Sunday, July 24, 2011

My progress is coming along

Well not a whole lot to report but I figured I get on here to post an update. Yesterday was my first time going out to a restaurant and I was really stressed out about it. I did find something I could eat and it stayed down (yay). I found a shrimp and avocado appetizer. Definitely a small portion which was good for me. It was just enough! The waiter kept asking me if I wanted a drink... it was odd to not have something but I knew if I ordered water I would be tempted to drink it which is a weight loss surgery no-no. No drinking 1/2 hour before meals, during meals and 1 hour after meals. I also ventured out and had some yogurt. I love Golden Spoon frozen yogurt and 1/2 of a mini size is just enough for me. I have the other 1/2 in the freezer for later.

Also went to the movies. It was a huge step for me. I'm not too into going into crowds of people. It just makes me feel super uncomfortable. So going the the movie theatre and sitting in the front row was a huge step for me. The good news was it was a great move that my husband and I both enjoyed. If you wanna laugh then go and see Friends with Benefits.

As for the weight loss... I am losing but not as fast as I was. I guess a good steady 2-3 pounds a week is definitely something I will take. But also knowing how limited my food intake is I would expect to lose a little more. I am happy to be meeting with my surgeon this next week just to go over things and get more of a grip on things. Maybe I will need to up my protein which I am thinking I may just start leaning more towards protein shakes and not worry about the food. We will see what is said. So I've lost 44 pounds since surgery (almost 6 weeks out) and 121 total.

I have to admit this is much, much harder than I had expected. My mind is the one having the hardest time. My body knows what to do. My body is keeping me alive by surviving on my fat storage. But my mind is all over the place. I know hormones do have a lot to do with my mental state but my mind STILL wants to eat more. Not only that but I now have no choice. I can not eat emotionally, period, nada, nilch, none, zero. I also cannot get stuffed or else I will pay the consequences. That is the hardest part for me. Of course it is great for me and my health BUT on the same token it is just like quitting cold turkey I guess and I have to really depend on those new and healthy coping methods I know about. It is definitely hard to change those habits. Although I thought I was mentally prepared and ready prior to surgery somehow it makes it much more different when it is real. Don't get me wrong I was somewhat prepared but not as much as I thought. I guess you can only imagine so much but when something is real and you live through it it is quite another thing. That is why I don't like to judge others, until I've lived in their shoes. Ironically I don't have the unhealthy cravings still. Hopefully I don't ever again. But I also know that I'm lucky to get in a few bites of whatever I eat and even luckier if it stays down. All the stuff I used to like and crave I know would make me very ill and I've consciously made that decision that it just isn't worth it. So I guess it just comes down to choices now. I don't have a lot of choices right now, in that choices that I know won't make me ill. I have a small handful of choices I can say yes too and everything else is a "NO" at this point. That part is still hard to grasp especially when I see others around me enjoying that food that made me so fat. It doesn't bother me to see others eat it just sort of makes me sad inside that I've cut off that relationship with food. I know it needed to happen but when you lose a best friend no matter how you lose that friend and no matter if that friend was toxic or not... it still hurts. So yes... it still can hurt. I do knwo that time is on my side. I know that with time all of this will get easier. Time is necessary to heal the past wounds, to make the new healthy choices and remember that this is my new life. This is the lifestyle choice I chose for myself so I didn't end up in the ground at 35 years old. This is the choice I chose for myself and I know it is the best choice for myself it is just getting through the rocky patches and back to the road where it isn't as rocky and I am more confident in the choices I am making.

But honestly I can't complain because I am getting health under control and that is what my goal was all along.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Exercise after surgery and other tidbits

Well I FINALLY did it. I went to the YMCA in Encinitas and did my first workout since surgery. I put on my bathing suit and it was definitely looser as well which felt good. We got there about 15 minutes after the water yoga class had already started but joined in late anyways. I must say the yoga feels soooooo good. It is just nice to stretch and relax and focus on breathing. I really needed that. After that class was finished I told River that it is nice to be back in the water again. It really did feel good. I recently hurt my knee (again) so been having some knee issues and the water just let me do whatever I wanted to do without having to worry about my knee hurting. After that class we were waiting for the water aerobics instructor to show up and apparently she called in and said she wasn’t coming. So we sort of just did our own thing. After about 30 minutes of that I was done. I was EXHAUSTED as in I could fall asleep right then and there. So about a hour and 15 minutes the first day back isn’t too bad. I’m going to gradually work my workouts during the week in but knowing how exhausted I was today I definitely won’t be doing them after work every day yet. I want to go on Thursday as that is when our favorite instructor teaches so I am going to do Thursday & Sunday for now until I can start feeling normal again.

I did go back to work on the 5th of July. The first week back was extremely hard and I left when I was tired. The second week I ended up working full time (pretty much) but I do know that when I come home I am really exhausted. I think stress really has a lot to do with how I feel but can’t really make the stress go away. I try to not let it affect me like it used to which has helped some but not a whole lot I can do to completely get rid of my stress, other than quit my job which is not an option. Not only that but then if I didn’t have a job there would be stress about income. It is never ending which I just have to realize and use coping methods. I don’t have the food coping method anymore which I have also found frustrating. Because I am now forced to deal with it differently which I know is better for me but the old habits are so much easier (as we all know). I want to eat but I can’t. The good news is I don’t crave necessarily bad things…still craving the protein type things. It isn’t so bad.

I think the hardest part right now is finding things my “pouch” likes. I have been having a hard time keeping things down. I really have to focus on chewing and eating slow as well. It isn’t as easy as it sounds. When I finally get to eat something that tastes good I get excited which I find sometimes I am not chewing well enough and/or I’m eating too quickly. So far shrimp does well. I ventured on to chicken because other fish has not done well and chicken does well but I know I am not supposed to really be eating it yet as per my surgeon. I will talk to my surgeon and see what he says. Tofu does really well and that is about it. I plan on getting some cheese to eat because I’m craving cheese and I can have it. Light string cheese is on the grocery list!

I really thought I was prepared for this but honestly it is much harder than I had imagined. I know some people have a easier time and then there are others that have a harder time than even me. Yes, there are days where I think “what have I done to myself”. Those aren’t necessarily thoughts of regret but mostly of “wow this is hard and am I ever going to get past this stage”. I know this is not reversible and this is a decision I chose. I’m sure a year from now I will say it is the best thing I’ve ever done but again this stage is really hard. A year from now it will be hard but I am guessing it will be a bit easier as I will know what I can and cannot eat. Right now I have a very small list of what I can eat and a year from now it will be much larger. I must say I didn’t imagine losing as much weight as I have post-op. Since surgery I’ve lost a total of 40 pounds. That is 40 pounds in not quite 5 weeks! That includes several plateaus in there and also 3 weeks of PMSing (sorry if it is too much information). Yes, that is right my hormones are whacked out to the max. But I’m still somehow losing. It took me about 11 months to lose 77 pounds pre-op so I was comparing the pre-op versus post-op weight loss thinking I’m already halfway to what I lost pre-op. That is amazing! So I am down 119 pounds from my highest weight in May of 2010.

My highest weight at 579

119 pounds gone from highest weight
I can feel the difference now. My knees (prior to my injury) were in pretty good condition. But now I hurt one and so they aren’t feeling so great. Everyone can see a difference in my face and many people say my upper body (neck, shoulders, etc). I can tell by the way my clothes fall off me now or they are really lose when they used to be tight. I fit in my truck differently and the seat belt has a ton of slack whereas before it barely went on. So many things already and I’ve really just begun. In about 71 pounds from now I will be at my halfway point. Honestly pretty amazing it is that close. J  I've included my before & after. What do you think?


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Reflecting with 4th of July upon us

I must admit I am learning so much on this journey already. I am learning that food will always be there. Yes, I am starting to crave things but ironically it is healthy food. I crave a nice salad, shrimp, chicken. I notice I am craving mostly protein. I would love a nice shrimp or chicken salad right now. In due time it will come. I need to be patient and let my pouch heal.

It's been a very reflective time for me as well. Yesterday was the first time I experienced a birthday party without eating food or cake. I had a few bites of my yogurt (with a squirt of lime) but realized that I survived. Sure the food looked good (BBQ chicken, salad w/ strawberries & blueberries, beans, watermelon) but in time I can have that. I'm learning that I don't NEED it. My body can live off of all the extra fat I have right now and keep me alive. In a few weeks I will be introducing fish, shrimp, melons and veggies but for now I am ok.

The hardest part is listening to my body... I know I've mentioned it before but it is still a struggle. So I will have some beans with lots of hot sauce. But because I get only a few bites before I am full, my brain wants more. I don't feel like I get to actually bathe the taste in my mouth. I am sure once I continue to introduce more foods in my diet it won't be such an issue. But having such a small selection of foods (yogurt & beans) sorta gets a person bored after almost 3 weeks. I'm building up the courage to try eggs again. I bought some fat free mayo to maybe do a deviled egg type thing but still afraid. I am tired of feeling horrible and if it doesn't agree with me I will definitely feel horrible. Cottage cheese I loved post-op but now I don't love it so much. My taste buds have changed for sure.

So as 4th of July approaches and I go to a BBQ it won't be a focus of food but more of a focus of family. They will eat and I will be grateful at this 2nd chance of my life. Knowing I have a new and improved relationship with food will make me humble. Just knowing that last year food was on the brain and this year family, living and being so grateful is on the brain is a huge relief.

As an update how I feel changes hour to hour and day to day. Some days are ok, some days are horrible, some mornings are horrible but the afternoons are good. I just never know what I am going to feel. So I just do what I am supposed to making sure I take my vitamins & medicine, drink my fluids & lastly have my protein. That is all I can do. I have to constantly remind myself I just had major surgery. Although my incisions are healed up my insides are not. My insides are on a giant roller coaster. I know in time I will feel better. It is all about time and taking one day at a time as I have no control over tomorrow and how I feel anyhow. My weight loss has stalled. It is expected. My body is freaked out and not sure what to do. I know it will eventually release and I will start losing again. I just have to be patient. I am still impressed with the weight loss so far though so I really can't complain. I've lost 35 pounds since surgery. That is a lot at an average of 2 pounds a day. I am still so shocked I've lost a total 112 pounds. That is a lot as most of that I did on my own with diet and exercise. Unfortunately, it is hard to see the weight loss on me. My face is thinner but that is all most people can see. I can tell I'm less wide (by how I fit in chairs) and also most of my pants are very baggy in the stomach.

I hope all of you have a SAFE and wonderful 4th of July. I am so grateful for my freedom from food!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Another @Eggface Give Away

Hi all! Just a quick post to go try to win the best prize yet, a year membership to the OAC. If you or someone you know is affected by obesity this is the best prize I feel. I have so many friends and family members (including myself) affected by obesity and it is becoming a epidemic. The more support the better. Even if you don't win I highly recommend you subscribe for $20 a year. That is just 4 or 5 Starbucks coffee's, or just over 5 cents a day. Just do it!

Here is the link to enter to win. Hey Everyone Enter to Win Prize #5 in the @Eggface 5 Year Anniversary Giveaway!