Sunday, January 31, 2010

Plateau--it's not just a song Nirvana once sang!

I seem to be on an endless plateau. Wow. My weight has been the same for over a month. I started walking last week and yet, here we still are.

One of my friends--who happens to be a nurse--informed me recently that a weight plateau can last for a year. (A YEAR??? Someone, please tell me this is not so.) She said some reasonable stuff that made sense, like that your body hits plateaus (plateaux?) so it can get used to the weight it is now before it can go on and lose some more weight. I can buy that, I suppose. But a YEAR??? If I just stall here for another eleven months, I am going to be sore discouraged.

My fear is, of course, that this is about what I weighed in my early 20s and that I'm not going to get any smaller. As much as I'm glad I had the surgery and say "even if I don't lose any more weight, it was worth it," I really want to lose the rest of the damn weight. As far as I'm concerned, I'm only halfway there.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Haven't blogged in a while...

...because I haven't had much to say, or the energy to say it. Someone I care about a great deal has been missing since early this month, and I have been thinking and worrying about him a lot. I've also been working quite a bit and finally succumbed to a migraine I've been fighting for a week today.

I've been frustrated with my weight, because I haven't lost much of late. (Today I weighed in at 210.) Even though my weight isn't changing much, I am still transitioning gradually into my smaller clothes. I am trying not to be annoyed by sizing weirdness (some size 20 jeans can still be snug, but my stretchy pants are 14/16s with plenty of room). Amazingly, my feet seem to have shrunk! I can wear a size 8 now. I don't think I need wide or extra-wide width anymore, either, which is tremendous.

I've started to exercise a couple of times a week. I've done aerobics once (made it through the warm-up, but that was all I could manage as of now). I've had more success doing some walking. The walking results in my ankle hurting pretty badly for days afterward, but it feels good to be outside, getting fresh air and moving. I am just taking it easy and going day by day right now.

Costco discontinued my favorite protein bullets (Body Choice 25g Protein Shots), which I am not happy about. I can order them directly from the manufacturer, but the base cost is 25% higher than it was at Costco and there's shipping to boot. I've tried several other protein bullets, but haven't liked the taste as well or couldn't choke them down at all. Since I put three supplements (chromium, niacin, vitamin D) into protein bullets so I can get them down every day, having some around that I can tolerate is important. Costco still carries Muscle Milk Light, but I've lost my taste for it. They also have the Premier Nutrition high protein chocolate shakes that are 30mg protein--which I prefer to Muscle Milk Light--but I have become much more sensitive to milk than I once was. (The surgeons and nutritionists told me that was a possibility, so I knew that going in.) I wouldn't call myself lactose-intolerant per se, but I would say I was definitely bordering on it, so I am very careful. I've also noticed that emptying supplement capsules into the milk-based protein drinks doesn't work too well--the capsule contents tend to clump up.

I tried the sugar-free margarita mix made by Zilch Mixers--it's great. It can be purchased directly from Zilch Mixers or on the Bariatric Eating website. I will definitely be taking some to Vegas with me in the spring!

Saturday 9: I Think We're Alone Now

1. What celebrity in a fantasy would you like to be alone with?

Robert Downey Jr.

2. Have you ever dated a good friend?


3. What is the most embarrassing song that you like?

It would probably be by Britney Spears. I like working out and dancing to her music. I don't claim it's of any musical value, it's just fun.

4. What is your favorite tearjerker movie?

"The Fisher King"...I don't know if it's supposed to be a tearjerker, but it is for me when Robin Williams' character is getting well.

5. What about yourself makes you least secure?

The way I look.

6. Do you believe in destiny?

To a degree, yes.

7. What 'issue' do you think your opinion is so right about that you end up trying to sway others to your point of view?

I don't waste my time doing that, and I wish more people wouldn't bother. For me, it is a matter of respect for both others and myself. I want to speak my piece and for people to make up their own minds, and I expect others to show me the same courtesy.

8. What are 5 things you don't care about?

Organized religion, football, vapid reality-show "stars", trying to make others agree with me, pleasing everyone.

9. Have you ever been in a situation where you weren't sure if you were seducing or being seduced?

Sure. Who hasn't? :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"We're cutting you loose."

This is what my ankle doctor said to me at my final post-op appointment earlier this week. "Everything looks great, it sounds great, you can opt to have physical therapy or you can give it more time, you can start working out or you can give it more time. It's all up to you."

I thrilled to the sound of that, because I am a good deal happier when things concerning me are also up to me. If they are not up to me, I try very hard to make them become up to me PDQ. And hilarity ensues. Or not.

We chatted then about working out. "Three times a week would be optimum for you to work up to," he said.

This statement was so reasonable, so grounded in actual reality, that I nearly swooned. If I had a dollar for every time some scrubs-clad nimrod with a sheepskin and a stethoscope has chastised me, "YOU SHOULD BE EXERCISING EVERY DAY (invisible hot-pink neon sign flashing: you fat, lazy sack of skin)!" I could afford to take a couple of luxury cruises every year for the rest of my natural life on Earth.

Refraining from any personal declarations of undying love, I then asked, "Can you talk to some other doctors I know? Can I give you their numbers? Please?" He laughed, but nodded too. I expanded on my experiences with such doctors and he rolled his eyes and appeared visibly annoyed. "I don't know why they do that," he said.

He related that his wife wanted them to start doing cardio together and that he had agreed, saying, "Great, I'm all for it. Just not every day." His wife persisted-- positive they should do cardio every day--but he stood his ground and said, "No way. We'll burn out."


Most people do not exercise every day. Not even thin people. Many thin people actually never exercise at all. For instance, I happen to be married to a man who has never in his life--not once--exercised on purpose. Yes, he has an active job, but it has not always been thus--and yet, he has always been thin. I know many others like him, just as I know many large people who exercise regularly and remain large.

Exercise is a wonderful thing--in theory if not always in practice. It has a multitude of well-documented and rather obvious health benefits, and we should all be doing it regularly to the best of our ability--but that doesn't mean it needs to happen every day. Furthermore, exercising every day is not a realistic expectation-- particularly if you hate, dread, and have to force yourself to do it.

My ankle doctor and I agreed on this very thing. In those exact words. It was an absolutely lovely conversation that validated several thousand moments of frustration I have weathered throughout my entire life. It was definitely worth the co-pay! I joked (with Freud's seed of truth heavily present) that one shouldn't exercise every day for the simple fact that one should have not exercising to look forward to, and he agreed with that, too. Sometimes one is coming down with a cold, has a thousand other things to do, or doesn't want to go out in the horizontal rain. Sometimes one just doesn't freakin' want to!

This is not a moral failing, this not wanting to exercise every day. I suspect I am not the only person who would be happy to receive external validation of this fact from a certified medical professional. Whether I weigh 98 pounds or 398, I have the right to say, "You know what? I don't feel like it today."

So--doctors, haters, clueless wonders--put that in your juice box and suck it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

5-month follow-up with nutritionist

....was yesterday. My regular nutritionist is back after having a baby four months ago. It was good to see her again. She is rail thin and shows no signs of having had a baby (she has two kids) and I look like I could have birthed four or five. I try mightily not to hold this against her.

It was an uneventful appointment. I had only lost a pound according to their scale (I've been as much as three pounds lighter on mine), but she didn't seem too concerned due to (a) the holidays and (b) the ankle. (I see Dr. Ankle next week, when he will probably clear me to work out. The ankle feels pretty good most of the time now. That whole the-scar-tissue-is-breaking-up painful interlude lasted 3 to 7 days just like he said it would, and I weathered it without Demerol.) She did tell me I should be doing upper-body workouts. You know what? I'm not in the mood. I'll start the whole thing when I start the whole thing.

I told her I wasn't working with the exercise physiologist because it goes against everything in my being. "I'm kind of a self-cleaning oven of a person," is how I put it. "I don't take orders well."

"How will you be accountable?" she asked. I have noticed this is a common theme that gets brought up a lot and that these nutritional coaching types are very concerned with: Being Accountable.

"I'm accountable to me," I said. She looked quizzical. I pressed, "I just AM."

Aren't we all? AAAGGGGGGHHHHH! This is something that really annoys me. The last time I checked I was the only one living in my body every day. Free will? Personal responsibility? They can happen (and should be exercised a lot more often). I wanted (and unfortunately, needed) the tool of bariatric surgery and had the good fortune to acquire it. Now that I have it, barring some unforeseen medical oddity (God forbid), my weight loss is my responsibility. If I gain the weight back or stop losing altogether, it's because I didn't do what I was supposed to do. I don't want star stickers on a !@#$%^&* calendar. I don't want to weigh in in front of people. I don't want to compete with anyone. Competing with other people, or some elusive nonexistent ideal, is what gets many of us in trouble in the first place. Groups work for some people, but generally, I am not one of them. I tend to loathe groupthink and buck against it, simply because it is groupthink.

"Were you guilted as a child?" she asked me.

Well, yeah. Yeah, I was. Constantly. I basically didn't feel I deserved the very oxygen I breathed. But what does THAT have to do with THIS?

"You don't want to disappoint people," she assumed aloud. "You want everyone to like you."

Ahem. No. I would definitely be far more successful in business if this were true. Most people are not worth the time or energy it would take to actively seek their approval. I don't want to disappoint the people I care about, but I do. People I care about disappoint me, too, on a fairly regular basis. It's called being human. If my upbringing taught me anything, it taught me it was well nigh impossible to make another human being happy. It was ultimately a good thing--though often a harsh thing--to learn that as early in life as I did. I also learned it was up to me to make myself happy and yes, be accountable to myself. When no safety net exists, you learn to stop expecting one to be there after the wind gets knocked out of you a time or two.

On a lighter note, I was getting ready to go out recently and found myself singing "Lumpy Lady" to the tune of "Foxey Lady" a la Jimi Hendrix. That struck me funny. (At least I can laugh about it now instead of insisting on wearing clothes four sizes too big, bingeing, and/or feeling like crap.)

Saturday 9: Call Me

1. Who is someone that phones you routinely that you never seem to be up to talk to, but you are not ready to push them out of your life?

I don't really have any of those anymore. Thankfully.

2. What is something that affects you deeply, to your core, no matter your mood or what else is going on in your life?

Hate crimes. Racism. Homophobia. Domestic violence. Rape. Torture. People losing children and grandchildren, children losing their parents prematurely. Incest. Animal cruelty. Homelessness. Poverty. Hunger. I am not a social worker for a reason.

3. Tell us of something that relaxes you and always makes you happy.

A hug from someone I love. A cup of tea. My cats. Quiet.

4. If you could take the train from anywhere to anywhere, where would 'anywhere' be?

I think I'd take a train all over Europe. I've never been there.

5. If you could look into the future, how far down the road would you like to see? 10 years? 100 years? A million?

All of the above. It would be interesting.

6. Did you do your shopping online for this Christmas, how did it go? Did things come in on time? Any significant failures? ...and if you didn't, will you consider trying online shopping sometime this year?

I shop online routinely. I didn't have any problems at Christmas. I love online shopping--as a friend of mine says, "I'd get my hair cut online if I could."

7. What people or projects are worth your time, money or effort?

The people in my life that are know who they are. In terms of charities, I have many that I like to support, including public television, Habitat for Humanity, Planned Parenthood, the Humane Society, VFW, Alzheimer's Association, etc.

8. Think back when you were in high school. Are you proud of the way you dressed, or do you wish you could go back and change it all?

I dressed pretty wack at times, but some of that was because I didn't have money and/or a mom and some of it was because I was figuring out who I was. I don't really regret it. I wish I hadn't gotten so many perms before I figured out I was never going to have thick, wavy hair, though.

9. Do any of your friends, family or co-workers know about your blogs? For those that do, did you tell them or have they stumbled upon it by themselves?

I have told most of the people I know where it is.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

I ring in 2010 at 211 pounds, so I have lost 63 pounds since surgery and 85 since my highest weight. I had a wonderful, long, crazy, boozy evening with old friends I've known since grade school that I love as family, and I could not have had a better time. Boozy was permissible due to Baja Bob's sugar-free (sweetened with Splenda) sour apple martini mixer. Hooray!! (As for the morning after, I'm encouraged by how many coffee places have sugar-free options as well.) We played Rock Band and I sang--or I should say, "sang"--a LOT, everything from Nirvana "Drain You" to Survivor "Eye of the Tiger". I'm hoping whatever recording devices were present didn't pick up too much embarrassing footage...

I took a ton of pictures, and while they were fun and I enjoyed them, it was discouraging for me to see (a) how large I still am and (b) how many chins I still have. Sigh. Part of life, and I'm trying not to focus on it. I've made a lot of progress in a short time, but I am far from a patient woman.

About Me

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other
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