Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Denial and Food Addiction

While watching the fabulous Dr. Oz today, a topic was brought up that was both familiar yet shocking. Four guests are significantly (I'd definitely say morbidly) obese and love it. Yes friends, I said they LOVE their size, their body, their food, their admirers-all of it. They even argued with the fabulous Dr. about the fact that they are healthy. One even wanted to become the largest woman in America.


To think of how hard I have worked to a) accept me for me both at my largest and now at my smallest b) work hard to regain and maintain my health. Their defense was they have fans in the form of feeders and feeding fetishes. A few of the guests actually made a living with their sizes and the fetishes. But at what cost?

They said they weren't unhappy, they said they loved themselves, they said they were healthy. Yet after talking, two of them decided they needed a change. Addiction is a crazy ride especially when it is on Denial River.

By far food is a drug for many people. Unfortunately it is one that is readily available and socially acceptable not to mention necessary for survival. Sadly, it is a fine line between acceptable and outrageous. Whether a person chronically over eats or binges occasionally there are too many people that have been conditioned to turn to food. The Clean Plate Club; Dessert is your Reward; No Food is your Punishment; Have some Food, you'll feel better are all a few of my biggest pet peeves, and also help lead to eating disorders.

As a teen I felt the only thing I controlled was my food, so I ended up never eating or binge eating. As I got older that turned into attention from boys. Then when the attention from boys/men became out of my control, I went right back to food. Food and I had a love/hate relationship. I loved to eat it and hated to pass it up. I made myself ugly and undesirable so no one would want to bother me. Long story short, my Prince Charming in Camo Armor changed my thoughts on love so I decided to give up my barricade of fat. Dealing with the emotions that came along as I shed each pound was enough to break anyone, but I've persevered. I hope to be a beacon to even just one person, to show them they don't have to settle for what they have. Everyone is worth it, everyone deserves to be happy and healthy and loved.

Moral of the story today is Food does not love you back, but you can love you and there are plenty of people out there that will love and accept you.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Patient vs Visitor

Its so great to not be a patient for once.....While visiting Mom after her VSG surgery, I'm realizing how much I missed after mine. Between the anesthesia and the pain medication, there's a lot of room for missed memories. At least now I've had a taste of what my mother will be like should she ever be cursed with Alzheimer's. (Love you Mom...lol)

How any patient ever gets rest in the hospital I'll never understand. While the quality of care here is top notch, there is always so much going on. Between checking vital signs and walking the halls sleep comes in the form of PCA induced cat naps. No wonder patients come home feeling zapped.

All in all I wouldn't trade the results of my surgery for anything, I just know that the immediate recovery is the pits. While watching Mom snooze I'm reminded of how tender and spacey I felt. While I didn't want to be alone, I sure did not feel up to visitors. Lucky for me hubby sat quietly in the corner only asking an occasional question or two.

Being a visitor I now realize how important comfort is not only for the patient, but for the visitor as well. Refreshments, distractions and comfy chairs have been such a wonderful asset for me today. I can only hope the customer service at other hospitals is at least a fraction of what I'm experiencing.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Changing For the Good

91 pounds......an average 11 year old child.......Gone from my body.....WOW. Looking back, its hard to imagine a time when I had to haul that extra weight around. No wonder my entire body hurt all the time. Size 26/28 to a 14/16, 3XL to L....

In 1 short year I have managed to change my body and my life forever. Not saying the weight will never come back--who knows what the future holds, and I know that I'm fighting tooth and nail to keep it off. My anatomy will never be the same. I still have a good 40 years or more in this body and will always have to deal with my decision. At this moment, I can honestly say it was a good decision. HOWEVER, this is not a magic bullet, not easy and not the easy way out. It is a long, hard road to even have the surgery not to mention the amount of work that goes into maintaining this lifestyle forever....

I'm thankful for the support of family and friends and the countless networking of WLS bloggers (Melting Mama, World According to Egg Face, Bariatric Foodie) and WLS patients (Bariatric Bad Girls Club) that I have been able to turn to for information, encouragement and inspiration. I highly recommend anyone considering weight loss surgery to do your research, research some more, and then research even more. Find credible sources and ask questions when you aren't clear on something. Do not go into this lightly and be prepared for a roller coaster. Not everyone will be a cheerleader, not everyone will be behind you after all of it is said and done, but you will find a stronger support system because of those that abandon you. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It will be ok....I think....

Anxiety is the pits. Whether it is over what to wear to your interview, hope I pass the test or OMG there is something in the world outside that's going to get me.

Irrational fears are nothing to mess with. Thanks to them, I have not been able to work in a week....and when this week is over, what then? I have to support my family.

*Insert Fairy Godmother with magic wand to make it all disappear*

Drats, nothing happened. Unfortunately everything I've tried to help alleviate my anxiety has not worked.

  • Take my medications -check
  • Deep breathing exercises -check
  • Reality orientation -check
  • Talking to peers/family -check

Needless to say I'm off to the doctor today to try to get some answers/relief. Feeling like I will die if I leave my house, fearing I will harm someone if I am near them, facial tics/spasms, numbness/tingling, generalized body pain, and digestive system reactions are not on my list of fun.

Today I am trying to focus on me and my family and try to get over this hurdle. I really think all of this was triggered by taking on a new job. Same facility, new department. Not necessarily more responsibility, just responsible for different things. The thought of having someone's life in my hands freaks me out!!! Thanks to this anxiety flare, I am either irrationally changing my major (from nursing to business management) or I am saving myself 2 years of school and a lifetime of stress by not going through with a career that I will ultimately not be able to function in.

It is interesting how I love to help people and make a difference in their life, yet I am scared. to. death. of being around people. I love the idea of being someone's hero in their time of need, but can't honestly say I want to be the one responsible for their next breath. Working in a non-medical field will still allow me to help people and save me the stress of knowing if they don't find that 'perfect' product they aren't going to physically die. And possibly even work behind the scenes......

*insert sigh of relief here*

I think it just might work out after all....

Friday, July 6, 2012

At 4.5 months post-op and down 84 pounds total. I've maintained this loss for the past month or so. I've gotten comfortable and enjoying life. That being said, I think I'm subconsciously uncomfortable. I look and feel fabulous (at least from my highest weight) yet I'm apprehensive of the journey ahead. Being a mere 15 pounds from my high school weight and only 30 pounds from my 'goal' I'm worried. Not so much about how I will maintain that weight, but how will I look? How will I feel? Right now I'm dealing with skin issues....saggy, smooshy skin. I look terrific with clothes on, but peel off the layers and reveal a hideous granny suit. Push-up bras are great for false advertisement.
I really, really, really hope that the more I lose, the less saggy it will look-wishful thinking is ok, right?
Anyway, I'm enjoying all the fun things like sharing the recliner with my hubby, him being able to pick me up and carry me around, not moving to buckle the seat belt, crossing my legs, moving without getting winded, fitting into smaller clothes, etc. Being comfortable with myself will hopefully fall into place soon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

263-190 Before and After Pics!

Wow, so long with no update! I am currently at 190 pounds...that is a 73 pound loss all together, 32 since surgery. It has certainly been a rocky road, not physically, but mentally. I still have head hunger-certainly not hungry, just bored or emotional. I've caved to temptation and had jelly beans and some bread....unfortunately they tasted good and went down well. I've eaten too much and/or too fast and had the omg-think-I'm-having-a-heart-attack pains....not fun, but I've learned from those mistakes. I'm getting better about remembering my medications-wish I could say the same for my vitamins....why is it so hard to remember those things?!?!? I'm feeling pretty good for the most part, have my energy back-well as much as a full-time employed mother of 3 boys all in baseball can have!

Great news, starting nursing school in the fall-so exciting!!! I'm ready for the career change, I've always loved caring for people. I suppose I'll be super busy then, working, school and kids! Hope poor hubby doesn't feel left out of it all.... This coming weekend is the hair show-great weekend with great friends! Always have too much fun at those. I'm sure I enjoy the hotel and hanging out more than the show though.

Garnier Fructis BzzCampaign

Just got mine in the mail- Sleek & Shine. Packaging is wonderful! Flip-top cap is easy to open, would be great for slippery hands or if you have problems opening typical flip-top lids. The product itself is thick so a small amount goes a long way! Smells fabulous and fruity, great moisturizing-maybe too much for my hair type. My hair tends to get frizzy and dry at the ends and oily at the roots (if not washed daily). I used this on my entire head....perhaps next time I will use the conditioner off the scalp. I would highly recommend this to someone with extremely dry hair, super frizzy, or if you really like to add shine to your hair. My style did hold all day long and did not have static in it at all (super plus!) Only downfall, greasy bangs by the end of the day. I think this will work great to help protect my heat abused hair!

Being a cosmetologist, I have tried many products from every end of the price spectrum. I would say this is ranking right up there with the more expensive salon brands (at a much cheaper price!) I did receive this product for free from bzzagent.com, but my opinions and experiences are all my own!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Garnier Fructis bzzcampaign!

Too excited to start my next bzz campaign! Should be getting my Garnier Fructis bzzkit soon! Jealous? check out bzzagent.com to get in on awesome bzzcampaigns and sample goodies for yourself!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Children's Claritin

Recently I received my bzzkit from bzzagent.com containing Claritin Chewables and Liquid for kids along with coupons. I got these totally free! I used them on my kids aged 3, 5 and 9. I was pleasantly surprised they did not give me grief about taking the chewable tablets. They were even disappointed they were gone. The liquid was not as enjoyable, my oldest said it had a funny taste. I am glad to report all allergy symptoms are gone, even with a blooming tree being cut and the grass being mowed! I also had no hyper or zombie kids! I can't wait to use my coupons at the store and pick up some more of the chewables!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

2 weeks post-op

Hard to believe it has been two weeks already. My, how time flies. I'm feeling really good, getting around great. Steri-strips are starting to come off of my incisions. At my highest weight I was 263 miserable pounds and today I am at 205 pounds. I'm 5' 4.75" so I'm about 55 pounds from being in the upper range for an acceptable weight. Unbelievable!
I will not say that I have been super happy with my decision this entire time. Not to say I'm wishing I hadn't had surgery, just saying I have moments of mourning for my old life. I suppose it is normal to mourn something when it dies. My surgeon progresses his patient's diets from 1st Week: clear liquids 2nd Week: clear liquids and protein shakes 3rd and 4th Week: pureed food 5th Week: Mushy/Adaptive soft foods. I am so close to puree food and am so bored with clear liquids-I've been on them since February 19th. I've never been a huge fan of protein shakes-I've only found a handful that I like. I am so ready for more options in my diet!!!!!!!!!
Poor hubby made cookies the other night, not just any cookies, but the kind with mini peanut butter cups in them.....sigh....I was fine until I smelled them cooking. Keep in mind the day I came home from the hospital pizza was ordered....I have helped cook almost every meal since I have been home and did the grocery shopping all without batting an eyelash.... But the smell of those warm and gooey fresh cookies-that I can not eat.... That is right, not shouldn't but can't eat. That's when it hit me. This is not a diet that I can jump on and off of as I feel like. I can't just get strict because I don't like how my clothes fit. I have chosen to forever change my lifestyle. While I'm not saying I can never have a bite of a cookie again, I was just physically unable to eat the cookie. I cried....I really shed a tear mourning that I will never be able to put away a dozen fresh baked cookies in one sitting, I mourned that I will never be able to put away a whole medium pizza by myself....I mourned that I know I will never have the same relationship again with food.
Food will now be my fuel to maintain my existence. I can now live my life and look up from the dinner plate to enjoy the wonders this world is offering to me. I can now set down my fork and have a conversation with my family at the table because I am not shoveling the food in so fast I can barely breath. I am so thankful that I am able to have a new lease on life and start over.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

On February 21, 2012 I forever changed my life and anatomy. I elected to have the vertical sleeve gastrectomy in order to create a tool at my permanent disposal to aid in my weight loss. While performing the procedure, my surgeon found a sizable hiatal hernia that he repaired with mesh.
What is a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy?
What is a Hiatal Hernia?
So far so good, I'm not hungry at all. I am getting 64+ oz of water in a day and am no longer super sore-tender, but not sore. Wednesday of this week I will go to the surgeon for a one week follow up and if all looks good I will be cleared to add protein shakes to my diet. Currently I have been allowed only clear liquids (water, sugar free non carbonated drinks, sugar free jello, decaf tea, decaf coffee, sugar free Popsicles, and broth) I've watched my family eat some of my favorite foods and did not bat an eyelash. This is truly amazing to me.
Sleeping the first few days was interesting as I hate sleeping on my back and couldn't get comfortable sleeping on my sides. Day 6 I woke up feeling great. No muscle soreness or gas pains.
I'm so thankful to God and my surgeon for making this surgery possible. One thing many people forget is this is just a tool. I still have control over what goes in my mouth and whether I exercise or not. I can only ingest smaller quantities at one time.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My New Lifestyle

What is a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy you ask? Well, it is going to be the tool that helps save my life! It is a weight loss surgery procedure that works by restricting the amount of food you can consume in a sitting as opposed to a Gastric Bypass where the stomach is reduced to a pouch and the intestines are re-routed.

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy information here.

After years of research and my insurance finally paying for the procedure, I found a local surgeon and scheduled an appointment. I am so glad I found Dr Ahuja at New Life Weight Loss Center. I have heard nothing but rave reviews for him and his staff.

I have battled my weight for the past 15 years or so and after yet another failed diet attempt, I have decided to go with weight loss surgery. While not the magic bullet or cure-all, this procedure will finally give me a permanent tool to use in order to get the weight off and keep it off.

This is definitely not the easy way out, I will still have to watch what I eat and exercise and my 'tool' will have to be maintained by limiting my portions. I will always have to take vitamins and always deal with the emotions connected to my weight.

Being overweight, for me, has been like a growing onion. Now that I've matured I have a protective outer layer that can keep out a lot (not all) of external contaminates. I am able to use it like a shield to hide behind. Each pound I take off exposes yet another layer and with each layer comes more emotions. Most people aren't fat by coincidence. I have used mine as a way to keep people out, as a buffer between me and society. As I get to a new weight, I start thinking about the last time I was at that weight and of course it brings a flood of emotions with it. The trick is learning to deal with the emotional aspects, learning from them and moving on. Where I have always failed before was the fear of removing my armor. NEVER AGAIN! I will never have to experience those things that got me where I am now, so I have nothing to fear.

I've decided to live my life and love every moment of it. I want to teach my children that emotions don't have to control every aspect of life. It's possible to deal with emotions with things other than food.

Oh Temptation....

This article was brought to my attention at the best possible point of my life. Yes you can Resist!
I will be having Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery in 2 weeks and have been battling the 'Last Supper' mentality. I just can't let myself say no because it will be the 'last time' I will have 'insert food here' ever, or for a while. After putting away 3 or 4 chocolate chip cookies and feeling immense guilt and pain(real pain, junk food hurts!) I started beating myself up.

Knowing that there is an actual study behind putting off a craving, I might actually let myself believe it will work. I'm sure I have been able to do this before subconsciously, just never put two and two together. I'm fairly certain this will be my mantra from now on. Sure I can have that, I'll just wait until later to do it!