Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Dirt...Part 1

Let me start off by saying, wow! The amount of support I got over my first post is really spectacular. It's one of the hardest thing for me, to let in praise and support but it's hard to keep it out when it keeps pouring in. I appreciate it more than my meager words could express.

Now for what your really here for...the dirt! The dirt on why I decided to have a someone go into my body with a robot (it's called the DaVinci Robot ...super classy y'all) and shave my stomach down to a thin line and remove the rest of it through my belly button. I mean I had nothing to do on Thursday the 12th so I figured, meh, why not.

All kidding aside, this has been a long time coming. I had looked into Gastric Bypass ( a much more drastic procedure with far more potential pitfalls) about 10 years ago. I went through all the pre testing but when it came time to schedule the procedure I couldn't go through with it. At the time, they weren't going to be able to do my procedure laparoscopic (aka with a robot) and I would be cut open. As much fun as that sounds, it would also have involved them implanting a mesh filter in my veins that I would have had to live with the rest of my life. That really made me second guess everything and I never went back.

Cut to Christmas time 2016. My husband and I had been trying for a while to lose weight together. We tried but honestly we both love food sooo much that it made it so impossible for us to stay on top it. Not to mention, we both hate to be the bad guy so stopping one another from poor choices was not our strong suit. I was feeling incredibly depressed by all the weight I had gained back. I was back at almost the beginning, 357 pounds. I couldn't fit into booths, I couldn't ride the rides, I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without feeling like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. It was feeling quite bleak. Then, as with most things in life, random things began to happen.

The first was a study had come out stating that the best way for obese people to lose weight and maintain it was through surgery. I was shocked. It wasn't by a small margin either.  (here is the article I read if you are interested ). It made me think about surgery as an option again. The second was two amazing co workers of mine had had the surgery done and they were such an incredible source of knowledge and first hand experience. They both had it done with Dr. Arif Ahmad at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson, NY. They were so open and honest about what they were going through that it made the idea of surgery a possibility. I am forever going to be grateful to my two guardian angels, Robin and Yvette. They helped saved my life, of that I have no doubt.

After months of thinking and watching my friends go from miserable to happy and full of energy, Brian and I finally made it to one of Dr. Ahmad's seminars. The seminar is your first step. You go, get weighed in, and then listen to people who have been through the procedure tell their stories, answer your questions, and then Dr. Ahmad comes in with more specifics about the surgery itself and the various options. From there you make a follow up appointment with Dr. Ahmad and his staff to have a one on one consultation.

I will take a breather here and let you soak all of that up. I will pick up where I left off to get to the real nitty gritty of the past 6 months. For now, I am going to be good to myself, talk a little walk, then sip the hell out of some water, baller style.

Monday, October 16, 2017

5 years later...


What can I say about the last 5 years? They have been, without a doubt. the best 5 years of my life. I married my best friend on November 1st, 2013, have gone on amazing adventures, gotten to be an aunt 4 times over and witnessed the growth of my friends families with millions of babies.
Image result for millions of babies

So why start this blog up again, you ask? Well, despite it being the best 5 years of my life, I have managed to lose my way in the health department. Happiness has a way of letting you forget about things like eating healthy and exercising. Perhaps it doesn't for other people but for me, well those things go right out the ole window. Getting back on track has always proved difficult for me and this time has been no different. Despite being surrounded by a huge support system, losing weight and keeping it off has been an eternal struggle. It's time for something drastic. It's time to do something that has proven to help people who have been obese their entire lives like I have. It's time...to have Gastric Sleeve Surgery...
Image result for omg

That's right, I am having Gastric Sleeve Surgery.  In fact, I've already had it. I went in for surgery on 10/12/17 and am home writing this blog. After speaking with a few friends who expressed how much they loved this blog my first time around, I decided to come back to it to keep anyone interested updated on how I am doing. The background on my decision will come in future posts. As of today, I am in less pain but still having a really tough time post surgery. It's so much harder than I ever imagined it would be. The nausea, the headaches, the lack of sleep, the strange sounds my remaining stomach now makes. It's all sorts of fun!! (Haha jk). Stay tuned for more insight and updates. For now, I am going to rest and try to get down the rest of my protein shake for the morning. The struggle is real folks.... 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

OA & Me, Not Meant to Be



This image perfectly sums up what I looked like after getting home from the OA meeting I (finally) attended. A mixture of rage, sadness and just ugly, ugly crying. Why such rage? Why such overwhelming sadness? Lemme explain.

I do not have blind faith. In order to "work the program" you have to have blind faith. In God, higher power or a group of total strangers. Ain't gonna happen here kids. I never thought I was this cynical but it turns out when faced with a group of people, praising God/Higher Power I want to run as fast as I can in the other direction. So to sit for an hour and half with a group of people who do was excruciating. I had to bite my tongue and swallow the feelings of disbelief, which exploded out of me in a shaking rageful venting session (Thank you Brian for letting me sound like a complete asshole and  not judging me whilst doing so). I need time to trust people and this group wants you to just hand it over the minute you get there.

The sadness came in this overwhelming feeling that I am never going to find the answer. Even with my doubts about OA, I had hoped I could find what so many others have found there. A sense of belonging or something. How can you feel you belong somewhere when the people there don't seem real? They don't talk about their issues or problems, they just talk about the healing power of OA. They repeat the steps and positive little mantras over and over again like some sort of cult. They couldn't explain why.

The ugly, ugly crying came as a response to the feeling that I am unfixable. That my mind works in a way that can't be fixed. That is forever doomed to run in circles but never settle. I feel broken inside my own head. I want to push everyone away because I don't want them to have to deal with me because I don't want to deal with me. I feel like I'm too much. My stubbornness is insurmountable. How can you reason with someone who can find a way to get out of doing just about anything?

I've always wanted to fix my problems on my own. No medicine, no groups, no therapy. I believe there is something wrong with me that I can't do it on my own. The truth is that I'm wrong. You can't do something like this alone. The first step has been therapy. The next step for me I think is medicine. I need something to make the circles stop. Perhaps once the circles slow down I can find a way out and actually move forward.




Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Twelve Steppin

Therapy was interesting. It's strange to be back again after so many years away from it. The jury is still out on the therapist. I liked her but I didn't feel an immediate connection with her. However, just like dating, you have to give people a chance (unless they are total lunatics and ask you to take your shoe off in a Starbucks to see what brand it is and to see your feet...yeah, that happened). I enjoy the feeling of being able to unburden myself somewhere other than at home (Brian is such a great man but even he can break under the weight of my round about thinking).

I promised myself that whatever my therapist offered up as treatments (exercises, meditation, group therapy) I would give it a chance. In my former therapy days, I was beyond obstinate. I would only do the things I was comfortable with. I just wasn't ready then. To challenge my ideas or to leave my comfort zone. While my instant reaction to most new things is a tightening of my stomach and a steel-like resolve in my head to not do it, I am just saying yes.

Of course, her first suggestion was Overeaters Anonymous. Way to bring out the big guns of uncomfortability for me lady therapist! I went right to my trusty answer which is "I'm not sure that's for me". She was pretty adamant about it and after a few minutes I realized I have to do it. Not because she told me but because I have never done it. How can I be so sure I am going to hate something without ever trying it (this rule does not apply to anything involving birds though...I will ALWAYS hate anything to do with them so no dice).

I have spent some time this morning taking a look at the OA site and what it's all about.. For those who don't know OA, its pretty much Alcoholics Anonymous but food is in place of alcohol. The twelve steps are there and everything! Here's the thing, the main reason I have never wanted to get involved in this group is their heavy referencing of God. An example of this is "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity". I don't think I can ever get on board with thinking like this.

Do I believe in a higher power? Yes. Do I believe that it can restore my sanity? Hell no. It doesn't work like that. At least not to my thinking. I have never seen any evidence to support such a theory. It seems to me like your saying "I have no control over these things, so I am going to put my faith in this higher power/God, to make me better". It takes the onus off of you and onto God. My belief in a higher power does not include a "plan" or any answering of prayers. I believe that there are mysteries out there and that something as awe inspiring as this planet could not have simply risen out of the mud. That's where it stops though. I just think, that if this higher power was going to restore some sanity, it might be to those nut jobs who kill people, or use it's name to hurt/repress/disadvantage others. That's a bit more important than my eating habits.

All that being said, I am still going to go. I will see what they have to say and if I feel like it's something I can get into. I just needed to get it off my chest I guess.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The path to change is never straight

A straight path is what we all crave. With no bumps or off ramps or construction delays. However, life is not a straight path. It's like those winding mountain roads I loved to travel as a child (still do). With dark corners and scary curves over precipices. There are some straight bits; with little to see or do but are comforting none the less. Sometimes, you have to change course, get off and take the long back roads. You never know what you are going to find there but you hope that you still find your way to your destination.

I have taken a major detour from my path. I have been wandering in the woods for some months now. Knowing where the road is but never wandering back to it completely. I know (logically) that I can get back on that road whenever I want to. I just haven't fully wanted to.

So in non-metaphor terms, what's really going on? I am back up to 270 pounds, my clothes are super tight and I am miserable. I feel like a total failure. Even with getting on weight watchers a few months ago, I have managed to lose 12 pounds and then gain that all back and then some. It's not that weight watchers doesn't work. I don't work. I am using food to ease my anxiety. Which, is clearly, working out like gang busters. My anxiety is only momentarily assuaged by the food. It's still there when I'm done, only slightly muted.

I know that I could go back on Medifast and lose a lot of weight again. I am tempted to do it barring the high monetary cost. However, that is also only a temporary fix. I need to do the thing I have been avoiding for years now. Getting down to the hard work of changing me. Changing my outlook and my perception of myself. I have already changed so much in the past 2 years and I try to be proud of that. Yet, it's not enough. I still feel the same about myself as I did when I started. My depression has come back into play on top of it all.

So why come back to my blog? I am going back to therapy (today actually). I am fairly certain (based on my past experiences with therapy) that there will be some writing exercises. Even though I have this blog, I have always hated writing exercises. I also hate saying positive statements to myself in the mirror. I hate them because it means I have to face my feelings. I try to stamp my feelings down or devalue them because they feel so overwhelming. It's like if I allow myself to feel those feelings, they will never stop. This is why I've come back here. This feels like a safe space for me to write and allow my feelings to be released.

If anyone is reading, welcome back to my inner monologue. It's going to be one hell of a trip.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Realizations

You ever have one of those moment's of clarity that almost knock you off your feet? I had one the other day. It helped to change my mood instantly(toward the positive). Sometimes, all we need is the simple question of why answered. In trying to figure out why I am anti weight loss and trying to find comfort in food, I stumbled across the answer. Change. That pesky think I keep talking so much about.

The change that has me all wound up is moving. It's a great thing. I am moving in with the love of my life and I am beyond excited about it. However, even good change is change none the less. It means leaving behind my amazing apartment of the past 5 years. It means having to learn how to live with someone new. Learn their habits, their quirks, where to bend and when to stand firm. It means having to figure out so many little details that you take for granted over the years (who pays the bills, who takes out the garbage, who checks on scary noises in their underwear at 2am..).

Most of all though I realized just how scared I am to leave my sister behind. In case I haven't mentioned it before (or you are a new reader..if so Welcome!), my sister is my (how can I put this without sounding weird...I can't so here goes) soul mate. I obviously don't mean that in a creepy sexual way (pervs!). I mean it in that we have a deeper understanding of each other than anyone else. Since she came into my life I have cherished her. Yes, we have our moments and fight or get mad at each other (we are human after all). Overall though we have just about the best sister relationship out there. We speak in a language all our own (made up of ridiculous statements and full blow scenarios that we create out of thin air). She gets me and I her. Living with her these past 5 years has been nothing short of magical. In moving, I will lose some of that magic. Getting to come home and share our days. Watch a crazy amount of reality television (until our eyes bleed). Talk about what's going on in our lives and have a shoulder to cry on if we need it. I am not saying that Brian won't be able to give me what I need. It's just not going to be the same (hence change). I dont' want to lose the closeness we have developed. It is going to be of the utmost importance to me that I work hard to keep that (because all relationships take work and attention). We will always be sisters (the benefit of blood relations) and I know that our relationship will grow and change with us.

I look forward to what those changes will be. Her marrying and having kids. Taking vacations with our respective boo's and boolets. Growing old together. Who knows, we may come full circle someday and live out our old age together (minus the cats). In the meantime, I will take care to make sure she knows just how much these past 5 years have meant to me.

Moving is going to be a great new adventure. Once things settle into rhythms again I know I will refocus my attentions. Until then, I am thinking twice about reaching for food to comfort me. I may still do it (old habits die hard) but far less frequently. That a-ha moment has helped me to feel a bit more in control. Imma take that and run with it.

Pretty much sums us up

Monday, February 6, 2012

Can a leopard really change their spots?

After a particularly wonderful (and much needed) catch up chat with my friend, Emily, my brain began to spin. On what? On the idea of change and your mindset.  Can we ever truly change? Can we every really make the voices stop or even get quieter? Is it all temporary?

The answer for me seems to be no. I have struggled most of my life with the same issues. The same thoughts. The same beliefs. The same mindset. How can you change something that deeply ingrained? I can do things on a temporary basis it seems. For a short time, I can stay focused on thinking more positively. I can even say nice things to myself without immediately wanting to laugh at how untrue they are. However, it last for only a fleeting moment.

I don't think I am some sort of horrible creature. Merely not worthy. Nothing special. Average. Average has never been something to celebrate. Who gets a trophy for coming in the middle of the pack? (well things may be different now that every single kid gets a trophy for showing up to the game).  I want to be so much more than average but I fall short. Which is my own fault, since I cut myself off at the knees. I only give enough effort to stay average. If I am not immediately good at something I give it up. Why keep doing something that your clearly awful at?

Even in my fuddled mind I know how totally irrational that sounds. Someone doesn't become a pianist over night.They practice for hours a day for years. However, I don't know where they get that determination and drive. What is it about that one task that makes them want to keep going even if they aren't very good to begin with? Is it the love of the music? What sense of satisfaction do they get?

While this blog is about weight loss, it's really about what got me to be as heavy as I was (and still am). The weight was just a symptom of the larger problem. My mind is the bad guy here. The one that makes it impossible for me to fight any more. The one who only gives me rest when I eat something sugary/carb loaded. It makes the overwhelming deluge of negative thoughts quiet  for a moment. Depending on the food it may even quiet them for a few hours. However, it's a band aid. The thoughts always come back. Louder than before and seemingly having multiplied (getting busy whilst I ate some ice cream..it's like an episode of Jerry Springer).

I have done therapy. I have been on anti depressants. None of it did much good. The thoughts are too strong, too stubborn and deeply rooted.  It makes one feel defeated. Maybe what I will have to do is create an alter ego. A superhero who can do battle with these thoughts. Does that make me crazy? Yes, yes it does. You can only fight crazy with a higher, more whacked out crazy. (Even as I write this I am saying to myself..yeah right your never going to spend the time doing that. Not to mention, my sewing skills stop just short of Lycra pant suits and capes).

If I can't change the thoughts, what can I do? Hide away has always been my favorite answer. I don't want to hide though. I want to find a solution. I want to be ok. I want to be able to smile and mean it. I want to finally feel like I am good enough (and not just for a moment). It means hard work. I am not sure what it will take for me to be ready to do it. But, just like losing weight, one day I will get fed up enough to do something about it. I hope that day is really soon.