Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who I am, how I got here

I experienced something this morning that I just had to put out there.  I sometimes wonder at our roles in our families as the fat members, or in many cases here, formally fat members.  I have struggled with my weight since late in high school.  I have two sisters that are fairly average, one tends to get chunkier than the other, my  youngest sister tops out at 140 and she feels "fat".  Mom and Dad are fairly small  people and besides my brother who is 6' I am the next tallest at 5'6".  All my life my role in the family has been the fat one.  Oh, yeah, I forgot, I have an aunt who is fatter.  Whoo hooo.  Anyhow, I think I was also bigger than her at one point. 

That being said, I have had many achievements in my life.  I have given birth to and raised two beautiful young men, 18 and 21.  I have earned a college degree and I am a professional in my field.  I have successfully maneuvered my way through a painful divorce and now find myself in a very rewarding relationship.  Yet, no matter my achievements, my worth has always been dictated by my weight.  I can document many episodes of how my weight has affected my life in my family.  The most painful yet has to be when I was so heavy that my father refused to dance with me at my little sisters wedding.  Sad but heck I'm still here, still working every day on making myself a healthier person.  I've ridden the weight roller coaster for years now, I so want to get off soon.

Anyhow, what brings me here this morning is something I got in the mail.  It was a greeting card.  hmmmmmm, what is this? I'm not a father, shouldn't be getting a Father's Day card, my birthday is in March and Mother's Day is long gone.  So I see it is from my Mother and Father.  I open the card and inside is a "congratulations on your weight loss" card.  If anyone feels I am being snarky here or wish that they had gotten something like that from their parents, I apologize heartily.  I am merely giving my gut reaction to this card that I got.  I guess I compare it to the fact that I never got a card when I graduated college as an adult after my divorce, or when my children graduated highschool and went to college, or even when I entered my field of profession and was proud of myself.  But I got a card for losing weight!  ~sighs~  It is starting to feel like I am now being accepted for losing weight and I will be invited back into the fold as a "normal sized" person.

I love my parents dearly but instead of bringing a smile to my face that card brought a tear to my eye.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

7 weeks and time to check in

Today I went for my 7 week check up with my surgeon.  I have lost 40 pounds in 7 weeks, and I have not had to have my band filled yet.  I was told "wow, I don't think I've ever had someone that lost so much in such a short time with no fill."  I am proud but humble at the same time.  Even writing it here makes me think I am bragging, telling everyone I have done so well.  But in addition to that, hovering on the horizon, are all of these other thoughts.  Well of course you've lost so much, you were so fat.  Fat people lose more quickly then people with less to lose.  And all the other insidious thoughts like "you are surely going to gain it all back."  I am afraid if I celebrate someone will come to me and tell me it was all a lie.  Gosh, how much these food issues permeate who and what I am, or who and what they want me to be.  But in the end, I have lost 40 pounds, and I hope to never put that back on again. 

What has food come to mean to me?  Well, it's not the end all and the be all anymore.  I was at work the other day and watched one of my smaller co-workers nuking her lunch.  I looked into her food container and saw what was leftovers.  They barely covered the bottom of the container.  She poked at it for a second before putting it into the microwave.  I thought to myself "AHA, that is how normal people eat!!"  Then I looked at my small container of food and realized that, yes, that is going to fill me up!!  It's surreal that I can eat 850 calories a day and not be hungry. As I told my surgeon today, "if nothing else, I am a rule follower."  Eat only 3-4 ounces of food??? You got it!  Don't drink with meals?? No problem!!  No bread?  Right on it!!  Seems like following the rules like a good girl is working for me.

So onwards and upwards to the next weeks, months and years of continuing success for me!   More updates to come.  Baby steps the whole way through.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I am going to get better at this!

I haven't blogged in a while.  I am assuming blogging, like any other habit, takes time to perfect.  I guess I go back and forth between wanting to write just about my Lap band surgery but also wanting to make this about my regular life stuff too!

But today is going to be about frustration and working too hard and finally being able to have the opportunity to sit back and RELAX.  John got his new job and starts on the 25th.  It was a long long haul to where we are now, and it has been very scary.  We are on the verge of losing our house and the mortgage company is not being cooperative.  I understand now how people are losing their homes because it gets so overwhelming dealing with all of the red tape and people just get scared.  I am thankful I was able to have two jobs when he was underemployed so now I am SO looking forward to the month of May.  I have signed on for maybe 6 days at the second job and I have a full 3 weekends off!! I couldn't be happier.  Of course my OCD personality is already figuring out projects that I am going to do, things that haven't been done in a long long time.  Bring it on!!

Now to my weight loss journey.  I have lost anywhere between 21 and 26 pounds depending on when I step on the scale.  I've lost it all since 3/23.  I'm excited, not hungry and just cruising along so far.  I hope the hunger never comes back, but I am also realistic enough to know that it will.  In either case I am going to be ready for any eventuality, because *I* am so worth it!

Friday, April 8, 2011

So far so good

It's been a while since I posted here.  Hyperfocused I suppose.  Or maybe I am just lazy!  In either case.  I have a lump.  It's as a result of the surgery and is not uncommon but why me??  It's called a seroma and it's been drained once already.  My surgeon says not to worry about it.  Hmmm, it's not HIS lump!!  So I may go back next week and get it drained again unless my body chooses to absorb it on its own.  Dare to dream. 

On the other side of this equation is the fact that this is working so far.   The scale shows a decent loss.  The numbers aren't important.  I just like to see that the scale is finally going down.  I had convinced myself I could never lose weight again.  What a scary thought.  But nothing else was working and the scale was not moving, so a clear reason is because I just couldn't do it!  I am glad to see that is not the case, because I don't like being told I cannot do something, you know?

This is such a journey, more mental then it is physical.  I imagine only those that understand weight issues will really undersand that statement.  I am working on the mental, the physical will come after I am sure of it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

So, John is at a job interview

John has just left the house to go on an interview.  Not that wonderful or amazing news one would think.  Well this is the first interview in over a year of being unemployed or slightly employed.  What is slightly employed?  Well, slightly employed is working for commission only, selling major appliances at Sears.  Sad when the commission check is dramatically less then the unemployment check was.  Very sad.  He is on an interview now and there are four more pending interviews!  After over a year of sending hundreds of resumes; and that is no exaggeration, he is now looking at being employed by three other companies as well.  What changed suddenly?  Well some would say that the economic outlook is changing.  Perhaps the unemployment rate is getting better.  I don't know what it is, I'm just happy that it is changing!

Having a partner that is slightly employed is a challenge.  There is resentment and sometimes it touches the core of the relationship.  I have been fortunate to have two jobs for the past 3 1/2 years.  I haven't been touched by the unemployment curse nor do I feel I will ever be.  That furthered resentment when I would feel as if John was not carrying his weight.  He's done much better after a few heart-to-hearts so I am thankful for that.  So here is praying for a good interview and a much needed "real job" for John.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Coming out on the other side

I had my surgery on March 29.  I got there at 8 a.m. for a 9 a.m. surgery.  The entire staff at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY worked like a well oiled machine.  I was in the pre-surgical waiting area at 9 a.m. sharp!  They brought me in and there was no count down before I was out.  I only remember waking up in the recovery room.  Well, waking up isn't the right word.  I couldn't wake up, opening my eyes was near to impossible.  They kept talking to me and I could answer them but would drift right off.  The one thing I was unhappy with was the amount of pain in between my shoulder blades and beneath my breast bone.  I was not happy at all and no walking or moving could dislodge it.  I was told it was trapped in my tissues.  Moaning and groaning ensued and not less then a few curse words escaped my lips.  I was given a shot of Demerol and slipped off to sleep again.  I was vaguely aware of John trying to talk to me or comfort me and I admit to being a bit grumpy with him.  Sorry John!  We got out of there at around 6:30 p.m. and I went straight home to bed.  John went and got my meds and some gas-x strips -- I know TMI -- and some Tagament.  I slept wonderfully that night after my meal of 3 ounces of fruit juice.  To date I have consumed 3 ounce liquid meals of low sodium vegetable brother, skinny juice and protein drinks.  Sugar free popsicles are free and don't count as a meal.  Whooo hoooo. 

I am not hungry at all due to the still mild build up of gas and of course the incisions on my torso.  Damnit, no bikini's for me.  LOL I'd roll around on the ground laughing if I could manage to get down and back up again to do so.  I am patiently waiting for tonight when John comes home with applesauce!!  Who would have thought applesauce would have excited me so much? 

I don't regret this yet although I have to admit that it's rather uncomfortable and I am usually quite stoic where pain is concerned.  I am waiting to see this working, as soon as I'm able to work it.

Good news is the scale didn't register a 10 pound weight gain from the IV fluids.  It's actually down a few pounds. Yay me, there is hope for me yet!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Beginning has to start sometime

Today is the last day of my old life.  That's so dramatic.  On Tuesday morning, March 29, I am going to be getting banded.  What does that mean to those who don't get it?  Well it means that I am undergoing a surgery that will dramatically reduce the amount of food I am able to consume.  It's called the Lap Band.  I wonder idly at the origin of that name, but I don't wonder too much.  It is what it is and I am going to join an alarmingly large -- no pun intended -- and growing -- damn pun again -- group of people who have already undergone this semi-dramatic way to lose weight. 

So how have I prepared for this particular journey?  Well, I've eaten.  I've eaten most everything I can get my hands on.  I feel like I am going to take the Dead Man's Walk and I've eaten my last meal at least 20 times in the past couple of weeks.  Tomorrow I fast.  It's not because the doctor requires it but because I've made myself ill and can't fit anymore food inside of me!! I am going to be prepared for the day of surgery and immediately following, when chicken broth will be classified as a meal and 4 ounces of skim milk will be classified as a snack. 

I told a friend recently that I was ashamed to have reached this point in my life where my own self control couldn't help me remain healthy. I hate self loathing and don't often sink to its depths.  But I'm frustrated and have nobody to blame but myself.  She said that I am taking a necessary step to get healthy and she encouraged me to start this blog.  So here I am, doing just that.  May the journey begin.