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lightenupwoman

The best thing about getting a divorce was moving to this complex that has the nicest pool ever. I think my daughter and I have been every day since it opened. No kidding. 

I was just thinking it is so nice to just swim and not feel self conscious about being over weight. And to not get winded or something when I'm playing with my daughter. 

At the same time, the typical female brain of a woman living in this culture starts doing really annoying things. Like looking at other women's bodies and missing my curves, missing my larger size breasts, looking at women in bikinis with totally flat stomachs and realizing I will never have that. I just wish when I was young and thin I would have appreciated my body for one damn day! 

Oh well I tell myself I need to love myself. I didn't have surgery to look good, I did it to feel good. And I need to love the fact that I made the right choice for me. This surgery was so life changing. 

I live in an area where half the people at least are from other countries. And so there are many times I am literally the only white American at the pool, which is fine, that's how I like things to be, I've always tried to put myself into situations where there is a lot of diversity. One thing that really bothers me is that the women from some countries apparently aren't allowed to swim. But their  husbands can. And I just feel like it's so unfair. I have seen everything from a woman wearing a sari, a woman wearing the full on hijab with the full body gown/dress thing sweating by the side of the pool, and then just women who apparently have to wear long pants and three quarter length sleeves at all times. 

And I look at them, then look at their husbands, and I just feel like this is shitty. This is so shitty. And then I wonder what they think of me, not just me, I wear a suit that has swim shorts and a tank top type thing, it's more sporty than sexy. But then you see women with huge breasts with them just hanging out or suits with almost butt floss. And I wonder what these women are really thinking, are they feeling like we American women are slutty? Does it bother them that their husbands can see us but they have to sit there in the heat and just watch their families have fun? I do have to say the husbands don't seem to notice the American women, they feel very safe and like they aren't pervs or anything. I'm not trying to say that at all. Most of them are focused on their kids and it's cute to see.

Or who knows, maybe the moms are thinking about something else and it doesn't bother them or they are so devout that this is their religion and this is how it is, this is their role and they wouldn't want anyone to feel sorry for them. 

I love swimming and if I couldn't swim because it was supposedly wrong for me to show my legs and arms in public, I would be so sad. 

 

lightenupwoman

Somehow I got up to 174, and I was not happy. And so I was determined to go back to basics and go to My Fitness Pal, and that lasted a few days. And then last weekend I for some reason fell asleep on Friday night and woke up at 3 pm on Saturday. I have never in my life slept so long except maybe when I was really sick or after surgery maybe? Well it's been so long I can't even remember. 

Honestly I don't know about anyone else but one of the odd things about living with a sleeve is that because I eat so few calories and carbs that my body wakes me up in the morning on weekends fairly early. I don't even get hungry but I feel like my body wakes up because of low blood sugar maybe? Anyway it's kind of nice, like a built in alarm clock. And then I have an excuse to take a nap later on, so win win. So I'm not sure how I slept that long, between not going to the bathroom, not eating or drinking, my dog didn't even wake me up! He is such a lazy dog, I have never in my life had a dog who is so chill and laid back. 

So I slept and had all these weird dreams. Anyway for some reason I lost four pounds in like 48 hours. I don't know what that's about. Like no idea. I don't know at all. I was going to say I don't recommend long sleeps as a method for weight loss, but that sounds incredibly silly. 

Anyway the other thing is that my daughter is far enough into puberty that her hormones have started to outweigh her ADHD to the point where she actually gets tired in the evenings. Now I know that probably sounds like an odd thing to say. But seriously she is 12 and in her entire life the only time she is ever tired in the evenings is when she is sick. She hasn't napped since she was three unless she was very tired. She didn't sleep through the night until she was five and even then there were times when she was up and down and went through a period of sleep walking and sleep talking. I shouldn't say too much because she'll be like "oh my god mom I can't even believe you are talking about me, I'm going to die right now because can you just not talk about me? Like I'm so embarrassed right now." 

It's strange to me that she suddenly started falling asleep a couple of days early in the evening and slept all night and then I end up sleeping for more than I ever have in like ever. 

So I'm back at 170 which seems to be a good weight for me. My goal was 180 and I got down to I think 164 at one point but I felt like I looked gaunt. At my age my face starts to look all wrinkly and ugh and sick. 

I went through a wake and a funeral of family of family this week. And usually I get social anxiety I guess and want to just eat a lot. At least I did prior to surgery. I just don't do that anymore. 

lightenupwoman

And sixth grade is the most Tuesday of middle school. At least for me it is. Tuesday has been shown to be the most depressing day of the five day work week. On Monday you are kind of still in the weekend feeling, trying to get back into the week. Tuesday is the day you are furthest away from the weekend mentally. Wednesday is hump day, you feel like "ok I'm halfway done, I can get through this!" 

I keep wondering why this is so difficult. I remember the days when she had tantrums, I had to change diapers, I never slept through the night and I think this can't possibly be more difficult than that was can it?

Oh but it is. I don't know why, but I'm trying to break it down without revealing too much about my daughter. Because I'm not allowed to talk about her in public because it might embarrass her. So not only are we going through hard times, we aren't allowed to talk about it in public because oh.my.god.mom.i'm.going.to.die. 

I'm not allowed to even look like I'm close to doing anything that might resemble dancing anywhere. Because.oh.my.god.mom. So I do it anyway because you know, she was ten days late and she didn't sleep through the night until she was five, if I want to dance a little to a good song in the Walgreen's, she can deal with it!

Also now she is highly aware of everything I'm doing. It's annoying, to be honest. When they are younger they have no clue what you are doing in your personal life and they don't care. She's so nosey now, and I have to be so aware of everything I'm doing. It sucks to be honest. But I have to because I need to be a good role model.

And she wants to bake all this sweet stuff, which is great. But at the same time, when she was younger I could control what food came in the house, and now it's like I'm a horrible person if I tell her she can't make cookies. I mean I'm the one who had WLS. I don't want her to feel like I'm forcing her to eat like me. She wants me to bake with her and I'm like "I had weight loss surgery, I have no interest in making things I can't or don't want to eat." I'm proud of her because she is so good at it, but again she still needs help.

And she's learning how to cook, which again is good but it's like she's not able to do it on her own, so I have to help her.

It's like she's this mini adult who is trying to learn so many things, it's this exhausting stage where she wants to be independent in so many things, but dammit, it's not like learning how to put a puzzle together or something, she could burn the damn house down. As it is, every time one of us cooks something that has a lot of steam in it our damn smoke alarm goes off and we take turns fanning the broom under it. I think we need to ask the landlord for a new one that doesn't go off from steam. It shouldn't be a steam alarm.

And then there's social media, and her phone, and there are times when I look at her phone, and she gets this look on her face of fear. And I say "What are you doing?" and she acts like she's doing something she shouldn't be doing and ends up having a damn melt down over it. Then it turns out it was actually NOTHING. Like literally NOTHING. She just doesn't want me looking at her phone because. And I try and try to explain to her she should have no sense of privacy on her phone and I'm sorry but I have to be able to look at it sometimes because this world is crazy, and I feel like I'm going crazy trying to keep her safe while she naively assumes I'm insane.

It's like she's a toddler again, when I felt like every minute of her life she was trying to kill herself. Anything she could put in her mouth went in her mouth, anything she could climb, she would climb, it was like she had a death wish. I used to have to lock the bathroom door from the inside to keep her from going in there. Then I had to unlock it from the outside with a cut wire hanger. We had baby locks on all the cabinets, we had gates at the bottom and top of the stairs. One day I looked up and she had climbed up the side of the stairs, the inches that were on the outside of the railing. 

It's amazing to me sometimes that this girl is still alive. She's not a dare devil anymore thank god. But then I come home the other day and she's outside playing with kids. It's the first time she's done that since we moved here and I think "yay!" But then I realize I don't know who these kids are and I don't know their parents. I don't know what to tell her, how far away can she go with them, is the dog going to keep her safe? I tell her not to go into anyone's house without asking, I don't know who these kids are but at the same time I can't keep her in a damn padded cell until she goes off to college. 

And she just decided to cook eggs one day while I wasn't home even though I told her not to use the stove, but she was fine and nothing bad happened. So I don't know, what the hell am I doing right now? And she goes through times when she is so hormonal and crabby, and I'm probably perimenopausal and she's probably going to get her period soon. She would die if she knew I was talking about this with anyone because oh.my.god.mom. Also I'm not allowed to see her in any state of undress whatsoever even when trying on clothes in a store, which is great because if I'm not in there with her she takes FOREVER because she dances around and fools around and acts silly and loses track of what she's supposed to be doing. 

And god forbid she should see me in any state of undress ever, like if I'm getting ready to go to work and she just comes in my room she will get upset with me for not being fully dressed. Excuse me? This is my room. Oh she also loves to come in my room and snuggle, and then she wants to sleep with me again sometimes, which is cute but sometimes I just want to be alone. 

And she has issues with her friends, and they fight like middle school girls do and she wants to tell me everything which is great because I'd rather her tell me too much than not enough! But after a while it's the same damn little fights and I just want to say "Then don't be friends anymore!" 

And I remember my mom used to just say "go play outside! I need some peace!" and we would gladly go, and just be out all evening, and my parents had no idea where I was until it was dinner time and then we came in, ate dinner, maybe did some chores, and went back out until it was night time. They didn't entertain us or worry about our socialization or anything. 

No wonder parents feel like we are going to lose our damn minds sometimes. 

Anyway she drives me nuts but I love her! I just really wish I could say I enjoy every day and that we have this amazing time together but lord god, some days.....

 

lightenupwoman

I just had to do this separately. I was looking for a new picture of me to put up, which involved me looking at old pictures of me, and I just saw how I wasn't really smiling in many pictures. Even after I hit goal, I just have this look like I'm half smiling or I'm tired or I'm just sad. And then I look at pictures since I separated from my ex and moved into my new place. I have grieved, it's been horrible at times of course, it has been incredibly difficult. I'm not going to pretend that I'm some odd person who doesn't grieve when a relationship ends even when it needs to end. But damn, when I smile now, it's a huge smile. It's real, and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I really do. 

 

lightenupwoman

Carrie and Debbie, RIP. I don't know why, I mean I always liked Princess Leia, and I liked Postcards from the Edge, (autobiographical novel/movie partly about her relationship with her mother. Her mother wanted to play herself in the movie. Which I find so damn hilarious. By the way Debbie was Grace's mom on Will and Grace and I always felt like she was just playing herself, just a bigger version of herself and very much like the character in Postcards.)  I liked Carrie in Blues Brothers and Harry met Sally. But I never really got how exactly hilarious and feminist and feisty she was until the last year or so.

It's odd to me, I learned so much about her in the past year right before she died. And her mother too. I never cared for old movies or musicals for that matter. But my daughter was thinking about auditioning for Singin in the Rain at school so we started watching scenes from the movie on youtube. (Debbie was in this musical. She was 19, never been in a movie, never studied dancing, you would never know!)  For some reason, I was fixated. I just kept trying to find more scenes, watching some of the sequences over and over. There is something very intelligent and witty in that movie, even with all the crazy jumping over couches and weird dancing with raincoats. It looks like a silly little musical, but there's something tongue in cheek about it, something cool about it that I never saw before. 

And at this point in in my life, I realize how much I have in common with Carrie and it's not exactly cool. Obviously we both have issues with weight although she was never as big as I used to be. We both struggle with society's ideas of how a woman should look. Quite often when I was thinking about surgery I kept asking myself if I was just doing it to fit in, to give in to what society thinks a woman should look like. Was I selling out as a feminist? And I realized no, I just wanted my self back. Yes society thinks women should be skinny (at least white North American culture) but I was skinny until I went to college, and I was just me, and I wanted my self back. I wanted to be able to walk without my ankle killing me. 

So I watched what they call in Mexico "Carrie Fisher is a character" but what she calls "Wishful Drinking" which is a one woman show, sort of stand up but not. A memoir on stage, a monologue about her life and her musings on relationships with men. 

I found out that she was with Paul Simon for a long time, I had no idea! He's one of my favorite musicians and I had no clue. Anyway then she divorced him and married another man who has the same first name as my second husband. Not only that but he was about three years younger than her, so was my second husband. And her second husband was gay, while mine is gender fluid or trans or something. And they were together around five years. Same thing with my second husband.

She has one daughter, so do I. We are both very close with my mother.  I could see any of the three of us just falling into a stroke or something if one of us died. I hope that never happens but I get it, I get how she didn't want to live anymore with out her daughter. She was married four times, Debbie was. Four times. And I wonder if she thought every time that this is the one or if it was like "Well I did it before, I might as well try again, let's see what happens." And all her husbands were cheats or stole her money from her. In the end I think Carrie and Debbie both figured out that for them, family and relationships with other women were the glue of life and the best form of love. I feel like I'm there right now. 

I never thought I'd be saying that. I used to be such a romantic, such a fool for love. And the operative word here is fool. 

My counselor keeps trying to figure out how I ended up with a cross dresser/trans/gender fluid man and I think part of it was because I tend to choose men who would piss my father off. Yes all these years later I'm still in this adolescent stage of rebelling against my father who I haven't seen in twenty years. Or maybe it feels like the safe thing to do. If I can just do the opposite of what my father would want, then that is the right thing. But it's not the right thing, it's reactionary and its' still basing my actions on my past and on running away from him and his abuse instead of going within myself and figuring out what I want.

That was a huge part of my process before I had surgery. Sometimes I felt like I gained weight to say "@~$& you" to my father. He wanted me to be his pretty doll, his princess, his perfect girl with the long blonde hair, the good grades, who was proficient at foreign languages and participated in all the church crap and performed her instrument perfectly in church, and was an acolyte and did everything perfectly so people would look at him and say "oh wow you're such a great father". And I think gaining weight was a big old finger to him but it was also to push him away due to the molestation, and it was a way to push men away, and it was a way to have control over my body, and I ate to avoid feeling, and I felt like the weight protected me. 

So I'm a survivor. I'm taking antidepressants too, and will for the rest of my life until they find some other cure for this disease. Carries' ashes are in an urn shaped like a Prozac pill. I just have to laugh. I've been on paxil over twenty years, and god that would be so ironic to be in a paxil shaped urn. Actually more likely would be an urn with the paxil molecule on the side of it. 

I'm going to paraphrase Carrie, "If my life weren't funny, it would just be true, and that is unacceptable." 

And she hated the word "survivor" but said "the problem with being a survivor is you have to keep getting in trouble to show everyone your talent."

and her mom said "well dear what is the alternative to being a survivor? Not surviving?" 

I only hope my daughter and I are close like that when we are older. 

lightenupwoman

Life is bizarre

I was married to my second husband for five years. When I heard that there was an 80% post surgery divorce rate I was horrified. I didn't want to get another divorce. Well here I am. And I can't say that it's because of the surgery. Thankfully it was a very amicable peaceful divorce. We got divorced on Thursday and it was just odd, sitting there in the court room next to each other like friends with no ill will between us, but no real deep connection anymore. 

My ex is gender fluid and has decided to be out, he wears eye make up almost every day and has grown his nails long and wears nail polish on his nails and toe nails. He wears female jewelry almost every day. I obviously am not ok with this. I'm not attracted to him like that and I don't want to be a part of it. I support him as a friend but as a wife, no. 

And I haven't turned to food to make me feel better. I don't know how I am getting through this other than just doing it. I feel like I'm protected by something, I don't know what it is. I started counseling and she just can't believe how well I'm doing. 

I'm relieved that the divorce is over, just so we can go on with our lives. I don't know what is going to happen with him. He posted something very nice on facebook that night about how we always supported each other and grew. I can honestly say I've never been in a relationship with anyone who encouraged me to just me as much as he did. Maybe because we both felt like our first marriages were stifling and like the exspouse was holding us back. We both wanted the other one to feel like they could grow and be the best version of themselves. He supported me in the three year process of getting approved for surgery, and he told me after I was so scared about the divorce rate that that wouldn't happen to us, and I needed to do this to be happy and healthy for me. 

And here we are. It's ironic that they say that you get a new self when you lose so much weight. I don't feel like I have a new self, I feel like instead I'm more my actual self. I don't have chronic ankle pain holding me back, I can go ice skating with my daughter, walk and run and swim and do yoga, be who I want to be, wear what I want to wear. 

And at the same time my ex husband was figuring out who he is. I won't go into too much detail because I respect his privacy but I think we both found ourselves and those people just aren't compatible anymore. 

People tell me I will find someone else, and I just think "Dear god I hope not." I know that sounds awful and I guess lots of people say that after a divorce. But I have had it with exes, blended families, in laws, parenting plans that conflict, being expected to be in four different places at once, driving kids in various different directions to inlaws, exes, grandparents over the summer and the holidays. I just can't do it anymore. I don't regret my marriage but at the same time I'm worn out. It feels like I'm done. Stick a fork in me. 

 

 

lightenupwoman

It went really well. He was very surprised with how much weight I have lost to say the least. He said that he has some sleevers who only lose about fifty pounds who started out around the same weight I was. I told him I'm really not trying to lose weight at this point. In fact I don't really want to. I'm afraid it's going to make my face look really gaunt. The only way I can stop it is to eat a ton all day long and I just don't want to. I just love the freedom of not thinking about food constantly.

If I start to look bad I will have to but hopefully it's going to keep coming off my thighs and torso. My inner thighs look absolutely horrendous right now but honestly? I don't care. I might have to wear board shorts this summer for swimming. Or maybe I don't care.

My surgeon even commented that I don't look like I have a lot of extra skin around my torso and I really don't. My lower ab region looks like a balloon that has been inflated and deflated about twenty times, but I was expecting that. I really don't feel the need to have plastics. My husband is attracted to me and I don't feel like I have to be perfect. Having said that I could change my mind. And I would never tell anyone else not to do it because if you work this hard on it and then you still feel bad about how you look, go for it!

I am wearing my wedding rings on my middle finger and keep thinking I should go have them resized but if I continue to lose weight I'll just have to get them resized again maybe. I'm just going to wait and see.

I am wearing size 8 jeans (in a brand I know runs small) and I can take them off without unbuttoning them so I'm pretty sure I could get into a size six in this brand. Which blows my mind. I don't think I wore a size 6 when I was in jr high. It's vanity sizing and I know this. Because I was smaller than this in jr. high and I was probably a size 9. In highschool I don't think I was ever below a size 10 but then I did like to wear big loose clothes. It was the 80's.

I'm still in the honeymoon phase and I know this. It gets more difficult after this. But talking to my surgeon yesterday, I'm even more convinced that the mental aspect of this is the most important. If you aren't willing to look at why you started over eating or eating compulsively or why you binge ate, or why you wanted to gain weight (yes you did) then I don't really think you are going to be successful.

I reminded myself yesterday of why I need to be sure to eat enough protein during the day. I don't eat dinner before yoga class because it just feels heavy and our bodies aren't very good at bending and folding and twisting while digesting. I forgot I was going to yoga so I didn't up my day time protein and calories like I should have. I started to get shaky and by the end I felt like I was really weak.

lightenupwoman

So I lost another pound without really trying. And I actually heard myself say to my friend "I need to get that pound back because I'm too skinny." And then I actually ate half of a sandwhich. With bread. And then I had a cookie with my lunch. And you know what? I know I'm still in the honeymoon phase but I didn't really even enjoy it, it's like I just knew that it had a lot of calories and I want to at least stop losing weight if not gain another pound back.

And I didn't think "gee I need to have another cookie." it was just done and I was like "I could have just eaten a thing of string cheese and had the same reaction to it."

I need to work on eating more and getting in more healthy calories!

lightenupwoman

I never thought I'd be this small again! The last time I was this small was high school probably. When I hit goal I thought maybe I was happy with where I was, but I have to say that getting the extra fat rolls on the sides of my torso off feels really good too. It's just hard at this point to know what is JUST extra skin and what is fat?

And my extra skin is shrinking up quite a bit. Also doing yoga twice a week has really toned my muscles. And I have to say extra skin looks a lot better next to toned muscles. I just hope that it shrinks up more. I just can't see myself getting surgery. I don't have the time or the money, and it just seems like I'm 43, like I should be lucky and happy that I look this good after having a baby and being so overweight. What am I trying to do, get a job as a model?

I'm getting used to my new body. But I was looking at my wedding pictures with my huge boobs and I kind of miss them. At the same time they would look ridiculous on my new frame. It's just hard when you mentally think of your self as being huge boob woman and now you are just normal boob woman with a smaller frame.

Yoga is amazing, I can do things now I have never been able to do. It's been since October and I feel like I'm back to where I was when I stopped doing it ten years ago plus I'm so much better and so much more flexible and strong. It's just such an amazing feeling.

If anyone is thinking about doing the surgery, I have to say this is again the best thing I ever did for myself!

lightenupwoman

So I'm to the point where I don't want to lose any more weight. This week I have been trying to get in 1200 calories a day. I am eating more healthy fats, and not on purpose but I didn't exercise. And I'm still losing weight.

These are things I never on earth thought I would hear my self say. Never. It's so bizarre. I hardly have an appetite really. I eat food and it's good but then I'm done. I don't really think about it much. I sometimes forget to eat.

I really want to even out and just stay at one weight so I can buy clothes and wear them for a long time. I don't want my body to get any more saggy or my face to look gaunt.

lightenupwoman

Funny dream

I've been having the weirdest dreams lately!

Last night I dreamt that I went back in time. But the time kept changing. At first it was the 1880's. And you know what I was worried about? That I wouldn't be able to find enough protein to eat. And they kept giving me all this carby stuff like potatoes and I was asking for vegetables and they gave me a bag full of raw green beans.

Then I guess I moved up in time and I couldn't find anything to drink. They had fountain soda but I was upset because diet soda hadn't been invented yet.....and then I remembered I don't drink soda anymore.

lightenupwoman

Tonight I realized I have been going to yoga for four months. The class is full of people who obviously have made a resolution to get in shape or try different things. There are three times as many people there now as there were last year. I try not to be cynical and to wish that they will all stick with it and that they are getting something out of it even if they drop out, which I know most of them will. This apparently happens every year and every year in January we have to crowd into the room and get numbers so that the class doesn't get too full. Again I'm trying not to be negative but I wonder why in our culture we emphasize fitness in January and that's it.

Why do we think it's ok to eat junk from Halloween through Xmas and then suddenly turn around and start an exercise routine that most people will quit in three weeks?

Ok I'm down off my WLS high horse. I guess it just makes me realize how far I have come and makes me so grateful for this change in life style. I just pray I can keep this same mentality for the rest of my life.

I have come so far. Four months ago I was still in fat brain mode, I could barely do anything because my brain was still trying to balance my body as if I still had a hundred extra pounds on my frame. I found myself doing things I couldn't have imagined doing four months ago. I've lost more weight and I feel so comfortable in my track pants and yoga tank top.

I just hope that I am able to keep this up and that I don't turn into one of the drop outs!

lightenupwoman

And I'm wondering if this is crazy? It's March 8th. Its 30 minutes of swimming, fifteen on the stationary bike and fifteen on a treadmill.

I'm a really good swimmer, I love it. But I don't know the last time I swam for thirty minutes straight, much less then turned around and did a half an hour more of cardio.

But it might be fun, it might be something to shoot for and to help me feel accomplished. Plus my daughter would love it if I got in the pool because then she gets to play and swim too.

Some of the people at yoga today were talking about doing it. These are people who are very good at yoga and seem to have been doing it for years and years. It might be a good way to make new fitness friends too! They are going to have classes every Sunday night to prepare for it.

I'm just scared because I really haven't done any cardio other than walking lately.

But the good news is that not only do I belong to the Y but I have a gym at work too! They even have yoga classes during lunch on Mondays. Which means that I can go to lunch and do yoga and then do a class in the evening. I have always wanted to try doing two classes in one day just to see how it feels.

lightenupwoman

I was really not wanting to due to two evil awful people who have stalked me online previously. Long story but they both know who they are and that they suck. I really didn't want them to be able to use anything I say on here against me, but what the hell can they use? My weight loss? The fact that I look awesome? What I eat every day? Gee I don't know!

There's a lot more to it and it involved the justice system and lawyers but it's over now. I'm not going to let stupid haters who are jealous keep me from doing what I want to do! I worked hard to get where I am and I'm not going to let anyone bring me down or tell me that I have to hide out because small minded idiots are trying to hurt me.

I look better than I have in decades. It's pretty amazing. I can't even stand looking at my before pictures. I was so miserable!

To anyone who is wondering if surgery is really right for them? All I can say is I spent years trying to decide and this has been the best thing I have ever done for myself! If anyone wants to message me or just comment on the blog to ask me questions please feel free!

I'm six pounds to goal but I might change my goal due to the fact that I probably have ten pounds of loose skin. (Yay) and that I am going to start strength training and hopefully I'll gain muscle.

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To the stalkers: Suck it bitches. Sucks to be you.

lightenupwoman

For the first time in I don't know how long, I don't have a New Year's Resolution to lose weight!

I would like to lose 8 more pounds to get to goal but I don't have to. I don't feel like I have to use this time of year as a motivation to get there. In fact I'm really annoyed by the Resolution people and I'm annoyed that the gym is going to be so busy and full of people who are only going to be there for a few months.

I'm just amazed. I still sometimes look in the mirror and can't believe that's me. I see pictures and can't believe that's me. I find myself rolled up in some weird pretzel pose in yoga class and can't believe this is me.

I am so glad I had surgery! This has been an amazing year.

lightenupwoman

December is my least favorite month. Well I guess February is also pretty bad.....

But I just hate the disruption of normal schedules, so much to do and so little time to do it, so many obligations. I hate Christmas music, I hate the mall, I hate the way people act in stores when they are shopping for gifts, I hate the entire concept behind Black Friday. I hate how dark it is, I hate how cold it is.

I hate that its cold season on top of everything else! I hate trying to negotiate the schedule for our entire family and figure out where everyone is going.

I am grumpy cat.

So I'm having my usual December downer moments. And I am I guess in a holding pattern with my weight. I just don't know what I think! Half the time these days I don't feel like I'm that much smaller than I used to be. People call me "skinny Minnie" and I just don't see it!

My program has a special dinner thing coming up for the post op patients from the past year, and I don't know if I even want to go! What is wrong with me? I don't know if I even want to think about it! Maybe because I feel like I should have lost more? Or I should just be so grateful for the surgery that the loose wrinkly skin doesn't bother me? And really I have never liked my body. I was skinny for most of my life until college and I always looked in the mirror and saw how fat I was, or my cellulite, or my moles or my varicose veins, or this or that. So it doesn't surprise me that I still don't really see it. I guess I'm just never going to be happy with how I look. And maybe that's just part of how I got to be so big.

I am distressed by the loose skin and realizing what I have done to myself. Coming to grips with that is really hard. Sigh. It's always something! I am so grateful for this surgery and for the new me. But sometimes I just wish I could go back in time and tell myself to stop, just stop! I don't know if that would have helped or not.

Anyway I don't know if I want to lose any more weight because I don't know if I can handle having any more loose skin. Maybe now is just a good stopping point. I am still technically over weight. I am probably carrying around at least fifteen pounds of extra skin.

I think after the New Year I'm going to look into some kind of physical training thing at the gym. I need to build up muscle to at least try to get some kind of shape going under this skin suit. That's what it feels like. I was wearing a fat suit and now I'm wearing a skin suit.

Oh well I have a cold right now and I'm just sick of everything, lots of crap going on and I am having a downer day I guess. I guess it just shows that even after you lose the weight your problems are still there! Your life is not going to be roses and rainbows. The things that used to bother you that aren't weight related are still going to bother you!

I swear I wish I could just spend December in a non Xmas country. Everything about it just irks me......

lightenupwoman

I never thought I'd be here! Last year at this time I didn't think I was ever going to get surgery. Long story involving insurance and switching surgeons. I was so depressed and at my highest weight ever in my life. I hated it.

I really can't believe this process. It feels like a dream sometimes.

Last night I had a dream that I went to therapy and Roseanne was there. As in Roseanne the celebrity. And I said "oh I heard you had weight loss surgery, you look good." And she didn't say anything. No idea what that was about! I started telling her and the therapist about my surgery and that's all I remember. Ha.

lightenupwoman

It was interesting....away from home, with people who didn't know I had surgery. I was afraid much ado was going to be made about my weight loss but it was hardly noticed. Thankfully!

I stayed mindful of what I was eating the entire time. I decided to let myself have a "normal" dinner and had small portions of everything including a roll and mashed potatoes. I even had a piece of oreo pie. And while I was eating it, I thought "why on earth did I make such a big deal out of things like this?" It was good, but I really couldn't see why I used to obsess over food. Why would I have gone back and had another piece and then wanted another one?

Oh and I had a piece of pumpkin pie the night before too. But I still stayed under my calorie goals for both days. Then yesterday I guess I just had had enough and we were traveling, I just didn't feel like eating at all. I actually forgot to eat dinner. I think I had a piece of string cheese for dinner.

All in all I still lost a pound in the last three days! That's a success to me!

When I'm in prolonged social situations with people I don't know well, I get a little antsy. Its' like I don't know what to do with myself, I get a little bored. Usually I start picking at whatever food is out, and that keeps me occupied. It was so hard not to do that and just sit with my boredom or try to find something else to do! But I did it. I survived. And I was proud of myself.

Ok this might be too much information....I'm warning you. Maybe you old timers know this already, but I'm just realizing this. Apparently sugar helps move your bowels. Or maybe not having sugar isn't normal and that's why we get so constipated? I didn't even realize I was constipated until I had pie two days in a row. Wow. I guess I need to start taking some miralax or something because that can't be healthy long term. I hate talking about GI stuff but there it is.

lightenupwoman

i have fat brain

Something about wearing a winter coat makes me feel fat. Today I just feel like phantom fat is in my brain. I just can't believe that this time last year I weighed a hundred pounds more than I do now.

It's awesome but also hard to remember what that felt like. I was at my heaviest ever and just miserable.

I'm so glad I had this surgery. Mentally sometimes I still feel big.

I'm going back to the gym this week. Hopefully that will help!

lightenupwoman

So this week my child's illness kicked back in and I ended up in the hospital with her. So far in the last 7 or so months I haven't really been triggered by anything. I haven't wanted to binge or to use food to manage stress. I haven't had much head hunger.

Oh boy. Hospitals are filled with bad food! I never realized how much I used food to comfort myself when she was in the hospital previously! The parents' room and the pantry for guests is filled with high carb, high sugar foods. There literally wasn't anything I could eat except for water and coffee!

I had to go home and get turkey pepperoni, muscle milk and string cheese. And even then I kept picking at the food on my daughter's plate. They give kids three times the amount of food they can eat. So of course I'm picking at the bread and the chicken fingers. The other thing is I have a weakness for "free" food. Not that it was free but included in the bill. And of course you can't just waste a bunch of food can you? I have wasted so much food since surgery because portions are so big. I though I was over the "clean your plate" mentality! I had a brownie and felt really guilty. I just realized, I have to stop. I have to.

All in all it wasn't that many calories but it made me realize that my go to reaction is to distract myself with food when I'm under extreme stress. Big surprise right? I don't think this journey is ever going to over or easy. I think this is going to be a life long fight.

Anyway I still lost a few pounds this week and I'm in a size 12 jean! I can't believe it. My old winter coat is a 2X. I just bought a XL yesterday. It kind of pisses me off that I lost so much weight and I wear a M shirt but I have to get a XL coat. Oh well at least I'm in regular sized coats now! I'm going to get my old coat dry cleaned and donate it one of the mom's of the family we adopted at work for Christmas. Hopefully it will fit her.

lightenupwoman

Today I am 199.2.

The last time I was under 200 pounds I believe was over twenty years ago!

To hit goal I need to lose 19 more pounds. It amazes me how fast this process has been. It amazes me how easy it is now. I know everyone says it's such hard work but to be honest this tool makes me feel like I have super powers. I know, I know, I'm still in the "this is awesome" phase and maintenance is hard work. But my relationship with food has completely changed! I just don't think about food anymore.

Sometimes I get head hunger when I have PMS but that's about it. I see food that used to appeal to me and think "oh that looks really good," but I don't crave it.

I have been going to yoga twice a week in the evenings. I will eat maybe a string cheese before it because I want to have a little protein to keep me going. I don't want to eat because my sleeve makes all kinds of weird distracting noises when I'm digesting, and because it's just easier to do yoga when your digestive system is calm.

Prior to surgery, there is no way I could have eaten so few calories in a day and then come home and had string cheese and gone to yoga. I would have felt ravenous hunger. I would have felt sick and light headed. My stomach would have growled so loud and I would have had a huge headache and not been able to do yoga. I don't know how my entire system has changed from having surgery on my stomach but it has. It's just amazing.

I would have felt deprived, I would have been craving things, I would have been thinking the entire time in yoga about what I was going to eat when I got home. But none of that is happening. I just do not miss food at all. It's a miracle.

This surgery has been a miracle for me. Even if for some reason I don't lose any more weight and I don't hit my goal, I will still consider it a miracle!

There are so many things I can do now that I couldn't before, and my life is so much better! I feel so much better about myself and my health now.

I can't believe how long it took me to decide to do this! It's SO worth it!

lightenupwoman

I can't remember the last time I was under 200 pounds. Probably over twenty years ago, maybe closer to 25 years.

You would think someone would remember the day they were over 200 pounds but I don't.

This week I went to yoga twice and I walked two miles yesterday. I walked with my husband who is a fast walker. Usually I have to ask him to slow down but I kept up with him and I didn't feel tired at all. Our dog actually got tired and wanted to lay down!

We went to some thrift stores and he kept telling me he didn't think certain things would fit me, that my shoulders were too big for a jacket. I put it on and zipped it and said "HAHA!!!" He still thinks of me as being bigger!

So far I've been lucky because he hasn't lost his attraction to me. That was one of my biggest fears because he likes larger women.

And sex is definitely a lot better now!

lightenupwoman

Ok I'm getting out of my comfort zone now. For one thing I get a lot more men looking at me, and I try to ignore it and look away. I'm such a people watcher that I prefer being the observer and not the observed. When I see someone looking I want to look because I'm so curious. But I have to stop because it's just too much for me and I don't want men to think I'm checking them out.

I have so many people commenting on my weight loss. People are asking how much I have left. I feel like I'm heading into "well dont lose any more" territory.

I'm almost to a weight I haven't seen in over 20 years. This is scary for me. I'm afraid of old trauma coming back, of feeling too vulnerable, of getting so much attention that I don't want.

I keep telling myself I'm not the naive young woman I used to be. I'm powerful, wise, mature, and confident. My face is wrinkled, things have gone south, I am not a target for street harass ment and stalking like I used to be. At least I hope not.

It's like entering into a whole new world. I like it but it's scary!

lightenupwoman

dirty looks

So the woman who accused me of doing drugs to lose weight is now staring at me and giving me dirty looks every time I see her.

Really? We don't have anything better to do? I have never begrudged anyone else when they lose weight. What right does she have to be pissed off at me? I just do not understand.