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delilas

6

I share my office with another nurse, who lost 70 pounds last year after a visit to her doctor put her in the prediabetes range. She ate a ketogenic diet for 6 months and dropped it all. Since taking a desk job and stressing about a few things in her life, she's gained some of it back - and while she constantly talks a good game about needing to get the weight off, she's also one of those "frenemies" who constantly tries to push you into eating something. I don't think she does it meanly, I think she wants me to keep eating the way I used to because then I was her excuse, you know? "Delila ate x, so I ate some too!" But for the past couple months I pack a healthy lunch most days and this seems to have almost made her more aggressive. 

 
Yesterdayy, I ate what I take pretty often - chicken salad that I fork onto small slices of cucumber to eat. It's a nice meal to try to focus on eating slowly and listening to hunger signals, and the cucumber helps keep me from wanting to drink too soon. She asked me three times if I wanted anything from a local sandwich shop and I told her no, pointing at my lunch. She said, semi sarcastically, "Oh, so healthy" and rolled her eyes. My boss also brought in brownies as its been one year since our office opened, and my officemate started in about that too, that I wasnt going to have "at least some?". Mondays are my official weigh in days for my pre-op program, and she knows as such. She offered me a pickle as well, and when I declined I got a rather harsh "Pickles don't even have calories!" I've tried explaining before it isn't about the calories - it's about the fact I'm satiated and don't need anything further, but it just falls on deaf ears. 
 
I finally told her it had to stop yesterday. I despise personal confrontation. If someone is interfering with a patient, I'll be on your butt so quick you can't even blink, but when it comes to defending myself...not so much. Asking her to stop and respect that I'm doing what I need to do to get healthier was super hard, and she took it wrong ("I'm just saying a little brownie won't hurt you, I don't know why you're so upset" etc) and we sat in an awkward silence until it was time to leave. I can suffer through some awkward silence for awhile if it means the badgering stops, though. I have enough food demons to battle without someone I sit next to 8 hours a day encouraging them!
 
TLDR: badgering coworker finally put in her place (kinda). 
 
I also had my weekly class last night. Only a few ounces lost, but between hormones (TOM) and having a broken foot reducing my activity, I'll take it. At least its not a gain!  Last night's topic was "Self Care". Was pretty interesting to see everyone's different definitions and rituals for psychological, emotional, and relationship self care and how it can relate to weight loss. Several people graduated over the last couple weeks, so our class is a bit smaller now and kinda cozy with each other - its made it less of a chore to attend for sure!
 
Puppy tax for long winded personal issues posting :D This is my patriotic pupper, Wifi. 

wifi.png

delilas

5

No class last week because of the holiday - right back at it this week with a weigh in and group exercise class followed by an exercise lecture. However, I found out last week that I stress fractured my foot!

Whomp whomp :( My motto was all 'go big or go home' but I think I went too big :) I've got a big ol' walking boot for the next four weeks. Upside, I am allowed to bike as long as my foot doesnt hurt when I do it, so rather than jumping on the arc trainer during our exercise class, I got on a recumbent bike with huge pedals I could fit my boot into. My nephews love my big boot, they think it makes me look like a transformer :P
 
Two weeks ago, between the heat and some general apathy, I wasn't doing well in the motivation arena. I wasn't cooking, wasn't eating healthfully - the only thing I did was watch portions. I was eating crap, but at least it was...less crap? Funnily enough, after a few days of that, even looking at fast food had me nauseated, and I rebounded like crazy. Cooked every single night and made all my lunches except one for the work week. At my weigh in this week, I was a total of 10 pounds down from where I started. It's not amazing, but it's a start!
 
Saw the NP and had the official pre-surgery nutrition visit. Both said they see no reason I can't have surgery, although I need cardiac clearance thanks to a history of swelling around my heart. I already have the cardiology appointment scheduled, so now just a matter of getting my EGD done and finishing the last 3 months of classes!

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delilas

Fear

When I started looking into WLS, I was 75% sure I was just going to go with a lapband. Easily removable, I thought. No big malabsorptive issues. Just a bunch of restriction - a kind of hand-holding into making me eat the way I need to. 

Then I began my real research, and saw the complication rates were higher, and the amount of appointments necessary were higher, and that overall weightloss was considerably lower. Many people complained of still feeling hungry - which makes sense, when you consider that the rest of your stomach is still there, still largely empty, and still playing on hormones like grhelin to mess with satiety. 

So I began to slowly embrace the idea that "real" bariatric surgery was my answer. I've come a long ways since being stalwart in my belief that I didn't need WLS - even if it took me years to get there. For the last couple months, I've been pretty set on VSG. 

Lately, fear is creeping in as I read the experiences and see the weightloss of those with VSG versus GB. Don't get me wrong, I see plenty of people who have done absolutely exceptional on VSG and I know it can work - I'm terrified I will make it not work. That I'll end up being one of those people who eats ice cream as a "pureed" food, manipulates what can go in, and will suffer with little weightloss because of it. That I'll need the further restriction and malabsorption offered by a GB in order to have real weight loss. 

I've devoured every thread on "how did you choose?" here on TTF and I know that some of my questions will be answered when I finally have that sit down with a surgeon, but in the meantime, I keep adding to my list of "Am I going to be one of those people who goes through a major surgery just to sabotage it?" 

I try to shake off the thoughts - I wouldn't be surprised if they're fairly normal. I'm doing well in my pre-op classes (small gain this week, but there was a considerable amount of partying for my parents anniversary this weekend). I understand all that the surgery brings, and I think seeing success after surgery will be a fabulous motivator towards continuing the plan. 

All that certainly hasn't stopped the "what ifs" though! <_< The mental part of weight loss is certainly exhausting. 

delilas

3

Another week, another weigh in, another tiny bit closer to the operating room!

This was a stupid stressful week - my dad (who is 5 months post liver transplant for hepatopulmonary syndrome) has been in a lot of weird pain this week, and my youngest brother was in a serious car crash. He's doing surprisingly okay, besides some stitches and a mild concussion and a lot of bruising, thankfully. 
 
I also happened to be diagnosed with lupus this week, which is kind of a total shock, and I hope it doesn't affect my chances at surgery. I'm not medicated, as I barely have symptoms (the only thing that prompted the testing even is a non-ending face redness in the typical butterfly pattern) so since I'm not on steroids or anything, I hope it won't mess with my weight loss.
 
My weigh in went okay - down another pound. Slowly but surely! I'll take it considering it was so hot last week (over 90F every day) that I was loathe to come home and cook over a hot stove, so I wasn't nearly as on-the-ball with cooking and leftovers like I normally am - we ended up eating out way more often. However, when I'm stressed, I don't eat as much (I am the opposite of an emotional eater), and I almost feel like that balanced it out, ha. Thankfully, this week is cooler and I have a nice bunch of dinners planned out for the week. 
 
This weeks class was #8 out of 24. I am slowly but surely counting them down! Our topic this week was was about negative self talk and the feelings that come along with being overweight/obese (shame, disappointment, etc). It was a very interesting discussion, and I was surprised at the different things people in the class endorsed as their #1 emotion over their weight - things like loneliness, for example. It was definitely a good class. 
 
Got a sampler pack of Syntrax Nectar, and have enjoyed them quite a bit - thanks for the recommendation @jen581791 ! It's nice to get away from protein powders that need some form of milk to be tolerable. Also, Unjury's chicken soup protein powder is also good when I want something warm. 
 
Currently counting down until July 6th, when I meet the surgeon's nurse practitioner and get some preop work done, like the EKG. I can't wait - I feel like that'll make it more "real" :)
delilas

Regret

I'm so excited to be on this pathway, and at the same time, I have so many regrets. In 2013, I had actually applied for the surgery. I was told to schedule for psychiatry, which threw me off and I abandoned the process without a look back.
 
Then two years ago, I had a doctor prod me in this direction. After 3 years of off and on infertility treatments, my SO and I were told the next step was IVF. Which was terrifying, as very few insurances pay anything towards it, and the cost of ONE attempt is more than the down payment on my house. 
 
The doc told me then he had a physician friend who specialized in weight loss surgeries, and that he thought it would be best I lost 20-30% of my weight before I went spending that kind of money and trying IVF. I kind of froze, shaking my head. I have a personal trainer, I thought desperately. I'll lose this weight. 
 
I knew better. I knew better. I know the stats about people losing weight on their own vs WLS, especially with hormonal issues (PCOS and the all too common thyroid issue in my case), and still I stubbornly refused. I got on the phone that day with my mother and my husband and told them I was dropping treatments for awhile to focus on losing weight. 2015, I said. 2015 will be the year of the weight loss, the year of the baby. 
 
And here I am, halfway through 2017, 15 pounds heavier than I was then, nearly in tears at my first weigh in with my LW Classes six weeks ago. It was the highest weight I've ever been. I've lost 7 pounds since then and had to fight tooth and nail for every pound. 
 
I'm SO excited to finish my prerequisites for surgery and get this ball really rolling. That's in large part thanks to you guys. I had initially surfed around the internet and saw so many people complaining of regain and stretched pouches that I was still hemming and hawwing over what to do. But now that I'm here, and I can see constant, real-life examples of people who are truly making it work - now that I've seen those who failed didn't stick to their program - now that I've seen it's totally a manageable thing...I can't wait. 
 
That excitement propels me through the exercise and the salads and the lack of sugar. But the regret sometimes weighs me down. Where would I be if I'd started this 5 years ago, or even 2 years ago?
 
I know there's nothing I can do to change it, but that knowledge unfortunately doesn't stop the regret. In some ways, that regret keeps me moving to get all this done so I can have the surgery as quickly as possible. I'm lucky that I now have an insurance that not only covers 70% of WLS, but also at least one attempt at IVF, which is pretty rare. I want to take it for all it's worth!
 
Tonight is class night, and exercise class at that! It's so nice to exercise as a group, even if we are each kind of doing our own thing. Then a quick lecture afterwards and a nice free night after that. 
 
Hope everyone is doing well :)
delilas

Today, I met with a psychiatrist for my pre-op psych appointment, and thought it may be about time I started logging my expedition :)

 
A little background on me:
I'm 32, a registered nurse, married with no kids, but the kickass aunt to three nephews and one niece. I worked ER and critical care for years, did one year stint as a prison nurse, and currently work as a chronic care manager. I am the person who calls to (politely!) tell/encourage/bribe people with heart failure and diabetes to take their meds and follow their diets to try to keep them out of the hospital. As a side job/hobby, I narrate audiobooks :)
 
I've always been a little overweight, but problems really began for me in college. I didn't gain a freshman 15, I gained a freshman 50. I'm not an emotional eater, but instead struggled with mindless, constant grazing. I could devour a bag of chips and a jar of salsa while studying and not think twice before then going to the cafeteria and eating the nutrition-less slop there as well. After college, I maintained my (obese) weight for a few years, gaining ~5ish pounds a year, until I entered nursing school and tossed on another 50 pounds, again from mindless grazing and cafeteria food. 
 
My parents just opened a popcorn store, too. God help me. 
 
Anyway, although I always maintained the attitude of "sure, I'd like to lose weight" I was not someone whose self confidence was tied to their weight. In fact, I often don't feel like a morbidly obese person at all. I don't yet (knock on woood) have any health problems associated with obesity. It wasn't until my husband and I began trying for kids and my reproductive doc mentioned surgery to lose weight to make pregnancy chances better. And that was 18 months ago! I decided I didn't need surgery, and forged ahead with diet and exercise like a fiend. Like every other diet attempt, I lost motivation when I hit a plateau after 3 months. My doctor put me on saxenda, which I oddly gained a considerable amount of weight on. Still I refused to entertain the idea of surgery until the last couple months. First, tentatively sticking a toe in the water and signing up for the Living Well classes at work. Then, by researching medical journals that discussed bariatric surgery to satisfy my nurse side. Finally, by joining here and seeing the "real life" examples of the work, effort, and success of bariatric surgery.
 
Currently:
I'm about 6 weeks into a six month mandatory nutrition/counseling/exercise course that my university health system (also my employer) puts on. It has been a wonderful resource in total, and is great for accountability since we weigh in prior to every class. The class rotates each week between nutrition, exercise, and behavior management. The nutritionist is also my case manager. Exercise classes are not only a lecture, but we go work out for ~45 minutes as group. Behavior classes are led by a psychiatrist or counselor. Any of these individuals are available for appointments with us as well. Although at times it feels very "diet and exercise 101" it is a very well thought out course. I go every Monday after work. Today is an exercise class :)
 
Anyway, today I met with psychiatry. I took a few tests first - a behavior test, a binge eating test, and a vocab test - before sitting down to talk with him. Overall, went quickly and he was very pleased with my testing and that I am already in the classes - I guess most people do not start with the classes. The next step is to see a nurse practitioner who will go through my health history to see if there is any screening tests I need prior to surgery, as well as labs and an EKG - and as I wrote this, this just called, and I am scheduled for July 6th to see them! At this rate, I should hopefully be done with all my pre-op requirements right around the time the class ends in late September.  
 
End:
I want to thank everyone here. I've been reading the ever-living hell out of these forums the last few weeks, and it was reading the stories (both struggles and successes) here that helped me embrace that bariatric surgery is a tool I want to have in my corner. 
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