Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Another Day...Another Day

I have been struggling again with feeling a bit low in spirits.  I have tried my best to stay motivated, however, and working on my physical goals.  I can easily walk for an hour to an hour and a half a day, I count my steps with my Fitbit, sometimes breaking it up with some light running.  My food is primarily on track although I think I listen to head hunger a little too much in the evenings and go look for that little bite of this and that.  They really don’t amount to much, and I usually count the details of it, but I know I don’t need it and shouldn’t be seeking out  food to fix my emotions.  My size 14 jeans are initially snug when I first put them on, but as the day wears on, they get looser and looser.  Of course, with my non-waist issue, I never really fit anything around the waist and always have some pudge hanging over the top of the waist band.  Who knows if that will ever go away.
The shrinking me is not looking so good without clothes to cover up the wrinkly skin.  It looks all jiggly and wobbly and when I bend my legs or arm, it crinkles up like an old lady.  I get that I don’t have elasticity in my skin like in my youth, but this is sad to see.  I think I have to ask myself if it’s better than full of plump fat, or loose and empty of fat.  My husband keeps telling me not to worry because it will eventually tighten up, but I don’t think that it really will.  But, I will keep working on things and hope some redistribution goes on that will balance everything out.  One thing he did say though, or words to this effect were, “this is what you wanted, you have to live with the results”.  He didn’t mean this in a cruel way, but it still affected me because it hurt a little bit.  Sure, I’d like to hear some platitudes that I am great looking or sexy still, but honestly, I am not sure I would believe it.  *sigh
Today, I am having a fat day.  Of course, it’s not any different than on Sunday when I was so excited to see my scale where it was, but in my head, I guess, it feels different.  I wonder why I do this to myself and can’t just be content with things and accepting of myself.  I say the words but don’t necessarily live them.  There seem to be a lot of things going on with me right now and I am not sure how to process it all.
I am an empty-nester.  The house is big and quiet when I get home and have my dogs for company.  It’s still dark outside when my work day is done and very cold this winter.  I am constantly cold and when I eventually do crawl into bed, I just go immediately to sleep.  Then do it all over again the next day.  I really miss my son.  Even though he was often away or spent time with his friends, I knew he was there and a companion for me.  If I asked him to join me for dinner, he would, and we would see a movie occasionally or go shopping.  I am proud of him for the changes he has made towards growing up and helping others, but I do miss him.  For the past 32 years, I have had a child at home with me in one capacity or another.  Whether all 4 sons, or only down to 1, it was never just me.  But now it is.  I am grateful that my husband comes home on the weekends.  It helps to have the human comfort, and I could try harder to be more social with others, but I don’t really have that in me.  I am trying not to have a pity party.  Life is still out there in front of me….I am just not quite sure where I fit into it all.  Possibly, I should try to see a counselor or someone that I can talk things through with.  I need to find me in the midst of all this change.
Tomorrow evening, I do start a behavioral class (group) with the psychologist that visited with me before my surgery.  I am hopeful that I can glean something from this that will help me adjust to my surgery and the changes I am going through.  Sure, the changes are dramatic, but I don’t find myself focusing on that part as much as I thought I would.  I mean, I am not focusing on the limited food intake or missing old foods and such.  Yes, it happens sometimes, but overall, I just accept it.  I really think what I am going through goes deeper than that, and it’s quite likely it’s very normal for this time in my life.  I really miss my mom.  How I would love to be able to sit and visit with her and tell her my feelings and thoughts.  She had a way of really supporting me and and being my shoulder in life.  And now, I just feel really petty when I try to express deep feelings with others.  I have tried a little bit with my older sister, and I come away feeling a bit ashamed of myself because I have so much going positive in my life without the constant life struggle (financially), and she is focused in her life more on that financial struggle.  Money doesn’t fix all things, but when you have none (and I have lived this), you really think it would fix most of them.  I have to keep telling myself that I am blessed and be grateful.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Shelley in Onederland!

What a difference a day makes!  Here is what I found this morning on my Aria scale:

If I start talking statistics and my weight history this is a very important milestone for me and a goal that has been out of reach for many, many years.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my sleeve and this opportunity I am having to regain my health and try to live the rest of my life with quality. 

Before I set my next goal, I want to take a minute and talk about where I have come to get to this point in the numbers game.

In looking through past attempts at weight loss, I was able to find a recorded high weight from 5/16/13. My weight that day was 277.4!  That means, at this point I have lost 77.8 lbs, and since surgery, where I started at 247, I have lost 47.4 lbs.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Almost to Onederland

I have been hovering around the 200 lb mark for the last week.  My goal, for about 15 years, has been to just hit 199 pounds, if I could be there I would be super pleased.  And, I have never made it close.  Up and down with the same 30-40 pounds, hovering around a place 20 or so pounds more than that.  But, this morning, I checked my weight on my old scales and this is what I found:

Granted, this is my old scale and not the official one that hooks up to my Fitbit, but it sure was fun to see the scale that I had been using for the last 7 years, display my weight in ONEDERLAND!  So...I am sure my Aria scale will reflect something similar in a couple days.  (It tends to run about 2 lbs heavier than my old scale).  Numbers, numbers....let's talk about those non scale victories for a moment.

Yesterday at work, a few people were commenting on my apparent weight loss.  (I really should find some comparison pictures).  A lady at work asked me how many sizes I had gone down.  I told her I started around an 18 or 20, and I was currently wearing a 14.  She commented that my jeans were looking a bit loose.  I had not stopped to consider that, but I looked down and by golly, the jeans were a bit baggy in the hip area.  When did that happen?  Today, I am wearing them again and noticed I had to stop and hitch them up a few times as they were bagging in my rump.  Wow!  I just bought these about 6 weeks ago and they were very snug.  In fact, I hesitated wearing them to work because of their snugness, but finally realized I had few options with the fact the 18's and 16's sure weren't an option any longer!  This is all very cool and amazing!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Two Month Recap

The 15th of January was my 2 month anniversary on weight loss surgery.  I thought I would breakdown my progress so far.

FOOD- I am now able to eat most foods without any significant problems, although I am avoiding all bread, crackers, potatoes and pastas until I reach my goal weight, or at least are a good ways out on my journey.  I still aim for protein first and then vegetables after.  I have started eating some fresh fruits too, but am discovering they seem to be, at least at this time, a trigger for me and lead me to want more.  I think I will watch that in general.
A week ago I bought a rotisserie chicken and used it to make a weeks’ worth of vegetable and chicken soup as well as some chicken salad.  I find that the peeled and sliced cucumbers make pretty good substitutions for crackers when eating the chicken salad too.  

Restaurants continue to be a huge disappointment to me.  I find it too expensive and I can’t begin to eat even a ¼ of the volume of food that is available.  And yes, I can take it home with me for another meal, and I do, but many times I end up throwing it out after a few days.   I also find, that at the restaurant I eat what I can and then sit there playing with my food so I am not so conspicuous.  The only bright side to this is that my husband is a pretty fast eater, so I don’t have to sit too long.  My husband enjoys the restaurant though, so we will continue to go.  And quite frankly, it is one less meal I have to cook for my husband that I really can’t eat.
One smart thing I have been doing is every couple weeks, I buy 4-5 small Wendy’s Chili’s.  One of them is lunches for me, so I take them home and freeze them in little ½ cup freezer containers.  They have been pretty good for an easy lunch at work.

EXERCISE – Walking and light jogging have been the main focus right now.  I have my Fitbit and enter a lot of challenges, etc to try and stay accountable and motivated.  I also have restarted the Couch25K that I started before my surgery.  It’s going much better than it did before and I find I am doing a better job on the running portion.  There are some longer periods of running coming up this week and next and so we’ll see how that goes. 

HEALTH – My blood sugars have been running pretty normal or anyway, more normal than before surgery.  I will have my A1C reviewed in March and that will tell a bigger story.  I am still taking some diabetes medication and blood pressure medication, but a much lesser dosage than before.  Overall, I feel much better than before. More endurance, I sleep better at night, and many of the aches and pains that I accounted to being overweight and aging have diminished to where I didn’t even realize they were better until I stopped to consider them.  Mostly, I am just feeling more “normal”.

PROGRESS – I started out wearing a size 18/20 or 22/24 top and 18 or 20 bottom.  I am now wearing a 16 or 18 top or an XL and sometimes an L top and size 14 jeans.

Additionally, I have lost 39.9 pounds.  As far as inches lost, I measure around the 3rd of the month, and these are the inches lost so far:
  • neck: -1"
  • upper chest:  -5"
  • chest:  -6.5
  • under chest:  -5
  • waist:  -6.5
  • hips:  -7
  • thigh:  -3
  • upper arm:  -2
  • calf:  .75
What I wish I knew or could have been better prepared for before surgery - 
  • You will weigh more than your surgery day weight when you come home from the surgery.  But, within a week or so, that will go back down with the loss of body fluids, etc.  But, that scale is not your friend in the very beginning
  • Liquids are the very bane of existence in the beginning.  
  • Eat your protein first because there won't be any room for the other filler things
  • Keep a positive attitude.  It's not always going to be easy.  Weight loss surgery will not fix all the problems in your life, in fact you will likely find that it creates new problems.  But, life is like that.  Don't over dramatize and keep it real with a positive outlook and your experience will be so much more rewarding.
I'm feeling pretty great about the progress and love the changes to my quality of life.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Week 8

Well, here I am at 8 weeks since VSG surgery.  Technically, it's not quite 2 months, so maybe I will do another update on that day.  It wouldn't hurt me to update here more often anyway.  As of today I weight 207.4.  My weight on the day of surgery was 247, so that makes a total loss of 39.6 lbs.  My BMI at surgery was 41.1 and today it is 34.5.  Pretty good progress!

I mostly out of my bluesy slump from Monday, but it comes and goes.  Last evening was a bit rough because the weather is pretty depressing around here.  We had a dump load of snow and sub zero temperatures, then the temp jumped up about 40 degrees, brought rain along with it and all the melt off is a big flooding, slushy mess.  The end of my driveway is a swimming pool.  I tried to shovel out a trench to a drainage grate, but after an hour of that and my boots full of icy water for the umpteenth time, I admitted defeat.  I was so tired too.  I made some soup and then crawled into bed, under my electric blanket and fell asleep almost immediately.

Yesterday was also the anniversary of the death of my sweet momma.  That brought back all kinds of bittersweet memories and the wish that I could just talk to her again.  Or at least be able to tell her that I love her and miss her and the changes I have made.  I know she'd approve.  She was my reason for getting this surgery and going through what I have been going through.  All the complications that arose from her type 2 diabetes are what ultimately took her life.  I saw myself headed down that same path with my health problems, obesity and lack of ability to improve things on my own.  I needed a tool to get me there.  Weight loss surgery has definitely proven to be an effective tool so far.

Do I have any regrets?  I wouldn't say that I have felt anything like regret so far.  I have come close a couple times but only for the awkwardness of occasions like eating out.  My husband enjoys that so much and his favorite place is a buffet type of meal or an expensive steak.  I can't even begin to do more than a couple bites any place he takes me and I feel like I am such a waste of money buying a full meal.  He says it doesn't matter, I'm worth it.  But, I also look around at all the piled high plates at all the tables and people tucking into huge mouthfuls and really enjoying themselves.  I am certainly not envious, because to be honest, I don't want to be like that, but it just makes me feel so conspicuous when I ask the waitress to bring me a box to take my food home in.  Of course, if it's a buffet place, I don't even get the left overs, as they don't allow the take away box.

There is nothing bad in all of this, it's just so different.

But anyway...39.6 lbs lost in 8 weeks!  Awesome!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Feeling a little Blue

It's a dismal Monday morning and I feel like I am wading through my requirements to be a responsible adult.  I am not feeling it today.  Last week's bad weather, coupled with freezing rain this morning and the headache of the icy commute are playing a big part in all of this, but quite frankly, I just did not want to climb out of bed today.

These feelings are too familiar.  Before surgery, I felt this way often and usually attributed it to being unhappy in my fat body, associated health issues because of my weight and the altogether reality that it wasn't going to get better unless I did something about it.  But, the reality is, even with losing weight and improving my health, I still feel depressed.

While I was out the 6 weeks, recovering from my surgery, my son commented that I seemed happier and less stressed out.  He was right.   He thought it was because I was losing weight.  And while that is true, the real reason was because I was so enjoying not being at work.  Don't get me wrong, its not a bad place to work, the people are good and the pay is good, but there is something in me that prefers staying home, in my house, away from people and conflict and added stress.  Some people thrive on that sort of existence, and unfortunately I am not one of those people.

So, the alarm clock work warned me that I would have to leave the comfort of my warm bed and act like an adult this morning.  And it really stinks.

Losing weight is certainly not going to fix all my problems.  I have been this depressive person since I was a child and had to get up and go to school, too.  I was always much more happy staying home within the confines of my own home.  It's an environment where I can find inspiration, feel creative, and work inside my mind to bring harmony into my life.  Having to make my way in the hustle and bustle of the world doesn't appeal in the least.  But, I can do it.  I have to do it.

I'm not really sure what the point of this blog post was.  It's just my state of mind this dark and lonely Monday morning and I felt like I needed to get it out of me.  The weekend went by too fast, my husband was sickly the entirety of it and I think I am feeling a bit lonely now that my son is gone.  When bad weather strikes here, my son gone, my husband working out of state all week, I feel very alone and vulnerable.  But that's how depression works with me.  Leave me alone but don't really leave me alone.  So pathetic.

Weight loss is going OK.  I need to get more creative in my meals, however, because I find myself reaching for a fast fix meal that's probably not as healthy or balanced as it should be.  I am also miserable with left overs because I don't really want them the 2nd day...or the 3rd and 4th day as the case may be.  And, I have no one else to feed around here so I throw most of them away.  I still am battling with evenings and the thoughts that I need to eat something when I really don't need to eat anything else.

Clothes are a menace too.  Except for 2 pairs of jeans and 2 blouses, everything in my closet is too big and looks sloppy and I feel fat in.  Having to look professional at work makes this very difficult because unless I wear the same 2 blouses every day, (which I am not going to do) I just don't feel that dress for success vibe.  I know these are petty things to be complaining about, but my mind is a mess of jumbled defeatist feelings today.

Exercise!  I must get back on the treadmill and see if that helps.  With last weeks below zero temperatures, I couldn't face the garage to get on my treadmill, but the temperatures are warmer this week so I can at least try to make that happen.

But for now, I have to go and get ready for work.  *sigh

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Week 7 Update

It's been a good week for weight loss.  Last Wednesday I was 216.2 and this week I weighed in at 210.9.  That's a loss this week of 5.3, and a total loss of 36.1 lbs!  I have been increasing my exercise this week, entered some challenges with Fitbit, and tried to make sure I am over 10,000 steps.  Some days I was closer to 20,000 steps.  I have tried implementing some walking mixed with jogging as well.  I am also on week 2 of the couch25K again.  It seems a bit easier than before at the beginning of this journal, where I couldn't make it through week 3.  I guess we will see how it goes.

We've been having ALOT of snow this winter.  More than I have ever lived through since moving to Idaho back in 2002.  Because of this, I have experienced shoveling snow as my new adventure.  It's almost like playing in snow, but a bit more exhausting.  I am pretty stoked, however, that I have had the stamina to shovel the snow because it's a pretty big job.  I don't think I would have ever had the strength or stamina prior to surgery.  In fact, I know I would have been huffing and puffing, increased heart rate (in the scary zone) and those feelings of nausea.  As it stands, the worst part I experienced would be my arms being tired.  And that makes sense because my arms are not all that strong to begin with.
Being back at work has raised my stress level again.  While out on leave, I had plenty of rest and took good care of myself.  Now, I am back to getting up too early, not having enough sleep because of limited time in the evenings, etc.  But, it's only been 2 weeks, so I am sure I will adjust again.
I need some more creative ideas for lunches here at work, though.  Jim and I went through the Wendy's Drive-Thru and I bought a bunch of small chili's to portion out and freeze.  I have been having them all week for lunch, but a woman cannot live by Chili alone.  I think I need to make double portions of whatever is for dinner and then have left overs for lunch. It sounds simple enough, and yet, I sure haven't been able to accomplish it.  I think that's because I haven't put a whole lot of effort into dinners.  I need to remember to make me the priority!