Sunday, November 02, 2008
Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt!
After 14 months and 182 lbs., I have yet to hit a plateau that wasn't of my own making. I was absolutely perfect for the first 12 months. I never cheated, EVER! I didn't always get all my exercise in for the week, but I always ate only what I was allowed to eat. Well, at my 12 month check-up, my surgeon told me I could expect to continue to lose weight up to 2 yrs. out. I could also start re-introducing "normal" food back into my diet. Well, I started slow, testing the waters for dumping issues. I never had any dumping before because I never ate anything I wasn't supposed to. Well, in the last 4 weeks I've been through the introduction, proposal, engagement, marriage and now sleeping with the "normal" food. No dumping. DAMN! I wish! So now I guess it's all on me to get back to being the "poster child" (my surgeon's words) for gastric bypass. I've had cookies, ice cream, Halloween candy, peanut butter shakes, cherry pie, etc., etc., etc. Well, to my credit, I'm still walking 1.1 miles every other day, so I have only gained 3.5 lbs., but THIS IS WHERE IT STOPS! I've come too far!
You have to wrap your head around this. I had 8 weeks of forced psychiatric counseling prior to surgery. It began in Jan. 2007 and my surgery wasn't until Aug. 31, 2007. I'm still seeing her once a month and will continue until we are both old and gray. She, too, says I'm her poster child. She has a lot of WLS clients. I enjoy that "title", because I feel I've earned it, but I am now doing it a disservice.
I have had to face all my demons. Of course, the number one demon was "I'm not worthy". You have to learn to love yourself. I've been overweight since I was 5 yrs. old, but all I ever heard was, "You have such a pretty face, if you'd just lose weight." Oh, yes, I came from a broken home (uh, they divorced when I was 21, come on), both parents drank (dad still does), married an alcoholic when I was 22, widowed at the age of 25, married another alcoholic (yes, always looking for someone like daddy), then endured 26 years of oppression being told no one else would ever want me. It's no wonder I've attempted suicide 3 times in my life, hence the forced counseling.
Well, so as not to make this a novel -- I really was convinced no one else would ever want me. After all, what did I have going for me? I lost 30 lbs. and I stepped out, WAY OUT. Yep, I found somebody who did want me. Well, that was what I was afraid of! See, I told you so (telling myself)! At 350 lbs. I found someone who wanted me, only problem was it was my husband that I had hoped would "want" me.
My demons have always been centered around not being "good enough". When I made the honor roll, my dad said, "why can't you get straight A's?" "Oh, that pretty face, but..." Did you get passed over getting picked for a child's game, because you were fat and they knew you couldn't run very fast? Or the reverse, always getting picked for "Red Rover, Red Rover" (this will tell you how old I am), because you were big enough to break through the other team holding arms together? I almost flunked freshman gym, because I couldn't pull my own weight up a rope or across ladder rungs. Being a cheerleader or a prom queen was completely out of the realm of possibility. However, I was "pretty enough" that I did attend both my junior and senior prom, as well as my boyfriend's senior prom at another high school. I didn't lack for boyfriends, but mine were usually the smart nerdy guys. I wasn't nerdy, but I was smart, even if my father didn't think so. I graduated high school weighing 165 lbs. and was 35 lbs. overweight.
Well, I separated from my husband and we divorced for 16 months and I dated. I put make-up on everyday. I bought sexy underwear and nicer clothes. I started having my nails done, pedicures and regular hair cuts. I was still 350 lbs., but I found out I could make it on my own. After all that, something was still missing. Hubby had managed 19 years of sobriety, but even after the years of verbal abuse I still loved my husband and I missed him being my best friend. We started dating again. You see, he missed me too and found that he had taken me for granted for the last 26 years. He realized how much I did for him, sacrificed for him and what a good mother and wife I had always been. He saw the error of his ways, so to speak. There were some ground rules, though, from me. I had worth and was to be treated accordingly. He was to treat me physically, romantically, and emotionally the way he should have when he married me the first time. So we remarried in May of 2005 and I was actually happy, and even content, so I promptly gained back 37 lbs. Life was good, but my health began to suck royally. I had gained a sense of self worth, but still couldn't fit in a restaurant booth. My married life was happy for the first time in my life, but I got out of breath walking across a room. At 377 lbs. I could still see the disappointment in my father's eyes every time he saw me.
It wasn't until the new season of Biggest Loser in the fall of 2006 that it hit me. I weighed more than the biggest MAN on the show! I cried, and I knew then that I was truly killing myself and THIS time I WANTED to LIVE! I could no longer hide behind a bad childhood, bad marriage or lack of self-esteem. I deserved to be thin, or at the very least healthy. It was a good thing I made that decision in Sept. of 2006 and sought out a weight loss surgeon in Oct., because by Dec. I was diagnosed as a Type II diabetic along with my other myriad of co-morbidities. I asked hubby for a gym membership for Christmas and I got it. On Jan. 4, 2007 my journey began and the rest is history.
Now, after 182 lbs. and 120 inches gone forever, I feel beautiful, I feel sexy, I feel young and alive! So now I have come full circle in my story. I refuse to be one of the WLS tragedies. That's why, after gaining 3.5 lbs., it's time to get back in the trenches and dig in. I am not judging anyone who has gained weight back after WLS. I do not know your circumstances or your way of life, I just know I'M NOT where I want to be yet. And when I get THERE, if I gain 3.5 lbs. again I will pull up my boot straps and get back in the fight. A plateau will come, I'm sure, but until I've done everything in my power to deter it, I want to hang on to that title, "WLS Poster Child".
Saturday, December 15, 2007
There is no ONE thing that made me start dieting, but an accumulation of several things.
1. In December 2006 I found out I was a Type II diabetic and I'm deathly afraid of needles.
2. Intense pain in my knees (I need both totally replaced) and my lower back (2 slipped discs)
3. Getting winded walking across a room.
4. Having to become a contortionist to reach areas of my body to use the restroom or shower.
5. Sick and tired of being sick and tired.
6. Leaving a movie theatre or restaurant with bruises on my hips and thighs from the seat I forced my body into.
7. Tired of not being able to buy clothes in a "normal" store.
8. Paying more for large sized clothes.
9. If I died, my family would have to pay extra for an over-sized casket, then have to listen to everyone say "if she'd only lost weight."
10. Not being around to see my children get married or see my first grandchild.
11. Tired of lying to myself that I was okay despite my weight.
12. Tired of procrastinating going on a diet.
13. Tired of feeling like a failure.
14. Tired of being embarrassed and the way people looked at me.
15. Depressed to the point of suicide.
16. Seeing a friend who had bariatric surgery and realizing I had hope.
17. Wanting this to be the LAST diet I ever had to go on.
As the song goes, "these are a few of my favorite things." You must have your own list of reasons deadly enough to get you started. Then you have to have enough support and encouragement to stay the course. You will get that here at SP if you are an active participant.
In my past weight loss attempts, I was always doing it for someone else. "If I lose weight _______ will finally love me or love me more." "If I lose weight I can get pregnant." "If I lose weight I'll look better at the class reunion." "If I lose weight I will/can..................................
..." These were all the wrong reasons. Once the object was obtained I went back to business as usual - stuffing my face. I ate because I was unhappy, or upset, or feeling unloved, or depressed, or lonely, or stressed, or just having a bad day, or not being accepted, or whatever.
Before you go on this journey, you must first be convinced in your own mind that:
1. You are committed to the long road ahead.
2. You are doing it for yourself and no one else.
3. You absolutely WILL NOT give up or give in to anything or anyone to reach your goal.
4. You are worth it!
When I made up my mind to have the weight loss surgery, I didn't want to be a casualty. So Jan. 4, 2007 I began a modified low carb diet (The Mayo Clinic Diet) and started using the gym membership I had just received as a Christmas gift. I went to the gym 3 days a week. I couldn't use any machine that I had to stand up at, so I used only machines I could sit down at and mostly worked on my upper body and some core exercises. I was unable to get on the floor for any exercise, because I couldn't put pressure on my knees to get back up. I had to do sit-ups on a sit-up bench. I would then change into my swimsuit and do all my lower body exercises, swim and walk laps in the pool. I lost 47 lbs. and 26 1/2 inches prior to surgery which enabled me to have a safer surgery and a much quicker recovery. But weight loss surgery is only a tool. I still had to keep my head on straight, be true to myself and my goals. The 7 months prior to surgery, besides dieting and exercising, I acclaimated myself to the new lifestyle I would need to have in place to use post op. Since the day of my surgery I have not put anything in my mouth that was not on the food list my surgeon gave me. I refuse to be one of those people who gains any amount of weight back after surgery. Of course, the sights and smells of the foods I love still bring a longing to my eyes and mind. But I have a disease called morbid obesity and to have those foods again will poison my body. You would not knowingly eat rat poisoning or drink bleach, would you? Of course not! That's how you have to look at the food you eat. An alcoholic can not have just one drink. That one drink leads to something much more destructive. Does it break my heart to know that I can never have ice cream and Hershey's chocolate again? Yes, it does. But even after 12 months on this journey, if I took one bite of either of those things I would not stop. All that I have accomplished would be destroyed. And, believe me, this has been my biggest accomplishment since I gave birth to my children.
These are the reasons I started this journey; the reasons I stay on this journey; and the reasons that will get me to my destination. What are your reasons?
Thursday, November 22, 2007
It is 11/21/07 and I have now lost a total of 91 lbs. since Jan. 4, 2007. I will come back and add to this list as I continue to shed the pounds.
1. Sit in a chair with arms.
2. Sit in a booth.
3. Tie my shoes without propping my leg up on something.
4. When driving, I can now pass a fast food restaurant without wincing.
5. Reach areas of my body without cutting off my circulation.
6. Buy a pair of shoes one size smaller than before.
7. Shop in a regular store for clothes.
8. Look in a mirror and smile.
9. Do crunches with 60 lbs. of weights.
10. Walk more than 5 minutes without having to sit down.
11. Look forward to going to the gym.
12. Start getting rid of clothes that are too BIG for me!
13. Walked for nearly an hour without sitting down.
14. Fit in my theatre seat Saturday night very comfortably.
15. Swimming one lap in the 70 ft. gym pool without stopping.
16. Touch my toes.
17. I wore a cocktail dress this weekend that I bought 20 yrs. ago. I kept it with the hopes I'd be able to wear it again and now I can!
18. Say good-bye to 97 lbs.
19. I'm not ashamed to tell my clothes size for Christmas gifts.
20. Adding even more weight on my machines at the gym.
21. I'm just about ready to give up using my cane to walk.
22. Wear high heels again that I've been unable to do since 1996.
23. At a Christmas gathering this weekend, I had to get up from the back of the dining room table, and NO ONE had to pull their chair in to let me pass behind them.
24. I made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas without eating anything I wasn't supposed too, and I didn't miss it.
25. Being able to open presents with clothes in them that people bought for me at a regular store.
26. Not being recognized by my own family. I went to a wedding shower for my cousin and another cousin did not know it was me!
27. Fill 4 39 gal. trash bags with clothes that no longer fit me.
28. Go from size 30W-32W clothes to 18W-20W.
29. Go from size 50C bra to a 44B bra.
30. Feel sexy again!
31. Say, "My husband can't keep his hands off me!"
32. Say goodbye to 111 lbs.
33. My blouses are no longer too big to stay on the hanger.
34. My pants no longer take up the WHOLE hanger!
35. I can cross my legs!!
36. Say goodbye to 121 lbs.
37. Wear a size XL jacket.
38. Be an inspiration to others.
39. Weigh less than my husband!!
40. Ordered a size 1X blouse from a catalog and had to send it back for a Large, because it was too big.
41. Gone from a size 10 ring to a size 8.
42. No longer need a seatbelt extension in my car.
43. Say good-bye to 130 lbs.!
44. Doing crunches with 65 lbs.
45. Doctor took me off my blood pressure medication.
46. People can give me a hug and get their arms all the way around me.
47. Walking for more than an hour now without having to sit down.
6/23/08 (Been a while since I've added anything. I've been caught up in my DD's wedding.)
48. Say good-bye to 162 lbs. now!
49. Can now cross my legs comfortably with no effort or props at all.
50. My own sister-in-law walked past me at the wedding and didn't recognize me! I hadn't seen her since Christmas.
51. I got as many gasps walking down the aisle as my daughter did.
52. I'm actually getting "hit on" by men! And they know I'm married! (check out a more up-to-date photo on my sparkpage.)
53. Got my blood drawn yesterday and they didn't have to take it out of the back of my hand!! They actually FOUND a vein in my arm!
54. Say good-bye to 178 lbs.!
55. Can now cross my legs UNDER a table!!
56. I'm buying so many new clothes (gone from 32W to a 16) and shoes (gone from a 11W to a 10) and my daughter asks, "When did my mom become so hip?" Now she's asking how soon I'll be out of them so she can have them. Unfortunately, she can still wear them after they become too big for me.
57. For the first time in my life I can finally say, "I can wear MY OWN mother's clothes!"
58. Since this is #58, I will share with you that I just had my 58th birthday a few weeks ago, and YES, I'm STILL getting "hit on"!
59. I now weigh under 200 lbs. (198.9 to be exact). Haven't weighed that since my 21st birthday.
60. Just celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary last week and my DH can't keep his hands off me!
61. Say good-bye to 184.8 lbs.!
62. 42.2 lbs. from goal!
63. I used to sweat like a pig under ANY weather condition inside or out. Now I can wear sweaters anytime (!), because I'm cold all the time. You can always put more clothes on to get warm, but you can only take so much off to get cool.
64. Not only is there no cane in my life anymore, but I'm walking a mile every other day.
65. I no longer look like the picture above, but the blog won't let me upload a new one. See my photo gallery for more recent (slimmer!) pictures.
66. My daughter now owns the above outfit!
67. It's been a whole year since I started this blog!
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