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Scale Demons and Powerful Clothes

CurvyMermaid

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Today I had the one month check-up, which was really 6 week check-up because of my surgeon’s vacation schedule.  The doc is happy but quasi-chastised me for not losing more.  Say whaaa?  I've lost 30 lbs since surgery!  What was I ‘supposed’ to lose? (Which he refused to answer) However, if you might recall an earlier post of mine, this is somewhat due to the scale in his office registering an additional 11 lbs less than it should have during my last appointment pre-op.  The only reason I knew this was a true discrepancy is because immediately after my pre-op visit with him, I went across the hospital campus for pre-admissions testing and that scale weighed more closely with the one at home (and unless you can gain 11 lbs in a 10 min walk, we’ve got issues).  Can you believe I am actually fighting for a weight to be recorded higher?  Ironically, the nurse at the office said that two scales were out of commission because they weren’t working so they KNOW there is a problem.  I was struck dumb and left deflated after his gentle inquisition about why I wasn’t losing more.  

The scale demons are trying to win this one and I’m telling them to S.T.F.U.  I am fitting into clothes that I haven’t felt comfortable wearing in at least 3 years! I had an awesome trip to Martha’s Vineyard! Yesterday I wore an outfit that made me feel on top of the WORLD! And the other day I tried on a dress I wore right after I graduated high school (!!), which made me both happy and sad.  Happy because = hey! more clothes to start wearing again! And sad because my poor body has been too big for too long.  I’m not all too sure how much I weighed in high school but that period of my life was the typical terror for a fat girl.  I was invisible yet the class clown to try and stay ahead of the jokes made at my expense. I was an easy target for the jerks and I have limited fond memories of my time there.  However, I do remember going with my mom to pick out this beautiful watersilk dress full of all my favorite colors.  Blues and teals and deep rich purples.  The colors of a clear night sky with a streak of the aurora borealis or of bruised purple sunsets in a deep blue and clear turquoise sky.  I remember how beautiful I felt in it and how I loved to wear it for our family’s special occasions and trips.  It’s full of both that feeling of beauty and owning something so pretty and special, but also those dark memories of being bullied that I have tried to bury. Geez louise, thinking of this dress is bringing me to tears. How can a piece of clothing evoke so much? I never realized clothing could have that power.  I guess now that it fits I need to make some new memories in it.

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In other news, I think I could amp up my exercise efforts.  I researched gyms and memberships and found one in close proximity to my work which gives a discount through my insurance so that I would theoretically only be paying $10 month.  Why is it hard to make that next step?  What am I afraid of?  And should I be doing only cardio to maximize weight loss right now?  What about these bat wings?  Can I tone without gaining muscle? But I WANT more muscle.  I want definition under this fat so I can be awesome like @athenarose and @Stephtay  ;)  Perhaps I’m afraid of making a fool out of myself.  I have been publicly embarrassed and bullied enough in my life, I try not to put myself in situations where it might happen again. 

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What I'm feeling 6 weeks out:  Normal. Like, sometimes I forget I had surgery. I'm certainly not as tired as I typically would have been at the end of the day pre-surgery but I still haven't had this great surge of consistent energy like I thought I might have.  I have the energy when I want (like my hiking) but its not always there or I must summon it (**cross arms in front of body, blink -- Genie?). I've been having some acid reflux/heartburn so the doc prescribed some meds for that during today's visit.  I also brought up the DEXA scan after reading about the dangers bariatric surgery may pose for calcium absorption issues (thanks  @cinwa!)  He actually said that his foreign colleagues only do self-pay surgeries and the DEXA scan is included in the package.  We will see if it goes through insurance.

What's this vegetarian eating?  cottage cheese, protein gummy bears, protein powders, tofu and stir fry veggies, some fruit (cantaloupe, nectarine), tempeh, paneer and spinach

What I'm not eating?  Field Roast Veggie Frankfurters - nope, way too dense no matter how much you chew.

What I wish I wasn't eating?  This d*mn container of veggie protein mix that has begun to taste like dirt and doesn't mix well but I'm too cheap to toss it so I make myself use it.  Vitamins, all of them.




15 Comments


Thanks for the shout out. I am not awesome but I will take the compliment! I vote you join the gym and don't worry what other people think. Do both cardio and strength training. I don't love exercise while I am doing it but I feel fantastic after. It is a good stress reliever for me and after working out I'm always less tempted to over eat or eat things that aren't on plan. I've been going to the gym my entire adult life. I can't recall a time someone at the gym ever said something rude or tried to embarrass me. Everyone is at the gym for the same reason, to get in better shape. Plus, there are always plenty of free weights around so if someone says something rude, just drop a weight on their foot and pretend it was an accident! 

I have embarrassed myself at the gym plenty of times. Fallen off equipment, gotten stuck on a machine or two but I just tried to laugh it off. Just a couple of weeks ago I was doing crunches on a ball and I rolled right over the back of the ball on to the floor in front of a group! When I was about 250 I wanted to do pull ups on one of those weight machines where you can offset some of your body weight. I don't know what I was thinking but I didn't offset my weight enough. So, I was stuck, hanging there like an orangutan. If I were to let go, best case, I would drop down and the machine would make a HUGE noise. Worst case, I was worried I would break the machine. So I hung there trying to figure out what to do. It was too much weight and I started to panic so I started saying "Help! Help! Help!" until someone ran over. Of course it was a super hot guy in incredible shape. By then my arms were jello so he had to help lift me off the machine. It was both as funny and as embarrassing as it sounds. 

 

Keep up the great work - you are doing awesome! And join that gym! :D

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Ditto everything Stephtay said. While I definitely think you should join the gym and not worry about what other people think, I also realize that's way easier said than done. I'll be real- the majority of the time when I work out, it's just me & my personal trainer in the gym. And I like it that way. My Jiu Jitsu class is different, but it's a small group of guys and they're so excited that a girl (me) is in the class that I rarely feel self conscious. Obviously that's not realistic for most people, but I just say that so you know that I'm still self conscious about working out in front of other people. I feel like an uncoordinated idiot more often than not, but it's still so worth it. And remember, you don't necessarily have to be in a gym to work out. When I'm not with my boys in the gym, I'm out hiking. Do what you love because it makes it so much better. And, if you can, hire a hot (and knowledgeable) trainer because it's great motivation for those days when you don't want to work out. Superficial, yes, but my God, it really works (for me at least). Plus, if you have a trainer, it will help you get more comfortable using the equipment and just being in the gym in general.

And congrats on the weight loss! Your doctor may not be impressed, but I am. Keep up the good work!

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Hi CurvyMermaid - it certainly sounds to me like you're doing amazingly well. Thirty pounds in the first month (or six weeks) is great! Your surgeon could certainly stand to STFU. What, does he think you're not *trying* hard enough??? In the first few months after surgery, you Can. Not. Eat. Much. And certainly not enough to slow down the losses. Your body loses as fast as it loses, period. Unless you're chugging lard shots (unlikely as you're a vegetarian), you will lose. Don't let him put your "meager" thirty pound loss down as anything but ***great*** progress. 

I love that you're wearing a dress from just after high school. That's great. Don't let it make you sad. We are all products of all the things that we have experienced, and you wouldn't be you if your past was different. From now on, though, you will be a lot smaller you! I think you're going to have a lot of surprises and emotional experiences in your future as you process your new appearance and as time goes on. I hope you can confront them with the positivity I've seen from you here on TTF. 

As for exercise, I think at this point, just doing anything is great. Joining the gym might be an empowering thing to do. It will at least provide you with a great measuring stick to see your progress in all things motion and energy related. I'm with @Stephtay - the vast majority of gym-goers are either very OK with people trying to improve themselves, or else they are way too into their own thing to care who else is around them. Some may even be kind enough to rescue you from overly ambitious attacks on weight machines! ;)

I kind of wish I could have joined a gym earlier in this process, but that will come soon enough - after I get settled in my new location in a couple of weeks. 

I hope your journey continues to be very successful!

 

 

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Oh! And don't do just cardio. I do HIIT (high intensity interval training) twice a week plus hiking a couple times a week and Jiu Jitsu twice a week. The combo is way better than just straight cardio and if you're doing so strength training, it'll help reduce your muscle loss. Again, that's where a trainer can come in handy. They can create a program that'll fit where you're at now and help you move towards your goals. I know not everyone can afford a trainer, but if you can swing it, even for a little while, I think it would be well worth it.

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Thirty pounds in such a short time! Wowza! I'd chalk up your surgeon's lack of enthusiasm up to him having a bad day or not being happy to be back to normal life after a vacation. You're doing amazingly well. Don't think twice about that! Many times, you can try a gym for free without joining yet. I think group exercise classes are the best. It forces you to work out longer than you would alone and it's fun to feed off the energy of the other people and the music. Plus, the instructor tells you exactly what to do, so it's hard to feel stupid. Each class has its own feel, so keep trying different ones until you find your match. A mix of cardio and strength training is ideal. Well done, you!

Edited by Gretta

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Thank you @Stephtay, @Gretta and @athenarose for the expertise and votes of gym confidence! Embracing the potential embarrassment with a sense of humor, like I've luckily been able to do about many things in life, seems like the ticket! How does someone go about finding a trainer @athenarose? The kids that work at the gym I have in mind don't inspire much confidence. Lol

And thank you to @Raddy, @Jen581791, @Gretta and @tracyringo for the support too. Since the surgeon had me down for 19lb loss in 6 weeks rather than 30lbs, I guess I can forgive him. ;) I chose not to weigh regularly for this reason - scale demons be d*mned!

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I just checked my spreadsheet and I was at -19.2 at 6 weeks! That should make you feel better about your 30, I hope.

Weigh yourself however often works best for you. If scale absence = happiness for you, embrace that :) 

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I have a trainer. I've had several over the years. I either meet them through the gym or get a referral from someone I know. My two cents is find someone who will really listen to you and not just give you their standard routine. Also, most trainers want to talk about nutrition. That doesn't work for me. Talking about food makes me want to eat and then my inner rebel kicks in and I act like a brat. My current trainer doesn't listen to me when I tell her my tendinitis is flared and I need to avoid certain upper body exercises. So, in two weeks when my package of sessions with her is finished, I'm not renewing. I've already found my next trainer. Your trainer works for you so talk to a few before you try one and see if you think they might be a good fit. My current trainer told me for breakfast every morning I should put 8 ounces of water in a blender with a whole lemon (seed, peel, the whole thing) and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. I should blend that up and drink it. I looked at her, blinked twice and burst out laughing. I think I said - "That will never happen but thanks for the suggestion." She doesn't know I've had WLS but I did tell her I'd lost over 100 pounds 3 years ago. Connect the dots - someone doesn't lose over 100 pounds and not learn something about nutrition! Of the 7 or 8 trainers I've had over the years, most were a good fit for me so don't let my current experience deter you. 

athenarose, tmcgee and CurvyMermaid like this

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44 minutes ago, Stephtay said:

Also, most trainers want to talk about nutrition. That doesn't work for me. 

My surgeon's documentation says "For best results, find a trainer. BUT you are forbidden from taking nutritional advice from any trainer!"     :-)

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I found my trainer through word of mouth too. He doesn't talk to me about nutrition other than to occasionally remind me the more protein the better (and that's only if I bring it up). Come to think about it, he never comments on my food choices and we're constantly going out to eat and hanging out. I told him about my WLS the first time we met/hung out, so he knows and it comes up on occasion in our conversations, but again, definitely no advice or lectures about nutrition. Maybe having an auto-immune disease and a lot of food sensitivities makes him more aware of how varied our nutritional needs can be? I know I hit the jackpot in regards to finding a trainer. He's super knowledgeable & passionate about fitness, kind, good looking and a nerd (in his free time, he plays Dungeons & Dragons). He always takes my feedback seriously and is constantly adjusting our workouts to fit where I'm at and what my strengths/weaknesses are. He's literally one of my most favorite people ever and I doubt I'll ever switch to another trainer. That's probably not much help, but if you ever move to the central coast of California, I'm happy to share.

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Pearls of wisdom Athena and Steph - thank you.  I've searched through online forums (e.g. trainer databases, Thumbtack) but I figure I might as well inquire at the gym to see who their trainers are and start from there. Unless I can get to the west coast and meet Athena's Trainer God... :D

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Great post... and love the picture of the @CurvyMermaid wannabees. 

A bit in defense of your surgeon saying something about the amount of weight loss (a very touchy subject) is that there are studies showing that early intervention for people with less weight loss than expected can help some people to correct things that will undermine their long-term loss. An opportunity that has to be dealt with in a sensitive way

as @athenarose points out the high intensity training (HIT) seems to really work. Am coming up on 150 days after surgery and I think this may be the way to up the difficulty / challenge of my exercise too. Am glad I have the habit of exercise but perhaps have slipped into a comfortable rut of cardio. 

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Yes, I completely understood the intent behind my surgeon's comment (and you're right - definitely a sensitive subject) but was a bit flummoxed at 30lbs not being adequate until I realized he thought it was a 19 lb loss. No one likes to be told to do better when they are, in fact, doing very well according to 'typical' post-op weight loss rates.  I suppose I was looking for affirmation from my surgeon that I was on track and was posting more about the error in something simple like an accurate scale changing the perceived result than attacking my surgeon's comment.

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