Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Weight and your past

I utterly and completely believe that so much of our weight comes from our past, our feelings about ourselves. I believe that our environment as a youth impacted our way of thinking about our bodies, especially as young women or men.

Educating our children now is so important. I am all for Body Acceptance and Dieting should be eradicated from the earth!! :) I wished I had a foundation growing up based on accepting my body for the way it was. I wished that I wasn't put on a diet as a teenager. I wish I knew what healthy eating looked like, but, I can't go back and change it.

My parents were stress eaters. I watched what they ate, and so much focus was on me being a "big girl", when in reality...I really wasn't. Dieting lead down a destructive path. A road that I wished I never took. But, I did and for other reasons that I will discuss later. That and being introduced to the world of dieting at such an early age led to some serious health issues for me. When you yo-yo so much, your bodies metabolism really gets messed with. Your hormones get out of whack. Eventually, your body doesn't know whether it is coming or going.

Anyway, I wonder if you learned bad habits growing up and how your upbringing affected your weight? Thoughts?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Get your head in the game!!

I cannot stress enough to anyone looking to get any type of Weight Loss surgery done to "get your head in the game" aka do your emotional homework. Someone told me to take stock of my "emotional inventory". I was like "what?!"

So, what does that mean?. Being overweight at any size (20lbs, 50lbs, 100lbs, 200lbs and up) there is usually an emotional component connected to it. The program that I am in at Duke is very serious about psychology. I think some people are scared to death of the Psychiatrists. Some are worried that they won't "pass" the psychological tests and they won't get to move through the program. I see so many people want to race through the process and click off the "to-do" list to get to surgery.

I will admit that when they told me that they were putting me on "hold" until I went to weekly therapy sessions. I was like "what? I have done therapy before...this is not going to help". I felt like it was red tape. But, then when I started going....and I have been every week....it has been a HUGE part of my life now. I really understood how my past, and my current way of living can be traced all the way back to my past. I realize that I have used food as my friend. I play with it as a child would with their favorite toy, then the next thing came along...and they threw the old toy away. It is something that I know from childhood through habits, through modeling my parents, and use it as away to escape from stress.

If I could say anything to anyone even starting to look into surgery....DON'T DO IT until you have really worked through some of your past, your reasons for dieting, are you an emotional eater? If so, why? Are you addicted? Asking the painful question....How did you get fat? and how did you get there? You are going to have to be ready to have a plan for when the food is gone. It is this whole new way of looking at it. Be ready to change your whole world. This is the toughest part on me. I haven't even had surgery yet. But, I know this is going to be my toughest part of the journey. I know for me that I am going to have to really stop and think about my actions (i.e. grabbing that candy bar when my sugar drops). Instead look for protein when I have a sugar low. When I am upset, lonely, sad, any emotional feeling...get outside. Take the kids and walk.....exercise, write...find something else to do. I just want to be with honest with everyone out there. Most of obesity is from our head. We take out all of our emotions, feelings and put it in our mouth via food.

Ice cream for me (the homemade kind) is like a bottle of vodka for an alcoholic. When the kids (I have 3 under 7) screaming all at the same time...the old way was for me to grab a tub of ice cream and stand in the kitchen with a HUGE spoon and eat it practically all the way to the bottom. Not even noticing. It became such a habit. Now, when the rest of my family wants a dessert...I find an alternative...a sugar free Popsicle. Or I go to another room.

This will take a very long time as it took a long time to get to where you are. All I am saying...make sure you have your "head in the game".

My first support group meeting..

I went to my first support group meeting yesterday (not Duke sponsored) and it was so great to meet people who have already had surgery. In fact, I was the only pre-op. It was so inspirational to meet these beautiful ladies that had come out on the other side. One woman was 7 years out and to hear her advice and comments were invaluable.

Don't get me wrong...it wasn't that their surgeries were all sunshine. Each of them had complications. I wanted to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. I knew of all the complications going into this. But, it was also good to hear real life experiences. But, each of them are fine...they are feeling better and their health is better.

Of course, I had the "you don't look like you need surgery" talk. At first, it made me upset. But, then, I realize that it just a different perspective. I don't think it was meant to be negative. I am right at 5'8 and with these tennis shoes that I wear..it makes me about 5'10. I felt extremely tall. The rest of the women were a little shorter. So, I think why everyone was surprised at my weight and my clothes size is that I am taller. I wear my weight a little different.

I had a great time....but, it did leave me with a lot of mixed emotions...like "is she right, am i really too small to have it done?, or am I wrong for having this done?".

I am 256 lbs, size 24/26. How is that too small?

Anyway...it was great to meet others who have gone through the process and I found some great friends!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Change of Blog Look...

Shew!! A little simple edit to my blog ended up erasing the whole thing, including comments. Anywho....I decided that while I was piecing it back together, I would just give it a different look.
I managed to find most of my old postings. Yes....you are on the right blog....

I am back to blogging!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Technical Difficulties...

Ok....Note to self....never try to change your blog to a new ID. I am ticked.......I have lost everything. But, no worries.... I will get it back. It may not be everything, but, I will do my best. So, no your eyes are not deceiving you.....it is me.

Will be back up and running soon!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Lightweight Club

OK....this is the wildest thing that I have heard. I am considered in some weight loss surgery groups as part of the Lightweight "group". Wow...who would have known? A "lightweight?" Craziness!!! I am not sure what qualifies as a lightweight....I think it is those with a BMI of 45 or below. I think somewhere under 300-350lbs.

I have to confess here...I have struggled with some issues that most people would never think of. I have a lot of friends and family saying "You are crazy...you don't need weight loss surgery", or "there is NO WAY that you could qualify". In one way, I try to take it as a compliment. In another...I realize that most people just don't understand my situation.

This isn't about aesthetics for me. I hope it will be a nice side-effect. But, what those that are close to me don't know are things that I have kept from them. I think sometimes, people don't really want to hear all your "issues and complaints and ailments". I keep a lot to myself, even with those very close to me. The truth is....my weight has caused a significant amount of health issues for me. I didn't have these problems a few years ago. In fact, a year ago when I posted pictures of me after coming home from Russia...I was almost 60 lbs lighter.

I had a hysterectomy about that same time. After that, things have progressively gotten worse. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Insulin Resistance (that for about 5 years now), High Blood Pressure, Fatty Liver, Plantar something something....basically heel spurs brought on by weight gain, high cholesterol and asthma. I NEVER had these things prior to my first child. I was considered overweight. But, never like this. My quality of life is tough on me. I feel as if I am 80 years old. So, this surgery isn't about boosting my self esteem or trying to be a skinny-mini. I want to live a longer life. Even my cardiologist says that I have to do some serious work to reverse what is going on. This is shocking to me seeing that I was healthy as a horse prior to 7 years ago. I feel like I have to justify why I am getting it done. But, I realize that I don't.

What is strange, in my extended family...we have a lot of overweight relatives. But, not all of them have any health problems. Maybe some have one or two. So, for them...accepting where they are works for them. I think I would be able to handle my weight a lot better if I could live and feel like a normal healthy person. My parents have a lot of health problems and they are overweight. They have a hard time understanding why I have so many issues at a young age. They think that they are that way because they are older. We aren't the same...so, food, insulin and other things are happening to me that they can't understand. In fact, no one in my family can understand.

At the end of the day, I am the one that has to live in my body and deal with the consequences of being overweight. A lot of it is hereditary, metabolic changes, hormones, and poor food choices. So, when you say that I am too small to have this surgery. No, I really am not. My doctors are behind me and feel that it is in my best interest to get my life back on track. This is NOT the answer for everyone. Because some haven't got the issues that I have. Some can diet and work out like crazy and it is gone. I have tried so hard to be that person . It is not in the cards.

I appreciate all of my family and friends worrying about me. I know that they care. But, I hope they realize that this was a long, thought out process for me. And this is my last hope so it seems, to get any sort of resemblance to a healthier lifestyle. If they had to walk in my shoes for the last few years and my million doctor appointments and the disappointments of yet another failed diet. Then, I think they would be more supportive or understanding.

I think after surgery, they will see that when I lose the weight and medicines start to drop off and some of these conditions go away....they will be glad that I did it. For now, it is the unknown that scares everyone. I can appreciate that. But, my faith is strong and I know that I am doing the right thing. I have to focus on the positive now. Because all I have done is worry, worry, worry and not feel good and the cycle goes on. I have to be positive even knowing the chances of things that could go wrong (trust me, everyone that I meet has some horror story). But, they were the same people who told me all their horror stories when we were pregnant, and or adopting. For me....I HAVE to focus on what will go RIGHT.

I have to keep the positivity around me. For those of you who have not gone the path of WLS....it is a tough and sometimes lonely road. Because the world only sees or knows of certain things. Thankfully, there are many support groups. Even a "lightweight" board.

Thank god for the internet!!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I am feeling frustrated...... I haven't felt the best...not sure if it is some sort of stomach bug. All I know is that I have been hurting. Dr. took lots of tests and even sent me for a CT scan. My liver enzymes were elevated (doc said I had a little liver inflammation) and my CT scan showed a Fatty liver. I was NOT happy about that. What does fatty liver mean to me? Well...it is not from alcohol...I don't drink that much. It could be from some of the medications that I take for cholesterol, and high blood pressure. But, what I am told is that some people with Insulin resistance or diabetes...the way it your liver metabolizes fat or sugar can cause this. I have heard that a lot of overweight people have it.

But, what the most concerning thing is...it is not good to have a fatty liver going into RNY surgery. I have contacted my surgeon about it. The main reason being is that they want your liver as small as possible to be able to maneuver around. What I hear happens to most people is they have to go on a high protein diet or total liquid diet weeks before surgery to shrink the liver.

It is so frustrating...because this is just one more thing on the list that has gone on with my body. It drives me crazy. Frustrated....