Wednesday, November 29, 2017

All Hell Breaking Loose

A week or so ago, I "celebrated" my 1 year Surgversary.  I say celebrate pretty loosely because it probably did entail cake and ice cream.  I have been beating myself up pretty badly the last few months but in particular the last couple weeks.  The weight just keeps creeping up on me and my scale.  Yesterday I had to go to my 1 year appointment and I almost didn't do it.  I was having a very hard time facing my failures.

I knew it was going to be bad when I got on the scales in my bathroom, and my weight was the highest I have seen it at 186!!  And, as I knew it would do, it translated to 190 by the time I went to the doctor office, fully clothed.  I was in the 167.7 in June!  I weighed 190 last February.  I just sat in the doctors office and wanted to cry.  In fact, I almost did.

Rachel was very compassionate and asked me what's been going on and why did I think the weight was coming back on again.  We reviewed some things for me to try, which are just common sense, and I already know, but she did bring up a point and that is with my all or nothing mentality, I tend to try to change everything at once.  It's overwhelming to do that, and makes me fail.  She recommended  I try to change just 1 thing for now.  She recommended exercise, because it releases those positive feelings of accomplishment, which in turn, should bring me out of my depression.  But, she reminded me what I already knew and that is that its not going to make me lose weight, that only eating the right kinds of foods will do that.

So, here I am.  I have gone through a lot physically this year.  But, I can do this.  I can try to be more sensible in my actions and eat things more healthy.  I can be more active again.  I can listen to my sleeve and not over-fill it.  I can avoid simple carbs; popcorn, pasta rice and sugars.  I can stop snacking in the evenings.  I can eat slower.  I can blog more.  I can be more positive.  I can update here more regularly for accountability.  One thing I know is that no one wants to hear me go on and on about this, but I NEED to go on and on about this.

So, that's where I am today.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 2017 Update

 It's been quite some time since I have updated here at my blog.  Time just goes by so fast now and I realize I am only about 4 weeks away from my 1 year since surgery.  What a year!!  So many blessings.

The last 3 or 4 months I have not been as successful as I would like to have been, and there were some pounds creeping back on in the last month or 2.  I had got my weight down to around 165 and then the next thing I know, this past Monday, I am at 183!  That was fairly devastating to me. But, I know what causes that and it's my inattention to what I am eating, the frequency in which I am eating and the portion size.  Basically, every single other reason I had prior to my surgery that would cause me to gain weight as opposed to lose weight.  Or even maintain weight!

As of this morning, after paying attention to this for this week, I am gratefully down to 179.6.  Whew.  I still would like to be closer to 155 pounds and maintain between 155 and 160.  I have decided this would be a good place for this 54 year old body.  Any way I look at it...I am so much closer than I ever was at 250 pounds!

In the past few months I participated in a 5K.  It's not like I ran it, but even participating is more than I would have ever done in the past.  I also have continued to do lots of walking and in general am much more physical than I ever was before and am able to do it without difficulty.  My son visited for a few weeks from Hawaii, and he ahd I went on a trip to the Oregon coast.  We stayed at a fun little bungalow on the beach and walked every day on the beach for miles and miles.  It was so wonderful to spend that time with him and have the stamina to do all of the activities that we did.

Another monumental accomplishment was my visit with my primary care physician.  She did my blood work and officially stated that I am no longer diabetic and all my previous conditions are resolved.  She actually does not even need to see me for another YEAR as opposed to 3 months as I have been doing with her for the last 10 years.  It's amazing!!

My main struggles now are more mental.  I listen to the cravings much more than I need to and find myself snacking too often just because it's there.  And these snack foods are my downfall because I can eat them frequently, without feeling too full and am taking in too many calories than I should be.  Plus, the type of foods they are turn to carbs I don't need to have.  I think my main downfall lately has been popcorn.  It's not a bad snack in general, but I can eat it rather mindlessly and a lot of it.  I recently bought a great big bag of skinny pop from Costco and was afraid to open it all week because I know me well enough to know it would be a constant dive into the bag.  But, I did portion it out into individual servings and now those are there and ready and when the bag is empty I am done.  Makes common sense.  And yet, things that are simple sometimes are harder when the brain is involved. 

The other struggle I have, also mental, is my perseption of myself physically.  I forget how far along I have come and don't give myself credit for the accomplishments and instead dwell on that 10-15 pound gain.  It's not fair.  As soon as I give into that thinking all I am is "fat" and unworthy and etc and so on.  Stupid mind games.  I've done them my whole life.  The surgery definitely did not fix my brain!  I am healthier, I feel better, I look better.  As I said many blessings!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Progressing Along...

With all those desperate feelings, I decided to take action on Monday, and made a food plan for my week.  Today is Thursday, and I am happy to report that I have been doing very good.  I am making sure I am drinking much more water throughout the day, I am following a pre-planned menu and eating things that take me back to my after surgery days.  I think I got waylaid by all types of conflicting ideologies, such as, protein drinks, avoid dairy, more vegetables and less protein, etc and so on.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with those specific things, it’s just that I know what worked for me, and was working for me, so once I stopped eating all the simple carbs, following a plan that had worked previously and watching my portion sizes, the pounds I packed on, have started coming back off. 
On Monday, I weighed myself and I was all the way up to 176.4!  Yikes!  It was so depressing.  But, this morning, I checked my progress and I was 167.2.  My guess is, a lot of salt retention from the popcorn, etc.  My goal is to try and get back to where my lowest weight was since starting this journey, and we will take it from there.  I do feel a lot better already, though.  My attitude has improved, my positivity has improved and in general, feel like I had been feeling before.  So what did I change?  Yogurt is back.  Cheese is back.  Smaller portions and variety.  I am allowing myself a snack if I want it, and make sure it is protein.  I am allowing myself to eat fruit and nuts again.  I am trying to avoid empty calories or foods that bring on that “out of control” feeling.  Things like candy, popcorn, cookies.  Yes, I was indulging.  I am trying to resist.  I don’t expect to be always perfect, but so far have avoided an offer of bundt cake, doughnuts and ice cream at work.  Additionally, they had a taco bar at work and I avoided the tortilla and made a taco salad with a small handful of chips.  It was very good and I felt satisfied without going too crazy.  It was “normal” eating.
I guess it comes down to, one-day-at-a-time.  Enough consecutive days will add up to success.
An odd thing happened yesterday.  I was at the grocery store and a lady I have known for over a year walked by me.  I said hello to her, but she didn’t seem to know who I was, or anyway, only acknowledged me as you would someone that is a stranger saying hello.  It bothered me.  I mean, come on!  It’s me!  I am not a stranger.  Yes, I have lost weight and yes my body is different, but am I that different?  I thought about it for awhile, and then ended up in line behind her at the check out counter.  I finally said her name and she looked at me.  I had to tell her my name before recognition registered on her face.  Omigoodness!  This happened at a family reunion last month as well.  My own Aunt thought I was someone else and not myself.  She has known me my whole life.  It makes me wonder if we recognize someone for the entire package of their body matched up to a face, or what?  Last evening, my brother and his wife stopped by my home to spend the night on their journey home from visiting family on the Oregon coast.  They haven’t seen me since my surgery either.  We were sitting in my home visiting and my brother said, “The voice is you, but it’s like it’s coming out of a stranger’s face”.  I felt really strange about this.  I am not sure if this is all good or just kind of good?  Am I losing my identity?  Do I need to reinvent myself?  I just don’t know…

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Where is My Positivity?

I don't know what has been happening to me?  When I go back and read all the milestones, challenges and personal progress I have made, I am not sure why I still struggle so much with where I am right now?  I am eating ALL THE FOOD!  It's like I have no self control anymore.  I graze all the time when I am home.  At work I am pretty much OK because I am busy and limited in what I can eat, but here at home...I eat and eat and eat.

I have been extremely stressed lately though.  Work, personal all of it has been stress-ridden.  Perhaps though, some of my stress is also related to my bad habits of late and then again, its like a vicious circle because it also feeds that fuel by making me resort to stress eating.  I am not sure where to begin to recharge my batteries.  I think I get desperate sometimes and then resort back to extreme things (like skipping meals, just drinking protein shakes, etc)

I think I need to try food journaling and meal planning again.  I just am not sure what to do when those impulsive habits creep back in and affect my choices.  I get so sad when I see the pounds creeping back on me.

I need help!  It's got me very scared.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Trying Again

Whenever something doesn't work out the first time you try it, but you know its the right thing to do, it's best to just keep trying.  That is where I am today.  I had a weekend of popcorn, candy, carbonated drinks and all kinds of such mayhem!  I know what the problem is.  I am human.  That is pretty much it, in a nutshell.   But, being human isn't an excuse, its a reality.  And being human, I am intelligent enough to know that I can change if I want to.  I can adopt new patterns of behavior with hard work and determination.  But, I can also be forgiving of myself and love myself and pat myself on the back and say "try again".  This is what I would do for a friend.  I wouldn't kick them while they were down, I would instead hopefully make them feel encouraged to keep trying.  I would let them know I am there for them if they need me to help.  Surely I can do this for myself too?

I am back to protein shakes today and a sensible dinner.  It helped last week.  I started to see some light in the dark tunnel, but then the weekend hit and all hell broke loose.  The scale this morning reflected a gain almost back to where I was when I started last week. I do think most of that is the salt from the popcorn I ate yesterday.  And honestly, I can eat ALOT of popcorn.  I wonder why my sleeve doesn't notice any restriction when I eat popcorn?  It's a problem!

I think I should make some more of those fathead pizza crusts this week.  If I have a plan, I will usually follow it.  So, protein shakes all day and a sensible dinner in the evenings.  Chicken, salmon, fathead pizza and salads.  I can do this!  I also ran on the treadmill this morning.  Not too long, but I can still do it.  So, I must continue on this way.  Also walking the dogs in the evening if the weather permits is a good idea.

That's my plan.  I hope to update as I go along.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Turning a Corner?

I thought I would update how things have been going.  I am feeling a little bit better about turning things around and trying to get back on track.  On Wednesday, I was able to stick to protein shakes all day except for 1 small apple in the evening that I sliced up and ate.  I couldn't feel too guilty about 1 apple, right?  Then on Thursday, I continued on the protein shake journey and in the evening, my husband took me out to dinner.  Here things got a little out of control, because after we came home, he wanted a bowl of ice cream.  I did end up having some ice cream too.  Argh!!  All in all, it was OK though.  I didn't binge all evening after that and stopped eating altogether, in fact.

Today, I packed my lunch with 4 protein powders and that will get me through the day until this evening where we have planned to eat out again.  He and I have a habit of eating out a lot when he is home (he works out of town most of the time), and usually it's not too much of a problem because I really can only eat so much dense food in one sitting.  So, it's either pack it up and take it home or its a buffet and eat what I can and stop.  The worst part is knowing when enough is enough because I have been known to end up in the restaurant bathroom throwing up because its just too much.  Ugh.  I try not to let it get there though.

I am hopeful I am turning a corner.  This isn't a competition and there isn't a deadline really, and I do know this will be a lifelong endeavor, but I don't want to feel those old feelings and habits coming back and taking over me.  I still want the control of my health.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Week 37 - Hanging In There

Too much time has gone by since I last updated here at my blog.  I am now 37 weeks from my surgery that was on November 15, 2016.  The last few weeks (probably about 6 weeks) have been a very real struggle for me.  The mind feels so impulsive and I have given into following it's advice to eat off program, slack off somewhat with my exercise and in general I have felt the turning of the tide.  I have to stop this downward spiral before it becomes out of control.

With all of the not taking care of myself, I had weighed myself periodically and was for the most part, maintaining my weight.  Possibly up 1 or 2 pounds and then I would be back down a day or so later.  I knew my eating habits weren't the best and I could eat a lot more than I used to.  Today I weighed myself and I was up 5 pounds!  I felt real fear, for the first time since surgery that I could actually regain all this weight I have lost!

Today I forced myself to just drink protein shakes.  Anyway, that was my plan.  For the most part I succeeded except I did slice up a small apple this evening and it was so delicious.   Tomorrow, my plan is similar, except I will have a dinner with Jim in the evening.  If I start craving something in the evening, then I will drink another protein shake.  Thats my plan.  Its a short term solution,  but I hope to at least lose the regain and get back where I was.

I have enjoyed the summer evenings.  The weather has been so hot this week,  but the dogs and I have tried to go on walks despite that.  I haven't been able to get out of bed like I was before, so the evening walks are compensation for avoiding the treadmill in the mornings.