Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 4, 2010

Today not so good.  Meals good.  Cookies in between meals not so much!  Really need my meeting tomorrow!

The stress of moving overseas in 6 weeks is really hitting me.  I have TONS to finish at work which takes priority over everything else at the moment, but the stress it's giving me is causing me to eat!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Breakfast (6:30 am):
     Protein Smoothie (see previous food logs for info)

Woke up super early because I couldn't sleep.  Decided to get up though I eventually went back to bed.

Morning Pills (9:00 am):

Morning Snack (10:00 am):
     Light String Cheese
     100 Calorie Bag of Nuts

Slip Up (11:00 am):
     1/4 of a Chocolate Chip Cookie

Lunch (12:00 pm):
     1/2 Grilled Chicken Breast topped with Gouda Cheese
     6 Sweet Potato Fries

Afternoon Snack (2:30 pm):
     4 Sugar Free Fudge Dipped Mint Cookies

Afternoon Pills (3:30 pm):

Very antsy and snacky today.  Just trying to stay calm and not let my being tired and stressed get the best of me.

Slip Up (5:00 pm):
     1/4 Chocolate Chip Cookie
     1/4 Sugar Cookie

Dinner (6:30 pm):
     Pork Roast
     Julienne Potatoes

Evening Snack (8:15 pm):
     Skinny Cow Ice Cream Cone

Need to get myself more centered!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Morning Pills (8:00 am):
     B12 Sublingual

Breakfast (9:00 am):
     Protein Smoothie made with:
        10 oz. Tropical Blend Diet V8 Splash
        1 scoop of Vanilla Max Protein
        2 tsp. Fiber Supplement
        1/2 Goya Fruta Mango Fruit Pulp
        Frozen Peaches & Strawberries

Slip Up (9:15 am):
     1/4 Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie

My absolute favorite cookie flavor at work is this cookie.  It is a seasonal flavor so it is only around for 3 months.  Today the receptionist decided to put them out as samples and when I walked by this morning I just took one without even really thinking.  Thankfully it shook me back to reality and I have resisted the urge every other time I've walked by today.  I am praying for strength to resist the rest of the day.

Physical Activity (11:30 am):
     Swam 26 laps (650 yards) in 30 minutes

Lunch (1:30 pm):
     1 Hard Boiled Egg
     Chicken & Couscous Salad

Afternoon Snack (4:00 pm):
     4 Murray's Sugar Free Fudge Dipped Mint Cookies

Slip Up (4:25 pm):
     1/4 Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie

Grabbed another piece on my way out the door.  Grrrr.

Dinner (6:30 pm):
     5 small Meatballs
     Slice of Light Provolone Cheese
     Sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese

Evening Snack (7:15 pm):
     3/4 of a regular Gelati from Rita's made with
        Sugar-Free Citrus Green Tea Italian Ice
        Slenderita Custard

I should have stopped at like half way through the Gelati as I ended up feeling way uncomfortable and bloated when I finally slowed down and realized I was past full.  Just a reminder I need to S.L.O.W. down when I eat.

Physical Activity:
     Walked 1.7 Miles

After taking my nieces to Rita's, they didn't want to go home yet so we walked around downtown.  I was glad to do it as I was totally uncomfortable after eating too much and could use the movement and it hasn't been unbelievably hot lately which is great.

Spiritual/Mental/Emotional Work:
     Spending time with my nieces is always good for me mentally and emotionally!
     Oh and getting my registration information and official loan confirmation for school was also great emotionally and mentally.

Fluids for the Day:
     20 oz. Protein Smoothie
     20 oz. SoBe Lifewater Black & Blue Berry
     20 oz. Water

Evening Vitamins:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Morning Pills (9:15 am):

Breakfast (9:30 am):
     Protein Smoothie made with:
        8 oz. Berry Blend Diet V8 Splash
        1 scoop of vanilla Max Protein
        2 tsp. Fiber Supplement
        1/4 cup Frozen Blueberries
        1/2 cup Frozen Peaches
        3/4 cup Frozen Strawberries

Lunch (12:45 pm):
     1/3 cup Crab Dip mixed with 1/4 cup Shredded Chicken
     2 LaTortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Garlic & Herb Tortillas brushed with Olive Oil & sprinkled with Old Bay and baked in the oven for 12 minutes at 375

There was a little crab dip left over from yesterday so I decided to make it even more protein rich by adding the tiny bit of left over chicken we had from another meal.  I was trying to figure out what to dip in it as I didn't want carb rich bread or even the pita chips we have.  I decided to try baking some tortilla pieces in the oven until crispy and it worked perfectly!  With all the fiber, 2 tortillas are only 6 net carbs!  Not to mention 10 grams of protein, just in the chips! 

If you decide to try this at home, the tortillas need to get rather dark to be crispy.  I tasted one that was golden brown after about 7 minutes and it had some chewy spots.  The Old Bay added a nice flavor and worked well with the herbs already baked into the tortillas.  This is definitely a trick I WILL be trying again!

Physical Activity (2:30 pm):
     Walked to and from the store (total of 1+ miles)

Afternoon Snack (5:00 pm):
     4 medium Strawberries
     12 small Wheat Crackers

I went to a neighbors for appetizers and unfortunately, none of the snacks were very protein rich.  I wanted to take something bariatric friendly so I tried making some Lemon Glazed Shortbread from Bariatric Eating but they turned out AWFUL!  They never baked in the oven but rather boiled!  I followed the directions exactly so I don't know what happened.  I was irritated as I wasted so much time, energy, and expensive and hard to come by (have to be ordered) ingredients. It actually put me in sort of a fowl mood for the rest of the evening.

Dinner (7:00 pm):
     Plain Thomas' Bagel Thin
     2 tbsp Light Cream Cheese

Not the most bariatric friendly meal I know but not every day can be perfect!

Evening Snack (8:30 pm):
     Chewy Chocolate Chip Pure Protein Bar

Since my dinner had barely any protein, I decided a protein bar was in order before I retire for the night.

Evening Pills (when I go to bed):

Spiritual/Emotional/Mental Work for the Day:
     Not much, though I did spend an hour or more reading for pleasure this morning which was quite nice.  None of the reading was OA or WLS related but it was UK related which, at the moment, is just as important for me mentally.

Fluids for the Day:
     20 oz. Protein Smoothie
     47 oz. Water

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Morning Pills (8:30 am):

Physical Activity:
     Rode bike to and from OA meeting (total of 3.5 miles)

Spiritual/Mental/Emotional Work:
     OA Meeting
     Continuing to work on Gratitude List

Breakfast (11:00 am):
     Protein Smoothie made with:
        8 oz. Tropical Blend Diet V8 Splash
        1 scoop of Vanilla Max Protein
        1/2 Goya Fruta Mango Fruit Pulp
        1/2 cup Frozen Peaches
        2/3 cup Frozen Strawberries

Physical Activity (1:00 pm):
     30 min. Cleaning & Vacuuming the Bathroom

Lunch (1:30 pm):
     Boca Cheeseburger
     Slice of 2% Cheddar Cheese
     Pepperidge Farm Deli Flat
     Heinz Reduced Sugar Ketchup
     3 Medium Strawberries

Afternoon Pills (2:30 pm):

Afternoon Snack (6:20 pm):
     Small Piece of French Bread topped with 2 tbsp Crab Dip

I am going out to dinner with a friend and am waiting for him to call me.  It's much later then I like to eat and was getting famished so I had a tiny bit of the crab dip my parents were eating.

Dinner (8:15 pm):
     Bob Evans Egg Lites Combo:
        Egg Lites
        1 Turkey Sausage Link
        1/3 Strawberry & Yogurt Crepe

Evening Pills (1:00 am):

Fluids for the Day:
     20 oz. Protein Smoothie
     40 oz. Water

Late night chatting with a friend, who just bought his first house.  So excited for him and had fun chatting about decorating ideas.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday, August 30, 2010

Morning Pills (8:00 am):

Breakfast (9:15 am):
     Protein Smoothie (approx. 20 oz.) made with:
        10 oz. of Berry Blend Diet V8 Splash
        1 Scoop Vanilla Max Protein
        2 tsp Fiber Supplement
        1/2 Frozen Banana
        1/2 Goya Mango Fruit Pulp
        1 cup Frozen Strawberries
     Lactaid Pill (the Lactose from the Whey Protein doesn't agree with my stomach)

Lunch (1:30 pm):
     2 Hard Boiled Eggs
     2 Strawberries

I spent all morning working on my UK Visa application and before I knew it, it was after 1 and I was famished!

Afternoon Pills (3:30 pm):

I get all my vitamins directly from my doctor.  They are the offices' (there are 3 different offices in the area under the same practice) own "brand".  They are easily digestible for WLS patients (duh!) and the prices are reasonable, often times cheaper then other bariatric vitamins.  All but my calcium are pills I can just swallow.  For whatever reason the calcium tablet flavors very each time I get them.  Sometimes they are a yummy citrusy flavor.  This time they are just generic fruit and not so good but it's easy enough to crunch on for a second and swallow.

Afternoon Snack (4:00 pm):
     3 Murray Sugar Free Oatmeal Cookies

I know, I know, not the greatest choice but they are the one thing that keeps me from eating all the REAL cookies around here!  Carbs don't cause any problems for me (honestly, not many foods really do) but I know I am supposed to limit them.  While these cookies may be more carb rich then other snack options, they are sugar free so they don't send me off on a binge.  As I said yesterday, I am still figuring all this out.  I may be almost one year post op and it may seem like I should have this all down by now but, for me, this is going to be a life long learning process, of that, I am sure!

Dinner (6:30 pm):
     2 Slices of Thin Crust Cheese Pizza

Not the most stellar dinner.  Friday is pizza night in my parents' house so I either eat pizza with the family or cook something for myself.  I should have just eaten one piece, as I was satisfied after just one, but pizza is somewhat of a trigger food so I went ahead and had a second piece which left me feeling pretty well stuffed.  Thankfully my family has started ordering the thin crust pizza since my surgery so it's not nearly as bad as the pan pizza they used to order!

Evening Snack (8:15 pm):
     Klondike Slim-a-Bear 100 Calorie No Sugar Added Fudge Pop

Physical Activity for the Day:

Need to work on this!

Mental/Spiritual/Emotional Work for the Day:
     Began working on a gratitude list (will be posted when complete)

Fluids for the Day:
     20 oz. Protein Smoothie
     40 oz. Water

Evening Pills:
     Fell asleep and forgot to take them!

Not too great.  Not too bad.  Perfectly imperfect.  :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Morning Pills (8:00 am):

(Out of my Prilosec.  Need to restock ASAP!)

Breakfast (9:00 am):      
     Protein Smoothie (approx. 20 oz.) made with:
        10 oz. of Tropical Blend Diet V8 Splash
        1 Scoop Vanilla Max Protein
        2 tsp Fiber Supplement
        Mix of Frozen Fruits (Peaches, Blueberries, Mangos, and Strawberries)

Lunch (12:15 pm):
     From Hard Times Cafe:
        2/3 of a Grilled Chicken Breast topped with Cheddar Cheese and Bacon
        4-5 bites of Salad (No Dressing)

Slip-Up (2:00 pm):
     1/4 of a 2 oz. Double Chocolate Cookie from work 

I had to cover the front desk this afternoon and they often put samples out on the counter.  I was taking the samples to throw them out so I wouldn't munch on them myself and still ended up eating a piece.  At least it's better then having a whole cookie and I know myself well enough to know I couldn't stare at an entire tray of cookies for 3 hours and not be tempted.  So I guess, kudos for knowing that and taking action (even if I did stumble a bit).

Afternoon Snack (3:30 pm):
     9 Turkey Pepperonis
     Light String Cheese

I know some people are adamant about not snacking.  At first my surgeon was with me as well but at my last appointment I reiterated that I get very famished between meals, particularly lunch and dinner, and he said so long as my snacks are healthy and smaller then a meal, I can have one or two a day.  I tend to like string cheese, nuts, and fruits as snacks.

Dinner (5:45 pm):
     1 1/2 Eggs Scrambled with:
        2% Cheddar and Provolone Cheese

Evening Snack (9:00 pm):
     1/2 No Sugar Added Apple Tart

I do regularly have some sort of sugar-free or no sugar added treat as an evening snack.  Since it's a planned snack, it helps to keep me from mindlessly eating all night long.  It also keeps me from gorging on sugary sweets.  It appeals to my taste for a treat but doesn't send me off on a binge.  I am still figuring out just what works for me and what doesn't.  This is all a learning process.

Nightly Pills (10:00 pm):

Fluids for the Day:
     20 oz. Protein Smoothie
     60 oz. Water

Spiritual/Emotional/Mental Work for the Day:
     OA Meeting

Activity for the Day:

Need to get back to walking but it has been soooooo damn hot around here it's hard to get motivated.  I should just go to the Y and swim but I hate having to wash my hair every day.  All lame excuses, I know. 

Tomorrow's a new day.

Hope everyone had a good and healthy day.  :)

A Slight Update/Change to this Blog

I have decided that in order to keep myself slightly more accountable, I am going to attempt to use this blog as a way of keeping track of my daily food intake and activity. 

From now on, expect to see a post a day with a list of what I've eaten that day, along with any movement or activity I've done.  I will also likely include any thoughts or feelings on the day.  I will not necessarily be tracking any stats, like calories or protein, because, as previously mentioned, I do not feel that this sort of militancy is beneficial for me personally.  On some days, I may take an inventory of these stats to gauge things but it will not be an every day thing.

Should I feel the need to share how I made or where I got what I ate, I will do so but also feel free to ask if something you see strikes you.  I am always happy to share what foods have been beneficial to me on this journey. 

I will still continue to write other random blog entries as they come to me.  I realize not everyone cares to read someone else's daily food and activity journal so feel free to skip any blogs with titles that are just the day and date as these will be my food and activity logs. 

As always, thank you guys soooo much for your support and encouragement!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Revenge of the Cookie Monster

I've probably mentioned this before but if not, I work in a bakery.  A BAKERY!  My family owns a wholesale bakery where I am currently working as I await my transatlantic move this fall.

Needless to say, a bakery is far from the best place for a food addict/compulsive overeater like myself to be working.  I was doing so well last week.  I had gone a week and a half without having a single cookie but yesterday I cracked.  Hormones were too much for me and I cracked and for some reason I let yesterday's slip up, slide right into today.  I cracked again. 

Granted the 2 1/2 cookies I've had over the past two days is loads less then I was consuming prior to my refocusing on my "rules"/plan/self love/abstinence/whatever the hell you want to call it.  I do notice now that I am striving to eat more WLS friendly, as well as in a way to prevent the urge to binge, the cookies are almost too much for me to handle.  Still, I cracked. 

For a normal person this wouldn't be such a big deal but sadly, for me, someone with a food/sugar addiction, it can be if I don't acknowledge it.  I do/am acknowledging it though.  I know that I need to start looking inward and see just why I am reaching for cookies (besides hormones).  It is likely due to the large amount of stress I am under right now, anxiously awaiting my loan to finally be processed so that I can actually start moving forward with my life. 

I am not chastising myself for my slips though.  That is my old pattern.  Shame will get me no where.  I love myself regardless of my mistakes.  I will learn from them and move on. 

Here's to a better afternoon, sans cookies!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Importance of Taking Your Pills!

I am not even talking about vitamins here. 

For me, I am talking about my two non-vitamin pills, Prilosec and Wellbutrin.

Surprisingly enough, these two pills are just as important to my WLS success as my vitamins are.  Why?  You ask?

Well, I was diagnosed with depression about 8 years ago.  Through therapy and medication, I've been able to live a healthy and, for the most part, happy life, despite what, for some people, can be a debilitating illness.  Not to say I don't struggle.  Hell, I got to 350 pounds, in large part due to my depression and challenges I've had learning how to cope with some of it's symptoms.  (I learned to cope, just not in the most healthy way.  Eating served it's purpose but it was "hurting" me along the way.) 

In order to assist in my recovery from depression, I take Wellbutrin.  I know there are mixed views on medications.  It took me a long time to decide to go down that path myself and I do not have any intentions of being on them for the rest of my life, if I can so help it.  I have only been on medication intermittently over the last 7 years.  When I find that my disease impedes me from living my normal every day life or I am faced with a rather large and emotional challenge that I am struggling to handle on my own through other means (ie my recent job loss), I do seek medical attention which often will lead to my going back on medications to help me "get over the hump".  Because, when it comes down to it, my brain don't work quite right.  It's chemicals are just a little off key sometimes.  I do know and truly believe this disease can be fought without any sort of chemical substance but I am not yet in the place where I feel I can go it alone so for now I take my minimal dose of Wellbutrin, along with working with a therapist and making healthy choices.

One of the admitted downfalls of taking any medication is that I notice when I've missed a dose, like today.  My morning got off track today and I managed to forget my pills.  While I feel fine emotionally, I do notice my brain skipping around more then it would when I remember my medication.  This skipping around and lack of focus can often lead to grazing and eating whatever's on hand.  Not so good for someone trying to follow her WLS rules.  I am aware of this fact though and am making a conscious and concerted effort to push through the skipping brain and not graze.

The second pill is Prilosec.  This one is to keep my acid reflux in check and it plays an ├╝ber-vital roll in my WLS success.  You see even after surgery I was always hungry.  I didn't get it.  I would eat and would often end up even more hungry right afterwards.  I thought I was going totally insane or my surgery didn't work so I called my surgeon's office.  To my surprise the PA said it was likely acid reflux.  I was completely confused.  "But my chest doesn't hurt?  There's no burning or strange taste in my mouth?  I'm just hungry!"  She explained that when your stomach is empty, there is no food to help keep the acids down, so when the acids start coming up, your body's own defense mechanism is to ask for food to push it back down.

So, while reluctant, I began her suggested Prilosec regiment and within two weeks time I noticed a vast difference.  No longer was I constantly feeling hungry.  No more did I get hungry immediately after I ate.  I could now actually trust my hunger sensations as they were true cues it was time to eat.  That stickily wig of it though is that one day sans Prilosec and am a ravenous pig!  Like today!  All day long my stomach has been gurgling and bubbling and feeling like it hasn't been fed in days.  I have learned to push through this (it was my own fault for forgetting my pills in the first place) but man does it suck to feel like you are starving all day long! 

It just goes to show how connected all of our parts really are and how important it is to focus on our whole self and not neglect one thing for another.  Wellness for the entire self.

(P.S. If you are struggling with physical hunger I definitely suggest checking with your doctor to see if it might actually be acid reflux.  I am sooo glad I did!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Three Kinds of Hunger

I have a theory.  This is my theory so take from it what you will.

There are three kinds of hunger:
  • Stomach Hunger
  • Head Hunger
  • Heart Hunger
Stomach Hunger

This is actual, physical hunger.  Our body telling you "Hey you!  Running low on fuel down here, please send some pronto."  This is the hunger where we can feel and hear our innards gurgle in request of nutrients.  This is the simplest form of hunger.

Head Hunger

This hunger doesn't live in our belly.  This one lives in our brain.  This is where cravings come from.  We are flipping channels on the t.v. and stop on the Food Network a little too long and all of a sudden we think we need some macaroni and cheese.  Or maybe it's while we are walking down the mall one lovely afternoon buying ourself some new post weight loss fashions and we smell the Cinnabon wafting down the corridor.  Without even knowing it, we find ourself drawn down the corridor, past all the cute clothes, to the line of drones waiting to satisfy their sweet tooth with the ooey-gooey goodness.

Sometimes we are aware when we switch into head hunger mode, sometimes not.  Companies are very very good about being subtle in their mind tricks to get us to buy and eat their products.  We are also far more susceptible to head hunger when we haven't yet addressed the stomach hunger that may be coming over the horizon.  This is why it's so important to really listen to your stomach hunger and make sure you never let it go too far unchecked or else your head might start to take over. 

Heart Hunger

This is the most complex and complicated of the three hungers because so often we don't know exactly what triggered it.  This is not due to actual physical need or being triggered by outside stimulus.  Rather this hunger lives in our hearts.  This is the hunger that is so hard for so many of us to see or even feel because by quenching the hunger with food we subdue whatever it is we are really craving, at least for a short while.

This is what so many over eaters call boredom, but what I prefer to call restlessness.  If we were truly just bored, we'd go do something, not eat something.  Instead we are restless, we don't know what we want so we eat to fill the void.  The problem with this?  Food isn't really what we want.  Since it's not what our heart truly desires, we just keep doing it and doing it and doing it to no avail.  Eventually our hearts are weighted down with so much restlessness and lack of satisfaction from our eating that we feel shame and guilt.  How do we cure shame and guilt?  We eat.  And the cycle begins again.

How do we break the cycle?  (I am still working on this part of the theory!)  We must learn to sit with our restlessness for a moment.  Talk to it.  Be nice but firm.  Asking it what it really wants.  Write to it, if talking doesn't work.  Hell, sing to it, if that works.  Somewhere deep in our hearts there is an answer to our question.  There is truth.  We do know what we need, we've just anesthetized it for so long with food, it may take time and patience to get to the truth. 

It won't be easy.  It will be uncomfortable, and scary, and frustrating at times.  Feeling our true feelings can be truly overwhelming after so many years of eating them away instead.  When we eat to fill our heart, we become numb.  Numb to what it and we, ourselves, really need.  Deaf to what it's saying and blind to what it's showing us.  Once we begin to patiently ask our hearts what it needs from us, we begin to learn that it's most definitely not food. 

Today is a day I need to talk gently and listen carefully to my heart as it's been trying to tell me something. 

I am listening little heart and I promise not to try and shut you up with food.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Surprising Benefit of Major Weight Loss! - Another AhHa Moment!

I am NOT a runner!!!

It's official...


I have been getting back into follow all my lovely YouTube subscriptions to help get me over this hump with which I've been struggling.  It seems a lot of my fellow WLS vets have taken up running.  Well, I have never been to keen on running but I know my pup is so today on our walk, I tried to mix it up and add some running.  Well, as I said, I am NOT a runner!

Since I'm active in TNT, I know a lot of runners and I've also learned that anyone can do it but there are certain people who's physiques lend themselves to running more so then others.  Needless to say, I do NOT have one of these physiques. 

At other times in my life I may have beat myself up for this but honestly, I don't much mind.  I do love a good walk and I know that is just as beneficial and also less stress on my joints.  So, maybe I will never be a runner, or maybe I will learn to love it once I am down another 50-60 lbs or so.  Who knows?  But, either way, I am not beating myself up about it.  Whether or not I am running or walking, I am still moving, which is something I didn't do very much of when I was 350 lbs. 

So today's revelation is just a simple realization that moving in ways I like, matter far more then exactly how I am moving.  All in all, not a bad thing of which to be reminded.

And to all you runners out there, God bless ya!

First OA Meeting & an Earthquake to Boot!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Bitter Truth of It All

Why do I overeat?

Well, as previously stated, I am an addict.  But, it's not that simple.  As with any addict, we use our addictions to self medicate or relieve some mental/emotional affliction.  I am no different.

So what's my affliction?  Simply put, I don't much like myself.  At the core, I see myself as hopelessly flawed and unworthy of love and happiness.  While I eat to self medicate to a degree, I also eat as some sort of punishment.  I know if I overeat, make poor choices, and graze all day, I will beat myself up and some part of myself thinks this is what I deserve.  I deserve to be beaten down and punished.

I know some people may look down on me for admitting all this.  We are supposed to love ourselves and all that jazz.  I know this is true, trust me I do, but getting to that place has been nearly impossible for me.  I try and focus on all my wonderful qualities but more often then not, the praise feels superficial and unrealistic.

Why do I loathe myself so?  I am sure a psychologist would have a field day mapping this one out.  I am certain it's not one specific thing but rather a combination of things.  A combo of society's messages, childhood traumas, and just plain self insecurities.

I am coming to realize all of these issues more and more since my surgery.  While I knew this stuff before, I didn't really let myself feel it.  I could eat my way through it.  Now that my food intake is more limited (despite admitted attempts to change this), I cannot lean on it as much.  I am forced to feel the self loathing and it's not very much fun at all (eating was definitely far more enjoyable).

Does this mean I regret the surgery?  No way!  No how!  I needed this.  I need to face this demon or else I'll never get the monkey of my back and I will never live as full and complete of a life as I have every right to live.

I AM trying to work through this.  It's probably been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.  Facing your own self worth is not an easy task because the insecurities and dislike one feels are so deeply rooted and ingrained.  But, I AM going to make it through because while I may not FEEL I deserve love and compassion, I KNOW I do.  So, in time my sad little heart will be in line with my head and I will be able to live the life I've always known I could. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

An Uphill Battle

Positivity ain't easy!  You'd think it would be but for some strange reason it's not.

Right now I am struggling.  Despite relishing in my ah-ha moments yesterday, I am really struggling.

At the moment, my life is far from what I want it to be and to put it bluntly, it sucks.  Not being where you want to be in life is a miserable feeling.  I know that I am the only one who can change it and I have been working on it (see my other blog) but it's not there yet and won't be for a while.  I am unhappy and what do I do when I am unhappy?  I eat.  Surgery or not.  I eat.

To make matters worse, I am currently working in my parents' bakery.  Yes, you read that right, BAKERY.  Needless to say, it's not the ideal place for someone like myself to be spend 40 hours a week.  There are goodies all around.  Some days I am really good and don't touch a thing.  Other days, like today, I am constantly munching on a cookie here, cupcake there and before I know it, I have probably consumed 5 times what I should have for the day.  Then I begin my lovely shame cycle.

I know that eating is my coping mechanism.  I get that.  I also know that while at some point it was beneficial to me, it no longer is.  I am trying to figure out just how to love myself enough to get to the point where I can cope without turning to food.  So far, it seems rather elusive.  I know what I need to do but still I struggle.

So this was one of my forewarned woe-is-me blogs because today I am struggling...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

AH-HA LIST - The signs and symptoms of a job well-done.

What is it about beating ourselves up? 

It seems I spend an exorbitant amount of time berating myself for "mistakes" made, poor choices, and sheer laziness.  And you know where this gets me?  On a short shame train to Miseryville.  Why?  Because, all it really does is create a shame cycle.  I start beating myself up for beating myself up!  Talk about counter-productive!

Every day I do my best to work on this; to be gentle and kind and loving with myself.  Of course, this is not always easy but it's a start.

Part of trying to be more kind with myself is cherishing my "ah-ha moments".  Those moments where it clicks, when all the work I've done, all the pain I went through, all the small meals and long walks seem so well worth it.  When even despite my self-perceived "shortcomings" can't compare to the greatness I am feeling.  So, in an effort to keep the positive at the forefront of my mind, rather then the negative, I've begun making a list of these moments, to which I will add whenever one pops out at me.  So, in my darker moments, I can have something concrete to remind me that I have already accomplished so much and I am in control of accomplishing even more.

So, without further ado, here is the beginning of my Ah-Ha List:
  • Totally bypassing old clothes.  Let me explain...I have a massive range of sizes in my closet from my ever yo-yoing weight.  Prior to my surgery, I went through all my clothes and packed up the clothes that were too small into bins.  I knew I would eventually be back into them but at that moment they were far too small to wear.  Since my surgery, I have often forgotten about the bins sitting in the basement and by the time I go fishing through them I have already sailed right past and out of a number of the pieces of clothing in there.  I have had the joy of reclaiming old clothes as well but actually being too big for clothes that used to be too small is a pretty amazing feeling.  I still have some stuff waiting for me in those bins and I am trying to remember to check them more often so I can at least enjoy them even for a moment before they too become too big.
  • My polish sausage legs are looking more and more like sausage links now.  It's been YEARS since I have donned shorts but with the advent of "Bermuda shorts" and my less beefy legs, I've actually welcomed the opportunity to let my white legs free.  I even have a rather itty-bitty skort I enjoy wearing from time to time. 
  • I can cross aforementioned sausage links!  Prior to surgery, crossing my legs was out of the question, as was sitting with one leg tucked under me (which was a favorite position to sit in as a child).  Now, I can cross my legs with abandon!  (Only in one direction though, not sure what that is about.  Anyone else have this?)  I can also tuck one leg under me and find it oh so comforting.  It reminds me of being a kid and sitting like that and letting my free leg swing. 
  • Chairs with arms no longer send a shock wave of fear down my body.  I no longer scan waiting rooms for a couch or armless chair to sit in.  This one is a BIG for me as my not fitting into armed chairs was actually one of the things that helped push me towards WLS.  After a very uncomfortable meal in an armed chair at a lovely restaurant in Paris, I knew something had to give.  (Even now, thinking about that meal makes me want to cry.  That was one of my most miserable fat moments.)  So from now on, whenever I sit comfortably in an armed chair, I can't help but feel a huge rush of gratitude as I do my internal happy dance.
  • Mirrors and large windows don't send me screaming for the hills.  Prior to WLS, I avoided mirrors and large reflective surfaces like the plaque.  If I did encounter them, I never looked at the reflection.  I would find something else to keep my attention.  Since surgery, I find myself actually surprised by what I see looking back at me.  When I really study myself in the mirror at home I often don't see the difference between me then and me now.  It's moments when I am walking by a store window and look over quickly that I really see it.  I am so surprised by all that's changed, that it takes me a moment to even realize that that not so bulky figure, is me!
  • Boobs, glorious boobs!  At my heaviest my shape was round, with little definition in my waist.  Since loosing weight I have rediscovered a body shape other then round  My boobs now actually stick out further then my stomach.  My stomach almost looks flat in the right clothing!  I am grateful that I have not lost much weight at all in my decolletage as being a little busty has always been a feature of mine with which I am comfortable.
While these few things may seem like small things, they all add up to some really big important things.  They are signs and symptoms of all the work I have done.  I may have bad days but even on those days I try and remind myself of all the ah-ha's I've been lucky enough to have on this journey.  There are loads more then these and in time I will reveal even more. 

In the meantime, what have been some of your ah-ha moments on your WLS journey?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Food and Thoughts - A Cage for Emotions

One of the biggest challenges in this whole WLS journey has been emotional eating.  Let's be honest, for most obese people, a lot of our issues with food stem from something deeper then just the good taste of banana cream pie. 

I am no different.  I KNOW that all of my "issues" with food stem from my emotions.  I KNOW that I eat when I am feeling stressed, lonely, tired, bored, sad, or even happy.  I KNOW all of this but I am starting to realize that while I KNOW all this, I have not let myself FEEL it for years. 

In order to protect myself from myself I turn to food.  But, I don't just turn to food, I also disengage.  I live in my head.  I am an intellectual type person.  I think and think and over-think everything.  In a way this is a HUGE defense mechanism.  Thinking is my way of disengaging.  I can rationalize my emotions and therefor not have to actually feel them and, in turn, deal with them. 

I THINK I am dealing with them by thinking about them but really I am just rationalizing, which is definitely not the same as dealing with them.  In order to face ones emotional shortcomings (though I am not sure I like that word as it has a negative connotation - will have to work on finding a more fitting word), one must actually face them.  I am just now starting to work on that.  It's a slow and arduous process as I am trying to retrain long standing habits that I once believed were helping.

I know now that through both food and thinking, I believed I was helping myself, preserving myself from feeling too much.  The thing is, there is no such thing as feeling too much.  There is no emotion too big that I can't handle.  (Again, this is my brain talking.  My heart still doesn't fully believe or grasp this concept.)

So, how am I combating this?  I can't really put it in to words as the process is all still new to me.  I am trying to listen to my heart more.  When I feel an urge to eat or zone out into thinking too much, I try and stop for a moment to be present in whatever it is that is causing me to want to retreat.  Most of the time this is very hard as my instinct is to flee into my head or the ice cream bowl.  I've had a couple mini-breakthrough moments but it is still very much a battle for me. 

This is where I am right now in the process.  I am working through and trying to better identify what I am truly FEELING and let myself actually FEEL it, even the bad stuff.  If I need to break down in order to breakthrough, so be it.  I know once I better learn to let myself FEEL just what is actually there rather then trying to eat or think it away, I will be able to better move on and let go.  Because really, until I can do all that, I am just rehashing and falling victim to my own caged emotions. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Move it and lose it, Toots!

I move.  You move.  We all move. 

I don't exercise.  I despise exercise.  Exercise sucks.  It hurts.  It's hot.  It makes me cranky just thinking about it.  It shall be forever known as the "e-word".

Part of the whole WLS journey is adding the dreaded e-word into your routine.  I tried doing it and failed miserably so I stopped.  I stopped e-wording and started moving.  Moving suits me so much more then the e-word ever did or will.

The e-word is a loaded word.  It gets thrown around so much that it's become heavy with expectations.  I don't do well with those sorts of things because I am a perfectionist.  I MUST get my 30 minutes in a day.  I MUST sweat this much.  I MUST get my heart rate up to this level.  BALONEY!!!! 

So, now I move.  I listen to my lovely little (well smaller then before) body and she tells me what feels good and right.  She knows when I need a walk instead of a cookie.  She knows when a dip in the pool will do me just fine.  She knows when dancing around my room to really random music will make my heart sing.  She knows when chasing after a stinky mutt will actually be fun and not a penalty for not locking the gate.  She knows when that Pilate's class at the Y, that always leaves her just a little more sore then it seems like it should at the time, is actually just what the doctor ordered. 

You see, up until recently I didn't trust her.  I lived solely in my head and heart and forgot to give my lovely little body a say in what I was doing with her.  Shame on me!  She has a lot of great things to say and low and behold all this moving actually not only appeases Miss Corpal Loveliness but also eases and appeases the intellectual and emotional lovelinesses as well!  Who'da thunk it???

Does this mean that I always listen to Miss CL?  Nah!  Sometimes I can be a stubborn ox but I am learning more and more to listen to her and move it, move it, move it! 

I always feel so good once all's said and done and it's not even that ego stroke kind of, "I rock I did something good for myself.  I deserve a cookie." kind of feeling good either.  It is the my-lovely-lady-lumps-are-sore-and-lethargic-and-worked-all-to-goodness feeling good.  I sit down and I can feel each and every muscle I have so long neglected.  I can feel how each one connects to one another and to my lovely bones and tendons and how because of them I can MOVE in the first place!  I can feel them cool down after being warm from use and sheer pleasure of it all. 

So, every day I try and listen to Miss Corporal Lovely and move when she says move.  It works out so much better then the evil e-word.  You really should try it sometime. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Philosophy (ies)

In my last post I mentioned being 100-some pounds lighter.  I don't know my exact weight loss for a number of reasons but I am honestly happy to keep it that way as it fits my philosophy for this whole journey.

It all starts with the simple and true fact that I am an addict.  I am a food-addict.  My surgery cannot and will not change this fact; this is something I have to deal with no matter the size of my pouch or rerouting of my innards.  As part of this battle, I often find myself becoming obsessed with food and then on the flip side, weight loss.  So, to help combat my tendency towards obsession, I don't track.  I don't count calories.  I don't count fat, sugar, or protein.  I don't journal. I don't obsess (or so that's the goal).

This all actually started with my surgeon.  While my WLS office does weigh me, they do not encourage their patients to count calories.  They believe, as do I, that this journey should not be treated as a diet where one must track and journal and watch everything like a hawk.  Instead it is about learning to listen to your body, not you emotions or your mind, but your body.  To listen to your body you have to learn how to trust it.  I trust it by eating until I feel satisfied (not FULL).  With an itty-bitty stomach, this is not nearly as hard to do as it was before surgery.

I try to make healthy food choices and do watch (not count) my protein and sugar intakes.  Again, this is something in which my body will let me know when I've gone off track.  While I don't dump per say, I do get gnarly headaches when I eat more sugar then I should.  And the protein?  I get light-headed and dizzy when my protein intake dips too low.  My body knows what I need and so I try to listen to her.  She really does have my best interest at heart.

So back to my poundage.  In the beginning of this journey I did count the pounds.  I mean let's be honest when you are dropping that quickly after many years of the scale going up, it can be a total rush to watch the numbers plummet like a lead balloon.  But, then you start to plateau and you find yourself playing the old head games with yourself and so I stopped.  I stopped worrying about the scale and haven't looked back.  Every once in a while I will step on the scale just to get an idea but I do not and will not let myself become a scale whore ever again.

I now base my progress on the real stuff, on the stuff that really matters, the stuff that was my motivation for all of this in the first place.  I base it on how I feel in my own lovely skin (flabby as it may be).  I base it on the fact that I am now comfortable in skirts, as my thighs no longer rub and chaff. I base it on the fact that clothes that once were impossible to get into are now actually TOO BIG!  I base it on the fact that I spent 3 weeks traveling in the UK and was able to see and do all I wanted to without feeling sore, uncomfortable, achy, or anything but ready for the next day of adventure.  I base it on the fact that I take my pup for a one-mile walk on a whim without batting an eye.  I base it on the fact that I have yet to hit a wall when swimming laps in the pool, I stop because I have run out of time, not because I can't possibly go any further.  I base it on the true and simple fact that I feel better and healthier then I ever have before.

I do still struggle, don’t get me wrong. I make unhealthy food choices.  I push my pouch just a little too far.  I get lazy and don’t move (remember I don’t exercise – I move).  But, I am slowly learning something about this whole thing: guilt and shame over bad choices, pounds gained, lazy days, and simple lack of effort will only perpetuate the cycle.  Being loving and kind with myself is when I am most apt to shine.  When I am not doing all this because I “have” to but rather because I want to, I start to feel better all around.  I forgive the bumps in the road and look at the whole picture and realize how far I have come and that is nothing to be ashamed of!

*Disclosure: Despite all this, I still reserve the right to have down days and woe-is-me blog posts but this is ultimately what I am striving for every day!

10 months and 100-some pounds later....

I had intentions of starting this blog even before I had my RNY Gastric Bypass in August 2009 but as they say, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."  So here I am, 10 months later, 100-some pounds lighter, and finally getting around to my first post. 

Why now?  Well, while my brain knew that weight loss surgery was not the magic bullet, my heart may not have gotten the message as I am now finding myself falling back into many old habits.  I feel that putting my thoughts and feelings on this whole thing out there for all the world to see might just help me get back to the place I want to be.  No, despite what many people might think, this is not about weight loss.  It's about making healthy long-lasting life-altering choices that will not only give my life more year but my years more life.

I will be using the space to talk about all things weight loss surgery related, food related, movement related (I don't exercise - I move), and hang-up related (let's be honest, that's what got us to this spot in the first place).  So, come along and join the ride.  I'd like to think that this diatribe might help to enlighten others but most of all, it's to enlighten (no pun intended) myself.

Welcome and thanks for reading!