Surgery approved!

After about 3 weeks of waiting, I finally got an answer today on my pre-authorization request for bariatric surgery, and the answer was YES- Surgery is approved!

So thankful this is officially happening, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. This is a HUGE lifestyle change, and comes with risks. But, everything in life is a risk-reward evaluation, and the potential rewards for proceeding with surgery (to me) outweigh the potential risks and certain side effects.

I haven’t written in awhile, so I’ll give you a bunch of updates and try to bring you up to speed. I also just updated/added “pages” on my blog, so check them out, and keep checking back for the latest pics, etc!

I don’t think I told you how my first info class went… I found out that I will definitely have hair loss with surgery. I knew it was a potential side effect, but I found out it’s happening. For sure. Virtually everyone that undergoes sleeve surgery loses hair.

That freaked me out a little. I’m a typical girl, who’s rather attached to her (beautiful, long, blonde) hair.

I’ve been working SO hard to grow my hair out for the wedding. I’ve also been killing myself to keep it blonde, which is really a lot of upkeep for a naturally dark brunette. To keep it from getting brassy, from breaking, constantly getting highlights to hide my roots, it’s really rather obnoxious. BUT, I love, love, love, being a (bottled!) blonde!

Now, I’m worried all my hard work was for naught. I’ve been resisting the urge for MONTHS now to chop off all my hair, because I know that I want beautiful, long, blonde locks for the wedding- I’ll look back at those pictures forever. And now, I will definitely lose hair? What exactly does that look like?

According to the nutritionist at my Dr’s, her hair got “quite thin” and I should expect the same. It also happens between approximately months 3-9 post-surgery: Right in the wedding window 😦 I am not a happy camper.

But I’m also not blowing this chance and not getting surgery just because I’m going to lose some hair.

I’m up to about 310-315lbs right now. I know. It’s enormous, trust me, I know, I get it.

But, those extra 10-15 lbs are seriously killing me. I FEEL it.

I feel it now when I’m trying to walk, or get comfortable to sleep, my feet and ankles have been swelling like crazy again. I feel it just sitting here, I feel FAT everywhere. Uncomfortable. Unhealthy. I get winded walking to my car now. It’s pathetic.

I hate the way I feel, not to mention the way I look. I’m just SO big again, it’s unreal.

But, I can’t get down on myself, I have to keep looking forward.

I’m having surgery to get healthy, be able to be more active, hopefully sleep better, and live longer. That’s what it all really comes down to.

So, my new goal is to lose 50lbs by the wedding, which is just under 5 months away. They told me I can expect to lose 10 lbs during my TWO WEEK liquid diet (b/c of my BMI being so high), and then that’s just 10 lbs/mo for the next 4 months.

That is totally doable, and of course I’m really hoping to lose more, but I’m trying to stick with very realistic goals.

I’ve been pinning bariatric-friendly recipes on pinterest, and I bought a George Foreman 3-in-1 grill thing, which I still have to learn how to use.

I’m committed to getting this weight off, and changing my life, and living healthier.

There’s so many things I can’t wait to experience and share with you.

This Chrismahanukkah I want to get my fiance the annual passes to Islands of Adventure that I realized I couldn’t buy this year, because I couldn’t fit in anything.

My first big concern is fitting on the airplane for our honeymoon. We’re going to Sandals in Antigua, so there’s no way around flying. I’m terrified about this. I had hoped to be down 100 lbs by my wedding, so I expected to be smaller than I will really be. Even at 50 lbs down, that’s still a whopping 260lbs that has to fit into tiny little airplane seats. My anxiety level is rising just thinking about it. I really hope it’s not horrendously embarrassing. That’s my first size-related goal.

Seeing the scale go down will be great, but I want to start noticing results. Actually, my first goal, which I should hopefully experience before the wedding, is being able to close my bra like a normal person again. This is totally TMI, I’m sure, but I want to keep this blog real. Trying to lose weight isn’t just about vanity for me. It’s about being able to do things I cannot currently. Right now, it’s so embarrassing, but I have to hook my bra and then pull it over my head like a T-Shirt, and jiggle and tug it to get semi into place. It’s uncomfortable and annoying, and did I mention embarrassing? I want to be able to put on and take off my bra like anyone else would.

I think I’ve (over) shared quite enough for one post– But, suffice to say, I’m very excited and looking forward to improving my life and the journey ahead!

Struggling

I have really been struggling since Saturday night with my eating. I ordered pizza after battling crazy cravings all day long, and of course that provided me leftovers the next day. Then Sunday I succumbed to my McDonald’s craving, due in part to poor planning.

Today I started off right by going to the gym and seeing my trainer, but then lunch happened. I even brought my lunch today and was completely prepared, so as to avoid exactly what still happened. I got ticked off at the Post Office and so I decided in the spur of the moment that I deserved a Starbucks. I was also extremely exhausted ALL day.

It seemed like such a good idea, until I got the triple Venti mocha cookie crumble (I know- I didn’t even get anything with halfway reasonable calories) AND then I ordered a cheese danish. They are the best cheese danishes I’ve ever had in my life, and I had no reason to get one whatsoever, except that it was there, and I wanted it.

Then I went back to work, with my giant, highly caloric drink and danish and I quickly consumed them, which was immediately followed by waves of guilt. I started texting a million people, but I kept erasing it. I wanted to purge hardcore. I haven’t done that in awhile, since last year (and not frequently for many years) but I wanted to SOOO bad.

I fought it, and didn’t, but these compulsions have been really hitting me hard lately. I’m not sure why.

Two people have followed up and called me from OA. I don’t know if they text, though. Actually, 3 people, but one said it was her house phone and she’s also new.

But I almost tried texting one, completely freaking out, but I stopped. And it’s just too uncomfortable for me to actually call one of them. I know you’re supposed to get a sponsor, if you decide to do this, but I hate talking on the phone. I detest it. Except with my mother, fiance, and father. Otherwise, don’t call me.

I’m very disappointed in myself and I know I’m totally screwing up all the progress that I’ve made, and I don’t think I’m going to completely spiral out of control, but I’ve got to get a handle on this nonetheless.

I hate when I screw up, and I hate the way I’ve been thinking and feeling lately.

I was going strong 5 weeks, and then, BLAH. I knew and planned for there to be bumps along the way, but knowing that is realistically going to happen doesn’t make it any easier to deal with when it happens.

Also, in OA they talk about only eating 3 meals a day, no snacks, and abstinence from your “trigger” foods. I think I would die if I didn’t allow myself to snack in between meals. I’m so not ready to do only 3 meals a day. And all these nutritionists and trainers tell you to eat like 6 small meals a day, anyway. Which I was eating maybe 4-5 times a day when I was doing well.

I just am feeling a little overwhelmed and I suppose unhappy.

OH- I sold my big fat wedding dress over the weekend, so I officially have nothing to fall back on. I have absolutely GOT to lose this weight. I am so tired of how I look and feel and I was never happy with myself, but looking back, I feel like I could be happy now at a better weight.

I try to make myself understand that I’ll never be the weight I want to be, but I can focus on being healthier. It’s just so hard to let go of your ideals. Something you’ve wanted so bad for so long. I gave up for awhile, and that’s how I ended up being as fat as I am, but deep down I still kept the dream alive, I guess.

I just want to be considered “normal”. And not a size 12-normal, because that’s realistically what size the average woman is in the US. I want to not be able to be considered fat or overweight. I want to be a single-digit size. Not a size 0, although secretly I’ve wished for 0-4, but a size 6-8 would make me happy. Meanwhile, even at my thinnest in high school, I was only a size 10. My waist is super wide, and even though I was thin and “average” sized, according to BMI, I was still a big fat pig.

I want to not be embarrassed about how I look, and I want to not have to worry if I can fit in an airplane seat, or if a chair can support me, I want to just live my life and be free, I suppose. I don’t know that I’m capable of ever getting to that point, and I’m not sure even how to work towards it, at this point.

But that’s what I want. I’m willing to work for it, and I’m not giving up, but I am definitely battling old demons and really struggling right now.

86 lbs to go

Weigh-day results: 3lbs down this week!

Quite frankly I’m not sure how that happened, as I slipped up a couple times. But I was very pleasantly surprised this morning when I got on the scale and I think I really needed this loss today.

So for those of you who are keeping track, that’s 14lbs down in 4 wks leaving 86 lbs to go by June 20, 2015. I’m on my way!!!!

Now I just have to keep up the momentum. I have struggled this week and been a little quiet due to some personal and family circumstances.

I think getting this loss is just the thing to get me back on track 100%. I’m excited (and still quite nervous) for OA tomorrow morning. I really think it will help me long term. I’ve got to get my food issues under control.

So all in all it’s a pretty happy Friday for me! How is everyone else doing?

What happens post-revelation?

For those of you who read my blog earlier today, you know I had a little revelation. I realized that just like when I was 21 and dealing with an eating issue, that 10 years later, my life still revolves around food. That makes 20 years now I’ve dealt with food issues.

That was huge, and rather hard for me to swallow. I was pretty depressed this afternoon, and text several people basically freaking out. Two of them, at almost the same time, suggested I try over-eaters anonymous (OA).

This wouldn’t be my first experience with OA, actually. I tried attending a “meeting” online maybe 3-4 years ago. I totally didn’t get the format or feel like it did anything for me, and I didn’t even stay on the whole meeting.

But, I’ve never tried attending in person. I was too embarrassed to dream of going in person. It was mortifying to me. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it outright, but I have a lot of anxiety I deal with as well. Much of it probably from being uncomfortable in my own skin… perhaps?

Anyway…. I looked up meetings and found one on Saturday mornings and it’s not even that far from my house. I was surprisingly open to the idea this afternoon, which is indicative of my determination and attempts to use every possible resource available to me this time around. This time I’m being successful, and I’m not trying the same old thing for the millionth time. I do actually want to get to the root cause of my issues and resolve them, so maybe it won’t be such a constant struggle every single day for the rest of my life.

After I looked up the meeting, I went to their website to find out some more information. Well, holy shit. I could be the poster-child for OA! I could strongly relate to just about every single question they listed that you’re to ask yourself. They even straight up listed using vomiting and laxatives as a means to control your weight. Also, the guilt, eating in secret, and I could go on and on and on.

Reading their website was practically a whole new revelation for me, in and of itself. I felt like I finally found a place that would understand me, and could actually help me. So here’s my hang-up: It focuses on the 12-step Recovery model. I’ve never actually read the 12 Steps, until today, and I know it works for tons of people, but I’m not totally in love with the religious aspect.

Yes, I also know you only must believe in a “higher power”, whatever that means to you. Not the point. Some of the steps were about giving over to God and stuff like that. I don’t know why, but that rubs me the wrong way. Maybe because I’m a control freak.

I completely believe in God, for me personally, that is my belief. But I’m not an overly religious person. I was raised in the Church and attended Christian and Catholic schools Pre-k-12th Grade. So, I’m quite familiar with religion, I just have issues there I suppose I need to address at some point as well, but now isn’t really the time. So, this whole thing makes me a little nervous and uncomfortable. I don’t want to feel like I’m being lectured or preached to.

I called the contact for the meetings and left a voice mail, but she hasn’t called me back yet. I sort of wanted to get a little more information, but I’m still planning on going Saturday morning.

Some people may read this and think I’m totally pathetic or a loser, or whatever you want to call me. It’s embarrassing for me to admit I have a problem with eating (STILL!) and need help. I thought I put all that behind me 10 years ago. But I didn’t.

I do need help to get through some of my issues, and I can’t afford to go to private therapy right now. But maybe this will help? Maybe this will be the thing to get me through all of these issues, and isn’t that at least worth trying?

Unhealthy habits

We all have them… Some unhealthy habits are worse than others, especially when you’re talking about food and nutrition.

I was just texting and admitted how even though I know skipping breakfast is bad, and I know I need to eat enough to fuel my body, I’m totally excited today to see low numbers for my calories. I’m under 400 for the day so far. It makes me feel happy and proud.

But I shouldn’t be. I should be upset with myself for skipping breakfast not to mention my usual mid-morning snack and I should not be happy that my calories are so low because my body needs an appropriate amount of fuel to facilitate weight loss.

It’s so hard to let go of old bad habits. I used to restrict my calories excessively, and while I don’t do that anymore, that mindset is still there. I know intellectually what I need to do, yet I still take pleasure in unhealthy “victories”.

How do we get over the voices that are so ingrained in our head and who we are? Everything my friend had told me to do had worked and I’m yielding the results. Yet I still have inclinations to revert back to old behaviors. Unhealthy behaviors, which didn’t even ever work well for me.

I did used to maintain my weight. Throughout high school I was heavy- definitely high school fat- but I weighed between 130-150. I maintained that weight in unhealthy ways, so I don’t really count that as a true success. Since I was 11 or so I’ve had unhealthy habits. Using and even abusing diet pills, binging and purging, diuretics, etc. I know I’ve mentioned some of this in prior posts, so I apologize for any repetitiveness.

But I’m sitting here wondering what is wrong with me. When I know these things are wrong, and I know the right and healthy choices, why do I go down this road? Then it becomes almost a challenge in itself- how low can I go today? Instead of wanting to eat regularly and be healthy, I start wanting to skip meals and restrict. I know better!

How do we break these unhealthy habits? Have you beaten any of your old bad habits?

I hate trying to do anything in moderation. It’s so difficult for me. I’m more of an all or nothing personality. I also tend to obsess, which isn’t exactly beneficial either to my weight loss. I let things consume me it feels like.

I have to break the cycle once and for all and continue doing what I know is healthy. This is all about a lifestyle change, so it’s going to take time. Slow and steady does it, right? Hard for someone who’s so impatient to deal with that approach. I want to be perfect, and I want to be perfect now. I also want to not have to battle myself internally over food one way or the other, but I’m worried that will never happen.

I’m worried I’ll always have thoughts about eating bad foods or wanting to binge, or going the other way wanting to restrict too much. Both are so tempting at times.

I realized when I was 21 my day revolved around food. My therapist at the time told me my whole life revolved around food. It was an instant “ah-ha” moment and I finally understood or the first time that I had real eating issues. I thought I got over them years ago, but I’m just now realizing that 10 years later, my life still revolves around food.

I feel sad and pathetic right now. I wish I had a brilliant spin on this and a neat little way to wrap up this post, but I’m afraid I don’t. Food has consumed my thoughts and much of my actions for about 20 years now. I don’t know that I’ll ever win the battle.

I’m not doubting that I’ll lose weight. I will continue to do what I’m doing and I will lose this weight. I’m done. But I’m saddened that my life will probably always be ruled by food and the fight not to eat, not to restrict, not to do this or that. I’m afraid of winning the battle and losing the war….

Surviving the holiday…

After I had a little mini-meltdown on someone else’s post, I decided I might need to explore this more and get some advice. How do you survive the holidays? It’s not like it’s Christmas, where I feel “ok” about splurging a little. Who knows how I’ll handle that this year though.

But it’s only Fourth of July. I’m sure they’ll be hamburgers and hotdogs at the party. I’m hoping for some veggies, since my friend did thoughtfully ask what I could and couldn’t eat. So- if I do want a hamburger, I will definitely need to avoid the bun at all costs. That won’t be too terribly bad, right? And I don’t need any sweet treats. I’m ok without that. As long as it’s not cheesecake… My weakness!!!!

BUT- here’s the real conundrum: what do I drink all day? Don’t say water… Seriously. I like vodka. We go back a long time and have had our rough patches but it’s always been there for me.

I started last year drinking vodka with sprite zero to save cals. I forget- are there still carbs in zero? I know my redbull zero is no carbs, no calories and no sugar but not sure about sprite. Oh- but redbull?! I could drink vodka with some redbull zero I think.

I also was wondering about adding it to my crystal light. Like water and crystal light with vodka but I don’t know how that would taste. I had a trainer once tell me to put crystal light in straight vodka but I’m not in my 20s anymore- not quite sure if I’m up for all that.

So what are your thoughts? The more I think about it, I don’t want to give in and have a cheat day. I don’t want to set myself back just because it happens to be a holiday and they’ll be lots of temptation.

But I’m going to need a plan so I can stay on track and not make this disastrous.

Oh- maybe I should fill up and eat before I go, too. I may still be tempted to munch, but at least I wouldn’t be starving and hopefully I can save calories this way.

Any other thoughts or ideas?

What are your plans for the fourth?

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So… It wasn’t awful…

First personal training session this am- and not only was it not awful, I think it might actually have been awesome!

I was beyond terrified driving to the gym. So uncomfortable going back there. But, I hopped on the treadmill and warmed up for about 10-15 min before my session and met my new trainer, Jill.

I’ve seen Jill before and was actually always worried about ever having her as a trainer. All trainers are of course in shape and usually little, but she is beyond teeny tiny! Somehow to me that meant she must hate fat people or something. Such an unfair assumption!

She is actually sweet as could be! She was super supportive of where I am now and finding what works for me and can be a permanent lifestyle change. She’s like the perfect trainer for me! Nothing drastic, no lecturing, just encouragement and support! I loved it!

Plus, the usual morning ladies were in the locker room when I was done and they actually remembered me and even said hello! These ladies used to terrify me, and today we ha a nice little conversation. We had started talking finally when I was going before, but one especially was such a “mean girl”… She didn’t really speak to me this morning, but I don’t even care!

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m also all hyped up on endorphins, instead of my normal over-consumption of caffeine. Granted, I still took a caffeine pill, but more to be safe than it really being needed. Hopefully soon I’ll slowly be weening off all of the caffeine I take every day.

So I’m super pumped up for my day! I forgot how awesome it was to start out your day on the right foot. For me, exercising first thing in the am is so the way to go! My next session is Friday and next Monday is already scheduled as well! And guess what- I cannot wait!!!!

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Weekend weakness

Yet another weekend without adequate willpower. Technically I’m ok on calories for the day so far, but I’ve eaten crap. How do you get through the weekends?

For me, weekends are the hardest. More time on my hands, generally more opportunities to eat- including more temptations that aren’t there during the work week.

So how do you get through it?

I was 200 calories over yesterday for no good reason, other than my lack of willpower. I’m probably going to be over tomorrow because family dinner (and dessert) are not my normal sensible meals: lasagna, salad, 3 types of bread- garlic bread, garlic knots, and garlic cheese bread. Oh, and don’t forget the cheesecake for dessert. What was I thinking?!

Do you use diet pills, and do they help you? Sometimes I take them, but not regularly like I probably should. I don’t want to get too in the habit of taking them, but I also want to get through this transition period when it’s not habit yet to eat smaller portions and make smart decisions. I’m still struggling with that.

I just took a diet pill, which I never remember to do on weekends, and I’m hoping it helps. I’m also going to try and pre-log dinner tomorrow, both so I know how many cals I have to use the rest of the day (thinking protein shakes for bfast and lunch) and also so I know how much I can eat and maintain control over what I put in my mouth.

I hate the weekends and I wish I knew better strategies to deal with my wavering willpower. Weekends are the worst!!!!! Love to hear how you cope!

What I want: You got hot

 

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Is it wrong to consider your potential hotness as part of your motivation? I have been looking up motivational fitness quotes since last night. I saved a bunch to my phone for later use. One I ignored more than once was the “Do it for the ‘Holy Shit, You Got Hot'”. 

But I finally had to go and snag it. What’s so wrong about wanting to be hot? I know it’s allegedly superficial, but who doesn’t honestly want to be hot? It’s not even for everyone else, it’s for me. 

I want to feel sexy in my body, which is something I’ve never experienced. When I was half the size I am now, I thought I was huge. I never enjoyed what I had, albeit briefly. But, I’ve never felt “good” about myself. I’ve always hated my body. 

A few years ago was the first time I went to see a bariatric surgeon about weight-loss surgery. I’ve mentioned I’m doing this the old-fashioned way, through diet and exercise alone, but I did actually not only consider surgery, I had LapBand Surgery a few years ago. I had tons of issues, and while I did lose some weight, not what I should have. I had it removed this January. I was then considering the sleeve, but I’ve decided I don’t need that. I am capable of doing this on my own. Not to say anything bad about someone who chooses surgery, but it’s not the right path for me personally. 

Anyway, at the surgeon’s they had a scale that measured water, fat, lean muscle, etc. I found out my core body weight is around 130 lbs. So, a realistic weight goal for me was 150 lbs. Since then, I’ve tried keeping this in mind. I’ve basically accepted I’ll never be 103lbs (my ideal weight) or even the more practical 130 lbs (my high-school weight). I accepted I would always be fat, and therefore- in my opinion only of myself- ugly. I could never dare wear a bikini, for instance. I could never be anything other than the “fat friend”. 

But SCREW THAT. I do want to be fit, and I want to be healthy. And I really want to be, and more importantly FEEL like a beautiful bride. BUT, I also want to be HOT. There. I said it. 

I want to wear cute little clothes again and show off my body. Not because I’m looking for anything, but because it makes me feel good. I want to wear fun, sexy clothes- nothing vulgar, just cute and flirty. Most of all, I want to, for the first time in my life, wear a freaking bikini. I want to the “that” girl. 

I’ve not even allowed myself to dream about having such a body, but I think it’s time I start. My body will never be perfect, and I’m not striving for perfection. But I am striving to be the best me I can be. Why can’t that be someone who happens to be hot? 

So- while I’m sticking to my original plan, losing 100lbs by my wedding day next June, that will definitely not be the end of my journey. 

I’m going to keep going- not just to lose weight, but to become fit and toned and to create a body I never thought possible. I did start my membership back up at the gym, and they’re letting me use the approximately 36 personal training sessions I had leftover. Going twice/wk for PT, that equals about 4.5 months of training! Which is just about the time I have until trying on wedding gowns in November. Coincidence? I think not… 

So this journey will take some time, but in 2 yrs, I’ll only be 33. There are women in their 40s and yes, even 50s who wear bikinis and cute little clothes. So, at 33, I’ll just be entering the beginning of my prime I think. I’m much smarter than I was in my 20’s, and I don’t loathe myself nearly as much as I used to. My 20’s were really hard for me. So many things went on and I struggled with so much, hence the rapid and excessive weight gain. But now I’m over that. This is a new decade, and I intend on making it the best one yet! 

Too much… Too little… How do you find the “just right” when it comes to calories?

I’m currently eating up to 1530 cals/day (except for the days I ate over this past week… Not happening again).

I arrived at this figure between mfp, and with the help of a friend who used a formula based on weight, height, etc etc.

But I was just researching how much fat one should consume daily (I am eating way too much!) and it suggested my calories be between 1100-1400. I was doing 800-1000 cals previously and even 1200 and not sticking with it.

Now I actually feel satisfied and can stick to my calorie goal. And it appears to be working so far. So do I leave it where it is for the next 10-15 lbs, or should I already be tweaking it?

Part of why this is so hard is because there are so many schools of thought and you get tons of different answers depending on where you happen to look. Lord knows I have no idea what I’m doing on my own. So I need all the help I can get.

So confused.