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About this blog

A daily record of the weird things that only your "inside voice" says...from newbie to new life.

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nestingdoll

Long story short: WLS, weird medical stuff, compromise on goal weight, and suddenly losing weight again....HOPE LIVES!!!

Long-winded version: You know that feeling...the one that you get when you wake up and think, "I feel a couple pounds lighter today?" Then, as if    you had suddenly discovered a poisonous ant colony in your briefs, you begin sprinting while shedding every layer of clothing....all the way to the scale. And....you were right!! 

FINALLY!!! I had to force myself to stop the ensuing spastic happy dance long enough to work out and share my joy with you lovelies.

Why the question mark and shock??? I had given up on my original goal weight of 135. It wasn't because I thought I was getting too thin and it wasn't even because everyone on the planet wants me to "pump the breaks" at 150 lbs.... 

As some of you may know, I struggle with Mollaret's Meningitis, a sneaky form of viral meningitis that lives in you for a mean length of 20-ish years, having recurrent episodes of acute infection and a 50/50 chance of permanent neurological damage that can range from seizures to coma. Scary, right? Well, yes, it's painful and a scary, but it also comes with debilitating light sensitivity, unbearable migraines, and seemingly endless bouts of bedrest. (Because inflammation and aggravation extend my episodes...ugh) You can just imagine what bedrest can do to your weight....especially when it's coupled with medicine that affects my memory (me:Who ate all the bananas?!?!?!? Hubby:"You did, dear.") Now, add in the fact that they essentially have to use neuro medicine to shut down feeling to control pain (so I'm not on huge amounts of fentanyl...no thank you). The result of that is: I no longer know when I'm "full." Nice, right?

I had a major compromise process with my docs...I would begin limiting my exercise to  no or low impact, and I would bend on my goal weight....agreeing to prioritize my brain health. I'm a math geek---brain function is pretty important in my life. So, I've agreed to allow them to use me as a guinea pig...using new studies to guide their preventative plans.

Because of this, I've been placed on some pretty severe preventative measures by my neurologist and infectious disease doctor. To limit stress and inflammation, I am complying with intermittent fasting (so my insulin only spikes once per day) and a ketogenic diet (to minimize brain damage).

ALL of these things have really played with my weight. But, I think I may have finally (6 months later) reached a point of homeostasis in my body.....

There may, indeed, be hope for my long term goal yet!!!!

 

nestingdoll

My friends, I'm writing this blog to document and  warn against a certain dangerous state of mind...It's too late for me. Save yourselves!!!!:

There's a place where my mind goes, sometimes.....a place where my narcissistic-ometer is pegged out! I find that the pendulum has swung past the "normal" to an extreme point where I am literally obsessed with the numbers on the scale. Is it low enough? Why haven't I lost more? Why did it go up an ounce? (Or, God forbid, a pound) 

My mind doesn't go there alone...it takes my mouth with it.  And...my mouth drags my darling bald man along for the ride. I've tried to put myself into his combat boots with absolutely no success. I cannot imagine hearing this weight loss yammering for over 15 years. 

This morning was one of those mornings. I worried aloud to the point that I irritated myself!!!! Ugh! On and on and on....my angry rant HOW can the scale read that when I've been Sooooooo careful, doing everything right. Coloring completely inside the lines?!?!?! 

This patient man begins going through the "you can't gain pounds overnight unless it's water-weight, did you eat a lot of salt today?" And "honey, you're about to start your period, it's not permanent" and "keep going, have faith, weight fluctuates, stay off the scale and press forward, weigh once a week, etc...." Man, he's been conditioned well!!!!!

But, I did NOT want to hear it!!! I wanted to kick and scream and pout and cry and stage a bathroom sit-in until the darn scale admitted that it was wrong and unjustly accused me of gaining POUNDS overnight. LIAR!!!!!! TRAITOR!!! TURNCOAT!!! You were my friend LAST NIGHT!!!!!

 Instead, I walked behind my glorious bald man and incessantly yammered. 

I turned in to the WLS psychopath....the lady that just knows that because of this scale reading, she's destined to wake up tomorrow at 400 lbs again. The lady that throws up her hands and says things like (brace yourself for a hissy fit) "it's no use," "I guess I'll just always be fat," "I KNEW I was going to fail at this!" 

In short, I lost my mind.....momentarily. The horrid things spewing from my mouth snapped me back from the edge. Did I honestly just say "I knew I was going to fail!!"?? Oh, that's hilarious. That doesn't even sound like me....how irritating! What is going on? Have I developed some sort of WLS adolescent alternate personality that is three seconds from storming out of the door, slamming it behind me, then throwing myself on my bed face down until someone comes to calm me?? How utterly irritating!!

When the tidal wave of yammering stopped, my glorious bad man turned his head and made eye contact. 

Me: "what was THAT?"

Him: "finished?"

Me: "yep"

Him: "welcome back"

So, I will not be back on the scale until Wednesday-weigh-in day.  And, I may begin a "frustration" journal that can be the sole recipient of my narcissistic rages against the vile liar that is the seemingly innocent bathroom scale...

you, sir, are no friend of mine!!! (Until Wednesday...when you've had plenty of time to consider your behavior and come to the conclusion that I, in fact, lost some ounces) For the next few days, you can just sit in shame and think about what you've done!!! (I told you it was too late for me)

 

 

nestingdoll

Oh, we've all been to those wretched team building outings....playing "get to know you" bonding games with the mean girls in the next office or the jocks in the next cubicle. Undoubtedly, you were asked to complete ropes courses blindfolded or lift one of your coworkers using one finger each. (Complete nightmare scenarios!!)

But, there's a part of those team-building sessions that simply intrigues me...the part where, by some sort of interactive questioning, you find out How much you have in common with others. 

Last night, my best friend (that grew up across the country from this army brat) revealed to me that, as a child, she would also stick the Chiquita banana sticker to her forehead, between her eyebrows, where it belongs. I was stunned, thinking that me and my sisters were the only weirdos that fought over that darn sticker, the winner triumphantly strutting out of the grocery store ahead of the tearful runners up.

Then it dawned on me.....what if my weirdness isn't actual weirdness. What is my strange behavior is actually widespread. So, friends, let's play a game....be sure to copy and paste your answers, so we can all see how we common our "odd" WLS behavior is:

(answer yes or no....and feel free to add your own peculariarities to your answer list)

1. Have you ever stood in the mirror, sideways, and tried like heck to pull your stomach behind you, so you'll see what you eventually look like??

2. Have you ever sucked in your cheeks and stretched your face toward your ears on both sides, trying to see what your thinner face will look like?

3. Have you ever worried that the loose skin under your chin will someday look like a V? (Mostly because that's what happened to the character Fat B****** on Austin Powers---still can't get that line out of my head)

4.  Have you ever played  the "Honey, am I her size?" game with your significant other or basically anyone else that will play with you?

5. Have you ever weighed yourself before AND after going #2, to see if it makes you lose a little more that day?? 

6. Have you ever tried on a garment of your child or much-smaller spouse just to see if it would zip?

7. Have you ever celebrated because the weight you gave to the DMV to put on your driver's license is no longer a lie?? (Still my favorite NSV)

8. Have you ever played with a BMI calculator to see exactly how many pounds you'd have to lose in order to be considered "underweight" if for only a moment?? (Okay, maybe this one is just me...)

9. Have you ever wanted to buy a plane ticket just because you no longer need the seat belt extensions?

10. Have you ever had people take naked pix of you, just so you could see exactly what you look like from every angle, now? (And then frantically erase them while making the photographer swear to have a spontaneous bout of amnesia)

 

Needless to say, my YES score is 10/10. But, I'm willing to bet that my odd WLS behavior isn't so very different from many of yours. And, for those of you whose WLS oddities have not yet manifested and are currently giggling at the thought of weighing yourself after using the potty, just wait....some day, you'll remember this blog as you stand on a step-stool, manipulating your shrinking tummy in the mirror to see your future self...

 

nestingdoll

I was on a ketogenic lifestyle website the other day and was AMAZED to see that one of their major threads basically pitted a keto lifestyle against WLS. The forum asked for WLS failure stories, and boy did people line up to give them!!

In short, the tag line should've read: WLS Success Cases are Unicorns!! That got me thinking:  Where is my graduating TT class?? Where did all of the lovelies go?--those faces that kept me going, walking each step with me from Newbie to Century Club?

Its been 5 years, but I still remember their names, their posts, their words of encouragement, their uncanny abilities to just know where I was coming from. 

May I present some of my favorite unicorns:

@BugdocMom 

@michieluvsu

@Sakinah1

@SerenieBeanie

@technogal63

@Kayla

Their posts may be few and far between these days. Their blogs may have grown cold. No, they aren't sitting around posting on sites about the so-called "fairytale" WLS "gimmick," because they're at the gym or running 5k's or sitting on the floor and playing with their kids. They're tying their own shoes and even starting their own outreach programs to feed the hungry (shoutout to @michieluvsu). They're doing this thing called LIVING. 

I know because I started sending them messages last night, and I found that the unicorn population is VAST but quiet.  Some of them I haven't heard from yet, but I'm keeping the faith that they're simply having too much fun to sit down and play catch up. 

So, worry not, Newbies, unicorns DO exist! Of course, you get their mentoring here in people like @Res Ipsa and @cinwa....but there are many, many more that are behind the scenes.

Apparently, we all wander back to TTF at some point, especially when we need to swim in motivation and understanding---or when we need to be smacked back into our programs. Sometimes, the squeaky wheel gets all the focus---but there are other wheels!! Have faith in the process---and earn your own alicorn (that pointy thing that separates the bags from the unicorns). 

 

Back story: Before you ask, I am on a ketogenic eating program for life, because of my diagnosis of Mollaret's Meningitis...a rare and recurrent form. Ketones produced from this diet help limit neurological damage and repair damage that already exists due to trauma or illness. I'm a math geek---thinking is necessary for my life. Yes, I had to become adjusted to the fat intake....it was awful but worth it. Please don't try this without your doc watching you like a hawk.

nestingdoll

Lately, I've reverted to Lurker status and have begun flinging myself down the rabbit hole that is better known as The Gallery.

It's a strange thing that happens inside the darkest parts of my brain when I begin looking at the Before & After gallery. So many emotions start flowing so quickly....I find myself talking to my tablet

"ooooh, look at her! I wanna have arms like her! Look at how far below her goal weight she is! She says she didn't even have a panniculectomy to have those rock solid abs. Look at those legs!!!" 

It's almost the exact same rush I used to get looking through my Yummly app or a new cookbook, planning all of the things of which I would soon discover the taste. 

To be honest, my obsession with meeting my goal weight has now been replaced by my obsession with having an abdominoplasty and breast reconstruction.  I've saved for the surgery so many times...and each time has been met with a drastic event that has drained my poor piggy bank. The last one was a hospitalization for Mollaret's Meningitis. Neuro meds are NOT cheap. I have Tricare insurance, so the odds of getting authorization is next to zero. 

I remember my level of obsession and desperation when I found myself suddenly ready to go through WLS. The clock could simply not move quickly enough between surgical appointments and all of my pre-op steps required by my surgeon. I remember looking at the list of nutritionist appointments and required food logs and thinking...."that's just fine. I'd swim with sharks if that's what was required to have this surgery." I'm finding myself faced with similar feelings, now that I'm over five years out and have yet to do the remodeling that comes with losing 250 lbs. It simply feels like breaking an ankle half a mile before the end of a marathon. I have this NEED to finish the job. And, I want it so bad, I can taste it. 

Patience. I've never been great with that. (I'll pause for the feigned gasps and shocked looks). I know that things happen in their own time. I know that I'm conquering major life goals right now (starting my concurrent senior year of my math degree and first year of my master's work). But, when I flip through the pictures in the gallery, that little seductive voice inside reminds me that this journey is not over. It won't be over until I've finished sculpting the body that I want to maintain for years and years.

Is it selfish to want to look great naked? Maybe. But, after all of the work it takes to lose as much weight as an NFL Linebacker, you want to be able to strut around naked in the gym locker room like all of those grannies! You want to be able to buy lingerie without wondering where you can tuck in your skin flap. You want to be able to wear backless dresses without wondering if you can make your breasts look normal by rolling them up and tucking them behind the fabric in the actual boob area. You want to be able to wear a swimsuit that doesn't have to have that evil "instant lift" tummy device that makes it difficult to breathe. And, for God's sake, you  want to be able to zip up your pants without snagging your tummy jowls. Call it selfish or vain or anything else...

I have come full circle, looking at pictures and thinking to myself..."that's fine. I'd swim with sharks to have this surgery."  

But, I'm not discouraged; I'm elated. I work GREAT under the pressure of a seemingly unattainable goal. I have no idea how I'm going to solve this problem....but I KNOW that I will!!! 

 

 

 

 

 

nestingdoll

Dear Lurker, I've been catching up on newbie posts and blogs and I think something needs to be said....

Sweet friends, there are nay-Sayers wherever you look. Any time you unveil your interest in WLS, your friends and family will begin to serve you the most appalling statistics and worse, the most ridiculous anecdotal "evidence" as to why this surgery won't work for you. Let me give you some of the reasons I was given...

1. "It won't be permanent if you take the easy way out." (Brought to you by darling mother) Let me say with unflinching certainty that WLS is the hardest thing I've ever done. The only "easy" part of it is making a consultation appointment. Every single step feels like a desperate last ditch effort to break a food addiction. This is NOT plastic surgery. This is NOT a vanity procedure. This is a surgery that hands people a tool that they can CHOOSE to use to fight back. Fighting back is NEVER easy. Permanent only happens when we choose every day to fight back. Still sound easy??

2.  "I know a man/woman at work that had the surgery and ended up gaining all of his/her weight back and then some." (Brought to you by every human I've ever met) Yes, let's go there... we've heard of them, some of us may even know them, some of us may even be them....but let's look at success/failure in terms of their CHOICES to fight back every day. We are given rules. Strict rules. Stringent rules. Big, bold black lines that we are forewarned not to cross. When we cross them, we are flirting with our addictions. We are lying down and refusing to fight. And, sometimes our gambles pay off....and most times they don't. It is not the surgery that fails, usually. It is our unique ability to put that tool down and reach for a cupcake or onion rings. Instead of making a change, we sometimes make this surgery a complete trust fall....handing all control to the pouch or sleeve. The truth is: without serious change, we are all savvy enough to outsmart WLS. Read the long-term post op posts---immediately you'll see a correlation between breaking rules and regain. Commit to change. Commit to breaking your food addiction, and embrace the rules....they are your training tools, not your enemy. Rarely do people's surgeries fail if they're using their tools WITHIN the frames of our rules. 

3. "But your marriage will fail" (brought to you by both sisters) Shockingly, my surgeon never mentioned that while he was inside my stomach, he plans to flip a magical toggle switch that would kill my commitment to my husband.... Guys, committed relationships are challenged with any change. This is a change that can boost confidence and change people's willingness to even go out of doors. It can sometimes make spouses worry that their dear WLS partner will "go and find someone better." So, let's get down to it...IF the only reason you're with your current spouse is because you lack the opportunity/self esteem to find someone "better," WLS will probably lead to a divorce. Or, if you and your partner haven't developed strategies to communicate about threats and feelings and insecurities....develop them now or forever hold your peace. But, if your marriage is healthy with strong communication skills, this process can be FUN for you to experience together. Yes, FUN!! It's an amplifier for the marriage you already have.   

Finally, my favorite....

4. "But it will change who you are." (Entire friend circle and sisters) Let's re-read this one as "but it will change the category into which I've placed you." Here was my reality check. My friends thought of me as their "funny fat friend," the one who they could compare themselves to and think "well, at least I'm not as fat as her."!i was their self-esteem booster on every shopping trip or girl's night out. I was the friend that they could trust being alone with their husbands, because I was so fat I wasn't a threat.  My fatness basically stole all applicable gender rules. Their husbands would surely never trade down to be with their chunky pal. My sisters were a bit trickier. I'm the youngest of three daughters. The eldest...so wonderfully beautiful and trim that she's been on commercials for two gyms. The middle sister has always been about 50-60 lbs heavier than me. It took me half a second to realize that MY WLS was about to challenge their definitions of themselves as "the skinny sister" and "the other heavy sister." my middle sister would now look at herself as "the only heavy sister" and my eldest would now fight to be the "skinniest sister." Yes, folks, our circles of influence can be threatened by our boosted confidence and our changing appearance. If you are in the position I was in, I HOPE IT CHANGES WHO YOU ARE. Because one day, you'll wake up and understand that there are people out there that won't stand on your head in order to boost themselves higher. That being said, get ready for an upheaval in your friend/family circle. Just as with romantic relationships, WLS tends to be an amplifier of the relationships you already have. 

 

If you are considering WLS, be certain that you're willing to fight back daily, ready to make friends with the rules, and ready to examine and/or shake every single relationship you have to its core. This journey is about YOU. It's about shining a light into all of the darkest recesses in your life and ripping out the cobwebs. It's about change--change with regards to motivation, priorities, self esteem, tolerance, habits, activity level, familial and friendship roles, and yes....weight. 

So, this so-called "easy way out" ends up to be a complete reconstruction of your world. When you embrace the entire experience, it effectively strips away the bad and strengthens the good. Your life WILL look as different as you will. 

And, it all starts with your commitment to tune out everyone's voice except yours. Educate yourself, get a consultation, and understand that you DO NOT NEED their approval, ever again. YOU are the only person that you can rely on for WLS  success. Figure out what you're honestly willing to examine and fix....if you're ready, you already know it. Just walk through the door with your eyes open, with your own voice being the loudest.

 

 

 

 

nestingdoll

First, let me say that there's no way to be successful at weightloss (surgery or not) without facing all of the skeletons that you have been trying to strangle with food.

So far, I've been a good tap dancer and a GREAT ostrich with people that have hurt me. But, I've also learned how to stand up for myself and hand-pick wonderful people for my life. Now, I'm surrounded by lovely people who actually know and accept me, while supporting me in accomplishing my goals. But.....now it's time to face more demons....

Have you ever gotten a phone call from anyone in AA or NA, apologizing for something they did 20 years ago? It's my turn and I'm lost.  Let me explain...

In my life there's that one guy....the first guy I ever loved and the only one that was over the moon for me. I took him for granted then strung him along for about ten years. (From the beginning of high school until I ran away across the country to find a new start) About 5 years ago, I moved back across the country to my old stomping grounds (to be near family while my bald man deployed)...and he had just gotten married to a gal who is reputed to be lovely. 

I refused to seek him out, knowing that I owed him a life without me in it. (Even though I am a grown up that unceremoniously throws drama out of her life, now.) When fate finally made our paths cross, I gave him an apology publicly and from the depths of my soul. 

I thought it was over, BUT the dream is back. I've been having the same dream about our break up for roughly fifteen years. It came back last night. 

How is it that I can forgive anyone for almost anything and not be able to forgive myself for things that happened half a lifetime ago? How can you find peace about something that still makes you shudder?? He accepted my apology and we talked for hours, catching up and showing one another pix of our families....but I think I would've felt better if he had punched me. Instead, he apologized for not being able to be the man that I needed.....

yeah.ouch.

Ready, set....psycho-analyze

nestingdoll

Ever find yourself on the receiving end of an intervention with your best friend? The details may be different, but the gist is always: OH MY GOSH, GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND...YOUR NAÏVETÉ iS TRANSLATING INTO HUSSY-DOM. Anyone??

What happened was....

I was at a girlfriend's house, spending the last few hours with her before she left for vacation. Her hubby offered a piece of advice...if you want a chassis tune up so badly, make a gofundme page. Whaaaa??

To desperate ears, this wreaked of genius. So, I immediately went home and created a gofundme campaign that was sure to earn the moolah that would wipe away my pannis AND get me an "athletic" size pair of chi-chi's in mere moments. I was so proud, in fact, I sent said hubby a message telling him that I took his advice. He told me GOOD! And said that he wouldn't be donating anything but he would gladly buy shares....

I'll pause for gasps and cringes. Yes, he was one of my closest friend's (one of my Ya-ya's) husbands. 

BUT, here's where my mental roadblock came in. After all, I'm the "smart one," not the one that people flirt with. I.thought.it.was.funny. I LOL'd and went about my day, never even considering that this was a skeevy comment that may have been thrown out to see if I would bite. In fact, I told him that perhaps I should've posted on my gofundme page that I was selling timeshares...and then I told him to schedule an automatic debit from his paycheck. Never, ever did this enter my mind as "I have just offered to let some guy share my body for money." I just thought he had made a clever joke.

So clever, in fact, that I saw nothing wrong with sharing his wittiness to another friend during regular conversation. And, so begins the intervention.

Long lecture short: My absolute refusal to believe that people are flirting with me makes it look like I'm open for business, or at least playtime. 

My punishment: my sweet friend is now pointing out "flirts" by produce men, tire repair guys, and anyone else with ....um......frank and beans that looks in my direction for a moment. 

Before you ask, no I am not "baiting the hook." I don't go parading my goodies on the street. Modest is hottest!! But, since this intervention, I want to fashion myself a puff-sleeved compound dress from pink upholstery, braid my hair, and never dare to show an ankle in public again. 

The question I'll pose to you is this: has my  ignorance encouraged the objectification of my wiggly, jiggly body?? More importantly, instead of having it removed, would it be better to shake my pannis at any produce boy that gives me the full court press?? (After I learn to accept that he has actually done that, of course) 

Lesson of the week: sometimes skeeviness disguises itself as cleverness....and it would be better to whip your pannis out than to giggle. 

 

 

 

nestingdoll

About 6 years ago, I joined this community and became HOOKED on the fact that I could use the gastric bypass as a tool to help in the extreme battle of the bulge.  I had my surgery on 3-19-12, and it was a complete success. 

I'll go ahead and answer the burning question:  At my heaviest documented weight, I was 397lbs.  When my surgery was scheduled, I was down to 268lbs.  My goal weight was 145.  The lowest I ever got was 147. Today, I'm weighing in at 161(and not too happy about it). Will I battle for the last 16lbs to be gone??  Of course!!  What's 16 lbs when you started at 397?? 

Let's get real:  life is messy.  Gastric bypass doesn't make it any less messy.  Since my last blog, I lost down to 147lbs, then gained some back.  However, I survived my hubby's 2.5 year deployment, infidelity in my marriage, a long pause then restart to my math degree (I feel your cringes from here), moving across the country, complete separation from half of my family, hospitalization for viral meningitis for one month and subsequent detox from fentanyl over the span of 2 months, AND 5 years of growth for each of my girls. 

I decided, however, that it's important to continue my blog on thinnertimesforum.  Along the way, I will post about real life, real food, and the real challenges that I face daily.  I promise to document every achievement, shortfall, and swan dive off of the wagon. 

Last November, I started becoming frantic, frankly.  I knew I was losing control, again.  I started looking WAY too much like 397lb me. 

Here are my personal warning signs that I'm reverting:

1.  Avoiding the scale or making excuses like, "That's not 'real' weight; I'm about to start my period in 2 weeks.  Or, my favorite, "It must be water weight from the salt I had yesterday."  No sweetie, it was the fries that the salt was on. 

2.  Daily decisions to "start a new lifestyle."  In November, I decided to do the 5 day pouch. It was "ridiculous this far post-op."   Then, I decided I would live and Atkins lifestyle.  Reality check:  Atkins plus carbohydrates isn't Atkins.  It was "too hard while I'm in school." 

3.  I suddenly have a larger stack of "goal" jeans in my closet than I do of current fit jeans.  That's okay, self, "you'll get back into them after the holidays.  The hubby must've shrunk them in the dryer." 

4.  I keep telling myself that "I'm a health foodie. I wrote a wholefoods blog. I don't eat like that" as I'm eating a burger or handful of chips. 

5.  My house is suddenly bursting at the seams with junk food and chocolate and I lie to myself, "it's for the hubby and the kids."  Yeah, honey?? Then, stop eating their food.

6.  I KNOW deep down that I'm letting the food monster creep back in...nay, the food monster is here, bigger than life.  But, if I cram the food into my mouth super fast, the calories somehow won't count.....  There's not even any logic in that one.

I'm done with that version of myself.  Done.  So, I've spent several weeks reflecting on my journey.  This is a fork in the road, a pivotal moment in my life.  Will I be a success long-term or will I become one of those people that everyone's co-worker warned you about----that lady everyone knows that had gastric bypass and ended up bigger than before. 

Here are the truths that I've written down to remind myself what's at stake:

1.  "Living to eat" only leads to one place.  Weight loss surgery is like playing a game of chutes and ladders.  All it did was set me back at the beginning.  If I take the same footsteps I did before, I will get to the exact same place. I used to say, "If I had it to do over again, I would have.......(never stopped running, fallen in love with nutritious food, said no to every second helping, etc...)"  I got a re-do.  I'm calling my own bluff.  Am I strong enough to do it differently this time?  Every step counts.  I will make the most of each one.

2.  Maintaining my spoiled-brat food attitude means failure.   Eating to live means prioritizing my health TODAY, not starting tomorrow.  If there's anything we should all know, it's that being healthy is freedom and being unhealthy is a prison of flesh.  So, why have I been choosing things that are unhealthy to put inside my body?? Isn't it about time that I give it what it needs instead of what I want??  Is it only in America that we whine about eating fresh fruits and veggies while other parts of the planet don't have any??  Is it only in America that we whine about how fresh food doesn't taste good enough because we don't get the taste of cheesecake with every bite?  Are we a nation of fist-pounding toddlers refusing to eat our green beans and wanting to move straight to dessert?  Attitude is a decision.  Changing it is as easy as changing my mind.  "Do or do not, there is no try--Yoda"

3.  There is NO cheat code for this game.  There is NO way to live a life of food splurging and NOT gain all of my weight back.  There is no magical combination of foods that will allow me to "eat the foods I love and still lose weight" unless I learn to love foods that are healthy for my body.   If my plate holds the same foods that it did when I was 397lbs, I should run, terrified, to the garbage bin, scrape it frantically, and start over.  We all know the combination to weight loss.  This is not rocket science.  Eat an appropriate amount of foods that are dense in nutrients and lead an active life.  LIVE.

4.  I am not "cured." I will always be a food-aholic; I should never let my guard down.  Food is not a reward.  Using it to celebrate is dangerous.  Do alcoholics give themselves a pass on their birthdays or holidays?? I sure hope not.  Rewarding myself with dangerous food reinforces my food addiction and makes it easier to make excuses for the next meal...like "I've already blown "my diet" for the day, I'll start again tomorrow."  I have had enough fried and sugary foods for a lifetime.  Eating them did not make me happy.  In fact, eating them made me miserable.  I will remember that this is not my "diet," this is my life.  This is not my lifestyle.  This is my life.  This is a life that "blowing it" with a plate of food means walking back toward being a mommy that couldn't bend over to tie her own shoes.  This is a life that is worth more than trading it for a piece of cake or a slice of pizza. 

 

BACK TO MYSELF:

The last 16 lbs will be reached by becoming again the best version of myself, not by further depleting my body.  I'm currently on day 8 of going back her.  She wrote a daily whole foods blog and was a serious health foodie.  Every bite of food that went into her mouth was for one reason:  TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY of her life.  She believed in the power of nutrition to heal and that foods should be eaten as close to their natural state as possible.  She didn't need to count calories, fat grams, carbs, etc... because when you're living the right way, your body balances itself.  And, the greatest part of all.....I'm still her.  I just need to remind myself of that. 

 

 

nestingdoll

This morning, my 7 year old daughter woke up, ran to a little pink jewelry box, flew open the lid, and gasped. Instead of the tiny, little baby tooth that she hid there the night before, she found a silver dollar. Magic. She instantaneously donned the cap of the town crier and floated about the house, excitedly explaining to my 3 year old daughter the steps with which to attain this magical tooth-alchemy. The look on her face was contagious. My three year old was wearing it moments after her first glimpse of the "doubloon." (She's into pirates in a big way.) As a matter of fact, it's the same look they get when Santa Claus has left their presents under the tree or the Easter Bunny has left goodies in baskets outside of their bedroom doors. Want to know a secret?...grown ups get it, too. I wore the exact same expression last night.

It all started with my realization that I really wasn't going to do my homework until the last minute on Sunday night...so, I gave up clock-watching and went to the bathroom to draw myself a bath. The kids were snugly nestled in bed and a cup of post-bath sugar free Apple Cider was calling my name. So, I stripped down, threw my clothes in the laundry basket and all but sprinted to the tub (the house was unusually cold). When I reclined in the water to warm up, I reached for a bar of the hubby's soap (he's gone again, so I use his soap to keep that smell alive in the house). I placed it on my thighs to wet my hair with both hands....and....it....fell....through.

Thinking to myself that I didn't remember spreading my legs apart, I fished the bar of soap out of the water and repeated. Again, it fell through. Ladies and gentlemen, for my first act, I will now make soap disappear??? Have I become some wicked thigh magician? No. But, there is evidence of a magical being that is sadly left out of every fairy tale and folk lore book I've ever read.....in fact, I don't know her name. In the middle of the night, she graciously took some of my thigh cellulite and left, in its place......a SPACE! You can see through them.....WITH MY KNEES TOUCHING!!!!!! Yes, I called it a "she"...I'm convinced it's a female creature...after all, who else would understand the agony of thigh cellulite?? That, or the Sand Man has some sort of leg fetish and is now using his powers for much more good?? Either way, I'm positive that my usually pessimistic/realistic expression was traded, if only momentarily, for the starry-eyed, jaw dropped expression of a child looking at tooth fairy doubloons. Magic....pure magic!

Remember the day after you got your engagement ring? When you couldn't stop looking at your hand, twisting it in the sunlight and almost wrecking the car? Yes? Then, you can imagine what today has been.....so far, I have proven that a remote control, my deodorant bottle, and my skinniest coffee mug can all occupy that new mystical thigh space with my knees miraculously together! So, whether its name is the Midnight Thigh Bandit, Leg Slimming Gnome, or the Cellulite Vampire........THANK YOU!!!!! (and PLEASE tell me that you have a buddy called the Panni-poofer, Tummy-Tucker, or Lipo-Leprechaun!) I know, I know.....it might be silly to believe in the panni-poofer.....but on the day after your thighs no longer touch.....anything will become possible to you, too.

nestingdoll

In honor of losing 101 lbs as of this morning, after being stalled for 2 weeks at the -98 lb mark, I have to do it... Prepare yourself for the mandatory (though perhaps trite) listing of random things that weigh 100 lbs.

15 Random Things that weigh 100 lbs:

1. 1 baby hippo

2. The average 13 year old child

3. 50 large tubs Country Crock

4. A 2-month old foal

5. A hellfire missle (HAL-3)

6. 10 bags of flour

7. 10 medium sized bowling balls

8. 12 gallons of drinking water

9. 50 pairs of shoes

10. 5 giant Thanksgiving turkeys

11. 5 average car tires

12. 1 semi-truck tire

13. 3 cinderblocks

14. $45,359 in single dollar bills

15. Miley Cyrus

Today, another goal has been met, and it feels FANTASTIC! Sure, I'll strut with a little more attitude. My chin will be in the upright and locked position, and I might even wear that Vera Wang size 10 tunic I found at a vintage shop for $5. BUT---today is also the day that I reconfirm my commitment to the process and not let myself forget where exactly I came from and how easy it is to go back there. I'm choosing not to wake up from the fairytale.... and in doing so, I'm choosing to obey the pouch so that baby hippo doesn't conveniently come back home to settle in around my midsection.

nestingdoll

With the drastic changes that have kept my life in quicksand since the surgery.....Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you change number 4,589,222 and a half. We will be heading to Louisiana mid-December, instead of February.

This means, mind you, that the Army has siphoned another couple of months away from me....thanks, Uncle Sam. And, the clincher.....my finals will be the Wednesday before our weekend move. YIKES! CALGON!!!!!!!!

"They" warn that life goes on after WLS.....and "they" are, alas, correct! In fact....I'd kinda like to take Mr. Murphy de la Murphy's Law out back and smack him around a little bit. That being said, this change is yet another reminder of how important it is to make food a routine instead of a reaction. Can I claim a little NSV.....I didn't have a food response to the news. :) (Nor, I might add, did I have a cigarette behavior.)

The stress continues, but my resolve remains. I WILL be successful. I WILL meet my goals. I WILL continue to redefine food until I eat to live. And, I WILL NOT give in to the stresses of life that have caused me to abandon hope in the past.

Louisiana, here we come! So, here's hoping that the pace of life down there is as slow as I remember. I could use some porch swinging, fire-fly catching, music-listening, friend gathering, family hugging time. :)

nestingdoll

This week, I was assigned a self-portrait as my end of year project. It's a daunting proposition for anyone, I suppose. BUT, for me and those like me, it's a bit terrifying for a couple of reasons:

First, the assignment is to draw myself "with the aid of a mirror, not a picture." Don't get me wrong.....I often look at my body in the mirror....but this assignment is a head shot. It's odd, but the idea of making eye contact with myself in the mirror makes me a little nervous....it makes me wonder who that girl is that's staring back.

Second, as the self-portrait progresses, we must display it and stand beside it for critique. My first critique was, shall we say, telling.

I can't stop my hand from giving myself chipmunk cheeks, double-chins, and quarterback shoulders. My classmates actually thought it was hilarious that I "made myself fat." It was the closest I've come to utter humiliation since I can remember.

The biggest challenge, I think, is going to be actually seeing what's in front of me, instead of allowing my insecurities to end up on my page. And, the biggest problem with this is that I have no idea when I'm doing it. I draw, thinking that I've finally accomplished the task....and I get feedback like, "that girl weighs 300 lbs." My first instinct, to be honest, is to say, "yeah? so do I." On Wednesdays, I weigh in and tell the hubby the weekly verdict.....but the majority of the time, I slip up and report my weight as 270 instead of 170.

I'm foreign to me. I still see myself as clay, if you know what I mean. I'm not "done," yet. I'm not finished. I'm cake batter, not a cake.... The only way I can think of to word my feelings is, "I'm not ME in the mirror, yet," as weird as that sounds. I'm not familiar with that person I look at in the mirror....I'm strangely taken aback by her. Like looking at the funny mirrors at the circus. Her eyes look like mine. She's not real, yet. I don't think of her as permanent, yet. She's a "could be," a "wish," a "mirage."

Strange, isn't it, that I don't recognize myself? I remember catching a glimpse of myself in a random reflection in the mall when I weighed my heaviest....I was horrified that I actually looked like that. Reality hits hard. I hardly recognized myself, then. Seems like I'm pretty good at hiding myself from myself. It's kinda scary to be forced to peel back those protective layers and try to figure out what I really look like. What if I don't like what I see? After all of this?

nestingdoll

Okay, I've done it....I've begun getting that hyper paranoia that goes hand in hand with the unflinching NEED to succeed at this surgery. Now, I'm wondering (after my itty bitty weight gain this week) whether my stoma is stretched.

I haven't felt as much "restriction" lately when I eat. So, the natural question: Is this because I've learned to eat the appropriate amount of food for my pouch or is a stretched out stoma the culprit?? I read a post from a WLS patient who happened to be a physician....he was responding to someone else's paranoid stoma-stretching rant. He wrote the words that have been HAUNTING me for the past couple of days, (I'll try to write them as exact as I read them, but don't quote me.) "If you begin to feel satisfied, take one more bite and you're well on your way to a stretched out stoma."

ONE MORE BITE??? OH.MY.GOD. What are the odds that I've had one bite too many?? Pretty high, actually. Don't get me wrong, I don't eat by the restriction method. But, there are times that I haven't measured, and there are times that my 1/4 C of food left me satisfied BEFORE I finished it. So, the "one more bite" thing is a pretty substantial warning, for sure!!!

The very last thing that I want to have happen is to become that statistic.....the one that regained all of her weight after 2 years of losing it all. The theory that I've heard repeatedly is that most of these "failures" are caused by stoma-dilation. So, the questions are mounting:

How easy is this to do?

Surely, that kind of damage would hurt, right??

Are there symptoms that it's happening before it's too late?

Can we get testing to find out if it's happening to us?

Basically, HOW CAN I AVOID BEING BLIND-SIDED BY A COMPLETE WLS FAILURE IN THE FUTURE??

I've read about the injections that some people have done via endoscopy to create scar tissue to restrict the stoma. And, I've read all about the Rose procedure. Both articles brought me HUGE amounts of relief, BUT I'd still like to be fully aware of the signs and symptoms of stoma dilation LONG BEFORE any repair work is necessary.

Does anyone have info on this? I'm simply not finding any clear-cut facts....and I'm the kind of gal this is reassured by cold, hard facts, regardless of how cold and hard they are. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

Uber-paranoid plan: Slow meal times back down to 30 minutes. Turn off all distractions so I can fully tune back in to my pouch. Limit ALL intake to 1/4 C. Stop drinking 15 min before eating. (a rule that some people have in their plans but is not in mine....I do wait 1 hour after eating to drink)

nestingdoll

Wednesday mornings, I can hardly finish peeing before I begin stripping out of my bedclothes to step onto the scale in my bathroom. On most Wednesdays, I do a victory dance while still on the scale, then make like the Town Crier and skip down the hall, announcing my new weight. Today was not one of those days.

There was no groggy-eyed half smile when I peeked down at a new, lower number. There was no naked victory dance on top of my scale. There was no town crier imitation. There was no skipping down the hall. In the Wednesday morning celebration's place, instead was a 2-lb increase in weight.

Now, the heated battle ensues between the logical part of my brain and the, shall we say, immature foot-stomping side of my brain. My logical side KNOWS that weight fluctuates, I'm due for my period, and I haven't been getting all of my water in. The child-like victory dancer and skipper doesn't care. The logical side remembers that I've been a little lax in logging all of my calories (usually the last meal of the day) and it's possible, though highly unlikely that I've been going over my 1200 cals. I'm not overeating on portions, not eating the wrong things, not drinking while eating, not grazing, etc.... I'm following the rules, just breaking my commitment to document every bite of the entire day. (But let me add that I have been logging all but the last meal of the day and I go into that meal knowing I have calories to spare.) The petulant side of me wants to fling herself face first onto the carpet, kicking and screaming, terrified that the honeymoon is over. The logical side of me knows that I've been stealing gym hours to prepare for midterms and that my B-12 injections have been on back-order for almost a month, now. The foot-stomper is trying to convince me that I need to get used to the size I am now.

So, in the mind game that is Thunderdome-esque.....two men enter, one man leaves.....the proverbial jury is still out. And, sadly, it will probably remain out until I weigh in next Wednesday. The difference, hopefully, will be to give my logical side a few less reasons why it could be legitimate weight gain and not just a WLS fluke.

Hey, it could be worse....I could be freaking out that I dilated my stoma or that I am one of those that just stops losing around the 170 mark. NAH.....one week does not a life choice make. I simply need to buckle back down and prove to myself in writing that this is merely a stall, not a rebound. So, I'm redoubling my efforts to document every morsel and giving myself a bit of leeway at the gym until midterms are over. After that, a redoubling there, too. I WILL push through, without sabotaging my efforts so far. Repeat after me: there is no such thing as napalming this path!

PS: My cigarette behavior is officially over. I've been 4 days without one, now, and the thought of one is enough to turn my stomach. Don't know what happened, but I can't tell you how grateful I am that the mood has passed.

nestingdoll

Oh, where, oh, where have my soapboxes gone?? Oh, where, oh, where could they be??? For those of you that have happened across one or two of my blogs, you know me to be a rather mouthy gal with a crude sense of humor and an ever-ready opinion already aimed carefully at moving targets, ready to let fly at any moment someone may even hint that they wonder what I'm thinking. Who am I kidding...I don't wait until someone asks....I let the opinions fly and land where they may. Who was it that said, "Never explain yourself. A friend doesn't need an explanation and an enemy won't believe you anyway??"

Now that I'm officially on anti-anxiety medications.....I'm noticing that my sometimes overwhelming urge to inform any passersby of my opinions.......is lacking, lately. While this might seem a noticeable IMPROVEMENT to those around me.....I think it may be starting to bother me. Maybe.

After all, I'll have no idea who I am without my opinions.....but the house IS much more quiet. And, I guess I really should acknowledge the fact that I feel like I'm more at peace with the planet. Usually, I'm either overwhelmed or underwhelmed. Lately, I'm just.....um.....whelmed. I guess it's not a bad thing. Should I be worried that I don't even have a strong opinion about no longer having strong opinions??

Oh well.....I'm thinking maybe a vacation from the soapboxes is okay for now. Quiet moments without worry are becoming more frequent....even in the middle of the calc II semester. Hmmmmm....peace. Whoever thought I'd be feeling that???

It's nice, I think. And the only down side I see to it is that the bats in the belfry may be getting lonely without my opinions to keep them company. :) My only response to that remote possibility is IF YOU'RE CRAZY AND YOU KNOW IT, SHAKE YOUR MEDS! *shake shake*

nestingdoll

Alright!!!! THAT'S IT! After several weekends in a row shopping in person (vs. online, my usual), I've come to the conclusion that there is a serious problem, here.

I ventured forth in the Reno-area shopping malls after a couple of snide remarks from my hubby's GI buddies, like "hey, honey, you know they actually make jeans that don't look like hammer pants." Thank you for your subtle alert that it is, indeed, time to purchase new clothing, sir. And, after the past couple of internet orders coming in already too big, I decided to suck it up and show my face at.....yes......a shopping mall. BLEH!!

If you're anything like me, you have a long monologue of reasons why shopping malls aren't the place for you. My last experience went a little like this: Hubby wanted me to buy a sexy bustier, so I went into a "regular" store, chose one, and proceeded to the customer service attendant who scoffed at me, told me "regardless of bra size, the bustier needs to be able to close all the way down," then reminded me to save my receipt for when I wanted to return it. I left in a huff and went four doors down to Cacique (Lane Bryant's lingerie shop), where they were rude and informed me the they don't carry my size in their store. Ah, shopping....the coliseum of the drama biotch gladiators. And, coincidentally, a place I can no longer avoid....

So, pushing these thoughts as far as I could out of my mind, I marched onward to "try on clothes" to determine my size. I only have one question:

WHY, LORD, DO PEOPLE THINK YOU WANT TO DRESS LIKE A TEENY-BOPPER HO-BAG IF YOU'RE UNDER A SIZE 14???

Still no success. Are my only choices in wardrobe identity a) old lady in black with random pleating over the boobs or :cool: teenage HO-bag.

WHERE ARE YOU GUYS SHOPPING????

nestingdoll

SAY CHEESE!

I have a mother-in-law that does the unthinkable.....she frames AND hangs AND gives as gifts the world's worst pictures of me. They're all over her house, on her calendars, and because she gives them as gifts....they're now all over MY house. Yeah....unthinkable. Dusting my house yesterday, my horror was renewed as I realized that in each of the photos....I was (brace yourself).....doing what can only be described as "The Asian Freak." Let me explain....

Close your eyes and pretend that you're in a group of people and someone a few feet away is telling you to "squish together" for a photo. I'm not sure what goes through your heads, but it's all too obvious (as evidenced by the photos) what goes through mine.

"Squish Together, Everyone"

Now, there are a few things automatically wrong with this picture, no pun intended. Squish together? I'm already "squished" into my clothing and my muffin-top is already fighting my shirt so it can bask in the sunshine. You want me to squish next to other people? Who cares if they're family....if someone touches the blumps (aka fat rolls) down either of my sides, back, or stomach, I'm going to start swinging. Game plan: SUCK IN REALLY HARD AND FLINCH IF ANYONE COMES TOO CLOSE. Remember, no breathing. Now, of course, this game plan has serious consequences....like an odd posture, a bluish tint to my lips, and a paranoid expression in my eyes.

"Okay, Everyone, on the count of three..." God, please let this end quickly and please no do-overs.

"One" Oh, no. I don't want anyone to see my chins. Quick, chin out, head tilted to the side, mouth slightly open. Now, I look like a big old weirdo, trying to catch flies. Lips still blue. Posture still odd.

"Two" I'd better smile so it doesn't look like I'm trying to be a weirdo with my mouth open. Big smile. Grinning pushes my cheeks up into my eyes, so I take on a decidedly Asian appearance. Head still tilted. Breath still held. Lips more blue. Posture still odd.

"Three" Open eyes wider so I won't look Asian and try to hide my jelly rolls by bending my arms and placing them directly on top of the biggest blumps. Breath still held. Lips more blue. Posture still odd. Now, I look like a super perky Asian freak carrying an invisible baby while holding her breath and grinning like a buffoon, head tilted.

"CHEESE." I can't say "cheese" with my breath held and trying to maintain a suitable open-eyed posture that is sure to be "the only good picture of me." So, I think "cheese." And, frankly, there is nothing quite as cheesy as a super perky Asian freak carrying an invisible baby while holding an invisible baby while holding her breath and grinning like a buffoon. Trust me. I have the pictures to prove it.

My reason for posting this? I notice that there are many of you, TONS OF NEWBIES, that have yet to post a picture of yourselves. And, I wanted to say two things:

One: We all have pics that we hate, but post one anyway. That way, when you start losing weight, we can all oooh and aaaaahh over how much your face has changed!

Two: If the reason that you hate all of your pics is that you also do the Asian Freak, you are not alone.

Now that I say that....a group pic would be HILARIOUS! HA!

nestingdoll

Confession: I've been neglecting my blog. Not such a big shocker, is it?

UPDATE:

Weight loss continues, miraculously, in spite of all of the stress that currently lives in the house. Slow and steady. But, the doughy bleh skin on my lower tummy seems to be growing disproportionately large compared to the few pounds here and there that I'm losing.

The house hunt in Louisiana continues....you wouldn't believe how few homes there are for rent in the area where we're looking. I'm finally working with two different property management companies down there to try to get first dibs on the right place. Wish me luck.

Anxiety meds......oh boy. Daily headaches for a little more than a week have finally given way to what can only be described as a lessening of my moods. If I'm happy, I'm not as happy. If I'm sad, I'm not as sad. If anxiety is the culprit, the final straw doesn't seem so heavy. I promised I'd give the meds a chance to work, so I'm hanging in there.

Classes and semester projects are becoming the focus of my life for the moment, with the hubby's work hours extending and the girls finally playing nicely together. Study, study, and more study hours. I wish I was one of those people that simply hoped for a passing grade instead of being neurotically stubborn about keeping my A's. I'm thinking that I need to rethink my priorities a bit, sadly.

Food has actually been less appealing, perhaps the unexpected result of the anti-anxiety meds??? I've been struggling, once again, to get in all of my calories. So.....I've been adding some ground beef back into my diet to try to boost my calories at regular meals. Fluids are dwindling, too....I just don't want it. Any of it. Food. Water. Tea. Bleh. It all suddenly seems a chore, when it used to feel routine. Eating and drinking have lost their luster.

And, an ugly thing has begun to happen....I've been sneaking cigarettes during art class and here and there at home. I can't even put my finger on why I want them so badly right now. Not sure if I'm craving the smoke or craving a few minutes to myself. This is NOT GOOD.

I know I'm guilty of a hit and run, but I have a quiz tomorrow that I'm not quite ready for.....

NEW GOAL: BLOG THREE TIMES A WEEK MINIMUM!

nestingdoll

It just dawned on me, as I was prowling Facebook and looking at the random pics that some of my high school chums posted of us..... SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! I'm THAT size NOW! I'm my high school weight?! It's a little startling for someone who judged how old I was in a picture by how fat I'd become in the picture.

So, this marvelous realization comes a little more than 3 months from the big move back to my home town....small town Louisiana. For those of you that aren't from a small town, let me just say that I have only been back once in the 10 years that I've been gone....and everything is exactly the same. Same people, same traditions, same families....the only new thing will be the generation to which I belong in the town. As b-o-r-i-n-g as that sounds to some of you....I am soooooooooooooo looking forward to being submerged in the familiar. I'm a bit tired of new places, new houses, new landlords, new schools, new neighbors. I can't wait until I can walk into the local butcher store and say hello to the same exact face behind the counter that I saw as a kid. I can't wait to put away my GPS and just know my way around town.

I don't have to say why I have avoided going back, do I? You all know. You're the only ones that get it. I didn't want to see the ripples of recognition then shock sweep across people's faces. I didn't want to be that girl from high school....the "have you seen so-and-so? she's let herself go" girl. Somehow, in my head, I wasn't only sparing myself, I was sparing them from having to see me like that. Yowch. And, the one time I did visit for a few weeks, I avoided public places and kind of became a hermit at my sister's house. My outside voice reasoning? "I'm here to visit my family, not to see old friends." My inside voice reasoning....we all know why.

Browsing those pictures, I finally felt like I wouldn't be terrified to see people I used to know. So, I announced my move back home and made plans to make plans with old acquaintances. If I'm doing my math correctly, I might even be close to goal weight when I see them. (10 months post-op) Can't wait.

nestingdoll

I can't exactly put my finger on the moment or even the year that it began, but as I piled the pounds onto my frame, a fear of falling appeared. Maybe not so much the fear of falling but the fear of seriously injuring myself or someone else if I did fall at that weight, from any height. If you'd known me for years, you'd be shocked. As a kid I loved hiking, climbing, anything associated with heights....loved gymnastics. For the past decade, though, I've been afraid to stand on a step stool.

Immediately after my first daughter was born, I was at my heaviest weight ever....397lbs. I remember laying a blanket on the carpet so she could coo and kick at the ceiling fan. And, then, I remember never allowing myself to walk into the room. At the doorway, I would literally get on all fours and crawl to her to avoid, at all costs, tripping and falling on top of her. For the ceiling fans that I can't reach with my vacuum extender, I beg the hubby to climb onto a chair to dust them. Ladders? No. Public staircases? Only while gripping the rail, to avoid squishing unsuspecting strangers below me like a bug.

Even bigger than my fear of falling while standing or perching is this giant fear of falling while....sitting. Confession: I do the chair shake test before I sit in any chair anywhere. You know, where you grip the back of the chair and wiggle it to see how sturdy it is? Every single chair, desk, bench. Every one. Because, no chair can possibly hold me...it's just a matter of time before one leg begs for mercy then surrenders, sending me careening to the floor below, bruised hind end parts and bruised ego. So, to estimate how long a chair could possibly hold me, I'd do a quick shake test. I can't imagine what people must have thought....but I'd rather have them see me wiggle a chair than break the darn thing with my lovely lady lumps.

Last night I caught myself....I caught myself NOT WIGGLING. In the art studio, there are "drawing horses"---thin wooden benches that you straddle with your drawing board in front of you. They are old. Ancient. And, they are moved constantly....we all know the dangers here....CRASH BOOM OUCH! Last night, I pulled one from the stack, eyeballed a good place to view the model platform, put it down......and sat! LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING! No wiggle. No gauging it's max capacity. I. just. sat......like it was no big deal!

This, lovelies, is a major deal for me. It means that whether or not I see my weight loss in every picture.....something inside of me gets it! My completely irrational fear of falling has dwindled.....camping chairs? yes, please. plastic lawn furniture? sure! Home made benches? ok!

....maybe later, I'll grab a chair and dust the fan in my toddler's room. (the one that I've just left on because I can't reach it and the hubby keeps forgetting to dust it) Maybe.

nestingdoll

Let me first say that my no stress day yesterday was FANTASTIC! I painted my toenails, shaved my legs (I know you guys are proud of that one), drank my protein shakes leisurely in front of the computer, and most importantly didn't touch my school books or cook dinner. I even made a bargain with myself to leave the daily kid mess until 4pm, when I would clean for one hour only and make no excuses for what was left. Guess what? IT WORKED! It felt like a day off, and my hour of cleaning actually put things back in order. Normally, my cleaning process is like Dr. Suess's "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?"....where poor Ali Sard's job is "to mow grass in his uncle's backyard...and it's quick growing grass and it grows as he mows it. The faster he mows it, the faster he grows it." After my one whole hour of housework, I sat down to once again have a leisurely glass of tea while I tried to decide whether I wanted to sit on the back patio.....until the phone rang.

Again, another woman from my husband's work. (Is my number listed, now?) Another woman desperately seeking the elixir of weight loss. Oy! Again, another Army woman who needs to lose 15 lbs (IF that) before her next PT test in a few weeks. She wouldn't even qualify for this surgery in a third world country. So, she absolutely doesn't meet my qualifications for outing my personal medical records. Something she said, though, tipped me off that one of the women at the battalion had gotten my number from my husband....and then gave it to someone else that gave it to someone else that gave it to her. NICE! Maybe I should start answering my phone with, "Thank you for calling the Magic Diet Hotline. How can I help you further your delusions?"

All I could think of was, "Oh, so now I'm the fat whisperer?" Me? Talk about an ironic twist of reality.....I've been fat the vast majority of my life. No one in their right mind would've asked me how to lose 15 lbs a year ago, back when I had lost 130lbs on my own. In fact, they may have looked at me as an example of what not to do. Now that I've had weight loss surgery, women are coming out of the woodwork and jockeying to be the one to be sprinkled with my magic weight loss dust that I apparently stole from some Anorexia Leprechaun within the past 6 months. Let me just add a catty footnote....these are women that wouldn't even make eye contact with me at military functions in the past. They treated me like I was invisible. Now, I'm the belle of the diet ball?? Now that I won't be in a plus size formal gown, I'm worthy of being in the clubhouse? Well, guess who doesn't want to be a member of the club. I was really close to saying as much, but desperate note in the cracking voice on the other end of the line made me bite my tongue...for a minute.

I listened while she detailed just how "super fat" she'd gotten and how she was going to lose her job...(what? Pull my heartstrings, and I'll give you my treasure map? what kind of logic is this? Darn female manipulation techniques. When do the tears start?) ...then I started to feel bad, even though I still outweigh her "super fat" self by about 30lbs. What if they actually believe that I have the key! What if they believe that I can tell them, over the phone, some instant lose-weight-quick recipe? ....You've got to be kidding me, right? Step right up, folks. I have it....the super secret key to losing up to 30 lbs and 20 inches in only 30 days....but wait, there's more! Okay, now I feel like an infomercial. At this point, my disbelief has completely taken over my thought process....and I felt sorry for her...momentarily. Poor, misguided, naive thing. So....I took a deep breath and tried to be sympathetic to her needs. (while trying to push from my head that I still have 40-ish more pounds to lose while she's only needing to lose 15....IF that) *sigh*

I started asking questions....like this...."are you going nuts with food?" Answer: I don't eat a lot, but I do eat candy bars and drink tons of diet coke. "Do you work out?" Answer: I used to. (Do I really have to say it, Sweetie? Or, are you paying attention?) YES, I was snarky. I was a growling, disgruntled b-word.....but I kept it to myself. I said, "Well, you might want to start there."

Then, the totally unexpected thing happened.....a response I couldn't have predicted. "Can't you just tell me what kind of pills you're taking so I can lose this weight fast??" I expected the diet pill question, but not the hysteria...not the level of pure panic I heard behind her words. So, I told her the truth....I was taking a multivitamin. Silence. "So what else are you doing?" Limiting my calories, fat and carbs....and eating high protein and exercising. "Oh. No pills?" Nope. "Thanks, anyway." Dial tone. (So RUDE!)

If there was a miracle pill out there, I promise I would know about it by this point. I've dabbled in every diet you can think of, then graduated to diet pills, both prescription and non prescription. Wanna know what I found out? There is no Loch Ness monster. Santa does not exist. The Easter Bunny doesn't bring eggs. Aliens didn't make the crop circles. And, most importantly....people that have ongoing food issues that they refuse to face aren't successful on any diet long term. If we don't face them, it's kinda like the sinking rowboat metaphor....handing them a Dixie cup to bail water with doesn't fix the gaping hole under their feet. The hole will win.

Part of me is very aware that she doesn't believe me. Part of me is very aware of the talk that must be happening at my husband's office. Then again, there's this new part of me that doesn't give a damn. That part of me is getting stronger. This is my journey. Find your own, naysayers. No stowaways! I don't owe you an explanation for my weight loss, and I don't care what you think about me. Frankly, it's none of my business. Have fun talking while I'm getting healthier and my resolve is getting stronger. Hope those candy bars taste as good as the crow you'll eat a few years down the road when I prove you wrong.

So....I smiled, sat back down, and languished in the decadence of my no-stress day, purring the whole time.

nestingdoll

Since my lurker days, when I stumbled on CassMoxie's recipe to get my surgery approved by Triwest, I've been reading the blogs and the advice of the WLS vets on TTF. Weight stalls and protein and how-to's...OH MY! I never thought, though, that I'd soon be needing and seeking the advice of the vets on regular, non-surgery-related topics that have arisen since the slice....The last two chapters of my post-op life...."Oh my God, I can't stop crying like a wee baby" and "I'm freaking out, do I need a straight jacket".....have been serious wake-up calls.

Life picked up a bullhorn and made an announcement, "Attention....the floor will now fall from under your feet...have you found new coping mechanisms and who will you turn to for advice. Ready, Set, Go!" The funny part is that I never realized how TERRIBLE I have been in the past about asking for help or advice. I've been too....arrogant, cocky, egotistical, and embarrassed to need help. My how things have changed! These days, I drag my blubbering self to the lap top in the office, swallow the ego, and type my life...the good, the bad, the really wrinkly, the embarrassing, the shockingly embarrassing, the catty, and yes, the humbling.

The past few weeks have been a climax of stress in every compartment of my life, as I've well documented in previous blogs. BUT, while boo hoo'ing in my own blogs....I've been true to my past addictions.....reading other TTF bloggers. :) Bugdocmom, whom I've been reading since lurkerhood, posted a blog about stress that has haunted me since I read it. It lends a metaphor to the stress situation: the weight of a glass of water. Basically, the longer you hold onto it, the heavier it becomes, etc... You see where this is going.

Here's the phenomenal part....the part that should've been a logical first step in its childlike simplicity and, ironically, the part that is the hardest to do....put the glass down. I heard a chorus of "Huh?" from all of you worry-warts out there just like me. Yes. Put the glass down if it's too heavy. Even if it's only for a moment, give yourself a break. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Normally, if I'm completely honest, I'd laugh at that advice, brush it off, and say "Easier said than done." But, then....if I were to pass someone on the street, moaning and groaning about the weight of the glass of water that they'd been holding over their heads for days a la Statue of Liberty, what advice would I give them? Yep. Note to self: Hey, dummy, put the glass down. Like I said, childlike simplicity.

Agenda for the day: none. In fact, I'm thinking about locking my school books in the boot of my car, brewing another pot of coffee, and staying in pajamas for a beyond reasonable amount of time. I might even ignore the length of the grass and bask in the sunshine or watch an old movie...or maybe do whatever I feel like doing in the moment....without looking at bills, worrying about tests, fretting over assignments, or cooking dinner. Today, I'm gonna float, without guilt.

Today, I'm putting it down....like the master from whom I've stolen this page....thanks,Bugdocmom! I owe you.....again. :)

nestingdoll

After doping up on Immodium for the weekend's stomach flu curve ball....oy!....I showed up to take my Calc II test this morning. Let's just say that I've never failed a test....but there's a first time for everything. OUCH! I've already sent the professor an email request to pick my exam up tomorrow instead of waiting until Wednesday. The last thing I want to do is to burst out in tears in front of all of the 12 year old boys in my class. (And we're all now keenly aware of how out-of-the-blue the tears can come, aren't we, post-oppers?)

So, now, I'm a bit brain fried, tummy still woozy...unknown whether its the remnants of the stomach bug or the calc test...and wishing I had a valium to stop my heart from doing those darn flutter kicks. The pouch is definitely a tiny, writhing, hot ball of ouch!

Today, I am definitely the statue, not the pigeon. LOL! And, today, I'm going to put down that darn glass of water until another time (If I'm sounding a little psychotic in this paragraph, please refer to Bugdocmom's most recent blog).........so.......in lieu of sleeping with Prince Valium, which I unfortunately do not possess......

....I'm thinking I'll go and rape the bald guy. He's off today!... :)

nestingdoll

Major Disclaimer: This post will have WAY, WAY, WAY too much info for many of you. This blog may not be suitable for people on the delicate side of the spectrum. Read at your own risk. But there will be no apologies.

Those of you who read my random blogs know that I like to take note of the shifting body shapes that greet me in the mirror post-op. I've said often that we're a bit like balloon animals....when you squeeze on one side to make the rump look smaller, somehow the nose gets bigger. In short, our proportions change...like a hallway of wacky mirrors.

Here's what I've noticed lately......I have a bit too much, uh....cushion for the pushin'. Not with me? If I was sporting a camel toe, it would be extra large in proportion to the shrinking body around it. With me yet? I hope so. I'm running out of supra-pubic idioms. So, in the effort to avoid graphic detail at all costs here, I'll leave it at that.

Anyway, what gives? We lose weight on our knuckles, our knee caps, our elbows.....why is it not going away...there? I have a really nice view of that territory with the loss of several of my tummy tires. Trust me, no shrinkage. In fact, the amount of cellulite there is quite impressive.

Not that it would've swayed my decision for the surgery, but is this a situation like the loose skin that is a problem for a plastic surgeon to fix. Have any of you had plastic surgery in that area? And, if the answer is yes....how would one go about asking for liposuction....there? (Talk about a potentially embarrassing consultation, even for a mouthy one like me.)

But, as my husband said once pre-op, "Honey, if you go through with this and lose all of the weight you want to, you're not gonna be happy unless you look fantastic naked." I second that motion. So, with that as my final goal, shall I tell my husband that there's a lot more to landscaping in the future than a waxing? Or, is it too early to make that determination? (6 months out)

Come on, vets, please chime in. How do I avoid looking like I'm smuggling a pillow down the front of my pants in the future?