brutherford

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About brutherford

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  • Birthday 10/11/1971

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    http://www.barbararutherford.com
  1. brutherford

    Post-operative Relationship with Food

    When a fat person says, "Oh, I love food!" you can just see the snickers and the veiled condescention behind their eyes...like they're thinking, "Oh yeah...I just bet you do." What people who've never had a weight problem don't realize is that a lifetime of struggling with your weight makes you a nutritional expert. Sure, we make bad choices, but just about every person on this forum can tell you the calories, fat grams, and nutritional content of most foods - even those who haven't had the surgery yet. I think that many of us became obese early in life for a variety of reasons and then spent years trying to fix something that was too far gone to be remedied in any normal way. I read a statistic once that said less than 1% of people who attempt it are able to lose 100+ lbs and keep it off for 2 years... that hit me hard because I know a hell of a lot of people who try really hard, so it's not the effort that's the problem. My doctor ended up recommending GBP to me because he had seen me try everything over a ten year span. He'd treated me for ankle sprain and groin pulls from hiking the Grand Canyon and walking the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk - both at over 320 lbs. He could tell by my blood panels and routine visits that I didn't eat out of control - my sugars, cholesteral, blood pressure, etc. were all that of a healthy person. He even had a hard time pressuring me to quit smoking because I was, "healthy as a horse." At the point that he mentioned surgery to me, I had been vegetarian for two years, vegan for one, was eating all organic produce and whole grains. His suggestion of GBP was offensive to me - I couldn't believe that he thought I was a "quitter." Knowing me, he asked me to create a list of every weight loss thing I had tried - diets, pills, medical stuff, etc. I laughed at him, my own worst enemy, and told him it would be a short list. By the next week, I had three pages and realized that I had been yo-yoing the same 60 lbs for the past 10 years and that the bulk of my weight had been put on before I turned 20. Anyway, I understand what you're saying and your knowledge of nutritional and culinary prowess are definitely going to make this a fun adventure for you.
  2. brutherford

    Who are you?

    I didn't even recognize your photo, baby... YOU LOOK F***ING FANTASTIC! Let's absolutely go out for your birthday - e-mail me at brutherford@aii.edu. Love you, B
  3. brutherford

    Post-operative Relationship with Food

    I'm a huge foodie myself - thought I wanted to go to culinary school, worked in a restaurant as garde manger for 6 months and changed my mind, but I still LOVE to cook. Yes, your relationship to food will change, but not in the way you think it will. It will change based on how your life changes, which can be very healthy. It evolves as you evolve, and the tremendous gift of this tool we are given is that we now have an opportunity to examine all of our choices when it comes to food. I very strictly followed all of the pouch rules for about a year - I think this is very important in that you need to change the importance that food has over your life (if you're like me, anyway). After surgery, I viewed food as fuel - not that I didn't enjoy the taste, but it was much more about consistency, quantity, and nutritional value. It changed the way I thought about food, which I think is one of the most valuable things about the surgery. I had to change a lot of my habits during this time, mostly because I used to socialize over food almost exclusively before surgery. In order to eat with friends, I had to preplan and strategize - 1) order something really small (mostly appetizers) so I wasn't tempted to continue to eat off of a larger, still full plate; 2) drink a lot of water before meeting for the meal and before the meal is served; 3) when I was done eating, have the plate either removed or the leftovers boxed up so that no one (including me) was tempted to analyze what or how much I ate; 4) focus on the visit and the people. In that first year, I was a stickler for the pouch rules, which is a big part of the reason why I lost 162 lbs in 10 months. The support through this website, my doctor, and the friends I made through the doctor really helped too. However, it often felt too insular to me - I have a lot of friends who are not GBP patients and many who have never had weight problems. I was simultaneously nervous about hanging out with them a lot (my eating was weird to them, it was harder to not just eat whatever I wanted, etc.) but I also knew that at some point I would have to stand on my own with the rest of the normal-stomached people. A few months before I hit my goal, I went through a divorce and moved out on my own for the first time in my life. Before surgery, I used to host lots of dinner parties and my ex-husband had become used to me creating elaborate, though healthy meals (we were vegetarian and vegan eventually). My ex was very supportive of the surgery though and we rarely ate the same things afterwards. So, moving into my own place, I rarely grocery shopped and rarely cooked because my needs were small and easily taken care of. Then I started dating Matt - he's a young surfer boy and eats like a horse, however he looks at food as fuel like most healthy people. By this time (our first date was on the day that I hit my goal, 10 months after surgery), I had gotten used to eating out with "normies" and it was easy. He and I had been friends for several months, so he knew about the surgery and had actually educated himself on the whole procedure and lifestyle accomodations before we'd started dating. I still considered the food stuff to be easy at this point, because even though we saw each other constantly, I still had my own place, own fridge, and own eating habits. Well, Matt and I hit it off beautifully and as our relationship progressed, I started to revive old and not necessarily good habits. My sister and I love to cook and would spend Sundays creating fantastic feasts for both of our boyfriends and we would all eat them together. I would rationalize that this was good because I had leftovers all week and didn't have to cook. Then I found myself cooking more during the week too... then I found myself loading the fridge with an insane amount of food... then I found myself regularly having an uncomfortable hardness right below my breastbone... I had regularly taken to getting too full and it was starting to hurt. Using the tools that years worth of therapy taught me, I began to analyze what was going on: Matt was spending more and more time at my place and I felt compelled to have all of his favorite foods and a stocked fridge. I realized that I think I'm so unlovable that the only way this guy would continue to love me is if I satisfied him constantly... the sex part was easy but the food part could sabotage my success. Being in the first healthy and happy relationship in my life made me incredibly uncomfortable, which triggers snacking and other food behaviors for me. All of these stressors made me want a security blanket, and a full fridge was the safest feeling for me. Matt moved in with me in October, and I'm still working through some of these issues. They don't resolve themselves overnite, and I don't expect them to. I just keep plugging away at them. I've been retraining myself to wait longer and longer until I go grocery shopping - ultimately, I can live on the scraps in the pantry, but if Matt needs something he can go. I still cook with my sister, but our schedules have changed, so it doesn't happen as regularly as before. Now, Matt and I barbecue with the neighbors and I get to try out all my new recipes on them. I still love to cook. I love food and I love travel and I love to try new things. In any given week I'll have or make Thai, Japanese, Greek, French, Indian, and Italian. About a cup of any of of those cuisines (minus the carb portion) is all I can consume, but it's worth it. I make peanut butter cookies and cheesecake that rock the world - but I only have a bite of them. I love watching people enjoy my food, which is why I'll continue to cook for them and I'm finally getting to a place where I feel comfortable in not trying to keep up with other people's appetites. Yes, your relationship to food changes, but it is up to you to ensure that the changes are healthy. The surgery has given you a stop sign - if you hit that stop sign hard you really need to take a step back and look at why you hit it so hard. What caused you to overeat/cook too much/eat the wrong thing? While everyone else is consuming their ridiculous portions, take time to check in with yourself and be honest about what you find. It's all okay, it's all growth. No one's perfect, and if you have to hit the stop sign ten times, at least you're being honest. Just continue to work at it over and over again until you figure it out. Good luck! ... and thanks for reading all of this!
  4. brutherford

    Do you look older?

    Forgot to answer your question about how to lose 160+ in 10 months... basically, exercise. I was in a very negative relationship and I dealt with it by constantly being busy and never being home. I worked, painted in the studio, went dancing with friends, constantly went out for social engagements, etc. This was on top of the exercise routine - one of my goals was to run a 5K so I trained for several months (started a few months after surgery) and fulfilled the goal by running a 5K in Seaport Village, 6 months after surgery and a few days before my 33rd birthday. I got a personal trainer in the first days of being able to workout, post-surgery. 24 Hour Fitness offered a package of 6 sessions, so I used them about every six weeks. As you're losing that kind of weight you need to adjust your exercise routine - what you're capable of at 300+ lbs is not the same at 250 or even 200. I specifically requested a personal trainer who had experience with GBP because our nutrition requirements are so different. Overall, it was a great experience and taught me a lot about exercise, muscles, tone, etc. I would definitely recommend it. I don't exercise nearly as much now - I've found that a moderate amount of exercise keeps me toned and in the clothing size I like. I've seen some bad cases of people who weight trained or overexercised - if you don't maintain that level of activity you have skin problems just like losing excess weight. I would rather maintain the figure I have and not feel compelled or pressured to maintain a rigorous workout schedule. It's a personal choice that we each have to make within our own comfort levels, and the difference in tone and inches between now and when I worked out a lot is not significant or important enough for me to keep up that kind of rigor. Now, I go to the gym maybe 2-3 times per week for weight training, but I mostly exercise through walks and runs in my neighborhood, hiking, and other outdoor activities like going to the beach. I would prefer to have an active lifestyle that supports my weight maintenance rather than being a mouse on a spinning wheel in the gym trying to make sure the scale doesn't move up. Final note - I had a few "plateaus" within those 10 months, and each of them came when I started to feel uncomfortable with my appearance. (Other posts that I've made have referenced this.) I was in therapy throughout the entire weight loss, and I think that had the most positive impact on my rapid results, as well as my long-term prognosis. I highly recommend therapy to anyone and everyone who has had WLS. Good luck
  5. brutherford

    Do you look older?

    We all have different criteria as to what we consider "looking older" - I was able to buy alcohol when I was 16 because people thought I was over 20. Simultaneously, I was always told that I had a baby face (aka fat face). From the feedback I've received and my own analysis, I think that I looked really imposing before and therefore seemed much more serious and older. I've always been told that I'm an "old soul" and I've certainly seen enough drama in my 34 years to give my soul a full head of grey hair. But I'm not intimidating to people anymore, and I'm so much happier with my life that I'm generally more approachable. I think that I look my age now, and that doesn't bother me. Having all of the fat drained away from your face will certainly make lines and wrinkles more visible. I've had to adjust my skin care regime a few times because the weight change affected my complexion quite a bit, so if you're feeling like your skin looks different, try something new. Anyway, I don't mind looking older because I feel so much better now.
  6. brutherford

    Who are you?

    That's awesome, Nancy - congratulations! Keep up the good work!
  7. brutherford

    Who are you?

    I don't know if there's been much discussion of this on the forum lately, but I have a theory that we self-regulate our weight loss more than we may be aware. I lost 160 lbs in 10 months, but I noticed that whenever I became uncomfortable with how I looked I would hit a plateau. My plateaus never lasted very long, but I think it was because I made a sincere effort to address the emotional aspect of what bothered me about my appearance. It can be disconcerting to not recognize yourself in the mirror, to feel bones where you didn't realize you had any, to receive a lot more attention than you're used to. Many of us became obese in an attempt to be invisible and suddenly becoming visible - especially to anyone you don't want to notice you - can be scary. I know a few people who never reached their goal and when we discussed things in depth, I came to realize that they really were not comfortable in getting thinner than they already were. Personally, I don't like the way my face looks when I hit 160 lbs - it looks skeletal and old to me. Nobody else really notices, and yeah it's really nice to fit perfectly into those size 8 jeans, but I'm not comfortable in my own skin at that weight. So, I hover happily around 165, 170. My advice to anyone who's hit a plateau is for you to really think about how you feel about your body and how you look. Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel safe? If not, then what can you do to change that? Do you want to change that? Certainly no one has to fit into a size 8 to be healthy, so where do you want to be? By the time you answer these questions, you may have found that the scale has started to move... Good luck.
  8. brutherford

    1 year + eating habits?

    Like Marie, I eat whatever I want. Lots of sugar makes me dump in the form of getting really sleepy, so I try to only have a bite or two of something that's sugary. Lots of fat makes me dump in the form of nausea, so I just try to avoid it entirely. I love food and I love to cook, so I make lots of yummy meals that my boyfriend devours and I eat about a cup and a half of it. Depends on what it is - I can eat a huge salad, but only about half a cup of carbs (they expand in my pouch). If I make stuff for burritos, I eat the contents without the tortilla; if it's pasta, I eat 1/2 cup or less of pasta and lots of sauce; etc. We work evenings (1-10pm), so we usually eat out for our "lunch" break at 5pm... more leftovers. Typical day: 7am 1-2 cups coffee with cream n sugar 9am 1/2 cup plain yogurt 1/2 cup cereal or granola 1/4 cup fruit (berries or bananas) 12noon 1 - 1 1/2 cup leftovers 3pm veggies and ranch or edamame or piece of fruit 5pm sushi or thai food 10:30pm glass of wine, maybe a snack (veggies or fruit)
  9. brutherford

    Post-Fabulous Depression?

    So, I've been perusing the forum for the last few weeks, submitting posts here and posts there, but basically dipping my toe into the water. I've known that I need to get back into some kind of support, but I've resisted for many reasons. The main one is that I resent having to continue all of this self-help stuff - it took me years worth of therapy to change my life. I worked my @*# off for so long, even before the surgery melted my @*# off, and I'm just plain tired, you know? I see several posts from long-term post ops talking about feeling sad in a variety of ways, and I wonder if this is something kind of like a post-partum syndrome for us. There's all this energy that's expended and then when our weight stabilizes and the air clears we're still left with our lives which may include dysfunctional relationships, low self-esteem, and unhealthy coping behaviors. It's like the book about when women stop hating their bodies - what do they do with their time? Well, I for one have started finding other things to be miserable about... but the truth is that I really don't want to be miserable at all and honestly I don't know if I know how to not do that. Does that even make sense? I just know that I was on a major high after the surgery and nothing could get me down. Bad marriage? My response was to train and run 5K's, paint daily, go out with friends nightly, etc. I went through an ugly divorce, filed bankruptcy, and had hernia surgery last year, and yet I can't really recall having a bad day. Even the day that I found out my ex had gotten us into $80,000 worth of debt without my consent wasn't that bad - I cried at my best friend's pool with a cocktail, and that was about the end of that. But now... it feels like even a hangnail brings me down. The shiny new car smell of weight loss is gone and I'm in the throws of regular life... it's not near as fun as it used to be. Part of me thinks that it may be narcissism - I got used to so much positive attention, and as everyone becomes used to the new me, it's not such a big deal any more. I was joking with my boyfriend that it's partly his fault too - he's made me "soft." In the last year and a half we've only had one "argument" (which was really about my insecurities) and he treats me like a "fairy mermaid princess" (which is his nickname for me). My theory is that since I'm no longer being berated, judged, and ridiculed in a relationship that I'm missing that tough exterior that I developed. Hmmm... I guess that's about narcissism too... Maybe the success of GBP turns us into narcissists? As ugly as I find that quality in people, I can definitely see it becoming stronger in me. How do you successfully navigate the thin line that separates putting your needs first (taking care of your life and health) and narcissism? I've picked up a few really great pointers from you guys and gals and just wanted to see what you thought about this topic. Nancy's flylady.net (Finally Loving Yourself) is a great resource, and those that are into daily inspirational messages can go to http://tut.com/mmm.shtml and/or http://www.meditationsforwomen.com/. What do you think?
  10. brutherford

    Everyone Post a Photo TODAY!

    This is funy - I don't have a digital camera, but this is a pic from last month's Gospel Brunch at House of Blues.
  11. brutherford

    Hair loss?

    I know, it's terrifying. Many of us that were obese were able to grow luscious, full hair and have become very proud of it. My hair was down to my @*# before surgery, long and curly, and at the time I got lots of compliments and women who said they wished they had the same hair. I decided to cut it to shoulder length a week before surgery in anticipation of it falling out. I'm glad I did it, but so much of it fell out that it still hasn't grown past the shoulder length cut I got two years ago. Honestly, most people don't notice it - it's only the people that know you really well who will be able to see the difference. I tried every supplement, product line, etc., and none of them worked. I remember getting this advice a few years ago and thinking that it was nuts, but it's best to just let it fall out. It will grow back, and it will probably grow back in a way that you've never seen. My hair is insanely thick now and the reason why it hasn't gotten any longer than shoulder length is that it's grown back SUPER curly. I thought my hair was curly before, but that was nothing compared to this. Hair loss is an unfornate price to pay for GBP. Be warned - any anesthesia will cause hair loss. It's not as extreme as the hair loss that results from both anesthesia and strict calorie restriction, but it still falls out. I had hernia surgery a year after the GBP and it fell out again after that. Maybe the double-dose is why I have an afro now... hmmmm Either way, I love it - my hair is so much healthier now than when I was obese.
  12. brutherford

    Let's go surfing

    Can't do Friday the 21st - I work noon to 9 that day, so I'm out. Have fun and post pics! B
  13. brutherford

    Let's go surfing

    I know that Kim did a surf camp last year - has anyone asked her about it? My boyfriend's been saying he's going to teach me for the past year, but we haven't gotten around to it. I know that I'm going to need a wetsuit (the water out there is freezing now that I don't have all that cushion!) - is that provided in the fee?
  14. brutherford

    How to Feel Good When Your Life Isn't Perfect

    I'm glad you had nothing to do, Faith. I forgot that I posted this and I needed the reminder today... thank you! Why is it that I can give good advice but not take it?
  15. brutherford

    relationship question

    Everything that has been posted has been true - you can either use this opportunity to strengthen your relationship or it can be the beginning of the end. Unfortunately, my ex-husband said the exact same thing when I was going to the pre-op meetings. At first it was a joke, "I'm not going to be able to keep up with you (meaning exercise) after the surgery," then it gradually turned into statements about me leaving him. Honestly, our relationship was never very good for a variety of reasons and it was simply time. Rather than looking at the GBP/divorce stats as a result of the surgery, I think it's more accurate to view it in terms of the GBP population having dysfunctional relationships. The vast majority of us became obese as a "solution" to emotional and life issues, and I for one was slowly killing myself with food. Given that kind of decision making, it was not very likely that the old me would have been in a functional, healthy relationship. One thing that the surgery definitely changes is your focus. As I started to focus more on my health and my needs, all of my relationships changed. Some for the better, some for the worse. Now, two years after the surgery, I realize that my relationships fall into two categories - those that were formed before the surgery and those that were formed after. Neither category is better than the other. Although the pre-surgery people definitely loved me for "me", many of those people are battling the same dysfunctions and bad habits that I had/have and the relationships can be exhausting and dramatic. The post-surgery friends have no context about my past - I've always been "normal" to them. While this is refreshing it can also be difficult to explain why I'm sensitive about some things that people wouldn't expect. Anyway, relationships are complicated. If your mate loves you and wants to be with you, he will be committed to working through whatever problems present themselves. The first step however, is to stop the negative thinking and assuming that there are going to be problems - that's just a self-fulfilling prophecy.