Friday, June 28, 2013
I'm down to 184 pounds. For the first time in a looong time, my BMI is less than 30. But I don't entirely trust it.
My body fat reading on my scale continues to go up. That indicates to me I'm dehydrated, despite continuing to drink ridiculous amounts of water. In the first few days after I came home, my blood pressure was really high and I believe it was because I was retaining a lot of water. I'm taking a stool softener which pulls water into the colon; I didn't want to mess with that by taking a diuretic. (My doctor gave me a prescription to a diuretic years ago. I only take it when my blood pressure creeps up too high.) My blood pressure is back to normal and I've shed the water that was lodged in my belly.
I've been more conscientious about what I eat, but here's the shocking part: I'm still eating at least 2000 calories a day. (Tuesday I hit 2500 - that's what I normally eat when I'm riding my bike.) I'm learning that I can actually say no to cravings. The biggest change is that I feel full much more quickly, and eating too much makes me uncomfortable. Perhaps my surgeon did a gastric bypass while she was in there moving things around.
I'm hopeful I can get into the habit of eating more reasonably. While a lot of "diets" would have me eat 1200-1500 calories a day, there is no way I am ever going to follow a eating regimen like that. I could do it for a short period of time, but it's completely unsustainable. And if I can lose weight eating 2000 calories a day - albeit slowly - why would I torture myself and try to survive on 1500? (And trust me, I would be one cranky kitten after a few days of 1500 calories. RawR!)
When I do my round-trip commute, I burn about 1000 calories. It's not uncommon for me to burn 3500 calories on a weekend training ride. A while back, a chubby friend told me, "I don't get it. As much as you exercise, why aren't you crazy skinny?" (She wasn't being mean - it was an honest question.) I laughed and told her she had no idea how much I eat.
I will continue to eat "too much." When I'm riding a lot, I follow the philosophy that one should never go to bed hungry (that's prime muscle-rebuilding time). I also eat every 3-4 hours, even when I'm not hungry and it's not "time to eat." That frees up my lunch hour for a walk, and it ensures I'm fueled for my ride home. (My ride in to work is on an empty stomach. I believe it's better that way because it taps into glycogen stores while my blood sugar is on the low end. The ride is only about 37 minutes, so it's not going to cause me to bonk.) I'm just hopeful that already being down below a BMI of 30 is sufficient motivation to continue eating reasonably.
And on that note, it is time for breakfast!
Monday, June 24, 2013
I'm sitting upright at the computer. That's different.
I'm down to 194 pounds, which lends credence to my thought that my rapid post-op weight gain was water. My belly was a little distended. It's soft, there are no hard spots, and I'm not running a fever, so it's not the kind of distended that warrants a call to the doctor. I mentioned it to Jim. He said it looked to him like my belly was bigger, but he didn't want to say anything (wise choice, darling).
I'm having to deal with hunger. In my normal life, I rarely get genuinely hungry, so hunger isn't something I experience. But I'm fighting off cravings. I know I'm not getting exercise, so I won't be burning off any extra calories. I got out the popcorn popper. I expect to be eating a lot of air-popped popcorn this week. (All that chewing distracts me from cravings.)
I walked around the block last night. I plan to try that three times today (with breaks between each attempt). Jim picked a couple of kohlrabi yesterday, which gave me a lot of kohlrabi greens: I hope to make kohlrabi greens curry tonight. I'm a little tired right now, but it's time for me to start moving a little bit.
But perhaps a nap first ...
Saturday, June 22, 2013
My surgery was at about three Wednesday afternoon. It was more complex than my doctor anticipated (lots of adhesions), and I bled about 50% more than normal. But the oral pain meds were enough to manage my post-op pain. (I gave up the button that let me self-medicate with IV narcotics. Using it meant wearing a CO2 monitor. The monitor beeped every time I started drifting off to sleep.)
I came home around noon Thursday. I've spent most of the time sleeping and watching TV. I felt occasional twinge of pain in my belly. Far and away, the worst pain was my shoulder: it had me crying out in pain. I adjusted my meds to one dose every six hours, and a half-dose three hours later. No more shoulder pain, and I can do my prescribed deep breathing.
We walked to the mailbox last night. I'm up every few hours, so I'm walking around the house a lot. The Hubs is doing great. He won't let me carry anything heavier than a glass of water. He goes back to work Monday, and I am sure I'll be ready.
I haven't had a single hot flash. The doctor wrote a prescription for HRT, but reminded me the results of the biopsy will dictate if HRT is appropriate. However, she said there was no sign of malignancy in my belly.
So far, it's all good news. I weighed myself, and up to 199 pounds (!!!), but I am sanguine about that. I believe I'm retaining a lot of water. I haven't eaten a lot. That weight is not indicative of anything right now.
Monday, June 17, 2013
I know I've written this all over this web page, but this is my blog and I can be as redundant as I like. Less than 48 hours until my surgery, and my biggest fear is having to spend four to six weeks off the bike.
Every winter, I'm off the bike for about two months. But that's different: winter is a season of healing, of slumber, of catching one's breath. I'm going to be off the bike during the heat of the summer. Crazy as it sounds, I love riding in the heat (so long as I have enough water).
I suspect my outlook has more to do with the big picture than just my bike. My mom's condition was worse than she initially let on. She's doing much better now, but she's going to have to live with an ileostomy for six months while she has chemotherapy. (There was no mention of chemo previously - I suspect she was intentionally keeping me in the dark to keep me from worrying.) My parents travel a lot and they love it. This means a summer of no traveling. But I suppose as long as Mom can knit and read, she'll be fine.
I worried about the emotional roller coaster that follows surgical menopause. I'm worried about making too many bad nutrition choices and putting on ten pounds the first month. I'm worried about losing my sense of who I am. Mostly, I just worry.
I know this is pointless. A friend of mine once pointed out that we worry because it makes us feel like we're doing something. The majority of the things we worry about never happen. The stuff that really up-ends our lives blindsides us; it's almost never something we were worried about. So I guess I know that worrying is just my imagination writing its own scary movie.
Intellectually, I know that I will still be in control of my life; I just need to not make the excuses I usually make. A quick wallow in self-pity is fine, but then it's time to get back to counting my blessings and remembering the millions of women in this country who face far worse lots in life than mine. Time to remember that saying "I put my faith in God" is meaningless if I don't actually do it, and that whatever happens, it will not be more than I can handle.
So I whine all over the message boards, and whine in my blog. And I laugh while I'm writing this, because I'd really rather people think of me as the funny one, not the needy one.
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