs.  Or it's a pocket of old blood or fluid.  It's not hernia like because it doesn't get bigger with pressure from my abs.  In any case she said my body would start absorbing the bump and I should just watch it for signs of infection in the next week.  I don't have to go back until week 6 when I'm eligible for my first fill!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

214: I GET IT

Monday was hell.  I had been gone from work for 3 days, but it seemed like forever.  I had cases to catch up on, calls to return and new cases to deal with.  I hit the ground running and really never got a break.

At one point my supervisor came in and asked me how I was doing.  I was honest and said that I was sore.  Then I blurted out that I had a gastric band put in.  Right then and there I understood it.  How odd and awkward it is to tell someone what procedure I had.  I get why the people in my life who've had it don't want to tell.  I get how weird it is to tell people that you work with or that you motorcycle with or whatever that you had this done.  It's as if I told them my my whole weight history with just one sentence.

Most of the people at work know because I've been honest about it.  It's not a secret, but I'm not broadcasting it either.  I need to figure out what to say to clue people in so that if it comes up I can be honest, but not awkward.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

216: Feelings

I drove to work on Monday in my new 217 pound body and was suddenly scared.  I wondered where this feeling came from, but had to acknowledge it.  So I sat it in.  Truth be told I had been up for 2 hours and was spooning runny pudding with protein powder every 15 minutes on my ride.  But I was eating before having the feeling.  Actually eating my 1 cup of food each meal takes me about 45 minutes so if sometimes feels like I'm always eating.

Suddenly I was scared.  Scared of how quickly I was losing weight.  In almost 4 months I have lost almost 30 pounds.  My body is changing and I have folds and flaps where I didn't have them before.  And yet I also have collarbones and hipbones and ribs where I didn't before.  I feel as though I need to study my body each day to see what changes there are before I miss them, almost as though you watch a baby change and grow each day.  I wonder if I should take a picture each day?  And then I realize that I would be focusing too much on the small things.

I'm scared of losing so fast that my skin cannot catch up.  I'm wondering if the underarm floppy skin will only get a bit worse or much much worse.  Will I be able to live with it?  Will I be a candidate for surgery to have it removed? 

I'm suddenly scared of this process that I started 3 years ago.  Why am I so scared of it now?  It's what I wanted, right?  I remind myself that it is.  And yet I remind myself that I just had major surgery and I need to let my body and emotions heal from that before I start thinking these things.  I remind myself that I am partly scared because I am shedding my fatgirl persona and I need to do some hard  work to figure out who I am beneath all that. 

I remind myself that I KNEW it would be both physical and mental.  Maybe my mental just need to catch up with my physical?

Monday, March 26, 2012

217.2; Surgery is Hard

So I know that I said I'd be posting last week, but honestly surgery is hard.  I'm back at work this morning and I'm tired as hell. 

Wednesday morning went off without a hitch.  Pete was the one by my side, waiting with me until I went into surgery.  The nurse informed my mom that only one person was allowed to wait with me.  I was anxious about surgery, but I have to give much credit to the anesthesiologist.  He was very attentive to my concerns and assured me that it would all go ok.  I was wheeled into the operating room and don't remember anything until I woke up in recovery.  Awesome job!

I got up to my room and I don't remember much about getting there, except that I was tired.  I do have to say that my lower abs hurt.  The port is attached to your left ab muscle and with every moment, your ab screams at you to let you know that it's not happy it's there.  I felt a lot of pressure in my abs and my left rib area where one of the scopes was put in.  I spent much of Wednesday afternoon dozing on and off.  I know that Pete was there and my parents were there for a while.  I also know that I was asleep for the night by 9pm.

Thursday morning I woke up and they wheeled me down to xray to drink the fluid and have scans taken to make sure that nothing was blocked.  I have to admit, after having nothing to drink or eat for 48 hours, I wasn't hungry, but the flavor of the bitter drink wasn't that bad.  As soon I I got back to my room they started me on water.  2 tablespoons every 15 minutes.  I drank and recorded all morning.  When Dr July came in I asked about being discharged.  The issue was that my bladder had not woken up.  Because I couldn't go to the bathroom on my own, I had to stay until that happened.  I ended up not being able to go home until 5pm.

Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time resting.  I'd get up at 8 am, eat "breakfast" of jello and broth and nap.  Get up and eat lunch of jello and broth and nap.  Get up and eat dinner of broth and jello, watch some tv with Pete and be asleep again my 9pm.  Every move of my abdomen made those abs scream at me.  Every time I sat down, sat up, rolled over in bed, walked fast, stood up too quickly...

I did meet my goal of being below 220 before surgery.  I was 219 in the hospital.  When I left the hospital I was up to 227 from all the fluids they pump you with.  But each day I weighed less and today I am at 217.  I expect to be about 212 or so by my appointment on Wednesday.

So that's all the stuff.  I have photos from before surgery and afterwards that I'll get up this week. 
Any questions?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

220: Before Photos

So I chose clothes to take pictures in for before shots.  Something that was clinging to show (hopefully) what I'll look like in the process.  Forgive the items on the ledge.  The best place for me to get pictures is on our landing.

Honestly it's hard for me to look at those pictures.  I'm not what i saw in my head for a long time.  I saw someone who wasn't "that bad" and that's when I was about 55-60 pounds heavier.  I'm better, but still not what I want to be.  In the back of my head I wonder what my arms will look like.  You can already see some hanging skin by my biceps.  I worry about what it will look like in 6 months.  But I'm willing to cross that bridge when I get to it.  I'm willing to go the journey and figure it out when I get to that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sitting With Emotions

Likely I'm just coming out of surgery when this will post, but I felt it was a it was a honest reflection that I needed to share.

Work has been stressful for me in the last six months.  I didn't get in on the opportunity to participate in a telework project and it kind of deflated me for a while.  I'm the go to person for a certain type of case in my unit.  This work is above and beyond my normal duties.  At times I go for months without having a special case.  At at times it feels as if I am never without this type of case.  Since October of 2011 I've had 8 of these cases.  At times my supervisor will give something of my normal duties away to compensate me, but not always.

In addition to that, my supervisor has been on vacation in the last week and I am the go to person for issues arising while he is gone.  It's not that much additional work, but some headaches.  It's interesting listening to a client complain to you about your unit's work.  It has given me a different perspective on my supervisor's job.

Monday I came into work, knowing that I only had 2 days to get my work caught up and to deal with 2 of those special cases.  In the morning, a coworker who I consider a friend also, called into question how I dealt with one of the special cases.  It was interesting, because her reaction is likely what my reaction to my supervisor was a year or so ago.  However, after doing many of them, I understand what the agency wants from these cases and how they likely deal with them.  I tried to explain this to my coworker, as my supervisor likely explained it to me in the past.  My coworker accused me of using work buzz words on her and to stop it.

It was so not what I needed at that moment.  My anxiety over upcoming surgery already had my emotions running high.  This topped it off and I admit to shedding a few tears.  My next reaction?  What can I eat?  I feel like eating.  But I sat in that emotion and let it ride out, even if it meant more tears.  I vented to Pete and he listened.  And still I sat in the emotion while continuing to do my work. 

I sat in the emotion and it was ok.  It was hard, but I survived.  I kept some of the emotions to let out at a class at the gym later that day.  But the remainder of the emotion I let flow.  This is a good lesson and reminder to me that I don't need food to solve all my problems.  It's also an example of why losing weight isn't just a simple thing.  It's complex and until I/you deal with all the issues around it, you'll never be successful.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

220.8; Surgery Tomorrow

I had a stressful day yesterday.  I'll tell you more about it in tomorrow's blog post.  But the result was that I talked myself into going to the gym for a BodyPump class.  I ran a mile prior to the class and spent an hour sweating, moving and lifting weights to music.  It was just what I needed.

This is my menu today.  Last night was the last "real" meal before surgery.  Today I can only have clear liquids.  This is to um, clean out my system prior to surgery.  Decaf coffee, sugar free jello, broth soups, 100% fruit juice mixed with half water.  This is all I'm "eating" today. 

To say that I'm nervous is an understatement.  I had a hard time sleeping last night.  Pete asked me this morning how I was doing and I told him I was nervous.  I asked him if he thought I was doing the right thing.  He reminded me again why I started this part of my journey.  He reminded me of the ups and the downs that I've had in the past.  He reminded me of my habits that kept me in a cycle of losing, gaining, plateauing.  Basically he told me everything that I already knew and reassured me that I was going to be fine.

My goal today is to stay busy.  To keep the whole thing off my mind for now.  I have a blog post all ready to go tomorrow when I head off to surgery.  I'm planning on having Pete take my picture to post later and I'll have him take some pictures in the process (hopefully I won't be too drugged up to remind him).  I should be out of the hospital on Thursday afternoon and I can't promise I'll post then, but I will get on the computer Friday to let you know how I'm doing.

Monday, March 19, 2012

220.8; I AM a runner.

My goal weight before surgery was 220.  My weight seems to go up about .5 pounds one day and then down about .7 pounds the next.  But this morning when I stepped on the scale and saw that 220 I was thrilled!

I am a runner.  I keep repeating that to myself.  I logged 18 miles between Friday- Sunday.  18 miles!!  Friday I completed 2.5 miles, did my hour long BodyPump class and then did another 2.5 miles.  Saturday morning I got up and was determined to burn some calories.  I ended up running 6.5 miles in about 95 minutes.  Hold crap!  6.5 miles at once.  It was amazing to feel the accomplishment.  My legs were a bit sore and tired on Saturday night and I went to bed happy.  Sunday morning Pete and I headed to the gym and I started on the treadmill.  I didn't think I'd get very far because my legs were tired.  But I started the running process again and my drive just continued.  I ended up with another 6.5 miles in the same time. 

All the running got me to thinking and searching.  I'm trying to find a good (free) 5K workout plan.  When I can start running again after surgery I want to try a 5 week plan to a good 5K time.  The ones that I've been searching out have you run farther than 5K on your long run days and have you work on pace the remainder of the days.  I think following something like this would help me develop a good, natural pace.  I'm excited!

18 miles in 3 days and reaching 220 on that scale?  AWESOMENESS!

Friday, March 16, 2012

222.4; Five Friday Randoms

1.  I bucked the system yesterday and wore jeans to work even though it wasn't Friday.

2.  I can finally open my mouth wide enough for my dentist to get her hands in and crown my back teeth.  This is both good (no more cracked teeth) and bad (holding my mouth open for that long is going to be killer on my TMJ).

3.  I love the feel of sitting behind Pete on the motorcycle.  Lifting my face to the sun, feeling the wind.  Sometimes I lean back and put my face to the sky, others I hug his back and lean into his neck.

4.  I was the 'activing supervisor' at work all week while my boss was gone.  I realized that listening to our clients complain about us is not my cup of tea.

5.  If for some reason I sleep in, the pup comes back to bed after Pete takes him out.  He twirls twice, flops down hard against my back and cuddles up to me to return to sleep.  Even though it wakes me up, I love it.

Extra Credit:  I am currently loving the song "You Are", sung by Lionel Richie and Blake Shelton off this album.  I forsee me buying the album for my iphone soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

221.8; Running

I've been getting about 4 miles in an hour when I run on the treadmill.  Which, is totally awesome considering that I couldn't even get 3 miles in when I started this journey.  Come to think of it, I would get about 3.5 miles at the most for the better part of the last year.  So anything over 4 is awesome.

But I've noticed a few things that I need to figure out.

My legs are tired for the first 3/4 of a mile.  I stretch out, but wonder if I'm stretching in the correct way?  All I know is that they feel like dead weight until that 3/4 mile mark when they start to lengthen and relax.  About 2 miles in I can feel my stride lengthen and my foot plant change and I can run longer periods of time without stopping.

I need to figure out how to better hydrate myself.  I end up drinking about 12 ounces of water prior to the run and about 50 ounces during the run.  Which means that half way through I end up jumping off the treadmill and loading up my water jug again.  I'm thinking there has to be a better way to hydrate myself, without my tummy sloshing from water moving as I run.

I'm an ugly runner. This means that my head sweats likely half of what I drink.  I'm constantly having to stop and wipe the sweat (what a gross word!) from my forehead and my neck.  I need to find a really absorbent, wide, cloth headband to put on when I run so that I'm not distracted by wiping.

I long to find that runners high.  I think I'm close to it sometimes because I lose sight of everything, but then something distracts me.  I need to figure out how to focus on something to get in a zone.  I tried focusing on the wall, but it makes me sick because I'm bouncing up and down to run.  I tried to focus on a point way out the window, but it did the same thing.  There has to be a trick, right?

I'm hoping to research these things in the next week or so and get some answers, tips and products. 

You know what I just realized?  I TOTALLY AM A RUNNER!  I'm asking questions about how to better my runs which means that I know I can do it!  YAY!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

222.2; I'm Sore

I've been on an non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or nsaid for almost 20 years.  It's part of having TMJ issues.  It keeps my TMJ in check on a daily basis so that I don't have pain, swelling and general achiness.  Having any surgery requires that you go off nsaids for 5 days.  They want the drug all out of your system so they can use the medications they need to use during and after surgery. 

I was disappointed to hear at the beginning of the process for the band that I'd need to go off the nsaids all together.  I spent many years in high school and college fighting TMJ issues and not understand how medications help it.  I didn't understand preventative meds and relief meds.  Once out of college my old doctor explained it and I understood that I had to take the medications likely for the rest of my life.  In my 30's I spent 3 years going to a pain clinic to figure out a pain treatment plan that I could live with.  I've had this plan in place for almost 10 years and it's worked.  Now I have to play with it and that is somewhat scary.

My band doctor and I talked about this, given that there really is nothing else I can take.  She said that with the band (the least restrictive gastric option) they don't like to see nsaids used, however, if I really need to take it she would work with me to find one that was gentle on my stomach. 

However, as I said, I had to go off the medication for surgery.  It's day number 4 and I can can feel it.  Even though I took it for TMJ issues, it helped elsewhere also.  I can feel my knees are more sore from the arthritis.  I can certainly feel achiness in my jaw and some pain.  I can feel it in my elbows with their bone spurs.  I can feel it in my hips with achiness.  And I am suffering menstral cramps and issues that I usually don't.  All of that was helped with the nsaid that I can't take.

Tough choice, huh?  But I'm confident that after surgery if I need something I can work it out with my doctors.  I've done it before and I can do it again.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do I Really Need To Do This?

You're likely wondering the same thing as I am.  Given that I am finally losing weight again, do I really need to go through with surgery for the band?  And it's an honest question given all the circumstances.  But the answer is still a yes, for several reasons.
  1. I can't sustain this.  I'm at the gym several hours a day, many days a week.  To sustain weight, the recommendation is that you average 30 minutes of working out a day, plus watching your food intake.  If history is a good predictor, I'd keep this working out up until about mid-May.  Then life would start to take over with motorcycling, Pete, work, family, friends...and I'd slack off.  Oh, I'd still work out, but more than likely it would be at most 4 days a week. 
  2. I can't sustain my way of eating.  It's not that I can't make good choices and limit portions, because I can.  However, just like number one, I can't sustain what I am doing now.  Around the same time that I'd likely stop working out so much, I'd stop the way that I am eating.  Again, life would start to interfere in that I'd be travelling every weekend with the motorcycles and at the mercy of whatever campout we were at or local hole in the wall restaurant.  I'd still do my best Monday through Thursday, but come Friday all bets would be off.  And I'd be running to the grocery store on Monday after work for the next couple of days, not wanting to buy too much because it would go back before we were home again late Sunday night. 
  3. I know my patterns.  Number one and two show that when I look back I can see patterns to my life.  The patterns don't dictate me certainly, but we all know that patterns are really really hard to break.  And I've shown in the last three plus years that I can sometimes break the pattern, but will likely return to it once I get to a point I my head says I can't return from. 
  4. I started this for a reason, to be healthier next year at this time than I am now.  I want to do that.  I want to use every tool I have in my toolbox to do that.  I knew going into it that I'd have to lose some weight to qualify and that motivated me.  When that motivator is gone I can use the tool of having the band to continue motivation to get a healthier me. 
I have no intention of not going through the surgery.  It's my choice and my journey and I can't wait to see me 365 days from surgery and where I'm at. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

222; Randoms

Weight:  I'm currently sitting at 222.2.  However, this weekend I saw 221.8 on the scale!  I can honestly say that I likely haven't seen that number since high school or my first year in college.  So I am losing weight.  I've been looking daily weight into SparkPeople on my phone.  The chart shows that I've lost 22 pounds since 12/4/11.  In total I've lost 50 pounds since I started this journey 3 years ago.  272 wasn't my biggest though.  I have a picture of my upper body at what was likely my heaviest.  I'm guessing 285 or higher.  I'm going to have Pete take a picture of me this week so that I can show progress.  When he does I'll post that and the heaviest photo too.

Workouts:  I've been hitting the gym hard.  Mondays and Fridays I do 2.5+miles from 5am-5:45am.  Then I do the Body Pump class from 6-7am.  I usually burn about 900 calories.  The rest of the week my goal has been to get in an hour of treadmill.  I try to run as much as I can.  Usually I get at least 3.1 miles running with walking rest periods and then the remainder of the hour is spent walking; about 3.1-4.25 miles.  Inevitably I end up with one rest day that I just don't go to the gym.  But it's ok, I just go the following day and resume where I left off. 

My Body:  I've noticed changes that I'm anxious about already.  I have fat & skin hanging down from my upper arms.  It's about twice the size of my actual arm/muscle.  I understand that I'm going to have hanging skin to deal with and this is just a foreshadowing of what is to come.  My thighs down seem to be getting smaller or at least not in comparison with my hips and waist.  I can get into a size 16 jeans, but they are so tight on my thighs that it's not comfortable.  I can tell that shopping is going to be very tricky.

My Eating:  I've been eating leaner meats and healthy portions.  I think for the most part I understand how it all works in my head.  I still have cravings.  But I'm not giving into them more often.  Admittedly I did eat a small bag of Jelly Belly jellybeans this weekend.  They tasted good, but I have to wonder if that is why the scale didn't continue down the 221 road and went back up to 222.

Friday, March 09, 2012

"You better get your favorite foods in."

This is a statement from one of my coworkers about my impending surgery. 

Now to be fair, she has a Lap Band herself.  She had it placed about 7 years ago and lost a lot of weight and has kept it off.  She has problems with heartburn and chews Tums like it's candy.  I laughed and admitted that I made Pete go to PF Changs on Wednesday night because I was craving salt and Chinese food.  Then she shared the things that she craved after surgery.

After we got back to working I kept thinking about it.  What would I eat if I knew that I wouldn't be able to eat it for a while?  Well actually I've been through this before.  In my late teens and twenties I was having issues with my TMJ.  At that time the thought was that surgery will correct it (which is completely opposite of the thinking now and I regret having so many surgeries).  After each one I couldn't chew for 4-6 weeks.  Then I could add soft foods back in for a few weeks, then resume my foods as tolerated.  I remember the night before surgery my mom would ask what I wanted and she always made it.  After surgery I learned how to do things like suck on an Oreo until it was mushy so I could swallow without chewing.  I circumvented the no chewing.  I will say that I lost usually between 20-30 pounds during those periods.  Without that I'd likely have been much bigger.

So I ask again, what would I have, knowing that I can't have it for a while?

Donuts.  I've been craving a fried donut for about 6 months but haven't given in.  I'm afraid that I'd start having them every morning from the gas station if I indulge once.  So I haven't.  But I may eat one prior to surgery.

Buckwheat pancakes from Original Pancake House and bacon.  I can't eat the whole plate, but I love the taste and texture of the buckwheat.

And beyond that, nothing.  Really.  After PF Changs the other night Pete wanted ice cream so we stopped at Cold Stone Creamery.  I got the small cup.  I couldn't even eat half of it.  It was way too rich and filling.  A year ago I'd have sucked that cup down and licked it out.  But after sharing entrees and desserts with Pete for the last year and watching what I eat and how much, I've become used to that.  Oh don't get me wrong, I'm sure I could polish off a huge slice of moist white cake with creamy buttercream.  But event hat is sounding less and less like something I want.

Is my brain changing just in time for surgery?

Thursday, March 08, 2012

223; Fake It 'Til You Make It

I have to admit that my the time Tuesday rolled around my whole body was tired.  For the last 3 weeks (other than a day off each week) I had been doing one of three things:  1. Jogging on the treadmill for an hour (800 calories)  2. Walking on the treadmill for an hour (500 calories)  3. Walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes and then Body Pump for 50 minutes (900 calories).  My legs haven't yet grown accustomed to jogging so much and are tired all day long.  They don't hurt, they're just so tired that by the 5th step in a flight of stairs I can feel it.

So when I woke up Tuesday I decided to skip the gym.  My thought was that I could use a rest day and I'd pick up again Wednesday to continue my workouts.  Pete did the same thing.

Wednesday my alarm went off at 4:30am and I think I turned it off.  But then Pete's shoving to get me to stop snoring, along with the dog's backflopping body against my back woke me up.  I got up, weighed myself and started getting dressed.  I asked Pete if he was going to the gym and he hesitated.  I told him that he doesn't have to go with me (which he tells me all the time too).  But he got dressed and off we went.

As I was driving I realized that I had no motovation!  None.  Here I had worked my butt off to get to weight and complete all the other things so I could qualify fro surgery and now I had no motivation.  I was a little irritated at myself and wondered why?  Then I figured it out.  I had no motivation because I had no deadline to beat.  After a few minutes I realized that was really the reason why I didn't want to go to the gym.

So what did I do?  I told Pete.  I told him I didn't want to go.  I told him I had lost my motivation that had been pushing me for the last 6 weeks.  I told him I was irritated about it.  I told him that my goal was to be down to 220 at the time of surgery in 14 days.  Easy reachable at the pace I set for myself.  Then I told him that my CHOICE was to "Fake It Until I Make It".

What does that mean?  It means that I pretended to like jogging Wednesday morning.  I pretended that I liked going to the gym at 5am on Wednesday morning.  I pretended that I was happy to be at the gym sweating Wednesday morning.  And you know what?  By the end of the 60 minutes jogging, I did like it.  I enjoyed the sweat.  I enjoyed the accomplishment of completing 4 miles.  I enjoyed running next to Pete.  I did it until I liked it.

Yay for choices.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Relationships Are Hard

I've written in the past about my rocky relationship with my Mom.  This post is partly a venting post about that and partly cathartic to just get it all out.  It's MY feelings about how the relationship looks and feels to ME.  She doesn't have a chance to respond to this because she has no idea bout this blog.  I understand that how she comes across may not be her intention and that she does these things because she cares.  That said, here goes....

I never told my Mom I was going through the process for the gastric band.  I did this purposely.  I did it with the approval of the psychologist who interviewed me for the process.  I did it with the support of my husband and my sister.  I just knew not to.

I think that my Mom is partly narcissistic and very controlling.  She has been this way all my life.  It's why I struggle with things like asserting myself in my personal life, having confidence that I can do things on my own, and living life for myself.  I learned through her actions that she would speak for me so I didn't have to, she would fix everything for me so that I never had to do it myself, she would control it all and I could take a back seat and just be.  But I'm almost 42 and I need to live my own life.

After dinner on Monday I psyched myself up mentally for a call with my Mom to tell her about the band.  I thought about all the things that she might say and what I would say in response.  Then I picked up the phone and called her.  When I told her she was shocked.  She kept asking if it was really what I wanted.  I assured her that it was.  She kept saying that, as though she thought that Pete had talked me into it.  I told her that I had a friend who had one for 7 years and I thought about doing it several times in that time frame.  She asked why and I told her that I had sleep apnea, pain in my knees and feet, higher cholesterol, higher blood glucose and I was tired to struggling and doing all the work with the gym and getting nowhere.  I told her I wanted to be healthier next year than I was today.

The call lasted about 10 minutes.  She told me that she couldn't take off work to be at the hospital as she had other plans and that she wanted Pete to call her at work to let her know how it goes.  I assured her that he would.  She said she'd talk to me before the surgery and we hung up.

I sighed a big sigh.  It wasn't that bad.  Our relationship was in a better place and she finally realized that I was an adult.

But I was wrong.  She called back about 3 hours later.  Likely she had spent the time ranting to my Dad about how Pete led me to this and how I didn't know what I was doing and I was dumb for doing it.  She reminded me about my horrible experience with Versed (the medication that makes you forget everything leading up to surgery) about 10 years ago.  She asked what the plan was for anethseia.  I told her that all through the process I had been talking to the nurse and the doctor about my anxiety with that and how I needed to know that something else was available. 


She demanded that I call and set up an appointment with an anethseist at the hospital and she would go with me to explain what happened.  I repeated what I said earlier.  Again she demanded that I call and if I wasn't going to, she would set it up and go with me.  The conversation ended with her not hearing me at all.  Her last sentence was a directive to make the call and then call her and let her know what the plan was.

I was shell shocked.  I was deflated.  I felt about 12 years old.  What her statements say to me is that she has no faith in me to figure things out by myself or confidence that I will do it "right".  I am almost 42 years old and she still thinks of me as a 12 year old that she can/has to control and do everything for.  Doing something my way is not the "right" way because it's not her way.

I cried in the dark with Pete laying next to me in bed.  My Mom will never be the kind of Mom that I can tell things to or get advice from.  She will never be that normal Mom.  Ever.  And I lull myself into thinking that our relationship is better because these episodes of her trying to control me are less.  But they are still there.  Pete thinks I should tell her all of this.  The thing is that I have.  I've tried.  She doesn't hear it.  And when something like this happens, all she can think about is how it will effect her - how her life will be effected.

And so I again grieve that relationship that I never had and never will have.  I commiserate with my sister about it as she too has the same off kilter relationship with my Mom.  I vent to Pete who listens and gives advice to make me feel better.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

223; My Birthday Present to Myself!

Yesterday was a rollercoaster day.

I started out with 2 hours at the gym.  From 5am-6am I walked on the treadmill.  From 6am-7am I did Body Pump.  Burned 900 calories and was on a high. 

I was worried about the scale at the doctor's office being way off from my scale at home.  I've been trying to lose way more than I needed to so that I would qualify.  I had a morning appointment for a last education series with a nurse at the office.  I weighed 225 there.  More than enough to qualify.  YAY.  But while there she said that I'd have to see the surgeon later that day, then come back again after the insurance okay'd the proceedure.  It felt like another stopping block.  I left the office pretty down, thinking that it was again another waiting game.

In the afternoon I returned to the office to see the surgeon.  It turns out that they do set appointments for the surgery date, but they set them a week out to get insurance approval.  So March 21st I'll be getting my Realize Band placed.  I'll wake up on my birthday the next day, a year older, and on my way to being healthier next year than I am right now.  A brithday present to myself of sorts.

I spent the evening talking to Pete about how I was excited to get the band and nervous and a whole host of other emotions.  Then I sat down to call my Mom.  And it didn't go so well.  So I ended up last night on a big down.

Sometimes it feels as though every good thin in my life is tempered by something negative.

Monday, March 05, 2012

224; @*#% Nervous

I have been working my ass off.  Literally.  I've been doing at least an hour on the treadmill for 6 days a week, for the last 3 weeks.  1 hour is usually about 700 calories on the treadmill for me.  My legs are tired.  Really tired.  I've been doing Body Pump a couple of times a week after the treadmill.  I end up with another 400-500 calories from that.  So I've been burning between 600-1000 calories a day. 

I've been watching what I eat and when I eat.  I tried to make the best out of having a motorcycle meeting a a rib place by having vinegar based coleslaw and 1/3 pound pulled chicken.  Instead of eating crunchy peanut butter pretzels that Pete eats, I've been eating 1 1/2 cups of fruit (berries, grapes, pineapple).  I made Pete a cake yesterday and never tried the batter or the cake.  (CAKE IS MY THING!)  Last night I made grilled mahi mahi with a grilled pineapple/mango salsa with crunchy peppers.  I added a small portion of rice and cuban beans.

I've been drinking at least 100 ounces of water.  Usually about 40 during my workouts and about 60-85 during the rest of the day. 

I've been trying to get used to the CPAP.  I have 2 different masks, but still only get about 2-3 hours a sleep a night with it on before it wakes me up and I can't get back to sleep.

Today I go in for my final education session with the bariatric center.  Then I see the doctor again to see if I can schedule surgery.  My hope is that I'm still at the 224 mark and I can schedule surgery in the next couple of weeks.  But I'm so freaking nervous. 

Thursday, March 01, 2012

225.6; Nervous

I am getting nervous.  It seems as though the closer I get to setting a surgery date, the more nervous I am.  Just so you know, I'm not taking the decision lightly.  This is a medical procedure that requires surgery and will alter me for the rest of my life.  It's serious.

I look at the plateau that I broke though to get into the 220's and think, "Maybe I can do this on my own."  And yet as I look at my weights in the last 2 months I see that I am again in a plateau in the 220's.  Maybe I can do this on my own.  But will it take another 2 years to break this plateau?

I've been watching My 600 Pound Life in the last week.  I am facinated by the stories.  I don't have hundreds of pounds to lose, but the process is the same.  I can chose to use the tool and lose weight or I can chose to ignore the tool and either stay the same, or as some of them did, regain weight.  I can't help but wonder where I'll be in 7 years.  What will I look like?

I'm worried about excess skin.  Prior Fat Girl talks about her skin removal.  She is happy with it, but has scars.  I have scares from TMJ surgeries.  I know what it's like to treat scars.  I know how self concious I can be with them and how people stare.  I've resigned myself that I'll need skin removal in my thighs, butt area, torso and arms.  Will insurance pay for this?  How long will I have to live with excess skin before I can have surgery?

I'm extreamly worried about the surgery it's self.  Not the actual putting probes in me.  The medicine that they give you for surgery so that you don't remember is called Versed.  I've had plenty of ear tube surgeries, tonsils and such as a kid.  Never remember anything.  I've had 4 TMJ surgeries as an adult.  Never remember anything.  And yet in 2002 I had bone spurs removed from my elbow.  They wanted to do a nerve block and not full anisthesia.  They couldn't get the block in and ended up having to do full anesthisa.  I remember EVERYTHING up until going to sleep.  I remember them numbing my throat so it felt like I couldn't breathe and not telling me what they were doing.  I remember struggling to get my hands to my throat to signal that I couldn't breathe.  I remember them cathetering me.  I remember it all and I have massive anxiety about the medicine not working again.

Suffice it to say, I'm still nervious about this choice I've made.  But if I wasn't, I'd question my reasoning for having it.