Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Self Image

When you are fat (overweight) you don't want anyone to notice you. You want to blend in to the crowd and be an average person. For so many years Ive felt like an embarrassment to my husband and children. I didn't want to meet his coworkers or old friends because of what they might think about me.

I am very self conscious and have a major self image issue. It started back when I was in elementary school. I was called fat by other kids in my class (usually boys) By the time I was in middle school I was actually pretty thin and more developed than the other girls but in my brain I was fat. When I compared myself to the others I didn't realize that I looked more like a young woman and they were not there yet. I thought I was supposed to look like them. I hated myself.

My weight became an issue after having my first child. My body went through a roller coaster of things for many years. I had a baby, three months later I had emergency gal bladder surgery and they had to do it the old fashioned way (about a 5 inch cut in my abdominal area) 8 months after that I was pregnant again. Two years later I was pregnant again and four years after that I was pregnant with my last baby. I kept weight on after every baby.

Fast forward to now.......  Ive lost 50 lbs and I feel so much better even though the doctor considers me still obese.  I'm still working on losing more. At first, I still didn't want to be noticed. I had not told many about my VSG and I didn't want them asking. I still wanted to be unnoticed.  After losing 50 lbs and feeling so much better I began to wonder why no one has noticed a 50lb loss. I started thinking how shallow I must have been before when I was so self conscious about myself I thought everyone noticed my weight issue when in fact they just don't notice ME at all.

I feel invisible. I am realizing that I have so much more to work on within myself other than my weight. Losing the weight might make me feel better physically and a little bit better as far as my self image issues are concerned but it cant fix it all.

I had read that many struggle with anxiety and depression after or during weight loss and I think its finally hitting me. I wish I were not so self conscience, I wish I did not concern myself with how others see me but I simply cannot shake those thoughts and feelings. It would be nice to hear that I look good once in awhile but most people (even the ones that know about the VSG dont comment at all.)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Worst Week Ever

This has been one tough week. Valentines started off with me rushing my husband to the ER with kidney stones. A few days later our beloved Lucky ran into a truck driving past our house and was killed. My daughter was at home sick that day (it was pretty traumatic for her) A few days after that the man who hit Lucky stopped by to "apologize once again" but then said he wants $250 for damages to his truck.

I cant explain how devastated we are. We rescued him when he was 2 days old, bottle fed him every 2 hours day and night and he was the best dog. We were more attached to him than any of our other dogs. Our hearts are empty. I just want him back.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Confession Letter to My Friends

As of this morning, Ive lost 50 lbs!!  My weight loss has been a year in the making but only now is it beginning to be noticeable (to some) Ive had a lot of people asking me questions about how I'm doing it, so today I decided to reveal all my secrets! 

One year ago in December I hit my highest weight and was completely miserable. I decided that I had to make a change. I decided to see a doctor that specializes in weight loss. I went in for monthly visits while he talked me through some changes I needed to make.  

The following are changes I made (and in this order)

  • I STOPPED DRINKING SOFT DRINKS.  For me, it was better to go cold turkey. weaning myself off them was NOT an option. 
  • I STARTED WORKING TOWARDS DRINKING 64OZ OF WATER A DAY. This was a challenge. Ive never drank much water. I decided that PureLife flavored waters were a good option. I purchased a bottle with times on it, so that I could stay on track and meet my daily goal. it wasn't easy, it took me weeks (more like months) 
  • I STARTED EATING 5-6 TIMES A DAY! My doctor told me that skipping meals was one of the leading causes of obesity. I was notorious for not eating breakfast and sometimes lunch, then Id want to snack all evening. He told me to purchase the book, Eating for Life,  (and I did purchase it on Amazon for only a few dollars) He told me to start eating like the book teaches. I STARTED EATING 5-6 TIMES A DAY smaller meals/snacks. The book contains many awesome recipes but also teaches you how to plan out your 5-6 meals/snacks a day. 
  • I STARTED EATING SMALLER PORTIONS. I no longer use a dinner plate but I use the smaller breakfast plate for every meal. I do not get seconds. 
  • I STARTED EXERCISING.  This is my least favorite part of my weight loss journey! Ive never liked exercising but its an important part. I joined my local Refit class and go once a week. I started walking (if the weather cooperates) More recently I started with a little weight training and stair stepper. 
Now, while doing these things I also started researching and talking with my doctor about weight loss surgeries. Most of us know someone who has had Gastric Bypass . I read up on the procedure and felt like this was NOT the option for me. I then learned about another procedure, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. This procedure is less invasive, faster recovery time and comparable results to the bypass. There is no bypassing part of the intestines. The procedure simply makes your stomach smaller so you physically cannot eat too much. It makes it so that you can only eat small amounts at a time.  (which goes right along with the book, Eating for Life. ) I talked to my doctor about my interest in the VSG and he agreed that it would be a great TOOL for me if I stayed with the plans we were already putting in place. The thing about this procedure is ITS NOT AN EASY FIX.  You can have the surgery and eat all the wrong things,the wrong ways and gain weight.  I decided to work towards the surgery and after much medical testing (swallow test, EKG, Psychological evaluations, etc...) my insurance approved me. 

  • VSG WAS SCHEDULED.  Two weeks prior to the surgery I STARTED THE LIVER SHRINKING DIET.  (Anyone can do it,  without surgery)  Week 1 was a protein shake (I used Bariatric Advantage due to more vitamins and less than 1 gram of sugar) for breakfast, then a protein snack three hours later, A protein shake for lunch, a protein snack three hours after lunch and finally a lean meat and green vegetable for dinner.  Week 2 was an all liquid diet. 5 protein shakes a day (every three hours) with only water in between.  The first three days were rough, but after that my body went into keytosis. I LOST 20 LBS IN TWO WEEKS !!!  Once you are in keytosis its important not to add sugar or carbs back into the diet. 
  • IN NOVEMBER I HAD VSG SURGERY.  I can only eat small amounts at a time. It has not been much of an adjustment because I had already started eating 5 small meals a day months before surgery.  I was in the hospital two days (out of work for 10) The thing to remember is that this surgery is a tool and it only works if I use it as a tool and eat the right things the right ways. Currently my stomach only holds about 1/4 cup of food at a time. It will naturally stretch with time and I will be able to eat more at a time. If I do not stay on track, I can and will gain weight. 
  • IT HAS TAKEN ME NEARLY A YEAR OF CHANGING HABITS BUT IVE NOW LOST 50LBS. I am not losing fast, but I'm losing steady. I go up to a month and lose nothing but I continue with my new habits. 
  • I ALWAYS MAKE A PLAN.  Every day I know what my breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner will be. If you don't have a plan, its easy to get stuck and end up making bad choices or skipping meals. 
  • ITS OK TO CELEBRATE BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES. My awesome surgeon, Dr Bovard, says to go by the book (Eating for Life) every day but for rare special occasions, its ok to enjoy something I wouldn't normally eat. After that, get back to the plan. Ive never had a doctor that I loved as much as this one! He is down to earth, explains everything, takes time with his patients and the follow up plan after surgery is great. I have met with and emailed questions to the Nutritionist on staff and she always helps me out by answering questions or looking over my food journal to make sure I'm eating correctly. 
  • WHAT IS MY DAILY MEAL PLAN LIKE?  Here it is.... 7:00 Protein Shake  10:00 Oikos Triple Zero Yogurt (1/2 container) 1:00 Protein Lunch (example: refried beans with ricotta cheese and salsa or sliced turkey, cheese)  4:00 protein shake  6-7 Dinner (example: Tilapia and broccoli or Baked Ricotta or any protein dinner with a little veggies)   I EAT AT LEAST 60 grams OF PROTEIN A DAY AND NO CARBS AND VERY LITTLE SUGAR. 
  • DID I TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT? If you read all this and think I took the easy way out then there is nothing I can do to get you to understand that this is not easy. I work daily to get the correct amount of protein, water, to keep sugar and carbs out of my diet and to do everything as Dr Bovard has taught me. 
  • WHY DID IT TAKE THIS LONG TO TELL EVERYONE? I told my immediate family and only a few friends that I was having VSG. The main reason was that I didn't want negativity. I didn't want to hear how you know someone who died having weight loss surgery or how you know people who gained the weight back etc...  I did my research, I chose the right surgery for me and I have done the work it requires to lose the weight. WHY AM I CONFESSING NOW? I have lost 50lbs, I feel great, I saw Dr Bovard this week for my 3 month post op visit and he said I'm doing awesome. He also said, "You need to understand that I did not do this. I gave you a tool and you are using it correctly and getting the results you wanted/needed"
  • CAN YOU DO ALL THESE THINGS AND GET RESULTS WITHOUT SURGERY? I have no doubt that you can do these things and lose weight. Surgery was the right thing for me. Its not the right thing for everyone. However, if you are considering weight loss surgery? I strongly suggest Bariatric Specialists of NC and specifically, Dr Bovard.  

Friday, February 5, 2016

Second Date of the Year

The second date of the year was a movie night at home complete with snacks. The night did not go as planned due to the DVD being messed up and unwatchable. Then I chose something on Netflix and it was the dumbest movie Ive ever watched! The snacks were good and at least we got a good laugh out of the night. 

February brings two more dates for the year! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Weight Loss Update

 I started January at 211 lbs.  today I started February at 204 lbs. I really wanted to hit my first goal of 50lbs by today but that didn't happen. I continue the same diet but the weight loss is going slow. I am now working out every day of the week but struggling with my water intake. Over the weekend I went clothes shopping and was so happy to find I'm 3 sizes down!
I'm tired of dressing in over sized frumpy clothes! I'm losing weight, feeling better and will dress accordingly! I go back in three weeks to meet with my surgeon and I really hope I lose quite a bit more by then! Id love to walk in 60lbs lower !