Thursday, October 22, 2009

In a moment of clarity

Goober says:  "What?  I'm not supposed to be up here??"

I may be on to something here.

My last post showed my weight loss.  About 6 lbs in the last month, right?  After my visit with the surgeon and asking him about my weight loss slowing down, I started to think a bit, especiall since he said my weight should still be coming off about 10 lbs a month now. 

So I started thinking, "what has changed?  What have I done that's different?"  Well, my food choices have changed.  Since I've been able to eat a little more at a sitting I've been making new food choices.  I've actually branched out into the artificial sweetener arena.  I never went there before because nutrasweet is NOT my friend.  Gives me migraines.  So, I choose foods and drinks with Splenda.  I've been eating more quantity-wise and drinking more drinks sweetened with Splenda.  Hmmm.  I'm beginning to think that the reports may be right.  Those reports, which I'm too lazy to look up and link, say that just because a food/drink is sweetened with artificial sweeteners doesn't make it healthy.  Those reports also said that too many artificial sweeteners can make you fat. 

Armed with that information, I am going to cut out the artificial sweeteners now and see what happens in the next month.  I'll give up my 10 calorie waters and my diet cinnamon-flavored oatmeal amongst other foods and see if the weight doesn't come off easier.  I'll add in my smoothies and juices occasionally since I've slacked off in that area.

Another thought:  In the past month or so, I've noticed my thinking is clouded.  It's harder for me to keep two thoughts together sometimes.  Hard to concentrate.  Think it's the sweeteners?  I don't know.  Maybe I'm just losing my mind, but it's interesting to think about.  I'm very sensitive to medication doses, so maybe I'm uber sensitive to sweeteners, too. 

I'll do some changing and report back on this in a month.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crossing Over

No, I am not dying.
I feel like I'm at a cross-over point.  Like I am finally leaving the obese Debbie behind and moving towards the slimmer Debbie.  It's weird how just a number, my weight, makes such a difference in how I see myself.  Here are my weights from the last month:
09/16/09        232.0
09/26/09        229.4
10/11/09        228.0
10/20/09        225.8
My body is changing and I'm now realizing that my brain is a little behind.  Until today, I felt like I had the same mentality of the Debbie of pre-surgery.  Like I still "thought" of things as I did before, but today, TODAY, feels different.  Maybe it's because the scale said 225.  Only 26 lbs until I get to One-derland, you know that?  I haven't been there in 22 years!  That's a long time to be over 200 lbs.
I'm feeling like I'm a "normal" person.  I can shop in regular stores now.  Old Navy is my friend.  They carry my sizes:  20 in pants and 18 (or XL!) in tops and dresses.  I am so thrilled with that.  No more fat lady stores!  I can wear cute, stylish clothes now.  I am going a bit crazy with the shopping, though.  It's so much fun that I have to stop myself from buying a whole new wardrobe at this size, so I buy a some tops and some pants and hope that will get me through this weight for awhile.  
I had my 3-month appointment with the surgeon today.  We talked about the diarrhea which most likely is a lactose intolerance thing.  Maybe hidden milk products in foods I'm eating.  Ok, I can deal with that.  He asked about my iron levels and if I'm taking my multivits and yes, I remember to take them occasionally.  I also forget to take the daily B1 and the weekly B12.  I'm just terrible at taking pills.  I can remember the morning pills because I take them when I brush my teeth, but the ones later in the day, not so much.  Maybe I'll take the vitamins after I brush my teeth at night.  Maybe that's a good reminder.  I swear, I can be so juvenile sometimes.
Along the thought of iron, he asked about menopause and periods and since I haven't had a period since 1988, I'm good there, but I said I thought my iron was ok since I passed the finger prick test when I gave blood.  He says, "You gave blood?!"  Um, oops.  He said it is very difficult for gastric bypass patients to keep their iron levels up to normal and when you give blood, it depletes the iron or severely lowers it and it is very difficult to build up the iron levels again.  Oh crap!  I had no idea.  He says find another way to help out.  Ok, doc, I'll do that.  Sorry, but why wasn't I told this before?  Maybe they told us and I forgot, but still...
So mentally, how am I doing?  Ok.  Just ok.  I've taken a break from interacting with psychological things to get my into my head and hear myself.  Feel myself.  Not literally, but inside me.  I'm really trying to get in touch with ME.  How food makes me feel, why I feel the way I am feeling at that very moment.  I've been so out of touch for so long, I really need this.  I think I am about done with being by myself because I'm missing the friends I've cut out for this little while.  I didn't cut them out because they were bad, it's because they were part of my past and I needed to just be current.  Does that make sense?  I adore my friends and couldn't live without them, but I needed a mental break.  I know they understand and I'm now ready to join the world again.
What a journey this has been so far.  I so needed this.  I feel like I'm starting a new life and it is wonderful!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?!

I feel like my stomach and my brain are at war and no one is listening to the other one.

I've had some really good weeks, but these past two or three have been a semi-hell.  All of a sudden I found I could eat a little more at a sitting and that has made brain happy.  Closer to eating like the old days, only not so much and not as junky eating, just more quantity.  Then stomach decides that isn't such a good idea and it rebels.

So I've had this thing now for the 2-3 weeks of stomach pain, the over-full feeling with food backed up into my esophagus and mild discontent (brain).  The stomach knows it has more acreage and just doesn't want to share with brain.  So how do I get bossy brain to back off and give me some peace?

I've decided to go back to basics.  Less foods, blander foods and eat more often instead of the 4 hour schedule I was on.  That seems to be working.  Somewhat.  Brain still wants more food.  Brain even thinks it can eat sugar, but stomach says NO!  Stomach says, well, I'll let you eat sugar, but I won't actually give you a big sugar dump in the sense of hurting and incapacitating you.  No, I'll just make you tired as hell.  Make you want to sleep like RIGHT NOW!  Let me tell you, this plan does not work.

I don't like this war.  Who would?  I have to work out a plan to make brain and stomach work peaceably together.  I need a mediator.  Need to get back to counseling more often.  Need to listen to stomach more than brain.  Who says the brain is the smartest anyways?  Certainly not stomach.

I think part of this semi-hell I'm in is because I'm not talking to anyone about it.  Not sharing how I feel.  Getting feedback.  I don't tell people that I feel crappy, that I have food backed up into my esophagus and it hurts like hell.  Who wants to hear a complainer especially when they really can't do anything about it?  I don't want to be a complainer so I keep it to myself. 

I have an appt with the surgeon next week, and I will talk to him about this for sure.  Just when I thought things were going along so smoothly, this happens.  So weird.  Maybe it's normal at this stage in the game, I don't know.  I'll find out.

On a more positive note, I'm down to 228 and I'm in smaller clothes again.  Yay.  I'm down to a 20 in pants and an 18 in the top.  I just got another couple of bags of clothes from Johanna and I can fit into almost everything she gave me.  I know those clothes were too big for her because yowza, you should've seen her in her smaller black leather pants and bustier last night.  Oooh-la-la!  She says the bustier is coming my way soon.  Holy moley!  I hope it looks as good on me as it did on her. 

Going to feed stomach now and make brain take a time out.

Monday, October 5, 2009

How do you see yourself?

I don't mean, "I see myself as a loving, giving person".  I mean, "I see myself as a fit, but overweight person".  I'm talking in the physical sense of seeing.
When I was more overweight than I am now, I would look in the mirror and yes, I'd see myself - all my rolls and wideness (is that a word?) and puffiness.  Yes, I'd see the physical part, but I still felt like a thin person.  Oh, I knew wearing a size 24 dress was for obese women, yet I still felt thinner in my mind.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
I'm not saying I was in denial about who large I was/am, but rather I felt/feel like a thin person inside.  I know there's a thin woman in there somewhere!  I look back at pictures of me taken in social situations and now I am amazed/apalled.  How could I let myself get so large?  I didn't feel so large when I was there.  I mean, ok, 290 is LARGE, but I didn't feel so LARGE all the time.  In my mind, I was overweight, but not LARGE  -  until I saw the pictures. 
Could it be that I had unconsciously edited my physical being from myself?  Is that denial or was it a way to cope?  In group therapy, one of our assignments was to look at ourselves naked in the mirror.  Really look at ourselves.  There were those in the group that could not look at themselves at the beginning but eventually, they did.  They may not have liked what they saw, but they LOOKED.  That's my point.  I think.  We LOOK, not just see and move on. 
So now at 230 lbs, do I look different naked?  Of course I do.  I'm 60 lbs lighter!  Do I like how I look?  Well, it's getting better.  My stomach is definitely smaller and my butt is smaller.  Clothes sizes are smaller.  Today I feel pretty terrific.  I have clothes on that fit and look nice on my body.  Do I like what I see?  Yes.  BUT.
BUT I am still a large person by society and health standards.  Yes, I still have thunder thighs, yes I still have a poochy stomach (who wouldn't at 230 lbs?), yes, my arms are flappy (ewww), but I feel great.  I just cannot get complacent with this feeling.  Why?  Because I was complacent at 290, too. 
I need to stay deeply in touch with the physical part of my body.  I need to be aware of how my body is changing.  I WANT to be more fit and healthy, so I need to not get comfortable with how I am right now.  I struggle with this all this time, I hope this isn't as confusing to you as it is to me. 
I am comfortable in my own skin, yes.  I am comfortable sunbathing in the nude.  I don't think that is so much about showing a body as it is being comfortable who you are.  We all have scars or rolls or fat or excess body hair.  Whatever.  It's what makes us US, it doesn't define us.  It's just the body we were given. 
I wish I could define what I'm trying to say.  I wish I had a word for it, but I don't.  This is such a mental game.  I don't stress over it, I just try to accept it.  Anyone who says gastric bypass is the easy way out to lose weight should have their head examined.  Literally.