Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hi I'm Friz and I MATTER!!!

It has been very therapeutic to start writing again.  I'm really trying to get my head back in the healthy game.  I had been so on track for so long, it's kind of scary how easily I was able to go so far off the path I had chosen 4 years ago.  It's humbling to know that as much as I thought I "had" this, I really didn't.  I was reminded by my nurse practitioner yesterday that I need to cut myself some slack.  That I truly am too hard on myself.  I'm going to try to do that.

I think my downward spiral for the regain began over a year ago.  When I found out I needed a hysterectomy.  I had been fighting my band as well, only I didn't realize that it was a band failure and NOT a me failure so I ignored the signs and kept trying and failing and trying and failing.  My lowest weight was just before the hysterectomy.  After that surgery, I began gaining weight.  I think it is a combination of the hormonal changes, failing band, losing my dad, dealing with my mom (the mom issues will be addressed in many other blogs).

This past Christmas, post band removal, I think I went into a depression/funk.  Wait there is no think, I KNOW I did.  I always do at Christmas.  The past few years, I haven't been as bad because I have the love of a great man.  This year however, between the weight gain and the words of my mom, I went down deep.  My theme of this depression was I hate not feeling like I matter.  Even though Sam makes sure I do ever single day, and I know that my family and friends love me, I allowed my mom in my head and send me down the rabbit hole.  Funny how simple words can do that.  Especially those of your mom.  It's also just as funny how words can also snap you out of it.  And simple little actions. 

Who is Friz? Friz is the nickname my oldest sister Marie gave me when I was a baby.  It came from the way my hair looked as a baby.  I had very very fine baby soft hair.  (still do, just more of it) My hair used to stand on end, so it looked Frizzy.  The full nickname was actually Frizzleberry.  Friz for short.  In my family, I am still called Friz at times.  It's usually when I need it the most. 

My depression was lifted in a couple of different ways.  As my future mother in law was leaving the day after Christmas, she gave me a hug and said, I really wish you were my daughter and not my daughter in law.  She will never know (unless she subscribes and reads my blogs) how much that meant to me.  I finally have the "Mom" I always wanted.

My niece and my sister Ann helped Sam mastermind my engagement.  He planned it and brought them in on it.  They totally set me up and listened to my belly aching that it didn't happen on my birthday or Christmas.  The fact that they think so much of me and wanted me to have a special memory shows me that I MATTER!

Lastly, my sister Marie messaged me last night after I posted the link to my blog to encourage me on this journey and to remind me she is still my big sister and she is still there for me and is on this journey with her.  She reminded me that I am strong and can do this, and when I don't think I can, all I need to do is reach out to her and she's got me.

All that is left to do now is the time to get my ass out of my head and DO IT!!!

Hi, I'm Friz and I do MATTER!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

1st surgery is in the history books

I survived having the band removed.  I have to say that the nurses at AAMC are really awesome.  Just the best. So compassionate and caring. 

I don't really feel different yet without the band.  Other than I have noticed that the nagging little pain I've had in my left side where my port was is no longer bugging me.  I guess that little pain wasn't my imagination after all.  Things that make you go hmmmm....

A couple notes from the surgery... I know my WLS is very busy and I've only met him once, but really made me a bit nervous when we walked in and asked ME what he was doing that day. Maybe it was a test to see if I was paying attention.  I don't know.  But when I read the notes in my file today and it said he had done the gastric sleeve when that's not what we did yet, it just gets in my crawl. 

On the great news side, he was able to prep me for the sleeve so my surgery in January should be easier. He'll use the same holes which will be nice.  I should have a new target date next week when I go to him for my post op appointment. To say I'm excited doesn't do it justice.

The only remaining thing to do to get ready is see the psychiatrist to get cleared.  Seriously?  I'm not sure why they need to do that again since I'm doing a revision, but whatever it takes I'll do.

So far my appetite hasn't returned and God willing, I'll be able to keep things under control and not gain any more between now and January surgery.  I'm so nervous about that.  This is such a mental trip all over.

Thank you for joining me on this journey

Monday, November 17, 2014

Phase 2 of this journey begins in 3...2...1...TODAY!!!

It’s been a long time since I blogged.  I just re-read my last blog from 2012 and I can say a lot of it is still the same, but so much of me has changed.  I’m picking up this blog venture again because today is the day I being a new chapter in my Journey to a new Me!  After 4 years and 130 lbs, my Bandzilla is being removed.  I am so nervous and scared.  What if I balloon up again? What if insurance says I’m too thin to do a revision in January like we think will happen?  I can’t go back to being that girl.  So I’m going to use my blog to stay accountable and focused.  I want to share my story in the event I can help others realize they are normal too J

Last I left off, I was going to talk about July 4th of 2012 and coming the realization that I had learned to listen to the red flags.  I dumped the guy (first time I did that in my life) that I had met at the Memorial Day dance and moved on to dating a guy I had known for years from work.  Long distance relationship at that.  OMG, the energy and excitement of finally dating someone who I secretly had a crush on and found out had one on me was just what I needed at that time in this journey.  I will be forever grateful for the time spent together, learning about me, learning that I should be spoiled once in a while.  I loved his family and was very sad when his mom passed away about a year after we broke up.  We still keep in touch and talk at work (yes, we were co-workers but in different offices).  The woman who snags him will be very lucky and very special.

Moving on to January of 2013.  That was the month I met Sam.  Sam and I started out as friends first but by March of that year knew this was going to be a permanent relationship.  Sam has taught me patience (most of the time) and most importantly he has taught me love doesn’t hurt.  Being in a healthy relationship is so different than anything either of us have ever known.  I’ll venture more into that over time.  For now I am so happy with my personal life.  Not always good when you’re trying to lose weight because you get complacent with your habits.  I have been complacent a lot lately.

I’m hurrying to write this because I have to finish packing my bag and taking a shower so we can head to the hospital.  I was so worried I would be starving this morning because I can’t eat anything before surgery and I’m not scheduled until 3:00.  I miss water and my coffee more than I do food this morning. 

So, join me followers as we begin Phase 2 of the journey to a new me. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sorry for the delay!!!

 January, 2012

Wow – where have I been since last April?  I knew it had been a long time, but not THAT long.  Sorry everyone.

Let’s see where do I begin?  My latest stats?  Sure.  My last weight in with Dr. Long was in November.  I am now 1 full year post surgery.  I weighed in at 230 lbs.  That is 85 lbs down from my heaviest.  I am in awe sometimes when I look in the mirror or look at old pictures.  I am really doing this.  I will admit I have been struggling lately because let’s face it.  I friggin love food and I am an awesome cook.  I have come the realization that I am addicted to food.  It is my drug.  I have also been stressing a lot lately which does not help me at all.  So much has changed that it sometimes becomes so overwhelming that I can’t breathe.

I think for this blog, I will go back and cover a few things each month.  It may get a little long and I don’t expect everyone to read through this but it will get me back on track and hopefully updating a little more often.  It really does help when I write some of this stuff out.  To give you an insight to how I “work” a lot of what I write here are the thoughts that swirl through my head 24x7.  Until I put it on paper or talk to someone about it, I can’t let these things go.  When I can’t let things go, I get overwhelmed.  When I get overwhelmed, I shut down and retreat to my room or “the cave” as I call my sister’s basement where I live.  I do this until I can get things settled again.  I have learned over the course of the last year, I am way more OCD than I knew.  And more than I want to admit, I feel safer when things follow plans and structure.  When I am not in my comfort zone and following patterns I get overwhelmed and well, you see the pattern?  It’s a vicious cycle.  One I am really not fond of, but since I can recognize it, the self-destructive overwhelming spells don’t last as long as they used to.  So that’s progress, right?

Ok, so let me catch you guys up.  Some of what I will write will not sit well with some of you in how I portray Tony.  If you are friends with both of us, please keep in mind there are three sides to every story.  Mine, his and the truth.  What I am writing is how I felt or how I saw things.  If you don’t want to know about that part of our marriage or its affects on me, than stop reading here and pick up with the next blogs.  No harm no foul.

Spring/Summer of 2011 – I think Tony is finally getting the picture that I am not going to reconcile and that this will be a permanent separation that will lead to divorce.  I am beginning to feel better about myself and no longer have to fill each and every minute of the day with something to do.  Because I never felt like I had freedom to do things during my marriage, I didn’t know how to react when I suddenly have control over every aspect of my life.  I have been a nervous wreck when I suddenly have free time.  I have been filling each and every weekend because for the longest time, I felt like I had to make the most of any free time so I would cram as much fun into that little window that I never really enjoyed myself because I was exhausted.  I have learned that I must have been sleep deprived because I have been sleeping and sleeping like I can’t get enough.  It is refreshing to actually get the rest my body has been craving.

During this time I have also come to the realization that some friendships haven’t been healthy and I have pulled away from another person who I thought was one of my best friends. I discovered that this person lied to me and really didn’t have my best interests at heart.  It would take me another 3-4 months to finally really let go of this person.  I miss them from time to time, but during this summer I would learn to stand up for myself and love myself enough that holding onto unhealthy relationships for fear of being alone doesn’t make sense. 

Memorial Day weekend I spend it at Goosebay with my best friend Susan.  It will be one of the first times I don’t have strings and can pretty much just be me.  It was an awesome weekend.  I learned a lot about myself that weekend.  Some, I can share; others are better left in my head.  The main thing I learned is that I don’t need the attention that I always thought I did and had craved for so long through losing weight.  Don’t get me wrong.  Hearing the compliments is awesome and I need them as they motivate me, but getting it sometimes feels uncomfortable now.  I don’t want to be perceived as bragging about my successes and that I think I am now better than anyone else.  At the same time I am so proud of what I have accomplished and want to shout it from the rooftops.  It’s a double-edged sword for sure.

Another lesson learned that weekend is that it’s ok to say no and just because I am single, doesn’t mean I have to take the first offer that comes along.  I did that before and it took me 20 years to un-do what I had done.  Don’t get me wrong.  At one time I did love Tony but I wasn’t happy for a long time and many times wish I had waited to get married when I was older.  Ok, back to Memorial Day.  I met a guy at the Goosebay dance.  Nice enough man, but typical of some of the southern Maryland guys.  Didn’t listen to me when I said I wasn’t ready to settle down with just one person. That I wanted to explore for a while, but wanted to date.  I enjoyed his attention and liked talking to him every night before bed, but when the red flags of you should do this and you need to do this and what were you doing started to show, I didn’t just think they would go away and I could change him.  Instead, I stood up to myself and accepted that maybe I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship and needed to slow the roll.  It took me until 4th of July to do it, but I did it.  That’s the first time in my life I’ve done that!

This is getting long.  I’m going to end this one here and then start a new post that picks up with 4th of July.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another Month - No fill!!!

This blog was started on May 14th.  Sorry it's so late.

Another month without a fill.  How awesome is that?  Another 7 lbs gone this month!!!

Dr. Long’s scale 244.7 (70 lbs)

While Dr. Long’s scale reflects 70 lbs gone since I met him in January 2010.  From my heighest weight, I am 75 lbs gone.  I have hit my first goal - to lose more than I did at any time in my life.  I can’t really begin to explain how fantastic that feels.

This month has seen many changes.  Physical and emotional.   I really need to write more often because things are happening and changing so fast, I really don’t remember to capture everything.

 I continue to meet once a week with a wonderful counselor who is helping me with the emotional part of my journey.  To learn to like myself and give myself the credit I deserve for the hardwork and successes I have.  She had me take a personality test recently.  The results were very eye opening and pretty spot on to how I think and how I react to things.  One of the things it revealed is the constant need for affection and approval.  I am an approval whore and it’s one of the things I hate about myself.  I have to have constant feed back and never wait for people to give me genuine compliments which always mean more than the ones I have coaxed out of people because I had to say, see what I’ve done?  I’m really working on that.  If people ask what I’m doing, I tell them about the surgery.  I’m not ashamed that I needed the extra help.  So what if I did as long as it gets me to a healthy weight. 

Another thing I learned is that while I am a people person and love to be with people, I am a little on the shy side as well and need time to recharge my batteries because being around other people wears me out.  This would explain why I am enjoying living in my sister’s basement so much.  It’s quiet down here and I have lots of time to think and just be.  I can recharge my batteries and be ready for the next day. 

The other changes that have been happening are the physical changes.  OMG.  I have to figure out how to post my biggest loser pictures on here.  I have muscle tone now.  It’s so hard to believe that I was actually ticked off at the hotel in Memphis because their gym was inadequate.  Really? Since when did I give a hoot if there was only a treadmill?  I guess since I now have a personal trainer who kicks my butt twice a week.  Best investment I have ever made.  I never thought I would actually look forward to working out.  But I love it.  I am finally becoming the person I always wanted to be.

I have another fill appointment in two days, so I actually started this blog almost a month ago and am just now getting it posted.  I promise, I will write more after Wednesday’s appointment. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Random Thoughts Again

Went for another fill on the 13th.  Lost another 5.2 so no fill again.  Which means I'm doing the weight loss thing pretty much on my own.  The band is there for when I get in trouble.

Latest stats: 
Dr Long’s Scale 251.4 (-63.6)

I now only have 9 pounds to lose and I will reach my first mini goal of getting to where I was when doing weight watchers.  I can see it… I can taste it and it scares the hell out of me.  Like I said in my last blog, I’m so used to failing that I have to learn to get those negative thoughts out of my head.  It’s hard.  I talked to a friend about those fears and how I just knew I was going to do what I always do and not complete my journey.  His response was, “Well, you already have your mind made up and can see into the future, so why bother, right? “Might as well give up now since you already know how this is going to go”. 

What?  Really?  No talking me off the ledge no encouraging me?  Really?  And then it dawned on me.  He’s right.  If I keep thinking that nothing has changed then nothing has changed.  Because the old me thinks those things and allows them to creep in on her happy thoughts and take away her good feelings.  The new me is screaming at the old me to take a hike because this new me likes the happy feelings.

The past month I have really struggled with the changes that have occurred in my life since January.  Dealing with the guilt of making me happy and putting me first and leaving a 20 year marriage because I finally had the guts to admit that I wasn’t happy anymore.  Through counseling, I am finally learning who I am and what I like and don’t like.  I am learning the expectations that have been forced on me since I was a kid and learning to break the cycle.  You don’t realize how you take those behaviors into adulthood.  I certainly didn’t.  We all have our positions in our family.  Mine was to keep low and not cause trouble.  Don’t be seen, because to be seen most often than not got your ass beat.  I learned to keep quiet and to take care of people.  And that’s what I did. 

If you ask most of my friends, they will say I am an outgoing person.  That I’m the life of the party, and to some extent I have to be the center of attention.  Some of that is true, when I’m within my safety zone.  With people whom I feel safe with.  I learned in counseling today that I am wired in such a way that I need validation and compliments.  Not necessarily a bad thing if they are coming from the right person, but can be hellish if they come from the wrong person.  Positive validation is ok, tearing someone down is not.  I haven’t had a lot of the positive so when I get it, I want more or I don’t know how to accept the compliment because I either don’t believe it or to accept it means to acknowledge something good which could be considered bragging for which we weren’t allowed to do growing up.  The craving of more compliments and always searching for the next one can wear on people’s nerves. (See last blog for an example). I wish sometimes I were like others who don’t need any outside validation at all.  I am searching for that happy medium.

Early on in counseling when I was complaining about all the crap my mom did to me as a child and how I felt she wasn’t fair and the resentments that I had, my counselor asked me if there was anything she had done for me?  And I thought for a minute and I remembered how she and my dad had helped me when Tony and I moved into our first apartment and how it had been a miserable day.  I remembered how when Tony was unemployed she had helped me again.  And while she had done some pretty mean shit to me and had forgotten my birthday on more than one occasion, why did I have to measure the myself against my brothers and sisters and how much they had gotten and I hadn’t?  It wasn’t affecting anyone but me.  No one else was worrying over it.  Not that my feelings weren’t valid, but why carry the extra baggage around.  The one thing that stuck with me from that is WHY MEASURE MYSELF AGAINST OTHERS?  That is a powerful statement.  I do that a lot.  I take inventory every time I walk into a room.

My inventory goes something like this:  am I the fattest one in the room?  Am I the ugliest?  Am I the only woman? Anyone wearing the same outfit as me? Will they like me? See where I go with that? 

I am working on not measuring myself against others.  I am me.  My friends and family love me dearly.  That love is all the positive validation I need really. 

My challenge for the next month is to stop taking inventory when I walk in the room and stop comparing myself to others and just be the best me I can.  I think that’s all anyone can ask for, right?

Monday, March 28, 2011

March Update

 I started this on the 10th of March.  It’s now the 28th and I’m finally finishing it.  Sue me… been a little busy.  I go back to Dr. Long on the 13th of April.

So, I’m updating sooner than 3 months.  Finally, right?

Dr. Long’s scale yesterday – 256.6 (-58.4)
My home scale yesterday – 254 (-61)
My wii game today – 251 (-64)

So much on my mind lately.  I go in my head a lot and I’ll think of something and think, man, that’s a good blog topic.  So, I started keeping a list of topics so I can jog my memory and come back and write about it.

Tonight’s topic is a major one for me as I inch closer to my first mini-goal.  I went to see Dr. Long and Nurse Brian yesterday.  I love these guys.  They have given me my life back through the surgery.  Brian reminds me every time I go there that I’m human and I’m allowed to EAT even though I’ve had surgery.  He’ll ask me how I did this month and I’ll say, oh, I’ve had a bad day and he’ll laugh at me when I tell him my version of a bad day.  He rolls his eyes and says give me a break.  As long as it’s one day and not forever, everyone is allowed to have “those” days.

Why am I so critical of myself?  I’ve always been my own worse critic.  Goes back to that measuring thing that I am really trying to stop doing.

So tonight’s topic is:  Owning my success and not being scared to succeed.

This is huge for me.  I am now about 10-12 pounds away from hitting my lowest weight from when I was doing weight watchers (depends on the scale I’m on as to how many pounds.).  I’ve set my 1st goal at 242.2.  That’s the lowest I ever weighed during my weight watcher years.  I had done so well and thought I had the food thing under control.  I was so excited.  I was fitting into sexy clothes and felt better than I had in a long time.  I mean to lose 72.2 pounds is huge.  That’s the equivalent of losing a 3rd grader.  Go lift a 3rd grader (get permission first) and see how hard that is to carry around.  I carried that with me every single day. 

I think the biggest difference this time as opposed to the weight watcher years is that I’m quieter about it.  I’m actually afraid to talk about my success too much because the last time I was obsessed with each little change in my appearance and body and all I talked about was points and weight loss.  I got on everyone’s nerves.  Friends and husband.  I had become addicted to it.  So this time, I celebrate a little more quietly and try to consider whom my audience is when I talk about it.  The first time, I alienated my friends and family because I didn’t know how to handle success.  Don’t get me wrong, however.  If someone asks have I lost weight, I say yes.  If they asked me how I did it, I’m honest and say surgery.  If they want to know more, I tell them, but I wait for them to ask me.  I also don’t try to push my ideas about food and weight loss on others.  They know I’m here and what I’ve done and am doing.  If they want help, or information, I’d be more than happy to talk about it.  But I think I’ll wait to be asked this time around instead of volunteering the information.  Not everyone cares what I have to say J 

In our family, it was expected you did a job well because it was your job and that’s what you do.  You don’t do it because you think you’ll get rewarded or pats on the back.  So in our family, if you were successful, it wasn’t celebrated.  We weren’t paid to get good grades, we were expected to do it or we got punished.  We were paid an allowance for chores, but once we started earning our own money, we bought our own things.  For example, if we wanted more than basic jeans or shoes, we paid for them.  So, I’ve never been good at patting myself on the back or rewarding myself for a job well done.  That was considered bragging and we didn’t do that.

So as I became successful in my weight loss, I also became scared.  I remember my weight watcher leader saying to me and another woman that we both were so close to the 75 lb mark, that she had ordered our certificates.  She knew we would reach that goal.  Just knew it.  Shortly thereafter, I hit my plateau and started the slide back down the hill I had just climbed.  It was like I hit a mental block.  Friends were sick of hearing it, husband was sick of hearing it.  I’ve put the blame on a talk I had with Tony back then, when he told me our friends were complaining to him that all I ever talk about is my weight loss.  But in hind site and in all honesty, I have to accept part of that blame.  I did it to myself. 

So, as I inch closer to my first mini goal, I’m scared.  I’m afraid of hitting that mark and pushing past it.  I’m safe where I am.  And for those who know me well, safety is a huge thing for me.  I’m trying not to focus on the past failures, but looking for the new successes.  I’m trying to remain positive.  Failure is really not an option for me since I have band.  When I overeat, I hurt.  And when I hurt, I hurt badly.

I do want to succeed this time.  I want to be able to look back and remember where I came from and the journey I took to get to my goal.  I’m fitting into clothes that I haven’t worn in years.  I’m back into the weight watcher clothes that have been in my closet and under my bed waiting for me to rescue them.  Some of them are even getting too big already which is the best feeling in the world.

If you have topic suggestions, feel free to email them to me.

More soon, I promise.  The ride is just getting fun J